Thursday, January 22, 2009

A New Word

I went cross country skiing with Connor's class yesterday.  I skiied about 8 km, which is a lot for a first outing.  I ached all afternoon.  I didn't feel like cooking so last night the 5 of us went out for dinner at Boston Pizza to take advantage of their 10 for $10 deal.  The food was good and we took advantage of their little hand held devices to play games.  Tori (aka Pinky) aced them all.  There were questions about foreign currency and the periodic table among others.  While I remember the abbreviations for most of the elements I do not remember their corresponding number so I did not do well.  One of the words that was featured was stultify.  I thought it was an interesting word.  Here is a combined definition from a few sources.

Stultify (verb)

1. to make, or cause to appear, foolish or ridiculous.

2.To cause to appear stupid, inconsistent, or ridiculous.

I won't name any names, just let your minds wander.  Can you think of anyone who fits the profile of a stultifier?  (Hint: there are a few bloggers out there who entertain us with stories about falls or electrocution)  Now I don't want to offend anyone so I will also say how much I enjoy this renewed contact with everyone - I am glad Susan talked me into blogging.  You are all a special part of my day and I can't wait to see your entries each morning.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Our Weekend

On Saturday we did some errands in Barrie on our way to visit my family.  My sister was up for the weekend from her home in New York.  My sister and her husband and Kevin and I enjoyed an early dinner at The Keg while the kids had hotdogs with Grandma and Grandpaw and other assorted family members.  After we returned we played kid's charades.  I was impressed with my youngest niece's ability to imitate a fuzzy caterpillar and a skunk.  It never occurred to me to take pictures.

Sunday afternoon Kevin, Connor and I finally got to go snowshoeing.  The weather was beautiful but it was getting dark so we could only stay out for about 45 minutes.  It snowed the night before so everything was quite pretty and there were lots of deer tracks.

I don't think Connor actually fell in the above picture.  He just likes to fall in the snow.  For those of you who are critiquing snowshoeing apparel he was wearing his new hydration pack with all the tags still attached.  I think everyone else who had snowshoed through had the new snowshoes.  The trail wasn't quite wide enough for our old big ones.

For those of you who snowshoe alone or with mature company I can tell you it is quite different snowshoeing with boys.  They delight in ambushing each other by knocking snow off the overhanging branches and racing each other.

A picture of me below.  Kevin has an awful time getting a picture of me with my eyes open so this was pretty good.  He took the photos with his new cell phone so I had to wait until he was home to blog them. This is my work coat and I haven't worn it since I washed it in November - that is why all the zippers are undone.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Connor and his loach

When I was taking pictures of my aquarium a few nights ago, I took a video of Connor and his big weather loach. I have been trying to post it ever since and been very frustrated with problem after problem (it is my first video). I finally changed computers and so far so good. Anyway back to the fish. Weather loaches are way cooler than his goldfish. They are called that because they go frenetic when the weather changes (like when a thunderstorm is coming). They are also very friendly. This one comes up for petting (or maybe to pet) and nibbles on Connor's hand. When we first got them they were 2 - 3 inches long. This one has more than doubled in size and circumference. Despite his size he can disappear in the aquarium. They like to burrow in sand but this aquarium has a gravel bottom. There are a few decorations - a "crashed car" and a sculpture but they don't appear big enough for 2 loaches and a pleco to hide in. Hope you enjoy the video and it's not too dark.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

My new pets

They can't pull a dogsled, climb ladders to haylofts or write their own blogs but I like my new pets. They are relaxing, yet somehow still entertaining and amusing.

This is a ghost shrimp.  They are only about 1/2 inch long and hard to spot.  We have put 9 shrimp into the aquarium and can only find 3 now.  We think the bala shark ate them.  He died yesterday so hopefully we won't lose any more.  

The next pictures are my dwarf frogs.  We had frogs years ago but they were kept in little bowls(like bettas) and alone.  They are my favourites - the whole reason for the aquarium.  They are less than an inch long as well.  They are the aquarium clowns.  They always pick the hardest way to do everything.  They squeeze through little crevices when they could move over 1\2 inch  and have lots of room.  When they swim to the surface to get air they almost always swim up against the filter outflow and have a really hard time.  When they get to the top they float down - they look like they are parachuting.

This last fellow is a Rainbow Shark.  He spends most of his time hiding in a plant.  He is only about an inch long right now but will grow to about 6 inches.  There is a pleco too but he spends all of his time under a piece of wood.  I am still doing lots of research as this is my first real aquarium and I want to get some small fish for the upper water levels.  Everything we have spends most of their time at the bottom.  

