Monday, June 30, 2014


Oh, those iconic 80s dance films.... Quick!  Name the winners!  For me it's three Fs, a D and a W - Fame, Flashdance and Footloose - Dirty Dancing and White Nights.   Rissa had already seen Footloose, Dirty Dancing and White Nights - I got it into my head that she needed to see the other two.  Last weekend it was Flashdance

You know how some 80s movies really stand the test of time and some don't?  I mustn't have seen Flashdance since I rented it in the early 90s - cause man, oh man it's not what I remembered it to be.  Cue Jennifer Beals taking off her welder's helmet and shaking her 80s hair about her shoulders...

Two dance/soft porn moments from that film that will remain embedded on everyone's corneas: the splash of water on Jennifer Beals' boobs as she sits in her chair and the running in place to Maniac while moving her hands all over her upper thighs - or, as is more than likely - the dance double having water splashed all over her boobs and running in place while moving her hands all over her upper thighs.  And may I just ask?  Could they not have found a better freaking wig for the dance double?  Could they not have found a dance double who resembled Jennifer Beals even the tiniest bit??  But I digress...

The hair and fashion styles make me wince, mostly because I can remember wearing some of them myself, but I can't really get into the mocking of the terrible choreography and dialogue because Rissa is freaking out.

"Oh, EEEEEEEEEEEEWWWW!!!  No!  No, no, no, no....  He's so old, he's so old!!!"  Rissa hides her head in the pillow, refuses to come out.  "She's 18!  And he's... he's... SOOOOOOO OLD!!!!  (Nouri was 38 when he made Flashdance.  Jennifer Beals was 20, playing 18.)

Rissa is so wierded out, she almost has palpitations.

Then, in the after their date scene, when Jennifer Beals comes back into the living room of her warehouse loft, lifts up her leather skirt to sit across from Michael Nouri and pulls off her bra from under her off-the-shoulder sweat shirt in way more movements than it's ever taken me to do the same manoeuvre.


"They've stopped now."

"What is she doing?  He's old enough to be her father!  I am disgusted in my soul. EEEEEEEEEEEEWWWW!!!  Why couldn't he be all successful and 22?  Why couldn't that happen??  I hate him!!

Now me, on the other hand, I've always had a thing for Michael Nouri - ever since he played Dracula in Cliffhangers in 1979, when I was...  oh dear God,  I was 11.

"No, it's so wrong!  SOOOOOOO wrong!!!"

"GAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!" She screams upon witnessing the restaurant scene where Jennifer Beals eats lobster and then sticks her stockinged foot in Michael Nouri's lap. "EEEEEEEEEEWWW!!!   EEEEEEEEEEEEWWWW!!!  EEEEEEEEEEEEWWWW!!!  Make it stop!!!"

To Rissa, an age gap of more than 1 grade level is cause for a very deep seated gross out factor.  I have no problem encouraging this tendency until she's well into her post-secondary education.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Best Nature Channel Ever!


"Where?  Where?"

"There, by the BBQ - Lola's losing her mind"  Lola is at the screen door, nose pressed to the mesh, tail flicking, teetch chattering.

"There!  Do you see him?"


"There! Now he's by the post!"


"There! Now he's by the bike tire..."


"Where?  Where?"

"There!  Half way down.  Ears - twitching."

"Where?  Where?  I can't see it!"

I stand behind Rissa at the back door.  Move my hands to either side of her head and direct her gaze.  "It's the little one.  You have to look close."

"I need my glasses.  This right here is why I need contacts, so that I can see things right away - all the time."


"GROUNDHOG!!!  The groundhog is back David!"

"Where?  Where?"

"There!  By the fence.  He's there!"

"You're sure it's a groundog?   Maybe it's a gopher."

"Nope, I googled it.  Definitely a groundhog.  They're way cuter - less toothy.  I will call this groundhog Chuck."


I wait for him to get it.  Two... Three... Four...  "Like as in Woodchuck?"

"Yep.  Also known whistle-pig, or land-beaver..."

"You're making that up."

"You'd think so, wouldn't you?"



"Where?  Where?"

"By the garden.  Eating part of it."

"You're okay with that?"

"I am."





Continued Silence

"Guys!  Seriously.  There's this black squirrel with a completely brown tail out there!  I'm not making this shit up!"

"Where?  Where?"


"Happy we moved?" whispers David.

We're standing by the back door - he has his arms around me.  

I whisper back.  "Yes."

"You don't miss the other house?"

"Not really."

"The other yard?"

I look back at him with incredulity.  Raise my eyebrows.  "Dude, there's a bunny, RIGHT there."

Approximate represenation of the woodland creatures
found in our backyard.  I never remember to take pictures.

