Friday, May 30, 2014

This is what a spatula is made for...

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"  I shake my fists to the heavens in rage. 


"There is NO peanut butter!!"  It's one of those morninigs.  You know, one of  those mornings when all you want is a certain thing for breakfast?  All I wanted was peanut butter on my toast.  And only one piece with peanut butter - I needed a tablespoon and a half of it - the other piece of toast was going to have seedless raspberry jam.  Was that too much to ask for?  Wait!  Wait! Rissa doesn't eat peanut butter.  David would have been the last to eat it, which means he would have 'finished' it, which means it would... still be sitting in the sink...


"Hah?" asks Rissa.

"YES!  HAH!!  All I have to do is drain the water, grab a spatula and voila!  Peanut Butter Toast!  THIS.  This is what a spatula is made for... this exact task!"


"See??  See how much peanut butter is left?"

Rissa avoids eye contact, because that's what you're supposed to do with crazy people.

The spatula is the most perfect of kitchen utensils.  I pour out all the soaking water, then hold the spatula aloft like Excaliber.  A deep breath and I begin to scrape the sides of the jar.  Press down the sides, swirl around the bottom, press and swirl... "AHA!!!  Take THAT Mr. Doesn't-know-when-a-jar's-empty!!"

"Happy now?"

"Yes.   Yes, I am."

You know what else a spatula is good for?  Smoothing peanut butter on your toast.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Out of the mouth of Rissa...

"Agnes the camel has three humps..."

"Agnes the camel?"



"Agnes the camel has three humps...  Wallace the camel has two humps..."

"You don't remember the actual song, do you?"


"It's Alice the camel, although I have to say that I prefer Agnes now..."

"Well, obviously."

"It's Alice the camel has 10, 9 8, etc.  etc. humps.  Until you get down to no humps and you find out that she's actually a horse... of courrrrrrrrrrse..."

"Ahhhhhh...  Wait then....  Agnes the camel has three humps...  because she is a three-humped camel and that's how she rolls... Wallace the camel has two humps - completely unrelated to Agnes - he is of the two-humped variety...   Margaret the camel has one hump... and is slightly jealous of Agnes and Wallace. Baby Joey the camel has no humps because he is adopted and is a horse, well, actually a zebra - so he doesn't have humps, instead he has stri-i-i-i-i-i-ipes."

She's here all week folks ...  enjoy the veal...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Soft Porn at the Spa

 WARNING:  Adult matters discussed in this post

Let it be proclaimed from the mountain tops:  I have the best spouse and daughter in the world.  For Mothers' Day this year they gifted me a spa afternoon (with light lunch).  Four treatments in 4 hours: a facial, massage, pedicure and manicure - all in the delightful surroundings of a local spa.  Even though only one of the treatments was a 'masssage,' I got 4 massages in the time I was there.  During a facial, your face, shoulders, neck and hands are massaged.  During a massage your back, legs, neck, shoulders and arms are massaged.  During a pedicure your feet, and calves are massaged and during a manicure your forearms and hands are massaged.  I walked out of the spa like an overcooked lasagna noodle.

"What are you looking for in today's treatments?" my esthetician Casey asks.

"Relaxation.  Complete and utter relaxation."

My regular massage therapist, Erin, works on my body to heal it.  She gets in there with her elbow, releasing the knots in my shoulder and back - I love Erin - I love her therapeutic massage - I love that she fixes me, but unless I tell her to go easy on me, those massages are generally not relaxing.  I was signing up for a day of sighing and relaxed drool seeping out of my mouth.   I checked that box.

During the facial, I almost fall asleep twice. 

"Okay, when you're ready, come on out and we'll get you set up for your soak and massage," Casey says in her softest voice.

Alrighty... time to get up.  I sit up very slowly, feet testing the floor.  I grab the bathrobe and snuggle in and toddle out the door.

Casey meets me with a red wine glass full of lemon water and directs me to the next room.  Candles are everywhere.  Massage table in the centre.  To the back of the room, a jacuzzi tub.  Casey leads me over to the steaming tub.

"Okay Heather, I'm going to leave you here to soak for about 20 minutes.  The controls are on the side here.  You just relax, lay back and enjoy.  I'll be back in 20 minutes."  She backs out of the room in complete silence.

Soaking in a tub is one of my most favourite things - forget raindrops on roses - nearly scalding water with a good book in my hand, and I'm in heaven.  Soaking in a tub in a room full of candles?  Decadence. I hang my fluffy robe on the chrome hook on the wall, swig back half my glass of lemon water and sink into the perfectly heated tub.  This.  This is fantastic.  I reach over to the controls for the jacuzzi and hit the "ON" button.

It's like there is a 250 HP power motor somewhere in the room. The propulsion of the jets nearly lifts me from the tub.  Where is the low setting on this sucker?  As I'm desperately searching to adjust the settings, one particular jet gives me a jolt in my nether regions. 

"Whoa!"  I jump. I let out a surprised snort of laughter.  Do I have to pay extra for that?  And then you know how sometimes you have those thoughts that you oughtn't have?  Not-for-public-consumption thoughts?  There I was, in a jacuzzi tub with jets that apparently wanted to please me, and I had them for 20 minutes.  I sat with my hand on the controls, debating for a full minute and a half.

