Christmas Elves kicking back!

I've changed my post slightly today with the events that have happened over the last 24 hours.
People have seen the weather reports and news footage from the UK, and have sent messages and notes to check on whether we're okay here, from the four corners of the globe.
Canada, Australia, Middle East, South of the UK to way up high at the top of Scotland.
When something like this happens you realise just how technology keeps you in touch with family and friends.
I have to say I was deeply touched and appreciated each and every one of them.
I should state right here and now that we are fine after the storm 'Frank' visited yesterday... but I know we are extremely lucky and many people out there haven't been.
We live on a high hill and so were not effected by the River Dee flooding it's banks.
I've seen incredible footage of familiar places that are virtually unrecognizable now.
But as with disasters there are always wonderful stories of good will and incredible caring people pulling together from the local community.
So thank you to all of the emergency services, agencies, helpers, carers and anyone who has been a helpful elf in one form or another at this time.
And now onto my original post.... about more elves.

It's time for all of the helpful Christmas Elves to put up their feet and kick back.
All of the hard work has been done and it's time for reflection. 
Personally, I had a lovely Christmas with family and friends and I hope that you did too. 
We had lots of incredible food, lots of fun and enjoyed all of the festivities.
But it seems to be over far too quickly, but isn't that always the case. 
When you are really enjoying something... it is over before you know it.
I'm contemplating many things at the moment and feel the year to come will have lots of changes.
Hopefully all of them for the good. 
Have you decided on any new year resolutions yet?
I'm quite pleased that even with being so busy... I managed to do a quick sketch and painting.
After being 0.3kg overweight with my flight luggage, I felt I had to use my art supplies at least once.
As soon as I saw my sister's new addition to her Christmas decoration hoard, I knew I wanted to paint him. He is so cute... but I'm not sure that the sheep who normally sits on that shelf has the same opinion.
Just look at him peeping from behind.
Here he is... although a little rushed I was still pleased that I actually managed to do one painting!
I now see that I should have added more shade etc but hey ho... it was a busy Christmas holiday after all. 
I'm linking to Paint Party Friday as usual for inspiration, encouragement, friendly banter and sheer pleasure... why don't you join me.
Paint Party Friday
And so onwards to the New Year...
I wish you all Good Luck, Health and Happiness for 2016.
I've loved sharing a little of my world with you this last year.
Let's hope 2016 is a good one for us all.
Enjoy xoxo

Christmas Eve....only one sleep to go!

What a morning! Breath-taking...quite literally.
This was the sight that greeted me upon opening my eyes.
The snow on the roof of the conservatory had grown considerably. 
 Another view out of our side bedroom window...really does a winter scene get much better than this?
A beautiful blue sky with crisp white power snow, glistening in the morning sunlight.
 Just take a deep breath....

 Let me show you around...
The sunlight hitting the icicles on the branches made them appear to be wearing twinkling fairy lights. 
Mother Nature was very busy last night.

 I suppose the icicles on the side of the house could be diamante dangly earrings...or is that going a little too far?
If you don't like the cold or would like to see what the house looks like in its summer outfit then click here.

 Oops...I've been so busy I forgot to mention we did have our usual Christmas visitor...the magic elf
 He's been settling in and up to his usual tricks of popping up in the most unusual places. 
I think he's enjoying being in the colder climate after visiting us for so many years to hot countries.
Can you spot him below?

 I know it wasn't difficult was it....
The antique snow shoes by the way, were purchased at Lachute Market which is a short car ride from here. It is an amazing market where you can buy literally anything from a horse to a handbag!

You just never know where he'll pop up next....

We just couldn't believe it when we spotted him up on the moose antlers 
(another purchase a few years back from Lachute Market). 
I mean he is seriously high up on he must have a good head for heights!
It's quite difficult for you to see him but he's perched on the far right. 
I even had difficulties taking the photo...perching myself half way up the stairs to snap this shot! ;D

Here's a shot of the icicles tonight...they're growing by the minute. 
Anyone like ice in their drink? ;D

 I must also show you Mont Saint-Sauveur night-time skiing resort. 
It's the largest in the world apparently.
This is the view as you approach the resort.
I'll take better photos was minus 18C degrees so I didn't hang around for a photo session.

 And here's the proof....

Nothing more for it now than to get cosy and wait for Christmas to arrive....
Look who got in on the act to my right...typical. But then it is his big night after all.

I just want to wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas
to you and all of your loved ones. 
I would also like to thank you for visiting me here. 
I've loved having you stop by. Enjoy the festivities with love and lots of laughter.   

Oohhh...I think I hear sleigh bells... 

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.....

After so many years of wishing for a white Christmas it looks like I may finally get my wish this year.
I've tried the Aussie way celebrating on the beach with burgers and snags on the barbie during the heat of summer. I've also roasted the turkey during 40 degree temperatures looking like a roasted bird myself, but determined to have a traditional meal no matter what! 
But it's just not in my gene's...In my book Christmas has to come during winter with all the trimmings! 
If it can be accompanied by snow then that's all the more perfect.
It's all about having short days with limited daylight hence having to decorate the house with fairy lights, taking time to prepare for all the celebrations ahead. Cooking and baking up a storm to keep cosy and warm because everyone know you need to take in more calories in order to keep warm. ;D
And guess who arrived yesterday? Our Christmas Elf suddenly appeared!!! 
I hope he's not suffering too badly with jet lag...but he seems to be fine so far. 

At the moment he's sitting on the mantle but we have ambient lighting so it would be useless to try to take a photo at the moment...but I'll be sure to keep you posted on his antics.

The photo below was taken yesterday and we suddenly had the thought that maybe we should perhaps stock up on previsions in case the forecast of a good snowfall comes true.
By the way the barrel on the left of the photo isn't a LARGE keg of beer or heaven forbid whiskey. 
It is in fact the sauna. I can't see myself using it on this trip because basically I'm a wuss. 
I've never been brave enough to do that thing of heating my body to near melting point only to then run out into the snow and freeze my bahookey off! 
There's also a hot tub just out of the photo which unlike the sauna I haven't fully ruled out so far. 
This photo was taken this morning...yep more snow fell and I have to say I've never seen such beautiful snow. It is so dry, white and perfect. I didn't realise it could be like this. 
I remember during my childhood in the UK being so excited by a few little flurries but this is SNOW!
In one afternoon we have had about 15cm!
This shows our driveway and thankfully the cavalry arrive at various times of the day to ensure you are able to drive in and out. How thoughtful is that? :D

It's great to have good neighbours who can bring in the big guns when needed.

I'm aware that to feed the wildlife isn't really recommended here due to raccoons, little meeces and critters taking advantage of the situation. I remember last time we were here I bought a bird feeder and filled it with seed, placing it in full view of the lounge window. During the evening we became aware of a movement outside of the window...once we dismissed the thought of The Yeti or Abominable Snowman we were privy to a fantastic show of determination, aerobics and ingenuity as a raccoon worked out a plan to take the seed.
The next night he appeared again but this time he brought his date...out to impress her, he shimmied along the branch but alas the night before he'd obviously overindulged and 'CREAK'...timber! The branch broke and he landed on the ground bruising his dignity. 
Meanwhile she just headed into the broken feeder and chomped away.
But I just can't resist...I just wonder how anything can live out there and they need my help! 
I haven't seen a bird yet so my feeder might be lonely but my son said he saw an eagle flying over the frozen lake this morning. I know the humming birds won't visit for many months yet but I would like to see a cardinal in real I'm crossing my fingers. 

Mmm....smell that? Dinner is nearly done so I'd better get busy.
I hope you are having a great day whatever you are up to. 
Remember today is a gift...what are you going to do with it? :D
Catch you later......