10 Random thoughts about winter during the aftermath of a Blizzard

1. I love having so much snow! I much much prefer 30cm of snow to pouring rain. (Granted, it is -1 here and not -35.) Marc and I have had so much fun in our snow dump. Yesterday we went for a walk with Niko in the blizzard and had a great time trekking through knee deep snow. We came home and made feta cheese bun pizzas and apple crisp for dinner. Why is it when it's snowy and cold we like to eat cheesy, fatty, warm foods? We watched the movie CARS while we ate dinner. It was really funny! After the movie I decorated for Christmas. Our living room looks so fun and Christmasy. I wish we had our camera. Soon. I hope.

2. Marc's parents were here this weekend and they showed us how to use our gas fireplace! Marc is not going to like this line, I should revise it and say that we know how to use it but we just don't but we had it going all weekend and I love it! It's going to be on all the time from now on.

3. One of my favourite Christmas songs is Jingle Bells by Barbara Streisand. Marc and Shareen both said it's an annoying song but it just makes me want to bounce and dance and shake and do all things associated with being in the Christmas spirit.

4. Niko had come alive in the snow. Now some of you who have met Niko will say that Niko is very much ALIVE and kicking! (Especially if you are one of those who Niko has jumped on.) But he just looks so happy bounding through the snow and stuffing his nose in deepdrifts and then taking his head out and shaking all the snow off. He also apparently does not like it when we slide down hills. Yesterday on our walk Marc and I were sliding down the hills our walk and Niko would run beside us and grab our hands and try and pull us. This usually just resulted in him pulling our mittens off. I have no idea what his intention was but it was really funny to see him go after Marc. It wasn't as funny when he went after me. We also found out that Niko really doesn't like it when you fall in the snow and will run to your aid immediately. Today when he started to chase some toboganning children I was afraid that he was going to go rip their mittens off so I yelled Niko and fell down in the snow. He ran like his life depended on it. I am not sure if this trick will work on dry ground but my fall will not be as soft and people may think I am a little strange.

5. Walking in the driving snow yesterday reminded me of a story from high school. When Marc and I were in grade 11 and he was I believe dating Lisa and I was in high school love with him we went toboganning for my birthday. After toboganning we were suppossed to go to my house where all our other friends were going but Marc convinced me to stop in at the Legg Christmas Party first. (My mother got mad at me for leaving all my friends at my house by themselves and I didn't understand why she would be upset. Hello! She was home. Now I understand. Sorry mom.) Anyways I asked Marc before we went in if I had any mascara on my face. We had been toboganning and it had been very wet but he told me I looked fine. So we went in and talked and chatted and met people and then on our way out I caught my reflection in the mirror - I had mascara lines all the way down my face! This was no little under the eyes blackness this was full on lines all the way down my face. I was mortified! Recently, I brought this up with Marc asking if he just couldn't see the lines because I did ask him in the dark but he said he just thought it would be really funny if I went to a party with mascara lines down my face. And I still married him!

6. Here are some pictures from Marc's parents visit this past weekend:
We went to Craig's basketball game and he gave Marc these EXTREMELY loud noise makers.

We also went for a walk up Seven Sisters and Shareen took these great shots after on the dock at Cultus Lake.

We also went up Mount Thom with Bette's cousin Gerry. Niko sure likes to catch snowballs in his mouth.

Marc's dad walked up with his ski poles but it looked like he had invisible cross country skis on.

Shareen took this awesome picture! I hope she doesn't mind me showing it.

Shareen and I made a snowman with a hat then I smashed it. hee hee

7. While we were enjoying a nice cozy evening here in the snow, Marc's parents and Shareen were driving on the crazy highways to Victoria! They made it safely okay after a 3 hour drive to Surrey and a four hour wait at the ferries. I'm sure Shareen will blog about their crazy adventure.

8. I love 4 wheel drive! I quite enjoy driving through snow drifts with big grippy tires. I also love lock de-icer (and the man who gave me some in the Save on parking lot today, well I don't love him but I appreciate him.) I couldn't get our locks open after picking up a gingerbread tasty latte on the way home from my walk with Niko today. As I was just about to crawl in the back with Niko and try and reach the lock through his puppy gate a nice man came along and just handed me some lock de-icer. How did he know what my problem was I asked. He said I was about the fifth person he had given it to this morning.

