Monday, December 14, 2009
Dec 14...one more full week of work and three days of next week and then I'm off for a few days holiday! This will be a very busy week at work. Tracking budgets and trying to guess how much of what is still on order is likely to make it before year end. What doesn't seem like it will arrive, needs to be moved over to next year's budget, freeing up the encumbered monies to be spent at local book stores. Just like a puzzle, figuring out how things will fit together.
The moving van got all unloaded into the garage yesterday. Bitterly cold out -36, but we got it done. Now it's a matter of juggling vehicles so everyone gets a chance to plug theirs in during this cold weather. The big blessing with having so many vehicles....three will fit side by side in the driveway.....not much room for snow to fall...thus less shoveling in the mornings for me! See there is a plus side to everything! lol
My family is all home.
Kaeli has offered to do some Christmas baking for me.
Kaeli's bunny and the two cats seem to adjusting to each other. Nevi (the bunny) seems in no way fazed by the two cats. The cats on the other hand are still trying to puzzle out what the heck "it" is.
Temperatures are supposed to warm up this week.
Co-worker Geff is doing well, he hopes to be home sometime this week. WOW...they sure don't keep them long in the hospital!
Thanks for stopping by for a visit. If you haven't had a chance to check out this week's challenge, swing by and join the fun.
Have a great day,
Sunday, December 13, 2009
I've reprinted this entire page from the website entitled "An American's Guide to Canada" because it is funny and TRUE! The author is an American who lives in Canada. She has this to say about The True North: "This country is endearing and civilized and charming, and I am very, very fond of it. I hope I can convey some of that fondness in these pages."
I say, anybody who knows our Canadian mannerisms and idiosyncrasies this well and still loves us has got to be a friend, eh? So, here's the lowdown on how to tell you're in Canada (if you're still not sure that's where you are, that is).
Everything is labeled in English and French.
Everything is measured in metric. (No, the temperature does not drop fifty degrees when you cross the border, and the speed limit doesn't double.)
Milk comes in plastic bags as well as in cartons and jugs.
There's hockey gear everywhere. A guy can get onto a bus wearing goalie pads, a helmet -- everything but the skates -- and nobody gives him a second look.
Restaurants serve vinegar with French fries.
There are $1 and $2 coins. The paper currency is in different colors, and it's pretty.
The Trans-Canada Highway -- Canada's analogue to the US Interstates -- is two lanes wide for most of its length. (There are great big huge wide highways around the major cities. The 401 north of Toronto is sixteen lanes wide in places.)
There is still the occasional musical variety show on network TV, and such a show that was on until recently was hosted by a very, very large woman (Rita McNeil).
The CBC's evening news anchor is bald and doesn't wear a toupee.
When new coins are introduced to replace paper currency, people actually use the coins.
Contests run by anyone other than the government have "skill-testing questions" that winners must answer correctly before they can claim a prize. These are usually math problems, and are administered to get around the law that only the government can administer lotteries.
Lots of people run around in clothing from Roots.
The following gas stations are around (and don't exist in the US):
Esso (instead of Exxon -- a visitor suggests "Esso" comes from the "S" and the "O" of Standard Oil)
Irving (only in eastern Canada, and a visitor advises me that there's now at least one in Maine)
Mohawk (primarily in western Canada)
These are the biggest department stores:
The Bay (the Hudson's Bay Company, the oldest company in North America and possibly the world -- it was incorporated on May 2, 1670)
Eaton's (Toronto, Montréal, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver are among the cities that have large malls called the Eaton Centre (Centre Eaton in French)). Eaton's has been having financial troubles for several years now, and finally closed a number of its stores and sold the rest to Sears Canada.
Zellers -- owned by the Bay, Zellers is similar to KMart (which recently pulled out of Canada) or Target (which isn't in Canada at all).
