Friday, January 30, 2009

Specifically chosen random facts.

Since the invention of email we have all received dozens of those personal surveys that want to know what you had for breakfast and how many times a week you change your underwear. Occasionally I fill them out. I do this mostly so I can exercise my sarcastic nature but sometimes purely to avoid doing other meaningful tasks that are nagging at me.

Currently there is a similar type thing circulating on Facebook. Except you don't get prompts. You just post a note with 25 random facts about yourself. Being the exhibitionist that I am, I'm thinking I might participate in this. I think I'll tell them:

1. I chew gum every day. My teeth are sensitive to sounds (yes, sounds) and chewing gum seems to help this. In almost addictive fashion, I panic if I am out of gum. This rarely happens cuz I keep a pack in my purse, in my car, in my work bag, in my sock drawer, in my cubby at work, in my coat pocket. I never swallow. I am so adept at chewing gum I can put a piece in my mouth and eat an entire meal and still have the gum in my mouth. It's true.

2. I recently realized I am not afraid of dying. When you are handed a cancer confirmation, you tend to think about those sorts of things. I considered death and I felt no fear. None. And I don't think it was just dumb-ass denial neither. But suffering - now that scares the crap outta me. Don't let me suffer, just take me out when it's time to go.

3. I was walking home from school one day in grade five, in Fernie, and a girl from another school, whom I estimated to be a year or two older than me, walked up to me and asked me what school I went to and what grade I was in. I think she probably just wanted to know if I knew somebody or something. But for some reason fear overwhelmed me and I just smashed her over the head with my lunch box and ran. I feel bad about that to this day.

4. I still have Mr Perrin's stapler in my desk drawer. I stole it in 1980.

5. When driving up to a traffic light that has been green for a long time there is always that nano-second where you are unsure if you would stop or go should the light change colour. When I pass that threshold and the light is still green I almost always think, "Thank you Jesus." I know, I know. How can I be so thankful for green lights when I take almost everything else in my life for granted. Some things defy logic.

6. I want to write a book. I want it to be funny yet meaningful. I want to design the cover myself. I have numerous book titles bouncing around in my head, one is Shoes for Goalposts. I'll let you know when it goes to press.

7. "Good enough" could easily be my life's motto. No one could ever accuse me of being a perfectionist.

8. Italy and Ireland will be my destinations if I become a world traveler some day. Mexico, Hawaii and Dom Rep just don't hold a lot of appeal for me.

9. I like rain. I hate snow.

10. My last skiing trip was to Smithers in the early 90's. It was so foggy at the top of the hill I took my skis off and walked 1/2 way down. When I put them back on I realized only one was waxed properly and the other stuck like velcro to the snow. I skied on one foot back to the lodge to trade them in for new skis. And that was the end of my skiing career.

11. I am not a girly girl. But I do like to drink my coffee from a pretty cup - nicely shaped and made of china. I hate chunky mugs. And I drink my coffee black; I have since I was 10 years old.

Twenty five is a lot of random facts. I'm not even half way there. This will take me two days to finish, I'm sure.
12. If you were to randomly plunk two keys that are within 6 or 8 inches of each other on a piano I could not tell you which one sounds higher or lower than the other.

13. Sometimes when I look at words I will try to sound them out backwards. I do this especially with hockey player's names on the back of their jerseys.

14. I find forensic pathology fascinating. How intriguing it would be to examine a decomposing body to determine the facts surrounding it. I watched an autopsy on tv a few months ago. I loved it. However, if they show surgery on a living body I have to close my eyes.

15. I had coffee with Andy Park last fall.

16. I once played a Meatloaf record backwards. We were absolutely convinced we could hear him chanting "Satan. Satan. Satan." Have you seen Meatloaf lately? He's a geeky fat old man who looks like he's faking his role as a rock star. And he has short hair. I still like his singing though.

17. I have never operated a lawn mower. Never. Not once.

18. Foods I love: cheese, nachos, lasagne, fettuccine alfredo, pizza - all of which contain cheese. I am addicted to cheese. There are times I feel I should stand in front of a buffet and say, "Hello, my name is Liana. I am addicted to cheese." Foods I don't love: green peppers, sun dried tomatoes, mustard and that's about it. I eat just about everything ... that's fairly evident.

19. My grandparents didn't come to visit us often when I was a child. But I do remember them being at our house in the summer of 1979. My mother, grandma, me and a friend (whom shall remain nameless, however when she reads this will quite likely recognize herself) went to the mall one day. We made arrangements to meet back at a certain time and location. I cannot begin to imagine the humiliation my mother felt as she was paged, while in the company of her step mother, to retrieve two young girls who had just been busted for shoplifting in Woolco. I do remember overhearing my grandmother say to mom, "It's not a big deal. It's like smoking pot - they all try it once." (Yes, this is the same step-grandma that I still know and love.) However I was extremely offended by her comment. I may not be above stealing a bottle of nail polish while carrying $40 in my wallet, but that does not mean I will smoke pot. Hmmmpft! Three months later I smoked pot. I didn't like it. I was certain I never would. But I tried a few more times just to be sure. I was sure.

20. As a child I was an avid reader. Today I rarely read anything that isn't digital. I haven't read a piece of fiction in years. I started two books in October: Heaven, by Randy Alcorn and The Intelligent Patient Guide to Breast Cancer (It's a more politically correct way to say Breast Cancer for Dummies.) Both books are fascinating. I finished neither.

21. If I were starting my adult life over and had to chose a career I think I would become a photographer. I currently own a simple point and shoot digital Canon PowerShot. It does ok. Beyond that, I can fake what I need to with Photoshop.

22. Sentimental I am not. I do not keep stuff for the sake of keeping stuff. I actually shocked myself when I opened the Rubbermaid container marked "Baby." In there I found a sweater set, a quilt, a shawl and a toy that had all belonged to Ken as a baby. I cleaned these up for Baby X, my first grandchild who is due make an entrance in about 3 weeks. I'm shocked that I kept that much.

23. I sucked my thumb at night until I was 12. Okay I say twelve because it's too embarrassing to admit it was probably more like 16.

24. Some concerts I would pay to see: Leonard Cohen, Enya, Bob Seger, Dr Hook, Robin Mark, Third Day, Broken Joe, Cheap Trick. Some concerts I have paid to see: Willie Nelson, Blue Rodeo, Rankin Family, Burton Cummings. Some concerts you couldn't pay me to see: Metallica, Heather Clark, Darlene Zchech, Michael Jackson.

25. In grade eight, about a year before I started dating, I told my math teacher, who had high hopes of me going on to be a scholar, that I would quit school after grade 10 and marry Albert Ziemer. And I did.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Love ain't always pretty...

"No, sir. We couldn't do that, we have a reputation at stake here."

That was the response my husband got when he phoned in an order of flowers to be delivered to me at work. He initially asked for a half dozen roses. Then something contrasting.

"Not only contrasting, but something that really doesn't match," he said.

"Well, we have orange carnations. But that would be ugly."

"What else do you have?"

"Um. We have some blue daisies. We also have some lavender status."

"Good. Put them all together and make a bouquet."

That's when she became worried about their reputation, knowing she had to deliver this to a business location and chances are others would see them.

Albert's reply? "Hey, after 27 years things ain't always pretty. But put it all together and you'll find it's beautiful..... and don't forget to add a pink ribbon."

And he was right.

Of course when they arrived at work I had no idea the story behind the variety of flowers, but I thought "How funky and unique." I did know right away that he had specifically asked for the pink ribbon.

That's my husband the flower designer and marriage maintainer: funky and unique.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I luv yoe more.

Twenty seven years ago today it was snowing like crazy. I remember this because it was our wedding day - the day when we vowed to love each other till death while we slipped bands of gold on our fingers. Wearing a ring doesn't make one any more married than not wearing one. However it is our accepted cultural symbol of matrimonial commitment.

On our 7th anniversary I got a second band made to fit the other side of the engagement ring.

After I had been wearing my wedding rings for 19 years they began to wear down a bit. I decided to have them soldered together to prevent the wear.

After being soldered, I could no longer wear them for more than a couple of hours or my finger got all raw and sore.

"I'm allergic to the metal they solder with, " was my reasoning.

