Sunday, July 31, 2005

fixing it up

Mark was a very busy boy today. He got our new fixture installed in the kitchen and put the cabinet up in the master bath.

kitchen fixture
Originally uploaded by Julep67.

The light fixture is really nice and bright! The old one was a box fixture that had definitely seen better days. This new one has three separate directional halogen pots and really makes a huge difference on the counter when it's on.

bathroom cabinet
Originally uploaded by Julep67.
The cabinet in the bathroom looks like it's always been there. I want to pick up new knobs for the existing cabinets so everything will match. Also, Mark got some of our pictures up on the bathrooms so it's looking a little more homey.

We will haven't hung any artwork in the living room yet. We're planning on (hopefully) purchasing a new tv before the end of this year and where it ends up will dictate where any of our artwork will be place. Finally, after two months, things are starting to feel settled and the place is feeling more like home every day. I cannot get over how much we both love this house, it's just great and I can't wait to get home to it, whenever we're out. A house shouldn't be able to make a person so happy but yanno, this one does!!

Saturday, July 30, 2005


Whenever we take a vacation, and we plan to stay home and do nothing, we end up staying in town and spending a small fortune at the home improvement centre. This week is proving to be just the same as all the other weeks. Sometimes I think it would be cheaper to go out of town!

It started off when we picked up a "big plant" at Costco yesterday. Mark has wanted some variety of uber-large plant for as long as we've been together and we've always lived in places that were too small for the size of plant he wanted. The only time we were able to get one was back when we had the restaurant. So when we brought the big plant home, we realized that we could actually have two in our living room and that it would not only look nice, that the plants would do really well.

Today, we trekked back to Costco and got a second plant (different variety) and while we were there, found a cabinet for the master bath. Funnily enough, just this morning, I was soaking in the tub and thought, "we need something over the toilet." We really did too, it's a huge white wall and we can always use extra storage. We walk into Costco this afternoon, fully intending to only get a plant and we end up finding an absolutely perfect bathroom cabinet. I have to tell you, both yesterday and today, I've felt a little like Artie Johnson while I've been pushing the buggy with a giant plant it it. You kind of have to peek through the leaves to see where you're going. It's odd.

Anyway, right now, both plants are in the living room and they seem to like it there. The bathroom cabinet is also in the living room, not yet unpacked. We did pick up some planters for the big plants at Rona. While we were there, we saw a really nice computer desk for one of us. If it fits, we may get two as we both need new desks for our respective offices. It's looking right now though like it may just go into Mark's office, mine is slightly too narrow for it.

So while we were out spending, spending, spending, we also got a really nice light fixture for above the sink in the kitchen. We've been making do without one for a while but as fall approaches, I know that we'll need one soonish. I think it's going to look really nice when it's up. I also got some really plush, funky, cotton bath mats for the bathrooms. An oatmeal coloured one for the black & white bathroom and a sage green one for the master bath. The house is starting to feel like home finally, I can't believe that we've been here two months already and so much stuff is still in boxes!!

Tomorrow, Mark is planning to install the light and the cabinet. One thing I know for sure is that I'll have to make proper curtains for the kitchen once the light goes up. Fun times huh??

Thursday, July 28, 2005

So we're home. We were just gone over night but it feels like a lot longer. Except for the nights we sat up in the emergency room with Joe, this was the first time we spent an entire night away from the house since we moved. I really missed it, honestly. That sounds funny I'm sure but I was so glad to get home.

We had a great time and I'll write more about it later. In the meantime, here's some goofing around stuff. Let me know if you try them too!!

just silly stuff

Another one stolen from Trish:

Pick your birth month from HERE and cross (strike) out what doesn't apply to you. Then post the whole list for the next person or link back to here.

