Tuesday, March 3, 2015

10 Thought Tuesday ~ Lions & Lambs ~

Wow! It's been a long time hasn't it?  What can I say...life happened.

1.  What is the deal with shoes and clothes and good retail staff who not only know what they're talking about but are actually helpful? When I was a retail slave there was coaching and protocol on everything you do for a customer from the moment they walk into your store.  Now you are lucky to get a hello and incredibly fortunate to actually find someone willing to help you.  Womens fashion is hard enough to navigate in the best of times and then we have to deal with this nonsense.  This is why my two favorite stores have been and still are Reitman's and Penningtons.  They are the most consistent.

2.  I've lost 41.8 pounds since August.  When I tell people they ask what I'm doing.  The sincere answer is...I am eating food.  Shocking I know.  What I am doing is eating approximately 5 times a day...3 meals with 2 snacks and I am choosing more fruit and veggies.  I am also using portion control.  The biggest eye opener that I can expain is this...I can eat 2.5 Halo tangerines (at 44 calories each) or ONE chocolate cookie.  And we all know I wouldn't just eat one cookie.  But who eats nearly 3 oranges in a sitting?  No one.  So I discovered I get more bang for the buck so to speak with the fruit and veg...meaning I can actually eat more!  *kaboom*  And that's what I've been doing.

3.  In 1 month I will be headed back to the Big Apple.  This trip we are staying near Times Square and hope to be able to do more evening type things.  The only issue seems to be that the hotel may or may not have free wifi so the possibility of staying in touch while away is up in the air.  I have a new suitcase and new walking shoes and can't wait to try either one out.  Cannoli and pizza here I come!

4.  I have recently watched the entire Sex and the City series.  I had watched the first 3 seasons a year ago and lost the interest but a few weeks I picked it up again.  I have to say the final season was possibly the best one.  It had so many important storylines.  I also noticed that even though it was filmed late 90's to early 2000's much of the subject matter is still relevent.  So now that it's over I've moved on to finishing the Friends series.

5.  Chocolate covered raisins.  I am obsessed with chocolate covered raisins.  I need an intervention.

6.  My parents gave us a "breakfast station" for Christmas.  It's a waffle iron on one side and in the other you can make pancakes or omelettes.  I've used it every single day.  I use the pancake side to make eggs or grilled cheese sandwiches!  On Sunday mornings it has become our ritual to have waffles.  The ritual originated from it being "game day" and having Roughrider pancakes.  I have to admit...waffles are better.  They are pancakes with abs.

7.  It's March 3rd and it's been snowing.  They say March comes in like a lion or goes out like a lamb.  I am thinking this is true.  The long term forecast has great temperatures from here on in.  I'm thinking I might be able to disregard the winter jacket (which is now too big) and wear the black spring jacket (which is also roomy).  It is still very much boot weather and it seems won't be flip flop weather for some time.

8.  Informal pole:  When someone says "Canada's Team" ( and for argument sake "America's Team" ) what team do you think of?

9.  Every time music exams come around I say I am never going to register as many studnets as I did last year because it is amazingly nerve wrecking and stressful.  I keep doing it.  Gah!  I only had 3 for February and they did great because I make sure my students do well but there is always that small bit of doubt that they won't do well.  For June, I will have at least 4.  The exams will fall right around the same time as music festival does.  So it appears I have done it again.  *facepalm*

10.  My new favorite tuesday thing is a CBC show called Schitts Creek.  It stars Eugene Levy and the mom from Home Alone.  It's about an uber rich family who lose it all except the deed to this town Schitts Creek.  So they are forced to move there and try to have a life.  It's great.  It's tongue in cheek and fresh.  If you can, check it out because we all deserve a chuckle.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

10 Thought Tuesday ~ Back to Work ~

I've neglected my blog.  *hangs head*  So today when I got the writing itch and am feeling a little down over having to head back to work after my two months of summer vacation, well, what better way to get back in the groove?! 

1.  Hubby says "It's time to go make some  money."  He's right.  I am priviliged to get this time off.  We are blessed to have a lifestyle which allows me to take the time off.  It's something I look forward to and time I cherish.

2.  I went to two football games. I came home with bruises both times.  The first game I smacked my thigh on the metal thing on the back of the bleachers.  I got a big honkin' bruise which took weeks to go away...about that time we went to another football game where I repeated the action.  Most people get bruised from playing the game and not merely watching it.

