Friday, December 31, 2010

Things I have learned this year

I find it a little hard to believe that another year has come and gone.  It has had its ups and downs, but thankfully more of the ups!

I thought I would take a few moments and share some of the things I have learned this year.   I wish that I could add "Patience" to the top of my list but that would be a lie.  However I would say the "ability to adapt" has been a gift.  From a caregivers point of view it is the most valuable tool.  A couple of years ago barely a day passed that didn't involve tears.  I was trying to make Mom's disease fit into my life.  Eventually I learned that I needed to adapt my life to fit Mom's disease and things are going much smoother.  There have been some bumps in the road but overall we are coping.  

Everyday is different.  What worked like a charm yesterday could be a flaming disaster today.  But I have learned to roll with it.  And a dark and twisty sense of humour doesn't hurt.

I have also learned that some things can wait.  My house isn't always as clean and tidy as it should be, and sometimes I miss a deadline and I don't get to spend as much time with my friends as I would like but for now this is where I have to be.

And most importantly I have learned that you can develop the most wonderful, caring, supportive friendships with people you have never met face to face or ever have heard their voice but they become a part of what holds you up.

Happy New Year to all.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Work, for real this time

After yesterdays lazy-themed post I decided to get up early and get cracking!  First thing I did was give us a break from the turkey leftovers and made a quick meatloaf.  It was a nice change of pace.

It wasn't long before the "Golden Girls" got up and Auntie had a hair appointment.  I didn't get the front of her car completely shoveled out the other day before it froze, but the back was clear.  As she was leaving I told her to just back straight out and not turn the wheels.  And then I watched in the window.   Did she listen???   Noooooo.  She turned the wheels and put it in drive.   And Yes, she got herself stuck.  I watched her spin, and spin, and spin - all the while thinking ---"I TOLD YOU SO"

So, I got dressed and went out and that stupid car would not move.  After a minute she went back in the house.  I thought - good idea - stay in the sun porch til I get the car moved.  I was making some progress and had just got a little momentum and was ready to tramp on the gas pedal ......when she comes back out with a shovel and stood in front of the car!!!!   Un- freaking-believable!   I slammed on the brakes but for a split second I thought "no jury would convict me".  (kidding.....sort of)    Let me tell you - the air was blue inside the car - my lips were just-a-flapping!

That was the last straw.  I told her to get in my car and I would drive her.  It was only a couple of streets away and Mom was locked inside the house.  When I got back I was still mad and determined to move that stupid car.   The wheels were spinning and smoking and I didn't care.  Then I see a young man coming up the street.  Geez, he will think I a dumb woman driver!  Anyway, he walked in the driveway and pushed me out.   What a sweet young man.  But Auntie is still in the dog-house with me!

I took out my frustration on my closet next.  I ended up taking 2 large garbage bags to the Thrift Store Drop Off and 1 bag is destined for the curb.  In between throw in 4 loads of laundry, put half of the gifts away from under the tree, and then we had 2 different car-loads of visitors before supper.   And in the Maritime way - visitors all get served tea and crumpets.  Just like going to Deanne's shop - you get offered a cup of tea!  I did dishes 5 times today! 

So I think I made up for my lazy day yesterday.

To answer a couple of questions asked lately:
1) A neighbor checked our beach and my cottage is OK.  We are on the high side of the road and the majority of damage was on the other side of the lane.   Whew!
2) The Kindle - Well, it fell through.  Apparently the wife committed it to a family member.  (This is another reason to stay single - hahaha)  I guess that is just another excuse to get an IPAD.  lol

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Work, work, work

Cleaning out my closet, putting away the Christmas gifts,
sweeping up all the fir needles that are falling
off the tree,  cooking something so we can
eat something other than turkey.

Oh,  these are NOT things I did today.  I just thought about all of them.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Out past my bedtime

Last night it was 10:15pm and the phone rang. I was sprawled on the sofa all settled in for the night.  On the other end of the phone was my friend Rhonda.  She said "I just put puffed pastry in the oven - Come over."   Hmmm, food.......friends.....maybe there will be wine??   I'm on my way I said.  Me - going out after 10pm -----Scandalous!!  LOL

The storm postponed Rhonda's flight back to Ontario for another day so she decided to make the most of her last night.  There were another couple of acquaintances there and we sat around and ate hot pastry appetizers and yes, there was wine.  Those kind of spontaneous outings always seem to be the most fun.

Poor little Millie got worn out waiting for me to get home.  She likes to stand guard until the car pulls back in the yard.  This is the aftermath.
You would think with all this vacation time that I would be hooking more.  I hadn't even tested the #8 cutterhead that I moaned about for weeks!   But it seems the past few days I have had hookers-block.  I wasn't in the mood to finish the in progress holiday rug and couldn't decide what to hook next.

But this afternoon I grabbed a piece of wool and yes, the cutterhead cuts wool like butter!  So I just started hooking with no plan.  This is what I ended up with - so far.

