Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Eight Days a Week

Lots going on the last couple of days. I'm on "vacation" which is basically me taking the week of overtime I had left from the long days back in May and June. My plans changed quite quickly last week and I ended up staying with my cousin for a few days before heading off to Toronto to visit friends.

A sample of one of the cards

The rest of the weekend went well. I managed to finish about 25 cards or so. And had a nice visit with my sisters. My younger sister and I had really not been speaking very much to each other over the last two years due to some things that were said and we salvaged our relationship. As I left her on Sunday I told her what has been on my mind the last year or so...that I've missed having her in my life.

Clown in a Volkswagon--AKA my sister trying to pack her stuff

Monday my cousin and I just vegged by the pool and talked. It was really nice to do that. Sometimes you need to recharge a bit in that way and that was the perfect way to do it. We went to see my 14 year old cousin play baseball except he didn't really play...just ten minutes of the game. His two friends who came with us ended up taking about 200 photos on my camera of everything BUT Derek playing baseball.

Derek, Jordan and Josh finally getting to try out Bungee Jumping

Yesterday it was Canada's Wonderland. Which was funny in itself. We had four 14 year old boys and at that age, they are pretty funny. They think they're pretty big men but really they're still just boys. I'm kind of like the fun aunt along for the ride. I was the only adult with a cell phone so they thought it was pretty cool they could send me text messages. It really came in handy when we needed to know where they were once they took off on us in the morning. After one ride, Donna and I were ready to stay on solid ground (something happens to your equilibrium as you get older, I swear!) so we ended up following them around, holding bags, and waiting at exits for them. It was actually a nice day.

The four boys

Today I finally took the plunge and put a deposit down on my car. I had talked to a dealer in Windsor about it but I ended up going in the Saturn dealership here to talk with them. I put the deposit down on it and it should come in in November. I picked out a ruby red 2009 Vue hybrid. It was an easy decision but also a hard one. Had to really do some research, look at what I really wanted, what I really didn't want and what I would want for the next few years. Now with the changes to leasing I had to make a different kind of decision. I'm pretty excited about my new baby!!! Then it was on to the hospital for Derek's MRI and now we're just awaiting the arrival of Derek's older brother Kevin, home from Italy.

Tomorrow we'll await the arrival of Kevin's luggage. Lovely that his trip had lost luggage to bookend it.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Day One

My two sisters and I are at a scrapbooking retreat for the weekend. It's called Younique Retreat and I'm officially in love. Aside from having a whole table to yourself and not having to clean up at the end of the day (something hard core croppers will understand), we're fed all our meals which are borderline gourmet and we have everything done for us. Imagine staying at a really nice hotel and being able to just play all weekend long. Added to that, there's a hot tub, shopping and other cool things to do.

I've finished six cards so far and I've got another six almost completed. I went to bed at 2 a.m. last night and could not fall asleep thinking about more creativity that I wanted to do today. This is going to be so much fun.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Words to that effect

My last post seems to have confused a few people. What I was trying to express was that feeling that a lot of women get when they turn another year older. Wanting to hold onto our youth, wanting to not have to be one year older. That sort of thing. I was trying to express that I wasn't ashamed to be another year older because of all of the ways that I have grown in the years of my life. How I have triumphed over adversity if you will. Come through the rough to where I am today.

For some odd reason, certain people like to take credit for who I am just for the sheer excuse that they were a part of my life at some time. What they fail to realize is what role they played in this turmoil and how much of the drama and problems in my life were a direct result of their actions. I had to survive what they forced me to take on.

Something that these individuals don't realize is that who I am today is because of ME. Because of my strength and courage that I had to find deep down inside. Because I had to take these lemons and make lemonade, if you will. I find it completely odd that someone would try to see how their role that they fail to take responsibility for is a credit to me. I can assure you, it's not.

I have some really fantastic people in my life. Individuals along my road who have supported me, guided me, assisted me in any way they could to get me to where I am today. My gratitude and love for them is something I try to share every day. I do this by sharing my life with them. By telling them how much I care.

But by feeling this way I am labeled as angry, full of hate, less than what I claim to be because I have moved on and I have grown up from those moments in my life and choose not to continue to have that drama in my life. Unfortunately for me, these individuals continue to choose to remind me of those moments, of their actions that led to those moments, and accuse me of being less than I am for not allowing them to take this "credit" for their role in my life before.

Saying that you respect my decisions is one thing. Constantly harassing and stalking me to the point where I have to take this type of action is another. I really don't know how many times I can say "leave me alone" but it's starting to get old. Maybe one day these people will actually walk the talk and finally respect my wishes.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hello 33!

The past week I've been saying that I was turning another age than 33 today. I was going to be 29, 25, 28 or 19 (who was I kidding???). But then this morning as I was driving in to work I realized I don't want to be any age than what I am.

I thought about every single good age I could think about and at each and every age something was going on. Something that caused some kind of drama or strife or complication. Each year seemed to have something that wasn't ideal.

