Friday, March 30, 2012

guilt spewed forth

I have guilt you see. It is not unfounded, I deserve it.

Indulge me.

Yesterday the man texted me and told me he offered to bring dinner to a family at church who has just had a baby. I do believe this is code for he offered ME to make dinner.

I have no problem with this. I believe in making dinner. And I especially believe in taking it to a woman who has just borne life.

These women, in particular, need to eat. Youknowwhatimean?

My problem, which has ultimately landed me here in guilt prison is this: the man told me two days ago that this woman had had her baby. I then started thinking about what night might be good for me to take her dinner. I did this in my mind, not out loud, as I should have.

Yes, I should have. For the man went and made his own plans and then he texted them to me.


Whilst I was out driving around buying things for my party tonight.

Him: I told the SoandSo's I would bring them dinner tomorrow (tonight). Do you mind making that sausage cream soup? Can I buy you some ingredients.

This is what I love about the man. And I mean that sincerely. He asks me to cook something very time consuming and very much paininthebutt-ish but then he offers to buy the groceries. The fastest way to my heart is through the grocery store.

Did you know that?


Me: No way. Tomorrow does not work.

You see, I'm having a party, which I'm pretty sure I've mentioned. I plan on devoting all my time to the preparations of this party. I had no intention of feeding my own family never mind a family that contains a woman who has recently birthed her third son.

Yes, sometimes I'm selfish like that. I blame menstruation and a general malaise.

Him: I'll take care of it.

Me, feeling the need to clarify: My kitchen is not available to you. I can make them dinner on Saturday or Sunday. Otherwise you will have to buy them something tomorrow.

Him: Yes, I gathered that.

This is where it stopped. Because if there is anything almost 17 years of marriage has taught us, it is when to stop.

Last night I went to book club. When I got home, at midnight, the kitchen was clean, the dishwasher was running and the crock pot was on and something inside it was cooking.

Hmmmmm. This was the extent of my thought process when I went to bed.

This morning I woke bright and early to the smell of pig stewing in it's own juices. Which just grosses me out to the point that there are no words.

Well, there must be words but I'm not interested in finding them. The smell was not a good morning kind of smell. But, I knew that there was food cooking and eventually, at some point in the day, it would smell yummy. And in all my shame, I knew it was for a certain woman who has recently pushed a baby out of her body, so all I said was, "why are you getting up so early?" It was 6:45. Too early.

The man said, "Before I go to work, I need to pull the pork and add the sauce I made for it so it can cook some more."

The man made this family dinner. He did it in the night and in the wee hours of the morning so as to not aggravate me in my possessive kitchen neurosis.

He timed it beautifully. He waited just long enough for me to be fully enveloped in guilt before he asked, "Will you take it to them sometime today, when it's convenient for you?"

"Yes," the guilt oozed out of me and spewed forth all over the marriage bed.

Then, he kissed me farewell.

I am a terrible person. I think I'll throw a party to allay my remorse.

Yes...that is what I will do.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

the hunger games was silly

There are only a handful of movies I can think of that were even remotely close to being decent in comparison to the books that inspired them.

For someone who loves to read fiction and loves loves loves to go to the movies I think it is one of the very best treasures in life when you read a book you loved and you see it like a movie in your head and then they make a movie based on it and the onscreen movie is the exact same movie you saw in your head while you were reading the book.


For example, Shutter Island. The book and the movie were identical. Both awesome.

Harry Potter 1 and 2 were exactly how I saw them in my head. By the third movie they changed the director I think and he killed the scenery for me.

The Lovely Bones was an amazing book. Terrible movie. Awful, in fact.

The Other Boleyn Girl. Loved the book. Hated the movie. They totally changed the movie. Why do they do that?

We Need to Talk About Kevin. Absolutely, stunningly traumatic book. I gave the movie one and a half thumbs down. But only because Eva did not act in the movie like she acted in my head. And.....I'm pretty sure I'm right on this one. Someone missed the 'vision' and it wasn't me.

The Time Traveler's Wife. My favourite book of all time and I really liked the movie but most people did not.


The man and I took Cicely to see The Hunger Games on Monday night. She had read the book twice, me once, the man none. I asked him repeatedly to read the books because they were so good and I thought he would like them.

He doesn't listen to me.

Whatever. Man. Your loss.

Now is where I will preface this story with my feelings on teen lit. I have not read a lot of teen lit as an adult. I have read all the Harry Potter books, well except the last third of the last book.

Can you believe that? I got two thirds through and gave up. I did not care for that book at all. I even carted that stupid thing all around Italy and Greece and never finished it. I loved the movies though so I don't feel so bad about it.


I read all the Twilight books. The first one was good. I was gripped. No question. The rest were total crap. Why did I read them? I bowed to peer pressure. I was weak. I conformed. And these stupid books ruined all teen lit potential for me. I forbid Cicely to read them and I stand behind my opinion that these books are the epitome of a teen love triangle vampire/werewolf fiction cesspool.

