Tuesday, June 30, 2009

very superstitious

Work is a blur - a lot going on and now that vacations are starting, things are getting more complicated. I had a great meeting with the project we just completed and they are very happy with our work.
But enough of that! I am eating a green salad with leftover grilled chicken, tomatoes, and avocado with my own special vinaigrette (meaning, I use very little oil and enough different types of vinegar to choke a horse - I really love vinegar), and getting ready to head downtown where I am meeting up with some girlfriends to either:
a) Go and check out the free Stevie Wonder concert (hooray Jazz Fest!)
b) If it starts to downpour (thunderstorms predicted), go and see Food Inc.
I'm personally hoping for Stevie Wonder. I'm not a big fan, and the crowds are insane and make me crazy, but it's fun to do it sometimes and the energy at the Jazz Fest is outta this world.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Things I shouldn't admit, part 2

I called my folks because it's been over a week and they both asked when I was coming home (answer? when I have time and can coordinate truck returning with Steve).
Anyhoo, I got off the phone and realised that I don't really remember everything that my mom told me (ok, pretty much all of it) because while I was talking to her I was also accepting her invitation to be her friend on Facebook (oh hurrah, my mom's on FB....), and editing my privacy settings for her. It seemed like the perfect opportunity because she obviously wasn't on the computer (they have dial up).
Worst. daughter. ever.

Just a Monday

More rain, this morning was perfect for sleeping in - cool and just a light rain, a nice day to snuggle under the duvet with a book and some tea and hide out from the world. Unfortunately, it's Monday, so up I got and started my early morning sorting out problems with the European delivery before coffee. By the time I got to the office I had already worked for two hours, then it was time for the officemate weekend recap. We have been having an impromptu Michael Jackson tribute today by belting out bits of songs with words from our conversations. We are a merry band of untalented pop singer wannabees (wannabe starting something, got to be startin something. Too high to get over, yeah yeah).
Delivery gone! Next project already started, headaches to follow.
I have been thinking about stroopwafels all afternoon. They are these fantastic Dutch cookies, thin crispy small waffle-type wafers with a caramel sandwiched between. You sit them on top of your hot drink to soften the caramel, and they are chewy and over amazing. I brought some home, but they are long gone and now I've gone on the great Montreal stroopwafel hunt of summer 2009. I found a place that sells them, so now I just have to find the time to go and collect my precious cookie treasures. In my desperation, I did find recipes which would require me to get a little contraption to make the waffle parts - they have to be the right size and very thin, thinner than pizelle. Perhaps it would make a nice Christmas treat. I will add it to my list of fairly useless kitchen gadgets.
Got home, took out my garbage, had a quick bite and am on my way over to see my kids. I actually think that I don't have much work to do tonight - hooray!

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Woke up this morning and headed out for another run. It was a fantastic morning for a run, cool and damp, overcast, but not dreary. One of those mornings where you can smell *everything* in the air. I find mornings like that rejuvenating and open with possibility, so fresh and clean and so SENSORY! You just want to embrace all the feelings. Fueled by this, 6km went by while my mind distracted itself. When I got back, showered, coffeed, granola'd and then set about hanging curtains in my room and filling the bookcases in the living room. There's still a lot of empty space which is grand! I want to bring over kid books and some games and such so it's perfect. I got rid of a bunch of boxes, but now the stuff that's left is a bit of a quandary - I'm not sure where to put it or if I need it.
I also found out that Liz' ex is no where near ready to give up the sectional set, so I will be without living room furniture for a while. I have a chair and some cushions, so I'm not hurting. How often do I sit in there? I haven't watched the tv since I moved in. I put stuff on for the kids, but they share the chair or sit on the floor.
I just had to turn off the radio. It's this program called Peter and the Symphony, and it's the honcho from the TSO talking about symphonies and that's fine. He's very informative for us non-music knowing types. Problem is, he then talks over the music, which always leaves me screaming, "shaddup, I can't hear", at the radio. I can't be the only one......


Saturday, June 27, 2009

All that lifting is making me hungry

I have bookcases and the soup is too salty.....must tweak tomorrow. Luckily, it was a small batch. Need to sleep, and dream of the perfect soup; honestly, I should have known that was too much salt, I don't know what I was thinking......
It may also be time to make up my infamous bulgar-lentil salad....ummnumnum

rain has come

I crashed when my company network crashed at 2am. I woke up to the sound of the rain pounding down 6 hours later. I ran to close the windows, then returned to bed and listened to the water falling in torrents. I have been waiting for this.
More work to finish today and then some physical labour - gotta love it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

deadlines suck

So I'm working on this project and now have a ton of docs to check before I put them in a folder so that they can be turned into libraries. A lot of docs that have to be checked tonight, as in it's almost 11pm and I'm still doing this and not close to done and the network is soooo slooowwww.....
I need more food to stay awake.....


