A Positive Approach to Winter

In an If-you-can’t-beat-‘em-join-‘em approach to the snow this winter, I’m trying my hardest not to complain about the white stuff. Besides the fact that complaining doesn’t do one iota of good, I’ve also been trying to busy myself with other things—writing being first and foremost. Truthfully, not complaining helps keep the cranky away. I’ve come to realize the more you complain, the more you enjoy it until it almost becomes an Olympic sport. Not only that, you find others to join your team in your quest for gold. We’re usually good at finding teammates.

SO enough of the grumbling about the snow. Spring will come sooner or later. I say this with conviction as we’ve never yet had a winter that lasted 365 days—not to my memory at least. So here are a few things I’ve been doing to keep that four letter word from making me gripe.

1. Write, write, write: Okay, no surprises here. I’ve been making great headway on a project I started several years back. I’ve come back to the place where I’m enjoying the story again. Here’s where I’ll let you all in on a secret, we writers sometimes come to despise the story we’re working on. It’s true! We lose all objectivity about our own work. We can’t seem to put a sentence together with eloquence, our plot line stinks to high heaven. Sometimes we pull our hair and gnash our teeth. Sitting at the computer and opening that file can be pure hell. But even at that it still beats four feet of snow!

2. Knit, knit, knit: I’m a knitter, have been since I was a kid trying to knit a scarf with two nails and a ball of cheap yarn I found lying around the house. Not an easy thing to do, knitting with two nails that is, but even so I wasn’t complaining about the s***. You’ll be happy to know that I graduated to knitting needles many moons ago. I’ve made socks and mittens, sweaters and even afghans over the years. This winter I’ve picked up where I left off three years ago. My rippling wave afghan didn’t go anywhere during that time. Maybe this winter I’ll complete it.

3. Housework: Okay, that’s just a little joke to throw you off.

4. Reading, reading, reading: I’ve read some great books this winter, one for book club coming up next week and several simply for enjoyment. Actually, all the books I read are for enjoyment. Here’s where I want to mention that I love reading books from local authors and Canadian authors in general. We have a lot of talent in this country. I’ve some great local books coming up on my reading list. Hugh R. MacDonald and his novel Us and Them the sequel to his book Trapper Boy. Meghan Marentette’s The Stowaways , Shatterproof by Jocelyn Shipley and Keeper of the Light by Janet Barkhouse. Maybe you’ll have time to check out some of these great reads.

5. Treadmill: Yup. I’ve been faithfully working out this winter. Okay, so we all know that treadmills are like THE most BORING thing on the face of the earth after the first two minutes, but I’ve got a little secret. I read while I’m walking the miles. Yes, I do. Many people say they just can’t do it. These same people can’t read while riding in a vehicle. I can do both. Lucky me. No complaints here.

6. Snowshoeing: I’ve been making an effort to get out there when the weather’s good which hasn’t been all that often this past week. (Nope, that’s not a complaint…just stating facts.) The good news is next week’s forecast is looking up.

7. Gourmet Cooking: Haha! Not really. That one was actually for my kids if they happen to be reading. I figure they could do with the belly laugh after the snowy week we just had.

8. Snow racing: Admit it, this one sounds impressive. Snowracing—whizzing down the slopes, wind on my face, sun in my eye, the taste of freedom on my lips. Here’s the real scoop: when our grandson came for a visit a few weeks back, Guppy and I each took some turns on the Snowracer. (Sorry no photos as proof.) First time ever for me; not sure about Guppy. Oh, the things we do for grandkids.

9. Join the circus: Surprised ? Me too. This winter watching the news has been like having a front row seat at the circus. I’m not looking to get into any political debates here, but daggum it’s been interesting to say the least. All the juggling of news and fake news, people walking a very tight rope, a pretty sad bunch of clowns making us laugh and cry. Yes, indeed, there has been a lot of interesting acts taking place under the big top this winter. Every night there seems to be a new attraction added to the show. I wait in anticipation. All that’s required is for me to bring my own popcorn and drinks…lots of drinks.

So there you have it, my positive approach to this snowy Nova Scotia weather. While I may not love the mounds of snow we’ve been getting I’m doing what I can to keep from complaining about the things I can’t change.

What have you been doing this winter instead of complaining about the weather?

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Pit Pony

nov Dec 2012 674When I learned that Joyce Barkhouse’s wonderful novel, “Pit Pony,” had been made into a picture book, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy for Miss Charlotte. But then, when I discovered Janet Barkhouse (who co-authored the book with her mother, Joyce) was going to read from the book at the Biscuit Eater in Mahone Bay, I knew Miss Charlotte would be getting a signed copy for Christmas. While Miss Charlotte might be a bit young to fully appreciate the significance her very own author-signed booked, I’m sure in a few years she will really treasure it. I can’t tell you how blessed I feel to have the opportunity to meet so many talented local authors in my journey. And did I mention I’m collecting photos for a scrapbook I hope to share with Miss Charlotte one day?

I’ve got to tell you all, this book is a total delight. Janet did a wonderful job of condensing the text from the original noval to fit a picture book format, and Sydney Smith’s illustrations are simply gorgeous. Janet said her mother didn’t get to see the picture book, (she passed away last February), but she knows she would be very pleased with the finished product.

While Janet and I live in the general vicinity, and have attended several of the same events, we’d never been introduced. So I was most excited and pleased to meet her. She’s a delight. (Oh, and did I mention that Margaret Atwood is her cousin? Yup that’s right..Kind of cool I’d say.)Not only that, her mother, Joyce, received the Order of Canada back in 2009. You can read about it here if you’d like. A very talented family.

If you ever have the opportunity to hear Janet read, please, please go. Seriously, I could have listened to her all afternoon.

Janet Barkhouse

Just a thought as you search about for that perfect Christmas gift this year, why not consider the gift of a book? I’m sure many of you already have.

Father Christmas Festival

nov Dec 2012 642Today, we headed to Mahone Bay for a book signing. It just so happened, the Father Christmas Festival was on. I took a few photos and wanted to share.

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I hope you enjoyed this peek at the  Father Christmas Festival. I’ll be blogging about the book  signing we attended next time I post. I’m excited to tell you all about Janet Barkhouse’s picture book, “ Pit Pony.” Drop in and find out all about it.

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