In and Out of February

Not my pixel art Totoro!

Returning, Running (from zombies?) and Another Job Change…

The second half of January, I was in Toronto spending time with Link. I was confident they were doing very well when I left. Link has since returned to work on schedule, at the 6-week mark after surgery. The first half of February for me was all about getting back in the groove at home and work.

I had a mini-goal for a while, that I would like to be able to jog 1 km. You know, just in case I ever had to run away from something (e.g. zombie attack). At the gym in Toronto, I ran 700 m on the treadmill on my first attempt and after that I managed to do it. I’m pretty close to a kilometre in 6 minutes now (about the same pace as a 10-minute mile). Once, my kilometre seemed long and I realized the treadmill was set to miles, so I had run a mile! As you know, I like habit and discipline. It’s tempting to aim for a 5K event, but I’m not going to do it. Everyone I know who runs, has had injuries – no exceptions. I have lots of other fitness activities on the go and I don’t want to be sidelined! I felt sluggish getting back to swimming and skating after weeks away, but now they feel normal again. I have amped up my swimming lately by using short fins.

All of this is good because I finished off the scandalous amount of chocolate in the house from Christmas.

I posted about our new housework sharing system. We were both a bit smug about checking off everything on our lists for the month. I know it will only take a cold or some overtime at work to throw us off, but it was good to start with a burst of energy. March’s schedule is up on the fridge!

Work at the library was busy. February is African Heritage Month, so our branch library hosted three big cultural programs, and I attended a panel discussion of Black journalists with Desmond Cole as the keynote speaker.

I was invited to attend a cultural awareness session called Treaty Education which raised consciousness of how Whites can increase their knowledge and compassion of/for Indigenous peoples. It was excellent.

On the less thrilling side, we all had to take WHMIS training! – Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System. Since my dad was a safety officer, I have a hopelessly ingrained safety mindset, but it’s still good to get the latest training – now mandatory.

February is mid-term time at universities and colleges. The public libraries get contacted by lots of distance learning (online) students who need someone in authority to invigilate their exams – in person. We do this free, while several local colleges charge up to $100 per exam! I proctored 7 exams this month, for some very grateful students – many of whom haven’t set foot in a public library since they were children.

For fun, I put on a pixel art workshop in which we used and/or played around with paper squares.

I was going to be seconded full-time to a big library project later in the year, but to my surprise, I was offered an earlier project. I have started already! I always welcome a change so I’m happily settling in. I will be leading a team of 7 of my colleagues for at least 4 months. We have a tight set of goals and will give it our best.

I am at a different library location about 10 km away from my previous one, a 20-minute drive depending on traffic. Parking is not a problem, so I am driving. I have mixed feelings about it. Taking the bus is better for the environment, but the daily bus fares cost more than the gas needed to drive, and the bus takes twice as long. Sigh.

I have condensed my morning routine a bit. I need to bring lunch instead of going home, so I’ve been trying to prep the night before. Making lunches, swapping my gym and swimming bags, and scraping frost off the car windshield in the morning all take time!

To top it off, my new location is surrounded by dozens of good food establishments. I know I can resist, frugal as I am, but it seems a shame in the face of all that abundance! Some treats must be in order.

Speaking of which, I returned to my other haircut (I only have 2) and bought some new end-of-winter clothes to kick off the new work assignment.

Rom and I had a couple of meals out this month. We have a tradition of going for a meal sometime during Valentine’s week but not the day of. I find the restaurants on V-Day are crowded (sometimes enough to require timed sittings), sometimes there are only fixed menus, and everyone is grumpy. We just choose another day and have a leisurely meal. We also had a day off for Heritage Day (this year in honour of Mona Parsons) and went out for crêpes!

Last week we got last-minute tickets to see a taping of the news satire CBC TV show This Hour Has 22 Minutes, which all Canadians know. Good times!

I have to admit, I dread the upcoming time change (clocks ahead one hour) because I’m an extreme morning person and it takes an hour of light away in the AM. It will be made up in about a month, but I wish we didn’t have this clock-changing foolishness!

Happy March, everyone. How was your February?



  1. Glad to hear Link is good. It must be nice to have a change of job within your job – i could do with something new and challenging. Hope your housekeeping list goes to plan too. I think the clocks change back here at the end of the month about the 25th – just in time for Easter. I often just move the clocks on 30 mins for first day and work up to the hour as it seems to affect my body clock a lot!

  2. I just read your “zombie attack” reasoning aloud to my spouse, who laughed and – knowing how much I dislike running – said to me, “Good thing for you, zombies are slow.” 😉

  3. We have a BIG fridge and there is an entire shelf devoted to The Other Half. I batch meal prep his work lunches once a week and he has not keeled over dead yet, so I must be doing something right there. 🙂

    I will say my mother is somewhat horrified at the length of time we are comfortable keeping food, but she is also a person who throws things out the minute the use-by date is past. As long as it kept at the right temperature 5-7 days seems to be fine, at least for us.

    I rotate between various different things – cottage pie or shepherds pie as it is sometimes known is his most favourite, I do a healthy chicken strip the recipe for which is on my blog and I just cook up a big batch of them on the Sunday if that is the lunch choice that week.. sometimes he reheats them, sometimes just eats them cold.

    He gets pasta bakes which is a bit like a quiche the way I make it, and I make a fake lasagne which is also one of his favourites and is on the blog. It is just a bit easier than layering all those layers but it still has the great flavours.

    Me personally I love my protein shakes for lunch and he has started taking those from time to time especially on hot days, he has a small nutri-bullet there at work he can use.

    In the morning all he has to do is pack his lunch into his cooler bag and off he goes.

    I did the Couch to 5k program last year and it was great. I enjoyed it, and was surprised when I was able to run a 5km without stopping. 🙂

  4. So glad to hear that Link is doing well and back at work! Your February sounds like it was full of interesting work, successful chore division and some fun.

  5. Lots on at work, Dar – it sounds very busy, productive and challenging. The taping sounds fun as well. How do you go with the 7 staff – are they all on board with the goals and motivated about working towards them?

    I could not resist the food establishments! I’m sure that’s not helpful to say! However, with your fitness activities on track it will be motivation not to derail things by too many eating-out episodes.

    So glad to hear that Link has been going so well…I am just about to jump over and read the two posts on their progress. 🙂

    • My work team have all volunteered to be on the project, so they are on board and motivated to the max! Their availability to do the work will vary because they all still have their normal duties, while I have been seconded away from my regular work. I hope I can be a big support to the team and keep everything running smooth for them. I think I will be able to resist the lovely restaurants because most of my co-workers are frugal and they bring lunch too. Also, Rom and I like to try new places and I feel kinda guilty going without him! (Maybe that will wear off, ha ha!)

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