Saturday, July 27, 2013

Lovemyjob, lovemyjob, lovemyjob

Last weekend started off as a date with my favorite wee 10 year old.  The date was a football game at BC place under the dome.

Due to some very fortunate circumstances via my friend Cammie who supplied the tickets, we had excellent seats in the lower bowl - about 10 rows up from the field.  This was so much cooler than my ticket plan - nose bleed section where the air is rarified. I was a lucky gal last weekend.  In addition to my wee man date, I had an even weee-er man come along with Cammie and I.  My cousin's 5 year old joined us.

As we walked to the train to make our way to the stadium, I happened to overhear the following conversation:

5yr old:  "You said your Nanna spoils you with candy"
10yr old:  "She does but you can't ask"
5yr old:  "well, how does she know then?"
10yr old:  "She just does"
5yr old;  "well, I hope she knows soon"

We were making our way into the stadium but before we could proceed I had to turn over my backpack for the standard search as you are not allowed to bring in food or drink.  They happened to find my bag of plums, chips and my water bottle.

Guard: "You are not allowed to take this stuff in so please either eat it prior to entering or throw it away."
Me:  "My grandson has severe food allergies and cannot eat anything that is not properly vetted." (X wanted to know what kind of allergies he has)
Guard: "Oh, alright then.  Since they are children, I will let it go"

After 3 hours of fun which included taking out a loan for hotdogs and sodas, one child throwing up, playtime in the men's room with it's giant pee station, we made our way home with a quick stop for ice cream.  I returned the children the next day tired, cranky and hopped up on donuts.

I had to get back home in time to pack for a whirlwind trip to Toronto and Saskatoon.  During my ride to the airport I was regaled with tales from the proud parent of superstars.  His happiness was however, short lived.  After passing over my credit card I started to get out and grab my luggage when I heard a very stern "please remain in your seat.  Your card is not working and I will require you to pay your bill before leaving or I will drive you to our office for payment."  "Huh?"  "Please try it again and if you pass me the machine, I can see what's going on."  "That is not our policy ma'am".  "Of course it is.  You need to pass it to me so I can add a tip."  "yes, but that is for tips only.  You do not need to see anything else."  "You can kiss that tip good-bye right about now."  A bit more war of words, my card finally worked, he saw no tip and I recieved no help with my luggage.

Security was a bit of a breeze - more so than normally.  Only a pat down this time.  They didn't even search my briefcase or check my laptop for explosives.  Nice. 

After what was a 16 hour day in my head office, I had the hotel give me a wake up call for 4am so that I could be at the airport for my 6am flight to Saskatoon.  That made is 1am BC time.  I sat in the same row as a very cranky baby who also did not want to be up and on a crowded airplane that early in the morning.  She let everyone know her unhappiness for the next 3 1/2 hrs.  Nice.

I worked in meetings all day until I had to leave for the airport again at approximately 5:30pm.  They pushed my flight back.  Of course they did.  I was tired and covered in airport goo and my flight was late.  I had dinner in the only spot open, Tim Horton's, while balancing my laptop on my lap when I was accosted by company.

A very drunk woman sat down beside me and started to talk.  It was irrelevant to her that I was working and eating.  I heard all about her trip from Vancouver with her ex and her ex sister-in-law - all the way to some little town in northern Saskatchewan.  They had a fight.  They dropped her at the airport.  Her friend gave her $400 for the trip home.  She was in the bar.  She met a man.  He lives in Kelowna.  She is going to Kamloops next week to meet him (did not bother to correct her).  Who knows, he could be her next husband.  That would be number 4.

When I finally got on the plane at 8:45pm, it was to enjoy the comfort of having a small child kick the back of my seat for 2 1/2hrs because his grandfather tickled him ALL THE WAY HOME!  Only 1 bathroom worked.

Crawled through the front door somewhere around 11:30.  Up early and off to work.  Went to back out of my parking spot but something wasn't right.  I happened to notice my rear view mirror, instead of it's usual spot on the windshielf, was on the passenger seat beside me.  Hmmm, not right.

After work, the following conversation took place:

Me:  "so, Kris, what happened to the rear view mirror?"
Him:  " why are you asking me?"
Me:  " I have been away and you had the car and last time I drove the mirror wasn't resting on the front seat"
Him: " maybe it was tired from just hanging around all the time and wanted to sit down"
Me:  "what happened?"
Him: "have no idea.  It was sitting there when I got in"
Me:  "It just fell off?"
Him:  "Probably"

I will have to check with father, but I think Kris also used to tell teachers that the dog ate his homework.

