Thursday, March 30, 2017

On The Move - Teddy and I Go Looking For Spring

Okay. You've forced me into it. Today I decided to brave the cold spring-time winter temps, and head outdoors. The temp actually warmed up one degree since I left, hence that 12 degree is a bit misleading. It was actually way colder than that.
However, I dressed appropriately. Just because we live in the Lower Mainland of God's Country, doesn't mean we don't have snuggly winter gear. We just don't have skidoos and ice-fishing equipment.
So off we go, my little dog and I, looking for signs of Spring. We didn't have to go far up the street to find these lonely little daffodils sheltering by a wall. I bet there is a furnace inside that wall, and that is what the flowers are leaning towards. 
And finally, a dandelion. We were walking for about an hour - well, meandering is more like it, with a bit of loitering and marlin' thrown in, and we only passed two in all. Two little measly dandelions, who were brave enough to open their little heads to these climes. You notice how this little guy stayed close to the ground?
We walked to Queen Mary's Park, which has been highlighted on this blog before. In the summer, it's a nice place to go to get out of the blistering heat, as it's made up of old-growth forest. Today the trees were pretty bare, though the creek was bubbling along.
A tiny little beach, perfect for fairies. The troll bridge is just up the way a bit.
Teddy wasn't sure about the water, so I guess he doesn't have any Labrador Retriever in his blood.
Oh ... maybe he's got a touch of mountain goat. (Only kidding. I put him up there for this little photo shoot.) 
Some trees are popping green - I imagine they're the young ones who are raving to go ....
And there was some pretty blue sky overhead. The big old black clouds were in the other direction, and for once they didn't bring us any rain.
We headed back on the Hydro path, and lo and behold - we met another daffodil plant trying to pop open. Soon, pretty little daffodil, soon. You'll make Robert Frost proud.
And what do we have here? A bit of star-shaped fungi? I've never seen a mushroom like this before, so I wouldn't touch it in case it spored alien germs all over me. I'm pretty sure it sat on a stem that was implanted in the ground.
Of course, we couldn't go for a nice nature walk with coming across some garbage that some piece of sh.. garbage threw out.
Getting closer  to home, more signs of the long awaited season ... Steve said these were related to Lilies-of-the-Valley, without the scent. They are very pretty, though.
Back home, our little daffies are blooming in the front yard. These are teeny tiny ones, so I zoomed in to make them look bigger.
And in the back yard, Teaser's Lilac Tree is coming along. Steve planted this tree the day my Teaser Cat passed away, and I thought that was a lovely tribute. I'll have a purple Lilac Tree, please. And a Rhubarb Plant. Thanks.
These raspberry leaves just popped open over the past few days. I still have raspberries in my freezer from last summer, this plant was just pumping them out hand over fist last year, and we got tons. Can't wait.
The rhubarb plant is also counting on no more snow. You can see how wrinkly its leaves are - that's because it got caught in a massive shivering fit during a late frost. (No - only kidding. That's the way rhubarbs are. Makes me feel better about the mirror thing.)
And finally, my honeysuckle. It's gone mad with growth this year, but hopefully it can find a scent when the flowers bloom. Last summer there was absolutely no honeysuckle aroma, no matter how close to the flower your nose got. I really felt gypped. Because no matter how pretty this plant looks, you buy it for the smell. Because it reminds you of growing up in Scotland, where honeysuckle abounds.
And that's it.  I guess there's a lesson to be learned here - sometimes you can travel far and wide, but it turns out what you were looking for was in your back yard all the time. Or in the front. Whatever.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Another Test I Forgot To Study For, and We Really Heart Our Kitchen!

