Oh Dear!

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After all the headaches, grumpiness and general negativity of the past week, it’s time for some happiness and nature.

This gorgeous guy turned up in our yard one morning. Since we’re too lazy to bother gardening, we were thrilled to watch him munch his way through our weeds.

When it was time for a siesta, he cuddled up under the back porch.

He looked as interested in us as we were in him when he caught us peaking at him through the basement window.

Water Water Everywhere!

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Last spring we had a flooded basement. It was traumatic and dramatic, but it made for interesting dinner party stories.

This winter we had a slow seeping in the opposite corner of the basement. Not nearly as exciting as the flood, but just as stressful in its own drippy way.

After conferring with numerous plumbers and tradesmen, we learned the problem was the perimetre drains. They weren’t installed properly. Combine bad drains with torrential rains and, voila…carpet stains!

Work started this week. Our poor old house looks obscene flashing its naked foundation to the world.

Misery

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Ugh!

The weekend was a write-off.

I spent Saturday curled in a fetal position–when I wasn’t sprinting to the bathroom to throw up. Sunday was much better, except I felt fragile. Like it could all go bad again very fast.

It’s still too close to even write about it in any detail.

“It” is a violent, take no prisoners kind of headache.

I can’t call it a migraine as I’ve never been diagnosed. (They don’t happen frequently enough for me to bother seeing the doctor about them.) I cope by carrying Advil in my purse and drugging myself at the first twinge of anything not quite right in my head. Most of the time, it works, but sometimes . . . wham! . . . I’m down for the count and it’s headache 1, Sailor’s Woman 0.

After this latest experience, it’s time to talk to the doctor. A full-blown headache like this is just too terrible an experience to risk again. My hope is that he gives me something more powerful than my over the counter drug that knocks that headache right out of my head.

Of course, once I’m the epicentre of misery, I can’t keep anything down, even a sip of water sends me running to the bathroom, so I’d have to take it early enough. But I don’t want to start popping prescription pills unnecessarily so I’d probably wait…

I’m calling to make an appointment today…or maybe tomorrow. Today’s looking pretty busy.

Four Ingredient Macaroni and Cheese

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Have you heard about the four ingredient macaroni and cheese?

It’s so easy!

All you do is throw elbow macaroni, shredded cheddar, cream cheese and milk into a slow cooker and turn it on low. Voila–in four hours a pot of creamy, cheesy mac with no aritificial colours, flavours or powders. Just homemade goodness!

It sounds too good to be true, right?

Sadly, if it sounds too good to be true, it is.

Despite following the recipe to the letter (something I rarely do), we ended up trying to choke down a thick, starchy mass that didn’t resemble macaroni and cheese in anything other than scent.

We each did our best to eat a small serving with dinner, but even the dog couldn’t muster up any enthusiasm for four-ingredient slow cooker mac and cheese.

There was a bright side to our dinner debacle, though. When I chiseled it out of the slow cooker, I found a smooth surface with the consistency of rubber. A home cook with a talent for whittling could produce an assortment of paper weights, bouncy balls and dog chew toys with the leftovers.

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His Name is Rico

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The phone rang during that busy hour when dinner is almost ready and there are three other things on the go that can’t be ignored (homework monitoring, something in your eye causing great distress and a little dog waiting patiently to be let out.)

I didn’t recognize the number.

“Hello!” I barked. I had too much to do to bother with a stranger on the phone.

“So, they said I can have one the llamas! His name is Rico and he’s really, REALLY cute! Can I? Can I get a llama???”

“Absolutely,” I said, rolling my eyes. I was far too busy for this. “You should get a llama.”

The response was a high-pitched squeal.

“Hello,” I said. “Hello?”

I shrugged, hung up and peered into the oven, hoping the chicken was done.

“What was that about?” asked my sailor.

“Wrong number. Someone asking if she could get a llama. She sounded pretty young.”

I poured us two glasses of wine and sat down next to him.

He looked at me.

“You do realize you just gave some teenage girl permission to get a pet llama.”

Oh. My. Gosh.

I’ve heard pets enrich our lives. I hope it’s true.

With This Ring…

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I don’t watch much TV (well, except for Downton Abbey) and although I enjoy movies, I rarely manage to stay awake to the end of a DVD. My time-wasting activity of choice is the internet.

I spend hours just…surfing aimlessly. It’s shocking really how much of my life I fritter away at my computer.

But the internet is literally the world at my fingertips. How can I resist its siren call?

