Sunday, November 29, 2009

Winter is still coming.....

Contrary to the way things have looked lately, winter has NOT been canceled! We did get some snow yesterday. Not much, but it did turn the ground white. It was actually kind of pretty.

The weather reports are saying that we could have a "significant snow event" within the next few days. Not a blizzard, mind you, just enough to make things even more white and a bit messy till we get used to that white stuff on the ground again.


Normally we have snow on the ground long before now. Often before Halloween, but this year is a bit different.

This has been such a weird year for weather. We had a ridiculously cold winter then a belated cool spring. Our summer was cool and rainy. In fact the first nine months of this year were below normal.

Then came a beautiful, warm September with temps we should have been getting a month earlier. It was fabulous! Even October was - for the most part - warmer than usual.

Okay, we did have that brief little snow cover over the Thanksgiving weekend. It didn't last more than a couple of days though. Thank goodness!!

Even November has been warmer than normal. A friend was even golfing last weekend. They didn't remember being out this late in the year before - at least not in this prairie berg!

We have been lulled into a false sense of everlasting fall. This certainly isn't the first year that snow has been late in arriving. It was mid December in 1971 before we got any snow that stayed.

Then came the last few days as the temps slowly slipped closer to the seasonal norms of -6C/21.2F for highs and -15C/5F for lows.

I've been wearing a light quilted jacket and light gloves for the last few weeks. I wore long johns for the first time last Wednesday morning. It was only about -8C but a cold north wind and I knew I'd be outside for awhile - both walking and waiting at bus stops. We had gotten a bit of rain overnight and in some areas that had left little patches of, or a light dusting of the white stuff on the ground. It was just enough to remind us that winter would be coming at any moment and to get us prepared for that time. It was also just enough to make patches of sidewalks, streets and parking lots slippery under foot. I wore my duck boots as they have a better grip than my runners and they are lined so they would keep my feet warmer.

I guess I have also been in some form of denial as I still hadn't packed away my summer jackets. I had moved most of my summer clothing to the back of the closet and put the warmer stuff up front back in mid October, but that was as far as I got. I finally packed the last of the summer wear away and pulled out all of my winter outerwear on Friday but haven't worn any of it it yet. I'm just getting prepared for the inevitable.

Some people are having trouble getting into the Christmas spirit without any snow on the ground. They can't seem to separate the two. For them, if there isn't any snow, then how could Christmas possibly be less than four weeks away?

That wasn't an issue for me - I go by the calendar not the weather. My shopping is all done and wrapped. The cards are done and the baking is about 75% done. If I had the freezer space, it WOULD be done as well. I even have my decorations all up. I always put them up around US Thanksgiving.

The winter enthusiasts are chomping at the bit to get out the skis, snowshoes, skates, toboggans, snowmobiles and other wintertime toys and paraphernalia.

Me? Well, I've really enjoyed this seasonal delay. No heavy coats or bulky boots. No snowbanks, icy sidewalks or frozen appendages.

If it were up to me, it would snow on Christmas Eve and then melt on January 2 - but for some reason, Mother Nature doesn't give me a say in the matter.

Oh well, it has been nice while it lasted.....


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dear Santa.....

Dear Santa;

How are you? How is Mrs. Clause, the elves and the reindeer? I'm sure you must be really busy getting ready for Christmas. Hard to believe that it is almost here again. Where does the time go? Hope the downturn in the economy hasn't hit you to hard.

It's been a busy year here. I've been busy writing the blog, reconnecting with some old friends, baking and other day to day activities.

Over the summer, I did some volunteer work for a radio announcer friend on my favourite nostalgia station - CJNU. I found sound effects, old radio commercials, trivia and humour for his Cruisin' Sunday Afternoon show. It was a lot of fun and the info I found was greatly appreciated. My announcer pal even referred to me on air as his "Production Assistant - dn"! Cool, huh?

New windows were installed in the building which I'm not liking much but I'm trying to get used to them. New boilers were also installed, so there were a few days of no heat and little hot water but at least it wasn't really cold out.

