Friday, October 31, 2008

First Dickless Week

Well, I'd say we did pretty good in our first week without Dick. As some of you may know, Dick has gone to visit China with his parents and I'm left in charge of the house with my 2 teenage boys. Getting to work on my own wasn't quite as bad as I thought, and luckily I made it out of the office pretty much on time every day this week and can make it home well before dark.

We had a lot of food pre-made on the weekend which lasted as several days. Derek helped me make a big pot o' chili one night and I stir-fried some pork with a ton of veggies and that took us right to Friday. This week just flew by.

The work week was great. Having a depressed market has its advantages, as most of the nerve-wracked movers & shakers' wheelin' & dealin' has almost virtually come to a grinding halt, resulting in a lower work volume for us here in the back office. I hope this lull will last for a while.
On Wednesday, I actually took my first full hour lunch in a long time and attended one of the First Canadian Place lunch hour events featuring Roberta Bondar, the first female Canadian Astronaut giving a presentation on her tree canopy photography. It was amazing for me to come face to face with a real live astronaut. Much as I admired her and her photography, I found her seminar a little bit too technical, but it was still enjoyable. I almost won a door prize too. (A calendar featuring her tree photographs). I was off by just 1 lousy number.

Thursday was the best day for me. It was a very productive day for me personally. I can't say so work-wise tho. The boss wasn't in and we had a mini power failure which resulted in many of our computer programs being unavailable for us to work with. So what do I do to pass the time? Well, since I was assigned the weekly task of having to water some houseplants and pick up mail for my in-laws while they were away in China, I thought this would be the perfect time to do it. Kelly, my co-worker was nice enough to lend me her monthly Metropass, so it saved me some time by taking the TTC instead of having to walk to my in-law's place. I was originally thinking of dropping by their place on a Thursday, after work and staying the night and then taking a 30 minute walk back to work the next morning rather than enduring the one hour plus commute from my home. Anyways, despite getting lost on one of the side streets, I still accomplished my task in under an hour. This was mainly due to the fact that my mother-in-law was smart enough to make my task easier by pointing out to me which plants needed watering and which plants didn't. You see, some of her plants were real, some were fake, but looked almost real, and some were real with some real looking fake flowers added to the mix. So to my relief, she attached "Water" signs for the plants to be watered and "No" signs to the plants that didn't need watering. I hoped I didn't miss any because she had a lot. Oh well, I'm sure I'll find out next week if I did a good job or not.

Upon returning to my office, the computer programs were still not in working order, so I decided to attend another First Place Canadian lunch hour event. This time, it was a cooking presentation by Marty of Marty's World Famous Cafe. He claims to make the best butter tarts in the world from his Cafe in the Muskokas. He did a demo on how to make the perfect pie crust, all the while jabbering about his life growing up in Ontario. He was a real treat to listen to as he told us about his journey from being a clueless teenager to Cafe owner extraordinaire and now an Author of a cookbook. I loved his story about how a friend convinced him to travel to Europe with him for 1 year, instead of going to university and they had this to-do list which included bringing back a bottle of water from Loch Ness, taking a picture of him climbing on top of Stone Henge and bringing back a roll of toilet paper from Buckingham Palace, among many other zany items on his most unusual scavenger hunt list. And yes, those were 3 of the things that got ticked off of his to-do list. His whole point is that, if you REALLY set your mind to doing something, no matter how crazy or absurd, is that it CAN be done. It's just a matter of how badly you want to do it. The best was when he was given the "5 minutes left to go" signal, he just said, "No, I'm staying in the Zone. I'm not rushing, I'm gonna take my time to do what I love best. And of course, we left with some goodies he had made, like his famous butter tarts and a real scrumptdelicious giant lemon,blueberry cream cheese muffins. Unfortunately, I missed winning the door prize again (his famous Big Ass Apple Pie). But my ticket number was way off this time.
We capped off this week with Halloween night and we had quite a few cute & rambunctious trick or treaters come by. I thought the best costume was some 4 year old kid dressed up just like Indiana Jones, with his trademark, hat, jacket and whip. There was one group of kids who kept trying to scare Colin with a bunch of loud Boos. They were a lot of fun. I'm sure Dick would have loved to be here dishing out the treats and trying to scare the bejeebers out of some of the little ones with his scary rubber mask, but not this year. Good thing too because he sent one little girl away crying and screaming one year. Poor thing. All in all, a most enjoyable week. But the boys and I do miss Dick. He is still keeping us in stitches though, with daily reviews of his travels in China. If you want to follow along on this trip with him, you can visit him at

Roberta Bonar - The first female Canadian Astronaut

This plant needs watering. There's even a bottle next to it filled with the exact amount of water that the plant needs.

Here's another plant which needs watering. So what do you think? Does it look real or fake?

This plant does NOT need to be watered. Looks real to me.

DO NOT water this plant either.

A real bad picture of Marty Curtis at the Cooking demo.

These muffins were soooooooooo goooooooooood.

A slightly crushed butter tart and half a giant muffin which I brought home to share with the kids.

Here's a picture of Marty's $15 Grilled Cheese Sandwich recipe which I think Dick might appreciate, but I don't think it's made with Dick's favourite ingredient, Kraft Cheese Slices.

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