Saturday, January 31, 2009

Letter To My Younger Self

Have you ever wished you could go back in time and give yourself some advise? If I could, there are several things I would like to tell myself, but these would be a few of my favorites:
~ Try to ignore that older boy that is making your high school years miserable - unfortunately - grade 11 is going to be the best 3 years of his life so you will have to put up with him for all of high school - but it will be OK - because one day when you are about 32 years old, you will be having a really great hair day, be wearing your 'skinny' jeans, be walking down the street of your home town, and you will see this childhood bully - and he will see you - and he will be about 60 lbs heavier then he was in high school and....BALD...it will make you feel like you had the proverbial "last laugh".
~ When you are 16 years old, you are going to be challenged to a game of "chicken" while driving your mother's car...take my advise - chicken out - it doesn't end well otherwise.
~ Don't waste any tears on the guy who is going to break your heart - twice - in about 5 years Mr. Right is going to walk into your life (technically back into your life) and two years later you will be married to him.
~ You are going to write 2 stories for a Grade 12 English assignment and give one of them to your best guy friend to hand in...(you know who you are T.H.)...switch them...if you don't, he is going to get an A and you are going to get a B minus!
~ Don't take that job as a Chambermaid - although you will last less then 2 weeks in that job - you are going to be gagging every day while cleaning out the bathrooms.
There are many more things I would tell my younger self, but those are the only ones I will share - the rest are for "my ears only"! :-)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Stray Cat Watch - Day 83

**WARNING** If you are squeamish, there is a graphic picture on this post:

Yesterday at lunch I got home and Tabby Cat was eating from the stray cat bowl. He is very skittish and ran off as soon as he noticed me taking pictures of him. Wayne thinks he doesn't look like a stray. I think he does. He is way skinnier then his pictures from Stray Cat Watch Day 27, and house pets usually 'bulk up' during the winter, so I am thinking he is a stray. Either way he's obviously hungry so he's welcome to help himself at my stray kitty bowl! A few minutes later one of the little orange kitties was at the bowl. I never did get a look at his face to make sure but by his coloring, I believe it is Jerry! I was very happy to see him until I saw that he had some fur missing. I zoomed in to find that he has a few sore patches on his skin. It doesn't look like he was in a fight, so I'm not sure what the sores are from. I hope it is nothing too serious and that he is OK! Poor kitty! I'm so glad the weather has been warmer lately. I will keep watching!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Stray Cat Watch - Day 82

Last night - running across the front of the house came two of the youngest stray kittens. I couldn't see them well enough to know if the orange one was Dean or Jerry, but the black one was for sure Sammy! I wasn't quick enough to get their picture but I put a bowl of food on the front steps to coax them back. I was hoping to get a picture of them, but the wrong cat showed up! This is a bigger tabby that has been around before (see Stray Cat Watch - Day 27), but Banjo spied him and he was soon running off! I didn't see the little kitties come back - BUT - this morning - wee little kitty prints in the fresh snow on the back deck! It must be them! I'm glad I had food at the back as well. I'm so happy to see that at least two of them have made it over the winter so far!
~~~
Where've you been hiding kitties???
~~~

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Heart & Stroke Month

Heart & Stroke Month starts on Sunday, February 1, 2009. It used to be that canvassers only had one week to complete their routes and it would always seem to fall when it was the coldest or stormiest of weather. We now have the whole month. (I asked if H & S month could be changed to May or June, but the Zone and City Leader didn't think this would work very well... hmmm... bummer...) The packages have changed as well. There are coupons for some really great products and some yummy looking health check recipes. I phoned my canvassers last night, as I am the area captain for Battleford Trail, and will be dropping off their packages tonight after work. So if you open your door sometime in February and see a cold, but most likely very cheerful, Heart & Stroke Canvasser wearing the volunteer badge, please give what ever is in your heart and ability to give and remember that these people are giving of their time and will probably have frost-bite by the time they are done their route!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happiness Is...