It was yet another rainy morning, and I had to go out in it, as I had an appointment to have my picture taken. Now, this wasn't any ordinary picture, so I won't be posting it here - this was an inside job, also known as a CT Scan, so I don't even know if I was smiling on the inside or not. I'm sure I will be told I have more healthy organs in a couple of weeks, and will continue to be a mystery wrapped up in an enigma. 
At least this one wasn't as horrible as the last test, where I had to spend the day before gulping and retching the most awful concoctions, then had to spend some time with my butt offered up to the wind. Well, yes, it was in a hospital room, but you know what I mean. Thank heavens I was asleep for the most of it, and if they had been a bit more generous with the pain and sleep meds I probably wouldn't have woken up several times whimpering. However, all done and in the past, and I'll have another one in ten years if they can catch me.
After the CT Scan, we headed to Guildford Mall, as there's not many outdoor places we wanted to visit in the rain. We didn't buy anything, except lunch at the food court, which wasn't my choice. My choices always cost a bit more than the food court, because I am a diva who would choose a nice bowl of White Spot soup over a Chicken Buddy Burger from A&W. After that mall, we drove to Surrey Centre Mall and strolled around there, then went home, finally. For a nap. 
When I woke up, the sun was shining, which was a really nice surprise. I'm hoping it will shine again soon, so I can go around and get some nice blue-sky pictures with signs of my long-awaited spring.
To round up the day, after supper Howard suggested we go to the Super Store as our cupboards were a bit like Mother Hubbard's. I don't mind shopping, as we usually end up at the kitchen stuff - we both love kitchen stuff. I told him we were becoming kitchenholics, which is better than alcoholics and yarnoholics, and on his part, Home Depot-holics. I got a nice stiff spatula, as the one I already had was too soft to completely scrape out my cake batter, and a really nice masher, so now I'm ready to tackle Duncan Hines, turnip and pease puddings. He got a glass 'bread' pan, so now I bet he's going to make a meat loaf in the near future.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

If Anyone Says, Well At Least You Don't Have To Shovel It, One More Time .....

It's been raining all day, coming down in buckets. The weatherman said we've had the rainiest March in 10 years, and I do believe him. However, I am beginning to see signs of Spring in my backyard, and even though I haven't set my eyes on the elusive dandelion, there does seem to be hope for a colourful April.
Howard suggested we go to a Mall, so we ran through the raindrops to the car. I had the bright idea of parking in the parkade, so we wouldn't have to run through even more raindrops. I was careful to remember where he parked the car, though, as I know how frustrating it can be when you lose the car in a parking lot.
Seems like many many people also had the urge to shop, so we had to head up to the third level before we found a spot!
We shared a sandwich and fries (well, I had the sandwich, he had the fries) for lunch, did a little bit of shopping, and headed back to the car. On the third level.
Hah. I don't know if we were the only couple walking from third to fourth back to second level before we found it. I'm sure somebody moved it just to prove me wrong, because I'm sure it was on the third level when we left it. I guess by now Howard should know better than taking my direction.
I was in a pretty good mood though, at least until I tried to order a Swiss Chalet delivery for supper. Two attempts - talking to someone whose accent made it difficult for me to know what the hell she was saying, along with what she called 'trouble on this line.' I got so frustrated I finally hung up and cooked supper. Well, to tell the truth, I cooked the chicken drummies I had already defrosted and warmed up the leftover veg from last night, Howard cut the fries and Steve cooked them. So it was a team effort, and although it caused a few more dishes than a home delivery, it was fine. Especially since I didn't do the dishes. Yet.
Tomorrow is going to prove to be yet another exciting and fun day, so I'd better go get my beauty rest. After all, one should look one's best when it's yet another picture day!

Monday, March 27, 2017

If Anyone Has Lost 20 Pounds - Look No Farther. They Are Here ....

