a peek inside the fishbowl

04 Feb, 2015

Weekend epiphany number one: I can do it.

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

So I had a bit of an epiphany this past weekend. Well, two, but please allow me to backtrack for a moment.

[Sidebar: Please note I was not paid to write this post and my thoughts are my own. However, I did attend a weekend long event as a guest of Ford Canada. This post is a bit about that weekend, and then some. Read on!]

As I mentioned earlier, I was invited along on a special excursion hosted by Ford Canada along with a bevy of other Ottawa bloggers. The location: Mont-Tremblant. I hadn’t been in years and was very excited about a return visit. But I am getting ahead of myself. Our weekend began Saturday morning at Campbell Ford with some “back to basics” instruction about winter driving and car ownership. What to keep in the trunk in case of an emergency was something we talked about. FYI: a mini shovel, flashlight, a bag of sand or cat litter (for if you get stuck on the ice), basic survival food (i.e. granola bars and water), are all great things to have on hand. Part of this time was also spent talking about what to do if you start to skid, or if a tire blows, etc. There was also a tire-changing demo, although now that I think about it, as soon as the weather improves I’m going to practice on one of my own tires and have the girls watch me do it.

Another lesson was about refilling the oil and windshield washer fluid. I am embarrassed to even admit this here, but really I needed this kind of instruction. It’s shameful, really. As a driver I should know how to do these very basic things.

Back to basics lesson from Ford Canada

By total coincidence, the day after we returned from our weekend adventure I found myself starting the car, and remembering something Mark had told me earlier that day: “Don’t forget the car needs wiper fluid.” Ugh. Ok. Here we go. It was freezing and salty grey outside, and I drove the car to the nearest gas station. First hurdle: how to pop the hood. Second, open the hood. Third, find the proper spout thingy. (Gawd, this is so embarrassing.)

Looking under the hood

This is the international symbol for windshield washer fluid

I opened everything up before going into the store and buying a container of the wiper fluid. And here’s my special tip for you: OPEN THE CONTAINER IN THE STORE. It has a childproof cap on it, and doing this outside in sub-zero temperatures might be difficult. Especially while wearing mittens.

The Ford folks showed us the proper way of pouring it into the car. You turn the container sideways to minimize spillage, which was helpful to me as my hands shook while pouring it. And you know what? I did it. It was total refill success.

Turn the container sideways, then pour

During our weekend with Ford we also had the opportunity to learn to drive a manual car from a professional driving instructor/race car driver. The vehicle of choice: the new 2015 Mustang. We were apparently the first people to drive it. (!)

So imagine, if you will, little old me, learning to drive a stick shift in this gorgeous NEW car, with a race car driver in the passenger seat, on a snowy back road in Quebec.


I was petrified, to say the least. I was afraid of crashing into something (ICY SNOWBANKS EVERYWHERE – PEDESTRIANS TOO) and generally making a complete fool of myself. I have to hand it to the instructor though. He was so patient when I stalled, and stalled, and stalled again. He must have thought I was awful, but to his credit he never showed it. And I did it! I drove it! Well, sort of. Although I won’t be running out to buy a standard, if I was ever faced with driving one, I could drive it.

So yes. This was my first weekend epiphany: I CAN DO IT. This is no small thing. Living in fear of this kind of stuff is ridiculous, and I refuse to do it anymore.

Look for epiphany number two tomorrow.


3 Responses to "Weekend epiphany number one: I can do it."

1 | binki

February 4th, 2015 at 4:05 pm


The more you do, the more you can do.

~ Lucille Ball

2 | Weekend epiphany number two: life is for living >> a peek inside the fishbowl

February 5th, 2015 at 5:19 pm


[…] The first part of this post was published yesterday. You can read that right here.  […]

3 | coffee with julie

February 6th, 2015 at 10:07 am


The exact same thing happened to me! My vision through my windshield was so bad that I pulled off the 417 to a gas station to pick up fluid. I filled mine for the very first time ever. (how embarrassing!) But that side pour TOTALLY works. I CAN DO IT.

comment form:


Stay in touch

Me and my pet projects

Ottawa Bucket list

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • ubobet.win: Ubobet is an internationally trusted gambling dealer previously 2001 until now. By holding attributed entry for online gambling sites that give vario
  • Wendy Perkins: Can g/f flour be substituted equally?
  • milhiskom.dk: Well done and written. I've jut started blogging myself very recently and observed that mwny articles merely rehash old ideas but add very little o
  • Brien Marshall: It's like Twitter but in real life! Certain people are looking for a platform to vent their opinion and you happened to be in their audience. On my
  • Sally Dowe Marchand: Oh my. I don’t know what I would have done. Bent over in agony maybe. Or turned quickly and walked away. Or offered sympathy for the stress she is
  • Lynn: Excellent to hear! Every person who reports getting the shot makes me feel hopeful, like we are one more small step closer to good times again. Our
  • a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive I got jabbed! #TeamPfizer - a peek inside the fishbowl: […] the same day our youngest turned 20, I got my first Covid vaccine. For the record, my next one is scheduled four months from […]

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


Connect with me at these places too!

On the nightstand

All hail the mighty Twitter