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.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Wee Little Vacation

Last weekend I had one of the best mini vacations I had in a long time.

Friday night I picked up my favorite wee people and after a brief stop at the grocery store where my wee man tried to broker a deal for a new toy, we headed home to have dinner, watch a movie and eat a pile of junk food before bed.  The plan was to get up early and head to the ferry for the 1 1/2 hour ride to Victoria.  That plan sort of backfired a bit.  No way on earth I was going to get three kids up, fed, dressed and ready to leave by 8am for a 9am ferry.  We made it to the 11am instead. 

It was my little brother's birthday and before we could leave, the kids had to sing to him and give him his gift when we got into the car.  They gave him 4 boxes of chocolates.  The reason behind this purchase was pretty simple - as per wee Lexie "We should buy 4 boxes so that Uncle Kris can share a box with each of us."  Made sense to me.  She even signed the card for everyone.  We made it to the ferry with 8 minutes to spare.

The kids had cleaned out my piggy bank of all my nickles and dimes.  They each ended up with $2.10 each which was burning a hole in their wee pockets.  There is nothing to buy one the ferry for $2.10.  Even a bottle of water costs $2.50. 

We made it to my aunt and uncle's home to get ready for the  party for my uncle's milestone birthday.  They have a lovely home with a special play area for kids in the basement.  As we made our way down the stairs, Xavier stopped and turned to me and said "Nanna, your side of the family is really rich (it's all in a 10 year old's perspective), daddy's side of the family, well, we're just tall".  His dad is 6'8" with the family average around 6'4".  My side, the average height is somewhere around 5'8".  I said "I am not rich" and he replied, "well, you must be cause you sure do spoil us lots."  Little does he know, I live so close to the edge that one good sneeze and over I go.  The plan is to buy the children's love in order to ensure they will take care of me in my dotage.  They, along with my friday night 7-11 financial planning (stoopid lottery doesn't make it easy for me to pick the right tickets to make that a reality) are my real retirement plan.

The party was great.  I visited with family members I do not get to see very often.  The house was full.  As I looked around the room at how our family had grown, I realized we appear to reproduce at a rather alarming rate.  Holy cow, the number of kids, grandkids, great grandkids, neices and nephews and cousins had grown so that we really need to wear nametags at family gatherings.  If we didn't all look somewhat alike due to a very strong gene pool, there would be no way to attach a child to a parent.  One of my favorite parts of the evening was when my cousin's new girlfriend thought the kids were mine.  "You look too young to have grandchildren".  I sure hope he keeps her.  I liked her - a lot.

The plan had been to crash with a relative.  However, when I made the rounds, I realized that there really wouldn't be enough room.  Xavier happened to overhear me say that I thought we would stay in a hotel.  He loves hotels and asked if we could stay in one where we could order room service.  The kid has high standards.  We left the party at just before midnight and found a cheapish motel to crash at just after midnight.  After exploring the room and marveling at the fact that there was a hairdryer attached to the wall, we all crawled into bed where I heard snoring before I even pulled the blankets up.

We awoke by 9am and headed off to pick up my brother and head to the ferry again for the ride home.  The kids headed to the onboard store in order to once again try to spend their money.  This time the girls were successful.  They came back to our seats, each carrying a large candy.  The pricetag read $3.59.  How did you afford that?  It seems that they were too cute for words and a lady in the store decided to make up the difference for them.  Those girls have a gift.  I might just send them into the Tiffany's store and see if they can work their magic again.  I really would like something in one of those little blue boxes.

After dropping the kids off back home, I crawled through the front door of my house and made my way to the couch where I promptly fell asleep for a good hour.

This past week at work was spent on playing catch-up and interviewing potential candidates.  I read a bunch of resumes that left me somewhat stunned and amazed.  One person thought very highly of herself and attached a cover page which read, in part "I would really like to work in your industry.  I learn quickly and easily and like to be around high finance.  I can offer you 4 days per week for a salary between the $80 to $100,000 range."  I would like that job myself.  Another fella said that he would leave his job at Future Shop to learn the financial industry.  He would be happy to swap technical teaching for financial teaching.  Oh Boy.

