Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ugh....It's almost here

September that is. I can hardly believe August is winding down. It seems like just yesterday, we were finishing up our year and greatly anticipating our trip home to Ontario. We had a wonderful time there....except it came and went much too quickly. Before we knew it, we were on our way back home.

The rest of the summer we've enjoyed having no routine and doing what we've wanted to do. It's been a wonderful summer....the weather here was fantastic (well...all except hurricane Bill that thought he should stop by for a visit. We could have done without a visit from him.)

That, unfortunately, will soon be coming to an end.

Even though I am feeling quite a bit better than last summer and more able to tackle things.....I'm *so* not ready to start back with our routine. Many of my homeschooling friends are excited about the new year. They can hardly wait to get started, purchasing books, getting things laid out....genuinely chomping at the bit to get back at it.

Not me.

When I hear them talking with such exuberance, I feel like firmly planting each of my hands over my ears and loudly singing, "LA LA LA LA LA....I CAN'T HEAR YOU". (I, of course, am just kidding fellow hs'ers....I'm a little....well ok.... a lot envious of how excited you all are and wish I felt the same..even a bit)

Hmmm.....Perhaps it will be easier if we implement a new subject this year ..let's see.... we'll call it Oceanography or Newfoundlandography or something else similar and then proceed out to our oceanside benches. Maybe we'll take a book or two as well..or not...maybe the binoculars....and our lunch.

Now...*that's* a curriculum I just may be able to get excited about.

Maybe there is hope for me after all.

(Edited to Add ---- As a person who use to thrive on routine, structure and mult-tasking 100 different things at once...this is a new experience for me. I'm positive it has everything to do with having CFS. I know I need to pace myself...I do not want to go back to where I was a year ago. It's difficult for me to do anything less than 150%....but I've *had* to learn to deal with this and make adjustments. This new outlook is somewhat freeing .... but do not want to swing too much the other way. I am no where near what I used to be, nor do I ever want to be that again. Balance is difficult but necessary. )

Monday, August 24, 2009

And he's gone!

Good riddance too!

Bill hit Newfoundland as a category 1 hurricane (sustained winds of 120 kms/hr). He was supposed to lose some of his punch and be a tropical storm before he hit NL, but he hit here first. I'm still unable to find out exactly when he became a tropical storm here (although at 2:30 a.m. they were still calling him a cagegory 1), how much rainfall various parts of NL received or if there was any damage anywhere. I was able to find out Cape Race had winds of 125 kms/h and Newfoundland was the only place where Bill made landfall, actually hitting here twice.

It was a long night here though...and I hardly slept. Placentia had a voluntary evacuation and a state of emergency was declared there. Thankfully, we came through quite well....there was a lot of rain, a lot of wind and a lot of lightening but no damage (other than a damp section in our basement and some wood blown around in our back yard). Power was out for a short while as well...thanks NL Power for getting us/keeping us up and running! (again....I'm not sure how any of the other areas of our province came through).

Bill is now out over the Atlantic somewhere. We are still experiencing winds of around 65 - 70 kms/h....but we are used of those.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts, prayers and good wishes through all of this!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

He is here

Bill has just arrived. It's raining hard, lightning a bit (we don't get much lightening here usually). The wind has picked up too. Hoping he moves on through very quickly!

Ack....more lightning.

Not much new to report

....we're still waiting and anticipating the arrival of Bill (the hurricane....not my brother lol).

It's been a bit frustrating trying to get regional updates for Newfoundland. TV stations have been reporting for days about other Canadian provinces...what's to come, expected rainfall amounts, wind speeds etc. region by region and they trail off by saying...."and more of the same for Newfoundland." So frustrating. One Canadian news station did a story on what could be expected in other Canadian provinces. They then went on to give more coverage to the fact the Obamas would be delaying their vacation due to Bill. Newfoundland got a mere one sentence mention.

Now that the storm has passed the rest of Canada....I thought we'd perhaps get more coverage. One station was reporting about one area...and the map behind him was showing another area. Imagine a reporter talking about the storm happening in Toronto but Moosonee being shown on the map.

