Saturday, December 29, 2007

Merry Sickness To Me

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas / Hannukah / Holidays. I enjoyed the time spent with family, but I've been sick as a dog since last Sunday and I am only now starting to take a turn for the better.

On Dec. 22nd, which i think was a saturday, we had a christmas get-together at Rich's uncle's house. I was feeling great and enjoying myself and talking to one of his aunts about how I rarely get sick and have been really lucky this year...I even knocked on wood after I said that! and wouldn't you know it, the next morning I woke up with my throat feeling like sandpaper. I didn't think too much of it - I figured it was just the dryness in the house from the furnace being higher these days. But then the froggie in my throat turned into a big old monster and I went downhill from there. You name it, I had it. Cough, congestion, sore throat, aches, fever, clogged sinues, sneezing - I was so sick. I thought by Christmas day I'd be okay, but nope, it held on and I had to do my travelling and visiting with my box of kleenex and bags of herbal teas in my pockets.

So, while it's been nice to be off, it hasn't been much fun at all. To make things worse, Rich ended up pulling a muscle in his neck and it was so bad that I literally had to help him in and out of bed. I'm on tylenol 3's - he's on muscle relaxers - we're quite a pair! Today is Saturday and we've literally spent the whole day in bed watching HGTV. LITERALLY ALL DAY. i kid you not. I think we got up to heat up our leftover chinese food that we ordered for dinner last night cause neither of us are in any shape to cook. Mind you - I can't taste anything anyways so it wouldn't matter what I ate. But we haven't done anything today other than lie in bed and watch the tube. I just came into the office to post this as I know it's been awhile, and I had to stretch my legs a bit).

Even though we've both had it rough over the holidays, we've still managed to enjoy the company of both our families. It was kind of funny because my parents and brothers and nieces were all outside tobogganing up and down my brother's hill at the cottage and rich and I were watching them while sitting outside in the hot-tub on the deck of the cottage. It felt funny seeing them all bundled up in snowpants, and us in our bathing suits. But it was kind of cool.

Now we're thinking about new year's eve and wondering what to do. We may just have a quiet night together and go out for dinner -- we're not quite sure yet. But hopefully we'll both be feeling better by then.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Decisions, Decisions

Rich and I have been talking about our honeymoon plans. Italy is our main honeymoon destination; however, we’re not going until September. We wanted to wait until then as that’s when they harvest the grapes for the wine (‘hic..) and it’s just beautiful there that time of year (so I’ve been told). We will be taking two weeks to see Venice, Florence and Rome. I cannot wait!

But because our wedding is in June, we also wanted an immediate getaway right after. Our first thought was something easy…all inclusive beach resort…maybe Barbados or St. Martin. Laze on a beach and eat and drink at our leisure. But now our minds are changing. As we’ve been researching vacations, we’re finding that for relatively the same price as Barbados, we could go to back to France. (and we’d probably appreciate Barbados more if we were to go in the winter months as opposed to June).

Our first thought was Paris! Paris in the Spring – does it get any better!? Rich took me to Paris last year and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! Who says no to a honeymoon there? BUT – I love the beach and the water and I know that I’ll want to relax after the wedding and not go crazy with sightseeing and trains, planes and automobiles, if you know what I mean.

So I think we found a compromise – the French Riviera! Still the magic and culture of France, but on the Mediterranean Sea – beachside – just how I like it! It will be the best of both worlds. So, although we haven’t made up our minds 100% yet – I think it will either be Nice or Cannes for our honeymoon in June.


Are we crazy? France in June and Italy in September? I don’t know if it’s all a bit much for one year. But then again – it’s our wedding – our honeymoon – we should make it be all it can be, non? Who’s with me on this one? Can I get a “Whoa France!” … anyone??? anyone??? ………

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Me? Organized? Maybe just a little...

Hello folks. Sorry for my laziness in blog posting. It’s been a busy few weeks. The wedding planning is going well. There’s a few big things that still need to get done. Bridesmaid dresses, invitations, wedding bands – but they’re all sourced, so it’s just a matter of putting the order in.

There are of course a tonne of little things to do – like buy jewelry, shoes, schedule make-up appt., outfit the guys, and much more, but it’s things that don’t have deadlines, etc. So, I'm ahead of schedule which should mean smooth sailing in the new year. Rich and I are pretty much out of commission for the month of May. There is something every weekend that month, so I have to have everything ready and in order by end of April. When you think about it, that’s only 5 months away. Time sure does fly when you’re having fun!

When people ask me how the planning is coming, it’s usually followed by them saying “so…I hear your very organized”. I’m not sure how to take that statement. The way it is said sometimes almost makes me feel like I’m being judged in a negative light. Do people picture me as a crazy, person running around with a checklist and my arms flailing and ordering people around to get things done? Because that’s not me. I’ve actually been pretty calm, respectful and tactful while planning my wedding. Yes it’s true – I am very organized! But I have to be. I’m doing this on my own. I don’t have a wedding planner. My parents have been great in helping us with money and my mom has ordered me some great things online, and Rich’s folks are helping us with the rehearsal dinner and honeymoon, and I’m grateful for all of that, but when it comes to the actual planning, calling, emailing, scheduling, organizing, ordering, buying, drafting, printing, decorating, and putting everything together -- it’s little ol’ me arranging an event for almost 200 people by myself.

Sure, Rich will browse online for honeymoon destinations, and maybe go with me to look at things at stores, but really (sorry hun) it’s me doing the “stuff”. It can be a bit overwhelming at times. So instead of being a bridezilla about it, I just choose to be organized about it instead. If that means getting things done sooner than later – so be it. It eases my mind – keeps me on track and allows me to be more relaxed. Another thing I don’t think people realize, is that this is what I do at work on a daily basis. I have to be overly-organized in my job in order to thrive and function, so that flows into my personal life too.

Trust me…at the end of the day, it’s a good thing, and it’ll be an even better thing when it’s a few weeks before the wedding and all I’ll have to do is sit back, relax and let the good times roll. That sounds pretty nice to me.

P.S. Happy Hannukah to my Jewish peeps!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

No Wind in the Windy City

Oh what fun! I loved Chicago. It was a great trip and we saw and did so much! Chicago is similar to NYC, but it is more laid back. The people are really nice and the pace is a little slower, but you still have the amazing shopping and river cruises and skyline and restaurants all around you. We did a lot in four days. We took a boatcruise along the river to learn about the architectural designs of many of Chicago’s famous buildings. This may sound a little dull to some of you – but it was so interesting, and our cruise started in the daylight and ended in the dark so it was so beautiful to be going along the river with the skyline lit up all around you.

We also went to the Shedd Aquarium. I can’t even explain this – it is too amazing for words. It’s like you’re living inside the sea and there’s so much sea life and coral and water all around you. We also went to the Art Institute of Chicago – a great art museum showcasing the likes of Van Gogh, Dali, Picasso and Monet among many others. We went up the John Hancock tower to the observatory deck – about 100 stories up and WOW – the views were spectacular. We went to Navy Pier – which is a long pier out into Lake Michigan that has a huge ferris wheel and restaurants and boat cruises and rides, etc.

Also in Chicago, which surprised me, were the beaches! Along the coast of Lake Michigan are beautiful sandy beaches and it looks so cool to see the beach against the grand skyline of Chicago’s buildings. And there’s a huge bike/walking path that hugs the coastline which we walked along. And boy did we walk! We only took a cab when we had to, because it’s such a great city for walking and there’s so much to see. We went to see the “bean” which a reflective bean-shaped structure (all mirrored) that’s about the size of a house! And it reflects all parts of the city and it’s centered inside Millennium Park – we got some pictures of this and once they’re downloaded, I’ll come back and post them here. Another park we visited was Lincoln Park – in the upper part of the city – and it has a huge zoo in the middle of it, similar to Central Park in NYC, except that this zoo is free and it’s amazing!

Now…we can’t forget the other important part of our trip – the shopping!! Let’s just say that had we been allowed to bring back more over the Canadian border, we would have been in trouble! We bought a couple ‘big’ things each of us wanted and the rest was spent on clothes, shoes, etc. Our hotel was great – right at the top of the Magnificent Mile (Michigan Ave) which is lined with all the hot spots for shopping and one street over is State St., which is lined with all the restaurants. I did get to try some deep dish pizza and it was really good! And the other great thing about our hotel is that it had a top of the line fitness center in it, so I was able to keep up with my workouts while we were there and work off the deep dish pizza that I just had to have! All in all it was a fabulous trip and our weather was great and I would go back in a second! Oh, and it wasn’t even windy! Bonus!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's off to Chi-ca-go!

