Slice of Life

Ice Branches

I’m not tracking much at the moment. OK, food, snacks, exercise, spending money. That’s not much – it’s just a little background noise! So here’s what I’ve been doing lately while not counting things.

Library Craft

Paper Banner



  • Major proposal that took me about 8 weeks was rejected, but was genuinely a useful exercise
  • Found time to work on long-term strategies and goals
  • Still in the midst of collective bargaining
  • Celebrating African Heritage Month with extra cultural events
  • Doing paper crafts every two weeks with a very small group of adults
  • Checking the Storm Line early every morning to see if the library is closed, because we’ve had so many snow and ice storms

So work is nothing if not varied, and I am good with that!

Household Management

Long-term goal of sharing the cooking and kitchen clean-up has been realized; it is now 50/50

Slowly adapting to Rom doing the grocery lists and grocery shopping. It’s still a work in progress. I am amazed at how seldom I now go into stores and pay for things – I didn’t realize almost all my transactions were food-related!

Getting exasperated by my lack of progress on decluttering. Three things need to happen: I need to deal with Link’s stuff once and for all (in a compassionate way!), I need to find charities etc that will take my decluttered items, and I need to reduce my “archives” of paper. I will probably do a combination of discarding, scanning (very slow) and photographing documents.

I had car trouble this month: I let the gas level get down to a quarter tank and the car wouldn’t start when the temperatures plunged. This is caused by evaporation inside the tank freezing up. I knew about this issue but didn’t act – sigh! I put in some gasline antifreeze and a 9 litre top-up of gas (from a portable container), and still had to wait for the weather to warm up! Lesson learned.


All caught up on my work from home! Because I do financial work, I issued charitable tax receipts this month, a 12 hour job. My next task is to create a good set of job instructions for my successor who (when recruited) will start in June.

I am starting to seriously think about how I will spend the time that will be freed up when this commitment ends. Scanning my photos, maybe 🙂

Other Stuff

  • Went out for a meal at our neighbourhood Greek family restaurant; love them!
  • Went out for delectable cheesecake for Valentine’s Day
  • Watched DVD Om Shanti Om – my first Bollywood movie!
  • Watched the kids’ movie Frozen to see what all the fuss was about – despite my bad attitude, I did not hate it (the “look” of the movie and the special effects were very good)
  • Currently reading The Art of Asking by one of my heroes, Amanda Palmer – I thought it would be a business book and decided to read it anyway, because well, she is Amanda F***ing Palmer!, but it isn’t a business book – it’s about making genuine connections – I am immersed in her story!


Oh yeah, I tracked one thing!

Did an experiment with our new heat pumps. Used them for heat, with no back-up, for Dec and Jan. If we had purchased the same amount of heating oil as we did the past two years, at today’s rate, it would have cost $466 (or $233 a month). December is not cold; that starts in January.

The electric bill now includes power, heat and hot water. The household electricity portion averages $70/month and the electricity for hot water $30/month. This year the home heating portion was $326 (or $163 a month). So, a savings of $70/month. Will be more when the price of oil goes back up.

Not sure if we’ll make it through Feb and Mar without using oil as a back-up because it’s been sooo cold.

Oh and I finally cancelled our cable service after months of dragging my heels – I watched the Superbowl but won’t get to see the Academy Awards. Otherwise, I have only turned the TV on about 3 times in the past year!

And in other other stuff, obviously, I have been spending many hours shovelling, hacking ice, and waiting out our wicked storms!

Ice Drive

Ice Street

AFTER the road was plowed and sanded!



  1. Oh what disgusting weather you’ve been having! It’s funny how little you use cable but still dragged your heels – we can be illogical us humans, can’t we?

    I’m also big into the decluttering at the moment – the bag I took yesterday’s strap broke, signs of too much for that paper bag! I’m tempted to get another bag of ‘odds and sods’ for today… On a role!

  2. Sorry about the car and the proposal. But, you mentioned the latter was a good use of time. By the way, I worked on a lost proposal once, but benefitted when I had to respond on the fly to one of my larger clients when he was being pressured to consider someone else. He asked why us. I was able to verbalize the executive summary from the previous proposal and we retained the work without a bid. Good decision on the TV given usage. Stay warm.

  3. So much snow! We have a guy from Canada in our team and he rock up in shorts and t-shirt when the rest of us are wrapped up in winter coats and gloves!

