Tuesday, December 30, 2008

waiting for the dough to drop

enjoying a sociable holiday season = not a lot of time in front of the computer

I'm not complaining though, I'd rather be seeing people and laughing and having conversations than sitting in front of the computer, if I'm honest.

Over the past week or so, we've had a few more people 'round the house than we normally would. Gracie has been taking it all in stride but Sam's been doing his typically Eskie thing and barking like mad at folks. With each new visitor, the outbursts are shorter but it's a little embarrassing.

In a way, he's a little bit like a goldfish. He'll meet a guest, bark and bark, and eventually chill out. When he comes around the corner again and sees them again, it starts all over again. Fortunately, the barking jag is not long but it's still sort of funny, in a loud barking kind of way.

Mark's been back to work the past couple of days but I'm still off. I go back on Monday. It's been a great break for me and he's been able to take a few days off here and there so he's a break as well. I think I'll start to pack up Christmas tomorrow. I put our gifts away on Sunday evening but the tree and the decorations are still up for the moment. They are pretty and I love them but it's almost time and goodness knows it'll be easier clean once everything is put away!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

snow wrestling

snow wrestling
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Merry Christmas!

I hope that you've been having as good a day as we've been having 'round here.

We were up sort of around our normal time this morning. We don't get to sleep in much with the dogs around to wake us up. It was nice all the same though. After the coffee was ready, we just had a lazy morning with the dogs. We opened some presents, they played with their new toys and it was very relaxing and nice.

The afternoon was spent with my parents and brother. My mum made us a delicious Christmas lunch and we got properly spoiled rotten, which is always fun!

At the moment, we're home again and hanging out with the puppies. We have a bunch of new DVD's and some stuff in the DVR so we may just get back into our jammies and veg out on the sofa this evening. I've been thinking that we may make some festive cocktails too, after all, it is Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

totally baked

smarties cookies
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I got my baking done!

Yesterday, I started baking at 5:30 a.m. and was finished by 7 p.m. I did take a break for lunch, and a couple of small tv breaks (and doggie play breaks) and it felt great to get it all done. I usually leave it all to the end like that because then my stuff is very fresh for Christmas.

Today I need to do some housework, get the cookie trays together, wrap a few gifts and that's it. I'll be ready for Santa after that!

How's your holiday stuff going?

Monday, December 22, 2008

eye time

Today was one of the brightest days I've seen in a long time. It was just gorgeous outside, sparkly, clean, beautiful. The day was also cold but not booger freezing in your nose cold so it was tolerable if you were dressed for it.

This morning I had an appointment with my eye doctor. I see her every two years and this year, I knew I'd need new glasses. I've ordered some but because the doctor's office is closing for the holidays, I won't get them until after I'm back to work in January. I can't wait to get them. This time, I've noticed a big change in my vision, mostly for distances, and will be really happy to be able to see better!

Last night, we had call from other driver on Mark's cab. The cab had died (fortunately enough) right near the cab office. There is a garage there so it was towed in for the guys to look at this morning. Mark called them when they opened but unfortunately, the car wasn't ready until after 3 p.m. This left Mark with an unplanned day off. It worked out really well though. He was able to drive me to my appointment and when he picked me up, we did some errands.

Shopping, this close to Christmas, when you aren't in a hurry or a crush to finish up anything is really interesting. Watching folks in a panic, rushing, seeming a little stressed, I felt a little bad for them. I do realize though that for some folks, this is all part of the holiday experience. Odd thing to want to experience but then some folks are odd. We had four or five stops to make, had lunch along the way (nothing fancy, just hot dogs at Costco) and were home by early afternoon.

I did a little bit more baking this afternoon but tomorrow I'll do my "bake-a-thon." I have everything I need right here and I have no plans or any need to go anywhere tomorrow so I'll just putter away at it all day long. The dogs are getting used to me being in the kitchen. They spend their days in the kitchen so it is sort of like I'm invading their domain, I understand. They've both been really good the past few days. Right now, they are both sleep in the doorway to my office. They are snuggled up against each other and it's just the cutest thing.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

on baking and Kirsty

Peanut Butter Blossoms
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Just a couple of things to say on this snowy Sunday.

I finally started my proper Christmas baking this morning. It's trickier than I thought it would be, baking with two dogs in the house. I would have liked them to stay completely out of the room while I was mixing and beating stuff but I had to settle for them watching me closely from separate corners of the kitchen. Sam was particularly eagle-eyed, hoping that a stray cookie would hit the floor. It didn't happen but he was rewarded for his patience with a doggie biscuit.

As I usually do around this time of the year, I've been listening to and thinking about Kirsty MacColl. Eight years ago, on December 18, Kirsty was killed in Mexico. If you're unfamiliar with the story of Kirsty's tragic death, I'd like to urge you to click the link on her name just above. 8 years on, her family still seeks justice for her.

Given what happened to Kirsty and all of the violent attacks on innocent Canadians which have happened in Mexico in recent years, I really don't understand why people continue to vacation there. Speak with your dollars folks. Please join me in my boycott of Mexico and help Jean MacColl in her campaign.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


kitchen window
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Not that he needed much of it but I convinced Mark to stay home from work today. He was going to work a short shift but when we got up this morning the roads (well, our street) looked pretty bad. Given that we're due for another 15 to 20 cm of snow tomorrow, I would imagine that the city avoided some of the side streets because they'll just have to do them again on Sunday (you have to love city logic).

Because of the way the snow was drifting, when we were out in the back yard with the dogs ,it didn't seem like we got much but boy, the front porch was really filled in and so was the driveway. Lucky for us, our amazing neighbour Tommy cleaned it up for us. I have said it before but it bears repeating, we have the best neighbours in town. When we lived around the corner, our neighbours barely waved to each other. 'Round here (which is literally one stop sign away from our old house), folk actually help each other out. People also respect each other's privacy and maintain a certain distance but it's the type of place where you know if someone pulled a truck up into your driveway in the middle of the week and started unloading your house while you were at work, a neighbour would call the cops.

Today we were happy to stay home. Mark did some shoveling and I did laundry. Lots of laundry. I've been doing some housework and getting through my chore list so there were lots of things to wash that you don't have to do all of the time. It went really quickly for some odd reason (and I'm not complaining). We also snuck in a mini-marathon of Coronation Street episodes and a nap.

It's been a great day. Tomorrow I think I'll start my baking. I'd thought about doing it today but couldn't get into it. I'm trying a couple of new recipes this year and will definitely post photos of my attempts, if they turn out.

Friday, December 19, 2008

please may I have some salad

So far, my vacation has been really lovely.

We had our office do on Tuesday afternoon. It was just my immediate team (and a couple of ladies who left the team this year) and we had a good laugh. My supervisor ordered a tonne of greek take out and we had a huge feast. I was able to bring home an entire salad and some chicken for Mark so he didn't have to cook that night (which he was happy about because I got home from work so late).

I really love the ladies I work with. I think a couple of times, I laughed so hard that I had actual tears running down my face. It was a good time.

On Wednesday morning, I made myself a little to do list. The list had less to do with the holidays and more about decontaminating the house. We've basically done very little around the house, just the bare minimum, all fall. Between us being sick and having a new dog, and then having a third dog for 2 weeks, the place was pretty grimy. I've checked a few things off the list and am slowly getting through it. It feels pretty good and the house is starting to look a lot less disgusting than it was.

