Tag Archives: Snow

Be Astounded by Top-Down Wipers

I was 49 and 3 days years old when my son pointed out a Lexus with a back wiper that came down from the top.

Astounding.

Revolutionary.

Mind blowing.

Why don’t all wipers come down from the top?

The wiper was hidden up at the top under the overhang of the car. I didn’t even notice it! It wiped away the equal amount of the window as a wiper coming from the bottom, so why don’t all cars have this?

Imagine scraping the snow off the window in the winter without a wiper to contend with at the bottom?

Imagine not having that back wiper sticking out to grab onto an oversize sweater you are wearing?

Imagine less wear and tear on the wiper as it doesn’t sit in the snow/rain/hail/sun every single day?

I am guessing in the next few years that every single car will have a back wiper that comes down from the top, unless someone can tell me some negatives from this really revolutionary idea.

And that’s my random thought from this week.

Have a sunny, relaxing Sunday and love what you do.

xoxo Joanna

Be Enjoying Snow in March

Before Sexy Neck and I’s May 3rd wedding up north, on 53.9 degrees latitude, my mom had the water hose strung out across the lawn “watering away” the last of the snow in the corners of our lawn. My mom was determined that there wouldn’t be any snow on the lawn for our wedding day!

Growing up in the north and then moving east to 53.5 degrees latitude to go to university, winter existed from October until April. Yesiree bob, it was winter for more than half the year.

I believe, deep in my Canadian-heart, that every single person in Canada should live at least one year of their life, preferably before they turn 30, at 53 degrees latitude or north. If I live to be 100 years old, I will have lived one quarter of my life at this latitude.

I currently live at 49 degree latitude where “winter” exists for maybe three months. (Yes, I put “winter” in quotes because we often don’t have snow on the ground for all of these months PLUS we will usually only have two to three weeks of cold weather: below -10 degrees Celsius.) You can probably guess where I am going here…

Why are Canadians complaining about the season of “winter” especially those living at my latitude or lower, which is over 75% of the population in Canada?

I have a theory.

Yup, a theory! Feel free to test it with all your family and friends around you.

Canadians that complain about the winter weather have never lived above 50 degrees latitude and simply want to continue with their “summertime” life all year round. I am always sorry to tell these folks that this is a mentality that will lead to absolute failure and even depression. This “all-the-time summertime” mentality isn’t possible because of the weather that exist for most of us.

Snow.

Sleet.

Hail.

Blizzard.

Grue.

Cold temperatures.

And yes, even snow in March!

If you want to bike outside in the winter, you are going to need special tires and clothing. If you want to run, you probably need to resort to an indoor treadmill or strap on some yak tracks. Yes, life needs to ebb and flow throughout the season for us human beings.

We are enjoying every single second of this snow in March as we wind down our winter activities.

Cross country skiing.

Downhill skiing.

Snow fort building.

Sledding.

Snow picnics.

And taking lovely walks in the crunching snow.

(Can you tell I am a Chionophile?)

Embrace every season of your life and see what unfolds. It truly is a beautiful thing.

Happy Sunday funday everyone and love what you do.

xoxo Joanna

P.S. Definitely let me know if you test out my theory about peoples love of winter being determined by where they have lived and if they try to continue with their summertime life. I am so curious myself!

Be on a Radical Sabbatical in the Swiss Alps (with a shift)

Feeling surreal in Switzerland.

SURREAL.

GOBSMACKED.

GrateFULL.

Happy Sunday Funday Folks! This journey started on Friday morning.

The 11 months and 10 days we lived in Switzerland in 2004 were some of THE BEST and the darkest time of my life (besides watching my mama die!)

The darkness of living through depression and having no energy but to sleep, to be working in a difficult teaching environment, having Steve away training for volleyball each night and living in a country that is clean and exceptionally beautiful for a reason. They ‘control’ each other. I have never been yelled at more in my life.

