Tuesday, November 17, 2009

winter sneaks in

With the time change at the beginning of November the days got shorter. Now there is snow at higher elevation, Mount Washington is planning to open early on November 28th due to a good snow base, and a mix of snow and rain is predicted for Nanaimo on the coming Sunday and Monday. Ugh!
All of my current knitting projects are just waiting for me to sew seams and I don't really have anything in my queue that is yelling "knit me".

We managed to get some good fall hikes in and while Pat was either working or on call I got some good hikes in on my own as well. Now Pat's back is acting up so his hiking has come to a stop until he's able to hike pain free. I know that I can go on my own but have hung back to spend time with Pat. That was easy to do since the weather was so disgusting that only the brave or those with duck feet would venture out, at least that was my excuse.
Pat and I joined up with some OCV hikers to hike Alan's Ridge and Peden Peak in Sooke.

Pat had control of the camera so I used my trusty cell phone camera to catch him.

Coffee break on Alan's Ridge

Climbing up to Peden Peak

The following week I returned to the same area without Pat who was on the pager and with some different OCV members. This time around we were not able to get up Peden Peak since the Maryvine Creek was flowing too fast. All of the rain we had been having had caused the creeks and rivers to fill up. Instead we headed up "403" (or perhaps it was called "408") and then back down to a terrible trail over fallen logs and through hidden puddles. I loved it but it seemed the rest of my hiking companions weren't as fond of the challenge.

On Nov. 3rd some of us from the COG joined up with the Wednesday Wonderers (yes, the spelling is correct), a group of hikers who meet up most Tuesdays to explore, map, and clear trails. They were interested in exploring new trails in the Cowichan area so we took them and showed them around Maple Mountain. The weather was great with no rain during the entire hike. There was a bit of fog but that didn't stop our views from the microwave tower at the top of Maple Mountain where we stopped for lunch.
Of course I forgot to pack the camera so haven't got any pictures. Now that Pat tends to carry our small camera along whenever we hike, I don't bother bringing my bigger camera.

I've decided that I can't afford not to hike so I'm planning to hike somewhere this weekend. Saturday is out since it is my grandson's first birthday party and I wouldn't miss it for the world. On Sunday I plan on hiking no matter what, that is as long as the weather doesn't cause cancellation of whatever hike is on the schedule… and I will bring a camera.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

After the summer…

… comes more time for blogging, baking, reading, knitting.
We had a fantastic summer spent with good friends and family. We hiked, backpacked, and relaxed. We explored new places and got to know some people better.

We spent 6 nights with the Outdoor Club of Victoria in Waterton Lakes National Park, arriving on Tuesday, August 11th. We thought of camping but ended up sharing a motel room with a friend. With the rainy, cold weather we had during our stay we were glad to have had the motel. It was a great place to dry out and warm up.
Our first hike on Wednesday was the Alderson-Carthew hike led by Mary. The day started out with a brief stop to negotiate with a bear which was seen by 4 hikers in a group ahead of us. They told us that it was a grizzly but I have my doubts since there are way more black bears in the park than grizzlies.
Early on in the hike it rained but that soon stopped and we ended up with a chilly wind on the ridge.
Mary was called away to Calgary to meet her first grandson who was born a few hours after we arrived back at camp following the hike.
The next day, Thursday we hiked to Crypt Lake, a hike which involved taking a boat across Waterton Lake. The trail was very good with switchbacks along the steeper sections. The tough part involved climbing up an 8' steel ladder and duck walking through a short, 4' high tunnel.

On stepping out of the tunnel you had to walk along a narrow ledge with a steel cable which was used as a hand rail. One of our members made it through the tunnel and then ended up turning around with her husband. Crypt Lake was beautiful and, if you were to walk to the end of the lake you'd be in the US.

