Monday, December 29, 2008

Holiday Aftermath

Christmas has now come to a close. We have stopped the early drinking, waiting instead until 5. I got Marks awful cold but it came after all the guests left so total collapse was a viable option. We ended up snowed in and it was lovely. I woke up on December 24th in my bed with Mark at my side, and with all the guest beds filled with their guests. There was nothing to do but enjoy the company, play in the snow and cook, and shovel, everyone shoveled paths all over the property.

Eddy was quiet this year, he had the cold too and was rendered speechless and sniffly. Yesterday he perked up but he is troubled somewhat. He is one of those phases where he recognizes what he has lost, not just memory but strength and action. He feels concerned about his health of course but does not relate it to the cold, instead he conjures up thoughts of more severe illness, surgery and mystery pain that must be attended too. His entire family around him was not enough to distract him into levity.

Pearl played in the snow everyday, several times, suiting up and then taking it all back off, hanging her wet stuff above the fireplace. On Christmas morning, because it is a mostly adult crowd we get a late start and so rather than wait around for us slackers she went out and played in the snow before opening presents. I was shocked and pleased. I have raised a northern gal.

I missed my family this year due to weather and complexity. I will see them this week briefly. I wish my sister had been able to join us here but it just wasn't possible. Soon.

So we are inbetween the holidays, it's raining and dreary. Christmas is a blur of wrapping paper and salty dips and New Years Eve is as yet unformed. I feel a compulsion to go out and do some dancing, kick up my heels a little to welcome in the New Year, I wonder what's happening at the Legion? Polka anyone?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Annual Tree

Not sure what kind it is this year but it fit the bill. We made our annual trek next door to my neighbor Neil's micro tree lot. I called him ahead to make sure he was still in the mood to sell his little trees. He is a good guy Neil and he answered my query in the affirmative. As a bonus when we stopped off at his house to pay him the princely sum of $20 he gave us a big piece of smoked salmon. Where, I ask can you procure a really fresh tree (we cut it ourselves) and get a piece of home smoked fish thrown in for twenty measly dollars? Mana from heaven is what I say. We cut the little tree and carried it home stopping to check out Neil's frozen pond. I long to skate outdoors when the temperature dips below freezing. I did not venture out on the ice, instead we went home and decorated the tree. It started snowing at bedtime and all at once it felt like Christmas.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Mountain Life

Hudson Bay Mountain, Smithers, B.C.

I grew up looking at this mountain. Our modest house on 15th Avenue in Smithers, B.C. had huge windows across it's back so that no matter where you were you could not escape seeing the mountain. I never appreciated it of course, I took for granted that I lived in a cozy little valley it never occurred to me that not everyone had a mountain with a glacier on it in their backyard. I left Smithers when I was 14 and eventually moved far away to LA. To get to the mountains from LA you had to drive a great distance. I did it a few times and always enjoyed it but it wasnt until I moved to Washington that I realized what mountains really meant to me. After my divorce in 2001 my neighbors took me skiing. It was one of these acts designed to regain my former self. I found myself feeling euphoric as I rode up in the chair looking at Shuksan rising behind me and seeing the deep valley below. The skiing itself was gruelly using my big quad muscles to hold myself up feeling that familiar burn as I turned down the hill. I felt like I was in my body doing something I had always done, it felt like home.

Driving up to Mark's the other day with a snow warning hanging over us I spied Mt Judge Howie to the north east of Abottsford. The Judge is sharp and juts up and is already covered in snow. Golden Ears next door is the same and as I look at them I can feel my excitement building. Winter is here and soon it will be time to head for Baker. Mark loves to ski too and now we are getting Pearl in on it too in a more serious way. She is physically more capable and mentally prepared for skiing now. We all get a bit giddy driving up there, it's a great family activity for us. Skiing on Sundays was what I did with my family growing up. I compare it to attending church, we did it with a similar religious fervor.

I have been checking the snow report and Baker is opening tomorrow. All hail the mountain for it is in our Canadian blood and we are drawn to it. And remember to keep your tips up just for good measure.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

An egg, finally.

Finally, my wretched lazy hens have produced an egg. It's been about a month and half since one was laid, everyone was molting so egg laying was temporarily on hold. I had no idea there was any connection between these two events. A friendly 13yr old in my community filled me in on this and another egg-raiser friend of mine confirmed it. Who knew? I suppose in a perfect egg filled world not all the hens molt at the same time but this year mine did. As my egg supply dwindled I felt increasingly panicked, close to destitute egg-wise. I love the hope eggs embody, one little egg makes a nice healthy meal. I was finally reduced to buying a dozen commercial eggs and they were lame to say the least, pale yellow yolks and runny whites. These eggs are no competition to mine except that there is a constant supply of them. Anywho, I hope to rebuild my egg surplus over the next few weeks, my guests at Christmas will expect to eat a few farm fresh eggs and I will be proud to serve them.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Best Gloves

I have many dirty, wet, sharp jobs that need to be performed around my place. I have found that having good gloves is like instantly possessing a super power. I have always felt invincible upon donning hand protection. I have many different pairs of gloves, there are several pairs for the garden, a few for chainsawing and woodworking, several rubber, several leather. My favorite gloves at the moment are these red ones. They are rubber and they came from the Co-op. They might be recycled or at the very least they are free-range. They can only be described as uber gloves. They are thick rubber with a cloth lining, the tops are smooth and the fingers and palms are textured, their edge is scalloped which I find charming. I use them to pick up dead moles from the living room floor. I clean the chicken house in them. I can touch almost anything with them on.

It was 42° out today and I washed the car. The red gloves kept my hands dry and toasty, I felt very smart.
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