Sunday, August 26, 2012

Can you say "s#itty"?

Yes, Thursday I was happy, and happily out of focus with some good pals after a night of burgs (lettuce wrapped for the GF crowd) and fries (if Romer's does one thing really well, it's their fries)

And Friday, well, that was pretty great too - a siblings night out watching Maureen sing at the Cellar. I haven't seen her perform since I moved back from Toronto (come to think of it, I'm not sure I've seen any vocal jazz since I moved back) and she was great - right on her game, with a fistful of great new tunes and a fantastic backing band supporting her. A really great night.  And her new CD will be out in the fall, which is something else to look forward to.
And Saturday? Well, it started ok, with my regular weekend exercise and trip to Mum's. Well, with the caveat that my laundry tubs backed up. Mum and I took a closer look, and decided that once again, my sewer line had failed me. So - it spun into an afternoon of sewer line auguring and stress. And expense. And the realization that I have to decide whether to do one more repair on the line (another pipe section destroyed by the neighbours stupid f$&king red maple - no offense, tree, but I'm not your biggest fan), or bite the bullet and replace the whole line - which really does need to be done, in a perfect world. My sewer line is not properly graded (read: has dipping "belly" that collects water and gunk - I'm ok with my own dipping belly but the sewer line is another story), and has too many repairs between old crap pipe and new plastic pipe, and the joins and old pipe just keep on failing. Yesterday's plumbing company were pushy and annoying so I am going to get more quotes before doing anything, but to give you an idea, their quoted repair would be over 2K and the replacement, 7K. I do OK financially, but an unplanned 7K expense is enough to make me sweat. Particularly when I am bracing to spend a whack getting my chimney rebuilt in the next month or so. OH this is the reason people cohabit - to share the joys of home ownership? ;)
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012


That word ("control!" shouted with gusto) always makes me think of my Dad.  I won't explain the reference, my family gets it, and that's good enough.

I've been think a lot about control - things I can't, things I can.  Right now, I know I'm really putting effort towards those things I can - mainly the house, and my health.  I'm focusing on taking care of both I guess - little improvements at the Bunkle as I chip away at the many things that need improving (I wonder when I will get around to to replacing the pane of glass in the kitchen window that has a 3/4" hole in it? 2014?), and little improvements in myself, as I focus on exercising more and eating better.  I'm starting to like both things a little bit more at the moment.  Much to my surprise, the closet downstairs has brought a great deal of calm to my life - disorganization stresses me out (a thought which will probably make anyone who has seen my office laugh - I am anything BUT naturally organized).  And the fact that I can now feel things that I believe are called triceps (I said feel, not see - we're nowhere near seeing, fear not), and get back into clothes that have been rejecting me for the past couple of years makes me feel like I'm doing some good for myself.  But I am well aware that this focus is in good part a way of dealing with all the things I can't change.  It's giving me the illusion of control, at least over something.  And I know that there is also joy in dealing with situations you can't control, but I'd really prefer not to right now.  But my tidy little life is very easy to control right now - it's my comfort zone.  It's selfish, I know that.  But I'm not ready to step out of that zone yet.  At least not until the chimney's redone, or the house is painted, or you can see my triceps, or something (ok the triceps thing will never happen so hopefully I won't be using that as a marker)

Canadian Gothic?

Gin, elderflower and cucumber.  So good.

Seared scallops with black quinoa and some foamy stuff - excellent (even the foamy stuff)
Responsible.  Or at least he's trying hard to be.

Bison carpaccio-induced happiness

Yes, she is singing...
In other news, my dear pals Martin & Maureen are out from Toronto for the week - Maureen is singing at the Cellar Friday and Saturday this week.  I'm looking forward to seeing her perform, it's been ages!  And it's been ages since the three of us have had a chance to catch up.  These two fed me many fantastic meals at their cute Toronto home when I lived in Ontario - they are both great cooks, and Maureen can make a killer pie blindfolded with one arm tied behind her back, singing a jazz standard or two while she does it.  And they have managed to raise two seriously gorgeous, seriously talented girls to boot.  So, last night we went out to Fraiche for a truly lovely meal.  Ostrich - NOM NOM! Who knew?! (other than cheetahs and lions I guess?)  The view is second to none, and the waiter was fantastic as well.  Then back to mine for some goat cheese ice cream with blueberry honey and toasted almonds (David Lebovitz you never fail me).  So great to see them both, and it just strengthens my resolve to take a bit of a TO holiday sooner rather than later.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Waiting for the plumber...

Actually, now I'm waiting for the plumber to finish and leave - he's been here almost three hours already (ka-CHING!).  The hot water pressure in my tub suddenly dropped, so I had to get someone in to look at it.  It took a fair amount of trouble shooting but it looks like the problem is the valve in the pipe coming out of my hot water tank - so, pipe has been sawed off, plumber now attaching a new pipe.  I am not looking forward to the bill for this one.  Not.  I have gone a bit crazy on the spending recently (Coach bag - whee! Plane fare to Portland - whee! My continually improving closet - whee! Clothes - whee!) and am also planning to rebuild my chimney this year (I'm waiting on a quote for that), so I guess the plumber is just one more expense ... nothing to worry about I guess, provided I don't lose my job any time soon?

If nothing else, Maggie enjoyed waiting for the plumber (she loves the bath mat these days).  Her expression will become even more glowering when we go to the vet for a nail trim later today...hopefully this time she won't try to recreate scenes from the Exorcist on the examination table.

Note the tail wag

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

On my desk ...

This made my morning - I sooo needed a laugh.  And I so need a Bobcats mug.

Meet the Bobcats here  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

If you have more than one nemesis, do you have nemesi?

A quick post just because I haven't in a while - and it certainly isn't because I haven't had things to blog about (family reunion? Toronto pals' visit? The return of my brother's missing child...I mean cat...). I guess I just haven't had energy, because I've been expending it elsewhere, with gusto or reluctance, depending on the circumstance.

But back to the nemesis. Actually, Maggie's nemesis, not mine. I think I will call him Cecil, for no really good reason other than he looks like a Cecil. His days are spent, at least in part, making goofy faces at Maggie through the window. She is probably double his size, and has a face that does "indignant" extremely well, so she has been poofing herself up and attempting to look as indignant as possible a fair amount these days. From what I can tell, that's just makes it much more fun for him. And, truthfully, for me too.

The other big news is my closet - which is coming along really awesomely well, i LOVE it so far. Well, except the iron holder I just mounted isn't big enough for my iron (note to self: check these things before drilling holes into your wall). It's been a lot of work, and a fair chunk of money as well, but the calm I feel when I go in there and see everything so comfortably in its place makes it worth while.

And I will end off by saying this sunny weather is amazing. I love the rhythm of my weekend mornings in this weather, up while it is still quiet, out for some exercise before the rest of the world starts interfering with's good. My pal Ale and I had a discussion about happiness the other day, and how it seems to land on you for a while and then flee completely ... or land on you while you watch your friends go through terrible things. Right now, I'm somewhere in its outer circle - but I will take what I can get while it lasts.

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