Showing posts from February, 2018

Warming meals and bright flowers

In contrast to last weekend away, this one, also delightful, was spent at home. I puttered in the kitchen on Saturday, making vegetable soup, yogurt, and cabbage rolls. 

Making yogurt is a new thing for me. I've been trying to minimize the plastic in our home; making yogurt eliminates a big tub every week. I use the oven light in my electric oven and it works so well and is so easy that I wish I'd started long ago. 

Chillier than normal temperatures persist and many pots of tea have been brewed. A jar of honey and a bowl of teabags is handy on the counter top, and a vase full of daffodils is a cheery sight. 

I'm realizing now the stress of an extremely challenging class last semester. My current classes are delightful and I come home with enough energy in the evenings to do something other than collapse. I'm sleeping better, too. Stress is an insidious drain on an individual's well-being.

We missed the snowfall that blanketed much of our province over the weekend. Inst…

Five on Friday

1. A cold snap arrived over the weekend and lingers on. Yesterday afternoon snowflakes wafted outside the classroom windows, distracting students and teachers alike. By late afternoon the snow was beginning to stick and this morning there was a fresh white blanket covering the ground. My little pot of spring bulbs didn't seem to mind the chilliness.

2. Beautiful pink streaked just above the horizon this morning. Each window had a different, and equally lovely view. I took this from a back bedroom, looking out over the Sooke Hills. 

Students were really distracted this morning and I think I earned a few points with my French 8s by letting them go play in la neige for the last 10 minutes of class. They were quite surprised when their teacher threw a few snowballs at them, and a few retaliated in kind. It was great fun. 

3. This is another photo from our little getaway last weekend. On China Beach this log looks to me like it bit off more than it could chew. That rock is firmly lodged a…

Expect Changeable Weather

My husband has been known to quote, "There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing." This weekend proved the veracity of that statement. We'd planned a little getaway, looking forward to plenty of walking/hiking on the coast. The weather report was grim: wind, rain, cold, possibly snow. 

We packed lots and lots of gear - rain coats to wear over fleece jackets, cashmere sweaters, silk undershirts (me), rain pants, down vests, and down puffy coats. Hats, scarves, gloves. Good thing it was just the two of us!

On Saturday morning we drove out to Sooke, to the southwest of the Island where the winds blow in freely from the Pacific. We walked along Whiffin Spit, a long, narrow curve of land protecting the Sooke Harbour from the wildest waves. Wind lashed the rain into our mostly covered faces, and blew us along the path. Coming back was a different story as we pressed against the wind to return to our car. 

The birds in the photos above didn't seem too bothered …

Bright and Cold

When our temperatures hover around freezing here in the temperate rainforest, we call it cold. Those in more northerly regions scoff. Cold is a relative term. 

Spring is en route, but winter continues to hold sway. Frosty nights are followed by bright sunny days. It's enough for flowers to appear, such as the Henderson Shooting Stars above. The glow of colour in the background is a naturalized lawn of crocuses and shooting stars.

The crocuses are just beginning to open, tentatively unfurling a petal or two. 

In the late afternoon, a gnarled Garry Oak stands out against the clear sky. 

We walked quickly, for we had dressed according to the sunshine, not the temperature. Brrr. It was good to come indoors to the blast of warmth. 

Our Valentine celebration was a simple affair at home, made special by the effort of setting a table with a vintage tablecloth given to my in-laws on their wedding day 63 years ago today. China, crystal, and linen lift a meal to a celebration. 

Tonight we lingered…

Signs of Spring and a Birthday

Mr. F turned 4 this weekend. With all the family and friends, he's having 3 birthday get-togethers. The first was Saturday night - breakfast for dinner, with fruit, puffy baked pancake, sausage, and of course, a cake. 

The big hit of the evening was a Lego loading dock, complete with M & Ms to load, unload, and share, designed and built by Uncle Gerry (wearing glasses). The big and little boys were equally enthralled. 

Our boat normally lives on a trailer on our second driveway. It looks awfully big there and draws some attention when driving down the street. On Saturday morning we launched it for a short trip to a marine shop where a new engine will be installed. The old one (40 years) still works well, but for how long? We're planning longer trips and to more remote areas and want the extra security of a reliable engine. As a bonus, this new engine will be quieter!

The weather wasn't the greatest on Saturday morning, but soon cleared up. 

Sunday afternoon skies shone blu…

This Week

From the kitchen window I see the snowdrops, white and green against the brown dirt. I pick a bunch from behind the porch where they are barely visible. In the warmth of the house, white petals fly upwards like nun's headdresses caught by the wind. Green circles and upside down hearts on the inner petals make me laugh. They seem incongruous with the snowdrops quiet elegance. 

I recently finished this book, won in a giveaway from Golden Hours. I was eager to read it, from a number of reviews I'd read, and did finish it quickly. I kept hoping it would get better, but it didn't. I found the setting idyllic, the premise enchanting, but the characters sadly lacking. The "Man in the Wing Chair" seemed arrogant, and the tone of the book didactic. 

I did like the concept of an ideal marriage including marrying someone "better" than yourself, in the sense that one's ideal mate has different and admirable qualities than oneself, hence the attraction. 

If you'…

Freesias in February

Last Thursday, a bundle of tightly closed freesias came home with me from the grocery store. After trimming the stems, I plopped them into a vase and waited. 

My wait has been rewarded by creamy blossoms gradually opening to release the delicate, fresh scent of early spring. 

Here's another photo, taken a few days earlier, by the light of a little lamp in the morning.

We're doing some planning for the kitchen renovation that is going to take years, not months. First step was the fireplace we installed last autumn. Next will be trading out the sliding glass doors for a single hinged door, and installing a window on a blank wall. To that end, we taped off the size of the window and moved the breakfast table in front of it. Since there's nothing to see and no light there, the little lamp adds a cozy ambiance. 

On Saturday, we helped some friends move, and Tim also helped do some minor repairs to a "new-to-them" first home purchased by our children. My task for the day w…

A Walk in Wales

February is probably my least favourite month. I get restless. I want to start new projects and not finish them. My winter wardrobe is boring. This year, I'm tired of the incessant rain. Dreary. Grey. I want to go somewhere sunny. 

I'm going to take some virtual trips. Would you like to come along? Let's go to Wales. Wales, you say? Wales - where rain falls all the time? Yes, Wales. 

On a very sunny, hot morning in July we left our cozy room in Woodmancote, bravely setting our GPS (Sat Nav) for Lampeter, Wales. I wrote a little bit about the trip here. We arrived in the town of Brecon and thought to find a place to take a short walk before lunch. Our rental car trundled over the bridge (very narrow) and up through the winding streets out of town, looking for something that resembled the walking path we saw on our map. 

"Quick! Turn here!" And we veered sharply to the left, which isn't as dangerous as it sounds in Canada, because we were driving on the left hand …