December 31, 2006

7 Things I am pleased about for 2006

In the spirit of giving at Christmas time I have to thank Jennyta for the gift of a new meme! And just in time for the New Year too!

(Stop groaning you lot!)

So without further ado, here's my top 7 of 2006 (why it's top 7 and not top 10 of 2006 or even top 6 of 2006 I haven't a clue).

7. Moving into an acting supervisor role at work.

6. Seeing the boy turn 19 - and finding he's turned into a loving, considerate young just to find him a nice girlfriend I approve of ;) (meddling mother? me? nah!)

5. Managing the Naplobo-whatever it was called. Posting every day during the month of November. (Yes, some days watching paint dry was more entertaining...but I persisted!)

4. Proving to myself that if I put my mind to it, I can do anything - in this case reworking my finances (and working my ass off in overtime) to make my dream of home ownership a reality.

3. Finally getting my Will and Power of Attorney drawn up. (Procrastinator extrodinaire)

2. Getting a couple of commendations/documentations at work for a "job well done".

and my number one for 2006 is (drumroll please)

1. The new house!!

2007 promises to be an exciting year - no doubt with oodles of drama, laughter and tears! (And tons of photographs!)

December 25, 2006

Me-me-merry Christmas!

Woke up tres early (4am) thanks to cold medication that wore off in the middle of the night. So just chilling here for a while until the boy wakes up! Perfect time for a Christmas Day me-me :-)

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Hot Choc

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?
Wrapped or gift bagged! (for the wrapping impaired)

3. Coloured lights or white lights on tree/house?

4. Do you hang mistletoe?

5. When do you put your decorations up?
Go up around 12 days before and down before 12 days after.

6. What is your favourite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Turkey & Cranberry!

7. Favourite Holiday memory as a child?
Lying in bed Christmas Eve so excited (I was practically levitating I am sure!) about Santa Claus coming - trying to go to sleep to make it come faster.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
My cousin L. told me on the beach front at Great Yarmouth one year. I was devastatingly disappointed - but worshipped the ground she walked she HAD to be telling me the truth- right?

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Everything gets opened Christmas morning (over a cup of tea) and before breakfast.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
Lot of lights, ornaments I have collected through the years and strings of bead garland and bows (no tinsel, we have cats!)

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Love fresh, new fallen snow....hate having to drive in it...hate ice rain.

12. Can you ice skate?
H'mmm kinda, sorta,

13. Do you remember your favourite gift?
My EasyBake oven when I was 4.

14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Spending time with family, good food (good wine) and seasonal shows on tv!

15. What is your favourite Holiday Dessert?
Toss up between Christmas pudding with brandy butter...or homemade Sherry trifle.

16. What is your favourite holiday tradition?
I can't think of one specific tradition that I love more than any other. Pulling the Christmas Crackers at the table. The "stockings first" rule whilst the grown ups make a cuppa tea. Home baked Cinnamon buns for Christmas morning for breakfast. Visits to family on Boxing Day. It's all wonderful!

17. What tops your tree?
An Angel with fibre optic wings :)

18. Prefer giving or receiving?
Both...but if had to choose, giving, I love to see their faces!

19. What is your favourite Christmas Song?
Far too many to list. Both old and new...carols and modern pop!

20. Candy Canes, yuck or yummy?
They are OK once a year :)

December 24, 2006

A cross between a "good bottoming" and "a lick and a promise"

So it's Christmas Eve day, I've got the turkey in the fridge defrosting for tomorrow, grabbed a couple of steaks out of the freezer for tonight - my plans for the day amounted to nothing, nadda, zilch - just to sit (with my Eartha Kitt/Bea Arthur sore throat that has been threatening for the last 3 days to develop into one hell of a head cold/flu, but so far hasn't progressed much beyond me feeling tres pooped and a bit under-the-weather), munch the occasional bon-bon, read my book, the girls vying for a spot on my lap....bliss!

Then the phone rang at around 10am and the dream sequence ended.

It was the boy calling from work. Would it be ok if he brought a friend over this evening from work? Yes of course, I said. Would this friend be coming for dinner? (My mind on the two steaks sitting defrosting). Oh we can order pizza, my son assured me, his treat. (My plans of a lovely Christmas Eve steak dinner, just the two of us, suddenly was a pizza party...sigh). I'll have to tidy up a bit (I eyed the rug - burgundy shows all the "bits"). Oh don't go to too much trouble mum - you're sick! I wont I assured him, (knowing full well different).

I thanked him profusely for giving me the forewarning. I hate unannounced guests and like to be ready. He said he hadn't even asked his friend yet, thought he would check with me first. (Ahhhh bless his cotton socks!)

I sat there for a few minutes after his phone call. What had been nice enough and tidy enough for he and I this Christmas, suddenly wasn't good enough for visitors (even if they are male work friends coming over for pizza and a game of WoW).

I'll whip around with the hoover later I decided. Then the narrator voice in my head reminded me that the boy was home early from work yesterday as the call volume was slow. And it is Christmas Eve...and Sunday to boot! How many people could possibly be having ISP problems today?

It was enough to spur me into action and I became a whirling dervish of cleaning power. Bedrooms, computer room, bathroom, stairs, hall, powder room, living room, dining room, kitchen - it's amazing how much you can get done when you are a woman with a mission. Dusted, polished, windows sparkling, hoovered the whole she-bang. Dishwasher is humming away in the background whilst the floors are drying. 11:56...a personal record! Somebody call Norris McWhirter at Guinness!

I sat down to finish a now stone cold coffee...and the phone rang again. It was the boy. His friend possibly wouldn't be coming now after all. (A crestfallen Oh! from yours truly) He had other plans, a Christmas party to go to etc. (Perspiration was still glistening on my flu ridden forehead). But he might drop by all depended on...

I wasn't listening at this point. I surveyed my living room....all neat as a pin and shinning. The whole house smells of a combination of bathroom cleaner, bleach, Pledge, Kitchen cleaner, Pinesol and Windex.

Yes, sure that was problem...right then, I'll get those two steaks back out the freezer for dinner tonight!

The boy thanked me and said I was brilliant.

Y'know, I am inclined at this moment in time to agree with him!

December 23, 2006

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

My heartfelt thanks to my old pal Heather for this fabulous link. I confess to having played this clip from beginning to end ...oh about 6 or 7 times (minimum) in a row at least....raspily singing along with gusto (I appear to be getting sick just in time for Christmas and sound like a cross between Eartha Kitt and Bea Arthur) Click here and please sing along! Merry Christmas xoxo


December 22, 2006

Christmas Games!

I love to find cute little gizmos, games and novelties on the web.

Simon Says Santa....go on, ask him to do anything!


Ever wondered what you would look like as a dancing Christmas Elf?

elf dance 2

Elf dance1

OK, well maybe you haven't previously wondered...but it's definitely worth the effort and a total laugh!
Christmas !!

I'm ready!

I hit the grocery store this morning to pick up some last minute things (milk, coffee etc) and was totally amazed at the number of people already there shopping like there was no tomorrow! The parking lot was jammed. The stores are only closed for 2 days for crying out loud! You'd think, looking at some people's trolleys, that they were stocking up for the next month or stocking a fallout shelter! Thankfully with my 4 items, I hopped over to the express lane and was out of that mahem in a jiffy.

My last and final task was wrapping pressies. Xena seemed more intent on crawling into gift bags and batting at the curling ribbon, but 2 hours later I am finally, officially, I aint buying another darn thing - even if I win the lottery tonight - DONE!

December 20, 2006

Merry Christmas from the girls

I was finally getting around to taking a pic or two of the Christmas decorations today, when a certain little furry face, waiting for Santa under the tree, caught my eye instead.


Xena loves to lie on top of (and totally mess up) the tree skirt and the various stockings waiting to be filled.

I couldn't leave out her big sister Savannah aka Fat Cat, seen here chilling on the couch.


Christmas photos? Oh yeah...well after taking photos of the girls I kinda forgot what I had originally been doing, but I did get a couple of shots of my Christmas village, here and here. Enjoy!

December 17, 2006

The Weekend

Well seeing as I am officially on my holls now til the 28th, I've taken advantage of the past few days to try and pry myself into the holiday spirit. I have to say that for some reason, I have failed miserably so far - but it is not for want of trying.

