Monday, July 31, 2006

The Name Game

I have apparently graduated. I had no idea. And my educational institute didn't know either. But the bank knew. And obviously, they must be correct.

Now I have to figure out how to pay for my bleeping courses for fall, since the bank has unilaterally canceled my student line. Because I graduated, dontcha know. And only 6 years early, too. Whoop-it-di-doo.

And I type this while on hold, trying to get my account reactivated.

Stupid bank!


H decided to play "the name game" with J tonight. J wanted his sucky (our name for the soother), and H went:

"Sucky, sucky, bo bucky, banana, fana, fo $#@&-y ... Well, I guess that doesn't work, does it?"

Saturday, July 29, 2006

J stuff and general ramblings of the cryptic

Worked today. I don't usually work Saturdays, but I had a deadline to meet and needed the extra time. Productive. Got a lot done. Good. Cancelled plans with friends. Second week in a row. Bad. Will be seeing my friends next weekend, rain or shine. I want to have them over. They're important. I miss them.


J is getting better with foods. He's still not really into meats, though he did try a good sample of different foods at Taste of Ed. this week. He prefers spicy foods over bland, and really enjoyed the garlic chicken skewers and saffron curried rice. Also, we have discovered that J likes frozen bananas. Yes, they were chocolate dipped, but J had no interest in the chocolate; he just wanted to gobble up the frozen pieces of banana from under the chocolate. We'll have to freeze them like popsicles for him from now on.

Last night, we gave in and bought J his very own TV remote control. He likes it, but still prefers the one we use. Of course he does; ours lights up when you push the buttons. His doesn't, since it has no batteries.

J's communication skills are developing. He says "Mama", "Baby", "Up" and of course "Uh-oh". He can't make the "D" sound for "Dada" just yet, but he's working on it. So far, he just thinks we look funny when we say it. He laughs and laughs! He really loves the "Uh-oh" sound, and uses that one often. Every time he says it, H responds with "Uh-oh, Spaghettios" (for those who remember that old jingle). The other day, H was in a convenience store and I was hanging out in the car with J. J said "Uh-oh" and, when no one responded appropriately, he continued: "Uh-oh, Pasghettiba". H has been trying to get J to repeat this ever since, but so far, no luck.

J had a good day today. He played happily with his daddy while I was at work; they went to the playground together. He ate raspberries and cereal for breakfast. At lunch, he had Annie's bunny-shaped organic pasta & cheese and more raspberries. And for dinner, he ate more pasta & cheese and a Minigo. He napped well today, and he played hard. He was very happy. He sleeps now. He is a darling, and I love when he has those happy days. I'm just sad that I missed so much of it today. But it couldn't be helped.


Aspartame is insidious in everything. Four puffs of my inhaler later, and I still don't feel all better.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

More signage

And the sign says: "New Eucalyptus Patio Furniture"

Terrific if you have a cold. Not so great if you have a pet koala.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Your goose is cooked

Out tonight. Passed a sign.

Canada Goose
No Entry
Except Boat
and Trailer

H: Because geese have to use the servant's entrance. We don't want that kind coming in here, you know. Now go around to the back, or your goose is cooked.

T: I see. I suppose you can bring in the boat and trailer. But you have to push them by hand, because you can't bring in a car. And you certainly can't hook them up to a team of Canada Geese!

H: See, and as I read it, the geese aren't allowed to enter unless they're bringing a boat and trailer with them. And they'd better be pushing them by hand, since geese can't drive.


You, sir, should not be successful. You, sir, are undeserving of success. But you, sir, are successful. Very successful. And therefore, I conclude that karma has failed. I ponder this. And I wonder if my theories on poetic justice are lacking in some way.

I hope you are bald.


On a different and more important note, marks are out. I'm trying to make my peace with it. It's a 78%. It annoys me that it's so low. But at least it's a passing grade and I don't have to retake the class. That's a good thing.

Bad grade. And my pretty sisal purse fell in the mud today.

Baby's teething and crabby. And he thinks it's funny when I sternly admonish him for doing dangerous things. And he beat me up. With a kitchen utensil that he was playing with today. And risked life and limb attempting a climbing activity that I could not prevent; I just had to keep grabbing him and saying "No". And he laughed and tried it again. What a fun game!

