Tag Archives: weather


oftentimes, the week after a holiday monday draaaags by at a snail’s pace. not so, this week!

thursday and friday were each eleven hour work days, split up between the store and theOTHERstore. i genuinely don’t mind that type of schedule because with a break in between shifts and/or a switch of locations, it really splits up the day/eve nicely.

two things:

first, the spring clothing lines are juuuuust starting to arrive! last week, we received…

spring jackets from the rfc (run for the cure) line!

love the detailing on the back!

...and from our in-store clothing line - a turquoise half zip! (there is also a spring jacket that co-ordinates)

now, we just need some SHORTS!

i love when these bright and fresh spring items start arriving – it’s a reminder that march/warmer weather is around the bay around the corner. [sidenote: around the bay is a big race at the end of march, in hamilton; it also signals the change of seasons!].

second: i was going to be oh-so-smart – > all day thursday, the radio announcers kept reiterating that we were going to have a huge! snow! storm! on friday, with 10-15 cm of snow. so i thought it’d be cool to have a before and after photo of the same scene but with drastically different weather conditions. i snapped this photo on thursday at 5:30 p.m.:

exhibit A...

…that scene then looked like this on friday morning at 8 a.m.!

um...where's the heaps of snow?!

and that was the worst of it! now, the day was not nice, yesterday – in fact by last night, the winds were monstrous gusts – but it was definitely bearable! winter, the clock is running out on you!

what signals the arrival of spring for you? roll up the rim, maybe?!! spring training for baseball? *that smell* in the air??!

happy weekend!

this time change is kicking my butt!

please tell me that i am not the only one who has been affected by turning back the clocks last saturday. i am bewildered over how this one little hour of adjustment has affected my energy levels this week!

going back to last sunday (first day of the switch), i was seriously ready for bed at 6:38 p.m. i checked my watch at that time, and was shocked it was still so early.

the saving grace has been that i have been working late afternoons/evenings at the store this week – no opening shifts. so i have indulged in sleeping in. this perplexes me because it’s not like the “spring forward” clock change where 5 a.m. would be like 4 a.m. – in the fall, 5 a.m. is now the old 6 a.m. (hope that makes sense – it does, in my head). a couple of days this week, i finally got myself going for the day…at 6:30 a.m.! *late* for this early bird!

i don’t even want to discuss the latter hours of the day when dusk is starting to fall at 3 p.m. – it will sound like i am complaining! suffice to say, it is quite a surprise to see the dark evening sky…at 5 p.m. it just makes me want to go to bed!

i really feel for parents of young children – several fb friends have posted comments about the kids getting up super early. that makes for a long day!

so, how about you – how have you felt this week? on a positive note, it’s been wonderfully mild, temperature-wise!


a classy act

today is remembrance day. in ontario, banks and government offices are closed, but schools are still open. most retail establishments operate on a regular schedule. the store (all locations), however, is closed until noon today:

sign in our store window

i really appreciate that we adjust our opening hours on this day of reflection about war, peace, sacrifice. it shows respect, and honours both veterans and current armed forces members. thumbs up to this management decision.

soldiers and sailors and airmen, too

fought for us across the sea.

brave and unselfish, strong and true,

keeping canada free.

i’ll wear a poppy on remembrance day,

to show i know just what they did for me,

God bless my country is the prayer i pray,

God keep canada free!

[this is another song my mom taught me when i was little that has stuck with me all these years].


have you entered the 500th blog post celebration contest?! you have until tomorrow at 1:14 p.m. ontario-time!


november thankfulness:

(for thursday november 10th): yesterday i was thankful for a warm, cosy, soft bed, and a good – not great, but enjoyable enough – novel (the time traveler’s wife) to read before drifting off to sleep.

if you’re chilled to the bone…

…there is nothing like HOT SOUP to warm you up.

the easiest thing is to crank open a can of campbell’s…however the sodium content in tinned soups is enough to make your head spin. (even the “25% less sodium!” variations are heavily salted).


with the rainy/chilly/damp/cold weather of this whole past week, soup may be just what you need on a cosy night in. here’s one of my all-time favourite soups that my mom has made for eons. enjoy!

split pea soup

[recipe is in mom’s own words. and remember, it is intended for me, the non-cook. therefore, it’s written in plain and simple terms!]

soak two cups dried green peas for several hours in plenty of water. i soak them overnight; just let them soak until you’re ready.

simmer for three hours:

  • the peas (drained)
  • ham bone (or a smoked ham hock)
  • 8 cups water

after two hours, add:

  • one large onion, sliced
  • four potatoes, diced
  • 1 stem celery, cut up
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

lift out bone. remove bits of meat; add to soup at end of cooking time. cut up meat if pieces are larger.

serves 4-6.

true confession time: i have never actually made this soup myself. but i have very much enjoyed MOM’S makings of it!

