“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

Sunday 30 December 2012

Une journée de ski froid au Québec...(A chilly day skiing in Québec)

Did you see the full moon last night? 
It was magnificent, lighting all around with its magical band of silver light making everything twinkle. 
I wanted to go outside to capture the image properly, but thought better of it. 
I knew that if I did I'd become waist deep in snow with my first footfall. 
At 2.30am I didn't think that this would be a good idea...not without a life line attached to my body anyway!

So apologies for the grainy photo but it was just to give you the idea.
Besides there could be wolves in them there woods and my jacket is RED!!!

When a new day dawns there's new challenges...
Hot tub
Still to do I'm afraid, but I'll get there.
I just need to find some time from somewhere!
Besides the guys keep coming to clear the path so I think it's expected!

Today was rather chilly on the slopes. 
-14 degrees with a touch of fog.
Not for the faint hearted that's for sure. 
All this winter activity is serious stuff and needs proper care and attention in the thermal department. 
I now say forget how they look...bring them on...the more the merrier ;D

With that kind of temperature it's not ideal conditions but for a few hours we ignored it.
Besides you can always nip into the bar to help thaw out in-between runs. 

I loved this wreath in keeping with the skiing theme.
It's quite large and hangs on the outside wall of the resort's restaurant.

Pick a pair any pair...and we're off.....
Oh by the way...if anyone has a tip for how to put on ski boots easily, then please let me know.
I'm very near done by the time I've got them on never mind flinging myself down the mountain!
Anyway...up, up and away....

But after a few runs it just became too cold.
It was serious because I lost the feeling in my face and could hardly talk!!! 
I KNOW ~ that serious! https://secure.quebles.com/content/hotmail/emoticons/1511767.gif

The three photographs below were taken on our homeward journey yesterday, hence no mistiness. 
Just beautiful sunlight signing off for the day.  

 The line of snow on the horizon that you see from my side window, looks like a wall all the way along the road. It's actually been produced by the snow plough. 
I have to say that the Canadian's certainly know a thing or two about snow clearance. 

 Before I head off to snoozeyland I must tell you about a strange square box that is sitting in the corner of the lounge here...someone said it was called a television or TV or something???!?!?
We haven't bothered to find out what it's for...I don't think we will either because we just haven't found the time. I don't think we need it, so it'll just gather dust for now :D

Catch you later peeps...the meantime have fun! Party smile

Wednesday 26 December 2012

What's on Your Work Desk?...WOYWW #186

Good morning to you all...
Well as it's Wednesday and I have just checked (although I'm now 5 hours behind the UK where normally I'm 11 hours ahead) and the WOYWW gang are up and running, thanks to our host Julia over at Stamping Ground. The WOYWW linky is in place so that we can check out what everyone else around the globe is up to on this Boxing Day.
So here's my entry which if you've visited my blog previously you'll realise isn't the usual view 
(normally I'm in Australia ~ I don't think you could get any further extremes at the moment ~ an Australian summer to a Canadian winter).
The photo taken below was the view from my bedroom window this morning as the sun was just rising. Thankfully it rose a little later than I'm used to, which was very kind as I had trouble with my back...
...it just wouldn't get out of bed! 
Although that's not surprising after yesterday's busy day with skiing, cooking, laughing til my sides ached, dancing, socialising and hot tub dipping to name but a few activities, I felt like I woke with a hangover this morning (which I suppose could be a possibility????) but I think it was due to just sleeping so heavily. 

But this is supposed to be what's on your work desk post, so I better move on...
One of my presents from my daughter was beautiful wrapped brown paper packages tied up with string!

And guess what was inside....?

 Art supplies!!! Whoopdeedoo....!
It's reported that we are to have another big snow fall tonight and over the next 24 hours 
(Hopefully not taking the power away for another 36 hours again)
So I'll be using tomorrow to get to know my new art supplies.
I'm home alone at the moment for the first time of the holiday, so I want to use the time to hop about blog land and visit as many people as I can and I've also got to reply to so many kind comments I've received over the last week or so. If I don't manage to get to you today please forgive me.

Before I go I thought I'd let you take a peek at me in the tub...hey it's not that kind of blog!!!
Just me doing what I do best...NATTERING! 

 Have a wonderful day whatever you have planned...hopefully not returning to work just yet.
I'll be back soon Wink as long as we keep the power. Fingers crossed
(but I'm not taking any chances I'm off to charge everything up just in case...
phones, laptops and torches just in case)

Be kind and keep smiling! 
Happy Boxing Day to you all

Tuesday 25 December 2012

Christmas Eve....only one sleep to go!

What a morning! Breath-taking...quite literally.
This was the sight that greeted me upon opening my eyes.
The snow on the roof of the conservatory had grown considerably. 
 Another view out of our side bedroom window...really does a winter scene get much better than this?
A beautiful blue sky with crisp white power snow, glistening in the morning sunlight.
 Just take a deep breath....

