Monday, May 13, 2013

and now it's summer

We had more than six months of long cold winter, about a week of spring, and now it's summer!  It was 29C (84F) this afternoon.  No complaints from anyone around here, no siree.  It's lovely to wear shorts again.  Even in the heat, there is one persistent snow bank in the park across from our back lane.  It's on the northern side of a slope so it doesn't get the direct sun for long.  I imagine that there will be snow banks in the rural shelterbelts for a few more weeks.

Our sweet Berlyn turned five months old on the weekend.  She is adorable and inquisitive and finally giving her parents a break by sleeping through the night.  Here she is in her jumperoo.
 I had to use the flash to get a clear picture because she was jumping gleefully and with much energy! 

Dan had shoulder surgery last week and seems to be healing nicely.  Being one-handed hasn't been much of a problem for him because he has been glued to the TV watching hockey play-offs.

Finally, welcome back to earth Chris Hadfield!  You did Canada proud!

Saturday, May 04, 2013

about time

The rhubarb patch of the garden that looked like this two weeks ago

now looks like this.
The rosy rhubarb shoots have finally made an appearance, a month later than last year.

We had another dump of snow on Tuesday of this week and when it melted, it took much of the snow that was left from the winter.  There are still drifts of tired snow in the shade but I think that we might get summer this year after all.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

slowly; very, very slowly

Our everlasting winter continues.  Spring is sending hints that she may arrive one day after all but she sure can't be accused of being forward about it.  Our daily high temperatures are still hovering around the freezing mark even on sunny days.  I did a search of my blog for dates of my rhubarb pictures in past years.  In 2006 it was April 7; in 2008 and 2011 it was April 20 (today's date); in 2010 it was April 3 and last year it was April 7.

Photo taken yesterday, here is the plot of garden where the rhubarb grows.
It's still going to be a while before I see rhubarb there. 

Even though the temperatures have been very low, the longer daylight hours are melting the snow pack.  The snow is heavy and wet and the patches of grass that Dan snowblowed for the dogs over the winter are wet and muddy.

There is still a ton of snow to get rid of after all of the precipitation we had over the winter and there is more snow forecast this week.

The barbecue is buried under there.  We won't be using it until some time in May, I think.

I still haven't gone through our photos from Mexico.  I know that looking at them now will just make me cranky about living in this frozen part of the world and I was feeling depressed about it enough without looking at the sunny pics.  I've always struggled with my moods in the winter.  However, after watching all of the events in Boston this week and thinking about how so many people on this planet live with fear, hunger, and disease, I am rather ashamed that I let myself get depressed over something as insignificant as the weather when my life is blessed in so many ways with Dan and these lovelies at the top of the list.

And here are the four furry blessings.

Friday, March 22, 2013

always winter

So here it is, more than a month after my last post.  Dan and I went to Puerto Vallarta for two weeks and I will have pictures to share with you when I get them sorted.  We thought that we would come home to some signs of spring but winter is tenaciously keeping us captive and it feels like spring will never arrive.  We have officially had more snow this winter than ever before (over six feet and counting) and it just keeps coming.  It truly feels like Narnia before Aslan was on the move.  Those sunny, warm two weeks in Mexico already feel like a distant memory.

The storm this week was particularly brutal because high winds blew the snow into packed drifts that couldn't be navigated by regular vehicles.  There were accidents, stranded travellers, and closed highways.

This was the busy four lane Trans-Canada highway west of Regina yesterday (photos courtesy of the Saskatchewan Highway Hotline Facebook page).

This is what it looks like in our back yard today.

The fence around the garden looks like this in the summer:

Can you find it in this picture that was taken this afternoon?

The snow drift outside my kitchen window keeps growing.

The look on Bentley's face pretty much sums up how I feel about the weather.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

a visit with Auntie Jill

Dan's sister Jill and the kids were visiting from Calgary this weekend.  You can see that Berlyn and Auntie Jill had a lovely chat!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

my google girl

Our sweet little Berlyn just shy of two months old when I took this picture last weekend.  Isn't she a beauty?

She is now cooing and smiling these big open-mouthed baby smiles.  Totally melts my heart.  Her favorite cooing sound is goo followed by a gurgle so that it sounds like google.  She's a girl ahead of her time.  We love her so much!

I finished another little sweater for her.
Elizabeth Zimmermann's classic Baby Surprise Jacket
using the handspun Spunky Eclectic Little Periwinkles organic merino that I finished spinning in the fall.
I spun this 2-ply with the Baby Surprise Jacket in mind and I'm pleased with it.  I like so many things about this pattern:  its garter stitch stretchiness so that it can be worn by a growing baby for a long time, its sleeves that start out being full length then become three-quarter length and out of the way as the baby grows and gets her little hands into food and other messy things, the clever pattern that folds into a sweater when you're done knitting and you only have to stitch up the sleeve seams, the clever increases and decreases and the final folding that moves the stripes into interesting and symmetrical design features, and finally I like that it looks so great in handspun garter stitch.

