Thursday, December 22, 2016

Almost Ready

'Twas the night before Christmas guests arrived, and all through the fridge,
Not a square inch was left to put anything, not even a smidge;

The ornaments were placed high with great care,
In hopes that Ella and Oliver couldn't reach there;

Fergus and Jenny were nestled all snug in their crates:
While visions danced in their heads of food falling off plates...

Sorry, but that's as far as I can go with that! Things are a little crazy here as I get ready for everyone to arrive tomorrow. There will be sixteen of us in total for about five days (some are staying less time, some longer). Several other cottages have been rented, and I've purchased so much food that I've not only filled our fridge, I've also filled the fridge of one of those rental cottages.

I did manage to finish all my Christmas knitting. There was one particularly bleak moment two nights ago when I was knitting the wings on fairies and thought I might go a bit mad. I was knitting while watching The Sound of Music, which is one of my pre-Christmas traditions (watching the movie, not knitting wings). I was also texting with a knitting friend, whining about the wings. I took a picture of one of the fairies, minus its hat since those hadn't yet been knit, to send to her. It turned out to be the perfect screen shot, as I imagine the look on my face at that point pretty much matched this look on Maria's.

We've slipped past the solstice, and now Hanukkah, Christmas and a New Year are rapidly approaching. I hope that you have a wonderful season of celebration.  I will be back in the New Year with a report on all the gift knitting that has been happening here. Until then...

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Frozen Friday

Brrr...! We are in the midst of an Arctic outflow, which has meant high winds and very cold temperatures. Today it is a bit milder and we have snow, which makes me very happy. Well, mostly happy. I was supposed to go to Victoria today to visit Lucy and Oliver, but had to cancel because of the forecast snow. I grew up in Northern Idaho, lived way up north in Fort St. John for six years, spent many years in the Kootenays, and most recently resided in Kamloops. All of these places experience Winter. I know how to drive on snowy roads and in extreme winter conditions. I don't like to do it, but will if I have to.

Which brings me to the Lower Mainland of BC. There's a reason it's the laughingstock of Canada when it comes to snow. All it takes to paralyze Vancouver is half an inch of the white stuff. Last week a bit of snow fell and a university completely shut down, two bridges had chunks of ice falling off the overhead structures, damaging dozens of cars, and the Sky Train had to shut down because the snow on the tracks kept setting off alarms. This is how I would expect a place like Hawaii or Costa Rica to function if they got hit by snow. Not somewhere in the Great White North. My writing skills aren't well honed enough to adequately describe what being on the road with the drivers here is like. But the fact that in spite of over four decades of accumulated experience driving in winter conditions I felt it necessary to cancel my trip to Victoria should give you an idea of just how bad it is.

It's been several weeks since I last wrote a post. That's not been for lack of things to blog about. I have been knitting at every available moment, and have many finished items, and a few soon to be finished ones, to show you. However, they are all Christmas gifts, so this post is going to be sans knitting. Instead you are going to get a bit of randomness, along with some pictures of winter settling in in my neck of the woods.

:: I was driving home at dusk this past week and when I saw this view of the sun going down just had to pull over and take a picture.

:: We had a power outage for a few hours yesterday. These happen with annoying frequency where we live. I cope better now that I have my Coleman stove, since I know I can still have a cup of tea even if there isn't any electricity.

:: When I was in Spokane in October I found a great deal on a pair of flannel-lined jeans at the Eddie Bauer outlet store. I've wanted a pair of flannel-lined jeans for ages, and had I known how warm and comfortable they are I would have bought some decades ago. I must admit that due to the extra thickness they do make my legs look a bit like tree trunks, but at least they are warm tree trunks.

:: Rebekah and I got together last week to plan the food for Christmas. Ella's favourite "toy" is a cardboard box that has a string attached. She knows Nana is a soft touch, and will pull her around endlessly. Or until I get dizzy and need to sit down for a bit.

:: If you are in the market for some good books for children I highly recommend the Orange Marmalade blog. She does wonderful reviews of children's books, and I've discovered many a great book through her blog.

:: I have no idea what these three were looking at. I was sitting on the window seat behind them, knitting away on Christmas gifts, and happened to look down and see them all staring intently ahead.

:: I know I show a lot of pictures of our mountains, but it seems like they are constantly changing.

:: I know I also show probably way too many pictures of the lake, but it also changes dramatically with each season. Leading up to Christmas the residents at Lindell beach put a tree up on one of the docks, all strung with lights. I'll have to see if I can get a picture of it in the evening when it's all lit up.

:: The Arctic outflow has painted the beach with ice. I walked down a couple days ago to get some pictures of the ice formations for my blog, but it was so cold my phone shut down. So yesterday I drove down, and placed my phone inside one of the thrummed mittens I made a few years ago. It kept it toasty warm, and I would quickly pull it out, take a picture, then stuff it back into the mitten until I was ready to use it again.

:: I'm sure by now most of you will have seen this Christmas video out of Poland, but just in case you might have missed it here's a link. Warning. You might want to grab a tissue before viewing.

:: I'm not even close to being ready for the holidays, and felt a bit panicked this morning when I realized that two weeks from today there will be fourteen people arriving. I haven't done any baking, there's all that unfinished knitting, and I need to start stockpiling food. Yikes! How about you? Are your preparations going well? And am I the only one madly trying to finish making gifts?