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At Home With Ailsa

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Hey, I just figured out how to Archive my 'old' At Home With Ailsa Updates by the week, starting with Last September, 2003... Check it out when you have a minute!

Here's a different picture of me taken ages and ages ago -- before I lost a bunch of weight -- you can see I 'carried it' fairly well, anyway, but it's good to be trim and fit, right?? ha,ha,ha! One day I'll get someone to take some up-to-date photos of me -- maybe even when I'm exercising, so I can show you some of my best moves! har, har, har! Okay, that's enough of that! Let me see if I can figure out how to get this on the Site!

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Here I am! And there's my wee dog, Tia! I'm always in the Sunroom! It's one of my favorite rooms in the House!

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Monday, June 14th, 2004. Hey, Baby! What up?? I've been busy all morning, so it took me a while to get to this... as usual! I just went upstairs to see what Aidan was up to, and I see that he's spilt his Playdough 'bits' (you know the bits that dry up and end up on the floor...) all over the place, so I better keep this short and go up and cllean them before his father gets home -- there's nothing Dwight hates more than the remnants of a child playing... yes, it's the perfect characteristic in a parent! Ah, well... sometimes you just gotta go with what you know, so it's a clenin' day for me!

We had a very nice visit from one of my Site Readers, Heather, yesteray. She popped over wth her husband and two boys, so everyone enjoyed the visit. (Hi, Heather!) It's fun to put a face to the letters, and My Readers are like my friends, so it's always fun to meet in person!

Cara just called me to say she would be getting a ride home with a friend of hers who also just turned 16 -- man, I don't like that at all... not out in the country. Driving in the City always seems so much safer to me, even though most folks would think it's safer in the country. She didn't leave me a call back number, so I'll have to hope for the best... I think it's harder being a parent when they reach the teenage years, because it's so scary al the things that can go wrong at that stage... of course, Aidan at the 2 - 3 year old stage was exceedingly difficult, too -- maybe the 'easy years' are after they stop running like madmen into the road and before they drive like madmen ON the road...


Tip of the Day: I've just arranged for Cara to take a Summer School Course (Grade 11 Math...), so my little Tip for today is to take Summer School Courses! They're great, since they are compressed into a very short time-frame, and as long as you're willing to work your beeeehind off, it's really fast way to get Coursework under your belt. I took my whole 2nd year of University in the summer -- it wasn't that big a deal to me at the time, because I was sooo determined to finish 'my schoolin' as quickly as possible. I started University when I was 18, finished my B.A. when I had just turned 20, and took my Education Degree concurrently, so I was able to finish the B.Ed. Degree just after I turned 21. And I thought I was soooo old...! ha,ha,ha!

Man, I'm so glad I moved down to Los Angeles when I was 26 -- at the time I really felt very, very old, since I'd already been through the ringer of life, but one of my most wonderful friends down there, Janice, said to me one day, "Oh, you're just a Baby..." I'd never thought of myself as young, before (bizarre but true...!), and that's when my desire to BE young and STAY young kicked in -- and I will be forever grateful for Janice turning my life around like that. And everybody calls everyone else "Baby" down in California, so that's where I started using that as a favorite Greeting, too -- it's a happy little thing to say, ain't it?? Yaaaaa, Baby!!

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It's The Weekend! June 12th & 13th, 2004. Yo, yo, yo... what up wit' mah Home-ies?? How you doin' out there in computerland? I hope it's not raining (in case you, too, are waiting around for a dry day and your Bobcat Guy to show up...!). Man, it's sooo late in the day -- I knew I should have stayed up late on Friday Night to write my Weekend Update -- it's soooo hectic around here on the weekends with my little demanding family... Dwight wants to have a big fancy schmancy Breakfast on the Weekends, and guess who makes that.... and then he wants me to be available for any other work that he wants done around the house (like a good little slave... or, I mean, 'wife'...), so that means it's next to impossible to get my work done on the computer... see why like to be alone?? With just 4 year old Aidan -- he's the one with the fewest 'outside' needs! And he has just the slightest handle on time-frames, so I can put him off for any amount of time -- "We'll do that next month", or "That's something we do at Christmastime..." Yes, if I could put everything off 'til Christmastime, that would really work for me! I'm busy 'til then! ha,ha,ha!

Oh, and speaking of 'wife / maid', I can't wait to go and see The Steppford Wives... I think I'm a little bit like them, except for the bad attitude, 'n all! ha,ha! But I do like to wear nice dresses, bake a whole lot of treats and make my family really happy with a very comfy home, but I've got that bad little attitude behind it all that wouldn't quite fit in with the Steppford Way! And apparently those wives are not supposed to have any ambition, so that would count me out, right there, since I'm jam packed full of ambition! ha,ha! And that reminds me of something else -- guess what my Ranking is on Yahoo in my Building Category? That's right -- #1! WooHoo! Or should I say, "YaaaHoooo"! So now I'm # 1 out of 8,910,000 websites -- that ain't too bad! All I have to do now is make the thing profitable, and I'm all set! Or find an Agent, then they can make some deals for me! That does sound easier... and maybe I still wouldn't have to leave the house, which appeals to me...

It is interesting that we're revisiting the whole notion of 'The Perfect Wife', again... Is it just me or does it feel like the Fifties are making a come-back in certain Sectors? There's the whole thing with Dr. Phil telling the Husbands of America to "git on home and be a Leader in your Family..." Yes, I'm paraphrasing for extra fun, but he DID say about husbands being the Leader in the Family, and I have a very big problem with that... what happened to the Partenship Idea? If there's a Leader in the Couple, what does that make the Other Person? That's right -- the Follower. Yuck. I ain't no Follower, and I sure as hell wouldn't blindly follow any husband down a path of certain destruction, if he were to be, say, a moron.... No, no, no. I say, let's get back to being Equal Partners, both with important qualities to bring to the Table, and we'll see how that works out.(And just for the Record, I really like Dr. Phil...)

You know what would be really great, and would perhaps help in keeping a whole lot of marriages together? If we got rid of those crazy old notions of what the Wife is and what the Husband is -- up until you get married, you're two happy individuals, each with your own functioning brain (hopefully...! ha,ha!). Then you get married and all of a sudden, 'The Wife' is supposed to defer to her Husband. Hmmm. I wonder why that doesn't seem to work? It sounds like a good model, and yet women seem to get soooo annoyed... they're uppity like that. Me, in particular. I've actually been called 'uppity'. And 'Little Missy'. And on a Government phone call with a gov't Agent, he repeatedly called me 'Miss' when it was a call concerning a Tax Rebate or something like that to do with my Children, so it was a little dig on his end to belittle me. And they wonder why so many Canadians choose to leave the Country... and that's one of the reasons I occasionally refer to Canada as 'Canad'uh'... mostly, it's for my own amusement, but why women can be treated so badly here is beyond me.

The funny thing is that you enter into marriage with all these preconceived notions of who is gonna do what, and when... and it's almost non-negotiable right from the very start. And then 'The Wife' doesn't want to rock the boat, in case they, too, become part of the startling statistics on how many marriages fail (I think it's around 65%). And when I hear people say, "Not like in the good old days, when most marriages stayed together..." Puh-leeease. Do you know who initiates the majority of Divorces? The women. And they didn't do that 'in the good old days' because they couldn't. It was against the law and the vast majority of women didn't work outside 'The Home'. I had a friend when I was about 23 (so about 18 years ago, which is not all that long ago, at all...) and she couldn't even get a Divorce from her Husband because you had to prove all these things, first... and if you've ever had the misfortune to have to prove something in Court, it's next to impossible, since the vast majority of what happens in a marriage happens in private, and between the two people. Hard to show proof from that.

I can't remember exactly when the Laws for Divorce changed, but I think it was in 1984, which would fit nicely with George Orwell's ideas of the 'future'... and there was a great deal of celebration amongst women -- and then the Divorce Rate went up, so it ain't Rocket Science. So now the big concern should be how to keep marriages Happy, not just 'together'. Marriage shouldn't be a Prison Sentence, it should be a nice nurturing place to be where you can both grow, and then welcome smaller people into the Mix... and if it doesn't work, neither party should be punished for Life for having married the wrong one and had a child or children with them... You should be able to both go on with your lives, be productive and live freely -- I hope to do that, myself, again, soon...

Hey, maybe we should revamp the whole system so that you get your Marriage Licence the same way you get your Driver's Licence...Every 2 years it's up for Renewal... no muss, no fuss... and any wealth that's been accumulated during the Marriage up until that date is split down the middle (or so...) and off you go, or stay together. See, no Lawyers! Wouldn't That be nice? It's all very amicable, and then the animosity doesn't have to be there... And what's with those stooopid new Court Ordered Programs where the parents have to go and attend 'Co-Parenting' Classes? What a joke. Especially if you've come from an Abusive Environment, since the Courts don't acknowledge that as being harmful to the children, since the Abuser is surely going to be lovely to the children when he was only abusive to his wife... ugh. I hate that.

I should start a New Page on 'How to Build a Better Marriage', then all of my wonderful Readers can write in and share your 'Happy Marriage' Secrets, or your ideas on how we could all go about building a better marriage... what do you think? We're already waaaaay off the beaten track, so why not stray a little further? I'll change your Name, if you like, and we could all benefit -- or get something off your shoulders (a giant monkey? I don't know what kind of baggage you're carrying around! ha,ha,ha!).

Okay, with all that being said, I still can't wait to go see The Steppford Wives -- hey, wonder how many fights that's caused on the way home from the Movies?? "Is that what YOU want? That's what you want, and I know it..." ha,ha,ha,ha! You can hear it now! Ah, the joy of it all! Good thing there's a gorgeous Ring or Two involved, or it'd be harder to rope us in like that! har, har!

And they should change the Marriage Vows to include, "Do you take this Woman to Make Your Breakfast, Do the Dishes and Make the Bed Every Day?", to which he would say, "Sure, that sounds cheaper than my current Maid..." ... And she could reply to "Do you take this Man to Take out the Garbage, Do the Lawn Work and Change the Oil in the Car?", to which she can cheerily agree... sounds good, so far...! ha,ha,ha! And while they're at it, they can take out 'For Better or For Worse", since I've lived the 'worse', and that's just stoopid to put up with that in the name of any institution... maybe they could replace it with, "Provided you are Kind and Decent"... now that would work for me!

Tip of the Day: It's a Home Safety Tip, since something happened to some friends of ours, yesterday, (they had a huge water leak in their house...), and it reminded me of my Home Safety Page, which you can check out when you have a minute... But here's the Tip for now -- Put a Tag on the Main Water Valve in the House (usually it's in the Furnace Room, unless you're in a really, really old house, in which case, just turn off all the taps!)). You can write in BOLD WATER TURNOFF VALVE, and then in smaller letters, write the instructions of how to turn it off. No kidding. Draw a little Diagram, if you need to -- if it's one of those Taps that is straight, it needs to be turned to a 90 Degree angle to shut it off, so your picture would show the tap running parallel to the pipe so the water can run through, the next picture of the handle to the side, so it shuts the water flow off.

Everyone in the House should know how to turn all the Taps off -- under the Sinks, by the Toilets and the Main Water Valve in the Furnace Room. Knowing how to turn off all these valves in an emergency can save you thousands of dollars, and a whole lot of heartache, so that's always good, right? Remember to show the Babysitter, too, since these accidents sometimes happen when no adults are at home... So if you ever have any water leaking out of anything where it's not supposed to be, immediately go and turn off the Main Water Valve, then call a Plumber. If you wait for the Plumber to come over to do that for you, you'll have a massive amount of damage by then... and when you've located the Shut off Valve in your House, tell all your friends about my Home Safety Page so they can go find their Shut off Valves, too! We'll save millions! ha,ha,ha!