I was awake really early this morning. I watched the sun come up, then decided to get off my ass and go run. 5km, starting to feel a bit better, lungs weren't as rough, but still nowhere near where I was when I was running 6 days a week. I think I will cut back to 3 or 4 days a week for a while. It's already 26 with the humidity, so I'm glad that I went out when it was cooler. Despite the heat, there was a fantastic breeze blowing in my window last night, so sleeping was nice. I may need to get a couple of fans in and I definitely have to put up that ceiling fan in Naomi's room. It's sunny now, beautiful morning. I'm hoping for a big old thunderstorm this afternoon. I love storms, love the feel, the electricity in the air, the darkness that descends, the power and force of the rain and the wind, and watching the sky light up. I can't wait to sit out in my little sun porch and watch it come down.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hot, humid night. Sitting in my sun room in the back in the dark watching a huge storm that passed my neighbourhood in the distance as it lights up the clouds. Feeling disappointment that it didn't set down here and wash some of the heat away.....


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

he ain't heavy

I woke up early this morning and decided enough was enough, it was time for a run.
It took me a while to get organized, but then I hit the road - ugh! The first two kilometers were killer! The second two were slightly better, and on the last bit before I got home I just started hitting my stride. Despite the sunblock, I still managed to get a bit of sun on my arms, probably because I was sweating it off. I got back, showered, had breakfast, and started to put things away! It took a while, but by the time I stopped for lunch the bedroom was in decent enough shape. I got some of the living room done that I could manage without additional bookcases. There's a lot of stuff still piled up in boxes.
Steve took the kids to the pool in the morning, then I took them in the afternoon. They had a great time and were playing so well together. I love watching them interact, make up stories, call for each other, dragging each other around the pool, hand in hand. As an only child, I was determined to have at least two kids, I remember staying at my friend's houses and watching them with their siblings and I was always so jealous. I wanted a brother, I wanted to be bonded to someone like they were. They all hated it of course and were jealous of me, but they had no idea what it was like to be the constant source of everything to their parents, and as you get older it just gets harder.
Ben and Naomi will have their own challenges, and I do worry about Naomi becoming her brother's caretaker, but for right now it is so amazing to watch them play, and imagine, and laugh together. They will always have one another throughout life, and I hope that one day they know how lucky they are.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

and where do you see yourself in ten years?

I'm facing a bit of a dilemma recently. Um, perhaps that's an understatement.
Many people consider what I've done recently to be:
a) A huge mistake
b) Part and parcel of a huge 40 crisis/freakout
c) What Dina does every X number of years because she's essentially a flighty dumbass
d)All of the above

These aren't all the people I know, thankfully. Many people think at least one of those, but they also love me, so they just hug me and shrug.

I've thought every one of the above and now I just don't care what other people think. I spent so much time second guessing myself, not believing what I was telling myself, blaming myself for every step that took me to this decision. In the end, I may be crazy, but I have no other options. I'm going with the crazy because nothing else is working.

My new dilemma is this: I've put myself of this course, the destination is happiness. But what kind of happiness would I like? In the scheme of things are there some forms of happy that are better than others? Some that are more worth the effort or the wait? What if I was told that something that I wanted would take 5 years of part-time study, or sacrificing something that I hold close, or would just take time in order for me to sort out my life and be ready to accept it? Do I have that kind of patience? Can I stop myself from rushing headlong into things, and am I even meant to wait? Perhaps I am meant to run happiness down without hesitation and grab it up, is hesitation my problem? Should I throw myself into its centre, vulnerable, and embrace what happens?

Some days it seems like the world is begging me to come and get it, other days I fear a misstep. What's a crazy girl to do?

That radish salad turned out really well! I got out the old Benriner and sliced them up thin and soaked them in salted water for 15 minutes and then tossed them with lime juice and some pepper and then I left them in the fridge overnight and when I opened the fridge they were a lovely pinky shade.

