Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another day in paradise...

I never get sick of winter days like THIS one!

Bright blue sky & snow covered branches...
The Sun playing "Hide & Go Seek" in the forest...

Icicles hanging from the eves...


Mother Nature, in all of her glory...
She can be a rather destructive gal...but then we all know that. We have all lived her vengeance at one time or another!
This willow bush is living it NOW!!

The damage here is left as a reminder of her visit on June 9, 2008
She brought with her a solid foot of snow that day, leaving us with more clean-up that you can imagine!
"But you chose to live in the Yukon"... I've heard it said many times...Yes, I did. I continue to do so! BUT seriously folks...JUNE??
Not even WE expect THAT up here!

With the girls, the cabin renovations & the dogs, there hasn't been much time given to the clean-up effort...well...until now! Buried under buckets of snow & withstanding toe-curling cold, Sean & I ventured out with the twins last weekend to get a start!

After an hour the chainsaw pull cord snapped! Even IT wasn't happy with the temperatures!

Regardless, we still managed to get a good number of trees down & off into the brush & the girls slept through the whole while.

As much as it is hard work to cut & clear...it is fun work! I love being outside with Sean doing this kind of thing...
It's team work & he is the one I chose to be a team with !!


Meanwhile, back at the cabin, William tends the home fires as he patiently awaits our return...

to our cozy cabin in the woods

PS: It's snowing ... AGAIN !

What a view...

There is always a trade off in life...I'm thinking that a view like this is worth having no light switches!!
I can say that now that Sean has worked SO hard to modernize our cabin!! ;-)
No matter, I think I could stand and look at this view for hours!
There is something about the sun when it is somewhere below -20'C. Whatever it lights up comes to life...Notice how low it is in the sky? THAT my friend is as high as it gets these days so ANY exposure to its light is a blessing!

As for the tons of spelling errors & typos...they aren't my fault! Just LOOK at what challenges face me while blogging!!

Adelaide: "Hay what does THIS do??"
Sarah: "Oh No! She just deleted everything, AGAIN!!"
Mummy: "Next time, no time for corrections!!"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Today I received a letter from Grandad...

When you live in the North, chances are you surround yourself with close friends and call them your "Northern Family". It's simply because most of us come from somewhere else, finding ourselves far from our real families. Now that I am a Mum, I pray that my girls grow up to love this place so much that they never stray too far from me...Perhaps this is a selfish wish & one that my own Mum dared to wish when I was still innocent and tiny....In the later years of my time at home, I can say confidently, she was beyond ready for me to hi-tail it & FAR away !! I've hear it said that "teenagers" were created so that parents could separate from their children more easily! For now I'll savour the every breath of my baby girls!! The many years to come will be here soon enough...In the mean time...I am still a daughter! Not the infant, not the teenager, rather, a grown up (well...most of the time) who lives thousands of miles from her parents. Most of the time I am fine with the distance. Sometimes I'm not...Today I'm not...I miss them...I miss seeing them hold my children...

Today I received a letter from Grandad (my Dad) It was 18 pages long & was accompanied by a number of stunning photos (I should mention that Grandad is a brilliant photographer!!) of a recent trip he & Grandee (my Mum) took up the West Coast of Canada, to nearly-out-of-reach places...

My father is a romantic man. He is an articulate man. He is an adventurous man. He is a storyteller. When he visits a place, he leaves an impression. When he speaks, people listen. If he wrote a book for the world to read, the world would read it. And to think, he is my Dad.

My mother is a loyal Mum, fierce like the grizzly sow. She is the glue that binds a family, separated by miles & personalities. She is a pillar of strength. She instills strength. She is capable. She is constant. She is my Mum.

Today I received Grandad's 18 page letter. In reading it to my husband and daughters, I laughed & cried & remembered & learned! I was touched. This letter took a great deal of time to create. His heart when into it...It will be put into a box I have in the babies' room, into a box that is reserved for only the most special things. A box that I've been slowly and methodically placing things into, for the girls!

Dad shared his journal entries, from their recent voyage, in this letter. It was like I was there on every leg of the journey, experiencing the thrill of a dream come true. A Dream of finding the Kermode Bear. I must say, I have very cool parents! They don't sit with "umbrella drinks in coconut shells" on white sandy beaches! They explore places that others dare to dream of! Is this the very reason that I have gravitated to the Northern reaches of Canada? Did I search for the legends of Service because of my parents influences? In spite of my teenage years, did they leave me the gift of an adventurer's heart, as they sent me packing? When I look at them today, I think this MUST be the case! If not for them, I'm sure I'd not have found the strength to find my place!

In reading Dad's entries, I learned that Mum is something of an adventurous spirit herself...I think I always knew this on some level but perhaps not as clearly as I do tonight! Hot springs & bear dens? Hunters & rain forests? I can't wait to see the rest of the photos that document her journey!!

I spend so much time blogging about my children, my dogs, my Friends. That IS, after all, what my blog is about....my life in the North...something of a journal of my Northern Family, of my girls' development & of my own development as a new Northerner & new Mum ...But I have a REAL family 3000 miles away & they are important - Even MORE important now that I've given them 2 new Grand-babies! I need my children to grow up knowing my parents but I'm not sure how to do that with them so far away! I've resolved to hold a photo of them whenever we are on the phone so that the girls start to associate their faces with their voices & their names "Grandee & Grandad" I wasn't sure what photo to hold until tonight when I opened the letter from Dad...
& here it is ...

...the romantic, the adventurer, the Grizzly sow & Pillar...
Grandee & Grandad
aka: Mum & Dad
And I ask you, how will I ever measure up & become, to MY children,
all that they have been to ME?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

For Grandee!!

Hi Grandee!
Remember the moon I told you about the other day? While here it is!! You'll have to click on the photo to blow it up full size...It was SO beautiful in the early afternoon sky!!

This was taken on the Haines Rd coming back from Martin's cabin yesterday! What a gorgous day!!
But than again...every day in the Yukon is a gorgous day, right?

This would be Adelaide in her puppy hat & mitts from Auntie Laura!!

And Sarah in hers!
I must say...you have cute litter of puppies for Grandkids Grandee!!!

So...THAT was yesterday...
The highlight of today was this...
...bundling the girls up in their new snowsuits for the first time!!
I must say...Dressing two for the snow is a TON of work!

It was a bit cold out all day so I was extra careful to make sure they were warm ...In fact, I was SO careful to make sure they were well bundled that...
I forgot to take care of myself! Once outside, I realized that I hadn't put my own snow pants on. It was only -17 (in the sun at high-noon) out but geewiz...
my legs got COLD, FAST !!
Jeans just don't cut it on a Yukon Winter Day!!!!!

The little toboggan wasn't really working out very well. Body parts were falling out & dragging in the snow & just a general awkwardness existed....so it was back to the Chariot!
I just LOVE that thing!!
I can't wait to get the ski-kit for it, so that we can get out in the snow more easily! There is NO way I can push this rig in the snow with wheels!!!!!
Skis or not, the girls had a great time in their new snowsuits...they were "as snug as bugs..." as you can see :)

I must confess...the boots got left behind today! It was such a work out, just getting the sweaters, pants, coats, hats & mitts on, that we were close to exhausted just getting ready...so they wore their woolen & sheepskin booties instead & then had their feet smothered in blankets!
NEXT time, I'll get their snow boots on too!!

Grandee & Grandad,
thanks for the winter gear!!!!! Not only were the girls warm, but they looked like perfect little fashion plates, don't you think??

Monday, November 10, 2008

& Now It's MY Turn...

My Sister Adelaide did a fair job reporting on our big day...however there were some glaring errors & omissions! I, Sarah Grace, would like the opportunity to fill in & correct where possible!
She was right about the day starting out with Wellington & us waking our parents..THAT was fun...