But the fact is, they solder with gold. The self-same gold the rings are made of. The real reason for the raw finger was that the three bands together were quite wide and they fit significantly tighter than they did 40 pounds earlier on my wedding day and moisture would get trapped under them. Within a year I tucked them into a drawer and quit wearing them altogether.

Sometime around our 20th anniversary I was contemplating the verses in Exodus 21. That's where it talks about the slave being set free from his master, but if he chose of his own free will to remain with the master he would have his ear pierced to show his willing allegiance. And with that thought in mind, I took my virgin ear lobes to the jewelers and got two holes punched in my right lobe.

My reasoning: I am an adult. I live in a free country. I could leave this marriage if I choose. (Knowing full well I'd be a fool to do so.) But I chose to rema
in faithful and true to my original vow.

And my husband, accommodating as always, said, "If those holes are for wedding rings, then they'd better be diamonds and gold." And with that went off an bought me beautiful diamond earrings. He did an equally good job doing this as he had choosing my original finger rings.

And I have worn those earrings for 7 years as a symbol of my love and faithfulness to this man whom I love.

I'm not sure what prompted me, but on a whim a couple of weeks ago I dropped my rings off at Ken's Goldsmithing to have them resized. After 8 years it's fairly evident that I have no intention of losing any weight. As a last minute instruction to the jewe
ler I said, "Oh, and put bigger diamonds in them too." So he did.

Happy Anniversary Alb. I luv yoe.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Porpoise floors and Pepper walls.

I am loving the new little dining room space that the addition on our house has provided. However it has a plywood floor. It's not that I can't afford flooring if I wanted it, but I just can't decide. The lino in the kitchen is full of potholes and marks and really needs to be changed. I'd love to put tile through the entire area, but....

I have a vision for the kitchen. This will include moving the cupboards around and relocating the bathroom door so its not right off the kitchen. Ok, I don't plan to move the cupboards, they will be replaced. Eventually. I know and accept that it's in the 10-year plan, but I just can't bring myself to replace the flooring then have to redo it in in just a few years.

I don't know the science of genes, but somehow my sister Connie and I, although coming from the same gene pool, are nothing alike when it comes to renos and decor. She'd just as soon change the flooring and paint the walls than wash them. I however, will do a room, and chances are you could come back next decade and check it out.

But I decided enough was enough, the least I could do is throw down a bucket of floor paint. So that was my project for today.

First a coat of primer:

"Porpoise" is the colour I chose. It's a lighter shade of the "Ground Pepper" that's on the walls. Then I figured, what the heck - I might as well roll it up the ugly old ivory door while I'm at it, before the trim gets put on:

Hmmm. I wonder if floor paint will fill in the potholes of linoleum:

It does a pretty good job. However this creates a fairly large expanse of plain glossy porpoise-grey. So I must get creative. In the aisles of Home Depot I find Rust-oleum Epoxy Shield Decorative Colour Chips. This is a product intended to spice up concrete floors. I assume it will work for plywood as well. This little box is 13 bucks and when I open it, I discover it's basically just little broken bits of paint chips. Ah well, I think it will accomplish what I need. One box is more than enough for the kitchen and dining room.
All-in-all, I think it's gonna be okay. Of course it's still wet and I haven't had a chance to walk on it to see if these little flecks of paint chips are going to cause slivers in bare feet in the middle of the night. Or if it will all sweep off the first time I haul out the broom or mop. It's actually quite camoflage-ish, I may not have to use a broom and mop.

I paint like my mother. I am pretty much covered from head to toe by the time I finish the floor. I took pictures of my hands and legs (I was wearing shorts) I uploaded them and realized the hair on my legs is about 2 and half inches long. Delete. Delete. Delete.

Basically my legs looked like my hands:

Leaving myself a nice little path to the washroom, I hauled my exhausted body to my computer to blog while I wait for it to dry. I decide I deserve a glass of wine. Thankfully I left a full bottle sitting on the counter, instead of in the other room beyond 12 feet of wet paint, where it's normally kept.

Standing on my unpainted path I can just reach the bottle. Crap! The cork screw is in that drawer to the far left! My path is too far from the counter for me to hike myself up onto the counter so I can crawl across to the drawer.

