Freedom!

It has been a long, long winter. Becky and I have been stuck in the house for four months! The reasons are varied. Becky had surgery, the lift broke, frigid temperatures, I hurt my back, and the lift broke again.

This week, a new lift was going to be installed.

20150503-091947-33587300.jpg

Unfortunately, the technician seemed unable to remove the old lift. Becky was in tears and I felt ill. We would have to wait a few more days.

We heard nothing from the company, even after I called and left a message. This was not looking good. I called again on Friday morning and this time I reached a live person. They were planning on finishing the installation that afternoon.

We were still afraid to get our hopes up, but at 1:30 pm they pulled in the driveway. At 3:00 pm they pulled out. Look what they left.

20150503-092728-34048725.jpg

20150503-092727-34047515.jpg

20150503-092726-34046293.jpg

Freedom!

What a relief and what happiness. Now Becky can enter and exit the house independently. I can now leave her again for short periods of time. Naturally we celebrated by going for an ice cream.

Posted in chaos, Disability, Family, Home, Life, parenting, wheelchair, winter | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Easter

Happy Easter!

20150405-113357-41637440.jpg

20150405-113358-41638560.jpg

20150405-113359-41639638.jpg

20150405-113356-41636224.jpg

Posted in Canada, Family, Food, Life, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Black Lentil Soup with Herbes de Provence

20150403-124122-45682993.jpg

So here it is, finally, a recipe. This one comes from the food delivery box we received last month. It uses two of the ingredients which are noted in the recipe title.

You will need:
1tbsp olive oil
1 carrot, chopped
3 garlic cloves, we crushed them
1 c Black lentils
1 tsp salt, which we left out
5 c vegetable broth/stock
1 14oz can of diced tomatoes, we used crushed
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped, which we didn’t have
2 tbsp dry white wine
2 tsp Herbes de Provence
1/4 tsp cracked pepper
4 c baby spinach

Heat olive oil in a large pot and add onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Cook for 5 mins.

20150403-124907-46147279.jpg

Add the wine, lentils, tomatoes, Herbes de Provence, salt, pepper, stock, and give it a good stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

20150403-125146-46306276.jpg

Cover and cook for 40 mins. After 10 mins, we noticed the most amazing smell. Ooh, it smells good.

Five minutes before the end of cooking, add the chopped spinach.

20150403-125358-46438013.jpg

And you’re done! Easy peasy. It results in a pretty thick soup.

20150403-125453-46493567.jpg

Now for the taste test:
Becky – “yum”
Cheryl – “yum”

2 yums. Give it a go. It’s easy and nutritious. It was a great recipe for Good Friday as there was no meat. The herbs definitely add a lot of flavour, so try and find some.

Posted in Family, Food, Home, Life, Photography, Photos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Surprise for Spring!

20150321-133411-48851285.jpg
So far, 2015 has been a horrible year! Rather than moan and wail about our misfortune, I waited until there was something good to write about…and here it is.

20150321-133608-48968781.jpg
Our food parcel arrived today! We were looking into several options during the frigid days of February. Unfortunately, many of these food parcel companies do not ship to Canada. Boo! We finally found one in Vancouver called “The Missing Ingredient”. They focus on Canadian businesses, and high quality ingredients.

20150321-134022-49222469.jpg

20150321-134020-49220949.jpg
As you can see, there is a real mix of food supplies. We have a jar of pasta sauce, a jar of herbs, black lentils, liquid smoke, a package of seasoning and a bar of organic chocolate. Guess which one we opened first. :-)

20150321-134405-49445458.jpg
YUM!

There were also four cards that arrived in the box.

20150321-134603-49563040.jpg
There were two recipes including some of the ingredients, information about one of the food producers, and a cooking hint for the liquid smoke.

Becky and I were so excited at receiving the parcel, loved the surprise products, and are looking forward to cooking with most of them. (The chocolate won’t last)

This was our idea to cheer ourselves up during the coldest February on record. We just missed the February shipping date and had to wait a month, but it was worth it. We are well pleased. I think it will continue to warm us through a rather chilly March.

Bon appetit!

Posted in Canada, Family, Food, Home, Life, Photography, Photos, winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

New Year

20150108-194612-71172815.jpg

20150108-194614-71174124.jpg
This is what I did New Year’s Day; skated in Mississauga’s Celebration Square. I used to ice skate every week when I lived in Birmingham, but since moving to Canada, which is covered in ice and snow for several months, I think I have skated only three times. Once was on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, which was wonderful, I think in Montreal one time, and New Year’s Day 2015.

