Friday, July 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Ethan!

Conditions at 5:00 am - 15* and overcast but it's hard to tell, it's still dark!
Expected later - 23* and a mix of sun and cloud but NO RAIN!!!

I'm keeping it short and sweet this morning as I'm meeting Sarah at the university at 6:15 to get loaded up and up to Cavendish by 7:00 for the golf tournament.

It looks like it's going to be a nice day after all.

Brenda made it home yesterday and I picked up supper and went to their house and we all ate together like one big family (both boys were there as well). At least that's how I feel when I'm there, just one of the family. After supper Brenda and I looked at her pictures. There is definitely a scrapbook in the making. She was even thinking ahead and brought back some money just for that purpose! It sounds like she had an amazing time and she did very well coping with all those various airport terminals - not always an easy task for even the most seasoned traveler.

Today is Ethan's birthday, a date I will forever remember, as it's also mine. I found this cake for you Ethan,but you'll just have to ignore the name on it!

Another date that is also etched in my memory is Cheryl and Norm's wedding anniversary, which is tomorrow.
If you're reading, Happy Anniversary you guys!

I spent the most of yesterday doing stuff for Sarah for this weekend, a welcome change from the usual routine - lots of cutting and pasting and just being creative. At one point we needed more cardstock and we tried to get security to let us in to central printing to get some but they said no. Can you imagine that??? So Brandi had to make a trip to Staples, not far away but certainly a challenge these days, just to get down that road with all the construction. It will be great when it's done but it's really made getting to work on time a real task.

I've still not heard anything about the job interview, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I'm hoping by the end of next week I may hear something.

Well, time to go

Have a great day and a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Please don't rain on our parade!

Conditions at 7:00 am - 20* and overcast with fairly strong winds
Expected later: 23* and up to 2o mm of rain

It's reunion weekend for several groups at the university this weekend and there area whole lot of activities planned. One of them is a golf tournament on Friday. All week they've been predicting rain for Friday but maybe it's arrived early. It's supposed to rain a lot today and this morning they've now taken the rain out of tomorrow's forecast. Let's home they're right. I spent all of yesterday and probably will spend all of today helping Sarah with reunion stuff. I'm supposed to have tomorrow off but I've agreed to help at the golf tournament in exchange for NEXT Friday off instead. It certainly works better for me, as I'm going to Toronto anyway, now I can leave earlier.

Back in January when Tracey announced that we were getting our birthday off as her gift to us, I joked that my goal was to stay long enough to take advantage of that little perk. When she asked me when my birthday was and I told her, we all laughed at how absurd that was. Well, here we are, and I'm still here. I guess it's time to move on, as I've achieved my goal!

Brenda will be getting home today after a brief visit with Meghan yesterday. I'm sure she'll need a few days to catch up from jet lag.
I'm a little glad that it's going to rain today, I really need to do some work inside. I've been sewing and everything is still all over my table, and the floor has bits of grass all over it from the dog and I tramping in and out. It really needs some damage control.

Yesterday Lloyd called me in the afternoon to tell me that Sir Paul was going on to be on PBS - his performance at the White House when he received the Gershwin Award for popular music from President Obama. I'd read about it on the macca radio site but it was great to watch. It totally blows you away at the vast array of music that has been created. I turned up the TV really, really loud, and this was one of those times I truly love living in the country. You can make as much noise as you like and no one complains. Now I'm really pumped for next weekend!

Speaking of music, Linda gave me a music book with guitar chords in it that is all Stan Rogers music. I only have one CD so last night on my way home from work I stopped into the Confederation Court Mall and picked up his CD that the book is named after. The songs on the CD are in the book but so are a lot more. I need to pick up some more of his music. I was listening to it on the way home and it was amazing. I really only knew a few of his songs and I have to say I'm totally hooked on it! I had it cranked up all the way to work this morning. I had no idea how he died so I did some research on line and it was horrible. He was a passenger on a commercial airline. Apparently there was a fire that started in the bathroom. At that time it was not uncommon for this to happen as it was back in the days when passengers could still smoke on board. Here is what I found:

Rogers died alongside 22 other passengers (23 fatalities in all) most likely of smoke inhalation on June 2, 1983, while travelling on Air Canada Flight 797 (a McDonnell Douglas DC-9) after performing at the Kerrville Folk Festival. The airliner was flying from Dallas, Texas to Toronto and Montreal when an in-flight fire forced it to make an emergency landing at the Greater Cincinnati Airport.

Smoke was filling the cabin from an unknown source, and once on the ground, the plane's doors were opened to allow passengers to escape. Halfway through the evacuation of the plane, the oxygen rushing in from outside caused a flash fire. Rogers was one of the passengers still on the plane at the time of the fire.

His remains were cremated and his ashes scattered in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Nova Scotia.[1]

As a result of that incident a lot of changes were made in the airline industry. You have to wonder how successful a career he might have had if he had survived. He truly was a very gifted singer and songwriter. I'm just sorry it's taken me this long to discover his music. It was the same with Harry Chapin, although I always loved his music. Another gifted performer gone too soon.

I found this old video online of Stan Rogers and others sitting around a kitchen table, with him singing Barretts Privateers - truly the definition of a kitchen party. It's old and really grainy but amazing.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Boy, do we have mosquitoes!

Conditions at 7:00 am - 18* and sunny
Expected later - 28* and sunny!

I thought we had mosquitoes last year, but I've never seen them like I had them this past weekend. On Saturday when Mark came over to look at the chimney, and when Linda came over later, there were literally clouds of them everywhere. So much so, that it looked like it was raining when you drove in the driveway. Earlier in the morning I was outside with the dog and every step you took on the grass released swarms of them. Linda couldn't believe how many were there. I really think we need to look at a mosquito magnet in the next couple of years. It's difficult to just get into the car as there are swarms around it when you try to get into it in the mornings. Then you spend the first ten minutes of the drive swatting mosquitoes inside the car.

Last night I got a call from Linda, who made it safe and sound to Stephan and Trish's. They were siting out on the porch and called to find out what we had for supper the night that Linda and Brenda were over for supper. All she could remember was the scallops and the dessert crepes, but neither of us could remember what we had for the main course. So I checked the blog and there it was - seafood linguine. She commented how much she really liked the dessert and I know Brenda loved it to, and I think one of them asked for the recipe but I can't remember which one, so here it is for anyone who wants it:

Strawberry Cream Cheese Dessert Crepes

2 cups strawberries, sliced
1 cup water
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 - 8 oz block of cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp sour cream (I added a little more as I like the extra tartness)
1 tsp vanilla
4 dessert crepes (you can make your own or buy them ready made at the grocery store)
Chocolate sauce for drizzling

Mix 3/4 cup of the sugar, water and lemon juice together until the sugar disolves. Pour over sliced berries and refrigerate for at least four hours ( I didn't do this, I used them after about an hour) Stir at least twice to distribute the juices.
Note: for this step you may substitute frozen sweetened strawberries that have been thawed.
Using electric mixer, combine 1/2 cup sugar with the cream cheese, sour cream and vanilla. Fold in strawberries. For one serving, spread 3/4 cup of the strawberry cream cheese dessert mixture on one crepe and roll up. Repeat procedure for remaining three crepes. Drizzle each crepe with chocolate sauce and top with a dollop of whipped cream.

