Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Autumn walk with Monty and MayB

This week, in preparing my soul for winter, Monty and I went for a walk to soak in the warm air, fall colours, and Halloween decorations.  I have loved Halloween forever.  Free candy and dressing up? Greatest ever.  Not to mention, fall is my time of year. Cute sweaters, fingerless gloves, and long pants are my happy place.  Not to mention the colours.  The colours!!

A dilapidated old alley looks gorgeous in fall.
I cannot say enough about how much I love the colours in fall.  Greens are so beautiful, reds and oranges so fiery.  The smells of the cool crisp air. I fall in love with fall (tee hee) every year. 

So does Monty.  There are so many interesting things to roll in in the fall when you're a dog. We've lived in our rental for 3 months and he's found 5 dead or smelly things to roll in.  He's spent less time off leash in the last 3 months than ever before and rolled in more dead things. The dead gopher the other day was the icing on the cake. 

You can't see his face, but he's super happy.
The neighbourhood is so lovely. Until now, we've lived in a fairly new area and will be doing so again in the spring.  I had forgotten how awesome it is to be around full trees that shed into gorgeous colours every autumn.  
A little whimsy on a lawn
Monty and I wandered around and I took pictures of everything.  I'm sure the neighbourhood watch was losing it, because a few times I got really close and even crouched on the lawn for a shot or two. The police likely got calls about a weird woman and her dog "casing" the neighbourhood.

I love the colour of her watering can.
I've been trying to catch the above picture of the watering can so beautifully placed for the entire time we've lived in this neighbourhood.  Finally, I stopped being coy, wandered onto the lawn, set up shop, and took a billion pictures. I love the way it sits there like a part of the decor. 

I love the Halloween decorations -- not the scary, gory, disgusting ones, but the ones with a good sense of humour and childlike wonder.  I wish I was able to bring out all my Halloween decorations this year (including the puppet version of Spike from Angel!) but it's all packed up in storage.  Instead, I am making do by wandering the streets and picking my favourite houses.  The dog doesn't care as long as he gets a walk.

Next year, I am going to go to town with decorating.  This year though, I picked up these adorable window stickers and that will be my extent of decorating.

MayB and The Guy in cartoon form?
I did, however, get a costume for Monty.  He was not thrilled.  I dressed him up to meet The Guy at the door after work and The Guy gave me the same look the dog is giving me in this picture.

Plotting my death.
Party poopers.  Both of them.

Monday, October 28, 2013

House update: picking out the accoutrement

We are getting remarkably close to our pile of wood actually looking like a house.

Here it is a few days ago. Since then they have started putting the plywood down so it will be ready for shingles and the such.  We might actually get it relatively close to being closed in by the time the snow really hits us.

Here is what the house will look like when it is all said and done.  I believe it will be done in April of 2078, but they have assured us it will be much sooner. As I mentioned before, we are in a rental right now - a sweet little place with no dishwasher which is only making me slightly homicidal - and aren't in any great hurry.  Except, of course, to get my dishwasher and a tub I can actually bathe in.

Sorry, I got sidetracked. My point was: the build is moving along and we are getting to the fun part.

Picking out stuff!!

Today, we get to pick out shingles, siding, and rock for our house.  We found out which companies we were able to choose from and went to town. We could agree on a few things -- we wanted blue siding (I wanted light, he wanted darker) but there is only one option, so that solved that. We also wanted a coloured door. I wanted red.

We went through all the rocks and told each other which ones we liked. From there, we narrowed it down to what went best with the blue.  The rock lead to the rust colour for the door and the shingles were the only ones we actually liked.

And voila! I created a board to show exactly what we wanted.  Here it is below.  (Yes, I'm a big dork. So is The Guy. He bought all the flooring and tile months ago. We like to plan ahead.)

Now we will go to meet the contractor, nail down exactly what will be used, and place an order for it all. Then it's just up to the working crew to put it all together.

I'll let you know if this is at all close to what we actually end up with!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Technological mishaps: A comedy of errors

I used to have a device that wirelessly connected my computer to the TV, so when I moved to the Macbook, I was sad I no longer had that ability.  We made the best of it, watched some shows on my laptop. It was not the same. A 60" TV does not translate well to a 13" computer screen.

I subtly encouraged The Guy to consider Apple TV. In case you haven't heard of it, Apple TV is a device that connects with all your Apple products with your television. You can access your videos, your music, your movies, everything all on your TV. I saw it at a friend's one night and have been coveting it ever since.

After hemming and hawing, we considered waiting to buy it until the new house was finished. But The Guy couldn't resist my nagging charm. He brought it home on Friday.

