Saturday, 31 December 2011


Wishing all of you and your families the very best that 2012 can possibly bring. May you be happy and healthy in whatever you choose to do with your lives. xoxoxo

Friday, 30 December 2011

A Little Action

I was going through my list of posts and found a few drafts that I'd never published. Most were too old but I found this little video of Lila and Zoë, from June of 2009.

Lila is all of 8 weeks old in this! I can't believe how tiny she is! A fearless little ball of fluff.

Now, 2 1/2 years later, she is a 10 lb. ball of gorgeous fluff, loaded with attitude and antics! She drives me crazy but definitely keeps me well entertained.

Grandchildren. Lots and lots of them.

As one's children become adults, one usually expects to have the odd grandchild here and there.

Well, perhaps I should rephrase that. Because not too many people want odd grandchildren. But it seems rather okay to have some grandchildren.

But how would you like to have 100?

At the age of 62 yet.

That is what has happened to a Russian couple who emigrated to Canada 17 years ago. With all of their 16 children, it would appear, as all 100 of those grandkids have been born here. Number 100 was just born.

Imagine trying to remember the names of all those kids. Never mind the names of the spouses/partners of your 16 adult kids. That's 132 names to remember. Providing none of those grandkids has married. Pretty soon, that couple will have a couple of hundred names to remember in their family alone.

Everyone will have to start wearing name tags. Or have their names tattooed on their foreheads. Hopefully there are no multiples of any one name. Because that would be just too confusing.

Imagine footing the bill for Christmas for this clan?????

(No, this isn't them. I shamelessly nicked this off the internet.)

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Christmas Lights

Every year there are more and more videos of people who have decorated their houses and yards with light that are synchronized to music. I think my all time favourite is the one played to that TransSiberian Orchestra tune, but I've put that up here in the past, so this year, I've found a new one that I like.

When I watched this on youtube, I read the comments below and discovered that this person's neighbours called the police about the increased traffic in the area. He now does a display elsewhere (not at his house - he lives somewhere in Utah). I can't imagine people being that curmudgeonly that they would begrudge a little Christmas spirit. It is for a short period of time each year, and it's something that gives people a little bit of joy.

So, in keeping the peace in my neighbourhood (I don't think this kind of thing goes over too well in an apartment building), I have put up the video for your hassle-free enjoyment.

Merry Christmas to one and all!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Commenting issues

In the past week or so, I've been having problems commenting on some blogs. For some reason, the box where you choose your account is very tiny and nothing happens when I click on it. This is only on some blogs, not all. Consequently, it keeps telling me to select an account, which I can't do. So I can't comment. Grrrrr!

I know it's not caused by this... although I have had that kind of issue in the past. Lila is good for walking on the keyboard.

Has anyone else been having this problem? And if so, do you know how to fix it? I've not been ignoring anyone, I just can't comment!!! I need one of these on my computer...

Wednesday, 7 December 2011


It's lightly snowing and the temperature is a seasonable -7C. The wind is a steady breeze at 19 km/h, which makes it feel like -14 out there. A huge sight better than yesterday when the ambient temperature got up to -2 (early evening) but with the howling gales (50 gusting to 70 km/h), it felt like the north pole had come down to grab us in its icy clutches.

I've Christmas shopping to do. Things need to be sent off in the mail very soon to arrive on time. Being off work for almost a year means things are very sparse this year. Not that I go hog wild anyway, but the purse strings are pretty tight.

That's not a bad thing, is it? I mean, isn't Christmas more about the time spent with loved ones than the size (and cost) of gifts given? I would much rather spend time with family and friends, eating good, tasty food, sipping eggnog, getting lots of hugs, being silly, having lots of laughs and making memories... than worrying about how much money I spent that I don't have.

So I have been very frugal this year. I'm not done my shopping yet, but I haven't spent much either. If I was a Christmas Fairy, I could wave my magic wand and all the presents would appear just like that, all wrapped and paid for (somehow) without breaking the bank. But since I'm not, I will settle for hugs and smiles and good times.

Because hugs and smiles are priceless, aren't they... ♥

Monday, 14 November 2011

Small dog?

I have this tendency to have single hiccups. Just one. Several times a day at times, and other days I can go by without one at all. But I almost never get a case of the hiccups that goes on and on.

On Saturday, the MoS and I were driving around town when one of these little hiccups escaped. I had my mouth closed so it was just a little sound. He turned and looked at me and said, "What the hell was that!?!?"

"I just hiccuped," I said.

"It sounded like a small dog or something," he said, laughing.

"I ate a Chihuahua a little while ago," says me.

He looked at me sideways and said, "You know... A&W is just down the road. We could always stop there if you're hungry. You don't have to eat little dogs."

"I know, but they're nice and crunchy," I said, grinning a wicked grin at him.

He just howled!!!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Finished bike "tree"

I realized the other day that I never posted the final photos of my bike "tree". It took a while to find the right 'ground cover' for the bottom and when I finally did order it from the US, we had a mail strike up here in Canada so it took even longer to get here!

And then I had to hurry up and get it done before my shoulder surgery. I think I did it a couple of nights before. I know that was in July, but just today took some photos of it.

See if you can spot who's a ride in the first two photos!

Monday, 7 November 2011

My heart broke today...

... when I learned of the sudden and very public death of Hickstead, beloved and very talented stallion of Canada's Eric Lamaze. Yesterday in Verona, Italy, while at a world cup jumping event, Hickstead collapsed in the show ring shortly after having completed a jumping round.

Eric and Hickstead took the individual gold medal for jumping at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. They won many competitions worldwide during their time together. Hickstead and Eric had become very well known across the world.

There have been many messages of condolences all over the internet, but there have also been comments from people who think it is cruel and abusive to jump a horse. If anyone has spent time watching horses in a large field with fallen logs, they will see that some horses love to jump. Even foals will jump... often over their own dams lying on the ground napping!

Some horses, just like human athletes, have a natural talent and desire to jump. Hickstead was one of those horses. His collapse and death, apparently from a heart attack although this remains to be verified by autopsy, was an extremely rare event in the equestrian world. Horses do get injured, yes, but often it is a torn ligament or pulled muscle and occasionally a broken bone, sometimes career-ending but not usually fatal.

Hickstead was only 15 years old and in his prime. He was extremely well cared for, as all top level equine athletes are (or else they would never be able to compete at that level), and had topnotch medical and nutritional support. He and Eric had an excellent rapport and anyone who ever watched them together could see that. Hickstead was a one in a million and his passing is mourned by many around the world.

There is video footage of his collapse and death on youtube but I'll not post it here. Just type in Hickstead in youtube if you want to watch it. It is heartwrenching, to say the last. They were just walking around the jumps when the stallion stumbled and slowly fell onto his hip and then his side. Eric was not injured but I am sure his heart is broken and his mind numb at this point. Such a terrible loss.

Makes me wish I still had my horse, so I could go give him a long hug in sympathy for Hickstead and Eric Lamaze.

R.I.P. Hickstead

Friday, 4 November 2011

Week's End

It is Friday. The beginning of the weekend with the MoS. He's had a busy week at work, with lots of little things accomplished, and two days spent teaching a group of workers safety stuff. It will be time to kick back and relax tonight when he gets home and I get to his place. Yay!

I've made good progress in my physio this week. Things have been kicked up a notch or two and I am pushing for more range of motion in my shoulder and getting it. Weight has been added (all of two pounds, but you gotta start somewhere, right?) and some new exercises as well. I spent 7 minutes on the hand cycle this morning. It's exactly what you think it is... a tiny exercise bike on a table to exercise the arms instead of the legs. My entire arm was burning by the time the 7 minutes were up! I have NO muscle, let me tell you! That's what happens after 9½ months of not using those muscles much. *argh!* But my physiotherapist said I am graduating up the exercise scale, so that is a very good thing.

In honour of the weekend, and spending time with my man, I am in the process of making cranberry brownies. With a dusting of cocoa powder on top to cut the sweetness a bit, as he doesn't like really sweet things. I figure the tartness of the craisins and the bitter powder on top will balance it all out very nicely!

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend. What's happening in your corner of the universe? Whatever it is, I hope you have fun!!

In parting, a little photo of Pips and Lila napping on their cat tree the other day, looking particularly scruffy, as they'd been wrestling and it is now static electricity season here as the humidity drops for the winter. ;-)

(They'll be crazy when I get home on Monday but that's the norm now.)

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

This one's for Pearl...

She wanted to know what my scar looks like.

It's nothing much to look at. In fact, I have three on my shoulder but one was so small, it has all but disappeared. The other two are a bit more evident but the larger is barely a half inch in length. The other, even smaller. But here is a photo nonetheless.

