Tag Archives: sandra

Relaxing Day at the Beach?

Port Stanley

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm…..

Summer. Beach Weather.

Waves crashing on the shore.  Children laughing as they make sand castles.  The smell of french fries from the nearby restaurant.

I. LOVE. THE. BEACH.

Until a relaxing beach day turns into a worrisome animal-saving excursion, and a lesson about threats to the Great Lakes water system.

Upon arriving at the beach on Saturday, Sandra and I were disgusted to find multiple dead fish, and dead seagulls on the shore of the beach.  Gross. Double Gross.  Since Sandra works in the field of fresh water lakes, and what not, and was ok with still swimming the water, I was too.

That’s when we noticed a seagull hanging out on the beach just where the tide washes into the shore.  People walked by, he didn’t move.  A young girl (who should have known better!!!!!!!) threw a stick at him, he didn’t move. :S Well ok, he was moving, but not flying away, or getting up or anything.

So what did Sandra and I do? Move down the beach?  Find a more peaceful place to tan?  Nope.  Because that’s not the kind of people we are.  We first of all, stood and stared at the bird, and debated picking it up so he wouldn’t drown.  We debated calling the humane society.  We ended up talking to the lifeguards to see what they said.  Long story short, apparently this is very common.  Dead fish and seagulls wash up on the shore daily.  Gross.

According to Sandra, (without making this a science lecture :P) these fish and mussels, are coming in on ships from other waters, and invading our great lakes.  The birds and fish eat them.  Then, they get Botulism.  Then, they grow weak, and die.  Then, they wash up on shore.  Then, the lifeguards have to clean them up.  For reals. I bet they didn’t know that would be in their job description huh?!

Anywho, the lifeguard said someone would deal with it within the hour.

Before that hour however, it seemed as though the seagull was going to be washed into the water, so we had formulated a plan to move the bird a bit away from the water, until Sandra’s husband informed Sandra (via phone call) that seagulls have been known to bite off fingers, and we didn’t really feel like catching Botulism ourselves.

So to jump to the end of this somewhat long story, the seagull was able to move out of the water, a lifeguard came and picked it up properly, and put it in the forest beside the beach (which we did NOT agree with), and most likely ended up dying there.  The fish were thrown in the garbage (ewww), and we tried to enjoy the rest of our afternoon.

Sooooo, who’s up for a swim in Lake Erie?

Leave a comment

Filed under Trips

Big City, Bright Lights

Toronto.

The capital city of Ontario.

A city that I recently had the chance to live in for about 2 weeks!  No, Matt and I didn’t move there, I was working in the T dot and stayed with a friend (Thanks Sandra!!) 🙂

I’ve kind of always been jealous of people that live in big cities.  They’ve just always seemed so grown up!  Taking the subway, visiting museums and art galleries, moving about amongst a bazillion people… I don’t know.  I’ve always thought it would be so glamorous.

Now let me tell you about my experience living in Toronto.

1.  Commuting is a M—– F—–!

That’s right, you read that right.  How long was my commute you ask?  That’s not important.  Well ok, yes it is.  According to Google map, it should have only took 16 minutes daily.  Would you like to know how long it actually took?

55 minutes.  Yes, that includes a short stop at a Tim Horton’s drive thru, but come on.  That’s ridiculous.  And frustrating.  I really do not know how people do it daily.  If it wasn’t for funny morning talk show hosts, I would not have survived the tail-gating, cell phone driving, too slow, don’t let anyone merge, dumb ass drivers.  (not to stereotype Toronto drivers because I KNOW not everyone is like this, however these are what the ones that I encountered were doing) Sigh.

2.  There are just soooooooooo many people!!!  (I guess that perhaps ties in with number 1 now doesn’t it?!)

3.  You can’t go anywhere between 5 and 7pm.  (I guess that really does tie in again with number 1 and 2 doesn’t it? haha)  If we needed to go groccery shopping, or out for food, we needed to go after 7, otherwise you end up sitting in traffic forever.  Then again, that’s only if you’re driving a car.  If you take public transit somewhere, you’re probably ok….but it would still be super busy (refer back to number 1 and 2).

