Sunday, October 30, 2011

A (photo) update

This afternoon we decided to go for a walk in the Greenbelt, since it was so beautiful outside. We brought our camera and our sunflower seeds, so we could feed the chickadees. Back home, when I uploaded the photos to my computer I realized how long it had been since I actually cleaned up my camera! So at the end of the post, you'll see some 'spring-like' photos, that were taken a mere three weeks ago before the cold weather set in...
But before the pictures start, a quick update.
This week has been pretty good, with some running, curling and lots of leaves to rake! But the weather was so gorgeous, it just seemed impossible to stay inside for too long!
Even though the weather was so nice, we've finally had some decent frost, so most of our plants are now completely done for. We cleaned up our gardens for the most part, but now it looks so bare! Only a few days ago we still had vibrant colours. We do have many visitors in the backyard, ranging from squirrels and chipmunks to chickadees and other birds. We always try to put a bird feeder up, but the squirrels always eat the food before any of the birds get to them! So now we have a feeder in the spruce tree, which so far has been left untouched. By both the squirrels and the birds... We are now looking for a pole with a squirrel which will hopefully help, since the bird activity is always fun for the cats!
Talking about cats, Fertile is not doing so well. We're a bit worried about her, but will take her to the vet tomorrow, so hopefully she'll be back to normal soon.
This coming week I'll be up in Petawawa this week, and then off to Peterborough for the weekend, so Nolan, once again, will be a bachelor this week :) And of course Halloween tomorrow! Hopefully we won't have too many kids, so there is some chocolate left over for us!! Another reason to keep running...

So here are some photos. The first few are from our walk today. The birds are cute; Nolan is just weird...

And here are some photos from earlier on. This was Thanksgiving Monday, when the temperature went up to 27 degrees (second weekend in October...).

And this last one is specially for Krista:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Week off, wedding-weekend in Toronto

Nolan and I decided to take last week off to enjoy a break, to finally paint my office, and do some more clean-up outside. Since the weather was pretty miserable, the outdoor stuff was put on hold (indefinitely??)! However, we were able to paint my office, and it is now the exactly same colour as it was in the old house. We liked the colour there, and we had some left-over paint, so easy choice! The painting itself was pretty painless; the cleaning up and moving of all the books and other stuff took a bit longer. But we did it, and it makes me feel good! We also had to do some running around before the big weekend in Toronto (picking up a suit, getting my hair cut, etc).
The 'big' weekend in Toronto was for Carrie and Brad's wedding (Carrie is Nolan's sister). We left fairly early on Friday to pick up Nolan's parents. We offered to drive so they didn't have to worry about the weather, busy highway and crazy city driving.
Once arrived in Toronto, we dropped the folks off at Carrie's place, and checked into our hotel. We stayed at the Metropolitan, which was quite nice and the location was great. Friday night was dinner with the MacAfee's, in a nice and quaint Italian restaurant. We walked back to the hotel, and when we got back there, decided that since we were in Toronto, we really should enjoy it! We were a stone throw away from Dundas Square, so walked around there a bit and ended up at the Elephant Castle on Yonge Street. It had been so long since we actually went out and had a beer, and with good music playing in the background, great beer from the tap, and no worries of having to get up early the next morning, we just simply enjoyed it.
So, the next morning we slept in and explored the city a bit more. It's quite a bit different compared to Ottawa, also much bigger :)
After lunch we got ready for the wedding, and made our way over to the Distillery District, the wedding venue. The wedding was small, but nevertheless wonderful. Carrie looked beautiful and happy, and they definitely make a great couple. We didn't take any pictures, so I can't share any right now, but hopefully we'll be able to fetch some from some other people later on! But all in all a great time.
The next day we were invited to a brunch as well, which was also nice (although we were both pretty tired from a short night...), before we headed back to Ottawa.
By the time we got home, we were totally worn out, and pretty much headed straight to bed!
Now it's back to routine and work, and running! We decided to sign up for another marathon next fall, so if you have any suggestions for fun marathons, let us know! This past year we barely ran any races (I just ran the Peterborough half marathon in February, my last race...), but are planning to do the opposite next year, with hopefully many events. Should be fun, and will hopefully get us back into better shape!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Busy but satisfying Thanksgiving weekend!

For the Canadians among us, do you remember the last time you spent Thanksgiving shovelling snow?? I bet it wasn't that long ago... This year was definitely a little different. Records were broken left, right and centre with a high in Ottawa on Saturday of 27.6 degrees. In case you didn't realize, it's October... In one word: awesome!!

