Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy 2009 Everyone!

Now that we are all subsiding into the post-Christmas gloom after the over indulgence in the present giving, food eating and alcohol drinking departments, let's try and look forward with optimism to the New Year.  Here's hoping things with make a turn for the better and everyone will be feeling a lot more secure this time next year.  

Remember I mentioned a couple of posts ago that GWE may be off to Wichita, well it looks as though he can put his shiny red slippers back in the closet for the moment.  Fingers crossed that he can carry on in Montreal. I know which I prefer, sorry Kansas.

I must admit that here in the Soft household things are looking good for 2009, we are to become grandparents!!  The newlyweds didn't waste any time and it has been a very sober Christmas and will be a pretty dry New Year's Eve for the mother-to-be. But GWE and I have raised a few glasses in celebration!!

Wishing all my fellow bloggers a happy, healthy and financially secure 2009.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Confession

J over at Small Crooked Nose tagged me to name six addictions I might admit too. As it is Christmas, I thought I would cooperate and maybe give myself a little therapy at the same time:

1. I love to get up early before everyone else and blog, but mostly read other peoples blogs. This must be done at least once a day!

2. Don't get me started playing Spider Solitaire, many many hours have been wasted on that.

3. Food - particularly bread and cookies (why could that not be ...particularly broccoli and salads)!

4. Real life real estate shows. Sad I know but anything where someone is house hunting, renovating, especially the "start a new life..." particularly abroad. Can't get enough and have been known to watch the same episode several times.

5. the moment it is knitting. Used to be that I could not sit watching TV without also doing something else, cross-stitch, quilting etc.

6. Who knew - maybe not as screwed up as I thought - having trouble thinking of another one (no I won't ask GWE or son to suggest anything ...Oh I know, accessories - love costume jewellery, scarves etc, Not so good at the outfits but love the extras.

To everyone who has popped by today, have a lovely peaceful Christmas with your families and a safe, happy and healthy 2009.

I would love to hear what Breezy, Debra as Us in France, Aims at Big Blue Barn, Amy at Chitlins & Camenbert and Frances at France and the Unknown are addicted to if they get the time. If anyone else decides to do it, let me know so I can pop by.

Friday, December 19, 2008


I heard someone use this phrase when I was on my way to work this morning.  It didn't bode well.  On my way to work we knew there was a snow storm coming but at 8am this morning it was nothing but a light dusting and the threat of bad weather had kept the number of commuters and parents taking their kids to their last day at school to a minimum so it was a fairly straightforward drive.  

By 9am however things were looking a little different.  There is a pretty good view of the highway from our office  but this morning we could only just make out the slow moving cars through the white-out conditions.  Eek!

It was pot luck day and those sturdy few of us that had made the effort got stuck in about 11am, eating and playing games.  Then came the word that due to bad weather the office was closed with immediate effect.  Great - looking out the window none of us was too keen to venture out and had been assuming that by the time we left at the usual time (4.30) conditions would have been a little better.

Anyway we all gathered our leftovers and ventured out.  I eventually left the office around 12.45 - my usual journey time is around 20 to 25 minutes - but today it took me 1 hr 45 mins to get back inside my house.

The conditions on the highway weren't too bad, everyone traveling at a fairly sedate 50km with a few stops and starts but the off ramps were a disaster, cars in the ditches; at one a police cruiser helpfully parked right in the ramp while he assisted someone safely parked to one side.  What an idiot - the officer I mean - people want to get off the highway in these conditions not be forced to stay on or sit like a sitting duck half on, half off the highway.  My windscreen wipers were beginning to bind up with snow and ice and the petrol gauge was getting lower by the minute.  I wanted off the highway. When I eventually came to a "clear" off ramp the snow was a foot deep in places, visibility was such that it was hard to make out where the previous tracks were and I just had to grit my teeth, grip the steering wheel tightly and pray I would make it up to the lights.  Having managed that I finally entered my little neighbourhood but the two roads leading to my road are on a slight upward incline and I couldn't get up, by this time there is more snow inside the car than out, I am all steamed up and so is that car!!  In and out trying to find some traction.

I finally, by taking another route, got into my road and almost to my driveway where son had helpfully shoveled a little space for me.  However just as I arrived so had his ride out to a concert this evening and they were parked in my space so I stopped and waited for them to move.  BIG MISTAKE.  When you have momentum, keep on moving.  45 minutes later with the help of great neighbours, their cinders, some salt and sand from the garage I finally got going around the block and straight back onto my drive. 
         PIcture :  My street looks a little like this right now, but I am not planning to participate in this fun winter sport until later. 