It's 8:00 p.m. here...and so far we are experiencing nothing. Wouldn't it be nice if Bill forgot about us too!

Stay tuned...I'll update when I can!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bill's projected path

Location of NL in Canada

Map of Newfoundland

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You can check out the latest projected path of Bill by clicking here

Friday, August 21, 2009

Waiting for Bill

Hurricane Bill that is.

It's hard to believe from today's beautiful weather that Hurricane Bill is making his way here ......

..... But....we are awaiting news (when they can more accurately predict) what impact Bill will have on the island of Newfoundland. At one point, maps showing Bill's projected path, had him passing right through our little town! It has since been updated and his path has shifted to the west a wee bit (not enough to matter though) and his wind speeds have been downgraded a bit....but they are still calling for sustained wind speeds of 100 - 120 km/h and wind gusts up to 140 kms/hr. Rain fall could be up to 150 mms of rain....again these change from report to report.

We stocked up today....the bbq tank has been filled, we have lots of drinking water as well as bottled water, batteries, candles, matches, groceries, cell phone fully charged, vehicles full of gas.....

hmmm.....have I forgotten anything???

Hopefully, these won't be needed, but after experiencing the blackout of 2003, it never hurts to be prepared. During that blackout, we were without power for less than a day (21 hours)....*but* what a day that was (many areas were out for many days). We had very little drinking water, could not use or flush our toilets, bathe (we did have a rain barrel set up outside and it had caught what little rain there had been that summer....there was a couple of inches in the bottom, enough to sponge the kids off before bed for one night), could not even get a cup of coffee or a bite to eat anywhere (all restaurants were closed....they were in the same situation as us)...even grocery stores were not open. We had no way of knowing what was going on, how wide spread it was or how long it all would last as all our radios operated on electricity. (Thankfully, we were able to tune in on the car radio). One does not realize how reliant (as a society) we are on power until there is no power available.

Anyway...hoping for the best here. Prayers would be appreciated!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Oh my goodness!!

Jake delivered the cookies and picked up the stand. Good job we had the van as the box would not have fit in the car. This man, Mr. Zarboni, went to a lot of work for Jake, sending the stand, paying the shipping costs, having the letters added and other expenses I'm sure I haven't thought of. Wow. We will all remember their generosity for sure.

Some pics....

The box unloaded from the van, before we opened it.

(click pics to enlarge)

The cookie stand....

The back of the stand...even has a sturdy wire shelf inside.

Thanks, Mr. Zarboni.

Cookie case continues...

Further to Jake's encounter (found here ) Jake received a phone call last night from the businessman's local branch office. The man on the other end advised Jake the cookie stand is in and arrangements were made for us to pick it up.

After a couple of minutes had passed, he called Jake back and said he wanted to place an order for $20.00 worth of cookies. Jake was soooo excited and a bit overwhelmed....he's never had such a large order and was unsure he'd be able to fill it. After some discussions, he decided he could in fact fill that order and as a result, his night last night was filled with cookie making and packaging.

We're off today to deliver the cookies and pick up the cookie stand.

Stay tuned....the cookie case continues!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Pictures taken by Brittney

from her trip...

Click pics to enlarge....

Thursday, August 6, 2009

She's Back too!

Brittney stayed on in Ontario for 3.5 weeks after we left for home. She has a good friend there (they've been friends since grade one) and wanted to spend some time with her and her family. Brittney had an awesome time and did many interesting things.

One such thing was to meet a couple of celebrities...Mitchel Musso from the TV show Hannah Montana and Kreesha Turner (a singer).

Here are a couple pics of her taken with each of the celebs....

But....after 3.5 weeks, she boarded a plane in Toronto and headed for home. The plane was delayed by 1.5 hours....but just after midnight her plane landed.

It's great to have her back! Everything feels back to normal now.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Whales are back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh my goodness. Larry called me to the back lookout this morning to see the whales.

