Friday, May 18, 2007

Made it (yawn!)

So after 7 hours of driving last night (well, driving for DH, I mostly just dozed off in the passenger seat), we made it to London at around 1am. Didn't get lost, but we did run into a bit of stop-and-go traffic through Toronto, at around 11pm. Crazy traffic city!

So now we're here. And I'm taking advantage of the wireless connection to the satellite internet that SIL has here - sweet. Don't even need to plug in the laptop anywhere! This morning we tried to sleep in, despite all the attempts of the two dogs and one cat to get us to get up ;) We then headed into the small town (SIL lives in the rural area surrounding London) for breakfast, and to get some groceries. We came back and walked around the property, exploring with FIL and Wally, one of the dogs. The weather is gorgeous, the freshly cut grass smells delicious, and the river at the bottom of the hill provided beautiful sights. What more could we ask for? This is a really nice place to spend a weekend and relax...

I have taken a whole bunch of pictures of Wally (dog #1), Sage (dog #2) and Marty (cat who thinks he's dog #3), but unfortunately I don't have the stuff to transfer the pictures from the camera to the laptop. Sigh! They should really have bluetooth on all the cameras to make the file transfer easier!

OK, better get back to the rest of the gang. I'll try to post again later, maybe with some musings about small town living...

Take care!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Horses, movies and travel plans

How cute is this?

Here's one of the weekend shots of the neighbour's four day old foal. Isn't she just the cutest?? Times like these it's really nice to be living out in the boonies ;) Just go into the back yard and shoot pictures at will (we took several dozen pictures on Sunday).

We also managed to install the screen for the projector. It turned out not to be too much work, really, just two screws and two lengths of chain, et voila! Of course we installed the screen a little too far out, so we still have to reinstall it a few feet closer to the wall, but no biggie. The image looks just awesome. We definitely have to stock up on snacks and drinks now, because friends will be coming over for the movie experience (we moved all of our speakers down there too, so we have the whole deal). I just wish we had a little more time to enjoy the whole theatre setup. If I don't have to work overtime, and we're not working on the house or the yard, we're definitely driving somewhere (I know, I know, it's not a bad life!).

Tomorrow night we're driving out to London, ON, to spend the long weekend with FIL. I'm looking forward to having some time to spend with FIL, and to visit London, where we've never been. I hear that the grounds of Western U are worthwhile to visit...

Friday, May 11, 2007

Projector screen just arrived

I want to ask for your forgiveness, as I am about to get into full-on geek-mode. You can skip the following post if you are not technically inclined and are not interested in the nitty-gritty of our TV-room setup in the basement. I will have another post with pictures once everything is setup.

We ordered the screen last week, and were told it would be in town on Wednesday, and we could pick it up on Thursday. Of course on Thursday we were told it hadn't arrived and we'd have to wait until next week. But then today we got the call that it is in. We went to pick it up at the store, and DH is probably unpacking it as we speak (I had to come back to work to finish up some coding). This thing is massive, though surprisingly not very heavy. It's a ceiling mount, manual, 120 inch diameter screen, in the colour white (our research showed that the gray ones are already outdated, as they were better suited for the older, low brightness projectors). We have also bought a 3RCA to VGA cable, because apparently that is the best combination to get the ultimate picture out of our DVD to the projector. All we need now is to bring our speakers downstairs for full-on 5.1 sound (and wire them up), and we're all set. Well, we do still have to install the screen itself. We've been using an old sheet that I rigged up with some sown in weights at the bottom to get rid of the sag lines, and it's been not too shabby. Can't wait to see the results with a real screen!

