Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Rerun: Ice Skating

We use to love ice skating outdoors in the winter.  Nowadays most folks go to an indoor arena. 

Not the same! 

See me there in my watermellon winter hat and matching scarf ... ya that was a christmas gift from uncle L.  That photo goes back to somewhere in the early 1980s.  My cheeks look like a chipmunk!

Ice skating outdoors in the winter with the cold brisk air on your face.  Bundled up in an ugly hat and warm mittens.  The winter scenery as a backdrop.  Can't get more beautiful than that. 

Mom used to take us when we were wee snot nose brats to the outdoor rink in the local park.  She used to skate with us too until it became too dangerous for her, you know, the falling part, heaven's forbid she put her back out or break a hip.  I skated on my ankles so falling was not an issue!  My brother was like those hockey players!  He wizzed by far enough not to touch you but close enough to make you nervous so you fell down!

Mount royal freezes it's lake in the winter to become a pretty large skating rink.  Not as large as the Ottawa Rideau Canal though.  That there is a photo of Mount Royal in Montreal that I found online.  Pretty backdrop don't you think, with the snow covered trees!  There's a chalet nearby to get warmed up and have some coffee or hot chocolate. 

Once when we were kids, my sister and I went skating, we were making like we were the Rockettes you know, kicking our leg out as we skated along arm in arm.  We ended up on our backs on the ice staring up at the night sky with our arms still linked in one another.  We had no clue when we fell backwards, just lay there confused then cracked up laughing.  That would have made for an awsome funny home video!

*Rerun note: this blog orginally posted December 17, 2010

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Mrs. Beasley

Remember Mrs. Beasley? 

If you're in your 40s you remember her so stop pretending!!

I used to have a Mrs. Beasley doll when I was a kid.  I loved her!!!  I never called her Mrs. Beasley though, probably because it was to difficult to say.  I called her Mumz. 

Did I mention that I loved her?

I thought she was an awesome doll.  I don't remember if I got her for Christmas or my birthday or for just being the good little girl I was....  what?  I was a good little girl when I wasn't harassing my siblings

Mrs. Beasley had a plastic head and hands but the rest of her was made of soft filled fabric so she was like a squeezable pillow.  Then somewhere along the way I grew out of her.  The last time I recall seeing her she was in the toy box in the bedroom closet.... and I was about thirty something years younger than I am now!! 

How is it that our mothers know exactly when and how to recycle our favorite toys without us ever knowing?  When I think about Mrs. Beasley I have to wonder when she got recycled.  Seriously!  The only way I can pinpoint the timeline as to when I last saw her is by the location of where we lived.  Strange, I know, but when we were at home number one, I put Mrs. Beasley in the toy box in the closet.  When we moved to home number two, she was not in the toy box and neither were a few of my other favorite toys.  Mom was sneaky like that, I give her credit, she knew to recycle my toys when I wasn't paying attention.  That's a smart move, must be a super power that mothers miraculously gain when they have children. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

POM No More!

The past couple times I've been in a grocery store doing some shopping, I find myself stopping in front of the shelf containing the holiday fruitcakes, similar to the ones in this photograph.  I stand there in front of the shelf staring in disbelief.  People walking up the aisle stare at me probably thinking I look like I'm about to drool over that cake, like I'm falling in cakelove or something like that. 

Highly unlikely though!

Truth be told I'm wondering how I ever ate that store bought stuff!  Seriously!  I know when it came to buying holiday fruitcake I always went with the same brand name.  POM Bakers made, what I considered to be at the time the best fruitcake.  Whenever I went shopping for fruitcake I'd only buy the POM brand and no other.  

Since then I've been corrected.  POM Bakers do NOT make the best fruitcake because I DO!   Yes, that's right, not tooting my own horn or nothing, just stating the facts as I see 'em.  Fruitcake season approacheth and I've already begun purchasing the ingredients.  But seriously, after looking at the cakes like the ones in that photograph there, it's no wonder people dislike fruitcake.  If someone laid a slice of that out for me, I wouldn't want to eat it either!  Even the POM Bakers fruitcake don't look THAT bad.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Where Are U Christmas?

So the other day while in a conversation with a friend, the topic of blogging came up.  We chuckled at the realization that we'd been blogging for about six or so years! 

Wow how time flies! 

I got my start in blogging over on the Yahoo 360* site which was pretty cool.  I liked the layout of it and it was pretty user friendly until Yahoo decided to let that ship sink a slow death and I abandoned ship but lost all the blogs I did over there.  Shortly thereafter I landed over on Multiply but then they decided to put excessive advertisements on the blogs unless you paid to have them removed.  Of course I like free, so I deleted those blogs and landed here at Blogspot... and fell in love with the old dashboard, this new one not so much.... I have a love hate relationship with it so there's hope yet.  Ha!

Anyway, my friend had asked if I'd be blogging about Christmas being as it was pretty much that time of year and I've always done an all Christmas blog throughout November & December.  She nicely reminded me that we are well into the month of November and I have yet to really blog about Christmas.  Well, I certainly will post some Christmas blogs but the bulk of them will be retro throwback flashback reruns from yesteryear with the occasional newbie added in. I've got some ideas up my sleeve for how I intend this year's Christmas blogging to be done so all should turn out well.   So, there you have it.  I'm sure she'll comment about how happy this will make her *grins & giggles*.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Commercial Changes

There's something that just occurred to me. If memory serves me right, last year when I went into the pharmacy just around Halloween time, they had their Halloween merchandise displayed nicely until a day or so before October 31st when they shoved everything over just a tad and put the Christmas merchandise on display. Sure it was a sight to see both Halloween ghoules and Christmas elves seated on the same shelf with sales tags hanging off them but that's just how stores do things I suppose.