We had a fairly low-key Thanksgiving weekend without any real commitments. We didn't go down to Brockville since we'll all be together in a couple of weeks for Carrie's wedding. Since the weather was so gorgeous, and we had so much time, we decided to spend the time well... outside!! We painted the front porch, front door, garage door and around the garage. We cleaned up the deck (it looks so empty now!) and we cleaned all the windows! We also went running Sunday morning (my legs were killing me though, never thought that painting could be so hard on the legs, but I guess I was bending and crouching down more than I realized), and we went for a beautiful bike ride Monday afternoon. The colours are just amazing right now, and with these temperature and blue skies, you really don't want to spend any more time inside than absolutely necessary. We took some pictures during our bike ride; I'll upload them later.  Admittedly, we were pretty tired at the end of the bike ride, and were somewhat cursing ourselves for going so far. But it was so worth it, despite my soar derrière today...

The weekend wasn't totally un-social. We had Debby over for dinner on Friday, which was great as usual, and Ann and Tom invited us over for a left-over-Thanksgiving-dinner on Sunday, which was also very tasty and social. Nolan was able to teach us all some new expressions as well. Not sure if it was him or the Scotch being creative...

So overall a great weekend, that came after a very inspirational and interesting week of training. The course was very good, and I learned a lot about working for the Government; especially at a higher level. Time well spent!

This week is back at the office, but only for a few days. Next week is booked off (for the most part), and we're hoping to tackle the upstairs and splash some paint on some bedroom walls!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It's about time...

For another update here on my life. I'm doing great!

A bit more elaboration... Obviously things have happened in the last week and a half; and most of it kept me off the street!
First of all, and most importantly, it was Nolan's birthday last week. So today, he is exactly 32 years and 1 week old. I'm still hoping that one day he will be older than me, but I have a feeling that might never happen... He also started this weird tradition to get sick on his birthday. Last year (when I was in Jasper and still don't hear the end of it...), he got sick by himself, and the same thing happened this year. We still managed to have a nice evening with pizza and beer, though. Relaxing!

I was all for a relaxing evening, trying to recover from our first day of the Component Leaders Forum. Agreed, I had some jitters beforehand, but in the end it went alright. Definitely a great experience, and I was glad to be part of it.

Did I mention that I got talked into curling this year? Nolan's team from last year dissolved, but he wanted to keep playing this year. He found another couple looking to play in the non-competitive league on Friday evening, so really I had no choice but say yes :)  And you know what? It's actually a lot of fun! I attended one training session last year, but had never really played a game before. And I know I can't really say this about myself, but I didn't even do that poorly. I might have done 'ok'! But most of all, it was fun and I enjoyed it. Surprisingly though, I was actually sore afterwards, and my back is still somewhat tight. Maybe I can talk a certain person into a massage...

On Friday the temperature started to drop, it absolutely poured rain, and Saturday was the first official day of fall. Or so it felt! But it was beautiful. After a very short night, I was on my way to the Outdoor Woodlot Conference in Beachburg early Saturday morning, and the drive alone was worth going. The leaves are turning (although the colours are not super dramatic this year), and the sun came out as well. Jut gorgeous. Besides manning the OWA booth, I was able to join a couple of the guided tours, and talked to a lot of people I hadn't seen in a while. It just shows that the forestry world, especially in this part of the country, is small and tight. And I'm proud to be part of it! On top of that, I also managed to negotiate a great deal for two 4' white pine saplings. The more trees the merrier!

We're also back into the running mode. This past Sunday we ran with Ann, and since Nolan was still getting better and Ann is slowly getting back into it, I did an extra loop at the end. And it payed of since I saw a fox! In full view, in no hurry, and in great shape. Pretty cool in the city!
This evening we went for a run in the greenbelt, and saw several deer and porcupines as well. We're just so lucky where we are and what we are able to do.

This week I'm taking the Essentials for Managing in the Public Service / Delegated Authority Course, and I am loving it! There is so much to learn, our teacher is awesome with a tonne experience and can present many real life examples. It really seems to connect the work we do with the bigger picture (i.e. the Government). It's another step forward...

This weekend we'll be home for Thanksgiving. The weather forecast is great, so hopefully we'll be able to get lots of stuff done in and around the house. We're staying put so no traveling, which is actually nice for change. Looking forward to a long weekend!!