Friday, February 25, 2011

A dog's life.

There's one important necessity to owning a dog in Alberta.  They have to like snow.

Luckily, both my mutts do - Honey especially.  She has a better tolerance for the very cold days and a little more, er, insulation.  Smudge and his dainty paws have their limits.

So basically, the more snow, the better.  
Did you know you can jump, play, dive, leap and bounce in it? 
You can sink right up to your doggie shoulders and you can stuff your nose in and push yourself along 
like a little snuffling dogplough.

Ahhh, that's better.  Just gotta scratch that itch - you can roll around in it - for minutes at a time.  Bliss.
 And just a little bit more - side to side, back and front, up and down.  It is just such seriously good fun.
But hold on, what is that delightful smell?  
Has someone prepared a gourmet meal?

Nope - looks like someone already ate their gourmet meal.

Scraps and leftovers.  Hoof anyone?

A coyote has got the better of a deer.
But wait, there is more - another leftover chunk of fur.

Honey grabs it and makes a run for it.

And I'm sure I can hear a little voice fading on the breeze.  "You can't catch me"

And I can't.

And the cheeky wee bugger runs all the way home, with your intrepid photo journalist puffing up the hill in hot pursuit, swearing not so quietly under her breath.

Smudge knows he's in trouble and stops half way, lies down submissively so I can put him back on his lead.

Honey is waiting for us on the front doorstep.  
"What took you so long?", she mumbles, 
through a mouth full of fur.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


OK - I'm officially bored now.  
I mean, it looks kinda pretty ... 

Minus 29 degrees Celsius this morning.
Seriously, it's not funny anymore ...

Just stop please.  Enough already.

Summer, Summer ... Frostbite & Sunburn calling Summer, where are yooooooou??

SkyWatch Friday - February evenings


Saturday, February 19, 2011

The kids are alright

The Frostbite & Sunburn household always has a very heavy February and March. Why are family birthday's all bunched together and not thoughtfully spread out evenly across the year?  Bad planning, I tell you.
Daughter Number One has just become a "teen" - a creature spoken about in hushed tones, and which prompts other parents to nod wisely with that sympathetic (or is it pitiful?) look about them, all the while shrugging their shoulders with a "what can you do about them?" air.
Is this the age when they start hiding their bottles?

And Daughter Number Two is now a "Tween" - but having already had one of those in the house, I've got the full handle on this phase.  I think.

So a very happy birthday to my girls.

We parents were bullied (read: nagged senseless) into hosting two separate parties at our house - for never the twain shall meet when it comes to "her" friends, who are all "awful". 

I am still recovering and I have the worn out ear-plugs to prove it. 
Watching your own kids interact within a large group is an interesting past-time, and it has been fascinating to watch them in their natural habitat.  And this may be one of the last time I'm "allowed" to observe.

For the first time, Daughter Number One wanted to invite a new species into the house - namely "boys".  While I may not be too familiar with the average 12 and 13 year old male of the 2011 variety, I am not so old as to forget what they are really like.  Namely noisy, and likely to slip in to play-fighting at the drop of a hat and knock my pictures flying.   And give it another year or two and I'll be worrying about a whole host of other issues.  But let's not rush there yet.
So for Party Number One for Daughter Number One - we cleared out a large room in the basement - removed bicycles and furniture, blocked bedrooms and decorated with streamers and balloons in non-girly colours of black and purple.  A borrowed karaoke machine was barely touched and who knew 30 balloons on the floor could be quite so entertaining.  They were a good bunch, pretty noisy and not too destructive and I cleverly limited the party to three hours, just in case ..... 

And then we repeated the whole episode last night in aid of Party Number Two for Daughter Number Two.  Only girls for this one, as boys are apparently pretty disgusting and smelly, though I did hear the merits (or not) of Justin Beiber being discussed several times.

Girls are NOISY.  Holy Moly - there was one child there that I needed to gag - seriously.  How is her mother still sane?  The kind of voice that gives chalk on a blackboard a run for it's money.  But again, balloons were a hit, as was the old English favourite of Pass the Parcel - and I think the fact that the girls were not really familiar with this game negated the issue that I'd usually only offer it to 6 year olds.  

