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Sunday, 29 November 2020

Holy Cow??

 I was doing my regular grocery shopping yesterday. I keep a list with me which I categorize with "produce", "can / box", "dairy / frozen", "deli", "bakery" and "meat". Under the "meat" heading I literally had a "?" because I wasn't sure what I was going to buy. It depended upon what was on sale this week and what looked good. 

I was looking at the various cuts of beef and saw this:



This was not a particularly large roast. I realize it is prime rib, but honestly, did this come from a holy cow??? Who would pay this? 

I bought a tray of pork chops. 





Monday, 23 November 2020

It's Beginning to Look A Lot...

 I'm not going to say it. I am not one to start Christmas too early, but I have to say, the snow this morning was so pretty! It lay thick and fluffy and seemed magical. I took these pictures when I went out to check on the hens and feed them and see to their water.



I like this one so much, it may turn into my header picture! 



Dried hydrangea heads covered in snow.



Cedars in the snow.



Looking up from under the apple tree.



Even my clothes line looked fluffy and festive.


I understand why people are pushing Christmas ahead of time. They want something to take their mind off of present situations, such as they are. I admit that today's snow did make me want to bring out some decorations and have mint hot chocolate. I even thought about Christmas baking. When I did my grocery shopping this past Saturday, the Christmas music was being played and holiday type food was being displayed everywhere. 

Coming up this week, instead of having the usual parent / teacher conferences following the Progress Reports being sent home, I will be attempting to video conference with parents via "Teams". I've already had two moms email me and ask if they could just have a phone conversation with me instead. Absolutely! If you had told me thirty years ago that I would be "meeting" with parents via a computer screen, I would never have believed you and I would have thought it impossible and ridiculous. Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.


Monday, 16 November 2020

The Need for Speed and Why Can't We Slow Down Anymore

I turned on my laptop to read a few blogs before going to bed, as I often do. I was met by a dark grey screen and a spinning circle. Thinking something was wrong, as we had some flickering lights and power due to very high winds yesterday, I restarted it. After that, my screen let me know that updates were being performed and I should not turn off my computer. Annoyed, I decided I had better do something productive while I waited, so I deleted some photos from my phone.

I couldn't just wait the seven minutes of so that it took to complete the updates. There is something wrong with our society. We want it now. I think I probably have more patience than the younger generation, as I come from the world of dropping off your film and waiting a week until your photographs were ready. I come from the world of having a party line and if Mrs. Baer down the road was using her phone, you had to wait to make your phone call until she was done. I come from the world of waiting until Thursday night to watch the next episode of Hill Street Blues. I come from the world of writing a letter by hand to a penpal in Tennessee, mailing it away, and waiting weeks until a reciprocating letter arrived back.

But now I am in the world of immediacy. 


Broken windshield? It will get fixed that day, sometimes even in your driveway. Hungry? Hop in your car and go through the drive-through, getting your meal within moments. Need to know a fact? Grab your phone and type in an enquiry. You'll have the answer in seconds, if you type fast enough.


I am a very poor consumer. Stores don't make a ton of money from my shopping habits, but I do know quite a few people who order from companies such as Amazon, and use their Prime membership to get anything from tea to underwear right to their door by the next day.


Heaven forbid we wait. I have waited eight seasons for that bloody treasure to be found on Oak Island. I have waited for my teeth to slowly straighten over the course of more than a year with my Invisaligns. I waited sixteen years until we put in new kitchen cupboards and appliances. I am quite a patient person, usually.

However, faster is presented as better. Lose weight quicker on this programme. Increase your internet speed with this company. Make your plants grow and produce vegetables more quickly with this miracle fertilizer.


I meet many, many Amish people on the road. They will get to where they want to go only as fast as their horse is able to pull them. I wonder if they have any need to speed up in their lives? 

There are those people who cannot wait at a traffic light, drumming the steering wheel with their fingers, creeping ahead inch by inch anticipating that green light so they can speed on and get to their destination a few minutes faster. 

My professional world has been governed by deadlines, due dates, and bells. I'm sure there are others whose working lives are far more hectic and pace driven. What are we doing to ourselves? 

Are you able to slow down? Do you feel frenzied at times (or did you, at some stages in your lives)? Have you been able to release yourself from the fast pace of technology, or do you thrive on it? I'm curious.

Monday, 9 November 2020

November 9, 2020

 It was another balmy day here in Ontario. Work was good. We are all reaching a point of fatigue of always being the watch dogs, reminding and reminding to replace masks, stand apart, use hand sanitizer, don't touch... whether these are our own personal beliefs or not, it is required of us and we continue to do it day after day after day. It is tedious.  However, my kids are great and they loved being outside at recess in this gorgeous weather. Some were in shorts! 