Stubborn and hard-hearted. Strong-willed and highly motivated. Sharp thoughts. Easily angered. Attracts others and loves attention. Deep feelings. Beautiful physically and mentally. Firm Standpoint. Needs no motivation. Easily consoled. Systematic (left brain). Loves to dream. Strong clairvoyance. Understanding. Sickness usually in the ear and neck. Good imagination. Good physical. Weak breathing. Loves literature and the arts. Loves traveling. Dislike being at home. Restless. Not having many children. Hardworking. High spirited. Spendthrift.

...and this one is stolen from Bev:
You Are 40% Weird

Normal enough to know that you're weird...
But too damn weird to do anything about it!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

on the road

We're heading out of town this morning. We're not 100% where we'll end up or how long we'll be away. Most likely, it'll not be longer than overnight tonight, if that. Mark spent his childhood summers on Lake Simcoe, at Belle Ewart so we might just end up in that neck of the woods so he can revisit his old haunts.

One of the things I love best about our road trips is that we don't often have a "plan" set in mind. Ordinarily, we hop in the car and just pick a direction. If we decide to stay over somewhere, we figure that out when we get there and it's not been a problem in all the years we've been doing this. When you have a cell phone and one of the guide books from CAA, it doesn't usually take more than two or three phone calls to find somewhere nice to stay. We're getting too old to stay somewhere that isn't nice. That probably sounds terrible but if we're on the road, I want to stay somewhere that is clean and has a good bed.

I've been up for a while but Mark's still snoozing. I decided to let him sleep in a little later than we'd planned because we're not in any hurry to get anywhere, we have no set schedule. Right now, it's raining here. I don't actually mind if it rains all day, we need it pretty badly. Wherever we end up and whatever we do, I have absolute confidence that we'll be having a good time!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

stolen from Trish...The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Sixth Level of Hell - The City of Dis! You approach Satan's wretched city where you behold a wide plain surrounded by iron walls. Before you are fields full of distress and torment terrible. Burning tombs are littered about the landscape. Inside these flaming sepulchers suffer the heretics, failing to believe in God and the afterlife, who make themselves audible by doleful sighs. You will join the wicked that lie here, and will be offered no respite. The three infernal Furies stained with blood, with limbs of women and hair of serpents, dwell in this circle of Hell.

How'd you do?

Saturday, July 23, 2005

so far so good

We've now been on vacation for less than 24 hours and it's going very well so far.

My friend Dan is arriving soon. We were out running errands all afternoon and I was afraid that he may have arrived while we weren't home but he just called and he's still 30 kilometers from here. It's been a while since we've seen him so it'll be a good visit I'm sure.

When he lived here, he was a bartender at a pub downtown so our plan is to go there for dinner and a few pints. Well, he and Mark will have some pints, I'll be the dd. A friend's band is also playing tonight but I have a feeling that it's starting too late for me. I'm getting so old and we're on such a weird schedule now that I can not stay up much past 11 p.m. on the weekends for the life of me.

One of the things we picked up when we were out was a new chair for my office. Right now, I'm using an old kitchen chair, which I don't mind, but we both want to get new, proper office chairs as our old one died before we moved so it got chucked out. It's out in the car at the moment, I think Mark's planning to assemble it tomorrow. We got it at costco and it was a pretty good deal.

The humidity finally broke today so I actually got out into the back garden this morning. Of course, my plan was to get up at 6 a.m. and do it before it got too hot. Sadly, I slept in and didn't make it out there until 10 a.m. By that time, it was pretty hot in the sun and I think I made myself a little sick. I did a fair bit of stuff, trimming away seedlings and hacking at some of the weeds, but it didn't really put a dent in it. Our back yard totally needs some kind of extreme makeover and I can tell you, it won't be happening this summer!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Feast Fifty-Six

What kind of car do you drive? If you could make an even trade for any other car, what would you want to drive?

We currently drive a 1993 Buick LeSabre. If I could trade it for something else, I'd want a new Beetle.

Take your phone number and add each number together separately (example: 8+6+7+5+3+0+9=38) - what's the total?