Friday, June 20, 2014

She's not 3 any more...

When I look at Rissa now, I can't remember her as a toddler.  Even when I see photos of her from that time, it's like I'm looking at somebody else's kid.   I know that she was this small elfin child,

but that child bears next to no resemblance to the tall, poised 14 year old, who looks 18 without makeup and about 25 with it.

We're out shopping for her Grade 8 Grad shoes.  MY CHILD IS GOING INTO HIGH SCHOOL IN THE FALL!!!  She wants something sparkly - silver and sparkly.  Our small town doesn't really cater to the silver and sparkly set.  We have to go to a higher populated town to get a good mall.   So there she is, finally in Le Chateau (oh, the irony because our mall does have a Le Chateau), having already exhausted every other shoe store in the mall - three shoe boxes in front of her.

The first she tries are platformy.  She becomes a leggy giantess in these shoes.  My stomach plummets.  NOT THOSE!  PLEASE NOT THOSE!!  SHE LOOKS TOO OLD IN THOSE!  SHE LOOKS TOO SEXY IN THOSE!  BOYS WILL WANT TO INSERT PARTS OF THEIR BODIES INTO HER BODY IF SHE WEARS THOSE!!!

She takes one step, before turning to me. "Nuh-unh... NOT these.  Nope.  I'd be breaking my ankles after the first step."  She attempts another step.  "Whoa... WHOOOOOOAAAAA!"  She's walking on an invisible tightrope, her steps tentative.  Just as I'm thinking that, she pretends she's on a tightrope and fakes a trumpet version of a circus theme.

"So not those?" I take them from her, all nonchalant.  Thank Christ.  I hand her the next pair.  Ballroom style shoes studded in rhinestones.  My stomach calms a bit.  These ones aren't as sexy.  I could pretend she was on Dancing With the Stars if she wore these.

She slips the second pair on.   "Ooooooh... I like these!"  She takes a few steps - does her best imitation of a runway model.  Shoots me an over-the-shoulder glance and then makes a goofy face.

"They good?"

"These're pretty good."

Next pair.  1950s style peep-toe with a slightly thicker heel - MY 14 YEAR OLD IS TRYING ON A FRICKIN' PEEP TOE!!  Then I remember that in grade 5, my mom let me buy high heeled blue satin running shoes... In Grade 5...  Because I wanted them.   Deep calm breaths...

"These feel really good, I feel more steady in these, but my toes show."

"What's the matter with your toes?'

"They're showing."

"You have beautiful toes."

She grimaces.

"You do!  I love your toes!  Walk in the shoes.  Walk back and forth a bit."

She walks a bit in the new pair.   Every time she turns away from me - it's like there's a strange woman in the store in front of me.  Then she turns and makes a face and I'm okay again.  Until she comes back to me, slings an arm around my shoulder and towers.  She's 5' 7" without the heels - so at least 5' 10" with them.  I'm just shy of 5' 6".

"Quit gloating."

"I'm not," she says... gloatingly.

"So which ones?  Ballroom shoes or 1950s shoes?"

She's chewing on the inside of her cheek.  "I can't decide."

"Put one from each pair on either foot and walk around some more."  She does.  Depending on which foot is hitting the ground, she has a completely different facial expression.  "Dance a bit."  She does a ridiculous cha-cha, but with a big jazz hands finish at the end.

"1950s" she says.  But then almost immediately, "Which ones do you like?"

"I like both of them.  You pick which one you like."

"But if you were buying them for you, which ones would you buy?"

"The dancy ones - but I'm not buying them for me, I'm buying them for you."

"1950s!" she now says decisively.

"You're going to have to practice walking in them before Grad," I say.  "You know, like around the house.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Buy them in bulk

When you find  pants that fit you perfectly - the pair that turns your derriere into the Holy Grail of asses - the pair that makes your ankles look edible - those pants - you buy those in bulk. Retro style cigarette pants. Just above the ankle.  Audrey Hepburnesque.  My version of the cigarette pant is a cropped pant - a little north of being 'floods.'  NOT a capri.  They aren't wide all the way down, they're not skinny all the way down.  Tight where they should be tight with space around the bottom of your leg.    My ass and ankles are made for these pants.

If I catch sight of a pair of cigarette pants in a mod print - I'm lost.  I spotted a pair at Mark's Work Warehouse and I could barely keep it together.  We were shopping - David needed new chinos that didn't cost an arm and a leg.  While he was looking for squooshy socks to go with his new chinos, I caught a gimpse of these cigarette pants.   Black, blue and white.  Kitschy and beautiful.  I might have run across the store to caress them.  I tried them on, and though the only pair even remotely close to my size range was a titch too large -  I didn't care - I had to buy them. It was essential.