9. A quick poll (if you have gotten to number 9!) How many of you think that the "Santa" in the song, I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus is the dad, or is it actually Santa? I always thought it was Santa until recently when several people on several different occassions have said it's the dad. Hmmm, let's weigh in on this Christmas mystery.

10. I should have called this post 10 random paragraphs (or small essays) about winter in the aftermath of a blizard. If you are someone other than my mom or dad I congratulate you for reading the entire post! Good job!


non fiction week

in a rare concurrence of some free time on my part, a spontaneous lust for edification and the foresight of our friend dawn from lethbridge, both kylie and i are devouring some informative non fiction this week.

kylie is reading a history of god by karen armstrong which examines the course of monotheism throughout history and its branching into modern judaism, islam and christianity. she picked it up after reading the spiral staircase while we were in princeton. an excerpt from her introduction (which, along with a series of maps detailing the migration of religious thought over time, sucked me in for an afternoon even though kylie is reading this book right now and is very protective of it):

Despite my years as a nun, I do not believe that my experience of God is unusual. My ideas about God were formed in childhood and did not keep abreast of my growing knowledge in other disciplines. I had revised simplistic childhood views of Father Christmas. I had come to a more mature understanding of the complexities of the human predicament than had been possible in kindergarten. Yet my early, confused ideas about God had not been modified or developed. People without my peculiarly religious background may also find that their notion of God was formed in infancy.

this book is certainly not for everyone so dont rush out and buy a bunch of copies for your bible study group or you may just be banned as a heretic. on a related note, our bible study just finished a particularly cheesy book (luckily short) of the sort that occasionally sweeps the evangelical church and have decided to stick to actual books of the bible for a while (my vote was for song of solomon).

on dawn's advice and generous loan i am reading king leopold's ghost by adam hochschild, the story of how king leopold of tiny belgium subtley appropriated a HUGE chunk of central africa from the africans right under the noses of the more powerful british, french, germans and dutch and proceeded to shape it into a giant ivory and rubber farm fueled by slave labour and gunpowder. it is one of the most engrossing nonfiction books i have ever read and incorporates the life stories of various players including the explorer henry morton stanley, the politicians and royalty of the time and the first dissenters. i have made it half way through in 2.5 days and while it is a fairly light read relative to dennet's "conciousness explained" or dawkin's "selfish gene" (2 other recent nonfiction forays) it is a well referenced history book containing a lot of information and provocation to thought, which speaks to how much time i have put into it, which further speaks to how engrossing it is. another highlight is the book's window into a time when information did not travel as quickly as it now can and state sponsored misinformation was able to steamroll over any whispers of the truth escaping from the dark continent. the lessons of history in this book resonate clearly in today's global political situation.

one other piece of unrelated nonfiction is that kylie and i were surrounded by more than 15 adult bald eagles this week while walking niko by the fraser river. they were perched in trees all around us and swooping over our heads to the river and back while calling to each other. now i am not well versed in eaglish but even i clearly understood one repeated call as denoting "here come the stupid geese" i heard last year that chilliwack is one stop from squamish on the bald eagle migration run. apparently they follow the salmon runs right up to alaska. nice of the salmon to sequentially spawn like that.

lastly, in the spirit of nonfiction week and in the interest of full disclosure i am telling a story that kylie plans to tell my parents this weekend if i dont beat her to it:

one summer when i was around 10 or 11 years old i was playing with gasoline and other incendiary materials in a corner of our family's backyard sheltered by the juxtaposition of the playhouse and a canoe hanging from the fence. one of my experiments exploded with greater than expected vigour and spattered a burning gasoline mixture up the side of the cedar playhouse. the rough wood quickly caught and the entire outside wall erupted in flames. fortunately i was an extremely safety concious child and had prepared for just such an eventuality. i quickly and efficiently beat out the flames with a thick blanket kept on hand for just such an occasion. unfortunately i was not fast enough and the playhouse was left with a large charcoal scar besmirching much of its eastern exposure. fortunately this spot had been chosen as much for its lack of direct visual lines from our house as for the protected and still air required for my experiments (and difficult to procure in windy lethbridge). i quickly ran downstairs, gathered my supplies and proceeded to sand down the entire outside wall of the playhouse, clean it and revarnish it. it didn't look perfect, but it looked pretty good and i have never been disciplined for this particular bout of youthful pyroexuberance so i can only assume that my parents (and sisters) never found out.

did you know? if not you would have found out in 2 days anyways so i thought i should reveal this particular burning secret myself.