Setting it up didn't seem to difficult and The Guy started entering all the pertinent information.  The house was quiet and I was in the other room doing dishes while waiting to be entertained.

And I was.

Blasting from the other room came ABBA's Dancing Queen. Knowing that is not Wade's usual preference, I went in to see what was happening.  It wasn't The Guy. Apparently, my MacBook was possessed.

Each time The Guy would press any button on the remote to control the television, my computer would play a different song. 10 seconds of numerous songs in my repertoire sounded through the air. Then, it began bringing up pictures and flashing them across the screen.

The Guy was controlling my computer which he hadn't even connected to the device.

Trying to figure out how to make it stop was impeded by my stomach cramping laughter at The Guy's increasing frustration. I'm a mean wife that way.

Eventually we got it all figured out and disconnected the remote ability to control my computer. The Guy commented on how glad he was he had not turned on his own computer. We laughed and laughed.

The Guy headed to bed early in preparation for his 2am wake up call to go to work. I went about the evening breaking in the new TV connection.  Many movies later, I was getting ready to load up my last TV episode before The Guy woke up.

About 10 minutes to 2am, the computer in the kitchen began screaming some of the loudest and angriest rap music I've ever heard. I thought it was The Guy's alarm but when it continued to play, I realized I had inadvertently turned on The Guy's computer and started up his music.

The Guy stumbled into the kitchen bleary-eyed and wondering why I had started a dance party at 2am. I had to confess I'd done the same thing with the Apple TV remote as he had done earlier.

We likely should become Amish.  We might have less issues.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Persistance: Fiction Friday

The story of the Spinster house: The House, The CoupleAnother meetingThe ShopAnna's last yearThe Disastrous Betrayal and Hope's Journal.

In the two weeks following, Anna became settled in her new life.  She spent most days at the shop learning the business.  It was less and less painful to be there in the presence of her aunt's life work and best friend, Zoe. Zoe ceased to be tearful each time she time she picked up something Hope had once also picked up, which made the atmosphere relaxed and fun.

Anna was on the sliding ladder arranging part of the new shipment onto the top shelves when the bell above the door chimed.  Anna leaned to put the last book onto the shelf with the other assortments of coffee table books about owls.  She looked to the door to see Kade enter the room. At that moment, she leaned a little too far to the side and lost her balance.

It wasn't a far distance to the floor, but even still Anna braced herself for the jarring land. She was surprised to feel two hands grab her by the arms before she made contact and she landed relatively softly compared to what she thought was going to happen.

"I always seem to be finding you about to injure yourself. Have you noticed that?"

Anna stared up at Kade who hadn't released her arms yet. "That is true. However, there are numerous times a day you aren't around that I also end up injured, so it might not be you. Percentage wise, most interactions with me are about saving me from myself."  She backed up and dusted her pants needlessly from invisable specks of dust. "I do appreciate the help on that one though. My ankles also thank you."

"Any time." Kade stood back, hands in his pockets and looked at Anna. It became uncomfortable rather quickly and Anna searched her mind for something to say.

"So, can I help you with anything? Books by Russian novelists? A statue of a cowboy?" she rambled.

Kade laughed. "Actually I'm here to fix the light fixture in the back room. Zoe called to say it wasn't working well. But, I'm flattered you think I would understand Russian novels. Not so flattered you think I decorate in cowboy."

"Oh! The light. Yeah, it's being very strange. Sometimes it turns on, sometimes it doesn't. I haven't figured out why, but I'm hoping it's something electrical and not something that can't be fixed."

Anna led the way to the back room and left Kade to his work.  When she got back to the front, Zoe had appeared from wherever she had been hiding. She had a mischievous grin on her face.

"You saw Kane? I asked him here."

"Yes, I saw him. He's fixing the light in the back room."

"No. He' not. Well, he will try, but there is no fixing that light. It's our ghost, George. Sometimes he wants a light on. Sometimes he doesn't." Zoe continued, "I brought Kane here so you can get to know him. So you can date him. Hope wanted you to have someone nice."

Anna paused a moment. Zoe did not know about her disastrous relationship and the real reason she left the firm. "I'm not really looking for anything right now, Zoe. And, I'm sure, Kade isn't interested."

"He will be! You're wonderful. You will be just fine. Hope and I talked about it once. You don't need a man, I know, but they are handy to have around." Zoe winked and Anna shuddered a little at the thought of how Zoe and Hope would find a man handy. They were both too much like a mom for that thought to sit well.

Kane came out from the back with a tool box Anna had not noticed before. "I tried my best to fix that light. It seems to be working fine though. If it causes any more trouble, feel free to call again."

"Kane, you should take Anna out for lunch. It is almost lunch time. Don't you think you would both like to have lunch?" Zoe had very little in the way of tact. Anna cringed inwardly.

"Zoe! You can't just boss Kade around like that! I'm sure he has plans. Or better things to do. Right?" Anna looked beseechingly at Kade to help avoid the completely conspicuous attempt at matchmaking.

"Actually, I have nothing planned and would be happy to have you join me for lunch. Let me put these tools away and I will take you over to Stucky's. My treat. What a great idea, Zoe. Will you join us?" Kade winked at Zoe, letting her know he was on to her plan.

Zoe was not fazed at all. "I couldn't possibly. I have much to do. You two go and have a wonderful time." Kade nodded and took the tools out to his truck.

"What did you do, Zoe?" Anna asked, surrendered. "What did you do?"

Zoe just smiled her mischievous smile.

Next: Considering the possibilities

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The girl in the woods: Post from the Past

I originally posted this in September of 2008. It details an experience I had in counselling many years ago after my mother was diagnosed with cancer and I was in a relationship damaging to both myself and the other party. 
Cathedral Grove 02

I walked into the counsellor's office and sat down. I had been there twice since making the decision to talk to someone. The first session I did nothing but cry for an hour. The second, I provided an overview of who I was and what my life had become - deep unhappiness, constant crying and an overwhelming sense of worthlessness.

I bonded easily with the older woman who took my case. I call the counsellor "older". At the time, she seemed so far away from my age. Now, I can see she was not any older then than I am now. So much for the perspective of a 24 year old.

I felt at ease with her - more with her than with myself those days. We came from similar backgrounds: oldest child of a larger family, raised in a devoted religious group (who jokingly referred to themselves as a cult), living in constant fear of not being good enough and being unliked. The only difference was she was from the East, me from the West.

I unleashed years of sadness on this counsellor during those few months we met weekly. I poured out years of pain and hurt and the perceived agony of a girl in her early 20s. (Oh, if only I'd known what was to come.) She responded with patience, sincerity, understanding and tears in her eyes.

That day, she said she wanted to try an exercise with me. I can't recall how she referred to it - what name she gave the exercise - but I remember thinking it could not be real. It sounded made up and pretend and completely un-scholarly. It sounded... like hippy therapy.

She wanted me to wander my subconscious and see what came up. She would lead me through an image, a story, a daydream and we would see what my mind had to tell me. I worried about that. First, I worried it was hogwash and, people were right, I was wasting my time. Then, I worried it was not hogwash and I would see something I didn't want to see. Something I wasn't ready to deal with or didn't want to face. I wasn't sure with which scenario I was more concerned.

I closed my eyes and listened to her voice. I imagined a great forest standing before me. I meant to pretend to imagine it; pretend to follow instructions. But there it was in front of me and I was lost in the description. The trees loomed above me, not threatening, but huge. Moss covered the ground and took over the base of most trees. I swore I could hear birds chirping. It was peaceful and quiet. I was content for the first time in a long time. I could have spent days in that wood, just listening and taking it all in. Soaking up all the calm and comfort.

"Now, imagine a path in front of you."

I'll be damned. There was a path. Off to the right of me, it wound through the trees until I could not see where it went. The path was crushed gravel and looked man-made, yet not out of place at all. In my mind's eye, I stepped onto the path.

"Follow the path and tell me what you see."

There were a lot of trees. A couple of boulders rested to one side looking as though someone had placed them there specifically for weary travellers or hikers. It was so green, dark in places and light in other. There was a clearing just ahead. Sunny, but not too bright - not overwhelming, just sunny. Tall grass covered the clearing and waved gently in the breeze - a melodic movement of nature.

"Who do you see on the path?"

No one. Oh. Except her. A little girl with long, blond hair in pig tails. She wore a white eyelet dress covered in pink flowers and light green leaves. She looked thoughtful. Not happy, not sad. Just like she thinks too hard and knows too much. I know her. I've seen her before in pictures from family albums. Smiling for the camera to commemorate her first day of Kindergarten. I know her. She is me.

"What does she say?"

I shake my head at this question. I don't want to know. I don't want to hear. It is too painful to see this little girl who had so much faith in the world. So much faith that things would be the way they were supposed to be. I was not who she was expecting. I had not brought her dreams to fruition. Despite my refusal, the little girl spoke. "It's okay," she says, "You're doing your best."

