Strawberries and Raspberries

On days like this, they say you can throw a cup of boiling water up into the air and it will come back down frozen.

We tried it.

It’s not true.

But you can get extra thick crystallized lashes, cut snow blocks for igloos, and even hang around outside for a chat if you’re well dressed…


Susanni hauling snow blocks for the start of an igloo


after an hour long walk at -32c


Our good friends, Alden and Aida, stopped at our place for night this wkd. We roped them into hauling snow blocks and afterwards the guys stayed outside chatting–or perhaps they decided -30c was more pleasant than visiting around hyper children.

The busyness of school, Christmas concerts, and holiday parties seems a long ways away now that my biggest scheduling challenge is fitting naps between meals, outdoor activities, and board games, but here are a couple pics from our past life:


Susanna, on the far right, as a cheerleader at our church Christmas concert


Belén, the news reporter, about to sing her solo

On the last day of school, Susanna asked if she could take her fiddle for Show-n-Tell. She wanted to play Les Fraises y les Framboises, a French folk song she’d just learned. Five minutes before the bus came, I googled the lyrics and printed off the words to the chorus in extra-large font. While I congratulated myself for being on-the-ball, Belén picked up the sheet and studied it for a moment before protesting.

“Mom, she can’t teach this to her class. It’s a bad song.”

“What’s wrong ?” I asked. I thought I’d understood the main idea (berry wine and good friends) even though I missed a word or two.

Ah les fraises et les framboises
Du bon vin j’en ai bu
Croyez-moi, chers villageois
Jamais je me suis tant plu

“Mom, do you know what bu means?”

I didn’t. I’d just skipped over it because it was only 2 letters.

“Well it means drunk. This is totally inappropriate” she chided me.

Isn’t it amazing how two letters can change the meaning of everything? Suddenly it seemed less charming than I’d imagined; I pictured Susanna’s teacher grimacing* (or grinning?) while my sweet seven-year-old instructed her peers about “how she’d never been so drunk in her life.” Needless to say she played the song, without referencing the lyrics.

Here are some more pictures from our present routine. Although we’ve come home from my parent’s place we’re still in the holiday mode around here and it’s hard to imagine how we ever managed going to school and work. We won’t try to figure it out now though… we’ve still got a week left.


Stan and Belén playing crokinole with my parents


Skating on the river beside Grandma and Grandpa’s house (Susie with G&G)

I know most people find this weather heinous but I’m not sure I’d want it too balmy–all this cold weather justifies a luxurious hibernation.

Happy New Year! Stay warm,


*My girls attend a Catholic French Immersion school. Belén later explained she’d learned the word bu in her religion class while studying Acts 2.


4 thoughts on “Strawberries and Raspberries

  1. To make you feel a bit better, “bu” is just the past tense of “boire” which is “to drink”. I’ll roughly translate for you:
    Ah les fraises et les framboises – oh the strawberries and raspberries
    Du bon vin j’en ai bu – some good wine I have drunk
    Croyez-moi, chers villageois – believe me, dear villagers
    Jamais je me suis tant plu – I’ve never been so pleased with myself 🙂

  2. I don’t think I’d even have the courage to go out in weather like that! I like snow and cold less and less as the years pass! But I’m glad you all had fun!

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