Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

Busy, busy, busy around here right now. I’ve put up a couple of posts that have been rattling around in my head lately. I’d already written them when they occurred but didn’t have the time to post.

We’re gearing up and getting ready for THE BIG DAY and the visit from THE BIG GUY.

Yesterday I got together with my scrapping friends for a Christmas party and gift exchange. It was so much fun. I know I am still quite quiet when I’m there but I’m really enjoying my scrapping days. I’m getting a ton done, and it’s just great to be able to get together with a bunch of women on a regular basis who are interested in scrapbooking to the same extent I am. Plus, it’s been great reconnecting with Barb. I wish I had worked harder at keeping in touch with her after Isobel was born.

Today we are wrapping some presents, baking cookies for THE BIG GUY and heading to Grandma’s house for an appetizer/hors d’oeuvres supper in the evening. The girls will both sleep in Meredith’s room and, I’m sure, will be up way before the sun tomorrow.

Merry Christmas to anyone enjoying my blog (or just reading it!). I hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow and enjoy all that Santa leaves under your tree.

My Poor Truck


Can you believe it? Eight THOUSAND dollars worth of damage to my truck from last week’s accident. It’s not that the damage was so bad. It’s just that we managed to ding almost every single piece on the front end, plus a couple of mechanical things under the hood that needed replacing.

They tell us it won’t be ready until the New Year.


Thank goodness for car insurance. That’s all I have to say.

Christmas Decorations

How can someone who dislikes Christmas decorating own so many boxes of decorations?

They took over my entire mud room when we brought them in from the shed.

It’s not that I don’t like Christmas – I do. It’s a great opportunity to spend time and reconnect with family. I love having everyone home. I love that everything is closed and we have to stay at home. I love the presents and gift giving and I love the anticipation of a new year. I just don’t love the clutter of the decorations. And I don't love all the work. Perhaps it is because we put the tree up so late and always put it away on New Years Day. I suppose, I’m just not a decorator (much to my Mother In Law’s chagrin!), and as I get older I do less of what I should do and do more of what I want to do. Don’t get me wrong, when I go to someone else’s house and it’s decorated, I think it looks beautiful. I just don’t seem to need that at my house.

Our tree in the sun room. Decorated almost exclusively by Meredith and Isobel. Don't you just love it when you check the lights before you put them on the tree and they all work just fine. But then, you get them on the tree and plug them in and they don't work? Yeah. That seems to happen to us every year!!

Anyway, bah humbug. I don’t mean to be so negative. We decorated on the weekend (Dec 13/14), and the girls loved it. They enjoy setting up the decorations and moving things around. They love to arrange it all ‘just so’.

This is the tree they do for the basement. It is full of all the various homemade decorations they have made over the years.

I suppose that answers my original question.

I continue to do it for my children.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

We've Been Elfed

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Saturday in Toronto

Yesterday we went into Toronto. We almost didn’t go, but I’m so glad we did.

We parked our car down by Nathan Phillip’s Square and took the subway up to the ROM where we visited the Diamond Exhibit. It was very glittery. We wandered into a few more areas then took the subway back down to Dundas Square and had an early supper at the Hard Rock Café.

It is amazing how much Toronto, specifically Yonge and Dundas has changed since I was a kid. I grew up in Toronto and spent so much time wandering around the Yonge and Dundas area. I never thought anything of it but when I think back now I realize it was quite old and rundown. The buildings now are beautiful and so modern with their huge electronic billboards. It really is quite spectacular. After our dinner, we hopped back on the subway to Queen where we enjoyed the Christmas windows at The Bay and strolled around Nathan Phillip’s Square. Our main reason for going into the city was to see the Cavalcade of Lights but it was so cold out was difficult to take any photos outside.

These photos were taken of Yonge and Dundas from inside the Hard Rock. The lit up Christmas tree you can see changed colour constantly:

This photo were taken at Nathan Phillips Square. I had a hard time keeping the camera still because I was so cold:

There was a band coming on at 7 and fireworks at 8 but it started to snow and after Friday’s incident, we didn’t want to be out on the roads in Dave’s car if we were going to get a big storm, so we headed home. Plus, we were all freezing!!!

