This Little Piggy Went To Surgery….

Ever notice your feet? You know, those two appendages at the end of your legs with phalanges at the tips, better know as piggies or toes. I’m sure you’ll agree that our feet are really amazing. For one thing, they help you keep your balance, unless it’s Saturday night at my sisters and you drink a little too much milk with cola. It’s not so much the milk and cola as the amount of vodka that’s added to it, ending in what’s called a “Paralyzer”, which by definition means “Don’t expect your feet to help keep you vertical”. And when nature calls at 3am, your feet help you find the grandkids building blocks that didn’t make it back to the toy box. You can also play This Little Piggy Went to Market on your feet, although I always wondered why a pig would even go to market. Personally, I’d opt to be the piggy that stayed home in fear of being caught at the market and thus becoming bacon sold at the the market. I also wondered why one piggy was having roast beef and didn’t share it with the piggy who had none, and I suspect (though no hard evidence has been discovered and nobody’s talking) that the last piggy was on his way home from a party and was crying because no one offered him a Paralyzer…. But I digress.

The reason that I brought up feet, is that during the past year, I started to experience sharp pain shooting through two of my toes. General walking at work, going up or down the steps (we have 22 out front of our house AND we live in a 4 level spit…uh huh) or just simply walking around the neighborhood would bring it on. As the months went by, the pain became more frequent and eventually bothered me even when I was sitting down, which wasn’t something my boss encouraged because the counter at Guest Services for the mall was so high that if we didn’t stand, shoppers would think no one was there to complain to, and it was my job to listen to their whining demands concerns.

The next obvious step was to see my doctor, who referred me to a foot specialist. As the day approached, I began to wonder why someone would specialize is feet. Does he have feet problems of his own that prompted him to want to help others? Does he have a foot fetish and this was a great way to get his fix AND make money? Or were his parents Podiatrists, and paying for his education and wanted him to follow in their footsteps (I couldn’t resist) So before I headed to his clinic, I did what anyone would do before presenting their slightly aged, calloused feet (complete with bunion) to a complete stranger for inspection. I stopped for a Paralizer. Just kidding! But after scrubbing, nail pruning, massaging oils, and putting on a clean (and hole free) pair of socks, I did stop at Tim Horton’s for an espresso. If I wasn’t allowed to be fully relaxed, I figured I may as well be fully awake in case he started playing piggy games and I had to make a run for it.

A little anxious, I entered the building. I was hit with the smell of, you guessed it, foot odor. Ok, it wasn’t foot odor, but it could have been. No, it was New Office Smell. And it was complimented by New Office Look and New Office Decor. I was greeted by two cheerful ladies and one of them showed to an examination room that didn’t have your typical examination table, but a rather large and comfy looking vinyl recliner. So far, so good. After she had me settled in and left the room, I soon found the buttons that adjust the recliner and I wasted no time …

Button A: Up, down, up down, up down

Button B: Foot rest up, down, up down, up down

Button C: Don’t know. Nothing happened.

Button D: Recline, sit up, recline, sit up, recline, get caught when the door suddenly opens and the doctor walks in.

Him: Big smile “Hello, my name is Dr. YoungAndCute. Comfortable?”

Me: Fumble with buttons “Hi…um” and try to look nonchalant as my face starts to blister from the heat of the blush, and nothing happens to right the damn chair.

Him: Still smiling while reaching for a button “I’ll just sit you up a bit, if that’s ok, and I will have to raise the foot rest so I can get a better look at your foot”

Me: “Mmmmm….sure”

I thought I handled that well, don’t you?

So after a quick chat, he took my bare foot in his hands and started manipulating it and when he got to putting pressure under and over the area of concern, and asking the usual “Does this hurt?” and getting my “OW, what the $#@! ..Yes” he confirmed what the x-rays didn’t show, but my family doctor has suspected. I had a Morton’s Neuroma, which is fibrous tissue that has accumulated around a nerve and won’t let go. And in my case it not only wouldn’t let go, but as far as I could tell, it was wrestling with the nerve in an attempt to show it had total power over it.

In moving along, I’ll just say that after the usual treatments including anti-inflammatories, arch supports, foam/fabric pads, $#@!ing unpleasant corticosteroid injections, a bit of praying, and no relief, surgery to remove the neuroma and the nerve itself, seemed like my next step.

Before I made my final decision, I spent time on the internet reading forums from others who have had it done, and came away dizzy. Good vs bad, and everything in between. In comparison, I looked up sites for people who had surgery for hemorrhoids, and it was also good vs bad. I think all procedures have good results and not so good results. Well I knew I couldn’t go through the rest of my life not being able to go for hikes, walks, or dancing around the house naked and I was becoming limited to what I could actively do with the grandkids, not to mention working. So I made my decision…I was NOT have a hemmorhoidectomy.

A couple of weeks later the day had arrived, and so had we. As general anaesthetic and I don’t get along very well, I chose to have it done at his clinic, with only a happy pill and a local anaesthetic. Brian left me in their care and his assistant settled me onto the operating table and gave me my pill. The sheet was up so I couldn’t see what was going on and the doctor administered the freezing, which I’d like to say was PAINFUL, and if my foot hadn’t been tied down, I’m sure I would have kicked him in the head. I’m assuming he secures the foot because of past head injury incidences. Three injections later, he makes the first cut which is immediately followed by “OW, what the $#@! …I can feel that”. He was quite surprised, but then I don’t freeze well at the dentist office either. Sooooo, after another injection, he tried again, and not even a tickle was felt…Yay!

I spent the next fifty minutes chatting with his assistant, who was thoroughly interested in becoming a paramedic, and my many years of experience in that field led me to shed some reality on that career. She asked all the right questions, like “What do you do when someone vomits all over you?” to “Is it okay to test out the defibrillator on your partner when they’re sleeping?” I sense she’ll do well.

After the stitching and wrapping was done, the doctor pulled back the sheet and told me to sit up so they could put the cast on. “How are you feeling? I guess the happy pill was working because you didn’t shut up …seem bothered at all” I then realized that I hadn’t felt like the pill had done anything. “Oh” I started, as I began to sit up “I don’t think it did anyth…………Hey, why is the room all distorted, I love those twinkle lights, is that an orange kangaroo, and when did you get your nose enlarged?”