I'll go see what kind of pictures I can find for you, today! Be right back!


See the Yellow Lever? That's the Main Water Shutoff Valve.

Well, thanks for coming in for a little visit! It's always nice to see you -- and I really like your Eyelashes like that -- I guess it's true that loads of Mascara suits absolutely everyone -- even the men... which reminds me of another story, but I'll tell you that another day! Don't let me forget! ha,ha!

See ya, Baby! Ailsa!!

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Friday, June 11th, 2004. Hi, Honey-Cake (I was gonna say 'honeybuns', but that sounds a little inappropriate... although it's probably accurate...! ha,ha!). And Sunshine is a better greeting than Moonshine, which carries a whole other set of criteria -- I can't just assume you've got a still out back, and that's why you're growin' all those potatoes.... Oh, that reminds me -- Cara just started reading The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger -- it's my all-time favorite book for teenagers (and if you've already been a teenager and never did get around to reading it, you'll love it, too...!). So far she likes the swearing ... hey, if that gets them into the book, that's okay, and the vast majority of great literature has a whole lot of swearing -- maybe that's how we can market books to kids! ha,ha,ha!

Aidan was asking me, this morning, if we can go out and plant a Garden -- he's desperate to grow Watermelon and Strawberries -- his two favorite Fruits (my favourite Fruit is Bruce, but that's a whole other story, and I'm sure Bruce will laugh -- he's one of the funniest humans on the face of the planet! ha,ha,ha). It's weird when you're planning to move, because it's difficult to know how much you should do when you may or may not be there to tend to new stuff... I think I might get around that by planting the Stawberries in a huge Planter, with some sort of Tall plant in the center -- maybe some Dracena or some tall Geraniums... I'll take Aidan to the Garden Center so he can see what he likes. I have a couple of enormous Pots from two Tropical Plants that just didn't make it through the winter -- and no, I didn't leave them outside in minus 40 degree weather -- I had them inside, and they still didn't survive -- I think they were done in by depression, but they're not talking, so I can't be sure... yuff, yuff!

Dwight says I cannot have my Wildflower Garden again, this year -- he hates it -- royally. He had some special training from his family to like things that are neat and orderly, and that includes the garden. Now as you might well imagine, I love things that are crazy and unwieldy, that won't conform to the regular rules -- a nice little reflection of me, no doubt! ha,ha! So Dwight has a big plan to put in a 'Gravel Garden' -- no kidding! That's Dwight's idea of a perfect garden -- rocks and the occasional Potted Plant. Our current fight about that garden (it's the Walk-Out Garden, we're gonna call it, should it ever come into being...) involves Trees -- I want to put Trees all along the back of the Garden, and then at the top section and maybe a river bed through the middle, but Dwight says, "No Trees", and walks away. He's delightful to chat with -- no wonder this argument has been going on for so very long! ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: Oh, you know what makes a neat looking Garden, in the middle of a Flower Garden or if you want to create a quick Border -- Potatoes -- they're not just for the Still anymore! ha,ha! They grow very quickly and end up looking kind of bushy, although not like a regular bush, of course -- they'll grow about 2 feet high by the end of the season -- then you can Harvest the Potatoes, and before you know it, you'll be thinkin' about movin' back to them thar mountains! And you'll have to go off your 'no-carbs' diet, but that'll be good for a wee break, anyway! You can grow Potatoes from the Seed Potatoes you can get at the Garden Center, or just leave your regular potatoes in a dark place and let them sprout on their own ... cut them into quarters, and plant then about every 8" apart. There, that's my little Gardening Advice for today!

And I'm happy to report that my 'Insta-Tan' is still on, three Showers later... it makes you feel like Summer really will arrive one day, and you'll be all ready for it! Really, you have to be delusional to live in the North! ha,ha,ha!

Okay, I have to go measure the Windows for the Shutters -- I keep meaning to do that, then another day goes by, and another year... I did measure them last Fall, but it was such a bother trying to find the Shutters that it kind of went by the wayside, then Dwight said he wasn't going to put any Shutters on at all, but I drew them in the original House Plans, so I think they are essential to the Look of the House ... so my best bet is to go back out and do some measuring, then find out where I can actually get the Shutters. I'll run it by Dwight again when I have all the facts, then go ahead and just do it. See why I want to make my own money? I hate that Dwight gets the Final Word on absolutely everything, and he doesn't get why that would bother me... bit of a stalemate there (and that's the understatement of the year! ha,ha,ha,ha!).

I can't get my computer to accept the new pictures from my camera -- that seems to happen from time to time, for some annoying reason... so I'll see what pictures I can find for you! Be right back!

Here's the Walk-Out Garden Area I was talking about -- see the bit where the Bobcat is scaping away the dirt? That's where my Wildflower Garden was last year, and part of the area where I would like to see a bunch of Trees.

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And Dwight built a Retaining Wall just on the one side over by the Hot Tub Deck, which is just up and around the corner from this area. That way, no extra mud will slide in here if we were to have some massive downpour, or something... and today I got another Rope and attached Tia's Harness to it, so she can play out the Back Walk-Out Door , too!

Thanks for swinging in for a wee visit! See you on the Weekend, Baby! Ailsa!!

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Thursday, June 10th, 2004. Hi, Honey! You're Home! And I'm glad you had a minute to swing by! Unfortunately, there's no chocolate left -- but I think there might be some liver in the fridge I could fry up for you... What? You have to leave? What's wrong with Fried Liver? It makes you wanna what?? No, no, no... I would never run out of chocolate... or buy yucky liver... so you're safe to come in and stay awhile! ha,ha! Oh, and I never Fry any food -- Saute, yes, Fry -- no. Too much oil. Butter is sooo much better, and as far as I know (or choose to believe...)it has no fat...and neither does chocolate -- see how much useful information you're finding, today? Yes, it's true that I've made the vast majority of it up, but don't think about that too much -- try living in my happy little bubble -- I think you'll grow to love it! Or at the very least, you'll soon start to grow! ha,ha,ha,ha!

Dwight and I went to my Queen's University Alumni Dinner, last night -- what a whole lot of fun! It's nice when you live somewhere far away from where you grew up or went to School to reconnect with other people who know that particular area inside and out... plus, they always have great food and the drinks they just keep a comin'...! ha,ha,ha! It's one of the few things I do that doesn't involve Children and does involve Drinking! And Dwight is my Designated Driver, so I can have as much fun as I like, so that's fun! We always have lots of great Conversations and get to meet new Graduates who are doing interesting things, but one really cool thing they had last night was a Presentation from the Queen's University Solar Car Team. Very cool!

I've got the link for their website for you (, so you can go in and have a wee look at these amazing cars, and I wanted to let you know about a program that is offered through Queen's and the Solar Car Team to bring this field into the High Schools. The Solar Team has a Program called SolarQuest where they will send Entrants into their Contest a Kit that includes a small photovoltaic array and the basic Instructions on How to Design and Build a Miniature Solar Vehicle. How cool is that? So if that is something that captures your imagination, or you know someone who might be a little bright spark in the universe, check it out!

Oh, and hey, guess what they need? Money! And Products ... it's an expensive undertaking to develop these Solar Cars, but just think of the possibilities for the Future! And they get into a bit of Alternative Energy Sources, too, which I am very, very interested in, of course! But if you or your Company would like to Support this Solar Car Program, they have a whole thing set up where you can donate some cashola and get your Name on their Website or (depending on how much you give, as always...), you could get your Company Name on their Solar Car! Wouldn't that be cool??

I think it would be a lot of fun to have some sort of Sponsorship through Nascar, and then they could have some big Solar Car Race down there and generate even more interest in this Project! Hmmmm, wonder if David Letterman might be interested in this -- he has a few extra bucks and he loves Race Cars... plus, remember Tom Cavanagh from Ed? That was a David Letterman Production, and Tom Cavanagh went to Queen's University, too -- see the connection? How many Degrees of Separation is that? ha,ha,ha!!

Tip of the Day: I've been waiting all day for our Bobcat Guy to come over to skim that gravel off the driveway -- man, that's really going on a loooong time... anyway, I didn't bother to move my Van out onto the road (and off the Driveway) because there's really no guarantee that he'll be here. The reason that is important to me is that Aidan, who is 4, needs to be kept safe all the time, and one of the major causes of Injury to small boys (because girls seem to have some sort of 'danger awareness' built in, and I'm not so sure that boys have that -- which is probably why they can do such amazing things when they're older that girls would be more likely to steer away from -- I'm thinking here of Evil Kinevil... is that how you spell his name? You don't see that many goils out there trying to leap over Ravines and such...! ha,ha!) is from Vehicles -- the boys run behind them, or ride their bikes in front of them. It's a huuuge concern for me, so my big plan is to take Aidan out with me to the car when I have to move it (whenever that might be...), rather than leave him in the house. It only takes a second for a horrible accident, so it's much better to err on the side of safety, and keep those boys right beside you all the time. So the Tip is to keep your children close by whenever there are any vehicles around -- any inconvenience to you is nothing compared with any possible negative outcome, if God Forbid there was an accident.

Oh, and Aidan just came into my Office to ask if he could have a drink of pop -- "You know I'm mighty thirsty, you know..." What is he hanging with Cowboys in his spare time? ha,ha,ha,ha!

I'll go see what kind of pictures I can find for today -- be right back!

Here's Tia checking out the View! I think it's hilarious that she can just sit at the Windows and peer out! She's in Aidan's Bedroom in the First Picture, then in the Dining Room for the other Two shots. There's a 4 Acre Center Parcel that is open space (Green Space is the fancier term for that!) between our house and all the other houses, so no-one will ever build behind us, which is nice.

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Thanks for stopping by for a wee visit! See you tomorrow, baby! Ailsa!!

Hey, check out this Free Stuff! I just got this for you, today, and thought you might like to get some of this stuff -- you could get it for yourself or discreetly slip it into a Gift Basket or add them in with a Birthday Card or Father's Day Card... Cara and I got our new Books that we just ordered in the Mail last night (we're out in the country, so we have one of those 'Super-Mailboxes, and it's very, very exciting when you get a Key in with your mail, because that means you can open 'Box #2b' and you'll get your Gift!). Now, we did pay for our stuff (unlike these Free Things from 1-800-Patches...), but still, it's like getting a gift from yourself -- and you know what I think -- Any Gift is a Good Gift!! ha,ha,ha!

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Wednesday, June 9th, 2004. Yo, yo, yo! What up wit' yo' bad self?? ha,ha! That's just plain ol' fun to say, right? Man, I did that 'Self-Tanning' thing, this morning, so I've spent the whole day trying to avoid 'smearing' it. That is a whole lot of extra work, what with not being able to wear my favorite comfy socks (better get used to not being able to wear 'the comfy socks' each and every day if I'm to go back to a 'regular job'...) and one of my favorite big comfy sweaters ... well, they're not really big, per se -- and they're a bit too revealing to wear to the door, should anyone actually come over to the house -- I have to keep 'standby sweaters' handy (they're all black!) to put on when people come over... that's lovely, ain't it? ha,ha! Ah, well, that's really what I do...

I also called the Bobcat Guy to have him come over to skim off the gravel from the Driveway -- it's the large Gravel that has to come off, then the Crushed Gravel goes on in it's place, then the whole thing is Rolled, Leveled and Paved ... we're back into another bad weather pattern (there's a big surprise!), so it's tricky to know when to get that done, because we want to avoid a big sea of mud. Now, Dwight wanted to wait until the whole Lawn was nice and dry before having the Bobcat come back over, so he can have some Earth moved at the same time (it's never a simple matter of planting a few things for us -- for some reason it always has to involve some giant piece of machinery or other...), but I just want to focus on the Driveway, and get the rest of the Landscaping done after that. Sometimes you just have to go ahead and do what you know needs to be done.

