Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Perfect Guide To Holiday Etiquette

I shall soon be back in operation and posting irritating & annoying pictures of people you don't know doing things you don't really care about.  Such is the way of the personal blog (and the magic of $2.49 US a month).

In the meantime, let me entertain you with this hilarious but somewhat off-color guide to holiday etiquette that I managed to save last week.

Enjoy!

Monday, November 26, 2012

HELP!

I'm unable to post anything with pictures because Blogspot says I've used my space quota and must pay for an upgrade.  Can anyone out there help me?  
.  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy U.S. Thanksgiving !





TWAS THE NIGHT OF THANKSGIVING,
BUT I JUST COULDN'T SLEEP.
I TRIED COUNTING BACKWARDS, 
I TRIED COUNTING SHEEP.
THE LEFTOVERS BECKONED -
THE DARK MEAT AND WHITE,
BUT I FOUGHT THE TEMPTATION
WITH ALL OF MY MIGHT.
TOSSING AND TURNING WITH ANTICIPATION,
THE THOUGHT OF A SNACK BECAME INFATUATION.
SO, I RACED TO THE KITCHEN, FLUNG OPEN THE DOOR,
AND GAZED AT THE FRIDGE, FULL OF GOODIES GALORE.
GOBBLED UP TURKEY AND BUTTERED POTATOES,
PICKLES AND CARROTS, BEANS AND TOMATOES.
I FELT MYSELF SWELLING SO PLUMP AND SO ROUND,
'TIL ALL OF A SUDDEN, I ROSE OFF THE GROUND.
I CRASHED THROUGH THE CEILING, FLOATING INTO THE SKY,
WITH A MOUTHFUL OF PUDDING AND A HANDFUL OF PIE.
BUT, I MANAGED TO YELL AS I SOARED PAST THE TREES....
HAPPY EATING TO ALL - PASS THE CRANBERRIES, PLEASE.


Monday, November 19, 2012

I saw Santa!

They say that Christmas is no fun unless viewed through the eyes of a child.  I say that seeing Xmas through the eyes of a bunch of international students is almost as good.  What a great bunch of kids we have in our district this year -- all 75 of them.  They love learning about Canadian culture and customs.  And for some, especially the Asians, Christmas is not something they've experienced other than on a very small scale. 

We spent 5 hours this past Saturday at MicMac Mall where the students were supposed to be shopping for their host families.  (I'm not sure many of us wear American Eagle or Hollister!!!  But I also saw a few bags from The Body Shop and Homesense.)  It was nice day for everyone -- students and chaperones -- to just let them loose to wander and meet other friends who live in Halifax.  I ate a Laura Secord ice cream with my co-ordinator and spent at least an hour at Starbucks chatting with the other chaperones.

At 4 pm, we headed across the bridge to Halifax to stake out a spot for the annual Xmas parade.  Again, they had an hour or so to wander downtown Halifax which has a lovely street-shopping vibe.  Some of us bought flashing Rudolph noses ........  and some of us needed instructions on how to wear them! 

Each time a marching band or musical float went by, the Latino students went wild; they sang and danced.  Each time a group of pretty majorettes went by, a couple of the Korean boys hooted and hollered louder than usual ... and then they'd look around and notice others noticing them & they'd blush. 
There were husky dogs adorned with Xmas lights pulling sleighs; policemen on horses also draped with lights; a couple of Grinches handing out high-fives; wonderfully dressed jesters; Shriners and angels and snowmen and trees and so on and so on.  
Some of the less appropriately dressed students longed for Santa to come.  Minus 3 degree next to the Halifax Harbour makes for minus 13 degree temperatures, so tights, shorts and fleece hoodies don't really cut it!

You'd think they'd sleep on the 1.5 hour drive home.  No!  There was singing competitions between the front and the back .... with a  couple of "Shut Up"s yelled out from the vastly out-numbered sleepy kids in the middle.

Ahhhh, out of the mouths of babes!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Land of Ice and Fire!

It finally arrived!



I've read the first 5 books and am anxiously awaiting the sixth.  Have seen the HBO series and am anxiously awaiting the next installment.  You never know where George RR Martin's mind will go next; but it's a journey I love being on with him.