A week later, my admiration for these pants had grown, even though I realized that the size I'd bought just wasn't going to stay on, no matter how much I loved the pattern.   Possibly the first time in my life I'd ever had that problem.   I had to go back to stock up in the right size.  As a child,  I never understood why the Sears catalogue offered one thing in about a gazillion colours.  As an adult - it has become clear to me that if you fall in love with how a certain pair of pants makes your ass and ankles look, you want them in every shade available.

So, wearing my too-large pair of pants, we went back to Mark's Work Warehouse - I ran over to the cigarette pant table and picked out four more pairs, in the right size - they even had the pair I was wearing in the smaller size.  I went over to the cash and plunked them down.

"Stocking up?" the cashier asked.

"Yep.  I love these ones so much, I'm going to get them all in the size down."  I stepped back from the counter to show my too-large pants. "These ones, it turns out, are bit too roomy in the waist. "  I felt a little embarassed even mentioning it - like I shouldn't revel in the fact that my body was trimmer than I'd supposed. 

"We can do an exchange for you right now if you like."

"I'm sorry...?"

"We can do an exchange between the pair you're wearing and the pair you're buying - so you'll save a bit of money."

"Oh, but I don't have the receipt with me.  And I'm... we'll... I'm WEARING them right now."

"Not a problem.  You bought them here?"

"Well, yes, but..."

"Not a problem... You can just take these ones," she cut the tags off the new size and handed them to me.  "Go change in the changing room and bring back the old ones."



That?  That right there?  Will have me shopping at Mark's Work Warehouse for the rest of my life.  Even if it's just for tank tops for me and socks for David - they have my loyalty FOREVER.  I was wearing the other pants and they took them back even though I'd bought the wrong size.  And now ankles look like this:

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I'm sorry? Beef costs HOW much!?!

I spent $253 at the grocery store last week.  Three people live in our house.  Three.  Yes, $25 of that was because the ginormous 24/7 kitty litter was on sale for $3.00 off the regular price so I had to get at least two of them, but that still means that the other grocery type items cost a whopping $228.00.  For a week's groceries. And I wasn't buying shampoo or deodorant or toilet paper in bulk.  I wasn't buying junk food or pop.

You can cross out the two loaves of over-priced gluten free bread and that will knock the total down another $10.00 and we're down to $218!!  For a week's groceries.  FOR THREE PEOPLE!!!  But really, a loaf of regular rye bread is still over $3.00.  For a loaf of bread.

I'm morphing into Elinor from Sense and Sensibility...

David & Rissa
Surely you are not going to deny
us beef as well as sugar?

There is nothing under $10.00 a kilogram.
We have to economise.

David & Rissa
Do you want us to starve?

No. Just not to eat beef.

How do poor people manage? If I'm balking at paying $10.00 for a kg of ground-freaking-beef - how are people who don't have money managing to get their protein?

Sure, they could go the vegetarian route, just shop around the outside aisles, but even peanut butter costs a good chunk of change now and despite what the peanut butter companies try to tell you, it's not really a good serving of protein.  Vegetarian 'meat' products are pretty much as over-priced as the gluten-free products.  One could have tofu - which apparently is cheaper, but I'm not supposed to ingest soy - at least not in the 4 hour period surrounding my medication.  Beans.  They could eat beans.  They could buy them in bulk and soak them overnight, cause we all know that planning meals 24 hours in advance is what working families have time for.

Meat is expensive.  Milk is expensive.  Cheese is expensive.  In our house, we go through all three of those things like hotcakes.  Wait a second!  That's IT!!! We should  just eat hotcakes!!! We could save tonnes of money.  Flour, eggs*, a little milk... although David is determined not to skimp out on the syrup, which means we only have maple syrup, so that runs us about $10.00 a litre.  So we're pretty much screwed on the syrup front.  *Frankly we're screwed on the egg front as well, now that we're eating free-range eggs.

When Rissa was little, I used to budget about $125 a grocery shop.   So $500 a month for groceries - ish.  Now we are spending about $800 a month on groceries.  What are the families doing who have two kids?  What about the families who have three or more kids, two of them teenaged boys who eat their weight in carbs?

You can't skimp on food.  You can't.  And yet I put down those red peppers and/or those individual apples because they're too expensive - I can't afford them.  And if I'm doing that, what is the single mom who lives from pay cheque to pay cheque doing?  What are her kids missing out on?  What are the families who live in Northern Canada missing out on?   The families who have to pay $12 for a box of freaking Rice Krispies...  or $8.00 for spaghetti, not to mention fresh produce?

