Monday, January 30, 2012

300th Post Q&A

Well, everyone, I've officially spent too much time on the internet. It's my 300th post!

As promised, I'm answering your questions today. So here we go!

Debra asks:

How did the Captain woo you and ask you to marry him? 
Well, let me tell you, it was all very romantic. It was a slushy, grey January day in 1996 in Southwestern Ontario. The Captain picked me up from work and took me to the fanciest restaurant in town : The Keg! He was acting sort of weird and quiet and I could see something was up, but it was impossible to tell whether that something was good news, or if he was going to dump me. As I always hope for the best but plan for the worst, I figured I'd better get one last really good meal out of it, and I made 3 trips to the all-you-can-eat salad bar before getting started on my enormous steak and large glass of wine. Maybe it was the wine, and maybe it was the 8 pounds of salad and steak in my stomach, but I don't remember much else. He pulled out a ring at some point, and I think my answer was probably obvious from the beginning. When a guy proposes at The Keg, you'd be a fool to say no.

LaelShine has a 3-part question:

If you had a million dollars...what would you do with it?
That's easy! A year or so back, our town lost it's little thrift store. I'm still not quite over it. It was a treasure trove. It was also a junk trove. But that's thrifting for you. If I had a million bucks, I'd open a new thrift store in town. I don't have an entrepreneurial bone in my body, but I think I could make up for that with my passion for other people's old castoffs. Having first crack at every piece of junk that came through the door wouldn't hurt either.
What is your favourite breakfast, lunch and dinner?
Mexican, Mexican and Mexican! I enjoy food from every region on this planet, but at present I'd say there's nothing like a plate of huevos rancheros on a Saturday morning. I can't say I really have a specific favourite meal for lunch or dinner. I like way too many things to be able to pick just one. Let's hope I never end up on death row, because that last meal business will be what holds the whole thing up. What I'm actually more focused on meal-wise is in making every meal an opportunity to eat something delicious. We each get about 1000 meals a year. I'd hate to waste even one of those meals by eating something crappy. Eating is the one thing in life we have to do to survive. We may as well enjoy every last bite.
Do you have any tattoos?
If yes, what? If no, what are your feelings on them? 
You may be surprised to learn that I actually have not one, but two tattoos. One is a daisy chain on my lower back. The other is a butterfly on my left shoulder blade. I like them very much. I have no regrets about having them, and I make no apologies to those who might not approve of the things. I do, however, think it's something you have to really think seriously about beforehand, because they are permanent. I purposely chose to put mine in a spot where they could be covered up so that I'd have the option of not having to reveal them to, say, a future employer. Also, with them being behind me, when I'm not in a tattoo kind of mood I actually forget that they're there. Best of both worlds!

GrannyBob also has 3 questions:

When are you available for tea and some educating an old crazy farm woman?
I'm going to assume you mean “young, fabulous agriculture expert”. Come on down (that goes for all of you)! I'm not sure you'll be getting much of an education though...

Where do you get your tea?
I, myself, buy tea bags at the grocery store. But the Captain, knowing my love of real tea, always buys me fancy loose-leaf on gift-giving occasions. Most recently (and this is the tea you'll be thinking of, Granny Bob) he got me a couple of pounds from a local place called It's About Tea. You can check out their website here.

Where your favourite place was that you have lived since being an army wife? 
Such a tough one! I'm a firm believer that wherever you are, that's where you are, and you need to make the most of it. When we left New Brunswick to move here, I was very sad. I'd been the happiest I ever was in New Brunswick, and I do think that the Maritimes will be our final destination when it's time to retire. But to be honest with you, when we have to leave Manitoba, I'll be just as sad to drive away. I learned what it is to be a minority (and also how fabulously different it is to shop at a Value Village) in Montreal. My world-before-kids and career as a teacher was in Calgary. My family is in Ontario. In the end, it's not where you are. It's what you make of it.

Frostbite andSunburn wants to know:

Where do you see yourself/life in five years from now - and will you be blogging about it?! 

I hope I'll still be blogging. I expect that at some time in the next five years, we will be posted someplace new. We've had a nice long run out here on the Prairies, and all good things must eventually come to an end. So, we could be living absolutely anywhere. In 5 years, I will have a teenager and a pre-teen. And since autism is a permanent part of our reality, that thought is interesting...and also terrifying. The idea of work is a fuzzy one. I don't think I want to return to the classroom. But I don't think I want to work at McDonald's either. I'm actually not sure I even want to work. I'm really going to have to give that one some thought...

If you could take an all expenses paid family vacation, where would you go? What would you like to do while there?

My dream vacation (or at least the one that involves bringing my family with me!) is always about being somewhere warm during the winter. With all the stuff I keep seeing in the news about Mexico lately, my dream of seeing that country (because I never have) has kind of gone down the drain. I'd love a good road trip around some of the warmer parts of the U.S. though, looking for great places to eat and shop—it's really just that simple for me. I'd like to see Southern California once, and would even take my kids to Disneyland, despite the fact that that sort of thing generally makes me want to punch Goofy in the face.  

And there you have it! Thanks for playing along with me, and for sticking around for 300 interminable posts! Hitting the big 3-0-0 is like New Year's Eve. I have so many thoughts about what the future of this blog should look like. 

Will any of them actually happen? Stay tuned!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Ask Me Anything

I'm really not ignoring you guys!

I have an inbox full of your comments from my last few posts, and I like to get back to all my blog friends before posting again, but it's just not happening right now. RB lost his tutor suddenly for the second time in 18 months. It was no one's fault this time, but it's not looking like we'll be getting a new one any time soon, so in the meantime, I'm trying to fill in the gaps for him and come up with a Plan B in case we don't find anyone at all. It's really cutting into my blogging time. So inconvenient!

I promise to get around to visiting you all and commenting again soon. Just bear with me. The Captain is also away on course for a few weeks so I'm on my own here. Ahhh...military life!

I happened to notice today that my next post will be my 300th. I almost missed it! So I thought that since I haven't been finding the time to go blog-hopping, maybe I'd open the floor up to my blog pals (for the record, the Captain calls you my "Minions". But please, take that up with him.) and invite you all to ask me a question, which I will use my 300th post to answer. Some of you have been coming around right since the beginning, and many of you have turned up here somewhere along the way and kindly stuck around despite...well, everything. At whatever point you jumped in, you only get a carefully-edited glimpse into my mad little world, so maybe you have a question. Or maybe you like doing the old "Which would you rather be: a penguin or a yeti?" I like those kinds of questions too.

So this one's for you, Minions! Click on comments and ask away!

Friday, January 20, 2012

This Is Too Good Not to Share...

WAAAAY back in November 2010, I decided it would be a great idea to order photo calendars of the kids for all the grandparents for Christmas. Being anti-social and ultimately lazy, of course, I ordered them all online.

I'm not going to tell you which company I went with, but I will give you one very cryptic clue. It rhymes with Crawl-Mart. Seriously, people. One of these days, I'm going to get sued.

So, with it being the holidays, I guess things got busy over there and the calendar I ordered for one of the grandparents--to be sent directly to her--never showed up. A huge kerfuffle ensued in which I had to make approximately 3 phone calls to the company before anyone would admit that the order was lost, and a replacement was finally sent out. Grandmother received her Christmas calendar on January 27th 2011, more than a month late. I'd have filed a big, noisy complaint, but they also forgot to charge my credit card. So really, no harm done.

End of story? Apparently not.

This evening, as I was right in the middle of reading Firstborn his nightly bedtime chapter of Harry Potter, the phone rang. 

Guess what! My calendar's ready!! Good grief.

So, my New Year's resolution to be more mentally healthy by (for one thing) staying out of that nut house was probably a good move, no?!


