Saturday, September 29, 2012

Coffee today

... was nice.  He was nice.  He's a rare breed who is actually better looking in person than he is in his pictures.  He was funny and smiled a lot.  He held up his end of the conversation easily without monopolizing.  He seemed to be a genuine good guy.  After two hours, I said I had to go.

Two things...

He's a bit older than me.  He asked me if I had any concerns about it.  I said no, and asked him if he did.  He said that he'd decided before he'd messaged me to date closer to his age range. When I said I wasn't sure how to take that, he said I shouldn't take it personally.   I wasn't quite sure how to take that either.

He also mentioned that he had intended to meet somebody who was actively involved in at least one of his two main hobbies, flying and horses.  I don't fly anymore (and get sick when I do).  I can't ride.  It's something I'd like to learn someday, but not something I have anything to do with now.

After we left the restaurant, we stood outside for a few minutes to talk.  He shook my hand and we went our separate ways.  No mention was made of getting together again.

So, this doesn't qualify as a submission for the nut job challenge, but I don't think I can quite call it a success.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Creepiness and Guarded Hope

The East Coast Nut Job sent me a message yesterday after I posted about his creepiness here.  He  skipped over the fact that I shut him down and all but hung up on him at the end of the conversation.  Instead, he said that he'd enjoyed our talk the night before and hoped that he could call me again tonight.  I responded to say that I don't think we have much in common, and that I wasn't feeling the attraction that I am looking for.  I told him that to avoid future frustration I would be ended things now, but wished him all the best moving forward.

Not thirty seconds after I hit send, my phone rang.  I didn't pick up, but he called me multiple, multiple times last night.  Finally, at about 9:30 (12:30 his time) I received a three page message from him, listing everything that we have in common.  He then cut and pasted some of the things I'd written to him earlier, and used those to let me know how I'd deceived him and led him to believe that I was attracted to him and that we would be a couple.  

Shortly after that, he called again and left a long and rambling voicemail.  I deleted it without really listening, but the general gist is that he thinks I'm running away because I'm scared of being hurt.

To be honest, I am a little scared, but I think it'll be OK.  He doesn't know my last name, or where I live.  He doesn't have my email address.  Although he has my phone number, it is unlisted.  My name doesn't come up on call display.  I am hoping that his voicemail last night was the last hoorah.  If it's not, and if he continues to call, I'll have a friend who is with the RCMP give him a call and tell him to stand down.

And in other news,  I will be meeting somebody else for coffee tomorrow.  He first contacted me just before I started to get a whiff of the East Coast guy's craziness; otherwise I don't know if I'd have the nerve to do this.  While I am determined to withhold any judgement until I've met him in person, I don't see any red flags.

This guy is quiet and a little shy.  He works in the aviation industry (as a tech, not a pilot).  He has recently taken up riding lessons and is loving it so much that he leased a horse.  He's also got an old dog, who he loves openly and worries about.  There's something about animal lovers that make me trust them that much more, but I'm still being careful.  A friend of mine knows where we'll be and when.  I've arranged to text her before and after we meet, and she'll check in if she doesn't hear from me in a reasonable amount of time.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Nut Job Challenge - first submission

The Zadge challenged me to see who could date the worst nut job through online dating.  

East Coast guy called last night.  He's the guy who I chatted with last weekend.  He seemed promising, but then he flew out to visit family out east, so we didn't have a chance to meet in person yet.  We've talked a few times, and I was starting to conclude that this maybe isn't the guy for me.   He comes across as a nice guy, but my heebie jeeby senses have been firing.

I forget how it came up, but I ended up telling him about a challenge I'd had earlier in the day at work that had been particularly frustrating.

He responded by telling me (in a baby voice) to imagine that I was sitting on his lap, and that he was giving me a back rub.  I interrupted him to tell him that I don't know him and don't want to sit on his lap.  He kept going, and described the whole assault massage and where his hands would go.  I remained completely silent throughout, and then reminded him that we've never met, and that we are a long ways away from being where he seemed to think we are.

Needless to say, I don't think things will work out with him.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Because I have nothing else to talk about...