By thursday I was exhausted.   I started to lose focus by noon.  Since I am currently working alone in my office I have to lock the door everytime I step out to the ladies room or to get the mail.  I headed to the mailroom after a brief stop in the little girls room and reached into my pocket for the key.  It wasn't there.  Oh Oh.  I raced back up the stairs to the ladies room.  That seemed like the only place I could have left them.  They were not there.  Oh crap.  I was in a panic.  I couldn't get back in my office or the parkade or anything.  What to do?  I began going office to office to see if someone else on my floor picked up my keys.  By the 4th office, I found my keys.  However, the office manager would not give them back to me without my ID.  I tried to explain that my purse, with ID was in my office and I could not show her until I got into the office.  She did not understand that logic.  Instead, she would call the building manager to verify who I was land what I looked like.  This should be fun.  Having never met the building manager, how could he describe me?  I then tried to explain that I could verify everything in the office and give her my buisness card to back up my ID if she came into my office with me.  She was still hesitating when from another office behind her a woman I had met in the mail room many times came out to say she had seen me a number of times.  Finally, the manager said she would come into the office with me to verify what I said before giving me back the keys.  When she was finally convinced, she took it upon herself to give me a lecture on keeping my keys safe and sound and being more responsible.  If she wasn't still holding them in her hand, I think I would have let my mouth run loose but I couldn't take the chance that she wouldn't give them back.  I must be growing more mature.  I took it, keeping my mouth shut and even thanked her for her help.  I must admit though, it was hard.  I think I pulled a muscle.

Friday found me at Toys R Us completing the birthday gift for my oldest granddaughter who was turning 7 on Sunday.  I had something else in mind when Rae said she really wanted a specific doll with fish hands and a monster face.  Do you know how hard it was to find something like that?  I asked a bunch of people who had small children and it was finally explained to me.  Holy crap.  Who comes up with this stuff?  I really need to become a toy designer.  I have some really stupid ideas that kids would love.

Well, I am getting very excited about my trip.  Only 40 more sleeps and I am outta here.  I have been doing some research on Hawaii.  So far, I have planned on zip lining on Kuai, the memorial in Honolulu and a pineapple plantation on Molakai.  I might even sign up for a surfing lesson.  I just need to buy more medical insurance before I go.

Stay tuned - my cousin took some pictures of me and after she photo shops them, I will be good to go back online.  I will even write a bio that makes sense this time and hopefully keeps the drug dealers and spies at bay


Friday, March 1, 2013

Depression - They Name is Arts & Crafts

I am depressed.  I simply cannot believe that every attempt I make at trying something new is such a failure.  It may finally be sinking in - I have no talent for anything in the arts.  This includes dancing, cooking, singing, painting, sewing, Yoga (you don't want to know) and I now include crocheting.

I bought a "How to Crochet for Dummies" book, two hooks and a whack of really pretty purple wool.   I worked on making a blanket - that seemed like an easy way to start.  Well, turns out, I may not follow directions like I should.  The blanket turned out to be 3 1/2 feet wide BUT 17 feet long.  For some reason, I had trouble turning a corner. 

I put the blanket away in my storage locker while I contemplated what to do with it.  Well, two weekends ago, in an attempt to shame me in taking down my Christmas tree, my friend and her boyfriend came over and helped me organize my storage locker so I could get my christmas boxes out.  The blanket was taking up room and I figured with summer coming in just 4 short months and it being so cold out right now, I would put it in the alley so our local homeless folks could pick it up to stay warm.

It is still there.  No one wants it and now it is soaked.  Jeez.  My feelings are hurt.

After the month I have had - no staff, RRSP season and the rain, I have decided I would just love to chuck it all and open up a Pub.  I even have a name - Welcome to "Happy McChuckle Nuts".  I LOVE that name.  I think it is the best name ever and I would certainly be a patron of any place with a name like that.  I think it invokes great images of happy men.  Ahh, but to dream.

On another note, those close to me are aware (and they secretly laugh behind my back) that I am quite afraid of birds.  When ya'll stop laughing, read on.

I was on a conference call yesterday and as I was listening to others drone on, I was looking out my office window.  It is a rather large picture window that faces due north- right on to the freeway where there is massive construction taking place.  Anyway, imagine my surprise (and that of the people on the call) when I let out a rather loud scream.  I watched as a giant bald eagle (biggest I have ever seen that close) came barrelling at my window.  He looked like he was going to crash right into it when he banked sharply to the right.  I watched in awe, as two sea gulls chased this eagle all over the place for at least 5 minutes.  Even the contruction workers stopped what they were doing to look up and watch.

I have never seen anything like it before.  These two gulls chased this poor eagle around as he bobbed and weaved in and out of trees and buildings.  I had no idea that sea gulls were so aggressive.  This is behaviour I fully expect from crows - they are mean and vindictive and have been known to dive-bomb me for no reason.  I have always thought of gulls as being a peaceful bird.  Except of course if you happen to be eating french fries outside on the ferry - THEN they are downright rude.

It was quite the spectacle.

As a reward for surviving the month (and finally taking down my tree), I am picking up my favorite wee people this evening.  I will be taking them to Victoria tomorrow to celebrate my Uncle's birthday.  They will play with their cousins, behave perfectly, sleep when asked, have perfect manners and generally make me look good.  I know this to be fact since they are my grandchildren and they are perfect.  (I may have already visited Happy McChuckle Nuts today).

I will keep ya'll posted.