Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Mom the "Artiste"

My Mom is probably the most creative person I know in this whole entire world! She has always been the creative genius in our family! She's very inspiring to me and my girls!

Mom's talents flow in everything she does! When my baby brother was born, my Mom created for him a "Peanuts" bedroom, complete with giant Snoopy and his doghouse and Charlie Brown all done over bright primary colour walls. Mom was ahead of her time!! One year we got a bathroom makeover. It was pure 70's genius. It was developped based on black and white print wallpaper that had nekid people all over it...Mom even took that design and painted it on the bathroom vanity! Where some would only cut out the picture from the wallpaper...not my Mom! She had TALENT. She could paint and everything she created was beautiful! We always had Mom's artwork in our home, her oil paintings of beautiful landscapes, her ceramic Saint Nicholas/Kris Kringles whatever those Santa's from all over the world were called. Mom always had the best decorated house at any holiday time. Halloween, Easter, Thanksgiving all beautifully decorated. Her best holiday season in my opinion was Christmas!

For many years my Mom would support her artistic genius by participating in or even hosting a craft sale. For months, she and her lady friends would create absolutely lovely items that she would sell for a fraction of their true value. Christmas ornaments that had been handcrafted and painted, ceramic nativity scenes, 3 WiseMen created out of bottles, gold linens and bobbles. Their annual Christmas craft sale became one of the most popular events of the year in our neighbourhood and people from all around town would come out for the 2 day event!

My Mom started a tradition when I brought my brood home. Every Christmas, Mom would present each of my girls with the most beautiful ornament for the Christmas tree. Eventually, I had to insist that she include me in this wonderful tradition because although our tree was getting full, I would soon be ornament free when the girls moved to homes of their own and insisted on taking their ornaments with them! These were handcrafted "Made with love" ornaments that my girls still to this day cherish and each year as we decorate our tree we talk about our memories of Christmas' past.

Everything my Mom created was "Made with Love"! Her love of creating and her love for us came through in every ornament and creation!

I miss my Mom at Christmas time and as I sit here typing this with misty eyes...I hope the weather is good in their part of the country

and that She knows just how much I miss her even though I'm not the sentimental type!

I love you Mom! Merry Christmas!
Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas' from long ago....very long ago

Many many years ago....40 years ago to be exact, my Mother gave me my very first "created with love" Christmas gift. "Created with Love" gifts are the very best kind of gifts! These are the gifts that someone has actually put thought, time and effort into. The gifts that years down the road will always be looked upon lovingly because you know they can never be replaced by some "store bought" item that is mass produced.

Many of my gifts were "Created with Love" gifts...Perhaps it was because of the times? A time when people put more thought into each gift that was given. Or, perhaps it was because of the conservative fiscal nature of my parents? It doesn't matter what the reason....those were truly some of the best gifts!

My very first gift of this nature that was captured in photos and therefore in my memory forever...the beautiful doll sized cradle complete with full bedding and baby doll. I'm sure that my Mom spent hours lovingly sewing all the little mattress, sheets, blankets and pillows so my little baby would have a wonderful place to sleep and I would have hours of fun. I'm sure I did.

The next special gift I remember was waking up on Christmas morning in my new Christmas PJ's in a completely overhauled bedroom... lovely new paint colour, new curtains, matching bedspread, shelves, desk and mirror. I never asked how she managed to pull this one off? I don't remember being banished from my room for any amount of time? I don't remember my Mom being absent due to renovating for any length of time...Mom, How did you do that? All I know is that I have a picture that shows me in complete bedtime attire standing on my bed showing off my brand new bedroom!

Do you have any special memories of Christmas' past? Did you have any special traditions that you do or don't continue with your offspring to this day?
Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Jingles 24-7

There's something about a good song that makes you sit in your car a little longer, puts a smile on your face, a warm and happy feeling in your heart!

Yes, it's true, at least for me it is. Two times in the last 24 hours I have found myself rocking out to Christmas tunes that I just can't turn off and continue on my way!

Last night I had to go to the LCBO (liquor store for you non-Ontarians)to pick up a couple of expensive bottles of wine, Christmas gifts of appreciation for clients that make my days at work exciting and fulfilling...blah! As I pulled into the parking spot one of my favorite Christmas tunes was on...Santa Baby, sung by Madonna! There's just something about a song that expresses all your true wishes in one catchy verse...

