Monday, November 29, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.  It is beginning to look like Christmas - and I am loving it - well most of the time - must admit when I have to go out and deliver mail in the minus 20's it is not my favourite - but such is life.  Have not had to go out to deliver mail very often - even though I spoke with the boss and she told me that I would be doing two portions - delivering mail - and then my four hours of RTS as well.  Went in on Monday to start and was relegated to working in the depot - not that I really minded - it was minus 38 with the windchill - only drawback was that I was dressed to work outside and I just about melted.  Went back on Tuesday all bundled up again and was in the depot yet again - then on Wednesday I was told not to come in early - so guess I will be heading in for 7 a.m. - as there are temps who were hired after me who do this and get work - so .... as all work is supposed to be given according to seniority - I am going to show up and see what happens.

By Thursday the weather had turned to become quite warm - well all things considered - from in the minus 30's to minus teens - much better.  Saturday Marian and I took in the bazaar that was held by the Golden Years group - great deals and some really nice handmade things.  I did not buy a lot - as I have NO room to take any more back to Egypt.  Would have been a great place to take the kids to get gifts for Mom and Dad - nice things and very reasonably priced - Marian scored some really good gifts for the grandkids.  They manage to keep the prices low by using donated goods - great place to donate excess fabric, yarn, etc.  After that we headed to Heritage Park to take in an Old Fashioned Christmas - a great thing for a family to go to - they had a small skating area, two bonfires, horse rides, hay ride, maple syrup in snow, pictures with Santa - entrance was a cash donation - most of the rides required that you purchase some coupons - coupons were $2.00 each - so the rides varied in price from $4 to $10 each.  They were renting sleds - you had to give them $5.00 and when you brought the sled back you got your money back.  Was a nice day for it - not too cold and a bit of snow coming down.  It is still snowing now - but the flakes are nice and big ones - not wet though still dry. 

Last night after we got home we curled up in Marian's bed and watched TV that she had recorded - I managed to get a fair bit done on a cross stitch project that I am working on - and of course as usually happens when I am working on my cross stitch time got away from me - it was midnight before I realized it - OMG.

Got up this morning around 7 and started baking - meant I had to clean up the kitchen first so that I could find place to work.  On Friday we had gone to WalMart - they had a Kitchen Aid mixer on sale for a good price - when I made cookies on Thursday one of the beaters on Marian's antique Sunbeam MixMaster bought it - needs to be replaced or repaired - and replacing it will be a challenge - as the machine is likely around 40 years old - used to belong to our maternal grandmother - I can remember it being used when I was a little kid - and that was a LONG time ago.  The Kitchen Aid was on for 188 instead of 288 - but we saw a Sunbeam MixMaster for $88 - and went with that - Marian is not much into baking - no time for such things - so we (I) figured the Sunbeam would suit her just fine - I will likely use it more than she will.  I have managed to cook up a double batch of kevling (almond shortbread) and have made up the dough for snowballs and regular shortbread - they are cooling in the fridge.  Now I am working on supper.  We are having ham, yam, squash and cauliflower and brocolli.  Ham is in the oven, yam has been 'par' cooked in the microwave and now I need to tend to the other veggies.  So will say TTFN  until next time.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

This past weekend I got busy and started Christmas baking.  Got two batches of nuts'n'bolts made - did not have all the 'preferred' ingredients - found out that Bugles are no longer available in Canada - I was shocked - what a lot of nerve these people have - but we made do - and of course we are unable to get Rice Chex and Corn Chex here either.  When I lived here I would always make a trip south over Thanksgiving and get them - or ask my personal shopper to keep any eye open for them if they should ever go on sale.  I will be spending Christmas in Sherwood Park with Marian, Gloria (her second eldest daughter), Elias (Goria's 2 year old son), Mom and Dad and of course me.  So I asked if there was any baking Gloria would like - and I got a list - so now I need to get off my duff and start baking - and of course wouldn't you know it - I am working more hours at the Post Office.

This has been an eventful week - so far.

