Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Caught Red-Handed

You are looking at the evidence of a diseased mind.
I have red palms and fingers.

And a pink poodle who is pretty upset with me. Fortunately for his breed, he is clever enough to know how to get even. He immediately went and rubbed himself all over my living room suite, leaving behind a slight pink hue on the seats and backs of the couch and love seat. He stayed off his favourite chair until he was dry.

But, the jokes on him...ever since he ripped up the upholstery on both pieces of furniture, I don't have the same mad, furniture love for them that I once did. Since I now need slip covers, he can rub until the Genie appears for all I care. Nyah, Nyah Tikki.
We have our first ever Bed Bath and Beyond in Calgary now. So, I will set aside my shopping aversion and go get slipcovers. He didn't get a rise out of me...this time.

Tomorrow, I will post about the great present I got from my in-laws. The assembly has been done but I will take pictures of the set up for you.
Hint: I can grow "herbs" indoors year round now.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Why am I such a sicko??

After the last flu / whatever epidemic around here, I began taking Wild Oregano oil and Elderberry juice daily. Elderberry can be poisonous so you need to make sure you have expert advice. Which I sought. From some tree-hugging, granola eating girlfriends of mine.

Wild Oregano helps boost your immune system and apparently Elderberry was used to treat a flu epidemic in South America in 1995. The way I heard it, flu...erm, uh... germs? bacteria? cells? okay the flu "bad guys", have spiky bits and the elderberry helps your cells?" good guys" to stay smooth and slick so the spiky bits can't hook in,or on, or up or...something. (Betcha couldn't tell the holistic, natural way of taking care of your health is uncharted waters for me!)

So, I immediately went and bought this stuff. It was all working good...until I got distracted and stressed out over the weekend and totally forgot to take any. Now I have a head cold. Sheesh.... is it the stress or the lack of preventative??

I suspect this is a clever ploy by homeopathic health people to force you to buy more of their products, thereby making you healthier and capable of living longer, thereby spending money on these preventatives and cures for a longer span of time during your long, healthy life.
What a racket!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Heigh Ho Heigh Ho

Well, I'm off to work in a couple but just wanted to update my myriads of readers who are anxiously awaiting my next post.

This morning I weighed in at 200 lbs and then I walked 1.5 miles which is over 2,000 steps. I was gone 18 minutes.

I'm bursting my buttons and not just the ones over my gut for a refreshing change.

Katie, on the other hand, is working out in 30 minute sessions of cardio and pilates on her Bosu ball at least twice a day. Combined with her new eating plan, her self-invented "Boot Camp" is going very well just 3 days in.
She looks so good, even the Nameless Man commented on it. I think I may have mentioned in passing he notices very little. Lately, he is so stressed, when I speak to him he stares blankly at my lips like I am conversing in Swahili.

This weekend is the last one for Canadian football and the Grey Cup is being played right here in Cowtown. Our home team didn't make it past the semi finals but the best team in the West made it. Now I just have to survive until the Super Bowl in January...

Go Riders!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Photo (or Two)

This is my "office"complete with the Tim Horton`s cup that is required by Canadian law to be displayed in every home. I'm serious...we teach proper roll up the rim technique in Phys. Ed.

Because I can't find the Before picture...HONEST!!

This is me...my many chins and Tikki in April of 2009. We have both gotten bigger since this was taken but only one of us got any cuter. Sure wish it was me.
In breaking news...the Nameless Man found my other pedometer when cleaning the top of the armoire prior to hanging up the flatscreen tv in the bedroom. I thought I wore it out (dropped it somewhere). So now I will have no excuses not to walk. Unless I can figure out how to painlessly break my own ankle or knee. Where is that Tonya Harding when you need her?
I'm off to Google self inflicted injuries.
More later.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Mayhem

Today I spent the day at my In-laws, cooking, baking and cleaning to help out since my MIL ended up having emergency surgery in Saskatoon the day they were scheduled to return home. The In-Laws keep travelling out there for weeks and weeks on end to care for MIL's only sister who has terminal cancer.
Trouble is, MIL is 68 years old and working like a rented mule out there. While the rest sit back and take advantage of her. It is frustrating situation all around I think.
Anyways, I took WD's fabulous floor steamer down (since mine blew up) and FIL had a great time steam cleaning floors. I really should have bought stock in the company...I recommend them to everyone.

In the past few days I have made several batches of soup for MIL and Auntie to have and today I mixed up some Better Than Red Lobster biscuits. Although we didn't have garlic powder and substituted fresh chopped garlic, they were still good. Everyone liked them. Whenever I make them, I am always asked for the recipe so I guess they are good. My first visit to Red Lobster was last July and they didn't have any biscuits so I have never tasted these famous goodies.

I ran errands with my FIL and then in the afternoon took my MIL for a little drive and chat since she needed a shoulder to cry on. This is all so stressful for them.
Their house needed floors scrubbed, dusting, glass and bathrooms cleaned up. Whew...when I got home I napped while the Nameless man heated leftovers for our own dinner.

I didn't do anything at my own house and poor old Tikki was left on his own for the day. He watched a few movies, caught up on some ironing and redecorated his bedroom. Or maybe he played with the Tictac mints he stole out of my purse and then snoozed all day. Poor little guy, he is so used to going everywhere with me, he is at loose ends when I have to leave him. Typical spoiled poodle.
He is certainly full of P&V now. The mailboxes for our condo building are just opposite our front door so he is having a great time barking his head off at one of our neighbours who has come down to get their mail at 10:30 at night. I hope our upstairs neighbours aren't trying to sleep.

Tomorrow I am up at Katie's to do some baking and business... I will take the photo thingy and download the before picture...(GULP).

The Bad Blogger is Back

Hi!! Well...back yet again.
My laptop gave up the ghost and so I was off the air for way too long. At least to me...

But now I'm back, from outer space..I just walked in to find you here with that sad look upon your face...

So. So much to tell you, Kidding. Same old boring Lilly Nana but on a new and improved computer.

Random stuff:

Cousin was here for the weekend to go snowboarding. Man, we love that guy. Sure glad he is a relative. Especially since I can't stand more than half of mine. (Betcha think I'm kidding...I'm not!)

Number One son has not come to see us. In fact we have not seen him or only granddaughter since July. Oh well.

Katie's kids are growing like weeds. JC entertained us today at the playground by going down the slide upside down and on his back. At the bottom, he would fly perfectly through the air and land on his head (and back) in the hollow in the gravel his body had made. He would lie there for about 90 seconds, no doubt regaining his wits, and then run around to climb the ladder and repeat the process all over again. We laughed until we nearly cried.

Since there is no H1N1 vaccine to be had in our fair city until maybe mid December (none of us play for the Flames) we have been giving the boys elderberry juice to help increase their resistance to the 'flu. This has made Dom very suspicious of everything we give him to drink, even though it tastes good. (Don't even get me started on the wild oregano oil taste!!)

Getting juice, any juice, into him has become a challenge.

Wonderful Daughter; Dom, come and drink your juice.
Dom: What kind is it?
W.D.: Elderberry
Dom: Does it have vitamins in it?
W.D. Nope
Dom: Did you add stuff to it?
W.D. Nope
Dom: Are you gonna drink some?
W.D. Yes, I had some.
Dom: Did it taste good?
W.D. Dom, you drank some yesterday and it was good.
Dom: Is JC gonna have some?
W.D. Yes, he is
Dom: Can he drink his first?

And on and on it goes. W.D. says the kid acts like if he was left alone to our nefarious devices, he will wake up in a bathtub of ice missing a kidney...

Let's see, what else...I bought yet another pedometer...to "walk" with an online buddy, Teresa. Shout out to Teresa...hey hon, I promise, I will catch up to you soon. As soon as I find a screwdriver so I can take off the back and remove the battery tab so the danged thing will work, that is. And, get WD to set it for me...

It is getting late here but I do have a few more random musings for you all. I guess since they are my usual drivel, they can wait until tomorrow.

But, here's a little teaser...I do have my "Before" pictures ready to download. Now, I know you've heard that one before but my laptop is working perfectly and I even have Windows 7 (whatever the heck that entails)...so no more excuses. Plus, Cousin is coming back in 2 weeks so I have a definite goal to lose enough that maybe he will notice the difference. Not that men ever notice anything...LOL.

