Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Good with the Bad

As you know my in-laws are visiting. With the arrival of Jeff's dad comes the anxiety of "what kind of trouble are they going to get into". When they are together they like to make holes, saw things off, add things that shouldn't be added etc. You know, guy stuff. Anyway, I like to try to think things up ahead of time. I call them busy projects. These are to keep them out of trouble. So far so good.

One of the items we picked up this week at Ikea was curtains and a rod. We went with their brown Ritva ones and a silver rod. I'm still experimenting with the way they are hung and am trying to get used to the idea of having so much light flooding in. Since we moved in there have been the beige Venetians which came with the house. We had all the blinds off in the summer with the window replacement and really enjoyed the unobstructed view and added lighting. I've been going on for weeks about how I was going to make curtains and Jeff was going to make the rod but Jeff found these curtains and thought he'd save us both some time. What a guy. Who am I kidding. He knows I'm not related to Martha Stewart.


And the final product. They still have to be shortened a bit but we want to give them a day or two to see if we like them. (Please excuse lounging animals and dog blanket.


I bet you thought that was going to be the bad. No. Not it. More to come.

Remember my beautiful baby birch tree we planted in the back yard? Here is the post on it if you've forgotten. It's a lot bigger since this post. For some reason, when we were all distracted with other things, Shelby (our 70lb love bug) had a lapse in judgement. A huge lapse in judgement, and took one of the three main branches between her teeth, twisted and tugged, twisted and tugged with all her might until she practically broke it in half. Jeff caught her in the act before she completely detached it. Needless to say she was on the sh*tlist all night and most of today.

I didn't think to get a snapshot last night when it was hanging beside it's rooted bottom but here is the poor thing after Jeff splinted it. Good ol' duct tape.


We're hoping it will heal itself but we'll have to keep a close eye on it because Shelby was caught checking it out again this afternoon. She was immediately brought into the house because we all felt she could not be trusted alone outside for a while. Maybe the rest of her life.

***
Topic Links
* Ikea.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Current Project: Aran Socks

I was right. I finished the Aran Socks this past week, despite having company. Here are the finished images.

Look at my beautiful floor.


Instead of starting another pair of wrist socks I decided to start a red scarf for support our troops red Friday. I'm making one for Jeff and one for myself in a simple cable pattern. I'm just using RedHeart. I can't remember if the colour is labelled but it is a deep red. The flash on my camera doesn't do this colour justice. It's awesome, trust me.



Want to make one for yourself?

Cast on 42 stitches and work in this repeating pattern:
Row 1: P2, *K6, P2. Repeat from * to end.
Row 2: K2, *P6, K2. Repeat from * to end.
Row 3: P2, *sl 3 on to cable needle holder, K3, K3 from cable needle, P2. Repeat from * to end.
Row 4: K2, *P6, K2. Repeat from * to end.
Row 5: P2, *K6, P2. Repeat from * to end.
Row 6: K2, *P6, K2. Repeat from * to end.
Row 7: P2, *K6, P2. Repeat from * to end.
Row 8: K2, *P6, K2. Repeat from * to end.
Row 9: P2, *K6, P2. Repeat from * to end.
Row 10: K2, *P6, K2. Repeat from * to end.
Row 11: P2, *K6, P2. Repeat from * to end.
Row 12: K2, *P6, K2. Repeat from * to end.

Keep going until desired length, bind off and tuck in your ends. Feel free to add fringe or not. I don't think I will for these ones.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I Wanna Read... War and Peace

Actually, all I want to do is go to sleep. Jeff and I were running around all day getting ready for his parents visit. We have to drive two hours tomorrow to pick them up at the airport. Guess what time we're leaving? 6 a.m. Yeah, I know, that's like three hours after my usual bed time. My motivation? We're also going to IKEA! It's 11 p.m. now and I just finished showering and checking email (first time all day). I didn't want to go to bed without doing my Wednesday I wanna read.

Since last Wednesday, I've been considering the next book to add to my list of Wanna but probably won't get the time reads and for some reason one title is the first to pop into my head... War & Peace. I'm a bit embarrassed to say I haven't read it, being the Literary Fiction editor at BellaOnline and all. But I haven't. I want to. That should count for something.

How can one not want to read a book with a tagline like "one of the world's greatest novels". I wonder what Leo Tolstoy would think of such a comment. Looking through Amazon at all the different editions of War & Peace I also wondered which translated version Tolstoy would prefer. If I picked up two different translations would they be considerably different? And which version was the one that was honoured with the world's greatest novel tag.

I'm not afraid of the epic tale; I made it through Stephen King's The Stand which is only 300 or so pages less. It's just one of those books I wanna read.

***
Topic Links
* War and Peace is available from Amazon.
* Literary Fiction at BellaOnline.
* Ikea.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Socks and Cactus

Since I finally uploaded some pictures off the camera, I thought I'd better post about them before I forget.

Here are the wrist socks I mentioned in an earlier post. The pattern is available at KnitPicks. I worked them in a hank of their Gloss which is a lovely combination of merino wool and silk. I chose dusk, as you know I'm a fan of blue and it goes well with my winter coat. Now obviously these were made for surface cold and not minus 30 weather. They'd also be good around the house when it's cold and I'm trying to type at the computer. Although we haven't had that kind of weather in a while. The flash of the camera has made the blue quite sharp. It really isn't that potent.

The pattern is worked with 2 needles but I can't for the life of me figure out why it's not done with circular needles. When I'm done with the Aran socks I'm going to do another pair in a chunkier wool, probably pinkish on the circular.

As you may remember I was all excited about my Christmas cacti having a flower bud on it. The first ever. Well, the bud has opened and there is another pinhead bud forming! Here it is:


Isn't it beautiful?!Have a wonderful Boxing Day!

30 Wanna Movie Hottie: 4

Movie hottie was delayed a day because of the most glorious holiday of the year but I didn't want to skip it all together since I have a special hottie in mind and just couldn't wait to share. I was watching Santa Baby the other night and Ivan Sergei was one of the co-stars vying for Jenny Garth's attentions.

I first fell in love with this actor in the short running John Woo series Once a Thief (which co-starred X-files hottie Nicholas Lea). It was the story of three young thieves brought into a covert government agency to solve crime.

After this he kind of disappeared (from Moe radar) but I've noticed he's been popping up here and there as the attractive and sexy side character or the hot guy who's a blip or distraction on the lead character's radar. Most recently I've seen him in The Break-up with Jennifer Aniston. A very small role but I enjoyed seeing him. Before this I caught him on Charmed as Paige's love interest and fellow crime fighter.

This actor is definitely one of the best kept secrets of sexy-yess out there. He is also another example of people who get better looking with age.

So the basics: All this time I thought Ivan was Canadian. I've been telling people for years, "Oh, he's Canadian." Surprise, he's not Canadian. He was born in Hawthorne, New Jersey in 1972. Hawthorne was the home of rock diva Debbie Harry too. He's a tall 6'4" and married. And that's all I could find on Ivan. No official website to send you too, sorry.

***
Topic Links
* The Break-Up is available from Amazon.
* Once a Thief is available from Amazon.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Current Project: Aran Socks

After doing some wrist socks as warm up, I've delved into the world of sock making. It's a big world out there and a heck of a lot of people like to make socks. I'm very excited about it actually. I bought a bunch of wool from Knit Picks specifically for making socks and have been holding out starting until I finished the wrap and a few books I wanted out of the way. Knitting does cut into my reading time afterall.

