Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Break

Old Man Winter took pity on us this weekend, and gave us a break in the cold spell we've been having. The sun was out, with temperatures still below zero, but nearly 20 degrees warmer than it had been all week. And like so many others feeling cooped up, we grabbed our skates and headed down to the Forks where there were massive crowds and plenty to see and do. 

But we were most excited about checking out what the daddy has been up to, as he's been taking somewhat of a break from his long studio hours on the weekends to help out on a snow sculpting project.
For the last three weekends, Chris and Robin have been planning and prepping for a series of large scale snow sculptures down at the Forks. The first weekend they built the forms and packed them full of snow. Then last weekend they thought better than to start sculpting in the bitter cold and spent some time in the shop building custom carving tools instead. 

And then as if they'd planned for it, this weekend made for the perfect timing to tear down the forms and start sculpting. It was fantastic to see them come to life and plenty of people interested in watching the guys in action. Winnipeg is known for its outdoor culture and flourishing arts scene, so it only seemed obvious that a snow sculpting experience would be one you wouldn't want to miss out on during our year here. 

 "A bunch of bonhomie"

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Art of Scarfing

Well we survived our first Winnipeg deep freeze.

Temperatures were in the -20s and -30s all week, with windchills that made it feel more like -40C! And we soon realized that a little cold snap doesn't slow anyone down around these parts, the cold is just a way of life here.

The schools remain open, university classes don't miss a beat, transit runs and the sun shines!

Besides a little cold weather drama at the kid's school with the ridiculous temperatures setting the fire alarms off, and a frayed extension cord on the car making it a little difficult to get that block heater warmed up - we endured like the rest of Winnipeg.

A few little survival tips we learned throughout the week:

1. Plug in
Adding the little ritual of plugging in the car before we went off to bed meant the difference between going anywhere the next day or not. (Once we replaced the frayed cord of course!)

2. Stock up
Unnecessary trips in the car are just a bad idea. One big grocery shop at the beginning of the week and no hesitating looking a little harder in the cupboard for something to make for dinner.

3. The Art of the Scarf
I now have a new appreciation and talent for wrapping a scarf around my own and my children's faces to ward off a biting wind. I may never need to use this talent back in BC, but we sure are getting lots of practice here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Minus WHAT!?!

Less than 5 mins and my eyelashes are frozen!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Face Off!

As in, Freeze your Face Off! We are a week into a true deep freeze here in the 'Peg'. The cold, cold temperatures have meant several indoor recess days for the kids, and me sprinting to my car between pick ups and drop offs.

Yesterday it warmed (slightly) and with double digit negative temperatures predicted for another week, we decided to brave an outdoor outing to get the wiggles out of our system. After school we met up with our pals down at the Forks - the heart of Winnipeg and a downtown riverside attraction. The Forks is a public venue, home to a great indoor market, various restaurants, shops and museums surrounded by kms of trails & outdoor play-spaces.

During the winter months, the bike trails and bridges are iced and several rinks are created for skating, both on the river and around the park. We stayed and played well past dusk and both the kids asked if we could come back tomorrow? To which I replied, "Of course! but let's check the temperatures first."

Monday, January 14, 2013

Goodnight Papa

We begin 2013 with heavy hearts, having said goodbye to our much loved Papa Regan. Last month we changed our holiday plans and decided to brave the prairie roads and drive home for the holidays.

And now we are feeling so grateful for our decision and the greatest gift received this Christmas was the opportunity to tell him just how much he meant to us.

Robin's grandpa so easily became a part of our everyday lives in the valley when he moved there shortly after Isla was born.
Never one to miss a firing, a potluck or the opportunity to visit over a cup of tea, Grandpa brought wisdom and joy to every occasion.

We will be forever grateful for the invaluable role he filled and we'll honour his life by living ours the way he lived his; with compassion, with generosity and with a never ending sense of curiosity.

With so few words, he taught us so much. Goodnight Papa, sleep well.