Sooooo, cast on, crutches in place, Brian close at hand, a pain killer prescription in my purse, and a follow up appointment in three days, we went home. Brian helped me settle on the sofa, foot elevated, pillows all fluffed up, a pile of books and laptop computer on the table next to me.

Hey dear, I need to go pee. Can you or the orange kangaroo please help me up the stairs?. And if that whiny little pig doesn’t want his Paralizer, I’ll have it”

Six weeks of recovery?  No problem. :)


Comments (6)

REVELATIONS & LESSONS 2012 ….

I’m a firm believer that life is one big school, and that we never stop learning. Brian takes every opportunity to contribute to my learning by holding impromptu classes in Science, Math, and Physics. OH and vehicle stuff too, including but not limited to, Biodiesel Fuel..Fun With Fats, Motors/Engines and How To Tell Them Apart (Apparently they’re different…Who knew?) and Automatic Door Lock FOBs..How To Test Your Patience And Increase Your Vocabulary. Now some things may be life changing, while others just make a person ask “What the hell!? In only a day or so we’ll be waving goodbye to 2012 and welcoming in a new year, so I thought I’d take a moment and mention a few things I’ve either learned or was reminded of once again, because sometimes once just isn’t enough.

 

So my list, in no particular order is:

* Although getting into the writing mode can be a challenge, and actually sitting down do blog isn’t always the first thing I jump at, it beats the hell out of cleaning behind the appliances.

* When I go out to the garage and say “We need to be on our way in 20 minutes” HE hears “Take your time. Our hosts don’t care if we’re 2 hours late” . I know that it’s taken me a few years to figure that out, but in my defence, I was in denial.

* A hot curling iron is HOT and will burn your forehead in an area that everyone can see.

* I love my aloe vera plant. It’s great for burns.

* When it’s hot outside, lemonade and ice water are no match for a Baileys and coffee milkshake.

* You can’t please everyone. I learn this lesson every year, and so I’ve also learned that I suck at learning this lesson.

* They still haven’t developed a camera that makes your drivers license picture look like anything other than a mug shot.

* It’s not okay to spend the entire day on Pinterest, unless you can show it’s time well spent by (the next day) successfully cleaning all the rug spots with dish washing detergent, making a new table and chairs out of old wooden pallets, baking 9 different kinds of monkey bread, 4 different chicken broccoli casseroles, 13 different kinds of crock pot pulled pork, AND turning beer bottles into a lovely assortment of patio candle lanterns. Note: This works better if the beer bottles are empty.

* After ignoring my sixth sense for so long, it’s been, and hopefully will continue to be, a fun experience opening up to it, even when spirit just show up, introduce themselves and simply hang around for a week or or three until someone, somewhere, claims them. By the way, did any of you know a biker dude named Jake? … No? … Well I guess I have a new friend.

* Chocolate (especially dark) improves your memory as well as ….. ummm …. Ok, does it really matter? It’s CHOCOLATE, and the darker the better.

* I am not, or am ever likely to be, perfect. I don’t even strive to be, as that would be WAY too much work and NO fun. I recommend Not Perfect to everyone. However, with all my imperfections, I’m perfectly me ;)

* When looking for the answers to important questions such as if you can blow bubbles out your butt if you swallow gum, where did the tooth fairy come from, or how do worms breathe, that Google is still my friend.

* Grandchildren are always a reason to smile and a joy to spend time with, It’s also a joy to give them back to their parents when they start asking questions about bubble gum, the tooth fairy, or worms.

* Quitting my job was the right thing to do, and it freed up my time for things like Pinterest, going back to bed when Brian leaves for work, and watching my first, and definitely my LAST episode of Here Comes Honey Booboo. Wow, I can’t believe people actually watch that stuff and now there’s 3 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

* The world didn’t come to an end on December 21st which just goes to show that the Mayans had a sense of humor and were just playing mind games with us. It also means I need to find a new job.

Well I just noticed there’s only one more day until 2013. I guess I better go and get busy making resolutions that I won’t keep.

HAPPY NEW YEAR and may it be filled with love, joy, and dark chocolate :)

Comments (9)

Muddly Melody ….

Today I have a shorty for you. It’s actually an email I sent to my sister, and she seems to think I should share it with the world, or at least the 4 people who stop by this site from time to time because if you didn’t I’d disown you. Anyway, here you are….

 

I was just beginning to cross the street while out for a walk today and low and behold, as I’m strolling along, singing a song….Ok, No song… the good Lord,,, or maybe it was the  guy sitting on the curb trying to light the stub of a discarded cigarette…shout’s out.. “Let there be a muddle ” (I said he had a cig in his mouth)…and although my mind is quick to register what he said, my feet…having been known to disobey me before…walk right into the muddle….I mean puddle…..Insert swear words here….( I sense your laughter at my expense..hmmff)….Wait, there’s more….After assuredly securing my spot in hell….I glance up…..now hang on for it…….just in time to see…….drum roll please……a motorcylist turn the corner…the SAME corner I’ve barely stepped out of…UH HUH….Insert MORE swear words here…..(I sense more laughter, hmmmm?)……So, anyway, Mr. (I assume it was a man) “Eat my slush” biker, doesn’t even slow down…just keeps on going….I KNOW!….. Now the curb guy looks at me and….I’m not kidding….offers me the lit cigarette butt….What else could I do, I just broke out laughing, and then he started laughing, and the lady from the 7-Eleven came out and offered me a free coffee and a roll of paper towels…..and we all sang Amazing Grace…..Ok, it was really Koombya.
THE END.  (Film at eleven)…

 

:)

Comments (8)

GRATEFUL MEDICINE…

 

I read an article recently stating researchers at the University of Connecticut found that gratitude can have a protective effect against heart attacks, and that people who vocalize their gratitude are not only physically healthier, but also mentally healthier. I also read that scientists have found (and I kid you not) a way to extract vanilla flavoring from cow dung, and that incompetent people don’t know they’re incompetent. But I digress.

