/*from pinterest*/
Hello October!

Hello October!

Calgary is welcoming October with periods of snow and temperatures at freezing.

October weather

It should only be for a couple of days, and then we can get back to Autumn.

The trees have changed colour. Here in Alberta, the colours are mainly shades of yellow and orange. One of these years, I want to fly east in the autumn to see the fiery red maples. At any rate, even though the leaves are yellow, they have yet to fall. Hopefully, we can look forward to some mild days later in the month for leaf raking. October is for leaf raking.

October is also for ripening berries. Our mountain ash out front is loaded with berries. They will stay for much of the winter providing lots of food for the visiting Bohemian Waxwings.

Mountain ash berries for a centrepiece.

Of course, October is the time for pumpkins and pumpkin spice lattes.

pumpkin spice latte

October is for pumpkin spice lattes.

October is also time for apples. My friend’s daughter harvested local apples and made this apple cake and apple juice. It’s amazing how good freshly picked ingredients taste.

apple cake and apple juice – made from freshly harvested local apples

October is also the setting for my latest novel, WEDDING BELL BLUES. Actually, it starts in September and ends in October. A couple of days ago, the book got its first review:

I know, small print. You can read the review here. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. 🙂

WEDDING BELL BLUES is available in Print and Ebook at Amazon. It’s also available in Print at ChaptersIndigo in Canada. (Hmmm, I wonder if Chapters has put up an image for the book yet . . .)

As the cold weather approaches, I’m thinking about winter. The long, cold Calgary winter. And I’m thinking about maybe heading south this winter for a short break. I’m saving for that trip.

Here’s my Cinderella Castle piggy bank.

Cinderella’s piggy bank

Cinderella’s piggy bank

Canadian Thanksgiving is next Monday. Always the second Monday of October. Most people do Thanksgiving dinner on the Sunday and then have leftovers on the Monday. I’m not quite sure what we are doing, but I can guarantee there will be pumpkin pie. And probably whipped cream.
yum!What’s your favourite part of October? Are you having turkey next Sunday or Monday? Is it snowing where you are?

pumpkin pie from Bigstockphoto #159829412

Three Hills Cruise Weekend

Three Hills Cruise Weekend

I needed to step away from the keyboard and Rolf wanted to attend the annual Three Hills Cruise Weekend, so we booked a motel and headed to the little town last Friday.

Three Hills Cruise

The Three Hills Cruise started in 1981. The event was organized by three locals for the first Saturday of June. That year, 35 cars showed up.

hardtop convertible

hardtop convertible

The event continues to be held on the first Saturday of June and also includes the Friday and Sunday.

Show ’n’ Shine

Show ’n’ Shine

On Friday, there’s the Meet, Greet and Cruise. Saturday has the Show ’n’ Shine. Cars start lining Main Street at 8 o’clock in the morning. Later on Saturday, starting about 5 pm, the Three Hills Airport hosts the 1/8 mile bracket racing. And on Sunday, the racing continues.

Three Hills Cruise

This year marks the 37th year of the event. More than 1000 classic cars and trucks registered and Main Street filled with people, young and old. There were also classic motorcycles and I even saw one Tesla. 

Three Hills Cruise

Local eateries fill up. Church groups and service organizations sell hot dogs, burgers, ribs and beans as well as soft drinks and ice cream. It’s like being at the fair. 

Three Hills Cruise

Apparently, Mother Nature always cooperates and the day is hot and sunny. Many visitors bring folding chairs to sit in the shade.

Is this Margi’s Thunderbird?

Is this Margi’s Thunderbird?

The Town of Three Hills was incorporated as a Village in 1912. Now the town has a population of about 3300, numerous parks and walking trails, and many community events throughout the year. The Cruise is the biggest. At this event, money is raised and donated to worthwhile causes. Classic vehicles are showcased and appreciated. Visitors and locals kick back and enjoy a hot summer’s day. 

Three Hills Cruise

Although I am not a car aficionado, I couldn’t help but get into the spirit and I’ve already decided I’ll be there next year. 