Knit Picks is a new addiction for me. A writing friend turned me on to it and I curse her every time I spend more than five minutes on their website. They have a bunch of free patterns of course but I especially like their search feature to find a specific pattern or project based on the type of wool you want.

The sock pattern I'm attempting at the moment is Aran Braided Socks. You can find it here. I'm using Knit Picks Essential Tweed in Inca Gold which is a blend of wool, nylon and donegal. This particular brand comes from Peru. Fancy!

I really love the colour, even the name. Inca Gold. So far I've finished the fancy cables on the top of one sock. Because there are two sizes of needles I've switched over to the smaller ones and will use the large onces to start the second sock instead of finishing one sock completely before starting the other.

Here's a picture of what I have so far...

Oh, I almost forgot. I'm using bamboo needles for the first time. I really like them. I remember making socks when I was younger with metal needles and one or more needles for ever slipping out of 20 or more stitches. These ones, made by Clover are so soft but the yarn doesn't slip off until I take it off.

So far so good. I'll show you the finished project when I'm done. And I'll show you the wrist socks once they're stitched up.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I Wanna Read... Nature Girl

After some thinking I've decided to designate Wednesday as "I Wanna Read... "day. There are so many books I want to read. So many books I am required to read. There just isn't enough time (and I'm a slow reader). I'm sure I'm not alone.

So every Wednesday, I'm going to share a book I want to read and hopefully I'll be able to live vicariously through someone out there.

The first inductee into my Wednesday whine is Nature Girl by Carl Hiaasen. I've never read anything by Carl before but apparently he writes good comical mysteries. After reading the excerpt at the Borzoi site I decided this book would be a huge laugh if only I had the time to read it. But I don't. Maybe you do.

It sound like a really convoluted story about a single mother, named Honey Santana, with possible bi-polar disorder and her misadventures in life. There's a host of characters she comes across and affects; both good and bad. I was particularly interested in Sammy Tigertail, a Seminole Indian with equally bad luck.

Nature Girl, even the name has a sarcastic undertone, received only mediocre reviews at Amazon but I tend to like things a little off key.

***
Topic Links
* Read Excerpt at Borzoi.
* Buy Nature Girl from Amazon.
* Carl's Official Website.

Monday, December 18, 2006

30 Wanna Movie Hottie: 3

It's Monday! I know you've all been wondering who I was going to pick for this week's Wanna Movie Hottie. This week's hottie is Native Canadian Adam Beach. I've had a crush on him since his role as Victor in Smoke Signals, an Indie film depicting the lives of two young Native American's suffering many adventures as they travel to pick up the remains of a shared father figure.

In Dance Me Outside Adam plays Frank Fencepost a young native with dreams of being a licensed mechanic and learning the deep dark secrets of communicating with women. Even though it's a comedy it does touch on the racial tensions forced upon young natives. This film resulted in The Rez, a short-lived television spinoff. For some reason the powers at be thought Adam should play a different character then the one he played in the film (*shakes head*).

I also have a vague recollection of Adam appearing on North of 60 an awesome Canadian show about the trials and tribulations of a native community up north (it has a great cast, most notably Tina Keeper).

For the early part of his career I only saw Adam with long hair. Something that is only acceptable on women and Native men. As Paris would say, "It's hot."

Adam made three features films for PBS: Skinwalkers, Coyote Waits and A Thief of Time. In it is my absolute favourite character of his, medicine man / police officer Jim Chee. In all three films he worked with Wes Studi. It seems like they are always on and I always end up watching them. I wish someone had made it into a regular series.

In 2002 he became more mainstream when he starred with Nicolas Cage in the film Windtalkers, a WWII film about a Native American code keeper. I'm not big on WW films but I'm looking forward to seeing him in the new Clint Eastwood film, Flags of Our Fathers

And the basics: Adam was born in 1972 in Ashern, Manitoba. He lived on Dog Creek Indian Reserve until the age of eight. Both of his parents died horrible deaths. His native ancestry is Saulteaux, a division of the Ojibwa collective. He has been married twice, has two sons and supposedly resides in Ottawa, Ontario. Practically around the block from me.

His once informative official website has been replaced by a php forum.

***
Topic Links

* Smoke Signals is available from Amazon.com
* Windtalkers is available from Amazon.com
* Adam Beach Official... forum

Sunday, December 17, 2006

It's a Miracle

Here's to small miracles! My Christmas cactus has flowered. And after 7 or 8 years it really is a miracle. And here is a picture of it's one, yes one, luscious bloom:

All this wonder happened under our noses. When we were getting the floors done everything was moved out of the room. All the plants in the house were set in one of the cold spare rooms. I know absolutely nothing about cactus plants but apparently they like the cold before they flower.

I shall make it a point every November here on out to shove the Christmas cactus into the cool spare room for the month of November. Maybe next year we'll get two blooms.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Feeling Better

After doing some online research I'm feeling better about my ultrasound results. No thanks to Wikipedia which had "Death at young ages if not treated properly" in their list of symptoms. Not something you want to read right off. I'm sure my blood pressure which is normally quite low, spiked. Luckily no other resource I read had a similar symptom. Some of the better resources and ones I consider more reliable were the government ones.

From my reading I got the impression ovarian cysts are quite common in women of childbearing years and they usually clear up on their own. Of the ones that don't clear up they seem to treat them first with birth control pills then as a last result laparoscopy.

An interesting precursor I found was women who had diets higher in red meat and cheese had a higher disposition for these type of cysts. I wasn't much of a red meat eater until I met Jeff and now we have it a couple times or more a week. Don't know if I can give up my steak. I can give up the cheese... I think.

Anyway, shall wait and see what happens in February. Wish I had a picture of my ovary to show you.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Results are Back

I really don't know how to feel, in part because my doctor doesn't know how to explain things fully and in part because I don't ask direct questions.

This morning I found out the results of my internal ultrasound. According to the results, I have remnants of a burst cyst as well as a remaining 1cm cyst on my left ovary. They couldn't see my right one clearly. She didn't give me a clue as to how worried she was or how worried I should be about this. My doctor is like a little bee, rushing off to the next flower before it's finished with one.

I do have to go for a follow-up in February for another internal. She said nothing about future pregnancies which came to me on the drive home. I ended up calling the office and leaving a few questions with the receptionist.

So I'm off to the internet for some reliable research (tongue in cheek)...

Monday, December 11, 2006

30 Wanna Movie Hottie: 2

Happy Monday! I decided to go with a woman this week. I am after all and equal opportunity admirer. This week's Wanna Movie Hottie is Diane Lane. Some actors get better with age and she definitely falls into this category; both in talent and looks. In my opinion she is one of the most beautiful people in North America.

I remember being annoyed with her characters in such movies as The Outsiders, and Streets of Fire. It wasn't until her later works that I became a fan. Murder at 1600, A Walk on the Moon, The Glass House, Under the Tuscan Sun and Must Love Dogs have really established her as an adult actress worth spending your hard earn dollars to watch. Not to mention she attracts some attractive co-stars. I saw previews for the upcoming Killshot due out in 2007 and am so looking forward to it. It's an action thriller where her character witnesses a murder and she and her husband (Thomas Jane) are put into protective custody until a hit man comes looking for them.

When it comes to interviews, Diane is another actor who handles herself well. She's charmingly nervous and respectful which makes her even more beautiful.