Yield: 4 servings (1 crepe roll each)

If you like cheesecake, you'll love the flavour of these. Unlike cheesecake, there's no baking needed. This dessert is certain to become one of your favorite no bake summer dessert recipes, that can also bring a little bit of summer to a drab winters day if you use the frozen berries.

It was a hit at my house, both times I served it.

Evenings at ny house are pretty boring these days, as I spend a couple of hours each night splitting wood. I'll be glad to get that job over.

Yesterday morning I had my job interview. I've really no idea how I did. It was two hours of questions like think back to a time when you used this skill to solve a problem...
After the fact you can think of all kinds of samples that you could have used but I'm not that good at thinking on my feet, especially when you are under a time constraint and two people are sitting there looking at you. But hopefully it went okay. I'll know within two weeks. They are hiring 15 people and I was the first one they interviewed, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I see that Korea viewed the blog last night so I'm not sure when Brenda gets home. I know it's one day this week but I can't remember which day. I had thought it was Wednesday but I don't think it will be but I might be wrong. I'll have to call Bernie and ask him.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Welcome back Korea!

Conditions at 7:00 - 16* , overcast and breezy
Expected later - mix of sun and cloud and a high of 20*

It was nice to see that Korea had checked in this morning.I'm so glad to hear that you're enjoying yourself! I knew you would. I can't wait to hear all about your experiences and look at your pictures when you get back. Maybe we need to do a scrapbook of this trip. We could easily work on it together. You KNOW I have all the toys. It will tell the tale and be a wonderful memory for years to come.

I've been giving the community school some thought and I think I might like to try my hand at teaching if it can be worked out. I already have a teacher lined up for guitar, one who lives just down the road from me and lives in a green house. We'll talk about the cooking classes when you get back and we'll see what I have to do and who I need to talk to. I imagine they'll already be working on putting together their program.

This morning I have my interview at Invesco, so keep your fingers crossed! It's another cool morning today and it feels like fall, but the calendar says it's still July. My friend Suzanne is arriving on Monday so I hope it warms up again next week. I know they plan to spend some time at the beach.

I got a nice long email from Petra this morning and she says hi Brenda. She has moved to another house and has changed jobs and is currently on holiday getting ready to go to New Orleans and Atlanta on a tour. Lloyd and I loved New Orleans - the music and the food were amazing and I also have some very fond memories of Atlanta, as does Lloyd.

Cooper is doing a little better with his fence. It's finally sinking in that it hurts when you go where you shouldn't be going! Last night he was outside just walking around when I was cutting the grass out in the back 40 (feet, not acres). I have to say a BIG THANK YOU to the McLean/Dennison/Cardwell rock picking team. They did an amazing job picking up the rocks out there and it's much easier to cut now. There were two especially large rocks that I had to keep cutting around but with their help, they've all been removed. Of course, now I have this pile of rocks beside the shed that I have no idea where to put. I'll have to think of something creative to do with them.

The new season of Mad Men started on Sunday night so I was able to pick up the first episode last night on the computer. I can hardly wait for Lloyd to get down here with his big computer monitor. It will be much nicer to watch things online with that than the tiny laptop screen.

It took me approximately two hours to snip all the seams in Tristen's quilt last night and it's now ready to wash. I'm anxious to see how it turns out. I was tempted to try washing and drying it here but I don't want to risk filling the dryer vent with lint. The last thing I need is for that to catch fire! Let the laundromat deal with that.

Well, it's a pretty boring sort of report today, so I'll sign off and go and get dressed for my interview. Wish me luck!

Monday, July 26, 2010

A scary experience --- at least for the wife!

Conditions at 7:00 am - 15* and sunny
Expected later - 22* and mix of sun and cloud

Yesterday afternoon, Linda and I went into town to listen to some music and have a beer. While I was there I emailed Lloyd from my blackberry to ask him if he would mind if I borrowed his guitar and tried to learn to plunk away on it over the winter. Talk about poor timing! He called me about five minutes later to tell me he was standing out in a field looking at his airplane which he had just performed an emergency landing with, in a wheat field! Not the sort of news a wife wishes to hear. It seems the engine quit in mid flight and he had no choice but to bring it down. He was able to make a safe landing in the field, which was a good choice to have. Apparently 45 minutes earlier he was flying over a lake, so I suppose this is one of those situations when timing is everything. The plane apparently sustained a little damage but he was unhurt. It's a scary experience but I can't let it bother me, especially when my entire family (both him and Patti) fly on a regular basis. I just have to be grateful he learned his lessons well during flying lessons! I talked to him later last night and I guess he called one of his flying buddies to come and pick him up but then a little while later the police contacted him, as someone saw the plane in the field. He hadn't thought about contacting them and essentially it's treated as a plane crash. Of course transport Canada will be involved as well to determine exactly what happened (well, we know WHAT happpened!) but now they'll want to know WHY it happened.

The rest of the weekend kind of pales in comparison to his news.

Friday at lunch, we picked up Lebanese food and ate it outside on a picnic table and Sjors and Sarah planned a little surprise for us as well. Sjors brought his guitar and they also had printed off some song lyrics and we all sat around the table after eating and sang along to the guitar. It was a really fun lunch hour, in spite of the odd looks we got from people passing by (they were just jealous!).
Friday night when I got home from work, Raymond's truck was in the yard as well as Bernie's motorcycle. As I got out of the car, Bernie came up out of the basement. I asked him when he became a plumbers helper, and he said he just came over because Brenda wanted to know if he's checked on me to make sure everything was alright. I told him that Lloyd had asked me the very same question about him! By the time we both assured each other that we were getting by okay in Brenda's absence, Raymond was finished, and they both left.

Saturday morning I spent time splitting wood as well as sorting out the shed and collecting all the recycling so it's ready, and then Mark came over to look at sweeping out my chimney. Our chimney has a weird design, that really isn't very functional. There is a permanent cap made of bricks over the topand you can't actually get into it to clean it and it really needs it. He suggests that we need to have the top of the chimney replaced and at some point we should really get a stainless liner put in. But for now we'll just get the chimney redone so he can at least get in and sweep it.

Linda came over for supper on Saturday night and then we came into town and went to a play at the Guild. It was very entertaining and when it was over we went over and sat at the bar at Fishbones and ordered some oysters. Linda has never eaten an oyster so we decided it was time to try one. It turned out to be a very positive experience. She was a little hesitant but it turned out to not be as unpleasant as she feared it might be. She actually liked it.

Sunday was threatening rain, as was forecast, so I had already planned an indoor project for the day. I had previously cut out the squares for Tristan's blanket and I got them all sewn together on Sunday morning. I love the little reindeer, they're so cute. I think he's really going to like it. I still have the binding to sew, and snip the seams, then it can be washed. I've read that because of the huge amount of fibres and lint that is collected it's best to wash it the first time in a laundromat washer and dryer. So I will do that on the weekend.

