Friday, March 2, 2018

Festive February

Chair One Flamingo basking under the 
palm (pine) tree
For many, February signifies chocolate, hearts and roses.  For me, it's that and more.  My birthday.  Super Bowl Sunday.  And now, after our first February in Whitefish, the crazy town-wide bash known as Winter Carnival.  Here's a re-cap of February's festivities.

ONE: Whitefish Winter Carnival

King Ullr and his Queen of the Snows, ably assisted by a Prime Minister and other members of the royal court, fete the town and its subjects each February, to commemorate the King protecting the village from a fierce band of snowmen called the Yetis.


(Seriously.  59 years ago, a dozen community leaders dreamed up this fairy tale to brighten the dull days of February.  And it is a BIG deal.)

This year, the King recruited Eddie the Eagle (a British skier who in 1988 became the first competitor since 1928 to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping) to serve as Grand Marshal for the Carnival.  And so the 2018 Carnival theme of "Fly Like an Eagle" was born.  Of course, for Spousal Unit (being from the UK) this was something of an emotional event, to see his countrymen about town, starting with the Skijoring event.

Skijoring puts a skier behind horse and rider, holding onto a rope secured to the back of the saddle.  The skier then maneuvers a number of jumps and 'gates' on the ground (akin to slalom skiing).  At our particular event, the skier also had to snatch one or more rings from a pole along the course, depending on the level of the competitor.  The shortest time wins!

In true Montana fashion, the fans endured over four hours of cold to watch these mad people compete.  Of course, the alcohol, food and cowbells helped with fan engagement!

(Internet) - Eddie the Eagle

Spousal Unit just about burst his buttons with pride when Eddie the Eagle gave it a go - on borrowed skis, with borrowed boots, having never done it before.  The cheers of "Eddie, Eddie" were loud and persistent.  Rock on, Brits!

Just when you think it can't get any zanier, you witness the Penguin Plunge, the chance for (apparently) perfectly sane people to jump (voluntarily) into Whitefish Lake.  While the royalty observe from a safe distance, teams that have raised funds for Special Olympics leap into the frigid water.  Yeah, baby, it's cold in there!

OK - whew - are you ready for something a little tamer?  Our church hosts the Pie Social during the Carnival, and we put our best foot (well, recipe) forward with Spousal Unit's dessert specialty, Pecan Pie.

On the day of the Social, we sampled the competition (oops, the other pies) and chatted with folks at our table.  Just before we left, King Ullr and his royal court, including Eddie the Eagle, entered to the traditional trumpet blast and "All Rise for King Ullr and the Queen of the Snows!"  Spousal Unit was chuffed to bits (read: very pleased) to have the opportunity to introduce himself to Eddie, shake the Olympian's hand and get a picture with him.  Who would have imagined two Brits would cross paths in Whitefish, Montana, having originated in Cheltenham and Durham?

The capstone event for the Carnival is the Grand Parade.  Temperatures were mild (by Whitefish standards) and swelling crowds lined the streets.

Soon enough, Eddie the Eagle launched the Parade, and the kids, armed with all manner of candy collection devices (plastic bags to buckets to pillow cases) scrabbled for the goodies.  Fly Like an Eagle!

TWO: Super Bowl

For many years, we hosted a grand party at our home in Cleveland.  It became a bit legendary for good food and camaraderie, even if the games were not the best or the half-time shows left us unsatisfied.  This year, we watched the spectacle at the house of our next-door neighbors; for Harry, a Philly native, it was a dream on the line for his hometown.  For us, we just desperately wanted a team other than the Patriots to win!  (Sorry if you're a Patriots fan.)  It was the most exceptional game I can remember for years - down to the wire.  The fourth quarter sack with Brady turning over the ball.  Brady's Hail Mary pass that went incomplete.
We were all jumping up and down and screaming at the top of our lungs.  Yes, I know it's just a game, but sometimes there is untold joy when your team wins!

THREE: My birthday

I love to start the day with coffee in bed, so I knew a special day lay before me when Spousal Unit brought me not only coffee but my favorite breakfast - smoked salmon with caper sauce on wheat English muffins.

The spa card from Spousal Unit carries the promise of some 'just-for-me' pampering - a facial and pedicure may be just the ticket to celebrate Spring in a month or so. Since I am obsessed with hedgehogs but forbidden to add any real pets to our household, this stuffed beauty and new socks join my make-believe hedgie collection - thanks, # 1 Son!  

Of course, the cards and well wishes from friends and family poured in - isn't it great to be remembered?

