Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Hallowe'en from the Great Pumpkin!

... Or at least the really cute Pumpkin.

She didn't like wearing the "hat" (in the 2nd picture) ... but she liked using it as a chew toy and a pillow!

Photos from Skate Canada to resume tomorrow ... Happy Hallowe'en! :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My week-end:

Here's what I'm doing this week-end:

I have all-event tickets to Skate Canada, being held in my , one of figure skating's Grand Prix events. If you watch on TV, maybe you'll see me! I'm in the 9th row of section 105. Where is that? Well ... I'm off to the right of the judges' stand. But occasionally, I think you can see me when they're doing certain angles on the jumps. I was trying to find video on-line to show you where I am, but no luck - not clearly, anyway. I have seen a flash that I'm a part of, but you can't tell I'm me.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chile Miners Being Rescued!

As I type, I just watched the 30th miner "board" his capsule for rescue. The first arrived at the surface late last night (just after midnight in their time zone, just before midnight where I am). All day, updates from the rescue have come through. All the news (so far) has been good - no hitches or glitches, no one has become stuck in the tunnel, no panic attacks, and everyone is arriving faster than they'd hoped.

I get so excited with every rescue. Have you watched it? It's great!

Everyone has arrived healthier than expected, which is a huge testament to the work of healthcare professionals in preparing the miners.

In the interest of their health, all men briefly meet a limited number of pre-chosen family members, then are sent to a medical centre, and after being checked, flown to a hospital for 48 hours. How thorough!

Source: CBC

As I write this post, the 30th miner was hugging his wife.

Some of the men re-evaluated their priorities. One proposed to his girl-friend and another expressed a desire to marry his girl-friend. One is up to greet his "heavily pregnant" wife (BBC's words, not mine).

Interestingly, one miner asked both his wife and mistress to be the selected family members. From what the media is reporting, his wife did not know he had a mistress. She decided not to show up. Fortunately, this has been mentioned as a "sidebar" to most reports, letting the glory of the entire rescue take precendence. The most "thorough" story I found is here.

As I finish this post, the capsule is just arriving at the bottom of the mine in order to board the 31st miner.

I am so happy that this workplace incident is having a happy ending!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Lesson in ... Confusion

I am incredibly unimpressed with Bristol Palin. She seems like a nice girl, but she seems ignorant. Of course, given her age, naïvété isn't a surprise, but she's beyong naïve.

First, she's on "Dancing with the Stars" as a "teen activist". Her "activism", as far as I can tell, is speaking at expensive looking dinners about how abstinence is the way to go. (Wikipedia says she makes $15,000 to $30,000 per speaking appearance.) When I was 20, I'd have considered discussing the merits of abstinence for a well-paying public speaking gig!

I wonder what's the matter with teaching teens about safer sex, methods of contraception and methods to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STI)? You can also teach abstinence as a moral and ethical decision.

I've never heard anyone say they decided to have sex because they were taught about the dangers of STIs and the difficulties of pregnancy and babies as a teenager.

And while she's preaching abstinence, she rips off Mark Ballas's shirt on DWTS. Huh?

Monday, October 11, 2010

I am thankful for ...

... My husband, my dog, my friends, my parents, my parents-in-law, my brothers, my brother-in-law. I am thankful my friends Jane and Matt have a healthy baby girl. I am thankful my friends Corry and Ryan have a little girl who is recovering from an awful respiratory infection. I am thankful for my grandparents. I am thankful for my best friends, Jocelyn, Crystal, Emily, and all my other friends. I am thankful for all my family. Even the nutty ones like my Aunt Janis.

I am thankful my mom is doing well in her long battle with cancer.

I am thankful my mother-in-law's heart attack (3 weeks ago) was minor and left no damage.

I am thankful for living in the "country", where we get to appreciate watching wild turkeys on an almost daily occurrence in the fall.
(Did you know that wild turkeys fly up trees to "sleep" at night? We just saw them do that this fall!)

Disclaimer: no turkeys were harmed in the making of my Thanksgiving dinner. I ate tofurkey! :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wade & his love of '80s hair bands

Wade is going to another '80s hair metal concert this week-end. This time it's Great White, who did a couple songs I know. I go to concerts when I know the band and really appreciate the music, but I don't go when it's a band I only kinda know. So Wade, his buddies "Seabrooke", "Dinger" and Ryan are going to stay in a posh motel called the Luau or something like that, to see Great White.

Seabrooke in particular is very excited about these concerts. His favourite band is Ratt so those four went to see them at the same venue earlier this year.

