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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Mi, Mi, Mi-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-!

I have my first voice lesson at 11:15. I feel a little ill. I wonder if anyone has been kicked out after one lesson?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

And We're Home!

Let the laundry begin. And the unpacking. And the grocery shopping (Mother Hubbard, anyone?). We ran into a wicked, wicked thunderstorm just before Kemptville. The sky was pitch black up ahead, and as we drove, it kept getting darker and darker, and the lightning started, and suddenly we were driving in torrential rain. Really torrential - we pulled over with about 8 other cars. Since I lived in Miami, I have never had to pull over for rain, but this was crazy! Corwin was worried that we weren't going to get home, then it let up a bit after a few minutes, and we were on our way. Rain stopped, and it's sunny (ish), hot & humid here. Better unpack!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Last Days

The last days of the vacation have been wonderful, too. On Friday, we went to The Twisted Fork here in Oakville. My parents have been friends with the owner since he was the chef at another establishment in town and they took cooking lessons from him (Dad - basic and the specialized, Mom - just the specialized). Now, he and his wife and their son are family friends. Corwin and Clara love eating at Michael's restaurant - no wonder, Michael is a very cool guy. Laura is sweet and fun to hang out with, and their son, CoolDude is . . . well, cool! We had a very enjoyable lunch, and the kids were thrilled that CoolDude (who is three and a half years older than Corwin and Clara) was at the restaurant. We saw him briefly, but he was really tired - he had been up since 4:30 am with his dad, since Michael was on Breakfast Television that morning (click the link, scroll down - you can see some of the Breakfast Television clips from the past 8 months). The rest of the day was low key, and it was probably the earliest night I had.

Saturday was cloudy and rainy in the morning, and the kids were too funny - they amused themselves by putting on a show with all of their stuffed animals. The funniest thing was that they replicated one of the tricks from the parrot show from African Lion Safari! We ended up going out for lunch again, this time to Snug Harbour in Mississauga. Great seafood and a view of the harbour. The weather cleared up a bit, so Hubby and the kids went swimming, and I took my mom to the store to pick up a couple of things. And then we swung by The Twisted Fork for a drink. I had a Twisted Special (vodka, orange juice, cranberry juice, and soda), and my mom had a glass of wine. And then Laura came to sit and chat (it was around 4 - too early for the dinner crowd). Then Michael joined us. Just after 6, we headed home. I'd had a couple of drinks, and then a non-alcoholic one. My mom had 4 glasses of wine - and you could tell. My dad kept teasing her all evening!

Sunday was the big party day. Michael, Laura and CoolDude were coming for a pool party, and another couple and their two girls were coming, too. The first group arrived around 1, and Corwin and Clara were so thrilled to swim with Michael and CoolDude. Of course, their splashing was interrupted as the dark clouds rolled in and the crack of thunder was heard. No matter, they had fun inside until it cleared up - they did get some more swimming in later. It was a good evening overall, but Hubby and I were very frustrated that we spent most of the evening babysitting the other couples kids (their girls are 7 and almost 4). Allow me to say that Corwin, Clara, and CoolDude play just fine together (last year they spent about 4 days together, and they were younger then), and we check on them and are available when needed. This was not like that. WE had to keep tabs on their kids, and the older daughter is very hard to entertain, the kind of kid who instigates things. It pissed me off that the parents got to sit and relax and stay at the dinner table (the kids ate earlier) and Hubby and I were up and down constantly. My mom was not impressed either, but she was busy with the cooking/hostessing portion of the event. Needless to say, I was exhausted once they all left, and am hoping that next year, the other couple won't be coming! The good news is that Laura and CoolDude are planning to take the train up for a few days to visit us in August.

Today is a sunny, hot and relaxing day. Hubby and I took the kids to the park/splash pad near here, where they just wanted to play on the climbers. We came home for lunch by the pool, and spent the afternoon swimming. Dinner was barbequed steak, potatoes (sliced with onions in a foil packet on the 'que and baked sweet potatoes), sauteed mushrooms, and salad. The kids were tired, and Corwin was asking if we could stay just one more day before he fell asleep. We're mostly packed, and I'm heading out on the deck to enjoy the rest of my Corona.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Goin' To The Rodeo!

Who knew that bucking bronco riders and bull riders were so damn good-looking? Talk about eye candy! Last night, my Dad was watching the highlights from this year's Calgary Stampede and I was just hanging out. Well . . . a couple of cowboys took off their hats after they rode and I was happily surprised. Not quite ready to plan a whole vacation there, but who knows?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Stripes, Anyone?

So . . . Wednesday. Once we got back to Oakville, we had a great time in the pool with the kids. Or rather, Hubby did - I went for a massage with my mom's massage therapist. My neck/shoulder have still been bothering me - the RMT that I saw in lieu of my regular one was okay, but did not release the knot completely, so it rebounded (and it came back even worse). Well, Libby certainly knows what she's doing! A lot of massage therapists shy away from deep tissue work in the neck. But that's what I NEED! And let me tell you, that's what I got. Not exactly comfortable, but yoga breathing helped, and it's awesome to be able to move without twingy pain. There's still a bit of a knot left, but she released so many others that I'm not having rebound issues.

Wednesday evening, we attempted to deep fry a turkey. We were test-running it before Thanksgiving in October - I mean, who wants to screw up Thanksgiving dinner, right? Good thing - the instructions were not AS specific as they could have been, and the breast and wings cooked fine, but the legs weren't completely done. That's okay - there was enough to eat, and we cooked the rest in a pot on the stove. We'll do it again, but not for Thanksgiving, because if it rains at all, you have to shut everything off and cover it. There was wine, more on the deck once the kids went to bed, and I really should have had more water.

