Friday, January 27, 2012

If I Were Part of the One Per Cent

The Occupy movement, which is against economic and social inequality, tried to enter the high-security venue of the World Economic Forum today.

I wish I was part of the one per cent of the world’s richest people.

If I were, I would:

• Pay someone to clean my house.
• Hire a personal shopper to help me with the dreadful task of clothes shopping.
• Hire someone to do my ironing and make sure my clothes match before heading out the door.
• Go on a vacation when I felt the need to escape winter or just because I felt like getting away.
• Become a stay-at-home mom.
• Buy a hobby farm with acreage.
• Trap-spay-neuter cats to decrease the feral cat population. Please people, fix your pets.
• Volunteer, likely with animals or children.

On a serious note, there are all sorts of rich people just like there are all sorts of middle-class people.

Often you hear the super rich helping out during a crisis and long after the crisis has slipped the mind of every day people. Many of the super rich use their names to encourage people to donate time or money to a cause.

I think most of the one per cent look beyond themselves and help others. I am sure there are a few of the one per cent who only look out for only themselves. But then I am also sure more of the 99 per cent do the same.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thursday’s Ramble

After our son’s recent skate, the instructor commented to us that our guy is quite the negotiator.

My husband and I laughed out loud because as E was skating, we could tell he was trying to make a deal with the instructor and we were pleased to see she wasn’t buying it.

Our guy is a master negotiator often starting his sentence with “I have an idea.”

Bad Drivers
I was cursing the other drivers on the road recently but when I arrived in to work and attempted to do some writing, I noticed my fingers appeared to be on the wrong keys and everything was going wrong.
Sorry drivers, perhaps it wasn’t you but me.

Seasonal Affective Disorder
I have noticed that since I had my son and received fantastic hours at work, I haven’t been that affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

It might be the combination of having someone else to worry about and returning home when it’s still light outside that has help. However, I still find I am more tired than normal.

Bring on the cold, maybe

SAD might also be kept at bay because of our weird weather this year. The temperature changes often - sometimes warm, sometimes cold.

The bad part about the not-so-cold weather is the chance of freezing rain increases. I would rather deal with a blizzard than freezing rain. So bring on the cold?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Now That Is Taking a Need For Routine Too Far

Routine, it is said, is important for children. Adults, too, get stuck in routines.

For example, I drive the same route to get to work and I when I get there, I turn on my computer, check my voicemail, change my message, start up all the programs I work with, get my water, do some reading and then check emails.

But recently, I ‘met’ a woman who takes her routine a tad too seriously. I think she may have a problem.

After dropping my guy off at daycare, I went to the local gas station to fill up my tank. I went inside, paid the man and then got in my car. I looked up to see a woman in a SUV impatiently waiting for my spot.

This would make sense if the gas station was full. It was not. It was about 6:20 a.m. and I was the only person at the station. All other gas pumps were empty.

I organized myself, put my seatbelt on and drove away. The woman immediately pulled into my spot.

What makes this story that much funnier, in my opinion any way, is that two days later I pulled back into the gas station parking lot and who is at that same pump at the same time – the woman in the SUV.

In the case, this woman needs to learn to change up her routine. Life must be so limiting for her.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Worth a trip to downtown Belleville

Saturday, we visited my stepdaughter in Belleville where she lives while attending Loyalist College.

We have been to Belleville several times in the almost two years she has called that city home, but have never strayed further than the big-box store part of town.
As A. now owns a car, we were able to spend our Saturday checking out the town rather than grocery shopping.

On Friday, I looked up ‘What to do in Belleville’ and came across various trails that could take you along the Bay of Quinte as well as the Moira River in Belleville. Visit for details.

I opted for the trails that lead along the river as I noticed there was a playground.
When we arrived at my stepdaughter’s place, A. suggested we instead visit downtown Belleville as it has old buildings and beautiful stores – my kind of place.

Not knowing how her brother would do shopping all day, and after spending more than two hours in the car, I thought a walk would do us all well.

We parked downtown for free, then headed to the paved trail along the water’s edge. (Note to self, next time have A, who has a sense of direction, look at a map before heading out.)

The Moira River was moving fast and furious. And close.

I not sure how the City of Belleville can get away with the design of the barrier along the water’s edge.

I appreciate my child is my responsibility, however, the walk along the river was a stressful experience. Our guy kept getting close to the barrier – if you could call it that – that literally sat on top of the river and offered zero protection from falling into the cold and fast-moving water below.

The space between each post of the barrier would fit an adult in some parts, more like four shoulder to shoulder near downtown. As such, I kept our guy between the concrete barrier protecting us from the road and myself.

We checked out an old mill and then walked downtown where we had an enjoyable afternoon checking out the shops in downtown Belleville.

My favourite places were Greenley's Bookstore, which had two levels of books, including a bargain shop at the bottom; Scalliway Toys (what a great name), which had a fantastic selection of unique and brand name toys at reasonable prices; and Stephen Licence Ltd. Bicycles & Hobbies, which had a great selection of trains, bikes, unique games and an owner who has seen it all when it comes to toys.

