Friday, 31 December 2010


Graphic shamelessly snitched from the Google search page. They always have such cool things there and I quite like this one!

So... without further ado...

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Golden Boy

(Ken Gigliotti/Winnipeg Free Press)

Atop the provincial legislature building is a gilded statue that's a bit over 17' in height. He's the Golden Boy. And every now and then, the local Free Press publishes some really nice photos of him. This was in this morning's paper.

Our Golden Boy is 92 years old... and he's from France. Cast in 1918. Looks pretty good for such an old guy, doesn't he? Probably because he spent a few months at the 'spa' in 2002... He was getting a bit rusty in the bottom and losing his lustre, so they lowered him down for a complete make over.

He even got to be rededicated by the Queen when he was stuck back on the building, some 250 feet above the ground. Personally, I think he's kinda cool... and a definite eye catcher in the bright sunlight!

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Can one ever be completely honest with those who matter most?


Should one be completely honest?

Sunday, 26 December 2010


What I wouldn't give to have one of these on my deck right now.

I have spent a good part of the past couple months chilled. Ever since starting on hormone pills and getting the hot flashes under control, I have been COLD!!!

Right now, I am in the house. The thermostat reads 22C in here. I have on thick wool socks and my feet are stuffed into my sheepskin slippers (yeah, real sheepskin) and they are still cold. I have a hoodie on over a long sleeved t-shirt... and I am cold.

When LHB is here, I rarely feel cold. (wink wink) But aside from all that activity, we spend a fair bit of time close to each other... and he's always nice and warm! Men generate more body heat than women (aside from hot flashes, of course), apparently due to more muscle mass and a higher resting metabolic rate.

I don't care why! But I do care that he keeps me warm. (Although I like him for a lot more than just that!) I hate being cold. And I live in a place that has the same climate as Siberia... seriously, Winnipeg does!

So, some day when the budget allows, I will get that hot tub and put it on my deck right outside the door. And I will use it every day! And I will be warm. Very warm. Hot even! And I will love it!!!

Right now, it's another cup of hot chocolate. *sigh*

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Christmas Wish

I fully admit to having no faith whatsoever in any so called deity. I've been a staunch non-believer my entire life, although I have read bits and pieces of the bible, and had long chats with Catholics, Mormons, and a few others. So for me, there isn't any 'Christ' in Christmas.

What there is, is a whole lot of love for family and friends.

Christmas for me is a Time to get together with the people I love, to visit and laugh, give and receive hugs, share wonderful food (and there are a few traditional foods that make appearances every year), tell tales of what's happening in life, delight in the giving of gifts (especially to the little ones) and generally just have a really good visit.

Because the best Times in life are actually just that - Time. Time together. Time spent with those who mean the most to you.

Time goes much too quickly as we get older (who decided it should be that way, anyway? it is so not fair!) and it's too easy to lose track of it. It gets away on you and next thing you know, another year has flown by and you don't know where the Time went!

Time is something that LHB and I don't get enough of... What little Time we get together is rare, precious, intense and cherished. We really don't know when the next bit of Time will appear, but we take advantage of every snippet we get.

So my Christmas wish this year is to take the Time to enjoy what life has to offer. From the big events during the year, to the tiny moments that give pause and create wonder and awe. Those all add up to a memory vault full of huge chunks of Time well spent.

I also wish this for you, my blogging friends. May your Christmas be filled with the best of Times with those you love.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Early Christmas

"Go away... that flash hurts my eyes. I may have to hiss at you..."

LHB was just in town... arriving on Sunday about midday and able to stay until early Tuesday morning. We decided that since his return to our fair (and frozen) city is not known, we'd do the Christmas gift exchange while he was here.

I'd picked up a couple of little things for him, like a bottle of red wine (and a  nice little cloth bottle bag to hide it in), a key chain with his first initial engraved on it, and a box of those absolutely scrumptious dark Ferrero Rocher 'Rondnoir' chocolates with the whole hazelnut in the centre!

We had talked one evening about what each wanted for Christmas, and he'd mentioned he wanted some sweat shirts... good ones... not for work (things can pretty grubby when loading and unloading trucks, hauling tarps all over things, and handling big heavy canvas straps to tie everything securely). 

So I decided to put my skills to good use.

I made him a red fleece quarter zip shirt. He was thrilled to get it and didn't realize at first that I had made it, until I mentioned that I was glad I had lengthened the sleeves a bit.

So here is a photo of him modelling the fleece, but since I haven't asked his permission to post his photo here, I had to lop off his noggin. I'm sure he won't take offense. And if he does, I will have to be especially nice to him the next time he's here! *nudge nudge wink wink*

It's a lovely red, isn't it? The tag on the bolt of fabric said it is 'Cooking Sherry' in colour. I think the white piping stands out nicely. I am very pleased with how it turned out, although I did discover in the construction process that my sewing machine is loathe to do a zigzag stitch. That warrants some investigation. *sigh* After the bobbin incident, I am none too pleased with this development.

I've the first season of a show called 'Sanctuary' to watch (with Amanda Tapping from Stargate in the lead role), some di Sorona Amaretto to enjoy (given to share with my sister when we are having 'girlie' time together - isn't that just so sweet???) plus a weekend of dinner theatre and just the two of us in a hotel room to look forward to!!! *more nudge nudge wink wink!*

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Ice sculpture

(US Coast Guard / The Associated Press)

This looks pretty cool, doesn't it?

A giant ice sculpture, an abstract form of crystalline water.

Which just happens to be the Cleveland Harbor West Pierhead lighthouse... after a winter storm.

