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I had a few surprises today. First working day of December and I was able to ride Clara to work. Before I finally give up on the work thing, I may be able to surpass my previous record of cycling until December 6. The way I see it, Clara and I may part ways after this year anyways, so why not push it?

Despite freezing rain over the weekend, the overnight temperatures kept everything from freezing. I was able to follow the river pathway with no hazards except for the usual mounds of goose poop that were extra slick this morning.

I decided to break the law again this morning and take the sidewalk on the west side of the Portage Bridge. A bus was coming up behind me as I cycled along Booth towards the Chaudiere Crossing. And I just wasn’t in the mood for a conversation with a bus.  

I may even ditch the merino wool/possum fur sweater under my jacket for the ride home. It felt so odd not wearing my bandana or face mask in December.

The second surprise was the snowflakes falling on the blog. I’d been looking on line because they didn’t appear on December 1. I was clicking around on the blog behind the scenes, but couldn’t see the menu items other bloggers were saying to turn on. Was I going to have to break down and buy the “professional” version?

I think not! Today at work (and I use that term loosely given that there’s only 10 working days to go) I was checking my stats. And all of a sudden, little snowflakes started to fall at the top of the page. I thought about watching the whole screen fill up. Because that’s how boring it is now. But the best part is not having to pay for a version I’m not ready to pay for yet.

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On a cold winter’s morning in January, ice crystals rose from exhaust pipes and hovered in the air at intersections. With each blink, my eyes shed two more icicle tears. Behind my neck tube, I inhaled in bone-chilling air and exhaled the warmth from layer up layer of clothes. Thankfully the wind was blocked by the moist air that hung over the downtown core like a lazy cat, sleeping on top of a fence. Read the rest of this entry »

For Christmas this year we decided to visit Lake Placid. There is so much to do there, and we weren’t disappointed.

We stayed at the Crowne Plaza and decided to buy our lift tickets through Liftopia. When we booked the hotel, there weren’t any stay and ski packages and we had no clue how much snow would be on the hill. It worked out well, because later on I discovered that you could do the bobsled and SKELETON! We’ve already down the bobsled once, at Igls in Austria. But skeleton was new. So we booked those for Boxing Day, and bought lift tickets for Christmas Day, thinking that everything else would be closed.

We drove down Friday afternoon. When we got to Adirondacks light snow began to fall. Main Street was all lit up, with Christmas trees adorning most store fronts and lots of fresh evergreen boughs in window boxes. We spent Friday evening wandering up and down Main Street, going through the outlet stores. It seems odd to find outlet stores in the middle of an old town. I’m so used to seeing them in farmer’s fields. One of the restaurants even had a wood fire on its patio, where you could stop to warm up your hands. Read the rest of this entry »

Not everybody heard the news last night that garbage and recycling pick up is delayed one day this week. Thankfully I hadn’t put the garbage out yet. Based on the number of cars with snow on them and the number of driveways still not cleared, it seems they did get the city’s message about staying home today and teleworking if possible. Garwood wasn’t feeling well on  Friday, and called to say he won’t be in. I expected him not to make it in.  But guess who e-mailed me yet again. I don’t have an issue with her being sick, but I specifically said e-mailing is not appropriate, it has to be a phone call. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s 10:30, and I’m finally done. Well, not really, because the plow hasn’t passed yet, but I have cleared the driveway, part of the sidewalk, part of Timmy’s labaryinth and the front steps. Well, when I say “clear” what I mean is “make passable”. You can’t actually see any pavement. There’s just no place left to put the snow. On the positive side, Environment Canada has lifted the weather warning, but it’s still pretty cold. No sinners showed up for the 8:30 mass this morning. Maybe they tried, but couldn’t make it up the hill. We used to be a priority street because of the school, but I guess the city doesn’t do church streets as a priority.

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 At 7:00 a.m., I wake up and look outside. There are huge snowdrifts, and it seems like 4 m of snow on the McGuffin’s house next door. Hope Chris reinforced the roof on the extension.

Environment Canada is saying that as of 4:00 a.m. this morning, Ottawa has received 49 cm of snow since Friday. Ontario provincial police in the upper Ottawa Valley and Northumberland have resorted to snowmobiles for transportation. In the Kingston area, they actually told people to stay indoors because it was too dangerous to plow in the outlying areas. It seems to have stopped snowing, but the wind is gusting up to 40 km/h, making snowdrifts much deeper. The storm warning is continuing, and the windchill is making it feel like -21. But I am a tough Canadian, and am really looking forward to breaking this record. I lived through the 1970-71 winter as a child, and do remember those towering snowbanks, with my Dad building an igloo in the backyard one winter, and us tunneling into the snowbanks one year. Read the rest of this entry »

Pettneu (near St. Anton), AustriaWell, yesterday was our last day of skiing. Not sure if I mentioned it in yesterday’s post. After we left the Internet cafe we picked up some groceries and a pizza from a local pizzeria. Some really interesting toppings. The only familiar one was Hawaii, with ham and pineapple, so that’s what we had.

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St. Christoph (near St. Anton), AustriaWell I almost didn’t think there would be a day 5 of skiing for me. I fell asleep around 8 p.m. last night feeling really crappy. Rob was really sweet and made me soup and salad for supper. He had the same, but with the addition of some already cooked chicken legs from the grocery store. A bit rubbery, but it gave him his meat.

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As usual, I’ll begin with the end of yesterday. Because we were going tobogganing around 7 p.m., I made (well really more of an assembly job) supper, which included Knorr Käsespatzle, already cooked pork schnitzel and salad.

After supper we set off for the Nassereiner to get our tickets for the Rodelbahn (toboggan run). It’s a 4.3 km track with lots of hairpin turns. There are two separate tickets, one for the lift to get up and another to get your Schlitten (toboggan) and your deposit back.

The ride up is a bit spooky because there are no lights on the hill at all, until you see the Rodelam hut about a third of the way up. We shared the gondola car with a German-speaking father and youngish daughter, who seemed to be a bit freaked out. We think it was her first time. Read the rest of this entry »

Before I begin on today’s adventure, I need to finish off last night. We were both feeling a bit tired and sore, so we opted for the absolute closest place for supper, the Rodelhutte, just up the street.

We were the first people inside, and it was still the same family-run business that we remember from the last two visits. The son (I can’t remember his name) served us, lighting candles at our table and on the mantle around the fireplace. Above the fireplace, up in the loft part of the old wooden edelweiss structure, were two figurines, a man and a woman, looking down on us like they were the hosts of the party. Guess we were the early guests. Read the rest of this entry »

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