My lack of dining room furniture, added together with a large open wooden floor in front of a computer, makes a fantastic You-Tube inspired dance studio for a group of excitable 11-year olds.
I could add here that Daughter Number Two wanted a theme - dress up as someone famous.  So last night at about 5.30pm I welcomed into my home one Mickey Mouse, a mini-sized Ke$ha, two Taylor Swifts, one Katy Perry, a pink-haired Avril Lavigne, a be-glittered Lady Ga Ga and a demure Kit Kittredge.  (Maybe this says more about us parents allowing our children out of the house like this, than it does about Celebrity these days?!)

To these outfits, add in full-on party mode, mix in some eating and drinking, dunking your face in snow and/or cake (delete as applicable) and throwing caution and wigs to the wind - and the group of "children" that left my house by 9pm bore a startling resemblance to crack-whores.  Smudged make-up, smeared lipstick and torn fishnet tights - you get the picture - like a photo shoot gone badly wrong.

It is now Saturday morning, my house is vaguely my own again and I do not have to consider this routine again for another twelve months - yippee.  February is always an expensive and exhausting project.

By the way, give it up ladies and gentlemen, to Dairy Queen for inventing the best ice-cream cakes EVA!

Ahh, but wait - it is my birthday next month and I really cannot decide whether to invite boys or not - whether to perhaps dress up in a funky, fish-net inspired theme, or just open a large bottle of wine. Mmmm.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Musical interlude.

New guy - new single - my new favourite.

Note to readers - not soothing!

I'm always commenting on the weather!

Such a typical British trait - smalltalk about the weather!

We went from +5 degrees C yesterday afternoon, 
to -18 degrees C this afternoon.

That's a pretty impressive drop in temperature in 24 hours in anyone's book.

And the result was another amazingly heavy frost, with an icing-sugar dusting of snow stuck onto it.

Makes all the trees look so pretty.  
The urban landscape once again looking fab.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Today, I have fallen in love ...

I am a week early for Valentines, but my heart is a-flutter.  Look what I found today.

Aren't they adorable?

They were in a pet shop in a mall (please don't start me on the whole dogs-in-glass-cages-pet-shops debate) but OMG, these were two female bundles of pure cute-ness.

They are Wheaton Terriers probably crossed with something else, and for just a few seconds, I was seriously contemplating scooping them up and stealing them.   
My pockets just weren't quite big enough and, as it transpires, they definitely weren't deep enough! 

Do you know how much these babies were selling for?   $1580.  Each.
Who the heck would pay that for a dog?  Or should I say who the heck would pay that for a pet shop hound with no background checks and history?

But just look at that little face ... you'd be tempted too, no?  Sigh.

And that's what the pet shop counts on.  
Cuteness equal profit!

Smudge has just looked over my shoulder and growled something incomprehensible to me - he was probably commenting on how pretty they were, do you think?

 Funny, he's just turned a delicate shade of green. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Freeze-Thaw-Freeze-Thaw - try saying that ten times!

It's been a cycle of weather confusion around here.  The first two and a half weeks of January were at truly brutal temperatures

- then we were treated to a tease of spring with a week above freezing, and beautiful skies.

The winds picked up and "moved" the snow around. Cleared footpaths became snow-drift obstacle courses once again. One step, two steps, sink up to your knees. 
One step, two step, and slide. 
I call it my winter waltz.

Blue skies have done their best - and a little warmth on your back feels like a slice of heaven in January.

Then the clouds blow in once again and by Saturday night more snow arrived.

The winds have been so strong, they stripped the surface of the ravine of all it's snowy blanket, revealing one thing I do dislike about winter here - brown grass.  I think I'd rather it was covered in snow!

And today, we are above freezing again - the snow will all melt, we'll all come out of hibernation -  and my only advice really?

Don't wash your car 'cos it ain't worth it!

Have a calm and happy SkyWatchFriday!