Monthly Archives: January 2013

Weekly Weather Outlook – January 30, 2013 – February 5, 2013

Weekly Weather Outlook – January 30, 2013 – February 5, 2013

I cannot believe January is almost over! With only 28 days in February I guess it will be March before we know it!

Heidi said it snowed in Wichita Tuesday night. I asked her to take a picture to share but none accumulated on the ground. It does snow in Kansas though :) That was quite a change from the weather on Sunday when Heidi was wearing shorts and a t-shirt!

The weather here in Cole Harbour has warmed up considerably – I have not seen sea smoke since the last post. Apparently today we have set a temperature record. Back on January 31, 1974 it was 8.3 Celsius (46.94 Farenheit). Today it is supposed to be 11 Celsius (51.8 Farenheit)!

Heidi suggested we change up the format of the weekly weather by providing an easy comparison table, along with one weather graphic for Cole Harbour in Celsius and one for Wichita in Farenheit.

Weekly Weather January 30 - February 5, 2013

Halifax forecast January 30 - February 5, 2013

 

Wichita forecast January 30 - February 5, 2013

Easiest Chicken Recipe Ever!

Easiest Chicken Recipe Ever!

I love eating. I dislike cooking. My current income does not allow me to hire the personal chef I desire, nor does it allow me to dine out every single day for every single meal. This leaves me no choice but to cook. Last night I made myself some Sweet N’ Saucy Chicken and besides frozen chicken nuggets, this is the easiest chicken recipe ever! Heidi introduced me to it in 2011 and it quickly became one of my favourites – to cook and to eat! I just have to share it with you because if I do not mind cooking it, chances are you won’t either.

Ingredients:

boneless skinless chicken (breast or thighs)
Apricot jam
Catalina salad dressing
Onion soup mix

sweetnsaucyingredients

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 farenheit.

2. Place chicken in oven safe dish.

3. Mix together equal parts catalina dressing and apricot jam and your desired amount of onion soup mix. For 5 chicken thighs I used about 3/4 of a cup of catalina and apricot jam because I love the sauce so much!  I also used about half a package of onion soup mix. It is a personal preference but this much allows me to have enough sauce left over to mix into my rice and my chicken is completely covered in sauce as well.

4. Cover chicken in sauce.

5. Cook at 375 for about 45 minutes, uncovered.

sweetnsaucyreadyfortheoven

Sweet N Saucy ready for the oven (I was lazy and mixed my sauce together in the casserole dish)

About ten minutes before it is due to come out of the oven I make myself some minute rice. Last night I also made myself some mushrooms, onions and red peppers too. My meal was delicious and I had enough chicken and rice for a couple of days worth of leftovers!

sweetnsaucyontheplate

Sweet N Saucy Chicken on the plate and ready to eat!

Where there is sea smoke there is…Jack Frost nipping at every exposed body part!

Where there is sea smoke there is…Jack Frost nipping at every exposed body part!

It is cold this morning! So cold that while taking this post’s picture, my fingers froze in the short time it took me to swipe my phone’s screen a couple of times and click the picture. Note to self: buy the new gloves that allow you to swipe a touch screen while wearing them. There is a cold front currently sweeping over the eastern United States and Canada and it is not going unnoticed! This morning was actually warmer than yesterday. Yesterday we enjoyed a wind chill of -30 celsius (-22 farenheit) and today one of -29 celsius (-20.2 farenheit). Word on the street is that this increase in temperature is as predicted – next week is supposed to be warmer with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark.

But that is then, this is now. I tell you, there is nothing quite like walking beside a body of water with wind chills of -29/-30 celsius. As I walked by the Halifax Harbour this morning, I could feel the water in my eyeballs beginning to freeze . And through my thin layer of eyeball ice, I could see something you don’t see everyday (thank goodness) – sea smoke. Rest assured, there was sea smoke on the Harbour yesterday morning too, but the difference is that today I stopped to take this picture for you:

Sea Smoke on the Halifax Harbour January 25, 2013

Sea Smoke on the Halifax Harbour January 25, 2013

According to Wikipedia: “Sea smoke, or arctic steam fog, is a cloud over the sea, which could otherwise be called fog, and is usually formed when very cold air moves over warmer water.

