Tuesday, January 29, 2008

a good day

today was a good day. first off, i got my marks back from the exam and i PASSED. which, considering i didn't even read all the course material and i actually MADE STUFF UP on the test, means that i am totally brilliant. it's always nice to have confirmation on the magnitude of your brain power.

and then, i came out of work today at 5:15 to the most beautiful sunset. a deep red swath lined the horizon and there was still a hint of deep blue above us. it made me realize that the days are getting longer. even with leaving at 5pm every day (or thereabouts) i haven't seen the sunset in months. it feels good to know we are on the other side of darkness.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

It's cooold outside. -22 with the windchill...if you happen to be somewhere windy... I live in a pretty sheltered little hollow so it's not too bad down here. -14 maybe. I was going to go out on the snowshoes and I'll admit I chickened out at the windchill factor and went for a nice walk about the neighbourhood instead. Tomorrow is supposed to be another cold one but I think I'll risk the frostbite and go out into the woods for a trek. The trees will provide a lot of shelter and if I get to the top and think the ridge is too exposed and cold for trekking, I'll just head back down into the trees.

On my stroll I stopped in at the local grocery store to pick up a couple of things for tomorrow's dinner over at the big sister's. I just finished reading the 100-mile diet and as I stood in the middle of the store I will admit that I was stumped. None of the fruit would be ok to eat, the root veggies... well, PEI is more than 100 miles and so is New Brunswick... I bought parsnips that were packaged in Bishop Falls, but I have no idea where they are from (chances are they are from the Maritimes if not Newfoundland itself though). The raisin bread definitely broke all the rules...as did the Tostidos Hint of Lime chips... and the goat cheese mozzarella? Most definitely.

It's interesting to think about what you can eat from within your 100 miles though. You could easily have enough fruits and veggies just by shopping at Lester Farms. And if you canned and preserved enough for the winter...you'd be set. Root vegetables are a dime a dozen in this province and with a root cellar or other cold storage area it wouldn't be a problem to keep them for the winter. I'm allergic to dairy and eggs anyway so that's not an issue. Bread might be an issue. I know that oats and barley can grow here, but does anyone grow it and actually make flour a person can buy? As for protein, that wouldn't be a problem. I know where to get lamb, and I'm hoping there are local chicken farms (chickens are tough - they could live here!), and I'm sure you can buy moose from someone! The real test is the WANT quotient. I wanted to buy those bananas. And the kiwi fruits. And the peppers which were definitely not grown in a greenhouse on this island. I have found a solution for the issue of lettuce. Last winter I discovered The Lettuce Farm. They are a local hydroponics lettuce grow-op basically. You can buy their greens at Dominion and Belbin's for sure and I love it. It's not always available though which is too bad. I assume they supply their commercial buyers first - the local restaurants and catering companies - and the markets second. During the summer I also found another small greens farm selling their bags at Dominion...I completely forget the name but it was somewhere in Newfoundland. As for tomatoes, I plan on eventually getting a couple of indoor cherry tomato plants and seeing how that works out. I know people that grow their own indoors in Vancouver so I don't see why it wouldn't work here!

Then there would be the condiment issue. Yikes. There are two local spice/herb farms that I know of - The Spice Barn and Mt Scio Farm (as far as I can tell they only produce savoury, but I like savoury so that's ok!). Plus it's not hard to grow a lot of that at home if you wanted. Sugar - you'd have to use honey and there are several local honey producers. Wine...uh... nope, no good wine here. Beer...well if they aren't growing their own hops (which they aren't) then they are off limits. There are enough juniper berries to choke a herd of horses in this province so I could start a gin distillery! I can't even think of what else I use... salsa, but you could grow what you needed for that here and just can it.

I would need to quit my job in order to have the time to eat 100% locally I think. Or quit school.

