Saturday, January 30, 2016

Museum of History

 It was a gloomy day so we headed up to Ottawa to visit the Museum of History to see an exhibition about Vikings. I like the curvy architecture of the building.

 The main entrance.

Click to see the full width. The view across the Ottawa River looking at the Parliament buildings on the right.

I like the big shadows painted on the walls.
Next time, some photos of the exhibits.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Way Too Early

I know, I know.  It is way too early to plant anything.  But on a cold January morning, I couldn't resist sticking a few lettuce seeds in some soil.  Here they are pale, leggy, floppy, and yet adding cheer every time I use the kitchen sink above which they live. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Surviving a Snowstorm

This is not a current picture but it serves the purpose of the snowy theme.
A very serious blizzard is taking place in the US with some places receiving 3' of snow, and whiteout conditions because of the wind.  New York and Washington have basically shut down for a few days as they deal with the storm.
BBC on the Internet had some shots of the snow (as well as some cheerful high school kids from North Dakota stuck in Pennsylvania who are used to worse weather than this) and wrote a reasonable article about the storm. But at the end of the article, they had tips on how to survive a bad winter storm.
OK, all you Canadians, judge for yourselves how good these tips are:
1. Have at least 3 gallons of drinking water per person, per day.
    my note: make sure you have at least one bathroom per person

2. Tape bubble pack to your windows.
    my note: bang your head against the wall because you never bought twenty rolls of bubble pack last time you went shopping.

3. Use your dog to measure the snowfall.
     my note:  Sorry Jaws.  I know you only measure about 18" high but I'm supposed to throw you into the 3' snowdrift.  Maybe I'm supposed to time how long it takes  you to surface.

Oh, well.  The tips were good for a laugh.
The US officials gave the best piece of advice: Stay home!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Botanus Catalogue

I recently received a catalogue from Botanus, a company out in BC.  I have ordered spring bulbs from them in the past and have been pleased with the quality of the bulbs. This year I was happy to see that they are selling a 1.5 kg mixed bag of seed potatoes -Red Pontiac, Yukon Gold and Russet Burbank. I don't have a lot of space for potatoes so most years I have to choose only one type of potato in a 1.5 kg package. To get three varieties would mean buying 4.5 kg of seed potatoes which is way too much. I almost missed seeing the potatoes in the catalogue, but Botanus has a "find the gnome" contest (prize $100 gift certificate) and, as I carefully scrutinized the pages, I noticed the potatoes at the bottom of a page.
Botanus has some intriguing plants  but it is based in BC so many of them are not hardy where I am (zone 3-4).  Still it is a very attractive catalogue that is fun to look through.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Staying Warm

Little Jaws likes to sleep on the couch with some fuzzy blankets.
The WeatherNetwork posts record highs and lows for our town.
In 1996, the high was a record at 16 C.
In 1997, the low was a record at -31 C.
January is a wacky month.
Today we're somewhere in the middle at -10 C. Cold enough with the wind, but dressed properly and with handwarmers in my mitts I was fine to shovel some of the new snow.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Spider Plant and Statice

 I have a small spider plant, that my daughter gave me, that sits on the kitchen windowsill.  I have a special fondness for spider plants as I had a big one in the early days of married life.  It had lots of bobbley baby plants that hung like a mobile, but the one I have now is in a small pot and I am trying to keep it small, sort of a spider plant bonsai, I guess. I have nothing against large spider plants, but I don't have a good spot for one right now.

I always liked the fresh green stripes of the leaves.  And spider plants are virtually indestructible.    They seem to me to be the quintessential hippie plant - freewheeling and friendly.

Last summer, I grew some statice.  It's been nice to have the dried bouquets to add a little colour to the winter days.
Our winter has been pretty benign this year.  Hard to believe that we are already halfway through January.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Angora Collar

This is an angora collar, or small scarf, that I just finished knitting with some 100% angora from  The photo doesn't show it up, but there are nice variations in colour (light browns) due to the natural colouration of the rabbits.  The yarn is quite tightly spun so that it doesn't have as fuzzy a bloom as some angora, but it also hardly sheds at all. 
I am not one to make New Year's resolutions such as losing weight or getting fit, but I do like to set myself some goals for the year.  This year I want to do more knitting of my own patterns and try out some more exotic yarns.  My other goal is to sort through stuff that's hiding all over the house.  You know, all those treasures that just accumulate over the years. I want to shift at least a garbage bag a week - some of it destined for the thrift shop, some the garbage.  At the end, the house will feel more organized and spacious.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Brand New Year

 Happy New Year, everybody.  We are back to regular winter weather, and I am finding it refreshing and invigorating.  A sunny winter day is so beautiful and full of light.

 Snow and ice are always changing, making endlessly new shapes and textures.

 A path invitingly leading into the bush.  Alas, it's private property so no hiking in there.

 Patterns of ice and snow.

Some animal came for a drink at the open water.  I like seeing the footprints in the snow that tell you about secret excursions.