Showing posts from January, 2011

It's never just that easy

We finished emptying all the stuff from the spare room and Alb took a hammer to the closet.

What started as a simply-knock-out-a-closet-wall-throw-on-some-paint-replace-the-carpet little mini renovation has turned into a "oh-it-won't-be-THAT-much-to-remove-the-pressboard-walls-insulate-drywall-replace-the-window-add-some-plug-ins-then-replace-the-flooring" job. Significantly more labour intensive for Alb. Significantly more money juggling for me.

It will be nice to get it done. We should be taking pictures to send to BC Assessment so show them the real value of our house. The 2 inch paperbacked insulation is lovely. The interior wall that backs onto the bathroom has a window framed into it - indicating the back half of our house is actually an addition. There was no drywall in the room, the walls were made of a patchwork of pieces of thin pressboard with many many layers of paint (the paint probably provided as much insulating properties as the actual insulation) One of…

Just in case.....

what if I decide to contine my marathon of blogging? ............    I might.

so I enter a non-impressive post just to keep up appearances.

The End.

Today is January 29, the final day of the blog-a-thon. I have already blogged more than half the number of times I did all year last year - don't know if I'm supposed to feel good about that, or bad that I only had 54 entries in 2010.
I still have six weeks left in my writing course, so that should keep me in the swing of things for a while yet, so you probably haven't seen the last of me.
While this final entry will probably be in the running for boring blog of the year, I do have to share this with you. 
The end of January also brings with it the early registration deadline for Relay for Life. As you probably know, The Pink Panters are the most fun loving relay team on the track. We take the fight against cancer seriously, however we make the weekend fun! If you think you'd like to be an official part of the team, c'mon out and REGISTER HERE - you pay a $10 registration fee, which includes a t-shirt. After February 1st the registration fee is $15. As an official me…

FFF - Flash Fiction Friday

I've completely avoided this weeks fiction prompt until this morning when I realized my day is pretty jam-packed and I really don't have time to fritter away at the keyboard today. The prompt is He poured the jar of change out onto his bed.
This is what you get:
He poured the jar of change out onto his bed. One, two, three... twenty six, twenty seven, twenty seven -twenty five, twenty seven-fifty ... everyone always counts the largest values first, it’s only natural he thought. It’s the same in life, he supposed, when one is challenged to count their blessings. He quickly assembled a mental list, I’m healthy, I live in a nice house, I ride a decent enough bike, I love my iPhone. Those are like the loonies- easy to pull out of the jar, quick to count. But what about the penny blessings – the ones that rarely get counted. Things like dad and mom still loving each other after 22 years, a teacher who is a great encourager, a home that reflects the love of God, vision and the sense of…

Chocolate, Charcoal and Lime .... mmm mmm m

Well, now that the whole fam-damily is crying, let's move on shall we.
We got the closet organizer put in the walk-in closet in the ensuite, so I think we can pretty much say it is officially finished. Phew.
And so on to the next project....
We are going to do a quick makeover in the upstairs spare bedroom. The room desparately needs new drywall - it currently has some sort of pressboard walls that have been painted approximately 32 times. I'm gonna make it 33.
We will pull out the closet to make it a little roomier and I'll set up a closet organizer that will house books, puzzles, games and toys and perhaps a few clothes for the wee one who hangs out here. (I picked up an extra organizer from Costco - 69 bucks if you need one and they are quite flexible in how you can assemble them 66-160 inches.)
I'm gonna get rid of the double bed in there and put in a futon or sofa bed. Of course the carpet will go to the dump and laminate or lino will go in. There'll be a flat s…

The Cycle of Life

Ok, in an effort to avoid doing anything more constructive today, I have finished my funeral piece. But I would like your opinion before I hand it in - I want to lop off the final sentence but I'm not sure if that makes it sound unfinished or perhaps the nice abrupt halt is what it needs.