Hangover Thursday - we went to African Lion Safari. We drove through in our own vehicle, and the kids were dying for one of the baboons to climb onto our car. Unfortunately, the car in front was opening the windows and feeding the animals (totally not allowed - they were even asked to stop by a park ranger, and did - until he was out of sight). They actually caused a screaming, chasing fight between the baboons. We finally got one to climb up, and the kids were thrilled. We also saw the giraffes, and the rhinos, and the lions, and the cheetahs. And the zebras. Ah, the zebras. One male was standing quite proudly, displaying his rather impressive manhood. Of course, Corwin noticed and said "what's that? Poop?" And Clara said,"no, Corwin, it's a penis". "No it's not, it's poop!". I had to say that yes, Clara was correct. And Corwin's response - "it's too big! And it's just black - it should be black and white striped!" Anyone else giggling at that visual?

Once through the game reserve, we had lunch and then checked out some of the other attractions. We saw the parrot show, went to the petting zoo, and we were just on our way to see the elephants when the thunderstorm really hit. We just got into the car before the rain started. So. . . we drove through the game reserve again. It was really awesome - the cheetahs were all walking around, the lions were alert . . . and the giraffes had disappeared. I guess they put them away somewhere due to the likelihood that they would get hit by lightning in a storm. We headed home after that. Gotta love it when the kids totally crash on the way home. Ahhh. . . no more questions to answer!

Friday, July 21, 2006

The Stratford Update

Okay, now that everyone thinks I'm a raging alcoholic, I'll fill you in on the Stratford trip.

Hubby and I took the back route to Stratford - just better than dealing with all the traffic and trucks, especially when the area is so scenic, and we weren't in a hurry. Got to Acrylic Dreams, the B&B, around 2:30, and spent a bit of time chatting with Jack, one of the owners. They are just amazing people, with very interesting lives. Jack is an artist, teaches yoga, has cooked at a well-known, fine dining establishment in Stratford, and is just generally a cool person to talk to. Once we got our stuff in, Hubby and I went for a walk and browsed in some of the town's unique little stores. We headed back in order to change and get ready for dinner and the theatre.

We had changed our reservations to Keystone Alley, which is much closer to the Avon Theatre. Since we were walking, close proximity was a good thing - then I could wear totally impractical shoes with three and a half inch heels. Dinner was fabulous. I had a Framboise Royale (sparkling chardonnay and Sour Puss Raspberry), and Hubby had a microbrewed beer. He had the spring rolls to start, and I had the duck parfait (more like a terrine, served with toasted brioche and caperberries). For main courses, Hubby had the Thai-inspired grilled scallops with jasmine rice and bitter greens and I had the lamb en croute with sweet pea and mint pancakes, confit of exotic mushrooms, and sugar snap peas. I enjoyed a glass of wine with my meal, and Hubby was still sipping his beer. For dessert, Hubby had the chocolate truffle delice and I had the trio of creme brulee (grand marnier, chocolate-raspberry, and amaretto). The service was great, and the food was delicious.

We had a bit of time after dinner to browse through the theatre store. They have objects for sale inspired by the plays at the Avon Theatre. There were many tropical items inspired by South Pacific, some Dickensian things inspired by Oliver, and some British objects from London Assurance. Always fun to look at, but not nearly as good as the theatre store attached to the Festival Theatre, which is where the all the Shakespeare is performed. Of course, it was easier on the wallet this way!

The show itself was very well done. It was weird for me to see it. I know most of the lines and all of the music, yet have seen only snippets, because I was in the orchestra for our university production. Stratford definitely had a bigger set-design budget! It was quite entertaining, and Cynthia Dale is always wonderful (she was on my all-time favourite show, Street Legal), and Laird Mackintosh, who played Joe Cable, had an excellent voice. Overall, an enjoyable production. Afterwards, Hubby suggested that we go for a drink, so we sat inside this cute little pub. We would have sat on the patio on such a beautiful evening, but the smoke was a bit too thick (the downside of the Ontario smoking ban!).

The next morning, it was lovely to sleep in, especially without a dalmatian pressing into my spine! Breakfast was served at 9, and we had our own little table and the other 6 people at the B&B sat together (they were 3 American couples who were there to see several plays over 3 days). Jack brought us coffee right away, and Karen brought us our fruit plates - cantaloupe and blueberries garnished with mint from the garden. This was followed by divine scrambled eggs with fresh-snipped baby chives, a fresh tomato sliced and sprinkled with chives, a croissant, some homemade, whole grain toast, and homemade rhubarb/ginger jam and raspberry preserves. Yum! A short time after breakfast and a (too brief) visit with Karen, and we headed back to Oakville. Hopefully, we'll be back next year.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Thirteen Things about CANADA

My Worst Hangovers (and basically, there haven't been many more than this at all)