Main Street, Three Hills

Main Street, Three Hills

Have you attended the Three Hills Cruise?

 

Signs of Spring

Signs of Spring

A month ago, spring officially arrived in the northern hemisphere. It didn’t quite make it to Calgary.

A couple of weeks ago, I saw my first robins, but they’ve been hiding ever since.

signs of spring

Eight days ago, the city crews cleared the storm sewer by our driveway. With the heavy snowfall, the storm drain blocked and needed to be steamed out. For three weeks, our driveway was either a lake or an ice rink. At one point, I had a delivery and the driver crossed the lake to park on our driveway in order to reach the house. But with the snowpack, she had trouble backing out. I stood on the road to watch for traffic so she could back up quickly and get over the ridge of ice and back on the road.

signs of spring

Earlier in the day, a truck got stuck between the ruts on the road. It wasn’t a four-wheel drive truck. Don’t come to visit unless you are driving a four-wheel drive vehicle.

Three days ago I drove to an appointment at eight in the morning in the snow and the sleet. Headlights on. Windshield wipers on. Poor visibility. But good traction because I have good snow tires.

not a sign of spring

I wonder how long we will need snow tires this spring . . .

Yesterday, finally, there are some signs of spring.

signs of spring

My Secret Garden is waking up from a long winter’s nap.

It’s been a week since the last snowfall warning. The temperatures are rising and the snow is melting. We may have made it through the longest winter ever.

Things to do while waiting for spring

Buy some tulips. 

signs of spring

Go to the terrarium at the zoo.

at the zoo

Wear a brightly colored shirt.

wear some spring

Don’t think about winter. Eat strawberry rhubarb pie and dream of spring.

strawberry rhubarb pie

Is it spring-like where you live?
Do you have any sprouts coming up?
Do you have a rhubarb patch?
Do you like strawberry rhubarb pie?

 

Falling snow from Depositphotos #35062887
Robin from Depositphotos #46951573_l-2015
Tulips from Depositphotos #38836931_l-2015

First Day of Spring

First Day of Spring

When I went to elementary school, I learned that the Earth’s axis is slightly tilted in relation to its orbit around the Sun. I also learned that because the Earth orbits the Sun at a slant, we have seasons. And I learned that the seasons change on the 21st of March, June, September and December.

I have since learned that the 21st is close to the astronomical calculation, but the 21st is not always the first day of the new season.

Today, March 20th, is the astronomical first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It is known as the spring equinox or the vernal equinox. If you imagine a line above the equator, the spring equinox occurs when the sun crosses that line from south to north. That is the astronomical definition of Spring.

In Calgary, with snowbanks everywhere, it still looks like winter even though yesterday was the last official day of winter.

Yesterday, we drove to the mountains to ski at Sunshine Village. It’s not spring there either, although the temperatures are warmer than they were in January. The snow, however, is perfect winter snow—not the slushy stuff that will come with spring skiing.

Here we are leaving the gondola station at 1,660 metres (5,450 feet) looking out the frosty Plexiglas of the gondola.

Leaving the gondola base

That’s the parking lot below, only half full at ten in the morning. It’s a weekday so it will only fill to the end of the parking lot. On weekends, the cars are backed down the road and shuttle buses take you to the gondola station.

We always ski on weekdays.

Here we are arriving at the top gondola station in the Village, at 2,159 metres or 7,082 feet.

Arriving at the Village

There is another station below this where you can get off for Goat’s Eye Mountain, but in the mornings, it’s always icy over there. So if we do ski Goat’s Eye, we wait until the afternoon. By then the sun has softened the snow and it’s nicer skiing.

Yesterday’s forecast was for a mix of sun and cloud and the morning started off sunny.

sunny at Sunshine in the morning

Closer to lunch, we headed to the top of Divide.

On the Divide Chair

Now we are on the Divide chair. To the left are the Teepee Town and Angel chairs.

For a short time, the Divide chair crosses from Alberta into British Columbia. I didn’t get my camera out fast enough so I missed the sign that says “Welcome to Beautiful British Columbia” but I did get the sign welcoming us back to Alberta.