PS - it's "creative" non-fiction, I may have taken poetic licence with a few details to make it flow. (Poetic licence can also be another term for "memory loss do to aging.")

The Cycle of Life

As far as I could recollect, it was my first time inside a funeral home. It was certainly my first time as a main character in a service. There were two or three groups of two or three people standing around talking in hushed tones. The lighting was dim, which helped to camouflage the aging carpet, though bits of light glinted through the stained glass windows creating kaleidoscopes of colour on the backs of the wooden pews. The atmosphere hung heavy, smelling like old wood and stale…

Red Jello

AAaaaagh! I just realized it's after 11pm and I have not blogged. It's not that I haven't written, I feel like I've been writing all day. I am so loving my writing course. A lot of it is writing personal vignettes and essays - often I take an old blog entry and turn it into a bigger story.

So thank God for the blog - it's giving me a leg up on the other students. And thank God the students hail from around the world and I'll never meet any of them, so I can't be called out on the real facts.

Today our task was to choose a setting that has personal meaning from a given list and really bring the surroundings into focus before launching into our story. 

"Red Jello. Jello needs time to set before we can eat it otherwise it ends up a liquid mess of ruby rain dribbling down our chins. While our stories don't "set" like Jello per say, they do need a solid setting to orient us, to lay the foundation for the rest of the writing so we can eat it u…


***Note to self: don't try to summerize 29 years of marriage after "cheers-ing" it for a couple of hours.

From Boston Pizza to Boston Pizza

Our first date: Boston Pizza November 20, 1980. Our most recent date: Boston Pizza January 23, 2011.

Things have definitely changed over the years. From Sombrero pizza and coke to lasagna, ribs and wine. Cheers to 29 years!

I'm learning "stream of conscientiousness" in my writing class - just writing whatever pops into your head and flowing with it. I'm gonna run through our life together - it'll be meaningless to most, but memory sparking to Alb and I who celebrate our 29th anniversary today. Oh, for sure there are things I'd do differently if given the chance, but much I wouldn't change if I could. Everything happens for a reason and works together for good to make us who we are.

boston pizza vancouver silver bullet teacher licence plate back porch after eleven laundry basket salmon valley rodeo song black van willie nelson teeny tiny steering wheel turtles sombrero pizza share a bucket seat burl ives paradise park sauna magazines amaretto kaluha past…

Say it like it is.

We got a snowblower last year. It was still brand new this year. Now, I'm not complaining that we "had to have it" last year and it didn't get used, because as I recollect, everytime I drove on the driveway it was cleared of snow, so what do I care if it was hand shovelled or snowblowed.

This year has turned out to be a very good year to own a snowblower. And Jed loves operating it. He pushed it down to Ken's one day to do his driveway. Jed suggested to his dad that he start going over to clean the driveway for one of our neighbours across the street - his wife passed away about 4 1/2 years ago  he seems to have slowed down in the last couple of years.

Jed can be kind hearted and thoughtful at times, however I suspect this had more to do with wanting to be able to use the snowblower more often. His dad agreed it would be a good idea.

The next day Jed sees the neighbour getting out of his vehicle so he ran over and flagged him down.

"Uh, yeah. Your health s…

FFF - Flash Fiction Friday

This week's prompt: She stared at her reflection in the silver spoon

She stared at her reflection in the silver spoon. Tears ran down her face as she was hit with the impact of what her reflection portrayed.

Why does a spoon turn you upside down, anyway, she wondered.

But at that moment, that’s exactly how she felt. Upside down.

Just the day before, she was sitting there at her kitchen table with a friend, drinking coffee, laughing, and expressing how much she was enjoying her new part time position at the daycare.

She would never have imagined that two successive phone calls the next morning would turn her world upside down.

Her husband called to say he was being transferred to Toronto in three months time. They always knew it was a possibility and they’d talked about the what-ifs and ways it would change their lives. They dreamed of all the exciting things the big city would offer, but in her heart she really hoped it would never happen. But now it had.

