Showing posts from 2007

Hockey night and day and night in Canada.

Gotta love Christmas week in the hockey world. I am a Canuck fan. And I was thrilled to watch them kick Calgary's butt 5-3 tonight.

But this was not before we watched Canada beat Slovakia in the World Juniors, which had been recorded to the PVR earlier in the day. (I will admit to catching a few naps during this game.)

Immediately following the Canucks came the Spengler Cup game. Canada against Davos, or someone. Alb is currently watching this game. I couldn't take any more. I'm a Canuck fan, not necessarily a huge hockey fan. And so while Alb lays in bed watching the has-beens and not-quites play hockey, I sit here in the dark at midnight typing out my life for you.

We generally start watching hockey games a while after they actually start. With the PVR you can then fast forward through the commercials and basically catch up to live tv by the time the game ends.

It was 9:35 when the phone rang. We were watching the 3rd period. "Mom, can Dad come pick me up? I'm at …

The Year in Review

Happy Christmas to all our friends and family, and family that is our friends! What a year 2007 has been. We started off the year as empty nesters celebrating our 25th anniversary in January. Quite an accomplishment in today's world, I sit here and smugly think, all the while smiling at how relatively easy Albert has made it for us to achieve this. :)
We had the wind knocked out of our sails shortly thereafter when Albert's sister, Muriel, was tragically and suddenly taken from us. Equally shocking to us, about the same time, we learned that Brandi's marriage had ended.February we celebrated Albert's Dad's 80th birthday and his 12th anniversary (actually, it might even have been his 13th) as a cancer survivor.
In March, after a few years of talking about it, we started the countdown to our trip across Canada on the Goldwing.In June, the Ziemer family had its first ever family-only reunion to celebrate Dad and Mom's 60th anniversary. This kind of made our 25 yea…

And just like that, it's over.

Ahh! I sink into my computer chair, glass of wine in hand, and contemplate putting some music on as I set out to catch up on some facebooking, email and blogging. No music, I decide. I'll just sit here in the glorious silence of my semi dark house all alone.

I love my family. I love Christmas. I love all the food. And drinking. And gifts, and wrapping and decorating and parties and food and drinking and.....

After a day of hub-bub and turkey and creative ways of dragging the gift opening out so it takes hours and tests the patience of my children, 5 o'clock was suddenly upon us. Zedd and Jade headed home with their stash of goodies, Alb headed off to work to earn more money in 12 hours than I make in a month, Jed wandered off to Christmas Eve Service at the church and I drove Brandi to the airport after a very short, but better-than-nothing visit.

I climb into my new flannel pj's and light a few candles around me and count my blessings.

2007 has been a wild ride and I thank Go…

Mom, I'm going to die on this plane.

Those are not exactly the words a mother wants to hear in the middle of the night while on the way to the airport.

Brandi's Jazz Air flight was delayed in Vancouver for over an hour because the plane wouldn't start and it needed to be hooked to a "thing-a-ma-jig" or something for an hour before they could leave.

The little old 24 seater was a step up from a propeller plane and the two girls her age sitting near her helped the flight to pass quickly once they got off the ground. But I'm betting she'll splurge the extra hundred bucks next time and fly West Jet, get her free peanuts and arrive at a decent hour.

How many trips to Costco does it take?

I will not enter another store, with the exception of ONE more trip to Superstore, until after the 28th of December. I won't, I won't, I won't.

I've repeated this numerous times in the last 4 days. It's not working. Every day I think of just one more thing, and end up cha-chinging my debit card till it nearly melts from the friction of over-use.

The other day, I deposited my pay cheque and my Christmas bonus on the way to "my last trip to Costco," which Alb accompanied me on. He wanted to get a snow shovel. On the way to the shovel aisle we got interrupted by the Dewalt tool aisle. Uh, yeah. So long, goodbye, Christmas Bonus. And a mere $600 later, we exited the store with a piled high cart. It wasn't until after the Dewalt drill, saw and reciprocating saw, and whatever else was in the case, were unpacked and charging their batteries we realized we forgot the shovel.

After work today, I thought I'd just whip into Costco one last time and grab a shove…

Is it a lie if you didn't mean to say the wrong thing?