Over the past couple of days, we've managed to get our holiday shopping done. We didn't have a lot to do which was nice. Over the weekend, I need to sort it out and get it wrapped up but I think we have everything we need. If we don't, I can always do another trip to the shoppes on Monday.

As I type this, it's snowing and blowing outside. We heard about the storm yesterday so we got out last night and stocked up on groceries. I'm really glad that we did that because it's looking quite nasty outside. Mark called home a little while ago and said that the visibility was really poor and that the roads were getting bad too. He's going to pack it in early if it gets too rough out there.

It's hard to believe that I've been off for 3 days already but I do love this time of the year. I like being home, in a nice warm house. I got the tree up yesterday so the house is all festive-ized. I'll start my baking on the weekend I think. Today, I have a couple of little things to get crossed off my chore list and I may get a nap with the puppies in at some point too.

It's a rough life for me, isn't it!?

Friday, December 12, 2008

lazy friday

So I had a day off today. Originally, I'd planned that today would be my last day in the office before the holidays but I need to be in the office on Monday and Tuesday next week so I took today off and will start my vacation on Tuesday afternoon instead. It's really quite okay. On Tuesday afternoon, I'll be having a festivus gathering with my office teammates. If I had stayed around for the whole week, I could also attend separate office type parties on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Today I'd intended to do some baking. Last night, Mark and I did a couple of errands so I didn't need to go anywhere today. When I got up with Mark this morning, I felt a little woozy so I took some drugs and hung out under the covers until they kicked in. When I started feeling okay, I got up and started some prep work for a couple of the baking projects I do (they involve peeling hershey kisses). That took me 2 hours if you can believe it. I never did get around to baking though because after lunch, the puppies and I had a nap for over 2 hours. I feel better now, very well rested but not really accomplished. I'd hoped to feel accomplished tonight.

Oh well, there's always tomorrow, right? In the meantime, here's another nugget of silly genius from Andy Samberg & co. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

discount sea world tickets

Last night after dinner, Mark and I were talking about vacations we’d been on as children. We started talking about big theme parks and all of the pros and cons of incorporating a visit to a big park into a vacation. When Mark was younger, his parents had a home in Florida so he’d made many trips to that part of the world. While he’d visit his folks, he had a chance to check out many of the attractions on offer in Orlando (their house was not far from Orlando). One place in particular we talked about visiting was SeaWorld. It was one of the places he wanted to revisit and it is somewhere I’ve never been. We both love dolphins and whales, actually, we’re both really fascinated by sea life so there are many aspects of SeaWorld which appeal to us. I think it’s pretty cool how you can participate in hands on programs at the park, and actually get close to some of the whales and sharks.

While we were chatting, I decided to look around for some deals on discount sea world tickets and was pleasantly surprised to find an awesome source in Orlando Fun Tickets. I looked all over and couldn’t find a source for cheaper tickets to SeaWorld. At the moment, SeaWorld even have a special promotion on offer: when you purchase a one day pass, they will give you a second one day pass (for the next day) for free. Given how cold it is here at the moment, a quick trip to Florida for a visit with a Beluga whale is just what we need!

festivus for the rest of us

doing errands
Originally uploaded by Julep67
So, the big day is now just 2 weeks away. The holiday season feels a little different for us this year because we're doing very little "shopping." I'm not missing it at all but it does feel a little odd.

In an effort to 1) save some $$ and 2) be kinder to the environment, there are a few things that we're doing differently this year. The first thing is about the gifts. We've discussed it with the folks we usually exchange gifts with and have all agreed to do almost nothing. I'm still going to bake so there will be gifts of cookies for everyone on our list but that will be about it. For our immediate family, we're going to do a little bit of fun shopping at our local dollar store but I've put myself on a really tight budget for it.

The second big thing we're doing this year is not sending out a traditional holiday greeting card. In an effort to save some trees (and some postage!), we're doing an e-card (if you'd like one, send me a msg with your e-dress and I'll add you to my list). The money we would have spent on cards and postage will be donated to our local Humane Society.

I'm actually enjoying not getting caught up in the commercial elements of the holiday season. I think it'll be much more restful and sane than it normally is and really, that's what it's supposed to be about, right? ...less about the shopping and more about spending time with the folks you care about.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Round rock tx real estate

The other day, I read an article in the New York Times about how history may prove that late 2008 / early 2009 was a primo time for property virgins to take advantage of the real estate market and jump onto the ladder. Given what’s going on with housing pricing and interest rates, I’d say that this was true. As anyone who reads my blog regularly knows, I love looking at housing listings for just about any area. The other day, I was looking at some of the deals on offer for Austin Real Estate and Round rock tx real estate on the HomeCity site. Unlike the main real estate search site for my little part of the world, the HomeCity sites provides a lot of information about the area. I think that this sort of detail is really important, particularly if you are relocating from another part of the continent. You can also contact an online advisor who can answer your questions about particular listings. I really wish that my local site was more like HomeCity, it would definitely make real estate shopping easier for me!

call in gay!

gracie hangs
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Although I was not able to "Call In Gay" myself this morning, I support the initiative! Anytime you're taking a stand against hatred and intolerance, I'm there!!

We've been watching all of the goings on, south of the border, about the defeat of Prop 8 with much sadness. I think that it's pathetic that folks still have a problem with gay and lesbian couples wanting to get married. The religious groups just kill me. I mean, it's not like a gay couple who marries makes a straight couple less married. I'm always a little shocked by how ugly, cruel and hate-filled some so-called religious people become when someone tries to do something that they don't agree with. It's closed minded, mean spirited and down right childish.

Hopefully, things like "Day Without a Gay" will provide a much needed slap in the face to folks who seriously need it!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

debt consolidation

Bad to worse, I swear each day, the economic news just goes from bad to worse. This morning on CBC Radio, they were talking about how yet another factory was closing in Southern Ontario. The closure will result in the loss of 39 full time jobs. This is not good news. It’s pretty frightening actually, how up and down the economy is right now. I think that for most folks, a smart idea would be to make sure that your financial house was in order just in case something like that was to happen to you. Whether your job is secure or you think you may be laid off, it’s always a good idea to know exactly where you stand with your debt. Of course, if you have multiple loans and credit cards, the task of sorting out exactly what you owe may seem daunting. If you are having difficulty making even minimum payments on your debts, you may want to consider debt consolidation.

By consolidating your debts, you can save money and get out of debt in less time than it would take if you were paying things off individually. Bills.com has lots of information available to you about the different options which are available to consolidate your bills. I think that most folks think that the only option available to them is to pull all of their debts together and pay them off in a lump sum by borrowing against something like a home. This solution can work for some folks but there is another approach that is helpful for folks who may have unsecured consumer debt. Debt Settlement allows you to negotiate lower payments or interest rates with your various creditors. Not only could you avoid something like bankruptcy, but you can also lower the amount of debt you have.

sofa king sam

sofa king sam
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I think that Bella is totally tuned in to Jamie and Annette in a semi-spooky way. When we got home last night, I called them to find out if they were back in town and if they wanted to pick up Bella last night or tonight. I got their machine and left a message. We went about our business, fed the dogs, got our dinner ready, just regular after work stuff.

While we were sitting down to dinner, Sam and Gracie were hanging out in the kitchen. See, they live in hope that something is going to fall from the table and into their mouths. They aren't greedy, they don't beg, they just watch us very closely, and they hope. Normally, Bella is with them but last night, she was sitting by the front door. Bella never sits by the front door, that is Sammy's spot. She's usually behind the chair, near the furnace register, snuggly and warm.