Now I'm taking a little break from knitting baby items and have started the Business Casual KAL socks.  I've had a few false starts due to my making a mistake and issues with the choice of yarn and needle size.  Once I have knit enough to share I'll take some pics.

Friday, February 08, 2013


This lovely performance gave me goosebumps!  I don't know how to embed it so here's the link.

We've come a long way since 1969.

Monday, February 04, 2013

baby mine

Baby Mine by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
(link to my Rav project page for this one)

This is a lovely pattern and I have enough yarn left over to make a pair of Baby Merry-Janes if I use the leftover yarn from the little Maile Cardi for the inner socks.  When I ordered the yarn I couldn't decide between the Quilla colorway that Yarn Harlot used for her pattern or the more pink Rosebud so I bought them both figuring I would use the extra for something along the way.  Quilla is almost white (more true on the page at BMFA than on the photos in the Baby Mine pattern) so I chose Rosebud for this cardi.  I found the pinkish pearl buttons in my stash and they are perfect!

Our weather has warmed up significantly today (just below zero this afternoon and melting on the back steps) so I was able to take a decent picture of the cardi in the sun room.  We are going to need a lot more warm weather to make a significant difference in the snow mounds though.  Here is my view (or lack thereof) from my kitchen window.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

enough already!

We have had a brutal winter so far.  Snow, snow, and more snow combined with alternating bouts of brutal cold and melting temps.  It got cold last week with wind chill values of -40 to -50 C (-40 to -58 F) for several days.  I was sure happy that I didn't have to go to work and could just hunker down at home.  When I took the dogs out yesterday morning I thought that it seemed quite warm.  When I came back into the house I checked and found that it was -18 C (around 0 F).  I guess that it's like hitting your thumb with a hammer to take away a headache that -18 felt balmy once we were used to the really dreadful cold.  This morning we had another snow storm and there is more snow due tomorrow.

We did have a couple of pleasant days last weekend so I grabbed my camera and took some pictures to share with you.

 The shelties love the snow!  Even when it was forty below they rolled in and ate the snow happily and had to be coaxed inside.

Bentley is not a fan of the cold and snow at the best of times but he had surgery three weeks ago to repair an inguinal hernia and his underbelly was shaved.  He didn't need any encouragement to make the trips to the back yard brief.

Here he is a couple of days after his surgery.  The collar is inflatable and worked great as an alternative to the dreaded Elizabethan cone collar.  He was able to eat and drink with it and it made a comfy pillow when he slept.  (The brand name is Pro Collar if you're interested.)  I got it at our local Pet Depot store.

He is nicely recuperated and doing great now even though his belly still is cold.  Notice the blur that is his wagging tail as he looks at me.

The following pictures show you how much snow we're dealing with.  Keep in mind that these were taken last week so we have even more today after the latest storm.  Things could get really ugly if we have a fast melt this spring.

The dogs could easily walk over the fence into the garden if they wanted.  So far none of them have bothered because they'd only find more snow in there.  Even the compost bin in the back corner is completely snowed over.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

sweet little visitor

Guess who came to our house tonight while mommy and daddy went out for supper?

She was alert and happy for quite a while before she took this nap.  Papa is a good person to snuggle with because he is soft and warm.

This was the first time that Carmen has been out without Berlyn.  I'm sure that all mothers can remember how stressful that first time was.  She and Berlyn both did very well.

Friday, January 11, 2013

another kitchen window pic

We got a huge snow storm yesterday.  We have so much snow it's ridiculous.  Now that the storm has passed it is really cold out there too.
You can see the roof of the sun room on the right for reference.  And somewhere under that snow is the barbecue.

This what I can see (or more accurately, not see) of the park.
Our neighbor found someone with a bobcat to dig out his driveway to the back lane.  I'm sure that everyone in the snow removal business is having a great day.

While I downloaded these pictures from my camera I discovered some that I took a few weeks ago and forgot about.  We had several days of snow fog and the trees were beautifully covered with hoar frost!

And here are some more pictures of Berlyn from the photo shoot with Campbell Girl photography.

(Doesn't she look like a miniature swami in this one?)

The poor wee one is suffering with severe colic at this point.  I remember those days when her daddy did too.  Not surprisingly, no one is getting much sleep over there and her mom is exhausted.   
I wish that she could again be as mellow as she was when these pictures were taken.