Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunsets and Other Stories

It's mid-December.  I haven't downloaded any photos since July, so emptying the card on the digital camera is sure to provide a lot of surprises.  I finally hit 10,000 photos with our trusty Canon.  I better get busy and try to redeem myself by posting a few of them.

Without further ado:

The sun is so pretty in the morning.  A bit of fog, bright blue skies, and corn in the field this year.  It was a good summer.
Obviously, I take a lot of sunset photos.  Sometimes, we have people over and the sun puts on a show.  We usher our guests to the living room window and make them watch the sun go down.  Maybe we're not normal.
Clearly, we are not normal.   Now that we've cleared that up, I look at this photo and remember trying to capture the luminosity and how the golden light bathed the air.  I failed.
The day-glo effect evaded me here, too.  Maybe it is time for some photography lessons.  Or maybe, 10,000 photographs later, I should read the manual?
We had a lady-bug invasion this fall.  Unbelievable.  We have a few days in fall where they typically congregate, but this year, we had a bumper crop of them, and for weeks on end.  It's months later and we still have them all over the inside of the house.  You just need to turn on a lamp, and they appear as if by magic.
Nothing strikes fear in my heart like a hole in the house.  (You don't say?)  Here, we changed out a kitchen window.  The three kitchen windows and sliding glass door all date from the early 90's.   These are the only windows that haven't been changed in the 12 years we've been in this renovation purgatory.  One down, three to go.  Eric was only confident changing out one at a time, and one was all he had time for this summer.  Observe the beam directly above this window.  We weren't sure if it was held in place by fear, a common feature in so many things we've found over the years.  We removed some drywall, found a metal plate that supports the transverse I-beam and decided it was good enough.

We've learned a bit about what is ideal in our climate over the past few years in this house, so we custom-ordered a triple-pane, argon-filled window.  While I'm not happy with the argon, (it's a question of when, and not if, it will fail), I do admit the triple glazing should be standard.  All our other windows are double-pane argon-filled, and while they're acceptable, if we were to do this again, we'd go triple pane all the way.
 Oh look!  Pretty clouds that match the tree line!
 More pretty clouds!
Oh!  I could write a saga about this young bat and how it caused me to lose two nights' sleep.  I'm not prone to fits of flailing and screaming, but this tiny thing nearly did me in.  Only AFTER the fact did we learn that our friend Isa used to volunteer at a bat rehab centre and handles these little beasts like you and I handle kitties and puppies.  I tried my best to capture it in a Tupperware container, and successfully caught it, only to close the lid on those TINY LITTLE hooks they have on the tips of their wings.  The little bat squealed (I didn't know they could do that) and flailed, and I screamed like a little girl and let it loose again.  Of course the designated bat-relocator (that would be Eric) was traveling, so I had to deal with this little bat on my own.   Every plan I had failed, and while I managed to get the bat out of the house, he was back within 10 minutes.  Of course, all of my hysteria was regaled to Eric long-distance who confidently stated that he would "handle" things upon his return.  When Eric finally came home, he donned his overalls with aplomb, a hefty pair of leather gloves with trepidation, and got up on a step ladder to within inches of it.  Then he matter-of-factly stated that he, (and I quote), "Don't have as much courage as I thought I had".   Defeated, he stepped down from the ladder and called a neighbour.  Thus the little bat was caught in a sheet and relocated to a forest about a mile away.  Insert bat mobile joke here.
Phew.  We're back on track again.  Another gorgeous evening.  Wispy cirrus clouds and lots of contrails.
 We had a lot of rainfall, but no torrential downpours, save for this occasion.
I think this one's my favorite.  Savouring the end of another glorious day in paradise.  It never gets old.

And here we are, months later, with memories of summer fading as the snow and cold sets in again for another round of winter.  So far, so good.  A fair amount of snow but with bearable temperatures.

Eric is still plugging away on the drywall upstairs.  My knitting needles are humming as I try to stay ahead of the avalanche of wool I've managed to procure this past year.  (Let's just say I went ballistic in the yarn-hoarding department).

Hopefully, within a few weeks, I will regale you with more tales from the farm, more accomplishments in the knitting department, and a few pet photos to round things out.


My Little Bungalow said...

Your sunset and cloud photos are beautiful, Ann. I have just one suggestion: make them LARGER! Fortunately clicking on them enlarges them. I think they're so pretty they deserve to have more prominence on your blog. I also think that anyone who doesn't notice or appreciate a beautiful sunset is abnormal, not the other way around. Even as a little girl, I used to stop in my tracks and tell my friends, "Look at the sky, how pretty it is!" They'd usually say something like, "Oh, yah" and move on.

Looking forward to posts about the pets! Hope you are enjoying the holiday season,

Shim Farm said...

Hi Claudia, thanks for your kind comments! Always happy to have you join us in our neck of the woods. I made the pictures larger, hope it's better now. I'm thinking of changing my blogger theme, this one gives me fits! Also, I have a lot of pictures on my ipad that I need to upload. Using the blogger app on the ipad is horrific! I end up emailing myself the photos, and downloading them on my laptop, and posting from there. Sigh. There must be a better way!

Oh! Holiday season! I haven't as much as hung the wreath on the front door yet, or hung my lights that (no joke) normally stay lit from November to March. I'm going to get on it this weekend. As it is, Eric is flying to Shanghai on Christmas day (booo!) so we've got a bit of a damper on the holiday this year, but we'll make up for it later.

I've got two weeks off (yeah!) starting Monday, and I've got my fingers crossed that the baking and decorating and card writing will still happen.

Hope you too have time to enjoy and relax with loved ones!

robin said...

Looking at your sunset pictures makes me want summer and also get a glass of wine. Sunsets are the best.

I loved your bat story! In our rental house we just got rid of a beaver problem that was chewing in the walls. Ok, so it wasn't a beaver but it sounded like it. It was so loud I started freaking out it was going to pop through the wall and then run over me while I was in bed.

Shim Farm said...

Hey hey hey Robin! I was so happy to see a new post up on Farm Folly with your exciting news. So you are staying in a rental while the work is going on downstairs? I am so happy for you, seeing there is so much progress. I bet you're excited!

We've had a really easy winter so far. Right now, I'm overlooking my "sunset" field, and while it's currently snowing, the field is BARE. We've never had a January 1 roll around without any accumulation of snow. It's been mild too, which has been sooooo nice. Even though there is a "snow event" in the forecast for the weekend, we'll get through it.

So, thanks for stopping by. Again, I'm so excited about all the big changes at your place. While plywood and 2x4's hold their charm, it does get old after a while!

Here's to a 2015 with painted drywall, functioning toilets and finished floors! YEAH!


robin said...

Yup, we've been in a rental since September. I am beyond excited and it is such a good feeling to get this behind us. Thankfully, the builder is really detail oriented and doesn't get phased by Lee's doubles walls and other quirks.

I'm so glad your winter hasn't been bad. Last winter sounded brutal on you. We are in a cold week right now but still no snow for us. I've been enjoying pellet stove heat and it's been a breeze this winter. hehe

Shim Farm said...

Wow, well, being in a rental sure makes things move along faster. So does having someone do the work for you! I am trying to get Eric on that same bandwagon. Getting crap done is all about momentum, and you don't have momentum when you're working in dribs and drabs every couple of days (or weeks...which is more realistic).

Oh this winter has been easy so far. Nice moderate temps, seriously no real accumulation worth talking about. While it has gotten colder (it's 16F this morning), the skies are sunny and we're not hindered by mounds of frozen slush. With the days getting longer, my energy reserves are filling once again...we'll make it to spring!

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