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Currently living the dream of moving to Toronto for 12 months for a Firefighter Exchange!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from the (second) best place on Earth!!!

It is Christmas Eve night here is beautiful Canada.   Outside is about minus 2 degrees, the house is warm, Jack has had his bath and is now enjoying eating an orange in front of a Christmas movie on TV.  We have already put out a plate of biscuits (cookies) and milk for Santa and another orange (forgot the carrot, bad mother) for the reindeer.   Unfortunately, Troy is working and won't be home until 7.30am Christmas morning. 

I know that Thanksgiving is the time of traditional 'thanks' but Christmas evokes more meaningful memories for us Australians.  I think the constant Christmas Carols on the radio, the snow, the good friends and the experience we are having right now....well we are just so lucky and thankful.  Thanks to the Cossarini family for being a wonderful exchange family.  We were very lucky to link up with you guys!  And their extended families - we know you are just a call away if we need you.   Thanks to the wonderful network of friends that we have over here.  From the Fire Hall boys to the neighbours to the new friends we have made along the way....I can honestly tell you that I would be on a plane heading back to Australia (probably without Troy :) by now if it weren't for you all.  You have all enriched our lives and taken us under your (turkey) wings to ensure we are happy, have everything we need and that we are getting the very best out of our experience. 

And thank you to our families and friends back home who didn't throw total tantrums when we announced we were doing this exchange (well Marnie and Yvonne threw mini-tantrums)....you have supported us and encouraged us to reach for the stars and to jump into the unknown.  

Tomorrow, we will be spending the day with a few presents and a light lunch before heading over to Barbie's house for a big Turkey Christmas dinner.    We wish you all a very happy and safe Christmas.   XXXXXX

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Xmas Trees, Good times and Hockey

The snow continues to fall in Toronto.  With a bit of spare time on my hands, I am often found sitting by the front window with a coffee, gazing outside daydreaming.  The snow is very mesmerising when it is floating and falling softly.   We had quite a heavy snow fall a few days back and Troy and I spent some time looking outside at the cars which were skidding and losing control on the corner into our street!  Must be Aussie drivers.
The roads have been quite good, really.  Most of the roads we travel on are regularly ploughed and salted, so they are quite clear and good.   The cars get really, really dirty here from all the salt and crap on the roads.  We are still figuring out how people keep them washed and clean when the outdoor water (garden taps) are turned off at the main for the winter time!  Must be a car wash job. 

We have not yet used the snowblower to clear the driveway and sidewalk (footpath) as shovelling is still a novelty.  Jack shovelled nearly the entire bottom part of the driveway last week all by himself!  Now we just have to teach him how to use the mower

Candace treated Bob, Troy and I to a concert last Friday night.  Candace's daughter, Shea babysat Jack for the evening.  We went to see a band called 'Skydiggers', which is a Canadian band who formed in 1989.  They are a great band with some beautiful harmonies.  They were playing at the Horseshoe Tavern downtown, so after enjoying a meal before the show, we headed to the Tavern.  Doors opened at 9pm and after sitting for close to one and a half hours, the band came out and played.  Candace and Bob were a bit miffed that they weren't playing their good old songs and instead seemed to be promoting a new album.   I was wondering where their beautiful melodies were!  After the sixth song, they announced that they were the support band and that Skydiggers would be out next!!!  WHAT???  But it's now 11pm!  Oh god, looks like a late night.  We spent the next 50minutes hanging shit on Bob and Candace for thinking they were the skydiggers!!!  So, at 11:50pm, the Skydiggers came out - we think we may give them some feedback that as their loyal fans are mainly people over the age of 30yo, it is strongly advised to appear EARLIER so that the oldies don't get too sleepy and tired and have to go home. 

Anyway, it was definitely worth the wait.  They have a really different sound and yes, their harmonies ARE beautiful.  We really enjoyed the concert.  

On Saturday, Candace took the Bower family to Hockley Valley Tree Farm so we could pick out a real christmas tree.  They have five different varieties of christmas trees growing in their plantation and you just walk out, pick a tree, cut it down and then drag it back to your car.  We took a ride on the horse drawn wagon, just for the extra country christmas experience.

We found our tree!

