Friday, December 29, 2006

More Photos...

I forgot to post this one yesterday:

It's a waterfall running into one of the drainage ditches we crossed - isn't it pretty? I leaned out over the ditch to take the photo, not trusting myself to stand in the water without dropping the camera into it *g*.

While out yesterday afternoon, I took this picture of Mount Elphinstone from the highway - it didn't work very well as we were too far away, but you can see the ridge we hiked along on the left side of the mountain:

And yesterday morning I woke up to a frozen lake! It looks so cool - here's a pic of it:

Today is another busy day - errands to run in Gibsons, then my brother and sister-in-law and niece are arriving in the afternoon for a belated Christmas celebration. I'm making lasagna for dinner as well - yummmm. And as I haven't yet finished wrapping my niece's gift, I should finish off here and get moving.

Next week I'll get back into my writing in earnest, having already accepted that this week is a total write-off!


Currently Reading: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
Also Currently Reading: The Scot, the Witch and the Wardrobe by Annette Blair
Link of the Day: Karleen Koen's website

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sean and Teresa's most excellent adventure...

Sean wanted me to title this post "The Donner Party", but I decided that didn't quite fit *g*.

But first, a quick report on our Wigilia/Christmas Day celebrations.

We were up early on Christmas Eve in order to get the 8:20 ferry into the city. We walked on and were met on the other side by my f-i-l. After dropping by the hotel so he and my m-i-l could check out, we headed for Lonsdale Quay and then Sean's uncle's house, which has been in the family for many years. Almost everyone else was already there, so we were thrown right into the fray. Just the kind of Christmas family reunion I like - noisy! Sean's little cousins drew cards for everyone and after a while, my brother and sister-in-law arrived. Here they are with Sean:

Everyone had places to be, so just past 12:30 we all headed out and by 1:20, we were back on the ferry and headed for home. And not a moment too soon as the weather turned nasty. By the time we arrived home, it was really windy and rainy but we kept power this time.

Our Wigilia dinner was yummy. The evening did end with some excitement, though, when a chimney fire erupted. Sean took a pic of it:

Fortunately the roof was absolutely soaked from the rain earlier, so the house wasn't in danger, but it was pretty spectacular nonetheless. I'd never seen (or heard) anything like that before. The neighbours arrived just in time to see the end of it.

Christmas Day was very quiet - we opened stockings, munched on breakfast and opened presents. I received a puzzle and had to at least get the frame done before Christmas dinner *g*, while Sean readied our gear for our trek up the mountain on Boxing Day. As always, my m-i-l prepared a wonderful Christmas dinner, a veritable feast for the four of us, enjoyed by all.

Boxing Day dawned cloudy, a touch misty and cool, a perfect day to head up the mountain to visit our friends camping up there. We had rented snowshoes, a good thing too, as there was lots of fresh snow. A little too much on the road, for our liking and parking proved a bit of an adventure. But at last we set off up the trail. And I do mean UP. For the first 45 minutes the incline is quite pronounced as you climb the side of the mountain. The only time you go down is when you come to a drainage ditch (there are sixteen between where we started and where our friends were camping). Here are a couple of pics from that first section.

But at last we reached the lookout. Longtime readers of this blog might remember me mentioning hiking this same trail in June. A couple of the photos are taken from the same spots. The first one you see in that old post, corresponds with the one immediately below:

And here I am, checking things out with the binoculars:

We rested only a few minutes before soldiering on. The three biggest drainage ditches still awaited us - I actually had to crawl up the side of one of them *g* - not graceful, but I made it!

After that we knew we were getting close, but the fresh snow was very thick and deep plus the incline increased again, so it was slow going for a while. And, I admit, at one point I was about ready to cry uncle, but within five minutes we happened upon one of our friends out for a ski. Just knowing the end of the big climb was imminent gave me one last spurt of energy, though I did stop to take this photo, taken from the same spot as the second one in my June post:

Then we followed the others into camp:

We greeted the others, drank hot chocolate, ate lots of different yummies (including some of the chocolate we'd brought with us) and inspected the snow palace - a cool shelter they'd built out of blocks of snow and a big, big tarp:

The scenery from up there is breathtaking, especially in the winter. We could see for miles, over to the mountains on the other side of Howe Sound, up towards Whistler. Here are a couple of pictures of the view:

After a couple of hours, we put our snowshoes back on and headed down the mountain, after having been assured that the trip down would be MUCH easier and take about half the time. And it did! Not that we still didn't have to work hard - staying upright in the deep snow, even on snowshoes, was challenging. And the cross-ditches didn't disappear. But considering the slog up, the down was a breeze.

