Thursday, December 30, 2010

house is back to normal

For some reason both Rick and I both got antsy about taking down our Christmas decorations early this year. We generally leave them up until after New Years, but maybe we put them up so early this year, that we were just plain sick and tired of them. I love lots of decorations, but I must admit, it can be a bit much sometimes!

It was a BIG job - took Rick the better part of the day and I very much appreciate him tackling it on his own. Anyway, all is back to normal now!

The week has been fairly quiet for us - Monday we popped into Ottawa to visit with Ginny-Lynn in the afternoon and then with Phil and Janet for the evening. Great visits!! If I am going to make a resolution at all this year - it will be to get out of the house more often to see people - we do tend to become a house bound. Oh yeah, and exercise more too......

We were up to Matawatchan on Tuesday afternoon to take down one of my signs on a property that was sold. On the way down Matawatchan Road (which was VERY icy) we were flagged down by a family of 5 from Toronto who had just put their van in the ditch. The ditch was very deep and the van was pretty well perpendicular - sitting on it's back end with the nose pointing skyward. No one was hurt and the day was very mild, but not a lot of traffic on that road and not a lot of year-round homes to call a tow truck from(it goes without saying that cell phones do NOT work in that part of the country)

They opted to stay with the van while Rick and I drove on down the road intending to stop at one of the small local stores to place the call- which we found were closed for the season! We finally stopped at a house, where luckily the owner was a member of the local volunteer fire department. Soon we had a couple of the volunteer guys on site helping out and then the biggest helper came along - a farmer heading off to go ice fishing. He & the "boys" quickly sized up the situation and it was decided no tow truck was required. Instead the farmer went back to get his John Deere tractor. He had the van out in about 2 minutes - it was quite something to see! So, all ended well, no damage to the van and the van owner was quick to offer a huge thank you and a "contribution" to the old farmer with the tractor, which would see him with a case of beer for his troubles. Again, I must say I was most impressed with the power of the John Deere - I should mention that Rick wants one now!

The mild weather seems to be helping real estate - several calls today to show houses and a new listing for Monday - always nice to start the year off busy!
Todays pictures are from Christmas - Kris and Buddy openeing a present and Nibbles enjoying some wrapping paper.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas eve

Well, here we are - Christmas Eve! The weather's been lovely - cold-ish but not freezing and just enough snow down that the kiddies can use there sleds and skiis etc. Kind of nice - no one likes a white Christmas.

Morning saw us into town for me to finish up some paperwork. Then picked up a few last minute items. The stores were busy, but not crazy - the trick is to not take a cart - then you can move through the crowds pretty easily. At Wal-mart all the cashes were open and things moved along well.

This afternoon we finished up some baking - tarts and shortbread. Tomorrow Jamie and Julie will be up for the afternoon. We got a fairly large bird, so Rick is bound to be up early to get it stuffed and into the oven.

Tonite we had a quiet evening with Kris - eating treats & watching a couple of movies. Toy Story 3 - not bad, but a bit dark for kids - animation is incredible! Then we watched Inception with Leonardo DiCaprio - weird movie about dreams and getting inside people's sub-conciousness - very strange.

Just as the movie was over, the cats started freaking out looking out the front windows, so we investigated (translation - "investigate" = sending Kris out to check it out) and were lucky enough to catch 3 or 4 deer across the road feeding on an apple tree. First time in the 23 years we have lived here that I have actually seen deer! Wow!

So, now that we have established that Santa and his reindeer are in the area, it's time for bed! Merry Christms everyone!

Friday, December 17, 2010

busy day

We had planned to drive in to Ottawa today to hit IKEA and a couple of other stores, but still feeling the lingering effects of our colds, we decided to just do Renfrew and call it a day.

We did pretty well finish off our shopping - we may not bother with a trip to Ottawa afterall. And feeling a bit better in the afternoon, we made a batch of traditional, christmas meat pies using Rick's mom's recipe. We have altered it a bit over the years to suit our tastes, but it remains pretty much the same and the smell of allspice and cloves is definitely "Christmas-y"

We got a bit more snow today and while the main roads are good, the secondary roads are still icy and slushy. Tomorrow should be a bit warmer and that should help clear up the roads.

Today, after much consideration, I ordered myself a Kindle - an e-reader from Amazon. Like so many techy gadgets, the hardest part is trying to decide which e-reader to buy. Remember the VHS vs. Beta wars??? While Beta was by far the better quality the fact the more movies were put out on VHS, pretty well killed the Beta machines.

There are several e-readers - KOBO (canadian version from Chapters), Sony e-reader, Barnes & Noble have one. but, I figured Amazon would have access to the most books, so I went with it - and cheapest at $139.

One of the main reasons I decided to get an e-reader is because there isn't a book store in town and Wal-Mart has pretty well stopped selling paperbacks altogether. And I can download a book for 2 or 3 dollars less than buying a paperback. Other good points - the font can be adjusted and it lights up so good for reading in bed. anyway, I'll give it a try although, I'm sure it will take some getting used to.

