November 2006 imported

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2006-11-01 00:24:00
That’s That
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Alrighty, that’s Halloween over and done with for another year, so it’s time for a change of scenery around here. I considered a wintry theme, but rejected it as soon as I found this one. The Halloween one was fun, but this one is very “me”. Sorry if I shocked a soul or two with the total change of style for a while there. 🙂 A change is as good as a rest, though, as they say. Whoever “they” might be. “They” seem to have a lot to say about a lot of things.

As predicted,  the number of trick or treaters was down, thanks to the weather. Those who braved the cold and snow to come to our door were mostly the eight and over crowd, which is understandable. Just the last trio, accompanied by a teenage babysitter,  were of the little ones genre. Well, the last trio of children, that is.

Our very last visitors were a dozen or so of the almost adult variety, but they were actually the high point of the evening for me. They were hanging around across the street, obviously waiting for a ride from someone, when the last group of children came. There was the standard “go on”, “no way, you go” exchanges, before one eventually nominated himself to come across the street and to our door. His body language said that he was expecting a telling off, but I’m a sucker for a natural comedian. Obnoxious cheeky I can’t stand, but good-natured cheeky gets me every time. Off he went with his little treat bag, and once the contents were revealed, another came loping across, grinning sheepishly. I knew that we weren’t likely to get any more kids at that point, so I gave him a bunch of bags to share with the whole mob. After a few minutes there was another knock on the door, and there stood the tallest lad of the bunch. I’m 5’7″, and he seriously towered over me. When I opened the door he bowed, gallantly went down on one knee, presented me with a “gift” of a treat, and thanked me for being so nice. Of course it was one of the treats I had given him, but it’s the gesture that counts. 🙂 Actually, with only one exception, all of the teenagers were funny cheeky this year, so ignore what I said about louts in the previous post. Those who weren’t in costume even volunteered to tell a joke or whatever in exchange for their treats. Whoa!

So, now I guess that the next thing to think about is Christmas.  Not hard to do, with a few inches of white stuff on the ground now, and a windchill of -13 C out there tonight.  No melting this time around.   Which reminds me, the Christmas stamps come out tomorrow, er today now, so I had better get my online order ready.  They’re nothing to get excited about this year, even for a collector, but oh well.   The religious one is nice, in an “Old Masters” painting style, but the standard set of three, in a non-religious theme this year, are pretty “meh”. I suppose that some people will like them, obviously, but they don’t do much for me.  Better luck next year, maybe?

‘Nighty night, all.

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2006-11-02 23:46:00
Oh Crap
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Now I’ve done it.  I’m going to be top of Daughter’s shit list when she gets up in the morning and switches on the computer. 

Being the indecisive creature that I am about visual things, I decided that I didn’t really like the other layout, after all.  It was a bit “busy” somehow, and I wanted something simpler.  I’ve gone back to the one that Daughter tweaked and customised somewhat for me, back when I first got my LiveJournal account.  I liked it then, and I still like it now.  But first I decided to check out a few more of the “stock” layouts, just to see if I had missed any worth consideration.   It’s dead easy to switch back and forth between the “stock” ones, so I could play to my heart’s content, and easily get back to where I wanted to be.  Just one catch, though.  Daughter hadn’t signed out of her account, and I forgot to sign out as her and sign in as me before I did any playing.  So, I changed her layout … which was one she made and coded for herself, not a “stock” one in any way.  Which, of course means that I can’t retrieve it for her.  And am going to be in seriously deep doo doo tomorrow. 

Sorry, Stephanie! Really, I am.  Be gentle, okay?!

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2006-11-03 00:10:00
Attention Bird Lovers
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If you’re a fellow bird lover, you might want to pick yourself up a copy of the book that Stephanie gave me the other day.  I’ve only had a chance to skim through it thus far, but am very much looking forward to reading it properly.  It’s visually beautiful, thanks to all of the gorgeous illustrations, and the text is going to make for some beautiful reading indeed. You can go here to read some reviews, which pretty much sum up the contents.  It’s a mixed bag of bird-related fables, folklore, poetry, mythology, essays, and so on. Most are just a page or three in length, so if you have a short attention span, or just want something that you can pick up and put down at your leisure, this will be ideal.  It would also make a great Christmas gift for anyone on your list who is into birds.  Which is actually what it was supposed to be for me, but a certain someone really has a tough time holding things back until Christmas! 😉