Alas, getting down the snow-covered road with the truck didn't prove quite so easy. The snow was very slushy, but also icy underneath. We had to back around another parked vehicle and in ensuring we didn't hit it, we ended up in the ditch. Luckily a really nice guy by the name of Rob, there sledding with his family, pitched in to help and used some of the tricks he's learned over the years in similar situations. I also got a cell phone signal long enough to contact my in-laws. Even so, it was well over an hour before we were on our way home. Sean thanked Rob on the radio yesterday and we hope he heard him!!

Despite all that latter excitement, we thoroughly enjoyed the day of snowshoeing and hope to get snowshoes of our own at some point. It's great exercise and you can't beat the scenery.

Wednesday was a much quieter day - we ran some errands when Sean returned from work, I glanced through the GH entries that arrived for me, then cooked dinner (turkey pot pie). After that, it was hockey while I worked on my jigsaw puzzle!

That's it for right now :-) I'm off to Nia in a few minutes, so I'd best get my a** in gear.

Happy Thursday.


Currently Reading: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick

Monday, December 25, 2006

Happy Christmas, everyone!!!

Hope your holiday celebration is full of joy and good food :-)


Saturday, December 23, 2006

An early morning post...

Yep, I'm up early. Can't sleep - always seems to happen this time of year. Plus I've slept well for the last week, which generally means I'll have at least one bad night. The cats are thrilled as it means a) attention and b) food.

We're almost finished with the Christmas prep here. Today I'm going to do the pastry shells for the mushroom tarts that accompany the borscht for Wigilia, as well as doctoring the rollmops with a little extra mustard and pickle. Yum. And if I'm feeling really energetic, I'll bake more ginger cookies, as most of those I baked the other day have been eaten (I took some to the radio station yesterday and some to a party last night).

Tomorrow we'll be in town briefly to visit family, then it's back here for Wigilia and Christmas itself.

Seasons Greetings to all - and for those who've been celebrating Chanukah, I hope you've had a lovely week :-)


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Thursday, December 21, 2006

My first Thursday Thirteen...

I picked this up from Rene.

Thirteen Things I want for Christmas
1. An agent
2. An Alphasmart Neo
3. A gift certificate (in any amount) to ABE Books
4. An end to hunger and war in the world - yeah, I know this is corny and totally against what we've accepted is human nature and the way things are, but still, it's MY list and I can tell you, after watching the news this last year, I can't think of anything better to wish for
5. The latest Chantal Kreviazuk cd
6. A copy of Elizabeth Chadwick's The Scarlet Lion
7. A haircut I'm happy with - I keep trying to find someone who can give me what I want, but so far, no dice
8. A turn on TLC's What Not to Wear - yep, I'm ready for the abuse! I've already learned lots from Stacey and Clint, so think it would be great fun to be on the show
9. A big Christmas with our entire family - mine and Sean's. All the kids. Yeah, it would be loud and crazy, but kinda fun too.
10. Snowshoes
11. A house
12. A gift certificate to Sew Easy in Sechelt
13. See # 4 - THAT is what I really want for Christmas

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

You know what's interesting? I really had to reach for most of those, as, other than the house and end to hunger/war, there really isn't much I actually want. Books, cds etc are all nice, but especially over the last few months, when we've pared down our life to the bare minimum, I've discovered as long as I have Sean, the cats, my computer, a roof over our head and food, I can do without pretty much everything else.

Ok, I'll stop being introspective and soppy now. As y'all can see, so far, we have power and as the winds have dropped, I'm hoping we're ok for the rest of the day. Which means I'm off to Nia soon - yay! Last class before Christmas.