Its hard to believe a week of my vacation is gone already.  Time just goes quicker and quicker these days.

Monday, December 27, 2010


I suppose since we had a snow-free Christmas, Mother Nature decided to give us an extra portion today.   Snow, followed by freezing drizzle makes a mess.  The roads are covered in a heavy slush and many of our backyard trees are bent over from the weight of the heavy snow.

I took these photos this morning in my backyard.
So that means there is nothing to do today except eat more leftovers (and cross my fingers that the power stays on).

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The day after

Ahhhh, I feel a sense of calm.  It is all over (except for the eating).  However, it is possible the sense of calm has something to do with the Bailey's I put in my morning coffee today!  hehe

We had a busy, but wonderful 2 days.  Christmas Eve saw visitors coming and going from about 10:30am until the last ones left about 11:30pm.  We were exhausted but it was a happy exhausted.  And this is one of our Christmas Eve visitors
He is my cousin Terri's grandson.  Two months old and a real charmer.  We all enjoyed meeting him for the first time. 

Christmas Day we had a break from the company - just a nice quiet day for the three of us.  I cooked the turkey (20 pounds) on Christmas Eve so I just had to prepare the vegetables in the morning.  We had a big dinner around 1pm and there were so many veggies leftover, we repeated the same huge meal at 6pm.

And the Fat Man didn't forget Millie either.  Here she is testing out her new bed and one of many many new toys.

Last night was just layed around like lumps, watching Christmas movies, and thinking about what to eat next.  When I went to bed last night I hid the bathroom scales in the linen closet.  No need to see that for awhile!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Before the Fat Man Flies

This is the last post before the Fat Man Flies.
I made a last minute run to the grocery store this morning and there were a
couple of gifts left to deliver.
Now all that is left is to Eat, Drink and be Merry!

I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas surrounded by all that is important
to you.

As for us, all is well and this evening after Church we will gather here with 
friends, and watch Its A Wonderful Life. (My favorite movie)
A few appetizers, a few drinks and await the Jolly Fat Man.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

A flurry of activity

Actually its more of a "shower" of activity because we are still having rain.  Seems strange with no snow at all.  Almost more like early Spring than Christmas. 

I have hardly stopped for more than 10 minutes since Tuesday night. I have been finishing the shopping and am still delivering gifts.  Last night I delivered the gifts for Mom's friends, and of course that also means having a little visit at each place.  It took all night.  While I enjoyed all the visits, it made me a little sad that Mom isn't able to do it anymore.

This is a picture of my bed this evening.  These are gifts left to be wrapped.
What a mess!  I have alot of work to do before I can crawl into bed tonight.  On a positive note, this pile was twice as high at noon hour.

This afternoon I had a nice treat.  Our former engineer at work retired a couple of years ago.  He and his wife are the loveliest people. This morning he called me and invited me and his former secretary over to his house.  His invitation was "I have a lot of rum and a little egg nog - would you like to come visit this afternoon?"  LOL So we spent a hour or two at their home.  It was great to catch up and when we were leaving he had a flowering plant for each of us.

I thought that was so sweet and thoughtful.  And then when I got home there was another surprise.   Do you remember the "no free lunch guy"? (read here)  He had a bag of lobsters delivered to our house!  That will be a great lunch tomorrow. 

I almost forgot - another good thing today.  I got a text message from my boss this morning.  It simply read "IPAD!!!!"  He is a technology fanatic like me.  He had just bought himself one.  So, half jokingly, I replied back that perhaps now he would sell me his Kindle.  I wanted one for Christmas but waited too long to order (9 week delivery to Canada).  He has only had it since summer so it is almost new.  He replied back almost immediately Yes.  So tomorrow he is leaving it on my desk at work for me to try for a few days and then if I like it he will sell it to me at a "greatly reduced price"!  hahaha

Anyway, I better go get back and tackle that mess on my bed. Wish me luck - the countdown is on!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Odds and Ends

Lots of news today.  I seem to be exceptionally chatty lately.  First we are in the middle of another storm.  We are having very weird weather for December.  Just as I got up this morning, around 7am the power went out again.  Another morning of looking through the closet with a flashlight and trying to "put on a face" by balancing a flashlight on a book! Heavy rain and high winds knocked down some trees into power lines.  Luckily it was restored by 10:30 this morning.

But the storm surge along the coast is the real problem. My boss got a call first thing this morning that several cottages near his were flooding.  His cottage is about 20 minutes from mine.  He decided to go check it out.  He came back a few hours later and stuck his head in my office.  He said "You should go check and make sure you still have a cottage".   Seriously??  He said it was bad down his lane.  Cottages completely surrounded by water and large waves crashing up against those closest to the shore.  I decided that there was nothing I could do, so I guess I would rather not see it and be sick about it.  Luckily our cottage is a bit sheltered near the river and we are up high on a bank.  So it would be almost impossible for us to flood, but the storm surge takes away parts of my bank each time. 