We're off again on another trip
Just 4 days, but full of zip
Chicago is our little retreat
And with our loonie so high, it can't be beat!

A riverboat cruise, Blues & Jazz
The best deep dish pizza I'll probably ever have
A trip to the Aquarium and a gallery or two
And of course the Shopping!! Oh what will I do!?

I think there's a limit on what I can bring back
So i'll have to take with me an extra large sack
to pack away all the goodies I'll buy
But of course i will claim it, cause that's only right. (in case the FEDS are reading my blog) ;)


So have a good weekend - I'll be back next week
and I'll post some pics if there's some that are neat

I'll think of you while I'm shopping the streets
The magnificant mile should be a real treat!


Later Peeps,
Leece

Monday, November 05, 2007

Centerpieces – a day at the beach?

We’ve tossed around a few ideas for our centerpieces for the wedding. Our venue has some that we can use for free, but they’re kind of cheap looking and then we can’t give them away, which we’re planning to do. So, we’ve decided to make them ourselves. I consider myself sort of crafty and pretty imaginative, so why not?

I won’t divulge too much info, as some of my readers (who by the way – NEVER comment – you know who you are!!) will be coming to our wedding so I want to keep some elements a surprise. But on Sunday, Rich and I drove down to the beach by our house and set down our blanket and proceeded to dig. It was a lovely day. The sun was out and we were laughing and if his buddies had seen him they would have totally made fun of him. But that’s why I love him so much - because he humours me by doing “girl” stuff with me sometimes, even though I know he’d rather not. But I think the centerpieces are going to look great.


So, to show him my appreciation, I didn’t bug him AT ALL when we got home and he watched an NBA game followed by an NFL game. Ok – I lied – during those 4 hours I did go in once or twice and tell him I was bored. But then I decided to cook! So I went to the kitchen and made him a yummy dinner of curried chicken with rice and vegetables. It was great! Tonight we’re having leftovers and I’m going to attempt to make rotis from scratch. Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Just a few pics

As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, our friend Lori-anne (La) took some photos of us recently by the water and walking trails near our house. I only have a few of them to post, as we're waiting for the full CD, but in the meantime, here are just a few of us .... it was such a fun, happy, sunny, shiny day!










Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ow!

I hit the gym last night - upper body workout - and I went hard!

Outcome: Rich had to help me get my workbag over my shoulder this a.m.

Help........

Soreness is to be expected. I'm not really "easing" into this program - it's full power straight ahead. So - I know my muscles (yes I have some) will pay. But it's a good hurt - the kind of hurt where you know you've done something good for your body. I did my cardio this morning before coming to work too. So - it's been a good two days!

Can I stop now?
(*wink*)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Building a Body-for-Life?

Back in 2000, I competed in a nation-wide 12-week competition, called the "Body-for-Life" Challenge. It's a 12-week fitness and nutrition program laid out in very specific detail and guarantees that you can change your body in as little as 12 weeks. Of course before I started I was skeptical, but let me say, if you put your mind to it - you can accomplish anything! And I did. I worked out 6 days a week - and i'm not talking about using rubber bands and bouncing on a ball - this was TOUGH training. Weights and cardio - working your muscles to failure, and high bursts of intensity. Eating 6 times a day - small hand-sized portions...and it goes on....but after 12 weeks, I was down 35 lbs and I had more muscle tone than I'd had before. I looked good. I didn't win the competition, but I was awarded with a medal and a certificate of completion and I had never been so proud of myself as I was after I finished those 12 weeks.

Problem was - after the 12 weeks and the finish of the competition, I slacked off. I figured i'd "take a break". And break I did! Seven years worth! So here I am now with a wedding coming up next year and not at all happy with the way I look. So, I'm going to try my best to do a modified version of the Body-for-Life program again. I don't have to 'kill' myself like I did last time, as I'm not on a 12-week deadline. But in all honesty - it really is an easy program to follow "for life" (the workouts are challenging) but it's very well laid out and if you wanted to make it your permanent fitness routine - it's a great one. (www.bodyforlife.com) You just have to be dedicated and committed. That's where I fall off track. I do something for a month or so and then I slack.

So please folks - wish me luck as I try this again. My results won't be as fast as last time because I'm taking it slower, but I'm hoping to be down in weight for when my wedding rolls (no pun intended) around. Rich supports me and loves me no matter how I look (obviously) but I know he'll be proud of me, and I'll be proud of myself, if I can finally accomplish a goal that I've been talking about for the past 7 years!! I have my pedometer on today, so - let's get to steppin!

Monday, October 22, 2007

A wedding inspired weekend...

This weekend was great! Saturday was a big day – dress day! I had been out looking at dresses a few months back and saw some I really liked, but wanted to give it a bit more time before ordering. So on Saturday, me, my mom, my aunt (Linda) and my sister-in-law (Brenda) all met for lunch and then afterwards we headed to the bridal salon!

The girls at this salon are amazing. They remembered me from my last visit and they pulled out the two dresses that were on the top of my list so that I could try them on again. And then Brenda and Linda went nuts! They started pulling dresses upon dresses off the rack and saying “leece try this one”; “lisa – here’s another one” “oh leece, this would look great on you!”. My poor mom was in the changeroom with me helping me in and out of the dresses – and some of them are HEAVY! It was a workout for sure!

It was funny too, because there was another girl there with her family also trying on dresses. When I came into the store, she actually had on my #1 choice! (and it looked great on her which made me happy because we were about the same build) And so in I went until “my dress” was free and started trying on some others. Turns out the first dress I came out in was HER #1 choice. So there she was in “my” dress, and I was in “her” dress! It was freaky!

So, as I was saying my family kept bringing me in other dresses to try – but at the end, when I finally put on my #1 choice from 2 months ago – they all ooohed and aahhhed and said “Yup! That’s the One!”. Even the girls’ friends who were there said that it was the nicest one I’d had on all day. So it’s a done deal! I bought my dress and I love it and I’m so happy!

Then on Sunday, a friend of ours who’s taking courses in photography came over, and we headed down to a conservation area by the lake and she took a whack of pictures of us. I guess you could call them ‘engagement’ photos – but we’ll use them for different things. It was a great afternoon – the weather was perfect – the sun was shining – the breeze was blowing and the fall colours and leaves with the inky blue of the lake provided for some very beautiful shots I’m sure!


So – that was my “wedding weekend”. Rich had a good time too! After the photo shoot, we went out for dinner and then came home and crashed! We were wiped. It’s not easy shopping all day one day, and then being a supermodel the next you know!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

MEEEOWWWW

Last night Rich and I went to see the stage production of CATS. CATS was one of the first-ever live theatre productions that I saw with my parents when I was maybe 12 years old, and I loved it! I saw that it was coming to T.O. for a limited engagement (it’s only here for one week apparently) so I snapped up two tickets right away.

As some of you know, we recently got our own cat about 6 months ago – “Jackson”. After seeing CATS last night, we look at him in a whole new light. For those of you who haven’t seen the show, it’s all about cats and how they get their names, and what their individual names mean to them and the story behind them. There are scary cats, mean cats, magical cats, glamorous cats, jokester cats, etc. It’s quite powerful and even emotional at times, as the weathered old “Grizzabella” who was once the most beautiful cat is now tattered and torn and growing old and all the other cats want nothing to do with her.

The entire cast is cats! They are in lycra and spandex and have ears and whiskers and tails and claws and are very believable – I forgot that I was watching people. They even run and crawl through the aisles – kids would have a great time at this production. The singing and dancing was amazing, and the set was all aglow, as it takes place in an old junkyard, but there’s a starry sky and a bright moon and lots of coloured lights all around.

As you can probably tell, I enjoyed last night’s show as much as I did when I was young, and Rich said he really liked it too. In fact, when we got home and Jackson greeted us at the door – we decided (well, Rich decided) that he required a new name to better identify him and tell his story. So, he is now known as “Tabitha Von Purrrstein”. I told Rich that Tabitha is a girls’ name, but he said that Jackson is part tabby and is always purring so that’s his new name. (sorry Jackie – blame your father)

Anyway – go see the show if you can while it’s here – it’s Great!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Shop Till Ya Drop!!

