Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Party Time !

We held our annual Christmas dinner as usual a few days after the holiday.

It was a great success and David did an excellent job providing turkey & all the trimmings, smoked salmon, shrimp plus there was salmon with sundried tomatos (thanks Andrea for this), Southern biscuits (thanks Jeff). Our turnout was as good as ever despite the weather with 21 for dinner ! We took a few snaps before it got too hectic......everybody getting stuck in, Charlie of course keeping and eye on each plate to leave the buffet

Why the squirrel face C ?

Bob & Deb

Jeff & Caroline

Then for desert Stephen brought his Gaspe pudding and here our chocolate fondue was a huge success, probably because it's such a healthy desert......it's fruit you're dipping right ?

And no, Glens sweater didn't burst into flames !

Bella & Sig

Thanks to everyone who came and for making it a great evening.

The Things We Do For Our Dog

As mentioned in previous posts, Charlie has struggled with the snow this winter, partly because of the sheer amount but also his condition is making him very tired and he just doesn't have the energy to fight his way through deep snow.

The result had been that the only parts of the garden he would walk in was the 2ft nearest to the house that had the least snow, he would simply walk down off the deck do his business and then straight back in again.

So, we decided to clear a channel through the snow in the garden to enable him to get to all his favourite bits.......the pole for the washing line, the tree, the back fence.

I get to work digging our way out from the base of the deck steps

Charlie watching the proceedings

Not sure if he's impressed or not ?

We cleared the first section

David with Charlie once we had made it to the washing line pole. Charlie licking some snow off the end of his nose !

Charlie and the channels through the snow

Finally, a brief clip of Charlie catching snowballs in his newly dug-out garden

Christmas Eve & Boxing Day Snow

Christmas Eve was our 'Christmas Day' this year, so we took the opportunity to webcam with family back in the UK, exchange gifts and have a day at home.

As well as Adrians family we also webcammed with Davids family including his 6 year old niece Annabel.

Annabel with her Hannah Montana umbrella.

After our webcam we got outside, cleared the drive as it snowed heavily on Christmas Eve and took a walk.

At times the ploughs were barely keeping up with the snow settling on the road

We walked through the park with Charlie. Here, the playground is quiet and covered in snow.

Charlie and I in the park.

After our walk we went home, poured drinks (it was definately 6 o'clock somewhere) and exchanged presents. Those who know Charlie know he likes to unwrap presents, whether they are for him or not. He's sure there's something worth opening in this bag, right at the bottom.

Helping David open a gift

By the evening Charlie was having difficulty getting around the garden due to the depth of the snow. He would sink into it right up to his belly and indeed the depth of snow was actually higher by now than Charlie.

Finally, a couple of photos taken on Boxing Day evening, when it had continued to snow again all day. This is another view of the BBQ that we had taken earlier in the week. It is now almost completely submerged in the white stuff.

The snow on the patio is now above the top of the wall running around the edge of the grass.

And on the deck it is up to the height of the table. Only a few more cms and it would have reached the top of the railings. We were glad our deck is a well-built metal frame one to hold all this weight !

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

So Christmas is finally officially here.

It's certainly been a busy run up to the holiday this year. However, it has been a particularly nice month with a lovely wintery Christmassy feeling. The amount of snow has helped - we have the statistics for downtown - usually they get an average of 50cms of snow each year. So far this month they have had over 70cms already and we still have Boxing Day (more snow forecast) and Jan & Feb to go. While we tend to get more snow up here on the hill I suspect the proportions of average/received this December will be much the same.

Despite this, Santa still found his way (I expect the snow is easier to navigate on a sleigh then the miserable wet weather we normally get)

And once again David produced an excellent Christmas Dinner (actually on Christmas Eve as he's working Christmas Day). Here the goose just ready to carve.

So we take this opportunity to wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas and a safe, prosperous New Year !

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Winter Walk on Monday

Yesterday we had a couple hours free in the afternoon, after doing the Christmas supermarket shop, to take a walk. We headed out to our usual local haunt Lynn Headwaters.

The short drive to the park was as spectacular as anything. These views are along Dempsey Rd in Lynn Valley.

This view is across rooftops towards Burnaby Mountain and Simon Fraser University.

More views along Dempsey Rd as we approached the turn for Lynn Headwaters.

The road into Headwaters was very slushy on packed snow. Unfortunately I had the minivan that day as David was at work so while the centre of the road was quite passable in many places there weren't really two useable lanes so we hoped we wouldn't meet anybody in the opposite direction.
Somebody had already come off the road, this Hyundai Santa Fe had slid into a ditch.

However, we made it to the parking lot safely. These are the views across the flat green infront of the Rangers offices and across the bridge.

Mr C

Views up Lynn Creek from the bridge

Panorama movie shot of Lynn Creek, green and picnic area

More views of the creek

The combination of snowy weather, weekday & close to Christmas meant not many people were out on the trails. Infact, we pretty much had them to ourselves.

More views of the creek

Quick panorama of Mr C and the trail

It was mid afternoon at the time of our walk, perhaps 3pm or so. There wasn't a lot of sun in the park as it was already going down, but it did just catch this peak.

Once back home we took a couple of photos around the garden. This one across the patio showing how much snow still sits on the grass.

There's a BBQ and plant under here somewhere !

Charlie isn't quite as playful in the snow these days, a combination of age, his condition, the very cold termperatures plus he's just got back from a walk. He also finds it tough navigating in the snow and particularly in the back garden finds it rubs against his areas of shaved belly and he quite soon comes in shivering !

Finally, a photo of our tree, looking good in a little evening sun and clear sky.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snowy Sunday

Since our first snow last weekend it has snowed on and off during the week and we have several more snowfalls forecast for the next couple of weeks. Even Downtown is geared up for a 'White Christmas' this year.

Infact, they are predicting that the entire country could have a white christmas this year - a white christmas being defined as having at least 2cms of snow on the ground for the whole 24 hr period. The last time the whole of Canada had one was 1971.

We were due to visit some friends Sig & Helen in Burnaby this afternoon but decided to postpone the visit so as not to make extra journeys. We therefore have just enjoyed a lazy, snowy Sunday,

This photo of the front of the house was actually taken a day or two ago. We have had at least another 20cms of snow on top of this now.

View out of the living room window

The back garden is getting quite deep for Charlie to race around in.

Back of the house

David clearing the driveway

We took a walk in our park.

The creek

More views of the park

The creek from the bridge above the waterfalls

Looking down the waterfalls - not that they're very impressive this time of year with the cold temperatures

Finally, the perfect way to warm up after a morning in the snow.......French Onion soup and a stew in the slow-cooker getting ready for dinner !