Thursday, 26 February 2009

Stunned

I don't seem to have much good news to share these days. The latest blow came on Monday afternoon when I received a phone call informing me that my assignment at the agency where I have been working had been terminated and that they have no more work to offer me. Is this another way of saying 'you're fired' without actually saying it?

As you can imagine, I have been struggling to come to terms with this and with the fact that I have just lost my source of income.

It all came about because I spoke to the agency about my backache two weeks ago and asked for a change of assignment. I had to call in sick for one shift on Thursday night because of my back pain, having struggled through two shifts in pain. When I visited my osteopath on Saturday, I discovered that I had three vertebrae out of alignment and my whole back was in spasm.

What can I say? I'm stunned...

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Dusk

This was the view from my window on Thursday evening. Snow was falling yet again ~ can spring really still be four weeks away?

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Horoscope

I read my horoscope in the paper yesterday and the first line summed up how I am feeling ~

'Emotionally, you feel like a limp rag and can barely bring yourself to tell others that a project or connection is over.'

I'm working 6 nights out of 8 and I have the most dreadful and debilitating back pain. Now where did I put that Advil?

Monday, 9 February 2009

Life's A Beach

Sunday morning dawned bright and mild: an ideal opportunity to get out for some fresh air and exercise. As a rule, we don't tend to venture down near Lake Ontario in winter because it is very cold by the water, but we thought that we would take a chance and headed down there. It proved to be extremely slippery on the boardwalk along by the beach and we had great difficulty remaining standing, as there was ice everywhere.

I did manage to take the camera along and took these photographs of the winter sky and the light covering of snow on the sand. The fenced area is an area designated for dogs off leash, but there weren't too many of them about yesterday morning. I think that we may wait until the warmer weather before visiting the beach again!

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Ice Lake

We went for a drive out into the countryside yesterday and headed for Lake Simcoe, which is one of the world's largest freshwater lakes to completely freeze in winter. Ice fishing is a favourite pastime for many Ontarians and although I was aware of this activity, I had no idea how many people are involved and had never actually seen the sights that greeted us.

The photographs show blobs in the distance which are huts to shelter the fishermen and many people access the lake using snowmobiles or All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs). Some even venture onto the lake in their cars.


There is a certain stark beauty about the images of trees silhouetted against the winter skyline.

As you can see from the photograph below, some people go far out onto the frozen lake in search of fish. Apparently, the huts can be rented for the season and the owners track the fish and move the huts around accordingly. A hole is dug through the ice and then the fish are baited through the hole.

As you can imagine, there are times when people are ill-advised to venture onto frozen water and tragically, there were reports on the news yesterday of more than 100 fishermen being rescued in Ohio (United States) when an ice floe on Lake Eerie broke up. It appears that they were aware of cracks in the ice but ignored the warning signs* and headed out onto the frozen lake. One person died from a heart attack after falling into the freezing water, but thankfully, the others were all rescued.


With all this sloppy winter weather you could be forgiven for not recognizing the fact that our Mini Cooper S is actually white! This was how it looked by the time we arrived home after a day of driving on winter roads.

*The temperature climbed from -17 C to 8 C in two days, which contributed to the instability of the ice on these frozen lakes.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Thrifty Times

In these thrifty times, many of us are having to cut back on our spending and I have come across two wonderful books to help me achieve this. The first was a Christmas present from my wish list and is filled with useful hints and tips. India Knight writes in a very friendly way and she shares some great resources. I finished reading this last week and I am determined that it is not going to sit on the bookshelf gathering dust ~ I am going to work at the areas where I feel there is room for improvement.

The second book has a terrific title. Imagine going into a bookshop and asking for this one! Gill Holcombe shares lots of her family recipes and her fish pie has rapidly become a favourite in our house. She shows that it is not necessary to spend a fortune on food and that you can still eat healthy food on a budget. In view of our escalating food bills, I am referring to this one on a regular basis.

Smooth Operator

It doesn't take much to get me excited with anticipation these days, so the arrival of this parcel on Wednesday brightened my day.


When we were away in September I used the most fabulous hairdryer at the resort and I decided to see if I could track one down for use at home. I recently discovered this little beauty on eBay.

With its ceramic ionic technology, it gives my hair the smoothest, silkiest look that I have always craved and only ever achieved after a visit to the hairdresser. And the best thing about it? Why, it has to be the colour ~ a very pretty and feminine shade of lilac to brighten the darkest of winter days.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Candlemas

If Candlemas Day be fair and bright,
Winter will have another flight;
But if it be dark with clouds and rain,
Winter is gone, and will not come again.

Traditional

Candlemas marks the mid-point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Yesterday, we had the most glorious afternoon with bright sunshine and mild (above zero!) temperatures. After weeks of cold, it was little wonder that people were smiling and I even heard that there were people outdoors in shorts!

I'm just hoping that the second half of winter will be much shorter than the first....