Wednesday, January 27, 2010

overdue update

Today I felt like I really should post an update. It's been a while since I did. I guess I haven't felt much like writing lately. I've been spending my writing time reading blogs from folks who are down in Haiti. The situation down there just doesn't seem to be improving at a pace that I figured it would. I know that there are always hiccups and weirdness which mess up the best laid plans of governments, aid groups and everyone else who wants to help. I almost cried yesterday when I read about the Brazilian soldiers who pepper sprayed the group of Haitians who were waiting in a food line. For the life of me I cannot even begin to fathom how you would cope in a situation like that, on either side of the line.

Over the weekend I had a weird bug. A couple of the gals I work with had a version of the Norwalk virus last week and I thought that maybe I was coming down with that but fortunately I never had the vomiting thing going on so I don't think that was what it was. I went home from work a little early on Friday and slept. All afternoon. Sweet sweet sleep with the puppies. They curled up on the bed with me while I drooled on my pillow. Saturday I still felt wonky but I managed to go out to the grocery store with Mark for half an hour and do some shopping. Mostly I felt foggy and nauseous. I still feel a little foggy/groggy this week. This morning I could not get my head to unfog so I resorted to drinking coffee at work (something I almost never do), it helped a bit but not totally.

I feel fortunate to report that there is really no drama happening in our lives. When I read the news from Haiti, hear about planes crashing or learn about friends losing jobs or being struck ill, I realize how truly lucky we are. We have a nice roof over our heads and groceries in the fridge. Also, we're both gainfully employed and relatively healthy. Can't really complain about anything, can I? Drama is more exciting and interesting to read and write about than a boring, ordinary life but it's also way stressful so I'm happy to be boring for a while.

Oh, if you're in the Kingston area this week, the Reel Out Film & Video festival happens this weekend and Ferron will be there!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Help Haiti

Hey Canadians, if you want to help the folks in Haiti but aren't sure how to go about it, why not make a donation through the Canadian Red Cross. Click here to make a donation to their Haiti Earthquake Relief fund. It doesn't have to be a huge amount (goodness knows that our donation wasn't huge), they can take as little as $5 online. It literally takes 2 minutes and the money will help those who need it the most. It's less than the cost of lunch at Tim Horton's. C'mon Canada, what are you waiting for?

For those of you who are non-Canucks, I'm sure your local Red Cross has a similar deal going on.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


snow covered led lights
Originally uploaded by Julep67
We're still living in a winter wonderland in these parts, over a week after the snow first fell. Now that the snow has finally stopped and the sun is shining, I don't mind it as much. It's bright and pretty and the roads are generally good so, yay winter.

Of course, the wind is an issue at times. Over the weekend, we took the dogs to the dog park and I don't know if we were there for 10 minutes before we ran for the van. The park is in an open field near our house and the day was really frigid. My glasses completed iced over within a few minutes of being there. When you can no longer see the poop in the snow (to pick up), it's time to go!

The week so far has been busy. Last week we sort of eased back into things and I'm glad I was here (many colleagues took it off) to have that ease-in period. The students returned to campus yesterday so things are moving a bit more when I have a chance to look out the window. Winter terms always feels shorter than fall term although I don't think it is. Maybe time just passes quickly as we look forward to spring. It'll be here in 67 days if you're counting!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

fires and tigers

One of the things I hate most about this time of the year is the increase in the number of house fires you hear about. Most of them seem to be caused by faulty or overused space heaters. I have been shocked at the number of fires I've read about this week and saddened by the number of people who have been killed in them. While my heart goes out to the members of families who have lost loved ones and possessions, not to mention their homes, I'm always shocked by the number who do not have any kind of tenant's insurance, particularly in apartments and attached housing. A fire in your unit could damage another unit and if you're responsible for the fire, you'd be responsible for damages in some cases. I know that for some folks, it might be a financial stretch but the cost of having to replace all of your household items would be more expensive if you were to have a fire.

On another note, the WWF was able to capture this video of Sumatra tigers. It saddens me that there are so few of them left on the planet and soon, they may be gone.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

arbor daze

I like that Tim Allen has a sense of humour about his movies and television shows. They suck big time, in my opinion anyway. enjoy!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

winter lights and paw prints

I guess all of the snow we didn't get in November had decided to visit us all at once. It feels like it hasn't stopped snowing since Sunday morning but I actually know that this isn't true.