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

What a bunch of Sickos!

We're all sick.

The Nameless Man has a bad cough that keeps him up nights. This is unusual because the NM gets up at 4:45 a.m. most days and goes to the gym. He is sickeningly healthy. Thanks to his cough, he is sleeping in the crap room (where should I put this crap? I dunno,... shove it it the spare bedroom.) and averaging 3 hours of sleep each night.

I have developed the 'flu, the non swine kind. I also have an infected ear due to no fault of my own. In other words, I did not have indecent relations with that Q-Tip. My left hip is out and I'm unhappy due to the decrease in my anti-depressants. Other than that, feeling peachy!

But enough about me. My main little buddy Tikki is also sick. he has been vomiting on and off all day. I suspect he snagged a chocolate cookie that JC may have set down. He has never been sick to his stomach once in his life but I now fully understand where the expression, "Sick as a dog" comes from.

Yesterday, JC came in the bedroom where I was lying, watching tv, resting my sore hip and asked for a sip of my 7-Up. Once he had a drink, he practically tossed the bottle onto the bed with me. Too bad he hadn't put the cap back on...

WD and I stripped the sheets and put on a set of the fabulous Egyptian cotton sheets I bought at the fall Home Show. They felt divine to slip into. Too bad they only lasted 70 minutes before my sweet buddy Tikki was sick all over them.

That wasn't the low point though. The true low point was when I carried Tikki to bed, as is our custom, and just as I got to the bedroom door, felt the warm splash as he was sick all down the front of me and over my bare feet.

I`ll venture a guess you are now feeling a little sick yourself.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday, Monday I Love that day!

Okay, call me a weirdo. No, really, I mean it. It's the only name I answer to!
I was pretty happy to have my appointment with the cardiologist today and get the news.

It was good news too. The thallium test was good (so glad I studied hard) and my heart looks to be in good shape for a 90 year old man. Kidding, kidding, It's all pretty good.
Some unusual blip on the EKG which raised the alarm and stressed me out but right now, she thinks the chest pain must be directly related to the anti-depressant I was put on about 6 months ago. Right before the chest pains started.

So, tomorrow it's back to the G.P. to get my meds changed again. Hope these ones work better than the last (not current). Those worked great but at $300 a month I couldn't afford them and when I went off, ended up in Emerg.

Life is a challenge, eh? Like Roseanne Rosanna Danna said, "If it's anotta one thig, it's another!"

Weight wise I am doing very well. I've turned into the soup Nazi and made lots of homemade, low fat, low sodium soups. Between that, eating more sensibly and walking Tikki, I have lost some weight.

Tomorrow's recipe is for curried pumpkin soup.

Today I weighed 197

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday Musings

Yesterday was a good day.

I was pretty good as far as ticking to my new goals, well, mostly...
Feel free to tune out now, this is the "accountabilty to the entire World Wide Web" portion of your program.

Yesterday's breakfast was oatmeal. I pkg instant for 150 calories
Lunch: Vegetable Beef and Barley soup, approx 220 calories
Supper: Leftovers...so I ate beef and mushroom sauce (otherwise known as hamburger mush) approx 300 calories and I skipped the potatoes... but you'll notice no veggies were harmed in the making of my dinner.

Then, I went a bit crazy and ate a package of cookies, just a lunch sized bag, but still NOP (Not On Plan), 3/4 of a bag of micro popcorn, and a few macadamia nuts that were covered in chocolate. Oh and a big serving of apple crisp that turned out okay. The topping was drier than usual because I not only substituted margarine, I cut the amount down by nearly half.

So, in summary, I started out well, then went a bit nuts but overall, I did better than I usually do. I am a snacker...

WD isn't coming down today so I guess picture day will have to be tomorrow.

Today, I'm making Vegetable Chicken Soup for lunches and some sort of chicken concoction for dinner. I haven't looked for a recipe yet.
Not much else happening here except I am job hunting.

WD decided to stay home with JC until at least next fall when he starts kindergarten. So, I am looking. The problem is, I would rather gargle with glass shards than go back into my "field" which is personal insurance.

Just thinking about it gives me chest pains...seriously. I loved my job at the time but didn't enjoy the women I worked with (or for). Anyone who has worked in an office with women knows exactly what I mean. The only thing I ever missed about that job was my clients that I had built up a rapport with.

I've been spoiled, working outside an office for the past few years. I love stopping for coffee whenever I like and making my own schedule. I hate working with grown ups who act worse than preschoolers at the circus. I feel phony when I have to feign interest when they talk about their kids, pets, parents and ewwww... icky sex lives. I especially hate avoiding them while they gossip about and backstab each other. I have a great group of friends, real virtual and even imaginary. I just want a job where I can put my head down and work while collecting good pay for something that challenges me.

Is that too much to ask? This should be an interesting search in the middle of a "challenging" economy.

Monday, October 19, 2009

More Weighty Thoughts

Since the testing is over, I have begun my new leaf turning hobby.

I have been walking Mr Tikki the Monster (who has eaten yet another C-Pap mask that I must have dropped when my head was pounding on Saturday) a couple times each day. I even walked up the steep hill in the alley behind our home. No problem. I figure if I can do the treamill, I can walk a couple blocks with my puppy.

I made some wonderful vegetable beef barley soup and even made my own beef stock so I could control the sodium. We were both pretty impressed with that soup and I felt like Tom Hanks in CastAway, "I have made SOUP!!"

Don't get me wrong, I have certainly made homemade soup before, but other than a can of tomato paste, this time it was all from scratch.
If I was as good as the Bag Lady I would have cleared the land, tilled the garden, made the compost, grown the vegetables, butchered one of my own beef and cut down the trees to make the fire it cooked over. I would like to go on record as saying I opened the can of tomato paste all by myself! And...drum roll please...I even went and bought the groceries myself. This is a Big Deal because I loathe shopping and have sucessfully had the Man doing those errands for years. Nearly 20 years in fact.

I weighed in this morning at 200 lbs so I'm up a bit, but no worries. This too shall pass.

This afternoon I am baking a low fat apple crisp made with Becel margarine. I'm really hesitant about this since we have only eaten butter in this household. Hopefully it turns out.

My new leaf turning includes cooking smarter, exercising more and ONE free meal each week where I don't go nuts, just relax a bit.
Oh, and no eating after 9 pm. And more water of course.

Mondays are weigh in days.
Wonderful Daughter is ill with the flu but I really will have her take and post some "before" shots for you all tomorrow.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Stress test survival

Okay, I survived of course!

I fasted from midnight on and arrived at the clinic nervous as a hen on a hot brick. Hungry, unmedicated, thirsty and nervved up. Great combination!

There is no caffeine for 36 hours beforehand, no medications for 24 hours beforehand and nothing to eat or drink from midnight the night before.

They take you in, start an I.V of saline and then do the skin prep. First they wipe several spots on your chest and back with an alcohol swab, then they sand the spots lightly and attach the sticky lead thingys. Yes WD, that is the technical term.

Then they attach those to the machine and up on the treadmill you go. They instruct you to jog while the treadmill slowly increases in speed and incline angle. Then, just before you feel ready to collapse, you let them know and at that point they will inject thallium into the I.V..

Then, just to add to the fun you are already experiencing, you have to continue to jog for another 90 seconds to work the thallium throughout your system. Never mind the fact you just told them you are on the verge of collapse, and potentially have a bad ticker, keep jogging!

I'm digesting all these instructions and I`m thinking, "Okay, the cardiologist said no stairs, no swimming, no heavy housework, no exertion and these clowns want me to run until I feel ready to collapse...hmmmm."

So I said, "No." That's right, I refused to run. I told them I would gladly co-operate on every other level but I would not run. And, they agreed. No problem. No discussion, just, "Okay."

I had to wait a few minutes for the camera to be free since as soon as you come off the treadmill you go directly under the camera. While I was sitting there, a fellow in a white coat came from the back area of the testing area and asked where the cookies were. The other gals told him there were no cookies but he insisted he could smell cookies and accused them of hiding them from him. At this point the camera tech laughed and said, "Mrs. Nana looks confused!"