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2006-11-07 10:14:00
Zzzzzzzz
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Alrighty, this is the last layout change for a while.  I promise!   I should have just put this one up in the first place, rather than fooling around with the others, but wasn’t entirely sure that I was ready for the wintry blue yet.  But, as was correctly pointed out, the comment spot and a couple of other things were pretty vague on the other layout.  So, here we are with a nice clear one, that everyone should be able to figure out.  And I do like the clean, fresh look of it.  Very much.  If I didn’t, it would be gone already. 😉  Daughter was on the computer when I thought of the layout bit, so kindly did the flip for me.  And chose my new default icon.  Kind of fits well with the journal title, don’t you think?!

Actually, it goes with the mood of the moment, too.  I was missing in action for a few days because the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome decided to be a real bear again.  I had been feeling so well for a couple of weeks, after getting the other stuff sorted out,  that I kind of forgot about the beast lurking in the background.  Hmph.   Oh well, there are worse things in life than sleeping a few days away, and I’ll soon climb back out of the valley.  The peak lasted much longer than usual this last time, so fingers crossed that it’s a sign of real progress.

So, there’s not a lot to report, really.  In between the sleep sessions, I got several long overdue notes written over the weekend and yesterday.  I’ve been out of touch with quite a few people for the past several months, and it was time to remedy that situation.  They should have been proper letters, but I’m too tired to sit at my desk for hours, and too foggy of brain for multiple long writing sessions at present.  So, notes it had to be.  Oh for the days when I could crank out a 10 page handwritten letter effortlessly.  But hopefully I’ll get back there one day. 

The weather warmed up a lot over the weekend and most of our snow is gone again.  Hear me weep …NOT!  It’s to get up to 5 C. today, with rain, so I imagine that the rest of the snow will be gone by the end of the day.  I didn’t actually mind the snow itself, but I’m glad to see the ice gone off driving and walking surfaces.  I’ve done a few too many one-heeled skids for my liking, while out walking over the past week.  I like to really stride it out when I go for a walk, rather than taking the mincing little steps required to stay upright on glare ice.

Hmm,  I know that there was something else I wanted to talk about today, but whatever it was has sunk back into the mush between my ears.  So, I’ll just leave it at this for now and heed the call back to my bed.  There’s no point fighting it, as it takes a lot longer to climb out of the valleys if I don’t give in. 

Toodles.

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2006-11-09 07:22:00
A Whole Bunch of Random Stuff
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Good morning, peoples!   The Shrew is back in business and all’s right with the world.  Yeah!

Now before I really get going here, I need to pause briefly to give a double thumbs up and a pump of the fist to our neighbours south of the border.  Well done, you lot!  Woot! Turning the President into a lame duck for the rest of his term was wonderful, but the forced resignation of his war-mongering sidekick is really the icing on the cake.  Few people creep me out like Rummy does when he appears on a TV screen.  Yeesh! 

Now, back to the home front, it’s life as usual at Shrew Towers again.  Which is ever so nice.  I woke up feeling quite refreshed yesterday, and made it through to the evening before sagging.  Excellent!  I got a few things done yesterday, including having a battle with some temperamental plumbing.  Which I won, by the way.  A blocked toilet was no match for the Shrew on a mission with her heavy duty plunger.  Go me!   But modesty dictates that I put said battle into the right perspective.  It wasn’t a big deal, really, just a case of “plush” toilet paper being a tad too plush for the plumbing.  Probably a bit too much information there, but we all have to stretch the bounds of decency on occasion, right?  Anyway, it’s sorted and we won’t buy that brand again.  Lovely as plush toilet paper is.  Okay, okay, yes, I’ll change the subject now.  Toilet talk is not what one wants to face first thing in the morning, I know.  Just indulge me this once as it’s not often that I score victories in battles with household stuff.  I have many endearing qualities, but being a Ms. Fix It is not usually one of them.  You don’t want to see what havoc I can wreak with tools in hand.  Nope, you definitely don’t.  *coughchippedpaintworkandcrackedwindowcough*

