Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Minus One Million

This is for you, Baerg girls!

Folks, I know I just wrote a post about the delights of this Jack Frost time of year and law, I do enjoy the warmth of the inside of my house. Alas, girls, today it is so cold that when you walk outside goobers in your nose start to freeze your nostrils together. For you all who are telling me of living in states where it's in the 70'S! right now, I'd like to invite you up to the great white north. You'll enjoy your stay in a bleached land where we will submit you to a short lesson on surviving the cold and then we'll send you out to start our vehicle. Your lungs will smart as you walk, when you come in your legs will itch from the cold, and getting ready to go outside will be a 15 minute effort.

I heard a report today that Calgary (just over 60 miles away) registered as the coldest place on Earth, except for a lovely resort place in the Antarctic. Our thermometer was reading colder than Calgary! What?! It was -36 degrees Celsius, or for you cats south of the border that is -32.8 degrees Fahrenheit.  Throw in some icy wind and you have a recipe for a hibernating momma.

I guess we're lucky here in Alberta, what is the need for Botox and all those other ways to look younger? Our faces simply freeze in place and our cheeks are nice and rosy preventing any need for blusher. Be wary not to make any rude faces or have a look of shock on that mug when you walk outside-that is what might be preserved forevah (or at least until Summer!)

I lumbered out the back door to snap a photo with my husband's boots on and realized the drifts were higher than the boots, which were up to my knees. I snapped the photo and wanted to wrap myself in a full body hot water bottle. I was envious of my daughter's fleece pajamas with the feet included and thought about looking for a pattern for myself.

It is no joke that we live somewhere where there have been students who have come to school on snowmobiles to take their diploma exams. They are infamous and dedicated students, it's too bad they failed, but we knew they couldn't see out of their balaclavas.

It's also a semi dangerous time of year, not for the frost bite or the bad roads, but for our marriages. Running to the back door to greet your husband with a kiss can be a hazardous task. Who can tell any of these rural Alberta men apart, they are bundled up so much? So, before you plant a wet one on the man who appears at the door, make sure it's not a neighbour who has had a break down.

Tonight, with the stove a blazing, I'm painting signs for the Little Prairie Baby shop, be warned though folks, I am not too sure how the outcome will be. Holding a paintbrush with your mittens on is proven difficult.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Weather Outside is Frightful

A glimpse out our living room window.
I love it when the busyness of the day is lulled to sleep by the shadows of the evening. In Alberta, our days are considerably shorter in the winter. My sister and I when we were young, it would be dark out when we would trudge down the lane in our Sorel boots to get on the bus. In the evening, when we'd race back up the lane with the wind painting our cheeks red, it would be dark out again.  It starts to get long by the end of January, but right now, I wrap myself in the coziness of slowing down.

I don't mind getting to bed early when the world already seems asleep, and it feels okay to hang up the apron after supper and sit down with a cup of tea. I love getting out projects that were stashed away for the busy summer months. I love warm drinks, wood stoves and looking outside to see the Evergreen trees weighed down with white. I enjoy seeing the cattle huddled together with snow on their backs and seeing the wind whirling in the yard light. Christmas baking, warm scented candles, and flannel sheets make Winter shorter for me. Most of all, a tiny marvel, with wisps of hair standing on end, pointing at the Christmas lights in glee at her Mammy's house, makes my heart full.

Hopefully, the hot chocolate from our lil giveaway will warm up Sheila's day! Congratulations Sheila, we'll be in touch. Sheila was randomly selected through here. To get me through MY Winter months, I wish this lady would start her own blog. I think the star of it would be her little boy. He is a hoot! My husband was in at her husband's shop when this little guy, maybe he is three or four years old? announced to my husband, "I know where you live and I'm going to come tear your yard up!" My husband thought this kid was about the funniest little guy he'd ever encountered and some days I would like to go pick him up and have him around the house for comic relief.

What helps you get through your Winter months?

Friday, November 12, 2010

City Day and a Giveaway

Sometimes a straight back and a smile on my face doesn't put the assurance in my step or the fortitude in my voice that I've been raised to own. Even though we were raised to be humble, we were taught to look anyone in the eye when we spoke to them.

