Sunday, March 1, 2015

the Devonian Gardens in downtown Calgary

Yesterday we took the C Train to downtown Calgary.  It's a place we didn't get to last summer when we were there and we thought a visit to the Devonian Gardens would be nice on a cold winter day.  These gardens make up the top floor of The Core Downtown Centre, a 5 story building with shopping  on the bottom four levels.  It was warm and humid and just a lovely break from the cold.

The huge lights on the ceiling provide artificial sunlight for all the trees and plants growing there.

People were enjoying visits, playing cards and reading in this area.

These ladies were enjoying a game of cards and brought their lunch with them too.

The roots and trunk of one of the trees.

A family jam.  :)

The climbing wall in the playground.  Ewan and Eli had fun here of course.  Liam was with us too but slept most of the time in the stroller.

I thought this frosted glass floor very interesting.  Maybe you've seen them before but I haven't.  It was so cool to see just the feet walking across it.

The glass ceiling over the mall.  It's a really beautiful building.

This is looking out the window at the food court onto Stephen Ave.  The sculpture looks like something out of Star Wars doesn't it?  I will share more photos soon of our walk along Stephen Ave. It was very cold with the wind whistling down the street and I would definitely come back for a summer visit.  Taking the C Train is such a convenient way to get into the city core from the suburbs.

I know you want to see a photo of the baby, right?  Liam turned 6 months old yesterday and we took some photos today.

He's not sitting on his own yet.  He has started on solids this past week and loves food!  Isn't he adorable?

Grampie reading to Ewan and Eli.  :)

We only have two more full days here before we fly home again.  It will be difficult to leave our dear family once again.  And.  We have to go home to a world full of snow!  I've been spoiled the past few days.  I'll post again after we get home.

I hope you have a wonderful week ahead.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

winter's beauty

Hi there!  Just checking in and I thought I'd share some winter scenes with you today.
I took these photos before I went away and  New Brunswick got another huge snowstorm yesterday (Wednesday) with nearly a foot of fresh snow!  I can't believe all the storms we're getting this year and almost always on a Sunday and Wednesday.  Most of the storms had wind with them which blew the snow off the trees so it was nice to have pretty scenes of snow laden trees for a change.

Burdocks wearing snow hats.

I'm standing next to a snowdrift that is over 4 feet high in our backyard.    I can't imagine what our yard and deck looks like now!  Schools were closed for the 8th day since January and the roads were terrible to travel on.

This is Murray clearing the drift behind the deck.  

This is the snow pile behind the deck.  We shovelled the deck off most of the winter but missed doing it for the last 4 storms as you can see.  

This was my job.  I made a path and also shovelled the top half of snow that was on the pergola which was over 2 feet deep.

Meanwhile in Southern Alberta we got a dusting of snow today on bare ground.  There wasn't a speck of snow here as the weather has been quite mild.

I am having a fantastic time visiting our daughter and her sweet family.  Our grandsons are adorable and so much fun.  I can't believe how much Ewan and Eli have changed in 6 months and baby Liam loves to snuggle with me.  All three are so sweet and precious. I am so happy to be here and am enjoying every moment.  

I hope you're having a great week.



Sunday, February 22, 2015

the moon and stars they shine at night

I had to share one little post with you before this photo got too outdated.  On Friday night, February 20, I had heard about the alignment of Venus and Mars in close proximity to the moon in it's first quarter.   I knew it was supposed to be cloudy and snowy on Saturday night and Friday night was clear.  I happened to glance out the window, as I often do even when it's about dark, and noticed the moon and the bright Venus in the western sky.  I grabbed my camera and went out on the back deck to capture this shot.  It's not totally clear and I heard later that Mars looked red to some viewers, perhaps as it got darker.

I sure wish I had a better zoom lens on my camera as it's a bit blurry, however, I was pleased to capture this moment before it got completely dark {the blue hour}.

Now,  I've got to get busy packing.  I can't focus and will probably end up doing it all tomorrow.  :)

Take care.  Thank you for your visits, comments and good wishes!


Friday, February 20, 2015

snowstorm #7 and the dogs

This morning.

