Sunday, October 28, 2018

The tornado

About a month ago, Ottawa was hit by a tornado. (Well, 3 tornados.) Here is my story.

I was still at work on Friday when I got the tornado warning alert. I wasn’t worried, but I did walk down the street instead of down the bike path that is more open and goes under the big hydro towers. (For people outside of Ontario, hydro = power, not water.)

I got home and Wanda decided to make pancakes. She was cooking when the power went out. She put the batter in the fridge and we waited for it to come back in. About 10 minutes later, the wind really picked up, and I said “we are going downstairs NOW!”

We hung out downstairs until it had been calm for a while, and then came back upstairs and decided to bbq the pancakes. (I have a camp stove, but at this point we thought the power would be back any minute, so we didn’t even think of pulling it out.)

Wanda went out to the bbq and started cooking, and I went outside to talk to her.

Now, to back up a minute, I usually keep the garbage can right outside the back door. The bbq is just past it, and as I was talking to Wanda, I noticed that the garbage can had been knocked over, so I went to put it back up.

That’s when I saw the skunk.

The skunk also saw me, and he started to spray - luckily in the garbage can.

That’s when the rain started, so we raced into the house, leaving the skunk outside.

We finished the pancakes in the fireplace.

Saturday morning, the power was still out and the skunk was still in the garbage can. I had been under the impression that it was a small power outages but ... that was not the case. The power was out from Kanata to close to downtown. That’s about a 40 minute drive when the traffic lights were working.

We got rid of the skunk (he did not enjoy us putting the lid on the garbage can and wheeling him towards the bushes) and set up the camp stove. My cousin came over with a generator so we could charge our devices, and we played games by lantern light and then went over to a friend’s for s’mores and hot dogs.

On Sunday, we made it to a grocery store, which looked like a zombie apocalypse had been through. When we got home, we cleaned out the freezer and put everything into coolers.

And then we went for a walk. Many of the pictures below are about 3 blocks from my house.

We were without power from Friday around 6 pm to Monday at 4:45 am. I spent Monday cooking the meat that had thawed.

I lost some shingles from the porch roof (and spent Thanksgiving weekend replacing it) and one branch on my tree was ripped in half. I got off pretty lightly.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

What’s new with me

So life is really busy.

My Pathfinder group (12-15 year olds) became a pathfinder and ranger group (12-18 year olds), and we decided we’re going to do a trip to Saskatchewan next summer. I am finally starting to see over the mound of paperwork that comes with that.

We are doing a lot of fundraisers, and if you’re in Ottawa and you’d like to support us, you can see them here:

We also did a camp in April (it rained) and June (ditto). And I did a canoe training/camp on the May long weekend (also rain). Every other weekend has been beautiful, though.
I built a stand for my barbecue:

I also made some quilts for door prizes at our upcoming fundraisers: 

And I started taking French lessons.

I have 2 more weeks of French for this session, then I’m off for the month of August, so that’s when I’m taking vacation - 1 week for when my mom and niece are here, and another week to go whale watching in Quebec. I’m really looking forward to it.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Where I've been

I didn't mean to disappear. The last few months have been busy but unremarkable.

I'm still in physio for my shoulder (which I injured last summer) but am done with ankle physio. (I didn't so much graduate as just stopped going after my previous physiotherapist, Mean Dianne, took a few months off to recover from surgery.)

My hot water tank broke, which meant the furnace room finally got re-organized after last year's renovation.

I made some doll clothes for a friend, and planned an escape room for Pathfinder winter camp. I'm currently working on an escape room for a Guide group to do about Lady Baden-Powell, as part of their Lady BP award. I really enjoy planning escape rooms, so I'm having fun with it.

And, like everyone else in Ottawa, I am waiting for winter to finally be done. Especially since I will be sleeping in a tent in less than 2 weeks.

Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 in review

As so often happens, I started the year with the best of intentions, but it kind of got away from me along the way.

I did a reasonable job of stepping out of my routine, but I had so many things I'd planned to do that never happened (axe throwing, arrow tag, a class in something interesting, etc.).

The main culprit was the basement - that took a lot of time and, in fact, there's still stuff that has to go away. Still, I did some cool stuff.

In January, I went down to the Ottawa women's march.

In February, it was Crashed Ice. 

By May, parts of Ottawa were flooding, so the dinosaurs and I went to take a look. 

I went down to see the Canada 150 exhibit in the market (and cannot for the life of me remember what it was called).

 I went to Grasslands National Park and saw the prairie dogs.

I went to a family reunion, held in 2017 since that is the 100th anniversary of the year my great-grandparents built their barn (and the year my grandfather was born).
 I went downtown for Canada and luckily did not try to get onto the hill.

I went down for La Machine, which was awesome.
 Family came to visit in August, and we went to a number of Canada 150 events including Mosaica.
 I rented a cottage for Labour Day.

 The basement was finally finished (except for the aforementioned stuff I still have to put away).
 I went to Fort Fright in Kingston.
 And I went downtown to see the Christmas lights on Parliament Hill.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Museum of Nature and flying across the country

A couple of weeks ago, I did an escape room at the Museum of Nature. It was a lot of fun - there were 10 people doing it (7 of which I didn't know), and we made it out in the end. It made good use of the exhibits, and it was a fun way to see a bit of the museum.

Last weekend, I flew back to Regina for a very short Christmas trip. My flight leaving Ottawa was late, which meant that I got into Toronto late, which meant I missed my flight to Calgary, which meant I missed my flight to Toronto.

WestJet bought me food in Calgary, and the put me in Plus seating on the way to Regina. the middle seat was empty (i.e. just a console with water bottles), and they had a variety of snacks and beverages. I probably would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't been so exhausted.

Friday, December 15, 2017

What I've been doing when I'm not here

I spent Remembrance day (and the day after) doing a First Aid course, so on Saturday night I went downtown for supper and went to the war memorial and then over to the Parliament Buildings to see the poppies they were projecting on the Centre Block. It was nice - there were more people paying their respects than I expected, but it wasn't crowded, and it was impressive to see all of the poppies left on the tomb of the unknown soldier.

That's also the weekend I started my Christmas project. You see, there is a family in my community that is having a hard year. My friend decided to organize a Christmas basket for them. I said I'd make blankets, so I spent a month making a quilt for each of the 5 kids, and one for the adults. (6 quilts in 4 weeks. It was ridiculous.)
(Each child's quilt is a different colour; the adult one is a combination of the children's colours).

Then it was Wanda's birthday, so we took the dinosaurs out for Vietnamese food on a Tuesday night.


And then we went back down to the Parliament Buildings to see the rink and the Christmas lights.

Sunday, November 5, 2017


Well, I have been doing a dismal job of updating. Let's see if I can remember what you've missed.

1) Girl Guides had an event to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada on the last weekend in September. We were the only group that camped.

It was cold, and it rained on Friday night as we were setting up, but we had a pretty good time anyway.

2) I went for a walk, just because. I really need to do that more often.

3) We went to Miwate at the Chaudiere Falls. It was definitely worth the trip.

4) We also went to Fort Fright in Kingston. I'm a terrible person to go to a haunted house with. I either know what they're doing or I'm trying to figure it out. But it was a fun trip anyway.

5) I ran the haunted house for my community association. It was fun as always. The theme was Fairy Tales of Horror. We had Red Riding Hood turning into a werewolf, and the witch from Snow White offering poison apples. Sleeping Beauty was a vampire, and the witch at the gingerbread house asked people if they wanted to come for dinner. It was a big success.