I am trying to blame the lack of festive cheer on the fact that we are having a lean-ish Christmas this year, with next to no pressies because of the new house - but even I know that Christmas isn't just about what's under the tree.

I've tried blaming it on the unseasonably warm weather we are experiencing, the fact that everything is green as can be and I still have one stubborn rose bush in the garden still in flower - but after years of Christmases in England I know it's not the lack of snow. I just can't put my finger on it - and it's driving me potty.

Friday, after a day of tree trimming and hanging stuff from every conceivable place, I headed over to visit J. We had a girl's evening planned - quick one for the road at her place and off to a local pub that was having a singles karaoke night. It didn't happen however. I arrived at her place, we got settled, got nattering...and before I knew it, it was almost midnight and we'd spent the whole night gabbing (mainly about men - my lack of , and her new boyfriend of 2 months). She had work in the morning and I headed off home...actually almost wishing to run into a R.I.D.E. seasonal spot check, just so that I could truthfully say that all I'd had to drink was diet caffeine free coke all night. The boys in blue however obviously had better places to be - gah!

Saturday was my long awaited date with O. We have been trying to schedule a get together since the last singles dance I went to in November. Between my shifts however...and his (he works in the control room of a local TV station)...and the fact he lives on the other side of the metropolitan area to moi....well scheduling this date has taken almost a month and a half. He's a super nice guy, decent, hardworking, fun to be around, easy to talk to, considerate, thoughtful but...(and you knew there was going to be a 'but' in there somewhere)...I just don't see him as anything other than a friend. This was our 4th date since we first met in mid summer. As you can see we don't rush things up here in the great north.

We had an interesting time ....he wanted to check out the local flea market, so we browsed there for a while, (naturally I ran into someone from work - only ever happens when I least want to see someone)...then he suggested we hit we browsed there some more (hitting the sample ladies up numerous times). It struck me how comical it was....the makings of a classic date from hell..."He was so cheap, when we went for dinner we ate at Costco's sample tables!" But we were actually having a good time and laughing ourselves at the lameness of it all. Finally dinner at a local family restaurant. No candles or violin soloists...just a Swiss Chalet Festive Special ...and then we headed next door to the pub. I was having a great time, due in no small part to his obviously interest in yours truly, and it's nice to be the centre of attention once in a while - but still I couldn't muster any interest or desire along the lines of looking at him as a potential boyfriend.

Today has been a relatively quiet day. The boy had a late night as he was at his birthday concert in Toronto to see Alexis On Fire - which apparently was excellent - his first ever mosh pit - and then he and his bud decided to hit the local race track/casino, where he won $125 on the slots from a single quarter. He was smart at least and cashed out his winnings immediately and came home. I can't help but think however how much he has done since his birthday. Where do they get the energy?

He still has time for mum however and early this afternoon whilst he was out Christmas shopping he called and suggested we go to the movies - which is why at 4 in the afternoon he and I enjoyed a little quality time at the local Cineplex watching Eragon. 4 thumbs up from us.

Tonight I am still searching for my Christmas spirit ,so we're having an ample helping of holiday tv programming. Mickey's Christmas Carol and Elf , to start the ball rolling. I'll let you know if I find it!

December 15, 2006

The tree is up!

Now that the boy's birthday is done and gone it's time to fire up that yuletide juggernaut and get into the Christmas spirit. The entire ground floor looks like Christmas came and litterally threw up tinsel and twinkling fairy lights all over the place. Martha Stewart would probably have a coronary followed by a nervous breakdown.

And how long did it take to create this loving festive arrangement of gawdyness? A mere 5 hours and 24 minutes (including the hoovering at the end to clean up all the tree needles and fake snow). A new record!!

Photos to follow :)

December 14, 2006

All grown up

The Boy turned 19 today. Wow, how the years have flown, but he's a grown man now - and can legally drink, thanks to Ontario drinking laws. Tonight he is celebrating with his friend who turn 20 just a few days ago - and they have plans that involve scantily clad ladies and lap dances. I guess it's a right of passage for most young men around here.

How far we have come from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Teen aged Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Some things never change however and I spent the day baking his annual birthday cake. Devils Food cake, with chocolate flavoured frosting.

December 5, 2006

Trip to the design centre

We took a road trip to the Design Centre today. No decisions made yet, but here are some photos. Naturally *everything* is extra $$, so when it comes to finally making a decision on some items we will be taking the "basic" models. We were a little disappointed that the builder hasn't yet made a decision as to which supplier(s) he is going with for any of the fixtures, tiles, carpeting etc. yet. It certainly made me wonder why they bothered sending out letters inviting us down to the design centre so early. Still, it made for a morning out and emphasized the fact that 2007 will be another year of overtime for yours truly.



The much desired "Oasis".


Yes, the door to the shower is extra...or else all you get is a rod for the curtain.


One of the kitchens in the Design Centre. Muchos upgrades I am sure. We will definitely be going with a more "basic" model.



They had carpeting every colour of the rainbow, from lime green and fuchsia pink to something a little more neutral, such as these.




Finally! Something considered "basic"...a pedestal sink!

Basic Kitchen sink...obviously.
Shower fixtures.

December 1, 2006

First day of Advent- the tradition continues

My calendar arrived yesterday. I was actually starting to worry/wonder as to where it was. Every year since I was born, Judith has sent me an advent calendar. She worked with my mum many years ago - and has kept up the tradition every single year for the last 40 years. Considering my mum has been gone for 24 years, the fact that she has continued to send me a calendar every year blows me away. I was just the snot-nosed kid of a casual friend from the office and yet every year she makes the effort. Other than our annual Christmas cards/calendars to each other we have no other contact, no letters, no phone calls, no visits. It's just our Christmas thing. It's a tradition that even the boy has come to expect. He broke into the most amazing smile when he came home from work yesterday and saw the calendar sitting out on the wallunit in the living room. Funny how the "small" things mean the most - even to him!

I assume she must be in her mid 70's by now. She has no family that I know of and so if anything were to ever happen to her I would probably never find out until the year the calendar doesn't arrive.

November 30, 2006

Day 30!

I did it!!

I actually managed to complete the NaBloPoMo challenge, and post every single day in November!!

Just completing something ...seeing it through from beginning to end, is a major accomplishment and yes, I am proud - yay me!

Admittedly there were some days I stared at my blank screen, my mind equally as blank. There were days I was brimming with news, and days when I scraped the bottom of the barrel. (C'mon, you gotta admit not many people blog about what speed they drive at on the motorway). But we stuck it out, made it through my shifts, nights out and dancing, a new haircut, my first audio post, Remembrance day, Charity work, ....well you get the idea, and if you don't there are 30-plus posts below this one to give you the jist of the matter.

December may not see 30-plus posts - but then again it *is* my favourite time of year.

November 29, 2006


Meme hijacked from Gemmak


First Best Pal: Hayley
First Hamster: The boy had a gerbil at age 4 if that counts. His name was Nightclimber.
First Piercing: Ears - at age 15
First Crush: First major crush was in the 3rd form, his name was Paul McParland and I loved him from afar until we left school in the 5th form. I used to do daft things like walk past his house and cover my school books with his name.
First CD: First album a K-Tel compliation record called "Don't Walk - Boogie!"
First Car: My dad's old Camero.
First Love: Andy Thompson - soldier who was serving in W. Germany. For over 3 years we learned the art of love letters and waiting for him to come home on leave.
First Stuffed Animal: I don't remember.
First Teacher: A rather jolly sized lady - Mrs. Smith
First Watch: Mickey Mouse watch from my dad for my 5th birthday.


Last Beverage: Tea
Last Vehicle Ride: Drive home from picking up chinese takeaway for dinner.
Last Movie Seen: Cars
Last Phone Call: To place the chinese food order.
Last CD Played: Michael Buble (swoon)
Last Bubble Bath: summer? - ish (I hasten to point out do I shower daily - no jokes about annual baths LOL)
Last Time You Cried: Watching some sentimental stuff on tv last night.
Last Person who gave you a hug: The boy.
Last Time you rang your mum/dad/guardian: They are all passed on.


Have you ever dated one of your best friends: No - my best friends tend to be girls. I have enough trouble dating boys, don't need to start dating girls.
Have you ever been arrested: No
Have you ever skinny dipped: Hey! What happens in California, stays in California! (1983)
Have you ever been on TV: Yes - was on a news feature about 911.
Have you ever kissed someone and then regretted it: Never
Have you ever had a sex dream about someone you knew: My dreams tend to fall short of the actual sex part...just the "lead up to" part...then the alarm goes off, darnit! Total lunch box let down.
Have you ever been in love: Yes
Have you ever wanted to slap/punch a friend: No - they wouldn't be friends if I wanted to do that.