I am off to Prince George and the Okanagan in the coming couple of weeks.  Fingers crossed, all goes well.

I am hoping to take a wee holiday somewhere in August as well and take the wee ones over to see Great Grandad and GG.

Stay tuned!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Blog Broke

Sorry I have been late in my recent postings.  My blog broke.  Not sure what happened but each time I tried to update, it fell into disrepair.

So much has happened of late that I hardly know where to begin.  Summer has been wildly wonderful and oddly wierd for me so far.

I am pretty sure somewhere there are eyes watching me so what I have to tell you must stay between just us for fear I will be arrested for breaking the child labor laws.

Xavier came to my office to help me out for a couple of days.  I put him to work at reception making file folders, photocopying and cleaning.  All it cost me was a ticket to the BC Lions football game, all the snacks he could throw back and $15 cold hard cash.  He was actually a big help and it was fun to have him around.

During our lunch break, he asked "are you the boss of everyone?".  "Why yes, I am - of everyone - including you and your mother."  "Really?"  "Yep, that's why I have the big office."  "Does my mom know?"  Ahh, now there's the rub.  Not sure she ever really believed that I was the boss of her.  However, in reality, all that matters is that I know I am the boss of her.  Lucky for her, her performance reviews have remained mostly positive. 

Work has been crazy - everything that could go wrong has and I have been on the recieving end of many an angry phone call.  Lucky for them, I am even tempered.  I found myself with just 5 minutes to spare before my next conference call - just enough time to head to the ladies room.  In my haste I did not notice upon leaving the facilities, that my dress was caught on the door hinge.  I kept moving, my dress did not.  I found myself feeling a distinct breeze as I hurried down the hall.  My dress was torn apart at the seams.  I had no choice but to listen to the call as I scrounged around for safety pins to hold it together.  Lucky for me, the dress was flowy rather than form fitting.  It would have been overly embarrassing to have my stomach fat filter out through the pins for the rest of the day.

I was rewarded for all my hard work by attending my cousins 50th birthday party last weekend.  It was a great time with great company.  My favorite wee people attended and immediatly set to exploring the house.  As they stood in the game room, Rae asked what the big table was for.  When I explained it was for pool, a look of confusion passed over her face.  "Do you swim on it?"  Her brother gave her a hard time but said he would teach her.  It was quite comical to witness him making up rules.  She finally decided to play the piano instead.

I had a couple of road trips since my last update.  One went well and one went the Holly kind.

I was waiting in line at security - ready for my usual search - when I was taken aside and asked what my 1oz, Channel atomizer was.  When I explained the security officer was confused.  I reached for it and was going to show her how it works by twisting the top till the mister pops up.  This is apparently not allowed.  Do not reach across the beltway of the screener.  I had another officer immediately show up behind me and grab my arm.  The woman with the atomizer then took the top...... and broke it off.  Nice.  It was then explained to me that I shouldn't have brought it with me if I didn't want it broken.  I was not a happy camper and had a chat with the supervisor who said I should have put it in my checked baggage.  Since this was a day trip, this seemed a moot point.  I also explained that 1oz is allowed - "yes, but not if we don't know what it is."  "It says Channel right on the side."  "What if we do not understand what Channel is?"  This was going to be a long day.  Little did I know exactly how long it was going to be.

I made it to my gate on time.  My plane did not.  Did you know you cannot fly to Williams Lake on a Thursday?  I had to fly to Kamloops, rent a car and then drive the 2 1/2 hrs to my meeting in Williams Lake.  It would ahve been 2 1/2 hrs had it not been for construction and holiday travellers.  I was 1 1/2hrs late for my meeting.  I was supposed to fly back from Kamloops that evening.  In my booking of the trip, I had it down to the last minute with even 30 minutes to spare to pop in and surprise my old friend whose birthday it was.  My meeting ran late.

As I dashed through the rain and lightening to my car in a valiant attempt to still try to make my flight, it became quite apparent this was not going to happen.  I called Air Canada.

