Monday, June 30, 2008

Trav's Staying out of the Dungeon Trivia Meme

I was tagged by Byrningbunny to participate in Trav’s Staying Out Of The Dungeon Trivia Meme.

1. Choose a category from one of these: Television, Stage & Screen, Nightly News, Publishing, Lives & Times, Music.
2. Find 8 bits of trivia about your selected category
3. Be sure to let me know when…ok, if…you decide to play along so I can see what you come up with.
4. You may tag, or simply offer the meme for borrowing or stealing as you like.

My selected category is "nightly news"

Bush seeks sanctions against Zimbabwe was the headline on the world news on MSNBC on June 28th.

Here are 8 bits of trivia about this headline.

1. Robert Mugabe was just sworn in as president for his sixth consecutive term in Zimbabwe.

2. Although George Bush said ""We will press for strong action by the United Nations, including an arms embargo on Zimbabwe and travel ban on regime officials," in a statement issued while he spent the weekend at Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland, no sanctions have yet been imposed and Mugabe travelled to the African Summit in Egypt following the elections.

3. Robert Mugabe ran unopposed in the election after his opponent Tsvangirai pulled out of the election because of violence in which he said nearly 90 of his followers were killed.

4. Tsvangirai won the first round of elections on March 29 but fell short of the majority needed for outright victory. Mugabe refused to recognise his victory.

5. Zimbabweans are fleeing the country to escape the violence there, only to face more violence in South Africa. The South African Department of Home Affairs, responsible for repatriating illegal immigrants, has tried to crack down on the influx of illegal Zimbabweans entering the country. The South African Home Affairs Department threatened to deport all illegal Zimbabwean farm workers from the northern region of South Africa in an attempt to create more jobs for South Africans. (check out more here)

6. Inflation in Zimbabwe rose at a rate of 165, 000% in February. The Zimbabwean dollar has depreciated to such an extent that US$1 now buys an average Z$1-billion. Traders quoted the currency as selling for as much as Z$1.45-billion against the US dollar on June 6th, a jaw-dropping Z$700-million higher than at the start of the week. The currency traded at equal value to the U. S. dollar in 1983.

7. The government-set price for a loaf of bread is Z$22,000, less than 10 pence, and people can spend hours waiting to buy the one or two packets they are allowed. The photos of stores above show the difference between stores where "regular" Zimbabweans shop (left) , and stores where government officials shop (right).
8. Even with the inclusion of other allowances like transport and housing, state-registered nurses are earning less than ZD $550,000 (US $2,200) per month. Read more here.

Will 6 words suffice?

I have been trying to work on this for a while, ever since I was tagged in May.
It wasn't so easy for me to do, but here's the six words I have come up with that "sum" me up... and I didn't put them in a sentence.

Laughing, learning, singing, sleeping, changing, committed.

Basically, the idea is to sum yourself up in six words or less, post it, and then tag someone else:
Write your own six word memoir.
Post it on your blog.
Link to the person that tagged you in your post, and to this original post if possible.
Tag five more blogs with links.

Unfortunately I don't really know five more bloggers, my blogging world is a small one that consists of ....oh yeah, me, my spouse, and my friend ranavan who tagged me for this one so I can't really tag her back.

Not working out as I had envisioned

Image hosted @

A photo collage, and it isnt working how it should because it needs to be BIG on the page, so you don't have to click on it, oh well, I never professed to be bloggerific.

I stole this tag from, behindkyanitesdoor

INSTRUCTIONS:1. Type your answer to each question below, into Flickr Search.
2. Using only the first page of results, pick one image.
3. Copy & paste each of the URLs for the images into Big Huge Lab’s Mosaic Maker to create a mosaic of the picture answers.

1. What is your real christian/first name?
2. What is your favourite food - right now?
3. What school did you go to?
4. What is your favourite colour?
5. Who is your latest celebrity crush?
6. What is your favourite drink?
7. What is your dream vacation destination?
8. What is your favourite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. What is one word that describes you now?
12. What is your Flickr/Blog name?

I am tagging byrningbunny and ranavan, they have both tagged me for something and I still owe them BOTH a response. I am not a slacker, just a deep thinker!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Unconscious mutterings

  1. Loneliness :: Well of Loneliness
  2. Traffic :: Traffic lights
  3. Chaos :: Theory
  4. Burp :: Baby
  5. 500 :: Miles
  6. Movie :: Theater
  7. Coma :: Death
  8. Bark :: Tree
  9. Stare :: Blink
  10. Angelina :: Sex

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Fill In's

1. Birthdays are a ball.
2. Summer is my favorite season because it's hot.
3.I feel my best when I have had a good night's sleep, someone else cooks a meal and I have videos to watch and books to read.
4.Carbs are my favorite food!
5. First impressions are always right.
6. The best piece of advice I ever received was "when someone tells you who they are, believe them".
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to getting off work early, tomorrow my plans include working in the yard and Sunday, I want to watch the euro 2008 final.