Okay, that was dramatic.

Enter The Hunger Games. At first I did not want to read them because of the whole Twilight thing. But Jack wanted to read them and I needed to know if he was going to survive the ridiculousness that is teen lit.

So I read them. And I loved them. And the love triangle did not leave me wanting to deck anyone. And the leading lady had good reason to be mopey and ill-wardrobed. She had important things to contend with.

She was nothing like that whiny smile-less, needy, tease Bella.

I was so impressed with how close the onscreen movie was compared to the movie playing in my mind as I read the book. It was really good.

The Hunger Games that is.

Really really good.

When it was done I looked at the man and asked him if he loved it like we did.

"It was stupid," he said.

"Haha." Surely he was pulling my leg.

He held firm to his opinion all the way home. We almost argued over it. I even accused him of acting like his mother. He didn't like this, he didn't like that, he didn't like the other thing. He claimed he needed to have read the book first. I told him he was wrong since the movie was so accurate and what could he possibly have issue with? Regardless, he hated it. Thought it was dumb, stupid and silly.


He thought The Hunger Games was silly.

This from the man whose favourite genre to read is fantasy.

Fantasy. Silly. Aren't these synonyms?

Cicely and I decided that we will never ever invite the man to another movie ever ever again.

Pfft....The Hunger Games was silly.

Silly my butt.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

art a la carte

I mentioned, not long ago, that I was going to be filling some of my free time with volunteer work. I am excited to finally be able to share what I've been doing.

I responded to an ad for an organization, Art a La Carte, that provides art work to the bedside of cancer patients who are unable to leave the hospital.

They were looking for a creative writer. Someone who could put into words the experiences the volunteers were having with the patients.

I submitted my pieces and then I got the "job".

Sometimes it's hard. Sad hard. People do hard things.

At first I struggled, a tiny bit, with the idea of giving my writing away for free. But I also wanted to write. And this writing position provided me with an opportunity to do something totally different than what I do here on this blog.

After I wrote my first two pieces I no longer felt as though I was giving anything away for free. For these stories are not mine.

I merely give a voice to the experience.

As much as I look forward to every piece I get to write, it means, sadly, that somewhere someone's heart is breaking.

Soon I will have the opportunity to go into the hospital and shadow these sweet volunteers who visit with these sick people and provide them with the art work of their choice. This will be hard for me.

For I am an emotional girl.

Here are the first two pieces I wrote for them.

My Bear


The Power of One.

Monday, March 26, 2012


This is Cate.

She is my niece. She is 3. She is a spitfire.

And she is also my namesake. name is not Cate and her name is not Catherine so I'm not totally sure how that works.

Whatever, I think she's the closest thing to a namesake I'll ever have. And since she's a fearsome thing to behold, not unlike her auntie, I'll take what I can get.

She eats popsicles in a very strange fashion which, when all is said and done, leaves her face with one stained cheek.

Cate stayed with me all weekend, along with her two brothers. Which took the kid count up to 7.

It was real loud-like.

Anyway, every time I look at Cate I think about her being my namesake which reminds me of a story that makes me laugh every single time I think about it. Like laugh out loud laugh. Not LOL because I really hate the LOL but seriously, I laugh. Out loud. Every time.

Does that ever happen to you? One memory makes you laugh every time you remember it? And then you tell someone and they look at you like you have no idea what humor is? Last night I told the man the funny story that makes me laugh out loud. I told him I was going to blog about it.

Him: How are you going to tell the story?

Me: Just like I told you right now. You laughed. It's funny, right?

Him, dead pan face: Well, good luck with that.

I asked permission from the person who made this story so funny that I laugh out loud every time I look at Cate and he said I couldn't use it. So I decided to use it anyway and call him Bob.

His name is not Bob and he may or may not be directly related to Cate. I'm not allowed to say.

One day Bob rented a movie to bring home to his wife. Upon his arrival she asked him what he rented.

He response was this, "It's called Nom-a-sock-ee."

"Nom-a-sock-ee? Hmmmm, never heard of it," was her response to his response.

When she looked at the DVD case she saw that it was called Namesake.

And she laughed and laughed and laughed.

As I have done over and over, every time I look at Cate, since she told me that story.

I love Cate, that magnificent beast, my little nom-a-sock-ee.

Friday, March 23, 2012

hefty goals

So this week I announced a big goal to lose 30 pounds by my birthday. And then I ate my body weight in Cadbury Mini Eggs.

I blame the stress. And the PMS. There is so much stress.

And so much PMS.

And herein lies my problem. Or one of them anyways. I always have something to blame.

I am really good at blaming at myself as well. I am not above blaming myself so don't you worry your pretty little heads. But, you have to admit, it is a whole lot easier to blame the stress, when there is stress. And when there's no stress I'll find something else to blame.

