Random thoughts of an upbeat mind

Posts tagged ‘children’

Come on Toronto Hydro

Or whomever is providing electricity to my area.

It is 1 AM and I am up waiting for Princess to get home and my power has blipped … again. Now before we discuss my main reason for ranting, don’t you worry little Miss P is going to get an earful when she finally wanders through the door. It might be more than an earful since I’m a bit worked up already. 😉

Anyhoo …

A week and a half ago, we experienced a power blip. While power returned, it was not enough to keep my fridge, freezer or TV going. I must confess that I was very worried that those appliances were permanently damaged. The thought of having to replace them all at the same time was dreadful. Thankfully it was not the case. On a side note, I did, for a split second, think they (the freezer & TV) might have been rebelling against me going out the day before and lusting over replacements in Costco.

The power was restored after approximately 3 hours. In the mean time I had what I am referring to as romantic mood lighting.

Romantic mood lighting

I am a fan of bright white light so to have every light in my home be a soft orangey glow (think salt lamp) is not as pleasing to me as you would think.

It happened again this evening at 6 PM. Since I am now “experienced” with this kind of low power I did not lose my mind or think the appliances were going on strike, like I might have 10 days ago. Again it took about 3 hours to get full power restored.

All was going well until 30 minutes ago when the power blipped again. I would be less annoyed if:

  1. I wasn’t in the middle of episode 1 of season 4 of Homeland AND
  2. I wasn’t waiting for my kid to come home

**Yes I am aware that I could watch it on my laptop but it’s not the same.

When talking to my super earlier this evening, he told me that he didn’t think they fixed the problem from 10 days ago. GREAT! Did I mention that they are going to be building over 150 new townhouses across the street from me? If they can’t keep electricity going for the current residences, how will it be when there are more people?

I’m not ready

Diva turned 16 earlier this month and her father told her he’d take her to get her learner’s permit.

In Ontario, we have a graduated licensing system.

Step 1 – G1 License

  • pass a written test and a vision test
  • maintain a zero blood alcohol level (no alcohol in your blood)
  • make sure every passenger with you wears a properly working seatbelt
  • not drive between midnight and 5 a.m.
  • not drive on highways with a speed limit of over 80 km/hr
  • drive with a fully licensed driver who has:
    • at least four years of driving experience
    • a blood alcohol level of less than .05 (if this person is 21 and under, their blood alcohol level should be zero)

After 12 months, you can take the G1 driving test. If you pass, you get a G2 license.

Step 2 – G2 License

You can now drive:

  • without another experienced driver in the car
  • on all Ontario roads
  • at any time of the day, in most cases

You must still:

  • have a zero blood alcohol level
  • carry only as many passengers as there are working seatbelts
  • If you are 19 and under, between midnight and 5 a.m.: you can only drive with one passenger who is 19 or under in your car.
    • This condition applies for the first six months of G2. After six months, you can drive with up to three passengers 19 or under between midnight and 5 a.m.
    • This condition does not apply, if:
      • you have a fully licensed driver in the car (with four years plus experience driving)
      • your passengers are immediate family members (e.g., a parent, brother or sister)

After 12 months, you can take the G2 driving test. If you pass, you get a G license, all restrictions are removed.

This past weekend when both my girls were at their Dad’s, he told them he would take them today. None of us believed him. Well guess who showed up at their school today? And took them to the Driver’s License office … without any identification? So Mom to the rescue and the rest of my afternoon was gone.

I’m glad they both passed as it would have been crappy if one of them didn’t. They were very excited and proud of themselves. Princess is happy with her accomplishment. Diva is “ready” to drive. Good Lord help me. O_o

My weekend up North

We didn’t end up leaving for our weekend up North until after 6 pm. Which put us in the heart of rush hour. I mapped out the route using the streets to get out of the city and then headed West to get to the highway. According to Google maps, it was less than an hour and a half drive to Horseshoe Valley. 🙂  Look at this sky.

