Saturday, June 30, 2012

Lovely Edmunston, New Brunswick

I'm just munching on a bit of dinner before I hop in the shower and go to sleep in my nice queen size bed...all alone boo hoo!  I'm more than half way on my journey to PEI and Michael will by flying into Charlottetown on July 9th. So I'm all tucked into my motel room writing to YOU so that you'll know I survived the first leg of my epic journey. I've been on the road since 6am and have thoroughly enjoyed myself, except for the hour I spent near Ganonoque where two tractor trailers collided yesterday and they're still cleaning up the mess. So I could have been here an hour earlier but at least I arrived in one piece!

Just after I arrived here the sun popped out (after 4 hours of torrential downpour) so I captured the gorgeous sunset as it was slowly slipping behind the famous New Brunswick hills.  Michelle, if you're reading this, breakfast starts here at 6am and then I'll be on the road to come and see you!! I'll keep you posted on my progress so TURN ON YOUR CELL PHONE!!

Here are a few photos to keep you amused while I go jump in the shower:

'Night all!

 Me looking perky at 5:45am this morning.
I saw the sunrise and set today!
Days Inn, Edmunston, N.B.

Thank you God, for this day.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Prince Edward Island - Here I Come!!

My countdown clock is a bit off - I think my original plan was to leave Friday, June 29th but I'm really leaving on Saturday, so only THREE MORE SLEEPS!!  Yikes, I just realized I'll be driving across the Confederation Bridge alone this year!!  I'm driving out by myself and then Michael is flying out on July 9th. He has an important event to attend on July 8th in Toronto and then I'll be picking him up at Charlottetown airport on the 9th. (A whole week to MYSELF!! - what a luxury!)

I don't mind driving on my own - I'm looking forward to it actually. The first day will be the longest part of the journey - about 13-14 hours of driving will bring me to Edmunston, NB where I will spend the night. The next day I'll be driving to Bouctouche, NB to visit a blogging friend :) !! That part of the journey will take about 4.5 hours.  And then another 2-3 hours will find me driving up the loooooooong laneway of Crofters Lane and I'll be HOME! I'm arriving in daylight this year and all I have to do is turn the water pump on and flip the switch for the hot water heater. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll have no trials and tribulations to work through upon arrival this summer!  It will be a long time before we forget about the fiasco with priming the pump and burning through the element in the hot water tank :(  At least we learned a thing or two in the process.
I'll be arriving on Canada Day - July 1st which is a Sunday.  My job that day will be to unpack the car and make up my bed. The next day is a holiday as it is a long weekend to celebrate Canada Day so I don't know if I'll find any grocery stores open. I may be eating out for a couple of days. Boo hoo...  My job that day will be to clean the house and get it somewhat organized for a summer of relaxation.
Here's a map of PEI - my place is about halfway between O'Leary and Tignish. It takes me about 40 minutes to drive to Summerside (nearest city) and about 1 hour and 40 minutes to drive to the big city of Charlottetown. My sister's place is over by Montague, about a 2 hour drive. Islanders think that is a long drive but when you're used to driving in Ontario that's just a short little jaunt.  And the scenery is worth every cent spent on gas.
This show the very northern tip of the island north of Tignish. I've walked on all of those pathways as well as those rocks in the bottom left corner that jut out into the water. Its a great spot for bird watching. Well, I must get busy - I have a very long list of things to do before I leave (plus I'm going to watch the Euro Cup soccer game this afternoon between Spain and Portugal - I pick Spain to win!!)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ebony and Ivory.....

 "I'm sorry...can you forgive me?
 Awww....that's better...I swear, that dress DOES NOT make you look hippy!!!
"But don't tell my heart (slide to the left) achy breaky heart...(slide to the right)...
Ohhhhhhhhhhhh baby, I missed you so much....come to poppa!!
What the f--k? A handshake???
 That's me some sugar baby!!  That's what I'm talkin' about!!
 Did you hear that?  I thought you said your wife wouldn't be home til tomorrow!!
Quick - hide in the shower!!

 Oh no!! She's coming up the stairs...what'll we do??
 Under the bed - hurry!!  Nope...don't think you'll fit!!
 Ackk!!! the closet, get in the closet!!
Wait, where is the closet??