Suddenly the dreams…

Puzz-ohs and snow.

Nine Xanderish hours today. Whew! Granny is exhausted. I was thinking I'd pour myself a glass of wine and go lay on my bed and watch TV for a bit. However, I figured I'd better blog first or before you know it, it'll be January 21 and the marathon will come to a screeching halt. You know me - Alb has always said I'm like a doll with moving eyes, lay it down and the eyes are closed before it's even completely horizontal.

We awoke to another huge dump of snow this morning. It's getting out of hand. Jade wasn't even sure she'd make it to work today. But alas she did, so I had the wee one from 9AM to 6PM.

Xander walked in the back door this morning and didn't even stop long enough to take off his boots and snowsuit. He bee-lined for his puzzles which he hadn't seen for three days.

"Puzz-ohs! Puzz-ohs!"

   He sat and assembled and disassembled and reassembled his 3 puzzles for over an hour. I was bored watching him so I tried to p…

Criminal Justice.

Waldo, Matrix and Jose were arrested in Florida this week. It wasn't the first time the young men had been in trouble with the law and I'm fairly certain it won't be the last.

Break and enter was the charge.

The young men happened to catch a news flash of the woman, whose home they invaded, pleading with the the public for the criminals to return the the container that contained the ashes of her father and two recently euthanized Great Danes.  She didn't care about the electronics, cash and jewelry they had also gotten away with that day.

Oh how I wish I could have been a fly on the wall to see the looks on the faces of Waldo, Matrix and Jose when they realized the "cocaine" they just snorted was in fact Grandpa followed by a hit of canine remains.

Day 19

Here we are at day 19 in the blog-a-thon. Are ya still with me? 

One thing's for sure, I'm learning that I'm not a fiction writer. I already dread Flash Fiction Fridays - but I will persevere. Guess I'm just not a liar at heart; I can't make stuff up. Oh, gimme a good piece of action and I can exaggerate it til it's nearly unrecognizable, but make it up from scratch - even with a prompt- not so simple for me.

I guess that's why I am enjoying my new writing class "Creative non-fiction and the personal essay."

Creative Non-Fiction. Now there's an oxymoron for you.

Oh. And one more thing....

"Hi Liana. It's Dallas Thompson, general manager for the PG Cougars. I'd like to talk to you about your son being a part of the team."

No, it wasn't a dream. Dallas Thompson, WHL General Manager, phoned me today and is now one of my iPhone contacts.

Jed has been a Cougars season ticket holder for the last couple of years. Earlier in the year he was looking on their website and discovered you can order game worn jerseys from many of the players. Most range from $250-$500. But of course he wants a Brett Connolly jersey. Drafted 6th overall by Tampa Bay in last year's NHL draft, his jerseys start at a mere $1500. Momma laughed. So Jed emailed Brandi Brodsky. (Owner's daughter and Vice President of the team)

He was hoping for a game worn jersey. Even a signed hockey stick. Heck at one point he asked if he could have a broken stick. Anything. Please just give me something so I can show my mom that I have my own resources.

Actually, I'm not real sure how…

Snow Daze

8:15AM Sunday morning.

“Constable Denmark, please respond to a callout at Central Fellowship Baptist Church. Oh, and don’t forget to shower and put on clean clothes.” I make Jed’s morning wake-up call on the 2-way radio before I’ve had coffee or looked out the window.

I make coffee and plunk down in front of Facebook to see what’s going on in the world this early Sunday morning. Everyone’s status makes some reference to snow. I look out the window and from all appearances, we no longer have a driveway or a sidewalk.

There is no way the Granny mobile, with it’s wide, low-profile hot rod tires is gonna make it to the street much less to church. I regret now making the wake up call. It’s clearly going to be an in day.

I’m supposed to be at work by noon. Albert took the truck to work for what I suspect will be his last dayshift at Canfor* – meaning from this day forward I will have the truck for back up transportation. (Next year I’ll get winter tires instead of investing in things li…

Kiss at 3:04

Taking Face Painting to a whole new level.