3.  I went to a three day "classic" rock concert....but only took in 2 days.  The even was called Rock the River and took place at the Bessborough Hotel overlooking the South Saskatchewan River.  I saw Doug & the Slugs, Harlequinn, Honeymoon Suite, Lee Aaron, Sweet & Dr. Hook.  It was fun.  We didn't do the third day because of rain.  My only issue really was the venue.  There were tons of abandoned lawn chairs leaving no place for people to set up their own.

4.  We went to a family reunion at my In Laws.  It was the first time in probably 10 years that everyone was together.  We had a pig roast and tons of visiting time. 

5.  I spent a week with my parents.  My Dad had cataract surgery and I went to help out.  He recovered famously and appreciated my help.  Mom and I did a little shopping and we did a little eating out.  It was great.

6.  I found a routine.  During the regular school year and with my altered evening hours I don't get to do much in the way of "wife".  I loved the routine of suppertime being at a normal time.  I enjoyed our evening treat of  yogurt and berries.  My favorite part of the day was between 4:30 and 5 when I was waiting for Hubby to come home from work.  It all felt so good and normal.

7.  I got my health back.  In early August, something "clicked" and I drastically changed my eating habits.  Two weeks later I began feeling really really good...better than I've felt in years.  My doctor was pleased with my changes.  I've kept on.  I bought a scale and I've lost 16 pounds!  I'm so shocked and happy!  The hypothyroid girl *can* lose weight!

8.  I've been watching Criminal Minds.  I watch a couple episodes every evening.  I'm on season 6 currently.  I don't know what happens to summer tv.  It's either reruns or reality shows.  Thank goodness for the interwebs.

9.  I bought new cleaning impliments.  That might not mean much to some and trust me, I hate housework as much as the next guy.  BUT what I had just wasn't working and who is ever going to clean anything when you hate your mop?  Now I can scoot around cleaning and it isn't an all day chore.

10.  I just feel content and rested.  People are going to ask me what I did on vacation and yes, I've got a few things to tell them, but really this is the most important thing to me because I feel sane again!  I know that I can take on anything.  Even though I feel like I'm going into fall kicking and screaming I really do feel that I'm in a very good place and I can successfully wear that teacher hat once again.

Hope your summer was fantabulous and that your back to school day was amazing!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

No One Tells You

No one tells you the grief you that you will feel when your pet passes away.  People try to console you with hugs and thoughts and words like "it gets better with time."  It doesn't really help.  Everyone means well, but it doesn't change anything.  What could it possibly change?

It's been two months since Brandy~puppy the Super Dog went to Puppy Dog Heaven.  To say I miss her,
doesn't really tell you the story.  I know she was sick.  I know she was dying from the lymphoma.  I know she couldn't have lived much longer.  My heart still breaks thinking about it.  She was my best friend and making the decision to end her suffering is a decision I never want to make ever again.

The grief isn't about just crying and mourning her life.  It's small things.  It's not having to lock up the garbage.  It's no one to try to steal your blanket.  It's no one begging for the last bite of your sandwich.  It all becomes so routine that you don't realize it until you are about to toss the sandwich in the air that you realize she's not there to get it.  It's that moment that grabs you and clinches your heart.

With time it gets easier.  I don't think it's because you don't feel the grief.  I think it's because you just learn how to deal with the grief.  At first, people wanted to hug me.  A hug would bring on uncontrollable sobbing for a half hour so I refused hugs.  After a week, everyone assumed I'd be me again....be normal again.  But there is this big gaping hole that nothing else fills. 

When a person dies there are cards and flowers and people bring you food.  You know what happens when a beloved pet dies?  Nothing.  Sure people say things to you.  But nothing happens.  They make cards for these occasions....I know they do....I've seen them.  I didn't receive any.  I think that really hurts too.  Brandy was an amazing dog who never believed she was a dog.  Anyone who knew her would know that.  I certainly expected more from family and especially those who've lost pets before.  The family who did really care lived too far away to help us.  I don't know how a single person could go through this.

Gradually, Brandy's belongings have been cleaned and packed.  Some things got thrown out because they were wrecked or dirty.  I've filled her Groovy Dog dish with little red heart stones and put it on the shelf near where she used to eat.  Other belongings are waiting for me to assemble a shadow box when I have the time to do it.  We sold her kennel aka house a few weeks back.  It was sold to a woman who needed to train her dog.  Yesterday, I gave two dog dishes and a bandana to a student of mine who just adopted a cockapoo male puppy.