1. The first - I was 16. I drank everything, including peppermint schnapps. I passed out. And threw up. I didn't drink again for a VERY long time! (also couldn't look at KFC coleslaw or chicken)
2. The summer I was 18. I drank Canada Cooler - the original and the peach. I was pissed off at my boyfriend, so I drank more. Sleeping in a waterbed with no baffles. . . not so good.
3. Oct 18, 1987. I was still 18. It was my one year anniversary with the boyfriend from #2. I was away at university, and had also started dating Hubby (the boyfriend and I had stupidly agreed not to beak up over the phone or in a letter). I drank a litre and a half of Baby Duck. Ugh!!!! And the next day, Hubby and a friend brought me brunch. It was about 4 pm before I finished.
4. Aug 1990. A Friday night at the end of the month. Two friends from high school came from Toronto to London, Ont to visit me. We went out partying, and they stayed over. I was rather slow the next morning at the scuba shop where I worked.
5. Aug 1991. Tequila shots in an Ohio campground. The campground had no running water. There was me, and 5 guys camping (2 people in the van, and there were 2 tents). Don knew I liked tequila, and brought a quart. Everyone had a shot with me, except Rob, who had 2 (he'd never had it before). I really got into lick the salt, swig the tequila, bite the lemon, FLING the peel! When I woke up in the morning and staggered from my tent, I thought my eyes had malfunctioned. But no, there were yellow flashes - everywhere! Lemon peels. Ugh. And we were there for the last dives of our Advanced course in scuba (oh, and I worked at the shop which the instructor owned). I did the first dive, nearly threw up in my regs, and sat out the second dive.
6. Last weekend of Sept, 1991. Doing my Master's in Miami. I went to Pigeon Key with the Scuba and Sailing clubs. The Saturday night, we went to Key West. There were beverages, and then we came back to Pigeon Key and drank some more. Kind of a rough return to Miami the next day (not just for me!)
7. Fall, 1992. Went to a friend's place in West Palm Beach, went clubbing. Ordered a Kir Royale (I'd been drinking wine, and was trying to stick with wine-based stuff). Somehow, they gave me Crown Royal. Straight. Not a good choice. Not a good morning.
8. Spring, 1993. My friend Maro was a booker at the Ford Modelling Agency. She had connections to great parties, and we went out with her (very hot, Australian photographer) friend. There were many drinks and a lot of dancing. Not much sleep. I was still drunk when I woke up. Bad, very bad.
9. May 1995. I was married, but doing my internship at Miami Children's Hospital and Hubby was in Ottawa. My friend Nautica and I went and stayed at another friend's beach house on Isla Morada in the Keys. We tanned and hung out all afternoon, then went to the Tiki Bar that is quite famous in the area. Nautica was meeting this fireman, and he brought a friend. Lucky me, I got to hang out with him. I kept getting frozen drinks - Rum Runners, Pina Coladas, Daiquiris - that were made in Slurpee machines. Nautica's dude was getting annoyed because she kept watching me, happily drinking and quite tipsy, dancing with this other guy. She kept saying "I've never seen her like this!" Well, the next morning, it was a long drive back to Miami. An Arby's Jamocha shake helped me feel human again.
10. Summer, 1998 or 1999. A Sunday. Hubby and I were in Oakville visiting my parents. I was staying for the week, and Hubby left, but was coming back the following weekend. We had roast beef and red wine. The fourth bottle (Barolo!!! We've never had it again!)was a bad idea. The quote "my brain is banging against my skull" still makes my Mom laugh!
11. New Year's Eve, 2002. Our neighbours had a party. We didn't have a babysitter, so we switched off (Hubby went for a bit, then I went, and so on). Until the karaoke came out. He came home and sent me with gin and tonic. The bottle was gone when I finally came home (on my own steam - no one realized how drunk I was because it was another neighbour who was "relaxing" on the bathroom floor). I couldn't get vertical until 3:30 pm - and we had guests coming for dinner!
12. Austin, TX, Nov 2004. Music Therapy Conference. Out on the town with Bert, Pearl, and Berly. Sampling one of each on the martini menu. Things went downhill when they mixed in a champagne cocktail. "Are you here to meet a cowboy?" from some Texan guy, followed by him buying us a round, me telling him I didn't need anything (because I had realized that I was SMASHED). And then he asked me if I wanted to go back to my hotel, to which I said yes (I think we had different meanings - he thought Canadian girls were REALLY frendly, and I just needed to pass out). We left him at the bar, and took a horse-drawn carriage back. I made it to my room. It wasn't pretty the next morning. Toast and bacon that took hours to eat. Pearl refused to get me Gatorade because it's bad for your teeth. I finally got some, was fine within an hour - the next spring I made Pearl drink Gatorade to cure her hangover, and she was impressed by how well it works.
13. This morning. Too much white wine last night. Some Gatorade, a Grande Blackberry Green Tea Frappucinno (no whip) from Starbucks, and some Advil. The long ride to African Lion Safari during which I could close my eyes, and . . . as good as new.

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Just Another Day. . .

. . . in the sun. It was a total scorcher here today (and in many, many other places as well). I took my Mom for groceries in the morning (she doesn't drive - never has, never will), and we spent the rest of the day by the pool. Clara decided that it should be clothing optional - for a while she was a little nudist. She refused to put her bikini top back on because "Corwin doesn't have to, so I'm going to pretend I'm a boy". Okay - time for extra sunscreen, though!

Even with the pool and the shade and the AC, the kids have been exhausted by the end of the day. The heat and the extreme humidity is a factor for sure. They were both out by 8. The breeze really picked up this evening - the humidity is supposed to break and we may have thunderstorms overnight. My parents live very close to Lake Ontario, so even though we heard a few rumbles and saw some lightning, there's also a good chance that the storm may just blow over and hit north of here. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Tomorrow, Hubby and I are heading to Stratford. We're going to see South Pacific, one of the selections at this year's Stratford Festival. I wish we had more time (and money!) so that we could see a couple of the Shakespeare productions, but it's not in the cards. We're going to have dinner before the show, and we're spending the night at our favourite B&B, where we spent our wedding night (and several other stays). As for dinner, Hubby made reservations at Pazzo, while I had suggested Keystone Alley. I was a little annoyed, particularly as I looked up Pazzo to check out the menu, only to discover that it is a pizzeria. All well and good, but I don't really want a big pizza or heaping plate of pasta before a play - in July! I didn't say anything, because I didn't want to seem ungrateful. Well, today he suggested that we change our reservations to Keystone Alley. I called and left a message, and hopefully that will work out. Funnily enough, I also discovered that Pazzo has two dining areas - the pizzeria, and the fine dining experience. I'm SO glad I didn't bitch about it! And either way, it will be a fabulous evening - dinner out, great entertainment, and a romantic room at a B&B. And no kids!

My Celtic Horoscope

You Are A Rowan Tree

You are full of charm and cheer. You light up a room.
And while you crave attention, you do it without ego.
You are an interesting mix of contradictions - and very unpredictable.
You are both dependent and independent, calm and restless.
You are passionate, emotional, gregarious, and (at times) unforgiving.