This is just another thing I get to work on over the next few months.

Hey! It's like a renovation. And I am a super pro at renovating. This should be a piece of cake.

Seriously though, I have put on about 40 pounds since I sold my little happy house in my little happy neighbourhood and began living this high strung, stressed out existence.

I lived by the motto "I'll deal with it when it's over". And I have learned that waiting to deal does not work. Sometimes the "it" never ends.


Last year, one of my resolutions was to not weigh myself for the entire year and letmetellyou, it was bliss.

By the end of the year, however, I could feel my jeans getting snug. In February of this year I weighed myself. It had been 14 months. And in that 14 months I put on 16 pounds.

As blissful as the not knowing was, too many years of that and I will be a serious contender for some very serious sumo wrestling competitions. Never mind some very serious health issues, I'm sure.

I loved not having to worry about the number on the scale. No obsession. But I will concede that when you have a weight issue ignoring the number on the scale is not the best idea, especially if you haven't given up the problem eating.

The balance, I guess, comes from knowing the number but not being ruled by the number. I have made some big changes in that area but I have a long way to go. For example, I bought some really nice clothes. Clothes that fit. I no longer live by the "I'll buy new, nice stuff when I lose the weight but in the meantime I have to dress like an overweight homeless person." No offense to the homeless. Especially the over weight ones. There is no reason I can't look decent at this weight. Or any weight. That is a stupid rule.

And I forsake it.

I have joined forces with a friend who also feels her weight is a battle worth fighting. Sadly, I feel as though I have not motivated her as of late since every night I report that I have not exercised nor have I eaten well.

But, every battle has to start somewhere. And being linked to another person who gets it makes a big difference for me.

Every Friday we weigh ourselves, or this is the plan anyway, but I have either been out of town or forgotten for the last three weeks. Tomorrow I'll weigh and compare it to the last weight and we'll go from there. I'll report to you every ten pounds.

I won't bore you all year with my woes of weight. When I do have a thought worth sharing I'll share it on Fridays.

I need to make exercise a passion again. After I had my first baby I sunk so far into an abyss of despondency I actually wondered if my lifetime ambition to have babies was something that was going to kill me with sadness. I thought maybe I didn't want to have babies if it meant being that unhappy. I sought medical advice which is not something I do. My doctor said "get some regular, consistent HARD exercise and report back to me in 4 weeks". So I did. But within 2 weeks that darkness had lifted and I was a different person.

Exercise became my anti-depressant. It was my drug. And I was religious in the partaking of it.

Sometimes I wonder if that darkness hasn't resettled in my soul and is slowly stealing my sunshine. Sadly, that darkness keeps me from doing the things for myself that I know will lighten my spirits. I hope to find that lightness again, I know the exercise will push chemicals through my brain that I need.

I know. But I don't do.

This this is my battle.

My mum always says, "there are worse things in life than being fat. It's just that being fat is so obvious."

My mum is so smart. She is right and I remember daily the things that I don't have. I don't have sick children. I don't have a tragedy that weighs me down. I don't have many of the difficulties that others have to deal with. My life is actually pretty easy. And I am grateful.

What I do have is a healthy body. What I could have is a healthier body.

It's hard to "want it" when I have done it so many times and I know how hard it's going to be. I could write a book about weight loss and all the different ways to do it.

I just don't want it right now. What I do want, though, is for this time next year to be ending this journey instead of contemplating it's beginning (again) like I have been for so long.

I want to "want it." I need to "want it".

So until I do "want it" I am going to fake it. Next week I will exercise like a person who is in love with their exercise.

Let's see where that takes us, shall we?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

urban legend

It's starting again. My psychosis is rearing it's ugly head. I am dreading the dealing of it because last year I barely escaped with any semblance of normalcy.

I believe I am an urban legend in the making. The kind of legend where everyone ends up dead. The kind of legend university students study at the risk of their very lives. The kind of legend that makes history.

Let's go back in time, shall we.....

A couple of years ago we renovated a house. Remember that? Man......those were good times.

No, they absolutely were not.

In the course of said renovations we removed boards off the exterior of the house to deal with vermin in the walls.

Go read about it now.

I believe that incident has set forth a darkness so black that we may be swallowed by it and there will be no trace of us anywhere.

A type of voodoo. Black magic. A curse.

People will say, "Remember the Dabels? They were good people." While they hang their heads. Their heads will shake to and fro and their faces will show a mutual understanding. An understanding that our ultimate demise was something we brought upon ourselves. A sort of pity people will feel in their bones.

Those bloody Dabels. They were such dummies.

I suspected that there was a curse set upon us that day, when I watched the man murder all those little birds. I suspected that there would be no end to our torment.

Last April my suspicions started to become a reality. I wrote of my pain and suffering here and here. I do not think, however, I portrayed just how desperate I felt that these birds were pecking into my house.

You see, I was holding out hope. Hanging onto that little thread of silver lining. Holding on to the last bit of optimism I had that this cursed house would be sold by now, and that I would be moved far away from the cedar siding and it's temptation to the bird. That I would be a forgotten soul unto the birds of destruction and mayhem.

But alas, the curse oozes forth into all aspects of my happiness. The house did not sell. In ten months the house did not sell.

Yesterday I worked tirelessly to clean and organize and prove to the laundry Gods that I am a soldier of laundry warfare. I proved worthy, indeed.

We are listing the house again on Monday.

Heaven have mercy on my soul.

As I cleaned yesterday in an effort to make the house presentable for pictures today I heard it.

That horrific sound.

The sound that spreads terror through my veins. The sound that haunts me in my dreams. The sound I fear above all other sounds.

Peck. Peck. Peck.


When all is said and done, to whomever is brave enough to write my story, I want my urban legend to make three things very clear. One, it must allude to my beauty and wisdom, obviously. Two, it has to demonstrate, precisely, just how insane the pecking made me. And three, the great bird massacre of 2010 was entirely not my fault. That I am, in fact, the victim in all of this.

Monday, March 19, 2012

making goals and having a party

Remember last year when I made a goal every. single. month?

I miss that. I didn't think I would but I actually do. I decided at the end of 2011 that I wasn't going to do it again because it was so time consuming and sometimes just plain exhausting.

But, I guess, I am a goal person. Who knew? I really didn't think I was because I wasn't a fan of the idea of self sabotage. Make a goal, break a goal. That's how it goes, right? But last year I showed myself that I do better, generally, in my life, when there is something to accomplish. Even if I don't accomplish it.

Accomplishing things is the part I like, I think. Not necessarily the doing part. I do like the thinking part. But not the commitment part. But they lead to the accomplishing part. And that is my favourite part.

Take Timothy Findley for example. I have read two of his books in my life and I loved them both. They both took me months and months to read and I can't tell you why. I just don't know. Recently, in the course of reading The Piano Man's Daughter, which took two months, I read two other novels for book club. It's an enigma to me.

But last night I finished it and that was a major accomplishment. There was a point in there but now I see that it's just making no sense.

Back to goals. I have been thinking. A lot. About goals. And what I want for myself. In the near future and for right now. I have decided that I need to make some again because I am feeling pretty useless right now. There are three that I am going to announce right here and right now. There is also a little something brewing over here, on top of that, that is not ready to be announced yet but a little teaser can't hurt, right?

Consider yourself teased.

All right, number one is the tail end of last November's goal. Remember that crazy month where I decided to write 50 000 words of a book? And then I did? Well, I haven't looked at that book since November 30, 2011.

This is unacceptable.

This book needs to be finished. In fact, it is screaming to be finished.

I feel like I have inhaled. And now I have that desperate sensation to exhale. Like I'm holding my breath. Half a breath. Itching for release.

I want to breathe it out. I need to exhale.

End of June is the deadline. I want the book finished and ready for final editing by the end of June?


Sure, why not?

Number two involves my weight. I have so much to say about this. It will have to wait until I can dedicate an entire post to it. Today is just goal announcing.

I feel like last year I talked about it a lot and then let it go. It doesn't feel right. I need to finish my thought.

I will on Friday. Or at least, I'll start the conversation again. For those of you who care. Which is everyone. Is it not?

The goal associated with this is some actual weight loss. I did not weigh myself for the whole year of 2011. And it was wonderful. More on that on Friday.

30 pounds by my birthday. October 10. 30 pounds will make a world of difference in my life and I am looking for a difference.

The third goal is finding something meaningful to do with myself and my time. I have really enjoyed all the "free time" I've had since September. But there is nothing meaningful being done with all that "free time".

I have decided to volunteer somewhere. I have had three interviews at various places and I have already started at one. In the interest of not having this drag on I'll leave that for another day.

There you have it. Goals being made. Being thrown out into the world through my blog. Just me and my goals.

And also, I am having a party and I want to you to come. It'll be fun. So please do. March 30. My house. If you live in Calgary and want to hang out with me and many others and do some eating and some shopping then email me and I will give you some more details.

Really you should come.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

lizzie sunday

Miss Lizzie would like you to know that if Catherine leaves her for three nights and days, like she did last week, then she will repay that vicious behavior with endless amounts of pee on the floor.

She also wants you to know that Catherine said she is going to "fix Miss Lizzie's wagon" this week.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

happy, laughing people

One of the funnest parts of blogging is checking your stats on occasion. Or every 37 seconds, ahem. And sometimes reading the search key words kills me. Recently someone found my blog by googling 'frozen yogurt eating happy people.'

Now, when I think about this real hard-like I know what this person was looking for. But why anyone would use google to find happy people eating frozen yogurt is beyond me.