These are some pictures I borrowed from other friends who did venture out today.
These locations are about 10 minutes from my place.
  The news report tonight says that the storm system is expected to linger over us for another 18 hours.  I am keeping the furnace up high tonight just in case we lose power again.

Today was Mom's home care.  We had Ruth.  She is one of our regulars and we all love her. We haven't had her for awhile.  We missed her and I thought Mom would perk up when she saw her  but Mom wasn't in a very good mood day and absolutely refused to hug Ruth and wish her Merry Christmas.   Most days she gets excited when Ruth "visits".  But everyday is different, but Auntie and I feel more comfortable when we get one the "regular" workers.  They know all Mom's little signals and know how to respond.    Apparently the schedulers are trying to mix it up so people don't get too attached to their care-takers.  I think that is totally stupid, but I supposed we should be grateful for the help we get.

Last night when I got home I had a package in the mail.  A little gift made for me from a sweet blog friend all the way from California.    (You know who you are!) These little trees  made my day a little brighter.

And saving the best for of 4:30 this afternoon I am on vacation!!!!  Now lets hope we don't blow away or float down the street!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The good, the bad, and the ugly

I have had all three before 10:00am.  First the good - I arrived at work this morning to find a small basket on my desk with money.  At the beginning of this season's Survivor show we did an office pool.  We paid money and drew names of the contestants.  I have never watched the show but apparently my guy "Jud" won last night.  That was a nice bonus.  (It will buy a couple more bottles of wine LOL)

Then the first of the Monday Morning reports arrived at 8:42am - Bill again.  But Dawn followed behind at 8:43am.  She just missed the lead by a minute!  I had ALL reports by 9:08am.  My devious little plan is working!!

Now for the combo - this one is all three - good, bad and ugly!  The receptionist called me to say I had a C.O.D. delivery at the front desk.  That's odd because the only thing I was expecting was the much anticipated cutterhead but I had it delivered to my home address.  Hmmmmm?  I went downstairs and it was the cutterhead!!  The joy of living in a small town - the delivery guy knew me so he brought it straight to my office.

Here comes the Bad and the Ugly part.  I had to pay $60.11 to get the package!!   OMG, I was not a happy camper.  I have bought many things from the US and this has never happened.   That is over 40% of the purchase price added on. 

Arrgh! I am trying not to get so wound up about it.  I think this is probably one of those situations where the seller tried to do the right thing to remedy the shipping error and I am hoping that she didn't realize I would be goudged on the the other end.   But after all the hype, it is finally here and I am sour with it.   Whoopie!!

UPDATE:  It is worse than I thought.  I just checked the paperwork and the shipper only listed the value of the item at $100 so I paid 60% on top of the purchase price.   Arrrgh!  Not a huge fan of UPS at the moment!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Eating Cookies

I finished baking my cookies last night and got up this morning and frosted them.  I gave Auntie one to taste and she didn't choke, spit it out or die so I figured they were safe to take to the cookie exchange.  This is what they looked like
The little paper cupcake wrappers were a great idea because I had an hour drive to get to the party and the trays were sliding all around the back seat every time I turned a corner.  But they all arrived upright and in one piece.

It was a lovely afternoon and I have been eating cookies since I got home!  And I suppose the sugar-rush from the cookies was enough to make me get at the bare tree.  I finished putting on the lights and the red beads and that is enough for tonight.  I will finish the rest tomorrow night after our Council meeting.

Don't look too close at the tree.  It is crooked.  I have adjusted and re-adjusted and it is still crooked.  I give up.  I just tell people to tilt their heads a little when they come in the room.  LOL  I'm learning not to sweat the small stuff.

UPS has not updated their tracking all weekend.  I am almost scared to check tomorrow to see where the package goes next.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I should be baking cookies

There are not enough hours in this weekend.  My real Christmas tree was brought into the house Tuesday night and put in the stand.  All I have done to it since then is add water to the tree stand.  It is still completely naked - not a light - not a glittery ball - no angel or star -----Nothing!

This morning I tackled the "list" again.  I went to the liquor store first.  You always need some extra bottles of wine for hostess gifts and such.  I ended up with a cart full.  (Mostly it was all for gifts)  But I was too embarrassed to finish getting what I needed.  I'll make a second trip Monday to a different outlet!  Its not ALL for me.  We have alot of company over the holidays.  But it looked bad.

This evening was my favorite event - the Lefurgey Family and Friends Party!  More food than you can imagine and lots of laughs.  I got home  a bit ago and foolish started looking at some blogs.  It is now 10:25pm and I have to start making cookies for a Family Cookie Exchange tomorrow.  

