Friday, February 28, 2014

Fun Friday

Every Friday at school is FUN FRIDAY!! It's great because we start off by making French Toast - yum yum - and then we play games. The little whipper snappers don't even realize they're still learning!! They think they're getting out of work!! HAH! 

Today we played:

The game involves: following a calendar, taking turns, being a good sport (they have gone from being the worst losers ever to now being fairly gracious losers - BIG progress!), patience, buying and selling property, reading all the game cards, adding and subtracting amounts of money, making decisions, taking risks, playing the lottery, paying bills etc etc. 

I was so happy with how they played the game together today. One girl used to be such a horrible loser she would threaten the other kids by making the "I'll slit your throat" gesture....yes, really. BUT now she can laugh it off when she loses AND when she wins she doesn't gloat quite so much.

To top it all off it was an actual PAYDAY for me too!! For all of five minutes I let my pay sit in my chequing account and then I whisked over half of it away into savings. I paid off my mastercard (groceries & gas plus a few odds and ends from Home Depot) (gotta collect those points!). After school I dropped into the LCBO to get my supply of red wine, then bought gas whilst shuddering at the prices and also purchased at few things at the Superstore. I still made it home by 3:30 where I promptly wasted some time on Facebook, fed the old decrepit cat and started my tax return. I finally have my T4 but I know it'll be awhile (ages and ages)  til Kazi gets all of her T4s and tuition amount from her college website. Getting the documents you need for doing taxes here in Canada can take a while (REALLY tests my patience!!). No one busts their butt getting things mailed out in a very timely fashion. That really irks me if you haven't figured that out by now. GRRRR! 

I'm just putting in time til I pick up a couple friends and we're going out to dinner! Yes, it's GREEK night at our local hangout - the Sweet Onion Grill. I am going to be SO ready for some great food and wine and music!! Yes, live music too while we eat! FUN FUN FUN for everyone today!!

What did YOU do today that was FUN FUN FUN for FRIDAY??!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

No Drops

Bear with me as I bemoan the fact that spring is never coming this year. Last year my lovely wee snowdrops were blooming by the end of February. Granted a week later they were once again buried under snow but STILL!! I knew they were there! This year they're still fast asleep, not even thinking about poking out their tiny buds to see if it's TIME. They know. And they're waiting.

I had another ordeal to get through last night. Remember I had to get a repairman for my hot water heater? Yeah...him...well, he tried I guess, he cleaned a sensor and reset the unit and for about 10 days things were ok but then again last Friday my shower was a tad coolish...so on Saturday yet another repairman came. He proceeded to talk my ear off, regaling me with stories of this heater and that furnace blah blah blah...Did he take out a tool? No. Did he get down on his knees and look closely at the heater's innards? No. Did he tell me about 100 or more scenarios that could be causing the problem? Yes. Did he fix anything? No. He unplugged the heater, then replugged.

TA DA!!

Ok, fast forward to Tuesday morning. I could just tell by how quickly the shower water was cooling down that "Houston, we have a problem." I looked at the heater and sure enough there was another error code BLINKING BLINKING BLINKING... Of course I had to head to school so put in for another service call. Yes, they can send someone out between 4pm and 8pm.

By about 6:30pm another repairman came to my door. I asked "should those lights be BLINKING BLINKING BLINKING???" "Nope", he replied. I left him to it and about 30 minutes later he emerged from the basement apologizing...I knew there were problems from the amount of time he was spending on his phone calling his boss! The heater needed a new thingamajiggy! Problem was he didn't have one but his boss was on his way back from Chatham and he'd get the part from him and replace it.

So he left for awhile, came back around 8pm and down to the dungeon once more. Bang, clank, whack whack, on and on it went. It was almost 9pm by the time he dragged himself up the stairs one last time to show me how much crud was inside the old thingamajiggy.  I nodded wisely, yes indeedy, it needed to be replaced. Whatever the hell it is!?

Finally I was able to drag myself off to bed. As I wearily went upstairs to my beloved bed I wondered at the sad state of affairs this world has come to when a hot water tank that is only 2 years old could have thingamajiggys so full of crud that they don't work anymore. I rent my hot water tank so for three service calls, unplugging and replugging, hemming and hawing and a new part I paid absolutely nothing. (Though who can tally the cost of my annoyance???) What a business model! I'm sure that for however much it cost to pay those three men to come to my house and for the price of the part I made out like a bandit while the company...well, not so much.

No wonder the economy went to hell in a handbasket! It makes my head hurt just to think about this one company's inefficiencies.