My big gift this year was a new camera. It is an early Christmas present from my mom. I haven't had a camera in years so is taking a bit of getting used to, but it is already a great addition to my electronic toys and will be very useful for me - both for personal and for adding pics to the blog or emails.

I have been a very good girl this year... Well at least I have tried to be. I haven't deliberately tried to hurt anyone and if I have made anyone cry, I think (hope?) it was with laughter not anger.

I have tried to be nice to all but there were those few drivers that insist on pulling into my crosswalk while I had the right of way and the drivers who drove through puddles while I was standing at the bus stop or corner.... I would have gotten a license plate so you could put the drivers on your naughty list but you know I can't see that well. Yes, I know it's not nice to tell on others but they were breaking traffic laws so ....

Okay, I haven't been perfect, but I have shared my knowledge - granted it wasn't always asked for. I mean, let's be honest here - some people need a bit of advice or even a reality check from time to time, right?

I think I've been a good neighbour and friend. I was going to provide references, but the people I asked said things like; "What's in it for me?" or "Is there free baking involved if I say nice things about you?" One of my email buddies said that she would vouch for me, but then again she only knows what I have told her so....

Oh my, let's try this again. I'm no where near perfect, but I do try and this isn't exactly all my fault! Let me try and explain.

Life isn't exactly easy though when you can't see everything and your body isn't as young as it used to be! My world of late seems to be ruled by the current clarity of the corneas and the ever so charming effects of menopause. (Yippee!!!) The hot flashes are insane. I'm either too hot or too cold. They interrupt my day and wake me up in the night - usually just after I've fallen asleep or in the middle of a really good dream. The night sweats, insomnia and the nightly calls from Mother Nature tag team for a restless night which makes it harder to be my usual self during the day. The mood swings are also a bit dicey at times, but I try to avoid being around people when I know my emotions are on hair trigger. It's safer that way as I really don't want to hurt anyone.

Wow, this really isn't going the way I thought it would.

So let's cut to the chase. Here's the deal. The Christmas baking is well under way and your usual goodies are almost ready. And no, this isn't a bribe to get back on the nice list! I'm sure I haven't been nearly as naughty as some.

Okay, I'll quit while I'm still slightly ahead.

I'll try and do better next year! I Promise!!

My wish list isn't terribly long this year. I'll send that to you privately. Most of the items on it is practical stuff for me and my home. Sure there are a few "extras" like DVD's, camera accessories and chocolate BUT I certainly don't expect to get everything! I'm not greedy and I'd be more than happy with just a few of the things I've listed. I'll let you and your helpers decide what you think I need or deserve.

If you could, I hope that you can help keep my family and friends safe, healthy and happy. They mean the world to me!

Thank You!!!

Please take care of yourself and say hi to everyone at the North Pole!

Love, dn

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A "Tweet" Birthday!

67 years ago today - November 21, 1942 one of the most beloved cartoon characters in history made their screen debut.

An unnamed, featherless, pink, baby bird was featured in the Warner Brother's animated short called "A Tale of Two Kitties" . Babbit and Catstello, a pair of hungry cats determined to get the little birdy, are based on the comedic duo of Abbot and Costello who were big stars at the time.

Like almost all the Warner cartoons, there are numerous references to topical subjects of the day. This one featured one of the cats flying with artificial wings, comparing themselves to a "Spitfire" war plane. Near the end, the bird yells "Turn out the lights!" which is a direct reference to air raid precautions.

There is also a comment on the Hays office which was the main bureau in charge of censorship at the time. Catsello is on top of a ladder trying to reach the bird. Babbit is holding the ladder and yelling "Give me the bird. Give me the bird!". Catsello turns to the audience and in his Brooklyn accent says: "If da Hays Office would only let me... I'd give him 'da boid' all right!". The "bird" or in this case the "boid" is a common euphemism for "the finger" This is not exactly appropriate for children's cartoons, but such comments and references were always thrown in to keep the adults amused while the kids just enjoyed the on screen visual antics.

In "Birdy and the Beast", (August 19, 1944) the little featherless bird was given a name in the opening credits - Tweety.