I also did more granola last night. It was nice waking up to this for breakfast.
Today was Ben's first official day of no school, so I went over to pick him up after breakfast and brought him back to my place where he amused himself while I got some work done and then we went out for errands. One of my errands was to get some strawberries, but the selection was appalling, so I got blueberries instead. Ben went to therapy and I did some more work and then dug out the ice cream machine! It was still soupy after supper, but Ben liked it. Naomi was rather fussy and wasn't that interested.

I really have to start running regularly again. Since I got back to Canada my routine has been lax and I know that I have to start all over again to build up the lungs I've lost. Time has been a definite factor - between the move and work I haven't had anything left. Time to get back on the road!

Monday, June 22, 2009


Back to the kitchen!

I was tired all day and when I left work I was pretty uninspired about food. While running another errand I started to perk up, so I stopped by Akhavan on the way home and their produce was divine! Some veggies and a small piece of Bulgarian feta and it was home for frittata!

I prepared everything and started cooking and then stopped to open a bottle of wine and misjudged the timing because I'm not using a non-stick pan (which is now added to my list of errands for this week) my frittata became scrambled egg and veggie thing - still tasty, but not photo-worthy.
After supper, I wandered over to say goodnight to my kids (I couldn't go a night....) and then back home to make some granola and a radish salad because the radishes looked too darn good at the store to abandon.

He did it!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Just the facts

So tired. Almost fell asleep at 7:30, but I had to get Ben's grad gear ready for tomorrow.
He's graduating from kindergarten - every tiny achievement. It's cute, but completely pointless. Ran errands today and got a few things done around the house, but no real unpacking. Kuan stayed over after Maggie's bash - fun times! We got up late and had coffee and talked and then my neighbour came over to install my dishwasher and Kuan's dad came into town for brunch with her. After the dishwasher was installed, which of course turned out to be more complicated than normal, I got a new drill and then went grocery shopping. I was about halfway through when Kuan called to say she was on her way back, so I cut it short and headed home, said goodbye, and then was out again to finish picking up odds and ends. In the late afternoon Steve phoned to say that the wading pool was open and I ran over to play with the kids. They love that wading pool! After I treated Steve to some Father's Day Lebanese from a local place and helped get the kdis settled, then back to my place to hem and iron Ben's clothes. So, I have some groceries, some odds and ends, and more chaos than you can imagine.
I had wanted to cook something today, but it will have to wait.
I have a lot of things on my mind, I'm not ready to share yet. I just keeping telling myself, "things are going to work out".

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Men came and men moved stuff. I made another trip on my own and then stood and surveyed the damage. There are boxes and bags everywhere, clothes everywhere, furniture everywhere. I have a lot to do, and right now I'm watching the kids so I can't do any of it. I did get the wireless installed though - yay me!
Last night I went home and I was so tired that I just passed out. I slept deeply and woke up early this morning and it was quiet and it was sad and also not sad. I now need a week to get myself organized. I have to put stuff away, and do groceries, and figure out what I'm missing, hang stuff on the walls, pick up a few more bookcases from a friend, hang a ceiling fan.... a thousand little things that make where you live you. When my kids start sleeping over it will really be home.
Home. Late. Move tomorrow. Girls were a lot of laughs.
It's amazing being with people who know just how imperfect you are and love you anyway.

Friday, June 19, 2009


I am beyond scattered right now, it's time to stop and regroup:
  • Guy I arranged to move me can't find another guy to help him like he thought he could. I am emailing all the other people who got in touch yesterday to find someone else.
  • Went to the SAAQ to pay for the tax and get the reg in order and when I went to put my plate on discovered that there were no screws - have to stop by on way home from work.
  • Have to finish throwing books in boxes so big men can lift them into trucks (there aren't that many left), and organize everything that they are taking so it's easy in the morning.
  • Move coffee machine and duvet over to the new place tonight because:

I am sleeping there for the first night......

After supper, I'm going over to Maggie's because Kuan's driving up for Maggie's birthday bash, and then I'm driving home and sleeping in my bed in my new place for the first time ever. I have no idea how I am going to react....

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Raining, light reflecting on the path through the park, so quiet listening to the drops landing on the pavement, feeling the wind, hearing it rustle through the trees.

A lesson in thinking

I have to say that I'm learning a lot about myself and what a dumbass I am most of the time. Part of this move for me is simplifying, meaning that I am attempting to get rid of a lot of the stuff that I do not need, or should not be lugging around anymore. Now, I still have a lot of crap, but I'm trying to get rid of a lot too. I decided to move myself to my new place because I don't have a lot of heavy stuff and because so much was staying, it would be impossible to pack. I have been bringing stuff over slowly all month unpacking it, and then returning for more. But at some point, I had to tackle larger items. Some stuff Maggie and I did, some stuff I did by myself with my dad's truck, and then came the heavy stuff. I have been worrying and trying to find someone to move my bigger stuff for two weeks and getting anxious. Last night as I was laying in bed I realised that I had been blowing this up way out of proportion and feeling helpless and pathetic for a few sticks of furniture. The solution was simple: I put an ad in our company forum looking for two guys to move stuff for me for $200. Within minutes this stupid problem that I'd been agonizing over was gone and I have no idea why I didn't do it earlier. Yeah, it's a lot of money for very little effort, but it's done. Saturday morning they are showing up and moving my crap. It's a small price to pay for so much weight off my shoulders (ha ha).
I just can't figure out why I got my panties in such a bunch and adopted such a defeatist attitude when the answer was so damn simple.
Lesson learned! Moving on!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Why I love my hood

11:30 at night, warm summer evening, walking down the sidewalk, it's dark and almost no sounds from the houses. The gas station on the corner is lit up and a few people are gassing up, washing windshields. I round the corner and see a few people walking their dogs in the park, a few people chatting, and a young guy with his guitar in the picnic/horseshoe area playing a quiet song to his girlfriend, starting over and over trying to get the chords right.


My back is so sore I can barely move......

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

On the back burner

With everything that's going on, cooking really hasn't been happening. I'm tired and stretched, so food has become whatever is quick and easy. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now, I have a fridge and a stove and I'm making a grocery list and wondering what my first meal at my new place should be. Something simple, something tasty, something fresh, something that my kids will eat. Ok, how about something my kids will eat part of?
Soup? A casserole? Pasta tossed with some pesto and a salad with some homemade bread? Ooo! Maybe some vanilla ice cream and fruit to round it off? Fresh Quebec strawberries....
I think I know what I'm going to be thinking about as I drift off tonight.

Real friends help you move the bodies

I have my dad's truck, and I took today off to move stuff. Maggie came this morning and we started hauling. The first trip went surprisingly fast. Naturally, we got cocky and decided to move the queen-sized bed the next trip. We are two strong chicks! We did it, but not without me admitting that a call to Dormez Vous to buy a new one would have been easier, or as Maggie suggested - movers! We will not be doing that again any time soon. On the other hand, I now have someplace to sleep and I'm about one more truckload of crap away from having most of my junk at my new place. The old place looks ransacked, so it's time to clean up a bit. My back is starting to complain and I need a shower really badly. I had to stop because Maggie had to be somewhere and I needed to go and get Ben from school.
I've also discovered that I really like driving that truck around. It's a blast to be that high up and to go the the reno store and just throw your stuff in the back, none of this folding seat down crap! I am now thinking about what else I can pick up in the pickup - Ikea run anyone?

Monday, June 15, 2009


On Friday, I was sitting at the restaurant with Adriana and I took off my wedding band and stuck it in my purse. It just felt like the right thing to do. I take my rings and watch off when I work, when I clean, when I write, when I shower. Lately my rings have gotten left in a drawer more often as I pack and work. I have still been wearing my wedding band to avoid questions and because technically I'm still married. I also didn't want to offend my husband. On the way out to the townships on Sunday I realised that he wasn't wearing his ring! I'd spent time feeling bad about hurting his feelings and I hadn't even realised that he wasn't wearing his ring. In many ways I think that's very telling. I'm always trying to not hurt people, always trying to shield and protect people from what I think will be bad things, but in the end it doesn't help anyone. I'm also a tad unobservant it seems. So I took off my ring, and I stuck it in my pocket and when I got home I put it in a drawer. Maybe I will get myself another ring some day, who knows, maybe I will want a symbol of belonging in another person's heart down the road. Right now my finger feels a bit too light and I guess it will for a while.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A change of subject

