Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Tricks

It's wonderful to be able to learn new things. This week has had several of those wonderful experiences.
  1. Bram has always hated wearing socks. They irritate his feet. Although he has to wear them to school and in boots and shoes, etc., I continually find them in little wadded up balls all over. This irritates his mother. However, I gave him a couple pairs of new socks for Christmas (stocking stuffers) and they just happened to be 100% polyester socks instead of 100% cotton socks. And... they don't irritate his feet! He doesn't feel forced to take them off! In fact, his feet were a little infected near the big toe - a little red and slightly swollen. After several days of wearing 100% polyester socks, the infection is gone! We're going out today to purchase him a bunch more 100% polyester socks.
  2. I've been diligently doing my exercises for my arm. When I do them regularly and consistently, my elbow doesn't go out of place as quickly. Bram was watching me do my exercises and commented that if I was really wanting to strengthen that muscle, he would teach me a karate exercise that would help. It's a mid-level punch. And... it really does help. Not only that, but I don't have to cart around a weight to be able to do it. And... when I make the fist correctly, it also helps. Go figure.
  3. I was e-mailed the latest info to post for The Party. However it was in table format. And I don't remember the HTML for doing tables. I tried to get my nephews to put it up for me, but they got about half-way through and decided that it was no longer interesting. I did remember that Word has an option when you open a new document to open either a new document or a new blog posting. So I tried it as a new blog posting. It uploaded it for me to The Party, and there you have it - in table format, without any difficulty whatsoever.
  4. I've been working on learning a new piano piece. I've been finding it difficult. I finally stopped - worked hands separately while counting aloud, paying attention to fingering. (I can hear my teacher's voice in my head). It went much better.

It's so nice to learn new things - especially when the learning thereof isn't painful.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Holiday

Bram and I had a good day yesterday for Christmas. The Pradzynskis and Friesens came over first thing in the morning and opened presents at my apartment (I have a tree and the apartment was tidy) before driving up to PA to celebrate the remainder of the day with family up there. The Steiners also came over to open presents - but their little girls aren't morning people and they weren't happy about it. Unfortunately, I think someone (D.P.?) took my phone with them - as we definitely had it just before they left and it's no where to be found after they left. It's a cordless phone - not a cell phone, so I'm sure it's just an oversight. However, it does leave me without a phone until they bring it back. I actually have a wall phone, but I can't check my messages on it, as it's such a basic type that it doesn't let you use the * or #. So, someone's left me a message - and I'll check it when I can... later.

Later on, around noon, Bram and I went over to the Steiners for Christmas dinner and opening more presents. In the late afternoon we came back home as we were tired. Had a nap (both of us), then Bram was bored, so we baked cookies.

I need to go out to Fabricland this morning then we're hoping to catch a ride to S'toon with Aunt Alice who was up to help celebrate Christmas with the Steiners. I just don't trust driving my vehicle out of town as I think the transmission will die at any moment.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Well, that was a mistake!

I ate lunch in the cafeteria Friday. That's not too unusual - I eat lunch in the cafeteria most days, particularly when it's cold out. It's just so easy. Friday is the day that the cafeteria serves a themed meal - from some portion of the world. Yesterday was Aboriginal themed - they had homemade soup, maple drizzled salmon, bannock, etc. It was all excellent.

However, the homemade soup had hamburger meat in it. They had used chopped up hamburgers - and the hamburgers had oatmeal in them. And the salmon was covered with a breaded topping - which also had oatmeal in it.

I felt really awful all afternoon. I managed to make it through teaching my class, then I went home to bed. I slept until after 6 pm. I managed to stay awake then until I picked up Bram at the airport - then I went back to bed.

I'm feeling much better today. Hopefully I won't have any other side effects. Next time I'll be sure to ask. I don't care to ever feel like that again.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I started my day with my regular piano lesson this morning. Now I have no lessons until January. I had a productive day at work - got lots done.

Then I had the last class of the day - English 9. I have a couple of students in the class that are doing their best to disrupt the class and anyone else's learning. I ended up kicking them out of class - at different times. At the end of class I had to go and deal with their behaviour. After that I was shaking. It's so frustrating. I'm a good teacher - and they're not letting me teach.

I need to remind myself that God's grace works where I'm unable. That he is able to change hearts and lives. That he loves me - and them, even when we're being particularly unlovable. Right now the best I can do is pray for them, long and hard. After all, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

That being said, I'm really glad that we all get a two week break from each other after Friday. Three more teaching days.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wearing a Halo

I swept and washed my kitchen floor this morning. Then I vacuumed the living room after work! You may not be able to see the halo, but it's firmly in place. (My mom would be so proud of me, I know). I've started to set up my Christmas tree but don't have the decorations on it yet.

I was also totally caught up on my marking at school, but since then I've had students hand in a bunch of stuff, so I've got lots to go again.

The piano tuner was over this afternoon. He spent two hours on my piano. Got my damper pedal so that it's much better now. It was very stiff before. It's a brand new piano, but he replaced the spring - thinks that perhaps they installed the wrong spring in the factory, because this one fits exactly (and matches the other springs for the other pedals). Now that it's tuned, the whole sound is much brighter. I think I may have to have him back though - there's an unpleasant buzz on three or four keys (and they're all in the octave just above middle C - I use that octave a lot!).

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Counting Blessings

It continues to be "count your blessings weather". Last year I never switched from my "fall coat" - good to around -30C to my winter coat. I'm switching this morning. It's -33 out this morning, -41 with the wind chill. Time to switch coats.

I note that while it's bitter in Regina, it's only -20 in Yellowknife and a balmy -12 in Inuvik. Cambridge Bay is always my comparison point however - it's -33 there this morning, and with the wind chill it's -50!

I can count my blessings that I don't live in Cam Bay.
I can count my blessings that I have a warmer coat to switch to.
I can count my blessings that I don't have to drive to work; don't have to worry about if my car's plugged in; don't have to sit in a cold vehicle waiting for the windshield to warm up enough to see out of it.
I can count my blessings that my apartment is warm; the library where I work isn't too cool and the people I work with warm my heart.

All in all, the cold temperature is a very minor discomfort. (Having said that, I'm envious of Roy and Monica in Mexico!)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Phone Calls

I've just gotten off the phone after visiting with my kids. I always find it very difficult to phone anyone - even my kids. I force myself to do it - and then I cry after I hang up. However, I can be very grateful that we can talk by phone, it's just difficult. I miss them a lot.

Part of it is my own weird phobia - I have a hard time talking to anyone on the phone. I have no difficulty e-mailing, but I get a sort of sinking feeling when I need to phone. When I see the message light flashing, I have to force myself to check messages - and give myself a reward when it's done. I wish that wasn't part of my internal wiring, but it is, so I force myself to do things I don't enjoy and get it done.

Bram's flying in for the Christmas break December 18. Rose doesn't get Christmas off. Sigh. Oh well. Maybe next time.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Indoors today

It was -25 when I woke up this morning. Now, at noon, it's warmed up to -16. I don't need to go anywhere today. I think it's a good day to just stay indoors and enjoy the fireplace.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Shovelling Snow

I've done that every morning this week before work. It's nice to have snow to shovel. Like mowing the lawn, it's something I've never really done before. Growing up, I had lots of brothers who had that responsibility, and after I was married, it was either my husband or my kids who took it on. As long as there's not too much to do, I kind of enjoy it. Gets my blood working before I go to work and you can see your progress. Unlike some jobs (like housework), there's a definite end to the job. All good things.