Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I'm Getting Me A Happy Light

Let me start by sharing a cartoon. Though it initially made me burst into laughter - it quickly put my inner angst into perspective.

For years I have talked about getting a "happy light" and today I decided to try one on for size. Matter a fact my good friend Linda just graciously delivered me hers until I can get my own. I'm serious when I admit that the time change this coming Sunday morning truly has me concerned.

I know that I am not alone when I admit that the next six weeks are the hardest for me personally. I need the light and let's face it - there is none. So, once the clocks fall back I will seek out natural light at every turn. I'll eat my lunch in front of a window and I will spend as much of my free time outside as possible. I realize that I'm exhausted but also know my overall disposition is outta whack. I am hoping a good burst of daily artificial light helps.

Keeping that in mind, I wonder if it was lack of daylight that made me tell a certain someone (that's been jerking my chain for couple of years) to get lost last week. NOPE. I guess had I of waited until my happy light kicked in my request may have differed.

My glass half fully philosophy hopes I'd of conjured up an empathic... "please get lost"... but I guess we'll never know.

PS: To answer your more pressing question this evening.... I DO NOT own a gun. :)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Leafing It Up To You!

What a crazy couple of weeks. In my last two week pay period, I logged about 125 hours and I didn’t work Thanksgiving Monday.  As a result, my husband has taken on more than his fair share of the chores this fall. He did the wood alone, closed the cottage alone, so I promised I'd clear the leaves, alone. 

I love doing the leaves. There’s just one small problem. With the weather as shitty as it is (and me spending the next three out of five weekends in the city) Tony knows he'd get stuck raking them pesky suckers before the snow flies.

This afternoon, I was washing the kitchen floor, when I heard a ruckus next door. As the dogs began freaking out, my curiosity got the best of me. Low and behold there was a couple blowing the neighbours leaves.  Holy doodle they were getting the job done. When I called Tony into the kitchen to check it out, I only had to ask once. "Why don't we just go for it?" 

Standing at the kitchen window watching him beg!
Taken: October 26th, 2013
Quicker that he and I could discuss what the job may be worth, I saw him next door holding out some cash and pleading that they get the hell to our place pronto. It worked.

"We're next on the list" he announced. 

The only time I have ever seen him move that fast, was when Jamie was a baby. Jukebox had finally fallen asleep and we hadn't had been intimate in over a month and a half. 

Seriously, today was a flashback. He was moving Donovan Bailey fast!!

On a sullen note, I'm sad to report that even with that arduous chore checked off our list, there's still so much to do that we won't be dressing up and boarding the party bus to celebrate Halloween tonight. Too bad really, I had a nice little French Maid ditty in my closet all ready to go.

I can't believe the Gardener trumped the sexy Maid. Well, let's all agree. That it's a Gardener... that I didn`t hire, and that doesn't report directly to me!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Welcome Back Zack!

For the first time in months, I have been exchanging emails with my friend Zack. He’s doing well, has been as busy as me, so there are no hard feelings. Like bringing anyone up to speed with what you've been up to - there are always a million questions.

The best part about reconnecting with a good friend is that there is zero bullshit. You pick up where you left off.

It's as simple as that!

Before I got married, I was insecure and wanted to be everyone's friend. (So much so that my middle name could have been ‘placate’.)

Once married, financial constraints limited my husband’s social reach, so I was labelled a bit of a bitch. When the kids arrived, my life took on a life of their own. Free time was non-existent; so suffice is to say when the nest emptied, I was pretty much lost.

For the last couple of years, it was Zack that talked to me over and over about open communication with my spouse. It was Zack that told me that anything was possible, and it was Zack that gave me the strength to never give up. What can I say other than I've really missed him. 

It’s not that we deliberately let our friendship wane; I just had other things in my life I needed to focus on. Best part? He totally gets all of that. I’m glad I am going to see him again because he's living proof...

Living proof that you're always hardest on the ones you love.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My Summer Season To Remember...

It snowed this morning. I walked in the dark and freezing rain yesterday, and this morning Mother Nature officially cried snowflakes. Just like that, my rain slicker was sent to the minor leagues; my wool coat, scarf, and gloves were called in to pinch hit.

Sunbathing with my Pups...
and a picture that was meant to be.
Taken: September 28th, 2013
As 2013 enters its home stretch, I am a little in awe of how fast it flew by. We travelled more than normal, then effortlessly settled into living at the cottage with the dogs.

It was the first time in almost 30 years we'd put ourselves first. Truth of the matter is, I have never worried less, nor enjoyed myself more.

I didn't care who saw me in a bathing suit ("don't like it, don't look" became my mantra) and makeup was nowhere to be found!

I surrounded myself with people that wanted to know how I was doing; not because they wanted something from me in return, but because they truly cared how the hell I was doing.

I missed my children. I missed them from a distance. Not enough to worry, yet enough to send them a quick text and say "Mommy and Dad love you..."

I grew. I evolved. I changed.

I think the photo I am sharing today is perfect. Obviously, it has far more meaning for me, than any of you.

It was our last sunny day on the lake. The water was cold, the sun was warm, and the sky was blue. You can tell by the detail in the lower portion of the photo that this is NOT a camera used for self portraits. For fun, I held the camera up just the same.

I heard the shutter click and the rest was history. When I got home, all the photos were crisp and full of detail... except the one I am sharing.

I was perplexed at how it could have happened but figured it was meant to be. From that day forward I knew; I had so much to be grateful for in the summer of 2013, no single photo would have ever done my season justice!

Now... Where the hell did we store our cross country skis ?!?!

Monday, October 21, 2013

If You Build It... They Will Come!

Say HELLO to our 2nd Sunday group.
(Ready to tour great architecture on Lake Rosseau)
Taken: October 20th, 2013
What a weekend. Great people, good fun, amazing architecture; not to mention teehee crazy sarcasm & laughter with Gus for eight solid hours Saturday!

Let me back up. Friday offered a couple of surprises and lots of laughs. What can I say, other than I regret staying up way well past my bed time.

Saturday morning had us crossing Lake Rosseau for a much anticipated site visit of a well known Canadian family. I had only ever seen the Architect's vision for this property on paper, so I was giddy about seeing it built. 

As the only Muskoka Builders' Association Member/Sponsor/Guest in attendance, when I stepped on the island, I was absolutely gobsmacked. As I tried to absorb the beauty that surrounded me, I was interrupted as a familiar voice called my name.

Everyone.. This is my friend Chris!
Taken: October 19th, 2013
It was Chris. He was calling from a distance, welcoming me. A friendly hello or not, here's the deal. Chris Madden is amazing at his craft.

As silly as it sounds, it’s almost like he is the Maestro, empowering his team to deliver the perfect symphony. I'm not just saying that because he's my friend, I am going on the record with that because I respect him. I completely understand the process, and he delivered. On an island no less!

Shifting from boat to bus, had me (crawling through the Cranberry Festival and) over to Lake Muskoka for our next site visit. This wasn't as emotional a jaunt, yet a very technical one. The Architect's were like moths to a flame. I just stood back and observed as they admired this project in progress.

I'd talk about my Host, but I never asked if I could, so I probably shouldn't. I would like to share that he's always been supportive of me. In fact, on Friday when I finally got to meet a specific Architect I had admired forever, it was he that formally introduced us. I felt blessed by his accolades. I know they were both heartfelt and sincere.

Respect is earned, and he most certainly has mine. He knows my personal commitment to the construction industry here in Muskoka; we both know how critical the future is. A single minute in his company is time well spent. I have known him for many years, and my respect is unconditional and never ending.

Meet my BFF Bill Ferguson.
The builder that started it all for me in '05.
Taken: October 20th, 2013
So, we finally hit Sunday. I officially became the 'Hostess with the Mostess' for my employer as well as my BFF Bill. The temperature outdoors in the morn was balmy 4C. It was freaking cold, and the boat we spend 4 hours aboard was made of 60 tons of steel.

I wore an undershirt, no leggings. Dress socks, no boots. I stole the Captain's gloves, and I debated wrestling a guest for their earmuffs, as I'm sure I could have taken her. No pun intended, but cooler heads prevailed!!

It was an experience to say the least. Nothing bad, and 1,000% good. WOW is the only word that comes to mind.

For once in my life, without effort,  I lived in the moment. The weekend that started with my phone, ended with my camera. Though my post may not be filled with my regular quips of humour, I am pleased to report that I laughed more on Saturday than I have in years.

Not gonna lie. It felt really great!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Quiet Milestone...

Yesterday was a quiet milestone for us as a family. For the very first time we celebrated Thanksgiving alone. No extended family nor hullabaloo, just five adults (and two salivating dogs) hanging around in the kitchen table yammering. All while the oven cooked our bird, and the stovetop prepared the rest.

Twenty four hours later, I loved how relaxed our day was. I loved how intimately our evening evolved, I loved that it was eerily familiar. Yesterday was one of those out of body experiences for me. Even though razor sharp sarcasm filled the air, it was like there was an unacknowledged angst among us. You know, that undesirable feeling you have when you're waiting for the other shoe to drop!

A couple of hours in, Jukebox admitted he thought I would immediately try to ruffle his feathers by telling him to “get a haircut”... but the truth of the matter is I love his hair. It’s the first thing I noticed when he arrived. He’s finally embracing all the beautiful curls he was born with.