When nothing else worked, I resorted to using a time-out, and I put him in his crib briefly. Ten minutes to chill out. I'd prefer to do this over having him continue his actions and possibly get hurt. I have no way to bar him from the activity in question, and I have to teach him that it's dangerous and that he oughtn't to do that.

He was most upset at being in his crib for ten minutes (I timed it). When I went back to get him, he refused to be consoled. I cuddled him and talked gently to him, telling him how much I love him and how I just don't want him to get hurt. He can't understand me, but he knows I love him. He calmed down. He played. And he didn't repeat the dangerous activity for quite some time. But he tested the waters again eventually.

We went out.

I've been tired and hot and crabby. But I am glad that it is cooling down a bit now, and I am thankful for the rain.

I am at peace. J is asleep. H is watching television and talking on the phone. And it is good.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Oh, exam results

Why aren't you up yet? I know you're not due until tomorrow, but I was hoping you'd be up a bit early. But you're not.

I am antsy, and a wee bit irrationally disappointed.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Projects

Garage. Check. August. Will be done. Good.

Fence. Fall. Will be done. Good.

Basement. Spring.

Car. Spring.

Wall ... Someday.

H and I have struck a deal. We must set a budget for our basement project. If we can come in substantially under budget, we will get central air conditioning. Woot.

H and I are not handy people. We don't even know how to fix a running toilet. We are renovation and repair challenged. But we aim to learn. And we aim to rely heavily on friends who are more handy than are we. Which is pretty much everyone.

The basement has issues with space. Because of placement of the furnace, hot water tank, and plumbing rough-in, we need to conserve as much space as possible in order to fit our bathroom into its proper place. We need a stackable washer/dryer unit in order to meet this goal. Cheapest ones run around $1,000. More expensive are laughably ridiculous. We will, of course, go with the cheapest that will do a proper job. 'Cause that's just who we are. We also need a shower stall, not a tub. We don't have room for a tub. We will go with a slightly higher-end model of shower stall, not wanting to deal with the cheap-o and impossible to clean plastic walls. There are things better than those that we can afford.

I think we can do the framing ourselves. I know we can do the drywall. The insulation is already in place, so that's not an issue. We will need professional help with plumbing, electric, and HVAC (including the central vac instalation, since we have the rough-in already). We've allowed ourselves a luxury basement item, and it is going to be a corner direct-vent gas fireplace with an insulated mantle for the TV. This concept makes me happy, as I've always wanted a house with a fireplace. I really hope our plans and budget will allow this to work. We will, of course, need professional help with this too. I don't know if we can do the flooring ourselves, so we may need professional help with that one too. We'll have to see. It will be basic flooring, and it will just go right over the concrete; I don't want a subfloor down there.

We have a floorplan drawn out. It makes good use of our available space. Pocket doors are used a fair bit. There is a nice storage space, and there will be a walk-through closet if we can make it fit. We've planned for a nice set of built-in bookshelves. All in all, it should be quite practical and homey.

We have to price things out, try to catch sales, and see what we can do. Will need to negotiate financing for this project. (Ick; more debt!) But we are running low on room just now, and the top floor is too hot in summer. We need our basement. And truly, I just can't wait to get it done!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Havin' a Heatwave

Tonight, H was dancing around the kitchen with J.

Sometimes, H likes to sing to entertain J.

"Your mommy loves you
And you love her
Your kitties have fur"
I love my husband!


We're havin' a heatwave. It's bad. I don't know if it's cooler outside or in just now, but it's bad either way. It's 1,867,897,675,952,311,245,809 degrees out. And I'm meeeelllting. Meeeeeeeeelllllllllting!!

I awoke today, warm but otherwise okay. But within a couple of hours, I developed a migraine. Mostly, I speculate, from dehydration. Why? Because it's 1,867,897,675,952,311,245,809 degrees out. And I'm losing moisture rapidly. I also have asthma. Asthma adores the heat, and it comes out to play quite regularly. Asthma medication causes headaches. As does lack of oxygen from the asthma attack.

My head was pounding away. It was terrible. And so we canceled plans with our friends for the evening. And we spent the day in search of air-conditioned environments. Every time we would go into an air-conditioned environment, my migraine would lessen. And when we'd leave, it would return. But I fail to see the correlation. Really.

We bought a new car a few years ago. It does not have air conditioning. Yes. We are that stupid. The fan usually works well. But not today. Today, it only blew hot air. The old car doesn't have a/c either. It's a very old car. And in fact, it only blows hot air at any point in time. The fan is broken.