But it isn't my job to understand that. My job is to ridicule the person who googled frozen yogurt eating happy people.

The vision this creates within my mind and soul is absolutely delicious. Imagine, if you will, a giant cup of frozen yogurt waltzing down the street. Or maybe it's a cone. I mean maybe it's Ikea frozen yogurt which would make it the cone kind, not the cup kind. Unless you asked for it in a cup......


So frozen yogurt in a cone, or a cup, is waltzing down the street. Swinging his arms and shuffling his feet. He stumbles upon people. Laughing people. Happy people in a park. Laughing under a tree.

"Look! Happy people. Laughing people. Happy, laughing people under a tree," the frozen yogurt says out loud. You see, it has to be out loud because anyone that was out perusing for happy people to eat would have to speak their excitement out loud. Anything else just lacks the appropriate amount of enthusiasm.

"I love me some happy people. And boy, am I hungry. I think I will eat them now."

So the frozen yogurt eats the happy people.

The end.

Except it isn't the end. Someone googles it.

And they get my blog.

And I see it.

And I mock them.


The end.

For real.

Monday, March 12, 2012

what is that smell?

Where do I start? I don't even know. The past few days have been a whirlwind. But today I am having difficulty finding my happy place.

Where is my happy place?

Usually, when I am feeling this tortured, I can identify the cause. But this morning I simply can not.

I feel unhappy.

I am hoping it's fatigue. I am guessing it's fatigue. I almost feel sick.

All I can smell is Lizzie poop but I can not find any Lizzie poop. So why does it smell like poop in here?

I just spent three nights away in a hotel in which the air conditioning would not work. The air was stale and hot. I was uncomfortable and didn't sleep well. I relished the idea of coming home and sleeping in my own bed but as soon as I laid my head down last night I knew sleep was not on the agenda.

And I was right.

I crawled, begrudgingly, out of bed this morning grouchy and miserable. I wondered how such a great weekend could lead me here. To the place where my family is. The place where I need to be.

How is it I can be so despondent in this place?

Making lunches. Doing hair. Listening to the dog bark........

Back to reality.

This is my life. And as much as I love these people I am feeling unhappy today. Amelia asked me if I wanted to go back to the hotel and I quickly responded with a NO. I do not want to go back to the hotel.

That was a relief. Being away from them isn't what I want either. All I want is my bed with the promise of a restful sleep.

Maybe tonight.

The conference was great. I'm not going to tell you all about it. I will tell you I laughed and I cried and I learned a lot. Sometimes I was irritated and bored and may have tweeted tweets that were not so tweety.

Or rude tweets, for the layperson.

Whatever, I can be rude, not only is it my right but it may have a special place inside my nature. I think it's nestled up beside sarcasm somewhere deep within the abyss of me. All in all, it was a great weekend and I would do it again and again and again.

Maybe one day I'll tell you about the things I learned. But then again, maybe one day I'll just show you instead.

I did learn a couple of things, though, that I'll share right now.

One, women love wine. I have never, in my life, seen so much wine. Being the only LDS person (or the only one I knew of anyway) at such a large venue is very eye opening. It's a different world, for sure. And it's been a long time since I have been in a situation even remotely close to something like that.

Two, Google Analytics and I will not be getting married anytime soon. It has some wooing to do. Youknowwhatimean?

Three, coming home to what I came home to was worth every minute of being away. Never have I come home to such happiness and love and an atmosphere that proved to me that my existence here is wanted, appreciated and treasured.

Turkey dinner with all the fixings, dessert, a made bed (he made the bed, people. What the??), the front door mat was vacuumed (you have no idea what this means to me), dinner was cleaned up and put away in it's entirety, happy children...........

What a treat. So to wake up and feel so upside down has created in me a level of guilt I don't care for.

I want a do over.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

fare thee well, loves

Dear Family,

Today I going to leave you for three whole nights. I know this displeases you to a spectacular degree and I am sorry to admit that I am very much looking forward to it. You see, I believe getaways of this nature were created for the soul purpose of saving the sanity of the stay at home mom.

Or, really, any mom.

It's been a few years since I left you. I don't do it often. Not near often enough if you ask me. There comes a time in every person's life when they feel a little under appreciated and taken for granted. It is in those times that a break should be taken so that everyone regains a certain perspective. A much needed time out so that our hearts can grow fonder.

You know, absence.

I know if I asked you if you love me you would say YES with a resounding enthusiasm that might convince me you are telling the truth. I know if I asked you if you appreciate me for all the little things I do for you you would hug me and say yes, yes we do.

I know.

But I am leaving anyway. I am going to spend three days and three nights with other women. And I bet if I asked them how they were feeling most of them would admit to feeling the same way I am feeling. Under appreciated and taken for granted. I mean, who doesn't feel that way, on occasion? I bet most of them would also admit that they can hardly wait to go home and kiss and hug their own families. Just like I will want to three days from now.

