Sunday, January 29, 2012

Beetroot Worries

Well, things are ticking along smoothly for Team Jardine in Saskatoon. The weather has been lovely for getting out to the park and sliding and having fun outside, 2 out of 3 of our furniture shipments have arrived, we're cooking real food again and we're just very content with life these days. We're slowly meeting people and turns out there are a lot of swell people here. But really, for myself I feel like enjoying time with the girls and Tim is the most satisfying company these days, as enjoying each other's company stress-free has been a long time coming for our family...This puts us in a bit of a hermit mode, but we're pretty ok with that given our situation, and because our kids are awesome.

We've been enjoying our reunion with our record player and vinyl collection and Tim is very happy having daily doses of Bruce Springsteen back in our lives. One such dose has become a pre-bedtime ritual of a Dancing in the Dark dance-off with Celia and Edie, at their (well, Edie's) request.

Bruce aside, there are a lot of records that we've missed that are now at our fingertips. One such record I popped in the other day was a Kate (late) and Anna McGarrigle album, Pronto Monto. I'd listened to the album many times back in my younger childless days, but the song Bundle of Sorrow, Bundle of Joy hit me in a new way when I first heard it again this week. It's a song about the birth of Anna and Louden Wainwright's new boy (Rufus).

In middle fall when northern winds blow the clouds every which way
And the temperature is variable in the course of a shortened day
The ghost of summer lingers on in the dyin' rays of the sun
and winter waits to heap its snow upon us by the ton

I jam a log into the stove and hasten to shut the door
In the room upstairs sleeps a baby boy who wasn't there before

I love my kid
My baby, my boy
Bundle of sorrow, bundle of joy
Bundle of sorrow, bundle of joy

Who knows what this year will bring, for us just what's in store
While the whistlepegs are bedded down beneath the woodshed floor
How many pounds the child will gain, the inches that he grows
Will depend upon the measure of the love that we show

Chainsaws whine out in the woods, the geese have taken flight
And the daytime sounds of birds give way to coyotes in the night

I love my kid
My baby, my boy
Bundle of sorrow, bundle of joy
Bundle of sorrow, bundle of joy

Once there were just two of us, now there's another mouth to feed
And when he's taken from the breast, can we meet his every need?
We filled our home with toys and clothes to suit his every whim
And he's filled our hearts with wondrous love that flows right back to him

The young grass grows up through the old, the lilac lives again
Upon a painted lattice-work a little rose ascends

It's a beautiful portrait of a) rural Canadian winter and b) the wonder of those early days when you can't believe that there's a new person in your life that is actually part you. Of course, on the same album is the song 'Dead Weight' which I believe Anna wrote in a tribute to Louden whom she divorced that same year. It paints a much bleaker picture with such lines as "you're like a sore spot that never would heal", and "your charm's wearing thin and your voice rings like tin" and of course the chorus "you're a dead weight and I can't wait to see the back of you". I love all of it and I'm glad to have McGarrigle albums back in our lives.

One last story before pictures...This would be a long one if I were telling you in person, but I'll try to keep it somewhat shorter in writing...My mom pickled beetroot from her garden this past summer and our girls love beetroot. So when our Nova Scotia furniture, etc. shipment was being sent in late December, we carefully packed a couple of jars of beets into the mix so we'd have them in Saskatoon. Little did we know that our shipment would be packed into a truck for a 3+ week truck across the country. It was cold and the beet jars became unsealed upon freezing. When we got our shipment we let the jars thaw and cleaned up the juice, and because the jars had become unsealed we thought that they should be eaten quickly. Needless to say the girls have eaten a lot of beetroot in a short time.

On Thursday night we took Edie to the doctor because her wee was brown. Gone were our worry-free days while visions of kidney problems danced around our heads. Turns out it was just too much beetroot. Hilarious in retrospect.

We hope that you are all doing well. Enjoy the pictures.

Jan 30, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Bring on the new!

Well folks, it's a new year and a new start for Team Jardine. No longer the victims!

Since we last wrote we've pulled off a move across the planet with two children successfully, have enjoyed a great holiday season with friends and family, have bought and moved into a house in Saskatoon, and even relaxed a bit if you can imagine. Yes indeed, things are feeling pretty peachy in our household. We are waiting for our shipments from Brisbane, Fredericton and Coldbrook to arrive within the next two weeks, so until then we're getting by without our typical conveniences like measuring cups and can openers and proper beds, but it's nice that this is our biggest complaint.

So Tim left for his first day of work on Monday to catch his bus in the dark. In January in Saskatoon it doesn't get light out until 9:00am which is definitely taking some getting used to for the team who are generally up between 5 and 6. I had a good chuckle as he prepared to leave though, with a pink lunch bag (the only one we have at the moment), a dora watch (his watch is MIA) and a tinkerbell key on his keychain (it was given to us with our housekeys, apparently the previous owners were persuaded to get a tinkerbell key as a replicate by their 3 year old- we totally understand). It was funny because anyone who has children and happened to meet Tim on Monday would definitely know who's calling the shots around here. His day (and week) went well, the bus system seems promising and ya, it was good news all around.

We have bought a 2007 Subaru Forrester to cart ourselves around the city in. It's red and I like it. I hope it likes us.

Well apparently this winter is unlike any that Saskatonians (yes, it's what they're really called) have seen in recent decades. It is actually pretty warm...warm being a relative term...It's not -20 or -30, which is typical for this time of year. The temperature has been hovering between -5 and 5 for the most part, which is so manageable! We count this a huge blessing as it is torture to get Edie to even wear a jacket, pants or socks even in this 'cold'. Hopefully layering will get easier over time.

I won't drone on for too long since there are a fair few good pictures to look at. I had the girls on my own (usually with family) for about a month (Nov 28- Dec 22) while Tim was back in Australia. Tim had the camera so I didn't have much opportunity to take pictures. If I could have, the picture I would love to have taken was of Edie and my Dad (who we lovingly refer to as Buppa Goldtooth, on account of his gold tooth) in the garden pulling up turnips. Edie had on an orange hunting touque, my mom's jean jacket and gardening boots and was loving every minute of the unpaid labour. My dad still has the uncanny ability to get work out of kids without them knowing it. Edie loves him a lot.

We got to spend time with all of the rellies over the month, and it was lovely to spend some quality time with the people we love and who have made us who we are. We're so glad to have such great people in our lives. Other highlights: spending time with Rachel in Boston, a white Christmas, and a great meet-up in Saint John on the 30th with well-missed friends.

Take care friends, and here's to a great new year.

January 14, 2012