February blog fun.

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Well, hello February!  Did anyone happen to see where January went?  Apparently I blinked at the wrong time and missed it.

While I haven’t actually been blogging over the past several weeks, and my commenting on others’ blogs has been sporadic horrible at best, I have managed to do just a bit of reading, and I’ve found a few entries that are practical and useful, delightfully inspiring, and/or just plain fun.  I know that some of us run in the same blogging circles, so you may have come across these before, but for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, or simply want a refresher, here are the links to a sample of my favourite blog reads of the past month or so:

Don’t Stint – Do Your Stint! (Love Those “Hands at Home”) – Kerry’s hugely inspiring post about time/project management is more than just food for thought.  This is a strategy that could apply to so many aspects of life…and eliminate a bit of stress along the way.

Birding in the Winter (Prairie Birder) – All of the species of birds Charlotte mentions in this blog entry may not live in your part of the world, but her excellent tips about winter birding are extremely useful for those of us in cold climates.

Sauerkraut Apple Latkes (Cooking with Aunt Juju) – Judi’s recipe is divine!  I made these as soon as I read about them and now you should go do the same.

Icefields Parkway (Adventure 69° North) – The photography on Inger and Tor’s blog is beyond spectacular.  This particular entry offers a taste of some of the incredible scenery close to my home.

Grow Your Own Italian Seasoning (Completed) (The Crafty Cultivator) – I absolutely love Wendy’s idea and I’m keen to try it myself during the upcoming growing season.

My 2015 Photography Year in Review (Life on the Bike and Other Fab Things) – Treat yourself and check out Laurie’s favourite images of the past year – so gorgeous!

More to love:

Rocky Mountain professional photographer Paul Zizka’s Top 15 Images of 2015 is a must-see!

Another photographer from Calgary, Richard Gottardo, assembled over 6,500 still photos that he took of the northern lights into an amazing video, found here.

A good friend (and maker of the most insanely delicious barbecue sauces you’ll ever eat) sent me a link to Canadian blogger/writer Karen Bertelsen’s gardening resolutions of 2016. We both agreed these are realistic, achievable goals – what do you think?

Enjoy the start of the month!

 

 

Snowshoeing trek: Wintour.

I hope the start of 2016 has been good to you!

I’m still trying to catch up on tasks I ought to have done last year (what’s that popular Internet meme again?  “My goal for 2016 is to accomplish the goals of 2015 which I should have done in 2014 because I promised them in 2013 and planned in 2012.”  Yeah, that sounds about right).

I’d rather go to the mountains.

My hubby and I did this snowshoeing trip on New Year’s Day.  The Wintour trail is a bit on the novel side…because you snowshoe (or cross-country ski, if you prefer) on a major highway.  A large chunk of Highway 40 in Kananaskis Country is closed to all vehicular traffic between December 1 and June 1 annually because of heavy snowfall accumulations and the fact that the area is critical wildlife habitat.

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The Wintour is mostly flat terrain and is considered by many to be “too easy” and “not scenic enough.”  But I totally beg to differ on the scenery front.  And the place is so amazingly quiet – we barely met anyone else in several hours on a day when half of the population of Calgary was out in K-Country.

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As for “easy,” I suspect I may have eaten a few too many holiday cookies.  We’ll leave it at that.  😉

Happy New Year!

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning….

~T.S. Eliot

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New year ramblings.

I hope you’re enjoying the first week of 2014!  For me, it’s been a whirlwind of activity while I try to catch up on projects that should have been completed in 2013 (I truly put the “pro” in “procrastination”!).   I don’t understand how I can know about a writing deadline for weeks in advance and yet still scramble a day or even hours before the submission deadline to get the piece in on time.  I once read that panic begets creative spark…but I’m starting to think it just begets more panic.  If I made New Year’s resolutions (and I don’t, because someone would be sure to hold me to them and therefore suffer certain disappointment), I would resolve to tackle my projects in a less pressured atmosphere.

Ahem.  Who am I kidding?  Writing should be an extreme sport, filled with dangerous pitfalls (arrgghh, she’s out of caffeine!), ticking clocks (aka Deadlines of Doom), and immense struggle against overwhelming odds (restrictive word counts).

Or something like that.

I suspect my REAL resolutions for 2014 will be to practice more Shinrin-yoku, take up meditation, and make a few regular trips to the spa.  😉

While procrastinating taking a break on New Year’s Day, my hubby and I headed out to Paskapoo Slopes for a walk.  We really ought to have brought our snowshoes for the outing, as the snow was fresh and powdery and downright perfect.  We followed coyote tracks in the wooded areas, and even heard the yips of one somewhere out on the west ridge, near the ski hill.  It was one of those bright blue sky-vitamin D days, and once again I wondered why we humans don’t come with a built-in solar panel to trap and conserve sunshine for later use.

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When we got back to the apartment after our walk, there was an e-mail waiting for me from a fellow community gardener.  She was bursting with excitement, having just placed her veggie seed order for the year.  I can’t think of a better way to spend January 1st, can you?  It made me think that I’m slow to the punch, though, and so I’ve since cracked all those seed catalogues of mine and gotten myself worked up about a few things I simply MUST HAVE even though I’m not sure I have any space for them.  Because we have shares in an excellent CSA program throughout the year, I’m going to focus less on greens and root veggies such as carrots and beets – we truly get them in abundance from the farm and there’s no need for me to grow more.  That leaves the door open for more herbs, I think…and Brussels sprouts.

Yeah, well, I opened up my trap in the middle of Christmas dinner this year and announced I was going to try to grow Brussels sprouts.  (My Mum had served them with her amazing rouladen and it got all of us to talking about our love/hate relationships with the little green brassicas).  My hubby, the Meatatarian, hates them with a passion usually reserved for…well…cabbages and beets, but I’m a huge fan.  They’re one veggie we never get enough of from the CSA share, so why not grow them myself?

Except…I don’t know if I have room.  They’re a big space-stealer, and I’ve already planted nearly half my plot with garlic (we won’t talk about how I got carried away with the garlic last fall).  Still, I feel committed and eager about giving them a go, so where there’s a will….

Plus, my plotmate at the community garden has some extra seed for ‘Jade Cross’ that she wants to share with me.  I think my fate is sealed.

What are your must-have seeds and plants for 2014?  Are you planning to try anything new?

Happy New Year!

A frosty canopy on the morning of the last day of 2013…. 

I’m so happy to have spent time with all of you this past year!  I look forward to 2014 and wish you the very best! 

Do you have any dreams and plans for the new year?

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