I broke away from the girl and ran. Frantic and aching, I ran. Back to the counsellor's office, back to the chair. I sat, chest heaving with exertion and pain. I cried without sound for I could not breathe. Shudders ran over me, through me as I fought for control.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Fall Creations: What I do in my spare time

I learned how to knit 3 years ago when I went to visit my sister in Victoria, B.C.  I took to it like a duck to water. It was like an OCD dream -- counting, repetitive motions, and making something. Since then, I have branched out from my first scarf and dog sweater.
hats and cozys
Adult accessories on Etsy
My preference is making hats. I love how quick they knit up, how many different designs you can make, types of stitches, and the like. I could make hats until the sky falls. And, being that winter is coming up, the sky is going to be falling soon.

Wait, I said I moved on from scarves, didn't I? 

I did, but I learned to love them in other ways.

Scarves on Etsy
Along with knitting, I am also a sewer. I love making useful things that other people can enjoy. I don't ever keep anything I make -- whether knit or sewn -- but I love knowing things I have made are being used and enjoyed by others.  I went through a iPhone and E-reader stage. I love making stylish things that will keep people happy and safe.

covers and iPhones
Geekery on Etsy
But, in all honesty, I love making things for kids. Babies, toddlers, children. I love making little things that will look so adorable on someone else's little things!

Children items on Etsy
All in all, I love keeping busy, I love keeping my hands and brain occupied. But most of all, I love being creative in such a different way.

How do you express your creativity?

Side note: I think I've installed a new comment system making it easier for anyone to comment. Let me know if it works!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Me, in a shell of a nut. Now with pictures.

I thought I would take you on a tour of my week. It's been a busy one of no consequence.
  • I have knit, torn out, knit again, torn out, etc., the same hat 4 times this week. I finally finished it and am happy with it. First Christmas present done!
  • I accidentally wrote "hate" when I tried to write "hat" and that might tell you about this week and how things are going.
  • Positive note: Our house is getting somewhat closer to looking like a house. Frame is up for the main floor and the garage frame is almost ready. 
  • Untitled
    I love the trailer looks like a boat from this angle.
  • I ate pie, ice cream, and salt & vinegar chips for supper tonight. Because I'm a grown up.
  • I finally finished the first season of Orange is the New Black and now I'm mad the second season isn't out yet.
  • Grandma doesn't know who my brother is when he visits, but can still trump most the family in a game of Scrabble. The mind is a funny thing.
  • Untitled
    Grandma showing my Uncle and cousin how to do puzzles correctly.
  • I was grumpy earlier and it really hasn't gone away. I'm trying to suffocate it in carbs.
  • I have had 5 cupcakes in 2 days. I don't even feel guilty.
  • I had the following conversation with The Guy. He's my favourite.

  • The only reason I have walked the dog is because he has guilt tripped me every night until I give in. He stares at me and sighs and looks at the door longingly. I hate him.
  • This little girl caught my eye. She was too adorable, so I took a picture. I'm that creepy person.
  • Untitled
    Her little coat was adorable. 
  • I was in meetings all weekend and they were the best part of my week. That is sad. 
  • I have two night shifts this week and then I'm off to see Pink in concert. I'm rather looking forward to it. Though, I'm not sure I know more than 3 of her songs.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Grandma Anecdotes: Posts from the Past

I always love stories about my Grandma. Every once in awhile, I go through old things she has said or done and I still laugh. Here is a compilation of stories.
Picture by Ky

I walk with purpose.

People have a hard time keeping up with me regardless of the length of their legs (heaven help them if they are short). I don't wander or stroll, I walk every where with purpose and determination... even if I have no where to go. I also walk heavy. If I were a teacher, I would be the type who could be heard coming from the other end of the hall with loud clicks from my shoes.

One day, I came into Grandma's apartment from outside. She had been at her normal perch in front of the window watching everyone go by and trying to figure out which two people were couples and which ones would shortly be so.

I came into the house and Grandma turned to me and said "You know I love you and want to see you marry a good man. But could you walk like a girl, for goodness sake?"

I brought my wedding dress with me so that I could show Grandma. I knew she would be excited and want to be apart of it. I put it on and modelled it for her and my aunt the first afternoon I arrived. Grandma was thrilled by the dress. Less thrilled by the shoes. She was horrified that I would be wearing red.

The next day, I put the dress on to show my sister and my cousin. I walked out into the main room and showed the girls. Grandma came out from her room behind me. "Are you wearing that again??", she exclaimed.
16 Grandma and Bron
Grandma and me on my wedding day

Grandma is always trying to feed us. She does not take no for an answer. She pushes cookies and cheese puffs like a dealer with crack cocaine. Then, as though she isn't force feeding us everything in her fridge, she innocently asks if we've been gaining weight.

As I was packing to leave, she came into my room offering me a tray full of butter tarts. I had just had lunch moments before (including pie!) and so declined the dessert.