Which is why I want to be 33. I think about it this life is pretty much on track. I'm my own person. I make my own decisions (sometimes with influence...). I make good money, I have a great job that I love and I have great friends and family around me to keep me grounded. I'm finally in a place financially that I like and I'm ready for the next step. I can stand up for myself. I can defend my actions. I'm not afraid to be who I am. And I have the freedom to choose.

I also realize that I wouldn't be the person that I am today if I hadn't had the strife and drama that I had. I wouldn't have learned the lessons that I learned. And I wouldn't have become the person I am without the steps I had to go through before. Each one of those years contributed to the experiences that made me who I am. Which is why I'm ok with being another year older, another year wiser and another year me.

I wouldn't trade any one of the 33 years that I've had to be one year younger or one decade younger. Unless I could be the person I am today back then. But then maybe I would have done things differently and things wouldn't be the way they are today.

If only it was this easy to reach this conclusion when the grey hairs pop up in the mirror in the morning....

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Some days this cartoon just makes me laugh...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Don't want to be right

It might be wrong that I'm totally loving this.

I told myself no more mini albums for a while. That I wanted to actually scrapbook a few real photos and pages. But then I see that on Ali's blog and want to make a mini book. Which I'm actually going to do for a few more gifts (babies, weddings, all that mini-book goodness) but still, I wanted to get out of the mini book madness for a while and just do some cards and regular pages.

So excited for CHA this week. Can't wait to see what new trends are coming out.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Crazy Talk

When I didn't get the job a week ago I decided to do something different. No, not take off to Italy to paint for six months different. More like get another degree different. I applied to Ryerson for their Public Administration and Governance program which pretty much cements me in Government FOR-EV-ER and also helps me get a better job a.k.a open up the door to other possibilities.

Except, the reason they need you to work with a guidance counselor to apply to university is because it's hard. Seriously. This was crazy. I had to go through this big long application process. Then on the Ryerson web site it said I had to fill out a supplementary application. Then it said I had to register with OUAC (Ontario University Application Centre) which I had just done.

Once I had all my questions answered I was told that I could register online beginning July 14. So for the last week I have tried to figure out how my distance education course load would be. Four courses per semester or not. If I wanted the certificate in one year it would have to be that way. Then today I discovered that they offer summer intersession. Meaning I could get all eight by next June without killing myself in the process.

So I spent about an hour trying to register online. Which you think would be easy. Nuh-uh. First I had to find the registration page, then I had to find the courses, then I had to choose them in my cart. And of course, because so many other people were registering, I would get an error message about three out of the four times I tried. Then, I would have to go back to the original page and try to find the courses AGAIN. Once I had my three courses, I tried to go and checkout. Which took me to another screen. That screen asked for my student ID number. Had to go through my emails and hunt that down. That took a while since that required going into a separate page and logging into another page at the university and registering there. Finally, I had it all...tried to check out...and nothing.

After I gave up for an hour I went back in. Success. I was able to get the courses through to my profile which then said....I didn't have the security access for that. I would have to add that in my folder on my online profile. Except, there was no way to do this or SEARCH FOR IT.

I had to keep going back in and adding the courses to my cart again and again and again some more. I swear I'm the only one registered in the course seeing as how many times I registered. Finally, a light went on. I read the FINE PRINT at the side of the screen that you don't see unless you go into the help section that said "If you have not registered for any courses prior to April 1, 2008, you are not able to register for courses online, you must do so in person or by mail."

I mean seriously. Could they not have put this RIGHT ON THE FRONT OF THE CONTINUING EDUCATION PAGE IN LARGE RED PRINT FOR THOSE OF US WHO DON'T KNOW WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? Added to that, if I knew that was the case, I would have filled out the online form LAST WEEK and mailed it so that they got it today.

I just hope that I get in the courses.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Outdoor Glass 2 : Lesley 0

I'm home alone with the dog for a few days while my aunt and uncle visit with their kids in Toronto. I'm always worried about things breaking or going wrong because I'm not the home owner and I always feel uber guilty about anything and everything.

The other night I was watering the plants on the back deck and this big blue glass lantern blew over on the deck and hit the brick wall and broke at the top. Of course I felt like a total tool because a) it broke and b) I wasn't able to catch it.

Yesterday Bauer, my cousin's golden retriever came for a "visit" while my cousin and her son and husband went to a party around the corner. Benny wasn't pleased. He has a bit of a dominance problem so the two of them went at it. I was worried about them breaking somethingin the house but every time I put them outside they would stop fighting. They finally got over themselves and nothing happened.

Then this morning came....the patio table was fine when I let Benny out this morning but when I came up from the basement (I was getting ready for the retreat I'm going on in a few weeks) I looked outside and voila...patio table shattered into a bajillion pieces. I had no idea that thing could break into that many pieces. So after spending about an hour cleaning it up (I still have to go out and get the rest of the little pieces in the cracks of the deck out) I decided that maybe I should quit while I'm ahead and make sure I don't touch anything else.