But she commented on how cold it was outside and failed to mention what an absolutely beautiful day it was....as you can see !!

And what was that about "SHARING" ? Thank goodness for Mum's
camera-happy nature!! You can CLEARLY see what kind of SHARING was going on here!! Kind of like the SHARING Mum does with Dad when there is chocolate involved...
It's a good thing I got seconds!!

Adelaide thinks he's "Dreamy"... Heck, Fisher is an older man....& yet she couldn't keep her eyes off him...
Just LOOK !!

Note: There was NO beer on my tray when I fell asleep...just Rattle-Pup & the odd cheerio that Adelaide hadn't helped herself to!

And it wasn't my Auntie Laura that put it there either! No!! It was the "Annoying Thing" !! Nasty sense of humor he has!! What my poor parents must have thought!!

Hummmm...now here is a picture of "cute" ...Isaac is SOOOOO much fun! I love having him as my friend! He is Three now & SOOOOOO grown up!!
My sister clearly forgot to even MENTION him being at our party!!

I need to invite that fella over to play more often!
& Look, there is Kaleb too! He's cool too! Hummm...next warm weekend, we really need to get these boys over here, to teach them how to hook up a dog team!!

Did you see the booties Isaac gave me?? They are SOOO cozy warm & fuzzy...My Mum & Dad just love them!!
When I'm Three like Isaac, I will be able to put my booties on all my myself!!

Thank Goodness for Ms Debbie! If it wasn't for her, I'm sure Welly would have run away! So much noise, so many people...so little attention...the heart-break of it all...After a good cry on Debbie's shoulder, he was all better & happy to stay home :)

Do you remember THIS face? This is my Auntie Marguerite. She is AWESOME! I remember when she went with Mum Adelaide & me, on my first walk EVER! It was -28 outside & she helped Mum bundle us up & off we went! We had so much fun that day...Adelaide & I were so small...Now we are ONE & so BIG!! !! I just LOVE this grown-up :) Having Auntie Marguerite at our party was special :) And guess what? She made us the most beautiful cards! Mum is going to frame them!!

Now HERE is something important to note:

I'm not the ONLY one with ears that Adelaide likes to stick her fingers in...Looks like poor William is getting the same "It's cake time" signal!!

At least I don't have a tail that she can pull !
I'd say William is a mighty patient cat!
Funny thing is...he seems to keep coming back for MORE...

My sister was right when she talked about how much fun it was to unwrap presents...I had a blast too...but such WORK! I was exhausted...
I didn't REALLY pretend to be sleeping so that I could have the toys all to myself...
I was just kidding about that...

Look at what Adelaide forgot to mention...
When she tried to wake me up, she JUMPED on me....Now I ask you, is THAT how YOU would want to be woken up??

I think NOT !!
I might have been a bit more receptive if she'd given me a gentle poke & a whisper in the ear...

(not a finger, a whisper)

Oh well...Mummy was right there to snuggle me...& please, do note who fell asleep first after the party was over...
Yes, that would be Adelaide passed out on Mummy's lap & me snuggling cheek to cheek with her!! Mummy has the SOFTEST cheeks in the North :)

Something great to note was that, all of the adults left one big piece of our birthday cake on the plate so, the next day (which was our REAL birthday) we got another serving of candles & cake!! Mum & Dad even sang that silly song to us again!

Oh, and Adelaide tried really hard to blow out the candle...I just focused on the cake, ensuring that I got my fair share!!

As you can see by Adelaide's face...it was still just as yummy the second day :)

And as you can see by mine...I got my piece too :) There's nothing better than eating 1st Birthday Cake with your very own hands TWO days in a row!!

I just can't wait for next years party!!
We'll make sure to invite you all!!


Adelaide's Addendum:

I didn't jump on my sister when she was sleeping...I tripped & fell...& besides I LOVE my little sister...I didn't want her to miss-out on anything!!!

& about William...I LOVE him too!! He's my buddy!! I'd never pull his tail! He, at times, offers it to me as a tool, to help me stand up or balance ...

