Wednesday, December 24, 2014

When did my eyelids turn to crepe paper?

I've never been a real eyeshadow kind of gal.  My eyelid landscape is less pastoral and more one bedroom walk-up.  Sure, in my late teens, I went all out with the blue eyeliner and shadow, but lately, I've stuck mostly to some eyeliner on my upper lids.  If I'm heading out for something fancy, something festive, I might throw on some shimmery highlights to make  my eyes looks bigger than they actually are.  Not anime big - that'd be impossible, and just fucking creepy - but big--ger.

Sometime in the last month, my eyelid canvas lost its stretch.  This past week alone - filled with holiday events - has sent me on a fruitless search for my lost lid collagen.   

Maybe it's under the couch...  Well there you are - climb back up here you little dickens!

Putting on simple eyeliner now involves carefully pulling my upper lid into some semblance of smooth all the while guesstimating the costs of a eye lift.  For eons we have been told to only use our ring finger to smooth anything near our eyes, on account of the fact that the skin there is so freaking delicate.  I'm now terrified that if I use more than one finger to do the stretching for eyeliner, that I'll actually leave a tear in my crepe papery eyelids.

"Heather, how are you?"

"Feeling less like myself and more like Yzma from The Emperor's New Groove... and you?"

But, on the bright side, my eyelids are so loose that I can now use them for finger plucking percussion! 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

This does NOT taste like gingerbread!

"Oh God... gag... gag... BLECH... shudder

"What?  What is it?"  David asks from upstairs.

"Putting molasses on top of peanut butter toast doesn't help," I say.  "Anne-Marie was wrong."  I shudder, still gagging, as I begin to scrape the molasses layer off of my peanut butter.  gag... gag...

Two days ago, when I was complaining about how eating raw molasses tasted like crap - Anne-Marie had suggested to put it over top of peanut butter on toast.

I had already tried drinking molasses in warm water and when two sips of that made me want to hurl, I tried swallowing an undiluted tablespoon of it. That method, was also unacceptable.

Why, one might ask, was I attempting to eat raw molasses in the first place?  After my bloodwork showed that my iron stores, while normal, were on the low, low, low end of normal, my dietician gave me a list of high iron foods that I could add to my diet.  I had been making my way through the list.  So far I'd tackled lentils and molasses. Lentils - not a problem - I added some to meatloaf - I added some to rice.  I should have been happy - I shouldn't have changed tacks.

But next on the list was molasses - a single tbsp of molasses.  You use molasses in baking - in GINGERBREAD for frickssake!  I seemed completely reasonaable that a tincture of molasses with warm water would be akin to drinking gingerbread cookies. I have never been more wrong in my life.

I'm not usually a taste wuss.  On rare occasions there are flavours, when they hit my tongue, kick in the gag reflex.  Cherry cough syrup?  One of those flavours.  I actually choose to take Buckley's Mixture for my cough because I prefer camphor to the taste of fake cherry cough syrup.  Brussel Sprouts -  those suckers touch my taste buds and the pre-vomit saliva kicks into high gear. But those two taste were pretty much it.  I now have a third.  Any health food nut who tries to sing the high iron praises of molasses to me is going to get a graphic gagging replay of how my mouth reacts to molasses.

No worries, I will continue to move down the list... Quaker Instant oatmeal??  I could have just had Quaker instant oatmeal?!?  You know those exams where the first instruction was to read the entire exam and the last instruction was not to do any of the questions?  I didn't have to gag nearly as much as I've been gagging... (that's what she said...)

Friday, December 19, 2014

And THAT is how Peri Menopause makes you healthier...


"You okay?"

I don't even want to admit what I've done.  "Fine.  I'm fine."

David's eyebrows raise.

I'm sitting on the sofa in our petite grande room.  I have a Rusty Nail in one hand and cheap-ass Christmas romance collection in the other.

"I might have eaten bad things," I mumble.

"Pardon me?"

"grumble... grumble..."



David sighs.  He shakes his head.  "Oh, love..."  He knows.  He knows that it's been a rough week.

Day 5 of my period - I'm having record-breaking blood flow.  Sweet merciful Gaia how much blood can a woman lose?  David has been handing me random glasses of water all week to keep me hydrated.  And my food cravings?  They are through the roof, hence the three Rice Krispie squares before dinner, and the empty bowl that had contained chocolate chips and Skor bits in it beside me, and the Rusty Nail in my hand.