A big thanks to crse for this quiz. Rather bizarre how correct it is!!!!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Big Hot Tub

What better way to start Sunday than by going to brunch at The Water Street Cooker? Of course the kids both had breakfast earlier, but were more than happy to dig in to the spectacular buffet. Clara loaded her plate with ham and shrimp, and a few mussels. Corwin ordered a 3 egg omelette (ham and cheese), and had sausage and bacon with a few hash browns to accompany. He went back for a plate full of mussels as well. I was seduced by the Caesar salad with optional toppings (I chose real bacon and lots of blue cheese crumbles), and a cup of seafood chowder. And I repeated this once (the rest looked good, but their seafood chowder was divine). Also divine? The fact that they would come around and top up your orange juice with champagne. Ah, mimosa! Let's not forget dessert. Clara could eat her weight in chocolate, and she happily enjoyed a Nanaimo Bar, a piece of carrot cake and some fruit. Corwin had 3 Nanaimo bars, and a whole bunch of watermelon. Another highlight - we were seated near the large, saltwater aquarium at my mother's request. The kids were thrilled! They were fascinated with the moray eel, and Corwin was beside himself with excitement that there was a clownfish just like Nemo.

Today it was even hotter than yesterday. GP had put the pool heater on last night because Clara was getting chilly in the 80 degree water. Unfortunately, he forgot to turn it off once the water reached a comfy 90 degrees. It was over 100 first thing this morning. Not remotely refreshing. It's sad when you have to get OUT of the pool to cool off (especially in an extreme heat and humidex warning). GP put the garden wand over the pool, making a shower of cold water - very welcome to swim through. We spent about 4 hours in the pool, and then came in to shower, cool off, and chill out before dinner. Corwin was particularly ratty when we were trying to get him in, but he was tired from all the swimming, and very, very warm! Once he came in and had a shower and a big drink of water, his mood improved dramatically.

Overall, we had a relaxing day and evening. The kids headed to bed by eight, and then the adults enjoyed the breeze that had picked up, sitting out on the deck with a few glasses of wine. I'm heading to bed shortly - tomorrow is supposed to be even hotter, and I'm planning on spending another day by the pool.

Ah, The Wine. . . .

A good day - spent by the pool. It was crazy hot, and Jazz dog insisted on hanging outside with us. Crazy puppy!

The wine. . . ah, the wine. It flows oh so liberally when I'm here. And I have been pacing myself by making Summer Spritzers (a good slug of white wine, a couple of ice cubes, a splash of cranberry juice, topped with soda water and a squeeze of lime). I have obviously not been pacing very well, by the way I have re-typed many, many words (where DO those extra letters come from?)

And I have been accepted as a student of the vocal teacher that Gordon (the organist/choir director) referred me to. By the way, on Wednesday, he and I had a rehearsal for the psalm I'm singing in August. He was enthusiastic. I'm just happy I managed to sing out loud in front of someone other than a client. Now it's getting over the hurdle of singing in front of the WHOLE congregation (granted, it's smaller in the summer, but still . . .) And vocal lessons. This is a big step for performance anxiety-ridden me!!!

Okay, back to the wine. And soon to bed. But I have to read some more of The Devil Wears Prada - damn, it's funny!! And I broke my rule - I saw the movie first. And it's still funny!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

We're Here!

Okay, just a quick post to say we got safely to Oakville - and we made really good time (just over 4 hrs, including a stop for gas/bathroom/doggie needing water). Even more impressive is the fact that I managed to log in at a computer other than my own! (low tech, I tell you, I'm low tech!)

The kids were in bed, but it was lovely to kiss their sweet little faces (gently - never wake sleeping children if at all possible!). I'm sure they'll be raring to go in the morning. Their waterpark experiences sounded amazing.

Anyway, I'm off to have another Mike's Hard Limonade - no, not a typo - it's lime. Yum!!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Less Separation Anxiety Than I Thought!

My children do not seem to miss me. However, I'm not surprised. They left for Oakville on Tuesday with G & GP (my parents/their grandparents). After spending the night at G & GP's house, they headed to Niagara Falls on Wednesday. First, they went to the Butterfly Conservatory. It is apparently quite impressive, and Corwin was very excited because a butterfly landed on him!

Then they went for lunch. No, not McDonalds or anything so pedestrian. They went to the restaurant in the Skylon Tower. It's a revolving restaurant overlooking the Falls. And they got a window seat. According to Corwin, it was the "really cool, spinning restaurant". Spinning, revolving (at a very slow pace - one revolution per hour). . . .it's all the same when you're five and a half.

After lunch, they checked in to The Great Wolf Lodge. It looks very impressive. It's a waterpark hotel, with waterslides and wave pools - all indoors. What's particularly nice is that you have to be a hotel guest to use the facilities. They were spending two nights there, in a KidKabin Suite. I did get a call saying that they had arrived, but it didn't last long - they could barely say hello before diving into their bathing suits and heading down to play. And on Thursday, they called for a few minutes longer but the lure of the waterpark was just too hard to resist. Clara did find a minute to tell me all about the really fast waterslide that she went on all by herself, and the big splash she made at the end.

Later today, Hubby and I will head to Oakville to join them for a week of fun with my parents, and some R&R by their pool (sadly, no waterslides). We will also escape to Stratford for a night. We're going to have dinner, see South Pacific, and stay at our favourite B&B (where we spent our wedding night). I'll try to blog while we're away, but who knows what will happen? Hmmm. . . sneaking suspicion that a drunk blog might sneak in!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Thirteen Things about Canada

Inspired by a book I heard mentioned on the radio, here's a list of 13 things I want to do before I die (the book is 1000 things)
1. Go skydiving
2. Scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef at the Cod Hole (did my first dive on the Great Barrier, but 20 minutes at 30 feet doesn't REALLY count)
3. Sing at karaoke. In front of people.
4. Take Corwin and Clara to DisneyWorld (okay, that should be sooner rather than later!)
5. Take a Cordon Bleu or some other swanky cooking course.
6. Own my very own horse. Groom. Ride. Enjoy.
7. Get all my pictures scrapbooked.
8. Live in England or the South of France for a year. Or a year each.
9. Climb Ayer's Rock (did the base tour, but I'll have to go back to climb)
10. Stay at the Ice Hotel in Sweden (yes, there's one in Quebec, but it just wouldn't be the same)
11. Wear my Laura Ashley cocktail dress again (which implies losing weight, getting back in shape!)
12. Join the Mile High Club.
13. Get a tattoo.
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


What a perfect evening for an outdoor concert!!! La Patisserie and I drove downtown and met Weasley at the bar, where we indulged in a pitcher of sangria (just the ladies - Weasley had a beer), and a smorgasbord of shared Happy Hour snacks. Then we made our way to the Bluesfest main stage area. There were ongoing performances from about 6, but Blue Rodeo was scheduled to start at 9. We got there shortly after 7, with our camp chairs slung over our shoulders, looking for a spot to set up. La Patisserie and I figured we'd sit further back but Weasley would have none of it.

