Monday, December 29, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Our first Christmas together! Husband and I were dating last Christmas, but he was in Iraq, so compared to that, this Christmas was 100000000000 times better. Our friend Ian, who couldn't fly home because of all the crazy snow storms, joined us for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. He was a pleasant addition to our celebration. We started our own tradition of making pizzas on Christmas Eve. I used the pizza dough recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, which was simple and very delicious. Husband practiced his domestic skills by kneading the dough. After pizzas, we incorporated my family's tradition of playing a board game. Trivial Pursuit was the game of the night, with Ian proving to be full of random, useless information.
Christmas Day brought presents, food and more games. I was a bit concerned about cooking a turkey because I had never done it before. But it turns out it's not so hard. Husband once again showed his skills in the kitchen by mashing the potatoes. He had better stop doing things or I will know that he is good at them and make him do them all the time! Much to my surprise, all the food was done about the same time! I have no idea how that happened, but I call it my Christmas miracle.
Perhaps the highlight of the day, and the moment that will be talked about for years to come came when Husband opened up this present...
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Rules:Post rules on your blog. Answer the six "8" items.
8 things I did yesterday:
1. Bought a Christmas tree (for $10!!!)
2. Went to the mall
3. Went grocery shopping
4. Went to the library
5. Watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
6. Attended a wicked awesome Christmas party!!
7. Made room in the living room for the Christmas tree
8. Did dishes
8 things I look forward to:
1. The Turduken (I hope that is how you spell it!) at the Willards on Saturday
3. My birthday
4. Finally going to the glass museum
5. Our cruise!
6. moving somewhere warmer
7. Seeing my new nephew after he is born
8. Ryan getting out of the Army!
8 restaurants I like:
(this will be hard because I don't eat out a lot)
1. Cracker Barrel
2. Boston Pizza (even though we don't have one here)
3. Cosi (even though we don't have one here)
4. Olive Garden (even though we don't have one here)
5. Chili's (even though we don't have one here)
6. Acapulco's (even though we don't have one here)
7. Subway (is that a resturant?)
8. Pita Pit (even though we don't have one here)
8 things on my wishlist:
1. To move to a place that has more of my favourite resturants!
2. A king sized bed
3. A new car
4. To go to the glass museum
5. A bigger crockpot
6. A waffle iron maker thing
7. World peace
8. A million dollars
8 Favorite TV shows:
1. Regis and Kelly
2. Martha Stewart
3. Two and a half men
4. How I met your mother
5. Getting fresh with Sarah Snow
6. Jay Leno (if I can stay up late enough)
7. Whatever Ryan is watching
8. Whatever Ryan is still watching
8 People I tag:
I don't think I know 8 people who would want to do this, so I guess whoever wants to do this should. By the way, it's harder than it looks!
Monday, December 1, 2008
The view from our hotel room!
The Hockey Hall of Fame was number one on our list (Ok, it was number one on my list, not Ryan's!). We spent a couple hours learning about the history of hockey and all the hockey greats. It was amazing to see memorabilia of events my dad talked about. Legends came to life before my eyes. It was a bit unnerving to see displays of events I remember in the Hall. Am I really that old, that things that happened when I was younger are now in a museum? Granted some of them were not that long ago (the winning hockey teams from the 2002 Winter Olympics). But others happened back when I was a teenager: I can remember when Wayne Gretzky scored the goal to set the record for most goals and that was a long time ago! And of course, we stopped to worship, oops! I mean view the Stanley Cup. There, on a stand, without any barriers, was the holy grail of Hockey. The Stanley Cup! We got to touch it, hug it, lick it (just kidding...kind of).
We also visited the CN Tower. After paying an insane amount of money, we were able to go to the observation deck and get an amazing view of the city. Part of the floor is covered in glass, so you can see all the way to the ground. If you want to experience what it would be like to walk in the middle of air 112 stories up, this is the place for you. It took me a number of tries before I actually ventured out onto the floor. And even after I was on, if I looked down, I stumbled! Ryan said that walking on the glass floor was the most terrifying thing he has ever encountered (remember this guy has been to war...twice!).
Look down...waaaaaaaaaaaaay down!
Tree branches with the CN Tower in the background (I love this picture!)
In preparation for this trip, I did a lot of research. One thing that looked interesting was Habourfront Centre. It was supposed to have art exhibits, crafters, and quaint shops. Apparently, this is true only in the summer. When we got there nothing was open. So much for research! However, there was a skating pond and we decided to make the best of our trip down there. We rented skates and spent an hour skating alongside Lake Ontario, with a great view of the CN Tower.
We spent time at Kensington Market, wandering in and out of shops full of vintage clothes. We tried to go into a couple of the cheese shops there, but barely got in the door because the smell was so bad! We did find a great pastry shop and consumed way too many calories! Kensington Market is in Chinatown, and I tried to find a traditional Chinese dress. However, since the Chinese are small and I am not (I blame the doughnuts!), I did not succeed!