I tried calling her into the kitchen but she started to sort of cry, sort of softly howl. I think she knew that Jamie and Annette were back in town and she wanted to go home. It was the saddest thing that I'd heard in a while and I'd never heard her do it before. All evening, she was a little off, sort of clingy and sad. Eventually, we started getting ready for bed and the phone rang, it was Annette. She asked if we wanted her to pick up Bella at that time or wait until tonight. Given how sad Bella had been, I asked her to come right over. I think Bella was pretty happy to see Annette, after all, she'd been with us for 2 weeks and the accommodations had definitely changed since her last visit. What had previously been a very relaxing, pampered time had turned into non-stop puppy playfest and I think she'll be happy for the peace and quiet of her country home.

As much as the dogs have been wrestling and carrying on with each other, I think Gracie was missing Bella this morning. She seemed a little out of sorts and I think she was looking for her. Of course, she'll have forgotten all about Bella by the time we get home tonight but was interesting to observe all the same.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Web Hosting

Are you thinking about purchasing your own domain for a new website but don’t know where to start? I would suggest that you find a company that can offer you advice, assistance and the best Web Hosting available. If you think that’s a tall order to fill and that you won’t be able to find that in one spot, you’re wrong!! The folks at Web Hosting Report have done the hard work for you. When you visit them on the web, you’ll see that they have done research and rated the best web hosts that the internet has to offer. They have a tutorial online which will teach you what to look for in a web hosting service. You can compare the different packages which are available and find one that suits you best. If you’re not sure where to start, they also have a library of super useful documents which can guide you through the process of purchasing a domain, creating a web page, and sharing it with the world.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

new doggie door

new doggie door
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Yay Andy!! Thanks so much!! He made us the most awesome doggie door.

For a while now, we've wanted to put one in but we didn't want to put it into the fire door, just in the screen door (we've been leaving the back door open but it's getting too cold to do that now). Andy made the flap for us and cut the hole and he and Mark installed it this morning. It's so neat.

We got all three of the dogs to go through it each way (with a little coaxing and some cookies) and I think Bella has totally figured out. Sam will go through it but only if you hold up the flap for him. I have no doubt that Gracie will get it when she's in need. It's just so nice and bright in the kitchen now, and the flap is so cool. It's going to make the doggie days goes so much better now that they have full access to the yard, all day.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Free Antivirus Software

Some of you may know that Mark has a small computer repair business that he runs in his spare time. The majority of his clients are cab drivers but some of them are folks in the neighbourhood or people he’s met in his cab. More often than not, when someone comes to him with a problematic cpu, the issue is related to a virus or a problem with the registry.

After he has removed the virus (or in most cases viruses) and cleaned the registry, he always advises his clients to use a Free Antivirus Software product. You’d be amazed if you knew how many people don’t have anti virus software on their computers or, if they do, they don’t keep it up to date. Mark always compares not keeping your computer stuff updated to not ensuring that you get regular oil changes for your car. Regular maintenance can prevent so many problems.

CyberDefender is one product which Mark recommends. Not only is does their anti virus scan help detect issues with your CPU, they’ve recently added an enhancement to the package which will clean your computer’s registry. CyberDefender can be downloaded for free and you can install it on every machine on your home network because it comes with unlimited licenses.

It’s silly to get caught without protection when such an amazing product is available at no cost to you!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Prop 8 - The Musical

Partially, I blame being sick for basically the entire month of October, and then spending November recovering, for the way the time feels like it's just slipped away from me. Our neighbourhood had exploded in the past few days with all sort of holiday illumination. I like to have ours up by now but I've not gotten around to it yet. With the three dogs and me still feeling a little wonky, it's just not something I've been able to accomplish. Hopefully, by this time next week, I'll have some of it started and will feel a little more like I'm actually a part of the holiday season this year.

Of course, what would the holidays be without a little lovely music. Saw this over at Margaret Cho's blog and had to share!

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

waiting for Mark

waiting for Mark
Originally uploaded by Julep67
The three dogs continue to get along. Bella will be here until at least Monday I think, possibily Tuesday.

Whenever I see them tearing around the house or the yard, I muse about how silly it is to buy expensive, pet store toys for dogs.

I saw the three of them get more fun out of an empty paper towel tube than they ever did from the giant kong which is always under foot.

I guess it's like kids huh?? They'd rather play in a refrigerator box than a plastic playhouse any day. Thinking about it, I can't say that I blame them!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Come Together

Just helping in my small way, to spread the word!

From: Canadians for a Progressive Coalition

Hello everyone,

All of the chips are on the table. This grassroots movement does not have the budget of the Conservative party. Instead, we we have each other. We can cut through the Conservative counter-offensive to make sure that the voices of over 60% of Canadians rallying for a progressive coalition are heard! There are 10,000 of you on this listserv. So many, that this message may not reach some of you until after Harper's message. So - this message assumes he does not resign and let the coalition govern.

We need everything you have to reach our goals for this week: winning the struggle in the media for the hearts and minds of Canadians uncertain about a coalition and showing the progressive parties that Canadians support them. In addition to usual - letters to the editor, call in radio, forwarding this message - we need you to:

Sign up 5 Friends

We are going to submit the petition on Friday and it needs to be absolutely massive. In order to increase our already impressive numbers on our petition, we are challenging everyone on the mailing list to get 5 of their friends to sign the petition. The petition is at: http://www.progressivecoalition.ca/

You can email them the direct link by clicking on the "share" button at progressivecoalition.ca/form.php, then clicking on "email". Alternatively, you could forward them this message!

Join a rally, Bring a Petition!

There are a variety of rallies happening on that day. They are listed on our facebook event page, www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=55449301160, and on our website, progressivecoalition.ca (Under the "Show your Support" link), and others at makeparliamentwork.ca. These rallies are great time to collect additional signatures for our petition, which we are aiming to present to the Leaders of the Opposition on Friday.

If you are attending any of the rallies posted, or any other events, please bring along a copy of the paper petition, which can be found at the following address: progressivecoalition.ca/petition.pdf Please get signatures only from those who have not already signed our online petition at progressivecoalition.ca. After you have collected the signatures, please add them to this spreadsheet: progressivecoalition.ca/petitioninput.xls , and send the completed excel files to events@progressivecoalition.ca.

Light a Candle for the Coalition!

We want to spark a new spirit of cooperation in Parliament.

On Wednesday night at 8PM, light a candle in front of a street-facing window and turn off the light in the room for 20 minutes. (Make sure to keep the candle away from anything that can catch fire!)

On Thursday, at 5PM we are organizing Candles for a Coalition events across the country. We are going to take pictures and show Canadians from coast to coast support a coalition. If you can't attend a major event invite some of your friends over to light candles or do it yourself. Send us pictures!

Bring your own candle! And spread the word!

