Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Too Much Stuff!

If there is one thing I have learned during the Great House Selling Quest of 2012 is that we have Too Much Stuff. For sure. It's amazing what we accumulated during the last 13 years.
Even although I did a HUGE Basement Cleanup five years ago.
Even although I got rid of tons of stuff to get the house ready for sale.
Even although my ex moved out with a myriad of boxes.
Even although we don't have small children around any more.
I unpack the boxes which came out of storage and look around in the house and realize once again that it is time to declutter and simplify and that I definitely not going to put those boxes in the basement to deal 'later'. Decluttering and getting rid of stuff will be my mantra for quite a while!

My garage has 5 bags full of stuff to donate to the thrift store, and there will be many more!
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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving Trip to Burlington

After a few years of hosting a big Thanksgiving and a year of spending our Thanksgiving in Montreal we had a nice low key Thanksgiving this year.
On Thursday we spent the day at the neighbors, enjoying good food, good company, and good times with them. I brought them some home baked cinnamon raisin bread which sure is easier than preparing a turkey. I like this 'not hosting' thing.
Erik really wanted to go somewhere though and we hadn't been to Burlington for a while, so it seemed the perfect trip for this occasion. Today we went and had an excellent time.
We went to the Echo Center, right on the shore of Lake Champlain and found out all about Champy and about many other creatures living in the lake.
This is what your bike would look like if you had dropped it into the lake.
It was a nice relaxed day with time to visit all the exhibits.
Erik got to be a turtle in one of the demonstrations. I never knew that turtles actually dance the worms out of the ground. Very interesting.
More pictures tomorrow. We had so much fun although we didn't quite spent as much time walking the lake shore as I had envisioned. Because it was frigging cold! I mean really really really frigid.
On the way back home we had snow, ice and we even saw a car which had ended up next to the highway. When we saw that and all the trucks salting the road we ended up taking a lot longer to get home than planned. But we did make it safely, listening to Christmas songs on the radio.
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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Glorious Fall Days

We have been having so many wonderful fall days that we have spent good times on our local playgrounds.

Today we actually stopped in two different parks to enjoy the glorious weather. The kids are off from school for Thanksgivings break, so we relaxed but also got all kinds of stuff done. Including some Christmas shopping! I feel so organized!

On that note, I finally gave notice at the storage place where we had 5,000 boxes which we stored there during our Great House Selling Quest. Even although my house is overflowing with boxes, I am happy that we won't have to pay the monthly storage fee anymore.

I even have been unpacking some of those boxes! Amazing how after a year of not seeing that stuff it seems a lot less necessary in my life than when I boxed it all up. Looking forward to going through it all and hopefully letting go of most of it!

Life is good!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Productive Day!

I love days where I don't have to drive in circles all day! It is amazing how much I can get done when I don't have to deal with a bunch of drop offs and pick ups.

Worked for a while on Sylvia and Erik's room this morning. Not perfect yet, but a bit closer in the direction of perfection. We even found a floor in there!


Baked four loaves of bread, two of which I bartered for two dozen of free range eggs.


Took kid to rehearsal and while she was gone, went to storage with another kid and we took out like 16 boxes! This storage place is leftover from when we tried to sell the house. I put quite a lot of stuff in storage, half to get the house uncluttered for showings, and half to get a headstart on the actual move. Which never happened. Now we are slowly getting all those boxes out of storage. It is like moving without actually moving.

Once they are out of storage they immediately start cluttering up the house again, so I foresee more trips to our thrift store to donate all the things we don't need but which nonetheless crept into our lives.


Today I unpacked at least five of those boxes right away and filled a few bags with donations to thrift store.

One of the boxes contained sweaters which is great since I had wondered where they were and whether I would actually find them before the winter or not.


I even got the living room look mostly good, that is till we put all the new boxes in, but ignoring that for now.

I went grocery shopping and used a bunch of coupons, including three which were expiring today, so used them just in time.

The biggest thing today was the storage, but all the other things feel good too. It was a nice day with flow.

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Broccoli Tales

Even although most of the gardening season is over, my broccoli still was producing nicely, so a few weeks ago I harvested some.

I quickly wanted to get dinner on the table. One of the elements of dinner was my Very Own Home Grown Organic Broccoli, and I soooooooooo couldn't wait to eat it. I gave it a quick rinse, cut it up and steamed it. It looked awesome and I was feeling all organized and on top of things and very accomplished.


Till Dawn picked up a piece and asked 'Hmmm, is this from our garden?' I proudly reply 'Yup!' She follows up with 'Yeah, I can tell...', pointing to the little green worm in there...