Normally I go to church on Saturday night. It just fits my schedule better when I work every Sunday. However this week I was scheduled for kitchen duty on Sunday. This happens every 8 or 10 weeks and I get to go to church and have people ask me if I'm new to the fellowship I've been attending for 10 or 12 years.

This weekend was Christmas concert weekend. I was asked to bring some baking for Saturday night service, my usual service. Because I knew I was attending Sunday to do coffee duty, I just dropped off my baking on Saturday night and left.

On the way home, I took a different route home than I had taken to get to the church. There was a road block for the Christmas Counter Attack. The kind officer asked, "Have you had anything to drink tonight?"
"Nothing, at all?"

Since my mind works approximately 347.82 times faster than my lips, the little red devil on my left shoulder had me thinking I should say, "I just came from the church where th…

Have you no idea what you smell like?

There's that perfume that people wear that just gags you when they walk by. You know which one I mean... the one that smells like mildew. It's better known as Patchouli oil. Every time I smell it, I can't help but think, "Person who shares my air space, have you no idea what you smell like?"

The Patchouli plant

I was in the mall the other day and my hands were very dry and in need of a sample of moisturizer. I had no clue that Lush had opened the day before, or else I would not have headed off to Body Shop. But off I headed.

There, front and centre with a large sign saying "BEST SELLER!" was some different varieties of hemp lotions and potions. One was Extreme Hand Protector. Ah yes, just what I needed. I squeezed and rubbed and suddenly realized the unlisted ingredient was patchouli oil. OMG!

Read what Wikipedia has to say about patchouli:
Patchouli oil and incense underwent a surge in popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, mostly among devotees of the free lov…

Sleeping in: a fantasty that never materializes.

Tuesday was sleep-in day. It was the first day since I don't remember when, that no one had to work, Jed's lifeskills worker wasn't arriving at the crack of dawn and we had nothing pressing on our schedule. We even let Jed stay up until midnight.

Typically, I am wide awake sometime between 5 and 7 am. But I love the thought of sleeping in being a possibility. However, Tuesday it appeared it might be a reality. I was still soundly sleeping at 7:45... when I heard my bedroom door open and the deep bass voice of my 21-year-old baby says, "What's your plan for today, Mom."

I kept the f-words and other expletives contained within my head while I growled, "Shut the door!" But that was it. 7:45 was my sleep in.

Today I have plenty on my schedule, not the least of which is shopping. Jed has papers to deliver this morning and he also needs to shovel snow at his job at the nearby motel, then he has an appointment at 1:00.

Being the loving and supportive mother th…

Good things are about to happen.

At minus 20, this morning was the warmest we've had in about 10 days or so. The thermometer has been bouncing between -20 and -30. Yesterday morning it was hovering about -30 when I went to start my car to take Jed to work.

wrrrr-wrr-wrr--- Nope. The poor little Jet just refused to fire on her 7 year old battery. And I had so many errands and things planned to do. Was I frustrated sitting there in my frozen little car? No. I actually began to get quite excited as I thought of all the things that were about to happen: We are going on a tropical vacation, Alb is finally going to get his ear pierced, we are getting matching tattoos on our butts, I'm losing 40 pounds. How do I know these things? Cuz I'm pretty sure hell is about to freeze over.

Guilt? Or a prompting from the Spirit? Either way I think I'll take action.

Sometimes a guilty conscience can cause you to read more into a situation that is really there. I'm hoping that's the case for today when I got a mental slap upside the head.

As I ranted in my earlier blog, I have not even signed my name to a bought Christmas card, much less laboured over creating the fantastic unique specimens of paper and envelope that I usually send out to friends and family. Today I received a couple of Christmas cards in the mail to add to the beautiful collection that is starting to accumulate on the hearth. One was from my Grandparents...

"Merry Christmas, we love you and we keep informed about your family through your parents...." Okay, perhaps it's just my guilt speaking, but does that not sound an awful lot like, "Merry Christmas, we love you. And you, well it seems you have totally forgotten your Grandparents even exist, for we have not heard from you since last Christmas. And you know full well we do not have a computer so we canno…

A little calm among the hubbub

Two weeks? How can Christmas be only 2 weeks away. I'm running about two months behind right now. Normally by October 1st I have decided on what colour of wrapping paper to use, and come up with a creative way to tag each present in such a way that no one knows whose is whose. Yes, I said "what colour of wrapping paper to use." Doesn't everyone 'theme' wrap so everything matches?

And boxes. I have but 2 boxes in my collection of empties. I cannot wrap a present that is not rectangular or square. There'll be no misshapen packages or gift bags allowed in my house. Everything has to stack in a neat little pile. Okay, I use the term "little" loosely. The pile is normally about 5 feet high and 12 feet across. Not this year.

So far I have one present bought. One. Just one. And I have ordered two online - I hope they come in wrap-able boxes. Well, at this point I just hope they come, I'm running out of time.

I haven't done any baking. I haven&…

This is a test

I can create blogs directly in Office 2007 and have them upload automatically. At least that's the theory. And this is a test.

Legal at last!

And I got the barcode to prove it:

Yes, this is me. Me and my own very legal copy of Adobe Creative Suite3 Design Premium. And for $1899 you can have your very own copy:

As you know, I don't like to jump into things without being sure. Especially if it's gonna cost money. This is how I justified "borrowing" Photoshop for the past number of years. I've come to realize that there's a good chance digital design is probably not just a passing fancy of mine so I'd better do the right thing.

I donate design services to church-related things quite regularly. For some reason donating illegal products to God was starting to wear on my conscience. And I figured while I had the Visa card out.... cha-ching! I may as well get Office 2007 Professional and what the heck, throw in a copy of Painter X. Happy Birthday to me. And I even bought a Christmas music CD this week. Before long I won't even need Limewire.

Now I just need to get someone to actually pay me to do so…

Pent up anger? Over tired? PMS? Childish violence?

I think perhaps I was suffering from all of the above last night at midnight. And throw a few glasses of wine in on top of that.

To preface the story, lets back up a bit and say that we have always had a key-type door knob on our bedroom door. It's safer that way when you live with a special needs son who is left at home alone sometimes. (Yes, there are cases of coke, bags of nachos and other assorted goodies piled in the corner of our bedroom for safe keeping.) Of course we've had to get in the habit of using the lock again after 15 months of living alone. We keep the key in a secret special spot, not too far from the door for easy access. Friday night Jed was standing near me when I opened the door after getting home from work, so rather than expose the secret spot, I slipped the key into my pocket.

Saturday night Jed headed off to church and Alb went to work. I locked the bedroom door and headed off to a Christmas gift exchange party. I got a cool present. The food was fantas…

It's for a good cause.

How many times have you justified a dumb decision with the reasoning that it's for a good cause?

Oh yeah, I'll buy a $100 Harley raffle ticket for Big Brothers. It's a good cause. Just don't try to analyze what BB does with all their money, cuz all the work with the children is done on a volunteer basis. Think of the billion-dollar fund raising they do each year, and the money they make through Value Village and other sources. You'd think they'd have a enough to pay the big siblings 20 bucks an hour and still manage to eliminate the wait lists they claim to have.

And that wacky-tabaccy, or other substance. You just had to smoke (inject, inhale, ingest) it, cuz if you hadn't, your friend would have inhaled the entire thing on their own. Then you'd be at fault for their overdose.

And what about that Christmas silent auction fund raiser at the church? Man, that'll get you every time.

There were a number of times during this evening when I thought, "If…

The evidence followed me.

Since Jed has been back at our place I've had to park my car in the driveway because all his stuff is stacked in the garage. There is room for his stuff over on the right hand side instead of on the left where my car should be, but there's been a leak in the roof. Alb priced out a new roof yesterday. Tomorrow I shall insist he gets it done.

Winter has arrived here in the frozen north. And while my grass is still green, (take that as an elbow dig in the ribs to those who still live in my old neighbourhood where I'm sure there is 2 feet of snow) it is about -10 at night.

Alb left a couple of hours before me this morning and he plugged my car in when he left. He neglected to tell me this- which probably wouldn't matter anyway, cuz I woulda forgot by the time I left. Although he didn't tell me, he did drape the cord across my rear mirror in clear view where any self-respecting driver would notice. Uh yeah. I think I probably stepped over the cord, got in my car and thoug…

Missed another photo op.

