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.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

A {helpful} little lesson upon my departure

Since I'm leaving Dallas and cannot be right beside my best girl Jen in the next few months, I have a helpful little "lesson" for her upon my departure.

Goal of said lesson:

So after Jen's flight the other night where she was seated beside a certain Canadian comedian that just about made me faint in the airport I figured a little helpful conversation starters might come in handy should she be seated next to one ERIC LINDROS on a flight, in an elevator, on the street, at a bar...or (insert location here).

Jen, this one's for you.

Eric Lindros is from CANADA. Specifically, my home town of LONDON. His dad used to have an assistant who happened to be my boss at one point in my career. He knows about the LONDON KNIGHTS who won the MEMORIAL CUP, which he won during his YEARS IN JUNIOR HOCKEY. He moved to TORONTO, and ended up PLAYING FOR THE LEAFS. And is now A DALLAS STAR. HE PLAYS CENTRE. He played in the OLYMPICS for CANADA. HE HAS A BROTHER. YOUR BEST FRIEND FROM CANAD-IA LOVES HIS HOCKEY PLAYING ASS. (Please note, any of the capitalized words can be used as CONVERSATION STARTERS or what I like to affectionately call POTENTIALLY FUNNY STORIES FOR US TO TELL OUR GRANDKIDS.)

Anyways, back to my story. Should you see a man who looks like this:

Or this:

Know that you are in fact, in the presence of one Eric Lindros. And it would make me completely jealous should you have a chance to TALK TO HIM. Or LOOK HIM IN his GORGEOUS EYES. Or see if HE REALLY IS THAT HOT IN PERSON.

Ok I sound a little crazy....

Is this helping???

So, ya, anyways, maybe, could you say hi for me?


**Note to Jen, you know I'm completely kidding here, that I would never ever for a minute think that you would be all verklempt like say...ME should you be in the prescence of Eric but maybe, should you find yourself in a situation where he is located, or have the opportunity to speak to this man, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, take a photo or something....and know that I would not be embarassed should you tell him that you have a crazy friend in Canada who is in lurve with him.....

When I'm wrong, I say I'm wrong...ok sometimes...

Alright, first up let me say, it's way hot here. I thought it wasn't going to be as hot as they make it out, but dudes, it's WAY hot down here. And I'm saying this after spending a week in the furnace that is Windsor. I can't tell if it's the humidity in Ontario or the plain old Texas heat, but I think I'm catching something from the air conditioning. And that isn't good.

Dallas, as always, is awesome. We have had so much fun. Jen picked me up at the airport yesterday and we were off. Costco, movies, dinner, a short sleep overnight, up and at'em today and off to three scrapbook stores, a party store, a dollar store, and the grocery store. Then we came home and I hammered off two layouts. Which was so much fun. I'm so close to finishing the Europe album.

So when Jen picked me up she told me this hilarious story about how she was sitting beside Mike Myers on her flight back from L.A. Yes, THAT Mike Myers. Apparently he had to keep climbing over her to use the washroom and she wasn't that fazed. I'm all "DUDE, you were sitting beside Wayne! Shhaawing!" I told her she should have said to him "'ow's it goin' eh?"

I will definitely have to give her the tutorial on Eric Lindros for future flights she takes. Because if she ends up beside him? Oh...there are no words...

Thursday, August 03, 2006


Today I begin leg one of the journey to Dallas. Which I'm pretty excited about. I've been looking forward to this weekend for about three weeks now. And mostly because I want to get away and not have to think for a few days.

I booked myself into a hotel in Auburn Hills. I figured this way, I won't have to worry about getting across the border and making it to the airport in time for my flight. I fly out at nine tomorrow morning which would have meant I would have had to leave at 5:30 am. Instead I can get up and leave the hotel around 7:30 or so. Which is so much nicer. And I get the chance to check out the outlet mall there.

I really can't wait, can't wait to relax, can't wait to see my friends, can't wait to hang out, can't wait to do some shopping, just can't wait to have some fun.

And believe it or not, Dallas is actually COOLER than it is here.