The basics: Born 1965 in New York. She was a child actor and survived. She was married and bore a child with Highlander star Christopher Lambert but is currently married to actor Josh Brolin (remember Goonies?).

She had a beautiful official website which I've visited a few times before but now there's just a place holder by safesearching. Very disappointed. Luckily there are lots of fan sites.

***
Topic Links
* Murder at 1600 is available from Amazon.
* A Walk on the Moon is available from Amazon.
* Under the Tuscan Sun is available from Amazon.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Who Do You Believe

I had a strange, dare I say, moral dilemma sprout up today. Around 4 p.m. Jeff decided he wanted mashed potatoes with supper. Being Irish and a big fan of the potato I wasn't about to deny him the luxury of mashed potatoes. So off I went to the grocery store a few blocks away. And of course because I was lazy and it was cold, I took the vehicle. A Toyota Sienna if you must know.

As I was driving down the main street leading to the local Independent a tall thin woman with no winter coat was on the right side of the road waving her arms. Her lips clearly mouthed "Help Me". Now you might be thinking this is the dilemma, to stop or not to stop, but it was not. I spun around and stopped, no problem.

I figured she had car trouble and the old guy in the van who was leaving either didn't have a clue or he was harassing her. As I walked up to her I noticed another man sitting in the car I thought was hers. Here is where it gets strange.

The woman thanked me for stopping and introduced herself. I gave her my first name. She put out her hand but for some reason I didn't. I still don't know why. Maybe it was her fluorescent green contact lenses. Anyway, she proceeded to tell me she was crossing the street to go for supper when this guy, she motions to large man in car shaking his head, slows down and opens his window.

She thought he had car trouble and asked as such. He thought she was hitchhiking and called her a bunch of names when she said she wasn't. Actually, she said something like, "Do I look like I'm hitchhiking? I don't have my thumb out". Anyway, she said he called her cops on her and she wanted someone there for support. I asked her why she didn't just go in the local Tim Horton's and wait (no winter coat) but she said it was her word against his and she wanted someone on her side. I explained to her I could stay with her but I didn't see anything and would say as such. She offered to by me a coffee, I declined.

After a few minutes of waiting (and listening to her repeat her story and talk about the guy's body language as she was talking), I asked her if she was sure he called the cops. I then went over to talk to him. His story: She was hitchhiking and he pulled over. They exchanged words and she refused to move from the front of his car so he called the police. I asked him if he was sure he called the police and when he expected them. Three cruisers then showed up.

All three of us explained our situations to different officers and I, of course, was sent on my way as I didn't witness anything.

So where the hell is the dilemma you ask. Well, who would you believe? My first instinct was to believe this woman. Women, after all have been in situations of not being believed and supported for centuries. I felt I should believe her out of principle. But something about the situation led me to think she might have been hitchhiking or otherwise not truthful. And these thoughts made me feel guilty for not believing her.

So who do you believe? Or how do you remain impartial? This is the moral dilemma I thought about while getting potatoes and driving home. What if I was in that position and the woman I asked for support was looking at me like I was out looking for trouble, if there really is such a thing.

Jeff was supportive of the incident when I told him. "You did what you could do. You stayed and supported her until the police came." He thinks she might be one of the locals residing in a group home in the area. These people have been harassed and taken advantage of too. So, what do you do when you come upon a situation like this?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Internal Ultrasound

Guess what I did for my birthday? Well, I guess I gave it away in the title. I went for an internal ultrasound and the 4th (my birthday) was the only day they had available until some time after Christmas.

Background: For the last three months I've had some unusual spotting throughout the month. Now for some women this may not be unusual but for me it is. My period is like clockwork. Since I hit the big 37 and my mother developed early menopause my doctor decided it best to check everything out.

Last week I went through the blood work part which included some hormone testing and it came back normal. I wasn't really surprised. I'm freaky that way.

I was really nervous about having an internal ultrasound. I only had a vague idea of what the procedure entailed: A rod being inserted into the Va-jay-jay (too much Grey's Anatomy) and a picture shows up on a little screen. The last ultrasound I had was, coincidentally, last December and it was an external. I'm mentioning it because it was done by a man; so most of my nervousness involved the idea that my internal may be performed by a guy. Yes, I know they are professional. That's not the point.

Anyway, I decided to go for my appointment early because I had a very full bladder and didn't think I'd be able to get there dry if I waited much longer. I even brought a book I'm reviewing to help pass the time. After I checked into the radiology department I was ushered to the Ultrasound(US) waiting room where I read maybe two paragraphs before being called by a tech.

The female tech brought me into the US room and had me lose the jacket and purse. I made myself comfortable on the table and she took an initial view with my bladder full then had me go empty my bladder. I was sooo happy to empty the bladder. When I came back to the room I had to lose the pants and undies and slide up on a funny cushion that raised my hips on an angle so she could get at the privates. She left the room while I did this.

When she came back she explained the procedure and showed me the rod or transducer. It was about a foot long. Part of the explanation involved reassuring me that only a thumb size portion of the transducer gets inserted into the Va-jay-jay. For sanitation they put a latex sleeve over it. The exam didn't take long at all. She looked straight on and had to tilt the probe to the right and to the left to look at the ovaries. It was totally comfortable. I would take this experience over a pap (which I had the very next day) test any day. So if an internal ultrasound is in your future, don't sweat it.

Results in a week...

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Wanna Hottie?

A friend of mine does a weekly post she calls 25 TV Hubba Hubbas. Not surprisingly it is one of my favourite topics and I look forward to seeing who she'll pick next. You can see Keris' Hubba Hubbas here.

I've been wanting to do something similar but haven't been able to decide on a name. I didn't want to use Hubba Hubbas as well, that'd be just wrong. I also want to do movie and not tv. And I'm not sure I want to limit myself to just men, although I might. So I think I'm going to go with Wanna Hottie. What do you think? Pretty self explanatory no? Or maybe, Wanna Movie Hottie? Moe's Movie Hotties? See, I'm not firm in a title so let say Wanna Movie Hottie and I'll leave it open for a title change. And the magic number? I'll try for 30. Which would change my title again to 30 Wanna Movie Hotties.

The next question. When? Let's say Monday. Then you have something delicious to start your week with. Well, I will anyway. But I like to share.

So I'll see you Monday.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Old is New Again

Alright, here are the before and after pictures of the floors. It's kind of hard to tell from the before because of the flash but they were quite orange. The coating was about 40 years old and had carpet on previously. Most of the carpet came up easy except for the stairs where there was an extra layer of carpet that was glued down.

We scraped most of the goo and carpet off but it still looked like this.

The scuffs you see on the risers is from when they were polishing. We have to sand and apply another coat of white paint. What an improvement though, eh?

We had to move all the furniture out. This is the night before. And that is the carpet the dog slept on. Poor baby.
Ooo... they are so shining. Now we're all paranoid about scratching them. Too late! Shelby christened them when the mailman came. Hopefully we get over this sensitiveness soon.

Still shiny!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Origin of a Species

Do you remember coming home from school or maybe on Saturday mornings and rushing to the TV to watch an animated television series about the evolution of man from the big bang until his current walking state?

I've been trying to find it but can't quite get the title right. Or at least I don't think so. I think it was called Journey of Man, Origins of Man, Evolution of Man or something other. Any ideas? Do you even remember this show? Was it American, Canadian, or British? Please let me know.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Orange Begone!

