Sunday, 27 January 2013

a weekend of two halves

Its been a weekend of two halves, in more ways than one...
Firstly I cleaned half the house yesterday and the second half of that half today... It took ages as its filthy (frankly), once I started I quickly saw more and more that needed my attention. It doesnt help that we heat with wood sometimes, I vacuumed up stacks of soot from the shelves and in fact everywhere. I wonder how much cleaner it would be if we had propane.... hmmm...........

I was also in a horribly bad mood yesterday. Granted, it started off well with a run at the Sportsplex which was over-run with little girls at 8.30am in spangly costumes and glitter everywhere, but they were on the ice and not in the field so they were safe from my wrath. I got in only 8 laps, I had planned on 10 but that 8 were hard going so not a great start to my day.
This is due to my massive lack of exercise lately, I blame the weather entirely, its too damn cold to get out there any do anything.
I need the sportsplex more and more but of course thats being used by other people that are too cold to be outside too! They are Canadian, why arent they tougher? Why arent they out jogging on the ice?!!

So, bad mood accomplished, I then got into a rage over the bloody garage door again. I mean really - why have a garage that you cant use in winter! I mean I can use it but I want to blow the door up in the morning at times as its SO unco-operative and wastes so much of my time and hurts my shoulder.
We had some friends round for dinner last night though and that WAS fun, even though I was a little stressed in the run-up but it was that kind of day. I had promised to cook the Seabass that we had in the freezer - why???!!! I had no idea what to do with it! None. I think it was luck that made it not only edible but actually delicious.

This morning dawned bright and clear and I pulled on my big girl pants, got over myself and came down for a decent breakfast. It was peaceful, I planned on PB and banana french toast and lo and behold we were out of eggs - naturally. BUT nothing was going to destroy my peaceful happy Sunday, so I borrowed some from my neighbour. I then enjoyed it all with my new Coastal Living magazine.
It was lucky that I had some housework plans as I all but lost the laptop to my oldest child who was on skype for hours with her English friends...
So, I finished the main floor, vacummed, swiffered, mopped, laundered everything, changed beds, cleaned the bathroom again. So much excitement for a Sunday.
But it brought some peace and some happiness that comes from having a cleaner home. I looked out of the window and saw all of the yellow circles in the snow that suggests thats Dukes current bathroom, why cant he contain his eblusions to the wooded area that we marked in our minds as his bathroom, hes clearly not on the same page.

So its 9.30pm, I am tired, half the house is clean - Paul can do the rest tomorrow, I am sure he has nothing more important planned!!!

Friday, 25 January 2013

I didnt think I lived in AB!!!

Never did I have this mornings shennanigans on my radar.
So.... due to the persistant pain in the ass behaviour of the garage door and the constant unwanted adrenalin rush each morning as I see if I can get the damn thing open and therefore go to work, we decided to leave the car outside last night.
Bad move!

I went out 10 mins before planned departure time and nothing, no click when I start the key, absolutely.bloody.nothing! Silence from the car and a set of warning lights all over the display. BUT the warning lights were also faint.

Hmmmm, I trudge next door and wake my neighbour (cringe!) as hes an ex engineer - aircraft but how different can it all be, right?

He comes over, takes a look, leaves and comes back with a battery to jump it. No cigar

He thinks the starter motor may be frozen. I thought that may be the case too but discounted that thought, as hey what do I know about the mechanics of a car anyway?!!

So... now I am not at work, am late for work, and waiting for CAA to show their sweet selves. We shall go from there....

This was the reason we did NOT move to Alberta!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

evenings in January ~ NS style

What we do in our evenings now.

As its so “cool” out there right now, theres been a real shift in daily habits, I am doing this in point format as that’s always a touch more interesting:

·         Gone are the evening and morning dog walks of happiness in our sub-division or the green field, instead one of us runs Duke round a short walk to stretch his legs, we almost draw straws to do it. Pauls is often the short one as neither of us want to re-visit my broken ankles again. Its usually in achingly cold temps and I think that even Duke is pleased to be back in the house after 30 mins

·         The evening runs are now replaced with early morning weekend (if Paul is home) and evening (if I can get in there) laps of the running track at the Sportsplex. I love it there, its new and its nice and they have music playing. And I can increase it easily, just keep adding a lap. The first 3 are the hardest and then its hard again at about lap 6

·         Swimming in the pool is now sitting in front of “Army Wives” in front of the fire and getting involved in all that drama. We are on Season 2 – I have discovered that there are 7 seasons! Yay!!!
The pool is frozen along with everything else out there. I want to hang an "out of order" sign on it!

·         BBQ burgers and chicken is now replaced with warm food with added chilli! We are going to try out Mexican breakfast tortillas for dinner tonight! Yes I know, not breakfast but I cant wait until a weekend when Paul is home, I need more instant gratification.

·         My car is in the garage, the one with the door that’s being uncooperative. So far its stayed in there for two days and I have taken Pauls as I cant be bothered to try to extract it. I cant wait to be able to just leave it on the driveway with all its windows open.

·         The beach – not going there! My tolerance to wind chill factor is minus 26, so far today we are 4C colder.

·         The happy noise of cicadas, birds and the pool filter has been replaced by the happy noise of the snowplow going by or the gentle silence of falling flakes.

·         I take my Ipod out of the car, thankfully since its night outside it seems to have not suffered any permanent damage.

·         The girls play “make believe” in the front room with castles and farms and prehistoric lands instead of being outside on their bikes, swings and in the pool. Oh and their DS’s are very popular right now.
What I thought We would be doing all winter in Canada:
Skiiing! This requires more disposable income than we have right now, maybe next year....

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

minus temps

Its SO COLD! We have discovered certain things happen in these temps - minus 24 ~

1. The house creaks and cracks at night, thats weird but apparently normal
2. The FibreOp keeps dropping the internet, we are blaming that on the temps too
3. The garage door doesnt work properly, its like its lost its mind and takes at least 5 mins to co-operate as it moves in tiny little shifts up and down. The closer we get to zero the more it works - bizarre!
4. The dog still wants to be walked, I dont want to walk him
5. Even with the heat on, in the morning the house feels cool
6. Leaving my Ipod in the car overnight was probably NOT the smartest thing I have done, it will probably never ever ever work again.
7. Driving in snow is now normal, as is ice. It feels ok, I dont see what any fuss is about.
8. I want to be a snow bird in February more than ever!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

weekends are for relaxing

Its been a nice weekend...
We discovered the coffee selection at Wheatons and now have a large selection of Keurig cups - Donut shop, Kahlua, cinammon pastry, white mint chocolate, Jamaica me Crazy (mmmm coconut!!!) to name but a few and therefore have had a bit of a coffee Sunday.... I am particularly fond of Spicy Eggnog coffee.

We went to Montanas last night which is a family steakhouse where the kids can write on the paper tablecloth, deer and moose stick out of the wall, ice hockey is on the big screen and the food is pretty dang good. I had salmon, rice and veggies, Paul had ribs with coleslaw and mushrooms, Chloe had chicken strips and Lily had a smorgeousboard of goodies - her pasta with garlic toast, Chloes celery and most of Pauls coleslaw. I love the way that child eats!!

It was snowing again on the way home and made for some slippery conditions, the kids instantly went into parental mode - "told you we should get home earlier" (It was 8pm...), "daddy stay in this lane, dont go round him", "daddy drive carefully", "Daddy are you getting off at the next exit". I mean really! Children of 8 and 5 shouldn't really be so concerned about driving or should they. I am sure at their age I just kicked back, relaxed and looked out of the window, I am pretty sure I was NOT a backseat driver, I shall have to ask my dad the next time I speak to him.

Today has been good, I went to yoga this morning in surprisingly warm temps - 8C, it felt like Spring had Sprung.
It was Hatha Yoga, if I hadnt got such a problem with my shoulder I would most probably have enjoyed it more, but it was still good, it was good to stretch and relax. I came out at the end feeling at one with the world to the warmth, the blue sky and sunshine, the sound of snow melting and dripping.

We had family movie afternoon- the Fox and The Hound - cue I indulge in afternoon nap while the girls got lost in Todd and Copper and the politics of a such a relationship.

I had a cuddle this evening with a two week old baby. I had all but forgotten what that feels like, their little fists curled up near their faces, pulling all manner of expressions in the space of 30 seconds, the way they hump their little bodies up and snuggle right in. He is adorable, his mother looked exhausted!