Any other avid fans out there?




Sunday, November 11, 2012

November Sunshine!

This was my one weekend with nothing planned, sandwiched in between 3 busy weekends in a row and the count-down to Christmas.  But when you wake and the sunshine is streaming in your bedroom window and the temperature 10 deg C (50 deg F), how can you stay at home and organize your linen closet or bake some casseroles or wrap Xmas gifts?  The sunshine is calling you out for a last, long, lingering date before the ice and the snow and the cold force you to be window friends, gazing at each other and making promises about spring.

A quick call to a friend, a tank of gas, a couple of apples and a pocket full of peanut butter-ginger chews, and out the door we went, heading to Kedji Adjunct for a great hike.  

We were momentarily weigh-laid by this sign!
I loved that the outside planters still held beautiful, cascading, spongy-succulents, green and blooming on Nov 10th in amongst the Xmas lights.
Inside the old schoolhouse was wonderful:  Large rooms led into small rooms, each  filled with little stalls for individual crafters.  (I talked myself out of buying the gorgeous watercolor in the lower middle; Santa already has my Xmas stocking filled!)  Most things were really very reasonably priced; and such talent!  There was also a little room full of books and magazines, a large room full of yard sale items and an even larger artist's gallery room.  And the girl's bathroom  reminded me of my first school in the early 60's with little narrow wooden stalls and short tiny wash basins.

I made a few yard sale purchases and choose "5 paperbacks for $1".  As well, I  purchased 2 pairs of these gorgeous mittens made from recycled wool sweaters as well as 2 cedar-smelling "Tussy Mussy" packets -- one for under my pillow (to keep me dreaming of "visions of sugar-plums") and one to add to my Toronto daughter's package to remind her of of Nova Scotia Xmas trees and "home for the holidays", neither of which she'll enjoy this year.  :( 

We arrived at Kedji Adjunct at 2 pm and, although still bright and sun-filled, we were glad of our hats, gloves and fleece jackets.  We opted for the full 8.7 km (5.5 mi) hike.  We kept a good pace, but we stopped near the seaside and on the last leg of the boardwalk to use the view-finders, rest a little and just marvel at the beauty around us. 

Thank you God for lungs and legs that still work and for eyes, ears and noses to drink in your creation!

On our drive home, we stopped in Liverpool for a hot cuppa to warm us up AND some of the best pizza on the planet.  What a great day it was!





Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election Results?


Well done, America!


Monday, November 5, 2012

What I'm thinking......


  • I'm thinking how lucky I am to have such wonderful international students.  We had a day of wandering and eating in the city on Saturday -- little unique shops on side streets, some of the best sushi I think Halifax has to offer (B-Well Shushi Cafe on Quinpool Road); Korean b-beque (2 hours of a carnivores delight plus the girls did all the grilling for me.)  What a fabulous day we had!

  • I'm thinking about Remembrance Day which reminds me of my paternal Grandpa.  He was such a joy to be around -- happy, lively, loving.  After I moved away from home, whenever I'd go home to visit, he'd dance and sing his way over to me and continue his dance and song while he pinched my cheeks and kissed me.  He wouldn't talk about the "great war".
Thank you Poppy for your sacrifice.


  • I'm thinking about Christmas -- not a lot yet, but I'm beginning my thought-organization process:  letter writing, card addressing, gift wrapping, who I've still to buy for.  If I organize my schedule, I find I have time to enjoy the other wonderful things that pre-Christmas has to offer.

  • I'm thinking of sleep.  Gaining an hour is great when you're young.  If you're like most post-menopausal women my age, you wake at the same time; so readjusting to the time change is a sleepy pain in the butt.
I wanted to fall back into bed.
  • I'm thinking of lunch.  I've got half an hour to go:  I've packed  homemade beet salad, coleslaw and a mini-slider; dessert is Difuku, a Japanese sweet rice ball -- sweet red bean paste encased in pink-colored sweetened rice.  (Very tasty .... and I've talked myself into believing that it's not dessert at all but a very nutritious "ending" to my meal.)




And that's what I'm thinking.  Gotta go.  It's almost time for lunch!

What's on your mind?