Friday, August 29, 2008

I am not a girly girl.

It's true. I am not a girly girl. I don't care for pink much. I don't like floral stuff, lace and frills and floof. How is one supposed to spell floof? Phloof? Flooph? Fluuf? I thought that it was a real word but it always underlines in a red squiggly line. Perhaps that's just part of the floof. I looked it up and found it in the Urban Dictionary. It means female fart?? Anyway, I digress....

But I do love flowers. Brandi and Kore sent me some the other day. They were beautiful. I posted them as my Facebook profile pic cuz I loved them. Ummm, apparently Brandi didn't.

They were nothing like she ordered - not in size nor composition. I didn't know that, nor did I particularly care cuz I thought they were wonderful. She emailed 1800flowers.com and sent them my Facebook profile picture along with a copy of her order. Now, I thought I had trained my children not to complain unnecessarily. Apparently she wasn't listening that day. And as a result I got a new delivery today of huge bouquet with an apology note attached saying they were sorry for the gift I had received.

Cool.


The original bouquet


The apology

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Press ONE for English.

Don't ya just love trying to get customer service when you have a problem with your phone, tv or utility services.

After pressing a plethora of numbers to get to what you think just might be the correct department you are asked to enter your 47-digit account number. Just don't screw up in entering or you are starting right back at the beginning. Then when you actually do get through, the first thing they ask you is to repeat vocally the 47 digit account number.

You are absolutely certain that you pressed one for English. However when you finally do get through to a real person, they neither speak nor understand English. If you ask them some personal questions, you'll probably find that they are located in India or Taiwan or the Philippines somewhere and it's quite likely they've never even seen a satellite dish much less know how to fix one.

Well it was pay back yesterday.

Our satellite quit sending the video signal although the sound was coming through. I was at work and Alb was working hard on the basement. Jed was bored. And he wanted tv - NOW GAWDAMMIT.

He managed to get through to a real person and was in the process of "downloading upgrades" while giving play-by-play reports to the person on the phone when I walked in from work.

Obviously they had asked him for the PIN number at some point in the conversation. As soon as he saw me he switched in mid sentence to tell the guy the "one of the names on the account" just walked in and would know the password.

I told him the PIN number and he repeated, "9-4-1-1. Hey that's our old address. I guess we just decided to use our old address as the code..." and goes into a big long story about living on Old Summit Lk Rd. I knew what he was saying and even I had a hard time understanding any of it.

I'm sure the person on the line had no clue what just happened and reverted Jed's attention back to the tv by asking what was happening on the screen.

"It's still downloading. But this is BS.... blah blah blah.." he says as he presses CANCEL half way through the process. And the tv flickered and came on. Apparently the conversation between the 2 non-English individuals did manage to accomplish something.

But of course, as required by law in India, they cannot hang up the phone without trying to sell you something or upgrade your service. It took about 15 repeats of the same sentence, "No we don't want 2 more high definition channels for 5 bucks a month extra. Perhaps we will in the future but just not right now." Only coming from Jed's lips it sounded nothing like that. I don't think the guy ever did understand the response. But when Jed gave him a 9-out-of-10 for his helpfulness, he happily hung up the phone from probably his most bizarre encounter of the day.

I don't know what high def channels we had in the first place, so I can't check to see if we have 2 more. And it remains to be seen if our bill will be 5 bucks extra next month.



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Guilty until proven innocent.

The D sisters were subpoenaed for further investigation on suspicion of abnormalities.

My follow-up investigative mammography also included an ultrasound. It's just a precaution they told me. It'll likely be nothing but they tend to over investigate just to be sure. Because it was my first mammogram, they had nothing to compare it to and all breasts are different in composition.

Apparently only the girl on the left was suspicious, and she was subjected to close scrutiny. While this was still relatively painless, it was significantly more "involved" than the original procedure.

Over the course of the weekend, I heard from others and read on the internet about numerous cases of recalls for further investigation. "Don't lose sleep over it," the receptionist told me, "it happens all the time. It even happened to me."