So, now its evening, I feel refreshed by this weekend, ready to face the week of work, looking forward to Monday - hurrah for that!

Friday, 18 January 2013


Its Friday - Hu-bloody-rah!
I am SO exhausted from work, its so busy but so good but my shoulders ache and my arm aches (not RSI, I hope) and I am hoping that I get to the running track before 6pm so I can get round it in some peace but I very much doubt that will happen, very much!

So tomorrow morning I hope to go to yoga but perhaps I can run first, either way I am running! I want peace and tranquility to get round. Its almost my happy place but its certainly NOT that when its packed.

It snowed this morning, pretty hairy drive into work actually but so far my little car with its trusty winter tires has not let me down.

This weekend we have plans - exersize, Montanas for a family dinner (girls love it and frankly so do I) and some chilling out. I can almost taste that cedar plank salmon with rice!

I just took a peak out of the window (still miss my old office and its friggin daylight) and its white and pretty with sunshine and blue sky, but apparently its cold! Minus 11, feels like minus 23 last time I looked.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

snow and more inspiration

Its snowing. 2cm predicted right about now and another 10cm tonight.
Its January and we live in Canada, so I guess that means it no surprise.

I cant believe how fast this month is going by, I blame this new job where I spend my day busy busy busy. Did I say busy?

Last night I took the plunge and signed up for the local gym, I couldnt go running, the track was busy (theres a lot of busy in this post) with soccer (learnt my lesson there) and then athletics all evening so I gave in and went to yoga at the gym - which was good! I needed it, I have pulled something in my shoulder lately and the yoga class seemed to have helped it, I certainly have more movement today - more pain free movement.

So, I am all over quotes at the moment and have stuck some of my favourites on the wall in my office:

Dr Phil (gotta love him) - "If you want more, you have to require more from yourself"

Not sure who penned this (in fact I dont know) but its famous, "Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, power and magic in it"

Chris Gardner - "Its ok to fail, its not ok to quit"

So - I am in full on career mode, after my time with babies, who are now growing so fast as the girls in our home, I am back into my job with my heart and soul with more aplomb than ever before, I am aiming for the 5th floor!

I have been fortunate enough to be able to work for an organization that I believe in, that I am proud to be an employee of and am prepared to give my heart and soul to. I am here until I retire I hope.

some wise words from a 75 year old sushi chef:

1. Find your craft, and dedicate your life to mastering it. Jiro stressed that you don't need to do everything well, but to do your one thing to the best of your ability and to continuously improve on it.

One of my favorite quotes from Jiro:

"Once you decide on your occupation, you must immerse yourself in your work. You have to fall in love with your work. Never complain about your job. You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret of success and is the key to being regarded honorably." ~ Jiro Ono

I like this, I have never been one for living just for the weekends, I love Monday too.
I saw this on one of my favourite blogs "Lift, Love, Life" and felt the need to feel inspired by it on mine too.

OK enough of quotes now, I shall stick to weather, food, kids and house going forward. Oh and holidays of course, thats my all time love!

Monday, 14 January 2013


I have been wondering around Facebook (as one does) and came across this:

I rather like this.
I like the - "if it changes your life - let it" bit. So many of us are so afraid of change and yet change is the only constant.
I believe that I have had different views of change in my life, sometimes I embrace it and am a true advocate to whoever will listen, sometimes if I am extremely happy with the status quo I am the last person to want change to show its face.
It would be good to be positive of change regardless of whats happening in your life, I am going to work on that concept.

For me when I was at Identex and was returning from mat leave with Chloe I wasnt interested in any change, I liked the place, the people, my job. When my boss told us she was emigrating it broke my heart. BUT it made me realize that I knew people (normal people) who emigrated which meant it was possible. Fast forward 5 years and we did that but in a different direction to her - they went to Oz, we came to Canada.
Once the emigration idea was firmly in place and being researched, a change was the writing on the wall and I was a true advocate.
Now we are here, big time change from life in the UK and its great.
And then I was in a job in a great company (still in the great company) and change raised its head and I have been truly finding it hard, and I am going to remember today that
"Nobody said that it would be easy, they just promised that it would be worth it"
I have been trying to find my way in this new division, in this new job and fighting the change as I couldnt and didnt want to face it.
This weekend I have been giving it a lot of thought, gaining some advice from other professionals who know me and how I work and now I know that this sure isnt easy, but I am damned if I am going to make it worth it.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Bucket Lists

I have been following this very inspirational young lady Alice Pyne since 2011 who had terminal cancer, she passed away yesterday at only 17 years old.
She achieved most of the things on her bucket list and one of her items was for everyone to have a bucket list. I dont know how a teenager deals with facing her own mortality, I certainly find it difficult to even think about. We have managed to think about it long enough to make a will (all be it an English one, but it still exists) but in the spirit of Alice, and to help her achieve her bucket list, I figured that I would think up my own.

My Bucket List

See the sun rise on the Grand Canyon with a cup of coffee
Drive the San Francisco Coast Road
Ski in Aspen
Achieve Director of Finance
Cycle the US1 from Miami to Key West
Participate in a cattle drive in Montana
White water rafting
Fly a helicopter
Run the Cancer Race in Halifax
Learn yoga and be good at it
Teach my children the importance of education, honesty, kindness and love

Most of these items require money and often involve travel and I realize thats where my main interests are - in the world of experiences and building memories. Some things are only achievable by hard work and no money in the world will make a difference and some are from the heart.

There are other things that I wish to achieve like a second home in Florida, but I dont feel that is a "bucket list" item but more of a lifestyle plan.

Anyway, Alice - you inspired me and humbled me and I wish your family and friends speedy healing in their heartbreak and loss. I am sure you will be remembered by many for years and years to come for all your hard work and kind giving nature.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

what happened when I tried to go for a run

I am feeling out of sorts,
So this morning I planned to get out to the dome and the running track before breakfast, but......
I cant get the fire to stay lit this morning. I went out at 8.30am for kindling ( I SO wish I had known yesterday that we were out and I may have moved my ass to get some, or maybe I wouldnt have. I wasnt feeling too well yesterday)
I drove to Averys and it was still closed, open at 9am. Gah, it was 8.42. So I turned around and drove back to Sobeys and bought some fruit and some bread but they only had a bag of uber expensive, hardly any wood in the bag kindling. I ummmed and ahhhed and left it in the store.
It was then 8.58am so I turned around and went back to Averys and bought some very reasonably priced kindling -$3.99 for a massive bag. Finally I get to the Sportsplex, the parking lot is full (I went out the door in the first place to go for a run, I made myself get kindling whilst out as we needed it, really I couldnt be bothered to drive all the way to Averys, so this whole morning so far was irritating me)

The Sportsplex parking lot was busy - deeply suspicious of this as I like the dome to be empty for my run - but it is attached to a whopper of an ice rink with ice hockey matches so I blamed that. And there was a match - good.
Then I got to the door of the dome and was met with a sign that said "Jan 11th through to Jan 13th, the dome is hosting the mother of all soccer matches" or words to that effect.."the walking track is open but it will be congested"  Of course! Thats about how the day is panning out. If it had said "the track is unavailable to YOU Natasha, dont even attempt to use it" I wouldnt have been surprised.

So, I went back to the car and came home.

I am now eating breakfast which I couldnt really be bothered to make and surveying the absolute mess that is this house currently.

I think I can brave the outside and run with the dog, that will make his day, and I hope I dont step on some random patch of lurking ice that I dont see in all my speed and break something.

In the meantime whilst awaiting this rather good breakfast of PB and banana french toast with blueberries and real NS maple syrup to go down I think I shall tackle the house. I cant face it in its current dog hair, toys everywhere, kitchen disaster, curtains shut mess any longer.

The sun had better stay shining until I am ready to go out and run, is all I can say.
Lets hope the day improves from here on, But first before I tackle the house and attempt the run I shall try to light the damn fire again first - the house is cooling down!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

warm (to me)

Today I went for a really lovely lunchtime walk. It was like a spring day, lovely and warm with no wind, blue sky and sunshine.
I say it was warm because it was delightful, yes I had my coat on but it wasnt buttoned, I had no gloves and no hat and no scarf.
It was 3C outside. Now, never in the UK would 3C be considered warm. It was once what I would consider as seriously COLD,. I guess I now know differently.

