Friday, February 17, 2006

Riverwood Morning

Snow was swirling around the bedroom window a couple of minutes ago, but now things look pretty calm out there. I think the sun might even be trying to break through the clouds. The snow was thick and fluffy when I first got up, but the "storm" keeps starting and stopping. The wind is howling around the house like a pack of hungry wolves trying to get in and the snow is swirling around like imps teasing them to come play a game of tag with them. I can see them whirling and twirling together up and down Welcome Lane, and it sure looks like they are having fun.

We had a ton of freezing rain dumped on us on yesterday, and last night too, so there is a skating rink on fields, meadows and drives. A light layer of snow is skimming along on top of ice like hockey players in the Olympics. The snowflakes sure can move and dodge and change directions quickly. What talent! I think a gold medal is a sure thing.

When I heard the freezing rain hitting the windows last night, I thought that we might have trouble with our power, so I hunted up candles and matches and got ready for what might come our way, but we were fine. I knew that freezing rain and high winds can cause real problems with power lines up here, so I got ready for it as best I could and then settled in for the evening. We sat in the warm cozy farmhouse all evening and read our books and drank steaming cups of tea while the storm rattled and raged outside. I crawled between the covers to snuggle down for the night around 10, but AC stayed up reading into the wee small hours. He said that he saw lightning. Sheesh! I didn't hear or see anything. It is amazing how deeply I sleep up here. The bed is not the most comfortable one in the world, and I don't like being scrunched against the wall, but I get into my little groove and manage to enjoy a deep and restful sleep each night. My back is always a bit gamey in the mornings, but nothing that doesn't wear off after a few stretches and a walk around from window to window.

I do enjoy my morning stroll to all the windows to check out the view being offered outside each one here at Riverwood. First I peer out the front bedroom window to see what is going on along Welcome Lane. From there I move to the Living Room windows and take in the beauty of the giant pine trees on Pine Fort Knoll, then my gaze moves down to the Chickadee tree in Apple Blossom Meadow. Lots of activity in the craggy old tree this morning, and I stand there amazed at how these little birds keep warm in this cold winter blast. I move to the kitchen window at the back of the house and my eyes roam up to Raspberry Hill Gate and across the yard to Fourpaw Pasture and Elisarben Meadow. Ah, all is well and beautiful. I get the coffee ready to drip into the pot and savour the fragrance of the brew while I stand at the kitchen window and drink in the beautiful view of the fields and barns of Riverwood. Oh so good for my heart and spirit. Heaven on earth indeed.

While I have been sitting here writing, the view out of the window in front of me has changed from bright and sunny to dull with thick snow and back to sunshine again. Mother Nature isn't quite sure what she wants to do this morning, and neither am I, so I will just sit here and enjoy the show.

I hope you have a warm comfortable spot from which to watch Mother Nature do her thing today. Enjoy life whatever you end up doing. Take care.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Riverwood on the Thames

Pip, pip, cheerio and a jolly good morning to you all. We have been here a little under a week now and even though my body has been curled up on the couch at Riverwood, my mind has been running around the streets of London in search of a serial killer. Plumb wears me out it does. Yes, I was right there with Inspector Lynley and Sargeant Havers of New Scotland Yard as they did their detecting in the pouring rain, or cold night air along the Thames! They consumed many cups of tea as they did their sleuthing, and so did I. I even nibbled a biscuit or two too. Yum!

AC and I do a love a good British mystery, and Elizabeth George delivers some of the best. We always bring a bag of books along with us to the farm cottage, and a couple of the latest murder mysteries are usually tucked in alongside the computer and poetry books. This old farmhouse is the perfect spot for long evenings curled up with a good book and a steaming cup of tea, while Mother Nature busies herself outside dusting fresh snow around to get things ready for our snowshoe walk the next day. Oh the joys of being here at Riverwood with no TV and a phone that hardly ever rings.

During this past week, when I wasn't busy solving murders in London, I worked away at my painting project or went trekking in the woods: an absolutely perfect combination of work, fun and exercise.

We have been blessed with fresh snow almost every day, so the trails are soft and powdery making for a fairly quiet walk, and the trees all along the paths are dressed in thick coats of snow, also muffling the sound of our footsteps. This produces an almost magical feeling in the air as we wind our way through the thick forest. I feel like I have just stepped through the wardrobe and am entering Narnia when I am on certain parts of the path.

Legs are getting stronger now, and we have a full moon in the sky, so the other night we set off for a moonlight walk across Elisarben Meadow and over Fourpaw Pasture. There were lots of clouds in the sky, but it was still light enough for us to find our way perfectly across the snowy fields. Neat!

Yesterday was a day for errands, so a lot of time was consumed preparing for and making a trip to town but we managed a trek along Riverside Ramble Trail late in the day. I was dragging by the time we emerged out of the woods after than one though. One walk was more than enough for that day, so no second moonlight walk last night.