Today, we went shopping. It was air conditioned!! It was heaven!!! "I am going to live in the Home Depot store!!!!" No such luck. We came home. J's usually cool milk had turned to a frothy steamed-milk beverage while we were driving in the car. It was frightening. We emptied the mug and washed it thoroughly. We hung out in the backyard. We baby-proofed more of the house. We put J in his little pool. He didn't stay in it for very long, but he was better today than he was yesterday.

Yesterday, we put him in the pool and he climbed out, ripped off his swim diaper, and tried to run around to the front of the house and streak down the street. I caught him about halfway to the front yard.

But today, he kept his swim trunks on, and he had some fun in the pool. He decided to dip his sippy cup in the water, but that's okay; it's clean water. And he had a good time. I waded in the baby pool. And it was wonderful! I think I may sleep there tonight.

H and I have always said that central air-conditioning is a luxury in our climate. We don't need it. We live in a cold climate. It only gets hot like this for a few days out of every year. The rest of the time, you pretty much keep the furnace on. But on days like these, I start to wonder. Is the central a/c worth it after all?

No. Of course it's not worth it. Not here. Not for a few days out of every year. Not when we have bills to pay, a basement to finish, a garage to build, a retaining wall to erect, and a car to replace. Not when we can't afford it. Not for us. No.

We have resolve. We are correct. Central a/c is not needed. We can cope. Yes, it's hot, but we will survive. We do not need central a/c. And more importantly, we cannot afford central a/c. So we will not get central a/c.

Alright then. I'm going to go pop a few more candied Tylenols now, and then I may vomit. It's fine. I'm sure the cost savings is totally worth it.



Thursday, July 20, 2006

The evil SAHM, and other works of fiction


(It's a link. Click it. Read. Be enraged.)

Personally, I think my head just exploded.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Agony and the Exhaustion

It was an eventful weekend.

Friday night, we met up with an old friend who was sadly in town for his father's funeral. We hadn't seen him in a long time. I was glad that he had some time to see us, even if the reasons why he was in town were bad. J pitched a fit at the Second Cup, and we had to leave pretty early. (He just hates sitting still.)

Saturday, we took my mother-in-law shopping, and then we all met up with my brother-in-law and his wife for his birthday lunch. Then we took my car over to my parents' place so Dad could stop the radiator from leaking. (It's still leaking a bit, but we don't know why.) And then, of course, the vandalized garden happened. Ticked me off. We didn't do a lot else. But after J was asleep, we decided to use our Shaw-Video-On-Demand feature for the first time, and we watched "The Producers" (the new one). It was pretty darned good.

Yesterday, we met up with my birthmom for brunch. We haven't seen her in a really long time, and it was good to get caught up. J refused to let her hold him.

Then we stopped off to get a present for L&P's little girl, G. She's 2 years old now, and what a little cutie! We went over there for a BBQ and to hang out with friends. Much fun was had. G's sister, I, is really cute too. She's the big girl in the group, and she enjoys showing the little babies how to do things. She had fun playing with J, and even helped us change his diaper; she distracted him during the ordeal so he wouldn't cry and squirm. I think she will make an excellent babysitter some day; she really seems to like the really little kids.

Moody yesterday. Ate ice cream. J wouldn't nap, and kept throwing tantrums. He also refused to sleep last night, and decided that he was in an insecure place. He needed to be cuddled. A lot. Even after he had fallen asleep (we can usually move him without issue, but not last night). We were up really late. And I awoke disoriented and insisted that we had to get up or we'd be late. It was early.

I am tired. I hope I can make it through today without passing out at my desk.

'Night ... zzzzzzzz ...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

An open letter to whoever vandalized my garden while I was out this afternoon

You suck. I hate you. And I really hope bad things happen to you.

A lot.

Conversations of the Car

H: Don't you hate the "Apple Jacks" jingle? It's so annoying! "A is for Apple. J is for Jacks". As if we don't know that!

T: Well, really, you can use pretty much any word combination and come up with something that makes about as much sense. "H is for Hippo. S is for Slaw. Cinnamon toasted Hippo Slaw". See how that works?

H: Now that's just silly. Obviously, Hippo Slaw is a salad, so it should be served cold. Why would you toast it?


(With J screaming in the backseat, and T in need of medication.)

T: Did you see that sign?

H: Yes. I saw it.