1 Cardigan (Val Doonican eat your heart out)
2 Blouse
3 dressy trousers
4 pop socks
5 Slippers (pink, fluffy and cosy)
6 kni...unmentionables

SIX THINGS YOU'VE DONE TODAY (in no particular order)
1. Read a fortune cookie.
2. Vetched about the new trainees and their cockups @ work.
3. Fed the cats.
4. Dragged the recycling boxes back into the garage (it was garbage day).
5. Checked my home email...5 that a tad excessive?
6. Checked my work email once - h'mmm obviously have my priorities straight!


1. The Boy
2. Cadbury's Dairy Milk
3. Sex
4. Summer thunder storms
5. Christmas


1. Brussel sprouts (childhood trauma - honest!)
2. People who are notoriously late / unreliable.
3. The smell of wet/dirty dog. (gag)
4. The sound of the alarm clock in the morning.


1. Eat or drink: Eat
2. Blonde or brunette: Blonde - I have noticed there wasn't a redhead option, I protest!
3. Pink or black: Black


1. Publish a successful novel
2. Own my own home (in progress!! Note to God, this is not an indication of a need speed up any dying stuff!)


Being too proud to take my father's offer of a paid university education.

November 28, 2006

Passwords up the ying-yang

We have soooo many passwords, p.i.n. numbers, pass codes, security checks and secret handshakes these days - I am amazed that we can still function as a society.

Today I had to add yet another password to my memory banks. We were issued with Tokens (usb port plug in jump key doo-dads) in order to sign into the work stations at the office. My passwords had to be a minimum of 8 characters long, had to contain not only alpha and numeric characters, but also other special characters (#$%@ kinda thing). As if that wasn't hard enough, it couldn't be any of my last 6 passwords. (sigh)

I don't write down passwords, as it seems to me to defeat the purpose of having a password in the first place. It occurred to me however how many passwords I truly have just to get through a normal day.

I wish there was an easier way.

Home phone answering machine.
Cell phone voice mail.
Home computer.
Lap top.
Email accounts (yes, we all have more than one)
Numerous website memberships (including this one), usernames and passwords.
Banking info, debit, credit - banking online? Boy that's one humdinger of a password!
Talking on the phone to your creditor/service addition to your account number they want your "secret word" to proceed any further.
Heading into work - interac code to pay at the pump for the gas
Passcard to get into the bldg outer door.
Passcard to get through the glass mantrap in the lobby area.
Passcard inside the elevator to get it to stop at my floor.
Passcard to get through the door into my office.
Combination to my work locker.
Password to sign on to my work computer.
Passcode to sign into my phone (I wear a headset and calls come in "live").
Passcode and now a token to sign into my office email and access my company intranet.
...and at the end of the day I hope I can remember my locker combination at the gym .

I am sure I have missed a whole slew somewhere along the lines - but my poor middle aged brain cant remember anymore! LOL

November 27, 2006

Marvelous Monday

It's been a great day.

Work was fun for once and we all seemed to find the absurd and humour in most situations we came across. It was a good connection day with colleagues, we gelled, we bonded, we were family....tomorrow of course it will be back to normal and I wouldn't p*** on half of them if they were on fire.

Oops, sorry...out loud voice...I'm just kidding...honest!

There is a very good chance I will be able to get New Year's Day off - tentative at the moment - but it's excellent news. I am supposed to be working the day shift - which ostensibly put paid to any plans of celebrating New Year's Eve. Now suddenly all that is in the air and I am looking to make plans. The psychic in me forsees dancing, alcohol...and I have the perfect dress....except I need to hit the gym hard - are miracles possible in 30 days? Well it is the Christmas Season...anything can happen! LOL

November 26, 2006

They don't make 'em like this anymore.

I finally watched that old Gene Kelly classic "Singing In the Rain" over the weekend. I have long been a fan of the old Hollywood musicals, but had never seen this one from beginning to end. Made for a nice evening of nostalgia.

I wonder what Gene would have thought about this updated version of his famous song and dance routine.

"The song has ended, but the melody lingers on."

November 25, 2006

Commuter girl

I don't consider myself a "slow" driver...but apparently I am not a fast driver least not in the eyes of my carpool members. We were a little late getting out of work this afternoon (I got tied up on a last call) and I was driving home, very much aware that my two passengers had evening plans with their significant others.

C. leant over, cell phone in hand, and snapped a picture of my speedometer. I gave him the quizzical look...a kinda "wtf?" He just smiled and said G. (missing member of our pool today) would never believe I was doing 130 kms if he didn't have proof. Brat! I indignantly pointed out that if he had checked a little earlier he would in fact have seen I got up to 140!

So stick that in your pipe and smoke it! Cheek!

For the record, the speed limit is 100...and I tend to sit at around 115-120kms.

Ironic really considering G. has just gotten his car back after his 2nd accident in less than a year.

November 24, 2006

Walk a mile in their shoes - big shoes to fill

Day 3 of the Season for Giving.

One of the girls at work is helping to run a charitable venture that is very close to my heart. She is organising a "Shoe boxes for Troops" campaign for our Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan.

Take a shoebox.
Fill it with inexpensive trinkets, knick-knacks, toiletries, goodies, small toys etc.
Include a card or letter (optional)
...and presto!
A little something from "over home" for the boys (and girls) "over there".

In addition, for $20 we have Canada Tee's...and for every one purchased we are sending a police tee in it's place to the gang over there.

I am mid-fill on my shoebox and I am running out of me to use one of the boy's size 13 monster shoe boxes and not a small kiddie size!

So I dropped by the Legion this week to pay my annual membership dues and pick up a few more ideas as to what the old boy's would have liked to receive from home when they were fighting overseas all those years ago. The times have changed - but the needs and wants basically remain the same. They just wanted to hear a friendly word from home, to know that we were keeping the home fires burning.

I came across this poem...not the greatest poem to hit literature buffs this century...but the usual patriotic, flag waving and heart warming stuff. It feels appropriate to share it here and now. Maybe I'll print off a copy and include it in the shoebox. Or maybe they'd just find it all too hokey - I dunno.

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So slumbered I, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Ranger, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts...
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."

"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died in Europe on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile."

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red and the white ... a Canadian flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother...
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

- Author unknown

Pass me the Kleenex.

November 23, 2006

Jamie Durie

I am in lust with this gorgeous hunk of Australian landscape gardening genius.


He could leave his muddy gardening wellies under my bed any night. he'd have an idea or two as to how to get rid of my pesky squirrels.

November 22, 2006

Holiday Across the Border...

Tomorrow is a regular work day for me, not so for our American cousins across the border, for them it's a national holiday - Thanksgiving - the unofficial start of the Christmas Season. Turkey, pumpkin pie and the further south you get more exotic the menu becomes (to my palate at any rate).

Here in Canada we celebrated our Thanksgiving last month. The benefit of which is we have recovered from our turkey dinner over-indulgences already. We are primed and ready to do it all again next month - bring on the Christmas dinner!!

So to everyone south of the border...Happy Thanksgiving!

November 21, 2006

I'd give you the shirt off my back...

Day 2 of my Season of Giving ...

So this morning I headed over to my local Penningtons. I had been browsing a few weeks ago and noticed they had a clothing drive going on - what better place for my stash of clothes from my closet clean out last week? The clothes are all going to be sorted and distributed to local shelters for women escaping abusive relationships.'s a small thing, but it gives my heart a warm glow.

Of course whilst I was at Penningtons I had to start replacing the clothes I have given away...a new pair of jeans, a pair of dressy trousers for work and two lovely soft cosy sweaters later.... :-)

November 20, 2006

Hey brother, can you spare a di...bear?

Well, there's no fighting it, Christmas is just around the corner. We can avoid the shopping malls, plug our ears to the syrupy advert jingles playing on the radio, but there is no escaping it. Santa is aboard his steamrollering juggernaut sleigh of commercialism and he's barrelling down the festive motorway - destination Christmas! Ho-ho-ho!