After a chat with Nikkie, where I said I didn't have enough ideas to blog something witty and/or enlightening every night, she reminded me of a couple of years ago when I actually blogged every single night for a whole, long 365-day year. That was when I kept track of every thing I ate that day, and now Facebook reminds of these days, and the posts where I was either complaining about how tired I was, or how sick I was, or how I hated travelling on bus and sky train to and from work.
That year, I lost 20 pounds in the first couple of months, and kept it off for about that year. So keeping a public diary kinda helped, a little bit. However, the year later I gained most of it back.
So I tried a different diet path. Not keeping track on a blog, but on an app, which one I can't remember, which kept me truly in line. There went that 20 pounds again .... until Howard got sick.
He spent so much time in the hospital between spring and autumn, and I burned so many calories walking to and from his bedside and my bed. On hot summer days I sweated my heart out - I'd walk home in 30 degree heat, hop in the shower, put on clean clothes, and walk back again. On rainy days I'd get soaked so wouldn't necessarily need a shower when I got home, just a change of clothes. You'd think I would have lost weight then, wouldn't you? Well, I probably would have, if there wasn't a Second Cup in the hospital lobby, and that is where I got hooked on carbs again, especially the ones baked in the cranberry scones.
So, he came home 40 pounds lighter, which actually made me glad I had kept off that 20 pounds or he would have weighed more than me, which wouldn't have been a good thing. So, for almost a year, he sat in his chair watching TV, or lay on the bed, just getting back his strength and stamina - and I sat in my chair, or lay on the bed beside him, scared to leave him for more than a bathroom break, which led to that blessed 20 pounds finding their way back to me.
I guess I should be glad it was only 20 pounds.
Maybe some day, I'll get rid of them again, and I probably will pretty soon, as I'm doing a purge of stuff I really don't need and just took a bag of too tight clothes to Value Village.
And hopefully, I'll soon get some motivation back, so I won't have to revert to boring with my food lists - yes, in case you're wondering, it's still toast and coffee for breakfast.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

To Sleep, Perchance To Dream? Not Effing Likely ....

Is anybody (besides Howard, that is) lucky enough to go to sleep the minute the head touches the pillow? Because I don't do that. I know you are wondering why I don't do that, so I'll satisfy your curiosity. I'll even use bullets.

  1. I crawl into bed, and if I'm lucky, I'll get there before my cat. If not, I have to lift/lug that 20 pound beast off the bedspread so I can turn it down enough to get my legs in.
  2. I rearrange that cat's tail so its tucked down around its butt, so when he lies against my head there is a buffer between my hair and his ... well, you know what I mean.
  3. My feet  wiggle around to get some room between the dog who lies on the foot end of the bed and the hubby whose feet lie in the same area. If I'm lucky, I can keep my feet, which are usually icy cold, next to his feet/legs, which are usually warm as toast. 
  4. My throat starts to feel a bit dry, so I have to get up for some Halls.
  5. Steps 1 - 3
  6. The Halls give me heartburn, so I have to get up for some Gaviscon.
  7. Steps 1 - 3.
  8. The Gaviscon takes away the soothing of the Halls and I start with my hacking cough. I have to get up for some Buckleys, which tastes like crap but usually works.
  9. Steps 1 - 3
  10. I finally settle into my pillow, manage to get my feet on somebody's warm legs, and ...... hubby wakes up. He wants to know why I'm so late going to bed (by now it's after midnight) and I have to persuade him I just got up to use the washroom and actually went to bed at 10 o'clock. He never believes that, but just turns out and drops off, serenading me with those just-dropping-off snores for half and hour. 
  11. My eyes, which were drooping with sleep a mere 20 minutes ago, are now popped wide open, and my mind is dashing madly around everything I did/saw/said/watched over the past week. 
  12. I finally drop off, around an hour before his alarm goes off at 5 am. Shortly after the alarm goes off, the light comes on. That is just in case the alarm doesn't wake me, of course. I do manage to drop back into dreamland when he leaves for work, however ......
  13. He will shut the door when he leaves the bedroom. No matter how many times I tell him to leave that door open, he will shut it. So ...
The furnace cuts in, turning our small bedroom into a hot box in about 10 minutes. The fountain of sweat sprinkling off my brow wakes up the cat, who starts scratching at that damn door, as he's not smrt enough to open it himself. When I roll out to open the door, the dog thinks it's time for him to go pee. Even in this so-called spring, it's not very warm outdoors at 5:30 in the morning, and Teddy won't do what he needs to do without turning around every 20 seconds to make sure I'm there shivering in the rain/wind/snow/hail, whatever, waiting for him. So by the time we go back indoors, and it's back to Step 1, the sheets have lost their warmth, Howard's hot legs are at work, and my body is screaming for coffee.
Rats. I know it's bedtime now, as my eyes are starting to blink and I'm yawning like mad. However, I'm wondering .... is it really worth it?

Friday, March 24, 2017

How Come There's No Such Thing as Sitting in Babysitting?