As we arrived in Kamloops for our recent visit, my mother met us outside on the deck. The vision of her leaning on the railing while we piled out of the truck is one I will never forget. Not because the it was outstanding or unusual, but because it's the same visual we have received for the last 10 years or so every time we arrive. My mother in her seafoam green sweater. It has long since lost its $1.99 Value Village price tag and the two tiny staple holes have become stretched into openings large enough to slip an arm through. And each time we see it, it has another hole or two. I suppose if it were left long enough, it would eventually begin to look like it was made of lace. The brown splotches of hair dye make it look like she recently rolled in doggy doo. (I am still wondering how brown hair dye got on her sweater, when all of her hair shades have ranged from fluorescent orange to dark burgundy.)

About two or three years ago I went shopping with her to get a replacement sweater…

The art part was fun. The science of it however...

We are finishing up our art class this week. I don't anticipate that generations from now someone will find one of my projects stashed behind an old armoire, take it to an art auction and be able to retire on the proceeds. But it has been fantastically fun.

I've learned about colours. We don't use terms like red, yellow, orange, green and blue. It's Quinacradone, ochre, cadmium, Hooker's and Phthalo.

Never being one to take things at face value, I had to wonder why the word cadmium is used to refer to reds, yellows and oranges. I distinctly remember not cutting class that day in grade nine science when we learned that cadmium is a bluish coloured metal on the periodic table.

Yes, I admit my life is so dull that I felt the need to google it. Cadmium has 2 main uses: battery acid and paint pigment. It's a known carcinogenic, causes kidney failure and permanent respiratory damage, even in minute doses. Inhalation is more destructive than ingestion.

While I don't p…

How to Build an Igloo

Building an igloo has never been real high on my list of 100 things to do before I die. As a matter of fact, I prefer to avoid any thing to do with that 4-letter S word that falls from the sky in winter. But some people like it. And they blog about their adventures. And they win contests.

You can see the winning blog here.

Personally, my vote was for the runner up blog: Bugaboo This. The pictures are fantastic, although once again, depict activities involving the S word.

Free Press! Get Yer Free Press!

We moved Jed out of the house on Abbott yesterday. Notice I didn't say "Jed moved back home." So far I have myself convinced that he has only temporarily parked his butt and his stuff here. (I'm happier that way.)

Do you know how many editions of the Free Press have been delivered in the past 15 months? Neither do I, cuz I didn't count them as we packed up his room. But they filled 3 green buckets from Superstore. And a kitchen garbage bag. And 3 grocery bags. And a laundry basket. And yes they were all inside his 10x10 bedroom. And he has no idea that the City of PG Refuse Collection hauled them all away this morning.

He has a bit of a paper fetish I think. His bulletin board is plastered with funeral service cards for people I didn't even know had died. There was a stack of bank machine deposit envelopes in a bag that outnumbered the deposits I have made in my whole life. And calendars. There were enough calendars tacked to his walls to wallpaper an entire 16…

No Free Trip to Vancouver.

Well the e-Tourism Awards Ceremony is only 48 hours away. No one called to say my free flight was in the mail so I guess I'm not a finalist in the travelers of Canada blogging contest. I can't say that I'm disappointed in this. The mere thought of standing on a stage amongst hundreds of strangers was enough to make me want to retract my entry. But the braggin' rights woulda been cool.

I'm still rather shocked at the number of visits I continue to get on my blogs - both my one about our travels across the country, and this one which periodically rambles on about life. I'm still enjoying rambling on and I don't really plan for the project to peter out, but...

It's not like I have nothing to write about: office politics that are so serious for those involved, but hilarious to those who have a cynical detached view. Life with a special needs son who is currently overcrowding my once empty nest. Relationships that bite you in the ass when you're not lookin…

I am alive

I know I haven't blogged in a long time. There's been absolutely nothing funny in my life. As a matter of fact its it's been pathetically sad. But....

I am currently in Kamloops visiting my parents and arming myself with blogging fodder. I have them a little nervous about that, so we'll have to see how much salsa and canned goods they load my vehicle with when I leave. That'll determine how many tales I tell about the aging process and the effects it has on otherwise intellegent people.

Who's the one needing a life skills coach?

Staffing circumstances have dictated that Jed is back at our house for a while. My empty nest is feeling kinda full.

