BLIZZARD! (OWPC)

Between our three years in Iceland and our four-and-a-half years here in Canada we’ve managed to see one or two BLIZZARDS, this week’s word challenge from Jennifer Nichole Wells.

Without a doubt, our last blizzard came as part of that incredible snowstorm we experienced back in February. It was a doozy as you well know from my previous post of snow!

Blizzard!

This photo was taken in the afternoon towards the end of the massive dump we had – two meters in 24-hours but hey, what a story we got to tell. Again and again and again…

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The Last Color of Summer

The first snow of the season fell upon Old Quebec City Sunday morning as the last of the summer blooms held its head high.

The Last Color of Summer

It stood so proud, a contrast of color as the snow clouds hovered above but… “mum, how much longer?”

The SNOW has come a knocking!

It took awhile but today is what we “used” to know as a SNOW DAY, yea baby. How fabulous it was to have the snow literally knocking at our front door!

The Snow has finally come a Knocking!Seeing the snow piled up around the front door it was so much like old times (also reminded me that I really should bring in the lighted miniature Christmas trees from the front landing, lol). 🙂

Snow at the Front Door - like faded memories...I simply adore looking out our lounge room window to see this, or not seeing anything really but an almost white-out up the street. What bliss it was to see snowflakes falling once again this morning!

Snow up our StreetYet where I see snowflakes Master Twelve sees dollars signs. Oh how I love that boy – almost as much as he loves his iPod, lol!

One can't shovel snow if there is no iPod

Finally with our much wanted snow here, there’ll be no more asking for today at least… “mum, how much longer?”

What have YOU baked lately?!

For me personally there were the 12-dozen cookies I baked on Saturday – eight dozen of which were taken to the school for the band concert that night. Yes, Master Twelve was totally buzzed after performing in his first-ever band concert, wanting to do more NOW!

The 4-dozen Cranberry Butter Cookies weren’t ready in time – not sure what made me think that turning them over to brown was a good idea…

Cranberry Butter Cookies

One new recipe I tried, Chocolate Souffle Cookies, was so darn good that Hubby requested more hence I made another couple dozen of those yesterday for us. I also steamed, blended and even baked six butternut squash then sliced and diced 2-1/2 kg of dried fruit for the dozen Christmas cakes I made today.

Tomorrow I need to make three Pavlovas for the cadet dinner we’re attending, have my first attempt at Spicy Almonds and should the smile be still on my face, even ever so slightly, I would like to make some Amaretto Cookies but there’s no promises on those, lol!

And as I say all that I realize that I’ve completely forgotten the Moroccan Chicken I made an hour ago so fingers-crossed it hasn’t burnt. That’s ALL I need right now. 😦

Regardless, as both the sun and temperatures went down a couple of hours ago, it began snowing. The best part is that it’s snowing hard with huge big globs – oh happy days!

Evening Snow - how absolutely beautiful!

In that short space of time we’ve already managed 4-5 inches of snow. What can I say… “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!” with certainly NO chance of me asking… “mum, how much longer?”

Some call it Destiny; others call it luck…

At the risk of sounding like a cliché, it was destiny. Fate had brought us together…

Never did I think he would look at me, let alone notice me. Why would he? My hair was a mess, I wore no make-up. I was hidden in the shadows, willing him to look at me yet afraid of his reaction. Would he see me and look away, or worse, see me and walk away.

Yet as I stood, admiring him from where I took shelter within the shadows of the night he looked up, our eyes locked. Time stood still. Even my heart seemed to have stopped beating for fear the noise would break our trance. Looking into each others eyes it felt as if an eternity had passed, yet in reality it was probably only a matter of minutes.

Alas there was a noise from behind him, he looked in that direction. The spell that had drawn us to each other was now broken forever. That invisible bond that had us looking into the very depths of our souls, gone. The moment was over, never again would we feel that exhilarating attraction. Would he even remember me, was I even a blimp on his radar?

However for me, I will never forget. It’s as if that juncture of time has been stamped permanently on my heart and in my mind eternally. What was I to do? What could I do? The only thing possible… I raced up the stairs, calling quietly to the children, “wake up, wake up, there’s a big black bear at the downstairs back door!”