You can check out Friday Fill-in's here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Yesterday my Spousal Unit and I both went to the dentist.
I have TERRIBLE teeth which I inherited, and I wish I could blame my dad, but he inherited them also and also suffers terribly, so I won't.

My teeth crumble in my mouth if I happen to breathe wrong. That may sound like an exaggeration, but remember, I live in a place where the temperature can dip below -40 Celsius in the wintertime and I HAVE had my teeth crack by opening my mouth in such weather.

We called to get an appointment with the dentist and we were told that there was nothing available until October. We made the appointments in October and then asked if we could be placed on the "short" list or "cancellation" list because we both had toothaches. A few days after we made our appointments, we got a call saying the dentist could fit us in on the 23rd, yesterday. So we went.

As always, for me, the experience was straight from where Satan dwells. The freezing NEVER takes and while my muscles are frozen from eyeball to bunghole, the nerves in my teeth are fully functional and the second the drill is turned on my nerve reacts - after all the needles poked in my face to "freeze" me, somehow the nerves in my mouth are on edge and I can feel the vibration of the needle from 3 feet away. I am in complete agony, tears streaming out of my frozen eye, down my frozen cheek, and under the dental dam which is jamming my mouth open with the aid of the door stopper shoved half way down my throat so the dentist can rest his arm on my lower lip. (my lip by the way has been turned inside out by the dental dam and completely dried out by the plastic.) Unfortunately I can't communicate any of my pain to the dentist because my entire body is frozen in the chair.

As it happens, the procedure was only able to be partially completed and so I have to go back for more agony. Tonight I looked at the bill. I was charged for the x-rays. I was charged for the "pre-emptive" phase to the preparation of the root canal system for obturation, AND I was charged for an "EMERGENCY" exam. I'm sorry. I took a LOT of freezing into my body, but my BRAIN is not frozen. An "EMERGENCY" examination? Last I knew, the word meant "a sudden, urgent, usually unexpected occurrence or occasion requiring immediate action" (thanks

There was nothing sudden, urgent, or unexpected about this visit that took SIX weeks to happen. Granted we had our names put on the short list, but should that short list be renamed the "bend over and take it up the A@# list?"

Now, I know that I have GREAT dental insurance, which I happen to pay a LOT of money for, and my insurance pays 80% of my bill, but seriously now. Emergency services charge? Something is wrong with this picture.

bike riding

You push, I'll walk.
How do I fall for that EVERY time?


We have cut his hair before but he has never been to a barber.
It wasn't a huge success but he looks a LOT better, not so shabby around the ears.
I hope it will be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

888 update

1. What Now? Anne Patchett (completed June 11 2008)
2. The Lost Children of Wilder. Nina Bernstein (completed June 30 2008)
Measure of a Man. Sidney Poitier
3. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Barbara Kingsolver
4. A Long Way Gone. Ishmael Beah
5. Spycatcher. Peter Wright
6. The Places in Between. Rory Stewart (completed January 19th 2008)
7. Infidel. Ayaan hirsi Ali (completed July 2 2008)
8. Glass Castle.

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)
6. Sold. Patricia McCormick (completed June 23 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.The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. John Boyne Completed June 28 2008
2.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 completed this section June 2008
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)
5. The Target. Gerri Hill (completed May 31 2008)
6. One Child. Torey Hayden (completed June 1 2008)
7. How to be a Canadian. Will Ferguson (completed June 4 2008)
8. Coyote Sky. Gerri Hill (completed June 5 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)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

ten on tuesday: ten inventions that have made life easier

I've been pretty consistent with posting my ten on tuesday. Last week the topic was ten favorite moments in your countries history. I hit a wall with it because although I am a Canadian citizen and I have lived in Canada now for most of my life, I still battle with the idea of "home" and where my home is. I feel pretty strongly about Zimbabwe being my home and to be honest there's not too much in Zimbabwean history that I feel particularly proud of. So I skipped the posting last week.

This weeks topic: Ten inventions that have made life easier.