We rounded out the day visiting our log house in construction (the ultimate gift), relishing The Post at the movies and noshing on steaks at the Whitefish Lake Restaurant.  I felt celebrated and adored (and not a day older!)

FOUR: Valentine's Day

We celebrated Valentine's Day a few days early to avoid any overlap with Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting.  As Spousal Unit does most of the meal preparation, I wanted to cook something special for him - voila - Nutella French Toast!  A decadent breakfast, a perfect lead-in to the Lenten season.

(A few days later, my frozen fingers testified to the need for new ski gloves worthy of our frost-bite-warning mountain temperatures.  So Spousal Unit whisked me off to the Sportsman and Ski Haus for these beauties.  So toasty.  This is how we like to celebrate holidays - we buy practical things and we 'assign' them to a holiday, even if it's after the fact.  Happy Valentine's Day to me!)

FIVE: Felines

Sometimes the best revelry is hunkering down at home with simple pleasures, such as a fire, embroidery and our cats.
Maggie lending a paw to my embroidery
Josie on her home-made cat tree near the gas fire

Cats remind us to relax (even when stressed out watching our favorite sports teams), and to nap!
Maggie rooting for the Cavs (until she's exhausted with
Spousal Unit shouting)

And sometimes, they simply make us laugh.  That's the finest festivity of all!

Who wants to go to the gym
with Spousal Unit?
Maybe it should be the cat who ate
the butter left on the counter
to soften up for pecan pie!

Linking to

All Seasons

Feline Friday

Mosaic Monday

Saturday's Critters

Willy Nilly Friday


  1. Oh what a fun festival. I would enjoy that. February can be ever so gloomy weather wise.

    Yikes on the dip in that freezing water. I'll be an observer too.

    The pies look fabulous. I had a bit of each. Your pecan was the best.

    Loved all the kitties and welcome to Feline Friday.

    Have a purrfect day. My best to your peeps. ♥

  2. Happy Belated Birthday. Your kitties are so adorable.

  3. Such an entertaining post! Thank you! Your photos of the cats are grand, just like mine. They do love to curl up and stay warm. OH, the photo of the mince pie made my mouth water! Have a grand weekend!

  4. ...great festive winter fun, for the time being I'll stick with my flip-flops. Good old Cleveland, I lived there in the late '60s. Enjoy your weekend.

  5. much food...pizzas, pies, Nutella french toast but the best was the cat nap (only because I could use one now!!!)...:)JP

  6. Well that was a great festive February for sure. A very happy belated birthday to you! That pecan pie looks worthy of a contest for sure or a pie social. Hedgehogs are just the cutest! Probably a little hard to hug. Hope you have a great weekend.

  7. What a fun post! I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  8. Wow, what a feast and activities! No lake jump for me though:) Also love your breakfast with salmon!
    About your comment - yeah I would like a smoker:)

  9. Great fun post and month. I'm not one for a "Polar Bear" type plunge into frozen waters - make's me uncomfortable just thinking about it. Pie eating sounds like heaven.

  10. What a great month! I actually saw the Skijoring on our local news! They showed a clip but I didn't catch the first of it saying where it was. The anchors did say that it looked pretty dangerous, should the horses slip and fall.

    You could say that all these celebrations are just for your birthday too.

  11. What an amazing post! Such joy and fun, and food!
    Happy birthday!

  12. OH MY...looks like you had an action packed Feb. My bday is in Feb also...I am a Valentine Baby...tired telling folks for yrs that I am a sweetheart and they still don't buy it! haha...I love the sking behind a horse. That looks so much fun. You have had an amazing month. Hoping March is just as good.

  13. Hello, your winter festival looks like a fun time. I am not sure if I could jump into that cold water, they are brave. The pies look yummy. Fun post and photos. Thanks so much for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

  14. Happy Birthday sweet lady. I'm glad you had a wonderful day and got so many special things. A cat who loves butter? He must belong in our family! heehee! Hugs!

  15. Happy Birthday to you ~ winter festival looks like a great time! And love your kitty photos! ~

    Wild storm in MA ~ power outage etc
    Happy Weekend to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores

  16. Happy Birthday, Angie! Your hedgehog socks are cute, cute, cute. I love a town that creates a festival to cheer up the town. Now, that's community. So cool that Eddie the Eagle came to your event. He's an inspiration to me. This morning I had my fill of apricot pie and thought I'm good for a while, but now seeing your photos, well, I want a piece of tart lemon cheesecake! Cheers to your March!

