A Skiff of Snow

My November Day 2

This morning we woke up to a skiff of snow.  By the time I got around to heading out for my walk, most of it had disappeared.  There were still wet snowflakes in the cold air under a steel grey sky but they melted as they fell.

If you don’t know how much snow constitutes a skiff, here is a skiffy little snow creature to give you an idea of how scaled down your snowman has to be when all you’ve got is a skiff to work with.

image imageI love his pointy head and skinny little twig arms.

I also love that our community has so many bike/walking trails but it’s easy (in my case at this particular point in my life and my new fitness regime) to keep going until I’ve gone too far without thinking about getting back to where I started. Let’s just say I was extremely happy to see my driveway again.

Just Jazzy 178

“It was the beginning of the greatest Christmas ever. Little food. No presents. But there was a snowman in their basement.”
― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

Reading is a SUPER POWER!  May you find at least one incredible book under your Christmas tree this year.

Reading is a SUPER POWER! May you find at least one incredible book under your Christmas tree this year.

Just Jazzy Advent Calendar


A House Elf for Christmas

My house husband (he’s like a house elf except taller) is either bored out of his mind being home all day or really super excited about Christmas.  Just a second while I check the calendar .  It is still November, isn’t it?

Never EVER have we had our outside lights up, our Christmas tree decorated, and our cards on the table ready to be signed, sealed and sent before the middle of December.  Until now.  Every day some new Christmas thing magically appears on a doorknob or a shelf or a table or some random wall space.  Things I’ve had packed away and forgotten about are surfacing everywhere.  It’s a little scary.

For instance, there’s this card that I brought home from Scotland in 2007.  Because that’s what people do when they travel to Scotland – they buy Christmas cards and bring them home across the ocean.  I did that, so it must be true.

There was a box of different designs by Thomas Joseph and somehow I missed sending this one out to anyone. So now it’s a keepsake.  It was in a rather large box filled with a random assortment of unsent cards from years gone by which W is strongly suggesting I use up before purchasing more.  (Too late, but he doesn’t need to know that right now.)  And he also may have mentioned the many rolls of unused Christmas wrapping paper in the store-room.  As well as the fact that the whole house is full of an insane amount of shit.

So on the one hand he’s telling me to get rid of all this crap, and on the other he’s wondering whatever happened to that plastic ice holder thingy that used to be in the freezer because he’d like to put ice in it.  The more I think about it and search for it, the more convinced I am becoming that I probably threw it out last summer.  I went through a crazy stage in my life where I was making a supreme effort to get rid of a bunch of the shit that our house is so full of.  And see what happens when I try that.  So I’m not doing it again without supervision.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not in any way being critical or trying to discourage whatever the hell he’s up to around here.  Even though some of my cupboards have been rearranged and he hangs things up that should go in the dryer and vice versa and he threw out my half glass of wine that had been sitting on the counter for about 48 hours.  Maybe I was letting it breathe.  He could have asked.

Nope, I’m actually thrilled that I didn’t have to wrestle with the stupid tree this year or figure out where to hang that snowman with the dangly legs which end in giant jingle bells.  When W goes to bring in the paper tomorrow morning with that thing hanging on the doorknob, whatever happens next will not be my fault.

Christmas tree

I think it’s excellent that he discovered we already had parmesan cheese out of sight in the back of the fridge, but his timing was off and he should have let me know that before I came home with more.  He’s been doing most of the grocery shopping and apparently I just mess up his system, so perhaps I should gracefully hand that responsibility over to him in its entirety.  I’ve done it for forty years, the next forty can be his.

I can’t get out of the Christmas card writing though. If he did the cards with his House Elf handwriting most people wouldn’t have a clue who sent them.  Sometimes he can’t even read what he’s written himself. So I’ll let him off the hook for that Christmas chore.  And I’ll probably still cook the turkey.

But everything else – wow – he’s doing a bang up job.  I will try to stay happy cheering from the sidelines.  For the next thirty days.  It’s gonna be a long Christmas.


Well this is becoming quite the holiday journal.  We had our Christmas dinner.  I was trying to be all cheery and said to W ‘isn’t this kind of nice?  just the two of us, no pressure, no fuss, no shades of a madhouse or bedlam or chaos’ and he just said, ‘nope, I miss the kids’.  So do I, but there’s no point in being all maudlin and teary about it, is there?  Now we’re both satisfactorily stuffed and W has passed out in his rocking chair.  It’s very quiet in here, except for the dishwasher laboring away.  The fridge is full of leftovers because I have never had any kind of a clue when it comes to cooking small amounts of anything.  Even though our turkey was barely past babyhood.  Or it was a midget variety.  There’s still two full containers of meat.  Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, stuffing, gravy, cranberries – it’s making me feel slightly ill just thinking about it.  We were both trying to avoid that ‘omg I ate way too much’ feeling but I don’t think that’s possible with turkey dinner.

We should be going for a walk and enjoying this balmy weather!  It’s a lovely overcast three degrees celcius with no wind and no snow.  Perhaps I’ll suggest that to W if he ever wakes up.