Troy was not very happy that Candace and I spent a long time walking through all the trees, when he found one right in the first row!   Of course, the good trees were at the very back of the plantation and before long we found the one!  The snow on the ground was about 30cms deep, so it was fun stomping through the snow!  It's not so much fun stomping all the way back, dragging the tree!  I tried to get some christmas carolling going, without success.  We were exhausted when we got back to the wagon which thankfully gave us a ride back to the main area.   After enjoying a hot chocolate, we strapped the trees on and headed for home.   The whole thing had a bit of a Chevy Chase "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" feel to it, which I loved!

On Sunday, Bob's neighbours Tom and Joe invited us to Christmas Drinks at their house.  Tom and Joe are really lovely and I got a tour through their house (they live behind Bob).  They have the most beautiful stained glass casement windows which are recessed deeply in their living room walls.  It was nice to meet some of the other neighbours and to enjoy the afternoon with lovely people.   

On Monday, Troy did some more work with Bob on his house.  Now that winter is well and truly here, Bob is focusing his attention on doing his kitchen and hall/entrance area.  Troy still really enjoys working over there and Bob is so happy to have another set of hands to help him out.  Bob says it has also given him the motivation he needs to continue his house restoration project.  He has run out of blood, sweat and tears from the past eight or so years of restoration work....so now Troy is donating his blood, sweat and tears!   They are making great progress and it's great to see the progress week to week.  
We had a lovely roast dinner at Candace's house on Monday evening and then we all strapped on our ice skates and headed down to the lake to skate along the ice trail.  It's like an outdoor rink but more like a outdoor ice path with trees with fairy lights and christmas carols playing.   Jack is getting good at skating.  He is able to skate along unaided and is starting to get the hang of gliding on the skates, rather than shuffling along.  He wanted to skate by himself most of the night and we weren't allowed to skate beside him.  Mr Independent.  The atmosphere was really special and although we were only their for about an hour or so, I will remember it for a lifetime.
This morning, we went to hockey to watch Troy/Daddy play.  It is the first time I have watched Troy play a real game of hockey and for those of you who know and love Troy, it will be no surprise to hear that he is a NATURAL!  I know I am a little biased, but he is seriously quite good and even scored another goal.  He did a few tricky moves which resembled the quickstep and cha cha cha, but on a whole he skates very well and his puck handing is pretty good, considering he has only been playing for a month or two!  He and Bob were playing on opposing sides, so there was a little sledging and nudging.   Some photos are below:  Troy is in the red shirt, number 20.  Bob is in the white shirt with red stripes, number 22.

 Troy and Bob (above) shoving a bit in goals.

 More shoving from Troy and Bob

 Bob going for a sub!

We picked up a set of second hand ski's for Jack on Monday.  He and Daddy had a lot of fun trying them out today on a small hill at Jack's school.  Troy said he did a good job.  Jack is enrolled in an 8wk learn to ski program starting in the first week of January, so if he takes after his father, he will be skiing confidently in no time! 

 First thing to learn is the snow plough - slows you down....it's actually my main ski move on the slopes!

Take care and love and kisses to everyone xxxxxx

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Severe Weather

Oh well, I woke up this morning ready for snowboarding, so we checked the snow conditions for Blue Mountain on the computer before we left.......luckily.  Turns out they have shut down for the day 'cause of high winds and road closures.......GOD!! So no snowboarding for me just yet.

Weather has been a bit crazy this last week with a low pressure system passing through, and as much as I don't like to say, luckily for us most of it was rain!! Alot of towns around us have been snowed in, and people have been stuck in their cars on the highways for up to 24 hrs.....  Sucks to be them.  Trouble for us was after the rain came a cold snap occurred and froze everything shut.  It took me 2 mins in minus 10 temps to open the car door the next day.

Today we got the final offerings from the low pressure sytem with about 10-15cms of snow, which made Jack happy, Erin was happy until we had to go for a drive..... The roads get real slippery when they are covered with ice!!!