It's completely useless. Seafaring folks were left to their own devices as they couldn't see the light.


Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Workplace bullying

A coworker of mine, who is also a good friend, just called me. She wanted to ask my opinion on how I would handle a situation she found herself in at work today.

Now, I am about 13 years older than she is - she recently turned 40 - and have gone through a lot of the perimenopausal crap women go through. Any woman knows that at times, when you have your period, you run the risk of having a 'gusher' and ending up having an accident that is highly visible.

That's what happened to my friend today. She knew her period was heavy, and had doubled and tripled up on the 'protective' gear before coming to work. Unfortunately, it was not enough to absorb the flood that ensued when she sat down at the nursing station. As a result, there were a couple of small (about the size of our two dollar coin) spots on the chair. But blood shows up. And the chairs are grey.

Now, embarrassing as that is, what her dilemma turned out to be is the reaction of a couple of our female coworkers. They openly made fun of her, calling over several of our male cohorts to look at the chair, talking and laughing loudly enough that many of the patients could hear exactly what was being said.

My friend was mortified by what she did to the chair, but completely humiliated by the reaction of our colleagues. I cannot blame her. Her question was, should she confront them tomorrow morning (before the patients get in the unit) and should she tell our unit manager of the situation?

I said absolutely yes! Those two were so completely inappropriate and cruel, it blows my mind! And one is a good 'Christian' woman who goes to church faithfully every Sunday, to be absolved of her sins.... obviously so she can be as evil as she wants during the week without having a conscience to deal with. She must feel that she can do and say whatever she wants and God will forgive her if she shows up on Sundays at church. How hypocritical is that!

The other woman is just plain mean-spirited. They both try to laugh everything off and say it's all in good fun, but they are so terribly guilty of bullying and cruelty, it is ridiculous!

I wish I had been in the unit when this happened. My friend was forced to go to the restroom and cry as she got herself straightened out. I would have called those two up on the carpet then and there, and made them apologize and recognize their juvenile behaviour for what it was! But I had been relegated to the ICU for the entire shift and missed the whole thing.

I also wish I could be there tomorrow morning to witness my friend's scathing retort to those two but I don't start until mid morning and will have to rely on my friend for her report of the situation. She's mad now, I can tell you!! She was humiliated today but by tomorrow, she'll be out for blood!

All I can say is, "YOU GO GIRL!!!" I am sooooo on your side!!!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

My little tree

 This is my little tree. It is about 3 feet tall. It is fully lit with twinkling lights and covered with unbreakable ornaments. It's perched on the table between the chair and couch in my living room.

Don't the walls look like they are painted with watercolours? I took a few shots until I got one where most of the lights in the tree were on. Not an easy thing to do with a digital camera (there's that delay, you know?)!

This is the star on the top of the tree. It has special meaning for me because my Mum gave it to me years ago. It's made of twigs and twine painted gold, with bits of (fake) evergreen bough and a little wooden red heart stuck on it. I love it!

To ensure the safety of the tree, and its decorations, I have used a bungee cord to secure it to the table! I am hoping that makes it a lot less interesting to Lila...

We'll see if it survives the season. I didn't even put it up last year because she was only seven months old. She's getting close to two now, but hasn't slowed down even one iota. *sigh*

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Monday, 13 December 2010


Turn your speakers up, kids! This will get you in the Christmas spirit for sure!!!!

Enjoy. :-)

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Just about done

I finished my Christmas shopping today. In fact, I just started yesterday. I know, I know... procrastinator! But it's also waiting for a payday that isn't completely spoken for, and managing to find things that fit in the budget.

I spent numerous hours this weekend trudging through stores and malls, braving the crowds (which weren't as bad as I thought they would be) and trying to find deals. My feet are rebelling. I have crap for feet anyway and when I spend that much time tromping about, they let me know they are not at all pleased! I haven't taken my socks off yet, but they may resemble these:

This evening will be spent wrapping the presents. Tomorrow will be a trip to the post office or bus depot to send things where they need to go. I haven't even mailed cards yet! I am sooooo bad... and it just seems to get worse as I get older. Not sure why, but there's a pattern I've noticed.

(I may be wishing I had as many hands as Stitch here... they'd come in handy.)

The wrapping will have to take place behind closed doors. I do not need the assistance (or sabotaging) of a couple of little cats, nor the potential for dog spit on anything. After that, it'll be up with the feet and some hot chocolate liberally spiked with Baileys, plus my book (thank you, LHB - I will get it finished one day...).

Any baking I have even remotely thought of doing will have to wait for another day...

Technical difficulties

Turns out LHB is now stuck in Edmonton until Monday morning, due to misinformation regarding closing times and loading availability.

If he's going to have to hang out and wait somewhere, why on earth can it not be here????

The trucking gremlins are having fun with us, the little bastards! Oh well. I suppose this will give him time to catch up on paperwork... and sleep.

The laptop is also causing him a headache. He told me this evening he tried to leave comments on several blogs and is again unable to do so. And since I don't have his laptop in my hot little hands, I can't figure out what is wrong.

This is most frustrating. For both of us. For numerous reasons.

But it does give me a bit more time to get things accomplished before Christmas.

Of course, there is not guarantee I will get to see him before Christmas....

Saturday, 11 December 2010

A Christmas Song

I just knew...

... reality would come crashing in at some point.

LHB and I had been hoping to connect the beginning of next week when he'd be taking a load (of whatever) from Calgary to Ontario somewhere. And since the TransCanada highway happens to run right through Winnipeg, a pit stop here would be inevitable.