The lower one is the one that gave me all the grief with rejecting the suture and getting all infected. Too bad I didn't think to take some photos of it wide open and draining pus! I could have grossed everyone out!! It's all healed up now, and isn't much to look at. It does feel a bit gnarly if you rub your finger on it, as there is some lumpy scar tissue under the skin.

On the other hand, I can now gross you out just a wee bit with my toe. It was crushed 20 years ago and I finally had to get the nail altered as one side was constantly causing me issues... it was ingrown. I never had an infection but it was always tender.

And if you think my toe looks swollen, that's just the way it is. It was literally crushed and had all the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) blown out, so circulation is an issue for me. In fact, when I first went to see the podiatrist, he used a temperature gun to check the temperature of my toe. It was 70F! Normal body temperature is 98F, however, digits are usually a bit cooler. But not that much! He then used a small handheld ultrasound machine to check my arterial pulses. All were normal (inside ankle just under the ankle bones, the top of the foot and the inside aspect of the base of the big toe) so blood flow is good.

He wouldn't allow me to take photos of the actual procedure (damn - the piece of toenail he cut out was a good 1/3 of an inch wide) and I had to keep the first big dressing (first photo) on for three days, so the last shot is four days after it was done. It actually doesn't hurt. What is a bit tender is the underside of my toe because he injected quite a volume of local anæsthetic and there is a bit of a bruise there. But it is only noticeable when I am going down stairs in my slippers (which I wore all weekend - that big dressing didn't allow me to wear a shoe). Today I will be trying to wear normal shoes (with lots of toe room).

Thursday, 27 October 2011


I had my three month follow-up appointment with the surgeon today. Has it been three months already? Or, at times, it feels like it's been way longer than three months. What's up with that? A rift in the time-space continuum, perhaps?

He's pleased with the progress I am making in my rehab, and says I am where he would expect me to be, if I was doing physio the way I should be. So that was good news. I have another appointment in six weeks, to see how things are then, and to discuss back-to-work strategy. He figures it will more than likely be 5 - 5½ months post-op for rejoining the workforce. That would put me right at Christmas, so I am going to opt for after New Year's.

But he also said that he wants me to have "light duties" when I go back, which could be something like paperwork only, or some kind of a desk job. I also spoke to my unit manager and she said the hospital has a form that guides the doc in giving more specifics about what he means by light duties. So I will have to get that form before I go back to see him in early December.

I did receive instructions to start pushing through the discomfort more with my exercises, to get the maximum range of motion out of the joint. He basically expects me to do the exercises every hour, for crying out loud! I don't even always remember to do them every day... but will try to be more vigilant from now on.

When visiting the dialysis unit at the hospital today, I noticed they are rolling out the new machines. The old ones had been in use for the past 10 years, so it was time to upgrade. Everyone is a little overwhelmed with learning the new one, which is just an upgrade from the old as it is the same manufacturer. But given that it is en mass, and that some people just don't do well with newer technology, that's to be expected. By the time I go back in January, I will have the trainer all to myself!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Sneak Attack

While on the computer today, I became aware of a scratching noise coming from behind my keyboard. Having the camera handy, I recorded the attempted theft in progress.

This is the stuff I have to put up with on a daily (no, make that hourly, or even minutely) basis. *sigh*

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Wow... a week already?

Time certainly gets past me these days. Just now, I realized it has been seven days since I last posted anything. But I guess when every weekend is spent at the MoS's place and not mine, I don't spend much time on the computer at all. I do a quick check of emails, and zip through facebook for the latest, but that is all.

It was Thanksgiving this past weekend up here in Canada. My American neighbours to the south have theirs towards the end of November, so there will be a flurry of Thanksgiving posts from them in a bit more than a month. The MoS and I had a turkey dinner, with all the fixings, all by ourselves. It was very scrumptious, if I do say so myself!

I had picked up a fresh turkey (12 lbs) from my local meat shop, made a bread stuffing and roasted it to perfection. There was potatoes and other assorted veggies, a lusciously dark gravy and for dessert, something a wee bit different. It is very traditional to have pumpkin pie. I didn't feel like making one, as I had whipped up another one of those maple pumpkin cheesecakes for Monday's family gathering, so I picked up the next best thing: pumpkin pie ice cream!!! The MoS had never had it and wasn't too sure he'd like it. He loves pumpkin pie and I assured him since that was the case, he would definitely like the ice cream! Needless to say, it was a hit.

Monday saw us get together with my family for lasagna. Not your usual Thanksgiving dinner, but none of us care what we eat... we just like to hang out together! My two great nieces were very wound up (they are 8 and 5) and kept us very entertained. The 5 year old handed out fake $100 bills, which she then proceeded to collect from us for some very pricey "popcorn" she was making using yellow game pieces. She's going to be a shyster when she grows up! The 8 year old spent a lot of effort trying to convince her mother why she shouldn't have to eat any more veggies but should get an extra piece of cheesecake. We all agreed she's going to be a solicitor.

This week has been (and will continue to be) an assortment of appointments. Physio on Wed., the chiropractor Thursday, winter tires ordered Tuesday and arrived on Wednesday so I need to call in the morning tomorrow to make the installation appointment. Hoping tomorrow afternoon will work. Then Friday morning sees a trip to the podiatrist to have a minor ingrown toenail dealt with. It has been 20 years since my toe was crushed by a box containing a computer desk, and I've always managed to keep it trimmed but lately it's always tender so the time has come. Thankfully, it has never been infected but the older I get, the harder it is to trim and the less flexible I am. Cross your fingers that we don't get rain for a few days after that, because wearing a shoe will be a bit difficult! Better now than the middle of winter, though.

Friday evening it will be back to the MoS's place for the weekend. We met for a couple of drinks and dinner this evening and when I asked him if there was anything he'd like to do this weekend, he said "Yes... fly to Vancouver for a few days but I can't... because I'm broke!" Being in the same state, plus being on a restricted income, I can commiserate. One day, I said... one day.

I know I am not posting as often as I used to, and not even commenting as often either, but I do try and get around to read everyone's blogs when I can.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011


"Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.
Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.
And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
They somehow already know what you truly want to become.
Everything else is secondary.”
~ Steve Jobs

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

It's that time again!

(Fall on the hobby farm I lived on a few years ago. Isn't that gorgeous?)

It's officially Fall. Although you'd not know it by the weather here. It's been unseasonably warm. In fact, we've had days where the high was a good 10+ degrees C above the norm!!! I am sooooo not going to complain about that! Winter will be here soon enough, requiring multiple layers of fleece and down to ward off frost bite and death by solidification. (Which reminds me... I need new boots.)

It is Thanksgiving here in Canada next Monday, October 10th. Time for turkey! And pumpkin whatever! Time with loved ones, laughing and talking and playing with the little ones.

Although turkey is available at anytime in the grocery store, it seems we only have it a few times a year. I don't know why. It's not really a conscious decision, because I could eat it every week if I so desired!

My vegetarian niece is hosting this year's gathering and in years past when she's had to handle a turkey, she's been so totally grossed out that she asked if lasagna would be okay this year instead. We all agreed that would be fine so non-traditional dinner it is! I am, however, making that Maple Pumpkin cheesecake that I made a while back for that dinner party with the MoS. I am pretty sure it will be as big a hit with my family as it was with his friends!!!

Besides, it is the time of year for all things pumpkin. I need to get to the ice cream shoppe on the other side of town for their pumpkin pie ice cream. Maybe I will just buy a tub of it and share it with the MoS... With him living north of the city, getting to places like that aren't always easy and that shoppe will be closing for the winter soon.

So because Thanksgiving dinner with my family will not involve a large roasted and stuffed bird, the MoS and I are going to have our own little turkey dinner on Sunday. I'm going to order a fresh bird (the smallest turkey they can find since it will just be the two of us and a chicken just will not do!) from the local meat shop and will pick that up on Friday. We'll do the whole nine yards, with stuffing in the turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy and some vegetable... candied yams come to mind. Pumpkin pie ice cream for dessert, and we are good to go!

Friday, 30 September 2011

Looking ahead

Long Term Forecast Updated: Friday, September 30, 2011, 6:00 CDT

Oct 1
Oct 2
Oct 3
Oct 4
Oct 5
Oct 6
6am - 6pm
SunnyMainly sunnyCloudy periodsSunnyCloudy periodsMainly sunny
 SunnyMainly sunnyCloudy periodsSunnyCloudy periodsMainly sunny
WindS 25 km/hS 20 km/hS 10 km/hSE 10 km/hS 20 km/hS 25 km/h

Tuesday, 27 September 2011


Recently, over at Boxer's place, there was a discussion on smoking pot. Lots of lengthy comments on that post!

