Friday, January 31, 2003

did I happen to mention that my coffee tastes better when it's sipped from my Belle & Sebastian mug?
Once again, it's the Friday Five:

1. As a child, who was your favorite superhero/heroine? Why?
Hands down, Wonder Woman. She totally kicked ass and had an invisible plane AND that wicked lassoo thing.

2. What was one thing you always wanted as a child but never got?
Operation. I'm not sure why, looking back it's kind of goofy but I think it was the noise and lights that made me want it!

3. What's the furthest from home you've been?
New Orleans, Louisiana.

4. What's one thing you've always wanted to learn but haven't yet?
How to knit. I've attempted it in the past but have never been able to figure it out completely.

5. What are your plans for the weekend?
Vegging, vegging and more vegging. I've taken today off from work and am just getting some housework done (yes, even right now, I'm doing laundry while I'm typing this) so I can take tomorrow off. We worked our butts off last weekend so I think we both deserve some R&R this weekend. We'll probably go out for dinner with my father-in-law tomorrow night but other than that, it's just rest and relaxation all weekend!

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Yippee!! We got our asses to goodwill last night and the boxes are gone! When we pulled up to our local Goodwill we noticed that they had constructed a covered loading dock type thing at the back of the store (it used to just be a big door). We backed the car up and saw this little tiny yellow sign, taped to the door, listing all the things that they couldn't accept as donations. It was a pretty lengthy list but it totally made sense, no baby furniture stuff, no cars, no appliances that don't work, etc.

The women in the receiving area seemed pretty pleased to see all our stuff. We had some small appliances that were practically new, in the box, that will sell quickly and all of our stuff was neatly wrapped up and packed in boxes. I don't think that they sort it all out here, I'm pretty sure that it all goes up to the central depot in Toronto. Whatever happens with it, I'm just that we've gotten rid of those boxes.

Tonight I have to finish packing up the stuff that we're throwing out. It's our garbage night tonight. We're limited to 3 bags a week so we'll probably put the extra bags in front of our next door neighbour's place. Our next door neighbour is this crazy, 90-year old lady. I don't think she's there at the moment, if she's smart (which, she's not, cuz she's crazy!) she's in Florida or somewhere warm. She's had someone shovelling her snow but there haven't been any lights on at night for months.

When we moved in, the front of her house was all ripped up and she was in the middle of a major renovation. One day, in the first couple of weeks after we moved in, she grabbed us in our driveway and dragged us in to see what was going on so far. You could tell that the house was going be nice when it was done but the guy who was working for her had ripped out her furnace and washer and dryer and put them into his daughter's house. He had also left the main floor and basement completely uninhabitable so now she was living in the upstairs part of the house. We joked that she should fire the guy and get someone new in. Two days later, she calls out to us from her upstairs window as we're getting out of our car that she took our advice and fired the guy. Can you believe it? Fired a contractor based on a joke made by new stranger neighbours. I think that she's hired and fired every contractor in town since then. Her house looks almost finished but she's had newspaper taped up on her windows for over a year. The sad / hilarious thing about the whole renovation is that she's designed it herself, to suit someone who is 5 feet tall and can't lift their arms higher than their chest. She'll never be able to get back what she's put into the house, it's just silly.

We don't talk to her much anymore, unless she corners us in the driveway. Last summer, we drove around the block more than once when we saw her out in the front yard. It's not that we're not friendly or anything, but we already have a little old man who we have to look after (Mark's dad), we definitely don't need a little old lady to look after too. If it sounds selfish, it's because it is!

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Well we didn't make it to goodwill last night but we're going to do it tonight. It was snowing and the roads were pretty sloppy when we got home last night. It's a little warmer today, and clear. It'll be nice to get rid of them. I'm really looking forward to it.