We stopped by a local coffee shop for a hot chocolate but I was disappointed. Why is a good cup of hot chocolate so hard to find? I am sure it was made with water. My guy liked it for the whipped cream and chocolate drizzle ton top.

We passed by L'auberge de France - Authentic French Bistro, which claimed to offer baked goods.

A said it was a sit-down restaurant so we didn’t go in. A mistake because I read they offer straight-from-the-oven chocolate croissants Saturdays. I bet they would have had a great cup of hot chocolate.

So if you are ever passing by Belleville, a trip to their downtown is a worthwhile experience.

And if you have children and you feel the need for a daredevil trip along the water’s edge, you will find a playground, which apparently is in the shape of a pirate ship.

Friday, January 20, 2012

I Hate Shoes

There I said it.

I hate shoes. I would probably like shoes more if I didn’t have to shop for them, or at least if it wasn’t a chore to shop for them.

The only good thing about this week’s boot shopping excursion was that it was easy. I walked into the store, was passed a pair of boots, tried them on and walked out. If all shoe shopping trips were that easy, I would love shoes, too.

Sadly my shoe shopping trips are never that easy. Just ask my mom who bravely purchased me work shoes for Christmas. Almost a month and three pairs later, my kind mother has given up.

The last pair of shoes (too big on one foot, too small on the other and not nearly as comfortable as the pair before) are going back and my poor, patient mom is giving me the money to buy my own shoes.

The last pair of work shoes I purchased was many years ago.

My brave coworker, a shoe fan, took me to the mall where I dismissed more shoes than I tried on – too tall, too much heel and ugly. Finally I found ones that were similar to my old ones and that fit.

I purchased them, got into her car and promptly threw up.

Coincidence? I am not sure.

I do know those same shoes were finished two years ago (they have a large crack in the sole) so it’s time to brave the shoe store again.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ode to Sorels

It is with sadness that I announce the end of an era.

My brown leather and rubber Sorel boots walked their last step yesterday.
The boots, which I bought in high school (more than 20 years ago) and have worn every winter since, owe me nothing, yet I wanted them to continue serving my feet for years to come.

I could handle the fact the top of the boot was looking a little tattered. I could also tolerate the tinkle sound the boots made as the lace holders clinked against each other with every step.

Instead, it was the slice in the rubber near the bottom of the boot that concerned me. I could see my sock through the small cut, which means cold air – and water – could reach my foot.

It was with a heavy heart I went to Sears and asked the lady if she had Sorels just like the ones I was wearing. I was disappointment to hear she sold out of Sorels and only had Columbia ones left.

And while I bought the brown suede and rubber boots Columbia boots and like them, I haven’t yet thrown out the boots that have seen so much.

I have heard that Sorels offer a lifetime warranty.

However, the sales woman at Sears told me the company I purchased my boots from so many years ago no longer exists.

Sorels are no longer Canadian made and the company now belongs to Columbia.

So I hold on to my Sorels in hopes that perhaps Columbia honours the lifetime warranty that was in existence when my boots were purchased.

And if not, I will say goodbye to my trusty boots and hope my new Columbia boots can live up to the standards I set all boots too.

These are not my Sorels. They do not exist, but they are similar in look and size. LisaDay

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Everyone Should Have a Set

Winter tires that is.

I have had two driving accidents in my life, each one taking place on my street and each one occurring in the winter, making me a fearful winter driver.

That is until this year, when I purchase a set of winter tires. What a great decision, and one I would recommend anyone who drives in weather that reaches 7 C to make.

Learn more about winter driving here.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Some of This and Some of That

When my dad and I were driving to the restaurant for the annual Dad and Daughter Dinner Saturday, we noticed that at 6 p.m. it was not yet dark. In the mornings, light has broken the night by about 7:20.

So while today may be Blue Monday – the considered the most depressing day of the year – the fact that it is not dark all the time, makes me quite happy.

Helping pass the winter blahs is the fact our ice rink is everything we had hoped for.

While our guy still has no interest in using it with skates, he has discovered the joy of being pushed around on a chair.

You can get great speeds, particularly if Daddy is pushing while he is on skates.

We are trying to get out as often as possible. Last night we went for about a half a hour before my toes got cold and bed called my name.

I have decided the sound of blades on ice is one of the most wonderful sounds.

I am not much of a skater but I certainly have improved. I can now slow down and do little twirls without landing on my bum.

And I purposely slide my skate across the ice just so I can hear the sound of it.

During our bathroom break at the Real Canadian Superstore, I discovered cooking classes for children.

I am so excited. There are three I am considering signing our guy up for. I think he will love it.

We made Oscar the Grouch Garbage Pail cookies Friday night.

The recipe was found in a Cookie Monster cookie book we bought for our guy for Christmas.

Oh how times have changed.

According to Cookie Monster, cookies are a sometime snack and you should always eat your fruits and vegetables first.

It seems sad to mess with Cookie Monster’s diet of cookies, lots of them, all the time and eaten at an incredibly fast pace.

Friday, January 13, 2012

I Love This Mop

I hate house cleaning. I can list a dozen things I would rather be doing than spend time cleaning my house. But each Saturday morning, while my boys watch TV in the shed, I clean the bathroom and vacuum the floors.

Prior to Christmas, I saw an advertisement (where I am not sure as I don’t watch TV) for the Vileda ProMist mop. And I wanted it. I wanted it so much I put it on my Christmas list.

What I liked most about the mop was that I could fill the container with my own cleaning solution – vinegar and water. And it sprayed rather than requiring me to use a bucket.

I didn’t get the mop for Christmas but I found it on sale after and picked it up last week.


Can you say that about a mop? Well, I did – often – as I cleaned all my floors.

In addition to loving that I can use my own cleaning solution, the microfibre clothes (which I also love) are attached with Velcro so they do not pull off in mid-clean. The head swivels so I can get into corners and the spray is oh so fun.

The only thing that didn’t occur to me is you do need to buy the microfiber cloth refills. But the mop does come with one cloth that can be washed 100 times and a second cloth, which the company says is for messy cleanups, three times.

It’s floor-washing time.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Heart Swells With Pride

Last night my son wore skates on the ice for the first time in his life.

At 6 p.m., I put him in the arms of one of his skating instructors. He was pushed to a spot in the middle with other children who obviously had more experience on the ice than he did.

While the other kids were getting up and falling down (ouch), our guy stayed close to the instructor - on his bum.

For the rest of the class he stayed close to one instructor who held him and skated with him around the ice.

Eventually, she started teaching and he started learning.

She let go. Our guy stayed standing. I am not sure he even realized he was doing it.

He fell down. She showed him how to get up. She pushed him around the ice with her arms around his middle and he was using his feet. He stood with his arms straight out.

And then, he was skating.

She let him go and he would take several steps on his own before losing his balance and falling into the instructor’s arm.

Then it happened. He skated several steps into her outstretched arms and he arrived there without falling.

In the course of a half hour lesson, my guy was skating – and having fun.

Monday, January 9, 2012

You Can Do It, Sam

Santa brought my son a bunch of new books including You Can Do It, Sam by Amy Hest.

It was a hit the moment we first cracked it open, reading if about five times that day – and three times in a row.

You Can Do It, Sam is about a little bear and his mom, who makes cakes for their neighbours on Plum Street.

On Saturday after the nap that didn’t happen, my son and I baked chocolate cupcakes.

And just like Sam, my guy waited impatiently for the chocolate goodness to bake, then waited until they cooled so we could ice them and decorate them with the dinosaur sprinkles we got from my aunt.

We then placed them on plates, put on name tags and, like Sam, delivered cupcakes to our friends on our street.

Friday, January 6, 2012

If You’re Happy and You Know Shout Hooray

I am also stamping my feet and clapping my hands that it is the weekend.

My son, for the first time, is also excited about Friday. I think it has been a long, short week for all of us.

We were off for more than a week for the Christmas holiday so it was hard getting back at it.

This weekend there will likely be some baking. My son requested to make both cupcakes and cookies and wants to use the new dinosaur sprinkles my aunt gave us.

I hope it also involves some backyard skating, some outside walking and some indoor playing.

Happy Weekend.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

And We Have Ice

It wasn’t frozen by Christmas but two days later we were skating on our ice rink.

At least Jamie and I were skating.

Our guy gets as far as attempting to put his helmet on, then deciding skating isn’t fun and asking to go inside for hot chocolate.

That attitude is a little concerning considering he is signed up for skating lessons beginning Wednesday.

What our guy thinks is really fun, however, is sitting on his new sled from Nana and Poppa and having Daddy send him flying around the ice.

I must say it does look like he is having fun with a grin that reaches from one side of his face to another.

Welcome to a winter of fun.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Tradition – Evolved

That's what the nieces and nephews called it - a tradition evolved.

My grandmother died in October. As Christmas approached, my sister-in-law and I chatted about a New Year's tradition that has been taking place since before I was born – New Year's oliebollens.

Oliebollen are Dutch deep-fried doughnuts that we dip in icing sugar.

As a child, every New Year's Eve, we would go to my grandparents' house and bring in the new year by eating oliebollen, skating on the pond and hanging out with my aunts, uncles and cousins.

When my grandfather died more than 10 years ago, the tradition changed and we celebrated New Year's day at my grandmother's house, eating oliebollen and clementines and chatting with my aunts, uncles and cousins.

Yesterday, the tradition changed again.

The nieces, nephews and great-nieces and nephews hosted a New Year's Day celebration at my brother and sister-in-law's house with oliebollen, clementines, munchies and soup.

There was sledding, snowball fights and snowman making in the rain.

There was talk about – mainly by me - how my grandmother should be have inducted into some sort of hall of fame because another tradition evolved this week. The tradition of making oliebollen on New Year's Eve day.

That fell to me and, while delicious, oliebollen is a lot of work and takes a lot of time.

But I can see why Grandma continued doing it after her children grew up. It's one Dutch tradition we actually do and I am happy we are continuing the tradition – evolved.