I'm going to add my little bit on smoking... turkeys.

I admit, they are difficult to roll, keep falling outta the paper... and don't stay lit either.

But it was an experience for me! First time in my life I'd smoked a turkey. Well, two actually.

Okay, I know what you're thinking. She's been into the green too much and is talking nonsense. No green was inhaled (or ingested) in the smoking of these turkeys. There was a lot of smoke, though, and I didn't do too well with that. Inhaled a bit too much over the course of the day and spent a bit of time feeling a little nauseous. Bleh...

However, I recovered well with fresh air and a shower.

The MoS has a nice stainless steel smoker that runs on propane. It looks a lot like this one (although this isn't his, because I neglected to take a picture of the outside of the thing):

His is actually taller than this one, with more shelves, so you can smoke quite a few things at once. It's a pretty nifty gadget, I'll tell ya. And he keeps it in the garage with all those big tools he has. You remember me mentioning his tools, don't you?

So I got an education in smoking turkeys. You have to brine them first, so on Friday, he cut the spines out of the turkeys (they fit in the pots much easier that way), and put each one in a salt solution. This firms up the meat and keeps it nice and moist as it smokes. One turkey was brined with just fresh herbs (sage, thyme, black peppercorns, garlic) and the other had cranberry juice added to the salt solution. You can add whatever spices or flavouring to the brine that you want, depending on your tastes and the type of meat you are going to smoke. We figured cranberries and turkey were rather appropriate!

The turkeys were left in the brine for a good 16 hours in large stock pots in the fridge in the garage. Always handy to have an extra fridge somewhere. We pulled them out the next morning, patted them dried and proceeded to put them in the smoker that had already been fired up. The MoS felt apple wood chips would be best as they have a mild flavour and you don't want to overpower the taste of the meat with the flavour of the wood chips. When the smoker hit 250ºF, it was ready and we loaded the two turkeys onto racks in the smoker. There is a bowl that sits above the cast iron chip box that was filled with a simple syrup (warm water with some sugar dissolved in it). This ensures the meat doesn't dry out too much from the heat and the sugar adds just a hint more sweetness to the smoke.

Here's the "before" shot. And yes, it looks a bit like something from Alien...

It took these two turkeys, about 10 lbs each, 4 1/2 hours to smoke. I'd had smoked turkey breast (sliced) from a deli before, but never fresh and whole like this. Oh lordy! was it ever good! They turned a wonderful golden colour but because they had been soaked in the brine, you had to discard the skin. It was much too salty to eat. The meat, however, was super tasty and moist. It was excellent!

Here's the finished product:

Now, we smoked these turkeys because there was a party with a bunch of the MoS's friends and former colleagues. (He's retired from his first career of 30 years as a millwright in a steel mill and has moved on to his second as a gov't health and safety officer.) Every year, these guys and gals get together and everyone brings some food item. Although we didn't buy the turkeys (the party was hosted at someone else's house and he bought the turkeys) and despite having done the work of smoking them, I wanted to bring something else, so I decided to whip up a dessert.

How does Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake sound? I had a recipe stuffed in amongst various books and binders in which I've collected recipes over the years, so I figured this would be a good time to give this one a try. It is Fall, after all, and is definitely pumpkin season. Again, I didn't take a photo of the one I made (I gotta remember to do that!) but found one on the internet that is pretty close to what mine looked like.

I baked it in a 9" springform pan and it filled the thing right to the rim! I think next time, I will use the 10" pan, as there was barely room for the topping. But Oh. My. God. was it good! Almost orgasmic!!! I think it was a bigger hit than the turkey, which got rave reviews. There was absolutely none left over.

I have a feeling we will doing both the turkey and the cheesecake again! Maybe we'll just lock the doors and eat it all ourselves...

Tuesday, 13 September 2011


Fall has fallen. With a thud. One day it is 29C (whatever in the 80sF) and the next day, we get up to a high of 16C (61F). No transition. No gradual decrease in the daily high temperature. Just smacked in the face with cooler temps.

But last week... Well!!! The weather was spectacular! It was hothothot and blazingly sunny. I think we hit 33C one day and the rest were pretty close to that. The sky was clear for the most part, with only the odd fluffy cloud passing by.