I went to the doctor for the results today. Apparently the left sister remains on the suspect list and will not be released on bail until a surgeon visits with her. I await his appointment.

My doc is still encouraging me not to lose too much sleep as he can't feel anything. But we shall proceed on the presumption of guilt until a biopsy proves innocent.

Friday, August 15, 2008

One thing always leads to another.

The renovations are really coming along nicely, but we are still in the "boy stage" of working: boards and nails and pipes and wires. The "girl stage" is just beginning: I ordered the new siding, soon we'll pick paint colours, the cabinets will be installed - you know ... the pretty stuff.

A few weeks ago the plumber had to access the pipes in our upstairs bathroom to tie in the new downstairs bathroom. This meant removing a sheet of Ceramalite tile board that our bathroom walls are made of and the gyproc underneath it.

When the plumbing job was finished, rather than buy a new sheet of gyproc to replace the old stuff, Alb figured that since it will be under the ceramalite he would just use a piece of gyproc that had come from Jed's old bedroom when he dismantled it in the basement.

Jed likes felt markers. His old bedroom walls held interesting evidence of his various moods and artistic abilities. There were written out prayers, and swears, and doodles and undecipherables. But this didn't matter cuz it was going to be covered up .... eventually.

As days passed, visitors would dig around for pens and add their 2 cents worth to the wall. And I liked it. I even bought coloured pens and keep them on the back of the toilet. I told Alb that when I redo the kitchen/hallway I think I'll incorporate a "Graffiti Wall" in the hall near the back door. It'll be like a guestbook - only funky and visible. But further contemplation made me realize that people really have their most creative moments with their pants around their ankles.
And so the bathroom graffiti wall will remain. Even after it gets remodeled.



Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The D Sisters get their portraits done.

I rarely take a lunch break at work, but I had to take one yesterday to get a mammogram that I'd scheduled a few months ago (back when I used to get Tuesdays off).

Since I was a mammogram virgin, and I'd heard horror stories, I practiced for the previous week by slamming my boobs in the freezer door and lining them up in a bench vice. As I left work commenting that I really had no idea how long I'd be gone, one of the girls told me about her mother having to take the rest of the afternoon off work and go home to bed after her last one. I was prepared for the worst.

Honestly people. What's the hype?

I flopped the D Sisters up on the table, the top lowered, the camera clicked and it was over.

"That's it?" I asked, when she said I could get dressed again. Seriously, I was disappointed at the lack of pain and torture after all my preparation. I can honestly say that I've had more discomfort wearing an ill-fitting bra. I even had a blog half written in my head about how horrible it was but I can't in good conscience publish it, cuz I wouldn't feel right about scaring someone out of going to get one done.

The mammogramist (or whatever her title is) made me wait in the room while she looked at all the images.

"They're all very clear, you may go."

And I was back at work 40 minutes later.

This morning I was awakened with a phone call: Apparently the D Sisters portraits turned out lovely. However they have been recalled for further investigation.

So while the procedure was easy to deal with, the morning after call ... not so much.

Now, I like the girls, but I've always heard that more than a handful is a waste. Since I've arrived in my 40's I realize the word is no longer "waste" but in fact "waist." So if they start to cause me grief I'll cut 'em off quicker than you can say silicone replacements.

...and I'm headed off for retakes tomorrow.

Monday, August 11, 2008

"Would you miss me, Mom?"

The PG X was on this weekend. I gave Jed money to go on the first day. He doesn't really like the rides and only plays a couple of games, but he loves to hang around and just check out the free exhibits and entertainment. For 20 bucks it kept him occupied all day - it woulda been a bargain at twice the price.