So overall it really does look like my problem with Toronto is that there’s so many people.  I guess I’m really just used to sharing my space with under 500, 000.  Not the 2,615,060 that live in Toronto. (WOW!  I didn’t really think it was that many!- that’s according to Google FYI as of 2011.)

What I did like about the T dot is that although Sandra lives in a highrise condo, there was a super cute park that EVERYONE in the neighborhood went to, to walk their dogs.  It was full of adorable dogs in all sizes just running around, and being cute.  So clearly people in big cities don’t let small homes effect whether or not they are going to have pets!

So, I hate people, but love dogs.

That about wraps up this post.

I’m hoping that now my summer course is done, I can bust out a couple more posts this summer…since I haven’t done so since January! (Ooops!)

EPFT out.

Leave a comment

Filed under Trips

In 2012…..

New Years Resolutions.

I’ve made them, you’ve made them.  I’ve  kept some, and (clearly) broke some.  We all have.  I’m going to attempt to make and keep some new ones for 2012.

But Erin, what are some resolutions you’ve made in the past?

Mmmmm Salt!

  • To eat less salt.  Believe it or not I’ve actually kept that one up for the most part.  In high school I use to salt stuff so much that it was inedible to everyone except myself.  Seriously.
  • To be more fun.  I think I kept that one up?  You tell me.

Fun, or just plain ridiculous?!

  • To speak my mind more.  I think I was pretty successful on that one.  This was actually one from last January.  I feel like this year was one of the first years I wasn’t really a push over.  Maybe I was wrong…
  • To be healthier.  Isn’t this always a resolution?!

Ok,  so here are this years resolutions…

  • To be healthier.  I’ve not really been successful over the last couple years.  I’ve obviously gained some weight over the last little while (who’s kidding who!), and I’ve GOT to get that under control.  My skinny little legs were not made to carry my watermelon like mid-section.  For reals.  It’s depressing.  Physical activity has to go up, and eating better needs to become more of a priority.
  • To become more GREENIt’s not terribly hard to consciously be more environmentally aware.  I hope to walk more places (instead of driving to the corner store- which I do a lot), be more aware of my electricity usage, and well I’m going to talk to my knowledgeable friend Sandra about it really.  She’ll give me some great ideas.  

  • To do more stuff.  Sitting on the couch, or our big leather recliner, is comfy and all, but I need to be more active.  Not even just in the physical sense, but mentally as well.  I love DIYing, but I don’t do a whole lot of it.  Lots can be done around the house, and there are many projects that I can do to take off Matt’s plate.  First on my docket… well ok I’m torn.  I really want to paint the spare room, but I also really want some hooks up in the bathroom (no it’s not painted yet- but I’m going crazy not being able to hang up any towels!!).  What would you do first?
  • Really work on getting my student debt down.  Just thinking about it stresses me out!  I need to get serious about it!

Phew, ok so 4 really doable resolutions no?

I think so.

Let’s hear some of your resolutions!  Do you ever keep them?  OR are you a breaker like most of us! 😛

E.Flatts out.

7 Comments

Filed under DIY, Uncategorized

AAaaaaaaand, she’s back!

Heeeelllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllooooooooooo!?!??!

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeellllllllllllllllllllllo out there!

Do I still have any readers?  If so, you’re probably wondering where the  heck I’ve been for the last like 3 or 4 months!

Well I guess I’ve really been nowhere really.  I haven’t really felt the urge to blog.  It’s sad I know, but sometimes life happens.  I also haven’t really been keeping up with the list of blogs I follow either, which is also very sad.  Summer is usually the time to catch up on things, and to get those to do lists done, but I feel that this year I didn’t really do any of that.  Booo summer of 2011.  Maybe the fall will help me turn over a new leaf, and get down to business.  I certainly hope so!

I have kept myself busy though,  it’s not like I’ve been sitting around watching Peach Tree TV all day…. well at least not every day.  AND I did complete my first AQ (that’s teacher speak fyi, and it means additional qualifications), so I have officially obtained my ESL part 1.  So there!

AND I have pretty much perfected cake pops.  Yeppers, I’ve jumped on the cake pop train, and am just cruising down the track to perfection.  Woot woot!