1. Microwave. Before we had microwaves I had no way to pop my microwave popcorn. Those little packets just sat up in my kitchen cupboard and took up space until the microwave came along.
2. Email. Now that my family is spread over continents, it sure makes life a lot easier to email.
3. Cup holders. I had to clean up a lot of spilled pop in my vehicle in the days before cup holders. Oh, right - Tinkey winkey still doesn't have cup holders. My life WOULD be easier if I had cup holders. Shoot, even lawnmowers have cup holders these days.
4. PVR. Oh how I love my poor mans Tivo. Not having to go through mega VHS tapes and then fast forward and rewind and lose crap. Oh, I don't miss the days of sitting through television commercials.
5. Push Button Phones. Man, trying to call in to radio shows and be the ninth caller when all we had was a rotary phone totally sucked. I NEVER won anything.
6. Television remote controls. Being a channel surfer this is very important to me and has made my life a LOT easier. In addition to the strain it has taken off my back from bending over to turn theknob, My eyes ae feeling a lot better since I am not straining to see what's on the screen with my face plastered up against it. Also, it would be hard to get through the 500 channels I pay for if I had to turn the dial constantly.
7. Watches. Which reminds me... I need to get my watch fixed. Why do I have so much trouble with watches?
8. Tampons. I won't say any more than that - are tampons considered an invention?
9. Digital cameras.
10. Laughing gas. I have dentist appointment in less than seven hours. I have no idea why I am awake right now, but considering that I am about to get a root canal, the invention or discovery of laughing gas is about to make my life a LOT easier. I hope it is available to me.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Three Beautiful Things

1. When I wake up my son in the morning on Monday's, the first thing he does is snuggle into me. He is so NOT snuggly by nature that I love these snatches of time when he wants to be close to me.
2. Driving with him today he reached out and wanted to hold my hand. It is not easy driving a stick shift and holding his hand, but believe me, I made it happen. My apologies to anyone driving behind me.
3. Finishing class assignments.

Unconscious mutterings

I say … and you think … ?

1. Goodbye :: Yellow Brick Road
2. Cage :: Nicholas Cage
3. Buddy :: My spouse's favorite cat
4. Magic words :: Sleep in
5. Library :: BOOKS
6. Fall in love :: Suddenly - song by Soraya
7. Tense :: muscles
8. Work! :: hours
9. Empty :: Mind
10. Heat wave :: Desert

LunaNina hosts Unconscious Muttering for us each week. She says: “Rules are, there are no rules.” There are no right or wrong answers. Don’t limit yourself to one word responses; just say everything that pops into your head. So join the fun.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Seven plus 2 layer

Name: Hoolia
Birth date: I'm a Scorpio
Birthplace: Gwelo, Rhodesia, now Gweru Zimbabwe
Current Location: Northern Alberta
Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: not as naturally blonde as I used to be
Height: 5'9 and a smooge
Righty or Lefty: Righty
Zodiac Sign: Scorpio

Your heritage: English, Afrikaans, Irish
The shoes you wore today: Crocs, comfy but ugly as sin
Your weakness: I have no upper body strength
Your fears: Losing a loved one
Your perfect pizza: From Ogden Pizzeria in Ogden Utah
Goal you'd like to achieve: Getting a PhD

Your most overused phrase. "Seriously..."
Your first waking thoughts: I wish Zuva would not LICK me to wake me up
Your best physical feature: Probably my hands?
Your most cherished memory: I am lucky to have a lot of good memories. one great one is probably time I spent in England with Gran Ennis

Pepsi or Coke: Dr. Pepper
McDonald's or Burger King: McDonalds
Single or group dates: single
Adidas or Nike: Adidas
Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: Lipton Iced tea - raspberry
Chocolate or vanilla: Vanilla
Cappuccino or coffee: coffee

Cuss: lots
Sing: constantly
Take a shower everyday: not always
Do you think you've been in love: I am
Want to go to college: I want to get my PhD so unless there's another way...
Liked high school: I liked parts of it.
Want to get married: I am
Believe in yourself:for the most part
Get motion sickness: LOTS
Think you're attractive: not so much.
Think you're a health freak: Goodness gracious no
Get along with your parent(s): yes
Like thunderstorms: Love em!.--
Play an instrument: not now, but I have taken lessons - many lessons - and much bribery from my parents

LAYER SIX: In the past month...--
Drank alcohol: no
Done a drug: not anything illegal
Made Out: nope
Gone on a date: we did go to a movie in a theater, which is more than we usually get to do
Gone to the mall?: we went when my mom was here to get drinks at orange julius
Eaten an entire box of Oreos?:no
Eaten sushi: never
Been on stage: not in the last month
Been dumped: not in the last month
Gone skating: no
Made homemade cookies: I ate homemade cookies because my mom was here.
Gone skinny dipping: no
Dyed your hair: no but I need to right away and I'm thinking I need some freaky colour

LAYER SEVEN: Ever...--
Played a game that required removal of clothing: is sex a game?
If so, was it mixed company: no
Been trashed or extremely intoxicated: no
Been caught "doing something": We were busted by a homeless man once. It was probably the thrill of his life.
Been called a tease: I don't think so
Gotten beaten up: yes, at work
Shoplifted: No
Changed who you were to fit in: yes - when we came from Africa I changed my accent to fit in at school. It wasn't real successful.

