This month I started looking for spring. Hey, the calender says it's here, I want to SEEEEEEE it! Besides, I'm getting just a little sick and tired of allllll you bloggers with your gardens and your blooming trees and your green, green grass. Sick. Is it so wrong to want a piece of that for myself?
So if you've been watching my Project 365, I've been walking out to the tree in our front yard every Monday evening and taking a picture of a branch. I'm hoping to see some action out there...but I'm not really seeing it.
And yesterday? Well, yesterday was Monday, but I didn't get out to take my photo. Did I forget? Is my camera broken? Was I feeling lazy? Uninspired?
What I was was CHICKEN! Chicken to take my camera outside in the POURING rain. And then chicken to take it outside in the freezing rain. And then chicken to take it out in all of the SNOW we were having.
You heard me. Snow. That cold, white stuff.
An hour or so ago the snow finally stopped though, so I went out with my camera, looking for spring.
Hey, it's green! Doesn't that say spring to you?
Here's my branch:
You know what? I do actually think that's an improvement over last week. See the hint of red? (ok, it looks orange on my moniter) Those will be red, red seed-things soon. I'm sure of it.
(BTW, we've never actually figured out what kind of tree this is. It has leaves similar to maple leaves, but it has these crazy red seeds in spring. Not maple keys by any stretch of the imagination. If anyone thinks they can ID it, I'd be excited to know. I think I'll take photos at least until the leaves are out in full, and then I'll start again in late summer and we can watch fall come. Ok? Let me know if you need a bark photo to help with identification!)
You want more spring? Well, in getting to the branch, I fell through the snow. I've been walking across it for months without a care, and today I sank in up to my knees. Not every single step, but enough to fill my boots and keep things interesting.
And then there's this:
Pathetic looking, I know. But last week I didn't have a garden. I had snow almost level with my front steps. This week I have dead things sticking out of the snow. It gives me hope. And I'm also hopeful they're not really dead, just dormant. But I had no idea whether I was supposed to cut them back in the fall or not, so I let them be. Mother Nature generally does better without my interference. Hopefully I'll be enjoying this sage in another month or so.
For now though, if I want to get away from the snow, if I want to dream of spring and look at lots of green and pretty colour, I'll just have to stay away from the windows. And focus inside.
Thank goodness for Visiting Teachers. It's good to have some spring in my house.
And if you're one of the few still waiting for spring, like me, let me know what you're doing during the wait.
Sweetpea had her birthday and we're all in sugar shock. Man that cake is good!
I'm still trying to figure out how she can be 6. SIX. I just have no idea how that happened. One minute they were babies and I was wondering how I'd get through the next hour, the next she's blowing out candles and I'm wondering how years got away from me. She barely even paused as the cake arrived. She had her wishes all planned out. I know what I wish too. I wish she wasn't growing so fast!
I have more photos but not a lot of time. (Or patience. Must. Purchase. Software. Soon.) We've been bitten by the spring cleaning bug around here, trying to put the house in order. I even had the windows open for a bit on Wednesday. I just needed some fresh air!
I'm headed to a crop tomorrow so today's the day to put my desk in order and pack up some page kits. Oh, and order photos. And figure out what I'll be eating. Ok, ok, and fold some laundry! And call those door people. Grrr. And pay bills. And do taxes (maybe). Oh, and just for laughs, maybe I'll put those CD's I made up for Christmas into envelopes and mail them out to people. Surprise!
Feeling a little blah the last couple of days. I've got my perspective, still thankful, just aware that not everyone has as much to be thankful for right now. I guess I'm feeling a little battered on their behalf.
Ok, I've got to go. Hubby's home right now and he's organizing without me. Which means I'm not going to know where anything is! Yikes!
I'm kind of afraid to type that in case it jinxes us. We have water. It is being filtered out the wazoo and we're having to change the filters weekly. And you do not want to see what they look like. Ewww. We're definitely going to have to have our well scrubbed. Just as soon as the snow melts.
For about two weeks now I've been able to do laundry again. Phew! That's a relief! For a little over a week I've been able to take a shower....sort of. We still have terrible water pressure, but I'm able to get the job done, without melting snow or warming water from someone else's home, so that's what counts. I give thanks every single time it works. I've always been one to give thanks, to try to notice the little miracles that could get taken for granted, but adventures like this one remind me that there's SO MUCH. So much I've been blessed with. So much to give thanks for. So much that I don't even notice. And then something like this happens, and I'm given clearer vision. More gratitude. More every day miracles revealed to my heart. And I'm grateful for that too.
