Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Sweaters Are Coming...

As the days grow shorter and the nights grow colder this can only mean two things. One, Christmas is drawing nye and, two, it's time to pull out the sweaters. That's right, "The 8 Days of Christmas Sweaters" is coming soon with new festive garments that truly make this the most wonderful time of the year.

This years collection comes courtesy of Belleville, Ontario. Stay tuned the 8 days before Christmas for a new sweater each day. Advanced screenings will also be happening the 8 days before I fly home for Christmas at Loyalist College.

I'm very excited!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Time for a change...

Frugal times call for frugal measures. In an attempt to save money while gaining a sense of accomplishment I have taken to changing my own oil. My dad taught me before I moved here and showered me with the tools to do so as birthday gifts! Why pay someone to change it in 10 minutes when I could do it myself in triple the time!

So on this balmy November morning in Ontario I took the little Rav out for a spin to warm up, making a B-line for the closest McDonalds to get my free cup of coffee. Once again...frugal times and I don't fight free coffee.

I'm sure Joe from Jiffy Lube has lost his child-like wonder at watching the oil go through the funnel but I haven't. And isn't that what it's all about folks? That and my engine not seizing.

I have been driving on the road for two days now and still no explosions.

I've also been catching mice and making borscht. And, yes, those two activities are unrelated...or are they?

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Big Apple, Street Potato

Just a small town girl living in a lonely world took a Rav4 heading anywhere...but more specifically New York City!

During my time in Connecticut we took a brief trip to the Big Apple so I could see New York City in all it's glory for the first time. So we loaded up the Rav, three children in the back, portable DVD players in full action, and hit the road.

Upon arriving in New York I enthusiastically took note of Trump Towers, the golden giant stood strong amidst the cityscape, however, no comb overs were sighted.

The first misadventure took place in the parking garage. As we pulled it there was little instruction so I took the liberty to pull into the garage. I soon took note of how cars were double parked. “Strange,” I thought, “how will they get out?” Then the two way corridor soon was scarcely even one way. Claustrophobia lurked. And then a car came the other way. It soon became clear what was going on. I wasn't supposed to be driving in there at all. What should have happened was we should have gotten out at the top of the garage and parking attendants park the car for you, therefore, able to conserve space by using every possible inch of it. Lesson learned.
Fist stop...chocolate. Obviously. Second stop...Time Square. For a moment I forgot what country I was in. Luckily, I glanced over to find this view...
(a little series on tourists)

During these H1N1 conscious times a healthy immune system is of utmost importance. I took the liberty of eating several things off the ground...and I am all the richer for it.

As we walked amidst the chaos there was a strange serenity about it. Crossing the street I noticed a curb-side potato resting in a puddle. We continued on and lo and behold there was Hello Kitty! We decided it was crucial that I took the kids' picture with Hello (we're on a first name basis). I began snapping away. Hello raised her head, revealing a small Asian woman. I thought she wanted me to take her picture. I raised the camera, she lowered her head. “Rude,” I thought. I lowered my camera, she raised her head, again saying something I took to be something to the sort of “take my picture.” I raised my camera, she lowered her head. I lowered my camera, she raised her head. After several exchanges of this I realized she was asking me to pay her $1 for every picture I had taken. I turned to Patti and Hello Kitty soon became Goodbye Kitty. Not looking back we grabbed the kids and took off down the street. If Hello Kitty wanted my cash she would have to chase me down the streets of New York and mug it out of me.

Being a big fan of the TV show “30 Rock” I found it necessary to got to Rockefeller Center. On the ice we found these Siamese Figure Skaters putting on a show.

Then across the street for a coffee at Dean and Deluca. Patti's phone was almost dead so we found a place to plug it in.

Continuing on it seems that fate brought me back to that curbside potato. So I picked it up and put it in my coat pocket. My New York potato. And now it sits in my Belleville apartment. No souviner can rival my NY potato...often imitated, never duplicated.

We also ran into Tina Turner. Actually, that's Patti's friend, Tina. She is an actress and was in town for an audition so we met up with her at the end of the day.

Hupp to it...

If you have been following this blog long enough then you are either my mom or very kind. You also may remember from my time in Zambia a story about a little girl named Mary who was adopted by the Hupp family.
For a refresher click here

In Manchester, Connecticut one might find a 'city of village charm'. One may also find a shady little pub called the Hungry Tiger. And once one has found these two things one may also come across the Hupp family. I realized that now living in Belleville, 'the friendly city', I was but a mere drive away from my long lost friends.

So with Ontario giving an entire week off for college students in the fall semester and not allowing work to be assigned for over this break (I didn't want to question it should my bringing it to light that this is crazy may in turn cause the powers that be to revoke this magical time. It's like when you were a child and were getting away with something you knew you shouldn't be allowed to get away with. You don't look back in these situations. You grab hold of them and go as far as you can. This was Connecticut). So it seemed like the perfect opportunity for an international adventure to America!

Oh the times we shared...just like the good ol' days on the farm in Zambia! The Hupps gave me many things. One, a new found interest in following football (they are kind of freaks about it!). The second can be found in three words...NEW.YORK.CITY!! (post to follow).

I like to think that this is how Patti has spent the last two years...waiting at the door for me to arrive.

Luke...he loves his sisters dearly. And he has a sweet room.
Emma...leaves no leaf unturned.
Mary...she's not a vegetarian.

Sisters who love sisters...always.

I just like how gangster Patti looks in this one. Now there is a father in the picture, Steve, although not in any of these pictures. He's very illusive.