Simple pleasures

DSC00229This is the late great Miss Ellie Mae enjoying a bowl of milk.

George is jealous…he just showed up with a squeaky toy demanding playtime.

Dogs seem to know when you’ve had a long day in the salt mines and need a little goofing around.

One more day of work – then off Friday and next week. I’m not against a little time away from the work-a-day world.

Friday night after a hectic week

Looking forward to enjoying some take-out with Tuffy P and hanging out at home. I think we’ll get a small fire going in the woodstove and watch a couple episodes of The Killing – is anyone else out there watching that show?

Back in Town

In all the years I’ve maintained this blog and the Mister Anchovy’s blog before it, one thing I can say is that I have been a very regular blogger. Somewhere along the way I’ve developed the habit of blogging and the understanding that there are all kinds of posts I can create, and some of them can be very casual and personal.

During the past couple weeks it seems I’ve lost my rhythm. In my defense I’ve had two work-related trips to Edmonton and I didn’t try to blog while away. I returned from the latest trip today, landing in the midst of today’s nasty snowstorm.

IMG_2645I like Edmonton, by the way, even though on the first trip the weather made things difficult. This morning I noticed something strange at the Edmonton airport. At 6 AM the bars in the airport were open and there were actually some people hoisting a few before getting on their morning flights. Too early for this guy.

Today’s flight was rocky, turbulent. The seat-belt signs stayed on for most of the flight. We circled Toronto for a while before finally landing. During the storm, landing and getting to the gate were two very different things. The plows were busy keeping the runways clear and we parked for an eternity before a path to the gate was plowed out. I was so happy to finally get home late this afternoon.

Although I wanted very much to have a nap, instead I suited up and me and the dogs went out to do some shoveling. IMG_2646Georgie loves the snow so much. In the back yard he runs around, bounding, just being a goofy boy. Memphis got in the act as well, and they staged a wrassling match, like Godzilla vs Megalon. Great times. Dogs of course don’t have to shovel.

I don’t think I have to travel any more before Christmas, and although I enjoy the adventure and the challenges of this kind of trip, I’m OK with staying put here in Hogtown for a while.

IMG_2650Meanwhile I haven’t thought much about Christmas. We have family coming over and I’m doing the cooking so I’m going to have to think about that. I’m taking the week containing Christmas off this year, and I’m thinking maybe it’s time I made a batch of cabbage rolls and some home-made pirogi. I’m not totally committed to that idea yet – it’s a lot of work, but those foods bring back Christmas from my childhood, when my mom would cook for days and we would have a feast, at that time normally on Christmas Eve.

…but it’s a dry cold

I returned today from a whirlwind work trip to Edmonton. I landed in a city already enjoying a serious snowstorm.IMG_2581 And it just kept on snowing and snowing. So every conversation started with, “quite the snowstorm, eh?”

Then the temperature started dropping, leveling off at around -30. This does not phase Edmontonians, who like to say things like, “but it’s a dry cold”. I like folks in Edmonton a lot, but let me say this…once it gets below -20 –  wet, dry it’s all just freaking cold.

IMG_2579 2I asked my taxi driver from the airport if Edmonton was a good city to live in. He said, “I come from India, been here 9 years. It’s a good place, good jobs….but the snow sucks”….then he added, “at least it’s a dry cold”.

It was an excellent work trip, but there was an added bonus. I got to finally meet longtime blog pals Karen and SME. It turns out there is a term for this: MIRL, as in MEETING IN REAL LIFE. What an enjoyable evening! Hoping to see them both again when I return to Edmonton in December.

IMG_2578I’ve had a couple other MIRL experiences. Last year I met up with Barb AKA Bad Tempered Zombie in Calgary, and a few years back, another long-time blog pal, Allyson, visited Toronto, and I can say each of these events has been fabulous!

I flew back this morning, arriving this afternoon, with enough time to unpack and have a coffee before going off to brother-in-law Peter’s 60th birthday dinner. Great dinner, fantastic company. Between all the travel, my body’s difficulty coping with the time zones, and the big meal, now I’m totally zonked and am going to bed shortly. Good night all.

 

Basketeers 2014

So excited to sign in and see all the AMAZING BASKETS!  HERE WE GO - with Cathy P who just delivered her 2 baskets!
So excited to sign in and see all the AMAZING BASKETS! HERE WE GO – with Cathy P who just delivered her 2 baskets!
AMAZING BASKETS from the US with lights! Way to shine!
AMAZING BASKETS from the US with lights! Way to shine!
Getting ideas for next year!  Bundles of inspiration packed into this gym.  YAY BASKETEERS!!
Getting ideas for next year! Bundles of inspiration packed into this gym. YAY BASKETEERS!!

Regular visitors to this blog may recall that for several years Tuffy P has been a supporter of Basketeers. From the Basketeers website:

It’s hard to believe that one small idea in the year 2000 to support women leaving the shelter system, would turn into the success it is today: over 3500 volunteers in ten chapters create beautiful baskets to be distributed to 47 Ontario and British Columbia women’s shelters. The continued success of the Basketeers is due entirely to all the people who generously either adopt a basket or contribute to one. Thank you from me and all the women we are able to assist.

Shortly I’ll be loading Tuffy P’s two heaping baskets into the car for delivery. This year, her friend Cathy P will also be delivering two baskets.

basketeersPhotos from the delivery point to follow later today. This is a great community initiative to assist women leaving shelters to re-establish themselves.

At the 519…

IMG_1067We were very fortunate to have been invited to the annual 519 Gala tonight. The 519 is a fantastic community centre on Church St. in Toronto – and tonight k.d. lang gave a special performance in the centre’s ballroom. Great performance and a very nice dinner as well – and as a bonus we met some great people.

Winter – bring it on, we’re ready

IMG_2410I brought in some wood today, and filled up the shelf units on either side of the woodstove. I’ve also staged a couple months worth of wood outside the deck doors, some in a deck box and the rest on top, with covered with a tarp. The stove is in the Great Room, which is above the old garage. At one time the garage was a free-standing structure beside this house, but in the early 90s, the garage was joined to the house with this marvellous upstairs room. The original side door of the house now leads to a stairway up to the Great Room or down to a bathroom. One of the first things we did after moving to 27th Street was install the woodstove.  Our furnace doesn’t do a great job of heating that room, but the woodstove toasts everything up beautifully.

I think the picture of the dancers is going to have to be lowered. It’s been in place there since spring, but I think it’s a little close to the stove-pipe.