NO.  It would be WRONG.  Wouldn't it?  But I am supposed to be here to relax and that would relax me...  I glance over at the door.  I look at the clock on the wall.  What time had I come in?  Was it 2:00 p.m.?  I hadn't looked when I sat in the tub.  How much time had I wasted?  Then I got to thinking about the logistics.  Where were the jets?  The good ones, I mean.  Not directly under me.  So I'd have to kind of  have to position myself on one hip to get the kind of massage I was now contemplating.  Well, it wouldn't hurt to just try...

"WHOA!"  Too much!  The 250 HP was too much.  My finger punches the low setting over and over.  Where was the 'just right'?  Where was that setting?  Shouldn't there be a setting with a star beside it or something?  To let you know that if you're going to attempt something wholly inappropriate in a near public location that THIS is the setting to use?  I start giggling.  This was some sort of twisted version of Beat the Clock.  I couldn't relax under these circumstances!  Now I was totally thinking about it too much.  Here I'd already wasted a good 7.5 minutes just trying to figure out the right setting.  I snort again.  By the time I figure it out to get the full benefits - she'll be knocking on the door to let me know it's time to get out of the tub.  I turn off the jets completely.

"Get thee gone temptress.  Away with your bubbly wiles."

Still, it did keep a smile on my face for the rest of the day...

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Wait a second... this isn't apple crisp...

We've been watching Pushing Daisies again.  We watched it when it was on Network television in 2007-2009 - loved it so much that we bought the boxed set.  Recently we introduced Rissa to it.  It has become one of Rissa's favourite things ever...

"That, and Sherlock... " Rissa quickly amends.  "Every time the theme song to Sherlock comes on, I get all goosebumply.  But with Pushing Daisies, you just don't know what's going to happen.  Ned and Chuck - they can't ever touch!  But they're in love... what's going to happen?!?"

Pushing Daisies is chock full of quirk, humour, art direction, vintage clothing and... pie.   Watching an episode pretty much always makes us hungry.  Last night's episode was particularly pie-filled.  Half way through we couldn't take it any more.

"That's it!  I NEED pie!" I exclaim.

"ME too," David and Rissa chorus.  "What are we going to do?  Are we going to go buy some pie?"

The thought of leaving the house, even to run the 2 blocks to the grocery store seems impossible.  We are all pajama-fied.  Having to dress in proper pants once more is a painful contemplation.


My intellectual triumphance has us pausing the episode to bound to the kitchen.  A quick inventory ensues.  We have all the ingredients - cue happy dance.

"Can we use the fancy-schmancy apple peeler thingie?" asks Rissa.

"Most definitely."

She lets out a burst of maniacal laughter as the first ribbon of apple peel hits the counter.  David and I put together the ingredients for the crisp: rolled oats, butter, brown sugar and (my valiant attempt to add healthy protein) 1/2 cup of ground pecans.

A half hour later, we have apple crisp.  We each enjoy two full dessert bowls topped with sour cream.  Our pie craving has been met.

This morning, I gleefully realize that we have leftover crisp in the fridge.  I skip to the refrigerator to extract it.

"Dessert for breakfast," I sing.  "DESSERT FOR BREAKFAAAAAAAAAST!!!!"

"Having dessert for breakfast, are you?" queries Rissa.

"I AM!  And it's 'healthy' !!"


"Totally is.  What with all these Omega whatzits in the pecan part of the crisp part." I notice some dropped crisp topping on the counter, in my excitement I must have missed the bowl.  I pop the bowl in the microwave and grab the wee bits of crisp topping on the counter and pop them into my expectant mouth - an unwarmed sweet prelude to my formal dessert breakfast...

Chew... Chew...  This is not quite the texture nor the taste I was expecting.  It tastes less like crisp and more like something that is... off.  As I'm swallowing the pre-vomit saliva - I accidentally swallow whatever I had mistaken for the crisp.

"PAH!  PAH!!!"  I run to the sink for a glass of water.  "Not good.  NOT good."  What was it?  What had been left out there on the counter, right beside the fridge... looking almost exactly the same as the crisp topping.  Kind of brownish - like the ground pecan parts...  Brownish... Beside the fridge...  Where we feed the cats ... gag...  their wet food.

Cat food.  The taste had been cat food.  Expensive, urinary tract health, wet cat food.  The kind of food, that when you crack open the top,  forces a gal to control her gag reflex when the smell hits her nose.  I can now attest that cat food tastes exactly how it smells.  Good thing I had a full bowl of apple crisp to get it off my palate.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Your bra's best-before date...

I'm needing some lift and separation folks.  What with my apparently swelling mammary glands - I'm finding that my standard bras don't seem to be doing the shaping that they ought.  The cups are a little wonky, the band is stretched...

I can't remember the last time I bought a real bra.  You know,  a bra that wasn't supposed to stay on only until David got hard.  A bra that you get on sale at Victoria's Secret or La Senza... the  balconette bras with matching cheekini - the '15 seconds until naked' bras, the 'va-va-va-VOOM' bras, the 'giving your partner the opportunity to motorboat you' bras.  I've got at least a dozen of those bras. 