It was a lovely 10 C. yesterday, which is an incredible treat for us in November.  The rain spoiled it a bit, I suppose, but that’s a minor complaint.  Needless to say, the snow is gone now, apart from a few wee blobs in very shady spots.  The temperature took a nose dive overnight and our “high” today is going to have a minus sign in front of it.  But it’s supposed to be sunny, so it all balances out.   I’ll take cool and sunny over warm and drizzly any day.  Richard never minds the drizzly stuff, though, being from England.  He has been here a very long time now and is thoroughly acclimatized to our Canadian weather.  But he still has more tolerance for the dreary damp stuff than most of born here.  Southern Manitoba is known for its big blue sky year-round, and native Manitobans are not happy campers when said big blue sky disappears for several days.

Oh, and I remembered what I wanted to say in my last post.  My contest from last week is now closed.  Neither nailed the correct right answer, but both entrants were on the right track.  So, we’ll call it a draw and both Razorlicious and Pea can choose a topic for me to write about, should they so choose.   Aren’t I generous? 🙂  But I’m also a bit lazy today, so can’t be bothered to do the link thing for both of them.  They know who they are, I’m sure.

And just one more thing, before I trot off over to my writing desk.  I’m about to start writing out Christmas cards today, which I know will make several of you gasp in horror.  Yes, it is a tad early, but most of our cards go overseas and require a note or letter enclosed, so I get going at them early.  Now, as per usual, I have lots of spare cards and really enjoy sending cards to friends for any occasion.  So, is anyone out there interested in receiving a Christmas greeting from Shrew Towers this year?  If you received one from me in the past, you’ll get one again, but I’d love to expand the list a bit.  Swaps are great, of course, but not necessary if you’re not a card sender by nature.  If you’re interested, just e
-mail me with your mailing address.  My e-mail address is on my profile page, but I’ll save you a click by adding it here, too:  bellusanimus@gmail.com      Should you decide to reveal your address to me, I’ll keep it totally private and promise not to stalk you.  Unless you want me to, of course.  I aim to please, you know.  Oh, and if you do something other than Christmas, that’s fine, too.  Yule, Hannukah, whatever – I can, and already do, accommodate them all. 

Right, time to turn on the coffee maker, choose a “comfy” pen, and get writing.  Actually in my case, it’s more a matter of choosing a pen that won’t smudge all over the cards as I write them out.  Being left-handed, I try to avoid any glossy writing surfaces, as even the finest nib will result in transferred/smeared ink on them.  But sometimes you can’t tell what you have until you remove the plastic and take the cards out of the box.  I think I’m in luck this year and have fairly matte surfaces to write on.  But pen selection does still matter to some degree.  Yes, neatly written cards is yet another of my perfectionist “musts”.  Oh, it’s tough being me! 🙂

Have a good one, everyone!

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2006-11-11 04:51:00
Thank You
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His name is only Known Unto God.  His actions are acknowledged by many, with gratitude.

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2006-11-12 15:03:00
Blast From the Past
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Pea and Razorlicious have made their requests for topics, which I’ll get to in the next two posts.  But today I have something else I want to talk about, which is totally cool.  Well, I think it’s cool, anyway.

First a bit of background for my new readers.  My husband is a psychiatric nurse and is the supervisor of a unit in a large, long term care facility.  Occasionally he’s supervisor for the whole facility, but mostly just his own unit.  We live in a city of 670,000 beings, and the facility also admits people from rural areas.  So, the odds of having an admission with a personal connection are fairly slim. 

But a new lady was admitted to Richard’s unit yesterday, and it was chin on floor time when he had his initial conversation with her.  He had just read her admission notes for some background before talking to her, and noticed that she was from our area of the city.  So, that was a good starting point for their “getting to know you” chat.  Which went something like this:

“Ah, I see that you’re from (our area of the city)”

“Yes dear, I lived on (one street over from us) for many years.  But I grew up at (our address).”

“Um, did you say that you grew up at (our address)?!

