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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne


Good morning!

It's been cold lately. It finally got above zero yesterday, but not by much: 7/10s of a degree to 0.7 above. The coldest we had was -18 on Saturday, but my folks in town beat us (an unusual happenstance). I think they had -20 or -22.

The picture I've posted here of the thermometer outside the kitchen window is from Saturday morning. I think we were up to -16 or so. Tom was heading out to log, and I was heading up to Canada. Then, check out the picture of the tuber I've been trying to root. It sits in the kitchen window, too, and you can see how the frost was working its way inside the window frame. If you look closely (or enlarge the photo), notice how ice is starting to form in the water . . . spreading almost horizontally from the window side of the vase inwards!

As I said, Tom went out to log on Saturday but the ATV wouldn't start, so he had to haul the cut wood the old-fashioned way . . . by toboggan. Believe me, working like that, he stayed PLENTY warm!

And, back-tracking, I spent the day in Canada on Friday. Annie Blue had her spay/surgery appointment and had to be left overnight. I also got Maisy - whose been having more skin/itching problems than usual - in to the vet. Turns out, she's allergic to her food! She'd been losing a bit of weight a couple of months ago and had been sick for a couple of weeks, so we upped her food. Yes, that being the very stuff that was making her sick. (Of course, she never complained and gobbled it up as usual). But, can you say GUILT? So, yeah, we've basically been poisoning one of our dogs. Or, at the very least, making her life very uncomfortable. So now, she's on medicine, salmon and Vitamin E oils, and a different, very healthy food (herring). Oy vey.

Now for a few comments about Canada and Canadians. They are tough, and I absolutely love that. I was back up on Saturday again (to retrieve Annie Blue and finish the shopping that I didn't get done on Friday), and the high was -8. Yes, the high - that's not a typo. The SuperStore parking lot was just as packed as ever. On the drive up, the highway did seem less busy, but in no way shape or form was town less busy. Cold, schmold. Bundle up and get on with it! I love that!

Canadians are also smart. Large stores keep their shopping carts outside under year-round awnings, placed throughout the parking lot. But, shopping carts aren't free. They cost a loonie - a buck. A loonie is a coin about the size of our quarters but gold in color with 8 - I'm guessing - sides. So, when you need a cart, you go to the cart corral, stick your loonie into this little box on your cart and then insert a key that's attached to the box. That key pushes your loonie all the way into the box and releases another key on the back side of the box . . . which is on the end of a short chain attached to the cart behind it (and so on and so on) . . . thereby releasing your cart. (I'll have to take a picture sometime to help the illustration.) So, why do they do this? To make money? Nope - and this is the really brilliant part - it's to eliminate unreturned carts! After you're done shopping and have loaded your stash into your car, you return your cart to the corral. You push it into the cart behind it, grab that cart's dangling key and push that key into the back of your little box. Out pops the front key AND your loonie! You didn't lose any money, they didn't make any money. What they DID do was eliminate the bother from those unsavory characters who leave their carts right next to where they parked! Smart, eh?!

I'll sign off for now but try to get more up later today or tomorrow.

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