Well, I'm sitting here in the hotel room of the Comfort Inn. Day two. Cat is on the chair across from me (she's so civilized) and dog is lounging on the bed (waiting for a pee break). After three months of having all the furniture in disarray we have Mr. Byrd grinding down and buffing the orange out of our hardwood floors in the living room and dining room. It's amazing what can happen when you ask your husband "do you think we should pull up this old stinky carpet?"

We don't work well in small spaces. I'll just leave it at that. It's a good thing Jeff has to leave to go to work or else one of else would have a concussion. I'm betting him.

Jeff and I snuck back to the house last night for a peek. They look good. We decided to go with natural oil. It smells to high heaven so we're glad we decided to stick with the hotel. We were a little loopy from the short time we were there. When things are done I'll show you a before and after picture.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

China Not For Dogs

I love dogs. I have a dog. I would not get another dog because I've learned I'm not the dog person I thought I was. I think rules and regulations in regard to pet ownership is important for the dog, the owner and the community but China's new law and how it is being enforced is plain inhumane.

According to Fox news (and local news), a new law in Beijing limits the number of dogs per family to one. And there is also a limit to the size of the dog (under 30 inches). This is all fine, I can understand that. Going forward forward that is. But all the people who have more than one dog have to turn them over to the police to be slaughtered.

I really think laws like this should include some grandfathering. If you already have one that's fine but once this one is gone you can't get another one. Also, if you can prove your dog is vaccinated against rabies and other diseases...

Apparently this new law is suppose to aid in reducing the spread of rabies which is running rabid in China. Killing off animals seems to be the easy solution governments turn to. What is wrong with vaccinations? Public education? Give people a few weeks to comply. It is somehow easier to kill healthy dogs.

I consider myself a responsible pet owner. I didn't just become a responsible pet owner over night. It took time, experience a lot of reading and lot of talking to other pet owners. Somehow I don't think this new law is going to cure their rabies problem.

***
Topic Links
* Fox News - 1 Dog per Family Rule

It was a Mistake!

That's right, a mistake. They thought I only posted once in October when I had posted five. It pays to clarify. A lovely blogger at BlogHer accepted my blog for the roll. Yeah me! Yeah BGB!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Disappointed

I just received an email from BlogHer letting me know I wasn't accepted into their blogroll. I'm so disappointed. The reason cited was I don't blog often enough. They have a minimum requirement of twice a week.

I know I should blog more but I was really proud of my consistency over the last year-and-a-half of posting 2-3 times a month. Now I feel worthless which is stupid I know, it's just an email. But I was really excited about being a full part of this community.

They said I can reapply if I decide start posting at least twice a week for a month. Well, that feels too much like I'm working for someone else. What I like about my blog is I do it when I want to do it. Once something is required it usually goes out the window. I'm unreliable that way and I know it. It doesn't make me a bad person. It also doesn't get me on the Blog Her roll. Grrr.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

My Own Hug

After eight months I've finally finished the wrap I've been working on. Normally I could finish something like this in a shorter amount of time but I'm sharing my knitting/crochet time with required reading. Another reason why it took so long was I was using the 40-50% coupons from Michael's to buy each ball of wool. Just call me thrifty!

I found this pattern... actually it found me, at knitty.com; one of my favourite knitting sites. Knitty celebrated it's forth anniversary/birthday this fall. This online magazine has had my attention for at least three of those four with their seasonal newsletter chock full of articles and of course all different sorts of patterns by talented knitters.

This wrap pattern was designed by 8 skeins of Reynolds Mandalay, 100% silk in oatfield. I chose to use Patons Classic Merino Wool in Chestnut Brown.




Topic Links
***
* Knitty.com
* Cozy Wrap

Blog Her !

My latest love is a website featuring women bloggers. I'm not sure why I joined up but after 30 minutes surfing their pages I wanted to be apart of their community of over 5000 women (and a few men).

In a nutshell, you register and you can post responses to commentary, as well as list your blog in their blog roll. This site is nicely laid out and easy to manoeuvre. Any ads on the pages are minimal and unobtrusive.

I've added their RSS feed to my Wizz and have been checking it a couple times a day to see what's new. These women are busy and they have so much to say. If you haven't been there, this is your chance to check it out.

***
Topic Links
* Blog Her

Friday, October 27, 2006

Freedom of Speech

What does freedom of speech mean to you? Does it mean you can call people "stupid cows"? Doe it mean you can spur hate about peoples choices and how they interfere with your own?

I always thought freedom of speech involved the sharing of ideas and civilized discussions. Imagine Martin Luther King in his freedom speech talking about the stupid white cows, can you imagine how well that would have went over? MLK is an icon for both black and white because of his carefully thought out words.

What brought this on you ask? I visited a forum recently and a visitor posted a thread about an experience she had totally attacking the person she was talking about instead of sharing the facts. I was totally lost by this conversation which was followed by responses of people who supported her nastiness.

Removing all the negativity from her response would have created a truly moving example but for me it was lost. Am I alone in this? Do we have to attack to get our feelings across. Someone would say I'm attacking this person right now but really, if you saw her message I am not. I have not called her anything other than she.

Of course none of my thoughts on this went over well. I was suppressing their freedom of speech. But I say, can't we just be nice... and get our thoughts and feeling across? Is it necessary to call people names and segregate ourselves?

I don't understand.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Layers of Moe

This was passed on to me by my friend Nessa. Apparently, I have nine layers and they are based on the following. Probably more information than you needed or wanted to know.

LAYER ONE:

Name: I have many. When I was a kid I was known as "Cabbage Head".
Birthdate: December 4.
Birthplace: Fort William.
Current Location: Eastern Ontario.
Eye Color: Blue.
Hair Color: Blonde.
Height: 5’8”
Righty or Lefty: Righty.
Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius.

LAYER TWO:

Your heritage: Irish, Scottish.
The shoes you wore today: Fuzzy slippers.
Your weakness: Crying.
Your fears: Spiders.
Your perfect pizza: Lotsa cheese.
Goal you would like to achieve: I would like to double my income by this time next year.

LAYER THREE:

Your most overused phrase: For f&^% sake!
Your first waking thoughts: Man I need to brush my teeth.
Your best physical feature: Just one? Mmm... small nose.
Your most missed memory: I miss all the stuff I haven't been able to remember since the seizures.

LAYER FOUR:

Pepsi or Coke: Totally Pepsi!
McDonald's or Burger King: McDonald's.
Single or group dates: Single.
Adidas or Nike: Nike. I've been brain washed because I've never worn them.
Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: Nestea.
Chocolate or vanilla: Stupid question. Chocolate of course.
Cappuccino or coffee: Iced Cappuccino if you please.

LAYER FIVE:

Smoke: No
Cuss: Oh yeah!
Sing: All the time.
Take a shower everyday: No.
Do you think you have been in love: Hope so, married him.
Want to go to college: Been there done that. I graduated as a nurse.
Want to get married: Already succumbed darling.
Believe in yourself: Most of the time.
Get motion sickness: Yes, damn it! Had some just the other day.
Think you are attractive: But of course.
Think you are a health freak: Ah...no.
Get along with your parent(s): I refuse to answer on the grounds I may intimidate myself.
Like thunderstorms: Only if I'm not alone. If I'm alone, I'm hiding.
Play an instrument: No.