I went down the private road thats down by Kearney Lake. The one with big $1m houses on it, its a bit like a Canadian Prarie Creek and I wished I brought my yoga pants and running shoes as it would have been a great time for a run.

Today has been a nice break from the intense cold. Yesterday went from minus 24 to plus 2. These kind of huge temperature swings are now just part of life, I take them in my stride.

Today is busy at work ( normal stuff there then) and I am just taking some time out for a cup of tea.
I have learnt with age that when I am super busy, I NEED time out to chill and get my groove on back for the level of work.

I am settling more here, I dont hanker for my view quite so much, dont wish for a window with such a level of despair and I have a nice calendar up on the wall, which helps.
Oh and finally, some things are becoming familiar!
Back to work!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

some Motivation

Just lately I have been aware of some really good motivational pictures posted on Facebook, you know the kind that are on "cards", these SING to me, so I decided to share:

And because I so love Nova Scotia, these below are from my snowy drive into work the other morning, where the sun was bright on the crisp white snow (lets ignore any dirty snow on the side of the highway for the sake of this entry).

The sun shining onto a frozen Miller Lake below:

You can tell I am back to being able to upload photos again!!!!

Pink skies on sunday morning

Here are the pictures of that amazing pink sky that interrupted my first coffee of the day on Sunday morning. I have only just managed to upload these, as I am now on Google Chrome rather than Internet Explorer- got to love technology.

As you can see, it was rather beautiful, and worth the diversion from my hot beverage.

Monday, 7 January 2013


So far its been a pretty amazing Sunday and its only 2pm. I got up to some admittedly shortlived peace and tranquility. The fire was roaring and the coffee was calling my name. I was a little sidetracked by the sunrise which was SO pink, so I got the camera and got some pretty amazing shots which I cant seem to currently upload. Maybe later it will work. Watch this space!

It was decidely nippy out there and when I perused Nova Scotia weather it said it was minus 19, feels like minus 23. Now it was cold, granted but it wasnt bone numbing, flesh falling off my face cold, so maybe I am toughening up.

I decided to hit the running track before breakfast again and got in 8 laps, which is 2 more than before, so nearly 3km! I am uber pleased about this and I am noticing that the first two laps are the hardest, then I get another hard point at about lap 5, then its easy again. I want to get up to 5km this winter on that track and then enter a race -  I am thinking of the Bluenose!!! This has never ever been on my radar before, like ever!

The snow is still out there, so I am in here as its slippery and Paul is building new bonds with Dukie as his primary walker, I believe its good for them both!

We have roast dinner planned for this evening and for the long term I have this vision of a new bikini that I will be wearing in Key West this year from Le Vie en Rose - fabulous store in Dartmouth Crossing.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

running tracks

Its the weekend - yippeeeee! And today its snowing - again.
I am starting to see a trend here - each day it snows, even a little. Today we had squalls that looked like baby blizzards, it was a bit exciting except that its stopping me getting outside with Dukie as I am so nervous of ice.
But I did get in a run before breakfast run at the indoor track at the Sportsplex. I feel so lucky to be so near to this very new facility. Its always quiet when I go too, which is just how I like it. The running track is quiet may I add, the complex isnt. There was a hockey match going on and it was buzzing.

I managed to do about 3kms on the track today and it felt good, I am now running whilst thinking and so am miles away in my head and the kilometers just seem to rack up more easily.

The other day I went to a yoga class at the Canada Games Centre and it was nice enough but really lacked the ambience of the class here, I realised too how much I prefer the local gym to that place. The local gym is also new and fresh and just nice, The Canada Games Centre is also nice but its huge and nondescript and has no real personality.
Whilst holding a pose which required looking out the window I thought about how much I wouldnt like to live near there.

We have our finances in place fix the leaking roof so hopefully that will be done if it warms up just a tad and there is now some insulation back in the walls, so it feels a little warmer than it has.

Today has been a full on healthy eating day and I plan on finishing off well with a sweet potatoe and bean chilli dish. Tomorrow we have friends round for roast dins, so that should be good too, I am hoping to get another run in, in the morning.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

hmmm - is this is now for months?