It's hard to believe that it's hump-day again. On Monday morning, getting out of bed seemed like an impossible feat, and here it is, mid-day in the middle of the week already. I decided to take a vacation day on Friday. The house is still a bit of a wreck after all the moving around of stuff we did last weekend. By Friday, the debris should be gone and I can get my cleaning done, this will give me a Saturday off, how lovely. I'm really looking forward to it. I need a day to veg out, I haven't had one in a while. This weather is getting me down a bit. I don't ordinarily mind the cold or snow but it's getting to me. We got really spoiled over the past couple of winters so I'm just not used to it. I must say though, I'd rather have a little bit of cold over that unbearable heat and humidity that we experienced for the best part of last summer.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003's supposed to be warmer today but it doesn't feel any warmer from where I'm sitting (which is at my desk, eating my lunch). Every time the front door opens we get a blast of arctic air and it just goes right through me. The cold doesn't ordiniarly bother me but it's driving me nuts today.

Tonight we're going to take our gear to the goodwill. I think that there are 12 or 14 boxes of stuff, all neatly packed and boxed, to haul over there after work. I also have a huge box full of broken down cardboard to take the recycle centre and 4 big bags of garbage to put out. It's going to be so nice when that stuff is gone, the reduction in clutter is so nice. The trick now is to keep it from happening again.

I'm a little surprised to have made it to almost the end of January without being broke. We really watched our pennies this month, only really spending money on groceries and that one trip to IKEA. It made a huge difference and the fact that we have an extra mortgage payment this month (we pay weekly so there are 5 rather than 4 this month) didn't ding us at all. Wow, less clutter, more money, eating far, all the stuff I said that I'd do in 2003 is happening. Weird huh?

Sunday, January 26, 2003

Our office is finally sorted out, finally...and I don't have any cardboard boxes piled up in my bedroom anymore either!!

We spent the best part of today moving boxes around and going through stuff. I have a massive pile of boxes to go to goodwill now and the trash / recycling pile is completely taking over the front foyer but the office is amazing. Almost completely organized...I have a few boxes of papers which need going through but I'll most likely take one box every weekend for the next few weeks and get them gone. We have over 20 boxes of books in our spare room now but they are piled up neatly against one wall and you can actually see the bed. If we wanted to, we could have overnight guests again. I can't believe that we got all of this done so quickly. It's really only been 2 weeks since we started on it. It's amazing what you can get done when you actually do it and don't just sit around and stare at it!
It's still snowing, it's soooo pretty...I snapped these this morning. All you can hear outside is the sound of snow on the small photo to see a larger photo:

our barbecue is buried bigass snowy tree in our backyard our garden shed under snow
view from the couch view from our kitchen window where did the car go?
Happy shovelling!
Yikes, the snow is really piling up outside. You can't even see our car from the upstairs windows. We're going to have fun shovelling out today. Not right away though, they're calling for squalls all morning. Fun fun fun. I guess this makes up for the past 2 winters when we didn't get any snow at all. Oh well, at least the farmer's will be happy.

Saturday, January 25, 2003

We're having a really wintery day outside. I took this picture a couple of hours ago or so (or less) from our patio doors. It's a shot of part of our backyard. I tried to take some outside but the snow was really blowing around like crazy so it wasn't working out. You can see the snow starting to stick the window in the photo, it's kind of pretty and very white outside right now:

backyard in a snowstorm
So I totally forgot to mention this earlier in the week, one of my brother's bands got some really cool ink in the Ottawa Sun, here's a copy of the article for your reading pleasure:

Wednesday, January 22, 2003
Glad rags and Lederhosen
By Allan WIGNEY, Ottawa Sun

According to vocalist and guitarist Patrick Shanks, The Glads are the first band he's played in that doesn't have a gimmick. And the local vocalist and guitarist known to some as Merle Knurling has played in his share of bands over the past dozen years.

In fact, when he isn't being a Glad, Shanks is a member in good standing both of Holy Hell and Casey Comeau's Half Milers. That's when he's not working at his day job.

"Rock 'n' roll's my weekend thing," Shanks says. "You're not gonna make any money playing rock 'n' roll, so you might as well have fun with it." Whatever money there is, Shanks explains, goes into recording The Glads' first CD with producer Dave Draves.

"We don't make any money, but sometimes you drink for free," Shanks adds on a positive note. "If you go out to see a show on a Saturday, you have to buy your drinks. But if you go out to see a show and are a part of it, you don't have to pay for your drinks ... and you know the music will be good."


With The Glads onstage, the music will certainly be energetic. Steeped in the garage sounds from days of yore -- "all rock 'n' roll from Chuck Berry on up" -- Shanks and his bandmates concoct a recipe for a head- and hip-shakin' experience.

And they come armed with impressive punk cred: Shanks and drummer Tim Matthews served time as Knurlings; bassist Nathaniel Hurlow was a Dead City Rebel; and guitarist Jim Sproull played with Maritime rockers GoSquad. All, like Shanks, remain busy with at least one other band outside The Glads.

"We were all gonna wear white suits and play really happy, fancy pop," Shanks says of the how the musicians first came together two years ago to open for legends of the garage, The Fleshtones. "But it was a bitter time for some of us and it got turned around and became, 'Okay, let's make really miserable songs about girls who rip your hearts out. But it'll be catchy.' "

Additional catchy material will be provided at the Dominion Tavern this Friday by country-popsters Fembots and by the mysterious Lederhosen Lucil, a creation of Montreal-based singer-songwriter Krista Muir.


Muir's keyboard-driven songs hark back to the nether regions of the 1980s and left-field artists like Lene Lovich, The Slits and Nina Hagen. Her onstage persona, however, takes us closer to the 1880s and a faraway land. The story goes that Muir became so entranced by visions of beer-swilling Bavarians that when she found a fetching pair of lederhosen, she knew what to do.

"I could just perform as myself and play the songs," Muir concedes, "but I find it's fun to have some kind of comic relief and to step out and play a different character. I don't think it takes away from the seriousness of the songs, because I'm not acting goofy when I'm playing the serious songs."

And the songs on her CD, Hosemusik, are serious, even when imbued with polka or waltz flavouring. "You suck / You really messed up my life" is hardly a frivolous opening lyric to a song, for instance. Yet, there is something oh-so-wacky about Lucil. And Muir can see the funny side of her image and some of the misconceptions it has generated. Such as the time a Kingston paper cropped her photo in such a way that at least two readers mistook her keyboard for an accordion.

"This older couple in their 60s or 70s showed up," Muir recalls. "And they stayed! They had the best time. But at the end, I said, 'Any requests?' and they yelled out for something in German. And I was like, 'Oh no, you're the real deal!' Still, they were smiling and having fun with it."

p.s. The show Krista talked about (just above, with the older German couple) - took place in our restaurant (well, it used to be our restaurant), Ida's Kitchen. Just FYI, Ida was Mark's mum, she passed away the summer before we opened the restaurant. - peggy

Friday, January 24, 2003

I can't believe that it's Friday again already. The week just sailed by again!! Here it is again:

The Friday Five

1. What is one thing you don't like about your body?

That it's not as flexible as it used to be when I was younger.

2. What are two things you love about your body?
My eyes and my hands. My eyes because they let me see stuff (and they're green and green is one of my favourite colours) and my hands because they are strong and nimble and can type pretty gud, um, good.

3. What are three things you want to change about your home?
Yikes! This is something that I've been writing about for a long time now...We've just been in our house over 2 years and it's over 50 years old so we've been working on it constantly since we bought it:
a) I want to finish our office / computer room / storage room. We're in the middle of it right now and I'm sitting amidst a pile of boxes as I type this.
b) I want to finish our bathroom (it's also slightly torn up at the moment and needs replastering, priming and painting, new curtains and a new floor to be installed)
c) I want to paint the entire downstairs of our home, hopefully this year.

4. What are four books you want to read this year?
I want to finish (I've just started) About A Boy by Nick Hornsby, A Day Late and a Dollar Short by Terry McMillan, Girlfriend in a Coma by Douglas Coupland and Good In Bed By Jennifer Weiner.