...having a teenager that you can send outside
when it is storming out to shovel the hard,
snow packed side-walk!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Moon-Sun

My man in the moon is still peaking through

But my sun's face is partially covered

How long will it take for the snow to be gone

I simply can't take one more blizzard

ok...so I know that really doesn't rhyme very well but I've had a long day and it's the best I can do for tonight...I think I would perhaps get a C- if still in school...my apologies Mr. Kranston (Grade 7 English Teacher)...you were always very critical of my poetry...I will try better next time... :-(!)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Banjo's Outburst

~~~
A neighbourhood cat walking by across the street.
~~~
~~~
Banjo spies him.
~~~
~~~
"That's right pal...just keep on walking...
you just stay on your own side of the street
and you won't get hurt...
do you hear me??? Do you???"
~~~
~~~
Even Banjo seemed surprised with his own outburst!!!
~~~

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My Addiction

I have an addiction, well two really, but I will talk about my second one at another time (to Excel Inferno gum). My first and number one addiction is to lip gloss. I, like millions of other people, am addicted to lip balm. I have tubes of my favorite kind, "Blistex Silk & Shine" all over the place. One on my night stand, one in the bathroom, in the computer room, in my craft room, one in the kitchen, in my purse and one in my office. I am never very far away from a tube of it. I always have spare ones in my make-up drawer. And at $3.67 a tube (no cheap "Chap Stick" for my lips thank you!), it must run me close to $250 a year I am thinking. And they always seem to run out at the same time. Depending on what I am doing, I apply it at least once per hour, but may reapply as much as every 20 minutes. There is a "Lip Balm Anonymous".....who knew? And they did a news special on NBC about it. Click links for details. My BFF suffers from the same addiction and she blames it on hanging around with me too much! But, according to all reports, it is not harmful. So I am thinking I don't need an intervention. At least not yet! :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6HVxUEFwpA
http://www.kevdo.com/lipbalm/

Friday, January 23, 2009

Winter Is Still Here

after yesterday's storm
i'm thinking
i won't be seeing any robins
or any other kind of birds
sensible enough
to fly away for the winter
anytime soon

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wishing For Signs of Spring

FOR ME,

The first sign that spring is coming is seeing the first Robin

It is January 22, 2009 and it supposed to get colder and snow today

It's all very depressing

I am in the January slump

Soon to be replaced with the February blahs

I hope March hurries

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stray Cat Watch Day - 73

I was at home sick yesterday (pinched nerve - long story) and just happened to walk into the kitchen near noon, to make a cup of tea and who did I spy walking across the deck...BARNEY!!!! I was so excited I grabbed my camera - that is never far from reach - and took a couple of pictures before he sneaked away. He seemed a bit skittish - perhaps since he hasn't seen me in a while. But at least I saw him! He looks to be in good health and is as cute as ever. No frost bitten ears or anything! I am so happy! Welcome back Barney!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Banjo's Distaste

"I find all this stray cat nonsense very distasteful."

Stray Cat Watch - Day 71

Little tiny kitty tracks beside the larger kitty tracks from "Stray Cat Watch - Day 67". Do I dare even hope that one of the younger strays is alive and well? I watched for them all day yesterday and did not catch a glimpse except that there are tiny tracks on the other side of the big prints this morning. Why won't those kitties come around in the daylight so I can take their picture!! I will keep watching and hoping!

Reflection

Self-Explanatory

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My Bucket List

I've been having a hard time thinking of myself as "middle-aged" lately. I had to get progressive lenses as I was having a hard time reading. It made me feel like that was the first step to 'getting old'. I know being middle-aged is all in your perception - right? I mean, my dad was technically middle-aged when he was 28 years old. But at 43 years of age, soon to be 44, I really don't feel any different, at least not in my head, then I did at 20 years old. It gets you thinking doesn't it? I was watching Oprah one day and she made a comment, about not waiting to do what you want (ie: Her Bucket List), and she said, "If you aren't going to do it at 50 - when are you going to do it then?" That's some good thinking isn't it? I hope my dad got some of the things on his Bucket List done. So with that, I will share with you what I have on my Bucket List so far. There isn't a lot on it (I am afraid I am not very adventurous) but so far I have:

BUCKET LIST:
~ Write a story/article and have it published in a well known magazine (I'm not talking Reader's Digest!!!)
~ Design a card for Hallmark
~ Have a photo published in a calendar
~ Own at least 3 cats at one time (my ultimate goal would be to have a barn full of cats!)
~ Hold a baby lion, tiger, cougar, etc.
~ ......???

That's it so far. It doesn't seem very exciting does it? I have no real desires to travel, not right now anyways. I have no need to "jump out of a plane", "bungee jump", or anything really wild and crazy like that. I like being at home. I like being with my family. So for now, I will enjoy where I am in life, progressive lenses and all, and not worry about the term 'middle-aged'.

10 Years Ago Today...

10 years ago today (January 18, 1999) my dad, John James, passed away from heart complications at the age of 57 years old. He had been dealing with heart problems since the age of 34 (1975), when he suffered a massive heart attack. He found out in 1991 that he would need a heart transplant. I will be discussing that more in February, of which I will be dedicating some of my blogs to the Heart & Stroke Foundation during "Heart Month", a charity which is dear to me.

My dad had been a truck driver for most of his adult life. He always had lots of stories to tell about his adventures on the road. I'm not sure whether all of them were true or not as he tended to stretch the truth and embellish a bit if it was going to get a good laugh out of his audience. I guess perhaps that is where I inherited that from! He loved reading Western books and watching Western movies - he was partial to Clint Eastwood. He loved his grandchildren, car racing (he had been a stock car racer when he was younger) and playing cards, especially crib. He loved golf, playing it and watching it. He even enjoyed playing golf on Nintendo. (Kurtis still can't believe, when we watch home movies, that his Papa had a Nintendo system before he did!) He loved Easter Cream Eggs, and was known to put the whole thing in his mouth so he wouldn't have to share it, and he enjoyed his ripple chips and dill pickle dip. When my mom would give him heck about eating chips & dip he would reply "Why...what's it going to do? Wreck my heart?" That would be my dad's sense of humour. Again, I see some of that in me.

Through I don't even know how many heart-attacks, 3 pace-makers, 2 trips to London, Ontario, (tests and more tests in regards to heart transplant suitability) numerous trips to Edmonton, Alberta (as pace makers weren't done in Saskatchewan at the time) and too many trips to Saskatoon to count, visiting various heart specialists, my dad always seemed to be able to keep his sense of humour. I'm sure my mom saw more depression in him then he let my brother and I and friends see, but through it all, he was always ready with something to laugh about and he didn't stop doing what he wanted to do. He lifted Kurtis one day (he was still very little) and my mom reminded him he shouldn't lift anything. He replied, "If I can't hold my grandson then you better dig a hole and put me in now!"

Though it's been 10 years I still think of him often. It just happens to be with less tears as time has gone on, and more remembering the laughter.

I would like to share with you a poem that was read at my dad's funeral, that seemed to be written about him. The author was a man that lived not far from Rosetown.


Escape
He got away from them last night
This man who was my friend
He got away to ne'r return
He won out in the end.
He knew his time of life was spent
Well past three score and ten
But every time he slipped away
They brought him back again.
And every time they brought him back
He suffered more and more
The only life he wanted now
Was on the other shore.
He got away from them last night
Away from the shocking pain
And they again tried to bring him back
So he could die again
But Heaven's Angels took him home
Don't weep for him or sigh
His pain is gone, he rests in peace
In his other home on high.
~~~~ By the late Marshall Scott

Love you dad - still and always, your little girl.
~~~

Friday, January 16, 2009

Idiosyncrasies

id·i·o·syn·cra·sy (ĭd'ē-ō-sĭng'krə-) n. pl. id·i·o·syn·cra·sies
1.
A structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group.
2.
A physiological or temperamental peculiarity.

I venture to guess that everyone has some kind of idiosyncrasies that other people can not understand. Things that other's would think "What is the big deal?" or "Do they have nothing more important to worry about then that?" Not taking into account their own quirks and weird little habits.

In Wayne's family there has been many a 'hot' conversations about not putting the milk jug on the table until you are ready to pour it into your glass as it will get too warm...now I ask you...how warm can a 4L jug of milk, sitting out on the kitchen table for 5 minutes get??!!? One day I am going to take a liquid thermometer and test it. That just seems so irrational to me.

Now - the fact that I refuse to open a book that I am reading too wide in order to prevent cracking the binding...well...that just makes good common sense...!! (Please NEVER ask to borrow one of my books...I just can't do it...)

Small things that drive me crazy:
~ When your favorite author, whose books you collect, changes their book size (see above photo)
~ 'Dog eared' pages or mistreated books (books are our friends - treat them as such!)
~ Licked fingers to turn the pages of magazines (eeww!)
~ Stickers that don't come off (there are some that it doesn't matter what you use on it - special remover or not)
~ Toilet lids that are not closed (not seat - lid - what's the point of having a lid if you never put it down - who wants to look into the toilet - gross!)
~ Guests that use your 'Guest' towels (they are just for show people!!! plus probably have lots of dust on them from sitting so long!)

Well I could just go on and on but I will stop there.

Sadly, I have passed quite a few of these idiosyncrasies onto my son. Kurtis won't buy 'used' video games at EBGames as we have yet to find anything that will take the stickers off the plastic case. He too takes very good care of his books and has always taken good care of his toys. I was very obsessive compulsive about his toys being neat and tidy (toys of similar nature, stored in "see thru" stackable buckets, and put away nightly thank you!) While I think I am much better now (!!?!), I was noted in saying to him once when he was young, "One day when you are 21 years old, you are going to thank me for the fact that your toys still look brand new!" Yes...I know...that one sounds bad now even to me...

In the end, I guess we all have to remember:

One person's 'normal' is another person's 'whacked'!!

whacked
- idiom - slang
1. Exhausted.
2. Crazy.
3. Under the influence of a mind-altering drug.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Stray Cat Watch - Day 67

signs of a hungry kitty on my deck
but no cat in sight for me to take a picture of
to have concrete proof
that any of my strays
are safe and well
or whether I am simply
feeding a neighbor's kitty
~ I will keep watching and hoping ~

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rain Ice Snow Cold

What a crazy day of weather we had yesterday
It rained for awhile
It drizzled for awhile
It snowed for awhile
And then it got cold
What I wouldn't give for it to be summer
I wouldn't even mind the rabbit back
Nibbling on my perennials
THAT's how much I would like the snow
And the cold
To just go
Away

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Guilty Pleasure

I must make a confession...I have a guilty pleasure - American Idol. I am ashamed - but there it is for the whole world to know! There have only been a few reality shows I ever really got into. The very first one was The Amazing Race. I watched it faithfully for the first 3 seasons. After that, it just seemed to become too scripted..!!?? (Ya' think?) I watched Survivor for only one season due to peer pressure from co-workers - everyone was talking about it! I can't remember which season it was (3? 4?) but I can tell you, it did not end well. It's a long story but it involves the final night of the show, Kurtis (9 yrs old) falling off his scooter, a broken arm, a delayed trip to the hospital (his arm looked fine to me....!!!), and a mother's guilt for the rest of her life as her son keeps reminding her, "Remember the time I had a broken arm and you didn't take me to the hospital until Survivor was over?"......sigh....yes Kurtis, I remember...! After that, I stopped watching reality TV until about 3 years ago when I decided to watch American Idol. This is really only the 4th Season I have been watching it. I only watch it until they get down to the top 20 and then I don't really pay attention to it again. After that, for the most part, who's left are all really good singers. And sadly...yes...I like Simon's wise a** attitude! So with that confession made, please do not call my house between 7 pm and 9 pm this evening....unless you need a ride to the hospital....but even then - please make sure it's during the commercial....!!!! :-)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Wake Up Stare

it's early Saturday morning
like real early
you usually get up early
but today you just want to sleep-in
just until 6:00 am at least
that's all you are asking for
just a couple of extra hours
...
you are sound asleep
and all of a sudden
you can feel it
you know it's there
you pretend you're still sleeping
but it won't go away
you slowly open your eyes
and there it is
the never fails
"Get Up And Feed Me" Stare
~~~~~

Friday, January 9, 2009

Winter Storm Warning Continues

I have been awake since 2:25 am - up since 3:35 am
and there is a continued Winter Storm Warning.
The snow is blowing and it looks cold and icy out. I thought I would post some of my
favorite summer pictures.
Some I have shown before, but that is OK.

I just wanted to remind myself

and anyone else that needs assurance today,

that spring will come again.....soon.....I hope....

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy Birthday To My Mom

~~~
It's my mom's birthday today! I won't say how old she is but she's retiring this month...I'm sure you can figure it out. And at the risk of being 'disowned' from showing her high school picture, I will take my chances and post it for the world to see anyways, because it is one of my favorite of her. We forget, as children do, that our parents were young once as well. Full of hopes and dreams and wishes. I hope she looks back today over her life so far (with many, many years to go yet) and feels that she has achieved and done everything she had hoped. Though her life turned out a little differently then planned, by reaching this special milestone in her life without my dad, I hope she embraces the love that they shared and all the special times that they did spend together. They never put anything off, they did some traveling and did what they wanted. "...for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health...till death us do part"...I think she held up her part of the bargain here.
~~~
~~~
And how lucky is she that she is starting her retirement with a guy who is ready to whisk her around the world!!!! Or at least to Saskatoon on a spur of the moment trip to Home Depot!!!! Ha, ha...too funny that George! I guess we'll keep him! Mom and George are taking a leap of faith and retiring together at the end of this month. They are off to Yuma for a couple of months, doing the "seniors circuit" of desert heat, flea markets, and early bird specials....well maybe not the early bird specials, they are usually drinking their evening cocktails when the rest of the seniors are eating their mashed potatoes.....! They have lots of plans to travel together and I know they will have a lot of fun, see lots of interesting places, drink lots of wine...and will bring me back very nice presents from everywhere they go.... :-)
~~~
~~~
And here we are, mother and daughter. Both of us with our mouths open ready to talk....yup....that would be us....! As a teenager, when you are told "you look like your mother" you take it as a great insult. (Just ask Kurtis!!!) As time goes on, you have those moments when you say or do something, and you look around shocked and bewildered, wondering where the h-e-double hockey sticks did that come from?!?! I acted/sounded exactly like my mother!!! You wander around dazed for a few moments at the realization that it is true, as women, we all turn into our mothers eventually. And as you get older and you start to look at your mother differently; what she has been through in her life, how she has handled it, the strength that she has, you start to think that perhaps it isn't such a bad thing to start looking and acting like your mother. It becomes a complement.
~~~
Mom, I will take what attributes I get from you proudly (except for the one about wanting a tattoo...I still don't get that one...ha, ha) and embrace them as they come. I have never said Thank You enough, or I Am Proud Of You enough, or I Love You enough. But you know I do.
~~~
So with that said, HAPPY BIRTHDAY mom!
I hope you have a super-great day.
I look forward to when you are down in a couple of weeks.
We will do something special before you take off
on your big retirement adventure.
Love you lots!
~~~

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Stray Cat Watch - Day 58

I got home from work today and noticed some kitty tracks in the snow coming up the deck, over to the food bowl, and even some prints in the little shelter and up under the bar-b-que! Some kitty has been having a little snack! Perhaps today's warmer weather enticed him/her to come up for a bite to eat. I sure hope I am able to see one of the strays for myself soon. It would make me so happy!

The Waltons Would Be Shocked

So - I was catching up with my favorite TV family of all times this weekend, The Waltons. I am sure you thought it would be The Partridge Family due to having the coolest family band and heart-throb lead singer/brother Keith Partridge, a.k.a David Cassidy, but nope...it's The Waltons. Grandpa (Zeb), Grandma (Esther), Daddy (John), Momma (Olivia), John Boy, Jason, Mary Ellen, Erin, Ben, Jim Bob and of course, the adorable Elizabeth. I have the first 5 seasons on DVD and I am on season 4. Anyways, so I was watching the show and how for them it was always all about family. The family always came first. Everyone always spent Sunday together. They would all get up and go to church, well everyone except John (the Dad), who believed he didn't need to go to church for God to hear him and even though his mom and wife would give him a good 'talking to', he still wouldn't go. He stayed home and did the farm chores. But the rest of the family would jump into the ol' pick up truck, Grandma, Momma in the cab with John Boy driving and all the kids including Grandpa would jump into the box of the truck. I loved the Grandpa. He would have been a very sweet Grandpa to have - always a mischievous twinkle in his eye, ready for a good laugh and a heart full of love for his family. And when he would sneak a pat on Grandma's bum or a quick kiss, she would always get mad at him "Not in front of the youngin's!", and he would laugh and laugh and she would give him a swat and.......hmmm...now what was my point of this post....oh yeah....so then after church they would all come home and the ladies would make a nice big Sunday meal that the whole family would enjoy. They would talk through dinner, discuss the weeks happenings, the kids would play games outside, they would listen to the radio and they would just spend the whole day being together. And so I was thinking, wouldn't the Waltons be shocked at what the average family does on a Sunday? So many people have to work on Sundays, or it's the only day they seem to have time to go get their week's groceries, or a trip to Wal-mart or Canadian Tire on a Sunday is never out of the question. It's sad really isn't it? But there is no going back. Stores will never be closed on Sunday again. We are now at the point where stores are staying open for 24 hours, 365 days a year. I guess you have to grab your "Sunday Family Time" whenever you can. And that's my thought for the day.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happiness Is...

Taking pictures of your boys while they are doing the dishes
'Cause of course, even if you have a dishwasher the
pots and pans still need to be done by hand
Kurtis wouldn't turn around for me to take his picture
He neglected to realize I had a perfect view of him
in the reflection of the kitchen window
Funny kid!
~~~

Sunday, January 4, 2009

De-Snowing the Bird Feeders


Self-Explanatory

Minus 51


It was minus 51 with the wind-chill yesterday. What does minus 51 look like?


And at what point do you quit taking pictures and get into the house before you and your camera freezes up?


What's the lowest temperature you should even have your digital camera out at anyways?


I best look that up!


What ever minus 51 looks like - it feels darn cold!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Love Of My Life

Now honestly, why do I need Colin Firth when I have this guy curled up with me on the couch watching movies. I don't know if he would dance and sing in an exploding fountain for me, but I know he would do just about anything else that I asked! He is a great dad, a loving husband, and has always been my best friend.
Love you Wayne!

A Lot of "Feel Good" Wrapped Into One Movie

One of my favorite gifts this year for Christmas was the DVD "Mamma Mia" that Kurtis got me. It has a 'sing-a-long' version with it!!!! Singing, dancing and Colin Firth... mmmmmm...life is good. (Yes Wayne...I know he's gay in the movie, "in the movie" being the big point here, but look, he gets all wet and then takes his shirt off and dances and sings in the exploding fountain....how enjoyable is that!) I bought the CD before the movie came out in theaters so had the songs all practiced up. (Side note: Pierce Brosnan should stick to movies without singing - just my opinion) I saw it at the theatre, rented it on Pay Per View, and have watched it 3 times since receiving it at Christmas. I'm not feeling very well today so I plan on curling up on the couch, under my new fuzzy kitty blanket (a gift for Christmas from Wayne's mom) in the downstairs family room (that holds the big screen TV and our new home theatre system - family present for Christmas) and watching it again today. It may soon start to run neck-and-neck with "The Sound Of Music" on being my new "must watch while crafting" movie!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009 is Here

2009 is here. Nearing a decade since the Millennium "fan fair". And we are still here. I brought in New Year's in my usual way - falling asleep on the couch at around 7:30 pm, crawling into bed around 9:00 pm and not hearing anything until my son came home around 1:00 am this morning, ushering the cat out of our bedroom around 4:00 am and then not waking up until 6:00 am this morning. I treated myself to a sleep in!
I don't make New Year's Resolutions. I figure why do I need the start of a new year to change, improve, make promises. A new day is always enough of a 'fresh start'...isn't it?
I wish Health, Heart & Happiness to Everyone for 2009!
Picture Credit: Microsoft Clipart

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