Age you hope to be married: I am married.
Numbers and Names of Children: 21 month old Maxie
Describe your Dream Wedding: Casual, backyard.
How do you want to die: In my sleep
Where you want to go to college:I would love to go to school in England.
What do you want to be when you grow up: A retiree
What country would you most like to visit: home

Number of drugs taken illegally: Nil
Number of people I could trust with my life: I don't know.
Number of CDs that I own: lots and lots
Number of piercings:6
Number of tattoos: three so far
Number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper?: I don't think it has.
Number of scars on my body: lots.
The one scar I am most proud of: I'm glad I have a scar from pruning and didn't lose the tip of my finger.
Number of things in my past that I regret: I have a few regrets but I don't sit around thinking about them long enough to enumerate them.

friday fill in

1. A smile is a beautiful thing - especially when it is my boy Max smiling and laughing.
2. Mancala is my one of my favorite board or card games.
3. I would love to have more evenings around the fire pit in my life and less mosquitoes.
4. When I think of the Summer Solstice, I think of our committment ceremony.
5. I just remembered I need to send my dad a birthday card.
6. One of my favorite song lyrics goes like this: I pick up the morning news, I pass the man who never shines my shoes. Through security and to the train, that will take me to the aeroplane....The more I go, the less I know, will the fire still burn on my return, keep the path lit on the only road I know. Honey, all I know to do is go. (Indigo girls).
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to playing on the swings with max, tomorrow my plans include grocery shopping and Sunday, I want to finish my assignments for class!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

21 months

Dear Max,

Today you are 21 months old. As you can see by this picture, we spare no expense to furnish you with every type of stimulating toy that money can buy. The truth is, we spare no expense furnishing you with every educational toy that money can buy and you STILL want mommies "toys"! I probably should have some up with something better to call them than "party favours" because that obviously piqued your interest - and it's probably one of my wiser decisions to keep a safe in our bedroom for my REAL toys. ( You don't want to know what that means I promise).

You are getting closer and closer to the dreaded terrible two's. I think you might be practicing some tantrum type things. I took you to playgroup this week and picked you up. You had played long and hard and I was told you had a great day. Apparently you had so much fun that when I put you in the truck to being you home you wanted no part of it. I am trying to convince myself that it had nothing to do with my driving, my company or my singing, but that you were just exhausted and needed to go to bed and that's why you screamed the whole way home and threw absolutely everything I tried to give you for entertainment onto the ground or out the window. At least this time you didn't get the door open (see I learn!)

Last week you were updated with your immunizations and we were worried that you would have a horrible reaction - like the last time - but you seemed to make it through ok. The kids in your playgroup are all really sick and we got a call to let us know in case you caught something. You have been a little under the weather, though certainly not as sick as any of the kids you play with and so we don't know if you are having immunization reactions, getting molars, caught a bug, or are just getting more irritable because it is that time of your life.

You are SO very convinced that you know EXACTLY what you want, when you want it, how you want it and who you would like to provide it that you keep us constantly guessing. For some reason this week you decided that from the instant I walked into the door until the instant you went to bed I was your closest and dearest friend. You mom could do nothing for you and you would run to me and bury your head in my lap. I of course loved every minute of it and even enjoyed rocking you BACK to sleep when you made demands when you woke after bedtime to repeat the reading, rocking, tickling regime one more time before you would let me out of the room without protest. The fact that you want to be held and want to look at a book and want to lay in my arms is like being given a special gift from you.

Anyway bud. It's late, you are actually sleeping now - even though this week has been one of very disrupted sleep patterns and I need to get to bed so I can watch some soccer on mute. (I do these things so as not to disturb you, but I can't wait until you will hang with me and watch the games and we can cheer together).

Tonight after you went to bed we put up the swing set in the yard. I can't WAIT to get home from work tomorrow and play with you.

I love you monster.


home: dugout

This afternoon I took a stroll with my two dogs and Nyx in tow. I wanted to go to the dugout and try to stake out a spot and wait for an opportunity to get a good picture of our resident bafflehead duck - Donald.
Unfortunately we don't have a good enough zoom lens and he manages to stay FAR FAR away from anyone who ventures too near.
Instead I found a frog and managed to snap this pic of him. I already have a pet frog - Hercules - but so far we haven't managed to spot any members of our outdoor frog chorus until today.

Three beautiful things

1. Sunny days
2. Having intelligent, thoughtful, SMART friends who are willing help with school assignments
3. EURO 2008 soccer games to watch EVERY day

Home: Tora (Thursday Thirteen)

Today I am going to give a shout out to our dog Tora.
A few years ago I left our home in Utah and returned to Canada. It was a traumatic time for us as a family caused by the lack of tolerance in the USA for gay couples. I had gone to school int he USA, met my partner and we had begun building a life together. Unfortunately we could not marry, nor could my spouse sponsor me to immigrate to the US and our lives were thrust into chaos when I was not permitted to extend my work permit.
I left the country in haste, experienced countless problems trying to enter Canada (even though I am a Canadian citizen) and my spouse, I am assuming in her grief, adopted a puppy.
1. 2. We lived in an urban area and there were many people around who bred dogs for fighting. We are fairly sure that Tora (her name means "adopted) was a puppy who was bred for this purpose and discarded when she was too timid.
3. She does not have the disposition to be a fighter and was abandoned as a stry to roam the streets with a pack of dogs. She was VERY social with the other dogs in the neighborhood and when Shel first took her in she would "escape" under the fence in our yard to tour with her friends.
4. At one time she was picked up by the dog catcher and taken to the pound and Shel got a call to go and get her. When Shel went to get her, she was so HAPPY to go home but I don't think that it stopped her roaming ways.
5. She contracted Parvo - maybe from being in the pound - and very nearly died. Shel nursed her back to health and held her for days on end. She made it, but she still thinks she is a lap dog, even though she is now over 90 pounds.
6. She has always had a nervous disposition. When I finally found a job and a place for us to live, I returned to Utah to pick up my family and we travelled to Canada in a U-haul with my spousal unit, Mukiwa and Tora in the cab. We had to go to the vets before leaving and get puppy valium so that Tora could travel with us. Muki LOVED travelling so it wasn't an issue with her, but Tora was a nervous wreck. This nervous disposition still affects her and she does NOT like loud voices. I happen to be "loud" (I think it's genetic) and I have really had to work on moderating my tone because she will hide in a corner quivering if she thinks someone is yelling - even if it is not directed at her.
7. She is generally terrified of adults - especially of males. When my parents came to stay with us, my dad tried to befriend her. My parents love animals and my dad is a very gentle soul. Tora would have nothing to do with him. He tried to coax her with treats and pigs ears. She would literally climb over the couch to get away from him. My brother, on the other hand, gets along with her famously.
8. Tora has never seen me as "leader of the pack". She will listen to my spousal unit but will not do anything at all that I ask her. I like to think I am the leader of my pack, but Tora reminds me constantly that I am not.
9. She is the most gentle, amazing dog with kids. We are foster parents and we have had numerous children in our home. Kids find in her the most comforting companion and they lay on her, ride on her back, pull her tail, and explore her nose and mouth with their fingers. Our son now uses her as a step stool to get up onto things he cannot reach on his own. She has never growled, snapped or flinched and just lets the kids snuggle into her. I have never known a more gentle dog.
10. She is a "mother" to the other pets. Our little man Helios looks for her to snuggle into at every opportunity. When we rescued Helios and Nyx they both nuzzled into her and tried to nurse on her. She does huff at them and gets up to move away but they just follow along to her next resting spot and lay with her again.
11. She LOVES to run. For a dog of her size and musculature one wouldn't think she would be a runner, but she loves to run more than any of our other dogs (except probably Muki).
12. Tora is the best mouser in the house. I think Shilo would have given her a run for the money, but she currently retains the record for mousing. If she and Helios teamed up our acreage would be mouse free but mostly they just fight over who gets to eat their catch.
13. I was not a huge fan of Tora when we first met. I thought she was dumb and she has such a strong bond to my SU and so little to me it was an issue. I still don't think she's the sharpest tool in the shed, but she is sweet, kind, mellow and a great all round pet --- also, she doesn't wander.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Three Beautiful things

My spousal unit has entires on her blog called three beautiful things. I tried and tried for a long time to get her to start blogging and I LOVE that she does. You can check out her blog here.
I have decided that I am going to add "three beautiful things" entires to my blog aswell. I am hoping it will help to bust me out of the small "funk" I am in.
Here are my three beautiful things for today.