Every year at work we take up a charity and make this the Season of Giving. Emergency Services personnel - Police, Ambulance and Fire - are reknowned for their generosity and big hearts and this year for us in the Radio Room is no exception. We're a soft touch, especially where kids are concerned - and speaking of soft touches (and you think I just throw this stuff together?) we are once again collecting teddy bears for the Gate House.

We have a house in the city that we use specifically for interviewing child victims of crime, specifically child victims of abuse and sexual assault. The children feel safer and less intimidated in a house setting as opposed to a big (and oft times smelly) police station. When the children arrive at the house they will find bears and assorting cuddly pals in every room. Sitting all the way up the stairs, climbing up the bannisters, hanging out on the comfy sofas...(you get the idea). Each child is allowed to pick a special furry friend to hang on to during the interview, and when the ordeal is finally over they can take their new friend home with them.

So ...(finally getting to the reason behind this post)...I got off work this morning after working the night shift and decided I needed to go find a furry pal looking for a new home...


It's just a little thing...but it gives my heart a warm glow.

November 19, 2006

Turning Grinch?

I have decided not to put up exterior Christmas lights this year.

Oh no! Say it isn't so! JustSue, Tinsel Queen of the West, is foregoing Christmas this year?

Well no, not quite...but certainly this year will be a little more toned down.

Last year we had a few light strand casualties - personally I blame the *squirrels, although popular opinion is that it was the cold weather - the fact remains that in order to put on any kind of light display this year, I would need to purchase a whack of new.

I switched all my lights over to the new energy saving led lights about 3 years ago. I have to admit that I was very disappointed with them, found them dull, dingy looking - certainly not bright and sparkly like my Christmas displays of old, so I certainly wasn't heart broken at losing them to my local tree-rodents. Technology changes rapidly however and I have noticed that in the past few years, advances have been made and the newer led's are certainly an improvement.

Seeing as we are moving next year (woohoo!) I'd rather hold off on making any major new illumination purchases until I see what the new place is like and what my decorating style is going to be....and if I have room on the front lawn for a herd of illuminated deer, inflatable snow globe, Santa Sleigh...

Just kidding...

...or am I? Tee hee!

*Notice how I blame them for everything? lol

November 18, 2006

Filler and fluff

OK we are on ....what day is it?....right...the 18th day of NaBloPoMo, ummm I mean November. I am on day (night) number 6 of my night shift...and to be honest I have nothing to say. My world this week has been "work-home-sleep repeat" - so I have no news to share and no gossip. So what does a girl do when she has a NaBloPoMo obligation to fill? We do a meme!!

1.Grab the book nearest to you, turn on page 18 and find line 4.
"Like so much of what you see on television or on the big screen, that show and others like it don't reflect any world I've ever heard of." (Dr. Phil talking about the tv show 'Sex and the City' in his book 'Love Smart'.)

2.Stretch your left arm out as far as you can.
H'mmm coffee cup, yes I could do with another one...brb.

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?
Holmes on Homes...gawd I love this guy. Now watching Top Gear...which I haven't seen in years - I love this BBC Canada channel, it will be hard to give it up in January.

4.Without looking, guess what time it is?
Ummm, about 7:10pm?

5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?
7:06 pm ...not bad!

6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?
Revving car engines ...see answer # 3.

7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
Walking from the car to the house this morning after work.

8. Before you started this survey, what did you look at?

9. What are you wearing?
Still in my sleep tee and robe...need to hit the shower in a few.

10. Did you dream last night?
I don't remember. I rarely remember my dreams.

11. When did you last laugh?
Last night at work probably.

12. What is on the walls of the room you are in?
A few framed black and white photographs and black and white art pieces.

13. Seen anything weird lately?
Nothing springs to mind.

14. What do you think of this quiz?
It is filling a NaBloPoMo requirement. A post a day.

15. What is the last film you saw?
At the movies? Well I saw the World Trade Centre back in August...I can't believe that was the last time I was at the movies.

16. If you became a multimillionaire overnight, what would you buy?
The house of my dreams.

17. Tell me something about you that I dunno.
I go through spells of growing my nails to ridiculous lengths ...well ridiculous for speed typing purposes, getting weekly manicures etc. and then going back to my usual chewed stubs.

18. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?
Oh this is a toughie. I can think of so many downsides to so many solutions. Obviously an end to all wars, poverty, disease and the environment repaired/replenished...but the actual solutions to these problems just create more problems. Sigh.

19. Do you like to dance?
I love to dance. Shake it!

20. George Bush
Can't stand him and I trust him about as far as I can chuck him.

21. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?
I had always thought Sarah, which means princess. That is never going to happen now.

22. Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?
My first child is a boy...and for blogging purposes he is simply known as "The Boy". He has told me however that he wishes I had called him Sebastian (which I didn't). I must admit I do like the idea of being able to choose your own name once you are old enough to do so.

23. Would you ever consider living abroad?
Yes, I love the idea of experiencing different countries and cultures. Maybe I could do that with all my multi-millions from question 16.

24.What do you want GOD to say to you when you reach the pearly gates?
Welcome home.

25. 4 people who must also do this meme in their journal.
Oh I hate this part. Do it if you want, specially on a day when your mind is blank, as mine was today. Just let me know so that I can drop by for a read!

November 17, 2006

What else have you got to do?


Click here:

I love games. I think if I had been born in the late 80's like my son, instead of the (cough) late 60's I would have been a total game playing geek. I would have been one of those crazy people lined up outside of Best Buy this morning for the new Sony Playstation 3. We actually got calls at work this morning about drunken louts pushing in line, insisting that they would be getting a PS3. Normally pacifists, let me tell you there is nothing like a pissed off geek who has been camping on the sidewalk for the past three days, being pushed around by a drunken neanderthal, to bring out the inner blood elf warrior. Aieeeeeeeee!

November 16, 2006


The boy has been "randomly selected" by Blizzard to test the new beta version of The Burning Crusade online. To say he is pumped, psyched and hyped to the gills is the understatement of the year.

My eardrums could quite possibly be bleeding.

Over the hill?

People celebrating birthdays today....Jazz singer Diana Krall (she married Elvis Costello)

The man they are calling the new Canadian K-Fed...Tori Spelling's new hubby Dean McDermott, who turned the big 4-0... did my best friend through secondary school and my chief bridesmaid,

Happy birthday Marie

(snicker)...she turned the big 4-0 before moi! You're over the hill girlie!
A this point I am eternally grateful that I could always run faster scared than she could mad!

November 15, 2006

New Blogger Beta

Well Blogger, you have teased and tempted me with news of the New Blogger Beta...

The new Blogger promises new ways to customize my template, drag'n'drop, colours, fonts. Woot! More ways to totally balls it up!

Private blogs - now this one is REAL tempting. Anyone who was with me back in the days of "Life as we know it" and "Toasted Crumpet" will appreciate where I am coming from on that one.

Ability to label posts in order to sort, file, find etc. H'mmmm....this could just emphasize how much I tend to focus on the same one or two topics all the time.

so here goes nothing....[presses button].

November 14, 2006

Better late than never

Saturday night was a riot. Either I was more than overdue for a good night out...or the Gods were smiling, either way it was a night full of fun, dancing and good friends. Photo one - "the girls"...actually only one friend missing from the pic, and she was off dancing with some cute guy and we hardly saw her all night. Photo two is Jen, me...and some guy who wants to take me out cute! He's actually a really nice guy, and I may be updating on that situation a little further at some point. Photo three a tad flushed from dancing, plus the hair isn't behaving...I am still learning the knack of doing the "do". However there is something about this woman, in this photo tonight that was a bloody man magnet. My god - talk about feast or famine! If I knew what it was I'd bottle it and make a bloody fortune - suffice to say I was on the verge of beating them off with a stick. (well....almost...OK I'm exaggerating just a titch.) I just don't get wait hours for a "bus" and then several all come along at once!

November 13, 2006

If you really knew me....

OK....I'm still waiting for my friend to email me the photographs from Saturday night, so in the interim, I thought this fit in rather appropriately.

Oprah Winfrey (yes, I do seem to be quoting her a lot lately)...had a show last week that basically had me in tears from beginning to end. It was very touching, heartfelt - and had me wishing that this workshop was available in all schools as part of the curriculum.

Part of the workshop entailed teenagers in a group, finishing the following sentence..."If you really knew me, you'd know that I...." Initially it was all very polite and predictable and uninspiring. I am a member of the band, I am a cheer leader...etc. But then it moved on to more personal relevations that moved everyone. I am my invalid mother's caregiver. I am still grieveing for my father. I am frightened. I am lonely.