The baby bird was also featherless and nameless in his third short - "A Gruesome Twosome" (June 9, 1945) which featured a Jimmy Durante like cat.

The fourth cartoon that featured Tweety had a number of firsts. It was his first one with feathers. This was also Tweety's first pairing with Sylvester who was called Thomas in this short. It was called "Tweety Pie" and released on May 3, 1947. This was also the first time that animator Friz Freleng - who created Sylvester in 1945 - worked with Tweety since Clampett had left the studio in 1946

Like so many of the characters that Mel Blanc voiced, Tweety was well known for his speech impediment that made an s sound more like a t. The phrase "Sweetie pie" came out more as "Tweetie Pie". In Putty Tat Trouble, he begins the cartoon singing a song about himself, "I'm a tweet wittow biwd in a diwded cage; Tweety'th my name but I don't know my age..." (Translation: "I'm a sweet little bird in a gilded cage...") Aside from this speech challenge, Tweety's voice (and a fair amount of his attitude) is similar to that of Bugs Bunny, rendered as a child (in The Old Grey Hare, Bugs' infant voice was very similar to Tweety's normal voice), which was achieved by speeding up Mel Blanc's voice.

Over the years, there has been much speculation as to Tweety's gender and species. Many have believed that Tweety was female, but numerous comic books created by Warner staffers have always had the character as a boy. Tweety himself confirmed this during the WB's cartoon series "Sylvester And Tweety Mysteries". His species was always left somewhat generic in the early years - even saying that he may be a rare one of a kind. In later years, he has been referred to as a "canary". In the theme song lyrics to "Sylvester And Tweety Mysteries", Sylvester sings:
"Someday I'll eat that darn canary
And then I'll be happy yes sirree..."

Mysteries aired for 5 seasons on the WB from the fall of 1195 to spring of 2001 and had 53 episodes.

The character of Tweety was first drawn and created by Warner brother's animator Bob Clampett, who later stated that the idea for the bird was loosely based on his own naked baby picture! As long as Tweety is a happy little bird in his cage or a nest, he is quite content. BUT if he is threatened or pursued by a cat - one in particular - then look out. The sweet little bird can turn up with some nasty tricks of his own and is not above kicking an opponent when he is down!

Throughout his career, Tweety has made countless appearances in Warner Brother cartoons, specials and even had a small part in the movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (1988).

Tweety's Looney Tunes/Merry Melodies and filmography
A Tale of Two Kitties (1942)
Birdy and the Beast (1944)
A Gruesome Twosome (1945)
Tweetie Pie (1947)
I Taw a Putty Tat (1948)
Bad Ol' Putty Tat (1949)
Home Tweet Home (1950)
All Abir-r-r-d! (1950)
Canary Row (1950)
Putty Tat Trouble (1951)
Room and Bird (1951)
Tweety's S.O.S. (1951)
Tweet Tweet Tweety (1951)
Gift Wrapped (1952)
Ain't She Tweet (1952)
Bird in a Guilty Cage (1952)
Snow Business (1953)
Fowl Weather (1953)
Tom Tom Tomcat (1953)
A Street Cat Named Sylvester (1953)
Catty Cornered (1953)
Dog Pounded (1954)
No Barking (1954) - in a cameo appearance
Muzzle Tough (1954)
Satan's Waitin' (1954)
Sandy Claws (1955)
Tweety's Circus (1955)
Red Riding Hoodwinked (1955)
Heir Conditioned (1955) - in a cameo appearance
Tweet and Sour (1956)
Tree Cornered Tweety (1956)
Tugboat Granny (1956)
Tweet Zoo (1957)
Tweety and the Beanstalk (1957)
Birds Anonymous (1957)
Greedy For Tweety (1957)
A Pizza Tweety Pie (1958)
A Bird in a Bonnet (1958)
Trick or Tweet (1959)
Tweet and Lovely (1959)
Tweet Dreams (1959)
Hyde and Go Tweet (1960)
Trip For Tat (1960)
Rebel Without Claws (1961)
The Last Hungry Cat (1961)
The Jet Cage (1962)
Hawaiian Aye Aye (1964)
Carrotblanca (1995), voiced by Bob Bergen
Space Jam (1996) movie
Looney Tunes: Back In Action (2003) movie
Museum Scream (2004), voiced by Billy West
Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas (2006)

Have a Happy Birthday Tweety and thank you for 67 years of great entertainment!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I got my first camera when I was 13. My grandma gave me one of those Brownie cameras that were so popular at the time. It wasn't a fancy model - just a basic beginner camera. It was a light green colour - sort of a mint green shade.

