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!!