Saturday, January 31, 2009

265:365 Empty ... but clean, dangit!!

Anna: In preperation for the move, we're going through everything and doing our spring cleaning now - the less cleaning they have to do after we're gone, the more of our damage deposit we get back. ;-)

My job for today was the fridge. I hate doing the fridge. Not as much as I hate doing the oven, which I'll be doing later this week. *sigh*

It was a decent day to get it done, though. Everything went onto the balcony until the job was done. It was cold enough that the freezer stuff wouldn't thaw out, but warm enough that the fridge stuff wouldn't freeze. At least not before I was done. It was a bit touch and go for the eggs, I'll admit.

Next job: grocery shopping. LOL

Oh, and that basket in the back. (click on photo for full size) Yes, it's full of film cannisters. I think some of them go back to pre-children days. My oldest is turning 16 in a couple of months. Another of the reasons I love digital so much. I don't add to the collection of undeveloped film! I got so tired of paying for pictures and half of them hadn't turned out for one reason or another. I stopped taking pictures completely when we got a new point and shoot - the kind where you just drop the film in and it loads itself - and I'd get entire rolls of photos that focused anywhere but where I wanted it to. With the film already more expensive than the regular kind, I threw in the towel and waited until digitals came down in price.

I really ought to find someplace to get these developed. At least a few at a time. :-/

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

264:365 Not quite move in ready...

Anna: We got a fantastic phone call yesterday. After more than a year on the waiting list at a nearby housing co-op, we got a call that a 3 bedroom townhouse became available. On this date next month, we should be mostly moved into our new home!

For those unfamiliar with housing co-ops, this is how the organization the complex we're moving into does things (there are small differences with other co-ops). Co-ops are run democratically by members. Potential new members need to go through an application process. Attendance at an information meeting is required first, where general details common to a group of about 30 individual co-ops are explained. Individual complexes first go through the applications, then interview applicants that meet qualifications. After the interview, a meeting is held and members go over the applications and vote on whether or not to accept them. We were accepted ... I think it was in the fall of 2007. In the complex we applied at, we applied for a 3 bedroom apartment, but said that we were willing to accept pretty much anything that came up.

Members buy shares, making them equal owners of the entire complex. Each unit, however many people are in it, has to take its turn with various things, like serving on different boards and so on. Instead of rent or a mortgage, there is a membership fee paid. This is decided upon by the members and is enough to cover the expenses of the complex, plus a bit extra that is set aside for less frequent expenses, ranging from renovations to units after members move out to replacing roofs as needed, or damage from things like storms. For us, that means we'll be getting a 3 bedroom townhouse for less than we're paying for a 2 bedroom apartment.

With the housing market the way it is, no one was moving out and the waiting list wasn't changing. I'd phone every now and then and be told the same thing - no one's moved out, so the waiting list hasn't moved. In fact, they stopped taking names for the waiting list because it had grown so long. I wasn't expecting to get a call anytime soon, so getting one only a week after the last time I called them was a total surprise.

We saw the place today. The woman who showed it to us warned us that is didn't look good right now. (I didn't expect it to - I knew they'd just started renovating.) It turns out the former resident, who had lived there for 11 years, was one of those rare cases at a co-op. She was "evicted." That means the other members of the complex had to vote her out! I don't know much beyond that, but from the people I met, the relief she was gone was palpable!

This shows a bit why. The resident made all sorts of unapproved modifications. Major changes to units need to be approved by one of the boards. One of the reasons for this is so that, when a member moves away and the unit needs to be renovated, it's not too difficult to do.

What you see here, by the way, is after they'd cleared out about 5 truckloads of junk that had been left behind! While we were there, there were a couple of maintenance people working on it. This fridge was in the middle of being scrubbed, though you can't see the woman behind the door at all.

It doesn't look pretty right now, but it's all cosmetic. The place is actually really nice, is structurally sound, and will soon look right as rain.

Since we're the next residents, we get to choose the carpet, paint and linoleum. I borrowed the swatches so that we could make decisions with all four of us there, since my husband was at work when we saw the place.

The linoleum and carpet will be the same for the entire unit, but we got to choose different colours of paint for different areas. Unfortunately, this photo isn't true to colour, but it's close. The stars mark the colours we chose. Most are in the greens, but the upstairs bathroom will have a blue. The carpet colour is called "Raspberry."

We're pretty excited about the whole thing!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

263:365 Mystery photo

Anna: We got a new toy today. In trying to figure out how to use it, I got this photo here.

This image is completely unaltered. Click on it for full size, though I'm afraid I haven't figured out how to get a larger image with it - at least not one that still looks ok.

So... what do you think it is?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

262:365 Keeping warm

Anna: You know it's cold out here when the only pictures we're taking are indoors.

Which leads me to another cat picture.