You don't want a tart?
No, thank you. I'm good.
You don't like tarts. (This was not a question. It was a statement -- of indignation.)
I do like tarts. But I'm full. Thanks anyway.
Okay. I'll go get you a muffin.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I will be happy and thankful for things. I'm a big grump; these are my lines.

That may not make sense to anyone, but I'm in a mood. I had decided when I started writing again I wasn't going to write constantly about being in a mood so that has meant I haven't written this week.  However, I was talking to my sister (who is quite wise - don't tell her I said that) and she suggested, instead of moping, I could write about what I am thankful for.  It seemed like that is just punishment for being grumpy, so I decided it would be like writing lines on the chalkboard.
I will be happy and thankful for things. I will be happy and thankful for things. Etc.
 The first thing I could think of might help you understand where I am right now.
I am thankful I have enough self-control not to kill all the people I hate.
Seems perfectly reasonable to me. Am I wrong?

I am thankful for other, less sinister things, as well. Like... puppies. Well, yeah. Mostly. But maybe not right now. I will be thankful for puppies later.

These are pelicans. 
I am thankful I am employed at a job I am good at. Even when I find the office frustrating and suffocating and infuriating. I make a good wage and have a good life and write an excellent report - if I do say so myself. That has to count for something.

I am thankful for my husband. He's a good guy. He makes me happy to be silly and I am damn lucky I found him because otherwise I would be much angrier, lonelier, and perhaps more violent. Though, he tells me I am still violent because I smack him when he tickles me.

I am thankful for sushi. It was supper tonight and super yummy.

I'm thankful for excellent friends. I had a great supper companion. We laughed, we cried, we talked about sex. You know, girl stuff. (Note: The Guy is just thankful he wasn't there to witness it!)

I am thankful I have a good home and good dog to come home to. Even though he wanted me to go for a walk and I didn't want to so I pretended I didn't understand what he wanted until he gave up and flopped on the floor. This dog is a drama queen.  Honestly.

I am thankful I finished my first article for the online magazine I will be writing for. I submitted it and will wait for further instructions. I wrote it entirely while waiting for my dinner companion and it came out flawlessly. Except for the typos.

I am thankful for this post because it's not about how disgusting fingernails can get when they are too long which is what my original post was going to be about until I realized it was gross. You should be thankful too.

Friday, October 11, 2013

What I've been making this week

This week, a friend and coworker asked me to make some decorative flowers for her dog babies. Like any good obsessed friend with OCD knitting skills, I got right on it. I did a couple of trial runs and sent her home to try it out. When she showed me how adorable it could be, I went a little crazy. I made 5 flowers for her dog babies and am working my way through 5 bow-ties for them too.
Modelling the flower: Molly
Here are samples of my new obsession.

Dog collar decor: bow-ties and flowers

I am going to make these a regular part of my repertoire. $5 for little flowers and bow-ties, $7 for medium sized (shown on Molly) and $9 for large.  You can order the flowers on my Etsy shop KnitMonkies.

Another friend from work was looking for something for her person baby. She wanted a puppy toque (knitted hat for all you Americans) because her little girl is in LOVE with dogs.  I found the cutest pattern on line via Ravlery and whipped it up last night.  I added the little tongue as my own touch! The ears look more like a bear in this picture, but when worn they flop over a little more.

Puppy dog toddler toque
So, in short, it's been a busy and fun week.  I might have to take a break or my arms will fall off!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Instructions for the Dog Sitter: Post from the Past

This weekend, a friend who used to dog sit for me took care of Monty while we were involved in wedding things.  We reminisced about the time I left her an 8 page instruction manual about the three dogs I had at that time.  Below is a compilation of the posts I did about it.  It was originally posted on August 2008.


A friend has agreed to come to our house and stay with our pups so they do not have to go through the kennel experience again right away. I am so thankful she is able to do this and I don't know if she can possibly know how much it means to me not to have to worry as much about them. However, I am still going to worry a little. Its just who I am. To not worry would be like making water run up hill.

I am going to have to get the house cleaned up to a nice, respectable level in order to not be embarrassed to have her here. Then, I am going to have to have everything ready for her to have an easy time of it with our little terrors. I am not worried they will have a bad time... I am worried that she will never speak to us again.

I have started a list of things she will need to know to have a smooth few weeks with my dogs. It started out as a short list. It is now 6 pages long. It is pathetic. So, I decided to blog it. I want you all to know 1) I am a nutbar, and 2) how to care for my dogs in case I die and leave them all to you in my will.

Dogs in window 1
Montel, Madison, and Vicki

Vicki (blue bowl) = 3/4 cup
Montel (red bowl) = 1 cup even-ish
Madison (silver) = 1 heaping cup

Food is in the big blue bin under the counter by the dog bowls. The dogs eat once at supper time. The chews and snacks are there too. Try and leave chew bones (raw hides) [I remembered the word after the fact] out whenever you leave. The dogs are chewers.

