30 December 2012

Warm winter days and hoar frost photos

The first photos here were taken when it was relatively warm, before Christmas.  

Christmas saw average highs of -20 Celsius and lows in the negative 20's with windchill bringing it as cold as -39 C. 

 Hoar frost is so beautiful!  These trees were lightly touched by the frost, but the last three photos were taken by my husband in the Bonnyville/Cold Lake area where the hoar frost was thick and beautiful.

How's your weather?  Today we expect highs around -4 which is downright balmy!!  Where's the sunscreen?

29 December 2012

Moose on the Loose

My husband has had two run-ins with moose in just over a year.  Be careful when driving in remote country areas.  One of these just might be considering crossing the road the same time as you!

27 December 2012

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

It's over.  The paper, the ribbon, the bows...all thrown out...discarded.  Gifts unwrapped.  The meal, the preparations, the time spent with loved ones....has come to pass.  It's hard to believe when you really think about it.  All the time spent shopping, preparing, baking, wrapping....and it's done.  The hilight being the time spent with loved ones and the look of surprise and joy when they unwrapped their gift.  Mostly, though, for me it is an occasion to ponder on the greatest gift of all.  The gift of a saviour for all of us whose birthday we celebrate on Christmas.  

The new year, for us, means a lot of changes.  Some good and some difficult.  It also means some resolutions are to be made, especially by myself.  I am seeking positive outlets for stress and physical activity is the one that looms like a giant for me.  So many benefits result from beginning and sustaining fitness goals so I am putting that right near the top of my list!

As for New Year's Eve, we may spend it with friends.  An invitation has been extended so we likely will drop by.  I'd be just as content sitting at home watching movies, really.  What are you doing New Year's Eve?

24 December 2012

Christmas Greetings

We shall be staying home this Christmas and having the kids here, or most of them anyway.  It's forecasted to be in the negative twenties celsius over the Christmas holidays so we will stay in, listen to Christmas music, play games, indulge in some goodies, coerce my daughter to play the piano, light the fire and enjoy one another's company.  Some long distance calls to loved ones we wish were with us will follow.

Hope your Christmas celebrations are joyous.  Merry Christmas everyone and the best of the new year to you and yours.

Shirley @
The Gardening Life

Spring is Near at the Greenhouse!

The Root Seller would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year! After today we will be closed until Jan 2nd!

In the last week of January our spring cuttings come in and we start seeding! Spring is near in the greenhouse world!
 (Facebook post by a local greenhouse here in Edmonton)

I LOVE IT!!!  There is nothing like being in a greenhouse in late winter to brush away the winter doldrums!  Ahh, the memories, the scents, the feel of soil in my hands.  Some days I really miss it.

22 December 2012

It's Officially Winter But It's Been Winter-like For Almost Two Months!

December 21st came and went and the world continued on.  All the media attention about the end of the Mayan calendar was unfounded, just as most of us supposed.  The best thing about December 21st is it is the shortest day of daylight hours, meaning from here days get longer!  It is also the winter equinox in our hemisphere.  For almost two months now, I've been calling the season of fall "winter" because we received snow shortly before Halloween and it has stayed.  It will be with us for what seems like an extraordinarily long period of time...well into April, likely even May.  

We do have four seasons, really, but three of them seem incredibly short in comparison to the duration that winter-like conditions linger here.  All the more grateful I am to see the first buds of spring, the first robin, and the green grass.

In the meantime, here is a glimpse of our forecast.  Perhaps you will feel sorry for me or just grateful that you live where you do.  In either case, a brief hello from you will certainly provide a cheery note to an otherwise cold and grey winter day.


Current Conditions
Light Snow
-17 °C
Observed at:
Edmonton City Centre Airport
3:00 PM MST Saturday 22 December 2012
  • Condition:
    Light Snow
    102.9 kPa
    15 km
    Air Quality Health Index:
  • Temperature:
    70 %
    ENE 18 km/h
    Wind Chill:


Periods of snow
  • -17°C


  • -19°C
  • -19°C


  • -21°C
  • -24°C


  • -21°C
  • -25°C


A mix of sun and cloud
  • -21°C
  • -24°C


Chance of flurries
  • -17°C
  • -23°C
  • 30%


  • -10°C
  • -21°C
Issued : 11:00 AM MST Saturday 22 December 2012
Periods of snow. Amount 2 cm. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 17. Wind chill minus 25.
Periods of snow. Amount 2 to 4 cm. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 19. Wind chill minus 28.
Snow ending late in the afternoon then cloudy with 60 percent chance of light snow. Amount 2 to 4 cm. Wind up to 15 km/h. Temperature steady near minus 19. Wind chill minus 29.
Sunny. Low minus 24. High minus 21.
Sunny. Low minus 25. High minus 21.
A mix of sun and cloud. Low minus 24. High minus 21.
A mix of sun and cloud with 30 percent chance of flurries. Low minus 23. High minus 17.
Sunny. Low minus 21. High minus 10.
Historical Data
0.0 mm

10 December 2012

Christmas Decor Ideas From Greenland Garden Centre

This video was posted in 2011 but I just found it!  There are some spectacular and simple ideas for enhancing your decor for Christmas.  Enjoy!

06 December 2012

15 cms of Snow Yesterday!

Yesterday we had such a snowstorm!  Looking out the windows at work it was basically a white-out.  You could not see across the street.  At one time we had 7 cms of snow literally dump from the sky in one hour!  We are on par with 2009 at the same time of year!  That's a scary thought because we had sooooooo much snow.  

Unlike Southern Alberta, which benefits from the warming winds of the Chinook, once we receive snow in the fall, it stays until spring.  I recall my mom telling me stories of growing up in Manitoba and how the snow did not melt until spring.  No chinooks there either.  I thought that was horrible, even as a young child!

Well, now the same can be said for Edmonton.  If you love winter, you're in glory here.  If not, if  you just tolerate it or worse complain as soon as it's too cold to wear shorts (yes, there are some out there who do), then Edmonton is a rather weary 7-8 months of misery (in a bad year).  Just so you don't think  it's all incredibly awful, much like the Great White North, last year we had virtually nothing for snow this time of year.  We do enjoy a nice break every couple of years or so.  

Yesterday an additional 15 cms of snow blanketed the city.  Making white and beautiful the snow laden boughs of evergreens and the hoar frost clung to the deciduous trees this afternoon still.  Looking for the beauty in the season and enduring with gritted teeth the cold, that's me.  Take care all.

03 December 2012

How to Decorate a Christmas Tree BH&G Video and Festival of Trees Collage

The Inspiration:

Collage compiled from Festival of Trees photos taken in 2010

http://www.bhg.com/videos/m/32071352/how-to-decorate-a-christmas-tree.htm (check out this video for step by step instructions)

Rule of thumb for stringing lights:  100 lights per vertical foot of height of your tree.  Weave the string of lights up and down the branches, not limiting yourself to just the exterior of the tree.

Follow with garland, then big ornaments, then mid-size ornaments, then small.  This video suggests putting your tree topper on before adding ornaments to avoid messing them up but I like to stick with tradition and add the topper last, as the finishing touch.

Do you add the topper last?

Incidentally, today is the last day of the Festival of Trees here in Edmonton (December 2/12) at the Shaw Conference Centre.  If you are in town, I highly recommend you attend.  Sadly, I will miss it this year.  I love to volunteer at this event which is a fundraiser for the Stollery Children's Hospital, but I missed out this year when the forms to sign up when to my old address and was picked up last month, too late to register.  I'm not attending this year either.  It's my son's birthday and we are having a family gathering here today.  I can't believe he's 25 already!!  They grow up far too fast!

Have a terrific week everyone!

Join Mary for more mosaics in her weekly meme Mosaic Monday.  

01 December 2012

Real or Artificial?

Your Christmas tree: Real or artificial? - Canadian Living
In this article link above, Frankie Flowers debates the benefits of artificial and living Christmas trees.  Which do you prefer?

After years of artificial Christmas trees, this year we are seriously considering having a real tree.  I just love the fragrance of a real tree and the added bonus is I don't have to store the tree for 11 months out of the year.  Yes, that means having to go out and buy a tree yearly or go to a tree farm where we can cut our own, which we did do a couple times.

One year in particular, my husband and I, our kids and my sister and her husband went to Porcupine Hills, permits in hand to share the experience of cutting our own tree.  We had done it previously and thought we'd invite my sister and brother-in-law along for the trip.  

So, we got up in the hills of Southwestern Alberta.  The hills had a generous amount of snow and even people in four wheel drives were getting stuck.  Well, you just have to drive reasonably, we all said.  No sooner said then we were stuck.  There was no budging the truck we were in.  It's funny now to look back on but at the moment it wasn't so much so.  As the afternoon slipped by and our efforts to extricate the truck were proving futile, we thought we'd lost our chance to even get a tree too.  Luckily some very nice men came along and pulled us out.  A bit more humbled for the experience, we selected our trees and hastened on home lest we get in trouble in the snow again.

I'll have to ask the kids if they remember that trip.  It was rather funny to recall now.  That's one of the blessings of the season ... memories with loved ones and times spent together.  Hopefully along the way, we'll have a little adventure to remember that we can share and ... ahem...elaborate upon.

29 November 2012

The Bookstore Strikes Back - The Atlantic


In this article (see link below) author Ann Patchet, of State of Wonder and Bel Canto to name only a couple, talks to the Atlantic about opening an independent bookstore in Nashville.  Ann has determined that the independent bookstore is on the way back into vogue.  The circle has come full around and it's time for the independents to rise again.  

'Amazon doesn’t get to make all the decisions; the people can make them, by choosing how and where they spend their money. If what a bookstore offers matters to you, then shop at a bookstore. If you feel that the experience of reading a book is valuable, then read a book. This is how we change the world: We grab hold of it. We change ourselves."

The Bookstore Strikes Back - The Atlantic

28 November 2012

To See a World

Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada

To see a World in a Grain of Sand 
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, 
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 
And Eternity in an hour. 
The English poet was born on this day, November 29,  in 1757.

27 November 2012

Snowfall Warning Again!!

Taken earlier this fall, I can still repost photos, just not new ones.  :(
Apparently I have used up my allotted space for photos this year but that doesn't mean I have nothing left to say!  Tonight as I was watching a flash mob sing Christmas songs on a Facebook posting, I also noticed that we, Edmonton area, have a snowfall warning with an abnormal temperature trend to tonight and tomorrow.  What's an abnormal temperature trend, you may wonder?  It's when the temperature gets colder during the daytime.  Tomorrow during the day we are expected to drop to -16 Celsius following an overnight low of -12 Celsius.  Add to this cold, we are also expecting snow, and a fair amount.  The following is the official warning:


City of Edmonton - St. Albert - Sherwood Park
3:32 PM MST Tuesday 27 November 2012
Snowfall warning for 
City of Edmonton - St. Albert - Sherwood Park issued

Heavy snowfall to start early Wednesday with 15 to 25 cm of snowfall expected by Thursday.

A deep Arctic ridge is building down from the Yukon and Northwest Territories bringing below normal temperatures to most of Alberta. Strong winds combined with the cold temperatures will produce extreme wind chill values near -40 in the High Level region by Wednesday morning. At these extreme wind chill values frostbite on exposed skin may occur in less than 10 minutes.

Overnight an intense upper disturbance from the Pacific will cross the Rockies generating a band of heavy snow that will extend from the Grand Cache and Grande Prairie region through Whitecourt into the Capital region including the city of Edmonton by Wednesday afternoon. The heavy snowfall is expected to taper off by Thursday with snowfall amounts in the 15 to 25 cm range. However snowfall is likely to continue into the weekend for Central Alberta. 

Hot chocolate, a warm throw and a good book are looking really good right now!  Stay warm and stay safe!  Looks like snow is in the forecast for the remainder of the week.  (struggling to put on a happy face here....)   On a happy note, I have some very good books lined up to fill the time!

24 November 2012

22 November 2012

Happy American Thanksgiving

"The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception
 to such an extent that it changes the world you see."
—  Dr. Robert Holden

21 November 2012

Holes Ornaments for Christmas Part I

 Continuing our Christmas explorations of the Enjoy Centre and Holes Greenhouse in St. Albert, I discovered some beautiful ornaments and Christmas items for everyone on your list.

I was interested in these Flatyz Candles.  They are indeed flat and, when inserted into a specialty candle holder, can be lit but who would want to light these works of art?

Coming soon, more from Enjoy Centre and Holes for Christmas 2012.


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