Rally locations:

VICTORIA Candles for a Coalition – Thursday Dec 4 5:00 PM
Location: Hillside and Douglas Street

VANCOUVER Candles for a Coalition - Thursday Dec 4 5:15 PM
Location: in Front of the Trades and Convention Centre
Will join the Make Parliament Work Rally afterwards

GUELPH Candles for a Coalition – Thursday Dec 4 7:00pm
Location: St. George's Square

GUELPH RALLY - Saturday, December 6th 12:00pm
Location: St. George's Square

STRATFORD MARCH TO CITY HALL - Stratford, Ontario Candles for Canada - Thur Dec 4 5-7pm
Location: Meet Ontario St between Downie and Waterloo Streets
Walk to city hall at 7pm

GREAT VILLAGE, Nova Scotia - Candles for Coalition in the Village!
When: 6 pm, Thursday, December 4th
Where: 33 Lornevale Road

Canadians for a Progressive Coalition

Monday, December 01, 2008

an attempt at sanity

Finally, someone did the math! This makes a lot of sense to me, if it makes sense to you too, please sign the petition at http://www.progressivecoalition.ca/

Thursday, November 27, 2008

the pack

I think that the dogs have finally bonded. Now that they are officially a pack, I think that Mark and I should probably be very nervous. They do out-number us now, after all.

After a couple of days of pooping and peeing and fighting (in the kitchen - yuck), things have settled down. The dogs are grooving together and playing well. It's pretty funny actually. Over the past couple of days we've had a tiny amount of snow. Of course, as I typed that, I glanced out the window and noticed that it's almost gone now. Okay, this morning, there was actually snow in the yard. I let the dogs out after Mark left for work (around 5:30 a.m.). I thought that they wanted to come in at one point but they just ran around the kitchen, realized that there was no snow on the floor, and ran out again. Even Gracie ran out (and she normally needs to be tossed out - she has fun when she gets there but needs convincing).

The pack stayed outside playing together in the snow until I left for work (around 7 a.m.). It seems that they run so hard and have so much fun out there that they don't mind being inside all day. I mean, Mark gets home a couple of times in the course of the day to let them out but I'm pretty impressed with how good-natured they are. Oh and cool. We have three cool dogs at our house right now. It's pretty awesome actually.

unique greetings

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the States. If I were home today, with the television on, I know that I’d be seeing lots of winter holiday type ads. It’s hard for me to believe that the holiday season is already here. I guess because we had such nice weather in the fall, I felt like I could not think about all of the stuff what needs to get done for the holidays.

One of the things on my list is putting together our annual Holiday Photo Cards for friends and family. We’ve done photo cards for the past few years and really like them a lot. As you know, I love photography and have received really good feedback on the photos I’ve used in our cards in the past. This year, I think I’m going to try to get some festive photos of our dogs to send out. Last year, we used a template from Christmas Cards Direct and had the card and template printed together. This year, I think I’m going to use their beautiful photo holder cards instead. This will be easier for me to mix up the photos I use in the cards I think.

There are many great things about using Christmas Cards Direct for your holiday cards. First, you can create a personalized card, very easily. Secondly, they have terrific prices which include beautiful envelopes. It’s never been easier to create a unique and personal Holiday Greeting!!

I’m happy that I’ll be able to cross "order cards" off of my to-do list after just a few clicks of the mouse!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

crying over you

Actually, I'm not crying but I can't help but think about a former colleague named Karen. She loved herself some Platinum Blonde. We worked together in a grocery store during high school and Platinum Blonde were BIG at that time. I'm sure that Karen was a little sad to hear about the passing of Kenny MacLean. Sounds like it was quite unexpected and, I'm sure, a huge shock to some.

In honour of Kenny, here's a little bit of Platinum Blonde for you. Remember, if you can't cry, go dance behind a back-lit screen!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

a parade of puppies

Three dogs just marched past my office door, largest dog leading, smallest taking up the rear. As it should be, right?

Bella has come to stay for a couple of weeks while Jamie & Annette are away. She's played with Sam before but had never met Gracie. It was a bit of a growl-fest earlier while they all figured each other out and sniffed each other's butts.

Right now, the butt sniffing is over and the serious play has begun. My earlier worries of a two-week long growl-fest are gone. All three doggies have big doggie smiles on their cute doggie faces.

The cuteness is almost overwhelming.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Give me a break!

This morning, I had a couple of meetings to attend. Between meetings, I was chatting with a colleague about her neighbours. Apparently, they had blocked her driveway this morning for a few minutes while they were loading up their car, trailer and new RV. My colleague spoke with a twinge of envy in her voice about how the neighbours were heading to Florida. Apparently, they’ll be there until April, I presume that they must be retired folks. Nice huh? An entire winter without shoveling, imagine that! Now, neither she nor I are in a position to be heading down south for months at a time but we did start talking about Kissimmee vacation homes and Siesta Key beach vacation rentals. My colleague is particularly interested in the Kissimmee area because she has grandchildren who are nuts about Disney! My dream vacation would have fewer children involved and more privacy, perhaps a beach and a lot of peace and quiet. To each their own, right? Of course, the person who was sitting on my other side is crazy for skiing and was thinking about checking out the Rentalo.com site for information on renting a couple of Breckenridge condos with a group of friends during the winter reading week. No matter which destination you chose, Rentalo.com makes finding a property simple.

cold snap

No matter how much hand lotion I put on these days, it's just not enough to keep them from getting dried out. I know that it's a time of the year thing, that they are just dry from the cold outside and the furnace running inside. I also know that it'll pass and we'll eventually get used to the weather like we do every year when it turns, I just felt like complaining a little I guess.

Yesterday, we had a little bit of snow which actually accumulated for a few minutes. When we got home last night and I let the dogs out, I went outside with them and neither of them seemed to know what to make of it. Sam decided that he'd like to eat all of the snow on the deck (we're talking about the thinnest skim of snow on the wood) but Gracie wasn't having anything to do with it. It's actually been difficult to get her to go outside over the past few days. I may need to buy her one of those doggie sweaters for the winter. I thought she had enough fur (she had a double coat, like Sam does) but I think she's minding it.

On Monday night, we took the dogs to the dog park. When Sam saw the leashes come out, he got really excited because he knows that leash = fun but Gracie became terrified. When Mark approached her with the leash, she peed on the kitchen floor. Eventually, I was able to pick her up and put the leash on but I had to carry her to the van and then hold her in my lap all the way to the park. She shook like a leaf. Once we got to the park, she had a ball. There was another Sheltie, a male, there and she had a good old run around with him. She let me put the leash back on her okay but when we got home she was afraid to get out of the van. I'm not sure what is causing this but I know that she'll get over it eventually and she'll figure out that leash = fun, it just may take a while.

And in the name of puppy cuteness, I may not support this company's beer but I do like their use of Eskies in an ad. Enjoy!

Monday, November 17, 2008

I need a new room

A couple of weeks ago, just after Gracie came to live with us, I rearranged the living room furniture to make room for two tearing around dogs. Every time I move the furniture around, I complain to Mark about the room. Honestly, I don’t think it’s the room, I think it’s our furniture. We bought our stuff for our old house and while it looks okay here, it’s not really working like I think it should.

If I had my way, I’d rip the walls out between the kitchen and the living room and open up the first floor of our house. I’d buy some beautiful new Dining Room Furniture to place in the spot which is currently my office and install an island in the kitchen. We could probably do a lot of the work ourselves if we put our minds to it.

Of course, this sounds expensive but it doesn’t have to be. I have been shopping around online for a quality source of Home Furniture and have found one that will ship to Canada. Max Furniture has a beautiful leather sectional sofa that will fit perfectly in my wonky living room and I can’t find a local supplier who can beat their prices. I also love the room planner they have on their website. You can use it to plot out your room and try different furniture placements so you’ll know exactly what will fit and what won’t. Who knows, when I get the living room and dining room sorted out, maybe I can start into our master bathroom. I have more than one of Max Furniture’s beautiful Bathroom Vanities bookmarked right now!


beaming gracie
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I almost typed "warned" just now but my toes are not warned, they are warmed.

In my office (where I am right now) I have laminate flooring. I keep my office door closed when I'm not home (to keep the puppies out, they do love to chew on cables and my office is full of them) and it's a small room so it warms up quite nicely on days when the furnace is running. It must have been running just before we came home because the floor under my desk is toasty right now. It feels good.

I haven't been spending any huge chunks of time in my office just recently and as you can tell, I haven't been posting here either. Between still feeling a little under the weather and playing with the dogs, my evenings and weekends just fly by.

It's hard to imagine but I'm still feeling less than normal right now. After my second course of antibiotics, I had some horrible side effects and they really left me feeling washed out. Over the weekend I turned a corner and feel like I'm on the other side of that nonsense now. 'Bout time too, I've been "sick" since the end of September.

Friends keep telling me I sound congested, I still cough every once in a while and my lung capacity is still no where near where it should be but I am feeling better. Mark's feeling better too. His health has definitely improved and he's much happier after having changed jobs last week.

He's still driving cab but is working for a different company. The company he was working for was okay, he'd been there for 7.5 years. The problem he experienced (and he wasn't alone) was the day shift dispatcher. This guy can barely function as a human being, much less as someone who needs to have a knowledge of the city and decent short-term memory to do the most basic part of his job. This guy feeds calls to the drivers he likes and he jerks around the guys he doesn't. It's affecting business and was causing Mark to come home frustrated every day.

The new company Mark is working for has a dispatcher but the calls are sent out to cabs via a computer system. The calls are assigned based on where the gps says that your car is (at the other place, guys will bid on calls which they are know are going out of town, to the airport, whatever - when they are on the other side of town). The only time he talks to someone at the switch is if he's having a problem or needs direction. So far, Mark's really enjoying it. Learning the new system is challenging and fun for him (he's figuring out tricks and short cuts every day) and because the system is fair, he's making more money.

So, in a rather rambling nutshell, that's where we've been the past week and a bit. Working, playing with the puppies and sleeping. I don't think it's a bad way to be spending our time.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


gracie and the pig
Originally uploaded by Julep67
The temperature rose above 20 degrees here today. Walking back to my office from a midday evening, I was hot. I had black pants and a black jacket on and was wishing I'd worn sandals this morning. It was really weird. I'm not complaining at all, just saying.

I had a wacky day at work. Was not at my desk until 1:45 because of meetings on the other side of campus. I normally don't like being away from my desk that much but I was up in the area where I used to work and I saw a lot of folks who I miss so that was nice.

We had a luncheon for a colleague who is leaving us. Her last day is tomorrow. She's moving a to a new position on campus so she's not going to be too far away but it's in a unit that isn't really connected to our group so I'll not see her at meetings and stuff like I normally would. It was the second time this week that I got together with this particular group of colleagues. We all work in positions which support folks who do similar kinds of jobs so we try to get together every couple of months as a way of checking in on what everyone's doing and to share tips and ideas.

There is a lot of change happening in our area at the moment and I think some folks are coping with it better than others. I tend not to get too worked up by change because it's been a constant for me over the past 16 years. Others I guess, either haven't been around as long and haven't learned to roll with the punches like I have or they are just more sensitive to change. We had a couple of great meetings this morning with our new ED and I think things are going to be good going forward. I just hope that my colleagues can feel as good about it and not worry too much. I know that with the economy in the tank (temporarily) it's easier to say not to worry than it may be not to worry but I do think it's the smartest thing to do right now. Worrying about stuff you can't control never did anyone any good!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

got hope?

Is is just me or does the sun seem to be shining a little brighter this morning? I really think it's not just me. The world just feels like a better place to be today.

We did not stay up until 11 p.m. last night to see the polls close on the west coast. With both of us still feeling lousy, we pushed it staying up until 10 p.m. When we turned the tv off, I think the EV Count was at 200 Obama, 50-something McShame. We knew it was over at that point, that we could rest easy knowing that things would be okay in the morning, no matter what happened in Florida. This morning, we watched the countdown to 11 p.m. and the speeches (we'd left the DVR on MSNBC when we went to bed). It was a great moment for our neighbours to the south and for the rest of the world. I have to say that we both became pretty emotional watching it all unfold.

The hard work can start now, to rebuild the U.S. Hopefully, change can happen here too. I was really disappointed, although not entirely surprised, by our own election results last month. I feel that a lot of it was caused by voter apathy. Hopefully, when our next election rolls around, Canadians will be inspired by the efforts of our neighbours and will actually go out and vote. It's easy to do here in Canada, everyone can do it if they want to. Unfortunately, I don't think enough folks wanted to this year and we're stuck with another Harper government.

It's time for us to pull our collective head out of our ass. Goodness knows if it can happen in the States, it can happen here.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

sticking it out

sticking it out
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Happy US Election Day folks.

We're just hanging out in front of the television machine, watching MSNBC, waiting to hear the results of the election.

I'm sure that we're not the only folks in our little Ontario town who are doing the same. Living in a border town, like we do, we take a keen interest in US politics because they do have an impact on stuff we do everyday. We're hoping that Sen. Obama wins tonight. No matter how things look, I'm one of those folks who believe that it "ain't over 'til it's over." Hopefully, the result will be one that won't make us scream in pain.

Speaking of pain, I took the last dose of my second course of anti-biotics last night. I still don't feel 100%, I'm pretty easily winded and am coughing a fair bit. Definitely, I'm feeling better than I did a couple of weeks ago but I'm still not all the way up to snuff. Oh well, each day is a little better than the day before. I guess I can't, or shouldn't, ask for more than that. Thank you science and medicine!

Monday, November 03, 2008

weekend update

gracie and sam
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I sure hope you like doggie photos because you can expect to see even more of them here. We have double the number of puppies at home so, it makes sense that I'll be taking double the number of photos of said puppies.

The weekend went very well. We all slept well on Friday night (Gracie in her crate, Sam on his bed) and spent Saturday all together, hanging out in the yard or in the house "bonding." Sam and Grace are doing lots of playful puppy wrestling. After they bore of that, they'll either attack rawhide chews or just lie in a sunbeam. It's really cute how well they are getting along. I love that small as Gracie is, she's scrappy.

Yesterday, I rearranged the furniture so that they'd have more open space to roar around in. They way they were tussling on Saturday, I was afraid that someone would be body checked into the furniture and get injured. It was a good excuse to clean too. I'm such a bad house keeper that unless I'm rearranging the furniture, I rarely worry about behind the sofa.

On Friday night, we had 86 kids at our door. We were down almost 50% from last year. Not sure what happened there, the weather was great but maybe because it was a Friday, more folks went to parties. Mark kept the dogs in the basement while I shelled out. Gracie was really good and sat under his desk, on his feet. Sam, on the other hand, stayed at the top of the stairs and barked every time someone came to the door.

Some of the costumes I saw were pretty cute although I was a little disturbed by the number of "pimps" I saw. I guess they are this year's "Harry Potter" because I didn't have one HP at the door all night.

This week, I'm going to see if I can work full days each day. I'm almost finished with my second course of antibiotics and am feeling a bit better. I still don't have a lot energy later in the day but I'm not too bad early in the day. It will get better, day by day, I know.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Sam, meet Gracie

Sam, meet Gracie
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Gracie came home last night.

It was a bit of a nerve racking experience. Not wanting to make the same mistake we made when we brought Sam home, we made sure that the sun was shining when Gracie came home. She was reluctant to get into the van so I had to hold her in my arms all the way home. She was pretty nervous the whole way and shook a little bit until we were almost home.

We decided to introduce her to Sam in the backyard. This would give them both an opportunity to run around each other and also provided a safe environment should either them have any "nervous" accidents. They soon started chasing each other all over the yard, the deck, the house and we realized that they would eventually become very very good friends.

Gracie's previous owners gave us her crate which she sleeps in. It's a huge crate and Sam actually fits into it. Sam's crate, which is way too small for him now, fits Gracie perfectly. They slept in the crates, well not last night exactly, let's say "this morning." Not knowing what Gracie's normal bedtime routine is, we just went to bed at our normal time. A couple of hours later, she needed outside. Eventually, we got settled back into sleep until around 3 a.m. when both dogs decided to wrestle on our bed (while we were in it). This time, they both were put into the crates and aside from a small amount of whining for a moment, they slept there until we got up at 5:30 a.m.

Tonight should be much better. We know a lot more about dogs now than we did when we got Sam and the transition is going smoothly. She's a great dog and we love her already!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

in the swing

at the dog park
Originally uploaded by Julep67
On Monday, I went back to work for the morning. I did a half day yesterday as well. By midday, each day, I was feeling kind of woozy and was glad to be home. Each of those mornings though, I felt sort of crappy in the morning and I don't feel that way today. This morning, I feel like I'm just getting over a cold (still coughing a bit, still blowing my nose more than I'd like to) but I don't feel like death on toast.

Not feeling like death on toast is a massive improvement. I may actually make it through the whole day today, we'll see. I'm going to try to get in to see my doctor today as well for a follow up, just to make sure that I'm actually getting better.

I still have to figure out what we'll be shelling out to the goblins on Friday night. I feel really behind this year because of "the illness." Oh well, no looking back, right, onwards and upwards!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

excellence in napping

mark and sam
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I have taken many many naps over the past week and a bit. Many of them have been taken with Sam. He's the best napper. He waits until you're almost asleep and then he hops up on the bed and curls in around your feet. Sam is a natural little foot heater and he's made the past couple of days of being home alone less lonely.

Our lives have changed in a huge way since he's been here and I have a hard time remembering now what it was like to live in this house without him. I mean, I know that we didn't have baby gates up or bowls of food in the kitchen, or little toys all over the place but it's weird to imagine coming home and not finding him here.

Fortunately, he is usually here when we get home so I don't have to think about that right now.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

bark at the sun

Princess Street
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Because it's a lovely sunny morning, I've got the living room curtains open. Sam is on duty in the sunshine. He's decided to bark at, not only every person walking down the street but at every leaf as it falls from the tree on our lawn.

That is a lot of barking. Oh, yuck. I just noticed that Sam brought in an old rusty ant trap from outside. I'm not sure where he found it (possibily buried in the yard somewhere). He's been finding all kinds of weird things in the yard recently.

So I've now been off of work for a whole week. I called into the office this morning to talk to my supervisor because she was away last week when I got so sick and I hadn't talked to her (we'd been emailing). She's so sweet and concerned, I feel badly about being home, knowing that stuff is piling up, but she's made me feel a lot better about things. Fortunately, things aren't so busy at the moment that I'll be swamped when I get back. My doctor wanted me to stay home until next Wednesday but I think I'm going to try to go back on Monday and do 1/2 days until I go back to see her.

I guess I must still be feeling pretty lousy because I'm not completely bored yet. When I feel bored at being home on the sofa, I'll know I'm actually better.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

never met a puddle I didn't like

It got very chilly here over night last night. It was rainy and yucky all day yesterday and the house got kind of damp. This morning, we finally had to break down and turn the furnace on. I can't believe it, it seems a little early but the dampness in the house was bad. The temperature actually got down to around 15 which is too cold, especially when I'm home all day again today.

I've now been home for a week and am actually feeling better today than I have since I went to the doctor. I've taken the last of my meds and am now just resting up and taking it as easy as I can.

Hopefully, I'll be able to go back to work on Monday. The doctor really didn't want me going back until next Wednesday, after I'd seen her again but I think that by the end of the weekend, I'll feel well enough to go back. I do miss it, I miss the girls in my office and I feel really useless, just sitting around the house. Of course, I know I'm not even close to being 100% because I haven't been able to drag my butt off of the sofa to tidy up any of the mess I see (have you ever noticed how you really start to notice what needs to be done around the house when you're home sick?).

I'm still just taking things one day at a time. It's really all I can do right now.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Grass Creek Park
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Mark went back to work this morning. He started a little later than he normally would because I let him sleep in (well, not "let" so much as didn't wake him up when I got up). For the first time in over a week, he had a good night's sleep last night. I'm not sure if he'll make it through a whole day but I think if he can get through a few hours, he'll feel better about that.

I'm still at home. Yesterday, we very literally did nothing. Once we got back from the drug store, we pretty much just vegged on the sofa or slept all day. I'd like to read or maybe do some little craft projects I have on the go but my concentration for that kind of thing is just not there. TV is about all that I can muster. Sad huh? I'm still blaming it on the oxygen deprivation.

Monday, October 20, 2008

on guard for thee

on guard for thee
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I feel as thought I'm missing the entire month of October. Here it is, the 20th of the month and I've been sick for the whole thing already.

Both Mark and I have been home (on doctor's orders) since Wednesday. We have been poked and prodded and x-rayed and have been taking different concoctions of pills and medicine to try to clear our lungs and feel better. At the moment, the treatment is almost (but not quite) as uncomfortable as the disease.

Our colds developed into acute bronchitis for me and some sort of chest infection for Mark. I now wish that we'd both gone to the doctor's a week earlier but really, we both just thought that we had a bad cold and that it would clear up. HA! Not so.

We've done very little with the exception of quick trips to either the drug store, the supermarket or the dog park over the last 5 days. When my doctor called me on Thursday with the results of my tests, I was relieved that I didn't have pneumonia but she cautioned me, "you may not have pneumonia but you're still very sick." I didn't realize how sick until last night, when I dragged myself into the shower and it damned near killed me. By the time I was done, I was breathing very heavily and could hardly stand up. Fortunately, that feeling didn't last very long but it was frightening, nonetheless.

She's told me to stay home until October 29 but I really don't want to. I'd like to get back to work as soon as possible. At the moment though, I'm taking things one day at a time because that's all I can do.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

long weekend

living room lamp
Originally uploaded by Julep67
We're enjoying a long weekend here in Canada this weekend. It's Thanksgiving tomorrow. We're going to be celebrating later today with my parents. It'll be the first time in a couple of days that I've been out of the house actually.

I took Friday off as a lieu day for working the other weekend and I just hung out around the house with Sam and did very little. Yesterday, Mark was home with us and while we had a long list of things we wanted to get to (continuation of winterizing the yard) it didn't happen. We just vegged out, watched TV and did very little.

Honestly, this cold we've both got is just hanging on and on. This morning I've been coughing almost non-stop. I say almost because I haven't coughed in about 30 minutes now and I'm trying not to talk because I'm afraid if I do talk, I'll start coughing again. Two weeks now we've been sick. I'm actually sick of complaining about it if you can imagine.

Hopefully, getting out into the sunshine and wandering further than the back yard will perk us up a bit.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


A couple of weeks ago, a new field officially opened here on campus. It is the first field on our campus which has an artificial surface and it looks pretty cool. There is still a fair bit of work to be done around the perimeter of the field (it's been place atop a new underground parking garage which hasn't opened up yet. Every day when we drive by it, I marvel at the green-ness of it and of how brightly the letters glow on it. It'll be a little strange to see it green in a few weeks when everything else around here is either brown or grey.

In honour of the "astroturf," I felt like sharing this little clip from the Conchords. It's a song that was in my head all of last weekend and I probably drove Mark bananas asking "do you want my jumper bowie?"

Monday, October 06, 2008


It's been over a week since Homecoming but I still have my homecoming head cold.

The way that this thing is hanging on is driving me crazy. On Saturday morning, because neither of us could breathe anymore, we both woke up early. We were hungry and cranky. Quickly we decided to go out for a quick breakfast. The hope was that it would perk us up, we wouldn't have to clean up and then we could come home and go back to sleep.

After breakfast, we actually felt a little better than that so we went home and picked up Sam. He'd not been to the park in a couple of days, due to the sickness, so he was pretty happy to get out and run. While we were at the park, I was frozen but the cold air felt good. I mean, it burned my lungs but afterward, I was pretty glad that we'd done it. After a quick trip to the farmers market for tomatoes and basil, we headed home.

By this time, it was about 9:30 a.m. and we both felt pretty good. Of course, we stupidly "overdid it" I think. Mark went out in the yard and started putting the lawn furniture away, I got doing some cleaning in the house. It felt so good to be moving around and getting something done for a change that I forgot about my cold. By dinner time though, as the sun started to set, we both felt like hammered shit again. I knew we really did do too much on Saturday when I woke up yesterday. I felt worse than I had in a while and slept the afternoon away.

I'm so sick of being sick. I've not bothered the doctor with this because it doesn't feel like it's moving into my chest in a serious or scary way and I know she'll just say "fluids and rest" but seriously, it's exhausting. I want to feel better, to have my energy back and to enjoy the gorgeous fall weather we're experiencing at the moment.

Is that asking too much? /whiney-rant

Thursday, October 02, 2008

I went to homecoming...

...and all I got was this lousy head cold.

Every single year, we work at Homecoming and we get a cold. I think that a couple of the girls in our office were getting it last week and then, over the weekend, just as I was getting ready to pack it in for the weekend, I got sick too.

Sucks huh?

It's a particularly nasty head cold. I went home from work early on Monday and then didn't make it in at all on Tuesday. Yesterday, I felt better than I do today. I don't know what's going on but I can't wait for it to be over. It's not as much as fun as you may have heard.

Mostly, what's bothering me is that my ears are plugged up. It's a horrible feeling and it's driving me bananas.

In other news, well, there isn't really any other news. We've just been working when we can, and sleeping when we can, trying to feel better. Oh yeah, I didn't mention that Mark also has it.

It's like the gift that keeps on giving.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Saturday Sam
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I wish I could say that this week has been a yawn but it's been gosh darned busy!

It's "that time of year" again at work and it'll be sort of crazy for the next couple of weeks but after that, it should settle down a bit.

Unfortunately, when it's that busy at work, I don't have a lot of time to write stuff so the posts become less and less frequent.

In lieu of a proper post, I leave you with a short list of random observations/complaints I've had in my head recently:

1. How come it takes forever for my office to air out whenever someone walks past my window with a lit cigarette in their hand?

2. I had no idea that the smile cookies were THAT big.

3. Our gravel stealing neighbours are still total, complete, douches.

4. Sam is the cutest dog ever especially since he stopped eating the furniture.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hacked Off Harper

So, I subscribe to a listserv from the PM's office. It's a news release thing and it would appear that someone hacked it over the weekend because when I checked my email this morning I found this:

Date: Sun, 21 Sep 2008 19:34:54 -0000
From: Stephen Harper
Subject: Why you shouldn't fear me

Hi The Average Canadian,

Stephen Harper wanted to tell you...

My name is Stephen Harper. I am an ALBERTAN, here me roar! My goal is to make Canada America's 51st state and destroy health care that all Canadians cherish by infusing my propaganda with hard core ad hominem attacks. Please vote for me, because if you do, I promise you'll be able to vote for McCain 2012!

We are a tar sands level party, not a grass roots party. We consider anything with the word \"Green\" offensive, except for the almighty American dollar, which we hope to be able to implement in the coming months! We shall first have to make sure that American and Canadian jelly beans have the same standards, and then we shall proceed.

I hope everyone has a great weekend,

Take care,

Stephen \"I can lead you to Hell but not back\" Harper

If you agree click here.

Friday, September 19, 2008

aye! aye!

c'mon bella
Originally uploaded by Julep67
it's like unbelievably gorgeous outside right now. I wore my sandals to work with a jacket, splitting the difference because it was freezing here this morning. I just got back from a meeting and had an opportunity to sit in the sunshine for a portion of it. The sun was warm and felt terrific on my frozen bones. I am fully enjoying it while it lasts.

I hope that you're all participating in the 2008 International Talk Like A Pirate Day which is taking place right now. If you're not entirely sure how to talk like a pirate, ye blaggard, you might want to view this little instructional video.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

a baby and a dud

waiting for Mark
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Yesterday, early in the morning, my beautiful friend (she's not my friend because I needed a beautiful friend, she just happens to be my friend and is also beautiful) became a mommy. She gave birth to the most gorgeous and talented (she's so alert!!) baby girl on the planet!

In other news, Mark and I recently watched Margaret Cho's new show. Now, I love Margaret, always have. I have to say though, after watching four seasons of Kathy Griffin's My Life on the D-List, it was a little disappointing. I think I just felt a smidgen bit like I'd seen it before. It had it's funny moments and I particularly liked her parents (her mum is great!) but it felt too familiar to me. The formula/format of the show is very very very similar to the format of Kathy's shows.

I wonder if the two of them (who I both love very very much - don't get me wrong) are just too similar in their approach to life to warrant two different shows. I would almost enjoy it more if they did a show together, how awesome would that be!?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

another sad day

Originally uploaded by Julep67
How did it get to be Wednesday already?

I had Monday off from work (I'd booked it because I thought it would be good to have a day home with Sam after the wedding we were scheduled to attend) so I think that is making the working week days sort of fuller than normal.

While I was home on Monday, I heard the sad news about Rick Wright passing away. As you know, Mark is a massive Roger Waters / Pink Floyd fan. I called him to tell him the news and while neither of us were as fond as Rick as we were of Syd (aah, Syd!), it was a shock more than anything. I suppose, fortunately for him and his family, his illness was relatively short.

This morning, when I arrived at work, with my cup of tea in hand, I clicked onto our local newspaper's website. Once again I was shocked by what I read, Hal "Moose" McCarney, had died. Unlike Mark, I had never met Rick Wright but I did know Mr McCarney. I think that anyone who worked at Queen's and had anything remotely associated with Football knew him. He was a wonderful guy, truly. He'll be deeply missed.

We just finished watching a really lovely tribute to him on the local tv news. His death has left a massive hole in the hearts and minds of many of us in the Queen's community and certainly, in the town of Gananoque.

Former Gaels coach McCarney dies at 81

Hal Mccarney, among the most loved and respected persons in the history of Queen's University football and an exceedingly successful Gananoque businessman, passed away yesterday.

McCarney, who was hospitalized with a broken leg at the start of this year's football training camp, took a turn for the worse recently.

He was 81.

"Queen's has lost a great Golden Gael and I have lost a good friend," the football team's head coach Pat Sheahan said of the Gananoque native who starred as a player (1949-51) and coached for better than two decades, including 21 campaigns as the late Frank Tindall's assistant.

"Being in Hal's circle these past nine years has been such a great privilege and a pleasure for me," added Sheahan, recalling countless "fireside chats with the burly, affable man.

"He had a very intuitive sense about when myself and my coaching staff needed a little pep talk.

"He still came by a couple of times a year with 10 or 12 trays of lasagna for the players and took great pride in that. He did his best to maintain that all important link with the past and wanted the players to learn that their connection to Queen's was not just the four years they play."

McCarney, who owned Gananoque Boat Line and several other businesses in his hometown, suffered abdominal pains and underwent surgery while recovering from the broken leg.

Sheahan said McCarney was supposed to be released from hospital on Sept. 6, "the day we played in Guelph. He left instructions to be released in time to get home and watch us play on television or be kept in hospital so he could watch from there. So Hal set the parameters for how the hospital was to deal with his release."

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Friday, September 12, 2008

straw bag

straw bag
Originally uploaded by Julep67
It’s been so dark all morning that the street lights are still on outside. It’s warm enough but dark. I’m afraid of the dark. It’s dark in the mornings, darker and darker each day. Soon, it’ll be cold and dark. Before I know it, I won’t be able to wear sandals to work or carry my big ass (but totally awesome) straw tote bag back and forth to work. It’s an awesome bag and it only cost $5. When you find an awesome bag at a bargain price, you hate to stop using it.

Mark has started his fluids only fast thing. He’ll be going into the hospital for tests tomorrow morning and can only have clear fluids from now until he’s released tomorrow evening. I think that we’ll be having chicken broth and jello for dinner tonight. I’m sure he’ll be very happy when this is over, not to mention that he’ll be hungry. Maybe I can twist his arm and get him to go to my favourite Vietnamese restaurant on the way home… I wonder if I’ll be able to convince him to go for more soup after he’s done, maybe not.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

bad girl

For some reason which I cannot figure out, I started digging out my old Madonna discs last week. Something inside of me must have been craving cheese I guess. Madonna is definitely on my list of guilty pleasures. It's a long list, much to Mark's chagrin. He's a pretty good sport to put up with some of the shit I like to pull out of the vault every once in a while. The long list includes some things which I know really grate on him but he never complains.

Anyway, Madonna. I've seen some recent photos of her out and about with hubby and she's looking sort of strange to me. She's in amazing physical condition, no arguing on that score, but she looks weirdly plastic. I swear that she's turning into a Bratz doll. I was farting around on You Tube looking for her videos and found one that I hadn't seen probably since it came out, Bad Girl. I like this one because Christopher Walken is in it. Anyway, I know it's 15 years old but she looks so pretty. She used to be pretty. What the heck happened!?? Don't tell me that it is about aging because Lauren Bacall is a lot older then Madonna and she still looks pretty. It's weird all the same.

So yeah, here's the video. You judge for yourself.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

hockey hockey hockey

As you know if you have been reading my blog for a while, I am no fan of hockey. Given that Kingston considers itself to be the hockey capital of the universe, folks can give you funny looks at times when you don't get all hot and bothered about whatever hockey news gets fans hot and bothered.

Now, when I first heard about the hullabaloo about the Hockey Night in Canada theme I admit that I thought it was pretty stupid of CTV to have purchased it. I also said to Mark at the time, "why don't they just use Stompin' Tom's "The Hockey Song" and be done with it. Of course, they couldn't do that, because that would be simple and it would also make sense. When the CBC announced that were hosting a contest to find a new theme, I didn't really give it a second thought. It was hockey related and therefore fell off of the list of things I give my time to thinking about.

I've been thinking about it a little more over the past few days because I found out that a friend of mine made a submission and I listened to it. It's quite good and if you are inclined to check things like this out and are interested in voting for him, that would be kind of cool. His name is Matthew Barber and you can listen to his take on Canada's second national anthem here.

Of course, maybe Stompin' Tom will win a write in campaign if enough folks are interested. That would be pretty cool don't you think?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


I’m not exactly sure what our next door neighbor has been upto over the past few weeks but almost every day we can hear the sound of a saw cutting through wood. I think he must be renovating his basement again. This will be the third time since they moved in less than 2 years ago. Strange.

We’ve been thinking about not so much renovating but redecorating our basement. Renovations will be needed of course, there is still some drywall to install and lots of taping and mudding to do. Once that’s finished up though, it’ll be about painting and décor. I realized over the weekend how many boxes of stuff we have down there. I’m sure that some of them do contain knick-knacks but much of what is down there could probably go to the recycle centre or a charity shop.

One of the things I’d like to put down there when we do finally get around to decorating is a grandfather clock. Just like the author of this article about grandfather clock and holiday gift wish lists stated, I also love clocks and I have one or two picked out for our recreation room.

If you look around online, you can find a clock in a style which suits your décor. Personally, I’m just in LOVE with a couple of Howard Miller clocks which I’ve seen online at 1-800-4clocks.com. There is one in particular which I think I would look amazing in our recreation room, a black beauty with silver accents, I can almost picture it in the room, placed between two black bookshelves which are already down there. Now I just have to figure out what paint colour to choose and I’ll be well on my way!!

Monday, September 08, 2008

barber shop

The fair is in town. Actually, the carnies are here, the rides are being set up as I type this. The trucks arrived in the night last night. We were just over at the "fair grounds" which is actually Sam's local off-leash park. Tonight was the last night we'll probably be able to get in there until next week.

The rides they have this year are definitely more fancy looking than the ones they have had in previous years. I'm pretty sure that last year's midway was the same set up as it was when we were in high school. When the fair is on, from my front porch, I can hear the guys who run the Polar Express saying, "do you wanna go faster!!??"

Sadly, we'll have to go the fair a miss this year. First we thought we were missing it because we were scheduled to go to my cousin's wedding. Now, we're going to be missing it because Mark's going to be dealing with some medical tests and stuff this weekend. We've had to cancel our trip to Quebec for the wedding and we'll miss the fair because we're either going to be at the hospital or staying close to home.

The worst part of it for Mark is that we've now seen the fair trucks and he spotted two smoked ribs trucks. He'll not be able to visit either one of them because he'll be fasting for his tests.

There's always next year, right? Or, I suppose, we could just find out where the Conklin guys will be next weekend and check them out then. Of course, that totally smacks of effort so I figure we'll be waiting until next fall.

Friday, September 05, 2008

the darkness

home beautiful
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I'm having a tough time coping with the early morning darkness this week. I feel like I'm really dragging my ass this morning even though I slept well last night. Weird.

Over the past couple of weeks, we've been DVRing the American political conventions and then bopping through them quickly the next day. It's interesting and so sad to me that the two parties are so polarized. I know that later today (so the reports say), we'll have an official announcement of a federal election in our own neck of the woods. It'll be more of the same, Canadian-Style, I'm sure, except the left is divided up amongst three parties. I never understand how folks who are supposed to be effecting positive change for the country and it's people, can be so negative toward each other. It's mean spirited and totally undermines positivity.

/ mini-rant, I think I need a coffee.

happy Friday folks.