Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thursday Thirteen : thirteen things I have neglected

For the past few weeks I fell behind in blogging. I have no real "excuse" but my mom was here and we were very busy doing things other than sitting at the computer.

Since she has been gone I don't know what my problem has been but I have been completed sapped of energy and I feel as though I am barely functioning. All the things I am responsible to get done have fallen to the wayside and I am only managing to get home, eat supper, bath with my boy and go to bed.

Here are thirteen things I have neglected to do since my mom left.

1. Homework. You may think "Julie never does homework" and you would be SOMEWHAT correct... but I have been doing more lately, just not enough as I need to be doing.

2. Playing with Max.

3. Working on pulling down the old barn/house we started working on when my mom was here.

4. Evening dishes. I was getting into a fairly good habit of doing the dishes at night before my mom came. When my mom was here she did a LOT of dishes and I just got right out of the habit of doing them. I am struggling to get back into the habit.

5. Cleaning up in general. I like to think I was being MORE helpful around the house. I am pretty certain my spousal unit would say I have a LONG way to go in this area - especially these last few weeks.

6. Reading. I am falling behind in my 888 challenge

7. Watching tv - really folks, I should be watching WAY more tv than I am.

8. Sleeping. All I want to do is crawl into bed the minute I walk in the door from work. In fact, I don't want to wait to get home from work to go to bed, more accurately, in the middle of the afternoon, at work, I want to go to bed. I am not sleeping near as much as my brain is screaming for.

9. Playing video games. With everything else I am not doing, the priority for this falls WAY WAY off.

10. Yard work. We now have our OWN (insert comment here about 30 yr mortgage) HUGE yard and there are projects galore to work on. I am falling behind on all of them. I could actually write thirteen YARD projects I am neglecting but maybe I will save that for next week.

11. Pruning. It's true. I haven't pruned since my mom left. I do still think about pruning - a lot.

12. Attending "PD" opportunities at work. This month is the month for all the "PD" opportunities at work. You have to sign up for them in advance and I did, then when it was time to actually go, I bagged out of two of them because I just didn't want to go and deal with people. I will say that BOTH times I had a legitimate reason to say I wasn't going, but neither time was it anything that couldn't have waited. Today I FORCED myself to go to something I signed up for. I have another one tomorrow and I will make myself do that too, but I am not feeling in the mood for them.

13. I was going to say sex, just to make this post more exciting, but instead I will say...... I am neglecting.... eating. True story. Don't think I have completely stopped all eating. I don't need an intervention or anything and I haven't gone bulemic. Making myself throw up would make me puke. I am just feeling "full". Unfortunately I am not losing any weight.


This morning I took Max to the babysitters. We have decided that he needs to get some interaction with other kids and so for two mornings a week he will go to a babysitter.
We went last night and met her and some of the kids and Max checked out the place. He is a shy kid and it took a while for him to warm up and leave the protective area of his mother's knees, but he did venture out before we left.
He was very excited to go for a ride in tinkey winkey this morning. He is so long his feet reach the dashboard and he can use his one foot to open the window. He can also reach the door knob - which I discovered as we were driving down the dirt road and the door flew open. Note to self - lock the door! The window can stay open because I am not pulling over continuously to shut it.
He wasn't too excited to be left this morning and I have been thinking about him ever since. I know it was his first time and I HOPE he gets more excited to be there. I do NOT like leaving him when he doesn't want to be left. It was hard to walk away, I kept thinking, "This IS for his benefit". This parenting thing can be a real kick in the teeth some days.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Ten on Tuesday: Ten Favorite Time Wasters

This week at Ten on Tuesday (you can link to it here), the theme is 10 favorite time wasters.
Here are mine in no particular order:
Believe it or not this challenge was an interesting one for me. I am very time conscious and so regardless of what I am doing I will check the time to see how long I have been at it. I am a good procrastinator, but I am very conscious of time.