Freakazoid Rex!

Lots of people have been posting crazy pictures that they have taken of themselves that they have taken with their new macbook. Unfortunately we don't have a new computer but Lowell does so here are some of the fun pictures.


Bridgin' it!

Marc and I are back from our visit to Lethbridge. We had a wonderful time visiting with friends and family and attending Arie and Leanna's wedding! Although we did see too much of Fraser and I am sick of him now. ;) As mentioned before, our camera is in the shop so here are some great pictures from the Marc's parents camera. Sorry mom, dad, Brad/Raquel that we have no pictures of you. We loved seeing you though!

We had some crazy drives both to Lethbridge and back to Chilliwack. On the way there we hit snow at around Bragg Creek and it turned very rapidly into extreme white out conditions (it was dark by this time) and we were leading a long convoy of cars going about 30 km/hr wondering where the road was. We saw about 50 semis all pulled over on the side and a snowplow and a semi accident. One confident motorist decided that they could pass us in this crazy weather at 60km/hr and lead the convoy. They quickly realized that it was not fun to be the leader and they pulled over and got back behind us. A very quick stretch of highway (20 minutes on a good day) took us about two hours. We were sure happy to pull into Lethbridge.

On the way back I (Marc was sleeping) saw 7 blown over semi's in the ditch on the stretch between Fort McCleod and Nanton. Crazy wind!

Here are some pictures from our trip:

It may be difficult to tell from the calm look on my face in this picture but Lowell was tickling me and he tickled me so hard that my button popped off the back of my jeans!

Here we are recording the rap that Julie wrote for Lowell's birthday. (November 13) Marc and I provided the essential boom boom ch's in the background. (How do you spell boom boom ch?) You can listen to the rap and see more pictures of our trip here .

Lastly because of all the time I have on my hands ;) I am now contributing to a blog about stay at home wives. I love having a sugar daddy!


princeton pics

our temporary headquarters

our temporary backyard

billy miner's cabin


new mother nature taking over

just a quick note to assure all of you concerned weather channel watchers that kylie and i are safe and dry. there was some serious flooding in chilliwack and hope during the week but our house is safe. our little creek did rise to the highest level we have ever seen it, but there is still a good 4 feet to go before it bursts its banks and washes away that egalitarian edifice that is our townhouse complex.

i took niko for a walk by the fraser river when it was still pouring rain. it was a fun time all snug and dry in my raingear and niko loved splashing through the copious puddles. the fraser was swollen and frothy brown and there was a continual flow of uprooted trees and assorted flotsam (but suprisingly little jetsam) sweeping downstream to the ocean.

to escape the torrential downpours (and to attend arie and leanna's wedding) kylie and niko and i piled into the 4runner to cross the rockies. we had just put a new set of all terrain tires on and i was excited to try them out. we hit snow on the coquihalla and they performed admirably. we made great time through the mountains, stopping in golden for some coffee and samosas at jita's cafe and the mohawk respectively (believe it or not, the mohawk has the best home made samosas in town - sitting in the drinks cooler between the powerade and diet coke). there was the odd patch of light snow or rain but the weather held out until lake louise. it began to snow quite hard going through banff and canmore but the real blizzard didnt hit until we had already turned off hwy 1 and started down to bragg creek. we started passing cars in the ditch and early on the 22X we came upon an accident between a semi and a snowplow. traffic was backed up and everyone was stopped, but i realized that if we stopped with them we would assuredly be spending the night in the truck awaiting rescue crews from the city in the morning. with that in mind we struck out past the accident and led a spontaneous convoy of SUVs and subarus (all 2 wheel drives were out of luck) down the 22X to hwy 2. it took us over an hour and a half to traverse the radius of calgary breaking new tracks in 8 inches to a foot of snow in near white out conditions but we made it! thank you to pro comp for your elliptical siping and to toyota for your 4wd on the fly!

anyways, the weather finally cleared up around high river and we finished the journey uneventfully. arie had a great time last night playing rock and roll bingo in a dress and i won 5 beer bucks with a blackout (thank you troggs for your distinctive intro to wild thing).

