Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's Bloody Fr-fr-fr-eezing!!!

Winter has arrived in all her freezing, windy, bone-chilling, frosty, breath-stopping, bitter glory!

Thus far this winter we have had it fairly easy with moderate temperatures, little snow and easy driving conditions. I knew.. deep down inside... I knew this winter was finally going to arrive... the real winter.. not the mamby-pamby winter we have been experiencing.

Today's the day... the temperature has steadily been dropping, the wind has been picking up its crescendo like a crazed, blustery, frozen omen and the sky resembles the steel grey hull of a giant, imposing, monstrous cargo ship. And life doesn't stop -- it can't... wood will still have to be chopped and brought around for the wood stove (which has been churning out warmth and ambiance all day)... I will definitely want to feed the birds on a day like today and will need to go out for a walk with the dog. But alas Lu is still sleeping soundly in the next room and I'll have to wait until she wakes up in her usual grumpy stupor. It is days like today that you crave the warmth of an early summer sun.. walking outdoors with sandals and maybe a light jacket to keep the breeze from making you feel slightly chilly.

But not today... today winter has arrived and it is bloody well fr-fr-fr-eezing!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

sick and surgery

Just had surgery last week and I don't know what I was thinking. I figured I'd rest the day I got home and then I'd be good to go. Was I wrong!! It took what seemed to be forever to get over the anesthetic... I was dizzy for days and felt nauseous and was also just plain tired! It is amazing how surgery can just knock you off your feet.

But much to the husband's insistence.. I spent time in bed over the weekend with my leg elevated... and I slept too... probably too much... but I think I needed it... not only because I don't know when I had time off to just laze around... but I also felt the beginnings of a cold coming on (thanks to Lu who has had a horrific, rattly cough the past week). So I emailed people and read and just lazed about. Went for a couple of short walks just to keep things moving.. but other than that.. I think I needed to time to heal.

I feel a bit better today... still sore... but better!

Monday, January 11, 2010

walking and skiing and enjoying the snow

One of the best things about living in the country is the easy access to endless entertainment via Mother Nature! Right off the back porch we can take lengthy walks and never cross our original path; we can slap our cross country skis on and go for hours and hours... it is the best.

Wildlife sightings also add to the memorable times - from coyotes to deer and mink to birds galore; there is always something new to discover. And then of course there was the Sunday ski I went on ... alone at dusk with Chelsea the dog in tow and came across some fairly fresh bear tracks... I skied home pretty quickly -- but even throughout my initial fear I was also in awe of these large paw prints and who the proud owner was. I know I share the forest with many animals but I would like to keep the bear sightings to a paw print in the snow from now on.

Happy skiing!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Christmas without mass produced products

Christmas is over and life has gotten back to reality - somewhat. So I am just reflecting on the past two weeks of family gatherings, presents, movies and breakfast in bed, friends over for visits, parties, and really good food. And the one thing that has really stayed with me is that I am so proud I never once set foot inside a big box store for any christmas gifts, etc. I proudly bought a few things through Etsy and the One of A Kind Show (supporting really wonderful and talented artisans), I picked up a few items at a locally owned toy store that only sells really high quality (Read: not made in China crap) toys and games at their store, Lu and I made some cookies and bath salts and gave those out as gifts and we also painted up some bird houses and wooden ornaments and gave those away too. We shopped online at World Wildlife Federation and made donations to World Vision and Medicines sans Frontiers - all three are such important organizations and we are proud to sponsor them - and I also did some last minute shopping at our local 10,000 villages store (money goes directly back to the third world artisan).

All in all it was a very "global" christmas and I am so happy I never once had to step foot in a Wal-Mart or other equally annoying large box store. I kept hearing people complaining about line ups and raging customers and low stock and dirty stores and I just had to laugh to myself and say... there is a better way... an easier way and a more important way. I think now is the time we have to stop looking at cheap solutions -- buying cheap toys, eating cheap sources of food -- it is just such an easy way out (or seemingly easy way out because the consequences are enormous). Just plan a little, think down the road a little and justify your cheap, easy purchase -- was it worth it? Really? Look beyond your safe reality and think long and hard about where that cheaply made toy came from, or the inexpensive steak on your plate... these are global issues now and we all need to start thinking globally as well and to stop taking the perceived easier way out!