30 December, 2006

Oil Haiku, Round Two

Yes, again. Enjoy the haiku.


Out of oil again.
Winter is cold without it.
We paid, they didn't come.


Haiku ("high-KOO") = Japanese form of poetry in seventeen-syllable verse form, arranged in three lines of five, seven and five syllables. Each haiku has at least one word indicating the season. (The last Oil Haiku I posted wasn't so true to form. This one, I think, is more so.)

29 December, 2006

This'll Only Happen Once

Well, I only get to publish this news once. We'll never have a second first baby to tell you about, so here it is. Confirmation: the rumours are true. (And for those of you still baffled, yes, this was planned.) We are indeed going to have a baby. He/She is due around the end of next June. And yes, we are mostly excited. We do occasionally have days when we sit here and wonder, 'What in the world are we doing??' It's gotten much better since I've started feeling better. The first three months I can only describe as The Blob Months. I felt like an utterly useless, lazy blob. I never dreamed a human being could be so tired and if I hadn't known I was pregnant, I would've been convinced I had some sort of sleeping sickness. At any rate, almost all of you that read this have probably already heard this news so I won't dwell on it, but I AM giving you almost six months notice to find yourself a new blog to read, particularly if you're squeamish about hearing baby stories all the time. Where else will I be able to rant about our cute little alien being - where nobody will offer advice and nobody can tell me to shut up already. Ahh, the sweet world of blogging. :)

In other only slightly less shocking news, it's Friday and we actually have plans tonigh!. Yes! Whoa, easy! It's true so keep your socks on! We're actually going out. We got invited out for dinner and we get to see the newly renovated bathroom at our friends' house. Seriously, they are so excited I promised that as soon as I walk in the house, I'll make a beeline for the bathroom. They are a really cool couple. They just got married last month and since Chris is from Central/South America (I'm forgetting exactly where at the moment), we get to swap lots of 'great' stories about the Department of Homeland Security and how much we 'love' those 'people.'

Also, my cousin just got engaged two weeks ago and the wedding date is set - 28 July. We are SO excited! (So this lucky little baby will be born just in time to head home for his/her first trip to Canada and the most anticipated wedding of 2007! Hooray for Shelley & Randy!!!) What's more, her fiance proposed in a quinzee he built! If you don't know what a quinzee is, then I'm sorry to say, it's not likely you're Canadian, but check out this website: http://www.call-wild.com/quinzee.html

It's been nine days since my last post and you're probably all vastly disappointed that I finally posted something on here and I just go on about weddings and a baby, not even bothering to post a picture of the Holiday Turkey. It came home and it went in the freezer. However, be ye not dismayed. As soon as we have a picture, I'll post one. I asked our friend Wendy how long turkeys keep in the freezer and she said some people keep them for up to a year. So I guess I know what we're having for next Thanksgiving. :)

I suppose I should also include a note about Christmas. Christmas Eve was superb as usual. Luke got the new U218 singles CD from me and I got the new U2 By U2 book from him, so we're happy. Also, new toothbrushes and slippers so we're set for the year! We ended up having a green Christmas (seriously, it could've been March out there), but it did finally snow on the 27th. We had at least four inches that appears at though it will stay now. It's been rather cold the last couple days.

Anyway, Happy Quinzee Building!

20 December, 2006

Odds & Ends

Well, I figured if I didn't post sooner or later, I was going to start getting nasty emails from my adoring public. :) So I'll fill you in on the latest.

When we got home from church on Sunday, we were sitting in the driveway still in the car and I made some comment about our neighbours being like icicles since we still hadn't met any of them; we rarely even see them. We tried waving to one we passed on the way down the street on Sunday, but only got a scowl in return. (Luke reminds me we should start seeing more people in the spring when they venture beyond their houses to work in their yards.) Well, of course, what irony. We went in the house and hadn't even been inside for five minutes when there was a knock on the door *GASP* A neighbour! A real, living honest-to-goodness neighbour! Marsha from down the street. AND, she brought us a cake. But not just any cake - a Santa cake! Anyway, it was the weirdest thing, but now, we know a neighbour!

Sunday night we went to a sort-of church Christmas party after evening service. It was quite fun. Luke has now been familiarized with all the ins and outs of snow shoveling in Maine - what types of implements work best for which types of snow. Various types of shovels and the proper techniques for their use.

In other news, I'm sitting here eating my very first Clementine. This is the Eastern Seaboard's excuse (I must emphasize the word EXCUSE) for a Christmas orange. It is awful. It tastes like my Grama's pickles. There was never anything wrong with Grama's pickles, but this is supposed to be an orange. *Sigh* One down, only a 15 more in the box. :(

Days Until Free Holiday Turkey Pick-Up: 2!!!!!

12 December, 2006

Ahead by a Barrel of Monkeys*

*Brownie points for Luke for coming up with a superb title for this post!

Settle in for a weekend saga.