Meredith’s favourite part of the day was the beautiful windows at The Bay and Isobel’s was the subway ride and the diamonds!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snowmageddon indeed.


Today the snow fell. And it fell. And it fell. And it fell some more. It looks like a veritable wonderland outside. And I am now without my lovely 4WD SUV to manage this snow. Why you ask?


Let me tell you.

Today we woke up full of anticipation for the SNOWMAGEDDON that was supposed to be arriving. Yes, SNOWMAGEDDON. That’s what they were calling it. Well, it came but not in time for the Halton District School Board to close our school. They cancelled transportation and closed a few schools, but not ours. Apparently, it’s not safe enough for buses but its okay for teachers and parents to drive through. That doesn’t make sense to me.

But I digress.

Dave took today off. We got the girls off to school and immediately jumped into the truck to run 3 errands. We only had 3 things to get to complete our Christmas. That’s it, only 3.

We got that done, and although it took us longer than usual to navigate the roads, the stores were not crowded so it was quite lovely. We brought the paper with us and stopped in at Starbuck’s to enjoy a coffee/tea and read the paper. It was very comforting to sit there with the storm blasting away outside. Anyway, we finished there and were driving home, just minding our business when --- BOOM --- we ran right into the side of a van that went right through a stop sign. Ugh. The front end of the Explorer is totally bashed in. The grill is cracked and broken, the hood is dented and both panels on the sides at the front are bent. Our license plate was ripped in half and was embedded in the back tire of the van. When it happened, I was looking down and heard Dave say “oh no” and when I looked up I could see the side of the van getting closer and closer. I can remember thinking over and over “we’ve got to stop, we’ve got to stop” but no, we didn’t. The guy we hit was spun across the intersection to the other side. When we all got out Dave’s concern was for the driver of the other vehicle. He just kept asking if he was okay. My first reaction would have been to curse and swear. I was actually very impressed with how Dave handled it. The other guy was very apologetic but Dave just kept saying it was okay, that accidents happen. He was so great about it. My husband never fails to impress me. I’ve got a lot to learn from him. Anyway, we exchanged information and went on our way.

I wish it ended there, but it doesn’t.

We got home and shortly after it was time for Meredith to get out of school. The weather was still horrendous so Dave was going to go get her. Given that the truck was still drivable and it has 4 wheel drive and the fact that his car doesn’t have snow tires, he took the truck to go get her. On the way home, he was going to pick up her friend Sophie and bring her back here for a play. She lives on a very narrow street with deep culverts on either side. When he backed out of the driveway, he misjudged the width of the road, because it was so covered in snow, and went into the ditch. Unfortunately, he was unable to get it out of the ditch because one of the tires of the truck was totally flat. We have no idea how or when the flat tire happened. It will forever remain a mystery.

So, the truck has been towed away to be fixed, hopefully, in about a week and a half. I wasn’t even able to take pictures of it before it was whisked away, so I leave you with some photos of the snow.

In the meantime, I’m going to stay home with my cozy fireplace, a good book, my family and my trusty computer.

I hope you all have a safe and accident free weekend.

Monday, December 15, 2008

More About Dave's Run

Quick post.

If you really want a good look at Dave’s run this past weekend, check out this video. I wish I could say I can pick him out of the crowd, but this time, I really can’t!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


The funny for tonight goes to Meredith. She just told Dave his hair looks like a field of wheat . . . after a drought.

We all had a good laugh at that one. See what I mean about her sense of humour? Wicked.

What Is Your Favourite Way To Enjoy Brunch?

Every year for the past 5 years, we have enjoyed brunch with Santa at The Oakville Club. The food is spectacular and plentiful. This year, Meredith was very curious about our ‘favourite way’ to enjoy the food. She prefers to eat in the same order she does at home. First she enjoys a taste of the breakfast food, then a taste of lunch with a taste of dinner to follow. Of course, she then enjoys a feast of dessert. What’s your favourite way to eat brunch? Me? I like to do it just like Meredith. Nice and organized.