AC: "Due to heavy call volumes, the wait time for response will be between 53min and 1hr 13min.  If you would like us to call you back, press 1"
HM:  I pressed one and waited while continuing to drive.  Hail started coming down
AC: "We are returning your call.  What can I do to help you?"
HM:  "I need to cancel my flight for this evening and get re-booked on the first available flight in the morning."
AC:  "Let me see what I can do"
HM:  "I am calling from my car so the sooner the better in case I lose you."
AC:  "I am doing my best ma'am"
HM:  "great"
AC:  "I can get you on at 6am.  That will be an additional $197.  It is much more costly to book travel at the last minute."
HM:  "I am not booking at the last minute.  I just need to change flights.  I realize there will be a charge but it is usually minimal which is why I booked under the Flex plan."
AC:  "this is not covered as you are actually cancelling one flight and booking another."
HM:  "Huh?"
--------------------------------------  LINE IS DISCONNECTED------------------------------

CRAP!!!!!!  However, because I am a positive person, I am thinking this woman will call me back since she knows I waited an hour the first time and knows that I am travelling.  Of course I am wrong and have to call AC again.  This time the message is "the wait time will be between 1hr 13min and 1hr 54min"  Ever the optimist, I again left my number for a call back and continued driving. 

In the meantime, I decided to call the hotel I usually stay at in Kamloops to book a room.  The only one left was a suite - for $279.  I then called Enterprise car rental and asked what the cost was to just drive the stupid call 6 hours home that night.  The cost was $400.  "You guys are nuts!"  I rent from you people every other week and you want me to pay $400????"  I will bring it back and pick up from Avis who will only charge me $200"  I got the deal.  It will be easier for me to plead my case with my boss for driving home when I tell him that it was cheaper to drive than to re-book my flight and stay at the hotel.

I began the long trek through the canyon to Vancouver.  Every trucker was on the road that night - all save one, doing 10MPH.  That one was going so fast I couldn't keep up and his trailer was swinging around so much that I just let him have at it.

Did you know that at night, there is no where to pee between Cache Creek and Chilliwack?  For 3 1/2 hours I did the peepee dance in my seat.  When I finally pulled into Chilliwack at 1:30 in the morning, I almost bowled a woman over in Tim Horton's in my effort to get to the ladies room.  I was still an hour from home - during normal times.  The construction on the highway due to the new bridge had it single lane for the last 30km.  I crawled through my front door at just about 2:45am and set my alarm for 7am as I had to return the car by 8am.  Friday was a very long day.

I am off to Toronto, Saskatoon and Regina next week - without my atomizer of course.  I am soooo looking forward to the next long weekend.  I am thinking of rallying for all weekends to be long and looking for signatures to make it happen.  I think it would solve some of the work problems as well as increase productivity.  Of course, I live in a dream world where everything goes my way for periods longer than 8 hours at a stretch.

Now that I think I have fixed my broken blog and my broken dress, I will keep you posted.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Since returning from paradise

It has been wackadoo.  I dream of getting back on that boat and floating away.

My toe was mostly healed by the time Mother's day rolled around - my personal favorite day of the year.  However, I will forever be fighting the urge to constantly turn right for the rest of my life.  It healed but it is still bent at an unnatural angle.  Kinda gross actually.

I spent a rather perfect Mother's Day with my oldest child and my favorite wee people.  We visited my cousin's nursery where the kids picked out vegetables for the garden and flowers for me courtesy of a very generous cousin - thanks again Rob.  The day was topped off by dinner at Ricky's.  The food was not a factor as the company was what counted. 

Stepping on a nail while taking out the garbage was of course another highlight and topped off a morning that already saw me getting burned by my curling iron.  I had to rush from the garbage - as well as possible with a very distinctive limp, to the airport for a quick trip to Kelowna.  Did you know that I have to be at the airport on time but the plane does not?  What's up with that?  Also, at 7am on a Monday, everyone and their dog is at the airport all trying to get through security at the same time but the security officer's all seem to be on break until 7:30am.

 At 7:30am, they break formation around the coffee urn and rush over to  pull me out of line so they can test my laptop for explosives, feel up my pant-legs (ha! - serves them right that I forgot to shave my legs), inside my waistband and my collar in an effort to show that they are not racial profiling the middle aged white woman.  I felt truly loved as I limped away holding my shoes in my effort to get to my plane before it left without me.  It hadn't arrived yet.  I ate a donut.  That waistband is going to feel tighter next time.

My 4th grandchild was born on May 14th.  He came home last weekend.  He is perfect.  I expect no less.  His name is Austin Charles.  I am calling him Charlie.  My child hates that.  She should really know better than to let me know when something bothers her.  I have no choice now but to continue calling him Charlie, Charlie Brown, Chuck, Chucky get the idea.  I now have a matched set - 2 of each with the boys being the book-ends.