Everything was fine when we went to bed on Friday night. When we woke up on Saturday morning, however, the air had a certain unfamiliar nip to it. Luke got up to get ready for work and tried to wash his face, but only got cold water. Our oil tank was empty. He had just gone down to pay for oil and delivery on Friday after work and thought we could make it till Monday, but evidently not. BRRRRR!!!!! Oh it was so cold! It got down to about 61F downstairs and 42F upstairs (but the heat isn't on up there now anyway).
So I drove him in to work for 7 and came straight home. At 8:50, the oil man came, put a deposit in our tank and restarted the furnace. Nice and toasty in a half hour! Hooray for emergency oil men!

At noon, I went to a womens Christmas dinner at church. It was really fun. I met two more people that work at the hospital (seriously, already,
who doesn't work there?!?). We had all kinds of tasty treats (even a chocolate fountain!) and a Yankee Swap. That's where one person picks a present and unwraps it. Then the next person unwraps another present and gets to choose if they want to swap with number one or keep what they get. Slightly different rules than back Home in MB, but better rules, we think. I ended up with this mug/hot choc. gift set. Yum. Then at the end, they had a whole table full of wrapped gifts and we were all just supposed to go take one. No swapping, just pick something and if you don't want it, give it away or wrap it up and bring it back next year. So there I got these truly hideous potholders. I won't even justify them with a picture they were that bad. So I sent them Home to Mom. :) Figured she can use them at their church. And another lady gave me her gift which was this candle holder that melts these peppermint smelly wax things. AND I
got a mini box grater.

Okay, so after that, I raced to finish up Christmas shopping for Luke. I was rather impressed with how quickly I got it finished. I just need one more thing - though it's not imperative for the completion of the stocking. Then I picked Luke up (watched part of National Velvet while I waited. Never seen it before -
thankfully! Sheesh!) and we raced home to get ready for his dept Christmas shindig.

This was a semi-fancy affair at a hotel in town, so we 'got to' dress up. We got there a little late as usual, but not late enough to catch some of his colleagues at their drunken best. Oi. Terry had been drinking since 8am!!! Talk about 'three sheets to the wind.'
We had a really good meal and got 'free drinks.' Yippee. It was much more amusing watching everybody else drink.

Then for the Yankee Swap. Hooray! Same rules! I was number 41 and Luke was number 4. For whatever reason (I've heard his explanation twice now and I still don't get it), Luke traded his snowman ornament for a bottle of wine - which he was sure to hold on to for all of three more unwrappings! Way to take the most popular present! Argh! So lucky Luke, he ended up with a Santa-shaped box full of cookies. Ooh. Exciting.
But me? Well! I fared MUCH better! I started out with a cheesy Christmas picture frame and two lottery tickets (not guaranteed to win, so why keep them?). I was going to trade them for a movie bucket (popcorn, pop, candy, and a free movie
rental), until I caught Starla's eye and remembered the Barrel of Monkeys (you were wondering when that was going to be relevant, weren't you?)! Not just any Barrel of Monkeys! Nope, this one had a secret prize! A nicely folded $20 bill taped to the bottom! Hooray! Free cash! Sort of. See, we spent almost exactly $20 on the presents we brought for the swap, so we broke even there, but we still got the Barrel of Monkeys! So we're ahead by a barrel of monkeys! Brilliant! So Luke is stuck with his Santa cookies and I'm left to ponder what to spend my $20 on. :)

Sunday, was no less eventful. We ended up sleeping in because Luke had been on call the night
before and ended up going to the hospital just after midnight and didn't get home till almost 3am. We got up, ate breakfast, and headed out to find the tree farm. We're a week or so late on getting our tree this year, but as you'll recall, we were in Bangor last Saturday so weren't able to get a tree them. After driving down a few rabbit trails, we finally found the tree farm! Oh it was just like the movies! Complete with free hot apple cider and a horse-drawn wagon ride! And we didn't even have to cut our own tree! They had a bunch pre-cut and we found our perfect one (the lady we paid said she'd never seen anyone choose one that fast....didn't know we were being watched....). It's just over six feet tall, ridiculously bushy (this is no five dollar tree from Loup Loup Pass), and essentially, swallows our ornaments. We even had to break out the second strand of lights this year!

We wolfed down a hot dog when we got home, then headed to church and that was the weekend. Whew! Luke was on call on Sunday night too but never even got called in. $2/hour just to sleep! Cool!

Days Until Free Holiday Turkey Pick-Up: 10!!!

09 December, 2006

Oil Haiku

Should've checked the tank.
Forgot and now we'll pay
$80 for after-hours service.
It is cold. Brr.

06 December, 2006

Another Year, Another Birthday

Last Sunday, Luke celebrated his 26th birthday. He didn't want a big shindig (he never does) so we decided to go out for drinks and appetizers in the evening and pick up a movie.

The day started off well. Every week at church, we end up singing the Birthday Song for everybody celebrating birthdays during that week. We spent the afternoon grocery shopping and at Lowe's checking out Christmas tools for Luke.

As soon as we got home, we grabbed ID so we could race over to Canada to pick up Luke's cake. We felt a little silly going across just to pick up cake, but on the other hand, it was McCain's Deep 'n' Delicious Double Chocolate Cake. MMmmmmm.......so tasty! On the way back, the Customs guy didn't even ask for ID (yes, CL, I have a new favourite customs officer!)...he just kept eying the cake in the back seat. :)

So Luke had heard from somebody at work that Slopes has the best bacon-wrapped sea scallops (come on, say it like a pirate or it doesn't count) around. We got there
at 6:30. We decided to sit in the dining room instead of the lounge. It was gigantic! And empty. (Could that have been our first clue?) We at least got to sit right beside the fire and since we were the only people in there, the service was attentive to say the least. Luke got a beer sampler, and even to a novice taster such as myself, the only difference between them all was colour. He was NOT impressed. Even the root beer that I got was terrible. There could've only been 2 ounces in that glass and at least one of them was water. Yuck.

Then came the appetizers. Luke ordered the sea scallops (no, no! like a pirate!), and we also got nachos and crab cakes. Well I broke my sea rule and tried a scallop. I got two tiny bites before I realized it smelled like....well I won't say what it smelled like. I did break my crustacean rule and ate a crab cake - perhaps the only redeeming item on the table. And the nachos? Oi. One entire jar of olives and jalapenos later, they were so soggy, I was sure they'd been left outside in the snow all day, they just threw them in the oven for five minutes to try to dry them off. They were awful! The funniest part of this whole deal is that on the way out, Luke grabbed a comment card and sitting right beside them? The chef's own business cards!

Then home for the movie. We rented A Prairie Home Companion. We had such high hopes for that movie. We persevered and watched it till the end, but even by then, we still hadn't found a plot. It was a confusing, Lindsay Lohan-filled mess. I can't remember the last time I've checked my watch that many times during a movie.

Luke's highlight was however, his birthday present: a carve-your-own Dala horse kit from Sweden, complete with Swedish carving knife and Swedish bandaid! We'll post a picture once he's got one finished.

For now, no drooling over the cake!

04 December, 2006

Headin' Down South

We spent almost every evening last week debating about whether or not to go to Bangor on Friday night and get in some Christmas shopping on Saturday morning. Thursday night, we finally made up our minds to go. We made our reservation and decided to leave as soon as Luke got home from work on Friday.

Well it was snowing when he got home so we raced around trying to get everything ready so we could leave. The drive down wasn't that great. There was already a lot of snow stuck to the road and it was sleeting. There were a few cars in the ditch and we passed a number of plows (I still don't think there was enough snow to warrant plowing, but this is Maine - they do things differently here). I don't know what time we left, but we made it to Bangor by 8:30. The last 45 minutes of the drive, there wasn't any snow at all, but it was POURING rain, and windy!

After depositing our stuff at the hotel (Motel 6 - wouldn't recommend it. I'm nearly positive they were pumping cigarette smoke IN through our bathroom 'fan'), we went out to get something to eat. The Seadog Brewery is our latest favourite. It was crowded in there because, well, Bangor is a university town, the Seadog has good beer (supposedly....of course....), and it was Friday night. I had a big ol' juicy burger and some of the craziest ginger ale I've ever had - it burned! Luke had a giant tuna steak burger. Yum! Then 'home' to bed.

Saturday was a great! First, we headed downtown to find this bakery I'd found the address for online - The Friars' Bakehouse. Well, Friars they were indeed! Dominican monks, complete with brown habits, sandals,....and the requisite SUV??? We're not sure if they were actually supposed to be open or not, but there were lights on and people inside and goods in the case and hey! They're monks! They're not going to tell us to leave are they? We got some scones to take home (the richest most cranberry-filled scones we've ever eaten) and we each got a cinnamon bun for breakfast. But not just any cinnamon bun. Nope, they gave you a choice: Venial Sin-ammon buns (just icing) or Mortal Sin-ammon buns (nuts too). Hah! Monks with a sense of humour even! (We went for the mortal sin.) Then when we were getting in the car to leave, we spotted two monks getting into an SUV across the street. *gasp* I saw part of the monk's bare leg! Is that allowed? Or the better question, aren't they at least allowed to wear longjohn's in winter? It was COLD out! (LK, we'll defer to you, our Seminary Student Friend, for confirmation about Official Monk Attire.)

Then on to the mall. Got some Christmas shopping done, ate some pizza at Sbarro's ('Non-punks need not apply'), and had Starbucks. Oh Starbucks. How wonderful to have commercially prepared espresso again. (Yes, it's true. It's nowhere to be found up here.)

Our last stop was the natural foods store. Now that was a store! I've never seen so many foreign products under one roof before. Lots of things we'd never heard of - or at least never dreamed we'd have the opportunity to buy (though we didn't). Sweets imported from India, fancy preserved lemons from China, and lots of packages with writing in other languages. It was a great!

The drive home was much more pleasant. The roads were dry and hardly slippery at all until about an hour from home. And then it was cold too, but we stopped at Tim Horton's to get tea for the rest of the drive home. Overall, a very enjoyable trip 'down south.' But the moral remains: when in Maine, always travel with a raincoat!