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Some Signs of Spring Along The Way

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The weather is starting to warm up a bit, time to get out there and walk. It even looks a bit like spring now, the pond is starting to thaw, the snow is melting and it’s muddy out there.
































Poor Puppy

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We finally managed to get the time and money together to get Emma spayed. Poor Baby. 😦 This is a very expensive surgery in case you didn’t know.

Emma just turned 3 in January and we have had her since she was 7 months old, so she has gone into heat a few times over the past 2 and a half years. I have to admit living with a dog in heat is not my idea of a good time, but at least it eventually passes. Each time after Emma went into heat, she seemed to believe she was a Mama. All of her squeak toys became her puppies. If they squeaked she thought they were crying and she needed to comfort them. She would hide them around the house so Cody couldn’t find them and she would try to get them tucked underneath her so she could “feed” them. She also became the most cuddle-some pup ever, always snuggling with my husband and I while we watched TV, and sleeping right up between us in bed at night. That is what we will miss now.

Emma had her surgery yesterday morning and so we dropped her off at the Vet’s first thing before going to work. They said she had to stay overnight for observation so we wouldn’t be able to get her until the next morning.

The Vet told us we could call around noon to check on her and see how everything went so at 12:01 pm I closed my office door (people at my work have a habit of just walking into offices, I do it myself….) so I could make the call in private . They told me Emma did great, she was awake and looking good and everything went really well. I was happy to hear that but I was also a little concerned about how she was feeling emotionally (yes dogs have emotions too), so I asked if she was sad, there was a pause followed by, “Pardon me?” so I repeated my question, “Does she seem sad?” They assured me that she wasn’t sad, just very sleepy. 🙂 And them I’m sure they hung up the phone and discussed the crazy lady that just called them.

I know asking if she was sad sounds like a wingnut kind of question to ask but when you consider we took her to a place she didn’t know, left her with strangers, they put her to sleep and operated on her, she woke up feeling sore surrounded by strangers in a strange place and then was kept overnight in a crate she wasn’t used to and there were noises and people and other animals she wasn’t familiar with and she had no idea if her “People” were ever coming back for her……to me, that is sad.

First thing this morning, well right after we went out for breakfast….we had to do something to kill some time until the Vet’s office opened…., we went and got her back. She was pretty excited to see us and I don’t think she’s sad any more, but now she’s tired, sore and itchy, and is a cone head. Poor puppy. 😦

Cody wondering why Emma has the fancy hat on.

Cody wondering why Emma has the fancy hat on.


Emma wondering why she has to wear this ridiculous hat….it’s too heavy.


She almost looks happy here….she might be coming to terms with it.


It really is too heavy…..she’s falling over.


I think she’s asking why we would do this to her. 😦


Trying to scratch, but can’t.


Finally giving in and laying down.


Starting to fall asleep.


….and out. 🙂

Time to say Good-Bye

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I woke up early this morning, even before my husband who was planning to get up for the very early World Juniors Canada vs US game, (unfortunately the outcome of the game wasn’t so great). So I laid there trying not to go back to sleep waiting for Chris to get up….just in case he didn’t get up in time, and managed to miss the big game. He finally got up and was joined by the boys who came bearing coffee. I then woke Erika to see if she was getting up to join her brothers to watch the game and she did but that didn’t last too long before she went back to bed to watch it on her laptop.  By this time I was pretty wide awake so I turned the game on and started watching it from bed. I only managed to get the first period in and the next thing I knew Chris and the dogs came busting into the bedroom to get me up. It seems I did manage to fall back to sleep for a bit. Apparently after the game Mom got up to say good-bye to the boys since she was going home today.

I took Chris to work so I could have the car today to drive Erika to Kitchener for her soccer teams secret Santa party which is a sleepover. Erika gave Nan her big hugs good-bye when we dropped her off since she would be gone when she gets home tomorrow.

I took some more pictures today while we were all sitting around….waiting for time to go.

Emma and Mom both watching something on TV

Emma and Mom both watching something on TV

We decided pizza would be a good idea for dinner since I didn’t really feel like cooking anything and we would need to leave for the airport shortly after 6:30 pm. I ordered the pizza and then went to pick up Chris from work. Shana was here when we got back so she could say her good-bye to her Nan once again, but she left before the pizza arrived. Once we finished eating Ryan and Whitney came by for another quick visit to say good-bye one more time before Nan left. Shortly before 7:00 pm we were headed to the airport once again. On December 22nd there were a few tears shed but they were happy tears to see my mom again, this time they were sad tears, from both of us (because we are criers) and I hate saying good-bye.

