Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve

"Let it be said I've played the friend, have lived and loved and laboured here, and made of it a happy year." - Edgar Guest

To the new year, 2012 - a gift we haven't opened yet.

To new beginnings...hope you all enjoy tonight!

We'll be celebrating with close friends, food, bubbles, a game or two, and happy dogs!  

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Energy Audit

We rang in this Christmas with the news that we needed a new furnace. What was planned as a precautionary check - new house and all, winter coming etc., turned into a five minute appointment with a furnace technician and a 30-day red tag issued for our furnace (meaning 30 days to install a new furnace).

So, we've done our research, and have the furnace installation appointment set up for next week.

One step before that is the eco audit - an audit of our house's energy efficiency - air leaks, moisture build-up, ventilation efficiency, heating and cooling intake and output etc. Scheduling an audit before we install a new furnace allows us to take advantage of some rebates extended by the federal government. For more information about the program, you can go here.

Our house did pretty well! Some areas for improvement - i) furnace upgrade (check!) - the old one is actually bringing in quite a bit of cold air from outside - between its construction and venting, we have a "soccer ball" size draught in our furnace room, ii) adding some additional caulking to some corners of our window frames, iii) adding additional foam to the attic trapdoor, iv) upgrading our attic insulation from R-25 to R-50, v) plugging the electrical outlets on our exterior walls with child-proof plugs (which we already have from when Juno was a puppy!) - we couldn't believe the air flow coming in through those holes in the outlets.

So we'll do some of these improvements between now and March 31, 2012 when the program expires, book a follow-up audit, and based on the improvements, watch our eco audit score go up, making us eligible for some significant rebates from the government!

We'll keep you posted.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Indoor Challenge

There's a winter storm warning in effect for our parts!

We've salted the driveway, stocked up on groceries and firewood, and have the bird feeders filled and ready for some avian entertainment while we're tucked inside until the snow stops.

Indoor challenge - book strategy time! This week's challenge - weigh the merits of filling our book with illustrations or photos. Approaching, negotiating with, (and paying for) an illustrator, or editing through the thousands of photos we already have of Juno for the pages of our book.

We've seen both. Both can work. Time for some serious consideration and discussion.

Anyone with any experience finding illustrators, publishers, app developers? We'd love to hear from you.

Hooray for 'snow days'. Oh, and Juno LOVES the snow.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We enjoyed a wonderful day of rest and relaxation yesterday.

Hope you were all able to enjoy the same.

Oh, happy, happy holidays...

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Having an orally-fixated (see: Labrador) dog has certainly taken a 'bite' out of our Christmas tree decorating.

We have a half-decorated tree.

The top half only.

While we're pretty sure Juno wouldn't attack the Christmas tree as much as she used to, we've simply gotten into the habit of decorating our Christmas trees from just the middle up.

With the proverbial glass still full, here's to half-decorated trees everywhere!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hot Water With Lemon

My latest drink of choice - hot water with lemon.

'Feed a cold, starve a fever'? Well I'm doing it.

I've gone through two lemons since Saturday.

Hopefully it comes with a cure to this hanger-on of a cold I've managed to catch.

And frankly any resulting canker sores will be worth the price of getting rid of this cold!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Wrapping

I walked by this scene on our dining room table Saturday night, and quietly, happily, remarked at its humble cheerfulness.  I had just been in the midst of this very happy scene for some time, but hadn't quite 'taken in' just how wonderful it was to be doing what I was doing...wrapping up Christmas for our dear friends and family.

And yes, I drink beer while I wrap presents. Don't judge.

Hopefully you had to go back up to the picture to look for the bottle?


I hope this scene brings a little holiday sparkle to your busy, maybe cold, dreary Mondays. Oh, and just so you know, Juno's under that table of festivity too - sleeping away...visions of sugarplum rawhides dancing in her head.

We have hit a few roadbumps on our lead-up to Christmas this year, making us more appreciative of what we have, and grateful for what we have gained, while remembering what we have lost, and thriving in the healing company of those around us.

"As [a year] ends, we grieve what has been lost and cherish what has been gained. We measure the rise and fall of our hopes, and...remember. As we enter a new, uncertain season, our destination is unknown, yet we travel against the flames of fear toward the promise of [the] future ahead." - Shirin Neshat

Happy wrapping.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Spreading Joy

We live for the mailbox in December.  Something about heading out into the chilly air and opening the box right on the street is a little magical.  Juno doesn't mind the extra walk either ;)

Seeing a red or green envelope peeking out from the pile of business-sized white envelopes - maybe even with a handwritten address on it - makes us giddy!

We keep our cards in a huge candy jar right in the foyer so we can see the notes and cards and photos on our way to any room.

Thank you to all who have spread joy to us this season! We hope we have returned the favour.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Arrival

Congratulations to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law on the arrival of their beautiful baby!

"Sometimes,' said Pooh, 'the smallest things take up the most room in your heart." - A.A. Milne

Welcome to the world, Lilly.

Thursday, December 01, 2011


We have about a thousand different nicknames for Juno. She responds to pretty much anything that comes out of our mouths. Although, we're also pretty sure intonation also has 100% to do with it.

A few of the names you'll hear most around here are Muncher, Junebug, Boogywoogs, Punchkin, and a really strange one that just came out one day and then stuck, Bobodense (pronounced Bobo-densay).

Now comes the tough part - naming her for the book series. Do we stick with something simple like Juno and have it stand on its own? Like Marley, Dora, or Barbie? Or do we drum up something longer and potentially punchier, and maybe also alliterative like Spongebob Squarepants, Thomas the Train, or Lalaloopsy?

We've got the script. We've got our leading lady. She just needs her storybook name.

What do you think? Tell us in the comments.