Currently Reading: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick (when I'm not madly knitting, which is most of the time right now)
About to Read: Mistletoe Kisses - Harlequin's Regency Christmas anthology
Link of the Day: Shakespeare's Den - a very cool place to buy writers gifts. Thanks to Melissa for the link!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

New template, Haloscan comments etc..

Hi everyone, me again.

As you can see, I've changed over to beta-blogger. Hopefully everyone will be able to comment!

I've lost my comments temporarily, but according to the people at Haloscan, they'll be releasing an auto-installer to beta-blogger within the next few days, so hopefully all my comments will reappear then. I decided not to fiddle with the temp measures others have used since the official Haloscan people seem to have things well in hand.

As for my template, well, I loved it, but it didn't work with beta-blogger and I do like a lot of the features here, so for now I'll just go with this and wait to see who comes up with three column templates for beta, now it's becoming more and more common.

The rain and wind have started and things are supposed to get bad, so don't be surprised if I don't post again till Friday at the earliest.

Teresa :-)

Proofing my ms...

I finally got back to it yesterday. And it's been long enough since I read it through, that even on the screen I'm able to pick up little things and do some tweaking. Much as I'd hoped for an independent full read-through, I fully understand how busy everyone is. And, in the end, my ms is my responsibility and part of that includes the final proofing.

One thing I have to focus on is NOT getting caught up in the story. I've often considered reading the chapters backwards as I've heard that can help you catch words because things aren't really making sense, but that's just too confusing. So I just make myself concentrate. But maybe I WILL try changing the font, to see if that helps me pick out those little typos and missing words. Though at this point, I'm really hoping there aren't too many.

I'm also making little changes in word choice - it's really interesting how other words now suggest themselves, though where they were when I was actually WRITING/EDITING the story I've no idea. You know that feeling, when there's a better word you want to use, it's just on the tip of your tongue (or, I suppose in this case, near the end of your fingertips) teasing you, but never revealing itself. At least it's working now, so I'm not complaining.

Other than that, we're closing in on being ready for Christmas - cards sent, gift packages sent, stocking stuffers bought and now there's pretty much just the organizing of Wigilia and Christmas Day dinner. Oh, and finishing my niece's scarf (coming along nicely), but as we're not seeing her till after the 26th, I'm pretty certain I can get it done with no problem.

So, that's it from my world right now. We've another storm coming today, so it's possible we'll lose power again. But let's hope not! Though at least we've had it since Friday, unlike many people on Vancouver Island and up in the Egmont area of the Coast.

Happy Wednesday, everyone :-)


Currently Reading: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
About to Start Reading: Harlequin Historicals anthology Mistletoe Kisses
Link of the Day: Deborah Hale's Historical Christmas

Monday, December 18, 2006

Pics from the last few days....

We had a busy, busy weekend - a party Friday night, shopping followed by dinner with friends on Saturday, more shopping on Sunday, then a walk across to our property where we marked out the area that needs to be cleared. In the evening I finished one scarf and put a fringe on it, then started another while watching The Royal and part of Jane Eyre. Turns out Chloe and Cleo are pretty good with my knitting - when I start each evening, they usually try to play a bit, but once I've said NO firmly a few times (ok, more than a few with Cleo), they settle down and pretty much ignore it. Cleo even slept on my lap last night while I worked!

Sean and me at his office Christmas party:

A tree blown down across our well - victim of one of the recent storms (no damage was done):

Sean marking a tree to be felled:

Me feeding the llamas a tree branch:

The kitties - just waking up from a nap together. Chloe wants her tummy rubbed:


Currently Reading: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
Currently Knitting: another scarf
Link of the Day: Tamara's description of her experience during the power outage off the coast of WA state late last week

Friday, December 15, 2006

Windy, rainy, snowy....

yep - the wild weather continues. We were without power for a couple of hours during the night. Fortunately much of my immediate area is back up now. But....
It was actually very eerie - just after Sean left around 3:10, there were two HUGE flashes of blue light in the sky. Turns out they were power related - either transformers blowing or something similar. Our lights went out then. Of course, I'd no idea if Sean made it down the driveway ok or if a tree had hit something close to us. I phoned him a half hour later and he told me he was fine, and that the blue flashes had been seen in North Vancouver too!! Brought back memories of the Ice Storm of January 1998. A transformer just down the road from us was hit by a falling tree and I remember the same blue light.

