Saturday, 13 February 2010

Saturday February 13, 2010-Happy Valentine's Weekend!

I went for my morning walk as it was only -11C (12F) and mostly cloudy. We had a few snow flurries on and off during the day but nothing compared to what they're getting or have already gotten in the eastern and southern US. It's interesting to note that Dallas has only gotten 1 inch less snow this winter than Toronto! To read about it, click here.

My day was very laid back. I read, did some computering and slept.

Since I don't have much to say today here's a joke I picked up from my Zoomers group.


I was shopping at the local supermarket where I selected:
A half-gallon of 2% milk
A carton of eggs
A quart of orange juice
A head of lettuce
A 2 lb. can of coffee
A 1 lb. package of bacon

As I was unloading my items on the conveyor belt to check out, a drunk standing behind
me watched as I placed the items in front of the cashier. While the cashier was ringing up the
purchases, the drunk calmly stated, ''You must be single.''

I was a bit startled by this proclamation, but I was intrigued by the
derelict's intuition, since I was indeed single. I looked at the six
items on the belt and saw nothing particularly unusual about my
selections that could have tipped off the drunk to my marital status.

Curiosity getting the better of me, I said: ''Well, you know what, you're absolutely right.
But how on earth did you know that?''

The drunk replied, ''Cause you're ugly.''

And with that I'll say, Hope you have a Happy Valentine's Weekend!

Friday, 12 February 2010

Friday February 12, 2010-Butterscotch Pie and Lots of $$$$

It was -23C (-9F) with windchill this morning so I elected not to go out. It's still sunny and bright though.

Since it was so cold, Gordon decided that the truck would probably make it to the dealership so he drove rather than have it towed. He had made an appointment for 9:15 a.m. He called me to let me know that the water pump needed to be replaced which turned out to be $950. They had us prepared for $1200 so the $950 was actually a pleasant surprise. I think they do that on purpose. That wasn't in the budget but these things never are!

Dee commented that she can't believe we haven't heard from the lawyer in Buffalo. Actually I got a letter this week with a copy of a letter from the Executive Office for Immigration Review stating that they acknowledged his request for a copy of the file and they would comply within 30 days. Their letter was dated January 27th so hopefully by the beginning of March my lawyer will have my file. There will probably be more charges for copying the file.

I had purchased some gluten free pie crusts yesterday so today I made Gordon's mother's recipe for Butterscotch Pie. Luckily Gordon's daughter, Michelle had the recipe and she had given it to me some time ago but this is the first time that I had made it. Since I had to use gluten free flour it didn't set very well so next time I think I'll do what Michelle does and use corn starch. It tasted good though!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Thursday February 11, 2010-Nancy's New Car

It was back to -17 C (1F) windchill this morning. I was warm enough on my walk except for my face and it wasn't too bad. It didn't get much warmer during the day although it was bright and sunny.

I went out for some groceries this morning and then just relaxed for the rest of the day. I got our bills input into my spreadsheet. Nancy came home around 4:30 p.m. and asked me if I wanted to go with her to pick up her new car - a shiny new Pontiac Torrent. So away we went and traded in her Saturn Vue.

When Gordon backed the truck out of the driveway to let Nancy in he noticed that it's leaking something so I guess it will be towed to a dealership tomorrow to see what the problem is. He said he thought it was antifreeze. I think the truck hates the cold weather as much as we do!

Today's photo was taken by Gordon yesterday when we were out on the Jack Pine Trail.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Wednesday February 10, 2010-A Full Day

Today was balmy compared to what it's been lately. The temperature got up to 0C (32F) this morning so it was quite nice for my walk.

Since this is cleaning day, we decided to head out to the Jack Pine Trail and leave Margaret to do her cleaning without us in the way. We saw lots of little creatures but no deer! My sister and her husband were there last week and saw two deer, we only saw squirrels, chickadees and nuthatches but it was fun anyway.

A chickadee pecking at seeds that I dropped on the snow.
\This is part of the boardwalk trail except the boardwalk is snow covered.

A chickadee and a nuthatch on a tree stump. People put seeds in the stump for the birds and the squirrels.

And here's the nuthatch with the squirrel peering from behind him.

Nuthatch feasting on seeds from my mitten.

Two chickadees taking their turn.

Then it was off to find this stand of white birches. Gordon had seen them when he was out with his photographer friend, Jim but we hadn't been able to find them. Well, today we did!

We got back early afternoon and Nancy arrived home shortly after. She had started physiotherapy yesterday and it had caused her more pain so she came home.

We had an early dinner and then headed downtown to see and photograph the ice sculptures at Winterlude. I got another chance to use my tripod. I have to say the ice sculptures weren't as nice as they used to be overall but there were a few that were well done. Also the lighting I didn't think was as nice as it usually is but it's been five years since we've been there so I could have just forgotten!

This dragon was nicely lighted.

A two headed python - scary thought!

I think this was a sea monster. It looked like 'Nessie'.

An ice bench - lots of kids were sitting on it getting their picture taken but I managed to get a shot when no one was on it.

This is the only saguaro I'm going to be seeing this winter!

I need to straighten out a couple of things from yesterday's post. First of all, my pension is not with Nortel. I took my money in a lump sum when I left so all I have with them is my health and dental benefits and no. the Canadian Government does not supply these benefits. These are extended health benefits over and above what the government pays for. The government does not provide dental or prescription coverage, vision care etc. Prescription coverage, however, does come under government care at age 65 but not all prescriptions are covered but that's a whole 'nother story.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Tuesday February 9, 2010-Town Hall Meeting

It was pretty cold again today when I went for my walk but my new mittens worked really well. My hands were sweating!

This afternoon I went to a Town Hall Meeting put on by the NRPC (Nortel Retirees Protection Canada). There were four speakers and it did get pretty heated at one point but I did find out that we will have health & dental benefits till the end of this year. That was what I wanted to know.

Those pensioners who collect a monthly pension from Nortel are guaranteed only $1000/month (top up only) from the Ontario Government but that will be quite a shortfall for most if there is no amendment to the Bankruptcy Insolvency Act (BIA). It's all too complicated for my little brain but it's something that no pensioner should have to face. The NRPC are lobbying all politicians to get these changes made.

While I was there Gordon went shooting photos. This mallard is one of the photos he took today.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Monday February 8, 2010-Trip to the RV

Well it was -19C (-2F) (wind chill) when I set out for my walk. It was cold and the wind was nasty but the only thing that was cold was my nose. I tried my best to only breathe through my nose so my glasses wouldn't fog up.

After breakfast I decided to make up the gluten free tea biscuits that I had purchased the other day. The mix comes in a box. They turned out really good - light and fluffy. Gordon is wondering what he did to warrant bread and tea biscuits in the last two days.

Randy asked the other day what books I've been reading. Here's a list of what I've read over the last couple of months:

Karen Robards-Beachcomber; Heartbreaker
Nora Roberts-Time Was; MacGregor Grooms
Dorothy Galock-Song of the Road
Philip Margolin-Ties That Bind (reading now)
Sandra Brown-Send No Flowers
V.C. Andrews-Heaven; Broken Flower; Darkest Hour; Pearl in the Mist
David Baldacci-Saving Faith (didn’t like it); Absolute Power
James Lee Burke-Elysian Fields
Harlen Coben-The Woods; Just One Look
Margaret Maron-Sand Sharks
Julie Garrand-Shadow Music
Mary Higgins Clark-Daddy’s Little Girl
Iris Johansen-No One to Trust
Faye Kellerman-The Burnt House
David Rosenfelt-Open & Shut
Anne Rivers Siddons-The House Next Door; Nora, Nora
Stuart Woods-Grass Roots

We had lunch and then took the long way out to the RV. I wanted to pick up a few things that we were running out of and I knew we had in the RV. We went through the countryside and took some photos along the way.

The Old Almonte Road

A couple of scenes along the way

A group of old log barns with a rail fence in the foreground

I got what I needed from the RV, then we stopped at the Superwalmart in Carleton Place since there isn't one in Ottawa and Gordon bought a pair of lined pants to wear outside on cold days and I got some extra warm mittens. They don't make them for ladies apparently so I got a pair of large in boy's size. I'll hopefully get to test them out tomorrow.

Now if I could just get a nose warmer.......

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Sunday February 7, 2010-Meeting an Old Friend

No walk again this morning -23C (-9F) with wind chill was way too cold for me.

I had made arrangements with a friend that I haven't seen for about 18 years to meet up with her at the Carlingwood Mall this afternoon. I found her on Facebook a couple of months ago. It was so good to see her and she looks wonderful! We got caught up on each other's lives but all too soon I had to get on the road so I wouldn't have to drive home in the dark. Hopefully I'll see her again later this year when the weather is better.

Today was cold but bright and sunny again.

I had my camera hanging around my neck but completely forgot to take a photo! I've gotten out of the habit lately.