Becca Jane St Clair

Personal Blog

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Oh the weather outside is frightful



No pic of my house, but here’s one I took in Lincoln






But the fire is so delightful

And since we’ve no place to go…Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

And the most recent, taken at 1AM on Wednesday:

It doesn’t show signs of stopping….:

And just for good measure, the snowperson my sister-in-law and I made this afternoon:

The village shop has run out of the 4 pint size bottle (half gallonish) of milk and no longer has bread, but we’ve got the bread machine for bread, and worst case scenario, we’ll buy smaller milk if we run out (just opened a 4 pt bottle Tuesday afternoon). Worst, worst case scenario, I have a canister of powdered milk in my baking supplies we can raid for tea. We stopped at Morrison’s on Monday and bought a few “basics”, not our weekly shop, but I think I can cobble together some meals for a few days. Tim and I can also always go to the CostCutter or the Co-Op, though those are longer walks (about a mile RT to CostCutter and 2 miles RT to the Co-Op) and today when we went to the Spar shop (literally, 5 houses down from us) I got soaked by a passing car, so I really don’t want to walk near the road right now!

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More Snow Vlogs….

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We interrupt the trip log from last weekend to bring you the following:

OMG it’s snowing!!

This morning I woke up around 7:30 to put food into the crock pot for later this afternoon and I heard a pattering noise against the window. Wondering if it was rain I was hearing, I opened the front door to see — SNOW!

Tim says it hardly ever snows here, and when it does it’s never much, but it was really coming down for a while there!

Now, we did suspect it was going to snow, as last night on the news they talked about snow up and down the East coast (of the UK), but I had honestly forgotten about it by the time I woke up!

Sadly, it started to turn to ice and now rain, but for a brief time, we had snow!

view from the front door.

Tim’s garden railway

Looking up the street

More photos:

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Coldest Night Yet!

How fitting that on my last weekend in town, it gets down to the coldest it’s been so far!

Or, for those of you in the United States who, like me, struggle with Celsius:

Brr! Glad Sarah told me how to turn on the heat!

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Little Campsite on the Prairie

I spent the September long weekend (what the Canadians call the Labour Day holiday) camping at Blue Lakes with C, J, B, L, and the kids (6 of ’em in all!). It had it’s ups and downs, but overall I had a great time.

We got off to a slightly late start on Friday afternoon after having to run a few errands in town. The campsite is about 100km north of Dauphin or about an hour’s drive. We were camping on Manitoba’s only mountain that I saw in the distance on my train ride up. Part of the drive up involves a dirt road! I was once again fascinated watching the scenery out the window. The prairies that just never end and the endless blue sky.

B, L, and their kids had an adjoining campsite to ours, so we set up to cook and eat at our site. Unfortunately, the campsite had rules about the number of adults allowed to sleep on a site, so we couldn’t all sleep on one site. I borrowed a small tent from C, and with her help, put it up, and then we even managed to put up the large tent for C, J, and Baby C (J wasn’t joining us until later, as he had to work). L lent me an air mattress so I didn’t have to sleep directly on the ground, for which I was quite grateful. We finally got everything set up and got a campfire going for dinner.

We really were roughing it – Latreens for bathroom facilities, no showers (there were facilities, but it was a loonie for 5 minutes), and cooking over an open flame.

Friday night I noticed a lot of stars when I looked up….more than I’ve ever seen before. C suggested I walk out away from the campfire to see more, and K2 (B & L’s second oldest) came with me. We sat on a picnic table at an unused site and just looked up at the sky. We saw the milky way and all sorts of constellations I had only seen in books before. K1 and K2 (and B!) tried to convince me there were aliens and spaceships and when there was a moving star would say “hey look! aliens!”, but I’m not sure I buy that. I also saw several shooting stars that first night. Friday overnight was really cold and it rained. Unfortunately, I had to leave the warmth of my tent to find my way to the bathrooms around three in the morning.

Saturday morning was chilly, but fortunately it warmed up enough for us to go to the lake in the afternoon and go swimming. I had fun in the water with K1 & K2, playing catch and swimming. The kids discovered “sink sand” spots on the beach, and had fun getting sucked in up to their ankles in the sand before hopping out and then running into the lake to rinse off the sand.

Saturday overnight was chilly again. I was rolled in two blankets and I still was cold. Fortunately, I managed to get to the bathroom between rainstorms so I avoided getting wet.

Sunday, B & J took the kids fishing, so L, C, and I played Yahtzee and had a late lunch of blueberry pancakes. The kids came back in the afternoon because they got cold, and then in the late afternoon I learned how to play Canasta. I was partnered with B, and I didn’t know he was a card hoarder and we wound up losing because I went out while he was holding high cards! Whoops. Shortly after dinner, the downpour started. C, L, the babies, and I hightailed it into C & J’s tent where we all piled onto the bed and got under blankets to stay warm. I went and retrieved most of my belongings out of my tent in case it leaked, and for a while we thought I might have to sleep in their tent. The rain finally let up around 10:30, so I headed into my own tent and read by flashlight until I was tired enough to sleep.

Monday was miserable. It was pouring, and we had to do tear down! Of course, since most of us fled the screen tents the night before, everything had been left out overnight so we had to first clean up Sunday’s dinner. Taking down tents in the rain is no fun. Several times I got hit with water that had pooled on the top of one of the tents or tarps. We were all so cold and miserable, but we had to pack up! We finally had everything in the car and headed back to Dauphin.

I had to do four loads of laundry last night when I got home because I had to wash everything I had taken with me including my backpack and other bags because everything smelled like campfire. Then, I needed to wash the towel I used when I took my after-camp shower because it was gross and I added in some of the kitchen towels and the bathmats to make it a full load. Then, I was getting ready to re-make the bed and I discovered one of the cats had gotten sick all over one of the pillows and the sheets, so I had to wash the sheets AND a pillow.

I took a bath when I got home, figuring it was the best way to warm my body up and the best way to make sure I was clean. The bathwater was grey when I got out! EW! I made some soup for dinner, and then got into bed.

This morning I woke up with a sore throat and a stuffed nose, and now I have a headache. 🙁 But more soup, some zicam, some tylenol and a nap and I’ll be good as new.

Camping was fun, minus the rain. I think I’d probably be willing to go camping again…but only if we knew it wasn’t going to rain, and maybe with someone to share a tent with for warmth at night!


My home for the weekend!

Blue Lake

Wildflowers. I love the purple centered daisies!

To see the rest of my photos from camping, check out my gallery:

And in other great news, my birthday package from my mom arrived and in it was my Nokia N810! She needs a name other than N810, so leave your comments with suggestions. It’s worth noting that my laptop is named Gwen, my external Owen, and my iPod is Tosh. I’m considering renaming the iPod Ianto though so I can name the N810 Tosh ;). This time, the package was never even opened by customs, so I have no idea why it took so long to get here.


14 and Raining (or 57 and Raining)

It’s a chilly, raining day today. Which is a nice change from the overly hot made-me-feel-like-I-was-down-South weather we had been having here. I was planning on walking down to the library, but not with this weather! Fortunately, I received my care package from my mom yesterday, so on this chilly day I can have Ramen soup mixed with some veggies and a nice cup of Swiss Miss.

Inspected by customs

My loot – iced tea bags, lemonade mix, ramen noodles, coffee singles, the Sunday paper, and two bottles of bodywash (not pictured)

The only thing missing today is my big U-M sweatshirt to snuggle up in, but since I didn’t pack it, I’m sort of out of luck with that.

Oh, and because this was cute:

Quincy, stretched out on the newspaper, with Lolly to the side.

he pulled Lolly over across him, though i did reposition her so she was face side up!

This afternoon I’m headed to the farmer’s market with C, so expect lots of photos later!

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Mosquitos that Eat You Alive!