But not for another three days.

I am sorry.

I am sorry that while I am gone you will probably eat your body weights in Ichiban. I am sorry that things will seem off kilter and maybe even a bit disorganized. I am sorry that you will not have my cheery disposition to wake up to in the morning.

I am sorry for that. And also, I am most sorry that I lack a cheery disposition upon waking in the morning.

Have fun in my absence. Enjoy the scenery and by that I mean your father.

And especially, enjoy the Ichiban.

I may or may not be laughing inside right now.

I love you. I love you. I love you. Be good to each other. And miss me terribly. It will make my return that much sweeter.

And please know, if I come home to a kitchen that looks like it hasn't been loved since I left it Thursday morning then I will be turning around and walking straight back out.

Am I threatening you? No. I am promising you.


Your ever loving Mother and Wife and Puppy Trainer.

Monday, March 5, 2012

and then she ate all the cheese

I taught the puppy to ring a bell hung from the back door every time she wants to go out to potty. There were moments when I thought she would never get it. Just like I thought she would never walk herself to the door to go potty. And just like I thought she'd never walk her tired butt to her bed to sleep.

She was getting heavy. All that carrying. I wondered if she wasn't a tad broken. Knowwhatimean? Not all there. A little off her rocker.

But then she began to walk herself to and fro according to my will, not hers.

After I hung the bell at the door I rang it every time I took her out. Hour by hour by hour, I rang the bell.

Then one day she wandered back there and waited for me. When I didn't come she rang the bell. I was so pleased I cheered and loved on her and gave her cheese.

The girl loves her cheese.

The next day she peed on the floor and I went back to being convinced she would never learn.

Then one day she rang the bell twice. And three times. And then she rang the bell every time. She never peed on the floor again.

Now I hear, 376 times a day, ring ring ring......

The constant bell ringing pleases my senses and frustrates my daily chores. Up and down and in an out and ring ring ring....

The girl will do anything for a piece of cheese. Including ring that little yellow bell endlessly. And walk herself there and then back to her kennel when she's told to. She is obedient now. Or at least well on her way.

And then she ate all the cheese. Joke's on her, I guess. She goes and rings the bell and I let her out and she dribbles a pee pee into her potty and then comes in and I give her a cheerio because she ate all the cheese.

She still rings that bell, though, and one day I will go back to my hell place, the grocery store, and buy her some more cheese and we will teach her to roll over and play dead.

Bang bang bang.

Because this is what dogs are for, or so I've been told by her loving owners. They shake a paw. They roll over. They play dead.

Last night I took her to the potty one more time. I tucked her into her bed. I closed the the front door to her kennel like I do every night. I covered her bed with a blanket, because she likes it like that.

Sometime in the night the man whipped himself out of bed and I watched him take a left down the hall instead of a right into the bathroom. I was confused. I told him to wake me if sick little Amelia cried in the night. Where was he going? I took out my ear plugs and listened. I looked at the clock, 2 am.

I heard the bell. I heard the door open and shut and then open and shut again. I heard whispers of "good girl". I heard the pitter patter of little paw feet. I heard the kennel door shut and latch. I felt the man climb back into bed.

"Was she crying in her kennel?" I asked in my sleepy stupor.

"No, she was ringing the bell." He responded in his sleepy stupor.


"You must not have latched the kennel properly and she got out and rang the bell."

"I must go buy some cheese. That is one cheese worthy puppy."


me time

There are exactly 3 more sleeps.

Three more sleeps until:

I go away for three nights with only grown ups. No men, no children.

I like men. And children. Just not all the time.

I do not have to cook one single thing.

I like food. I just don't want to cook it all the time.

I get to learn and listen and see and do whatever I want.

I like being told what to do and having a schedule. Just not all the time.

I get to sleep in a bed all by myself. Well, me and Paisley, of course.

I like my marriage bed. Just not all the time.

Three more sleeps. And then I get some me time. It's been too long since I had some of that.

Meeeeeee timmmmmme.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

lizzie sunday

Miss Lizzie would like you to know that her new dollar store Lady and The Tramp collar is embarrassing and demoralizing and she does not care for it one little bit. She wants you to know, also, that she'll mope about it for as long as she sees fit.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


We have some minor housekeeping issues to discuss this morning. I know, I know, housekeeping is boring. I promise to end this one off with a super delicious recipe though to make it worth your while.

First off, my baby brother told me to watch the trailer for Silent House. So I did. And the trailer scared the crap out of me and I don't scare easy. I like scary movies but these ones? The ones that could actually happen? Hmmmmmm, I just don't know.

Oh bother, I'll see it. Maybe I'll take my baby brother and scream in his ear.

Did you see The Strangers with Liv Tyler and the quiet talker from Felicity? That scared me to death. I didn't sleep at all that night and I made the man sleep on my side of the bed so he could be murdered first when the creepy mask wearing kids decided our turn was next.

Silent House reminded me of that.

This is totally not why I gathered us here today.

First real item of business. If you look to the right --------> (and down) you will see the Google Friend Connect. For whatever reason this Google Friend Connect and I have had a love/hate relationship over the last couple of years. I like it because it's a really easy way for people to follow this wicked-in-every-way blog. At the same time the number on it grows at slow rate. In fact, if it was growing any slower it would be going backwards.

It has to go. It irritates me too much and we don't approve of irritation over here. Only giggles and rainbows.

So, in one week I will be removing it from my blog. If it is the only way you have of following me then please, please, please do one of these instead:

- subscribe. The area to do that is also to the right--------->( and down) It is right on top of the Google Friend Connect. Enter your email address and you will get an email when I update this awesomeness.

-or, friend me on Facebook, if you haven't already done that, and when I post here I'll post the link there. Capiche?

- or, follow me on the Twitter where I will also always post a link. That one works the least effectively, in my humble opinion though. Twitter is like the radio, you tune in and you tune out. No one ever goes back to see what they've missed. It is a cacophony of speedy amazingness that I love love love.

Okay, so now that you've linked yourself to me in a different way, rest easy that I will still find you and ooze into your lives with the subtle femininity that you were so used to with the friend connect.

Second item of business. I was again nominated for something that really has no value. Remember when I harassed the life out of you for the Circle of Moms top 25 mommy blog contest awhile ago? Well, now I was nominated for Circle Of Moms top 25 Funniest blogs. When I placed #4 with the other contest and not a single thing happened to benefit my life in either a positive or negative way I decided that these contests might be more hassle then they're worth. So I'm not harassing. I'm just mentioning. The button to go vote for me is also to the right------> I am way down on the list because I haven't mentioned it yet and also because the girl who is in first obviously has a world of minions whose soul purpose is to find every computer on the planet and vote for her. I have no desire to compete with that. It takes all the genuineness out of it.

Plus, The Bloggess is over there. And, seriously, she wins.

And also she might be nuts.

Thirdly, are you on instagram? How much do you love Instagram? I'm mad about it and have been for awhile. Just found out there was a button. So follow me there. And maybe, if your'e nice, I'll follow you back.

I read this blog called The Fit Housewife. It is written by this super sweet, super healthy, super fit, super dedicated and super dooper motivated woman named Jen. She posts all kinds of interesting facts about fitness. She also does weekly menus that are guaranteed to be good for you. This week I tried one of her recipes because I just happened to have every ingredient for it in my kitchen, which may or may not look like this right now......

Laundry baskets on the island? What has the world come too? Oh yeah, a puppy who chews on everything. Everything has to get put up. Disaster. Not the point. The point is, the recipe was delish. And I suggest you eat it because it was delish. And good for you too.

Tex Mex Chicken Chili

I did not have pasta sauce so I used a can of crushed tomatoes, a can of tomato paste and Italiano seasoning instead. I also added some dried Chilis but it got too spicy for the kids. So next time I'll leave that out.

The rest of my family ate in on rice but I just ate it. And I loved it.

And that, my friends, ends this most important meeting today.

Meeting adjourned.

Friday, March 2, 2012

paisley. part two

I can remember, as a small child, asking my dad to sit on my feet for a few minutes before he finished tucking me into bed. The weight of him on my feet making me instantly sleepy.

I can remember, as a child, trying to settle my unsettled feet and legs so I could be comfortable enough to get to sleep. I would lie on my belly and shove my foot between my bed and the wall. If it wasn't tight enough I would get out of bed and push the bed closer to the wall so the foot squeeze would be tighter.

I remember this being my most favourite position to fall asleep in. Getting married has taken that away. Marriage beds don't usually get shoved up against a wall.

I love winter time because we can pull out the big heavy duvet and add it to our bed. The weight of that downy darling lulling me into dreamland. Summer comes and it's too hot. The duvet goes back into hiding in the closet.

I never sleep well in the summer.

Yesterday I talked about my foray into insomniaville. And some of the things I have tried to conquer it. I alluded to Paisley.

The birth of Paisley goes a little something like this. Once upon a time I went to a dinner with some Calgary bloggers. The hostess was Leslie. She was quiet and observant and perfectly lovely. She lives very close to me and I will admit here that she has served me well in many aspects of life over the last few months. I am pleased to call her a friend.

At this particular dinner at her house she was telling us about her new business. She was going to be making weighted blankets and vests and other such weighty things. She explained their use from a rehabilitation stand point. She used to work with kids with autism spectrum disorder. They used weighted vests and blankets to help in their therapy.

Like a big giant hippo hug.

I asked to see a blanket. She brought out the Spiderman prototype. She handed it to me and I nearly dropped it. Heaviest blanket ever.

