Sunday Photos

cloud reflections

I took this photo today somewhere between Zandvoort and Bloemendaal aan Zee.  I went running on the beach today and managed to get a couple of really nice photos at the same time.

I say “running” but it felt like slogging.  I felt like work.  But work I did and managed 7km with about 1km of it walking.  The beach was broken up many times by little streams and softer sand which made it tough to zone out and just run without dodging water and looking for the best places to continue.

I went by myself today because DB is sick.  Sick at Christmas!  What a bummer!  He went to bed last night at 8pm and left me to watch movies on my own.  I felt really bad for him.  I felt bad that he missed out on most of the really delicious bottle of Spanish wine we had bought to go with our Christmas dinner.  He spent nearly all of today in bed, running a fever instead of running at the beach.

winter running on the beach

I started out at Bloemendaal and ran down to Zandvoort.  The above photo was taken at my turning around point.  Look how beautiful the sky was!
at the beach

This photo I added to the wallpaper group on Flickr.  I think I will set it as my wallpaper on my work computer tomorrow.   If you need a nice new photo to give you some energy while you stare at a computer screen, check out that group and grab yourself something inspiring.

These past two days I haven’t done much more than go to the beach, cook, eat, watch tv and knit.  I finished my red mittens (there will be a FO post as soon as I can get some decent photos taken) and started a red hat to match.  Next up are black mittens for DB.  I also have skew socks on the needles, but I really want to put all my energy into DB’s mittens so he can wear them while it’s cold.  And baby, it’s still cold outside!

On the Beach

winter at Parnasia

It’s Christmas Day, cold and white.  The sun came out around noon and we thought we’d drive to the beach to see how much snow there was and if we could jog on the beach tomorrow.  Much to our surprise, LOTS of people had the same idea!  The parking lot at Parnasia was full and look at all these people out walking!

Last year around this time, when we came for a walk on the beach, it was deserted and we were almost the only ones there.  I guess the weather was just that much better and people had nothing better to do on Christmas Day.  Just like us.

Christmas Day at the beach

Kids brought sleds and were sledding down the snowy dunes, ending at the sand line.

We walked down the beach a way, making friends with some dogs along the way.

sea beach snow

The restaurant had the same manger scene set up, complete with burros.

manger at Parnasia

Just as we were leaving we looked back to the north and saw that the sea and sky were the same dark gray color and the wind had picked up a little.  It was going to start snowing again.  And sure enough, as we were driving out of the parking lot it began to snow that gentle pretty kind of snow – slowly falling small white flakes.

Happy Christmas everyone.  I hope you have as nice a day as we are having.

Snow!

bike in snow

This was DB’s bike Friday afternoon.  It snowed all day Friday.  We don’t normally get snow like this in December.  Last year we got a lot of snow later in the winter.  My first 5 years here we had a dusting of snow during a couple of days in March but that was it.  I told DB that if we continue to have winters like this I’m trading in my car for a small 4WD thing!

Since we aren’t used to having so much snow, the cities of the Netherlands don’t own real snow plows.  The streets just pile up with snow and everyone waits for it to melt.  There are trucks driving around with salt (and we’re running out of road salt again this year, already) but basically we are snow bound until the weather warms up.  It’s December folks.  It ain’t warming up soon.

The kids are loving it.  They are out in front of our house with little sleds and are making snowmen.  There’s a little hill near here, I think it was made as a dike once upon a time, and families are walking out there with their snow gear so kids get to slide down.

snow day

The photo below was taken Friday afternoon.  The table in the back garden was a perfect measure of how much snow had fallen at that point.  It snowed again last night a little bit.  It’s supposed to stay cold and snow a little more this coming week.

how much snow Friday

I managed to drive the car out of its snowed in spot on the street this morning so we could go to the gym.  It’s at times like this that I realize how much I learned about driving in snow from living in Colorado and Switzerland.  I’m really good at it!  I know how to drive in corners and keep from skidding.  I know what to do if you start to slide.  And it all comes really naturally so I don’t have to think about it.  That means that I really LIKE driving in the snow and am happy to get the car out on days like today.  As long as there’s not a lot of traffic (there’s nothing scarier than 99% of the drivers having no clue about driving in snow and being a bit freaked out about it) and as long as it’s not coming down like sleet and freezing on the road, I’m happy to drive.

But, really, if this keeps up, the Amazing C2 will have to be upgraded!

Mitten Madness

Baby it’s cold out there and there’s nothing like mittens to keep your hands warm and toasty.  Especially if those mittens are made with Possum yarn!

I couldn’t post about them earlier since they were a present for my mom, but here are my Snapdragon mittens, made with 8 ply Merino Possum yarn.

Mom and her mittens

This photo was taken at my mom’s house, with her wearing the mittens.  Here are a couple of photos of me wearing them, showing the flip tops.

Mitts for Mom

fingerless flip top mitts

The pattern is by the lovely and talented Ysolda TeagueHere‘s a Ravelry link to my pattern page.

I really wanted to design some mittens myself that were simple to make, are really warm, fit many sizes of hands and look good.  In short, perfect mittens!  Here‘s what I’ve come up with.  I call them Ginni mittens after my friend Ginni who really needs to make these to prove she can. 🙂

twisted stitches

fingerless mitts

flip top

I finished these while in California. I had originally intended to give them to DB but they were too small for him and were a perfect fit for M. so I gave them to her. She seemed happy to have them!

Mandy and her mittens

I’m now making myself a red pair (and then DB a black pair) and am writing up the pattern too.  Once I get the pattern finished I’ll be happy to post it here, and on Ravelry, for free.  You should really make them with Possum yarn though.  The yarn has a soft halo from the possum fur which make stitch patterns really stand out.  It’s perfect for these twisted stitches.