Archive forSimone’s Journal



I’ve always considered supper time as a time to enjoy both good company and a good meal (hopefully). A time to catch up on the happenings and news of the day, be it BEER marshmallows made in Chicago, Canada considering changing the national anthem to be gender neutral or Rick Mercer freezing his ice off in the Canadian Arctic (All real..really).

USA Today recently ran an article that said couples that eat together stay together because it can “heighten the romance” Watching someone slurp, chew, dribble and save a little something on the chin for later, can be an aphrodisiac? Who knew. Hmmm…Well….I’ve been known to strip at the table because the kick ass chili I’m eating brings on a hot flash and if I don’t remove some (or more) clothing I swear I’ll suffer spontaneous combustion. But at that time, romance isn’t on my mind so much as making a snow angel in the front yard, and even if my other half was to mistake my lack of material for an invitation, he’s quickly returned to reality when I dash for the door and the welcoming snow, leaving him with nothing to cozy up to but his chili, while the neighbours are left with a visual that could take months worth of therapy to erase.

A few nights ago we sat down to enjoy our meal and after a few moments the conversation went something like this …

Did you hear Rick Mercer choked on a beer marshmallow while trying to sing a politically correct version of Oh Canada as he was attempting to fly a plane in the Arctic?”

No” … he throws back his head and pops a cracker into his mouth.

So what causes the steam from your soup?”

Huh?” … slurp … I respond hoping I didn’t just hear the “School Is In Session” bell.

HOW does the steam from your soup form?”

Ummmm … air, and umm heat?” …. Damn bell … slurp

Partially correct, but…..” and he pauses to pop another cracker into his mouth.

Words like but mean only one thing. More words are coming. In this case, words like conduction, convection and radiation were tossed around with examples involving liquid travelling through space, and objects making contact while passing gas. Then came “thermic” (heat) words like exothermic and endothermic reaction.

Now I admit I was never all that good at science, anything related to science, or listening to anything about or related to science. Actually, it’s not the listening part so much as the grasping it and remembering it part. So, not wanting to seem inattentive as he happily shares his knowledge, I resorted to responses like “Uh huh”… “Yes, I see”… “Ohhhhhhh”… and …“Please pass the salt”.

By the time we’d finished eating, information overload had manifested, and as every woman knows, the best treatment for any form of overload (or anything else) is chocolate. Any doctor without a Y chromosome will confirm that chocolate produces the chemical serotonin which helps us to relax and puts us in a better mood. Sink backed up? Relax and have some chocolate. Unexpected dentist bill? Relax and have some chocolate. Run out of chocolate? Relax and have some Baileys. But I digress… So while he continues orating about things like water droplets and the need for sunblock, I go to the kitchen and bring back the remainder of a chocolate bar from long ago… What? … Ok ok, it was just the night before…Sheesh. Anyway, as I feel it slowly melting in my mouth, giving my taste buds pure pleasure, I wonder if it’s a endothermic or exothermic reaction, only to have my query quashed with “Neither. It’s a physical reaction”. So much for information retention. No problem because by then I was beginning to bask in my new found relaxation. And then I remembered something else…

Brian, did you know that chocolate is also an aphrodisiac?”

As I begin to strip he exclaims “School’s out!” followed by “Hey, where are you going?”

I’m having a exothermic reaction. You might want to warn the neighbours” 😉

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As many of you know, Brian likes to putter with anything that has a motor and/or engine, or works under any kind of power (Definition of Putter: disassemble, question how it works or if there’s a better way to do it, and reassemble with or without manufacturers recommended parts, including, but not limited to, duct tape, twist ties and paper clips) Although vehicles are his biggest attraction, he’s been known to take apart computers, vacuum cleaners, microwave ovens, RV furnace motors and a key chain flash light from the dollar store.

He and I recently removed the engine from his diesel truck. Ok, he did most of the unhooking stuff and verbal expletive banter part, but I did hand him tools. Now I admit they weren’t always the right tools, thus contributing to his verbal banter, but in my defence I’d like to point out that his sockets and such ( he has hundreds, if not tens of them) come in metric AND standard imperial , I’m not good at math and they all look the same. Asking for one that’s bigger than the ¾ inch he handed back to me and telling me I might have to look in the metric set, is like .. well, math. Anyway, the idea was to swap out one questionable engine for another questionable engine and hope the truck would run. I was certainly hoping it would work because the first engine was a female dog to get out, my math skills weren’t getting any better, and Brian’s banter could be heard in the next county.