Is it February 20 already?  Where has this month gone??  
You read the title of this post correctly.  
Snowstorm #7....since January started....and that's not counting the smaller, few cm. snowfalls that came.  We were supposed to get about 10 cm. but I think we got about 15cm. of fluff.  It was quite mild yesterday at -4C so it was bearable while the power was off.  I told you yesterday there was a planned power outage from between 1 and 5 o'clock in the afternoon.  We went to our son's so Murray could do some electrical work and I could enjoy the warmer house with a wood stove.  It was comfortable.  We left at 6 to go home and there still wasn't any power.  It was getting dark and our house was quite cool, to say the least.  We didn't have supper.  Murray ate a peanut butter sandwich and I had a granola bar and finished my tea that was in a thermos mug.  We had to go to choir practice.  Needless to say the roads were terrible but we got there and back safely by 9:00....and the power was still off.  I had my computer on battery backup so checked in with Facebook and found out the power might return by midnight.  We decided to go to bed and just as I got in at 10:00 the power came on!!  Yay!  We both got up and stayed up until after 11.  LOL    

The sun came up with a few leftover clouds, flurries and blowing snow.  There was a sun pillar rising above the sun.  

The plough passing by.  They've been working very hard this winter!

Pretty snowfall with the morning sun.


While at Mark's house yesterday I was kind of in charge of the dogs - Marshall, Buckley and Ellie - while Murray worked.  I let them out a couple of times to do their thing and one time when I let them back in I thought Buckley wasn't with them.  I got on all my outdoor clothes and went out to look for him, calling his name and checking where his tracks might be.  I saw tracks going through the orchard next door and thought 'Great, he's taken off'.  I came back inside and told Murray who said don't worry he'll come back.  I paced and watched from the window and paced some more.  The snow started falling heavier and it was after 4:00.  Murray asked if he might be upstairs and I said no as I'm sure he didn't come back in.  I mean, you can't miss a black dog in the snow or in the house either.  Make that two black dogs, and  tan and black one!  I went outside again and called and called to no avail, panic in my voice and thinking the worst.  I came in again and paced some more.  Oh my, I was in a state!  I decided to go upstairs and see if just maybe he was up there.  Ahem.  Guess who I found?  {Insert sheepish grin here.}  Honestly, I did not see him come in with the other two dogs but he must have.  I'm sure he heard me outside calling his name and was probably wondering why.  Hehe.  After that he lay down at my feet while I read.  He's a sweet boy.

Sweet Buckley with his white chin whiskers.  I think he's about 7 or 8 and is a Black Lab/Border Collie cross.  He loves everyone.  One time when he was a pup of about one, he went off the property and across the road to a garage.  A man was there and had left his truck door open and when he got back in there was a black lab laying in the seat.  He didn't know where he came from so took him home.   After looking for Buckley all evening and the next day and calling around we finally found out who had him - a kindly man up the road a ways - who brought him back.   

Ellie.  She was upset that I wouldn't give her a treat and is giving me the eye.  She's about 3, is a big dog at 83 pounds - a Black Lab/cross - and is very hyper.  She loves me....a bit too much, and I can't control her at all.   Her coat is so shiny and soft.

Marshall - the senior member of the family is 14 and a half.  He's mostly blind and deaf and is bit lame but still finds his way around with his nose.  He lived with us for 10 years.  He's got some Husky in him and his fur is getting chunky and thick.  It's shedding season.   A sweet old pup but getting a bit grumpy in his golden years.  Marshall had his own walkabout episode last March if you'd like to read about it.   We are grateful this old guy is still with us.

Well, that's about it for today.  It's a sunny cloudy snowy windy day out there.  A bit of everything.  There's another storm coming on Sunday - again.  On Monday I am heading to Calgary to visit our daughter and family, providing there are no flight delays due to bad weather!  I will try to keep up with visiting you but can't guarantee it.  I will be quite busy with 3 little boys aged 4, 2 and almost 6 months.   The weather there has been quite nice, comparatively speaking, with no snow and temperatures around or above the freezing mark.  I think I'll enjoy that for a change.  

I hope you all have a great weekend and I thank you for visiting and your comments.  
See you soon!  Take care.



Thursday, February 19, 2015

this and that

Sunset on the frozen river.

We had another unplanned power outage on Tuesday afternoon, the second one since Saturday night. We very rarely get power outages here so it was a bit annoying to have two so close together.   Murray and I had planned on going to a pancake supper for Shrove Tuesday at a nearby church.  There were actually suppers going on at two churches but both were cancelled due to the outage so we headed up the highway to a truckstop restaurant for supper.  We drove along the river as the sun was setting and although the photos were taken through a very dirty and salt sprayed window I though it was kind of pretty.  When we were finished our meal we learned our power was restored.   I kept checking Facebook on my phone plus most of the customers at the restaurant were there because their power was also out and the news it was back on spread amongst us.   Good timing.  ;)

My trusty tool for cleaning snow off the deck.

This afternoon was gorgeous.  Well, as gorgeous as a mid-winter day in February can be.  It was sunny (second day in a row) with no wind and it warmed up to about -4C.  My kind of winter day!  I decided to do a bit of shovelling on the back deck.  The pergola hasn't been cleaned off for a month and has about 2 and a half feet of snow on it.  Heavy wind-packed snow.  I thought I'd just make a path through the middle of the pergola and that was enough for one day.

Phew.  That was hard work!  I took about a foot off the top in some spots as well and even off the chairs.  

I did some shovelling out front too.  So much snow.  Then I came inside and took a few photos.

My 'work station' in the sun.  ;)

An angel sits on a vintage book of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.  My battery operated candles have come in handy lately.  Now if we just had a nice wood stove to keep us warm.  

We have more snow coming tomorrow....about 10 -15cm.   And, weather permitting, there is a scheduled power outage between 1 and 5:00 in the afternoon.  Now, why couldn't they pick today to do this.  A perfectly mild sunny winter day.   And since it will be snowing I won't be driving anywhere warm to put in the the mall or a friend's house in town.   I guess I'll just bundle up and read.

I hope you have a great day.  Thanks for visiting.


Monday, February 16, 2015

sledding in the orchard and another blizzard

These cute snowmen greeted me at the apple shack.

Saturday was sunny and cold....the calm before the storm.  As I shared in my last post for Sunlit Sunday, I went to the orchard down the road to see how the sliding party was.   One of my best friend's sons owns this orchard which I talk about a lot here on my blog and she was going to be there with some of her grandkids.  Her son made a beautiful pile of snow for the top of the sliding run and 'steps' to climb up it.  He provided hot chocolate and marshmallows to toast over an open fire too.  Unfortunately, with the Winterfest events going on in town and most people preparing to hunker down before the storm which would arrive that night, there were very few that came.   But, those that did had a lot of fun.  I didn't do any sliding but took photos and toasted a marshmallow and cheered on my friend as she went down the hill.

This is my friend going down.  You can see how far down the sliding hill goes...just past the water tank.  The 4x4 brought you back up if you didn't want to walk.

That is not white sand!  I thought the chairs looked so colourful against the snow.

Apple wood for a fire.  Nice and hot.

Sleeping apple trees.

My friend's other son took these photos of me eating a gooey, overly toasted, sticky marshmallow.   It is hard to be dainty eating one of these!!  LOL



Well, we survived another blizzard - the 6th snowstorm since January started.  I heard we got 16 cm. of snow in our area which isn't really a lot (8 inches) but with the blowing wind we have some big drifts.  Moncton and southeastern New Brunswick got over 53cm.  They already had over 100 cm. of snow this winter.   Add to that the wind gusts of over 80 km. (50 mph) per hour and you have a recipe for serious drifting and dangerous driving.   Schools are closed in most of the province today along with many businesses, and some highways are closed.  People are being told to stay home.

Our driveway this morning before Murray snow blowed it.  You can see how the wind blew the snow out of most of it.  The backyard is a different story and the wind blew the snow in from the open field behind us.   I wish you could hear the wind here today.  Honestly, at times it sounds like a train roaring through.  It's -13C but feels like -24 (-3F).    And the snow is flying by the windows in a white blur.   Am I tired of all this snow and cold and wind?  You bet I am!!  Thankfully we're halfway through this short month of February.  ;)

This little red squirrel popped up from his secret tunnel in the 3 feet of snow on the back deck.  He was finding bird seed under there and eating it.

There are lots of Pine Siskin, Common Redpoll, Chickadee and American Goldfinch coming for food.  Here they are under the picnic table where I tossed some seed. It's kind of sheltered there for them.  Poor things.  They sure are having a tough winter.

I hope you all have a great week ahead.  Thanks for stopping by and for your comments.  I appreciate every one of you!  


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