Christmas Bears

christmas-bear-2

This is a first for me.

I always take photos of the Bear during my travels, but I don’t believe he’s ever been in any photos around my house.

But it’s looking nice an Christmassy outside. (Yes!  I said the dreaded C-Word…sue me!)   🙂     And  couldn’t resist taking a photo of Junior Bear Bear on top of my Christmas Polar Bear.

The Polar Bear was a house-warming gift from my siblings when I moved into this house.    I had to wait 6 months to use him.

But once the Polar Bear is up, he stays up, all winter.   (And, er…well into June, if last year was any indication.)

Though you can see, I’ve already have to dig around him, so he wont’ get buried.   (Last year, he was, and he just looked like a glowing lump of snow.)  This year, I vow to not let that happen.

The photo doesn’t show it, but it’s quite nippy outside.    Going down to minus 25C overnight (that’s minus 13 F for my friends South of the Border).   Not totally unheard of for this time of year, but still, that’s quite cold for Mid-December.

Hmmm.   Might be a “green wax” ski day tomorrow.

Anyway, both bears seem to be enjoying it.

christmas-bear-1

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30 Comments on “Christmas Bears”

  1. Sheila Says:

    Your place does look nice and Christmassy! I hope you’re staying warm.

  2. Kelly Says:

    Friar,

    He is SO cute there! And what a nice, Christmassy place you have, all piled up with snow! A beautiful wonderland for Bear to play in. He looks very happy to finally be photographed in his native habitat. 🙂

    Uhh, there are different waxes for different temps?

    Is not knowing this as ignorant as not knowing about Men With Brooms? Am I showing my south-of-the-border underthings again?

    Well, whatever the wax, it looks like you can pop Bear in a backpack and cross-country your hearts out tomorrow.

    Enjoy!

    Regards,

    Kelly

  3. Steph Says:

    Oh man, Friar, you can be so soft sometimes! 🙂

    I like it.

  4. Steph Says:

    PS. It is so cool to see your house. Now I can place you and Brett when he goes over for beerz.

  5. t.sterling Says:

    I don’t see many poar bear set ups. ‘Tis nice. And its all snowy and stuff. Strangely here in New England, where we are kinda well known for winter wonderlands, it’s been mostly rain. Well maybe it’s different in the Maine area, but I’d kinda like to see a little bit of snow sometime this winter. Especially for Christmas. So feel free to send some down here, thanks.

  6. Allison Day Says:

    The bears are adorable, and WOW look at all that snow! Okay so maybe it’s not *that* much, but considering we never, never, never get snow in Los Angeles, it’s a rare sight for me!

    And my goodness, I’m shivering just thinking about how cold it gets up there! I chicken out at 50F here… yes, I know, I’m a wimp. 😉

  7. Friar Says:

    @Sheila
    We normally dont’ have this much snow so soon before Christmas. And yes…I’m keeping warm, having a nice coffee, staring out the fridgid window. It was even colder this morning (minus 28C). Rugged Canadian or not, I don’t feel like skiing in out in this weather.

    @Kelly
    Dont’ feel bad…not everyone cross-country skis…even lots of Canadians don’t know much about ski waxes. There’s almost an art to it..and the purists can talk about it for hours.

    Yes, you DO have to wax your cross country skis (it helps keep them from sliding backwards when you kick forward on the snow). The colors go from red-purple-blue-green, ranging from just freezing to minus 30. These are rubbed on the bottom of your skis kinda like using a chapstick.

    Then for above freezing (wet slushy snow) there’s “Klister” wax. Which has the consistency of gummy corn syrup, which is messy as hell and most skiers hate it.

    Then there’s “Glide wax” you applly at the end of the skis, to help you slide.

    It’s important to get the right wax. If you don’t, you might either end up slipping and sliding and going nowhere, or the snow will stick to the bottom of your skis like glue, and you stop dead in your tracks.

    Having the wrong wax is a nightmare…if the temperature changes drastically during the day, suddenly you might have to stop, remove what you have, and re-apply the right color.

    I’ve had this happen…which is why if I’m going out for a 4-5 hour outing, it’s important I have my whole wax kit with me and wax remover in my knapsack.