 

After spending close to two years as a Guest Services Representative in a major mall, I’ve seen enough shoppers with not even a residue of common sense or gratitude when you help them, to see that their mental health has been damaged beyond repair.

 

There are moments when I question my own physical and mental health, and I’m sure others do too, so I thought perhaps a dose of grateful medicine is in order. I also think it beats the alternative … jogging (my body hurts just thinking about it) and Greek yogurt (yuck).

 

The first and obvious are people I’m grateful for…

 

- My children, grand children, family, extended family members, and friends because they still admit they know me when we’re out in public.

- My love, Brian and his attempts to teach me math and science and stuff. I’m also grateful that he loves me even when I don’t get it or when I ramble on about one thing and get side tracked to another and forget where I was, the point I was trying to make, or the pot on the stove …Uh, never mind.

- My co-workers, because they humor me, entertain me, and make me feel like I belong even when I lecture them like they’re children.

 

And now in no particular order, I’m grateful for:

 

- Toilet paper and the fact that I’m not living in the 1800′s when leaves, bark and corn cobs (use your imagination) were the norm.

- I’m not toilet paper.

- Peanut butter on apples, bananas, chocolate or a spoon. Need I go on?

- Chocolate, because it’s……well……chocolate.

-Bailey’s. Who isn’t grateful for Bailey’s?

- Coffee, because unless I’m wrong (and I’m never wrong) it’s a healthy part of Canada’s Food Guide. More importantly though, in the morning Brian’s brain synapses don’t fire without caffeine, which can lead to him leaving the house with his slippers on (which I suppose is better than socks and sandals), the garbage bag instead of his lunch bag, and getting on the school bus instead of the city bus. And if my synapses don’t get their coffee boost, I don’t do anything to stop him.

- Coffee AND Baileys, because they just damn well go good together.

- Sex. And if you need clarification on that, then you’re doing it wrong.

- Indoor plumbing because that means flushing toilets, hot showers, washing machines. Did I mention flushing toilets?

- The air conditioner in my car. Yes I realize that in Alberta the weather is only hot enough to warrant turning it on for about a day and a half, but for the other 363.5 days of age related, unregulated rises in body temperature better known as hot flashes, it’s a no brainer.

- Electricity, because I’m not really fond of cooking over tea lite candles. Do you have any idea how long it takes to heat up the water for coffee using a candle? Longer than it takes me to cave in and go to the dentist. When the power went out last winter, I tried cooking over a fire, but apparently it’s best done if you actually have a fireplace. My donation to the Fire Fighters slush fund is in the mail.

- Fire Fighters.

- Spoons, to get the last drop of goodness out of a bowl.

- My sixth sense because it keeps me aware and connected to the universe, and I can talk to myself and get away with it.

- Velcro, because some days it’s just easier than tying my shoes and it also keeps the grandkids on the time out wall until I’ve had chance to use the magic eraser which is followed by a few moments of medication meditation.

- Popcorn, popcorn, popcorn!

- Rick Mercer because with all the crap going on in this world, he finds the humor in it, and that always makes me laugh, and that’s a very good thing.

- Laughter. See above.

- Gravity, because having my coffee is just so much easier when it isn’t floating around the room, and it keeps the dust bunnies under the sofa where they belong. The downside to gravity though is that at my age, body parts that used to be perky, now feel the gravitational pull a lot a little too much.

- Washroom attendants. Enough said.

- White out, or better yet the delete and backspace bar on the computer, because without them this and every blog post I’ve ever written wouldn’t make sense. But then again you might not notice the difference.

- My patience. Well at least the patience I DO have because otherwise, by now, I would have slapped the crap out of enough stupid people with no parenting skills or common sense, that I’d be writing this while sitting on a bunk bed in a cozy little room with a toilet that doubles as table and bars for window decor, that I share with a someone referred to as Crazy B*#@!. It also gets me through the myriad of math and science lessons that sneak up on me when I have my guard down. Bless you dear for trying though.

- My sense of humor. See having patience above.

- Any day that goes by without a toothache, headache or hemorrhoids . Oh don’t groan. You have it on YOUR list and you know it.

- Brian’s automotive mechanical know how because I’m totally automotive mechanically challenged. Well I’m not totally challenged. I do know that if it gurgles, it probably needs fluid of some kind, somewhere. If the line where the little gas tank symbol sits on the fuel indicator is at the red bar, it needs fuel, and if any of my tires are flat, is shredding or have disintegrated, then I might want to start looking for new ones.

- Brian’s computer know how because I’m totally computer challenged, and as such, without his tutoring you probably wouldn’t be reading this blog because it would only exist scribbled in ink, on lined paper. You do remember ink and paper…right? RIGHT?

 

I’m also grateful that I have the sense to stop before you’ve all gone into a coma.

 

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling healthier already.

 

Note: No one was injured jogging or eating Greek yogurt doing the making of this post.

 

:)

 

 

Comments (22)

Crazy Little Thing Called Love ….

A couple of weeks ago I hear “I love my truck” as he sips his coffee and looks out the living room window to where one of them is parked on the street. Well I love peanut butter and chocolate, but I don’t stand at the kitchen cupboard and gaze longingly at them. His truck may transport him from home to Princess Auto or Pick N Pull, where he buys more stuff to work on his trucks, but my jar of peanut butter and bar of chocolate transports me to a comfy and happy place where I smile and nod a lot as he recounts the virtue of his vehicles…ALL of them. “Mmmmm, yuz drrr” I reply to his chatter, as my tongue does it’s best to mix and then try to remove the chocolate peanut butter blend from the roof of my mouth. “Ey newww uu dough drrr”

 

Anyway, as I sat there watching him gaze lovingly at a hunk of metal on wheels, it got me wondering why men think women tend to accumulate too much stuff they just don’t really use. Okay, I realize that some woman (not me of course) go a bit overboard and buy stuff that may not get much use. Stuff like 10 purses, because they were such a great deal and had little individual pockets to hold all their valuable must haves. Things like a cell phone, a nail file, a package of gum, lipstick, lip-balm and lip-gloss. All but one purse probably now sits in the back of their closet taking up space. Orrrrr.. 20 pairs of shoes because they were a great deal, and looked cute, but with 5 inch heels they kill your feet, so they sit in the closet looking cute but taking up space. Then I suppose there’s…….Never mind. Ever notice , though, that men never consider their stuff as just accumulated stuff. What about baseball caps or keys, hmmmm? Neither of those things have individual pockets or look cute. Well maybe ONE cap looks cute, but not the one with the flames all over it. And keys that he doesn’t have a clue what they’re for, but will hang on to them in case. In case? In case of what? The other thing about keys is that men don’t even have to go shopping and buy them. They just accumulate on their own. They multiply like rabbits, only without the fun part. And speaking of accumulating stuff, according to Guinness Book of World Records, Graham Barker has the largest collection of belly button lint, which, I suppose, kind of makes the shoes and caps thing s little easier to accept…. But I digress.