But those bras have nothing to do with the type of  bras that actually offer true support to your girls.  The bras that Jane Russell and Sophia Loren wore under their clothes.  I need one of those bras.  The t-shirt bras are all well and good, they sure as shit mask those pesky nipples, but they don't really shape the breasts. They do not give me the shape that I really want underneath my clothes.  I want two distinct breasts - both level and pointing straight ahead, with no added back fat.

How much is that gonna run me?  What do I have to lay out in 2014 for that kind of bra?  The last time I bought a chi-chi, properly fitted, read-about-it-in-a-magazine, where the sales clerk comes into the change room with you and gets up close and personal, bra was probably five years ago.  I know it was well over  $100.00.  If I'm spending over $100 on a piece of clothing, I still want to be wearing it in five years' time, don't you?  I don't even know where that bra is any more.  Even if it no longer fits me, I should, at the very  least, have it framed in a shadow box for posterity.  

"That... That is my ESB.  European Shaping Bra.  The girls never looked as good as they did in her.  And to your right, you'll find..."

Gearing up for a bra expedition is akin to going to war.   Nobody ever re-measures before they go.  You can get the gals as Victoria's Secret (all touted as bra experts) to wrap you in their measuring tape, but they will never be as good as that little old Italian woman who's been in the bra industry for 50 years and who can look at your tatas and instantly know that you are not the D cup you thought, but instead an F.  "NO!  No, you don't want that!  You want this!"  And then she holds out something so un-pleasing to the eye, so industrial in style that you could be filming a niche-market porn film.  But you are terrified of displeasing Tia Rosa, so you slink into the changing room and put it on...  It still looks awful.  "Put on your top!!" she orders.  Cowed, you do.

You come out... your girls are... perfect.  They are up and out - when you turn, the bra's band hasn't dissected your back fat into above and below... an angels' chorus sounds, a divine light envelopes you... And all you have to do to achieve this, is to throw everything you think you know about your sizing out the window and not be defined by the number you thought you were.  Does it fit?  Do you have two equally sized, upright breasts?  Then you're good to go.  It doesn't matter if five years ago you were a 34 DD.  Now you are a 38 C, or a 42 F - or whatever the number and letters are - if you're wearing the right size, I can guaran-freaking-tee you that you'll feel better about yourself.    From my mouth to Tia Rosa's ears... 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Mad Cats R Us

We turn them crazy...  our cats.  They start off normal, but somehow along the way, they lose their little cat  minds.  After a move, or the introduction of new kittens - they invariably go off their nut.

Minuit went mental when we went to live in New York for 6 months.  She had been fine until then.  We'd housed her when she was about 16 weeks, in that gawky, teenager stage of kitten.  She was snuggly and playful and svelte - until we went to New York.  She didn't seem to mind the trip down.  Her innate curiosity came out.  She didn't hide.  She sat either on our laps or on the stack of pillows beside Rissa in the backseat...  She chirrupped and purred contentedly.

The minute we opened the door of the apartment in New York, Minuit had a mental breakdown.  She disappeared for a week - the only proof  of a cat residing with us was a used litter box.  She didn't eat.  She would run from newcomers - skittered past David as if he was the Great White Cat-Eater - so fabled in cat mythology.  By the time we left New York - our svelte little kitten had morphed into a jittery mass of feline pulchritude.

Minuit remains terrified of David, even though, during this last move, he was the one to sit on the bottom cellar stair for quarter of an hour stretches to coax her to eat.  He was the one to cuddle her into his arms and carry her upstairs into our bedroom.  He was the one who put the electric blanket into the cellar, because he worried that she'd catch a chill.  If David so much as takes a breath near her while she's eating, Minuit high-tails it back upstairs under our bed.  Which is kind of hard for her now, seeing as her back end doesn't have full mobility since her spontaneous paralysis during the move in March.

"Can you grab the cutlery, hon?"

"I can't.  Minuit's eating."  David stands stock-still in the middle of the room, barely breathing.

When David is in the 'office' (loosely named - we can't fit a desk chair remotely close to the desk area), it takes Minuit a full 5 minutes to make her way past him.

Her head appears at the top of the stairs.  She ceases all movement when she spots him.  Impossibly balanced on her weak back legs - methinks it's through sheer force of will - because she has to sit side-saddle to eat now.  One paw moves imperceptibly, then the next.   Eyes wide, terror-filled, glued to the monster that stands feet away from her.  She hugs the wall until she is within inches of him and then careens past at Mach 10, chased, she is certain, by the  Hounds of Hell.

Steve, started talking to himself in the new house.  He prowls and yowls.  He's jonesing for the cellar.  Ever since we stopped letting the cats downstairs,  he now wanders the main floor crying to himself.  Rolling on the floors and wallowing in his despair before then sitting at the cellar egress door bawling.

"Why?  Why won't you let me down there?  WHY?!?  WHY?!?  You hate me, is that it?  You despise my very being... WHY?!?"

 I don't know what was so damned exciting about that damp, dank cellar - but it's the only place that Steve wants to be now.

And Lola?  Lola has started licking her nether regions bald since we moved here. 

That is NOT a white patch on her stomach.
It's where she is now bald. 

(It must be an after-the-move thing, because we had another cat, Bardolph, who licked himself bald from the waist down when we moved to our last house.)  She has also because an expert in cat parkour.  She likes to demonstrate her abilities in this area between the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m.  She bounces off walls, bounds across our bed - only our bed, mind you - emitting blood curdling cat sounds.  She'll jump on my pillow and then bound from there to my feet. 