Another quick trip to Alberta.  Plane and I were both on time.  Foot was still sore and had become infected.  I was reminded I needed a tetanus shot before I get lock-jaw.  A family member said if I got lock-jaw it would be harder for them to marry me off so I better do something about it.  Nice.  Other than the limp, very little happened this trip.  I was a little surprised.

I had a rather severe craving for something sweet Friday night so decided to take a walk to the corner store just a couple blocks away.  I was enjoying an ice cream cone while slowly strolling home when out of nowhere - wham!  I got run over by a bicyclist.   Lost my cone and everything.  All he did was lean over to stick his hand out and haul me to my feet.  I was stunned for a moment and not sure whether or not I was angrier over the lost ice cream or the fact that for no reason at all, I got run over by a bike.  I was on the sidewalk.  After I shook it off I was pissed.  I am afraid I let loose with language that would make a truck driver blush (no offence to the truckers).  All he did was laugh.  Of course this made me want to eat nails and spit them back at him as tacks. 

I am off on 3 trips - off to Vernon this week, Calgary next and Winnipeg the following week.  Here's hoping it is a boring three weeks.  Stay tuned - if this decade is anything to go by, this may not be as boring as one would want.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Vacation over after one last trip to emergency

Lots to tell ya'll and I will try not to bore you to death.  I have also attached a couple of my pics for your perusal.
2nd formal dinner - Kris and I

Banyan Tree - Lahaina

Diamond Head - Kris taking his own Pic

Volcano spewing lava

Our ship off Maui

Lava hitting the sea

I wanted to update my blog during the trip but those following Facebook know that my website was blocked by the ship.  Kinda fun thinking my site is too smutty for Holland America.  Plus, it was 75 cents a minute on a very slow connection.

We got in the cab at 1pm unsure how long it was going to take us to get through customs.  Turns out they were ready for us.  There was a line - up of walkers, wheelchairs and crutches.  Kris fit right in and was grinning when he realized he was the youngest one in line.   Some of the old widow ladies looked at him like he was fresh meat.

This was a great vacation that was so easy - 8 minutes in a taxi, 10 minutes through customs and boarding, 5 minutes to unpack and we were eating lunch on the Lido deck.  No airports, no muss, no fuss and literally 23 minutes from leaving the house I could feel myself beginning to relax.  As we pushed off from the dock at 5pm I felt positively giddy with relief and excitement.  I had been waiting for this holiday for what seemed like forever.

Day 1 found my brother somewhat seasick and he spent the day in bed while I enjoyed running around the ship discovering everything and falling into a stupor during my afternoon at the Spa where I had a mini facial, neck, hand and leg massage. I would say that it set the tone for the whole trip except that the young lady administering my treatments said I needed extensive work as I had bags under my eyes, blocked pores, wrinkles and age spots.  These however, could be treated with about $300 worth of face gunk.  She did finish with " you look pretty good though for a grandmother".  Nice.   Kris was still pukey when I dressed for our first formal dinner and the thought of lobster had me very excited but worried that I forgot to pack any Spanx.  Kris missed dinner but thankfully we had been blessed with fabulous tablemates and I enjoyed an evening of good food and great dinner conversation.

Day 2 Kris was up and about.  The seas were still somewhat rough but I loved it.  I also love roller coasters so this was pretty tame.  I read my book, ate, napped, played in the casino, ate, walked the deck, napped and ate.

Day 3 - lost the slot tournament.  Lost the poker tournament.  Lost the blackjack tournament.  First time asked if Kris and I are twins.  I said yes, just 10 years apart with him being the older.  Took Hula lessons and tried to make a lei.  Mine did not look like any of the others.  Odd since I followed the directions same as everyone else.

Day 4 found me getting my clock cleaned and dancing the night away - basically by the same people.  I made my way to the Crows Nest after dinner and found myself being asked "c'mon toots, lets dance" by a shipboard 80 year old giggilo.  I was also invited to play in a late night poker game by 4 octogenarian card sharks. They cleaned my clock and took me for $50.  I was invited back for the next night.  Seems they have a regular game going each night.  It was fun and they were very interesting with lots of tall tales.

Day 5 was the last day at sea.  I had chosen the late seating for dinner as I find it best if I am busy or have been eating all day.  I need time to have my stomach settle.  Seems that since most of the folks on board are elderly, they all chose the early 5pm sitting and our dinning room was less than 1/2 full.  This meant we got great service.  The weather was finally actually hot and the water had changed color from that deep blue to the beautiful azure blue.  I went for a swim in the outdoor pool at the back of the ship.  It was great until some old guy tried to drown me.  These pools are not huge but he thought he would cannonball off the side and grab my shoulder as he hit the water.