Monday waited until after 8 to go for my walk - figured it was safe then - because all the routes should have been covered - got home around 8:30 or so - to two phone messages - both from the Post Office - both asking me go come into work.  Phoned Fay first - she is the head supervisor - she asked me to come in and cover two portions of LC13 - which is the first route I was trained on - said sure.  Then phoned Rick - who also offered me the same thing - told him I had called Fay already and accepted the two portions.  So, off I head to work.  Get there at 9:30 and have to wait until 11:00 for the mail to be sorted - new girl doing it and she did not have a clue what she was doing - not a good start.  So off I went at 11 - delivered the mail that I carried and then had to wait for 20 minutes for someone to deliver the bags to the relay box - day is getting better.  It is now starting to snow - making walking treacherous - glad I had the good sense to put on my long johns - skiff of snow is covering the ice on sidewalks and driveways.  And then I trip over a little 'step' - boom down I go - and of course my left knee (which is still recovering but doing nicely) takes the brunt of the fall - put out my right hand and end up with a bruise and a tiny cut on the heel of my hand.  My left knee is now very sore again - back to living on muscle relaxants and pain pills - DANG.  Even managed to scrape the knee through my pants and the long johns and to add insult to injury - put a tiny tear in the long johns.  SIGH.  Kept on snowing.  I managed to get the route done in the allotted time though - just kept on trucking.  The adage at the post office is to follow the mail and when you run out look for a relay box - I did that - and the girl who pulled it left two bundles in a relay box and did not take me back there with the mail to deliver it - and she also left me with no mail and no relay box.  So there I am standing with no mail - no relay box and the snow just coming down - so I had to 'dead walk' (when you are walking with no mail to deliver) back to the relay box to get the mail - needless to say I was not favourably impressed.  Oh well - managed to get it done and head back to the office - then I made my way to the other office to do my RTS - only to not be allowed on the computer - kept telling me 'User is not active' - ARGH.  So I sorted through two boxes of mail getting them in order - makes it faster to label them.  And of course ended up getting thoroughly chilled - was warm enough while I was walking - but once I stopped - I got chilled - not wearing heavy enough clothes - plus add to that the fact that my clothes were damp from sweat - yes hard to believe that while walking in freezing temps I sweat - gotta love it.  Anyhow - left at 5:30 - since I started at 9:30 - and figured I would catch the 5:45 bus - only problem is - it did not show up - so had to wait for the 6:15 bus - standing outside - already chilled - getting even colder.  Got home - warmed up some soup and Marian had cooked up some sauerkraut and ham sausage - so we ate that - then I had a hot shower and crawled into bed - did not have the brains to take any muscle relaxants or pain killers - so had a very restless night - woke up with a headache on Tuesday.

Tuesday I figured I would have a nice relaxing day - cook up some pork tenderloin that I had been marinating since Sunday, cook up some sweet potato and parsnip and a squash that was sitting on the counter.  Did up the dishes from Monday - and talked with my buddy Margaret - she is currently in Vancouver for a couple of months to spend some time with her daughter and grandkids who are going through a rough time right now.  Got off the phone - two messages from the Post Office - called in - could I come in and do a portion of LC13 - the portion that did not get done yesterday - the walk is divided into 3 walk portions - I had done two of them the day before and someone else was supposed to do the third - but did not have time - so I went in at 11:30 and did that - and then back over to the other Post Office to do the RTS - this time the computer worked - thank goodness.  Have now figured out that I will be doing the RTS - it is considered my 'position' - but will hopefully be getting two portions of walking routes to do as well - so I can get more hours in - had been hoping to be able to get to working days - but I think my 'fate' is to be working the 2-6 shift no matter what - not thrilled - but I will continue to take it.  Was a bit better dressed yesterday - no falling - but the same girl had pulled the mail - so I was left doing a lot of back tracking - did not walk nearly as farm as on Monday - Monday I walked 7.349 miles and Tuesday only 3.99 - my hips and glutes are letting me know they are not really thrilled with all this extra activity - but that is just tough.  I am really hoping to be working and walking a lot more between now and Christmas.  Finished the route and was back at the office by 1:30 - divested myself of the keys and the RTS mail - and then took a taxi to the other office for my 2nd portion of work - RTS.  My feet were cold - I am out walking in my runners - nice and airy for the summer - but not very good at keeping the damp out in the winter - and I am too cheap to go out and get a pair of good boots - would cost too much - because I would have to make sure they were good enough for walking in - so I took my shoes off - and put them in the storage room right beside the computer - really nice and warm in there - sat on the chair with my stocking feet - and did a box of mail - takes about 1.5 hours or so - and after I finished I went and put them back on - and they were nice and dry and warm - and my feet were warm again.  Finished work at 6 - left to get the 6:15 bus and - guess what - it did not show up until the 6:45 bus was there - and he would not take any passengers because he was late - so we had to wait another 10 minutes to leave - at least we were sitting on a relatively warm bus - but it is most frustrating - did not get home until after 7:00.  Marian was getting concerned about me.  Had a bowl of soup and some of the charred remains of the supper I had made - Marian had gone shopping after she dropped me off at work and had forgotten the food was in the oven cooking - meat is very crunchy, vegetables were all right - but the squash seeds are cinders.  Oh well - such is life. 