This past Saturday, Rich and I set the alarm for 6:30am (sick, i know) to head out for a full day of cross-border shopping. A quick stop at Timmy’s for a bagel and a coffee and we were on the road. It was a nice easy drive as nobody is on the highway that time of day on a weekend – that is however until we got to the bridge into the U.S.

Oh lord…I think the whole world had the same idea as we did. We were stopped – bumper to bumper – for about an hour and a half just to cross the border. That’s what happens when the loonie hits a high! Everyone gets so excited and heads for the border.

But…eventually we made it across – first stop – the fashion outlets!! We had our cell phones charged, knowing we’d probably split up – I mean, Rich didn’t really want to go to the Coach store (can’t imagine why) and I wasn’t in the mood for Fossil – so we just went our own ways and met up every 15 minutes or so depending on where we were. It was great!! The deals were amazing in a lot of the stores there. By noon we were pretty pooped so we decided to sit down for some lunch. We had a really good falafel wrap with hummus to give us more energy for the rest of the day! A couple more stores there, then we were off to Buffalo for the afternoon to hit the Walden Galleria.

Gotta say – I much preferred the fashion outlets. It had all the same stores at lower prices (except for DSW –which is great!! bought two pairs of shoes and a pair of boots from there). But we still managed to make some purchases (go figure!) and of course we had to peek into the Cheesecake Factory just to catch a glimpse of the glorious cakes they have to offer – check it out @
http://shop.thecheesecakefactory.com/PublicStore/catalog/Cheesecakes,92.aspx. It was packed to the gills – which is probably a good thing cause we may have considered sitting down for a piece if it wasn’t. So – thanks to the crowds, I kept a pound or two off my waistline!

All in all it was a wonderful day. Although, coming back across the border was worse than going. We were honest (or dumb??) and told the guy how much we spent (a lot!) so we had to park our car and go inside and pay the taxes. That took about another ½ hour. Add that onto the 2.5 hour line up just go get back across the border and we ended up getting home at about 10 pm. It was a LONG day. But worth every penny I must say! :)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Holiday Wrap Up

Well - if everyone had as much turkey as I did, you’re probably still yearning to lay down on that couch and continue digesting! Between Rich’s family, my family, and the leftovers, it’s been turkey central! But it was a lovely Thanksgiving weekend – as it always seems to be.

We were at Rich’s cottage on the Saturday and during dinner a storm passed directly over us, accompanied by lightning and thunder, and then wouldn’t you know it - out goes the power! But it was actually kind of cool because we all grabbed some candles and set them up around the table and dined by candlelight. Actually, once the power came back on, we contemplated just turning the lights back off!

At my mom’s place the next day it was a lot of fun and felt so cozy and “homey” for me. They have made their little house so attractive and welcoming and I love being there. Me and my mom just lied on the couch for awhile – well, she was sitting, but I was lying down with my feet on her lap and she rubbed my feet for me while I had a snooze – what can be better than that! The colours up north were magnificent. I didn’t go swimming, but could have. It was that warm.

So, Thanksgiving is over. No more holidays until Christmas. But our trip to Chicago is booked around the middle of November! I’m very much looking forward to that. I had no idea how expensive hotels are in Chicago!! If you want to stay in the downtown core that is – which we are – but we got our flights free with Air Miles, so I guess we can’t complain. Anyway – I’m looking forward to seeing the big aquarium that’s there and of course the shopping on the Magnificent Mile – and it just so happens our dollar is great right now!


On the wedding front – everything is still on track. Next big thing will be ordering my dress and thinking about where/who to do our invitations. I’m supposed to order my dress on the 20th of this month – but after all the food this weekend I’m thinking I may hold off a little while longer to try to whittle away some of the holiday leftovers that have made their way around my waist! Anyway – that’s the wrap up for now. Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving weekend!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Thank-Yuh Thank-Yuh

Wow! Times have been busy! There have been family functions, dinners with friends, the run-for-the-cure (which was AWESOME by the way!!), birthdays and a new lawyer that started at work – so needless to say - I haven't had a lot of time to post.

But here I am and what better thing to talk about than my favourite time of the year. That’s right – Thanksgiving!! It’s just around the corner and I can’t wait! I love everything about it. The weather, the trees, the colours, the smells in the air, the cozy cottage visits, of course the dinner, but most of all just being with friends and family and thinking about all the things in my life to be thankful for, such as my loving family, my honourable and true friends, my health, my in-laws-to-be, and of course the love of my life – Rich. I still pinch myself each day to see if I’m dreaming. I can’t imagine being more happy and fulfilled as I am right now - and that says a lot, as the best is yet to come.

We’ll be seeing both our families this weekend and the weather is supposed to be fantastic so we might even get a swim in at the cottage! We’ll play a round of golf, eat, drink and be merry. It’s the best. Also, we’ve decided to head to Chicago for a little getaway. Probably a four-day trip. Neither of us have been and it’s on our list of places to go – so I’m really looking forward to that! Wedding plans are still on track and going great! We’ll probably get our bands made soon as our jeweler is moving in the new year, so he asked if he could make them sooner than later – fine by me!! (it’s pretty cool having your own personal jeweler I must say!)

So that’s what’s shakin’ for now. (by the way - can you believe I've been blogging for a year now? Who Knew!?) Oh, and I also want to say Happy Birthday to Rich’s mom! You looook mahvelous! Happy Turkey Everyone! :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Aquafit Baby!!

So last night I went to an aquafit class at the recreational complex near my house and guess what - I LOVED it! I was a little apprehensive at first. I mean…generally these classes are comprised of somewhat older people and I wasn’t sure if we’d be working out to the groove sounds of Barry Manilow, etc. – but as it turns out – it was a killer workout and the music and people were great!

I have done aquafit classes before – but only the “fun” kind at Caribbean resorts. But this class was really well structured and laid out to work every part of your body. You’re provided with 2 “paddles” that you hold in your hands to provide more resistance under the water for a great arm workout – you also get a ball that I later learned you hold btwn your knees and/or ankles for great ab work – and then finally a rubber belt that you strap around your waist so you can bob around in the deep end without submerging and wow!! scissor kicks never looked so good! And aside from a few flying balls here and there (d'oh!) I was thoroughly impressed and actually am looking forward to the next class. I had no idea aquafit could get your heart rate up as much as it does….and hey – it’s a great excuse to go bathing suit shopping!!


My friend at work did a class in her neighbourhood as well – so we were comparing notes today. She loved it too so we’ve decided to order matching bathing caps…what do you think?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Family, Friends, & Fun

Rich’s dad and stepmom have been visiting from Calgary the past couple of weeks – they couldn’t get enough of us so they came here! I jest…but it’s nice to be able to spend this much time with them as it’s tough with them being so far away. We’ve had family dinners at Rich’s sister’s place, and we took them to my parents place up north so they could officially “meet” before the big day. It was amazing – they got along famously and really have a lot in common with each other. I love that. Saturday Rich and I are hosting a family dinner, and on Sunday we’re back at his sister’s for another family get-together/housewarming party – so it’ll be a full, but fun weekend.

I went to a bridal show this past weekend – just a small one in town. Two of my bridesmaids came with me and we went out for lunch first. It was a nice afternoon and we had some laughs – mostly making fun of people (mean, I know) but there are some strange folk out there. There was a fashion show and none of the dresses fit the girls – they were all clipped and pinned and the girls looked terrified – it wasn’t very well organized. That’s what you get for small town bridal shows I suppose – but they tried and we had fun anyway. There’s a big bridal show coming up in Toronto that I’ll be going to, although there’s not a whole lot that I need to scout out. I’m pretty well organized (duh…). Rich's mom has graciously offered to do all my flowers for the wedding so that's another big thing taken care of, and it'll be nice to have them 'made with love' - although, she may not love me so much after the 11th boutonniere! But the bridal shows are fun to go and see other brides-to-be, and look at the fashion trends and get some other ideas I may not have thought of. It’s all part of the process, you know? I’m looking forward to it. I have to admit, when I was at the one last weekend and they said “who’s the bride?” – it felt amazing to say “it’s me!!” Then they looked at my ring and stuck a sticker on my shirt that simply said “BRIDE”. That way the vultures – I mean vendors - knew who to focus on.


