Saturday, November 30, 2013

Carla's Novica Giveaway!!

Gorgeous tree ornament from NOVICA!

Hey y'all - you know Carla right?  Well she's having a give away from one of the most unique stores ever - NOVICA!! Head on over there and leave a comment and/or share on social media for a chance to win a $40.00 gift certificate at Novica!

Just follow this link!!!   Now, just do it!

Thursday, November 28, 2013


I thought this picture was perfect - turkey AND football...what could say American Thanksgiving better than that?

We do have football here in Canada too, but do not revere it to the same extent I don't think. It just so happens though that the highschool I teach at IS a football school and takes great pride in its long football history. Just last Saturday, amid the snow squalls, our senior team blasted the other top city school's team 30-17 taking #1 spot in the city of London.  Today, amid more snow squalls, they played in another championship game but sadly well, there's always next year!
Here's their photo from last Saturday's game - note the snow they're laying on - such tough guys!

That was the same night I was riding the "party bus" or else I would have been there in the stands, freezing to death and cheering them on...well, not likely no, but I would have been there "in spirit"... I would. Hey, I did check my phone once or twice for updates!!!

So, enough about football...(I really prefer hockey)...I hope all of my American friends have a really great holiday weekend with your loved ones and if that includes watching football, so be it. As long as there is also some pie thrown in for good measure. Put your feet up, pat your tummy and smile like a cheshire cat because YOU (most of you) DON'T HAVE TO GO TO WORK TOMORROW and I do :(

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Handyman Gene

Michael can do many things. He can whip up a big pot of soup or stew or as he calls it, a medley, from a few scraps and bones. He folds my freshly cleaned clothes better than a high end retail clerk. He can iron and sew and find all the bargains at the grocery store.

But...he didn't get the handyman gene....rats. (Can you tell he was raised only by women?)

I was hoping that with a little help he could install our new hardwood. Wrong. Lots of extra prep needed to be done using materials and tools we've never laid eyes on before. The "guy" did a really great job but that was an extra $550 that I hadn't planned for. Next he'll install our ceramic tiles but said there's a lot of prep needed for that too so I foresee another $500 bill coming my way. We've also booked him for a couple of other "odd" jobs around the house which will also make a dent in my bank account.

Woe is me...

I've noticed recently that MURPHY is visiting some of you - Carla's dishwasher, Sonya Ann's family's least we can take comfort knowing we're not alone in our misery. Yes, misery loves company.

OK, my whining is over...for now. As Sluggy told Sonya Ann there is a positive flip-side to all of her troubles. I wonder if I can put a positive spin on my own troubles...

...yes, actually, I think I can. In fact, like Carla noted the other day, no matter how bad we might think we have it there are millions who have so much less than we do, so her charitable donations will continue in spite of nipping and tucking her budget due to bill increases. goes...

  • My floors are magnificent!! I'm trying (not very hard) to imagine the mess we would have been in if we'd tried to do them ourselves. Better to pay extra for a professional job. I probably would have just taken that $550 and blown it on stupid stuff for Christmas. Instead, I'm giving Michael new carpet for Christmas and he's giving me new hardwood. 

  • Magnificent floors will help us to sell this house in the new year. And then the packing will begin in earnest. 

  • I love soup. I love stew. I love Michael's medleys. (No dirty thoughts now!) 

So, on that note I'm going to heat up a bowl of Michael's amazing chicken soup and contemplate how lucky I am to come home every day to a home cooked meal.

Thanks Sluggy! Thanks Carla!

Oh yes, and Michael is REALLY good at starting fires....

Monday, November 25, 2013

Stormy Weaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaather

Around here it's all about the recent stormy blizzardy freezing snow squalling icy roads drifting snow and zero visibility. Nothin' else.
 With that said I consider myself fortunate because in east London we received (like it's a gift) about half of what they were blasted with in west London. Go figure.
 Even so, half as much was about 10 times as much as I wanted, which was nothin'.
Once you get past the "oh look honey, isn't it pretty? It's like a winter wonderland...." then you procrastinate about 8 hours til it's getting dark then you put on all the clothing you can find which in this train wreck of a house isn't much, then you take the broom and slog out to your truck, or in this case, my truck and you get to it.
 There's Dougie, under his nice warm blanket of snow, ain't it purty??
 Yup, no little "dusting" of snow just to get us used to it, no, Mother Nature let 'er rip bigtime, with snow forecast every day this week just for fun!
I guess it's a little too much to ask for one more patio day, candles, wine, conversation, bbq....hah!
 Le sigh...well, at least we get to really talk about the weather now...
 and for the next....oh....six months!!!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Riding the Party Bus