On tap for today, power or no, is the wrapping of presents. And hopefully the posting of at least one box! But if the post office has no power... And I'm about 2/3 through the scarf (restarted yesterday afternoon), so the other parcels should go out next Monday. Yes, I'm a tad behind this year, but as far as I'm concerned, late parcels merely extend Christmas :-)

Gotta eat some brekkie now and get on with my day.


Currently Reading: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
Link of the Day: Windstorm coverage on

Thursday, December 14, 2006

More wild weather coming...

Yep, we're about to be hit again :-) This is all very exciting, though I'm also a tad apprehensive - we may be without power again by tomorrow if the storm lives up to the predictions.

Congrats, Kelly, on getting that scarf done!

And, Melissa - I've known for years that one element of living here on the Coast will be power outages. It's just the way things go. My in-laws are always prepared and Sean knows the drill too, so once we're in our own place, we'll put together our own emergency kit and just deal when it happens.

I'm closing in on finishing my shopping and have to finish a scarf before another set of packages goes out. Anyway, must dash now - have to get to Nia then on with the rest of my day. If you don't hear from my here for a while, you'll know the power is out again.


Currently Reading: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
Currently Knitting: a scarf

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Quick Wednesday post...

Achieved more Christmas shopping yesterday, finished cards, now have only to put return address labels on and take them to the postbox. And finish a couple of stray ones.

I'm also hoping today to buy Sean's present. Had no luck with one idea yesterday and just as I thought I'd HAVE to go into Vancouver tomorrow, I had a flash of brilliance - will see how that pans out this afternoon.

More wind and rain here last night - nothing too damaging, though. Which is good, considering there are still people here on the Coast and surrounding islands without power from the last storm.

As for my knitting, I figured out double points last night!!! Yay! I'm very excited. Though that just means I've potentially created more work for myself *g*. But it's work I enjoy. Plus, I brought some yarn and needles down to the cabin last night and the kitties weren't too bad. Surprisingly, it was Chloe who was first at both the yarn and the needles!!! Then Cleo got in on the action *g*. Chloe was declawed before we adopted her, so she doesn't cause quite so much trouble - Cleo, OTOH, had to be told NO firmly several times. But she did eventually leave me and my knitting alone *g*.

Time to stick on return address labels! Have a great day, everyone :-)


Currently Reading: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
Currently Knitting: a hat for Sean
Link of the Day: Writing Tips from Karyn Witmer/Elizabeth Grayson

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Wild weather...

It was windy here yesterday. Gusts up to 90 km/hr. And rainy. We lost power at 9:30 am and finally had it back just before 7 pm. It went out JUST before I was about to print off the final copy of my Christmas card list. And before I had a chance to print labels. So I spent a couple of hours hand addressing envelopes. I'll be printing our return address labels very soon, as we've another wind warning in effect for later today. Can't say life here is boring *g*. Sean and his dad had to drive quite a while before finding a grocery store a) with power or b) accessible from the highway when they went out yesterday afternoon. We couldn't figure out what was taking so long, but the first store had no power and the second store couldn't be reached when a branch fell across the highway. But they made it back, safe and sound.

By battery powered light yesterday evening, I managed to finish another hat for Christmas. Teva the dog was interested, but only sniffed at the yarn - good doggie. Not like crazy cats *g*.

Needless to say, with all this excitement, I've managed little in the way of writing/proofreading. Am hoping to wrap Christmas up over the next couple of days, then concentrate on my work for a while. But getting packages/cards out has to come first :-)

And I'm still holding off on making the final switch to beta blogger till I have more time, but once I do, I'll leave a message here with the new address.


Currently Reading: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
Just Finished Reading: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Link of the Day: Writing Articles at Fiction Factor

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Catching up...

Sorry for disappearing like that, but things around here have been super busy.

First, on Friday we headed into Vancouver to get some work done on the car (nothing major - phew!) and to do some Christmas shopping. I found the most adorable outfit for our younger niece plus a couple of other things (ok, ok, a new purse for myself did jump into my hands at Winners). Anyway, we made it home on the 5:30 ferry, but on Saturday we were doing more errands/gift shopping and today I went to Sechelt where I found yet more gifts and then came home to work on our Christmas card address list after finally tracking down my address book.