5. What are five promises you have kept to yourself?
a) To eat better in 2003 (so far, so good!).
b) To not let my parental units bug my ass as much as they used to.
c) To not be an asshole (ie be a decent human being)
d) To not watch award shows anymore
e) To do something nice for just myself at least once a week.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Well half of the hallway mountain is gone now. We just ripped through those boxes last night. On our downstairs landing we now have two piles, one for recycling/garbage and one for Goodwill. Only 5 small boxes have been allowed back into the office and onto the shelves. So far 10 boxes of books and counting. Mark and I both found stuff that we hadn't seen in years. An amazing amount of junk. Some valuable (read "ebay") some not (read "goodwill") some embarrassing (read "garbage").

The whole process is moving along a lot faster than I thought it would. Guess if we take an hour or so every night, and don't think about things too much (ie get too wrapped up in what we're doing therefore allowing time to get sentimental about junk in boxes) it goes fairly quickly. Yay!! Will have beautiful bathroom finished before we know it!!

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Holy full of steam, Batman! Mark is amazing. Last night, after dinner, he tore the office completely apart. He took all the boxes that we had stacked up in the corner and moved them out into the hall. He also assembled our shelving unit, complete with new corner piece. Looks terrific!! We now have to start sorting out each and every box as we put the room back together.

I didn't realize how many boxes of books we still had left, unopened. Last summer, when I unpacked the books and set up our bookshelves in the spare room, I thought that maybe a couple of boxes were left in amongst the mountain...was I ever wrong! I think I counted at least 8 boxes last night (and I wasn't even really counting all that carefully).

Should be fun sorting through things. I have a feeling that a lot of stuff will go to goodwill and even more will go out in the trash / recycling. I hope so anyway. It'll be very nice to get organized and to know where everything is. Finally. We're not doing too badly though, when I think about it. I mean, we've only been in the house a little over 2 years and in that time we had (and closed) a restaurant and have moved Mark's dad down here. It's not like we've been sitting around the house eating bon-bons for 2 years.

Except for paint and a few pieces of furniture, the main floor is basically how we want it. Once the junk is cleared out, the front / guest bedroom will be back to normal (which is recently painted and redecorated). Once the office is back under control, Mark's going to begin the last of the plastering in the bathroom. By spring, expect to see fully organized office and completely beautiful, renovated bathroom in our house!!

Monday, January 20, 2003

Well I didn't post all weekend. This is sort of odd for me. The weekend was kind of a blur (again) and it just slipped by. I spent Saturday tidying up around the house. We went for groceries too (this is always less fun than it seems) and had dinner with Mark's dad. He's still healing and the nurses have suggested that he not go outside in the extreme cold. We got take-away from Swiss Chalet and had dinner at his apartment. I think he was happy for the company. He's going a little stir crazy.

Yesterday we bopped up to Nepean to the IKEA store. We needed some extra pieces for our shelving unit. We are putting it into the corner of our computer room and needed the corner pieces. It's going to look really good. Eventually, we'd like to have the entire room full of this particular unit (STEN). We'll even make a computer desk with it and get rid of the one we have (it's really beaten up and kinda crappy). I think we're going to do a little bit every night on it and hopefully get it all in by the weekend. I'll snap some pics when it's done. I have the "before" shots already, it's quite a mess.

Work's flying by today. I can't believe I'm over half-way through Monday already. Must the be the sunshine or something. Whatever it is, I'm not complaining!!

Friday, January 17, 2003

Can you believe that it's that's time's time for the Friday Five, again...yikes, where did the week go?

1. Where do you currently work?
I work at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.

2. How many other jobs have you had and where?
I've only ever been employed in the Kingston area. I have had three other employers besides Queen's. I've been at the University for just over 10 years and in that time have worked in several different departments. I have been in my current position for 2.5 years.

3. What do you like best about your job?
The people I work with. My colleagues are terrific and the volunteers I work with are amazing. I look forward to coming to work in the morning because it is a lot of fun. I'm constantly challenged and I'm learning new things every day.

4. What do you like least about your job?
Office politics. Not within my direct unit (there are only 2 of us and we get along fabulously) but in general. It's a silly waste of time. Everyone would be further head if they just did their job and enjoyed themselves. If it stops being fun, get out and get yourself into a new job!