These are the big banks:
TD Canada Trust
Bank of Montreal
The Bank of Nova Scotia
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
The National Bank of Canada
The HongKong Bank of Canada
These banks are national and have branches all over the country. One sure sign you're in Canada: the federal government has blocked two big bank mergers (the TD wanted to merge with CIBC, and BMo wanted to merge with the Royal), ostensibly because reduced competition is bad for Canadians. Wow.
Credit unions are also popular in Canada, especially in Quebec, where they're called caisses populaires.
These are the most well-known Canadian restaurant chains:
Harvey's -- fast food burger joint
Mr. Sub -- similar to Subway
The Keg (Le Keg en français) -- a big, high-end yet still generic steakhouse
Pizza Pizza -- similar to Domino's
Tim Horton's -- do(ugh)nuts! See below.
Swiss Chalet -- sit-down chicken and ribs place
Robin's -- another do(ugh)nut chain, popular in western Canada.
The big mass-market beers are Molson and Labatt, and they're a lot stronger than US beers. Molson Golden was recently reintroduced to the Canadian market, but I hardly ever see anyone drinking it -- I get the feeling Molson ships most of it to the States and tells the Americans it's good.
The major cigarette labels are Player's, Craven A, DuMaurier, Matinee, and Export A. Canadian cigarettes are milder than American ones.
Mountain Dew has no caffeine.
Coke and Pepsi use real sugar instead of corn syrup.
Instead of seeing Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores, you see Coles and SmithBooks and Chapters and Indigo.
There are lots and lots of do(ugh)nut shops, especially ones called Tim Horton's (named after the hockey player who started the chain). (The number of Tim Horton's diminishes as you go further west, but I'm assured there are lots of them in Edmonton.)
When you step on someone's foot, he apologizes. (This really happened.)
There are billboards advertising vacations in Cuba, and Cuban cigars are freely available.
Nobody worries about losing a life's savings or a home because of illness.
In pharmacies, you can buy acetaminophen or ASA with codeine over the counter, but you can't buy hydrocortisone ointments or creams without a prescription.
When you go to the dentist to get a cavity filled (or worse), she or he puts a needle in your mouth first to "freeze" it. (Asking for Novocaine (a brand name) immediately pegs you as an American.)
At county fairs and the Canadian National Exhibition, red ribbons indicate first place and blue ribbons indicate second. (Canadians: it's the other way around in the States.)
Submitted by visitors:
Any conversation will inevitably include a brief discussion of the weather.
It's almost impossible to get a glass of iced tea in downtown Toronto. (This person must have been a Southerner -- in the US South, "iced tea" is unsweetened, and "sweet tea" has sugar. "Sweet tea" is what you get when you ask for "iced tea" in Toronto.)
Teenagers can drink legally. The drinking age in Quebec, Manitoba, and Alberta is 18; it's 19 in the rest of the country.
Potato chips come in flavo(u)rs such as salt and vinegar, ketchup, and "all dressed" (a collection of just about all possible seasonings -- the person who suggested this one liked it to a "suicide slush" in the States).
There are "chip vans" (aka "chip trucks" or "chip wagons"). These are like the van driven by the ice cream man, only they sell French fries. They are most ubiquitous on the roads to "cottage country." (A visitor from British Columbia noted that "chip trucks" don't sell French fries in BC; they drive on logging roads and carry wood chips there.)
Every weekend during the summer, southern Ontarians go in droves from Toronto and its environs to their second homes (ranging from campers to great big houses with all the amenities) in cottage country (usually Muskoka -- I'm told that calling it "the Muskokas" marks you as an outsider).
Every weekend during the summer, southern Quebecers go in droves from Montréal and its environs to their cottage country (usually the Laurentians; the Eastern Townships; Burlington, Vermont; Lake Champlain, New York; or Plattsburgh, New York).
Every weekend during the winter, the cottage country people go back to cottage country to go snowmobiling. Gas stations are just as likely to be filling snowmobiles as cars or trucks.
Cars (especially on the Prairies) have electrical plugs sticking out from under the hoods. These are for block heaters, to prevent engines from freezing when it's -40.