It's early, people are too generous with the spacing in the rows early in the evening. Look - we can fit three right here

Hmmm. . . La Patisserie and I thought that the people sitting behind were looking somewhat displeased. Maybe we should look elsewhere? But Weasley was setting up his chair in the row. Giving the people behind some decent legroom, and squeezing us up close to the chairs in front. Ummmmm. . . I don't know about this. . .

No, no, look, it's perfect for three. No, really, come here. See?

As I walk down the row, I try to smile and gesture "but the people. . . ". All right, fine, there's room. We smile and joke with the people behind us and set up our chairs. It's all good. Nicely done, Weasley - we can see the stage (kind of), and there is a huge screen directly to the left. La Patisserie and I would have been somewhere at the back, both too worried about imposing on anyone. And of course Weasley was right - there were loads of people eking out space within the rows.

So, once we were established, it was time for a beer (of course). We nominated Weasley for the beer run, although I offered to go with him. I guess I should have, because he had to make more than one trip - they would only let people order 2 beers at a time. Oh well. We sipped and people watched. My God, there are an awful lot of tube tops this season!! Not the most attractive (or practical) fashion trend. Ladies, if you need to keep hiking it up, it may not be for you! Although, make sure it IS up as far as it should be, okay?

The opening act wasn't bad, but they weren't overly memorable. The wafts of marijuana smoke, however, lingered. My bra smelled of it when I did laundry today! Interestingly, my shirt didn't smell like pot - I have no idea how that happened (no, I did not take my shirt off or flash anyone!). We spent a lot of time looking for hot guys for Weasley. He and I have similar taste (although I don't find uber-preppy frat boys with baseball caps nearly as exciting as he does). Once the sun went down, a bit of a breeze picked up and it was just right for an evening outdoors. Blue Rodeo took the stage promptly at 9, and they were just as amazing as ever. The audience was singing along, dancing and swaying to the music. At one point, Greg Keelor conducted the crowd in the entire first verse and chorus of "Hasn't Hit Me Yet" - I think even he was surprised how well everyone sang in unison and (overall) in tune. The only disappointment for me was that they didn't play my favourite song. I mean, they never play my second fave in concert - the album it's from never got much airplay - but they didn't play "Bad Timing". I think I'm still in shock. Although hearing Jim Cuddy sing "Try" is always a treat. Of the duo (and they are both fabulously talented musicians and songwriters), he is the one whose music and lyrics I am more drawn to, especially in their solo careers. Oh well, maybe next year. And I'm bringing Weasley as my "date" - who else can secure great seats with no worries AND make the beer run? Love ya, Weasley!!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Too Busy to Blog, Time to Meme

Corwin and CLara are leaving this morning for their big trip with G & GP (my parents). I am trying to get the last of their stuff organized. Will write more soon. Oh - and I have TWO dates for Blue Rodeo tonight - La Patesserie and Weasley.

1. Have you ever been searched by the cops?

Not so far.

2. Do you close your eyes on roller coasters?

Definitely not!!

3. When's the last time you've been sledding?

This past winter.

4. Would you rather sleep with someone else, or alone?

With someone else, usually. And always with Jazz dog.

5. Do you believe in ghosts?

Yes, sometimes more than others.

6. Do you consider yourself creative?


7. Do you think O.J. killed his wife?


8. Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie?

Angelina Jolie.

9. Do you stay friends with your ex's?

Yep--all but 2 of them.

10. Do you know how to play poker?

I did in grade 5, and then got in shit for playing in the library, so that was the end of my poker career. I'm not a big card player.

11. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight?


12. What's your favourite commercial?

The A&W commercial with the Grandpa burger that makes me tear up.

13. What are you allergic to?

Penicillin, Clindamycin, Erythromycin (you can see that needing antibiotics could be a problem). Cigarette smoke in a big way, and a twinge of seasonal allergies (I've mostly outgrown them - yay!!!)

14. If you're driving in the middle of the night, and no one is around do you run red lights?


15. Do you have a secret that no one knows but you?

No, usually at least one other person knows my secrets..

16. Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees?

Ummm. . . Toronto Blue Jays!!!!!

17. Have you ever been Ice Skating?

I live in Ottawa - we have the world's longest skating rink. Yes, every winter.

18. How often do you remember your dreams?

Most of the time. I have pretty weird and vivid dreams.

19. When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?

At my sister-in-law's on Saturday!

20. Can you name 5 songs by The Beatles?

Okay, I sing at least 5 Beatles songs with my Thursday client every week - he wants to be Ringo. So. . . yes!

21. What's the one thing on your mind now?

got to pack and do laundry and get the kids organized because they leave tomorrow for a few days with my parents (G & GP)

22. Do you know who Ghetto-ass Barbie is?


23. Do you always wear your seat belt?


24. What cell service do you use?

Bell Mobility. Soon to be Rogers

25. Do you like Sushi?

Yum - a favourite food.

26. Have you ever narrowly avoided a fatal accident?

Not sure (knocking and knocking and knocking on wood).

27. What do you wear to bed?


28. Been caught stealing?


29. What shoe size do you have?

8.5/9 (used to be 8/8.5 then I had kids. Your ligaments really DO stretch!)