So I wondered briefly what some of my "If you only knew me" statements would be.

If you really knew me, you'd know that I....

...hate people who are unreliable and don't follow through.

...hate people who are tardy.

...have trouble trusting people.

...prefer my own company to that of many people I know.

November 12, 2006

Saturday daytime

My friends and I had plans last night, so naturally the first exclamation of the morning was, "I have nothing to wear!" I hit the mall and three major department stores and a handful of boutiques later, I am getting mightily dejected - there is nothing I love, can find to fit...or can afford. The one top I did love, was a heck of a lot more than I was willing to pay.

On the drive home I decided that I surely to goodness must have something hanging in my closet and what I in fact needed was a good sort out. So I spent the afternoon going through my closet, dressers etc. Time to rediscover forgotten treasures.

It was a wonderful afternoon, with mental strolls down memory lane, things I have hung onto for sentimental reasons...and things I should never have bought in the first At the end of it all though, I had a full garbage bag of clothes to drop off at the Salvation Army store and a real satisfied feeling inside of having done something good - both for me and for someone less fortunate.

I still didn't have anything to wear however. (sigh)

I will save details about the dance for another post, I am waiting on someone emailing me a few photos of the night.

November 11, 2006

Lest We Forget...

Dedicated to those that serve.

Please take a moment to watch the video and listen to the lyrics in A Pittance of Time by Terry Kelly.

November 10, 2006

I only came in for a loaf of bread...

You know that feeling? You drop by the grocery store for just a loaf of bread or maybe some milk...and $200 later you are pushing a fully laden trolley back out to the car, wondering what the hell just happened.??

That pretty much happened to me this morning, except at Canadian Tire. I'd nipped out for a new hairdryer - the old one had exposed electrical wires and my "back up" hairdryer overheated and burnt out on me two days ago. If you are wondering about the need for a "back up" hairdryer, then you have obviously never a) seen how thick my hair is (as one over heats switch to the other one)...and b) never grew up in the 80's (the bigger the hair the better, volume baby, volume!). Owning 2 hairdryers is a definite requirement in this household, and I was now down to zero.

It turns out I had stumbled in on a grand reopening at my local store, after a major refurbishment. There were people god, don't these people have jobs? It's mid-Friday-morning for crying out loud - not Saturday afternoon. They had a couple of grand reopening fun events too, including one of those cash kiosks where you stand inside and try to grab cash as they blow it around inside. I always wondered what one of those would be like, but after looking at the amount of cash one man managed to grab, I could see that it wasn't worth the time or effort. The actual amount you can grab is minimal. Instead I filled out a couple of ballots for a prize draw (one for me, one for the boy) to win a mountain bike.

I found a hairdryer - which was on sale 50% off ($9.99). Sweet! This should have been my cue to exit the store and head home...but this was a sale...resistance is futile.

I had originally promised myself that I wouldn't start buying stuff for the new house until we had actually moved. I don't see the point in storing it, to move it. But then every so often you get a bargain ...or two....that blink up at you whispering "Take me home"...and you just can't help it.

In this case it was a Lagostina cookware set, originally $400 - on sale for $199 with a further reopening special reduction to $149 with an additional instant rebate of $50 Canadian Tire Money cashback. Bottomline? I got a really super-nice quality saucepan set for $99. Cha-ching.

Y'know I actually debated on picking up another set for the boy - for when he finally moves out - but I realised a) he's a boy...they don't need "bottom drawer" or "hope chest" items b) he doesn't cook and c) he would have absolutely no appreciation for Lagostina...and can make do with cheap, nasty, Visionware that causes everything to stick and burn... the same as we all did when we first started out in life.

Add to my purchases a fry pan (75% 0ff) and a new welcome mat, and it was time to hit Walmart.

I needed Q-tips and catfood.

Apparently I also needed a few other items and the following hopped into my trolley...I haven't a clue how they ended up there. A new nightie for moi, Polly World Rockin' Theme Park for my niece for Christmas, and kitty litter.

At this point I was in a Christmas shopping mood and ended up at Best Buy where I picked up Need for Speed - Carbon - Own the City for my nephew who just bought himself a Nintendo DS with his birthday money.

For saying I went out for a hairdryer, Q-tips and a few cans of cat took 4 trips from the car to the house to unload it all.

On the bright side however, I have put a dent in my Christmas shopping.

November 9, 2006

November 8, 2006

Future Maury Povich Show guests??

Brit and K-Fed - can anyone honestly say they didn't see this one coming?

Sometimes I think maybe it's not such a bad thing being single.

ok ok ok it's a lame post I know, but it's day 8 at work, I am mentally and physically mush.

...if I come up with something more interesting in the next little while... the meanwhile talk amongst yourselves and feel free to ask questions...

November 7, 2006

Fat guy walks into a bar...

A couple of people had the "Oprah Show" on the lunchroom TV yesterday, when I came in on a break. They were already mid-way through the show - I had missed the big Kirstie Alley bikini reveal, so I asked my co-workers how she had looked.

My co-workers were far from kind. Some suggested that Kirstie may have fibbed a little on her starting weight, that she had been far bigger than the 220lbs that she is claiming. Deciding that she must have initially mislead the public (and I am not aware if the 220lb claim is true) my co-workers immediately discounted the reported 75 lb weight loss as "nothing".

Regardless of her true starting weight, the woman deserves to be highly commended for not only losing 75lbs...but losing 75lbs in the public eye. Sure, she has been compensated for being a Jenny Craig spokesperson - as have many other celebs who have promoted one diet or another over the years - but that in itself doesn't make the actual feat of losing the weight any easier. At the end of the day, be you Duchess, actress or the average Jane Doe, when you close your front door at night it's just you, your demons and the fridge, home alone all night long.

Oprah's second guest was a young lady who had once been over 300lbs...and was now down over 170lbs. My co-workers consider her a "cheater" though as she'd had gastric by-pass surgery. They totally dismissed the struggle this poor woman had endured and assumed that the surgery was the "magic cure". Assuming that she would've had to have done no work at all to attain her results. I know there are people out there who would have been only too quick to disagree that losing weight via gastric by-pass is any walk in the park.

By now I had stomached all the fat comments from my co-workers that I could handle (pun intended) and I needed to find a more peaceful place to complete my break before waddling back into the frey of emergency calls.

That more peaceful place could have been this fat girl sitting on my co-workers windpipes until they turned blue...but I was taught to play nice, think before speaking and consider other people's feeling, when I was growing up.

Too bad.

November 6, 2006

I am taking my ball and I am going home!

I have to confess, I have bailed on my ballroom dancing classes. My fantasies of "Come Dancing" and wearing sequins in Blackpool have bitten the dust, albeit temporarily.

After the catastrophe of the initial class, things never did totally recover. I wasn't learning anything and simply wasn't having fun. 90% of the time, due to lack of male participants, I had to "lead" - the 5'8" husky frame may have had something to do with the typecasting on that I think. The classes became tortuous - I won't go into details.

Ironically if this had been the boy a few years ago, wanting to bail out of an extra curricular activity I had paid for, I would have forced him to attend regardless. Immune to tears, pleading and associated threats. I am such a hypocrite.

The beauty of being a grown-up is we can have our childish little trantrums, stamp our feet, change our minds a million times, never complete what we start - and no one is going to stop us or tell us any differently. I wonder how many wars and "international incidents" could have been prevented if only Mommies (and daddies) still ruled the world. "No Adolf, you can't have go to your room."

I still plan one day to take classes in ballroom, but I think a smaller private class will be more to my tastes and comfort level.

November 5, 2006

900 channels, and bugger all on!

My local cable company is a multimillion dollar corporation covering not only cable tv, but high speed internet services and more recently venturing into the home phone market. As a result I will often get promotional materials in the mail advertising specials, incentives and "bundle prices" to switch from Bell Canada (my phone and internet provider) to Rogers. Thus far I have resisted.

A few days ago I got a visit from a door to door salesperson from the aforementioned cable company. They had a special offer...(no thank you)...Was I not interested in their internet services? (no thank you)..They also had their home phone services...(no thank you)....and they could bundle all three of them for me at a cheaper rate...(NO, thank you). Would I be interested in additional cable tv channels free for 3 months? (NO, free?)

