Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Trouble on Eight Legs




These are my kids. They were featured a while back, but let me introduce them again... The Siamese is Felix, and the Grey and White is Samantha. They are trouble on eight legs. They get into everything! Paper scraps are their absolute favourite, but they'll settle for anything that's chewable or makes crinkly noises.

They used to hate each other. Hard to believe eh? I should mention that the basket they're sleeping in is Samantha's bed. She doesn't like to share and would normally sit on Felix until he moved, but on this day she was content to snuggle with him. They are both crammed in this box so tight that the sides were bending out! Aren't they cute?

Monday, September 28, 2009

God I miss shopping.

Remember the days when we all had money? Sigh. I do. I am a self-diagnosed shop-a-holic. Resisting the temptation to buy a new sweater, or some scrapping supplies, or a new purse is a challenge for me... especially the purses. How I love a new bag. Since the economic craziness started I've had to scale back... WAAAAYYYYY back. Which is not an un-due hardship, but in order to avoid spending money I have simply stopped visiting my favourite stores so as not to lead myself to temptation. After all, a recovering crack addict wouldn't hang out with their dealer now would they? Unfortunately, I've since discovered that shopping is a big part of my well being. It makes me feel good, both about myself, and my home. I like to have new shiney things,(hubby likens me to a raven collecting bits of tin to put in her nest). I miss the self-confidence boost that comes with buying a new outfit. Especially since I've dropped the equivalent of 4 bags of potatoes worth of fat and am now feeling much better about myself.

I have placated myself by shopping at Value Village, which is the local thrift store. It's brilliant really. You'd be surprised at the amount of new stuff people just give away. I came home with a whole summer wardrobe for $50. I would have spent 4 times that in a new store. However, even that is a stretch right now if I want to keep up with my financial goals.

I have now settled for challenging myself to reuse what I already have in creative ways. I have started wearing belts and scarves, (unheard of previously), and changing my jewelry, combining 2 pieces at a time... and keeping all my old purses so I can change them whenever I get bored. I've also started using anything and everything I can find for scrapping. Odd bits I thought never to use have been re-purposed, painted, or cut down. This almost satisfies my inner-shopper... almost.

What are you doing to cut back, but still have fun?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Caution... I offend easily without thinking.

Maybe I should get that tattooed on my forehead... what do you think, colour or black and white?

After reading the lovely comments left on yesterday's post I was quite shocked. I off-handedly (Jinksy, is that even a word?) called everyone who doesn't wear a helmet stupid.. which is a word that I tend to over use. Mostly I was just expressing my frustration about my concern for hubby, not trying to insult the rest of the planet, (should they share his views). I am also not in the habit of calling my hubby stupid, nor do I believe he really IS stupid. I SHOULD have said stuborn, pigheaded,and ignorant... see? There I go again. Needless to say, he usually finds me entertaining and I am not a man-abuser! Please read my posts with a grain of salt, if I tend to rant with colourful language, it is usually meant to entertain and not to hurt. I would never intentionally write something in a public forum to hurt someone else. When I get stressed about something, I tend to develop a sarcastic tone and make a joke out of it... probably not the healthiest coping mechanism, but I like to laugh.

To anyone who may have been offended, my profound appologies. I write to entertain myself, and anyone else who happens to pop in. I am extremely grateful for all of your comments, and your honesty.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Only stupid people don't wear helmets.

Hubby got hit by a car last month. Idiot. He was riding his bicycle when some lady pulled out of Tim Hortons and smoked him. The bike went under the car, and hubby went over. Thankfully the only casualty was the bicycle. Hubby ended up with a separated shoulder, but was ok. Needless to say, this incident freaked me out, and has made me more than a little paranoid since. Enter the evil helmet discussion.

In Ontario, it is law for anyone under 18 to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle. However, if you are an adult, you may use your own judgement, (or lack there of). After hubbys recent ambulance ride, I asked him to wear one. He refused. He is afraid of looking stupid... as if walking around with a smashed-in skull would make him look cool. "Chick's dig scars", he said. I pleaded, begged and cried. Nothing worked. He flat out refuses to be safe. Now I get this sick feeling every time he goes out. If he's late, I have visions of fantastic smash-ups involving various degrees of destruction to both hubby and vehicle. He could alleviate all of this craziness by just putting the damn thing on his head. Why are men so dumb? Stupid Question.

What do you think? Helmet, or no helmet?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Yogurt does not go with everything.

Somebody put watermelon in my yogurt. And cantaloupe, AND hondeydew melon. I was grocery shopping in a hurry last week and picked up the first package of individual yougurts I saw and hurried to the checkout. As you may have guessed by now, I do most things in a hurry... well, more of a panicked dash really, as I am generally late for everything. Right. Back to the yogurt. I zoomed home with my groceries, threw them in the fridge, and promply forgot about them - as by that time there were several other emergencies that needed my attention.

The next day I brought the yogurt to work. Without looking at the container I opened it and ate some. BLECK. Somebody put watermelon in my yogurt. Why would they do that? More importantly, why would I BUY it? I am really going downhill with my shopping track record. Sigh. I probably would have paid more attention if I knew people were manufacturing that crap. Yoplait, if you're reading this, are you out of your MIND? Why would you take perfectly good yogurt and make it taste like THAT? I've been trading with the accounting lady at work for her normal kinds. You know, blueberry, strawberry, that sort of thing.

I should manage that I pulled out the next kind this morning and it has Coconut in it... BLECK! Someone put coconut in my yogurt...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Evil Shoes Of Death.

Sorry for my long absence from the world of blogging. Summer time is insane to begin with and this one was particularly crazy. As usual, I over-scheduled myself for almost EVERYTHING. Why do I always think I'm super woman? No idea.

I missed blogging terribly. There's some kind of therapy involved in writing a short blurb everyday. And maybe it doesn't matter to most people, but it matters to some, and for those of you that missed me while I was away, thank-you. I missed you too!

Enough Mush. On to today's topic: Shoes of death!

I bought a pair of shoes yesterday. There were on sale. I didn't really LOVE the way they fit my feet, but they were only 6 dollars! How could I pass that up? The store I purchased the shoes from was carpeted. I pranced around quickly, threw them in my basket and went on my merry way. Yesterday I put them on, fully intending to wear them to brunch. My floor is linoleum. You can see where I'm going with this, can't you? I took two steps and promptly fell on my a#$. I picked the shoes up and actually LOOKED at the bottom,(which from this point on will become part of my routine upon footwear purchase), they are made of HARD PLASTIC! Who makes the bottom of shoes out of hard plastic? Did they run out of rubber? Was the machine broken? Do they have 100% carpeted floors in Thailand (country of origin of shoes of death). Unfortunately I can't find the receipt for the 6 dollar shoes, which are now in the trash. I literally THREW them in the trash. Then I poured 3 day old bacon grease on top of them for effect. TAKE THAT EVIL SHOES OF DEATH! No longer will I purchase inferior footwear, no matter what the cost. I now have effectively thrown 6 dollars in the trash when I could have just bought a latte and a scone. Leason Learned.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Why read Fantasy?


My hubby is eternally puzzled about why I feel the need to pick up a fantasy novel when I could be reading a true crime, murder mystery, or some such other equally acceptable piece of literature. I say to him, I don't want to read something I can see on the news or CSI. I get my fill of that stuff everyday in real life. I want to read something that has it all: Mystery, adventure, war, murder, romance, sex, happily-ever-after, and the epitome of what every little girl wants: A fairy tale.

