Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Public Service Announcement

Men, I am talking to you, because I care about you and your continued happiness.

If you are going to a fancy party, when your Wifely One emerges from her toilette with a new haircut, fresh manicure, actual make-up, and a new dress she bought in an attempt to look beautiful for you, do not just glance at her without saying anything. Do NOT force her to say, " do I look?"

And if you have forced the woman you love to ask such a needy, desperate question, do not -- I repeat DO NOT -- tell her she looks nice.

Girls, you know what I'm talking about.

Guys, I know you don't. But just trust me on this one, okay?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Nostalgia, and a year older

Just to set the tone, here are two related posts from my old blog, posted a year ago. My thoughts from today will follow...

Christmas lights
Tonight at 5 pm, I drove home in the dark....guess I better to get used to that.

I love Canadian winters, truly I do. I love the "time stands still" flavour of frozen, silent winter days. I love the quiet beauty of a gentle snowfall. And I particulary love a violent storm on a day when I know we don't have to leave the house. Can there be anything better than looking out at a blizzard and truly appreciating the solid warmth and comfort we all take for granted?

And, oh, the Christmas lights. Because it is still November, there aren't many illuminated houses yet, but I also know there will be more each day. Silky multicoloured lights in a sea of frozen black.My heart swells, and my eyes well, with each twinkly home. Because the homeowners reap no benefit from bedecking their homes; they come home and the decorative lights are off. Then they go inside, where they can not possibly enjoy them, and turn the lights on.Christmas lights aren't about making yourself happy, they're about making other people happy.

Each day of this season, my heart is filled to overflowing by people I will never meet, who only want to make me happy.I'm glad I am one of them, and I'm glad my home sparkles in the dark.

Christmas Lights, Part Two
When I wrote the previous post, I was gazing through my window on a beautiful dark evening. Now it is the harsh light of day, and I have learned a valuable life lesson.

This morning I unpacked my outdoor lights. The first string wouldn't light up. I cut my finger on the second strand; apparently something heavy was tossed on top of them sometime over the last year, because the bottom of the bag was littered with tiny pieces of glass. I didn't even bother looking at the third or fourth string, I just got myself a garbage bag and got them ready for the curb. Husbandly One entered the room at this point, I explained what I was doing and he said, "Look, just leave them, I'll look at them tomorrow."

And at that exact moment I felt myself take another incremental step towards becoming A Grown-Up, and I laughed aloud. I'm sorry, I am almost forty years old, and my days of sitting cross legged on the floor all afternoon, swapping out a hundred tiny bulbs to find the problem, are OVER. I may have had the patience (and lack of bank balance) to do that at 24, but at 37 I say, "That's why Jesus gave me a debit card."

The lesson isn't that getting older has given me more money (ha!), but that getting older her given me more perspective, and as crazy as it may sound, more of a sense of self worth. My time is worth far too much to fritter it away on a futile mission, when there's a Home Hardware store five blocks away.So now I'm going to set up my Christmas tree. It better not piss me off, or it'll be on the curb, too!

And now, a message from November 24, 2007

This afternoon, I went in to my garage and couldn't even FIND my only-a-year-old Christmas lights! Remember: renovating. There is so much crap piled up in the garage that is amazes me that the house hasn't begun to tilt to one side. I spent 10 minutes pawing through camping equipment, painting supplies, odd ends of drywall, and discarded furniture before I decided ENOUGH.

Yeah, I know 10 minutes isn't a long time. And I know Christmas lights can be expensive. But this afternoon, I couldn't get my debit card out of my wallet fast enough. I would far rather buy all new lights, for no real reason, instead of slogging through my garage.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Soooooooo bored

Husbandly One has to work late tonight, so I am home by myself this evening.

As soon as I got home, I called Mum to wish her a happy birthday. Mum, however, isn't home, undoubtedly out celebrating with her friends. Because, pfff, she actually has a LIFE outside of being our mother. What the hell is wrong with this woman?? I'm only 38, I should be able to get ahold of her whenever I want. Selfish bitch. I did leave her a musical voicemail, though, in true Floresta form:

Happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday to you
You're pretty fucking cool for an old broad
....and we're on vacation in four weeks!

Everyone sing along. And if you think it is rude for me to tell my Mum she's an old broad, I would like to point out she is only 11 months older than MY Husbandly One... I am definitely not ageist! And when your Husbandly One is the same age as your mother, you're pretty much allowed to say anything you want, thanks.

After that, I sent an email to my BFF, but she is three time zones away so won't get home from work for hours. I then checked out my favourite blogs / websites, but due to American Thanksgiving, most of the internet seems to have been cancelled due to lack of interest. I then turned on the TV but again, due to American Thanksgiving, regular programming has either been suspended or is all reruns.