Day 6 - Honolulu, Oahu. We were docked for 2 days.  Having never been to Hawaii before I wasn't sure what to expect.  I watch Hawaii 5-0 and all the Magnum PI episodes but I still thought that Honolulu and Waikiki were on two separate islands and not as big as they turned out to be.  It was also humid.  I wasn't expecting that.  Not Florida humid but still.....  Kris and I were so excited to be there that we were one of the first off the ship.  We stood on the sidewalk looking around and trying to decide which direction to go when we were told that we could take the bus on the corner and head to the international marketplace in Waikiki.  It was great - a huge maze of shops and I was on the hunt for a couple of light, cotton sundresses.  Turns out I had not packed very well and with the heat and humidity I really needed something that was light and airy.  We wandered around for about 3 hours before heading back to the ship so that Kris could rest.  Once he was settled, I headed back out to explore on my own.  As I wandered the downtown area I noticed all the worker-bees in their suits and couldn't help wondering how on earth they could wear suits in this heat.  Plus, I was suppressing giggles that I was not amongst them toiling away.

Day 7 - We figured that the best way to see the whole island of Oahu was to rent a car.  It was great!  We traveled the entire island and saw the bonsai pipeline beach where the big surf comes in, the pineapple plantation, had coconut shrimp from a truck, shopped with the locals in the grocery store in search of cheap nuts and coffee, drove into the Diamond Head crater and wandered on a beach that was totally bereft of any seashells.  It was a perfect day.  That is, until we tried to get back to the car rental place.  For such a small place, it is crazy with traffic and streets that change name and direction mid-way.  After filling up with gas, we tried to get back to the rental agency - for over an hour.  I was ready to ditch the car and call them to come pick it up.  We were in a bit of a panic at one point wondering if we would miss our ship and have to fly home.  More panicked when we both realized that our passports were still on the boat.  We made it with just 15 minutes to spare.  It was a great day!

Day 8 - Lahaina, Maui.  This beautiful spot required a tender ride to shore.  That was a bit tricky.  Even though the ship was still, the little boat we had to walk the gangplank to board was rocking and rolling A LOT.  I got grabbed under the armpits and basically thrown on.  That was nothing compared to this little old lady - they heaved her on like she was a sack of potatoes.  I liked Maui even though we only saw a small portion.  We went in search of more coconut shrimp in our neverending quest to find the best.  It was pretty good but I would save judgement until the last island stop.  We wandered through a park with the 2nd largest Banyan tree in the world.  Kris and I had no idea what it was.  It was so cool to see a tree grow into another tree and again and again.  I hope the picture captures it properly.  It was a great day as we ended it watching folks learn to surf.

Day 9 - Hilo, Hawaii.  Holy crap on a cracker!  The highlight of the trip.  So far, each island had been so different from the last and Hawaii was no exception.  Especially considering the whole place is sitting on volcano's,  After spending the morning in a farmer's market we headed back to the ship to pick up our ride to the airport.  I was very excited until.......they insisted on weighing me.  What??????  I turned my back and stepped on the scale.  I warned the young man that he better not say the number out loud and if I turned up on YouTube or something with my weight, I would come back, find him and send him to Alaska without a parka.  (it was a biggest threat I could think of for someone who had spent his entire life on the islands)

After a 7 minute safety video and strapping on of a lifevest that looked like a fanny pack, we headed to the tarmac.  Well, I headed out to the tarmac.  Kris got the royal treatment and was taken around the airport in a golf cart.  It was sooooo cool!  We had headsets and microphones so we could talk to the pilot.  He started off playing the Magnum PI music and zooming off the ground nose down.  It was so cool I couldn't help clapping my hands like an excited kid.  We bobbed and weaved out over the ocean and then the crater where we could see the lava bubbling and the steam rising as it hit the ocean before heading over to see some truly wonderful waterfalls.  Kris started to feel pukey again.  I had the time of my life.  Again asked if we were twins.

Day 10 - Nahwiliwili, Kuai.  Again we rented a car and I got to see where Puff the Magic Dragon lives in Honelei.  We went from one end of the island to the other and saw some truly amazing sights.  We managed to make it to the Waimea canyon - where they shot Lost and Jurassic Park.  They say it is the Grand Canyon of the pacific.  All we saw were chickens and fog.  The sun broke through for about 10 seconds and then the fog rolled back in.  However, I got a picture of the sign so ya'll would believe we made it.  The drive was pretty spectacular and then it was another rush back to the boat.  We made it with 10 minutes to spare.

