Woodcutter

My poor darling baby boy has been in a terrible mood lately. Irritable, fussy, moody, needy. It’s his teeth, you see. Poor thing.

Teething is something I never really considered when thinking about becoming a new mom. It was all about baby clothes, nursery décor, car seats and strollers. Teething pain and other realities never occurred to me. Or if they did, it was very fleeting and dismissed immediately.

But reality presses on, and lately my days are consumed with cuddles and Tylenol and frozen cloths and keeping Little C hydrated (he won’t eat for the pain).

On Sunday I took a chance and escaped to recharge my ‘mom batteries’. Does that make sense? I needed to wear a different hat. My own mom watched over my babe while my sister and I helped our dad cut wood for their winter stove. We became amateur woodcutters (my sis and I did, my dad is very much a pro). We felled a few trees and dragged them with our trucks to the designated spot to be chopped up.

Our dad showed us an original cantwood he uses from time to time that pioneer loggers used to lift too-heavy tree trunks off the ground. We laughed at silly jokes and grunted under the heavy weight of cut wood clutched in our arms, we blew out puffs of cold air and shook saw dust off our shoulders. It is exhausting and dirty work but at the end of it all, a wonderfully productive day was had.

Everyone needs a break now and then. Monotony needs to be broken, inspiration to go on needs to be found. The fresh air, the camaraderie and the physical labour was exactly what I needed to rejuvenate my spirits and carry on with happily mothering a sick babe.

I apologize in advance for the poor quality of the images. They were taken with my iPhone, since there was no way I was going to bring my ‘big’ camera to this hard-working mess!

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Bonspiel

In our house, January = Bonspiels. February too for that matter, but January is when it starts.

For Big C, that means curling & drinking with his loved ones and for me that means keeping the home fires burning.

When Big C and I first started dating (all the way back in 2008!) I curled with him on weekends and, when we first moved in together, on local league nights since a girl usually takes an interest in what her main squeeze likes (social constructs FTW!). About 2 winters ago I finally admitted to him that curling just wasn’t my thing. I can get through about half a game (with friends and a drink on the ice with me, of course) before my mind starts to wander and I can’t wait to get off the ice.

I know. What kind of Manitoban am I? Not a very good one, obviously 😉

But in the spirit of appreciating where I am in life, I try to take it all in good humor and enjoy these weekends with friends and family.

I’m not gonna lie, in the past these winter weekends used to be quite wild. Nothing but boozy fun and nursing hangovers with ‘hair of the dog’ in the cold air of the rink. But now that we are older (but certainly not wiser) and since some of us have had babies, we’ve all tamed the wildness…for the most part. Curling is still a thing, and we almost always have a full house but now we have adorable babies to add to our enjoyment!

H wearing his Daddy's boots.

H wearing his Daddy’s boots.

H catnapping on his Mom (who's expecting Baby #2!)

H catnapping on his Mom (who’s expecting Baby #2!)

Chatting and listening to music in between games.

Chatting and listening to music is what happened in between games.

So serene...

So serene…

I finally made a fruit bowl happen at a brunch.

I finally made a fruit bowl happen at a brunch.

Peggy Sue

Peggy Sue

Sharing one last drink before it's time to say goodbye.

Sharing one last drink before it’s time to say goodbye.

Snow Day

A few days after Christmas our little family decided to go for a walk around town. It was unusually warm for the end of December (only -5*C) and Little C had received a sled as a Christmas gift from my parents. We didn’t go very far, about 3 blocks away, before we circled (squared?) back and played beside the house until Little C deemed it time to go inside. After our walk the kettle called out that we should warm up with a hot beverage, and we all agreed that a hot chocolate would hit the spot. We enjoyed our drinks on our comfy couch where we dozed for an hour ( or two) afterward.

The lovely thing about the holidays is the chance to wind down and really look around at where we are to properly enjoy our time here on earth, rather than frantically glancing up every once in a while and trying not to resent the clock for moving so fast!

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Obviously I’m a total novice in the image-capturing department. I’m re-learning manual mode after years of using point-and-shoots, but I’ll admit I’m having the best time! Camera’s are truly amazing tools.

We are now experiencing a cold snap and, with the wind, temperatures are reaching below -40*C! It’s hard to motivate myself to get outside when the sane part of my brain demands to seek shelter (preferably on my couch, in pajama pants and several blankets). But I’m using this time to take down holiday décor, cook hot foods and clean house. Wherever you are, I hope you stay warm!

Much Love,

Caleigh

New Camera!

We more or less celebrate ‘Family Day’ in this house on December 25, being as my husband and I are not devout Christians. But our families’ Christmas traditions that we grew up with are what we keep in our hearts and now teach our son, and exchanging presents is definitely among those traditions.

Big C and I usually only exchange one present to each other, and no stockings either. We keep it simple that way and it allows us to spend more time with family rather than opening presents. This year I gave him all of The Beatles records on vinyl and he gave me a new camera! A Nikon D5200 be precise! Oh boy were my hands shaking! I’m still very (very, very) new to this level of fanciness but absolutely adore taking pictures with it and learning new techniques.

Of course I proceeded to drive my family crazy taking pictures, and will continue to do so for the next few decades 😉

This post is late (and out of order I suppose, from my previous January 2015 post) but really, who cares? So, without further ado, here are a few pictures of our 2014 Christmas.

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I’m back!

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Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve written here!
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Life got in the way and writing on here has taken a backseat compared with other priorities, mostly familial. But the good news is even though I haven’t written about it, I’ve kept to my goal of spending more and more time outside every day. I’m now at 21 minutes! (It may not sound like a lot, but compared to when I started spending just 5 minutes outdoors every day, I’m happy with my progress!)

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I’ve been thinking about this blog and how to make it more interesting, since I’m never sure that my personal ramblings about my outdoor experiences are quite what people want to hear or read about. Perhaps I can make it more organized, you know, talk about ‘this’ on Monday, talk about ‘that’ on Tuesday. Or come up with ‘guides’ or adventures available around here. I don’t know, what do you think? Is that too mainstream? Too eager? I’m certainly not one for product reviews, so that’s out.

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My main point for having this blog is to remain honest to myself and to showcase my love and appreciation for my little corner of the world. My goal for spending more and more time outdoors is a result of realizing that I was experiencing a disconnection between myself and the natural world around me which was bringing on a state of depression and basically not being ‘aware’, if you know what I mean.

My goal for this blog, as I see it now, is to successfully showcase my appreciation for the world around me. I mean to do this by showing pictures and writing blurbs about the things I see and am inspired by.

With Love,

Caleigh

A dash of Winnipeg

Monday November 10, 2014

Temperature: -10*C (14*F)

Goal time to spend outdoors: 18 minutes (goal not reached, double sad face)

Today I drove to Winnipeg with Little C, and picked my mom up along the way. First we browsed around Polo Park because I wanted to check out the new wing on the upper floor of the mall (which used to be a Zellers but is now a mix of mostly-new-to-us stores) that had been developed and OF COURSE they put The Disney Store right next to Anthropologie! Now Little C will probably (okay, always) get to visit his soon-to-be favourite store while I visit mine!

After our mall adventure we whipped around the city to be on time for my appointment to get my hearing aid checked out. My device has been acting up, draining battery power ridiculously fast so it’s either go broke getting it fixed or go broke buying hearing aid batteries.

After my appointment we went to a chain restaurant (Perkins) for lunch and then drove out of the city, since by then it was 3pm and I didn’t want to be too late arriving home. It’s not fair for Little C to have a late night just because I’d like to shop!

Once we arrived home it was dark out (as it will be now at 5pm), my husband wasn’t back from work yet and the last thing I wanted to do was stick the baby in the stroller again after he’d been cooped up all day. Because of all this I stayed home until Big C arrived, which happened to be later than usual (an unexpected truck showed up to load grain, which backed everything up).

I intended to go outside once Big C had showered and could watch the baby, when a knock on the door sent the baby and puppy into a tailspin. A friend had dropped by to give us a toque that her mom had knitted for the baby (which was super cute but unfortunately too small) and stayed for a short visit.

After she left I got distracted by social media (SO easy to do, amirite people?!) and then all of the sudden it was time for Little C to have his bath.

After Little C went to sleep I suddenly realized it was after 8pm and I wanted something to eat. I whipped up a simple salad and ate that, followed by leftover cake and watched our Monday night programs in the living room. I know it’s a terrible habit, watching tv while eating supper. But it was late! And Castle was on! Excuses, excuses.

After tv was over it was 11pm and I was ready for bed. I felt kind of ashamed, I knew I had totally put aside spending time outdoors in favour of lazy pleasures and easy ways out. I was too ‘busy’ which is a total crock of bull since I easily could have made time in the evening if I had forgone tv and food. It’s amazing how I can convince myself I’m too busy when in reality I’m just not very good at organizing my time.

Indoor Kitty

Sunday November 9, 2014

Temperature: maaaaaybe -4*C (maaaaaybe 24*F)

Goal time to spend outdoors: 18 minutes (Goal not reached. Sad face.)

So today I baked a cake. And then baked another cake. And kept Little C out of trouble. And kept Peggy Sue out of trouble. And visited with my sister and bro-in-law when they stopped by to pick up a freezer. And made a salad. And drove to my parents’ place to celebrate family members’ birthdays. And ate a lot of food. And watched a slide show of my sister’s wedding photos. And drove home, almost falling asleep along the way, which forced Big C to carry the conversation with me so I’d stay awake. And clambered into bed immediately after we arrived home. And fell promptly into glorious sleep which I did not wake up from until 7:30am the next day.

But I don’t think I was outside for more than 10 minutes the whole day. I was an indoor kitty, and I yearned to be free.