Saturday, 31 December 2011

2012 take 2

One of my 2012 wish list items is fitness and healthy eating, and this is for three reasons:

1. To feel a sense of accomplishment like I used to when I rode and competed and achieved something

2. To get back into the clothes I wore nearly 10 years ago when I got married, yes I still have some and I still love them.

3. To not feel so unhealthy and guilty about over indulging (aka pigging out) and "forgetting" to exersize.

So, as I like instant gratification I started before 2012 has begun and have so far managed to start running. I can now run (with the dog admittedly) further than I have been able to run in my life. I know what it feels like now to push through that "oh I cant do it" barrier and feel the actual thrill.  And I can sense its becoming addictive. To make it even better I dont hurt in my bones, in my knees or my pelvis like I have before. I am chalking this up to good preparation, I have been walking pretty much daily since we got here. I can walk miles now and still want to go further. Its not hard here, I love the outside so much. Oh and I invested in good footwear for the first time in my life.

I have considered not eating past 6pm. Now this should be achievable given that I am home most days before 5.30 and hungry at that time and it means I eat with the girls which is what I want to do.
I say I have only considered it because so far for three nights I have failed, spectacularly. This is my mums fault (of course) as she sent over stacks of sweet biscuits and goodies and they call my name all friggin evening. Hopefully tomorrow I will manage a night of stopping eating at 6pm and it will manage to go from there. Hmmmm, tomorrow night is NY eve, I dont think its feasible! Maybe this one will start next year.

Oh, and I want to grow my hair longer again, below is me two years ago with the gorgeous Tessa, and I rather fancy that look back, I hope I dont look too much older than then (real fear kicks in!)

And heres one of me and Lily in July this year:

And just for the beauty of it,here is the lake at the cottage in Sheet Harbour, this is a stunning shot by Mrs Roo and reminds me of last summer:

Friday, 30 December 2011


A post on Rainy Saturdays blogspot about 2012 got me thinking about writing my own version, I was most inspired by what she wants for 2012 so here goes:

What the last few years have been about:
2009 - Finished my exams and achieved a massive dream of becoming a Chartered Management Accountant. A very good friend sadly passed away and we spent alot of the year picking ourselves up from that one.
2010 - Got a new job. Decided finally to emigrate to Canada, started the serious paperwork, freaked out abit, came on a recce, sold our house with nothing to go to.
2011 - March - emigrated to Nova Scotia, got a new house, new job, first ever dog and new life
2012 - ????????

Who knows what will happen, I certainly dont take anyones health for granted anymore. I feel that I need to learn more about taxation (yawn from all, but its getting to be interesting - never thought I would write that little gem).
We need to check out this fabulous new place more, its so beautiful. Our 10th wedding anniversary is in 2012, got some major plans for that one. Oh and my children are growing up WAY too fast.

So, for this year, increase of healthy meals, no more eating after 6pm (new plan of attack), more running as I am just discovering that I actually CAN run. Being a tourist in our own province, TAXATION! (yay)
Big plans for wedding anniversary, oh and I just decided that we should try to drive to Nantucket this year and spend a week there, its on my list. Must start the research going on that one.....

Monday, 26 December 2011

our first Canadian Christmas

Nova Scotia was very good to us this Christmas in many ways:
1. We had a white Christmas! It started to snow on the 23rd and was all white and fluffy on Christmas day. I had a gorgeous walk with Dukie after breakfast and present opening and the snow was so sparkly as it was so sunny and the sky was blue. It was also so warm that I talked Lily into coming out away from her new presents and playing. I gave up with Chloe - the new DSi was way too important to leave.

2. Paul cooked a wonderful truly scrumptious feast and we ate with new good friends - turkey, beef, fresh cranberry sauce, three types of stuffing, brocolli, carrots, turnip, roast and mashed potatoes, roast sweet potatoe, roast parsnips and corn. I still cant believe all that came out of our kitchen. We made up two tables and feasted with some Beringer! This was followed by Rubys homemade lemon meringue pie and rice pudding !

3. We caught up with some lovely friends and family in the UK and Turkey - hurrah for skype.

4. Girls had tonnes of presents - Breyer horses, Nintendo DSi for Chloe and her old one for Lily (she doesnt mind castoffs - long may that last), zoobles, colouring books, model animals. I was one lucky lady with a beautiful Lia Sophis necklace and the new Kathy Reichs novel - yay!! We did of course get ourselves this rather marvellous new laptop for Christmas anyway.

5. We didnt watch ANY TV and I mean none at all. The day didnt need it, we just ate and talked and talked and talked with two great walks with the dog. Loved it!

Today is Boxing Day and we finished off the festivities with a meet up with other friends and a great bubble and squeak. Tomorrow back to work for me - not really looking forward to it!

Friday, 23 December 2011

the holidays have arrived

This morning it started snowing at 7am and it fell steadily all day, outside there is a foot of snow everywhere and its so pretty, so silent and pretty and just pretty - have I said that enough?
We finished work at 1pm and I have had a great afternoon just chilling in my home looking at the scenery out of the windows and the way the light falls in the house.
Now its 7.16pm and I am going to pull on boots and coat (my new winter coat) and get out there in the dark and the silence, the full moon and that snow. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and the excitment in the house is overwhelming

Monday, 19 December 2011

Monday catchup

Had THE most fabulous weekend. Paul was working so apart from trying to keep the noise down for him he was pretty much not involved in the weekend at all (which is always a shame but hopefully this is not forever)
On Saturday I took the girls to the Quality Inn for swimming. The changing room was very nice, a whole room to ourselves with a shower in it, the tile around the pool was very nice and new and contemporary but the pool was very old, some of the filter covers were missing (that FREAKED me out, I read the Daily Mail, I know all about children that drown in pools when something gets sucked into the pool filter) and it was a pool that had a freaky optical illusion thing going. It looked like I was walking uphill but the depth remained the same. The shallow end was too deep for the girls really. The hot tub was nice and hot but it was old and tired looking and a bit stained. Oh and the shower was cold and there was nowhere to dry our hair, not even a hand dryer we could crouch under. It was not good, still girls seemed to enjoy it. We are going to check out the Canada Games Centre next. I think I am going to have to accept that I am not going to find anywhere within a 20 min drive – sigh
On Sunday we went to another Expats house and met up with a bunch of expats for an early Christmas dinner get together. We all cooked something – my offering was mashed potato and fresh cranberry sauce. I cooked up and mashed a whole bag of potatoes which made my arms ache and I cooked my first every cranberry sauce which was amazing and so easy.
There was lots of good food at the meal and it was great to catchup with so many lovely people. The girls played with other children and I just, well, chatted – a lot!
We got home at 6pm and had a quiet evening. I took Dukie for a long walk where he pulled relentlessly, was rather like holding onto a strong horse and got me thinking about how much I miss that world. The world of having a horse in my life. I wonder if I will ever have it again.
The temperature has dropped a lot, it was -9 last night and at 11pm when I took Duke out for a pee, snow was lightly drifting down. Today it wont struggle over zero and on my drive to work I went past ice forming quietly and relentlessly on the lakes, that was a little weird to look at.
Today I am at work, given that its Monday and Paul is home, hes apparently cooking curry for dins. I know Chloe is home with Dukie and having a quiet day. I am looking forward to picking Lily up from daycare and joining them this evening, it cant come soon enough

Friday, 16 December 2011

Bag of Bones

Some kind dear person sent me Bag of Bones to watch. Now given that this has been on the TV I dont feel too bad about watching a download, esp as I didnt actually download it.
So now, I have to summon the courage, find a pillow to hide behind, get some viewing time without small children in broad daylight preferably just before lunch so I have LOTS of time to get over it before darkness falls, have a responsible adult watch it with me, or at least be around and last but not least have to ensure Paul is not on nightshift for mega ages.
Once this is all in place, I shall open the popcorn and find a spot on the sofa to watch and try to figure out all the spots its filmed in, oh and of course ogle the wonderful Pierce!

how to change?

I was thinking today (well all the time actually) about losing some weight and trying to regain the figure I had when Paul and I first met. Those were the days when I would finish work and go and ride my horse and practise all evening for a dressage test. The kind of days when I would throw off my jacket and we would both build up some sweat and it would all go well and I would end up red faced and full of the joy of achievement.

Now, 7 years on I no longer have a horse or a chance of one, and certainly not the chance of the time to spend like that.
Of course half the issue is working full time at a desk on my backside so I get no exersize (except for my fingers) and not enough money to pay for the lifestyle I want and no chance of any light at the end of the tunnel.

I cant just go and ride or exersize from work as the girls don’t see me all day and I need to spend time with them. Its so hard to find any me time when you are a working parent.
I keep telling myself that when they are older and don’t need me so much I can do these things again but by then I most likely be the size of a house and even less able to afford it. I need to change something here, this isn’t working for me.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

An indoor pool!

I have just had the best telephone call with the Quality Inn located at Halifax Airport. They allow the public to use their pool! Yay! For a small fee of course but we have all been feeling the absence of a nice indoor pool in our lives. Chloe and Lily often ask to go swimming and say how much they miss Nuffield Health and I personally am feeling a bereavement about Nuffield Health. We used to go every weekend.
There is a massive lack of decent indoor pools with nice changing rooms in NS. I was horrified at the public pool in Truro as it was the pits. I mean I am a changing room snob, I know it and I make no apologies for it. Nuffield Health has a lovely indoor pool with spa like changing facilities and it made a happy weekend trip for me and the girls. So anyway, I am going to load up the swimming bag for Saturday morning and get the girls in the car and we are going to check it out. I can hardly wait!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Christmas can come now

Apart from one present that I still need to buy. Anyhow, I have been taking some pictures of our tree and garlands and some terrible outside shots that dont show it as it is AT ALL, and here they are:

chilled out Sunday

Yesterday I had breakfast by myself. It was amazingly fabulous to eat my most favourite Blueberry pancakes with maple syrup – made with wholewheat flour, as I like them.
This was achieved by Lily feeling ill – poor thing has been spectacularly sick the night before all down the stairs. I had to of course deal with her alone as Paul had nipped to the neighbours to try out moose steaks and didn’t show up again for hours.
Anyway, she was in bed watching Tinkerbell, Chloe was asleep and so was Paul – due to his late nights trying moose and beer!
So it was just me and the dog. After our 7am trot round the neighbourhood in my Pyjamas, coat, boots, hat and gloves. That may I add is a great way to start the day as the light is very different.
I decided to sod it, I would look after myself and cooked it up and then had them with coffee pot coffee – Folgers of course – with my soya milk and International Delight French Vanilla, and fresh orange juice.
I then perused FB and my favourite blogs in absolute silence – except for the logs crackling on the fire and the far off sound of Disney.
We then had a pretty good day, Lily slept lots – shes a pretty good child when shes sick and Chloe played and I baked mince pies and we listened to music and then I went to Walmart without kids with Ruby which was as Ruby put it, frickin AWESOME and then we had a peaceful Tim Hortons complete with Maple Cinammon French Toast bagel. It was so odd to be without children that we felt that we needed to wipe someones nose, anyone would do!
Last night I tried to watch Bag of Bones which was filmed down the road in the summer and has Pierce in it only to discover that we don’t have that flaming channel available. I am going to look into downloading it, if possible and I can do it legally.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

the hunt for a Christmas tree

Yesterday afternoon we took to the roads in the big steel sleigh called our Uplander and went in search of our Christmas tree. There were no trucks to drive under or rednecks or in fact snow on the ground but in true Griswold style we went to a Christmas tree farm and walked across its acres to find our tree.
We engaged in singing “Rudolph the red nosed reindeer” led by the girls and drove far enough down a dirt road that Chloe asked if we were lost. There were thousands of Christmas trees all around us.
We found our tree in a shaft of light – all 7.5 foot gorgeousness of it – and Paul took a saw and cut it down.
We then paid a whole $33 for it (bargain!) and drove it home.
Whilst it was resting in its shiny snow stand (from Rona) we indulged in a cup of tea and mince pie (as made by Paul) and a quick peruse of the new issue of Canadian House and Home.
Whilst the girls decorated their pink tree at the top of the stairs from scratch – lights and all without any supervision we put the tree lights on. Once they were on it was a free for all with other decorations. I did the top half of the tree and the girls did the bottom.
The end result was a tree that was staggeringly beautiful, with twinkling ($50 yard sale for 1000 lights) lights on it and decorations from all over the world and our memories.
There were decorations that have been made by the girls, bought in Key West, Toronto, Peggys Cove, came as presents, St Augustine and Niagara Falls. There were decorations from my very first tree as an adult in my own home, many years ago. It’s a mishmash of colours and full of love and is quite frankly the best tree that we have ever had.

Friday, 2 December 2011

vets bills

Just had a call from our neighbour where our dog hangs when we are at work, with his dogs and our dog has chewed up and half eaten a beer can! His dog is booked in for an xray as its not clear whos eaten this as both dogs were involved but his dog doesnt ever chew beer cans. Apparently the beer can is in pieces but there isnt enough to reconstruct the damn thing.
So, our dog is now booked in for xrays too - at a mere $58 for the exam and $115 for the xrays. And I am hoping but doubtful that is where it will end, if theres bloody shards of metal in his stomach then those costs are so going to escalate!
I cant friggin believe it, he only had $280 spent on him last week for his little vasectomy! I am going to take shares out in this vets soon, I should get a good return on my investment!
Paul is incensed with rage at work, I had the job of breaking this news to him.
And the moral of the story is - dont have beer in cans, buy bottles!

Monday, 28 November 2011

quick update

Had a pretty chilled weekend, snow is slowly melting in these 12C temperatures. Today its practically tropical out there.
Heres a pic I took on Friday of all the snow piled up in Bedford

We gave in and put the outside Christmas lights on last night. Compared to some houses its nothing but they are our first external lights and we are excited about them. They were my yard sale bargain which also makes my day.
Today I am missing nothing about the UK except a couple of friends and my lovely father in law. One of my FB acquaintances who lives up the road commented on a FB photo of the snow by saying “bbbr, looks cold, lovely and mild here in Surrey” and I had to hold back from writing a reply along the lines of “It could snow 365 days of the year here and I would still rather be here than where you are” but I managed to refrain.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

We experienced our first snow storm yesterday, apparently snow wasnt due to start falling until late aftermoon but the first flakes were drifting lazily down at 8.30am as I drove into Waverley.
By 9.30am the road outside was thick with it and I was flat out amazed, they were teeny flakes, the kind that melts on impact with the road in Blighty.

The snowplow came out at work and there was the maint guy driving up and down the parking lot having a high old time, on the radio by 9.30am they were reporting 30 accidents! 30!!! Thats worse than the UK. I was flabbergasted that this province would have that many accidents in the first snowfall.

And the snow kept on falling.

At 1pm our boss said "shut her down"! He loves being dramatic like that. And so we all left in the middle of the day.
Outside there wasnt a snowplow in sight, or grit or salt. Snow lay thick everywhere.
I drove to pick up Lily in a winter wonderland and then onto home on quiet beautiful deserted roads. I decided to steer clear of the highway.
Here is a pic of my drive home, snow was coming straight at the car:

The second one is the Highway2 through Fall River.
I got home after about an hour and got the girls who then spent a good hour playing in it in the fading light:

It continued to snow until well after I went to bed, I have no idea when it stopped. I cleared the driveway and so did Don and then so did Paul and then he had to do it again this morning at 4.30am after the snowplow had gone past and buried the front of the drive

Today, Chloes school is shut so she is having a snow day at her babysitters and Lily is playing at her babysitters:

The drive in today was ok, a few icy patches on the road and bits that were thick with icy chunks of snow. Its chilly and sunny out there right now.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Parade of Lights

Last weekend I took the girls to the Halifax Parade of Lights. First we had to navigate some traffic of the likes that I have not seen since we were in England. Thankfully I took them with my neighbour Bev, had Paul or her hubby been there we wouldnt have gotten to see them. We came to realise that men are not cut out to sit in any kind of traffic.

Well the parade was magical, 1.5 hours long with 200,000 people. There were loads of floats and of course Santa. I was rather impressed at the quality and the ambience. Here are some pics of it that I found online, I havent had a chance to upload any I took yet:

The girls just loved it and so did I. The lady I was standing next to told me that they always book a hotel in Halifax for the night and swim in the pool and have dinner out as part of the whole night, I was rather taken with that idea and plan to look into that for next year.
This was clearly a fabulous idea when it took us 1.5 hours to get home, 45 mins of that was spent stationery in the multi-story.

The rest of the weekend was pretty mild and I spent all of Sunday baking and cooking and just chilling at home. The girls played nicely all day together and I just had to remind them (only about a hundred times) to keep the volume down as Paul was on nights and therefore asleep.

Its getting decidedly colder, this morning I took Dukie for his stroll at 6am in -7C, I had my PJs on, wellies, coat and hat and I was ok, must be toughening up!
Tomorrow we have a snowfall warning in effect with apparently 30 cms of snow due to fall - I am slightly freaked out about this.30cms!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After work today I am going to get Paul and I some snowboots and the girls some snow gloves, we need them and I cant put it off any longer.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

9 years!

Yesterday I had a complete healthy eating urge kick in (thank goodness) – its been sneaking up on me for a while, I have changed my milk to Silk Soya (LOVE Silk Soya) and trying to get enough vegetables into one meal that I can. Yesterday lunchtime found me buying three punnets of raspberries (3 / $5) and consuming a whole punnet with my lunch.
Yesterday was also our 9 year anniversary and after feeling pretty rough the day before I was feeling as the song goes “like a brand new chick!” and had a great day at work.
To top the day we went to Stayners Wharf for dins where I had zesty Chicken wings to start which hubs and I shared. They were nice but I could tell that they had been in the fryer which isn’t my favourite. Oven baked are far nicer
Then for main I had the Panfried Haddock and OMG it was bliss on a plate. I simply love this meal and savoured every bite. Hubs had the Selfish Shelfish pasta (say that after some drinks!) and he was pleased that there was way more seafood on his plate than pasta.

For desert I had the New York cheesecake which was scrumptious but I sadly couldn’t fit it all in. All this was with a glass of cranberry (only allowed at restaurants to save my teeth!) and a Fall Breeze (fabulous cocktail)

This was Pauls serious look!
We drove home in the pouring rain and found that the following had happened when Bev had put Lily to bed.
At bedtime – Lily – mummy lets me read as long as I want. Bev – Nope, lights out.
5 Mins later – Lily comes down for more water
15 mins later – Lily is singing in her room. When Bev went up she got from Lily “oh you woke me!”
Such a precocious little madam! Bev told her to snuggle down with her lion, when we went to bed, there she was with her arms wrapped around him.
Chloe had of course gone up to bed without a murmur, little star. I love my children. I love my life, I love my husband!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Remembrance weekend

Well we just had Remembrance weekend which meant we in Canada have Remembrance day off. Apart from that being an outstandingly good idea I came across two new things in my life:
Driving home on Thursday night, every business had a sign outside with sayings like “We will remember” and “Lest we forget” – that kind of thing really gets to me.  How respectful!
Having a Friday as a holiday is much fun and not what I am used to, was a little more exciting than a Bank Holiday Monday
I am so very thankful for all those men and women that make it so that I don’t have to live in fear or in some Iraqi existence. I love living a Western life.
We knew a storm was coming for Friday and I went to bed late (midnight) on Thursday night after some drinks with the neighbours. I was lying in bed with the window open as its been so mild thinking how fabulous it was that it was Thursday night, and that I could sleep in till at least 7.30am as Paul would come in at 5.30am from work and take Duke for his walk round the block. That of course did not happen and that euphoria was a little shortlived when I woke at 3am to major rain and wind with gusts that sounded a little like a plane taking off in the garden.  After that little sleep was had as I listened to the weather raging outside.
On Friday I was a little cranky to say the least but got over my self and went with Don to the remembrance service in the wind and rain that nearly blew us away. We then spent the day cooking and playing scrabble as there was little else to do.
Saturday dawned bright and clear and COLD. It was hard to want to do much as it was so cold, we went to Costco and that was manic. It was a naff day really with just grocery shopping pretty much.
Sunday – oh how gorgeous was that day. It was warm and sunny and just gorgeous. We took the girls and met Rubes and co at the wildlife park with Tim Hortons finest and we had a lovely stroll amongst the bears and cougars and arctic foxes. I so love that place. Paul even scratched a raccoon behind its ears, I am too jealous!
After our little outing Paul and Don put up the external Christmas lights, I am on a mission this year to get the house looking like the Griswolds!
Today its our anniversary  - 9 years of marriage. Its gone by so quickly and so many things have changed in our lives.:
We have two adorable wonderful girls who I love with my whole heart and am driven bonkers by simultaneously
We now live here in Canada – hurrah! Living the dream!
We have lost a very good friend who passed away 2.5 years ago, I cant believe that on our wedding day we didn’t know that we had less than 7 years left with him. We love you Alex

Tonight we are going out for a meal together at Stayners Wharf – oooh the panfried Haddock!!!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

deodorant update

OK, so I went to the Body Shop and purchased the deodorant and a teeny weeny 50ml tube of moisturiser for $18! - $18 for the moisturiser only, the deodorant was $5 (it had better last ages and work!!!) anyway whilst browsing the store I saw an Aloe face starter pack (moistureiser, mask, cleanser etc - teeeny bottles I might add)- it had its UK and US/Canada price tag on and get this - in the UK its GBP12 , in the US/Canada its $25
Since when did the Bodyshop believe that one would earn double here than you would in England!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I feel like writing a letter!

getting ready for winter

We have been in winter preparation mode. Both cars now have winter tires on, I drove the G6 into work today for the first time with its tires on and it both sounded and felt different to before.
Yesterday I went to Canadian Tire to pick up some bits – slush mats for the car, this was after a throw away comment by Rubes to the tune of “well you will wish you had spent the money when the bottom of your car rusts away” and a brush and scraper combo for each car.
The whole little lot came to $79! And yesterday I realised that the pathetic summer mats in the van wont stand up to much. So slush mats are needed for that too.
Canadian Tire had about 20 aisles devoted to Christmas – it was just fabulous and prior to choosing the oh so important mats I spent a very contented 10 mins wondering around in a Christmas daze.
I did this in a lunch break of warm air, blue sky and blinding sunshine. Hard to believe that winter is coming.
Paul cut the grass yesterday with the leaves and Don and Lily stacked more wood in the front porch, it was sweet to come home from work and see the little crew at work.
Halloween decs are now all stashed away till next year and Paul has been tasked with hanging 500 twinkle lights around the eaves of the house – we will work towards looking like the Griswolds!
I am still on the hunt for deodorant that actually works and doesn’t stain my white tops a nasty yellow. I have been told that the Body Shop does a nice one that also paraben free – always a bonus – so I am going to hunt that out this lunch break.
This morning when I drove into work, I saw this funky cloud, I love the sky here. There is so much of it.

Its rememberance week and we have Friday off, got to love a bank holiday Friday.
I am going to buy poppies for everyone, it always amazes me how much a military family will give up to give us Freedom. Thank you!

Thursday, 3 November 2011


OK so this Halloween was officially the best ever! We went out at about 5.30pm with my friend Ruby and two of her little ones. The road was packed! Cars had to thread their way slowly through, so many houses were decorated and so much candy was flying around.
Here are some pics of the kids and our house:

Chloe was a zebra, Lily was barbie, Emma was a princess and Nik was the grim reaper. It was a great night and we got loads of goodies! Had to take the parent tax, of course, and so now our eves when the girls go to bed include rooting through their bags for chocolate that they wont like!

Duke is also settling in, we have morning walks when its all crispy and white with frost and the sky is black with so many stars. And here are some pics of him:

Look at those adorable puppy eyes!

With the change in weather, I have noticed that the lakes steam as I drive past them and make their own fog bank, yesterday I decided to take some pics on my cell phone on the way in, its hard to capture the whole scene but here are some:

This is my daily commute! Sucks to be me- right!!
The -2C at the start of November freaks me out a little, I feel like I am awaiting winter to descend with trepidation!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Dukie has arrived

On Friday Paul and Chloe picked up our new puppy, a 4 month old lab/husky called Duke or Dukie as hes so cute. Hes pretty timid and our Womble cat decided to pick on him all weekend in the most confrontational way, I didnt realise he had it in him. Poor Duke wanted to disappear all weekend.
Hes been very good though, he hung out in his crate a lot (safety!) and didnt cause ANY trouble of any kind.
He started to relax a bit yesterday and I almost got a waggy tail on our 6am trot round the block this morning - in my pyjamas and dressing gown, wellies and coat - stars were amazing!

We had a pretty cruddy day weather wise yesterday, freezing rain, gusting winds and a power outage. We were immediately aware that we had made a cracking decision to have our wood insert installed as we stayed toasty warm while the wind raged outside.

We had been cooking - well actually Paul had been cooking all morning - and we had a shepherds pie waiting for the oven and more importantly a wonderful spag bolognaise in the crockpot. Our wonderful lodger Don had a propane stove and so we were able to whip up the spaghetti and have spag bog last night instead. It was one of Pauls best.
The power came back on just when I was starting to get bored of it all and it was starting to seriously jeopardise my scary movie plans for the evening.

Tonight is Halloween and although we have been to loads of Halloween parties now, tonight is the official treat or treat night, its going to be -1C so snow suits on under the costumes and out we will go.

I will upload pics very soon to post on here, been a bit slack in that department!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Halloween is a coming

Its finally starting to cool down. I have been for a few walks in the dark recently too. There is one road that has no houses on it but its near houses and also near woods. Its been paved and is going to have houses built on it but they havent got that far yet. Well, apart from almost peeing my pants in fear of hearing something coyote like growling at the edge of my vision at any moment it was amazing. So much sky, so many stars, it was simply stunning. I have never seen such an expanse.

Last night I got out of the house at dusk and they are really starting to go nuts with Halloween in our neighbourhood. Last night I went past an enormous spider on a lawn enlosed in police tape that moves its head. Its abdomen is yellow and lit up so I couldnt miss it. Theres also a graveyard and endless blown up - lit up spooks everywhere.
The girls have some Halloween parties this week - 2 each and they have some good outfits.

Our fire is lit now every evening and its so cosy in the house. My view of temperatures seems to have changed, I am viewing the 4C in the morning as "not too bad" when in the UK that would mean scarves and gloves. It warms up a lot by lunchtime and has been positively balmy.

The trees are fast starting to lose their pretty leaves and its foggy alot. Its still beautiful though.

We get our new puppy on Friday - starting to get super excited, hes from a rescue charity called Critters and Litters and hes a 15 week old lab cross something called Duke. The cat is going to freak!

Monday, 24 October 2011

tough weekend

I am sad to say its been a really tough weekend. The only really good part of it was when I was outside on the deck drinking coffee in my dressing gown at 9am and savouring the golden-ness of a tree in our garden. The light was pretty at that time of day too which just added to the magic.
Sadly that time lasted all of 15 minutes.
The rest of the weekend was spent refereeing my childrens arguements constantly, trying to keep them quiet so that Paul could sleep (hes on nights) which was nigh on impossible and then being out of the house with them at my lovely friends houses so that he could get some sleep. By the time I got to those houses I felt as wound up as a tight spring and ready to ship my children off to my mother in Germany.
This of course had the impact of no laundry being done at all and now we have no clothes really on Monday. The house is a tip and I havent been able to clean it.

I did manage to fit in my grocery shopping trips (how I MISS Tescos home delivery) and I baked a cake for Pauls birthday that was meant to be a Victoria Sponge but tasted rather like a dry sponge masquerading as a cake. He even asked how I managed to make it with Peanut butter in it - huh? There was no such ingredient added.

We are going to go out to Stayners Wharf at the weekend with some friends to actually celebrate his birthday which I am really looking forward to. I have come to realise that I really DONT like his night shifts especially at the weekend.
If someone can sort out my girls so that they dont hate each other (yes that has been said) then please come forward as I have had enough!
Perhaps I need some free time - you know the sort where you dont work and you dont look after children and you dont fit all your shopping chores into your half hour lunchbreak.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Turkey lurkey and Pumpkin Pie

We just enjoyed our first ever Canadian Thanksgiving and it was beyond fabulous.
I started the weekend with a late night at the neighbours house, playing music and eating nachos at midnight - yes not very healthy but very nice.
Saturday was hot, I got some great walks in over the weekend due to the heat and I learnt to make pumpkin pie and cherry pie over at Bevs house that day. I also managed a teeny bit of housework, needs must and all that.
I actually got to go out Saturday night too, over to Doug and Stephens for a party in which karaoke was involved, I prefer to listen and thats all and it was fun but I was driving home so was on the water. Left at midnight and was surprised at how warm it was, on the way home I saw a skunk shuffling about - my first wild skunk spotted!

Sunday was blissfully hot weather again and we hung out at our pals Ruby and Steve and had our first dins of the season, was scrumptious. Ruby and I then went and hung out by the riverside where her dads ashes were scattered, it was a beautiful moonlit night.
When we got home and put the girls to bed, Paul was knackered and went to bed too so I went back over to the neighbours as we had been invited and we hung out again and I came home with a delicous Maple syrup ham and scallop potatoes. Couldnt fit it in my tummy so it went in the fridge.

Monday - Paul played golf and I pottered in the house till he got home and then escaped for another walk. During my pottering I made an Autumn decoration for our front door with the girls as we have so many beautiful leaves in the garden and the front door was lacking:

The top pic is Lilys ghost flower biscuits that she made at her babysitters.

The girls loved gathering leaves and then sticking them to the heart - courtesy of Rolands glue, I love our neighbours!

Dinner at Doug and Stephens on Monday night was like a remake of Easter. Loads of people and crazy kids running around having a blast afterwards. Chloe played endlessly with the dogs and we came home with loads of leftovers which have now all been eaten!

Since that weekend temperatures have dipped again, so we had a mini summer that weekend and it was back to the heat and humidity and I loved it! I also had three nights of bedtime at past midnight and I am so paying for it now

Saturday, 8 October 2011


Its our first Thanksgiving here in Canada and we are fortunate enough to have been invited to TWO Thanksgiving dinners by our new Canuck friends (well actually we were invited to THREE but we can't go to them all sadly -unless we had one of those time things that Hermione has in Harry Potter)

So, this Thanksgiving I give thanks for:

My husband - he supported my dream to move here and has taken on being a new Canuck extremely seriously. He has become wonderfully good at fixing everything and sorting everything out. Hes also a great father and the best partner I could hope for. We have been together for 12 years and he still makes my heart flip.

My Children - my two girls are just so wonderful and even when they bicker, I love them and could not be without them. I am so enjoying watching them grow.

Our new home - our house is better than I could have hoped for, we live in the best neighbourhood and every day I cannot believe that we actually live here.

Our jobs - in this day and age I am grateful that not only do we have two jobs but that they are in our field and we actually like working in them.

Our family - I appreciate all our family for their constant support of everything we do even though we are now spread all over the globe.

Our friends - those back in the UK and down in Florida - the support you have shown us in our move to Canada is amazing and I think you are just awesome! I love that we have the technology that enables us to keep in touch the way we do.

Our new friends here - we have made some pretty wonderful new friends here, those that have let us live with them to those that have offered their friendship. We really appreciate it and are so pleased we now know you.

Health - I am thankful, so very thankful for the health that we all have, the services here to keep us that way and those that work in them.

Our home and neighbourhood this Fall:

I love living here!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Tony and Lisas visit

I have been so remiss at updating this but it really is so painful to do on our laptop at home, I want to throw that machine out of the window!
I am going to try to do it from work one lunchtime each week as their computers actually work!
Anyway, we had a great week a couple of weeks ago when Tony and Lisa came to stay. They were only here for a week but we got out and about as much as possible in fabulous weather.
We hung out by the pool:

We went to Halifax with our friends Ruby and Steve too for a lovely meal at Stayners Wharf, I had the Panfried Haddock, it was gorgeous. We caught the ferry across and back from Dartmouth. Here is a shot of our trip back

On one of the days we went to Peggys Cove, which is a place I just LOVE. Its so serene and I could actually spend the whole day there, if I didnt have to hang on so hard to Lily. She was a pain in the butt as she kept wondering off and paid no attention to the warnings about the black rocks - I mean really!!

On another day we dragged everyone down the South Shore via the scenic route and had a picnic and wander about in Lunenburg:

where it was hot and I wished I had worn a t-shirt. We picked up some pretty nice gifts there and ate some extortionately priced icecream. Still we had a really nice picnic of bread and cheese pretty much. I love those simple lunches out in the sun.

On the way home we stopped off at Queensland Beach which is just stunning and makes up for the fact the water there is always cold. Girls didnt seem to care though, they got in there and got soaked all the same. I love the fact that they love the sea so much. I dont care if they get all their clothes wet and we have to conjure up something makeshift to wear on the way home.

We went to Melmerby too and spent some quality eating time at Montanas where everyone drooled over the steak and I of course had fish. I love fish in restaurants. Can I just say the Kapow shrimp is a must have there.

When they had to go back, it was very sad and now when I look at the pictures it almost feels as though it never happened. I guess we need to just get used to that, the sad side of being an expat.

It was a week of great weather with two rainy days slotted in and a couple of humid nights, we had some firepits, we shivered out there in the evening and we found ourselves too hot.
As I write this, two weeks later we are in a most bizarre week - weather wise.
It is Friday - on Monday it was 25C, Tuesday it rained all day hugely and was a gale out there, Wednesday it continued with the wet theme but much colder at 8C, yesterday the temp struggled to get above 4C and today its 11C, the weekend promises to be sunny and 22C! If I dont get a cold this week, I shall count myself lucky!

We have Thaksgiving coming this weekend! Our first here, am so looking forward to it.