This house is 1/2 the size of our last one and yet she manages to get lost in it.  We'll be upstairs in bed and hear her wailing in the night.

"Lola!  LOLA!!!  We're up here!!"


"Up here dopey!"


At which point I usually leave the bed to stand at the top of the stairs "Puss-pussing" until she sticks her head around the corner of the bottom of the stairs. 

"Come on you dope.  It's bedtime..."

That's when Lola usually tears by me and bounds across the bed, using David's stomach as a trampoline.  We then shoo all three cats out of our bedroom, but that only works to a point, because our bedroom is Minuit's safe haven and at 5:00 a.m. she's the one strong-pawing the door.  Putting her shoulder into it. 

Thud.  Thud.  Thud.  "Please let me in.  Please, please PLEASE, let me in!!!  LET ME IN!   LET ME IN!!!  LET ME THE HELL IN!!!"

So, if you're finding that your cat is just a little too sane for you?  Send it our way - we'll set you up.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Game of Thrones could give a gal a complex

Breasts.  Oh, the breasts on  Game of Thrones... They are everywhere.  You can't possibly miss them.   People have been making graphs about the boobs per episode in the show.  They are the pertest, highest, smallest areola'd breasts I've ever seen.  The Red Priestess Melisandre?  SPOILER ALERT Has areolas the size of  dimes.  I mean sure, she's probably cold, most of the time when you're seeing her breasts she's in a bath, or a cool breeze (or at least the breeze from off-camera fans), so it's understandable that her nipples get all tightened, but...  Milisandre's nipples look to be the size of pencil erasers - albeit raspberry-tipped in colour.

If a gal is auditioning for Game of Thrones, is that just a part of the process?  "Great audition!  Loved your take on that scene, beautiful range...  Now if you could just do that scene again naked..."   Quick question: Where are the real boobs?  It has become clear to me that Game of Thrones must be cast entirely of women who have never breast fed a child.

Hate to break it to the Game of Thrones viewers, but womanly areolas are not the size of dimes.  My areolas?  (Please excuse me while I grab the ruler.)  Holy crap!  That can't be right.  They are three inches across!  Seriously?  Let me just measure again...  yep, still three inches.  Now that's at a dead stand-still with no cool breeze or arousal to erect those nipples, and I am a D cup, but I don't think that I'm alone in sporting a pair of ta-tas with areolas larger than a silver dollar. 

I know that the titillation factor on the show is out for a certain demographic, but people aren't just watching for the gratuitous soft porn.  Right... RIGHT???  It's giving viewers a totally unrealistic idea of what to expect from your average free-range breast. The same way that porn makes dudes think that you can have a triple E cup size that doesn't sag.  The producers are really doing a disservice to viewers everywhere by not throwing in a couple of pendulous breasts with dollar-pancake-sized areolas.

And while we're at it, how about some equal full-frontal for the dudes on the show?  You can't possibly tell me that boobs are less a sexual characteristic than the penis.  I mean they're right there - out in front - TA-DA!  Yes they're meant to breast feed our young, but that's not the first thing that goes through a person's head when they see them. "Hey look at those great lactation glands..."  is not tripping off the tongues of viewers.  Sure, the occasional male ass gets thrown in, but it's never for long and you never get the same fondling of a male ass that you get of the female form.


I'll have to work on the chant, but you get my drift.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Ladylike Pee

I had a sneezing fit at the office.  When the sneezes hit, I held onto my desk and clamped my knees together as if the freedom of the Western world depended on it.  I hadn't needed to go to the bathroom before that moment, but after the 5 sneezes, it seemed like it would be prudent for me to relieve myself before I started my walk home.

From the Poo Pourri Campaign - not technically the same bodily function
but the visual was too perfect to pass up.

I hefted my 1950s floral skirt around my waist, quickly de-briefed and plunked myself down on the toilet. The subsequent sneeze hit me completely unprepared.  One minute I was having a genteel little tinkle, the next - I was projectile peeing.  It was as if a water balloon had been tossed from a great height against a wall.  Two enormous sneezes wracked through my body.  Upon their completion, I resembled a hurricane survivor.  Damp from the waist down, pee on the toilet seat, pee on the floor in front of the toilet seat and pee on the wall 6 feet away from the toilet seat.  It was impressive.  I hadn't thought there could be that much urine in a gal's bladder.  I had underestimated my innate power.

It made me think:  Incontinent, post-partum women will be our champions. Raging forest fires can and will be extinguished with feminine aid. Planes full of  weak-bladdered women surrounded by pepper-filled pot-pourri sachets will be launched into the skies.  Primed with full bladders (having drunk their weight in their beverage of choice), taking deep breaths of sneeze-inducing pepper, legions of leaky ladies will let loose and obliterate fires from above.  We are the new super heroes.  Clad not in capes, but crotchless panties, we will save the world. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Lumberjack in Drag

"Have you decided what colour you'd like for your nails?"  The esthetician points with her chin over to the selection of nail polishes on the counter as she massaged my calves.

