Monthly Archives: July 2016

My thoughtful hubby…

Remember I had a sneaky look at a new steel string guitar a couple of weeks back? Well, this morning hubby suggested we pop into the store & take another look. So there I am browsing the racks & the one I’d had my eye on wasn’t there, at least at first I thought it wasn’t. Never mind, I thought, it’s one of those things, & I decide to look at others. One in particular, that I was sure was the original one, catches my eye. After pawing at it I turn the ticket over to check the price but it also has a ‘HOLD’ ticket in it, so I move on again & I find one that is the same size & shape but a bit cheaper so I pluck it off the rack & have a little strum. Meanwhile, hubby is disappeared off to talk to one the assistants…

He returns a short time later, he looks at the guitar I’m ‘playing’, & we talk about it in comparison to the one I originally saw. He strolls along the rack & mentions the one with the ‘HOLD’ ticket & I declare that I believe that one to be my original choice. I can’t really remember how he got me to look at it again, but when I did I couldn’t believe what I saw – his name & cell phone number was on the hold ticket, it was held for him, for me!

Apparently after I’d talked about it he’d called the store & thinks he spoke to the guy who had been helping me that day. When he explained what he knew about the guitar I’d looked at & the price the guy took an educated guess at which one it was. Hubby’s plan was to pick it up while I was having my knee surgery on Tuesday so I could have it to play while I recover – & of course it would be an early birthday present not just for being a good girl at the hospital. My husband is an incredibly thoughtful guy like this, & even though I’ve known him for 20 years he can still surprise me & give me fuzzy feelings.

Did we buy the guitar? As it happens I didn’t choose that one in the end, that one was made of Sitka Spruce & is apparently the musician’s choice. I actually preferred the cheaper Mahogany that was the same size & shape. If I’m honest the sound is not something I am too into, the steel strings already play better even at my basic level, & honestly I was a complete girl about it & choose by look & colour. When we took it to the desk to pay the guy who served us was admiring my choice, not to mention I had chosen one that was a relatively expensive instrument but had $300 knocked off the price. He pointed out some interesting markings in the wood on the back, wondering if it might have been made by a bear claw – how unique is that! All in all I had definitely made a good choice, even if it wasn’t the one that hubby had hoped to surprise me with. It does mean that whenever people admire it, or ask about whether I play when they see the line up of guitars (now 4 of them!), I will have a lovely story to go with it that makes it quite special.


The box…

You know when very young kids, babies or toddlers prefer to play with the box rather than the toy that was in it? Well my 2 boys at 7&9 still like to do that – especially the elder one. I swear than one of these days you will see him on hoarding buried alive the amount of junk he insists on keeping, usually boxes. I remember once when hubby sent him out to put the paper recycling in the bag outside, he came back with more than he went with! Anyway, today I took delivery of one of those fancy cold water filter machines because I’m fed up of filling the little Britta jug filter, the fridge doesn’t have it’s water dispenser, & the ice maker is broken (I hate that fridge!). So thanks to Costco online I was able to go all out & purchase something that not only does hot & cold water on tap, but it also self cleans & filters tap water through a Britta filter so I don’t even have to buy those gigantic drums of water that sit on top. Unfortunately the meanies don’t supply a bottle so I will have to purchase at least one.

As you can imagine the box was tall (about 4ft) & square (about 16ins square), & of course it had all sorts of additional packaging inside. No sooner was the box empty when it was whisked away by the boys & carted upstairs. Hubby questioned them as to what on earth they were going to do with it, ‘make cat playstation dad!’ Actually quite a good idea until I saw my hot glue gun disappearing up there a short time later, along with my really good kitchen scissors. In no time at all the floor was littered with cardboard bits, hot glue was running down the side of the shelves & my meter ruler from my craft had also found its way up there at some point.

To be fair I can see how fun it will be for our cats as they love to use cardboard to scratch on, but I’m not sure the holes the boys have cut will be big enough for a squirrel let alone our two porkers!

Still, it’s a nice idea & hopefully the cats will try it out at least once just to keep the boys happy & all their time & effort won’t be wasted. I bet it’s out in the recycling this time next week so watch this space…

A big thumbs up for the orthodontist!

Our elder son had impressions taken today following a week of wearing spacers between two top molars. Next Tuesday he will be fitted with his upper brace that will be adjusted once a month for the next 4-6 months to expand his upper jaw. His eyeteeth are there ready to come through but are lying over the roots of the teeth next door, & have therefore begun to dissolve them. Thankfully the treatment is not as invasive or expensive as the full on metal work that many kids, & adults wear these days.

The process in which we got to this stage has been pretty impressive. Not only did the orthodontist take regular X-rays of his face, but they also took digital photos & subsequently a 3D scan (at the bargain basement price of $500 thank you very much). The scan was not part of the ‘free’ consultation of course, they said the regular pics were inconclusive – I think they probably say that to everyone frankly. However, I have to say it was very clever the way they built up a picture of both upper & lower jaw in order to help us see the problem. Then they split the screen & presented how it should look, explaining along the way what would need doing to correct the problem.

The joy of modern technology, very different to the way in which it was sold to me 30 years ago, & it was very uncool to have braces then (needless to say I declined & have slightly regretted it ever since. As it happens you won’t see my sons, his will be fitted onto his upper palate, initially causing some slightly altered speech until he gets used to it.

So far every appointment has involved him. He has had questions directed at him first; they have not been in any hurry during the appointments allowing plenty of time for both myself & him to ask questions; the waiting area has something for everyone – half decent coffee & in date magazines for me, & an interactive touch-screen games table for patients or siblings; each patient gets their own rewards card that they can eventually redeem the points for gift cards, the kids can also sign themselves into their appointments with the card when they arrive. The points are gained by being on time for their appointments, good brushing, following instructions etc.

What more can I say, over the years this has turned into a very positive experience for everyone, especially children & teenagers, giving them the incentive to take some responsibility. Already my younger son is experiencing this positivity by observing his older brother going through the process. If, & when because I’m sure he will also need some work in time, he will already know what to expect & hopefully be as confident & mature as his big brother.

Absolutely Fabulous!

Girls night out at the cinema – with a cheeky Bellini before to catch up with my BFF. We’ve both been on vacation so hadn’t seen each other in forever.

Of course there was only one movie 2 ex-Brits needed to see…

It was outrageous, silly, far fetched & utterly ridiculous in parts, but, it was Absolutely Fabulous darling!!

Don’t tell hubby…

When 3/4 of the household are learning to play the drums why not have two kits?

Then, why not move up from the basement & have them in our newly renovated dining room?

Oh, and why not have the teacher come to us?

I secretly think it’s all kind of cool but don’t tell hubby!

The dog beach…

We’ve been dog sitting Java again this weekend & honestly it’s been me & my shadow. She follows me around everywhere & poor Tessy has now completely given up on trying to get anywhere near me. I think Java just gets a bit homesick & having been here when she was very young she must see me as her 2nd mum – Bless!

Hubby has been on call this weekend & on the whole its not been too bad, but, when he got called in today while 2nd on call (which is rare) I decided to pile kids & animals into the minivan & head to the dog beach…

I think this picture says it all 🙂

The birthday gift…

I have been re-learning guitar for 18months now & I thought I was doing well enough to now upgrade form nylon to steel strings. So, when I had to pop into the store to pick up a birthday present for my younger sons friend (who I knew was getting a guitar & lessons for his birthday) I couldn’t help having a peek at the steel strings for myself. I started out on the ‘cheaper side of the room, thinking yes these are pretty nice & sound waaay better than mine, but the assistant, who’s job it is to sell me the most expensive one he can of course, I get that, managed to steer my over to the really nice side of the room.

Now, this store, where we also have lessons, has recently changed hands so they are selling off a lot of good stock. Of course I’m sucked into this because I think I’m getting a good deal right? Yes I probably am & hubby has offered up a shiny new guitar as an early birthday present – so even better.

At the birthday party this afternoon the parents kindly made it a grown up get together too, which was very sociable. When everything was in full swing a friend of the host picked up the ½ size birthday gift & proceeded to strum pleasant tunes that gathered quite a crowd of kids. I continued chatting but all the time aware that this was going on just a few feet away. If I’m honest I was trying to ignore the fact that this person was clearly far far better than me, not to mention the fact that she was playing on something that looked like a Ukulele on her.

The best of it was I had just been talking to another friend who was there & is also considering picking up lessons again, about how I felt I could now justify an upgrade in instrument. How great the steel strings sounded when I casually played the three chords of ‘Thinking Out Loud’ while perched on a stool in the middle of the store. Clearly I have a very long way to go & have no business upgrading, but do I still want hubby to splash out? Of course, I can play one song right, that more than most people, & it will sound so much better!

A rare treat…

We just got home after a family outing to watch Harry Potter & the Philosophers Stone at the Orpheum downtown. Nothing rare about that I hear you say. Well, it is if the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra are sat below the big screen playing the entire score live.

It was fantastic!

Have I mentioned…

Clear blue sky, 25 degrees =

Deposit children at school for their drumming summer camp.

Walk dog in cool forest for 45 minutes (leasing her to do the slight hill at the end because it would take 1hour 45minutes if I didn’t).

Rehydrate self & dog on return home before slapping on sunscreen & bikini top to maximize tanning opportunity.

Do stretching routine while sunscreen soaks in.

Set up ironing board on the patio (I only iron twice a year & usually in summer).

Proceed to iron while slowing baking.

Exhausted now – protein smoothie for lunch while soaking up more rays reading book.

Freshen up before physio appointment & head to the torture chamber.

Proceed to pick up the drummers before preparing a BBQ dinner.

Eat al fresco.

Repeat again tomorrow – minus the ironing!

Have I mentioned that I LOVE summer?