Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Working from home

I talked with my manager yesterday, and I'll be working from home twice a week until I'm feeling better. Today was one of those days.

Some things are harder from home - I can't just wander over to someone's desk and ask a question - but in some ways it's quite nice. First of all, there's no rushing out the door in the morning. Also, I can lie down whenever I want to. It's also much easier to concentrate when I'm working on something specific (although honestly, I'm usually the instigator of the distractions, not the victim). Anyway, tomorrow I'm back to working at work.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Playing around

Another day, still sick. You may remember a long, long time ago I bought a Nintendo DS. Since I spend most of my time lying on the couch these days, I'm very glad I have it. It gives me something to do that doesn't require the amount of energy that holding up my head does.

Anyway, I bought a game that includes various card and board games, as well as pool and darts. I am getting better at darts and pool on the DS. I bowl about as well on the DS as I do in real life - so, in other words, not very well at all. I've also finally learned how to play backgammon. I'm glad I have the game.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Another boring update

I realize this blog is getting very boring, since every day is the same thing. Yes, I'm still sick. I'd say I'm getting bored, but that's not really accurate. I'm not bored, I'm just frustrated. There are so many things I need to get done, and I can't do any of them - or stand for more than a couple of minutes. Even sitting up for a long time is tiring.

I keep thinking "I'll feel better tomorrow", but thus far that hasn't happened.

As a result, it's difficult to find something to write about - I haven't really been doing much. Hopefully I'll feel better soon so I can be more interesting.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Thawing out

The sun is shining these days, and I am getting more motivated to do things I have been putting off for a while. (I still have a cold, so I do not always follow through, but the motivation is there.)

A few years ago, I bought a freezer for the basement. I love it. For a while I was better at putting food into it than I was at taking it out, but that is no longer the case. However, time and incidents such as leaving the lid up a crack meant that there was frost accumulating on the inside of the freezer. Today I defrosted the freezer. Wanda was kind enough to help me (although I have to admit that it probably would have been more entertaining to watch me trying to reach the bottom of the freezer myself).

It was pretty easy. I took all of the food out and put it in the fridge freezer or in a cooler. I then unplugged the freezer and put a pan of hot water in it to help things melt. The next step was to go out and run errands. By the time I got back, the frost had fallen off of the sides. I took out the pan of water as well as the pieces of frost. The freezer has a drain hole on the bottom, and the next step was to undo the inside and the outside plugs. I then started wiping up the bottom. (This is when Wanda "volunteered" to help me.) Once it was all dry, we propped open the lid and went for lunch. When we got back, it was time for one final drying of the freezer. Then we replaced the food and plugged it back in. Hopefully it won’t need to be done again for a while.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The internet: Making whining easier

Today was day 6 of this particular cold. I did not go to boxing. I decided that since I couldn't make it through a shower without coughing, I shouldn't go to boxing.

I did meet up with some former co-workers for lunch, though. It was good to see them again.

Normally, I'd be boxing right now. Tonight I just want to go to sleep. Perhaps I will do that.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Running out of titles

I really don't know what to talk about today. This is the problem with trying to update every day without really having a purpose.

I again went in to work today, but I'm still coughing. Yesterday after work I stopped at the drug store to get some cough drops. While I was there, I also picked up some tic tacs. I was very glad to have them today as they did a good job of keeping me from coughing.

Tomorrow will be a debate. I haven't been to the gym this week - but tomorrow is boxing. If I'll still coughing, I probably shouldn't go - but it's above a pool and really humid, so maybe I'd be OK. I'm not sure. I guess I'll have to figure it out tomorrow.

What do you guys think? Do you exercise when you're sick, or are you like me and sit around feeling sorry for yourself?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

We still look funny

My manager was also off on Monday and Tuesday (although he was worse off than I was). Another co-worker was off on Monday as well. Today, everyone in my department was at work. It was shocking.