People give distances in times, not miles.
People ask whether you'd like "a coffee" rather than "some coffee."
Canadians tend to use British spelling. They write about "colour," "cheques," "theatres," and so forth. Most use the American "-ize" rather than the British "-ise" verb ending, however.
People drive with their headlights on during the day. Since 1989, all new cars have had to be fitted with daytime running lights.
In Ontario, you can buy beer only at the Beer Store (formerly known as "Brewers' Retail"). The experience of going into a beer store is documented nicely in the 1983 film Strange Brew.
Movie theatres have one night a week, usually Monday or Tuesday, where they charge matinee prices.
There is no mail delivered on Saturdays.
"Lieutenant" is pronounced "leftenant."
Mortgage interest is not tax-deductible. The interest rate on most mortgages is not fixed, but rather, is renewed at the end of a term which can be as short as six months or as long as seven years.
Most Canadians will tell you that the last letter of the alphabet is pronounced "zed." Sharon, Lois, and Bram, popular children's entertainers, make it a point in their performances of "The Alphabet Song" to say "zed" instead of "zee."
People end sentences with "eh," eh?
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Thank you to all who offered prayers on my family's behalf. Garry, Quin and Kaeli arrived home safe and sound about 8:30 last night. It was a long and very cold drive home, but the roads at least we in fairly good driving condition.
Kaeli's heater in her car quit working part way home, which made for a very cold trip. Quin bundled up in all his winter stuff and drove her car while she rode with Dad.
Today we will unload the moving van into our garage and then when the girls move to their place at the beginning of January, we'll load it all back up again and move them to their "new" place. The worst of the move is over though, just getting Kaeli home.
My family is all home and like a mother hen, I'm thrilled.
Traveling mercies for my family.
Kaeli's rabbit "Nevi" and the cats are so far behaving nicely!
Although it is minus 36 this morning, weather reports say that by the end of the week, we'll be having only minus 3 temperatures! What a crazy winter!
No snow to shovel this morning. Yesterday was a bit cold out there shoveling.
Most of my Christmas presents are ready.
Life....how blessed we are.
Have a wonderful Serenity Sunday,
Friday, December 11, 2009
Wouldn't you know it, the day that Q and Garry need to drive the moving van to Fort St. John, BC to help Kaeli move...it's snowing. They have an eight hour drive ahead of them. I'm trusting God to surround them with the white light of the Holy Spirit and grant them travel mercies.
A short blog this morning as my driveway and sidewalk are begging me to clear them first before I head to work. Burning yet more calories!
Kaeli will be home possibly Saturday night, if not for sure on Sunday.
Garry and Q(who on his birthday) willing go to help out Kaeli.
My son's birthday today.
A body that works and is able to shovel snow.
God who blesses this family.
Thanks for stopping by, I'll be around later to give you all the answers to this week's challenge! You still have time, if you haven't already done it.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Thank you to all that offered prayers on my co-workers behalf.
Talked with Sandy, Geff's wife last night. Geff was in surgery from 12:20 until almost 8:30pm, Sandy was able to go into the recovery room for a few minutes to see him. His color was not as bad as she had expected, he still wasn't awake and they didn't figure that he would wake up yet for another 4 to 5 hours, but the surgery went well. They ended up doing a six by-pass. From what the surgeon told Sandy, that is the most that they can possibly do. Geff was doing well and a much relieved Sandy and girls felt that they could finally have a good night's sleep. Thank you God, that we have a state of the art brand new world class heart hospital that has just opened up this year.
Successful surgery for Geff.
Quin finally getting in to the dentist.
Three more sleeps until Kaeli is home.
Our staff department Christmas lunch today....we are going to one of my favorite places...Boston Pizza...and I can have the Baja salad....YAY!
My monthly massage to look forward to on Saturday morning.
I love this time of year, people are just generally much more cheerful.
Have a wonderful day, thank you for stopping by for a visit.
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