A friend celebrated her 50th birthday last night by planning a surprise party for all of her friends - she is a party planner extraordinaire and has a very generous heart! In spite of the terrible weather (snow, fierce winds) we gathered at her place before the "party bus" arrived. Her bunny helpers (her oldest son and his friend-I found it amazing that they agreed to wear bunny suits!!) provided us all with mini sized bottles of liqueurs (which reminds me they are still in my purse...what's left of them that is...)
Bunny helpers!

All aboard!
The birthday girl dancing on the party bus!
While tunes from the 80's played we danced (at our own risk!) not knowing where the party bus was taking us! Our amazing hostess provided snacks and water bottles while guests brought any alcoholic beverages that they wanted.

*Note to self - when next on a party bus bring white wine instead or RED!!

Our first destination in Dorchester, Ontario

Michael and I at the Mill Pond Tap & Grill
Michael and I decided to NOT drink at each destination but to dance instead - a wise decision in the end as we are headache free today. However, we did end up with a few red wine stains on our clothing as drinking and dancing on a moving bus is a HIGH RISK activity! And oh yes, red wine in the eye DOES sting - who knew??

 Heading to the second destination - lots more dancing and snacking and falling on people's laps!
 And here we are at Tiger Jacks!
 The snow is starting to accumulate.
Dancing at Tiger Jacks.

Once all the dancing was over and bars were visited the party bus took us back to the birthday girl's home where tons more food awaited us! I tried not to overdo it. It was a great party and ALL planned by the birthday girl herself! I've never been on a "party bus" before, in fact I didn't know there was such a thing having lived a rather sheltered (DULL) life. Its such a fun way of getting from place to place without the worry of anyone drinking and driving though we had to be prepared to catch each other when thrown off balance. No problem - that just added to the fun!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Miles to Cycle Before I Sleep

 In case you haven't noticed I am addicted to cycling. Every day that it is too cold to go for a bike ride is a wasted day to me. Today we are having snow squalls off and on all day - it's a lot more wintery than it should be on Nov. 23rd! My heart felt a pang as I realized how far off spring is, and along with spring - cycling.
These pictures show one route I rode a few times over the summer in PEI. I can't remember how many kilometers it was but it took me 50 minutes in each direction.  It brought me to my favorite beach on the west side of the island.

I rode from somewhere in between Elmsdale and Alberton to Campbellton. (Upper left hand corner of the map)
 A nice, peaceful spot to be laid to rest if you're so inclined...I'd rather rest on the front steps of the church however!
 I would drink a bottle of water and eat a snack before mounting my trusty steed and heading for home. A few times I packed a large beach towel and a book and relaxed on the beach for a while.
 My trusty steed :)
Sadly I am now reduced to cycling in the basement. A reader suggested I track my distance and so I have set up a list in my sidebar. My goal is 12km 5 times per week. So far I have cycled 12km 3 times so far this week and 20km today - hopefully I can add to that tomorrow. With more snow squalls in the forecast I don't think I'll be out hiking so that should be accomplishable (new word).

Tonight it is a friend's 50th birthday. We are headed out on a mystery tour involving a limo and comfy clothes?? I'll let you know tomorrow what happens!!

Hope you are snug and warm wherever you are today - it seems winter has arrived!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Home from the Bahamas

Someone is coming home tonight.....
 a special dinner for two...
a bottle (BIG) of wine....
 Now, if only I could find two chairs.....
in this mayhem (saluting Sonya for my new word of the day!)
 ain't gonna happen...
I guess we'll have to eat in bed!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Miss Gulch

Soooooooooo now that it's getting rather NIPPY out there I'm back on my "inside" bike and my lovely Miele road bike is in storage for the winter. I can't describe how much I miss being out on my bike...there is such a sense of childlike freedom in whizzing along the streets. Inside I feel young and carefree, my legs feel strong and invincible.  I have to laugh when I catch a glimpse of myself in a store window as on the outside I look more like Miss Gulch, though a lot less miserable!

