Saturday, August 28, 2010

Meet Ralph

I went to the Ex today.

It was a nice day for it - sunny, but not too hot. We got there around 4 and walked around. (OK, mini-donuts came before the walking started.) There were a couple buildings of exhibits (not many, actually). After we had our bearings, we decided to go on a few rides.

The first one was the Tilt-a-Whirl. It lived up to its name. I felt like my face was trying to fly off. I don't recall ever feeling like that before.

Next was the Starship 2000 (which was probably a more impressive name in, say, 1982). I'd never been on that before (I've been very sheltered). I'm glad I did it, but again, it felt like my face was trying to fly off.

The third and final ride was the Polar Express. It has nothing to do with the movie, just with flying around in circles backwards.

(Can you tell I don't like heights?)

The last thing we did was play one game.

Meet Ralph.

He was lonely. Luckily, I won the water gun game, so he got to come home with me. (I assume those extra flaps are to make it look like he has saggy skin, but it's possible he just has two sets of ears.)

I have no idea what I'm going to do with a foot-tall orange dog.

Now for a complete change of subject.

This year has been a good year for cucumbers. The problem is finding them before they're, well, this big:

It is thicker than my arm, and it's almost as long.

I'm lucky Wanda likes cucumbers.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I had a dream

Not the kind of dream where the world lives in peace or everybody has clean water to drink.

No, I had the kind of dream where you wake up and wonder what your subconscious was thinking.

You see, I was at the grocery store. (I like to do that on occasion.) I had just started my shopping when Nathan Fillion came up to me. Now, I wasn't terribly shocked, because we knew each other (um, in the dream world, just to be clear). He was upset with me because I wasn't watching the season premiere of Castle, which was on at that very moment.

(Just for the record, I don't usually do my grocery shopping at 10 p.m. on Monday nights. I also don't watch TV then. I am usually asleep.)

I tried to explain that I had every intention of watching it, but that I was actually busy grocery shopping and thus would watch it later, so he pointed out the large TV in the back of the store that was playing the episode at that very moment.

I didn't want to watch it because I had missed the first ten minutes (also, I was still grocery shopping).

That's all I remember.

So, does this mean:
1) I watch too much TV
2) I spend too much time grocery shopping
3) Wipeout (which is the only show I've watched this summer, and only because Wanda watches it 3 feet from where I'm usually sitting) has broken my brain
4) My grocery store should invest in a big TV in case I realize I'm missing a show while I'm shopping
5) I should spend less time on twitter
6) I should re-watch Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog

Let me know in the comments.

(Oh, and to The Independent on Merivale - if you could tear out the giant TV and put the bakery section back, that would be great. I might need to buy bread one day.)

Monday, August 23, 2010

My problem with e-mail

Lately, I have a problem with e-mail.

Specifically, I'm good at reading e-mail. I'm just really, really bad at replying to e-mail. I'll read an e-mail, hit reply, and let it sit there for five or six days before I actually hit send.

Sometimes, I'll even mark the message unread so that I don't forget to reply to it, which means that I have unread e-mail in my inbox for days on end.

Browser windows are the same way - I'll open up a tab that requires action on my part (for example, a job I want to apply for) and ... it'll sit there for a week.

Maybe I need to start the anti-procrastination project up again.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

And THAT's why my garden is full of weeds

I hurt my elbow for the first time a few years ago and it pretty much got better on its own. Back in July (or June, I don't really remember), it started hurting again. For those of you keeping track at home, I have twisted my left ankle, hurt the arch of my right foot, injured both knees in separate incidents, and now it's my right ankle. Also, I broke my left wrist when I was a kid. (Only one of those injuries was because of boxing.)

During the two weeks I boxed this summer, it hurt to throw right hooks.

As anyone who has been around here for a while knows, I'll put up with a lot - until it interferes with boxing.

I started physio yesterday.

Everyone (my doctor, my BodyPump instructor, random passers-by) thought I had tennis elbow.

I don't.

Apparently, I hurt the fatty pad that cushions the arm bones and keeps them from rubbing together. This type of injury takes a long time to heal, and there's nothing I can do to help the process along except avoid things that hurt. Weeding the garden hurts - which breaks my heart, because I so love to pull weeds.

Physio did help - it was an almost immediate improvement - so I have two appointments booked for next week.

I also went to the eye doctor yesterday.