SHHHHHH - Meghan (2) don't let him see the pictures, it's a surprise for his birthday!

I was done sewing the blocks together before noon, which was a good thing as Linda and I went into town around 1:00 and to listen to some music and grab a bite to eat at the Old Triangle.

After we left the pub, we went round and picked up some jugs of beer at the Gahan for her to take home for her friends sons, and a Cows ice cream before she left. She was heading out at 4:00 this morning. Hopefully she'll have an uneventful trip, but she was a little concerned because just as we were travelling across the Hillsborough bridge yesterday the check engine light came on in her car. She was a little stressed over that as she had no way to get it checked before leaving on Monday morning. I told her (hopefully correctly) not to worry about it till she gets home. It's a brand new car so I can't imagine it's anything too serious.

Now it's Monday and it's back to work. Patti called last night to say she didn't get the flight to Paris so I won't be going anywhere this weekend. She does have a flight to Geneva on the 20th of August so I might go there instead.

Friday, July 23, 2010

It's Friday already...

Conditions at 7:30 am - 15* and sunny
Later- 23* and mainly sunny

It's amazing how fast the week goes by when it's only four days long. Yesterday was cool and rainy all day but today is promising to be nicer. I spent all last night cutting out squares for a 'quilt' of sorts that I'm making for Tristen's birthday. It's not a quilt in the traditional sense - it's called a rag rug quilt. It's the kind with the frayed edges on one side and the other side is neat and smooth, like the sample shown here. I had fun choosing the materials. One side has three different squares - one has dinosaurs, and the other two are solid colours to coordinate with the dinosaur print. But the dinosaurs aren't cartoony, they are more like a picture from a book, like a real dinosaur. The back side has two squares - one is a red plaid with a brown cartoon reindeer wearing a bright green tie and the other square is the same bright green. I think it's meant to be a Christmas print but it doesn't look Christmasy, but it's very cute. SO one side is for the little boy and the other is for the big boy, depending on his mood.

I cut out 96 squares last night and now they are all ready to sew. It's supposed to rain on Sunday so I think that's what I will work on, and if I keep at it, I should be able to finish the whole thing in one day. Once that one is done, I can start on James'. I did a little research and found some print materials that will work but I'm going to look around a little more before I make my choice. I know what James is like, and he's such a little packrat, that he'll still have this quilt when he's 80 years old, so it has to be something he can live with all his life!

Cooper still hasn't quite got the concept of the fence. I was out with him this morning and all of a sudden he was gone. I turned my back for a minute to get the garbage ready to take to the end of the driveway. I took a walk next door and there was no sign of him. I have no idea where he went but he eventually did come back. He had to cross the fence twice so hopefully he remembers. He was good last night - I left him outside for a while after I got home and he didn't venture anywhere near the boundary, but I think he just needs a few more reminders.

When I was in Souris at the Village Feast one of the fellows I was serving food with was a comedian (really!). He's part of a local group known as Sketch 22 and they perform every Thursday and Friday night at the Guild for the summer. We talked about the show and I think it may be a little like the old Second City group but I've been told it can be offensive to some. He even told me it was a little over the top at times but I told him I would check it out sometime. I had thought of taking Linda there this week but I think I'll go by myself first and see just what it's all about before I take anyone else. I was asking Tim Cullen at work yesterday if he'd ever been and he said no, but his parents had. His mom wasn't impressed with the language and the sexual content of some of it but his dad thought it was hilarious. I told Tim I would be okay as it takes a lot to offend me, having spent 3 years working in a jail. He was surprised at that and even more shocked when he asked what I did and I told him. Then he said, "man, you are the coolest grandma in the world". He said his grandparents were dead and wondered if I would consider adopting him as a grandson, just so he could say he was my grandson. Earlier in the week, I was in Kim's office and some guitar music was playing that she commented was really great. I said it was good but the player was 'no Eric Clapton". Then when Tim came in later and was in Kim's office he said the very same thing! Kim was surprised and said "That's exactly what Sandy said!"

Today we're having a picnic at work. We're bringing in lunch today and eating it outside. Last pay day it was Thai food and today it's going to be Lebanese. We're expanding the horizons of some of the people in our department who don't step out of their comfort zone very often when they choose food.

Raymond was going to come by on Tuesday night to install the pressure tank, but I haven't seen him yet. It was very hot and I suspect the bike took preference over working and I don't blame him. I haven't heard from him yet but I suspect he'll be around one of these days.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Some much needed rain this morning

Current conditions - 18* and light rain
Later- 22* and more rain

I had to include this note that Meghan left me. It's the funniest thing. I showed her Taylor Swift scrapbook to some of the girls at work and one of them commented how expressive she was for her age She is quite the character.

Today it's raining and a little cooler and I must say it's a welcome relief from the heat. I spent all last evening cutting grass, and trimming around the trees. Then I spent some time with Cooper and his electric collar. He is quickly catching on. He got zapped a couple of times, once when he took off and went through the trees to the neighbours. It was quite a surprise for him and after I got him back into the yard, he wouldn't go near the trees, even on the leash. I wondered this morning how much he would remember and he took off running again but down the side yard towards the road. Again he got zapped and when I got him back, he wouldn't go near the front of the yard. It may take a few days but I think he's catching on. Tonight I'm going to see if I can find one of those brackets that fit onto the bicycle so he can be safely taken along on a bike ride. I had one once before for one of our dogs, but I can't remember which one. If we can get going with it, we could go on rides on the trail. I'm sure there will be a learning curve for BOTH of us.

I was reminded yesterday about the power of the internet to offend some people. I was looking through previous comments and came upon a comment posted by a total stranger who took exception to my observations of our experience at Fisherman's Wharf on July 15th. While I found the service to be an issue I did acknowledge that the food was good. I didn't think it was unreasonable to be unhappy with a 35 minute wait for our chowder and then another half hour wait for our main meal. We were not expecting fast food, as this gentleman suggested, but I thought 2 hours was a little much. Having worked in the food industry, I am usually very slow to complain, I tend to be very tolerant of most things in a restaurant, and I am also very appreciative of how much effort goes into running a food service establishment. But for the over $300 that it cost for the 9 of us to eat, we expected just a little better. I didn't think that expecting someone to clear out table once in a while was asking too much, especially when it is a buffet, and you need to take a new plate each time. It doesn't take long for the plates to pile up. But apparently I was too critical. I'm sure that many, many people will flock to my pathetic little blog to read restaurant reviews, and not sites like trip advisor which features numerous comments from many people, many who were much harsher than I was!
Guess you can't please everyone. But then why would I try? We ARE all entitled to our own opinion ( or so I thought).

Welcome Korea!!!

What a treat this morning to view yesterday mornings post and see a comment from Korea! I'm so glad that Brenda had a good trip and that it didn't seem as long as she feared. It can be a very long time if you run out of things to do (or just get tired of doing the things you have). I know she will have a great time because she's very open minded and curious and won't be one of those tourists who expects a holiday to be like being at home.