This evening we decorated my in-laws' tree - it looks lovely. Will try to get a pic tomorrow.

Re: switching to beta blogger. Thanks for all the input :-) I will have to change my addy as my blog is too big to make the switch automatically and my account has a mult-person blog which also disqualifies me from the easy move. I had at first though I wouldn't be able to use w.bloggar with the new system, but a quick stop by google led the way to a solution - yay!!! To see how it worked, check here. It's not perfect as I'll have to go in and add the labels by hand afterwards, but hey, at least I can post using w.bloggar, which is a great tool.

Anyway, I've been awake since 5 am and am starting to wind down, so I think I'm going to go read more of The Lovely Bones. I'd rather actually be knitting, but I still don't trust either cat not to a) eat the yarn or b) eat the hat I'm knitting or c) tear the hat apart.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Going to beta-blogger...

I'm seriously considering it, especially as it seems like forever before they're going to let me merge my blogs. I already have a beta account. And I love some of the features over there, especially the Categories one. Anyone else, other than Janie, considered making the move as well? I just hate to think of the links that will need changing. Yikes!

Obviously I can keep this blog up, so the archives will always be available (for me - I can't imgaine too many other people wanting them). Hmmmmm.

I finished another Christmas gift last night, only to discover it's way better than the one I'd knitted for the other child, so I'm going to have to knit another. Funny thing is, the not-so-good item was knit with the needles from the pattern, whereas the other two were knit with needles a half size smaller. At least I can knit these up pretty quickly, so it won't take long. And I found a really cool stitch that will help me with my borders (they often end up a little raggedy, as I can't always get the tension in the cast-on row exactly right) - it's the twisted rib and when I played with it on a swatch last night, I found it really easy and more stable (if that makes sense). Now I just have to not get carried away with knitting and forget about writing *g* - yeah, like that will happen.

Anyway, I'll stop blathering now and write those reviews I've been putting off for the last few days.


Currently Reading: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
Also Currently Reading: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Link of the Day: Kit's Knit-Spot (knitting blog of a friend of mine)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Busy, busy, busy...

I can't believe there's so much to do!! I thought I had Christmas under control, but apparently I don't. So I'm trying to do many things at once. Does this happen to you too?

We retrieved our Christmas decor from storage yesterday, so when my in-laws decorate, we'll be able to add a few of our favourite treasures. Sean's trying to figure out a way to string a few more lights outside our cabin. Of course it's now rainy here, which means all the snow will be gone soon. But that's ok with me.

I'm working on various things to do with both my French Rev mss. Plus I still have yet to write those reviews. Hmmm. Guess I should quit blogging and get back to work!!


Currently Reading: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
Also Currently Reading: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Currently Knitting: Christmas gifts!
Link of the Day: MacroHistory

Friday, December 01, 2006

So I finished at just over 25,000 words...

and am happy with that. A tad disappointed too, but, considering the other things that have been going on and the fact it was my first experiment with "flying into the mist", I refuse to be hard on myself. Now I have to transcribe all the pages I wrote by hand :-/ And then I'm going to let it sit for a while, to see if other stuff percolates.

Meanwhile, I'm going back to my French Revolution story and setting to work on that. I did manage one scene during November, but really want to move forward with this story full time now. Unfortunately I also seem to be at that "I can't write another book" stage - I'm sure you're all familiar with it. Even though we know we can do it, with every ms there are those horrible moments of doubt that THIS time we won't actually be able to do it. That somehow we've lost the skill and magic required to spin a convincing tale of romance.

Meanwhile, I still have two reviews to write for this quarter - one of which is for a book I really enjoyed, written by a prominent author of historical romance. OTOH, finishing the books means I'm now free to read just for me.

On the weather front, things have warmed up a bit, the snow is starting to melt and life is returning to normal here on the Coast, though there is still lots of debris littering the streets. And the lake here is starting to ice over! Maybe we'll get to skate this year :-)

Ok, on with my day. Happy Friday, everyone!


Currently Reading: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick
Link of the Day:
Elizabeth Chadwick's Medieval Glossary