Monthly Archives: February 2016

Fondue rules…

We regularly have fondue. Although the boys don’t do the cheese marinated in old socks, we still do broth & meat & old socks for us. It’s usually a weekend thing. There are rules…

  • You absolutely must remember which colour stick is yours.
  • If your meat falls into the pot, you must rescue it. Otherwise it’s a free for all.
  • You do not dip then cook, you must cook & then dip.
  • Absolutely NO scooping is allowed.
  • Absolutely NO dipping in the dips before you dip in the cheese.
  • Tough if you forget the colour of your stick.
  • DO NOT put the stick in your mouth AFTER it’s been cooked!



Is always chocolate!

  • ABSOLUTELY NO scooping is allowed.
  • If you drop your item into the chocolate you must have a 2 minute time out!
  • ANYONE can claim the dropped item.
  • Dripping chocolate is wasteful & also results in a time out.
  • You can’t eat anything without dipping – so no cake or candies on there own.
  • There is an optimum time for blowing out the candle – when a grown up tells you to, basically.

So now you know!

The label…

When you are diagnosed with a chronic disease you are given a label. That label puts you in a certain category of illness, which then entitles you to certain treatments. You then begin your life sentence, that not only affects you, but it also affects those close to you.

I am 6 years into my life sentence. The only good thing about my disease is that for the most part it’s hidden. Unless you see me struggle, or you know what I have, you will know no different. I’m just another person on the street, a mum picking her kids up, or doing the grocery shopping. I go about my daily business in some discomfort, & sometimes a lot of pain, and I almost over compensate on polishing my exterior so as not to alert the world to my suffering interior. If there is something or someone that would be of great benefit to making my life easier, I still often need to be persuaded or encouraged to come around to the idea before I finally give in. For example, it took me a while to come around to having a cleaner. I don’t work so how can I justify that? Well, now I couldn’t live without her, she saves my body from extra physical stress that it really doesn’t need.

A cleaner is fair enough, many of us employ one, it’s nothing out of the ordinary. So what about being persuaded by your arthritis counsellor, your rheumatologist, & your husband to actually wear a label that shouts out to the world there is something wrong with you? I’m talking about a disabled parking permit, & it’s taken 9 months to year for me to come around to the idea that it might be of some benefit to have one. Honestly, I didn’t want to be parking right outside the grocery store & then find out that a person in a wheelchair couldn’t because I’d taken the spot. But then again, I really struggle to push a full grocery cart down the hill that all grocery stores seem to be built on. In the end it was the situation with my knee that finally made me realize that although there are people who may have more obvious legitimate reasons to be closer to certain facilities, I too have good reason. So, I agreed to being given that label, which arrived today.

The thing is, you also realize that the label can be optional. It doesn’t have to be a permanent thing that hangs from my mirror, I can chose when to use it – most likely when grocery shopping, & occasionally when I’m having a bad day & walking an extra block to school is brutal. As I am a very honest person, I hope not to fall into the trap of ‘oh I’ll just park here because I can use my permit’, but I’m sure there will be the odd occasion when I do, I’m sure a lot of people abuse it far more than that. I think it will take some time for me to feel comfortable about using it, but at least I now have the option, & I’m sure my body will thank me for it in time.

Confessions of the coat of shame…

I always thought that dogs shouldn’t wear clothes or cost more than me to have their hair done. I believed I would not entertain owning a breed that required either. Clearly you should never say never because what did we get – a wheaten terrier!

Even if I have my hair cut & coloured it STILL costs less than the dog. Just taking her for a bath costs 4 times as much as one shampoo and cut for me. The reason why she is so high maintenance is the fact she’s non-shedding. Now don’t get me wrong, that part is fabulous, I know people who have to vacuum twice a day because of all the shedding. However, those people can towel dry their dog & that’s that. Not me, everything clings to a wheaten’s coat, it takes hours to dry, then dirt falls off all over the house.

So as you can imagine I strive to avoid dragging half of Pacific Spirit Regional Park into my house everyday, but short of wrapping her up in plastic bags there is very little I can do, or is there…

A raincoat!

So just forget what I said earlier about dogs wearing clothes, in this situation it is absolutely necessary believe me. Tess owns one in nice red, a very nice red with a removable fleece lining. It also has a reflective trim, and is really easy to put on, one Velcro fastening around her chest, and the other one goes around her belly. It definitely keeps dryer so I only have her legs to deal with, but there is one major problem – SHE HATES IT!!