Hay Sarah, what do you think about working on this report TOGETHER next year?

Adelaide's 1st Birthday Report !!!

Adelaide here...
Today is my sister's & my Birthday! We are ONE today :) Much to our parents surprise...all four of us survived! It seems SOOOO long ago that we were in Mummy's tummy. We came a bit early because we just couldn't wait to meet our new friends & family!
Yesterday was our party...Mum worked really hard to make the cabin all pretty while Daddy fussed over the dog yard...he just CAN'T stand the thought of our friends (and fellow mushers) seeing any dog poop out there...I'm not sure why....

The Cabin smelled of yummy things all day & night while we were getting ready for the party...There was Mummy's Moose Chili on the stove & Grandee's Carrot Cake in the oven...Mrs Peacocks' brownies were next into the oven...and our friend Katrine made a German Apple Cake for us too...What were the adults thinking? We are ONE & our tummies haven't grown THAT big yet!!! Silly grown ups!!
We were going to take friends out dog mushing but it was rather chilly outside...Daddy had a hard time getting the trail groomed too so, we'll take them another day...the season is just getting started so we have plenty of time for dogs games this winter!!

No matter...it was time to wake up Mummy & Daddy & get the party started! As you can see Wellington helped Sarah & me!!

Breakfast was exciting!! Cheerios with my sister...we shared !!

I could not have been more excited!!
I heard Mum & Dad talk about PRESENTS !!!!! COOL!!!

Even Sarah was all pumped up about the party .... We couldn't wait!!!

Mum finished icing the cake...Fisher (our friend) got to lick the beaters...He's old enough for that now, he's TWO!!

While Fisher had his yummy treat, it was time for the Birthday Girls to start opening presents!! Ripping paper is SOOO much fun...you should try it!!

Even Sarah had fun with that! We helped each other because that's what twin sisters do...I think...

I'm really glad we invited Fisher...he is SOOO Dreamy...Guess what? He said that he is going to marry me!! We're a bit young for that now...but....hummmmmmmmm...we won't be young for ever.....

Isn't he cute???

More presents for Sarah & me!!

Funny, with all of the new toys, Sarah STILL clung to Rattle Pup!! Silly sister!

Nothing like a finger in your ear to signal "Time for CAKE!!"

Except when we got to the table, Sarah fell fast asleep! She was worn out from all of the excitement & NOT from the beer that Auntie Laura placed on her tray! Funny Scottish Auntie... ;-)

Oh...Grandad called me on the phone!! He is a really good singer! He sang "Happy Birthday" to Sarah & me....We just LOVE our Grandad & Grandee!!


(& to think, the grown-ups thought that I couldn't find the bag on the back of my chair!!)

Mummy said I had to read the card FIRST!! It's POLITE ??
What's that mean??

Once Sarah woke up from her power nap, everyone sang to us & we got to eat our cake....Wellington was right there too...

See?? I share EVERYTHING with my buddy Wellington, even my Birthday Cake!!

My Martin put on a bib ...I told him it was probably a good idea!! He looked so handsome in his new red sweater...I didn't want to see him mess it up!! Besides, he told Mummy that it was the last time we'd see him dressed up before my wedding! & I think THAT is a LONG time away!!

& now that I'm ONE I can put on my own hat without any help! See??
(Thanks Uncle Bill & Aunt Mary)

Now THIS is COOL!! It's a stuffy bird, from my crazy Scottish Auntie Laura, that actually sings like a REAL bird... WOW

Sarah really DID have a big day! As soon as our friends left, she just crashed...she just couldn't stay awake any longer! I TRIED to wake her up!
I didn't want to see the party end...but...

It was really dark outside and I was starting to get tired too...I just didn't want all of the fun to end...I TRIED to stay awake...

but in the end...I just couldn't....

Addendum by Sarah Grace:

It was fun tricking Adelaide into thinking I was asleep...
Once she was down for the count, I had all of the new toys to myself!!
MY report to follow...