Amazing Military Family!!!

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We still haven’t found renters for the new place. The agency rep assures us he has a few possibilities and will forward an application any day now.

This is good enough for my sailor, who weirdly never ruminates over worst case scenarios. (Apparently, this is the special talent I bring to the marriage.)

In order to feel pro-active without actually contributing to the situation, I surfed kijiji, used Victoria and craigslist to see what the competition looks like. I’m biased, but I think our house with its water views and peaceful location beats all the other rentals on the market. (If this house was someone’s dad, it could beat up all the other dads, no problem!)

As well as rental properties, I found ads from wannabe renters. One ad resonated with me: Amazing Military Family seeks three-bedroom home for July.

You may be skeptical as to their actual level of amazingness, but based on their ad, I can vouch for their awesomeness.

They have two children who are “assets to any neighbourhood,” two loveable cats and a gorgeous well-behaved golden retriever (I know this because they posted his photo and resume: graduated top of his class from Friendly Fido Obedience School). Their full package of wonderful is completed by a dashing sailor and a devoted mom.

They out perform us in every area: more children, more and better pets and definitely more oomph and enthusiasm.

I showed the ad to my sailor.

“Why can’t we be an Amazing Military Family?”

“We are,” he said. “We are.”

Could he be right?

Well, we have an astro turf basement. That’s pretty amazing. Actually I think (hope) the bright green floor covering is underlay. It doesn’t look much like the carpet I picked out, but who knows? Every day when we get home, workers have done something new to our basement.

We have one super duper boy. I’m not sure if he’s an asset to the neighbourhood, but I’m certain he’s not a deficit.

And the dog? One emotionally needy Chihuahua who has never taken a class, but wags her tail so fast when she welcomes us home it starts her entire body vibrating. Now that’s amazing!

Superstitious Minds

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I’ve just finished binge watching the BBC miniseries, Rome.

I won’t spoil the ending for those who haven’t seen it and don’t know their history or their Shakespeare. All I’ll say is that I was pretty sad when Octavian’s forces defeated Mark Antony’s army prompting Antony to commit suicide.

As well an engaging story line filled with legions of attractive men in uniform, Rome offers glimpses into ancient Roman life. I particularly enjoyed scenes like the one where Vorenus damns his family to Hades. Vorenus immediately regrets this rash action. His brother in arms, Pullo offers reassurance. As long as an animal wasn’t killed on the curse, it can be reversed. (Duh–everybody knows a curse doesn’t “take” unless you make a sacrifice to it. Why was Vorenus so worried?)

I admit to feeling a bit smug watching too grown men worrying over the power of a curse. These are clearly characters living in an unenlightened age before scientific discovery and universal access to education. Of course they rely on superstition to explain the mysteries of their world.

Then my sailor and I went grocery shopping. Loading our stuff in the back of the truck, a box of tissues fell out of a bag.

I noticed the picture on the side of the box.

“Oh my Gosh! I have to exchange these tissues!”

“Why?”

“There’s birds on the box!”

My sailor looked at me with raised eyebrows.

“Duh–everybody knows images of birds are bad luck.”

He groaned. He may have even looked a little smug. “You’ll be in line for ages. It’s really busy.”

“Fine.” I climbed in the truck. “We’ll risk taking them home.”

It should be okay since we haven’t sacrificed an animal.

Alert Ref: 350722382377

Oh. My. Gosh!!!

Banking threats abound!

I have been contacted by the folks at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC).

“Dear

We have recently enhance the security for the CIBC online account management system. As a result of these recent enhancement, your CIBC online account was deactived for an 30 day after that is removed from the system. You have to confirm the reactivation of the CIBC online account by filling out the form below. If you receive this e-mail and do you NOT Re(Activate), you are fully responsible for the activity of the account.

Kind Regards, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce”

I think it might be a scam. You see, I do not and have never had a CIBC account.

While I have no experience with CIBC (never having banked with them), I have a feeling any legitimate communication from them might be more, well, grammatically correct.

Most people are probably too sophisticated to respond to messages like this by sending detailed financial information, but each of these scams makes our world a little less trusting and a touch more suspicious.

It’s the Nigerian princes for whom I feel the most sorry. Thanks to scams like this, everyone deletes their emails.