FFF - Flash Fiction Friday

Today's prompt: She was up the creek without a paddle - literally!

She suspected she was pregnant that hot summer day. But it didn’t stop her when a group of friends, including her boyfriend, suggested they head out to the river to go tubing. The shallow river rippled over the rocks splashing cool refreshing water over the dozens of tubers who were out in full force that day taking advantage of the remaining lazy days of summer. The river wound around in a large C formation, making the hike back to the top of the 3km float just a short jaunt. “One more run?” someone suggested. Everyone agreed. It was too nice a day to not take advantage of it. They hardly got started rolling the large inner tubes up the road towards the starting point when a carload of friends came along and began a bit of an impromptu party. Those in the car drinking beer while joking with the tubers who stood in the middle of the road, bare feet next to hot pavement, thankful for the water dripping from soaked cu…

Well Excu-use Me!

At 22 months old, Xander loves to play outside. We bundle up and walk across the back deck towards the stairs on our way to play in the freshly fallen snow.
"I think the stairs are very slippery. Do you want Granny to pack you down the stairs?"
"O-tay Granny," his reply, as he turns his innocent little chubby cheeks towards me and holds his mitted hands in the air.
He hugs me tight as I try to balance him in one arm and hold onto the railing and descend the stairs. I feel his love and trust and it warms my heart on this chilly morning.
"It's bumpy Granny. Bum-py!" Well actually I said slippery, but I choose not to argue.
"Yes monkey, it is," I agree.
We reach the bottom of the stairs and I set him on the ground. Xander immediately drops to all fours and begins crawling away from me.
"No no Xander. It's not that slippery. You can walk here on the snow - just the stairs are slippery."
I swear I actually got an eyeball roll from the…

Wake Up Your Muse

I think the reason I've found it a little more difficult to stay consistant with my blog is that Facebook has sort of taken over the world of communication. It's so easy to update your FB status and let the world know what's going on. And it can be as simple as one sentence. Or even one word. Or it can be a mini essay.

I won't get started ranting about people who air their personal crap on their facebook status. Sometimes its a regular Jerry Springer show out there in FB land.

But it's not all bad. It's nice for a young mom to be able to post a minor frustration with her wee ones and get support and encouragement from all manner of people. It's great to hear little accomplishments and even to get far away weather reports. Truth be told, I've heard far more wedding and baby announcements on Facebook in the past couple of years than by any other means.

Sometimes you make a comment and it takes off like wildfire.

Take for example someone, say like me, p…

I have crossed the threshold.

Today, January 11, 2011 I have crossed the threshold. I fear there is no return.

I tried digging in my heels, grasping for the doorposts and even closing my eyes. But there is no stopping the march of time. I am old.

For a few months I have been carrying a pair of reading glasses in my purse. Another pair lay on my desk and yet another on my night table. For the most part I have managed to contain my glasses wearing to iPhone use only.

Tonight I was at homegroup for the first time after a month break over Christmas/New Years. My bible shrunk in the cold weather it seems. And out came the glasses from my purse.

At one point I went to the kitchen to pour myself a cup of coffee. Upon return I plunked back down on the sofa and realized I must have sat on my glasses. I stood and looked. I dug around in the cushions. I checked the floor. I checked my bible bag. Looked in my pockets. Opened my purse. Obviously I had left them in the kitchen. I leaned forward to hike my butt off the couch …

A Dozen Reruns

Blogger's block bites. I've sat here for an hour and nothin' is coming to me. Of course I haven't just sat and stared at a blank blog screen, I've sorta sidetracked into Facebook and read some stuff people from my writing class posted today. None of it was all that motivating.

I only have 45 minutes with which to squeak in a posting today, so here's what I'm gonna do: I'll link to what I feel are a dozen or so of my favourite blog posts over the past four and a half years. Can you believe it's been four and a half years since you started stalking me!