I already subscribe and pay out the ying-yang for cable tv. We get all the local cable stations, and Buffalo the feeds from the stateside mega the Movie plus plus. It's not cheap...and I still don't get "all" the channels, there are a few more "specialty" channels that I wouldn't mind getting, but the next package up would take my cable bill to well over $100 a month, and I am sorry I refuse point blank to pay that kind of money for TV channels. If anything, I was actually considering canceling a few of the extras to bring the bill DOWN from it's current level.

This doorstep temptress however had a cable package offer, all sports, all movies, all specialty channels. EVERYTHING up to channel for 3 months. Free History Channel...Free Biography Channel...Free MTV...the list goes on... Unbeknownst to her she dangled the proverbial carrot. The temptation I could not resist. My Achilles heel.

I signed on the spot.

I've sold my soul to the devil - and the next 3 months promise to be heaven. I will have to be strong enough at the end of January to call them to cancel the extras or they will start billing...and naturally they are gambling though on the hope that I wont be able to give up the extra programming. I am made of strong British stuff though - and we will sob, wring our hands and wail in grief when the time comes...but for now let's celebrate, for there is much to watch, catch up on...and the Christmas TV season is just around the corner...raise a glass and a cheer for I have BBC Canada for Christmas!!

November 4, 2006

Free gift with purchase

A few weeks back I blogged on the topic of perfume. Well I finally made a purchase yesterday - not due to lack of decision making power (as is ususally the norm...I am a slave to my indecisiveness). Heck no! In fact I already had my planned purchase "pre-ordered and pre-paid" at my local department store perfume counter. The reason in fact for my delay was waiting for the November sales promotion to start that included...."Gift With Purchase"! I am such a freebie whore at times, but nothing says Christmas to me like the perfume counter's Christmas "extras".

Here's what I would have gotten for my $65 Cdn plus taxes in October.

And here's what I got yesterday for the same price.

It's not rocket science.

November 3, 2006

Award Winning Hair

I think I have found a new hairdresser that...what for it... (drumroll please)....I actually like!

Yes, I am dumbfounded also. It's still early days, but for once I didn't leave the salon thinking "It will look better once I have done it myself."

Angie is the owner of the Ultimate Cut Salon in a neighbouring town west of here. I found her quite by accident. Having tried more traditional methods, referrals by friends (x2), prettiest ad in the yellow pages (x1), closest salon to home (x1), nicest looking salon from the outside (x1) and the infamous - I was passing and thoughts I'd pop in for a trim (x1) - I actually found this hairdresser in my local newspaper. Every year my local rag runs their "Readers Choice Awards" covering everything from favourite local restaurants to mechanics. This year Angie's Salon was nominated and won for best hair salon. I figured that was a good enough recommendation for me as any.

The irony is her salon is nestled in a tiny strip plaza that I have never been to before. Unassuming frontage that certainly doesn't grab the passerby off the street either. If it hadn't been for the Readers Choice Awards I certainly would never have found her.

Instead of sitting me in her chair, hair dripping down my back from the shampoo, cracking gum and asking me what I wanted, she actually made suggestions. Suggested styles to elongate and slim my face (yes, I love her already)...and declared that we needed to show off my eyes and my fabulous cheekbones. I stared in the mirror...I have cheekbones? You can see them? Where? Show me!

She showed me how to quick style my hair straight out the shower, towel dried with a blob of mousse and to style it when I have time to blow dry for a more polished professional look...and finally how to dress it up for nights out on the town and give it that little sexy pizzaz.

I sat in awe as this little Italian dynamo fussed and primped my do. Her people skills matched her hair skills. She talks....more importantly she listens. All women need a good hairdresser to talk to. I told her about my son...she told me about her two kids. I told her I was dreading 40...she told me 40 was easy, she just turned 45. She thinks I need to plan a celebration. Something special - a weekend away with girlfriends or a special dinner/party affair. I told her about the new house...she's so excited for me, tells me what a great town I am moving to - she actually lives there too - and she can tell me all the neat places around town to find. My lord we covered everything in just over 30 minutes and I was back out on the sidewalk looking chic and feeling like I was fresh from a therapy session. And the best part? She only charged $35! I have paid twice as much for far less in the past. Yup, she's a keeper!

November 2, 2006

House news

I phoned my contact with the builder yesterday. Just to touch base, say hi...and enquire casually if my closing date is carved in stone despite signing everything on the sales offer a million and one times - in triplicate.

Yes, I am getting impatient.

And Mr Jones (yes, HIM) really seems to like to tell everyone when his closing date is ...and when mine is...and to then point out that my house will actually will be ready before his ...but he is taking possession first. Argh...he really is starting to bug me with his infantile one-up-manship.

The one bit of information I did learn however was that the builder wont be servicing the land this fall as previously hoped, but will now be waiting until after the ground thaws in the spring. So we are looking at April for the servicing of the land, and construction is scheduled to begin in June. No one has exactly explained it to me, but I assume "servicing" means stuff like leveling it, installing sewer pipes, gas lines, power lines, construction roads etc.

So no new house photos 'til April. (boo-hiss)

I am wondering however if that means I have longer to save for construction upgrades. Originally they had wanted the $$ for upgrades for items such as the Oasis of Luxury in November, prior to the start of construction. Well, seeing as that construction date is now April/June, my logic says...

Jones was at the design centre this past weekend with Mrs. Jones to look at tile, carpeting etc. He advised me going on the weekend was not the best idea - the words "sardines in a can" come to mind. He also told me that the builder hasn't selected their vendors yet for tile, carpeting, cabinetry etc. yet for our development. On the plus side however he was able to tell me that if I am looking to have the storage/cold cellar excavated in the basement as shown on the plans, it will cost me another $1500-plus.

Sigh - I may as well just move a cot into work and be done with it - redirect my mail there, it looks like I will be doing a lot more overtime, for a lot longer.

November 1, 2006

National Blog Posting Month


It's National Blog Posting Month!

NaBloPoMo is an alternative to November's NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, the program wherein you crank out a novel in thirty days. Unsucessfully attempted by yours truly 2 years ago...and successfully completed by the author of one of my favourite blogs Jennyta!

The Rules:

Post every day for the month of November.

No cheating and backdating posts, either.

You're on your honour.

That's it.


The Boy's




He says my cat had "nards" ....I thought it looked like a big belly. (Yes, I am still looking up the meaning of "nards" but I think I know what he was trying to say).

Last year I ran out of this year I bought more. I sat and bagged 80 loot bags of goodies - plus extras in case even that wasn't enough.

I sat at the foot of the stairs, reading a book and sipping a glass of wine to save from keep getting up from the living room every time the door bell rang.

The turn out last night as abysmal. I have over 30 loot bags left and a ton of loose funsize candy bars. Think I will take the left overs into work. Ever seen an emergency dispatcher on a sugar rush? It ain't pretty.

October 29, 2006

Hallowe'en 2006

Last night I was at a Hallowe'en party for the first time in years. It was a total hoot, and I have to admit that there is nothing like dressing up in a fancy dress costume to lower people inhibitions and have a rip-snorting good time (yes, I tried my first ever jello shooters).

This is me...minus the lifejacket (which I did wear periodically through the night, but it was a tad hot for dancing). I went as the Unsinkable Molly Brown (survivor from the Titanic) ...hence the period costume, glittering jewels, evening gloves ....and the ten gallons of gel in my hair to maintain that "wet look". The blue hypothermic lips unfortunately wore off after the first beer.


Jen was "Little Red Riding Hood"...searching for her Big Bad Wolf...


There were A LOT of inflatable characters like this Sumo looking chappie...


And I met a lot of wonderful William "Braveheart" Wallace here.


And this original costume for sure. Watching him shuffle around with his pants around his ankles all night was amusing to say the least.


One thing though...only a crazy person...would be daft...nay, stupid...nay, INSANE enough to wear new high heels to such an event. Thank heavens we don't know anyone who matches that

October 24, 2006

Option B

The following has been edited for brevity and protect the innocent (him) ...and the idiotic (me)....and with added post chat commentary.

A certain someone cornered me on messenger:
(You know who you are, you Montreal Minx.)