Yep, there was the most magnificent black bear helping himself to salmon from Hubby’s smoker. Guess that answers the question to whether or not Hubby cleared out the smoker for the trash man last week. Plainly he hadn’t but it appears at least one fillet was enjoyed!

Left-over salmon filletsThe reason why those fillets were still in the smoker was that Hubby had forgotten all about them after he’d put them in one evening for smoking, then evidently forgotten them again! These fillets were not only smoked but well and truly dried out hence they’d been left for “another time“.

That other time turned out to be the night before last. Bumping sounds could be heard from our back yard. Initially I thought all our deck furniture was being loaded onto a passing trailer. Turns out it was the smoker going from a vertical to a horizontal position that made the noise.

Knocked over and knocked off!

Fate had the outdoor bottom light on so that when the black bear stepped back after eventually prising a piece of dried-fish off a tray, that’s when I saw him. You should have seen me run – never has my body moved so quickly – directly from the bedroom down the stairs to the window less than two meters from where the bear stood. Close wasn’t I? I was behind that open window!How close is thisOf course, tackling a photo of a black bear in the black of the night is akin to taking a photo of a snowflake in a snow-field so there is none. I assure you though it was NOT from lack of trying!

But oh… looking into that bears eyes, what a truly magical moment. To experience another moment like that, how lucky could one be? I ask… “mum, how much longer?”

It’s so freakin’ HOT!!!

The main reason we were more than happy for Darling Hubby to accept this assignment in Kitimat was that this was an area surrounded by mountains and forests. An area where people only EVER complained of how cold it was and all the snow they were having.

So why is it that at almost 11 o’clock each night this week we’ve all been lying on our bed, with the poor pedestal fan pointed at us, whirring as fast as is mechanically possible, as we squirt ourselves with the fan/water bottles that we’d bought at Disney World? Truly, these things are FABULOUS!!!

Summer Saviour

With four identical contraptions in the house do you really think I’m NOT going to put my name on mine? I’ve seen how Master Twelve’s mates treat his and there is NO WAY I’m going to have my working sprayer swapped for a broken one. Sorry, but let this heat be a lesson of treating your belongings responsibly. Of course there is now the downside that if mine goes a-up I can no longer quietly swap it over… bummer!

But looking out the window now we might be in for a small reprieve. After those glorious few days of dark skies and wet weather last week, to this week having the sun now blazing down upon us, reaching highs of the low 30’s CEL earlier in the week, has just been plain cruel.

As I’ve despaired before, these houses here are so not made for hot weather hence become like our own private sauna. Each evening both children look forlornly at the ceiling light, remembering a time when ceiling lights once came with ceiling fans. Their sad eyes turn me questioningly… “mum, how much longer?”

Rolling thunder…

In the very wee hours of this morning I was woken by a noise. It wasn’t a familiar noise but a noise my sleeping brain felt needed my attention. Typically Darling Hubby slept on, oblivious as always to any unusual sounds that might be emanating from outside.

Which continues to astound me: we’ve had the RCMP knocking on our door at midnight – he slept on; we’ve had children exploding from both ends simultaneously – he slept on; heck we’ve had a total stranger walk into our house and speak in a foreign dialect to me (turns out the poor gent was delivery the local TV guide and had yet to be advised the local Icelandic couple had rented out their house to an Australian family) and he still slept on; but let his cell phone ring even once, and he’s up answering it. The girl in me says grrr along with one or two not so family friendly words!

Anyways, turns out the noise I was hearing was thunder, rolling thunder at that. It seemed to go on and on for hours. Even Miss Ten came in for a short chat and cuddle before heading back to her own bed. As I have no bedside clock there was no telling what time all this was occurring but according to one of the father’s who also attended the Grade Six Band Concert this morning, it was approximately 2am. Little wonder I’m feeling like something the cat dragged in.

Thankfully the world outside as I was preparing breakfast, made the going easier, much easier!

Oh what a beautiful morning!

The mist in the air made everything just beautiful.

