Sunday, October 19, 2014


I haven't been sleeping all that well lately.

Part of the problem is that I'm having odd dreams, the kind that combine snippets of work with bits of the rest of my life into something that makes no sense at all. (Apparently a lot of people are having odd dreams lately - is it the weather?)

The other part is my night guard. I got a new one in February, and I'm finding it hard to use. If I manage to fall asleep with it I my mouth (which is rare) I wake up with it somewhere else. I think part of it started when I got the new one - the plastic took a while to taste in-plasticky. And then... It just never got better.

The problem is that I know I'm supposed to use it, so I wake myself up wondering where it is.

Since it's been more than six months, though, I'd better figure it out.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Meet the meat

Back in July, I ordered a quarter of beef from a local farmer. It was estimated to arrive in September.

Three weekends ago, I cleaned out the freezer in preparation. I found a steak from 2008, some Girl Guide cookies so old I didn't recognize the box, and lots of ice.

The weekend after I cleaned out the freezer, I picked up the meat.

Let me tell you, a quarter is a lot of meat. I filled up the chest freezer and put more meat in the fridge freezer. The day after picking up the meat, I opened the freezer and Wanda yelled "if you're not looking for meat, good luck!"

But ... It's so nice to be able to pull something out of the freezer. We've had stew and steak and a roast and ground beef. I will still buy chicken and pork, but we've got enough beef for a long time.

With a freezer full of meat and vegetables delivered every two weeks, grocery shopping should be minimal, as well. Which is good for everyone, because I go after boxing when I'm all sweaty and gross.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


A couple of nights ago, my brain decided it would enjoy waking up at midnight. And I mean wide awake, not groggy and likely to fall back asleep. 

Since I needed to get up in the morning, this didn't seem like a good idea. I'd heard somewhere that one of the things that can help you fall asleep is if you count backwards from 100. I decided to try it.

My eye is on fire! (Rubs eye)
Why is my wrist bent like that? It hurts. (Moves wrist)
Where was I? Oh, right.
Look at me! I've got the hang of it now.
Wait. 95? Didn't I already say that? I've been counting for a while. It's probably 85.
Wait, I was counting? Why did I stop? Why am I still awake?

Sunday, September 21, 2014


When I was sick in July, I joined Pinterest. (I couldn't do anything, so I figured I might as well spend time looking at things I couldn't do.)

It's a great place for ideas on how to repurpose things you no longer need, or to find recipes, or even for quotes and pictures.

And it has it's share of silly people - for example, the person who built a frame to cover her thermostat. There are several things wrong with that. The first one is that the average thermostat is out of the way and doesn't need to be covered.

The second thing is that by covering it, you're making it harder for it to measure the temperature I. The room, which is its whole reason for existing. Silly, silly people.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Lazing around

I've wanted more backyard furniture for a while, and once I bought the screen house, it was time.

I considered a bunch of options, and eventually decided to use the two pallets left over from the raised garden beds I made a couple of years ago. I started by building legs out of 2x4s, then I sanded down a pallet and painted everything.

I attached the legs to the pallet. This also gave me the advantage of being able to use the pallet as a workbench.

I added the frame for the back. (Did I mention that this was my first time using pocket holes?)

It took me a while to decide what I wanted to do for the back. Eventually I decided on 2x2s.

Then it was just a little paint and it was done.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tales from the backyard

It feels like my summer has consisted of being sick, being sick, having company, and being sick. Not my best summer, is what I'm saying. (Because of the multiple viruses, not because of the company - the company was awesome.)

I did manage to do a few things around the house, though.

First of all, I planted tomatoes. We're right in the midst of tomato season, and they're awesome. 


 One one side of the house is an area that traditionally has been filled with weeds. It also contained the wheelbarrow I found behind the shed. After looking at it, I decided it was trash, and got rid of it this year. Then I pulled the weeds, put down newspaper, and covered it with mulch. Hopefully that will keep the weeds down for a while.

The backyard faces south, and it's usually too hot to use, so I started thinking about getting a gazebo. They're expensive, though, and a lot of work, so while I'm deciding what I ultimately want to do back there, I bought an awesome umbrella.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The visit

My mom and my niece B came to visit about ten days ago, and this time they brought my cousin's two girls, Star and Sky.