“Yes, dear, and what a happy childhood I had in that home.  My mother brought my older brothers and me to Canada from Lancashire, England, after our father died shortly after the end of  World War I.    She had a brother living in Winnipeg then, and decided that a new start in a new country was the best thing for her little family.  A single mother in England faced some terrible struggles at that time, and my uncle assured her that she’d do much better in Winnipeg.   I was just a little girl when we came to Canada, so don’t really remember England at all.  So, all of my childhood memories are of growing up on (our street).  I never married, so lived with my mother and looked after her until she died.  It was so sad when we finally left (our house), but my mother was getting older by then and I was working so couldn’t be with her all day.   So, we moved to a little bungalow a street over, which was much smaller to look after, and had no stairs for my mother to climb.  But we could still see (our house) out the window, so it felt like we had never really left.”

The conversation continued for some time after that, but that was the main gist of it. 

How spooky is that?!  I’ve always wondered about the history of this house, being the history fanatic that I am, and a big chunk of that history just fell into place.  It was built in 1913 and we bought it in 1992, at which time we were told that we were only the fourth family to live here.  The people we bought it from didn’t elaborate on the history, and they weren’t the sort I felt like sitting down with for an in depth conversation.  But now I know who preceded their 35 years here, and I’m sure that this lady can also fill in the final blank, about who lived here before her family.  I just need to know these things. 🙂  Probably I could get the info from the Land Titles office if I wanted to, but I want to have more of the history than just names that don’t mean anything to me.  I want to know about the people themselves and what their life was like when they lived here.    I think that they might have been connected to the nearby school somehow, as in a teacher or perhaps even the principal.  My dad’s school years were mostly spent in Winnipeg, after his family moved here so  that the children could have a better education than they would get out in the country.  He and his family lived quite near to where we do, and he attended the nearby school as a boy in the 1920s.  At that time the school was way out in the middle of nowhere, with the only homes here being a row of five, which he thought were inhabited by school staff.  This house was one of those five, and he recognized it as soon as
he saw it after we moved in.  So, if I don’t find out any more than that, so be it, but perhaps this lady will be able to tell us a few specifics.   

Life is full of cool coincidences, isn’t it?

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2006-11-13 09:14:00
Assignment 1
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 came closest to the correct answer in my contest a few posts back.  So, I’ll tackle her requested topic first.  She asked me to list the ten books I think everyone should read before they die, or the top ten I’ve ever read.  I’ll go with the latter option here, as my own tastes tend to be a bit, um, unique.  Well, maybe not so “out there” in this case, as my favourite books are all classics, really.  But I prefer to let others make their own reading choices, rather than forcing mine on them.

I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of days now, and it’s going to be just about impossible to create a top ten list from the countless books I’ve read over my lifetime.  So, I’ll modify things slightly and give you a list of the ten books on our shelves which I’d grab if I were about to be transported to a desert island for the rest of my days. 

1. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

2. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

3.  The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde

4.  The Forsyte Saga – John Galsworthy

5. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

6. To Serve Them All My Days  – R. F.  Delderfield

7. My entire Thomas Hardy collection.  Sorry, can’t choose among them, so it counts as one choice. 😉

8. Hmm, can’t choose among my Anthony Trollope books, either.   So again, I insist that they all be considered as one choice!

9. The Raj Quartet  – Paul Scott  (adapted for TV as The Jewel in the Crown)

10.  Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

But of course I’d rather take my entire “classics” bookcase, if at all possible. 😉

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2006-11-15 08:42:00
Assignment 2
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Alrighty, time to have a go at  Pea’s choice for a topic. It’s actually quite an easy one as there is so much scope! But I’ll see if I can narrow it down to just a few examples. 🙂

So, what was the most embarrassing moment of my life? Hmm. Well, the first ones that come to mind are embarrassing in a public humiliation kind of way, and not really what I want to discuss on here. It still makes me feel ill to think about them and, while it might be therapeutic to talk about them, there are things that Stephanie doesn’t need to read for the first time, or be reminded of. Suffice it to say that my first husband put me in some pretty horrid situations.   He also wasn’t very discreet about his “extra-curricular” activities in the end. Or very mindful of the possible consequences while engaging in such activities. And his transgressions were revealed to me in a very public setting, in a room full of people I knew well, but who weren’t trusted confidants, if you know what I mean.  And we’ll just leave it at that.