LAYER SIX:

In the past month have you...
Drank alcohol: No.
Smoked: No.
Done a drug: Does Tegretol count?
Made Out: Yes.
Gone on a date: Yes.
Gone to the mall?: Regretfully.
Eaten an entire box of Oreos?: Nope.
Eaten sushi: Definitely not.
Been on stage: No.
Been dumped: No.
Gone skating: No.
Made homemade cookies: Yes.
Gone skinny-dipping: Ha!
Dyed your hair: No.
Stolen anything: No.

LAYER SEVEN:

Have you ever...
Played a game that required removal of clothing: Yes.
If so, was it mixed company: Yes.
Been trashed or extremely intoxicated: Completely.
Been caught doing something: Yes.
Been called a tease: Yes.
Gotten beaten up: No.
Shoplifted: Yes.
Changed who you were to fit in: Yes.

LAYER EIGHT:

Age you hope to be married: Been there done that.
Numbers and Names of Children: Suzie - 11, Shelby - 6
Describe your Dream Wedding: Eloping to Hawaii.
How do you want to die: I'm living forever.
What do you want to be when you grow up: Respected.
What country would you most like to visit: Scotland. And if I'm there I might as well visit Ireland too.

LAYER NINE:

Number of drugs taken illegally: Two that I remember.
Number of people I could trust with my life: One.
Number of CDs that I own: Couple hundred.
Number of piercings: Two, one for each ear.
Number of tattoos: One.
Number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper?: I have a popular name.
Number of scars on my body: Two for sure.
Number of things in my past that I regret: At least 3 or 4.

Hey Keris, your turn!

Enjoying Fall

This past weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada. We had a lovely dinner with a huge crowd at one of Jeff's teaching associate's friend's farm house (not as confusing as it sounds). I really didn't want to go, being as anti-social as I am, but we both had a good time.

On Monday we took an hour drive to Frontenac Park to do their 3 km Doe Lake hike. It really was a hike. Hilly, rocky and rooty. I could have used a walking stick. It took us an hour and half. It probably would have taken Jeff and Shelby only an hour. I stopped lots to take pictures and just veg out at the scenery. And I probably lost 3 litres of fluid. Yes, it was hot. It was pretty cool when we left. Summer has not left us yet!

Here's a couple pics from our hike:


Just before the hike Jeff took pictures of me in my Bleacher Blanket. You can read the review at my Large & Lovely site.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Trashionista - Buy a Friend a Book Week

This week on Trashionista: BAFAB will be fab! Diane Shipley and Keris Stainton, co-editors of Trashionista, the book news and reviews site whose motto proclaims, “We read books like they’re going out of fashion!” are excited to announce Trashionista’s participation in this October’s Buy a Friend a Book Week (BAFAB).

From October 1-5 2006 on www.trashionista.com, you’ll find exclusive guest blogs from best-selling chick-lit authors (stop by to find out who!), interviews, and seven (and counting…) book giveaways.

Plus, find out what books we’d buy for our friends, and why! It goes without saying (doesn’t it?!) that of course you’ll also find all of the usual great Trashionista content: book reviews (focusing on women’s fiction, chick-lit and memoir) and book news (focusing on anything hot or controversial in the book world in general) all delivered with intelligence and a sense of fun.

Please stop by from October 1-5 for BAFAB week, Trashionista style- and help make it a week to remember!

More about Trashionista:

Trashionista gets to grips with the wonderful world of female fiction. We take an unbiased look at beach reads, bestsellers, new releases and old favourites -and we actually read the books before writing about them. At Trashionista we don't believe that 'chick lit' is a dirty word - but if a book is trash, we'll let you know!

Trashionista is a Shiny Media website created by Gemma Cartwright and edited by Diane Shipley and Keris Stainton. To contact the editors email editor@trashionista.com

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Keebler Elf

So last week I was all positive about the new addition to The View. This week I'm thinking, "Rosie! What are you thinking!?" Today, out of no where, Rosie starts talking about all the tasty treats made by Keebler and next thing I know a life size Keebler Elf comes out followed by a slew of men dressed in white tuxes carrying trays. They all break into a Broadway musical skit about Keebler products with Rosie at the centre. I shook my head the whole time. It's nice to give stuff away but could this be any more of a blatant commercial? You would think Rosie would know better. Heck you would think Barbara would know better. I just don't know...*still shaking head*.

Friday, September 08, 2006

A Rosie View

Today marked the end of the first week Rosie O'Donnell took over Meredith Vieira's commentary on the daytime talk show The View. I was a huge fan of Rosie's talk show and was saddened when it went off the air (her choice). I've watched The View sporadically over the last ten years and Meredith was definitely their shining star. While Rosie can not fill Meredith's shoes but she will definitely add her view and that is what the show is about... different views. Rosie is something they haven't had hosting before: a lesbian, middle aged mother with power and a conscience.

I really liked the show's ethnic diversity so it's unfortunate Star Jones had to leave but it seems with her poundage went her loveability. And the whole wedding fiasco left a bad taste in many people's mouths. After visiting The View's site I thought I'd head over to Star Jones' official website to see if she had any "news" but what I found was an email grab. In other words, you can't access her site unless you enter your email address. Hello?

One of the main reasons I watched The View in the past was Meredith. Now it seems the only reason I'll watch it in the future will be Rosie (ok, and Elisabeth's smile). I may even tune in more.

Congratulations on a great week Rosie.

***
Topic Links
* The View
* Rosie O'Donnell
* Star Jones

Monday, September 04, 2006

R.I.P. Croc Hunter

This was a shock for me this morning. The man who brought crocodiles and other wild life to the forefront of conservationism, Steve Irwin, better known as The Crocodile Hunter, died this morning in a sting ray accident. Considering all the extraordinary situations this man has put himself into it seems most strange he would die in such a way.

Not too long ago, I was bawling over the death of his first croc. I remember him lying down in the water with her and going on about how old she was and how he saved her from being killed. He was quite emotional about it. Mr. Irwin certainly educated the world about the importance of this historical creature and it is a shame he has left them so soon.

My heart goes out to his family, human and otherwise.

***
Topic Links
* Steve Irwin's Official Website (with notice of his death)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Good Teeth

One of my childhood regrets is that I didn't take better care of my teeth. I remember being scared of my dentist and often skipping appointments because of it and the many needles I needed to freeze my mouth. There were a number of years I didn't visit the dentist at all.

When I was about 18 and working in a camera shop I suddenly developed pain in the front of my mouth. So much so a co-worker dragged me to her dentist which happened to be in the same mall. It turned out I had an abscessed tooth. They had to open it up to let it drain and I had to go back for a root canal. When they told me the price I started crying again. I didn't have any kind of insurance but because I was with my friend and worked with her they let me set up a payment schedule. Thank goodness for nice people.

One of the things I often worried about was losing my teeth. Like my mean Uncle Keith who would stick his false teeth out at me during family suppers when I was little. Or my other Uncle. Or my Aunt. Bad teeth genes run in my family. Bad habits all around.

Anyway, it took a long time and a whole lot of fillings before it sunk in that brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing a minimum of 3 times a week really makes a difference. I still have my teeth and I haven't had a cavity in about six years (they ran out of room). It's become such a habit now if for some reason I can't, it becomes all I can think about.

So my point? Brush your bloody teeth and floss already!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Haley on Drugs

To further my previous statement that I was old and blaming it on Haley (yes, I like to blame others). Here is a news/gossip piece about him being charged for drinking and driving and possession of the big M. Now I really feel old. Calgon, take me away.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Seems Like Yesterday

While I was entertaining myself with some mindless surfing I came across a face from my past. The cutest little face one can see, Haley Joel Osment. Remember that cutey? Now Haley hasn't fallen out of Hollywood like some child actors he just fell out of my radar since The Sixth Sense/Pay It Forward.

