Friday, October 31, 2014


Here endeth the worst vacation of my life.

There was a bona fide crisis at work every single day this week.

I couldn't have written a script for a worse set of circumstances to arise in one week....THE one week I was "off".

I am taking a page from "Frozen" (which I have yet to watch) and repeating the mantra "let it Go, let it Go....... let it GO"

There will be other weeks, other breaks.... Christmas is only 50 some days away right?

I won't bore you with the litany of the last 2 days.... rather let me tell you about two little things that happened that lifted my flagging spirits.

I have come enjoy immensely the two online photog groups I participate in.

There is a group called "ClickinMoms" on Instagram of Moms (and a few Dads) from all over the world and there is a daily word you have to photograph.  They are mostly professional photogs with fancy gear but I shoot with only my iPhone and don't use any editing apps.

So it was fun when Tourism Richmond came asking for the third time to use a photo of mine......

The other group is called "OKDOTHIS" and is also a global community of photogs (thanks to GH for the intro!)......I have had several photos featured there but this week the featured an iphoneographer ..... and they also featured the "DO" I posted entitled "In the Still of the Night" which some people are having fun DOing.

In a week of hard stuff......  a couple of fun moments! The daily exercise of finding something to shoot that fits the themes is a great mental break and this week I had time to play a bit with light and composition instead of shooting on the fly or trolling my archives for a match!

I have turned off all the lights and opted out of trick or treating..... we have, it appears, moved beyond all that and tonight I don't miss it (although its not raining for the little people).......I am waiting for the clock to strike 9pm so I can curl up in bed with my angry birds for a bit before a hopefully peaceful night knowing the likelihood of being woken by a work crisis is greatly diminished given all centres are now closed!!!!

Croissants are gently rising and I will kick off my Saturday with a great workout followed by freshly baked croissant..........Bring it on!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Day 3 - No F's

It supposed to be Wordless Wednesday but ..... its not......

I worked all morning catching up on conference stuff.....felt great to be on top of that until the mail person delivered more registrations.....argh!

I did the online organic grocery orders for work......

Prepped dinner

And left the building!

In sunshine.

I drove my favourite route along the river and basked in the 18 degrees of warm sunshine..... Ahhhh... yes...... vacation!

And then I visited a practicum student and dashed back to pick Lindsay up and drive her to an appointment.

And then......oh folks.....then I indulged myself for a full 60 minutes.

I went clothes shopping  - 15 minutes - new top and new necklace and I had a gift card.... that is therefore considered a trifecta of fabulousness.

After that... on recommendation of my Mother and veiled threats by my colleague-who-shall-remain-nameless, I sought out a new coffee destination that has been much extolled.

Oh-My-Goodness......People....... it was chocolate/coffee incredible.......

It's called ChocXO and yes.... I do XO it.

Hand-crafted chocolate and on-site roasted organic coffee beans was enough but ......

They have two spigots coming out of the wall that dispense shots of chocolate..... I was overcome and forgot to take a photo but here are my shots..... one was from Ecuador and the other from Los Rios , which might not be a real place but I am going to FIND IT!

I got chatting with a lady who was obviously a regular......hang on...... when did this place open?

Anyway she showed me this...... a secret door in the wall...... WHAT?

And then we opened it because after scoring actual new clothes in under 20 minutes who doesn't feel lucky?

Jackpot.  I swear I only ate one!

I won't go on about how lovely the next 30 minutes of my life was because some of you live too far away to make the pilgrimage........ SIGH...... coffee, chocolate, sunshine...... Yup.

Obviously I earned my workout tonight (that's 2 of 3) and although work called me back for an hour or so at least I was in my PJ's.

I'd like a little recognition now for my vacation efforts today please......... and thank you!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Calm down...... it stands for Frozen, Falsely Frugal, Fridge and Freezer...... because I got those
off my vacay TO DO list today.

There is currently nothing expired in the fridge although by Nov 6th that will be a lie.

We have more mustard than whole German towns, a bizarre assortment of Asian sauces, we obviously have commitment issues when it comes to BBQ sauces and salad dressing, there are 5 tubs of cream cheese..... I almost googled "What the contents of your fridge day about you" but I was afraid.

Very afraid.

The freezer is also now a danger free zone.

Also a pancake free zone.

I guess every time we make pancakes I make the falsely frugal assumption that if we freeze the left over pancakes the children will pop them in the toaster in the morning and enjoy home made pancakes on a school morning.

This has obviously never happened.