Good day in the townies. I was tired all day, but that had everything to do with the fact that I woke up at 3am and only started drifting back to sleep just as Nomi appeared by my bed with her plastic cookware making me squash and insisting that I eat it with an ice cream scoop. We drove out in my new car, everything is a-ok. The car drives beautifully. We had some lunch and dad gave the kids each a tool belt. The kids had been asking to build something the last time they were visiting. When I was little, one of my favorite activities was sitting down with one of my dad's hammers, some scraps of wood, and salvaged nails and building things. I started doing this when I was Nomi's age and it really hasn't ever stopped. My dad started letting me help with smaller projects when I was around Ben's age, and by the time I was 10 I was helping build garages and roofing. The ability to build something, no matter how crooked, is a powerful thing. It opens up a world of unlimited possibilities, it reinforces that we can create anything when we put some imagination and thought behind it. Today, my kids took a step towards that discovery and they were surprisingly good at it. I watched my dad coach the kids through how to hold a hammer and connect pieces of wood and watching them make mistakes, and letting them make mistakes, and I thought about how amazing a guy he is and how patient he was with me when he taught me all the things that I know. I'm sitting here writing this and crying now. I'm am so lucky to have had such a great dad. This seems to have become my early Father's day post. I love you Pop! You've given me more than you will ever know and more than I have time to list and I love you.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

to sleep

I'm beat. I failed to sleep in (thanks kids) and wandered around the morning in a haze of packing and watching Naomi while Steve went to Ikea. When he returned, I loaded up my car and moved some stuff over - station wagon good! I made a couple of trips packing, loading, unpacking, and while I was at the new place took the plastic and tape off my appliances and plugged them in. My fridge will be capable of making ice cubes, and for some reason there were no ice cubes trays in the freezer. Don't they always give you a set?
I almost passed out on the sofa tonight before the kids went to bed. I grabbed a shower and am now getting ready to sleep.
Big day tomorrow. Heading out to the townies, birthday celebration, father's day celebration, and then I'm bringing back my dad's pickup so that I can move the big stuff. I'm still not sure who is going to help because I no longer have large brawny friends who will move you for beer. I really want to get the beds moved over this week so I can start getting settled.

Buffy the campfire slayer

I'm sitting watching Backyardigans with Naomi. It's an episode with classic movie monsters:
"Look Momma, he turned into a bat!"
"Who turned into a bat Nomi?"
"The campfire! He turned into a bat!"
"That's a vampire Nomi, not a campfire"
"Uh huh"

Thanks girls

Had a great night last night with the gals. Mexican, drinks, lots and lots of laughs. Guys come and go, but your gals are always there, and I couldn't think of a better way to ring in my 40th. I am blessed and surprised at the great, smart, talented gals I know. They have been my support system through this, listened to my crazy ideas, laughed at my dumb jokes, and sat with me when I cried.
Not only that, but they brought gifts! You rock ladies, I love you all!

40 with tequila

Friday, June 12, 2009

40 feels fine

The sun came out, I'm wearing a low-cut purple dress, and I'm feeling great!
Alcohol later, pictures to come. I am here world, come and get me!
the old lady

Thursday, June 11, 2009

30s, nice to have known ya

Last day as a person in my thirties. My thirties were all about family: I met Steve just before I turned 30, got married, had kids, and settled into a household. I also established a career, leaving behind my contract business for a stable job at a good company. Wife, Mommy, Employee. These are roles that I have spent the last decade experiencing, loving, full of surprises and joys and disappointments. I don't regret a second of it. I've continued to grow and change throughout this time, adapting, learning things about myself, making new friends, falling out of touch with others always moving forward, not looking back too often, trying to live without what ifs.
I'm not sure what the forties will bring. They definitely will bring change - it's already happening. A new home, a new way of living. But this time, I am not entering this decade alone. I have a family: two beautiful children and a husband who I hope will continue to be a supporting friend forever. I have so much to be happy about and so many new goals for this decade. Raise two amazing children with Steve, continue to develop my job, travel, write, create, run, love, forgive, accept. Most important, just be me, love me, because I'm a pretty awesome old lady.
I am celebrating the end of my thirties by raising money for the Montreal Children's Hospital. I'm getting on a ridiculous-looking bike and getting in the game. I'm proud of me today, and I'm sure that I'll have even more to be proud of 10 years from now. Good luck me! Go get 'em!


I have appliances, raised $1500 for the Children's (over 15000 by our team!), and bought a car. I'm tired......

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Seeing red

I went to the mall tonight to look for a few things and I passed by one of those cosmetic kiosk things in the middle and saw something that made every part of my body react. Actually I heard it first. There was a man holding a baby girl who could not have been more than four months old and the woman at the kiosk was piercing her ears!
I see babies with pierced ears and it annoys the shit out of me, but I have never seen it in progress. I wanted to run over, grab the baby, smack the piercer, beat the father senseless with a chair and then pierce his tongue for good measure. What the fuck would you do that for? The baby was screaming, poor thing, I was nearly in tears I was so mad. This wasn't a cultural thing, unless you consider tacky Quebecois a culture. Let your kids decide if they want to pierce something when they are old enough to show poor judgment, imposing your taste on a little baby with no choice in the matter is cruel and you should be ashamed.

too funny!

