Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hello Sunshine!

This bundle of sunshine is what I had to leave behind in NL.  I cried on the plane and several times since then.  This grandma needs to be with the boy.  (Working on that one, aren't we God.)

I had a wonderful trip; it was the first time in over 20 years that I'd gone home in the winter.  And wow!  There sure was lots of snow; you couldn't see over the snow on the sides of the road where the plow had gone through.  Nor did it stop falling while I was home. Spring is always later on the west coast of Newfoundland than here in Nova Scotia.

So in spite of my aching heart (and arms), it was so pleasant to come back to bare pavement and smaller snow piles.  We've also had a couple of days of beautiful but cold sunshine which just lifts my spirits and makes me breathe deeper & sigh.  I can "feel" that spring is on its way. 

This is what adorns my office desk this morning.  An unnecessary extravagance because a girl needs to be reminded that winter is on his way out ....... especially when she had a week's backload to catch up on.

I hope there's lots of sunshine in your life today.

Friday, February 14, 2014

A Short Trip

Farewell for the next 10 days. 

I'm off to snuggle with a younger man!

My wee grandson, Dante.

See you soon!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

I'm ALWAYS feeling blue!

Yes, I'm always feeling blue .................... 
meaning that I always feel in the mood to wear blue. I have a lot of color in my closet, but you don't need to look to closely to see that it's predominantly blue.  I look good in the color, and I just feel wonderful when I wear it.  I'm drawn to the blues on the racks before any other color (although that harlot red often seduces me, especially in a shoe or purse).     

I walked into our local Atlantic Superstore early the other morning to deposit my cheque into the ATM machine ... which is right next to the clothing department who've begun to receive the new spring line.  What gorgeous colors!  And oh dear!  The blues were abundant! They were in front of me on racks; there were shelves of blue shoes; there were blue coats & sweaters & pants hanging above me.  I felt light-headed with glee; I was floating in a beautiful sea of azure!  

I've had myself on a very tight shopping budget since Xmas because there's nothing I really need.  I hadn't thrifted since then and have done fine on my shopping sabbatical.  But spring is coming. (Repeat this mantra as necessary!).  And as I stood there surround by blue, I remembered 3 things:

  1. I had found $25 cash in a last-years purse when I switched last week.
  2. I probably had some PC cash points on my account at the Superstore.  (Yep.  When I checked, I had $40 worth!)
  3. I had an unused $25 in my thrifting budget for last Jan.

So, here's what I bought :  
Some pieces were on sale (like that awesome charcoal grey poncho/sweater for $4.94! the blue pants for $14.94 and the baby blue open weave sweater for $15).  Some were just great prices (like the powder blue sweater bottom left for $16 and the gorgeous blue cloth ballet flats for $19).  And the center Indian cotton blouse for $29 was just irresistible.

Once I added in February's $25 thrifting budget, I didn't overspend. 

Well done, Sandy!  

  • Good budgeting
  • Great clothes
  • Gorgeous color!  

What's your Achilles heel color?

Monday, February 10, 2014

Do I just host these kids for the food?

I still miss my little Korean girl, but it's getting easier day by day.  When I took her to the airport, we were spending the night at a hotel, paid by the international student program,
because my new Japanese student was arriving at 10 pm Sat night and Elly was leaving at 5:30 am Sun morning.  So, we arrived at the very lush Ault Hotel (very modern European flair) and checked into our separate rooms on the same floor along with roughly 10 million Colombian students leaving on that same 5:30 am flight. (Okay, perhaps 10 million is a bit of an exaggeration but that how it felt when they were running around in the hallways screaming.)   
Now, we all know what winter travel can be like in the northern hemisphere.  The 10 pm flight was delayed to 11 pm.  It was then delayed to 12:10; then 2 am; and finally it arrived at 3:15 am.   I tried to sleep in between, but it impossible with those 10 million Colombians I mentioned!  Then seeing as Elly had to check in for her flight (with the 10 million) at 3:30, I just stayed up. 
Let me just say that I certainly was in a good mood at that hour of the day!
I was allowed to sleep after that for 4 hours until breakfast and hitting the road.  And after a week, I think I'm finally caught up on my rest and things are going wonderfully.
Let me introduce you to my lovely new Japanese daughter, Nagisa -- tiny little beauty who does hip hop dance and loves music, shopping, the color pink and all things Disney (as well as a few sports).  She's my first true girlie-girl student.   