30. Do you truly hate anyone?

My supervisor from my internship from Hell would be right up there, but it's so far in the past that I don't think hate is the right word. More like a strong disdain.

31. Classic Rock or Rap?

Classic Rock.

32. If you could sleep with one famous person, who would it be?

Clive Owen/John Hannah/Simon le Bon (depending on the day).

33. Favourite Song?

Against All Odds by Phil Collins (if I had to pick just one, which is really mood-dependant).

34. Have you ever sang in front of the mirror?

No. But I have played my flute in front of the mirror.

35. What food do you find disgusting?

Liver. And Brussels Sprouts

36. Do you sing in the shower?

No, I'm an in the car singer.

37. Did you ever play, "I'll show you mine, if you show me yours"?

Not since I was young and foolish!

38. Have you ever made fun of your friends behind their back?

No. What kind of person do you think I am?!?!?!

39. Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew?

Yes. Often.

40. Have you ever been punched in the face?

Yes. By Chris Gishler when I was in grade 7 and he was in grade 8. He got in BIG trouble, and I got to go to the doctor to make sure my jaw wasn't dislocated! (it wasn't). And it was because I was standing up for someone I really didn't know.

Monday, July 10, 2006

And I'm Not the Only One!!!

You Are Bad Girl Sexy

Girl, you are nothing but trouble. And that's hot.
You've got the classic bad girl sexiness mojo going on.
And your badass attitude makes men fear you - and crave you.
Don't give into people who say to tone it down. You're perfect as is.

Thanks to crse for finding such a fun quiz for a Monday morning.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Ze drunk Blog

wow - keep reading about drunk blogging, but never done it. Lots and lots of sangria at Kit's place (my sister-in-law),and I am just Soooo happy for spell check (vowels? you mean there's an order to make sense?)

So my parents arrived this afternoon. And took the kids out for dinner while Hubby and I went to Kit's for a Thank-You dinner (for helping her move). We played a murder mystery game that Hubby and I used for a New Year's dinner in 1997. Sadly,neither of us could remember "who dunnit", so it was unfortunate that we were mostly observers/extras! That's okay - plenty of time for more sangria for me.

On the way home, I was most worried that we might hit a deer - I have a huge fear of that, not because I'm worried about the vehicle, but because I would be a mess, trying to save the deer. Happily, no deer at all. When I was pregnant, I was rear-ended by some teenager who didn't see the deer about to jump. I had slowed a bit, the deer had turned, and I was just about to accelerate when BAM!!!!! I was very happy that it was me and not the deer that got hit (fyi, in car vs. Jeep, Jeep wins. I had a Jeep Cherokee at the time. In chili pepper red. Before the van. Which is now a crossover - the Ford Freestyle. AT least it's not a van. I digress. . . )

When I was trying to get pregnant, I had many weird dreams. Well, I often have odd dreams, as does my best friend, Gerhard. I actually gave him a dream analysis book because we both have bizarre dreams, especially when we are under the same roof (maybe it's the alcohol?). So I called him about this one dream, in which PoD (Prince of Darkness) and a whole bunch of deer (stags, due to the antlers) figured prominently. Go figure - deer are a fertility symbol, especially deer with antlers (stags). I was pregnant within a month (with twins, no less!!!!). Behave yourself, PoD.

Okay, that's the drunk blog. I am going to church with my Dad in the morning. We are sneaking out early, but I just really need to see other new cantors. I am feeeling extremely queasy when I think that I will be singing in less than a month. And I start on D. Gordon is confident. I am a little (A LOT!!!!) less so!!!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Hot and Sweaty

Just a little update. PoD has safely made it to his destination, and survived the two week training stuff. Since last Sunday, he's been out in his "area" near the swamp the size of Belgium. I've had two e-mails, but now it will be more sporadic - who knows if they have internet in the swamp, right?

Here's an excerpt from last week's e-mail:

I am, thank goodness, Intestinally sound...we are all quite paranoid about what we eat but it hasn't stopped a couple of the guys from having varied and malodorous episodes. I was a bit wonky last week from (I suspect) a dodgy-kebab, but I was good within 24 hours. Nor has the mefloquine (anti-malarial) resulted in any negative effects - my dreams are less vivid if anything - but I do feel off for about 2-3 days every week. I suppose it beats having malaria, especially once I deploy to my sector and team site.

The dust and heat are still oppressive, but my capability to handle it improves daily...I have a small thermometer from MEC and one day this week it was 47 degrees (celcius) in the shade. You just get accustomed to being hot and sweaty all the time. Which is one reason why - yes it's true - I shaved my noggin. No Maintenance hair, and you feel every breeze! Of course, I've been wearing a hat because I do not want to get sunburned there - I can imagine that it would be quite painful. so I time my exposure quite carefully.

And more exciting things, but they are kind of specific about where he is. Not that I think he'd mind, I'm just not sure. And hey, it could be kind of fun to try and guess, right? If anyone gets it right, I'll probably let the cat out of the bag. Until then, be safe, PoD.

Imagine My Dismay

I keep hearing this song on the radio when I'm driving. It's reminiscent of Blondie's "The Tide is High", and it's kinda catchy. I like it. And I finally discovered who sings it. Paris Hilton. My head is hung in shame. I'm so embarrassed! Paris freakin' Hilton.

The Aftermath of Boot Camp

The good news is that I survived the intense class on Wednesday evening. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, but this class used the BOSU (that half inflated ball thing on a stand that you balance on) for the warm-up, and then a series of sets and reps at four different stations. Surprisingly, I managed to do all the assigned exercises. Yes, they were hard, but I wasn't so horrible that I couldn't complete anything (except the push-ups, but my neck and shoulder are still sore - massage tomorrow - so I just did the yoga plank instead of risking further injury). All of the exercises targeted the core and were pilates-based, just more intense. Somehow, I have a very strong core (must have been all that yoga last year).