 

Now, my dear half Brian, has a bit of a collection of vehicles. I don’t mean they’re what most people would call “collectibles” I just mean he’s been accumulating more of them over the last couple of years (Fargo Farley’s journey is in my June 2009 archive named One More Time) You see, Brian loves vehicles and he loves fixing them (not body work, but engine stuff) and getting them roadworthy again. Here in Calgary, he has one car, three trucks and a big cube van. Oh and he also has a motorcycle, but that’s another story. Me, well I just have one car. It gets me here and there and even has room for my “stuff”. His parents farm is home to an assortment of his collectibles that I’m not sure will ever see roadworthy again, but rather what they need is last rites. His intentions were to fix and sell these vehicles, thus making a profit, but perhaps keeping one or two for personal use. Whenever I mention that perhaps it’s time to rid ourselves sell one or two, he starts uttering excuses  why not…”The timing needs to be retarded a tad. I think I want to change out the yadayadayada” or “It’ll  come in handy for yadayadayada”. The way I see it is he becomes attached to them like pets, only he doesn’t have to take them for walks or brush their hair or pick up poo, but he does have to pick up all the old parts that fall off, which are also accumulating because unlike poo which is discarded (hopefully) vehicle parts (good or otherwise) MIGHT come in handy one day. At this point we’ve run out of room, and even with his son using and parking a couple of them at his place, we have 4 vehicles and a motorcycle. AND until recently we also had a an old truck skeleton parked in the back yard….on the grass. Yup, and I only have myself to blame because I personally helped him roll it down there, but only because he promised me it would go to the farm in the Spring.

 

Spring came and damn near went by the time my tantrums gentle reminders of his promise were heeded.

The time came to help him move the skeleton back UP from the yard to the cement pad, and it’s not that I needed the exercise (don’t say it dear) but I didn’t hesitate risking myself a hernia while assisting him so that we could hit the road and get this thing anywhere else but here.

 

It was my understanding that we’d be on our way by noon, but apparently I hadn’t read his mind and the fact that he had to go shopping for parts or towing lights or beer. By the time Brian had done this, that and then some, we were finally on the road at 5pm, which was a far cry from noon and put our estimated arrival to the farm at 9pm….sigh. As we headed out of the city he piped up with “On the road again”. However, being the math guy that he is, what he should have said was “If an old pickup truck towing a another old pick up truck skeletal remains leaves Calgary at 5pm on a 4 hr trip, heading north at a speed of 100 kph , how long will it take for crap to happen?” The answer turned out to be about 10 minutes.

 

We had barely reached the highway when one of the tires on the skeleton seized up and started smoking while leaving a black trail of burnt rubber, not to mention it made it more difficult for Brian to steer. We pulled over, out came the thingy to loosen the nuts or whatever the hell holds the tire on, and then he removed the brake pad out of the cauliflower. Oh, I stand corrected, it was the caliper. Thanks dear. We were then on the road… again.

 

As we motored on our way, Brian pats the dash and says “I love my truck” quickly followed by “And I love you too” as perhaps the thought that I might be jealous of the truck has crossed his mind and he wants to be assured he won’t be spending the night in it. 

We stopped in Red Deer at the Burger Baron (love their mushroom burger). When Brian tried to start the truck afterward, all we heard was werrrrr blah….werrrr blah. He fiddled with it (not sure what “it” was) but still only got werrrr blah. So out came the coveralls and tool box. We never go anywhere without tools of some sort. Nope, if it came down to only enough room for two people or one person and the tools, I’d be left on the curb because using me as a jack or socket wrench would work about as well as using him as a coffee pot or exercise ball. Well what he thought would be a quick fix, turned into a long fix with a mix of dialogue and sounds of ping, clank, hmmph and #$&%! Although I offered my assistance, it was obvious that I should do what I do best, giving moral support while sitting in the truck attempting to solve a Sudoku puzzle, and so I got right to it.

 

Eventually the tinkering was done and we resorted to pushing it to get it started. After asking me if I wanted to do the pushing and waiting for me to peel myself off the concrete from laughter, he did his best to give me instructions as to how to work the clutch and gears and when to release one and step on the other during a particular phase of his push. That, um, didn’t work too well. And then along came a guy asking for directions, who had witnessed our efforts. He was kind enough to help push and so I then too took the push position (no laughter now) and within a minute … Verrrroooom!! Success…yay! And so we were on the road… AGAIN.

 

By that time, darkness had replaced light and so that made it easier to see that we couldn’t actually see much of the road ahead, because our headlights were on VERY dim and we had no dash lights, and no amount of swearing gentle coaxing improved that. It wasn’t until we hit a bump that the headlights and dash lights came on, at which point we said sweet words of thanks and stroked the dash in a gentle and grateful manner. Hey, it doesn’t hurt to cover your bases.

 

So our 4 hour drive turned into a 6 ½ hour drive. We arrived without further delay at about 11:30, and a little tired… Yawn.

 

As we all gathered for a bite to eat, Brian sipped on his beer and said “I love my truck” to which I replied “Ey newww uu dough drrr”

 

:-)

 

 

Comments (10)

The Way I Figure It ….

There’s a theory that we only use one tenth of our brain. The way I figure it, the rest of our brain is there to fill our skull space. If you think about it (with your ten percent) our skull would  be permanently misshapen just getting through the birthing process if there wasn’t something to fill it up. It also means that the ten percent of brain we use can only hold so much stuff, only I’d like to figure out how be more selective in what it retains. I can remember my phone number, the recipe for peanut butter with jam sandwiches, and that i comes before e, except after c, unless you want to win a Spelling Bee or you’re using Spell Check on your computer. I can’t, however, remember algebra, physics and other academic trivia. On the other hand, Brian can remember algebra, physics and other academic trivia. He can’t, however, remember where he put his glasses, car keys, or his sense of humor when I’ve thrown out a melted piece of unidentifiable plastic that I’ve been picking up and cleaning under on the counter for the last 83 days, because it must have been something identifiable at some time, his curiosity is piqued, and maybe he’ll find a use for it someday (someday being never).

The other day I was on the sofa, sipping coffee and minding my own business, when Brian goes to the book shelf, picks out a textbook and tells me that Math is the language of Physics. AHAAA! I thought to myself. It all makes sense to me now (not Math, just why I don’t get it) I can’t speak anything but English plus a few phrases in Mumble, which is an ancient language that dates back thousands of years and has been traced to the Frustrated Women Of Men Who Understand Math and Physics Support Group who met weekly in the basement of their local community cave facility.

So I’m sure you understand when I say that I’ll take doing housework over doing math or physics or other related stuff any day … After all, at this point in my life, I find it difficult to see algebraic, motion, or elemental equations doing much for me. Whereas housework is a constant in my life, as I watch a new layer of dust form before I’ve even lifted the cloth from the table. Now I’m not saying I can’t do any equations. I most certainly can. Here, let me give you a few examples:

b + s + wf = um (boots + slush + white floor = unhappy me)

B + w + m = hm (Brian + water + mop = happy me)

2pB + 1pC = Y (2 parts Baileys + 1 part Coffee = Yummy)

Housework, in general, isn’t really too bad, so long as you stop for a sip of Bailey’s…I mean Coffee…every 15 minutes. It’s a good way to burn off energy (housework, not coffee). I’d like to pass off cleaning the bathrooms, but I can’t get any takers in my house, although a couple of weeks ago Brian did take the drain apart to unclog it. He held up a rather large blob of hair that he was pretty sure was the problem, and gazed at me inquiringly. I was shocked because he doesn’t have that much hair and it isn’t that long. I thanked him and set to work cleaning off the floss debris artwork on his side of the mirror, while he cursed as he put the drain back together and it leaked.

Leaving him to tackle the leak, I enjoy a sip of coffee and then saunter into the laundry room. As I sort, pre-treat and load the machine, I wonder if there’s an equation to figure out how many single socks it takes to satisfy the washing machines appetite, and then I realize I’ve never HAD a machine that was satisfied, leading me to give up math all together.

Eventually…sip…sip… I grab the vacuum cleaner. Out of all the chores that need doing, vacuuming is probably the one that Brian will sometimes do without being asked. I don’t think it’s because he likes to vacuum, I think it’s because a vacuum has a motor, makes a noise and therefore could be classified as a toy (of sorts). I’ve endured patiently watched while he’s taken apart a vacuum, and then triumphantly repaired it, so that I can continue the never ending attempt to get momentary control of the dust bunnies…sip. Do you know that they’re made up of hair, dead skin, lint, dust and spider web? Yup. Dust. Never saw that coming. All I know is that a whole colony of them live in our house. The other day I found a sock under the sofa, and it made me wonder if the dust bunnies were in cahoots with the washing machine because I couldn’t find a match for it anywhere.

After…sip… assuring myself that the dust bunny colony is under control for at least 12 minutes, I head toward the bedroom, intent on making the bed. I always often occasionally get the urge to make the bed as soon as I drop the clean sheets on it, but first I have to negotiate the clothes that are having a get together on the floor in front of it. The clothes Brian wears to work in the garage like to nest there, and they’re usually accompanied by his regular everyday clothes. By the end of the day his wear to the office clothes, that I had pressed and nicely and hung in his closet prior to his wearing them, never find their way back to a hangar or appropriate resting place for one more wear (when applicable) because the fumes from the garage clothes somehow hypnotize him and instruct him to drop them on the pile. But I digress…sip. Anyway, I eventually make the bed and although the sheets fit nicely at that moment, by the time I get up in the middle of the night to pee (sorry about the visual) one of the corners has snuck its way up and is threatening to snap over my head when I’m sleeping, thus suffocating me and leaving Brian alone to battle clogged drains, lost socks and dust bunnies.

It’s no wonder I don’t usually get everything done in one day. I’m a firm believer (i before e) in putting off until next week, what I don’t feel like doing today.

Excuse me, but I think I’ll take a coffee break…Gulp… :)

Comments (6)

‘TIS THE SEASON….Fa La La La La

Deck the roads with flakes of snow

Fa la la la la la la la la

Add stupid drivers and off we go

Fa la la la la la la la la

Spinning and sliding ’round and ’round

Fa la la la la la la la la

Losing all hopes of making ground

Fa la la la la la la la la

 

 

I was born and raised in Alberta, Canada. In most parts of Canada, we have a time of year we call Winter, and during that time it has a tendency to snow. When snow lands on the ground it causes the roads to become wet, slushy and icy, making it a challenge to maneuver, and at the same time causing stupid cells in the brains of some drivers to increase ten fold and for me to stock up on Tylenol and Baileys. I know that every year, we get a few new people who move here from warmer places, but that doesn’t account for the number of drivers who still act like they’ve never seen snow before.

 

Recently we had our first snowfall of the season, and I was grateful that Brian had already put the ice tires on my car. Being a work day, I knew I needed to head out a bit early to make it to work on time. On a dry day it takes me about 15 minutes. On a new snow day I have to take into consideration whether it’s till snowing, the amount of snow already fallen, what phase the moon is in, and the drivers with no common sense that I have no doubt will be out driving with a cup of coffee in one hand, a cell phone in the other, while trying to clear the frost off the inside of the window with a scraper attached (by duct tape) to their nose and steering with their chin. Some days I have to leave before the sun rises to get to work by noon.