I said, "Hey, I'm sitting here starving and you guys are talking about cookies? That's just mean!"
Then the treadmill tech said, "Mrs. Nana is wearing some very nice perfume I think that's what you smell."
I remembered I had, that morning, automatically put on a spritz of the Beauty Control perfume WD sells. It smells like vanilla and cookies.

He wandered off, disappointed.

The test went well and I walked for quite a while before the treadmill tech decided it was time for the injection. Apparently, my blood pressure had risen quite alarmingly from the starting numbers so she gave me the injection and I quite happily kept walking until it was time for the camera.

The camera part consisted of lying motionless for 20 minutes with my arms over my head. Anyone who knows me in real life knows lying motionless is one of my best tricks. I have spent years perfecting my technique so that part was a piece of cake.

Once the camera was complete the Nameless Man and I took off until 2:10 when I has to be back to go back under the camera. We used our time to run some errands including a run to Costco to get cookies for the lab staff.

The afternoon went smoothly and the cookies were a hit. Aren't they always?
When it was all over, the Man took me to Peter's Drive-In for a legendary burger (no fries or onion rings, thankyouverymuch). Those burgers are always delicious but after waiting so long for something to eat, it was a fabulous treat.

Today, I haven't been feeling very well. I assume it's a side effect of the Thallium which is, after all, an ingredient in rat poison. I'm very relieved to have that test over with and now just need to wait for the results.

Thanks to everyone who called and e-mailed. I don't deserve any of you but I'm thankful for each and every one of you.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Thanks Leah!

Today is my 6 hour treadmill stress test. I don't even need to get on the treadmill. I AM stressed.

Leah sent me some good advice and shared some of her own personal experience and for that I thank her. It has helped me a lot as the day has drawn closer. I have had too many young friends turn up their toes and die lately and it freaked me out. Not to mention the friend who dropped dead on the treadmill during the test. Does that mean he passed? He truly was stressed. (Dark humour always helps me.)

But, there is no history of heart disease in my family and although I am grossly overweight, I'm sure this is not a big deal. This is my mantra for today.

We wanted to take off for a long overdue holiday tomorrow but work demands have made it impossible for the Man to get away. He has 4 weeks to take before December 31 or he will lose them. Not get paid out, just lose them. Sooo, we better get free soon.

WD and I had a great day yesterday. I had booked one of our girls to go into Gordon and Penelopes house to tidy the main floor area before Penelope returned from a visit (slave labour helping her daughter move) to California.
Crazy, hospitable woman that Penelope is, she had arranged for a friend from England to come for dinner last night before the friend left to return home. So, Penelope would land at 3:30 p.m., clear customs and come home to tidy the house and put the finishing touches on dinner before her dinner guests arrived at 6. Gordon had been batching it for nearly 2 weeks and although he tries his standards and Penelope's are not too similar. (You really must see the wine making mess!)

The gal I booked decided she didn't want to drive all the way to their home for a short booking (stinking sub-contractors) so we were left with no one to go in. I had spent quite a while convincing Gordon to allow this service to happen and he was counting on us. We had joked he would convince Penelope he had done it all or that he had entertained a succession of women in her absence and told the last one to clean up on her way out. We had schemed and plotted to surprise Penelope so she didn't get too frazzled with the tight schedule.

So, we did what we could do. WD and I loaded up her boys and went to clean ourselves. The kids walked in, looked around and ran downstairs to the toy stash. Made themselves right at home! At one point JC came upstairs to check out their pantry just like he does when they are home.

So since it was a free cleaning now, we (WD while I stood around and talked to her) did the upstairs and the main, dusting, mopping and tidying. There wasn't much to do since she keeps a very clean home. Then we set the table for six, figuring Penelope could take off extra place settings if need be and walked out the door. We even dusted her front door. Dang, we're good.

After WD locked up the door she started searching for a clean cloth. Lo and behold, in the bottom of the rag bag was one of my (extra large) underpants that must have gone thru the laundry with the cloths. It took some fast talking, but I convinced WD to open the door and put the undies outside their bedroom door. However she refused to walk across the freshly vacuumed carpets since she groomed them but left them placed strategically on the stairway.

We had a great laugh knowing Penelope has a super sense of humour and Gordon would probably wet himself.

All in all, a good day.

I gotta run. Hope I studied hard enought for the Urine test. The stress, as I said, I've got covered!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thanks Denise!

Look what Denise sent me! And she hasn't even met me in real life.
I just knew there was a reasonable explanation for my cotton swab problem...
Now, can we get started on my 1,000 other ones? LOL
Update* the Man gave me the 'flu. Not the Establisment you hippies, the Nameless Man.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pleeping in the Arms of Morpheus

We had a great pleep over.

WD and the boys came a bit early and we got busy watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episodes that were stored for them on the PVR. Later we ran out for a few treats while the boys frolicked in the tub under their Papa's supervision. We were surprised when we came back a few moments later to discover he had washed their hair and scrubbed them down before putting them to bed for us. The funny thing was, he knew to wash their hair with baby shampoo but was stumped what to wash their bodies with. So, he went and got his own Axe body wash and a loofah and scrubbed them good. They were pink and shining clean when we went to kiss them goodnight and man...did they smell good.

We set them up watching tv in the bedroom with a package of smarties each and strict instructions to shut off the tv when their current 30 minute show ended. Imagine their surprise when I checked on them 35 minutes later to discover the two of them propped up like little Rajahs on a bunch of pillows and cushions, just lying back and watching another program. They were shocked to see me walk in because Dom had the foresight to lock the bedroom door. Heh Heh Heh. They totally underestimated the power of the Nana!

Once we got them sorted out and settled for the night we broke out the Trivial Pursuit, the Bailey's and some spring rolls and the girls won...barely.
The Man was feeling poorly so he turned in while we stayed up visiting and polishing. Polishing off the Bailey's that is...

Today we hit the mall and did some shopping. Usually I hate shopping...did I ever mention that? Today I was into it...for about 40 minutes which, in fairness, is 30 minutes longer than I usually feel like shopping.

Then, back home where WD coloured the grey out of my hair and took supper to go. The Nameless Man is the most ill I have ever seen him in the 29 years we`ve been together so we decided she should take the boys home before they got whatever it is too.

All in all, a nice visit and like all grandparents worldwide, we were thrilled to see them come and quite happy to see them go.

We are blessed to have great family and friends close by so we can see them regularly. I shudder to think what we would do without them. I also appreciate my blog and online friends. I`ve learned a lot. If you are interested in a weight loss success story, stop by to visit Dawn at http://bbubblyb.blogspot.com/ She is an inspiration to me. She is candid about her ups and downs and just puts it all out there.

Hopefully you`ll enjoy her writings as much as I have.

Friday, October 9, 2009

So Excited!

WD and the boys are coming to "pleep over" as JC would say. I haven't seen them all week which is like months for me.

WD and I have some catching up to do and the boys are going to get spoiled. Tikki is sensing the excitement and keeps trotting around importantly tuning up his chew toys. He is just waiting for nice fresh boy flesh to sink his baby teeth into.

My tests are in a week and although I'm still a little freaked, I just want to focus on the most Wonderful Daughter and her Amazing Boys.

More later I'm sure since I never seem to run out of drivel like my buddy Baggie. Speaking of Baggie...(see told you...it's an unending stream of drivel) her readers commented they would like to know more about what is served at thanksgiving. I know we all enjoy many delicious things but I'd like to turn to the dark side if I may.

What is the nasty, weird or funny thing your family serves or requests for special meals? In my family, we used to have cranberry sauce out of a can. Lying there, still showing the grooves of the can it came sliding out of like it was a sculpture or something. Yuck. It wasn't until WD showed me how to make cranberry sauce from scratch that I discovered what a delicious thing it is.

In my Inlaws family it is a disgusting concoction I'll leave to WD to tell you about since it was her youth that was scarred. So, it's her story... (Yes, I'm shamelessly pimping for comments!)