This year however, I noticed that wasn't the case, only Halloween items were displayed. As soon as November 1st arrived, out came the Christmas displays. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's too soon for Christmas displays because some of the best sales take place the minute these items hit the shelves. I'm just glad I wasn't subjected to the horror of seeing both holidays displayed on the same shelf at the same time even if it would only be for a day or two.

So speaking of Christmas merchandise, now is the time I go hunting for cookie tins at the dollar store. This is also the perfect time to buy all the boxes, bags and Christmas wrap because not only is the stock in excess, most of the time it's last years stock stores want to get rid of before the new stuff comes on display. Doesn't make any difference to me, but to them, well, last season may have been all about silver and blue, whereby this season is all about red and white.

Ya, I know, I'm shaking my head at that too.

Anyway, when it concerns the boxes and bags for packaging up the gifts, getting them early is a surefire way to ensure you have something to pack that gift in! Last year I was short two boxes but when I got to the stores to buy them, SOLD OUT. Bags are the best because no matter how big or small the gift is, it'll fit inside the bag easily (in most cases anyway) so I usually go for the middle size bag since I already have a good idea as to what I intend to buy to put in it. AND...not all dollar stores price things the same. Strange but true. Unlike the Dollar Tree in the USA where everything is $1. The Dollarama in Montreal, everything USED TO BE $1, now prices range from $1 - $2 so the bags they know you really want will cost more than $1 for sure! BUT if you go early, say, like the beginning of November, the price is $1. Not sure why that is but could honestly care less because I'm getting the bags we need early!!!

*note: photo in this post curtesy of Digital Journal


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Shoe Box Gift

We're a bit behind this year but we still have one week left to fill our shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.

As per usual, we fill 6 boxes, one for each gender in each age group.  Personally I really enjoy doing this.  The feeling of knowing that at Christmas a little kid somewhere will be opening a gift with dolls, cars, balls, and candy!  Just imagining the smiles on their little faces and the joy in their hearts.  One small box makes all the difference to a child.  By now we're usually done shopping and packing the boxes for return to our church but this year we're a little slow.  The good thing is we have until Sunday to return the boxes so we'll get shopping this week without further delay!!

I'd only found out about Operation Christmas Child back in 2001 when we started going church.  One of our members had mentioned it to me and I instantly thought it was an amazing idea.  Prior to this I'd never knew it existed!  Had wondered why I'd never heard of it before!  Don't recall noticing any advertisements on the radio or in magazines or on television for it either.

Still wonder why I never hear anyone like Oprah or Ellen mention it on their talk shows knowing they have "followers" who will jump when they say jump, just a five minute segment on their show could get this program further recognition.  Ok I'm not going to get on a rant here about that but you know where I'm coming from right... I mean Oprah's getting ready to do her favorite things and one of them should be Operation Christmas Child, in my opinion anyway... ok not going to rant... not going to rant!!

I hope our boxes fill a child with joy, if even for a short while.... because the world isn't an easy place to live, we should thank God daily for what we have because it could always be worse...

Friday, November 2, 2012

It's Cookie Season!

Cookie season approacheth.

Yup.  It's pretty much this close to cookie season.  I've been scouring all the major grocery chains for sales on baking items.  I'll never understand how the Canadian dollar is at par with the American dollar but a 2kg (5lb) bag of flour costs $0.89 in the USA and $4.99 in Montreal. 

I know, highway robbery eh!!

I've got thirteen 4litre containers to fill with cookies for my kids.  Yup.  MY KIDS.  Ok so techinically I don't have kids, I have nieces and nephews but they're mine so that makes them my kids right. RIGHT!  I fill one container per household for family and friends who I consider family.  This year I'm really excited about it, unlike last year for some reason I wasn't as excited as I am now but that was then and it's a done deal.

I'll be going through my cookie recipe book soon enough and pulling out the usual ones to bake and adding some new ones that I want to try.  I'll still be baking "nut-free" as I've got a niece & nephew with peanut allergies and we want them to survive Christmas. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Zombie Activity

The odd thing I noticed about this Halloween is the increase in zombie activity. 


Ok that statement didn't sound right did it? 

What I mean is, the increase in ..... making like a zombie... *shrugs shoulders*  Ok we'll just stick to the first statement then.

I've been around the internet and noticed so many zombie walks or what ever they're being called.  Some even send out a huge tweet or facebook message for a "flash zombie mob".  All in all I think it's pretty cute, with it being Halloween, these zombie mobs around the city every weekend in October are a cute way to get involved with the creepiness.  The participants go all out in perfecting their zombie appearance.  I could only assume they've watched Night Of The Living Dead, Dawn Of The Dead, or Sean Of The Dead??  However, I'm just terribly afraid I'll come across a zombie mob when I least expect it.  I'll even confess that I've been avoiding an area in my neighbourhood because a few of the young folks there have what I refer to as "zombie-love".  I'm sure these kids see me jogging by or stopping to take a photo of the autumn beauty, and that they probably orchestrated a zombie mob to be hiding in the bushes for the unsuspecting fraidycat jogger.  I honestly don't know what my reaction would be if that were to happen, I mean peeing my pants and screaming like a girl are a natural given, but would I be too scared stiff and just stand there frozen in time or would I run like an athlete on steroids, or would I lash out and "fight back to save my brain from being eaten".  I guess it would depend on how much coffee I've consumed.  Too much caffeine would most certainly mean I'd pee my pants then punch the zombie in the head before I run like the wind to save my life.

Seriously...  I'm so paranoid these days it's not funny.  I'm so glad that technically Halloween is over, ok sure there's likely to be at least a couple more parties on Friday & Saturday night but aside from that, is it safe for a chicken me to walk the streets in my neighbourhood again?