During the night, I suffer.  I suffer miserably from night sweats.  Because why?  Because of all the sugar and alcohol running through my body.  Usually I avoid it.  Not all of it because that would be bananas, but most of it.  I have no caffeine, I limit myself to one drink, I avoid overly sugary foods... 

As I flap the blankets around me, it's revelatory.  THIS.  This is how to begin living healthfully...  Not because it's good for you, but to avoid the worse stuff.  I love caramel, I love enjoying more than one of anything in life, but now that there are ramifications... ramifications that affect my sleep...  I gotta change my ways.  Surely to God there are better things out there than a caramel and alcohol!  Things that won't make me feel ill and won't give me hot flashes...

Sex!  I CAN HAVE LOTS AND LOTS OF SEX!!!  That will give me an endorphin rush AND it will HELP ME SLEEP!!!  How is that for solving things the natural way?  I am a freaking genius.

"David, come here..."

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Shopping with the spouse.

We are in the Men's Outerwear department at Sears.  (David has finally abandoned his attempts to zip up his existing jacket with an XL paper clip.)

"This one.  This one is good."  David holds up a long, black parka.

"You haven't tried it on yet."

"Yes, but it LOOKS good.  Good hood, good pockets..."  David shows me the faux fur styling around the parka's hood - reveals the inside coat pockets - the extra long, 'these'll make it very warm,' cuffs.

He puts the down-filled parka on.  "OH YEAH.  This is good."  He zips... he attempts... to zip it up.

"Zipper trouble?"

"I got too excited."  He struggles to get the zipper back down.  "It's all good."  He flourishes his hand and zips again.  Again, the zipper gets caught.  That's when I start handing him other coat options.

"Try this."

He looks longingly at the first parka.  I shake my head.  "Dude.  I know that it has everything you need - but you've gotten the zipper stuck both times you've tried - you are not the most patient of zipper-ers...  This will become a thing.  You will hate this zipper."

He sighs and tries on the second coat.  "No - too baggy in the waist."

"It's got this tightening thingie, right here..."

"That's just for the bottom to keep snow out," he scoffs.  "My waist, THIS waist," he now points to his belly button, "will get too cold in that coat."

I hand him another coat.

"Ugh.  NO!"  He moves his chin back and forth.  "Scratchy.  Too scratchy."

"But what about the rest of the coat?"  I look for inside pockets and check the arm length.

"Doesn't matter - it's too scratchy - that can't be fixed."

"Unless you wear a scarf..."

"Sure, if you want to be logical about it."


"Okay, then - THIS one."  I hand him a parka with a working zipper.

"Yeah, it'll do..." he looks longingly at the first 'perfect' parka.

"I know hon, I know...  but the zipper would drive you to madness..."

"Yeah...  sigh.  Now we'll just check out Mark's Work Warehouse to see if the prices are any better."


"You tell me I should comparison shop..."

He's right.  I do.

We leave the big mall and head to Mark's Work Warehouse across the street.

He circles the outerwear dept.  "Nope.  Nothing here in my size."



I hand him a medium-sized ski jacket with a hood.  "What about this?"

"Ugh.  No. (shudder)  Too colourful."  (The jacket is forest green and navy blue.)

"This one?"

"Too loose."

"This one?"

"Bad hood... Look at it.  All floppy - no warmth!  Nope there is NOTHING here.  I'll get the other one at Sears."

"The one with the working zipper, right?"

He pauses,  hangs his head.  "Yes."

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I dub thee...

David has been wanting to upgrade my computer for the past two years.  About a month ago, I finally capitulated.

"All right."

"All right?"

"Start the search."

"The search for...?

"A new computer."



I couldn't take the endless UNRESPONSIVE SCRIPT warnings and time lags - which is hilarious, because anyone in their 40s remembers what a true time lag is - the ones at the beginning of internet usage when it would take 23 minutes for a page to load.

First we went looking at Staples - in advance of Black Friday...  An entire aisle of laptops.  From the very cheap Google tablets...  (I'm just making that name up - it's a computer that does everything by using the Cloud.  The cloud creeps me out.  I don't want the CLOUD) ... to the ridiculously expensive.

"What do you want?"  David says

"Whatever's cheapest - whatever is faster than mine  (everything is faster than mine - my last laptop was a refurbished Dell - 4 years ago), whatever is lighter than mine (everything is lighter than mine - see last parenthetical),   whatever has a standard QWERTY keyboard ('cause with some of these new laptops, the keyboard, she shrinks just a titch).

