Saturday, January 04, 2014

The holiday home stretch

I’ve been leaving the house more often lately, gradually re-entering society so it won’t be such a shock on Monday morning.  Well, it’s still going to be a shock.  Sometimes I wake up at what feels like the middle of the night, but it’s really 7:30 a.m.  It’s so heavenly to be able to roll over and go back to sleep for another two or three hours.  I have no idea what time the children wake up, but I think the younger two have put in a fair amount of time in front of the TV or computer by the time I hoist myself out of bed.

The weather has made it very easy to hibernate.   When it isn’t frigidly cold (almost never), we’ve had blizzards.  It snowed all day yesterday and covered the streets and sidewalks and patio furniture.  Our street is a snow route, so the graders always plow our street first.  I think every snowplow  and dump truck in the city rushes to our street first when it snows.  You’re probably thinking, “How nice for them.”  But you’re wrong.  The ridges left by grader after grader is ridiculous.  They leave a high wall of icy chunks of snow, completely blocking street access to our sidewalk.  If you don’t start shoveling right away, it freezes into a solid mountain that you basically have to dynamite your way through.  After the first set of snowplows came yesterday morning, I went out to clear a path to the street.  All my other neighbours were shoveling too, so we all kept an eye on each other, watching for heart attacks.  One guy I hadn’t met before came over and helped me once he was done his sidewalk.  I told him he didn’t have to help because I had a perfectly capable son inside who could help me (for the record, my daughters could have helped too, but they weren’t home).  Spencer was inside watching through the window, wearing only his pyjama pants which weren’t visible from the other side of the window.  I guess the guy thought my pale, skinny, naked boy was no match for the ice ridge, so he kept shoveling. He was actually a contractor doing some work on the street, and we had a conversation about the neighbour he was doing the work for.  I thought he was talking about a different neighbour by the same name and I didn’t realize until later that we were talking about two totally different people.  It’s going to result in an awkward conversation when I meet the new neighbour he was talking about because I claimed to know him and his girlfriend and pretty much his whole family history, but I When he was done, the guy gave me his card but I’m not entirely sure if it was for personal or business reasons.  I must have looked pretty good in my snow pants and parka.  Maybe obscuring all my features made me seem mysterious.  I guess it’s also possible he wants work.

Like I said, I’ve been occasionally leaving the house.  Neve and I even went to Urban Planet and Michaels this morning.  I had a credit from Urban Planet and since I find their policies a bit sketchy, I wanted to be safe and use it as soon as possible.  Neve needed jeans, so we took a bunch to try on and both squished into a tiny change room.  My parka and scarf were making me hot and crazy and the music was loud and insane.  I know that makes me sound old and uncool, but seriously they play the most annoying music ever.  I’m sure they’ve done the demographic market research and all that, but to me it sounds like they choose the “Music That Makes You Want to Tear Someone’s Head Off With Your Bare Hands” Songza playlist. Neve and I were in a cramped change room with only two small hooks, which was not enough to hang two parkas, my purse, and five pairs of jeans.  If I were in charge of change room bylaws, I would issue a decree that every stall must have ten hooks.  And a clean floor and a mirror.  This room didn’t have either, so for Neve to see herself, we had to scrunch together - being careful to stay in the middle of the room, away from the dust bunnies and hairballs around the edges - to allow space for the door to open in and then squeeze around it to look at the mirror on the outside of the door.  So that was fun.

At Michaels, Neve stocked up on rubber bands for Rainbow Loom.  She spent some of her Christmas money (thanks, Auntie Joan) on packages of different colours.  Now we’re all set in case there’s a blizzard or other crisis that shuts down the city.  Rainbow Loom bracelets for everyone.


The kids and I also did an excursion on Thursday. We went downtown and walked through the walkways and bridges and tunnels from Portage Place to The Grain Exchange Building.  Hard times have fallen on some of these areas, but I'm hoping the children didn't notice and viewed it as glamorous and exciting. That might be hoping for too much, but I do hope I pass on my love for downtown to them.  We ate lunch along the way, got cookies, went to the library, and to the Bank of Montreal building.  It's one of the last grand old bank buildings that's still being used as a bank and it was pretty impressive.  A nice employee took us to the vault and let us go in it and even take pictures, so it was a fun outing.  The whole thing was Darla's idea, but unfortunately they couldn't make it that day so we'll have to do it again sometime.

In other news, we finished the puzzle.  That was a relief.  I think I might start another one though.

Once the puzzle was done, I had time to undertake a filing drawer project.  The drawer was so full that you couldn't stuff in another piece of paper, so things weren't being properly filed anymore.


It's probably not prudent to share my files with the entire internet, but look how pretty they are.  There's even some colour-coding going on for files that Dale needs for his business.  

Well, I should go and make the most of my remaining forty hours until real life resumes.  I’m hoping eight of those hours will be spent watching Suits.


Anonymous said...

I used to take the day care tots to that Portage Place Fountain when we needed a winter outing!! And I have definitely taken advantage of the tunnels and overpasses when I worked at the daycare at the Canadian Wheat Board. But alas, I will never appreciate your love for downtown. Did you have Cookies by George cookies? Or has that gone by the wayside with most of the other underground businesses...and weird, I am suddenly remembering a story I started writing that started in the underground food court by the exchange district (what is that mall actually called??) .

Laughed out loud at your snow plow story complete with flirtations in a snow suit (that sounds like the name of a good book...) . So love your blog, Ellen!!

ps - you may be happy to know that I actually wore a hat and mitts today. Sunny days in Van mean chilly days in Van. But no snow. And still above zero.

I'll shut up now.



Daniel said...

Very funny image of the snow-shovelling contractor, and the naked on-looker!

Good fun doing the walkways (and a great way to escape the cold). That's pretty awesome that you got to go into the bank vault! That's quite a door!

Enjoy your last few hours of holidays!

Anonymous said...

Whoever invented Rainbow Loom must be a billionaire by now!!! Looks like we'll have to make a trip to Michaels soon, even though Neve graciously offered Bella a whole bunch of bands. Jim