If they are annoying you, slather peanut butter (bottom door, top shelf next to the fridge) on the bones. It gets you 20 mins+ of quiet time. [I forgot to include not to dip the bones directly into the peanut butter as it makes Ky VERY angry. She goes all ranty about sanitary things.]

Caution: Don't leave anything you don't want eaten where they can get it. Be careful with your purse. Madison loves lip gloss, gum and lotion. [Also, this week she added Mp3 players to that list.]

Bathroom Habits

  • Don't leave the human bathroom door open or Maddy will pee on the rug.
  • They can go in if you are there. They love to sit in the tub.
Maddy in Tub
Madison watching the tub drain
Outdoor Bathroom:
  • In the morning, (First thing and/or before you go to work) put the dogs out.
  • You will have to force Madison out (kicking and snarling) as she does not like to go out to pee.
  • Montel needs out before you go out the front door (any time) or he thinks you forgot about him and pees anywhere.
  • Montel will ring the bell to go out. Madison will either whine or just disappear to sit at the back door. Vicki may growl, but likely won't do anything.
  • As soon as you get home, put them out (at least Montel) or he gets excited and pees.
  • Block all rooms when you leave the house.
  • The dogs leashes match their collars. The harnesses need to be used on Montel and Vicki or Vicki chokes. She might anyway.
  • The chocolate poop bags are on the bench.
  • Madison sometimes decides she's a princess and doesn't like walks. If she goes into her kennel, you can put her leash on while she's in there and drag her out. If she snarls just leave her. She can be a jerk.
  • If you see a dog or cat: 1) avoid it if you can, 2) walk on the other side of the road, 3) either keep Montel close and let the other two go, or 4) let Vicki hide behind you and Madison will keep Montel in line.
  • Montel and Vicki will wrestle occasionally while on walks. They are just playing, not fighting.
  • The dogs usually get 2x 20 minute walks a day. Usually after work and before bed. They know the route. Sorry, we're OCD.
  • They will bark like mad. (The dogs, not the visitors)
  • Tell them the people are friends and let them in to stand in the foyer [I don't have a foyer. I meant entry. Which is just a rug.]
  • The dogs will settle a bit and then the friends can sit down
  • The dogs will climb all over them
  • Vicki might hate them. She's temperamental. Hold her for a bit, then let her investigate.
  • No dancing or loud, jumpy movements. The dogs are INSANE.
I know. This is way too much info. I've never left them alone this long and I am crazy.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Itsh nisch to meetsh you

I have had pretty good luck with my teeth over the years. Apart from at least one cavity every year since I was betoothed, I have had great teeth. Straight, relatively clean, sharp, usable teeth. I was one of the lucky ones who never needed braces or elastics, retainers or head gear.
Source of these teeth

Since I've become an adult, one problem has arisen. I grind my teeth. Every night, I work at making my teeth into tiny stumps of ineffectual calcium. I grind and clench and squeak my teeth together.  This causes headaches, neck aches, migraines, and jaw pain. The muscles in my jaw are so tight they have relaxed exactly 3 times in the last 10 or so years.

Now, I have no idea if I've always been a clencher/grinder or if it is a relatively new phenomenon. All I know is I have woken not only myself, but other people from down the hall up with my teeth. Maybe I've been doing this all my life, or maybe it's a newly acquired habit, but all I could say is it needed to quit.

First, I was given a night guard by one very lovely dentist who held my hand and assured me everything would be fine. I chewed through the guard in less than 6 months. I got another one made of tougher material. Thankfully, it lasted a lot longer, but I also got married and forgot to put it in some nights.  Night guards are not sexy.  You've seen the scene from Date Night, right?

I've been to physiotherapy. I've had acupuncture. I've been referred to get Botox to freeze my muscles into relaxation.  (I didn't do that. When I get Botox, I want it to be for something awesome.)

For the last few months, I've been going to a new dentist. She is a good friend and I adore her. This causes me a great deal of contradictions as I normally loathe all dentists. Her, though? She's good people.  She has a plan.  A little retainer to wear 24/7 that will retrain my jaw to the correct position and change the way my jaw muscles behave.

On Monday, I got my little device fitted. It slips over my bottom back teeth and hugs snugly. It has a teeny lip that goes over my bottom front teeth and is "hardly noticeable".  You know, except for the fact it feels like I have a hockey puck in my mouth and I am lisping like I have a forked tongue.

So, of course, I went straight from the dentist to work. As a crisis counsellor and child protection worker. Because, nothing is better for clear communication than having a large plastic device taking up all your tongue room. (That's what she said.)