I joined Facebook yesterday morning, because a lot of people I knew were posting their photos on it and I couldn’t see them since I wasn’t a facebook user. Facebook can take your gmail address book and find your friends, so I had it do that, and it added J, Sarah and Joe’s friend who I met the other day. About 15 minutes later, I got a friend request from C, J’s wife. She suggested we get together, and I agreed. She asked me if I brought my bathing suit with me, which I hadn’t, but we decided to go to Wal-Mart to get one for me and then head to the lake with her son, who’s name also starts with a C, so I’ll call him Baby C.

Shopping for a bathing suit in the clearance section was fun. Loads of suits that were 2XL and 3XL and then suits that were size small. Yeah. Not too good for either of us, but in the end after many suits being tried on, we both wound up with the same top! One of the tops I tried on was so low cut, the center of it was below my chest!

By the time we picked out our suits, Baby C was ready for a nap, so we went back to their house to get ready to go out to Dauphin Lake. It was beautiful. C tells me the lake isn’t the cleanest, but compared to some bodies of water I’ve seen, this seemed tame. The lake also had sandbars in the middle of it and so we were able to walk out really far with the water only ever getting up to my hips, then lowering down to my lower legs. After we got out of the lake, Baby C attracted the attention of two ladies who were also at the lake, so we hung around for a little while while they fawned over Baby C (and he really is that cute!).

We returned to their house for dinner, and then some Olympic watching with J, and wine drinking outside.

While we were at the lake, C advised me to coat myself in bug spray. While she was telling me this, a mosquito around an eighth of an inch long landed on her leg and started biting! Those things are vicious! I didn’t spray the back fo my neck, so of course I have a bite where I can’t reach it to scratch. I also got bit right below the edge of my bathing suit. Other than that, no other bites.

C invited me to go camping next weekend. I haven’t been camping in years, and that’s only if sleeping in my friend’s aunt’s pop up tent trailer counts, but I might do it anyway. We had a lot of fun, and I’d really like to experience more of the things to do around here.

The sky is streaking pink with the sunrise. I was going to go outside and take photos of it, but it’s chilly out there, and I discovered how far I’d need to walk to get photos and decided it wasn’t worth it. Maybe if I go camping, I’ll get some pretty photos. I’m not sure why I couldn’t sleep tonight…I was tired enough from being out in the sun, but for some reason I started tossing and turning around 4am and finally gave up around 530. Maybe now that I’ve done something I’ll be able to go back to sleep. I also forgot to shower last night to wash off the bug spray and sunblock, so I feel a little itchy from that, too.

For a few more photos of yesterday, check my gallery:

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The Sun isn’t as Damaging Here?

Yesterday I was out from around noon until 4PM in the sun walking around into town and around town and then back. And I was *hot*. I drained my water bottle well before I even got back near the house, and my pedometer says I walked 5.25 miles. I neglected sunblock so I was sort of expecting to look in the mirror this morning and see sunburn on my forehead, but would you believe there’s nothing? Usually if I’m out in the sun for even a half hour without sunblock I start to get a little crispy. I’m sure the scientific reason is that I’m farther away from the equator, but I always thought sunlight was sunlight? Then again, when I was in the Caribbean, we were warned about the sun being hotter, so I suppose it makes sense the farther north you go, the less hot the sun is?

My latitude here is 51 degrees…am I really as close to the Arctic Circle as I think I am?

I’m using the latitude/longitude calculator here:, and apparently when I’m in the UK, I’ll be at the 0 meridian…so I get to go from the hundredth meridian to the zero…and I realize I am probably a huge geek for pointing this out. (Latitude of where I’ll be in the UK is 53)

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Prarie Storm

It’s starting to storm out there, and despite the fact that thunder makes me jump and I don’t really like looking at lightning, I’m finding the storm pretty. It’s different than a storm would be at home…at home there just isn’t as much sky. I know, that sounds weird, but with the wide open prairies it just makes the sky look bigger for some reason.

Check the gallery for more photos:

Oh, and because I think this photo I took of Hobbes is adorable:

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