Hmmmm, what else, what else….

OH- my brother got married which is super exciting, and it was also a diy wedding.   I took a couple pictures with my cellio, and will post them as soon as I get a computer that works with, and not against my phone.  Why can I not upload pictures to my computer like I so often did in the past?  Well my friends, because of robbers.  That’s right robbers.  In July, we had our house broken into while we were both at work, and a bunch of our stuff was taken.  Scary, yes.  Maddening, yes.  Also quite emotional.  I had a lot of trouble sleeping the first night, just thinking about how strangers had been walking around in our house, with our pets, touching our stuff.  Not ok.  Not cool.  Get your own damn stuff.  That (among other things) is what I would like to say to them…

On a good note though, we’re FINALLY getting our insurance settlement this week, so yay stuff back!  We were lucky they didn’t get a ton of stuff, but it was enough to leave us cursing them for sure.  Anywho, this is why there are no original pics on here today- our camera and computer were taken along with all our pics! 😦

Lesson learned though- back everything up!  EVERYTHING.  An external hard drive will also be purchased this week.  Fo sho.

Whew.   So let’s recap shall we?

1.  Erin is now a master at cake pops.

2.  Erin now has her ESL part 1.

3.  Erin does not like robbers.

4.  Back up everything on your computer.  For reals.

Alright, some what shortish post.  Will slowly make my transition back to the ole blog as soon as I possibly can.

(I checked my stats and apparently some of you actually check my blog daily.  That kind of made my heart feel fuzzy.  So thanks Bai and Sandra.  haha, and whoever else is checking!)

6 Comments

Filed under DIY, Uncategorized, Wedding

Earth Hour- if we can do it, you can do it.

Turn off those lights! And any other power reliant things too for that matter!

So. 

In case you did not know, tomorrow (Saturday), at 830pm it is Earth Hour.  If you’ve never heard of Earth Hour before, it’s when we all turn off our lights to conserve energy.  Since I decided to write about it today, I figured I should find out a little bit more about it.

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Australia.  A whole 2.2 MILLION people, not to mention 2000 businesses in Australia turned off their lights for that one hour to show their support for stopping Global Warming.  Since then, the protest (I guess you can call it that!)  has grown to a world-wide event, with last year’s Earth Hour having 128 countries participate.  That kind of makes me feel all tingly inside. 🙂  This year, WWF (no, not the world wrestling federation- it’s the world wildlife fund) is actually asking people to for sure participate in the hour, BUT also try for longer.  If you can do the hour why not do more, is their logic.  I think it’s a faaaaaaantastic idea! 

Last year I was unfortunately working at my job with a large drugstore chain.  And guess what?  No, we didn’t turn off all the lights, which then caused a fierce rioting mob of looters, but we did turn off all non-essential lights (about half to 3/4 of the main lights), as well as washroom, office, and staffroom lights.  If all those stores nationwide did the same thing, that alone is a heck of a lot of power conservation.  And that’s just one business!

Since Earth Hour is on a Saturday, the school board I work for decided that today we would participate in Earth Hour.  Yes, the classrooms were still pretty light, as it was during the day, but many classes were affected.  Not only did we just turn off the lights, but all classes turned off computers, smartboards, and any other technology being used.  To be honest, it really did affect our class.  We were scheduled to have gym.  Picture it.  The gym is in the middle of the school- no windows.  Did I let them run around screaming in the dark?  No.  We went back to the classroom and played desk volleyball in the darkened classroom.  They still had a blast.

My point?  An hour isn’t going to kill anyone, and it will make a difference.  Does it suck to lose your gym period?  Maybe, but we got over it.  Will it suck to not be able to go on Facebook or twitter for an hour?  Perhaps, but everything will still be there when it’s over.  Light some candles.  Have a romantic dinner.  Play a board game.  Read a book by flashlight.  There’s lots to do- especially when it comes to the environment.  Do your part! 🙂

Ok, I feel like this blog might be a little preachy.  Sorry guys.  It’s just so easy to participate!

Update me on how you spent your Earth Hour!

Lates.