Expect to hear screams of pain from my supplemental health insurance company in about two weeks.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Where did the sun go?

This past week has been busy.

First of all, my guests left early on Wednesday and I went back to work. It was a big adjustment - I'd only been off for 3 days, but it was still hard to get back into the swing of things. Of course, I was tired, which didn't help.

I skipped the gym all week (which I will pay for when I go back to BodyPump tomorrow), but I did start getting back into my normal life.

The big news at work is that our shifts are gone. The late shift has been removed entirely, which leaves the day shift (8-4:30) and the mid-shift (10 - 6:30). Since 3 people prefer the day shift and 2 people prefer the mid-shift, the only time we'll need to change shifts is when someone is on vacation.

I'm one of the day shift people. I like the mid-shift, mostly because I can go to the gym before work instead of after, but when Sparks starts, I won't be able to work the mid-shift on Tuesdays, so I'm taking the day shift. That starts tomorrow.

Yesterday I went to Carlingwood Mall (because I needed cash and that was the closest bank machine). I walked through the entire mall and made an unplanned purchase from a kiosk in the centre of the mall - an $11.95 jar of honey. I have enough honey to last for years ... and years. The woman in the kiosk let me taste the different types, which was great, because I didn't really know what type of honey I preferred. The one I choose was the purple loose strife honey. Those plants may be devastating to wetlands, but they do make good honey.

It has been hot and humid, but not really sunny. Today was the exception - I woke up to thunderstorms. I had to use the dryer when I did my laundry today. I think this is the first time this summer.

The garden has gone crazy - it's really only tomatoes and cucumbers, but they are out of control. I gave some of the excess to friends last night and yet every day I discover more huge cucumbers and ripe tomatoes.

I hope all of you are enjoying your summer.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hog's Back

Yesterday was the last day my mom & niece were here. It was a hot, humid day.

My niece did not want to go anywhere. It was too hot.

However, I'm not her meanest auntie for nothing. I dragged her off on a picnic at Hog's Back park.

Did you know there are waterfalls there?

Also, if you follow the path and then take another dirt path, you can find a quiet off-shoot of the river.

There are rocks you can walk on. You might fall in, but if you're wearing crocs, it's OK if they get wet.

It's really too bad I made her go on that picnic.

(And it was much cooler by the water.)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Wave Pool

Monday's excursion was one my niece had been looking forward to since before she got here. We went to the playground down the street in the morning, had lunch, and then went to the Kanata Wave Pool.

She loved it.

I had never been there before, but I had to admit that it was fun.

The waves would be on for 7 or 8 minutes, then off for 7 or 8 minutes. When the waves were about to start again, a buzzer would go off and all of the kids would yell and run deeper into the pool.

There is also a waterslide. That's when I discovered that my niece is scared of waterslides.

I was pretty sure that she'd love it once she had been down once, but she wouldn't give it a try. Around 2:30, I had had about enough. I told her that we were going to leave at 3 - but that if she went down the waterslide once, I'd let her stay an extra 15 minutes. (I'm mean like that.)

She was not interested. She played in the wave pool. She moved over to the kiddie pool. At three o'clock, I said, "OK, time to go".

She looked at me and said, "Don't you remember that you said if I went down the slide one time we could stay longer?" Up the stairs to the waterslide she went, Wanda in tow.

She didn't make it down the slide. She got to the front of the line, looked at the slide, and was too scared.

We stayed an extra 15 minutes anyway. (Trying is important, and bravery should be rewarded.)

Now she wants to move to Kanata. (Regina doesn't have a wave pool.)

Parliament Hill & River Cruise

We've been alternating days of activity with days that are a bit more quiet. Saturday was a quieter day.

Sunday, on the other hand, was busy.

We got up and went downtown. We got there around 9:40, which was perfect timing to get a good spot for the changing of the guard at 10. I left the group by the rope barricades and went and got tickets for the 10:30 tour of Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings.

We watched most of the changing of the guard, then left for our tour.

The tour took about an hour. We left and found a boat tour. It didn't start until 12:30, so we had about half an hour to wait down by the river.

The boat cruise took an hour and a half. After that, we walked to a restaurant for lunch. Just as we got there, it started to rain.

We ate our lunch, but it was still raining when we finished.

Wanda and Bella took the bus home (because Bella likes bus rides) and mom & I walked back to the car.