Neither did I think to make myself a plate of nachos. I guess if I renoed more often I'd think of these things.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Behold what manner of ugliness lies beneath my bra.

I bought a new bra for 120 bucks. This was actually a little less than I was expecting to pay. I should have splurged long before now. At the very least I should have taken my old one off to wash it and clean the scum that builds up underneath in the creases and crevices. I had occasionally lifted the edge and sprayed some water in there, but that really did very little to clean things. But alas, I must confess my bra had been on day and night for eight years. Yup, eight years.

It's hard to believe I've had my Little Black Jet that long. Truly I still think of it as my new car, even though I've never owned a vehicle this long. Even Barney the ol' purple dinosaur truck was only in our possession for 7 years.

I'm not sure why I happily spend $120 on a bra for my car, which I anticipate will be with me for no more than 15 years max, yet I begrudge the D sisters anything over $19.99. These sisters whom I am counting on remaining with me the rest of my life.

I know the sisters have caused me a little grief recently, but perhaps it's just their way of saying, "Hey, we're here. Remember us?"

I'm thinkin' maybe I'll splurge. Get frivolous. Live on the wild side. Maybe I'll visit Top 'n Bottoms and see if I can spend another hundred bucks and get something more aptly suited to the D sisters, who are actually now more like C-and-a-half/D fraternal twins who don't look alike.

While I may be willing to spend equal money on my two bras, I probably won't go so far as to make them both black leather.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Grannyhood is nearly upon me.

There are less than 6 weeks until Baby X is due to arrive. I spent the last two Saturdays attending prenatal classes with Jade and Ken. People have been giving birth for thousands of years. You'd think the process would have remained the same, but they've totally changed things.

When I was the pregnant mother, we called prenatal classes "breathing classes" cuz that was the main focus of the sessions - how to breath correctly and survive the process. This time, in eight hours of classes we spent about 7 minutes talking about breathing. Now they say just breath in through your nose and out through your mouth in whatever way feels natural or right at the time. Well, with me coaching, Jade will be deep-cleansing-breath-puh-puh-puuuuuhing because that's what will feel natural to me - even after all these years.

We toured the hospital. Yes, things have changed. The birthing rooms are huge, have personal use phones, tvs, birthing balls, private showers and jetted bathtubs and all manner of things at your disposal. Every mother gets a private room in which she has baby 24 hrs a day, the rooms have double beds as well as hospital beds and plenty of play room for any siblings and visitors. So its sort of like getting a day or two of practice before going home. Unlike the days of old when 4 women were crammed in the same room, separated by a curtain, and babies were only in momma's care for a few hours a day. We stayed in these shared quarters for 4 or 5 days, listening to strangers snore and depending on nurses to be caregivers then went home to face reality. So change can be good.

It's time to take stock of the accumulating pile of goodies at Granny's house.

Jade keeps saying, "I still have to get...."

And invariably my reply is, "I think I already got one."

And so I have dug through all the closets and rounded up all the gender-neutral items. I'll keep anything definitely boy/girlish until we know the sex. There is quite a pile - but really it's not as bad as it looks. Ok, it's bad. They definitely don't need anything newborn.

For 15 bucks, I got this great little vibrating musical bouncy seat that will stay here at Granny's house. That's one thing - I may be a quantity accumulator, but I'm a bargain finder. (usually)

I dug out Baby Kenny's sweater and shawl that he wore home from the hospital and washed it up with Ivory Snow. They smell so yummy.

I try not to be a controlling mother-in-law, but I am assuming Baby X will come home in the same outfit as daddy did.
But no pressure to conform to Granny's wishes.

Monday, January 12, 2009

1 minute 52 seconds of American National Anthem to wow you.

I don't have a lot of musical talent, but occasionally I can recognize it in others.
The two on the right are six years old. The centre two are seven and the girl on the left is 8.

Ding Dong! Momma calling...

Jed has settled into his basement suite. He has We Care Home Services come each week day morning for a couple of hours to help organize his day and ensure the basic home operations get done somewhat regularly.

He has 3 or 4 regular workers who come in. As to be expected, he has a better rapport with some than others. One he was quite rude to. He had no explanation for this, said he didn't dislike her. He just ignored her while she was here. We have this kind of all worked out now, but for a while, he just didn't get out of bed when she rang the doorbell. I would have to go and unlock the door and let her in. For most other workers, he'd be up and usually showered before they got here.