I skipped going to the gym today - I'm still coughing far too much for that. I did guilt Wanda into going. While she was gone, I picked up where I left off back in December. I transferred home videos off of my DVD recorder and onto a DVD. I then messed around with transferring them to a format I could upload ... and they're too big to upload. I'll have to do some editing before I can upload them. I am one step closer, though. In another 3 or 4 months, I might get motivated enough to take the next step.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Thanks for your concern. I'm glad to say that I'm feeling better today. Not 100%, but much better than yesterday.

I worked from home again today, but I fully intend to go in to work tomorrow. (I'm sure Wanda is glad about that.)

I did make it to Sparks today. We made memory books. I had done the outline beforehand - one page per meeting, with a picture to remind the girls about what they had done - and then they had to draw a picture or write something about what they had done. They loved it! I was expecting them to get about one page done, but they moved really fast and were all glad to take it home.

After Sparks, one of the other leaders and I went off to Party Packagers to look for supplies for our camp. We're doing a pirate theme, and we needed bandanas. We bought bandanas - but we also found amazing pirate hats. We bought one for each leader. (Not out of the Sparks money, for the record). (Ignore the price tag in the dorky picture).

Monday, March 23, 2009


I probably mentioned yesterday that I have another cold. This is the third one this year and the second one this month. This is far worse than the first one I had. For one thing, I cannot get warm unless I'm in bed. Lying on the couch under 2 blankets doesn't work. Taking a hot bath doesn't work. Working at the computer definitely doesn't work.

I'm hoping that this doesn't last long. I hate being sick all of the time.

In good news, today was another beautiful sunny day. The snow continues to melt, and spring is definitely here. The driveway has vastly improved since a week ago - there are no major icy patches.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A very lazy Sunday

It's laundry day again. I find that doing laundry on Sundays fits in very well with my preference to spend Sundays not doing much at all.

The snow has melted a lot this week, and I again hung my clothes outside. This time I got them outside a lot earlier, and they dried outside. My main reason for hanging clothes outside isn't convenience (obviously), or energy conservation, or that "fresh off the line" smell, or that I like my towels like sandpaper. My main reason is that all of the clothes are dry at roughly the same time. When I use the dryer, my hang to dry clothes don't actually dry until Tuesday morning. The other thing I liked about it is that I can take the clothes off the line in order. For example, all of the pants come off the line at the same time. That makes putting the clothes away easier.

Other than cooking and laundry, I didn't do much today. I'm really sick of having a cold every couple of weeks. I hope this is a short one.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Stream of consciousness

The hardest part about posting every day is remembering to post every day. The timestamp on this one says it was posted on Saturday, but I'm actually writing it Sunday morning. I got home at midnight, remembered, and decided to go to bed anyway.

Last night I was over at a friend's house. I taught her son to play Kings on the Corners, which was fun. The kids went to bed not long after I got there, and then we sat around and chatted.

I'm starting to get a cold (again). Let's see, I had one in August, one in September, one in December, one in early March, and now again. Most of them have been quite mild, but it's still annoying. Hopefully this trend stops soon.

Back in November (when the September cold was lingering on), my doctor prescribed me a nasal spray that I had to use for three months. It worked wonders - I can breathe through my nose better now than I ever could before- even when I have a cold.

I'm sure none of you care about this. :)

I ran the usual Saturday errands yesterday, but the bulk of my day was spent reading a book (The Surgeon, by Tess Gerrison). I read another of her books ages ago, but somehow didn't pick up any more of them. I enjoyed this one (if "enjoyed' is the word to use about a book about a serial killer who rapes and mutilates women). I'll have to check out more of her books.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A good day

The weather is getting nice. The sun was shining, and the geese have returned. I passed a body of water with hundreds of geese on it on the way to work.

After work was boxing, of course. It's week three, which means we move from 12 2-minute stations to 12 3-minute stations. I actually succeeded in doing 9 crossovers in a row. It's not a personal best, but it's been a long time since I've succeeded in doing that many without tripping. Skipping is much more fun when you're not whipping yourself every few seconds.

In other good news, Wanda succeeded in making pitas that puffed up today. Usually they are just really good flatbread. (Wanda also has some other good news, but for once I'll let her write about it first.)