I struggle to make vegetables a priority for our family, knowing full well that I need to be pumping us full of vegetable and fruit supplied nutrients because those foods have supplanted grains at the bottom of the Food Pyramid... The Canadian Food Guide doesn't even have a pyramid now - it  has a rainbow with vegetables and fruits as the top colour.

And yet, there are only 4 colours on this rainbow which is just wrong  PLUS those colours mess with my sense of the proper ROYGBIV colour spectrum because this rainbow goes GYBR.  OCD kicking in - in 4,3,2,1...

So what do we do about it?  Do we become bulk coupon-cutters?  (Which, whenever I'm looking to use them, never seem to improve on No-Name prices anyway.)  Do we only shop when No Frills has their $2 (which used to be $1) Days??    Do we turn back the clock and live like we did in our early 20s, existing entirely on rice and pasta?  Remember Ramen Noodles?  Remember those?  My family can find some spare change on the incidental line in our monthly budget if we really want the good produce.   We can buck up and finance a healthful diet.  But not every Canadian has that... I was just about to type  'luxury.'  Eating healthfully in Canada shouldn't be a luxury.  Feeding your kids well shouldn't bankrupt you.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Half Lotus Hair Management

The plan had been to wash my hair  in the bathtub.  My scalp just couldn't take any more, I would lose my mind if I didn't shampoo.  It'd had been three days since the shower curtain had been taken down to make way for the skim coat of drywall compound.  Problem was, the week was maybe the most humid and rainy week in the history of Southern Ontario  - the walls rejected the concept of 'dry' - which meant that the shower curtain couldn't go back up yet.

I refused to be thwarted - I would manage in the tub.   I'd just lie back with my head under the tap and have an on-my-back shower.  Which does not sound right.  Just saying it makes me want to take a shower.  Nonetheless, I find myself prepped, naked, sitting with my back to the tap, water on, temperature good.  I move my ass towards the end of the tub... Scooch, scooch, scooch... I attempt to lean back, whack my head on the tap, check for blood... no blood... HUZZAH!!  Scooch... my legs won't fit in the tub - I'll have to put them up against the wall.  Except when I do that, my head isn't 't even close to the tap.  I push back against the wall with my legs... my ass makes a squeaking sound as I attempt to propel myself closer to the tap.  The over spray from the tap has somehow, in the last millisecond, slickened the bottom of the tub, so when I push with my feet once more, I slam  my head against the drain-side of the tub and nearly drown when my mouth opens to turn the air blue. I finally manage to get my head under the running water.  SUCCESS!!!  It feels fantastic - amazing - my scalp is ecstatic.  I lie there for a bit, revelling in the cleansing water.

Okay... shampoo... Where was the shampoo?!?  On the side of the tub by the wall, behind my head.  I try to reach up with my right arm to grab it, but my right arm can no longer be described as limber - or even movable at times - it does not like to go behind anything.  I grope around with my left arm instead, nearly drown a second time, but I eventually snag the shampoo.  I raise my head and shoulders off the bottom of the tub to wet the back of my head - I'm in an unintentional sustained crunch.  Quick! I have to spread shampoo all over my head before I give myself a hernia.  I squoosh the shampoo around and then have to rest for a moment before I start rinsing.  My shoulders lift again, both hands in my hair now, valiantly trying to disperse the shampoo.  My stomach shaking like I have the DTs.  Rinsing as fast as I can, head dropping to the bottom of the tub.  Was I rinsed?  I lift my head again to feel around.  Maybe.  Maybe rinsed.  Fuck it - it has to be good enough.

Okay.  Now to turn off the water while I do the cream rinse.  Left arm - my good arm - above my head to turn the water off.  Step one done.  YAY!  Conditioner... I hadn't brought the conditioner down yet.  Fuck.  Not a problem,  I'd just get up... I reach out with my right arm to grab the edge of the tub.   My fingers close tightly around the edge and I attempt to pull... HOLY CRAP!!!  Bad elbow!  Bad elbow!  Change of plans... put my elbow on the side of the tub and lift... SWEET JESUS!!!  Bad shoulder!  Bad shoulder!  The shower wall... there is a handhold on the shower wall if I can just do a slow sit up to get to it... I try, but my ass is so slick that I every time I get my shoulders off the ground enough to reach for it, I slide further down the tub.  Fine, I'll just do some more scooching - I'm now doing The Worm, but on my back.  Scooch, scooch, scooch... I can reach the handhold!  I pull myself up with my left hand.  I'm sitting folks!  I have made it to sitting!!  I manage to get up, grab the conditioner and sit back down  and slather my hair with conditioner.  I then sing a little song about conditioner, a la Winnie the Pooh.