[i bet a vegetarian version of this soup would be delicious, too. mom made this not too long ago, shared some with me, and she had shredded carrot included with that batch – a yummy and healthy addition. for a veg version, i have no clue as to what you could add in as a protein replacement. please enlighten me if you have any ideas.].


now let’s say you don’t have time to make soup. or you’re like me and you just don’t want to, hehe. you can also warm up by cranking THIS SONG and dancing around your kitchen. yea! that’s more my style! [i cannot get enough of this song!! sign me up in the snoop dogg fan club].



what’s your favourite soup on a chilly late-fall day? chicken noodle reminds me of being sick with a cold, so i won’t say that. i always loved my mom’s borscht (cabbage soup) – that’s another traditional family soup for another day!

what song do you just blast and sing along to? i am very partial to anything on jersey shore dance tunes!

cranky contacts

the only good thing about the cold weather snap that hit town on thursday is that my eyes finally settled down.

i wear disposable contacts, and have for years. most of the time, i am perfectly content with them. i like that i have minimal fuss and muss: i pop them in first thing in the morning and don’t take them out until 27 seconds before i go to bed (i am as blind as the proverbial bat if my eyes are au naturel).

i will be eternally grateful to whoever invented contacts (why is this person not as famous as thomas edison and the lightbulb??!). i first got eye glasses in grade four. i tolerated them, but felt very self-conscious about wearing glasses, and also did not like the weight on my nose, or the way they got spotted with drops when it rained. i remember wanting to get contacts as early as grade five. jackie calvert in grade six had them, why couldn’t i?! but my dear eye doc (wonderful dr white) forbid contacts until i was fifteen. i clearly recall that i got my first pair of soft contact lenses in the fall of grade ten. oh, happy day! and i’ve worn contacts ever since.

over the years, i’ve mainly stayed with soft contacts although there was a brief interlude where i wore the gas permeable type. i’ve worn disposable/soft contacts for at least 10-15 years, now, and have no plans to do anything else.

loyal to the brand

but what about laser surgery, you ask?? i know several people (ex: gina!) who have gone this route, and while they are all success stories, this option is just not for me. as the brother says, “it’s lasers! it’s your eyes!” so far, i have been unable to wrap my head around taking that chance, even though the thought of waking up in the morning and actually being able to see is extremely enticing.

i do have a backup pair of glasses:

i could not see as i snapped this pic as i already had my contacts in, too! whoa, blurriness!

however, i only wear these once in a blue moon – like, if i’m sick. never out in public. actually, the prescription of them is quite outdated, so they’re not all that clear! and because the lens area is pretty small, i have a window of clarity framed by fuzziness.

anyway…back to the current situation! around the end of august, my contacts really started to bug me. they felt cloudy, itchy, were riding up and down in my eyes…very annoying. not to mention, i looked like i was smelling something rotten or was in a very pissy mood as i squinted and peered through scrunched up eyes:

a re-enactment

i chalk it up to the “gunk” in the air – allergies seemed to be flaring up among friends and family, so i think that’s what was affecting me. [in aruba, i also have contact difficulties – i’ve had to wear glasses there – or put in a new pair of contacts every two days – because the discomfort of my contacts was just too great; i am thinking it is the sand and salt particles in the air that are to blame].

for right now, the easy solution, of course, is just to put in a new pair of contacts. however, i am in a rationing position, these days: i have eight sets of disposables left, and have to get through ’til the middle of december if i want insurance to cover the next batch that i order. which i do!

i finally gave in, though, and popped in a new pair early last week. ah, relief! clear vision and normal-feeling eyes! to help keep the contacts as comfy as possible for as long as possible, i stopped wearing mascara and eye shadow (i think little specks and flakes get in my eyes, sometimes) as an experiment. so far so good!

what’s your vision situation? and would you ever consider laser surgery? my left eye is considerably weaker than my right eye.

question: i wonder if they could make these into prescription glasses?

the beloved if ridiculous "kiki harrharrwoods"

that would be a great signature look, eh?!

You Can’t HANDLE the Heat!

Quick now – can you guess which movie I am trying to reference with today’s title? You might have to say it out loud – it’s all in the proper inflection and the emphasis on “handle.” At the end of the blog post, I’ll put up a photo to give you a clue. Leave a comment with the movie title, if you think you’ve guessed correctly!

All anyone can talk about this week is the weather. Canadians do that a lot, year-round, but with the extreme heat temps we’re experiencing, 100% of people are starting their conversations with weather-talk. Most people are complaining lamenting the lack of cool air. We’re all entitled to our opinion!

