Saturday, 14 January 2017

Saturday Photo: Brrrr, But It's Not as Bad as on the Greek Islands

Rather nippy this morning--down near -20 C (0 F)--and on my walk this morning I saw two things that I wished I had my camera to record

The first was a trio of tiger-striped cats sitting in a window, looking longingly at the outside.   The second was a battered umbrella which had apparently given up the ghost during Thursday's rain, and then became frozen in a puddle upside down.

But because I didn't have my camera  with me, you'll have to take my word for it. The windows here at home looked rather like the one in the photo, though.

But we are prepared for cold weather, we have central heating and scarves and heavy coats and boots.  Winter is an inconvenience not a disaster.

The case is quite different in  refugee camps around the Mediterranean, with snow falling on the Greek Islands, in fact.  One of our young friends is involved in a project to help pregnant women, new mothers and their families in the camps, and has put out a call for financial help.  Check it out here: CRIBS. 

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Saturday Photo: Wet Snow, Our Backyard, and Deliveries

Beautiful snow this week, although it was tough driving on Tuesday when the temperature hovered near freezing, and some of the precipitation was freezing rain.  But yesterday was clear and cold.  That meant the weather was perfect for delivering furniture.

Lee's remake of Stuart's bedstead and the new table for Sophie and Lukas found their new homes, after we rented a van and made the rounds.  I did the driving since Lee--insert drum roll here--says I'm a better driver in winter conditions than he is!  All true, I'd even say that I'm a better driver than he is in ALL conditions, but we won't start an argument this sunny Sunday morning.

Of course, there's a certain irony here, because I'm far from being a car person, even though I got my driver's license at 15 1/2.  For a long time I've been a BMW kid--Bike, Metro, Walk (without the bike).  Yet it's nice to have access to vehicles when you need to do something like deliver Lee's projects.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Saturday Photo: For Peaceful New Year...

And in hopes that not everything is swept away by the Trump Train...

Friday, 23 December 2016

Saturday Photo: Holiday Greetings and the Link to My Rant...

Things are getting a little hectic right now, so I'll be brief:  here's wishing everyone a fine holiday.  If you'd like more: here's the link to my annual end-of-year blog.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Saturday Photo: Bolo do reis and Putting Things in Perspective

This is a Portuguese holiday cake, covered with crystalized fruit and sugar.  Quite good if you like that sort of thing, which Lee certainly does.  Bought one last week and it was much appreciated.

A Padaria Coimbra, AKA La Baguette dorée, on Mount Royal in the Plateau makes a lovely one.  We discovered it six years ago during the difficult winter we spent in an apartment nearby following the fire that seriously damaged our house. 

Jeanne was a baby then, but now she's six.  Her cousins Thomas is four and baby Louis will be six months on Thursday.  Time passes and frequently in retrospect the bad things (8 months out of our house, fights with the contractor, much uncertainty etc) fall away and the good things stand out.

Would that be the case with the current political situation!

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Saturday Photo: Climate Change and Getting Ready for Christmas in Montreal

These are salted herring, to be filleted and marinated to make sil, the Scandinavian pickled herring dish.  It's something I've made every Christmas since I married into the Soderstrom family. Delicious!

But this year I've been having trouble finding the fish.  My usual fish store says they're sold out, and won't receive any more before January.  I called around a bit, and found that National Herring, a wholesaler, has some at $6 a pound that they may sell me if I trek out to their warehouse.  The price is much more than I've paid in the past, but for a holiday treat, I'll pay it.

But why the penury? I wondered.  Seems there's a shortage of herring and other small fish in northern Atlantic waters.  Lobster fishers who use herring to bait their traps,  complained all summer about the lack, and special rules were put into effect.

Nobody I've read puts the finger on climate change  or over-fishing for the decline in stocks, but we all know what happened to the cod fishery.  After 30 years of closure, the stock is beginning to come back off Canada, but the Americans are saying that things are getting worse there, probably because of warmer water which is driving the fish north.

There may be snow on the ground here this morning, but it sure looks like we've messed things up.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Saturday Photo: Getting Ready for Christmas in Brazil

Another photo for three years ago: a cafe in Brasília which was all decked out in pointsettias and red ribbons for Christmas.

We picked up our Christmas wreaths from Jeanne this morning: her school was selling them, and I bought two plus one for a neighbor.  Quite nice.

Now we need some cold weather and sun to make this winter season work....

More later.