M: hey!! lol
M: there are some of us readers who are STILL waiting to know what u did....A,B,C or D lol
M: cough it up gf
S: lmao
S: Hello M, mon amie!
M: quit hedging
(oops she's onto me...)
S: oh geez woman
M: I am a woman on a mission
S: so i see
S: you were correct my dear
S: i swear you know me too well
M: omg , slap
M: lol
S: I phoned his office the following morning on the pretense of having lost an earring
S: yes i know
S: i am hopeless
(lame-ass more like, on the spur of the moment I described the earring as a gold hoop. How the heck do you loose a hoop?? Doh! I don't lie well on the spot.)
M: so did he get a hint?
M: or did u get a dumb secretary
S: amazing how everyone said option A....but not a single comment from any of the guys
S: dumb secretary
S: sigh
M: dang!!
M: so u will see him again?
S: a friend at work suggested that even if he WAS interested ...which we dont know that he is ....he might not be allowed to date a client...conflict of interests
S: he would have to drop me as a client first
(this is me justifying why I am correct for not pursuing it further)
M: oh poppy cock
S: yes i will deffinitely see him again
S: which in hind sight maybe it's a good thing i didn't ask him out
(See how I am looking for an escape route here?)
S: imagine how awkward it would have been if he either had in fact been married or if he said no
(Just who am I trying to convince here? M. or myself??)
M: if thats the case, no big deal, one bridge at a time...don't just sluff it all off so easily, its to CONVENIENT SUE...
(Yep, she can read me like a book)
S: sigh
M: all he can say is NO THANKS... end of story
S: i know
(why does she have to make it sound so easy?)
M: move on, same ole same ole
S: you make it sound so easy
(I just said that...oh never mind)
M: if u must, wait till next time u have to see him...try to work it into the convo,
(Work it into the convo?? Oh sure, it will just naturally pop up.)
S: ok
M: but dont just close the door..then wonder what if
(but "what if''s" make for great long cold winter evening rehashing and beating to death material!)
M: do I have to go over there ? lol
(Sure...come ask him out for will be just like high school. "My friend likes you." Life was so much easier back then.)
S: i checked with a couple of guys at work (just to get a male perspective) as to what they would think of a woman reversing the traditional roles and asking them out for once ...and they all loved it
M: I have heard the same over and over again myself from men
S: hmmm
S: i just have to summon the nerve lol
(The words "freezes when over" and "hell" spring to mind - not necessarily in that order.)

October 19, 2006

What would you do?

Late summer.
Telephone conversation with a local businessman. Conversation flows easily, once business has been concluded we engage in a little small talk and he tells me on several occasions what a pleasure it is to speak to me and how much he has enjoyed our conversation.

[I must add this was all said in a total non-slimey-car-salesman kinda way, he seemed quite genuine and he was not trying to either sell me anything or win my business.]

I am somewhat used to reactions like this on the telephone. I am a broadcaster by profession and my accent/voice is regularly complimented on. I enjoy the glow of the mild flirtation and the satisfaction that I've still "got it".


Early fall.
I have an appointment with the same local businessman, we have never previously met, but recalling our previous interaction I am curious.

He meets me in the reception area and shakes my hand, standard practice, tells me how good it is to meet me. I am mentally thinking the same, he's an absolute cutie. Advises me he will be with me as soon as he can (I am early for my appointment).

He returns minutes later, shakes my hand a second time, yes, it's still good to meet me...and leaves again.

Moments later for the third time he returns and holds out his hand, I automatically and instinctively take it again...and both of us realise at this point that this is a tad overkill on the hand shaking ritual, but he seems very sweet, attentive and almost fawning.

I am shown into his office and the business at hand is undertaken. At the conclusion of business he engages in a little small talk, nothing earth shattering but we manage to milk it for several more minutes. I notice he doesn't appear to wear a wedding band, but there is a photograph of a small girl on an adjacent credenza. I assume it's his daughter.

He walks me out of his office, across the reception and to the outer door, another hand shake - an "extreme pleasure", blah, blah.

I leave his office feeling almost giddy, I can't decide if it's the attraction or the flirtation that is so intoxicating. Either way I would definitely like to see him again...

In my position what would you do?

a) Oh my god, grow a pair, you are not 16. Call him and ask him out for coffee. It's perfectly OK for women to ask men out nowadays...and they actually like it.

b) Call his office later on the pretense of a lost/forgotten item (umbrella/earring)...and hope he takes the hint to ask you out. The modern day "dropping of the hankie" in hopes that he will retrieve and return it.

c) Do nothing, if he is interested he will call. Men (in their 40's) still want to maintain the traditional roles and may feel emasculated or threatened by a forwardly aggressive female.

d) Run for the hills girl, he is a total wacko with a hand shaking fetish.

Added points for guessing what I did.

October 16, 2006

stuff i nicked

1. A Cuddler? Yes and no. I don't mind a wee cuddle ..but I hate feeling suffocated by clinging people who constantly have to touch and paw. Gimme space!
2. A morning person? a bright eyed, bushy tailed, angonizingly perky kind of way...yes.
3. Are you a perfectionist? Ummm...I dunno. Sometimes? Probably not - define perfectionist.
4. An only child? Yes, just me growing up, but I discovered I have two younger half sisters when I was in my mid 20's.
5. Catholic: No, plain old Church of England here. No fancy swinging incense or dark confessionals...or pervy priests.
6. In your pajamas? Nope, blue jeans, blue t-shirt, blue fluffy slippers (they bring out my eyes).
7. Currently suffering from a broken heart? Nope - all fixed ta. The cracks hardly show. (convincing? No, I didn't think so).
8. Okay styling other people's hair? Huh? I used to have a "Girls World" head when I was growing up if that counts.
9. Left handed? Actually yes, I am a south paw. We're more artistic apparently.
10. Addicted to MySpace? Nope...addicted to Blogger.
11. Shy around the opposite gender? it someone I fancy and am trying to impress? In which case...yes...duh!
12. Loud? Depends on alcohol units consumed.

12. Bite your nails? I used to when I was a young thing...then I discovered the pampering luxury of professional manicures.
13. Get paranoid at times? Nah, not paranoid, got a whacking great inferiority complex, but definitely not paranoid.
14. Currently regret something that you have said/done? Nope, nothing springs to mind...ahhhh the advantages of middle-aged forgetfulness.
15. Curse frequently when you get mad? At work - like a sailor. At home - hardly ever.
16. Enjoy country music? Yehaw! Absolutely.
17. Enjoy jazz music? Developing a definite liking (Michael Buble, Diana Krall)
18. Enjoy smoothies? I honestly have never had one. I'd personally prefer a milkshake to be honest. I am not big on "bits" in my drinks.
19. Enjoy talking on the phone? Not as much as I used to...maybe if there was someone "special" to natter with, but after spending all day on the phone at work - rabbiting on the phone at home doesn't rate too high right now.
20. Have a lot to learn? I generally wing it.
21. Have a pet? Two feline goddesses.
22. Have a tendency to fall for the "wrong" person? All the bloody time.
23. Have all your grandparents died? Yes - parents too. I miss mum more than words can say.
24. Have at least one sibling? See previous question #4.
25. Have been told that you are smart? Yes. Don't shatter my last illusion of grandeur, please.
26. Have had a broken bone? Yes, and managed to simultaneously dislocate my shoulder in a rather magnificent half gaynor from the shed roof.
27. Have Caller I.D. on your phone? Yes, both landline and cellular - no bugger calls though.

28. Changed a diaper? Yes, tons of steaming, stinking piles of 'em.
29. Changed a lot over the past year? Are we still talking about diapers? Cos the answer is no.
30. Had friends who have never seen your natural hair colour? Nope, they all know I am a gingernut.
31. Had surgery? Yes.
32. Killed anyone? Nope.
33. Had your haircut within the last week? Nope.

1. Slept in the bed beside you? Do either of the feline goddesses count?
2. Saw you cry? Ummmm...see feline goddesses again. They are the keepers of my darkest secrets.
3. Went to the movies with you? That fella I didn't feel the zing with.
4. You went to the mall with? I normally go by myself- and then for as short a time as possible.
5. You went to dinner with? The boy.
6. You talked to on the phone? The boy - again.
7. Said 'I love you' to you and meant it? The last person who said that to me and meant the love/sex sense of the word...rather than the love/family sense of the word? Oh fuck. That was probably "Biff" (circa 1993-1999)...OK, can stop laughing now.
8. Broke your heart? Over love? "Biff" 1999 Over a crush? "Maybe" 2005
9. Made you laugh? The guys at work last night. We were getting goofy seeing as it was our last night in for night shift.