On the way up

Being the foodie that I am I more importantly checked the “You Gotta Eat Here” show website to see if they went to any restaurants nearby. My options were a pizza joint named Pie or a burger place named Kenzington Burger Bar.


Wanna guess where we went? This was their Californian. It was a good burger.

By the time we checked in it was after 9 pm. So we just chilled out in the room.

Jacuzzi area with double sinks, just off the bedroom.

The jacuzzi area

The bedroom with a king sized bed.

The bedroom

The fully loaded kitchen

The kitchen

The living/dining room with pull out couch.

Living/dining room

The bathroom with shower and another sink.


For a family of girls, it was nice to each have our own sink. 🙂

Since we were on vacation, we all slept in. I’m still trying to figure out if it was the bed, the blackout curtains, the quietness or the fresh air that had me sleeping very well.

By the time we go up on Friday, it was well past breakfast time, so we went to the only grocery store we saw and bought some frozen waffles and bacon, pancake syrup, salad and corn on the cob. 🙂

Then we lazed some more before going back to the grocery store as Diva thought we should have spaghetti and sauce for dinner, also we forgot to buy her a toothbrush and well … O_o Once groceries were bought we eventually went to the pool for quick swim. That was enough activity for Princess who remained in the room as Diva and I went to explore the area. There were lots of interesting houses to look at. Oh wait I forgot, we also had ice cream at this place across the street from the grocery store.

Ice cream

Kawartha Dairy Black Raspberry Truffle; white chocolate and raspberries OMG so good.

Dinner was mediocre at best. We bought sauce that was not too exciting and it showed. 😦 But hey it was $5 and we only used half. The uncooked spaghetti we brought back, the sauce nope.

On Saturday, my Dad came up for a visit with my brother. They were supposed to arrive by 1, but didn’t actually show up until closer to 3 pm. We were perfectly fine with that. My Dad was appalled that we had only been swimming at the “local” pool and took us up the road to this place where you could zip line, play mini golf, climb a rock wall or use paddle boats. Princess was in a mood so she was not interested in doing anything. Diva and my brother went on the zip line which they both enjoyed.


This was the only time I wished I had brought my big camera.

We then went to Wasaga Beach to walk around and try this pizza that my brother says is the best ever. It was alright. Princess is having issues with dairy so she opted for fries. 😉 The beach at 6 ish when we arrived was still very crowded.

Wasaga Beach  Wasaga  Georgian Bay

After that it was time to figure out dinner. We found a BBQ joint on yelp that called our names, but when we got there it was no longer there. 😦 So we went to Boston Pizza. Not my first, second or eighth choice but I was not the sole decision maker and we were hungry.

By the time we returned to our room it was almost 9:30, so my Dad and brother hightailed it out to make the 2 hour drive home. We packed up as much as we could since check out was 10 am.

On the way home we stopped at the Cookstown Outlet mall. We walked it twice as neither kid could make up their minds regarding what they wanted. Diva bought Adidas slippers with the massaging nubs and complained about the “massage” the whole time she wore them. Lol Princess found a pair of black sneakers that will replace a pair at home that have seen better days.

When we travel my aim is to try food places we can’t get “back home”. We were beyond hungry when we rolled up to Master Burger in Cookstown. Luckily they had chicken fingers and fries which is Princess’ go to meal when out. Don’t get me started. The burger and onions rings hit the spot.

It was close to 3:30 by the time we returned home. All in all it was a good trip.

What’s going on lately

The Firm Turbocharge weight loss

I got another The Firm work out dvd from the library. These 2 work outs really worked me out. Each had these “mini bursts” which basically means 8 seconds of pure h*ll repeat 4 times. There are 3 bursts in each work out. O_o 8 seconds never seemed so long.

Princess had her wisdom teeth taken out this morning. The after effects of the gas was hilarious. When I saw her in the recovery room she was crying, real tears, because according to her “They removed my tongue and bottom lip and they weren’t supposed to do that. I want them back”. I really tried very hard not to laugh at her. And as the good mother I waited until she had calmed down before I began video-taping her. 😉

When we got home I went into nurse mode and made her some split pea soup, one of her favourites. It requires no chewing. She is actually doing a lot better than I thought she would. She has eaten a bit and only had three Tylenol 3s with the last one being at bed time.