This is how I like to remember him:


This is him now (not bad, just not little anymore):


Today, I feel old.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Night Sky

I love the night sky, especially when the moon is at it's fullest. I spent the afternoon playing with a new (for me) paint program from Corel. I also have a Wacom tablet (love) which makes drawing somewhat easier. Someday, when I'm rich and famouse I'll have one of those laptops that the screen twists around and you can write on it. Ok, now I'm dreaming.

Anyway, I wanted some easy step by step painting instructions to get used to using the tools. I came across this older page that actually uses Adobe but I thought what the hey. My first attempt wasn't the greatest and I honestly gave up before it was done. The second attempt was a night. I think the clouds especially turned out well.

Have a looksie.


Topic Links
* Art School Online

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Land Forms

Jeff and I are home from visiting the in-laws in our birth city, Thunder Bay. It was a busy hectic week and a bit. We tried to fit in a lot of sight-seeing while we were there. Two things followed us around town that we took for granted growing up: The Sleeping Giant and Mount McKay. We had strong feelings about seeing them again and found we had really missed them.

I'm sure after seeing the pictures some people would think them quite minuscule but we love them. I virtually grew up with Mt. McKay out my window and we (Jeff and I) spent many a hour camping or picnicking at the Sleeping Giant, a.k.a. Sibley. Here's a few pics of our favourite landforms.




***
Topic Links
* The Legend of Nanabijou (Sleeping Giant)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Sudoku-Headache

My latest addiction is the Sudoku puzzles. I tried a few last year but they didn't take. I hated all the erasing. Last week I found an online site that works with my brain and well, laziness. No erasers are needed.

Unfortunately, I haven't progressed passed the easy ones. It takes me 15-20 minutes to do one. Jeff's uncle told me it takes him 10 minutes (show-off). I tried a medium intensity one the other night but gave up after 30 minutes.

Of course, I only get into these after midnight when I already have computer head and am thinking about bed. An hour or so later comes the Sudoku-Headache. Ah, the joys of a night owl.

Visit Daily Sudoku.

***
Topic Links
* Daily Sudoku

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Betty the Ugly

I'm a big fan of America Ferrera so I'm thrilled to hear she's going to have her own series this summer. If you're not familiar with her she was the lead in Real Women Have Curves and a supporting character in The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants.

The jury is still out on whether this is going to be a good show as she's really tormented in it. I watched an extended preview and was really beginning to wonder but it looks like in the end she will win out over all.

Watch a preview of Betty the Ugly, coming this fall.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Just Wrong

This is just wrong on so many levels. No? I can't be the only one who thinks so.

I found this at one of my favourite dog sites. Ok, my only favourite dog site. Pampered Puppy.

They have a monthly picture contest and someone entered this. It didn't win.

Sheesh, am I the only one who doesn't think their dog is a Barbie doll?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Wham Bam, No Thank You Mam

Hope you're having a good week. As I said in one of my newsletters I was having one of those great days, moving along minding my own business, doing errands etc. chatting up the odd cashier and then out of no where a car turned into my lane.

There was nothing I could do but whack him with the van. Fortunately no one was hurt but it really puts a damper on the day and raises the stress levels. When it first happened I was pretty calm, cool and collected. Actually I said the f-word 10 times in a row then I was calm, cool and collected. After backing into the Taco Bell/KFC I asked him if he was ok, he asked me if I was ok. We were both ok.

He wasn't too concerned about insurance and the police because he didn't think the little dent in his car warranted it. I asked him if he looked at mine? He said no. I walked over to mine and Whoa! baby! A bit more damage than his. So I popped into the Taco Bell to call the police. Like I said I was calm, cool and collected. Until the manager handed me the phone. Waaaaaaa! So embarrassing. Luckily she had the number for the police station still in her head and dialed for me. She then handed me the phone so I could call Jeff. I was suddenly Ms. calm, cool and collected again. For 30 seconds at least when Jeff got on the phone. He was able to decipher through my blubbers what happened and where I was. He was on his way. What a sweetie.

Meanwhile, I went to find the gentleman who turned in front of me. He was sitting calmly inside the Taco Bell enjoying the view outside the window. I informed him the police were on their way. I went outside to wait for the police and Jeff. A man looking a lot like Kenny Rogers approached me saying he witnessed the accident and was just returning after dropping his son off at the dentist. He was nice enough to wait around to give his statement, collaborating mine... the guy turned in front of me. Ugh! I still can't believe it. According to the witness, the man looked in the opposite direction of traffic and not toward the oncoming traffic. Sheesh.

Anyway, the officer came, introduced himself to everyone and started taking statements. Want to hear something weird? The guy who hit me had the same last name as me. Freaky! As we were waiting our turn the sky decided to literally open up and dump buckets on us. After we were thoroughly soaked we went into Taco Bell to finish up. The officer said he was charging the other guy for an illegal left turn and his insurance company would be paying for the damages.

It was so nice to have two people confirm that I was not at fault but even now I keep going over in my head what I could have done. Part of the learning process I guess.

All the endorphins have worn off and I'm sleepy and achy. The van is having a spa week and will hopefully come back good as new. Hmm. Maybe I should send myself on one too. Right, like that's going to happen.

Jeff popped by the shop this morning to take some pictures of the work of art. To me they looked worse at the time it happened. Doesn't that tilted wheel look wild? Oh, guess what the gentleman did after he gave his info to the officer. He went and stood in line for lunch... still not having looked at the damages to my van.






Monday, June 19, 2006

Juneteenth

I have an automatic calendar on my computer that pops up every time the computer is started if there is something special or planned on that day. Today "Juneteenth" popped up. I thought it was a weird name and quickly disregarded it as there was no description with it. Later on when I restarted the computer it popped up again. Persistent.

A quick Internet search (what would I do without the Internet) provided this: "Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is an annual holiday in some states of the United States. Celebrated on June 19, it commemorates the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas. The holiday originated in Galveston, Texas; for more than a century, the state of Texas was the primary home of Juneteenth celebrations. Since 1980, Juneteenth has been an official state holiday in Texas. More recently, however, its observance has spread across the nation."

Why do I mention it here today? I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one not aware of this important day. Visit Wikipedia to learn more.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

IKEA or bust!

I hate shopping. But for some reason I can spend a whole day in IKEA. We drove to Ottawa today to get some covers for the couch and chair we bought last year before Jeff's Aunt and Uncle come for a visit. When I'm into something I'm into it. I went into every room and probably picked up or opened at least ten things in each designed space. I only wish I could walk into my living room and feel it's as perfectly designed. We definitely live in our space.

Jeff was very patient today. He hates shopping more than I do and he was my driver. I don't do expressways, over passes, major highways etc. Once we arrived he was a cute little butterfly going into each room and checking things out. His purchases today included three glasses to replace the ones I broke and a package of small spoons to replace the ones I keep putting in the trash for no other reason than I'm out to lunch. I only throw the baby spoons out, never any of the other utensils. This is particularly funny because they are my favourite utensil. Just one of my many absent-minded-quirks.

We couldn't decide on what colour covers we wanted. The dark brown we loved when we were there a year ago but today it didn't sit well with Jeff. He thought they'd make the room look too dark. This quickly became contagious and I couldn't make a decision either. We had to take a break, go for lunch (Montanas) before we came back, finished the section we missed earlier, discussed some more, tested some more and finally picked the sand soft corduroy because it also had a hassock (footstool) cover in the same fabric.