Last spring for a few months, there was a possibility of their being a guy.  I used to know him, way back when, and we lost touch when he changed jobs.  Then we reconnected through Facebook.  I don't know that I ever had strong feelings for him, but he's the exact kind of guy I want to be with.    Emotionally strong, communicative, funny and tall being among some of his better qualities.    He lives in another city, but we talked a lot and got together a few times.  I thought things were going somewhere.  Then he told me that he's still in love with is ex, who he'd broken up with a few years ago, and he was pretty sure he was meant to stay single forever.

I don't know that I bought that.  I accepted that I wasn't the girl he was looking for at the time, but secretly told myself that we'd stay in touch in case the time came that he changed his mind.  Then, a week or so ago he changed his relationship status on Facebook and suddenly he's not single anymore.  Even worse, most of his status updates since have either been about being with his girl or wanting to be with his girl.  I felt like each of those updates was a renewal of the rejection.

So, I did what any other sane girl would do in my situation and I signed up on a dating website.

At first I connected with a guy who seemed to have promise.  He's good looking and tall.  He was nice enough but I eventually noticed that he lacked in the IQ department to the point of distraction.  When he told me he used to "leave" in Calgary, but has "leaved" in Edmonton for a while now, I decided to cut my losses.  As bad as my spelling and grammar may be, that made my skin crawl.

Then I responded to a message I got from a guy that seemed more likely to have intelligence.  His profile said he was an architect.  At first, I didn't notice how brief and superficial he seemed, but I eventually caught on.  When I asked about his job, he told me simply: "I love my profession".  When I asked him about his hobbies and what he does for fun, he said "I like sports".  I felt no guilt in moving on from him.

Yesterday I got a message from somebody that said I look grumpy in my pictures, but he likes the energy in my profile so he's going to give me a chance.  (For the record,  I looked at the three photos I had posted - I had open mouthed, showyourteeth smiles in two of them and was grinning in the other.)  Then in his next sentence he said I am pretty now but I'd be hot if I lost 30 pounds.  I'm sure you'll be shocked to know that I chose not to respond to him.

It hasn't been all bad, though.  Saturday, I got a message from a nice guy.  He's a little older than me, but it seemed as though we had enough in common to give it a shot.  I responded to his message, and right away he wrote again.  We ended up writing back and forth almost every hour all day.  There was a message in my mailbox from  him late at night when I went to bed, and another one in the morning when I got up.  We wrote back and forth a few more times in the morning, until he suddenly went quiet for the rest of the day.   I learned later on that night that he'd been travelling, and that he'd flown out east to visit his family.    He'll be away until a few days after I leave for Italy, so we won't get to meet in person until November.    In the meantime, we'll keep in touch through email and the phone.  I'm not going to get my hopes up before I meet him in the flesh, but it'll be nice to wonder what if in the meantime.

Friday, September 21, 2012

OCD in Common

I went to a friend's house after work tonight.  We dragged a plastic floor mat and a stool into the room, set them up in front of the mirror and I sat there wrapped in a cape with my hair dripping wet.

She combed through my hair a few strokes before we had to stop.  I got up, and we shifted the mat and the stool over a few inches because it had bothered her that I hadn't been centred in mirror,

A few minutes later, she had to stop cutting my hair mid-layer because I needed to bend over.  I had noticed in the mirror that one side of my pant leg had unrolled.

I've got my "travel" haircut now.  It's long enough to go in a ponytail, but short enough that it can be wet without soaking my shoulders.  My hair takes 30 minute to dry by blow dryer, so I plan to let it air dry;  but don't want to walk around with a wet top everywhere I go.  I'll bring a little bit of goop to encourage the curls to behave, but suspect it'll be in a ponytail most of the trip.

I've decided that I'm going to grow it long (mid-back) again when I get home.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


I finally learned how to fold a fitted sheet.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Working it out

I'm a ducks in a row kind of person.  I want things organized ahead of time, and I want to know what to expect, what I'll need to do to do and when.

My aunt heard from somebody that it's easier to buy train tickets in person in Italy than it is to do it online.  This is what she wants to do.  I want my tickets reserved so that I don't end up hitchhiking across Italy when all the trains are full or we can't figure out their ticket system.