Personally, I am in seventh heaven. I’ve told you before how Aruba is my natural habitat. When it’s hot and sunny out, I blossom. My energy level is high, my spirits are bright, and I am happy. Not everyone feels this way – poor Mom has not had the best of weeks. Hot weather gives her low-grade nausea, and makes her feel rather lethargic.

While I love the heat during the day, I do admit I am very grateful to have air-conditioning for sleeping.

We first got air-conditioning when I was five years old. It was pretty exciting to have that option on hot days, back in the 70’s! I’ve appreciated the air-conditioned comfort option ever since, wherever I’ve lived, except for the one summer that Gina and I lived in an apartment together here in Waterloo. Our bedrooms were on the third floor of an old home, and I remember it could get swelteringly hot up there. We each had a fan, but I think that mostly just pushed the hot air around. It’s not easy to sleep when it’s so hot – good thing we were young and carefree, in those days, and a night with little/poor quality sleep was not a huge issue!

One way to cool off is with a summery beverage. The recipe, below, is for Mom’s famous iced tea. We’ve enjoyed this drink year-round – but especially in the summer – for many, many years. It’s funny: usually when people try it for the first time, they take one (maybe two) tentative sips, and then they’re completely and enthusiastically hooked. And they usually go home with the recipe in hand!

Iced Tea

~Steep 8 teabags in 3 cups boiling water for at least 2 hours (you can leave it overnight, if you wish).

~[You can use decaf or regular tea. Mom says that Tetley’s Orange Pekoe is a good one. Avoid types like herbal or Earl Grey etc.]

~Pour the strong tea into this mixture:

  • 5 cups cold water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

~Stir and refrigerate.

~Makes 6-8 servings.

[What makes this iced tea so unique and tasty is the inclusion of the almond extract, IMO].

I saw The Brother, yesterday (we went for coffee – hot coffees!), and he had a couple of commonsense suggestions for dealing with the heat. The Brother lived in Singapore for a few years, back in the 90s, and this hot, humid weather is the way things are over there, at all times. When you go out, do the “Singapore Saunter” in terms of the pace of your walking. Take on more of an ambling calmness with your steps in lieu of power marching. And accept the fact that you will sweat! Simple as that!

What’s the hottest you’ve ever been? I’m meaning temperature-wise, but if you want to share a time when you looked really good, that’s ok, too!

Movie Clue:



Best News of the Day: Jersey Shore: Season 4 begins on August 4th! I sure hope I can find it online, at a site that Canadians can access!

~Any virtual hugs you feel like offering would be warmly received today.~

New Experience #21: Wear a Skirt to Work…

Since I backpedalled on the planned fireworks-watching event, I put my thinking cap on to come up with a replacement New Experience asap.

I fully acknowledge that this New Experience is fluffy. And that’s OK. It’s July and we’re takin’ ‘er ez this month.


I also concede that the title of today’s blog post is a little misleading – it should say “Wear a Skirt to Work at the Store.” That just seemed rather tedious in terms of title rhythm and musicality (yes, I consider these things). Because, bien sûr, I’ve worn skirts at my previous occupations!

If there’s any time of year to wear a skirt to the store, it’s summer. I would feel silly with bare legs and a mini in the dead of winter. Summer, though? Yea, it works. And yesterday was the perfect day to dress as cooly as possible: we enjoyed a gorgeous day of total sunshine and heat:

that sky may not be "aruba blue," but it sure was delightful!

I knew exactly which skirt I wanted to wear yesterday for my skirt experiment:

comfy, colourful, and cool - perfect!

I bought this one in Florida last year, at heaven on earth Target.

I adore that casual dress is the standard practice, every day, at the store. I wear running tights or jeans in the winter, and shorts or capris in summer. And we’re supplied with staff shirts for the upper story, so there’s my work wardrobe in a nutshell. Needless to say, I wear running shoes, too!

Yesterday’s shift was an aberration in that I worked 8:15 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. [Normally on Sundays, I am done at 2 p.m.]. I filled in the extra hours for a fellow associate who’s away for a couple of weeks. So the skirt got plenty of hours for its trial *run*!

shirt + skirt clash a little, but could be worse!


I loved how the skirt made me feel Betsey Johnson-ish (I admire her style big-time) – but I refrained from turning cartwheels down our centre aisle)!


Thanks to the flouncy feel of the skirt, I just felt happy all day in my new outfit!

chose my purple nike frees to be as stylish as possible!

A purple pair of Chucks would have been even more Betsey-worthy!

Anyway. Things were…a tad on the quiet side once again in Uptown Waterloo yesterday. We did have a nice sized turnout for our 8:30 a.m. Run Club, though. The most oft-heard compliment I received from the regulars was, “Don’t you look cute!” [I’ll take that, thank you!]. And the big pockets in the skirt drew positive comments.