Also, near the start of our water problems we received some sad news. A friend of my brother's, a real sweet guy, had just had his adorable 3 year old daughter diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. It has spread throughout her body. She's undergoing treatment and has the prayers and support of many. But Stage 4. Terrifying. A true trial of faith and hope. And as annoying as not having water has been, in the back of my mind is this little girl. One who is staying cheerful and giving joy to all who know her. One who gives hope off like light. And the water issue, while frustrating, doesn't seem THAT big. Talk about perspective. Then last week, just as we were tenatively thinking we might be recovering from our water problems, one of the boys in our Primary discovered a tumour in his leg. He's had a biopsy and we're waiting to hear the results. And I'm a little more nervous than I could be because that's how this sweet girl's journey started. Just a pain in the leg. I try to stay positive, but what can I say? I'm a class A worry wart. So I get emails asking if we have water yet and have to stop and think--oh, right--we've got a water problem. Forgot for a second. We also have the support and help of good friends, the prayers of others, and the resources to solve it. Eventually. It's a terrible inconvenience, but in the face of what we see around us, only an inconvenience.
So thank you all for your help, your interest, your prayers. We're fine. We're thankful. We're counting our blessings with every slow drop of clean water. And this year's spring cleaning will involve our hearts as well as our baseboards.
I love photography. You know that. I love going on Photography shoots, trying new settings, new poses. Every shoot is different; different personalities, different moods, different lighting, different settings, different clothes choices. It's all good.
But here's my confession: I love the candids the best. Sure it's nice to pose people and help them look their best, but I generally prefer the photos taken in the seconds when they've forgotten that I'm there. They relax and become so much more natural, so much more authentic. My favourite photos are always the ones taken when my subjects are unsuspecting or near the end of the shoot when we're just being silly.
That's what happened here. We were photographing Mom when it occurred to me that her girls had wandered off. I did a quick look around and discovered they had climbed a snowbank and were just hanging out, enjoying their special bond and relaxing now that the camera was pointed elsewhere.
You can see the love, can't you? Sigh. My sister envy, it is rising...
Of course they spotted me almost immediately and the posing took on renewed vigor...
Bleargh! Rookie mistake! How'd that happen?! Don't panic! Just get refocused...and...
THERE!...um, wait--did you see that? Did she just...? OH NO SHE DI'N'T!!!
Tit for tat, I'd say! But then...well, you know, apparently bugging a little sister has the same results as bugging a little brother, because suddenly IT IS ON!
Sister dear, you are GOIN' DOWN!!!
See you at the bottom!
Ahhh....sisterly love! Nothing sweeter in the world. I'm so glad I could capture just a little piece of that for posterity.
For those interested, I just updated my Project 365 (over in the sidebar). It's going really well, and I've only missed taking photos twice so far this year. Pretty good record for me, but remarkably easy. I never really have to ask what I'll take a photo of, it usuallly just presents itself. I'm doing a bit more journalling than expected, which means that there's a little less blogging about the daily bits, but it's all there if you want to see it. :)
Update: Hubby's not worried because as he understands it the job cuts are only going to affect Level 1. He's Level 3 (Healthcare).
(Level 4 is Education, and so forth. I apparently don't understand the structure well at all. I will be working on fixing that.)
But nowhere in any of the media info does it say that any level is safe. It looks to me like slashes are going to be across the board. The wage freezes are.
Anyway, second guessing what this crazy government will do is futile. (Last year at the height of the flood they introduced and passed a bill giving themselves all raises IN ONE DAY--the story was buried in flood coverage. Smart. Greedy.)
I'll let you know tomorrow how it all shakes down.
Every year the local Brownie troop has a winter sleepover. This year though, the troop has gotten quite big and the leaders just didn't think they could fit them all. So they decided to have a carnival night on the Friday as March Break began instead.
The night started with tons of fun carnival games. The girls were given tickets for the games as they arrived and prizes ranged from carnival beads to headbands to candy to card games. Hooray for the dollar store!
Several of the older girls came out and not only ran the games but also did all the face painting.
There were hot dogs and juice to go with all of that candy, as well as both an old-fashioned popcorn machine AND a cotton candy machine.
The cotton candy was both amusing and appalling--some of the girls had skeins bigger than their heads!
It was the popcorn maker that caused the most excitement though. And not just because popcorn is delicious. No, it was more about the LOCATION of the popcorn maker...directly under the newly installed heat detectors.
You guessed it--fire drill! (At least now everyone knows the alarms work!) We huddled outside in the freezing rain and waited for the firemen to give us the all clear.
Lucky for us the fire chief was driving by as the alarm went off and immediately pulled in to check things out. He was able to radio to the fire hall and tell them not to bother with the trucks.
(Though I would have preferred the trucks. It would have made a MUCH better story!)
Once we were allowed back inside the girls did a craft while the leaders filled out paperwork (Incident reports! Fun!). LIving in a village, half the parents arrived when the alarm went off (the dads are volunteer firemen). So we also had plenty of firemen, moms and brothers and sisters suddenly running around too. Crazy!
About that craft? I have never seen such liberal use of glitter in all my life...
The title of this blog comes from my best friend's mom; who critiqued my high school English journal as "full of superfluous fluff". This is where I embrace all that fluff and share it with you in its pure, unedited, rambling glory.