Here’s a couple of pictures I’m happy to share.  First off, the family of hockey players.

  And a very recent snowman building feat by the cousins.  Obviously they have slightly more snow there than we do here,  lying around just waiting to be built into something awesome.

I guess it’s an overcast day there as well but this picture has made MY day all sunny.

Be A Jolly Happy Soul

I got this awesome advice from yourtruenature.com.  I also have one of their calendars already hanging on my wall.  Don’t worry, it’s one of those 16 month things, so I’m pretty sure it’s not bad luck.

I said a few days ago that I was going to get my Christmas shopping done, and that I’d get back to you when that actually happened, and GUESS WHAT!  I’m done.  Wrapping and all.  On the 11th of December.  Now what am I supposed to do for the rest of this long winter month??  Relax, maybe?  That sounds like good advice too.  Maybe I’ll do a bit of Christmas baking to make W happy.  It’s too sad to watch a grown man cry over something as simple as the absence of shortbread.

It does look like we won’t be going anywhere for the holiday because we don’t really get one that’s long enough to worry about.  I work on Christmas eve.  W has to be back to work on the 27th.  And then I get to work New Year’s Eve as well.  How did I luck out, you might well ask.  It’s because I’ve been spoiled rotten getting all kinds of time off for Christmas for the last several years, and now it’s someone else’s turn.  Well two someone elses, really.  I suppose they deserve time with their families as well so I’ve grudgingly agreed to buck up and just do it.  There’s always next year.  The psychic said there’d be some kind of break in tradition this time around so I guess this is it.  Add in the fact that our daughter in law is still recovering from jaw surgery, and that it makes sense for her to have a bit less stress in her already busy life.  Dana and Kenzie will be there – perhaps that’s enough excitement this time around.  (As if W and I are fascinatingly exciting to have around….)  Maybe we can head up there for a few days during Spring break or some other time when we can make ourselves useful.  Spring seems such a long way away.

I have one other thing to share.  My candle lighting prowess.  That snowman picture looks shivery cold, so here’s a much warmer one to take off the chill. I have a lot of candles and I just wondered what it would look like if I lit every one of them all at the same time.  Well it looks like someone has way too much time on her hands, for one thing.

But kind of glowing and flickery and stuff as well.  No one called the fire department so I got away with it.  And good thing I have a candle snuffer because there was a lot of different scented candles in this mix and after a bit I was too light headed to even think about attempting to blow them all out.  Whatever, curiousity satisfied.  It is possible to have candle overkill.  Who knew.

Hotest Hot Vs. Coldest Cold

Which one is worse? Worse for what? They’re both the worst for different reasons. Extreme anything is always worse than things in moderation. Extremes tend to make people extremely cranky. Would you rather build a snowman on your front lawn or a sandcastle on the beach? Crank up the heat or crank up the air conditioning?

I don’t like the cold and the snow and seeing my breath in the air. I don’t like how the snow crunches under my feet at 40 below and how the house cracks and groans and how the furnace won’t stop running, and how the heating bill (and the heat) go through the roof. I don’t like winter driving on ice and how sometimes it feels like my tires have frozen into squares, and scraping off the windshield and stomping the snow off my boots and putting on and taking off layers of bulky clothing and still having popsicle fingers and toes.

What I do like about extreme cold is looking at it from the inside out (with a furnace that never stops running of course.) A warm fire and some candles burning, a cozy throw, a good book, a hot drink. I’d be happy to spend the entire month of January every year here inside my nice warm house and never venture out into the freezing cold at all. I don’t like it when my nose gets cold and my eyeballs freeze and my lungs hurt.

I guess I’ve never really experienced extreme heat for very long, since way up here in the frozen north we’re not even sure we know what that is. For a few days one summer our temperatures reached 45 degrees celsius. That’s well over 100 fahrenheit. And too damned hot. Especially for sleeping. Unless there’s a turbo fan pointed directly at your head. When I fly to Ontario in the summer the heat and the humidity seem somehow much worse than our dry windy heat here in the west. It definitely does unfortunate things to my hair.

Everyone at work has been complaining lately that they’re keeping it way too hot in the building. It makes us tired and lethargic. We yawn a lot. We feel strangely moist. Ewww. Not sure what will happen when the cold weather actually sets in – perhaps we’ll be slow cooked. More likely they’ll shut the heat right down to minimum and we’ll be wearing woolen scarves and ear muffs and gloves huddled at our computers shivering ourselves to death.

What’s the BEST thing about extreme weather? We get to COMPLAIN our butts off about it. We get to form fierce opinions about what we hate. We can strike up conversations with complete strangers because they’re sure to commiserate. Some like it hot. Some like it cold. Bitching about whatever it is never gets old. Poetry for the masses.

Give me extreme fog and drizzle with intermittent bursts of misty sunshine. Right now I can’t think of anything bad to say about weather like that. I can breathe in that atmosphere and it feels good on my skin. And everyone’s hair will look like hell, so the state of mine will cease to matter.

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