My first week back at work has not been great. Temperatures plunged, so did parents tempers, Becky had several appointments, and I had to take my bus to Toronto unexpectedly. It was on a day when Becky had an appointment, but I was told I would be given another bus to drive. No problem. I dropped off my bus, a little later than expected due to snowy conditions, and waited for another bus, and waited, and waited. An hour was long enough. I asked what was going on. “We can’t start the bus we were going to give you” the mechanic said. “I have to go”, I told him. After a bit of a discussion, I finally took my bus back to Mississauga. What a waste of time and then I had race to get Becky to her appointment. It was a long appointment and I basically dropped her back at home and raced off to do my afternoon bus route. I was managing on half a cup of tea and a slice of toast, which I’d had at 6 am!

So as the days become more stressful, I think about ice skating. I remember the beautiful Christmas lights, the crisp air, and the feeling of freedom as I skated around and around without a care in the world. Lovely.

Posted in Birmingham, Canada, Disability, Family, Life, parenting, winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Year’s Resolutions

20141229-204836-74916245.jpg
What do we think about New Year’s Resolutions? Well, basically, I think they’re a good thing , but I never make any myself because I’m practically perfect anyway ( translation: I don’t have the time or energy to work on self improvement).

I don’t need to lose weight as it hasn’t changed much in the last 25-30 years and Becky is my personal guide to becoming a better person. I also have 12 mini guides (students with special needs) who travel on my school bus every day. They all have personal challenges that they approach with smiles and generosity. I am constantly humbled in their collective presence.

So where does that leave us? I usually make a list of things I think I may achieve in the next year. It may be something as simple as; install two new basement windows, or as involved as; get a part-time job, which involved retraining and upgrading my drivers license. Either way, they are things that need to be accomplished in a certain time frame. It helps me focus what little energy, or financial surplus, I have, into something productive.

The photo that heads this post is a statue of Peter Pan that I found in a park today in St. John’s. In my head this little character sums up my thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions. They are mostly fantasy, but we enjoy them all the same. They never grow old, so we keep making them, and mostly, we love this idea that anything is possible. “We can fly, we can fly”!

If you do make resolutions, remember that there are no Resolution Police. For the rest of you, I know you are wonderful anyway and do not need to promote change.

For Becky, her goal is to walk. This year she had some treatment that will help her achieve that. I think it is unlikely that she will attain this huge goal in twelve short months, but she is certainly capable of making smaller changes that will enable her to walk in the future. Ultimately, she will be loved whatever happens. This one physical act does not define her as a person.

As we approach 2015, part of me hopes that nothing changes as we are so happy right now. So rather than hoping for a better year, I think I am hoping for a similar year. 2014 was a good year for us, and I am sad to see it leave. Realistically, I know that change comes regardless, but perhaps it can wait a little longer….

Posted in Canada, Disability, Family, Home, Life, parenting, wheelchair | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Christmas and New Year

20141228-212335-77015982.jpg
Believe it or not, Becky and I are at opposite ends of the continent. She is spending the holidays in Arizona with her Dad. I am in the north east in Newfoundland.

I have two weeks vacation from bus driving and two weeks away from Becky. I spent a few days in and around Mississauga, and then flew out to St. John’s.

20141228-212707-77227484.jpg
I came out here a year and a half ago and loved it. I jumped at the chance to go back again. It’s such a beautiful place full of friendly people.

20141228-212906-77346095.jpg

20141228-212907-77347219.jpg

20141228-212904-77344999.jpg

20141228-212909-77349445.jpg

20141228-212908-77348331.jpg
I spent about nine hours walking today. I went up signal hill, which you can see in the photos above, then I went to the art gallery and museum, which is the three Christmas trees, and then I walked around Quidi Vidi Lake. It was snowing and the sun was setting. Beautiful!

20141228-213353-77633871.jpg

20141228-213352-77632645.jpg

20141228-213355-77635667.jpg
I am looking forward to seeing Becky’s pictures when she gets back home. I’m sure we will have lots of stories to share. Until then, I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year!

Posted in Canada, Christmas, Family, Life, Photography, Photos, Travel, winter | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments