"Noah was a brave man to sail in a wooden boat with two termites." - Anonymous

Thursday, March 31, 2011

On the Market

The house is on the market!

Thanks to a team of painters and a couple of hardy cleaners, our house now looks all sparkly and new.

Hubs says two weeks. I'm trying not to think about it. Average for our community is 17 days. It seems so whirlwind.

It will seem odd in a way. Both our boys were born while we were here. So many family events have been here. OK, mostly our birthdays, the odd Easter or Thanksgiving. But many, many memories of gatherings with friends and family. And while it will be sad to say goodbye to the home that hosted us all, one of the reasons (I feel) we're moving is so that we can have these gatherings more easily.

I grew up with a dining room. A formal dining room. Oh, they were never fancy, but a place to have a nice dinner (or lunch, or brunch), away from the clutter and mess of the kitchen. Somewhere everyone can relax around a cup of coffee and slice of dessert without worrying about the dishes piling up in the sink.

I miss that in this house. Our kitchen is open to everything but the small room at the front of the house, certainly not large enough for more than four people. I always feel like we're tripping on our preparations when we have people over.

No more! One of my absolute must-haves is a separate dining room. I realize that may be old-fashioned. But, then, I am a little old-fashioned in some ways.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Freedom List - Update

After returning from our vacation, and getting back into our normal routine, I pulled out my Freedom List on Saturday, as some of my prep for the house sale is on this list. It felt so good to see things crossed off, and as I got into the groove, more and more things were completed. I like having this list of everything in one place, otherwise I tend to procrastinate, or only focus on the lists of things I enjoy doing. Note that knitting is not on the list, it's my reward at the end of the day.

Most of the list has to do with decluttering the house. Clean out the closet, take old clothes for donation, put winter clothes in storage (um...but, but it's still snowing!) and so on.

But looming on the list is our 2010 taxes, and the 2011 accounting for my business, now that the year-end is a month gone already. I managed to do a bunch of filing yesterday, which will definitely help those two activities progress at a better pace though. But, really, who enjoys doing these? Even though I can do our taxes in an evening, it's still a few hours out of my day that I'll never get back,

However, I know I should be grateful for the fact that I have to do taxes, because that means we have income, right?

Ah, well, they will get done. And I will not fret about them. All I can say is thank goodness for tax software and bookkeeping software.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Signs of Spring

When Calgary was in the middle of the deep freeze, I seriously needed some spring in my life. So, I cast on this lace scarf and these socks, and brightened up my days.

Tired of All the Snow (Spring Forward by Linda Welch, Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Daffodil)
The scarf is done (I wanted it for St. Patrick's Day on our trip, no pictures yet), and the socks are half done. I ran into second sock syndrome while packing for the trip, and decided that instead of finishing this pair while we were away, I would take a new skein of yarn and start a new pair. I almost finished one sock in the ten days we were gone. If I had gotten the nerve to take my knitting on the plane, I could have gotten much farther. But little boys need too much attention for me to even attempt that.

Now that we're home, I'm madly knitting birthday presents for the family. I'm currently working on my Dad's and one of my brother-in-law's.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Experimenting with Colour

Our oldest son participated in his first science fair recently.

He's five.

While I understand why the school wants the children to do this (keep in mind the oldest child there is six), it was challenging for me to kind of abandon my scientific training and visualize how a five year old could pull this off. I was mentally going through a written lab report, imagining it written by a five year old.

Luckily he showed me.

He had a few ideas. First he wanted to explore math (Mummy, I want to do addition and subtraction). So, I got to thinking of how I could set up various operations tables (addition and multiplication were easy, subtraction and division took a bit more work), and he could have a display of the different items he used to help him find the answer (beans, markers, buttons, pennies, etc.).

The next idea was short lived (Mummy, I want to do dinosaurs). No, wait, back to math.

The third idea was what we finally ended up doing (Mummy, I want to do colours).

So, we have the Colour Theory science project. I set him up with jars of water, spoons, and blue, red, and yellow food dye drops. He played with some guidance from us (what do you think will happen when you mix blue and red, sweetie?). He created a colour wheel showing what happens when you mix the primary colours. He also created a couple of visual colour equations for black and brown.

I'm not sure what branch of science this would fit into (physics, I suppose), but what's more important was that he learned how to hypothesize, perform the experiment, and display the results. All in his Woody pajamas.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Back in the Land of Working Computers

Ah, to be connected again.

We were recently on a holiday. Yay! Sunny San Diego. the land of Lego, Sea, and...and...beaches, pools, golf, and shopping.

I had been all excited about sharing some photos here while we were away, sort of a 'here's what we've been up to'. However, within a day of being there, the supposed-to-be-wireless condo, was not so wireless after all. For some reason Dad's computer and the router refused to speak to each other. Then Hubs' computer got the flu. My connections were down to Hub's iTouch, and my Blackberry. Fine for checking e-mails and finding the local drugstore, but completely unable to upload all those fabulous photos of Shamu that I took with my fancy camera.

We did try hooking Dad's computer directly up to the modem, but needed to disconnect the modem from the router to do that. After a nasty phone call from the office, we learned that the router in our unit was for our entire building, plus the two next door. 12 condos of angry, disconnected snowbirders unable to Skype with their grandchildren. Finally, about two days before we headed home, Dad decided to buy a cable for the rest of their stay to hook up directly to the router. By then, I had resigned myself to a life lived unconnected.

But, now we're home. I'm trying to pull together some posts about our trip for his weekend, but we're also trying to get our house up on the market (anybody want to see pics of our oh so clean and sparkly house?). Plus, I've got some posts in edit-stage, mostly just waiting for pictures. I'm hoping for a (mini) flurry of activity here.


Friday, March 11, 2011

The Fog is Lifting

The mental fog that is. And although it hasn't been particularly foggy here, we have been blessed with a warm(er) day or two. But snow this morning, as I look out this 6th floor window. Snow blowing through downtown. It should be gone tomorrow. That's what they tell me. I think they figured last week if they didn't start telling people it was going to warm up (whether or not it was true), the blades were coming out.

We've spent the past week hotelling at my parents' place, while our house was painted. We're getting it ready to put on the market. Now we're trying to move back in, in the midst of getting ready for a holi-holi-day.

My parents live a 30-minute drive out of the city. In fabulous foothills country. We took the boys for a drive on the weekend to see some of that scenery (some of it my old high school stomping grounds). They fell asleep. Then we got ice cream at the candy store I used to work at. I think I was more friendly when I worked there than the guy behind the counter was on Sunday.

So, needless to say, there was a lot of driving done last week, getting the kids to school and us to work. One morning stood out above the rest.

The sunrise on Wednesday morning was amazing. As we headed east, there was a chinook arch behind us, and the clouds were pink and gold in front of us. It is one of the things I miss now that I'm living in the city. I wish I'd had a camera with me that morning.

And now, our routine is starting to return to normal, just in time to have it paused again, but for a much nicer, warmer reason. I'm looking forward to sand, sun, shopping, relaxing, playing. Rejuvenation. Connection.


Keeping all those who are affected by the earthquakes and tsunami in my prayers.