The weekend following this one, a bunch of us are doing the CIBC Run for the Cure to help raise money and awareness for breast cancer research. We’re running in support of Rich’s Auntie Marie. We have a National team with runners in Calgary as well as Toronto. Then after the run we’re having the Toronto team members back to our place for a BBQ. So, September is proving to be a busy month, but a rewarding one too. Hoping the same for all of you!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Killbear, Thanks for the Memories…

Wow – what a way to cap off my summer. Our camping trip to Killbear Provincial Park was so much more than I expected it to be. I mean – I love to camp – but it’s usually the same old thing - setting up the tent – sitting on the beach - cooking on the fire and getting in a swim or a hike or two. And we did all of those things – but there’s just something about Killbear that makes those simple things come alive.

I’ve been going to this park every summer since I was a baby – however, I hadn’t been back for the past 7 or so years. I had forgotten how beautiful it was there. The red rocks of the Canadian Shield run through the park and the blue waters of Georgian Bay were crystal clear. The islands strewn all about were full of greenery and lush vegetation. It was just magical sitting on the rocks in the morning – they’d been warmed up naturally by the sun and Rich and I would watch the sun come up with our cup of tea on those rocks each morning. I loved loved loved it. It was so beautiful and peaceful.

We were blessed with glorious weather and we spent our days on the beach or on the rocks reading and swimming and my brothers and parents were there too, so we had lots of laughs and many old memories and stories were shared amongst us all. I had a premium site right on the beach so our view was fantastic. We were in a quieter part of the park and since it was Labour Day weekend, the campground wasn’t as busy as it would be mid-summer, so it was very peaceful.


When it came time to leave on Monday afternoon, both Rich and I had a hard time saying good-bye to the park! It was actually a bit emotional for me. It was like I was leaving a family member behind. I know that sounds strange – but like I said – Killbear holds very special memories for me and the beauty of the park just holds you there. You really don’t want to leave! I felt so good being there. It was good for the mind, good for the body, good for the soul. So thanks Killbear. I’ll be sure to see you again next summer!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Good Day Sunshine

This past weekend was great. Friday night we took in a movie (Ratatouille believe it or not! and it was really really good!) Our trip to Paris last year made us love everything French – so we couldn’t resist. Saturday we went out for breakfast and then did some errands and shopping and picked up a lot of camping stuff that we needed. In the evening, my brother, his wife and their kids came over for dinner and I was able to spend some good quality time with my nieces who are adorable but a bit CRAZY! They’re 7 and 4 and they don’t ever get tired – EVER! I could not keep up with them. We looked at flower girl dresses and they showed me what they liked, didn’t like, etc. I told them that I loved them but the day of the wedding, they will have to be slightly medicated. (wink).

Sunday was a fun day too. We went to a barbeque at my aunt’s house and saw a lot of family. My brothers had the guitars going and everyone was singing old songs that my grandma and grandpa (on my dad’s side) used to sing. It brought back a lot of good memories. We were there celebrating a birthday for my uncle – but it turned into one big family celebration, as there are a LOT of August birthdays. A toast was made to Rich and I as well, on our engagement and kind words were shared about how wonderful everyone thinks Rich is. It was a great afternoon.

It’s been a wonderful summer. There have been some losses that we’ve gone through as a family, but many special times together too. We’re capping off the end of the summer with a camping trip to my all-time favourite provincial park! I’ve been going there since I was a baby, and haven’t been back in about 7 years. I can’t wait to get there and share my memories with Rich and show him all the special places I remember. We have a premium site right on the beach. It’s going to be great. If summer has to be over – this is way to end it. Hope you all have a safe and happy long weekend too!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Rocky Mountain High….

I’m baaaack. It was hard to return, I have to say. If I could have stayed longer I certainly would have. Being in the mountains with the clear blue skies and fresh clean air made it quite difficult to come back to the smog and humidity here at home. I had an amazing trip and saw so much in the 10 days we were there.

We pretty much stuck to the plan outlined in my previous post so I won’t talk about every single stop. But what I will say is that my expectations were far exceeded by the beauty that surrounded me! The colour of the lakes, the Columbia Icefields, the chateaus and the mountains – my gosh - the mountains! Just spectacular. Robin and Claire – thanks so much to you both for showing me all the wonderful sites I got to see an also for setting up our own little chateau in your home for us before we left on our journey. I will remember it always.

Aside from the wonderful scenery and adventures through the mountains – I was also lucky enough to meet some wonderful people. While in Calgary, before leaving for the mountains – I was able to meet some of Rich’s cousins on his mom’s side and we had a wonderful dinner at his aunt’s house – it was really good to be with all of them.

Also, I was able to meet a lot of Claire’s family. On the last leg of our trip, we went to Edmonton to stay with Denis and Debbie (Claire’s brother and sister-in-law). As I said, I had never met them before, yet I was welcomed with open arms and felt so comfortable right away. Before I was even in their house, I was greeted in the driveway with big smiles and warm hugs. They are amazing people. Their daughter Nicole and her husband were there as well, and their son Joel – all of them were very kind and generous and it was just a great stay. Debbie – you are lovely and wonderful and you have a glow about you that is amazing. Rich and I actually said to each other that we think you are the “nicest person on earth that we’ve ever met”. Getting a hug before I went to sleep from you and Nicole was the best. It made me feel like I was at home with my own mom – which was a very comforting feeling. Thanks so much to you and Denis for your hospitality and warmth. I hope I get to visit you again in the future.

Oh – and in case you all are wondering – Rich and I were on the same team for the golf tournament – and guess what – we tied for first!! I think I missed my calling. (Here are just a few pics of our trip for your viewing pleasure).


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Wild Wild West…

A few more days and then my vacation will be here. I can’t wait! For 10 days I’ll be seeing a part of Canada that I’ve heard so much about, but have never been to. We’re going to Alberta. Rich’s dad and stepmom (Robin and Claire) live in Calgary, so we’re going to visit them. But it’s not just any ordinary family visit. Oh no, you see - when they have company – they do it up right!!

Our first few nights will be spent with them at their place and seeing some of Calgary. Rich also has a bunch of cousins there, so we’ll probably hook up with them if we can one evening for dinner. Then on Tuesday, Robin, Claire, Rich and I pack up their SUV and we make our way into the mountains!

First stop…Banff! They’ve booked us accommodation at the Hidden Ridge Resort. (picture # 1 below). It looks just beautiful. I can’t even imagine how amazing it will be in person. I’m sure we’ll do some exploring, hiking and shopping (of course!). I literally can’t wait to get there!
(http://www.bestofbanff.com/hrr/view.html)

Then on Wednesday we are heading to Lake Louise. Again – Robin and Claire have gone above and beyond and booked us into Deer Lodge – which is just down the road from the Chateau Lake Louise. I’m speechless by the pictures alone, so I don’t even know what I’ll do when I’m standing there in person (picture #2 below) (http://www.crmr.com/deer-lodge.php)

I think it’s safe to day that I’m not going to want to come home!! But it doesn’t end there. On Thursday we will make our way to Jasper. Just the name sounds relaxing - “Jasper”. Here we are staying at Bear Hill Lodge, where apparently the Elk like to say too! (see picture # 3 and 4 below). (http://www.bearhilllodge.com/ourplace.html). Here I will also get to see and experience the Columbia Ice Fields (picture #5 below). I can’t believe that I’m going to see all these beautiful and wonderful places all in one trip. I’m a very lucky girl.

We’ll also be going to Edmonton towards the end of our trip to see some of Claire’s family, and to play in their annual family golf tournament! Wouldn’t it be a kicker if I came back with the trophy! haha…you never know! Perhaps a stop at the West Edmonton Mall (picture # 6) and then we head home. I think its going to be a truly amazing adventure. I’ll post some of our own pictures to post when I get back!











Monday, July 23, 2007

Time to Say Goodbye

On Tuesday, July 17th, my family and I had to say good-bye to my dear grandmother. She passed away that morning at the age of 90. I am grateful to have had her in my life for as long as I did. I wanted to pay a little tribute to her here, as she was a very strong woman and came through a lot of hardships in her life. My gram never talked much about herself and her childhood, but my mom and my aunt helped me to learn a few things even I didn’t know.

My grandma endured the loss of her father when she was just a toddler. She left Russia (on a boat!) with her mom at the age of 6 (it was 1923), and landed in Halifax. The funny thing she always used to say was that they were supposed to be going to the U.S. – but they got on the wrong boat! We’re not sure if that was really true or not.

