Sunday, November 13, 2011 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Toronto visit

Yeah totally skipping over last month…

Anyway, Ron and I went to Toronto last weekend to attend and speak at what is known as a WordCamp. Basically, it’s a bunch of our nerdy friend talking code. And some normal people trying to figure out how to even use WP.

We got up a o’dark o’clock on Friday to head down to Fredericton airport. Mom met us there to take Emma & Meaghan to her place, after a shopping trip. Ron got to pick the seats on the plane, and chose the last row for us. That was an experience. At least we got on almost first. 😀 There were a bunch of Australian military guys also on the plane. They were headed home so were joking with each other, and eventually us too.

The flight was pretty uneventful actually. It is becoming old hat. Takes abut 2 hours or so in air time to get to Toronto. We did go into Pearson, even tho there was a special to go to the smaller airport. We just didn’t want to transfer in Montreal. It turns out we know someone who has done that way a couple times, and he pointed out all the up sides, so we might try it. It does save a $50 cab ride downtown.

Not that we had to worry about that when we got there. 😀 One of the organizers met us there and gave us a list. It was awesome being picked up.

By now it was lunch time locally so we were starving. I was a bit worried at the hotel check-in as our credit card company called us a few days before we left to say our cc had been lifted and they canceled it and were sending a new one. Which, naturally, did not get here before we left. But the hotel let us pay cash with a deposit. so *phew*. We dumped our stuff, grabbed a map of downtown from the lobby and headed off to Eaton Centre. Man, it seems bigger than it was 20 years ago.

We found lunch and stood around to eat it as there was only a small section with chairs nearby and all full. Then fortified, we made our way up and down. Ron bought a new hat and a book at Chapters. It was nice having time to look around, but the crowds were ugh. Completely missed the Apple store too.

After that, we hung out in our hotel room waiting for the speaker’s dinner. Some of the others from out of town were in the same hotel so we walked down with our buddy Dale. Another invisible internet friend who actually does exist!

The dinner was held in a chi-chi frou frou restaurant called the Bowery. Supposedly New York Chic with a bit of old timey farm hipster kitsch tossed in. Yes really. There were hay rakes as a ceiling decoration with ripped up half-renoed walls. Mismatched silverware. Rough wood tables. Kinda like home really. Very noisy – the music was so loud most of us were complaining.

We got there at 7, the appointed time, and finally started getting food around 8:30 or so. Seriously. Our party had a fixed menu, so we had three choices for starter, main and dessert. I am still kicking myself for not taking pictures of the food, even though I had the camera right next to me and took pictures of other people. We thought the salad was a safe pick but it has something in the vinaigrette that burned my lips off. I still have dry and flakey skin around my upper lip today. It was that spicy. I had maybe 6 bites hoping it would get better.

The chicken I had was good though. It was grilled and on a bed of chard and mushroom with some lentils. Very earthy tasting but went well with the chicken. Turns out they get their chickens from the local Mennonites. Ron had the steak. We both had cheesecake for dessert. It was very Food Network like.

The next day I was groggy and headachy because we couldn’t figure out how to close the curtains. Turns out they were hiding behind the sheers. After a full day of socializing and work stuff (basically) we skipped out on the after party and took a cab over to cousin Dave’s place.

Much quieter! 😀 Even with the baby occasionally protesting over the terrible indignities babies have to put up with. Like, you are using a fork I want! Sybil made me miss Izzy. 🙂 It turns out they also have the Going To Bed book, which Ashley and I wound up reciting. I think she’s read it almost as many times as we have. Eventually, we both had to pee. This is important, I swear. Ron went first, and when he came downstairs had such a big grin on his face, even Dave & Ashley wanted to know what was up. “You’ll see when you get there.” And I did.

When I came back downstairs, I pointed at him and went “SEE? TOLD YA it would look nice!” Turns out they had renovated their bathroom exactly the way I wanted to do ours in the old house. DOH. White subway tiles halfway up the walls and hexagon tiles on the floor. And it looked really good too.