Everyone ended up getting a little wet, but that's how it goes sometimes.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Parc Omega

My mom and my niece are in town.

I had a list of possible activities. Today we picked going to Parc Omega.

No one was in a big hurry this morning, so we didn't get going until around 10. We stopped at the grocery store on the way to pick up carrots to feed the animals, then were on our way.

We got there after 11. It has been a long time since I'd been there - I think the last time was 2001 - so I was surprised to see the lines of cars waiting to get in.

By the time we got in to the park, we were ready for lunch. We stopped at the store to have our picnic.

After lunch, I made sure all of the windows were only open a couple of inches and we started our drive through the park. (You only need to end up with a bison head in your car once before you learn how to avoid it.) We had two bags of carrots - one for the front seat and one for the back seat - and I had to warn my sister (who was in the back) not to feed her entire bag of carrots to the first five animals.

We saw various deer-like creatures and some boars (and baby boars).

Eventually, we got to the picnic area. At this area, there were wagon rides to take you to the farm. We got there at 1:01, and the wagon was waiting. There were tons of cars there - and no parking - so I told everyone to get out and get on the wagon. By the time I parked, the wagon had was on its way, so I had time to kill. I entertained myself by taking pictures.

I also got to pet a relatively tame deer. (The velvet antlers are softer than his coat.)
Before 2, the wagon was back.

We bought another bag of carrots (we were running low) and continued on our way. We saw more deer and some bison. They also have some predators (in large, fenced areas), and you mostly see them in the second half of the drive. We saw coyotes, bear, and arctic wolves.

Of course, it wasn't all predators.After a quick stop at the store to use the bathrooms, we went to our last stop - a walking trail near the exit. This walking trail allowed you to go on a wooden walkway over an area containing timber wolves.

As we continued along the walkway, we passed over another area with bears.

As we finished that trail, a bird show was starting. We got to see hawks, falcons, and a bald eagle.

After that, we got into the car to head home - 5 hours after we got there.

As I mentioned, I had been there before, but it has expanded a lot since I was there. Not only is there more to do, but there are a lot more people (which makes it slower when everyone is stopping to look at something interesting).

It was a fun day, but I vastly underestimated how long we'd be there. If I were going to go again, I would pack more food & beverages.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Because my mom wants to see a picture

I spent the afternoon with a couple of friends yesterday. Over the course of our travels, we ended up at Superstore.

Now, yesterday was the last day of July, which means that in the retail world, it's time to buy Halloween candy. I mean, I understand having school supplies out, but Halloween candy was going a bit too far.

In other words, the retail world considers summer over, which means that summer stuff is on sale. Specifically, they had a patio set on sale for $100.

I've been wanting a patio set, and had planned to buy one before the disaster that was May (when I broke my laptop, the desktop computer died, and the washing machine had to be replaced).

I wasn't driving, though, so I couldn't buy one at the time. We continued going about our day, and after I picked up my car, I went back to Superstore.

Now, this patio set consisted of 4 chairs (in 1 box), 1 table (in another box), and an umbrella (in a third box).

None of them fit nicely into a shopping cart, but I persevered. I got to the checkout, and discovered that I couldn't fit the cart through the opening.

Luckily for me, the cashier came out and copied down the code. Having succeeded in task 1 (load the boxes onto the cart) and task 2 (pay for the merchandise), I proceeded to the door.

Now, let me remind you that this was a grocery store on Saturday afternoon. It was late enough that it wasn't super crowded, but people lose their minds in grocery stores. They are utterly incapable of stopping beside whatever they're looking at - they have to stop two feet away and block the aisle while looking.

I made it to the car. I looked at the car. I looked at the boxes. I opened the trunk.

At that point, a Superstore employee came over and started helping. Maybe that should be "helping".

He had some good ideas, but there were some things he had problems with - like the concept that a round table cannot possibly be taking up every inch of a square box, so if we took it out of the box, it would take up less room.

Eventually, we got everything in the car (even if the chairs were tied in with an extension cord), and I started the slooow drive home.

When I got home, I scammed Wanda into helping me assemble the table and we set everything up on the patio.
(Yes, I know the patio needs weeding.)

So far, I love having it. I spent a couple of hours out there yesterday and another couple today. I'd probably be out there now if I didn't feel like I should be doing things inside.

I'm hoping that this summer's beautiful weather continues a bit longer so that I can get more use of of it this year.