After another 2.5 hour drive (and a brief intermission at Tim Horton's for an Ice Cap) we made it home. Pooped. Dog and cat were very happy to see us. We're looking forward to being horizontal tonight. ZZZZZ.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Cats Cats Cats at every meal!

Or lack of something exciting or amusing to say I thought I'd share this little ditty from a friend in B.C.

Cat Haiku
---------

You never feed me.
Perhaps I'll sleep on your face.
That will sure show you.

The rule for today
Touch my tail,
I shred your hand.
New rule tomorrow.

Grace personified.
I leap into the window.
I meant to do that.

You're always typing.
Well, let's see you ignore my
Sitting on your hands.

Terrible battle.
I fought for hours.
Come and see!
What's a 'term paper'?

Small brave carnivores
Kill pinecones and mosquitoes
Fear vacuum cleaner.

Want to go outside.
Oh, no! Help! I got outside!
Let me back inside!

Humans are so strange.
Mine lies still in bed, then screams
My claws are not that sharp.

You must scratch me there!
Yes, above my tail!
Behold elevator butt.

My small cardboard box.
You cannot see me if I
Can just hide my head.

Blur of motion, then -
Silence, me, a paper bag.
What is so funny?

In deep sleep hear sound
Cat vomit hairball somewhere
Will find in morning.

I want to be close to you.
Can I fit my head
Inside your armpit?

We're almost equals.
I purr to show I love you.
Want to smell my butt?

Monday, June 05, 2006

Bird Brains

Yesterday after a long day of forcing my husband to do errands with me we came across a pigeon flapping haphazardly in the middle of a road. Jeff, immediately pulled over giving no thought other than protecting the bird from further injury from passing vehicles. Do I have a compassionate husband or what?

We brought the bird home and inspected it's injuries. Broken shoulder and lots of blood. It didn't look good. We couldn't set it and of course it wouldn't stop bleeding. What to do, what to do? Of course all the vets were closed, being Sunday and all. So I hopped on the internet. Guess what I found. "DON"T PICK UP INJURED BIRDS. THEY ARE DEATHLY AFRAID OF HUMANS AND WILL GO INTO SHOCK AND DIE." and "Taking wildlife into your home is against the law." Very helpful, no?

Luckily an online friend found the number for a Wildlife Hotline centre in
Toronto and they got back to me the next day and put me in touch with some preserves in my area where I could take the bird. Thank goodness. They were very helpful and invited me to drop the bird off.

So I spent the morning driving 45 minutes to find the place to hopefully save this bird's life. I was greeted by five war torn dogs, two cats and a couple geese and two young women who help care for the animals. Talk about a welcoming committee! They were very appreciative that we took the time to rescue the bird and drop it off.

For Jeff and I it's just the right thing to do. Cars are not a normal part of nature. It's sad that many do not think like we do. Even sadder is the people who don't keep an eye out for animals on the roads and highways, we are after all taking over their environment.

The preserve called us tonight to let us know the injuries were too great to repair so they put the bird down. We feel better at least knowing it didn't have to take days to die at the side of the road or worse.

We really questioned what we were doing but received a great email from another rescuer, "It is definitely frustrating to be in the situation of finding a creature that needs help, stepping in to help it, and then not being able to find another someone who can give it more help. But don’t let it prevent you from doing the right thing the next time or the next time after that. You did the right thing".

At least the next time we'll know who to turn to.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Cancer/Heart Disease and Weight?

Everywhere I see/hear how Obesity is killing everyone with cancer and heart disease. Yet all my skinny friends seem to be the ones dying or losing pieces of themselves.

I lost a friend 8 years ago. A very good friend. Jeff and I had just driven to Quebec to spend a weekend with her and then beau on their farm. She was an active woman all the time I knew her. She was a slim petite woman with a huge laugh and bright eyes. She taught me a lot. A week after we visited we received a call from her beau saying she had a massive heart attack and died. She was 42.

My mother-in-law has battled breast cancer. She has watched her weight all her life. She's very controlled meal wise (and otherwise). I've never seen her overeat once.

I visited another friend last week who was recently operated on for colon cancer. She's currently going through chemo treatments, has no hair, no appetite but great looking skin. When asked about prognosis she says it's called "I'm not dead yet!" Here, another person that has no incidence of weight issues. She does however have a skyrocketing blood pressure.

There's more and more people I've met who have no apparent weight issues but have other increasing health problems. Being overweight and obese doesn't cause diseases.

Read Big Fat Facts.

IT Has Started

By "IT" I mean the warm weather blues. Yes, I have warm weather blues to balance my cold weather blues (who would I be if I didn't complain about the weather). It is hot! It is humid! I'd say it's African hot like Ferris but I've never been to Africa. The heat wouldn't be so bad if the humidity didn't go up with it. It's creating smog which makes it hard to breath and you can't move without producing butt sweat... correction, breathing produces butt sweat it's so damn hot.

On to warm weather complaint number two. Mosquitoes! Freeak! I tried to dig up some plants for a friend of mine who moved into a new home with a vacant backyard and what do I get? A face full of mosquitoes. They were literally driving me psycho. Had someone been in the yard I probably would have hit them in the head with the shovel I was waving around. I gave up after a few plants. And promised her if we had a cool spell that killed off the mosquitoes (like it'd be that easy) then I'd get her some more.

So here I am trapped in my house, blogging/complaining to whoever will listen because my immediate family and friends are sick of listening to me. Oh what a world, what a world.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Forest for the Trees


This is our favourite garden at the moment. I don't even know if you can call it a garden. We bought this Birch tree last year for like 60% off. We hoped it would survive the winter and as you can see it did. We can see it from every window out the back of our house. We love this tree and think it is so beautiful. We love the tulips under the tree, freshly planted in the fall by moi. We even love the cocoa mulch. We don't love the white fence but it keeps the 70lb dog from running over the tulips when she's chasing bird shadows. This picture really doesn't do the beauty of this tree and it's tulips justice but please use your imagination and trust me, they are perfect.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Four Little Things

Alright, I copied this idea from Wendy at Pound.

Four jobs I’ve had:

  1. Cashier. I worked in a corner store called the Cow Palace.
  2. Nurse. Yes, I was formally trained to empty bedpans and give shots in the bum.
  3. Lottery Clerk. When I first moved to Eastern Ontario a friend who also lived here took pity on me because I couldn't find a job. I thank her.
  4. Manager. The best part about working for a clothing retailer is the discount. Now that I'm not there I sooo miss the money I saved. Not surprising it was a plus size clothing store, Penningtons.

Four movies I can watch over and over:

  1. Officer & a Gentleman, I drive my husband crazy mouthing the dialogue.
  2. The Wizard of Oz, because there's no place like home.
  3. Flashdance, There's a little dancer dying to get out of all of us.
  4. Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Another romance...

Four places I’ve lived:

  1. The middle of a triplex in Fort William, Ontario.
  2. The end of the same triplex in Fort William, Ontario.
  3. On the third floor of a low-income building, still in Fort William, Ontario.
  4. The third floor of a 9 story building in Eastern Ontario. No wonder why I like the number three.

Four TV shows I’ve loved:

  1. Veronica Mars
  2. High Incidence
  3. Third Watch
  4. Scooby Doo

Four places I’ve vacationed:

  1. Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
  2. Red Rock, Ontario.
  3. Niagara Falls, Ontario.
  4. St. Paul's, Minnesota.