To be continued.....

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The End is in Sight

Hello my friends! Yes, the end is in sight, the end of June that is. June ends for me on Friday, June 29th - the end of the school year, PAYDAY and the day to pack up the car for Prince Edward Island! (I hope! There are a number of details concerning my leave from work to be attended to this week - my expectations are that they will all work themselves out and summer will proceed as usual - I am an optimist!)

I'm not sure how it happened but I still have some money left in my account. It was a somewhat spendy month what with Kazi's graduation yet I've paid for everything and still have money left over! Every time I check my account there is more money in it than I expect there to be. And whenever I check my credit card I find that everything is paid for. It's like the parable of the loaves and fishes - it seems that I just cannot get rid of my money - there's always more!  Even now there is more $$ in my account than my records show there should be...about $125 more! I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop but nothing happens. This is totally the opposite of what normally happens - I usually forget an expense or two or three and end up in the hole because of it so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my luck has changed at least for June.

I am going by MY records and will NOT spend that $125; if it's still there by Friday then it will give me a couple of FREE tanks of gas for my long road trip!

With the advent of July I am entering my higher paid portion of the year! Woohoo!  No union dues to pay in June and July and by August all of my CPP will be paid for increasing my paycheques yet again. Happy days are here again! Which is good because summer is always more expensive - lots of $$ spent on gas, a hotel stay or two while travelling, lots of eating out and various excursions.

In June I paid off my half of our new TV - about $440.  I also paid off the new fridge and stove I purchased for our PEI home - total about $1600 and paid all outstanding charges on my credit card from our weekend mini-holiday in Niagara Falls. I must confess to an impulse purchase however, which I will pay off from my extra funds in July - I just had to purchase tickets to see Neil Young and Crazy Horse when they come to London in October - he is my musical idol and worth every penny!  I also put $1000 into my PEI Maintenance account to handle anything I need for the house over the summer. I now have about $67 to get me through to next Friday which ain't much, I know, but I don't need to buy groceries, probably just some gas for the car.

July's savings will be divided up between my Christmas/Gift fund (totally funded with $1500) and I will start paying back my TFSA ($1000 - I owe it a whopping $15,000 from paying off my EX - Line of Credit!).

I might be able to save more but will be keeping a larger balance in my chequing account over the summer to handle all of the extra expenses so that's a big MAYBE!

If it sounds like I am wrapping up June a little early - I AM!!  And that's OK! Unless he who cannot be named shows up! Noooooooooooooooooooooooo!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Jack Astors

First the good pictures she says ominously.....after convocation yesterday we had lunch at Jack Astors. Believe it or not I've never eaten there before and I was very much impressed!! From the Mango Icebergs...
(draft beer topped with an iceberg of FLAVOUR - also available in raspberry or lemon!) to the tart lemon milkshakes to the unique salads to...

 the thai chicken rolls...
to the chicken falafels everything was infused with different spices and flavours and yummyness and was muchly enjoyed by all, even me who payed (through the nose!)

Then there are the pictures from tonight's date night movie selection: PROMETHEUS!!
If you were not a fan of the Alien movies then stop reading NOW! 
Prometheus in conjectured to be a prequel to the Alien movies.  I really don't care as I'm sure it stands well on its own. Give me a sci-fi futuristic hideous alien filled movie and I'll be happy...very happy! If the story line holds together so much the better. Frighten me a bit with some suspenseful scenes and yeehaw!! Throw in a few good actors (Michael Fassbender) and some thoughtful dialogue and I'll be in seventh heaven....

 Now that face looks familiar!! Like an old friend....
Oooooh, I like this look....I bet Mark does too!!

What's on YOUR must see movie list???

