Saturday, March 19, 2011

Family dinner at Two If By Sea

We had a family day today, so we took Nate across the harbour to Dartmouth to see his buddy Zane at Two if By Sea.  By chance, we found out that there had been a cancellation for the family dinners that they'd started hosting.  Date night!

We had a fabulous time!  Great food, great hosts, and we got to meet some really great people as well.  New friends we hope to see again soon!  

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Backyard birds seen in 2010

I have been meaning to post a list of the birds I saw through 2010, mostly for my own records.  As with most things these days, it kinda fell by the wayside.  Since I find myself with a few minutes to spare, and since working on photographs isn't going too well with these old glasses of mine, I thought I'd get started on that bird list instead.

There were of course all the usual suspects:

Blue jays
Black capped chickadees
American goldfinches
European Starlings
Downy woodpeckers

But a few of  these birds also made visits to our backyard last year:

Dark eyed Junco
Northern flicker
White-breasted nuthatch
Purple finch

But probably the most interesting bird to visit was a lone female ring-necked pheasant.  If my dad had not been there with me to witness it, I might have not believed it myself.  I thought it was a cat lurking in the brush waiting to ambush some unsuspecting bird, but then it popped out into the yard and it was most definitely not a cat.

In 2009, we saw a lot of common grackles, but they all but disappeared from our yard in 2010.  Looking forward to what we'll see this year.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The universe might be trying to tell me something Part2

I think the universe is telling me I may need writing lessons.  I guess I've been taking the easy way out lately and I've let the pictures do the talking in most of my recent posts.  Writing about the events of one day has taken me much longer than I had anticipated.

But back to the universe and how it's been communicating with me in the last few weeks.  If I didn't know better, I think it might not like me going to work.  Prior to this week, I've only been in to work for 2 afternoons out of a possible 8.  If I told you why, you'd probably think I was making it all up!  

Just a combination of things happening, conspiring to keep me away from work.  Nate got sick and Patty was travelling.  Nate's grandparents got sick and Patty was travelling.  Then just when I made it back for one afternoon shift, I had to call the very next morning to say I couldn't make it in because Nate got sick again.  This eventually led to my being sick.  By the time this whole business with my glasses rolled around, I was starting to get a bit of a reputation at work for not showing up.  Apparently my two co-workers were not taking any chances and had already arranged between themselves to cover my shift!

In any case, I guess it all worked out in the end.  I made it to both my shifts this week, and in doing so, made a little boy cry yesterday afternoon.  Poor fella, it broke my heart but I was only playing along with his mother.  What is a guy to do when he's put on the spot like that?  I hope I haven't traumatized him and forever altered the course of his life.  What if that's why I was supposed to stay away from work?  I may have forever changed the fate of the world!

You might laugh, but you weren't there and you didn't see his little face crumble.  All that hope and faith suddenly dashed. 

Fracking universe!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The universe might be trying to tell me something Part1

I was about to take Snoopy out for a walk yesterday morning, when I realized that my glasses were sitting on my face oddly.  One of the nose pieces had come off.  Actually the piece of metal that held the nose piece had broken off.  I retraced my steps and eventually found the piece that broke off on the bathroom floor.  

In the meantime, Patty had already been on the phone to 4 or 5 different optometries and found a place that could solder the pieces back together again.  It wasn't going to be pretty, but it would buy me some time till I got a new pair made.  So I hopped in a cab and got myself over there.  A nice lady took the pieces from me and told me that the repair would probably cost $10.  No worries.  Ten bucks is a deal considering I am blind without my glasses.  I had to work that afternoon, and I wasn't relishing the thought of calling in to say I couldn't make it, again (but that story is for Part 2 of this post).

The glasses disappeared into a back room with the nice lady, and I took a seat since I really couldn't see anything.  I heard an exclamation come from the back, followed by 'Oh my god!'.  The other two staff members disappeared into the back and I was now all alone out front.  I could make out words like plastic, glass, interspersed between lots more 'oh my god's.  Another customer entered the store and one of the women came out to greet her.  I managed to snag her as she passed and I asked if everything was alright back there.  No, not really she replied and she went to meet the new customer.  

For the next little bit I heard phonecalls being made from the back, the occasional 'oh my god' and I began to suspect that my glasses were probably in worse shape now than they were before.  A few minutes passed, and finally a woman came out with my glasses...or what was left of them.  The lens had shattered when she tried to remove it from the frame.  Poor woman, she was visibly upset and kept saying how sorry she was.  But she had a plan.

So, she got me some contact lenses to try on, while she explained to me that they were getting new lenses for me.  It would take a few days of course, given my short-sightedness.  So the contacts were just for the time being.  I haven't worn contacts in years now, but these were surprisingly comfortable and I could see again.  I even got to pick out a new frame, and then she asked me if I had a new prescription for my lenses.  Quick phonecall to Patty and those were emailed over.  

I left the store with a rather big smile on my face.  When my glassed broke that morning, I wasn't really looking forward to having to spend what would probably amount to $500 to get new ones made.  By some bizarre twist I am getting a new pair of glasses, with my new prescription for free.  I feel like I just have won the lottery!  I'm also wondering just how far I can take know, like the next time I have to get a new pair of glasses.  I might just have to snap that nose piece off myself and take it in to get soldered.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Good dog

When Nate woke up this morning, he called me into his room and told me his tummy didn't feel like it normally did when he woke up.  Then he threw up.  That pretty much set the tone for the rest of the day.  He got me to make up a bed for him on the sofa, and spent pretty much all day there.

At some point during the day, Snoopy abandoned his favourite spot on the back of the other sofa by the picture window and curled up with Nate.  I think it was his way of making Nate feel better.  Nate said that Snoopy was taking care of him.  It reminded me of when Nate first came home and became the newest member of our pack.

We were living in Vancouver then, and Snoopy had been number-one-son for over a year and a half.  We were of course concerned about how he would react to the new addition.  Would he feel threatened and perceive Nate as competition or worse a snack?  We needn't have worried.  Snoopy took to him right away, and made it his job to look after Nate.  

He would wake me in the middle of the night when Nate was crying and we were slow to respond.  He would come into Nate's room with me, and if I was having a hard time settling him back to bed, Snoopy would run back to our room to rouse Patty.  It was almost like he was saying 'that guy hasn't got a clue what he's doing, you better go give him a hand'.

Whenever I took Snoopy out for a walk, the first thing he did when we got home was to check on Nate. He would run over to the bassinet and peek over the top,  and if Nate was not in there Snoopy would run upstairs and check the crib.  He would not do anything else until he had found Nate.  

When Nate was old enough to start walking around the dog park, Snoopy was his constant shadow.  He was never far from Nate, not even when there were other dogs to play with.  He watched over Nate.

Snoopy, sticking close to an under-the-weather Nate.

I'd always meant to write a post about how great Snoopy was when we first brought Nate home, and maybe I have already?  I forget.  But watching Snoopy today brought back all those memories, and when I snapped the picture above, I already knew what I was going to do with it.

Good dog Snoopy.  Good dog.