    Thus endeth Friar’s First Lesson on Wax 101. (Have I bored you enough yet?). ZZzzzzzzzzzz 😉

    @Steph
    I always keep the lights on to guide Brett when he comes over for beer. I keep my lights on well after Christmas.

    Our neighborhood is quite grinchy. There are only a few houses on my street that have lights up.

    Seems to be in indirect proportion to household income, doncha think? (The richest yuppies are the ones with the fewest Christmas decorations on their house) 😉

    @T.sterling.
    You want our snow? YOU CAN HAVE IT!!! 🙂

    It’s great for the ski trails..but not fun to shovel.

    @Allison
    It’s still early in the season. Last year was close to a record winter, imagine another 2-3 feet of snow ON TOP of the Polar Bear compared to right now.

    And the temperature really fluctuates here. It was minus 18F this morning. Monday, they’re forecasting rain and 48F!! (Maybe we’re getting YOUR weather, eh?) 😉

  8. Kelly Says:

    Friar,

    Not bored, astonished. Who knew?

    And what the heck did people do before wax kits?

    HOW DID WE EVER MANAGE before we owned the right STUFF?

    😉

    T. Sterling,

    If he sends you some in New England, send the excess down here. Aim it just south of Philadelphia. Otherwise I may be singing “Mele Kalikimaka,” and we all know how annoying that can get.

    Until later,

    Kelly

  9. Friar Says:

    @Kelly

    Skiing started in Norway 1000 years ago (probably by the VIKINGS!)

    They probably used bear-fat or something on the bottom of their skis instead of wax.

    Then there’s two types of cross country-skiing: Traditional, and Skate-Skiing.

    Traditional is more how they’ve been doing it throughout history. ….ski tracks that you follow in the snow, in trails in the woods. Some trails are nicely groomed with machines..but others tracks are made by previous skiers….

    (Or you can chose to make our own trail ..going anywhere you want…if you want to break a trail in hip-deep snow). 😀

    But then there’s skate-skiing. Where they widen the trails and plow and groom them smooth. So that skiers can “skate” on them, doing bit diagonal strides.

    That’s more for the competitive skiing crowd, wearing their gore-tex and trying to achieve the perfect cardio workout.

    Skate-skiing is much more difficult (fitness wise) but it requires a whole infrastructure (a whole network of groomed trails and the machines to maintain them).

    While Tradiational can be done anywhere (at the golf course, in the woods in back of your house..anywhere).

    I find skate-skiing more man-made and more aritificial. I’m more of a traditional guy, it allows me to commune with the trees and critters (even the asshole squirrels).

  10. Brett Legree Says:

    Friar, I am offended that you used the dreaded “C” word on your blog 🙂 Merry Christmas brother. I love that lit-up bear.

    Yeah, don’t get me started about groomed trails. I’ve had words with some of the local Splat Creek skiers when I dared to walk on “their trails” with my kids and “ruin their lap times”.

    The average cross-country skier doesn’t have the right build to go even one round with me mano-a-mano, so it wouldn’t be pleasant at all… skinny girly-man bastards 😉

    Obviously when the Vikings did it, swords and axes factored in heavily…

  11. Friar Says:

    @Brett

    I’ll probably have the ACLU holding candle light vigils on my front doorstep, but yes, I said the C-word.

    Christmas. Christmas. Christmas. Christmas. Christmas. Christmas. Christmas. Christmas. Christmas. Christmas. Christmas. Christmas. Christmas. Christmas. Christmas. Christmas.

    Did this offend someone? (I certainly HOPE so…anyway, it’s my Blog, and we say Christmas here). 😀

    (Shhhh…. Don’t’ tell Kelly)

    And what better way to celebrate Global Warming, than by displaying a petroleum-based plastic likeness of the animal most threatened by melting ice? 😉

    (But the Polar Bear looks so COOL…how can I NOT put this up in my front yard?)

    As for skiers, oooh, yes. They get upset because they paid $40 to ski on the trails all winter..it’s THEIR FOREST…they’ve taken up all the trails, and there are absolutely no footpaths left for pedestrians who want to just hike or walk their dog.

    If it’s any consolation, they skiers are mostly retired seniors so you could probably take them on, if they gave you a hard time. 😉

  12. Karen JL Says:

    Love the pics and the polar bear!

