March 29, 2007

Signs of spring in my* part of Ontario

*may be different for those living in nicer/seedier locations.

Spring is in the air! Over the past few days the temperature has risen (finally) above "feckin' freezin'" (technical Ontario-eese for anything below 0 Celcius) and the following signs of life have been noted.

1. My next door neighbours have finally taken down their Christmas lights, evergreen decorations and the wreath on the door is now a moronically happy faced Easter Bunny in various pastel colours. It must be noted however that there are several people on the street, who's lights remain up year 'round...and I am grateful for not having to live next door to them.

2. The line up at the car wash is ridiculous.

3. The local grocery store has errected their "garden centre" cage area in the parking lot - ready for delivery of various bedding plants etc. Although anyone who plants before the May "24" weekend is nuts in my books.

4. Teen wardrobe choices alternate between winter parkas and baggy shorts - dependant on whether we make it into double digits or not...and with Ontario spring weather which can go from cranking up the furnace and throwing on an extra layer in the morning switching over to the air conditioning by mid-afternoon...perhaps those teens would be best advised to wear both the parka and the shorts at the same time and hope for the best.

5. The pile of snow/ice/road sludge at the end of my driveway has FINALLY melted...the last few remants from yesterday were gone this morning.

6. The gym is less crowded. All those "New Year" resolvers have finally rolled over belly up and given up the ghost.

7. Tim Horton's are running their "Roll Up the Rim to Win" promotion. For the record all I have won so far this year is 1 coffee. (grumble, stomp, swear)

8. The drive home along the 401 could be considered "off roading" ...thanks to all those bloody great potholes in the road. (Please note this is the precursor to that other great Ontario sign of!)

9. Work has gotten steadily busier. First bit of nice weather and everyone rushes out, consumes copious amounts of beer...and in the case of the couple last weekend who we had to send the marine unit out to rescue...decide that it would be a really smart move to swim in the lake.

and finally...

10. I am officially on my first week of holidays for 2007! Woot! (so you know that means the weather is gonna crap out, don't take the snow tires off just yet).

March 28, 2007


Jennyta has tagged me to reveal 5 things about myself that I have not previously mentioned on my blog, so here goes:

1. I am left-handed. High fives all round with fellow "south paws" ...yes, we really are the best people! OK I may have mentioned this before...but if you follow the trail from this blog to Jennyta' Gemmak's... you will see we are slowly taking over the world...muhahaha!

2. I am taking up running. OK, well jogging actually...well at the moment it's more jog...walk...jog...walk but I am at least trying. Yes, I am in shock too.

3. I have the skin of a teenager. (This is not a good thing).

4. The closing date on my new house has been delayed. Just found out today...will blog more on this later.

5. I am going to "Line Dancing" classes at a local bar with Jen - she talked me into woman, lotsa cute guys there! LOL

This was a darn sight harder than I thought it would be.

I am now going to pass the baton on to: Moonie, Snowbabies, Liquid, LouLou and Peachy.

March 19, 2007

1 tequila, 2 tequila, 3 tequila, floor

I've been busy the past few days and only am now finding time to sit down for a moment and blog a few thoughts.

Thursday was a day of emotions that went from one extreme to the other. In the morning I attended the funeral for the mother of a very good friend. To say I haven't seen or experienced such raw grief in a long time is an understatement. It was the first funeral I have attended that included a DVD slide show of photographs, set to music, of the deceased and her family through all stages of life. Margaret will be sadly missed by all...and my thoughts and prayers are with my girlfriend and her family.

Thursday night J. and I hit one of the local bars for an evening of entertainment. We saw Tony Lee the X-rated hypnotist. I have to say I haven't laughed so hard in a long, long time. (Told you it was a day of emotions from one extreme to the other!) If you ever get a chance to see Tony live at any of the college and university campuses or at a bar I can highly recommend his show ...just don't volunteer to go up on stage whatever you do! Why is he X-rated? Ahem...check here and here.

Saturday morning I awoke to a snowstorm...and typical I had to go out in it. I had signed up for overtime at work and basically had no choice...even though every bone in my body screamed to be allowed to stay snug in bed. The roads hadn't been plowed yet and just by the way my car fishtailed out of the parking lot, I knew it was going to take a while to get into work. Three times as long to be precise...20 minute Saturday morning ride in stretched to 60 simply wasn't safe to go any faster than 70-80 kms an hour...and I am by no stretch of the imagination a "nervous" driver. In typical Canadian spring weather fashion, 8 hours later the sun had melted all the snow and I drove home on bone dry roads wondering if I had actually dreamed the whole winter weather blast.