I've been using the Canon S3 a lot more lately - especially for the photos I've been taking for my crafts blog. Sometimes, a point and shoot is all I want. I'd been taking photos of my latest project with it, so it was handy when the cat decided to curl up in a hollow of the couch beside me.

Click on the photo for full size.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

261:365 Cozy

Anna: I've been a bit lax in taking photos, except for "work in progress" pictures. Rather than miss another day on this blog, I figured I'd add one of them here.

If you're not too sure what it is, check out the step by step details I've got on my craft blog.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

260:365 I love it when someone else does the cooking...

Anna: I woke up this morning aching from head to toe. I ended up cancelling my physiotherapy appointment. The receptionist told me I was the 5th person this morning that cancelled because of a nasty flu bug going around.

So my elder daughter, sweetheart that she is, made lunch (she did most of the work for supper, too). She likes making these little eggy things using frozen tart shells. Usually, the egg mixture puffs up like mushroom caps when they first come out of the oven. For some reason, in this batch the shells themselves got lifted up out of their foil, instead. She called me over to get a picture.

She knows me very well. *L*

They were Delicious.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

259:365 A bad combination

Anna: There's a sign we pass fairly often that I've been wanting to take a picture of for ages, but was either driving or didn't have my camera. Philippe finally got it for me using his Blackberry.

Liquor. Beer. Wine. Tattoo.

That's just a bad combination! LOL

Sunday, January 18, 2009

258:365 A scenic day

Anna: The girls and I took advantage of the beautifully warm day we had today and went for a walk in the river valley. Philippe wasn't able to go with us, but he was able to pick us up downtown several hours later (taking the valley, it's about a 2 1/2 - 3 mile walk) and we made a trip to WEM. It ended up being a highly productive photo day. I've uploaded quite a few photos to my flickr account, which you can visit here. You'll be able to see larger versions of the photos I'm including below, too.

I was able to get some pretty decent shots of this woodpecker using the macro lens. At 90mm, it did better than the other lens I had would me, an 18-55mm. I did crop the photo quite a bit, though.

When we got into the downtown area, we passed through a section lined with rose gardens. A surprising number still held their petals.

I've tried a number of times to get good photos of the fish in WEM's large aquariums, with little success. Today, they were surprisingly co-operative Especailly the 3 huge lionfish they've got.

This is the smaller of the puffer fish that shares the tank with the lionfish.

By the time I got home, I had over 200 photos to upload into the computer. I was pleasantly surprised to find most of them were good. Especially with the fish.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

257:365 Refreshment

Anna: Since we missed a couple of days, I figured I'd make mine a seperate post.

Philippe takes gorgeous baby pictures. I take pictures of bottles. LOL

The Italian grocery store we go to started carrying a new... well, new to them, considering the 1891 date on the bottles... line of carbonated drinks. We're trying some new ones this week. They cost a lot more than the big name brands, but they sure do test better!

256:365 - Baby shots

Philippe: We went to see friends today; and Anna got her baby fix while I got my pic fix.. win-win if you ask me :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bonus pic: My spot!

My spot
My spot,
originally uploaded by amkb.
My younger daughter loves jigsaw puzzles. Unfortunately, so do the cats! We've made up a work surface large enough for most of her puzzles out of a box. It's the perfect size, but when she stops working on it, the cats like to jump onto the box and sit on her puzzle. That's fine when it's done. When it isn't, the usual result is one skidding cat and puzzle pieces all over the floor.

So my daughter had got into the habit of covering her unfinished puzzle with her butt pillow. It's one of the "donut" pillows, with a hollow in the middle.

As you can see, the cat fits perfectly into the hollow. *L*

(This is the first time I've posted directly from my flickr account. I don't know why it's so tiny, but if you click on it, you'll be redirected to a larger photo.)

255:365 Transformation - Updated

Last night I put a pot of warm milk and starter into a warm oven.

This morning, we woke to thick, delicious home made yogurt. The photo is what it looked like just before I stirred it.

My younger daughter isn't keen on yogurt - she's waiting for the cheese and the bread. My elder daughter had some sweetened with a bit of honey for breakfast, and a bowl of some with frozen fruit thawing out for later.

I think I'll be sharing some of that with her. ;-)

Philippe: So I'm staying up Wayyyy to late these days.. On the up side, sometimes I remember to actually pick up the camera ;)

Monday, January 12, 2009

254:365 Today, we have milk...

... tomorrow, we will have yogurt.

Then with half of the yogurt, we will make yogurt cheese.

With the remaing liquid, we will bake bread.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

253:365 What's out there?

Anna: I was getting some pictures of a project my daughter is working on and couldn't resist snapping this one as well.

larger versions available here

We got a drafting table set for the girls this Christmas. The cats immediately claimed it as their own. Especially Harley. There's nothing she loves more than when the girls open the window, as the apartment tends to get very warm and humid, even if we have the heat turned down completely. On cold days, the result is billowing clouds of fog that Harley is fascinated by.

Fog or no, as soon as the window is opened, she comes running, jumps onto the table and sticks her head into the screen. As far as I know, she's never been outside a day in her life (well, I suppose she had to be taken outside when she was acquired and given to the woman we got her from). I imagine she's very curious about the world she sees outside this window.

Many days, the window can't be opened at all, as it's frozen shut. At times like this, Harley likes to sit on the desk and lick the ice on the glass. It makes a very disturbing noise.

Harley also likes to sit at the top of the table surface while my elder daughter is painting/inking. Or on her painting surface (you can one of her more recent ones prepped in the photo). Harley likes to try and catch and chew on the ends of the paint brushes.

She's a weird cat.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Mystery Solution - my daughter's face - sort of

Anna: Here's the solution to my last mystery photo.

On New Year's Eve, my daughters and I gave ourselves facial masks. The photo was a cropped section of my elder daughter's cheek. We each had a different type of mask, and hers was the only one that looked like this. (click on image for full size)

I thought it looked a lot like peeling paint.

253:365 Collectables

Anna: It's been a long time since I've taken any photos at all. Too many distractions. Like getting my tooth pulled, which ended up hurting a lot more than the broken tooth did in the first place. *L* Then there was a visit to the doctor for an arm that's been hurting since late October. Tennis Elbow, it turns out, and since it hasn't got better on its own for all this time, I'm to see a physiotherapist for it now. Unfortunately, it's in my dominant arm. My hands shake bad enough under normal circumstances. Now my left arm can barely hold anything without support.

Still, I wanted to make up a bit for lost days of posts, so here are a bunch. Larger views available here.

The girls and I headed to West Edmonton Mall. My elder daughter collects mint tins, and she scored two new and interesting ones today. She found them at a place that does those old time photos, where you dress up in period costume with various themes. I can't remember the name of the store anymore, but it's also where we found the replica flintlock pistol we got her for Christmas last year. :-D

The mall's sea lion show is a pirates theme right now, so there's Pirates of the Caribbean knock-offs all over the place. *L*

Still - grog flavored mints??? Too cool! It's just rum flavoured, which I suppose grog was slang for (though I thought it was more generic for any strong drink) and they're actually quite good.

She found these rose flavored mints in the same place as the pirate tin. The brightly coloured candies were a surprise.

They're good, too, but we all agreed that the grog flavored ones are better.

We also stopped at one of our favorite shops, though we haven't been there in ages. Ghossein Rocks and Fossils. A fascinating place. The owner is great to talk to. A treasure trove of lapidary information. He's found most of the fossils and minerals there himself, and has even carved most of the sculptures as well. A rock hound's dream shop!

Here's a fossil ammonite my daughter picked up for herself. Along with mint tins, she has a really nice gemstone and minerals collection, but hasn't added to it in a long time.

Here, I was playing around with focal points with the macro lens. My hands were shaking horribly, though, and the way I had things set up, I didn't have room for the tripod. I'm going to have to try again later. My daughter had picked up a piece of copper ore as well, but I wasn't happy with how any of the photos I took of it turned out. I'll have to take new ones to post another time. :-)

Friday, January 2, 2009

252:365 Frosty

Anna: I hope that everyone had a great time celebrating New Year's. We decided to stay home this year. None of us were up to freezing our heinies off again this year. We did discover we could still see the fireworks pretty good from our balcony. We didn't get pictures, though. The sliding door was frozen shut.

On a down side, I broke a tooth - while eating a piece of bread, of all things! Split it right in half, lengthwise. Thank goodness it was one I'd had a root canal done in, years ago - though that's probably why it was weakened in the first place. Otherwise, I'd be in a lot of pain right now. As it is, I just can't eat on one side. Which is good, since I can't get into the dentist until monday afternoon.

The girls and I had some errands to run today, including some time downtown. This is what the pedway between the parkade and a mall looked like.

I didn't have my own camera with me - most of the time, I don't even carry my purse anymore. My younger daughter had her little Powershot A75, though, so I borrowed it for these pictures.

I loved the patterns in the frost.

I couldn't resist posting another one of these. (click on images to see full size) These are the current conditions and the 5 day forcast.

Note the temperature right now.

Note the forcast for Monday.

Yup, we're expected to be going from temperatures in the -30C range to above freezing.

Here's a look at the 24 hour conditions. We left home at about 10:30 am - right during the coldest part of the day! My WeatherEye icon on my task bar was flashing red for a severe weather warning because of the wind chill.

What's that joke again? You know you're a Canadian if you use the heater and the A/C in the same day? Something like that.