We saw Mom safely through security, gave a last wave good-bye, watched her walk over to her boarding gate, grabbed a Tim Horton’s for the drive and headed home.

We have had a great 13 days, most of which I managed to have off from work so I could spend as much time as possible with my Mom who, by the way, I don’t get to see nearly often enough.

It’s been kind of a long day with the early morning start and it will be an even longer one for Mom by the time she gets to the Moncton airport around midnight, and then has an hours drive home after that.  Hopefully her flight goes well and she gets home safe and sound, and has a chance to sleep in tomorrow. I on the other hand will be going back to work tomorrow. 🙂




My Almost Last Day With My Mom Before She Goes Home

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It was back to work for my husband this morning but I’m still on vacation until Friday (should have taken Friday too).

I drove Chris to work so I could keep the car just in case my mom and I wanted to go anywhere… an indoor walk since it is so cold out today. Around 10:00 we decided a trip to the mall would be a good idea…..a walk and a shop combined. 🙂

Erika had to be at work by noon so I woke her to see if she wanted to go with us and her first answer was “No”, but then she realized that she still needed to get a secret Santa gift for her soccer party on Thursday so she quickly got ready to go too. Since it was already past 10:00am by the time we got to the Mall and Erika had to be to work by noon it didn’t give us that much time to shop….but how much time does one really need to find a good sale or two?

My new sale sweater. :)

My new sale sweater. 🙂

We all made or purchases…..(my new sweater that I didn’t really need….but it was on sale, so how could I pass it up?) and then went to McDonald’s to grab some lunch. We went through the drive thru, because I’m basically lazy and didn’t feel like getting back out of the car, and of course they had to park us to wait for our meals. While we were sitting there we noticed my son Nick across the street at the bus stop so we had a little text conversation with him while we waited. We finally got our food and had to rush now to get Erika to work on time. Once we dropped her off Mom and I took lunch to my husband Chris at his work, then home for a nap.

I decided to try a new chicken recipe that I found on Pinterest for dinner tonight. I wasn’t sure everyone would like it because of the spices so I made some plain and some spicy. While it was cooking I left Mom home to keep an eye on it while I went to pick up Chris and Erika from work. I was right about not everyone liking it. Erika and Chris were not fans of the spicy but Mom and I liked it just fine.

Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken

Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken

After dinner Chris and I walked to Starbucks for his “after-dinner coffee” and when we got back home our daughter Shana was there to say her good-byes to her Nan. I think she actually just used that as an excuse to come by for some food because when we walked in she had just finished warming up left over scalloped potatoes and ham, interestingly enough even though Erika had already eaten dinner with us, she also had a plate of left-overs. I really do believe our kids just come by to eat because our son Nick came over after he got off work at 8:00 pm and he finished off the scalloped potatoes and ham, the left over chicken, followed by the last piece of cheesecake. His reason for coming over was to say good-bye to his Nan as well.


Everyone besides me is making it an early night tonight because there is a big game to watch early in the morning. Team Canada plays at 4:00 am our time. Both boys will be coming by to watch the game with Chris…..dedicated hockey fans?…..maybe……but I doubt that Mom or I will be awake to see them at that hour in the morning. Good Luck Team Canada, I will wait to hear the results at a much more reasonable hour.

Happy New Year 2013

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A nice quiet peaceful morning to start the New Year.

New year pic for blog

I took the dogs out at 6:30am and then we all crawled back into bed for an extra little sleep. The dogs went back to sleep but as much as I usually have no trouble falling back to sleep, I was  still awake when my husband got out of bed around 8:00am….so much for the extra little sleep.  We got up and fed the dogs and then got busy. The carpets needed vacuumed….which they always do…… I had a raspberry cheesecake to make as well as the much requested gingerbread cookies that my husband wanted me to make for him.

Chubby little Gingerbread men.....created in their makers image. :)

Chubby little Gingerbread men…..created in their makers image. 🙂

Baking is not my favorite thing to do but I sometimes don’t mind it.