Even though we've been making these strides....she's still gone and we still miss her.  I mentioned to our contractor how our walls are covered with dog slobber.  He called that 'memories'.  We sure do have tons of those.  It's spring and the snow is just good for trying to scale the mountain of snow in the back yard or for traipsing through the mud and tracking it into the house.  Except there's no one to do it anymore.

And that's what no one tells you....is that your heart still breaks.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Art Girl ~ DIY Wall Art ~

Last summer I took an art class.  A drawing class to be specific.  I loved it.  I filled up my summer with inspiration and reminded me of a talent I have and forgot how to use.  Since the class was over I tried to do some projects on my own but without a deadline to meet and so many other responsibilites I didn't really get around to doing anything.  Work, right?  It keeps us all from what we really want to do.

So, two weeks ago I saw a woman on the Marilyn Dennis show.....it's a talk show here in Canada on CTV.  They had a show about home decor and the guest did an art project which could be customized to your own decor.  Tah-dah!  I thought.  There's the project I've been waiting for.  I will make a custom painting for my newly renovated bathroom ensuite. 

LINK ---->  DIYWallArt

I bought my supplies from a few different stores.  I bought canvas from Michael's.  It came in a two pack 16 X 20 and lucky  me....it was on sale for $6.  I bought a small roller, putty knife and craft paint from Dollarama.  The craft paint was $1 a bottle and larger than what you'd find at Michael's.  I also got an assortment of brushes.  The drywall putty was purchased for approx $6 from a paint store which I just happened to be at buying paint for the new bathroom.  I got the kind that goes on pink and dries white.

The first step was to apply the putty to the canvas.  It is not supposed to be smooth.  In fact, the messier and lumpier the better.  This is what gives the painting that funky texturized look.

Before it was dry
I took a yellow colour and did a base coat once it was dry.  Later on I decided I didn't like the colour of the edging and made it a brighter yellow, but I'll get to that.  I used a roller for the base coat.

The base colour turned out rather peachy even though I wanted yellow.
The next step was to put my paint colours on plastic plates for easy access.  Then all you do is dab the different colours all over the canvas making a kind of checker board kind of effect.  That in itself looks pretty cool and you could stop there if you really wanted to.

To get the super coolio dreamy impressionistic effect, you take a clean brush and dip it in a tiny bit of water.  Then you drag it through the paint from one side to the other.

HAZZAH!

The effect was amazing!  I would have never thought that would happen.

I let it dry over night and even though I really liked it, it was also lacking pazzazz and personality and the yellow colour I desired.  So I took a brighter yellow and rolled it on the edge to tidy up the drips and then I dabbed more on throughout the painting itself....wet the brush and dragged it through to distribute the colour. 

AND VOILA!

Art a la Sandra
The colours I used were Cargo [from the sample of paint from the bathroom wall colour], dark red, white, burnt amber, and mellow yellow.

The best part is.....I have another canvas to do another customized project!  I have an idea so stay tuned for the reveal of what that might be.  If it turns out, because, you know.....sometimes these things fail.  Although, I am told, some of the best mistakes also make the greatest art.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

10 Thought Tuesday ~ Calling in Winter ~


Can a person call in winter to work?  I mean, we can call in sick and call in for a mental health day....I'd like to call in winter.  I'd like to curl up in my bed with my book and come back out in time to pack for New York.

Ugh.

Winter.

Blah.

1.  According to my radio station, CKOM, my city is on track to having the coldest February in 20 years.  I was doing fine.  I was taking my vitamin D and staying positive and not worrying about it...but now....?  Ick.  Get me outta here.

2.  The silver lining is that the bathroom reno is well under way.  It is going to be amazing.  We are leaving 1974 in the dust.  Right now there are tons of items strewn throughout the house.  We have toilets in the living room along with sinks and countertops and other miscilanious finishing items.  We even have our shower curtain...sort of...it's a "we will use this one until we find the right one" type of shower curtain.  It's all very thrilling.

3.  Yesterday was the 1 month anniversary of my dear doggies passing.  I miss her every day.  Yesterday I dropped a carrot on the floor while making stew and scrambled to pick it up before I realized no one was going to beat me to it.  She was indeed a well loved dog.