This weekend, I researched a way to compost all these leaves and turn them into something useful. I bagged (with help from son who was home, and then daughter today after I got home from work) lots and lots of leaves in big black garbage bags, poked holes in the bottom for drainage and so worms could find their way in (hmmm, I think that might  be a big of a stretch), stuck the garden hose in the bag and wet things down a bit, then tied up the top and set them someplace on the ground where I don't mind staring at them for twelve months or so. After that they become something called leaf mold and it's great for gardens. It's worth a shot and I filled about 15 big bags. 

I sat out on the porch with my daughter and got caught up on things, then barbecued some turkey burgers. They were the best turkey burgers I've ever tried. I believe the company is called Hayters. They are not cheap, so maybe that's why they taste good - it was all meat, no circumspect chewy bits. 

The light starts to fade severely by about 5:30 p.m. I was barbecuing after that and took this shot of the fading sunset and the silhouette of the trees.



That extremely bright light in the bottom right hand corner is a new sign that was installed at the edge of the park along the main road. It doesn't have much to advertise or inform people, as this is a tiny little village with not many businesses or activities, but holy crow, is it bright! It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where the Kenny Rogers Roasters sign kept Kramer up all night. 


Saturday, 7 November 2020

Leaves

 Today, the weather has been extraordinarily beautiful. This doesn't happen often, lovely war 19 degree celsius weather in November, within days of so much snow that the students had rolled giant snowballs on the yard and they had only just melted, but when it does, it makes everyone happy. I went outside in jeans and a sweatshirt this morning and starting doing this:


and this



and this



In between some of that, I scooped up piles of leaves in my great big flexible plastic tubs with handles and took them to the chicken run where the girls enjoyed scratching their way through, looking for tidbits or bugs or buried treasure, I don't know. I also went into town and took back empties to the beer store and nabbed $4.00 and change for my efforts, and bought groceries, and was dismayed to discover the earlier shortages and overpricing are happening again. There was no paper towel except for the most expensive bundles and the price of broccoli practically floored me. Broccoli! 

Then I returned home and put everything away and dug a frozen hunk of beef out of the freezer and put it in the magical cooking pot with a half a package of onion soup mix and put it in at 325 for the rest of the afternoon. 

I went back outside to do more of this:


And despite wearing good leather gloves, I ended up with this!



I'm sure all the other gardeners and rakers out there have had the same injury! The one where you manage to raise a blister in the web of your hand and with a bit more insult to injury, you manage to open it up, leading you to ozonol ointment and a big wrap around bandaid. 

The piles of leaves are taunting me, as are all the other leaves lying thickly on the lawn, waiting for me to come out again tomorrow in the lovely 19 degree celsius weather. I will, but I'll be thoroughly padded up. 

Saturday, 31 October 2020

Saturday, October 31, 2020

  I thought I should compose a quick post just to prove I am still here. Tonight is Hallowe'en. After a show of hands from my class (more or less eight year-olds), I found out many are going to be trick or treating, although some with a limited number of houses to visit (grandparents, cousins, etc.) and a small amount will be having fun at home, parents hiding treats around the house (like a Hallowe'en Easter egg hunt) and watching movies. 

Daughter and I prepared little ziplock bags of treats and will set them out separately, so the few children who do come to our house can just snag a bag without rummaging through a bowl of treats. Our numbers in our region are very, very low and nobody is hospitalized, nor has anyone died, so we are fortunate. 

School, my career, my thirty-plus years of experience, continues to be a different world. Retiring at this time is going to be bitter sweet for so many reasons and incredibly anti-climactic. 

The weather was brisk today, to say the least. The chicken water outside was frozen this morning. I did my usual grocery shopping and have spent the rest of the day working on progress reports which are a set of report cards that go out in November. 

Life goes on and I am well, as is the rest of my immediate and extended family. And everyone else I know, and everyone I work with, and all the children at my school. 

I hope you are all contented and well. I'm still reading your blogs, but as I am plodding along the same way day after day, I don't feel the desire to post about it very often. Happy Hallowe'en, all!

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

A Week Gone by in October

 I cannot believe it is October 7th. There are so many layers to this. I cannot believe that it will be Thanksgiving weekend next weekend and we are still following distancing rules and not having a big gathering. I cannot believe that it feels like I just finished setting up my classroom and figuring out how to teach in this new normal at school and we are now a full month in. It is the juxtaposition of being firmly stuck in rules and protocol, while life keeps whipping by surprisingly quickly. 

It was so windy today. The leaves were swirling. This was the sky as I drove home from work.


I thought the lines in the sky were amazing.

I have just been sitting here, staring at the computer screen for several minutes. I do not have anything remotely interesting to say. I reheated some pasta for supper tonight. We watched "Somebody Feed Phil" tonight where he goes to Thailand. I finished marking a pile of work after school which made me happy. The chickens continue to molt and look very unattractive. I will be making a turkey for just the four of us this weekend, and a pumpkin pie, and maybe an apple pie. I have used so much hand sanitizer at work, I feel that it must be oozing out of my pores. 

Now I'm going to go read your blogs and see how exciting your lives are.