Saturday, February 20, 2010


Here is our report from our annual trip to Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. We left Rochester on Thursday morning and had an uneventful, under 5 hour drive to the Canadian capital city. We quickly dropped our luggage at our hotel, the Chateau Laurier, grabbed our skates and headed for the frozen Rideau Canal. We skated down to Dow's Lake, enjoying the lack of skaters on the ice. We did the whole skating route, about 14 kilometers, taking in the Urban Art show and documenting our progress on the ice.

We returned to the Chateau and our lovely room.
We had a nice dinner at the Cornerstone Bar and Grill and were able to watch the Canadian Olympic Curling team do their thing. After dinner we walked to the park where the ice sculptures are on display and were once again so impressed by the ice creations created by talented artists.

We skated again on Friday morning, ate lunch at a Mexican restaurant before heading over to Hull, Quebec to visit the Snow Playground. This is a nice walk as we walk by the imposing National Art gallery building, and then over an old wooden pedestrian bridge over the Ottawa River. From the bridge there are great views up and down the river as well as a great view back to the Parliament building. Because we were at the Snow Playground on a Friday afternoon, the crowds were small which let us do the snow slides without waiting in line! I love the snow slides! You walk up the back of the slides, sit on your butt, and slide down an icy luge-style shoot! It is great fun! Here are a couple of photos that Jim took of me on one of the slides.

From the slides, we toured the impressive snow sculptures. Here are photos of 2 of my favorite sculptures.

Sally and Bob arrived on Friday night, along with friends of theirs, Dianne and Terry. We went to a seafood place for dinner and had a good meal and good conversation.
Today we all were skating shortly after 9AM, while it was snowing, which made the skating a bit more challenging. However, by the time we went down and around Dows Lake the snow removal equipment was out on the ice, making for a very pleasant skate back towards the hotel.
Jim and I left Ottawa shortly before noon, heading to Scranton, PA, where we are spending the night. Tomorrow we will make the 2 hour drive to New York City, where Corey is running in the Big East Indoor Track Championships. We will drive back home after Corey races. We are looking forward to seeing him run, as we don't get the chance much anymore.

Hope all is well.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New Furniture!

During the only snow storm that we've had this winter our new living room furniture was delivered, but the delivery guys took good care of our furniture as they brought it in the house.

But before they could bring in the new, it was out with the old.

And then I vacuumed several years' worth of dust out from behind the old sofa. How often do you pull out your sofa and vacuum behind it? Take the poll in the sidebar and compare your housekeeping priorities with those of others!

After taking off the front door, the new sofa was brought in.

That was followed by the 2 chairs, wrapped up against the elements.

Here is a photo of Jim watching the Olympics while enjoying one of the new chairs. The chair that Jim is in is a swivel rocker and the chair near the computer is just a swivel chair.

And here I am on the new sofa with my knitting. We are both very happy with how the furniture looks in our living room, especially knowing that I am not Martha Stewart! Plus, all three pieces are very comfy!

And our old sofa looks so cold and lonely out by the curb waiting for the next trash pick-up.
So that is enough new stuff for a while! I think we have done our fair share of stimulating the economy.

Tucker just called and he and Alison are back in Cortez. It will be nice to be able to call, text or e-mail with him when we want.

We have been staying up way too late watching the Olympics. I just love all the competitions. I sometimes get frustrated with the NBC coverage, too much fluff and not enough of the events, but I watch whatever they are showing.

Hope all is well.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hats Off to a New Refrigerator

Today our new energy-efficient refrigerator was delivered and our 21 year old energy sucker was hauled away. This new model has a light in the refrigerator and in the freezer! The light in our old refrigerator stopped working (and the problem was not the bulb!) about 5 years ago and I had forgotten how bright a refrigerator can be. The light in the freezer is a nice bonus. So here are 2 photos of our new appliance.

The title of this entry is Hats Off to a New Refrigerator, because the new refrigerator is not the most exciting new thing in our house, at least to me. My new hand-knit hat is!
If this hat looks vaguely familiar it is because it is a replica of the hats that Team USA wore in the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics. While watching that ceremony, I thought the hats were fun and cute. On Saturday morning I looked on Ravelry (a knitting community website) and sure enough a woman had charted out the pattern for this hat and it was a free pattern. So off I went to one of my local yarn stores and bought some red, white and blue yarn. I cast on in the mid-afternoon and completed the hat (tassels and all) on Monday night! The pattern included a couple of new techniques for me so it was a good mental challenge. I love the hat and will wear it proudly.

This afternoon Sally and I went to the Memorial Art Gallery to see the Kimono exhibit and it was interesting and beautiful. There were about 100 kimonos on display, and each one was a piece of art in its own right. Kimonos for men, women and children were featured and we enjoyed reading about each one. It was a good field trip.

Stayed tuned to this blog because tomorrow we get our long-awaited living room furniture delivered! I'll post pics here.

Hope all is well.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope someone was sweet to you today!

We went to Syracuse today to watch the red-hot basketball team and unfortunately, they were not red-hot today. They lost to Louisville and probably deserved to lose as they did not play particularly well. It was fun to be part of a crowd numbering 31, 053~the largest crowd for an on-campus NCAA game this year. That record will be broken when SU plays Villanova in 2 weeks. That game is sold-out with 34,000 people expected. We had lunch with Corey and then walked to the game from his apartment. After the game, we returned to his place where we watched some Olympic coverage before heading home.

Not sure where this past week has gone. Monday night I went to the Knitting Guild meeting with Sally. On Tuesday I took Gram and GrandDad to the airport for their trip to Florida. Wednesday night I had bell rehearsal and Thursday Jim came home from his business trip and I worked at the hospital gift shop. Friday and Saturday nights we have been watching the Olympics~wasn't the Opening Ceremony wonderful?! I loved the music, the dancing, and the pageantry!

Most of my free time has been spent knitting on my shawl. It took me three tries to get a series of 5 rows correct~and remember each of those rows has 485 little stitches in it!

Recently one of the local health foundations offered to give all of my 401 students a hat and mittens to encourage them to play outside during our February recess. The hats and mittens were made from a beautiful deep purple fleece and the kids loved them. Here is a photo of some of my students standing in the courtyard of our school modeling their new winter accessories. One of the school custodians took the photo from the roof for me!

Tucker called tonight from Mexico saying that he and Alison were spending their last night south of the border. Tomorrow they will be able to turn in some vehicle documents they were required to have and then drive across the border. They have had a wonderful trip.

Corey raced yesterday in Boston and ran the mile in 4:11.40!! Another PR for him. Next weekend he will run the 3K in the Big East meet in NYC.

I have this coming week off from school and as you might imagine, I am really looking forward to a break from school. On Tuesday we are getting our new refrigerator delivered. We decided to take advantage of the stimulus money for purchasing new energy efficient appliances. We bought a Maytag refrigerator with a slide-out freezer on the bottom. I will put a photo in the blog once it is in place. On Wednesday we get our new living room furniture delivered. I will get a photo of that in here too in the near future. So I'm sure this week-off will fly by!

Hope all is well.