Here we are at the brunch.

'Tis the season!!

Happy Holidays everyone!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Dave's Race

Today, Dave (my normally quiet and reserved husband) dressed up in a Santa suit and ran a The Jingle Bell 5K.

Imagine, downtown Burlington, jammed, cheek to jowl with fit Santas. Over 1500 of them. I was too short to get a good photo, but let me tell ya, it was a sight to see. Not a single belly jiggled like a bowl full of jelly.

By the end of the race, the Santas were crossing the finish line half dressed. Some were missing the pants – don’t worry, they had running tights on underneath. Lots were missing their hats. And almost all had their beards around their necks. The suit was definitely not made for running. It was made of some sort of nasty synthetic, totally not breathable, material. Dave kept his on for the whole run though. Only the beard migrated down to his neck.

I’m proud of him. Proud of him for stepping out of his comfort zone and doing something so extroverted. Proud of him for running a 5K without a single day of training. And proud of him for wearing the suit.

Go get ‘em Santa!!

Meredith's Birthday

Yesterday was Meredith’s birthday.

Here she is enjoying her birthday breakfast. All she wanted was toast with peanut butter and bananas. That girl loves her peanut butter!!!

She is now 11. ~Sigh~ Where did the time go? I can still remember so vividly the day she was born.

It was a blustery night and I was past my due date. I had had an ultrasound that showed I wasn’t producing sufficient amniotic fluid and needed to be induced. We went to the hospital around noon and my ob/gyn put some prostaglandin gel on my cervix and sent me home. I think the gel was applied around 3 in the afternoon. By 5 I had a bit of a nagging back ache but nothing serious. I went to bed around 10 as usual but just couldn’t get comfortable enough to fall asleep. At 11, I got up to use the bathroom and there was a bit of blood. Being my first baby, I freaked out and we immediately went to the hospital. I was only 2 or 3 cm dilated but luckily, it was a slow night, so they let me stay. I spent a little time in the hot tub and moved to my birthing suit. From that point, things progressed rather rapidly. More rapidly than even the nurses expected. They really didn’t pay much attention to me and when they finally came in around 4 am and checked on me I was fully dilated! I think I pushed for around an hour and out came my beautiful Meredith. It was nothing like I expected yet so much better.

Now here she is an 11 year old girl, almost as tall as me, with a wicked witty sense of humour. She loves to read, draw and cook. She’s always willing to lend a hand and help out if needed. She is truly one of my favourite people to be around.

Happy Birthday, Meredith.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

'Tis The Season

A very good friend (you know who you are!) sent this to me today. It pretty much sums up how I feel most days this time of the year so I thought I’d share.

A Christmas Story for people having a bad day:
When four of Santa's elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the Pre-Christmas pressure.Then Mrs. Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more.When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out, Heaven knows where.Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered.Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drank all the cider and hidden the liquor. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.Just then the doorbell rang, and irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.The angel said very cheerfully, 'Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?'
And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

Yesterday, I was so distracted; I put the Electra Sol dishwashing tab in my cup instead of a teabag. I’m glad I noticed before I poured the hot water in. I don’t think that would have been a very good cup of tea.

Today, I managed to run. When I woke up, I was NOT going running. No way, no how. It was too cold and I was just too busy. Well. My errands took much less time than I had anticipated so I ran. And boy was I glad. The weather today was perfect for it. Sunny and brisk. I felt refreshed and rejuvenated when I got home.

And I didn’t put the dishwasher tab in my tea cup.

Yay me.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Reader and Rainbows

Y’all know about Google Reader, right? For those who don’t (and who love to lurk about on other people’s blogs :-D) it’s very cool. You input the addresses of all the blogs you like to read and Google automatically checks them for you and lets you know when they’ve been updated. That way you don’t have to bounce around the Worldwide Web inputting address after address. You just go to one address and they’re all there for you. I am a blog reader and I love it.