1. Pierce your nose or tongue? Nose - if I had to choose. I don't find it classy or refined on a woman of my age. It's something teenagers should do...and grow out of.
2. Be serious or be funny? I would rather be seriously funny.
3. Drink whole or skim milk? Skim is better for me...but full cream milk does taste better in my coffee.
4. Die in a fire or drown? Drowning apparently is one of the most painful ways to die, but either would probably be excruciating. I assume drowning would be faster.
5. Spend time with your parents or enemies? Parents - duh!

1. What time is it? 3pm-ish
2 Name? Susan
3. Nickname(s)? Haven't had a nickname since schooldays.
4. Where were you born? Canada
5. What is your birthdate? January 1967
6 What do you want? Lotsa money, to be considered a wanton sex goddess (worshipped and adored accordingly)...and a lifetime supply of Dairy Milk.
7. Where do you want to live? Would love to move back home to England. (Sometimes you have to leave "home" in order to know where "home" really is).
8. How many kids do you want? I have 1...that's enough, I'm not "mumsy" enough for more.

October 13, 2006

October Snowstorm

Just south of the border they are shovelling out today in Buffalo, N. Y. and have declared a state of emergency. A rare early October snowstorm has left over 60cms of snow in Buffalo...and up to 30cms in parts of Southern Ontario. Environment Canada has described the wintry blast as "significant snowfalls of historic proportions.'' Over 1/4 million homes are without power due to downed powerlines and in some cases there is no running water. They are estimating people will be out of power for 4-5 days whilst crews struggle to get the lines repaired.


Read the full news report here.

And this has to be my favourite photo


....see the rest here.

October 12, 2006

Bloody nora...already?

Woke up this afternoon (nightshift) to discover that we had our first snow flurries in the city today.


And so it begins.

I used to absolutely love the snow - in part due to the fact that I grew up in an area of England that is protected by the Pennines and snow fall was neglible. We could count the number of times it snowed a year on one hand, and if the snow actually covered the lawn, without blades of grass poking through it was a total event. Blizzard even! Derby snow however never lasted more that a couple of days, and then life could continue on as usual. I loved the snow! It would generate the kind of excitement inside me that makes small dogs pee on the spot. (There's a nice visual for you.) As kids we'd pray for enough snow to at least make a small snowman without having to nick snow off the neighbour's lawn too.

Then I moved to Canada.

October 10, 2006

Where have our leaders gone?

A very good friend dropped by the other day for a cup of tea and a catch up chat. We share a mutual friend who's husband serves on the executive of my union at work. This is an election year and he is running again - this time for a new position. He has my vote, he is a good man - the sort who would give you the shirt off his own back if he thought it would help. I expressed my concerns to my friend over tea however, that he might not be successful in his bid. Yes, he's a great guy, but his campaign so far has been pretty lack lustre and uninspiring. His election speech basically consisted of a few guffaws and a "golly gee heck you all know me so please vote!"

The topic moved onto politics in general though and we were both in agreement that there are no real leaders out there anymore...or at least none that are effectively getting their message across. The art of public speaking has sadly died in the last 40 years. Think of all the major world leaders over the last century - the ones that could whip a crowd into a frenzy of excitement and who could rally a nation. They could all give us goose bumps with a spoken word. Roosevelt, Churchill, Hitler (despite everything he was a talented orator), Dr. Martin Luther King, JFK, Robert Kennedy...the list dries up for me sometime during the 1970's. Men who spoke of having a dream, of fighting on the beaches, and asked us not what our country could do for us, but...

Where are those leaders today? Where are the men (and women) with good hearts and ideals, who will muster our support and loyalty. Sadly the only "speeches" that raise the hairs on the back of my arm these days come from snake-oil infomercial salesman, the best presidential speeches I have heard in a long time have been given by Martin Sheen and Michael Douglas

Canada's current Prime Minister is Steven Harper....I don't think I would even recognise his voice if I heard it, never mind any notable quotes.

Previous Prime Minister Jean Cretien? I could scarely understand a word he ever spoke.

Most notable quote of the Clinton administration? "I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

Most notable quote from Bush's Presidency? much comic relief there, who knows where to start?

October 8, 2006

After dinner conversation

Dinner was delicious. Well, by my standards at any rate. The turkey was a little dry - I am so paranoid about food being fully cooked that I guess I overdid it a little. The boy (bless his cotton socks) tells me that's why we have gravy.

Our Thanksgiving dinner tradition is to go around the table and say what we are thankful for. This year with just the boy and I at the table it didn't take long for us both to find something to be thankfsul for. The new house naturally! It dawned to me that after today, I will have just one more Thanksgiving meal to cook in this house.

So whilst I finish the wine - well it's open already, we can't waste it - and the dish washer is swooshing away in the background, let's have a little relaxed after dinner chit chat. (Yes, she's in a talkative mood and is already halfway through a full bottle of red).

More to follow...

1918hrs: Pleasant 20 minute chat with Maybe. He's still engaged to the lovely Sam and I am truly happy for them both. He however still loves to chat/cam with a variety of female friends. Call me cynical but I can't see him staying happily engaged for long if she ever finds out. And no, I am not one of his webcam buddies.

So speaking of exes...we were? Yes, we were. N. has moved in with his new girlfriend. He dropped the news to me in an email about a month ago. Yes, I am happy for him...but it did make me wonder briefly. We broke up at the end of May...and by early/mid September he was already dating and MOVED IN with a new girlfriend. Bloody hell. No moss growing under his feet eh? (before you start to do the math...that's less than 3 months).

1954hrs: Just thinking how nice it would be to snuggle up to someone right now and watch the telly - yes, it's the wine talking. Guess the cat will have to suffice. Speaking of telly I happened to catch the omnibus edition of Coronation Street this morning. I used to watch it religiously, but over the last 3 years I have fallen away from the church of Newton and Ridley. Today however...the birth of Sunita's twins (yes, we are behind in Canada...don't spoil the storyline)...I am suddenly feeling sucked in by those ancient cobblestones. Admittedly it's a soap - but it's a show that has been on the air since 1960....longer even than I have been alive (no comments from the peanut gallery) ...but it's a link to home for me and I need that so badly.

2024hrs: OK...break out the weepy moment of the week...Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. ...Wine is on the voddy...more chatter to follow.

2130hrs: Moved onto Shallow Hal...seen it before, but I wanted something on the boobtube that didn't require any actual thought...and believe me this fits the bill. There are times I feel like Rosemary...just wish there was a Hal out there for me that could see beyond the fat.

2148hrs: OK...just me again. The boy got a piercing last night. He originally wanted to get his lip pierced...but personally I don't care for that look. It's too tacky for my tastes. So I suggested an eyebrow...not thinking that he would ever go for it...and he did. My goodness it really suits him to be honest, but I think what is blowing his mind more than anything is the fact that I am not freaking out over it. Personally....not that I would ever admit the same to the boy...I would love to get my nose pierced...but with this beak I don't think that would be a great idea. A 40 yr old with a nose piercing? Nah.

Did I mention he has a possible new girlfriend? They had their first date last night...and she's an older woman (23yrs) I have emphasised the need for safe sex...and he has rolled his eyeballs in the appropriate places.

2204rs: Jen and I hit the local country bar on Friday night. I was telling her I was seriously thinking of joining eharmony....but in truth I am trying to hold off...after all "normal" people surely must be able to meet new friends without resorting to coughing up the old credit card #. Alternatively my thinking is ...on a "paid site" obviously the members would be considered to be more serious/non-fickle. Thoughts?

As far as the bar is concerned...there was one fella I was talking to...then Jen asked him to dance. Grrrrr!

As to what else I am doing to meet new friends (ie: men) class....dismal failure...primarily female participants...thinking of joining "Toastmasters" group. Went to Chapters (notorious "pick up" book store)....didn't dare look at a single person who stood next to me...but found a number of books to add to my wish list. Hit Home Depot on Saturday...a) to check out possible new fridges/stoves for my new kitchen....and b) men for my new bedroom. Found a few possible new appliances....but nothing for bedroom decor.

2236hr: Watching a show basicallly entitled "Hastings -1066"...yes Shallow Hal didn't hold my attention...and after all...apparently Harold was a redhead. RAWR! *methinks my mr wonderful will need to be a history geek.*