Saturday night (after a wee apres work nap) I was out with J. again at a St Patrick's Day party. Now admittedly I am not Irish...and I never did get the hang of Guinness...but I am a red head and I do look good in there was nothing holding me back! The party went on til the wee small hours of the morning, but I bailed Cinderella style shortly before 1am as I had to be at work again for 7am for another overtime shift.

I discovered three things that night. #1...I am not as young as I used to be and pulling "all nighters" just isn't in the cards. How we ever did it when we were teens I will never know! #2 Pre-party naps for the over 40's are highly recommended. #3 I am becoming an expert when it comes to Jello-Shooters. My green glow in the dark necklace (apparently a St Patrick's day party necessity in these parts) is still going strong 2 days later.

I am now thankfully off 'til lots of time to recover from both the social life (which as usual seems to go in spurts) and the overtime shifts.

March 16, 2007

Progress to date (ptd)

Well I noticed that Moonie is posting her progress I figured what-the-heck. Just the face so far, I haven't taken any new body shots yet. On the plus side however the new jeans and dress pants I purchased around the end of November are getting a wee bit saggy and I can even slide off the dress pants without even undoing the button or the zipper with practically no effort. (note to self...time to buy a belt, this could be embarrassing!) J. has offered to "loan" me a few things, because I hate to go out and buy new gear just for it to be "too big" again in a few months. However I do love how that sounds ...has a lovely ring to it. I might browse a couple of bargain/charity shops in the meantime, just to save a buck or two.

So without further's a pic of me taken at Christmas time.


And here's me yesterday...

March 15 071

OK...not dolled up admittedly...but you get the gist...I think you can see a difference in the face/neck/chin area a bit.

March 12, 2007

Back to work

Today was my first day back at work after 3 solid days of a horrid cold - in fact my loving co-workers commented that perhaps I had come back too soon (I think more out of concern that I may still infect them, more than genuine concern!) At my workplace however day 4 is the pivotal day. As soon as you reach day 4 and beyond off sick you'd better have a Doctor's note, and I am darned if I am going to see my family doctor for a common cold! (Plus his waiting room is full of sick people!!! Ewwwww!) So come hell or high water I was going back to work today!

It was hard dragging my butt out of bed for 4:15 am (especially seeing as the clocks went forward this weekend) but I made it through (spreading germs freely) and even hit the gym after work for the first time in 4 days. I was shocked however how drained I felt - that cold really knocked the snot out of me (ahem...punny). During my free weight routine my muscles were screaming and I was drenched with sweat within 5 minutes of the start of my cardio routine, instead of midway through as usual. I hope I've sweat the last of those cold germs right out of my system once and for all! Either way I feel great right now, but I am sure I will be early to bed tonight!

My friend at work, who wrote my workout routine, has just passed her testing and been hired as a part time personal trainer at a local gym (not mine). I keep telling her how great it will be to have my own free personal trainer - hehehe - yes, I know she will get her revenge - ordering an extra set of lunges or squats ...or some other evil scheme.

March 9, 2007

Little pink flying elephants

I am home today from work with a yucky head cold that has left me feeling as weak as a kitten. I felt it coming on Tuesday afternoon. Headache, slight runny Wednesday night I knew for sure that I was coming down with something. Thursday was my first day back to work after days off and all my loving colleagues went to great lengths to tell me that I looked like shite. By dinner time last night I knew I wasn't going to be making it into work today. It's my first "sick day" from work in over 15 months - and I feel guilty as hell for taking the time off. On the other hand I am normally the first one reaching for the antiseptic wipes whenever I encounter a sick co-worker, so I am sure they are all happy that I decided to stay home today.

My flu-ridden brain brought about the strangest dreams last night. Mum was there - decorating the bedroom walls with coloured markers and felt-tipped pens. For some reason I cut out my own tongue with a vegetable knife (probably because I kept waking up totally parched from mouth-breathing and having to get a drink of water) and we kept it in a Ziploc bag so that I could get it sewn on again later. I hasten to add that other than Advil there were no cold medications in my system last night - so I can't even blame the dreams on the hallucinogenic properties of NyQuil.