Our last night was spent at the Royal Ontario Museum, wandering through their natural history exhibits. Later that night, after eating dinner and returning to our hotel I got up close and personal with our toilet, spending some quality time sharing my dinner with it. (I no longer recommend the garlic potatoes at Jack Asters!) But the throwing up wasn't the worst part! The worst part was knowing that Ryan was eating the apple pie I had brought back from the restaurant to eat later on! But, being the ever thoughtful husband he is, he ate it out of my sight.
As with almost all vacations, this one ended way too quickly and we found ourselves on our way back home. As we drove out of Toronto, we had an amazing view of the skyline with the CN Tower right up front. Visiting Toronto made me realize how much I miss city life. The pulse of the city is contagious. There is so much to see and do. All you have to do in a city is walk out your front door and BAM! There it is: the city! It is so glamorous! If things go according to our plan, we should be in a city setting within 60 days. I can't wait! Only, I hope our new city doesn't have glass floors 112 stories above the ground. That is one feature I can do without!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
To often in today's world, we tend to be so negative and look at all the things that are going wrong in our lives. I found this quote that puts things in perspective for me:
H. W. Westermayer (Whoever that is!) said: The pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts… nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.
I am not going to list what I thankful for. My life is so blessed that I wouldn't have the time to list everything. But I will say that I am thankful for Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
So at Alicia's request, here is my post for the day (I hope it entertains her enough):
I just ate a grilled cheese sandwich. It was yummy.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I want to point out how happy I am that Husband was the one in driver's seat when this all happened, because goodness knows I would have never heard the end of it. Since Husband was the driver, objective reality clearly indicates that it was not Husband's fault the car broke. However, if I had been the driver, it most certainly would have been blamed on me, because after all I am a woman and all men know that women can't drive! I am sure that I would have had to tell my husband, in painstaking detail precisely what I had done from the time I got up that morning to the exact second I broke the car. But because Husband was the driver clearly no one is at fault, except perhaps the car manufacturer; the parts manufacturer; the car company owner; the guy who changes our oil; our mechanic, his wife, daughter and dog; the cold weather, Barack Obama; and of course, me because I drove it on Tuesday.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Every year, Canadians wear poppies to show remembrance for the sacrifices of these men and women. The history of this practice can be traced back to a poem written by a soldier during World War I. John McCrae was a Lieutenant Colonel and he wrote this poem the day after watching one of his friends die in a battle in France:
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead.
Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
— Lt.-Col. John McCrae
I remember learning this poem in Elementary school and repeating it every Nov. 11. I will never forget the Remembrance Day ceremony when I was in Grade 6 and I was chosen to lay a wreath in memory of those brave men and women. I felt so honoured. Even at a young age, I knew that the men and women of the military deserved respect. They had sacrificed everything so that we could enjoy freedom. To me, that is what the Poppy signifies. And I wear it with pride
I have been to Arlington Cemetery. What a sobering sight. Rows upon rows of white headstones marking the graves of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. I recall standing there, in the middle of the sea of white and being moved to tears. It was then that I vowed to never let my children go a day without knowing about these people.
On the same trip, I went to the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. The second I walked into the plaza, tears sprang to my eyes. I don't think they were tears of sadness, but rather tears of gratitude. As I walked around the Memorial, I came across an old man, dressed in his military uniform. I asked him if I could take his picture. He consented. After I took the picture, I shook his hand and said "Thank you" through a tight throat and tear-filled eyes. This man looked me right in the eyes and said "It was a honour to serve."
This Tuesday November 11 marks the 90th anniversary of the end of World War I. Since that day there have been numerous wars, millions of lives lost. Even as I write this, we are engaged in a war in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. Wars are never popular with everyone, and one of the beauties of the freedom we enjoy is that those who oppose war have the right to express their opinion. I hope those who oppose war realize that they have that right because men and women fought and died for that right. Whether you are for or against war, please take some time in the next few days to think about these sacrifices. And if you have a chance, thank a veteran.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Friday, October 31, 2008
I am so proud of my husband and what he has done. He is truly my hero. He has served his country well. He has done what thousands have done before him and are still doing. I have always had a great respect for the men and women of the military and since my marriage to a soldier, that respect has grown. I admire the men and women who willing put themselves in harm's way, day after day. (Look for a blog about this in a week or so)
Husband and I have always talked about how extremely blessed we were during this tour of duty. Husband was able to phone my on a daily basis, and email me regularly. I was able to send packages to him and he would get them in a relatively short amount of time. I feel so lucky that Husband was on a Base that enable him to have access to communication.
I am especially grateful to God for keeping Husband safe from harm. Everyday I would pray for his safety, but realized that he was in a war and I was acutely aware of the dangers that were around him. Thankfully, he was very safe, and he was able to come home to me.
Below is a picture of one of the best sights in the world to an army wife: her husband's boots in the middle of the floor after a deployment!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Snow hanging off the back of our car
Look at all that snow!
Snow piles on top of our trash can
Dude! Where's my car?
Snow clinging to a chain-link fence
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Maybe it's the Canadian in me coming out again. As Canadians, we have very little interest in the personal lives of our leaders. I remember a political culture class I took in University (in Canada). Our professor started the first class by asking us who the president of the United States was. We answered. Then he asked what the president's wife's name was; if he had any children and their names; where he was from; what he named his dog; and where he went to University. We, as a class, were able to answer all of these questions correctly. Then the Professor asked us who the Prime Minister of Canada was. We answered. Then he proceeded to ask us the same questions about our Prime Minister as he asked about the US president. After the question about the his wife's name, we were stumped. We had no idea where he was from, if he had children or even if he had a dog. I think it is because Canadians are fairly private people and we respect the privacy of others. It is rare that a politician's personal life makes it on the evening news. But here in the United States, the personal life seems to be just as important as the candidate's stand on the issues.
So, my fellow, American, you can sleep well tonight, because, thanks to Katie and the CBS news, we now know when McCain and Obama last cried. Good night and happy voting.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Well, this weekend, my squatter days officially came to an end. I made my last trip to Massachusetts without Ryan and that means that I will no longer need to sleep on the couch. I am so grateful to Alicia and Jon for allowing me to stay at their apartment, thus saving me hundreds of dollars that I would have had to spend on a hotel! I couldn't ask for better friends. Alicia and Jon are the type of people who would give you the shirt off their backs if you needed it. Every time I needed a couch, it was there for me. Thankfully, I never needed the shirts they were wearing! That would have made things awkward!
Me in what was my bed at least once a month for 15 months
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Here's my complaint: If we are paying money to fly on an airline, we should get the flight we booked! We booked that specific flight because it worked with our schedule! This is completely bogus and I am MAD! I paid for a certain flight and I want that flight! How can they just change the times? First the cost of the flight is out of control, then they charge you to check bags, then they charge you for food and drinks, and now they change the time of the flight willy-nilly? You know what Jet Blue, those times do not work for us! We want our original flight back. You know, the one WE PAID FOR!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Apples at a cider mill
At the Erie Canal
Autumn foilage in Palmyra
Niagara Falls at dusk
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Over the last 5 years, I have lived with 3 different families. What an amazing opportunity! I have had a chance to see how families other than my own interact. I have been able to take care of 12 children, ranging in age from 18 months to 14 years old. I think that I am definitely ahead of the curve and will be better able to raise my own children. I know what works and what doesn't (well at least I think I do!). I have also seen 3 different marriage, and can take lessons from that and apply them to my own marriage.
I can't believe how much I have experienced since I have moved here. In the past 5 years I have taken road trips to New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Washington D.C, Philadelphia, Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa and Niagara Falls. I have camped in Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire. I have hiked in White Mountains. I have driven from upstate NY to Alberta and back. I have visited Lake Placid and the Adirondacks. I walked where the American Revolutionary War started. I have been to Plymouth and seen where the Pilgrims started life in this country. I have been to Fenway Park. I have been to Atlanta and Disney World. I have spent time on Cape Cod. I have swam in the ocean. I have seen the mansions in Newport, Rhode Island. I have sailed on the Atlantic. The list goes on and on. I feel so blessed to have lived in an area where travel is so easy.
I am so glad that my 10 months turned into 5 years. Otherwise I probably wouldn't have met Ryan, and I would still be single! Ryan and I met at an annual Young Single Adult conference that takes place somewhere in New England every year.
People thought I was crazy when I decided to move out here, and there were days where I questioned my decision, but I have never regretted the decision. I have met some of the most amazing people! I have had more adventures than some people have in their entire life. Coming out to New England was the result of being bored one night. But I don't think it was an accident. Everything happens for a reason. I am so grateful for my time out East. I know that I will be telling my grandchildren about the time I spent here. I will cherish my memories from here and will take a part of the East with me wherever life takes me.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
As I sat there waiting for the light to change, I couldn't help but think of the yummy meat that deer would provide. My dad's family is really big into hunting and growing up we ate deer, moose and elk meat all the time. I don't think I had a real beef steak until I was well into my teens! Then my mind wandered from the deliciousness in front of me to the number of times I would come home to dead animals in our backyard. I remember on numerous occasions coming home and seeing dead geese laying out on our picnic table. A little startling to say the least. And then, there was the day when I came home and there was a dead deer tied up in the branches of one of our trees, just waiting to be gutted (or whatever they do to deer) and made into the various cuts that would be our meat for the winter.
As the light turned green and the car with the deer turned away from me, I couldn't help but feel a twinge of homesickness and a desire for a good, thick venison stake. Maybe if I had followed the car, they would have shared...
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Maple Cotton Candy!! YUMMY!