As for the other kind of embarrassing moments, as in the kind that I laughed about later, where do I start?! Trust me, my parents made the right choice when they decided against Grace for a middle name! I’ve mostly outgrown the “awkward stage” in recent years, but I pulled off some humdingers in the past. Naturally there have been the standard trip or skid moments, always with an audience. And, of course there has been the odd bit of foot in mouth disease. Not to mention walking into things, ending up in the wrong place at the wrong time, mixing up identities of people, sending parcels and such to the wrong people. Need I go on?! Oh, and presenting a Christmas card and gift to Stephanie’s kindergarten teacher, who was actually Jewish, was a bit of a red face moment. She handled it gracefully, but still. How to feel like a major twit in five seconds flat!!

But if I have to choose the ultimate “clumsy” moment, it’s from my nursing days, just before I went on maternity leave. I already had the leave booked, but if I hadn’t I’d have definitely taken the hint at that point! Just to set the scene, I was the only nurse working on a floor with 50 residents under my care. There was a float nurse who was supposed to go between floors and help out where needed, but they had a tendency to leave me to sink or swim on my own. Which I didn’t mind most shifts as things tended to go more smoothly when I just got on with them myself. But once in a while the extra pair of hands was really needed.

That particular evening shift was a doozey. I had a death on my floor, a fall which required a quick transfer to hospital, and a doctor was to come in to make his weekly rounds … all sort of at the same time. Of course there’s a ton of paperwork for deaths and transfers to hospital, in addition to the hands on stuff, phone calls, etc.  So I was flying madly, trying to see to everything at once. The fall had involved a nasty gash to the head, so I whipped the treatment cart out of the medication room and flew down the hall to slap a quick dressing on the wound, prior to the arrival of the ambulance. Then I dashed back to the nurses’ station with said cart, planning to finish off the paperwork before the ambulance and funeral home people arrived. Uh huh. Being very pregnant at that stage, and even clumsier than usual, I misjudged the distance between the edge of the desk and the wall as I rounded the corner. Wham! Dressing supplies, tubes and bottles of this and that, etc. went flying.   But worst of all, the bottle of bridine (an iodine based antiseptic), which I had just filled to the brim at the start of the shift, did a slow motion somersault through the air, before crashing down on the edge of the cart nearest me. The lid flew off, naturally, and I wore the contents of the bottle. It probably would have missed me and just splashed my legs a bit if I hadn’t been pregnant. But, since there was
a belly sticking out, it hit all down the front of my pristine white uniform. Bad enough that I’m standing there dripping hideous brown liquid, but I glanced up and realized that the entire performance had been witnessed by the firemen doing the ambulance run, the men from the funeral home who had arrived at the same time to pick up the body, the relatives of the deceased, and the expected doctor. Everyone just stood there gaping in horror and I was frozen on the spot, not quite knowing what to do. But thank God the doctor started to laugh, and off everyone else went. Including me. Granted, the face was extremely red, but yes, I laughed, imagining how it must have looked!  The doctor kindly finished off the paperwork for me while I went to clean up a bit, and all was well thereafter. Later the family of the deceased thanked me for lightening the mood so much for them that evening. Not exactly deliberate on my part, and not a performance that I ever wanted to repeat, but hey, if it helped, fantastic!

So yeah, I could probably come up with other equally fabulous experiences if I put my mind to it, but I think we’ll leave it at just that one.   You know, it’s bad enough being cursed with blushing furiously over very little.  But it’s a double curse when so many of my red faced moments are my own doing!  Oh, the shame … 🙂

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2006-11-16 15:47:00
Keeping it Simple
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Just a quickie here today as I pulled an all nighter again and have slept a good chunk of the day away.  I’m getting used to that and nobody else seems to mind as long as I’m up to make supper, so I’m no longer fretting about it.  It’s just the way things are at present, and there’s no point in fighting it.  I’ve tried to turn it around, but the moment I get into bed at a reasonable time, I’m wide awake again.  Apparently it’s a common thing with CFS, plus there might be another factor or two involved.  But luckily I don’t have a work or school schedule to adhere to anymore, so I can just go with the flow.  I sleep deeply and well during the day, so as long as I get my 6-8 hours in somewhere, it’s all good.