It was time to say good-bye to Hawaii as we set sail for the 5 day journey home.  Only one last stop in Victoria where we were meeting family for lunch.  Those 5 days sailed by faster than they did on the way there.  It cooled off by day 3 and the color of the water changed and got rougher.  We knew we were headed home.  My heart grew heavier with each passing minute.  I would truly miss people waiting on me. 

On day 12, I again got my ass handed to me on a platter during the poker tournament.  This time, it seems someone took pity on me and sent me a bottle of wine for dinner.  On the brightside, I came in 3rd this time in the blackjack tournament and won a dinner for 2 in the specialty restaurant.  We took advantage of it on our final night.  It was a meal to remember and I think I am still full.  Basically, the trip back was much like the trip over - napping, reading, eating and losing - money, not weight.

Time to disembark.  We were given a 9am time to get off the ship.  We awoke early to make sure we had time to eat one last time.  I looked out the back of the ship and it was quite surreal to see us being followed by 2 other cruise ships and 2 tankers under the Lions Gate bridge after not seeing a single other vessel the whole time at sea until Victoria.

We made our way when our number was called, to the baggage area to pick up our 4 bags.  While trying to juggle the 3 carry-on bags, Kris's walker and him on crutches, in the crush of people, I slammed my toes into his walker.  Pain shot right up my shin but we pushed forward and into a cab for the short ride home.  My toe throbbed like a toothache but since this is not my first rodeo, I just sat on the couch after lugging everything in and kept it elevated.  It stayed elevated for about 5 hours when I could stand it no longer and caved.    I didn't want to go to hospital.  I knew that if the same doctor that took care of my broken ribs - both times, was on call, he would laugh at me for being such a big baby - or an incredible klutz.  However, with my toe bent at an unnatural angle, I thought perhaps I should have it looked at if I didn't want to be constantly turning left for the rest of my life.  After the doctor stuck a needle into my toe and another beside my toe and then telling me to grab the bed rails and bite on my pillow, he pulled.  Tears sprang to my eyes and spilled down my cheeks.  Four hours after arriving,  I hobbled home, took some tylenol and crawled into my own bed.  It's really amazing how heavy my sheets actually are.  The weight baring down on my toes (now 3 hurt after the needles and pulling) was quite incredible. 

Ah well, today I have 3 bruised toes and 558 emails from work to go through.  I have done 50 pounds of laundry and one more day before I head back to the office where I will be wearing sandals for a couple of weeks. 

I feel a little depressed that it is over.  I need to be wealthy so that I wouldn't have to save for 2 years for the next cruise.  Back to 7-11 and my friday night financial planning ritual of lotto play.  Someone has to win - why not me?

Stay tuned as I hobble back to a normal routine.  I have a road trip to Alberta coming up and who knows whose path I may cross.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Reason 1256 why I should not date

Only 3 more sleeps to go!

I was really looking forward to this past weekend.  I was going to get some last minute vacation prep work done, weed whack my legs and chin, get a hair cut, convert cash to US dollars, clean the bathroom,wash the floors and bake a cake.  This is what I actually did - made spaghetti sauce, took my brother shopping for dress pants, took the pants to the tailors, bought a lottery ticket, baked and decorated the birthday cake.......and went on a date.

He started out as a nice 56 year old man who owns and operates a successful company in the town where I grew up.  He is the friend of a friend of a friend (I need better friends) who thought that while he was in town for a convention that we might hit it off.  We did...for the first 30 minutes.  During those 30 minutes he downed 2 scotches and a bottle of Budwieser.

Those first 30 minutes were nice.  Admittedly, he was very good for my ego.  He thought I was attractive, charming, witty and he loved my hair and the fact that it was real (that had me confused for a while but I figured maybe he dated a lot of women who wear wigs).  It went downhill pretty quickly after that.