Now many of you may know - I am not a baker.  More disaster stories than I care to remember.  So cross your fingers that these turn out half way edible or else I will have to start again tomorrow morning.  I am making Nutmeg Logs (mainly because the recipe sounds easy, but they look like they might take some effort)  :)
This is what they are "supposed" to look like
I just hope I don't give anyone food poisoning tomorrow!!  lol

Friday, December 17, 2010

My day off

I took the day off work today to catch up on some holiday chores and try to make sure I meet my self imposed deadline of "no stores by December 20th".   I had ordered a couple of specialty items that had to be picked up in Moncton (about 40 minutes away) so I hit the road first thing this morning.  One of the items was at Costco.  I hate that place.  Its so busy and crowded and just a pain in the butt.  So as I was getting close to the building I started getting that Yucky feeling but hoped I could just get in and out quick.  (Yeah, right)

Anyway, I am about to turn into the parking lot.  There are 2 lanes of traffic that merge into one leading to the parking.  Now, the standard practice for this traffic situation is usually a give and go thing.  One car goes and then lets the next merge etc.  So it's my turn to merge..................and this sweet looking little old lady in a gold Toyota, looks in my face..........and then tramps on the gas pedal and CUTS ME OFF!
WELL.......My mouth flew open and I sat there for a second stunned (and then majorly ticked off) and I looked and the man in the truck behind her was losing his mind laughing!!  He waved for me to pull out - still laughing.

The sweet old lady (I mean old bat) pulled into a parking space and I pulled in 2 spaces over.  I was thinking to myself "you might have gotten in the parking lot first, but I'll be getting in the store first!"  The laughing man in the truck pulled in beside me and must have seen the devious look on my  face and whispered "we can race her".   I swear I might have knocked her over if I had to!  LOL

Then after I fought my way through a couple of stores, my phone beeped.  A friend of mine was in Moncton also so we arranged to meet for a bit at a cafe.  I had the most yummy Candy Cane Hot Chocolate and a giant ginger cookie.

That was a perfect break to re-energize me for a few more stores.  Then I arrived back home and delivered a special gift.  Five years ago I lost a dear friend tragically just before Christmas.  Ever since then I deliver a special gift to her Mom.  I guess its my way of showing her I still remember her daughter and also I  kind of think I'm giving her the gift that Carrie isn't here to deliver.   Sappy eh!  But this is the first time we didn't cry during the delivery.  I think that is progress.

I have updated the adventures of my travelling cutterhead.  Its getting funnier and funnier.  I not sure if UPS updates their tracking on the weekend but I will keep you all posted. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

World Traveller

Holy cow!  I bet that when my cutterhead finally does arrive, it will qualify as a world traveller.
I am having way to much fun following the UPS tracker information.  It is almost unbelievable!   Follow along on the top of my sidebar as we watch this package go all over the place.....everywhere but here, it seems. 

Ahhh, isn't it a little sad that this is entertaining me so much??  LOL

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Three Frosty Ladies

Last night we got hit with a storm.  Not the piles of snow that many of you in the US have experienced, but tons of rain and hurricane force winds. 

I woke this morning and it was a little chilly but we generally turn down the furnace at bed time so I didn't catch on immediately.  But when I went to the bathroom and flicked the light switch  - nothing.  I'm still not sure why I needed to flick it another 5 or 6 times to figure out we had no power.  I guess I was still half asleep.

I checked my cell phone and there were no messages so I got ready for work.  I used a flashlight propped up on my vanity to put on my make-up!  Next stop - the search for coffee.  I headed to the other side of town and luckily "Fast Food Alley" had electricity.  Large coffee from McDonald's drive-thru and off to work. 

Hmmm, no power there either.  After a call to the Electric Company they estimated we may not get power until between 3-6pm. About half the town was out.   The boss reluctantly sent us home but left us all "on-call" with instructions to return and open the building whenever the power was restored.  Back home to check on the ladies.  The power had been off since about 1am so this big old drafty house was getting chilly.  Luckily it was quite mild for December so it could have been worse.  I stopped at Tim Hortons donut shop and grabbed hot tea and donut holes and wrapped the gals up in a few quilts on the sofas.

By mid morning a car pulled in the yard.  It was John, one of Mom's home care workers.  It was his day off and he arrived at the door with this.....

He put some fabric, greenery and a little orange in a Christmas mug.  He had made one for all his regular clients and was delivering them.  Isn't that sweet and thoughtful.  Many of his clients live alone and I just love that fact that he goes the extra mile for them.
About 1pm I heard the gentle whirring of power.  Woohoo - I jacked up that furnace and headed off to work.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Nagging....with results

As I am sure you remember, I have been moaning and whining about waiting for my new cutterhead to arrive.  Every stinking day I almost attacked the mailman and nothing!

Last week I even checked my credit card statement and the charge came off on Nov 22.  It should have arrived.  I have ordered other things from the US and they arrived.  For the last week I debated emailing the company but I didn't want to be one of those bitchy customers always complaining about the service.