Welcome Back to Sunny Alberta

Welcome Back to Sunny Alberta

The joke is that sometimes you are riding this chair in a whiteout when the “sunny Alberta” sign comes into view.

Now we are at the top of Divide at an elevation of 2,730 metres or 8,960 feet, and the clouds are moving in.

Top of Divide

The light was flat, so we only did one run here and then skied all the way back down to the Village. We did one more run on Standish (where the light was better) and then we went to the Sunshine Mountain Lounge and the Chimney Corner for lunch . . .

Sunshine Mountain Lodge

. . . where I get to take off my boots (ahhhhh) 

. . . and fuel up on that great Canadian delicacy, poutine.

poutine

After lunch, the light was still iffy, and Goat’s Eye looked socked in, so we stayed at the Village, and skied the Wawa Bowl.

Tin Can Alley

One of my favourite runs is here, Tin Can Alley.

Now we are riding down. Those are my skis on the outside of the gondola.

going down on the gondola

The temperature rose to 4 degrees Celsius (39 Fahrenheit) in the Village, with no wind, so the air was spring-like. But the snow was winter-like and perfect. So that was our last official day of astronomical winter.

The other way of determining the seasons is called the Meteorological Method. In this case, meteorologists base the seasons on annual temperature cycles.

  • Spring is defined as March, April and May.
  • Summer is June, July and August
  • Fall is September, October and November.
  • And Winter is December, January and February.

Kind of makes more sense. But I still think back to my elementary school days—and the 21st.

What is spring for you? Is it the beginning of March? Or not until the 21st? Is it snow melting? Or tulips and daffodils pushing up through the soil? Do you like spring skiing? Or would you prefer to start a garden?

Divi, my new theme

Divi, my new theme

I’ve been re-decorating again. I’m playing with a new theme called DIVI from Elegant Themes. A theme is basically the “wallpaper” for your website. It’s the part that makes it look pretty, and that allows you to arrange stuff in a variety of ways, depending on the theme’s capabilities.

DIVI is a relatively new theme that lets you arrange your website in just about any way you can think of—from one column pages to multi-column pages; from full-width layouts to grid layouts; and with sidebars anywhere you want them.

My old website used a theme from StudioPress called Beautiful Pro which is built on the Genesis framework. I still like that theme but I’m finding I can do more with my new DIVI theme. And, I suppose, playing with a new theme is a displacement activity—that is, something to keep me from the original job of writing a book.

But then, I’m not actually writing new stuff at the moment. I’m in the editing phase of the third book in my SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW series. The book is with beta readers now, so I’m waiting to hear back from them. And while I wait, I decorate.

This is what my old website looked like:

So, it’s not a big change. I like the banner of cosmos flowers. I like the pink. I like having a Landing Page and a separate blog page. I still call my blog, Tuesday Café—even though it’s not always on a Tuesday.

I still need to add my “bookshelf” and I’m planning on adding a page about writing.

Tomorrow afternoon, I’m meeting with a fellow author for coffee. She’s one of my beta readers and I’m looking forward to her take on my new book. I’m sure she’ll have lots of suggestions for me.

Sorry about that . . .

Sorry about that . . .

You may have noticed I am redecorating my website. Today, one of my blog subscribers let me know that I am inadvertently sending out blog posts! Ridiculous ones with content like this:

Sed quis ipsum vitae metus consequat pharetra. In dignissim varius erat, ac dignissim lorem bibendum et. Sed id placerat odio. Nunc nec felis non dolor pulvinar congue. Nunc dapibus ex vitae dolor consequat, in porta mi vulputate. Vivamus vestibulum dui purus, non efficitur ex iaculis id. Integer auctor dolor eu ex scelerisque facilisis. Sed fringilla, leo a laoreet placerat, urna sapien convallis elit, ut scelerisque mi massa quis mauris.

Sorry about that! I need to figure out how to turn off the blog subscription feature while I am “in development”. That’s a techie term for “working on my website”.

And since I primarily write Fiction—and not websites—you may get a few more rogue posts before I’m finished!

Stay tuned. I should have it sorted out by Sunday night.