In no particular order:

Specifically Chosen Random Facts

Who Wants to Know My PIN?

Here's To You Mom!

I Am Not Afraid of Spiders

What a Hoot!

Run Forest Run

Shawn and James, I Love You

Yeah, We're Cutting Offspring

Mature Content. It Only Seems Immature

Whose Idea Was It Anyway

Drive Through Banking

Free Continental Breakfast on Sunday

Analyzing the lecture.

With the introduction of .05 blood alcohol laws, I thought it would be a good idea to have a breathalyzer at home. It's interesting to see how varying factors can affect your results - how much you weigh, how much have you recently eaten, how quickly you drink etc. So while 2 drinks might not put you over today, it might tomorrow.

We've had fun with the gadget - taking a mouthful of wine and immediately blowing into it to see how high of a number you can register, threatening it's use when someone is acting stupid, etc.

We were watching the Canuck hockey game last night with Jim and Barb. As usual, we recorded it to the PVR and were watching it time-delayed. Jed was out at the PG Cougars live game and got home when we were just heading into the 2nd period, although in real time the game was over by then.

This is always a dangerous scene because Jed usually will hear the Canuck score while he is out. And he loves to talk. The simple fact that he likes to talk makes it irr…

Freaky Living

***WARNING*** Lame blog post alert. I've had a busy day and am currently sitting between a funeral and a hockey game. But I had to post something to keep on track with my 2011 blog-a-thon.

Everyone has been asking why I haven't yet posted pics of my new spectacular ensuite. I don't have an answer. So here they are:

While the trim is not on in these photos, it is in fact finished. The only thing left to do is put the closet organizer and shelving in the walk-in closet.
 My new bathtub is fabulously deep and has built in arm rests and is super comfy. It's been a couple of years since I've had a bubble bath - my old tub in the main bath is so creepy I can't bring myself to sit my bare butt on the surface of it. Also we have a lovely little 2-person hot tub sitting ready to be plunged into at any moment.

While I may not be willing to plunk my naked butt on my old bathtub bottom, I had no problem parading around the neighbourhood and plunking it in a snowbank last nigh…

FFF - Flash Fiction Friday

Ok, it's Friday. Time for "Flash Fiction."
This is where you start with a prompt and you write a micro-story in 150-400 words. I reined it in at 399 words, the prompt was "He frequented Jerry's Java Hut, but not for the coffee."

He frequented Jerry’s Java Hut, but not for the coffee. The dimly lit little out-of-the-way internet cafe was within walking distance of home and he rarely encountered anyone he knew. It was the only way Max could keep regular contact with Sofia without his wife of 12 years finding out. They shared a computer at home and Sandra was the one who usually brought the mail in and paid the bills. Communicating with Sofia from home was just too risky. Things had become routine and dull at home in recent years. They’d come to terms with the fact they could never have children and life just carried on. Days lead to weeks and weeks to years. They just existed and he couldn’t stand it any longer. He needed more excitement in his life. He wante…

My name is Albert

"My name is Albert!" I said with a slightly elevated voice.

For some reason the off-shore customer service rep didn't believe me when I phoned to cancel our Bell TV account for which my husband is the primary account holder.

"We have already established you are not Mr Albert," was his reply.
"I neither gave you a different name, nor said my name was not Albert. Please cancel my account."

He was probably never so glad to fulfill a request as when I asked him to spell his name, give me his employee number and put me through to his supervisor. At least he could get off the phone with me.