So, I waited......but today I cracked.  I sent a polite email, just inquiring if they were able to track shipments as mine had not arrived yet and even included my shipping address, if that would help locate the shipment.   Within a half hour I got an email back that said "THANK YOU, THANK YOU.  We lost the paper with your address and had no way to ship.  We assumed after a couple of weeks when your parcel didn't arrive you would contact us."  After another apology she said it was arriving expedited UPS and sent me a tracking number. 

I replied back immediately and thanked her for the quick response and explained that I hesitated sending the email because I didn't want to be a nag.   BUT nagging worked this time!  Its on the way!

And in another nagging twist, remember last week I was yapping about how I nag all the time at work for late reports?  Well this morning I was waiting for the "Monday Morning Reports" from each department.   Note: they are called the "Monday Morning Reports"  NOT Monday Afternoon Reports or Tuesday Reports!!!!  (Hehehehe)

Anyway I had just sat down at my desk this morning for about 15 minutes and Bill's report arrived in the email.  WOW.....he is usually always late.  I was impressed!  So I decided to have a little fun with my nagging.   I emailed the other 5 departments with the subject line "The Race Is On".  The rest of the email said something like "Bill's report has arrived so today he gets the gold star.  Who will be next and who will be the last??   Which one of you will be the last to cross the finish line??

Well, by 10am I had ALL the reports.  And the girls are all wound up now and want to knock Bill off the top next week!   Love it!  Fun, sneaky and very effective.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I'm amazed that I finished hooking this little mat this weekend.  I guess its true that a few spare minutes here and there actually gets stuff done.
I couldn't decide on a color for the background.  Normally lime green would not be on my list and I still can't believe I did it - but I kind of like it.  Bold - unexpected - different.

Its all because I got dazzled by this.......
I saw this sparkly gold sari ribbon and HAD to have it.  I thought it would go with anything but when I held it up against lots of other colors, nothing seemed to work.  Except that darn lime green. 

So maybe I CAN be bolder and more daring with color.  This was a good project for me.  And as soon as it is bound it will be another present off the list.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Busy Bees and a reluctant model

I have been one busy little bee all week.  I could hardly believe when I looked and saw I hadn't posted since Tuesday.

I sat down earlier in the week and made our to-do list.  Then I grouped everything together by store so I don't have to go back and forth.  Genius!!  Once it was all written down, with a plan, it actually looks do-able.   I don't want to jinx it, but I'm slightly optimistic that I might meet my deadline of "done before the 20th".  

I still haven't received my new cutterhead yet!  Arrrgh....  I admit I haven't hooked all week - until tonight.  I want to try and hook a small Christmas gift, so I put the Angel rug on the back burner for now to see if I can get this gift hooked.  (It would go alot quicker if I had my #8 cutterhead but........)
However, this is what I started this evening.  It might be a little pillow?

And, just to break up the evening with a little fun (well, fun for me - not so much for Millie) ......

 She was NOT in the mood for modeling tonight.  The little strap on the hat broke and she didn't want to keep it on her head.  She was trying to escape and I was laughing so the pics are not great.  
Just look at that face!!   I am such a mean Mommy!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tis the season

Tis the season....for over-loaded schedules and short tempers.  Falalalala  

I have been joking that work has been like a mine field.  For days now its been like walking on eggshells around everyone.  Too many deadlines and so much stress are taking a toll.

And unfortunately today I joined the ranks.  By mid afternoon I had the last straw and I blew - twice! Both times to people who are much higher on the food chain too!  But it seems like lately I am always the "bitch".  I'm always nagging someone for a late or incomplete report, or telling that they are not following policy etc.

When the #1 boss asked me a question this afternoon - and I gave him the honest answer - I could tell he was not impressed.  He didn't say anything but he had "the look".   I said "I can't be the bitch here everyday.  I am the bitch at home everyday and I can't do it here.  Somedays I have to pick my battles." soon as I blew I felt better.  And lucky for me, he smiled and said yes, he understood that.   After I got that off my chest we talked a bit more.  I will eventually give him the answer he was hoping for, but today I just didn't have the strength to annoy another senior manager.

THEN, as I was checking blogs tonight someone had posted a Christmas Countdown gadget......

17 flippin days left...............

Are you kidding?????

Oh dear,  this is not good!  So I am sitting down with Auntie in a few minutes and we are making a list
All of our leftover to-do's.  The countdown put me in a panic.  So my plan is to take one master list and just drive it like mad for a few days.  Just once I would like to be able to relax and not pushing through the stores after Dec.20th.  My imaginary dream is to just bake and make fancy treats the few days before Christmas. 

I don't think it's gonna happen, but a girl can still dream. Sigh......

Monday, December 6, 2010

He's back......Naked Santa

Warning - What you are about to see could be emotionally scarring.  If you think you can
handle it then please continue reading.

I first posted about this fat old fella last year but for the benefit of
my new followers here he is again.