Santa baby, slip a sable under the tree, for me
I've been an awful good girl
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight
Santa baby, an out-of-space convertible too, light blue
I'll wait up for you dear
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight
Think of all the fun I've missed
Think of all the fellas that I haven't kissed
Next year I could be oh so good
If you'd check off my Christmas list
Boo doo bee doo
Santa honey, I wanna yacht and really that's
Not a lot
I've been an angel all year
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight
Santa cutie, there's one thing I really do need, the deed
To a platinum mine
Santa cutie, and hurry down the chimney tonight
Santa baby, I'm filling my stocking with a duplex, and checks
Sign your 'X' on the line
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight
Come and trim my Christmas tree
With some decorations bought at Tiffany's
I really do believe in you
Let's see if you believe in me
Boo doo bee doo
Santa baby, forgot to mention one little thing, a ring
I don't mean a phone
Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

I can see myself with all of those things and I just wish Santa would bring me some bling!

This morning it was this song that kept me from enjoying the ecstasy of my cubicle on the 5th floor for an extra few minutes;

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
Don't want a doll, no dinky Tinker Toy
I want a hippopotamus to play with and enjoy

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
I don't think Santa Claus will mind, do you?
He won't have to use our dirty chimney flue
Just bring him through the front door,
that's the easy thing to do

I can see me now on Christmas morning,
creeping down the stairs
Oh what joy and what surprise
when I open up my eyes
to see a hippo hero standing there

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
No crocodiles, no rhinoceroses
I only like hippopotamuses
And hippopotamuses like me too

Mom says the hippo would eat me up, but then
Teacher says a hippo is a vegeterian

There's lots of room for him in our two-car garage
I'd feed him there and wash him there and give him his massage

I can see me now on Christmas morning,
creeping down the stairs
Oh what joy and what surprise
when I open up my eyes
to see a hippo hero standing there

I want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
No crocodiles or rhinoceroseses
I only like hippopotamuseses
And hippopotamuses like me too!

Honestly, I was totally rocking out and feeling warm and fuzzy for the Holiday Season that is upon us!

Most people don't appreciate the radio stations that are accommodating saps like me that like to hear Christmas songs 24-7 from December 1st till Santa drops every last gift off to all the good little boys and girls!

What's your favorite Christmas tune? Do they make you feel warm and fuzzy with Christmas Spirit? Do they take you back to your childhood with memories of that special gift?
Wednesday, December 13, 2006

People are not so SMRT!

Every year the company I work for purchases very expensive Gala tickets ($700 each) to a great charity event in support of Crohns and Colitis. Last year, some of you may remember, I attended and saw Michael Buble. I went because it was one of my clients that hosts this event.

This year, we have been asked to support this great cause again and although we really don't get anything out of this except the opportunity to support a great charity we will purchase a couple of tickets again this year.

Keeping in mind that every year in the past it has been someone from the Senior Executive and the Account Rep that have attended, when our President asked my opinion on the whole thing I suggested this...In support of our needy family that we take care of for Christmas why not raffle off the tickets for $2.00 to staff members giving them a chance to win one of the two tickets. That way we support three things at once...our Christmas family with proceeds of the sale of tickets, Crohn's and Colitis by purchasing the Gala tickets and the third...some team spirit in the way of giving our staff an opportunity to attend an event that normally they would not spend $700 to experience for the price of a raffle ticket.

Our President is a kind man and he agreed.....

This year the feature at the Gala is "The Beach Boys" Yes, you heard right..."The Beach Boys" or what's left of them anyway.

Sales are not going so well....the reluctance seems to be that people in this small company of 55 people are afraid of who might win that other ticket! It's absolutely fucking ludicrous! It's one night people! You get to experience a fabulous gala event like nothing you have ever experienced...guaranteed!

Not so SMRT I tell ya!

Myself, I'm not totally selfless! I've had a good year and I'm in a position to actually give back for a change in support of someone else....I remember those struggling Christmas' and a decision (with the help of my folks at home) to contribute a fairly signinficant amount to the Christmas family was made. With part of that money, I'm buying me $40 worth of raffle tickets...gives me a chance to win one of (or maybe even both if sales stay like they have been)those tickets and the family still gets the same amount originally planned....
Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Lost Sperm moving in the wrong direction

Today is gonna be one of those days! You know the kind, where you get up, stub your toe, the shower spews cold water at you even though you know you tested it to ensure it was warm enough, but not too warm...then you can't get the damn soap dispenser that you paid way too much money for to give up the new shower gel that you just pored into it.

Yup the kind of day that just SUCKS!

This morning, I was an active participant in all of the above and even more disturbing was the pattern on the back window of my van that was all I saw as I backed out of the driveway at 7:05 am this morning....Honestly it looked like someone had misdirected all these giant sperm up my back window to the roof of the van...they were all swimming in a line...AHHHHHH! Where were they all going? What was all this about? I was very afraid for any unsuspecting uterus' that may have been out and about early this morning!