5. What is your dream job?
To do what I'm doing (I'm an events planner) but with bigger budgets, on a grander scale. I love what I do (it took me a long time to figure out that this is what I wanted to do) but we are faced every year with smaller budgets, it would be excellent to do a really high-end, huge, blue-skies events!

Thursday, January 16, 2003

I had a bit of a crazy day yesterday so I didn't get a chance to post. Our computer at home has been "misbehaving" (for lack of a better term) over the past week or so. Part of it is down to some upgrades that we've been doing, other problems have been from external sources. Fortunately, Mark's a wiz with stuff like that and he's got us back up and running. Actually better than before so that's nice.

Yesterday, I spent the day with Mark's dad. He's doing really well after his surgery. He could see better almost immediately but he was a bit on the groggy side yesterday. I spoke with him this morning and he's feeling really good. He has the VON coming in four times a day to help him with his eye drops. They're so great, I met two of his nurses yesterday and they are really lovely ladies. Talk about patience too. I really admire nurses and the care they give. His experience with his surgery at Hotel Dieu was terrific. As a Canadian, I find that it is very easy to take our health care system for granted. Also, I know that it's not perfect...but boy, when it works, when someone in your family needs it and it works, it's an amazing thing. We're very very lucky!

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

I can't believe that it's Tuesday again. Mark's dad is finally having his cataract surgery today. I say finally because he's been waiting about15 months for it. Fortunately, he's going in in about an hour. I always find that the earlier you go in, the less of a chance there is that you're going to get bumped out or generally screwed around. Because of his age and his other health issues, he'll be staying in overnight in hospital. He'll be going home tomorrow and I'll be staying with him tomorrow, just in case. I mean, it's not a complicated thing or anything but his vision in one of his eyes is extremely limited and they're operating on his good one so he'll not really be able to see much of anything.

It's insanely cold here right now, around minus 26. We had this wicked snow squall yesterday and we could not see the building next to ours (I was at work when it hit) for almost an hour. At least we didn't get a whole tonne of snow dumped on us again, it just was mostly windy. It was really crazy though, weather is weird.

Anyway, I haven't posted much lately because there hasn't been much to post. One thing I like and hate at the same time about January is the way it makes you just want to hibernate. We've been doing a lot of that so far this month and it's not really the most exciting thing to report on, is it?

Sunday, January 12, 2003

Wow, Saturday was a bit of a blur. I'm not used to having Mark home with me on Saturdays but we had a nice day together. Didn't do too much actually, we've been working a lot on our computer, mucking about with the operating system and doing some upgrades. It take a lot of time but you don't really realize it until you look at the clock and see that 2 hours has passed since you sat down in front of the machine.

We took a break mid-day and went for a nice drive up north of the city. The snow everywhere is so pretty right now. It's amazing. Before we hit the road, I snapped this shot of the tree on our front yard. It's actually just part of the tree but it's really pretty:

Our Tree

Today we've been puttering around the house. I've been doing laundry and baking some bread (I'm still loving my new breadmaker!) and Mark's been working on the computer and doing some shovelling. We're heading out to do some errands soon. It's been a great, quiet and sunny Sunday so far.

Oh yeah, heard that Maurice Gibb died over the weekend. I wasn't a fan of the Bee Gess but I do wonder what the other two are going to do now. It always seemed to me that he was the only one with any true musical talent in the family.

Friday, January 10, 2003

The Friday Five

1. Where are you right now?
Sitting at my desk, in my office, at work.

2. What time is it?
1:24 p.m.

3. What are you wearing?
Blue jeans, black socks, doc martens and a blue sweater with white snow flakes on it.

4. Any people or animals around you? Describe them.
There is a person sitting at the desk next to me. The person is a female student, probably around 20 years old. She has shoulder length black hair, tied back in a pony tail and a grey sweater on. As I look toward her I can't see her face (just her ear, hair and shoulder). Her head is partially obscured by a computer monitor and the edge of the desk.