We found a light, compact laptop and I started typing.

"No!"  I moved to the next one.


"Split shift keys.  I shift with my left pinkie.  That keyboard," I point to the last one, "has a split shift key.  My typing will be off."  I go up and down the aisle, looking at the keyboards.  "No.... no... no... no... no... NO."

"Just try them," David urges.

I type my full name.  The first letters in my legal name now read "\" .  "Nope... nope... nope annnnnd NOPE."  Before David even opens his mouth, I stop him.  "I am an old dog. And though you might be able to teach an actual old dog new tricks - old dogs don't have to type.   I have been typing a certain way for the last 30 years.  30 YEARS.  THIRTY.  The level of practice it'll take for me to adapt to a split shift key?  I don't have time for that!!"

So he researches and online comparison-shops.  And the Lenovo that I am now typing on arrives.

"CRAP!"  says David.


"It has a split shift key."

I look over - yep - there it is - the dreaded split-shift key.  I typety-type for a few moments.

"No, I think we're good," I say.   The keyboard, being a little shrinkified to make the laptop more compact - has designed the shift keys a little bit smaller.  I won't have to adapt that much. That's not to say that the keyboard isn't just that slight bit off  when I type certain things, I fuck them u[.  UP.  I f7ck things \up. No worries - it'll all be fine.

"Okay.  Now you have to name it," he says.

"I get to choose a name?"


"Huzzah!"  I LOVE choosing names.  Naming things is my forte.  Five minutes later I'm still sitting at my computer.

"Haven't got one yet?"  David asks..

"No, not yet, but..."  My fingers lift from the keyboard in anticipation...  "Nnnnnnnnope."

"You know that you can change your mind?"

"I want to get this right."  My first instinct was Margaret, but as I toss the name around in my head, it doesn't ever settle down.

"It starts with an 'm,' I say.

He raises his eyebrows.  "With an 'm'?"



I stare at the screen.

I clear my head.  I breathe deeply.   Moments pass.  "Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...." 

"Are you meditating now?"


"Mmmmmmmmmmmm... HAH!"


"Yes.  I've got this."  I begin to type.  Eight letters.

M. A. R. Z. I. P. A. N.

"You've named your computer after almond paste?"

"No I have named my computer after a pig."

"You know a pig named marzipan?"

"No.  But if I had a pig, I would name it Marzipan.  As it stands now, when I see the computer's name I will think of a small pig, possibly made out of marzipan, who, coincidentally, is also named Marzipan."

David opens his mouth and then closes it.

"What?" I ask.

"Nothing.  I love you."

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Eggnog Equation

I recently  made the mistake of looking at the nutritional information on the President's Choice "World's Best" Eggnog.  1 cup = 290 calories.  290 CALORIES???  Without the rum??  Sure, on occasion, one might drink eggnog sans rum, but I don't.  Which means that I've gotta add that extra 72 calories for an ounce of rum.  So that puts the total up to... 362 calories... for a serving of eggnog. 

Just for comparison, I thought I'd look at the calories in Kawartha Dairy Eggnog - the best eggnog in the UNIVERSE.  I looked at the calorie count and got so excited!   ONLY 190 calories per serving!!!

I could have TWO servings and it'd only be... wait... just... a... second.  They say that 1 serving is 1/2 a  cup.  Who drinks 1/2 a cup of eggnog!?!  Who does that?  I know for sure that I don't.  No one I know drinks 1/2 a cup of freaking eggnog.  An actual realistic 1 cup human serving of the best eggnog in the universe would be 380 calories, PLUS rum.  452 calories.  That is not a snack's worth of calories.  That is a meal.  That is the caloric equivalent of a meal.  *bangs head on keyboard*

Eggnog.  Oh, eggnog, why?  WHY???   I have to find a way to have a satisfying amount of your eggy, creamy goodness without giving up one of my meals in a day...  Yes, sure I could drink the light eggnog *gag*, but really, what's the point?  


SHOTS!!!  EGGNOG SHOTS!!!  I pour out 1 oz of eggnog with a 1/4 ounce of rum, top 'em with a little shake of nutmeg and I do them as SHOTS!  I haven't done a shot of anything in probably a decade.  I could have 4 eggnog shots and it'd only be a snack!!  I bet even after two shots, the sense memory of slamming back a shot will have me saying, "Okay, whoa there Nellie... let's not get out of control here..."

