Sunday, December 20, 2009

Let the Games Begin

Torch Rely to Vancouver 2010

Today we saw the Torch Rely pass through our village of Port Credit. This is the second time we have seen an Olympic Torch relay. The first, was in the sweltering heat in Columbus, Ga for the Atlanta summer Olympics in 1996. Today was the opposite of that day, it was very cold and everyone was waving Canadian flags and not U. S. flags. The same spirit was evident in the crowd though. Everyone was very excited to be living in the host country and looking forward to welcoming the world. I think that is one of the great things about the Olympics, it brings countries together on a common ground to compete and do their best. There is a certain amount of mutual respect for the competitors, they all made it this far to compete and represent their country. So today, I was feeling fortunate if not a little cold to be living in Canada when they are hosting the Olympics.

The Olympic torch passing through Port Credit on Lakeshore Drive

High fives, and the torch passing

The lighthouse at Port Credit, all dressed up for the torch relay today!

Another bright light in our lives today!
Christopher Joseph Lee

Last, but certainly not least, Christopher Joseph Lee was born on Dec. 18, 2009. Mother and father showed up at the hospital for the scheduled induction and there was "no room at the inn". After lunch and an anxious wait they were admitted and only a few hours later Christopher was born. Mom, Dad, big brother Daniel and Christopher are all doing well. I can't wait for my first hug tonight!

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


This will be a very big weekend for our family!

First, our world traveling daughter, Kelly, comes home from her semester in Paris on Friday. I am sure it will be an arrival mixed with joy and sadness and probably exhaustion. She has had the ultimate experience abroad and is leaving behind a life that exceeded her most vivid dreams. She also puts an end to my vicarious Parisian experience. I must admit that I have enjoyed her semester almost as much as she has, through her pictures and blog postings, status updates and our conversations. What will I look forward to reading about every morning now? Not the newspaper, that's for sure!

Le Joie de Vivre

Secondly, our oldest daughter, Rachel, is going to be having her second baby....on Friday, if all goes as planned. A new member in the family and a Christmas gift to beat all! Everything else pales in comparison. Hence, my total lack of motivation to do much shopping this season.

On Sunday I will be heading to Madison to be with Rachel and family for the next 2 weeks!


Kelly coming home

New baby arriving

Christmas, with most of our family (Michael, you are missed!) and a new baby!

A new chapter in all of our lives will be beginning, there is much to look forward to. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Different advent

The city is in full anticipation...snow is coming. For this southern girl all of this is very interesting and unique. I'll go over what has to happen before the snow comes.

Fall arrives, the leaves fall. Everyone rakes them to the end of the yard and into the street. Eventually, the city comes by with these huge trucks with giant hoses that vacuum the leaves. People don't want to have the leaves on the yard when the snow falls because the lawn will be ruined after it all melts if there are leaves on the grass. Yesterday the mowers were all running up and down the green space on the road off our street. Cleaning it all up before the snow covers it. This morning the street sweeper was on our street, cleaning the street before it gets covered with snow and the snow gets plowed to the curb....for about 3 more months. The parking lots have all been sprinkled with salt. My nice boots are crying. All of this is done in amazing synchronization.

The radio said to leave an hour early for work tomorrow because of the weather and the traffic. This will be the first snow and the roads are not saturated with salt yet so things could get slippery. I really am amazed by the infrastructure that is required with winter weather. In contrast, it snowed in Houston last week and the weather channel correspondent was shocked when he announced that the city of Houston does not have one snow plow. Haha! Why would they?

So in the season of Advent, prepare ye the way of the snow.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

All the world is a stage

I composed this post two weeks ago and have been waiting to "go public" until it was definite. Well, it might be definite...maybe, we think.
Kitchen and den "after"
Kitchen and den, "before"
Living Room "after"

We are moving back to the States ( Houston). Notice, I did not say "good news" and I did not say "bad news", just news. I have mixed feelings about this relocation. I am sure you will be reading my many mixed feelings over the next few weeks or months so I'll skip them for now. What I really want to talk about today is the house selling process. Specifically, staging the house to sell.

Today was staging day. Yes, we coughed up the big bucks and had the house staged. I want to buy this house now! I think when we move, I'll hire the stagers when we move in, instead of when we move out. I obviously have no idea how to get "the look" and the professionals do. I keep trying, and missing, and they got it in about 4 hours today. It is a gift.....
Now, the humiliating part of staging. Many of your beloved treasures just aren't treasures to others. Maybe they are the things that make your house, your house. Maybe they are your grandmother's things that you love just because, but no one else really gets it. Hearing people say, "This isn't doing anything here " or "Once we punch it up and give it some WOW, it will look better" is a humbling experience. You just can't take it personally. Plus, the upside is that when they are finished, it really does look better. All I can say is , thank God for the basement! They don't care what it looks like and you can just put everything there.
Now that the house is ready and the sign is in the yard, the reality is setting in. Reality really hit me when the phone rang only hours after the job was done and it was for the first showing. Two hours on the market and two showings scheduled already. Let's hope we get our money's worth.
One note of hilarity/irony....on the day of staging and putting the house on the market, I woke up and realize the furnace had not been on in a day or two and it was a bit chilly inside...hmmmm. Go down and check thermostat, furnace broken. In the midst of staging, photographing the house, getting windows cleaned, I have the furnace guy here to fix the broken furnace. Perfect! It could not have broken after we moved out? What a day! Hope they like that beautiful furnace.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Put it on the Calendar

Sugar Land Snowman
Today in Mississauga

Snow in Sugar Land, TX Dec. 4, 2009

This may only happen once. Today, it snowed in Houston and it still has not snowed in Toronto yet. My weather obsession is in high gear! Houston high and low today 37 and 26, Toronto high and low 37 and 27. Of course, tomorrow it will be 60 again in Houston and still freezing here, for months......just let me enjoy this moment while it lasts.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Rick Mercer vs. Obama

Tonight we had a choice to watch Obama or MANY other things, namely The Rick Mercer Report. I must admit....Rick Mercer won. What is it about that guy? He is hilarious! I love his sense of humor and cleverness. I have a whole new appreciation for my Canadian friends' senses of humor after watching his show.

He is a political satirist and is willing to do almost anything for a laugh. I've seen him with our mayor of eons, Hazel Mccallion, and on a lobster fishing boat in New Brunswick and doing roller derby in Montreal.

I can read about Obama's speech tomorrow, tonight I need a laugh.
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