I'm really enjoying looking at the list of places people have come in from. I know that most of the probably stumbled upon me by accident but it's neat to see where they're from.

Things are back to normal at my house (whatever THAT is!) . Yesterday they were predicting rain for today so I decided I'd get out and split some wood last night so I worked out there from 5:30 till 8:30. I'm so grateful to Greg and John or getting me started. The two of you are more than welcome to come back anytime! I continued filling up the pile that was there, and as it's against the wall, I decided to build it a little higher. I finished that one and started another. Now I'm on a roll. It turns out today is beautiful again so I will work some more on it tonight. As you can see, I still have a LONG way to go. I have laundry and stuff to get done but I'll save those kinds of things for Thursday and Friday when it's supposed to rain. I'm hoping it will be a nice weekend so I can clear out the shed and organize it and the shelter. It didn't get done when Lloyd was here as he just ran out of time and I haven't taken the time to do it. THIS will be that weekend (unless, of course, something better comes along). But with Brenda away I have no one to play with so it's a good opportunity to get some work done.

I typically take the leaf out of the table when I'm home alone and just have the small round table with four chairs in the kitchen. Well, last night when I was clearing it off, I found a note with some cash tucked inside from Jean. That was totally unnecessary and I will call her today and tell her so! I do hope she will come out again sometime soon, and we can have a different holiday. It's not the same when the kids are all here, as they tend to take up all of your time and attention. And they expect a different kind of holiday - beaches, and fun. I'd like to have Jean come out again and we can do "old lady" stuff - you know, lunch at the PEI Preserve Company, stroll along the boardwalk, tour gardens, etc. - all the stuff that the kids would find terribly boring.

I talked to everyone last night when they were at the airport in Halifax. They all had assigned seats so there was no issues with them getting home. I talked to Meghan and she's quite excited because she has another horse show today. I'm sure I'll hear all about it, now that she knows how to post a comment on the blog.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Time to catch up

It feels like forever since I last posted something here but it's really only been 3 days. ( Sorry Meghan(1) and Lloyd - I know I let you down yesterday morning! ) I dropped Greg off at the airport this morning at 6:00 to catch a flight home. Patti and the rest of the gang are heading out this morning to catch the ferry to Nova Scotia. They were going to take the bridge but neither James or Meghan was with them when they arrived last week so they'll get the chance to experience the boat today. Then later this afternoon they are all flying back to Toronto.

They really were truly lucky with the weather. Although it was very warm, for here, probably not as bad as Ontario, and they had sun and heat every day. Last night as we were sitting around the bonfire, it started to sprinkle a bit of rain but it was around 10:00 and time to go in anyway. That was the first rain they saw, although Greg says they got a bit for a few minutes on Sunday when they were at the beach when I was taking John and Sarah and Patti to the airport.

She took them back at 4:30 and she was due to return to the island on the 11:30 pm flight. We checked the computer around 7:00 and it indicated it was delayed until 12:45, so I didn't leave to go in to pick her up until midnight. When I got there it was further delayed so I didn't actually arrive until about 1:45, so by the time they got off, and we got on the road, it was 2:30 when we got home.

I think everyone had a good time. There was a lot of beach visits and they visited a lot of them. The last one they went to was Lakeside yesterday, nice and close to home and they actually really liked that one. It goes out quite a ways with a nice shallow, sandy bottom and they loved it. There was just enough wind to whip up some waves and they spent the entire afternoon jumping into the waves.

A bonfire was possible almost every night in spite of winds in the daytime. Usually by around 8:00 at night the wind would die down and the conditions would be perfect.

Saturday everybody went out for the day and I stayed at home and baked some pies and made a nice supper for everybody and cut some grass. Then on Sunday we went out to St. Peters to have fish and chips at Ricks (after I went over to Brenda's to have coffee with her before she left). Everybody went off to Greenwich beach while I drove the others to the airport. But before we headed out to lunch, we set up the wood splitter and John and Greg and James had a great time playing with that. Boys and their toys! But I really do appreciate it. Greg even did some more on Monday morning while everybody else was slowly getting up. It's a nice little jump start for me. And what a great job of stacking - it looks amazing. Now the challenge is to do the rest as neatly!

It was really nice to spend some time with Jean. We were very close when I was married to Doug and that was the one thing I was sorry to lose when we split up. It was great to re-kindle that friendship and I think we'll keep in touch now. She wrote a comment in the guest book basically saying the same thing and she now understands why we wanted to move here. Maybe she'll be able to convince Cathy to come out, and maybe even bring her mom with her. I would love to see that, and I also told her to come out anytime she wants - she can just get Patti to fly her down.

This morning I have a job interview at 9:00. I assume there will be some testing of some sort involved as I was told it would be around 1 1/2 to 2 hours long. Hopefully it will go well. But we'll just have to wait and see.

Meghan (1) is back in Toronto and by now Brenda should be in Korea, I think. It's going to be a quiet week or so with her away. But Linda is here and I will try to get together with her later this week.

When I get home today, I will spend the time getting the house back in order and then Cooper and I will just settle back into our routine, although mine will now involve a bit of time splitting wood each evening for the next little while.

Friday, July 16, 2010

It was an 'Anne' kind of day

Conditions at 7:00 am - a little overcast and 17*

Later - mix
of sun and cloud and a high of 26* but with a bit of wind to cool things off

Yesterday everybody got out there and really enjoyed the lovely day. They spent a lot of time at Avonlea Village and various other spots around the area and then ended up at Brackley Beach. I've never been to Avonlea Village but it sure looks like they had a lot of fun dressing up. It was a little after 7:00 when they got home and I had the supper all ready for them. We wolfed down shepherds pie, Caesar Salad and strawberry short cake for dessert.

I picked up a nice loin of pork that I'll cook tomorrow. I have to cut the lawn tomorrow so I'll send everyone off to play and I'll stay home and do laundry and grass, and cook them a really nice supper. I think I'll do the pork on the BBQ and they want new potatoes. James and Greg are arriving this afternoon so I think I'll bake some lemon pies for dessert tomorrow as well, James' favorite.

John and Sarah are coming back today so we'll all be together tomorrow for their last night here. After supper tomorrow night might be a great time to venture into town and watch the sound and light show. Patti is flying John and Sarah back on Sunday, then returning. It looks like they're going to have great weather for the remainder of their visit. I hope it holds for my friend Suzanne who is coming the first week of August. Last year when she was here, we had a threat of a hurricane, but they still managed to get in some beach days.

Brenda is off to Korea on Monday and it feels like forever since we last saw each other. By the time she gets back, we will both be ready to just chill out. Hopefully we can get some kayaking done in August and we (I mean me) also have to pick up our training walks for the Terry Fox Run in September.

This morning Raymond is coming over to install our new pressure tank. I'm really hoping it makes a difference in our bathroom shower upstairs. It's pretty pathetic right now.

Now I'm off to work. We had some distressing news yesterday. Apparently Rosie was taken to hospital on Wednesday with what they suspect was a mini-stroke. We had chatted just a few days ago about the amount of stress her job was causing her and she truly felt like she was getting burned out. Her son even said that to her. She's home now but they are doing all kinds of tests next week and she's going to be off for a couple of weeks at least. Hopefully she'll be okay and this is just Mother Nature's way of telling her to slow down. Maybe she'll listen this time, cause she sure doesn't listen to us!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It didn't live up to the hype

Conditions at 7:00 am - foggy, overcast and 18*

Yesterday Patti called me at work to tell me they were going to New Glasgow Lobster Suppers last night. I went on line and looked at both that one and Lobster on the Wharf. Both had great reviews, a couple of not so great ones, but the big difference with Lobster on the Wharf is the fact that it's a buffet. There were complaints about New Glasgow taking too long to get additional servings of food, even though it is also all you can eat, but it's served. We thought the buffet idea would work better for the kids.

It was bucketing down rain when we got there and it was busy but not extremely. The girl who waited on us didn't seem very experienced and had trouble taking our orders for drinks, and sides. The salad bar was the serve yourself part. The chowder was also served but it took a long time to arrive, but we had our salad to work on. Eventually the chowder arrived. Once that had been consumed we had a very long wait for the main courses. At one point I asked one of the servers if she knew how long it might take, and she said it was slow because it was very busy, but there were all kinds of empty tables. By that time the food did arrive, the kids had been eating all kinds of rolls and bread and were really not that hungry anymore. I ordered the crab legs and they were very good. But then no one came to clear plates, shells, etc off our tables. Eventually Patti got up and took the plates and emptied them at the back of the room. Still no one came by. We had to just push stuff out of the way so we could find room for our dessert plates. It was two hours from the time we got there till I packed up the kids and took them home. I left the adults to stay and have coffee and the three kids and I hit the road. I figured the others had spent the entire day with them, so they might like a bit of a break, but I told them they HAD to come back!

When you consider the amount of money it cost for 6 adults and 3 kids we could have gone to a lobster pound and picked up a lot more lobsters and had a feast! We'll know next time.

When had an uneventful, albeit noisy ride home. When we got there two of them had fallen asleep so I woke them up, Meghan and Dianne went upstairs to the craft room to create something and I put Tristen in the tub with some of his toys. By the time the others did get back, (they apparently went for a tour around Cavendish and a walk on the boardwalk) all was quiet in the house - I'm sure it was a nice thing for them to come home to.

John and Sarah decided to spend a day or two in Cavendish and found somewhere to say over night. They took the truck with them so that worked well. That allowed for some changes in sleeping arrangements. Jennifer slept in the small room with Dianne and so Meghan slept in the bunky with me and Cooper. She quite enjoyed it out there. It may be an issue when her older brother gets here cause I know he likes to sleep there as well. But I'm sure we'll work it out.

They did Anne stuff yesterday and are doing more today. Hopefully the next couple of days can be beach days.

I had a chat with Tracey yesterday and she has extended my contract again. I told her I may have a full time job but it's not definite yet. So she has extended me to the end of October and if I get the other job I will resign at the end of August. If I don't, I'll stay till the end of October.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's going to be a rainy first day of vacation

Conditions at 8:00 - overcast and 20*
Later - 22* and rain

It was a beautiful day yesterday, but today, now that everyone is here, it's going to bucket down rain - something like 20 mm expected. I'm sure they'll find something to do.

Sometime today they're doing a massive search and rescue exercise in the Charlottetown Harbour. If the weather was good it might be an interesting thing to witness, especially since there are three nurses in the crowd! But I'm sure they'll find something to keep themselves busy and out of the rain.

I was supposed to have an interview for a part time job this morning but I got an email from the fellow yesterday afternoon asking if I was available yesterday after 5:00. So I emailed him back and we arranged to meet at 5:30. So after work Meghan and I went over to Victoria Row and sat out on the Patio of Carpe Diem and we split an order of nachos. They were not the best nachos I've ever had, not much toppings and very little cheese. But they filled the gap. I told Meghan if she sat quietly and didn't interrupt while I had my interview we would go to Cows when I was done. She was very well behaved and after the interview was done we got ice cream and a "Haylor Swift" T shirt from the cows store. Patti saw them on the boat and almost bought one - good thing she didn't. The interview went well. In fact he said, I can tell you for sure, you will be hearing back from me. It's a silly little job, handing out samples of wine at the liquor store, but your success is measured by how many bottles of the selected wine are sold. He asked me if I drank wine and I said, yes (of course!). He asked what my favorite was and I said it would have to be Australian Shiraz. He said that was a good answer. He then told me he had already interviewed about 15 people and only about 5 of them could give him the name of a varietal wine. I knew my wine consumption would be good for something one day!

Everybody came over on the 8:00 boat and they arrived at 9:15 so Meghan and I drove out and met them, so they could follow us home. I'm sure they could have found their way but when it's dark, and everyone is tired and had a long day of travelling, it was much easier to just follow someone else.

Meghan had done a "seating plan" for where everyone was going to sleep but we ended up altering it a little. The night before Cooper woke us both up with very loud barking at 2:00 am. My first thought was, OMG, what if he does that when everyone is here. The dogs next door bark a lot at night but he doesn't usually respond to that so he must have heard something else. So we decided that I would sleep in the bunky and take the dog with me. That worked well for everyone.

Last night we were getting everyone organized up stairs when there was a chorus of bloodcurdling screams from downstairs. Apparently Meghan and Dianne witnessed the alleged resident mouse scamper from the kitchen, through the front hall, and into the bathroom. Now when Lloyd was here he saw it several time, but I have yet to see it. I think you people are making this up.

I haven't had a chance yet to talk to Brenda to find out about the Regis and Kelly show yesterday but the weather was warm and they all got in so I'm sure they enjoyed themselves.

There's a funny photo in the paper today of the two of then dressed in Anne hats.

I'm also interested to hear how they liked the Buddy Holly Story. If they highly recommend it, I may have to go and see it, but soon as it's almost finished it's run.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Someone slept in this morning...

Conditions at 10:00 - 21* and sunny
Later- 26* with a mix of sun and cloud

...and no, it wasn't grandma! It was 7:00 when Meghan got up so I told her to quickly get dressed, we had to go. We just had time to go to Timothy's for a bagel and a coffee and milk before getting to the University. But we made it!

This morning is the second day of Regis and Kelly and let me tell you, this place is just buzzing! Only on PEI could people with such celebrity status just tour around, go into restaurants with their families and have a great time. Apparently Kelly and her husband and kids were at Lot 30 on Sunday night for supper. Her son had caught an 8 pound trout somewhere (but no one is saying where) and Gordon Bailey cooked it for them. One of the guys in our department was at the restaurant on Sunday and was actually sat at the next table. So of course, some conversation took place. It sounds like they are having a great time here. Today's Guardian has a photo of Gordon Bailey from Lot 30 serving some treats to them on the show yesterday.

I was one of those people who was fortunate enough to get tickets and I was going to take Brenda but in the end I decided not to go. A couple of girls from here are going but they're
using vacation time to go and I don't have any. I could go but I'd have to make up the time and I just would rather leave on time. My boss is also away for 3 weeks starting next Monday and we're trying hard to get caught up on stuff before she goes away. I also may have a job interview next week, and I have one tomorrow, so I feel a little guilty about taking the extra time. SO in the end, Brenda is taking her cousin Maureen.
I'm sure they'll have a great time!