Thursday morning was an early one for the hot air balloon ride. Up at 5:30 a.m. as we had to be at the launch site by 7:00. It was clear. The sun wasn't even up yet, but the eastern horizon was lightening and you could not see a cloud anywhere. The balloon ride was a blast and both the MoS and I agreed that it is something we would love to do again. Perhaps a sunset flight the next time.

(We were on the far side, just under that tree in the middle.)

Friday was still smokin' hot so we toodled off to the beach at a local park for the afternoon. Very peaceful as most kids were back in school. There were a few people there, mostly adults with preschool aged children, older couples and a few small groups of kids who had finished high school but were not doing anything else. Packed a picnic lunch, wandered into the water for a dip when it got too hot, people watched, chatted, just lazed around. Ah, it was grand!

Saturday morning we took a road trip out to Falcon Lake to view a cottage that is one of the main prizes in the local large hospital's annual fundraising lottery. Now THAT is a house (I don't think you can call this thing a cottage!) and it is gorgeous! Right on the lake, with a boathouse and a dock. The view is fantastic!!! We fantasized about having that place, let me tell you!

On the way back home, we stopped to view the other grand prize, which is a home in a posh neighbourhood in the city. The big thing here is building areas with little 'lakes' that the houses back on to. Of course, if you don't fence in the yard, this means you have gazillions of Canada geese crapping all over your yard and getting cranky if you shoo them away. (Having a Border Collie dog would come in handy.) It's a lovely home but ultra modern in style and decor, which really didn't appeal to me. But hey, I'd live in it if I won it! Might sell it after a year, though. This is a million dollar home, after all. The 'cottage' is just under a million ($925K). The cottage I would keep, the house I'd probably sell, if I won one of them. Nice to wander through them and have a look and dream the dream!

Sunday was a day to just do stuff around the house (his). He cut the grass while I went to the grocery store to pick up things needed to make supper. It was still hot and sunny so we made the most of the weather! We spent the afternoon sitting in lawn chairs in the back yard in the shade of a big elm tree, enjoying a few drinks and just talking and laughing. It was lovely!

Monday morning saw the MoS heading back to work and me back to my apartment, where the cats gave me a talking to about leaving them on their own for 3 1/2 days. I think Lila was telling me about all the fun she had, and Pips gave me hell for not being around to scratch her neck and make my lap available when she required it!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Weaning, sand and kitty cleaning

From wearing my sling, that is.

Nothing to do with breasts or milk or anything like that.

Although I do have breasts... And milk... (in the fridge).

But no, I am now allowed to forego wearing the much hated but entirely necessary sling that kept my arm from moving around when it shouldn't. Today was the first day I went out in public without it. Yes, I felt a bit naked, and I was very conscious of what my arm was doing all the time. Can't have it getting ideas of its own and moving around or anything like that.

Because it would hurt. Big time! I know because I have occasionally forgotten that I can't lift it, and have done just that. Or attempted just that. Only it does not lift. It just causes me sudden, intense pain. *sigh* You'd think I would remember after all these weeks. I will continue to wear it in crowded public places for a while as a visual barrier so no one will bump into me, or try and shake my hand. It is still far from a usable arm.

So here in the Centre of the Universe... or make that the Centre of Canada... it is a stupendously warm and sunny week weather-wise. Perfect for the MoS to be on holidays, and perfect for the kids to be back at school, which makes it absolutely perfect for us to get out and about without hordes of children getting in the way!

They wouldn't get in the way of the balloon ride, which is bright and early Thursday morning. The high for Thursday is 31C/88F, which is above normal for early September.

And Friday will be equally as warm and sunny, which means we are going to spend the day at the beach! Minus the great hordes of school aged persons who normally clutter up the sand in the summer time. Not that they are a bad thing. I just like having a few less people milling about. It's nice to have some space, after all! Given that I have no open wounds any longer (all suture abcess crap is all cleared up), I can go in the water too! Yippee!!! I love the beach and the sand and the water.

This is shaping up to be a lovely week. Because we have to be up way early on Thursday, the MoS is coming to my place tomorrow, bringing a pork tenderloin with him that he put in marinade this evening. Plus, he is making a bread pudding and bringing that as well. I picked up a couple of wonderfully ripe avocados at the store today and will be making guacamole once again. Plus an apricot curried rice to go along with the pork, sweet and spicy and yummy delicious!