The bad news - is not so bad. But I am certainly feeling the effects of the workout. And then yesterday I did a whole bunch of gardening (double digging a new bed that is about 4 feet deep and 16 feet long, carrying bags and bags of earth, relocating a lilac, hauling around a few other plants, and weeding the back garden). Today my abs are really feeling it! So happy I'm going for a massage tomorrow!

Since Pirates of the Carribean "Dead Man's Chest" Opens Today . . .

Which Pirates of the Caribbean character are you?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Thirteen Things that drive Canada crazy!

1. People (like Husbands) that bail on plans because they will have to stay up too late.
2. Warm pillows. I need my pillows to be cool when I go to bed, and if Hubby or Jazz dog warms them up, it's very annoying.
3. People who drive with their signal on when they aren't turning (Seinfeld termed it "the eventual left turn signal").
4. Telemarketers and door-to-door salespeople. Particularly the latter once the kids have gone to bed (the bell rings, the dog goes ballistic, it's a pain).
5. When Kleenex gets left in pockets and goes into the laundry. Not so bad if it waits until the dryer to work its way out, but having little shredded Kleenex bits all over wet clothes (esp darks, esp hang-to-dry)pisses me off!
6. At the grocery store, finding lots of stuff (cheese, yogurt, etc) either close to or past the expiration date!!!
7. Idiot drivers - those who cut people off; those don't pay attention and miss the left turn light; people who don't merge when they should, but wait until the last second; just general idiocy on the road.
8. Underwires that snap or poke through the bra.
9. Construction on the roads!!! Esp when there is no warning about it (example: yesterday, we drove the same way to camp. Today, we were 20 minutes late because we sat in construction traffic. I would have gone a different way IF they had put a sign YESTERDAY to let people know about today!!!!)
10. Dog owners who give the rest of us a bad name by not picking up after their dog, not controlling their dog, etc.
11. The ridiculous power outages in Kanata. Thunderstorms, wind - I can understand. But no power for three and a half hours for no reason is more than a little annoying. Even that would be okay if it was a one time thing, but here - it's like the power goes out if somebody sneezes! (and having to reset all the clocks - ugh)
12. Probably due to number 11 - having clocks that are all different times (just a couple minutes off, but really - you can miss the bus because of a couple of minutes!)
13. People who read my blog and don't comment! Okay, it's not really driving me crazy, but this is an invitation to any lurkers who would like to introduce themselves. I'll read your blog, too - just let me know where to look :)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


If you decide that your legs need to be waxed, and if you decide to do this late on a Sunday night while standing in the kitchen and watching season 1 of Grey's Anatomy on DVD, it is advisable to take extreme caution when waxing close to your bikini line. Because if you accidentally get wax somewhere that you didn't intend, and you rip the wax without holding ALL of your skin taut, the bruising is unbelievable. Not painful, just very unsightly. Just a suggestion.

I Have a Date!

No, not for Blue Rodeo (anyone? anyone?). I have an appointment on Saturday morning for a massage. Yay!! My neck is somewhat better, but hopefully this will fix it the rest of the way. And now I must go swimming with the kids.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Blue Rodeo Anyone? Anyone?

So Blue Rodeo is playing at Bluesfest next Tuesday. An outdoor concert, starts at 9pm, definitely over by 11pm. That's the day that Corwin and Clara leave with my parents (more to come about their planned adventures). Perfect timing, because Hubby and I can go and we don't have to worry about a babysitter, right? One caveat - Hubby is not a night owl. And I mean NOT a night owl - he's in bed by 10, maybe 10:15. True, he gets up at 5 (one of those crazy morning people), and is at work by about 6:15. It's just one evening, though. But in the past he has pulled the "I'm tired, can we go?" thing that pisses me off so much. For example, we went to see Jim Cuddy (half of Blue Rodeo) at the Folk Festival when I was very pregnant. It was August, and it was quite warm. It was also a Friday night. We watched the opening acts, and Jim Cuddy's first two songs. Then "I'm tired, can we go?" happened. Excuse me? I'm the very-pregnant-with-twins woman, sitting on the grass on a Friday night. We can sleep in on Saturday morning. But no. We had to go. Ask me if I'm still bitter about this!

When I saw the Bluesfest lineup, I was pretty excited. I love Blue Rodeo. And when I realized that the kids would be gone, Hubby seemed interested, too. Great! I didn't look around to see if anyone else wanted to go. Last week, I mentioned that we should get tickets, and jokingly told Hubby that he would have to sign a waiver:

"I, Hubby, agree to stay until the end of the Blue Rodeo concert. There will be no whining about being tired. I will not complain. I will enjoy the concert. I will go to work a bit later in the morning. And if I reneg on this contract, I will take the bus home (from downtown), because my wonderful wife, Canada, will not leave until all encores have been performed. Nor should I expect her to. Signed _____________"

Guess who's waffling about going to the concert. "Oh, it's late." "I have to get up early." "Isn't Weasley going?" Grrrrr!!!!! Weasley might go, but he isn't sure he can go to Blue Rodeo AND Bonnie Raitt, and I totally understand. Anyone else interested? Anyone?

Gotta Love the Long Weekend!

Since Canada Day fell on a Saturday, most people got Monday off. We took advantage of this by having a dinner guest on Sunday (also because the kids didn't have soccer, so we could have dinner at a regular hour), and then going to the beach on Monday.

On Sunday, we did lunch at the in-laws, and then Weasley came over around 3:30 for a barbeque and a few drinks. Corwin and Clara were busy playing on the driveway with bikes and wagons. Weasley was a little concerned about his car! Anyway, I blended up some pina coladas with dark rum, and we chatted while I made the barbeque sauce. On the menu: root beer braised ribs with drive-in barbeque sauce, firecracker rice, and a salad with blueberries, pecans, blue cheese, and an apple-balsamic dressing. There was a pretty good breeze blowing, but the vine-covered pergola helped to deflect it, so we were able to eat on the deck. Dessert was the rest of Friday's tiramisu (it was a huge pan!). Shortly after dinner, Hubby bathed the kids, and then they watched a bit of a DVD before bed. Poor Weasley - he's 30, single, and gay. And he was invited to watch Mighty Machines "In the Forest" with Corwin. Watching with the kids was fine (Clara on one side, Corwin on the other), but the look of horror on his face at the viewing selection was priceless!!! I could barely contain my mirth - God knows I've been forced to watch ALL of the Mighty Machines DVD's. . . over and over and over. . .