 

Shortly after leaving my house, I turned onto a road that descends and at the bottom of the hill is a stop sign, which is a good place for it because the crossroad is a major one. The vehicle ahead made NO attempt to slow down on approach until one foot from the intersection, and then I watched as he proceeded completely through it while doing a 360 degree turn, earning him a score of only 2 for creativity, and 4 for it’s execution. Luckily for him he didn’t hit anyone or anything, although I’d guess that he had a new wet spot on his pants that wasn’t just coffee, and his cell phone buddy learned a new expletive or two.

 

Then there’s those who don’t own a window brush or it’s buried under a mound of other stuff in the trunk that they don’t know how to use because, after all, they pay good money for roadside assistance and DAMN IT, they’re going to use it. I passed a vehicle that was completely covered in snow except for the drivers door and side window where it had fallen off when he opened it to get behind the wheel, at which time he had an explosion of stupid brains cells because he obviously began to drive. I had doubts that his Saturn was equipped with a GPS system that included an auto pilot function. Although it did bring a smile to my lips to picture him ending up surrounded by 50 head of curious cattle in a field 152 km west of his intended destination, because we all know that GPS systems never give you wrong directions.

 

After watching a snow ballet involving a delivery truck a mini van and a pedestrian who also seemed to suffer from stupid brain cell overload because he was oblivious to the the Don’t Walk sign and was accompanying a chicken across the road (no, I don’t know why), I made it to the highway and continued on my way, eventually pulling into the parking lot full of vehicles that have been parked by the relatives of the previous mentioned drivers, and although I’d rather be somewhere tropical, I found myself wondering what to make for supper and humming Christmas carols. FYI, chicken and fruit cake stir fry sounds better than it actually is. After parking next to an SUV taking up two stalls, I entered the mall, checked my purse for Tylenol, and sang my way to my (Guest Services) work station,…

 

Jingle bells, I’m in hell

I wish I was away

Any place, but the shopping mall

But I have to work today

 

The season HAS begun. With Brian and Baileys waiting for me at home, I know I’ll make it through :)

 

Comments (4)

AT YOUR SERVICE….

As some of you know (and those of you don’t, you will now) I spent most of my adult life in Emergency Medical Services. As a people person who wanted to make a difference, it was a perfect fit for me. Eventually the time came to pass that responsibility to the next generation. I’m still a people person and decided I wanted a job where I would interact with people, but without the high stress of life and death situations. I found just the right job. I’m a Guest Services Representative in a shopping mall.

A typical shift has, but is not limited to, things like the following. Please note that I’m FAIRLY ….well, kind of sure any flippancy in my responses are kept within the confines of my head, although that might explain why I was called in to see my supervisor the other day, but can’t remember the jist of the conversation because I’d just switched to the I’m Not Listening Mode after dealing with a customer who talked non stop and said absolutely nothing.

Anyway ….

> Starting my shift at 9:00am and answering the phone in a pleasant manner even after repeating the mall hours to 367 people before 9:05 and I haven’t even put my jacket/purse away or … sip … finished my first coffee, while trying to prepare the desk for the day because people keep calling wanting to know the mall hours.

“Good morning, Come Spend Your Money Mall, this is Simone Speaking, how can I help you?”

Ya, what time is the mall open ’til today?”

9:00am until 9:00pm”

“Like, the stores are all open until 9?”

“Like, yes”

9:00pm tonight?”

“Well if it works better for you, we’ll have it close at 7:00”

Tonight?”

NEXT PLEASE!


> Giving direction when customers are lost or when, after I’ve spent 45 minutes listening to them babble on about how they can’t find the food court and they’re hungry as they haven’t had anything today because she/he got up late and didn’t get to the Tim Hortons on 5 Avenue by 8:30 to meet his/her friend who was going to give them a ride, so missed grabbing something there (and by the way the cranberry blueberry bran muffins are a must) but still managed to get a ride from another friend of a friend who was going to be passing by the mall and so blah blahblah blah blah………. until I’ve got the glazed over eyes look, I’m craving a muffin, and I’d LIKE them to be lost.

NEXT PLEASE!


> Listening to shoppers disgruntled and unpleasant comments after I turn them down for a promotion item because THEY simply didn’t check into the promotion rules and restrictions, but simply took what their friends pet gold fish told them as gospel.

I was told if I collected 20 store business cards, you’d give me a _____”

Sorry, it was not ____. It was ____, but the restrictions state that was while supplies last, and our supplies have run out. I can’t help it if you’re too stupid to have NOT read the rules that are posted at the entrances and online, or to have asked for clarification before starting out”

But I was too lazy to check it out and just took their word for it, and I just walked the whole mall to get these business cards! Surely you can just FIND one somewhere for me. I’m really full of myself and deserve the ____ because I’m upset that no one explained it all to me ahead of time and I was stupid and didn’t check first (Be sure to note the whine in my voice and the stomp of my feet)

NEXT PLEASE!


> Direct shoppers to the appropriate stroller/cart rental locations and then listen to them B&#@! when they find out there aren’t any left.

I’m appalled that there aren’t enough strollers. The fact that I wasn’t bright enough to BRING a stroller, considering I have a child, or take into account that thousands of other families would also be at the mall and want a stroller is of no importance because I’m full of myself and deserve to have a stroller at my disposal and I’m pissed off that you didn’t make sure that one would be available on my arrival. Now what am I supposed to do?(Be sure to note my look of entitlement and shock as I cock my head to the side and glare)”

Go home?”

NEXT PLEASE!


> Help shoppers find the location of the nearest Trendy store that they were sure was in THIS mall because their friend/sister/other told them it was here and so it MUST be…

“I’m looking for Trends4You and I don’t see it on your map”

“I’m sorry, but we don’t have that store here”

“YES you DO. My friend says she just bought something from it the other day”

“NO we DON’T…I’m sorry, but she must be mistaken about which mall she was in. I’ve worked here for a while now and there’s definitely no Trendy4You in this mall. Can I help you find another store so you’ll go away?”