Back to that 'Self-tanning' thing -- I showed it to Dwight on his way out the door, this morning, but he said he could sort of see a difference -- man, I need a better judge! ha,ha! I think it looks very nice, and since we hardly have any nice weather, these days, I might as well get a head start on the summer -- plus, it's safer than hangin' about trying to get a tan -- does anyone do that, anymore? Anyway, I use the Neutrogena Bronzing Foam (Medium), and I combine it with my favorite Hand Cream, Lubriderm, so it goes on very nicely. There's a little warning on the Container that the Tanning Foam doesn't protect you from the sun, so I thought when I do this in the Summer, I'll just use Sun Block Cream instead of the Lubriderm, if I can find one without any Scent, since I'm allergic to most perfumes. Something to try, if it appeals to you. And if you actually have a good relationship, maybe you can get a 'helping hand'...!

Speaking of allergies, for some reason I'm having a lot more reactions to things I never had a reaction to before -- last night Dwight was cutting up some Watermelon right beside me when I was doing the dishes, and my throat was so sore just from smelling it. That lovely Dwight -- when I told him I was having a reaction, he says I'll never make it on the Cruise Ship, since they have so much Fruit.... hmmmmmm... that boy! I'm gonna have to sell him, but if he keeps saying things like that, I'll never get a good price for him, and I'll have to pay someone else to haul him away...! ya'ha,ha,ha! (Yep, that's just for my own amusement! ha,ha,ha!) I like the whole idea of the 'Truck for Charity' pulls up and I carry Dwight out for the Driver to Load Him Up! ha,ha,ha! Reminds me of The Flintstones -- remember when Fred had to always carry the Cat back outside, then it would quickly jump back in through the Window? Dwight would probably do that, too! ha,ha,ha!

So here's the very weird thing with the Allergiy to Fruit and Veggies -- I can eat most of them if they are cooked -- thus the Apple Crumble Recipe, because I couldn't eat Apples anymore... but I can manage the Applesause no problem at all, so that way I can still have lots of Fruits and Veggies -- there was no way I could cut those out of my diet, so that' a good little piece of information that you can try if you get into your 30's and start to notice an intolerance for Fresh Fruit... And that's why I love Pie so much, too, since I can still enjoy the Fruit when it's cooked in the Pie (do you buy that?? ha,ha! I just love Pie, so that's a great way to rationalize that!). Same thing for certain Veggies like Carrots and Tomatoes -- I can eat them if they are fully cooked, like in Soup or Spaghetti Sauce. I wonder if there's ever been a Study on this, since I just happened upon it in my interest in not cutting out the food I really love because of those reactions... let me know if you've experienced anything like that (or if you just love pie, then you can come over and we'll have a wee slice! ha,ha!).

Tip of the Day: Go ahead and go around your Spouse or Partner, sometimes -- the vast majority of the time it's best to come to an agreement where you're both relatively happy, but sometimes one person either stalls out the job too long by indecision or sheer laziness (no, that's not a dig -- it's reality -- sometimes the whole thing can get overwhelming, and you can just shut it all off, then the whole Project comes to a complete halt, which ain't good...), or they won't even discuss it for whatever personal reason, but the Job needs to be done, and generally speaking, it will all even out in the end after the Project has been completed. Sometimes you have to disconnect yourself from a Project so you can not be emotionally involved with it -- does that make sense? Think of it like someone else's job, and you're simply managing it as quickly and painlessly as possible. Make a good Neutral Decision, then carry on with the job. Good Luck with that! ha,ha!

Thanks for popping in for a little visit! I'll go see what pictures I can find for you! Be right back!

Here's a beautiful 'Spring' Sunset -- and it took us all the way 'til June to get into The Spring! Ah, well! That's probably why we all like Hockey so much up here in Calgary -- because it keeps your mind off the bad weather until it's practically Summer! ha,ha!

This is out our Back Door -- I just stepped out on the Deck to take this shot. Go ahead and click on the picture to enlarge it, then you can see what I see! Now won't that be fun?? I also plan to have a couple of Drinks later on -- perhaps you'd like to do the same!! Why, we'll be like Twins (probably Fraternal, since I'm not so sure you look exactly like me...)! ha,ha,ha!

See you tomorrow, Baby! Ailsa!!

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Tuesday, June 8th, 2004. Oh, hey. There you are -- I've been looking for you all day! What's that? You've been looking for me? I've been just a tad distracted this morning, and then the Septic Tank Guy arrived, so that was a legitimate reason for not writing the Daily Update... That and I'm still sad about the Calgary Flames not winning the Stanley Cup in last nights Game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but Tampa Bay skated away with the Trophy, so now we're on to the next year... Man, that was a great game, though, and the Lightning worked their beeeehinds off for that Trophy, so it was good to see it go to a great Team -- next year, though, maybe it'll come on home to Calgary! We'll always love the Flames -- they played a helluva Game! Go Flames, Go! And Congrats to the Lightning -- I'm just thrilled that sooo many more people got into Hockey who might not have watched before, so it's all good for The Game, and that's good for our Players!

You know what really lightened the mood after we lost the Game last night? The WB's new Superstar USA Show. It's absolutely hilarious, so we all laughed ourselves silly and felt a whole lot better. I've mentioned that Show before, but if you haven't caught it, yet, check yer listings, 'cause it's one of the funniest things on TV right now... the 'Talent' is one thing, but the Judges and the Announcer are hysterical. I got their names close, but not close enough, when I mentioned them before, but the Judges are Tone Loc, Vitamin C, Briggs, and the Host Brian McFayden. How they keep a straight face through it all is amazing to me!

One of my favorite parts of Superstar USA is the was all the Finalists refer to themselves in Third Person. That's never good! ha,ha! Have you ever known anyone who actually talked like that? They're always so completely full of themselves that they perceive themselves as a whole separate person, I guess ... why else would you use your own name in a sentence? It's hilarious! So there's a whole lot of, "JoJo likes to dance", says JoJo in reference to himself... and "Jaimie's gonna be a STAR!", of course all about herself! And I'm sure Jaimie (the very well proportioned Blonde...!) will do well in Hollywood -- hey, did you ever see Son of the Beach? She would be hilarious in that, and may or may not know it's a spoof! ha,ha,ha! Anyway, it made us feel better after The Game, and that's the important thing!

I also spent some time this morning checking out -- they have a lot of really cool stuff in there, and two of the Main People involved are Meredith Viera from The View (she's sooo funny!) and Andrew Shue -- hope that's the right spelling -- anyway, he was the good looking curly haired boyfriend (one of them!) on Melrose Place (we always called it 'Schmelrose Place', but that's just us! ha,ha!), and a major Soccer Player. It's great to see nice people involved in good projects. I've added some of ClubMom's Articles (don't worry -- I have their permission!) onto my Site -- I'll add some new ones as I go along -- it's all dependent on how much time I have!

Brand New Articles through ClubMom -- all sorts of interesting stuff!

Tip of the Day: Here's a little Tip from our Septic Cleaning Guy, Dale, who was here today -- Always close all your Windows and Doors when you're having your Septic Tanks cleaned out... it will not smell nice in yo' house if you leave them open. Yes, I think you can guess the smell, and it's one you definitely want to avoid.

And now a little Tip from me, who forgot and opened the back door for a minute (one minute too long, it turns out... ha,ha!). If you want to quickly make your house smell nice, cut up and Apple, put it in a Bowl of Water and add a bunch of Cinnamon. You know me -- I never measure anything -- just put in what seems about right -- your brain will kick in before the bowl overflows, and if it doesn't, I'm guessing this won't be your biggest problem -- I would imagine you would need to get back to practicing for the WB's Superstar USA, though, so don't let me keep you... yuff, yuff! Anyhooo, pop the bowl into the microwave for 3 minutes -- make sure there's enough water in there that it doesn't burn away, and then you'll have to start all over again! I hate to waste anything, so I peel and cut an apple for Aidan (one of his favorite treats, anyway), then use the peel and the core as the 'Apple' base. It works really well to make your house smell nice.

I took some pictures while Dale was here, so let me go go see if I can get them... be right back!

Well, I couldn't get the computer to accept my new pictures (man, I hate that!), so here are a few shots of what my View is from My Office. That's Aidan in the Middle Picture -- he builds things and Exercises all day long while I work away. The View out my Office Door is actually much prettier than it apppears in that last shot -- it's all green, and I can see the Pool Table and Bar Area -- and Tia is always within view, too! ha,ha!

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Thanks for swingin' by for a wee visit! You're the best looking visitor I've had all day (and I don't just say that to everyone who pops in! aha, ha!)... See you tomorrow!

Take Extra Good Care of Yourself! Ailsa!!

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Monday, June 7th, 2004. Hey, there, Goiiiigeous! Man, the 7th on the 7th -- I'm talking about Hockey, of course! The Last Big Game in the Stanley Cup Finals is tonight in Florida -- The Calgary Flames vs. The Tampa ay Lightning..... that's gotta be lucky, though, the 7th Game on the 7th Day... isn't that a religion? ah, ha,ha! Sports Fans probably could start their own little thing, now that I think of it! We were all so revved up on Saturday up here in Calgary, waiting for The Flames to give us our Big Win -- but the Lightning took it (well deserved, though -- these two Teams are unbelievably evenly matched!), so tonight's the night, as Rod Stewart would say... Go Flames, Go!!! It's gonna be a great Game!

Hey, you know what I was thinking during the Flames Game on Saturday night? I was thinking it would be a great idea to give Richards from The Lightning a Calgary Flames Shirt -- after the Game, of course, just so he could try it on and see how our colours look on him! ha,ha,ha,ha! Plus, he's very handsome, so maybe I'd just like to see him change into that... whatever -- I'm just trying to help the TV Ratings so our Players can make even more money! Oh, and speaking of TV Coverage, who is it who makes the Executive Decision to zoom in on the Hockey Players noses?? What's that all about? Those poor guys, all sweaty from playing so hard, then some idiot sticks a camera right in the middle of their face -- that not good (you must stick your lips waaaaay out like Ned the Neanderthal when you say that! ha,ha! That's just fun!). Why not back the camera up a few feet so we can see their shoulders? I, for one, would love to see their shoulders! ha,ha,ha!

Dwight had a couple of his Employees over to the house on the weekend to get some work done around here -- the Bobcat Guy was supposed to come, too, but he hadn't arrived by 2:00 in the afternoon, and Dwight was panicked that he would get here too late and then Dwight would miss the Hockey Game (see how it's all about hockey right now in Calgary??) ... so Dwight called and cancelled the Bobcat. Thank Goodness for that, because we had a wild day of Rain yesterday, and we would have had a giant sea of mud in the Front Driveway -- exactly what Dwight wants to avoid. We're supposed to have rain all week, so that's no good for Building a Driveway, that's for sure... ah, well... we'll have to see how the weather holds up for next week.

Now here's the best thing that happened for me over the weekend -- Jesse, Dwight's newest Employee, is a Computer Whiz, so he popped into my Office to see about fixing my computer (it was going soooo slowly, it was painful to work on...), and wouldn't you know it?? Whatever he did worked like a charm and the whole thing is working like new, again! YaaHoo! I won't have to get that new prescription of Zantac afterall! har, har! No, no... I would just have a little of that deeeelicious 'Sody Pop' Wine I like so much that I have Dwight buy it in groups of 6... He always says, "I'll just get a couple of bottles', and I always shout after him (by then he's always out by his truck in the driveway...) "No, get 6 -- they're like Sody Pop, remember??" Yes, that's how I rationalize it! ha,ha,ha! So the important thing to get out of that is that I really like the sody-pop wine... no, wait, that's not right... The important thing is that my computer is working normally, again, and all thanks to Jesse!! And it was his Birthday, yesterday, too -- Happy 21st Birthday, Jesse!