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What a looooooong but absolutely fantastic day! It all began at 6am as we juggled time in the bathroom for showers, hairdos (Kazi's obviously not mine!), makeup etc. I managed to snap one photo of Kazi before her friend whisked her away to the university to pick up their regalia. About 30 minutes later Michael, our neighbour Alma (Kazi's adopted gramma) and I made our way to Western U as well. It was already about 30c (90F) and HUMID! I dashed around looking for Kazi as I had to hold everyone's purses during the proceedings. It took a while but finally I made my way back to Alumni Hall where the convocation was taking place. Kazi's boyfriend Steve had also arrived by this time so we took our seats and waited....
At 9:30 the grads and faculty processed in. See that blond head dead centre in the lower third of the above photo?  Yup, that's my girl!
Getting hooded...
 Ta da!  We did it!! Another major milestone reached!
 Then...out into the crazy heat for a few more photos of course!
 Proud momma!
 I get to show you Kazi's cute boyfriend - Steve!
Michael and Kazi - great smiles you two!
Showing off Western U's colours! Go PURPLE!
This is what $30,000 gets you?
My favorite photo of the day - I prefer candid shots. Oh, and that's the dress I helped pay for (that's what $250 gets you!)
She's not really that much taller than me...she had on platform's true!

I'm stopping here for now as it's getting late...I'll let you know about the rest of the day tomorrow!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dad Life Rap

Thanks to my friend Sluggy who pointed me in the direction of the "Dad Life Rap" videos on Youtube - they are hilarious but oh so true!  Enjoy! And visit Sluggy's blog for more!

Happy Father's Day!!

Had to share with you my Father's Day Card.  This isn't the first time Kazi has given me a Father's Day card and I have to tell you it really warms my heart that she acknowledges the challenges of single parenting. 

My little baby is graduating from university on Tuesday! I'll post pictures of her in her $250 silk dress that I helped pay for. I gave her $150 towards the cost of the  dress - I decided to NOT give her the whole amount because if she's going to make such expensive choices then she needs to pick up part of the tab! 

It's rather ironic (or perhaps mystifying would be a better work, or stupefying) that she has developed such expensive tastes. For the first 10-12 years of her life all of her clothing came from second hand stores. Even as a teenager she would come with me to the second hand shops occasionally and make a purchase or two. But somewhere along the way (perhaps when I started buying her $100 jeans for her birthdays) she adopted the old adage of "PAY TWICE AS MUCH MONEY FOR HALF AS MUCH CLOTHING"!!

She now only shops at the best stores and buys only top quality items. Personally, I find that hard, no impossible, to do.  I was raised by parents who grew up during the great depression and learned to re-use, recycle, redevelop every item that they had.  Flour sacks were turned into quilts, empty juice cans held nails, nuts and bolts, scrap lumber turned into a chicken coop and so on. This generation is different - AND I do admire her "less is more" approach.  Instead of having 10 second hand dresses she has 1 or 2 really good ones.  Once I retire I want to practice that strategy...Anyhoo I digress....

I am very PROUD of my daughter. It couldn't have been easy having an absentee father. She has never complained about that, instead she acknowledges the fact that I've been both mother and father to her. I've been working on a MEMORY ALBUM for her as I have saved every scrap of paper she ever wrote or drew on, every art project, every report card, every award, every EVERYTHING she's produced or received over the past 21 years. I thought one album would be sufficient but I've filled the whole album and have only gotten as far as GRADE ONE!! YIKES!! So I purchased some insert pages so I can at least get to highschool by her convocation date!

These two photos were taken Friday night. Can you tell Kazi didn't want her picture taken?? The young man she is with is Michael's son, Dane. He kinda forced her to get her picture taken...she can be a bit of a grumpus from time to time lol! She reminds me of my mother who never wanted her picture taken unless every single thing was perfect: hair, makeup, clothing, lighting, angle etc etc!! My poor dear - she doesn't realize that she's absolutely breathtaking even first thing in the morning with NO makeup, NO hairdo, NO amazing outfit! 

Anyway, the step-siblings usually get along great and even though he works as a firefighter on the airbase in Trenton they stay in touch by texting and calling. He's a lovely young man and was raised in a single parent family too - Michael was the main custodial parent so both kids grew up as only children of single parents - and they have turned out just FINE!!  thank you very much! (That's a slam against all the studies that show kids from single parent homes grow up to be serial killers!)

I sure am rambling on and on today. What was my point?? Oh yes, Father's Day. Celebrate the men (or women!!)  in your life and appreciate their vast contributions to our lives. Even the negative experiences can be great teachers. 

What are you doing to celebrate Father's Day?