It's funny when these guys go to these concerts - Seabrooke and Dinger post constant updates on facebook. (Wade doesn't have a cell phone or a facebook account.) I know what they did, with pretty much hourly updates, if I just hang out and read facebook. I usually read a couple updates!

Seabrooke is so excited, he created this "video":

Municipal Elections

Across Ontario, we may municipal elections at the end of the month.

Reading through the local paper, one particular candidate of the region north of me had a name that sounds familiar:

Seriously? All I can think of is:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Home Early

As I mentioned, I came home early. The reality is I got sick. I caught it from a coworker. Grr.

We were in far Northern Ontario as part of a clean-up operation. There are a number of cold war era satellite stations to guard us from the Russians all over our country. They used some chemicals that were thought to be okay then, but are now known to be bad. There were PCBs predominantly - in the transformer oils, in the capacitor fluids, and even in paint. There was also lead and mercury in the paint, asbestos in the insulation, and other things. We're there to oversee the environmental, health & safety of the clean-up, basically.

Currently, we're doing baseline monitoring. To determine the current levels of dust, PCBs, and other things, before work even starts. It was my coworker, a Ministry official, and some local First Nations: a housekeeper, a "monitor" (who reports our activities to the local First Nations group and looks out for the health & safety of the First Nations employees), the custodian (for lack of a better word - he kept the generator running and maintained a supply of firewood for our woodstove), and a bear monitor. Yes, we must employ a bear monitor. The First Nations employees lived in a barracks next door to us. My coworker, the Ministry official, and I lived in a 3 bedroom cabin without running water. At least there was an outhouse. And an oven.

It was ... interesting. Really! We didn't know what to expect, so I anticipated a mould-filled cabin with no outhouse. The cabin was clean. The outhouse was clean. The only downside is that it took 5 days for the Ministry official to figure out how to connect the fridge. He assumed it wasn't working, but once he read the manual (on day 5), he realized he just had to flip some switch to get it to work. In the meantime, we could NOT store our food outside, so we had it in coolers. Some of it went bad, but we also had lots of dehydrated foods (Side Kicks) and canned foods (soups), too.

In case you didn't know, putting food outside would attract bears. And these aren't just any bears - they're polar bears.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Back in May, I won this pitcher from Rachel. I have taken pictures of it in use, but I can't find my camera right now. I'll post them another day when I find it and I post on a couple of our patio parties.

Here are the claims: This 1-quart super-durable pitcher won't scratch, and is dishwasher safe. Because of how its made, it will keep its contents either warmer or cooler longer than any other pitchers - which makes it great for my favorite drink, margaritas!! This is such a cute pitcher, it would be great for display even when you're not using it.

I ordered the pitcher in the blue. It only took around 2 weeks to arrive, which surprised me since it was being shipped to me in Canada. That's a fast delivery!

The pitcher is super cute! I was a little skeptical - how can a PITCHER keep your drinks extra cool and extra warm?

In the summer, I tried it out with cold drinks several times. I have to say, it works like a charm. I've used it to keep white wine chilled for longer, to serve lemonade, punch, and even plain ol' water. I found that it kept the drinks cooler than my other pitchers. I have 2 other pitchers, and there were a couple occasions where I had enough people over that I had different drinks in three pitchers at onceThere was one big downside to this pitcher. It only held 1 quart (which is about 1.5 L or 6 cups). Not enough when you have guests over!

In late August, I also decided to test out its ability to keep warm drinks warm. I brewed hot tea using the pitcher as a tea pot. Seriously. I did in mostly on a whim to test out the claim! And, I was surprised - it actually worked. It kept the tea pretty warm - almost as warm as a proper tea pot. Seriously!

So, if anyone needs a pitcher, seriously consider this pitcher from CSN. If you're going to use it to serve many people, consider getting two. :)

Who doesn't love a contest?

Who doesn't love a contest? :)

Oh, I'm back from my 3 1/2 weeks away for work after 1 1/2 weeks. I'll post on that another time, as well as my thoughts on Northern Ontario and Polar Bear Provincial Park (no, I didn't see any polar bears).

But back to the contest.

My friend, Jane, who blogs about the two things nearest and dearest things, her son Noah who left this world far too soon, and her daughter Charlotte, who's almost 11 months old. I've known Jane since we were in grade 7 or 8, but I really got to know her in high school. Jane is a lovely woman who married her high school sweetheart. In honour of her 50th follower, she is having a fun contest from Small Bird Studio.

Go visit either of Jane's blogs (the contest is here) and have a look at her contest! :)