A 20-some year old tradition lives on in my home.  The amazingly tacky shower curtain 
is back.  Actually I will be sad when he finally
disintegrates.  It won't be Christmas here without him. 
Isn't he HOT??

P.S.  There was a little Christmas miracle this morning.  Clayton (AKA handyman extraordinaire) fixed the dryer in about 10 minutes.  No idea what he did but who cares - it works!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Another day at the "Funny Farm"

It is never a dull moment around here.  First, I did do something special last night - but I'm not going to tell you about it yet.  Mostly because it deserves a post all of its own, and secondly because its not finished yet.  (Just to keep you guessing!  lol)

Now - this is today at the crazy house.  Today is Auntie's birthday.  I had great plans to make it a fun day.  (Should have been my first clue trouble was on the horizon)  After a nice breakfast she opened her presents.  Even Millie gave her a card and a present.  Such a thoughtful and resourceful little puppy.

Then my cousin Terri arrived at the door with flowers from her mother.  Her Mother is a first cousin to Mom and Auntie.  She has been fighting cancer for some time and Terri told us she has taken a dramatic drop in the few weeks.  In fact it sounds like a coin toss whether or not she will make it to Christmas.  She stayed for a couple of hours and obviously needed to talk, cry and vent.   I was glad we were able to be there for her, as I know how important it is to get stuff off your chest but it wasn't doing good for my planned happy birthday day.  It really did bring Aunties mood down.

Since things were going downhill I decided I might as well get some chores done. I gathered up the laundry and threw the load of whites in and then into the dryer.  Next grabbed the darks, threw the wet clothes in the dryer, turned the dial and.........................nothing.  

Geez, are you kidding me???? Another dead appliance??  And on her birthday.....   Let's not forget the psycho episode when the stove died recently.   OMG What do I do?   So naturally, I decided to hide it.  I could tell her tomorrow.  Like, when I'm at work and I don't have to listen to the ranting.....Perfect plan, right?

Well, my plan lasted about 10 minutes.  She had a few towels on the clothesline but it was such a damp drizzly day, they were not going to dry.  She brought them in and asked me if I would dry the towels with my clothes.   CRAP - Busted -  I looked at her funny and stammered and stuttered for a few seconds.  Then she got mad and said "Well never mind if you won't do it".   Double crap!

So I just blurted it out.   "I didn't want to tell you on your birthday but the dryer is broken."  And then I held my breath and waited for the impending explosion................
She just looked at me and said "Oh well, I guess the appliances are all going to go one after the other.  We'll call somebody tomorrow."  

HUH???  Who the heck is this Stepford Auntie and where is my lovable but often psychotic Aunt?  I'm still scratching my head over that response.  Definitely Stepford!

We ended the evening with a nice dinner.  A few of her friends joined us at a local restaurant and then we came back here and had tea and birthday cake.

I think I might be looking forward to going back to work tomorrow.  :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Blinkin' Crazy??

This morning as I was driving back to the office after a meeting, I went to turn right and it seemed like my turn signal blinker was acting funny.  I put the left blinker on, just to see and it was fine.

When I used the left one - the flicker went blink......blink......blink.....
Normal.  But when I was turning right it went blink.blink.blink

(OK at this point I'm sure it is becoming apparent that I am a little low on clever blog posts tonight)

Anyway, I couldn't figure out what was wrong with the stupid blinker.  I didn't know if it had a short in the wiring but since it was a busy day - I ignored it.

Not long after I got back to work after lunch, my phone rang.  It was one of our Town Councillors.  He said he was behind me on the way to work and my passenger side brake light was burnt out.  Hmmm, I said thats funny cuz I'm having trouble with the blinker on that side too.  He sort of laughed and then asked if it was blinking really fast.  Yes..........  Apparently that is the warning signal that your brake lights are out!!!!  

Seriously??  Did any of you know that??  Am I the only stupid one??   Geez,  Who Knew??   Anyway, I thanked him for letting me know.  I probably would have gotten a ticket from the police if it had been left to long.  I stopped at the Chev dealership on my way home from work and its fixed.  (Yes, they laughed at me too)

Really people - Does everyone know this??

Anyway - update on last night.  Mom and I had the best evening.  I got her bathed early and then we both put our jammies on.  I put her pyjamas on the heating vent so they would be all toasty for her.  Amazingly she didn't fuss all night.  She was good as gold.  We watched a little TV and we even had ice cream sundaes and cookies.  And I did enjoy a couple of glasses of red wine.  Actually goes great with chocolate chip cookies!!

It was a very relaxing stress free evening. It was just what the doctor ordered. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A quiet night in with Mom

A rare treat.  Shhh, can you hear it?    Me neither.....its quiet!  No company, no chores, no work, no Auntie and/or her friends chattering away in my ear for hours on end.  Its just me and Mom all settled in for a lovely quiet evening alone.