Winter. It's definitely here and it looks like it'll be here for a while. Good thing I gots me some new boots huh?? My old ones were literally falling apart so I splurged out on a new pair just before Christmas. They are really sturdy and warm but I'm having a bit of a time adjusting to them because they are a little higher than my old one (they are like a hiking boot - I have big ass snow boots for shovelling in).

I've managed to survive the first two days of being back to work in spite of the fact that for some reason I got almost no sleep last night. I woke up every 40 minutes or so, either too hot or too cold or just plain old uncomfortable. I suspect I will sleep like the dead tonight, based on how I feel right now. I hate when I have nights like that because honestly, I really enjoy sleeping.

The one nice thing about this snowy cold snap is how happy it makes Sam. He LOVES the snow. Loves it! Last night, in a minus a million wind chill, he was sitting at the top of the steps on the deck, smiling his big joker grin while the snow swirled around him. If we didn't drag his butt into the house, I think he'd stay out there all day. Gracie is enjoying it more this year than last (she HATED going out in the cold last winter) but she does not dig it as much as the Sam man does.

So yeah, there truly is a silver lining to every snow cloud, right?

Monday, January 04, 2010

it's a brand new year

Originally uploaded by Julep67
I stole this from Denise (thanks Denise!) because I liked it and thought it was a neat way to wrap up 2009.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before? Had a pedicure

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I normally don't make them so I can't recall making any last year and I haven't made any for this year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Nope.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No, thankfully.

5. What places did you visit? We didn't get too far out of town this year. We did do a roadtrip to Montreal in May but I don't think we went anywhere else of note.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009? Can't think of anything!

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? August 6 - it was the tenth anniversary of the day Mark and I met and it was our wedding day.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Pulling together a fun and meaningful, DIY wedding on a small budget.

9. What was your biggest failure? Does making it through another year without sorting out boxes in the basement count as a failure?

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? not really, luckily just had a couple of colds.

11. What was the best thing you bought? a bug zapper for our backyard!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Sam and Gracie. They continue to love us both unconditionally and are simply awesome puppies!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Prime Minister Harper. He actually makes me feel embarrassed to be a Canadian sometimes.

14. Where did most of your money go? Life! Mortgage, Insurance and Utilities. Sexy huh?

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? I don't normally get "really, really, really" excited about anything.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009? You and I by Wilco

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? About the same, generally happy.

b) thinner or fatter? No change

c) richer or poorer? Probably about the same.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? walking with the dogs

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? work. I love my job but I'd always rather be hanging out with Mark, Sam and Gracie if it's possible.

20. How did you spend Christmas in 2009? Spent the morning and early afternoon at home, hanging out with the dogs. The rest of was spent with my family. My mum made us a great dinner.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009? No.

22. What was your favorite TV program? It continues to be Coronation Street but my favourite new show was Nurse Jackie.

23. What did you do for your birthday in 2009? I worked (had a totally crazy day) and can't remember what we did afterwards. When your birthday falls in the middle of the week, it's sort of a non-event.

24. What was the best book you read? I don't think I actually finished any of the books I started this year but I did finally read the Sinclair Ross short story, "The Painted Door" and really enjoyed it.

25. What did you want and get? I wanted Mark and I to catch up on Coronation Street and be able to watch them in realtime and we did. CBC being 9 months behind the UK Broadcast schedule can suck it!

26. What did you want and not get? I wanted to win the lottery and did not. Of course, buying a ticket more often would have helped.

27. What was your favorite film of this year? District 9. It shocked me how much I loved it considering I don't like Science Fiction.

28. Did you make some new friends this year? Why yes I did, through work.

29.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Being more honest with folks (like, say Nessa from Gavin and Stacey) and less polite.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009? I'd rather be comfortable than conform to fashion trends.

31. What kept you sane? I'm sane?

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Like Denise, I love, love, love Michelle Obama. She's the bees knees to me.

33. What political issue stirred you the most? The prorogation of parliament. The Tories have done this twice now. The entire government cannot throw a sickie when things aren't going their way.

34. Who did you miss? I always miss my Nana.

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009. Life is too short to not be happy.