Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cows in the Mist

With apologies to brother Scott who coined the phrase long before me.

Winter fog is rolling through the valley. The grouchy neighbour's cows are grazing in the pasture next to our road, and I watched them through the mist as I savored the first of this morning's coffee.

I love cows. I don't miss feeding them in -45C or slogging behind them in a sorting pen with liquid shit hovering on the brink of overflowing into my boots. I do like cows, though, and one of the nice things about a small place like Falkland is that one is never very far from the sights and sounds and smells of them.

Being able to see them from the veranda is nice. Bonus points for the fact that their owner hates me. Nothing personal - heck, the only thing she knows about me is that I'm originally from Alberta but that's enough for her. That's the entire point, in fact. Alberta = enemy.

I wonder where Saskatchewan ranks in her universe?

The eastern edge of Tuktakamen is just visible at this point. I'm hoping the sun will burn off most of it today. Several fogged-in, grey days have made for foggy grey minds. My get up and go has got up and went.

Work is a matter of going through the motions right now, for everyone it seems. The 2010 budget is coming up fast, and when management has a worried look, everybody best be treading cautiously.

New things are coming down the pipe. The fox of change is again hovering 'round the henhouse, making for fluffed feathers and nervous clucking. The entire way the creative department does business is about to be turned on its head and that's always an anxious process. That our paper has often been the subject of several recent innovations introduced by Black Press, and has the scars to prove it, explains the nervous atmosphere.

The fact that I've had to learn several new systems in the past 18 months allows me to look at the situation with some amusement. I've already told myself to keep tight-lipped and not let slip the observations spinning in my brain. Starting now (never know who's reading!).

On a completely different train of thought, Bryan and I did a little grocery shopping in Askew's Sunday afternoon, more to get out of the house than for an actual need of supplies. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the new crop of blood oranges is in the stores - with Bryan home, I seldom do the shopping. In fact there were lots of new choices other than the ho-hum navels. I picked up two or four of several varieties including

Seville blood oranges - always a seasonal fav
Moro blood oranges - really red, freaked out a co-worker!
CaraCara navel oranges - big 'n juicy
Minneola - haven't peeled one yet

Nothing like fresh juicy aromatic oranges to lift the mid-winter gloom. Well, sunshine helps but sunshine in a rind does in a pinch.

Some housekeeping matters:

I misquoted a blog find a week back in some emails I sent. Please omit whatever I wrote and go visit

Another one I'm just exploring is

Winter Carnival is in full swing in Vernon, consuming the city. The editorial department is competing in the noon broomball tournaments, beat "some pasty white tree hugging engineers" yesterday (says one of the sports writers, but don't quote me on that). And still got their copy to me on time, which impressed me more.

One of the evening events was the Snowed In Comedy Tour on Saturday night. I got a set of tickets and as Bryan was still indisposed (incapacitated, immobilized, sore as shit) PK was my date. It was a blast - four of the best comedians in the world on the stage up close and personal. We laughed 'til the tears ran down our legs.

It's the carnival's 50th anniversary this year, so everything is extra special. I was thinking of going up to Silver Star to see the snow sculptures but.....

Bryan's 100% better than he was a week ago. When breathing or eye blinking qualifies as an extreme sport, any improvement is a major event.

Thankfully he found a doctor in Vernon who is familiar with ankylosing spondylitis and is anxious to help him any way he can. Bryan's also got a message therapist/chiropractor (trained in both) who keeps him moving. And the now fully-functional sauna here at home is a total bonus.

Unfortunately, his long-awaited motorcycle trip with David in the Baja is once again cancelled. The thought of his back going into spasms while in Mexico doesn't appeal much.

Well, the fog hasn't lifted so much as shifted. Tuk is now completely hidden from view - you'd wonder how something that big and close could become invisible. The sun is bravely burning a wee hole in the clouds to the east but there's neither light nor warmth from it, only hope.

Oops, there, it's gone.

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