Thursday, December 31, 2015

Flotsam and Jetsam 2015

Well, the glacier receded and spring sprang sometime in May.  It goes without saying that I was a terrible blogger in 2015, and won't make any resolutions to do any better in 2016.

There is no simple way to write a compte-rendu of 2015, so I'm not even going to try.  What we'll have to settle for is an iPad photo dump.

Ah, the modified Comet by Kim Hargreaves, make in Schulana Kid-Paillettes.  An awesome accessory, more like a piece of jewelry than knitting.  Here, unceremoniously thrown on dandelions, a spring feature all over our so-called lawn.
When the lilacs finally start blooming, it's a sure sign that spring has sprung, and the worst is behind us.
Ditto for the crabapple trees.  My favorite blooms.

I was happy with my planters this year, but something kept eating my ipomoea.  I suspect earworms since they're a common feature hanging around the dracaenas.  This year they decided to chow down.  Then again, they spared my lobelia, a plant I try and grow year after year.  This year I finally had success.  I think the weather might have had something to do with their bounty because they bloomed non-stop.
Oh no.  A new cat.  This is Mitaine, french for Mittens.  She's got big paws with a extra claw on each front paw.  Mitaine was pregnant when she arrived on our doorstep, which is my way of gently breaking it to you.  In 2015, I became the dreaded cat-lady.  We now have 6 cats, which is about 3 beyond my comfort zone.  Mitaine is part Siamese and has lovely light blue eyes, and is very, very smart.  (She picked our house, didn't she?)  We haven't adored a cat like we've adored Mitaine.
Capucine isn't too convinced. Here she is, playing camo-cat with an orchid fascinator.  Always the coquette, Capu hasn't exactly taken to Mitaine with as much abandon as we have.
My lovely gazanias (Transvaal daisy).  They bloomed until the end of September.  Again, this plant is hit-or-miss.  2015 was a total score!
Sometime at the end of June, we finally broke down and bought a new patio set.  Made out of ipe wood, this set by Jensen Leisure is built to last.  The chairs are so heavy, you need both hands to move them.  Just what we need with our violent winds.  This set isn't going to take off like the last one.
Tessie enjoying a fine summer day on her new chair.  Thankfully, she's not interested in clawing it either.  Can't say the same thing for the molding around the kitchen door.
I broke down and knit Eric a pair of socks to go with his uniform ("Regulation Black" dontchaknow?)  If you're a knitter, you probably shuddered at this thought.  These were a slog-fest, but I persevered.  Knit with indestructible Regia sock wool, it should be a while before I have to break down and knit another pair.

Sorry about the formatting.  Blogger is giving me cramps tonight.  I'm also stuck into the prosecco and don't really give a crap about parsing HTML anymore.  So...pretty clouds.  We really lucked out with the weather this summer and fall. We even had a dreaded Green Christmas and survived to tell the tale.  A few days after Christmas, we were graced with a 40cm dumping of snow.

And yet another photo of my planters.  It's so nice to see a bit of colour on the horizon.  I'm not sure what 2016 will hold, but 2015 will be hard to beat.  The local fields were being plowed in December, something only the oldtimers remember happening.  We had a bumper crop as well, soya if memory serves correctly.
A glorious sunset.  I never, ever tire from our view.  Sorry about the hydro wire, which you probably didn't even notice until I pointed it out.  Mea culpa.
This is Gee Pee.  We call him Jeep, because he has massive 4x4 action going on with his paws.  On top of having 3 extra claws on his front feet, he has a bonus on each back paw too.  He's absolutely adorable and has joined the Kitten Club of Shim Farm.
Here he is, waving at Tessie.  Lookit those mitts and his cute belly.  He has such nice markings.  When he was tiny, I could always make out Jeep from the rest of the kittens.  He was the one tripping over his paws as he ran.  The little black munchkin looking on is Minky.  She was the runt of the litter, and bonded with Jeep like nobody's business.  We tried to place them as a pair because it would have been a shame to split them up, but we had no takers.  (I admit, we didn't try too hard).  Keeping them was the only option.  Minky is stuck to me like misery to the world, and Eric thinks that Jeep is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Win/win all around.
Yet another sunset.  The iPad app and the blogger dashboard from my dying laptop hate each other.  There is no way to make any of this post cohesive.  Just work with me.  I promise it will even out in the end.  These are many of the random sunset photos I send to Eric when he's flying, just so he can see what he missed.
Another glorious evening.

And to prove to you that none of this makes sense, here is a photo of Jeep and Minky.  They lie like this all the time, day in, day out.  How could we have parted with them?  I rest my case...

In other undocumented news, 2015 finally saw our overpass reopen to traffic.  We had to make a massive detour for months (let's be honest - it was a year and a half) while our overpass was being rebuilt, and then 2 weeks before completion, it was condemned.  The fact there were groundhogs and raccoons living inside the structure has been a dead giveaway to us locals for years.  (Sometimes I think it's Quebec's way of keeping us pious.  We said a prayer every time we crossed it and many of the other crumbling overpasses in this province.  Chicken wire IS apparently a replacement for rebar, if you're an engineer working at the MTQ).  Summer came and went without any activity, and finally sometime in August, the Ministry of Transport must have gotten the memo, because the reconstruction finally got under way.  Just before Halloween, our overpass was reopened.  We did many happy dances.  I was so happy it was opened, I drove over it, and backed up and drove over it again, just because I could.  Damned infrastructure.

2015 also saw the opening our our very own local Costco.  Those who know me know I swear by my Costco, but having to make the trek to Montreal island proper was always frustrating.  The parking situation is bad at best even if you arrive before opening, to say nothing of the crowds once you get inside the hallowed establishment.  We've been promised a Costco for the past 5 years, and it finally became a reality.  Now I can shop at Costco like it's a grocery store, versus shopping at Costco like it was a Hudson Bay Outpost every quarter.  Urban sprawl, score 1!

We replaced Wilfred, (our trusty wood stove for those who haven't paid attention) this month.  After nearly 15 years service it was time for a new wood stove.  I promise (!) to dedicate an entire post to the new Wilfie, because he's a beaut!

On that note, my venerable BBQ crock pot ribs are calling my name, and Eric is making homemade fries from our own bumper-crop of special potatoes in the kitchen.  We're not going to turn the page on 2015 on a low-calorie note, but that's what January and its resolutions are for.  New Year's Eve is a celebration of the bounty of our past year.  While none of it was particularly noteworthy, we made it through another year with only First World Problems, which is saying something.

So, dear friends, from our nuthouse to yours, all the best in 2016.  May it be filled with health and happiness, may you see the beauty around you and remain thankful for every small victory.

We are blessed in the best ways possible, and hope the same for you and yours.
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