I don't recall asking for one, but it was a birthday present so I said thank you and that I looked forward to trying it.

Having my picture taken was never something that I enjoyed. In fact I still hate it - but being behind the camera and deciding what to photograph was kind of fun.

Several people tried to teach me how to get the film in and out, but I just couldn't get it. I enjoyed taking the pictures, I just couldn't load or unload the film. This got to be very frustrating and inconvenient, so I pretty much stopped taking pics after a year or two.

That probably would have been the end of it, but then I received a Kodak 126 Instamatic camera. It was so simple. You just dropped in the cartridge. Even I could do that! The flash was a cube shape with four flashes/cube. The camera was a breeze to use as it was straight point and shoot.

I took a lot of pics with that 126. The quality wasn't great but I enjoyed the experience of being behind the lens and capturing candid shots and shots of my surroundings.

By the time I graduated high school in 1976, I had moved on to the 110 camera. It was the newest craze. Very compact and the pictures were 3"x5" rather than the old 3"x3" of the 126 and the brownie.

During the summer of 1977, a friend offered to teach me how to use a 35mm camera. He actually became a professional photographer a few years later. He lent me one of his cameras - nothing fancy - just a basic beginners model. I really did try, but I just couldn't get the thing to focus or understand the settings. I went back to my 110. At least with it, I had a good idea what I was doing and knew most of the pics would turn out!

Over the next 20 some years, I went through three 110 cameras and countless films! The first one got to be rather expensive with buying all the flashes so I got one with a built in flash AND a telephoto lens! That was quite a big deal in those days. I wore the second one out and bought my third one in the mid 1980's.

I wasn't taking as many photos by then, but I still enjoyed having it. After loosing so much of my sight in 1990, I more or less quit taking pics. The last 110 wasn't working that well anyway and I'd pretty much lost interest in photography.

I did buy a few disposable cameras in the next few years, but those were getting expensive - both to buy and develop. It could take me months to fill even one film and I really wasn't willing to spend money to buy a real camera.

By 2000, 110's and even the disposables were quickly becoming obsolete. The digital camera was becoming the new standard. They were rather expensive and I certainly couldn't afford one. Nor did I see the point of getting one when I didn't have a computer. I also wasn't sure that with my sight, I'd even be able to use one.

In the last few years, the prices have really come down and the quality of the pics has improved a lot. The size of the LCD screen had also increased.

A few months ago, I decided to see if maybe - just maybe - there was one out there that I could actually use.

I researched online and in print on the various types of digital cameras and the features. I was able to eliminate a large amount just by the size of the screen. I knew I would need a 3" to have any chance of seeing any amount of detail.

There were still a lot of options out there, so I emailed and talked with several friends who owned digital cameras. Their levels of expertise and their camera experiences varied greatly, but their input helped me narrow down my choices even more.

After a little more online research, I hit the stores. Prices varied greatly. but they were all pretty basic and simple to use. It was actually pretty easy to eliminate a lot of cameras once I had them in my hands.

Most people can SEE the various dials and controls on the back of a camera, but for someone like me, I have to rely more on how tactile the camera is. Anything that was a touch pad was out as well as very small dials/buttons.

This may sound strange, but I also had to take the colour into consideration. Many of the models out there are silver or a bright colour. For me that is very distracting. The colours or the shininess of a silver can create a glare that visually, I can't see past.

The camera I choose isn't top quality, but it has a large 3" LCD screen. The camera itself is black, but the dials and buttons are a muted silver tone. The menu options that appear on the screen are large enough for me to see with my reading glasses on. In fact, I often take the pictures with my reading glasses on so that I get a better idea if I'm capturing what I want to capture.