Her boy friend was over and we tried to convince him to eat it since he isn't vegetarian, but he politely refused...


Even although the broccoli was still producing, somehow I had not been harvesting any since that meal. Well, today I entered my garden and found out that the deer were not at all deterred by little green worms in their broccoli.


My beautiful patch of broccoli was beheaded and deleafed and my still developing brussels sprouts suffered the same fate... Looked pretty funny. Oh well, at least somebody enjoyed the last of the season broccoli, even if it wasn't us ^^


They ate some of the late season greens too. I guess good timing to get this part of the garden winter ready :D
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Friday, November 09, 2012

Happy Birthday, Cees!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I blinked and my first born turned 21 years old!


We had a fun party to celebrate this milestone.


May health, happiness and prosperity be yours in your path through life, my beloved eldest son!

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Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Canvassing and Voting!

This is the very first presidential election where I was involved in any volunteering/canvassing. I went out a few times with Kate and Sylvia to canvass and of course we also did get to attend political rallies. As a still pretty new American it has been very fascinating to see this process up close.


Yesterday I went out canvassing with a friend in the morning to get out the vote. In the afternoon I took Sylvia out for more canvassing. We had fun and met interesting people.


And I VOTED! In my second presidential election since I became American in July 2008! I am still over the top thrilled that I can vote now.

At night we went to a party of our local Democratic party with my friend and Kate and Sylvia. Caught up with old friends. Watched television and cheered many times. Life is good!
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I am soooooooooooo not ready for this!


* Hazard types... snow... sleet... and freezing rain.

* Accumulations... 1 to 3 inches of snow and sleet. Up to a tenth
of an inch of ice possible.
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Sunday, November 04, 2012

Another Obama Rally!

Did I mention how I love living in a battleground state? Another visit of Obama!

When I read the email about this event my first reactions were 'Cool! Another event, and only an hour away. But I already saw Obama and do I really want to spend the whole Sunday going there and I would have to get up early and nah, maybe not this time.'
Half of me wanted to go, half of me thought it would be too much.

Until I mentioned it to Kate. Who declared that she would be going for sure. Since she doesn't have a driver's license yet I figure I'd better go with her. I polled the other kids and Sylvia decided she also wanted to come. Both of them were not deterred by the thought of having to get up at 5am. Yawn.


Next I invited my sister friend who was very firm at insisting we should leave at 5am (me "Can't we leave at 5:30? Or even at 6?")  I dreamt that I totally overslept and my sister was in my driveway for more than an hour, being very annoyed with me.

The dream didn't come true and I felt very superior when she called me a few minutes before 5am. From her home. I knew that she must have overslept instead of me. Sweet victory that was...
Only it wasn't. Her car refused to start...
We moved to plan B where I picked her up and we took the scenic route to Concord.


It was quite a pretty drive, passing many playgrounds ("Can we stop here and play??" from the backseat), and watching the sun rise over New Hampshire. The morning clouds were beautiful and made the 5am departure quite a lot sweeter.

We arrived later than we planned but we had super good flow and found amazing parking close to the venue and were in in almost no time at all. Not only did we get in, but we lucked out on good location once inside. Life was good!

Well, apart from when the kids were fighting about the hat. And got kind of impatient with the waiting. But finally action happened and we got a nice a Capella performance.


This is one of our local community organizers. We were like 'Hey dude! We know her, we have talked to her, how cool to see her up there!'


Next we got to see and listen to Jeanne Shaheen.


And of course our governor John Lynch with his lovely wife.


Kate had a dragonfly land on her arm, I take that as a good luck sign for the Obama campaign.


One sweet intermezzo was a 98yo lady who was close to us who was hungry for a snack and we could give her our goldfish crackers. It was so nice to see all the different people who were attending, from young babies to an almost centenarian.


I am glad I went so that Kate and Sylvia could experience this all first hand.


This was the very first time I got to see Bill Clinton in person. He was charming and well spoken and I enjoyed his speech.


Many photographers around, a lot of them with bigger cameras than we had brought ^^


This is one of the ASL interpreters. She was amazing to watch, I was very impressed.


Last but not least, Obama, our president! He had a good speech and I was happy to just be there, listen to him and enjoy the ambiance and all the people around me.


The icing on the cake was that my sister got to touch Obama and to hug Bill Clinton. And Kate and Sylvia got to shake hands with Bill Clinton! How cool is that? He even put his hand on Sylvia's head, what a perfect memory this will be for them!


Sooooooooooo happy I decided to go after all, the day could not have gone any better than this!

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