Sunday, January 11, 2009

If Gryper wasn't already taken ...

On Friday we left the house at 7 am to take Alec to Kingston for 7 more months of training.  We were back home at 8:30 because the SUV wouldn't heat up and the defrost wasn't working properly.  Then Kevin noticed that the temperature gauge was very low even at 5000 rpm.  It coded a few weeks ago and we didn't want to take the chance of a breakdown on a 5 hour trip so we came home and took my truck - much more comfortable, with cruise control but also way more expensive! Friday night the girls called.  The microwave door wouldn't open.  Not much we could do from Kingston so they had to find other food.   We had a great weekend with our friends Laurie & Glenn before leaving for home Sunday morning.  We stopped to visit my cousin Michael whose 52 year old wife died suddenly December 31.  That helped to put everything in perspective.  After we left his house a strange flapping noise started coming from the front of the truck.  It turned out to be our "Support our Troops" magnet which is around the antenna.  It just suddenly came loose.  At least it was a cheap fix.  Then Caitlin texted me that one of the dwarf frogs died (I got a new aquarium 2 weeks ago and I hope to post pictures soon).  So here we are at home - safe and sound - with a decision to make - what do we fix/replace first?  The SUV (that has already cost us $3,000 in three months)? The washer? The microwave? Kevin's computer which has started making really funny noises? The half-replaced shower? (I guess that is first because the tiler is booked for tomorrow).  I really don't like complaining and I feel that is all I am doing lately.  So let's call it something else.  Not whining.  Maybe venting?  I know - how about gryping?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust

As most of you will recall this year has been an ongoing nightmare of expenditures on the house starting with the flood April 1.  Almost the entire basement has been rebuilt.  We replaced the downstairs shower and the sump pump and added an auxiliary pump (none of that covered by the insurance claim).  We are in the middle of re-tiling the upstairs shower because the tiles started to fall off when I cleaned it.  So today the washer died.  I don't understand why everything connected to water is breaking.  The washer is more than 13 and came with the house so I have no intention of fixing it.  For now I am just going to go to the laundromat while I do research and search for an unbelievable bargain.  I actually don't mind laundromats.  |You can get so many loads done at one time and read while you are waiting.  It is kind of like being on holiday since most of the time I have needed a laundromat in the past we were on holiday.  However, the kids are not impressed that they have to have their laundry ready when I say or that their clothes are going to touch their siblings or parents.  It just occurred to me that we have never had a new washer or dryer.  Our first set belonged to my aunt and uncle.  They were leaving Edmonton when we moved there 25 years ago.  We started storing their effects then selling them off for them.  We bought the Maytag pair from them.  They lasted us for our entire marriage with only one repair each.  They are currently residing at the house next door as the house we are living in now came with an Inglis washer and dryer (gas).  We would probably still be using them if the Maytag dryer was gas.  I know a lot has changed with regards to washers.  They have energy ratings now and front load and low-sudsing soap requirements and fancy colours and storage pedestals and folding tables.  I am not sure if I am excited or intimidated about this upcoming investment.  I am definitely tired of spending money on this house and it's contents.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Party for Alec

I have been trying for a month to have Alec's friends over before he leaves.  Most of them aren't very good at replying to email so it made it rather difficult to plan.  Six of them and one girlfriend made it yesterday. The other 2 "girls" couldn't make it.   I guess they enjoyed themselves.  They sat around the table talking and snacking for hours then had dinner and watched a few movies.  The menu (while not as impressive as that served by CG & FG) was devoured.  I didn't go to a lot of trouble because a) they didn't reply so I didn't know who was coming and b) most college students aren't really fussy eaters.  Here it is for your edification anyway:

Tossed green salad

Cabbage Rolls (courtesy of M & M)

Teryaki Turkey Meatballs


Assorted cookies and bars

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Another puzzle

Connor and I worked on this puzzle for a few days this week.  It sounded really interesting on the box.  You are a new CSI working with Mac Taylor and Stella Bonasera (love her hair) and you need to solve the murder with them.  There is no picture of the actual puzzle (in the box or anywhere on the internet).  You have to put it together from the clues provided in the short story included.  Then you use the "clues" in the white boxes and the extra details from the book (DNA, autopsy results etc) to solve the crime.  There is a UV light included that is supposed to reveal extra clues once the puzzle is assembled (it didn't help) and when you are sure you have figured out who the murderer is the light is used to reveal the solution in the back of the book.  It was hard to assemble without a picture but we  pretty much solved the murder.

The weather has not been conducive to doing anything outdoors this break so it was nice to find something to do together.