Standing on the porch of a house, a client turned to me after I tried repeatedly to explain why I was there and said "What? I can't understand you? Why can't you talk right?"

Thisch isch going to take awhile.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Wasn't that a party?

I love me some Irish Rovers. Not that they had anything at all to do with the wedding this weekend, but I couldn't resist using their song as a title. For all who think I'm a bit looney, here is the song so you know what I'm talking about. 

My in all my wedding hair glory
I was lucky enough to be involved in my sister in law's wedding this weekend. She's been planning it in great detail for over a year, so we knew it was going to be elaborate.  She's a planner. It's what she does.

We were not disappointed.

This mat greeted guests as we walked into the theatre where the wedding was taking place. It was the coolest venue - a retired church turned theatre with a 60s theme bar in the basement.  The Artisian. It even sounds cool.

The entry mat of love
The only problem with being IN the wedding party is the inability to take pictures.  The wedding hall was gorgeous. The bride was gorgeous. The groom was teary and his vows were the most touching things ever.  There were great laughs, light hearted moments, and - best of all - a marriage.

The family had pictures taken in a parking lot across the way where the fall leaves were turning on the trees and littering the ground. The photographer was great and had no problem contorting himself to get a good shot. It was highly amusing for the rest of us.

Candy bar of goodness
The candy bar was my favourite thing of the night. I immediately went to load up on M&Ms and Reeses Pieces before they were out. There was also a cigar bar and the coolest wedding cake ever, but my photos of those didn't work out.

We had a great dinner, listened to short and hilarious speeches, and then got to watch as my SiL and her new husband did a dance routine as their first dance. It was awesome. You could see the groom counting his steps the whole time.

My bouquet and the candle light.
My bouquet in the candle light
The decor was lovely - fall themed and done to the nines! Our bouquets were amazing too. Being that I was the lucky one to be the only girl in the wedding party, I got a smaller version of the bride's bouquet. Gorgeous. If you ever need flowers done, Gail's Florist in Regina is the place to go. I think it was Brenda who did them. She did mine too and they were gorgeous.

Blurry self portrait
Here we were half way through the night when every one on FB wanted us to post pictures of us all dolled up. It's blurry, but happy... just like we were.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

How Gold Digger became our song: Facts about me

Last night, my sister in law married a wonderful man. We had an awesome party, ate great food, danced our butts off to many requested songs, and everyone had a great time. When the DJ announced our song, our friends were incredibly confused. I thought I would explain.  That led to me answering some of the questions others have had for me this week. ** Amendment: by "others" of course, I mean Janet from Ordinary Mom! **

Our dancing shoes for the night!
How did Gold Digger become your song?
Four years ago, there were a slew of weddings at my office. We were at one reception dance and the song came on. I had heard it on Glee and loved it. However, because I only knew the song from Glee, I had no idea how raunchy it was. I dragged The Guy out onto the dance floor. It was the first song we ever danced to. The most ridiculously inappropriate song ever. It's been a running joke ever since.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Here is what I listed each year when I was asked that question by my mom: Teacher, cowboy (not cowgirl?), police officer, ballerina (hilarious, being I have no dancing skills), and sniper. Thankfully, I went for police officer and got side tracked into human services.

How many languages do you speak? If you could learn one new language, which would it be?
I speak one. It's pathetic really and I wish I spoke more. I can speak some French and less Spanish. I would like to learn Russian, but so far (despite the Rosetta Stone, which I'm not great at using) I know how to tell you that your green dog is very big.

What age did you enjoy the best so far?
So far, my 30s have been the best part of my life. I was terrified of turning 30, but my entire life changed for the better and keeps getting that way. I bought a house, had many dogs, met The Guy, got married, started our life, started a house build, etc. It's been a ride. I'm more confident in myself, I'm more relaxed, and I know where I want to go - even if I don't know how we're getting there yet.

If I gave you $5 to spend on yourself RIGHT now, what would you buy?
I really want a peanut buster parfait. I considered going to get one, but it's not good for me. I considered walking to get one to negate the bad factor, but my legs/feet still hurt from dancing last night. Lazy is the only thing stopping me from putting on weight. Ironic, no?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Hope's Journal: Fiction Friday

The story of the Spinster house: The House, The CoupleAnother meetingThe ShopAnna's last year and The Disastrous Betrayal

Chapter 6: Hope's Journal

White Palace 43 - books from the library

Anna shook herself out of her revelry as the kettle whistled. She realized her heart was beating rapidly and her hand ached from clutching the journal she held in her hand. Trouble was scratching at the back door to be let back inside and Anna knew she had been standing there, lost in painful thought for who knows how long.

