Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Snow and Ice

So far this winter has been rather messy, to say the least. It started out rather nice with no snow to speak of until right before Christmas. After Christmas, well that's been another story. I don't think we've had a weather event that wasn't a mixed bag of precipitation, snow, freezing rain, ice pellets and everything in between.  I scraped off one layer of ice off my driveway this past weekend only to reach the first layer of ice. Luckily I don't park in my driveway, I put the car in the garage so the driveway is pretty evenly covered with packed snow and ice. For those of my neighbours who do park in their driveways, there are craters where the cars are usually parked.

It does make for some interesting and beautiful photos though, even if they never turn out exactly how my eye sees them, I'm sure you can use your imagination a bit.
Sunlight on the ice covered vine in my backyard

Branches covered in ice, when the weight is too much it can break the branches and sometimes even kill the tree.

Christmas ornament caught in ice like a fly in amber.

Another shot of the tree and Christmas ornaments covered in ice and snow.

My neighbour's Christmas wreath.

A view of one of the maples in my backyard.

My 4 foot, artificial tree, the snow is REAL!

Cedar hedge covered with snow and ice.
 And what is the weather right now? Well today we had snow, probably about 2 inches or so, not all that much really; but tonight, it is supposed to warm up and there's a weather warning for freezing rain and ice pellets. What else is new. I left the snow in the driveway and on the back deck; if we do get freezing rain, it will be much easier to shovel or snow blow with a layer of snow underneath it.

And it's better to get the nasty weather during the week and hope for clear skies on the weekend as the winter agility season begins this weekend. Beckett will be in his first trial where we will compete seriously at the Masters level, or at least I hope we will. I know he'll try hard, hope my handling is up to it.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bathroom Makeover

I've been buying faucets, shut-off valves, a new shower head, a toilet and new counter tops slowly over about the last year so that I could do a mini renovation primarily in my main floor powder room.
    Old sink, faucet, counter top and toilet
Initially I had asked a neighbour, who is a plumber, if he would do the work. He told me that he could do it around the end of November but things didn't go as planned and he wasn't able to fit it in his schedule. So right before Christmas, I contacted a friend of my brother-in-law, who is also a plumber to see if he could do the work in January. Marco came on 14 January to do the work for me. I had to go to an agility fun trial so I left Marco to do the work with Tucker to supervise. I expected to see the work done when I got home. I was disappointed when I got home, the toilet and sink for the powder room were still in the garage. In the kitchen, there was a note from Marco. He had taken the old counter top off and was getting ready to cut the hole for the sink when he noticed the laminate was lifting off the new counter top. He took it back to Home Depot, luckily it had a number on the underside which showed it had been ordered through Home Depot so they took it back to have it redone.
The new toilet, I know not very exciting.
Marco called this Friday night to say the counter top was in and that he would be back on Saturday to finish the work. He had already come back on  the 21st to install the toilet so all that was left was the counter top and sink.  There still was another little problem when the piece of chrome pipe to connect the sink drain to the ABS plumbing was too short, so Marco had to go off again to the hardware store to get a longer piece.  But after resolving that last complication, my mini make-over of the powder room is nearly complete, just have to do the touch up on the paint as the back splash on the new counter top is lower than the old one and we didn't install a side splash.

I love the new sink and faucet, so modern.
I think it updates the bathroom nicely without a huge cost. Now I'd like to finish the main bathroom which still has 1980's tile around the tub, yuck. And it sure is nice to have the space in the garage back, now that the toilet is out of there.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

True Colours - Tomato Red

I'm not that much of a photographer. I just have a small digital camera but I thought I would give True Colours (Canadian spelling) a shot.

My Christmas Pointsettias, they are still going strong.

Tucker's Tomato Red and Gold Agility Trial Champion of Canada title ribbon.
And the twist, our tomato soup plant.

If you want to give the True Colours Challenge a shot, go to http://truecolorthursday.blogspot.com/

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Celebrating Ceilidh


Today, my little Ceilidh would have been nine years old. I'm sure she's having a party at the Bridge, spinning, dancing and jumping all around. Happy Birthday, Ceilidh girl!!!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cold Snap

Well, there's not been too much to write about.

Winter arrived just after Christmas, we got two days of snow on the 27th and 28th of December. Up until then we had no snow and the forecast was even for a "green" Christmas. But we had just enough snow on Christmas Eve to qualify as a white Christmas. This picture is of my backyard on Dec 23rd. I could have still had my agility equipment out.

This past Tuesday, we got snow, rain and freezing rain and since then it's been really cold. I did take Beckett to Red Gate for a practice on Wednesday. It was really cold but inside the arena it wasn't too bad. A friend of mine with two of her Aussies joined me for the practice and we went out to lunch afterwards. I worked on Beckett's A-frame and getting him to turn on to the A-frame from a tunnel.

Now my backyard looks like this and it's likely to stay that way until late March or April. It was another very cold day today so I didn't even take the dogs to the park for a walk. Yesterday, Tucker was sliding and falling on the ice on the path through the park and I was worried he would get hurt.

I go back to work on Monday. It's been nice having nearly a month off. I could get used to retirement quite easily.

Beckett and I begin the agility season with our first trial since November in just two weeks, then in March we have two trials and the season swings into high gear. We also are still taking classes and we have a seminar in Feb. I'll be taking Beckett to Regionals this year even though I have no intention of going to Nationals. But I am considering going to the Canada Cup this year. I've never been able to go before as your dog has to jump their Regular height and both Tucker and Ceilidh jumped as Specials; one jump height below their Regular height.

Like I said not too much happening right now so I might as well write about the upcoming agility season during this cold snap.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Time Well Spent

Last week, I went down to Moncton, New Brunswick to visit my Mum. She lives in a Nursing Home in Riverview, having suffered a stroke a few years ago.  This year was her first Christmas without my Dad so I wanted to spend part of the holidays with her.
I flew in on 1 Jan and my youngest sister flew in the next day.  We were lucky, in that we were able to rent a military married quarter for part of our stay in Moncton. The house is a small 3 bedroom fully-furnished bungalow and at $35 per night, it was an ideal place to stay.

We took Mum out to the Casino on 3 Jan. I think she had a good time although she said the slot machines didn't pay out very big. We were generally only playing five lines on a 2 cent machine, so we were only betting 10 cents a spin. I'm not a big spender but Mum could have been as twice she played the max bet, 30 lines on a 10 cent slot. Mum and I still managed to play all afternoon on only $20, we won about $36 between us but lost it all by the end of the day. We divided the afternoon up by having a lunch in the Casino restaurant; next time we may try the buffet.
The Big Spender
The next day we took her out shopping at the Mall. She said she was glad we were with her as we kept her moving from store to store. She does like to shop. She bought a new purse, quite a few new blouses and a sweater. That evening, as Maureen was leaving the next morning, we went over after supper to see Mum at the home.

Two outings in a row really tired her out so the next day was a lazy day. I didn't go over to see her until after lunch and then I only stayed a couple hours as she wanted to have a nap.

The next day, we did a craft project together and made a winter wreath for the door to her room. It turned out really nice.

Winter Wreath

When I went back that evening, a friend of mine from high school was in visiting Mum. We had recently gotten back in touch by e-mail. He works in Moncton so he said he would stop in regularly to visit.  That's so nice of him as many of her friends have hardly ever visited even though they said they would.

I was flying out late the next day so Mum and I just spent the afternoon chatting and watching television. It was a good trip and time well spent.