I have also done well freezing my herb harvest in the summer which seemed not only frugal but.... sort of pioneering and environmentally friendly but there is nothing friendly about little baggies of black herb like substances littering the freezer... All neatly labelled and all.....will I be adding them to a stew or soup anytime soon.... NOPE!

I swear it IS thyme
I also found these two anomalous items IN the freezer - I think one is for fixing boats and the other is for? No idea?

So ashamedly I filled a couple of garbage bags and scrubbed the fridge and its freezer clean.....It looks lovely.

But the chest freezer remains unconquered!

However in the interests of accountability to my TO DO list I did sort out my Rogers account issues in under 4 games of Bejewelled Blitz!

Funny how when you say "It's ok, if you can't help me fix this I can just move over and start fresh with Telus" suddenly the solution I have tried to get for close to 6 years is suddenly resolved!

I also managed to have a phone call meting about the course I am co-teaching in Jan - March and read all the bio's of those folks running for elected office in the upcoming civic elections and get my list started for who to vote for.

Lindsay came home and made use of these frozen bananas and I sat of the couch and enjoyed a tea and a muffin while catching up with a good friend through text messages......

Ran a work errand, had a great Jazzercise workout and picked up a chair I "won" on biding wars!

This has certainly proved to be an unconventional vacation so far but it's had its moments and having these things off my list and off my mind is great!

I bet you just can't wait to hear about tomorrow eh?

Monday, October 27, 2014


And not filthy rich....... (thank you $1000 car repair).

my conclusion from this the supposed second day of my vacation ..... the first day and a half were actually swallowed up by a crisis at work...... is that I have the following choices

A.  Hire a full time cleaning service
B.  Stop wearing my contact lenses when at home
C.  Develop a higher tolerance for dust and cobwebs and the like.....

Just today, while working on my computer all morning I noticed the following "issues"

1. Several cobwebs inside my house which I vanquished with a broom.  No I wasn't riding the broom while vanquishing!

2.  The front window curtains were filthy..... I washed and rehung them.....oh the joy and light and smell of laundry detergent!

3.  Dusted and swept up window sill dust and a "Bugs Life" worth of little bugs behind curtains and sofas and furniture.

I then stupidly decided to make myself a cup of coffee.  I turned the espresso machine on and then, at that exact moment, I recalled from the recesses of my brain some article or other about how people leave water standing in these types of machines and all manner of bacteria grow.  EW!  I scrubbed that water cylinder......

Then I went to grind some coffee to find the coffee grinder was not working as it should.  So as one does I serviced it.....thankful to have remembered to unplug it first I took it apart carefully remembering where each part went and then I cleaned it.....lets just say there were likely years of coffee dust well attached to the grinding took some work but I cleaned and reassembled it and was hour later ready to make that cup of coffee......which tasted like Sunlight Ocean Blue dishwashing liquid...... lovely....

And while I was standing around in the kitchen the stove caught my eye.....and it was soon sparkling but oh my word how does it get so filthy!!!  Ai Ya!!!!

And so my first half day of vacation draws to a close ..... I also managed to walk the dog and prune the front yard both tasks I took on today as Tropical Depression Ana is bearing down on us and is going to do some damage if the weather predictors are to be believed.  So I thought outside tasks today and if the power truly does go off it will be a good start to my freezer defrosting efforts tomorrow.

Always thinking.....just not always cleaning apparently!

Thursday, October 23, 2014


I hate to spring something on you with no warning..... but I sort of sprung it on myself.....

I am suddenly on vacation.

Right now.

And for MORE than one day.

I knew I wasn't going to make it to the end of the year without more than a daycation here and there and next week turns out to be the only week I could possibly be away until Christmas so I drew a line through it in my diary and BOOM...... vay-cay-shun.

Then I realised  tomorrow is a Pro D day and my favourite children would be home all so I am taking an EXTRA day off (sort of) and so this Thursday night is the start of the longest break I have had from work since we went to South Africa!

And boy oh boy do I have some BIG plans.

1,  I am getting the Mazda oil changed on Monday (it likely needs way more work than that which will kill the budget so best to get that over with on Monday)

2.  I am going to defrost the freezer.  Like a boss.  I am going to chip away at the ice flow creeping over the top edge and beat it back to nothing.

3. And then I am going after rogue beets tucked in the back of my fridge plotting revenge on me....I am getting them and all the other science experiments in my fridge.

4. I am going to stay on hold with Rogers for as long as it takes to change our accounts from my name to Allan's....... I will tell them my marital bliss depends on it.  And it does. I will play bejeweled blitz while on hold.