So here's the depressing thing that happened -- we were all sitting around the table in the Dining room, having a very nice Lunch, when Dwight pipes up and says, "Hey, Sean and Jesse's Moms are the same age as you!" Dwight's lovely like that ... Of course, Sean and Jesse are full grown MEN, so I'm amazed at the fact that I, too, could have had a child that old... Cara is 16 and Aidan is 4, so I still see myself as a very, very young Mum.... delusional, you say? Perhaps, but it's totally workin' for me, so I'm stickin to my delusion! ha,ha! That crazy Dwight! And to think he's 4 years older than me -- some of HIS friends are Grandparents, so at least I'm not there, yet! ha,ha,ha!

Okay, I have a ton of stuff to do around here, today (Monday is 'catch-up day' after the Weekend with everyone here...), so better go get that done! Plus, I've been working away on my Dads 'N Grads Page and my Home Improvement Shopping Page, so check them out if you feel like it! My friend, Adam, from sent me a link for us to use specifically for Home Carbon Monoxide Detectors -- I asked him to help me with that last week so we could all make sure we're safe enough. I put the link on the Dads 'N Grads Page because they make a good, safe gift for someone you love .... it's one of those things you think about getting, then forget, then remember when you hear of some terrible story on the news... you know the deal, so I thought I'd just make it easy for you to get.

Holmes Air Purifier/Carbon Monoxide Detector

Tip of the Day: Well, one of the Lights went out in my Office the other day, and it's been semi-dark in here ever since -- and I like a whole lot of light wneh I'm working on the computer (which is a good portion of my life! ha,ha!). So here's the Tip -- when you are still at the Building Stage and the Lighting is going in, buy at least two extra Bulbs for each Style of Bulb in the House. We have a tremendous amount of Recessed Lighting, which is very nice, but the bulbs are all different sizes. You can't tell by looking at them, so you have to carefully read the bottom of the bulb, then take the whole thing with you when you go to the store to replace the thing, just so you can match them up. Dwight has been carrying around this 'old bulb' for a couple of days, now, so I'm still working in the semi-darkness, only this time it's literal as opposed to all the rest of the time when it's purely figurative! ha,ha,ha,ha! (Yes, that one's for my own enjoyment! yuff, yuff!)

Oh, and in case you haven't seen the pictures of My Office, it's all Glassed in on the Lower Walk-Out Level of the House, so technically I have all sorts of light, according to Dwight, but I've grown accustomed to all the lights shining brilliantly on my computer, so I miss the burnt out one... but you know there's always one burnt out bulb in the crowd, so now I know which one it is! nya'ha, ha!

Here's a much easier way to get what I mean about my Office -- and of course I have the TV Positioned in the Lower Living Room so I can watch it while I'm working -- no wonder I never leave the house! ha,ha!

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Can you see the Green Rocking Chair? I got that just after Aidan was born, so I could have a nice, comfy chair to Nurse him in (I'm a big believer in Breastfeeding -- but more on that later -- there's a website I want to check out first before passing it along to you...). Anyway, it's my favourite chair, and perfect for watching The Sopranos -- whenever someone is about to get 'whacked', I simply spin around and say to Dwight, "Tell me when I can look..." He's very subtle about the whole thing of me being hyper-sensitive to violoence, so he invariably says "Oh My God -- ugh, not like that! Not the Head...!" That sort of thing, so I probably would be better off just watching it, rather than create my own images based on Dwight's reactions... But The Sopranos Season Finale was great, and now we can't wait for another Full Season! Wonder where we'll be??

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! And you look very lovely in this dimmed light -- maybe we should work like this more often... har, har!

See you tomorrow! Ailsa!

Oh, hey -- check it out -- this came in my e-mail, this morning, and they're all Free e-Cards. I send these all the time to my Family and Friends -- in fact, I better go do that right now, because it's my First Boyfriend's Birthday tomorrow -- Larry, and I think he'll 48 or 49 ... man, where does the time go? (I always had a penchant for an 'older man', even way back then! I was 18 and he was 25...) And I think he's still single, and has always been very good-looking, if there are any Single Gals out there in the Market for a nice guy! I better ask him if he's involved! ha,ha,ha! So Happy Birthday, Larry! I'll send you an e-card! Ailsa!

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It's The Weekend! WooHoo! June 5th & 6th, 2004. Hi, Honey! You're Home!! Wit' da Hostess wid da Mostess...! ha,ha! Man, the excitement in Calgary is palpable! You can feel it permeating the whole City -- it's wild! All the jobs are being cancelled on account of the Game, and everyone wants to be ready in case (!) The Calgary Flames Win Tonight, then we'll have a Party like it's 1999... no, wait, that's already past... like it's 2099! By then we'll have little Robots to do all our Skating for us, but it won't be as much fun as watching these two Teams duke it out -- Go Flames, Go!!! (Oh, and on the offchance you ain't followin' the Hockey Finals, The Calgary Flames are in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals with The Tampa Bay Lightning, and these two teams are so well matched, the Games are incredible... some of the best Hockey I've seen in years!)

Dwight's 'guys' are coming over, today, to help him with some Shovelling and whatever else it is that they do ... there's a lot of Prep work to be done before the Driveway can go in ... I'm hoping that I won't have to do too much shovelling -- I feel I do enough of that when I'm writing... ba-dum-bump! ha,ha,ha! Yes, I'm giddy with excitement... it's hard to describe what has happened up here because of a Sports Team -- an unbelieveably GREAT Sports Team -- Da Flames!! YaaaHoooo! And we haven't even started drinking, yet! ha,ha!

I've been working really hard all week on my new 'Dads 'N Grads' Page, so if you haven't picked out a Gift for a Dad or a Grad in your Life (or you'd like to get a wee something for yourself, since God Knows you're worth it...! ha,ha!) Well, clearly that's MY voice in that last line -- who knows why I feel like I have to justify any special item I might want to get for myself... what's that all about? I know, now that I think of it -- because I'm still dealing with what is commonly referred to round here as 'Dwight's Money', and I hate that... totally! I want to have my very own money, so I can go buy what I like without having to discuss it first, or get 'the big approval'... that sucks... (yes, I'm up late writing this, and getting more bitter by the minute...ha,ha,ha,ha! Bitter and funny -- whatever -- for some reason those two characteristics go together for me!) Anyway, let me concentrate on The Game and try to forget about all that stuff!

Tip of the Day: Here's a little Moving Tip, if you're moving into a new house that you happen to be building yourself -- Once you get your House to the Lock-Up Stage (literally, when you can lock the doors and windows...), start to pack up the stuff from your current home and bring it over in small loads to store in the Garage. And if your Build happens to run a little longer than you thought it would (ha,ha,ha!), you can store all your stuff in the Garage while you stay either at a hotel or temporary accomodations (not the In-Laws, if that can possibly be avoided!).

And if you're not moving into a house that you're building yourself (and I do hope that happens for you at least once or twice in your lifetime...!), start packing as soon as you have a Firm Offer on your House. It's surprising how quickly the time will fly, and before you know it, you have three days left to pack and haven't gotten around to getting any boxes... remember that Seinfeld 'Boxes' Eposide? That happens to everyone, at least once! ha,ha! But it is good to get a handle on the Packing well in advance of any move -- it'll be waaaay less stressful on everyone!

Well, here's a wee picture of me in some Calgary Flames Colours -- Red and Black -- luckily, two of my favorite colours to wear! I did try to make this picture larger, but just go ahead and click to enlarge it, if you want to... and, yes, that's Aidan leaping in front of me, and those ARE my Thigh High Boots -- every chick should own a pair! ha,ha,ha!

Thanks for coming in for a wee visit! Did I tell you how fabulous you're looking today? You look great in that Calgary Flames Shirt!! ha,ha,ha,ha!! Go Flames, Go!!!

Click the Door on yer way out, Baby!! Ailsa!!

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Friday, June 4th, 2004. Yo, yo, yo! What up wit' mah Home-ies?? I had a lot of construction related calls to make, this morning, so it took me ages to get in here to right this... Dwight finally agreed that it's time to hire the Bobcat guy to skim that gravel off the Driveway -- the Driveway Pavers are coming next week, so we don't have any extra time... I'm not sure what Dwight was thinking... apparently, he was trying to wait until the Hockey Finals were over...! So I've scheduled the guys in between the last two Games -- if we even NEED Two More Games -- it's lookin' very, very good for The Calgary Flames to Win the Stanley Cup this Saturday Night -- man, and then Calgary is gonna Go MAD!!! We're all Flames Crazy up here, we're soooo excited about the Flames being so close to Winning the Cup! YaaHoo!

<Purchase last-minute tickets at and get FREE shipping plus 5% off on all orders in June using code "June5">

I don't know what the odds would be on finding a Ticket for any of these amazing Playoff Games -- for the NHL or the NBA, but this is a great Source to try! Oh, and I just turned on Ellen Degeneres's's's Show -- it was a repeat, but Chicago was on performing, and they just said that Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire will be Touring together this summer... man, wouldn't that be a Great Show??

So one of the other exciting Construction-Related Calls was to the Septic Service -- 'ooooh, tell me more!', you say? Okay, I know you're interested in that kind of sh... no, I can't say that... stuff. I had mentioned to Dwight a couple of weeks ago that I thought it would be a good idea to have the Septic Tank Cleaned before we Paved the Driveway, but I couldn't get an agreement on that (there's a big surprise!), until I called Dwight to let him know Ron the Bobcat Guy will be here, tomorrow. Then he says it would be a great idea to empty out the Septic System before the Driveway gets paved... sound familiar?? Ah, well, as long as it gets done. It's generally much easier around here if I just let Dwight think he came up with whatever idea there is, if it means getting the work done. Sometimes I will mention it later, but then he just shrugs it off as my 'fanciful thnking' (my words! ha,ha,ha!)...

Tip of the Day: When you live out in the Country and have a Septic Field, be sure to get your Septic Tank cleaned out every year, if you have a regular amount of people in the house, and other circumstances are in the 'normal' range, too... You can have your Septic Cleaning Service book you in for the same time every year, and that works out well for everyone. We're having that service done a little early, on account of the New Driveway going in -- we don't want anything to happen between now and the time the Pavement is 'set' so the giant Truck can drive up to the Tanks with no damage to the new driveway. Then the whole process doesn't need to happen again until next summer, and who knows where we'll be by then?? Actually, there's something kind of exciting about that -- not having a clue where I'll land by next summer! Hmmmmm... it's all open to speculation!

I still can't seem to get the Photoshop open -- that happens from time to time, for some unknown reason to me, so I'll go get you some pictures I came across yesterday -- they're cute!

So here's Tia wearing her Sweater! I'd forgotten all about these pictures -- I had them labelled under 2004, like I had a plan to only have a few pictures for the whole year! ha,ha!

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Tia is very careful to stay on the Carpet by the Back Door when she wants to go out or when she first comes back in to get her 'feet checked' -- she holds up one paw at a time so you can check to see if her paws are clean! ha,ha! Man, we love her sooo much! It's hard to believe that she's older than Aidan -- but she arrived in our little family a year before Aidan did!