By the time we arrived back at the boat we all looked a bit like drowned rats. We did manage to steam up all the windows making it quite tough for the "captain" to see out the windows.
On Friday we hiked to Goat Lake starting at Red Rock canyon. Again a group of 3 hikers joined us after they met a bear on the trail. Of course certain members of our group were convinced that it HAD to be a grizzly. We made enough noise that we didn't see any bears. One member believed that there had to be millions of grizzlies around since there were masses of bear grass. Unfortunately the bears don't eat bear grass although elk, moose and deer will. Supposedly this year's crop of bear grass was the best it had been in seven years. (It blooms in five to seven year cycles).
By Saturday our group was getting smaller due in part to the constant wet weather. Those members who had camped and hiked in Glacier National Park the week before Waterton where camped and hiked out as well. A gang of us headed to Akamina-Kishinena trail. Due to wet, cold weather and snow on the ridges we managed to get as far a Bennett Pass before heading back to our cars.

On Sunday, the last full day of hiking, our group was quite small with only the die-hards hanging on. Loretta was able to convince Katherine to lead one more hike, this one to Rowe Lakes. The weather co-operated and we had an awesome day where the only wild animals we ran into were several mule deer, a few picas, and a Golden Mantle ground squirrel.
Of course on the day we left Waterton the sun came out and there wasn't a rain cloud anywhere in sight. Four of us did one last climb up the Bear's Hump before parting. We went north to see our son and daughter-in-law, the other two went home.

Just incase you think that is ALL that we did, Pat and I also did three backpacking trips of three nights each to Circlet Lake in Strathcona Park. While we were there we climbed Mt. Albert Edward during the first trip, a circuit up Mt. Frink and around Moat Lake during the second trip, and we climbed Mt. Jutland during the third trip.
We also spent three days at Mt. Washington with the Cowichan Outdoor group. Pat and I weren't able to get the ground suite in the chalet with the other members so we rented a condo a short walk from their chalet. We did a group day hike to Cruikshank Canyon drop-off one day, a soggy hike up the West Summit Ridge trail of Mt. Washington with our "Waterton die-hard" friends the following day, and a walk along what we believed to be the Jutland cross country trail on the last day.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Where did the weeks and months go?

After spending another day with my beautiful grandson, I look back and realize how fast the weeks and months are flying by. It wasn't too long ago when Ashton was a fairly inert lump of baby with not too much interest in anything except food, sleep, and cuddles. Now he reaches for toys, other people's food and fingers, enjoys chatting on the phone (while he tries to figure out how to put the phone in his mouth), and he is eating real food!
It also wasn't too long ago when my babies were little. Eric was the independent, easygoing one and Lisa the stubborn one. Lisa is still the determined, stubborn one and Eric is still easygoing and independent to a fault. This generally means that I often am in touch with Lisa and in the dark about what is happening in Eric's life.
Lisa married a man with a small, local family and Eric married someone with a large family in a different province. Got the idea? I miss him dearly and worry that he may miss out on seeing his nephew grow up or not see his grandparents before they are gone.
There are so many things that I want to talk to him about in person, not over the phone. I'd like to share with him all the "new" hikes I've been on since he was the person who inspired me to hike more. Most of all I want him to be honest with us.

Last week Lisa, Jesse and Ashton had some professional pictures done of the three of them. Spencer Brawn took quite a few pictures and made a cd for Lisa and Jesse with both web and print quality pictures on it. We've printed a few which are to be framed and given to Grandma M for her birthday on Monday. I'll probably see if Lisa will allow me to print one or two for my mom.

Whoa! Check out all the flowers. Can I eat these?

Regarding the hiking: We've been doing some good hikes lately plus I have been hiking with some friends during the week while Pat is working. On one of those weekday hikes, I ended up with a tick on my belly, about 2 inches from where another tick had burrowed in a week or two earlier. Now I'm terrified that I've become a "tick magnet". I guess I'll just have to wear bug spray and to make sure that I dress appropriately (light clothing with long pants tucked into socks and a long sleeved shirt. Right! While it is 30°C outside). Tick 1 was disease free and I have to see the doctor regarding tick 2 on Monday.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

fun times :-(

Pat bought himself new boots which he really needed so, after a week of wearing them around the house to make sure that they would work for him, we decided to give them a good hike. On Friday after he got off work we headed to Mt. Tzouhalem. We figured that it would be nicer to take the trails rather than following the road up.
The weather was good and it was fairly easy to find the trails despite having only gone up once and down 2 or 3 times. We stopped at the cross where I took some pictures of the scenery. At one point I was sort of on my belly to take pictures.