5. I am going to prune the front that in the winter winds it does not sound like all the dead souls of Steveston are clawing at the front window.  As they do.

6. I am going to declutter and dejunk.....something....probably our bedroom...and the front hall closet.

7.  I am going to buy 2 pairs of shoes.  You think "Ah finally she is doing something fun" but No...this is as hard work as cleaning toilets and as fun.  Unless I take myself to the USA on my own for a morning.... that could be fun? Hmmm we might be on to something here....

8.  I am also finally going to buy a long mirror for this house so Lindsay and I don't have to stand on a chair in the dining room to have a clue how we look below the waist.

9.  I may cook.  I may bake.  I may order Take Out.

10.  I am going to help some dear colleagues for a few hours in a big week in their lives.... run errands, clean, whatever they need.....and bring them food.

11.  I am going to wander into Steveston with my phone/Camera and have a coffee.  And a pastry.

12.  I will make it to 3 Jazz classes.

13....... And I will work...... DON'T get mad..... I am in the middle of a big conference registration, I have a student I am supervising on practicum and I may have a few other minor things to attend to.

I am so looking forward to the time to be at home, the time to sort some things in the house that have been neglected, to have some hours alone, my music playing, puttering at my pace.......

Would I prefer to be going to Hawaii or OC or Edmonton..... well sure.....but this year has taught me to find contentment in the small things, to be grateful for what is right here.

And I am.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


I am back from the deaf.

Yes you read that right.....


Oh man.....what a week.

What a mess a little bit of water can make in your ear.

My left ear was rendered useless for most of the week and I was a miserable person.

I had no idea how loud I was speaking, I had to look for clues in the faces of the people I was speaking too.....if they drew back and their pupils widened I realised I was too loud.  If they leaned in or furrowed their brows I realised I was too quiet.

It was annoying for everyone.

But mostly for me.

Because I could hear absolutely everything going on in my body........

I was suddenly aware of the sound of my own breathing....

Chewing was like having my very own jack hammer in my head.....(although I was slightly relieved not hear any actual voices from in there! HA)

A sneeze was like an earthquake (or so I imagine)

I most definitely could hear my jaw clenching and unclenching.......the grinding of my teeth (which happens rather more often than I realised)

Lying down at night I could hear my blood....I am not kidding you....I could hear it....pulsing around my body....

It kept me awake   - stupid pounding pulse....


I am mostly mortified that a minor issue like a blocked ear could bother me SO MUCH.

What a wimp!!!

If I was two I would have thrown back my head and given full vent to my frustration but seeing as I am 42 (ish) I felt I needed to be a bit braver.

But it was hard.

When the Doctor syringed out my ear and I could hear again I wanted to dance a little jig right there in the office.

Until she decided the other never blocked ear could use a clean out and promptly blocked it.

I could not believe that I only been undeaf for ONE  minute .... the jig died...... right there...

I think she could see from my crazed look that it would be unhelpful to send me out into the general population so she gave it her full attention and after a good deal of effort she unplugged the ear.


I cannot tell you how relieved I was, how joy-filled to have two working ears.

I practically skipped back to work.

Isn't is amazing how much we take our bodies for granted and how something so small can derail things.... or is that just me?

I'll take the lesson (again) to appreciate this imperfect body of mine that has many things about it I do not like or enjoy but it works for the most part and for that I am truly grateful.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - A Walk in the Park

This park is SO close to my office - just across the parking lot.....and I almost never walk to it or through it.....but yesterday I had an errand that required me to walk through it....... and it was a good thing!

Monday, October 13, 2014


Oops we did it again.......

We tried to fit 4 generations (if you count Spanner) into a small cabin in the woods with an less than adequate kitchen and pull off full thanksgiving dinner......

And once again we did it........ thanks to a turkey butterflied on the BBQ and some creative juggling of items in the convection microwave........we had the usual too much food delicious as always!

On a stormy, blustery weekend when the weather seemed to change hour by hour we hunkered down and read, listened to music, made our mandatory stops in Hope including the "every book is $2" store and our beloved Blue Moose coffee shop, walked, someone fished (and took an unexpected swim), some napped, Lindsay won 3 free cruises by answering the phone, a certain puppy picked up huge shin whacking sticks in the forest, we drank wine and ate food (chocolate is a food!) and stared mindlessly into the crackling fire (or was that just me?)

And just so we are not confused between two nations having stat holidays on the same day - a primer on why we win (if there was ever a competition) having the better stat!  The better day!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!