Monday, April 20, 2009

The Waterfront - Spring Pictures

Hardy Park

For a number of reasons I dragged my family to the waterfront this Sunday afternoon. I don't think they were properly impressed. However, I was excited to get there and take some pics.

Hardy Park Bandstand

Why, you ask?? Thank you. I love open-ended questions that make me chatter on.

Tunnel Bay Marina - empty boat slips. The big red building is the Boardwalk Landing. It's kind of a lone, modern pimple on our more traditional waterfront, but not for long. It is soon to be joined by the controversial Maritime Discovery Centre.

I have a new camera. It's not fancy. It was a great deal at the local grocery store where they had a tax-free deal over the weekend. Plus, it was already $10 off. So, -$10 + (-13%) = a good deal. My loving husband, trying to spend money for my direct enjoyment and pleasure, dragged me, kicking and screaming to the store for this camera. I told him we would just be looking. I like my old camera. It just doesn't work so well anymore. This means that with increasing frequency, the afore mentioned loving husband could be found at the kitchen table dissecting my mostly-dead camera. He would fiddle with it, shake it, remove a part here and there and then put it back together. Once, he even put back the extra screws he had from a previous tear-down. Good times. Loving Husband made the point that if I bought this camera, I wouldn't need new software, a new dock, a new and expensive rechargeable battery or anything else. This camera was an upgrade of my current model, yet a model the store is selling off to make way for the most current model. So, new camera for pictures.

Tunnel Bay Marina and Blockhouse Island Pier on the right.

Matt and Michelle in Korea have just attended a Cherry Blossom Festival in their Korean community. I have to say, I'm a little jealous. I think my favourite part of spring would be when the apple trees blossom, so I can just imagine the cherry blossoms. I needed to get out and collect some evidence for Matt and Michelle about the current spring-like conditions we're enduring in their hometown.

St. Lawrence River looking West

My less-than-enthused family also needed something to do on a lovely Sunday afternoon. Outdoors. because I said so. The Boy Child ran off and found a street hockey game to be part of so I borrowed a different boy child so The Girl Child would not be lonely during our outing. Just kidding. She had a friend over.

Along the waterfront portion of the Brock Trail and, below, the gazebo at the Yacht Club.

And that was our Sunday walk by the river. It was cold. The wind was out in full force. But it was bright and lovely and we all got a good dose of Vitamin D. Much needed after all the hibernation that's been going on around here.

That's all for now. Now we wait patiently and wait for Matt or Michelle to grace us with an anon Blogger comment.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Book Sale Proceeds

Well, that was fun!

At the RVHEA Used Book Sale, my table raked in about $300 in a short three hours. My girlfriend, a fellow homeschooling mom who was sharing the table with me, and I split the proceeds fairly evenly. We did keep a detailed list so we knew exactly what each of us made and exactly which things sold.

Now for the what did I learn section.

First, vacuum your car, farm your kids out for the day of the sale (after they help with the car) and have everything priced and packed up in the sections you plan to display them in. Set up needs to happen fairly quickly and it was so nice to be able to plunk bins on a table, lift the lid and be pretty much ready.

We received a lot of compliments on how organized our table was. That's kind of scary when you look at who you're talking to (me, not Friend).

Second, people begin shopping while their kids - the ones they didn't farm out - set up their table. So there we were, labelling bins by subject, still carting things from the car while elbow wrestling with early bird shoppers. Next time I go, I'll bring a kid to bolster our forces. This time, there was no room in the car. That may have had something to do with letting my husband pack the car...

Third, this particular sale seems to be busy for the first hour and a half. Then traffic really tapers off. If I go again, I will be prepared to drop my prices on non-curriculum-y things at this point. I felt really bad for the shoppers who trickled in a half hour before sale end. Most of the tables had been packed up and there was a steady stream of stuff begin packed out to waiting vans in the parking lot. Poor form, me thinks.

Weird things I noticed: We arrived at the venue about 20 minutes early. The parking lot was full. Homeschooling moms are all about getting the deal! People were trying to sell really, really old resources in some cases. Or they were trying to sell off hundreds of things (books, VHS) in a large Rubbermaid tote. I wasn't prepared to dig. And if I was, I don't think I'd be paying what they were asking for the dogeared, torn stuff they'd tossed in there in the first place. These people also brought a lot of things home. Toys, story books and other colourful things (K'NEX, etc.) that can be classified as 'manipulatives' or 'learning activities' are kid magnets. I'm not ashamed of the sales I made due to begging children.

Sorry for the poor quality pictures. I turned the flash off and was operating one handed as I usually had one hand in the book bins holding up a stack for someone who was flipping through them. As a vendor, I haven't really come up with a solution for the one-arm shopping situation. You see a book you want, you have to hang onto it, leaving you only one hand to pick through the rest of the things you want to look at. OH well, it makes opportunities for pleasant chit-chat. Oh, and I was so busy I didn't even think twice about negotiating prices with people. "Will you take three dollars for this," a lady asked me. I replied without even thinking, "No, but I'll take four." Sold. Easy peasy.

So I don't think I'll go back for the next sale in September, or even the one next Spring. But I think I would for sure go in a couple of years once I had a good selection of sale-worthy things saved up.
Next big project: Kitchener-Waterloo Conference this weekend...


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Taking Inventory...

...or "In Which I Address An Irritating Personalty Trait".

I really hate certain aspects of social conversation. I suppose they could all be lumped under the category of 'Confrontation'. Or more benignly, I suppose 'Assertiveness' would do. In my personal life, I don't have a history of being terribly assertive and I avoid confrontation at very nearly all cost.


This weekend is the RVHEA Used Book Sale. This weekend I will step out of my box. This weekend I will ask people for money; a part of social conversation that I think requires a certain amount of 'Assertive'. Wish me luck.

Now. If I could just get past 'Procrastination' and stick a price tag on something, I'd be well on my way.

Friday, March 20, 2009

- J.P. Neufeld - Stepping Up and Speaking Out

Here's a hat tip to a fellow Canadian.

School Threat Foiled

J.P. Makes The Call

J.P. Sounds Alert

Thanks, J.P., for stepping up and doing something when many would have done nothing. Who knows how much devestation and heartache you prevented.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Today I sucked it up and did some yoga. A whole 20-minutes of really bad, poor-form, wobbly yoga.

Right after K was born (or was it R?) I trekked myself off to my local Y for a session of yoga. I fell asleep at the end of every class. It was very embarrassing. I don't think the class leader was too impressed.

Since then little has happened in the way of regular, productive physical activity. Any regular activity has actually been going into the negative amounts, if that is possible, due to nagging little injuries. I've dealt with those little annoyances in the absolute worst way ever. Ignore, ignore, stay still.

So, being utterly fed up with myself, in more ways than one, I signed out this Yoga for Dummies DVD at the library this week. I was drawn to this one because the description didn't use words like 'meditation' and 'relaxing'. It used descriptors such as 'moving continuously' and 'dynamic movement increases your heartrate'. The lovely and entirely-too-happy-with-scary-biceps Chris Freytag in the cover art is actually almost sitting up - there's no hint of meditation anywhere!

I limped through the first 20 minutes. R tried it out too. But only because yoga helps those who want to be goalies, and could I please pull the drapes so the neighbours don't notice. All in all, it wasn't too bad. It was depressing, but only because it was so far from what I used to be able to do.

It may surprise some to know that I am fairly well qualified (or at least I was) in personal training, weight-lifting, exercise, nutrition and various other healthy living pursuits. I used to teach fitness classes. I trained others to teach. I worked in a sports therapy clinic. I was an example. My main transportation was a pair of roller blades and my best accessory was a 75-litre day pack.

Although the DVD is supposedly a weight-loss workout, I'm not even going to go there. I just want to be able to move without hurting myself. One step at a time, right? I just never though the steps would be so small.

♥ Bonni