Wearing a skirt was super-comfortable. Honestly, I very rarely wear skirts. This one is definitely the most comfortable one in my closet. This experiment was such a success, that 1) I will choose to wear a skirt out-and-about more often this summer 2) this won’t be the one and only time I wear a skirt to the store this summer! I even mopped the floor, successfully! My biggest worry all day was that I’d exit the washroom with the skirt caught up in the top of my undies. I obsessively quickly did a double-check in the mirror before re-entering the store area after each break!

I love when ideas turn out even better than anticipated. Bright sunshine + fun outfit + satisfying work day = a successful New Experience!

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊


(**WARNING! I’m going to talk about the final three candidates for the Top Chef Canada episode tonight! Do not read if you aren’t up-to-date!**)

The Top Chef Canada finale is tonight! Waaaayyyy back in WEEK #1 when SIXTEEN CONTESTANTS were introduced, I chose ROB and DALE as my two picks in our friendly family competition.

There are three challengers left.


…and ROB AND DALE!!!

I always say I have the skill of reading people, so I am huffing and puffing with pride that my guys are in the hunt for the top spot. My money’s on Rob to bring home the bacon.

Happy 4th today, American friends!

What’s your preferred, go-to clothing style? I am most comfortable in casual wear. To me, running/fitness clothing, Lululemon – > they’re “lifestyle wear,” not just workout wear!

Chillin’ Sunday

Feeling randomly chatty, today!…

~ It’s cold out, to put it mildly (haha, pun!):

Clear-18 °C

  • Clear

  • Feels Like: – 27
  • Wind: NW 7km/h
  • Sunrise: 7:46
  • Sunset: 17:20
  • (source: http://www.theweathernetwork.com/weather/CAON0728)

    But the funny thing is that I was warm while B and I walked this afternoon! I fully credit my Sorel boots and the disposable heatwarmers for my hands that I stuffed in my (triple layer of) mitts. In fact, I didn’t want to come inside! The sunshine was glorious.

    ~ Have you got the football game on??

    Classic match-ups this year to determine who will get to the Superbowl. Who’s your team??

    Green Bay Packers?

    Chicago Bears?

    New York Jets?

    Pittsburgh Steelers?

    I JUST had B put the final minutes of the Packers-Bears game on for me. It was 14-7 Packers til JUST NOW the Packers intercepted the ball and scored another touchdown. Best football of the year today – typically, closer and more action-packed games than the Super Bowl. I don’t regularly watch the NFL games anymore, but I do enjoy the excitement of today’s battles!

    [ETA: touchdown Chicago! I can’t even keep up!

    ETA2: game over! Packers advance!]

    ~ Deal of the Century:

    For Christmas 2009, I bought The Brother this jacket at the store:


    The Nike Pacer Tight-Knit Mens Track Jacket

    I paid full price for it – $89.99 – at the time (before my staff discount). [Oops! HaHa, nothing like telling someone how much you paid for their gift!]

    We’ve had one size Large jacket hanging around the store since that time. Recently our Home Office has reduced the price a few times. On Friday, our markdown report indicated the price to be….$4.99. That is NOT a typo. Yes, that would be approx the price of a S’bucks coffee! I snapped it up right away for my Dad. Once again, apply the employee discount and I paid…



    This is one for the record books! Dad looks great in his new jacket, too!

    perfect fit!

    you can never beat nike for style, comfort, durability

     Just don’t wear it for your golf games together, guys!

    ~ Finished a knitting project today!

    (‘Twas quite slow at the store during my morning shift):

    still needs to be blocked so that it's uniformly square - dampening and pinning the blanket will fix that

    close up of the pattern/yarn

    I designed this blanket simply because I wanted an excuse to use the gorgeous yarn! It’s actually sock yarn – Noro’s Kureyon sock yarn. Due to the shape and wool content of the yarn, I think it will be best suited as a stroller blanket – snuggle it around baby as a winter warmer! I’ll keep it on hand to give as a “welcome, baby” gift, when needed. I’m pretty happy with how fast this project went – I started knitting the blanket Sunday December 19, so it took just over a month – not bad considering I ripped back a few rows a couple of times!

    My next mindless project (ie one I can while reading) is going to be this shrug for mom…

    the pattern...

    ...and this yarn

    Mom and I picked up this kit (mom pays, I knit) at the Knitter’s Fair, back in September (where has the time gone?!). With any luck, mom will still get some wear out of the shrug during this winter season.

    ~ …and I’m outta here! We have two episodes left of Season 2 of Rescue Me, so we’re going to watch those now! And you betcha I’ll be knitting!