Meghan has finished her scrapbook on the Taylor Swift concert. It is absolutely priceless and I've shown it to everyone here at the office and they all LOVE it! Years down the road, it will be a priceless memory. I can't wait to put it on display at her wedding years from now! IT will be one of those things only a Grandmother could possibly get away with!

We talked to Patti last night. They had arrived in Halifax and were on their way to the hotel. They plan to tour the city today and will head out on the ferry tonight. Meghan and I plan to drive down to meet them so they can just follow us home. We'll likely stop in Montague somewhere and pick up something to eat, then head home. It's looking like it might be a great night for a bonfire. Last night was perfect - warm and no wind, let's hope tonight is the same.

Last night I took Meghan out on the road with her bike again and she now has a much better idea of how to use the hand brakes. We didn't try to navigate the driveway again, but stayed, instead, on the pavement. That's one of the joys of our road in the evenings, virtually no traffic. We were out for about 1/2 an hour and not one car went by.

I may have created a monster. I showed Meghan how to post a comment so I suspect there will be a great many for a little while when she gets home, until the novelty wears off.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Crushing Defeat for Holland

Conditions at 7:00 - 21* and overcast (rained earlier)
Later - 22* and overcast with a chance of showers

Sunday morning, Meghan and I both slept in. She crawled out of bed at 11:00.
After lunch (cause she missed breakfast!) Brenda called and invited us to join them at the Dutch Inn in Cornwall to watch the final match of the World Cup with Holland vs. Spain. On our way to town, we passed the VanGaals mailbox and it was loaded with orange balloons so Meghan got out and took some pictures.
After a stop at the Superstore to get her concert photos printed, we headed over to the Dutch Inn. It was 0-0 for the entire game until Spain scored a goal in overtime. It was quite the event. Lots of people dressed in orange with some very interesting head gear. When we got there I asked Brenda where Bernie was and she said he stayed home. Wait a minute? He's the dutchman in the group! But we managed to have fun without him - afterall there was beer and food so how can you go wrong with that?

When it was over Brenda invited Meghan and I to join them for Chinese food for supper. After supper ( capped off with delicious shortcake with Brenda's biscuits, and Coffins berries) we went home where Meghan worked on her Taylor Swift concert scrapbook. There are a few spelling errors but I didn't correct them. I want it to be authentically hers, something she will appreciate when she gets older. She's really enjoying do it and has brought it with her this morning to work on while I do the blog.

Tonight I have some laundry to do, a bit of tidying and Raymond is coming over to look at the pressure pump and see what the job will entail. With any luck, it won't take long and maybe he can get it done this week. While I'm finishing up around the house Meghan is going to begin working on her second scrapbook. She has a few pictures she can work with and I told her that her mom will likely take photos when she's here as well, so she can add to it later. She's been very busy taking photos with my camera. She had great fun taking pictures at the Dutch Inn yesterday and lots of pictures of Cooper in the mornings.

It's amazing how entertaining a bag of stickers, some paper and glue and a pair of scissors can be!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

What a night!

Conditions at 10:00 am - pouring rain and 21* (although the weather network states we're having light rain showers at the moment!)

Expected later: 22* and more of the same

Well, Meghan has just survived her first music concert, and was she a happy camper!
I was very proud of her and how well she handled the many long waiting times.

Yesterday we just kind of hung around the house until about 3:00. I cut the lawn in the morning while she did arts and crafts (Meghan's favorite thing to do), then we just sort of did not much, while waiting for time to go. We didn't want to leave too early as it would have made for a long wait in Cavendish as well as a very long day for the dog.

It looked like it was threatening to rain and sure enough, on our way to Charlottetown, the skies opened up and it POURED. Not to worry, we were on our way to the dollar store anyway to pick up some disposable rain ponchos. Unfortunately everyone else had the same idea, and they were sold out. They were also able to help us out by letting us know that all the other dollars stores in town were also out. So, we picked up some emergency blankets (essentially just a big piece of crinkly foil but large enough to cover you if needed, and they do a wonderful job of keeping in the heat if it's cold) and some large garbage bags. We were prepared for anything.

When we got to the Cavendish area, it was bumper to bumper traffic crawling up Route 13. Not being really familiar with the area, when we got to Route 6, there were no signs directing you to any parking lots so we followed the entire line and turned left. This eventually brought us to the concert sight, and we realized we should have turned right on Route 6. So we turned around and headed back. All in all, by the time we got to the parking lot and took the shuttle bus to the drop off point, and walked to the concert site, it was about 7:15, so not too long of a wait. We only took one chair with us, and in the end, that turned out to be a great decision. We found a spot to park the chair then took a walk down to the front area, where everyone was standing. There was a young woman singing but Meghan was too short to see anything, not even the screens and she's way too heavy to lift up for any length of time. She was the one who stated she wanted to go back and sit in the chair.

Of course our first stop was to buy a cowboy hat. Unfortunately they were all out of Taylor Swift T-shirts, so we had to make do with a face painting in honour of her favorite artist. (Too bad neither of us thought of the face painting later in the evening when she was applying bug spray. She wanted to do it herself so after she sprayed her hands, and rubbed it all over her face, she ended up with paint smeared ALL over her face and hands!)

After a gourmet dinner of - are you ready for it ??? --- Poutine (which I've never had before, but Meghan assured me was great) we settled in for the evening. The wait by that time wasn't long and as it got dark the excitement was mounting.

Of course once the show started everyone stood up for the entire thing, so sitting on a chair didn't work for a short person, as she couldn't see the screens. We were pretty far back but the screens provided a good view of the show.

I know she's been truly indoctrinated when Taylor suggested everyone take out their glow sticks or cell phones to wave during one song. So there's Meghan, standing on the chair (with me behind it to hold it) and swaying to the music and waving my cell phone. Only trouble with cell phones is they don't stay on, so she had to stop every so often and push the button to turn it back on. But there was sufficient woooo-hooooing going on, so I know this one will be fine - I think she's got it!

When the show was over, we slowly filed out of the area. The entrance gate was fairly small and everyone had to leave the same way, creating quite a bottle neck. But eventually we got out and walked back down to the shuttle pick up area. The show finished at 10:45 and I jokingly said to Meghan that it would be 1:00 before we got out of the pick up area when I saw the number of people waiting for buses. Turns out I was right - it was 12:55 when we got onto the bus. By the time we got to the parking lot, walked to the back of the parking lot, waited to get out of the lot onto the road, and drove home, it was 2:45 when we pulled into the driveway. It was indeed a long night but I think she'll remember it for a long time.

One thing I can't believe is we had rain on our way to town, but then it stopped and I don't think they'd had any out in Cavendish as everything was still nice and dry. Just as Taylor was coming on stage we had huge black clouds come rolling in, and gusts of wind and we all scrambled for whatever we had to keep out the rain, which never materialized! We had a beautiful night and by the time we got to the car, as we were waiting to get out of the parking lot, it started to rain, and it continued half way home. It could not have been timed any better.