Not much is going on with Diva.  She has five 8 hour shifts left before she’s finished working. We are still not sure if they will keep her on but she’s 95% sure that they will. I can’t see why they wouldn’t as she is trained and they seem to like her. So fingers crossed they will hired her on for during the school year. But not too many shifts as that girl still needs to focus on school.

My Dad called me recently to tell me that he can’t take advantage of some accommodations he has already paid for and would I like to take it … for free. I actually paused to think about it. Not sure why it’s just a couple of hours North of the city. So as long as all goes well we will be in the great outdoors in a week. 🙂

I’m not sure how but I have a lunch planned with an old co-worker and my girlfriend’s birthday dinner scheduled for Saturday. My lunch will most likely be all you can eat sushi. I don’t want to re-schedule as this lunch was booked 5+ weeks ago. 😕 Oh well I will be taking away most of my dinner or a wiser move, ordering less. 😉

My VCR/DVD combo has also decided to go on strike. I’m not sure if it is the power bar that it and the DVD player were plugged in to but … leaving it unplugged for a while then plugging it into a different power bar made it turn on. *sigh* Lucky for me I still own another VCR so I don’t need to go back to the pawn shop.

I think that’s all for now.

Adventures in slow cooking

I have not had the best luck with my slow cookers. Yes I have more than one. The problem is not with the slow cookers themselves but more so with the food that comes out of them. I only have 3 recipes that my kids will eat. I have tried 8 or 9 and they were met with stern faces and loud requests to never make them again.

My first slow cooker was a gift from my step-mom.

slow cooker

It is the creme de creme. It is 6 qt which I think is too big for the 3 of us. I love it though, it is completely programmable in 30 minute increments. I looked for a programmable 4 qt version similar to it and the cost was way more that I really wanted to spend.

I did find this 4 qt for $20 when Target was going out of business.

4 qt slow cooker

It is “programmable” but there are only 4 options; high for 4 or 6 hours OR low for 8 or 10 hours. Not ideal but it works. And the price was right.

The 3 recipes I have had success with are pork roast, Mexican chicken and Jamaican oxtail.

Today I have a new recipe to add to my “collection”!! LOL 🙂 I made Honey Garlic Chicken and my girls said it was good enough to make again. Success in my book.

7 minutes

In what I can only describe as a fit of madness, I decided to run to the closest Tim Horton’s (doughnut/coffee chain) … at 11 pm tonight.  This is what happens when you ate more that you intended to and didn’t exercise all day.

Diva who is always up to go outside agreed to accompany me.  I would like to say it was mainly because she wanted to spend time with me but the doughnut I agreed to get her might have played a bigger part than I would like to admit. lol

So we walked down the stairs and once we got to the street, we started to jog.

I have walked to this particular Tim’s before and it felt like a reasonable distance.  Not tonight.  Part way through I wanted to stop and looked at my watch to learn only 4+ minutes had passed since we left our apartment. 😦

So I keep trucking.

At one point I slowed to a walk then decided I was so close to the finish that I should just suck it up and keep on going.

It was not as bad as I thought it would be.  I think I will be hurting tomorrow.

According to google map the distance between the two traffic lights is about half a mile. It took me 7 minutes and 22 seconds to get from my front door to the second traffic light.

Now I’m motivated to try to cut the time down.

In an effort not to overdo it, we walked home.

Traumatizing my kids

Book of Negroes


Like the bad mother I sometimes am, I have been watching “The Book of Negroes” with my daughters.

I just recently finished the book and it was a fantastic read.  I made sure to read it the moment I heard there was going to be a television show. The mini-series strays from the book.  There are a lot of details missing.  While I enjoyed the book, the mini-series is not holding my attention as much as I would like.  But I will continue to watch it along with my girls as it gives me an opportunity to have discussions that might not have been had otherwise.