So… How many of you women enjoy shopping with the man in your life? Ok, not bad. Now how many of you enjoy shopping with the man in your life for things HE wants? You know, things like, parts, tools, widgets, and gizmos. Well although I don’t often know what the hell the item actually is or what it does, I do generally enjoy shopping with Brian. You see, I look at it from an entertainment angle, and to help get the full entertainment value out of it. the trick is to go with an open mind and a travel mug filled with coffee…or Baileys….or coffee WITH Baileys. That, and it’s easier to curb his desire to overspend. There’s the “Look” we exchange when I catch him drooling over something, followed by “Ahem” . Good communication is so important in any relationship. I’ve seen couples tied to each other with a rope like they do on kindergarten field trips, so the husband can’t wander off and get through the checkout before she’s realized it.

Well Brian informs me that he needs a particular socket to remove diesel rejectors, reflectors or inspectors. What’s that dear? Ohhhhh, injectors. I stand corrected. Anyway, I opted to remain at home while he went to Princess Auto Parts in search of the socket. A $3.00 socket. And THAT’S where I made my mistake. I knew better, and I have no idea what came over me, but I let him go alone.

For those of you who don’t frequent parts stores, let me educate you. Princess Auto  is like a Toys R Us for men, only it smells worse and the guys don’t throw themselves on the floor in a tantrum if they can’t have the newest Maxirecorder Vehicle Monitor. Ok, there was ONE time, but in his defence he hadn’t eaten and was a little hypoglycemic. Anyway, this place simply oozes testosterone. You can smell it…along with other natural odours that guys seem to take pleasure in sharing. Where or why it’s called “Princess” Auto is beyond me. I have a theory that it started out as “Prince’s”, someone made a typo and nobody has bothered to correct it because, really, the only word that count to a guy is “Auto”… But I digress.

I’m in the kitchen doing kitchen stuff, and he comes in with a big smile on his face and dancing like he has to pee.

“Come on out and see what I bought!”

“It’s a socket. I’ve seen a socket”

“No no. Just come on, come on, come on!” he squeals excitedly.

How could I refuse such a plea? I followed him to the garage and as he opens the trunk of the car I’m thinking.. It must be a pretty big socket if he had to put it in the trunk. He moves aside so I can have a look, and there in the trunk is boxes and bags of tools and parts that I was pretty sure cost more than $3.00.

“Oh, this was such a good deal” he says as he digs out something called a reciprocating saw.

“Isn’t this cool?” he beams as he shows me some kind of hydraulic thing.

“Ooh, ooh, and these were on sale too” he sings as he removes a shovel, a wrench combo and a leather punch complete with eyelets. Yes, a leather punch with eyelets.

“Um, I thought you went to buy ONE socket. Do you NEED all this stuff to work on the truck?” I query.

“Well no, but it’s all stuff I’m sure I’ll use sometime” he replies and continues to show me a hook grab, a link of chain, a leveller, a 7 amp drill, and finally a socket set. Yup, a whole set. Apparently they were out of single sockets, so he bought the whole set.

“Sooooo…How much did you spend?”

“$416.00 and change, BUT all this stuff was a great deal, and it’s not like I won’t use it at some point”.

Yup, he went to buy a 1 inch deep socket which cost about $3.00 and came home with $416.20 worth of stuff…I KNOW!

SO…. I went with him to return a few things. We then proceeded to pick up a couple of minor items he really did need. He had his list and I had my travel mug. At one point we saw a guy walking behind his wife, who was not carrying a travel mug but was rolling her eyes, and the guy says “…but that’s why I brought you along” as he holds up the shopping basket. He spots us and seeing that I have the basket while Brian is scanning the place for the items on his list says “Look, HIS wife is carrying HIS stuff”. A giggle escapes from both of us, and being a woman and having given…I mean seen the look on her face before, I was fairly sure this guy was going to have a lonely night.

Anyway, after only one “Look” and one “Ahem” we left Princess Auto with nothing more than the things on his list. The truck engine transplant was a success and it runs great…Well kind of great. So, it’s time to move on to the next project. I guess I better go prepare for battle…I mean banter 😉

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Today’s Leather Weather Forecast…

Today’s Leather Weather Forecast…

It was getting late in the summer, the sun was shining and we were having a comfortably warm weather day. Forecast mentioned possible thunder and showers, but let’s face it, the odds that the weather people are correct are pretty slim. Kind of like the odds of someone winning the lottery, me understanding algebraic and transcendental numbers, or Prime Minister Stephen Harper having a clue.

So after an intense discussion….

Want to take the motorcycle to my sisters house?”