I've only had it a couple of months, but I love it! Once I load the photos onto the computer, I can see the pics in full screen on my 19" monitor. For me, it is amazing to finally see even a portion of what sighted people see without a visual aid.

My photography skills are pretty rusty, but they are improving! I've been taking pics of all kinds of things: the things I bake; objects in and around my home; the beautiful autumn scenery and the faces of the wonderful people in my life. I love the fact that I'm not wasting film and that I can quickly delete anything I don't like. I can crop and adjust any photo.

Hopefully, I will have sight for many years, but I want to take pictures of the people and things I love while I still can. Having those pics lets me see detail that I could never see on my own - and that is something I will always treasure.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pains For Panes - Part Two

Continued from November 10.

Well, as usual, the weather did not cooperate, so my windows weren't done until the following Tuesday. I spent Monday afternoon and evening doing the last of the prep.

Sleep was restless on Monday night. I was wondering if I'd remembered everything. Wondering what mess I would come home to in the afternoon. Wondering how I would manage to spend the day out of my castle. It is one thing to leave your home by choice, but quite another to be forced out for even a few hours for work you don't even want. I got maybe four hours of disjointed sleep and got up at 6:00 to do the final prep and be ready to leave at 8:00.

The workers were here shortly after 8 and I was told that they should be done early afternoon as they were only doing two suites that day. I could come home around 1 or 2.

I caught a bus and headed to a mall about 20 minutes away. I got there around 9:00 and over the next three hours, I did some shopping for Christmas as well as a bit of window shopping for my Christmas wish list and a little shopping for myself. I had packed a lunch, but really wasn't hungry so I left the mall about noon and headed for another store to explore closer to home.

After almost four hours out, my eyes, mind and body were totally exhausted. I was functioning on little sleep and frankly my senses were a little stressed with having to concentrate on my surroundings for such a long period without a real break so I found a nice place to sit for awhile and collect my thoughts, rest my eyes and weary body before going home. I really needed a nap, but no such luck. I still really wasn't hungry either.

I came home about 1:30 to discover that the work was far from done. It had been one of those days for the workers and they were behind. They agreed to let me stay if I stayed away from the windows. No problem, as I was way to tired to move any more than I absolutely had to! I sat on a chair in the kitchen, ate my lunch and read the paper and my mail while they worked.

They were more or less done by about 4 - except for the caulking which was finally finished around 6.

Luckily, there was little wind that day so the dust was minimal. Aside from removing the plastic and moving things back, all I had to do cleaning wise was wash the floor and a little dusting. I only did a bit Tuesday night and finished the rest on Wednesday. The curtain rods had to be re-hung and the drapes washed, but that would get done in a few days.

It was over. My lovely old sliders were gone and the new ones were in.

So why am I so against these new ones when they are more energy efficient and still offer the same gorgeous view?

Well, these new ones are the crank style that swing out only a few meager inches. Mine open to the northwest - which is still nice - but they only open about 5 to 6 inches! That is barely enough to catch a breeze!

This building does not have air conditioning, which means that come summer and the inevitable heat that goes with the summer, those of us without window air conditioners are going to suffocate even with portable fans! The new windows do include a removable panel at the bottom so that a window AC unit can be installed for the season, but at this point, tenants are responsible for providing there own units. Hopefully that will change down the road - before I have to buy my own!

It has only been a few days, but these new windows are going to take some getting used to. I like being able to open my windows wide and enjoying the fresh air - even on a crisp winter night if the wind isn't from the north. I can't do that anymore. The summer breezes can be lovely and refreshing on a warm day or evening but that isn't going to happen anymore either - unless the breeze is from the northwest.

I'll miss my old windows.

Progress - what a pane!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pains For Panes - Part One

I've been dreading this day for months.

It's not like I didn't know it was coming. I've known about it for well over a year - I was just really hoping that it wouldn't happen. That it was a bad dream.

The building I live in is about 35 years old and needed new windows. The old ones were not energy efficient and many were warped and poor sealing though I should say that mine weren't too bad. The matter went before the board of directors a couple of years ago and they were waiting for funding. The funding came through about a year ago. The search was on for a design that would work with the existing exterior window opening.