Up to this point, each time he's been through here, we've managed 2 or 3 days together each time. And it has been lovely. But I think we were getting spoiled.

Although, as he said today, a little spoiling is a wonderful thing!

But the cold hard reality of the trucking life is that things can change in an instant. And today they did. The customer getting the load shipped to Ontario required it sooner than LHB could get it there. So they gave it to another driver. Which means LHB is not only not coming through Winnipeg, he's not even coming close to the province!

He's going to be bopping back and forth in Alberta and BC.

Needless to say, both of us are sorely disappointed at this turn of events.

But I suppose it was bound to happen at some point. We've been very lucky with his ability to take the time he has while in town.

Anyone have a lucky Buddha? Rub his belly for me, k? And please excuse me while I go check my lottery ticket... cuz if it's a winner, he's flying back on the next available plane!!!

Friday, 10 December 2010

What the hell????

This just popped up on my blog roll:

I nearly had a heart attack! But sadly, no, it's not Our Jimmy...

I don't know who it is... this person seems to have a lot of blogs that say nothing, in many different languages?


Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Just another day

I sit here, in front of my computer, and think of things to write. I'm not coming up with too much that's witty or original...

Pips sits on my desk, gazing at me indifferently. I've not let her onto my lap for a snuggle. So she proceeds to look about the desktop, and whip the pen on to the floor. She looks at me again. The next movable object is flung across the room. The only thing that moves on her is her paw. And she proceeds to look at me after each launch.

(Don't let that cute face fool you... she's a wily one!!)

I kick her off the desk.

And pick everything up.

Lila keeps trying to lie on top of the electrical cords under the desk. I make sharp hissing noises at her and she runs out, only to try and run back in in a minute to repeat the action. I eventually stick my foot out repeatedly to block her access to under the desk. She eventually hisses at my foot and attacks my slipper, biting the suede with great frustration.

(There was growling going on too. This girl's got 'tude!!!)

The dog had tried to worm her way into my lap, drooling on the keyboard in the process. After wiping the slobber off the Ctrl key (it's a wonder this keyboard works at all), I pet her and she lies on the floor, farting prodigiously on the way down. She'd just been out to do her business, so I'm assuming that was just some left over wind that wasn't expelled out of doors (where it would not have been noticed but in here it makes your eyes water).

(Could she possibly look any more rejected???)
(And how on earth can this possibly be comfortable? She lies like this all the time...)

Lila has now decided the dog needs a good cleaning and is proceeding to ingest copious quantities of coarse dog hair gleaned from Zoë's cranium.

Having spoken to LHB already today (he's in the inner reaches of BC, having unloaded lumber and is proceeding to load more lumber), I am in need of getting something constructive done with my day off so I think it's time to haul out the vacuum (to suck up the remains of the kitty wrestling match that obviously went on last night while I was at work), and throw a load or two in the washer... although not at the same time.

And if this isn't enough excitement for your day, I think I have to wash some dishes too.

Try and control yourselves, okay?

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Thwarted at every turn...

Several times in the recent past, I have tried to upload little videos on this blogger thing and have had my efforts rejected each time.

They aren't long vids... just short clips involving Lila for a bit of comic relief. You know how she can be... a little bit crazy and a whole lot of nuts!

But for some reason, this blogger thing just won't do it. It spins the whole time, supposedly uploading the video, and then has the audacity to tell me there's been an error and the video was not uploaded.

These are not youtube videos. Do I have to resort to putting them on youtube first and then uploading them here? I know I have uploaded from my own computer in the past and it has worked. I don't really feel the need to litter youtube with my cat being silly.

If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, I'd be pleased to hear them. I guess I am off to blogger help to see if there's any info there.

Monday, 6 December 2010

A million miles away...

I can picture you asleep in your bed
A massive explosion of thoughts in your head
Life is complicated when you fall in love and out again

Oh I can feel you
I can hear you
I can see you in your room
Oh I can kiss you
I can taste your mouth - I can nearly touch your face
Oh how I miss you
How I miss you
How I long for your embrace
From a million miles away

I can picture you in the silver of the rain
You’ve got so many thoughts running round in your brain
Time seems confiscated when
You fall in love and out again

Oh I can feel you
I can hear you
I can see you in your room
Oh I can kiss you
I can taste your mouth - I can nearly touch your face
Oh how I miss you
How I miss you
How I long for your embrace
From a million miles away

I can picture you asleep in your bed
Imagine your body like flickering red
Life is complicated when
You fall in love and out again, you fall in love and out again

Oh I can feel you
I can hear you
I can see you in your room
Oh I can kiss you
I can taste your mouth - I can nearly touch your face
Oh how I miss you
How I miss you
How I long for your embrace
From a million miles away

-- Jann Arden, Free

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Disappointment... and Not!

The party dress lies on the table, three quarters finished but not at all wearable.

An hour prior to the start time of the party, I am in the final stages of fitting and finishing the dress, the gorgeous purple stretch satin and lace feeling luxurious under my hands. It's the final stretch and I'm getting geared up to be glamorous in my new finery.

Then there is a sickening 'crunch' as the needle stops dead in the fabric, all the way down the slot to the bobbin chamber. It won't move. I can't even raise the needle up to pull the fabric out and see what's going on. It requires much mutterings of foul phrases, tiny sharp scissors, a pair of forceps and the assistance of LHB to get things pried apart. We fritter and flutter and tinker with the damn machine. Try this and that. Take this apart, peer into there, switch that out with another, try again... and two stitches later there's that 'crunch'.

There's no time to borrow anyone's machine. My sister has one but she lives on the far side of the city and it would take 40 minutes just to get to her place, never mind borrow her machine and get back home and finish sewing.

So I frantically searched through my closet to find something suitable to wear. Party clothes have never been high on my list of necessary wardrobe bits, so it's down to one pair of black diaphanous floaty (and very comfy) pants that almost look like a skirt (black with an overlay of sheer black) and a choice of two tops: one black lace, the other pink and slinky. LHB chose the pink slinky number... he does rather like the feel of lycra under his hand while we wander about the dance floor.

So despite all best efforts, the party dress didn't make it. But to the party we went! LHB got to meet a bunch of people I work with.We had fun and that's what counts.

Having 2 days with LHB was not a disappoint, however... The more time we spend together, the more time I want us to spend together. He's back on the road again this morning, headed for points to the northwest... the land of no cell coverage and bleak(er) winter. He's got no idea when he'll be back in town again. Or even if he will be working Christmas. It's likely he will be. But if he is here, he's coming to Christmas dinner with me... and that means he'd meet the family - all at once!

Thursday, 2 December 2010


I'm on a roll this week.

Have bits of fabric everywhere, pins and needles and threads all 'round.

Making a new dress for the upcoming work Christmas party on Saturday. I'm not built for an 'off the rack' dress without looking like a cheap hooker popping out of her top, so I decided to make one instead. I've tons of experience in that department and it's coming along quite nicely, if I do say so myself. The tricky part is coming up, as the bodice pattern pieces required major adjustment to belay the hooker look!

All in all, I think it will look smashing when all finished! A custom made outfit looks like a million bucks.

(No, mine will not look like this... but it is purple!)

The party is a potluck affair, so I will also be throwing together a Vinetarta to take along. This is a traditional Icelandic cake... or as XL loves to call it - Viking cake! (Some people call it Icelandic heroin...)

But the best part of the upcoming festivities will be that LHB will be in town and will be accompanying me to the party. He's not yet met any of my friends, so this will be a big introduction to the people I work with. He's actually quite excited about it and has been asking me what colour he should wear (he has several choices in his wardrobe). Of the ones listed, I chose the green, as the others would clash a bit with my deep purple dress. He'll be in town tomorrow afternoon and back on the road on Sunday, but the intervening time will be cherished.

There's growing fondness between us and we are taking our time to see how things develop. There's no rush, after all... As he once wrote to me, " - a long way to the end, but sometimes one meets someone - that makes the trek and the life worthwhile!"

(All photos nicked from the interwebs, as I have nothing finished so can't post my own at this time!)

Monday, 29 November 2010

A busy week

I'm on holidays this week, which is lovely. Except for the weather, which is rather stormy at the moment. What the computer said this morning (~1 cm of snow) and what the radio said (~4 cms of snow) were a bit at odds with each other.

I'm not certain how much of the white stuff has come down today. There has been some, although not great quantities like last week. But the wind has been making sure every last flake gets packed into drifts across my yard.

I've been out shovelling again because of that. If I could just convince my neighbour to plant a very large evergreen tree in the middle of his back yard, it would fill that gap where the north wind comes whistling in, bringing all that snow, which then runs smack dab into my house and falls to the ground. None of this planting of a seedling and waiting 20 years for it to get big... I'd like a 15 footer stuck in the ground right away, thank you very much. That would probably do the trick quite nicely.

Tomorrow, I am off to the barn to clamber up onto some horse (the one I wanted to ride has been sold, unfortunately) to toodle about and see how my back does. I've been seeing a new chiropractor and we've established the goal of getting me to be able to ride (which includes loping about [for you non-riders, that means like a slow gallop]) for about 15 minutes and not need to fall off in pain while doing so. This will be a test. And a good one, because the chiropractor will be there at the barn as well! He does horses and dogs, as well as people. Should be interesting!! And a very good excuse to get a good visit in with my friends and get my horsey fix at the same time.

The remainder of the week will be spent constructing a dress. My work's Christmas party is on Saturday and I don't own a dress. So I went shopping today. I tried on dresses in about 6 different stores. The selection just wasn't very good (probably because I can't afford to go to the high-end shops elsewhere in the city) and the styles just are not designed for anyone larger than, say, a pair of bagels. So despite the remainder of the dress fitting fine, the bodice part on all of them did nothing to contain the girls. That's a very trashy look... and I soooo don't do trashy!

So I decided I would have to construct one instead. It's been a while since I've sewn anything for myself, but in the past, I have made everything from bathing suits to bridal gowns, with lots of other stuff in between. I think I can handle this project.

However, I still need to buy shoes... I don't have shoes. Sandals just won't do in the middle of winter! I think I will do that on Thursday. And jewellery... I'll also have to dust off my jewellery box and see what I've got in there. I do have stocking though... I know that!

It is entirely possible (but not a given yet) that LHB will be in town to accompany me to said party. He wants to be, anyway, and will do his best to get into town for the event. That would be absolutely lovely! I do realize he can't guarantee his presence, but I also know he will do his damnedest to be here.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Joined the ranks

It would appear that LHB has decided that becoming a member of the Blogosphere would be a fun thing, so he's gone ahead and set up his own blog.

Check him out here at Trucking in Wheel Life!

He's popped around to a few on my reading list and found Scarlet Blue's list of requirements for a perfect man. Since he'd rather have a perfect woman, he's made his own list. I think I quite like this post. *blushes furiously*

Friday, 26 November 2010

Quick update

I've zipped about and caught up on reading the blogs on my reading list, but have not really posted many comments. Simply because time has been an issue. Things have been busy, okay?

Well, alright, I'll fess up. It hasn't been all work and no play!

