Staying in and going out - cold or sunny

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Flag of Canada  , Nova Scotia,
Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wow it is a long time since we did our last blog - still not "on the road" we have been keeping busy all apart from just over a week ago when it got so cold that we just stayed in - they call it "cabin fever" over here. Can't wait to be taken away in a big bus (suppose I will just have to drive it myself and head south).
I will try and get you all up to speed; well, after Ross and Karen headed off home (after  an extra 3 days enforced holiday due to flight cancellations - you guessed it - bad weather!) we moved back in with Leo & Nat and I set about a bit of DIY they had been waiting to do for a while. Living in a condo means they have to be extremely well organized as storage is very limited and they are getting to accumulate a few "toys", there is; the camping gear, summer clothes when it's winter, winter clothes when it's summer, road bikes, mountain bikes, ice skates, new snow boards etc. etc. A cupboard had to be built, in the only space left, above the stairs! Two weeks later the space about the size of half a chord of wood (see I'm getting into this Canadian psyche - it's about a 4ft. cube) was full with some of that aforementioned stuff. Hats off to Nat who has to be the most organized person we know :)
The snow, ice storms, thaw, rain, repeat cycle seems to be well under way. I have bought myself a pair of "icetracks" - a rubber band contraption with like little ice picks sticking out of the bottom, these stretch over the sole of your boots and give a good grip when walking on ice or compressed snow or any combination of frozen stuff that we end up walking on, all over the place. These have been a fantastic investment as I am sure I would, at best, be in a plaster cast by now.
With indoor work completed, like I said, staying in during times of low temperatures (daily highs of  -15C with wind chill at times taking it to -25) walking became not fun, even with icetracks!
We have made it out now and again, watching people enjoying the frozen lakes for instance, here instead of gripping the ice would you believe some people put boots on with no grippy bits, just a thin steel blade that makes it even more slippy - they slide around on these things pretending to have fun... We walked round "Frog Pond" one day, watching some of these shenanigans; there were skaters (I am told that's the name for them) taking baby for a "slide" in the buggy, taking dogs for a walk, this was funny in a number of ways. We saw one dog resisting that first step out onto the ice then when getting a feel for it running full steam ahead pulling owner along behind. Another was running after a stick, catching up to it then as it went to grab it he ended up splaying all four legs out and spinning out of control - not put off, this was repeated over and over again. By the time we had circumnavigated this lake I had persuaded Betsy to walk across the frozen surface (we both had icetracks on). There was quite some resistance at first as she didn't want to fall in when the ice broke but after seeing so many people out there and not one of them falling through (just falling) and me going on and on about how safe it was - we set off and survived to tell the tale. Apparently the only way the whole population of Canada doesn't suffer with cabin fever is that they have devised ways of playing in these conditions - those that don't want to dress up in many many layers of; wicking, warming, waterproofing clothes, various sorts of slidy things tied to their feet end up driving an RV south to the warm stuff - they take a pair of shorts a tee shirt! Talking of "Snowbirds" we went off to see how Bree was getting on, all alone in the snow, seems ok but glad we aren't living there at the moment. The weekend of Sunday 1st Feb. was the middle weekend of three when the eagles are fed up on the "North Mountain" That Sunday we set off with friends, Nigel and Pauline, it's about an hour's drive, even on snowy roads (yes we heard about our wimpy countrymen not coping with a slight fall of the white stuff). As luck would have it we must have got there just as some of the chicken carcasses had been put out. The latter stages of our drive we had all been scouring the sky, snow covered fields and trees for any signs of an eagle or even two? But there was no such luck, even as we pulled onto the side of the road to park there were no signs of our feathered friends, there were quite a few other cars and a number of people walking into one of the snow covered fields, we followed. Wow! there in front of us were more eagles than you would think you can see in a lifetime. Most were down on the ground digging into the feast, some were in the trees surrounding the field and one or two were in flight either coming in to collect lunch or taking off to enjoy a more private meal, sort of a take away!
We lined up to watch the show, needless to say I took a picture or two :) so, edited down, I will let the pictures tell the story.

These are the "snowbirds" that didn't fly south (us too). As you can tell it was a lovely sunny day though still about -6C it just doesn't seem so bad if the sun is shining and that there wind isn't blowing.
Well, Betsy has really used her Christmas present a lot, being quite prolific in her beading/jewelry making, I on the other hand have been very slow at getting on with the woodcarving - first one yet to be completed. I have bought a book on the subject though and now Leo has introduced me to the library I have taken out all the books that exist on the subject so I should be getting good at it any time soon :)
We are house sitting again for the next couple of weeks so I may get to go down in the basement and hone those carving skills, well someone did say something about looking sharp. Plenty of time to whittle away... I could go on but you know that!
Last weekend we got an invite from Peter and Myrna to join them at their cottage in the valley (well up on that north mountain actually) so, with the thought of a hot tub or two, off we went. This gave opportunity for another first for Betsy - cross country skiing, no ifs or buts 4 pairs of boots and skis were turned out and off we all went. Betsy didn't have a choice really and after only one or two falls to begin with, she was off. 'Thanks Myrna' for your patience and skillful teaching technique, though I do think the realization of how difficult it is to get up from a fall seems to give you that extra balancing skill just when you need it. I think the aches have just about worn off by now.

It's now just over 5 weeks before we do get moving again and Bree gets the snow brushed off for a journey south and we get to do what may turn out to be the final leg of our RVing adventure - will keep you posted on that :)

Don't forget to check out all the pictures - some with a story of their own - No appologies for putting 86 in - it was just difficult editing it down from something like 1000 - thanks for the camera Ross :)

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