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My Pancake Chronicles - 2011

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S: My Pancake Chronicles

1: January 3, 2011 | query | What do numb toes, Florence Nightingale, the worst puns ever, two turkeys, Chinooks and midnight smooching have in common? My Christmas holiday is what. Also included in this list: hummingbirds, construction zones, a questionable library, disturbing urps, fireworks and the dream of tobogganing. A lovely and odd collection of things. What about you?

2: “Do you remember? The colour and the smell, and looking at the Grey Mountain in the distance? And because it was so beautiful, it set me longing, always longing. Somewhere else there must be more of it.” C.S. Lewis - Till We Have Faces | January 5, 2011 | beyond

3: January 7, 2011 | through the nursery | Pad over braided rug, draw the shades, bury under quilted down, and in minutes (I promise you) each dream will be sweeter than the last.

4: Mo | January,10, 2011 | you did what you could | Snowman: I love my new blueberry eyes. How did I ever manage coal all those years? | They were, like, this BIG but I could hardly see. | Me: Carrot Nose, I don't blame you. I know you tried for all your beta-carotene.

5: This dump of snow ... ah well. Where did we need to go anyway? I suppose we must relegate to our particular stations around the fire, brick and crackle. Mugs of chocolate and tea and warm glowing in our throats, yawn. Pass the tissues, I'm going to s-s-SNEEZE. Maybe a little more chocolate. | January 12,2011 | change of plans | What? Still snowing? Ah well.

6: i love moss | January 14, 2011 | I was so excited to post a photo of green and grey this very day but NO! I left my camera elsewhere and won't be able to retrieve it until tomorrow so now I will force you to stare at this pile of snowy logs. STARE AT IT. I am in Portland, Oregon. Yesterday it was a full 50C (58F) warmer here than in Yellowknife. Isn't that crazy? I live in that cold place! How do I do it, you might ask? Piles of steaming tea, big mittens and you could do it, too. Ahhh green. These moss photos are three years old but oh it describes to you the mossy fix I've been getting here. It reminds me of the best sleep I ever had which was upon a bed of moss on an island in the ocean. No tent, just a sleeping bag in the open air on the turfiest, spongiest, densest, mossiest mattress you could imagine. Ack! it was beautiful. Waking up that way is better than espresso, hands down and a foot. I would give up coffee forever if I could sleep outside every day for the rest of my life, however there are one or two things standing in my way from living out this desire, ie. living a few miles south of the Arctic. I should really learn to set realistic goals.

7: January 17, 2011 | en route

8: Q. What were Tarzan's last words? | A. Whoooo greeeeeased the graaaaape viiiiiiiiiiiinnnne? | January 19, 2011 | it wasn't me

9: a green memory not distant but far till a new green memory snow piles around, my familiar blanket all warm underneath with dreams of ivy | January 21, 2011 | segue to snow

10: urrrrrrch! | January 24, 2011

12: January 28, 2011 | analyze this | I don't know very much about horses but this quote resonates with me. I really wish I'd had an apple or a handful of oats for them. It's those flubby lips pluming about my hand. I'd giggle like a city girl and try to act casual. | January 26, 2011 | feed me? | “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” Winston Churchill

13: People say a horse can tell if you're nervous or anxious. I wish they wouldn't say things like this because I'd have been fine otherwise. But just knowing this information makes me feel like a fake and they know, they all know! Here I am - smiling, pretending to be comfortable in front of a horse who is all-knowing, all-seeing, unblinking. Stop looking at me like that. I stare at my boots and then out the corners of my eyes - a spy on a stakeout, watching a flubby-lipped beast in the snow who wants to eat apples and knows my thoughts. I snap photos and say in a too-high, trying-too-hard voice "hey guys, how's the snow?" I laugh like an old pro but they see through me entirely ... and wish for apples. | It's a little unnerving.