See how she's on her Rope? We put a 100 foot Rope out the Back tied to the Deck, and there's one for the Front Door, too, although she rarely goes out the Front, anymore. She doesn't get to use the full 100 feet very often, because she quickly wraps herself around the only Tree of any substance in the back garden! Funny girl! So we wrap the extra rope around the corner post on the deck to 'reel her in' a wee bit, and that worked. You can see she has lots of room to run around -- she's a lucky wee dog!

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! It's always lovely to see you! And I love that outfit you're wearing ... what is that? Pure Polyester? That's nice the way it stretches with you, no matter which way you go -- good choice! Just ignore those idiots who tell you to go change -- it's important to cling to your own personal style -- and I do mean 'cling'! ha,ha,ha,ha! (Yes, that last one was purely for my own enjoyment! Someone has to keep me amused around here! ha,ha!)

See you tomorrow for the Weekend Update!

Just 'Click' Your Way outta here, Baby! Thanks, Ailsa!

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Thursday, June 3rd, 2004. Hey, there, Honey-Babe! Sugar & Spice, Sweet & Sour -- oh, no, that's someone else I'm thinking of! ha,ha,ha! The important thing is to make sure the 'sweet' outweighs the 'sour', lest it won't be good! yuff, yuff! I just colored my hair (I always do that myself -- for some reason, every time I go to the Hairdressers to get it done, I end up looking like a direct relation to Carrot-Top, and that ain't good, so I just do it myself -- and that way I don't have to stop working, so that works for me, too!). I use L'Oreal B1 -- as in "B 1 Blonde, and see what happens"... it's always worth the experiment to try coloring your hair if the thought appeals to you...

Anyway, so I was looking in the enormous mirror, and I thought to myself, "Man, I could have been a Model... in the Twelfth Century!" ba-dum-bump ... I'll tell ya, I could change my name to 'Rubyn Esk', and people would say, "Oooh, that name really suits you...", then I would never speak to them again -- that's just the kind of Gal I am! ha,ha! Ah, well -- it would be fun to get to a Gym -- my days are so incredibly busy that I'm not sure where I'd fit it in... thankfully I still have my Home Gym Equipment, but I've been a little lax with it, lately, except for lifting my Free Weights in my Office while I'm working...

I spent all night, last night, trying to decide whether I should continue to write the Daily Updates, or if I should cut them back or cut them out altogether ... they are very time-consuming (I put in between 60 - 80 hours on My Site every Week, so that would give me the time to work on other aspects of the Site...), but I really enjoy writing them, and I like the response from my Brilliant Readers... hmmm. Tough call. I think I'll keep them for now, and stop them if I have to go get a 'Regular Job', since there's no way I could manage all of that at the same time. And since I was up all night thinking, I must have fallen asleep in the early morning, then when my Alarm went off, I must have shut it off and dozed back to sleep... that not good, as Thor the Neanderthal would say...

Thankfully, Cara got up with her Alarm, and I saw her walk past our Bedroom, but by then everyone was in a big panic because Dwight had a Crane Guy coming this morning for a Job he's doing in Calgary, and those Crane Guys arrive early and cost a fortune, so you never want to be late for them (Oh, and if you're looking for a great job in The Trades, consider training to become a Crane Operator -- they make a very healthy wage -- we know one young guy who was earning over $90 Grand by the time he was only 19 -- and Dwight dreams of owning a Crane, since you can rent them out to the big Oil Companies by the hour, 24/7... not a bad little deal if you can get it! Of course, a Crane costs about the same as a house, and we still need to have a home before we have a Crane, so he'll have to wait! But it's a good idea, should that opportunity ever find it's way to your doorstep...!).

So here's why I had to turn the Alarm off immediately -- Dwight hates my music -- I like R & B, Hip Hop, Soul... that sort of thing (actually, I like a very wide range of music, but that's what I like to wake up to...), but Dwight hates "that noise" -- he's 46 goin' on 90, I think! ha,ha,ha!(Yes, that's just for my own amusement -- and he's already wearing his black socks hiked up to his knees -- very disconcerting! ha,ha,ha!) Now, because of his extreme dislike of 'My Music', I have to turn the Radio Alarm off the second I hear it, so on regular days I leap out of bed, but not today... You know, I often wonder if I did return to the regular 'world of work', would I be able to get up consistently every day (on time...), but the reality is most likely that I wouldn't be with Dwight if I returned to 'The Outside World', so I could leave the music on as long as I liked -- I flirt with that idea from time to time (like from morning to dusk...! ha,ha,ha!). We'll see, we'll see...

Man, I still haven't called our Bobcat Guy to get the Gravel skimmed off the Driveway. Dwight is concerned that there will be too big a time frame between the time we get the Gravel skimmed off the Driveway and the time it takes for the Paving Company to come over to Roll and Prepare the Driveway for the Paving. We don't want to have a big sea of mud, that's for sure... I wanted Dwight to give me the okay before I hire yet another guy, and I don't have that, yet, so that's frustrating. Think I'll just go ahead and hire our Bobcat Guy, anyway -- the Pavers are supposed to be here next week, and I don't want to miss the opportunity to get this Driveway Paved.

Tip of the Day: Here's a little Lawn Mowing Tip I thought of after I was out mowing the lawn the other night -- Mow the Lawn in the Heat of the Day. It used to be that you would wait until it was cooler out (dusk) to mow the lawn, but it dawned on me the other night that those pesky wee mosquitoes might be out already, and now they pose a risk of West Nile Virus ... Typically, mosquitoes are at their worst in wet environments or in the evening. I can't remember now if they come out in the morning -- you know when you're camping, it feels like they're out in force day in and day out...! Anyway, if it's sunny and the grass is nice and dry, you should be a whole lot safer.

Well, Aidan wants me to go get him another snack, "to help him become even more super fast -- even more like a torpedo!" -- He's an entertaining little boy! I'm lucky to have been able to stay home with him all these years -- he'll be heading off to Kindergarten in the Fall ... all very exciting! So when Aidan is in Grade One, Cara will be in Grade Twelve -- now there's some careful planning! ha,ha,ha!

Speaking of Aidan, here are a couple of 'tricks' I use to get him to drink more water (as opposed to pop...).

The trick is to make the water seem a whole lot more exciting -- I found this Tiny 'Water Cooler' that Aidan can use by himself, so he really likes that!

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The other thing I do is clean out the little Coke Bottles in the Dishwasher, then fill them with water and place them around the house where Aidan is likely to go -- his spot at the Table, where he likes to sit at The Island, and over by the TV. That way when he's thirsty, he's more likely to drink Water. And of course, I always give him a 'Water Chaser' with any Fruit Juice or Pop, and he's "okay with that", he says! ha,ha!

Thanks for coming in for a little visit! And thank you to the extra-nice Readers who clicked on the Ads! I really appreciate all your Support!
See you tomorrow! Ailsa!

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It's a Red Ad in honor of The Calgary Flames -- Go Flames, Go!!! There's another Big Hockey Game tonight at 6:00 pm, Calgary Time... The Calgary Flames vs. The Tampa Bay Lightning... they're 2 & 2, so I'm sure it'll be a great Game!!

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Wednesday, June 2nd, 2004. Hi, there, Sweet Pea! Apple of My Eye... String Bean...wait a minute, that's not right -- I used to be called 'String Bean' when I was a very young Teenager, and was very, very insulted by it, but now it wouldn't be so bad to hear, but there ain't nobody sayin' that to me, these days! ha,ha,ha,ha! Ah, well. You know, I am so incredibly easily side-tracked... I got a couple of interesting e-mails, and the next thing I knew, it was noon, and I hadn't even started my Update, yet... good thing I'm my own Boss! ha,ha,ha! I'm very understanding about how easiliy distracted I am! I rationalize it, of course, as 'having a great range of interests' -- do you buy that? ha,ha!

Well, it wasn't like I wasn't working on the Site -- I found a letter in amongst my massive amount of e-mail that I was trying to get rid of, and it was about Stucco, and the letter was from 'One Teacher to Another...'. I love Stucco and I love Teachers, so I had to deal with that right away ... buyin' it, yet?? ha,ha! One of the huuuge Goals I have for this Site is to have as many Teachers read it as possible, because once a teacher (any teacher) gets new information, or information they think is interesting and presented well, the first thing they want to do is Pass It On... We're all like that -- it's in a Teacher's DNA, I'm pretty sure! ha,ha!

If we could get the message out to all our young Students about how important it is to Manage Your Money Well, we'd have a much happier Society -- it's true. If you are secure in your 'Financial Life', you'll feel better about yourself in general, and that translates into a happier person, so you'll be more likely to meet another happy person, and before you know it, they'll have a swack of little happy people... ha,ha,ha! And I'm here to dispell those stooopid myths that Poverty is a Magical State... puhleeeeease... what idiot came up with that? Poverty sucks, and I'm here to tell ya'! Been there, done that, won't be doin' that again! There's nothing worse than not having enough money to feed yourself or your children -- maybe that's why I'm so obsessed with making a Good Living, now? But I hate when people Romanticize something that is terrible. You don't need to be poor to be creative -- people with money can think, too ... and they don't have to spend 90% of their time trying to figure out how to Pay the Utility Bill...

Anyhooo, if you're a Teacher, or Not a Teacher... (okay, that's everybody included now, right?? ha,ha!) Pass this Site along through your Mailing Lists, and we'll see if we can't help all sorts of Folks to learn how to make their lives better -- even a wee bit makes it all worth while! (That and a reasonable Profit from when My Wonderful Readers Click on My Ads..!) It would be soooo cool to plant a seed in everybody to start thinking about Buying Their Own Place... now here's the irony -- I can't convince my Best Friend, Greg, who will be 52 this summer (man, I canny believe how old my friends are all getting! ha,ha,ha,ha! It's extra-funny because I'm right behind them! yuff, yuff! And for the record, I do have a lot of Male Friends -- always have... I wonder if I had a 'quick dip in the Neo-Natal Androgen Pool', since I tend to 'think like a man' in many circumstances...You know, I just remembered -- I was actually tested for that years ago -- "How is she able to understand a Blueprint...??" Ugh. Those were the days... anyway, it turned out that I am 'Whole Brained' instead of 'Right Brained' or 'Left Brained' -- hey, it's better than bein' 'No-Brained' -- now that would have been a disturbing diagnosis! ha,ha,ha!) to buy his own Home. He's very settled in his Perfect Apartment -- and nothing has moved since I first met him 20 years ago -- I'll bet I could draw you a picture of everything in the Apartment, and it would still be in the same place! ha,ha!

So here's the bottom line on the Brain Thing -- I just think like a Person, or an extremely emotional man... or something...whatevah, I'm happy wit' mah' Brain, and I'm pleased that it can continue to work for me everyday, for free! ha,ha,ha! That ended up being a really, really long paragraph, didn't it? Well, one of the best ways to find a new Site is through word-of-mouth, so feel free to talk about me behind my back to as many folks as you can! Don't worry, I can't really hear you -- I did't Mike all those Cameras, so you should be safe enough to say whatever you like! har, har!

