Stayin’ alive

I feel like it might be time for my seasonal I’m still alive post in which I apologize profusely for being a slacker and not posting anything new on my blog.

I’ve gone through a period of dithering about whether or not I want to continue blogging, as I’ve decluttered my online life.  After a certain point, when you see your work history on sites you never agreed to (thanks Zoom Info, for stealing my LinkedIn profile), you may feel the need to delete accounts and cut down on the stuff you share on the internet.

I’ve thought about making a new blog that is more anonymous, but have already paid to have different fonts and colours on this one. And I do love how I have a record of my shenanigans since 2009.  It’s important to know how many times I’ve complained about the weather in the last five years.  (Speaking of which, it’s supposed to be thirty degrees this weekend.  I should have a great time sweating!)

So here I am, still alive.  Don’t send any sympathy cards yet, although I will accept all gifts of Lindt chocolate.

Happy summer.

Reasons I heart spring

  1. I can finally stop complaining about snow.
  2. I can finally start complaining about my rubbery raking arms.
  3. Daylight dazzles until later in the evening.
  4. Cars stay clean longer than one kilometre.
  5. No more scraping! Or shovelling!
  6. Barbecues perfume the air, tinged with the odour of burning meat and sodium nitrate.
  7. Plants peek through the soil, all furled up and ready to burst into existence.
  8. The cat sheds his winter coat all over the house. (Wait, this seems like a con… )
  9. Season finales abound like the robins all over the brown grass.
  10. It’s time for flip flops! And capris!
  11. Sunglasses take their permanent home atop my hair.
  12. Photography become a pleasure once more, and your finger isn’t too frozen to press the shutter.
  13. Winter boots can finally be hidden in the closet until next November.
  14. It’s worth your money to buy razor blades.
  15. When you crack open your bedroom windows, they don’t freeze shut.
  16. Iced caps from Tim Horton’s taste even better.
  17. Clothes can finally go out on the clothes line.
  18. I can really rock the sunroof.
  19. The air smells better.
  20. All of that vitamin D makes you more alive.
Spring in New Germany

Spring in New Germany

Heart bursting loveliness. Yes, spring.

There’s a reason why Canadians don’t move to Hawaii enmasse: spring is a glorious, fresh kiss of life after a long winter. Without the howling bitterness of January (and even March this year), we wouldn’t get to appreciate how frigging amazing spring is.

Today has been our first real taste of warm weather. I walked today and it was gorgeous. I even got a bit of a sweat on. Lawns, and the sides of the roads, are getting soft and pulpy. Snow is melting and revealing broken sticks, tossed beer cans, and dog poop. Water is running away from the remaining snowbanks. And I even saw a motorcycle, I swear!

These moments could not be possible without winter. I don’t think I’d appreciate a fresh breeze that smells of mud without the sharp sting of winter for comparison. I mean, I love winter to some degree, but by April, even the most optimistic of us are getting low in vitamin D and need some sun on the skin, a breeze in the hair, and a chorus of bird chirps in the background.

It does still look a bit ugly out. Winter does that to the landscape. The grass is bleached into yellowness, mud seems to be everywhere (especially my car), and everything still has that barren look.

But there are signs. In the garden, I can see furled leaves where the rhubarb lives. Buds on the trees appear to be a bit more swollen, even though it’s early for them to erupt.

The horses are running around the paddock with their tails high. And a herd of robins is scrambling over the muddy lawn speckled with driveway rocks from many, many, many plows.

Spring is here. And it is amazing.

I can almost smell it.

These days, I’m still a bit bored, because there simply isn’t enough teaching to keep me occupied every day of the week.

However, now that spring is creeping up on the snowy lawns and fields, I’m bored, but with more sun and robins.

Tonight will be the first I get to sleep in a bed smelling of fresh air. Yes, there was enough sun and breeze this afternoon to hang out my bedsheets. They dried in an hour or so, and they smell soooo good. Sure, I had to put them into the dryer to make them less cold, but that’s okay. We roll with the crappy spring weather here in Canada.

I’ve started tutoring and volunteering with a local community group. Not only does this help out the resume (I’m terrified of gaps in my beloved CV), but it is nice to have a purpose to days I have nothing else to do. I’ve been trying to do a little freelance writing and editing, and, of course, I make plenty of time for laziness as well. Reading and tea? Yes, please.

I submitted two job applications this week which would make my year if I managed to snag one of said positions. Of course, the reality is, jobs in education (in anything, really) in southern Nova Scotia are hard to come by. I think I would have a better time winning the lottery. In fact, I should buy some 6/49 tickets this week.

I’m also waiting patiently for GM to contact me about my Pontiac G5 recall. Fortunately, my rig is a 2009, which means it probably isn’t the death trap implicated in over a dozen deaths in crashes that result from the car randomly turning off. However, the recall recently changed to include later model cars which “may” have received the faulty ignition part.

Needless to say, it’s pretty easy to turn off my car. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a doofus, and of course anyone can turn off their damn car by turning the key. I’m a little disappointed there isn’t enough resistance in my key to keep me from doing a stupid thing like turn it off while driving (and yes, I had to try this: once while driving 80 kilometres an hour, which wasn’t so smart, and once while cruising into my driveway, which was much more smart).

