Tag Archives: Canada

Update on my mini greenhouse

This just in… the seeds I planted yesterday are GONE!

Yes, you read it right. They are now just a sweet memory, born out of a dream for my own herb garden.

So sad. After I made sure that the greenhouse would be able to stand to the elements. It stood through rain and heavy winds for a week. I thought that was enough test that I confidently toiled under the hot sun (but cold wind) to carefully plant my seeds that will be housed in the greenhouse.

I checked on my progress this morning, and the greenhouse standing proud, showed me that all is good. But somebody turned the fan on high here in Winnipeg. Then I heard it, a really faint “thunk” from outside. The greenhouse lost its battle to the wind and toppled over, bringing the seed trays with it, as well as all my blood, sweat and tears.

I have 3 vegetables, 3 herbs and 2 flower seeds all mixed up in 4 trays like this

I couldn’t bear to look at all my hard work gone to waste. Lettuce seeds, cucumber seeds, cilantro and parsley all mixed together in a pile of soil. I tried to save them, scooping all the soil, and hopefully all the seeds with it, and placed them in  undivided seed trays. It’s a crazy thought, but hopefully some of them survive. My only problem is, I won’t be able to identify which is which if they do sprout.

Wish me luck, i sure need it.

Winter has started… again.

The first time I experienced snow was during my first winter here in Winnipeg (you can read about my first snow blog here).  It was fascinating! Well, the cold is another thing, but seeing those feathery white stuff falling is a lovely sight. And I love how they glisten like crystals when hit at just the right angle by the sun’s glorious rays.

Taken January 2011… Look at that pile of snow!

This winter, however, is an anomaly (as most Winnipegers say) because there isn’t much snow fall yet (not that I’m complaining, though)! By this time last year we already had a mountain of plowed snow by the side of the parking area behind the office. Now, not even a hill! Christmas wasn’t as white as most of the people here hoped it would be. It was more like a dirty, mushy Christmas than a white Christmas.

For the past few weeks we’ve been having more Spring weather than the harsh -40 C that we got used to. The temp was see-sawing between 6 degrees to – 10 degrees which melts whatever snow there is on the ground.

Today however, Winter, again, has started, and beautiful, big and perfect snowflakes graced our otherwise dull coffee and smoke breaks.  I can’t wait to get home and see the nice blanket of snow in our backyard (I don’t know if I’ll feel the same when it gets too out of hand though).

Passport renewal…

Every weekend we make it a point to plan stuff that would include the babies, well, we try to as much as we can anyway. Today is one of those days that we failed.

We had to leave the babies to have our Philippine passports renewed at the Philippine-Canadian Centre of Manitoba. An appointment we CANNOT miss because if we don’t do this now, we would have to fly all the way to Toronto to have them renewed. Good thing the Philippine Consulate General of Toronto is having an outreach program here in Winnipeg so all Filipinos who needs to have their passports renewed can have it done during the 3 days that they are here.

Filipinos make up 6% of Winnipeg’s total population and is considered the fastest growing minority group. That’s about 38,155 Pinoys in Winnipeg alone, so imagine if even 1/10th of that went to PCCM to have their passports renewed! Well, I don’t think it was that much, but it was still a lot that it took us 4 hours to finish everything. But at least it’s over and done with. Only thing is we can’t go anywhere for 3 months coz we don’t have our passports yet. Oh well, I guess that’s more time spending with the babies then.

The Forks

Thought it was going to be a good day for a “family” outing last Sunday, so we, Gayl, Angel, Chaos and I, decided to go to The Forks. Even though the humidity hit us like a punch in the stomach when we came out of the apartment building, we still dragged our butts to the car and drove off.

Well, the heat and humidity was too much for all four of us to bear, so we just sat on the grass in a shaded part of the Forks, let the dogs run around a bit while Gayl and I took a couple of photos, then left, with bottled water in hand and 2 panting little doggies.

The spot where we “camped” and took pictures of is called the Oodena Celebration Circle. They say you can see the constellations through the ocular round things on the armature. Cool eh! You can read all about it here.

                                                       

It wasn’t much an outing, but hopefully when go out again on a better summer day.

English as a Second Language

Ok, so we have been here in Canada for almost a year now and I thought that after enough months of practice and speaking in straight English, I’d somehow get so used to it that it will eventually come naturally when conversing. There are some days when my head is on straight and talking to my Canadian office mates is a breeze, no headaches and no blood coming out of my nose. But there are still those days when I feel like my brain’s batteries are running low and my English vocabulary seem to only consist of words like “Yeah”, “No way”, “I know, right” and “Uh-huh”. During these instances when my thinking is even slower than my office computer running on a 512mb RAM, words like “teka”, “ano”, “kasi” and “ewan” escape my lips when speaking. And only when I see the big question marked face looking back at me that I realize they didn’t understand what I just said.

In fairness to us (:P), we do get compliments about how good our spoken English is considering that it is not our first language. Some even thought we have been in Canada for years already coz our “Filipino accent” wasn’t as distinct (They should hear our call center agents back home who sound like they were born and raised in the States when they talk to each other (loudly) inside office elevators). When they asked where we learned our English and we tell them that it is the basic mode of teaching in most schools in the Philippines, they were surprised. They thought that since we have our own language, it was but natural that teachers would teach in Filipino, not English. Well, I guess we do have a pretty good grasp of the English language even if we still think in Tagalog.

PERO WAG KA! Filipino / Tagalog is the 4th widely spoken language here in Manitoba! Some establishments would encourage their staff to speak in their native language when talking to a fellow countrymen,  so it’s not really a surprise when you enter a McDonald’s store and you’d think you were in the Philippines coz most people are speaking in Tagalog.  And because the Filipino community in Winnipeg is the largest visible minority group in the city, you’re sure to bump into a Filipino practically anywhere you go! So we do get to speak to other people in our beloved Tagalog.

So what if our thinking process is slower because we have to mentally translate some of our replies from Tagalog to English? So what if some Filipinos inter-change “F” and “P”? The thing is, we understand English better than other people think…

E kayo, naiintindihan niyo ba ang Tagalog ko? Talo ka, diba.