Four of my favorite dishes:

  1. Fettuccini Alfredo
  2. Poutine with real curds not the cheep stuff
  3. Greek Chicken
  4. Barbequed Ribs

Four sites I visit daily:

  1. Rocketboom
  2. Large & Lovely
  3. Amazon
  4. Bug Me Not

Four places I would rather be right now:

  1. New Zealand.
  2. Collecting my million dollar prize money.
  3. Hot tub in the spa of my own mansion.
  4. Horseback riding with Viggo Mortensen

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Letter Writing

This week on BIW we are working on a letter writing exercise. Our attempt to fight the demise of the art of letter writing. I have to admit, it's day two, letter two and I am struggling. I'm not a good conversationalist to begin with so to keep up a one sided dialogue... is even more of a challenge for me. Over the last eight years I've become so used to email and the immediate gratification that comes from it. I will persevere.

***
Topic Links
* Book-in-a-week or BIW

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Cranky Puss

I feel angrier than usual these days. I feel like I can't communicate the simplest of things to the people who should know me the best. It's like no body knows me. I wish someone could develop a direct link up to our brains so when these things arise we can just plug the other person into our head so they can get our meaning and not the meaning they think we mean. :)

I think the biggest problem is listening. We tend to form our opinions while the other person is talking rather than actually listening, we've decided what they are saying long before they are done. Why do we do that? Even worse... emails and articles. So much is read into the use of certain words, phrases etc. Someone around the globe may misinterpret the simplest of meanings. Communication is a great thing but it's very touchy and subjective.

My head hurts.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

We did it!

We bit the bullet so to speak and purchased some windows. It's a strange process. A stranger in jeans with a tape measure comes to your house and goes through each room to measure the width and height of the inner frame. He then shakes our hands and leaves later calling with an estimate. He may or may not be seen again depending on whether he is contracted to do our windows.

We went with a local company who have been around 30 years. They were also the best price. It was a very stressful decision but once made and paperwork signed Jeff was quick to mention we could buy that computer upgrade he was talking about with the money we saved. Huh? Male logic.

The windows are currently being made in a factory across town and in about four weeks some little lady will call us up to set up an appointment to have some more dudes in jeans come and rip out our old windows and set in the new ones. It's only suppose to take a few days.

The dilemma now is what to do with the barking German Shepherd and the cat...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I Can See Clearly Now... Not Yet

We are getting new windows. Why, you ask? We live in a fifty year old side-split with old cottage windows. It's cold and because of such we are a slipper household (I hate slippers). We are told new windows will cut our energy expenditure by 25-35%. The only problem? Shopping for windows has become like shopping for a vehicle. Why can't everyone just offer the best price to everyone? I hate negotiating, trying to figure out if one type of window is better than another etc. I just want to call someone up and say, "Hey, I need windows!" and not have to worry if I'm getting ripped off. Why does shopping for big items have to be so worrisome? I want to know.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Words...

Oh! the sweet sound of words unspoken.
He does not say what she sees but does what he does not say.
No woman could fathom his sweet eloquence.
But love does look upon those loved with rose coloured eyes.

Oh! the sweet sound of words unspoken.
She does not see what he would say would he see her mind.
No man could alter her perceptive conception.
But affection does look on those in friendship's grace welcomed.

Travesty to all who choose to read between the lines
Instead of words spoken.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Just Because I Have To

It's a damp earthy day here. I'm sensing that time of the month coming on. It's not just the mild cramping, headache and all around flat affect... I ripped a shred off the darling love of my life the other day because he asked be to do something and I'm the one still brooding about it. I actually said I felt like slitting my wrists. Hmm... Issues much? I'm feeling mildly better today but I could still do some damage if provoked (no I don't mean to myself).

I watched CSI last night and the highlight was this scene about an internet video blog called RocketBoom. I happened to have been multitasking at the time and typed in the url they used half expecting it to be something else. Sure enough there was a video blog with the same woman, Amanda Congdon. The site produces five minute vlogs M-F about whatever, usually involving some stupidity, humour or kirk. I loved it! Amanda rocks.

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Topic Links
* Rocket Boom

Friday, January 27, 2006

Frey Breaks

I watched the live telecast on Oprah as she apologized to America for backing Frey when she really wasn't sure what she was talking about (or him for that matter). Frey looked like a little boy sitting on the bench outside the principal's office. A sorry sight in deed. Part of me felt sorry for him. If only he had added one little line..."loosely based on actual events"... his life wouldn't be in another million little pieces.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Precarious Happiness

"I only regret that everybody wants to deprive me of the journal, which is the only steadfast friend I have, the only one which makes my life bearable, because my happiness with human beings is so precarious, my confiding moods rare, and the least sign of non-interest is enough to silence me. In the journal I am at ease." Anais Nin Diaries

Monday, January 16, 2006

Triple Threat

Geena Davis, S. Epatha Merkerson and Queen Latifah were hot at the Golden Globes.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Sheesh!

The world really never ceases to amaze me. It's too bad it's mostly for the bad. I was sent an article today from the Edmonton Sun about a woman in Vancouver who can't work because she developed carpal tunnel syndrome (on the job), a painful ailment brought on by repetitive use of the hands and wrists.

"WorkSafeBC, the former Workers' Compensation Board, acknowledged Anna Palumbo's condition of carpal tunnel syndrome." But they refuse to give her any doe because she falls into the fat category of the BMI.

Hello? Can someone please tell me what her weight has to do with a wrist injury? Unless her job required her doing quartwheels I just don't see the connection. They really should be ashamed of themselves for using her weight as an excuse for being too damn cheap to make a legitimate payout.

People suck (I know poetic isn't it).

Topic Links
* EdmontonSun

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Russia With Love

I learned about two different things at different ends of the spectrum this morning. Almost every Sunday I like to watch a news show simply titled, Sunday Morning. It covers a range of topics from news headlines around the world as well as entertainment. It has many fine qualities the first being it's tone. It's hosted by radio personality Charles Osgood whose voice is both informative and soothing.

Two things struck a cord with me this Sunday Morning. For the first time ever, an exhibit displaying Russian art is making the rounds; it’s currently at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The collection spans 800 years and includes such names as Kandinsky, Kramstoy and Repin. Sunday Morning talked with a few curators involved with the exhibit and provided a slide show of some of the most beautiful and moving work I've ever seen. I was touched by the fact I wasn't the only one seeing these works for the first time. I was also moved to gratitude for Sunday Morning sharing this piece of beauty I'd never get a chance to see otherwise. Here is the CBS news piece on it although unfortunately there are no photos.

I mentioned there was a second end of the spectrum; Hugh Thompson, a helicopter pilot previous interviewed decades earlier about his experience during the Vietnam war. He passed away at the age of 62 so they replayed the earlier interviews. It wasn't so much his passing I found sad but his history. I've heard bits and pieces about the war and have seen the movies but I never heard of My Lai and the Vietnamese massacre. The amount of inhumanity (whatever that means) always amazes me. You can read about Hugh and how he put himself between fleeing refugees and the comrade U.S. solders firing upon them at CBS News.

I have mixed feelings about the rest of the day...

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Topic Links

* Visit the New York Guggenheim Museum

Buy at Art.com
Portrait of an Unknown Woman, 1883
Ivan Kramskoy
Buy From Art.com