My husband and I decided to bake a ham and have potato scallop (scalloped potatoes for those of you who are reading this and going….what the heck is potato scallop?) for New Year’s dinner and invited his brother and sister-in-law to join us for dinner, along with my son Ryan and his girlfriend Whitney. This meal is one of our favorites and my husband is hard pressed to decide which he likes best, turkey dinner or this one…..I think I am more partial to the turkey but this is a great runner-up.

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Our dinner ham.

Once the baking was done and the ham was in the oven my mom decided it was only -5 degrees Celsius out so she wanted to go for a walk. I think she feels a bit like a shut-in since she has been here. We have had a little bit of snow lately which has made some of the sidewalks just a bit tricky to walk on in places, especially the spots where people haven’t bothered to shovel so I asked her to wait 5 minutes until I finished the dishes and I would go with her. I really didn’t want her to take a spill out there all by herself, and I could definitely use the exercise, plus I could take my camera with me and take a few pictures… first pictures of 2013.

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My mom walking along ahead of me while I’m snapping pictures

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Tonight’s dinner was great, and we had a really nice visit with family. A super way to start off the New Year.

What a Week

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What a week it has been….emotional ups and downs…..tears of happiness and sadness.

Saturday was an emotional day. It started early with my mom’s arrival at the Pearson International Airport. I haven’t seen my mom since we were home in September when my dad passed away. I’ve called her almost weekly since then but a phone call doesn’t even come close to speaking with someone in person. We were all so excited when she told us she was coming to spend Christmas with us and started counting down the days as soon as we heard. 🙂

Mom’s flight was due to arrive on Saturday at 7:25 am. That’s a pretty early arrival for us since it’s about a 45 minute drive to the airport, but it’s an even earlier departure for her from New Brunswick. My brother Andrew, his wife Patricia and my niece Abby took her to Moncton on Friday night and booked in at a hotel since they are all about an hour from the airport there too. Her flight left at 6:00 am their time so she needed to be there by 5:30 am. We didn’t have to leave our house until about 6:30 pm so we slept in a bit compared to them.

Once we got to the airport we checked the board for her flight and saw that it was expected to arrive early….. 7:17 am….8 minutes earlier than scheduled, no doubt due to the strong winds. In the end it was still 7:25 am when the board read that it had arrived. You’re not actually supposed to go into the baggage area…..Security reasons I suppose….. but every time the doors slid open releasing a passenger who had already claimed their bags, I was craning my neck trying to look through the people in their waiting to see if I could catch a glimpse of her waiting for her bag. Of course I started looking long before she had even debarked from the plane but the board said it had arrived and therefore she must be in there somewhere! A few people were slipping in to the “controlled area” when the doors opened and I eventually told my husband I was going in on the next opening, and so I did. Once inside I tried to look inconspicuous so that I didn’t look suspicious and have “clipboard dude” escort me out of the area. I noticed a stack of bags sitting by a post so I nonchalantly wandered over and stood near them as if I was just waiting for my travelling companion to retrieve the rest of our baggage. Could have been a mistake…. unclaimed baggage in the airport….. not really where one should stand, and the owner of the bags was probably eyeing me wondering if I was trying to steal her belongings. Anyway nothing happened and it seemed to take forever for the Moncton passengers to get to the baggage area. You can always recognize the folks flying in from the Maritimes because they get off the plane with their “carry on lobster” in hand. That was my first clue that Mom should be coming along shortly, and then there she was coming down the escalator and headed my way. I smooshed her into a big hug (trying not to hurt her) and no matter how many times I tell myself I will not cry when I see her…..I am wrong…..I cry. Those are the tears of happiness.  Now we just had to wait for her bag….that did take forever. Chris and I had been texting back and forth while I was waiting for Mom so once I let him know she was off the plane he came in to the baggage area to wait with us. We finally get her bag, paid for parking and headed home. I sent messages to people waiting to hear that we had retrieved the package (my mom) safe and sound and were headed on home. It was now around 8:30 am and we weren’t sure about Mom but we were starving so we stopped at Sunset Grill before arriving at home for our usual Saturday morning breakfast.

Once we got home we did not give Mom a chance to rest up as we still had some things to do since it was the Saturday before Christmas. Erika still had to finish start her shopping…..that’s right, our little procrastinator had not started her shopping yet. Well she had 2 gifts but only because I had picked them up for her. We took Erika to the mall to meet her friend Taylor who also had to finish her shopping and picked up Nick to take back to the house for a visit with his Nan. Chris and I then went back out to do a bit more running around while Mom and Nick spent some time together.