He doesn't use an alarm clock very well. He either gets up waaay too early, or forgets to set it. So even though he "lives in his own place," it is still up to me to ensure he gets up on time for the workers, for church, for his job at the SPCA etc.

Of course, being the rather lazy person that I am, I didn't care too much for walking all the way downstairs to knock on his door, so I took to stomping on the kitchen floor. Besides injuring my foot, I always felt like I was probably waking Albert up as well. Not a good idea when you live with a shift worker.

Then I came up with the perfect plan. I got a wireless door bell. Jed mounted the chime box on his bedroom wall and I have the dinger button. I don't have this mounted anywhere. It usually sits on my desk. But sometimes when I know I want to sleep in I place it on my night stand. In the morning I just reach over and press the button - usually twice, about 5 seconds apart, and voila! I have silently and effortlessly awakened my son.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I'm still sick. And tired. I cough all night so I'm not sleeping. I haven't gone grocery shopping since well before Christmas and my cupboards reflect it. I keep putting it off cuz I don't feel like fighting a cart through the compact snowy parking lots.

I thought I'd drag Alb along with me after work today. I waited for about and hour and a half for him to return home, before Jed informed me he was at a meeting. Knowing there is very little for lunches tomorrow, I figured I'd better trudge off on my own, despite my lack of enthusiasm for such an adventure.

The parking lot was far more full than I expected for a Sunday at 5:30. I got inside the store only to realize there were no carts inside. This should have only been be a minor irritation, but it totally pissed me off, so I left.

Knowing there was not much for supper, I drove through McDonalds to grab a burger on my way home. (Ok, it wasn't exactly on my way - but it was near the liquor store I decided to deke into to get a bottle of red wine.)

So I sit here eating my Mcburger, drinking a glass of wine and contemplating what we will eat for lunches and supper tomorrow. Nothing comes to mind. So instead I'll have another glass of wine and then I won't care whether or not we eat tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

It tastes awful.

I have been sick for a week. At one point I thought I was going to cough up a lung.

I rang in New Year's with a mug of Neo Citron. Well, I didn't exactly ring in the new year. It was more like I was sound asleep in my recliner while Alb watched the recorded World Junior's hockey game. The neighbour's fireworks went off at midnight and I cocked one eye open and said, "Ah, I can go to bed now."

I knew yesterday that I was probably on the mend when I started getting bored and wondering just what my Buckley's face looked like. Of course one cannot see their own Buckley's face in a mirror because, like sneezing, it is impossible to keep ones eyes open. So, out came the camera.

Then I remembered a commercial I had seen about a contest for the awfulest face. I tried to enter, but it was closed. Darn. I think I woulda won.

Four Top Entries:

Saturday, January 3, 2009

For everything else there's Mastercard.

About once or twice a year Jed treats the family to take out. A couple of months ago he ordered pizza from Panago. It was his first experience at paying at the door with his bank card. The hand held machine asked him if he wanted to pay a tip. Since only he and the driver were at the door, he asked the driver what he should do. The driver, thankfully not taking full advantage of the situation, told him just to add 2 dollars.

I don't know what he pressed, but the tip came to 26 cents.

We all kind of chuckled about this and I thought I should stop off at Panago the next day and leave the nice guy a tip - however I never did. Ah, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Brandi and Kore were up over the Christmas holidays and one evening were going out to dinner with friends. Jed was feeling left out and decided he'd walk to Boston Pizza to treat himself to his own dinner out.

Glad for a nice quiet evening of steak and hockey with my husband, I handed over Jed's bank card. (For obvious reasons, I am generally the guardian of the plastic)

A couple of hours later Jed returned and proudly showed me his receipt:

Thai Chicken Bites: $8.95
Sirloin Steak: $19.25
3 Beer (yes THREE): $15.85
Chocolate Addiction Dessert: $6.95
Knowing how to leave a $20 tip: priceless.

Total bill $71.73

Consider Yourself Reminded.

Ten years. It's been 10 years today since I was branded with that title that no-one ever wants to wear. That is until you receive it. ...