One thing I've managed to do for myself while Michael has been away is get into a better routine when I get home from work. Because he does the cooking when he's here I would find myself on my computer just whiling (wasting) away the time until dinner was ready. Or I'd get my nose in a book (nose in a book on my iPad just doesn't conjure up the same image does it?) and lose track of time. The longer I put off exercise the less I wanted to do it and the more creative I got with my excuses to avoid it. Exercise? But there's a documentary about food additives I just have to watch!! Exercise? I have to rearrange the canned goods in the pantry...Exercise?

Then by the time we were finished eating dinner, chores completed we would retire to the comfort of our bed to watch something on Netflix. Exercise never entered the picture. I'm so ashamed...

I HAVE REFORMED!! That's right! I'm back in the saddle again! My goal is to peddle 12km every day, at least 5 days a week. That's a nice round 60km minimum per week. Granted the scenery isn't as nice and the wind isn't blowing through my hair but hey - I don't have much hair anyway! IF I immediately change into my workout clothes and get onto my bike before passing GO then the exercise is done and out of the way within an hour of getting home. IT WORKS!! 

I still have the map up on my wall near my stationary bike of where y'all live with my imaginary cross country journey mapped out. I didn't make it all the way, or even half the way, but it was a great dream and kept me motivated. I still contemplate doing the journey one of these days, though in a car lol! It's a sweet retirement dream. At least you know what I look like so if you see some silver-haired lady with a crewcut knocking on your door someday please let me in and feed me. I promise not to leave a mess.

Would you like me to visit YOU??

Monday, November 18, 2013

Poor Piggy

Poor Piggy indeed. We are busy spending money right, left and centre! I set aside a certain amount of money to replace the lovely rose pink carpet that ran throughout the house not to mention the 1980's linoleum - how very chic! We got some pretty good flooring deals but there are a HEAP of other costs that I didn't take into account.
You need certain types of tools. You need people with know how or you have to pay someone to install it all. You have to pay someone to haul away the old carpet. You need those little felt pads to put on the bottom of chair and table legs because you're so paranoid about scratching up the new floor. You have to replace the kitchen counter top because SOMEONE (I don't know who) made a big scratch on it with some sort of tool during the hardwood installation. The tool!

I could go on and on, in fact, I think I will! I need new curtains, I think I'll have to replace the bathroom counter top too because I noticed a few burn marks from someone's hair straightener (not mine!!)  I may need a couple more cans of primer - that lovely shade of coral in my daughter's room (she of the hair straightener) is going to take a few coats to cover. I'm thinking of new toilets - who wants to buy a house with old toilets in it?? Not me! Might as well replace the sinks while I'm at it - I've notice a couple of minuscule dots of black - is the porcelain wearing thin??

Maybe I should just blow the place up and start over! One thing leads to ten more. I have to stop somewhere, but where?? When? When I run out of money??  Arrrrgh!

What was your worst reno experience?? Please make me feel better!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Home Alone

 How do I miss thee, let me count the ways...well, holy moly there are just too many ways to count!  Michael has been in the Bahamas since last Wednesday due to the premature death of a younger sister.  He rarely gets to see this side of his family so he's gone for a week to mourn a sister and reconnect with missed family members.
When his mom and dad split Michael was sent to live with an aunt and his younger brother was sent to live with grandparents. Then both his mom and dad married other people and went on to have about six kids each. So he has one full blood brother and 12 half brothers and sisters. His mom's 2nd family live in Canada but his dad's 2nd family stayed in Miami and the Bahamas. Unfortunately neither Michael or his brother Andy were recalled from the aunt's house or the grandparent's house so they didn't get to know their siblings very well.
So they take the opportunity when they can to get together which as we all know often happens because of the death of a family member.
At first I enjoyed having the bed all to myself - I like to really stretch out...for about 5 minutes then it's all about cuddling!! It's been nice to pick my own movies on Netflix but why oh why am I still watching ACTION movies...huh??  It's been great to eat exactly what I want when I want, but HEY, I do that most of the time anyway! And I'm running out of leftovers.....

So Michael, you can head on home anytime now, the sooner the better. I'll even make the bed for you (yes, he's the bed maker around here as well as chief cook and bottle washer!!)  And besides...I can't watch "Breaking Bad" without YOU!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


First snow of the season.
About 4 inches or so.
Still leaves on the trees.
 Why can't you see much?
 Because it's only 5:30am!
 Stink I get up early!
Less of a shock to the system when it's still dark out! Yeah right! Who was the fool scraping the windshield this morning??

Oh....Michael....yes, thank you!!