  17. Oh my! A butter eating cat. My brother loved butter as a kid and would just cut a pat and eat it. :/ Belated birthday wishes. Looks like you had a very festive February indeed.

  18. Happy birthday Angie, nice pictures.

  19. Happy belated birthday! Gotta love that flamingo.

  20. Great winter fun for festive February. The cat sure knows where to hang out, relax and enjoy the fire. Happy belated birthday to you!

  21. What a fun festival! And what a delightful post! I really enjoyed reading this. Those pies look divine.
    Happy Belated Birthday to you!

  22. Happy belated birthday, Angie! It sounds like Whitefish has a wonderful mid winter celebrations. Many of the mountain towns do the same here in Colorado. In fact, Leadville, at 11,000 feet elevation, had a similar horse drawn skiing event this weekend that a friend of mine went to, only they call it "Cowboy Ski Joring" We also have Evergreen Lake where the Polar Bears jump into the frozen lake water...brrr...and most sane people go!
    Your pecan pies look delicious!

    My oldest granddaughter and my son share a birthday in February--Aquarius rules!

  23. That does look like a fun festival. And a real life folk hero with Eddie The Eagle. Eddie the Eagle has made a bit of a comeback here with the olympics, getting on the TV again and even appearing in TV adverts for a supermarket. Ashamed to admit I've never had a pecan pie but I do like pecans. Do send me some of that pie Angie.

  24. Wow, that festival looked like a lot of fun. I can't imagine holding onto a horse while skiing. My cross country skiing is very slow and sedate, lol.
    Mary (Cactus Catz)

  25. wow!! now that's what i call an awesome february. how nice to have all of that to look forward to in a month that most people dread!!!

    the festival looks great - i like winter festivals and you can't beat breakfast in bed!!!!

  26. Oh my gosh you two are having wayyy too much fun up there in the frozen North Angie! Gosh. That festival looks amazing and what special fun for your husband to meet Eddie (and I expect just as great for Eddie as well). Birthday and all the other national Feb. holidays (including Superbowl Sunday) look like just as much fun. Thanks for sharing the joy!!

  27. you are right! cats teach us to relax--but I can't relax now cause for some reason I am overwhelmed by a craving for pecan pie!

  28. What a fun festival! I smiled all the way through your post. Yes, cats are little philosophers! Pecan pie is my favorite. Stay warm! Happy Monday!

  29. Belated Happy Birthday, Angie! February is certainly a festive month round your way. The festival sounds like a blast! How great to have Eddie the Eagle there - I remember when he went to the Olympics. The pies look delectable. I hope March is equally lovely for you. And perhaps a bit quieter.

  30. Oh, that food is making me hungry!

  31. Really enjoyed reading about all you've been up to recently, the Festival sounds like fun and I can well understand how chuffed your husband was to meet The Eagle.
    Thanks for sharing your good times with us at Mosaic Monday this week, sending belated Happy Birthday greetings to you!

  32. How fun! Reminds me a lot of the winter carnival we had in Anchorage each winter. Though no horse rodeo! Have a wonderful week and thanks for sharing your corner of the world.

  33. Happy Birthday Angie! Your gas fire is very beautiful,interesting to see it. Japanese houses rarely have that type of heater.
    The pies look delicious!Have a good day!

  34. So many fun things in one month. Happy Birthday!

  35. Thanks for visiting the Garden Spot. The winter carnival looks like such good fun. The pecan pie looks really delicious. And pretty.

  36. That's a very festive post, Angie and so much delicious food...yummy. I love your kitties, they are very relaxed indeed. I do that sometimes too, so Granny can't work on the laptop anymore...MOL :D Pawkisses for a Happy belated Birthday :) <3

  37. I came by just to read anything you wrote, and surprise found this. Why didn't it get sent to my email? I love a whacky event! And Pecan pie is my all time favorite sweetie ever. Happy belated B-day, and your embroidery is fun, the snoopervisor cats are fun.
    BTW, the towel rack you liked is large, that's a bath towel hanging. It was beautiful set in a clean lined bathroom setting. LeeAnna

  38. The carnival sounds like a fantastic way to brighten up a winter day! What fun! Happy birthday!

  39. Angie, It's nice to be appreciated and pampered. I'm glad you had a lot to celebrate in Feb. Sylvia D.

  40. Pretty pleased to know about the festive season. Last year our best party was I think Halloween. Although all the occasions were arranged at Los Angeles venues and everyone praised the pictures on social media. Food and drinks ordered were perfect mixture continental and Italian suspects. Thinking to arrange Valentines dinner at same place.


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