I'm glad to be back on a normal day schedule, and my weight loss efforts are now back in full swing. All last week whilst I was on the night shift, despite making an effort to go to the gym, and being good beyond belief in my food choices, my weight didn't shift in the desired direction. I had appeared to plateau and at one point my scales even claimed that I had gained back a couple of pounds (I naturally called the scales a bare-faced liar). I wonder if the whole "shift work" scenario has anything to do with it?

Thankfully by Wednesday, back on normal day shift hours my scales (now behaving itself) claims that I had lost another 4lbs. I tried on a pair of old blue jeans that had previously been more than a bit snug and was thrilled to find they not only fit comfortably...they actually hung on my bum and thighs! Thursday morning I was down I am officially 1lb away from my 30lb mark! I have to admit I am feeling fantastic! Still got a long ways to go...but I am determined to get there. Sharing weight loss news with friends like Monette have been a huge help in keeping my motivation going. She is doing fantastically since her gastric bypass surgery in January, and we regularly check on each other's progress on instant messenger. I appreciate however that eventually her weight loss results will have me choking on her dust and leave me trailing behind, but at the moment it really feels like we are doing this together.

The boy started his new job this past Monday and from what I can tell so far everything is going well. The only reason I can't say much more on the subject is that I have hardly seen him! In addition to working full time he is taking night school 4 days a week, and still finding time for a social life himself. I generally get a phone call...or hear the door close as he is coming home in the wee small hours. I shake my head and wonder where he gets the energy from, but then I look back and remember how I was at that age. We'd think nothing of being out partying 'til 2am and still being ready for work the next morning - albeit a tad bleary eyed.

Other than that, not a lot more to report. J. is just back from her week in El Salvador. I can't wait to hear her news and see the pics, I am sure she had a wonderful time. After the kind of week we have had with the ice storm, temperatures of -21 with wind chills of -35 and now this lousy head cold, I am in dire need of some sun, sand and sangria. Roll on spring!

March 2, 2007

In like a lion

The storm hit here during the day the time I got up mid afternoon (night shift) it was a winter wonderland outside. Colleagues told of the efforts they went to just to get into work on time. Some leaving home 3 hours early for their usual 30 minute commute just to arrive safe and sound. My own drive in was slow and steady with thankfully only a couple of white knuckle moments. I do however confess to uttering a few expletives at a few passing truck drivers who insisted on barrelling down the highway at ridiculous speeds, whilst the rest of us were inching along.

Being an essential service, calling in a "snow day" simply isn't an option. Authorities were urging people to stay off the roads and only travel if it was absolutely necessary. The ice rain hit around midnight and from then onwards the rest of my shift is just a blur of frantic calls from citizens as the weight of the snow and ice brought down trees, split hydro poles in half, brought power lines down, caused electricity transformers to explode and the Don River broke her banks in a number of areas causing flooding.

Midway through the night frustrations were starting to show. The calls waiting in the 911 queue were at an all time high as we tried to answer them as quickly as possible - it was a total nightmare - our time was being eaten up not by trying to answer the lines, but in trying to advise both the city works department and hydro-electric. Eventually they both simply stopped answering their lines and tempers on the floor were running very short. How nice to be able to just "switch off" the phones when the pressure is too much.

This evening watching the news there have been many news stories detailing the damage left by the storm. Thousands of residents are without power and some may be waiting until Sunday according to Hydro to get power back. Check out this great video/news story from CITY TV.

My thanks and appreciation goes out not only to my colleagues - our humour helped us make it through the night - but to the guys and girls on the road who were detailed to endless calls for live hydro wires down, power outages, trees down, car accidents and flooding in addition to all the usual calls they attend. Crime doesn't stop unfortunately, but thankfully it slowed a little for us last night.

There were numerous calls last night that caused us all to stop, laugh and shake our heads at the sheltered, pampered lives of some people. One indignant woman called in a noise complaint, the excessive noise outside was preventing her from sleeping and she was insistent that we attend immediately and deal with the situation, as her peace, quiet and the enjoyment of her home was being interrupted by this horrific noise pollution. The source of her displeasure? A snow plow. She objected to the snow plows being out at night, plowing the streets, the sounds of their blades dragging across the road surface was keeping her awake. She didn't feel this work should be done at night whilst everyone was trying to sleep.

I shake my head ...oh to be so blissfully ignorant...oh to have such a pampered and perfect life.