Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Time to catch up...over tea?

I find that the longer I am away from my blog, the harder it is to come back for some reason. I have been meaning to share photos from our fabulous holiday ever since we returned. Perhaps the fact that I have a brand-new computer has something to do with it - I finally gave up my trusty and familiar (and SLOW) PC for a new laptop, but it has Windows 8 and though I am managing, it is slow-going as I learn the new system and somewhat frustrating.

However, today I read Krista's post from Monday over at Saturated Canary and was inspired to get back on here and share. Her post started like this: "Over a cup of coffee, I would tell you..."

In my case, it's tea so here goes...(I have a feeling this will be a long one since I haven't posted in a whole month, you might wanna grab a cuppa too if you plan to join me...)

Over a cup of chai, I would tell you that I've missed you but that we have been busy enjoying all the wonders of winter, beginning with the holidays. How were yours by the way? Ours were wonderful! We flew down to Toronto at the beginning of the big ICE storm on Dec. 20th. I had not originally wanted to fly on the Friday but the flights worked out better for us that way. Thank goodness, we may not have made it there at all if we had tried to fly on Saturday. We arrived 2 or 3 hours late, but safe and sound. Our ski equipment; however, did not arrive at all. The plane was overweight and they removed it and left it in Thunder Bay. Sigh...we were supposed to ski 2 days hence. Oh well, we decided not to sweat it - we made it safely and there was no way we were going to be skiing in the middle of an ice storm in any case. They told us that they hoped it would arrive on Sunday, maybe, no promises. Off we went. Thankfully Papa is a skilled and calm driver - even in a large SUV packed to the brim with suitcase, gifts and excited visitors, even on ICY roads. We were VERY relieved to arrive safe and sound to my childhood home around midnight.

My Dad did a lot of this
while we were there which was frustrating for him since he wanted as much time as possible with his grandsons, but he mans the plow you see to keep the roads safe. He stopped by one day part way through one of his very long shifts so that we could hand over some lunch!

I would tell you that since we were sort of "iced in" for the first two days, I spent lots of time running around (well actually not running, stepping very carefully or shuffling like penguin) with my camera trying to capture the way the sun was shining through all those ice-coated trees! 
Thankfully, Mom's fridge and pantry were well-stocked so we didn't want for anything. In fact, she spent most of one day baking - yummm! Mom's shortbread is the best! Isn't baking always the best when it is FRESH from the oven and made by Mom?  My youngest spent much of both days cooking - for everyone! Finnish pancakes, eggs, omelettes...we have a little chef on our hands! 
Early on Monday morning, the storm having raged outside all of Sunday, there was a knock on the door. It was 3 am. My Mom woke me up. It was a very cheerful and friendly gentleman that had been hired by the airline to deliver our ski equipment marked URGENT! Well,  maybe we would go skiing after all.

I should make a point of mentioning that although we prepared ourselves (filling up any large reservoir available with water - my parents are in the country on a well - the pump doesn't work without hydro, and locating flashlights and candles, etc.) we did NOT lose power. I don't know how we managed it, the ice must have been somewhat lighter where we were - so many people were without power - we are very thankful that we did not have to deal with that.

At a certain point, it snowed quite a bit on top of the ice and became quite frosty. This allowed us to walk on the ice somewhat easier and to make some fabulous snow angels. Did you get to make snow angels this Christmas? 

I would tell you about how my boys could not wait to see their cousin, my nephew. Even though they live only 20 minutes from Mom's, we didn't get to see them until the third day (Christmas Eve) when Dad declared the roads safe enough to travel on. We were all very excited to see one another. He is the cutest thing, every time he would put on the Santa hat, he would say "HO HO HO!" He loved opening presents this year! One little piece at a time! We were so happy to spend Graham's second Christmas with him!

 I would tell you about my sister's beautiful country-style trees! She has kept every single ornament I have ever made her, it was so fun to sit and check them all out, lots of them having pics of my boys when they were just tiny. It was touching to realize that she treasures them enough to put them all out after all these years.
 I would tell you that we enjoyed several sleigh rides thanks to my brother Kory and my sister-in-law Shannon. Here is their team getting ready for a ride. Can you say old-fashioned Christmas? LOVE it!

I would tell you that sadly, most of the tree branches were hanging VERY low by the time the storm was finished. It took days before they started to come up again. These branches belong to the beautiful birch in my parent's front yard. When we left it appeared as though most of the branches were mostly unharmed but I guess we won't know for sure until spring. There was widespread damage all over, but the immediate area around Mom and Dad's seemed to fair a little better for some reason.

 We had a ride in the smaller sleigh, the one my brother built himself. I think we went for at least three sleigh rides during our visit.
I would tell you about how we took my nephew sledding for the first time on Boxing Day!This was a warm up for a few days later. He was not too impressed this first time.
I would brag about how gorgeous and amazing my nephew is and how he and my boys adore one another. They could not get enough of each other. I would tell you how much we look forward to having a visit with them again soon - we miss them so!

I would tell you that although that ice storm caused a load of trouble and heartache, it also created  a great deal of beauty just outside the window. This is Mom and Dad's backyard.

I would tell you about how happy it makes me to see my boys enjoying time with their Uncles. Here are my youngest brother and my youngest son. My eldest would have been there too if he wasn't allergic to horses - poor guy misses all the sleigh rides.

I would admit that I love Gordon Lightfoot, John Denver and this Dean Brody song. After all, much of what he says about Canadian girls is true in my family! lol

Country roads, take me home...

Yikes, I am out of chai. Time to make more- I used this recipe. (I found it via Posie Gets Cozy - if you haven't visited there, you really should!) When I brew it though, I add a few slices of fresh ginger to the water while the tea is steeping (before I add the milk and heat it again). It is heavenly. If you like chai, you want need to make some of this! I think I might make it as gifts for teachers and tea-loving friends next Christmas.

When I've stopped for a potty break and steeped another big mug of tea, I'll be back with more winter adventures and some craftiness before too long. I did a "25 days of December" project that is not yet complete, but I have several pages done that I just need to photograph and share. And though I can't promise that it will be right away, I look forward to getting around to do some visiting soon. It's been too long and I am in need of some inspiration to draw me back into my craft space!

Shanna :)

p.s. Oh yes, over tea, I might have admitted to having taken most of my holiday decor down just last weekend! Priorities - we've been spending too much time out in the white stuff to worry about it. Well at least the tree went bye-bye a few weeks ago. Oh and I might also admit that the snowmen are still residing in my kitchen and scrap space - they are welcome until mid-March at least! If you don't like those "crazies" who do the snow dance, you might want to wait to visit me until after March Break, lol!

1 comment:

Thanks for visiting! I love to hear what you think of my work! :)