“NO, she was adamant it was here. Why would she tell me it was here if it wasn’t? I came here just for Trendy4You. Really, NOW what am I going to do. There isn’t another store like it…Danm! Can’t you see I’m full of myself and deserve to have that store available for my shopping whims? (Be sure to pay attention to my rolling eyes and flippant bob of my head). I need you to find out where there IS one”

And I need you to take these Yellow Pages and … Sure, no problem” “Oh, hi Mr. Supervisor. Everything is just fine here”

NEXT PLEASE!


> Assist shoppers (when possible) to locate lost items such as their minds, purses, cell phones, sippy cups, vehicle or their Aunt Deirdre who’s hard of hearing and isn’t “from around here”…

“Excuse me, but I’ve misplace my car, and I think you must have seen it”

“My memory might be a tad off today, so perhaps if you give me a description, I’ll also call Security and see if they can help”

“It’s a silver minivan”

“Well that REALLY narrows it down considerably. However, they might be able to help even more if you could tell me the year, make or model, and what area of the mall parking lot you parked in”

“It’s a 2000 something, I’m not sure what make, and I don’t remember where I parked it, but it’s a SILVER MINIVAN. Can’t you see that I’m full of myself that it’s NOT MY responsibility to pay attention to where I parked it and I fully expect you to go out there and look for it while I stand here and text my friend on my cell phone and update my Facebook profile (Be sure to note my arrogant stance/look and then brush off) Oh ya, there’s a car seat in the back and it has 4 sippy cup holders”

NEXT PLEASE!

 

I could go on .. and on .. but I’ve probably lost most of you by now as it is. I I’d like to say that the majority of people ARE polite and  easy to deal with and I’m glad I can help them out. However, I really MUST admit that I enjoy dealing with those who might be considered a bit of a challenge, simply because of the humor it brings to the day.

Laughter is indeed good medicine. That and a cranberry blueberry bran muffin .. :)


 


Comments (10)

BIKINIS, BIKES AND BRUISES ….

BIKINIS, BIKES AND BRUISES….

Well it’s that time of year again. Yup, it’s time to haul out the lawn mower, super strength sunscreen, insect repellant, garden hose, and the toenail clippers.

Summer is one of my favorite days. It makes me want to don a bikini, go romping or frolicking in the sand and laze around on the beach while George Clooney slowly applies sunscreen aaaall over my body. However, in reality it’s more likely I’ll be donning a t-shirt and tummy control mid length shorts (after applying makeup to hide the varicose veins), walking in the dirt at the Pick N Pull self serve auto parts salvage yard with Brian, and lying on the couch facing the fan that’s on it’s highest setting, rattling louder than a bad muffler (the fan, not me) as I form a puddle of sweat from yet another power surge (hot flash) while sipping a gin and tonic lemonade. I’d like to stress that I’m all for frolicking and romping, and I can hold my own. Why just recently, I frolicked at the local garden centre while a swarm of bugs attempted to have me for lunch, and I romped through the parking lot at Superstore while chasing down runaway shopping carts, only to find out the change was missing.

I also like that there’s no snow…MOST of the time. If you’re from Alberta you understand, and if you’re from Texas….. Y’all don’t. We’ve been known to experience all four seasons in a 24 hour period. We have a law here that requires all vehicles to be equipped with (year round) a toque, an umbrella, hot packs, cold packs, a pair of snowshoes, and a pair of flip flops. There’s a well known saying here that goes “If you don’t like the weather, go home” or something like that. Anyway, after what feels like 15 months of snow, I don’t mind a LITTLE rain. I stress “LITTLE” because it’s less than a LOT. Last week it rained…and rained. And then it rained some more. I wasn’t really concerned until I was walking out to my car and saw my neighbour with his hands raised in the air and mumbling something about cubits and inches, cedar vs pine, pairs of animals, low flush toilets and whether or not a Super Jumbo Dual pack of Cheetos would last 370 days.

There as a brief half hour of sunshine at one point and Brian asked me if we should go for a bike ride…

Sure, I’d love to. Where do you want to go?”

Around the neighborhood” he said.

Huh? You want to take the motorcycle around the neighborhood?”

Nooooooooo. The bikes. You know….A thing with two wheels, handle bars, gears, and peddles you push with your feet so it moves.

Ooooh…Ya….Well…Um…Sure” I hesitated because I haven’t been on a bike since long before we met. If I recall, Atari video games were popular, gas was 18 cents a litre, and Smokey and The Bandit was a hit (Those of you too young to remember these things, Google is your friend). Anyway he assured me he had done an inspection and the bikes were ready to go. I had absolutely no doubt that the bikes were roadworthy. I just wasn’t sure I was.

So he takes the bikes out into the pothole alley and gives me my helmet. Now in my defence I would like to point out that I was not familiar with either of these bikes. Really, I’d only met them for a moment when he dug them out of his shed at the farm. As I looked over the bike he wanted me to ride (the bigger one)) I suspected that it was somewhat high for me and might be hard to mount and dismount from. Asking to try the one with smaller tires, he said no as that was HIS favorite bike, and he thought I’d do just fine on the other. I cautiously stood the bike up and began to whisper sweetly.. Hi big fella. It’s you and me, right? You help me stay upright, and I’ll see to it your tires never go flat.. I take a deep breath, grasp the handle bars and try to balance while lifting my foot over the seat to the other side at which time it promptly tilted the other way with me along with it, LOSING my balance and barely managing to stay standing, although the bike didn’t. So much for sweet words and deals. I glance over and Brian is merely watching this with sadistic glee…hmph. On the second attempt I managed to stay on and wobbled, joggled, wiggled and swayed up the alley, trying to avoid potholes the size of kiddie pools, but I only made it about half a block at which point I non-voluntarily dismounted and landed rather ungraciously on my butt. The words that followed were anything but sweet (sorry mom) and I just laid there on my back for a minute thinking my dear man would come and assist me… I thought wrong. He was once again simply looking on and shaking his head. All I can say is I know where he sleeps. SO, you know that old saying.. It’s like riding a bicycle, you never forget how ..? Well all I have to say to that is #@%! (sorry mom).

I walked the bike back and reiterated my concern about the size of it and he finally gave me his. I tried it and actually kept it upright so we headed off. I felt like I was 5 years old again as I shimmied, swaggled and swayed my way through the neighborhood, just missing running into a tree, 3 parked cars, a pair of unicorns, a mailbox and Brian, by THIS much. We managed to make it home safely and before the clouds burst open once again.