Tiger - one of the cats - has a growth on one of her back paws - keeps coming back - Marian took her to the vet before she went to Calgary for the birth of her latest grandchild - March sometime - because the growth was back - she asked the vet to excise the growth and biopsy it - when she got back she had a whopping $1100 bill and all they had done was two stitches and cleaned the cat's teeth and taken out a tooth - no biopsy.  When I got home last night the paw had burst - she was leaving bloody prints all over the place - so I held her while Marian 'bandaged' it.  She put the bandage on too tight and ended up making a real mess - poor Tiger was walking around shaking her paw trying to get this thing off of it - and she was by herself at the front door growling and hissing at her foot.  I went and got her and that is when we saw that the situation had been made worse - so I held her while Marian got the bandage off - I then carried her to her kennel to put her in it - and she was shaking the afflicted paw all the while - needless to say I was covered in blood and she managed to dislodge the growth on the way - so Marian picked it up once we noticed it and put it in a bag in the fridge - she is wanting to take it to the vet to get it biopsied.  Will see what transpires.

After all that excitement - still with my headache that I woke up with - I had a hot shower and crashed.    Woke up this morning at 5:45 - got up and showered and dressed.  I need to eat and do some dishes - not sure what is going to happen for the rest of the day - time will tell.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Not much happening in my little neighbourhood.  Marian is in Edmonton to attend her ex-mother in law's funeral - she invited me to go and I could have - but the prospect of staying at the cabin - read the outhouse - did not really appeal all that much - so despite the fact that I did not have to work yesterday - a) because I was not home when they called at 7:45 a.m. for me to cover a walking route and b) because there was no RTS mail to be done - I opted to stay home.  I must admit I do enjoy running water and such creature comforts.  Although there is more comfortable furniture at the cabin - but ...

Yesterday we got up and did our flyers - be thinking this will be our last month - mainly because in December I will be heading to Calgary and then off to Egypt - and Marian does not want to do it on her own - but also because it is getting to be too cold - I know, I know - I am a namby pamby - my blood has certainly 'thinned' living in Egypt and the cold gets to me much more easily now - although as time goes on I a noticing that I am able to withstand it a little more easily - just have to make sure my hands are warm - they do get cold very easily - and that has nothing to do with living in Egypt - they have been like this since my surgery on them.  SIGH.  So was out earning money when the Post Office called - ARGH - lesson learned - need to be home between 6 to 8 a.m. every morning to take a call. 

Weather here is still gorgeous - considering it is November 6 - we still do not have any snow.  Today is a beautiful bright sunny day - has been like this most of the week - kind of hard to believe it is November - until one steps outside and there is a definite 'nip' in the air.

Had been eyeing some Keen slippers - was going to order some - on my way home from the store today I stopped in a store that carries them - tried them on - could not get my dainty little foot into it - it is too high in the instep - ARGH - they looked like a fantastic pair of slippers - awesome arch support - so could wear them and not have sore feet and legs by the end of the day - especially in Egypt where the floors are ceramic tile on top of concrete - not a lot of give - read NONE.  So if I am busy in the kitchen for the day - my feet and legs are killing my by the time I am finished.  Oh well - one of the 'perks' of having wide feet with a very high instep - but glad I figured it out before ordering them and then having the hassle of returning them.

Not much for plans for today - although I keep thinking I should get busy and make some home made split pea soup and some tomato soup - so that we have it to eat during the week - also have a hankering for garlic cheese baking powder biscuits to go along with the soup - yummy.  But that would mean I would have to clean up the kitchen - SIGH - guess I should get busy and do it - needs doing and I do feel better when it is cleaned up and I can see the countertops.   Must admit I am missing home more and more.

