Did You Hear About the Creepy Woman at the Mall?

It’s not December yet, but it’s the most wonderful time of the year at the mall.

I recently spent some quality time at Mayfair Mall, my happy place.

I was serenaded by carols, delighted by decorations and charmed by the man in red–taking a break before heading North to put the finishing touches on a few billion toys.

The place was packed with happy shoppers.

One caught my attention. (By “caught my attention,” I mean I ended up stalking her from Hudson’s Bay into Eddie Bauer and on to Banana Republic as I examined her outfit, item by item. Luckily, I don’t look threatening or she probably would’ve called mall security.)

She was dressed in a similar style to me–jeans, knee-high boots, a leather purse and a nylon jacket suitable for a rainy afternoon.

I’m a purse person so her bag immediately jumped out at me. A simple black hobo, it had Tod’s discretely stamped on the gusset. (You read that right! She had a Tod’s bag. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in person.)

Then she took off her jacket and slung it over her arm. (Shopping is warm business!) Her basic quilted jacket had a big old Burberry label on the inside. (Translation, it probably cost more than my mortgage and car payments combined.)

Now I was intrigued and backed off to give her some space (literally.) That’s when I noticed the logo on her boots. Yep–they were Prada. (Ca-ching!)

It gets a little weird now.

I noticed a tiny label on the back pocket of her jeans. What choice did I have? I had to learn the brand name so I followed her through the mall, squinting at her ass as I tried to make out the word on her pocket. Either I need a new prescription, or the Seven Jeans Company needs to redesign their logo to make it bigger and flashier.

This woman was wearing thousands of dollars in designer clothing and accessories–brands I’ve only seen in movies or magazine ads…and to be honest, she didn’t look any better dressed than me.

I walked a little taller after realizing I looked just as good as the woman in the aspirational labels. Not only that, but I probably don’t inspire creepy fellow shoppers to follow me through the mall examining my labels.

It’s an unsung benefit of frugality!

The Onesie

I’m always cold.

I don’t like being cold, but I’m too environmentally conscious (read cheap) to turn the thermostat to a comfortable level. In practical terms this means we bundle up–way up–through the long Canadian winter.

Imagine my delight when I discovered the perfect article of indoor cold weather clothing–the adult onesie! This baby wraps me in plush teddy bear softness from scalp to slender ankles. (On the flip side, imagine my sailor’s “delight” when I began wearing my all-encompassing fur suit to bed.)

As I go about my daily routine, I find myself wishing I had my cozy onesie on instead of my day clothes. If only I’d found it in time for Halloween, I could’ve attached ears and a tail and worn it to work for one glorious day!

Recently I discovered the onesie’s only negative quality–it’s impossible to get out of in a hurry.

The contractor we’ve hired to address our house issues turned up almost an hour early this morning.

He knocked on the front door as I was sipping my first coffee of the day. The Chihuahua (never a morning person at the best of times) quivered bleary-eyed, woofing in his general direction. Me? I raced to the bedroom fumbling with the three-foot zipper that bisects the front of my darling onesie so I could climb out of it and get dressed before facing the tradesman.

Sigh, perhaps the onesie is best reserved for lazy weekend mornings when I can lounge around for hours like a content teddy bear.

The Lost Boys

The Lost Boys may not be critically acclaimed, but it’s one of my favourite movies.

It’s vampire movie with thrills, chills and a fair amount of humour, but fear not, it’s not too spooky. The scariest element is the vampires’ big fluffy hair. (Did I mention it’s a 1980’s flick?)

I was lucky enough to find the DVD in the $5 bin at Wal-mart in the week after Halloween. (Yes–you can really buy a piece of fine art for only $5 if the Universe is smiling at you!)

Unbelievably, my sailor had never seen The Lost Boys.

I saved it for this weekend when my sailor and I had nothing planned. I was excited to share it with him.

We cuddled up under the duvet to watch The Lost Boys, but something weird happened.

Although my sailor has a great sense of humour, he didn’t laugh–at all–not even at Edgar and Allan, the curious Frog brothers. Worse, he rolled his eyes during the climactic fight between the vampires and mortals.

Worst of all, his comment afterwards: “This is one of your favourite movies???”

Ack!!! The Lost Boys is fabulous. How could he not love it?

Now I can’t decide which isn’t as clever as I thought–The Lost Boys…or my sailor.

And the Winner is…

And the winner is…

Salt Water Taffy.

The boat came back from the shop winterized and with its (her?) brand spanking new name on the transom.

We had one sunny day to enjoy the new name and art work–a Welsh corgi and cute little dragon–before my sailor wrapped the boat in the biggest tarp in the world for the winter. (Apparently boats are like bears. They hibernate.)

I’m still not sure if we need to do a proper christening ceremony in the spring.

Although I like the idea of pomp and circumstance, (I would definitely wear a hat to the ceremony!) I worry about wasting a perfectly good bottle of champagne.

Homemade Goodness

Don’t bake chocolate chip cookies–ever!

