Saturday, January 7, 2012

Surviving January

It's probably a bit early to be posting about the winter blahs since here in Toronto we've barely even had any winter yet. In fact it was balmy 7 degrees C yesterday and today is looking to be even warmer- yes that's laundry on the line! But it's been mostly grey and bleak for what feels like months already and even sunny days seem too short. It's so easy to slip into a funk when all I feel like doing is reading or watching movies, and even getting dressed seems like too much effort. In my defence I did receive a lot of great books for Christmas, including these beautiful clothbound editions of classic novels that the Russian gave me!

In the video dept I have my dear friend Kate to blame for my latest addiction- Downton Abbey is a beautiful period piece set in England in the early 1900's and I've been devouring the first season which I was able to download entirely along with a Christmas special. I was also delighted to discover that Season 2 begins airing on PBS this Sunday at 9pm!

I never did get around to doing a year end wrap up post so I thought I'd post a few moments in pictures. The highlight of the year was of course my trip to England: my aunt and I had a fabulous time and I hope very much to make another trip there soon.

My search there for both Kilner history and Kilner jars was a success and then my friend Leigh trumped the list with this beauty she recently brought back to Canada with her. It's a vintage 3lb jar that is going to look great on the wall of jars.

The gardens on the other hand have had better years. In fact the less said about them the better. The best thing about a new year is the ability to forget all the heartbreaks of last year's garden because it's a clean slate again. I'm already dreaming of what I want to grow this year!

The one sad note of 2011 was losing my beloved Casey in Sept. I still occasionally forget she's gone and then miss her all over again- 20 years of habit I guess.

I'm grateful to still have my other two Farmcats even now that it's winter and they are as stir crazy as we are. They get restless being inside so much and need regular amusement lest they find some on their own (hide the toilet paper and lock up the yarn!)Our favourite method of entertaining them in the winter is the mini disco balls we have strung in the sunporch. At this time of year when the sun does shine, it streams in the windows; sunbeams reflect off the mirror balls and bounce all over the place. The cats think it's a marvelous game. Best cat toy ever!

And of course I am full of joy that the Russian is still here in Canada. Although it's been a year since he was granted permission to stay, he's still awaiting the documents that make him a permanent resident and until he has those in his hand he won't believe it 100%. Government bodies move slowly and at times it's still frustrating-the longer it takes the more he doubts it will really come to be no matter how much I try to reassure him. Having those papers will mean we can make more plans, as well as allow him to travel outside of Canada again and he hopes to be able to see his daughter who he hasn't seen in 4 long years. Hopefully he won't have too much longer to wait.

Despite my earlier grumbling, 2012 looks to be a promising year. Colette and I have decided to emulate our Can Jam experience by attempting to can one recipe a month again and we have our eyes on Meyer lemons for January. And speaking of canning I finally splurged on a pressure canner just before Christmas but I've yet to try it out so I'll be sure to record my first attempt!

We've also got some other great plans for this winter, including building window farms and of course tapping maple trees again- mmmm, syrup!
At work we're putting together a number of interesting projects as well. I'm still amazed that I'm getting paid to come up with gardening plans and related projects and I can't wait to get going. There's even a rumour that I might be working with bees and possibly even chickens!!

Maybe I should enjoy the quiet time while I can!

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