Brian gave the bike a quick go over and we donned our gear, which for him includes a helmet, full leather jacket, leather gloves and leather chaps…Buttless chaps, as in there’s no coverage for the butt, or the crotch for that matter…Hmm, there IS something to be said about a man wearing leather chaps. Although they ARE worm over pants…at least in public, hopefully. Um…I’m sure I was going somewhere with this. Oh yes, and for me it’s a helmet and partial leather jacket, by which I mean it has leather elbows and shoulder pads, but the rest is … well I’m not sure, but it’s supposed to give some protection. Anyway, I’m still new at all this motorcycling stuff, and haven’t acquired the minimal amount of leather wear like he has. Actually, he has provided me with what I have so far. If it weren’t for him I’d be naked….of any leather….for riding the bike. And if the cost of leather ever goes down, I just might take the next step of taking out a loan, and get a pair of leather gloves…for riding the bike. I’m not sure I want leather chaps though. “Dear, does my butt look fat in these chaps?” could lead to both of us being happy or one of us prying a helmet out of his behind.

After checking our back pack to ensure that our beverages were cozy, and then securing it on my back, we headed out. Ahhh yes…The warm sun, the caressing breeze, the raindrops…Wait a minute! Raindrops. As in water in the form of tiny water balloons. Balloons that burst when they make contact, rendering the contacted area wet. At this point they were only dropping sporadically and Brian wasn’t showing any sign of turning back, so I let myself relax. After all, the sun is still peaking out. No problem., just a few measly drops. Ha, I laugh at a few measly drops.

Well I don’t like Pina Coladas or getting caught in the rain….unless it’s 30c outside and I’m having a hot flash, and then I still don’t like Pina Coladas, but I would welcome the rain along with a gin and tonic with lime, not lemon …but I digress.

We were 3 minutes from home and drop……drop……drop. This soon turned into drop-drop-drop and my pants were showing some damp spots. It wasn’t overly unpleasant at this point, and as Brian appeared to be oblivious to it, I was still hopeful it would soon be gone. My optimism was suddenly washed away with… splash-splat-splash .. Ow …splatsplat-splat! ...Ow! … It was now PELTING down and combined with the speed we were travelling it felt like we were being bombarded with bullets….filled with water..and I think…Whose bright ideas was this?…Oh ya..haha…it was mine. Well it didn’t take long for my pants to become saturated, and my jacket eventually gave up any intention of protecting me and not only let the rain soak through, but completely turned on me as the neck (I swear) grew wider by 5 inches allowing a steady stream of water to run down my back, into the waist of my jeans and down my…..well you get the picture, which you’d probably rather forget. I knew Brian was dryer than I was by the simple fact that he was wearing so much leather. He seemed not to notice the rain, and proceeded down the road as if it were any other day,

When we were about 2 minutes away from my sisters, the rain stopped and the sun came out…go figure. We pulled into the driveway and I dismounted from the bike carrying an extra 25 pounds of water, and not waiting for Brian I drippled my way to the door and rang the bell. My sister greeted me with a laugh and “Come on in but try to keep the puddles to a minimum” As I stood in her entryway trying to get my riding attire off, Brian came in smiling like he’d just had a jovial jaunt down a county lane. As he stripped off his leathers, both my sister and I couldn’t help but be drawn to his crotch, which brought another smile to his face, although I’m not sure if it was pride or simply….no wait, he’s a man, so it was pride, well at least until he realized that since his chaps don’t cover that area, the rain took full advantage of that and now he looked like he’d just relieved himself.

She offered us clothes to wear while ours were drying, then we dug out the beverages from our back pack and when her husband got home, proceeded to being beaten assaulted slapped ….ok we were at the losing end of a cribbage game. During a break in the game my sister and Brian left the room and suddenly we hear “Let me feel your crotch” to which the reply was “It’s pretty good, I think it’ll do”. As her husband had not been present on our soggy arrival, he looked at me questioningly. I simply smiled and said “I’m sure it’s harmless. Drink?” and poured us another beverage.

Back in our dry clothes once again we made the return trip without so much as a spit. And now as I write this, Autumn has set in. Good heavens, last week we had snow….I know! …Sigh…I guess it’s time to store the bike and put away the leathers….Yes dear, the chaps too ….On second thought… 😉

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As I occasionally talk about our boat, I thought perhaps it would help my reader(s) to understand a few basic nautical terms.

I would also like to say that the following definitions are not in alphabetical order because that would entail more thought than my brain can produce on only one cup of coffee. So here goes…

Dock: An area where you tie the boat between voyages and where it spends 95% of it’s time due to mechanical, structural and cosmetic problems which keep the boat owner in a continuous downward financial spiral.