Key word in that definition is the word very as in very cold air, not just cold air. The fact that the air that is currently blowing on me and my daughters is colder than a body of water that is cold to swim in on a scorching summer’s day, says a lot! So as I cover every piece of skin that I can just to walk from my car to the entrance of my children’s school, I think of the temperature that Heidi is enjoying today - almost 12 celsius (53 farenheit) – and know that is not far off for me. Come spring, that will be the norm.

I enjoy living in a place that has four very distinct seasons. There are positives and negatives to each and every one of them. One negative to the winter is obviously the bone chilling cold. Several positives are hockey season, ringette season, skating, sledding, snow figures, white Christmases and the fact there are NO bugs!

So for now I will enjoy the fact that I can barbecue a steak without swatting mosquitoes that are trying to find a nice juicy spot on me in which to sink their proboscis – I will just enjoy that fact with my sandals replaced with warm winter boots, and my ball cap replaced by a toque.

 

Weekly Weather Outlook January 21 – 27, 2013

Weekly Weather Outlook January 21 – 27, 2013

So as you can see below this is another week where it is warmer in Wichita than it is in Cole Harbour. That is fairly typical for this time of the year and not surprising since Cole Harbour is much farther north than Wichita. Cole Harbour had lots of snow last week and we are expecting another 10-20 centimetres (which is 4 – 8 inches) tomorrow and a little bit more on the weekend. Of course my daughters are hoping for a snow day tomorrow so they can stay home from school and play in the snow.

Today is cold and windy (chilling wind) but sunny day in Cole Harbour. Heidi reports from Wichita that it is a “bright, bright sunshiny day. It is crisp and cold but no wind. A beautiful day.” She also notes that it is an extreme change from the weather in Wichita yesterday when she and her family were wearing short-sleeve t-shirts! We each took a picture for you today :)

Wichita weather Jan 21, 2013 - look at all those Canada Geese...in Wichita!

Wichita weather Jan 21, 2013 – look at all those Canada Geese…in Wichita!

One of the first things I noticed during my first ever visit to Wichita in January of 2011 was all of the Canada Geese! They were everywhere! But I guess that only makes sense since they do fly south for the winter…and Wichita is south. I swear I see more Canada Geese in Wichita than I ever do in Nova Scotia though! Look at them all!

Pictured in my snapshot is the A. Murray MacKay suspension bridge that connects the Halifax Peninsula to Dartmouth, spanning the Halifax Harbour. It is referred to by locals as the “new bridge” even though it was opened 42 years ago on July 10, 1970. The “old” bridge is the Angus L. MacDonald bridge which opened on April 2, 1955.

Weather in Dartmouth January 21, 2013. Pictured is the A. Murray MacKay Bridge

Weather in Dartmouth January 21, 2013. Pictured is the A. Murray MacKay Bridge

Wichita forecast January 21 - 27, 2013 (in celsuis for the Canadians) from kake.com

Wichita forecast January 21 – 27, 2013 (in celsuis for the Canadians) from kake.com

Halifax forecast January 21 - 27, 2013 (in celsius for the Canadians) from Environment Canada

Halifax forecast January 21 – 27, 2013 (in celsius for the Canadians) from Environment Canada

Wichita forecast January 21 - 27, 2013 (in farenheit for the Americans) from kake.com

Wichita forecast January 21 – 27, 2013 (in farenheit for the Americans) from kake.com

Halifax forecast January 21 - 27, 2013 (in farenheit for the Americans) from Environment Canada

Halifax forecast January 21 – 27, 2013 (in farenheit for the Americans) from Environment Canada

 

Blow! Just blow! Or at least breathe through your mouth!

Blow! Just blow! Or at least breathe through your mouth!

I know all parents can relate to this…

You are sleeping soundly when you are awoken by one of two sounds:

1. The piercing, frustrated cry of your little one, followed by incessant sniffing OR

2. Incessant sniffing followed by more incessant sniffing

I was awoken at 2am last Wednesday night by the piercing and obviously frustrated cry of my six-year-old, causing me to immediately sit up in bed. Before my feet touched the ground to go to her, I could hear the sniffing. After two powerful sniffs failed to clear her nose, I heard her cry in frustration again.

I have been through this with my two older daughters, not that long ago either. I cannot remember the exact age at which they “outgrew” this “need” to breathe through their nose and only their nose while sleeping, but I cannot wait for my six-year old to outgrow it. And it must be coming soon. Her sisters are only eight and ten.