So I'm just going to think nice thoughts about flowers and robins and bees and sunshine.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Numbers Are In

                  All of the important numbers are right here!


  • 125 days until retirement
  • 80 school days until retirement
  • 10 days until March break (we start on the 7th this year which is an unpaid PD day - thanks a bunch SCHOOL BOARD!)
  • 4 - the number of kitchen cabinet handles I didn't buy as I miscounted - duh...
  • 14 - the number of gallons of paint waiting patiently for me to get tinted
  • 10 - the number of days until I start painting (coincides nicely with March break - what a holiday THAT will be!)
  • 13 more paycheques until I start living on my PENSION - sure hope I know what I'm doing!!
  • 8 - the number of rooms I still have to paint (as well as the hallways on each floor)
  • 2 1/2 - the number of extra hours I get to sleep in tomorrow as I am going to a PD session that doesn't begin until 8:30am!! Woot!
  • 27th - the date of Kazi's 3rd interview!
  • 5 - the number of books I'm currently reading
  • 5 - the number of rooms that have wallpaper border still to remove
  • infinity - the number of nail holes to be filled and sanded prior to painting the walls
  • 0 - the number of books I'll be reading during March break!
  • 0 - the number of km I've ridden on my bike in the past week!
  • 1 - the number of bags of Smarties I've eaten in the past week!
  • 47 - the number of times I've procrastinated about riding my bike this past week
  • $60.00 - the amount left in my chequing account until Friday's payday
  • 4,529 - the number of times my cat has yowled at me for her supper
  • 2 - the number of Tylenol I need to take!
My days are numbered!! Over and out!


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Satisfying Sunday

I did all of my errands yesterday so that I could stay at home today and watch the final hockey game (YAY Canada!!) and closing ceremonies. The game started at 7am so I was up at 6:30am raring to go. What an awesome finish to the games for Canada. It wasn't really a nail biter of a game thankfully so I wasn't too stressed out :)

While I was out yesterday I stopped into my favorite store - HOME DEPOT!! I made a list recently of what I needed to get to finish my renos and I was able to knock a few things from the list - very satisfying! I bought 18 new handles for my kitchen cupboards, 4 for the downstairs bathroom and 6 for the upstairs bathroom.  I installed the kitchen cupboard handles but not the ones for the bathrooms as I plan to paint both vanities first.

Also crossed off the list is the wallpapering tray - I hope to get the wallpaper hung in the foyer over March break plus a whole bunch of painting so I am getting all the needed supplies in NOW so I won't be able to procrastinate once March break arrives. That's the plan anyways.

Recently I was in Giant Tiger getting a few things for school and I noticed they now sell quite a wide range of window curtains/panels and yesterday I found just what I needed for around my patio doors. I  was soooooo happy about this because I needed panels longer than the standard 84" and I found ones that were 96" long - SCORE!!  I also scored a nice drapery rod for my dining room window on sale for $8 and hung a satiny beige curtain I bought 2nd hand at Talize. I'm trying to do my renos/redecorating on a small budget and since I went over budget on all of the flooring (which still isn't all complete) I've had to be more frugal in other areas. This morning I hung a "new to me" curtain in the laundry room - also a Talize purchase. I'm trying to get at least 1 little job done each day so that it doesn't seem too overwhelming. So far so good.

I think I have a solution for the basement floors. There is laminate flooring installed now but it's slightly damaged from getting damp when the hot water tank leaked - I don't want to spend a lot replacing it and found on youtube that cement floors can be painted so that's another goal though I don't think there will be time on March break for that too - I may need to hire someone.

Well, the laundry is done (during intermissions of the hockey game) so my last job for today is washing floors and vacuuming but wouldn't you know Kazi came home after watching the hockey game at her boyfriends's house and is now sound asleep - I guess the vacuuming will have to wait. I know many of you would just go ahead and vacuum anyways - after all it is 2pm - but I like having a handy excuse for procrastinating :)



  Happy Sunday everyone!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

CANADA. IS. HOCKEY.

WOW WOW WOW!! This team showed such grit and determination - even when down 2-0 with less than 4 minutes to play they dug deep and tied the game with only 56 seconds left on the clock.

Of course that meant overtime and our girls managed to fend off the hungry American team who played to win. The Canadian girls triumphed against all odds, coming back to win 3-2. WOW

Don't. Ever. GIVE. UP!!

And I can't forget about our undefeated women's curling team led by the awesomely incredible super duper Jennifer Jones who skipped her team to gold today!! It was a bit of a nail-biter too but they pulled ahead to win!!