After the first episode in which the lead character, Aminata is kidnapped and her parents killed, my children decided they just couldn’t deal with all that had happened to her so far.

It was decided we would watch an episode every other night, giving them time to “recover” from the emotional toll of the story.

In the second episode, Aminata’s child is sold. Diva was outraged. Princess looked shocked. There was a lot of yelling at my TV that night.

Tomorrow we will watch the third episode.

I feel privileged to be born on this side of the planet at this time.  I have had countless debates with friends over what would have happened to us had we been stolen, born into slavery or taken to a concentration camp.  I think I would have done what was necessary to survive.  Although I think if you sold my child that would be a game changer.

It’s that time of the year

Now that the snow is here is really is starting to feel a lot like Christmas.

Too bad I am not a fan of the commercial Christmas we seem to celebrate.

As usual I have 8 people on my list, if I don’t include myself. 😉

My youngest sister & my daughters will get money.  So easy and always welcome. 🙂

It is the rest of the list that will cause me some grief.  My parents (Mom, Dad & step-Mom) need nothing.  My brother likes expensive electronic gadgets. 😦 My other sister will probably get some jewelry or something girly.

Today I will start looking and hope and pray that gift ideas are plentiful.  And that this is my only trip.  I have some points to a couple of stores that I will visit to see if I can use up.

I’m not impressed with myself for leaving the shopping so late.  Oh well, what’s done is done.


Back from Denver

I had thoughts of posting while I was away but I was beyond beat.  The trade show started at 7 each morning.  Even though I decided to keep on Eastern time I still went to bed early for me.

On Thursday after finishing the assembly of the products, I went to TJ Maxx and found what seemed like comfortable shoes.  Well after the first day of standing from 7-4, my feet were on fire!  Saturday’s shift was 7-5.  I hobbled out of the convention center and prayed for new feet.

I went to bed most nights by 8:30/9 pm local time.  It was funny to me as I thought I would have the time or the energy to see some of the city.

Because we started so early it was dark when I drove in so I didn’t see many sights.

Yesterday I made the decision to go in late.  I saw the mountains for the first time and they are beautiful.  I only wished that I had the time to go see them.  The only things I saw on this trip was my hotel, the convention center, the airport and the roads between them.

Today is Thanksgiving and I was “voluntold” to help my step-Mom with dinner.  I need to get myself together for that.  My body is protesting and I still need to pick up my kids.

Missed her by 4 minutes

This past weekend I drove my mother and kids to Corning NY so my mother could participate in The Wineglass Marathon.  We left later than I intended to as  I just couldn’t get it together.  Story of my recent travels it seems.

It was an easy drive.

The race kit pick up was at the Corning Museum of Glass.  There was a small expo and lots of breakables.  With the large crowd we didn’t stay long.

The drop off time on Sunday was 6-7 am.  Not my favourite hour by any means.  I was NOT happy with the layer of frost that was on my car when we got up in the morning.  We really did underestimate the weather.  Silly Canadians thinking that going South would actually be warmer. 😦

In all the various marathons I have gone to with my mother, I can’t think of a time when I actually saw her finish. 😦  She is a slow runner and I can never seem to get the timing right. 😦  This past marathon was no exception.  When we got to the finish line I thought I would just catch her.  This was re-inforced by the fact that her stuff had not been picked up yet.  So we waited.  And waited.  Until we were watching the last few people finish.  At that point they brought the remaining runners stuff up to the finish line and my mother’s was no longer among the pile.  Turns out 10 minutes after I went to see about her stuff she picked it up.  So I went to our pre-arranged meet up spot and found her.

For a small city with minimal shopping, we still managed to do a little damage.  I have not tallied up my receipts yet.  We just hit the usual favourites, Wal-mart, Target, TJ Maxx …

It was a good little get away.

Now I have to pack and get my self together for my crack of dawn flight on Thursday.