Ok, that's it for the update. Hope the weather on the weekend allows for at least a little bit of yardwork. Take care!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Animal farm

Just came back from the next door neighbour's barn. He's got a brand new foal, born just 24 hours ago. Man, I am glad I am not a horse. 11 month gestation, and the size of the newborn is just absolutely scary! No wonder the mother horse was whiney the last time we saw her (on Sunday, where she was sticking out to both sides like she had swallowed a gigantic globe or something). So we visited the baby horse, and said hi to the two cats, and the dog. And while we were at it, we also spent some time with the year old horse, who I think is a little jealous of the new addition, not being the youngest anymore. She kept blowing at my hair, and then showing us her teeth in a very comical manner, just to get some attention. She didn't make a sound, though, just the big toothy smile :)

Good thing I had such a nice wind down when I got home, because the work day was absolutely crazy. I am on pager duty this week, and I got paged 12 times today! The amazing thing is that I actually managed to handle all of the issues, but I certainly felt like I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, and of course I didn't get any of my work done. Oh well, tomorrow is another day :)

Signing off,

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Good news and updates

Big thanks to everyone crossing their fingers and sending positive vibes: our friends' little baby boy has come back home, and all his tests came back fine. He still needs a lot of tending to (has to be woken up every 2 hours to be fed), but it sounds like the worst of it is behind them. We have breathed a huge sigh of relief! And in more good news on that front, we may be able to go and visit them next weekend. Yay!

Today is Saturday, and the weather is gorgeous. Too bad I had to come to work :( But I still managed to get plenty of time enjoying the outdoors before lunch today. You know summer is almost here, because today was the first lawn mowing of the year (complete with lawn aeration). I also transplanted a few small cuttings, a lilac and a few forsythias. I pulled out some thistles and dandylions, and a whole bunch of new raspberry shoots. And because it's so beautiful and sunny and dry, on top of the usual laundries I washed some of our blankets, so that they can dry outside. Not bad for a morning's work ;) And much more pleasant than sitting in the air-conditioned work cubicle...

All this yardwork at the beginning of the season sure seems daunting. But we keep reminding ourselves that a little extra work at the beginning of the season will pay dividends throughout the summer. When we first bought the house, I was a very naive yard-idealist, insisting on keeping everything natural. I wanted to let the plants grow wild, hoping to bask in their natural beauty. Well, what happened after that was that our lawn became overrun with thistles (pretty flowers for a week or so in the summer, major pain the rest of the time), raspberry bushes took over the back side of the house (literally killing everything else that had grown there, including the wonderful iris that I had enjoyed so much). So I somehow had to get over my dislike of killing plants, and selectively eliminate some of the more rude natural invaders. Especially in the spring, it's important to keep those enthusiastic buggers at bay :)

Now, that's not to say I've completely given up on the "natural" yard. We still only use a reel mower - it's a lot of work, but it's good exercise, and it works well. We aerate the lawn using these funky sandals. We still refuse to use pesticides and chemical fertilizers. I try to encourage native plants to grow wild as they please. The yard still needs a lot of work to get where I would ultimately like it to be, but we are making progress. I am certainly really impressed at how well certain plants respond to the minimal maintenance I've started last year. The lilac bushes are just thriving, the tulips are coming up beautifully (they haven't bloomed yet, but you know there will be pictures as soon as they do!). And seeing those results really makes all the yard work a lot more enjoyable. I used to hate the thought of having to go take care of the "outside", as it seemed like such a never ending job. But I'm starting to come around. Of course, yard work is a lot more enjoyable at this time of year, when the sun is just nice and warm, and the gentle breeze brings over the smell of fresh grass, and all the birds are chirping. Ask me again in the middle of the summer in the sweltering heat with mosquitoes buzzing over my head!

Gotta get back to work, so I can get back home at a decent hour. Hope you're all enjoying your weekend!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Finger crossing request

So you heard about our friends who had an premature arrival bless their family this weekend... Well, unfortunately, the little boy has not expressing much interest in eating, so much so that he started losing weight (and when you're born at 5lb14, you don't have much to lose!), and they had to bring him back to the hospital. The doctors are doing lots of tests to determine what's upsetting the little guy.

So if you have a few positive vibes to spare, I am sure they would appreciate it. I've been crossing my fingers for the last few days, hoping they would be able to bring the little boy back home. Instead, they had to go home alone last night, leaving the baby back in the hospital. It must be so hard to have to leave your baby behind like that! Even when you know that you he's not that far, that he's in good hands, and that it's in everyone's best interest for you to actually get some sleep...