Her mother soon married a widowed business man with many young children. My gram struggled to fit in with the smart, blond, blue-eyed children who did not speak funny English (my gram had to learn English as her second language at a very young age). When in her teens, she met my grandpa and she was delighted to find someone to love and so they married in 1938. My gramps joined the Air Force in 1943 to do his duty, leaving my grandma to fend at home by herself, and pregnant with my mom.

As happened with many men returning from years away in service, there was a transition time for my gramps to get reacquainted with his family and assume his leadership role as head of the household. My grandma later gave birth to my aunt Linda.
When my grandma’s own mother (who was not well) became widowed for a second time, she came to live with my grandparents and the girls (my mom and aunt), adding to the work in the household. My grandma worked hard to provide things for her girls. She wanted them to have the right things, piano lessons, and nice clothes. She liked to bake, listen to classical music, play piano, play Maj Jong, and later play bridge. For years she worked at Eatons in the shoe department. I was too young to appreciate that at the time, but boy would I have reaped the rewards on that one if I was older! Many women did not work outside of the home in those days. But my grams wanted more for herself and worked hard to accomplish that.

When my grandfather lay in bed in the hospital with a serious illness, my grandma came everyday and stayed all day with him, taking the bus to get there. She never considered it a sacrifice. My grandpa was her life and she was proud to be his wife. She never really got over his death, and although she lived 13 years longer than he did, she was lonely and looked to my mom and my aunt, and us grandchildren for companionship.
My grandma lived with me for five years before I moved in with Rich. I am so grateful to have had her that close to me during that time, even though I may not have realized it then – I do now. My gram loved her family so much. I’ll miss her greatly, but I have tons of memories to look back on and I just hope she’s back with my grandpa now and they’re together again.

Monday, July 16, 2007

FORE! the love of Golf – Part II

Friday night we headed up to Rich’s cottage. We were teeing off early Saturday a.m. Family in from Calgary were there too, and we spent the evening eating, drinking, laughing and reorganizing the teams due to some last minute additions. It was a fun evening, but make no mistake - the competition was ON! Amongst all the laughing, there was a Survivor-type feel to the evening of outwit, outlast, outplay! It started to become an “East Meets West Battle for the Trophy”!

A 6:15 a.m wake-up call on Saturday morning…a quick coffee and bite to eat, and we were off to the golf course. Unfortunately, so was the rain! It wasn’t the bright sunny day we had hoped for, but everyone’s spirits were up, energy was high and we gathered around the first tee. Nine teams of 4, plus one twosome – a great turn out!

I was in the seventh group to tee off. This year I was paired up with one of Rich’s sister’s friends, Christopher. My brother was also in my foursome and he was paired with Rich’s sis – so the scores would for sure be on the mark! (you hope that everyone records their scores truthfully). Nerves usually play a big part for me when I’m teeing off in front of a crowd, but this time I was fairly relaxed. I think because I hadn’t played much all year, and because I had won last time, the chances of me winning again were slim, so I really didn’t have any high expectations for myself. I know that sounds bad, but when it comes to golf, it’s good for me to be relaxed. I lined up my shot as people stood and watched – took a deep breath – and let her rip. And what do you know…..I put it on the green about 6 feet from the pin! Yessssssss!

The round took about 5 hours to play. We were a little wet – a little cold – but had a ton of fun. The beer helped too! Christopher was a great partner. He and I played really well together. I was relaxed the whole game. At the end of the round we made our way back to the cottage for some good eats, good wine and the presentation of prizes and the green jacket and trophy to the winners. There was probably over 50 people there…and because of the rain, everyone was inside – but they have a HUGE place, so it was fine. Chris and I had a good score – but we had no idea how anyone else did – and we wouldn’t know who won until the scores were tallied and the announcements were made.


They started the prizes from 12th place down…calling out the names….people clapping and cheering…when they got down to 2nd place – it was announced there was a tie with first! In order to break it and determine a winner, they went with the lowest score on the hardest hole of the course. And the Champions for the 2007 Annual Golf Tournament…(drum roll please)…LISA and CHRISTOPHER with a score of 89! Can you believe it peeps? I won again!! Thank goodness I’m engaged to Rich, or I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be invited back next year! lol….it was a great day, and a great night and I had a fantastic time. Maybe a three-peat is in store for next year. Wouldn’t that be sweet!? I’ll add some pics soon.

Friday, July 13, 2007

FORE! the love of golf

This weekend is Rich’s family’s annual summer golf tournament. Every year since 1980ish (or possibly earlier!) they have been putting on this tourney. Family and friends are invited and teams of four are put together – good golfers paired with not-so-good golfers to make it fair for everyone. It’s all about fun and having a good time – however, it can be a tad stressful teeing off in front of a crowd of 40 people – which is exactly what I had to do last year my first time playing with them!

This year once again I shall play, and my brother will be joining the brood as well. We start early in the morning at a nice golf course near Lake Simcoe, and everyone ends up back at Rich’s cottage afterwards for food, drinks, and of course the prizes! Even though it’s a “fun” day – trust me – there’s some competition in that family! The coveted trophy is worn and torn, and inscribed with the winnners’ names during all the years of play. It’s truly a sight….but everyone wants to win it!

As I said – last year was my first year playing with the clan – I was scared, but I’ve golfed a couple times before, so I knew that I wouldn’t be “terrible”. I was paired with one of Rich’s good friends – he was the “good” golfer – I was the “not-so-good golfer”. So, after the tournament ended and we were back at the cottage…the scorekeepers sat down to tally up the playcards. GUESS WHO WON!?

That’s right. Yours truly took home the all-mighty trophy and was adorned with the “Green Jacket” (it’s very official!) and I could not wipe the smile off my face for the rest of the weekend. Actually….I’m smiling right now just thinking about it! So here’s hoping for another victory…but something tells me I should watch myself. I don’t think Rich’s mom will let me away with another win – if I see her pull out a retractable club from her bag….I’m running! Here’s a pic of me last summer when I was presented with the Trophy and the Green Jacket. Told you I was happy!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

You Know You Need to Chill Out When…

Wedding Date: June 7, 2008

Venue Booked (Ceremony and Reception) - check
Minister Booked – check
Photographer Booked - check
DJ Booked - check
Wedding Party Picked Out - check
Guest List finalized - check
Addresses Compiled - check
Draft Seating Plan arranged - check
Music/Song choices picked - check
Dress Shopping Day arranged - check
Cake Maker Booked - check

Programs Drafted - check
(and I’m sure I’m forgetting a few other things)


The way I see it, the more I can do now – the less I need to do later. However, if I’m not careful – the groom-to-be may change his name, jump a plane, and start a new life selling melons on a beach somewhere. He’s helped a lot – so now he deserves a break. So, I will chill for the summer. (Aside from some harmless internet surfing – a couple visits to a florist (‘tis the season after all!) and of course browsing for a dress). I’m a girl. I’m excited. And I’m a bit of an ‘organizer’. So sue me. I just know that I will have calm and peace the days before the wedding, which in my opinion, will be best for everyone involved! After all, a happy bride-to-be is the best kind of bride-to-be. Wouldn’t you agree?

Friday, June 29, 2007

One More Thing

A BIG HUGE HAPPY RETIREMENT TO MY MOMMY!!

Today was her last day of work. Ever! NICE! You go girl. Hope you and dad live it up and enjoy your freedom! And give some serious thought to a winter vacation property in the Florida Keys. I have it on good authority that your kids will frequently visit you there! All the best mom! You deserve it.
Love ya.

Happy Birthday Canada!

This Canada Day long weekend we’re staying home to relax and be with the cat and just basically chill.right.out. As mentioned in the last post – our summers are very busy, so we’re going to just take it easy this weekend. We’ll go see the fireworks Sunday night somewhere – and we’re going out for a nice dinner on Saturday evening, and we may even catch a movie at some point, but I have to say – I’m looking forward to just being home.

So, we must remember to say a happy birthday to our lovely girl, Canada. She’s not looking too bad for 140. But she needs to care of herself, and hopefully we all can all do our part to help her out.

By the by - did you know that Canada Day used to be called Dominion Day? Totally true. It was July 1, 1867 when Canada became the first British colony to become a dominion – hence - Dominion Day. But alas, the name was changed to Canada Day in 1982 when the constitution was revised. Just a bit of trivia for you in case over the weekend you’re partying and your drunk Uncle Willie asks “hey…whaarshh canarrdaa day ferrr anywayshze?”