I've only one student this semester; the house is quieter and neater and, although I now have to live closer-to-the-bone, I'm enjoying it.  She's a wonderful kid:  so amazingly easy to live with, neat and quiet, thinks everything I cook is delicious, does the dishes without having to be told AND -- something virtually unheard of in the world of Asian students -- she does not leave a mess in the bathroom.  (I shall have to video tape her explanation of such so we can use it as a teaching aid for all future Asian students.) 

She came bearing little gifts from home for me -- 3 Furoshiki (Japanese fabric squares used to wrap gifts in), a warm undershirt and something that's always a favorite gift from my students -- weird and unusual food stuffs.  Look at it all!  Ain't it fun?  I could play a foodie version of Russian roulette!

From top right in the pretty fabric bag - tea; then ramen, dashi for making stock, a wee tin of macha, curry and beef stew flavoring cubes, powder for making Japanese tako; and top dead center, 2 packets of soba noodles.  Why are there angry warriors on the packaging?  I don't know; but I think it's hilarious.  I do hope though that they'll make me happy when I eat them.

Ahhhhh!  I see more more food adventures on the horizon!


Thursday, February 6, 2014

An encouraging winter post!

For all the people who left comments on my previous post, this one is for you to use.  

I concede!  
Winter sucks and there's nothing good about it --- except hiding inside until spring comes which I love.

Hang in there!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Do you enjoy winter?

There are those who hate winter.  They hate the cold, the ice and snow, the layers of clothing, the slip-sliding to work and/or school, and so on and so on and so on.  From the first snow flake until they can finally put on their tennis shoes again, they comment on how much they long for spring.  There is no enjoyment to be found in winter for those folks.

Then there are the snow bunnies.  They love skiing and skating and sledding.  They own full snowmobile suits and warm Gore Tex boots and so many mittens and scarves and hats. And unless it's a full out blizzard, you can find these people walking and jogging as per their normal lifestyle.     

I used to hate winter.  But then I learned to accept it and have since come to really enjoy it.  I was never a snow bunny; but for the past 2 years, my chronic back problems have kept me from being any kind of active winter rodent, although I do try to walk outside a little each week.  But I have really embraced the semi-hibernation that I take on in winter.  I lead a busy, tiring life where I'm "on call" to bosses or children most of the time.  Aging has mercifully shown me that I should never feel guilty for doing nothing and totally enjoying it!  There's an old Portugese saying that goes something like this: "It's wonderful to do nothing .... and rest afterwards".

Yes, much of my enjoyment of winter is in the sense of time slowing down because of the weather, the very reason many people don't like winter!  But didn't God tell us:  "To every thing there is a season ...." Ecclesiastes 3:1   And just like the bulbs under the soil in my front garden, at this age I need a winter!  Here are some of the reasons that I love winter.

  • While I'm at work and taxing this already overfilled brain, I love the anticipation of rest in the evening. I think about my favorite TV programs or the book I'm reading; I think about my comfy slippers and plan whether it'll be cocoa w/ a dollop of whipped cream or lemon ginger tea with a smidge of honey.  Emmmmm!  Enjoyment!  
  • By Thursday, I'm enjoying the anticipation of the coming weekend.  I could take an early morning walk on Sat and have coffee afterwards; or I could cook a big breckie and do my usual NY Times crossword.  I can't help but smile when I think of a snow-filled day doing nothing other than what strikes my fancy -- and that could change on a dime!  
  • Winter enjoyment involves a warm house and soups, warm beverages, throws, books, good TV shows or the movie channel mixed in with the occasional craft. 

  • During winter, my house is better organized; the mending gets done, there's no ironing pile in the corner, and I know where to find all those little recipe clippings.  
  • In winter, I call family and friends more often.
  • And I "hear" my body better  and am much more introspective.

I love the other three seasons just as much as I love winter:  they are each quite unique in many of the things they offer.  But here in NS, those 3 seasons are my "active" months -- better weather means lots of great things to do and people who want to do them with you.  

Yes --I'm really happy that I've found so many reasons to love winter.


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