Backlog of Photos

A few weekends back Graeme and I went for a snowshoe together. It was supposed to be a four hour hike with the local hiking association, but things didn’t go exactly as planned (e.g. Graeme was awake all night at the hospital, Noah completely freaked out when we left the house, etc.) so instead we met the group and told them we weren’t going, took the garbage to the dump, called Margarita to see if things had settled down, drove in the driveway to pick up our dog, and went on a much shorter snow shoe. It was about the right length for us for that day! It was lovely.

Jaska braves the trellis. (Side note: Jaska is four years old as of January 19th.)


Here is the Finn rag rug I got to keep my bare feet warm(er) when I take my socks off to get into bed. I have a problem with always-cold feet.  I have become a little obsessed about finding out where I can learn to make these lately, and now I’m on to something. If I go through with my plan, I’ll know how to make woven rag rugs by April! Then….. to find my own loom…… and a place to put it (the trickier part).


My little angel makers.

A walk along the shore on Margarita’s second last day here.

Those are blueberry stains on her cheeks. She is not blue from cold.

On the 13th we took Margarita to the airport. It was a sad day. We were all sad to see her go. She was sad to leave. It was a great six weeks and we miss her!


You never know when you might need a sword in the middle of the night.

Home from swimming lessons and tuckered out.

Sea monster! Pirates, beware!

Snow! Yay!!


Graeme takes a much needed break from phone calls and letter writing to wrestle in the snow with his boys.

Shovelling off an area to build a rink.



Mom was here from Monday to Friday (today) during Graeme’s call week. This helped me out IMMENSELY!  I couldn’t really skip Zach’s evening fiddle group and fiddle lesson because of his upcoming concert and the thought of dragging everyone into the city at that time of evening just about killed me.  On top of that, I had to drop off my truck to get repaired and then pick it up two days later.  All the loading of kids, shifting of car seats, etc. would have been a much bigger pain than the pain it was to just do it alone.  Thanks, Mom.  For everything.   I was going to get in my ski “masterclass” this week since Mom was here, but for a variety of reasons, my friend and I decided we both wouldn’t go.  We just wanted to be home with our kids.  Oh…. and it was -23° and -30° something with the wind chill.  My toes were already cold. Putting them into ski boots would have been bad.

Tonight I made an executive decision.  No skiing lessons tomorrow.  The kids and I braved the cold last week at -22° plus a strong wind.  Zach ended up with slight frostbite.  Otherwise, all went well.  But I was thinking that most of the world must think we (all of us out there at the club) are crazy.  What do we do on Saturday morning when it’s -22° plus the wind chill?  We bundle up our small children and trundle out on skis. We freeze our bare hands while we attach skis to their feet. We teach them to watch each others’ faces for patches of waxy white skin.  We pull hats down to eyebrows and scarves up to eyelashes.  We head as quickly as possible into a sheltered part of the forest to get out of the wind.  And then we all say to each other, “It’s actually kind of warm in here out of the wind and in the sun!”  We marvel at the beauty of snow laden trees and sun reflecting off a zillion tiny crystals.  We cheer our “bunnies” on.  Red-cheeked and cold-toed, we head back to the chalet to meet up with our older children, and to warm up to Finnish pancakes from the cafeteria and snacks and drinks from home.  And we love it.  We really all love it!  There you go….. now I’ve almost talked myself into loading up the skis and gear in case it’s not that cold tomorrow morning. But no…. that wasn’t my only reason for taking the day “off”.  The week has been too busy, Danica is sick, now Noah sounds worse, the rest of us are feeling more tired than usual – so probably coming down with something, and two full days at home with no plans sounds absolutely glorious!

As for my rink….. it’s been a failure so far.  I rented a submersible pump from Home Depot and flooded it three times.  I’ve ended up with lots of crunchy ice with air pockets underneath.  According to a message passed on to me through Mom from my brother and some online research, I’ve been putting too much water on at once.   Hmmmm…… can I salvage it?  Should I start over with a new patch? And how do I put smaller doses of water on?  We won’t run a hose from the house for fear of emptying the well.  So I guess it’s chopping a hole in the ice big enough for a bucket and throwing buckets of water on.  It was creepy being out on the ice last night when I put the last dousing of water on.  The whole bay of ice was making a lot of its’ eery sound.  I could feel some of the expansion right under me and I had the feeling that it was just going to open briefly to swallow me up.

There are a lot of other things I think of sharing on here, but finding the time to do that is a bit tricky.  There are too many other things that take precedence.  Maybe sometime soon I’ll share some of the divers things I/we are reading, the things that occupy the boys’ time, some of our “systems” that have helped to bring more rhythm and routine to our often crazy days, the many things my heart is pondering and God is teaching me, the countless things we can be thankful for, contemplations on intentional community and what mine would look like…….. and more.

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2 Responses to Backlog of Photos

  1. grandma betty says:

    It was minus 46 in I falls this am so I am sure you are cold too. I remember the outdoor hockey practices and trying to get the skates on with bare hands—no wonder I hated it!!!!! Hope you all don’t get too sick—me

  2. Joanna says:

    I think the rink is salvageable…does the layer on it right now break up when you walk on it? Or is it sturdy?? IF you can walk on it you could start working over it I think, but if it’s all crunchy maybe try giving it a good shovel then when you flood it with the pump you could try mopping the water around with an old mop to spread it out and soak some up. Go on youtube and search outdoor rinks, or skating rinks on the lake and it has quite a few different inventions you can make to help spread the water evenly. I think I’ve even seen a large push broom used to shove the excess water around and into the bank a little…nothing wrong with a frozen bank, then the puck will just bounce off it 🙂 Good luck!!

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