 Let me show you around...
The sunlight hitting the icicles on the branches made them appear to be wearing twinkling fairy lights. 
Mother Nature was very busy last night.

 I suppose the icicles on the side of the house could be diamante dangly earrings...or is that going a little too far?
If you don't like the cold or would like to see what the house looks like in its summer outfit then click here.

 Oops...I've been so busy I forgot to mention we did have our usual Christmas visitor...the magic elf
 He's been settling in and up to his usual tricks of popping up in the most unusual places. 
I think he's enjoying being in the colder climate after visiting us for so many years to hot countries.
Can you spot him below?

 I know it wasn't difficult was it....
The antique snow shoes by the way, were purchased at Lachute Market which is a short car ride from here. It is an amazing market where you can buy literally anything from a horse to a handbag!

You just never know where he'll pop up next....

We just couldn't believe it when we spotted him up on the moose antlers 
(another purchase a few years back from Lachute Market). 
I mean he is seriously high up on there....so he must have a good head for heights!
It's quite difficult for you to see him but he's perched on the far right. 
I even had difficulties taking the photo...perching myself half way up the stairs to snap this shot! ;D

Here's a shot of the icicles tonight...they're growing by the minute. 
Anyone like ice in their drink? ;D

 I must also show you Mont Saint-Sauveur night-time skiing resort. 
It's the largest in the world apparently.
This is the view as you approach the resort.
I'll take better photos later...it was minus 18C degrees so I didn't hang around for a photo session.

 And here's the proof....

Nothing more for it now than to get cosy and wait for Christmas to arrive....
Look who got in on the act to my right...typical. But then it is his big night after all.

I just want to wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas
to you and all of your loved ones. 
I would also like to thank you for visiting me here. 
I've loved having you stop by. Enjoy the festivities with love and lots of laughter.   

Oohhh...I think I hear sleigh bells...

Monday 24 December 2012

Life without energy....how it used to be back in the day!

I think I've got my wish for a white Christmas, but I didn't bank on a 36 hour power outage along with it! 
I mean 36 whole hours without electricity and because we have a well that pumps the water supply to the house, we lost fresh water too! Oh and there's no gas supply to the house either for an alternative option.
The reason for the outage was the sheer amount of snowfall plus trees falling over powerlines. If you'd like to see more about the snow storm then check out the news clips on this link  Power outages
To begin with it wasn't a problem in fact it was a challenge that we all took to, but as the hours began to add up the amusing side of things soon started to fade. Tempers, tantrums and tizzy fits at every turn!
I mean to start with NO CUPPA's!
Now for anyone that knows me they'll know that that is extremely serious. 
To try and alleviate my caffeine deficiency we had to think outside of the box. It seemed a good idea initially and I was really looking forward to trying this new method of boiling some water (that just happened to be left in the kettle) in a pan and placing on the open fire.
We even warmed the cups as any serious tea drinker will know is crucial.
But I can state here and now smokey bacon tea is foul, not a good taste. 
I only managed three desperate sips before I gave up! YUK!

So I had to revert to juice with a muzzy head from my enforced caffeine detox.
Hmm...then after a sandwich for lunch the problem as to what to do about dinner arose. 
Ahh ha....jacket potatoes with their skins washed in the snow (smug grin here) then wrapped in tin foil. 
Once again into the fire. 
This worked incredibly well although some unfortunatley had burnt bottoms but the insides were delicious especially sprinkled with cheese.

But what to accompany the jacket spuds? Why bangers of course (snags, sausages or whatever you call them in your part of the world) with a few rashes of bacon. A feast!
This meal unlike the cup of tea tasted fantastic but we were pretty hungry by this stage. 
Atmospheric candle light too...what more could you want?
Who would have thought we could manage to rustle up a hot meal? We certainly didn't. 
Thinking outside of the box!
Then as the hours ticked by and the thought of all the food in the fridge/freezer thawing out we proceeded to pack buckets with snow to keep the produce cold. There are numerous items hidden under the snow in this bucket for instance.
It worked perfectly and there certainly was an endless supply of snow outside....Sorted!

Even the turkey (which I'd bought earlier than I normally would ~ typical) had to take the plunge.
 'Turkey in a Snow Pot' could this perhaps be a new method in the festive preparations?