They had barely arrived when Star managed to get a nail though her shoe into her foot. I got to call her parents and say "they arrived. Also, for no particular reason, has Star had a tetanus shot?"

Day two we went to a paint-your-own-pottery place,  then my cousin arrived from Toronto. We spent the rest of the day close to home. I believe this was the day B skinned her knee.

Day three we went downtown (some of us on the bus) and saw the changing of the guard, toured the Parliament Buildings, and went to the market. No injuries.

Monday was Calypso, even though it was cold. (No lines!) Star scaped the bottom of her toe just before we left. Oh, and Wanda hurt her feet and spent the next few days hobbling around.

Tuesday morning, Sky woke me up around two because her ear was hurting. I gave her a painkiller and sent her to bed. It was better In the morning, which was good, because it was activity day. We made marshmallow catapults, bouncy balls, doll blankets, and rain. We stuck skewers in ziplock bags of water, stood on eggs, and blew up balloons with nerds and soft drinks. Also, B's mother joined us for supper, as she was unexpectedly in Ottawa for work. I think this might be the day Star stubbed her toe on the grass.

Wednesday, we went shopping, then out for supper one last time before B's mother went home.

Thursday, we went out to Star and Sky's great aunt's cottage. A lot of their relatives from that side of the family came out, so they were able to meet them, and they got to go in the kayak and inflatable boat in between rain showers. Just for fun, Sky stubbed her toe badly enough that it had to be taped up. I don't know that it was broken, but I don't know it wasn't. (Her great aunt is a nurse, so she did the taping.)

Friday, we went ringette shopping, stopped at Black's rapids for a few minutes to walk over the locks, and Wanda got stung by a wasp. After that fun, we went to the museum of science and technology. I got all the girls passes to the Saskatchewan science center for Christmas, which meant they could get in for free here. They made water rockets, ran on the hamster wheel, stumbled thorough the crazy kitchen, and walked through the trains. We then stopped at Hog's Back park, where they climbed an awesome climbing tree and no one got hurt.

And then Friday night, my niece and Star went to the park and B banged her foot on a metal bar. She hopped home, and I put ice on it. After fifteen minutes, I took the ice off and told her to stand up. There was an audible pop and she screamed.

And then she said "Auntie Colette, my foot is going numb".

It turns out the line between "suck it up" and "we are going to the hospital now" is just past "my foot is going numb and I can't wiggle my toes". I googled the address of the children's hospital and piggy-backed her to the car as Sky said "I'm dizzy."

As we checked in, the person registering us out me as a contact on B's file, since B's mom was back home. I said "good, I'm her favourite auntie", and B said - as always - "nope, you're not even on the list". The woman registering us gave me a bit of a look, and we had to explain that this is normal.

Less than two hours later, the doctor explained that it was a sprain and should be better within a day. Frankly, I didn't believe him. (I was ok with the sprain part, but who has ever heard of a sprain healing in two days?)

Saturday morning, Sky again complained about being dizzy, so we were off to the medi-clinic to deal with her ear infection. B came with us, hopping all the way, and sometime while we were getting Sky's prescription filled, B's foot got better - not 100%, but enough that she could walk. Yay! (Also, apologies, CHEO doctor.)

We had a little time in the afternoon, so we headed to Brittania beach. Since there was a Muslim festival going on, we had to park a ways away and take the shuttle. Luckily, the shuttle was a double-decker bus, so that was fun.

Sunday we took the train to Montreal, where we walked through Old Montreal and went to that science center. B's foot was hurting, so we didn't get to see as much as we might have otherwise, but they enjoyed it.

Monday, we played glow-in-the-dark mini-golf, and then decided to go back to the beach. Sadly, that's when the thunder storm hit, so Wanda took the girls to a movie instead. (No one got hit by lightning.)

This morning, everyone packed, then we took the bus downtown to meet Wanda for lunch, because she went back to work today. After lunch, we had a bit of rest time before it was time to go. We were halfway to the airport when we realized B forgot her ipad. I dropped them off, and mom got them checked In and in the line for security while I raced home. I made it back and gave the ipad to mom, who made it through the line for security with minutes to spare.

I'd better be on the list now.