This morning I woke up about 8:45 and it's now almost 10:00 and Meghan is still sleeping. She might as well, it's pouring rain, the kind of rain that's just settled right in and looks like it just might last all day. Sure glad we're not going to Cavendish tonight!

Friday, July 9, 2010

There's a joker in every crowd!

Current conditions at 7:00 - 20* and sunny
Later - 28* and mix of sun and cloud

Yesterday afternoon I went to the airport to pick up Patti, Meghan and Tristen. When the flight came in Patti and Meghan got off the plane. I asked where Tristen was and Patti said he didn't come as he was at Karate camp. So the three of us girls headed off to get into the car. Just as we were going out the door a voice came up behind me and called my name and said "Sandy, funny running into you here". I turned around and there was James! I wasn't expecting to see him and he quite enjoyed playing a trick on me.

We drove back to the University and Patti and the kids went to the pool to swim till I was finished at 4:00. On our way home we stopped and picked up some mussels, strawberries, pop, and whatever else we needed. When we got home we had dinner, then cleaned up.

After supper Meghan and James took the bicycles out of the tent. They did very well until Meghan wiped out at the end of the driveway. Then James conducted an investigation to find out exactly what happened. The unfortunate victim kept saying, "James, I can just tell you what happened!" It appears that a lack of experience using hand brakes combined with a slight hill and loose gravel all conspired to throw Meghan on the ground, where she sustained multiple injuries, including a scape on her cheek, elbow, back, and shoulder. Further investigation uncovered bicycle tread marks across her butt. What we can't figure out is, how did she run over herself? Now that takes real talent.

But this morning she seems much better. Her cheek (the one on her face) is the only part that still hurts. While she was receiving expert medical attention from her mom, James and I took a drive down to the Spirit Spring where he tossed a small stone into the water and it was quickly swallowed by the bubbling sand.

This morning we all got up early and drove into the airport to drop off James and Patti. When Meghan and I were on our way to Timothy's we saw four foxes beside the road. We stopped and they didn't even run away. One was very brave and when we were opening the car window to take a picture it came right up to the car. I even got out and took a picture and it wasn't scared at all. We know that James will be disappointed to hear that he missed them. Hopefully they'll see more when they come back next week.

And now we are at Timothy's where I'm writing this blog and Meghan is reading it over my shoulder, having just about finished her bagel and chocolate milk. She will be going to the summer camp at UPEI today.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sorry for the delay this morning...

Conditions at 9:00 am - 20* and mix of sun and cloud (mostly sun)
Later - 28* and sunny

This morning I was making potato salad, and doing a few last minute things around the house so I was a bit late leaving. When I got to town there wasn't really enough time to go and have coffee and post my blog so I decided instead to head over to Kent and pick up the new pressure tank, especially since I had enough time to do it and I also had the truck. Besides,

I'm picking Patti and the two kids (Meghan and Tristen) at the airport at 1:10 this afternoon. Then they are picking me up at 4:00.

Yesterday afternoon I had my first doctors appointment with my new doctor. He has quite a unique approach and philosophy and it's getting mixed reviews here on the island. There are several negative comments from people on his web site and the receptionist in the dermatologist's office last week said she had heard good things and not so good things, but I like to form my own opinion.

I was seen first by a man who took all kinds of information and input it into the computer. He then left and a little while later Dr. Coull came in. All I can say is I really like him. He sat right beside me, examined my knee, asked me some questions, told me he was changing the anti-inflammatory I was taking and explained why. He questioned me about some other things and I felt very well taken care of. I know it was only my first visit, but the first impression was a very favorable one. I didn't feel rushed or pushed out the door as is so often the case. I have two follow up appointments with other people later in the summer. I like the fact that routine things are being handled by other staff. It only makes sense to have nurses handle procedures that don't really require a doctor. That just frees up time for him to see more people. All in all, I'm happy with his practice and way of doing things so far, but I can see where it might be difficult for people to get past the idea that the doctor has to see you for every little thing.

I got a phone call yesterday afternoon from Meghan (2) to tell me about her horse show. It seems the stable she rides at is participating in bigger show in Campbellville this summer. Every second Wednesday they go to the stable in the morning, get their horses ready, load them into trailers and then they follow them to the show. Patti did suggest to her that this IS a bigger event with lots more kids so don't be expecting to win something every time. Well, apparently she won a 4th prize for grooming, then in the riding classes she won a first prize for walking and another first prize for trotting!
Our little Meghan is turning into quite the equestrian!


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Here comes the sun!

Conditions at 7:00 - 18* and foggy

Later- 28* and mix of sun and cloud

It appears that southern Ontario is sending us their weather - again!
Yesterday I was listening to CJOY (a Guelph radio station) and they were talking about the fact that it was 33* with a humidex reading of 39* - that's just nuts! It wasn't a great day here yesterday, rainy off and on all day, with a high of 18* but I'd much prefer that. Today is meant to be very hot and we're just not used to those kinds of temperatures here.

I was talking to Patti yesterday and the kids had a lemonade stand outside their house.
Apparently there were some construction workers down the road and some came and bought lemonade and someone even bought a bottle of water for their dog. Quite the little group of entrepreneurs on our hands.

Yesterday I received an interesting article in the email. Being as our department is all about fund raising, this one was actually one that I really thought was a great idea. I think it's something I might like to start with the kids when they each reach a certain age. I think 10 years old might be a good time.

Wonderful gift for youth in your life
Try this with your nieces, nephews, and grandkids
This is so amazing...from Uncle Bill and Aunt Beth in Gloucester MA to their nieces and nephews. Sharing and teaching and learning all in one. Nurturing young donors. Obligation and reciprocity. Please read the whole thing. Maybe you want to copy this gift and letter from Beth and Bill. Here's the letter:
Enclosed is a holiday gift for you from the both of us...By now you are old enough to know that no matter how much money you have, there are others who a lot less. By now, you are old enough to know that there is a lot in this world that needs fixing. By now, you are old enough to know how good it can feel to actually help someone else by giving them something - like your time or your skills or your money. By now, your parents have tried to teach you how important it is to share what we have in this world.
So the $100 gift enclosed comes with this deal.....
-- You need to give 1/4 of it - or $25 - back to the world. It is up to you whether to donate it to some organization, or to use it in some other way to help make this planet a better place.
-- In order to receive any birthday money next year, you need to tell us how you used the $25 well before your birthday.
-- And, if you do that, for your next birthday, you'll receive $125 from us. In other words, we'll give you more money next time if you follow the deal. (But we'll also ask you to give away 1/4 of that, too.)
So in the spirit of sharing this holiday season, here's a gift from us. We love you lots. And we look forward to hearing back from you.

I like this idea but I would like to take it one step further and stipulate that they must give away 1/4, save 1/4 and then they can do what they want with the rest.