Once the kids went to bed, we lit all the lanterns and the fairy lights and sat outside, enjoying the evening. It was nice that Hubby and Weasley finally got to know each other a bit - Weasley actually confessed to me that he had been a bit nervous about that part of the evening. Obviously there was nothing to worry about, and we'll do it again soon (maybe not the Mighty Machines part, though!)

On Monday, we headed to a beach near the Thousand Islands, on the St Lawrence River. It was a gorgeous day, and Hubby's two normal sisters (Aunt Kat - 8 years older than Hubby & Aunt Kit - 10 years older than Hubby), his 13 year old nephew (Dude), and Aunt Kat's boyfriend (Frogman) joined us. It was about an hour's drive, but the kids were so excited that the time passed quickly. Corwin kept asking if Aunt Kat was speeding, Clara kept insisting that she wasn't. I just asked "what do you think?", not commenting on the fact that we were speeding, too! Once we got there, we scored a site with some shade under a tree, 3 picnic tables on the grass, and beach access just below the retaining wall. It was a small part of beach, protected by rocks, and we had it almost to ourselves. Once we got set up, Clara could barely wait to change into her bathing suit and get into the water. Strangely, Corwin was a little bit reluctant. I thought it was because there was some seaweed in the waves lapping the shore, so Hubby carried him over. Corwin played for a bit, but then was really cold. Also unusual - this is a kid who is hot in the winter, who sweats in his snowsuit. I got him into a sweatshirt, and he sat on a chair on the beach, trying to warm up.

Around noon, we broke out our picnic lunch. We had all brought sandwiches and fruit and veggies to share. Corwin ate a bit, but said he wasn't really hungry and his tummy was sore. He also looked really tired, so I suggested that he lay down for a nap. I knew he wasn't joking when he took me up on it. I laid out a fleece blanket, and covered him up, with a towel for a pillow. He chilled out for a bit, and then he came back to the beach when we finished lunch. He conked out in Aunt Kat's chair for about an hour. When he woke up, he was more himself, chatting and playing in the sand and the water. During this time, Clara was hanging out with Aunt Kit, swimming and splashing and looking for little freshwater shells. She, Aunt Kit, and Dude also played football for a while. Clara was pretty excited that she managed to catch the ball several times. We headed out shortly after 4, and I set up the portable DVD for the ride home. Corwin watched Madagascar, and Clara fell asleep for a while (so did I - Hubby was driving, so I dozed!).

Within 10 minutes of pulling into our driveway, the sky was almost black and it was absolutely pouring rain. It didn't last, but we ended up giving the kids early baths and getting a light dinner ready. We read several books, then it was bedtime. Of course, since both of them had slept during the day, they ended up falling asleep much later than usual (even though they were in bed at their regular time). I was worried that they would sleep in - normally a desirable activity, but not this week because they have yoga camp with Lola in the mornings. Thankfully, they got up at a reasonable hour, and we made it to camp on time (okay, about 3 minutes late!). Wow - two and a half hours alone! Woo hoo!!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

You Know It's Going To Be A Bad Day When. . .

. . . you turn your head slightly at 6 am and your neck locks, shooting pain radiating down your back, up your neck, and into your arm.

That was my start to Canada Day. I lay there, feeling paralysed by the pain of moving, until I realized that I needed to get up and try to stretch before all the muscles joined in on this little strike. I tried to lift my head, but nothing was less than excrutiating, so I just put my hands behind my neck for support as I sat up. I started doing the neck exercises that the chiropractor gave me years ago, which have helped prevent this from happening with any frequency. I guess it helps if you do them sort of regularly! All the flute and guitar playing, the decorating last weekend, and most importantly - missing my last massage because of work! - have contributed to this condition.

I managed to do quite a bit of stretching, and to massage out some knots with Amazon's Homedics back massager (thank you for the loan, Amazon!). That thing could be a weapon for some, but it sure is powerful (so powerful, in fact, that I had to open my jaw to prevent my teeth from clacking together when I used it on my neck - on the low setting!). All that and a good dose of Advil, and I was ready for Canada Day on Parliament Hill.

Okay, so not the whole day. Hubby and I took Corwin and Clara to see the changing of the guard and the RCMP Musical Ride this morning. Then we watched some boats going through the locks to the river. We saw some people with Canadian Flag parachutes jump out of a plane and float around the sky, and watched a man (in a Speedo! ugh!) do a fancy dive from a huge pole into a tank of water. The paramedics were, thankfully, not required. The four of us beat the insane lunch rush by minutes, and enjoyed a leisurely meal at the Blue Cactus Grill, complete with a Rickard's Honey Brown for Hubby, and a large Sangria for me. After a little detour into Lush (probably the cheapest purchase ever for me!), we topped off the afternoon with some delicious gelato from Piccolo Grande before the long, hot trek to the car. Both kids dozed off on the way home, and Hubby carried Corwin into the house where he slept for another half hour (but he was so excited about Canada Day that he was up at 5:45 am, so the nap was a very good thing). A dip in the neighbours' pool, barbequed burgers for dinner, and that was Canada Day for us.

We opted not to do fireworks - both because the kids were up late-ish (for them) last night, and the weather wasn't looking promising. Not sure if the rain held off for the fireworks, but it is absolutely pelting right now. There were more pops and bangs in the neighbourhood to torment Jazzy dog, and now the thunder is freaking her out. Hmmm. . . maybe having a freaked out dalmatian pressing against my spine all night has something to do with my neck? Nah!

Happy Canada Day!!!!!!!