She’s never been one of those dogs that jump’s for joy when she sees you reach for her leash, but reach for the coat too & she is off under the table. At this time of year we get a lot of rain so I have to put it on most days, & when I do the most bizarre thing happens. Now that she spends most of her walks off leash, she likes to explore the forest. I spend most of the time calling for her & standing around waiting. But, when I put her coat on she will walk right beside me. Even if she goes ahead she stops & turns around (without looking at me of course because she’s mad with me), & waits for me to catch up, then carries on walking. She doesn’t disappear into the forest, she doesn’t run around with all her friends that we pass everyday day, she doesn’t stop to pee up every tree (yes my female dog lifts her leg to pee), she just keeps walking. It’s as if she’s utterly ashamed & she doesn’t want anyone to see her in the coat, so she walks around the route as quickly as possible to just get the job done. I think she stays with me so everyone we do see will know who she’s with, & therefore will know that is was me that made her wear it. She will even walk past people with a low head, seemingly embarrassed – it’s quite hilarious.

As soon as we are back at the car & she is relieved of the offending article, she leaps into the car, shaking herself & bouncing around. Then, it’s doesn’t matter whether I put it on the floor, or on the seat, or hang it on the back of the front seat headrest to dry, the stupid mutt starts to wash it!! What the heck is that all about?

As you can imagine we go through this ritual regularly. However, I also have a confession to make… When I’m in a hurry because I have an appointment, or lots to do that day, I put her coat on the make the walk quicker.

Now I’m the one who should be ashamed.


This morning we had to be at school for 7.15am. This is not unusual, Monday is 7am for basketball, Wednesday & Friday is 7.30am for choir. This wouldn’t be so bad if it was for both boys, but sadly it is only the elder that has a better social life than me! Today was different because the boy’s basketball team were travelling to Surrey for a tournament. To be fair to my elder child he’d remembered to bring home his tracksuit & gym kit (I bought 2 kits so we wouldn’t have this problem but both sets seem to prefer living in the glorified garbage can known as his locker). So boot camp began at whatever ungodly hour, & we were at school by bang on 7.15. Great!

After dropping his bag in the gym, he realized that he needed his water bottle, & his indoor gym shoes. No problem, he got our very lovely caretaker to unlock the door to the grade 4 floor. Meanwhile, my younger child & I are waiting in the lobby because there is nowhere else to go at that time of the morning – the library isn’t even open. He starts to complain that it is far too early to be at school and he declares that he will not be joining any clubs that require him to be at school before it officially starts at 8.20 – fair enough.

7.20: Elder child returns empty handed. He remembered that he might have left his kit under his desk but the classroom is locked. So I direct him back to the caretaker to now ask him to unlock the classroom door. He returns again empty handed declaring he cannot find his gym kit or his water bottle which is usually on his desk. So I send him to the lost & found & to the gym changing room. He then remembers that he saw his little brother’s gym shirt hanging in the changing room yesterday so he put that in his gym bag too but forgot to give it him. Awesome! Now we are missing his full kit including shoes & his brother’s shirt.

7.25: It is not in the lost & found but he needs to get on the bus. I notice he’s been given a school basketball shirt that he’s already changed into. I ask him for his gym shirt so I can give it to his brother because he has gym first period (even though little brother could have camped under it, it was better than nothing as they are quite strict about these things). The library is now open, I deposit my younger child in there & kiss him goodbye – the librarian is used to having a few strays abandoned until the classrooms open at 8am.

I return to school at 3.30pm to pick up my basketball player (younger child was in sewing club till 4), but he is not in the lobby or the gym. I head up to the classroom to see if he’s there, but only his teacher is in the room. As one of her class parent’s I have gotten to know her quite well & we get on well too. We get chatting & while I’m there she sorts out the work that my basketball player missed that day. We walk over to his desk at the back of the classroom & what do I find behind his chair on the shelf, practically waving at me, but his water bottle & the missing gym bag with all the kit & of course little brother’s shirt. I close my eyes & say a few choice words in my head!

Clearly he has inherited my husbands gene that allows him to look for something but not actually see it. The team arrived back & he sees that I have found the kit. He announces that he looked under & around his desk, not but not behind his chair because he didn’t put it there. Of course, why would he look anywhere else in case the cleaners have moved it, because that kind of common sense is only given to the female species! I then brace myself & open little brother’s locker because I can tell by the coat sleeves and shoelaces that are hanging out that my toes were at risk of severe trauma, and I return his shirt. I bag the water bottle because I’m sure its last visit home was at Christmas & I can see that it is incubating several new species of bacteria. I then send him back up to his locker to return the items that need to stay.

Needless to say I was worn out & we still had swim team practice to make it to – at a completely different school of course – the joys of motherhood!

Glass milk bottles…

There are some things that you remember from your childhood that you wish had never changed. Like for instance, playing outside all day long in summer, returning only for food & fluids – or ice pops if you were lucky. I even miss the sound of the ice cream van roaming the streets while playing a tinny version of a nursery rhyme. So much has changed in the world that my boys grow up in compared to the one my husband & I knew. The world is such a smaller place for a start, I didn’t get on a plane until I was about the same age as my elder boy (9), where as he could probably take himself to the airport & get on a plane without us.

While there are many things I could continue to compare, & most of which are now for the better, it is the simplest of things that I miss. You may remember I have mentioned before that many people in the UK still get their milk delivered. Not only is it delivered but it also arrives in glass bottle. Not the enormous plastic 4l containers that I have to buy in Costco. If I didn’t I would be shopping everyday to replenish the vast quantities that my tribe consume. Now, as you can imagine tipping a 4l container up to pour milk on your cereal is a tricky business for me never mind my 7 year old. Therefore, I have tried various receptacles, usually in jug form, to make this process easier. If only we could have nice pint bottles delivered to our door everyday like grandma & grandpa do it would make it so much easy…

So, there I am at the only part of the grocery store I actually enjoy browsing – the home section. This is partly because it’s at the beginning of the store, so my cart is practically empty. It is also because they just have really great stuff that I don’t really need but absolutely can’t live without. Today they must have seen me coming, because what did they have there waiting for me… GLASS MILK BOTTLES!! They are just like the ones the milkman delivers (except empty of course) with a metal screw top, instead of a foil cap. I almost bought the entire shelf because at $3.50 each they were a bargain. I was so excited I couldn’t wait to get home & fill them with milk before placing them in my fridge door. Then, admiring how pleasing they look.

Yes you may think I that I really need to get out more, well that might be true, but let me tell you this, even hubby was excited when I told him so I’m not alone. Even the boys were quite taken with idea of pouring milk out of a proper bottle. Sadly though I very quickly discovered a design fault. We have skimmed & 2%, & the bottles are identical. After giving this a moments thought, no worries, that’s what sharpies are for. But I couldn’t bring myself to write on the nice clean shiny bottles, my type A came out with a vengeance. All I could manage in the end was a small black dot on the top of one lid, & thankfully my type A fridge also means that the 2 types of milk are ALWAYS put back in the same places in the doors… PHEW, panic over!

Mums Vs. Dads…

I’ll use Vegas as an example, but really this could apply to any mum or dad weekend away…


    • Mums take a half empty checked bag & a carry on.
    • Dads take a makeup bag sized carry on & still have room to spare.


  • Dads check in separately & agree to meet at the other end.
  • Mums all check in & make sure they’re all sat together.
  • 4 mums will share one room with two queen-sized beds.
  • 4 dads are uncomfortable sharing even 2 to a room but do it.
  • Mums shop & shop & shop & shop.
  • Dads walk & avoid shops at all cost.
  • Mums book their show well in advance because they are organized & want good seats.
  • Dads wait till they get there & wing it.
  • Mums eat on the fly, hit the bars & dance all night.
  • Dads go to a nice restaurant that serves lots of meat & avoid anywhere that has dancing.
  • Mums stay out until the sun comes up because they survive on very little sleep & they want to make the most of it.
  • Dads are in bed by 1am.
  • Mums return home planning next year’s trip (With a full suitcase & extra bags with their carry on, & maybe some stuff in their friends suitcase too!)
  • Dads might do it again but really you could do that sort of thing anywhere, you don’t really need to go away.
  • The kid’s can’t wait for mum to get home because she’s been away for weeks.
  • The kid’s ask mum on the way to the airport if they are picking daddy up from work.

It would be interesting to do this trip as couple…

Happy Valentine’s Day!!