Have a good one!! Cheers.

Friday, June 22, 2007

I'm Pickin' Up Good Vibrations....

I love summer. Everything about it. I.just.love.it. The birds are singing; the grass is green; the flowers are bright; the weather is warm. It’s fabulous all-around. People just seem happier too. Waking up to bright sunny mornings, and staying out on a patio till late evening, having drinks with friends – what beats that!?

This weekend we are having a family reunion at my aunt & uncle's place. They live on the water with a large property and have a whole bunch of kayaks and canoes for us to use. They’ve even rented a pontoon boat for the weekend so we can tour around the area and enjoy the sunshine. I’m looking forward to seeing my cousins and sitting by the bonfire at night with the guitars going and singing. Yee Haw!

Summer is always a busy time for us. Both of our families have cottages and the invites for visits are sometimes hard to say no to, because we want to see everyone. Add in the summer parties and bbqs; a golf tournament here and there; dress-shopping!; our Calgary trip and some camping, and whammo – there just aren’t a lot of free weekends left!

But the way I look at it is that what summer is all about. Once the cooler weather comes, and the days get shorter, people like to (or tend to) stay indoors more. So I say live it up while you can. Sure – it may mean that we’re on the road a lot and away from our house a lot and maybe spending a bit more money than we would normally cause of the traveling – but summer goes so fast and soon enough its back to the dark mornings and cold weather. So enjoy yourselves people. You know how the song goes….we’re here for a good time-not a long time-so have a good time-the sun don’t shine every day!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Clouds in my Head

This past week I have been a little ‘out of sorts’ and I was trying to figure out why. My life is great and I have so much to be thankful for. But I’ve been feeling a little stressed and overwhelmed. I think part of it is attributed to the fact that I’m a total “planner”. Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll agree. So I think I’m trying to do too much, too soon and it’s clouding up my head. I want to enjoy these moments and not get stressed about things. So I need to take some deep breaths, relax and chill out.

There has been a lot going on over the past couple of weeks. On the wedding planning front – we’ve booked our venue for ceremony and reception. That took some time to sort out, and lots of trips to places and talking to people, but we got really lucky to find a perfect spot that both of us love. So, the date and venue are set! I asked 3 of my dearest friends to stand up for me, and my two beautiful nieces to be my flower girls. I also reserved the photographer that we wanted, and we will hopefully be meeting with someone in the next couple of weeks to officiate our ceremony. Once I have a DJ nailed down, I think I can take some time off from planning and relax over the summer (aside from a few trips to browse for dresses, but that’s more ‘fun’ than work).

Other things have been happening too. My parents moved out of their house, which they’ve been in for over 34 years, and will settle into their new place to start their new adventures. It’s bittersweet for all of us. My mom is retiring at the end of this month – good for you mom! Rich’s mom will do the same later this year, and she is also moving up to their cottage.

This weekend we will be up at my brother’s cottage to see the family. To celebrate Father’s Day and have some time in the sun. I’m really looking forward to that. But it’s also bittersweet. While we will be there to celebrate a special day, it will not be the same, as we found out this morning that my sister-in-law’s grandmother passed away. She was a lovely woman and was as much a part of our family, as she was of Cheryl’s. She will be missed by all, but I know that her memory will be kept alive by all of us who knew her.


So, I guess it’s natural that I would be feeling a little off, but it’s still important to put life into perspective and be thankful for all I have right now. I’m a very lucky girl.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Bust a Move

Before I got engaged, I said to myself “Self, when you get engaged, it’s going to be so much fun planning everything and picking things out and booking venues and ordering this and that and talking about it with friends and yadda yadda yadda”. Well – it is totally fun and I’m totally loving it, but because we want to get married in May or June of next year, the timeline is tight on booking a venue! I used to think I’d be down south, on a beach, not a care in the world, you know…a destination wedding – which I still love the idea of – but I love the idea more of being with all of the people who are important to me and who have watched me grow up and I want them to be included in my wedding day, especially my grammy-grams (grandmother) who’ll be 91 by the time we’re married and I don’t think she’d be able to make the trip south! The same goes for Rich and his family and friends, because this is his day too (or so I’m told). (kidding!!)

So – this past week, off we went to see 3 different venues. All had different characters, atmospheres, inclusions, exclusions, etc. One we love – but it’s on the higher end price-wise – the other we “like” – but the price is really good – and the third we just kind of said “no”, as it was quite small and would require some shuffling around – however it was mucho cheapo. But still….no. We are going to see another place on Friday, and another one Sunday, and then I think we’ll have some good ideas and comparisons and be ready to book something. There are tons of other places we could look at, but…like I said – not if we want to have a late spring wedding. There’s just not enough time as the dates are filling up.


By the way….when did DJ’s get so expensive!? I remember helping with functions where you’d hire a DJ for a couple hundred bucks. Now they’re anywhere from between $1000-$2000! Holy Cannoli. So – if anyone out there has some recommendations on a DJ – our ears are open. Otherwise I may have to get out my boombox and get down with Young MC’s “Bust a Move”….know what I’m sayin’ dawgs? I asked Rich if that could be our first dance song, but he said no. The noive!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Thank You!

To those of you who have sent your well-wishes and congratulations our way, I say thank-you! I think it’s fairly obvious that I’m thrilled and excited to be engaged to Rich. I’m not going to post all the details on the blog, as that’s something I want to share more personally. But…I’m sure the planning will add some interesting posts to this in the future. For now, I’m just letting it sink in and thinking of ideas, but nothing’s set in stone just yet. (actually – not even the ring….we’re getting that made!) Oh – and I received my first engagement item today. My darling Laural had waiting for me on my chair at work, a very fitting and pretty card, and a new issue of “In Style Weddings” magazine! awesome!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Who Knew?

Remember my post of December 20th? The 'forbidden question'? Well - you can ask me now! ;)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Update Number 2

Our little Jackson is a little weird. Or maybe he’s just being a cat. I dunno. This is all new to me. One day he’s wrapped around our feet every step we take…meow-ing to no end…being frisky and wanting to play….the next day he wants nothing to do with us and sits in the kitchen in front of the dishwasher and stares at the wall. Whaddup Jackson? He also likes to watch us shower. It kind of freaks me out a bit…he sits between the outer and inner shower curtains on the side of the tub (our inner curtain is transparent) and watches us. He eats, drinks, poops and pees (he’s healthy). He runs like a dog sometimes through the house. He plays “fetch” with his toy mice. He likes to cuddle and then he gives you ‘love bites’. I think maybe he’s bi-polar. Or, we’re just still figuring each other out. But his 5am wake-up calls are getting a bit hard to take. I wonder if they make sleeping pills for cats. Note to PETA – I’m kidding. I’m sure we’ll all adjust. The irony of it all is that it’s ME who needs the CAT-naps (haha…CAT naps – get it?...I kill me…k – not that funny…)…from him keeping me up at night. Funny Jackson…really funny. But mommy still loves you. So far.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Feeling Old?

I think it was Saturday evening when I was lying in bed – trying to nurse a sore back and aching shoulders from a day of yard work – when all of a sudden I was alerted to the sounds of fireworks and cheers and laughs coming from the waterfront down the road. Oh Right. It’s Victoria Day weekend. I remember this weekend – “MAY TWO-FOUR” – yee haw – party! party! party! - being with friends and heading to the beach to spend the day with our blankets and coolers to await the fireworks at night – laughing and being silly….oooohs and aahhhhs with each explosion of colour and light. Good times...good times…

However, this weekend I found myself bundling hedge trimmings, raking the grass and heading to the nursery to buy yukka plants and the like. Granted, we took in a movie and went out for dinner, but I have to say, I started to feel a little (...gasp…) “old”! Where we live, they do fireworks each night of the long weekend…so when I missed out on them on Saturday and Sunday, I said to Rich “I want to go to the lake Monday night to watch them and be around humans and have some fun and feel young….and you’re not getting out of it!” “Sure” he replied.

So…after another hard day of work in the yard on Monday, I headed in the house around 3 or 4pm. Rich soon followed. We ordered in some dinner cause we were both too tired to cook, and I anxiously awaited for dusk to fall. Except of course – it was Monday – a regular day for the good old U.S. of A, and our TV shows that we’ve been watching this season both had their season final├ęs on! Dang it. What to do? I wanted to feel like a kid again and watch the fireworks and be amongst the living – but we put in a faithful season of “24” (and “The Bachelor” for me) and we’d been looking forward final shows.