The reason I am trying to get reg to Buy His Own Place is that the closer you get to Retirement, the more and more necessary it is to Own Your Own Home. The last thing you want to do, if it can possibly be avoided, is to have a Rent Payment due every month for your whole life -- you can never guarantee how much you would be paying each and every month, or how high the Rent could potentially go up. It's always better at this stage of the Game to Own Your Own Home. The key is to Buy anything at all that you can afford -- and the sooner, the better. The Big Object is to have your Mortgage Paid Off before you hit the Retirement Years... or at least have the Final Mortgage Payment somewhere in sight by that point. Just think how much better off our kids will be if we can get that information to them really early? We've already taken 4 year old Aidan out Condo Shopping! ha,ha,ha! No, he says he wants 'a really big house...' -- now where did he get that from?? ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: I went ahead and hired a Paving Company to Pave our Driveway, so here's a little tip from 'Bob', the fellow I'm dealing with directly. Before you even have the Gravel Scraped off the Driveway (and this is for a relatively new Driveway...), be sure to take some Round Up or other powerful Weed Killer and spray anything green or greenish in the are you are going to have paved. If you don't do that, the Grass or Weeds will grow right up through the Pavement. Can you believe that? Dwight was outside, last night, spraying down the grass and weeds in the Driveway Area, so I went out to Mow the Lawn. I looove mowing the lawn, so that might be another benefit of the 'Cross-eyed Brain' ... or whole brain thing! ha,ha,ha,ha!

I'll go see if I can get into Photoshop, today -- I couldn't get in yesterday to 'name' a few new pictures for you (they need a special new name before I can get them on the Site...). Oh, and check out Ask Ailsa to read the new letter about Stucco!

Well, I couldn't get into the Photoshop quickly enough (hate that...!), but here are three nice shots of the Three Stages of Stucco. The first step is to 'Wrap' the House -- with Tyvek (or equivalent) Paper and Wire -- looks like Chicken Wire to me...

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Then the Second Step is to put on the 'Scratchcoat' -- that's the grey coat in the middle picture. The Final Stucco Coat goes on last in whatever color you like that is approved by whatever your Architectural Guidelines allow! And that's the Sunroom on the South Side of the House, and the Dining Room and Great Room on the North-West Side of the House. Pretty, eh? Now who's a good little Designer?? ha,.ha!

Aidan is playing a Mouth Organ (in Scotland, they call them a "Mouthie", but I can't think if they have a 'North American Name...oh, a Harmonica! Tha's what they're called...) shaped like a Lobster Claw! Hilarious! He'll have to put that away before his father gets home, since Dwight doesn't find high pitched instruments all that amusing! ha,ha,ha! Now he's trying to 'control me' with the music -- Aidan spends a good portion of his day tying to 'hippotize me' -- too late, I'm already on my way! ha,ha! His big goal is to hypnotize me into doing everything he says -- now where did he get that notion from?? ha,ha,ha!

Okay, that's it for me, today! Thanks for coming in for a wee visit!

See you tomorrow! Ailsa!

Here's the 'Click of the Day' Gimme a little Click on your way out the Door! ha,ha!

Oh, and they have a Free Guide to Long-term Investing, too! Click, click!

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Tuesday, June 1st, 2004. Hey, Baby! Welcome 'Home'! Man, can you believe it's June already?? I thought we'd never see the sun, again -- that was a long, long winter in Calgary, this year -- it started last September and I hope to God that's the last we've seen of the snow! ha,ha! How crazy is that for a weather pattern? No wonder we all have a good sense of humour -- how else could you manage it?? Well, what did you do on yer fancy 'Long Weekend'? No excessive Drinking, I can only hope -- that's for a Wednesday... har, har!

Did you see the Calgary Flames and the Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey Game last night? Those are two incredible Teams -- and equally matched up the waaazoooo... the next Game is on Thursday Night (and an amazing Game it will be, because now we're 2 - 2 in the 7 Game Series, so the Fight is soooo on!!), and we saw on the News that you can buy a Ticket for $5.00 to watch the Game on the Giant Screens at the Saddledome -- you can pick up the Tickets at the Calgary Co-Op Stores, and all the Money goes to the Calgary Food Bank. Isn't that a great idea? That saves any problems with 20,000 people finding a seat (which means fewer brawls...) and a huge amount of money going to the Foodbank. I used to run a 'mini-foodbank' at any School where I was working over the years, at Christmastime, and the amount of labor involved in sorting through the Food Donations is massive, so this way, the Food Bank can use the Money to buy exactly what they need. Dwight is going to swing by the the Co-Op to see if he can score a couple of tickets -- it would be fun to take Cara down there for that kid of experience!

You know what is very sad? That we even need Food Banks, and so many of them. What on earth happened that we stopped paying a Living Wage, or that so many Working People (and many non-working, too...) needed the Services of a Food Bank just to feed themselves and their Families? That's reprehensible in First World Nations, let alone anywhere else. In Canada and The States, we both have a Major Election coming up, so wouldn't it be great to make this part of their Platforms? Aren't you tired of all the mudslinging and crap -- who cares about that? I care about people in our own Countries not having enough to eat or a place ot live. You know that old phrase, "Charity Begins at Home"? Well, I think that should be true for Countries, too. The more you allow people in your own Country to succeed, the more they will then be able to help others -- that's the beauty of the 'pay-it-forward' plan... maybe we can make that work for us on a National Level.

I'll tell you, there were some major changes made to our Unemployment Program in Canada about 10 years ago -- maybe a wee bit longer... anyway, there is a huuuge surplus in that Government Fund, because the Government changed the Rules for who was eligible for Unemployment Insurance, so hardly anyone can get it anymore. That's outrageous, and most Canadians don't discover that until they're out of work, and that's awful. Maybe the old System for the Unemployment Program could be revisited... maybe that could be an Election Platform, too...

And you know what else drives me up the wall -- and infuriates Dwight? The Canadian Gun Registry. What a total waste of good money that should have gone to supporting the vast numbers of Abuse Shelters and Abuse Programs out there. The Gun Registry itself does absolutely nothing to protect women -- in fact, I think it makes matters even worse. Did you know there's a line on the Form that requires 'The Wife" to sign on the dotted line that her husband is NOT a nut, and gets to keep his Firearms at home? Yep.. Think a woman who is afraid of her husband is ever NOT going to sign that? And then the new Gun Laws require the Owner of the Guns to Keep Them at Home -- how intensely stupid is that? And you can't SELL your Guns, because then you have to go and take yet another Course in order just to sell the damn things... I'd like to know what moron came up with this system, then Vote Them Out.

Just so's you know why I am sooo familiar with the National Gun Registry, it's something Dwight used to talk about endlessly -- he's a Hunter (yuck...), as are many, many Canadians... and he likes to go Hunting in the Fall. This is a major issue in our house, because Dwight feels he should be able to take off and go hunting like it's a God-Given Right, and he shouldn't have to tell me when he plans to go... so every Fall is annoying, to say the least. Now, I don't mind all that much if he goes, provided he gives me some heads-up when he's going and that he only tells me the stories of what's happening in his Hunting Buddies Personal Lives, and absolutely nothing about the hunt, which I can't stand... ick. I say, "Why not just swing by the Grocery Store if you want a Steak??" Dwight has no sense of humour when it comes to huntin'...

The other thing I don't like at all is the whole thing about the Gun Owner having to keep their Guns at Home... why can't they establish some sort of Warehouse or something where Gun Owners can 'Store' their Guns until Hunting Season rolls around, again? I know that would require some money to establish, but it's much safer for everyone NOT to have any guns handy in the home, whether they're in a Gun Safe or not, and I know the Gov't has a knack for getting plenty of dough out of Canadians, so maybe some of the Revenue could go to this. Or it could be a Private Enterprise... there'd be a lot of Profit in that, I'm sure... And then they could have some method where the Gun Owner had to show their 'Ticket' for whatever they are off to hunt (I can't think of the special name for that -- Lot Number, maybe...?), and they could call the Spouse or Partner at Home to let them know the Guns were being picked up. Then the Guns could be dropped off on the way home from the Hunting Trip... that would work for me, since I never, ever want to see a gun up close. Never. Something to think about...

Ironically enough, while I've been writing this, the people from Elections Canada stopped by the house to Register us for the upcoming Election. I completely forgot that we were in a New Area, so we would have to Register here and find out exactly where we are supposed to go to Vote, which makes for a Good Tip of the Day...

Tip of the Day: If you've moved between the time of the Last Election and the Next, upcoming Elections, make sure you are fully Registered to Vote, and find out exactly where you are supposed to go to Vote. It's surprising how quickly another Election Year comes along, so it's good to get that stuff in order before the actual Election Day. Now, we're out in the Country, so the Address they Wanted was the Legal Land Description -- who knows that off the top of their head?? I never would have been able to come up with that info if I were in the actual line-up to vote... so if you also need that (or just in general), bring your Gas Bill and Electrical Bill with you to Register to Vote. The information should be in the Top Left Hand of the Bill. Plus, it proves that you live there. And you'll need your I.D. -- a Driver's Licence is usually enough.

Oh, and Elections Canada has a website -- -- you should be able to get any information on How to Register or Where Your Polling Booth Will be... And if you're in The States, you can go check out Rock The Vote -- the only link I have to that is through , Margaret Cho's New Website. Just scroll down a wee bit and you'll find the direct link.

Okay, let me go grab you some new pictures -- be right back!

Here's my fave new Salad -- Pecan Coleslaw. It's a highly involved Salad, what with the Three Ingredients 'n all...

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Start with the Coleslaw that comes Pre-packaged from the Grocery Store. Add on a couple of Dollops (that's a technical term for 'some sort of a large spoonful...') of Mayonaise. Crush some Pecans and add them, too. I like that as the whole Meal, but Dwight insists on having 'real food', too... but I still think it makes a delicious Lunch, all on it's own!

Well, that's not at all what I was gonna talk about today -- see what happens when you get off on a tangent?? Ah, well. We all have serious issues we would like to see dealt with, and the Political Arena is a great place to start, and that's controlled by each and every one of us, so why not exercise your Right to Vote?

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit, today! I loves me a Visitor! And I particularly like the Visitors who Click on My Ads -- that's the way I support My Site...

Hey, I was 'talking' to Jonathan at, this morning (really, I only communicate by e-mail...!), and he said it was OKAY for me to ask you to please Click Through on this Ad. Here's the deal -- I make 10 cents for every click -- so that's a whole dollar after only 10 clicks -- you can see how quickly that can add up to 3, maybe 4 dollars! ha,ha,ha,ha! Given that I have thousands of visitors every day, I'm hoping this will start to generate a 'Living Wage', so go ahead and "Gimme a Little Click!" Thank You -- now I can buy that extra bottle of wine I've had my eye on! ha,ha,ha,ha! Ailsa!

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Monday, May 31st, 2004. Happy Memorial Day to my American Friends!! I hope you're all havin' a great Weekend! And everybody, else, too -- although I know the Canadians out there had a great Weekend because The Calgary Flames WON AGAIN on Saturday! YaaHoo!! All of Canada is behind the Flames, now, so that's very exciting! The Calgary Flames and Tampa Bay Lightning are Playing again, tonight, at 6:00 p.m. The Drama Department at Cara's Fine Arts School must be some of the few people in Canada not watching the Stanley Cup Series, so she has a Play Practice until 6:00... now that ain't good! We'll have to work around that...

I was sooo happy to turn on The View, this morning, and it was a NEW one -- Yippee! Since it's Memorial Day in The States, I thought we'd have all reruns, all day long -- oh, and the highlight of our Sunday Nights is The Sopranos, so just before 9:00 pm, I ran upstairs to make myself a big pot of Tea in prepartion for a whole hour away from the kettle, ran down the stairs for 9:00, and Dwight says, "Oh, no -- it's not on!" So I had to take the remote to check for myself -- so we sat there for a few minutes, trying to figure out if there was a Program Change, trying to decide whether Adrianna being whacked last wee was indeed the Season Finale -- and, incidentally, that's the most we talked all day... Anyway, I figured that we would have heard something in the Papers and on TV about the Sopranos Season Finale, so I said to Dwight that maybe it's just delayed on account of the American Holiday, and too many people would miss it... we were just grasping at straws, at that point! How sad is that?? ha,ha,ha!