Belly on up to the Bar

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I’ve found another series to binge watch while I wait for season 4 of The Walking Dead to come out on DVD. It’s Rome and it’s fabulous! There are only two seasons, but they’re long. (Did I mention it’s fabulous?)

Unfortunately, devoting a couple of hours a day to Rome-ing means other things get neglected–namely baking.

It was time to make cookies so I devised a plan to streamline the process: bars! Think of the time saved if instead of individually forming three dozen little cookies I just squished all the dough into a pan, baked it and cut it into perfect, crumbly bars when cool.

It seemed like a good idea until I turned the cooled pan over the cutting board and smacked it to loosen the giant cookie rectangle. Part came out according to plan, but lots didn’t. Since it’s the cook’s prerogative to eat everything that’s not quite perfect, I scarfed down all the broken bits even though I wasn’t hungry.

Bloated and sluggish, I still had to clean up the kitchen which was covered in sticky crumbs from my wrestling match with the cookie mass.

The good news? After presenting the family with these unpleasant bars, no one will be asking me to bake anytime soon. Oh, and now I can get back to Vorenus and the gang!

Stephen Harper’s Revenge

003To anyone affiliated with Canada Customs: The events described in this post are fictional. None of this ever happened. It’s an imaginary story. I made it up. As a matter of fact, the characters in this post are make believe, too. Any resemblance to me or my friend D is purely coincidental.

Returning from our recent shopping day in Washington, D and I got held up in a two-hour line. When it was finally our turn to be grilled by the border guard before being allowed return to our home country, D flashed her brightest smile. (She hates paying duty.)

“Anything to declare, ladies?”

This was going to be easy: just a couple of dresses for D and my handbag…oh, and two boxes of wine we got at Target.

“Two boxes of wine?” Suddenly, the guard was like a pig who’s just discovered the mother lode of truffles. “How big are these boxes of wine?”

“Not very big,” said D. “Each holds the equivalent of one bottle.”

“Really?”

Not really! Hers was a jumbo sized box that held FOUR 750 mL bottles. Mine was a cute little wine cube that held TWO bottles. Together we were smuggling the equivalent of six bottles of wine. I think the limit for a trip under twenty-four hours is, like, zero.

“Really! They’re just teeny one-bottle boxes, right, Nanette?”

“Mmm hmm.” I couldn’t meet his eyes. Would we do hard time for lying to a border guard?

“Since it’s only one bottle a piece, you can go through.”

D rolled up her window and put the pedal to the metal.

Once we were safely out of official earshot my normally law abiding friend laughed, “No duty for us! Screw you, Stephen Harper!”

This was an image upon which I preferred not to dwell.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and I finally cracked my oh so cheap, duty free box of American wine. It was harsh and acidic and tasted more than a little off.

But it was the only wine in the house, so I drank a glass anyway.

I spent the rest of the night awake, straddling the miserable cusp where nausea meets a pounding headache.

Ugh! I’ve got Stephen Harper’s revenge.

Bad News :(

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They say all good things must come to an end, and it’s true.

I bought a new vacuum cleaner tonight.

It was time.

The area rug is luxuriant with a thick layer of Chihuahua hair. Ritz cracker crumbs add an unexpected crunchy texture to the trip from chesterfield to fridge. The dust bunnies are big enough to take out the Easter Bunny. And the cobwebs! They’re thick as Tarzan’s vines and they festoon every corner. (What are cobwebs, exactly?)

My sailor interrupted the dog rolling on the carpet, grinding some ancient Milk Bone crumbs into its woof and its weave.

“I think she’s happy the house finally smells like her.”

“Well, it’s her home, too,” I said, hoping to postpone the inevitable.

“I’ll stop at Walmart after work tomorrow and get a new vacuum.”

Sigh. “I’ll do it.”

I’ve never gone this long without vacuuming. (Please don’t do the math and figure out exactly how long it’s been.) My sailor, raised by a fastidious ER nurse and a retired Army Sergeant, has never gone half this long without vacuuming.

I’ve enjoyed being liberated from a machine that literally sucks, but all good things must come to an end.

Tonight I bought a new vacuum cleaner and tomorrow I’ll vacuum . . . or the next day.