Engine: Mechanical device that produces the energy to move the boat. Also a device that the captain develops a closer relationship with than with his spouse. This device will fail to start prior to departing for your voyage, and will sputter to a stop (probably more than once) during your voyage. A “gentle” tap with a hammer and a few choice words of encouragement will be needed to get it running again.

Aboard: Being on the boat. This is not an actual board, although it’s a good idea having one on the boat in case repairs are required or it’s needed when your engines have failed, you can’t find the oars and you need to direct the boat away from that rather fast approaching BIGGER boat.

Overboard: No longer on the boat, but now resting somewhere beneath the water line of the boat. This includes, but is not limited to the crew, cell phones, the boat keys, or anything of value that you brought aboard and have since dropped, lost control of and slipped out of your hands, pocket, purse or brown paper bag.

Port: Left side of the boat. Also a delightful beverage that can be enjoyed while on the boat.

Starboard: Right side of the boat, which is where (many many many years ago) the boat was steered from, thus making the board used for the oar a “star” piece of wood resulting in the term “star board” or starboard.

Head: The toilet. Which is where those who don’t take well to the boats swaying have their heads hanging over.

Log Boom: A collection of errant logs waiting to be towed to a sawmill, that (not wanting to meet that fate) break loose of their bindings the closer your boat or your body (if you’re no longer aboard) enter the area causing you to participate in a game of Dodge The Log Boom.

PFD: Personal Flotation Device is worn to keep you afloat, should you decide that boating isn’t for you and you’d rather take your chances in the water where the device will keep you afloat as you wait for the next wave from a passing boat to send you toward shore, during which time you’ll be able to practice playing Dodge The Log Boom.

Anchor: Although designed to hold the boat in place when your engine fails, it’s more of a device used to test your patience while it sweeps the rivers bottom only to (assuming the rope and chain are still attached to both anchor AND boat) finally secure the boat as it comes into contact with a log boom, at which time you automatically lose the game.

Bow: Front part of the boat, where the anchor is located, and so when trying to release it, the crew member has to bow down, revealing to whom ever is at the helm, a little too much moon.

Helm: Where the steering and controls are located, and where a barrage of verbal expletives often takes place from the Captain or crew member manning it.

Stern: The back of the boat. Also the look the Captain gives me….I mean gives the crew member when she controls the boat in such a manner as to cause other boaters nearby to test out their PFD’s.

Propeller: Has 3 blades that “propel” the boat forward until it (the propeller) comes in contact with debris in the water such as logs, fishing lines and another boats anchor chain, leading you to shut down the engine, release your anchor, tighten your PFD, and grab the oars while your Captain shouts “Arrrr… Let the games begin!”

Well I hope this has helped prepare you if you’re given the opportunity to go on a boat, whether it sits tied to the dock or heads out on a voyage in open water.

Ahoy!  I’m off to find me a delightful beverage….I mean coffee 🙂

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Sunny Side Up….

Sunny Side Up….

Spandex use is up 400%…I’m not kidding folks! Well, that got your attention didn’t it? And I’m talking about shorts and swim wear. Makes me nauseous just thinking about it. So why is usage up? That’s a good question, and even though I waited patiently for the guy on the radio to explain that finding, NO explanation was given. I know ‘retro’ is ‘in’, but spandex shorts and/or swimsuits should NEVER be allowed back in…anywhere, anytime. My eyes are burning at the mere thought of men in spandex again and I can’t find the Visine in the medicine cabinet.

That bit of news brought the whole bathing suit issue to mind, and being summer is officially a few days away, it’s time to dig through the drawers, shake it out and try it on, only to find out that it shrunk during the winter.

You notice that men don’t seem to be bothered by how they look in a bathing suit? Beer belly, man boobs and hairy backs, they don’t care. The misguided souls that they are, seem to think they look good no matter what they’re wearing. Women on the other hand try to be considerate of those whom we may traumatize at the poolside or beach. I think sunglass companies should design a pair that make everyone look good when seen through the tinted lenses. Amen is right!

Anyway, mens swimming garments have evolved(?) from wool long john type suits that I’ve no doubt itched, short suits that offered no housing for the ‘crew’, spandex that offered housing but…ouch, my eyes!…to the (thankfully) recently popular knee length cargo shorts that offer housing AND don’t burn your retinas. So when a guy needs a new swim suit he simply goes into a store, tries on couple of pairs and then buys the first one that fits under his belly and has enough elasticity to make room for that extra burger and cola chaser (beer where available) from the nearest concession stand.

Women’s swimming garments have gone from “swimming dresses” with small weights in the hem to keep them from floating up, one piece suits, bikini ‘s and, eeww, the thong suit that covers less area than a strip of dental floss.