He wanted to go again the next day. I forked over more money. But this time I insisted he wear street clothes - no Security Uniforms, RCMP shirts, Fort George Highway Rescue gear - you never know what kind of situation might arise. (Last year he went with his life skills worker and she lost him for a while and found him in behind a barricade, manning a security/first aid post. )

Saturday night he came home and told me he was "working" at the fair the next day and had to be there at 8 am. I knew the Fort George Highway Rescue (where Jed is an honourary member) had a booth or something set up and I assumed he was going to sit with the members and perhaps help with take-down at the end of the day.

So off he toddled in the rain Sunday morning. I never seen or heard from him until 10 pm, when I got a phone call, "Mom, I made $75!"
"How cool, is that," I respond.
"Westcoast Amusements wants me to go on the road with them."
"Huh. What?"
"They want to know if I want to be a Carnie and travel with them. Would you miss me, Mom?"
"Uh, yes I'd miss you." And just in case he actually thought he could go on the road with West Coast Amusements and survive past Tuesday, I added, "And I'd have to rent out your new basement suite to someone else. Now please explain what the heck you actually did at the fair today."
"Operated the rides."

So after 12 hours in the rain with no coat, he arrived home frozen, exhausted and starving with 75 bucks burning a hole in his pocket. And a new hat on his head. And he's convinced that next year he'll be on the road - this year his mom would miss him too much.




Sunday, August 3, 2008

Laziness is the mother of all invention.

Ok, perhaps the saying is supposed to be "necessity is the mother of all invention." But I'll bet laziness should receive equal credit.

When we were in Quesnel this weekend I decided to pick a couple of buckets of black currants from Matt's newly established U-pick farm. He has some great little berry rakes that pick the berries way faster, however you get significantly more leaf and stem debris. Tim opted for hand picking. Matt and I had our buckets full by the time Tim had about a 1/3 of a bucket. We kept on raking and thought we'd helping him out by dumping our berries into his bucket.

Ooops. Our lazy picking methods now created more work for poor Tim who had been meticulously keeping his berries clean.

While we were picking, Matt was explaining the benefits of the currant, including the leaves, as an antioxidant and health promoter. Now, I don't know an antioxidant from cyanide but Tim was all excited, so I guess it's a good thing.

Anyway, the next morning I decided I'd start the process of making jam before my berries spoiled and I ended up with nothing but wasted time and dollars.

Looking at two buckets of berries with a high percentage of leaf and stem content my lazy tendencies caused me to think that if leaves and stems are healthy, why remove them. I'll just rinse them off, cook the whole darn lot and strain the juice and... Voila! I'll have antioxidant jelly.

I threw one bucket of berries into a large pot - leaves, stems and all.

Great concept. Not so great in reality. I ended up with a thick pulpy mass and I was only able to squeeze about 1/4 cup of juice through my straining cloth. I ended up having to press it all through my colander. By the end, I was purple stained up to my armpits, I had juice splashed all over the stove, both sinks were full of purple mess, splotches reaching up the to upper cabinets and across the floor but I had a bowl full of mush that will make a great jam/jelly hybrid that I'm sure will taste good and clean out my oxidants (or whatever they are supposed to do).

I decided that I'd just wash the leaves from the 2nd bucket before I started. It took all of 4 minutes.

Rather than make 2 batches of jam, my lazy tendencies decided I could do it all at once.

As I was dumping everything in my largest pot, I thought, "I should go downstairs and find my stock pot." But my lazy tendencies convinced me that I could have the jam made in the time it would take me to find the stock pot and wash the 3 years of dust off of it.

It took me longer to clean the boiled over burnt berries off the stove than it would have taken to find the stock pot. I think I came to the realization that if I wasn't so lazy, I'd probably only get half the exercise that I do get. Maybe being lazy ain't such a bad thing.

My 2 hour job had turned into a 5 hour one. But I have 25 jars of fabulous black currant jam. I carried it into the pantry to put it away and there sat my stock pot.. nice and clean, not 5 steps from my kitchen. I forgot I had just used it at the wedding.

******






The Ugly Parts are Part of the Beauty

One of the seasonal options with Art Class with a Wine Glass I love my job. I really do. I am an art facilitator. At least that is the ...