So, we decided to stay in and forego the festivities which were carrying on down the road. But as luck would have it – we live close enough to the lake that we were actually able to see some of the fireworks going off right from our bedroom window! So it worked out pretty well in the end. And even thought I don’t remember Rub A535 being part of my Victoria Day weekends, I still enjoyed my time at home, being with Rich and making our yard look nice for the summer. So, maybe I’m not (...gasp!...) getting old after all….perhaps I’m just (…double gasp!!...) growing up! I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Ode to my momma

I know this is a day late, but I didn’t have computer access over the weekend. I wanted to pay a special tribute to my mom! She’s been the most outstanding mom for all of my life. She’s lovely and beautiful and funny and nurturing and just a really spectacular woman, let alone a terrific mom. But today I wanted to write about what makes her “her”. She’s hilarious and doesn’t even know it. It’s her fun spirit and lighthearted ways that make her so lovable. So I wanted to share a few of those moments with you. When I was younger, my friends and I made her the President of her own club. Granted, it was the ‘dick’ club…(not in that way!)…but it was because she would sometimes do “dicky” things, or get herself into ‘dicky’ situations. Now that I think about it – it’s not the greatest analogy, but when I was younger, it was more funny than crude. Anyway – what better place than here, to share a few of my fondest “dick club” moments of my mom!

1. She would often call me in for lunch for a yummy grilled cheese sandwich, only for me to bite into it and come out with a mouthful of plastic, which she forgot to remove from the cheese before grilling;

2. She was riding her bike once, just up and down our street while the rest of the family was waiting to go to African Lion Safari…we were all by the car waiting to leave and wondered “where’s mom”…when we heard a little scream and looked down the road to find her lying on someone’s lawn with the handlebars of her bike in her hands…and the bike a few feet away from her. My dad told her she was “riding too hard”…you had to be there – but it was the funniest thing I think I’ve ever seen;

3. She thought she’d take a relaxing bubble bath one night. She put the bath salts in the tub…got her book…relaxed and enjoyed…but then the water started to thicken around her and turned cloudy…she didn’t know what was happening, but eventually called for my dad to help her out of the tub…turned out the bath salts was actually a box of tile grout! poor mommy….

4. I used to be in gymnastics, and she’d clean my gym slippers (kind of like ballet slippers) in a pot on the stove with some hot water and bleach (not sure why she didn’t just put them in the washing machine now that I think about it)…but my brother came home from school one lunch time and my mom told him lunch was on the stove…he just about fell over when he thought she had made him ‘slipper soup’…

5. My dad was cutting down a tree in our backyard – a big maple – he yelled to her from the yard to make sure the dogs stayed in the house so they wouldn’t get hurt by falling branches…she couldn’t quite hear him, so she opened the door and asked “what did ya say hun??” and of course…at that moment, out runs the dog…so she ran out to grab the dog and ‘lo and behold! a huge branch fell right on top of my mom’s leg!! She couldn’t walk for a month and had to have surgery. Oh mom!!

6. She used to drive me and a few friends to school sometimes in our old green pick-up truck…I got the front (of course) and Steven was always in the back cab. Once at school…I’d hop out – mom would go home…Steven would still be in the back. THIS HAPPENED A LOT! Steven would bang on the cab window….but mom had the radio too loud, or was in her own world I think. Needless to say – he started walking to school after the fifth time.

7. Mom would sometimes get us McDonalds on Friday’s for dinner. She’d go through the drive through…place her order….proceed to first window to pay….then drive home. Um…..did you forget something mom? like the FOOD!??? aiy aiy aiy…(that’s a true story!)


There are many other little moments that hold a fond place in my heart…too many to list here…but mom – those moments are the best and they are what make me laugh and smile and love you even more. So I hope you had a lovely mother’s day – I enjoyed spending the day with you yesterday and I love you very much!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Update on "Action Jackson"

So Jackson has settled in. And very quickly I might add! He must be snoozing all day because when we get home after work boy does he want to play! Usually when I get home, I like to chill for awhile…maybe go for a walk down to the waterfront…have a glass of wine…just relax before even thinking about a leisurely dinner. That’s our life right now – very leisurely. But now there’s Jackson. And Jackson doesn’t get it. And rightly so – I mean – it’s not his fault he’s alone during the day so I can hardly blame him for wanting play time when we get home. We found one solution so far. After a bunch of cuddles and belly rubs, we reach for the Laser Pen! You know those laser pointers people use for presentations, etc. Well, they’re great for cats, because we can sit on the couch with our wine and still give the cat a real good workout. He loves the red ball that floats across the carpet and up the walls and it provides a really good ‘chase’ for him.


One problem though, it’s hard to get used to him jumping onto the bed, then from the bed to the window sill, back to the bed, onto the tv, back to the bed, then up on the headboard…..then across the headboard and over to the night table…and so on and so on…it’s cute and all, BUT NOT AT 4:00 IN THE MORNING! We’re just not used to this I guess. And I don’t have the heart to shut him out of our bedroom. So – Rich and I are both pretty tired – but I’m sure in time we’ll all find our groove and Action Jackson will chill out a bit at night. If he doesn’t…I’m going to strap him to my treadmill for a few hours each night and then see how much he wants to play with momma. But we love our boy and I *think* he loves us. And if anyone has other suggestions for 'active' cat toys that can exercise them...send them our way!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A New Addition…



So guess what!? The adoption went through! We have a new son. We got him on Saturday. He’ll be three in August and he has beautiful green eyes. His name was Richard actually, so we had to change it…it was getting confusing. Anyway – his new name is “Jackson” - after the Johnny Cash / June Carter song – Rich and I often sing and play that on our guitars cause we’re losers sometimes….but anyway…

Our new boy is doing great…he was obviously frightened when we went to pick him up. He was with a family who had him since birth, but then at the beginning of March they decided to drop him off a shelter to be euthanized…it was just awful. But luckily he was rescued by someone and was then placed in a foster home. He stayed with the foster mom for 3 weeks, and then she adopted him out to another family. It was during that time that I’d inquired about him because I saw his picture on a website and just fell in love with him after reading his story. I emailed to see how the adoption was going with the new family, and to my surprise they informed me that he was going to be returned to the foster mom, through no fault of his own. I was delighted! So – as soon as he was returned, we went that same day to pick him up, and after about a 30 minute meeting with the foster mom, she really liked us and knew we’d be great parents and let us take our boy home!

So – he’s safe and happy and loves us already! He’s adapted quickly considering what he’s gone through in the last 6 weeks. We thought it would take him awhile to trust us, but he’s doing great. He already sits on the bed with us and lets me kiss his head and rub his belly...he’s a great guy! Here he is…our son Jackson!






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Monday, April 23, 2007

The Mouse that Was – Part 2

I’m sad today. Yesterday was a gorgeous day – it was spent outside at our house doing yard-work, pulling out old growth, raking and preparing for the summer ahead. I like this kind of stuff and we have lots of things we want to do with the yard and garden this year, so it felt really productive to get the “cleaning up” part out of the way.

So, I told you how I saved mousey and let him go outside on our side patio right? Well…he didn’t go very far unfortunately. When I was sweeping up the debris from the patio and lifted the BBQ cover off the ground – there was poor mousey. Lying there. Lifeless. I was shocked at first. Then I felt sadness. He didn’t make it. It was either the dish soap that did him in, or the cold, or it’s even possible a cat got at him….but whatever it was – I feel responsible and horrible.

Lots of you won’t understand – but that’s just me. I thought I gave him a second chance. But instead he’s no longer here because I didn’t empty the dish water out of the sink. I think Rich is secretly happy…but he tried to make me feel better and said it wasn’t my fault.

Anyway – to mousey – I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to kill you. Bad mommy.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Mouse that Was…

We’ve had a mouse in the house for quite some time now. It doesn’t really bother me to be honest. It’s basically like a pet. When I get home from work I say “hi house...hi mouse”. And he’s soooooooooo cute. About a month ago, I was giving Rich a haircut, and I looked over and the mouse was perched on top of my garbage pail just staring at us. Maybe he needed a trim – not sure – but it was funny that he was upstairs in my dressing room. Sometimes I picture him sprawled out on our bed when we’re at work with the remote watching the tube….funny little mouse.