I pick up the nail wheels, vacillating between the reds and the pinks. Seduce Him (although that should really be Seduce Him/Her - I know plenty of gals out there who love it when their partners wear bright red polish on their extremities.  Blushing Bride - HAH!  Royal Tease - Seriously??

Holding the wheel down near my feet to check out the colours in context to their eventual placement, I startle when she says,  "What about your fingernails?"

"Oh, no, I don't do fingernails," I immediately say.

Because I don't.  Not with my hands.  I have big strong 'peasant' hands.  Or so I've been told.  I can't ever buy vintage gloves because my hands won't fit into them.  The girth of my hand is a whopping 8.25 inches.  If I place my hands up against David's, his hands are just slightly larger than mine.  And he's got big hands.

"Nope.  No thank you.  I'd just feel like a lumberjack in drag."

"What?  No!" The esthetician admonishes me.  She grabs my hands.  Splays them out for all the world to see.  "You have strong hands.  Nice long fingers.  Your nails are in good shape.  Don't let anyone tell you that you can't wear polish."

It was revelatory.  'Don't let anyone tell me...'  Nobody, had told me I couldn't wear nail polish.  That was all on me.  A passing comment from years before had apparently scarred me.  The same way when your 4th Grade Art teacher tells you you can't draw, or a relative says you're 'big' when they mean tall.  These things stick with you.  You absorb these comments into your psyche.  You become them.

The time had come for me to say "Fuck it!" and embrace my strong, capable hands...  To adorn them in girly glitter, delight in their durability - to feel the same joy as when I look down at my spectacularly sparkly pink toe nails.  I'm a magpie at heart.  Sparkly things make me happy.  I spend most of my days typing.   At the office, at home - I type.  My hands are in my peripheral vision all day long.  They should be tipped with glitter and glam!  They should make me grin.  Do I like them?  Damned straight, I do!    I'm 45 frickin' years old - it's time to grow up - to own what makes me... ME

Thursday, May 15, 2014

David, Paladin against the APOCALYPSE

We are all just part of the Matrix folks.  We are all just cogs in a wheel… frickin’ useless, tech-reliant, cogs in the wheel of the Internet.  Come the Apocalypse, we are totally fucked. 

We were completely cut off Sunday night.  We lost all knowledge, all connection, all ability to interact with humanity.  Our modem died. 
We don’t have cable, ergo we don’t have cable t.v., which means we don’t have network news.  I hope that nothing important has happened over the past few of days.   Without the Internet, there is no Weather Network, no updates from, no reminders from my calendar on Gmail. 

There was no Netflix.
Our 'landline' is VOIP (Voice Over Internet Provider) "Why would we pay for phone service when we can get it for almost free?"  The only trick?  Sans working modem, you can’t call out, can’t receive calls in.  Our cell phones only work (sporadically) in the north-east corner of the living room.  You also can't get phone messages on VOIP without a modem, say like from a dental clinic receptionist, who might be trying to get ahold of you to remind you that your daughter is missing her dentist appointment, right now at 4:15 p.m. (which you would have known about, had your 3 Google reminders come through), because she can't leave a message on your 'landline' because it no longer really exists.

The first night was nothing to worry about.  It was kind of like camping.  It was the ‘Olden Days.’ We all read books.  We watched a… DVD.  It was charming, it was quaint.  We would just grab a new modem from Staples the next day after work.

Turns out?  You can’t buy a modem from Staples.  And before you deny it wholeheartedly merely out of hand... Yes, it is possible to buy one from Staples online, but you cannot go into an actual Staples and actually purchase a physical modem that you can actually take home with you.  Routers, yes.  Modems no.   

Not a problem – we’d go to the mall to The Source and get one there.  The Source does not sell modems.  "Try Bell."  Bell does indeed have modems in their store, but they will not sell you one.  Because why?  Because they want you to sign up for an Internet subscription.

“But we don’t need an Internet subscription.”

“Unless you have a Bell Internet subscription, we cannot sell you a modem.”

“Do you mean to tell me that you have actual modems, right there, in the back of your store, right now, but you will not sell me one?”

“That is correct.”

In the Tarantino film version of this moment, David then had to pull me off the Bell customer service agent when I started slamming the back of her head into the floor.

David did not want to make the trek a ½ hour away to the closest Future Shop or Best Buy just in case when we got there, they too, did not stock modems.  We went home.  We found a phone book, an actual honest-to-God paper phone book.   He called Future Shop – no modems – "You can order one online…"

“I don’t have a modem!  I can’t GET online!!”

He called Best Buy – “Yes Sir, we stock modems!  You can order a modem online and it’ll get to you in a couple of days.”

Determined not to be foiled, David started maniacally scrounging around in our various tech baskets and bins; cursing and throwing things, until finally...



He brandished a wireless Rogers Hub – which we had purchased 2 years ago, when we had been working in Toronto for a week and needed to be connected.  We had kept it active with a nominal fee... for emergencies.  The only wee little snag was that the data usage that you got with the Hub was ridiculously expensive.

He  powered up his Mac.  Shoulders back, he cracked his knuckles and turned on the Hub.  Then he surfed to every tech supply store in the western world – you know, to do a cost analysis - as fast as he possibly could, to minimize our bandwidth consumption with the Hub.  And then he ordered a new modem from - out of spite.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sprung from my loins...

