Sunday, October 31, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Halloween

Yesterday, I decorated the yard for Halloween. I put out the tombstones and spread dirt on the lawn to make a fresh grave with a hand coming out of it.

I put the gargoyle out, and the spider's web.

I completely freaked Wanda out with a hand dangling out of the mailbox.

Last night it snowed.

This is the first year since I've been in Ottawa that I remember having snow for Halloween. It was too wet for me to put my blacklight outside, so I put it in the front hall and kept the inside lights off.

The first kids showed up around 5:30, which earlier than usual. The last ones showed up a little before 8, I think.

There was one incident - one of my Halloween decorations walked off, which I'm not too thrilled about. Other than that, all was well. My (remaining) decorations are inside drying, so tomorrow they should be ready to go away.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Swamp Juice

Sadly, I have no good pictures of the punch I made for Sparks (and the pictures I do have all have kids in them), but here's what I did.

I started with this recipe.

I made the tapioca and coloured half green and half yellow. I couldn't find gummy fish, so I used gummy worms and gummy spiders.

Instead of the seltzer & lemonade, I used white cranberry juice. It was the right colour, it's reasonably healthy, and we only have six girls, so there wouldn't be tons left over.

I brought my punch bowl (which I rarely use) and poured the cranberry juice in. I added the tapioca and a handful of spiders and worms.

We played games and as we did, the spiders expanded. It was interesting to see how much bigger they got.

Over all, it was a hit.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My toe hurts.

It's been a while since I've updated, and that is not the most interesting thing that's happened, but I can't really concentrate on much, because my toe hurts.

No reason, it was fine and then it hurt. Hopefully it will suddenly be better soon.

It's Wednesday night, and I am not at boxing because I didn't sign up until after the Wednesday night class was full. That's right, I am boxing on Saturdays again.

It's kind of nice to have Wednesday night free (even though I'm home by 7 pretty much every other weeknight). I will regret it on Saturday, though.

This past weekend, I finally got around to researching the candidates for mayor and city councilor - just in time, because the election was Monday.

I worked from home Monday (and Tuesday, as it turns out) due to a car saga, and walked over to vote after work.

After I voted, I kept walking to Shoppers (to buy gummy worms and spiders for swamp punch for the Spark Halloween party) - I couldn't drive due to the aforementioned car saga. It took me about an hour and a half to get there and back (including voting time). On the way home, I took the bike path and met a lot of very friendly dogs.

I'm kind of embarrassed to admit it, but my legs were a little sore today, so I went to the gym. My legs are now fine.

But my toe hurts.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Problem solving

When Camille was here for Thanksgiving, I started noticing water problems in the bathroom.

First, I noticed the wall looked like it had been damp. I touched it, and my finger went through the gyprock.


By the time she left, there was a puddle of water on the floor by the bathtub every morning after I took a shower.

I knew that there was an access panel in the front hall closet, so I removed it.

I couldn't see any water.

I removed the bottom panel on the bathtub.

Again, totally dry.

One of my neighbours has a camera that can detect moisture behind walls, etc. as part of his business. He came over on Friday. He didn't have that camera, but he had a different camera that's on a flexible cord, so that you can run it up a wall through an access panel (for example).

We used that camera and ran the shower.


No water leaking, no puddle on the floor, no sign of trouble at all - except for the hole you see in the above picture. We removed the drywall, and that's the area that was damp. The 2x4 was damp as well - but only on that side, the other side was fine.

By Saturday morning, the 2x4 was damp.

I haven't seen a sign of water since then.

The good news is that it's not as big a problem as I thought it might be. The bad news is that if you can't find it, you can't fix it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend

My sister Camille is in town for Thanksgiving. She arrived on Thursday.

It has been a fun weekend - some shopping on Saturday (I bought nothing), Wanda's belly dance show on Saturday night, and Thanksgiving dinner with friends on Sunday.

(When I was a kid, we never had turkey. The first time we had turkey on Thanksgiving was when I was in high school. My grandmother was away - she had gone to Niagara Falls to visit her sister - and my grandfather said, "Well, we can have turkey even if she's not here", and he went and bought a turkey. I remember looking at my mom, both of us thinking, "Um, we never had turkey when she was here", but neither of us said anything. After that, we always had turkey on Thanksgiving.)

I got the critical yard work done - the garden is dug, the patio furniture fit in the shed (to my amazement), and the air conditioner is covered up and off.

I even turned on the heat this weekend (although it hasn't gone on much - it's still too warm).

I took today off - I usually work stat holidays, but I have company - and Camille and I went for a walk in Hog's Back park. It was a beautiful day - sunny, but with a hint of cool weather to come - and the leaves are changing. It was busier than usual, but it wasn't bad.

As you can see, the water was pretty rough. I'm guessing that is due to the record (or near record - I never did hear how that turned out) amount of rain we got in September.

It was a nice day, and a nice weekend. It's going to be hard to go back to work tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Taking a walk

This year, Ottawa had one of the rainiest Septembers ever recorded.

(It turns out that wearing shoes that have holes in the soles in the rain? Not such a good idea - unless you like wet socks.)

October has been nicer, though. In fact, as soon as the calendar changed, it got sunnier.

This turned out well, because tonight we took the Sparks on a hike in the greenbelt.

We had done this last year, and the girls who had been in our group last year were excited to do it again.

Taking 5 & 6 year-olds on a hike is pretty entertaining. Everything is new to them - fungus, pine cones, tall trees, fallen leaves.

We have a smaller group this year, and that totally changed the feel of the hike. It was a much better experience for the group.

We ended our hike at dusk, so just before we got out of the woods, it was starting to get dark - and yet some of them would have happy to do the hike again.