1. Blogging. I thoroughly enjoy blogging and I take every opportunity I can to get on and update my blog. I also check out other blogs which I am interested in and I'm always disappointed when others have not updated their blogs. I am a lurker though, so when I visit other blogs I never comment - or rarely comment. My spouse comments on others blogs and they in turn visit her. She gets a lot more hits on her blog in one day than I think I have ever had in the time I have been writing.
2. Picking. I would have to say that this is my worst habit, my biggest compulsion and something I should quit altogether. I have done it as long as I can remember (my earliest recollection of someone telling me to quit doing it was when I was about 8 or 9). This is the one thing I can do and become completely oblivious to the time passing and literally hours will have gone by. I wonder if I kept track of the time I spend picking what it would add up to in a week.
3. Pruning. This year is the first year that I have had trees, tools and time to prune to my hearts content. When my mom was here she was stoking the fire and I was up on a ladder in the tree outside the kitchen window. I just think "one more, one more". I could literally prune for hours on end without even giving it a second thought. I don't really know if this counts as a time waster because it is actually time being productive.
4. Logic Puzzles. Love them. Don't spend as much time on them as I would like.
5. Making Lists. I will even make a list of things I have done already, just so I can check them all off.
6.Games on peggle, mahjong, zuma ... if I have a minute, I'm playing. I particularly like to win badges. If you are interested in knowing, I currently have 191 badges. That's better than a picture of the queen and didn't just happen overnight.
7. Looking at houses. I have never really been one for shopping. I like to go in, get what I want and leave. I am not a good browser and I dislike going from one store to another to check out the different prices and then go back to the place I found the cheapest item. Houses on the other hand are a completely different matter. I like to look at the ads for houses posted in the windows of the real estate agents. I like to visit houses. My spouse and I used to do this all the time (before we bought our house) and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a bit more difficult and less enjoyable to do toting a toddler around. I still check out the MLS website and I frequently visit to look at bed and breakfasts for sale. I also like all shows on the home and garden channel or the bbc when they show people house hunting.
8. Channel surfing.
9. Facebook, youtube, other internet sites I have actually found people on facebook whom I lost contact with over the years and whom I AM interested in keeping up to date with. I spend a bit too much time taking pointless quizzes - like which soccer player I am, or which superhero, though I have resisted (so far) knowing what my porn name would be.
10. Video Games. I haven't played many games recently but I have now hooked up the PS2 so I plan on wasting some time on games in the near future.

Fivers Meme

Courtesy of Fond of Snape

What were you doing five years ago?
Five years ago this month I had just left a job I totally loved and my spouse and pets to move countries.

What are five things on your to-do list for today?
1. Cover a shift at work for a sick staff member
2. Fill up a gas can so we can continue mowing the expansive lawn at home
3. Read more articles for class
4. Start working on a handout for my class presentation
5. Order a new treadmill for the rec center and some new furniture

What are five snacks you enjoy?
1. Hoops
2. Peanut M and M's
3. Chewy Spree (unavailable in Canada)
4. Vege's and dip
5. Plain Lays Chips and Onion Dip

What five things would you do if you were a billionaire?
1. Pay off the mortgage
2. Go on an Rfamily Cruise - travel in general
3. Go back to school full time with my spouse
4. Spend some money on close family and close friends
5. Ensure my parents and my spouses parents are set up to retire and RELAX

What are five of your bad habits?
1. Procrastinating
2. Picking
3. Not paying attention
4. Being overly critical
5. Not picking up after myself

What are five places you have lived?
1. Sydney, N.S.
2. Saskatoon, SK
3. Bellingham, WA
4. Provo, UT
5. Gweru, Zimbabwe

What are five jobs you’ve had?
1. Gift shop cashier
2. Dishwasher
3. Carnie
4. Babysitter
5. Tim Hortons Baker

What five people do you want to tag?
Sadly, I don't know five other bloggers, so anyone who wants to can replicate this - just please leave me a message so I know to come check it out.

Monday, May 26, 2008

unconscious mutterings

Referral :: medical
Indiana :: Hoosiers
Foil :: in the windows
Horizon :: Far away
Event :: Planner
Sailing :: Ships
Footage :: News
Sunday :: Brunch at Natalie's
Breathtaking :: View
Dude! :: Where's my car?

Friday, May 23, 2008

20 months old

Dear Max,

You are twenty months old already, the time seems to be flying by so quickly. You have had a very busy month this past month. We took a LONG car ride to visit your uncle and aunt and cousins and you travelled more marvellously than we could have hoped for.

You played so well with your cousins and recalling your laughter as you played with the puppy still brings a smile to my face.

You are such a hard worker, you pick up any (every) garden or cleaning implement you encounter and get right to work.

Your granny came with us to the house for two weeks and you are old enough on this visit to interact with her (the last time you saw her you were only a few months old and you weren't doing much other than crying at that time) . You formed a wonderful bond with her and it was great to see you just run up to her and hug her legs or play peekaboo with her while she was talking on the phone. Why is it that grannie's have such an amazing connection with their grandbabies? She pushed you in the wheelbarrow, played "clap hands" with you, and introduced you to dishwashing. When she traced your hands and feet for a cart to Aunty T. you couldn't get enough of it and kept lifting your feet for her to do more. We played at the playground with you, had ice-cream at the park and went for walks. You loved every minute of it and since she left we have to repeatedly show you that her room is empty because for some reason you are convinced that she is just hiding out!

You are still learning things at lightening speed - everything except speaking that is - and when we went on our trip to the airport when granny left, you learned to drink through a straw in less than a minute (should I be surprised?)

Now that the summer is arriving, your bedroom is getting warm and you are sleeping in just a pajama top and a diaper. We were contemplating putting a ceiling fan in your room but we are worried that you won't get a wink of sleep. You are so obsessed with fans that you will likely stay awake all night just to look at it. I don't know how we are going to manage the heat of the summer in the house because we haven't figured out a way to have you in the same room as a fan without driving us crazy wanting to turn it on and off (which I am certain would keep you entertained for hours) or pointing at it as if we have not noticed it yet.

Your schedule has just been a mess with all the travelling we have undertaken this last month. Last night you were so tired you could not stand up, but you were determined that it was not time for you to be in your crib. I sat with you in the rocking chair and you "tickled" my neck and I tickled you back. These moments of laughter are precious to me.
I love you buddy,



I enjoy eating beef sticks and I occasionally buy them when I am filling my tank of gas.

A few weeks ago I indulged myself , and picked up a beeef stick to enjoy on the way home from work. As I bit into it I had a strange sensation in my mouth - like my tongue was covered with wax or something. So I investigated. This is what I found.

Now I have become obsessed. I think I have a touch of obsessive personality anyway, but squeezing these beef sticks is addicting. It is SO gross to see the solid masses of fat ooze orange from the end of the stick, how can I resist?!

My mom's visit

For the past two weeks I have had the pleasure of having my mom staying with us. She and my dad live in another country (a far away country) and we do not get many opportunities to spend time with them. This year we were able to have my mom come to stay with us for two weeks and we had a VERY productive time, big fires, good food, and lots of singing and laughs. She left this week and I miss her already. I know it will be a long time before I see her again. I am grateful for the time we had together.

friday fill in

1. On my laziest day I like to wear pajamas all day, read and watch tv in bed!
2. Checking things off a list makes me feel like I'm being productive.
3. I love little puppy noises and big dog loyalty.
4. This summer I want to make significant improvements in our new yard.
5. Interest in blogging made me start my blog.
6. Red and yellow and pink and green, purple and orange and blue. I can sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow too.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to completing my first class presentation, tomorrow my plans include going to class, picking up a pizza and watching UFC and Sunday, I want to enjoy the sunshine and get outside!