He has a life skills worker work with him each morning from 9:00 to 12:30. Let me preface by saying I love the woman and she deserves a very large crown in heaven for her work here on earth. And besides, she looks like my mom's sister. But....

Okay, I'm just not into have house staff arrive at my door at 8:45 am. We have always been night people. We stay up late. We sleep in if we can. We eat late at night. I rarely do the dishes at night (This is where you feel sorry for me because I don't have dishwasher.) - I do them about 10 or 11 before I go to work at noon. Now, I feel like I have to be up, showered, dressed and done my chores by 8:30. It bites!

The real issue is that it makes me see how much I, personally, need a life skills coach. As I try to stay out of the picture while another woman instructs my child in the basic rules of life, there are times I wa…

Ha Ha! Like Mother Like Son.

I took Jed shopping tonight for a costume. We went to Value Village first. No luck finding anything suitable. He's helping at the church youth program where the theme is the 10 plagues. He wants to dress as an Egyptian.

We headed off to Walmart where I looked at patterns in the pattern book, refused to buy a $15 pattern and got a couple of pieces of fabric cut to fake a head piece and robe. It was gonna be about $18 for fabric.

As we headed to the check-out I said "Let's just go look at the costume section." And there, for $19.97, was a Caesar costume that he was willing to go with. (I know Caesar wasn't in Egypt, but hey, I'm willing to bet that a hundred kids under 10 won't remember that.) Head piece, arm bands, robe, sash and all were included. I did a quick look around for employees. My eyes scanned upward for cameras. And as I set the costume into my cart with my right hand, my left hand quickly tossed the cut pieces of fabric onto the bottom shelf ben…

Why can't we hibernate an be completely unaware winter even exists.

Christmas is coming! At least all my neighbours seem to think so. The neighbour to my left and 4 houses in a row across the street all put their christmas lights up on the weekend. They haven't actually turned them on, but they're ready.

And me. Well I still have summer blooming in full glory. My dollar store foliage in the boxes around the deck is getting a little faded now. I did replace some of the blatantly summerish blooms with autumn coloured stems about six weeks ago. But even the most die-hard summer enthusiast has to know when succumb to nature's change in seasons.

It only took about 18 seconds to pull up all my plants and stuff them into a bag for next year. And presto! Summer was over.

It may be a bit early for the Nativity scene, so I think I'll just keep the blinds closed, look at my beautiful bouquet from my husband and ignore fact winter is coming.

Hear! Hear!

My ears are tone deaf, I cannot tell you if one note is higher or lower than another. I cannot pick out all the different instruments or voice parts in a song. But my teeth can distinguish even the most minute sounds from each other.

Sounds make my teeth hurt. I'm not talking about the irritating teeth-on-edge feeling when hearing someone rake their fingernails down a chalkboard. I'm talking pain. And it's often caused by ridiculously simple noises: rubbing the fibres of a cotton ball together, crinkling a bag, or certain tones or instruments if there is music playing.

The weird thing is, it's not consistent. There are certain sounds that will hurt every time I hear them, like dragging a fork across an earthenware plate. (This is why you'll only find Corelle in my kitchen.) But I'll have days when my teeth are feeling sensitive and every sound just seems magnified and painful. Last night was one of those times.

I endured supper during which time my husband and son…

From laying awake listening to him snore - to well rested butt sittin' on the floor.

I hate our bed. It makes Alb snore. I know all beds tend to do that to all people as they age but this is different.

For years we slept on a queen size solid foam mattress. When we moved to this small house we downsized to a cheap double bed. It's kinda like sleeping on a piece of slate. We softened it with a memory foam topper. But I don't care for memory foam much neither. I think it's a texture thing - it feels like dough, or a really fat stomach (which I am all too familiar with). Alb started to snore 'round about the same time. I didn't really put 2 and 2 together until we slept on a 6" piece of foam from Walmart all summer. Alb really didn't snore at all (I don't know if the same can be said for me, but I don't care cuz I was sleeping). Once again, I didn't really think of it... until we came home and the sawing logs started again.

I think the hard mattress makes him sleep on his back rather than his side. Perhaps it's just me. Maybe I …

And it burns burns burns...