Some women go bathing suit shopping every year. I KNOW! I won’t put myself through that rerun of hell unless I’m medicated. Well that, plus the suit I have has shrunk, is 10 years out of style or I’ve lost it…uh the bathing suit. I lose my mind at the thought of shopping for one.

It’s the same every time. Racks with suits that look like pieces of scrap material held together with little bits of string, next to racks with suits that have a bikini top and the bottom half is a skirt, to a rack with the ever present one piece suits. They come with floral patterns, polka dots, stripes, play dough day glo colors and basic black. I’ll spot one that has potential, only to find out it has no bra…NO BRA. At my age, bathing suits with just a lining in the bust area do nothing but make me look like I’ve stashed a rather long jelly roll in there…..just north of my bellybutton. Obviously whoever designs these suits are either male or still young enough that they’re under the illusion THEY won’t suffer the ravages of gravity.

Then there’s having to enter the chamber of horror..aka fitting room, which should be renamed the unfitting room as nothing I take in there fits….well….as in fits well. And what’s with the fun house mirrors? Trust me, I’m not laughing. I then have to take in at least 3 different styles that promise to hide (or at least disguise) this middle aged, menopausal body’s imperfections, by which I mean dimply, ill proportioned and gravitationally challenged parts. I also choose 3 different sizes because the clothing industry can’t seem to agree on what size is what size. You know….size 10 in one brand is a 14 in another. And don’t get me started on size 0.

Then comes trying to pull on the suit, a feeling I assume is akin to being sausage meat forced into its casing. It’s always too tight here, and too loose there. While trying to readjust areas that need tucking in, out I pop some place else, and as I glance at the mirror and see the spectacle that is me, I expect it to shatter at any moment. I attempted to try a suit on once without my glasses on, but I ended up with it on backwards, which gave me room on the lower tummy front, but, as it was a halter and therefore had no back material, left my bosom sunny side up…so to speak. It was NOT the look I was going for. It’s no wonder that once I’ve found a bathing suit that’s at all workable, I hang on to it for as long as possible.

So, after rummaging through the drawers and cupboards, I’ve not found my old suit. Aaaack! Maybe I’ll just avoid the pool and the beach this year. And with the money I save on Visine and medication, I can buy a kiddie pool for the backyard, which is conveniently enclosed by a tall fence and large trees.

I feel better already 🙂

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For The Love Of Weed(s)…

For the past year and a half I haven’t been overly concerned with weeds. We were living in our RV, in an area of British Columbia which we lovingly referred to as the rainforest. It rained…a lot, and so it was lush and green. Weeds grow freely and without care in the rainforest. Why, during our walks up the mountain in our backyard, we even came upon a weed that BC is well known for cultivating. When I searched Google on the internet regarding Most abundant weed grown in BC, cannabis was listed as second..and third…seriously. The Vancouver Travel Guide even talks about it…again seriously. I mean their marketing strategy is great if you think about it. Offer tours of the beautiful Rocky mountains and provincial parks and you have a steady stream of visitors. Now throw in a tour of a weed grow-op including a gift shop selling organic brownies and chocolate fudge and bam, tourism explodes. The visitors will then return to their homeland with gifts of fudge (if they get it through security) for their family and friends, plus happy, if not somewhat euphoric memories of their vacation… But I digress.

Anyway, now that we’re back in Alberta and in the house again, we also have a yard that needs attending. The grass is greening up but the dandelions are popping up like weeds (I couldn’t resist). Personally, I don’t like dandelions throughout the grass. It hides the green. However, my other half doesn’t mind them at all. He kind of considers them flowers. So back to Google I went, and found out that dandelions are indeed a weed and as we all know, weeds are greedy and want whatever land space is available, even if they don’t have any documentation to prove that they have mortgaged their soul for it. They do their best to take control over the lawn, the garden and your sanity. They also leave that sticky yellow crap all over your fingers and clothes that are a b#@%h to get out.

Ok, ok dear. In all fairness I’ll list a few of their positive characteristics. Happy? Here they are:

-Dandelions bring ladybugs into your yard and then the ladybugs eat the  aphids that annoy the crap out of you while you’re on the patio sipping Baileys  on ice…I mean lemonade. Which is all fine and dandy until you get a ladybug  infestation and an army of ants show up to deal with them, resulting in an ant  infestation.

-In studies from 1941 to 1952 it was decided that dandelions should be used  for all liver treatments, so long as they were gathered late summer to fall, an  hour before dusk, while in the nude, during a thunderstorm, in a leap year, and  only on days ending in the letter Y.

-Dandelions improve bowel function, helping in both the relief of constipation  and diarrhea. The question that pops into my head, and perhaps yours, is how  does it know which ailment your suffering with?