I guess that was a mistake because, on the way down I reached to tuck my shirt back into my pants and felt something weird. I looked and a tick had attached itself to my belly. I panicked and called out to Pat but, as I was calling him, I managed to slowly grab the tick and pull him out whole. I thought I had squished him but we thought we'd save him just in case he was still in one piece. The recommendation is that you save the tick so that he can be sent to see if he carries any nasties.
Pat phoned the BC Nurse hotline and they said for me to wash my hands and belly thoroughly with soap and water. Then I was to ice the bite for 15 - 20 minute intervals on the hour for 6 hours (or until bedtime). I was to go to ER in the morning with the tick and I was to get a tetanus shot since my last one was more than 5 years ago. Usually if you've had a shot within 10 years you are fine but with an insect bite or dirty wound they prefer it to be within 5 years.
Well, we got to ER at 8 a.m. The place was deserted so I got in right away. I gave the triage nurse my little buddy in his jar with the wet cotton ball and she looked at me as if I was a little kid with show-and-tell.
While I was in the treatment room the triage nurse walked in to say that I had forgotten my critter. Hmmm.
The doctor looked at me and my creature, said that there are currently no cases of tick carried diseases on Vancouver Island. She said that they no longer send ticks to be tested although after consulting with another doctor she returned and said that, since my critter looked so good, they'd send it off and I would be notified of the results by my GP. No tetanus shot.
In fact there are quite a few diagnosed cases of Lyme disease on Vancouver Island all due to local tick bites. A friend of ours was bitten in Rathtrevor Park and was seen by quite a few doctors including psychiatrists before he was diagnosed with Lyme disease.
A young lady was bitten while hiking along the West Coast trail and she is also suffering from Lyme disease. Her condition is not very good and her family has had to pay for her to receive treatment in California. There are many more on the island with the same problem.
I'm monitoring myself and, if any symptoms do show up I'm to go on antibiotics a.s.a.p.

Despite all this we attended a birthday party on Saturday for my daughter at her home in Nanaimo. Then on Sunday we had our annual birthdays barbecue here. The weather was agreeable for a change but, since it was the long weekend not too many people were able to make it.
Yesterday Pat, myself and two other members of the COG hiked Mt. Benson in Nanaimo with guidance from Kent. The hike started off at Witchcraft Lake. The beginning was fairly level and then climbed up and up. Eventually we reached the ridge where things levelled out before dropping down and up to the summit.
Clouds were swirling around the mountain but we still had great views.
On the way down we were hiking through some snow but not for long. Just about 2 minutes before reaching the cars it started to lightly rain.

View from Mt. Benson

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

time passes when you're having fun

We spent a lovely (rainy) 4 days at Pacific Rim National Park on the we(s)t coast of Canada for our 35th wedding anniversary.
It wasn't raining when we arrived so we did our usual and headed for South Beach, just south-east of Wickaninnish Beach since we weren't able to check into our unit until 3:00 p.m. It was somewhat busy and we didn't see any sign of bears this time. When we were visiting around the same time last year we were fortunate to see a momma bear and her cub.

Momma bear and baby at Wickaninnish Beach parking lot, 2008

Since we arrived on May 3rd, which is our actual anniversary, we decided to have dinner at the Wickaninnish Interpretative Centre.
There was some delays in getting there since a new water system is being put in to supply the town of Tofino with water from the nearby Kennedy Lake. After a 15 minute wait we were allowed to continue on to the restaurant. Suddenly a fully grown black bear ran out of the wood on our side of the road, narrowly missed the car immediately in front of us, then also missed an oncoming truck. The driver of the truck had seen the bear so had time to slow down. I was telling Pat that, if the car in front had struck the bear and both driver and bear had died in the smouldering wreck, I would have skirted past the scene of destruction in order to get to dinner. I guess I was just hungry and irritated at the long wait.
The following 3 days consisted of intermittent torrential downpours and drizzle. Even the surfers were missing from all of their usual beaches but appeared at MacKenzie Beach, where we had never seen surfers before.