I suppose I could make a vague attempt at being USEFUL, you know, do some laundry or unload the dishwasher.

Nah. I'd rather be bored.

Edited: Ok, so I just put some laundry in. But only because I'm out of nylons.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Nuthin but two bad photos tonight

First photo is the gorgeous bulletin board made for me yesterday. It sits on the hutch which tops my scrapbook table. Looooooove it. I slapped a 4x6 photo on to it to give you a sense of the size. (Photo, by the way, is of Rockstar and his beloved wife, Hot Wife. Hey, it's what he calls her.)

Second photo is of the china cabinet we acquired last week. If you live near me, you know I have coveted this cabinet for six years, and now it's ALL MINE. All of the decorative detail you see is raised work (click on to the photo to enlarge). It is fabulous and I spend an inordinate amount of time each day just staring at it. Clearly, it has been abused over the years and needs a lot of TLC, but I am really looking forward to coaxing it back to its orignial glory.

Oh, and I am perfectly aware that it is filthy in the photo. Hello, pay attention: we are renovating. I have made my peace with drywall dust.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Reason I love him, #248

My stacks of scrapbooking magazines are getting way out of control, so I have started going through them and cutting out the layouts I want to scraplift. (Non-scrapbookers, read "duplicate".)

But now I am left with a big handful of assorted clippings and no way to keep track of them. I have tried stuffing them in a notebook beofre, but it didn't work. So I said to Husbandly One, "You know, I need a bulletin board so I can just pin up my favourite layouts and have them right in front of me for inspiration."

One piece of plywood, one power saw, one staple gun and a few quilting leftovers later, he has built me a gorgeous padded bulletin board. All in ten minutes.

Tomorrow he plans to paint some decorative wood trim and apply it to the front.

Soooooo good to me. He totally gets that it is the little things that matter to me. And I have a fab idea board to boot!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Holmes on Homes, anyone?

Husbandly One and I are in a state of perpetual renovation. He's your typical do-it-yourselfer, no task is too big or too complicated for someone who puts his mind to it! Hmmm. Whatever, as long as he doesn't get it in to his head that he is somehow qualified to change our windows, I let him do his thing. (Windows are just waaaaaaaaaay too important to do yourself, in my opinion.)

He does a good job, though....the occasional mismatched miter be damned. But the longer I live through this renovation (read: adventure of discovery), the more I want to ask him if his home inspector ever actually entered the house, or just slowed his car down on the way by. Because Husbandly One is an intelligent man, and I just can't believe he would have bought this house if someone had pointed out the delightful little things we keep finding.

Husbandly One is starting to remodel our bathroom downstairs, and tonight he realized that all of the tile (floor, shower enclosure, shower floor) was laid directly on to plywood, and I'm done speaking now. Yeah, but what about the studding, the drywall, the shower pan, Irma? No no, I said I'm done speaking now.

He took one whack at the tile with the crowbar and almost removed his own foot when it continued through the old plywood. Faaaack. And of course the plywood is now of a questionable colour. I told him to stop IMMEDIATELY..... I hve seen one too many episodes of Extreme Makeover Home Edition where the family was poisoned by mold. I mean, neither of us saw mold, but 1) ewwwwww and 2) I am SO glad he is going to fix this, and 3) get a mask before you go any further, ok???

Friday, November 9, 2007

No saliva for me

A few months ago, I wandered down to the kitchen at work and found all the sous chefs gathered around the stainless steel work table, all dipping chunks of bread in to a bowl of orange coloured dip. Oh this? It's the last of the roasted red pepper dip we made for the reception last night, dig in.

I took one bite -- one spectacular, life changing, soul affirming bite -- and lurched for the phone. I called my Manager and hissed, "GET DOWN HERE NOW."

Manager and I proceeded to shovel amazing dip down our gullets until we were (frankly) asked to leave.

Fast forward to today. My birthday falls over the weekend, so I knew my office would have a cake for me today. We're big on birthday cake in my office. No one is left out, everyone gets a cake. The problem, of course, is that I don't like cake, I have a very limited tolerance for things that are sweet, and the cakes at these office parties are always at least 95% pure sugar. YUCK.

So I suggested to Manager a few weeks ago that perhaps we could have some red pepper dip for my birthday. Manager had been with me on that fateful, cream cheese based day, so she was on board immediately. And we both started hounding Chef to make it for me, we brought it up at least twice a day.

BIG SURPRISE, this afternoon everyone paraded in to my office with a platter of crisp tortillas, toasted bread, and a BUCKET of yumminess.

At first my co-workers seemed a little unsettled by this unexpected turn of birthday events, but as each of them placed that first taste in their mouths, the cries of "Oh-mee-od" grew increasinlgy louder. Oh-mee-od, of course, is how one says Omigod when one's mouth is full.

We ate and ate and ate. And then the allotted 15 minute celebration time was over, and everyone returned to their respective offices. Except me and Manager. WE sat in my office, shovelling dip, wishing for glasses of wine.

About a half hour after the feeding frenzy ended, I waddled to her office. "Manager, weird question, but does the roof of your mouth feel funny?"

"Yes! Does yours???"

I immediately got on the phone to the kitchen to ask what was in the dip. Roasted pepper, shallots, cream cheese, garlic.

"Raw garlic?" Yeah.

"How much garlic??" A staggering number of cloves was named.

"No way, I could barely taste it." Well, that's cause I just made it, it takes a while for the garlic flavour to emerge.

TURNS OUT that, based on conservative estimates of our own gluttony, Manager and I consumed about eight cloves of garlic EACH in less than an hour. My mouth is as dry as sandpaper, and something tells me that, when the garlic starts escaping from my pores, I will end up sleeping in the spare bedroom.

Happy birthday to me.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Yeah yeah, CLEARLY I am not participating in this campaign which encourages bloggers to post every day for a month. But I support its aims all the same. So if you are a blogger, start writing, baby. And if you're a lurker, look for your favourite sites to have daily updates. Lord knows I'm enjoying it.

My list of favourites (look right!) is pathetically small, just Pioneer Woman and Kelz. By NO means is this the extent of the blogs I read every day (there are fourteen for anyone who cares), but at the end of the day, if I only had five minutes of internet access per day, I would read Butterscotch Palace and Pioneer Woman, in that order, and consider my life complete.

My work day was a combination of the usual hell, the amazing co-workers who make me laugh, a few high-coups with clients, and general sarcastic hilarity, mixed with a high level of stress. (Truly, bloggers, my job is very stressful but the people I work with not only make it worthwhile, but fun, too.)

My manager (who will remain nameless until I can think of a good alias) is so much fun. Granted, she WAS given the promotion that The Powers That Be had hinted would be MINE....but whatever, I'm over that. I see what she has to deal with and I think, "There but for the grace of God go I..." ANYWAY, my manager is bringing her 14 year old stepdaughter in tomorrow for National Bring Our Daughters To Work Day. I was teasing said Manager today, telling her that I would be SURE to come in to her office multiple times tomorrow, asking basic questions and then praising her wisdom and guidance in front of her step daughter.

Manager laughed at me (she DOES get a joke), but at the same time, I WILL make a point of making her look good tomorrow, making her step daughter see what a powerful, knowledgeable woman her step-mother is. We could ALL use a litle help in the P.R. department when it comes to our kids, am I right??

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Waiting for the storm

It is 11:20 pm in my part of the world. Rain has been falling at a truly staggering rate since 6pm, but the winds haven't really picked up yet. We are currently at 40km sustained, a far cry from the 90km sustained with gusts up to 140 km expected to begin around 2 am.

(And for my American friends, who may not understand "km's".... well, actually, I can't help you, I don't understand miles. I know 90 km = 55 miles per hour, but my comprehension ends there.)

Husbandly One is spending the night at the hotel where we both work. Because he is a department head, he is required to stay on-site when it looks like the shit is going to hit the proverbial fan. He just called to tell me that a few meeting rooms are leaking through the windows, and there is a bizarre leak from the ceiling in the middle of the kitchen, but other than that things are pretty normal.

Here at home, Son is asleep downstairs, I have the hockey game on at low volume, and I can hear the rain bouncing off my windows.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Batten the hatches

Based on many, many weather reports and warnings, my part of Canada is going to get its collective ass kicked by the remnants of Hurricane Noel tomorrow. Great.

I would far rather face the remnants of a hurricane than, oh, I don't know, an ACTUAL hurricane, but it still looks a little grim. Here on the Canadian Eastcoast, we always end up with the tail end of these things...I just can't remember the advisory warnings ever being this bad before. Which means either nothing will happen, or sinners should in fact be repenting at this very moment. (I'll get to that when I'm done posting.)

All the fun and excitement is slated to begin late tomorrow afternoon, so I have a bit of time early in the day to take care of a few details: bring all patio furniture, garden equipment and miscellaneous junk in to the garage, etc. Still of two minds what to do about my barbeque: I'm not keen on bringing a propane tank in the house, but I don't want my Grillmaster 2000 flying through my neighbour's window, either.

This evening Son and I made a quick trip to the grocery store, because although I have a ton of food in the house, I was pretty low on things that don't require cooking. See, I'm not particularly concerned about the storm per se, but with the winds they are predicting, I think it's a pretty safe bet the power will get knocked out. Lantern and fresh batteries? Check. Radio? Check. Triscuits, onion cream cheese, and dried chorizo? Oh baby.

Wish us luck. I'm pretty sure we won't need it, but I know it won't hurt.