Wednesday, January 29, 2014


My Monday class at the gym is body toning - so basically strength training. I like strength training, and I try not to miss this class.

The format of the class changes every month, and when I saw the format of this month's class, I considered changing my policy.

The plan was:
25 knees to chest (like a crunch, but raising your knees as well)
25 burpees 
50 squats
50 push ups
50 ball leg curls
50 supine rows
25 knees to chest
25 burpees

I hate burpees. If I never do another burpee in my life, I will be perfectly ok with that. (I also find them really difficult with my asthma). I talked to the instructor and he gave me a substitute exercise - skipping. Except skipping is easier, so it would be 50 skips instead of 25. That's fine - I skip at boxing (except when I've hurt my foot, but my foot has been annoying for too long, so it has to get over it).

One of my colleagues did the routine a couple of days before I started, and she was ridiculously sore the next day. And the day after. And the day after that.

I was a little concerned.

I went to class the first week,  prepared for the worst, and ... it wasn't that bad. The skipping was a little too easy, so I decided the next week I'd do 100 instead of 50, and I had to do bicycles instead of knees to chest the second time, but I survived.

And I wasn't even sore the next day.

The second week, I managed the knees to chest both times.

And this week I missed class, so I went in yesterday to do the workout myself. It took 18 minutes.

I'm almost sorry next Monday is February.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Winter camp

My Pathfinders are going camping next weekend. There is a building on site, but we're planning to spend a lot of time outside.

Any other year, that would be fine, but this year ... well, let's just say that it's been a little cold.

(One day last week I told my colleague in India that it had warmed up from -25 C to -22 C. He did not think that was considerably better.)

Because it has been so cold, Wanda has been wearing my snow pants when she takes the bus. It works well ... except I'm taking the car AND the snow pants to camp.

I went and bought another pair of snow pants.

And then I realized that my winter jacket isn't really warm enough to wear outside for two days.

I went and bought another jacket.

We might sleep outside on Saturday, so I will be packing almost every blanket I own. We have to bring our own water, so I have to pack that. Then there's the food, and the crafts, and the stuff for a treasure hunt/survival activity, and my Dutch oven, and ...

It's so much easier when we camp in my back yard.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cooling off period

In the middle of November, I got home from work and walked into the kitchen. The floor was cold - so much so that I thought "wow, I'd forgotten how cold the tile floor gets in the winter".  A half an hour later I looked at the thermostat, and noticed it was 10.5 degrees Celcisus in the house. I called the furnace company, and they came out and fixed it.

In December, I woke up one Sunday and noticed it was cold. I checked the thermostat, and the furnace had stopped again.  (Well, it was still working, it just wasn't heating).  I called the furnace company, and they got it working again.  At that point, I knew it wasn't fixed, but they couldn't figure out what part was broken, so they couldn't fix it.

I was worried about leaving it, but I warned my house sitter and got on the plane. I was lucky - it didn't stop at all when I was gone.

I got back on Wednesday, and Friday night it stopped again.  This time, it started spontaneously working as the guy from the furnace company arrived. By the time I went to bed, the house was warm again.

Saturday morning, I woke up to a house that had dropped to 9 degrees.  The guy from the furnace company came out again and had a lot of trouble getting it going. (The one thing you don't want the guy fixing the furnace to say to you at 11 am on a cold Saturday is "Do you have enough firewood to make it to Monday?") Luckily, he got it going again, and he figured out what part needed replacing.

Saturday afternoon, it stopped again. I started calling around borrowing heaters from friends, and it spontaneously started working again.

Sunday, Wanda and I bought (and carried) a lot of firewood.

Monday I stayed home so they could fix it, and they had trouble getting the part. It wouldn't be in until Thursday.

Amazingly, the furnace continued working, and Thursday they came out and fixed it.

Now I just hope they replaced the right part.

* * *

My new years resolution was to change the temperature in my car to Celcuis. I figured it out on January 2. That's two new things in a row, and January 3 I started wearing my new orthotics.  I even considered trying to do a new thing every day, until the furnace went out and I was more focused on not freezing.

* * *
Here's a picture of the many things I got from our family friends who are downsizing.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Christmas wrap up

I started my trip to Saskatchewan in a panic. I left Friday, December 20, which those of you in Ottawa might remember as the day of the snowstorm. Wanda called a couple of hours in advance to order a cab, but DJ's didn't start looking for an available driver until the cab was supposed to be here.

Since they weren't likely to get a cab here in time, we unexpectedly had to drive to the airport. We parked at the Park'n'Fly lot and made our flight without much time to spare.


I made a quilt for my sister for Christmas. I started it in July, and finished it in December.  Here it is:


The dog is still awesome, and I'm still her favourite auntie.


I got to see a lot of family on this trip, most of them multiple times. It was great to see everyone.


I went to three of my niece's ringette games. She got her first goal in one of the games, and her team won another one. I attributed it to her favourite auntie being at the game. (B: "Auntie Wanda?")


The trip back was in eventful, but man the 6:20 am flights kill me. The Park'n'Fly bus was just leaving the terminal when we got out of the airport, and he stopped to wait for us when he saw us coming. The car wasn't too bad, but there was a fair amount of snow behind it, so our driver came back to shovel out the back and, when we were stuck in the spot, another driver came over to help get us out. I highly recommend them.


First day of the year, and I figured out how to renew an ebook from the library. Yay for new things!


Yesterday, I went downstairs at mom's to find my cousin's three-year-old son zipped into the dog kennel. I asked if someone put him in there, and he answered (in the saddest voice you can imagine
), "no, it was me".


Airlines have a 50 pound limit for luggage, and I know if I can easily lift my suitcase, it's under 50 pounds, but the instructor at the gym has been working on an evil plan to make me stronger. My suitcase squeaked through at 49 pounds.


Some family friends moved into a senior's home from the house they lived in for almost sixty years. I helped them go through stuff for a couple of hours, and they gave me a few things, including some pans and an awesome pickle dish that survived the trip home.


Winnipeg airport has stores and restaurants in the secure area. This is new, and a big improvement from a few years ago, when the only store was closed and the water vending machines broken when I was there.


Before Christmas, I love having the tree and lights up, but as soon as I get home, they just look like work to me.

Not that I put them away today, but it won't be long.


And now I'm home, and I'm exhausted, and there is no food in the house, and I go back to work in the morning.

I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays.