Thursday, December 28, 2006

2006: Year in Review

There's something about the new year that makes me a little sad. It's almost as if with the holidays over, you have to start all over again. And while many would relish the time to start over, I actually hate it. Although this year might be different, if only because there is no snow and it doesn't seem to be as dark and cold (I think it's a seasonal disorder thing that affects me at this time of year) which makes it a little bit better.

I always take stock at this time, look ahead to the new year, think back on what happened this past year and decide how I want to make things different. While it seems to be easy to do, it's always around April where I go back to the same old thing. I'm hoping this year is different.

The holidays have been good, I've been able to visit with a few friends, I'm on my way up to Toronto this morning to spend time with a few other friends. I've been quite creative in the visiting thing this year. I had originally tried for two days to visit but with the dog I had to cut it down to one. I'm having lunch with one friend, spending New Year's with three others, having breakfast with another and then stopping for tea (hopefully) with my cousins so I can see their renovations that they've been working on. Whirlwind, I know, and considering that I'm running on lack of sleep (hello, standing in a parking lot until 1:30 with Elaine and Frank) and the fact that I have managed to NOT avoid the yearly holiday infection that seems to hit me on the 30th, I'm not anticipating getting much sleep over the next couple of days. Which would be the other reason why I took the two weeks over Christmas this year.

This past year has been full. Full of emotional turmoil, full of personal life turmoil, full of work turmoil, full of family turmoil, full of everything. That's not to say that it hasn't been a good year, just that if I could go back to last January, I would have done things differently. But like I said above, time to look ahead and think about what I DON'T want in my life this year. I was fortunate to have spent some time travelling (which I love), some time with my sister/brother in law/the kids, time with my cousins, time with my friends, time with myself. I firmly believe that it's this time you have that allows you to recharge and prepare for the rest of it. There are a lot of things that I'm looking forward to this year. Getting to travel a bit more, getting to meet new people, getting to be involved in some pretty cool stuff. Hopefully the small stuff won't get in the way of the big picture.

So to all of you...Happy New Year. May it bring you health, happiness, and all that you're hoping for. Cheers!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Christmas Rush is Through

I have this Carpenters song running through my head today and it's making me a little bit crazy.

Speaking of crazy, the holidays are over. Which is sad to me, because it always seems to go by so fast. This year was no exception. It's like rush rush rush from December 1 to the 25th and then suddenly it's back to reality.

My niece however, got up this morning and told me it was Christmas all over again and wanted to know where her presents were. Sigh. What a kid.

Christmas is always a fun holiday in my family because we all get a little nuts. No matter how old we are, we're still a loud and rambunctious crew who make merry and cause trouble. Think about it, four kids, with two spouses, two kids and a parent. Sitting in a room where you spend several hours opening oodles of presents and going crazy over what you got them (or vice versa). It was fun. And my brother, I have to say, was the funniest with his "woo hooing" over the socks, the coffee maker, and the shirts with a new tie. You know you're old when.

As expected, the kids were up at seven thirty, just chomping at the bit to open gifts and see what Santa brought them. It was pretty much over by eleven after we had eaten, opened a few presents from each other, and just enjoyed the morning together. My sister and I decided to forgoe the mall today and just veg out and enjoy the day. My youngest niece has developed a bit of a chest cold and had been up most of the night last night.

Hopefully everyone else had a good day and enjoyed the time with family or friends (or both) and that you all got what was wished for.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Do you hear what I hear?

Well, I can't believe it's Christmas Eve already. There's something odd about December, how it slips by almost unnoticed and then suddenly it's Christmas Eve and you realize you have had no time to do anything but run around like a crazy person.

This year it's green outside. No snow. Especially strange since two weeks ago when I was here there were MOUNTAINS of snow. It's supposed to be a balmy 7 degrees Celsius (that's about 50 F) and if you really wanted to brave the soggy grass, I'm sure you could get a few rounds of golf in.

I'm looking after Benny the wonderdog this year as my aunt and uncle are in Florida and let's just say, the last three days have been interesting. He's learning a thing or two about the word NO. Especially around the kids. Overall though, I have to say he's been quite good.

I arrived early on Friday and picked the kids up at daycare. They were happy to see me. My sister was at the house when we got home and she was from IKEA. She decided to get a trundle bed for the girls to sleep on since I had to take up residence in the bedroom of the youngest. Unfortunately, after spending all that time putting it together, last night my brother in law broke the bed when he laid on it. We packed it back up and were going to make the hour and a half drive back to get the metal bunk beds but could not locate the receipt. So no beds for you girls.

In what is becoming a nice little tradition, the girls and I headed off to the Grand Theatre today to see Beauty and the Beast. While I didn't find it as good as Annie last year, it was quite an excellent production. The girls of course loved it. They also got to meet Belle afterwards as she was signing her cd's in the lobby. (The actress that is). To see their faces was just priceless. They're wired for sound of course, and it should be interesting to see how long they manage to stay awake tonight. Last night the youngest was up until well after eleven.

I'm looking forward to a few days of rest and relaxation. I'm also hoping January stays a little mild like it is now. I hate January and February. I always get so down in those months because it's so dark and cold. And I've already been thinking about how I want my next year to be. No, no Charlotte from SaTC. But just a resolution to not let people treat me badly. We'll see how long that lasts.

Looking forward to one more day of hustle and bustle and presents and goodies and food and good cheer. So to all my friends all around, may you have a wonderful holiday where ever you are and may you find peace and joy in the new year!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I'll be home for Christmas

I'm procrastinating.

No really. It's a typical thing that I seem to be famous for.

I had a list of things I needed to do this week. Finish shopping (check), do a load of laundry (check), clean the bathroom (check), pick up last minute items (check), pack (che...oh wait a minute).

I am procrastinating.

I have just spent the last hour doing absolutely everything I could find BUT pack.

You would think that I would want to get things done so I can sit back and relax and enjoy my evening. But nooooo.

Hmm, maybe I should go get gas tonight instead of tomorrow.


UPDATE: Ok so I'm packed. And the last hour or so I've been sitting here kind of feeling weird. Not that I'm not looking forward to my vacation, or being with my sister and brother in law and her kids, just that...well, let's just say that it hasn't been a really easy couple of months. And without going into detail, there have been a few things going on the last little while that have really been screwing with me. And it sort of culminated in a bit of a breakdown a couple of weeks ago. Not that I'm trying to be ambiguous, it's just that putting that karma out there isn't worth having it come back and bite me in the ass. Because while I should be enjoying the time off, there are little nagging things that bother me. And there are things that just continue to go on in my family that make me angry and sad at the same time. And I'm not looking forward to that drama. Added to that, being away from my "stuff" for a week and a half isn't all that great either. I'm afraid I'll forget something, or I'll need something, or there will be something that happens etc. It's just...complicated. For now, I'll just put it out of my mind, think about how much fun it is going to be to see my niece's faces on Christmas morning, and also the fun I'll have with my sister and remember that there is nothing too great that I can't bear.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Three More Sleeps

Until the two week vacation. Three more sleeps. Lord help me get there.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Hold Your Tomatoes

I decided that I wanted to get on the 24 bandwagon. Considering that I had wanted to watch this show in the beginning and didn't, I figured it was about time I got on board. Unfortunately I got on board just before season 6 starts. Meaning that I have just about three weeks to catch up on all five seasons I missed.

My aunt and uncle love this show. And I wanted to not watch it with them this year because I hadn't seen the last four seasons. My friend Rina is a huge fan and she's always raving about it. And hey, Keifer Sutherland isn't all that bad either.


I'm about halfway through season 1 and I'm kind of bored. I hope this thing gets better because it's really hard to get through.


UPDATE: Ok, I have found that fast forwarding through all of the filler parts, namely, the parts with Elisha Cuthbert trying to act, it's not so bad. I'm part way through season two. It's getting better. But only because Keifer Sutherland ROCKS THE PART OF JACK BAUER. Seriously, this man is so great. And it's all because he's Canadian, eh? And of course, my favourite quote so far "That's your problem, you want action but you're not willing to get your hands dirty". OR something to that effect.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

80 characters or less

How exactly are you supposed to say what you have to say in 80 characters or less? And by this, I refer to eBay. Stupid stupid ebay. And it's stupid stupid sellers.

I have had my first problem with eBay and right now I'm trying to figure out a way to fix it, without losing my shit completely.

I won an auction back in November and paid the $40 for it. It shipped on the 6th of November. I haven't seen it. After going out to the P.O. Box I had it shipped to (went to a U.S. address to save money) I found out it never arrived. So I emailed the seller. Asking what was going on.

Not only did they not ship to the address I clearly specified in both eBay and Paypal, but they shipped it to my old address in London. And because packages were hit or miss at that location (sometimes they left it at the door, sometimes they left it at the post office) I have no idea if it went to the post office or if it went to the door.

So when I go back to the seller, they say to me "I used the address listed in eBay". Uh hello, the clearly marked PRIMARY SHIPPING ADDRESS in eBay is the one in MIchigan. And the clearly marked SHIP TO address in Paypal to CALCULATE THE FREAKING SHIPPING COSTS is the one in Michigan. And nowhere, NOWHERE do I see the address in London.

Guess that's $40 I'll never see again.

UPDATE: Spoke to Canada Post, well, left a request with Canada Post. We'll see what happens. I'm thinking this package ended up at the doorstep of my old apartment unit and the person who lived there probably kept it. Or it got stolen. Who knows. I got a response from the seller, and as expected...they are pretty "unintelligent" which explains A LOT. They can't even spell. I asked my aunt, who sells stuff on eBay and she said something about the confirmed address. When I looked in there again, it was all in there properly. You would have to be pretty dumb to send it to that address. The confirmed shipping address, ship to address, primary address, confirmed address, and main address are all the one I gave them. Including an email I sent them saying PLEASE SHIP TO THIS ADDRESS. Sigh...

THURSDAY UPDATE: Just got an email from the seller, they've received the package as a return. They're going to ship it out. Which kind of makes me laugh, because they asked for the new address to ship to, so this time, not wanting to take any chances, I decided to give them the Canada address. They write back "CANADA?" and I'm waiting for the email back saying that I owe them more postage. At which point they will feel the anger that has no depths when I rail at them for sending it out wrong to begin with and then asking me to pay extra. I'm really in a bad mood today. It's been three weeks of this bad mood. And frankly, I can't even think about counting the days to my vacation. In fact, you can ask my friend Elaine what kind of a bad mood I'm in...she got the wrath this morning by email. Sorry Elaine.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I Feel a Little Guilty

Ok so here's the deal. Chris in NF and I got into a bit of a banter about not liking Nickleback. Or rather, how he doesn't like Nickleback and I do. And I think I may have taken it a little too far when I said something about the book One Hundred Years of Solitude. And the reason why it bothers me is because it's written by an author that he really admires. By saying it was hard to read, I may have offended him.

Which I didn't intend to do.

And of course, as luck would have it, I had two hours to kill in the ride home tonight and all I could think about is what an ass I can be when I think I'm being funny. Ergo, crossing the line.

So Chris, if I offended you, apologies. I will try harder with the book. I think my problem is that the prose is so descriptive, and normally I like to imagine the setting in my head, so I'm getting lost in that and losing the real sense of the book. Which I will try harder to appreciate.

I'm still standing by my Nickleback feeling though.

Friday, December 08, 2006

I'm dreaming of a snowplowed Christmas

So last night, while I was out for a work function, one of my coworkers told me that our boss had gotten stuck in the snow in Woodstock. He was at a standstill in what he called "the parking lot on the highway". Which of course made me laugh because he's from Northern Ontario, where it snows all the time. Then I spoke with my sister this morning, prior to my departure and she told me she needed an hour and a half to make the 30 minute trip home from work last night. Then I read the paper which told the story of a 10 car pile up due to the weather. And then I check the radar image. And really, I wish I had copied it because it would have been funny to show. You see, there's the image of the south western region of the province with about six big circles going out of the centre. And within four of those circles was a huge mass of blue. With lots of yellow and green in the middle. And in the yellow and green? About 2 cm of snow an hour.

I didn't really believe it. After all, it was bright, sunny, and cloudless in Windsor. And while we got a slight dusting, it was really just cold. I've seen the snow in London as a child and we haven't really had a huge snow storm in a few years. My sister said to me, "remember that Christmas Eve where you couldn't get out your front door two years ago? This was worse."

Various photos taken in London this morning. Apparently it shut down the entire city. Even buses were cancelled. And that means CITY buses. Which haven't shut down in over thirty years. Cars had been abandoned in the middle of streets. It was like the apocolypse. Except with SNOW.

But I made it safely. No real problem until about Highbury Avenue where the far lane was covered in snow and there was no way anyone was driving in it (including me, who has suddenly found her fear from her wipe out last winter in a farmers field) which made driving difficult. Added to that, I had to endure the snow packed highway in to my sisters town. Which was equally unpleasant due to the car in front of me who kept braking quickly and no matter how far back I stayed, I always ended up having to brake as well and worrying I was going to spin out again.

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas indeed.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Little Pretty Things

I will post scrapbook layouts soon too, I promise. But for Even though I know only Rina will enjoy my exciting life...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

How time flies

I've been a bit AWOL lately. Been busy. It's been two weeks (well, really three) of crazy running around with the head cut off. And while I love it being busy, because I actually have to really buckle down and get things done, the fact that my sleeping is becoming affected is not really pleasant. I've got one more week to go and then hopefully things will calm down. We'll see.

I'm also planning on posting some creative stuff that I've been working on. Have to get my act together today and take some photos. The Christmas cards are on the list for today. Those have to get done in addition to putting up the tree etc. My shopping is almost done. All I have to do is get something for my brother, a little something for his girlfriend, and a gift for my mom. Which is proving to be difficult. My creative mind just is at a loss on that one. Oh and of course, pick up what I need to for my sister and brother in law.

I was kind of sad on Friday. For starters, I found out my friend from high school who had planned to come down to visit wasn't going to. She doesn't do driving on the highway very well since the birth of her second child. And while I understand completely, I'm a little sad she couldn't make it. Then I got on the phone with my nieces and talked to my sister. They were in full on decoration mode on Friday (P.D. Day) and my oldest niece was upset they were decorating without me, protesting that they had to wait for dinner time since that's when I'd be there. I could hear my youngest niece in the background calling out that she was under the mistletoe and someone had to come kiss her. It's times like those that I really miss them. Miss the whole "being part of the family thing".

My aunt and I finished more shopping yesterday. It was pretty hilarious when we got a little lost in Troy trying to find the Meijer I had been to back in May. "are you sure it was Rochester Road?" "ya, pretty sure, where's Somerset?" "all the way down there" "oh, ok, maybe I'm not sure it was Rochester Road". I have to admit, we have a lot of fun when we go over. If only because we crack each other up with that kind of thing. Good times.

I can't believe it's December already. And the strange thing about December is, it seems to just slip by. And for me, when I think of it in terms of weekends in London, it's like "ok, this weekend I'm home, then I'm home in two weeks, and then...oh crap it's Christmas!" I hate how it's December 1 and then you blink and it's Christmas. Sigh...always the way.

In other non-holiday related information. I was supposed to go volunteer this weekend at the Liberal convention. I was actually pretty excited about it. I make no bones about the fact I wanted Kennedy to be the new leader. And while I'm still on the fence about how I feel about Dion, I'm just glad it wasn't Ignatieff. And if you needed a reason why, just read through some of the reports coming out of the convention, about him rethinking whether or not he'll stay Liberal. That bothers me, a bit. It would have been fun, if only for the fact that Justin Trudeau was in the Kennedy camp, and I would have enjoyed meeting him. And yes, I know he's married....

Sorry, but it's whip cracking time, back to the cards and the decorating.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Sephora Update

Lipstick is still missing. So I called Sephora (on the very astute advice from my aunt) and they looked for it and decided to send me a gift card for the equal amount. I think that once they realized that our total order combined was close to the amount of taxes and delivery on a compact car, they had to give me something to keep me happy.

In other news, the new beauty regimine is quite the ordeal. Better than botox cream first, then the eye firming lotion, then the face firming lotion, then the skin rev-er upper, then the moisturizer, then the rest of the makeup. I didn't realize I was this ugly.

Ok that was funny.

I have been getting all these emails from Lavalife lately so I finally went in to check. I gave up on the whole internet dating thing because for some odd reason, in this area, and with my profile all I seem to attract are freaks. Or guys from other countries. Who could be freaks. No really, I even put it in my profile "if you're over 40, married or live in another country, I'm not interested" and yet I was still bombarded with guys who were over 50 (!!!) and in other countries. Noteable third world countries to boot.

I digress.

The funniest came today. The whole paragraph is filled with spelling mistakes, spacing errors, english errors, grammar errors, and the like. Not that I'm perfect, but if you can't get the "I am" down properly and at least be consistent with your errors, what's the point. We'll also note that his age said 35 but he looked close to 50 and it wasn't the leather skin tan either.

No no, the best part was this: "Overall a bestfriend with benifits is what we all want. I want someone ican relate to and take a romantic naked walk along the beach."

There are naked beaches in this city?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The road to hell

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Although I like to think that the road to hell is any one of the interstates in Michigan. Because it seems like whenever I get on one of them, it is with good intentions, and then I end up in hell. Well, not really hell, it's more of a "what the hell?" kind of place, but I'll go with the old saying instead.

I had big plans to go to Sephora to get some new eyeshadow. I was all excited because finally I had a reason to go in to Sephora and actually buy something. Normally I wander around there and have no idea what exactly I am going to get. This time however, I had big plans to purchase the Tarte trio. I had seen it in a magazine, fell in love, and wanted it. So we hit the road.

We went to Twelve Oaks in Novi. Which is this really cool mall, and my aunt hasn't been there in a few years so it was fun to go together since I was seeing it for the first time, and she hadn't been there in a while. Our goal was to go to Sephora and also hit The Limited Too for a gift for my niece. Which is where it went a little off the rails.

They didn't carry that eye stuff in store, I had to get it online. I was pretty much ready to go until my aunt discovered they carried the Bare Escentuals line of makeup. She was interested in the foundation. And that led to a consultation. Which led to getting my makeup done. Which led to me wanting to get some stuff and that led to...well, let's just say that my credit card company should be giving me a big thank you after that. I ended up with this line of skin care products that interestingly enough, I ended up traipsing through Paris looking for with my friend. Some of you might remember the big Paris escapade where Elaine and I went looking for this line of skin care products you could only find in France. I don't know if it's the same stuff, but it's good stuff. I picked up this skin firming lotion, moisturizer, a cleansing toner, and a finishing spray (which was actually pretty cool). The best one though, was the bottle of this stuff that is supposed to be better than Botox. It has managed to firm up the wrinkles I have in my forehead. Wrinkles I have had since I was in my early twenties that have come along as a result of the whole smiling thing. Apparently you have to have no facial expressions should you wish to have no wrinkles. I'm working on the two lines I get in the middle of my eyebrows when I frown. This may require an electronic dog collar for every time I do this. Because I tend to make this one face all the time...which some people might call the "happy face" or the "looking like a normal person who uses the muscles above and between the eyes to show expression". But that's just me...

Needless to say we were in Sephora for a while, and while the sticker shock was killer, I was kind of happy with the purchases. I figured spending that much on something that will help keep my skin looking good (I'm not being shallow, I do have good skin) was definitely worth it. I'm loving the new eye shadow pallette I picked up. It's the Urban Decay Ammo Eye Pallette. The way she did my eyes is so cool. And they look so much bigger, and I hated that about my eyes. The caveat to wearing glasses is that when you don't have them on, your eyes look so much smaller. This should help. I think it's awesome. However, I got home and discovered that my $20 Shiseido lipstick was not in my stuff. I'm worried that it was either left at the store (they're looking in to it) or that it was left in the bag, which I threw out when I was emptying my stuff into my purse. I can't believe I'm actually a little sick about losing a $20 lipstick when I bought an $80 tube of facial firming lotion. That should upset me more shouldn't it?

I should point out here, I'm not totally in love with myself. Or a big freak of a narcissist or anything. I just love stuff like this. Deep down, there's a big girlie girl in there struggling to get out. And when I let her come out to play, she gets a little giddy. And I'm kind of dumb when it comes to makeup. Being able to do it right, makes me happy. Especially considering I wear so little of it, and when I do, it never looks this good. Although, I have a sneaking suspicion it's going to be like a good hair style from the hair salon, lightning won't strike twice.

I also ended up picking up the cutest little outfit for my niece. And a cute little hat for the other niece to go with the outfit I bought last night. I'm kind of pleased that I started my shopping early. I just have to go and pick up the gifts for my sister and brother in law, as well as the gift for my brother and his girlfriend. Maybe the time is going to help me figure out what to get my mom.

Oh let's just go back and look at the pretty shiny things to distract us ok?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Nothing to say really

I've been toying with posting for the last three days. But then I realize that I really didn't have anything to say. Sure I've had stuff going on, but nothing monumental. Which I think is the curse of having the online blog...what do you do when you have nothing to say?

Staying with my sister and the kids was awesome. Which might provide me with one thing to say, as my youngest niece gets older, she gets funnier. She tried to convince me she couldn't eat her pineapple because it had fat on it. Not because she is anti-fat, just that she doesn't like meat that has a little bit of gristle through it. So the veins in the fruit looked like fat to her. Her little drama-sode was enough to melt even the coldest hearts. Love her.

I'm also trying to decide if I want to go over to Novi, MI this weekend or wait a couple of weeks to get some shopping done. I could go this weekend and also hit Sephora for a new eye shadow combo. Or I could wait it out and just make due with what I have. I have to hit The Limited Too to pick up new outfits for the kiddies. I'm sticking to my budget this year for Christmas. No over spending on the girls.

I want to spend the weekend doing things like sleeping. Or crafting. Or cleaning. Or organizing. Sigh...decisions decisions decisions...

Monday, November 06, 2006

Sometimes I suck

I am a bad friend. Bad bad bad friend.

Here's the deal, I have this really bad habit of not keeping up with my friends. Granted, life is tough when you have so many that you have to keep track of in different cities/parts of the world (hello Elaine, how is Tibet?). My friends are normally pretty good though. Take Frank for instance, he and I talk maybe four times a year but when we do, it's like we spoke last week. Then there are my other friends that I can just drop random emails to "hi, I'm in town for work, want to have lunch?" and they have no problem that I haven't spoken to them in six months. Then there are the friends that I hardly ever talk to because they're so darn busy that I just send an email with a subject line of "I'M COMING TO DALLAS, MEET ME AT THE AIRPORT" and they are totally understanding and meet me at baggage claim.

I admit that I have a serious problem with the whole keeping in touch thing. And I have no idea how to solve it. Thankfully I have so many great friends who don't mind that I don't keep in touch with them every day and they still continue to speak to me. Especially when I pull the "come and help me pack my apartment on your only day off" line. I think it might have something to do with the fact that I get to regale them with stories about my "offbeat" and "colourful" family but that's a tale for another day.

Today was a day of infamy in the whole "Lesley is the worst friend ever" book. Today I sent an email out to people I used to work with to see if they would be interested in getting together for lunch next Monday. I have the day off and was going to be in London so I figured I would head downtown and meet up with the ladies for a bite to eat to catch up etc.

Now these are people I saw every day for two years. People who would randomly drop by my office several times a day to chat or just see what was shaking. People I would drink coffee with, eat lunch with, go walking with, who CAME TO MY FREAKING GOODBYE PARTY and even ones who wrote goodbye notes to me in my goodbye card that I happened to come across and read yesterday and saw their names clearly written in there.

I managed to forget about one of the really great ones today when I sent out my email. Added to that, I forgot the last name of the other one I wanted to talk to since I haven't really chatted with her in about 10 months. Thankfully they were both very understanding. Whew.

I am a bad person. I don't deserve such wonderful friends.

She's forgiven me of course. How could she not, I may not be a wonderful friend, but I'm a pretty fantastic person!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Sometimes things suck

There are a couple things on my mind today. Bad things. Things that make me sad. Things that really suck.

Yesterday, my sister and I were talking about my oldest niece and she told me that there is now a new kid on the horizon at school who is bullying my niece. Which really bothered me. Probably more than it should have.

I can't help but be bothered by it. I was bullied at school. And I know what it's like when you're in that situation. And no matter how old you get, you can't escape the bully.

Needless to say, my first instinct is to get in my car, drive to the school and start kicking some eight year old ass to get it out of my niece's life. But I can't. Nor can my sister get involved. Other than to teach my niece how to deal with these situations. How to get out of these situations. How to handle herself.

When I went to the school last Friday, I noticed all these posters up on the walls about bullying. How to be a good friend. How to respect one another. How to treat each other. No matter how many posters you put on the wall, it's still going to happen.

So I started to think about how it happens. Why it happens. What to do about it happening. When to get a parent involved. And how to fix the situation. You see, it's not something that my niece brought to my sisters attention. She learned about it inadvertantly, when she asked where my nieces mitts were. This bully took them. Because she wanted them. Because she could.

My sister in turn called this child's mother. And the mother agreed to send them back. But my sister has a feeling that the mother may be playing into the behaviour by not dealing with the situation appropriately. By allowing her child to get away with it and just sending the gloves back to be taken home again.

I had some colourful responses my niece could use in response to this kid. Including my personal favourite: if you touch me again, I'll punch you. Which, of course holds the adage "two wrongs don't make a right" as true, but still, how do you deal with this situation? Apparently this kid is about three times the size of my niece, which makes the punch comment a moot point. My niece will get creamed. My sister wanted to have her say "my dad is a cop, don't even think about it" but my brother in law can't be there when this kid decides it's all talk and no walk.

I hate it. My sister hates it. My niece hates it. Everyone else in her life hates it. It's not fair and I wish there was a good solution to the bullying problem. My niece is a good kid. And it's hard for the good kids to get away from the kids who don't like the good kids.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Moment, if you please

I am in love with the new Lexus print ads about moments that have been appearing in the Globe and Mail lately. It's gotten to the point where I have actually cut them out and posted them on my cubicle so that I can feel inspired in those moments (ahem) that I feel that I need them. Among my favourites from the ads:

You are the sum of your moments. Why shouldn't you be happy and hopeful and funny and famous or anything else that you choose to be? Why shouldn't you travel and laugh and smile and dream or fall deep, deep in love? Why shouldn't you conquer your fears until there aren't any left and leave all of your worries far, far behind? Why shouldn't you have the life that you've always dreamt of, the one deep down inside? You should go get it. It's yours. no regrets. Live life.

People get old, but life doesn't. Life never loses its ability to amaze. Not when you're interested. Not when you're curious. Not when you're enthusiastic and passionate and eager. Not when you fill your passport with stamps and dance at every opportunity. Not when you learn something new every day and laugh, laugh, laugh until it hurts. Not when both feet are firmly planted in the present and your greatest obsession is living. And not when you are really, truly alive.

Are you happy? Pursue what truly matters, true love, true happiness, true truths. Pursue your passion. Whatever it may be. Capture the flag, spin the bottle, unplug, play. Pursue your heart. All of it. you have no choice. Laugh. Smile. Cry. Cringe. Love. Love. Love. Pursue 'you', the one deep inside, the one dying to get out, the one looking to live life and enjoy every,
single, solitary, second of it.

It's not just how long you live, it's how much.

Moments are pearls.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Random Musings

It's getting cold. This morning I had to warm up my car before getting in. But that might have something to do with the fact that I am a big baby and hate being cold. Must look into the Lease Busters thing and see about getting out of my lease and into a brand new G6.

I've been thinking about something for about a week now. And this something has something to do with one part of my life that I will not point to. However, I have solicited advice from too many people and thought way too much about this. Suffice to say that I will no longer think about it and move on.

I sit here typing while I'm dying my hair. One thing on the list of things to do is find a good hair colourist and stylist. The one I had here was not all that great and she didn't listen to me. Hence me sitting here dying my hair.

Family may be difficult, and in my case--a little crazy, but sometimes, it's nice to talk to them and hear what's going on. Last night I had a nice conversation with my mom and also another one with my brother. It's good to connect.

I have been collecting goodies for my sister's birthday next month and one of those goodies is set to arrive in the mail soon. I can't wait to see it, because I also shamefully ordered one for myself as well and I can't wait to play. Can't wait to see the look on her face when she realizes I have spoiled her rotten.

I'm going to a Halloween party this weekend and have just about nailed down the entire costume. I used to be really good at this, however, the decisions were not so forthcoming this year. So I will be a punk. Got the wig and all.

Life is pretty quiet, which a good thing, I like these moments. Because it gives me time to do my bajillion loads of laundry, clean my room, clean my bathroom, and just sit and create. I have so many ideas lately, and that makes me happy.

Nothing could be cuter than this.

Monday, October 23, 2006


My sister came down this weekend to visit with the kids and I just have to say, we had some serious fun.

I decided that we needed to go to Great Lakes Crossing outlet mall. My aunt came with us. And while I normally like to shop and try on clothes with my nieces and buy stuff...I can safely say that the shopping is out of my system for a while. We were in that mall for about 9 hours. NINE HOURS PEOPLE. I was ready for a tantrum by the time we were done. In fact, I think I actually had one while I was pushing the stroller with two kids in it, searching for the bracelet my niece had dropped. I believe I may have actually stomped my feet and teared up a little. I blame Marshall's though. Stupid sales that entice people in there for hours at a time.

My nieces were hilarious though. We took them to the Rainforest Cafe and my youngest niece was so enthralled with it all. She came back from the ladies room and said to her big sister (please use your imagination with the expressive hand gestures during this conversation) "did I. MISS. THE. THUNDERSTORMS?" Too cute. And every time they came out of the kitchen with one of those volcano desserts (three brownies, ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and the best part--the sparkler at the top) her eyes got as big as saucers. So we had to get one of course. I thought she was going to burst out of her skin she was so excited.

I love it when they talk to each other though. It's pure comedy. The two of them. Priceless. Or when my youngest niece invokes the supermodel clause while trying on clothes. She struts so well she could put Heidi Klum to shame.

I'm still trying to decide who misses who more. The dog missing them, or them missing the dog. Guess I'm second fiddle AGAIN! Sheesh. I thought we solved this problem when the cat stopped living here. "What was your favourite part about your visit to Windsor?" "Seeing Benny". "What about shopping, and your treats your aunt bought you, and your gifts, and eating at the Rainforest Cafe?" "Ya, that was ok, but Benny was the best part".

Believe it or not, the Energizer Bunny herself was going strong in KMart until well after ten. Stubbornly telling me she had been there before and was fully capable of standing outside in the store alone while I was in the ladies room. Uh no, not going to happen dearest. At one point, I looked at her and her eyes were so red I thought she had been sprayed with mace or something. I think shopping until all hours of the night might be a form of child abuse. But she wasn't complaining. She actually slept for about a half hour in the car and THEN WOKE UP AT HOME AND WAS RIP ROARING TO PLAY AGAIN. have that kind of energy...

One of the stops we missed was the scrapbook store. I wanted my sister to see this place. It's called The Scrapbook Zone and it's awesome. I'm totally geeked out when I go there. I am actually overwhelmed. Which is surprising. And very telling. I ended up going over on my own on Sunday after they left because I needed to pick up my 7 Gypsies stamps--which I'm totally in love with by the way, for the scrapping crew. My sister and I had gone to work on Friday night making cards. It was so much fun. I put a few samples together for my aunt to take in to work. I'm not normally a big fan of my own work, thinking it's only good enough for me, but she thinks people might want to buy them, so I have to do a few more samples so she can take them in for buyers. Which would be pretty cool. I also finished this cute little album that I'm making for her. I love the way it has turned out. No worries, pictures to come.

I also had to get some leg warmers for my Halloween Costume. I'm hitting this party my friend is throwing this weekend and I wanted to get a costume. I picked up a punk wig and some fishnets and black nail polish at KMart while I was there. I wanted to get some leg warmers but couldn't find anything. I gave up thinking they don't carry them anymore and lo and behold, there they were in the Target flyer. Too bad I couldn't remember how to get to Target from where I was on Sunday. Guess I'll just have to make due with what I think a punk looks like.

Best part of the weekend though? Driving past Comerica Park and seeing the lights of the game. I bet it was even more exciting for my uncle and my cousin who were actually there!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Mr. Right Now

I have a new man in my life. And while he is not technically "my" man, he is a man, and he is in my life.

My aunt adopted him while she was away last week and he's now "ours". And it's actually kind of fun. I want to get a dog eventually (actually today there was a Westie advertised in the paper but I passed) so this is good training. I'm learning how to walk him, how to feed him, how to train him...god I sound 12.

Hey, I even cleaned up poop. That's progress.

Saturday, October 14, 2006


I don't consider myself an excellent photographer, but there are moments where I happen to capture something special, something magical, and something that makes me wonder how it is that something so simple can express something so wonderful.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Blah blah blah

I'm sick. And it? Sucks hard core. I hate being sick. Well, actually, I like being sick when I can be sick and stay in my pyjamas all day and sleep until noon and crash on the couch and watch soap operas and drink orange juice and get hopped up on Nyquil and just be sick. But I can't do that. Because I'm trying to prove a point. So I have been dragging my ass out of bed every day and it's not fun at all. Added to that, this is one of those weird colds that sort of sits where it wants to sit at various times of the day. Like in the morning, when it sits somewhere behind my eyes. And hurts. Like a bitch. And in the afternoon, where it sits somewhere in my throat and makes it hurt and makes me want to cough at the same time. Which makes it hard to talk, on the phone, to guys at the car dealership who call me repeatedly during the day. Or in my mouth where I feel like I have been licking a dirty seat on the subway or something. Blah.

I had to take my car in this morning for an oil change and it makes me laugh because I go in there and the guy I get every time is all "well this is what we have to do and this is why we have to do it" and then proceeds to launch into a big discussion about why my thruster needs to be flushed or whatever it is that involves a whole lot of little holes in a pipe that gets corroded or whatever (and no that is not a euphemism for anything, I really needed a flush of some thing in my car). I'm looking at him with this blank stare all "ya whatever, just put it on my bill". The funniest part though was that I wanted the clean car package. As in, clean out my car because it's dirty inside. And I was just thinking they would clean the windows and wipe the dash down, which is really sucking since I drive at night and I can't see out of the dirty on the inside but you can't see it until someone is flashing their lights at you windows. But for the whopping low price of $29.95 they vacuumed my car. And that? Was a little embarassing. Because they cleaned EVERYTHING. I forgot to check the trunk to see if they vacuumed around the clothes I have in there for the dry cleaner and tailor or not. Sigh. Always drama and embarassment in my life.

Finally, I have a confession to make. I am horribly in love with my nieces. Because they are too damn cute. No really. My niece tells me all about her cross country run and how she came in 64th of 67 runners because she was being a good friend for stopping to walk with a kid who got a cramp from drinking a can of pop (soda) and eating a bag of chips. I railed at her a bit about how she doesn't win if she stops to help people who made the mistake of eating before the big race and yada yada yada stage mommy extrordinaire bitch out continues. She listens patiently and then tells me that being a good PERSON is more important than being a winner. Too bad the being a winner makes you a good person lesson was lost on her. Shit man, why is my sister raising such good wholesome people? They need to be evil! Which also reminds me. The evil child. She gets on the phone with me and says "(siiiiiighhhh) why you want to talk to me anyway? I'n bizzy!"

Monday, October 09, 2006


First off, to all my Canuck readers...Happy Thanksgiving. Hopefully there wasn't too much turkey and goodies this weekend. I'm dreading getting back on the highway tonight. Hopefully all the holiday travellers will have dispersed by the time I get there...

I decided to take a different route on Friday night. With 20 kilometres of construction (it's probably more) on the way out of Windsor, I hate getting stuck and end up wishing I had taken a different route. Added to that, there's almost always a log jam in there somewhere holding things up. I'm completely impatient and like to get going. So I took a different route and ended up taking Highway 3 along the north shore of Lake Erie. It was a beautiful drive. The water comes into view sometime around the 20 minute mark and it stays that way for a while. The sun hitting the cliffs was almost poetic. And at one point, somewhere along the point of Rondeau Park, the land dropped down and there was this wooded area all ablaze in the colours of fall. The moon was rising above it and it was picturesque. If I wasn't such an impatient person (and if I didn't need to stop for gas) I just might have pulled over and taken a photo.

We've been busy here this weekend. Saturday was gymnastics and my niece and I decided to try the scrapbook store in Hyde Park. It was useless, they carry a lot of stuff but it's mostly stuff I don't use. So I had to make due with some paper and embellishments for my niece who wanted to do a page on her 1st communion. Picked up a few magazines and am completely in the creative mode for some cards. I love this feeling. Creativity makes me happy.

My sister and I decided to do a crazy run to Ikea on Saturday night Her: "come on, we'll only be gone a few hours". I had to break it to her that there is nothing she could say that wouldn't make me WANT to go to Ikea. I love it! I ended up picking up a new duvet cover and a new "duvet". It's fake fill so it's not really a duvet. I can't wait to see how it looks. She managed to score six Stefan chairs for her new kitchen table. So you know what I ended up doing on Saturday night...

Yesterday we hit the apple orchard. It was so beautiful out! Yesterday was the perfect Indian Summer day. Hot, sunny, still with a bit of crispness in the air. Like a tease really. Hey it's fall but we're going to heat things up again and make you wish it was summer. The bees and mosquitos were awful though which cut things a little short when we decided to take a walk after dinner. It's sunny and beautiful again today but we're probably going to scratch the trip to the conservation area for fall colour photos. The bugs are just too bad and my younger niece and I managed to pick up a cold along the way and we're both feeling like crap.

It's interesting, this weekend, though. I've been thinking a lot about last year and what I was doing. This past Friday was the one year anniversary of my job interview for this position. I remembered the feelings I had and how much I wanted this job etc. And in addition, this weekend last year my fridge broke. So I ended up going through that mess. Sigh...not wishing to go back in time with that one!

So hopefully everyone else had a good weekend. The weather has been incredible! I'll upload some photos later when I get home, my sister's computer is not so conducive to the hook up. I wish she had a memory card slot! But good things come to those who wait right???

Thursday, October 05, 2006


You know, I have these weeks where I can just get really crabby. I guess it's a hazard of being a Crab myself but it happens to the best of us from time to time and all you can do is get through it. And when things swirling around in the drain of life start to build up, it tends to make it worse. Then there are bright shining moments that just make you want to smile and think that the world is being set right again and nothing can bring you down again.

Case in point, this week. Last week was so busy. And I think to a point, myself and people around me tend to be taken for granted. But it happens and you deal with it (being an adult dictates it) and you move on. Then this week started out really dark and rainy and just depressing outside. So you can imagine how easy it was to just slip into that mood where you just want to sting anyone who comes along.

And then the sun.

I was in line in Tim Hortons the other day getting a tea when a car pulled up from the opposite side of the drive through line. I waved her in. Figured it was the least I could do since the line up was huge and she was coming in from the wrong angle. Well, she decided to do something nice for me and paid for my tea. Which made the dreary morning a little better.

Then today, I am going through my junk mail and there's an email from a former co-worker of mine that I had just been thinking about today. Like literally right before I opened my inbox. She thought she'd drop me a line to see how I'm doing and asked me to get together with her for lunch next time I'm in town. It was really nice and made me feel better.

And this weekend I'm heading to London to spend the holiday with my sister and the kids (and my brother in law too, can't leave him out) and we've planned to go apple picking (didn't get there last weekend what with all the rain causing huge mud puddles outside) and somewhere with some fall colours to take some photos.

It's moments like these that make me feel better about being so grouchy when the rain comes down.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Remember when I said that I shouldn't speak too soon since I still had to get on the highway? Ya, definitely shouldn't have done that. Because I managed to get myself to the rest stop in Tilbury and was faced with a LINE UP of trucks at the stop. Which should have tweeked me but it didn't. Turns out, there was some sort of back up on the highway up ahead in the construction (as always, since some idiots don't know how to drive in one lane) and I ended up having to drive up the on-ramp (illegal, don't try it) and down Highway 77 and County Road 46 in order to get in to town. No idea what caused the back up though.

Funny story. Yesterday my sister and I settled in to watch Castaway on Bravo while the kids were playing outside. They came in part way through and were fascinated with the volleyball in this movie. You all recall "wilson"? Well my youngest niece was too cute. When she's tired she gets a little dramatic and was so shaken up by the fact that the fake friend in the form of a volleyball in a movie that isn't real floated away from Tom Hank's character that she ended up crying over Wilson for about a half hour after the movie ended. My sister emailed me this morning to tell me that she continued crying after her bath and dinner and had to be rocked to sleep.

I took a bunch of photos at their birthday party on Saturday and one really cute video of them waiting to blow out their candles. I love how my youngest niece sits and watches her big sister to decide what it is that she's going to do. I would totally upload the video but I'm a techno-idiot and have no idea the first thing about how to do it.

I am completely over people who refuse to drive in the right lane on the highway. What is with that? Is it really that hard to drive in the proper lane even with cruise control on?

I hate doing laundry. However, I love to clean out my closet. Which I did last night. And since I just went out and spent a great deal of money on some new clothes, it was necessary to clean out the old and hang up the new. So pretty.

I'm in love with the idea of buying a pair of red shoes. I even have this cute grey suit picked out at Reitmans that I am in love with. And I'm also in love with the new line of red fashions at Cleo. I hate that I'm totally in love with buying a new wardrobe. My credit company however loves this side of me back. Maybe that's what all those dreams were about...

Finally, my sister visited that psychic I went to see months ago. And while I am still on the fence about a lot of what she said (hello, it's the apple season, where is my Mr. Right???), she was able to help my sister find something she has been looking for for weeks. Namely a bag of scrapbook supplies that has been missing since May. No really, she said that it was in a place she doesn't normally look, behind a wicker basket, with a piece of black furniture leaning up against it. It was in the basement, against a wall, behind a basket, with a piece of a black table leaning up against it. I can't make this shit up.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


I've had a good weekend, and it may be premature of me to post this before I drive home, I'm going to post it anyway. It's been a very good weekend and I can safely say that it was a very happy weekend as well.

My oldest neice asked my sister yesterday if I was going to gymnastics to see them. My sister explained to her that I had an appointment with the esthetician and would go after I was finished. My neice asked what an esthetician was and my sister said it's someone who makes you beautiful. Without missing a beat, my neice says "but she's already beautiful, why does she need to go there?" Which is one of the things I love about kids, they always say exactly what's on their mind, nothing more, nothing less.

Added to this, my neices are back in this mood of getting as much love from me as possible. And they do it in ways that make me happy. For instance, they will just come walking up to me when I'm sitting down doing something and climb in my lap and just snuggle. Or come stumbling in the guest room in the middle of the night and curl up in bed with me. I should also mention the happy "purring" sounds that they make when they do this that makes it so much better. (As if it couldn't get any better than that).

Also this weekend? Liberal Super Weekend. I popped out to the voting location in London to see some of my old buddies and to see my brother who is volunteering. It brings back fun memories for me. My brother and I were big volunteers in the party years ago and we had a great time doing it. It's like old times. We were meeting people who are new in the party or people who have come from other places and it was nice to hear "you should meet Lesley's brother" or "this is David's sister" etc. He's getting involved in the city council race to help out and I'm reconnecting with some other people who are working on projects in my city. Networking is always fun.

I've also pointed out that they can call on me to volunteer for the campaign in December should my brother get elected as a delegate. That way we can get back in with all our old buddies and still be a part of the action at the leadership convention.

Now we're off to the apple orchard. Something I love about fall. It sounds really corny but happiness can be found on an apple tree, in the orchard, in the store, in a freshly baked pie, in the laughter and the fun we fall.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Conversations with a five year old

When one decides to have a conversation with a five year old, one must remember that said conversations involve the theory of "hit" or "miss".

Subjects must understand that several factors are incorporated into the objective of having a complete conversation. And these could include environment, atmosphere, physical condition and of course outside factors.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present, Exhibit A:

This would be a very good example of HIT.

Exhibit B presents a good example of MISS:

The first photo was taken when there were no other outside factors, the child was bored, there was an opportunity to talk on a cell phone, and she had been away from the person she was talking to for two days.

The second picture depicts a conversation that the child was not at all interested in having, was involved in another project all together, had been taken away from Cheetah Girls on television, and apparently had ants in her pants.

When I moved to Windsor there was a deal struck that it wouldn't be such a bad thing because they would be able to talk to me on the computer through instant messenger and also on the phone. The phone has not proven to be so ideal.

Most of my conversations take place when Kim Possible is on television which results in dead conversation that involves me talking, and them saying "uh-huh" several times after a ten to fifteen second delay.

However, there is a moment when for some odd reason the planets are aligned and the stars match up where they are so definitely interested in speaking with me that I can actually have a conversation.

Case in point, Tuesday night when I called to wish my niece a happy birthday. We actually had a conversation and it went something like this:

A: Hi Cece
L: Hi babes, Happy Birthday!!
A: Tank you for my present
L: You're welcome, how was your day?
A: Good.
L: Did everyone sing to you?
A: No.
L: What?
A: (animated) Just kidding.
L: Did mommy send treats to school?
A: No.
L: What?
A: (giggling) Just kidding.
L: Were you a good girl?
A: No.
L: What?
A: Just kidding.

At this point she fell into a fit of giggles and proceeded to have a very lengthy discussion with me about her birthday, her classmates, her sister, her mother, her father, her bus driver, her friends, her presents, her bed, her blankies, and some unintelligble that may or may not have involved a dream she had the night before about a bug at the babysitters.

And then she got into trouble for not eating her dinner.

I knew there was a reason she was so talkative.

I'll have to remember this when she's 16 and we can't get her off the phone.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Where does the time go?

This kid? Is FIVE. FIVE! Where does the time go? It's like yesterday she was born and suddenly she's five. With an attitude. And a personality. And an attitude. She's five! I cannot believe that this little baby, is suddenly a half a decade old!

Man, I love this kid. She's so special. And so adorable. And so precious. And I don't care how old she gets. She's still a baby. Even when she's pretending to be mad at you for taking ANOTHER picture of her. Because in the end, when she's crying because you're going home and leaving her, she's still a baby at heart.

Gene Simmons eat your heart out.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Underground Bike Railroad

My older sister and I talk daily. Either by email or by phone. I love it when I go to call her and she's on the line when I hit the "TALK" button on the cordless. But today I had to call her because we're working out logistics for the kiddie birthday this weekend and I needed to know a few things.

While we were on the phone she was asking me if I could make another run to Target to pick up another bike should her friend want one like my niece for her daughter. Now, I think I might have mentioned it, but we scored a sweet little two wheeler for the older one for a whopping $36! Which in the grand scheme of things is a heck of a lot cheaper than the $100 they go for over here, especially when you factor in that with growth projections currently at the rate they are, this kid is going to outgrow this bike in about two years.

Then, while she was thinking about it, she realized someone else on the street may be interested in a new bike that's similar and would I make a second trip over to get that one. The conversation took a hilarious turn as I asked her if I was the bike pusher, or dealer for the neighbourhood bike trade. She added something else that I was laughing so hard at that I couldn't hear and it ended with "Just call it the Underground Bike Railroad".

Needless to say our conversation went off track quite rapidly as we then began to discuss ways of getting the younger one to be motivated to ride a two wheeler. Apparently she is in no hurry to relinquish the training wheels and when pressed to try to ride the two wheeler with my sister's hand firmly grasping her back she freaked out, jumped off the bike and screamed "I CAN'T DO IT!" Horrible aunt that I am I suggested pinning a treat to a string and a stick on her helmet so that she is motivated to ride the two wheeler. Now what a picture that would make.

We quickly got back to what we were originally going to discuss, which was the logistics for the "who was going to pick up what and how were we going to go about it" plan. How kids birthday parties get this way is beyond me. It culminated in my desperate phone call from Toys R Us demanding to know if the Polly Pocket Pet Spa set would suffice for a cake topper since I couldn't find the Polly Pocket Beach set. Polly Freaking Pocket. Sigh... We have now planned to spend all night (if necessary) icing a cake and making food for the party on Saturday. I think my favourite part of the whole thing is the scheduled "Princess Dress Up Relay". To think we all had such boring "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" parties as children....

Only for my sister would I do these things. And only because I know that she'd be right there doing it for me if I needed her to.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Lest We Forget

Somehow, the trivial mundane aspects of my life seem unimportant in the face of such loss.

Friday, September 08, 2006

TGIFour day weeks rock

So tonight I decided to go on a little adventure. Which is quite fun really. Even though I anticipate being harassed by my new little Windsor friend who feels I should not be sitting around doing nothing on my nights off rather cruising the strip in Windsor. Hello little friend!

Anyways...decided to take a little adventure. An adventure in Michigan. Which is always fun, no matter what you do. I wanted to go up to The Scrapbook Zone in Farmington Hills. They've been sending me emails for about two weeks about all the NEW STUFF and the SALES so I figured it was worth a trip on a Friday night. It also provided me an opportunity to hit Target and Meijer as well.

See, I'm looking for a couple of things to add to my niece's birthday gifts and the last time I went looking for a couple of these neat things, I found them at Meijer. But of course, as luck would have it, no carrying cases or games for a specific type of video game system that she has. And also as luck would have it, I didn't want to run the risk of claiming too much at the border and getting nailed for it. You know it's going to happen, and there just might be steaks involved and you KNOW that's not going to be pretty.

Uh, where was I? Oh right, Target and Meijer. So I ended up in a richie rich kind of area which was sweet because you know the Meijer is going to be good, except it really wasn't. But Target was kind of good. I managed to pick up the LOST DVD set for $35! And they throw in a $5 gift card with it! How it can sell for $65 up here is beyond me. Methinks someone is trying to screw us.

Heh, I typed screw up. Heh.

So my two little experiments which I shalt not discusseth are currently operating successfully. Love.

Oh and Rick Mercer finally updated his blog. Anyone else excited? Ya I didn't think so.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

It's a Bugs Life

Oh ho ho, look who came to the Pot Luck on Sunday!

We won't discuss the 3 inch millipede climbing across my cubicle wall yesterday.

Ie yie yie!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Peel me a grape

I was made for this life. Well, not THIS life, but the life of a pampered woman. One who has all kinds of great things done for her. Including, tonight's treat a pedicure. This is in addition to the lovely treatments I had done while in Belmont and close to my favourite esthetician.

I swear, my feet are SOFTER than a baby's bottom. And my aunt's feet (the others in the photo) are even softer.

After matching pedicures where we soaked and cackled over today's happenings, we went for my other downfall--Greek food at The Hungry Wolf. There is something in their salad dressing that makes it so magical.

Yes, it's almost sad that I have to go back to being a mere normal every day working Joe tomorrow. Sigh...garcon! Another glass of wine!

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Something funny happened to me when my nieces were born. I turned into this person who would do anything if anything happened to them. I became frightened of things that I didn't even think about before. I worried about stupid little things like how they felt or what they were thinking during certain situations. Rather then let them do something on their own, I wanted to do it for them. Protect them. Shelter them.

Then I learned that by doing so, they weren't really learning anything. And as they age, I'm actually the one who learns a few things. Now their mother, my sister, seems to know it all. I think it was in the manual she was given in the delivery room. You know, the one that all mothers get that tells them just how to anticipate situations and deal with things. At least, that's what had to have happened, considering that there are moments when she has to tell me to let them do it, let them live it, let them LEARN it.

Tonight I rented Akeelah and the Bee. A movie that I highly recommend. Not just for someone who has children, or is around children. It's one of those feel good movies that makes you think.

I should preface this with the knowledge that it's kind of a sure thing that a movie for children is going to have a lesson in it. Or some heartfelt meaning. Or something that will makes kids go hmmm when they watch it. My real point for getting it was to teach my older niece about the things you can do when you learn. The things you can accomplish when you try. The things anyone can want to have happen in their lives. What I didn't know was the lesson it was going to teach me.

There were a couple of moments in the movie that I had to really try and come up with an explanation for. Like when one kid mentioned sexual assault (uh, it's just a thing, I can't really explain it to you) or another moment that I won't mention for fear of ruining the movie. But these movies, that always end up having a lesson in the end for the kids, teach me something about them. Teach me something about myself. Teach us both something about how we both react to the movie.

I like that they make these movies for kids. That they aren't just fluffy little cartoons that entertain, but movies that make them think. We've had a few lately--Dreamer, Aquamarine, and now Akeelah. Aside from the fact that I was able to sit with my older niece (something she seems to be growing out of lately) and watch a lesson unfold in front of us and explain to her that there is nothing she CAN'T do and there is also nothing she shouldn't do because she's afraid.

I'm not eloquent, or articulate, and sometimes I really don't make any sense at all. But when I experience these moments with my nieces, when I see this dawning realization on their faces when they understand, something magical happens. It's beautiful to witness and it makes me feel happy to share these moments with them.

pulchritude \PUL-kruh-tood; -tyood\, noun: That quality of appearance which pleases the eye; beauty; comeliness; grace; loveliness.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Watch out, this one is going to be boring

Here I am, in London, for another weekend. Actually, it's kind of funny because every time I turn onto the street that links to my sister's place I think of something my cousin says. My cousin who lives around the corner from my sister. He sees me here and he says "why don't you just pay taxes here already?" and it makes me laugh. And making me laugh, is nice.

I swear to sugar pops that this week has been absolute torture for various reasons but mainly because I have missed my nieces desperately. Spending a few days with them last week made me crazy for sure with all the work, but not having them yammering around has been quite awful.

You see, the reason why is because my youngest niece has reached that age. That age where everything she says and everything she does is freaking hilarious. She's going to be five in a few weeks and frankly, I couldn't adore her more. Even when she's bad!

She got her hair bobbed at the beginning of the summer and I absolutely love it. Because little brat has that wonderful blessing of GOOD HAIR. Which makes it even funnier when she does stuff, because her cute little bob goes all bouncy and cute. But the reason I mention it is because I went out and bought them both these cool little pairs of BRATZ sun glasses and she puts them on so that the arms are on top of her hair but still being her ears. Hilarious. And then she does this head bob thing (which actually reminds me of Jen for some odd reason) when she looks at you when you're talking to her and it makes me want to pull the van over to squeeze her.

But the stuff she says and the way she reasons crap out? Brilliant. Last week, when I came downstairs she was engrossed in something on television. And when I went to change it she gives me this big spiel about how she is watching a show about a little girl who is going to go to school and needs new shoes and pencil crayons and if we send them to her she will write us a letter and a picture that we can keep. What was she watching? The Christian Children's Fund Infomercial. Ya, she's just that cute.

And of course, she left her blankets at my house, and the kid is a blanket FIEND. She has about 12 of them that she sleeps with. And they all have names and personalities. So she left "Rainbow Blankie" and "Gingham Blankie" at my house when she left so I sent her a digital picture of them to prove to her that they were there because she didn't believe me when I said they stayed with me to keep me company this week (ya, lame story, I know, why should she believe it) and she saw the picture and cried. The first words out of her mouth when I walked in the door were not Hi, How are you? or I'm so glad to see you. Nope, "where's blankies?" Nice. Nice to know how loved I really am.

A few weeks ago, the two of them were talking about what they want to be when they grow up. The older one wants to be a teacher because they make lots of money and get summers off. The younger one wanted to be a "vegetarian" you know, the people who take care of sick animals? Well, she changed her mind after listening to Hilary Duff. Now she wants to be a rock star. Because rock stars are so "kewl".

Finally, my older niece and I were snuggling last week and she asked me why I like to go places and travel all over. It's a question I've never actually gotten before from them. Normally it's all "bring us presents" and "when are you going away again to get us charms for our bracelets?" so you can imagine how stumped I was at this question. So I told her why, I like to meet new people, and see new things, and experience different foods and lives. She seemed satisfied with that answer and told me that when she grows up, she wants to travel like me too. Wait until she's old enough to understand what real traveling is about!!!

Alright, that's enough monotony for one night. I'm off to see my friends I haven't seen since (gulp) Christmas--I'm not really THAT bad of a friend, we all live in different cities and this is the first time we're all in town at the same time!

Monday, August 28, 2006

This is definitely the life

I've been thinking about my living arrangement lately and I have to say, it's pretty awesome. A friend of mine asked me about it recently with respect to my horrible summer last summer in my little hot box of an apartment. And again last week when I dreamed I was back visiting the person who lives in my apartment (no, I have no idea who it is).

Yes, I live with my aunt and uncle, and to some people it may seem like I'm living with my "parents" but it's actually a pretty sweet set up. My aunt and uncle are really fantastic. I get the whole upstairs to myself, I find myself coming home to a cooked meal and my laundry done, 500 channels on the satelitte, a fridge full of food, and nothing to do but just sit back relax and enjoy. Yup, definitely a sweet set up.

The whole point of the endeavour was so that I could dig myself out of debt and save a bit of money. I'm pretty much on the road to debt free-ness, and am slowly building up a nice little nest egg. Well, nest whatever you can call it for the future. Not having to pay the usual bills like rent, groceries, and incidentals has helped out a lot. It's also provided me with the opportunity to do things like travel to Europe, Dallas, Michigan, back and forth to London to visit family etc. I love it.

This weekend was a big indicator of how great my aunt and uncle are. My sister came to visit and my aunt looked after the kids for us while we headed out to do some shopping in Detroit. When we came home, supper was made and we were able to walk down to the ice cream place with the youngest while the clean up was taken care of.

So when people ask me, when am I going to find my own place...the answer is definitely going to be not in the immediate future...because this is definitely the life.

(Note: this is not to say that I don't appreciate everything they do for me...I really do. I just had to brag about it a bit.)

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Good Thing

One of the great things about doing what I'm doing is that I have a little extra money to do things I haven't been able to do before. Namely, go places, buy things, have fun. Fortunately for me, I have a great aunt and uncle who let me stay here for free (THANKS GUYS!) and I pretty much just pay for the little things I need here and there.

I will point out that it's also an opportunity for me to get out of debt, which is the goal of the whole endeavour and which is happening a lot more rapidly than I expected--so thanks for that too! But the extra on top of that is really gravy.

So back to what I wanted to point out...the fun.

You'll recall I was fortunate to go to Europe for a week back in April. And of course the weekend jaunt to Texas. But there's also the little things that I enjoy. Like being able to go out and just buy my nieces a new outfit each for back to school (cuuute outfits as well I have to say) and take them to the movies and other stuff we have done together.

Well, yesterday I scored three tickets to see Beauty and the Beast at the Grand Theatre in London. We're going on Christmas Eve. This is my new tradition with them, since it's been three years in a row I'll call it a tradition. I took Elizabeth to see the Nutcracker three years ago and last year we did Annie. I'm pretty excited about B&tB since I managed to score some really awesome seats.

The other good thing? Well, my friend Heather and I are going to see the So You Think You Can Dance tour in September. And go ahead and laugh but the show is expected to be amazing and has been selling out across the country. Lucky for us we live across from Detroit, one of the added stops on the tour. Tickets were kind of more money than I expected to pay, but we've got great seats and are pretty excited about it.

Ahhh, sometimes having things like this in your life is nice...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Lord Help the Mister

I've had the opportunity to spend some serious quality time with my nieces this week and it's been nothing if not entertaining.

My sister and I are pretty close. Actually, we're the closest of the entire family. Some days I don't know what I would do without her, well, I do know, I'd be lost. She's my rock. My sounding board. My biggest fan. My harshest critic. I always go to her when there's something wrong and she always has a great piece of advice to give me. And while I may not always agree with her, in the end, she helps me out more than I could have helped myself. When either of us have had a bad day we'll call the other and just gab about it for about 15 minutes and then it's over and we feel better. While we realize that it's a given in adulthood that not all days are wine and roses, sometimes venting about it and seeing where we need to get over it helps, and that's why having someone to do that with is good.

The interesting part of all of this is to see my niece's relationship with each other. It's interesting to me to see that dynamic at such a young age. The disagreements, the things they fight over, the way they get along, that fierce love that some sisters have for each other, the way that they are each others rock. It's strange and difficult to understand but very heartwarming to see.

Don't get me wrong, having a sister is awesome. But it's also extremely difficult. Sometimes the relationship isn't all it's cracked up to be. And you do have to go through the regular growing pains in the relationship but in the end, having a sister is pretty awesome.

Now in the case of my nieces, they are as different as night and day. One is quiet and introspective, the other loud and a little ... how you say...crazy at times. One has a short temper, the other can be mean. Yet no matter what, they adore each other. They can scrap like you would not believe but when one of them is hurting, look out. The younger one fell on the weekend and who was there to soothe her and try to calm her down? Her sister. And the other one was getting into trouble the other night and the younger one came to her rescue. The youngest is always thinking of her big sister and the older one will do anything she can to make sure the younger doesn't go without (well, sometimes).

My sister and I are hoping that they recognize just how important it is to have a sister and how much she means to the other. We're also hoping that they recognize the importance of the relationship and how you don't do things to hurt the other one. Everyone fights of course, but it's how you fight and what you're fighting about that's important. Case in point, the younger one was misbehaving and when caught, tried to pin the blame on someone, or something else. We talked about taking responsibility for her actions. And why it's important to understand when you've done something wrong. Lord knows we don't want her reaching adulthood and still blaming everyone else for all her problems.

I'm pretty pleased that we've had this time to spend together. Yesterday we went and had a picnic at the river and watched all the boats going by. The older one told me that she wanted to just sit there and enjoy the moments (I know!) and the younger one came and snuggled up to the two of us.

This is what I love about my sister. No matter what we do, how we do it, or where we do it, as long as we spend the time together, it's fun. The kids may look at us strangely sometimes but in the end, we don't care. My sister is there for me and gives to me more than I could ever repay her. Having that relationship is what I'm grateful for most. I couldn't ask for anything else in life but to have my sister in my life.

Although, I have to agree with my oldest niece on one respect. We were driving down the street in London the other day when we stopped at a light waiting to turn. There was a pregnant woman and a little girl at the corner waiting to cross. My younger niece said "that lady is getting ready to borned (sic) a baby". I said yes she was. My older niece piped up "that little girl is going to be a big sister". Again, I pointed out, yes she was. She finished with "I wonder if anyone told her how annoying it would be."

Hmmm. Elizabeth, I would have to agree with you there.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Vacation--Day Two

My sister made me laugh yesterday, she told me that she thinks I'm having a bad vacation because I'm stuck at their house and not able to start the week I had originally planned with my nieces. I explained to her that I didn't have to go in to work, I didn't have to get up at 6:30 and I didn't have to worry about doing my hair/makeup etc. which meant that my vacation is not at all sucking.

We're having an issue with transportation. We agreed that I would take the kids back to Windsor with me in their van and I would leave my car here for her to drive down this weekend when she comes down. Unfortunately, their van was in for repairs and it doesn't seem to have the urgency that is required. Which means that we're now sitting here waiting for the van to come back from the dealership so we can get on the road. The kids are packed and ready to go.

So yesterday I decided to take them to Michaels to pick out a craft to do together. Michaels...giant store of to find everything you need to have fun...except not. We searched the aisles trying to find something that wasn't over the price of $30 that would be relatively simple to do with two children with short attention spans. What did we decide on? Tie dye. Call me crazy but...ok just call me crazy. How I get myself into these things is beyond me. It was pretty funny trying to dye these suckers last night outside on the lawn. But the shirts look cool.

Then my cousin came over to sit and have a glass of wine with us and catch up on everything. We needed to have a nice little gab fest to catch up on what's going on with her family and what's going on with our family and just veg out and yak. I love these times when we do this. My cousin is like another big sister to me and when the three of us get together there is a lot of laughter, a lot of snide remarks and a lot of great stories to tell. Added to this, her eleven year old popped over to see where his mom was at and he and my brother in law ended up in front of the X-Box for an hour just hanging out and playing golf. Fun.

I'm really looking forward to my sister coming down. We're going to make a run to Target to see about some camo pants for the girls (it's funny, they love these pink camo outfits that Target always has) and maybe a stop to a few other neat stores I've discovered over there. I wanted to take the kids to the Build a Bear workshop but apparently it's "too expensive" so we're not going to do that. But the kids have plans with me this week regardless. The new Hilary Duff movie. Probably a trip to the store to buy a new outfit (or two) and of course taking my aunts out to lunch (they're working) and just hanging back and having a good time. I can't wait. I love spending this time with the kids. They recharge me. Frustrate me. But recharge non the less.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Das Denny Haus

We just got in from the shopping trip to the States. Which is actually kind of funny. The new regulations that U.S. Customs has put in place made getting across the border extremely difficult. Which also meant that we had less time to actually do any shopping.

Started at Stride Rite. A great little shoe store. We have to go there because my niece has narrow feet, so her shoes are always expensive. It took us forever in there. Mostly because of the fact that my one niece decided to act ... herself.

I was actually surprised at how little we could find. We went looking for clothes for the two of them and I had the worst time trying to find something for my older niece. I think it's also bad because of the fact that she's at that in between size. The too big for kids clothes and too small for "girl" clothes. I finally found a dress from Tommy that fit her perfectly and was a great buy.

I managed to find a great trench coat at London Fog for $30. A coat that I would not have been able to find here for that price. All in all, a good trip.

But the best part was the ride home. We were a little punchy, and it was pretty funny at one point as we were driving through Frankenmuth trying to find a place to eat. Everything was touristy and expensive and a little too "Liederhoesen" for us. My sister kept driving because she wanted to see if she could find a Denny's. After all, they had to have a "Das Denny Haus" in the little town.

Sad part? We wanted to do Cracker Barrel. Seeing as I hear so much good stuff about it... drove right by it on our way to the Interstate AFTER dinner.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

My New Love

So I'm in love. And this time, it's an honest to goodness possibility. And no, it's not what you think....

How did this all start? Well, yesterday, a car pulled into our parking lot and it was a G6 sports two door. And I thought, hmm, I could go for one of those cars. And then when I got on the GM website, I found that the G6 also comes in a convertible. Which I've always wanted, but never went for. So I did a bit more researching, and discovered that my insurance on it would be exactly what I was paying for the car I have now, it's just the payment would be 100 to 200 more a month. Which isn't really out of my range, just that it's an extravagance I normally shy away from.

However, now that I'm going to be somewhat debt free in the fall, I'm seriously considering a new car should GM offer some sort of incentive (or other deal to get their expensive cars off the lot) that would come up when I hit my two year lease mark this December. I'm going to watch it, and see what happens. After all, they want to sell their cars right???

Eeee, I'm so in love with this car!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Three days until V-WEEK!

Tomorrow marks three days to my week off. Which I am completely looking forward to. My nieces are coming down to spend the week with me, my sister is coming down to go shopping in Michigan with me, and I get a whole week to do nothing but enjoy myself. Vacation weeks have alluded me in the past because I've only been able to take days here and there.

I've got the week planned to spoil the kids rotten. They're going to have so much fun. I love that I can do this with them. Last year I was working two jobs so I had to spend my time on my feet working my ass off, now I have the time and the money to do fun stuff with them like take them shopping, take them to lunch, and just do stupid stuff that I couldn't do before--this may or may not include a movie marathon at SilverCity to see the new Hilary Duff movie.

And my sister is coming down at just the right time. It's amazing, because the two of us have this great relationship with each other. We trust each other completly and when I need her, she's right there for me. I've really missed spending the time with her that I had before and when she comes to visit for a whole weekend, it's just gravy. I've booked a hotel room in Birch Run for the four of us to go and do some back to school shopping and hang out with the kids. I'm so happy that I'm able to do this stuff for her and the kiddies.

Let's see how long the next three days are going to be though, because now that I've said it out loud, you just know it's going to be long.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Soak up the sun Saturday

I woke up the other day and realized that the summer is almost over. Which always makes me sad for some odd reason, even though I hate the heat. And being in Windsor this year has made me realize how much I dislike the heat. Especially when I've been stuck out there in it for various work activities.

So today, since summer is almost over, I decided to lay outside and get some sun. Got myself all comfortable and stretched out in the sun with my bikini top kind of unhooked at the neck so I didn't get a tan line and wouldn't you just know it, my cousin's dog suddenly is licking my face and sniffing my head. Add in the fact that I was listening to my iPod so I had no idea just what the heck was going on and you have yourself a nice little embarassing moment. Lovely.

Ended up coming in and showering so I could take her two kids out to the store and get some treats and a couple of movies. It was fun. Totally love having the opportunity to be "auntie".

Monday, August 07, 2006


I'm home now, and exhausted, and glad to be in my own bed, and dreading going back to work tomorrow. But the weekend was fun, and relaxing and for the first time in months I was actually able to sleep without laying awake worrying about a certain situation which has been really impeding my ability to fall asleep without being really upset.

I always get home feeling like I absolutely hate flying. For some odd reason, the trips home are always awful. For whatever reason, I ended up really sick to my stomach this time around. Thankfully, the airline sickness bag wasn't needed, but that's not to say that I didn't think about it at one point as we were flipping and flopping around in the air above the Flint airport.

Both flights were full and the first one featured a bunch of kids flying with their mother who felt it was alright to sit at the back of the plane with her two "under-10" kids sitting several rows ahead of her. These two were a little rude, slightly obnoxious and just plain annoying. The one left their cup full of ice in the middle of the aisle on our very small commuter plane. I finally picked it up and put it in the garbage for them. Although I have to say my personal favourite was the argument they had with another sibling sitting several rows back about listening to a song on a Playstation the one had. Some people's children...

I was worried about coming across the border since I had such a hard time with the guy at U.S. Customs on the way over. But this time I had no worries, the female Canada Customs agent was very pleasant and actually joked with me about the heat in Dallas. Apparently it was a really nice weekend here, the rain storm on Thursday pushed out the major heat wave we had been having up until my departure.

Spending time with Jen (and the rest of the girls) was really great. The last few months I've been finding very hard with no girlfriends in town. Spending a weekend with one of my best girlfriends was a welcome break from the monotony. Not that I don't enjoy the company of my aunts and my cousin, just that it's not the same as having a girlfriend you can complain to, snark with, laugh with, and just spend time with each other doing nothing--something we always end up doing together. I'm hoping that Jen had as much fun as I did this weekend and that I didn't totally annoy her with my little eccentricities.

So now I'm unpacked, sorted, have stashed my purchases in the basement to be organized next weekend and will welcome a nice shower and possibly a few more chapters in "The Devil Wears Prada" which I picked up in the airport bookstore and have been devilishly devouring since I sat down in DFW.

Speaking of which, I finished "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" which was an easy read and may not really be as intellectually stimulating as one might expect, but it was still a nice little read on the way down. I've gotten halfway through "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" but figured I was too tired to sit and think through it on the flights home.