While I'm in the tub, I should probably wash myself too.  I look up, way... waaaaaaay up... at the bath products  on the shelf.  I forgot to get the body wash.  No problem.  I get up and grab the body wash - facing the tap now, I run the tub a little bit, making some lather - I grab a face cloth I am now completely soaped up.  SUCCESS!  All I have to do is turn around so that I can rinse...

(So this tub?  It's not quite as wide as we'd thought it would be when we purchased it.  Almost as soon as we'd installed it, we'd realized that it was considerably more compact in its proportions. This tub is not quite long enough, not quite deep enough and not quite wide enough.  Apparently, we'd  been going by the exterior dimensions.  When sitting, the 16" wide bottom of the tub was verging on cozy with my womanly hips.)

Turning around in this tub?  Problematic.  Sure, if I could use my right arm in any tangible way, I might have a shot, but as I attempt to re-orient myself, I can't get any traction, even with my good arm because it's all slick from the soap.


"Yes love?"

"Could I get your help for a second?"

"Sure thing, just a sec."  (Right there?  Him saying that?  One of the reasons why I married him.)  He trundles up the stairs, stopping for a moment in the doorway to take in the stage picture.

"Sooooo.... How ya doing?"

"May I have some help please?"

"What are you trying to accomplish?"

"I need to turn around, I need to rinse."

"How about if I grab a cup and help you rinse?"

"Then I will love you - even after I'm dead." 

"Hold on..."  David grabs a cup from the bathroom vanity and starts pouring water over me to rinse away the soap.  "Do you want to rinse your hair under the tap?"

"Yes please."

He grabs my hands and tries to spin me around, but between my hips and my knees, the geometry of it seems impossible... perhaps if I'd still been soaped up.  Mentally, I'm putting money aside in anticipation of the bathtub reno that we will be doing as soon as possible.

"Put your feet up over the edge," he says.  If this were an erotic romance, I'd be getting all excited right about now.  Legs over the edge - he spins me round so that my back is once more to the tap.  He helps me lie back, runs the water and then gives me the best scalp massage/rinse I've ever had in my life.  I'm actually purring by the time he's done.  He turns the water off.

"Let's get you up."  He gently pushes at my shoulders, but due to residual rinsing moisture, my ass slides towards the back of the tub.  I have to bend my legs into a Half Lotus so that they don't shoot up the wall.  He pushes against my middle back and I'm now sitting, but because the back of the tub didn't get as wet as the drain side, my wet ass and hips in the Half Lotus have pressed some other feminine bits to the bottom of the tub creating a suction seal - I'm stuck - again.

"I wonder how we could turn this into a math lesson..." David says.

I can't answer.  I'm laughing too hard.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Death by Raincoat

Thunderstorms in the morning.  I'm dressed like a Popsicle: lime green umbrella, bright pink rain coat, yellow rubber boots.  Rain coming at me sideways as I walk to work.  I'm wet from mid-thigh to the top of my boots.  It takes me all day to get dry. 

It's bank day.  A couple of cheques to deposit and bills to pay for work.  I start the trek downtown.  No longer raining, but for a couple of drops here and there - sun threatening to break through the clouds.  By the time I get to King Street - the day looks to clear.  I'm waiting in line for the business teller.  Five minutes pass.  Another five.  Now I'm feeling a little woozy.  It's past snack time and I don't have a snack on me.  What's the rule Heather?   Always have a snack.  I can feel my shins begin to sweat in my rubber boots.  And then I notice that my ass and upper thighs, covered by the rain coat, are self-basting.  The underside of my breasts threaten to become a viaduct. 

I hold onto the queuing pole.  I unzip my jacket.  It has these two little grommets under each of the armpits - you know - to help you breathe while sheathed in plastic - but I don't think they're working. Would it be wrong to completely strip down to my underwear? I think that's the only thing that might stop me from passing out.  

I feel my throat.  It's clammy.  Clammy isn't good. Clammy, for me, usually immediately precedes... great, the little dots of light have come - dancing around my peripheral vision.    I bend my knees slightly, wiggle my toes.  I won't pass out... I won't pass out.   I'm muttering to myself.  Stop muttering to yourself Heather!  They'll think you're crazy or a bank robber.  Holding on tighter to the pole.  Looking straight into the security camera.  I am not a bank robber.  I'm just hot.  Scrunching my eyes shut to stop the dancing dots.  Then popping them open when the world starts to tilt. The teller is beckoning me forward.

"Strange weather today."

"Mmmm... hmmm..."  I place my bills on the counter.  Don't pass out.  Do NOT pass out.

"Well, at least you were dressed for it."

"Yep.  Little warm now, though."  I think I have sweat pooling into my boots now.

"I can imagine.  Those raincoats don't breathe very well, do they?"

I nod in assent, my own breathing now shallow.

"Well, I think you're all good to go here."  She hands me the bills, I somehow manage to throw them into my bag and stagger to the door.  As soon as I'm out the door, I whip of my jacket, matador-esque - nearly blinding myself when the drawstrings with their little pink plastic tightener thingies come up and whack me in the head.  I'm a sweat zombie, insensibly stumbling down the sidewalk. 

Death by raincoat.  That's how they'll describe this when it gets into the local paper.  I gulp in lungfuls of air - desperate for oxygen while still doing my best not to hyperventilate.  I flap the hem of my shirt - airing out my wet stomach.  I glance down at the potentially womanslaughtering garment.  Where were the airing out holes?  Where were they??  Under the armpits.  Two grommets in each.  The grommets were there, but they didn't go through the lining of the coat.  Holes in the outside rubbery part of the coat, yes, but not all the way through.  This was not a breathable jacket!  These exterior grommets were decoys!  I'm clutching the armpits in a murderous grip - threatening to strangle the coat when I hear...

"Love your boots!!"

I glance up, and there's my friend Henry, all dapper in his sweater and complementary tie - looking cool and British and not like he's going to pass out from heat exhaustion.  He smiles and waves.  I wave back and cross the road to say hello.  By the time I get to the other sidewalk, my breathing has calmed, I'm no longer dizzy.  I look down at my boots.  I love them too. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

So there I was... naked, running with scissors...

Stompy.  I was SOOOOOO stompy.  Throwing blankets and sheets down to be washed.  Stomp.  Stomp.  Stomp.  David and Rissa exchanging "What the hell is happening?" looks below in the kitchen.

The panic had beset me while still in bed.   I'd looked up at the ceiling with the skim coat of drywall compound taunting me - just waiting to cover the entire room with its fallout of dust.  I shot a terrified look over to the closet wall.  Plastic running the entire length of the wall reassured me - the clothes might be safe.

I then glanced at the carpet.  Oh God.  Carpet and drywall dust - we were doomed.  The taper/mudder was coming back that day - there would be sanding - I had to find more floor coverings. I had one rotten sheet that covered 10 square feet.  I had to find more plastic.   Where was more plastic?!?  We didn't have enough plastic to cover the entire floor!!

My head shot side to side in panic before I spotted, in the corner, a bunched up pile of plastic.  Okay... Okay... this might work. If I could just get to the corner... but I couldn't, because our under-the-bed containers (that had been moved when we shoved the bed to the centre of the room), were in my way.    And a box full of completely superfluous shit was in my way.  And there were clothes on the chair just sitting there.  And what about our bedding?!?   

That's when, still naked,  I'd grabbed all the bedding off the bed and threw it down the stairs.  I ran back to our room and grabbed the plastic sheeting that we'd pulled off to be able to sleep in the bed overnight and laid it over top of the now-bare mattress.  I grabbed the first under-the-bed container, defying the strain in my bad shoulder and hefted it towards the stairs.

"DAVID!!  David I need you!!"
(Now I'd morphed into Inigo Montoya.)

David appeared at the bottom of the stairs.  His eyebrows raised at my nakedness and apoplectic state, but he said not a word.    He met me half way up the stairs, stepping around the previously thrown laundry and took the container from me.  I ran back up the stairs to grab the 2nd container, which I carried downstairs myself.

More looks passed between David and Rissa.  I knew I was behaving irrationally.  I knew that.  Could I stop it?  No.

I moved the superfluous shit box.  I grabbed the plastic sheeting.  Scissors!  I needed scissors!!  Where were the fucking scissors?!?  I was giving myself whiplash trying to locate them in the room.  I launched myself across the bed when I spotted the errant tool on the dresser.  Armed now, I cut the sheeting in two pieces - one could go at the head of the bed and then other at the foot.  What about beside the bed?!?  The one side had been covered by the stupid rotten sheet - but there was still the other side!!  We didn't have any more plastic.  Old sheets!  Where were our old sheets?  I had no fucking clue - probably hidden in the eaves of the now-sealed wall of closet.