Tonight Auntie and her gal pals have all gone out to a local Dinner Theatre.  It was always a family tradition.  We gathered up a gang of gals and went together.  Last time we all went it was evident that it was just to busy, confusing and structured for Mom.  She didn't understand she couldn't roam around or talk out loud etc.  So for the past 2 years I have stayed home with her while the rest all went. 

I don't think they all realize what a treat it is for me. I almost never get a little quiet time at the house (or Grand Central Station as I like to call it).  

In fact, I think this might be time to open that bottle of wine I got from my last visit to Corinne's house.
Sounds good to me!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I'm still waiting.  And I am not doing it gracefully.

 Did I offend the mailman?  Is he holding my much anticipated package hostage?

My townsend #8 cutterhead isn't here yet.

Every day at lunch time I stalk the mailbox.  My little face pressed against the peep-hole in the door.  And yet every day all he friggin brings me are bills!  

How rude!

So for now, all I can do is continue........

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Bodyguard and the Hitman

Remember this movie? However the rest of this post is not fiction. 
Several years ago I went on a business trip to the Philippines.  It was part of a International Development Program we were involved in and I was lucky enough to spend 3 1/2 weeks there.   While it is an absolutely beautiful country with wonderful people, there is an element of danger.  There are parts of the country that have alot of rebel activity etc. 

As part of the agreement, we were provided with 24/7 bodyguards in the form of Philippine National Police Officers.  Myself and another co-worker were provided with 3 (heavily armed) guards and they stuck to us like glue.  Perhaps I was a bit naive, but I believed it when they told me that this was just a formality and wasn't really necessary.  It wasn't until well into the trip that I began to suspect that these guys were probably a major blessing.

One morning I woke up early and discovered an old mattress outside my door.  Apparently they slept outside our doors each night and removed the "evidence" before I got up.  I asked about it later that day and they didn't want me to know because I might worry.  (Duh!)  They were very handy in the form of pest control however.  Me, being a girly girl, was fairly traumatized by the lizards.  These were not the cute little geckos we are familiar with - there were some big-ass lizards around. 

My primary guard was Johnny and he was so sweet and good to me.  To the point of checking the public bathroom stalls for lizards.  (Yes - this was often necessary)    One particularly funny incident happened one evening as he walked me to my hotel room.  I closed the door, put down my purse, looked up and there it was ........ a giant lizard on the wall just inches away from my head.  (OK maybe not exactly giant - but still a lizard!)  Without thinking I let out a huge scream.   The next thing I know, my door is swinging open and Johnny is flying in with his hand on his gun!!!!   All I can do is tremble and point to the wall..... Here he thinks I am being murdered and all he sees is a lizard - which is as common to him as house flies to us.  He did kill it and then he mocked me mercilessly.  And of course the story spread to the other bodyguards.

While the country and people were generally wonderful, it is still a much different society and system than we are accustomed to.  Corruption and violence are sadly a common occurrence.  Today we received a news report from one of our contacts that on Sunday Johnny was the target of a Rebel Army hitman.  While attending an outdoor event he was shot and killed. 

It is one thing to read or watch news reports of this type of thing, but it is quite disturbing to actually know someone that is involved.   While we often complain about our governments and policies, we truly do not know how lucky we are to live where we do.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Quiet Sunday

Not much exciting to blog about today.  We just finished a big Sunday supper.  I put a prime rib roast in the oven this morning.  I like to cook it really slow - about 6 hours at 200 degrees.  It makes it so tender.  Plus garlic mashed potatoes, carrots, turnip chunks glazed in brown sugar, yorkshire pudding (love these) and coconut cream pie for dessert.  

Now we are all just stuffed lumps in the living room.  Barring any unforeseen circumstances, I might be able to get the color stripe border finished on the rug tonight.  All that will be left then will be about 2 rows of hooking around the outer edge.  I'm waiting for my new #8 cutterhead to arrive to cut the wool for that.  It was shipped about a week and a half ago so it should arrive soon (I hope).  However, I always under-estimate the amount of time it takes me to hook so my completion time might be off by a day or two.  I can't hook tomorrow as it is my long, long day at work.

I didn't hand-make any Christmas gifts this year.  I usually do some but it seems like it was just Labor Day and now its almost Christmas.  Maybe if I want to make homemade gifts for next year I should start now!   However, I do want to try to make something small for my friend Carrie's Mom.  I am thinking maybe a small hooked pillow 12x12.   I have a couple of ideas but we will have to see how the time goes. 

Have a great week.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Holiday Shopping Fun?

Last night and this morning I couldn't think of what I was going to ramble on about today.  And then I went out shopping and the content of this post became clear!
My first stop was pleasant.  One of our churches was having a "Bethlehem Market" this morning.  Its a Rummage/Bake Sale and all the vendors (the church ladies) dress in Shepherds clothes.  I'm not a "rummage sale" kind of gal but I did very well scooping up goodies at the baking and candy tables!