It was a bit shorter today as I was jarred awake by a Canada Post delivery man hammering on the door.  I’m expecting a few deliveries, so had crashed on the sofa this morning so that I’d be sure to hear the door if any came today.  But you know how it is when you’re jolted out of a deep sleep.  Aiiieeee!!  It didn’t help that my arm and hand had gone to sleep because of the position I was sleeping in, so it was a major stumble/fumble thing over to my desk, trying to get my glasses out of the case and on my face, and then manipulating the dead bolt on the door.  But luckily this delivery person wasn’t the hurried type who give you all of five seconds to answer the door before they dash off with your parcel.  He gave me a rather strange look, which I put down to appearing a bit disheveled, but later on I realized that I had a nice streak of dried toothpaste drool down my cheek.  Eeeuuuwww.  Told you I sleep deeply during the day!  We’ll just add that to my list of embarrassing moments! 🙂 

Anyway, the parcel was one of the Christmas gifts that I had ordered online.  Man, I love online shopping!  I have never liked Christmas shopping in crowded malls anyway, but the online option has been a lifesaver the past couple of years when I haven’t had the energy to roam around malls for hours on end, looking for that perfect something for everyone on my list.  But even if I get the energy back in future, I’ve been thoroughly spoiled by online shopping now, and will continue to use it.  I can’t get everything that way, but it certainly takes a big chunk out of my gift buying list.  And reduces the pre-Christmas panic.  So, to all of you with those scary “39 days ’til Christmas” banners on your blogs,  pfffft, the scare factor is wasted on me! 🙂 

Actually, our Christmas celebrations are comparatively low key anyway, so I’ve never had the pre-Christmas “oh my gawds”  that so many experience.  We usually spend the day on our own, and just do our own thing.  Thus there’s less preparation to worry about ahead of time.  I used to do a lot of baking and such, but none of the three of us has a particularly sweet tooth anymore.  So, just a few bits of this and that suffice.  I do put a lot of effort into decorating the house, but that’s going to be scaled back some this year, too.  It was mainly for the benefit of a little girl growing up, who no longer gets a “wow” from all of the glitz and glitter.  Simple and tasteful suit her parents better, too, so that’s what it shall be from now on.  Thus we get the fun of shopping for some new decorations this year, and probably a new, smaller tree, too.  I won’t part with any of the decorations that have sentimental value and they’ll always be part of our Christmas decor.  But there is lots of “we actually used to like this?” stuff to donate to either Richard’s workplace, or a worthy charity.  That includes the tree.  It’s bigger than we need now, plus I’d like to get through one Christmas season without a permanently stuffy head for weeks, and multiple sneezes whenever I go near the tree.   I used to think it was dust from being stored in the basement, but I’ve vacuumed the tree thoroughly and still get
the same reaction.  So, it must be the materials it’s made from.  It’s many years old, so no doubt new trees are made of at least slightly different materials now. 

Oops,  this was going to be a quickie, wasn’t it? Right, shutting up now,and getting on with some other stuff. 

P.S.  The delivery today was a gift for you, Stephanie.  But it’s locked up in a safe place, so you can snoop to your heart’s content and you ain’t gonna find it!  Heeheeheehee.  Cruel?  Me?  Okay, yes, but it’s so much fun to wind you up.  Payback time, darlin’!  🙂

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2006-11-20 22:24:00
Back in the Saddle … In a Manner of Speaking
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You can call off the search party, I’m back.  Richard has been on holidays since Friday, so computer time has slipped down the priority list a bit.  I’m tired again, too, but you’ve heard more than enough about that already and I’ll not send you to sleep with the same old story.  Aren’t I wonderfully thoughtful? 😉

We went out and mingled with the mobs for a few hours on Saturday, hence the energy crash yesterday.  It was worth it, though.   I didn’t make a dent in the few remaining things on my gift buying list, but we did find a lovely new Christmas tree.  It’s only a bit smaller than our old one, so the downsizing plan sort of went out the window.  But it’s pre-lit, so that cuts the decorating job in half.  I’m such a fuss pot when it comes to light placement, and I spend more time arranging and rearranging the lights than I do on all of the rest of the decorating combined.  The other new addition to our Christmas decoration collection is a gorgeous wreath.  It’s made with real dried holly, real pine cones, etc., and was a steal at $6.00.  The only down side is that it’s a bit fragile because of its composition, so took a bit of a beating on one edge in the trunk of the car on the way home.  But I have to add a ribbon with which to hang it anyway, so the missing bits on the edges of a few holly leaves will be easily concealed.  

