Winter At Its Prettiest

We live in an area called the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada.  The people who have lived here a long time say the weather has changed over the years.  Winters here used were once marked by lots of fluffy white snow that came and stayed.  Nowadays we are just as likely to get freezing rain mixed with snow or temperatures that see the snow partially melt and then, with city traffic, the snow is soon dirty and slushy.  

The longer term forecast for our region for January and February 2013 is for a colder, snowier than usual winter.  Since cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are favourites of mine, I say bring it on!  Here’s some of the beauty of a trail about 10 minutes from home.

What do you choose to do in winter (wherever that may be) to make the best of colder temperatures?





Anything But Syndrome-Again. ABCC

In the not too distant past, along this blog path I penned a piece about my experience with Anything But Syndrome (ABS) .  Today, a quick note to say, I am experiencing ABS once again.  Specifically, it is a case of ABCC-Anything But Christmas Cards.

It’s not all me though.  Technology conspires to throw up such barriers to my efforts that if you follow the thing to its logical conclusion, it’s no wonder ABCC is the result.

Background in brief

Still in good time to send cards

  • Decide to send Christmas cards-still have some time.
  • Look up address list-currently part written, part electronic.
  • Find addresses that are different for same person/people.
  • Decide to update and consolidate list into one electronic database (aka time-consuming).
  • Find electronic addresses are not synced across devices-iCloud, shmyCloud.
  • Start troubleshooting (hah, as if) to find why devices aren’t synced.
  • Two other adult family members start to help.
  • In the end it still doesn’t work and then one device has duplicated all its addresses.
  • In trying to fix it, a certain Luddite deletes some addresses completely.
  • Set it all aside for a week.

Start to feel a case of ABS coming on.

  • Do we have Christmas cards?  Dig throw boxes (takes more time).  Find some-hooray!
  • Tackle the address list again-look up things on Apple forums (understand 2 words in 6).
  • Set it aside for a week (the deadline for mailing has come and gone).


  • Call Apple Support-very helpful.  We do things to erase the address book with glitches and reinstall and presto, it works!
  • It’s now one week to Christmas, our address list is not all in one shiny new database, it’s a hodgepodge.  There is potential though-it will work when someone spends the time to update it all.
  • The cards, envelopes and stamps sit out on the table.
  • Outside the weather is alternating between freezing rain and snow.  Forecasters and traffic reports recommend that, if possible, stay home today.

Good day, methinks, for a case of NBCC.  Nothing But Christmas Cards.  Speaking of which, I should go.


Do Resolutions Work?

In my previous job I had the privilege of working with the very talented “Doc Mike Evans” from Toronto.  He is a family physician whose caring telescopes from his patients to population health and back again.    

Using the best available evidence as a base, he gives health advice in understandable, bite size pieces.  It’s the straight goods packaged in a way that makes sense.  Mike uses social media to get the message out and he does it in such a great way.  I think his videos are unique and appealing.  You’ll find previous videos on exercise-23.5 hours and on smoking cessation on YouTube.  

His credits and titles take up a whole business card but when you hear him speak (and he does so on radio in Ontario fairly often),  you think how nice it would be to have him as your next door neighbour and your doctor. 

Here’s his latest-on New Year’s Resolutions.  What do you think of the format, the message?  Got any resolutions in mind for 2013?

A Favourite Spot-Hastings House, Saltspring Island

On our trip to the west coast of Canada this fall we stayed at one of our all time favourite getaway locations.  It was our third visit over the past three decades.  The place is Hastings House, on Saltspring Island, B.C.

The Green House
The Green House

We have always enjoyed the Inn and its amenities.  The food is superb.  Breakfast is included in the room rate while dinner is optional.  You may be served dinner in your room by the fire if you wish.  That’s a bit decadent, isn’t it. 

The service is always friendly, courteous and professional.  You feel very pampered from check in to check out.  

The Green House
Inside The  Green House

There are a number of out buildings where you can stay as well as rooms in the Inn.  This time we stayed in the Green House.   On a previous visit we stayed in The Meadow and during that visit I sat outdoors in an adirondack chair while lambs jumped and played in the meadow just a short distance away.  My husband spent the afternoon assisting the chefs in the kitchen.  He was very happy with the experience.  I was happy to use one of their bicycles and enjoy a nice ride around the area and not assist the chefs in the kitchen.

Below are pictures of some of the buildings and the grounds.  The last two pictures are of an endive, walnut and blue cheese salad we enjoyed one evening and finally a view of the Pacific Ocean when you take a walk up the road from one of our favourite spots, Hastings House.

Do you have a favourite getaway spot?   What keeps you coming back or at least wishing you could go back?

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Hastings House
Hastings House

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