I understand they can't have just any average Joe phoning and cancelling or ordering services on people's accounts. But for crying out loud, I am the only one who ever calls about these things. I was the one who ordered the service in the first place! They email the bills to me. The online version of the account is in my name only and gives me access to every b…

Write in Front of Me

One of the writing exercises for my new class is to "Write in front of me." Describe what I currently see. Here it is:

Write in front of me My desk is black. Big and black; six feet high and eight feet wide. My neat and orderly husband built it for me 5 years ago knowing full well it would be a haven for clutter. And it is. In front of me I see my keyboard, the mouse I never use and my Wacom Intuos pen and tablet. The pen has a few teeth marks in it that line up suspiciously in the same formation as the teeth in my mouth. Sometimes it’s easier to clamp it between your teeth rather than set it down when working includes both keyboard and pen. My Canon Rebel camera sits off to the left with its wide neck strap tangled around the cordless phone sitting upright in its charger. Trying to use either one would probably send both crashing to the floor. The zoom lens is off to the right. The beautiful red Jill E designer camera bag sits empty on the floor by my feet. Well, not exactly b…

Locked up tighter than Ft Knox

(Okay, I don't even know what Ft Knox is, but I heard it's locked up tight.)

Yesterday was my first "official day of unemployment" even though with New Year's in there I haven't worked since last Wednesday. Though I'm looking forward to lots of pj days I want to get something accomplished during this time off. Besides 30 consecutive days of blogging that is.

While I was googling writing topics the other day I came across the site and was entrigued by a couple of their online writing classes. It was about midnight January 2nd. Class started 11AM January 3rd. No time to make rational decisions. Cha-ching! They took my Visa and I'm in!

All this writing talk and time on my hands got me itching to peck away a little at my book, which I have not even looked at since October 2009 when I went in for surgery. I was working on it quite regularly before my surgery and found sometimes I'd write at my desktop computer but more often I'd lay i…


I love seasonal decorating. When the kids were young I would try to keep the bithday banners and streamers intact from Brandi's birthday in June until the boys birthday in August. I know most of you probably pinned this down to sheer laziness, or perhaps frugality, but the truth is I like the festive sorta look. Especially in the dull dreary winter months where darkness outnumbers daylight hours 3 to 1.

To my way of thinking, outdoor Christmas lights should be manditory on every home from October 1st until March 31st, and when I am queen, I shall make such a decree. Not tacky Santa and Disney stuff, but nice, pretty lights that brighten the doldrums of winter.

But alas, I am not queen and there is no such decree. And as such, the first week of January, I cave to societal pressures and pack up my holly and pointsettias and box up Mary and Jesus for another year.

For some reason it always seems awkward to place the ceramic figures of the holy family and their entourage into their mo…

Gung Ho!

I want to write. Really I do. And I shall.

Every so often on Facebook someone will start a running picture commentary of their life They'll have an album called "30 days of Me" or "365 snippets of the life of So-and-so" or whatever.

Some have a set list of subject matter for each day (Day One: Post a pic of someone you love. Day Two: Post a pic of something you've lost. etc etc)  Other albums are just a pile of randoms, usually taken with a cellphone, of daily life of the person (Here's me putting on mascara. Here's me flipping the bird to a crazy driver. Here's a funny sign I saw today. etc etc)

I don't know if I've ever witnessed anyone finishing one of these projects of exhibitionism, so I don't know why I've made the decision to take one on, but I have. With a twist. Mine shall be words. And mine shall be posted here.

I decided a few days ago (however I'm careful not to call it a New Year's Resolution. I hate New Y…

A Newfoundland New Year!

We still haven't gotten to finish the Newfoundland portion of our cross-Canada trip. However, this New Year's Eve, Xander and I pretended.

PaPa was working night shift and I had no plans for the evening so I offered to have a sleep over with Xander so his parents can host a party for some friends.

I prepared for the evening by buying new glow-in-the-dark PJ's for X, I picked up some new books for 99cents from Value Village (we've read and reread all his books so many times, I was ready for a change, even though Xander still loves them) I got some fun flavours of ice cream as well as sprinkles and mini cones.

Xander arrived about 5 o'clock when PaPa was heading off to work. The first game Granny established the rules for was that we were having a Newfoundland New Years. This meant that 5PM Pacific is 9:30 NFLD time - two and a half hours till ringing in the new year.

We played "puppies". This is where Xander is the only one in the world who is able to …