We also had a very late lunch/somewhat early supper while out on Saturday.  We went to our favourite local restaurant, each with a favourite menu selection in mind already.  But when we pulled up, we saw that it has switched to a completely different kind of restaurant in the past couple of weeks.  They kept that quiet. 😦   Moderately upscale, “continental” dining has been replaced by a yee haw, elbows on the table, Texas style steakhouse.  Marvy.  Not really my thing at all, but the others were game to give it a try, so in we went.   It turned out to be a very pleasant surprise, actually.   Well, apart from the country music droning incessantly in the background.   I can tolerate some country music, but this stuff was the kind that seriously twangs my nerves.  Stephanie’s too.  However, the rest of the ambience was nicer than expected and the food was marvellous.  There were lots of options besides those of the drowned in barbecue sauce variety, thank goodness.  I had a stuffed chicken breast that was cooked to perfection, and the stuffing was utterly scrummy.  Just the right amount of peppery/herb bite to the “Texas” rice component, generous with the sundried tomatoes and wild mushrooms … and no garlic!  We had a choice of two side dishes from a list, and my grilled veggie medley, and sour cream/scallion mashed potatoes were absolutely delish.  Richard gave his steak a major thumbs up, and Stephanie was equally impressed with her chicken and pasta selection.  Can’t tell you anything about the dessert menu as none of us had room for any, but maybe another time.  We perused the appetizer menu, but didn’t order one of those this time, either.  However, they brought out some rather gourmet tortilla chips and salsa for us to nibble on while we waited, which were appetizer enough.  Not Richard’s thing, but we women enjoyed them. 

Yesterday was the big Grey Cup game, as in the Canadian Football League Championship, or our version of the Superbowl.  A tad more low key than the Superbowl, but exciting for Canadian football fans.  Winnipeg was the host city this time, so Grey Cup fever was rampant in the week leading up to yesterday’s game.  I’m not a big football fan anyway, and even less interested when Winnipeg or one of the other teams I half heartedly pay attention to isn’t playing.  So, I didn’t bother watching the game myself, but the resident sports fan did.  Not much of a game, really, as it was so one-sided, but I guess it’s the occasion
that matters.  Now if it were the soccer type of football it would have been a whole different story, but nope, just can’t get excited about the grid-iron variety. 

We finished off the evening with the conclusion to the last ever Prime Suspect.  As always, Helen Mirren was absolutely brilliant in the lead role, and the story was fantastic.   What a shame that there won’t be any more, but I can understand why she would want to leave that role behind after fifteen years of being identified with it.  Nobody else could ever play it, since she has made it all her own, so sending Jane Tennison off into retirement was a very fitting end to the series. 

Now I must get back to my writing desk to finish off the Christmas cards.  I’ve been doing them in dribs and drabs as time and energy permit, and am just about at the end.  Of course I’m not complaining one bit about having a long list of cards to prepare as I LOVE sending and receiving cards!  I don’t know how much I’ll be around for the rest of the week, so just bear with me until Richard goes back to work on the weekend, okay?  Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American readers, and happy whatever you feel like being happy about to everyone else! 😉

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2006-11-20 22:45:00
Red or Green?
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Oh, and just one more thing before I toddle off to the other side of the room.  If you popped in here earlier this evening, you’ll have caught me playing with layouts again.  Yeah, I know, but with good reason this time. 🙂  I was just trying to find one I liked for a Christmas feel during the month of December.  After much fiddling, I have it narrowed down to two.  I like them both equally and can’t decide between them, so I’ll let you decide for me, gentle readers.  Which colour would you rather look at for a month – red or green?  

Just leave your colour preference in the comments.  Ta!

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2006-11-23 12:25:00
Happy Thanksgiving, Neighbours!
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Just a quickie to say a proper Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends.  The wind’s blowing from the north today, so the aroma of the roasting turkeys isn’t drifting up this way.  Which is probably just as well.  We had the stretched waistlines last month, so you’re welcome to them today. 🙂  Hope you’re all having a wonderful day!