Jack and I made a slide in the front yard while we cleared the driveway. He thought it was pretty cool!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

School Concert and Snow Sports

Jack had a School Concert this week.  His class sung 2 Christmas songs with actions. Jack, unfortunately has shown evidence of having his mothers ability when it comes to holding a tune, or should I say not so much holding a tune.  Erin has found a radio channel here that only plays christmas songs........GOD!!  Erin was trying to get Jack to sing along with her the other night, she changed key 3 times throughout the song, so Jack has no chance.

Bob took me snow skiing on Friday, Erin stayed behind to work at the Cat shelter and Jack had school.  Most of the boys at work got season passes to Blue Mountain, which is around an hour and a half drive north, so there will be a few more trips up there throughout the winter.  We got to the hills just when the lifts started operating but Bob informed me he had yet to pick up his pass.  So after 40 mins of me trying to make him feel bad while we are standing in a line waiting for him to pick up his pass that he could of got sent to him in the mail, we finally got started on the runs.  I only fell over about 10 times on my face....Hahahaha.  Half of that was on the flats at the bottom of the runs.  My legs were very tired by the end of the day.

The snow has melted here in Toronto now so on Saturday Erin Jack and I went for a drive north to find some snow to have a play in.  We found a park about half hour north and stopped to have a play there.  I was driving around the park to find a good hill to toboggan down but little miss scaredy(Erin) was freaking out about the snowy slush on the road.....We were doing 10km/hr....GOD!! So we pulled up at this flat park with this tiny hill on the edge that had about a 5 metre run and was only just steep enough for tobogganing, but anyway Jack didn't know any better so we made the most of it.

 Very gracefull

 Surely he hasn't got Erins singing voice and balance
 Dad's getting hammered

 Jack smashed Mum with a snowball at point blank on her beanie while she wasn't looking

Dad cops one in the face.
Oh and that's the hill in the background. The lamest hill in all of Ontario.

The weather turned a bit sour over the weekend, It's now raining in Toronto, not snowing, but a cold snap is coming back monday. And my next adventure will be snowboarding on Tuesday, with Scott and Jamie. We have got Jack into a ski school in January and normal School finishes next week so we will do a family outing to the slopes soon.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow!

We have been a bit slack with our blog lately, so apologies to everyone.

Troy has been working a lot doing a couple of fill-ins as well as his normal work roster.  He went to Buffalo (just south of the Canadian border, near Niagra Falls) with the blokes from 421 hall to watch the hockey.  It is much cheaper to see a game of hockey down there as the prices here in Toronto are crazy expensive.  I find it amusing that the Toronto Maple Leafs (yeah I know, it should be 'leaves') are a bit like our NQ Cowboys in the success department, but the locals here still LOVE their team and almost all the games are a sellout.  Us Aussies could learn a lot from the Canucks about loyalty.   Troy said the game itself in Buffalo was quite low scoring but he still really enjoyed the atmosphere.  I am now keen to see a game for myself and be amongst all the action!

Troy also came home from work one day and announced that he got the flu shot.  Here is how the conversation went:
T:  "I got the flu shot today."
E:  "What?"
T:  "I got the flu shot today"
E:  "You've already had the flu shot in Australia in July!"
T:  "Oh yeah I thought I might have but this one had the H1N1 in it"
E:  "So did the other one you got."
T:  "Oh....Well this flu shot might have been different"
E:  "Did you think perhaps we could have checked first?"
T:  "Oh well, this flu shot is the Canadian version so now I am double-protected!!!"

Troy then got sick this week with a cold/flu.  Knocked the wind out of his sails for a couple of days.  He is having some serious hockey withdrawals and is like a fly in a bottle trapped in the house.  He has recovered now (thank god) so he is back on track with his hockey affair.

Candace and I went to an Art Gallery showing during the week to support Ellen Donnelly (I went to Thanksgiving at the Donnelly House with Candace) who had two watercolours on show.  Her work is just lovely and I got to see a number of other great Canadian artists. 
We also had a baking day on Saturday when Troy was at work.  Candace did all her Christmas baking which consisted of:   Deep fried twists, Jam drops, Crescent Cookies, Pitzells, Shortbread and Magic Squares.  I have more recipes to bring home and share with you all.  It was a great day and Jack assisted where he could.  Candace decorates her house in all the Christmas glory with marching bands, nativity set (without baby Jesus who only comes out on Christmas Day) and musical Santa etc.  I tried to burn her house down when making microwave popcorn and we had to air out the house with outside temps of about 2 degrees!  Stupid Aussie.

We had a mini-disaster during the week as well.  Teddy got a massive hole in him and Nanny is not here to fix it!  I am sewing-challenged so Candace came to the rescue and Teddy had the surgery he required and is now fit and healthy again!  Phew!

The snow if officially falling today.  We woke up to find a snow covered backyard!  How lovely.  It has been snowing steadily all morning and it is just so pretty that I can't stop sitting by the window and daydreaming.  There is no wind so the flakes of snow are fluttering to the ground.  The car was completely covered so we had to brush it all off.  The snow squeaks and crunches underfoot and we have had to teach Jack about brushing off the snow before coming inside.

We hope the snow stays for a while!  The ice rink down the road has opened as well, so we will be able to go skating more regularly.  It is an outdoor rink which has been made on the tennis courts. 

We hope everyone is happy and healthy and enjoying the heat in Australia!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Santa Claus Parade & my tough husband

We woke on Sunday morning to see snow lightly falling outside.  Now you may be all thinking, "oh how lovely on a lazy Sunday morning!"  Well, if we could stay inside with warm coffees, leisurely reading the newspaper and watching DVD's all day we would also agree.  However, the annual Santa Claus Parade was taking place downtown at midday.  So after taking an hour to actually get adequately dressed to go outside, we cross the road to take the bus to the subway station and then off we go downtown. 

Now before I go on, I need to paint the picture for all those Aussies who don't really know what it's like to live in a cold climate.  Firstly, the key to keeping warm is layers of clothing.   After a week of 'layering' each day, I was fed up with the amount of washing I had to do.  My brain was automatically programmed from living in a hot climate that you do not re-use your clothing.  I then realised that you can get more than one wear out of some of the layers.  If you are wearing five layers, you can reuse layers 2,3,4. Needless to say, my washing volume has decreased significantly. 

Also, it takes AGES to get out the door.  Literally!  In Townsville, you just chuck on a pair of thongs and off you go.  In a cold climate, you have to layer, layer, layer, coat, beanie (they call them toques here), mittens/gloves, scarf, socks, socks again, boots...you get the picture.  So we have to factor that in whenever we go anywhere.  
Another thing is something I will be saying in my sleep before too long, "where are your mittens?.....put your beanie back on.....no you cannot take your boots off"  sheesh. 

It is hard to imagine that it gets colder here.  It is so so so so so cold when you stand still in one spot for a period of time.  The key is to keep on moving.

Anyhow, off we go to the Santa Claus Parade.  It is HUGE and takes hours and hours for all the floats to go by.  It was certainly a sight to see - the amount of detail in the floats were amazing.  The marching bands were great as well.  Unfortunately, we could not outlast the cold and had to call it a day before the big man showed up.  Jack was not upset about missing out on seeing Santa, so that goes to show how cold he was.  We came home and Troy had the chills.  I had asked him when we were leaving for the parade if he wanted to wear the ski jacket and he scoffed...instead he wore a windcheater type jacket.  When do men learn that their wives know best???  After five minutes in the house, this is where I found him:

He was laying on top of one of the heating vents in the house and barricaded himself in and under a blanket as well!   So he is definitely not as tough as he may seem.  Yes he plays football and hockey etc but here is the proof that deep down he is soft!  

Troy has been battling a sore wrist now for weeks.  He hurt it a while ago playing footy and it has just never really improved.  I asked him if he wants to get it x-rayed and he said that it would probably be a good idea as it is likely broken or had been broken.  I told him that if he gets it x-rayed, it means that he needs to realise that IF it is broken that will mean it will need to be set in plaster.  A look of horror on his face....I then explained that there is no point in getting it x-rayed if he was not prepared to have it treated IF it was broken.  His look of horror then turned into a look of concentration and pondering.  After a moment, he asked if they could put a cast on it that he would sometimes take off to play sport?  WHAT??!!!???   For such an intelligent person, he really says some stupid things sometimes!   Result:  No x-ray.   Untreated broken wrist to go with is untreated broken nose.  Canada certainly kicks butt.  When he is eighty years old and battling his osteo-arthritis in his wrist and nose, he can fondly remember his Canadian Adventure.

Everyday is a new day here and we are still seeing and living new and different things.  We are so lucky to be living a completely different lifestyle in such a beautiful place.  Things are certainly different to what we are used to, but we love that our life has been turned upside down and we get to try something new!  Living in a cold climate is actually quite nice - warm snug fires, hot drinks, DVD nights, crisp air!   Although Troy nearly had an aneurysm last week when it was about four degrees and he was cold....he realised I had one of the windows open a bit to let some fresh air in!  ha ha.  I can't help it, a girl needs a bit of fresh air when she lives with two boys.

Take care everyone and we miss you all xxxxx

Saturday, November 20, 2010

More goals!!!

Well, now that I can control the puck a little better and know a little bit more about where to position myself, a have scored a few more goals!!!!YAY!!! The other factor is that I have been playing in the forward line a lot more as I have been invited to play with the Hydrunks in a tournament in February next year as a wing man, not in defence where up until now I have been playing.  They reckon I will get snapped too much in defence.  I also had a go at a proper game, with a ref, instead of just pickup hockey where there is no ref.  I scored twice in that game, nothing pretty though, just in the right place at the right time.

I think I am going to have to start up a league when I get home, cause I don't know what I am going to do without Hockey back in Australia.

Didn't get up to much this week, Erin went shopping today with Candice and saved us sooooo much money on a leather jacket........GOD!!!! I took Jack ice skating and he can at least stand up by himself after falling and he can also skate the full length of the rink without holding on, so it shouldn't take too long before he can out skate Erin haha.......no, Erin goes alright.

Jack got his first blister today, he was not impressed that he had to stop skating 'cause of this thing.

Jack skated away from me and then tried to turn around and fell over and then I was told kindly that taking photos is not allowed due to other kids being around.  Which is the first time I have come across that since we have been here.  It just seams that is the way of the future everywhere....EY!  I think I will turn fully mental if the world continues on this path though!!!!!
Santa Clause parade tomorrow and they will not stop me taking photos there......ha! Even if they put me on the naughty list!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fog, Mexican Night and Mandarin Dinner

The weather has been strange lately.  Our friends here tell us that it is warmer than what it  normally is at this time of the year.  We enjoyed some lovely days this week, with maximums around the 12degrees.  Glorious sunshine and no wind makes me want to go outside and sing!

However, on Thursday and Friday we experienced some really strange fog.  Quite thick and pretty much lingered all day.  The air felt quite warm, but we could see our breath when we spoke.  Jack continues to giggle hilariously whenever he sees his breath in the air!  The fog got much thicker at night of course.   This photo was taken mid-morning.

On Saturday night, we hosted a Mexican Night and our friends Barbie, Brian, Lovenia and Andrew all came over with their kids.  Everyone bought a plate of Mexican cuisine and we had a wonderful feast!  The kids had a great time and protested when the night ended at about 11pm! 

On Sunday, Bob and Candace came over for afternoon to sample one of my apple pies that I made.  Candace showed me how to make her pastry but I had to do the filling all by myself.  We consumed half the pie with some tea (cup of tea, not dinner) and it was a lovely relaxed afternoon. 
Bob invited us to a restaurant for dinner called the Mandarin.  He explained that it is a buffet style place that is very popular.  It was amazing!  The range of food to choose from was endless.  They had everything from Asian to pizza to roast beef to lamb to salads!  And the dessert section was gigantic and Dad and Graeme would have been in heaven.
They also had a fish pond area in the foyer which was home to some koi fish.  The fish had amazing colouring and were just beautiful.

Temperatures are going to get colder later in the week, I think one of the days is expected to have a high of about 3degrees.  We are very lucky that the Cossarini house is very warm with an excellent heating system!  No doubt the Cossarinis are starting to experience the heat back home, although we have heard that it has been quite rainy lately. 

Time is certainly flying by.  We are already starting to make plans for the remaining time here in Toronto.  We have plans for every month between now and July and that doesn't even include everything we want to see and do while we are here.  We had intentions of doing some travel in the US but it seems that we will not even get through the parts of Canada that are on our list!  It has been such a wonderful experience so far.  We have met some amazing people, with hearts as big as their lakes!  Our friends have welcomed us with open arms and shown us such generosity and kindness.   Everyone says, "the experience is what you make it" but I think this is more appropriate, "the experience is made from the wonderful people around you". 

Bye for now xxxxx

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Some more observations about Canada

1)  School zones here at 40km/h, 24hrs a day, 7days a week, 365days per year!  Doesn't matter if it is a weekend or summer hols or 11pm at night, you still have to do the 40km/h

2)  When someone invites you over for "tea", they don't mean dinner.  They mean a cup of tea.  Most people call dinner, supper.  I feel really country calling it supper.

3)  Toronto has the best rubbish collection service.  You get three bins - a mini green wheelie for all compostable stuff like vege scraps, serviettes etc.  They have a recycle bin and a normal rubbish bin.  But they also have collections for any electronic equipment, garden waste etc.  Actually you can pretty much put anything on your front footpath and it will be disposed of.  A bit like Kelso in Townsville, except it's not the neighbours taking your stuff!

4)  Soup is consumed heaps here so your blood does not freeze in your veins in winter.  It acts like anti-freeze but tastes better than the regular anti-freeze.  Anyhow, whenever you buy soup at a cafe or something, they always give you salada/premium biscuits with it.  I have learnt that Canadians use the 'saltine crackers' like we use bread - they crumble it all up over the top of the soup and then eat it.  Kinda like crunchy croutons...but different. 

5)  People do not do the speed limit anywhere here.  And if you are wearing a Toronto Fire Service T-shirt and get pulled over for speeding, you just get a caution :) Thanks officer!

6)  Drivers here LOVE to use the horn!  They are very impatient when the light turns green, they expect you to floor it even if there is a stationary car in front of you, otherwise you get beeped.  We are seriously lucky that Troy does not have a gun licence.

7)  It is socially acceptable to wear your jarmies to the store at any hour of the day.

8)  You have to pay for plastic bags EVERYWHERE.

9)  The public school system here does free sight and hearing tests as well as dental checks.

10)  Tim Hortons is the Canadian coffee sensation.  Their stores are everywhere here in Canada.  It is so so so so cheap as well and I think that is why Canadians seem to hate Starbucks.  We bought a large coffee, a softdrink, an apple juice, a bagel and a breakfast muffin and it cost $6!  Bargain.

11)  Softdrink here is really cheap - a can of coke is $1, plus tax of course....oh and you don't even have to put it in the fridge, you can leave it outside and save the electricity.

12)  There is no cottee's cordial here.  Actually there is no cordial concentrate here at all, only juice concentrates which are frozen ... weirdos!

13)  Canadian kids drink HEAPS of juice!  There are so many juice varieties it's mind blowing.

14)  Vitamin D is added into a lot of drinks here, mainly cause you will freeze to death if you go outside during the months of Dec - Mar.

15)  The schooling curriculum seems to be ahead/advanced.

16)  If we order any takeaway thru drive through, we have a Forrest Gump moment every time.  People don't seem to understand Troy and so we always end up with a surprise order every time.  Like Forrest Gump says, you never know what you're gonna get.

17)  Apparently, it is not cold here.  If we say, geez it's cold....we will get one of the two following reactions:  a) hysterical laughter or b) "just wait".

18)  I tried a new Canadian sensation called a "flutter-nutter".  It is a sandwich with peanut butter and this marshmallow fluff stuff on it.  Sounds gross and the fluff stuff tastes gross on it's own, but all together....mmmmm divine.

19)  Canadians kick arse on Aussies with desserts.  Period.  No arguing.  Seriously.

20)  Aussies kick arse on Canadians with wine making.  Period.  No arguing.  Mega-seriously.

We found a UK food stand at the Royal Winter Fair on the weekend and bought some 'real meat pies and sausage rolls'.  You can't buy a pie or sausage roll over here so I was happy to see the UK stand.  However, we were very disappointed and so now I am going to make the real Aussie meat pies and sausage rolls!  I will even do a batch for Troy to take into work on Monday. 
I will let you know how they turn out!

Autumn Leaves and Frosty Grass

First of all, it took six weeks but I finally scored a goal in Hockey!!!!! YAY!!!! A few weeks ago someone told me I had a nice single axle pirouette into the flying sit spin... I thought that was nice of him to give me a compliment to boost my spirits.

Most of October we have been overtaken by leaves. The ground is covered and still you look up at the trees and they don't even look like they have dropped any leaves....Far out!! We are just waiting for one more tree to drop its leaves so we can do a final clean up. I hope this happens soon because it's not getting any warmer here.
If we have to go anywhere in the mornings now, we have to scrape ice off the windshields and windows first!!!! and the grass gets a white coat of frost on it.  The last 2 days though have warmed up to 10 degrees and I have been comfortable wearing 2 Tshirts and jeans. But if your in the shade and there is wind it is a different story.

We had to move our clocks back an hour the other night.  They have day light savings time here from March until November.  So now when it is 6am here, it is 9pm in Townsville.
We had dinner at Pat and Melissa's Sunday for a catch up and before that we had a look around at the Toronto Royal Winter Fair.  It is mainly agricultural with people showing their cattle and horses etc.  Jack managed to find a pile of shit and then stand right in it.....and then thought he probably should inspect his shoe by touching it and then later when he got sick of walking wanted me to carry him....I'm like, "keep your feet away from me", "get your dirty shoes off of me".

Monday, November 8, 2010

Snow, St Jacobs, and Halloween

Wow, so Halloween is a big thing here in Canada! On the Friday before Halloween all the kids at Jacks school got dressed up and had a parade to show off all their costumes. The temperature was down to about 5 degrees but there was also a Northerly wind which made it uncomfortable, So the lion costume wasn't going to be warm enough for Jack so we dressed him up as Batman over the top of his ski jacket.

The parade was chaos at its best, classes of kids walking in any direction they see fit in one big conga line, Erin reckons that Jack's teacher did a head count about 7 times throughout the parade.  The teachers get right into the spirit and dress up too.

 This is Emma from over ^^ the road

Jack wouldn't look at us, he just wanted to make sure he didn't get lost.

Later on Friday we were taken by Candice to a party store where you could get any imaginable item you could think of regarding Halloween. The first thing we saw was a man walking around with a aluminium beer can impaled in his forehead with fake blood and scars on his head.  Jack just stopped and stared and then asked if that man was real or was he a robot??  The look of horror was priceless, I wish we got a photo but we didn't, we did however get a photo of some random who was getting a full body makeup of an Avatar like the movie.
 After the store we went around the streets looking at peoples Halloween decorations, some people get right into it like this one below.

On Saturday, Bob took us out to St Jacobs for a looksies.  This town is known for its local market and the Mennonite community(similar to Armish people) Horse and carts, and no electricity are still used by some of the Mennonites, others are not so fanatical and will drive 2010 Dodge Ram pickup trucks but they will still dress the same as the others???? Why they are like that I don't fully understand but it is a religious thing and it is almost like a protest against the modernisation of the world.

Modern wheels for comfort is allowed.......apparently!!

Jack was happy to see a cat who would actually come up to him, and he spent a good half hour watching this train go around and through a shop.

Sunday was Halloween and around 10am in the morning it snowed!!!

I tried telling the boys at work and they wouldn't believe me until someone else came back and told them it started snowing on them aswell.......GOD!!! I wouldn't lie about these things!!
Jack and I carved our first Halloween pumpkin while Erin was at the cat shelter.
Then we got ready to go trick or treating.  It was f-f-freeking f-f-freezing that night.  Jack thought all his Christmas's had come at once.  We went a block over to meet up with Jim and Helen's grandkids and their neighbours kids and we went from there around the block and then back home.  Jack had his bag filled up pretty quick.  There was one house who had a man with a mask on and Jack wouldn't go up to him for lollies....too scary!!
Erin dressed up as herself....haha.  I didn't dress up but I was the frozen aussie guy by the end of the night.....Fark me!!

 Jack was in too much of a hurry to wait around for photos!!
 Try getting a bunch of kids to stop for a photo on Halloween.....It's not easy
The fruits of Jack's labour!