PS  My friend Sandra DID start her own “green” blog- It’s called “Save Money, Be Healthy, and Live Sustainably” and it’s great! Read it- you’d be silly not to!

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Guest Post- Bottled Water by Sandy E.

word.

alright yo, Erin here.  My friend Sandra (who I visited in New Orleans last month) just watched a documentary and was pretty full of rage after seeing it.  She is super duper smart, and works in environmental science.  These are her feelings on the documentary and on bottled water in general.

Alright, so I just watched a documentary called “Tapped” which is all about bottled water, so now I am writing a note about it.  If i had a blog, I would probably blog about it, but I don’t so I can’t and I need to vent.  My husband is in another country so he isn’t around to hear me all up in arms about bottled water so I am left ranting to you!

Alright here is the deal

1) city water is safe – your city tests your water.  They are required to by law and they test like 100 parameters or something like that (alright i don’t know exact numbers because I am not at work right now but its a lot) to make sure your water doesn’t have high amounts of nasty bacteria, or weirdo chemicals

2) you ALREADY PAY FOR TAP WATER — its in your taxes, unless you don’t pay taxes…in which case, you will pay for it one day when you do pay taxes

3) The mark up for the price on bottled water is something ridiculous like 1000% or more…for real, it takes the company a few cents to make it and they sell it to you for like $2.00….

4) that is super ridiculous because 40% of bottled water comes from a CITY SOURCE ANYWAY….that’s right, they take your water, sometimes filter it (like a brita but not), and then sell it to you for way way more….

5) only like 50% of bottles world-wide are recycled, and the thing is the plastic that they use for bottled water is not that high quality, so it can never be a plastic bottle again, it will be something less (it’s called down-cycling) , whereas a glass bottle can be a glass bottle again

6) a lot of plastic bottles (and really just plastic in general people…ahh i hate plastic) will end up in land fills or the ocean! in the ocean they break down and animals eat them, get sick and die, which depletes fish stocks and wildlife in general

7) they don’t really know anything about the safety of long term drinking of bottled water, and some studies have found carcinogens and other nasty chemicals in bottled water

alright so what i am saying here is drink tap water! If you don’t like the chlorine taste, leave a jug in the fridge, chlorine will evaporate out of your water after a short amount of time and your water won’t taste so chloriney anymore!

So there. 

Hope you enjoyed her rant.  She is thinking of starting her own blog on being more green at home.  I would read it if I were you!  When she gets going with it, I will let you know!

I did a Monday meal last night.  I will write that up, and post it either later tonight, or at some point tomorrow!

1 Comment

Filed under Guest Blog

Erin’s 30th Birthday Trip- Part 2! NOLA

Heeeeeyyyy!

So wow, this is like the 4th post this week.  Cool huh?  I think I could keep this up.  Assuming you all continue reading!

Alright, so let’s continue from where we left off shall we?

So I’m in NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana!),  and I’m visiting Sandra and Derek (who FYI either moved today already, or are moving tomorrow, so good timing!) who have been there for a year (Derek), and about like 4 months (Sandra).  Before I came Sandra told me it was cold, and I didn’t believe her.  When I got there, I still didn’t believe her!  It was sunny, I only wore a sweater to dinner (and we walked!), and even the second day it was warm and sunny, and only required a sweater.  Then came Monday.  The only day we picked for a walking cemetery tour was so F-ing cold we had to buy gloves.  And I still froze.  Our tour guide was dressed up in a toque and gloves too!  It was also super duper cold at night.  So cold, that I (someone who sleeps with a fan and always half way out of the covers) friggen froze, and definitely needed a second blanket!  Cemetery tour was cool, regardless of the weather.  Very old, very neat.  Interestingly enough these above ground cemeteries pop up all over the city right in the middle of urban/residential areas.  The one we visited was directly beside a ghetto.  Seriously.  If we were in London, this cemetery would have been EOA.  You London people know what I’m talking about.