Letting the dog back into the house and setting the tea to steep, Anna took a better look at the journal that belonged her aunt. Fitting easily into her hands, the leather was soft and supple, like a well loved book should be. It was simple, brown and gold, with no writing or embellishment on the cover.

Anna couldn't resist.

Pouring herself a cup of tea, Anna wandered into the sitting room and made herself comfortable on the older style love seat that had been left behind. She tucked her bare feet underneath herself, arranged the pillows behind her, and settled in. Trouble jumped up, made room for himself on top of one of her well-placed pillows and contentedly began chewing a rawhide.  Anna smiled, shifted to make more room, and steeled herself.

Slowly, as though knowing it was a moment she should savour, Anna opened the journal.  There was no pomp or circumstance, the words just began.

August 23, 1979
I turned 28 today. It's official, I'm no longer a young woman. I suppose that is truer than I would like to admit as I feel much older than 28. I have already lived so much more than my years. I have taken over as the adult in our home, finished raising my siblings, and put my youth on hold. I should have realized it would not wait for me to claim it again.

Martin has graduated high school now. Nineteen and full of bravery and knowledge. I am all at once proud of him and chortling at his assurances that he has learned everything. He is so amusing in his sincerity. I cannot wait for him to mature into the man he has shown glimpses of becoming. He has left for college now, the last one to leave the house, and I find I am alone for the first time in 10 years.

I did not realize how quiet and loud this house could be.

It has been 10 years next month since our parents died. 10 years since I came home from my first week of college to both mourn and move on. I find this year has been as sad as the first year. I find myself thinking "It has been a decade since my mother played the violin. A decade since..." Melancholy ridiculous, I need to smarten up about.

I have had a remarkable 10 years. I have watched my siblings grow. I have seen them all enter college and begin their lives. I have played and laughed, sang and cried, worked and loved. My sisters! How proud I am of them. The first women in our family to graduate, get degrees, and become real career women. The first women to prove what women have been saying all along - we are strong and capable! Francie with her poetry and love of literature - a teacher now. Cynthia and her love of order and sharing knowledge with everyone doing just that as a librarian. 

Then there is me. I am here. I'm at a moment in my life where everything I do can (could?) be something spectacular. Something important. 

I wish I knew what to do with that potential. It's quite paralyzing, really.

Next: Zoe is Persistant

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Our relationship: A tale of sarcasm and wit

I thought I would do a little compilation post. Over the years, I have collected quite a lot of material from conversations between The Guy and I. They amuse me to no end, so I thought you might enjoy them. 

Sept 1, 2007
Tonight, The Guy and I went to watch his friends paddle at the Dragon Boat races. As we were walking from the car to the lake, I suddenly gasped in excitement.

Without turning to look at what I had seen, The Guy says "Yes, they have mini donuts".

Nov 17, 2007

The Guy and I went out with my family for supper. As we are sitting at the table enjoying our food, I looked up to see a bizarre couple at a table across the room. Both were in their late 50s. She had high teased hair, copious neck wrinkles, and a tiny tank top which barely held her in. He had a black silk shirt open midway down his chest, a long pony tail and a handle-bar mustache.

I gasped and turned to The Guy. Without looking up, he said, "I saw them. I'm going to start growing a mustache tomorrow."

May 1, 2008

The other night, The Guy and I were hanging out at his place watching a movie. I was fiddling with a tag on the couch and accidentally ripped it off. I held it in my hand for awhile, playing with the material worn soft by time and many butts and contemplated what I would do with it. I pondered it and rolled it in my fingers and got an idea. A devious idea.

Without turning to look at me, The Guy said, "You're going to put that up my nose, aren't you?"

Dec 7, 2008

The Guy: He was probably just legit-ing. He legit-ed all over the place.
Me: Legit is used as a verb in this case?
The Guy: Sure, legit can be a verb or a noun. Really, it's a state of mind.

Feb 12, 2009

I got an email from The Guy.
The subject read: I got your wedding ring today
I got very excited. Then I opened the email and it read:
But I pawned it for blow.

Aug 11, 2009

My new health card came in the mail. Along with it came a new organ donor card. I filled it out and left it on the counter for The Guy to sign as a witness. He came home and I told him there it was there to sign.

The Guy: What is it?
Me: My new organ donor card. You know that when I die, I want my organs donated.
The Guy: No way.
Me: What?
The Guy: I was planning on harvesting them myself and selling to the highest bidder.

Oct 14, 2010

I turned to The Guy and said "Can we have a Tea Cup pig?"
He grinned and replied "Mmmm. Tea Cup bacon. So tiny, yet so delicious."