The BEST moments meeting friends and students that are still in my life today, living in a pristine natural environment, travelling easily and learning more about myself.

We had such an incredible day on the Rigi.

Being back here now in 2019 with our boys is truly sublime.

Drove from beautiful Milan to the Rigi in the Swiss Alps.

With one stop in Locarno for our last Italian pizza and Calzone.

November 15th

Over 25 tunnels. (We lost count!)

One 17 kilometres long.

17 kilometres through this mountain!!
The tunnel! They do things right in Switzerland! **This picture was uploaded while driving THROUGH the tunnel. Unbelievable.

We arrived in Vitznau about 3 and a bit hours after leaving Milan. What an indescribable drive. I am not sure my pictures can even explain.

One Mountain Train (Rigi Bahn) straight uphill into the Swiss Alps.

Time Lapse of our 20 minutes ride up to the Rigi Kaltbad

We have snow folks!

Meeting old friends that we taught with and their wonderful eleven year old daughter.

A gorgeous place, an incredible meal and amazing hot pools. Kaltbad Rigi

Guten abend von de Schwiez.

November 16th

Guten morgen friends!

We started off with opening the hot pools before breakfast at 8:00am. We had a solo swim and play in the pools.

Then it was fruhstuck time here in the Alps. First, our super juice that helps our bodies deal with stress and goes everywhere with us. #partner

Keeping our super power juice cold!

After a buffet breakfast, we decided to head to the top of the Rigi via the Mountain Train and then hike down. What a gorgeous three hours. And God even gave us another rainbow, like He did on the Eiffel Tower and at Vimy Ridge.

How is it possible for a rainbow to be formed in light cloud without precipitation anywhere in sight?
On the top of the Rigi.

Now an afternoon of journaling, postcard writing, eating Swiss chocolate, shakes and German cookies!

Awe sweet boys! They are learning so much about people and culture.

PLUS another swim in the hot pools before dinner:

Dinner was many hours long, but the boys rocked it and luckily our friend’s play games like we do.

November 17th

This is THE shift! This morning at 7:20am, Steve headed down the mountain on the train to take two buses and another train to the Zurich Airport as he heads home, then travels to Mexico in five days for another fair.

I had tears this morning as we said goodbye. I love this man on so many levels.

We decided I would stay here with the boys until Steve is done his trip to Mexico. I will travel with the boys for 8 days in Germany visiting old friends and then back to Paris for 3 more days for some tourist activities. And surprises for the boys. 😉

BUT FIRST, one more morning on the Rigi, a get together with some Swiss friends at an old school bowling alley with a jukebox near Zurich, then back to Germany.

Hot pools at Hotel
Kaltbad.
A Berliner (donut) with Nutella. This guy is embracing the European life.
Morning game time after breakfast!
This wall in the restaurant was one of my favourite things to look at.
11:15am Mountain Train back to Vitznau.
1:00-4:00pm Get together in Zurich.

This is the building where we were…

Through that little brown door on the left lies surprises and beauty and bowling!

Then a 1.5 hour drive to one of our favourite spots in Germany with people living God’s plan through their lives and delivering a package from a mother’s heart to her daughter.

Finishing off the night with one of these… Sexy Neck would be proud! It was as good as I remembered.

Goodnight sweet friends from the Bodensee. Thank you to everyone for your kind words and for truly living these simple moments of an unfolding dream with us. I wish I could give you a HUGE HUG.

Be Learning Life Lessons from a Lab

I was a cat girl growing up. Now, I am a lab girl for life!

I loved cats independence. Loved their gentle purrs and how they would sleep with you in the most obscure ways. My cat, Boots, loved sleeping right on top of my neck or chest.

Enter in Sexy Neck into my life in 1992 with a visit to his family home which was definitely a dog family. Their little dog, Mandy, was a sweetie. Someone to walk with, someone to greet you happily every single time you walked in the door and a great companion for everyone.