Ah, well. I decided to go get some more reading in -- I'm still working away at John Updike's Rabbit At Rest. There's a scene in the Book from Sarasoto in Florida at what John Updike refers to as "Jungle World" -- and I've actually been there, so it was funny to read his account of the Gardens, and know every inch of that Property! That doesn't happen very often, I'm thinking especially if you're heavily into Science Fiction! ha,ha,ha,ha! Oh, hey... have you ever read the Sci-Fi with 'The Overlords'? I read it when I was a teenager, so I can't quite remember who wrote it or the Title, but I do recall it was a great book, and those "Objects" that were spotted in the skies over Mexico a couple of weeks ago reminded me of it. Funny how something like Objects in the Sky doesn't warrent as much Press as, say, a new Madonna Move (although, I like to see that, too... I'm a Girl of many interests! ha,ha,ha!) Anyway, I'm thinking it could have been Ray Bradbury... if you know that book I'm talking about, drop me a line and tell us all... I'll put it on my Great Books Page!

So back the The View -- they had a wee segment on Marriage -- surprise! Apparently, there was a Study that suggested that a Bad Marriage was as bad for your heart as smoking amd drinking excessively... now that ain't good! I quickly did the math, and I'm guessing I'm the equivalent of smoking 5 - 10 packs of Schmokes a Day, plus about 3 cases of Beer... hmmmmm, you'd think I'd be happier -- too bad it doesn't have the 'numbing upside' of the excessive drinking and smoking! ha,ha! Really, I must do something about that! And speaking of that, I got out Dr. Phil's Relationship Rescue the other day, just to have another look at it (I keep them in my little Library around the corner from my Office...), and I started to do one of the Exercises where you fill in the Blanks -- it says, "My Spouse...", "My Parents...", "I'd like to..." and you're supposed to finish the sentence. My answers were awful,so I had to put that book away and go have another Crunchie Bar, which I found helped more than anything -- that could be my new 'Relationship Advice' -- "Don't you have a chocolate bar you'd like to eat?? Try and escape into Chocolate" -- naw, I probably won't be accepted in these days of 'The Food Police"! ha,ha!

Oh, and I ordered some Books from My Great Books Page (catchy Title, I know! ha,ha!), yesterday. Cara came into my room, yesterday to ask me to take her 'into Town' to get a new Book, but I really didn't feel like leaving the House (think I might have a small problem with that -- something has to be really, really appealing to me for me to plan to actually leave the house -- it's very, very comfy out here, and there's so much space that I never feel confined, or anything... plus, there's always sooo much to do, it's hard to find a window of opportunity to 'waste time' shopping... except for on-line, so Cara and I played a game of Scrabble in my Office while I was putting in my order -- we went through my Book Page, so that generally connects to Barnes and Noble.

We ordered Donald Trump's new book, How to Get Rich (for Dwight's Father's Day Gift -- now we have that and the Sopranos what did he get for me on Mother's Day -- can't remember, now, but I know he didn't bother his shirt to get me any Flowers, Chocolates or a Book -- my three favorite things ... hmmmm, must establish a more equal relationship...). We ordered J.D. Salinger's Catcher in The Rye, because I think it's the best book for every teenager in the world to read, and Cara was desperate for the next book in a Series that she's been reading -- Girls on Film, by Zoey Dean. I'll go make a direct link for you for that book -- the other one was called The A-List, and Cara said it was a great read, so if you are a teenager, or you have a teenager, check those out! (And of course, I'll be the first to read old Donald's How to Get Rich, then I'll leave it out for Dwight on the offchance that he reads it, too -- so far, I haven't had any luck with that, although he did make his way through a Guide to Investing...)

Tip of the Day: We got our other Two Quotes in for the Driveway to be Paved, and one of them came in at $6750., plus another $810. for the Sealer, and the other one came in at "Around $6,000."... so here's your 'Tip of the Day' -- never accept any quote that is 'Around anything..." No. It must have a real number attached to it, and everything that is included, and occasionally what is NOT included. Then you know what you're realy dealing with. "Around" is just a bad word to hear in a quote, or anything else, now that I think of it... "How many Convictions have you had?" "Oh, around 30..." See how that can carry over into your regular life? ha,ha,ha,ha! The other thing is to always Hire Local, because the price will be better, especially if they have to bring their Materials and Equipment a fair distance -- that's rarely a good idea.

Now, we know that this Driveway will probably come in somewhere in the $6,500. Range, after all the Work has been done, because the Large Gravel that's out there right now has to be all scraped off, and New Crushed Gravel put in ...and then there will be some Landscaping around the new Driveway. It's always a lot of work, but well worth it in the end, because I'm sure it'll look gorgeous! I'll take pictures through the Process so I can share them with you...

Speaking of New Pictures, I did go and make a Peach Pie, this weekend, and it's deeelicious! I've had a piece for Breakfast, today, because isn't Pie one of the Major Food Groups? Well it is for me, and I ain't a'changin'! ha,ha! It's easy to rationalize Pie for Breakfast -- it's full of Fruit ... aaaahhhh, that's all I got, but still, it's full of fruit, so that has to count for something, right? ha,ha,ha,ha! (Yes, I'm just entertaining myself right now -- who says I need to get out the house more often?? ha,ha!)

I'll go get you some nice new pictures of Peach Pie -- maybe you'd like to make it, yourself, for a wee treat!

This really is very tasty -- I have no idea what kind of Fat and Calories are in it -- who cares?? Not me! To hell with that... I know, I have a really bad attitude, today! ha,ha! Ah, well... that's just the way I is!!

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Thanks for swingin' in for a wee visit! I love to have visitors, even if I can barely see you through the computer! yuff, yuff!

Swigs & Jigs (that's 'Drinkin' 'n Dancin'...!), Ailsa!!


Click on Your Favorite Team Color!!

It's another Red Ad for The Calgary Flames!

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Here's a White and Blue Ad for The Tampa Bay Lightning, since it's an Away Game for them...

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It's Another May Long Weekend! May 29th & 30th, 2004. Happy Memorial Day, for all My American Readers! I hope you have at least one Barbeque to go to, or have a bunch of folks over to your place for a big Grill (that's 'grill', not to be confused with 'girl', which is an entirely different type of party... yuff. yuff!). Hey, maybe this is a good weekend to try some of my favorite Recipes -- and if you're at all trying to 'score some brownie points', so-to-speak (or just trying to score -- really, I'm not completely sure on how desperate you are this weekend...! ha,ha,ha!), I'm tellin' ya, there are some real winners in there -- check out the Cheesecake -- it's a real crowd pleaser... (how desperate are you?? No, don't tell me -- write and let me know the details gotta get to cookin'! ha,ha!).

And speaking of Scoring (and that has but one meaning in this house, and I'm talking here, of course, about Hockey...! n'yuk, n'yuk!), The Big Flames vs. Lightning Hockey Finals are on at 2:00 pm on Saturday afternoon, then again on Monday Night here in Downtown Calgary. And yes, the Police are on Horseback -- that's to handle the types of crime we have up here -- people wandering too far into the Street, possibly some Littering -- it could be crazy! ha,ha,ha! I wonder if they intentionally scheduled the Hockey Game for the middle of the Afternoon so they can keep better control over the Crowds after the Game, especially when (!) The Flames Win! You never know -- that would make sense, though, because you are generally far less likely to 'Show your assets' in the Light of Day than you are under the cover of Night...

Quick Update: Dwight was wrong about the Start Time for The Game -- it's 6:00 pm, Calgary Time... and here we raced around all morning to get all our work done -- I went out and mowed the giant lawn and Dwight dug some sort of tunnel system -- I think he might be trying to escape...ha,ha,ha,ha! Then I went to make the Peach Pie before the Game started, and couldn't find my favorite Deep Dish Glass Pie Plate, so I went out to the Garage to rummage through the massive amount of stuff we have out there that never was unpacked from almost two years ago ... then I remembered that there's NO WAY I could find my precious Pie Plate, because when Aidan was really little I made the same Peach Pie for this big Pie Event at the Church we went to back then, and one person there took the Pie and the dish home, ate the pie and didn't return the Dish...hmmmm. Now there's an example of how Religion done me wrong... ha,ha,ha,ha! (Yes, I'm kiddin' with the bad English -- it's just a whole lot of fun, but if you're thinking to yourself,"What done there is she a'sayin', that there Bad English", there's something else going on, and we don't gots the time to deal with that, here...! We got a Game to Watch -- at 6:00 p.m.!! ha,ha!)

Hey, did you hear about all the Calgary Girls who are now all over the Internet? ha,ha,ha! They were all caught up in the moment, might have had a wee drink or 6, and 'Showed Their Support' in a 'Flashy' sort of way, and some enterprising young men caught it on Film, and now they'se famous! Ah, there's one of the many hazards of Drinking and Watching Your Favourtie Sports Team Win! ha,ha,ha! Ah, well -- maybe more people will want to travel to Calgary to check out the 'Scenery' for themselves -- that can be our new Tourism Promo!

That reminds me of one of the funniest Tourism Ads I've ever seen -- it's for Travel P.E.I. (Prince Edward Island, -- a beautiful Island & Canadian Province off the Atlantic Coast of Canada). Anyway, I can't remember very much about the content of the Ad, although my best guess is that it involves Anne of Green Gables in some enormous way (the Canadians will be chortling right now... ha,ha!), but the best part of the Ad is at the end when they say, "Call Now, Ask for Mary..."! ha,ha,ha! And then a website address comes on the screen, and it has, or something very similar to that -- the important thing is that it's just Mary who's in charge of Tourism for the Whole Province! That's hilarious! Now, folks from the Maritimes are known for having a wicked sense of humour, so it's hard to say whether Mary is indeed sitting all by herself, waiting for the Tourists, or if they're having a great laugh about it themselves -- either way, it's pretty funny! ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: I was so wrapped up in the Paving Quote thing, yesterday, that I completely forgot to write a Tip -- sorry about that! Here's an extra-good one to make up for that -- Try to Marry Rich. No kidding! Why not? Try to get a really Good-Looking one, too -- see how this ties in with all the Hockey Players in Town? ha,ha,ha! And all the (hopefully) 'available' Girls in Calgary?? Here, I was going to write something about The Stepford Wives, because I am endlessly fascinated by what makes a Marriage Work, and what doesn't -- from what I can tell, alls you gotta do is be Perfect and Clean your Beeehind off (cleaning the house, I mean...!) -- that's what Dwight wants, so that must be right,(I should just go poke 'im with a stick and get it over with... I'm kidding, of course -- I don't have a stick -- maybe a Pixie Stix -- but then if it accidentally spilled, he'd make me clean it up, and then the whole cycle would start all over again... you can see what a delight marriage is! ha,ha,ha!) and then here comes The Stepford Wives to reinforce that idea... or just make your own money and find someone you love! Ha,ha,ha!

Here are Three potentially 'Mate-Finding and Mate-Keeping' Recipes you might like to try this weekend... actually, I bought some extra Sour Cream, so I'm gonna make a Sour Cream Peach Pie -- now that is one of the most deeeelicious pies on the planet!

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Anyway, these are all pretty easy to make, and fabulous taste treats! The first one is a picture of the Fruit Puffs, then Aidan looking lovingly at the Cool 'N Creamy Cheesecake (it's a no-bake Cheesecake), and then there are my favorite Cinnamon Buns! Yum. It's fun to make nice things for the people you love and care about -- that includes yourself, of course! ha,ha!