I raced to Rissa's room.  I was now naked, running with scissors... I opened Rissa's blanket box.. no sheets.  But there was an old plaid polar fleece blanket.  "HAH!"  I ran with it back to my room and used the scissors to cleave it in half.  If I put them end-to-end that might just do!  Yes, that'd do.  The floor was mostly covered.  The drywall dust wouldn't hit the carpet, but if someone - say a taper/mudder of near gigantic proportions was moving around on these haphazard pieces of floor covering... TAPE!! I needed tape!  Painters' Tape, I found out, does not stick to plastic.  DUCT TAPE!  I needed duct tape.  By the time I was done, there was a patchwork quilt of pastic sheeting, a rotten sheet, cut up blankets and duct tape covering the majority of floor that was within drop distance of drywall dust.  Then, then I took a breath... and apologized to my family.

p.s.  Turns out?  According to our taper/mudder... plastic sheeting? Not the best bet when you then might want to walk on the area.  Better idea?  Floor underlayment paper.  Thankfully, he had to take another day for the mudding to really dry, so we had time to visit the home building centre and do this after work yesterday...

Peri-menopause and home renovations don't mix.

Monday, June 9, 2014

To spin, or not to spin...

My body is such an over-achiever.  It's racing full-on towards decrepitude decades before the norm. The good news?  I'm like those Sentinels from X-Men: Days of Future Past - I am able to adapt with every challenge.  My Achilles Tendons ache when I wear 4 inch heels?  Not a problem!  3 inch heels it is!  My neck goes out when I apply a rough plaster finish continuously for  3 hours?  Not a problem!  Rest every 1/2 hour and change hands occasionally - something every teenaged boy learns very early on.

Apparently, my trick shoulder - my Super Spanitus - has been craving a little bit more attention.  I guess that I haven't given it its due lately.  What with general forgetfulness, also associated with age, I don't remember doing anything to it.  It's not like I've completely disregarded my physiotherapist's advice and gone back to 50 push ups before I retire to the boudoir.  I'm not even doing 1 push up.  I haven't trapped my arm underneath me in bed and then torn the tendons by attempting to slide it up across the mattress without first rolling over to my back in a long time.  I've adapted.

And yet - the shoulder has been twingeing - when I reach for something, when I use the back scrubber in the shower.  I recently got a nice, new lift-and-separate bra, and it hurts to do it up.  Thanks to this bra, my girls finally have some vintage-inspired perk, and I can't put it on.

The last couple of nights, David's had to help me disrobe.   Poor bugger, I presented my back to him and he became confounded at not having to reach around me to do his 1-SNAP-NAKED move.  I'd thrown off his groove.  Me, relying on him in this way is throwing off my groove.  I was going to have to bite the bullet and invest in front-closure brassieres.  I was bummed.

Last night, at a long-awaited girls' night, I asked everyone's opinion about front-closure bras.  On account of the fact that I was going to have to switch to them because of my early decline into decrepitude.  The words had barely left my mouth, when a chorus of  "Why don't you just spin it?"s echoed through the room.  Little cartoon word bubbles, filled with the phrase appeared over each of my friends' heads - in differing fonts, depending upon the person.

It never even occurred to me.

Since the age of 11, I've been a reach-back gal.  After nearly 3 and a half decades of doing something one way,  to find out there was an alternative?  Revelatory.

It's akin to learning to knit.  Mom tried to teach me to knit the "Continental" way, and my brain nearly melted.  You know why?  Because knitting, in every North American visual medium, has that thing where you have to wrap the yarn around with one hand.  Even when you mime knitting, you knit one or whatever and then you have to wrap the yarn around the needles.  You don't just slip it under surreptitiously.  You make a show of it.  Which, frankly, is why I've always done my bra up in the back.

"Hey look at me!  Look at my dexterity!  Look how I can make my arms disappear while clothing myself! TA-DAH!!!"

But now... now, I didn't have to buy any bras!  Not a one.  I just have to put those wee hooks in their wee little eyes in front of me and then spin the sucker...

In our group of 6 women last night.  3 of us were reach-back ers and 3 were spinners.  I found out that two of the spinners tried the reach-back this morning, probably at the same moment that I was attempting my first spin.  Old dogs.  New Tricks.

Friday, June 6, 2014

After dinner entertainment

"Uh... Heather?  Can you come here for a second?"  David's voice sounds hushed, a little odd.


"We have some visitors at the back door."

Who?  Who would be walking all the way to the back door?  Everybody comes to the side door - the one to which the other door, the first side door with the sign points. 

Rissa and I make our way to the kitchen.

"Who's here?" we ask.

David steps back to reveal two bassett hounds framed in the kitchen door.  "BASSETS!!"  Rissa and I make our way outside.

This is WAY better than the neighbours bearing a gift basket with wine which is who I'd thought would be visiting.  Technically these dogs are neighbours - the back yard kitty-corner to the south-east of us has 6 bassets between two sides of a duplex.  I guess there's a hole in the adjoining fence somwhere.

(If I wasn't too excited to even think about grabbing a camera, and I'd taken photos, they would have been something like this.)