You see, I never got over my childhood dream of being a princess, of finding a frog and kissing it to rescue prince charming, of rescuing nations in distress from all means of magical mayhem. Why should I have to? I read in my spare time for fun, as a form of entertainment, and to exercise my creativity and imagination. When do we get too old for that? Answer: Never.

I'm not quite sure why I feel that twinge whenever I walk into the fantasy section at the bookstore... you know... that twinge that means other people are probably looking at you and thinking you're a weirdo. I look around and see many people that I would label as "nerdy" or strange. But who the hell cares about labels anyway? I read fairy tales for grown-ups (ok... and a little teen lit thrown in there), and dammit I'm proud!

Take what I'm reading currently for example. It's the sword of truth series. There are 10 books (I think), and they are so wonderful, I've read some of them half-a-dozen times. They are a worn and treasured favourite. I cry when the characters die (even though I KNOW they are going to die because I've read it before), I'm ecstatic when they win. I love to hate the bad guys, and love to cheer for the good guys. If you are enjoying twilight, or any other of the vampire culture books and are feeling the need for something more, this is the place to go.

Reading fantasy novels doesn't make you a nerd... it simply makes you well read!

P.S. The first book in this series is Wizards First Rule. Highly Recommended.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Suspicion Q&A

A few things I have learned in the past few weeks.

What is the greatest compliment you can give your partner? The benefit of the doubt. Believe in them, or go find someone you CAN believe in.

What is the fastest way to ruin a relationship? Constant accusations of cheating, which brings on self-rightous defense mechanisms, which lead to anger, frustration, and a need to eat an entire container of chocolate ice-cream. Confront your partner 1 time, if you are sure you have grounds, then drop it. If you are still suspicious, the trust with your partner has been broken and you have a serious problem. There is not enough chocolate ice-cream in the entire world to make you feel better.

What's the root cause of jealousy? Paranoia. Fear of losing something because of lack of self confidence. Your partner is with you because they saw something in you that was worth keeping. If you spend all of your time worrying about it disappearing, how will you ever enjoy it?

How to boost your self confidence? If you don't believe in yourself, niether will any one else. You cannot fully love someone else until you learn to love yourself. Lack of self-confidence brings misery for both of you. Stop carrying around all that unessesary stress and just LIVE. Perhaps you will no longer NEED the ice-cream, but will spend time enjoying it instead.

Life is hard enough without creating stress for you and your partner. If you can't get over your feelings, get help or get out! Life is too short to be miserable forever.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Vacation on a Budget

Like most of the rest of the world, we are a little short on cash at the moment. We are comfortable, but unfortunately the spend, spend, spend lifestyle we used to love is a thing of the past. Every year, I have the first 2 weeks of July off. Usually I would go up North to cottage-country and spend a blissful fortnight in the comforts of my childhood, but alas, this year we had to stay closer to home... very close to home... and while camping in the driveway was an option, I can't imagine sleeping on those little pointy stones. So instead, we came up with in-expensive day trips. I HAD SO MUCH FUN! We had Hubbys son for half of the time.

  • Travel to a nearby beach on Lake Erie. Beautiful sand, freezing cold water, and lots of sunshine. Cost: 1 kite for $1.25, and $5 in gas. We had so much fun we went back for the next 2 days!
  • Walked to a local festival. It was Ribfest, but due to the fact that we are watching what we eat, we opted to have dinner at home (plus it was within walking distance! Score!). Cost: $5 for an all day pass for the kids play zone - which consisted of giant inflatable bouncy attractions. The little munchkin could not get enough of these, and asked to go back after supper for some more fun! There was lots to see and local musical talent. Free admission.
  • Went to the Wednesday market! I've never been able to go, as I'm always working or out of town, it was FANTASTIC. Basically like a giant flea market, with home baked goods, local artists, and crafts.
  • Cleaned up the gardens and the front porch. Now I have a little paradise to relax in after work. It's beautiful. Hubby will make some new flower boxes for me next week. Cost: $20 in mulch (badly needed!)
  • Read 2 complete novels on my newly cleaned front porch. I can't tell you what a luxury it was to have time to read. Cost: Free!
  • Took the munchkin to see Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Cost: $30. It was a good movie, I'm a sucker for cartoons.
  • Watched the entire first season of the show Dexter during the nights with hubby. If you haven't seen it, you should! Cost: Free.
  • Visited the driving range (my god my golf swing is GONE). Had a lot of laughs, mostly at my expense. More fun in the sun. Cost: $9 for 2 large buckets of balls.

We did lots of crafts with the munchkin, and went to see him play baseball, (he was sooo cute) I'll try to post a pic later, but my camara is dead at the moment). I came back to work feeling relaxed and refreshed, without the stress that accompanies a long trip. It was wonderful. A vacation with all the comforts of home! Plus, I have a great tan.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

How NOT to get promoted

So yesterday I had a bit of time at work and thought I would email this really funny joke to a co-worker of mine. I got it all ready and hit the send button with out checking the To: line. This is unfortunate. Instead of sending it to the co-worker intended, I sent it to the corporate accountant with the same first name. The picture was of me doing something silly as a child.

Original Email: HA! How cute am I?

Response from Corporate: Yes, you are very cute... but who are you? I think you've sent this to the wrong person...

My Reply To Corporate: Um.. yes. Very cute.. not so smart! Sorry about that!

Forward to correct recipient: I hope you find this really funny, because it's going to get me fired.

Thank god it wasn't something really inappropriate. With all the knowledge about how NOT to abuse my work internet privliges (I think I even had to sign a memo), you'd think I would know better. And I quote: Cute.. but not so smart!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

What your kids do when you're not watching...

I have no idea how to post the actual video on my blog, so you'll have to click on the link and see the real thing. This is a real 911 call by a 4yr old boy. Super funny!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FT4NOe4vtoM

Stolen Memories


Is that a crazy looking baby or what? This is me at 1yr old. Apparently, I was a camara ham, and would pose dramatically whenever anyone had a lens on me. I prefer to think that I was just so cute, people couldn't resist!

I went home to mum's a couple of weekends ago for her birthday and stole most of her photo's to bring home and copy. Mostly to feed my scrapbooking addiction, and because I have almost no pictures of our family. If you're reading this, and you have children, take lots of photo's of them now! There are almost no photos of my brother and me together with our parents. Lots of baby photos, but almost nothing after that. There are some of the few vacations we took, but almost nothing with my parents in them. As my parents are getting older, it makes me a bit sad to know that I have so few images of us as a young family. So please, get out your camaras and snap, snap, snap.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Why do we never say what we mean?

I understand we were all raised to be polite individuals, not to upset anyone unless unavoidable, and to put other people before ourselves. I think these are all basically good life lessons... except somewhere along the way we stopped expressing ourselves completely. For example:

Polite: Can we talk?
Reality: I am REALLY pissed off and you'd better do something about it!

Polite: I see. Why would you think that?
Reality: You are being paranoid again, and aren't listening to what I'm saying.

Polite: I understand how you feel.
Reality: I will say absolutely anything to get this conversation over with.

Polite: I'm sorry.
Reality: I'm not really. I'm only saying that so you will stop nagging.

Polite: Nothing is wrong.
Reality: I'm going to make you suffer in silence until you can guess why you're in trouble.