Me:  Do you like to travel?
Him:  Nope.  Too dangerous out there.  Just give me a fishing rod or a golf club and I am good to go.  Oh and don't forget the beer.  Only the good stuff though - none of that sissy juice.
Me:  What is sissy juice?
Him:  Anything light
Me:  So you don't travel anywhere?  Have you EVER been anywhere that you thought was interesting?
Him:  I know where I'd like to go with you right now.
Me:  You're a bit of a pig aren't you?  Perhaps we should have dinner now and you can tell me where you like to fish.
Him:  I like fishing for babes like you.
Me:  Your parents must be very proud of you
Him:  Why wouldn't they be?  Look at how successful I am?
Me:  Happy for you
Him:  Come on Holly.  Wouldn't you love to see my big salmon?
Me:  Your meds must be wearing off because now you appear delusional.
Him:  I know I am an idiot but women find me cute and attractive.
Me:  Don't make me stab you with my fork.  If you do not quit trying to run your foot up my pant leg, I will forgo my vacation for jail and stab you with it.  I am not shaving my legs for you.
Him:  I like fiesty.
Me:  My cab just arrived - see ya.

So, the first 30 minutes were just fine, which according to the woman who introduced us says is how she has known him.  She never knew he turned into a pig when drinking.  He even made the former alcoholic gun collector look good.

After that fun filled evening, I went home and baked the cake for Lexi's birthday party.  I have attached a picture.  She asked for a flower but I gave her more of a tree.  The tree lost a lot of it's petals on the ground below. I am getting worse and may have to re-do my decorating classes.  Also, my hand has started to shake quite a bit and it looks like I was drunk myself when I made the thing.  The cake is now safely in the freezer of her parents awaiting the birthday party.  She was upset that I would not be attending but when I said I would bring home treats from Hawaii, she was appeased.  Her brother and sister however wanted to know what kind of treats.  When I mentioned that maybe I would bring home chocolate covered macadamia nuts I got the following conversation:

Kids:  What are those?
Me:  Best nuts on the planet
Kids:  How many will we get - 23?
Me:  How about we start with 23 and then each day your parents tell me you didn't behave, I will take one away?
Rae:  That doesn't seem fair.  We can't be good every single day you are gone.  You are going to be gone a long time.

Love her outlook and honesty

The upside to the whole weekend was when I went online to see some excursions that I could do with my brother and I noticed that the price of our cruise went down by quite a bit.  I called Holland America and asked for either a) a refund, b) onboard credits or c) an upgrade.  We got the upgrade.  I will let you know what the cabin looks like when we board. 

Now, with only 3 more sleeps to go, I still have to find time to convert the cash, get a haircut, buy a bathing suit, weed whack the legs and get a tan.  Might be tight on the timing.

I will post again from the ship.  

Cheers and stay tuned

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Opening day at Safeco Field and Fleetwood Mac

Only 9 more sleeps till my vacation!  The excitement is building.  There is still no bathing suit in sight nor have I had time for a haircut.  However, I do have an excuse.

So, you know how I have been trying to get divorced for a number of years now?  Well, I guess there was a reason why there were always delays.  Out of the blue on Friday I received a phone call from him with the offer to take me to opening night of the Seattle Mariner's baseball game in downtown Seattle on Monday.  He would pick me up early from work (thanks to my afternoon "meeting") and we would head to the border.  He promised me dinner, great seats and a fun time.  Since I was taught to always accept gifts with graciousnes, I humbly thanked him and accepted his offer.  I never let on how really excited I was.

I love going to live games and baseball is at the top of my list.  I used to take my oldest daughter down to watch quite often and we would sit in the stands cheering and enjoying the hot dogs thrown at us by the talented vendors.

I must explain where Fleetwood Mac comes in.  Many moons ago, He and I were once again off on a "reconcilliation vacation".  My parents were babysitting my children who were young teenagers at the time (who in their right mind would have left them home alone at that age?) and he and I headed south for a stop in Reno and Las Vegas.  It was supposed to be 2 weeks of talking and trying to work things out.

Shortly before crossing the border we had already stopped talking.  Shortly after crossing we stopped at a gas station.  I wandered inside to buy some water and happened to see a cassette tape of my favorite album of all time - Fleetwood Mac - Rumours.  I bought it and promptly inserted it as we drove away.

A curious thing happened.  Round about track #3, I fell asleep.  I slept for about 90 minutes.  When I awoke, something different was playing.  He and I started talking.  It was quite pleasant for about 2 hours and then we both fell into old habits.  He popped the cassette of Fleetwood Mac back into the player to hopefully shut me up.  I fell asleep again.

We stopped at a motel that night and got up early to hit the road again.  Again, after a restful night, we had a very pleasant couple of hours.  Old habits die hard with us.  As the arguing intensified, he again popped in the cassette of good old Fleetwood and once again I promptly fell asleep.  Hmm, he started to see a pattern developing.

