Monday, 31 December 2012

snow clearance

Yesterday I took it upon myself to clear the driveway. It was a little after 9.30 and I had slobbed about enough in my PJs so by that time all the other driveways were being cleared by my more diligent neighbours.
Paul was at work so of course it was down to me. Like a true Canuck I went out there in my PJs (plus coat,boots, hat and gloves)
I swear the driveway lengthened itself whilst I was in full workout (like Concorde used to when in flight) and I had done about a 3rd of it when I realized that this snow is heavy and getting heavier and I am a wimp.
I noticed the neighbour across from me swiftly clearing his driveway with his sparkling expensive looking snowblower and thought ruefully that he was:
a) lucky and
b) unlikely to come and clear mine with it as he was the one who had shelled out some serious cash and why should I benefit from that.

I was deep in these thoughts and sweat when I realized that he was making his way over whilst offering his and the snowblowers assistance. I of course accepted, gratefully and he made quick work of the remainder of it and I was free to come back in and chill out with more coffee.

We then had some friends come up to play in our snow as they had less down closer to Halifax and were amazed that the plow hadnt yet been through (at 2pm). It then lo and behold came round looking huge with its double plow and threw loads of snow back onto the driveway - double gggrrrrr

Naturally it was cleared up - with the shovel but not by me as I was on the Chai Tea by then.

I have been reading and re-reading my NY resolutions and I know that some of them are to counter some regret. I guess and am hoping that the regrets side of things will disipate over time and with effort on my part.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

The morning after and New Years resolutions

Theres a lot of snow out there, there will be more but right now theres enough to make me think I should clear the driveway before its deeper and hence more backbreaking than it is already.

I think I have a NY Resolution list for 2013:

  •  Succeed in my new job, and I mean really be outstanding as a leader, an accountant and a professional. This Group is my "forever company".
  • Continue with my weight loss and get rid of the 15 pounds, become leaner and fitter by joining the local gym and making use of the great yoga classes there.
  • Try Zumba again to dance my way to fitness (as the ad says!)
  • Save for the Keys vacation in October
  • Get my head back into my home and my future that was so important before I had my MLC. Its still as important.
  • Learn more about my own weaknesses and how to remain positive in dealing with them.
  • Meet aging head on and with style. Its not an issue, its only a number, I am not in the world of green cardigans yet and wont be for many many years.
  • Sort out the garden this Spring.
  • Spend more days at the beach with and without my family. Try to have a beach trip every weekend.
  • Eat out more, we CAN afford it.
  • Spend more time in Halifax enjoying it. Make the most of the facilities there and find new ones.
  • Stay at the Atlantica at least twice in the year.
There - I knew I could do it!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

weather bomb

Snow is a coming, we have a weather bomb on its way, due to hit around midnight but
its calm out there currently, clear sky with a big old moon and minus 4C. Its hard to imagine a big huge storm coming this way with wind and storm surge and blizzards.

We have food, a cleanish house (I hoovered up all the dog hair today as I couldn’t bear to be faced with all that in a potential power outage), heat that doesn’t require any electricity and propane in the BBQ ( I think), if we run out of propane then we have a little perfectly fine charcoal bbq that we use with the hot (I want to say coals but we have wood) from the fire.

So we can be warm, we can eat, the dog hair has gone, we can play, if the power goes out we will lose the TV and worst – Facebook. How will I cope?

Talking of which - Facebook is going crazy with official weather updates and more amusing ones, we have an actual Blizzard warning for our area, all my Blizzard knowledge has been gained from reading Little House on the Prarie books:

[click on the picture above to see it and read the comments]

***corrected information


Inverness County - Mabou and north

Richmond County
Sydney Metro and Cape Breton County

Annapolis County
Colchester County North
Colchester County - Cobequid Bay
Colchester County - Truro and south
Cumberland County North and Cobequid Pass
Cumberland County - Minas Shore
Hants County
Kings County


Antigonish County
Inverness County - Mabou and north
Inverness County - south of Mabou


Antigonish County
Annapolis County
Digby County
Guysborough County
Halifax Metro and Halifax County West
Halifax County - east of Porters Lake
Inverness County - Mabou and north
Inverness County - south of Mabou
Kings County
Lunenburg County
Pictou County
Queens County
Shelburne County
Yarmouth County
Victoria County


Friday, 28 December 2012

some things that come to mind

I am hoping that as we get closer to the all important NY Eve that I will get some kind of divine intervention and inspiration for New Years Resolutions will hit me in a big way. To me, there is nothing like January 1st for a clean-out in all kinds of ways.
Bad habits are binned, diets started, gyms joined and we start the year in a optimistic fashion for maintaining all new ideals.
However, so far, this year I am not feeling it. I guess I still have some days to go - make that 3, to sort out this issue and hopefully the end result will be a "list"

While I await this big event, I want to make a note here of all the things that I have come to realize just recently. I have been in a bit of funk for a number of weeks now, but I am coming out the other side and the following came to me yesterday actually:

1. I now know where to shop. This may sound a little odd but suddenly I am comfortable and at home with my shopping options. I now have no desire, whatsoever to return to my UK haunts even though they do deliver. Out with Next and M&S and Monsoon and in with Banana Republic, Le Chateau, Gap, Reitmans (GREAT pants and cute shoes), Le Vie en Rose and Old Navy (Almost all of these are at my favourite - Dartmouth Crossing!)

2. Still on the shopping theme - I am no longer awestruck by the Starbucks at Chapters or the size of it, its there and I love it. I know where to go for my foody goods and which Superstore I need to frequent to track down the family favourite Pesto and Mango salsa (Not Elmsdale sadly!)

2. I am feeling a little of a need to distance myself from some of the British culture - the disdain when someone makes an innocent or maybe not even innocent error. The comments behind their backs, especially strangers backs if they screw up. The unpleasant silence in places such as the steam room in the health club where no one dares to chat to each other in case you are met with a blank stare.

3. Whilst I am happy with my British accent, I want to be more Canadian, ie. Polite. There is a directness that comes from being British that is sometimes considered rude here, I dont want to be seen that way. Being direct at the right time and when I need to is fine but only then.

4. Weather. I am now no longer awestruck by massive swings in temperature. I no longer freak out if I dont have an emergency kit in my car and I am now amazed that I was so amazed. The weather is what it is here - sucky in Spring, hot and humid (and gorgeous) in the summer, hot and warm in the Fall, cold and cold and cold in the Winter, maybe I am becoming more of a Canuck.

5. I realize now that we are pretty rural out here, its still a subdivision and not the complete boonies but all the good things that I like to enjoy are about 30-40 mins drive - nightlife, sushi, decent indoor swimming pools, the water, restaurants where people dont wear baseball hats. This place does however have many of my friends in it and THE best babysitter ever (like ever!)
We figured that if we want to drink and drink in Halifax we will book a room at the Atlantica and really go for it.

So, all in all, this place is becoming home. I still wish frequently that I hadnt waited until now to get here, but I guess theres nothing that can be done about that fact.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

weather warning in effect

So Ruby and I flew down there this morning, the day actually started with a phone call from Ruby at 8.30am along the lines of "hey, have you seen we are going to get hit by a shitload of weather today, do you still want to go?" We decided that we should get there asap to get in and out ahead of the weather front.
Banana Republic was rammed, nothing like the crazy Next sales of the UK, more like Next on a busy Saturday but very busy for that store. I didnt manage to find what I was looking for, but got a couple of basic essentials. I LOVE that my basic essentials come from this store now.
Over the last 10 years the only BR items in my wardrobe would be from my increasingly sporadic trips to the US and highly prized.

So we went next to Second Cup and had a mint chocolate latte which was very chocolatey and not at all minty. It was nice to sit and chat but when the flakes started to fall we hightailed it out of there.

We managed to stay ahead of the weather all the way home and I even stopped for ingredients for todays roast dinner which is now cooking and making the house smell divine.
The snow started to really come down as we got home and has been now for 5 hours. Paul has cleared the driveway twice now ( a blue job) and I have been reading my new Kathy Reichs novel all afternoon.
The weather front is warning of snow (tick), freezing rain and 100km winds. So far no sign of the wind, that can stay away, at least until dinner is cooked!

Post Boxing Day sale and weather acoming

Today I am going to go to the Banana Republic Sale. Theres an outlet down the road in a sweet little outdoors shopping mall called Dartmouth Crossing. Its nice because it has a number of outlets and restaurants and big old stores like Home Depot and Walmart too in a tasteful setting that at this time of year is decorated in fabulous Christmas lights. Its a handy 25 minute drive from here and I love it.

So outlets work for me as they are somewhat less expensive than the standard store and have clothes that are just as nice, if there are any last seasons, I dont actually care.
I have a certain taste for clothes thats not hugely swayed by fashion trends. I know how I want to look for work and rest and I look for whats out there to compliment that.

We also have a big old storm front coming in today, with 100km/hr winds, snow and ice pellets. I feel the need to get down there and back before that really hits us today. But at least we have something fun coming frankly. Its been a bit boring, no real weather fronts, no real snow, no real ice.

So, I have cancelled my WW now although it doesnt run out until Feb 8th so I have some leeway. I will go into the gym maybe today to sign up, I am feeling a little vulnerable, almost like without this I will suddenly balloon back up to my old weight.
I need to get into the gym mode asap so that doesnt happen.

I can feel some strong NY resolutions coming on too.
My oldest child is playing with her Breyer horses in front of me, shes eight and beautiful. Her personality is beautiful too. Her whole life is ahead of her and she has no real idea of the gravity of that.
I almost look forward to the first time she comes home with purple hair. I hope she will be strong in her wants in life. Lately I am more and more aware of the delicate, difficult traits of a human being.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

a reflection on 2012

This is the time of year where I need to reflect on the year thats just leaving us and make some plans for the next one. Currently I am not in the groove for the second part but reflecting on this year should be easy enough:

I had a great but wrong job this year - it was great in the respect of fabulous office location for working and lunchtime and I LOVED it.
Wonderful office - peaceful, private, lovely view and daylight.
Some awesome colleagues - you know who you are and I still value you as friends
Some not some wonderful ones - isnt that just life though.
A chance to travel to some amazing places and eat out ALOT. I stayed in some beautiful hotel rooms and some not so. I met some lovely hotel workers and swam in some not so great pools. I had my fill of hotel bathrooms (my guilty pleasure) and fell asleep to the sound of far off traffic, airplanes and airconditioning.
I had the chance to do a calamari survery in Montreal and have to say The Elixor near Dorval won on all counts for meals and ambience.
I had an amazing manager who I will always respect for her way of addressing people and getting information from them,. She was also incredibly supportive.

BUT it was the wrong time for my young children and I was never at home, so maybe one day later in life that kind of intense travel will be for me again.

I then had the chance to start a new job, one where I am at home each night, dont get to travel and eat out so much, but DO get to make decisions again. Its been a tough transfer back to that world for me, more so as I miss the old role, but time will be the healer there and I am already more excited for this job. I like making decisions again too. I am still in the same Company too, just another division. My heart is in this Group of Companies now, so thats great.

I lost a stack of weight and now can fit in most of my old clothes again. I have cried over this! I still have some weight to go - about 15 pounds and want to tone more and run further but I am fitter and lighter than I have been for years! Its an overwhelming feeling.

We got all the planned projects this year completed and done. So wood pile, fencing and bathroom. The bathroom was the biggest thing and its relaxing to be in there.

Next year, so far I know that I need to continue the weight loss/fitness programme, get better and better at my job and learn to have the same emotional commitment to this Division (time will do this). Our trip is now for next Fall, so some saving is required.
Theres no projects for our home planned, except a bit of painting in the guest suite. So I guess there is a bit of a plan afterall.
Oh and social life - thats coming back now! Hurrah!!!!!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas Eve

Its beginning to look alot like Christmas!....
It snowed last night as we were settled down to watch a great movie "We bought a zoo" - can I please recommend it. I am pleased as I dont want a green/brown/damp Christmas.
This morning there is a sprinkling out there, its enough, as long as it stays.

I have spent two days doing petty much nothing. Its been a time of comfy clothes and time to chill. I had a great two hour yoga session on Saturday morning where I not only stretched every muscle I never knew I had but re-aligned my mind. I came out of there feeling a lot more peaceful than I have of late.

Paul and I had a nice meal out in Halifax on Saturday night, I say nice as I actually expected more from that establishment but it was nice to have that time, out, in a restaurant.
I finally took some pics of the bathroom too, our new bathroom that we saved for and had done in late October:

I am thinking of stopping my monthly payment to WW too, I still have 15 pounds to lose and all I am doing is turning up every other week and standing on their scales. I am not using the online tools anymore, I am now in a groove where I am very cautious of my eating choices, prefer fruit over high fat / high sugar options and am out there running.

I think that the best way to tone and lose this last bit will be to actually pay the gym and go to regular yoga and power hour classes whilst keeping my new eating habits the same.(I apologize for the toilet in this scene!)
This is me the other night ready to go out, I can see where the weight needs to come off:


Friday, 21 December 2012

leadup to the BIG DAY

Its the end of Friday almost, I have a week off ahead of me at home and its full of exciting things:

  • Family PJ movie night tonight with Ruby and her oldest two at our house - complete with the National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. Now I did not see this last year, so I am "fresher" than I have been for a long time and just cant wait to snuggle down and watch this. They will all be there by the time I get home. I love that!
  • Tomorrow night we have a sitter so Paul and I are heading on into Halifax to have dinner for two at The Keg and then some fun at The Ale House. WE are doing this after a stop off at a friends to say hi. Paul hasnt yet been to either venues and I have, so its high time he checked them out too. I LOVE them!
  • Sunday should be a reasonably quiet day, maybe we will take the girls swimming
  • Monday is Christmas Eve! I plan on doing some major exercise in the lead-up to the BIG DAY and then we are all out at a new work colleagues house for a fun evening. I am SO looking forward to this. 
  • Christmas Day at a friends, we will pile into the car late morning and head on out. I didnt think this would be a good idea as I love our family dinners but this year I am all for it
  • Boxing Day at a friends. Again hanging out with pals will be good!
  • Then off until the New Year from work, I am planning some yoga, some working from home as I have some bits to do. Some chilling and re-connecting with my home and family.
Hope everyones leadup to Christmas is going well! The flippin snow outside is still there but unless it gives us a bit more there is real fear that this will NOT be a white Christmas!
You'd think that moving all the way to Canada would almost guarantee us a white Christmas wouldnt you! I mean really!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012


Its snowing! Zippeeee
Because I am not so tuned into the weather anymore, I have no proper footwear, so I will need to slip and slide my way out to the car later.
I am not worried about driving home later, I know it will be horrible but it just is what it is.

The regional school boards crystal ball worked well and they shut the schools this morning - when it was only raining and everything was soggy, so my two babies are at the sitters no doubt having a whale of a time.

I have been pretty damn miserable lately - a cumulation of a LOT of things. I had forgotten how miserable miserable can feel.

But today I feel that I am at last coming out of it, there IS light at the end of the tunnel,and although I know there will be miserable moments ahead, I am on the mend. I will regain my former happy self if its the last thing I do. And considering apparently the world is due to end on the 21st, I need to hurry up in that respect. Who wants to view that in a miserable frame of mind?

We are still not ready for Christmas, I am not sure when we will achieve the last bits of required shopping - hmmmmm, I really dont know!

Monday, 17 December 2012

new shangri-la

I just went to the Le Chateau outlet at lunchtime which is one of my new Happy Places to pick up a small gift, one more ticked off the list!
On the way back I drove along Kearny Lake and was trying to pick a place to run in the day. I saw a road turning off and drove up to check it out, well its amazing!
I think I have found my new running spot, I drove the length and back and its VERY pretty with nice houses and a Canadian Prairie Creek feel to it.
Its 2.6km for the whole thing as its a dead end so its there and back. I am sure I could do the 2k and walk the rest back to the car and in time I should manage the whole lot.

Now this is GOOD news. I am making a massive effort this week to turn this new location into my new shangri-la.
So far I have a new running spot, this will be a good walk in the hotter months, as its stunning.
I also have a good sushi bar not that far away (10 min drive) that I plan to get to know well, to replace my Wasabi House habit. I think its actually easier to get to the Canada Games Centre from here too, so I plan to sort out some lunchtime yoga this week too - maybe Friday.

Once I get my head around the workload, I am hoping that my actual working day will be more enjoyable. So far I am sorting out my lunchtimes. I need the daylight so this is a great situation right now.

Time to reconnect

Today I am trying to recall what it was like when I first met my husband and all the fun years that we had before children. Now this isn’t because I dont love and cherish my children, I really do.

This is because children take the focus from your relationship, 100% and its very very easy to just become these parents to these wonderful children.

You lose the carefree and wonderful side of your relationship when you were just into each other and thats all that mattered as you negotiate life and nurture the next generation into hopefully happy children and then later, balanced happy adults.

So today and lately I am trying to make something positive out of what I have coined my “midlife crisis” and use it to see what I can do to get some of that back. We had it a little when we went away for 4 days together to Gibraltar in 2009, 4 days of just us, it was like stepping back in time.

To just concentrate on OUR relationship and feel a little bit of youth and irresponsibility would be amazing and its absolutely needed right now.

I realise how much we HAVENT done this over the years and now its very very necessary. I need that closeness back and some time to reconnect.

(reconnect is such an American term but I love it, its the only word that really describes what I am trying to say)


Ideally, we would just head on down to the Florida Keys and sort it all there, but thats a little out of the current budget - sadly.
To sit by the water and be just us again would be the best tonic.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

on the weight loss and suck it up route

Its been a while since I blogged consistently, its been a tough time. I struggled with leaving my old job and miss that office and my old colleagues more than I ever thought I would.
My new job is manic and I have been trying to come to terms with leaving the old job and how I feel about that, along with trying to learn this new one. Its been hard.

I also am trying to remain fitter and increase my level of fitness, I like my new self and I am afraid of going back to how I was for so long. I cant do that, I just cant.

I have been taking the running steadily but try to go every day, I now am able to run the 2k quite easily but anything further is hard, I realise that I need to build up steadily as I have come along way from that person that couldnt run down the road for love nor money. There is a Hot Yoga class at the gym near work on a Friday lunchtime that I am going to try to attend. I have already paid for 10 sessions at that gym, so I need to use that. This could be a GREAT way to do so.

I am 22lbs down and can now fit into a lot of my old clothes and also can choose a medium in Old Navy!!! Although these yoga pants are actually in small size (they must be a medium size of small is all I can say)
I cant imagine gorging on bad food now, I now and then have an A&W and enjoy it, but its really a rarity for me. Chinese takeout is long gone from my life (thank God) I prefer a more balanced diet of enjoyable healthy food and I am trying to stick to smaller portions and no desert.

It is of course Holiday Season - yes it IS Christmas, I still say Christmas, I use the term Holiday to cover the whole couple of weeks of parties, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year. This of course means lots of food around, I have deliberately not bought boxes of chocolates for the house, we just dont need them.

This New Years Eve I plan to be of an even state of mind to forgive myself for all my mistakes of this year and stop beating myself up about them.
At least I wont be once again vowing to lose weight, that is firmly in hand this year.

I still have 15 pounds to go, and I will. By my 38th (gulp) birthday that will be gone.
I hope that soon I will be able to embrace being older and view that as not so terrible, good health should help me there.

This is the old me - I felt awful here (8 years of awful in fact):

This is the current me:

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Christmas Party weekend

Saturday was a pretty full on day, we headed out to the Christmas Tree farm in the morning to pick this years tree. There were many to choose from but we were worried about the "DFS effect" and ended up picking a smaller tree than last year.
The "DFS effect" means when you are in a sofa showroom and they are all massive and its hard to place your head back in your living room and you end up with a sofa thats enormous and takes over the whole place, that looked "small" in the showroom.
It was also raining that day - a steady drizzle that made me feel like we were back in the UK

Girls didnt mind that the tree was slighter than last year and happily decorated it. We just had to be very careful with heavier ornaments and have vowed that next year we will buy the biggest tree we see with strong branches and just empty the room around it.

The living room was pretty cosy that night. I love the Christmas feel in this house.

It was also the IMP Christmas Party night and my loss of 22lbs has enabled me to pick and choose through precious dresses that were previously out of my option range. I picked this one as its more "Holiday-ish" and I was pleased.

It was a GREAT night, so nice to see everyone back at Head Office. I do miss them.

Friday, 30 November 2012

first snow, shoes, 3k

So I am stuck at the roughly 3k mark for my run, I thought I could go further but on another attempt I found I couldnt. Its also conveniently snowed, that was this morning - or overnight - I am not sure, but we woke to it.
4cm had to be shovelled off the driveway (not by me, may I add) and Dukie didnt really get a walk as it was feels like -16 outside this morning.

I also thought that I was early and thank God as I couldnt get the garage door to open more than a foot, I had to get next door to give me a hand, he seemed to have a magic one as the damn thing suddenly behaved itself.

So I actually got to work almost on time, I am pleased to say, no having to explain my lateness or the damn door.

I think I may have to just check out the indoor running track, but maybe not tonight, tonight I am hunting out the evasive party shoes.
I am not very good at spending money, I hate it. Therefore what I buy has to be an emotional attachment as soon as we meet and it has to last, and be comfortable :-)
Therefore my purchases always take time and require consideration!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

some of the best times

Last night I was looking through some of the thousands of pictures that we took this year and thinking that I need to save them someplace other than on this laptop in case something happens to it, and I was struck by the memories of this summer. We did so much and I felt an urge to stick just a few of the pics of the best times on here.
Lily and I on one of the Harbour Ferries on Tall Ships Day, she had just enjoyed a chocolate icecream from the Cowes store

Lily and the view in Briar Island when we went whale watching
The girls on the rocks for our seal watching evening on Briar Island

 Chloe checking out the seals, this child just LOVES binoculars

 Paul and Mr Duke in PEI
 Lily in PEI
The girls in the car coming back from PEI - it was a GREAT short break

 Paul sorting things in the coolest place this summer
 Pondering on Queensland Beach

 Girls on Melmerby - the BEST beach in Nova Scotia

Hanging by the pool

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Cold and running

The weather is cold – end of! And I mean FREEEEZING.  I went for a run in -9.7C the other morning and it was hard on my throat at first, and it was hard to get out there but I am glad I did.

The same could be said of last night, I managed to get out at 8.20pm with Dukie and I have realised that my normal running route is now “easy” – yes EASY!!! How about that! I need to push to a new longer one. I need to get to the 3k run mark next. I have to take my time as running was not my thing, but now maybe it is.

I am also now down 20lbs so I feel SO good, I still have another 15 to go at least, well thats the plan anyway. I am finding that I just dont want crappy food now, I feel good – I want it to stay that way. And there is absolutely no reason for crappy food when there is so much good food around to cook with.

It was snowing on Sunday, the kind that flurries down but doesn’t lay at all. The girls were ecstatic about this. It made me get my snowflake Scentsy burner out and stick Christmas Cottage scent in it.

I have so much to do to get ready for Christmas – I planned to make my own mince pies with my own filling, I need to find a recipe, thank goodness for Google! I need to still get some presents, we need to do the Christmas tree hunt and chop - I think thats scheduled for Dec 8th or 9th.

The new job is starting to go well, I am busy, really busy and I love that. This is a great company with great people and I am starting to feel so much more settled.

I am off to two Christmas parties over the next two weekends and that rocks my world. I get to wear dresses to both! Hurrah!!!  I love Halifax too, I love that I will be out in it. Its a really pretty city with great restaurants and ambience.

I love this province, this country, its beauty, its attitude, its people. I still wish that I had done this YEARS ago, instead of just wanting to.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

life in week 1

Ok so I think I am getting over my funk.

I started my new job on Monday and it is different, its going to take me some time to get used to being here. I am still excited and still keen as this is a BIG DEAL for me, but I miss my old office SO VERY much. I under-estimated the effect of that.

Everyone is very nice and I know in time, I will love it. I just have to get over the new girl bit.

Its getting colder, the girls have their first colds in I dont know how long and today they are off school as they are struggling at night to sleep and I think they need some time to heal.

My early morning runs are starting in the dark and its cold. It was minus 9.7C the other morning and was frosty. I remember I used to imagine that kind of temperature would have to result in about 6 foot of snow but it doesnt. We havent had any of the white stuff yet, I am looking forward to it.

Running is definately getting easier now, its taken long enough and I am wondering if thats partly due to not having to lug so much weight around, I feel so much better for the loss, unfortunately I cant seem to break over the 1.5K distance, I need to work harder on that.

The girls are talking about Christmas, and I think this year that we will get two trees. I think we have enough decs for a small Disney tree in the family room too, so that will be fun.

Dukie is getting braver, he greets people who come to our home now instead of running away, hes growing so much in his personality.

The girlies are both doing well at school, I am very proud of them!

Saturday, 17 November 2012


I have decided that I am in the midst of a mid-life crisis. I have nicknamed it my MLC.
I want to be me at 26, here in Halifax, fresh, young, free of all responsibilities and family.
I want to revel in being in Canada as I was at that time, as I always wanted to -my personal wish to be here. This is calling me strongly, at times I want to weep that I am 37, with a family, with people that need me.

To be able to live that time, when I had younger skin and more youthful hair. When I was an explorer with my own money and time and it was ALL ABOUT ME

It hasnt been all about me for the longest time, I am frankly jealous of other people that have that.

I wish I had been brave enough to emigrate when I first entertained the idea, and then I wouldnt have all those wasted years in the wrong country.

Friday, 16 November 2012

goodbye Internal Audit

Today was my last day at my job. I am sad. I have left some amazingly friendly, wonderful people and although I will still have contact with many of them in my new job, some I wont. I wont be in the same building either.
I said goodbye to my office and my view and my peace. I loved it there.

This week we had some great warm days, Monday and Tuesday were at 20C, so I took advantage and went for my walk around the water and the Arm in my lunchbreak. It was bliss, it was my last time.

I spent some good times today with those people. I had a lovely lunch with my great manager and my immediate colleagues and then later had time and hugs with others from the floor above. Its easier to be friends now that I wont audit them at some point.

So onwards to my new job next Monday. I am so pleased that I wont have to go away on another two week audit but for now, despite that I am emotional. I am sad, and snivelling and remembering the good (and bad) days with affection. I have been so lucky.

Oh and as a sidenote, I lost another 7lbs and am now down 20lbs! I feel so much better for it

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

feeling good

I am feeling really GOOD. I am out of my funk of stress and  I feel amazing actually.
I am starting to not feel so old, so getting "past it", so "just like a working mother and thats it"

Today I am feeling tremendous ( we need to bring that word back, it says more than awesome)

I feel young again. Its cold out and I mean REALLY COLD. I think this is it for the season, the fire is lit and will remain that way. I am still going to go and get new clothes (as planned) and embrace ME. I think I had forgotten how to do that.
I realise I have gotten so tired of trying to make this life this best we financially can, of building up to the next big career move, of trying to be the most up to date, experienced , yet fresh Accountant I can be.

I am a mum, a wife and someone who goes to work for a living, therefore not rich, but I am also a person, I am not old and past it, I feel GOOD.

Bring on the new job although it means leaving this one, which is actually quite sad.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

bathroom colours and frosty mornings

I was reviewing our new bathroom last night. Its not quite finished but its almost there, it should be complete today bar paint. Paul is painting it, we decided this as it knocked a whole $400 off the quote and hes rather handy with a paintbrush.
We spent some time kicking ideas around on colour for the walls and then the knock on effect of wall colour of course leads to colours for towels, pictures and other bathroom accessories.

We've stood and considered our colour options both in daylight and after dark with the lights on, next to our oh so beautiful line of blue mosaic tiles that stand proudly amongst the white tile around the bath, and around the vanity.

We want (surprise surprise) a Key West theme in our bathroom. This theme was in our very first bathroom too and we want it again. I shy away from the fashionable brown spa look.

So, we have picked our colours and we will soon have it complete and I will put some pictures on here to show it all off. The main aim is space, light and airy and beautiful and a home to our funky Key West metal gecko.

This morning I took Dukie for our first of the season minus temps walk in my PJs. I did have my winter coat and winter fluffy boots on but I wanted to do the circle in my PJs as thats our regime in the winter months and I was eager to get right back into it. It was zero degrees out with a wind-chill down to -2. It was brisk.
I recall last year doing this little circuit in a wind chill of minus 26. That is something to look forward to again.

I am back on my healthy eating lark and have discovered a soup that I like to eat at least 2 days of the week - sweet potatoe and carrot with pear and curry. Its filling, its hearty, its sweet with some heat.
I need another now that includes black beans or chickpeas, I shall get my Jamie Oliver American cookbook back out.

Friday, 2 November 2012

warm weather and keeping in the BIG PICTURE

Its very warm out there. I am not saying that its Caribbean warm but its warm enough that I am wearing a T-shirt to work and a cardigan for outdoor. When I take Dukie out for his walks, I am too hot.
Its very nice but its also the start of November and I am wondering how much of a shock to the system the cold will be, when it finally makes an appearance for good.
Its saving us money in heat obviously as we havent had the fire on pretty much all week, the house is just TOO warm. I think its the knock-on effect from Hurricane Sandy - all this warmth just doesnt feel right.

I sometimes wonder if I am too obsessed with weather. As a Brit, I am meant to be all about the weather, but I was never this interested in it before we moved. I am thinking its due to having seasons in my life now - clearly defined seasons that require considerable changes in habits and prep work.

I drove to work this morning, the sun was shining and the view was terrific, all the reds are now gone from the trees and they are bare but theres some yellow left so the vista is of browns, greens and yellows with some mist rising from the lake and a very pretty sky. All was good with my world at that point.

Right now, I am dealing with some anxiety each day, but I am looking for tools to help me with that and to enable me to respond correctly. That view brings the big picture home to me, as I need to concentrate on the big picture which is:
Home in Nova Scotia that we love
Career progressing in Nova Scotia
Future Snow Bird activity for us down to Florida

Well, the top two are well on track, we have the NS house and are doing the renos that we need to do to make it a great family home. This years "to do" list is almost complete, the bathroom should be finished and ready for paint today (zippeeeeeee!)

My career is going in the right track and I am SO looking forward to my new job starting

Snow bird activity - slight glitch in those plans as next Marchs trip is now being put off to the Fall, but thats a short term issue and we are still going to Florida next year.

I need to consider next years plans for spending money in all the right places, I am a planner so plans are essential to me, perhaps it will look something like this:

  1. Save up the cash for the Holiday down South (yes I know we say Vacation in N America but I like the word Holiday)
  2. Get Lilys closet doors fixed
  3. Put up new curtains in Chloes room and the Family room
  4. New shelving in the Family Room and paint it
  5. Garden - move around some plants, grow own veggies
  6. Get a decent work wardrobe - I found this little phrase in a magazine and I loved it-  "I like to see my money - hanging in my closet" ~ Sarah Jessica Parker

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

I should be smiling

So Frankenstorm DID hit NY and the surrounding large area and the whole place is under a fair amount of water. The subways are full of sea water and the financial district is closed for the second day running. I am wondering what impact that will have on the World economy. I also feel terribly sad for all those affected.

Back in this neck of the woods I am trying to get my head in the place it was at OCS in the run-up to our emigration. If I can achieve this, all will be good. I should be grinning like a fool about this new job, dancing about the office - perhaps I should give that a try.

Last night we ran Dukie round for a quick walk with Lily crying the whole time that she was cold, her knees hurt, she was tired, something else that I cant recall. I think she was being a little dramatic really and perked up once we got back. We then had pumpkins to carve - at speed - as it was getting late, supper to cook and eat - I cheated and they had chicken nuggets - and baths to take. Its always hard when Paul is on nights.

Our new bath is gorgeous and I had to make the most of it as at some point today or tomorrow the tile will be laid and the room will be out of bounds for a while.

I cant wait to see the end of this and the final result, I really cant

Monday, 29 October 2012

bah Monday

I just went out and got sushi for lunch. I havent had it for weeks and weeks and actually I have found it hard to stick to my weight loss whilst being away - actually impossible and I feel horrible about myself because of it.
We can no longer listen to music at work either so I am here in silence and its grey and miserable and blustery outside. The Halloween storm dubbed "Frankenstorm" is due to hit New York in an hour or so, if the media is spot on, and I am wondering if it is indeed a "superstorm" and "likely to wipe out Manhatten" with its predicted 11 foot waves.
Frankly, and selfishly, I am hoping that the predicted path of this Cat 1 Hurricane isnt incorrect as its dubbed to make a left turn to NY, if they have got that wrong then we are in the way.

Today I am disappointed that people in certain positions can behave like children and even more disappointed in myself for being so affected by it.

I am also missing the sweet sound of music and how it can help my day ride along. All in all I am a little in the mis-mogs. I need to concentrate on my plans for tonight - pumpkin carving with the girlies.
I am not sure where the pumpkin carvers are, I need to track them down and not give in and try to do carvings with a knife. The way my day is going, that could end in tears.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

back home

Its been a tremendous weekend. I rushed home as fast as I could considering I wasnt driving, I willed the car down the highway. I shot through Masstown at our coffee shop, although I did manage to see an upside down Christmas tree there, that was within my streak through. I dont fancy the upside down idea by the way, I prefer a more traditional Christmas tree approach.
I got home and gathered my family up and breathed them all in. I was out walking the dog within the hour with a new found appreciation of my neighbourhood.
I reviewed the lovely scrape on Winter, that was an expensive winter tire change!

I have enjoyed every.single.minute of my time back at home.

I have gone to bed late and got up early, I have walked, I have drank  early morning flavoured coffee in silence whilst enjoying my Keys column having paid my $1.25 US to read the Keys Citizen (a column that used to be free online) Its a once a fortnight treat that I am awarding myself.
I have eaten little but quality food, I hugged my pillows to myself in my own wonderful bed.
I have even started my long put off project of transferring inspirational pieces - written and picture types from my House magazines to a scrap book.
I have a pretty long list of projects for this house over the next 10 years to include but not be limited to:

  • New windows (yawn)
  • New Kitchen - this WILL be fun, I have an idea but I need LOTS of pictures to get my groove on for this - thankfully I have time as we have NO money for this right now.
  • New hardwood floors
  • New cupboards in family room and redecorate room
  • Ensuite bathroom for us
  • New closet doors
  • personalising small guest room - its pretty much just white currently
  • repainting guest bathroom and replacing noisy shower head
Currently we are renovating our bathroom, so right now its pretty much an empty and newly spacious room with just a new beautiful gorgeous bath in it. The tiles should be up (and down) this week. I rather like these:
colour coded bathroom hooks by Martha Stewart as I dont want towels to take over the walls.
Ages ago I saw a stunning bathroom in Key West that I fell for in a big way, but I cant remember if it was in a house for sale or a rental. I havent been able to find it since. So I am trying to remember what I managed to commit to memory.

Today we had Sunday roast with some friends and walked all the dogs together. We also got maps out and spread them all over the table to discuss our route down to Florida. I wish we had done it in a more involved way as I loved it.

I am loving that I never need to leave my family so quickly for so long again, that trips away with work will be much fewer and for much shorter periods of time.

The clock is counting down to my new job. Fall is leaving us and the last home project on the list for this year is in progress. I cant wait to see what our bathroom looks like at the end of the week.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Amherst and CMA

Its been an interesting weekend.
First of all I was away all of last week in Amherst. Its a cute little town but the hotel we are in is horrible. Its whats known as rustic I think, that equals - dark green carpets, dark green comforter with roses on it, minimal furniture in the room, a TV that buzzes gently and a wardrobe from Walmart. The breakfast is OK and the view is of all the windfarm (aka windmills here in NS)... I wont step foot in the pool, I am surprised its open for business with its peeling paint and the gym has four pieces of aging equipment in it. My bathroom IS nice though and I am thinking up ways of spending all my free time in there so I can then just dash into bed and sleep the night away. There are no bedbugs - I have checked!

I have been on a couple of lovely walks into the town which has some wooden carvings made from trees with chainsaws (so I am told) and so I spent a happy half an hour reading plaques and being impressed by the handiwork.

The choice of eats is limited and of the greasy variety so I am not happy from that point of view either.

We are back there again this week - I am not pleased.

Anyway the weekend - Friday was a tremendously good evening. Paul and I dressed up and dropped of the kids and headed to a hotel in Halifax for the CMA Convocation.
I felt a bit like a gatecrasher at this Grad ceremony as I am only a transfer. But I am THE first ever transfer and therefore I got some time on the stage having a photo done with my framed certificate, it was a great night.

Saturday I spent out of the house collecting the girls from their sleepover and having tea with my friend. I came home to the first of my weekend of volunteer paperwork.
I was only tieing up the payroll for the year but that took me all of today. I am less than pleased. Its my very precious two days between being in the "rustic" hotel.
Its been warm too, the house was hot today, so it was a T-shirt day, it feels kind of weird this late in October to me.
I am all poised to enjoy Fall and bake gingerbread and plum pudding (when I am actually home) but it needs to cool down again, I was bitten by a damn mosquito today!

BUT there is good news too - I have managed to transfer to another job in this Group and will start in November as a Corporate Accountant. I am SUPER happy, although I am giving up my office and its vista of the Arm, indeed its general daylight and this I am taking a dim view of. It is worth it but it will be missed, I cant wait to be home more with my family and no longer have to leave them all the time.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Its frickin cold.

Its cold. End of.
The fire is crackling in the hearth, its kind of early on a Sunday morning and I am delighted to say that we have a nothing kind of day ahead. These are frankly the best kind.

I plan to run with Duke (with my ears covered), have a great breakfast with my family, clean up the girls rooms and put the guest suite straight and then go out with Dukie again. I have plans to catch up on skype with my UK friend this afternoon.
I know that Paul will bring in wood and fix the Halloween lights that are not being cooperative above the front door.

We may wrap up warm and venture out for a little while this afternoon to pick some pumpkins. Lily has just got up and is already asking about picking pumpkins.

Last night we had an amazing Thai meal down in Halifax which was rocking with some event and therefore buzzing with people. Our girls were babysat and we went out together as adults, hell I even wore a dress!

I am away again for two weeks tomorrow but its only in Amherst so plan to be back home in the week for a night and of course back next weekend. Thankfully this is the last away audit until at least next February. I cant tell you how pleased I am about that!

The BIG news is that our bathroom reno is due to start in 8 days!! I am SO pleased about this, I hate our bathroom so much. I will be away for one week of the renovations but back for the fun stuff - you know, like tiles. I really must get some pics of its current state so I can do a before and after post.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012


I am sitting here listening to Sheryl Crowe, whos an artist that I have loved for a long long time and thinking about how much I have to be thankful for.
We had an amazing if slightly chaotic Thanksgiving weekend, the weather was fabulous with blue skies and warmth and we had a great time at the Wildlife Park on Sunday prior to our cleaning up session for Mondays feast.

We had a tremendous Thanksgiving meal with some good friends (5 families) and it went very very well. Paul and I looked at each other at one point whilst making coffee and listening to all the chatter around us and said “Isnt this great!” and it really was. Everyone contributed to the meal and the conversation, the children were wonderfully well behaved and the day was just an epic cook and food fest. I loved it!
So here I am with Grooveshark playing and its lunchtime and I am listening to Sheryl and remembering driving my newish Vauxhall Cavalier from Littlehampton back to Worthing when I was 18 years old and playing this very song “All I wanna do” and feeling energised by it. Now nearly 20 years later it still has the same effect.
I am loving this life, in fact I am thankful and grateful for every aspect of my life. Every memory, every lesson – good and bad. Every song that has lifted my spirits, motivated me, taken me down memory lane or reduced me to tears. Every friend and person who has touched me in some way, all those that are no longer here - I WILL see you again (of that I am sure)
Everything I have learnt from my wonderful husband and my cherished children, I look at my oldest and remember her as a baby. How is she now 8??!!
I am who I am because of every person I have met, every exam I have passed (and failed) every argument, every makeup, every laugh and tear shed.
I am thankful for this life.