Polite: I'm Fine.
Reality: You are in SOOOO much trouble that I can't even speak to you!

Polite: I need to be by myself right now.
Reality: I think that if we stay in the same room together for one more second, I'll throw something heavy at you. Or possibly something sharp and knife-shaped.

Polite: I'm doing my best to communicate effectively with you.
Reality: I'm so frustrated I want to pull out my eyeballs!!!! Why don't you listen to what I'm saying!!!

Polite: I think I need a drink.
Reality: I need a drink to numb the irritation. I may have two. Scratch that, I'll drink the whole damn bottle.

Who else has one?

Monday, June 01, 2009

Who knew so many people got up at 5am?

Yesterday I made a decision. Instead of going to the gym after work and spending an entire hour working out on the cardio machines (snore), I would break it up into 2 half hour sessions. One before work, and one after work. The gym is just around the corner from my house, so this is no big deal.

I got up at dark-oh-thirty this morning and threw on my gym clothes, (hubby was initially going to come with me, but backed out when I shoved him awake this morning and he realized I was serious). I jumped in the car, BEFORE coffee, and raced around the corner. I thought it was strange that there were so many cars in the parking lot, after all, the mall wouldn't be open for another 4 hours, but figured there was some kind of night inventory crew or something. I opened the doors and my jaw dropped. All of those people in the parking lot were IN THE GYM. So much for my quiet peaceful workout. Doesn't anyone have anything better to do at 5:30 in the morning? The only elliptical machine left was the squeaky one with the broken cardio-theatre hook-up... so my workout was silent. I tried not to be too miserable, after all, I hadn't had coffee yet so the quiet was probably better anyway. Except for the fact that I couldn't drown out the annoying squeaky noise with some Great Big Sea. Stupid squeaky noise. How much can a can of W-D40 possibly cost anyway? Damn, I'd even put some canola oil on it if that noise would stop. I couldn't believe the lady at the desk was peacefully reading her novel throughout my squeak-filled workout. Maybe she's deaf. I wrote a note in the suggestion box to fix the squeaky elliptical, which will probably go ignored... the box is really just there for decoration I think.

Tomorrow I shall try 5:15 and see if I can sneak in before the crowd. Don't people sleep in anymore?

Oh well. If this is the worst thing that happens in my day, all is good.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Vampire Culture Craze - True Blood Review

It seems since the release of the series "Twilight", the world has gone Vampire crazy. In the past we've seen vampire horror flicks, from the cheezy "Blade" series, (which I happen to love), to the artful, "Interview with the vamipre" from the 90's. There are several new movies out, and a new HBO series which I recently discovered, (now that I FINALLY have cable again and the hockey playoffs are almost over). It's called True Blood. You have to be really interested in the whole vamipre thing, (which I am), to really enjoy it... otherwise it comes off as a cheezy, sleezy show with mediocre acting. However, I am super interested in the story line.

The entire premise of the show is based on the idea that synthetic blood can be manufactured, so vampires can live out in the open without threat to human life, ( I know, I know... very sci-fi... but come on, it IS about vampires after all). The vampires struggle to have the same civil rights as humans, and to fit in with human society without fear of persecution. Some vampires are "good", and some are not happy with the change in status and are still killing whom they please. There is also a whole sub-culture of sex-crazed vampire groupies who get paid to let vampires bite them.

However, with the good must also come the bad... there is just TOO much sex in this show. I didn't really need to see so much of the lovely Anna Paquin. I expected as much with an HBO series, as sex is what sells these days, but it borders on pornography. I've been reading reviews of season 2 and it appears that viewers are in for even more graphic sex scenes than were present in season 1. I wish they would tone it down a little, but who am I to judge?

Each episode ends with an incredible teaser that adds drama and keeps me watching. It's not nearly as addictive as Twilight, but it will keep me going until the next movie comes out in November.

Have you seen the show?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Dear Mom:

Today is your birthday. You are 50! I can hardly believe it. I know you are self-conscious and think you're getting old, but I think you're a magnificent, beautiful, and strong woman.

I am so grateful that you are my mother. I remember visiting friends as a child and was confused about why they didn't want to spend every second of the day with their mothers. They would go to extensive lengths to avoid them, and had none of the closeness that we have shared through-out the years. Looking back, I think they were envious of me, because I had the most amazing mother anyone could ever ask for! I know they all thought you were "cool", but that wasn't why they all loved you so. They would watch us and the love and affection that we so easily shared and wish for a piece of that for themselves. Most of my childhood friends ask about you every time I see them, not to be polite, but because they are genuinely concerned and care about your welfare.

For the last few years you have been struggling with an illness that I don't understand. It makes you tired, weak, and unable to do the things that give you joy. I know you feel isolated from the rest of the world. I wish I could take this burden off of your shoulders and make you smile again. I can only imagine the amount of pain you must be feeling, especially when you admit to it because you were never someone who complained to others about your hardships.

You are, undoubtedly, the hardest worker I have ever met. You never did anything half-way, but attacked every task with determination. We never lived in a mansion on the hill, but what we had was clean and well taken care of. You took pride in a clean house, and it showed. Frequently, when someone compliments me on a job well done, I tell them I owe it all to you. Because of you, I know the value of hard work and the pride I can take in what I accomplish.

When we were small, you did whatever you had to do to make sure we had what we needed, as well as your love and support. I know sometimes you have doubts about your parenting, as I'm sure every parent does, but you were always there when we needed it most. Whether it was to laugh with us, hug us when we were sad, or give us "tough love" to point us in the right direction. You gave us all the tools that we would ever need to grow up and be successful adults as well as shaping us into the people we've become. Not only did we learn right from wrong, but also compassion, strength, confidence, love, and trust.

I was not the easiest teenager to live with, I know that now. You always said, "you'll understand when you grow up,"and I do. Through all the mistakes I made, and some of them were pretty big mistakes, you supported me and helped me through all of it. You always threatened to lock me in a closet till I was thirty, but you let me go my own way and live my own life even though sometimes it was against your better judgement. Despite all the freedom I had to become my own person, people still say I turned out like you. Nothing could make me prouder.

So today, I just wanted to tell you that I appreciate you more then you could ever know. I will carry all you've taught me, and the love you've shown me all the days of my life.

Thank-you for being my mother,

Love Julie

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A bowl of soup.

It's 12pm. I am at work, and the whole world has gone INSANE. Not only am I moving tomorrow, so my entire life is disorganized and crazy, but I seem to be having a streak of bad luck professionally as well. Feeling unorganized, I decided to make a To Do list, but after developing writers cramp and misplacing Pg2 of 7, I decided that was an inefficient way to tackle my tasks.

I am typing this while eating my lunch because I need some measure of sanity. Today's lunch is soup. MMM . I am a soup addict. It is the ultimate comfort food. Why am I eating my lunch at my desk you ask? If I took my lunch to the cafeteria, I would undoubtedly be bombarded by questions and "emergencies", which, of course, cannot wait until I eat my cream of broccoli. I have tomorrow off, and I'm trying to prep so my boss can take over.. but that hasn't really seemed to happen yet. I'm still buried in morning craziness.

Hubby has been calling me with questions of "do you know where", "what if we put the couch this way," and "I found a microwave stand in the paper, can you go pick it up?" My concentration is totally frazzled, (not so different from any other day really), and the stress is beginning to make me giggle at inappropriate moments. For example, right now one of the engineers is trying to peek through my blinds to see if I am in my office. He has tried repeatedly to call me on my cell, and my desk phone with no success. I can hear him in the hall asking for me. I KNOW he can hear me laughing. Perhaps he thinks I'm doing something naughty. HA! That made me laugh harder. I'm turning the light switch off now in hopes that he will go away. My soup is not done yet.

Each mouthful is heaven. I am getting full. Better slow down to prolong the procrastination. My phone is ringing again. Someone is paging me over the loud-speaker.

I have just flicked some soup onto my lovely pink sweater with the flimsy plastic spoon. Who invented plastic cutlery anyway? Does it have to be so flexible? Thank-god for Tide Pens. Now there's someone who has a lot of money. Tide Pens are miracle cure-alls for the klutzy and grace-fully challenged such as I. I once spilled an entire coffee on my nice white t-shirt (while driving), and managed to have the whole thing clean by the time I reached Hamilton. It really is amazing stuff.

Sigh. The soup is gone. Said Engineer is now knocking impatiently on my door. So. Back to the real world. So much for the 1hr unpaid lunch. I can do this. I can make this day a success. Somehow.

Friday, May 15, 2009

To Joke, Or Not To Joke.

I make jokes at the most inappropriate times possible. I think it's because as a small child, I learned that laughter is a great tension reliever... especially when your parents are fighting, or your mother is depressed, or your brother is behaving badly to get attention. Unfortunately, this is a behavioural trait that has carried on into my adult life. Believe it or not, there IS a time to laugh and a time to cry... however, the majority of the time I choose to laugh and almost everyone I know disapproves.

Inevitably, as soon as there is tension in the air, my not-so-funny bone kicks in, my mouth opens, and words come out. In normal circumstances, these words would be hilarious... but not so much at my grandmothers funeral, or at work in the middle of a crisis, or on layoff day when I said... "Look on the bright side... now you'll have more time for origami and knitting!" Insensitive right? I mean.. most of those people were worried about how they were going to feed their children, and here I was making jokes.

I wanted to get up and say something at my grandmothers funeral... but I couldn't. I was afraid. I was afraid I would open my mouth and out would come some smart-assed comment which would be delivered with good intentions... but would sound like I was up there doing stand-up instead of talking about my feelings and what a special lady my grandmother really was. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Some people like to look on the bright side of life... I like to look on the funny side. I can make a joke out of pretty much anything, and usually they are at my own expense. I try not to hurt others, but sometimes the inappropriateness of my timing is horrifying. Those who know me well will stomp on my foot, or kick my shin to let me know when I am behaving badly.

Once at a wedding with co-workers, I made a comment about one of the ladies lovely hair cuts. She was a co-worker that I hadn't seen in quite sometime. I remember shouting something to the effect of: "Why'd you cut off all of you lovely hair... I mean, you're hair cut is really wonderful, but you had the nicest long wavy hair I'd ever seen!" Doesn't sound bad at all right? As soon as I said it the entire table went silent. It was at that precise moment that I remembered that that particular co-worker had been off for quite sometime do to cancer treatment, chemo, and radiation. She hadn't cut off her lovely hair at all... it had fallen out. I wanted to die. But that wonderful women just looked at me, smiled, and said: "Sometimes your hair falls out from chemo, mine did, so I got a wig! Isn't it pretty?" At this point, I was wishing God would strike me down with a lightning bolt. There she was trying to ease MY humiliation when she could have gotten angry, (and rightly so), and tore a strip off of me. So then, I did what any self-respecting, humiliated person would do. I got very, very drunk and focused all my energy on making her laugh for the rest of the evening. She passed away a few months later, but I often think about her and her quiet, forgiving demeanor. She was probably the most patient soul I have ever met, and one of the sweetest women to walk the face of the earth.

I try to think before I speak... but it doesn't always happen. I still put my foot in my mouth far too often, but not nearly as much as I used to. I think the times when I can use my humor to cheer people up far out-weighs the times when I accidentally hurt others. I was thinking of making a t-shirt that says "CAUTION: I TALK BEFORE I THINK" But I thought that the only person who would find that funny would be me.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cordova Mines

I grew up in a small hamlet in South-Eastern Ontario, called Cordova Mines. It currently supports a population of approximately 100 people, quietly nestled in the pines. When I was small, it was the ultimate place to grow up. We fished, we hiked, we climbed enormous rock shelves, and played cowboys and Indians among the hay bales. When we first moved there from the city of Hamilton, we lived in a old, lumbering duplex on the edge of town. Behind the house, the old mining property began. Cordova used to have a gold mine you see. We would wander back there and play miner. Many of the old buildings, train tracks, and enormous piles of ore are left like worn souvenirs of the past. We would scoop up pieces of shiny iron pyrite and gloat about how rich we were going to be when we found the gold that the miners left behind. There are still open shafts that were never filled in on the site. Looking back, I'm surprised my mother let us play there as I'm sure she was quite nervous about us slipping to our doom. It was a great place for adventure!

My great-uncle used to own the original Cordova General Store. After he sold it, the owners converted it into a home for them and their 8 children.

I used to play with their kids and I remember much of the old stock was still there for years. Old dress patterns, yarn, and other supplies. A house next door to the original was converted into a general store after the sale, but has since been closed. A brand new log-home store was built a few years ago and now serves the remaining population.

In years gone by it was a booming town with post-office, bakery, butcher, and craftsmen. Now mostly deserted and overgrown it's hard to believe it was ever such a bustling place. Two churches still stand, and the local fire hall, but it is a shell of it's former glory. Forgotten in time like many other mining communities in the same area. The spirit and pride of the town is still going strong though. The residents come together to help one another in times of need, times of sorrow, and times of celebration.

Every time I go back, I am surrounded by friends and family in a town where everybody knows your name. It is a simple life, but a good life.

photo General Store borrowed from http://www.ghosttownpix.com/ontario/towns/cordova.html

Thanks to David for the inspiration! http://david-mcmahon.blogspot.com/2009/05/doorway-to-gold-rush.html

Couch Critters - real or fake?


I received this email today and it reminded me so much of our dughallmor beagle friends I just had to post it!


WATCH THAT DOGGY DOOR Could you imagine coming home from work to find this tiny creature napping on your couch with your dog? Guess who came home for dinner? It followed this beagle home, right through the doggy door. This happened in Maryland recently. The owner came home to find the visitor had made himself right at home. This hit the 6 o'clock news big time

I'm not sure if I beleive it or not, but it sure is cute! What do you think... real, or fake?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How NOT to do laundry

With the move coming up next week, we've been extremely busy. I'm am getting less, and less organized everyday. Yesterday while rushing to get my chores done, I threw in a load of laundry while I was waiting for dinner to cook. I didn't check pockets. This is unfortunate. Have you ever washed an entire package of cigarettes? It looks like someone ate a bowl of bran flakes and then threw-up on my dress pants.

Edit: I also washed Halls cough candies once... the cherry kind. Really amazing things happen when you put them in the drier. They melt onto your clothes and your socks stick to the drier. On the other hand... my laundry smelled great!

What do you consider a necessity?

I was reading an article on MSN news this morning, about what qualifies as a neccesity and what we consider a luxury. Like most of you, I am seeking ways to save money and decrease monthly expenses.

I was shocked to find that most people considered cable tv a necessity. TV, really? Come on. If you can't survive without 50 channels, maybe you should consider getting a hobby. Besides... if you have an internet connection, you can watch most shows online anyway. Why pay for it twice? It is one of the first things I have considered cutting should we lose any more income.

Faster downloading was also considered a necessity. Lite Internet vs unlimited downloading is a difference of about $50 a month for cable Internet. I would consider downloading excess amounts of data a luxury, unless you need it for work. Most libraries offer free Internet services, plus there are numerous Internet cafes if you need your online fix. Inconvenient yes, but not impossible.

Most people consider having a car a luxury. Where I live, I have to have a car. There is no public transportation from one town to another here, but if I lived in a big city I'd be taking the train. Or carpooling. Not only is it healthier for the earth, it's better for your pocketbook.

Luxuries we have that I could live without if I had too...
  • Clothes Dryer - I could hang to dry, but it's inconvenient.
  • Microwave - I could heat it up in the oven, but again... inconvenient
  • Cable tv/internet
  • Cell phone (we all know how I feel about THAT)
  • Take-out food

What would you give up if you had too?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bathroom Rockstar


Since the start of Season 8 of American Idol, I have been secretly practicing my imaginary audition to be on the show. Mostly I sing in the car where nobody is around to hear me, but occassionally I sing in the shower or at work when the office is mostly empty. Well, the gig is up. Hubby has caught me singing into my hairbrush in-front of the bathroom mirror. And not just singing, but dancing and the whole bit. The best part? I was completely stark naked....

Hubby: Um.... what are you doing? (I freeze... I'm not a good liar, so I decide to fess up)

Me: Me? Well um.. I'm auditioning!

Hubby: To be a stripper?

Me: NO! To be on American Idol!

Hubby: I think you should hire a wardrobe consultant before you go. (Hubby laughs)

I am now red-faced and decide that the best option is to slam the door in his face and hide my humiliation in private. I am unsure why I feel so humiliated, and I have to admit it WAS really funny, but for some reason, hubby's hysterical laughter from the other side of the door made me want to throw something at him. I opened the door and threw my hairbrush "microphone". Hubby just laughed harder.

Don't get me wrong... I have no illusions to actually auditioning for the show. I can sing ok, but as soon as people are watching, I choke. Maybe everyone ELSE should be naked, and then I would not feel so humiliated, but there it is.

Now everytime I have a shower, hubby sneaks into the bathroom to see if there is going to be a "show" after. I am never going to live this down.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Zombie Chicken?


Carolina has given me an award! I am very flattered, because she is such a smart cookie, and ridiculously funny. I will cherish it always.

Now apparently, I get to nominate 6 others, but I think that's a bit much. So, instead I'm just going to nominate one.....

Jerry from Fun With Chickens! Duh... who else would I give it too? Jerry is crazy funny! Give him a visit if you have a minute!

Edit: I forgot the instructions!! Must be the Zombie Chickens.
The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Adventures in Landlording Part II

Here's an update:

Mystery Substance on bedroom wall looks suspiciously like vomit, but cam off with much scrubbing.

Marker on carpet came off with some serious heavy duty steam cleaning.

Hockey Stickers are unfortunately still there.

Fridge and stove still need to be cleaned

Bathroom - bleach has brought the science experiment to an unfortunate end. However, now that the science experiment has been allowed to continue for so long, the bathroom walls, floor and ceiling are now rotted and need to be replaced. This will happen as soon as I win the lottery.

We've changed the locks and done some other minor repairs. My lovely neighbour has been cutting the grass for us. See? Chivalry is not dead!

I forgot to mention that the entire front and side porches smell strongly of cat urine. Yum. Does anyone know how to get rid of that? Apparently soap and water are not enough. I have lovely hedges that I would rather not cut down.. but I will if it gets rid of that god-awful stench!

Sigh. Back to work!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Adventures in Landlording

I think I've mentioned before that I've been renting my house out to a lovely couple for about a year now. Or, they were a lovely couple until the lady of the house decided to live elsewhere.... leaving the now-bachelor gentlemen to live by himself for 2 months. I'm guessing that was the last time the house was cleaned...

Yesterday I got the keys back! Very exciting. Hubby and I were hoping to paint and do some minor maintenance before the big move. Here are some of the interesting things we found:

-Full fridge, complete with leftover pizza and something I think used to be a sandwich. Oh. and the fridge was UNPLUGGED. Yummy.

-Colourful hockey stickers all over my trim in the living room. They are very sticky and will most likely need to be scraped off. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge hockey fan, but I don't need a sticker from a cracker-jack box to remind me how much I love Wayne Gretzky.

-Said couple had a beautiful 4 year old son who apparently is quite an artist! What a shame they wouldn't get him some paper so he could take his creative scribbling with him instead of leaving it behind all over the carpet, the walls, and the baseboards in his bedroom. There is also a lovely display in the upstairs hallway so we can all be inspired every time we make a trip to the loo.

-They also left a complete science experiment in the bathroom, complete with colourful displays of mold and mildew on the shower curtain. I wasn't aware that it came in pink. How cool is THAT?

-They left their beautiful brass bargain-shop coat hangers screwed to my dining room wall. Now, I can conveniently hang my coats on the wall for decoration! How inventive. I'm sure it will add great ambiance during dinner parties.

-These people REALLY loved to watch cable. There is cable stapled to the walls running all over the house. Unfortunately, I may have to remove it as it doesn't match the beautiful, original oak baseboard that it's stapled to.

-I think the entire family was afraid of the dark as they removed all of the doors to the bedrooms... we did happen to find them in the upstairs closet. I suppose night lites weren't available where they were shopping, but now I have a complete open-concept bedroom style. I should send a photo to House & Home magazine... maybe I can start a trend!

-Mystery substance on the wall of the master bedroom. Ok. I can't even make a joke about this one. EW.

So, instead of painting, hubby and I will clean the house from top to bottom and steam clean the carpets, and repair damages (particularly a large hole that seems to have appeared upstairs). How exciting!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I Am Awesome

What do you need to be motivated? A raise? A promotion? A challenge? Not me. I simply need a little recognition. I took on a project at work, went above and beyond the call of duty, presented it to the team yesterday, and shone like a superstar! When I came in today, my boss made sure to tell everyone what a good job I did. How wonderful is THAT? I was so flattered I could barely breath. Important people were noticing little ole ME! I feel like I made a difference. I feel like I can move mountains. All from a nice little chat this morning with the team to showcase my efforts.

In a week, probably no one will remember anything about this... but I will. Just goes to show you a little goes a long way. What a happy day.

Monday, April 27, 2009

What it means to be Canadians.


For a country as large as we are, you would think we'd be in the news all the time. Not so much. Most people around the world know us as "that country that's above America and is really, really cold". Well, we are above America, and it is cold here in the winter, but what else is there? What makes Canada unique?

I have heard people say that we are an extension of the United States with a different flag. This is not so. A comparison would be to say New Zealand is an extension of Australia, or Scotland a copy of Britain, with a stronger accent. I'm sure all parties would disagree, and some would be down right upset.

So what makes a Canadian?

Well, the first and most obvious would be our deep, ingrained love of the good old hockey game. We stand outdoors in the frigid -40 C temperatures to cheer on our favourite neighbourhood teams. We learn to skate as small children, with the assumption that someday we will play, or at the very least be a voice in the bleachers. When the NHL playoffs are on, the streets in rural Canada are empty and you can hear the cheers and the disappointments ringing across the night sky.

We are outdoors people. We fish, we hunt, and we drive anything with wheels across the forested landscape and consider it time well spent. I learned to drive off-road all-terrain vehicles before I had a licence. A day spent splashing through the mud and sliding around corners would be heaven.

A typical Saturday night involves tailgate parties, a fire, and someones beat-up acoustic guitar. We don't make trouble. It's a good time.

In a typical Canadian city, culture is a mixing pot of language, arts, international food, and business. We invite anyone who wants to be here, and they bring their culture and way of life with them. We do not believe this makes us less, but more. We have some of the best musicians in the world: The tragically Hip, Great Big Sea, Barenaked Ladies, I Mother Earth, Shania Twain, and the list goes on. We have some of the most recognized actors as well. Names like Jim Carrey, Howie Mandell, and Donald Sutherland come to mind. We make fabulous, award winning movies that get little recognition in main stream cinema, which is a shame.

People sometimes make jokes about the size of our armed forces... which I don't understand. Why would living in a peaceful nation with little need for aggression be something to be ashamed of? I'm not. Instead of maintaining an expensive military, we invest in our future, and our resources. Our soldiers are called Peacekeepers, because that is what we do.

We have one of the most diverse climates in the world. We have rainforests, prairies, arctic tundra, and some of the most fertile farming land on earth.

We do not live in igloos, our Northern Peoples are not called Eskimo, they are Inuit.

We do not ride horses to work, nor do we take our dog sleds.

Our Parliament buildings are not made out of ice. They are masterpieces of stone and mortar.

We have four seasons here, and it gets VERY hot in the summer. There is even summer in the Arctic, although it is shorter.

We do not live in the shadow of the United States, we cast a big enough shadow for ourselves.

We do not hate Americans, we actually enjoy a close economic relationship with them and are happy being neighbours. Plus, they have great restaurants like the Olive Garden, and Cracker Barrel... what's not to love?

We take our coffee VERY seriously!

We are Canadians and we are proud!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Caution... In Training.


Hubby and I were doing our usual mad-dash errand running after work last night, when I decided that I just HAD to have my Tim Hortons coffee fix. The line up was only 2 cars long so I figured we should be able to make it through drive through, and still be on track to run out to the local WalMart and still make our movie on time. We pull up to the speaker. I order 1 large coffee with 2milk and 2 sugar (god I miss those french vanilla cappuccinos..).

I began to get suspicious when the car in front of us shut off his engine. Why would someone need to shut off their engine to be in line for 30 seconds to get a coffee? Maybe he was trying to prevent global warming by decreasing his vehicle emissions? Weird. We put the car in park and waited.

About 3 minutes went by and still nothing had come out of the window... what was this guy ordering? A full course meal? What a jerk to make a huge order in drive-thru. I mean, there are no rules limiting your order, but it's just plain rude to hold everyone up when you could go inside and with your larger orders. Someone else has now pulled in behind us effectively trapping us in the line-up until we can exit after receiving our order.

Finally she hands him one medium coffee and hubby and I sigh in relief. Awesome. He's got what he needed, and now it should be our turn. 10 seconds later he hands the coffee back through the window.... what? What's going on? After all that time they didn't even give him what he ordered? Wow. Coffee is what this place does. How could they screw that up? 2 minutes later she hands him a large coffee, and he spins out of the parking lot in a hurry. Well, there goes one dissatisfied customer.

YAY, it's our turn! My mouth starts to water in anticipation of the bitter-sweet richness that is my obsession. Just thinking about the dark, smooth aroma instantly lifts my spirits. We pull up the window and the girl stares at us blankly like she has no idea why we would possibly looking at her expectantly. I read her name tag... it says "In Training". Ohh. Well, that explains the speed problem. No worries, people have to learn sometime right? My irritation evaporates and I smile at her through the window. She is still staring blankly. Finally hubby knocks on the window and she opens it...

Hubby: Um... do you want our money now?
Trainee: Sure. Thanks.

Said trainee takes the money and turns back to the counter. We can see that she is not putting the money in the register, but instead carrying it around in her hand. She is standing there staring at nothing, and after a few minutes turns back to look at us as if wondering why we are still there... I speak up:

Me: Um, my coffee?
Trainee: Oh. Sure.

She pops out of sight for a moment and comes back with a large cup.

Me: 2Milk 2Sugar?
Trainee: No. 2Milk 2Sweetener.

She moves to hand hubby the cup.

Me: May I have one with sugar please? I don't like sweetener.

By now we have been in the drive-thru for a total of 10 minutes and hubby is VERY impatient with me, the poor girl, and the entire world in general. We are running behind schedule and hubby hates being late... (Aside... I am late for EVERYTHING.... so this really doesn't shock me at all).

The trainee hands me a new coffee and we drive away. She never did give us our change... good thing I didn't give her a twenty. Hubby is muttering under his breath and driving like the world will end if we don't get out of the parking lot ASAP.

I open my cup, mouth watering. It was worth the wait, I think. I take my first sip and almost spit it all over the windshield. By now I am laughing hysterically, as if this is the most hilarious event ever.

Hubby: What now?
Me: Um. Well.... she got the 2milk 2sugar thing perfect.
Hubby: Good. So you got what you wanted then...
Me: Not exactly... I'm afraid that she's given me tea.

Hubby threatens to turn the car around.

Me: No, No, No. Tea is just fine. Lets go!

I can see the irritation is making Hubby's eye twitch. I try to sooth him by telling him about the lovely flavour of my steeped tea, (Incidentally.. I hate tea). It works and soon he is laughing too. We are both wondering where all the other employees were. Tim Hortons is usually run by a small army of workers to ensure super fast service and accuracy. They are considered to have one of the most efficient management systems in Canada. Who leaves a trainee alone to deal with drive-thru? Maybe no one else showed up?

We go and do our shopping, and drive by the same Tim Hortons on our way to the movie... which we are now late for. Cars are lined up around the parking lot and nothing is moving. It occurs to me at this point that Tim Hortons should probably consider putting up a sign at the entrance to the drive through that says: "Caution.... drive-thru attendant in training"... but then I changed my mind. It would completely take the mystery out of life.


Edit: We were mentioned on post of the day! Please go and check out David's work on autorblog if you have a moment! Thanks again David!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Oh Mother, Where art thou?



I'm not exactly sure what my cats THINK is happening to me when the bathroom door is closed, but I'm assuming they believe that a giant monster will swallow me whole unless they get in there.... immediately.

No sooner do I close the door when I see little kitty feet appear under the door. One chocolate coloured one, and one white and grey. Then come the frantic sounds of them digging at the carpet, as if they could burrow their way in to save me from the terrible monster. Last come the loud and insistent, "WOW?" from Felix and they sweeter, more lady-like cries of Samantha, as they look for reassurance from me that yes, I am still alive. I haven't disappeared, and the monster has not eaten me. Finally I open the door so they don't wake hubby and they rush in to investigate. Felix immediately jumps in the tub to vanquish any evil terrors that may be lingering amidst the shampoo and the bodywash, while Samantha hops into the sink to ensure that she has all of my attention to herself and that I will protect her from the monster should it re-appear. After they have assessed that all is as it should be they hop to the floor to play their favourite game... attack of the mystery paws! With one cat on each side of the open door, they take turns sticking their feet under the door to entice the other to attack. This can go on for hours. If I close the door and one cat is outside, the other immediately wants out and the entire process begins again. I have no idea where they think the monster is hiding when the door is open.

Interestingly enough, they don't seem to care if hubby gets eaten when he is in the bathroom with the door closed.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Look Out! Golf Season is here!


I am a walking contradiction. I am probably the klutziest person known to man, yet I love the game of golf. I should take a minute to mention how horribly bad I am at all sports... including this one. I hit the ground more often than I hit the ball, and I'm quite sure I look like an idiot when I swing my girlie clubs. I believe that I hit geese more often than the green, but this is unimportant. What is important is that rush of adrenaline that shoots through my veins when I actually hit the ball in the correct spot, the correct way, and it goes roughly where I hoped it would. Then I can finally say, "I did it! Did you see that shot? I'm amazing!" Of course, this could all go down hill rapidly with a badly played chip that was supposed to land on the green but somehow managed to bounce of the cart of the team playing the hole next to the one I'm on... but for that brief moment, I am the best golfer who ever lived.

I have to admit, I found golf scary and very intimidating at first. It seemed an "upper-classmen" sport where I didn't really fit in. This is not the case. Look around the clubroom and what you will see is a lot of people trying to look posh and sophisticated, but who are really just everyday people with a set of used clubs and some fancy duds. Just like me. There are plenty of people, who couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, who are just there because they love the game, the challenge, and the culture of golf.

It's raining now, but as soon as it clears up I off! Happy golfing!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Stationary Pack-Rat


I could spend hours in a stationary store. What a shame the world has stopped writing letters and the average ninth-grader need not worry about his or her penmanship. The delicate script, the bold ink, the feeling that can be expressed by double underlining and ripping the page slightly... all pieces of a by-gone era. Do you remember the excitement felt when you received a letter? Not a bill, nor a flyer, nor a new credit card with fake promises of low interest rates... but an actual letter?

Once, a very long time ago, I had a pen-pal in Luton, England. His name was Mike Waters. I've tried many times to find him again, unsuccessfully, just to say thanks. He wrote wonderful letters full of the charming culture that is England. He sent me photo's and wrote of the scenery, and parts of his everyday life.

I also used to write letters to my friend Corinne... even though we saw each other every single day. We never seem to run out of things to say, which is unsurprising as when we are together no one else can get in a word edgewise.

When I would get a letter, I would patiently wait until I got inside to open it. Then, carefully peeling back the lip of the envelope, I would gently slide the folded parchment out as though it were made of glass. So cherished were these letters... something I could keep and preserve for a lifetime. I can remember the rush of excitement as I hungrily devoured each beautifully scripted word. Brief disappointment followed the signature, for I had finished and the tale was never long enough. Disappointment quickly faded, only to give way to the excitement of creating my own letter.

Of course I thought I was a literary genius, with my pink pen and purple paper. I still smile when I see those pink bic pens that are floating around in my old pencil case. They are probably dried up but I can't bring myself to part with them.

Now that I'm a scrapbooker (see my other blog if you're curious), I have all kinds of pens and paper, glue and tape, stickers and buttons. It would probably shock you if I tell you how much I spend on this creative craft. Of course, my favourite part of scrapping is journalling... telling the story. The love of which has blossomed over the years, beginning with my very first stationary set.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Good News for Cereal Junkies Everywhere

Cherrios has come out with honest-to-God good for you junk food! I bought a box yesterday. They taste like Fruity Pebbles, except with the goodness of whole wheat! Life is good. I would have never beleived it possible if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.

Mmmm.... fruity.

Do you drink as much water as you should be?


So. By now I am completely obsessed with reaching my healthy goals, but as a requirement of losing the equivalent of an entire extra person that seems to have grown onto my ass, I have to drink more water. MORE water. I thought... you know, the whole 8 glasses of day thing was enough. They don't tell you how BIG those glasses should be. My trainer tells me I should be drinking 2000ML or 2L per day. Which doesn't sound that bad until you realize that 2L per day computers to 4 bottles of water. Even then.. 4 bottles of water... how can it be that bad? Well I'm here to tell you that it's really, really challenging. I was probably drinking about 2 bottles before... and that was forced down at meal times. I'm not a big water drinker... yes, yes, I know the benefits... healthy skin, weight loss, less water retention... but I just don't think about it until I'm so thirsty, I chug an entire bottle in one breath. So my challenge this week is to drink my entire daily portion of water everyday. By the way... coffee doesn't count! So I have this water bottle on my desk... It's staring at me ominously... I pick it up... drink... and immediately the urge to pee hits me AGAIN for the 6th time today. I can't stop really. I think I've spent more time in the loo today than anywhere else. People are going to start thinking I'm having a problem. But really, how often does the average person go to the bathroom anyway? I have no idea, however, I believe that 6 times in eight hours is WAY too many!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

So I was over at So I Stabbed Him In The Head With A Fork and found this interesting link. Find out how bad you are!

Greed:Medium
Gluttony:Medium
Wrath:Low
Sloth:Medium
Envy:Very Low
Lust:Very Low
Pride:Low



The Seven Deadly Sins Quiz on 4degreez.com

Returning to the world of normalcy... is that a word?

Where have I been all this time you ask? Easy answer. I've joined a gym! I've joined a gym and it is consuming nearly every waking minute I have that I am not working. They say you only have to work out 20min a day to lose weight. HA! Really what they should be saying is that if you want to MAINTAIN your current weight, you should work out for 20 minutes a day. If you want to LOSE weight, you should be doing 3 grueling hours of cardio, plus at least two 30 minute sessions of weights... perferrably three. And when you're not doing that you should be planning your meals so that you're eating less than 1300 calories in a day. 1300! Ghandi ate more than that! But I digress.

So I'm actually having fun and feeling very proud of myself. I haven't lost very many actual pounds, but my clothes are too big and I have loads of energy. Hubby is doing great as well. I feel motivated for the first time in AGES. Unfortunately, almost everything else in life is kind of at a stand-still. Until we actually move, the gym is a half hour drive... plus 15 min to change... and hour to work out.. half an hour to change and shower... half an hour to drive home.. that's almost 3 hours gone and I haven't even made supper yet! Whoa. Once we move, the gym will be around the corner though. Much faster.

Coming around to catch up on my reading now!

Cheers.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Confessions of a cereal junkie

I have a confession. I am 27 years old, and I'm addicted to fruit loops cereal.

I know this is wrong... fruit loops is for children right? I mean... there are cartoons on the box, and a free star wars action figure inside... I hope it's Yoda... anyway, it's pure sugary nonsense.

I don't discriminate, I'm addicted to most sugary nonsense cereals. My other favourites are Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Golden Grahams, and Captain Crunch. I also dearly love Honey Combs, and Reese Peanut Butter cereal.

If I had my choice, I would eat cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Other than the fact that there is no nutritional value, other than the milk (although, it IS made with whole grains...), and I'm afraid I'd die of scurvy, I probably would eat it for three meals a day.

Sometimes I am afraid that I will never grow up and will hold on to pieces of my childhood forever, but who could resist the fruity goodness, and wholesome crunch of Fruit Loops? Not this junkie, that's for sure!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Dear Readers:

Dearest Jinxy, and those who are now paranoid about using your exclamation points:

Don't be afraid to use your "shift 1"
it is perfectly fine, when properly done.
It's not that I hate it,
or find it uncouth,
I just tend to dislike it
when it's over-used.

So please don't be hasty,
or call me unkind
I'm just writing down
these opinions of mine.

I'm not criticizing
or knocking it down,
just telling a story
and being a clown.

Don't fret my dear readers,
for I do so adore
this sharing of stories
and laughter galore!

(tee-hee, thank god I'm in manufacturing and not an author trying to make money! This made me giggle).

How Could Something So Good Be So Evil?


I have learned recently that the French Vanilla Cappuccinos, that I so dearly love, are heart-attacks in a cup. Put on your sad faces people... this is depressing news. While somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that something that was so wonderfully delicious could never be healthy, I didn't consider that it would be that bad for me. Apparently the blended cream with the sugar and lovely vanilla is not heart-healthy. Who knew? (whistling innocently).

Tim Hortons, (my favourite coffee joint), has released a health check guide with all the fat and calorie counts for all of their products. DO NOT READ THIS EVIL RUBBISH! IT WILL RUIN YOUR LIFE. I could have looked interestingly at the cover and left the shiny pamphlet alone, but no, I picked it up and looked inside. Now nothing will ever be the same. The long, and short of it is... drinking an extra large french-vanilla cappuccino is the equivalent of eating a McDonalds big mac sandwich. WHOA. I drink, or should switch to past-tense here and say drank, at least one and occasionally two or three of these monsters PER DAY. No wonder my pants don't fit! I tried to sooth myself with the knowledge that I purchase a low-fat yogurt with my evil-calorie-fest of a coffee everyday, but so far that's not helping. Be wary of the hidden beverage fat! You too could be a victim!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The over-use of !!!!!!!


It is no hidden secret that my grammar skills leave little to be desired. There is really only one thing that drives me crazy, and that is the over use of exclamation! points! It sounds as though you are yelling everything you say with tremendous excitement!

Dear Friend!

The other day I was reading your blog! I loved your post! It was so tremendously entertaining! (ok. I probably would put one there). However, your exclamations make reading your writing a little exhausting! How can one person stand that much excitement? Your words that are so beautifully written, so eloquently descriptive, are tarnished by the constant !!! at the end of your sentences! Believe me! We understand your enthusiasm just from your well put-together phrases, and your sense of humor shines! There is no need for all of that exclaiming!!! Not that I don't love you just the way you are! Feel free to tell me to go *$#* myself! I'm not a critic! Just someone who gets distracted easily!

Love and Hugs!
Jewels!
(before anyone says anything.. no this isn't any of you!)

Spring is in the air!

The frogs were out last night for the first time, which means the ground has finally thawed enough for them to crawl out of the mud! The temps here are finally crawling back up towards the 10 degree mark, which seems like heaven compared to a few weeks ago. I was considering taking my snow brush out of the car and putting it away, but didn't want to tempt the gods of fate. Enevitably, every year I put it away, snow comes immediately after. I have put my winter coat away though, which makes me happy.

We are setting off model rockets in the park this Saturday, I'm excited to see how it goes. Although, I'm not sure about the principles of teaching children the joys of lighting things on fire, I'm sure Step-Son will enjoy it anyway. I'm sure hubby definitely will. He likes fire.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Catch up craziness!


I've been under the weather for a bit and am desperately trying to get everything back in order. I've missed reading all of your blogs, and am looking forward to catching up in the next couple of days.

On the Bermuda front... this looks like it's not going to happen. We have yet to hear back about our questions, which has me concerned. We haven't completely taken it off the stove, but it's definitely on the back burner. Hubby was contacted for an interview at a local insurance company though! Which would be ideal. He interviews next Tuesday. Fingers crossed!

I am desperately trying to think of ways to keep my step-son busy for the entire week of March break. We have purchased some model rockets, which hubby is very excited about, depending on the weather. He is very crafty, but I'm beginning to run out of projects. Anyone have any ideas?

Still haven't won the lottery... no surprise there. Keepin the dream alive though!

Hubby is very ill this week, but is stubbornly refusing to take care of himself, and refusing to let me do things for him. He is being very good about not complaining, but I know he has a fever and is feeling like someone ran over him with a tractor. So, to punish him for not letting me help, I bought him the worst-tasting cough medicine I could find and watched while he drank it. Then immediately felt bad when I saw the disgusted look on his face. It really is terrible, but seemed to work quite well. He happily takes a swig every 4-8hrs and does not blame me at all.

We are moving back to my old house on June 1st. I'm in the process of contacting movers ect. Here's a photo:

It a 110yr old monstrosity. I had moved out a while back and rented it to some lovely people, but now that money is tight again, we've decided to make the move back as it's closer to my work. I only lived in it for 8mths after I bought it, and it seems strange to be going back. These photo's are from when I first purchased it in 2006. It needs some cosmetic love, but you can't beat the price.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Feeling Groovy and Skywatch Friday

Sorry about the blurry shot, but the rainbow looked so perfect betweeen the trees, I thought I should post it anyway. What a shame I have no photography skills.


There are so many things that are beautiful about today.
  • My office is a giant chaotic mess, (I'm getting a new desk... however it's not arriving until next week) which has allowed me to do little or no work at all.
  • I have two very giant, delicious steaks waiting for me at home.
  • Hubby has found a new case of wine downstairs, I thought we were out!
  • I'm in a cleaning and sorting kind of mood, and am excited to go home and attack my basement.
  • Free lunch today! For some reason HR ordered wraps for everyone. Hope nothing bad is about to happen.
  • My employees got heaps acomplished today, that I had been putting off for quite some time.
  • Everyone at work was in a deliciously joyful mood and all was fun and happy. Which is a welcome change from the depressive craziness that has been smothering everything lately.
  • I won a free coffee on "Rrrroll up the rim to win". For those of you overseas, it's part of a promotion thing put on by Tim Hortons.. my favourite coffee joint. You roll up the rim of your coffee cup for a chance to win prizes. It is the thing I look forward to most about march.
  • I didn't run out of gas on the way to work this morning. Very surprising.

Hope you all had a loverly day. I'm going home to eat, drink, and be merry.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I am a vindictive sort of woman

I thrive on being right. I will go to great lengths to PROVE I'm right. And I have a hard time not rubbing it in peoples faces when I am finally proven right. This is bad. A serious character flaw, you might say. So, I hold back the, "I told you so", and the, "See?"... and I really do try to hide the self satisfied smirk that sneeks on to my face when someone tells me I'm right. It's not that I believe I know everything, but when I choose my battles and fight for what I believe in, I like to come out on top in the end.

The worst part is... I'm also vindictive. When I am in pain, I want to cause pain to the person that has inflicted that pain upon me... when really, I've probably done most of the damage to myself. I don't know why this is. I certainly don't feel better after I have intentionally said something hurtful, even when I felt it deserved. I think the real problem is I used to be this quiet, shy person who did everything for everyone because it made me happy. And then people started to take advantage of my niceness. After a very long time of trying to make everybody happy all the time, I became NOT nice. I'm not sure which is the lesser evil. I refuse to let people walk all over me... but something dies a little inside me when I am cruel to people. Plus I immediately regret my rash behaviour. There has to be a happy medium. Maybe I just need to drink more wine. On the upside, I have no problems admitting to my flaws, so there's something.
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