Today's picture - our meat pies!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

still sick......

We do seem to be on the mend, but still not really up to par just yet. sign of getting older - it's harder to shake a cold. And this is a funny one, just as you think you're feeling better, you slide down hill again.

Yesterday was a snow day - it snowed all day and we just stayed put! I understand it was much worse in the London/Sarnia area where people were trapped in their cars on the highway. Wasn't that bad here - but we have a policy of only driving in bad weather if we absolutely HAVE to. I don't consider shopping a reason to venture out.

Today was fine - so a quick trip to the office to handle some paperwork and then off to Pembroke to do a bit of shopping. We did get the the iems we planned on as well as some impulse items. However, still being under the weather did us in, in less than 2 hours! I was in a store looking at some clothes, when Rick tracked me down looking for the Buckley's cough medicine I had in my purse. One look at him swigging it right from the bottle and it was clearly time to GO HOME!

Picture today is our oh-so-elegant cat Missy

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Winter's here

We had no real plans to go out today seeing as we are both fighting nasty colds, but good thing we didn't have anything planned as a winter storm of wet snow and freezing rain would have kept us at home anyway.

Rick started to get this cold on Thursday and yesterday was his worst day which was, of course, the day he had to write his exam - wouldn't you know? I'm quite certain he did as well on this one as on his others, but he's naturally worried and will be relieved to get his marks (sometime next week)
I started to get sick on Friday. So, we've spent a quiet weekend at home - with our respective bottles of Buckleys cough syrup and Nyquil. In spite of not feeling well, Rick put up our living room Christmas tree and then he had to clean the lane way. So, maybe not much of a day of rest for him, now that I think about it....
This is our first "looks like it'll stay" snow - kind of pretty when it is fresh on the ground.
Not too much on the go this week - real estate is understandably quiet this time of year. But I expect it to take off in the new year.
today's picture - a view of the snow from our living room window and Nibbles and Buddy in the garland.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Burton's back

Renfrew Nativity scene is set up for another year- I still think Joseph looks like a young Burton Cummings of the Guess Who. Just put Burton in a gold robe and it's pretty close. I THINK, though, that Joseph should probably have a beard...

Jamie was out yesterday to drop off the truck and pick up his car. His move is over and he is very happy with the apartment. He and Julie are in the process of getting everything set up - they have recently discovered the Dollar stores and Giant Tiger for cheap goods. I always say it doesn't matter anymore whether you shop at Pier 1 imports or Dollarama - all the freaking stuff comes from China anyway! I saw a documentary on China the other day - there is a whole village that does very well doing nothing but making Mardi Gras beads.

We had intended to go into Renfrew to watch the Santa Claus parade (it's kind of fun) but Jamie's visit distracted us and we missed it.

Last night night was our office Christmas Party. We have tried different venues - this year the boss paid for rooms at a hotel and dinner at a bar and grill called Crazy Horse. They serve steak on a square of 750 degree lava rock that lets you cook your own steak. A novel idea - surprised they can get liability insurance, though - y'know beer and 750 degree rocks???? The 3 or 4 bouncers at the door (we knew they were bouncers, cuz they had coats with "Bouncer" written on the backs) anyway, generally the presence of bouncer indicates a fairly "lively" bar - add hot lava rocks and, hey, you've got a PART-EE!

Tonight we're over to a neighbours for a small neighbourhood get together. Can't be late, though - tomorrow I have a very busy day starting with an 8 a.m. inspection, then another inspection at noon and out to Eganville for the afternoon to show houses.

Today's picture is Joseph aka Burton Cummings and the real Burton Cummings - I think there is a real resemblance!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

ho ho ho

December 1st - time to get into Christmas action!!! Having wrapped up a couple of deals today in the office, I came home early to get started on decorating the house. I started a Christmas village several years ago, but have not put it up for the past 2 years. But, this year I decided to make the effort and I'm glad I did. It does take some effort - sort of a fussy thing, but every year I figure out a few tricks to make it easier. My goal for this year is to get a train for it!
While I worked on the village, Rick put up one of our Christmas trees. I always think of my mother-in-law when we put up the "white" tree. She loved the real trees we always used to get, but always said she would love a white or silver tree for a change. so, a few years ago, I bought this white tree with her in mind - I think she would have loved it!

Jamie and girlfriend Julie are now officially moved into their new apartment. I think the whole move had him quite stressed - I'm glad he's settled in now. Not sure about the area of town, they are in - but itis what they can afford. Hopefully, next year I can find them a house. Houses are very affordable in Renfrew. I just sold a beautiful century brick home- very elegant and in very original condition (ie: the 10 inch baseboards and wood trim don't have 20 coats of paint) anyway, I'm sure in the Glebe it would be over $500K - out here under $200K. Has a garage too!

Tomorrow Rick and I are up to Eganville for the day - I man the office and Rick studies. He's in the home stretch now - his final exam is only a week and a half away - he writes next Saturday. I'm sure he'll do as well on that one as he did on his first two exams.
Today's pictures - my village, "mom's" white Christmas tree & Buddy under the tree.