1. Afternoon thunder showers.
2. Blooming Lilacs
3. Surprise phone calls in the afternoon from family.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

home: come so far

There are days I feel we have come so far.
We are on a pretty good schedule, Max is not NEARLY as sick as he was the first year of his life. Immunizations didn't set us back weeks. He's healthy, he's happy, and even though he refused to smile or cooperate in any way for family pictures we knew he was tired, hadn't eaten all day and had spent the previous 24 hours in a strangers house - where he did AMAZINGLY well sleeping overnight and taking an afternoon nap in spite of the dogs barking and other strange noises (including me falling down the stairs).
Today we had a good day at home, a good afternoon nap, ate "relatively" well, bathed and it came time for bed. We followed our nighttime ritual as always but we had changed some things in his room this afternoon. BIG MISTAKE.
We hung a mosquito net - for his benefit - and hung a thing we got from Ikea for his stuffed animals. Apparently the world has come to an end. We have been trying unsuccessfully for two hours now to get him settled. I finally took both new items down and removed them completely from his room. His obsession with order can completely overwhelm him and obviously tonight it was all too much.

unconscious mutterings

  1. Purchase :: Owe
  2. Squeaky clean :: Super Germ
  3. Blended :: Family
  4. Wednesday :: Boring
  5. Function ::Key
  6. Look down :: Look up
  7. July? :: Long weekend
  8. Raspberry :: Lipton Iced tea
  9. Assertive :: bitch
  10. Cracker :: Jack

Friday, June 13, 2008

June Currents

I picked this up from here.

June Currents:

Current mood: Morose.
Current movie: Unfortunately I haven't seen one recently that I LOVED.
Current TV Show: The Mole.
Current book: The Target by Gerri Hill
Current song: Stop and Stare by OneRepublic
Current album:
Current food: Corn on the Cob. Hot dogs cooked over a fire.
Current drink: Lemonade.
Current color: Brown - the color of dirt
Current Beauty Product: shampoo? I'm not a beauty product user.
Current celebrity crush: Cat Cora
Current Project: Cutting down falling trees and stacking wood.
Current need: Sleep
Current guilty pleasure(s):
Current annoyance: Mosquitoes
Current excitement: Finishing my class this weekend.
Current triumph:
Current anticipation: Going for our first ever family pictures.

Friday Fill in

Thanks to Janet for hosting Friday Fill in. You can check it out here.

1. Go on an Rfamily cruise is high up on my bucket list.

2. My favorite quote is "When someone tells you who they are, believe them"; it's from Maya Angelou.

3. Nothing really inspired me to start blogging.

4. Strawberries are best smothered in cream.

5. I was sitting in a high school math class in the last dream I remember having.

6. The most enjoyable time to go for a walk is when there are no mosquitoes.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to getting out of class, tomorrow my plans include getting our first set of family pictures EVER and Sunday, I want to nap!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

war quote

In his final televised Address to the Nation on January 16th 1971, President Dwight Eisenhower said:

"We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex... Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

Somehow I don't think there has been much "meshing" with peaceful methods and goals, but there certainly has been the acquisition of unwarranted influence.

home: chain saw

We own a chain saw. We actually purchased it a few weeks ago when my mom was here. We had a massive wind storm and the wind took down a tree in our yard and a few others are tipping over very precariously and need to come down before they fall on my SU as she mows.

So we have had it for a few weeks. I have read all the safety info, I have safety glasses and hearing protection but I don't have steel toe boots as recommended by the instruction manual.

Can someone please tell me why the instruction manual would have information about needing to wear steel toes boots while sawing, but no information about chain oil? It's a good things I am a hardware store nerd, because if I wasn't I would never have walked down the aisle with chainsaw oil and wondered if I needed it or not. I do.

Last night I mixed the oil and gas, put in the chain oil and headed out for my first foray with the saw. Damn those things are heavy! I do not consider myself a wimp or a lightweight, but I am going to need to take a lot of breaks as I saw up these trees into firewood and by the end of the summer I will be one buff broad. I need broader shoulders like I need a hole in the head.

According to the instructions you need to hold the chainsaw in your right hand and pull the cord with your left hand to start the engine. Seriously. The thing weighs more than my cats (that's a lot) and somehow it's a struggle for me to pull my left hand fast enough to get the engine to turn. I have to take my hat off to men. They are really skilled at pulling things with both hands.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


On the 30th of May the premier of Alberta and his cabinet made a decision to given themselves a 30 percent pay increase, adding between $42,000 and $54,000 to their salaries and making them the highest paid cabinet in the country. There was no corresponding increase in their job duties. One-third of the salary MLA's get is tax-free. Ministers will also now be paid separately for cabinet meetings, Treasury Board and policy committees. These roles were considered part of their duties - and salary - until now. (read more about it here) According to the premier the pay hike was needed to attract good talent to the positions in the future because "people between 25 to 45 years old told him there was no incentive to run for government if they had to abandon their pension and job security".