I wish I could say we bonded whilst playing board games and cards but unfortunately the only card game we could remember must have had some serious fundamental elements missing because it went on and on for hours. A dental appointment would have been more exciting and less painful I'm sure!
We nearly had to resort to the 2,000 piece jigsaw but survived the ordeal without having to succumb...but it was a near thing I have to say.
Reading by candlelight has also probably taken about 10 years off my eyesight. 
The fact that we couldn't flush the toilets became an issue and a whole new trauma which I'll skip over I think. It's not something that I feel I need to share. Nor the fact that my hubby's hair was beginning to frighten me. We hadn't showered in two days! I just didn't go near a mirror to check out my own appearance....ignorance is bliss they say! ;D
I don't think I've ever heard the name 'Bear Grylls' mentioned so much in all of my life. 

I thought that when the power finally came back on there might be a collective cry of 'Hooray' but then I realised it would probably be 'Chargers!'
The kindle, phones, laptops and torches were all near to extinction.

But in fact the power snook back into the house at 1.30am after 36 hours of going AWAL.
But it didn't go unnoticed...well not by me anyway. I dashed downstairs to put on the dishwasher. After all we had gone through every piece of cutlery and crockery in the house...even resorting to washing them in the snow.
And of course I made a cup of perfect tasting tea....ahh...it was so good even at 2am!
I think it made us all realise just how lucky we are that, we live in a time when at the touch of a button or the flick of a switch we have power to do everything we wish and that we at least had a fire and a roof over our heads when so many people are homeless. It was a very poignant lesson for this time of year and one I hope not to forget too quickly.
I can thankfully report that we are all charged and showered now and ready to carry on with the festivities.

 More Canadian capers to come....
Have a wonderful holiday everyone.

Friday 21 December 2012

Meet my new bestie....the red squirrel

At last I've spotted a little critter! And Christmas has come early for him....
Up until this point the only animals that I've seen have been pet dogs and cats.
I hadn't even seen a bird or rodent since we arrived here and I must admit I was beginning to wonder if I would see any or where they'd all gone! 
(Maybe off to Australia for a little warm for their winter holiday? 
I believe it's rather toasty there just now...)

It's not until the little things like birds go missing from our lives that we realise how much we enjoy having them around and that we take them for granted. 
Take for instance their birdsong alone....it's not until it's gone that you miss it so much. 
The silence can be quite deafening here sometimes especially at night. 
Let me tell you, you have no idea how loud snoring can sound when there's no other sound around!!!
Listen to that.....no wonder I'm awake all hours...it's not jet lag after all!

Anyway, back to my little critter. As I mentioned in a previous post I always like to feed the wildlife especially the birds, so we have hung a feeder from a nearby tree. 
Expectantly we've waited....and waited...and waited.....in fact we're still waiting for a bird, but just as I was passing the window today something caught my attention and there balanced precariously on the feeder was a squirrel. A RED squirrel.
I should just add a little note here to say that in the UK the red squirrel was virtually wiped out by the grey squirrel so I was thrilled to see this little guy. There are programmes now that are trying to reintroduce them but it'll take some time. The grey squirrels are quite a lot larger than the red and not as cute in fact they can be quite aggressive. 

I apologise that the photo is slightly out of focus but that's because he was in such a great hurry. 
Stocking up with bulging jowls, then just a flick of the tail and he was away again....puff gone!
But now I'd seen him I wanted to see more...I knew he would be hungry because there's been heavy snow on the ground for four days now. That has obvioulsy meant slim pickings and so with that in mind I produced a culinary delight for my new little furry friend. I chopped up some apple, nuts, and even sacreficed my blueberries. No expense spared for the little guy.
These were obviously too tempting and as you can see below he came running over to add to his daily five!!! By the way, the snow he's running over just happens to be well over my knees....I know this for a fact because I lost my boot whilst trying to fill the feeder!

After freezing my behooky off and finally locating my boot once more, I decided to retreat to the warmth of the fire to watch his antics...and look who wasn't camera shy after all.

Now this photo below I think is the cutest I've seen for quite some time. What do you think?
I think someone else must have been feeding him too because he certainly looks healthy don't you think?
I just need to name him now? Any idea's anyone?

I'm not sure if he's a he or a she...but I don't think either way that'll bother my new bestie, 
just so long as I keep up the peanut run! 

I've just heard that the weather forecast is for 40cms of fresh snow fall tomorrow! Whoohoo!
Santa's nearly on his way peeps...are you ready?
Just remember to enjoy. Catch you later...

Wednesday 19 December 2012

What's on Your Work Desk Wednesday...WOYWW #185

I can't believe that I've finally managed to check in with Julia's WOYWW gang. 
Well it is Wednesday after all...or is it? 
I'm a little confused with crossing the over the date line for the first time. 
Trying to remember the different time zones with having friends in Australia, and family and friends in the UK  is a little challenging to say the least!!!
Throw in a little jet lag and I'm beginning to think I can relate to how Santa might feel on Boxing Day. 
I mean the last journey took 28 hours none stop from an Aussie summer day (30C) to a crisp white winter wonderland with pristine snow in Canada (-7C). 
I don't think we could get any different comparison...all within 24 hours even if you tried.
It's a little surreal.