There, that wasn’t so bad now was it?” Brian chirps cheerfully

Well dear, I’m not so sure the owner of that flower bed up the street would agree” I reply as I hand him over the bike and helmet. “If you’ll excuse me, all I want now is to sit my bruised butt on an ice pack, with a bottle of Tylenol in one hand and a glass of lemonade in the other”.

OH, and I almost forgot. The guy next door wants to know if you can help him unload some wood. He also said to make sure to bring a hammer, nails and a jumbo bag of Cheetos”.

:-)

Comments (5)

LIFETIME WARRANTY….

Lifetime Warranty ….

It was a dark and stormy night….ooooooooh…

Ok, now that I have your attention, it was really just an average day, but I didn’t think starting out with “It was just an average day” would draw you in. But now that you’re here you may as well continue reading, right? After all, you probably don’t have much else to do or you wouldn’t be here in the first place. Sooooo….


Brian was heading out to the garage to work on one of his many projects when he stopped and asked me if perhaps, as it has a lifetime warranty, I’d take back his broken tool to Sears. Not that HIS tool is broken or anything, but his tool that he usually plays with in the garage. Wait, what I mean to say is his ratchet … Let me try that again… Just a ratchet and socket he uses to fix stuff. Got it? Whew, good. Anyway, as I was going out anyway I said I would. Although I didn’t know that saying I would was going to take longer than learning how to use my cell phone, memorize the periodic table, or getting men to understand why women go to the bathroom in pairs or groups.

So off I go to the Sears near my home, and as I approach the hardware department I begin to feel that something isn’t quite right. I look around and realize that I’m alone. All alone. No shoppers, no department sales clerk and, as far as I could tell, no Tim Hortons. Standing next to the cashiers counter I offer out a “Hellooooo, anybody here?” … Nothing. I wander around for a bit and still no one. I meander over to electronics and there’s no one there. I wander to the other side and check out the furniture department and no one there. Then I try appliances, and just as I’m about to walk away I spot someone leaning on a counter. At first it was hard to tell if it was a sales clerk, a mannequin or a customer who had mummified while waiting for service. I’m still not sure who it was, but he offered to page someone to help me. I thanked him and continued my browsing on my way back. As I look around, I notice a sign informing shoppers there are closed circuit security cameras, which I doubt were being watched or I would assume someone would have clued in that I was wandering around in 4 adjacent departments, peeking around corners, inside refrigerators under sofa pillows and behind flat screen TV’s, while singing the lyrics to Does Your Chewing Gum Lose It’s Flavor On The Bedpost Overnight. The sign they SHOULD post is “No Salesperson Available, You’re On Your Own”

Finally I see a live person heading it my direction, and on her face was a smile….I KNOW. Who knew there were people in the customer service field (other than myself and my co-workers) who still smiled. Being a Customer Service Rep myself, I smile all the time. Well unless I’ve eaten beans, in which case I it’s more like a grimace as I suffer with ….. ah..um..never mind. It turns out that hardware isn’t her department (go figure) but states she knows a little bit about tools because she plays with her grandson and his Fisher Price tool set, so she’ll see what she can do. I show her the ratchet and explain that my husband would like a replacement as it’s a Craftsman tool with a lifetime warranty. She agrees, then takes it and we both look up and down the isles and find none (other than in a set) the same size. She heads off to the storage room, assuring me a replacement is sure to be found. Fifteen minutes into my rendition of One Eyed One Horn Flying Purple People Eater, she returns and informs me there isn’t one….Sigh. The computer is antiquated and before it agrees to searching for stock elsewhere, it wants to know who’s going to pay for the ratchet. All I know is it isn’t going to be me, so I suggest she take one out of a set and then return it when one comes in and she gasps and shakes her head vigorously while looking around as if expecting the blasphemy police to pop out from under the sofa in the furnishing department, brandishing a bar of soap.

Anyway, after a few unsuccessful calls to other Sears stores, she suggests I simply stop by one or two and hope for the best. At this point I’m thinking.. I need coffee…or Baileys…or coffee WITH Baileys. Eventually I’m sent to a Sears parts store to find out they just have parts not tools and to go back to the original store and remind them they have a catalogue and that they HAVE to honour the warranty and order me one…period. Sigh.

Are you still with me? Good. Then again you must be or you wouldn’t have answered that, so let’s continue…

I arrive back at the first Sears and to my joyful amazement there’s a young fellow, wearing a smile, behind the counter in hardware. I go through my earlier spiel and end up with the deer in the headlights response. He quickly recovers and gets on his phone and within hours I’m faced with THREE clerks and a washroom attendant..Yay!.. Although after hearing my plight they’re no longer wearing smiles, but rather grimaces which led me to conclude they had beans for lunch. After locating the catalogue and what appeared to be the right ratchet, they each take a turn at the computer, hoping to find or order it, but the computer doesn’t recognize the tool, won’t accept any order, or shows the tool is no longer available. I inquire as to a possible date for resolution as I’d like to circle it on my calendar and post it as my Facebook status so my friends can see what an exciting life I have, and suddenly they all had their cell phones in hand, each trying to find someone else who can offer their expertise on how to handle lifetime warranty replacement issues. Calls were made to toys, footwear, lingerie and the housekeeping department.

As I sat on a nearby sofa, cuddled up with a pillow and blanket, hoping someone would come by and offer me a coffee and Baileys, I see a man walk into hardware like he’s on a mission. Turns out he’s the store manager, and within two minutes he approaches me with a new ratchet in his hand. He offered it to me in exchange for the broken one and I couldn’t help but ask where it came from. Are you ready?….He took it from a set and said they would simply replace it later. Doh!

I headed home knowing I had successfully accomplished my task. Smiling, I gave Brian the new ratchet and he immediately set out to use it.

I would like to thank all the staff at Sears who kept smiling and wouldn’t give up. That is indeed great customer service.

Come on now, everybody sing along with me.. ♫ Don’t Worry, Be Happy ♫ .. :-)

Comments (7)

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