I laid it across my legs and the first thought I had was that I'd love to sleep with something that heavy on me. I craved it. I asked her if she thought a weighted blanket might help one sleep better.

"Oh definitely," she responded.

"Hmmmmmmm," I fell into deep contemplation.

I asked her to price one out for me and then I put it on my wish list.

A few weeks later, I was whining, via facebook, about not sleeping again. Which is so weird because I hardly ever whine.


Anyway, Leslie offered up her Spiderman blanket to me for a trial run.

Excuse me?? Me and Spiderman? In bed together? YES PLEASE!

I mean....yes, please.

So I started sleeping with the one and only Spiderman blankey and do you say in love?

Me sleeping, still, quiet, stone-like, through the night. That's how.

After a couple of weeks I decided it wasn't right to hog this special blanket and so I returned him and ordered my own. I wanted it bigger, heavier. I wanted it to come right up to the hairs on my chinny chin chin. I went over to see Leslie and pick out material for my very own blanket.


And beautiful to boot.

I had to wait 12 nights to get her and not a night went by that I didn't curse getting into my bed. I missed the weight of Spiderman and the man heard about it nightly, much to his chagrin. When Leslie brought Paisley over to me it wasn't even supper time yet but I ordered everyone to bed so I could go to sleep.

They weren't buying it. I think they hate me. So I had to settle for a snuggle on the couch with it instead.

This is Holden demonstrating what I looked like when I curled up with Paisley for the first time.

He's probably not far off.

The timing has be serendipitous. I have PMS and nights are restless and unsettled. But with that 15 pound beauty holding me down I sleep hard, my legs still, and if I lay the blanket just so, with the edge of it falling over the side of the bed, I can cram my foot down there and......

gonzo. I'm out.

Sometimes, it's hard for me not to believe that people are put in your life for a reason. And if they aren't then I choose to believe that everyone we meet can better us in some way or another.

Leslie is a clever, talented and gracious woman and I know I will be forever grateful for this little nugget of sleep perfection she has been a part of. Created even.

Will this blanket cure insomnia for me or for anyone else? I doubt cure is the right word. But I do know, because I am living it, that this blanket brings me much comfort, both physically and emotionally. I know that this blanket has given me many happy nights and I am a much more rested person because of it.

If you, or anyone you know, suffers from poor sleeping, or restless leg syndrome or anything else that this product might "help" with then I encourage you to look into Leslie's products and really find out if she can help you in any way.

Thank you Leslie. You are my favourite.

And please, do me a favour, because you love me so, go over here and like her Facebook page and see all the great things she's making for adults and children everywhere.

Amelia, trying to carry it for as long as she can. "It's soooo heavy!"

Go check it out. Go. Now.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

paisley. part one

If you are not new here then you know I struggle with insomnia on occasion. And by occasion I mean more often than not.

If you are new here, first of all welcome, and secondly, I want you to know that I struggle with insomnia on occasion.

It started, bizarrely, after I returned home from a trip to Europe in 2007. I didn't sleep well upon return and, in fact, I seem to have never really recovered from that. After years of trying to figure it out I have discovered that my diet affects it dramatically. I gave up sugar for a month last year and discovered my sleeping profoundly affected. I have tried to remain sugar free, sometimes that's easier said than done. I have also recently cut my caffeine intake by 2/3rds.

And as of late I have been sleeping like a log.


PMS kicks in. Then the sleeping stops. This is when my anxiety rules my body and steals my nights.

It's rude. But try and tell it that.


The last 2 years have been stressful. Another post. Another time. But it's been anxiety inducing. Sleep stealing. Hard times. The point being that sleep became more and more allusive. Some nights it was gone entirely.

Enter prescription sleeping pills. I took them on occasion, my rule being two bad nights in a row and then one pharmaceutically induced good sleep. Slowly, over time, it got to the point where I was taking one every night.

After a couple of months they just stopped working but I took them anyway in the hopes that it might work, on the off chance.

I was exhausted. On or off the pills I wasn't really getting more than a few hours of sleep a night so I figured if I was going to sleep poorly anyway, I may as well do it drug free. So I quit them. Cold turkey. It wasn't that hard actually. But the idea that I might be totally hooked on them was a little scary to me. It was a relief to find out that quitting them wasn't too big a deal.

However, just before I quit them I had a very clever woman I met through the miracle of blogging make a suggestion to me about something I could try that might help.

Might not. But it might. And where's the harm in trying?

So I tried it........

If you come back tomorrow I'll tell you my secret.

Here's a hint. Her name is Paisley. The secret, not the woman. That would be weird.

Or would it? Probably not.

Anyway, she is beautiful. And also, very heavy. The secret, not the woman. Well, the woman is beautiful. Just not heavy.


That was three hints. And also, very confusing.

Until tomorrow............