There has been work involved. There has even been overtime involved. A bit, anyway. Always nice to get a pay cheque that has some overtime and a stat on it!!! Especially this close to Christmas.

Last weekend was spent shoveling a lot of that white stuff around... both Saturday and Sunday. Because it snowed Friday and Saturday nights. I just get things all cleaned up on Saturday, only to awake on Sunday to even more of the damn stuff clogging up the areas I had already cleared!

The nerve!

My back was not at all appreciative of the workout it got. In fact, it complained rather loudly on Monday. I had to quiet things down with some (legal) drugs. And a trip to the chiropractor on Tuesday.

Especially since the shoveling was compounded with vacuuming and washing floors. Sunday is housework day in my little hovel, whether I like it or not. It's the one day I am guaranteed off, so for some reason I tend to save all the housework for that day. I always pay for it too. You'd think I would have learned by now to break things up into little bits spread out over a few day, but no...

Monday saw the arrival of LHB (yay!) back in to town from the West Coast. He'd wandered up to northern BC, then back to the Vancouver area, waited around for a load, stashed that on his truck and then blasted back here. The stuff is heading south of the border... way south... but doesn't need to be delivered until the 29th, so he took a few days to hang out in the city with me.

I left work on Monday and met him for a drink at a bar close to home. We then wandered over to the grocery store and picked up supplies for dinner. He made us chicken curry over basmati and wild rice. Very yummy! Gotta love a man who cooks! And cooks well, at that. :-)

I did have to work again on Tuesday but came home to the smell of beef stroganoff being prepared. Nothing like a warm hug and a cold drink to greet you when you get home from work! We even had a lovely fruit salad with squirty cream to finish the meal! Watched a movie... talked... snuggled... and really enjoyed each other's company. ;-)

Wednesday I had the day off. The weather was crap, though, with lots of wind and snow... yet again. *sigh* We drove around to do some shopping, only to have his car start to clunk and lurch. Not a good sign! So it was back to my house, a call to his mechanic, and take both vehicles so his can be dropped off. They get it for a couple weeks to work on at their leisure, providing it's done by the time he gets back into town. We then continued our outing around town in my vehicle and headed back home in time to say forget it to cooking and order a pizza for dinner.

I spent part of the evening trying to solve a computer issue he's been having. Have worked on it a bit but won't know the outcome until he can get online again and let me know how things are working. (Which can be tough to do when you are in the middle of Nowhere, Canada stuck in a snow storm just north of the Great Lakes waiting for the highway to reopen so you can continue your run down south.)

He had to be back on the road again on Thursday, so it was a very early (like, 5:00 a.m.) morning so I could get him to his truck (and he very kindly shoveled the snow from everywhere while I walked the dog at about 5:45), say our goodbyes (insert sad face here) and get to work on time in the snow with horrible driving conditions. I pulled into my parking spot right at 7:30, which is when I am supposed to be starting work. Needless to say, I wasn't the only one who was a few minutes late! The roads were atrocious!! Lots of cars and pickups spun out and ended up in the ditches.

So the whole gist of things is we are both very fond of each other. Things are going smashingly, to borrow a British term. Of course, his being on the road again makes things somewhat difficult, but we are dealing with that as best we can. He's a lovely guy and I'm very much liking the exploration. :-)

Sunday, 21 November 2010


I had cleared all the snow yesterday.... *sigh* Guess what I will be doing again today? I think we got another 10 cms but it's lighter and fluffier than the stuff than fell on Friday/Saturday.

This is the cats' eye view of the deck. The 'hill' is what I piled up yesterday so the meter reader can get to the electrical meter whenever he/she comes around. Yesterday, you could see the deck. Today you can't.

Lila is quite fascinated by all those flakes floating from the sky!

Given the chance, she would catch them. But she never tries to get outside. She's been a house cat her entire life and doesn't seem interested, even when the door is open and she's got a clear track to bolt! She does, however, really like to eat the snow that gets tracked into the house.

Pips, on the other hand, is quite disgusted that the ground is now very cold on her little toes. She desperately wants to go outside, but only if I am carrying her... the little princess!!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Happy feet?

Bet you can't tell if these are happy feet or frozen feet.

Overnight low predicted to be -20C (that's just a hair below zero for you south of the border folks) with the windchill estimated at -32C.

I'm betting they are frozen feet... :-(

Thursday, 18 November 2010

It is now mid November and we are just getting our first real taste of winter. It is, most unfortunately, in the form of an Alberta Clipper.

We are currently experiencing light snow with plummeting temperatures, with the promise of about 15 cms of snow and a further drop in the mercury. I'm really not sure who decides how Winter should makes its entrance each year, but this really is a rather rude way of showing up.

The two provinces just to the west have been pummeled with wind and snow and cold, with accumulations of up to about 20 cms in places. This means heavy equipment on the streets to clean up the drifts so that actually using your car is again possible.

It is times like this that I am very glad I decided to buy a 4 wheel drive SUV. Even with that, though, it was still slippery driving home from work this evening (after a 12 hour shift) and I am so not looking forward to walking the dog!!!

And given that LHB is now enroute from BC (furthest province to the west) back to Winnipeg, on a journey that will take him to Florida by the 29th of the month, I am just a tad concerned about the road conditions he'll be traveling through. Having spoken with him this evening, and knowing that the pass through the Rockies is closed tonight because of the weather, I decided that he needed a Guardian Angel to watch over him on his travels. I'm sure he'll be quite happy with this one... ;-)

I'm not too keen on this happening along the way...