-Dandelions also help with lowering blood pressure, improving memory loss  and … ummm … I forget what else.

Anyway, I think there should be a compromise between those misquided souls who like the dandelion weed and the informed people who don’t. Perhaps leaving a few dandelions in a controlled part of the garden or flower bed to help keep the aphids down would make us all happy, or at least on speaking terms. Then when the stress of bug infestation warfare gets your intestines in a curfuffle, you feel your blood pressure rising, and you forgot where you stashed the fudge, you can just brew up a pot of dandelion tea, perhaps with a bit of Baileys for sweetner to help it go down.

Cheers! 🙂

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Good Morning….

I’m awake and, being the loving mate that I am, I kiss my other half, Brian, good morning, drag myself out of bed and put on a pot of coffee for us. As some of you know, we live in an RV and the bed is about a foot away from the kitchen. As I finish putting the grounds into the percolator and place it on the stove, I hear him roll over and open the blinds. I peek into the bedroom and see him lying on his back, gazing out the window, with a look of concentration on his face. Lost in thought he doesn’t realize that I’ve sat down on the bed next to him, so after a couple of “Ahems”, waving my hand in his face and then “Helloooooo, anybody there?” he glances at me like he’s never seen me before.

After I reintroduce myself, I query “What are you thinking about?” Now, remember that he’s still in bed, hasn’t been awake too long AND hasn’t had his coffee yet. Well he comes back mumbling about burning stuff (apparently he could smell something from outside) and resulting gasses, and possible changes in the mass or density… or something …You know, science stuff.  My immediate thought (and I’m sure yours) is What the hell? As I didn’t have MY coffee yet either, I thought perhaps I’d missed something. “Run that by me again, only in a way that a non scientific, non caffeinated person might understand”. And all I hear is “Science stuff, science stuff, science stuff”. Being quick witted (and desperate) I spit out “Um…coffee’s ready …and I need to pee” (Pee is always a good excuse) as I make a hasty retreat. Whew…that was close.

What I don’t get is that he wasn’t even out of bed yet but his mind was doing a scientific exercise. Usually I can’t get him to focus on ANYTHING until he’s had coffee…sheesh. So anyway, when I first wake up and my initial thought of  Damn, that dream was just getting good  passes, my next thoughts usually run along the lines of I need to pee and Whose turn is it to make coffee? If it’s my turn to linger in bed then I might ponder what I need do that day and perhaps how to get out of doing it. Not once have I pondered science stuff. But that’s just me.

Anyway, curiosity got the better of me and I decided to do find out what others think about while lazing for a few extra moments before dragging their butts out of bed and heading off into the rat race. Well I polled pretty much anyone that would listen to me, including the 7-Eleven cashier, the telemarketer that called, and group of (non English speaking) Japanese tourists waiting in line for a photo opp in front of a wooden Sasquatch.  Following days…hours…OK.. minutes of studying the responses, the most frequent answers (after the always popular SEX answer given by both attached and single men…go figure) were:

1 – Wishing for more sleep

2 – Need to pee

3 – Coffee

4 – Oyster Jello (I may have mistranslated the Japanese)

You notice that NOWHERE in the above list do you see anything relating to science.

So what’s all that prove? That….um….Well that perhaps I’m not good at Japanese to English translation. It also got me thinking about how quite a bit of us wake up each day and don’t put much thought into the wonders of this world, how it all came about or how it’s progressing/digressing. How we also take for granted all the scientific inventions that make our lives easier and more comfortable. Isn’t it nice that this world has scientists and other people like Brian who question what stuff is made up of, how it works and how it can be better. I admit that science has never been my strong point (Then again neither has paint by numbers, but that’s another story) but with him patiently by my side I AM learning.

What’s that dear? The thermodynamics of carbon? Well….Um….Oh look, the coffee’s ready…and I need to pee. 🙂

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One Container, Two Container, Three Container, Four….

Most people collect things like stamps, spoons, coins and dust.  I, myself, use to collect music boxes. As beautiful as they were, they did take up space. Realizing that moving into an RV and perhaps at some point onto a boat would give me limited space for such collectables, I found them new homes.

Over the last year, my other half has been collecting containers. I don’t mean steel shipping containers, shed containers, boxes or footlocker size Tupperware containers. I mean miscellaneous containers that once held products such as peanut butter, coffee, spices or sedatives    Tylenol. Nope, it’s jars, cans and bottles of all different sizes. The only criteria are that it has a lid and hopefully no leaks. Now the only thing I collect these days is my wits about me when he catches me trying to dispose of a jar and reacts like I’m throwing away a rare artifact from the Titanic.