T: "Chips & Crack"???

H: They're talking about windshield repair.

T: I know. But it sounds tasty right about now.

H: "C is for Chips. C is for Crack. Cinnamon toasted Chips & Crack". You're right; it does work with anything.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

J and the hospital

Well, for the second time in the past year, I have had to take my son to the hospital for testing. I have had to take time away from work. I have had to pay for parking. And I have been told the same thing each time.

There is nothing physically wrong with my son. He can hear; he's just ignoring us. He can eat; he just doesn't want to. Because he is stubborn. Stubborn and headstrong and contrary.

I don't know why he is like that. He must get it from his Auntie Holly.

The following conversation took place ...

Howard? This is Howard. Listen. When you get this, could you please call me back and tell me how to use my bleedin' voice mail?

Don't leave a message. I won't get it.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006



PayPal continues to suck.

And don't send me customer service satisfaction surveys when you clearly don't care what I think of you and have no desire to provide me with effective service in any event!

Now process my refund, give me back my 50 bleeding cents, and let me be done with you.

Why is that so hard?


Yes. Your assertions are correct. Irrelevant and inconsequential. But correct. Good for you.

Collect two IQ points from petty cash, and go home.


J's appointment is tomorrow. So tomorrow, I have to take my precious little boy who I love more than life itself to the hospital. Where they will try to make him vomit to see why he is so fussy and doesn't eat.

Maybe it's because he doesn't want to vomit. Maybe it's painful to puke. Ever think of that?


I am a little black raincloud...

Monday, July 10, 2006

Cherries are yummy

Nez's blog reminded me. Our Nanking Cherry produced a bit more this year. Still not many berries out there, but there were some. Over time, it's expected to be a heavy producer, and we can expect many pounds of yummy cherries each July. They're smaller than Okanogan cherries, and a nice bright red. And you have to get to them fast, because the birds like them too. And oh my lord, are they ever good! Really sweet and juicy, and totally delicious, you can eat them right off the shrub or make cherry jelly. If you have the time. Or the skill. Or the inclination. None of which apply to me. As if there were any doubt.

Mmmmm ... cherries. We planted the shrub by our front veranda, and the branches grow through the slats so we can pick the fruit and enjoy it while hanging out on our nicely shaded porch swing. How freakin' suburbia is that??


And in other news, PayPal sucks!

Apparently, when a dishonest vendor makes false promises to provide goods and then fails to deliver, you're on your own. And when said vendor eventually 'fesses up and refunds your money, it's still no good. Why? Because you were forced to pay with PayPal. And PayPal sucks.

In order to receive your refund, you are first required to set up an unwanted PayPal account. And then you have to jump through a bunch of hoops and request your refund from the PayPal system. And they make you pay a service charge in order to get back the money that was essentially stolen from you in the first place.

I hate them so much. Almost as much as I hate the dishonest vendor.


All this, just because I want to get my child a set of Peter Rabbit books that are out of print now. They were my favorites as a child. I want him to have them. And I'm feeling rather taken-advantage-of just at the moment over the whole thing.

PayPal sucks. (Have I mentioned that?)

Saturday, July 08, 2006


Too much has come up in the last month or so. Funds are now very tight. And the credit card company actually phoned to find out if we were the ones using the card.

We were.

Feeling blue. At least I'm back at work, so we should be able to handle it, given a bit of time. It's been a few emergency situations, but honestly, it's mostly of our own making. Which is no consolation.

I hate debt.

Friday, July 07, 2006

He loves popsicles

Yes, popsicles are yummy. J has no flavor preference, but will eat any of cherry, grape, or orange popsicles. They can even entice him away from our electronic components for a short time. Good for hot weather, and good for entertaining J. Popsicles are a favorite in the household now.

We went to an air-conditioned mall the other night to stay cool. We stopped off to visit Uncle A. J insisted that he be carried instead of being pushed in the stroller. While carrying J, something seemed odd. I looked down, and realized that J had managed to wriggle out of his diaper, and it was kind of wrapped around one ankle, providing no protection whatsoever. We quickly remedied the problem, and then continued on to show Uncle A the rather ... questionable ... lamp we had seen earlier. Stopped at the games store also, where we saw a Spongebob Squarepants Frisbee. ("It's Spongebob Squarepants. But it's round", I cried out. And the salesperson laughed appreciatively, insisting that he hadn't heard that one before.) J had fun at the mall. Ate half a hotdog, then gagged and threw up, of course. What else is new. I eagerly await his appointment.

