Sunday, April 29, 2007

More signs of spring

The warm days continue here in southern Alberta, even if the nights and mornings are chilly (mere degrees above zero -- tough on the bare toes peeking out of sandals). It's still not warm enough to take the hard top off a jeep, however (right, Randy?)

On my drive to work lately, I see all kinds of baby animals: calves and foals and the occasional prairie dog. The farm animals are safely behind fences, well back from the highway. The prairie dogs are closer to traffic unfortunately, and often end up under it.

Lawns are starting to grow, green finally replacing the winter brown. Leafy green shoots are beginning to poke up out of the dirt. I've seen some crocuses, although not in any of the places I planted them. And any green in my garden already looks like weeds. I have a few watermelon sproutlets growing in little peat pots on the kitchen window sill and at least one flower sproutlet (the zucchini sprouted and then died). I know the growing season doesn't start for at least a month -- I'll be one of those out there on the May long weekend, up to my knees in dirt.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

You know you live in a small town when.....

Ok, it's funny enough to see a couple of guys on horseback going through A&W.

The truth is we saw these guys at one of our favourite coffee places earlier in the day. I was kinda disappointed I hadn't thought to take their picture. Brett thought it was hilarious that one of the horses kept trying to get his nose into his rider's hot chocolate. I wonder if he got any of his fries?

Spring cleaning

Now that snow seems to be gone (yes, even the stuff that fell last week), the practice here is to clean the streets of what they call "winter debris." This is what the notice on the City of Calgary website says:
This year Spring Clean-Up takes place from mid-April until mid-June and will see around 37,000 tonnes of winter sanding materials, dirt and other debris removed from our roadways.
In Cochrane, we started seeing these signs around town:

I can't help but wonder what they do with all the crap they pick up? Can they clean it and use it next year? Can it be used for anything else? Mixed with asphalt for road repair?

There really is a lot of it, even on our small street. It'll be easier to ride a bike when I don't have to worry about skidding on all that loose stuff by the side of the road. And we have a better chance of avoiding rock chips in the windshield if there's less on the road. In Alberta however, you never avoid them for long. We've already had three or four windshield replacements or repairs in the short time we've been here. Would I prefer snow? Well, it doesn't do as much damage, But I can certainly live without the cold. Spring cleaning and spring weather? Bring it on!

Thursday, April 19, 2007


It's April 19.
Two days before the official start of spring.
This is not spring.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Family and friends

Bret met (or re-met) a total of ten aunties and uncles, 13 cousins and numerous friends in Toronto. Wow!

Auntie Wendy and Tante Anne at the seder Monday night.

Blair looking pensive at home; Lesia and their youngest Katya behind him.

Brett and cousin Emily at Auntie Anna and Uncle Dave's house, playing with the same mini bricks we used as kids. Cousin Sheldon is in the background.