Thursday, 29 January 2015

Scary Weather Weekend

It was time for Manisha to go back to Curacao so we all set off for Ottawa. The weather was unbelievable, icy roads and short distance vision. Even in four wheel drive we crept along and could feel the occasional "wiggle" of the truck. We arrived safely and went to Lyndsay's sister for the night. Poor Lyndsay was completely worn out by the time we arrived. About four in the morning we set out for the airport. Ice and snow had to be scraped off the truck before we could even get in. The driveway was covered in snow and was I glad we had a big vehicle! Off we went crawling along and even at that hour there was a fair amount of traffic on the road. We saw two cars in the ditch one going out and one on the way back. At one crossroad there was a really funny sight, a man could not see through his windshield and had the door open to try and see where he was going! We got Manisha off safely and went back to our warm beds for a while. After breakfast we decided to do some shopping, bad decision for me. Everywhere was icy and getting from the truck to the shop was a nightmare. I was so afraid of falling I tiptoed along like an old lady! There was a car trying to get out and was very patient waiting for me to inch across.     Unlike Curacao they did not beep at me or shout some obscenity at me! Gale has promised to get me a stick with a spike so I can really become an old lady! The journey back was not as bad as the journey in but it was so icy there were
icicle on the windows of the truck, I was fascinated as I had never seen anything like that before. Winter is bringing a lot of new experiences. Even as a passenger it was not a lot of fun, by the time we reached home Lyndsay was out for the count. That was one of my scariest journeys. I am hoping desperately that I will get used to this weather and just stride about like everyone else.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

First Christmas in Canada

   I was looking forward to my first Christmas in Canada and desperately hoping for a white one. I just about made it as there was still a little snow left on the ground. The weather had changed over, it was freezing and we had rain as well. We had set up our tree, and decorated outside It was lovely to see how many houses had lights and decorations outside for the season. On Christmas Day we had a private time with just the five of us. In the late morning Stacey was Santa and handed out the gifts that were all under the tree. We took turns
opening gifts and meanwhile were enjoying our eggnog (non alcoholic!) and eating chocolates. I do not think I have ever eaten so many chocolates in one day! It was a busy day as well, as we were laying the table and preparing some of the food for Boxing Day. I made our traditional trifle (alcoholic!) and Lyndsay made a different one. The next day Lyndsay's parents and her sister Heather came over for the day. We had a repeat of the previous morning
and even the cats and dogs received gifts! Lunch was delicious and as usual at this time everyone ate far to much. The good trifle (alcoholic!) was a great success and I had a few wines. This year Christmas was celebrated three times as we later in the week went over to Rob's parents for another dinner. More gift giving and eating! I had a wonderful first Christmas in Canada and was so happy to spend it surrounded by my new family.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Views of a "PK"

   I do not consider myself a religious person but each Christmas I like to sing carols so I try to get to a carol service wherever I am. Being in Canada, and with an Anglican priest as my friend's mother-in-law I tagged along with her. I had a few surprises in store. I knew the priest was a woman which was the first thing I had to take into account. I am a "PK" which is known here as a "priest's kid." A PK is a kid brought up in the church but has shied away from it. My father was an Anglican priest who always said he would turn Catholic as soon as they ordained women! Fortunately he did not live to see
this happen. Having got over the first step we were off and running. The carols were lovely but the lessons surprised me a little. I had been brought up with the good old King James version of the bible and thought I knew the lessons backwards having heard them so often. What was being used sounded to me like the New English version which as a fusty, old traditionalist I did not enjoy. This service was combined with communion so I watched carefully to see what would be done Imagine my surprise once again as a woman went up and gave the wine during the communion. Even though I am not a churchgoer I could not but remember my father who I suppose had instilled all the old ideas into me. The service was very informal and chatty which I was not used to. Even though everything was so different I am really very glad I went.    
After the service everyone went down to the basement to have coffee and refreshments. I sat and chatted to some people I already knew and met some new people who were all very friendly and welcoming. Gale never misses a chance to tease me about church so we all had a good laugh as well!

Celebrating Christmas before the 25th

   There was so much going on before Christmas. The first was a concert at the high school with a donation of food and money for the Food Bank. There was singing, dancing, music and drama. For me the most fascinating item was with the choir. They had a girl keeping the beat with her hands and a plastic cup. She was so talented.

   One Saturday we went to Ottawa to the theatre. I saw the Nutcracker ballet being performed by the Alberta Ballet Company. It was beautiful and as I had never seen it before, only Swan Lake and the Firebird, I was mesmerized throughout. We also went Christmas shopping and Lyndsay walked my feet off. She has much more stamina than I do!!!
   The following Sunday evening Lyndsay and I went to a Ladies Night at the Home Depot. We decorated a wine glass, made a snowman decoration for the tree out of a light bulb and made a beautiful ribbon wreath. It was the first time they had done anything like that and it was a lot of fun. Only one small problem Lyndsay and I did not understand the directions properly and made our wreath out of small ribbon bows while everyone else used large ribbon bows!! Never mind I think ours worked out as well, if not better, than the others.