Because he is already on his way, and because his load doesn't need to be delivered to Florida until the 29th, he is fairly certain he will have a few days to spend here before having to hit the road once again.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't pleased with that possibility!!!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Live in the Now

This evening, my sister took me out on a date. To see Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer. We've both been big fans of his since discovering him on TV several years ago and were using some of his dog training techniques long before we knew about him. (Aren't we smart cookies!?!?)

The seminar was great and he's quite a funny guy to listen to. And to watch. He really gets the dog body language down pat when demonstrating how dogs do things. Especially wagging his tail!! ;-)

His Canadian tour didn't originally include Winnipeg but a local doggy day care set up a petition to get him here. It worked! He was truly impressed that we wanted to see him here that badly and got a little emotional at the end.

But one thing that he said during the seminar really made a lot of sense. Dogs live in the 'now'. Humans do not. Humans hang onto the past, fret about the future and try to analyze every second of time. And look where it's got us. In really bad trouble! Cesar wants to go all over the world and help people learn to help their dogs and themselves by experiencing life in the 'now'.

Look at how many wars were started years and years ago by something that someone did in the past. And humans are still fighting about those old things to this day. Look at how many people keep bringing up bad memories and fearing that all that stuff will keep happening. It will if you think it will!

So make like a dog, forget about all the crap that happened way back when and get out and enjoy life today. What's that old saying? Yesterday is the past, tomorrow is the future but today is a gift... because it's the present!!!

Friday, 12 November 2010

So much for a minor head cold.

It simmered for the better part of a week, just enough to be annoying but not enough to make me feel ill, really. A drippy nose. A bit of stuffyness. Not much more.

Until Monday, that is. Just in time for the arrival of LHB, my cold decided to flare up into mind blowing sneeziness and brain clogging snottiness.

Great. Isn't that just perfect timing.... NOT!

LHB had a load to deliver just north of the city Tuesday morning. Or so he thought. So he arrived in town Monday afternoon and we got to spend some time together. His boss said be there Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. And because it's about an hour's drive north of here, he'd have to head out early to get there.

So. He called the person he was delivering to, to confirm the arrangements because a crane was necessary to offload the load. Wed. morning, he's told. For sure? Yep. So Wed. morning it is.

Cool! We get an extra day! So he's here from Monday early afternoon to Wed. early morning. We were both very pleased with that! I think we both looked like the Cheshire cat when we heard that!!!

Time isn't really something that has been in great abundance yet in this relationship. Little snippets snagged here and there when possible. Phone calls when reception allows, although there are often dead spots where we play 'can you hear me now?' regularly. Email contact has been sporadic as well, with him dependent on wifi availability at truck stops.

We've tried to remedy at least that one issue by getting an mobile internet stick for his laptop. I've one and it works well in the city. The trick is how well it will work while he's on the road. But it works more like a cell phone so if he has cell coverage, he should have internet as well. At least enough to email. Surfing may be slower than molasses in January though.

So we figured he'd be off again once he offloaded that cargo. He called me in the afternoon on Wed. to say his next load was to be picked up very close to my house. And that he didn't have to head out until Thursday morning. And not at the crack of dawn either, because it was Remembrance Day, so leaving would be around 10 a.m.

Again, the Cheshire cats reappeared. Wow! This is unheard off! We got three days and nights in one place. It was wonderful. We actually got a chance to get to know each other in more 'real' situations than being out on a date. We went shopping, we hung around the house, we cooked dinner. Walked the dog. Normal stuff. Everyday stuff. The way you really get to know someone and get glimpses of who they are and to see if there stuff there that freaks you out.

Nope. Nothing. Just enough to know we both want to do this more often. With greater regularity. For longer spans of time.

So the hunt continues for something for him to do here for work. We've bantered ideas back and forth. It's really tough when you've been a trucker for so many years. He's done other things too, but really, trucking is the main thing. So I am hunting online for local businesses that may be something he's interested in. I have the time, you see.... and the motivation!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Head Code

I haz one. Snotty nose, scratchy throat. That kind of stuff. It's not bad. Nothing like the one I had in September. That required medical intervention... antibiotics and steroids. And several days off work. Blech.

No, this time it is a minor annoyance. I suck on lozenges to ease the scratchiness and carry wads of Kleenex. I started taking Cold-FX right away. And stocked up on Dayquil and Nyquil. I've actually had two nights of 8 hour sleeps! Better living through chemistry, right?!?!

Unfortunately, it is courtesy of the LHB. I hate to tell him this. I haven't, yet. He'll feel quite awful, I know. He'll worry that I will get as sick as he did.

He's on the mend, by the way. The new drugs and a good modicum of sleep have done the trick! He was incommunicado for most of Thursday, which had me worried. Turns out when he slept, his phone was turned off (which was why it went straight to voice mail when I called in the afternoon) but then it died. While he was sleeping. So he had to charge it the next day. And then he was in a place where retrieving his voice mail just wasn't possible. He's had that issue in the past.

So he didn't get the subsequent messages I left him later on Thursday, voicing some concern for his health. Because he had sounded like death warmed over when I had last spoken to him. Seriously... and barely warmed at that!

I was worried. Did he succumb to his illness and now have a full blown pneumonia, complete with raging fever and delirium? Alone in his truck? Would I read the paper with a headline like "Body found in truck mired in phlegm"? Did he manage to get himself to a hospital and was he languishing in some ward, no one to visit him, unable to use his phone due to it's dead battery and hospital policy? Sometimes your mind detours quickly to the worst scenario, doesn't it?

But when I finally did speak to him, he was sounding chipper and happy and very much alive. Which was a huge relief to me, let me tell you! Because I want to see where this budding romance might lead. I'm being selfish in that, I know... but he has told me he feels the same, so there you go.