I stupidly got into the habit of providing fresh, homemade cookies for my boy. He doesn’t eat a huge number of cookies, but I worried about nasty things like trans fat in commercially baked goods.

I use actual eggs and butter–which may not be the healthiest products, but I know what they are and where they come from. (Although I try not to think about it because the idea of eating something squeezed out of the back-end of a cow or chicken makes those artificial ingredients created in a sterile lab sound more palatable.)

The cookie jar was empty, had been for a few days.

My boy had started grumbling about the lack of cookies. When was I going to make more? Could I bake tonight? How about tomorrow or the next day?

Ugh! Why had I ever started baking? I’d set a dangerous precedent and my client–er, boy–expected regular delivery.

Then it came to me! My sailor is reasonably competent in the kitchen. He could give me a break by baking a batch of cookies!

I learned it’s much easier to supervise baking than to do it. (Even taking into account all the “Honey, where do we keep the sugar/flour/baking soda/vanilla?” questions.)

His results weren’t quite as wonderful as mine: a bit too brown on the bottom and the size of hamburger patties, but my boy loves them. (Possibly because they’re the size of hamburger patties.)

I’m way too smart to criticize his efforts because I see the bigger picture.

Last weekend, we set a precedent where my sailor successfully baked HUGE cookies that were well-received by our client.

Terrible Tuesday :(

We had a rare non-rainy day and I decided to go for a walk. I need peace, and nature is supposed to soothe the troubled soul, right?

We just learned our home requires some renovations. The initial estimate was enough to make me feel a bit sick. Then the contractor warned it could be higher once they get in there and really investigate.

Now, our house is nothing special–just a little 1940’s bungalow. I like it because it’s cute and cosy and it has character. (In my part of the world, a 1940’s house is considered a heritage or character home.) However, recent events are turning me against the family castle.

Because nothing that sucks ever happens in isolation, more badness was on its way.

My boy was invited to a friend’s house to hang out, play some video games and perhaps watch a movie. He wasn’t able to go and was a bit disappointed because he had to miss it.

Being the supportive mom I suggested he have the gang over to our house another night. (He never invites people over.)


“Why not?” I asked, adding (because I’m in the hate cycle of my love/hate relationship with our home.) “Don’t you like our house?”


Violating the rule not to ask a question if you don’t want to hear the answer, I asked. “What? Are you ashamed of our house, or something?”


I was surprised (still am) how much that hurt my feelings.

Sigh–I’m going to need more nature walks to salve this.


Only 49 Sleeps!

Once Halloween’s over, the countdown to Christmas starts. (With only 49 sleeps until the big day, there really isn’t a moment to lose!)

I noticed a variety of Advent Calendars on my travels. I can’t buy mine this early because I eat any chocolate the moment it comes into my house, but for those who like to plan ahead (and have a reasonable amount of self-control!) the stores are full of them.

For purists, there’s the basic, chocolate-a-day version. At only $1 per calendar, why not splurge and enjoy two or three chocolates each day? (If one chocolate is good, more have got be better, right?)

A little more upscale, the Kinder Surprise Calendar combines chocolate with nifty little toys. Sounds like a perfect Christmas combination!

If chocolate’s not your thing (are there really non-chocoholics out there???) the Lego Advent Calendar is a fun and playful way to count down the days until Santa arrives.

For those with more adult tastes, there is the beer Advent Calendar. Why not? Nothing says Christmas like counting down to the holidays with a brewski a day!

Happy Birthday, Sailor!

We enjoyed a rare night out to celebrate my sailor’s birthday.

I wanted him to have a great time, so I organized everything ahead of time. (Dinner reservations and tickets to see a play–the evening’s events would be smooth and seamless.)

All that planning paid off. We by-passed the line of people waiting to be seated and were having a lovely talk over the flickering jack o’lantern candle when our dinners arrived.

Mine, a salad with feta cheese and a marinated chicken breast, was perfect.

My sailor’s, a grilled salmon fillet, didn’t look…right. It was smothered in tomato sauce and melted cheese.

“Salmon’s not usually prepared with cheese,” I noted.

Not one to complain (he’s SO not like me in this regard), he picked up his cutlery. “Maybe the chef’s trying something new.”

He sliced into it. Under all the sauce and cheese, it was solid and white, not pink and flakey.

It wasn’t salmon.

The waitress was apologetic when we flagged her down.

“It was my mistake, not the kitchen’s. I ordered chicken parmesan, not grilled salmon. I’m so sorry!”

“That’s okay,” said my sailor. (Did I mention he doesn’t complain much.)

“I’ll order the salmon,” she said picking up his plate. “Can I buy you a glass of wine while you’re waiting?”

He shook his head. “I’m driving.”

“I’m not!” I piped up.

Since the restaurant was busy, I finished my glass of wine while we waited for my sailor’s dinner.

The server felt so bad about getting his order wrong, she brought him a big slice of strawberry cheesecake after she cleared our plates.

It was delicious!

(Did I mention my sailor doesn’t eat sweets?)