We were able to do a bit of walking along the beaches although our walk from Long Beach to Green Point was very soggy. As per Murphy's Law, the last day was the best and we were able to take a good long walk along Florencia Bay and then back along Half Moon Bay. That is one of the bad things about having to reserve; not getting the ideal weather.

I had been having trouble with a rash that wouldn't go away. My family doctor said that it appeared to be dermatitis but we couldn't figure out the trigger. While we were in Tofino I spent the first 2 days reading and the rash improved. After my book was done I brought out some cotton/linen yarn that I had brought along and started knitting a towel.
As soon as I got home I returned to working on a cotton-linen top and the rash returned. We figured it was due to the heat (we have the fireplace insert going most of the time) but, after letting the fire die for a few days, the rash was still there. That was when the light bulb finally went off. I had been having respiratory problems years ago when I put a cottolin warp on my loom. I ended up tossing the yarn into the trash. Then two years ago I had bought some linen blouses to wear to work and found that they made me quite itchy. The blouses were given to the Goodwill.
Around Christmas, when I started knitting with cottolin, I started getting the rash. Still the lights didn't go on until yesterday.
Now I've got an appointment with the doctor in order to get a referral to see the allergist. I'm crossing my fingers, toes and eyes in hopes that it is an allergy to linen and not to wool. Just to be safe, I did put in an order for 100% cotton so that I can re-knit the top I had started using cottolin.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Hello Spring!

Well, it seems that the good weather is finally here although some party poopers keep saying that we are about to be launched back into cooler weather soon. In the meantime I'm enjoying the sunshine.
Last week a random email from Jacqueline, one of my Dutch cousins on my mom's side led me to Carla, another cousin of ours, one who I hadn't seen or heard of since I was about 13, which is around the time we immigrated back to Canada. Carla had sent some pictures of my mom's parents to Jacqueline and she had sent them to me and mom. Due to one thing or the other I had never really met my grandfather since he and my grandmother had separated when mom was a teen. Mom didn't want any dealings with her father so he didn't get a chance to meet although I did see him briefly when I was at my aunt's house once.

Opa and Oma v. H.

This new discovery of a long lost cousin got me involved in genealogy again, this time to piece together my mom's side of the family. Through it I learned that I have 18 cousins on mom's side. Out of the 18 I have been in touch with about 6 of them. Through them I'm learning about mom's family and eventually about her ancestors.

When I'm not working on my family tree I have been working on my knitting or hiking.
Two friends from the Cowichan outdoor group and I went for an exploratory hike on Maple Mountain yesterday. The weather was absolutely beautiful and we even noticed 2 turkey vultures enjoying the sunshine as they sat on a dead tree with their wings held out to catch the sun. I did take some pictures but, since my 2 co-hikers were fading in the distance, I didn't have time to zoom in.

Eventually I'll try to dig out some picture of my paternal grandparents to post on here.

While surfing through some knitting related websites this morning I found this cute video and figured I'd post it here. Enjoy!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring is here (she cautiously says)

It does appear that Spring has finally arrived although there is still some talk of flurries at higher elevations. As long as it stays at higher elevations, I don't mind.

We are supposed to be hiking up Mt. Prevost (a local mountain) on Sunday and I did notice that there is still a fair amount of snow on it. I guess we'll manage fine as long as we bring our stablicers and hiking poles.
Tomorrow's hike with the OCV is for an end-to-end hike at East Sooke Park but the forecast doesn't look too promising so we'll miss it.