Around 3:00pm Erika arrived home from the Mall and was quite upset. While shopping she had received word that a friend of hers from school Eric Goegan was killed in a car accident that happened on Friday night. Teenagers tend not to see themselves with any kind of mortality, they live in the moment and they believe they will be around forever, so when this happens to someone they go to school with and are around every day with their whole life ahead of them it is a very difficult thing to deal with. Her tears were those of shock and sadness.

On Sunday morning Mom and I dropped Erika off at work and went to church. This was only my 3rd Sunday at this church and as we were hanging up our coats a kind gentleman introduced himself to us and asked if we would like to sit with him and his wife since we didn’t know anyone. Of course I said yes believing it to be impolite to refuse. We took our seats but it was evident that this was going to be a problem…..they were left hand side seats…..I’m a right hand side sitter. I always choose a seat on the right hand side, I don’t really know why but I assume it has something to do with my childhood and the Hughes Family always sat in a church pew on the right hand side of the church. I don’t ever remember sitting on the left or in the centre unless it was for a Sunday School concert or a wedding or a funeral.  After the service I decided that next time I will just quietly slip in to the sanctuary and pick a seat on the right hand side…..small things. 🙂

Monday, Christmas Eve day, Chris and I both had to work so Erika and Nan spent the morning together. We got off work early, Chris much earlier than me, grabbed lunch at Swiss Chalet and then came home and I finished up my baking. I didn’t purposely leave it until the last minute, I’m not really a procrastinator, I just ran out of time. That night Mom, Erika, Chris and I all went to the Christmas Eve church service (we managed to find a seat on the right hand side so all was well) It was a good service, lots of familiar carols, some stories followed by a short message (the pastor had promised a 6 minute message and he held it pretty close to that). Even Erika was impressed by the keyboard player service, she is a little disappointed that she has to work Sunday morning and can’t go with us again.

I love Christmas Eve, probably even more than Christmas Day. Everything just seems calm and pretty with the gifts under the tree and the tree lights glowing in the dark and all of the preparations are finished and it is a time to sit and reflect.  I could just sit and enjoy that feeling forever but we all know we have to go to bed eventually or Santa won’t come. 🙂

Our tree on Christmas Eve

Our tree on Christmas Eve

Opening the presents on Christmas Day was fun because it seemed to go on forever. Mom, Chris and I were up somewhere between 6:30 am and 7:00 am. Erika eventually rolled out of bed at 7:45 am and then we started handing out the gifts to open.

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Once we finished we went to get Nick and brought him and his still unwrapped parcels to our place for more gift exchanging (once he finished wrapping them).


By this time we were getting Tom ready to go in the oven for our family dinner at supper time.


Shana was next to arrive with her presents and again we all did the gift exchange and opened more presents.


We snacked while waiting for Ryan and Whitney to arrive from her mother’s place. We didn’t want too much for lunch to be too full for turkey but we obviously had to eat something to avoid starving to death. Once they arrived we handed out gifts again and it seemed like we spent all day opening just because we did it all in stages.


Once dinner was ready we all sat down to a delicious (if I do say so myself) turkey dinner.


We all ate too much and then topped it off with dessert of raspberry cheesecake, something that has become a bit of a tradition in our family, Chris’ mom’s cheesecake recipe. It was great to have the whole family here for dinner and having Mom with us made it that much more special. The only flaw in the day….if there was one… that I, being camera happy as I am, did not think to get some pictures of all of us together. Hopefully there will be another opportunity before Mom heads back.

Everyone was up early on Boxing Day, well not everyone, Chris was up at 4:00 am to watch Team Canada in the World Juniors and was joined by Ryan and Nick who crawled out of their warm beds to drive to our place just to watch the game and then I assume returned to their beds after the big win. It’s obvious that we are not much in the way of hockey fans in this family (jokes). After that it was a lazy day for most of us except Erika who had to work. After lunch we enjoyed a nice visit with my dad’s cousin Myrtle and her sons Jim and Garth and Jim’s son and Garth’s daughters. Myrtle, Garth and the girls were heading back to Oshawa after spending Christmas with Jim and his family here in Guelph. It was agreed that Garth and I hadn’t seen each other since we were kids (early teens maybe) at my Nan’s place in Cody’s, so that was about 30 to 40 years ago.