Sunrise - October 2010 - from Marian's front step

Sunrise - October 30, 2010 - from WalMart parking lot.

Sunrise - October 2010 - from Marian's front step
Unfortunately the camera does not capture the true colours - the sunrises were a lot redder than I could capture - but gives a good idea of the sunrises here - they are truly magnificent - love stopping and watching God's handiwork.

Monday, November 01, 2010

As the old saying goes - time stops for no one - and that includes me - hard to believe it has been over two weeks since I last posted.

Not a lot has been going on - have made several batches of spaghetti sauce and canned them, two batches of salsa and canned them, a double batch of tomato ginger chutney which was also canned as well as one batch of tomato soup that got canned - have had a canning good time.

Work is much the same - having to pace myself so that I can stretch it out.  Finished all the RTS that there was on Friday by 5:00 - so got to head home a tad early - left 30 minutes early - started at 1:37 - so should have been out the door by 5:37 - so it was not a really big deal - but still nice to get out a bit early.  Of course most of the letter carriers had gone home by the time I arrived at 1:30.  Before I went to work I had to stop at the Provincial building to buy my bus pass for November.  Went into the building and where the cashiers are it was closed off - wondered if they were closed - but you could walk through the hangings they had - and all the cashiers were dressed up as clowns and there was free popcorn and candies for the taking - so I took a bag of popcorn - might have held 1/4 cup of popped corn and one chocolate pumpkin.  HOORAY.

Saturday we got up early and headed to WalMart - we had both taken pictures at Marian's company picnic in August - and later realized that maybe we shouldn't have - we took pictures of a friend of Marian's - his name is Monsef and he is from Tunisia - he was there with his five children and we took pictures of them - then realized that as devout muslims this might not have been appropriate - so Marian finally got around to asking him about it - and he said it was no problem and that he would love to have copies of the pictures - so we went to WalMart - and I insisted we get there early - because whenever we have been there later in the day the lineup to use their self serve photo print shop is lined up - so we got there shortly after it opened at 8 - we had to scrape the car windows - has been a LONG time since I had to do that - and I was right - it was very nice in the store at that time - not many people - and we did not have to wait to use the photo printers - well not quite true - we had to wait for them to come online - so we got the pictures printed that we wanted - must go through my photos and see about making a list to get them printed.  It is well and good to have all these photos on my camera - but it is still nice to have prints to look at.  Marian wanted to get some pants for badminton - she has been wearing capri yoga pants and she figured it was getting a tad chilly for that - so she bought some longer ones - she also bought herself a jacket and I talked her into buying a shirt - looks really good on her - but she will not wear it - she is still into wearing baggy clothing - thinking it hides her - has yet to figure out that the baggy clothes just make her look bigger.  I found a pair of capri shorts in the clearance rack for $1.00 - had to buy them - also found some socks - four pairs for $3.00 - can never have enough socks.  After WalMart she headed to her Weight Watchers meeting - she has now lost a little over 50 lbs. - must admit kind of frustrates me - she just keeps dropping weight and I am struggling to lose - have to work really hard to lose any - but she just seems to drop it no matter what she eats or does or doesn't do.  Oh well - I just have to worry about myself and quit comparing myself to her - easier said than done.  My goal this week is - just because it is there does not mean I have to eat it - so am working hard on that one.

Today I got up and got dressed for church and actually went - was good to go - but as usual quite bittersweet.  The people are quite friendly - I only stayed for sacrament as I took the car and Marian needed it to go to badminton - so I could not stay for all the meetings.  But I figured one meeting was better than none.

Not much else has been going on - getting cooler and cooler - but at least no snow yet and today was quite warm - high of  +7 - so a good night for trick or treaters - we have had eight so far - and it is 8:30 at night.  No little ones though - I think they are the cutest.

Here is my best 'side' - the back of my hair.

Here I am as a 'light auburn'.
 Ta da - finally got the pictures of my new hair colour.  Worked quite quickly this time.  Now I am going to call it a day - need to do up the dishes - check on the ham in the oven and the squash seeds that are roasting in the toaster oven.