Each great day is exactly that... GREAT!
Taken: August 22nd, 2007
It’s been a long time since I had that much anticipation (about a specific day) the way I did yesterday.

It was right up there with the day I discovered my oldest son had officially outgrown his need for me as a parent. 

Oh, how I'd looked forward to spending that day with him. I hadn't spent any time with him all summer, and I knew our day trip would give us a chance to spend time together. 

I remember I made him sit next to me on the bus down to Canada's Wonderland, and his dad and I enjoyed his exclusive company for the entire day. Yup, by the time we headed home, I most certainly understood that I'd been given job description reality check.

Hard to believe the very day I am describing was Saturday August 22nd, 2007.

GREAT day just the same!

Thanks for yesterday Jukebox. I know you don't need me anymore, but I really do love you very much!

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Genetics of Baking

My mother was an amazing baker. She inherited the gift from her mother, and handed both of her "B" genes down my sister and I. Andrea’s got moms baking gene, and I've got her other "B" gene. Her business gene.

Once my mom was confined to a wheelchair, there were a few things she knew she'd have to teach my dad. At the top of her list, was teaching him how to cook. By the time she passed, my Dad was outstanding in the kitchen. The other feather in her cap, was that she had also taught him how to bake.

Until the day he died, my dad was a pie guy. Not the 3.1514926 kinda Pi, but the lemon meringue, sugar, and hot apple kind. All of his creations were absolutely wunderbar. When my kids were small, he use to ring me up and tell me he was baking pies. He knew I especially loved his apple pie, so if he could put his hands on the right species, he was baking me a pie.

The minute Jukebox was born, he quit smoking. Suffice is to say, the weight gain (due to eating instead of smoking) quickly followed. My husband and I knew there was an issue when he arrived at the door one Sunday morning with his baked goods offering for Sunday supper. We were a little confused when there was a generous slice missing.

I remember asking him “did you have to test ours to make sure it was safe?” Matter a fact he replied "No... I ate mine last night, and I wanted another piece for breakfast!” I can still see the look on his face as he held out the partially eaten pie. Like it was completely normal. In hindsight it was. It was classic Herve!

Who says I am genetically challenged?
It's a beautiful site and smell tres yummy!
Taken: October 14th, 2013
Anyhoo, in honour of my parents, I baked a pie this morning. Strawberry-Rhubarb to be exact.

I was kinda shocked it only took me 70-75 minutes from start to finish. My competitive nature tells me I could have been done faster, but to hone my skill set, I decided to invest the time.

Who am I kidding? The only reason I spent the extra time was because the label read... “For best results ~ BAKE from frozen!”

Happy Thanksgiving Peeps.

Give thanks, and remember to always keep smiling.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

WOODn’t You Like To Help?!

When it comes to the day to day chores at home, there are only two things that I really hate doing. One is taking out the garbage, and the second is hauling wood. The chore of the garbage will never be a participation sport for me, however, I know I am going to have to kick it up a notch in the hauling wood department.

The first two of our ten cord arrived this morning.
Get me some A535...STAT!
Taken: October 12th, 2013
Oh, the mighty double edged sword... Or shall I say axe?

Once my son started paying rent, he was ambitiously quick to point out that it was exactly that: “Room and Board” not “Room and Chores!” 

Just like our Sunday night suppers, the hauling and piling of wood in the fall, has been a seasonal tradition since we bought our home in 2002.

I really do love the airtight fireplace we have.

I love the warmth the fire offers me on those damp fall days, and cold winter nights.

Yet, I hate the stinking mess it produces! Not to mention, the day to day regiment of keeping it stocked, stoked, and going strong with the flames a flickering.

Ah hell, what the heck am I grumbling for? There's only one thing I love more than my fuzzy socks and painfully ugly off season bathrobe... and that's embracing them both in front of a toasty fire in the fireplace.

Those three simple indulgences right there truly help get me through our harsh Muskoka winters!

Those, and a couple of other tricky tidbits, I'd rather not share just yet.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What Happiness Looks Like

My husband and I inherited our friend Brian from my father. 

You see, Brian was Poppa’s next door neighbour. In fact, he always used to say to he and Renee “let me know if you're having a party. I'll roll over onto my good ear. I won't hear a thing!” My Dad loved them both very much.

Our couple friendship solidified in 1999, when Brian was our Realtor Extraordinaire on our Orillia Lake purchase. Outside of that, I remember the first time we got together to play cards. It was automatically the men against the women. It became a constant source of banter, not to mention pure comedic relief each and every time we got together. 

I lost my long standing euchre partner Renee to breast cancer a few years back. She suffered terribly, I miss her even today, but my story really is about Brian. He endured an exhausting and heartbreaking journey, handled it impeccably, so naturally we prayed he'd once again find happiness.