    I used to cross-country ski as a kid and now I remember all that wax stuff. Did lots of downhill back in Montreal too. But here I am surrounded by huge mountains and haven’t skied ONCE while living in BC. How pathetic is that??

    Mind you it is pretty pricey.

    Love snow around Christmas. We only get bits in the city, it’s all in the mountains. It’s usually rain, rain, rain all winter. But if we do get some, it’s so nice and bright, I love it. Until it gets all slushy and gross again. 🙂

  13. Allison Day Says:

    Rain and 48F? Add 10 degrees F to that and there’s our forecast for Monday… supposed to be one of our coldest days for a while!

    Brrrrr…. *shivers*

    Wow, all that info about skiing and waxes and such is fascinating! I’ve never had the opportunity to try skiing, even though our local winter resort (Big Bear) is only a few hours away. Though I’m pretty sure it’s mostly skate-skiing and snowboarding there, and knowing me I’d find a way to injure myself before I even got to the (bunny) slopes. 😉

    I’ll just stick to sledding down tiny hills and making snowmen… 😀

  14. Friar Says:

    @Karen

    ARGGGG!!! You live in BC and you haven’t skiied ONCE?

    (Heck..if I lived there, I’d live in a van by the river, if it meant I could ski on those big mountains).

    But it is pretty expensive, I admit. Even if you have your own equipment, you’re looking at $100 a day, if you include meals and gas and lift ticket.

    That being said, I’ll be in your neck of the woods (sort of) in February. I’ll be skiing at Silverstar (just outside of Vernon).

  15. Friar Says:

    @Allison

    I was talking about cross-country skiing. Downhill skiing as a whole other animal (and I do that too). Totally different type of waxes (mostly for racing..it’s not as important for the every-day person)

    But anyone can take ski lessons. My Mom is a part-time instructor, she often gets visitors from Korea who not only have never skied, they’ve never seen snow. And she manages to get them down the bunny hill.

  16. veredd Says:

    Christmassy indeed. I’m feeling cold just looking at all this snow.

  17. Friar's Mom Says:

    Dearest Friar.

    Since your bear comments conjured up downhill skiing, methinks I should add my two bits about today.

    It snowed 46 cms in 24 hours and it’s still snowing. Forty-six cms is up to my knees. I was at the chairlift at 8:20 and it was already running. I skied fresh to-die-for powder on the Backside. The boarders were shredding the Double Black Diamond runs.

    The temperature has dropped. The snow will be sooooooooo fabulous tomorrow. Eat your heart out. Hope it’s like this when you visit.

  18. Marelisa Says:

    I haven’t been around snow in ages. Now all you need is a Santa Claus figure to keep the polar bear company 🙂

  19. Friar Says:

    @vered
    A bit TOO Christmassy, actually. That photo was taken last night and now I have to shovel the driveway and clean the Polar Bear off…AGAIN.

    @Friar’s Mom

    Gee, THANKS.

    I really enjoy hearing about what I’m missing out on.

    Have you been reading my blog post on Tips for Seniors on how to annoy the younger generation? 😉

    @Marelisa
    Maybe I should buy one of those abominations at Canadian Tire .

    They have these 5-foot inflatable snow-globes/circus tents with Santa Clauses and/or Snowmen. It requires an electric motor to keep everything inflated and things actually turn inside like a merry-go-round.

    A priceless addition to ANY front yard, I think. 😉


  20. That house looks like an ice cream cake — I want to eat it!

    Geeze, and I thought it was nippy in California today. My nose felt freezing today at 48F in the dry sunshine. -25C! People live in that? What happens when the power is out? How do you stay warm? How do you eat when you get snowed in and have no power?

  21. Karen JL Says:

    Hey, a few hours later and it’s snowing here! So pretty outside (and I don’t have to drive in it.)

    Fa la la la la…la la…la la! 🙂

  22. t.sterling Says:

    @Friar, I have a strong dislike for those yard snow globes. I just feel the urge to poke tiny little holes into them whenever I see them. I think it also looks tacky when there is no snow around. Reminds me of lawn gnomes. I hope they don’t put those in the inflatable globes.