And so it went - for 2 weeks - every time we began to argue, the tape came out.  It was like a magic sleeping pill.  Usually, I did not mind.  It was exhausting always being right and arguing with someone so used to being wrong.  Sometimes, it is just hard to be me and I needed the rest.

So, fast forward a decade or two and as we crossed the border last night I heard the familiar strains of heavy drum beats and realized he had popped a CD (we have since upgraded) into the player. 

Me:  We haven't argued in years.  Why are you playing this now?
Him:  I figured you are in such a good mood that maybe you would be able to stay awake and would like to hear the whole album this time.
Me:  When did you start eating smart pills?
Him:  Right after you moved out.  I could finally afford them.
Me:  Did you want to argue for old times sake?
Him:  Not really.  Just trying to see if you were paying attention. 

He was right.  Times have changed and I was in a very good mood.  I stayed awake and heard the whole album 3 times between the time we left and the time I got home - just before 1am this morning.

We had a great time at the game and on the trip itself.  Funny, when you let all the crap and baggage finally go, all that remains is the good times you had and that in reality, the good did outweigh everything else.  Unfortunately, it wasn't enough for us.  However, it is enough that we can actually enjoy one another's company and each of us walk away without the aid of a walker, ambulance or police escort.  Good times!

Our seats had us located next to this man who hasn't missed opening day in 10 years in Seattle.  He hadn't missed opening day in Los Angeles in the preceeding 20 years.  However, upon further discussion, turns out he only went because of his wife.  He would rather be fishing.  This sounded vaguely familiar to me.  I moved over a seat so that my ex could sit next to this man.  Twenty minutes later after my return from the ladies room, I could see it had officially turned into a Bro-mance.  Oy Vey!  Could I imagine the chances of us sitting down next to a guy who worked in the same industry and loved fishing and dogs as much as he did?  Add to that that he has a wife who is more interested in sports than he is and POW - bromance it is.  I think he found his soul mate.  When we left the game early - 1/2 inning to go, he was dissappointed that he did not get his new friend's phone number.  Ah well, we are returning to watch 3 more games.  I will have to keep my eyes peeled for him.

So, now with only 9 more sleeps till my ship departs, I guess I should really buckle down and get a haircut and a bathing suit.  Not to mention, I have to bake another birthday cake this weekend.  I wonder which I will forgo doing in favor of the cake.

Stay tuned for more.  I am sure when I update from the ship you will want to stay tuned.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Only 18 More Sleeps

Busy busy times.  I am very excited with running around getting ready for my vacation.  I have my 60 level sunscreen, bandages, sandals, passport and my tickets to board the boat on the 18th for my 17 day cruise to the Hawaiian islands.

I went shopping this weekend for a new bathing suit.  I went alone as it is painful enough buying a new suit without having witnesses.  I hopped on the train and headed downtown to The Bay.  I stood in the swimsuit area and looked around with dismay.  I want a suit that is somewhere between an old lady, frill at the bottom with push-up bra and a teeny, tiny bikini made for the tween set. Turns out this is almost impossible.

Suffice to say, I came away from the store with 2 dresses, one cocktail and one work and no bathing suit.  The change in purchase choice came about when the salesgirl brought me a "high-hide" monstrosity of a suit with frills and ruffles that she said was designed for women like myself who have a pear-shaped body.  I tried to hide my dismay when I asked if she had anything for women who are actually shaped more like a gourd rather than a pear.  She looked confused.

I will look ravishing in my new dress when invited to dine at the Captains table - provided of course that he does not catch sight of me  first in the ratty old pink bathing suit, circa 1999, with the skirt before he offers the invitation.

I have a few more things to do before we go.  File my taxes, get some US cash, wax my chin, get a haircut and  purchase an Easy Bake Oven for Lexi.  She will be turning 6 while I am away.  She is not happy that I will miss her party since she asked that I bake her cake.  I will bake her a cake and take her the gift before I leave to try to relieve some of my guilt.

Speaking of cake, Rae had her 7th birthday party last weekend.  I got the call three days before the party.

Rae:  "Nanna, can you please bake me a cake for my party?"
Me:  " of course.  What kind of cake would you like?"
Rae: "Chocolate with a rainbow icing"
Me:  "Will do"
Rae: "oh, and Nanna, can it be less cake and more icing this time?"
Me: "I'll see what I can do"

I have attached a picture of the cake. I used 1 1/2 pounds of butter and a pound of icing sugar.  Rae loved it.  2 kids at the party said it was too much icing.  Sometimes, there is just no pleasing people.  The under 10 crowd are a rough crew.

Stay tuned - much more to come.