I hate green peppers. Every once in a while I think, "I'm an adult now. I like most foods. There's no reason for me not to eat them." But the fact is I just don't like 'em. However, I love hot peppers. A girl at work has gotten me on this kick of eating whole hot pickled peppers.

Seeing as it is salsa making season, and I know my Dad's garden is brimming with peppers of all varieties, I told my mom about my recent hot pepper consumption. And as if by magic there were jars of hot pickled peppers in with my shipment of salsa.

I scooped myself a little bowl of them and sat down at my computer and mindlessly tossed one into my mouth as I was reading through my email. Holy Hannah! I gasped for breath and choked while my eyes welled up with tears. I then wiped away my tears with the hand that held the peppers. Good lordy, I thought my eyeball was gonna melt. I ran to the bathroom mirror because I was sure I'd find a blister on my lower lip.

Now, since Chantel …

The science of poop.

I remember target practicing with a .22 caliber rifle as child of 8 or 9. I remember cutting the heads off chickens with an axe at about the same age. I was probably even younger than that when I witnessed a live pig being strung up by the ankles before being shot with a large rifle. I remember having the unthankful task of having to drown a batch of kittens in a burlap sack at the age of ... well, at the risk of having my parents arrested... let's just say I wasn't very old. Even though the purpose of my task was to euthanize the poor creatures, I could not bring myself to tie the top of the burlap potato sack closed. It seemed just too claustrophobic to me. So I threw them into the Fraser River in an open sack. Did you you know cats can swim? I don't think I ever told anyone I hadn't accomplished my mission that day, and I secretly hoped they all made it to shore.

While I am a carnivore and I enjoy a good steak, I am not particularly excited about the kill.

We agreed …

Oh the eerie silence.

Sitting here at my computer, I can hear two clocks ticking - one is 15 feet behind me and the other is in the kitchen. Other than that I hear nothing. Albert is sleeping after working night shift. Jed has gone home after spending 3 days with us. And the dog, well the dog has left home, so truly we are now empty nesters.

As far as dogs go, we could not have asked for a quieter more docile one. But still it's noticeable having her gone, after being accustomed to her laying, gently snoring, and farting under my chair for 12 years.

Our little Sergeant has moved in with Grandpa and Grandma Z. Now she has someone to talk to her during the day and let her out to pee. Her aging digestive system can no longer handle being in the house all day. And my aging digestive system was starting to balk at cleaning up the dog bombs in the basement after a full day at work.

Grandma likes the little bark she gives to warn that someone's at the door. Sergeant likes the acreage to roam. And I shall bec…

Minding my P's and Q's

I have lots to be thankful for. I am sure I could write out a list of 100 things without much problem.

As I mentally begin forming a list I can't help but think past the gifts I receive to the givers. I have a lot of givers in my life. For them I am thankful. And ultimately I have to be thankful to God for giving me the givers.

So thanks, eh.

People are grouchy

I am happy (ish).

The same cannot be said for all of the people that have crossed my path in the last few days. Today a co-worker asked me why everyone is so grouchy. Like I was supposed to have the answer. Perhaps it is me. But people are grouchy these days. Seriously, just about everyone is snapping for no good reason. I realize that winter is hanging heavy in the air and I don't like it neither, but geez people - lighten up.

I understand that I had a great summer with lots of sunshine and vitamin D whereas most BCer's did not. So take a pill. Or go tanning. Fly away to a tropical location. But get out of my face!

Have a nice day.

Betty's Baaaack!

Betty the Bike just won't call it quits. Her insurance lapsed on September 15 and she was all tucked away in the back corner of the garage. But she has emerged again for another 3 months.

Okay, it's very unlikely we'll still be riding her in 3 months but ICBC won't allow you to put a shorter term than that on a bike.

Why would relatively sane individuals insure a bike in PG when it's fricken freezing outside? I'll blame it on Ford. The truck is back in the shop for warranty work. This time it's the huma-ma-jiggy on the whatcha-ma-call-it that's allowing water to leak into something, creating clouds of blue smoke to billow out of the back.

It's all covered by warranty but they don't supply a replacement vehicle and they need the truck for 4 days.

I know lots of couples survive sharing a single vehicle, but for some reason we just can't figure out how to make it work - even for 4 days.

I know, I know we'd probably been smarter to rent a vehicle…