Thursday, February 14, 2019

i tip my head back

I tipped my head back and closed my eyes. The sun beat down and with my eyes closed I could almost believe it was summer, or at least late spring. Each day the sun gains more power and I want to make sure I remember to make it one of my pleasures. Even at night, the sun stays longer before dipping down to sleep.

Happy Valentines Day! Do you celebrate? We sort of do, but not with cards or gifts - we are long past the stage of needing physical reminders as we are pretty good about being good to each other most of the time. Our habit is to talk about our relationship often. In the car ride home from the city we talked about when we first met and recalled our first times together, and some of the Valentines days from years gone by. We are both on the sappy side!

We got takeout Pad Kai Mau from our absolute favorite in the world Thai place - we’ll have it for supper with some bubbles. We’ll probably eat it at the coffee table though :-(  maybe while we watch the final bit of the dog show. Okay - I guess we aren’t very romantic after all. (oh heck!!! I’m gonna run and set the table and MAKE us have supper with music in the background and not CNN). I’ll even light the candles. If I was more energetic I’d make us dress up too.

Spike has been on the treadmill everyday but only for a few minutes at a time. He’s up to 1mph which is a slow steady walk for him. I have him on a leash to guide him a bit, and he is also jumping on without much coaxing. He’s still getting lots of treats to keep him going.

How many lessons of faith and beauty we should lose, if there were no winter in our year! ~Thomas Wentworth Higginson, "April Days," 1861

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

silence of winter

I stepped inside the house - rubbery arms, shaky legs and a bit of sweat was the sign of a job well done. I couldn’t believe how much snow had accumulated on the back deck, but slowly, shovel by shovel, I cleared it. Carm worked on the laneway and two hours! later was done.

The storm blasted us overnight, but by the time we woke up it was all over, just the mess to clean up. Thankfully a shift in low pressure areas (or something to that effect) shortened the duration. We were lucky as Carm said it was the deepest he’d ever snow-blowed. But it is actually above freezing today so we are spared the deep freeze.

I used to love riding the horses through the new snow - they’d leap through the drifts, almost unseating me into the snowbanks.

Have you been watching the Westminster Dog Show? We’ve recorded it and have only watched the first night. It’s fun to see all the breeds, especially when there is a new one, but even with so many beautiful breeds, another Rhodesian Ridgeback will join our family someday. Someday a long time from now I hope.

Tonight we’ll watch the rest of the show and cheer our favorite on for best in show. I gotta tell you though, there are some breeds that have become abominations and it sickens me to see what has happened to them. Are people nuts? Why would you breed a dog with such a smushed in face that it can’t even breathe properly. Those breeders should go to jail, or at least be restricted from breeding.

We’ve had several purebred dogs including: Irish Wolfhound, Greyhound, Borzoi, and of course the Poodles and a Ridgeback. We’ve had three mixed breeds also: a basenji mix (maybe), a rottie mix, and Ranger, who was a heinz 57 of no identifiable parentage. We loved them all. Five of them were from the hound group - not known for their attentiveness to command. Hounds are more independent and free spirited. They all had eagle eyes and would chase something a million miles away - a fence is a must with these guys. The poodles aren’t sighthounds, but instead have their noses to the ground and ears turned off much of the time. I think they are actually part beagle. That leaves Titan the rottie mix, and Ranger - they were the only ones that would rather be with us than out in the field chasing down critters.

This brilliant silence of winter is most touching, might I not say musical? How different it is from that of a starry night in June, which in mute eloquence proclaims repose! In this is power, an appeal to thought, strangely mingled with one to active energy.
~Henry James Slack

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

the glory of the day

Carm has been out foraging for food and wine as we prepare to batten down the hatches for a big winter storm. We are well prepared for anything Mother Nature throws at us and will enjoy our time cocooned in our fortress. Some fresh snow will be welcomed and I might even get my snowshoes out for a little tromp.

I love the fury of a blizzard (assuming we don’t have to go far). My big winter coat cuddles me like a giant teddy bear, keeping me warm and cosy.

I love the contrast of hot summer to cold winter. There is an ease in winter that lets me recharge for the frenetic summer. The absence of colour refreshes my mind and lets it lie still in preparation for the riotous rebirth of spring. Each season contrasts with its predecessor in a way that makes it more wonderful and prepares us for its successor.

I love having people over, and perhaps the most in winter. The dark nights are the perfect time to gather round a table to discuss life. Dreary afternoons are brightened by a pot of bubbling soup or a pile of chopped vegetables. I like bustling around, sweeping the floors and setting the table. Candles and low lights set the mood. A bit of music sets the tone. I suppose, if I think about it, these are my most enjoyed moments.

Last night we had Jo Ellen and Don over for supper followed by some feisty discussions. There was lots to agree and disagree on, all in good fun and good humour. One of the topics was centered around the disappearance of robust system development lifecycles and the ‘app’ mentality of today’s programing jockeys. I would be considered a dinosaur in today’s shops - I’m glad I’m retired as the development free for all was already a ‘thing’ in my last years and I’ll have to say I didn’t like it one bit! Give me planning and testing!

I served up onion mushroom soup and a chicken cooked in the instant pot. I think it’s my third chicken done this way and I gotta say: it is a great way to get a moist result. We had our new favorite carrots too. I thought I had screwed up the timing of everything, but luckily we’d cooked some baby potatoes in the actifry so had those with some tzatziki dip to keep the hunger demons away. Better than chips! And as it turns out I hadn’t mistimed by much.

In the rush of early morning,
When the red burns through the gray,
And the wintry world lies waiting
For the glory of the day...
~Louisa May Alcott