Yesterday Chris was back to work but I had taken a couple of days off to spend with Mom so we mostly just sat around watching movies until around 4:00 pm when Mom thought a walk would be a good idea. I took the opportunity to join her so I could take a couple of pictures of the snow…..we get so little of it I wanted pictures as proof that we had some.


For dinner Mom and Chris and I went to Wendy’s as Chris thought he was about turkyed out.

Last night Erika and her friends went to the visitation together for their friend Eric. When she got home she told me it was the hardest thing she ever had to do. The only funeral experience she has had up to this point has been for grandparents and that is certainly a different atmosphere then it is for someone your own age.

This morning we had company again for another 4:00 am hockey game. Ryan and Nick were here once again to watch with Chris and this time Erika got up and joined them. I too was awake at 4:00 am and thought about joining them but then thought better of it and turned the TV on in our room and watched the game from the comfort of my nice warm bed….right up until the last 10 minutes anyway, before I fell asleep. It was still a win so I guess they didn’t need me to make it so.

Now Mom and I are just lazing around, Erika is still sleeping and Shana will be coming by to take her Nan out to lunch at the Keg for her Christmas present.


I may try to squeeze a nap in this afternoon while they are out but other than that I am going to enjoy a lazy day and try to do as little as possible. It has definitely been an eventful week but our visit with Mom is going by way to quickly.

No-Bake Baking Day

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I feel like I accomplished so much today!

I got to sleep in….sort of…..until 7:00 am, when the pups decided they had waited long enough and wanted to go out. Puppy paws in the face can be very helpful in convincing you to drag your butt out of bed and let them out. I think they thought we were up for the day but I was not quite ready for that.  As soon as she came in Cody stood at her dish looking from it to me, back to her dish, then to me hoping I would take the hint and give her some breakfast and I’m sure she was very disappointed when I looked  at her and said, “Bedtime, let’s go,” and back to bed we went. About an hour later we actually got up for the day, this time I fed the poor starving pups.

My husband and I did our usual Saturday morning breakfast out, and feeling very ambitious, we decided to walk to the restaurant. Breakfast was delicious and full of calories (which is what makes it so delicious), so it’s a good thing we walked there and back in an attempt to burn off one or two of those yummy calories.

After breakfast I had to pop in to work for a bit and while we were there we grabbed a couple of Christmas gifts that I had stored in my office and brought them home to move them to our other secret storage place….which is not in our house, with the snoopers in it. Oh wait, there is only one kid living here now so it would be just one snooper we are hiding things from.

On the way home we stopped at the grocery store to pick up the ingredients I needed to do a little Christmas baking. I  usually do my baking at the Zehrs bakery because I don’t seem to find the time to do it myself, since I generally end up spending so much time at work this time of year, but I really wanted to make something myself just to say I baked. I say it was baking, but there really wasn’t much actual baking involved.

I managed to get a large batch of Peanut Butter Balls made… oven involved there, just the stove top and freezer.

My Peanut Butter Balls

My Peanut Butter Balls

I made a batch of what I call “Frogs” other people call them things like Haystack cookies, but it doesn’t really matter what you call them….they are yummerific, but again, no oven needed,  just the stove top.

My Frogs....or whatever you want to call them....delicious will do.

My Frogs….or whatever you want to call them….delicious will do.

The only thing I used the oven for was to make the Holiday Pretzel Treats….and that was for a whopping 6 minutes….long enough to soften the Hershey kisses so I could smoosh the M&M into it.

Holiday Pretzel Pinterest Recipe.

Holiday Pretzel Treats….my Pinterest Recipe.

So I guess it was more of a no-bake bake day but I still feel like I accomplished much in the baking department. Maybe I will get to shortbread and sugar cookies next Saturday but not likely. My mom arrives from N.B. that day (which by the way we are all very excited about) so I may not feel like being very productive and I just might want to visit. 🙂

After my long hard day of baking no-baking, my husband and I went to see a movie at the brand new theatre that just opened this weekend near our house. We watched Skyfall and we were quite surprised at how busy it was since the movie has been out for a while now. We wondered if that many people really wanted to watch the movie or just wanted to go to the new theatre. We wanted to do both, watch the movie and see the new theatre.


I have to say I really enjoyed the movie, it is my favorite James Bond movie now. I liked everything about it including the sound track. I must admit I feel a special “Bond” with  James  since we are both 50 this year.


It was a great day and now I need to call it a day and hit the hay. Good night all!!