What a show they put on!! There were several groups (hmmm....I *think* a group of whales is called a pod..but I'm not sure...so I'm calling them a group for now lol) of them...one group must have had 10. They jumped and spouted and had a grand ole' time. Amazing.

Here are some pics...click to enlarge. My whale picture taking skills have improved a little bit over last year....but not enough. The whale jumps, I snap the pic but before the camera goes off...the whale has gone down. (I tried yelling, "Hold that pose" to the whale while he was in mid air...silly whale did not co-operate ;) I have several pics of the ocean....not a whale in sight. Oh well...here are a few of not too bad ones. Don't forget to click to enlarge them, it does show a bit more detail.

Three of them playing together....

Caught his tail...

Some spouting shots...notice how small the fishing boats appear...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The rest of the visit

to Ontario centred all around the same area....Port Perry, Oshawa, Whitby and Scarborough.

It seemed to be a whirlwind of visiting....we didn't realize there were so many people to see! Most days we had four different directions we could have been going in since the kids all had their friends they wanted to see as well. Not that we are complaining....it was great to be back and see everyone again. We were also surprised so many people wanted to see us!

Below are pics of various visits and events during our stay in southern Ontario

My brother, his wife and our two nieces had a bbq while we were there. It was a gorgeous day and they have a backyard pool! I even managed to get in for a little bit...which is a bonus for me. We all had a lot of fun....except we got a bit too much sun. This is my Dad with Larry and I.

The kids, grandpa and grandma love playing cards and this was one of the first games. Crazy Eights seemed to be the game of choice on this visit.

J.J. and Jake....We've been friends with J.J.'s family since the kids were really little. Tyler is good friends with the brother Chris and Brittney with Natasha. They both had sleepovers at their house.

J.J's parents....Colleen and Todd

Brittney, along with J.J.'s two sisters Natasha and Tamara

Tyler and Chris

We also enjoyed Canada Day Fire Works at friends of Grandpa and Grandma. It was a beautiful display.

We also got together with Larry's sisters and their husbands, cousins, niece, her husband and their son. Sorry...no pics of these days as I did not have my camera.

Larry, Jake and my Dad down by the water front on Lake Scugog. We had french fries and ice cream....mmmm...junk food! (We hardly ever eat junk food...so it was a treat for everyone)

One thing we miss here in Newfoundland, is the great restaurants....great restaurants with great prices (read: good food for a cheap price). There were a few restaurants in particular we missed and wanted to visit (at least once!) One such place was Yellow House Pizza....they have fantastic pizza at a great price. This was high on Larry's list (actually it was number one)...so we got one or two and headed to the park. It was raining that day....which didn't matter to Larry...it was Yellow House Pizza...and it's been two years. Here he is....just about ready to dig in... mmmmmmmmm....

All gone! Ahhh...that's better

More card games ...

This family were our gracious hosts for the two weeks. We displaced their boys from their bedrooms so we could move in. They boys slept in the living room. We were very thankful for their hospitality. Thanks Larry, Kathy, Jacob and Joey!! (yes...they have a dad named Larry and a son named Jake too...just like us!). They have two gorgeous Shelties one named Trevor and the other Ginger. The kitty is Patches.

Jake horsing around with Joey and Jacob...

Jake and Trevor....or is it Ginger?

By this point our visit is coming to an end. Brittney is staying on in Ontario with a good friend of hers and this was after we dropped her off. We stopped off at Grandpa and Grandma's house for a visit before heading off to Teddys (another wonderful restaurant we miss). Grandpa and Grandma treated us (one of many, many, meals they treated us to during our visit) Some pics taken from our last day there.

My brother and his family were heading off for camping, so Grandpa and Grandma treated us all to breakfast before they left. We had breakfast, posed for some family pictures and then said our good-byes. Good-byes are hard.

The next day was our last day, so Grandpa and Grandma again treated us to breakfast. Here they are with the boys in the restaurant.

Outside, before we left for home. Yes...good-byes are very difficult.