Excuse me while I dig out the neti pot and flush my sinuses... and smile frequently because he'll be back on Monday. :-)

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

I sit here, in front of my computer, munching on some deliciously sweet and tangy pineapple, careful not to drip that sticky juice into the keyboard. (Wouldn't that just gum things up completely, eh!?)

I've just had a very lovely light lunch consisting on a variety of whole grain crackers, hummus, creamy havarti cheese, ham sausage, grape tomatoes, sugar snap peas and am now completing my repast with a dessert that tingles my taste buds!

The pineapple is courtesy of the Long Haul Brit (herein to be known as LHB. What? It's easier to type...) on Sunday. Now how many of you women have received a plump juicy pineapple on a date??? Tell me... who? I don't see any hands there. Flowers are pretty, they smell nice and the cats love to eat them, but they are also kind of the 'norm' for a new beau to bring. So it was lovely to be handed a plastic grocery bag containing one whole pineapple, spiky fronds and all. Although as he passed it to me, it promptly fell through the bottom of the bag and plunked to the floor. No injuries were noted during this unfortunate accident. Except to the pineapple, which seemed to have sustained a split bottom, as I found it had piddled on the counter when I moved it later on.... Luckily, it was a minor injury and very little juice was lost.

It would appear that the willingness to proceed with 'exploration' between myself and the LHB is mutually desired. There has been great discussion about many things, included the likes of previous 'dates' and escapades in online dating. We both have a number of stories to tell, it would seem. The important thing to note here is, for me at least, there are no warning bells going off in my head. There are no red flags, flashing lights, screaming sirens.... No gut feelings telling me to turn and run for the hills. So I take this to be a good sign.

He's back on the road again, and this concerns me, as he's been battling a chest and sinus cold, complete with cough, for 5 weeks or so. He called me today, sounding very harsh and tired, saying he'd been to a walk-in clinic in the city where he dropped off his cargo, and has been given antibiotics and some kind of nasal spray. At the moment, he doesn't have direction from head office on where or when to pick up the next load, so at least he can spend some time resting.

If you can call bunking in a truck sleeper restful. I don't know. I've never seen the insides of one, so I have no idea how big or small it is. But at least he can sleep.

Needless to say, I am concerned. What he really needs is a week off, just to rest and sleep and heal. Of course, one would need a 'home' to do that in, as a hotel would get slightly pricey... and right now, his 'home' is that truck. I am hoping that head office will leave him sit idle for a couple more days, allowing him to take it easy and let the drugs do their thing. (It's just too bad he's about 1500 kms away while he sits idle...) It's a very stressful life, being constantly on the move, never really having any time off, not having a 'life', so to speak.

So I am doing my best to send healing vibes his way, to chase that nasty bug out of his respiratory tract, and to get him feeling more human and less like roadkill.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Wasn't meant to last

It was, as they say, not meant to last.
A killer frost did them in,
the deal sealed with a skiff of light snow.

Tiny pink ballerina skirts,
crisp with cold
and capped with a crystalline pouf.

The first snow of the season wasn't even in the forecast. At work last night, someone looked out into the darkness and saw tiny white flakes floating down into the pools of yellow beneath the street lights.

It won't last. The first one almost never does. It'll warm up enough to melt it away. But it is a hint of what's to come... the long cold of prairie winter stalks us stubble jumpers relentlessly.

Pips (aka That Damn Cat) darted out the door after me as I went to take the above photos. I didn't even know she was out until she chirped at me as I stood on the front lawn, snapping away with the camera. She sat on the sidewalk, with her pristine white paws tucked closely together, shivering slightly in the morning's chill. She surveyed the neighbourhood, not wandering off, and was glad to be picked up in warm arms when I finished the photo shoot. Silly thing would never survive outside for long... the temperature is right around the freezing mark and she thinks it's cold already! She has no idea....

Although we first touched base (no, not like that! get your mind out of the gutter) in August, just before I met up with the (Not So) Funny Man, things are very slowly beginning to take on an air of exploration. I'll call him the Long Haul Brit. He's been in Canada for six years, a long haul trucker and is not often in town, but we keep in touch via email and phone calls. He said October would see probably more than 11,000 miles logged... I cannot imagine spending that much time behind the wheel and although he's done it for decades, all over Europe and now North America, he is now looking for something local so he can have a real home and a life. Spending all your time in truck stops and sleeping in a cubby hole is not any kind of a life unless you are content with Me, Myself and I as company. So the search is on for a new line of work. We are both hopeful that will happen relatively soon...

Sunday, 24 October 2010

It's not Spring, you know!

Remember about 10 days back, I showed you some photos of the flowers in my front garden?

They seem to have gotten their seasons mixed up.

They continue to grow and blossom with great gusto.

Despite the fact that we've had frost a number of times already since those first photos were taken.

Compare, if you will...

This is from October 13th.

This is from today....

And here you can see the leafless trees in the background,
proving Fall has indeed fallen.

Are they alien life forms? Will they take over the planet? Will they survive the winter to add a splash of colour to the bleak frostiness of our Winnipeg snow? If they did survive the winter, would the rabbits take great delight in nibbling away at their green crispy stalks during the cold days to come?

I really should pull them up soon. The forecast is for rain for the next four days... and given that it's been below freezing at night now with great regularity, the chances of these flowers surviving and not turning into blackened stalks of slime are slim.

But I am loathe to interrupt their valiant flourish in the face of Fall... their piece de resistence, so to speak. Perhaps I will just let them do their thing and see what happens.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Nothing new, really...