When were you last outside, and what were you doing?
Coming back to the office from getting a coffee. There is a cafe just across the street from our building.

Main Course
What is your favorite restaurant, and what do you usually order there?
Here in Kingston, I guess it would be Dong Nai and the only thing we always order is the shrimp salad rolls. They are totally yummy!!

Name 3 things in which you occasionally indulge.
A chocolate dipped cone from the DQ, a bubble bath and a sleep-in Saturday

Thursday, July 21, 2005


really, I'm still here. I have notes for posts about stuff that has been happening recently but I haven't had enough time to sit down, sort through them and actually post.

I am here though and tomorrow we start a ten-day vacation and I should have some time to catch you up.

Friday, July 15, 2005

friday feast

Here is my version of the 55th edition of the Friday Feast. This will have to do, in lieu of a real post, because I'm still pretty fried by the heat at the moment.

What is your middle name? Would you change any of your names if you could? If so, what would you like to be called?
My middle name is Mary. I don't think, at this point in my life that I would change my name. It's my name. Often, as children, I think we muse about changing out name to that of our favourite pop star or a tv favorite but now, I wouldn't change it.

If you were a fashion designer, which fabrics, colors, and styles would you probably use the most?

Cotton, polar fleece. Comfortable stuff. I like all kinds of colors and patterns so that would probably change with the seasons. I really like clothes that are comfortable, warm in the winter, cool and breathable in the summer and that require no maintenance. Toss 'em in the washer and the into the dryer, no irons please. Not sure how that would look but it might seem a lot like pjs!

What is your least favorite chore, and why?

Cleaning the bathroom. I'm sure I don't have to paint you a picture as to why. Having said that, I'm always glad when it's done because it looks so good (even if it's only for a moment).

Main Course
What is something that really frightens you, and can you trace it back to an event in your life?

I'm not fond of critters like mice or rats but I'm not terrified of them. I don't think that I can trace it back to anything specific. I'm just not fond of having critters in the house!

Where are you sitting right now? Name 3 things you can see at this moment.

In my office. I can see my digital camera, plugged in and sitting on top of my cpu, I can see a fake "road sign" that has Bart Simpson on it and says "Radical Road" and I can see a yellow plastic coaster on the top of my desk.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

brain dead

At the moment, I'm pretty brain dead, how 'bout you??

I don't know what the weather is doing where you are but I know it's too damned hot here. It's been hot for days, not just warm like a normal summer day but stinking hot. The air quality has been pissy and we've had these crazy rain storms intermittently that don't break the muggy feeling. As as matter of fact, they make it worse. It's sick and I can't wait it for to break. They were calling for hail tonight but that didn't happen. It's just sick!

A bad side-effect of the weather is that we're completely off our normal routine. Between the heat wave and running back and forth to check on Joe, we're eating at weird times and not proper meals. We've been grabbing sandwiches here and there when we are hungry or not at all. It's also causing us both to feel tired all of the time. I hate to whine about it but that's what's been happening just recently.

Fortunately, a week from tomorrow, our vacation begins. We'll be off work for 10 whole days and I cannot wait!!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

just sad

Ever since I heard the news from London this morning, I've been overwhelmed by an intense feeling of sadness. Well, sadness, anger, frustration. Stepping up security everywhere isn't going to prevent these kinds of attacks from happening, that's like putting a band aid on a severed limb. The root of the problem needs to be addressed and right now, you know that the G8 leaders aren't talking about poverty and peace.

Violence breeds violence. What's happened in London is truly horrible and my heart breaks for those folks who have been injured and for the families of the people who have been killed. There is something though that just boggles my pea-brain about the way that the media is dealing with it. Why so much? Bombings like this happen almost every day now in Iraq. Dozens of people get killed, military personnel and civilians and you hear almost nothing about it, and this happens every single day. All over the planet, every day, people are dying from neglect and war and hunger and it's not on every channel or printed in all the papers. What about the folks who either plain old don't have access to good health care or, can't afford what is available? I'm not trying to belittle what happened in London, because it's a tragedy, but I'm also pissed off that most of the pain and suffering in the world is completely preventable but is allowed to just happen without anyone shining a light on it and offering to help.

Hopefully, the G8 leaders will pull their collective head out of their ass and will figure out a way to bring peace and dignity back to the planet.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


I should be in bed right now. I am on my way but I thought I'd jot down a few thoughts before I went.

We popped in to see Joe on our way home from work tonight. He seems much better today. He had a good night's sleep, a shower and a shave and he is looking more like his old self. I knew he was feeling better when he complained a bit about the food. Fortunately, he's in love with the staff (who I think are just fabulous!) so that's a big hurdle crossed.

After we saw him, we went out to the west end to do some errands and grab a bite to eat. In the middle of dinner, my dad called to say that my aunt & uncle, who are visiting from Calgary, were at my folks' house. Apparently, my aunt's aunt is in the same place Joe's in. I called them back and gave them Joe's room number so my mum popped in to see him while my aunt visited her aunt. This woman moved in their in February or March and is on the floor below Joe's.

We raced home after dinner because my folks' wanted to bring my aunt and uncle over to see our new house (and us) while they were in town. It was great to see them although I am not sure that either of us were very coherent as today was our first day back to work in almost a week and we're still pretty brain-dead. Mostly we talked about Joe and Aunt Karen's auntie.

They just left a little while ago and I think I'm at the over-tired point right now. Mentally and physically, I'm exhausted but I'm also wired at the same time. Thank goodness I'm not drinking coffee these days or I'd probably be in worse shape than I already am. I think I'll head off to bed now and see what happens. With any kind of luck, I'll sleep.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

settling in

We just got home from seeing Joe. Late yesterday we were given the very good news that a spot had been found in a long term care facility. I'm not sure how it happened exactly but he has ended up in a private room in (in my opinion anyway) one of the best facilities in town. I used to do volunteer work at this place when I was in high school and it's just a couple of minutes by car from our house. We were fully prepared to take a spot in a facility up to 90 minutes away so for him to end up in a place that is about 1/2 way between our house and my office is just incredible.

We went over there this morning before he arrived, to meet with the administrator and have a tour. We're in the middle of a heat wave right now so we went out and got him a fan. The place is "air cooled" but it's not "air conditioned" so it's pretty warm in his room without a fan on. It made a huge difference but honestly, I don't think he even noticed it.

He's pretty worn out right now. He says that his head and arm aren't hurting but he's still pretty confused. He knows where is and that he'll be there for a while but the poor guy is still suffering the effects of the dehydration and the fall. I'm sure that in a couple of days he'll feel much better.

I hope that Mark and I will feel better soon too. We're both pretty exhausted as neither of us have slept much during the past week. This whole process was emotionally taxing and was really unexpected. This actually feels much worse than the physical toll our move took on us, and I thought that was pretty bad. Right now I just feel relieved. Joe is in very good hands and I'm confident that he'll be receiving excellent care.

Monday, July 04, 2005

roller coaster

Ugh. We just got back from emergency. Joe is back in the hospital. At around 4:30 a.m., Mark heard Joe calling out. When Mark got to Joe's room, he found him on the floor, he had fallen on the way from the bed to the washroom. We called 911 and the paramedics were there in no time.

We got down to the emergency room by 4:55 a.m. but didn't see a doctor until 8 a.m. By emergency room standards, that's not bad I suppose. Joe had cut his head and his arm, he has 4 staples in his head and 12 stitches in his arm. I felt kind of bad for the poor doctor who had been treating him, he started to tell us about how to change the dressings and I interrupted him. I gave him the reader's digest condensed version of what had be going on for the past couple of weeks and the poor guy's jaw dropped. Because Joe had been released on Saturday, and it was a long weekend, his file was somewhere en route to patient records so this guy didn't know that Joe had just been released 36 hours before.

So, we met with the social worker about crisis placement and she's working on getting him a room in a long term care facility. Joe is agreeable to this and has signed all of the appropriate paperwork. I feel bad for the poor guy, he's weak and battered and bruised, he's been put through the ringer over the past 14 days and I can't help but feel that if he had been admitted on June 14, when we made the first trip to the emergency room, all of this could have been avoided and he'd be at home with us right now. I'm a little angry about the way the health system has let us all down and honestly, I'm feeling a little guilty about the nursing home thing. Right now though, the three of us are out of options. He cannot stay in the hospital and he's not well enough to come home so this really is the other solution.

Right now, Mark and I are getting ready to go back down to the hospital for the afternoon. One way or the other, hopefully we'll know what's happening today.

Sunday, July 03, 2005


I'm convinced that they sent Joe home way too early. We're having the same trouble with him now, that we were having last week: he won't eat or drink enough fluids. At least in the hospital, they could put him on IV and force the fluids but here at home, he just won't drink enough.

This afternoon, he promised me that he'd get up and out of bed and try to move around with the walker but when the time came to do it, he refused. I got very upset and actually cried in front of him. If he isn't able to get in and out of bed on his steam (with the walker) and back and forth to the washroom unassisted, he's going to have to go on the "crisis placement" list for a room in a nursing home. We discussed this while he was still in the hospital. More and more, Mark and I feel that it's not safe for him to be here, not while he's this weak anyway. I'd hoped, when he was at the hospital, that they would admit him for a few days, help him get a little stronger and then he could come home. Unfortunately, the hospital wouldn't admit because, technically, he's not "sick." That's where the nursing home option comes in.

Apparently, in our area (and I'm sure it's like this across the province), a certain number of "crisis placement" beds have to be kept available at all times for folks who are in Joe's situation. Once you're in one, you can be there for as much time as you need, it could be 2 weeks or 2 years. Hopefully, tomorrow he'll feel better and we'll not have to go that route. He will be having some visitors to the house this week, assessing him for physio and stuff so, if we can get through this week without another trip to the hospital, maybe things will get back to normal around here.

So, other than worrying about Joe, we've not been up to much today. Thank goodness we're booked off tomorrow, I'm planning on sleeping in!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

home again

Joe came home today. It's so good to see him back here at home, in his own bed. He seems really happy and I think is feeling much better. He's still very weak so he had to come home by "patient transfer" (aka a rented ambulance). Right now, he's in bed snoozing and Mark is watching Live 8, patiently waiting for Pink Floyd to come on.

He and I actually had a decent night of sleep last night. Hanging around the emergency room for hours on end is exhausting, mentally and physically. It's been a long week but, hopefully, all three of us will enjoy the rest of this long weekend.

Friday, July 01, 2005

happy Canada day

Much like yesterday, I expect that we'll be spending a good sized chunk of our day at the hospital. They are still doing tests on Joe but won't admit him. They really would have liked us to take him home yesterday (after all, he did get up and walk two whole steps using a walker!) but we dug our heels in and wouldn't take him home, not yet. He's still weak and dehydrated and I'm not entirely convinced that his meds are sorted out yet.

We did meet with the community help folks yesterday. Mark spoke with another one of their case managers on the phone just now. They have arranged for some assistive devices to be sent to the house later on today. They seem to think that Joe seems a lot better, stronger and generally feeling better. I'm so relieved. Yesterday he just looked like hammered crap and we knew he couldn't come home. I'm sure that getting in and out of the car alone would kill him.

If we see a marked improvement when we get down there today, I'll be so happy. We really want him home and feeling better. The woman Mark just talked to seem to think that he'll be okay to come home soon. With today being a holiday, I'm not sure how quickly be able to get all of the stuff they are sending us (like a walker and what not). In any event, if all goes well, he'll be home tomorrow. It really is a happy Canada Day!!