You have to watch this! It's making my day...


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

and then she bought a car.....

In light of everything that's going on, it seems like a really stupid thing to do right now, but yes, the sales guy came through and I bought the damn car. Now I am plagued with that post-purchase anxiety I get when I spend a lot of money. The car's not ready yet, a few things are being replaced (one of them being the catalytic converter - glad I'm not paying for that), but then it's signed over to me and I am back to being a person with car payments.
Still, let me take this opportunity to take off my adult attitude and do a little happy dance:
**I got a car! I got a car! Wheeeee! New thing, new thing!!! Can't wait to drive it around!!!**
Ok, much better - perhaps I will embrace my inner child for the rest of the evening and find some ice cream........

Is it just me, or is everyone suddenly going crazy about arugula? I swear it's in every other recipe I'm seeing these days…...

Rainy day

Nothing like a rainy day to lift your mood. Normally I love days like this, especially curled up on the sofa with a book and some nap-inducing golf on the tv, but today I'm feeling a bit of sunshine on my face would be appreciated. My phone is moved, but my Internet connection is not set up yet. I assembled all the wires and plugged it all in so it's ready when someone flips the switch.
I'm in negotiations for that car. I'm ready to walk away, and I think the salesguy knows that. Now we get to play that game of who could care less. I have my garage guy leaning on him too, so we'll see if he budges. I like negotiating, the acting, the sizing up of the other guy, making them do math in their heads and the jokes that go back and forth. It's all part of the game.
The pity party is dissipating, mostly thanks to a couple of good friends who always pull me out of the "woe is me" abyss. The lightness will reappear soon, until then I just have to fake it and remember that I'm in a good place.
Think positive price-reducing vibes for me!

Monday, June 08, 2009

and then there are days.....

Feeling sad today, a little pity party for one.....
I will get over this, put on my big girl panties, and get on with it, but right now I just feel like curling up into a little ball and having a cry.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

A toaster and granola

Costco wasn't so bad for a Sunday afternoon. Got a toaster and cleaning stuff and odds and ends. I resisted the urge to get the new Jamie Oliver and the Martha Stewart cupcake book, although they both look good. I'm not on the Jamie Oliver bandwagon, I think he's smarmy really, but I agree with his general philosophy that meals should contain real food and that good food can be simple and isn't fancy or hard. I took a break from packing and made some vanilla almond granola for the week, I used peanut butter instead of almond butter and it smells fantastic! Naomi had some quiet time this afternoon, which means she was in her room singing and jumping all over the place. I tackled the dishes this afternoon and packed a bunch of tiny boxes with plates, bowls, and mugs and brought them over. I didn't bother wrapping them up. I ordered my Internet too, it will be set up in five days or so, then the place will be livable ;-)
I admit it, I can't live without the Internet, I'm addicted. Trying to stay in touch with people and the world without it has really become unfathomable. I've always hated talking on the phone, and online news is one of the best inventions ever. Honestly, how did I cope before? A couple of hours ago I realised that I scheduled my appliance delivery on the same day as my charity bike ride - big dummy. This is what happens when I don't write everything in my agenda. I have to find someone to sit at my place or reschedule, which I'd rather not do because I want my appliances.
In other news, I am trying to figure out what to do for my birthday. I don't want to be all pathetic and do nothing and feel sorry for myself....this is a big year. I should do something..... ideas people?


Dear Phone Manufacturers,
Hi. I was shopping for a portable phone today, and I have something I'd like to explain to you. I realise that portable phone prices have dropped drastically in the last 10 years. They are cheaper to make now and the technology is better, so you no longer have to pay $100 for a handset and charger base. This does not mean that I now need to buy four handsets and a base, or six and multiple rechargers, or boosters, or a base with a built-in answering machine that also tells the time and makes waffles. Well, maybe the waffle bit, that would be useful.
Not everyone lives in a Mcmansion and requires ten phones. I only need one, I do not need a phone in every room, especially because portables were designed to solve this problem. I am free to roam, but it seems that I am not free to pay less than $100 for a phone, or now a phone system. I did find one, on a bottom shelf, under all the multiples, sitting there single, sad, and alone. Maybe some day I will need four phones, but until I take up juggling or sprout six extra ears, I doubt that will be necessary.