Have been experiencing technical difficulties... (will explain later) posting on the fly...

Rissa gave me this card for Mother's Day...

Friday, May 9, 2014

Fun times for an only child

"Hey look at this!" says Rissa.  She's just received her "prize" pack for selling a shit-load of magazines subscriptions for her school fund raiser.  They give the kids a bag chock full of items they must get in bulk from higher end dollar stores.  They're all pretty much craptastic, but it is, after all, a loot bag - it doesn't matter. 

Her favourite item?  A rubber ball attached to an elastic string.

"Look!  Look!"  She whacks it against the wall and comes back to her.  "Oh yeah!  I can do this ALL BY MYSELF!"  She whacks it again and does a spin in the air before catching it.  "Yeah, baby!!  This it the perfect toy for an only child.  I could be the poster child for this toy!" 

Whack... catch.  Whack... catch.  Whack... catch.

She whacks it harder and somehow it becomes a weapon rather than a toy.  It doesn't come back to her, but instead careens off a secondary and then tertiary wall, scaring all three cats and making me duck all before it comes back to whack her in the head.

"It's okay... I'm alright.  I'm ALRIGHT.  Do not panic...  But if I had a sibling who actually lived with us, it might be easier to play ball."

Thursday, May 8, 2014

My boobs are growing.

Is one of the by-products of peri-menopause bigger boobs?  Because I'm pretty sure that my boobs are growing.  Swear to God.  I feel like I have pregnant boobs.  I'm ALL boobs.  I look in the mirror and they're just... there...  I mean really, there.  Like  KAPOW there!!   I walk into the room and they get there a few seconds before I do.

They feel... more... substantial.  And they're more, well, sensitive. Like in the nipppular and sidal regions.  Which is how they were when I was pregnant, and seeing as I just finished my period - I know that that's not the case, so what's the deal?  Anyone?   Anyone???

On the 34 symptoms of menopause site (which is really a misnomer - because menopause really means that you've ended all that shit - it should be peri-menopause.  It's like nauseous and nauseated.  Everyone says nauseous, but that means that it causes nausea in others - so if you say "I'm feeling nauseous" that really means that you're making other people want to throw up.  The word you want is nauseated - that's when you want to throw up.)  (Another by-product of peri-menopause is irritability - with small things - like improper word usage.)

So... two years ago, when I went to the 34 symptoms of menopause site, I checked off 18 of them.  Now I have 30 of them. Once I fill my peri-menopause card do I get a prize?

Heather, you've just won an all-expenses-paid vacation for 12 to... HAWAII!!!! 

I'd love to go to Hawaii.  After I've hit menopause.  If I went now, the heat and humidity would drive my irritability levels through the freaking stratosphere.  And the volcanoes - those would piss me off.  And the heat of the sun...  Safer for everyone if I go then.   Then I'd be able to lounge around in bright floral caftans with large floppy sun hats - because apparently after menopause you turn into an elderly Floridian woman.

"Bernie!  Bernie!  I said 3 olives in the martini!  THREE you bastard!"

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The treadmill is trying to kill me.

"The treadmill is trying to kill me!"

"Kill you?" David asks skeptically.

"Well, it's, at the very least, trying to Gaslight me."

"And it's doing this, how??"

"Because I can't load Netflix."

David gives me the eyebrow equivalent to a face palm.   "And this is driving you mad?"

"Yes.  Yes, it is driving me mad."

David waits.

"It takes me forever to log in to Netflix on the treadmill."  (I watch Netflix via tablet when I'm on the treadmill.  It is the perfect way to distract myself from the fact that I hate exercise.  I could read a book, but it is not as distracting - I am therefore less content.  That's not to say that I don't LOVE reading books when I'm not on the treadmill - reading while I'm not on the treadmill makes me very content.)

 "How long is forever?"

"Between 5 and 22 minutes."

"That makes no sense.  I haven't had any problems with Netflix." 

"I'm telling you - it's the treadmill."

He shoots me another look.

"Only when you're on the treadmill?"

"Yes.  Only when I'm on the treadmill."

"Does it just pause momentarily... or...?"

"It goes into an endless buffering cycle.  It tells me that it can't access the network.  It stalls completely.  I was on the treadmill for 66 minutes today.  The tv show is only 42 minutes long - it took me 8 minutes to load the sucker and then it kept cacking out.  I'd get 25 seconds of video and then it would buffer for three minutes." 

"Have you tried disconnecting and reconnecting to the Internet in the tablet settings?"


"Have you used the memory boost function that I added the other day?"

"YES.  I have used the memory boost function that you added. I also rebooted the modem.  Twice.   IT IS THE TREADMILL."

"It just makes no sense.  There's no issue anywhere else."

"I KNOW that there's no issue anywhere else.  IT IS THE TREADMILL.  I'm not making this shit up."

"I know, I know," he says.  But really, he thinks I am.  He thinks that I'm overreacting to some minor technical difficulties.


"I know.  We need to go at this from a scientific perspective.  Figure out the variables.  You need to turn it on while you're off the treadmill, then start the treadmill.  You need to carry it around the house and see if it cacks out in different spots..."

"Carry it around the house??  My 43 minute morning walk turned into 66 because I had to disconnect from the net and reconnect SEVEN times.  I boosted the tablet's memory.  I logged back in to Netflix.  I logged back out.  I hopped off the treadmill, went  upstairs and rebooted the modem. Only on the treadmill, this happens.  If I want to sit down on the couch and watch the extra 13 minutes that I couldn't get to in the morning because I ran out of time and had to go to work, it's not a problem.  It took me 8 minutes to log in this morning. A full 8 full minutes!!"  (I may or may not have grabbed him by her shirt front at this point, my temples were definitely throbbing.)

"Hey... hey... it's okay."  He smooths my shoulders.  "We'll figure this out, I promise."

Awesome, I have now turned into completely irrational woman, all because I don't want to read and exercise at the same time.  It wouldn't be so bad except that in the old house I had NO problems with Netflix while I was on the treadmill.


"So you're not the only one who's having issues with Netflix on the treadmill," says David.

"I'm not?"  Hope sprouts in my heart.

"Nope.  Apparently the electronic cycling from a treadmill motor can interfere with wireless connectivity."

"It can?"

"Yes - we used to be grounded with a battery backup at the old house - that's probably why you didn't have this problem there."

"So I'm not crazy?"

"Oh, you're still crazy - it's just not because of this."

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

My OCD knows no bounds

During renovations, in a desperate attempt to control the visual chaos of my environment, I've lost my mind.  I've gone round the bend folks.  My obsession this week?  Ensuring that, when I open the shower curtain, all the shampoo, conditioner and body wash bottles complement one another.   Hello Ma'am, we've got a lovely little jacket for you here, fits nice and snugly around the waist and shoulders, and ensures that your arms stay in one place.

I have little loyalty to personal grooming products.  Sure, I could  go out there and spend $25 on an organic, paraben-free, get you to smell like ambrosia shampoo, but  that ain't gonna happen.  Because why?  Because I'm not made of money and there are shampoos, conditioners and body washes out there that will do the same thing for a fraction of "Are you fucking serious?!?" prices.

As a result of my common sense and general stinginess, I buy things when they are on sale.  Love, love, LOVE Olay body wash, but it's a titch pricey, and unless it goes on sale, it doesn't get to ride shotgun home with me.  When there's a moisturizing conditioner on sale for under $3 - I buy it.   If there's a different moisturizing shampoo that's even less expensive - I buy it.  Same goes for body wash, although I do have a predilection for nicely smelling body washes and will sometimes splurge - you know, when I have Christmas or birthday money burning a hole in my pocket and my Mom's given me the directive to spend it on "something you love, just for you."  That's when I head to the local body care shop and avert my eyes when the cash register totals the sale.  I come home with things that smell of gingerbread or lemon scones and line them up on the ledge of my shower and revel in my delectability. 

Problem with buying all these different products is that when they eventually make their way to reside in my shower - they look like this:

Which for a normal sane person (who knows that the shower curtain can just be shut and you don't have to see anything, that you won't even be aware of the fact that nothing matches in size or colour), wouldn't be an issue.  For me, until the house ceases to have a layer of drywall dust over everything, it's made me wiggy.  Sure, you can get fancy-dancy bath containers that cost you an arm and a leg so that everything matches, but I  haven't lost my sense of frugality with my sanity.

So off I went to Dollarama, seeking the perfect body care receptacles.  Small enough to fit on the shelves, but big enough and of such pleasing shape that they would be practical and (in my present state of psychosis), pretty.  I bought cheap-ass hand soaps that looked like the labels could easily be pulled off.

In hindsight, I'll still be picking little bits of glue off them until Armageddon (nail polish remover can take most of the gumminess away, but not all of it apparently), but until then, things will match.  Although, there had been some milk bottle style body wash bottles for $2 a pop that might look even better and would add a whole turn of the century feel to what's behind the curtain...

Monday, May 5, 2014

Parched in the Sahara


Sam Brown,

My camel did not make it.   It had been days since he'd died.  I found myself trudging through the desert, my skin burning, sand in my throat...   Hot wind blowing around me, almost through me.  I could feel sand on my face.  Pricks of it picking at my cheeks - then harder and harder as the gusts increased.  Chunks of sand...


I open an eye.   Lola is there standing beside my head, punching my cheek with her paw.

"Off!!  OFF!!!"

6:02 a.m.  How did she get in?  We'd installed a door to our room just a couple of weeks ago so that this very thing would no longer happen on a Sunday morning - could Lola now walk through walls?  Had our cat actually created a worm hole into our room?  Were we going to become millionaires because of our Mensa cat?  I look over to the doorway and do a face palm.  David hadn't shut the door last night.  Awesome.  I roll out of bed.

I run the gauntlet of falsely affectionate cats and stagger downstairs.  One races me down, another wends its way through my legs and Steve?  He lies across the stairs in all his tomcat glory. This house has somehow transformed all three of our felines into the most languorous of stair lying beasts.  In the other house, they never once draped themselves across the width of a tread.  This house, you're running a fur-covered obstacle course to get downstairs, and with two black cats, you take your life in your hands if you're trying to do anything in half-light.