5. What are your plans for the weekend?
To shovel my driveway, complete a project from work, sleep in on Sunday, bake a loaf of whole wheat bread and some banana muffins and take a couple of hours for myself to read a novel.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Do you find it odd that there have been so many plane crashes over the past couple of days. I guess it's just the weather or something. If you look at the maps, the weather is all over the place. It does seem weird though that I've heard about 4 or 5 biggish plane accidents the past couple of days.

I had a pretty non-eventful day. Work was pretty busy, we're finalizing a couple of big projects at the moment. I have one that I'm doing for another unit in our department that I'll be doing at home this weekend. Nice thing about that one is that there is some extra cash involved (which is always nice). It shouldn't be too time consuming either (which is also nice).

One thing that does need to get done this weekend is our driveway. We haven't really kept it cleaned up this week since the snow hit us. Mark was out working on it yesterday and did a terrific job on it. Unfortunately, we got dumped on last night and it's snowing again right now. I hope it ends soon. The temperature seems to be dropping so hopefully that will put an end to the white stuff for a while.

Nice thing about shovelling though is that it is heavy-ish exercise in the great outdoors so it makes for good sleeping at the end of the day...speaking of which, I hear my pillow calling my name...nighty-night!!

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

And since it's been a while since I've done a silly quiz, here's my Wednesday effort:

You are Kermit!
Though you're technically the star, you're pretty mellow and don't mind letting others share the spotlight. You are also something of a dreamer.

I love sun-shiney days...the sun is pouring into our office and it's actually warming up in here. It's so hard to type when your hands are stinks! I can hear the old boiler / furnace banging

One nice thing about January is that it's usually bright. I know that so many folks get completely bummed out in November and December due to the lack of light. I was in this medical supply place the other night and noticed that they had one of those lamps that folks with SAD use at this time of the year.

Mark suffers from a mild case of SAD, particularly in December. I almost asked the clerk how much the floor model was but resisted. The snow has really brightened things up, way more than a lamp ever could.

I’ve really noticed a difference the past week or so, with the longer days, that people are a little happier, or at least a little less grumpy than they have been. I’m not sure exactly how much that has to do with the extra sunlight or with the relief everyone feels to have the holidays behind them for another year.

I’m just taking a quick break right now. I think I have my work groove back. I’m having a terrific day, getting lots of stuff accomplished. Maybe the cold in the office was good…maybe I work harder when I’m trying to keep warm….mmm….hopefully that doesn’t mean that I’ll start to slack off now that I have thawed out!
Good morning...good morning...there's a lot of snow out there...good morning, good morning to you!!

Hump Day already, can you believe it? This week hasn't been as much of a drag as I thought that it would be. After being off for almost 3 week I expected that this week would really move slowly, but it hasn't. Despite the fact that I was sort of out of it yesterday, I've been pretty busy since I've been back. I could not believe the number of emails I had sitting on the server when I got back into the office, it was completely insane. It took me the best part of Monday just to sift through them. January's looking like it's going to be a very busy month.

We also spent the past two evenings doing errands and running around and didn't get home before 7 p.m. either night. Tonight I'm looking forward to having a nice, quiet, evening in. I've gotten back into riding my exercise bike in the evenings, in front of the television. Funny as it sounds, I'm having fun with it. Who knew huh?

Tuesday, January 07, 2003's a blizzard out there, big time. We just got home from doing some errands and the visibility is almost nil. Should be interesting in the morning. I can't believe that we're getting hammered so badly. Fortunately it didn't start until around 5:30 or so, after the worst of rush hour.

Snow might be not so much fun to shovel but it's better than freezing rain any day! I think I'm going to hit the hay early tonight, I'm still dragging my butt from this morning...must be the snow making me want to hibernate I guess.
I could not get out of bed this morning. Well, actually I could, obviously, as I'm typing this, I did...but it was tough. I hadn't slept well Sunday night, my cough came back and kept me up. Last night was a different story though, I could slept for Canada today I tell ya. I still feel a little logey, I'm thinking it's the weather. Winter is finally here. We have about 6 inches of snow on the ground and today it's really cold. We're supposed to get another 4 inches over the next couple of days. Guess we're getting paid back for not having received any snow over Christmas.