At loose ends

It's weird packing up when not everything is leaving. First, there's no place to put packed boxes, so they have to go down to my car and over to the new place pretty much right away. Second, because I'm not moving all at once, there's some stuff that I can't pack right away. Until I can sleep over there and I have appliances, I can't bring essential things like cooking stuff and clothes I'm wearing. So I'm roaming the house putting stuff in boxes, but it's almost random and it doesn't feel like I'm getting anything accomplished. Next weekend I will borrow my dad's truck and see if I can get people to help me move the big stuff. The problem with not using movers when you get to this age is that everyone's busy or has a bad back. I need more brawny young friends.
The kids had a great time in Ottawa. They went to the experimental farms and Naomi was afraid of he "giant pigs", but loved the horses and calves. They didn't sleep much in the car on the way home, so there's some cranky this morning.
I'm off to Costco this morning to get my year's worth of toilet paper. Today is the Tour de l'Ile bike race, so traffic may be a bit bizarre today.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Appliance lady: 1 - Dina: a little bit broker

Went out as soon as Steve and the kids left for Ottawa to hunt for the elusive affordable appliances. I still had to get a fridge, a stove, and a dishwasher. The stove had to be new, that wasn't negotiable. For the amount of baking I do, I need something that's not going to give me a hassle. The oven had to have convection as well, which pretty much adds $500 on no matter what. Found a flat top, convection, with a warming area for under $1000, a standard fridge, and a cheapish dishwasher and now I have many interest-free payments to look forward to. The plus is that they are new, waranteed, and somebody else will deliver them to my door and haul them upstairs so I don't have to. They arrive Thursday, an early birthday present. After this was done, I went and test drove that Volkswagon. The guy gave me the keys and told me to get lost and take my time, so I drove out to the West Island, picked up Debbie, and drove out to Hudson and back. While I listened for noise and concentrated on the ride, Debbie flipped all the switches, tried the radio and air, and gave me her opinion on the passenger experience. Verdict? Nice ride, very stable car, comfy. There's a hum though that I'm not sure is regular VW engine noise or something else. I brought it back and the sales guy is going to have the mechanic look at it and get back to me. I'm talking to my guy at the garage to ask about general repair costs, because VWs aren't cheap to fix. The more I think about having a wagon though, the more sense it makes. All the things you have to haul around with kids and stuff would be so much easier if I didn't have to borrow someone else's car all the time.
Still, if it doesn't work out with this car then it simply was not meant to be, I haven't fallen in love with it or anything.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Zen and the clean kitchen

I took the day off and tried unsuccessfully not to check in to the office. After this I headed over to the new place to clean the kitchen. Like most older NDG kitchens, the cupboards go all the way up, which means that to clean the top shelves you need some help of the aluminum step ladder variety. The place is really clean, but why not go crazy when you have the chance and the place is empty? Cleaning is kind of like meditation for me - I love the accomplishment and the way it blanks out my mind. As I wiped down all the shelves I decided on where to place things, dishes, tools, food, glasses, spices, books, teapots, machines. The space is ready for me to start moving things now. Of course I still need a fridge, stove, and dishwasher. The hunt for those begins tomorrow morning. Being able to picture all of my things in the kitchen made it feel like home. I can't wait to cook a meal there.
I took my car to the garage today for a tune and told the guys that I was looking for a newer car. Since we got the Subaru stationwagon we've used that for the two-hour drives out to the townships or Ottawa. Now, well, I love my Corolla, but she's 13 and while she's perfect for short city hops, long drives at over 100km/hr are getting to be a bit shaky and with the kids in the car, I'm a little anxious. Plus, well, this winter I may not have access to someone to push me out of the snowbank when my car just spins. I told the guys what I was looking for and they said that they might have something I'd like - a Volks Jetta wagon, 5 years old, really low mileage and pretty clean. I'm going to take it for a test tomorrow to see if I like it and how negotiable the price is.

Call the Vatican!

Holy crap! Not only did I get my license in two days, but the picture ain't half bad despite the 80s hair.....