I'm not on the board, but I had talked to people who were and so had a bit of a heads up as to what was coming down the road.

Intellectually, I understand why they chose what they did, I just don't like it - period!

I've lived here for 16 years and one of the things that attracted me to this building was the huge open windows. They were the old sliding glass panels that have been so popular for so many years. You can slide the glass panels so there is cross ventilation if it is raining or too windy to be wide open. Either way, you almost always get lots of fresh air.

The bedroom window was approximately 44" long by 38" wide. The screen, about 44" long by 19" wide.

The living room window was huge! Each panel - including the screen - was about 45" long and 38" wide. Below that was a metal bar/frame, about 7" deep and ran the entire width of the window. Below that, a solid glass panel that was 14" by 75" wide.

Sliding glass windows are still available, but because this is a high rise, it is now against code to install this type of window.

Why, you ask? Because over the years, there have been various incidents across the country of small children climbing up on furniture and leaning against the screens which then gives way causing the child to fall and be severely injured or worse. Yes, this is tragic, but I still don't like this code being shoved on us due to carelessness or negligence of supervising adults.

The work on the windows started earlier this summer on the south side of the building. There were many delays due to weather and product shipment problems, so the installation - which was to be done by November 1 - just started on the north side of the building in October.

I was really hoping that this would be delayed till spring, but the notice was slipped under my door on a Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, that sometime in the next week, they would be on my floor. There was also a brief list of preparation instructions.

- Remove all drapes/blinds.
- Clear the area by the windows and an additional 2.5 feet for the construction area.
- Remove any fragile objects and cover anything that can not be just dusted off after as there will be dust due to removal and installation.
- Tenants are required to leave the premises for the duration of their window installation due to risk of injury while window is being removed/installed.

Oh, joy! It will take me a day to move and cover everything. Then I will have to be out for the whole day (approximately 8 - 3:30 for the installation. Then I get to come home, clean and reassemble my apartment. That will take another day if all goes well.

I spoke with the supervisor and learned that my suite was slated for Friday - if the weather cooperated. I decided to start pulling things apart gradually so that I would not be overwhelmed the day before. I started moving things Tuesday afternoon.

I knew that they provided some coverings, but given my sight, I wanted to avoid dealing with as much dust in cleanup as possible. That meant covering most things in plastic ahead of time. I bought a box of large clear garbage bags and split several open along the sides and then taped them together with masking tape for larger areas and just draped some over other things.

This paneful tale will be continued on November 14.


Friday, November 6, 2009

dn's Family Favourite Sweet And Sour Ribs

When you mention "Sweet And Sour Sauce", most people think of Chinese food. The fragrant aroma and bright red colour that adorns ribs, shrimp, chicken or to spoon over rice or to dip deep fried wontons in. The flavour is sweet yet sour and oh, so mouth wateringly delicious that you really do want to lick your fingers to get every drop!

There are lots of recipes out there for this fave, but this is the simplest and best that I have ever tasted! It has only four ingredients that are staples in almost every pantry and can be made in a matter of minutes by even a novice cook.

This is a recipe that has been a favourite in our family as far back as I can remember! Not just for its fabulous taste, but for its simplicity.

dn's Family Favourite Sweet And Sour Ribs

1 1/2 - 2 lbs pork spare ribs
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder

Preheat oven to 350F.

Trim excess fat off of ribs and cut in 2 inch strips. Place in single layer in a baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with Pam (or equivalent). Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan (a quarter cup should do most pans). Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over ribs. Cover and bake for about 40 minutes.

Combine remaining ingredients. Set aside.

Remove cover and bake 15 minutes then turn ribs and bake another 10 minutes.
Pour sauce over ribs and return to oven for about 10 minutes or until sauce is hot and bubbling.

Serve with rice and a green vegetable or salad.

Serves 4.

This sauce is also great over rice, chicken, shrimp or to use as a hot dipping sauce.

For a hot dipping sauce, prepare the four sauce ingredients as above, then heat over medium heat in a saucepan, stirring occasionally till hot and bubbling.