As far as spring flowers goes, I would post flower pictures but forgot to take them today and it is currently dark outside so, the bragging pictures will have to wait until it is light out. We have faun lilies, tulips and crocuses blooming and daffodils budding. We are a wee bit behind Victoria where the daffodils have been blooming for awhile. I will post pictures tomorrow, promise!

Our daughter and son-in-law have gone to Victoria for the evening so we are minding Ashton. We took him along on our walk figuring he'd nap but no such luck. He was quite happy to meet with some of the locals and quite enjoyed the scenery. He did end up sleeping for about 10 minutes and then demanded to be fed. I gave him a 4 ounce bottle and he seemed shocked when he emptied it. I put him to bed but he wasn't too fond of that plan so I got him up again and, after awhile gave him another 4 ounce bottle. That seemed to do the trick and he's currently sound asleep in his crib in our bedroom. Hopefully he'll remain asleep until his parents come home.
Ashton hadn't been gaining as expected so Lisa took him to see the doctor yesterday. Apparently Ashton's diapers were on too tight thus constricting his tummy. Now Lisa is to feed him a bit more, with looser diapers and then she'll bring him back to see if there was a weight gain next week.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Into every life a little rain must fall.

I'm not really complaining since we do have a fairly severe shortage of snow pack in the mountains meaning possible water restrictions in the summer. (Whether there is a shortage or not, we still seem to have the restrictions). Oh well, as long as it doesn't rain when I finally decide to drive to Victoria or want to hike.
We had two great hikes on the weekend. Saturday's hike with the OCV was a 6 hour hike from Caleb Pike to Fork Lake in the Highlands. We ended up doing a car shuttle for it and the weather was beautiful. We really enjoyed the entertainment provided by the ravens once we reached the summit of Mt. Work. It appears that this is the time of year that they do their mating rituals so all types of aerial displays were happening. The ravens were swooping and diving, nearly hitting each other as they did this. Others were sitting in the trees, cawing and croaking.
Yesterday's hike was a hike to Saltspring Island with the COG and the Saltspring Trail and Nature group. Despite the weather forecast calling for a 30% chance of showers, we managed to have dry weather.
On the ferry trip across from Crofton to Vesuvius we saw a shrimp boat followed by quite a few seagulls and about 6 or 7 bald eagles ranging from immatures to adult ones.
The hike was the "Cog Wheel" trail which started part way along the road to Mount Maxwell. The earlier name of the trail was the Shepherd Hill trail. The trail went down and up and down and up, finally ending at a beautiful viewpoint overlooking the Cowichan Valley.

We did also see an immature Eagle and an adult Eagle resting in trees at different times during the hike.
At the completion of our hike we went into Ganges for coffee at TJ Beans with our hosts. The hot cinnamon buns fresh out of the oven was very tempting but my conscious, a.k.a. husband persuaded me to NOT fall for the temptation. He was also impervious to the fresh cheese scones which were calling our names. I'll have to make a batch of fresh cinnamon buns this week. At least I know that my recipe is lower in fats than the ones that most bakeries make.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Spring is springing

Despite a wee setback two weeks ago (less than an inch of snow here) it does appear that Spring is putting in an appearance.
Now that my friend Mary is home she and I have been hiking a tiny bit more. Last week Friday she and I hiked up Cobble Hill Mountain. Last Tuesday we were supposed to hike on Saltspring Island but it poured plus I had a bunch of chores to do. Yesterday we did some route marking on Maple Mountain. We had hoped to find an easier route through a patch of salal which the COG had taken last week but we failed, and then ran out of flagging tape. We did find what Mary called the "million dollar viewpoint" and had lunch in the sunshine there.

View south with Eagle Heights in the background. Quamichan Lake (left) and Somenos Lake (right) are also visible.

Mt. Prevost from the side.

It was supposed to snow overnight and this weekend but I woke up to a beautiful sunny day, perfect for my neighbour's daughter's wedding.
Tomorrow the forecast has changed from snow and rain to a mix of sun and cloud. That just means that Pat and I will likely be hiking with the COG tomorrow.