So here I am in our Christmas home ready to enjoy the holiday. 
This is the driveway...yep it's a steep slope. Thankfully we have a four wheel vehicle to tackle it!
Can you see on the left hand side of the drive the depth of the snow and that's only after two days! 
I haven't set up a work desk here obviously because I think it's time to relax and have a special time with the family creating treasured memories...but I do plan to do a few sketches or pen and ink drawings. 
My daughter is due to arrive at the weekend and she is bringing a few of her art supplies with her 
(unfortunately I couldn't manage to bring any due to my flight weight restrictions)
So here's a photo of me having a cuppa...taking in the view.....

 (I did have a play with my photos adding the frames etc so I suppose that's a crafty activity)

We are supposed to keep the WOYWW posts brief in order for everyone to be able to visit lots of like minded creative people, so with that in mind I'd just like to end this post today with my sincere warmest wishes for a wonderful, happy, peaceful holiday for all the WOYWW gang, not forgetting Jenn's APR group and all my followers and visitors to my blog. I have enjoyed blogging so much throughout this last year, receiving amazing inspiration and encouragement plus making some great new friends. 
I look forward to next year because I know it's going to be so exciting. 
As a thank you I'm going to have a 'GIVE-AWAY' early into the new year so watch this space. 

Meanwhile...the slopes are calling so I'll catch up with you later ~ I'll be back with lots more photos, elf antics and generally anything that captures my interest...so have fun everyone!
https://secure.quebles.com/content/hotmail/emoticons/1503768.gifHo Ho Ho.....

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.....

After so many years of wishing for a white Christmas it looks like I may finally get my wish this year.
I've tried the Aussie way celebrating on the beach with burgers and snags on the barbie during the heat of summer. I've also roasted the turkey during 40 degree temperatures looking like a roasted bird myself, but determined to have a traditional meal no matter what! 
But it's just not in my gene's...In my book Christmas has to come during winter with all the trimmings! 
If it can be accompanied by snow then that's all the more perfect.
It's all about having short days with limited daylight hence having to decorate the house with fairy lights, taking time to prepare for all the celebrations ahead. Cooking and baking up a storm to keep cosy and warm because everyone know you need to take in more calories in order to keep warm. ;D
And guess who arrived yesterday? Our Christmas Elf suddenly appeared!!! 
I hope he's not suffering too badly with jet lag...but he seems to be fine so far. 

At the moment he's sitting on the mantle but we have ambient lighting so it would be useless to try to take a photo at the moment...but I'll be sure to keep you posted on his antics.

The photo below was taken yesterday and we suddenly had the thought that maybe we should perhaps stock up on previsions in case the forecast of a good snowfall comes true.
By the way the barrel on the left of the photo isn't a LARGE keg of beer or heaven forbid whiskey. 
It is in fact the sauna. I can't see myself using it on this trip because basically I'm a wuss. 
I've never been brave enough to do that thing of heating my body to near melting point only to then run out into the snow and freeze my bahookey off! 
There's also a hot tub just out of the photo which unlike the sauna I haven't fully ruled out so far. 
This photo was taken this morning...yep more snow fell and I have to say I've never seen such beautiful snow. It is so dry, white and perfect. I didn't realise it could be like this. 
I remember during my childhood in the UK being so excited by a few little flurries but this is SNOW!
In one afternoon we have had about 15cm!
This shows our driveway and thankfully the cavalry arrive at various times of the day to ensure you are able to drive in and out. How thoughtful is that? :D

It's great to have good neighbours who can bring in the big guns when needed.

I'm aware that to feed the wildlife isn't really recommended here due to raccoons, little meeces and critters taking advantage of the situation. I remember last time we were here I bought a bird feeder and filled it with seed, placing it in full view of the lounge window. During the evening we became aware of a movement outside of the window...once we dismissed the thought of The Yeti or Abominable Snowman we were privy to a fantastic show of determination, aerobics and ingenuity as a raccoon worked out a plan to take the seed.
The next night he appeared again but this time he brought his date...out to impress her, he shimmied along the branch but alas the night before he'd obviously overindulged and 'CREAK'...timber! The branch broke and he landed on the ground bruising his dignity. 
Meanwhile she just headed into the broken feeder and chomped away.
But I just can't resist...I just wonder how anything can live out there and they need my help! 
I haven't seen a bird yet so my feeder might be lonely but my son said he saw an eagle flying over the frozen lake this morning. I know the humming birds won't visit for many months yet but I would like to see a cardinal in real life...so I'm crossing my fingers. 

Mmm....smell that? Dinner is nearly done so I'd better get busy.
I hope you are having a great day whatever you are up to. 
Remember today is a gift...what are you going to do with it? :D
Catch you later......

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