    I really want to read her book (it’s on the list of things to do!) She’s amazing! I haven’t seen her live solo, but I’ve seen the Dresden Dolls! sooo good!

    • OMG I am so jealous you have seen the Dresden Dolls! I have watched one of their concert DVDs over and over.

      I have seen people starting to wear shorts and T-shirts as soon as the snow starts to thaw but that is just showing off!

  4. NicolaB

    I find that the hardest part of decluttering is finding a new home for the stuff I don’t want- our spare room is full of stuff! For some reason getting it out of the door is hardest…

  5. I haven’t had my car out and started in nearly a week and I know I have under half a tank of gas. Fingers toes and everything else crossed that it will actually start!!

  6. We finally watched Frozen as well (our nieces and nephews are obsessed with it) and I liked that it was love for her sister that saved the day – not a romantic love as I would have predicted. I just heard that many of the names from the film are moving up, popularity-wise, on the baby names list (even Sven!).

    I’ll be adding the Amanda Palmer book to my library queue 🙂

  7. Ginger R

    I’m on a declutter mission here. We’ve taken bags of clothing and household items to our local women’s shelter and to Goodwill. Still much more to do. I was able to declutter my clothes last year, making room in my closet to move hubby’s clothes there and freeing up a nice sized hall closet for much needed craft supplies. I’ve also decluttered, cleaned and organized another hall closet – the utility closet. This week I’m working on the laundry closet. A sore spot with me. Hubby bought a new washer/dryer – those huge Kenmore front loading machines on pedestals. They’re too big. I can no longer reach the shelves above the machines. We had to remove the bi-fold doors from the closet to be able to open the doors on the machines. The laundry closet is open to my upstairs living area. So… I’m cleaning and organizing. I’m praying we’ll be able to shift those machines closer together and back a little further to allow room to re-install the bi-folds. I know I could put a curtain over the opening. But… I want my doors back. I’ve decided hubby doesn’t like bending at the waist. He seems to buy things and place things where he can reach them without bending. Seriously… I’ve got to go with him when he shops.

    • Ha ha! Rom avoids bending to reach things, too! I did a huge declutter in 2013 when I was doing my home inventory, but have only done one small clear-out since then. All my stuff is neatly organized but there is too much of it. 15 years ago I would have said, “I’ll use it someday” but now I’m more selective about what I do and what I keep. It is unlikely I will ever camp in a tent again, for example!

  8. Fiona

    I love your snow pictures, Dar! It really is so exotic from where we live to see roads and driveways like that. It must be very beautiful to have such distinct seasons.

    Frozen was such a hit at my school last year. The children in my classes absolutely love the French versions of the songs (from YouTube)…both the boys and girls. If you can get a copy in French, it is quite entertaining!

  9. still have snow envy! I have never heard of tanks freezing, probably something to do with us never having harsh conditions !

  10. Gosh the weather there! I’m glad your car is ok.

    I still have a lot of paper clutter to deal with. Moving home generates so much of the stuff! I also have a lot of personal stuff from Dad’s too. The furniture etc was not too bad to sort, but the photos and papers….suffice to say it’s taking me a while. I will do it in March though. Spring is a good time to start mini projects 🙂

  11. It’s amazing how that Frozen movie kinda grows on you. I held out for the longest time but eventually watched it and you’re right, the quality makes it easy to love plus the story was not the predictable rescued-princess crap

  12. I LOVE Om Shanti Om. Well… To be fair, it’s a love-hate relationship. The song with all the bollywood stars – I LOVE & hate… It’s so catchy that I can’t help but hum it all the time but then it sticks in your head forever and ever.

    I also didn’t get Frozen. It was good. It was fine. But I didn’t love it like everyone else did. Everyone talks about how it’s the first Disney movie to not focus on a boy but that’s not true… Mulan was about feminine power. Lilo & Stitch was about sisters. Brave was about a mother & daughter. All movies which I prefer over Frozen. (Although from your snow pictures, I guess Frozen is an appropriate movie choice given your weather… ^__^;)

    • I have still got a song from Om Shanti Om stuck in my head! (Put your hands up…) And I greatly preferred Brave over Frozen. Maybe I should re-watch Lilo and Stitch because at least it takes place in a warm climate!

  13. You are always so busy with interesting projects! Have you considered getting an Over the Air antenna? It is a small one-time purchase and will allow you to watch all of the regular broadcast stations as well as many others.

  14. Just love your blog so much. Love just how exacting you are! It inspires me to be more so myself.

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