Snowshoeing Adventure #1

On Monday I went to my parents’ acreage (and my childhood home) to test out my brand new snowshoes!

It took me a few many minutes to figure out how to strap the contraptions onto my feet, but once I got the hang of it, I was stomping around their land like an old pro.

Well, not really. I am, after all, extremely out of shape and inexperienced.

There might have been some guesswork involved, and maybe some huffing and puffing and cursing while I strapped the shoes on and then stomped around at a turtle pace. And I may have tripped over my feet, only to fall (very gracefully, of course) into the snow a few times but it was all in good fun. I was all by myself, there was no one to laugh at with me but I really enjoyed  immersing myself in nature, and sometimes your own company is the best company out there. The crunch of snow, the crisp air and the surprisingly warm sun made the afternoon very enjoyable.

I saw lots of different animal tracks in the snow; racoon, deer, and a few others I didn’t recognize. My Mom and Clint watched me from inside the house and banged on the window to wave hello when I was in sight. When I was in the field, just as I turned around to go home I noticed that the sun was in that marvelous position where it turns the whole world golden-hued. I tipped up my chin and closed my eyes to let the sun’s rays soak through me. Glorious.

Once I was back at the house, I took off my snowshoes and shook snow off my hair and pants and dressed down to my leggings and cardigan. My Mom and I made some hot chocolate and chatted about the things that were going on in our lives, while we watched Clint play around the house.

It was a wonderful afternoon and I left with a smile on my face. I can’t wait to plan my next romp out in the snow!

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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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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

Look & Listen

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I’m sure I sound like a broken record but I really cannot believe how fast the days fly by. Have you ever felt like the hours whiz past you and before you know it, it’s 4 days later and you’re not quite sure how you got there?

It’s a constant struggle for me to stay mindful and really experience the present moment. There is always something ‘else’ going on. The baby needs something, my husband needs something, my parents, my sister, my friends.

This month in particular is pretty brutal when it comes to time being sucked in a whirlwind. This last week alone I’ve prepped for two parties and co-hosted one, spent hours baking and driving and planning for more gatherings. It’s really quite ridiculous but I love this time of year all the same.

This is why I treasure my time outdoors right now more than ever! The fresh air helps me breathe deeply and the exercise I get from roaming my little corner of the world allows me to truly focus on whatever my mind.

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This is a type of post that I truly love and want to do more of. A post of observances and appreciation. Of stopping in my tracks to really notice bits and pieces of the world around me and sharing those pieces.

So, without further ado, here are five things I have to appreciate this week.

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1) The crunch crunch crunch sound of snow underfoot. It’s a sound that is totally unique to a snow globe world.

2) When the wind whips up a recent dusting of snow and swirls it around, creating a sparkly little funnel cloud.

3) Tis the season of lights! Walking outside after 5pm means being in the dark but every day more houses are being adorned with pretty coloured lights, and other cute decorations, that create a most cheerful atmosphere.

4) The last street lamp at the edge of town throws it’s light only so far. Although I know what lies beyond in the dark, it’s fun to pretend the unseen world is an eerie mystery.

5) The dizzying shimmer of snow in the lamp light or sun. I swear, it sparkles like a field of diamonds!

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.