Meredith has been home for the past couple of days with a nasty cold. She hasn’t been sleeping well at night. I think she’ll be back tomorrow though. This morning she begged me to let her go to school. She was worried about missing too much homework and having lots on her big birthday weekend!!! I went into the school today and picked up her work. I never thought I’d see her so pumped to keep up and get it done. She’s really having a good year. I don’t know if it’s the teachers, the school or just the change. Her report card was the best she’s ever had and she was very proud of it. Way to go, Meredith!! It’s so nice to be starting the year off on a positive note.

Since Meredith was home, I was home too. For over a year, I’ve wanted to sort and organize all of my scrapbook supplies by colour. So, today I did. Well, I started. Meredith helped me. It was a nice activity for the two of us to do together. And now, when I look at my brads and eyelets and other little miscellaneous supplies all nestled together in their boxes like a perfect little rainbow, it makes my heart sing and puts a smile on my face. It really doesn’t take much to make me happy does it? Now, I just need to get it finished!!!

Waddle on, dudes.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

An Ordinary Day

Dave painted our bedroom today. It is the colour of milk chocolate. It’s called Painted Rocks by CIL but it should be called Milk Chocolate. The bedroom is darker but so soothing. I think we may need to increase the wattage in our light bulbs and add some colourful pillows to the top of the bed, but for now, I’m loving it. Once the furniture is back where it should be and the bed is properly made, I’ll take a photo and post it here.

As a result of the painting, the girls and I hung out today. There was homework and chores this morning then after lunch we went swimming. Tomorrow we are heading up to the Superstore to create ourselves a lovely gingerbread house for our dining room table. I’m looking forward to it.

I saw this on another blog and thought I’d post it here. The red ones are the things I’ve done.

1.Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland (Disney World)
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea (does Lake Ontario count?)
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when youʼre not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangeloʼs David
41. Sung karaoke - unfortunately!!
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance - not me, but I've followed a few
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someoneʼs life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous - just a few weeks ago
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

What have you done lately?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Podcast, anyone?

I have discovered podcasts.

I know I am late to the game – I usually am – but once I catch on to something, I’m like a dog with a bone and I just can’t let it go.

So, here’s the story. A few weeks ago, I tried to “borrow” an audio book from an online library. I was convinced that if I had an audio book on my iPod, it would pave the road for an enjoyable workout at the gym. If only enjoying a workout was that easy. Anyway, I managed to download the book to my computer but couldn’t get it onto my iPod, so, I didn’t even go to the gym. It was, of course, the audio books fault. “So”, I thought to myself, “what other interesting things could I listen to while I worked out?” I cruised around iTunes a little bit and found myself in the podcast section. There were podcasts from my favourite author, Diana Gabaldon, and they were free. So, I downloaded them, fully intending to listen while I rowed and sweated my way to a fitter, more wonderful me at the gym. Well, something else happened (I can’t even remember what, right now) but it was so important at the time, that I couldn’t possibly make it to the gym and I promptly forgot that I had downloaded all these wonderful podcasts.

On Monday, I remembered them. My iPod is full and I had to really mess around with it to get the music I wanted loaded and that’s when I rediscovered my lovely podcasts. I was at home, and I really needed to clean the house, so I popped in my lovely ear buds and mopped and dusted and vacuumed my little heart out while Diana Gabaldon talked to me about her books and the characters in her books and how her books come to be. I’ve never enjoyed cleaning my house quite so much and I highly recommend podcasts.

I’ve got some by John Cleese to clean with next week!!

By the way, I never did make it to the gym, but I have started running again. It feels so good. Donna Downey actually inspired me to get back out there. And this book by John Bingham. I may try listening to a podcast on a run one of these days, but right now my inspiration comes from It’s a Good Day by and Proud by Heather Small. This song is speaking to me right now, too. It's too bad I can't feel as proud of a Canadian politician as I do of an American one.

Have a great weekend. Leave me a comment, would ya?