There really isn't much going on right now.

Other than work, of course. Which is always busy. Always overtime to be had to pad the bank account a bit. Dialysis is a growth industry, don't you know...

The man thing is in limbo, with a couple of things in the wings but nothing definite, so no details yet.

Since early September, menopausal symptoms have sprung to the forefront, with the onset of major hot flashes and night sweats, which are causing havoc in my life and increasing my water bill tremendously, due to increased laundry and more frequent showers. *sigh*

If this keeps up for much longer, my mattress will rot...

I am on day three of hormone pills in hopes of allaying the severity of said onslaught. So far, they've done nothing. I am going to assume it must build in my bloodstream to a therapeutic level before any action will be noticed.


Sorry... one gets a tad cranky when the power surges occur about 20 times a day and gawd only knows how many times a night.... I sleep with the window cracked open (and night time temps are now below freezing) and the heat vent blocked. I still have to throw off the covers, completely drenched, to fall asleep, only to wake a short time later chipping icicles off my nose and nip... oh never mind. I'm sure you get the picture. In short... it sucks. I'm sleep deprived. I have luggage under my eyes that a family of four could use for an extended vacation.

It's rather embarrassing when patients at work notice the beads of sweat covering my face, my arms, my damp hair. I am constantly mopping sweat from my brow. It's a good thing my reading glasses are on a string around my neck or they would have fallen into many a messy situation. Ew. I don't even want to think about that!

So to lighten the mood, I will force you to look at photos of my girls, all taken today and none photoshopped to hide any imperfections. Because frankly, aside from the dog's drooling, they don't have any. At least not in appearance. Lila's behaviour, on the other hand, is a completely different story.

This is Zoë's attempt at alluring bedroom eyes.
She is in the bedroom, after all.

Lila as.... Sleeve Cat. I think that says it all.

Little Miss Pips... Pretty in Pink.
Doesn't the blanket just match her nose purrfectly?

(Did you notice that the cats are colour coordinated with their 'attire'?)

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Will you look at that!?!?

Today is October 13th.
We've had only one frost so far this fall and not a very hard one at that.
So these Cosmos are going crazy with the warm weather and are continuing to blossom.

The seed packet said they got 4' in height. Do you think it lied? Some of these plants are well over 6' tall! They are actually blocking the living room window so the cats have to sit on the upper deck of their cat tree to be able to survey the neighbourhood.
The dog has given up looking out.
She has nothing to climb up on.
She lies in the sunshine and sleeps instead.

The colour variation is beautiful, isn't it? And look at how many buds are still unopened!
If it stays warm for a while longer, I just might have flowers in December!!!
(Yeah... I know... that's wishful thinking.... or is it delusional?)

I just love these!!!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

What's that old saying?

Life has a way of offering up a constant stream of joke fodder to comedians. They just can't help themselves. Everything they see/hear/smell/do can be turned into a joke.

Sometimes, I laughed so hard, I had to worry about my non-waterproof mascara running. My sides would hurt.

But then my feelings were the things that hurt. Because I became fodder for the jokes. And putdown humour is not funny if you are the butt of the joke.

"Familiarity breeds contempt."

It appears to be true. As the New Beau and I became more comfortable with one another, the jibes about some of my clothes, a certain piece of furniture, my (hormone induced) forgetfulness, the colour of my purse became a steady stream. Even when informed that I was not at all comfortable with that and that I found it hurtful, it didn't stop. Because it was funny, you know, not hurtful. And I was free to do the same to him.

But I am not a comedian. And I am definitely not about to say hurtful things to someone. Because I don't think that's funny at all.

From my end, it wasn't in the least. And when it didn't stop, I called a halt to everything. Sent him on his way. At least, later that evening, he emailed and apologized for his comments, saying I didn't deserve them.

Which I certainly didn't.

I still can't believe that what had started out so well went down the tubes so quickly.

His loss....

Thursday, 30 September 2010

I'm a happy bunny.

Despite bloodshot eyes that make me look like I have a drinking problem and a nagging cough like a seasoned smoker. The remnants of that nasty cold and sinus infection just don't want to vacate the premises. Infected eyes and a hacking cough do not a pretty picture make. :-\

Despite the hot flashes a gazillion times a day, and always around 4 a.m. that wake me. A bit of online (okay, a lot) research has led to the purchase of wild yam gel (no, that is not a dessert) to attempt alleviation of this hormonal hell. =P

I'm happy for a number of reasons.

I've got a very nice (and yes, funny!) man in my life. I'm enjoying the way things are going.

I have started going to the gym and am determined to get rid of the central pudge that has invaded my clothing. It's been years since I worked out in a gym regularly but it feels like it was just yesterday, only I don't last too long at it yet.

The weather is warm and sunny and beautiful. Hopefully the mowing of the lawn in the next day or so will be the final time this year. But on an even brighter note, the Cosmos that grace my front garden are blooming mightily, swaying a good three feet tall in the autumn gusts, pretty purple heads bobbing in the breeze. It will take a hard frost to kill them. I'm wanting that to be a long ways off.

My bank account is slowly creeping in the upwards direction, so all the overtime I have been putting in at work is starting to show. I'll continue that trend indefinitely because I want some other accounts to creep downwards.

I now have the tools and accessories required to make my computer desk tidy and much more user friendly. Too bad they don't always make them that way to start with. But I have the ability to make it so myself... so I will. There are holes to be drilled, grommets to fit and cables to run. And a couple of cat-proof barriers to devise to keep curious kitty toes away from all thing electrical that do not need any messing with!

All in all... life is good!