I'm going to try an experiment and will be giving the cats baths in the morning. I want to try and reduce the allergens floating about the apartment, and that is one step I've not taken yet. I vacuum and dust and wash things down. I even buy Febreeze Allergen Reducer to spray on all the furniture. It helps. But Mister Allergic still sneezes and itches, so I feed him antihistamines and will now scrub the cats to see if it helps. He thinks I'm crazy, and I am sure the cats will agree with him once they find themselves in the tub, all wet and lathered up, but hey... I like living on the edge!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Thursday stuff

We had a low pressure system move in today. It made my shoulder ache something fierce all day! And it made me almost weepy, which is sooooo not like me. And that made me mad.

Tonight the Man of Steel and I went to see a man about a gargoyle.

He's my cousin (the man, not the gargoyle) and he's an artist. A soap stone carver, painter, sculptor... he spends the school year travelling around the province teaching carving at schools. He's a pretty cool guy. But then I'm not biased or anything.

My MoS and I decided we needed some food after that, seeing as how he'd picked me up right after he got off work and we'd gone straight to my cousin's place. So we went to one of the better Greek/Italian/pizza restaurants in town and had wonderful food. I think we had Lindsay Lohan for a waitress, though. An airhead, with tats on the back of her neck ("I think that tattoo has damaged her brain stem", he said at one point) who even looked like the infamous Ms. Lohan. Not too on the ball, that one. But the couple of drinks I had killed the ache in my shoulder, which made me very happy. And it has yet to return (pleasepleasestayaway) so hopefully I'm good for now.

I got refills on my hormone prescription so I can keep the dreaded hot flashes at bay. I prefer to think of them as power surges, but I sure as hell don't need them in the summer time! My doctor told me I looked "healthy" and had I lost some weight? Um.... no... in fact, I think I've put on a couple pounds since meeting the Man of Steel. He's way too good a cook for a weight loss program. But he (the doctor) makes me smile every time I see him. Actually, the Man of Steel does that too. Guess I'm a lucky woman then!

Tomorrow night is game two of the playoffs for our local triple A baseball team. I managed to get us a couple of good seats. All we need now is for the weather to cooperate and NOT rain on us! That is the start of the MoS's vacation, so after the game we will head north to his place. Saturday is supposed to be cool and rainy so it may be a good day to snuggle under a blanket on the couch and watch a movie or two. And cook. We always cook when we're together.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Rising to new heights

Come Thursday next week, I'll be rising before the chickens... in the dark... bleary eyed but excited. We get some pretty spectacular sunrises... and sunsets too... here on the Prairies. Having enough space for the colours to spread out and be their best on display makes for some pretty cool early mornings, coffee clutched in hand.

You see, the Man of Steel is on holidays next week and told me he had something planned. So when he came over last Friday for dinner, before we trundled off to the concert hall to watch Wicked! (which was excellent, I might add), he told me he wanted to take me on a hot air balloon ride. His concern, however, was for my not fully function right arm. The company that offers the balloon rides wants everyone to be in good health, with no back or knee problems. It says that right on their website. My back and knees are in decent shape, for someone who's been bucked off the odd horse here and there. I visit my chiropractor regularly so I'm fairly well adjusted, as individuals go these days. I figure I can deal with things with one (very strong) good arm and one not quite up to snuff limb, plus a nice helpful man by my side.

So needless to say, I am very excited about this! One evening, when he and I were sitting on my balcony enjoying a drink and yakking up a storm, we watched some balloon floating over the south end of the city. I see them often from my place and it's nice to watch them drift along. I casually mentioned that I thought that would be a cool thing to do.

It would appear he heard what I said. I have to admit, and I have said as much to him, that I appreciate the fact that he does listen to what I say. About pretty much everything. He's not what I have come to view (from personal experience) as the "normal" male... where words travel down the ear canal, only to bounce off the ear drum and fall to the floor without having made it to the brain.

When I commented to him that he's not like other men, he said "I know I'm not" and I told him that was a very good thing! I think that has something to do with why I like him so much.

So upon rising in the dark of night, or wee hours of the morning if you prefer, we will wander over to a designated meeting point, to be transferred to the launch site and there we will watch the inflating of the balloon. The flight itself follows, for about an hour I think, and once we touch down again on the verdant earth, we'll be transported back to our vehicle.