Alrighty, so cold, in the ghetto, but in a pretty neat cemetery (oh FYI Nicholas Cage has already purchased and built a pyramid style grave thing in this cemetery in case you’re looking to spend eternity laying next to him!), and we come to the end of our tour….at a voodoo priestess temple.  I don’t really know what Sandra and I were expecting…but let me tell you, it was not this.  First of all the lady does not seem like a voodoo priestess.  Not that I’ve ever met one, but she is about 65, wore bright old lady clothes, and always had a smile on her face.  Second, she told me my voice sounded like I was a singer.  What?  Anyways, she also told us nothing about voodoo.  She led us to her temple, and scolded us for not listening, then basically lectured us about the economy.  Weird.  That was our experience in a voodoo temple.

How can my time in NOLA get better than that day?  Well my friends, it just did.  The next day Sandra and I headed to the insectarium.  That’s right, we went to a museum full of dead, and LIVE insects!  It was actually pretty neat.  We also got to eat some insects.  I ate something called a wax worm.  It did not taste like nothing.  It tasted gross.  Sandra had a cricket, and said it was just crunchy.  We also saw a tiny Alligator, which was so friggen cute, but all by itself in this massive tank full of insects and water.  Also weird. 

Since this was my last night in NOLA, we HAD to have King Cake.  I like to call it baby cake because they used to put a little plastic baby in the cake for someone to find as a prize.  Some people say if you get the baby you buy the next cake, some say if you get the baby you will have a baby next.  Either way, they don’t put them in the cake anymore, they put it in the package, and you can put it in the cake, or keep it for yourself.  It’s up to you.  Anywho, this baby cake is so friggen good.  It’s like really thin cinnamon buns that are shaped in a cake, and stuffed with cream cheese icing (not sweet icing though, just super fluffy good icing).  You can get them plain, or filled with fruit and stuff,  but Sandra said the cream cheese was the best.  It was so good!!!!  They only make these baby cakes close to Mardi Gras, so I was just in time! 🙂

Ohhhhhhh, before we leave off here, I forgot to tell you about a couple things!  1. Bourbon Street- the infamous French Quarter Street in NOLA which is full of bars, strip clubs, and touristy stores.  It’s seedy, and gross, and smells like a combination of pee and puke.  Seriously.  I’m sure if I was with a group of people at night and we were bar hopping like 5 years ago, it would be great, but I saw it in day light.  Almost like when they turn the ugly lights on in a bar at 2am. ugh.  We even saw a stripper having a cigarette outside a club in her thong.  Classy!  2.  They have drive through Daiquiris bars.  For real!  I guess driving with open alcohol isn’t such a big deal!  We didn’t go through a drive through one, but we did end up going to a regular bar/store and they had a bazillion flavours that pour out of slushy machines and are served in MASSIVE styrofoam cups.  Ridiculous!  3.  In the French Market I purchased an Alligator claw backscratcher with a real alligator claw on it.  They farm alligators for meat here, and end up selling the other parts (feet, hands, claws, heads, etc.) to tourists like me in the form of key chains, backscratchers, and other weird items.  My horribly bad pets promptly got a hold of it when I got home and ate it.  (seriously, and it was gross)  So it no longer exists.

Ok, lets fast forward back to the last day again!

Sadly, my time in NOLA felt like it was over before I knew it.  Early morning flight meant an uneventful night of baby cake and Pet hoarders on tv. 

Here are some of my more interesting pics of NOLA.  🙂

Bourbon Street

An impromptu Jazz Concert? But of course!

Mmmm! One of my many delicious meals- french toast stuffed with banana cream cheese, and topped with a rum caramel sauce!

Alligator heads for sale!

Cable car!

Super cold cemetery tour with our tour guide. He's in front of a tomb where a voodoo queen is buried!

Cemetery

More cemetery.

Voodoo temple!

More voodoo temple

Me and the beignets from the famous Cafe du Monde! They are small deep fried balls of dough that are covered in powdered sugar! Delicious!

Massive daiquiris. Mardi Gras beads. Alligator backscratcher. Can we say TOURIST?!?

Sandra is eating a bug!

I'm eating a bug!

Baby Cake!

Mmmmmmm baby cake!

 

Alright.  So that’s it for NOLA.  It was fun.  And cold.  Also delicious. 

Next up- Part 3: San Francisco Bai! 🙂

Peace out.

3 Comments

Filed under Trips, Uncategorized