The kids all have so much 'stuff' that they really don't need more toys, and they get lots of those kinds of things anyway. Of course it's totally selfish on my part - how easy would Christmas shopping be for me! And besides, not living in the same place, it's hard to know what to buy for them and we may not always spend Christmas together so this way I can just mail their gifts. Once they know they are getting the same thing each year, instead of dreaming of what they might get for gifts, they can start dreaming about where they are going to donate their money to each year, as well as what they can save up for.

We just might be on to something here. I know that James is already that way inclined as his birthday is December 22. Several years now on his birthday he has asked his friends who come to his party to bring money instead of gifts for him and he donates it to something he's learned about. It's usually something animal related and that's okay. It's still doing something to make the world a better place.

I'll talk to Patti about it when she's here and see what she thinks.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It's raining again ...but it's going to be a great weekend!

I can't believe I left the house this morning without my laptop, so I'm using the computer at Timothy's. Only trouble is it's a Mac and I know nothing about them so it's a bit of a challenge. But I'm here.

Yesterday I was totally wiped out. I slept in till 7:00 but I still dragged my way through the day. I suppose part of the problem is I wasn't extremely busy, so I tended to lose steam. Not that I didn't have things to do, but most of them were 'filler' jobs, you know the ones, the things you don't particularly enjoy doing and they can be put off till you have absolutely nothing to do. Filing seems to come to mind! But I'm even all caught up on that as well.

I did, however, get a pleasant surprise when I got home. There was an envelope in my mailbox with a return address of ABC Productions - YES, I got tickets for Regis and Kelly. I thought for sure they were already sent out and I didn't get any. I can't wait to see if anyone else at the office got them as well. They are for the show on Tuesday.

Last night I got a few things done around the house and I'm just about ready for company. I was trying to decide what to have for supper on Thursday night when Patti's here and then it struck me, like a thunderbolt! Of course, we'll have lobster. I'll make a potato salad on Wednesday night, pick up some mussels on our way home from town on Thursday, and call it dinner. I know Patti will enjoy it and the kids both like lobster and Meghan(2) particularly likes mussels so it's a win/win for everyone. A real treat for them and no fuss for me!

Since we had that conversation about teaching cooking at community school, it's been rolling around in my brain and I've been thinking about simple things we can so from start to finish in two hours. I'll have to draw up a plan and talk to Brenda to see who I should speak to in order to see if it's even possible.

One more tiny bit of good news ( I hope). I've recently applied for a who pile of jobs online and yesterday when I got home there's a message from one of them for me to call, so let's keep our fingers crossed that I at least get an interview.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A very tiring weekend .... but lots of FUN!

Conditions at 10:00 am - 20*
Expected later - 24* and variably cloudy

The weekend got off to a pleasant start with dinner on Friday night with the VanGaals and the Andersons. An evening filled with great wine, great food and great friends.
I worked on Friday but it wa
s a pretty quiet day as most of the department was out on vacation, and Tracey even sent out an email at 3:28 telling us all to go home, unfortunately I didn't read it till almost 3:45 so I lost out a little but it was still great to get off that few minutes early. When everyone got there I had help in making crepes as both Brenda and Daralen tried their hand at it. They both think it might be a good idea to offer cooking classes at Community School in the fall. I'll think about that one. It might be fun.
Friday was Lloyd's last day here and he was leaving on Saturday. I had to be in Souris by 8:00 for the
village feast, so a quick coffee and some last minute instructions before I left was all the time we ha
d on Saturday.
As I was driving to Souris, the sun was shining, the temperature was climbing and there was no traffic. The scenery along the way was beautiful and I thought to myself, how ve
ry lucky I am to be able to call this place 'home'.
When I got to the Arena in Souris, there was no one there but a military truck (for cooking the chowder) the
cuisine machine (a large truck like vehicle with a fully equipped kitchen inside
) and one othervolunteer. Approximately 10 minutes later Chef Michael arrived and soon everyone else who helped setting up tables and chairs (for 1,000) and
arious other decorating functions. Then after lunch (pizza cooked in the cuisine machine) we had a little time to sit and relax before people started
arriving around 3:00, even
though we weren't going to begin serving until 4:00. arrived and began to organize things. People and trucks started arriving and what was an empty sports field when I arrived was gradually transformed into a spectacular dining space. I took lots of pictures during the day and there WILL be a scrapbook of the event coming soon.
There were a couple of added
features this year. One was a huge copper oven that was used to bake bread right on site in the field brought in by Speerville Organic Flours from New Brunswick, and Fortune organics supplied salad.
When meal time came I was fortunate to be given a post on the plating line. We had four lines, depending on how you wanted your steak - Medium Rare, Medium, Medium Well and Burnt! I was in the burnt line. I was teamed up with two other really interesting folks. Angela, who is the wife of a chef who came in from Hamilton, ON, and Dennis, who is a local fellow. There were several chefs "from a
way" - from Halifax, Ontario, Calgary, Winnipeg and BC. Many of them had been with Chef Michael at the Olympics.After everyone was fed, the crew came to get their meals, then it was time to tear it down. I was amazed at just how quickly everything came together. We were done serving at 7:00 and by 8:35 we left. Some of the guys were still there loading chairs and tables into trucks but they were going to various places so I thought it best to stay out of that one. Besides there were lots of other things to do.
After it was over, the volunteers were invited to join Chef Michael at his house for a beer. I went for
a short time, only staying for about an hour as it had been a long day and I was pretty tired. I also had a bit of a drive ahead of me, about 45 minutes.
When I got home I fell into bed, and had a great sleep. It had been an all round great day!
Sunday morning I got up, got a bit organized, did a few things around the house, then made a list of what still needed to be done. I'm a big list person. I tend to forget things if they are not written down on a list and there's also something psychologically satisfying each time you cross something off that list.
Lloyd called in the morning to tell me he had arrived in Guelph around 8:00 am - just in time to go for breakfast with the guys from the airport - a coincidence? I think not!
In the afternoon I went into town when I realized I didn't have enough pillows for the number of people coming to visit. When I got back, I was quite tired, still a bit fatigued from Saturday in the sun all day. So, I was sitting on the couch, watching TV and doing absolutely nothing, when Brenda called to see if I was interested in going in to see Circ de Soleil. So I dragged my sorry butt off the couch, had a shower and away we went. We picked up our tickets and wrist bands at the waterfront, then headed to Victoria Row to find something to eat. (I hadn't eaten yet and Brenda had butterscotch pie for supper - we think alike!)We ordered the jambalaya, and it was okay but not as good as we might have expected. I thought the presentation was a BIT lacking and we had to ask for bread, which wasn't bread, it was a warm pita, AND it didn't arrive until we were all done eating. Next time we'll try somewhere else, I suspect. Not that we're that picky, but we do have our standards!
We then headed over to Great George Street to watch the performers parade down to the show area. As the parade passed, we filed in behind to make our way down to the show. It was quite packed and standing room only, so I was glad it didn't last any longer than it did, as my feet were getting sore standing.
Meghan (1) and her friends were at the Old Triangle so we walked over there and joined them outside on the patio for a beer. It was a truly spectacular night, weather wise. It was still 24* at midnight when we got home. Needless to say I slept in this morning!