SHUT UP. Even BEFORE the pay increase he was drawing over 150 grand per year. What 25 year old is not attracted to that? I call B.S. - if it was to attract new people in the future then the increases should have been given AFTER this government was moving on. And since when was being in politics about being motivated by the money?

The premier of Alberta now draws a salary of $213,450. It should be illegal for sitting politicians to increase their OWN salaries.

a) increases should be decided for the NEXT group of elected officials, not for sitting officials who are making decisions in their own interest.
b) the people who voted these individuals into office should have a say in whether there is an increase or not
c) when the price of gas is skyrocketing and the cost of living is increasing at such a rate as to demand that individuals take second jobs, or have both spouses work, etc. etc. then NO increases in salary should be given to elected officials.

There are currently in the office where I work, four employees. The combined salary of all four of us is LESS than what the premier of Alberta makes.

So much for "serving the public".

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

ten on tuesday: ten things that annoy me about work

You can link to ten on Tuesday by clicking on the little logo above.
This week's topic is "ten things I hate about work".

For the most part I like work , then today I conducted sanitation inspections. We do these every three weeks throughout the year to make sure that minimum standards of cleanliness are maintained. Here are ten things I hate about sanitation inspections.

1. Walking into a filthy disgusting, SMELLY unit and knowing I just touched the doorknob and will have to do so again when I leave.
2. Toilets that are not flushed.
3. Dirty (by this I mean "DIRTY") underwear on the floor in plain sight.
4. People swearing at office staff because they failed inspection.
5. Did I mention walking into a filthy place and getting smegma on my hands?

People that come down after sanitation inspection to say that :

6) They didn't make any mess, all they do is sleep here, they don't even use anything in the house.
7) They don't drink in undesignated areas - even though there are alcohol bottles all over - they are not theirs, "I just picked them up for someone else".
8) They didn't smoke inside, they don't even smoke. What we smelled is something coming from outside into their unit ONLY from people walking by and blowing pot smoke into the open doorway.
9) Someone else brought the bottles/cigarettes/drugs/ over.
10) Someone BROKE into the unit and made a mess of it and left - only how they "BROKE" in is a complete mystery, because nothing is broken or stolen. It's those crazy "let's make a mess" break and enter people.

Monday, June 9, 2008

unconscious mutterings

Rambling :: Allman Brothers. "Born a Ramblin Man"
Magnetic :: Earth, Wind and Fire. "Magnetic"
Again! :: Janet Jackson. "Again"
Acoustic :: Indigo girls, Jewel, Sarah Mclachlan. " The Water is Wide"
Mahogany :: Snow Patrol. "Mahogany"
Promises :: Naked Eyes. " Promises Promises"
Ill fitting :: Beth Hart. "LA song"
Sublime :: Sublime. "What I Got"
Poop :: Gwen Stefani. " Hollaback Girl"
Disoriented :: Culture CLub. "Karma Chameleon"

Thursday, June 5, 2008

school rant

I keep trying to blog every single day and the universe is conspiring against me.
This month at nablopomo the theme is "home" and I thought I was on easy street because I could blog on the topic without thinking twice. Then yesterday at our house our little puppy had to be put to sleep and my blogging desires went out the window and I missed a day.

To be honest I don't really have blogging ambition right now but I would rather be doing anything than spending time alone with my thoughts - which have a tendency to spiral downwards out of control - or doing homework.

The night before the accident I was telling my SU (spousal unit) that I am completely unmotivated in my masters program right now. Partly it has to do with the fact it is the summer months and now that we have long days and sunshine and our own yard I am more interested in being outside than reading a book. I am having a ball when I get home from work and can spend time planting flowers, watering flowers or playing in the water with my kid.

Partly I am unmotivated because I am frustrated with my cohort and spending time IN class is really challenging me right now. I go every two weeks and sit in class for a LONG time. I sit in the same desk, next to the same people and listen to the same groups get up and present information in the same way.

This class has the potential to be a great learning opportunity for everyone, we have some intelligent people who could really get some great conversations going and maybe its because my heart isn't in it but I am severely uninterested. The class is about leadership. There is no leadership from the instructor and there are certainly no leaders among the group.

There is petty infighting among individuals in my class, some people are not talking to one another, other people making snide remarks to one another, some people want to talk just to hear themselves and it is completely irrelevant, and the homework seems more about making busy work than actually teaching us anything. I am not patient at the best of times and I am SOOOO done with this class I feel like walking away.

Tonight I could have done hours of preparation for a class presentation and an exam. I have a paper which is worth 20 percent of my final grade which I haven't turned in and havent even started. I have no desire to do any of it.

