|Yard light with flicker light bulbs and snow|
I've had way too many 'wildly successful' days, no, scratch that, months! lately. We're still working on acquiring a new routine that works. Between dealing with our respective parent's homes and estates that need tending to and nursing home visits, plus my weekly trip for IV treatments, we far too often end up having supper after ten at night. This won't do.
|Snow changes everything|
Both of us are tired; the weeks fly by and we seem to be in a never-ending cycle of meetings and appointments. My back is acting up again; I'm hoping the culprit is mainly stress, but if it keeps on, I'll have to seek out a new general practitioner as my former one retired.
I bought a book on healing back and pelvic pain by performing stretches and strengthening exercises over a year ago and things did improve. All summer long, my back was pretty good. But come October, and with all the commotion with our elders, I ran out of time and slacked off on the exercises. Now I'm doing the stretches at least twice a day and hoping eventually I'll see some results. But if this doesn't work, I'll have to give in and seek help.
I also have a DVD workout with a very flexible Miranda Esmonde-White skillfully bending and touching her knee nearly to her nose and beyond while my knee remains far, far away from my skull. But hey, I'm trying.
Last weekend, we finally managed to get the new LED lights on the wire horses and reindeer. The outdoor decorations do bring me joy; they are the only thing I have completed for Christmas. Now that we have had some snow, they look even better.
I didn't get the garden cleaned up for fall, and I still have concrete statuary to haul in, too, but at least I have lights. Every now and then, a car going by slows down and it makes me happy to think they might be enjoying the scenery, too. On Saturday night, after visiting Carl's parents in assisted living, Carl surprised me by taking me on a tour of Christmas lights in neighboring communities.
There are some glorious displays to be seen; it makes me sad to think Christmas will be over soon and they'll be taken down. Some homeowners had their holiday light creations hooked up to sync with music you could tune into on the car stereo and cars were backed up for blocks.
We don't have anything that elaborate here. (And alas, we ran out of extension cords.)
|Yes, I know the fence posts show, but otherwise the poor reindeer would blow over in the wind. You can't see it from the road.|
|So much white, but the lower one is the doe.|
The dwarf conifer next to them is Picea abies 'Clanbrassiliana Stricta', one of my favorites.
On Sunday afternoon, Carl and I decided to cross-country ski over to his parent's house instead of taking the car. We've had about six inches of snow so far and Joel had plowed me a trail out into the Back Eight on Thursday. We skied across our farm and onto the newly groomed snowmobile trail which hasn't been opened yet for sled traffic. They need more snow for snowmobiles, so we have the trails to ourselves.
We're both pretty pathetically out of shape, though in our defense, the snow was quite sticky making for tough going. We had to take frequent rest stops and as we hadn't left the house until 4PM, it was nearly dark by the time we made the mile-long trek. We did the tasks we needed to do and put our skis back on, heading home in the growing dark.
The worst thing about cross-country skiing is knowing what and how many layers of clothing to wear. When I first start out, I'm cold and am glad of the layers, but soon I start to sweat, especially if there's not much wind. If we're on a long ski trip, I'll tie a jacket around my waist when I start to overheat and if I need it later when the wind picks up, I can always put it back on. The worst part is when my glasses steam up, my eyesight isn't that great to begin with and everything is foggy.
But skiing is fun. Really.
Once we were back on the farm, I told Carl I had to check on Mom's house and water the geraniums stored in her living room and kitchen. When we walked in, we were amazed at how cold the house was, down to 48 degrees; the furnace blower was running, but there was no heat. I don't know how long that's been going on, but Carl was able to reset the switch and the heat was finally working again. We're keeping the thermostat low, but not that low.
By the time we left Mom's house it was nearly six pm. Carl took the lead, breaking trail for me. He was off on a good pace and when I tried to catch up, I lost my balance and went down in a blaze of snowy glory. I hollered at him and he came back to help me.
Years ago, I'd read the best way to get up on skis is to roll on your back with your skis in a tabletop position above you and then roll onto your side. If I were more flexible, I'm sure this would be the best way to get vertical again, but I was flailing around in a most ungraceful manner before I managed to get up. (Ms. Esmonde-White would not have been impressed.)
However, I will say, lying on your back in a snowbank is a good way to cool down.
As it was pitch black out now, we headed for the lights of home.
Carl went in to make our traditional Sunday night light meal while I stayed outside and took pictures.
|A gift poinsettia and plate commemorating our dear late dog, Teddy, under the Laburnum table lamp.|
Another weekend has come to a close, time goes by too fast. The winter solstice is this week; the shortest day of the year.
But before we know it, we'll start to gain precious seconds of daylight again.
Until then, I'll have the lights of the season to brighten my mood.