Archive for April, 2013

Don’t let your life pass you by……

The alarm blared in my face! It was 5am and freezing outside! I dragged myself up as I knew that I was joining the ranks of the city commuters that morning. I stretched and looked out across the garden towards the stream. It looked cold and I could make out the odd snow flake floating across the elm trees. They stood stark and bare. There was the odd bud of green forming on their grey boughs. Soon they would be rustling with their gowns of green. Oh happy day!

I sipped my tea and felt the warmth…..I need to wake up.

As ‘Lady of the house’ there is a lot to take care of when you live with a household of men. Not only are their shirts big but so are their appetites! So the loaf of bread is sliced and the lunches begin. Oh what to put on them to make them appetizing? I am running out of ideas…… then I remembered the tasty leftover chicken from last night. Wax paper rustles and that is one job jobbed. Josh had been salivating the whole time while all the tasty aromas wafted past him. This reminded me that the next activity was to feed the dog. That was an easy one…..same delicious pellets each time. Well, he did not seem to mind them. They were devoured in a few seconds flat. Then just to add insult to injury, it was garbage day. This required a carting out of various containers down to the bottom of the driveway. Think ‘very cold’ when you imagine this! Canadians are conscious of their environment and the landfills. We therefore need to have different containers for each of the types of refuse that we recycle. Thick boots and my warm coat were pulled from the mud room. I fell over the boxes and plastic troughs as I made my way out of the garage. It took four trips and there was a bit of grumbling under my breath as I completed this activity.

There were a few sittings at the breakfast table as each bleary- eyed male faced the array of cereal boxes, fruit juice cartons and yoghurt that was assembled on the table. Not much is said at this meal and I have learnt to keep my words to a minimum. I chew a bit of toast and drink a quick cup of coffee.  It is time to go.

I am always excited when I head into the city on the train as it is not a usual occurrence for me. I love to people watch but I am one of the few that do. The commuters are in automatic mode. Most sit with their faces glued to their daily newspaper. The one hand is often held in the ‘Canadian salute.’ The said hand grasps a paper cup filled with coffee. Although I am beginning to understand the merit of a cup of coffee in these harsh winters! I take in the smart business suits, elegant accessories and stern faces. It must be hard to do this every day!

20100626 GTS Go Train

Then I remember an email I received with a link to a young man who has an incredible voice. I pull out my phone and begin to listen to the music again. It is a classical piece and the young man has a pure and rich voice. I savour the sounds but become aware that my fellow passengers do not feel the same. Just then, a grumpy man jumps from his seat and informs me that I need to use earphones. Well, I don’t have any of those with me! So sadly I put my phone away and grab my newspaper. I was later told that the lower level of the train was the silent section. What? No talking or music or anything!

I sit with my head buried in my paper like everyone else. I have been severely reprimanded and feel like a naughty child. We learn our lessons here in Canada as a newbie….what is accepted and what is not. But next time I am going to ‘ride em high’ on the top level of the train and I will play my music and talk! I might even put my feet up on the seat!

I am slowly learning 'the ropes.'

I am slowly learning ‘the ropes.’


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(This song was written and first played by the Zombies in 1968. This rendition is by Dave Matthews, a South African, who now lives in Seattle.)


It is another day of temperatures below zero! I mumble as I sit down in the mudroom. (This is a room at the front of most Canadian houses and it has all the coats and winter garb.) I pull out my blue fur- trimmed coat and my thick boots. I am sick of this outfit!  I have forgotten what my feet look like as they have been all trussed up in heavy boots for months! Each morning we look out for any sign of some reprieve……..another day of rain and grey skies. Oh no!

Even the locals are ‘gatvol.’ Sometimes I have to resort to my local dialect as there is just no other word that best described this feeling.  I could think of a few other choice words which could best describe this k…k weather but I am sure that this blog would then be blocked!  But there is hope……. 


One of the joys of winter!

One of the joys of winter!



Spring is slow at gracing us with her presence. You have to look hard for it as it pours most days!  My tulip bulbs are sprouting and their glossy leaves have broken through the earth. Thank goodness! They survived the beady eyes of the squirrels during the fall. This was when all the delicately juicy specimens were gathered up as their stash for the winter.  Somehow the new bed that I had created in the garden was overlooked by the vigilant gatherers. The resident rabbit is the next threat. The new growth is just too much for him to resist. Luckily Josh keeps a watchful eye from the window. He performs a war dance whenever any livestock dare to trespass on our verge. So for the moment the bulbs are safe.

I resort to the indoor tulips!

I resort to the indoor tulips!


The morning greets us with an abundance of bird calls….robin, thrush and the splendid red cardinals. The woodpeckers often disrupt the melodious calls with their beating thuds against the bark. They busily make new homes for fussy females and the pending brood. The majestic birds of prey have made their weary journey back across the sea. They can be seen gliding overhead and filling up on local delicacies like squirrel and the odd mouse. Our resident red -tailed hawk has appeared. He was less noisy but probably still exhausted after his long commute. He is sure to be squawking away in the elm trees and creating havoc once he has regained his strength.

Our magnificent cardinals.

Our magnificent cardinals.



Spring is a time to renew, recover and replenish. Nature does it and it enthuses us winter-weary humans to do the same. The excitement is tangible. A mere glimpse of a ‘patch of blue’ draws people outside and into the street.  Enthusiastic neighbours gather round and wield their power hoses. The clean up has started! Driveways and front steps are washed and the residue salt and grime disappear down the drains. Sleek new road tyres are fitted to the family cars and the robust winter tyres packed away.  Our basements are bulging with all the winter paraphernalia! The mud room gets a facelift and all the heavy coats and skis make way for bathing costumes and sandals. Hoorah!

All this adds to the delight and realization that SPRING is almost here!




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