winter

It NOW Looks Like Winter

It actually looks like winter outside! We’ve seen a dump of snow recently and the temperature has plummeted. Even though I’m walking home from work right now I’m okay with the temperature dropping. It’s really not that cold and I have snowpants. Sure, my co-workers make a bit of fun of me walking around in my noisy pants, but at least I’m warm!

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My backyard

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My front yard

This is what the holidays are supposed to look like!

I spent a lot of time this weekend finishing up the home made Christmas gifts for my friends. I am happy to report that I’m all done! And then some!

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Here's everything! Home made lava lamps, sugar body scrubs and bath salts!

I ended up making so much I have leftovers!

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Extra peppermint bath salts

I’m particularly impressed with my home made lava lamps. Here’s one in action:

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My eldest has been pretty sick and only now is he starting to come around. He’s all stuffed up now and whiney. We’re giving him Benedryl to help with the nose and it causes him to nap, which he currently desperately needs.

Speaking of which, it’s time for the youngest to go for his. At least he still likes naps.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Frosty Wonderland

It’s not too cold out there this year, which is nice. The last few years in this province have been…learning experiences for me. It is undoubtedly the coldest place I have ever lived. The grass is showing in some parts and the trees are relatively naked today, but this is what it looked like yesterday:

Trees

The trees have their blanket of frost on their branches which is actually quite lovely to behold. It’s one of my favourite things to look at in the winter. I like when there’s frost decorations on the window pane and when the branches of trees and bushes are decorated like so.

Speaking of decorations, I put my stockings up last night! I was pretty excited. When I got home I wasn’t sure if I was going to do it because I’m lazy, but after we put our eldest to bed I just decided I would put those stockings up.

In the world of TAK there is a world/continent that is split into 4 pieces. I haven’t decided how big it will be  yet. This area is like a bowl or dish with rocks and mountains that surround the perimeter. There is a massive lake in the middle of the area that connects all four sections. There are two countries in the north and two in the south. The one northern country reminds me very much of the northern countries in our world. It’s cold, it’s snowy, the summer/spring months are short and fleeting. The people are hardy and strong. Their skin is pale. In another northern country it is slightly similar, but it doesn’t get quite as cold. Maybe like Europe? One of the southern countries is warm, if not tropical. Perhaps like South and Central America with bits of Africa. The skin on their people is a deep caramel or olive colour. The summer is long and languid and the winter is almost non-existent. The final country is a mystery. I don’t want to spoil anything for potential readers hahaha.

When I write, I had to make a crude map so that I could remember where everything is. Where in the country is the castle, where is the city that I’m having a lot of things take place in relation to the rest of the country. What is the terrain like. Things like that. I am not a cartographer so it’s a very crude map. I probably won’t include it in the book. But I might! I’d have to increase my budget to hire someone who can actually make a nice one if I were to do that though 😛

 

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, Rantings, 0 comments

What the heck, snow?!

It’s been one of those mornings when I wake up and I am flooded with all the things I need to do to take care of my 5 year-old and 17 month-old before I shuffle everyone into the car and release them into the clutches of their day home provider. Once they are safe and secure and the trembling lips have stopped I fly to work where I put in my eight hours.

This morning was no different than the rest: hit snooze about three times, drag myself out of bed and throw myself in the shower. Once that’s done and my hair is….acceptable I can go about getting breakfast ready and on the table before I get dressed. This means the chocolate milk needs to be made (we’re syrup people since it’s cheaper and lasts longer), the bowl must be filled (but not too full) of cereal and the straw and timer need to be laid out by the bowl just so if I want to avoid a tantrum.

Just before I head to my bedroom to throw on my clothes that I picked out the night before (thank GOODNESS) I whip past the window.

And stop.

Here is my little aside: sometimes I forget that I live in Canada. Living in Canada comes with certain realities, like snow in April. The little flakes whirl around outside and settle on the corpses of their brethren that lay piled under my window.

Now, normally, I enjoy snow. Living in Manitoba snow is a luxury because it means it’s been warm enough to snow. But when you have a 5 year-old who has so desperately been waiting for the snow to melt so he can stop wearing the boots that are too small and run around in the backyard, snow is a demon. It’s an evil that needs to be purged from this world.

I close the curtains and ignore it.

The morning proceeds like normal: milk is dumped into the cereal bowl which is then sucked up with the straw once the particles of cereal are gone. The youngest inhales his oatmeal and devoured his morning milk. The timer has run to give my eldest the signal that we are out of time to lolly-gag (do people even say that anymore?) and shoes and hats must be put on.