And let's not forget that Jennifer made Olympic history during Round Robin play:
"Winnipeg skip Jennifer Jones made Olympic history Monday, defeating South Korea 9-4 to become the first woman to go through the Olympic curling round-robin unbeaten."
       Canadian women ROCK the rocks!! Tee hee!

So of our 7 gold medals our female athletes have won FIVE!!! C'mon men, get with it!!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Crofters Lane - Dream #1

     "I'm dreaming of a green spring-time...just like the ones we used to know....."

What is cuter than a bird in a saucer I ask you??  I love birds - my dad knew every bird and every bird song and built and erected hundreds of bird houses and winter feeding stations around the area where I grew up. He won a trophy for helping to bring bluebirds back to Southwestern Ontario. Yup, he did.

My hope is to plant bushes and trees that will attract all sorts of bird life to Crofters Lane. That's one of my dreams. I came across a neat post on Facebook a week ago that had a picture of many common birds and when you clicked on them you would hear their song. I was able, at long last, to identify a birdsong that I hear all summer long in PEI - it's just a song sparrow but I love the sound as it's quite long and has a lot of different complex sounds to it. Speaking of sparrows that pudgy little guy above also perched on my big toe from time to time but I wasn't able to snap a photo of it.

I'll try again next summer!! :)

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/nature/birds/bird_songs_interactive.html

Monday, February 17, 2014

Crofters Lane

Yesterday I actually went to two stores - that's the most shopping I've done since before Christmas! I've been saving every penny nickel I can for retirement. The only money I spend is for gas, groceries or home improvements. (Oh, and the odd dinner out with friends :)

I was in search for some sort of shelf to hang above the upstairs toilet as I had removed a large converted book shelf from that spot because the new toilets I had installed were a different shape and the bottom shelf was too low which prevented the toilet lid from sitting in the raised position - it would bump into the lowest shelf.

I went to Winner's where I found a roll of adhesive-backed drawer and shelf paper on sale for $4.00 - score! and then I came across some decorative free-standing letters so without really thinking about it I bought these:
                     Now...what do you suppose C L stands for? Hint - check post title!  

Yes, the die seems to be cast!  Then I received the most amazing comment from a long-time reader who hadn't commented before:

"Hello Jane,
I've never left a comment on your blog before but I've been following it on-and-off for several years. I found you from some sort of PEI search way back. I'm a PEI wannabe and my husband and I plan to move to PEI at some point and bought some land there in 2003 and then a small cabin on 55 acres of wood in 2009. We are presently living in Calgary. I long for a few good hens and some shell picking on the strand.
I was sorry to recently read about your break with Michael and my heart goes out to you. I've been through this in the past and it's very painful indeed. You seem to be such an upbeat and solid person so I wanted to encourage you, if I can.
I know it's been your dream to move to PEI but you may be feeling derailed at this point. It's a different lifestyle but one where you can take a step back, several deep breaths of fresh sea air, and hear yourself think, without the constant din of the city. We're so often surrounded with nonstop noise that it's hard to do this. It's easier to do it in PEI.
In 2011 I went out there by myself and stayed for about 7 weeks. I'm no stranger to living alone and only got married when I was 32, so I thought I could tough it out in this little cabin where spiders, snakes, and I cohabited. Good thing I like them, not in a creepy sort of way, but in a beneficial gardener type of way. This little cabin gave me its share of things going bump in the night, creaks, scratches, and the like but I felt stronger after having done it. I shipped my truck out from Alberta and organized a bunch of renovations on the place and all went well. It was satisfying. I do remember calling my hubby in late May and saying I didn't think I was going to make it because the blasted place didn't yet have heat and the fireplace was only good for filling up the cabin with smoke. One night I woke with a jump thinking I was surrounded by cop cars with flashing lights. A firefly had landed on my window sill. Seems he had been mating with the flicker of my cell phone email alert. Way too long living in the city.
Except for the confounded bugs, which I'm spoiled to say we don't have here, PEI is a magical place. But, you already know this. I just wanted to encourage you and say that you can do this. You can keep your dream alive and give it a try. If you decide otherwise along the way, at least you will know and not be wondering if it was what you needed to do. I do recommend a good dog. Nothing beats them for quality company. They are good listeners too.
I've read several wonderful books about women starting over by the sea (one is by a lake). Very refreshing. Here's the list. I think you will enjoy them.
A Year by the Sea, Joan Anderson
Still Life with Chickens, Catherine Goldhammer
The Feast Nearby, Robin Mather
Thanks for sharing your heart with us. You're a special person and you'll find your way."
Thank you - your comment made me laugh and cry at the same time. My heart is in PEI and I long constantly for that slower pace where my thoughts don't have to compete with the sound of sirens, transport trucks and trains. Where there is plenty of "scope for the imagination." I've never been a city girl though I've had to work and live in a city for 33 years. I want to spend my days writing, reading, gardening, fulfilling the creative side of me while walking through my forest and cycling to the gorgeous and peaceful beaches. I'm not a fan of crowds and in PEI I'm close enough to several villages where there are wonderful people to socialize with when I'm in the mood and I can kick back on my land when I want to be alone. 
I want to thank you once again dear reader - your comment has really hit home. I'm going to go now to look up the books you've listed for me. If there was ever a woman who could make it on her own it's me!  Thank you for your encouragement, and oh yes, I was planning to get a dog :)
I have to say, and this is hard to say, that since the breakup I've been thinking "why bother moving, why bother fulfilling my dream if I have to do it alone?"  Well, guess what? I'm worth it. I'm going to do this FOR ME! Enough of the self-doubt, enough of putting myself last, enough of thinking it's not worth it if it's just for me! 
I AM WORTH IT! 