My latest addiction is a wedding site. (Don’t ask me why as I’m neither planning a wedding nor planning to attend one.)

It’s fascinating stuff and very educational.

I’ve learned my engagement ring would be considered a “starter” diamond by many of today’s brides (if it was accepted at all.) Apparently my sailor’s proposal wasn’t quite up to snuff, either, so at least he’s consistent!

Most interesting is the current language of on-line brides.

Against my better judgement, I followed the link titled “What to do about my difficult BM?” (Whew–in bride-speak, a BM is a Brides Maid.)

Even more alarming was the plea from another bride: “Advice Needed!!! STD Challenges!”

Yikes! Absolutely NOT speaking from personal experience here, but I empathized with this bride’s panic…until I learned an STD is a Save the Date card sent out prior to the official invitation to warn guests to, you guessed it, save the date.

I’m glad I’m already married. I don’t think I’m up to the drama of twenty-first century wedding planning.

The Ingredients of Love

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I found The Ingredients of Love by Nicolas Barreau on the sale table at Munro’s. (The best $5.99 I’ve ever spent!)

It’s the charming story of Aurelie Bredin, a chef and restauranteur.

Aimlessly wandering the streets of Paris after a nasty break-up, she ends up in a quaint bookshop, where she discovers an astonishing novel.

How is it astonishing, you ask. Let me tell you: Aurelie and her restaurant are characters in the book! (I know–how cool would that be?)

Aurelie becomes slightly obsessed with the novel and its handsome, yet reclusive English author. Determined to contact him, she becomes acquainted with Andre, the book’s gruff French editor.

The rest of the novel involves her entanglement with Andre, who holds the key to contact with the mysterious author.

To say anymore would give away too much of this delightful novel.

Murphy’s Law

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True confession: over a week after New Year’s I’m finally getting all that Christmas stuff sorted out.

Way back on Boxing Day, my sailor and I enjoyed a fabulous date night. Because we had family visiting, we were able to get a room in a luxurious hotel and have a romantic staycation. (In practical terms this meant my sailor, designated driver since forever, could have a glass of wine with dinner.)

We were going through a cold snap, so I packed my good leather gloves. I wasn’t going home with my sailor the morning after, but meeting friends for lunch and some light shopping. Dressy gloves were a must have for a chilly day wandering downtown.

Of course I couldn’t find them when I looked for them in the morning. They’d magically disappeared.

After two days of freezing hands and much whining about lost gloves, I bought a new pair at Danier’s Boxing Week event. Like my lost ones, these are lined with cosy knit fabric and the leather is as soft as the inside of a Chihuahua’s ear.

Although they’re beautiful and the weather was Arctic, I was reluctant to cut the tags off and wear them. Something told me I’d find the originals once I’d rendered the new ones un-returnable.

Planning a long walk, I finally snipped the tags. As I was getting ready to leave, my overnight bag, abandoned in the bedroom, caught my eye. In a rare moment of neatness, I decided to unpack it and store it in the basement before going out.

What did I find at the bottom of my bag, under the magazine I brought to the hotel, but didn’t read? Double points if you guessed my “lost” gloves–d’oh!

Clinique Not So Happy

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I’m fortunate enough that when my sailor asked me what I wanted for Christmas, nothing immediately sprang to mind.

Other than big-ticket items like a Mediterranean cruise or a Speedy bag, I have everything I want. As for needs? I honestly don’t NEED anything. Like I said, I’m supremely fortunate.

So the only (reasonable) thing I could think of was a little luxury I haven’t used in years–Clinique Happy Body Wash, a “refreshing gel” that leaves skin “comfortable and lightly scented in clinique happy.” It’s not cheap, but I used to buy it sometimes as a treat that, unlike wine or chocolate, didn’t come with a high calorie count.

My sailor likes to keep me happy (pun intended), so a tube of body wash appeared under the tree.

Last night, I finally cracked it open, bringing a mug of tea, a good novel and a bee’s wax candle in the bathroom with me to complete the spa experience.

Well…

Either my tolerance for fragrance has gone way down, or the chemists at Clinique have turbo-charged their shower gel because I smelled liked I’d bathed in a vat of perfume. The scent was so strong it permeated the thick, teddy-bear fur of my onesie when I went to bed and I spent the night verging on a headache.

Next time my sailor asks what I want, I’ll be honest and tell him what would really make me happy. I’ll claim it’s a health and welfare issue.

After all, no one’s ever gotten sick from a Speedy bag.