4.  I have successfully [and once again] removed coffee creamer from my life.  I've gone back to using a bit of real sugar in my coffee.  I no longer drink pop/soda and diet sugar subsitute.  My next goal is to remove soy from my life.  Soy is very detrimental to thyroid health.  It is in everything.  Soy interferes with my thyroid medication.  I don't know why it's taken me this long to figure out I needed to do this.  I was very pleased to find out that my favorite salad dressing does not contain soy and neither does Tim Horton's hot cocoa!

5.  I have a huge number of students preparing for piano exams for June.  They have until March 13 to sign up and none have done so thus far.  I am able to check on the website by logging into my teacher portal.  I bet they don't know that I can spy on them!  I will have 1 Gr 2, 3 Gr 3, 3 Gr 4, & 1 Gr 5.  I was supposed to have more doing Gr 5 but they aren't prepared.  The stressful part is that all of these students are also doing the music festival.  It's so much work and worry!

6.  I love the Keurig we got for Christmas.  I found a hot cocoa at Bulk Barn which tastes good.  Tetley British Blend decaf tea is amazing.  I've been drinking that every night.  I also really enjoy Wolfgang Puck's Breakfast Blend in the morning.  I also use the keurig to heat water for regular tea and hot cocoa.  It's much more verstitle than I'd ever give it credit for.

7.  Is it football season yet?  How desperate am I?  I actually watched Hubby's Nascar race with him.  I am skeered for I actually know most of the drivers by name now.  I still maintain that it's really only the last 10 laps that are most important, but I have to say, the crashes really make it fun.  Don't get me wrong, I would in no way want anyone to ever get hurt....but it's sort of the same thing with figure skating....you kind of want them to fall.

8.  Speaking of the Olympics..... How about those Canadian hockey players, eh?  Both the men and the women taking Gold!  Imagine, the Canadian anthem was the only anthem to be played in that arena.  Hockey isn't the only sport to celebrate....both our men and women won gold in curling too.  So much to celebrate.  Here's some trivia for you.....Ryan Getzlaf won a gold for Team Canada while his brother Chris Getzlaf won the Grey Cup with the Riders.  What an incredible family.  The #hashtag for the Olympics was #wearewinter.  I directly blame them for this cold weather.  I'm going to start the #wewantspring trend.

9.  I made stew yesterday in my slow cooker.  It's been AGES since I'd made stew from scratch.  It was lacking something, but all in all it warmed my tummy.  I'm nearly 500 pages into Drums of Autumn which is 1070 pages long.  They often talk about stew.  It all seemed right.

10.  It is 8 weeks until our return voyage to New York City.  I'm going to fill my suitcase with cannoli.  Okay maybe not.  But it is going to be so amazing.  I am so glad there is something to look forward to.  Someone asked me what I liked so much about NYC.  It's honestly, everything.  Everything is amazing.  The people, the hustle and bustle, the atmosphere and the history.  It's a very very cool place.

Stay warm folks!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Groovy Dog


After seeing an ad in the newspaper on January 7th, 2000 we drove to Weldon, SK and adopted Brandy from a family whose last name was Haldane. She was the last puppy.  She was born November 11th, 1999.  

A dog for the millennium.  She was my Christmas present that year.  She's been a gift every year since.

Through our 14 years together she has taught me some valuable lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Greet every loved one as if you haven't seen them in years.  We should be excited for those in our lives and we never know how long they are really there.  Everything can change quickly.  Never let a day go by without telling a loved one you care.

Nothing counter height is yours.  If you leave your drink unattended or drop food they belong to the dog.  In fact, nothing on the counter may be yours either.  That is especially true if it is slightly dangling over the edge of the counter or too close to the edge.  Leaving a steak on an open barbecue is definitely an invitation.  Always push the chair in to the table when you leave or you might be missing something off your plate when you return.  Also, none of the blankets in the house are yours.  They all belong to the dog who will promptly curl up on them and never give them up.

Embrace the change of the seasons.  Stop and smell the flowers.  Eat peas straight from the garden.  Stomp in the autumn leaves.  Plop your feet in the puddles.  Feel the mud between your toes.  Dash out the door on the first snow fall and frolic in the flakes.