I'm having them for breakfast this morning... You know, on account of the fact that there's a huge amount of protein in eggnog shots.  THIS.  This may be the best idea I've had EVER.  And I give it to you.  Share it freely with all those who worship at the altar of eggnog.  Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Oh chocolate, thou Christmas strumpet!

Self-control, why hast thou forsaken  me?  I know that I shouldn't eat this shit.  I know that.  I'm a grown up, I've lived with my body for long enough to understand how it works.  So.....  


I'm going to hell.  It's the freaking holiday season, sending me headlong into the Hell of a Thousand Sugar Plum Comas.   Tonight's conveyance?  A box of Pot of Gold chocolates.  Sweet Jesus, the rum butter caramels and the mocha caramels and the almond caramels... You see a pattern developing here?

I was given free boxes of chocolates.  Yes, you read that right - boxes - plural.  You cannot say NO to free boxes of chocolate.  I defy even a diabetic, to say NO to receiving free chocolate.  Hell, if you can't eat them, you could at least watch someone else eat them. You know, vicarious-like.  Saying NO to boxes of chocolates is akin to turning away lottery winnings.   Have you ever heard someone say, "No thank you, I'd rather not have the 7.6 million - give it to that person over there..." ?  No, you have not.   At the very least, one accepts the lottery winnings before giving those winnings to charity.

Me?  I'm offered sinful confections and I respond thus,"FREE CHOCOLATES!?!  ALLLLL RIGHT!!!!"

And now I type this post high on sugar and chocolate.  Caramel is my Achilles Heel.  The feel of it, its sweetness on curve of my tongue - it undoes me.  You want to hobble me?  Throw a box of caramel chocolates in my path.  I'm high, with the added bonus of a sugar headache behind my eyes.  I am also consumed with guilt for eating 7 chocolates - on top of the 6 I had earlier.

Watch how Heather's blood sugar spikes then plummets - right about here on the chart.  Why does she do it, you ask?  Because once those pleasure sensors in her brain are activated, she will not be satisfied until all the caramel chocolates in her view have been consumed.  

Holiday chocolate bingeing brings on the holiday wrestling with one's inner bulimic.  I will not make myself throw up.  I will not make myself throw up.  I will not make myself throw up.  

Time to get Rissa to hide the other box before the cellophane is cracked.

Shoulders back.  Own this.  I apologize blood sugar - I fucked up.  I'll do better tomorrow.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

She loves me THIS much...

WARNING: This post might gross some readers out.

"Mummy, I've got something that you can pop on my back," says Rissa as she comes down the stairs.

I leap up from my chair.  "You do!?!"  This is groundbreaking.  Rissa rarely lets me anywhere close to Zit Country.  I can usually see it only from the highway, passing at 117 km/h.

"Yes.  BUT.  I have to ice it first to dull the pain."  She heads to the freezer.

"Well, yes, of course, you ice it..."  I try to act all nonchalant... I keep my hands demurely clasped in front of me.  I don't say, "Let me see, let me see, let me see!"

She presents her back, and pulls her cardigan to the side.

"Wow," I say.  Impressive.  It is an impressive zit.

"WaitJUSTWAIT," says she.  She holds the ice cube to it - wincing.  "Okay, do your worst."  She turns her head to the side.

David comes around the corner.  "What's going on?"

"Rissa's letting me pop a zit!!!!"


"I can't reach it," says Rissa.

"Godspeed," says David.

"With great power comes great responsibility, With great power comes great responsibility," I chant silently to myself.  If this goes well... Dare I hope?

I squeeze the zit - a spectacular amount of guck comes out.   I do my best to internalize my 96% similarity to apes and do not whoop out loud.  "Ice it again."


"Again.  I want to make sure that I got it all."

She looks at me in horror.

I shrug apologetically.  "I know what I'm doing here.  Years.  Years of perfecting this."

She raises the ice cube again.



I finish the job with finesse.  "Here.  Here is a Kleenex.  Apply pressure."

"Apply pressure?!?"

"Yeah.  Just so you don't get blood on your sweater."

"Blood on my..."

"Just do it."

"It still hurts."

"Medicine, in my side of the vanity.  Apply now and when you get back from school.  My job here is done."

I will wait until she's left for school before doing my Snoopy Dance.  Gross?  Most definitely.  Satisfying?  Words cannot express.