I'm just plunking away at work today, trying to get my bearings back and get motivated. It's not that I don't have a lot to do, it is just sort of difficult getting back into it again this year. I'm not the only one in our office suffering from this, it seems to be an epidemic this year. mmm..epidemic...they may have to send us all home, that would be sweet!

Monday, January 06, 2003

I'm more than half way through my day already. It's been busy this morning but good busy, not crazy busy. I'm just taking a quick break to eat my lunch.

It's hard to believe this but today is the 5th anniversary of the Ice Storm. I can remember it like it was yesterday, the sound of the trees snapping in the distance due to the weight of the ice on the branches. The cold and the darkness was very weird too, to lose our electricity and heat for such a long period of time (in my case, 7 days) seemed surreal at the time. Fortunately for me, I had a friend and her daughter staying at my house (the freezing rain had been so bad the night that it started that they didn't want to venture to their country home in the storm). Had they not been staying with me, I would have gone crazy from cabin fever I think. I'll have to scan some of the photos that I took after the storm, they were pretty neat. I'll have to see if I can find them in the mess of stuff we have piled up at home.
Happy Monday!

Two loads of laundry done before 6 a.m.....not bad huh? So we're back on our regular routine again today. Mark went to work about an hour ago and I'm heading back this morning too.

I was really tired last night and should have gone to bed when it first hit me (around 8 p.m.) but, I didn't...I waited to see the Simpsons and by the time we got into sleeping mode, it was 9:30 p.m. at which time I was completely awake. My cough started coming back last night. I think it just wanted to annoy me (it did!) because it only lasted about an hour or so. Of course, that hour was between 11:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. Nice huh?

Anyway, I'm looking forward (sort of) to getting back to work. I've never had a break this long in my entire working life and it was nice. I'm sure that this week will be busy but I'm ready for it. We're also getting serious about our revised eating and fitness thing starting this week. I'm looking forward to that too. So far, the goals I set for myself for this new year are going well, the work's getting done and the results are starting to show...wish me luck on keeping it going!

Sunday, January 05, 2003

I've been enjoying a lovely lazy day today. Mark made us a yummy breakfast this morning and we had some of the whole wheat bread that I'd made yesterday. It turned out very nice, much better than the white bread I had made previously. We don't eat a lot of white bread but I made white because I was out of whole wheat flour. I'm really loving our bread machine (getting sick of hearing that yet?).

We decided to stay in today and hibernate and recharge as we both go back to work tomorrow. I guess I'm ready to get back at it, three weeks was a long break and I feel better for it. I'm happy about what we've been able to get done around the house since I've been off and I feel like we had a good break as well.

The main floor of our house is really shaping up. It totally needs to be painted but that will have to wait. For now, we have the living room sorted out in a way that we're both happy with. Our house doesn't have an eat in kitchen or a dining room. Part of the living room is supposed to be for dining but we hadn't been using it for that purpose. We had put our table and chairs in the front hallway (next to the kitchen) since we moved in (over 2 years ago). We'd talked about reconfiguring things and moving our table into the living room like civilized folks but hadn't gotten around to it (ie we kept putting it off!!).

Yesterday we finally did it and it looks really nice. The downstairs is finally "unpacked" or at least is clear of all boxes. At the same time, we're trying to clear out our office and get it sorted out. In the meantime, our guest bedroom has become completely full of "stuff." I'll be sorting through it all over the next few months, repacking stuff, throwing stuff out, selling anything that is "ebay-able" or schelping things to goodwill. Our house is about 50 or so years old and it's not very big so we don't have a lot of storage space. We've decided to use the third bedroom for two purposes: as an office / computer room and for storage. We need to make a trip to IKEA to purchase a few more pieces for our STEN shelves and then we'll be able to start moving things back in here.