Friday, February 20, 2009

bread and wine

I've been on a bread making roll for the past few weeks. It all started when I read Veronik Avery's blog (a knit designer). In it she had mentioned being "fascinated by my quest for the perfect loaf of whole grain bread…". After reading that, I remembered that I had purchased a copy of Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads. I had started to read the explanatory notes at the start of the book, lost interest, and then decided to pick it up again after reading Veronik's blog.
Somewhere in between the reading I found "the Fresh Loaf" which had a tutorial on bread making. I made the bread featured in step two of the tutorial, loved it and moved on to the whole wheat sandwich bread in Peter Reinhart's book. Both turned out beautifully! The whole wheat bread was light and fluffy, not at all like the whole wheat bricks I used to make.
I then moved on to making whole wheat cinnamon bread, (to die for!) and then boldly moved on to making multiple loaves of whole wheat sandwich bread. This is where I ran into trouble. The recipe said that the bread needed to proof for 45 - 60 minutes. Since I was in the midst of knitting, when the timer went off after 45 minutes, I ignored it and kept knitting. The bread over-proofed and spilled over the edge of the baking tins. It tasted just fine and it was light but there were air holes in it that were not in the initial loaf.

Yesterday I baked whole wheat bagels. Wow! I'm in love with them, so much so that I started another batch earlier today. The plan is for me to finish them tomorrow. Most of Peter Reinhart's recipes are done over 2 days. He calls it the "epoxy" method in that you have two batches of dough; one with yeast (the "biga") and one without (the "soaker"). The soaker is left on the counter for 12 - 24 hours and the biga is stored in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. The following day the biga is removed from the fridge 2 hours before using it. Then it is combined with the soaker plus additional ingredients to make bread, bagels, rolls, etc.

When not baking I've been working on my knitting or hiking. On Tuesday a friend and I went for a hike up Mt. Tzouhalem. The weather was sunny although not terribly warm although the uphill section did make us sweat.

On Wednesday my daughter, son-in-law, and beautiful grandson dropped in for a visit and the 4 of us went for a walk at Eve's Park in Westholme. The weather was really nice but it was definitely cold in the trees.

Poor Ashton (nearly 3 months old) was quite confused that Grandma hadn't bought a wrap for him to eat. He tried very hard to grab his mom's wrap every time it passed his mouth and eyeballed Grandma's wrap too.

It will not be too long before he's eating his parents out of house and home.

Today I did start some more bagels and decided that it was time to filter and bottle some Amarone (red wine) which has been bulk aging for awhile. It was amazingly clear and clean. Pat and I tasted the leftovers (after I decanted it) and it was very good. I would have preferred to sit in the sunshine with my book or my knitting but I realized that the wine had to be done.

Tomorrow I finish the bagels and watch my grandson while his parents attend a funeral for a friend's mom. RIP Kathy! Your generosity and beautiful smile will be greatly missed.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Life returns to normal

The snow is actually on its way out although some folks believe that we are due to get more come the end of January. Right now I hope that Mt. Washington ski resort gets a bit more snow so that I can go and try my new snowshoes. Ideally I'd like to have enough of a snowfall which will allow a friend and I to test our snowshoes, a thought that my dear husband and daughter say is "perverted".
With the slow thawing of the snow we've finally been able to get some hiking in. Last week the COG (Cowichan Outdoor Group) joined up with OCV (Outdoor Club of Victoria) to hike up from Caleb Pike parking lot to Jocelyn Hill and back. The views were nice once we got above the clouds. At least it didn't rain on us.

View from Gowland-Todd to Malahat Mountain

Hubby and I having lunch

This past weekend we got another hike in, this one up and across Mt. Tzouhalem starting just above Bird's Eye Cove (Nevilane Road) and going across and down to Genoa Bay. The weather was beautiful and sunny. Only a few patches of snow were left on the ground. (E---, this isn't quite the starting point that you and Dad took but we'll have to take you on this route sometime).