Sunday, February 16, 2014

Who Knew?

Whoa - who knew the Finns had such a great hockey team??  The game is tied 1:1 with seconds to go in the 3rd period. Looks like overtime.



A friend recently recommended "Goodreads" to me on Facebook and I've been busy rating books and selecting those I want to read in the future. I also wrote a review for a book recently recommended to me by a reader of my blog. "Anon" thought I would enjoy a book called "The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism." I downloaded it to my iPad and read it last night in one go. I know I'll be re-reading it as well as taking it to my next staff meeting on Tuesday to share with the educational assistants. The insight I've gained is something I never thought possible. To get "inside this young man's head" and get answers to questions that have puzzled me for years is so amazing. Thank you thank you thank you Anon!! I hope you read this post! Down on my side bar is a Goodreads widget as well as a link to my review.

I've been doing a little "monkeying around" with my blog yesterday and today. I can't bear to look at the snow and ice anymore so decided to get some spring and summer into my blog.

(Oh, thank goodness, Canada just scored in overtime YAY YAY YAY!!!)

Well, now that the hockey game is over I think I'll head out to do some errands as tomorrow most places will be closed as we celebrate FAMILY DAY!!  Yes, it's a long weekend :) So much to celebrate as Kazi is safely home from her travels, the Olympics continue and I have more wonderful books to read.

What's on YOUR reading list?


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Lazy Day

I keep thinking I should be doing something...

I get upset with myself because I don't feel like doing anything...

But my puritan upbringing doesn't let me rest easily...

Ok, got THAT off my chest. Onwards and upwards. My alarm went off at 7am. Do you think it's strange that I set my alarm on the weekend? Well it's a little game I play with myself. If I get up early then the days of the weekend seem looooonger;  I guess they are longer or at least the amount of time I'm awake is longer. It's all psychological.

I treated myself to a Timmy's and a newspaper today and enjoyed both while keeping one eye on our women's curling team. THEY ARE UNDEFEATED!! Did you know that curling is the second most popular "arm chair" sport? After hockey? I LOVE watching curling - I love how we get to hear them work out their strategy and the loud cries of HARD....HARRRRRRRRRD!!! from the skip. I love the overhead shots showing where the rocks lie and how they can each make their throw curl this way and the other way making seemingly "magical" take outs - I think it's amazing.

YES, I am CANADIAN! And I really wish I had one of those Molson Canadian beer machines in my kitchen! Errrr.....maybe beside my recliner would be better!
Isn't that cool?? I have a passport - do you think I could get a beer?

Perhaps after I'm finished my glass of wine!

Last night I had THE most amazing dinner with my friends Troy, Julie and Susan. We went to a Thai restaurant and had quite the decadent meal - I had a strawberry smoothie with a double shot of rum, DEEP FRIED spring rolls and seafood pad thai. Oh my goodness! I'm sure I exceeded my daily caloric intake with just the smoothie! And I've never had deep fried spring rolls before - they were to die for. Needless to say most of the pad thai is in my fridge (just a regular fridge though I think there are a couple of Bud Lights in there :) 

Then off to see "Monuments Men".  Being an Art History major I really enjoyed the story and I wondered frequently how much work it must have been to duplicate all of those paintings and statues or is that all done with computers?? I thought the dialogue was not the greatest in parts and it jumped around a bit but overall it was enjoyable though the real loss of some major works of art made me sad. There were some funny spots like when Matt Damon's character was standing on an unexploded land mine - yes, that might not seem funny but it all worked out...in a funny way...