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I've mentioned that I bought a new table a month or so ago. Last week I called a local charity to pick up the old one. They arrived today. I was at work, but Wanda was home. In the end, they did not take the table - because one of the pedastal legs doesn’t come off.

I understand charities need to be selective about what they take, but this is a in perfect condition except for the inability to remove one of the table legs. (How often do you take the legs off your table?) The reason they gave Wanda was that they didn’t know if they had room.

I don’t think I will donate stuff this way again - it caused a delay of over a week waiting for them to arrive, someone had to sit around the house all day (because they couldn’t predict when they would show up), and in the end I still have the table.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

You know, usually at some point during the day something will happen and I'll think "I'll have to mention that on my blog".

I never do - because I never remember what happened.

I do recall that I woke up at 5 (which is far too early). I think I fell asleep again - but in retrospect I did have some odd dreams before my alarm went off. I don't remember what they were, I just remember that they existed and they were very strange. I'm talking about the kind of dream where suddenly two days later someone will say or do something and it will trigger a memory that doesn't make much sense.

This afternoon turned into meeting after meeting after meeting. None of them were wastes of time - but still I didn't feel like I got much done.

After work, it was off to the gym. Today was body pump at the co-ed gym. This is one class that I prefer to do at the women's only gym for a couple of reasons. First of all, every once in a while at the co-ed gym you get a "strong" guy in the class who ignores the weight recommendations for warm-up, which drives me up the wall. The maximum weight you're supposed to have for warm-up is 5 kg on either side of the bar. I was in a class where the guy in front of me had 20 kg on either side of the bar. He made it through most of the warm-up and then for the squat track (where you're supposed to increase your weight) he went down to 10 kg on either side of the bar. (I do between 11 and 12.5 depending on how lazy I am that day.) Someday one of these guys is going to really hurt himself, and I'd rather not watch.

The other reason I prefer a women's only gym for pump is that the co-ed rooms are larger - which seems to result in having people in the class who are completely doing their own thing and not doing what everyone else is doing. Pump is relatively stationary, but if someone is making up their own class, they can be moving - and not in the same direction as anyone else.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day

I completely forgot it was St. Patrick's Day today. Luckily Google reminded me while I was eating breakfast.

Anyway, because it was St. Patrick's Day, Wanda decided to make potato soup and green lemon meringue pie (without the meringue) as per family tradition.

It's March Break here, which means that schools are closed, so I didn't have Sparks tonight. I arrived home at 5:30 or so, and Wanda was very confused. I'm sure I told her about it, but apparently she's been living here long enough to completely tune me out.

Anyway, I arrived home long before supper was ready, and much to my shock Wanda let me stay in the kitchen while she was cooking. (Usually it makes her nervous - or possibly annoyed as I go around shutting the cupboard doors behind her.)

The end result was very enjoyable though. I haven't had homemade potato soup in years - probably not since I moved to Ottawa.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Let this be a lesson to me

Some (all?) of you will not be surprised by this, but sometimes I can be very foolish.

Last night, for example, I wasn't ready for the weekend to be over, so I started reading a book and spent a lot of energy trying not to fall asleep. (Note: There has never been an instance where a book I was reading before falling asleep disappeared before I woke up.)

Of course, when I finally decided to allow myself to fall asleep, I was unable to do so. The worst part is that it's my own fault.

Anyway, after work I went to the gym. I haven't gotten back to my pre-Christmas routine, but I try to make it on Mondays and Wednesdays. Today was a beautiful sunny day - which unfortunately resulted in the group fitness room at the gym being really, really hot. It was exhausting- but I'm still glad I went.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Random occurrences

I usually meet up with some friends at church every week. However, in Lent we do something different - we do a Lenten journey. This consists of going to a different church every week in Lent.

Today after the service, I heard my sister talking to someone she obviously knew. I turned around, and there were my cousin and her daughter. It was an odd coincidence -the daughter lives in Ottawa, but my cousin was just in town for a week.

This afternoon I was inspired by the sunshine to hang my laundry out on the clothesline. I usually don't start hanging them outside until May, so usually I don't have to worry about the clothesline being shorter than usual due to the foot of snow that still remains on one side.

They didn't totally dry (I finished some of them in the dryer), but it was still nice to dry them partially outside.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Unlike some people (hi Wanda!) I can't sleep in very late. I'm almost always awake by 7 (if not earlier).

When I was unemployed, I still got up early. I'd eat breakfast, review the new job postings, set up networking meetings, and procrastinate (not in that order...except breakfast). Then I would eat lunch - and invariably I would be exhausted. If I didn't have anything scheduled for the afternoon, I had to take a nap. I didn't usually sleep for long - it was more like rest time than an actual nap - but it became part of my daily routine.

Of course, that stopped when I started my current job. (They tend to frown on sleeping at your desk.)

However, today the switch to daylight savings time plus general fatigue caught up with me, and I took a nap.

I'm a little more rested than I was, but I still feel like I could sleep for a week or two.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Not sure where I was going

And ... this is why I haven't been writing every day. Today was a day where nothing unusual happened. Work, boxing, lounging around at home.

I'm on my second time through level 3 of boxing. The first time through each level is always confusing - there's new skills to master, and it takes a while for your body to figure out how to move. Subsequent times are still challenging - there's a lot to remember, and it's still a really good workout - but not as bad as the first time through.

One of the nice things about being in an advanced level is that I know a lot of the people in my class. There are multiple classes at each level, but by the time you get to level 3 there are only 5 classes - and if, like me, you need a class that starts at 6:30 or later on a weekday, there are only 2 classes. As a result, I've been in previous classes with several of the people I'm in class with now. Everyone is quite friendly, and we typically discuss the class in the locker room while getting changed and taking off the hand wraps.

If you're wondering what my point is, so am I. Let's go with "boxing is fun" and "I need sleep".

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Just don't tell Joel

Today's new thing has been in the works for a couple of weeks.

I've mentioned before that I was laid off in 2007. At the time, I got a good severance package as well as outplacement help.

Since the company I worked for has since filed for bankruptcy protection, I know quite a few people who have been laid off with no severance and no outplacement help. I also know people who are looking for a new job, although they are still employed.

In the interests of helping some of them get started, I hosted a meeting to share some of what I learned.

Four of my former colleagues showed up, and they seemed to find it useful. Hopefully it will help.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

No swimming here

It's very useful to have a job where you can work from home. I took advantage of that today because I had two appointments for people to come and give me suggestions for how to keep my basement from turning into a swimming pool every time it rains.

I liked the first one more - he did a better job of explaining what the possible problems were and how to fix them. I have a bit more investigating to do, but I plan to make a decision this week.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Time for a resolution

A couple of times in the last week I've thought about posting something but haven't - mostly due to laziness. As a result, I'm making a resolution - for the next month I'm going to be posting something every day.

I'm not guaranteeing a new thing every day, just a new post.

And ... apparently I have nothing to talk about.

Let's see. I had Sparks tonight. We're off next week (since it's March break), and everyone was a bit squirrelly, including the leaders. We were making firefighter puppets, and after the girls finished colouring, the other leader and I thought that the meeting must be over. It was actually 35 minutes into our one-hour meeting. Sigh. Believe me, everyone can use having a week off.

The time change hasn't been too bad so far - usually I hate it because I end up exhausted - but I am tired - and I keep waking up early. (Should I be? I get confused by "spring forward, fall back".)

Friday, March 6, 2009

You ever feel like you are not getting very far?

Sorry, I didn't mean to disappear ... and yet here we are. I won't bore you with the excuses.

Today a colleague and I had a meeting downtown. I had to get moving early enough to get downtown for a 9:00 meeting. I arrived at around 8:45, and my colleague was waiting for me. We stood around and chatted with the security guard until 9:05, at which point my colleague realized that our meeting had been rescheduled for noon. (I hadn't done any organizing of the meeting, I just showed up when I was told to.)

In other words, I showed up 3 hours early for a meeting.

After we realized we were there early, I went home and worked for a couple of hours before returning for the noon meeting.

After that, I went in to work for the afternoon before heading downtown again for my boxing class. I am pretty sure this is the first time I have gone downtown three times in one day.