Quite simply a 'BLT' moment... Brian Loves Tess.
Taken: October 5th, 2013
Orillia Lake
Enter... Tess

I remember the first time we ran into them at the Home Depot.

Brian was his jovial self, while Tess was welcoming and looked absolutely amazing. Shopping at the home depot no less!

As a couple they have an energy. More a calmness really, which is very comforting to witness. Meant to be is the only way I can describe it.

Anyway, Saturday, Brian brought Tess out to Orillia Lake for the very first time. We raised our glasses to our health, and we played our very first game of Euchre.

Once again, it was guys against the girls. Once again, the girls kicked some serious ass. 

Of course, on cue, Brian and Tony accused Tess and I of cheating (on our very first hand) which leads me to my final thoughts.

TESS, thanks so very much for the really great visit. 

BOYS, it's been almost fifteen years... Face the statistical facts. 

You are BOTH just really shitty euchre players!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Ezmara's Got Game!

Not gonna lie, I got drenched walking home from work tonight. The skies opened up and overloaded onto my umbrella. It wasn't just raining cats and dogs, it felt like the skies had every single OSPCA adoptee in Ontario pouring down around me.  Yikes-a-Bee!

Astonishment aside, I'm not sugar, so I certainly did not melt. Yet walking home, I really did witnessed Mother Nature doing her thang. Based on her past four days of volatility, I swear she's in need of two things; some serious aromatherapy, and the company of a good man that lasts well into our next summer season! 

Ezmara was Noah's wife...
Talk about a 50% share in a "BOAT THAT FLOATS"!
Taken: October 7th, 2013
Needless to say, as her and I reached the top of the hill (and I finally approached our driveway) her rant subsided. Yet, the damage was done. 

As I wiped the rain from my face, the weirdest question entered my head. As I snapped my pic, I wondered about another extremely strong woman.

Knowing the direction of my post, when I got into the house I yelled “GOOB! Google what Noah’s wife’s name was!!"

With about as much interest as someone having an ingrown toenail removed he asked 'why'.

“Because she's one gal that's got game” I said.

“Not only that... When Dad pulls in the driveway, we're starting to build a stinkin' Ark!”

Who am I kidding? The list on the fridge says we need to pile firewood tonight. Guess the overall emotion of my walk home got the best of me.

Nothing moving ten cord of firewood won't cure!!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Pedal, Walk, or Run… I’m Having FUN!

Pedalling the Pups in the rain...
Taken: Friday October 4th, 2014
Driving by Snap Fitness yesterday I laughed aloud when I read their marquee: “If your dog is fat… You're not getting enough exercise!” Personally, I thought the message was brilliant.

Oh, my 'Quest For My Waist'. What a journey it has been.

Sometimes I wonder how I lost the weight I had gained, but more importantly I never want to forget HOW I gained the pounds I have lost.

It's been almost three years since I started my quest, and I’m still not happy with my shape and size. Then again, I wonder if any woman my age ever really is.

I walk way more than the recommended 10,000 steps a day, I dance a couple of times a week, and I am very outgoing in every other facet of my life. I most definitely watch what I eat, and I certainly don't feel nor act my age.

Keeping with that last thought, my personal fitness guru was telling me that eating chocolate releases the same endorphins as having an orgasm.  Intrigued by the statement, I decided to do some basic math. The average chocolate bar contains 884 calories.  Having sex, can burn up to 300 calories per half hour. 

Hmmm, I say the perfect solution is to enjoy an amazing two hour romp, and avoid any type of chocolate offering all together. That gives me a big bonus 1200 calories burned, and a perma smile that will stay with me way longer than any silly Kit Kat bar can possibly offer!

Now that right there is some serious calorie counting I can throw my back into! Guess I need to whip my husband into shape.

Whip? Maybe, not. Blindfold? Definitely, MAYBE!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Way To Go ME!

Have you ever had something unforeseen happen in your life? You know, an occasion when you've ultimately had to pinch yourself?

I don't mean winning the lottery, because let's face it... that happening is right up there with getting hit by lightning. I'm talking about something truly unforeseen, that's both personally astonishing and OMG unexpected.

I, more than most, am a very direct person. Speaking from experience, I'm also a firm believer that the majority of people I come in contact with have an agenda. 

That said, though I have a confidently direct persona, I still struggle with certain dialogue depending on our relationship history. 

Truth of the matter is that there are certain people in my life I am incapable of serving brutal honesty to.

Yesterday, out of the blue, produced one of those very unexpected "AH-ha" kinda moments. I was surprised, yet I knew I desperately wanted the cycle to stop.

You know what I mean?

That instant when once and for all you finally decide that the last thing you want to endure is another fully loaded bullshit sandwich...

Guess I saw my opening and I took it. Way to go ME!