We've gone back and forth about this a few times.  We've sent each other articles from Trip Advisor, supporting our opposing views.  We've talked to people who have been there, gotten their opinions and passed them on.  Both of us have offered to refund the other if our method ends up costing more, but neither has changed her mind.

Today, I finally capitulated... with a condition.  We'll buy our train tickets after we get there.  But, if we get to Italy and the trains are full; if we can't figure out the ticket dispensing machines or nobody who speaks English is around to help us, my Aunt will be in charge.  I'll find a chair, sit down, put my feet on the luggage and read a book while she figures it out.

I can do this, because I know she understands.  She's an older version of me, and if the tables were turned, she'd do the same.  I know she'd laugh.  Or, more likely, she'd take a picture and send it to everybody that knows us.  This is why I picked her as a travel partner.

Friday, September 14, 2012

New Bird Feeder

  1. Buy Bird Feeder
  2. Buy seed
  3. Dig out tall post from pile of wood in the garage.
  4. Find shovel
  5. Dig out old plants 
  6. Find better shovel
  7. Remove shovelful of dirt.  Pile it to the side
  8. Remove second shovelful of dirt.  Pile it to the side.  Watch it slide back into the hole.
  9. Get pail.
  10. Remove shovelful of dirt and pour it all over the grass while trying to put it in pail.
  11. Bend down on hands and knees and scoop out loose dirt into pail.
  12. Use shovel and hands to loosen up/scoop out more dirt, about 18" deep.  
  13. Realized that some idiot involved in nearby (past) construction left cement where you want the post.  
  14. Fill hole, decide to use plant hook instead of mounting feeder on a post.
  15. Find Plant Hook in Garage.
  16. Find drill and extension cord.
  17. Turn on lights because it's dark outside.
  18. Mark spots on fencepost to attach hook.
  19. Stretch out extension cord across deck, down the side of the railing, around the trees and across yard.
  20. Go to plug it in and realize you've got the wrong end.  
  21. Flip extension cord around and plug it in.
  22. Unwrap screws that came with plant hook and start to screw plant hook into fence post.
  23. Strip *&#;%^ screws upon first contact with the drill
  24. Set drill and plant hook on ground.  
  25. Leave extension cord, bird feeder, screw driver, shovels and pail where they are.  
  26. Go inside.  
  27. Give up.
Update:  Try again in the morning.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


About three weeks ago, there was a small crack in the sidewalk in front of my house.  Rather than patch it, the city tore out about 15' of sidewalk.  They then dug down about 8', then repacked the hole to ensure that the new sidewalk had a good base.

While digging the hole, they realized that the ground was kind of wet.  They investigated, and concluded that the water main out front had a slow leak somewhere under the road.

So, they ripped out the entire road.

It's now been three weeks of 12-14 hour days of construction out front... every single day, except when I left for a while to go to Kelowna.  It's loud.  It's stinky.  There are many times when I'm tempted to go to the basement to check the foundation because the house has been shaking so hard.

Tonight, they are asphalting the new road.  I hope that's a sign that they'll be done soon.  I know the work needs to be done (I wonder if the leaking water main contributed to my annual water problems in the basement?)  and it's probably a good sign that the city is being so diligent.   But I can't say that it's been fun to be around.

And, as a side note, the road in front of my house has been closed most of the time that this has been going on.  They closed it while I was in Kelowna, and since my car was parked in the garage at the time, it's been stuck.  I work from home, and can walk just about everywhere I need to go, so it hasn't been a problem.  However, there's a work.... thing...  tomorrow.  It's a lunch in a park across town.  I'm not normally somebody who enjoys the forced social activities through work, so I was going to opt out.  Then I learned that my executive director would be driving down from Edmonton to attend, and it'd be noticeable if I didn't attend.  So, now I feel like I need to attend, but I don't know if I'll be able to get my car out of the garage.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Kelowna Wildlife

I've been hearing all about the funny quail that live in the area around my sister's house.  They have silly plumes that hangs over their head, and they're dumb as stumps.  Apparently, run everywhere and rarely fly - even when the dogs chase them.  After I'd been there a few days without seeing them, I started to tease my nephews that they'd made them up.  So, we went outside to look for them.  We went out the front to the end of the road, down the hill, around the nearby lake, back up the hill through the bushes to their back yard.  No quail.  We had just given up the search and gone back inside the house when my brother in law came home from work.  He called out as he walked in the door: "Janice - there are a bunch of quail in the front yard."  Doh.

The other thing that I kept hearing about are the turtles that live in the lake down the hill, and that sometimes crawl up the hill to lay eggs in their yard.  My brother in law and I headed down the hill one night to see if we could find any.  As we were walking along the path, I suddenly noticed that the twig I was about to step on was not, in fact, a twig.  It was a 3' long snake with diamonds along the centre of its back.  We had a few moments of panic, but eventually determined that it was a gopher snake, and not a rattle snake.    Thankfully, it didn't seem to have been hurt when I stepped on it.  It lay there for a while longer, basking in the sun until eventually it got sick of the dog tiptoeing around it, and it slithered off into the grasses.  My nephews thought the snake was a lot more exciting than the turtles we eventually came upon, but I preferred the turtles.

This is the time of year that the salmon start to spawn.  They swim upstream from the ocean to lay their eggs and eventually die.  Personally, as much as it's an amazing feat on their behalf (they even go up small-ish waterfalls), I didn't have any desire to see dying and dead fish.  I was kind of relieved when we went out to see them, only to see that there weren't any around.  However, my dad and my brother in law went to some other falls to see Kokanee Salmon (fresh water salmon that do a similar trek) and there were some there.    My nephews wanted to see them, so the whole family went back after my dad and I had left, only to encounter a black bear on the way.  As exciting as the boys found that, I'm told that the trips out to see salmon are over for the foreseeable future.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Kelowna Bits 'n Bobs

Other than visiting my sister and her family, my goal while in Kelowna was to get a big box of apples, so that I can make (and can) apple sauce.  I've made about half of it now - I ran out of jars, so will have to make the rest tomorrow.

(For what it's worth, that apple peeler/corer was a waste of money.  I ended up using a carrot peeler and a knife that worked much better.)

This is my sister's dog Derby.  Besides my own dogs, she's my all-time favourite - and she has the best ears ever.  She's 14 1/2 years old now and retired from agility and flyball; but has taken up obedience classes to keep her border collie brain active.

Even so, she gets more neurotic every year.  In the last few years, she's been afraid to walk around inside the house, so she lives on the area rug in their living room.  They don't know why.  She can be coaxed off the rug, but always goes back as soon as they let her.  They take her for lots of walks every day, though, and she's happy as a clam when she's outside.

See that pinecone at her feet?  Derby is a fetching machine.  We didn't have a ball handy, so she brought me a pinecone to throw instead.

Brazen is their other dog.  My sister "co-owns" her, and she was always intended to be part of a breeding program.    Now that she's got her confirmation, has finished obedience training and is an accomplished agility dog (she went to the nationals this year), people started asking about getting one of her puppies and the other co-owner began pushing to get a litter out of her. 

Last year, she was bred but ended up miscarrying.   After she miscarried, Brazen carried around a rubber squeaky ball around with her everywhere, and even tried to nurse it.  The ball became known as Brazen's baby.  After months of this, my sister had to take the Baby away from her.  Then, a few weeks ago, my sister was cleaning out a cupboard and came upon the Baby at the top shelf.  She accidentally squeaked it, and Brazen came running.  Shortly after that, Brazen (who hasn't been anywhere near a male) started to lactate again and has developed mastitis.  

(I know breeding isn't the popular choice when so many dogs are in the shelters.   She's not my dog, though, and I don't have any say in the matter.  Please don't post any nasty comments about it.)

OMGshe'sgonnatalkaboutshoesagain!  Sorry - this should be it for a while, though.

I've been worried about my inability to wear shoes.  If I wear them for more than an hour or two, my feet either hurt something fierce or my toes go numb.  It's not that big of an issue most days because I work from home, but with my upcoming trip to Italy, I was worried that it would be a serious problem.