finally, returning to lethbridge has reminded me of something i found while cleaning out our garage last month. here is a video our friend darren made in university over seven years ago. its a preview for a fistpounding y2k conspiracy movie. lethbridge folk may see some familiar faces and places. everyone made fun of the doomsday prophets after we arrived at the year 2000 sans chaos, but maybe someone had your back?


lyrical leanings

when kylie was proclaiming her newfound love for matt good she forgot to mention that she will periodically (and often in enclosed spaces) suddenly roar
"K-I-C-K-A-S-S .... that's the way we spell success!"

the ubiquitous exposure to sharp lyrics is affecting me as well; i caught myself walking through emerg yesterday singing
"when you blow out like a dead star, it reminds me how uniform your beautiful is..."

i wanted to link to an mp3 for "this new leaf" by dale nikkel the lyrics to which kylie posted the other day. it is a beautiful song but dale hasnt put that particular one up on the web. after repurchasing "still learning tricks" and listening to it multiple times (a new theme on our blog) b/c it was the only cd we brought on the trip to go buy the 4runner, i was repeatedly ;-) struck by the thought that dale's themes and experiences overlap considerably with the lives and concerns of most of my peers.

a song from this album that dale has put on his website is postcards from home one of his more upbeat numbers precisely about shared experiences. how many have you shared? i count eight.


This New Leaf

Marc and I took our camera into Future Shop yesterday to see what was wrong with it. It kept saying e18 when we turned it on. Future Shop has to send it away and it will be between 3-6 weeks before it is fixed. GRRR. You will have to settle for me (or Marc of course)just writing with minimal pictures. We are going home to Lethbridge next week for Arie and Lianna's wedding and for the first time since we moved here we are driving back. I almost can't believe that we haven't driven home for two years. We have gone home quite a bit but that has been thanks to Westjet. We are taking the 4Runner so it is in the shop today getting a safety check and new tires!

For all those of you who think I am only listening to Matt Good lately well you are wrong! (I don't know where you would get that idea from!) I have also re-discovered Dale Nikkel. Marc's old roomate Ty was the drummer for Dale's band and we had Dale's cd "Still Learning Tricks" but gave it away to someone we thought would really enjoy it and have not replaced it. About a month ago I decided to order it and have been quite enjoying it since. One of the songs particularly struck me listening to the cd 3 years later. I would like to share the lyrics with you:

This New Leaf

the great divide doesn't look so wide today maybe
I'm seeing a little bit of light
from over the mountain
it's such a pretty sight
can't say I've felt such peace in a long time
and the tightrope towards the hope that I've been walking
seems to be fading
I've done my service to the religious circus
tradingthese narrow views for something new
celebrate with me the other side of this
new leaf I'm turning freedom come on in
take your seat celebrate with me the day
that I could be
truly free

the great divide doesn't look so wide today
the stream from the mountain flowed
so fresh
I drank from the fountain
so cold in my chest finally founds what it means
to rest the great divide doesn't look so wide today
I'm no longer wandering on my own
and the old mountain stones
it's like they're paved
with gold
no longer with my old life in tow
and the tightrope towards the hope that I've been walking
seems to be fading
I've done my service to
my emotional circus trading
these narrow views for
something new


Okay, I'm Obsessed!

Why, when there is a certain album that I particularly like do I listen to it obsessively? I mentioned a few posts ago that I had recently re-discovered the Matthew Good band and that I was really enjoying them. I do not think I was completely honest here because recently I have become obsessed with only listening to Matt Good, which is quite unfortunate because we only have one album. For the past three days all I have listened to is Matt Good. That's not too weird you say, she must not listen to music that much in a day, but really it is a problem. I have probably listened to the album at least 20 times in the last couple of days. In fact I am also listening to it right now. I also did this with the Dixie Chicks a couple of months ago. I don't do this with all albums just some.

Do you do this? Which bands do you listen to obsessively or am I just a weirdo. (Marc assures me that is true whether I listen to the same band every day or not.)

P.S While I am currently listening to Beautiful Midnight as I type I am also downloading more Matt Good so I don't need to drive Marc too insane. Yesterday he needed to make a phone call and I got quite upset with him when he turned off Matt Good so he could hear, especially because it was only like the fifth time I had listened that day. The nerve!!!