I went into the room that she shares with her two older sisters – by choice – with some tissues and the promising news that I would return with some Vics Vapo Rub. Had I been able to locate the miracle nasal-clearing cream I may have been able to return to bed almost immediately. As luck would have it, it was not in “its spot” and I still cannot find it five days later! Might have to pick some more up given the frequency of stuffy noses in our house so far this winter. And all you parents know, the day I buy more Vics Vapo Rub is the day I will find the one I was looking for. But anyway…back to that night…

I told my desperate daughter that I could not find the Vics, which made her cry with disappointment, stuffing up her nose even more. Great! This required more tissue. Another problem with young, stuffy-nosed children is that at first they do not know how to blow their nose at all! And then, even when they do, they are not all that effective. My daughter is at the “I get the concept but my nose blowing is barely effective” stage. And so the next half hour went something like this:

Sniff – Sniff – Cry – Sniff – “try breathing through your mouth” – Blow – “I don’t know how” – attempt at mouth-breathing – Cry – Sniff – Sniff – Cry – Sniff – Sniff – “Just like this” demonstrates mouth breathing – Sniff – attempts mouth breathing again – Sniff – Sniff – Cry – Blow – Blow – Sniff – Sniff – Cry – “how about sleeping propped up on pillows” – Sniff – Sniff – weak “okay” followed by cry while reaching for tissue – leave the room to get pillows but can hear more sniffing and crying and blowing – pillow propping occurs – Sniff – Sniff – Cry – angrily reaching for tissue to blow – “remember try breathing through your mouth” – reattempts mouth breathing while laying down – “ahhhhh” followed by crying – Blow – Blow – look of excitement creeps across daughter’s face “Mommy I got it” followed by two sniffs with extremely limited air movement.

And with that, my youngest, congested, non-mouth-breathing-while-she-sleeps daughter, closed her eyes and with mouth firmly shut, drifted off to sleep.

Peacefully sleeping

Peacefully sleeping

Happy Birthday Heidi!

Happy Birthday Heidi!

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday Dear Heidi,
Happy Birthday to you!

Heidi is 42 years old today and I am very disappointed to not be able to be with her on her special day. An obvious disadvantage to a long distance relationship is not being together when you want to be most. But we have a very healthy relationship and despite being in different countries, we are celebrating Heidi together today! I am so glad she was born :)

One thing Heidi and I enjoy doing is reading about the personalities of our respective astrological signs. Heidi is a Capricorn and I am a Scorpio, which is said to be a very good match. And so far we would agree that is true :) In celebration of Heidi’s birthday, I searched specifically for personality traits of Capricorns born today, January 16, and this is what I found on CafeAstrology.

If You Were Born Today, January 16
You are playful yet ambitious. While security is extremely important to you, so is personal freedom and you have a very determined, self-centered streak. You are smart, a little defiant at times, and very convincing and persuasive. There is certainly a bit of an entertainer in you, even those of you who are on the shy side. While you are a real thinker and dreamer, you are also a doer. You are spiritual and always aware that life is about something much more than the mundane. Famous people born today: Ethel Merman, Laura Schlessinger, Dizzy Dean, Sade, Kate Moss, Gabrielle Reece, Aaliyah.

That is definitely Heidi!

Happy birthday baby! And since I cannot bake you a cake today, how about I post a picture of last year’s cake that I made for you :)

Heidi's 2011 birthday cake

Heidi’s 2011 birthday cake

Weekly Weather Outlook January 16 – 23, 2013

Weekly Weather Outlook January 16 – 23, 2013

Okay, since I can’t quit my day job yet, I was a little late posting the weekly weather forecast due to lack of hours in a day to do all that I need to do. I am sure most, if not all of you, can relate.

Anyway, here is the weekly weather forecast for Dartmouth and Wichita for the week of January 16 – 23, 2013. As I write this post it is snowing in Dartmouth. We are expected to receive 12 cm (or 4.7 inches) before tomorrow morning. It looks so lovely falling down. Heidi reports that it is super nice outside in Wichita and it is going to be much warmer this week than it was last week.

As you can see by the weather forecasts, Wichita is expected to have much warmer and sunnier weather than Dartmouth this week. Snow is not all bad though. At least we will get to make snow people!