I was talking to my sister about it, and she told me about a store where she's been buying shoes lately.  She seized up her back last year and could barely move for months.  Her doctor sent her to see this guy at the shoe store, who sold her the miracle of all shoes, and now she swears by him.

I tried to avoid them at first... I probably tried on 10 pairs before I agreed to try these on - just to see how they fit - but ultimately, they are the only shoes that seemed completely comfortable when I put them on.    I ended up bowing to sisterly pressure and buying them, and am now the owner of some seriously ugly shoes.    And, unless something drastic happens, I think I'm going to wear them to Italy too.  I've been wearing them almost non-stop since I got them, and they are the only shoes I own that don't hurt or cause my feet to go numb after a few hours.

And then, to add insult to injury, my sister sent me home with these.  They are one of two pairs that she wore after she hurt her back, and she swears that they work, despite their looks.

I figure that I might wear them around the house and yard.  If people can be seen in public wearing crocs, these can't be that much worse.... can they?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Through the Windshield - photos overload

I just got back from a road trip to Kelowna, to see my sister and her boys.  I'm kind of embarrassed to say that I haven't been to British Columbia for 20 years, so I'd forgotten how beautiful it is.  Lucky for me, my dad did all the driving so that I could gawk and take pictures.  I probably took 200 pictures through the windshield, on the drives there and back.  Here are a few (too many) of my favourites.

The water was incredible - I couldn't believe the colours of vivid blues and greens.

Bow Lake

Abraham Lake

The Columbia River, near Revelstoke

No water here - just a gorgeous mountain wall at the Saskachtewan River Crossing (this was about 1/4 of it)

A wildlife bridge.  The highway along the Banff National Park is lined with an 8' fence, and there are six of these bridges to allow the animals across without becoming roadkill.  They're about the size of a 4 lane overpass, but topped with trees and grasses to make them as natural as possible.

In the spirit of full disclosure, these next shots weren't taken from a moving vehicle.

A tree near my sister's house - and reinforcement for my determination that I will move somewhere with a friendlier planting zone than Central Alberta when I retire.

I found the Walloping Willow Tree!!!

Myra Ridge (East of the city) was destroyed in the 2003 Kelowna forrest fire, but is starting to grow back 

We rode part of the Kettle Valley Railway path, which is an old line of railway trestle bridges and tunnels that have been converted into a walking and biking path.  It was absolutely incredible, and the highlight of the trip for me.  

It involved driving up and down 8km of gravel switchbacks to get there and back, but the view was breathtaking.  We were a little intimidated at first, and not sure how far we'd go... none of us had been on a bike in 2 or 3 years.   It wasn't hard, though.  The trail was pretty flat.  We kept wanting to go around the next corner to see the view from there; and before we knew it, we had to turn around.  We would have loved to do the entire route (12km each way) but had to leave to go collect the kids from school.  We all agreed that we will definitely go back and do the entire route soon.

This was the first trestle

This was the view to the left of the first trestle.  I remember pointing to the far centre right, and wondering if we'd make it that far.  (We did - it's about 8km along.)

In case you're wondering, Yes, I do have a fear of heights.  I was pretty wobbly at first, and kept to the insides of the trails.  It wasn't too long before I got my bearings, though, and could really appreciate the view.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


I jogged 5km this morning.  Well, it was 5.18 actually, and since I felt every step, I'm going to claim it.

After last year's failed efforts, I was afraid to try jogging again, but I realize now that I just tried too soon after my surgery.  A few weeks ago, it occurred to me that I am almost 18 months post surgery; I feel great, and there was no reason not to try again.

So, I jogged a km.  (Last year, I could barely go a block).  Then I did a km and a half.  The next time was 3km, then 4.5 km and now 5(.18)km.

I am slow.   But, as the saying goes:  Slow is better than Did Not Finish, which trumps Did Not Start.

5km has always been the big goal for me.  Now that I reached that, I'll work on the speed, and then maybe up the distance to 8km.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Yah, I'm comfortable.  Why'dya ask?