Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Snow days

Yesterday we finally had a snowfall that serendipitously coincided with school opening, and the cherished snow day was ours. I kinda blew it, though - I went to bed the night before firmly convinced that the snow was going to start too late to do any good, and so when I woke up, I did not think to check the school board's website for closures or listen to the radio.

Instead, I took Louie out for his 6am pee (and damn, it was cold!), I had a shower, I got dressed, and settled in to drink my coffee in front of the computer. It wasn't till I was thoroughly caffeinated and heard a snowplough drive by that I thought to check - yup, snow day. Couldn't go back to sleep with all that coffee floating around in my gut, so there I was, all dressed up and nowhere to go. After all those times of waking up and listening in vain for the those lovely words, "all schools in HRM closed today", and when it counts, I miss it. Sigh.

It turned out to be a lovely quiet morning; I got lots of knitting done on my Celestarium shawl, watched a lot of trash TV on Netflix, and drank lots more coffee.

In the afternoon, Fred and I went out to shovel the snow. There was a fair bit of it, but so light and fluffy it was a real pleasure to shovel. So much so, that we shovelled the neighbours' on either side as well, thereby managing to feel doubly virtuous: exercised, and good deed done. Woohoo!

We also had to go around filling the bird feeders; poor little guys were really hungry. Here's a little female hairy woodpecker, sheltering on the lee side of our dead tree:

Little hairy

Monday, January 21, 2013

Skating in the wild

Halifax has a fancy skating oval now, courtesy of the 2011 Canada Games; it's pretty amazing, and all of a sudden we have some quality athletes appearing, too - my friend Kelly's daughter Cassidy for one: look for her in the Olympics, maybe 8 years down the road? A new speed-skating champion on the way.

However, as nice as the oval may be, we don't skate there; the appeal of going round and round in circles in the midst of a huge crowd is lost on us. We like to skate on lakes and rivers, out in the wild, free and crazy. I say crazy, because no one will ever believe us that the ice is safe; even the official municipal website has said that no ice in Metro is safe for skating. Does no one even go out to check? Cause the ice on at least 3 lakes near us is over 6" thick.

We skate in lonely splendour. It works for me.

Box Mill Creek, Beaverbank NS

Who wouldn't want to skate along this beautiful creek? In all the many times we have been there, no one else has ever showed up. Not sure why; there's even a real beaver lodge in Beaverbank:

Beaver lodge

Thursday, January 17, 2013

2 Posts in One Day!

Because this topic is sufficiently different to merit its own post: I would like to officially welcome my grand-dog, Floyd:

My daughter Rose and her boyfriend Dom did indeed get their greyhound - not Eyebrow dog, as I'd hoped, but this guy is pretty cute too, and Eyebrow dog went to a good home the same day. It appears Floyd was destined for them: before the name Floyd was settled on, "Chicken Wing" was bandied about (mainly by Dom, with everyone else yelling, ew, no!)

However, the universe laughed at all of us, as it frequently does. Floyd's racing name in Florida was Roc a Bye Wing's (yes, stupid apostrophe is stupid, but it's meant to be there), and at the rescue kennel he was affectionately known as.......Chicken Wing. So yeah, he came home with them.

Floyd is a retired racer for a reason - he won one race in his whole career, and came second in another. Ol' Roc a Bye Wing's just didn't have the fire in him. However, even at a slow amble, he can outrun my shepherd mix Vinnie without even trying hard, and I used to think Vinnie was fast. You can check out Floyd's less than illustrious career here: Floyd runs . The winning race is here.

Floyd's new life mostly centres around being a couch potato.  And that's pretty much the way it should be.

In which I try again

Well, total fail on daily posting, but maybe I can forgive myself and make a more realistic goal of semi-regular entries. I had a bunch of ideas for posts the past few weeks too, so serves me right for laziness. Lessee if I can remember any of them:

One thing that is in keeping (sort of) with the hunter/gatherer theme is our new hilarious yoghurt maker. As I've mentioned, my partner Fred is all about the do-it-yourself, throw-nothing-away philosophy. If it's cheap, all the better. See, for example, the use of our car as oven in the making of those crackers last summer.

Anyway, we have struggled with yoghurt making in our cold house - crockpots get too hot, top of the fridge not quite warm enough, sink full of hot water ok, but you have to keep replenishing it. Answer? The Revlon Paraffin Bath manicure thingy - heats to about 42°C, perfect for yoghurt. And, incidentally, if I want, I can melt paraffin in it for a manicure treatment. It holds 2 l of yoghurt, and was on sale for less than half price just before Christmas.

Yeah, you could just buy a yoghurt maker, but where's the fun in that? Plus, most of them just make those little cups, which are not nearly enough.