You can link to Friday Fill in here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

unconscious mutterings

Concentration :: game
Relocated :: moving boxes
Clot :: Blood
Joints :: arthritis
Satellite :: imagery
Money back :: false advertising
Kittens :: too many
Shady :: Slim
Drain :: plugged
Stroke:: engine

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Fill In's

1. There is absolutely NO way you can get me to donate blood!
2. Early sunrise reminds me that summer is almost here!
3. I cannot live without my sleep.
4. Scuba diving and parasailing are two things I'd like to try.
5. When life hands you lemons be grateful you aren't paying for them.
6. I have many favorite childhood memories, I couldn't just limit it to one.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to getting off early so I can go home and hang with my mom, tomorrow my plans include more yardwork and Sunday, I want to enjoy the pig roast we have been invited to!

888 challenge update

1 Measure of a Man. Sidney Poitier
2. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Barbara Kingsolver
3. A Long Way Gone. Ishmael Beah
4. Spycatcher. Peter Wright
5. The Places in Between. Rory Stewart (completed January 19th 2008)
6. Infidel. Ayaan hirsi Ali
7. Glass Castle.
8. Fish:

Young Adult Fiction
1. The Canning Season. Polly Horvath (completed May 19th 2008)
2. Godless. Pete Hautman (completed May 26 2008)
3. Autobiography of my Dead Brother. Walter Dean Myers (completed May 27 2008)
4. The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Brian Selznick (completed May 27 2008)
5. The Burn Journals. Brent Runyon (completed April 26 2008)

Pulitzer Prize Winners
1. Middlesex. Jeffrey Eugenides (Completed January 21st 2008)
2. Gilead. Marilynne Robinson (Completed January 13th 2008)

From the NYT Bestseller list. (I don't want to limit myself to books that have already been written. There might be some good ones published this year)
1. Bleeding Kansas. Sarah Paretsky. #15 January 13 2008

Banned or "challenged" books
1. Go Ask Alice
2. The Lorax. Dr. Seuss (Completed April 24 2008)
3. The Well of Lonliness
4. Steal This Book. Abbie Hofmann

Books already on my Bookshelf
1. Gordon Korman. Island: Book one "Shipwreck" (completed February 1 2008)
2. Gordon Korman. Island: Book two "Survival" (completed February 1 2008)
3. Gordon Korman. Island: Book Three "Escape" (completed February 1 2008)
4. Christine Falls. Benjamin Black (Completed May 25 2008)

Books based on or in Africa
1.Miracle at Speedy Motors. Alexander McCall Smith (completed May 15 2008)

Books I will check out from the library completed this section May 2008
1. Saturday. Ian McEwan (completed January 27 2007)
2. Eat, Pray, Love. Elizabeth Gilbert (completed February 16 2008)
3. The Translator: A Tribesman's Memoir of Darfur. Daoud Hari (completed February 18 2008)4. Biting the Moon. Martha Grimes (completed March 25 2008)
5. The Calling. Inger Ash Wolfe (completed March 29 2008)
6. Written in Bone. Simon Beckett (completed March 31 2008)
7. 19 Minutes. Jodi Picoult (Completed April 21 2008)
8. The Darkest night of the Year. Dean Koontz (completed May 7 2008)

Thursday, May 15, 2008


How much fun can one wheelbarrow provide?
I have always wanted a wheelbarrow and it seems we never lived in a location that was conducive to owning one. When we lived in the USA we lived in a yard that was so small a wheelbarrow would have filled the entire yard. I'm only slightly exaggerating.
When we bought our little acreage and moved in last year the previous owners left a wheelbarrow and I was EXCITED about it.
We busted it out this spring and have been using it. Earlier this week I plunked my boy into it to give him a ride around the yard. Initially he was not so excited and for his first trip I pushed and he held hands with his other mommy and with his attie (grandma). Since that first trip he has been addicted and wants to be pushed constantly. To illustrate the kind of control he exerts on the adults in his life, yesterday me, my mom and my spouse took turns wheeling him around. This makes it a "little" difficult to use the barrow for what it was intended, because his little body is always in it.
After he went to bed the three adults headed out to the demo pile to keep working on our project. We are taking apart the old building that was bulldozed and then left in a pile of wood, metal and junk on the edge of our property. In addition to being an eyesore, I didn't want the little guy becoming interested in the pile and hurting himself on it so it was on my list of summer projects to remove. My mom decided to help with this project and has single handed removed at least half of it in the time she has spent with us. We make piles of wood and then wheel them over (when we can use the wheelbarrow) over to the firepit where we burn the wood. We are making piles of the other parts and pieces for trips to the dump.
Last night on the way over to the site, I wheeled my spouse. On the way back to the house I pushed my mom and then she pushed me. It was hilarious and we need to do it again when we have the camera.
I would highly recommend everyone get a wheelbarrow, not only for the practical uses, but also for the hours of entertainment they can provide.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