It’s been hosing down out there. The perfect day for staying home, lighting a fire & chilling out. Did we do that? Of course not! It was my friend’s birthday, & sadly our plans to cook her breakfast & celebrate with her were quashed by the fact she got called into work at 8am. Thankfully she did make it back at lunchtime so I was still able to feed & water her before she returned for her regular shift this afternoon.

In the meantime the boys & I put the last coat of base colour their bathroom & continued stripping the rest of the paper of the main bathroom. We cranked up our favourite songs & made some more progress with this boring task. It will be worth it I know, but only when it’s all done & we look at the finished masterpiece, & say ‘we did that’.

When the kids had finally had enough & my body was protesting, I then set to & began masking off the stripes they want in their bathroom – yes stripes! Two shades of green & purple, it’s going to look awesome (she says trying to convince herself). What a nightmare. Hubby had suggested a formula for making sure the stripes were not evenly spaced but every colour got a turn at being each size. Needless to say I now have a headache & I will also have to repaint some of the base colour to hide my pencil marks that were measured wrong!

After a break for dinner I started again, only this time armed with a gin & tonic thinking this might help. Nope! The spirit level just looked like it was constantly moving. I’ve now given up for the day, ready for a soak on the bath & possibly more gin!!

Dad does Vegas!!

Yep! Home alone this weekend while hubby is doing exactly what I do every year with the girls – & he swore he never would! So it’s been a Vegas widow’s night in with the kids watching a movie in the basement, while mum’s drink wine & roll their eyes at the sad pictures they think we’re interested in.

A knock at the door & we think it’s my good friend & Vegas partner joining the fun, but no, an edible arrangement of delicious chocolate covered fruit for us to enjoy & make us believe they are thinking about us – yeah right, the last we saw of them they were ordering cocktails in Margaritaville!

My friend & I left the other widows to there slumber party, my boys are now tucked up in bed while we enjoy a late night girlie movie – Cowboys of course – wine and heaps of furry friends keeping feet warm…


From pain comes productivity…

I shoehorned myself out of bed this morning, having not slept well, partly because hubby was in work until 3am, & partly because of yesterday’s torture. So, the day didn’t get off to a good start, even after a hot shower to help ease the aches & pains, & Thursday’s are always busy. For the first time ever my body was not keen on having an hour of pilates, but my fantastic instructor managed to motivate both my mind & body so I at least got something positive out of it – & I did. Then it’s my guitar lesson, I have practiced & practiced the chords to Photograph, but I couldn’t get the palming muting rhythm right. However, my teacher had something else on the agenda…

After only 10 minutes into the lesson he had me playing the introduction to the song, which can also be played along side the palm muted chords. I was so excited that I could now just pick up my guitar & play something you might actually recognize. THEN we sorted out the rhythm. I think it’s time for a change of artist or band & a new song – as much as I love you Ed, sorry!

I’ve now had 3 doses of my super dooper painkillers with very little pain relief, I have now resorted to wine, & I can confirm that at some point in the evening there will be chocolate consumed. All things considered I’ve had a productive & positive day when I thought it was going to be brutal. I’ve made two Valentines cards (sadly I make a matching pair & give hubby one so that I get a decent card from him!), & made 3 cakes. I find that when I have things to distract me, & those things go according to plan, ‘it’ is just grumbling in the background, unable to beat & bring me down. Not today anyway.

Then of course it’s Friday tomorrow, the weekend always makes things feel better!

All hugs welcome…

Manipulation, IMS, & ultrasound, that’s what it took to sort out my SI pain, and now I feel like I’ve been run over by a train. I don’t know where to put myself, because it wasn’t just the SI that needed sorting out; my neck & lower back weren’t in great shape either. I was trying to see if I could go two weeks without physio, something I periodically try because I’m so sick of being beaten up every week. I hate having needles, and I resent paying to be tortured. Was it worth it? Of course not, what I went through today was the worst I’ve had to endure in sometime.

With only my dog for company (snoring next to me), because hubby’s at work, I’m not even sure I want to write. I know if I try it won’t be productive, I barely slept last night because I was so uncomfortable, so staring at a computer screen is not a good idea. I don’t even want wine – but I have had chocolate so I’m obviously not too out of sorts. I feel a bit spaced because of my painkillers, but that could also be tiredness too, they don’t always make me feel like this. I haven’t even picked up my guitar today, & I’ve been so good practicing everyday.

My only hope now is that I can get some sleep, & tomorrow will not be as bad as it can be after such a horrible session.

All virtual hugs welcome 🙂