Take time for yourself.  Indulge in a spa day.  Have your hair done.  Get a message.  Have a pedicure.  Buy some new clothes.  You will feel like a new dog.....er, person after.

Breakable Christmas ornaments have no business hanging on a tree.  This is especially true if they are hanging down low because they will fall onto the floor and crash into a gazillion pieces.  Some breakable ornaments may be hung at a higher level however, the tree may fall over at any time smashing them to smithereens.

Go for car rides.  Travel.  See the world.  Drive with the windows down and let your hair blow in the wind.  Dip your toes in the water.  Find a new spot and make it yours.  Enjoy the sights.  Smell the air.  Be inquisitive.  Escape.

Protect your turf.  Keep an eye out on your neighbourhood.  Keep watch.  Make sure no one is sneaking around or messing with your stuff.  Patrol your yard and make sure everything is as it should be.

Remember when it's garbage day.  Always empty the garbage.  Inevitably a dog will Houdini itself into the garbage under the sink and spread it through the house if you don't take care of the garbage in your life.  This may promote the installation of child proof locks on said kitchen cabinet but a dog is always aware and one must ensure the door is always firmly closed.

Accidents happen.  Sometimes you poop on the floor but there's no point being upset.  Yes it's embarrassing but don't dwell on it.  Clean up your mess and move on.  No one else thinks about it anymore so why should you.  Everyone makes mistakes.

Be loyal and love deeply.

Know when it's time to go.

My little Brandy~puppy the Super Dog was diagnosed with a form of lymphoma on December 27th, 2013 and after a short rebound she went to Puppy Dog Heaven on January 27th, 2014, where she was greeted by her friends, Gonzo, Gunther, Lucy, & her mortal enemy Squeak the Cat.  She was The Mom's angel and The Dad's fur seal and will be greatly missed but forever in our hearts.

Mommy & Daddy love you baby puppy.  More than you will ever know.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

10 Thought Tuesday ~ 167 Days ~

167.

One.  Six.  Seven.

One hundred and sixty-seven.....days until the regular season of the CFL begins again.

Off season blues.  How do you beat them?  Here is a list of things to try to to pass the time away.

Is it July yet?

1.  Rewatch the 101st Grey Cup.  I've done this twice since the big day when my Saskatchewan Roughriders beat the Hamilton Tiger Cats Lancaster-McCoullaugh.....that's 23-45.  How epic was that day?  Winning on home turf in the legendary Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field in front of nearly 45,000 rabid Rider fans.  It's the story fairy tales are created from.

2.  Become infatuated with the Roughrider Grey Cup tour and follow it around Saskatchewan on it's many stops.  If you are lucky you may actually get to meet some players and poise with the Grey Cup itself.  That is if you are willing to stand in line for what may be hours at an event you'd really rather not go to.  But it's the price we pay for being the best fans in the CFL.

3.  Read a really thick book.  I've started a 1000+ page book in hopes that by the time I'm finished I will have wasted at least 2 weeks.  If this isn't possible a more appropriate read might be the George Reed book or something wittily written by the Leader Posts Rob Vanstone.

4.  When the talk on Sportscage turns to hockey and curling.....pull up all the football movies on Netflix.  Watch We Are Marshall or The Longest Yard or dig up a really obscure movie.

5.  Make an attempt to watch NFL football.  I've tried.  I really  have.  The 12th Man disturbs me.  The extra down confuses me.  Never mind the terminology!  False start, Safe Catch....what the heck?!

6.  Investigate Twitter for the latest greatest news on all the football transactions.  Wait!  What?  Keith Shologan is a REDBLACK?  UGH!  No not Zack Evans too!  *stomps away*

7.  Do laundry.  Now I have to be really desperate to engage in housework or laundry!  Wash all your Roughrider gear.  The jerseys, the tee shirts, the tank tops....get is all ready for Canada Day kick off.

8.  Organize all your picture files on your computer.  Make one folder titled Roughriders and put the majority of your pictures there.  Reminisce about training camp and visits to practices.  Share your pictures on Twitter while you are at it!

9.  Take #selfies in all your newly washed Roughrider outfits.  Coin a new term for doing so.  Roughsie?  Ridesie?  Sasksie?  I'll leave that one up to yousie.

10.  Write a blog.  Because OHMYGAWD WHAT AM I GOING TO DO FOR 167 MORE DAYS!!!!