Next stop was to head for the Mall.  On my way there I got to a set of traffic lights - I had a green light but luckily I was paying attention because some idiot just flew through the red light!  Didn't even blink..... It made me wonder - how can you drive with your head up your arse butt?

Next bundle of fun.....the Mall Parking Lot.  Seriously, they should have someone at the entrance handing out blood pressure pills before you are allowed to enter the parking lot.  Oh my nerves.  The cars are going every which way, nobody will give anyone a break to turn in, and if a parking space does open up - its like a stock car derby.  Its a free for all.   And then, if by some chance, a car does stop and left you through - sure enough a bunch of pedestrians will step out in front of you!  Arrrgh.....

The final insult......department stores that are full of shoppers with only 2 checkouts open.  In my line the old couple in front of me were quaint (NOT).  You could hear him yapping all over the store and his wife resembled Loretta Lynn circa 1970.  Big ass beehive hair-do etc.  The line is getting longer and then the girl finishes ringing in their order and he asks how much were the batteries.  The cashier checked the receipt $6.   OMG......He got all excited and yelling that they were on sale for $5.  He is insistent and loud and the rest of us are stuck waiting.  I heard the woman behind me tell her husband to give the guy $1 so we could get out of there.  I may have snorted out loud.  He is not leaving until she gives him the sale price.

So we wait for someone to confirm the price.  And he is still yapping.  Eventually the supervisor comes and tells him its the Energizer batteries on sale NOT Duracell.   Sooooooo, after all that fuss over $1 and making everyone wait - he decides to take them anyway for the $6.................... He is just lucky I didn't find a "special" place to put his batteries!!

Isn't shopping during the holidays fun??    I'm still plugging away on the Angel rug border and am patiently (not) waiting for my new cutterheads to arrive.  It seems like it is taking forever to get here.
Maybe Santa will bring me patience this year.....(not likely)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American Blog Buddies
I hope you all wear your elastic waistband pants today!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Blame it on the moon

There is alot to be said about the old wives tale that people get a little "strange" during the full moon.   I know that Mom does get more restless and ornery during the days surrounding the full moon. 

And anyone who works directly with the public will probably agree that "customer service" can be an extra challenge at that time.  Much of my work week has been consumed with "Full Moon" issues.  Arrgh!!

I probably shouldn't confess all my stupid moments to you all but here is another doozy.  Tonight Millie had an appointment at the Beauty Parlour.  I scooped her up on my way home from work and dropped her off at the groomers.  She is usually there about an hour so I left her and went home to grab some supper.  As soon as I walked in the door at home I started looking around the house.  Auntie says "What are you doing?"    Me- "I can't find the dog".   She looked at me - like I was an alien and said "Uhmmmm, you just left her at the groomers!"    OMG - Duh.....Blame it on the full moon.  

Here she is - all prettied up after her appointment.  Now that the snow (white crap) has arrived I dug out one of her little winter coats.  Isn't she sweet??   

Its almost DWTS finale so I have to get settled in.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I hate it when this happens

  Oh how I hate it when this happens.   Today I had a list (in my head) of things I needed to pick up at Walmart.  I grabbed the cart and headed for my first destination - a cheapy rug for the porch.  The tiles get very slippery with the snow tracked in from outside and I don't need anybody falling.  Plus it keeps Millie's little toesie's from freezing in the winter.

Anyway, I head down this aisle and I hear someone coming behind me talking.  I keep walking.  Then I hear "Kim, is that you?"   So I turn around and this woman is talking away "Oh I thought it was you, how are you, blah blah blah......"   

Oh Crap - I have absolutely no idea who this is.  She is calling me by name and yapping away and I am at a total loss.  Could she have mistaken me for another Kim??  So I am standing there with a phony smile on my face, plus a combination of confusion, embarrassment, and just plain old HUH??   My little brain is spinning ---- THINK YOU MORON......who the heck is this??

After what felt like an eternity but was probably only a minute she caught on to the look on my face.  She says "Its Helen".   OMG  its Helen!  We went to the same university (25 years ago) and she married a friend of mine.  His parents still live here and she and Steve used to visit us occasionally, but not for several years.   Last time I saw her she had long hair and now it was short short.  Thank God because that was the excuse I used for not recognizing her! 

Has this ever happened to you??  It is so embarrassing.   So after all that I was so kerfuffled I bought the wrong size rug PLUS I couldn't remember any of the other things I needed.  I came home with the wrong rug and toilet paper - thats all.    Duh!

But I did get a tiny bit of hooking done.  If I don't get going I will still be finishing this Angel next Christmas!  Remember, I wasn't happy with the border colors?  So the first colors are on the right and the new colors (more mottled) are on the left.
 I like it better, but I'm still not thrilled.  However at this point I'm just going to finish it and learn to like it.  Once I start fussing around with the colors I start to get frustrated and lose interest in the rug.  I'm very close to that point.

Hope you all had a great weekend.