I still have to water the flowers again tomorrow...hopefully I won't kill any of them.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A dog's life

Bauer, my cousin's golden retriever is coming for a visit today. Let's hope this perks Benny up a bit. He's a strange dog. Has serious separation anxiety with his "people". I'm wondering if it's a poodle trait (he's a cocker poodle cross) or if it's just a dog trait. This morning while vacuuming I noticed a spot on the living room carpet from his "anxiety". Not to mention the whole not eating for a day thing on Wednesday and the constant downer mentality. Cheer up beast!

I went to get my NEXUS card last night. That was hilarious. And I'm not just talking about the actual photo (which is horrible by the way...sigh...). I was asked if I had ever been arrested. Except the noise in the trailer made it sound like "a resident". So I kept saying "yes, in Windsor and London". She looked at me like I was nuts. No I've never been arrested.

Made a little stop at The Scrapbook Zone. I'm looking for something to hold my scraps but can't seem to find what I'm looking for. So I'm going to make do with what I have. I did pick up some cool Heidi Swapp stuff I want to try. I'm actually in the mood to create which hasn't happened in a while. Also went to Ikea to get another shelf piece. I have the ivar shelving unit and I bought another side and two cabinet doors. This way I have all my craft (and my aunt's scrap stuff she WILL use eventually--she's coming over to the dark side whether she likes it or not) stuff organized in one place.

I have to get organized for my weekend retreat with my sisters in two weeks. We're going to this bed and breakfast type place that specializes in crafters. It's a whole weekend of creating. I know what I'm going to work on...believe it or not, Christmas cards and a few little ornament things I thought about when I was opening all my Maya Road stuff. Can't wait to work on those.

I had hoped to get to the gym this morning but after cleaning and organizing some other stuff (I like to do that stuff when I'm home alone) until 11 p.m. last night I decided to sleep in. And my gym is only open until noon on Saturday and Sunday. So instead I'm taking a day off. I did something to upset my tailbone the other day at the gym so sitting on the bike and walking on the treadmill have been a little uncomfortable. Add the sitting on the weight machines to that and it's sheer torture. So break it is! I managed to get there three times this week so I'm doing pretty good. We'll see what the scale has to say. My extra five pounds last week someone ended up BACK on the scale but I'm blaming the water weight from working out on that. My clothes are still fitting the way they were last week so we're good.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

My body hates me

I wake up to a nice round number on the scale and of course, my body fights back. I went to the gym yesterday and last night I spent several hours tossing and turning because my knees and elbows were hurting from my workout.

Then of course today, my body decides to fight back at the diet I've been rocking. It's not like I'm eating anything weird, I've cut out sugar, flour, certain dairy products and other bad for you stuff like caffeine and alcohol. Instead I eat protein with all meals that consist of fruits and vegetables rather than really heavy starchy foods and fatty carbohydrates.

For some odd reason though, my body doesn't handle soy milk all that well. So what happens is I get really bad abdominal pain. As my coworker said to me, you must have been feeling rough because you ran out of here so fast this morning. (I left work sick). So now it's back to milk instead of soy milk and also adding a few other wheat products in to sort of level it off. Lots of fruits and vegetables too.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Silver Lining

Last week I drove up to Toronto for an interview. The interview was for a temporary promotion to cover a maternity leave. I knew I didn't really have the amount of experience for the job level outside of my project, but thought with my experience on this project it might just be enough. I waited all week to find out what was going on. The interview itself was really intense and I spent several days going over what was said, what I didn't say etc.

Yesterday my director called to tell me I didn't get the job. He seemed kind of sad to give me the news. I appreciated that he called me and explained to me what was going on. Basically, the lack of experience is what killed it for me. We talked a lot about what he wanted to see from me and how he wanted to help me advance in my career. He's worried that I'm going to become pigeon holed in communications and he sees that there is more for me with my skills and talent. Not really something a lot of managers are able to tell their employees. I was pretty grateful that he took the time to explain his reasoning to me and also let me know how to improve. I was also able to ask some questions about a previous manager I had had issues with and see if he had any feelings about my performance during that time. It was good to find out that he thought I was doing a great job and had no questions about my ability to perform in my role.

I was disappointed of course. I haven't heard the whole "not enough experience" thing in a while. And I completely understand in this case. I wanted the job to get the experience but a part of me also didn't want the job just for the B-S that goes a long with it. Lots of people you have to keep happy, lots of overtime, lots of stress, lots of what ifs and of course the added element of fear if you fail. While I'm sure I could have done it, I just wasn't ready in my long term path to take on that responsibility especially if something went wrong.

So instead of getting down about it, I decided to contact Ryerson University in Toronto and see about some public policy and administration courses. I talked to my director about it in the past and he thought it was a good idea. So I decided to just bite the bullet and find out. I can get a certificate in public policy through distance education. It's just the whole "buckling down" and doing it part. If I can get in, I can start in the fall and work my way through the eight or nine classes I have to take. I'm also going to look into Business Administration courses at the University here too. It can only help.

Today it's just cleaning up, cleaning out, organizing and working on some other projects to get out of the way. Being away from home the last few weekends and being involved in other projects the other weekends has left me with a bit of a creative mess and now I'm working on putting it all back together.