6 words

I was tagged by by friend and fellow blogger (you can find her here).
The challenge is to come up with 6 words to describe myself. "Write your own six word memoir" is the actual challenge.
This is not so easy, I have been thinking about it ( for a while and I hope she doesn't think I am completely ignoring her.
I WILL post something soon.....

freedom to drive

I have to give a hip hip and hooray for the fact that my spouse got her drivers license YESTERDAY!

This may seem like a very small and insignificant thing to some of you, but if you are an immigrant to a new country you may be able to appreciate some of the hardships of getting all the legal paperwork you need to be a "functioning" adult in your new country.

We have been here in Canada now for 4.5 years. We love Canada. We are grateful Canada recognizes us as a legitimate family. Having said all of those very nice things about Canada, the immigration process is a nightmare and the process of getting any legal paperwork is equally a nightmare. Adding fuel to the fire, when we left the USA my spouses drivers license had just expired. She went and got a new one and had the temporary one and we were waiting for the new one to come in the mail, only we left before it arrived. This left us in somewhat of a quandry - being without photo id in our new location. She was unable to get a new license here until she had her landed immigrant card and that took the better part of four years. When her landed immigrant card arrived we let out a whoop and headed straight for registry to get her DL. Well of course her temporary license doesn't count as a legitimate one. So we have to get something sent from the USA.

Let me just express two SMALL parts of the frustration of dealing with Canadian and US authorities at the same time for the same problem.

Number 1: The USA has an authority called a "notary public". A notary public is an officer who can administer oaths, witness and authenticate documents, and perform certain other acts. This person in the USA has a notary public stamp which evidences that they have witnessed the signature or whatever it is that you need witnessed. In Canada, notary publics do NOT have these stamps. So when the US wants something notarized, in Canada you cannot perform what it is that they require...... short translation = PROBLEM.

Number 2: Canadians and Americans date things differently. Depending on where you are from, 05/11/08 could be either May 11th or November 5th. This caused us a problem when my spouse had to be out of the country for re-entry and according the USA (who issued the paperwork) they meant November and according to Canada (where we had to "enter") the date in May had already passed. Wouldn't it be so simple to just WRITE the first the letters of the month on all paperwork? Anyway, I digress.

We have been going back and forth to registries, to notaries, to post offices and all over the place and yesterday we FINALLY got the new CANADIAN driver's license. It took over an hour and at some point we had worked with all three ladies who work in the registries. Once, they even said we didn't have all that we needed and were going to turn us away, but I think they took pity on us and our VERY LARGE stack of documentation and we got what we went in for (not without paying of course!)

I need to give a shout out to my spouse who has gone too too long without being able to drive. It is an incredible sacrifice to be "trapped" without a car - especially in a place where it is impossible to live without driving LONG distances. Congratulations my love.