I guess I need to get into the whole canning/preserving area of food preparation if I want to eat more locally year round. I just actually found rhubarb in my freezer that I froze from fresh during the summer when our organic veggie co-op overloaded us with the stuff. Too bad I didn't do the same with the strawberries! I can smell another pie coming on...


Wednesday, January 23, 2008


yesterday: windchill of -23. ouch.

today: 100 km/h winds with 6 inches of snow down on the ground....then about 10 mm of rain.... then more snow. ouch again.

i plan on staying inside as much as possible.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


the past month has been jam-packed and fraught with... well, pretty much everything...

lots of knitting: i'm currently working on finishing up the christmas socks. i've got 3 socks to go - one full pair and one half sock in two other pairs. can't wait until it's done!

this past week saw me volunteering to demote myself at work with no loss of pay or benefits. i just can't do the 50 or 60 hour weeks with the ridiculous frustrations caused by my superior and still be a happy person outside the office (or inside it for that matter). so, as we were hiring someone else anyway i just went ahead and suggested that they hire someone to do my job and i'll take over the clean-up of everything that has been ignored for the past two years. as well, i'll be working on special projects and moving more into working on the productivity improvement program we have underway. i'm really excited about the productivity improvement stuff actually. it's a company wide initiative being led by a third-party company. basically it is officially time for us all to pull up our freaking boot straps and get something done to address our problems. this is the kind of thing that gets me excited to go to work. lots of new processes being implemented, lots of decision making, lots of systems upgrades. very cool.
now of course it's a matter of them finding a suitable replacement for me. they had problems finding someone a year ago when they hired me, so i can't imagine it being any easier this year. in fact, i'd hazard a guess that it will be harder. for now i'll continue with my present duties and begin off-loading everything that i can onto the other accountant. i had been taking a slower approach with not, not knowing who we would be hiring, but now that i know i can easily divide my work between the two of them (isn't that sad, that my ENTIRE JOB is being split now between two people? ya. i thought so too. basically it means that i've been completely and totally used by the company for the past year.). this is part of my plan to live my life the way i want to live it. rather than always assuming that something external is going to happen to make things better, it's time that i just took things into my own hands and started making choices and decisions for myself. if that means stepping down from my current position into something less stressful then i'll do it. and i won't feel guilty about it.

this weekend was supposed to be fun-filled for me, but instead basically sucked. we were planning on getting out of town, however that didn't happen. turns out Boy didn't really want to go... he's been gone for the past two weekends and is going to be gone for the next two... he wanted to do what would make me happy, but didn't really want to do it himself. which is fine, we worked it out. we had fun in town actually, i shouldn't say it sucked. i went out on my new snowshoes again and tromped about in the woods and he did a similar thing with Joe-the-dog. i'm digging the snowshoes. considering how much i love going for walks, this is a great solution to my "oh no, i'm hip deep in snow again" problem with winter walking. so, the new plan is to get out to cornerbrook in late february. i'm going to keep him to that too. or else i'm going alone. either way, i'm getting there before march.

hmmm....what else... i should really have photos, but the light is so sparse these days i just haven't gotten around to taking any... i finally fixed the buttons on olivia's baby surprise sweater. i went over one night and fixed it while they were eating dinner. it is MUCH better. now i need to think about knitting her another sweater. maybe the i took the opportunity to try michelle's sock on her foot as well and i apparently guessed correctly on the sizing - it fits!

well, that's all for now. i really need to get some photos onto this here blog... and i need to get more regular about updating it. i'm even boring myself now...

oh ya, it's snowing again. nothing new. another 30cm expected over the day and tonight. it's nice though. gentle and fluffy. can't wait until it turns into ice pellets or maybe rains, causing it to turn to concrete. fun.

edited to add: i was just poking about online and came across this ecological footprint calculator. now, they remind you that it is grossly oversimplified and that it doesn't take a lot of things into account, blah blah blah. but still, pretty scary. we would need 5 planet earth's if everyone lived like i do. apparently, i suck. eek. i got there from the MEC site here.