We stayed until we all were yawning, and then we called the cab guy who drove us there. I think that’s neat – they give you a card to get the same guy directly next time. We had a great conversation with him too. He wanted to know how cheap it was to live in NB. Not as many cabs here tho.

Sunday we slept better since we found the dark curtains. Well, except for the 5am wake up from the gals down the hall who left like it was 10am. And then made as much noise as possible in the courtyard, which our room overlooked. Our window was open a crack too. We lingered over breakfast, talking with other attendees who were staying in the same hotel, then worked on the laptop in turns, since wed had internet issues the day before, and called the kids. Then we checked out, lugged our stuff a few blocks to a Wendy’s and back to the venue for the afternoon.

Ron & I taught a joint workshop for 3 hours – at least that was the scheduled time. It was another half hour till we had everyone taken care of, and another half hour to finish up with the organizers. We had thought abut getting something to eat and then heading to the airport, but decided to just go to the airport instead. Good thing too, as we had to wait around for a cab, then a half hour cab ride, then go through security. We were so tired, it took us a bit to realize we really should eat supper, so we did. The cafe was slow & crowded. But again, we hopped on the free wifi to check on things.

On the plane back, we had seats in the first row, so we got on almost last. And had to check our bag, which had a book Ron wanted to read in it. I even had to put my purse in the overhead compartment as there were no seats in front of us to put our stuff under. The guy across from us was really inconsiderate too, getting in everyone’s way.

A rather uneventful and quick flight home, plus we got to see everything lit up. We even flew over Montreal. I texted Sarah as soon as we got out in the parking lot, which way maybe 5 whole minutes after the plane door opened. We got to her place and Emma was fast asleep, so I had to wake her up and we bundled her and Meaghan and all their stuff into the car and drove home in the quiet dark.

1:30am and we were halfway into our own beds.

I think I’m still recovering.

Sunday, October 16, 2011 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

potato harvest

We went potato picking!

In case you did not know, I live in a rural spot surrounded by potato farmers. Yes, right in the french fry capital of the world. Many of the farmers supply a frozen food company, who has requirements they need to meet – not only in terms of volume but also kind of potato and size.

Earlier this week I mentioned when the harvester gang came to do the field across the road. A harvester, a potato truck, a few trucks and cars worth of people, a trailer and a port a potty. It’s a small field – about ten acres. They were done in short order.

So the harvester pulls up the plants, pulls off the taters and spits out the plants and any potatoes that are too small. While this is going on, people sort over the potatoes, chucking any bad one, too crooked ones, or small ones that got missed.

This leaves some potatoes in the field, not enough for the farmers to go back and gather up and (I guess) not enough to bother keeping.

Yesterday we were at one neighbor’s house when another stopped in with a ten pound bag of potatoes. They mentioned they gathered them up from the field (not theirs).

This is expected around here – people know afterwards there are potatoes left and the farmer leaves them, knowing some people will gather them up. As long as you;re not tearing around the field, no one cares.

So we went over tonight after supper. Ron fired up our little tractor and we grabbed 3 buckets and five feeds bags.

It was kind of astounding the amount that is left behind. When we approached the field I asked Meaghan if those were piles of rocks, because that also happens when harvesting – just pile up the rocks. While there were some rocks piles, the rest were potatoes.

We were like kids in candy stores – skipping the busted potatoes that were driven over, the spoilt ones and the really tiny ones, it was very grabby. And kind of shocking.

Even though it is considered waste, we did maybe 3-4 rows, zig zagging back and forth, going a total of maybe 200 yards in, and filled those 5 feed bags. Figure at least 50 pounds each.

I kept shaking my head at how much was left, and thinking how many people it could feed. And that’s not just cutting bad parts off of the taters. There were (and still are) plenty good potatoes there.