There's nothing that makes you feel your age more than looking after a 2 year old, unless of course it's the bathroom mirror first thing in the morning. This particular 2 year old, though he still pees in his pants, can go on his mother's iPad and play jigsaw games with great skill ... the only things he would rather do than that, is anything that causes his old granny to run screaming towards him shouting NO!
Well, it's not all bad. He's full of hugs and kisses, and has the cutest habit (which I'm trying to break him off) of running up and hugging you from the back. Which is an unfortunate position for him, seeing as how he's pretty short.
Today was a babysitting day, for him and his brother and sister who are home on spring break. I have no idea how I kept my own little boys happy, as we had no electronics or Netflix in the ancient days. I guess this is why they did fun things like copying ice pans and zooming down hills on their bikes, things that their mother swore they would never do because they were such good boys. They still are.
Babysitting entails much more than sitting with a baby, in case you've never had the pleasure. You have to sit them on the potty, and listen to them scream for approximately 14 seconds, then whap a dry Pamper on their butt. While they're supposedly watching Paw Patrol, you have to take a few minutes to wash dishes, knowing you'll only have about 2 of these minutes to speed wash as much as you can before a chair comes zooming towards the sink with an enthusiastic 'helper' behind it. Which would be fine if it were a bigger sibling with the ability to do a half decent job, and not a toddler who loves to grab onto the hot water tap with one hand and grab the sharpest knife in the drain tray with his left. This ambidextrous stuff isn't always to one's advantage.
You have to make lunch. One will eat lots (the 10 year old on a growth spurt, for example), one will nibble like a hamster (the 9 year old who thinks everything is yucky), and one will grab a bite here and there between his travels between the living room, the patio, and the table (the 2 year old who thinks all food comes on a Grab and Go basis.) He's not allowed on the patio, but he can travel pretty fast, and he's real sneaky about opening that glass door and zooming off as fast as he can.
And of course there's his bae. No, not what the Hollywood girlies have - his bae has two wheels, a seat, and no pedals.. His grandfather bought him a balance bike, and by the way he careens around the house on that, he would have no problem travelling 20 km with Breehy and me.
One good thing, no matter how tired or sleepy you are, having a front wheel ram into the back of your legs at 10 miles per hour sure wakes you up.
So now it's time for Nanny to go sleepy-bye. I do believe baby's still going strong upstairs - he was playing drums for Steve and Richard's jam session last time I went upstairs.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

From Home Depot to My Dog's Butt ... if anyone finds my life, please return it ....

Today I asked Howard to go to Home Depot. Weird, I know. I have spent more time in Home Depot in the last three months than I have in any store, even Walmart on Pension Day. Usually I'm the one pacing up and down the front aisle where they keep the home improvement magazines, sale items  and candy bars while he spends hours walking up and down the power tool aisle or the 2' x 4' aisles ... any aisle that has absolutely no power over me ...   however, when he finally has the packet of screws he came in for in his hand, he asks me if I'M ready. Right.
But today, in keeping with our home improvements, I wanted to get a piece of white stuff so he could build me a cool desk in our TV room nook. Because I think it would be easier for me to come up with ideas for this blog if I were sitting at a nice compact desk instead of a little patio table that might just be a tad too high, causing reddened welts on the downside of my arms.
I did do something new today, though. Two somethings new, actually.
I made mushroom soup, although I haven't tasted it yet. It looks like mushroom soup, I only hope it tastes like the best mushroom soup I ever had, and not the worst. The worst was in Scotland when we there 20 years ago celebrating my mom's 74th birthday, and I had to let about 18 years pass by before I got the nerve to try that particular kind of soup again, at a quaint little cafe in Sydney a few years ago. That's when I realized that the mushroom soup I had in Scotland was basically just the dishwater they washed the pot in.
The second new thing I did- after supper, thank goodness -  involved cleaning Teddy's butt. The little bugger sneaks upstairs and steals the cat food, causing him to have .... let's just call it, loose bowel movements. Let's just say today was particularly bad, and Howard warned me not to let him in our bedroom tonight, so I had no choice. I do need that nice warm body curled up at my cold feet at night, especially since Howard doesn't really enjoy my planting them on his shins. So it was in the shower for my little white dog, and as usual the hand-held spray ended up soaking me as well as him. But now he has a squeaky clean bum, and all is good.
Except, of course, for the dandelion shortage.