Snow up to my knees, mascara smudged all over my face, nerves in tatters but I am now safely on my couch with my laptop, cup of tea and pot luck leftovers and I am not going anywhere for a while.

GWE was planning to drive back from Montreal today but we re-thought that plan and he will try again tomorrow when they have had a chance to plough and salt.  Ahhh these Canadian winters - you gotta hate them!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Where has she been and what has she been up to...?

Yes I am sure this has been keeping you all on the edge of your seats.  Well ...nowhere and not a lot is the truly boring answer.  Started the new job this week and it sounds like it is going to be one round of pot lucks and dinners out for the next little you can see a tough job but somebody has to do it right?  Apart from that, it is just the usual clerical stuff, nothing I can't handle, in fact could do in my sleep, I have been at this for far too long.   

Also making good inroads on the Christmas list, went to the One of the Kind Show in Toronto last weekend with my daughter (oh I did go somewhere!) and that gave us plenty of food for thought...and actually some food as we both decided on some gourmet marinades and stuff for a couple of people on our lists who are really hard to buy for.  There were a lot of jewellery,  pottery and clothing stalls.  However it was quite expensive, plus shopping together made it hard to buy anything for each other!!  Some of the knitting items were interesting and I am convinced there is one item in particular (a kind of wrap/shawl thingy) that I can make myself and once I finish the cardigan I am knitting (for me!), that is next on the list.

Anyway wandering around the show with my daughter gave me an idea and yesterday I set off into the countryside to a lovely pottery store in Troy ( to buy daughter some pottery mugs.  The store was a treasure trove and I spent a good half hour drooling over stuff, while waiting to meet a friend.  I was very strong and only bought for other people. Next Friday however they are doing 30% off some lovely pasta jars and so I am headed back there.
My haul from the pottery shop was four mugs, two pasta tossers (?) and a little tea bag/spoon rest shaped like a teapot. I thought the pasta utensils were neat, I have never seen those before and they are to be added to the gourmet food gift for my dad.
My friend duly arrived but unfortunately the coffee shop attached to the pottery was closed so we headed back to her house for coffee.  When I left her house after a lovely chat catching up with our news, I pulled off the highway to get gas and was rear-ended!!  What a bummer!  It ruined my morning as you can imagine, matey just was not paying attention.  The traffic ahead was stopped at the lights, as was I, and he just ran into me.  Anyway not too much damage, just cracked paint on the bumper/fender I think.  So that put paid to the rest of my planned Christmas shopping as I just wanted to go home then.  It is more the hassle of having to get the work done (just as I have a nice new job I have to be at everyday!!), GWE is taking that car with  him when he goes to the Wichita in the new year (more news on that later) but also this morning (Sunday) I have to go to the police station (back in the city where the accident took place) to file a report.

So my planned day of baking has now turned into another day of Christmas shopping - and I intend to complete the list today....this is my mission, and if possible find a turkey.

So now you can all relax, everything is alright with the world.  SITH is back in the land of blogging, Christmas is coming, the economy is in the cra*per.....ya di ya ....

Monday, December 1, 2008

OK ....

OK I've caved.  It's December and I have bought (and even written) Christmas cards, wrapping paper and even a gift or two.  I suppose Christmas is going to happen after all.  Tomorrow I plan to drag out the tree to decorate and hang my crimbo wreath and then we can officially say that it is the season.

My goal this year is to get into the true spirit of the holiday season, not necessarily the religious aspect, more a gathering of family and friends and good cheer, not just (or even not at all) a spending binge!  

Some are saying everyone should carry on as normal and spend to help the economy, but on the other hand I feel that if the current financial state of the western world tells us anything, it is that we have basically been spending too much for too long.  We need to get back to basics and ask ourselves if we really do need all this "stuff" to make us happy. Well anyway that's what I am doing. 

I have just picked up a three month temp contract starting next Monday so I have even more sense of urgency about the coming holidays and need to get myself organised so that I am not running around like a headless chicken (or should that be turkey) in a few weeks.  I am still doing the real estate open houses in the hope that something might develop but even without the downturn in the housing market, this is traditionally a quiet time of year.

I love the simplicity of this Christmas tree - I am going to use this as my rule of thumb for Christmas 2008 here at chez soft.