P.S. I am trying to get a picture of Tikki up for you. I call it "Before he was a Monster"...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Glass and other inedible objects

Okay, back again! Finally kicked the ear infection on Saturday morning. Had a great day bumming around with the man I am married to.

It was just wonderful to finally feel good again and get out and about. After a busy morning, we headed out to run errands. I was cold but sunny and I turned up the radio and sang while the Nameless Man cried. Not unusual, he always cries when I sing. Then, cries with relief when I stop.

We had some excitement Thursday evening when Wonderful Daughter called to ask if I had JC's health care card in my files. It turns out she had been having dinner with the Estrogen Crew and JC was nibbling from a bowl of candy. Spying a bowl of gummy bears nearby, he helped himself to one, only to find they were hard so he swallowed it.

Trouble is, it wasn't a gummy bear at all but a piece of scented glass. It's called crystal potpourri and it has many sharp edges and is coated in essential oils for a fruity scent. She took him to the emergency room, where we met them. As she walked in with a baggie of this stuff I thought, "Now why is she bringing jujubes to the hospital?" I would have (and did) try them. They smelled great and tasted nasty. Too bad she has misspent their youth teaching them good manners or he likely would have spit it out instead of swallowing it.

They couldn't x-ray him since it is clear material so she will have to wait and see. He should be fine and has shown no ill effects up until now.

A funny aside, there was poster showing some of the various foreign bodies removed from patients at the children's hospital. There were the usual marbles, coins, buttons, plastic spiders, stickers, safety pins and pen caps. BUT there was also a 8 inch long knitting needle and a children's toothbrush. *gag* I had 3 stepbrothers who thought up new and inventive mischief every single day but really, a knitting needle?

WD actually has quite a bit of medical knowledge and was trying to apologise to the triage nurse that while she knew JC's situation didn't constitute a true emergency, Poison Control told her to bring him in due to the oils on the glass. They reassured her it was fine and recounted the story of a woman who brought in her young son. She stood in the triage line behind 3 other people until she was finally seen. Her son had shoved a Polly Pocket doll up his nose and the leg was still hanging out of his nostril. The triage nurse reached over, took hold of the protruding appendage and gently pulled it out of his nose. She then handed it to his shocked mother and turned her and her son around and sent them home.

Saturday evening was quiet and I went to bed early. WD was doing her weekly baking and made bread, shortbread, pie crusts, a chocolate pie, pie crust "cookies" and cinnamon rolls. She had them all lined up on her island and was going to bag them for the freezer once the last batch of cinnamon rolls had cooled.

The last batch came out of the oven looking great and she put them on the stove top to cool. Then she went into her room to watch tv. When the smoke alarm went off she realized a burner was still on from when she made the glaze. As she raised the pyrex dish to eye level to see how badly the cinnamon rolls had burned it exploded. Fortunately, since it was late at night she was wearing her glasses and it exploded before she got it all the way up to her face. She got burnt from hot bits of glass falling into her shirt front and she cut her arms a bit. The boys were in bed but she found pieces of glass in their room, in her dining room, in her living room and all over her kitchen. She has tile floors so there was no damage, just glass melted into the cinnamon filling and glaze. She also had to throw out every scrap of baking since it was sprayed with glass shards.

We're very thankful. it could have been much, much worse.

Last night we went to dinner with Gordon since Penelope is away. We went to the new Indian restaurant that has opened near our home, the Green Chile. We all enjoyed the food although the vindaloo, which should have been smoking hot, was so mild I could eat it. Then, back to Casa Sparrow for homemade apple pie (Thanks WD it was delicious!) and a game of Trivial Pursuit which I, as the sole representative of the woman's team, lost in a sad display of ineptitude. 3 pies to 6. sheesh...

I don't think Penelope will be speaking to me since we had held the Title for so long. My back was getting sore from wearing that huge championship belt though and I know Penelope was tired of polishing up all our trophies (lol) so I guess there is a bright side.

The men say it wasn't an official game but we'll see what happens once my smarty pants partner is here to hold up her end of things.

I lost at Tri-Bond too. So I was a huge loser...but you already knew that. Heh.

Anyways, hope this all makes sense as I am too rushed to proof, just time to post. I'll try to be a better blogger, honest I will.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Misplaced Sympathy

You are all very sweet with your concern and such but I feel pretty guilty.

It's time to stop the denial and confront my personal demons/addictions head on. Once again, I'm hoping by making myself accountable to the whole Internet, I will be more accountable for my actions.

"My Name is Lil' Nana and I am an Ear Abuser". *sob*

It all began when I was a kid and my mom brought home a new grooming aid. I remember it as if it was yesterday.
There it was in it's beautiful blue box. It was all new and intriguing with a little drawer that seductively slid open to reveal row upon row of sterile cotton swabs. They were lined up, like little soldiers, waiting to do battle with any errant wax in my ears. Oh sure, there was a disclaimer on the box. Some nonsense about not inserting the swab into your ear. Isn't there a disclaimer on cigarettes too? None of the many helpful uses listed for the swabs included ear wax removal but we all knew what we were there for.

As I moved into puberty, I would employ many, many cotton swabs along with cotton balls soaked with Seabreeze, Bonne Bell Ten-O-Six lotion, Maxon cream and other grooming items. My skin was glowing and zit free. My ears were shining clean chalices fit to absorb every nuance of sound from the BeeGees, Fleetwood Mac and Wings.

I didn't recognize I was getting sucked in deeper even though a large part of my allowance was spent feeding my grooming habits. Soon I was spiralling out of control. I even used a safety pin to seperate my freshly mascaraed eyelashes for a while but the needle was not for me. I was into soft core.

When I married and got a Costco membership, I could buy huge DOUBLE boxes of cotton swabs. I used them on my children, on our various pets over the years and got WD to join me in my madness as she used them to apply makeup and remove nail polish from the skin on the sides of her hairy, Hobbit toes.

(Sorry WD for outing you but I feel I must purge this vileness in one go!)

With an unlimited supply of cotton swabs, I began cleaning my ears several times a day. After all, there were so many of them, 100's in each box. And I had 2 boxes! I got in deeper and deeper, trying to get to the imagined wax without actually puncturing my eardrum or touching my brain. If I couldn't have clean ears at all times, I felt I was nothing, a nobody. Self doubt and loathing consumed me.

Then, I started hiding a baggie of swabs in various spots so I could access them more easily. I had them in the silverware drawer, in my glove compartment, in my night table, in my desk at work, I even purchased a special travel size container to carry in my purse.

If I had stopped at abusing cotton swabs, I probably wouldn't be here before you, confessing today. I would still be coping with and managing my addiction. There were many years when I was a functional abuser. To the outside world I looked groomed and dare I say, somewhat normal, but inside I knew the awful truth. I needed one more swab, one more circle around the outer ear before sucumbing to my most base desires. There would be the oh, so satisfying, inner ear massage.
Oh, I lied to myself plenty, telling myself it would be the last time but then, inevitably, especially if it had been a while since the last time I used there would be a pay off. Yes, I said it. I loved getting a nice bit out of my ear and examining it. It was like a yellow, waxy reward. I would escalate to the point where I would run one end of the swab under the warm water while reserving the other end for drying just to experience the feeling one more time.

But soon, sadly, swabs, even wet swabs weren't enough. I began to stick random objects in my ears. Pens, pencils, tweezers, and yes, even at my lowest point my own car keys. I stopped swabbing in the privacy of my bathroom (and car with the invisible windows)...

I must digress. What is it with those people who pick their nose in their car? I mean, seriously. You are behind glass. We can see you! I hope you didn't pay extra for the NPP (nose picking in privacy) option because they seem to have mistakenly installed two-way glass. See your dealer for details.

I tried to talk about my problem with a couple of close friends. Janey was also an abuser although on an amateur scale. Penelope could not relate to me since when she was a child in Britain her doctor told her to never put "anything larger than an elephant" into her ear canal. Smarmy British Know It All. The doctor, not Penelope.

Nameless Man had resisted my attempts to ensnare him in my madness and went to his doctor for a wax flush from time to time. WD was horrified I would stick these filthy things into my ears. She was also perplexed I seemed to have hooked her youngest child on cotton swabs. His eyelashes would flutter in delight when I cleaned his ears. Oh, I recall that sweet innocence.

I felt alone, unworthy and dejected but I did have clean ears.

After a few minor earaches and then one bad trip where both ears ended up infected at the same time, WD staged an intervention which consisted of her booking me a doctor's appointment and telling me according to the 'net there is so a thing called cotton swab abuse. She told me so. And I bring this on myself. Oh, and to KNOCK IT OFF with the car keys. Especially when driving her car.

The doctor seemed less than surprised, diagnosed eczema in my ears and gave me drops. I tried to stay clean (without actually feeling clean) but I still have relapses from time to time. We don't bring cotton swabs into the house at all anymore. I was about 38 days clean and sometimes sober when I succumbed. Again.

This last relapse has been because I am cat sitting for a client and after being there I feel squwicky. He is a busy lawyer, living alone and he got custody of the two Persian cats in the divorce. He works long crazy hours and the kitties sit around his condo, growing out and then shedding mounds of fine Persian cat hair. I went and groomed them Sunday and hung out with them for an hour and then... when I got home....I rooted around in the bottom of my bathroom vanity drawers....until I found.... a old... overlooked....dirty...non sterile cotton swab.

You know the rest.

I am so ashamed.

Monday, September 28, 2009

If Mama Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy!

Okay, so I had one day without the running head cold that held me in it's death-like grip for a week. Like most illnesses, It wouldn't kill ya, just make you wish you were dead.

Then, I woke up in the night with a terrible earache. My ear canal is swollen and the swelling radiates into my jaw. I cannot talk except thru clenched teeth and I cannot chew. After fasting (not MY idea) all day, the Nameless Man brought me home some chili I couldn't eat and a frosty. Okay, 2 large frostys.

After one frosty and a suitable wait, he ran a cup of chili thru the blender and it was heavenly.

I love that man.

I will catch you up on all my madcap hijinx another day.

Oh, and Bag lLady, if you come and visit here, I need some MRI results if you are divulging... please.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ch-Ch-Ch Changes

I'm back. Did you miss me? I missed you. What do you mean what did I bring you?

This was a slow weekend. We went to the Inlaws for dinner Saturday. I did the marinating and barbequeing of the steaks. We also brought dessert. WD made fabulous fried broccoli with feta as well as whipping up a batch of corn dogs. I love it when we're invited for dinner and expected to bring it, prepare it and then wash up afterwards.

My MIL has the habit of "inviting" us over for dinner and then when we get elbow deep in the dishwater, she will take apart her stovetop and clean the fridge out so we can do the washing up. She's been pulling this trick for 30 years and I'm pretty tired of it so I took a pass. Is that bad?

We were very bad girls and skipped the dish washing phase of our evening, preferring instead to focus on playing with WD's new KitchenAid mixer (squee !!). She carried it home like a trophy of war and promptly made bread and pastry dough yesterday morning. Today she is making cookies. This despite the fact she is sick with a head cold and humongous canker sores that are causing her all types of pain.

She was kind enough (Wonderful enough) to share her head cold germs and so I spent yesterday and today sitting back, resting and recuperating.

The Changes in the title are the business. We have decided to split up. That's right, WD and I will no longer be the Dynamic Duo. No longer will we be Partners in Grime (and not just because I refuse to stop calling us that despite her begging).

We are going to drop all the extra work we do and only keep our regular weekly or bi-weekly customers. I will manage the gals who provide their cleaning service and Wonderful Daughter will return to the outside work force on a part-time basis.
Without the monthly, 3 weekers and move -in/move-out business there isn't enough to comfortably support us both. So heigh-ho heigh-ho for WD.

I get the best of all this scenario. I get the good clients. I get the girls to deal with and I get JC as my buddy since I will run the biz from her home.

She will get her kids looked after by their crazy nana who thinks fart jokes are funny.
And, maybe some light housekeeping.
I might even play with her mixer and whip up something for dinner once in a while.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bad Bad LeRoy Brown

and Fifth Sparrow. Both very, very bad.

But, for different reasons. I'm just a bad blogger. King Kong and the Junkyard Dawg are still badder than me.

I just don't have much to say. For those of you who know me IRL (In Real Life) I'm sure you just spewed something onto your keyboard if you happened to be sipping while reading. Before you cry, "Liar!" let me clarify. I meant I don't have much to say today.

Sometimes I go through these periods. Then I withdraw until a later time. So enjoy your peace and quiet while it lasts.

Oh, before I go, weigh in today was positive although I have already forgotten the numbers. They were good and there was joy in Mudville.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Effective Parenting Tools

My tried and true parenting methods never vary. They must be pretty darn effective too since I have raised a Wonderful Daughter.
#1 Son is still a work in progress...heh.

WD has been procrastinating on a very important job. (No, I don't know where she got that trait from!!) Taxes need to be done on a regular basis. But they are a pain in the nether regions, especially since she does her own, her father's, mine and the business taxes.

So I have decided to pull out one of my two parenting tools to motivate her. Since she truly is Wonderful, I can't use tool number one, Blackmail. Darn. That's a personal fave and always worked with her brother.

Back up plan: Bribery. Since she loves to bake bread (and everything else) we realize she needs a bigger, better mixer. Her kitchen won't hold a Hobart, so we are buying her a KitchenAid stand mixer.
All she has to do is 1) finish, 2) submit and 3) pay those stinking taxes first.

I'm hopeful this will work, although I must admit she is strong-willed.
Case in point...When she was about 12, I decided I had had enough of picking up after the kids all the time so I gathered their stuff into one box and waited until they came home from school.
I informed them I was now the owner of their belongings in the box and they must use their allowance money to get their stuff back. .25 per item.
WD soberly examined the contents of the box. She reached in, picked out 2 hair clips and a library book. Then she informed me, "Keep 75 cents from my next allowance and...I really don't need any of the rest of this stuff. You can keep it."
I sure wish "someone" would send me an email and tell me how to move pictures down my posts...I hate having them all at the top.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Thank you for being a friend

travelled down the road and back again
Your heart is true,
you're a pal and a confidant...

We had a very nice weekend with our friends. True blue friends are difficult to come by and we are blessed with several.

My "sister from another mother", Janey and her hubby had us over on Saturday night for a wonderful Greek feast with pork and chicken souvlaki, tzatziki, lemon rice, Greek salad with tomatoes from their garden and homemade apple pie for dessert! They have a back yard that should be in a magazine and we sat out, enjoying the garden, the few stars we can see in the city and listening to her brother play his guitar and sing for us. We had a great, relaxing time. I didn't drink and was the designated driver to get us both home. We had a few chuckles about me nursing a ginger ale all night and I informed them I was having champagne. It says right on the label it`s the champagne of ginger ales.
As we went to get into our vehicle, my high heel stuck in a low spot on the newly sodded boulevard and I went down like a sack of potatoes. I had my hands full and my purse unzipped and stuff flew. I called out to the Nameless Man on the other side of the minivan, `Help`. Suddenly a young lady came running over, followed by her boyfriend and they picked me up, got me back on my feet and retrieved the articles that had flown out of my purse upon impact. No feminine products thank goodness. They dusted me off, asked me repeatedly if I was okay and once I`d reassured them I was, in fact, sober and unhurt they left as I climbed into the van. To find my loyal spouse sitting, gazing unconcernedly out the front windshield, waiting for me to get in. Too funny!!!
Guess I'd better learn to recognize my champagne of ginger ales limit. They say acknowledging you have a problem is the first step towards recovery.

Yesterday, we went to Penelope and Gordon`s for an excellent Indian meal of 3 different curries, saffron rice, nan, salad and a blueberry crisp for dessert. Gordon made the curry and had taught us how to do it. We try to duplicate his curries but he is the master. Perhaps being born in India and raised in Britain is the secret? A rousing game of Trivial Pursuit followed as always and I'm proud to announce we gals retained our championship belt and are undefeated. Penelope carried me, as always but is gracious enough to pretend I'm a little trivial too.
Gordon announced during dessert he loves huckleberries so now I have to search and see if we can get those here. It's a long drive to BagLady's methinks. And I am scared of finding out what a bear does in the woods or in the huckleberry bushes.
I'm not close with my siblings or mother and having these friends is our family. Family we chose ourselves in my humble opinion is the very best kind. Especially when they are as hospitable as our friends are!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Just a Small Town Girl

Funny to think both the Nameless Man and I were born in,and went to Grade One together ,in this tiny little town. Our mothers worked at the hospital together and had coffee together on their day off but we didn't really get to know each other until I was 18. After our unforgettable Grade One experience, his family moved to the big city of Saskatoon, Sask..

Fortunately, they soon returned to our beautiful province and settled in Calgary where our paths crossed many years later.

My family remained behind, in Cardston until I was 12. It was a great place to grow up, even if you weren`t a Mormon. In those days, it was the site of the only Mormon temple in Canada so the town was predominately LDS. No booze sold within a 40 mile radius. At least, not legally. This was an inconvenience for my family members, but being of resourceful, pioneer stock, they had long since adapted to their environment.

It was fun growing up in a small town where you knew almost everyone. I was always thrilled on cold winter days when Don Remington (who was my great grandpa`s neighbour once we moved into town) would come to the school with a horse drawn wagon and take kids from his side of town home from school. He also had a stagecoach parked outside his home and we were welcome to play in it or the genuine Indian teepee whenever we wanted.

The temple was built on a hill so you could see it from almost everywhere in town. At night, when it was all lit up, along with the male members of my family, it was quite a spectacle. Actually, only my step-father had an alcohol problem, 3 of my grandfathers were social drinkers and the other one was a practicing Mormon. But you could depend the annual spectacle of my step-father getting roaring drunk and knocking over the Christmas tree as much as you could depend on the temple to stay up there on the hill.

Still, family turmoils aside, all in all I thought it was the greatest town on earth and when we moved to the foothills south of Calgary when I was in Grade 7, I thought my heart would surely break. That summer I relocated myself to the Okanagan to live with my dad. Then my heart and spirit mended quite nicely.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Song Sung Blue

I am a huge Neil Diamond fan. Or, should I say I hugely enjoy the singing of Neil Diamond? I'm trying to find a way to say I love the music of Neil Diamond without looking like a plus-sized woman. heh. heh.

Since his songs are now played as elevator music, I regularly embarrass the stuffing out of WD in Wal-Mart, the grocery store, the optometrist and anywhere else "Sweet Caroline" is played. You see, I am of the opinion that we MUST all chime in (loudly) on the Bah, Bah, Bum's after he warbles, "sweeeet Car-o-liiine". And so I do. I chime right in. Loudly. Everywhere.

So I will be strolling toward you in Safeway, pushing my overloaded cart with the wonky wheel and, as we draw abreast near the pasta sauce I will suddenly belt out, "Bah Bah Bum" to accompany the overhead music.

There are two, no three, consequences of this obsession of mine:
1) WD cannot stand the song stylings of Mr. Diamond
2) Anytime "Sweet Caroline" comes over any speaker she immediately scurries away, putting at least 50 feet between us.
3) I am no longer allowed in the 37th street Wal-mart. One of their assistant managers has jumpy nerves and no appreciation for the classics.

The past few days I have had lots of songs running through my head in a loop. Some oldies, some goldies, some truly fabulous stuff but this morning, I woke up after another mostly sleepless night to "Life is a Cabaret".

I have been wallowing in a little depression due to the unexpected news from the doctor but that's done now.

"What good is sitting alone in your room? Life is a holiday!"

So, I will take a deep breath, realize I didn't get a death sentence, just a little set back. I will take my prescriptions, I will cut down on the cleaning (danggit), the caffeine, the little exercise I get and I will relax and wait for concrete news following the latest tests.

I will also stop lying in bed at night, mentally rewriting my will and doling out my pathetically few sentimental possessions in my head.

I'm going to focus on the cabaret.

Bah Bah Bum, good times never seemed so good.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hacking In...

Uninvited guest "Wonderful Daughter" here again.

You may have noticed I backed off the blog comments. Mom did, and asked why, and I lied. Told her I had nothing to say, though the truth is that I think she needs an outlet that doesn't involve me or my kids or he-who-will-not-allow-himself-to-be-mentioned. Something & somewhere just for her.

I'm breaking in today to let you know what's going on with her heart, she's too tired/depressed to do it and I don't think it's right to leave you worrying.

She has exertional angina, meaning when she exerts herself her heart does not get enough oxygen due to plaque build up in her arteries. She gets chest pain and it can lead to a heart attack. The doctor said it's unusual for someone her age (48) to have heart disease, so she has more tests later this month and next month, including a thallium test where they inject you with radioactive material that allows them to take pictures of the heart and track how much oxygen is getting to it after exertion and at rest.

She has been given very strict instructions about what activities she can & can't do, and is basically not allowed to do anything that exerts or stresses her body in any way. She has a nitro spray to take if the pain starts, and instructions that if the nitro doesn't work do not mess around and call an ambulance immediately.

The doctor seemed concerned about caffeine so mom has stopped taking the Apidexin because it contains stimulants. At this point she is not allowed to change her diet or exercise at all without prior approval from her doctor, which she can't get until after all the tests have been done.

She's understandably freaked out, but I'll encourage her to log in and post later.


Thursday, September 10, 2009


I haven't forgotten you. Although I did forget Weigh In Thursday again.
It seems inconsequential, my scale was soooo wrong. I weighed 201.25 at the cardiologist on Wednesday. I thought I was down in the low 190's.

And, I didn't get great news there at the doctor.

So I'm processing that and will be back tomorrow.
No worries.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I'm a skeered

I'm off to my cardio stress test in an hour. I'm pretty scared. I'm sure hundreds of people a day have these things quite successfully but... An acquaintance went for one and dropped dead on the treadmill.

So, I'm doing what I do best, which is worry....

In other news,

I discovered Apidexin is also a fat burner which explains how I lose weight even though I'm not very active yet.

My floors are very dusty and in need of my immediate attention but I must work this afternoon.

Yet another employee has quit. We had BOTH her and her husband working full time for $20 an hour each and she quit with NO freaking notice.

The Man Who Shall Remain Nameless wants to purchase annual memberships at a nearby fitness facility. I like to swim and he is a gym rat. I checked on prices yesterday and they are $1,100 for a family pass. Or, $5 per visit if you go at 9:30 at night.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Long Weekend Recap

Well, Cousin has been and gone and a great time was had by all.

Yesterday, we spent 4 hours at the Calgary Zoo. It was neat to see it through his eyes. And, what sharp eyes he has! At each exhibit, I usually have to stand for a minute or two to see the inhabitants. Not Cousin, he'd walk up and casually announce, "there's an owl in behind that tree and two more up in the tree on the left".

Exhibits that have always stumped me, like "there are 8 frogs in this aquarium, how many do you see?" were a cinch for Cousin. Previously, I had been sure there was a hidden camera with zoo staff laughing at me behind the scenes because, in reality, there were only the 5 frogs I could find in the whole tank. But. like an idiot I had stood there 10 minutes looking for the fictitious 3.

Wonderful Daughter and I had a relaxing afternoon since both guys took a turn pulling the wagon. Usually, she has to shlep it all over since pulling it puts my back out. Or, at least, that's the excuse I give her.

In exciting news, the zoo now has wild turkeys roaming freely, just like the peacocks. They are so pretty with black and white speckled feathering. I love birds! I was excited to see last year's peacock chicks wandering about this year. We went to see the raptors but it is sad to see them caged.

Saturday, we went to the BBQ on the Bow Festival. It was a snooze-fest; but the little boys went wading at Prince's Island and we had a nice stroll around. Saturday night we had a rib BBQ at WD's and watched a movie on her projection tv.

Sunday, we all went to the Farmer's Market for brunch, then up the Calgary Tower. I really loved the Tower this time. Maybe it's because we live close to downtown and can easily pick out the different buildings. WD even picked out our condo building from up there, using the telescope.

We made a curry and butter chicken with saffron rice, papadums and nan for dinner, then went to Movie in the Park for the last time this year. It's just too dang cold at night to sit out there for 2 hours. After the movie, WD took her boys home and the 3 of us came back to our place to watch old Sci-Fi movies until we couldn't keep our eyes open.

Cousin is a 4th year apprentice and is usually up at 5 a.m. to go to work, so staying up past 11 is foreign to him. And, let's face it, we're getting old, so anything after 1 a.m. is going to kill us the next day.

So, all in all, a great time was had by all. He will come again in November when the ski resorts open. We can't wait!

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Wolf at the Door

When I was about 3 or 4, my dad would come stay for the odd weekend.
For those just tuning in, my parents divorced when I was 18 months old and my sister and I went to live with my dad's grandparents while my mom went back to school.

So, when my fun loving, silly dad would come stay we would get to sleep in his basement bedroom if we promised to be good and go to sleep.
Of course we promised.
Of course we didn't sleep.
He would show cartoon "movies" which basically amounted to sliding a cartoon celluloid strip past the bulb in a glorified flashlight. Kind of like a View Master, but more basic. We didn't care. It was just great to hang out and spend some time with him.

My dad couldn't just show the cartoon, though. He'd show it upside down. We'd lie on the bed with our heads hanging off the edge and watch the slides while he narrated the action. Same slides every time but always a different story to go with them.
Or, we'd have contests to see who could jump the highest on his old iron bed. I remember being allowed to cheat by hanging onto the wrought iron headboard for maximum height. We would also jump from the headboard onto the bed. With him standing by, ready to catch us but also giving encouragement and pointers on technique and form.

His visits were always way too short and way too much fun. We had lots of good times with Dad. Yesterday I spent the day in bed and I remembered one night we all got into big trouble. Major league trouble.

It was dark and we were cozy under the blankets and he was telling one of his really great stories. This one was about how he had gotten lost when he was walking in the woods one cold, dark night.
We listened, trembling with fear as he told of how scared he was as he stumbled along, branches scratching his face and eerie noises so close to him he thought something was right beside him.

We were so immersed in the story we actually felt his relief as he found a small cave he could seek shelter in while waiting for the morning light. We were bursting with pride he was able to start a little fire using a method taught to him by an Indian chief. But then, we held our breath as he saw the lights in the forest. As they got closer, he was horrified to realize they were the eyes of animals drawing closer to his fire. We were horrified too!

Not just any animals approached. It was wolves, huge ravenous timber wolves! We shivered with terror as he told of his frantic search for something, anything he could use as a weapon to fend off the hundreds, no thousands of wolves that came stealthily closer. We gasped as he described their wild howls and their teeth gleaming in the firelight as they got closer and closer.

And we screamed in horror when the wolves pounced and ATE OUR DAD.

Yup, that`s right. My crazy tease of a father told a 5 year old and a 3 year old he was eaten by wolves. We screamed and screamed and no matter how he shushed us, he couldn`t calm us down. No matter how fast he talked and tried to explain he was right there, we were certain the wolves ate our dad.

Then, he heard a sound that struck icy terror in his own heart. My great-grandma was on her way downstairs.
He would have preferred to really face the wolves.

Even years later, she`d shake her head and cluck her tongue in disgust whenever we laughingly remembered the time the wolves ate our dad.

Yesterday was weigh in day but I had a migraine and forgot all about it. Today the scales were down one pound. I'll take it! A loss is a loss.

Cousin is coming down for the weekend and we have plans to go to the zoo and movie in the park (for the last time this year). Wonderful Daughter and I are very excited and can't wait for his visit. I'd better go get this place cleaned up.
If I ever catch Tikki to finish his grooming, I'll post the "After" picture.

Have a great weekend and watch out for wolves. Or bears as the case may be.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Productive Days.

I feel so much more energized now that I've lost a little weight. It's only 10 pounds but my energy level is so much better. I'm loving this!

Although I haven't slept well the past two nights, I'm not groggy and lethargic like I would normally be. I've actually done more each day than I ordinarily accomplish. Today I met with a realtor to see if we wanted to become his new cleaning team.

He invited me to meet for coffee, showed up late, after I'd ordered, didn't have a coffee and then stiffed me to pay for my own. Although I made it clear to him we had done an additional hour's work at one of his client's and then Dom and I went back on Saturday, he didn't offer compensation for that either. I didn't expect to be paid for my time but do have to pay our people another $20 for their extra hour of work in the house.

What do y'all think? Think we'll accept work from him in the future? Let's see...for $25 he has chiseled his way out of great cleaning services.

I don't understand people who are cheap. Maybe I over pay... I mean, we did tip our waitress about 25% on Sunday night but what's a couple bucks really? It made her night. She was so effusive in her thanks, it was almost embarrassing.

That Moxie's is right by our house, so if we go in again, maybe she will recognize us and we'll get the same great service? If not, maybe it helped make up for the jokers who are under the impression pretty young girls work as waitresses so married guys can make inappropriate remarks to them. The service industry is tough. I've worked in it for too many years. Why try to cheap out when dealing with others? That said, this June was the first time in my entire life I didn`t leave a tip for a waitress and now I did it again when we got the raw meat served to us at Phil`s. Is a trend developing?
We decided not to pursue the Global TV thing. The information package they sent out to us portrayed women in a manner we didn't much care for. Case in point: One picture was of a woman in an itsy bitsy American flag bikini with obvious augmentation. Poorly done too, I might add. Her head was chopped off so you could focus on the really important parts of the photo. Another picture was a beautiful woman lying on her animal print chaise with a Bellini in hand. Another had an unfortunate looking, very plain and dowdy woman (not gorgeous) eating a salad. I can't recall the last pic. I was just left with a bad taste in my mouth. WD and I agreed that's not how it had been presented initially and we don't want to associate with that culture.

Today, I chased Tikki the stubborn half-pink poodle around to try and finish his clipping. I'm cutting off the old, pink growth to reveal apricot poodle underneath. He's about 3/4 done now and looks like a freak. (Don't tell him I said that. It's hard on his self esteem). The way he bites and squirms and carries on, you'd think I'm performing the snip-snip he will get done later this month without the benefit of anesthesia. (DON'T tell about that either!! We really want it to be a surprise).

He doesn't read my blog. He finds it boring. He only reads Bag lady's cattle talk. I think he has a crush on Princess.

So far today, I have drank my water, racked up 4 miles on my pedometer for bathroom trips, lol and I'm making a healthy chili for dinner. My clothes are still fitting better (looser) and my abdomen is definitely flatter. I also noticed some lumps of fat I had in my thighs (not cellulite) are shrinking.

All in all, I recommend Apidexin for a boost on the weight loss wagon. The second shipment just came so we can all stay on it.

Weigh in day is two days away. So, we shall see.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Insomnia sucks

I didn't even drink coffee or Coke. Those are usually the culprits. Guess I just have a lot on my mind.

We had a super weekend. My cleaning partner got married. We didn't go, staying home to babysit Thing 1 and Thing 2 for Wonderful daughter so she could go with the Estrogen Crew.

JC refused to sleep over so she ended up coming to pick up both boys at midnight. Dome even wanted to go home but only because his nana was unhappy with him. We started off well, he even came to work with me Saturday afternoon.

His terms for coming to dust baseboards was one slurpee and one box of ice cream bars. That's a bit more than I pay my cleaning partner but he's so much cuter than she is, I readily agreed.
I ended up having heart palpatations at the end of the job so his treat was postponed a bit. But he did get his payment. The problems started when we ran the gift to the wedding reception and then took the boys to Mickey D's for dinner and the playplace.
Dom just wouldn't listen the way he usually does and I ended up telling him off for it. Usually he is very good and very obedient. So, for us to be at loggerheads was upsetting for us both.

The long and short of it was, when he heard JC was getting picked up, he decided to go home too.

Sunday we had a belated 29th wedding anniversary dinner at Moxie's. It was pretty good. they are not my favorite restaurant by any stretch of the imagination and I've actually boycotted the one by our home but they recently renovated so we decided to walk over. It's a 3 minute walk from our condo.

We had their bruschetta, wine, caesars (for moi) and I had the salmon and he had the vindaloo beef. We enjoyed the conversation and great service. It was a nice way to celebrate 29 years of putting up with each other and 4 years of wedded bliss. (I'm paraphrasing here). lol

Next year, we might have a little shindig since we ended up cancelling the plans for our 25th anniversary due to some family issues at the time. Ah, drama drama.

Anyways, I had more energy to get up and go this past weekend and my clothes are definitely looser. I love my Apidexin. Wait, did I already say that??

Goals for this week, besides getting to bed a t a decent hour include more water each day, keeping a food (calorie) journal and continuing to walk Mr Tikki every day. Oh yeah, and to clip the bad boy pink poodle too.

Sounds like a full week!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Just Call Me Mrs. Big - Shot.

Well, well, well. Interesting tidbit of news today.

Yesterday we got a call from a company developing a new show for Global. It will be all about women's issues. Childcare, office politics, cosmetic surgery, ageing, health issues, weight loss, leisure time, relationships and... house cleaning.

For some reason, they have chosen us as a company to possibly do a segment on their show. Apparently we come across as having good customer service and professionalism. I can't help but wonder which one of our obviously deluded or drunken customers told them that?

It's all very up in the air at the moment but don't worry, when I know, you'll know. Wonderful Daughter and I have some logistics to work out. They would also want to film on location and since the office is my living room, that would entail having a client approve us in their home.

Right now we're just examining the information package they sent over yesterday.

WD is jazzed and full speed ahead.

I must admit, I'm terrified. If we got an influx of business, we DO NOT have the staff to handle it. Heck, I can't even schedule jobs in a competent manner. I don't want us to look like buffoons...


In other late breaking developements, the shampooing of the bedroom carpets has now been completed. You can now return to your regularly scheduled program.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Same, Same on Me

Weigh In day: Same, no loss, but...more importantly, no gain.

Slowly getting my act together this morning, then heading up to Wonderful Daughter's so she can finish our taxes for the quarter.

How exciting!

At least there's no bear tracks causing excitement in my life...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday Hump Day

Tikki and I got lost on the way to a new client's home today. That wouldn't be so bad but our new employee was following in her van.

Oh well, that's what I get for letting a poodle drive. They are so busy looking over the cute puppies in other cars they don't watch the road signs. That and the fact the city road map showed roads that don't link up to each other.

Another friend is in the hospital, this time for a gall bladder attack. We went this evening to visit but she had just gone into surgery. I went to the greenhouse today and had them make a succulent plant bowl with plants I was able to pick out myself. It was so nice and such a good price, compared to cut flowers, I don't think I'll ever take flowers again.

Our friend's hospital room was so full already, they asked us to take the plant home until she's discharged. If they only knew how tough it's going to be to get it back from me...
Except, I have a black thumb and it's too pretty to die a cruel and unusual death on my countertop.

I've accidentally triple booked us for tomorrow. I've made some calls to try and rebook, offering a free hour of cleaning if they will take us up on it. Should be interesting.

Wonderful Daughter is going to kill me. Someday I'll learn to use our scheduling software, I swear!

We took her and the boys out to dinner tonight. The food was horrible, cold, heat-lamp baked and WD's meat was raw in the center. We sent back our two meals and after everyone else ate, we walked to a nearby Vietnamese place and got take out for the two of us.

I love living on the "Red Mile" everything is so close by.

WD's kids were cute at dinner. JC has no indoor volume on his voice and Dom talks non-stop careening from subject to subject so fast you can't keep up. The adults exchange amused glances over their heads and treasure up the cute stuff they say.

Yesterday JC was supposed to be taking a nap. He'd been laying down about an hour when Dom said something too loudly in the hallway outside his bedroom.
Suddenly JC yelled, "Quiet Dom! Jacey pleeping in heour!!"

WD had lots of compliments for me tonight. Apparently, my upper arms are looking smaller as well as my upper back. No word on Shirley dwindling down to nothing...yet.

Tomorrow is weigh in day.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day Off Part Two

The best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry, or so they say.

The three of us, Tikki and I and the man I am married to (who does NOT want to be mentioned in my blog!!) walked to a trendy little yuppie cafe and sat out on the patio. We enjoyed a muffin and a tea for me. OJ and muffin for that man. Total price $10.00, Crazy, eh? Tikki enjoyed a quarter of my pumpkin muffin and that man had the other quarter. I just have no appetite with the Apidexin.

I had vacuumed before we left in preparation to shampoo carpets and steam the hardwood when we returned but then we decided to go for a drive first.

We dropped off Tikki and went to run a couple errands while we debated checking out the new Crossirons Mills mall in Balzac. I hate walking around a mall, I think I'm on record as having said that before. Then I remembered that Bed Bath and Beyond is also in Chinook mall so we went there.

My memory is faulty as usual and there wasn't a BBB in Chinook but there was a Bath and Bodyworks where I scored 6 bottles of warm vanilla hand soap for only $25 (regular price $33) and some nice warm vanilla shower gel and body cream. That was on sale, buy two, get one free so I scored again! The man who shall remain nameless bought some special hand cream with parrafin since the skin over his knuckles cracks open from the dryness here on the prairies. He has tried all kinds of creams and has yet to find the magic formula. Unfortunately, the stuff he chose is scented so it probably won't be magic either.

I popped into Sephora and bought Wonderful Daughter some Cake products to celebrate her recent weight loss. No calories in that Cake, just yummy smelling shower gels and creams. I wish you all could see her, she really has worked hard and it shows.

Then, we drove back downtown to a men's wear store so he could get a few golf shirts on sale. While he was trying on his choices, I decided he could take me out for lunch to our favorite Mexican restaurant which was back down in the south end of the city again.

Imagine our surprise when we got there, only to discover it is under renovation and will be reopening in September as a Greek restaurant! We already have two favorite Greek restaurants, depending on what we want to spend. One has a patio and one doesn't, which is also important when making our selection.

I called WD to ask for a Mexican suggestion. When she and her soon-to-be-ex husband were together, they used to eat out a minimum of 3 times a week. She knows her restaurants and quickly gave me 3 suggestions. It was a good thing she was quick because my cell went dead before I got addresses. We ended up at a little hole in the wall place that had really great, authentic Mexican food and we enjoyed every bite. We'll be sure to go there again soon.

The man wanted to go out to Crossirons Mills and look at a Kitchen Aid stand mixer for WD but I was ready to come home since it was 4:30 by this time. Wonderful Daughter bakes all her own bread each week as well as buns, cinnamon buns, rolls and pizza crusts. She has my old stand mixer since I rarely bake in bulk like she does. But we think she really needs a professional model. My mixer just can't do the capacity she needs. So, we're checking out prices and models and features. It's going to be quite a process. Maybe they will go on sale by then. Or, I could cash in 53,000 Visa Reward Points. (I'd rather save them towards airfare for a much needed holiday though.)

So, no wild and crazy times shampooing carpets after all today. Just a nice day to rest and relax. I didn't even have to worry about making supper because we were both too stuffed from our nice lunch. I've been spoiled today. The man was concerned about my little episode last week and decided to take two days off to spend with me. I adore him, whoever he is...

I've heard it said, "Housework is what a woman does that nobody notices unless she hasn't done it." So, I'll try to get to the bedrooms later this week. The beauty of housework is that it can always wait.
Unless your in-laws are coming for a visit...

Day Off

Today I unexpectedly have the day off. Wonderful Daughter has hired someone new so she gets to take my jobs this week. My partner is off all week attending to last minute wedding details.
So I'm going to go all crazy wild and do something I haven't done in far too long. That's right, you guessed it! I'm going to shampoo the bedroom carpets. Outrageous, right?

I know, I like living on the edge. First though, I'm going to take Mr. Tikki for a walk to Tim Horton's for a coffee. Just one for me. he gets too wired on caffeine. He was playing possum while I was vacuuming. He wouldn't appear no matter how I coaxed or called. Finally I knocked on our front door and he gave a little woof so I knew where he had gone into hiding. Sure enough, he had a piece of saran wrap under there that he stole out of the garbage. Little brat!

More later. Let's just say, I'm feeling great today and the Apidexin is working again. My abdomen feels better and I feel smaller across my rib cage. Thursday will tell the story though.