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Resolution 2012

Usually, that week between Christmas and the new year, I figure out my new year's resolution. This time, it's taken a little longer for it to come into focus. Maybe this picture taken at 11:50 PM on December 31st will give you an idea of why 2012 has started off at such a sluggish pace around here:

It's always a wild party at our house...

But now I think I'm ready to commit. I've known for a while that I need to start taking better care of my health. I have a bad habit of thinking that because I'm not overweight per se (this doesn't mean I couldn't still stand to lose a few pounds), that I'm perfectly healthy. But if you took a good look at what goes into my mouth at any point on any given day, or how much time I spend on the couch or in front of the computer, you'd know that there are certainly improvements to be made.

I'm keeping it general again this year because I think there are a lot of areas that define "health". I do need to eat more vegetables and less meat. I do need to get off my backside and exercise every day. But I also need to make conscious decisions in other areas that benefit my health. Let me give you an example.

Last month, my wonderful neighbour gave me a gift certificate for a facial and a massage at a local spa. The whole experience was amazingly relaxing, and mentally healthy in ways I hadn't ever considered before (barring the part at the end where I was offered 2oz of eye cream for the low, low price of $110. What the heck was in that bottle? The elixir of life?!! I avoided more eye wrinkles by refraining from laughing too hard. Much cheaper.). And so, relaxed and loosened-up, I got in my car and drove directly to...Wal Mart. Talk about undoing all that relaxing goodness! I never walk out of that place without a headache. And why? Because I can save 8 cents on each can of beans I buy. Frugal? Maybe. Healthy? I think not.

I already know that when I stay out of the city, I spend less. Almost everything I need can be bought online or here in town, without using up a tank of gas or being sucked in by the allure of a completely unnecessary clothing section at the grocery store. But more importantly, when I stay out of the city, I avoid the traffic and the crowds and the rush, rush, rush, and I have more time to focus on the things I love. Reading, crafting, cooking, and hanging around with my kids.

I guess it'll also give me more time to exercise and get those 8 cups of water I need a day. But that doesn't sound nearly as fun.

So, my resolution for 2012 is to get healthy, in whatever ways that might manifest itself. It may have taken half a month for my brain to catch up, but now I'm ready and raring to go.

Bring it on, 2012!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

2012 has gotten off to quite a start around here. First I discovered that my little iPod Shuffle has gone off to the great electronics pile in the sky. Then I found RB in the pantry yesterday morning stuffing a contraband substance (Hostess cupcake) into his mouth whole. As I have had to install locking door handles all over this house due to RB's wandering hands, monkey-like climbing skills, and naked butt issues, I decided that January 1st was the day I was finally going to end the pantry mischief once and for all. And it was only going to take me about 5 minutes. After all, I have experience with this.

I began with a Phillips screwdriver, and removed the ratty old regular handle. No problems there. But when I started to try to fit the new locking handle into the hole in the door, I found the inside mechanism was too long. Never having come upon this problem before, I started devising new ways to make it fit. After about half an hour of drilling, sawing, hammering (and by this, I mean hitting things with the heel of my shoe), the Captain felt he needed to come downstairs and stick his nose in my handy work. I had made no headway whatsoever, and received a ten-minute lecture on how doors work and thinking through my problems.

When he went back upstairs, I got right back to work doing exactly what I'd been doing before. I cheered in triumph when I finally got the door to close, but then immediately had to call back upstairs in defeat when I realized it wouldn't open again and I was trapped in the pantry. Another lecture. This time, I left him to figure out this unfathomable problem, and in 5 minutes we had a working lock on our pantry door. Handy jerk.

He explained, again, how the locking mechanism works and what I had to do to make it fit. I promised to keep it in mind the next time I needed to change a door handle.

So, for future reference, if you're installing a locking door handle, the thing to remember is blah blah blah, yadda, yadda, yadda, and I told you so.

Or something along those lines.