Happily this is our Family Day long weekend :) :) so I still have 2 days left to enjoy. I think I'll load up my plate with leftovers, feed the cat, and treat myself to an episode or two from the new season of HOUSE OF CARDS!!! And tomorrow I must cheer on our Canadian men's hockey team as they play against Finland. YES, I lead the most exciting life!  

Friday, February 14, 2014

Pay Day is Hooray Day!!

To celebrate Kazi's homecoming I took a sick day today. Either that or its because I want to watch Olympic hockey. No, it must be Kazi hee hee!



Seriously though, it was just me being practical. Driving to Toronto and back last night plus building in time for flight delays meant I'd be bone tired today and I am. Happily her flight was only delayed for an hour while she was in L.A. On her flight TO Australia a month ago it was delayed 6 hours! I had visions of sitting in Pearson airport until the wee hours of the morning and then having to drive from Toronto to London - so just to be safe I took a sick day. It's only my 3rd sick day since September so I only felt a wee bit guilty. I have to keep telling myself that THEY CAN get along without me once in a while!


Flights to New York were cancelled but fortunately the current major storm bypassed SW Ontario. Thank goodness for small mercies!




So - today's hot topic! PAYDAY!! There's such a long build up to payday and then minutes after it's posted to my account it's all dispersed! Very anti-climatic! Here's how this pay has been dispersed:

$2327
-$1200 to savings; $79 for internet; $32 to Reliance (rental for my super duper hot water heater!); $73 for Union Gas (heat, hot water tank and I have a gas dryer); $72 for electricity (usually it's around $50-$60 but we've been running a space heater in the basement when we're down there watching TV/riding stationary bike); $175 PEI mortgage, $8 to Netflix (we don't have cable TV); and $155 for condo property taxes. 


If you're following along with a calculator that should leave me with $533 for groceries, gas and misc until Feb. 28 but I also paid off my PCMC (President's Choice Mastercard) as I do every payday. I use this card to buy groceries and gas as I get points I can use for groceries. Using my mastercard this way means $200-$300 free money annually for groceries which really helps at Christmas and when I go east for the summer. I've never paid a cent in interest as it's paid in full twice a month.


So what I have left is $273 as well as $90 cash in my wallet some of which I'll use tonight when I go out to dinner with 3 girlfriends. (I'm also waiting for a reimbursement from school for about $40). We're also going to see "Monuments Men" tonight but that's being taken care of with gift cards. I've done a Costco run, a produce run at United (my favorite Asian grocery store that has the largest selection of produce of any store and at the lowest prices) and a No-Frills run. I don't foresee spending any $$ for food for at least two weeks. I may be able to tuck some of that $274 into savings if I'm careful! 



Woo hoo Canada just scored - they are up 1-0 against Austria!!

But Dougie the Dodge needs gas so I'll be filling him up today. Over the past month I've been driving Kazi's car, Cora Cobalt (Kazi calls her Stella) and that has really saved me $$ in gas. Also, I don't think I spent more than about $75 on groceries over the month she was away. I had a very frugal month indeed!

The first thing I do when I get paid is to transfer at least half into savings. So once I retire I will have had lots of practice living on half a paycheque! And once I dispose of the condo I'll have much lower expenses and will be able to continue saving, just not as much obviously.

So that's my current episode of "HAVE FUN WITH PAY DAY"!! 

Hope it was as much fun for you as it was for me. I feel like I should call this post "Don't Read This - Its Boring" a la Sluggy!!

Oh well, I can't be at the top of my game for every post ha ha! If only! Anyhoo I hope your Valentine's day is a happy one if you go in for that sort of thing.

Canada just scored again! Now THAT'S exciting!!
<3


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Casablanca

OK, my post title is apropos of nothing - I just looked at my news feed and saw I had a visitor from Casablanca! Makes me feel like Ingrid Bergman! Well, not really, but it's still pretty cool right?

oooooh! I'd definitely go there...if one of my goals was to travel, that is!

That Sonya! She wants to know what my goals are...how did she put it.....?

"So, what are your next plans? You haven't posted about that for awhile. Any new goals? Spill, woman!"

Subtle isn't she? 

I have to hand it to her though because I've done little else but think about the future since she wrote that comment! You know, I never was much of a "fence sitter" before...I always had a firm opinion or idea about who I was, what I wanted, and a plan for how I was going to get there. Like a friend once said to me years ago - "you'll be sitting in your coffin six months before you die!" Cheery, no?  But the point being that I always plan ahead! 

But I'm wavering back and forth about my future, kind of straddling that old fence wondering which side to climb down on. Friends tell me to "fulfill my dreams!" Family tell me to "go for it"! I think the only thing holding me back from embracing my future at Crofters Lane in PEI is myself - I've lost confidence in myself. 


I will admit my heart is there. I have friends there, I have family there. I do feel hesitant about moving away from Kazi though.  Since my breakup I want to latch on to her and never let her go. It's been a good experience for me (and her) her spending this past month in Australia. Even though she's FAR AWAY we've kept in touch through Facetime, texting, facebook and Snapchat. All free. And while I've missed her I've also relished the time alone. And I haven't missed her terribly! Just the right amount. I'll be thrilled to see her but a wee part of me doesn't look forward to the mess and sharing the bathroom...


But I digress...as the title of one of my favorite books goes "I Know This Much is True":


  • I will sell the condo when it's ready, when I'm ready and when Kazi is ready. I probably won't put it up for sale for another year. I am getting things done but very slowly. And I want to see Kazi with a full-time job and a place of her own first. AND I'm going to see how it feels living at Crofters Lane on my own (with a fall-back plan if I need it.)
  • I will retire in 137 days. Sometime around the end of June I will pack up Dougie the Dodge and head east. My friend Julie said she'll come with me and stay as long as I need her to. Isn't she wonderful? She said I shouldn't go there alone the first time back. This won't be a full move - it'll be a visit. But it will be as long as I want it to be and there will be no anxiety come August 1st about getting home to get my classroom ready! No, I can stay on in September, October, maybe even til Christmas depending on how it goes.
  • I'm considering buying a trailer (not immediately) IF I decide to have a place around here to come back to in the winter or anytime during the year when I'd like to come to London to visit family and friends. I LOVED MY TRAILER IN BAYFIELD but it wasn't a winterized trailer. That's not a definite plan but more of a possibility. 
  • I will travel. Do you remember how I "biked" around to visit some of you a couple of winters ago? I would LOVE to do that but not on a bicycle lol - I could probably do it but it would take me several years to visit you all and pedaling across the Atlantic would be more of a challenge than I could handle! I have quite a list of other places I want to go to - Denmark, Greenland, Norway, the UK, Australia, Rock of Gibraltor (an ancestor was posted there) etc - I'm really drawn to the north. 
  • I will renew my membership to ancestry.ca.  I gave that up the last few years because it meant spending long hours online and didn't work too well within the relationship so I look forward to expanding my family tree once again. My mother left me with piles of binders full of materials she had gathered over her many years spent on genealogical research and I got the bug after she passed away and it is still something I really feel compelled to do. 
How's that Sonya? 

Please, all of you, feel free to give me input. Am I forgetting anything?

Thanks Sonya, for giving me a "little" push - I needed that!

So what are your next plans? You haven't posted about that for a while. Any new goals? Spill, woman!
So what are your next plans? You haven't posted about that for a while. Any new goals? Spill, woman!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Dum Diddy Dum Dum Dum...



Oh hurrah for hot water heaters...when they work properly that is!  A mere two years ago our old hot water heater bit the dust allowing the tank of water to flow freely throughout the basement. So a new one was installed, which we rent from Reliance. They need to pick a new name for that company I think because I cannot rely on their hot water heaters!!

What's happening? Not enough is happening, that's for sure! Running out of hot water while in the midst of a shower is NOT TERRIBLY FUN on these days of -18c. Or any other time come to think of it. The hot water heater and the furnace are linked together so hot water is needed to drive the furnace. The problem is that once the hot water gets used by the furnace the hot water tank thinks it's done for the day and it doesn't kick in to heat up more water, it just sits there, looking pretty. Hah!

I discovered yesterday that if I unplugged the heater and then plugged it back in it would "kick in" and start running again. I had to do that 2 or 3 times yesterday. This morning, after my shower, I did the unplug/plug thing but nothing happened...grrrr! So I turned the furnace down to 16c and headed off to work. I had arranged for a repairman to come today between 4 & 6pm. Hence the dum diddy dum dum dum as I sit here twiddling my thumbs as I await his Royal Lordship of the Hot Water Monopoly!!

When I got home from school I turned the thermostat up to 19c but after an hour it's only 18c in here. The hot water has been used up and I'm listening for the sound of the hot water heater and I hear....NOTHING! So I've turned off the furnace as it will just keep running forever while waiting for an injection of hot water without getting one iota warmer in here. 

Sigh.....to be continued...

5:05pm Just got a call - Mr. Repairman is on his way!!

5:26pm FIXED! YAY! There was an "ignition failure" (sort of sounds like an aborted space mission)! Abort Abort!! "Brad" cleaned the flame sensor, reset the error code and off we go to the moon! Thanks Brad!



Sunday, February 9, 2014

Early Sunday Morning

I was up at 5:30am today! I fell asleep reading on the couch last night, woke up at 11pm and then headed to bed! Didn't think I'd be able to fall asleep but apparently I did! Here it is, not even lunch time yet and I have all of my Sunday work done. Laundry is all caught up, fresh sheets on my bed, cleaned out the vanity drawers in the upstairs bathroom as well as the big cupboard under the sink. I was able to eliminate the shelving unit that was over the toilet in the upstairs bathroom so that it looks more spacious. That'll last til Kazi gets home this Thursday (YAY!) and then the bathroom will once again be overloaded with cosmetics, lotions, hair accessories and the like. Why is it I can manage with 1 shampoo, 1 body wash and 1 lotion and Kazi has about 10 of each?? Ahhhh youth!

An update on Kazi - she texted me that Jones Packaging has called her back to a 3rd interview!! That sounds promising! Not sure if she has arranged a time for that yet. Keep your fingers crossed! She'll be one step closer to flying the coop if she gets a full-time job with benefits. Not that I want to get rid of her yes I do or anything but she is 23, has finished her education and is poised to take the next step in her life. Me too.

So I have lots of time on my hands today - I can watch lots of Olympic coverage :) !! I don't even need to cook - I made a huge pot of cabbage soup and cooked rice and quinoa plus I have leftovers from eating out Friday night at Hong Ping in London with my brother, sister-in-law and a couple of friends. They give ginormous sized portions and I got some of the leftovers. For the 5 of us the bill only came to $63.00! Plus 2 of us had a glass of wine and my brother had a beer! Fabulous! I am looking forward to dinner! Or maybe lunch :) !!


I just had to include a photo of Canadian sisters, Chloe and Justine Dufour-Lapointe, women's freestyle mogul winners - they came in first and second - what a thrilling moment!! And they are so beautiful too! The highlight of yesterday's Olympics for me!

I am doing ok my friends. Semester 2 is off to a good start and spring is only about 6 weeks away...I hope! Spring, seeing little green things poke their heads out of the earth always gives me a lift. It's difficult to imagine that right now with everything deeply buried under the white stuff but I know it'll happen...eventually. That's something to look forward to!

How's your Sunday shaping up?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

SchoolClosing Stephens Elementary 020314


Snow Blindness






See the picture above? No, me neither. I have snow blindness. Everywhere I look new unnamed mountain ranges are popping up blocking my view. By the time I inch forward at an intersection to see if anyone is coming I'm already half way into the street!

I just want to put my thanks out there though to those amazing folks who are once again working around the clock removing snow so that I can have a safe place to park when I get to school. And as I arrived home yesterday two young men were snowblowing the pathway to my front door and shovelling the steps clean and then sprinkling salt to keep me from slipping and breaking my pelvis!
You guys deserve a little something extra in your pay packet this winter!

As I drove to school this morning I was listening to a radio show - several people called in and said they were trying to just "embrace the snow"! My first response was "bully for you!" but then I thought maybe they were on something....I mean "ONTO" something! Does it do us any good to complain...does it make us feel any better? Well, yes, it does so forget that theory!

My feeble efforts to have a "good attitude" this winter are long buried under a ton of snow and won't see the light of day for at least another month. It's impossible to go for a brisk walk anywhere unless I want to walk on the road. The thought of sledding down a slick hill sounds kind of inviting until I think about the trip back up the hill slogging through snow up to my waist whilst trying to pull the sled.
No, my enjoyment of this winter consists purely of looking at it from the comfort of my living room, to be exact - my recliner, covered in a fur blanket and with a warm drink close to hand. On the floor beside me are a stack of books and magazines and newspapers, my laptop or iPad playing some tunes or listening to CBC radio. Now THAT sounds inviting!

If anyone out there is having another snow day and/or school is cancelled you need to watch this:

Sorry, for some reason the URL isn't working here so I'm going to post the video separately. I promise you it'll make you laugh!

Have a great day! I'm listening to the Rankin Family and my toes are a-tapping!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Finding a New Normal

Finding one's NEW NORMAL is no easy task. Even though I had lived alone with Kazi for years before meeting Michael I can't remember what that looked like. But what I can tell you is that not only am I transitioning from being part of a couple to being a single person I am also transitioning from having a "somewhat full" nest to a future "empty nest." And let's not forget that ever present upcoming momentous occasion in 145 days - RETIREMENT!  That's a lot to adjust to. Where to start?
The first step was to change bedrooms. I moved back up to my old single bed in my old single-person bedroom. Can I tell you I'm in love...with my bed? Is that weird?

I tell you I can hardly wait to retire...to bed, that is. Every day I come home from work and do the things I need to do. I've been rather absent from the blogging front over the past week due to events out of my control. And then our second semester began yesterday and my dining room table has been littered with a heaping pile of curriculum  documents, marking, IEPs and the like. But I have completed all I needed to - report cards, updated IEPs, a month-long unit covering the upcoming Winter Olympics so I am back to posting and reading your blogs once again.

But where was I...oh yes...so once I get home from work I feed the cat, iron my clothes, tonight I have to cut my hair, make dinner, spend some time on my computer, do up the dishes, feed the cat (YES, I KNOW I already said that but since we've discovered Friskies it's like she's doing a Benjamin Buttons thing and getting younger  by the day!!), make my lunch, try to do 1 or 2 little things around the house, ride my bike and toddle off to bed hopefully by 8pm! After my few ablutions I fluff up my pillows, pour a glass of red wine, light a candle, find my latest audio book on my iPad, perhaps have a bowl of air-popped popcorn, sigh with deep relief at getting horizontal on my died-and-gone-to-heaven memory foam topped mattress and just sink into the comfort and warmth - it's pure bliss.

Sometimes it feels a little strange to be in bed by 8pm but that's where I want to be. I just finished an excellent book by Scott Turow (I just love courtroom dramas) and now am being highly entertained by Michael Conelly (about another lawyer).  There's something so peaceful about being all tucked up in bed on a snowy bed while a lovely voice reads to you. And yes, I eventually fall asleep (AFTER blowing out the candle - no worries!) and have to find my place in the book again the next night but that's ok. I'm happy I can sleep well. Though there have been a couple of mornings when I've woken up to find that lovely voice is still reading away to me! The iPad people need to figure out some sort of sensor so that when I drift off the book will go to sleep too!

Is it 8:00 yet?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

I'm Here

The last few days have been hellish. Thank goodness for family and friends - my 4 siblings, my daughter Kazi, you, my blog friends, my friends here in London and my friends from the east coast. All of you have helped me out over the past few days.

Moving on is not an easy thing to do but it is the only thing I can do. If you were disturbed, as one reader was, by my not telling both sides of the story, I'm sorry. That post came from a very raw and hurting place - and I can only speak for myself. I don't know the other side of the story or what my part in it was - I was gobsmacked, so to speak, by what occurred.  Previous to that terrible disclosure I was told "it's not you, it's me, you've done nothing wrong."

I was asked to remove the post. So I did. And I apologize if my bitterness put you off. That wasn't my intent. For me my blog is my on-line journal and I feel close enough to you all to share my joys and my despair. It's therapeutic to write about what happens - to "spout off"! Because I know you'll be there for me as I will be for you.

So, moving on...

Once again I found a message on Cora the Colbalt today:


I know, this is getting weirder and weirder! I've decided to just enjoy them - I can pretend I have a secret admirer (even though that is quite a stretch right now).  Or I can apply it to my life somehow - like I need to keep LOVE in my heart - for myself and for others.

It's hard for me to make contact with others when I feel so low - I tend to stay home and feel sorry for myself. So I'll try to keep my heart open and think about what others need, as well as myself.

My accomplishments for this weekend include cooking up some stuffed peppers, making veggie fried rice, quinoa etc. As well yesterday I scraped the caulking from around the bathtub. I tried to reapply new caulking only to find that the caulking I had on hand expired back in '08! So this morning I was off to Home Depot (after scraping a thick layer of snow topped off with ice from the freezing rain yesterday) and bought some new caulking. I haven't taken a picture yet but I will.

However, my main goal this weekend is preparing for Semester 2! Woohoo! Five months left of school :) I don't know yet what I'll do when I retire but I have lots of options. Finishing the condo and selling it is a priority as I can't maintain two houses. I could afford my PEI home and a trailer here somewhere - I did so enjoy the trailer I had in Bayfield. We'll see how it all goes.

And now back to the school books!