I’ve already gone out to start the car to make it warm and I have dusted it off. The snow is still there, and it’s sticking. This signals a slight panic. My eldest has been very confrontational lately and is NOT afraid to tell you when he is not happy. Usually with a loud “I’M. NOT. HAPPY!”

We’re dressed and ready to go. I open the door and take a deep breath. He heads outside.

And stops with his arms wide open like he’s hugging an invisible giant.

“What the heck? You gotta be kidding me snow!”

His little 5 year-old voice is so loud as it echoes around the neighbourhood at 8 am.

All I can do is laugh. Yes, what the heck? You gotta be kidding me!

P.S. I have no idea where he learned that phrasing from. It was clearly not from me…….no…..not at all…..

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

I CAN SEE THE SUN

The temperature on my cellular device currently informs me that it is 0°C and it feels like -4°C.

Do you have any idea how awesome that is?

This weekend I put my winter jacket away and got out my lovely purple trench coat. It’s going to get wet and gross out so I’ll keep my nice shoes and boots in the closet for a bit more. But I can see the sun. We had daylight savings this weekend which kind of threw off my internal clock, but the fact remains that it is light when I leave for work now and light when I get home. The sun isn’t lying as much any more. Sure, it’s shining out there, smiling happily on the frozen lands of Canada, but it’s also emitting heat at the same time! It’s getting better here folks.

Now I just wait for the day when it’s shining brightly but the temperature has plummeted. I bet it’s going to happen. I am NOT bringing back my winter coat. That’s like admitting defeat. I’ll only bring it back if the temperatures go below -20°C.

In other news, I think I’ve finally decided how I want to end TAK. I’ve got a nice ending all lined up in my brain. Now I just need to work on the middle, the guts if you will, and reach that ending. I’ve taken some notes so I don’t forget and now that some of my weekend has opened up I can work on writing again soon.

I’ve sort of overloaded myself lately and when the term ends I think I need to stop teaching for a bit. Not completely, but maybe only a weekend class instead of during the week AND on Saturday. That’s taking a lot of my time right now. But I need to save money for my husband to go to school.

AHHHH! THE DILEMMA! I think I’ll figure it out though. I always do!

Stay sparkling in that sunshine!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, Rantings, 0 comments

The Sunshine is a Lie

Today at lunchtime I was talking with some of my international colleagues about the sun.

The weather right now in lovely Manitoba, Canada is very misleading unless you look at the numbers. From my office window I can see a brilliant sun shining down upon the ground. It dazzles my eyes as it sparkles on the frozen earth. The tree branches dance ever so softly in an almost non-existent wind. Snow is still dusted on their outstretched arms as they rise above towards that brilliant sun.

At first glance, it seems like a warm winters day.

But the seasoned Canadian knows that that is a lie. Even someone who has lived in this country for a year will know that this picturesque scene is fraudulent.

One quick glance at whatever weather app we have firmly affixed to the main page of our smartphones confirms this.

It is 1pm where I am. Should be closing in on the warmest time of the day.

My app tells me it is -21°C. Feels like -34°C.

Of course, I knew that already. I have braved this weather and ventured from my nice warm home so that I may get myself to work. I have bundled up my small children in defiance against this chill and hurried them to the waiting and warm vehicle so that I can whisk them away to their day home while I trudge off to work.

I will repeat this for every day of the winter and cringe as the temperatures dip lower and lower. I will rejoice when the weather app tells me it’s -10°C outside and it FEELS LIKE -10°C as well.

In order to stave off the madness that can creep in when one is locked indoors for days on end I entered a contest! I highly encourage all my writer friends and followers to check it out as well! It is the Indie-Visible Publishing Pack! Click the link to find out more:

http://indie-visible.com/giveaways/indie-visible-publishing-pack-giveaway/?lucky=250

You know you wanna. I know I wanna. I would love to score this for my upcoming work TAK. You know you would like me to score this for TAK as well. Because, well, let’s just face it: it’s going to be AH-MAY-ZING.

Why?

Does “Because I Said” count? 😛

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, Rantings, 1 comment

Snow! Snow! Snow!

Yes, it is almost May. However it’s snowing in Alberta anyway.

The view outside my office.

The view outside my office.

I mean, I suppose it could be worse. When I first moved to Alberta in 2008 it snowed so much in the middle of May it reached my knees. I may be 5’2″ but that was still pretty high!

I don’t mind the snow. It’s not overly cold right now so that helps. The snow just makes me melancholy. Especially when there are big fat flakes like today. I want to be sitting somewhere with a big window with a dog at my feet and a steaming mug of tea in my hands while I watch outside and write. I used to do that when I was younger and lived in the log cabin. No tea, since I hadn’t really developed a taste for it until I hit about 13/14. But I would sit at my desk in my room, look out the big picture window while I wrote in my journal or notebook with my big dog at the time lazing at my feet. The sereneness wouldn’t last and maybe I’d only get to have 20 minutes of that peace before it was somehow interrupted, but it was one of my favourite past times. It makes me miss living in rural areas.

