Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I am such a sap

So here I am, up late last night, knitting socks for my grandfather's christmas present and watching the finale of "Project Runway Canada". The first EVER Canadian version and hosted by Iman. I really liked her. I like how she says it like it is, and isn't afraid of giving her own attitude and opinion but at the same time she is supportive and fun. And here comes the sappy part. When I saw the line-up for Lucien I got teary eyed. It was beautiful! I loved the crochet accents, the whimsy of the hats, and the broken poses - although I do admit the models looked mechanic getting into the pose, once they were in it the effect was WOW. It was romantic and flirty and just, well, PRETTY. And I do agree, it is about time we got back to pretty again. I hated the shoes, however. The colours and heights were fine, but I didn't like the platform bottoms. I hated everything from MG. Sorry, but the only thing she has made that I like was that trench coat for the resort wear episode. I was hopeful for the metallic suede, but I was disappointed in what she did with it. When I saw the line-up for Biddel? I was positively BREATHLESS. The music, the power, the clothes. I loved the "jedi" hoods paired with the backless scoops. The short dresses with all those details like flat tiers and weaving. The green shorts outfit - well, it didn't fit properly and needs some work in the nether regions but the concept was very interesting. And that white jacket? Stunning. Absolutely stunning. I loved the fabrics he used, the studs. The flow was quixotic - it kind of went from glam jedi to bondage inspired, but that actually worked in the scheme of things. That dress that ended it? OMG. It could have been so BAD. But the way he worked the fullness in so it still looked like a narrow fishtail dress but she had more than enough volume to walk and how it flowed in profile? Like magic my friends, like magic. So while I think Lucien had more "wearable" items, I feel that what Biddel created was more FASHION. I think of these independant fashion lines as a showcase for a concept. The concept of the colours or maybe certain cuts, lengths of sleeves and collars and hemlines. Sure, sometimes a piece is taken and marketed as is, but in general what we see in these shows usually trickles down into commercial clothing as more subtle accents. New colours or fabrics, collars up or down, and so on. What Lucien created was more representative of what a BRAND would show and usually includes actual pieces one can expect to see for sale. Both very talented considering their ages and what not, but as for the spirit of the show, Biddel embodied what it was about more than Lucien did. And I do agree, other than the crochet additions, we have seen most of these pieces before from other designers. Is it surprising that such a fashion victim as myself would be so interested and in-tune with the fashion industry? Hey baby, I may wear Walmart clearance but my inner diva screams for Dior. My payless knockoffs may say "mommy wear", but if I had those size 6 bird feet you can guarantee I would be hobbling around in Prada. I would be that woman who shows up for parent-teacher conferences in La Croix. Is it my fault my outer body was built for Delta Burke? I can assure you that inside, I am Fergaliscious. And my influence has not gone unnoticed, as DD is home sick today and spent the morning playing the "Bratz Passion 4 Fashion" CD game. She has her own sense of style already at the age of 8 that is quite promising. Her own mix of awkward and rock and roll and cutesy whimsy mixed with a touch of Hannah Montana. Ya gotta love it. So what exactly is sappy about all that? The fact that I got weepy and excited over a contest that strangers were taking part in, and I was genuinely happy for them at the end. I mean, I have watched every season of Survivor and never once was ecstatic for whoever won. Most of the time by the end I could care less who gets the money anyway. I have watched a few seasons of "Project Runway" and "Project Catwalk" and really enjoy them but never felt personally influenced by the lines presented at the end. Who knows. Maybe Lucien was just wounded enough to catch my interest, he had that little boy charm and the accent helped. And the way he pouts when he doesn't get his own way or feels picked on brought out a mothering instinct in me I suppose. Biddel has the kind of personality that draws me in. Sure, he had his moments where he was being a bit jerky but overall he is fun and genuine, and his laugh is very authentic. Not only do I smile with him, but I want to be in on the joke too. In another world at another time and given the right circumstance I think Biddel and I could have been friends. And would have been friends. So there you go. Wipe a tear and get on with your day and say a prayer for the sap who knits socks for grandpa in her ratty flannel pj's and watches late night fashion TV. Tee hee!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Ahhh, the smell of winter

Advertising campaigns would have us believe that the smell of winter is the scent of cinnamon and pine and crackling wood fires and sweet sweet cookies. But we know the REAL smell of winter. The smell that lingers on way after the last christmas cookie has crumbled and the "cinnamon bun" scented candle has burned away. Wet mittens. That's right. The smell of snow soggy clothing, draped over the heating vents in the vain hopes the furnace will dry them. Mostly mittens, but there are socks and scarves and hats that take their spots as well. For most of the winter our house smells like what a wet dog would smell like if it was a sheep or made of acrylic. We go through loads and loads of laundry, caused by multiple outings which result in wet pant cuffs and require a change of clothes upon re-entry. Wash, rinse, and repeat every time somebody leaves the house. DD is good for many changings, going in and out to play in the snow then warm up inside before going back out to play again. Even with snow pants, and carefully arranging pant legs and liners and boots she still gets wet pant legs. We have yet to find a pair of gloves or mittens she can't soak through in two minutes flat. The wool ones are warmer, even if they are wet, and last longer although I also admit they are way smellier when on the vent drying. If sheep smell like that when they are wet I cannot imagine having a barn full of them. We discovered with Ruby that when pugs come in from outside, until the outside air is out of their fur they smell DOG no matter how clean they are. When snow is on the ground, she comes in smelling less like dog and more like woodsmoke, which I like. If only she didn't feel she has to rub her freezing cold and snowy body along my bare legs when she comes in. Perhaps she is trying to share the joy of playing outside? Or maybe just trying to rescent me? Or at the very least trying to dry herself off. But talk about a shock. Even worse when she comes inside after an early morning flounce through the snow, and DH puts her back in the bed - where she dives under the covers and lays alongside my body. YIKES! Instant freezola. Sometimes she wiggles back up to the top of the bed (maintaining contact between her freezing cold body and my warm snuggliness all the way up of course) to give me a happy and excited "isn't snow FUN?" kiss and snotting. The cats have gone into full scale "heat seeking missile" mode and spend most of their day snuggled in the comforter on my bed or nesting in the throw blanket on the couch. Jasmine's favourite thing is to suck up the leftover warmth in DD's cast off winter coat, which she invariably drops onto the floor when she comes in from outside. Within seconds Jasmine is inside there, purring like mad. And it doesn't matter where it lands either. Yesterday Jasmine was enduring a very bumpy rest indeed, as DD had tossed her coat on top of the boots and boot rack. Jasmine didn't seem to mind at all. I guess Jasmine isn't a princess either. Xena has been even naughtier than usual. I keep warning her that this is NOT the time of year for such reindeer games, but it falls on deaf squirrel ears as she steals bows from pressents and chews ribbons and tries to make off with my pen. It seems like she is everywhere at once. I no sooner disentangle her from my knitting project and she is up on the table knocking things off. I chase her away from there and before I can pick up the items she is stalking through the presents looking for anything loose she can grab. I run over and re-arrange the gifts in a less inviting way only to receive several run by "deadly attacks" that involve a lot of swatting, swishing of tails, and galumphing up and down the stairs. Yesterday I was talking to DH and emphasising something I was saying with a pen in my hand. Instantly she was up on the couch, stole my pen, and was gone in a flash. Dh and I looked at each other in utter shock - it had happened so fast - then burst out laughing. This morning she woke me up by sitting on my chest and placing her cold, wet nose on my cheek. I opened one eye to see she had a self-stick stamp on her head. Which means she had been up to mischief again or Jasmine and Ruby were tired of her shenanigans and had decided to try and mail her to the north pole. Do they have squirrels at the north pole? Because of the snow and wind and the lovely blood pressure meds, I am freezing. I cannot keep warm. At the moment I have on fleece lined jeans (thank you Marks Work Wearhouse), heavy work socks stolen from DH, a knitted tank top, and a fleece blanket around my shoulders. Me. The person who would normally spontaniously combust if she wore long sleeves AND socks on the same day. My lips are blue. My hands are shrinking and my rings keep falling off. And my nose could chill a margarita. Maybe it is a good thing Xena might get coal for christmas. I could burn it for heat!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Turbo

I have a lot to do today. A. Lot. And what have I started? Why nothing at all! Why is it that the more I have to do, the less I am motivated to do it? Talk about putting ones self under the gun. So I figured maybe I need more energy than my breakfast toast and tea could supply, and had a bowl of cereal for lunch. But not just ANY cereal. DD's sugary cereal that looks like little toasts, and tastes like sugar laminated cardboard pieces. If anything could give me a burst of energy it would be that cereal. Usually we don't have sweet cereals in the house. I am not a fan of them, neither is dh. We usually have some combo of corny flakey things, oaty oh shaped things, maybe some waffle weaved wheaty deals. Then there is the fibery cereal that DH likes to eat. I like it too, but it costs like a buck a bowl to eat so I leave it for him. Every once in a while (if there is a sale or I have a coupon - which is not very often) I indulge in something with flakes and clusters and dried fruity bits. But in general, plain cereal is what we have. Now that DH is paying for the groceries (didn't I mention that? Since I am out of work DH is for the first time, paying every bill and for everything we buy) there is a learning curve to work out. Whenever DD asks for sugary cereal, I always answer NO. Not because I have any real problem with it (look at the nutritional content, and be as amazed as I was that the nutritional info is not much different than the plainer varieties) but rather I know she is not going to eat it. The box will be ripped open the minute we get home, before the rest of the groceries are even unloaded. She will pour herself a big bowl and fill it to the brim with milk. Then she will eat two spoons, realize she doesn't like it, and proceed to play around in it for several minutes, pretending to eat it but really just pushing it around the bowl. Then, once the cereal is so soggy and mushy that it is unrecognizable, she will announce that she is done. And that box of cereal will sit up there, untouched and mocking me until it becomes so stale it all melds into one single piece. If it was particularly expensive and not overly heinous in colour, sometimes I try to eat it so as not to waste the money. But I have a low tolerance for sweet things in general, and kiddie breakfast cereal is usually quite gross on top of being over-sweetened. The textures are usually horrid - slimey mostly. And some of them have more candy-marshmallow pieces than cereal bits in there. Once in a while I encounter a recipe that calls for it, and I will try that out in a last ditch effort. I have no idea why my feeble brain thinks I can possibly make sugary cardboard more palatable by coating it in even sweeter sticky marhsmallow and tossing in some chocolate chips or raisins. My latest effort - just so you know - will involve mixing the aforementioned recent cereal aquisition, melted white chocolate chips, and chopped jelly candies (also leftover, but from halloween candy picks), pressed and cut into bars to make some christmasy looking concoction. These will be packaged into the christmas card boxes, wrapped in holiday waxed paper and nestled into pretty ruffled paper liners and sent to school as christmas treats for the kiddies in DD's class. They may have to peel the kids off the ceiling afterwards, but I will be rid of the cereal, the candy, AND the white chips that have been haunting me. Too expensive to throw away, too disgusting to eat. Since DH now is controlling the grocery purse strings, he made the wise decision to allow DD to get that box of sugar coated toast bombs. After all, there was room in the budget. Of COURSE there was room in the budget. Because though he bought sugary cereal and cheetohs and pretzels and frozen mini-pizzas, he didn't get any of the NON-essentials. Like bread and milk and meat and eggs and stuff. How silly would THAT be, to waste money on actual ingredients? Dh opened the fridge last night and exclaimed he has never seen it so empty. For the past couple of weeks, it has been a litany of stuff we do not have on hand. Where is the bread? We are out. Where is the milk? We are out. Where is the cheese? Well, you get the picture. The pantry cupboard is bare, but for the small can of pineapple and a tin of escargot that seem to have come with the house. There is nothing but the crust ends in the breadbox, no milk or mayonaise or mustard or ketchup - not that it matters because there is nothing to put it on. The freezer is practically empty as well, save a few packages of frozen veggies and some freezer pops they didn't like that have been abandoned in the back. You see, I have handed the finances completely over to DH. He has control of the budget and the shopping and the supplying and the planning, and everything. For the first time he is paying ALL of the household bills and expenses. And it has been quite a learning experience. He had no idea what utilities cost here. Not that they are high in general (energy star appliances, and I conserve where ever I can) but higher than he expected apparently. I guess maybe he understands why we shouldn't leave the stero on all night (muted and forgotten), the basement lights on 24/7, and let the hose run on the lawn for two days straight. The hardest thing for him to handle, however, has been "groceries". Not just food, but all the items a person supplies a house with over the course of a week or month. Toilet paper. Shampoo. Light bulbs. Laundry supplies. When you buy milk on Sunday and eat two bowls of cereal and drink a glass of milk a day, by tuesday you are out of milk and need more. See his idea is that you shop ONE TIME per week, and buy no more than one container of anything, even though you know you use more than that in seven days. Then you expect it to last, and become astonished and angry when it does not. "We never ran out of anything before!". Of course we didn't. Because when I noticed on Tuesday we were running low on milk, I got more when I was out for stamps. And while I was making a Costco run for toilet paper and cheese, I bought bread and fabric softener because we were almost out. I did this while working more than 40 hours per week, dealing with DD, and taking care of the rest of the house. It wasn't a big deal and required no advance planning or logistic diagrams. While I was out doing something else, I tacked on the other tasks. DH is not so great at that. If I ask him to stop and get something on the way home from work, his entire day becomes geared towards that task. It's like, dude, it's just milk on the way home from work. Chill baby. Oh. So back to the cereal. I decide to try a bowl of the sugary cereal for lunch, to give me enough energy to at least start what I need to do. Only it kind of backfired. No extra energy, just a sore stomach, the jitters, and now we are out of milk again. I wonder if I can get DH to stop on the way home from work......

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hurt feelings and cute craft

I happened to see a link somewhere for instructions on making tiny boxes out of old christmas cards. I would love to give credit where credit is due, but I simply cannot remember where I saw that link. I thought it was at the KT, but I did a search and it must be under an odd name because nothing remotely familiar comes up when I enter certain key words I would expect to find it under. So if you know the link, please pipe up! I really like how there is no waste, you use the whole card and there are no cut out pieces or scraps. I hate throwing out our christmas cards every year because it seems like such a waste of such beauty. But really, I don't need several totes full of old cards. I thought maybe this year DD and I could make ornaments or something, then I saw the link for the boxes. Perfect for little treats or small gifts. And as a bonus, they are fun and addicting to make. Here is a link to instructions and a demonstration I found after doing a google search: http://www.pedagonet.com/blog/2006/12/mini-christmas-card-box.html I have to warn you though, it IS addicting. I found myself, after completing one entire batch of old cards (enough for a treat box for each child in DD's class, Brownie troupe, all the cousins, and a few extra) eyeing the cards I have received THIS year. I came to my senses just in time, however. They make such cute little boxes, and it is so easy to do. All you need is the card, a ruler and pencil, a pair of scissors, and some tape. You could glue them instead, which I think would be prettier, but let's face it. Does the instant gratification queen have time to let glue dry? I don't think so. Besides, in this house glue is next to impossible to find. Oh, we HAVE glue. I am sure of it. Thousands of bottles. Special glue, too. Some especially for paper. Some meant just for foam. I have tacky jem glue, elmer's glue, gorilla wood glue, glass glue, and some silicon stuff that will hold just about anything on a bowling ball. Two part expoxy glue, super crazy glue, hodge podge, that odd golden glue that comes in the bottle with the rubber nipple, some thin clear glue in tubes with a felt applicator, sparkle glue, and of course rubber cement. I can never find any of it. It must be hiding with the many rolls of tape, spools of sewing thread, and all the nail clippers I have ever bought. If I ever find that spot, I am never leaving it. Anyhow, DD and I were happily twittering away and folding cards to make little boxes, making little exclamations of wonder and surprise when a card design had a particularly lucky placement and came out perfectly centered on the box. Yes, we are easy to amuse, but we weren't bothering anybody. My chores and her homework were done, and what harm were we causing? Then comes in DH. "What are those?". Boxes made from christmas cards. "Why?". He had such a snide look on his face when he said it. "because they are cute and fun to make, and uses up old christmas cards instead of throwing them away. I think we might use these to hold the different candies in the cookie boxes". I figured we could package each kind of truffle separately, and the little boxes would look really festive in there. "Don't make any for the people in my family. They would freak out if they knew you were cutting up their cards". WHAT?!?!? "You are supposed to just keep them forever". Then he went on to give suggestions about the folding, and not using certain cards because the design wouldn't be perfectly centered blah blah blah. I asked him what his problem has been lately. He has been really critical of everything DD or I have done. He has made comments on my knitting, some pieces I was painting, some baking we did for a senior's group, and now these boxes. I said I know that the idea of making something for somebody for no real reason or reward is a hard concept for him to imagine, but some of us actually LIKE doing things like this. And when he comes in and acts like what we are doing is stupid and useless, it hurts feelings. So from now on if he doesn't have anything nice to say, he should just keep quiet. And as for the cards sent from his family? Fine. I won't use them. But HE can keep them. Otherwise I will toss them every year. If they aren't being sent for my enjoyment then I don't want them at all. But back to the boxes, I have a good idea for the ones I got THIS year to use NEXT year. I want to make enough boxes to make one of those christmas calendars, with a little treat inside every box. I can go to the bulk food store next year and get some different little candies and things to go inside. Maybe some fun rings or pony holders for DD, things like that. I think it will be fun. Maybe I can even hang them from a ribbon or garland strung across the mantle or down the bannister so they can do double duty as decoration. We will see next year.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

For those who love those who knit

Or really, for those people who love somebody that does ANYTHING - craft, knit, sew, crochet, bake, scrapbook - anything creative. I have some sage advice for you. There comes a time each year when a person who DOES something decides to use that skill to create gifts. This is usually around Christmas, but we have been known to try and create presents for other celebrations (such as birthdays, baby showers, and so on). What better to share with friends and family than the fruits of our labour? How appropriate to give the gift of time and attention, something made just for them requiring more effort than trudging to the mall and picking up the first thing that is on sale and comes with batteries included? While we love our craft, there are still times when under a time pressure (I mean come on, we know what day christmas is on and it comes every year. But why does it insist on sneaking up on me every year?) we might act like we are not having fun. That is all part of the process, my dear, and nothing to worry about. Just ignore the swearing, the hair pulling, and the accusations that somebody has been messing around with the calendar trying to confuse us. It will all turn out in the end. And if not? There is always the mall. Anyhow, and more to the point. If your loved one is, say, knitting a pair of gloves. And said gloves were being knitted in expensive hand painted yarn that is a zillion stitches to the inch and finer than a cobweb. And just say that there have been several very fiddly parts to the pattern but the knitter is absolutely thrilled with them so far and is seriously thinking of keeping those gloves herself since the last thing she produced with so much labour is eight years old and dresses herself. This is not the time to share with your loved one that you don't like the colour, ask if that puckering around the wrist is normal, and remind her that one can buy a perfectly nice pair of gloves for 99 cents at the dollar store. When she puts the gloves away for a bit and starts working on a stole, do NOT refer to the lace edging that nearly caused blindness as "that raggedy part" nor insinuate that if you stopped now you could call it a doily and save yourself some work. See those pointy sticks she is using? One quick jab and you are wearing an eye patch, Bucko. Now. Take a deep breath, and put a big smile on your face and repeat after me: "What a lovely pair of gloves. They look nicer than anything I have seen in any store. Any person would be lucky to be the recipient of such a pair of gloves. Your knitting skill astounds me". "Is that a (gasp!) LACE stole? How gorgeous. I hear they are all the rage this year. And that edging? Marvelous. How ever do you do it?" Was that so hard? And you still have both your eyes. You will thank me later!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Oh, the weather outside is frightful

And we don't have a fireplace, so I my delightfuls are fricken' freezing LOL. We had snow, then rain, then sleet, and now the wind is so cold and bitter it takes your breath away. Don't get me wrong, I generally like winter and don't mind cold weather as a rule. But some times, it just cuts through me like a knife and I spend a few days freezing and grumbling. Ruby, however, and found a renewed interest in being outside. The dog who normally has to be coaxed onto the grass when it is wet has been snurfling around the yard at her own pace, even in the rain and blowing snow. DH asked how come she seems to like the cold weather so much. My answer? Being a walrus, she is insulated against the cold, and probably feels comfortable the most when it is cold and snowy ROFL. She also likes to do things like chase snowflakes and bark at things blowing by in the wind, and dig in the wet leaves (before peeing on them, of course). When there is snow on the ground, she runs around in wild circles, and will chase and bite at the clumps kicked up by her own feet. Give her an immaculately smooth field of new white snow, and she will have trampled every inch of it in a matter of minutes. What doesn't have a paw print will have snurfle marks, or butt prints. DD as well can spend hours in the snow. Well, at least as long as I can keep her in supply of dry mittens and gloves. Dh complains at the items that rain down on his head whenever he touches the closet shelf. But she can run through those in a day here. Our snow tends to be of the wet variety. And we only get a few good days of "playing" snow so you have to take it when you can get it. Christmas has finally arrived here. Yes, I know, already LOL. Our tree is up and decorated, the lights are up outside. I still have the rest of the house decorations to go. I hope to finish those tonight. Maybe we will bake a small batch of sugar type cookies so the house will smell nice too. But for now? I need to take a nap with the christmas tree on. My favourite thing. I think I must be part cat.

Friday, November 30, 2007

It's Karaoke Friday!

DD has been bugging us forever to do karaoke, but DH had it all hooked through his mixing board and amp and it wasn't working for us. So today he unconnected and reconnected everything so that she can use it. She is a bit miffed that he disconnected the PROFESSIONAL mic and plugged in the one that came with the system. He insists that mic is just too expensive to "play around with". After shouting my lungs out for three songs (my swollen, sore, STREP throat) I chased him out the door and made him come back and set up the GOOD microphone. I don't care if he is late for work. DD won't sing if she can't hear herself and I just am in no shape to do the singing for her. For the members of the KT that are part of the card exchange, I just want you to know that this year, my cards are the biggest pains in the butts ever. This is my excuse for not having mailed them yet. I bought card blanks thinking they would look nice and save some time - seeing as I wouldn't have to fold each one in four blah blah blah. Yeah. Well, it seems that even though I made sure they were compatible with the graphics program I used, they aren't exactly user friendly. I had to divide the pages of the card into separate files and print them one side at a time ONE BY ONE. It is taking forever and a day. Did I mention that I have to reset the paper guides EACH AND EVERY time I put in a new card or flip sides? The sheer repetitiveness is making me want to lie on the floor and let the cats eat my eyeballs. Just make sure that you hold onto these buggers for at least a day before using them to light the yule log, 'kay? DD and I were supposed to go visiting tonight but that is a bust. So I think I might set up a craft for us to do later. Once the cards are done, I will print small treat box templates onto card stock. Then we will colour them with christmas themes. Afterwards I will cut out the boxes, number them, put a small treat in each one and pile them. I haven't decided if I will do 25, or the entire month of December with bigger treats for Christmas and New Year's Eve, or maybe just 12 and theme the treats for the 12 days of christmas song. So many decisions. She is home today because it is a P.D. day (professional development) at her school. So far we have done such fun things as shredded old bills, sorted millions of tiny toys and toy parts, cut mats off the cat's butt, and woo-wooed at the hamster. Karaoke Christmas is the highlight of the poor child's day. Then she gets to watch glue dry (the little boxes). Tee hee! DD is singing "Do you see what I see?" right now, and darned if she isn't right on key and doing the best rendition I have heard in a long time. She good a good damn set of pipes from her Dad and a good ear for music notes from me. We just might have the next "Hannah Montanna" on our hands here, folks. I gotta go. I have cards to turn and paper guides to set and boxes to glue.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

One of those dinners that works out

Tonight was one of those dinners that was so simple to make, yet so good we were practically licking the plates. I peeled and sliced enough potatoes to cover the bottom of my wide roasting pan in a single layer (drizzle the bottom lightly with olive oil first). Seasoned these with salt and pepper, onion powder, and a shake of paprika. Put in a few curls of butter (I used a veggie peeler). Then I seasoned thick pork chops with salt and pepper, garlic and onion powders, paprika, and some marjoram (although I think I might have preferred sage, rosemary, or thyme). Browned them in a skilled and arranged over the potatoes. A splash of wine to deglaze the pan and 1/2 cup of water, reduced a bit and drizzled over the potatoes and chops. Shove into a 400 degree F oven for 30 minutes and check. I cooked for an additional 5 but I think I could have gone up to another 15 altogether to brown the potatoes even more, but I was afraid to dry out the pork. Take out of the oven and cover with foil (I placed two sheet pans side by side over the top instead) and let rest for 5-10 minutes. The potatoes were crispy on the edges and savory and lovely, and the chops were good and tender, if a bit fatty. These were from the grocery store. I prefer chops from Costco overall for their tenderness and quality and from now on will take care to get them there. But all in all it was a lip-smacking meal that fit the bill on a cold and rainy day. I paired mine with a slaw I threw together. 1/2 a small golden delicious apple (leave the peel on and slice into thin planks, then again into thin sticks), 4 or 5 frozen cranberries sliced paper thin, a small wedge of savoy cabbage cut thinly, 1/4 of a red pepper sliced into paper thin strips, and two baby carrots also cut into thin shreds. The idea was to get pieces roughly the size of shreds, but getting a better texture by NOT grating them. I have a mandoline slicer that will julienne, but I wanted shreds even finer than that. I splashed on just a touch of champagne vinegar (although next time I would use rice vinegar for the sweetness instead), and a touch of salt and pepper. I like my slaws pretty peppery usually, but this time I use a very slight hand because of the apple. Stir well, and chill. Now, I didn't think I would like this because I didn't think I would like the sweet apple in there. But it really wasn't sweet and added such a juicy crispiness. The cranberries added a nice rosey colour and the texture was nice in there - raw ones would not have been as nice. For a sweeter finish I think one might be able to get away with stirring in a tiny spoon of leftover cranberry sauce instead, but I liked the paper thin slices. This all made a scant cup, more than enough for just little old me. Increase as necessary to get as much as you need. It is not a mistake that there is no oil in there. I am not ready to fathom the idea of oil with raw apple. And I don't think the taste or texture suffered for it. Other than make dinner, I did a whole bunch of nothing today. My hip and knee and ankle were aching like you would not believe, and all the muscles down that side were cramping and twinging and in general making me miserable. We are talking pacing and desparately rubbing the affected areas miserable. I can only assume it is a mixture of the cold, rain, and PMS. Dh said that last night I was throwing heat while I was sleeping. It was like sleeping next to a space heater, he said. This is not normal from me at ALL. While I may often think I am about to spontaneously combust, when you touch me my skin always feels cool. Even Ruby decided it was too hot to lay along my back under the covers and retreated back to the pillow, panting and tsking and acting put out LOL. The cats however welcomed the new source of heat and did their best to suck up every BTU without outright smothering me. Although, not smothering me to death might have just been a happy accident. Oh well. At least dinner was a success!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pickle Breath

I love a good pickle. Garlicky, salty, dilly pickles. Claussen has the best crunchy pickles ever, in the refrigerated section. I could eat a jar at a sitting, which I try not to do because they are relatively expensive. So far I haven't found a bought pickle yet that compares. Most are too tart for my liking. I just had one with my lunch (light mortadella, sliced very thin on fresh sourdough bread). And it was very very good, but now I have pickle breath LOL. I must be PMS'ing, because I have had the most intense cravings lately. My body (or perhaps my pshyche) is seeking warm, doughy, goodness in the form of sandwiches on good bread, and flatbreads dipped in hummous, and pizza. It is craving fat and sweet in the form of donuts. Not donut shop donuts, but rather the bakery style donuts that are fried a little darker and maybe are a little tougher and not perfectly shaped, but have that marvelous chocolate glaze or cinnamon sugar. It is craving fat and salt in the form of cheeses and cured meats and pickles and olives. And before ANYONE suggests it, no there is not a little Dances anywhere causing these cravings. Although DD is not above subliminal messages if it increases her chances of getting a donut ;). Do you have more than one set of bedding for your bed? I thought everybody had more than one. I have three for my bed alone, and feel like it is not enough. When one is in the wash, there is one on the bed and one in the linen closet. And let me tell you, it is nice to have the extra in case of late-night hurl fests, sudden hairball emergencies, and so forth. Right now we are on my FAVOURITE set. Not so much for the looks, but the comfortor is so soft and billowy and comfy that it is hard to get out of bed. It is the favourite of the cats and Ruby as well. You practically have to peel them off it LOL. Jasmine likes to bunch up a corner to use as a pillow, then stretch out while snuggling in so she is cradled by the puff. Xena paws around a bit to fluff it up, and rolls up into a ball and settles into it like a nest. Ruby spent the night last night UNDER the covers, snuggly nestled along the small of my back or the crook of my knees depending on how I was laying (I am like a circus act when I sleep. All over the place). It is so funny, I bought one of those new flameless candle/air fresheners. I put it in the bedroom, and had to laugh because now when the cats and the dog go in there, they sniff deeply and sigh - tee hee. Especially Ruby. I guess if I were a pug, I would want to stay in a room that smelled like cookies too. I have a floral one too, but I found it too strong for the bedroom. It is in the livingroom right now. I think I might get more of those flameless candles - votives and things, not necessarily air fresheners. I miss having candles lit. My cats - especially Xena - are not candle smart, so I cannot trust them with an open flame even SUPERVISED. She is up and has her nose in the flame or dipping a paw in the hot wax before I can even perceive she is there. Sneaky bugger. These flameless, heatless candles might be a way around that. I have so much to do. Cleaning, laundry, cooking, planning for christmas baking and holiday shopping, I want to make a big batch of perogies and some soup to freeze. Christmas cards to print, fold, sign. Whew. I better get moving!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Of Chihuahuas and Klingons

We have started a new tradition. Now, first let me make it clear. In this house we have so many creatures of habit, that if you do something ONCE, expect that it will have to be done exactly that same way and at that same time for ever and ever amen. I have moved the kleenex box six inches from it's original spot and caused a multi-level melt down. I have replaced the bathmat with the EXACT SAME bathmat (colour and everything, just newer) and sparked one of the biggest arguments DH and I ever had. Any time I do anything different - especially during an established routine - it makes husbands and kids and dogs and cats very nervous. The only one that seems to roll with the punches is Sparkle. This morning she was sleep-eating carrots while sitting on TOP of her igloo. Sparkle is a spontaneous kind of gal. We get along fine, her and I. Anyhow. The other day I suggested to DH that since I am off right now, and since most likely when I find a new job it won't be "work-from-home", that it might be time to think about getting another dog. Ruby will be so lonely, and I think a buddy to snuggle with and take naps with and stuff would be helpful to her. If we get it now I will have time to do the potty training and such necessary with a new puppy. And I happen to know somebody that has a long-haired chihuahua puppy that will be a slightly larger size and needs a good home. DH is adamant that this is a horrible, horrible idea. He does not want to add another being to this house at all. Especially not a "rat dog". During our "conversation" about it, I turned to Ruby and asked "Do you want a chihuahua for christmas?". Now, in pug-speak (which - if you listen carefully - is suspiciously similar to Klingon) apparently "you want a chihuahua for christmas" sounds a lot like "Do you want to come with us?". And Ruby got so excited to go somewhere with us that we had to take her along to drive DD to school. This morning, Ruby was staring at me intently and listening with all her concentration (as other pug owners know, concentrating is hard for a pug as they have about as much attention span as two gnats. Unless it involves a piece of dropped food where they cannot get it. Never retrieve the scrap and toss it in the garbage without making sure the pug knows it is gone. They will scratch and dig and search at that spot for the next three years trying to find that crumb). She wanted to make sure she heard me when I asked her the question again. So I obliged. "Does Ruby want a chihuahua for christmas?" which set her to rooing and snotting and prancing around and herding us towards the door. I of course found this all quite amusing. Dh is not so sure. He also does NOT find it amusing that when Ruby "speaks" to me I speak Klingon back to her. He says she is a piglet and not a Klingon, and I say how does he know that ALL piglets are not Klingons? Sensing this is an argument he cannot win, at least for that moment, he usually shakes his head and removes himself from the room. To anybody that says I amuse easily? My response: 'oH SoH chu' ?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Rice, Rice, Baby

Last night's dinner was soooooo good. Lentils, basmati rice, and browned onions. Yum. Comfort food at it's finest. When my dad found out what I was having for dinner he asked "Where is the meat?". And you know, I never even thought about that LOL! I looked down at my plate of lentils and rice, two tbsp or so of cottage cheese, and a few baby pickled beets and laughed. Looked like a balanced dinner to me. DD had cream of mushroom soup and a ham sandwich. She decided to hold off on the mac-and-cheese and hotdogs until tomorrow when she has her Brownie meeting. Good choice. It is so fricken cold out there our furnace cannot keep up. I am wearing thick work socks, and a sweater. The cats snuggle into anything that looks warm, and Ruby has been crowding my feet. She has even been carting her bear everywhere for extra warmth LOL. Frankie is all fluffed up and Sparkle is snoozing in my sweater pocket. And still, I practically had to beat DD with a stick to get her to wear a winter coat, hat, and gloves to school. Now, I know it must have been infuriating for my mother. After all, there were four of us and I only have to deal with one child. But can't DD get it into her head to just WEAR the hat and gloves to make me happy, then take them off at school and shove them into her bag like we did? Sheesh. She has SO much to learn. I am in the mood to bake. Pumpkin bread or pumpkin muffins I think. My brother has requested zucchini bread. I have the zucchini, so I guess I can make that too. I might need to get eggs. What is it about the colder weather that makes me want to bake quick breads? I have been craving chicken and dumplings, boiled dinner (stew made with meat and veggies like carrots and turnip and parnsips and the broth is left thinnish), roasted veggies, you know - harvest food. I also get the strong desire to bundle in a blanket with the animals and sip hot drinks and knit or read. But then again, I always have a strong desire to do that ;). This morning DH went to get a garbage bag and the carton they were in was wet and falling apart. The tank from our hot water tap is FUBAR and leaking. Poop. We can put it off if we have to (I do have a small kettle) but we use that tap several times a day. But right now, is it wise to drop 300.00 on a new one? Not sure about that. DD will be needing new winter boots and possibly a new coat. Christmas is coming. There are other things that need replacing soon. I need to find myself a sugar daddy ROFL. Or win the lottery. Or find a sugar daddy to buy lottery tickets for me. Or something.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Taking the bull by the foot

Poor DD. She has foot problems. She also has a thumb problem. Namely - warts. Plantars type on her feet, regular on her thumb. They were really bothering her so to the doctor's office we went. I got to hold her while she screamed hysterically as she was tortured with a frozen stick. That is one thing I could never have expected about being a parent. Sometimes you have to do things that hurt her for her own good. But it still rips your heart out, let me tell you. And the fact she probably has to go again at LEAST one more time? I might need to sedate her. Sheesh. As this was going on (it was a med student doing the torturing) the doctor took his chance and jabbed me with a flu shot. I don't know if he thought I was going to object or something, but he sure didn't want to give me the chance to run away. He stabbed me and slapped a bandaid on it before I even knew what was happening. So today I have a sore arm and a circle of skin missing where the bandaid ate into me like an acid oozing alien. Tonight I am making myself a simple dish for dinner, but one that I love. It is simply cooked rice mixed with cooked lentils and browned onions but I love that stuff. I precooked the lentils this time in a good and flavourful broth, and I really look forward to the carmelized onions. DD and DH aren't fans of the texture so I tend not to put them in things (or use powder instead) so I really enjoy them when I have them. I also made a batch of hummous, and some cream cheese spread for crackers/pita/breadsticks. Cream cheese, some herbs, garlic and onion, and some yogurt to lighten it up. Whipped until fluffy. I also like it on celery sticks. DD watched all that with interest then declared that I like disgusting food, and voted for macaroni and cheese and hotdogs for herself, please LOL. I don't know what the weather is like where you are, but it is COLD here. Cold and windy, raining, and I think it is even snowing a little. I have thick socks on and a sweater, the heat is one, and I am still cold. I think I will go find a fleece blanket and a snuggle pug and kitty or two and warm up with some hot chocolate and a magazine.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Cleaning day

Ahhhhh. Know what that is? The feeling of waking up without a job. It's the feeling of freedom from knowing that you don't have to WORK today. No deadlines, no paperwork. No emails to answer or send. Just so you know, this feeling is fleeting and generally comes right before the one of searing terror. The 'I don't have a JOB' feeling. Also called paralyzing fear, but we don't need to talk about that until it starts. First things first, house cleaning. Now, I may have worked from home, but that didn't mean I got housework done or was caught up on laundry. Very contrary to that actually. I spent so much time on the computer working, doing research for work, finding code snippets that I might be able to use and so on that I spent most of my time here in this corner of the basement. When I ventured out into the daylight, blinking and flinching at the sun, I am sure people assumed I was some sort of vampire. I suppose, with the knowledge I have of other programmers and home workers, that assessment is not that far from the truth LOL. We live our days in dark corners of the house, huddled in front of a tiny LCD screen, sucking in as much electronic info as we can as quickly as possible. Sounds vampirish to me! My house is cluttered, messy, and dirty at this point. Dust, cat and dog hair, wrappers, discarded bits. Stuff that hasn't been put away or things that just don't have a home. Things we don't use anymore and things we want to start using but haven't. Feathers - not from the canary but rather from the feather boas that seemed like a good idea at the time but are picky and itchy and shed fluffies everytime they are even looked at. This place is a health hazard! But still, I have to be careful not to overdo it. One intense day of cleaning and scrubbing leads to three days on my back unable to move or do anything. This gives dogs, cats, children, and husbands free range of the house. And they quickly undo anything I was able to complete. No, this time I will work slow and steady to win the race. Today I decluttered the living room and cleaned the glass of the screen door. DH actually cleaned the kitchen counter (including doing dishes, loading the dishwasher, and SCRUBBING the countertop. That part alone was almost enough to make me cry tears of joy). He also put away the golf clubs we have been tripping over for four months and moved cases of beer and water out of the kitchen into the basement where they belong. Tonight? Going through the drawers in the bathroom and de-junking because we can hardly close them any more. I never take anything OUT of those drawers, we just keep jamming stuff IN lol. For the last few days, all I have wanted to eat was whole grain toast and raw veggies. Even carrots, which are not my favourite when raw. Soup is okay, but just not in the mood to eat the typical meat and potatoes meal. I go through these phases a few times per year and I have learned over the years to just go with it. If my body wants celery sticks and baby carrots, why not go ahead and give it what it wants? At least it isn't asking for jelly donuts and mochachinos. Just in case you were wondering, eating more raw veggies than you normally do, has a ...ahem...cleaning effect of it's own. So if you excuse me, my body is giving me the signal that it needs to 'declutter' again.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Trick or Treat!

We had about 100 kids last night, give or take a few. Tombstones and pumpkins only this year. It was very windy, though I managed to keep all but one pumpkin lit most of the night. We had the scary music on and the smoke machine. It was kind of puny as far as setup goes. But the breeze was actually working for us. Here we were worried our tombstones looked hokey because they were being blown around. Turns out, after it got dark the way they were moving it almost looked like they were automated and were supposed to be moving (like whoever was burried was waking up). We had people ask how we did that - tee hee!
We made treats for DD's classroom. They didn't dress up, but rather had "black and orange" day. We made "spiders" which are basically blobs of halloween smarties mixed with melted chocolate chips spooned into a milk chocolate wafer base (the big thin wafers, not the melting wafer thingies). Then you poke in some licorice for legs, add eyes, and we sprinkled on some black and orange sugar so they are tarantulas LOL. Messy to make, but I think they are kind of cute. The stick is a candy shisk-kabob. Halloween gummies and treats skewered on a stick. After making those I was so sticky I could hardly stand myself. Each child in her class got a stick and a spider in a cellophane bag. I sent a few extras so she could give them to teachers too.








DD was a "Bad Spirit" cheerleader. Think High School Musical gone goth ROFL.
And wouldn't you know it, Ruby wanted to be a cheerleader too! She was so excited, it was impossible to get a good picture of her. I know a lot of people don't believe this, but a lot of pugs don't mind wearing costumes at all. In fact, most seem to like it. It is hats and hoods and things they usually object to. As long as I don't make her wear a hat or something on her paws, Ruby loves to wear dresses. Other than chasing two teenage boys in scream costumes right out of the yard, she was very good all night. When I saw kids coming up I would say "Up up Ruby" and she would come up on the porch and stand next to me while I handed out candy. And she let all the kids pet her. Later in the evening she got cold so sat on my lap while I handed out the candy. It was so funny, when the kids would open their candy bags in front of me waiting for their hand-out, sometimes Ruby would peer inside. As if to say "So, what kind of treats did you bring me?". We only had one child this year refuse to walk up to the porch. And she was afraid of the DOG. I said "but that is not a dog. That is a CHEERLEADER" but she was not fooled.

We had our last trick-or-treaters around 8:30 so we tore down. Just enough time to come inside and warm up, finish off homework and go to bed. Well for DD anyway. I did not wear my hat. It seems in storage it got damaged and the wires broke, and now it is all floppy and looks silly. Oh well. It was good while it lasted. And gives me a good excuse to get a new, better one ;).

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Holy crap it's been a while!

It seems like forever since I have blogged. Pardon that. I am in a period of transition, as they say. As for the halloween costumes? Plans have changed LOL. The original dress we bought DD did not fit after all (it was sewn wrong, like the sleeves were stuck on at the wrong place or something). So we had to look for something else. She chose a "Bad Spirit Girl" - basically a goth cheerleader LOL. It has a black and white skirt and a black shirt with skull and cross bones, striped arm bands, leg covers, and a black pompom that ingeniously fits over her fingers like a ring. Much easier than having to hold a prop. She will wear dark make-up and have "bratz" hair. Think messy pony tails and wisps. The green wig is now just a play wig and the boas are just dress-up material. I wore mine already to a trick-or-treat day at a nursing home and DAMN. Those things are picky and itchy. Why didn't anybody tell me they were picky and itchy? So I guess that answers the question as to why more people don't walk around wearing boas! She won't be dressing up for school. They don't do halloween in schools here any more. Nope. Just "black and orange" day. I won't even get into it here. Since her costume looks just like a regular outfit I have seen in stores (minus the pom poms of course) I would let her wear it without the make-up but she isn't allowed to wear skulls and cross bones either on ANY day. Much stricter dress policy at this new school. That's okay, she has already worn it three times and of course will have it on trick or treating. We'll be lucky if it doesn't fall apart halfway down the block rofl. We are giving out mini chocolate bars, starburst/skittle packets, and of course the ever-present caramels. Halloween isn't halloween without those little Kraft caramels. You know what I miss? Those molasses flavoured kisses. Sometimes they had peanut butter in the middle. I loved those things. They were wrapped in waxed paper printed with halloween characters. DD might get one or two (somebody else around here must be nostalgic as well LOL) but we used to get a LOT of those. And peanuts in the shell, and caramels. Oh, and those little tiny pumpkin gums. If I see eyeball gum I will get those too. I love to give out eyeballs on halloween. We also used to get what I think were called "bb bats" or something like that. They were flat rectangles of taffy on a stick. The strawberry were my absolute favourite, but the chocolate were good too. I am sure there were other flavours as well but those are the ones that stick in my mind. I must be craving sugar! All I can think about lately is candy. Not chocolate, just candy. But I know if I eat any I will get a stomach ache. The universe is trying to trick me again. Many of our decorations fell apart last year. Wolfman's head crumbled (it had been made of plaster and newspaper paper mache with a latex wolf man disguise kit and wig added). Frankensteins foam head finally ripped to the point we can't attach it to the body any more. The witches heads are fine but their hats and clothes are toast and their chicken wire bodies bit the dust. Our coffin made from cardboard disintegrated as well. We still have the tombstones and a few odd pieces. And of course we will be carving pumpkins. 13 to be exact. I might try to do something interesting with the witch heads themselves. We'll see. Ruby is going to be a cheerleader this year. I finked out and bought her costume. It is a little small. It's supposed to be a dress, but it only fits across her back like a jacket. Which is fine, really. You can't really tell by looking at it that there is a problem. Of course, there will be pictures galore! Don't worry about that. Now. Off to do something about a few heads.....

Friday, October 19, 2007

Everbody should wear a boa

We found a costume for DD last night. We weren't there for one, in fact we were picking up jogging pants. But she liked it and that is all that counts. It is a blue dress with a hoop skirt and a few ribbon roses on it. She also got a green wig, and a pink feather boa. She is a queen, or princess, or something. Well, whatever she is she is going to look fabulous, darling! ROFL. DD no longer asks what I will wear on halloween. I am always a witch. Always. I have not even been tempted to be something else for years and years. Other notable costumes were Diana from V (from the scene where her craft gets hit and she has fake skin hanging and lizard skin showing and one yellow eye. Those effect contact lenses HURT), Marilyn Monroe (complete with decomp, I mean she has been dead a long time), and I am sure I was a black cat a few times as a child (my mom could make a mean tail from black pantyhose). Other than that? A witch. And considering that I have a beautiful witches hat that cost a lot of money, I don't see that changing much. A black outfit, the hat, sometimes I wear outrageous striped long socks. Sometimes I do evil make-up (green face anyone?). Sometimes I do what we call "model make-up". It all depends on my mood. Well, this year I have an addition! I could not resist it. A green and black fluffy feather boa. My family says it looks very nice on me. Now, considering how dramatic I am it is a wonder I don't already own a collection of various boas, doesn't it? They certainly do bring out the inner diva. But I have to confess, that hard part in the middle where the feathers are tied into the rope makes me gag. It reminds me of the thick hide under a fur pelt. That is the reason I hate fur and fur items, believe it or not. Now don't get me wrong. I don't believe in raising animals for the sake of their fur (and I don't believe there is ANY humane way of killing something even if we are going to eat it) unless it is a matter of survival. But I do eat meat. And I am not so much against using ALL the parts of the animal, including the hides. It seems more respectful that way in my mind. I do believe we are meant to be hunters and gatherers and we were supposed to use the hides and the bones etc. Waste not, want not. But that feeling of the hide under the fur makes me want to heave. It all stems from an encounter with dead puppies in a sack, which we will not delve into at this moment, but suffice it to say that they were quite dead and stiff as boards, and that is what their skin felt like under their soft fur. Trauma trauma trauma. Barf. ANYHOW. I think this will add a nice theatrical touch to my costume. DH is dressing up as what he normally dresses up as (unless I make him do something else). "Some guy". Tee hee! I haven't decided what Ruby will be this year. If only she could choose her own costume like DD ;). I was thinking I might make a black skirt with ragged edges and snip a bit off my boa for a collar, and we can match. I won't be able to keep a witch hat on her though. Maybe a headband? We'll have to see. Now if you will excuse me, I have some work to finish then I will spend my lunch packing DD's thinks - she is going camping this weekend. DH and I are going out to dinner at the art gallery, but I don't know if we will go tonight or tomorrow. Today is our anniversary, but it might be too late for that sort of thing once we get back from dropping her off. Plus DH has to work tomorrow and I plan on getting some more computer work done. Sigh, fitting in culture is SUCH hard work. Perhaps I will wear my boa to dinner.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Rain rain go away

My hip is killing me. Every time I stand up I get muscle spasms down the right side of my body and I feel like I am all crooked. It started after I got back from my last trip, and I thought it was from getting in and out of the Caliber. The height was fine, but the bucket seats were kind of form fitting and there was a good distance between the edge of the seat and the doorway. I had to sort of heave myself over the higher edge of the seat and stretch my leg way out so I could slide down and place it on the ground (avoiding that middle doorway area completely). To get back in, it involved stretching my other leg way over then making a jump for it, hoping I wouldn't get a car-seat-edge up the kaboodle. Getting in was more physically demanding. And though the seat was adjusted perfectly, I would bump my knee each and every time on this odd bump-out in the dashboard under the steering wheel. I think I started doing an odd thing with my leg as I was hurling myself into the vehicle to try and avoid that and over-stretched something. Or it could have just been the combo of the long drive two days in a row and the fact that it rained right after. Damp weather does me in. It has been a week and it is still bothering me. Today it is raining and it is that much worse. The heated rice pack works wonders while it is on, but as soon as it cools off and I try to stand, whammo. I have too much work to do to take any pain meds (which always make me sleep) and muscle relaxants make me loopy AND sleepy plus the added benefit of turning me into the meanest person alive the next day. I have NO idea why, but it is a fact. I guess I will just keep reheating the rice pad, but I am in danger of cooking my innards at this point. I think I know what a slow roasted joint of beef feels like. *Did I just call myself a cow?* Last night was DH's birthday. And I felt bad, but he had to make dinner for us all because I couldn't stand to stand, as they say. He made fettucini alfredo, and those two had "seafood medley" on top and I had some reheated veggies with mine. It was pretty darn tasty too. However, I did find a lonely and disembodied squid tentacle in the kitchen sink drain this morning. Must have escaped the colander, but it kind of looked like something was coming UP from the pipes *shudder*. I got him 36 dollars worth of lottery tickets LOL (mostly scratch tickets). He was thrilled. I haven't seen him smile like that in a long time. Simple pleasures, eh? He had a fun time scratching them too. Kept him busy for a while anyway. Then he went and browsed at Best Buy for movies. I know it sounds low-key and boring for a birthday, but this was a perfect date with him at this point LOL. Our anniversary is tomorrow and DD is going on a camping trip for the weekend so we plan on going to the art gallery and for dinner Friday (if we get back soon enough from dropping her off) or Saturday. Other than that I have a lot of work to do to finish up the last few things for my last day next week. I think I will be spending a lot of time on the computer this week-end. But then again, what else is new? Off to reheat the rice pad again.........

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Searching for the key

I believe that the universe gives us important messages. These messages are advice, in a way. Things to do or changes to make or activities to avoid if we know what is good for us. Ignore these messages and be smote. That is not to say that I always realize what is going on or instantly take these hints. Of course not. That would be too easy. And less blogworthy, yes? The recent messages are kind of obscure. I know they have to do with good clothes and splattery substances, but I am not yet sure of the full meaning. Should I stop wearing my good clothes, or avoid any possible substance that might splatter, stain, drip, splash, slop, or plop? Hard to say since the two seem to be intertwined at the moment. First Case in point: Dinner meeting. White blouse that cost a mortgage payment in another life when I spent mortgage equivalent money on white blouses. This piece is a holdover that has timeless styling and thus is always in fashion. Plus a magical cut that always seems to fit no matter how big or small I get. The magical hanky of expensive white blouses, if you will. I wear this blouse when it REALLY matters. Or I should say WORE. How on earth I got a splotch of burgundy sauce on MY blouse when the sauce was not even part of MY dinner I will never understand. And I didn't even notice until I got home and my darling husband asked me who shot me during dinner. Ugh. I practically ran to the cleaners and they did all they could. Think the clothing equivalent of shock carts and CPR. But all the chest pounding and fabric scrubbing and liquid chemicals could do nothing to save it. Almost forgivable, it could have been if I had gotten the job. I chalked it up to bad luck. Second case in point: Lunch with the boss last week. Thank goodness I was wearing a black blouse, but the meal was chinese and each forkful managed to land on my "shelf". Having a manager point to your chest several times to indicate how messy you really eat is a bit humbling. I was starting to worry a bit at that point. Third case in point: Darling piece of angel food cake daughter is painting at the table. She shows me her picture, I ooh and aah appropriately as I put the final touches in dinner. I wash my hands, wipe them on the towel, and continue on. Suddenly I realize my hands feel a bit sticky. They are covered in a pewter gray mess. And it is all over my favourite silk shell (which granted I should have changed out of before starting dinner but still), my dress pants, and the towel I used to wipe my hands. My daughter heard me exclaim, saw the mess, and disappeared like a cartoon cat. She had spilled the paint and used the towel to wipe it up, then hung it back on the stove like nothing happened. Which is a hoot because every other single time she has used a towel she drops it on the floor, never hangs it back up. Between her doing that, Ruby pulling them down to show discontent, and DH knocking them off a large portion of my exercise routine is the rigamarole I have to go through to bend down, pick up the towels, and hang them back up again. When they make towel hanging an olympic event I am SO there. Once again, my cleaner sends his condolences to both pants and top. Fourth case in point (are you starting to see a trend now?): Last night eating crackers and cheese while watching "Top Chef" I decided to try a tube of olive paste that was part of a gift basket a while back. It was a very good addition to my nibblies, except the texture was not as smooth as I expected. The nozzle clogged. I did the worst thing you could possible do - I squeezed harder. SPLAT! The box of crackers, the table, me, the couch pillow, the dog, my pants, my top, absolutely covered in splatters of BLACK OILY olive paste. I was so shocked all I could do was laugh my arse off in shock. Ruby tasted a bit to see if it might be a good idea to clean it for me, but it seems she is not into olive paste. She emitted a very snoopy like "bleah" and moved to a cleaner location. Last case (for the moment): Had an appointment today and by the time I got home I was so hungry I was shaking. Searching for something to give me a quick punch of sugar, I grabbed the pomegranite. I opened it pretty hastily, and of course splattered my top in the process but on the upside it worked every bit as well as orange juice to stop the shakes. Better, I think even. Bah! I exclaimed as I tossed another good shirt into a water soak, hopefully it works (I have had some success with it in the past). A few hours later, wearing a simple t-shirt I ran to get a few things (dog food, lottery tickets for DH's birthday, picked up rain boots for DD we are borrowing for a camping trip). Now, I noticed I was getting odd looks. But I figured it was because it was overcast and I was wearing my sunglasses. I spent most of my day in the basement, natural light seems very bright to my sensitive vampire eyes so if it is daylight I usually need my shades. After I got home and unpacked I decided to put my hair up in a pony tail (some days I have too much hair. Which is odd because I have, like, none - it is so thin and fine). One look in the mirror and I hit the floor laughing. My entire face was covered in red freckles. No, not freckles really. It looked like blood spatter. No wonder everybody gave me the eye, I look like a murder suspect. Now, I haven't included the more trivial episodes. The coffee drips. The pug wiping her face on my shirt. The daughter wiping her hands on my pants (I swear my gravestone will read "I am not a napkin" along with "Be Careful" and "Why don't you TRY to pee before we go?"), the cat coughing up a hairball on my lap, and more. So. What message can the universe be trying to convey? If I don't figure it out soon I may run out of clothes.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Of rental cars and things

Lately when I travel for work it involves a four hour drive each way. I usually rent a car, since I am not convinced mine would make the distance at highway speeds. The last time I drove it 100km per hour a bolt flew off and broke somebody's windshield. I don't wish to repeat such a feat while on the 401 sandwiched by trucks. I have had some doozies, and some really nice ones. I have discovered I hate Uplander mini-vans, and I really really really enjoy satellite/XM radio LOL. Let me tell you, that drive is almost impossible unless you have it (or a kick ass collection of CD's. Which I don't have.) This time I got a really cool looking car (a Dodge Caliber) that is almost brand spanking new (no dented mini-vans - yay!). With. No. Satellite. Radio. I was so desperate that by the time I got here I was listening to a debate on the new referendem vote in French. What is worse? Listening to a Canadian political debate? The fact that the vote is actually over already and the matter has been decided? Or that it was in a language I only half understand? I forgot to pack my ipod (not that I even know where it is since DD snitched it immediately after the last charging) and the car looks like it has an inlet jack. I might have to try and burn my play list onto a CD in time for the drive back lest my eyes roll back in my head. I could be wrong, but driving with one's eyes rolled back doesn't sound safe. You know that game, where you give two situations and ask "Which would you do" or "which is better or worse"? Usually the two situations are equally heinous, only in a different way. Like, would you rather freeze to death or burn to death? Drown in water or suffocate dryly. Is dryly even a word? It doesn't matter, I think you get the picture. Here is MY game. Pick the better car rental. Would you rather a brand new car that smells nice but has nothing to listen to for a 4 hour drive all by yourself - or a dented Uplander mini-van that handles like crap and smells like crotch (and not even your OWN crotch) BUT has XM radio? At this very moment, just stretching after that four hour drive 'en francais', I don't know which one I would pick. Pray for me.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Gobble gobble gobble

Well, Canadian Thanksgiving is over. We had turkey and duck and all the acoutrements expected. My mother and grandmother made "grandma's cabbage rolls" and even DH had several. That right there tells you how good they are, when a vehement veggie hater will eat them cabbage and all. We had a good long week-end. Saturday I cleaned out the fridge. I mean "disassembled the parts and wiped everything with bleach" cleaned. It is so bright and shiny it felt a shame to put anything back into it. I keep forcing people to look in there, I am so proud. The Fedex guy gave me an odd look and refused to come in and see. No manners at all. Now, this might have been the only REAL accomplishment, but getting anything done at all on a long week-end qualifies for quadruple points. Right? I am being brave tonight. I am trying squash. It is a "sweet potato" squash. It has been cleaned, peeled, cut into cubes and is at the moment being roasted with gourmet baby potatoes, brussel sprouts, and onions. My whole life I have loved the smell and look of the stuff, but I just cannot eat it. Is it the stringiness? Maybe. I have successfully eaten butternut squash in SAVORY operations. I think it is the sweetness that turns me off, when people cover it with sugar and cinnamon. Blech. I used to hate sweet potatoes too, until I tried them tossed with butter and cajun seasoning (parcooked) and grilled. Oh my goodness, they were good. Since then I have had them baked and seasoned with salt and pepper, also very good. It was the goopy "candied mess" that I objected to all along. I have told myself that it is silly to be afraid to try something again. My eyes may water and my throat might close up, but I am going to eat those little golden cubes if it kills me. I used to be afraid to try avocados. Scairt to the core, actually. But I finally did it, and was pleasantly surprised and now I really like them (although I don't get them often). Another surprise was brussel sprouts, as they had been my nemesis most of my childhood. I would sit for hours staring a brussel sprout in the face. I would have rathered sleep sitting up in the kitchen than dare die the horrible death sure due to me if I ate that diabolical thing. Now that I am older, I can appreciate their horribleness. Especially tossed with olive oil and butter and seasonings and roasted. Look like hell, taste like heaven. My daughter (the piece of angel food cake that she is) is insisting that I am a horrible abusive mother because I didn't even start cooking dinner until 4 pm and the pork roast is not done and it is after five and almost SIX and she is starving and this is just not fair. Forget the seven hundred snacks she has had since she got home. I tried explaining that when I get my new job, we will be eating later because my schedule will change for sure, and I am just getting her used to that. Most likely I won't be able to work from home, I mean let's be real. And if I get the job of the calibre I want, we are talking high intensity minimum fifty hours per week. Dinner, henceforth, is at six. She is not happy. Dh does not like that idea either, but the other option is that he cooks dinner for two weeks straight (rotating shifts). He doesn't like that idea either. There is no pleasing some people. So I came to a revelation in therapy today. Please, humour me. I think maybe I didn't understand that married people were supposed to be happy and get along and WANT to be with each other. My grandparents had issues in their marriage (on all sides). My parents, my siblings, I didn't really have a "good" marriage to use as a model. In fact, as it turns out, the few "good" marriages I knew were actually horribly flawed. And not behind closed doors, but right there out in the open. Simply being married for a long time and not having killed each other, it turns out, is NOT the only marriage goal. Who knew? Insisting that others make you happy is not right. Trying to make yourself be happy even when everything is wrong is not right either. Sometimes "making it work" is not the right goal. I have been spending some quiet time, thinking about myself. Delving into that scary place in my mind, my true self. Not the self that bakes cute cookies for DD's class at school, or donates canned goods, or brings my share to the family holiday meal. The real me. The me that knows I might as well pipe the words "please like me, please think I am a good person" on those cookies. The me that says if I do good things than the world will see that I am a good person even though I don't feel like I deserve to be thought of that way. The me that brings as much as I can and contributes whatever I can even thought it might over-extend me, in the hopes that I can appease the karma gods with the sacrifice and make things - for ONCE - turn out nicely for EVERYBODY. Not just me. Every body. The me that wants to fix things so that for once I can sleep well and not feel like throwing up all the time. The cipralex and paxil and whatever help with the biological reasons for feeling these things, but I never really dealt with the true psychological issues. It is time I do. Put your seatbelt on, right about here. First of all, in practice I am a kind and loving and caring person (mostly). But am I that way because I really am that kind of person? Or am I that way because a)I want people to perceive me that way, b)I want people to like me and feel these are desirable traits that attract others, c)The part of me that is a control freak and insists on following rules simply won't let me break those laws and mores that I perceive all "good citizens" should live by. Am I a nice person because I am, or because I won't allow myself to NOT be this way for various reasons. Am I even a nice person at all? I am self centered and self involved (for those of you that are new. *cough*). Do I easily forget peoples names and birthdays and important dates because I am forgetful? Scatter brained? Busy? Artistic? After all, geniuses all have their quirks. Or is it because those things don't pertain to ME, and thus my mind feels they are unimportant to retain. Sigh. I don't know. So many things came up today that I don't even know where to start or end or what. Any ideas?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Nice to have the windows open

The weather has been rainy/drizzly and cool, but yet perfect to have the windows open. A nice gentle breeze that is not too cold and not too damp blows through. The cats are enjoying it - albeit from the comfort of the feather bed atop a fluffy comforter ROFL. And Ruby too. She keeps insisting on going outside, where she sits on the step and watches the world go by. She likes to doze on the patio, but I don't like her to do that because I feel that the neighbours are walking by and wondering why a poor wittle wooby is stranded outside all alone, sad and squishy. DD and I watched some curious little birds from her bedroom window, scuttling around in the garden. Funny little things. They would hop from plant to plant, shaking a branch here and there. When they were out of sight under things you still knew where they were, if you watched for a waving flower or leaves rustling on a waving twig. I do believe they were flushing out bugs! Shaking branch by branch to get them to fly out. Very interesting. Smaller than a sparrow with a perky little tail and saffron coloured breast. We also saw a squirrel (odd around here) high-tailing it out of the garden area with a green tomato. So that explains where they all went! Then it was time for her to leave for school, so nature watch was over LOL. I am still feeling poorly, although the sinus involvement is less intense. Every joint in my body is stiff and aches. No fever or anything, which I take to be a good sign. Still sneezing like the dickens. Got out a couple of good ones, the kind that come up quickly and are quite boisterous. The better to scare the wits out of those around you ;). On the work front, I have a final FINAL last day. October 26th. With two travel dates in between. To be frank, I am glad for a bit of a rest to regroup and catch up on some personal things. The house needs a major overhaul. We need to get going on getting our passports. My car needs to be cleaned inside, badly. Like, really. As in, it smells. Not as bad as the rental van that smelled like crotch (and not even MY crotch, as I dead-panned before and shocked the heck out of a few people since I don't normally speak that way ROFL), but bad enough. The carpet in there needs shampooing and the windows are gunky on the inside. The seats need vacuuming, and why not shampoo those too? And while the car-detail guys do all that, I will sit and get some knitting done on one of the overdue projects I have going - tee hee! What, you didn't think I was going to clean the car MYSELF do you? You must be new. The aquarium needs to be cleaned, and so far I haven't found an aquarium-detailing place so I guess that one is up to me. I have a set of curtain panels to sew, and a few other home-decorating projects that I would like to do but never had the time. Wait a minute. Facing all that, maybe I can convince them to keep me longer to postpone it a while more! Eh, maybe not.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Chicken or the egg kind of thing

This morning I had a dream that I was gagging on something and spitting it out. It was sort of like mushy paper or gritty bread or something and it was filling my mouth and my throat. I woke up dry heaving. Do you think that having the gross dream triggered the gagging? Or was I gagging in my sleep and my dream sort of accomodated it? Have you ever wondered that? I know my dreams can "assimilate" things like my alarm going off into new noises that fit what is going on at the time in dreamland. Sometimes it is a siren or a person wailing, or when it is the radio alarm that song plays in the background of the dream. Like muzac in an eleveator or dressing room LOL. But did the dream conjure up the siren first then my alarm happened to go off and the two converged as I awoke? Interesting. Or maybe just interesting for us nerdy types. Last week I was in Mississauga for 3 days. My last day was a long one, and the drive back seemed like it took forever. So when I was feeling achy and tired and stuff the next day I just figured it was the effects of that and the crappy vehicle I got from the rental company this time. Just a note - I HATE Uplanders. Poor handling, bad mileage, mirrors are poorly placed, gutless yet hulking. If you have one and like it, then goodie for you. I hate them. This is the third time I've gotten one, and so I feel I can confirm that it IS the vehicle and not just chance that I feel like a truck - or a minivan at least - hit me after driving it. It is so poorly designed it makes you physically sore to drive it. Anyhoo. By the middle of the day Friday the swelling of the fire hole I called my throat forced me to realize it was not ALL the vehicles fault. Sinus cold. Ugh. I don't think the drive and the drizzly weather has helped much (and some other TMI that causes one to feel like hibernating and eating chocolate). So now I am sitting here sniffling and being a big baby about it LOL. Actually, it makes me dizzy. I hate being dizzy. Blech. No wonder I woke up dry heaving. Speaking of ears (okay, we weren't. But who cares?) Ruby's are doing well. The drops really seem to be making a difference. She hasn't used my face as an ear scratcher in the middle of the night since a day or two after starting them. No redness. No brown smelly gunk. But just a few more days of drops. I wonder how long it will last after that? I have been wiping out her nose roll at the same time. I figure, she hates having the drops put in and she hates having her nose roll cleaned, why not combine it into one large hunk of annoyance? Make her work for that cheerio LOL. And she needs it done. Talk about stinky. Phee-ewwww! Stinky cheesy nose roll face. I think I might start putting vaseline on her nose so she licks it less (maybe it will feel less dry, you know?) - that might help with the stinky pug face. Or not. So now I will work a bit more then take a break to drink some hot tea and sniffle and stuff.

Monday, September 24, 2007

DNA strikes again


Isn't it purty? That thar is an apple pie. Made from apples we picked with our very own hands. Lovingly peeled and cored and sliced (DD helped!). Mixed with lemon juice and brown sugar and cinnamon, and precooked part way so that there was no annoying gap between the crust and the apples after it was baked and cooled. Sparkly crust, tasty filling. A work of beauty.



And this? That would be the inpenetrable bottom crust. It was not just firm - we are talking you could have a bar fight with it. Forget a broken bottle, just grab a piece of my pie. The top crust was just as hard. I used a serrated knife to saw through it, and it looks no worse for the wear which is a good indication of how hard it is. Pity, because the filling was really very good and for once wasn't too runny and didn't spill out after slicing. Some of the apples were too "crunchy" for DH, but I think one of the apples I used just cooks up that way. They simmered long enough and then baked. I think it might have been the Royal Gala. I didn't find them crunchy, but they were firmer than the others.

There were comments about the crust. And even though I did my best NOT to make it tough and followed all the tips given me over the years, and even though it took two days to make because the dough had to chill overnight - supposedly to make it more tender - I did not take it to heart. For you see, it is my inescapable destiny to bake pies that are beautiful with crusts firm enough to tap dance on. It comes from my paternal grandmother I believe. My father tells stories of pie crusts that forks can be bounced upon. We all giggled, not knowing that in our very genes there rested a time bomb waiting to take one of us - and our pies - out. I do have hope however. Just recently I have tasted a pie made by the hands of said grandmother. And the crust was NOT bullet proof. In fact, it had the fortitude of a wet cracker. Surely, you say, that is not exactly an improvement. And that is true. But it still gives me hope that some day I may bake a pie and both the filling AND the pastry will be edible. Some day........

On another note, somebody please tell Xena that she is not laundry, and inform Jasmine that her food dish is NOT a pillow.






Want to see a grumpy hamster? Tee hee!

Wow, that is a lot of poop. We do clean her cage, honest. For some reason she has "reserved" a spot just beside where she sleeps to store all her poops. She has a different corner on the lower floor where she pees. Interesting. And I am NOT poking her with my finger ROFL. I am petting her and she is sleepy. Sleepy Grumpy Sparkle.

And a grumpy dog that thinks her ear drops are the Worst. Punishment. Ever. Even though she gets treats after. She won't even look at me right now. What a stinker.






Thursday, September 20, 2007

One small thing

A few weeks ago DH went to MIL's house to trim her bushes and mow the lawn. He brought DD along to visit and play with the dog. She kept asking to go home, but DH thought she was just bored and let her stay out with him collecting branches and stuff. Hey, not everybody is in the mood to visit and seeing as who they were visiting....I didn't blame her ;). That night she wanted to read in bed so had her pillows upright. I noticed the next morning she had slept that way, only sort of slumped over. Then again the next night. Even when I made sure her pillows were flat, I would go in her room in the morning to find them upright and her body slumped over. She claimed she was comfortable that way, but I had the feeling she wasn't sleeping well because no matter how early she turned it, she was still very tired the next morning. Today she is home because she is not feeling well (sniffly cold, sinus, that sort of thing but no fever). She was eating her soup and I was sitting with her going over some pages of code (looking for a deviant bracket. Don't ask). She non-challantly asked if I thought her Papa would have still died even if he hadn't gone to lie down. I said of course honey. He would have died even if he was standing up. Why? She said "no reason". Then it hit me. I asked her if she was afraid to lie flat because she thinks that is why Papa died. She started to cry and said MIL told her that if only she hadn't let him lie down, he wouldn't have died and that he only died because he was flat. For cripes sake. She was only in that house for five minutes. Talk about a poisoned environment. I understand that the grieving process is different for everybody, but why does that woman have to drag this up every time she sees DD or talks to her on the phone? Doesn't she get that DD doesn't want to be around her and I won't let her spend time there because of it? I mean, I've told her flat out. "Talking about how FIL died upsets DD. You can talk about him, and she knows he is in heaven, but she doesn't like to hear about how he gurgled and convulsed and needed mouth to mouth. It scares her. She is too young for that kind of knowledge". MIL was hurt that I would "accuse" her of saying such things. Clearly she can't tell the truth about anything to save her life. It is so funny how a small event in our childhoods can seem to change us forever. DH had ear surgery as a baby and they had to make sure it was kept dry until the incision healed. Somehow that translated to MIL and FIL as FOREVER and made him paranoid his entire life about water. He could barely take a shower without having a panic attack if his face got wet. He now understands he no longer needs to be scared to get water in his ears, but his fear of water is still strong. He is working on it. I guess that isn't a small thing, but still. When we were kids the movie Aliens was on whatever passed for cable at the time (On? It? Was it already HBO?). We were NOT allowed to watch it as it was too scary for us chickens. Remember, we are the kids that refused to swim, bathe, or use the toilet alone after seeing JAWs. We managed to see up to the scene where the alien pops out of the man's chest. That was enough for us! A while later we were at a mexican restaurant - a relatively new idea at that time. We were talking about that scene and for the life of me, the toppings on my taco looked just like the guts. Talk about lost appetite. It was a long time before I could look a taco in the eye and eat it. Years later (I mean c'mon, I was married LOL) the movie was the subject of conversation while we were at a chinese food restaurant. I happened to be eating my eggroll at the time. Needless to say I cannot eat eggrolls anymore. At least not the bean sprout kind. The cabbage kind is fine. Sorry. Those stringy crunchy shrivelled bean sprouts look rather like intestines. There. Now YOU won't eat them either ;). Again when I was younger, my cousins told me that if you went into a beer store, you would be arrested and put in jail and forced to drink beer. I believed it, because that is what their MOTHER said and their MOTHER would not lie. Of course I learned the truth eventually. But can I confess that I am still uneasy about beer stores and feel like I am going to get into trouble even though I have been of legal drinking age for a little while *cough*. I still have that picture in my mind of a big man with sweaty armpits forcing little children to drink bitter beer, pouring it down their throats out of those short-nosed brown bottles. DD now understands that she CAN lie flat to sleep, so hopefully she will get a good rest and be ready for school tomorrow. Sigh.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Speed Bump

Sometimes DD uses my computer chair and pulls it over to the other desk. When I need it back I have to really haul it because it doesn't move well on the carpet. She had been playing games, so I needed to move the chair. I gave it a tug and it didn't move, so I pushed harder. It still didn't move. Must be a "bump" in the carpet. With all my might, I give the chair a mighty heave and it practically flies across to my desk. I was just about to sit down when I realized I was in intense pain. I guess the "bump" was my toe. When I hurt my feet I don't feel it right away. It sort of creeps up and is general pain, I have to search around to see where it is coming from. Not this time, I skinned one of my little piggies pretty good. It's bad enough having your foot run over. It's even worse when you do it yourself and have nobody to yell at ;).

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Borderline Normal

Today I had the appointment I thought I had yesterday. The results of my last blood tests were in, and get this. Everything has gone down and is in exceptible ranges. And my blood sugar is "Borderline normal". To some people, "borderline normal" and "borderline high" mean the same thing. I can tell you it is NOT. I never thought I could feel so happy from something as little as being told I was borderline normal. Maybe it's because I have never been close to normal in ANYTHING. When it comes to skills I am either wonderfully gifted at something or I totally suck. There is no middle of the road. When it comes to fashion - well let's just say that I walk to the beat of not only a different drummer, but a whole different darn band. I am either way ahead of the times or way behind them. Never on time, destined to always be either early or late. I live a life of extremes. Borderline normal might be as close as I get. On a side note, I asked the doctor to look inside my ears. They are always sooooo itchy. We are talking shove an ice pick in there itchy here folks. I just brought Ruby in for the same problem, and seeing as she sleeps on my head I was starting to think maybe we had the same ear fungus or something. Hey, stranger things have happened. And stranger things DID happen. I knew something was up when he took a look and said "Something is in there". He said it veerrry calmly but I couldn't see his face so I couldn't judge whether he was really calm or doing the 'keep-the-voice-calm-to-avoid-scaring-the-patient-and-make-her-panic' motions. "I'll be right back". He vanishes out of the room and comes back with TWO students and a gigantic silver syringe type thingy. He lets the two young gentlemen take a look with their own respective scopes. I had to supress a giggle because I was thinking this was the closest I was ever going to get to a threesome in my lifetime, since I would never normally allow two strange men to be so close to me - and here they were with their faces millimeters away peeking into my ears. My innermost thoughts, if you will. Next my ears were flushed with water and the results shown to me. What could possibly have been in both ears and so fascinating to get two students for? Dog hair. I had DOG HAIR in my ears.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Whoops. Hee hee. Go back to bed now.

After getting DD to school this morning, I rushed home to shower because DH and I have appointments this morning. I was shocked and surprised that he was still in bed. He wanted to sleep in today, and I thought that meant not getting up early to get DD off to school but we had to leave in like 15 minutes to make our appointments on time. I rushed him up and shoved him into the shower (okay, we showered together but don't get any ideas. I sort of showered "around" him to save time) then we both hurridly got dressed and were about to walk out of the house hungry and with wet hair when DH stopped and said "What day is it?". Wednesday. Then he started laughing fit to bust and said we didn't have to rush any more. I had no idea what was going on, we were going to be late. Except for our appointments are TOMORROW. Not today. So his only day to sleep in and I woke him up and set him running about the house ROFLMAO! It could be worse. They could have been yesterday, right?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Fitness is not without it's perils

In an effort to try and pack three months of promised fitness into the two days left before a doctor's appointment (what? Like you never flossed like your life depended on it the day before a dentist appointment), Ruby and I have been walking with DD to school. Once she has been safely transferred, we continue on for a bit and finish our walk.

This is risky, because when Ruby gets tired and decides she cannot walk any further, she simply flops onto her belly on the ground. No warning, nothing. Then I have to carry her back home. This may sound easy, but believe me it is not. Picture carrying an unwilling cinder block that snorts. Actually the cinder block is easier because there are places to grip. I try tucking her under an arm like a football, but the pressure on her chest makes it hard for her to breathe. She hates being carried and it cripples me for days afterward so we keep our walks short and to cooler days only.

For some reason she has been SOOO excited for these walks, and hasn't gotten tired and refused to go any further. Since I have gotten rid of the extend-a-leash and got just a plain pink one that is fixed length she walks SO much better. She prances right next to me in heel position, doesn't tug at all (in fact she is more apt to trip on the slack). The weather has been nice, no broken glass anywhere or obstacles to make it unpleasant to do. Well, almost none.

Lest you think that these walks have been a cake - well - walk, I have to report that I have had a mishap. A soaker. Not just a soaker, but a mud soaker. And not just a mud soaker, but a mud soaker while wearing crocs. The irony is, not two days ago I had a conversation about nurses not being able to wear crocs any more because they are considered unhygienic (blood and other bodily fluids can drip into the holes etc.). I voiced the opinion that this was silly, and that the idea nurses go around spilling blood or urine on their feet in crocs is no more likely than in white shoes, and leather shoes would hold and hide just as much detritous and can't be washed as easily as crocs. Blah blah blah. The karma gods were clearly listening, and I have learned my lesson.
DH looked at my shoe, tsked and called me a wimp and said it wasn't that bad.









I beg to differ.