I am taking my camera and I think I will change the setting to high resolution so that if I get some really nice shots, I could have them enlarged and printed if desired. Keep your fingers crossed that the weather cooperates and it's clear and dry that day!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011


Today is going to be a hot one here... The forecast high is 35C, which is in the mid 90sF, for you south of the 49th.

I am going for my walk early today to beat the heat. I will be closing the windows and turning on the a/c soon, to prevent my south facing apartment from turning into a toaster oven. Crispy kitties are not on the menu!

However... I fervently hope that UB and Hope did not jinx a change of seasons into happening too early because of their mention of the cold temps and that white stuff that coats the universe when the days are short.

I like the heat, thanks. And I would like summer to last as long as absolutely possible! Because it is usually much too short here. This year has been wonderfully hot, dry and sunny... which was not expected after the horribly wet spring and massive flooding we experienced.

So bite your tongues, people, and keep your wishes for cooler temps in your own neighbourhoods! I quite like the heat wave we're having, even if it does mean I have to do more laundry.

It beats being dressed up as an imitation of the Michelin Man any day...

Saturday, 20 August 2011


I listen to the chorus of crickets outside my window as the evening settles in. The sky is clouding sporadically, although nothing threatening. The temperature dips a bit as the sun's warmth fades with the light.

I await the arrival of my oldest friend and her eldest daughter as they are driving up from Texas to come visit her mum who fell last Sunday and fractured a hip. Given that the old one has Alzheimers and possibly cancer, treatment options are limited to keeping her comfortable and possibly saying a final goodbye. My heart goes out to them all.

This is the first weekend I have not been at the Man of Steel's in many weeks. It feels a bit odd. I can honestly say I miss his company.

I was able to walk one of my regular routes today with minimal shoulder discomfort. That's a first in almost 4 weeks. And it felt very good to be out and moving again. My activity level has been rather stagnant since the repair job.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Slingin' it all about

I've been asked if I have a broken arm, or if I hurt my arm riding a horse, or if I fell down.

I still have to wear the damn sling most of the time, although at home I am slowly spending time without it. It has gotten very old, let me tell you! I swear my shoulder muscles have gone on permanent hiatus to Mexico or some place south. And my tricep muscle has shrunk to the size of Wales (comparatively)... The province I live in is much larger than the whole of the UK, so Wales is pretty tiny.

Maybe I need a sling with a pictogram on it, so people would understand what happened. I've not yet found one that is appropriate, so I may end up designing my own. (Or not. It's just a thought.) I think I would pick a different colour, though. For some reason, purple comes to mind. But this will give you an idea of what I mean:

After the Labour Day holiday in September, I get to start physio therapy. I have "The Plan" as mapped out by my surgeon for the rehab. It will be slow going, but that's okay. I plan on taking however long it needs to get my shoulder back into the best shape it can be. And I am not going to rush it.

And because of that, because it still hurts like a bugger at times, aches a lot most of the rest of the time, and still wakes me up a lot at night (gee, I've been chronically sleep deprived in a really big way for seven months now!), I do go around and read all the blogs, but right now, I am not commenting much, simply because of the work involved. And I find myself doing too much (like right now, typing this out) and then I pay for it in pain later on.

So please bear with me while I muddle through this recovery period. I'm still here, I still go visiting, I just don't say much. I'm just a little on the quiet side at the moment.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Man of Steel

To settle the bet between (the "real") Jimmy and Mapstew, as Jimmy has mentioned on my previous post, I have decided to show you all what my Man of Steel (aka the New Beau) actually looks like.

He is a handsome example of a fine Canadian Steelworker, who chops wood on the side for extra cash.

(He's gotta pay for all that beer somehow.)

He's shown me his tools. No, I mean tools. That go in a tool chest. Like this:

He's got lots of tools. And really big ones too. I was impressed! That tool chest is almost as tall as me (I have to stand on my toes to see on top of it properly) but it is much wider (and that's a good thing).

I'm not easily impressed, despite what you think.

He also has a big truck, just like this:

I like big trucks too. I've not driven it yet, but I'm pretty sure he'll let me one of these days. He's a pretty generous and easy going kinda guy.

So, to settle that bet between Jimmy and Map: He does not have a beard (yet - will have for the winter) but does have a moustache. I think you two might have to split the £50. Here, you decide who gets how much...

He's tried to take up some of my Viking ways, but his Scottish blood keeps showing through, what with the tartan and all.