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Does Spring Exist?

Honestly.

Living out in Alberta, Canada has taught me to treasure the warmer seasons because they last like, a month out here.

We had nice weather and the snow was almost all melted yesterday……today we got dumped on, it’s still snowing, and some areas have been hit with freezing rain. We’re supposed to get more snow tomorrow and on Sunday. I’ve heard between 5-10 cm for today and tomorrow. It’s supposed to turn to rain on Sunday….which means freezing rain.

This snowfall means people are going to forget how to drive, there are going to be accidents all over the place, and my dog is going to get all dainty-like and act like she can’t handle being in the snow for more than five seconds.

I’ve got news for her. Her master isn’t home right now as he’s away for work for the next month and I DO NOT shovel her little area where she goes to the bathroom. Sorry pooch. Deal with it.

Good news: last night I came home from work to find my order from Amazon had come in. That meant 3 new volumes of manga (YESSSS!!!! One I’ve been waiting for since SEPTEMBER) and some books by Guy Gavriel Kay.

Does this mean it’s going to eat into my editing time? The manga took over last night, but the novels I’ve read before and just needed to replace as they had been……misplaced, if you will.

Today I will continue editing at my Day Job on my lunch break, then I will most likely edit tonight and this weekend. I already know my son won’t nap so my editing time will be delegated to when he’s sleeping for the night. I do have friends coming down this weekend anyway so there’s a chance I might not have a whole lot of time on Saturday night.

BUT! I’m still close to my goal for publishing in April! Yeah!!! After this editing breeze I just need to format and I can finalize editing while I do that 😀

GO ME! 😀 😀

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

The Mysteries of Winter Driving

So I live in Canada, eh, and we’re well known for our extensive wintry climate. The province I live in currently is almost always cold. We’ve had hail in June and snowstorms in May. And these aren’t freak occurrences either. They’re expected.

The week before last we had extremely nice weather. I mean, it was positive 6! That’s awesome. I didn’t even feel the need to wear a coat all the time.

Late last week we got hit with a big dumping of snow. It started Thursday night and while it stopped a bit yesterday, there are some flurries happening right now.

It always amazes me how people ‘forget’ how to drive in the winter. Most people in this province don’t even put their winter tires on until December and are skating around out there on summer tires.

The snow removal in the city I live in is atrocious. It’s like they also forget each winter that snow WILL fall and it WILL block roads and slow down traffic. It will make those hills difficult to climb and it will make people slide into each other.

This morning on my way to the dayhome to drop off my son I heard about 3 accidents before I even pulled out of my driveway. I leave my house at 6:30 in the morning at the latest. While I was driving on the highway and trying not to be overwhelmed by the blowing snow which was making it difficult to determine the lanes, I counted about 3 vehicles plowed into the snow on the side of the road. One was a pickup truck that had somehow managed to spin all the way around and slide ass-first into the ditch.

Honestly people. When there’s no snow for 7 days do you REALLY forget how to drive in it that fast?! It blows my mind how this happens every year, every individual snowfall (provided there’s been a gap of at least 5 days between them).

You’d think they’d know how to handle it by now….

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 2 comments

Snow Fall in the City

This morning as I made my way to my Day job, I immediately wanted to go back home.

It started snowing yesterday and it hasn’t stopped yet. On the highway this morning on my way to work the snow was blowing all over the lanes, hiding the lines so you don’t know what lane you’re in, and billowing up behind speeding vehicles like smoke that would engulf them and make their taillights disappear.

The snake-like twisting of the snow on the asphalt doesn’t bother me. The fact that apparently having a snow plow out earlier than 24 hours after it snows so that people can see where the hell their driving is NOT acceptable in this city bothers me.

The streets in the city are even worse. Snow is piled up everywhere. You can’t find the lane to save your life. Even if you drive slow and break early, chances are that you will still slide into someone’s backside (as I learned yesterday).

People are swerving and sliding everywhere. On the highway, some of the bigger vehicles are driving like it’s plus 15 and beautiful out. Transport trucks pulling up beside me in such wintry weather make me nervous, when normally I don’t mind them. I drive an SUV, so it’s not like I’m trying to get around in a little Neon and still, people are flying through the snow only to end up in the ditch a few kilometers ahead. I’ve actually witnessed this happening.

How I wished I could have turned around and headed back to my warm and cozy house. At least today is Friday.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments