Sunday, November 29, 2009

I wonder...

...what sort of dream would prompt a sleeping position like this?

Friday, November 27, 2009


The Kindle is available in Canada now, and I can't decide if that's a good thing.

I'm an avid reader. I read books every single day. is a favourite online haunt, and packages magically arrive from them almost every week. I love the program on Amazon for recommending books, based on my reading history. That program has helped me find all sorts of great books that I never would have thought to read otherwise.

Amazon and my bank balance? Not good friends.

I generally skirt around that little detail, though. I just keep hoping that they'll work out their issues amongst themselves.

I love books. I love getting wrapped up in a great story, or falling asleep with a book can't bring myself to put down. I love the feel of them in my hand, and I like the looks of them on shelves. Some day, when I finally save up enough money, I'm going to build a library room in my basement. Most people have tv rooms or rooms for their pool tables. I want a room that's dedicated to books. I've been collecting books for this room for years, and have oodles and oodles of boxes of them saved up.

But, the ecologically concerned person in me says that if there's a more earth friendly option, I should give it a shot. If you read the articles online, Kindle fans are referring to the paper book as 'dead tree books'. They've got a point.


I really don't see the appeal of electronically stored books. Will my nephews someday hand their own children a memory card, containing their favorite ebook from when they were kids? Somehow, that doesn't seem as nostalgic as when I gave them the torn up, wrinkled pages of WhataMesstheGood.

That, and every cat needs a bookshelf upon which to lounge.

I want to want a Kindle. I want to be the person who steps up to do the ecologically responsible thing.
I just don't think it's going to happen, though. At least, not for a good, long while.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Learning Curve

I'm making my own Christmas presents this year.

Really - doesn't that statement make you cringe? Sure, there are some crafty people out there; but chances are that they aren't exchanging gifts with other crafty folks; and most people think that they're craftier than they really are. Believe me, I've been on the receiving end of the non-crafty... like the time I exchanged "Homemade" gifts with a now-ex boyfriend at his request. I slaved over a painted mural on a big ceramic pot, and then planted a big plant in it; because he said wanted more greenery in his place.

What did he make for me, you ask? Let me tell you: He wrote me a poem... and he ain't no Bard.

There once was a man named Robin Hood
Who lived in a Knottingham Wood
From old Friar Tuck
He ...

Well, he didn't write that that one, but you get the idea. It was along that line, and he was really proud. Me? I was less than impressed.

Having been on the receiving end of the non-crafty more than a few times, I'm a bit hyper aware that I might not be as talented as I'd like to think I am, and that people are just humouring me. So, I think it makes complete sense that I've decided to be crafty and make beaded bracelets for Christmas presents this year.

Did I mention that I've never done this before?

Here's what I've done so far.

This one was the first that I made, and didn't work out so well. There are some spacing issues, which you can see on the left side. (The wire's longer than the beads...oops)

I beaded this one together no less than 4 times. The pattern that I worked out ended up using so many beads that I could wrap it around my waist. I'd take some beads out of the pattern, string it together and find that it was too long again. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Then I thought I finally had it right; but I miscalculated the length of the fittings (clasps) and now the damn thing's too short. So, I have to start all over again.

Or maybe I can just give it to my niece. (Sure hope she doesn't read my blog.)

Either way, I've got lots of practice to do. At some point, I'd like to be good enough at these that they don't scream 'homemade'; and it occurs to me that December arrives in a week. That's seven days to master my new skills, so I better get to it.

In the meantime, I suspect that I'm going to become the proud owner of quite a few less-than-perfect beaded bracelets.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I feel better now...

No, I don't feel healthier. In fact, lately I've felt pretty crappy. My anemia is off the charts, and my feet and ankles are reacting by doing a dang good imitation of a case of elephantiasis. Before this, I thought I was safe from swollen feet, until/unless I became pregnant. Not so; because, my feet? They're swollen. My resulting mood? It's cranky.

Speaking of pregnancy, my surgery was bumped for two weeks because of a lady who needed a c-section for her twins. I don't begrudge her the twins, but this puts my trip in jeopardy. That makes me really cranky.

BUT, the point of this blog wasn't to whine. The point of this blog is to say that I've been keeping track of the anemia flareups, and today a light bulb went off. A very important light bulb.

You see, I am a very competitive person. I like to win very, very much. More importantly, I really hate to lose.

I play online Scrabble all the time. I usually have about 8 active games on the go; and I'm pretty good. I usually win about 2/3 of my games but other days I'm not so good. On those bad spells, which tend to come on rather suddenly and last about a week, I struggle to spell 'cat'. It's frustrating to go from doing really well to suddenly having my brain disappear and becoming a nincompoop.

But I just figured out why it's happening. The light bulb went off, and I connected my anemia flareups with my ability to play Scrabble. I just compared my records vs the rankings on Scrabble and found a definite correlation: anemia flares up; Scrabble abilities go down.

The anemia affects my ability to think, and therefore my Scrabble skills. Of course it does!

The fact that I'm currently losing 6 of my 8 games of Scrabble? Not my fault.
THAT makes me feel better.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Grammar lesson

I didn't finish my degree. I couldn't I decide on a major, so I did two... until I quit them both.

However, I do take some pride in knowing that my university-level education is in languages, and therefore somewhat useful in this great big world. I took three and a half years of English and French before I realized that they aren't employable skills on their own, and moved on to get the accounting diploma that I did finish but don't ever use.

Even though I didn't finish my degree, I'd like to think that I know something about our English language. Actually, I'm pretty damn good, when it comes to knowing the grammatical rules. That doesn't mean I follow all them, though. I'm not afraid to start a sentence with a conjunction, or end one with a preposition. My spelling never did exceed the grade 5 level, and I lean towards over-punctuated, run on sentences.

Baby, some rules were made to be broken. I break them all the time.

There is one grammatical sticking point, however, that I can't get past. Working around IT, I encounter it all the time, and it drives me nuts. After a great deal of thought, I've concluded that this is my biggest grammatical pet peeve:

Folks, the proper word is hanged. Your computer hanged while you were trying to work. It isn't hung.

Hung is an adjective, referring to a gift God gives to men... and women, for that matter.
Either way, it's got nothing to do with technology.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Blog list

I seem to be on a streak. Over the last few days, I've added a flurry of new blogs to my recommended blogger list. Some got there for their cute kitty pictures. Others, because they seemed witty at the time. Mostly, I added them because it's a handy place to keep a list of blogs I want to check back on.

It makes me wonder, though... is there a protocol for such listings? Is it OK to suddenly link to a blog that you happened to come upon, for no other reason than it made you think or laugh? Should you introduce yourself to that blogger first? Is there a maximum number of blogs that you can list before you lose your credibility? If you change your mind down the road, is it rude to then remove blogs from your recommended list?

These are the sorts of things that keep me up at night, and why I will someday become an old hermit with a house full of cats.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The big let down

Last year, sometime in late October/early November, I was having a really slow day. I was bored out of my skull and needed something to do. While I was grocery shopping, I decided to pick up a book. There wasn't much of a selection, but for some reason I kept coming back to this one about vampires.

I hate vampires.

I'm really not a fan of reading about anything from the supernatural category, actually. I rarely get past the first chapter in any story about magic, the supernatural or the future.

Except Harry Potter. Harry Potter rocked.

But, I needed something to read and desperate times called for desperate measures. I decided to go with the vampires. I started reading it shortly after lunch and finished it the next afternoon. Then, I did something I've very rarely done - I flipped back to the first page of the book and read it again. (I often reread books... I just usually wait a few years between readings.)

After I finished it the second time, I fired off an email to my friend Kat, and told her that I'd have a copy in the mail for her soon... please have finished reading it by the next week. Because Holy Crap the movie would be out then!

Here's where I really embarrass myself: Then I ordered the full series from Amazon and read the first one Again!

The next week, Kat and I met at the theater in Calgary. I'd watched the trailer multiple times, and was crazy-excited to see this movie. Have I mentioned how awesome Kat is? Nobody humours my craziness like she does. First, she read the book, because I told her to. Then, she worked until 8:00 the night of, and drove across town - no hop, skip and a jump in Calgary - to see the late show because I wanted to see the movie as soon as possible. Finally, though, it was time. We bought our tickets, grabbed our seats and settled in.

Fifteen minutes in, I leaned over and said "This is really bad".

It was Epically bad.

It was so cheesy that the audience broke out in spontaneous laughter multiple times. Junior high students can produce better special effects than what was in that movie. And, Oh My God, the acting was bad. Most of all, the guy who played the lead - the guy who is supposed to be sexy and dangerous and, and, and.... well, he had a perpetual look on his face as though somebody had just farted at a funeral.

When it ended, Kat and I barely made it to the car before we cracked into hilarity. We belly laughed for almost an hour before we even left the parking lot.

It ruined the book for me. I know this because, yes, I read it again. I couldn't get the funeral fart guy out of my head and conjure up the guy I'd read about the first three times. Instead of romance and danger, I was now picturing the gawd awful cinematography from the movie. It was a disaster. A. Huge. Letdown.

So... the movie from the next book in the series opens up today. I'll going to see it.

I'm actually looking forward to it; but this time, I'll know what I'm in for. I'll go with my expectations at the lowest of low. I'll maybe hope to get a glimmer of the werewolf's newly developed six pack. What I do know, though, without a doubt - we will laugh our asses off.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cotton Dog's Story

Tallulah has a nearly perfect recall. She sits and lies down on command, and can hold a "stay" for ten minutes, even when I leave the room. She can - and used to regularly - go for 30 blocks down a busy public street, while maintaining a perfect heel. She'll stay still while she's groomed, she's willing to share her food and she has never once in her life shown inappropriate aggression towards a human being or animal. (OK - she growled at a cow once... I'm OK with that.)

She's a great dog. While there's no doubt that a lot of that comes from her breeding (She comes from a long line of champions), I'd like to think that the training I've given her and her life experiences have helped her become the dog that she is today.

Cotton, while a great pet, can't claim many of those attributes. He's got zero recall. He'll sit or reluctantly lie down when told, but his ability to stay on command is pretty much non-existent. He can't won't heel, ever. And, while he's happy to share his food, he's dog, cat and stranger aggressive.

But. He's the best lap warmer there ever was. You haven't lived until he's settled into your lap, assumed his boneless position and let out a little sigh of contentment. That alone is reason enough to keep him around.

Oh, and he's cute.

Damn, he's cute.

Cotton came from a back yard breeder, before I knew better; so genetics were working against him from the start. However, the real reason why he's a great pet and not a great dog is because of an attack, and my reaction to it.

Warning... the next bit of this story is quite graphic, and may be disturbing.

When Cotton was almost a year old, I took him with me to my parents' house for Christmas. He was always a bit of a shy dog, and I knew he was overwhelmed with all the kids and people running around. So, after dinner I scooped him up and brought him up to my old bedroom for some peace and quiet.

What I didn't know was that my parents' big farm cat had already gone into the room to find some quiet himself. Cotton saw the cat before I did; and ran up to him, where he lay under a chair. The cat lashed out without any warning, and swiped at him with his claws out. One of the claws pierced Cotton's eyeball, right into the center of his pupil.

I called every single vet in the phone book, and not one returned my call. So, I got into my car and drove him the two hours to the Emergency Vet in Edmonton. There, he was deemed to have been lucky. I was told to keep him calm for a few days and that he should recover just fine.

That didn't seem right to me. The next day, he seemed uncomfortable and upset, so I brought him to a regular vet. There, he decided that he didn't want to be examined, and he struggled with the vet. The blood clot that had developed after the attack was dislodged by his struggles, and his eyeball started to bleed. Except, the blood didn't trickle or pour down his face. It stayed inside of the eyeball, which filled up like a balloon.

He cried. And he cried. And he cried.
I can still hear him now, as I type this out.

Cotton was rushed to a canine optometrist. There, he was given something to help clot his blood and to deal with the pain. He remained on a cocktail of blood medications, pain killers, and sedatives for the next six weeks. My mom came up to stay with me for a week to help deal with him, and then he came to work with me for the next two weeks so that I could give him all of his meds. With all the various eye drops and pills that he needed, I medicated him 14 times throughout each day and night.

The canine optometrist told me on the first day that he would lose his eye. I'm not sure why they didn't remove it right away, but we began a routine of regular vet visits to monitor his progress. First, every day. Then twice a week...once a week... biweekly and eventually - six months later - he was deemed to have recovered as much as possible. And he kept his eye.

Cotton's blind in his left eye. He's terrified of (and therefor aggressive towards) all cats except for Winter. He also learned that I would (and still do) jump at the slightest hint of his discomfort. He learned that it would take very little to make me to accommodate him. I doubt that he ever thinks deeply enough to realize that I couldn't get past the memories of what he went through to move on; but he knows that I am there to do his bidding.

I molly-coddled him after that. I walked him regularly, but not out of his comfort zone. I picked him up at the sight of a cat, and I never let him be approached by a strange dog. I rarely asked anything from him, including basic obedience. Before I knew it, my dog was a shivering bundle of nerves who rarely left our block.

Finally, after about a year of this, I took Cotton with me when I went to hear Stanley Coren speak. This man knows a lot about dogs. He's one of Canada's leading dog trainers, who uses psychology to get to the root of problems. After the presentation, I approached Dr Coren and asked him how I could help Cotton. He told me that he'd observed me throughout his entire speech, holding Cotton tightly in my arms and trying to reassure him. Dr Coren told me that I'd have to stop that, and that I should treat Cotton as though everything is right in the world. If it isn't right, I should expect Cotton to suck it up.

I tried. I really did; but I couldn't not be protective of the little guy. When he was shivering in apparent fear, I couldn't bring myself to ignore him and carry on. And, so, I ignored the advice.

When I got Tallulah, I set out from day one to do the opposite of what I'd done with Cotton. I took her everywhere I could, and introduced her to all sorts of new experiences. Tallulah was in 3 obedience classes and an agility class before she turned one.

In one of those classes - run by her breeder, and almost exclusively for Standard Poodles - I mentioned Cotton and his issues; and he was invited to join as a spectator. The hope was that if he sat through enough classes unharmed, he'd learn that at least part of the world isn't such a bad place. He made such a fuss that I had to start attending separate classes for each dog. Tula would go to her class, and the next night I would sit with Cotton and shovel hot dogs in his face. After he hyperventilated through three of those classes, I decided it wasn't worth the struggle.

Cotton was happy at home. In his own little world, where he knew what to expect and didn't have to fear the unknown, he was OK. As long as I didn't ask him to do anything new, life was good.

Then we moved.

He has adjusted to the new house for the most part. He's OK most days; but he also deals with a lot of irrational fears. Some days are filled with terror, and I can't figure out why. He's afraid of the vacuum, the stove and the phone. He leaves the room any time I turn on a small kitchen appliance, like the toaster or a wok.

He hates to be hot, and somehow believes -deep in his heart- that I should be able to cool things down in the summer. When I can't, he has panic attacks.

After I went on vacation last year, he became afraid of my favorite blue chair. Something happened, I think; but neither the pet sitter nor Cotton would tell me about it. Either way, he wouldn't go near that chair - or me, if I was sitting in it - for months after I came back home.

This week, he has developed a fear of parked cars after dark; and I can barely get him to walk past them on the sidewalk.

Unexplained terrors are setting in again for him at home. It's not quite as bad or as frequent as the panic attacks that he had this summer; but I'm worried that it's a sign of things to come.

We'll be starting the trial and error of finding the right drug and dose for him again. I really hope we figure it out faster for him this time than we did over the summer.

There are moments, again, when I question his quality of life. I started writing this after a couple of particularly difficult days, and I was wondering if the humane thing to do would be to have him put down. I don't think it's time yet, though. As I was writing last night, Cotton started running circles around the kitchen island and the nearby sofa at top speed. He egged the poodle into chasing him - got her good and worked up - and then skidded into my office where he hid under my legs and out of her reach... happy as a clam. This morning, after the alarm went off, he climbed out from under the covers, stepped on my nose and started to wrestle with me until I had to get up and defend myself in true UFC Smackdown style.

What changed between yesterday afternoon and last night? I don't know, but I wish I did. It would help me find a way to give him more of these fun times, and less of the terror.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The diamond heist

It was Thanksgiving, the year after I moved into my first house. My parents had driven up to the Edmonton area, and we were all going to my sister's house for dinner. I was just as obsessed with redecorating then as I am now, so Mom and Dad stopped in at my house to check out the updates to the house before we all carried on to my sister's house. They didn't stay very long; just long enough to say hello to Cotton and Winter - who has always greeted visitors at the front door - and do a quick tour of the house.

I remember that as I put my coat on, I looked over at my mom, who was beside me, and noticed her earring. Mom and Dad had celebrated 30 years of marriage the year before, and my mom was wearing the diamond earrings that he'd given her.

My parents aren't flashy people. They like good quality, but they don't often spend a lot of money on something that doesn't have a definite use. Jewelry hasn't ever been a high priority, so these are the biggest, clearest diamonds that she'd ever had - and a real treat.

Anyway, I point out that I'd noticed my mom's earring - and only the one side - because a few hours after arriving at my sister's house, my mom realized that one of the earrings was gone. She screeched and we all dropped everything to look for it. When we didn't find it, the night was pretty much over. We packed up and left.

I was dropped off with instructions to look long and hard for the diamond at my place, while my parents rushed home to look at their house. (Truth is, I really didn't look very hard.... they'd only been there a few minutes; and I suspected that my mom had forgotten to put the second earring on.) When they got home, they ripped apart their house and van in search for the diamond. Everything was vacuumed. My dad even swept the garage floor and sifted through the contents of their central vac canister, to look for it.

They didn't find the diamond.

Those earrings were nicer than anything she ever thought she'd own, and my mom was devastated to know that she'd lost one. But, time went on. Winter came, then Christmas, and then Easter. My mom was disappointed, but the rest of us moved on.

Spring had arrived, and I started concentrating on gardening. I'm pretty single-minded, and when I've got a gardening project on my mind, that's all I want to think about. That was back when I was still trying to grow tea roses, which have to be dug into the ground and covered up for the winter. I was focused on digging them back up and replanting them when I rooted through to the very back of the closet and pulled out my old gardening clogs. I pulled out all my gardening tools, put on my coat and slipped on the clogs.

And something stabbed me in the toe.

That's right. SOMEBODY had put my mom's diamond earring inside of my gardening clog. That shoe had been far too out of the way for the earring to have accidentally fallen into it. No, it had to be a deliberate (although perhaps not malicious) act.

The cat did it.

I've mentioned before that Winter the cat likes to hide objects in small, hard to access areas. Usually, he sticks to shoving pens under the couch, or dog kibble under the new dining table. Sometimes, though, he gets a little more inventive, like the time that he stuffed his catnip laden fluff ball into the toe of my friend's tennis shoe. Other times, he's been known to shove twist ties down the slots of the register. This time, he'd stuffed my mom's diamond earring into my gardening clog.

That was a fun phone call to make. Winter and I earned a spot at the top of my mom's good book when I told her the earring had been found. She was so happy, she was even willing to focus on the fact that the earring had been found, instead of dwelling on it having been hidden for almost 6 months.

You know what... come to think of it, though, I don't think that she ever did give him a reward for finding it for her.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Purse shopping

I wasn't a purse carrier until I developed allergies and started having to have my epi pen with me everywhere I go. When that happened, I started carrying a small purse that was just barely large enough to hold the epi pen and my wallet. I'd buy a black one or a brown one once every year or two, and carry that same purse with me every single day.

Then I saw the light.

I'd been eyeballing my friend Kat's purse for a while. I actually teased her and called it a Mom Purse because it was so big... and hey, she's a mom. I started thinking something bigger would be better, and then the Purse Lady came to the hospital where I work. I've probably walked past the Purse Lady a hundred times without stopping, but some of my friends there asked me to check out her stuff with them.

Let me tell you - those friends are bad influence on me.

They spend money. A lot of money. And they encourage me to do the same.

First, I found a green Mom Purse that seemed perfect to go with my green Muumuu spring coat.
I still can't decide if I love this coat, or if reminds me too much of Mrs Roper.

I tried out the new Green Mom Purse for a few weeks before the weather cooled off and I had to switch over to my winter gear. The truth is, this purse really is too big. I think that Mom Purse is probably a good description, because it's big enough to do double duty as a diaper bag. For example, one day I was going to the doctor's office and knew I'd have a bit of a wait. I grabbed a hard cover book and tossed it in; and it fit - with room to spare!

That's a wee bit of overkill, in my opinion.

Luckily, fall arrived and I've now got the winter months to think of ways to fill it up.
I suspect that this purse will be reserved for special occasions.... like all you can eat buffets, or shoplifting.

(If you didn't immediately realize that I was joking in that last statement, please stop reading now.)

30 seconds after I bought the new Green Mom Purse, I went around the kiosk corner the angels sang.

I found this little baby. And I loved it so much that I bought it too.

I'm not going to show you a picture of my winter coat because it really needs to be washed; but suffice to say that it's THAT colour of red with THAT colour of brown trim.
(Yeah - the brown in the top left hand corner that looks black because it's in the shadow. But, it really is brown, and it really matches my coat!)

Seriously, there isn't anything that that purse doesn't go with. No matter what I wear, it looks like I chose That purse to pull the outfit together.

I've been carrying it for about a month, and I get comments on it every day. Strangers tell me what a cool purse it is. And BELIEVE ME, I'm not a person who normally receives positive comments from strangers regarding my fashion sense. A friend of mine even loved it so much that the next time the Purse Lady came back to the hospital, she ran over and snapped one up.


It's about half the size of the Green Mom Purse, to it's pretty good that way. The problem with this purse is that it's so stiff that it doesn't close. It stands with the top wide open all the time. Even when I've got the handles in my hand or lay it on its side, the top of it is open and the contents are on display to everybody. That, and things keep falling out. A week ago, I realized that I'd lost my fabric swatches that I carry to match things for the house. Friday, I realized that I'd lost all my meds.

More specifically, I realized on Friday - as I was out having lunch with the guys - that my purse that used to contain a whole plethora of crap now only contained my wallet, my epi pen and two tampons. With the way that the top stays wide open, and since it's large enough for everything that was left inside to spread out, anybody who happened to glance towards it got an eye full.

Way to fit in with the boys, Janice.

...moving on now...

The thing is, I can't just keep going around and losing things out of my purse all the time. I'm lucky that my wallet wasn't one of the items that fell out; and I can't imagine that the pharmacists will keep refilling my prescriptions, no questions asked.

So, today I bought myself another new purse. It's small. It holds my epi pen, my meds and my wallet; and not much else. It closes all the way, so people can't see in; and stuff doesn't fall out. And it's red. I wasn't ready to go back to neutral just yet.

Isn't it pretty?

And, on that note, I am now officially banned from purse shopping for the foreseeable future.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Appliance Garage

I bought myself a treat today. I found an enamelled cast-iron dutch oven today and carried it around the store, debating about whether I could justify it until I thought my arms would fall off. I tend to do that. If I see something I want but don't particularly need, I pick it up and carry it around the store while I try to decide if my bank account will survive another dent. My arms beat the bank balance in this debate. The front door was closer than the back shelf where I found the pot when they threatened to give in; so the fight might not have been entirely fair.

Do you know how Heavy a cast iron pot is?

ANYWAY, I've had a hankering for a LeCreuset cast iron pot for a long time, but they're way, way out of my budget. This one was about 1/3 the price of the best price I've ever found for a real LeCreuset, and I'm hoping that it's close enough that I can pretend.

When I got home, however, I was reminded of something important. I don't have enough space for this new little treat. The fact is, I'm out of cupboard space. I don't even have space for the toaster oven that I bought this spring or the blender that I got for my last birthday. They're living on my kitchen counters - and I hate clutter.

I'm not sure how this happened. My first house had a grand total of three cupboards and I managed to live with all of my kitchen supplies contained to those cupboards. This house has at least triple the cupboard space of the old one - and a pantry. But then I went and learned to cook from scratch, my stockpots reproduced like rabbits; and suddenly the kitchen is bursting at the seams.

As things stand, kitchen equipment that I don't use fairly regularly is housed in the basement. I guess I'll have to sort through, and schlep even more stuff down there for now.

In the meantime, though, I've got a plan.

I'm going to make an appliance garage.

And I don't mean one of those dinky boxes that holds a toaster.

I'm going to dedicate an entire room to the storage and display of all my kitchen toys.

I'm going to move the laundry room to the basement, move the freezer upstairs to the former-laundry-come-appliance room and build shelves all around the room to store my stuff. Stock pots and Slow Cookers? Come on in! Rice cooker? Blender? Mix Master? Toaster? Cuisinart? There'll be room for it all.

It'll be awesome.

I'll be the envy of the neighbourhood.

EVERYBODY will want a room just like mine.

Yep. That's what I'm going to do.


Right after I win the lottery.

Pardon me while I attempt to get a grip, and remind myself that I'm not nearly as wealthy as I'd like to be. In the meantime, I'm going to cheer myself by breaking in my not-a-real-LeCreuset with a pot of soup.

Maple Curried Sweet Potato Soup anyone?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Lately, I can't seem to help but to notice the number of women who carry on conversations from bathroom stalls. I'm sorry, but talking while on the pot is a big, fat ball of wrong to me. There's supposed to be an imaginary sound-proof force field around each stall. Once somebody goes in, they're supposed to become non-existent until they've come out again!

I know. It shouldn't be a big deal in the grand scheme of things; but it's been bugging me. A lot. So, I figured I better get it out there into the great big blog-o-sphere, and out of my system. There isn't much that sticks with me lately, let alone people's tendency to converse at inopportune moments, so hopefully I can move onto something more important now.

... like the fact that my cat just accidental rolled off my desk. He was trying to act all cool and simultaneously get me to rub his belly. Before he knew it, he'd leaned back so far that he rolled right off the back of the desk, and (luckily) landed on the window sill below. Does the fact that I laughed make me a bad pet owner???

As you may have noticed, I haven't been very good at concentrating or holding a thought about much lately. You know that lumberhuffy feeling that you have when you first wake up, until your mind clears? That's how I've been feeling most of the time. I'm struggling through and doing a fine job of faking it (I think) at work, so I figure that I've earned some latitude to let myself jump from thought to thought here. I hope you can keep up.

Which is a pretty good lead-in to my next topic...

I got some good news yesterday. I've been scheduled for my surgery in just a wee bit over two weeks. BIG RELIEF, that is. It won't be an immediate cure, but it'll fix the source of the problem and hopefully my hemoglobin will start building up after that.

My sister is coming down to stay with me over the big event, and to shuttle me to and fro as needed. After that, she'll be taking me out to see my nephews skate in their next big Speed Skating competition. I hear that the older nephew is really hitting his stride. He came home with a gold metal for his age group in a competition a few weeks ago. My younger nephew hasn't won a gold metal yet, but he's happy to report that he's finally good enough to justify wearing a skin suit. He told me very solemnly that wearing the proper outfit cuts his time in half. On the flip side, my sister reports that he's such a string bean, he's the only kid out there in a baggy skin suit. (But if anybody ever tells him that, we'll both deny every word.)

Jumping back to some other related good news... My December trip is officially a go, now that my surgery has been scheduled. I bought my tickets a few weeks ago, but I worried until now that I'd have to cancel because I wouldn't feel well enough to travel. Now that I know I'll have a few weeks to recoup before I take off, I'm going to go about planning my activities. (I hope to have at least one photography tour in there).

And a confession: Knowing that I'll be going to the States soon, I can't stop watching the value of the CDN $. I've been checking it 3,4 sometimes 5 times a day. Today is a good day, because our dollar has gone up almost a cent since this morning. I'd like for it to hit at least $.95US before I go. - Parity would be awesome.

Speaking of money, I had 150 kids come around this year for Halloween. That's a lot of candy, folks. Not that I mind - Halloween is my favorite holiday - but my grocery fund is suffering a bit this week as a result.

I only expected 100 kids, so I bought enough for 120. When I realized how many kids were showing up, I started giving out smaller portions - a bag or chips or chocolate bars; not both - but I still ran out and had to turn the lights off at 8:00. (Kids were still going around in the rain at 9:00!) Normally I wait until the streets are mostly empty, and then go out and offload my leftovers on an unsuspecting group of kids. Not being able to do that was a bit of a bummer, so I will be buying more candy next year. (Just watch - next year, I'll only get 30 kids.)