Almost a halo!

As the sun broke through the clouds and the earth began warming – it was glorious.

Haze or cloud - hard to say!

The dew-drops on the leaves with the mist in the background… wonderful!

The colors of the leaves and the haze... gorgeous!

After the rolling thunder of this morning I was surprised to hear more this afternoon. And not just one or two rolls of thunder, this rolling lasted for over two hours. Plus it came complete with the odd fork of lightning – bonus!

I wonder if this was a one off or if there’ll ever be another day like today… “mum, how much longer?”

Spring is in the air!

The weather doesn’t seem to be able to decide what it’s going to do lately. We wake to what appears to be sunny skies and these wonderful wispy clouds floating along the foothills.

I just love these clouds!

Then the next thing you know it’s raining! After a rain-shower mid-morning I came out to the kitchen to find both bird feeders occupied – a hummingbird at its feeder and the red-head at the woodpecker feeder. Of course by the time I found the camera only “ranga” was left but it still makes me smile to think about it.

Lovin' the birdlife!

Ironically I’d only just changed the hanging baskets around this morning, moving the red petunias to the front and bringing these purple ones to the back, and already the hummingbirds are sniffing around the flowers.

Says a lot about the hummingbirds preference for red flowers but I’m so glad they’re coming back. Hopefully they’ll bring back friends and family so I’ll stop wondering where they are and…  “mum, how much longer?”

It SNOWED!!!

We couldn’t believe it this morning when we looked out the window and not only was it SNOWING but the snow was staying on the ground. There was still hope for a proper winter!

SNOW TIME!!!

I couldn’t have been happier looking out my kitchen window during the morning, not only watching the snow settle on the trees but watching the snow continue to fall!

Just a Christmas card!

Sadly by mid-afternoon it was all like a dream sequence though as the snow had stopped falling and any evidence of our snow fall had melted away.

I’m sure you could hear me from where you are as I was screaming so loudly… “mum, how much longer?”

The joys of traveling…

Yesterday morning my shuttle to the Brisbane airport from Maroochydore was booked for 4.20am and for once I was actually in bed asleep before 10pm the previous night, talk about a first!

I awoke from the soundest sleep I’ve had in such a long time that I was convinced I’d missed the shuttle so woke myself up completely in my haste. If only I’d look at the clock first as alas it was only 11pm! and that was that for sleep for the remainder of the night. I dozed a little but at 2.20am I admitted defeat, had my shower and did a load of washing for mum!

Of course on arriving in Sydney I had the reverse angst of getting from the domestic to international terminal so took no risks by getting a cab. Initially I was relieved to have made that decision as the queue for the Vancouver flight was so long and so slow. An hour before the flight was due to leave however it all became clear.

Due to the bad weather on the East Coast of North America, the flight was delayed… 10 hours! With storms rolling in for that night over Sydney it felt the Gods were truly against me.

A storm is brewing...

As flight time came and almost went an announcement was made advising us that once the plane stopped at the gate both the cleaners and boarding passengers had a total of 45 minutes otherwise the flight would be grounded for the night!

Honestly, you’ve never seen people move so fast once priority passengers had boarded. And for that matter, you have never seen passengers stow cabin luggage and buckle-up so quickly. It was much longer then 45 minutes in the end but it certainly wasn’t because of we passengers yet we still flew.

Of course, the long delay had the majority of us missing connecting flights. Even some of those traveling onto Toronto on that very plane even missed their flight due to how disorganized the ground staff were. You’d think after an almost 12 hour delay they would have had a plan at the ready!

Cranky, uninformed passengers in Vancouver

With no further connecting flights to Terrace to be had last night it meant a night in Vancouver before catching the 8.35 this morning. I was really hoping for the 1.35pm flight so I could have even a slight sleep-in as even though I was still traveling in the same day I had been going an additional 14 hours but with the family now overnighting themselves in Terrace that wasn’t going to happen.

Vancouver 11 February

Looking at the weather as I sat and waited for this mornings flight I feared I’d be delayed again but flights were on schedule so there was doubt as to… “mum, how much longer?”