“What are you doing? Don’t throw that out!” he gasps, clutching his chest.

I stop, look at the jar and then back at him. Damn, I’m busted. “We, meaning you, don’t need any more containers. There are too many empty ones around here already. What are you planning to DO with them all anyway?”

“They’re good for putting stuff in” he says as he holds out his hand to receive the jar, still clutching his chest with other. He already has a BAG of “stuff” that he carts around wherever we go. It started out as a baggie size thing with a washer, a couple of nuts/bolts, a marble and an elastic band, but has become a gym bag (not to be confused with a “man bag” which is a male version of a purse) containing the previous baggie contents (multiplied by 20) plus items like miniature tools, duct tape, WD40, our camera and his Mr. Magoo glasses. Ok, maybe it is a man bag. Anyway, we’re ready for anything from sealing a hole in the space shuttle to getting his pants zipper unstuck, at which time I’ll be ready to grab the camera and do my part by taking pictures….of the space shuttle….But I digress.

Anyway, I admit I’ve seen him use a couple of the containers in the outside storage area of the RV and on the boat, but a couple is a far cry from the amount that’s been accumulating in the RV. They’re everywhere! In the clothes closet, the shower, the laundry basket, on the table, under the table, and sitting next to him on the bench. I’m drawing the line if they show up in our bed. I have dreams that I wake up to find our dishes have been replaced by an army of containers marching under the command of a President’s Choice bulk coffee can, and I’m forced to eat my cereal out of pickle jar.

So anyway, still holding the jar I say “Come on now, how many more screws and bits and things do you foresee in our future?”

Still clutching his chest and looking with eyes that couldn’t get any bigger, the man who always has an answer for everything (right or WRONG) responds with a shrug. Well I was so taken by surprise that I thought perhaps he was indeed having a heart attack, and so I handed him the jar, at which time he made a miraculous recovery. Damn I’m gullible.  

And so went another day. He, casually finding a space for the jar, and me coming closer to drinking my Baileys  Milk out of a peanut can.  I brush my teeth, crawl  between the sheets and then….“OW, my toe!……”What the hell?”

Pass the Tylenol 🙂

Post blog update: Well it turns out Brian’s stepdad loves containers too and Brian doesn’t hold a candle to him. Here’s a pic from his workshop, and keep in mind it’s only one corner of his shop.

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I remember watching The Flinstones when I was a child. They seemed to get by without electricity and still had a few conveniences that made life a little simpler. Like the toaster which was simply a couple of little dragons blowing fire on each side of the bread. And the washing machine used an octopus to wash and rinse the clothes, which were then hung outside on the clothesline with birds as clothes pins sitting on them and holding them in place with their feet. Mind you, Wilma’s laundry may have been a continuous battle with all the bird poop dropped onto the clean clothes while said close pins were sitting on them. Hmmm…wash, poo, wash, poo. Well at least the octopus and birds had job security.

Those appliances today are technical wonders. When does a toaster not look like a toaster? When it looks like a computer. Seriously. Don’t think your computer has enough functions? Well now you can make toast with while you browse the internet. Yup, just put the bread, bagel or frozen waffle into the slot provided on the PC and by the time you’ve logged on to Facebook, out pops your toasted item. There are also toasters that leave designs or messages on the bread. You can leave the house in the morning feeling confident that your teenager will know he needs to take out the garbage, assuming he hasn’t smeared peanut butter on it first (the toast, not the garbage).   

The new washing machines are more intelligent than most people I know. They’ll sort your clothes by color, pretreat stains, choose the appropriate cycle and water temperature, while doing your taxes, and checking your email. And besides drying the clothes, the dryer will press, fold and sew on that button that fell off two weeks ago. They still, however, lose one sock with every load.

This brings me to my microwave oven.  I like the microwave oven. It’s handy for heating coffee, soup, leftovers and  making oatmeal (yes we’re that busy….Ok we’re lazy) AND in the middle of the night when I get up to pee, the fluorescent numbers on the digital clock let me know it is indeed the middle of the night. Now I know I have to pee regardless of the time, but I can’t resist glancing at the clock to see what ungodly hour my bladder has chosen to disrupt my slumber. I also can’t resist popcorn, babies or singing along to Don’t Worry Be Happy. But I digress.

Anyway, when I was a child there was no such thing as a microwave oven, or so I thought. Turns out the first marketable microwave was created in 1947. It was called the Radarange, stood over six feet tall and weighted close to 800 pounds. I KNOW! Try wrapping THAT and putting it under the tree at Christmas, or mounting it above the counter. If memory serves me correctly, I purchased our first microwave oven somewhere in the late 70’s. I also purchased a Helen Reddy album, eye glasses with lenses as big as a compact disc, slouch socks and leg warmers. But I digress…again.