Yesterday, J apparently ate raspberries and blueberries. Not mashed or cut up, either. Whole berries. He thought they were delicious. But we weren't there to see it. He really won't do it for us. I wonder what's up with that.

There are a couple of new games J will play now. He enjoys playing tag, and will run into the kitchen and entice us to chase him about. This is all good, as long as the oven isn't on. We need a second gate to keep him away from the hot oven. Last night, J chased H into the kitchen, then locked him in the bathroom. Silly child!

The other new game is this: If you ask J "Where's your nose?", he will wrinkle his nose up and snort at you. So cute!

However, what is not cute is this: J has decided that H is not permitted to cuddle him before sleep any longer. We tried to let H do this little job last night. And J retaliated, and decided to stay awake until 1:00, when I had to pick him up and give him a quick 15 minute snuggle. Then he went to sleep.

I am tired. It was a long day yesterday. It's been hot. I'm glad it's Friday.

Monday, July 03, 2006

It's too darned hot

Poor little J is constantly thirsty and sweaty. Both ceiling fans are going non-stop. I have a sunburn for the second time in my life. My hair is soaked with sweat. I keep getting headaches ...

It's way too hot.

Today, I couldn't even eat, I was feeling so ill from the heat. Me. Not eating. Can you believe it? If this keeps up, I may eventually lose my lovely beachball-like shape! And it's taken me years of inactivity and cheeseburger eatin' to achieve it. What a shame!

Seriously though. These days, every day that I am off of work, I take J for a walk around the lake in the mornings. A nice high-paced walk. We go past the big $750,000 houses, and down around the lake, and then up past the moderately lower priced houses with the fancy landscaping (waterfalls optional) and back home. I'm trying to get more exercise and shed some of these unwanted pounds. But it's not working. I'm still gaining weight, and am getting really irritated about it.

Okay. Yes. There is a lake in our neighbourhood. Though what it's good for, I can't begin to imagine. There are signs all over the place. "No wading. No swimming. Boating is not recommended. Do not throw rocks in the lake (Bylaw xxx)". No throwing ROCKS in the water?!?! Why the heck not??? I guess the lake's entire purpose is to look pretty. It does. Objective met.

Pretty view or not, I still think $750,000 for a house in my community is a wee bit unreasonable.

Hot. Tired. Sticky. Getting grumpy.

I am glad that my office is air-conditioned. I wish my car were as well; it gets so hot these days I can't even hold the steering wheel when I leave the office for the day. Makes driving home interesting. But the office is air-conditioned, and there, I will get some relief. Maybe I'll even be able to EAT!!

Shorter days now; summer hours. I can't wait for morning.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

An open letter to two miserable old crones

Dear Miserable Old Crones,

It must be so tiring to be you.

Contrary to your own opinions, when you purchased your house, you did not also purchase the entire street that runs past it. And if people want to drive down that street, they can. It is not a private road. It is a public street that just happens to dead end by the playground. A very nice playground, I might add. A playground that our son will quite enjoy playing in. Every weekend from now on. Just to tick you off. I don't even care that it's out of our way! If it annoys you, that's good enough for me.

We drove slowly down the street. And we sat patiently and waited while you crossed the street, ever so slowly. It was a lazy day, and we were okay with the fact that you wanted to take your time. We didn't even bat an eye. It was apparent you have limited mobility. Even if you hadn't, we wouldn't have minded you meandering.

But when you turned around and indignantly lifted your cane over your head and shook it at us while the both of you shrilly screamed "This isn't a public road, y'know! It's private!! GET OUT!!!", we became sorely tempted to strangle you slowly with your very own oxygen lines. Not that we would ever do it. But it gives us little tingles of pleasure to think about it, you understand.

I am grateful that my little son was sleeping peacefully at the time, and that you did not scare him with your Halloween-ish antics. Had you frightened him, hurt his feelings, or otherwise made him cry, you may have forced me to do something I would have regretted. Because it is hard to get blood out of my clothes.

Enjoy your lovely house. I know I will enjoy staring openly at it, as I park my car on your public street directly in front of it on a very regular basis, revving the engine and playing my stereo loudly.

Do you like Ozzy? No? Good!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Canada Day 2006

Fine. Why do you ask?

And how was your Canada Day?