This cat girl growing up didn’t stand a chance! Nineteen years ago, I became a dog person, more specifically a Labrador retriever girl. My life would never be the same!

Over these years, I have had the privilege to learn from our two labs, KT and Summer. These are the specific lessons from Summer as this was a very Holy day celebrating her life.

💫 LIFE LESSONS FROM A LAB 💫

💫 Enjoy all the seasons, especially winter. Rolling around and sliding down slight inclines on your side is especially fun!

💫 Wag your tail at everyone but bark at the mailman.

💫 Always be on the lookout for food. You never know what you will find. Even things that you need to lick off the pavement are enjoyable.

💫 Be a baby watcher. Stand as close as you can with your wet nose on the baby blanket. Diapers are the best things to smell on babies. (We called Summer our “Nanny dog”.)

💫 Pour out love to the humans CLOSEST to you. Always be happy to see them. Always greet them at the door. Always look up to them with adoring eyes, especially when they have treats for you.

💫 Love children. All children. Always love those children that will rub your ears, your belly and play fetch with you.

💫 Take your master cross country skiing at all hours of the day. Be their companion and confidante listening to all their stories. Don’t get stuck in the powder!

💫 Be content being with, playing with and taking care of your core group of people. It’s the simple things.

💫 You are never too big to cuddle or have your ears and belly rubbed.

💫 Don’t leave the food you like unattended on the table. It might disappear! (This is a lesson from my boys: Nine and eleven year old. This is something Summer just started doing last year, which was ironic because her arthritis was so bad that we had to lift her into the car. That piece of toast on the table, though, no problem!)

💫 Don’t trust strange dogs.

💫 Be present

💫 A little mess doesn’t matter.

💫 The stuff you leave behind is meaningless. It’s the memories, the cuddles, the smells and the moments that create a MAGICAL life!

🙏🏻 LIFE LESSONS FROM A LAB 😘

Magical memories with this puppy: swimming, always being happy to see us, chasing golf balls, cross country skiing, eating every crumb off our floors, shedding a small dog every day, being my comfort and companion, witnessing the birth of all three of our boys…

Thank you faithful friend. Thank you for the life lessons that I will take with me for the rest of my life. I will miss you every day!

February 5th 10:28am 💜 Summer 🙏🏻

Be Awakening to White

We awoke to copious amounts of snow.

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Bright.

White.

Snow.

It ended up being a shovelling, sledding, snowman building morning before the school bell rang.

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For me it was a bright light in the midst of dark times where everyday someone is talking about Cancer, telling me about their mom’s surgery or walking with their mom past me.

The loss of my mom continues to be deep and dark.

The love and traditions my mom had around Christmas continue to bring light. She was an incredibly thoughtful mom and Nana.

I am awakening to this new light.

White.

Bright.

Everlasting love.

Thank you mom!

Thank you God for fresh, white, new snow.

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Be Having a Snow Weekend

Goodbye winter! We celebrated our last weekend up at the hill.

Saturday was the last day of cross country ski lessons. CC was very excited about his cookie race. JC loved going down the jungle trail and playing in the trees with his friend, K.

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Sunday, OC and I hit the cross country trails again. The big boys strapped on their downhill skis and hit some trails. CC went on the chairlift for the first time. The boys loved the Peanut Trail.

I think my boys will choose to take the ‘road less travelled’.

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Be Skiing With “Pulls”

Yesterday, we skied Woodland Bell. The boys have decided to call it Remembering Nana Trail. It is the trail where we placed a rose last week in memory of mom.

JC got to tryout a new piece of ski equipment yesterday.

JC has been waiting a couple of years, but on Saturday T, his cross country coach and owner of Stussi’s gave JC the go ahead to ski with poles.

We aren’t sure what the poles are for yet, mostly they seem to be brother “pullers”!

Love it.

Proud little man.

Happy little brother.

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Who’s that peaking behind OC in the Chariot?