The quilt guild I belong to had their Christmas lunch in the Masonic hall where I
members of the Eastern Star who had cooked the lunch for us. I remember my mother telling me she belonged to Eastern Star in Scotland when I was small.
   The municipality gave a Christmas dinner for the volunteers in Eganville The meal was delicious and the entertainment hilarious. All the firefighters were up on the dance floor dancing to the song "YMCA," it was a lot of fun!

   At the food bank we were very busy handing out the Christmas boxes which we had packed up a day or so before. About eighty families are cared for at the Eganville branch. People called us the little Christmas Elves!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Driving in Canada, Part Two

   Oh dear, driving in Canada is not really me! The other day I set out to take Stacey into the next town to her life guard course. Gale brought her car over and I told her yes of course I could find the way. I had written down the directions to the pool from the entrance to the town so I thought I was set having said only the day before how well everything was sign posted. No, No, No!!

   I got in and set off. Turning to Stacey I said, "It is straight all the way, right?" She agreed and off we went, driving straight, chatting and
laughing all the way. Never thought to look at the road signs! The road just kept on going and it never crossed my mind it was taking us rather a long time to get to our destination. All of a sudden Stacey tells me are almost at a town way out of our route. She called Gale and told her we were lost. I backed up and found the crossroad with a road sign to where we were supposed to be going. We were so late and the I am told if she misses this class she would be put out of the course. I felt so guilty and set off on a further seventy kilometre trip that should have been only forty three from the beginning.
   I found my way into the town and we were to meet Gale at a set point. To make things worse Stacey's phone battery was almost dead. We got there, were met and Gale drove the rest of the way. I felt such a twit and so guilty but fortunately they understood and let her in. I have never driven so far in my entire life and was very glad to see Gale at the parking lot of the restaurant where we had agreed to meet.  I do not think Gale will ever let me drive anywhere ouside the village and as the weather gets worse I am not sure I even want to try!

Winter is on the way

I got  so excited at the first snow but had no idea it could be so beautiful. Winter is on it's way, as the snow is now staying put. The real winter woollies have come out and all the fleece lined "everythings." I was out walking in the snow the other day and it was crunching quietly under my boots, I think it was only a couple of inches deep. The temperature was under freezing and Gale was saying to me, "This is snowball snow." I took her at her word and was not going to try it as my hands were already freezing, inside my gloves!

We have some bird feeders up now outside the kitchen window and it is really
wonderful to see all the different birds that come visiting. We borrowed a bird book from Gale and have identified the Black and White Warbler and the Hairy Woodpecker. We have also seen Chickadees and one Blue Jay. Most of the Blue Jays are going to our neighbor who obviously has something better to offer than we have! I am hoping at least one squirrel will come to visit. Actually we were very lucky any birds come at all as Smithy, the white cat, used to like to curl up on the stool under the feeders. Now there is some snow is on the stool he is not so interested!
At last my wanted visitor came to see us at the the bird feeders, a cute little squirrel. He came trotting through the snow and tried out all the feeders to find his favourite. I love to see the black squirrels here in Canada and they all seem to be so nice and chubby. Needless to say the birds were not impressed with our new visitor and have boycotted us a bit. I hope they will come back when they get hungry. I think the squirrel is less of a threat than "Smithy" who they will not see again until all the snow has gone!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Driving in Canada

   Driving in Canada is an experience and a half. Having roads with no pot holes is new, also having roads that go on for ever. After driving on an island thirty seven miles long and at the widest fifteen miles, you can imagine how different it all is here. It is amazing to me the way the roads seem to keep on going for long distances, and driving through the countryside is beautiful.

   Before I came to Canada my friend Lyndsay told me, "If you drive on the highway you have to go at one hundred or one hundred and twenty kilometres an hour." My response was, "You must be kidding!" I was used to going at a maximum of eighty and felt that if I drove over that I would lose control of the car. Of course I was still reckoning with potholes and the traffic I was used to, bumper to bumper. Everyone doing their own thing no matter what the law really meant! Since being here and driving in the country I can see how driving could certainly be considered a pleasure.

My friend Gale has been taking me driving for practice. I am having a few problems on these smooth, empty roads staying within the speed limit. It seems rather difficult for me to judge the speed I am going so we have rather a lot of what my father used to call "kangaroo petrol." Poor Gale, she is one of the most patient people I have ever known and has now got used to my style of driving, at least I think she has, as she still comes in the car with me!