I hate to see them go to waste.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

This grandparent stuff is awesome

So the Saturday before last, Addison & Kaytlyn & Izzy cam up for an impromptu visit. I got A & K to clear out some books & Add even brought some meat they had to eat up, so he cooked supper.

Izzy ran up and down our front hall.
She payed in the plastic drawer.
She found that bar of soap we left too low. (eww)
She took webcam pics of us together.

me & izzy on the webcam

We dug out toys we’ve been setting aside just for her, and toys that my grandmother had at her house for me to play with.
We played with the magnets on the fridge too.

Addison came over and watched us. He notcied we have the bright green silly man face magnet with the big ose. It’s a strong magnet and we got it from Grampy. I was helping Izzy pull it off the fridge and put it on again.

Addison reached down and pulled on the magnet.

“Aw, it lost its strength.”

“No it didn’t, honey.”

“But it was stronger when I was little.”

I looked way way up, because I was sitting on the floor and he was standing.

“You grew up, sweetie.”

“Awww.”

We took Izzy out to the backyard to run around (because we can!) and her Grampy showed her where apples comes from, and her Aunt Meaghan chased her in the grass and her mommy gave her airplane rides and her Nanny took pictures and got tuckered out.

End of summer

It was a good day. My cheeks hurted.

***

In other news – they came back to put the pump in the weel yesterday. A big excavator, some more digging and some clumping up and down to the basement. It is awesome.

The living room is done and we are putting furniture back into it, slightly differently. Especially since half the furniture was in the room with the stove. It’s getting cold enough to actually run the stove and the furniture was in the way, so we had to finish up.

Thursday, September 22, 2011 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Well there

We had the well drillers show up on Wednesday (finally) and it was really way cool in the way 8 year old boys love mud and noisy big trucks and piles of dirt kind fo way.

After the first hour, the constant drone of the drill was less than exciting. But Ron did a write up so you should read it instead of reading me repeat half of it incorrectly.

I also cut my hair really short, then tried to dye it pink.

Other than that, not much is new.

Oh! Right! I am almost done painting the living room. The up side is it looks great and the room is eleventy times lighter. The down side is the paint color is really close to the not-white they put on the ceiling so we have to paint it too. It never ends.

So the hair thing.. I just cut it short like mom’s. Pretty much exactly really. Huh.

And the pink. You can’t see much unless I am standing near a light and then it look like a pink light is on my head.

No reason. Just felt like a change and we had some pink dye from when I did Emma’s way back when.

Also I have not done near enough sewing this week and it is making me cranky.

Monday, September 5, 2011 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Sick house

We broke our streak. I do’t think we’ve been sick since Sarah moved out & Ron started working at home. Tho it’s not Sarah’s fault entirely… she did come up this weekend and Ron was sort of getting over it and Meahan was all done.

Then Saturday I got sick.
Sunday Emma got sick.
Monday? Sarah. 🙂 Just in time for her to go home.

I had to cancel our stop in to see Izzy as well, but Addison put the phone on speakerphone so I got to talk to her. Which is kinda weird and cool all the time.

“It’s Little Nanny!”

“Whossat!”

“I have Sarah here visiting me!”

“SAWAH!!!!!”

Ha! 😀

Now I am just well enough to *think* I can go do something but not really. Like I opened this window an hour ago. I went to make popcorn for Emma and I, then washed my hair. See?

Otherwise, it has been movie marathon weekend. Emma & I watched most of Gremlins. “The special effects are obvious so it’s not really scary, mom.” Then I watched The Social Network with the two big girls. (better than I thought it would be.)

While lollygagging on the couch unable to use the remote, we watched Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. This was better because when we went to Montreal, we saw the Indiana Jones exhibit they had there. No pics allowed tho. Industry secrets and all.

Later, we caught more of the Star Wars marathon they seem to show every other weekend on Spike.

And now? Back to the Future 3. I’m starting to realize why I hadn’t seen it the first time around.

Also feeling really grateful for laptops. We may not have hoverboards (BttF2) but we have portable computers, so there’s that.

Sunday, June 5, 2011 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

This is where I catch up

Much like my mother, I am so busy working I have no idea what day it is or how much time has passed. Really? That long? I honestly and literally have my calendar in front of me to jot down notes of what I did since last we met.

Quilt show – our local guild had their biannual quilt show (yes, every other year) at Carleton House, and I did a volunteer stint on Friday night at the door. I entered two old quilts I have, one of my own, and one of Meaghan’s that she did. Had a great time, lots of running around. My face was still a teeny bit swollen but I did okay. They even had a marketplace where I had a few things for sale and made over twenty bucks, which immediately went to a package of quilt batt.

Can’t remember what we did for mother’s day – Oh wait! Now I remember. Went to Florenceville for Chinese food, only to get there and see a sign that said if you wanted the buffet, you can sit down, anything else was takeout. So we got takeout and waited, planning to sit next to the river. Got all settled and… no forks. Drove home.

It was really good chinese food though. Took me 3 days to eat mine. (Ron and I always get the same stuff: some combo of rice, chicken balls & chow mein. If they serve an eggroll, I take his.)

Sarah came up for the next weekend, and we had just finished moving Emma into her new room. Which used to be Sarah’s. So Sarah got to be a guest, poor kid. Ron wasn’t feeling good, so I drove Sarah home & visited Izzy. We wore each other out. I had made her a wall hanging that says “I love you,” and when I put it on the floor in front of her, she body slammed it and rubbed her face in it. I think she liked it.

Another trip to the dentist for a cavity filled, on a tooth where the previous silver filling was bugging the crap out of me. I amused myself by tweeting from the chair. The dentist threatened jokingly to use my phone to tweet a pic of me with my mouth all suited up.

Went to a yard sale, got a load of books, some skates and a homeschooling starter book for Izzy’s parents. 😉

Sewed some more. Tried out one of the shop demos of the fancy schmancy sewing machine / quilting/ embroidery / makes coffee / so pricey you drive it home kind of deal and loved it. Gulped at the price tag. Died a little inside when she said it was 49% off. Still freaking expensive.

One of the tops I made, someone is paying me to finish up and send off to a mutual friend who is having a baby. I’m really pleased with how it’s turning out. There is a few spots I did on my regular machine I wasn’t as pleased with, but in the end won’t matter much. Just me being picky.

Meaghan went to visit Sarah for the weekend, now that Sarah has a 9-5 job for the summer and has a life on weekends. It’s funny when your quiet kid isn’t home how quiet it gets. When Sarah is here, it’s like 2 or 3 extra people. When Meaghan is not here, the three of us rattle around this big old house and lose each other.

Also? I wander into the kitchen and things are just as I left them. Even the dirty dishes. It’s weird.

She’s making plans to go away more often, so I guess we’d better get used to it. When we picked her up that time, we went to play with Izzy again and got her to say Nana. But she wouldn’t say it again and she didn’t get it meant me. Yet. We’ll wear her down. 😉

Did I mention she’s the smartest cutest baby ever? No? Well, it must be a given then.

I’ve been starting to clean out more crap we own and just let go of a bunch of it. Anything I’m not sure will be able to be resold will just be donated. No point in trying to squeeze a couple bucks out of everything if it’s going to take me hours to do so. I have a box of scrapbooking stuff someone will buy, took 4 bags of clothes to Global to donate, then cleaned out two bags of fabric (none of it suitable for quilts).

I also got my hair cut. My bangs were in my eyes.

My friend Jo came to visit since she was in the province, and she brought Sarah with her for the day. She was impressed I put on a bra. 😉 I also conjured up supper from “nothing” as we’d kind of forgotten to get some groceries.

Grocery shopping has been weird lately. We try and get at least a week’s worth, but somehow manage to run out of enough things after 5 or 6 days to ensure we go again. Or even forget stuff so we go 3 or 4 days later. But we also put in another order at the pork place up the road and that will be ready Friday. Good, because we are mighty tired of chicken.