Sunday, November 30, 2008

Electric shovels or Snow Throwers

Hi All - these are electric shovels or snow throwers. I think snow throwers is the "newest" name. They are really mini snowblowers.

This is the size that we'll most likely need. It's strong, but small and you can see by the shute at the top that it blows the snow on either side of the walk (or area to be cleared)

This smaller one is probably useless. Costs about a hundred dollars that I'd rather spend on beauty cream or motorized mascara (please see Mary's blog), or a bunch of good books or exotic summer sandals or just about anything else.

They both need a long exterior electric cord to plug into an outer wall outlet. You just push the starter and - presto! The motor starts up and hopefully blows or pushes the snow as you walk. I say hopefully, because I've read the reviews of people who have bought this particular snowthrower (this one's called Snow Joe, but there are other name brands), and some of them said the wet, heavy snow gets stuck in the blades and it conks out. Oh, great! I spend $200 - $250 on a machine that won't work. Or gets fussy. Other people say it works just fine in all kinds of snow. So, we'll see. I still have more research to do.

Thank you everybody for all of your good ideas. Our driveway contractor will not get out of his huge machine (like the road snowblowers - almost), to shovel anyone's walk. His huge tractor simply cannot do walks. So he's no help. We have asked him in the past to recommend someone. No dice.

We had the kid who cut our grass, shovel our walk for a year or two at $5.oo a pop. Worked out very well - but- you know how it is with kids - they move on to bigger and better things.

I hadn't thought to check out the local high school. That sounds like a really good solution.

Except at this point, I'm looking forward to keeping some of my independence by buying this beastly contraption and doing my own walk. I really hate relying on others to do things I should be able to do.

Not that I ever had to shovel a walk before - I always had a healthy husband and 2 strong boys to do that kind of work.
Will keep everybody posted. I'm off to my aqua fit class this afternoon, so no shopping trips today.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I went shopping today for a snowblower. Well not a full-blown snowblower. An electric shovel.

We had a strong young fellow shoveling our walk for the last two winters.
It cost $140.00 for the winter.
Not bad. Money well spent.

"You'd better give him a call to make sure he's still shoveling this year." Hubby advised me.
I called him.
An answering machine came on, so I left a message.

Two weeks went by.
"Call him again," suggested Hubby.
"No. I left him a message. I'm not calling back."
"But what if he didn't get it? At least try again to see if it's his voice on the answering machine."

Called again. A generic voice. Could be his home, or it could be he's moved.

"Last year he didn't call us back, but showed up the first time it snowed, remember?" I said to Hubby.
"I still think you should call him back and leave another message."
"Oh, he'll show up." I assured Hubby.

That night we had our first real snowfall. Early the next morning, I looked out the front window to see our driveway contractor zooming into our driveway. He looked as happy as a little kid, driving his snowplow. I think his radio was on full blast, since he was bouncing around in his cab. In a matter of minutes he had cleaned our driveway and zipped across the street to the neighbour's.

"Where's our walk-shoveling guy?" Hubby was getting anxious.
"Don't worry, he'll show up." I figured he was at school and would show up towards evening.
He didn't.
I called back and put another message on his machine.
He still didn't show up.

Hmmm. I went outside and tried a bit of shoveling, but the snow was wet and heavy. It wasn't long before my shoulders and back began to ache. Meanwhile Hubby searched the ads in the local newspaper. Nobody was shoveling snow. Considering how much snow we had last year, no wonder!
I thought I'd try calling the town hall to see if they could recommend anybody. Nope. Nobody.

Hubby was totally frustrated at not being able to do the work. And upset that I should try and lift wet, heavy snow and risk straining or injuring myself.

"It's not the end of the world" (one of my favourite expressions), "I'll look for an electric shovel."
"A what?"
"An electric shovel. Why? Are they obsolete?"
I remember my mother using one to clear their front walk when my Dad could no longer shovel snow. That was about 30 years ago.

So off I went to the local hardware store. No, they didn't have any.
Figured I might as well check out the Mall.
And came home with:
2 packages of pot pourri
1 bottle of Vitamin E (for my skin)
2 bottles of body lotion (on sale - 2 for the price of 1)
1 tube of Olay facial cleanser (also on sale)
2 T-shirts for Hubby (not that he needs any, but they were on sale too) Stocking stuffers for the grandkids.

No electric shovel. They are on back order.
At least I know they still exist.
And hope when I find one that it doesn't come in a box all in pieces......

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What to blog about?

Gardens are finished. And this is not a gardening blog.
But gardening is so much fun - and I love posting pics of well.....nature.
Flowers and leaves and even spider's webs.

Hubby is ensconced in his favourite chair watching the Grey Cup Football game.
His life these days consists of reading books and watching sports programmes on T.V. As our weather turns colder and we look towards winter, Hubby will not be going out at all.

I'd go crazy if I couldn't get out every day. Even just to pick up food at the grocery store. I need to move, to get out, to see people.

Hubby is handling things well. I'm not.
I had a meltdown the other day.
Hubby was reading me pertinent bits of news from the business section of the newspaper.
And we all know what kind of news the financial world is reporting.
Will we survive? Will all of us baby boomers have to go back to work?

I am worried about my daughter. She is pregnant with her second child, due in February. And she is struggling with edema. Her body is retaining fluid. Her ob/gyn is sending her to a "high risk" specialist. Hopefully things will be o.k. It's the word "high risk" that scares me.

So with red and puffy eyes I got into the car and drove to Walmart.
Walmart! Who would have thought I'd be seeking comfort in Walmart!!
Mingling with smiling people out for an afternoon's shopping, checking out the baby department (that always cheers me up), buying (and eating) chocolate, and looking for stocking stuffers for the grandkids lifted my spirits.

Tonight as Hubby sits in front of the T.V. set, engrossed in his football game, I am sipping a glass of after-dinner red wine.
I now feel more relaxed and can focus on how grateful we are to have each other, our warm home and loving families close by.

Most of my American friends will be busily preparing for the upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday. So, I'll pop over and visit your blogs tonight. Guaranteed to lighten my mood and bring a smile to my face.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

November is National COPD Awareness Month

Sponsored by the U.S. COPD Coalition, November is a time for organizations and communities across the country to increase overall awareness of COPD.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a destructive lung condition that, over time, makes it extremely hard to breathe. As you can imagine, a person suffering from COPD, will eventually become seriously disabled.

Did you know that COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States today? The disease kills more than 120,000 Americans each year. And the numbers are increasing.

You can read about it here: COPD Awareness

On a lighter note - Hubby is doing well these days.
There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason. So we don't bother looking anymore.
The weather is lousy. Rainy and cold. Usually that's when Hubby feels drained and tired. And we blame the weather.

He's had ups and downs lately, but despite the weather, seems to have regained some of his energy. That's good news and I am treasuring these moments.

The rainy weather pushed me to do some much needed cleaning. I pulled books off shelves, dusting and polishing.
Came across a photo album of our Very First Trip. As I looked at the pics of us 12 or 13 years ago, (playful and happy on a beach in the Caribbean) a strange feeling came over me. It was a feeling of disconnection.
There's Carefree Hubby relaxing on a beach chair in the sand, all by himself. Or Smiling Hubby waving at the camera from the swimming pool.

It's hard to explain. For the past few years, I have gotten used to Hubby being hooked up to his oxygen concentrator. He's either sitting in a chair bundled up in sweaters and long pants (even in summer) or slowly making his way across the room, hunched over with the weight of his tank.

I can barely remember him living a normal life: sitting half-naked on the beach, swimming blithely in the ocean, or sneaking sips of wine from our cooler (beach rules - no alcohol!). It's as if suddenly, he's! How I wish!!
But it's the connection to me that seems odd. Or disconnection. Almost like I want to reach out and catch him before he falls. Weird.

We spend a nice weekend sharing memories of our vacations, holidays and family gatherings. It was wonderful to re-live those carefree happy days, looking back on the relaxed, fun-loving, energetic man I knew - before COPD.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Full Snow Moon

This November Full Moon rose at 4:40 this afternoon. It is also called the Snow Moon, Frosty Moon or Beaver Moon. Other names are: Falling Leaves Moon, Geese Going Moon, Long Moon, Little Bear Moon - and lots of others.

These names come from the past, when our people lived close to the Earth. The November Full Moon signaled a time for preparing. Winter would soon be upon the land. Time to gather warm Beaver pelts and other animal furs for use during the long cold months ahead. Food was dried, smoked or salted as a way of keeping it to last until Spring.

Today, we don't have to deal with those survival issues. We go to the store for food and warm clothing. We heat our homes (those of us who live in colder climates). Turn on taps for fresh water.

Unconsciously perhaps, we keep a little bit of the old ways alive by bringing fire indoors. A cozy wood stove or a crackling fireplace brings comfort and atmosphere to an ordinary room. We light candles for special occasions or to grace our dinner tables.

We bake breads and pies. We brew tasty soups and rich stews to nourish our bodies and delight our souls.

We've had rain the past few days, so I couldn't see this full November moon. How quick time is going!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tigers and Bees and Bears, oh my!

Jenny at Morning Glories Round the Clock
gave me this idea. She posted her little grandson in his Bee Halloween Costume. So I thought it would be fun to post the littlest grandkids in their costumes. Looks like bees, bugs and animals were the theme this Halloween.

Here is littlest grandson in his bee costume. He was too young to go trick-or-treating, so they had a party at his playgroup.

Littlest granddaughter in her panda bear costume. Looks like this one was taken afterwards. Look at all those yummy treats!

And here is second littlest grandson. Wearing his tiger costume. As you can see, these costumes are made for cold weather, since Halloween is usually cold here. This year it was relatively warm and lots of little ones stripped of their costumes way before the trick-or-treating was over.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Hubby became a grandpa for the second time.
Little Grace came into the world this afternoon, weighing 8 lb. and 4 oz.

Mother, Father (Hubby's son), big brother, and baby are all doing well.

They live clear across the country in B.C.
So it may be quite a while before we actually see this new little bundle of joy.
Luckily we live in the electronic age. We will catch our first glimpse of her via digital photography.

A time to celebrate!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Happy Birthday to a dear Daughter-in-Law.

Enjoy your special day!

This pic and the one on my header was taken by Marcela in Ottawa, where She lives with my son and their firstborn (littlest grandson, pictured above).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Bloomin' Tuesday

It's Bloomin' Tuesday over at Jean's Blog. This is a bouquet of flowers I received recently. Unfortunately, the light is not very good. They look washed out, but in my opinion, flowers are still flowers. And I love them all.

Moss growing on a rock in my front yard.

A moss skirt around an oak tree in my back yard.

But mostly, I am growing leaves.

Yup - that's what's blooming in my garden today. Leaves, leaves, and more leaves. Must be fall!