I feed the beasts and climb back upstairs.  God, I'm burning up.  Why am I so hot?? My mouth is so fricking dry.  HOT.  And then I remember.  The night before, I'd had two glasses of wine and a flute of champagne to celebrate family birthdays. Stupid peri-menopause.  One glass of alcohol.  ONLY ONE.  No matter how good it tastes.  ONLY ONE GLASS OF ALCOHOL HEATHER!  Or what?  You have blinding hot flashes.  I know this!  But it was a really great blended red - went down so smoothly.  Why does my mouth feel full of cotton?  I wasn't drunk - I'd had the booze over a several-hours-long period.

I've lost all my saliva!  I am SALIVALESS!  I scan my memory for what else I'd ingested to get me this parched.  Popcorn.  I'd had some popcorn.  And there'd been feta cheese in the salad... I smask my dry lips...  annnnnnd I am having my period.  Bingo.  Combine salt ingestion and bleeding like the proverbial stuck pig and you're going to get a little bit dry feel like Akhenaten post-embalming.  I down a glass of water and desperately try to source my saliva.  Nope.  I down another glass.  Not yet. My tongue is still sticking to the roof of my mouth.  Another glass.  There.  There now.  Some moisture. 

Fricking period.  Fricking peri-menopause.  I should have known the week before, when I'd wanted to carry around my own personal salt lick.   And now I've been emptying my Diva Cup every two hours or so.  It's astounding how blasé I have become about menstruation.  When I was younger, the notion of using an OB tampon completely squicked me out, but apparently now that I have a blood faucet installed down there, I could become a full-on general surgeon.  Seeing blood on my hands is common place.

My poor family.  Rissa'll be brushing her teeth and glance over at me - I'll be in some state of Diva Cup removal or re-insertion.


"Sorry.  Look away.  Look away."

She'll turn her back and walk to the door.  The toilets in this house aren't as close to the sinks as they were in the old house.  So there I am in my fluffy pink socks, with my stripey onesie around my ankles shuffling to the sink to rinse out the Diva Cup shouting, "AVERT YOUR EYES!  AVERT YOUR EYES!"

"Nobody else's mother does this stuff you know."

"Think of all the material you'll have for your memoirs."

Friday, May 2, 2014

Fine line between BFF and Stalker

I am totally crushing on Emma Stone. She is perhaps my new favourite person in the world.  Not only is she a great actor, articulate and funny, but she does this?!? 

She killed the battle, AND if that wasn't amazing enough, her first song was Hook, by Blues Traveller - an obscure blast from the past for today's crowd, AND we're getting to the important part here...  Hook is my favourite Blues Traveller song... ever.  I mean, EVER.  And she picked it.  She picked my favourite Blues Traveller song. 

So that's got to be a sign right?  A sign that she and I should be BFFs?  'Cause it's not stalkery at all that I, a 45 year old small-town Ontario gal, have mad fantasies where Emma Stone and I sip lattes at the local coffee joint and we shoot the shit comparing favourite media and travel destinations before maybe going shopping for cute vintage dresses together.  That's not weird right? 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

I'm keeping these WHY?

Nope.  Wipe... How 'bout this one?  Nope.  Wipe...  Wait, wait, wait...  this one'll be the one... NOPE.  Scrub.  Wiiiiiiiiiiiipe.  Why do I even have these?!?

Lipsticks.  How many should a gal have?  You know... in the drawer of your vanity, or bottom of your make up kit.  12? 22?  116?  I have an entire drawer of lipsticks that are impossible to wear. Wait.  I'll try to look at this as a positive.   I would be able to sport some of them if I wore heavy makeup and dressed as a drag queen or a geisha.  Note to self: train for a new career.

And yet, instead of throwing them out, I still have them stashed away, like some secret cache of diamonds, some dating back to 1996.  I have this amazing Estee Lauder lipstick that gives off an odd odour, but I'm unwilling to part with it.  What's the shelf life for lipstick?  If, say, I was on a archaelogical dig and found some lipstick (in the perfect shade) in an Egyptian tomb, could I apply it or would I be slowly poisoning myself to death if it became my favourite colour? 

Every time is the same.  I carefully draw on the lip liner - apply the colour to my lips and then jump back from the mirror in horror.  I'm not wearing enough eye liner for this colour.  My skin isn't orange enough for this colour.  I wasn't going for a Goth look, but what the hell...  "Hey David!  How do I get a casting call for Vampire Diaries?!?"  Then the toilet paper comes out.  I pour liberal amounts of makeup remover on the TP and attempt to remove the horrific shade.  Invariably, I end up looking like a clown who's gone on a bender and then have to reapply all makeup from the nose down.

What it comes down to, is that I don't want to give it up the control. You know... my colour-choosing free will, where as an adult woman in her 40s I should know by now what works and what doesn't.  Although considering that I've been  sucking at it royally for the last three decades, maybe it's time to go to Shoppers and sit down in the chair with the Cosmetics Dept person and let them go to town.  Have a good ol' Apply and Wipe session there so that when I want to go out in public I don't have to waste precious time figuring out that I don't actually own a shade of red that looks good on me.  All I want is to achieve 1940s starlet without the harlot, that shouldn't be so hard.    And yet I feel I need to gather a group of like-minded individuals, mount up on steeds and ride the world to seek out the Holy Lipstick.

The perfect red lipstick.  Like the magical travelling pants... but in lipstick and you don't put it on your ass.  (Unless you're into that, and more power to you, if that's your kink.)