Weather forecast for South Central Kansas as per kake.com for the week of January 16 - 23, 2013 (in Celsius for the Canadians)

Weather forecast for South Central Kansas as per kake.com for the week of January 16 – 23, 2013 (in Celsius for the Canadians)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weather forecast for Halifax as per Environment Canada for the week of January 16 - 23, 2013 (in Celsius for the Canadians)

Weather forecast for Halifax as per Environment Canada for the week of January 16 – 23, 2013 (in Celsius for the Canadians)

Weather forecast for South Central Kansas as per kake.com for the week of January 16 - 23, 2013 (in Farenheit for the Americans)

Weather forecast for South Central Kansas as per kake.com for the week of January 16 – 23, 2013 (in Farenheit for the Americans)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weather forecast for Halifax as per Environment Canada for the week of January 16 - 23, 2013 (in Farenheit for the Americans)

Weather forecast for Halifax as per Environment Canada for the week of January 16 – 23, 2013 (in Farenheit for the Americans)

My Name is Different, I’ll Give Her That

My Name is Different, I’ll Give Her That

At the beginning of our relationship, Heidi would not say my name. She wrote it – in letters, on Skype and in texts – but she would NEVER say it. If not for affectionate nicknames, I don’t know that she would have ever addressed me.

I have to correct myself – NEVER is a bit of an exaggeration. But I am not sure of a word that describes “basically never”, or “much, much less than always” or “much, much closer to never”. The only time Heidi said my name for the first nine months of our relationship was when she was trying to learn how to pronounce it. My name is different, I’ll give her that. However, I never had anyone struggle as much as she did trying to learn it. It took me a long time to figure out that there was a reason for it. I will explain later.

For those who don’t know, my name is Terynn. My parents made it up by combining my dad’s first name – Terry – with my mom’s maiden name – Nunn. Instead of having two Rs and two Ns, they dropped one of the Rs and voila – it’s me! The Registry of Births phoned my mom a few times at home before processing my birth certificate to make sure she was certain this is what she wanted to name her newborn baby daughter. My mom was adamant and they reluctantly processed my birth certificate. My name is not pronounced Taryn, it is pronounced TER-RIN. TER as in term and RIN (rhymes with tin). Got it?

Terynn

As Heidi shied away from trying to pronounce my name correctly,  I assured her I answer to almost any pronunciation of my name. I am 38 and have heard many variations. Here are some of them:

Joanne
Taryn
Terryanne
Terrylynn
Trin
Terlynn
Tyrone

That’s right – Tyrone! When I was only one of a few girls playing hockey in the mid-80s in a tournament, I could tell the announcer had come across my name on the roster because after the even flow of several names from his lips there was a pause. Then I heard the “t” sound and then something I have never heard before – Tyrone! I guess he did not go with Taryn, Terryanne, or Terrylynn because he was not expecting a girl to be on the roster.

Everywhere I go where people don’t know me and are forced to read my name off of a form, like in a doctor’s office, or school attendance, or hockey game sheets, I always know when they have come to my name because of that unmistakable pause and the furrowing of their brow as their brain tries to make sense of the letters they see before them. This pause is then followed by the hard sound of the “t” and then followed by their best guess at pronunciation after which their face muscles transform from tense and confused to pleased and hopeful that they pronounced it correctly.

So now back to Heidi and her struggles with the pronunciation of my name. She would ask me to pronounce it and I remember at one point she said, “Oh, so it sounds like the name Lorenne? What???? I felt I was enunciating very clearly TER-RIN (TER as in term and RIN that rhymes with tin) so I had no idea how she was getting the end sound as RYNN as in wren. That was how she was pronouncing my name – TER-WREN. I would tell her no, and slowly pronounce the ending so that the RIN rhymed with tin and then pronounce it incorrectly (RYNN as in wren) so she could hear the difference, which was more than obvious to me. And do you know what she said each and every time? She said, “They both sound the same to me.” What??? I did not understand how she could not hear the difference and she could not understand how I could not hear that they sounded the exact same. And so we were at a stand still. And so she just did not say my name.

It wasn’t until I realized something about her Kansan dialect that I finally understood how she thinks RIN (that rhymes with tin) and wren sound the same. Apparently in Kansas, or at least in Heidi’s family, the short “i” sound and short “e” sounds are interchangeable. For instance, when Heidi says she is going to the fast food restaurant Wendy’s, she most often calls it Windy’s. When it is windy outside, she most often tells me it is wendy outside. When she tells me that even though it is wendy (translation: windy) outside she is walking to Windy’s (translation Wendy’s) it takes me a minute to process what she is saying.

It took her a couple of years but I think she now sometimes hears the difference between windy and Wendy and Terynn and Terwren and she finally says my name – sometimes she calls me Terynn and sometimes she calls me Terwren. Heidi tells me it is good that I love both ways she says my name since “I can’t tell you which you’re gonna get!”

Come back soon to read the  “Heidictionary” full of Heidi enunciation, pronunciation and sayings I would never have discovered had I never met my lovely Kansan fiancée.

Not Enough Hours in the Day!

Not Enough Hours in the Day!

On my way to work this morning I thought of how much I had already accomplished before 9am and realized this is something to which every mother in North America can relate. Who else can say that before they even leave for work in the morning they have not only already showered, dressed and fed themselves but also three other human beings? I admit that as the children get older I have to do more “supervising” than actually be involved “hands on”, but the supervising is a full-time job! I don’t know how many times I have heard “Oops, I forgot” or “Well, you didn’t tell me to,” in response to simple questions such as did you brush your teeth?

But a mom’s morning doesn’t end there either. Before leaving for school mom has also cleaned up from breakfast, which oftentimes requires emptying and filling the dishwasher, fed the pets, packed lunches for herself and every other member of the family, ensured each child has remembered to pack homework, permission forms, library books and musical instruments for the day’s activities, has the sports gear packed in anticipation for the evening’s extra curricular activities, has the necessary ingredients thawing in the fridge for supper that night, and has administered any medications for lingering illnesses to those family members in need.

Before leaving the house she makes sure all lights are off and doors are locked and she hustles the children into the family vehicle. She double checks that everyone has what they need and runs back into the house when it is discovered that despite her constant reminders, something has been left behind.

Once at the school mom delivers her children safely and weather-appropriately-dressed to their teachers and runs into the office to sign up to volunteer for the next school fundraiser. On the way back to her van, she discusses “mom things” with the other moms and realizes she is not the only one who feels like a chicken with its head cut off. However, it is not until she is securely fastened in her vehicle and pulling away from the curb in the direction of work that she realizes she forgot to take the garbage out.

Not enough hours in the day!

Not enough hours in the day!

Weekly Weather Outlook January 7 – 14th, 2013

Weekly Weather Outlook January 7 – 14th, 2013

We thought something fun to do might be to compare the weather between Nova Scotia and Kansas since it seems many people think we here in Canada live in blizzard-like conditions all year round or at the very least are surrounded by snow and ice most of the time. We definitely do experience our fair share of snow and ice during the winter season but we have four seasons just like Kansas so we experience our fair share of beautiful days as well. And for those who don’t know – yes it does snow in Kansas too!

To give credit where it is due, the forecasts for Halifax, Nova Scotia come from Environment Canada’s website and the forecasts for South Central Kansas come from KAKE’s website.

After looking at the forecasts below, it seems that the daytime highs for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in South Central Kansas are much like temperatures we experience in early spring here in Nova Scotia. Our low tomorrow (Tuesday, January 8, 2013) is definitely much colder than expected in Kansas! But our Saturday and Sunday forecasts are very comparable and in fact the predicted lows are much lower for South Central Kansas than for Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Weather Forecast for South Central, Kansas for the week of January 7 - 14th, 2013th in Celsius (for the Canadians)

Weather Forecast for South Central, Kansas for the week of January 7 – 14th, 2013th in Celsius (for the Canadians)

Weather Forecast for Halifax, Nova Scotia for the week of January 7 - 14th, 2013th in Celsius (for the Canadians)

Weather Forecast for Halifax, Nova Scotia for the week of January 7 – 14th, 2013th in Celsius (for the Canadians)

Weather Forecast for South Central, Kansas for the week of January 7 - 14th, 2013th in Farenheit (for the Americans)

Weather Forecast for South Central, Kansas for the week of January 7 – 14th, 2013th in Farenheit (for the Americans)

Weather Forecast for halifax, Nova Scotia for the week of January 7 - 14th, 2013th in Farenheit (for the Americans)

Weather Forecast for Halifax, Nova Scotia for the week of January 7 – 14th, 2013th in Farenheit (for the Americans)