I'm so happy about all of this, about finally getting rid of the clutter in our house. All of my goals for 2003 involved organization. The work we've done this weekend goes a long way toward meeting this particular goal (notice, I'm not using the "R" word as I don't belive in resolutions!). As promised, here is a "before and after" photo thing of the one end of our living room for those of you who like visuals. We plan to paint the room a deep red shade and to purchase a new sofa and chair, in the meantime, here's what it looks like:

Before - Summer 2002 After - January 4, 2003

Saturday, January 04, 2003

I'm up past my bedtime tonight. This is really the first chance I've had all day to sit down in front of the computer. We got a lot done today.

I woke up pretty early this morning and threw the ingredients for whole wheat bread (my first attempt at that) into my breadmaker. It was pretty early though so I ran upstairs, back to bed for a bit of a sleep-in. When I finally did get up, the bread was still only 1/2 done so I made up some peanut butter muffins (yum)!. It was still snowing this morning when we got up (and subsequently snowed off and on all day today) so we didn't venture too far from home.

We got a tonne of cleaning and sorting and moving of furniture around done today but I'm too pooped to write about it right now. It does look good in our living room now...and we have a proper "dining" situation happening too. I'll post a picture of it tomorrow, right now it's time for bed!!

Friday, January 03, 2003

woohoo...winter's here, finally!!

We're getting snowed on, right now, as I type. We had to go out this afternoon and do a couple of errands and the roads were pretty slick. It wasn't that we had a tonne of the white stuff or anything, it was just very packy snow and the plows and sanders hadn't been out yet. It looks loverly out there right now (although I think I can hear someone stuck outside at the mo).

Our long weekend is ticking along and we're enjoying ourselves. We got stocked up on provisions and don't have to be anywhere or do anything this weekend so I think we'll stick close to home. We didn't bother going out for the computer bits and bobs this afternoon, Mark's watching the prices on some memory so we may wait a little bit to get that project done. He moved some of the heavy stuff up here from the living room this afternoon though. Tomorrow I'm going to finish emptying the shelves and then we get them taken apart and the new ones installed. It's starting to look really good downstairs, a lot bigger and brighter. We probably should have done this ages ago...oh well, we didn't, we're doing it now, and it looks terrific!! yay, us!!

Thursday, January 02, 2003

It was so windy last night it seemed like you could feel the house move. You couldn't, but the sound made it feel that way. It was really crazy. I love crazy wind storms, as long as I'm somewhere safe when they're happening. The wind brought a bitter cold with it though. Oddly, we've had almost no snow. It looks more like fall than winter outside. I'm not complaining though because I hate shovelling.

We had to take Mark's dad to the hospital this morning for his pre-op examination. He's having a cataract removed on January 14 so he had to get a chest x-ray, blood work and an EKG today. He's been waiting for the surgery for over a year now and he's very excited about it. I can't imagine not being able to see well enough to read. He's mentioned a couple of times, when we have been out in the evening the and the moon as been full, that he sees a ring of light around it. I think it's terrible that it's gone on this long. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he doesn't get bumped. The hospital he's going to isn't too bad for that sort of thing so it should all go according to schedule.

I just finished rolling coins and we had over $300 in our jar. I think we're going to take the coins and go back to the computer store tomorrow and get some stuff to upgrade our machine. It'll be nice to do this while we have some time off and Mark can rip everything apart properly and put it back together in an orderly fashion. It seems like we have cords running all over the place right now (and, the machine'll be lots faster when we're done!! -- yay!!!)

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

In with the new...

Or rather...out with the old!! I actually worked on some of my new year's goals today...well, one goal in particular, a job I've been putting off starting for a while now. I began to tear our office apart today and three shelves out of it and down to our living room. Tomorrow Mark is off and we're going to empty the big wooden crate-like set up we have in our living room and get these black shelves into place.

When I was moving boxes around to get the shelves out I realized that a lot of what we've had packed away can be tossed. Last summer I threw out 5 or 6 banana boxes full of papers, magazines, made so much space in our spare room. I'm finding that some of the boxes that were buried at the bottom of the pile are full of similar stuff which can also be tossed. I know it sounds sort of silly but it's exciting for me to be getting organized, finally!