    @Jaden, we had a really bad ice storm a few days ago here in Connecticut (sadly no snow), and some places haven’t had power for about 2 days now. It wasn’t -25C, but it has been very cold indeed. Usually when people are aware of impending snowy doom, we rush to the grocery stores to stock up like we won’t be seen until spring.

  23. Friar Says:

    @Jaden

    There’s a pretty good infrastructure here to plow the roads, so people don’t get snowed in. The streets are usually clear within a few hours of a heavy dump.

    Fortunately the power only goes out only rarely. And usually, only for a few hours.

    But sometimes like T. says, it can be for a few days. That’s happened once or twice in my life. Then the house gets cold, you either tough it out, dress warmly and eat sandwiches, and light your candles. Or find another place to stay that does have power. It’s not the end of the world, but its’ REALLY annoying and inconvenient.

    And then make sure you keep the water tap running, otherwise the pipes will freeze and burst, then then you’re in big trouble.

    There was the Great Ice Storm of 1998, where to power went out from New England all the way from Eastern Ontario for several days. That was more serious. Farmers lost livestock. Some communities didnt’ have power for weeks.

    They actually had shelters set up and ran generators so people could have hot food and a place to sleep. (Fortunately, I didn’t have to do that….I stayed at a friends house and my folks (who were lucky enough to still have power). My electricity came back after 4 days.

    But you couldn’t buy a generator anywhere and folks were actually stealing them. And all the gas stations were closed and the city was pitch black at night. It was in “interesting time” to be in.

    @Karen
    It’s snowing again as I write this. Yesterday it was minus 28C in the monring. Now it’s minus 2C, hovering around the freezing mark.

    More shoveling…BAH HUMBUG! 😦 But it’s great for the ski trails.

    @T.

    HAHAHAHA! 🙂 I hear ya, buddy. I do feel like I’d like to slash those things with a knife or something, and watch them deflate. Where’s my Viking Axe?

    Tackiest. Lawn Decoration. Ever.

    I hardly picture this is some kind of treasured family heirloom that will be passed on from generation to generation.

    It’s just a shitty vinyl inflatable abomination that will probably end up in the Municipal Landfill next year.

  24. Amy Says:

    That rocks. Teddy bear is like a glow-bear now. (Did they have glow-worm in Canada? I had one of those toys.)

    I like the polar bear. And I like your lights too. Now I want to visit you. 🙂

  25. Friar Says:

    @Amy

    Come on over anytime! (I have a guest bedroom!) 🙂


  26. I love the Christmas lights and the glowy polar bear!

    Please don’t forget to bring in little bear; it sounds way too cold for him to sleep outside.

    (Where does he normally sleep in your house? Tell me it’s in your bed. )

  27. Friar Says:

    @Rebecca

    The Little Bear sleeps all around the house. Including the couch and bed, or easy chair.

    Sometimes (to mess with people). I’ll put him in the front seat of my car with a seatbelt.


  28. MERRY CHRISTMAS! Yep. Ahh sounds good to me. LOVE the lights… got any hot chocolate, Friar? That looks cold cold cold but cheerful. And lovely.

  29. Friar Says:

    @Janice

    oh..yeah… That WAS cold.

    When you start getting into the high minus -20’s…it’s obnoxious, even for us!

    But what happened, is two days later, it went up to 8C (almost 50F) and poured rain. We lost a bunch of snow and what remained got all slushy and wet. Then a deep-freeze again, and the fluffy snow is now cement!

    You gotta admit..Canadian winters are NEVER boring!

    PS. Thanks for the MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! (I love to use the C-word this time of year!) 🙂


  30. We had freezing fog yesterday. i don’t remember ever being in freezing fog before. I think it is liquid but supercooled. To me it felt like drizzling ice. Brr. More drizzle on it’s way this weekend. I am hoping for one of those white Christmas’s with big snowflakes. You know the ones where you can see the patterns a bit.

    I walked a couple of miles in the fog yesterday. Not great for my lungs, but it felt Christmas-y. My pashmina got soaked breathing through it. Reminded me of all those scarves my mom wrapped round us as kids so we could go sledding and not chap our little faces off.

    When I lived in Colorado, my boxer , Little John, would not go out if it was THAT cold in the minus’ I mean. And if he just had to, quickest scoot out and in ever.


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