If you don't want to deal with bones, you could cut boneless pork chops or chicken breasts into strips (a la chicken fingers) and bake for about 15 - 20 minutes depending on size/thickness before adding the sauce and heating through.

You could also pan fry the meat or shrimp and add the sauce just before serving. Heat till sauce bubbles and serve.

If I am using the oven to prepare the meat and sauce, I generally bake brown rice in the oven at the same time.

This recipe is easily multiplied or divided depending on servings. The "1/2 cup" version above is for 4 servings. It may sound like a lot of sauce for 4 BUT trust me, your family and guests will be lapping up every last drop!!



Monday, November 2, 2009

Sitting In Limbo

Do you ever feel like you are living in limbo? You know what needs to be done but for any number of reasons you can't do it - yet?

I've been living in limbo a lot lately. There are lots of things I need to do, but plenty of reasons why I can't do them right now.

This isn't procrastination - there are real reasons for the delays.

I have a stack of old paid bills and receipts that need to be sorted. I used to be really good at sorting things the minute I got them, but the last year or two, this skill has all but disappeared. They are all in the same place, but they aren't divided into categories. Part of it is that I am sometimes in a hurry and sometimes my corneas are acting up and it is hard for me to see faint ink or smaller print on the papers with any degree of clarity. It won't take that long to do it - maybe an hour or so - but when the corneas are reasonably clear there always seems to be more important stuff to attend to first. There are, of course, many other tasks that will require the use of reasonably clear corneas to accomplish, but they are even further down the priority list. It never ends.

My energy level can fluctuate almost as much as our Manitoba weather, so I have to prioritize the jobs that need more physical stamina like laundry, cleaning and running errands. I try not to do heavy physical tasks more than three days in a row as my body will revolt if it is pushed too hard. If that happens, I move even further into limbo.....

If I'm lucky, I can coordinate errands on a good weather day and indoor activities on a not so good weather day. Unfortunately, that doesn't always work.

Sometimes, things just have to wait for a better day.

By this time of year, I usually have all my major non perishable supplies for the winter in my cupboards and the vast majority of my baking supplies ready to go for Christmas. That is actually pretty much on schedule this year.

If things are going well and I have the freezer space, I have even started the Christmas baking by November 1. I have started it this year, but I can't do a whole lot more until I have more freezer space. I won't have more freezer space until I eat some of the stuff that is already in there and that takes time. I could store some in the fridge, but it will stay fresher longer in the freezer and even the fridge has a limit to what it can hold.

It's a vicious circle and I still sometimes question how I got myself into this annual marathon of massive holiday baking madness. Part of me wants to quit, but I know how much people look forward to the annual delivery from the "Chocolate Santa" and if I did quit, then I'd have to come up with other ideas for Christmas presents - assuming that the recipients would still be speaking to me if I did quit supplying them with chocolate goodies! I do enjoy the baking when I am not rushed, BUT - well you know - sometimes I get stuck in limbo....

It takes me about a month or so to do all the holiday baking, but I can't really start handing out goody bags till the first week of December or so.

So the clock ticks, the days flow by and no baking gets done. I have mini bouts of panic wondering if this will be the year I don't get it all done.

There is another piece to this equation, and that is that the building that I live in, is going through some renovations. New boilers are being installed so there may be slight disruptions in water or heat in the next month. They are being really great about telling us in advance whenever possible, but it can still throw a wrench in my plans at times.

Other work is also being done that will require workers to have access to a tenants apartment for a day. I'll write about that work after mine is done as THAT, is a story unto itself. That should be soon, but there are also a number of variables in their schedule so again I am in limbo....

This is fun, isn't it?

I want to sort papers, but the corneas won't behave.
I want to do household stuff, but the energy isn't there.
I want to do Christmas baking, but the space isn't available and the energy is limited.
I have to be able to adjust my schedule at a days notice to allow workers in.

Why can't my eyes and my energy coordinate their schedules with the weather and the jobs that need to be done? It would be nice of them to work together, but alas, that is not my life.

So, here I am, sitting in limbo - hoping that tomorrow will be a better day.