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Moments of joy today:
  • Standing in the park in the sunshine waiting for my son to get out of school and feeling the soft cool breeze blowing on my face.
  • Watching my son's face light up when he saw me waiting for him outside the school door.
  • Watching my daughter dance around the livingroom like a princess wearing my wedding veil.
Some days the world slows down and you experience these gifts and realise your universe is right.

meetings and 'sparagus

Finally a couple of nice bright days in a row! This non-stop meeting morning was not as bad as I thought it would be, but I was starved by the time noon came around. Had lunch with Maggie at our Indian place, ah I have missed their food and their chai tea! Some more work, and then picked up Ben and brought him home for ABA and then Naomi, grocery store, then to the kitchen!
Tonight it was bow tie pasta with asparagus, ricotta, spinach, arugula, and parmesan - delicious and fast.
I'm taking the day off work tomorrow (well, trying to anyway), finally taking the car in to the garage, and getting more things organized.
I packed a box last night! I'm not packing too much at once because I want to take things over and unpack them so I know when to stop bringing things over and start chucking, selling, or storing. I need to let go of a lot of stuff that's just not important, or needed, or used.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

B is for box, C is for cookie

Today was another slow day. My early morning meeting was postponed until tomorrow (this has happened more than once, but this time there was a very good reason), and I finished some stuff much more quickly this morning than I'd anticipated. Tomorrow I am double-booked all day: a meeting from 8-10, a meeting from 9-12, lunch with Maggie and then I have a meeting I'm going to miss in the afternoon because I have another commitment. I had a great lunch with Irene today. She's one of my heroes. She followed her passions and is an amazing photographer and has created a career for herself around the things that she loves. She is proof that when you are meant to do something, all you need is that love of the work, faith in yourself, and some common sense and anything is possible. She will also give me great deals on her work which is awesome because I will need some art for the new place.
I got home, ate spaghetti, cleaned up, and made cookies!

While I was making cookies I also packed a box of kitchen stuff and got a lot of my tools organized. It's a start :-)

I'm riding that ridiculous bike....give me money


June 11, I will be participating in Pedal for Kids, a major fundraiser for The Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation. Over the years, Pedal for Kids has become one of the Foundation's flagship events. Extraordinary sums are raised year after year, which in turn have contributed in a very significant way to the level of care that the Hospital is able to give to all its young patients.

The needs of sick children are growing. The Children's needs our help more than ever. Thank you for supporting me in my efforts by making a donation. Every dollar counts. You can make a difference.
To sponsor me please visit:

The MCH has been an amazing resource for us. We cannot thank the team at the autism clinic enough for everything they've done for Ben.


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Things I shouldn't admit, part 1

I can't remember which dvds are mine, or how much I paid for the appliances, but I can easily identify my wooden spoons and knives and even tell you where I bought them....the kitchen will be the easiest to sort out.....

Not worth

Today I got a better idea of what I'm not worth and yet how much stuff still has to be divided and potentially paid for. I hate money, I hate dealing with money, talking about money, investments, taxes, and about anything else having to do with the almighty moolah. The only thing that my parents have really ever fought over is money, so I've always made it my mission to avoid having to argue about anything concerning cash in my relationships. Luckily, I don't have any money, so this has been relatively easy.
But now we have to put everything under a microscope and figure out our debt and assets. I don't want to do it, but I have to, the courts demand this. Part of me wants to run screaming from that little round table I sat at today, shouting "just want to be free! we don't have enough to even split!", but that wouldn't be adult and mature under the circumstances. I'm guessing I have to keep up the pretense of being both of these things for a little while.
I need to throw together a cookie dough tonight so that it can sit in the fridge for a day. I have a bake sale at work Thursday and what else says bake sale little cc cookies? Ok, a lot of stuff, but I'm going with choc chips.......
I other news, Cafe 92 has now expanded into the empty shop next door! Hurrah!!!

What I would like from today:

Understanding, patience, love, cooperation, friendship, agreement.
I think this is very attainable.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Victory against the government agencies and utilities and a salad!

It was not a productive work day, but it was a good day to conquer hold lines and waiting lines for personal stuff.
I battled the Hydro Quebec phone lines and despite not having all the obscure info they asked for, I managed to come out victorious. When I have tons to do, I seem to be able organize myself with military precision. I only had a few tasks today, and after the marathon rush of the last month, I found myself wasting most of the day talking and surfing the Internet for appliances. I left work and went to the SAAQ to get the picture for my driver's license and medicare card. I went in and took a number - 633. They were at 528.....miraculously, an hour later I was smiling for my typical crappy picture (I had wild hair today). I think that they design special cameras and fix the lighting so that no one can possibly look good. Claudia Schiffer would look like a yeti under these conditions, what chance do us severely normal people have? Hamburgers were on teh menu tonight which I was completely uninvolved in besides stopping by the store to get the ground beef. I did make a nice salad with grapefruit, and my special vinaigrette. No pictures tonight, it disappeared too fast.

Tomorrow is mediation day - everybody say yeah!