Someone else's basset hounds

Affectionate to the point of obscene, these beasts bare their bellies - showing off their un-neutered nethers - and more than a little excited to see us...   ("Dude!"  Rissa says.  "You're showing me way too much information!")  After a good tummy rub, they gallumph to the front of the house, before making their way into our eastern neighbours' yard.

Then, as we turn to head back inside, Rissa yells "Incoming!"  Two more basset hounds appear at the bottom of our yard... then two more...  then two more...  the bottom of our yard has turned into a basset hound clown car - they just keep emerging.  The math doesn't add up.  Then I realize what must be happening... they've found another hole in our neighbours' yard that takes them home, and the 6 bassets are now running laps between all the yards.

I'm not saying it was my best evening ever, but it was pretty damned close.

shot by Luke Askelson

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My cat's a cougar

Minuit hated the kittens as soon as they entered our home.  Despised them.  She exhibited such violent loathing that we frequently had to physically remove her from their backs and spray her with water. At the age of 4, Minuit was well-on her way to being crotchety (not to be confused with crochet-y - although that would make us tonnes of cash in YouTube videos if we had her making wee blankets for the elderly cats in her neighbourhood.)

Since we moved to the new house, Minuit has had a change of heart towards Steve,  and who can blame her?  Steve is an attractive orange tom cat with lots of personality, who will stretch his long body across a quilt, showing off his sexy tom physique.  Lola, Minuit will still bully, gamboling after  her younger sibling as only a 1/2 paralyzed cat can, chawing on Lola's neck when she catches her.  To be fair, Lola is a bit of a drama queen and might over-react a titch when an open mouth turns toward her, but when I hear her yowling and turn to look, Minuit is usually pinning her down and growling at her by that point.

Minuit now sleeps with Steve.  Cuddles up to him, grooms him.  The other day I stepped in a wet, slimy, orange hair ball.  I assumed that it was from Steve's gullet, but in second consideration I'm pretty sure that the bile-covered hair came, in fact, from Minuit, who now seems to spend all her spare time glued to Steve's side.  For two beasts incapable of having kittens, they seem to be pretty damned intimate, often sleeping on top of one another.  I opened my closet curtain to get dressed this morning, and the look Minuit gave me was pure venom.  I apologized and left.  I think I may have twat-blocked her.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Are they made from diamond dust?

You ever shop for bed skirts?  I was killing time at a Bed, Bath & Beyond a bit back, thinking "Hey!  We need some new bed skirts - I'll just have a looksee in their linens dept."

They started at $45 and went up from there.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but it's the bed perimeter x 15 inches of good fabric sewn onto a piece of crap fabric that actually sits on the box spring, right? Is the part that you can actually see made from spun gold or diamond dust?  It's just sheet fabric right?  It doesn't even have to be high-count sheet fabric - it's not going to go anywhere close to your body, and at floor level who is going to say, "Hey, that's 180 count fabric if ever I saw it"??

This is when not having energy pisses me off.  If I had loads of energy I would just buy some cheap-ass sheets and make my own bed skirts.  It's not rocket surgery.

My present ennui is stopping me from saving money. I'm all about saving money and now here I am, on the verge of buying freaking bed skirts.  And even if I did buy the bed skirts, just the thought of having to take the mattress and bedding off the box spring to then carefully smooth out the bed skirt seems too daunting a task.

So is this ennui that comes of moving to a new home and having accomplished the first round of renovations, or am I veering into depression territory?  Is my peri-menopause truly kicking into high gear and fucking with my sanity now?  'Cause either of those would be inconvenient.

What's really concerning me is that I don't want to go to movies.  And going to movies for me is probably my most favourite activity in the world - 3 weeks out of the month.  For the 4th week, I'm hormonal and all I want is sex, but those other 3 weeks, if I could see three movies a day in a movie theatre - I'd be in Heaven.  So when David suggests that we go see a movie, and I can't muster up the energy to leave the house, that's a pretty big freaking red flag for me.  Problem is, the signs of depression?  Apathy, exhaustion, mental fog?  Are remarkably like signs of Peri-menopause... depression, crashing fatigue, mental fog.  Which are also remarkably like signs of Hypothyroidism...  fatigue, depression, mental fog. 

I feel like I'm playing hormonal roulette...
Place your bets!  Place your bets!

Drowning once more in a pool of depression scares the shit out of me.  So I refuse to do that.  Not going to happen.  This, I have decided, is all peri-menopause crap.  My hormones have simply kicked into a higher gear of fucking with me - which, now that I'm aware and I know all the symptoms - I can counteract.  Today, when I get home from work, I'm ironing for the first time since Christmas. 

Baby steps, folks.  Tomorrow I'll unpack the last two boxes in my bedroom.