Granted, it means more cleaning and disinfecting on our part, but I feel better doing that than trying to kill it. I mean...it’s just trying to survive too right? We’ve tried the live/humane traps but they just don’t work., so I kind of just figured we’d leave it alone, and now that the weather is warmer, it’ll probably make its way back outside anyway. (and yes…I know there’s likely more than just ONE in the house…but I only ever see one – so I’m going with that).

However, I think things have to change, because every so often now, when Rich goes down to get some water, or to turn off the kitchen light (that I always seem to leave on) – there is a blood-curdling scream that seems to last about a whole minute long, to which I run downstairs because I think someone has come into the house and is attacking the love of my life with an axe or something….but no….it’s just the mouse…scurrying across the counter…running for cover because he too has been scared to death by the blood-curdling scream. So – Rich was going to try to find a better trap (humane one) in the States while he’s there. (he’s very patient with me…can you tell?)

But … no need! I solved the problem. Not intentionally, but I did. After washing up a few dishes the other night, I went upstairs to watch tv and had forgotten to empty the dishwater out of the sink. When I came down a couple hours later, I gasped as I saw something dark – a kind of shadow – in the dishwater, and it was moving!! It was my mousey!! he’d fallen in and was swimming for his life, and couldn’t get out cause the water was too deep and the sides of the sink too slippery…I felt so bad for it, but wasn’t about to stick my hand in there to grab him…so I grabbed a soup ladle and went in and scooped him up and kind of ‘tossed’ him over the other sink. The poor thing. He was soaked and shivering and in shock and wasn’t moving….he was just sitting there shaking so hard. I felt awful. Part of me wanted to wrap him up in a towel to help him get warm, but … I’m not actually a crazy person…so I let him calm down a bit…and he started to move. He turned around and looked at me and I swear…he kind of winked! Like to say “thanks man”. Anyway – I thought – here’s my chance to get him out of the house – the nice humane way – so he can be one with nature and I won’t have to hear Rich scream anymore and we can relax a bit with the “over-cleaning” we were having to do. So – I did just that. I scooted him into a tupperware dish and took him outside by the side of our house. And he looked back at me once – then kind of hopped away. I know mice don’t hop – but this one sort of did.

Now, I know there’s a chance he’s already made his way back in our house, cause really, I should have taken him down the street a bit or something – but I don’t think so. I think we had our time together, and now he’s moved on. Plus, having a near-death experience is sure to taint his wanting to return. But I still think about him and I’m still happy I was able to save his life.

So – to the mouse that was…Be strong little buddy. It was nice while it lasted. I’ll miss ya. luv…..mommy.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I’m a little “Blah” …

I’m neither here nor there this week it seems. You know? Just kind of “ehh". Even this blog post is kind of blah. But…I haven’t written for awhile, so thought I might as well bring y’all down with me. (I kid).

I’m sure part of it is the weather. It hasn’t been very springy around here. And part of it is my guy’s away golfing in sunny Arizona for the week, so the house is really quiet, and part of it is my grammy-grams (grandmother) – she fell and has to have surgery. She’s 90, so it’s a little risky and I worry about her. My grams lived with me for 5 years before I moved in with Rich, so I feel a special bond with her. I’m sure she’ll be fine – she’s a tough cookie. But maybe that’s what has me kind of bummed out this week.

However, tonight I’m having some girlfriends over and we’re going to watch trash tv, and order Chinese food and gab. I’m looking forward to that. These are two special friends that I was in Theatre with when we were younger and we always have a lot of laughs whenever we’re together. And on Friday I’m going to see a friend of mine’s show - he has the lead in Macbeth and he’s a great actor, so that’s also something to look forward to. And…of course….my Richie-poo (sorry babe) will be home on Saturday and that makes me verrrrrrrrrrrry happy!

So, maybe by the end of the week my blah-ness will have turned into light, laughter and funness! (I know that’s not a word) ….and I’ll be back to my old self again. Here’s hopin’. (Sorry for the boring post – but I told you so).

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

One or Two – What to do?

So, we’ve made a decision. We think we’re ready. We’ve talked long and hard about it. We’re adopting!! A cat that is. We said to ourselves that we only want ONE. One little cat that needs a home. I’ve never been a cat-owner. It will be new to me. Growing up, I’ve only had dogs as pets. The dilemma is that with both of us working all day, part of me thinks having two cats would be best. Company for each other, you know? But on the flip side, having two means double the food, double the litter, double the vet bills, double the boarding costs, and double the hair on the couch!

Everyone who owns a cat keeps telling us “having two is no more expensive than having one”. I just don’t get that though. Of course it’s more expensive – it’s double! They both eat, they both poop, they both need annual veterinary care, and they both need to be cared for while we’re on holidays. I think leaving them in the house for a weekend would be fine, but if we’re gone for longer than that, a boarding facility is our choice of day-care.

So – what to do? Do cats get depressed if they’re the only animal in the house and alone during the day? I want a cat who loves human contact and will purr and cuddle, etc. – but at the same time - I thought that was the beauty about having a cat as opposed to a dog – they’re more “independent” and can stay indoors and be happy on their own until we get home….but now I’m not so sure.


What to do, what to do…do we get one or do we get two?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Some things you may not know about me:

  • I lived in the same house for about 28 years. (yes, it took me awhile to leave the nest);
  • I had a favourite pillow when I was little that I named “Pillowipsle” – it was small and velvety and baby blue;
  • I was a competitive gymnast for 10 years, and later became a coach;
  • I play the guitar and write songs;
  • I used to lock my best friend in my room so that she’d play with me longer (no idea why she was always trying to get home...??);
  • I was “Pinky Tuscadero” at Halloween for about 5 years in a row. Had the pink satin jacket and everything; I used to make my friend Jason be Fonzie. (good ‘ol Happy Days);
  • I was “Sandy” from Grease (at the end when she got cool) at Halloween for another 5 years in a row. Had the black spandex tights and everything; Jason then became Danny;
  • I can’t sleep with socks on;
  • I crack my knuckles;
  • I get car sick if I'm in the back seat on long rides;
  • I will not drive on the highway where there are express/collector lane merges;
  • I performed in live theatre productions in my teens;
  • I’ve been known to start doing cartwheels when I’ve had a little too much to drink;
  • I’m a licensed hairstylist;
  • I used to be a veterinary assistant;
  • I vacationed in London, Paris, Monaco, Nice and Cannes last year;
  • I know the complete lyrics for “Rappers Delight”;
  • I never take my loved-ones for granted. Ever. Life is too short.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I’ve been Tagged!

I don’t particularly like the game of Tag. Too much pressure, and you always look like a bit of a fool running around with your arm stretched out hoping to touch just a piece of someone’s shirt so you can yell “YOU’RE IT!!”. What fun. However, I am not one to break the rules, so … since Miss Laural (her link is on the right) tagged me, I am it, and I shall oblige. I am told to answer these five questions…so here it goes (and I’ll forego the rhyming on this one):

1. Blog Name:
“To know me is to love me – I think”. Well….to know me IS to love me. At least most of the time. I do have my moments in which I’m sure people may not feel the love, but for the most part, I’m a pretty kooky, good-hearted, curious, empathetic, funny, quirky, lovable gal! So – I think if you get to know me, you’ll love me too! Or not. But “I Suck” isn’t really a great blog name, so there.

2. Dog or Cat Person? -
My preference for a pet – definitely a dog. My circumstances for a pet – definitely a cat. I grew up having a dog as a pet…love them…love their little faces…love the expression in their eyes….love that they can ‘talk’ (bark) and play and get excited to see you and wiggle their little bums, and that they are a part of the family. I’ve never owned a cat – however – just this past weekend Rich and I ventured out to a wildlife sanctuary where the owner has rescued about 300 cats and they are up for adoption. Why a cat if I’m a dog-lover? Just suits our lifestyle better. Plus…I can teach my cat to wiggle its bum.

3. Brad Pitt or George Clooney? decisions decisions….unlike Laural who “isn’t even 30 yet!” (thanks shugs)…..since I’m an old hag, I guess I’ll go with Brad.

4. Major in College?
I have two different college diplomas….one in the animal care field, the other in legal administration. I find they both go hand in hand some days (to all my colleagues reading…I mean that in the nicest way). ;)

5. Biggest Fear? Spiders…big, small, I’m scared of them all. Oh, and driving on major highways! oh, and Spiders. Did I mention spiders?


That’s all folks……