Bird's Eye Cove Marina, looking north.

Farmland along Genoa Bay Road; Mt. Maxwell at left center; Mt. Baker at center far in the distance

The gang during lunch break

The day felt just like any early Spring day. Actually the aconites are starting to show up now that the snow is melting. Soon the Christmas Rose will be blooming too.

As far as knitting goes, I found moth larvae in a skein of yarn I had purchased in the Spring of '08. This yarn had been stored in a plastic zip lock bag along with its mates so I was quite surprised. I wound all of the remaining balls (and found one more skein with one break due to moth larvae damage) and tossed them into the freezer. Unfortunately I sadly underestimated the amount of yarn needed for a cardigan I'm knitting but was reluctant to head to the LYS where this moth eaten yarn was purchased. I finally gave in and returned to get 3 more skeins but I have quarantined them in the freezer... except for one skein which was wound into a ball and checked for moth larvae. (None found).
It isn't too surprising to find moth larvae since the store is small, crowded and dark. I hate to stop shopping there though and will be cautious in the future. As others have pointed out, it pays to quarantine all new yarn after purchase to make sure that there is no transferral of moths between yarns.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Holiday '08 or how the snow nearly stole Christmas

P-- and I babysat our handsome little grandson on December 13th. We drove up to my daughter and son-in-law's house just as the snow started to fall and, by the time we went home, the snow was a few inches thick and the drive home was slow and cautious.
The snow continued off and and on right over the Christmas holiday causing us to wonder if our traditional Christmas dinner would be cancelled or, if it was, would it be with a reduced number of family members. On Christmas Eve we traditionally hold a small informal party just for my family. This year my older brother was working, my little brother and his fiancee were doing something else and my mom was terrified by the snow. Undaunted we carried on with my husband, my daughter and her little family. It was actually fun spending time with a 5-week old baby.
The following morning we had our Christmas breakfast at my house. (This used to be my mom's thing but when a power outage caused the breakfast to be moved to my place a few years back, my mom agreed to keep it at my place). Everyone was here with the exception of my older brother and his wife. R--- was fighting a flu and L----- was house-sitting for some friends. If R--- hadn't been feeling crappy L----- would have found a way here.
My in-laws did call at one point to say that their power had gone out and I did invite them for breakfast but they declined. They did ask if I could cook a ham for them if their power didn't come back on. (There are certain advantages to living near a hospital!)

'08 snowfall

Their power did come back on in time for them to cook the ham and dinner was on as scheduled. The only problem was that my brother-in-law who was visiting from Toronto had managed to get my father-in-law's car stuck in the driveway which was unplowed and we'd have to walk up. No biggie, except that my daughter and son-in-law would have to carry the baby and associated paraphernalia up a long and snowy driveway.
All of the expected family was there along with my nephew's girlfriend from Taiwan. Unfortunately the crappy weather did cause the dinner to end a bit sooner than in previous years.

Grandson in his new gym

Our nephew who is 15 weeks older than our grandson

My son-in-law was supposed to start work at 6 a.m. on Boxing Day so the play was for him to spend the night with us and to get up bloody early. The threat of more snow and black ice made them decide to head directly home to Nanaimo instead.
Of course the snow also wreaked havoc with our plans for New Year Eve. Every year we visit my friend's family for a night of games, food, and fun with people I consider my "other" family. I got a call from my friend's mom to say that the driveway was a "mess" and we'd have to walk up. That in itself wouldn't have been a problem but the prediction of more snow to start after midnight and the fact that hubby was on the pager caused us to miss out.
Yesterday, after the weather office promised us rain for the next 4 days, it started snowing yet again. After about 6" of the damned cold stuff it stopped. Luckily the roads were clear between Nanaimo and here so my daughter and grandson were able to visit us.
He is just 6 weeks old and can already roll from his tummy to his back and has the most beautiful smile!

At least it appears that there isn't any more snow predicted for the next few days and what is on the ground seems to be melting. Yes!!