14: Why did I start blogging, you ask? Back before the hills got dusty and people used landlines more than cell phones and people didn't even say landlines and there was no such thing as Facebook and nobody shopped online a friend of mine started a blog. A Sneaky Suspicion tiptoed past me in full-on bandit gear and made me think that blogging would be something I'd enjoy. I could keep my far away friends and family up-to-date with my new northern life. They could tell me how much they love and miss me in the comment section. I would accept their love and missings with fond ponderings over coffee and thick slices of buttered toast. And thus I began. In the process I have discovered the following: 1. I prefer writing about what I think over what I do. 2. I like taking photos. 3. I have met beautiful people that I wouldn't have otherwise. 4. I do not like the word blog (it sounds a sort of online wretching) 5. Saying web journal bothers me, too. 6. This list is becoming listless so I will leave the following discoveries to your imagination. 7. _______ and _______ but only when it rains. 8. Cheese helps but _______ makes me feel ______ . 9. ____________ oh ___________ !!! 10. ______________ and rhubarb. The Pancake Chronicles isn't what I first had in mind but what it is has been nicer than I'd hoped and, "barring some unforeseen incident" (a la Seinfeld) I shall be here the day after tomorrow and perhaps the day after that, too. (But then not the day after that day but rather the following day after that day and then most likely the day after that.) | January 31, 2011 | for Sonya (and for you, too)

15: February 02, 2011 | John Gray love letter | Dear Grapefruit, I feel angry with you when I leave you on the table and your skin gets thin and tough. It makes me sad because I want to eat you but it's really hard to when I have to saw into you with a bread knife. I'm afraid your citrus beauty will be lost to me forever. I'm sorry I left you out in the sunlight. You are tasty with honey, whom I also love, and you smell nice. Love, Colleen

16: Have you ever wondered what the stars look like over Tim Horton's? Earlier this week Mark was playing hockey so I dropped him off at the rink and headed to Timmy's for a hot beverage since I had neglected to make tea before his game and a Warm Something is an Absolute Necessity for watching hockey. It was around 9 pm and not a soul was in the drive-thru lineup. Joy! I didn't think I'd ever seen such a beautiful thing so I whizzed up to the box and relayed my order - an extra large decaf, one quarter English Toffee. I quickly discovered my window had frozen shut (not an uncommon thing to happen in the north although every other window in the truck zipped up and down happily) which meant I had to open my door in the drive-thru to give my order. A little silly but whatevs. It was cold and I had the heat blazing full-tilt and couldn't hear what the Timmy's girl said to me. It was a bit like decmmmf wmfff mmmm mfffeee? I turned off the heat and asked her to repeat everything in between opening the truck door further and lesser as needed with the heat fleeing into the arctic and the arctic fleeing into me. All sorted out I drove to the pickup window when I realized I hadn't brought any cash. This meant not only did I have to open my door to get my coffee but I also had to step outside and stand in front of the drive-thru window and use my debit card. Which is ridiculous! Especially because there was no line within Tim's and warmth abundant with people laughing over hot chocolate and muffins and forgetting they lived in a deep freezer world. The Timmy's girl handed me my coffee and receipt into flash-frozen fingers and I put them into the truck through a series of shuffles and openings and clutchings and closings. It was then I noticed how particularly icy it was. I noticed this because I began to fall and not just any fall. So spectacular was the descent of this fall that I had time to think about things on the way down. Thought 1: I won't fall. Thought 2: I'm falling but I'll just grab onto my truck door, no problem. Thought 3: Hmmm, that didn't work. Thought 4: I'm really falling! Thought 5: I'm flying! Thought 6: My feet are higher than my head! Thought 7: Just like in the cartoons! WOMP. Thought 8: Ohhhhhhhwo. | February 04, 2011 | starstruck

17: And I hurt as I stared up at the northern night sky full of stars (my own or the sky's, I couldn't say for sure), laying perfectly parallel between the Timmy's and a Chevy Colorado, laughing. Two girls peered over the counter down at me, their worried craniums obstructing constellations and saying in unison, “Are you okay?” “Yes, I'm okay.” (giggle) “Are you sure you're okay?” I got up and couldn't stop laughing. “Yes.” (ow. giggle.) “Are you sure?” “Yes, I'm sure.” (heehee. ohh.) “Really?” “Yes, I'm fine. (ow. giggle.) Thank you. It's kind of funny.” (heehee. pain. hee.) “Are you okay?” Was it my psychotic chortling that had them repetitively concerned? Or was it because they'd recently seen a pair of feet levitating in the drive-thru window? Both, perhaps? In retrospect I should've pulled the truck over and gathered my senses before operating heavy machinery all the way back to the rink, but I arrived safely with only two bruises to show for it and an ever deepening appreciation of (sigh) Mexico. And the memory of stars ... beautiful stars ....