The reason I bring up the microwave oven is that not long ago our oven was taking twenty minutes to heat a cup of water, and sounding like Kermit the frog with his tongue stuck to a chain link fence post in winter. It was also manufactured around the same time as the Radarange, and that alone should be an indicator that something was wrong. Anyway, I told my other half that it was broken and we should to replace it, and he, being the I Might Be Able To Fix It guy, disassembled it, examined all parts thoroughly, and when confronted with the melted thingy that makes the microwaves, came to the conclusion…are you ready…that it was broken and we should replace it.

Microwave Autopsy

Off we went to buy a new microwave oven. This should have taken about ten, maybe fifteen minutes. Or so we thought. Microwave ovens today are loaded with “Sensors”. This means it can defrost hamburger, reheat leftovers, PLUS pick out a recipe from its cookbook, modify it to fit your dietary requirements, assemble the ingredients, cook it to perfection, ALL while you watch YouTube videos on the door screen. I kid you not. You can sit back and watch your favorite Brittany Spears video while your tuna casserole and your brain are cooked to perfection. Pass the popcorn!

Much to the disappointment of the salesgirl, we settled for an Easy Bake Oven with an energy saver light bulb.  Works great, no animals are abused or endangered, it doesn’t need a college degree to figure it out, and my other half is happy to have his oatmeal again. Life is good.

Now if only I could find my missing socks. 🙂

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The Joy Of Sharing…

 The Joy Of Sharing…

We spent a really nice few days at Brians parents farm where the food and desserts have a way of totally disarming ANY self control I try so hard to tell myself I have, resulting in an orgy of gluttony, followed shortly after by my pants huffing, puffing and laughing (I swear) as I struggle to do up the zipper, while blaming their tightness on the dryer running too hot.

The time had come for us to prepare to head to Calgary to visit the kids and grandkids for Christmas. Brians daughter had called to see when we would be arriving and informed us that the 2 girls had the flu (bummer)

Well, we figured as we were starting out at my daughters place, the girls would be over it by Christmas Eve and we’d be able to see them while partaking of their hospitality for the night. Contact with them earlier that day revealed that the kids had shared whatever had a grip on them, and that his daughter and her husband were feeling run down, their stomachs gurgling, no appetite, etc. etc. (ick).So we wished them well and put off the visit for another day or so.

I come from a large family so bedding down wouldn’t be a problem and as we were to have Christmas dinner at one of my sisters homes, she invited us to stay the night before (Thanks sis. Santa will surely put you on his good girl list for next year)

Christmas morning his daughter informed us that they were experiencing what she referred to as a “Christmas massacre” and she wasn’t referring to the usual mountains of wrapping paper, but rather to the fact that the whole household was under attack from nasty things like the forceful ejection of contents of the stomach through the mouth and rapid movement of … um… other matter through the intestine producing frequent evacuation of said other matter. So once again we delayed our visit.

Anyway, a couple of days later we did drop in for a visit, and although the house had been thoroughly cleaned, a sneaky little flu bug that had obviously had it’s disinfectant shot, attached itself to me and next thing I know I’m the one hugging the porcelain bowl, ejecting and evacuating (I think that should be considered multitasking) Oh how I yearned for the room to stop spinning, my body to stop sweating like I’d just run a marathon when the most strenuous thing I’d done was move from the bed to the bathroom floor, and for the toilet to stop laughing at me. I swear the water was giggling as it refilled after every flush…seriously.

At one point I looked in the mirror and wondered who the pasty colored, droopy eyed, frazzled woman with the bad hair was. Surely that couldn’t be me, I thought, as another wave forced me back to the coolness of the floor and the porcelain bowl.

Now, obviously I have recovered or I wouldn’t be boring you with my story. I’m happy to report that Brian didn’t get it, and a week and a half later shows no signs.

I’d like to leave you with the following poem I worked really hard (for about 2 minutes) to write for your reading pleasure. Sorry but I don’t have a title for it.

I do not like to have the flu

It makes me feel like yuck

With aches and pains and so much poo

And don’t forget the upchuck

I’m dizzy and I can’t see well

My arms and legs are weak

I just want out of this sickly hell

And back to a healthy peak

So while I wait this out in bed

Or on the bathroom floor

Don’t bother me, but please, instead

Just close the appropriate door

And should you get this nasty flu

That makes you feel like yuck

With aches and pains and so much poo

Well to that I say Good Luck!


Eventually we had a great visit with both our families and a few friends too. Thanks for everyones hospitality!

Happy New Year 🙂

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