We discovered yesterday that both dumps in the area are closed and they now pick up garbage once a week. Oh dear, that meant we had to get up at 6:30 this morning in order to get the garbage out to the road before 7am. Yikes! We can't put it out the night before because animals would get into it. We have no alarm clock here at the farm, so we had Butterfly call us at 6:30 this morning to make sure we got up in time. It seemed like the middle of the night when the phone rang! AC got bundled up to make the long trek down Welcome Lane to the road with the three bags of garbage while I stayed inside to brew a pot of coffee and slice fresh multi-grain bread for a hot buttery piece of toast.

It is now mid-morning and time to dust off the old laptop and check mail. Dialing in and posting blogs and pictures is very SLOW up here, so most mornings I just ask AC for the news and don't even bother trying to check blogs or post something myself. I will catch up when I get back home. AC is persevering and posting pictures each day though, so be sure to check out his blog.

The sky is heavy with snow clouds which hold the promise of a delicious snowfall to be delivered later today. We hope to go out and blaze a new trail from the North Boundary Line over to Riverside Ramble Path, reaching it without going along the Old Logging Road. That will take us through some pretty dense forest, but it should be fun. We will start by going to the end of the Old Logging Road to pick up the North Boundary Trail then head East over to the river and track back south through the woods to see if we can find the Riverside Ramble Path. That will almost double the time out on the trails though, so we will see how our legs feel once we get out there.

Time now to go work on my painting project for a while and then make lunch before we set off on our adventure.

Hope you are enjoying this fine February day and you find something to warm your heart and make you smile as you blaze new trails of your own today.

Friday, February 10, 2006

There is now Here...

Ahhh, that's better. I am once again sitting it the little corner of the world I call Riverwood. Gloryoski!

Day Two…

I rolled out of bed around 8am this morning and the air was chill outside the sleeping bags, but the view outside each window warmed my heart and I just couldn't go back to bed. Snow was gently falling, dressing all the trees in a fresh white outfit for the day. I scurried to a corner of the bedroom to find my outfit for the day too. I quickly donned my old navy-blue fuzzy track pants, paired them with a maroon turtle neck shirt then finished off the ensemble with my cozy olive-green velour jacket. Not a glamorous outfit by any stretch of the imagination, but textures, colours, fabrics and styles all met one criterion — warm and comfortable — and that is all that matters up here at the farm on a cold February morning.

All decked out in my "fashion statement" I am now snuggled down in my writing corner with my second cup of coffee and have a quiet morning stretching out in front of me like a clean white page to write anything I want upon. Oh joy!

The sun is shining brightly on new fallen snow this morning and it is absolutely beautiful. From my vantage point here on the couch in the front room I can see right down Welcome Lane to the old gate by the road and the shadows in the snow all along the drive make interesting patterns that capture my imagination and make it hard to tear my gaze away from the window to concentrate on writing this note. The sky has cleared and we are being treated to an icy blue dome overhead, and brilliant white blankets sprinkled with diamonds, fluffed up on the fields all around the old farmhouse. Awesome!

We got here around 1pm yesterday and spent most of the afternoon cleaning and getting settled in. The dust bunnies sure multiply when no one is here to make them behave themselves. They cavort with the dog hair and make playful gatherings in all the nooks and crannies on the floor while cobwebs add lacy decorations to lamps, curtains and corners near the ceiling. I took broom in hand soon after we arrived and tackled these celebrations high and low, then dusted counters and cupboards while AC unloaded the car, then put the vacuum together and vacuumed carpets and wood floors under beds, couches and chairs. We were worn out by the time all that was done but AC noticed the wonderful twilight shadows on the snow so went out to the lane to take some pics in the fleeting light. I stayed inside to make our bed and unpack clothes before I crashed on the couch. My back was complaining by the time I had the last item dealt with, so I just curled up and read last night. No evening snowshoe walks on our first night here, but the next day held great promise for a morning one.

Day Three…

It is now day three and time to post a short note. This slow dial-up connection makes it a bit of a challenge to post a picture or two, but we took lots of pictures on our walk yesterday and I just have to try to share a couple with you.

Yes, we did get out for a wonderful snowshoe walk yesterday and it was grand and glorious indeed. In the first picture you can see one of the old barns on the property viewed through the trees along the south trail.

When we got deeper into the woods we came upon this clearing which we think was as old meander of the river and is now a Sny or Oxbow. It is very swampy in here during the summer months, but makes for a beautiful winter walk.

We were out for about an hour yesterday and that was long enough for our first trek. It takes awhile to get the old legs used to the different gait you need on snowshoes. The muscles are rested and ready to go again now after a night's rest, so it is time to make some lunch and then hit the trails.

I'll write again later. Hope you are enjoying this fine February day and get a chance to walk in the sunshine.