I don't remember a time when I have been in such a "school" slump. I usually love school, love the reading, love the writing, love the classroom, I even love lectures. I don't know what I'm going to do.

Friday Fill in

1. Idle hands are obviously not holding a remote control.
2. I love really hot water in the shower.
3. My favorite time of the day is when I crawl into cool, clean sheets and read a good book in the quiet.
4. The last tea I drank was Rooibos.
5. I like to prune, BBQ, and play in the water with my boy in the Summer.
6. My mother always says "I love you sweetheart".
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to getting out of class, tomorrow my plans include getting out of class and Sunday, I want to chainsaw trees!

check out friday fill in here

tragic loss

In a tragic accident yesterday our new baby was severely injured and put to rest.
RIP Shiloh. I have no words for my sorrow.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

ten on tuesday: Ten ways the world has changed since I left school

You can check out ten on Tuesday here.
This week the topic is : how has the world changed since I was in school.
I am actually in school now, so I am going to post how the world has changed since I left high school.

1. When I was in high school, Russia had been in Afghanistan for 9 years and the USA was funding the Taliban to help remove them. (the more things change the more they stay the same)
2. I'm not playing video games on the sega genesis anymore.
3. The Golden Toad and the Western Black Rhino have become extinct.
4. Cell phones and texting are common - they were unheard of when I was in school.
5. Students take computer classes in school and turn in papers written on computers.
6. Nelson Mandela has left prison, won a nobel peace prize and served as the president of his country.
7. Donated blood is being screened for AIDS
8. Dolly the sheep was cloned.
9. Canada and three other nations in the world have declared same sex marriage legal.
10. The Canadian dollar became worth more than the US dollar.

home - Watering

Yesterday I was planting the last of the flowers we purchased at the garden center. Max has discovered the hose and has a LOT of fun with it. I don't want to rain on his watering parade and I figured as long as he is watering he is not pulling up what I just planted. Unfortunately I have not mastered getting him to water where I NEED him to - apparently the shovel and my shoe were in need of watering yesterday.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Home - eat in kitchen

This month on nablopomo the theme is "home".
When I started blogging I did a lot more writing and less "filling out" of memes and such. While I enjoy memes, I miss writing.
I have tried and failed to be inspired to write daily by the monthly themes at nablopomo and once again blog every day for the whole month - I was successful last November. When I saw the theme for this month was "home" I figured I could do it.
This photo was taken by my spousal unit. She does pretty much all the photo taking in our house, which I don't mind because she is good at it, even though she hasn't figured out a way to make me look skinny in any of the pictures she takes of me. This photo was taken on Sunday in our kitchen. We have a small kitchen and three dogs, four cats, and one cat (seen here) who thinks he's a dog. I guess that makes him a cog or a dat, we haven't decided which yet. All of our pets sleep inside but for the majority of the day they are outside. Somehow at suppertime they ALL manage to converge in the kitchen - as seen here.
This is what "home" means to me.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

888 update

What Now? Anne Patchett (completed June 11 2008)
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 completed this section June 2008
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)
5. The Target. Gerri Hill (completed May 31 2008)
6. One Child. Torey Hayden (completed June 1 2008)
7. How to be a Canadian. Will Ferguson (completed June 4 2008)
8. Coyote Sky. Gerri Hill (completed June 5 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)

unconscious mutterings

  1. Gossiping :: talking
  2. Misplaced :: keys
  3. Spaceship :: UFO
  4. Ignore :: silence
  5. Bodily :: Harm
  6. Tweezers :: essential
  7. Goodnight :: Moon
  8. Curls :: Afro
  9. Faucet :: I can fix them!
  10. Right? :: which right?

Friday Fill ins

1. For me monotony is the opposite of creativity.
2. Godless was the last excellent book I read.
3. I like fill-ins because they give me a chance to think about things in a new way.
4. In nature I like looking at trees.
5. Ms. Clinton - should win the US elections.
6. The last time I laughed with all my belly was with my mom when she was here.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to gardening tomorrow my plans include gardening and Sunday, I want to garden!

gardening this weekend

This is our first summer in our home. We purchased in the fall about 6 acres outside of town (on the edge of nowhere as my friends refer to it) and we are enjoying our first summer season getting more familiar with the lay of the land. My spousal unit is an amazing gardener and I have no doubt that in three years (one year to clean up, one year to plan, year three for "fruition"), this little piece of land will be unrecognizable. I think we are making quite a dent already. The work is not easy and I am subsidizing my efforts with ibuprofen.
On Friday we had the pleasure of shopping in a garden center, spending WAY too much money, but providing some instant yard gratification.