Carrots are a Girl’s Best Friend

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It must have been a slow day at the jewellery store because the girl behind the counter encouraged me to try on some aspirational rings.

My top pick: a 3 carat beauty going for only (wait for it!) $35,999.

(Does anyone really spend that much on a ring? Come on–fess up!)

I must admit it looked pretty darn good on my hand.

I snapped a picture to show my sailor.

“What do you think?” I asked after sharing the specs and the price. “It is Valentine’s Day.”

“Let’s go to Save On Foods. I’ll get you three carrots there.”

I did say no chocolates, so three bright crunchy carrots isn’t such a bad idea.

The Best Things about a Flooded Basement

002The top five best things about having a basement flood just before Valentine’s Day:

5. When you finally get around to going out for a romantic dinner, the restaurant isn’t busy because all the normal couples celebrated on the 14th. You get to enjoy a peaceful dinner in a near empty restaurant with attentive servers. Plus, you’re so relieved to get out of your damp, stinking house for a couple of hours you don’t even care if the wine isn’t chilled or the pizza has olives.

4. You can kill two birds with one stone regarding chocolate consumption. You’ll be eating the chocolates you received to celebrate V.D. (Valentine’s Day) anyway so you don’t need to take in extra chocolate calories because of flood stress.

3. If you’re considering de-cluttering, a basement flood is a not so subtle nudge in that direction. Nothing encourages de-cluttering like having 90% of your possessions destroyed!

2. Someone else cleans out that creepy closet under the stairs where the spiders live.

And the best thing about having a basement flood?

1. Your vacuum cleaner, conveniently stored in the basement, has been rendered useless. Yes!!! The habitable portion of the house may be fluffy with dust bunnies and Chihuahua hair, but you don’t feel guilty about not vacuuming. You can’t because you don’t have a vacuum cleaner. You were flooded.

When Your Basement Floods…

035015I spent the days leading up to Valentine’s Day making plans with a man–a group of men, actually.

Not sailors, but contractors.

We weren’t talking red or white wine, French or Italian food. We were deciding how much of the walls needed to be removed, whether the carpet was salvageable and where to store all the stuff in the basement while the reconstruction work is happening.

I wasn’t reassured to hear, “This could go on for months.”

After a night of heavy rain on pre-existing snow, our basement flooded. It was just a couple of inches of water in the unfinished, cement-floored area but had soaked into the carpet in the rest of the space. I’ve learned that just a couple of inches is all it takes.

Although the upstairs wasn’t damaged, the entire house is damp and the insides of all the windows are drippy. The pot plants are loving it. The rest of us, not so much.

Big loud dehumidifiers and fans have been running continuously since the water was discovered, but the house still smells like the inside of an abandoned boat house.

We’re waiting for word from the insurance company. Will they cover the damage, or won’t they? It’s the big question at the front of my mind.

They sent a team to examine, interview and photograph, but we won’t hear until sometime next week whether all those fat premiums we’ve been paying for years will actually get us anything.

In the meantime, the work downstairs continues.

Only 47 Shopping Days to Valentine’s Day!

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Today was crazy.

We were up before dawn to catch the first ferry back to Vancouver Island. My sailor grumbled a bit about the early start, but I was determined to catch the tail end of the Boxing Week sales before everything was picked over. A quick trip to the mall on the way home indicated we needn’t have rushed as all the good stuff was long gone.

After unpacking and starting the first of about five loads of laundry (how do three people and one very small dog generate so much laundry?) we went grocery shopping.

I poked around the holiday section in the grocery store, looking for discount Christmas crackers for next year. It’s always a little sad to see the left-overs and this year was no exception. The shelves were bare except for some beat-up snowman decorations and a flat of Quality Street chocolates. Showing remarkable restraint, I wandered over the greeting card aisle without any candy.

Just around the corner from the marked down Christmas decorations, I found. . . a huge display of Valentine’s cards along with several lurid hot pink signs warning me to get my gift and card by February 14.

When did the world start moving so fast that we’re bombarded with stuff we need to buy for the next holiday before we’ve even finished celebrating the current one? Come to think of it, when did Valentine’s Day become a gift-giving occasion and not just an excuse to say extra mushy things to your partner?

I consider the week between Christmas and New Year’s to be part of the whole Christmas experience. Once all the Christmas stuff is sold/taken down, I think we all need a little down time before we’re exposed to the next holiday merchandise blitz.