08 December 2008

Parties, political protests and power outages

It was a strange and eventful weekend, to say the least. This morning I found myself grumpily dragging my heels to the office. Two espressos and cups of coffee later, I’m still dreaming of my warm bed and some sorely-needed Zzzzzs.

The weekend started off in celebratory mode. I trudged my way to the Byward Market after work to meet up with hubby and some coworkers who decided to have an impromptu pub night following their Annual General Meeting and holiday lunch. Already tired and cranky after a long day of work, I thought I would only be meeting a small handful of people. Instead some 30 + folks showed up, including the CEO of the company. My heart and my head may not have been in it, but I did have a fun time and got to talk to several nice people. While hubby assured me other coworkers would be bringing their spouse, I was the only non-employee there.

On Saturday hubby and I joined forces with my brother and sister-in-law to protest the coalition government. Despite the very chilly weather, the crowd on Parliament Hill was decent. Hubby wore a Canadian flag and I carried a large sign that I made late on Friday night. You could tell that the crowd was not accustomed to political activism (it takes a lot to get a Conservative to protest), so it took a while for the crowd to warm up. Always one to lead by example, I had no problem bellowing “Shame” at the top of my lungs. It was a neat experience and quite therapeutic to publicly vent my frustration at our current political situation. Some day I’ll tell my kids about how their father and I stood up for democracy. Who knows if all of the rallying and public outcry will dissuade the coalition - it’s certainly worth a shot and I’m glad we were able to play a small part.

Sunday was supposed to be a relaxing day. I decided to try a new stew recipe in the slow cooker and invited my parents over for dinner. After well over an hour of preparation, I got everything in the pot and simmering away in time to eat dinner for 6:00 pm. All was going well until the power went off at 11:00 am. After several calls to Hydro One, hubby and I decided that the power would be off for a while… so much for dinner at our place. Hubby drove the slow cooker over to mom and dad’s house as they still had their power. The roads were a mess with blowing snow and no traffic lights. Thank God hubby is a good driver – both he and stew arrived in one piece.

While Dan was battling the roads and saving the stew, I decided to clean the house the old-fashioned way. No electricity = no vacuum, so I swept the floors and washed them. Because I kept moving, I didn’t really notice how cold the house was getting until later. Hubby is always warm so he welcomes the cold, but I already have the inner temperature of a lizard and the cold is unbearable. At my nagging and insistence, we headed to the mall to grab a coffee and pick away at our remaining Christmas shopping. The mall was busy, but it was a warm and productive way to pass the time until dinner.

Sadly, when we returned home to drop off our shopping, the electricity was still off and the temperature was dropping fast. We called Hydro One again and they still could not give us an estimated time for the problem to be fixed. At that point we decided to pack our overnight bags, bundle up the guinea pigs (our main concern) and claim refugee status at my parents place. There was no sense risking it or riding it out, fine for us because we can add on layers and blankets, but the critters can get sick if it’s too cold.

In the end all turned out relatively well. We enjoyed a tasty stew that my mother jokingly gloated about cooking, the pigs were warm and content and hubby and I got to imbibe a few extra drinks while watching the season finale of the Amazing Race. The only downturn was sleeping in my old double bed. I went from being too cold to over-heated in the middle of the night. Between hubby and I, we’re lucky if we managed to get a solid three hours of sleep. This morning we both looked like zombies.

Apparently the power came back on around 10 pm last evening. This morning the temperature was a bone-chilling -21ÂșC. I’m glad we didn’t stay home to discover just how cold the house would get. I’m tired but I’m a good Mommy.

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