Ice hangs in dangerous looking long stalactites from highway bridges, I drove under them this morning and wondered how much damage one could do if it crashed down, they are slightly angled too which must be the general wind direction.
Snow flurries were coming down too and in the sunrise it looked like that glitter that falls from the ceiling in the final of the X-Factor.

So, is this it now, frozen and white and flurries and biting minus 20C wind until April? We have been told SO many times that last winter wasnt really winter. Is this a real winter? If it is, I am not sure I can deal with this until April. Its painful, its dangerous to walk the dog right now, I dont want to revisit broken ankles anytime soon.

Last night it was actually cool in the house, I cosied up in the front room with Netflix on the laptop and all the rooms were under 20C. It doesnt of course help that the kitchen has part of the interior drywall and the insulation missing as its all soaking wet. I can see the outside boards of the house that sit under the vinyl siding. It doesnt make me "feel" warm when I see that.

On a plus point it IS pretty outside and I totally get why Canadians have winter holidays down South.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013


OMG its so cold outside. Its minus 25 out there today with the windchill and I have stupidly forgotten to bring my gloves with me today. I also forgot my lunch so had to go out and get some. Just the walk from the car to Subway was painful. My hands holding my coffee and lunch hurt and I couldnt take in a deep breath, the wind is so fierce and its freeeezzing!

That kind of cold hurts a lot. I idly wondered when back in my car how long I would last out there sans gloves and hat in my coat, if needed. I did have fluffy boots on and my winter coat and scarf but just normal work trousers pants.

I was pleased for my car. And wishing for Florida, doesnt take me long to hanker for the Southern Hemisphere. I love the snow but I love it when its zero degrees or maybe a little higher in temp, say a balmy 2C and its snowing, not this after snow freezing wind tundra style weather.
I think ideally I should be able to fly South or get in the car and drive it every New Years Day and come back in say April.

The snow is piled up on the sides of the roads and round the parking lot looking like a white fence and theres ice everywhere.

Today, we are having a damp issue investigated in the kitchen. Hubs has just joyously informed me that the wall behind the kitchen cupboards is SO wet that you can put your hands through it easily.
Who knows what the damage for this lot will end up being - gah houses!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Year

Its 2013. I went to bed last night at 11.45pm and therefore missed the actual switch from last year to this one which is a shame. But maybe its not so bad, I get very emotional as a year comes to an end. I feel the end coming and I feel almost a little panicked and want to hang onto it. It changes almost instantly to a feeling of freshness and hopefulness as a brand new year is seconds and then minutes old.

I thought I would wake up feeling all light and fresh and full of good intentions and happiness but I was still feeling a little low. That passed as I made some real decisions about how I want the next few months to pan out. These are things that I can have a hand in controlling so thats good.

I am focused on work and being extremely good at it. This is something that really only I can have input in. Sure things can happen that are outside of my control but how I handle them is down to me.
I feel more energized for all that now.
I am also focused even more on my health and fitness and will be joining Strides asap this week to make the most of the yoga!

It snowed again today and Lily and I took Mr Duke for a walk in its white crispness whilst Paul slept off his hangover.
Last night we all went to a neighbours for NYE get-together with wine, food, more wine and rum.
After much grumbling and effort I had managed to track down some red Thai curry paste in Superstore down in Cole Harbour! - it wasnt really a trek as I was down at Costco anyway and I think it was the nearest huge Superstore. So, I was able to make the curry with some fragrant Jasmine rice as our contribution to the get-together, that and a bottle of Beringer which I managed to consume half of by myself last night.

It was a great night with our neighbours who are also our friends. At minus 15 a little cool - but we still had a firepit and we are tougher now!
I actually came home before midnight at Chloes request, Lily had crashed on the couch but Chloe wanted home and bed.
Paul went back out for more deer steak (was very good, I love the free-rangeness of it) and rum and coke, He came in at 3am absolutely wasted and was a mess this morning. I didnt have much in the way of sympathy but did leave him in bed while I cleared the driveway again, fed the girls, walked the dog, chilled.....

Then out to Rubys for NY Day lunch where we also fell asleep on her couch, it was a lazy day with very good food and great friends that I love.