There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

Or in this case, there was a family who unpacked their china. Unpacking the china led to the china cabinet. Then that led to Ian asking if we could put the ping pong table up. Then that led to Simon trying to move some of the clutter out of the way in the craft room.

And that led to spending most of the day reorganizing the storage room. You would think that I would grumble about that, but I can’t. The results are awesome:

And the treasure I found… We went through some boxes that hadn’t been opened since the move and here’s a few things that were discovered today:

  • The puzzle mat and tube to roll it up with,
  • My old ADB mouse for my ancient Power Macintosh,
  • Ted’s two long-lost brothers (stuffed bears),
  • Some sweaters I’d thought I didn’t have any more,
  • My thermal underwear and warm socks,
  • A long-lost part for one of my guitar stands.

You get the idea. I also tried on my motorcycle racing leathers. They still fit. πŸ™‚

And in the end, I set up the ping pong table, too. πŸ“

China Cabinet

Just over a month ago, the kids and I unpacked the china. We used it for Thanksgiving dinner, and then it went into limbo. We didn’t want to re-pack it, and we were waffling on what to do.

Today we bought a couple of “Oxberg” doors from Ikea. They fit with the “Billy” bookcase line. When we re-did Miranda’s room, she didn’t want her white Billy bookcase any more, so it was down in the basement, awaiting its fate. Combine two new doors with existing bookcase, and hey-presto! A new china cabinet.

China Cabinet and Royal Albert Val’Or on display

Hello from Edmonton

Hot on the heels of my trip to Parkland County, I find myself in Alberta’s capital. It was an early Red Arrow bus ride this morning. I worked on my NaNoWriMo novel on the bus ride, and then the sun came up.


Today was a day with ATCO. Tonight I am staying at the Matrix Hotel. My room has a nice little balcony with a table and chairs.

Maybe not

Tomorrow is a day with Enbridge, and then the Red Arrow back to Calgary. It’s a long couple of days.

November Starts With A Bang

Often, our annual Halloween post is followed on very quickly by a post on November first, touting the start of NaNoWriMo and Movember. But this year there was so much going on that it has slipped all the way to the fifth.

The biggest thing was that I had a business trip to Parkland County. Normally, that wouldn’t be a big deal: it’s just west of Edmonton. I rent a car, I drive for three and a half hours, and hey-presto. But winter decided to arrive on Halloween night, and I had to cope with snow and frigid temperatures. Randi, the project manager, sent me this the night before:

I know you know this but if the road report is poor and you don’t feel comfortable making the drive up in the morning, please err on the side of caution.Β  If you choose not to come, please let me know and I will communicate with the customer in the morning.Β  We can reschedule!

You know when seasoned Prairie folk are worried, that it’s worth paying attention. But in the end, I did make the drive there and back. Saw lots of cars in the ditch and some on their roofs. I didn’t really get a chance to explore the county, but here’s a picture of the view from my hotel room.

The view from the Holiday Inn Express

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Halloween con’t in the west

We had about 129 kids this year. Tristan took the kids out for the first half and I answered the door. Then we switched. Scared quite a few kids and adults. Had a handful that refused to come up to the door (evil laugh ensuing). We had the front window open a crack to listen for people and could hear kids saying things like “Can you come up to the door with me?” and “This is the house that scares everyone”.

Job done. *Mic drop*



I had a zombie under the bench that moans and reaches forward which starts the screams then the furnace critter pops up after they think they’ve overcome the zombie.

Halloween 2017

It’s not nearly as nice a Halloween evening as we’ve had in years past, but the kids bundled up in their costumes and headed out for trick or treating.

The convict and the plague doctor

Tammy was working tonight, so Miranda took Ian around while I answered the door. Their outing was uneventful, and them made it home, with bags bursting with candy.

Returning with loot

The great candy sorting

It’s now 8:30, and I’m going to turn off the pumpkins. The count from years past and now 2017, too:

  • 2013 – 61
  • 2014 – 78
  • 2015 – 57
  • 2016 – 50
  • 2017 – 52

Not bad, considering the temperature (2 degrees) and the smattering of rain.

Happy Little Trees….

I seem to be channelling Bob Ross lately. I have started going to Paintnite and am enjoying it thoroughly. A company takes over a part of a pub somewhere in Victoria (actually happens all over the island as well) and we buy a ticket and show up (buy a glass of wine at the bar) and they supply the canvas, paint and brushes. Step by step they show us how to do the paintings and voila!

Not too shabby I think.

Halloween Pumpkins

Tonight we carved our jack o’ lanterns. We had three pumpkins this year, one for me, Miranda and Ian. Miranda’s is on the left, and is the face of one of her Japanese book characters,Β One Punch Man. Ian’s is in the middle, and it’s a Minecraft theme, with a creeper looking in from the upper left. (He was supposed to come in from the lower left, but due to a cutting error, we had to improvise). Mine is on the right. Kind of a shrunken-head kind of thing.

Happy Halloween! πŸŽƒ


Ajijic & Lake Chapala

Last week we went exploring.
We stayed at B&B in Ajijic a town situated on the north shore of Lake Chapala in the state of Jalisco.
Lake Chapala is the largest freshwater lake in Mexico. 80km length, 18km wide, elevation 1,524m. The lake and surrounding Sierra Madre mountains ensure warm temperatures year round and average 74 degrees F and sits at sea level (no humidity). Β Three photos taken in the town of Lake Chapala and a photo of the view from the B&B in Ajijic.

A Shot in the Arm

It was flu shot day for us. The clinics opened up on Monday, but we waited until today for a couple of reasons. 1) The initial crush would have died down and 2) the kids are off Friday afternoons in case there was a side-effect we would not have to worry about keeling over in class or at work. Simon (obviously) worked from home and I don’t work Fridays.
I had picked up the forms on Monday so we could cut the wait by having all the paperwork completed. We all walked down to Rexall Pharmacy in Tuscany Centre after lunch. There was only 1 other ahead of us. We all tested our blood pressure while we waited. (Whee!) Then we went in one-by-one (except Ian, Simon joined him) and got the jab. Actually it was a lot less painful than the pharmacist at Walmart. We hung around for a few minutes afterwards then walked back home.
Hopefully this will reduce the number of flu incidents in our family this year.