Very Disturbing! It took two squirts of window cleaner and at least two active minutes of the back window wiper to finally rid me of the disturbing view.

So distracting was it that I totally wasn't paying attention and ended up on the exit ramp to the highway to Toronto instead of the little side street where we usually get our coffee at the local Tim Horton's! I actually had to get off the highway at the next exit and make my way back to the coffee shop and the train station to get Aimee on her way to work.

Yes, Aimee was with me.....She was calling me Grumpy Bear and laughing her pretty little ass off at me the whole way.

Let's hope the rest of the day gets better....

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Martha Stewart Move Over.....

So now, with the Christmas shopping officially in the bag, it was time to do some of the other things associated with Christmas, like decorating the tree...and I'm so fricking ahead of myself this year, that was done in October. Hmmmm...what next, well the only thing left was baking and I haven't baked in many years. In fact the last time I baked was for a Christmas cookie exchange where I baked 12 dozen of one type of item and came home with 12 dozen different types of cookies.

Colleen asked me sometime in November if I wanted to do a baking afternoon. We went to the apple orchard earlier this year and once we had picked our fill of apples we baked a few pies. IT was a good time and I figured what the hell, let's give it a shot. We both chose some recipes and bought the ingredients to make a double recipe of our liking so that in the end we would both have one of each of the items we chose. We were definitely a little too ambitious!

Here's what we made:

1) 4 dozen buttertarts
2) 2 containers of chocolate fudge
3) 2 jujube loafs
4) 2 containers of peppermint bark
5) 2 pans of Raspeberry Coconut bars
6) 10 dozen decorated sugar cookies
7) 2 containers of toffee nut crunch
8) 10 dozen Raspberry Jam Thumbprint cookies

6 hours, 4 very sore feet and 2 very sore backs later.....we had some happy campers at our house. It might be a chore keeping this stuff till Christmas.

See, this is one of the many problems with getting all this stuff done too early!!

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Fuse Man Cometh....

So late last week, Daughter #1 was blowdrying her hair, heating her straightening iron and watching t.v in her room. I was ironing my clothes for work and watching t.v. in my room.....when suddenly

Everything shut down. No T.V, no iron, no blowdryer nothing.....

Dammit, we blew a fuse. This is the first time that this has ever happened to us in the morning. Generally we time our schedules pretty well but that morning we were all running behind and pushing the limits of our fuse box.

When we got home that night we realized all of the things that were hooked to that damn fuse. The powderroom light downstairs, the hallway light downstairs, the outside light downstairs, one plug in my room and two in Jenn's.

Simple you say...change the fuse. Well hubby was in a hurry to get to work, we had no good fuses in the house and peeing in the dark is not that challenging. This was Thursday afterall and I'm at pool. Not to worry!

Friday evening when everyone got home, Rob went and got fuses and we anxiously awaited victory as he tried to figure out what fuse belonged to what section of the house. The fuse box had been labeled with things such as workshop (we don't have one) bar light (don't have one of those either) family room (but it didn't shut off anything in the family room when we pulled it, must be someone else's family room?)It was a long arduous process and a challenge for the Fuse Man! He would take one fuse out, we would tell him what went out and the process continued until all the fuses had been checked, replaced and finally he came upstairs and admitted defeat. "I don't know, I've tried everything and still no lights, huh" he declared..."Nope, no lights, are you sure you tried them all?" I asked lovingly (okay, I admit it, I was giggling) Poor husband, he looked at me like I had just shot his dog when I asked him that! Anyway, he assured me that he had checked them all.

We progressed through the weekend with no lights or plugs working. On Monday, I called my electrician friend who proceeded to ask me the same thing, "Are you sure you checked them all?" I explained to him that I had not, but Robbie had and he swore that there was no use. "Well, that's bad news Lin, cause if I have to come in it could cost you anywhere from $500 to $20,000. if I find that your hole box is whacked and you need to replace that...then you might as well get rid of that 30 year old aluminum wiring you got going on over there!"

HOLY SHIT! I almost crapped my pants. Apparently, my electrician doesn't work for the same company as me and is not as financially handicapped either!

I passed this message on to husband and we decided that for now, we could pee in the dark, it didn't matter if the delivery guy ever found our house in the dark and we'd all blowdry our hair in Aimee's room. We ain't got that kind of cash!

On Tuesday night, I got frustrated because I couldn't find the toilet paper in the dark and decided that I was giving the fuses another chance and immediately after finding the TP and finishing my business, retreated to the basement.


By process of elimination and much to my wondering eyes did appear, a kid at the top of the stairs with a CHEER! "The lights are on Mama Dukes! How'd you do that?

So for the time being, he shall be known only as Fuse Boy and I shall be known to all as FUSE WONDER WOMAN!