Sometimes I just want to crawl down into my own shadow of Uncomfortable.  A couple of days ago my husband and I rambled past spread out farms, along the grasslands towards the city. I had a doctor's appointment and we had plans to look for a couch afterwards. A couch that I have been looking for for years now. Everywhere I go, I take in what people are lounging on and file it away in my psyche. You think with years of this sort of research, I'd have a good idea what I'd want-not a chance.

Snaking our way through the maze of buildings and people, we found an exorbitant furniture shop deep in the south end of the city. My husband in his good Wranglers and I in my semi clean shirt, parked the farm truck around the side of the building. There was grass stuck in the tow hooks from jaunts out into the pasture to haul back a hunted deer-I'm pretty sure there was still blood in the box.

My palms started to fret when we were acknowledged with a quick up and down glance by a smart suit in the entrance. Minutes later when we were asked if we wanted bottled water and I prayed the blond haired man I was with wouldn't ask if it was free, I knew we should get out of there.

"Are you looking for a more traditional feel or contemporary style?"


I knew my husband was weak kneed at the seventeen thousand dollar price tag on a couch. I was confused. Had someone made a mistake? Uh, folks, do you have a jiffy marker, this tag is mislabeled. You should really get new help.

A wool sweater three sizes two small was more comfortable than that shop. I am reminded to appreciate any soul, no matter what package it comes in. I want to appreciate and embrace our ethnically, culturally, and financially diverse country-I want to be able to beam sincerely at the salesman who smirked at us. Remind him that we are the people who make up our country.

Part of the reason I like blogging is I believe it gives us a better understanding of one another. I simply started to write to let others know about Little Prairie Baby, but now I see how blogging let's us be conscious of others. We see in each other similar feelings, whether good or bad, and the more exposure should breed more tolerance.

Once a month I'm going to have someone stop in here for 'coffee,' to let us have a little look into what their life is like in corner of this world. In celebration of this, I'd like to host a little giveaway before we have our first guest! I have a Norman Rockwell children's Christmas book, a Little Prairie Baby bib, and some yummy hot chocolate. You know the routine ladies and gentlemen-to enter leave a comment telling me who would wear this sweet bib if it showed up at your house. For additional chances to enter, become or let me know that you are a follower, blog about this contest, or grab my button. Please leave separate comments for each entry. Contest closes November 19th at 12:00PM. Best of luck to you!

Walk tall and live brave!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November 11

Thank you, Evan, welcome home and God bless you.

"Freedom is not free."

Friday, November 5, 2010

To Give

I feel as awkward writing this post as I did on my first day of Junior High, I'm just more comfortable that my Secret deodorant actually works.

Blogging isn't something that comes easily. Throwing myself out there for the world to read my thoughts gives me a little bit of the heeby jeebies, but it's good to record bits of life, isn't it? I have stacks of journals from years of thoughts needing to flow out onto paper, but mercy, throwing it out there for Phoenix and Manitoba to read is about as comfortable as seeing someone asked if they are pregnant when they aren't.

For the past week I've thought, "Tonight I'm going to blog!" The same old self doubt rolls around, that I don't have anything to say, gosh, we all know I'm not a photo lady, and why in hog city would anyone want to read what I have to say? I remembered no one is forced to read and for Friday night's sake, this is a blog, I'm not solving world peace.

I'm gonna (I mean going to, Auntie P) get my groove back, I've gotta get this blog on...and if ya'll have any suggestions of things you would like to hear about, let me know! I'm hoping if I can spit out some sort of post tonight, it's just going to come back to me. I've got the usual to share- projects, recipes, senseless drivel, and stories about my family-don't say I didn't warn ya.

For tonight, I want to direct your attention to an amazing couple from the East Coast. Allen and Violet Large won 11.2 million dollars and gave it away.
Allen and Violet Large, seen in this image taken from video, have decide to donate almost $11.2 million in lottery winnings.
Please check out this video to hear about their generosity. These folks give my spirit a boost in so many ways. This couple renews my faith in the spirit of charity and reminds me that benevolence can make your own heart grin, helping your body to follow. Violet is undergoing chemotherapy and if you listen to the video Allen tells you it has reminded them of what is really important-relationships. They have one another. Violet tells us how good it feels to give.

We might not have 11.2 million dollars to give away, but friends, a giving heart is something we can all benefit from, it will give us joy and a calm.

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