I’m not sure if I’m up for a Darwin award any time soon, but considering some of the things I do, it’s entirely a possibility.

Speaking of which, I burned a pot of macaroni last week. Since I have been making pasta since I was about 7, I’m quite embarrassed about this depreciation in my cooking skills. I hope the turkey I have in the oven today will redeem me.

I’ll let you know.

IMG_3655

B#%&@, b#%&@, b#%&@

For those of you who regularly read my blog (all two of you), you’ve probably noticed that most of my posts involve me bi$@hing and complaining about the winter weather. And as someone who willingly chooses to live in Canada because I love my surroundings and the concept of four seasons, I should be the last one whining about the cold and snow. Especially since I’m the first one to whine about hot temperatures. (Really, I will be the first to complain about the heat come June.)

Reality is, this has been the worst winter in about 10 years.

I’m okay with winter. I like the idea of snuggling under blankets while my cat sleeps on me in a furry ball. My favorite chair sits right by the window, where I can see snow flying past the streetlight. It looks pretty, and even when it is stormy, I can look out the window, cat in lap, tea in hand, and be warm and cozy.

However, winter gets old when:

  • The oil bill has increased 20% (eff you, big oil).
  • You have to clean all manner of weather off your car, my favorite being shellacked snow.
  • You can’t walk often because the cars are flinging salty snow at you.
  • The number of snowstorms has hit at least 21.
  • You’re underemployed and bored.
  • There’s too many reruns on TV. Yarrrrrgh.

It also strikes me that this post was meant to be about something other than the weather. And here I am, whining about the snow even though I live in Canada.

The truth is, last Wednesday, we got over 40 centimeters of snow. Sunday we got freezing rain. And tonight, we’re getting even more freezing rain. Hurray!

Welcome to spring in Nova Scotia.

Can I get a refund?

 

Sunday snooze in

I have a strong suspicion I’m the only Canadian who did not rise early to watch the men’s gold medal hockey game between Canada and some Scandinavian country. It was a gripping battle between two socialist countries and I did what I did best: I slept in.

For one, I’m not entirely sure the game was available on my one channel (the other one was knocked out during the bizarre winter thunderstorm we had Friday night). This isn’t a perfect excuse, though, because I could always stream it over the interweb. I’m finally equipped with a tablet and smartphone that connect to my WiFi.

However, I think it’s great people bonded this morning over brunch and mimosas; I just preferred to make mine at high noon after reading on Facebook the Canadians won gold.

I mixed up flax pancakes with Valley Flax Flour pancake mix, and fresh eggs from DeLong Farms. I kick started my morning, or afternoon, with a snuggle from my cat while I sipped lemon water. Apparently lemon water makes your digestive system awesome.

Yes, I’m on a health kick again. I’m trying to go without refined white sugar and white carbs. I even made kale chips although I’m guessing kale chips are an acquired taste. I haven’t been able to get excited about eating shriveled greens. Not yet.

My bible is Joyous Health. I am in love with the blog, and was delighted to find its companion book locally for 40% off. Win. I love the book so much I want to become a holistic nutritionist, which seems a bit premature after eating mostly well for a week.

If anyone knows how to make bitter greens taste better to my poor sugar-addicted palate, I would be open to suggestions.

My favourite foods of the week:

  • almond butter
  • Ancient Grains crackers from Loblaws’ Blue Menu
  • almond milk without carrageenan
  • Love Crunch granola
  • apples
  • blood oranges
  • tomatoes
  • lemon water
  • nuts
  • eggs
  • homemade ketchup (recipe coming soon)
  • Organic Sucanat sugar

My not favorite foods of the week:

  • kale
  • almond milk with carrageenan

Best natural products of the week:

I hope you’ve had a weekend as relaxing as mine. I guess I’ll go get out of my jammies, or the yoga pants I sleep in.

It’s 2:00.

Stormy Wednesdays continue

For those of you living on the East Coast, you know that Wednesdays are for storms. Most Wednesdays, schools are closed due to apocalyptic winter conditions. In terms of being a substitute teacher, it means another day I don’t get paid. (There are a lot of those.)

Apparently, spring is still coming. I haven’t heard otherwise, but the constant shovelling makes me question the existence of grass, robins, and unicorns. (Speaking of shovelling, I will have arms of steel by April.)

As you can tell, I’ve refreshed my blog with a leaner, meaner look. I’ve also christened it with a new name because it has always bugged me that the word “Daily” was in the name when I post bimonthly at best.

Of course, I haven’t been doing a heck of a lot these last two months. I find the more time you have, the more you waste. You tend to be quite inefficient, often spending hours reading with a cat on your lap. Mostly I’ve been browsing the internet for work, reorganizing parts of the house that are more cluttered than an antique store, and taking care of myself with some wholesome tips from one of my favourite blogs, Joyous Health.

It’s been hard to keep one’s chin up during the world’s longest winter, but I’ve been managing to keep the faith that spring is coming. I felt hints of it the other day. Before two back-to-back storms.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go organize something.