Real winter has arrived

On the first few days after returning from Southeast Asia, it seemed that winter was being abnormally gentle on us. Days of melting snow, dripping eaves, and little need for toques or mittens helped ease the transition from the three weeks of being in a tropical climate.  Now that we're back into the Canadian groove, mother nature is giving us her best as the days trickle toward Christmas.  It felt bitterly cold yesterday and the ice that had formed from the previous melting is treacherous.  I've been warning all the folks who are popping into the studio to pick up Christmas presents to "walk like a penguin". 

I have been painting up a storm since we arrived home.  Many Christmas orders needed to be done and several more will be done before moving into a number of post-Christmas projects.  I'm trying to figure out my new normal.  In the first week of my full-time painting life, I completed 10 paintings and passed along many of the prints that we had pre-purchased in preparation for the season.  I'm not sure if that is the new normal, or if I just had all this pent up painting energy after 21 days of being away from the studio.

I've been getting up later.  Before our trip, I was getting out of bed by 6 am every day, weekdays and weekends.  I have found myself waking up with a start around 7 am since we've been back.  I can't decide if this is my new normal, or if I just need extra sleep after the trip.  I'm thinking the latter as I naturally got up earlier this morning.

Concurrent with being home all the time, we've been having serious Internet issues.  Our provider has been doing maintenance during the work day, which has caused all kinds of productivity issues as a home business.  However painful it has been, we know that the long-term gains will be worth it.  We have four intense users (sometimes five when we have a guest in the bedroom downstairs) and a healthy Internet service and Wifi is essential to a happy household. 

My friend the squirrel seems to have hunkered down for the season and the ravens have returned.  I had my first short conversation with one yesterday.  We even got the fireplace going and enjoyed the extra little blast of warmth.  Heather and I are forgoing Christmas presents for each other - our trip was our gift - but there are a few things left to do for the boys and to get ready for our Christmas Day dinner with my sister and her family.  With the arrival of the first official day of the season and the shortest day of the year, it really feel like real winter has arrived.


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