Wednesday, November 23, 2011

first snow and clementines

We awoke to a winter wonderland this morning (as you can see by this photo I snapped with my phone this morning, there wasn't a lot on the ground).  I was sort of surprised by it but not as surprised at the dogs were.  As we were falling asleep last night, I could hear the beginning of freezing rain.  I hate freezing rain.  I fear ice in a big way.  I've often said that I don't fear death but I do fear falling on the ice and breaking a bone.  Big time.

Fortunately, through the night at some point, it had snowed.  Snow is my friend in the middle of an ice storm because it makes traction.  I'm less likely to fall ass over elbow with some snow on the ground!  It was actually quite beautiful in the backyard.  There were snow covered ice drips everywhere and it was raining when I let the dogs out.  Gracie was keen to go out but looked at me with a glare that said, "um, hello! Can't you do something about that?"  I knocked the layer of ice off of the doggie door for her and in the end she went out but she wasn't pleased about it.  Well, not the first time anyway.  When she realized that going out in the snow/rain meant getting rubbed with a fluffy towel everytime she came in, it became a bit of a game all morning.

I'm not exactly sad to see the snow (althought it's almost gone now).  I'm hoping that the mini freeze we experienced will help kill some of the nasty germs that are floating around.  Mark is just getting over a doozy of a cold which I've been able to so far (touch wood) avoid - for the most part.  The particular version of the cold he had started with an ache in his neck and stayed in his head.  He had a horrible cough and I've never in all of my life seen someone produce so much mucous.  Every night for 2 weeks he was up in the night, coughing up goo.  I didn't want that.  I was afraid that if I did, I'd end up with bronchitis again (which is what normally happens to me when I have a cold.

So far, lots of hand washing and extra doses of citrus fruit seem to be working for me.  Admittedly, yesterday, I felt really crappy all day.  I had a headache and was generally miserable and really thought I'd wake up this morning sick.  Lucky for me, I didn't. I just don't want to get sick.  No one ever does, I know, but things are really busy right now and I don't want to have to slow down for a cold.

Now, with any luck, I won't turn into a clementine orange.  How many do you have to actually eat before that happens anyway?

Monday, November 21, 2011

how early is too early

American thanksgiving is happening later this week and that always seems to signal the official start of the holiday season for our neighbours south of the border. For Canadians though, it's less strict, or at least it seems that way. Officially or unofficially, when is it too early to put your holiday decorations at home?

I know that some stores (Dollarama, I'm looking at you), had their Christmas stuff out when the Halloween decorations were still on the shelves. Home is different though, I can't figure out what the deal should be, probably because we never put our stuff up at the same time each year.

My feeling about it is, if the city has had it's Santa Claus parade, you're cool to start putting up your decorations, if you're so inclined. That's my unofficial signal anyway. In our town, the big parade happened this past Saturday evening. Where my folks live (just west of here), their parade was 2 weeks ago. I wouldn't think that the post-Santa Claus Parade "rule" would apply to them though, because their parade is before Rememberance Day.

Tricky huh? I read a bit about that this year too, about not starting into the Christmas celebrating until after November 11 - not an entirely bad idea if you ask me. We broke down and put up our outside lights yesterday. Not because it was the day after the Santa Claus Parade but more because it was around 15 degrees celsius in the sunshine here yesterday. On November 20, we put up Christmas lights in short sleeve tshirts and flip flops.

We're not the first folks in our neighbourhood to take advantage of the warm weather for decorating purposes. Over Thanksgiving weekend, when the temperatures soared to the mid-20's, a house around the corner from here well whole hog and hooked up (and actually turned on) their inflatable Christmas city. At that point, we hadn't even finished putting up our Halloween decorations. Maybe we were a little slack but I think that they were a smidgen keen with the helicopter Santa on their roof.

Maybe this year, I'm questioning the whole thing because the weather around here doesn't feel very wintery or christmassy, regardless of what the calendar says. Don't get me wrong though, I'm loving this weather and would happily give up shovelling this winter if I had to. I'm just not feeling the urge to pull out my Holiday Music Playlist quite yet.

Admittedly, the thing I like the most about Christmas is the lights. I wish we lived somewhere where it was cool have your whole house, covered in lights, all year long. We have strings of lights on our deck all year, partly because it lights up the yard for our dogs in the evenings and partly because both of us love them. This love of lights is also why, as soon as we tacked up the lights on the front of the house, I plugged them into a timer. Last night when they came on at dusk, I kept peeking out through the living room curtains to see them. They're very pretty!