18: Yellowknife has northern lights dancing overhead most nights of the year but the cold or clouds or the light (in summer) or the lateness of the hour or a combination of these things have kept me from seeing them for quite some time. | Saturday night the sky was absolutely consumed with aurora. I've never taken photos of the lights before. There's a bit of an art to it and when you look at photos like these to inspire you it can be overwhelming to begin. By the time I got my tripod and camera set up they had faded considerably. | February 07, 2011 | first attempt!

19: And how does one focus in the dark? This is my biggest dilemma. | No, seriously. | With an apartment view like this who needs a mansion?

20: February 09, 2011 | ravens secretly rule the world | what. | I don't need this.

21: Last week we were surprised by a warm northern day of -1C(30F) weather. The skies were blue between cotton puffs and the sun smiley. I walked to the post office. Here is a little of my town: Around the corner from here is my favourite grocery store and just beyond is the post office. | This particular Extra Foods is my favourite. Although it is the smallest grocery in town it has the best sales on the things I like. | February 11, 2011 | where I live

22: Yet another raven (not so) secretly planning to take over the world. | Outside of the above frame to the left is the Explorer Hotel. The rock is part of the Canadian Shield which is everywhere and any old where.

23: Halfway home and looking up. The brown house to the left behind the trees was built by Mark's dad in the early 1970s. I've never been inside because it no longer belongs to him. | An alley looking a little glum, as alleys can.

24: Almost to the corner. | My street.

25: My street. | This is my where I live. From here I look at trees and snow, and ravens surfing the slipstreams. In fact, I am looking this very moment but for the ravens. They are elsewhere today - plotting maniacally, I'm sure. I am also looking at our tandem bike leaning against the balcony rail, having settled in for a long winter's nap with snowcaps on the seats as proof.

26: asparagus : the oft unsharpened pencil in Life's Book of Veggies OR : sadly underused projectiles in the game of Darts | february 14, 2011 | february 16, 2011 | depending on ones views | nanoo nanoo

27: My piano looked at me sharply today as I walked by. I wasn't thrown off by his cool attitude. Instead compassionate fuzzies filled my soul for underneath sharp looks I knew he was feeling flat and couldn't help it. (Besides, when someone looks at you sharply it often means they loved you once or are in the throes of wondering why on earth do they love you and either way love is involved and love means hope and hope always means it isn't over.) I haven't played in weeks and before that even more weeks. But how do you explain to your piano that you live in an apartment and if you are to have neighbours of the friendly sort than the adage "practice makes perfect" cannot apply? How do you tell him you adore him even more than ever, that the silence between you is only temporary, a mere quarter rest between notes? Someday we'll be together again, I want to say but I'm stuck with English and he only understands Tune. | february 18, 2011 | my pian-er

29: Oh, 'twas a particularly c-c-c-old February morning last week. I was inside, toasty warm, minding my own business which involved intentionally drinking very black coffee at turtle speed. My tip-off to the mind-numbing cold was not the thermometer but the fog that hung under the low sun rising. When the temperature plummets in Yellowknife from the cold to ridiculous there will usually be an icy fog that hovers low to the ground filling cracks between trees and houses and brave be-parka-ed souls trudging to work. Well, I thought it was called ice fog until I looked it up. One needs humidity for fog and we are rather sparse in the humidity department - quite rather. What we have is called "diamond dust". (If it's in Wikipedia it must be official.) Isn't that beautiful? And it is beautiful. Sun butter dollop ice cream snow. Woollen blanket tangerine smother. Ice castle rock concert. That same evening there was a full moon. We raced in our truck and it was neck-and-neck the whole way. Darting out of sight in backyards and emerging in split-seconds. Crunching through birch, sipping sap and spitting bark. MAN, it was cold. Bless my soul, I'm glad for window panes and thermostats. | sun, moon | February 21, 2011

30: “We — are we not formed, as notes of music are, For one another, though dissimilar ...?” Percy Bysshe Shelley - Epipsychidion

32: February 28, 2011 | has sprung! | My mom sent these to me last week, carefully wrapped between packets of coffee and tea. It smelled heavenly upon opening. Caffeine brought more spring than usual that morning

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C. Hilman
  • By: C. H.
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  • Title: My Pancake Chronicles - 2011
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