The Little Things Make all the Difference

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A few little things that have brightened my grumpy mood and brought some Christmas magic:

1. The ratty angel from my childhood Christmas tree. She’s not as glitzy as contemporary ornaments, but she has something even better than sparkles and glitter–history and happy memories.

2. Key lime pie at Pagliacci’s! I know–it doesn’t get much better than this.

3. Lights! How can you not be cheerful when all the houses are dressed up for the season?

4. Breakfast of champions: coffee with Bailey’s, homemade shortbread (thank you, Sailor!) and a Bliss Ball*. This would be wrong on so many levels as the start of a work day or even a busy Saturday, filled with errands and chores, but during the holidays? It’s perfection!

5. Time to cuddle up and watch a movie under a big comfy blanket with my sailor, our boy and of course, our little Mexican friend.

Merry Christmas and all the best in 2015!

*Bliss Balls are all natural, sugar-free chocolate “truffles” I found at a health food store. They have a delicious, dense texture because they’re made with minced dates and, although they’re quite different from actual chocolates, they’re quite nice.

Bah Humbug!

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School’s out and I should be giddy with festive thoughts and freedom. Instead I’m…blah.

I’m not feeling the Christmas love yet.

Sigh.

The basement’s leaking and we haven’t had a rain-free day in, like, forever. Our staff just learned that bad things (very bad!) will happen when we go back to school in January–gulp!

I don’t even feel like going shopping. (This is serious!)

My problem? Last year’s Christmas was so super-duper special, nothing can match it–not even a drift wood Christmas tree or the 19 pound turkey my sailor brought home. (That’s right–he’ll be roasting an animal that’s considerably bigger than the dog.)

I’m trying to remember that the upside of not getting an exciting Christmas complete with my sailor’s return from Afghanistan is having him around, safe and sound, all year.

The MP and the Felon

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I admit it.

I’m guilty as charged…of googling people I know.

It’s fascinating to find people who share the names of my near and dear. (With seven billion of us, there are bound to be some repeats.)

According to google, my sailor’s name twin is an MP in a far away land. My research indicates Other Sailor is a rare beast–a politician who is both respected and popular.

Our wonderful boy has a name twin, too–a famous bartender in a fancy pants hotel. (Hmm–I wonder if I can parlay this “relationship” into some free drinks.)

And me?

The other Sailor’s Woman was recently arrested in Fulton County, Georgia. Her mug shot is all over the net.

Sigh.

B O O M !!!

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Vancouver Island is being pounded by storm after storm after storm after…you get the idea.

It’s not fun.

Several communities have experienced floods.

We experienced a huge tree taking out a power line at the end of our street.

B O O M !!!

That’s the thunderous noise of a transformer blowing.

As well as sending a huge thank you to the team of dedicated BC Hydro workers who performed a winter storm miracle and got us reconnected, I offer wisdom gleaned through the ordeal of living off the grid for a few hours.

1. I need to invest in a car charger for my cell phone so I can surf the net (and play 2048) the next time a tree blows over. (I had to shut ‘er down before the battery completely died so I’d have some juice left over for the next day.)

2. Don’t wait until you’re out of cookies to bake more. A tender ginger Christmas cookie or three would’ve made the darkness so much less creepy, but my boy took the last one in his lunch that morning. 😦

3. Someone as nervous as me should surround herself with light, laughter and flowers instead of anything even remotely related to Stephen King. After watching Storm of the Century with my sailor last weekend, I was terrified Andre Linoge would come tap, tap, tapping on our door because, you know, bad things always happen when you’re in the dark.

4. A Chihuahua is really easy to trip over in the dark. Enough said.

Corner Gas The Movie

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We enjoyed some Canadian culture on the weekend–Corner Gas The Movie.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you may be too late.

It only has a one-week theatre run before hitting TV and a DVD bin near you.

Based on a TV series called, you guessed it, Corner Gas, the movie picks up the story of the residents of Dog River, Saskatchewan where things left off when the series ended in 2009.

We’re big Corner Gas fans. Not only is it well-written and really funny, but there’s no violence, sex or profanity. How often do you find a show like this?

The most amazing thing? It’s Canadian! Don’t get me wrong. I’m a proud Canadian and consider myself incredibly fortunate to live here, but in spite of all our wonderfulness, we’re a little…challenged…in the TV department. Corner Gas is the bright light in the line up of forgetful Canadian TV shows. (Okay–The Trailer Park Boys is memorable, too, but like a train crash. For the record, we’re not like Ricky and the boys–really!)

If you feel the need for some Canada in your life, take a trip to Dog River and hang out at the Ruby with the gang.

You might find yourself trying to convince your sailor to move to small town Saskatchewan. (Oh wait…that’s me!)

Did You Hear About the Creepy Woman at the Mall?

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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

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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

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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.