Monday, May 12, 2008

the three m's

Mom, Max and Me

888 challenge update

This week I completed one of the 8 categories for my 888 challenge. I finished reading 8 books which I checked out from the library.
I am slightly concerned that I will not be able to finish this challenge when I look at all I need to complete for school which started again this past weekend. I have an AMAZING amount to read for this class in addition to some major assignments, class presentations and preparing for an exam.
The last book I read from the library was a Dean Koontz book. I am sure - because he is a prolific author - that there are people who really like his books. I am not one of those people. Especially after reading this last book I will not ever read another of his books.
I think one of my personality quirks - which I had a hard time coming up with for an earlier blog challenge - is that I find it hard once I begin a book to not finish it, even if the book is not one I enjoy.
I started to read this book by Dean Koontz (The Darkest Night of the Year) and I had an instant dislike which did not diminish through the entire book. I WISH I could just put down these books which I hate, but instead I trudge through them and because I don't like them they take me AGES to read. I thought I was getting better at this - I started to read "The Known World" for the Pulitzer project I am also participating in, but after getting stuck in it not once, but twice, I put it down and determined not to try to read it again - at least for a while.
So I thought I had overcome this little "issue" I have with not being able to quit reading, even when I hate the book. Then I started this book by Dean Koontz and found in fact that I have NOT overcome my issues. I read the whole thing. I hated it, but I have now completed ONE of my categories, so I have something to be happy about.

this week

It is amazing to me how quickly the last week has flown by. We travelled over 6 hours to pick up my mom from my brothers house. She is only with us for two weeks and one week is almost over already.
We were dreading the trip because Max has never been a good traveller, not since the day he was born, and this was going to be the longet trip we had undertaken with him. As it happens, he was EXCELLENT in the vehicle and it was a great trip.
Once we were there we drove a LOT to do some shopping and take advantage of being in a location where we had access to stores and to IKEA!! (WOO HOO for IKEA!)
Staying with my brother and his wife and kids in their new house was a delight as always. Max loved his cousins and followed them everywhere. My brother also has a fairly young puppy who Max was captivated by - I found this very interesting since we have three dogs. I guess none of them is exactly the same age and personality as my brothers dog, but they played and he laughed and they played and he laughed and it was a lot of fun to watch the interaction.
On the way home we made some stops along the way. One of the places we stopped at was a bird sanctuary which my spousal unit has had on her list of places to go for quite some time now. I think we were a touch too early in the season to fully enjoy all they have to offer and I am certain we will make a return trip at some point.
We have taken a load of pictures which I need to upload, and now that I am back home and back at work I will try to blog some more.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

unconscious mutterings

  1. State :: of the union address
  2. Lively :: spunky
  3. Valet ::parking
  4. Traction ::immobile
  5. Official ::inquiry
  6. Red hot ::poker
  7. Powder ::keg and giving off sparks
  8. Replies ::sarcastic
  9. Flagrant ::foul
  10. Tweet:: tweety and Sylvester

Friday Fill In

1. The Colonel had an extra secret ingredient; an addictive chemical in his chicken that makes ya crave it fortnightly, smartass!

2. Light comes through my window almost 24 hours a day now.

3. Right now, I need caffeine and sugar.

4. In my backyard around a very large fire with my mom and spouse is where I went Thursday night; it was fantastic.

5. Why does pain hurt so much?

6. All I can think of is the pizza bagel in my lunchbag.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to finishing a book, tomorrow my plans include going to class and Sunday, I want to enjoy mothers day with my mother!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Friday fill ins

1. Two of my favorite ingredients in a drink are caffeine and sugar!
2. My dreams often amaze me.
3. You can keep doing that forever, the dog is ignoring you.
4. Add water, mix it all together and voila! You have mud puddles.
5. If I had a yard with a garden, I would love to grow silver bells, and cockle shells and pretty maids all in a row.
6. Sex is best au naturel.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to finishing with shots for the dogs tomorrow my plans include cleaning the van for a road trip and Sunday, I want to see my mom!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about lovesmukiwa

The challenge this week was to pick a letter of the alphabet and see if you could define yourself using thirteen words starting with thiis letter.
I have decided to use the letter "V" to challenge myself a bit
1. visile
2. viraginous
3. viaggiatory
4. versute
5. verbile
6. veracious
7. varietist
8. vafrous
9. I am phobic of anything : venous
10. There are times in my life I have felt : vulnerose
11. I have recently been told I am: vitriolic
12. verbose
13. I'd like to think I am : verecund

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!