Daughter and I are soon going to head out for a girlie afternoon downtown.  We haven’t done the girlie thing in ages, so are long overdue.   She has promised to go easy on me, since going out tires me right out, but we’ll see who outlasts the other when we get there!  Richard will happily wave us out the door as he has a full afternoon and evening of American football planned.  Now I know why he chose to take his holidays this week!  Obviously we women won’t be in a huge rush to get back home. 😉

Thanks to everyone who responded to my red or green poll.  Obviously green is going to win, which suits me just fine.  It’s one of my two favourite colours anyway (the other is purple), but I like red at Christmas, too.  Slight change of plan for the layout, though, as Daughter has now said that she’ll design a special one for me, rather than my going with the stock one I had in mind.  Like I’m going to say no to that offer!  But I’ve told her that green has to be the main colour, so the preference of the majority will still be honoured. 

Alrighty, must blast off and make myself beautiful for the outing.  Unlike a certain someone, a few minutes will do for me, rather than an hour locked away behind a closed door, with music blaring.  Of course my results don’t compare to hers, but I don’t have the patience to mess around with the war paint for more than a few minutes.  Never have, never will. 

I’ll catch up properly with all of you, as well as the comments here, on the weekend.  Until then …

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2006-11-25 09:01:00
Deck the Halls
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Fa la la la la la la la la, and all that.

Okay, yes, I said that I’d switch over to a Christmas theme at the beginning of December, but the mood is here now.  My mood, my journal, right?!   But it’s only a month until the big day, so it’s not like I’m jumping the gun too much.  Maybe this will be a little nudge for those who aren’t in the spirit of the season yet.  Ahem.  😉     Stephanie is still planning to do a custom Christmas layout for me, but this will do nicely in the meantime, I think.  Green was definitely the choice of the majority, so here it is … with a touch of dark red for he who preferred red.   Sorry, “he”, I can’t do ultra-bright, not even for you. 🙂  Those of us who aren’t colour blind have limits on how much bright we can tolerate.  But I can point you in the direction of some pretty intense red and green options, should you care to use them over in your corner of the web world yourself one day.  Oi! 

Anyhoo, this is just a very quick stop as I really need to be elsewhere this morning.  Richard went back to work today, poor lamb, so it’s business as usual around here again.  I’ll try to get back this evening for a proper catch up.  But if not then, tomorrow for sure.

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2006-11-28 02:09:00
Just Checking In
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I’m still here,  just a bit bogged down by the to do list at the moment.  Like everyone else at this time of year, of course.  If I had my normal energy I’d get through it in no time, but the CFS slows me down.  But on the positive side,  I’m actually looking forward to Christmas this year, unlike the previous two, and the to do list doesn’t have me completely overwhelmed this time.  Mega thanks to the lovely specialist who got me at least partially sorted out this year! 

The cards will be ready to go after I enclose a short note with a few of them, which I plan to do tomorrow.  I finished off my Christmas shopping  the other day, so that’s another big thing off the list.  Well, I need a few stocking stuffers yet, but they don’t really count.  Stockings are just for little stuff, and I can pick that up here and there in my travels over the next couple of weeks.  I found a couple of the bigger gifts when I went downtown with Stephanie last week, and finished off the rest of the list online over the weekend.  Woo hoo!  Everything was shipped today, so will get here in plenty of time.  Er, except for one thing for Richard, but it has been promised before Christmas, so no panic there.   The other shipments were more important as they contain things I have to send off in parcels to family out of town and/or out of province.  That should all be here by the end of the week, so can be wrapped up over the weekend and go to the post office next Monday, with loads of time to spare. 

So, that leaves the decorating as my main project for the rest of this week.   Before I decorate, though, we have to do some furniture removal and some major tidying/cleaning in the living room.  We didn’t get the spare bedroom converted to a studio for Stephanie yet,  so she has been working down here.  And you know how stuff has a way of spreading throughout an entire room.  Sigh.   But one way or another, this house will be Christmasified by the end of the week.  New word for the next edition of the Oxford Dictionary there. 😉

Of course all of the plans for this week depend on whether or not I pick up the nasty bug that Stephanie came down with a couple of days ago.  I usually catch her bugs, but it would be really nice to break the pattern this time!  I so don’t need to get sick this Christmas season! 

Okay, that will have to do as my bed is calling to me.  While it’s still dark outside.  Will wonders never cease?   *rolls eyes*

Toodles!

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