Thank you for coming in to see me, today! It's always lovely to have a few visitors stop by for a wee chat -- I can hardly hear you though... oh, that reminds me -- check out Ask Ailsa -- there's a funny new letter on there -- I just posted it...!

Have a Fabulous Weekend! Cheers & Guffaws, Ailsa!!

Go Flames, Go!! YaaaaHooooo!

So to be nice and fair to my many Readers from all over, here are two Ads -- the top one is Red for The Calgary Flames...

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And this one is for The Tampa Bay Lightning -- go ahead and click on the Team you Support the most -- it'll be fun to see which one wins!

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Friday, May 28th, 2004. Hello, Goigeous! Are you all excited about an extra day off, if you're in the States? Lucky!! Not that I want another Monday off any time soon -- those extra Mondays are terrible around here, because Dwight hands out these invisible Work Order Sheets and everyone has to fill them -- my holiday is the day after they all go back to work and school...!

Oh, yeah, that reminds me -- I've been hearing a fair bit from an assortment of people that "It's lucky that I don't have to work at all..." Hmmm. That's always a pleasure to hear, since the insinuation is that I sit around doin' absolutely nuthin' all day, every day...yet magically this Site is Produced. And I think I'm well over my first million visitors to my Site, and it looks like I'll pass the 2 million a year over the coming year... which ain't bad -- it'd be better if My Readers clicked on the Google Ads, but what can you do about that? Nuthin'....but at the very least they must be spreading the word to their Friends, because the Site has grown so much since last May...

What drives me Around the Bend and Over the Hill (?!) is when folks can't see beyond what is in their own immediate little circle. There's Value in every job, and every job is important, and not every job involvs getting up at 6:00 am and heading out the door. Mine starts at 6:21 am, but I stay at Home -- and it's no picnic, for the most part. Sometimes it gets really lonely at home all by myself all the time -- with Aidan, of course, but without any other 'Adult' interaction -- that's why My Site is sooo important to me, because I can pretend like I'm chatting with real adults, and I really like that! Plus, I get some really lovely Letters from My Readers, and that feels like I'm having real and actual human contact... man, I couldn't survive without e-mail, now! And to think I just learned how to use that when I was 37 -- I only know that because the first e-mail address I created was 'thatshilarious37...', in honour of how old I was at the time (I'm 41, now...).

Now I had had some 'activity' on the computer in the years before that, but I could never remember how to turn the damn thing on (seriously!), and I had to keep a paper at the side of the computer with each tiny step written out, which I would consult whenever I had to do anything at all to do with the computer... and the 'Internet Highway' completely eluded me -- I visualized an actual Highway, but had no idea of how I was supposed to access that, and I never really wanted to say that to anyone, since I was secretly hoping that it would either have nothing to do with my life, so I wouldn't need to learn anything new, or I would be able to watch someone else find the Highway, then I could try it by myself...

Remember back before you knew how to use the computer, every person (mostly men...) who tried to show you anything on the computer looked like their hands were just flying over the keyboard. They would say, "Here, just do it like this...", then their hands would go like mad and the thing you wanted would appear on the screen... and you were not one step closer to understanding the whole process. I need to see things slowly, write them down, try it myself -- slowly -- then write it down again so I can remember every single Stage. That's just the way I operate. I still have my books of how to do stuff with the Site right beside me, in case I have a Brain Freeze and can't remember something basic... and that's why it's all very exciting for me when I figure something new out, and so unbelievably frustrating when I can't figure out how to do something that someone else thinks is a breeze... it's still pretty new to me.

And then on top of all that, I'm still raising Aidan, who is now 4, and Cara, who just turned 16, and Dwight, 45 going on 46... he's the biggest handful, by far! ha,ha,ha! And Building Houses... little things like that, so it's very insulting when these people say "It's lucky I don't have to do anything..." -- why wouldn't their little brain kick in and stop them from saying that sort of thing? No one person knows what any other person really goes through in a day, and I think it would be pretty shocking to see it if they could -- not that they'd be invited in -- no ... nice people only... like you and me! And the good-looking Coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning! ha,ha,ha,ha! Okay, that's just a Pipe Dream, but all I've got is this big house and my big Dreams to keep me going, so I'm not gonna take it back!

Oh, no. This is Wayne Brady's last Show on the Air, today. What a TV Crime that is -- what's up with that?? I truly can't understand why another Network hasn't picked him up, revamped his Show (remember my little idea to pair Wayne Brady up with Bryan Cranston -- the Dad from Malcolm in the Middle -- they were hilarious whenever they were together...). Anyway, we'll miss Wayne very much, and I hope to God that some TV Network Executive out there comes to their senses and puts Wayne back on the Air. I think he is one of the most multi-talented people probably on the whole Planet, and I know that he'll do well wherever he is, but it would be a terrible shame to not be able to see him and let him present his cheery self to the world as often as possible. When his new CD comes out, I'll put it on my Website... Good Luck, Wayne!!

Well, I have to go call the Pavers, again, because I haven't heard a word from either of the two other companies I wanted to get quotes for the Driveway. We'll have a window of opportunity next week with good, warm weather, so it would be great if we had the Quotes well before then... not that we can necessarily schedule it in for then, but it's worth a shot.

I'll go get you some extremely cute pictures of Tia looking out the windows! Be right back!

Well that took me a while! I was outside getting Tia to come back inside when I spotted a Paving Truck at the Neighbour's house, so Aidan and I threw on our shoes and went over to talk to them. Now they're gonna give us a quote, too. Yippeee! Can't wait to get his Driveway all nice and paved!

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So here's my wee Tia -- isn't that 'stance' hilarious?? She's a very funny dog! You can see why my windows were covered in little Dog Nose Marks... and you can see how close to the Floor the Windows are -- I really like that height, because you don't feel separated from Nature. Tia especially feels this way! ha,ha,ha! Oh, and these are a couple of the Lower Walk-Out Level Windows -- right beside the Pool Table.

Thanks for coming in today, and every day! It's gonna be a lot of fun when we can figure out how My Readers can all get together -- I'm still thinking some sort of Disney Experience, or maybe we could meet down at the Beach in California -- Zuma Beach up past Malibu is one of my favorite Beaches -- Cara and I used to go out there almost every weekend when we lived in Santa Monica -- there was an amazing little Bakery that we used to stop at on the way out to the beach, and they sold Chocolate "Clam Shells" filled with Cream and a Strawberry -- no wonder we were so happy when we lived there! ha,ha,ha!

Have a Fabulous Weekend! Cheers & Guffaws! Ailsa!!

This Google Ad is called Black & Blue, which is about right after last nights crazy Fightin' Game between The Calgary Flames and Tampa Bay Lightning... what was up with all that fighting? One of the great things about the Playoffs is it's usually really good, clean Hockey, where Skill is the Key Player, but not last night... it was like a Combo-Sport -- half Hockey, Half Boxing...ah, well. There's a lot of tension between then Teams, but that was scary when my favorite guy, Iginla, started to throw the punches at the end of the Game -- we can't afford to lose him over anything crazy like that!

But I'll tell ya, these two Teams are so equally matched, they each scored the Same Final Scores in the First Two Games -- 4 - 1 for Calgary the first night, then 4 - 1 for Tampa Bay last night... how weird is that?? So the next big Game is in Calgary on Saturday Afternoon, and this town is gonna go mad with excitement! And for 'Da Girls' out there, have you noticed how handsome some of those Hockey Players are? Most of them are waaay too young for me (plus, Dwight has some crazy idea that you shouldn't 'Date' while you're married! ha,ha,ha,ha!), but the one I really like is the Coach of the Lightning -- I think his name is John Tortorella... very good looking! ha,ha! (Hey, I'm married, but I still like to have a wee look! ha,ha!)

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Thursday, May 27th, 2004. Hello, Baby-Cakes! How you doin'?? I just realized that the American Long Weekend is this coming weekend, not last weekend... I guess I was thinking we all had the same time off... anyway, I had mentioned that a nice Service that has is a Program where you can go into their Online Store and chose something that they will send to a Person in the Service. What a great idea -- you don't have to know anyone in particular, as far as I understand it... you can check out my Overstock Page to see the sorts of things they have, but what a nice idea -- I really like that Company! And don't forget that if you're in the 'market' for a nice, employed, American man (!), Adam at Overstock (My Affiliate Manager and Friend there...!) is free and available! He's 25, if you're looking for numbers! ha,ha,ha!

Well, I still haven't heard anything at all from the other two Paving Companies to get Quotes for the Driveway. We're in for some Rainy and cold weather over the next few days, anyway, and that's no good for Paving, so I guess as long as we hear very soon from them, we'll be okay. I'm really looking forward to getting the Driveway done -- did I mention that we couldn't do it last Summer because the Irrigation System screwed up and water came out of a pipe right in front of the Garage? We had to have the Spout thing moved over into the Garden Area, where it should have been to begin with... Anyway, there are often things like that that happen during a Build or a Renovation. Things happen, and often not when you want them to happen... you just have to roll with it, and know that all the work will eventually get done.

Ugh, I'm watching a little Canadian Show, and they're making Wild Rice Pancakes -- yuck! Wouldn't you hate to go to your pals place for Brunch and they said they were gonna whip those up? Eeeeew! You couldn't get enough Syrup on them to cover up the taste... there are some things you just want to keep the same old way. A lot of these new Fad Diets are so ludicrously restrictive, that you can hardly Serve a Meal, but that ain't good for anybody. I always like to see people take a more moderate approach to life, in general, and not to forget how to enjoy themselves... and yes, that's exactly what I tell myself when I have a wee treat of my Crunchie Chocolate Bar in the mid-morning! I figure I have the whole day to 'work it off'... and I have all these Free Weights under my desk -- I like to roll them under my feet, and lift them between my feet while I'm working at the computer -- it uses up some 'nervous energy', and increases your muscle strength -- not a bad combo!

The Mountains have been particularly gorgeous, lately, so I took a few pictures yesterday morning. But here's the funny thing -- we've been considering moving back into Calgary (we're outside of Town in an Estate Area now...), since we know for sure that we'll be moving to a smaller home before we decide on where we will Build next... it's all transitional! Anyway, it had been pretty cloudy and hazy over the last little while, so we forgot about the Mountain View, and that was one of the main reasons we had for buying this Property in the First Place. It'll be really hard to find another place with a great Mountain View, hopefully a River View, and lots of Trees. We're not asking for much! ha,ha! It's gonna be a bit tricky... but we are a lot more open to other possibilities of communities to live in than before, so it's really just a 'wait and see' game, now. We never really look very hard at any new Properties until the Home we're in is Sold, since we don't like to add any additional stress onto our lives.

Tip of the Day: Get Quotes before you actually need the work done... Dwight wouldn't let me go and get the quotes for the Driveway early -- I wish I hadn't listened, but then that would have been a whole other issue, and one I can't be bothered dealing with... But if you can possibly get your Quotes together at least a month before you need the work done, you'll save yourself a bunch of headaches. And if you have to beg and plead with any Contractor to give you a quote, forget it altogether -- if you're pleading with them before the job even starts, it'll just be a big bloody nightmare, because they sure won't respond to you later during the job (if they show up...) or, God Forbid, if there are any problems... Just a wee word to the wise! ha,ha!

Oh, and Quotes are Free, for the most part. It's highly unusual to ever have to pay for a Quote -- maybe if it's a huge Industrial Job, but most Home-Owners who have regular Home Improvement Projects get their Quotes for Free. If someone tries to charge you for it, I'd be suspect. Unless you're waaaaay out in the Country, or if someone had a bad habit of constantly having Contractors over to give them Quotes, then they never actually did they Work -- that's borderline crazy, so that wouldn't fly, but let's just say you're completely normal and need a regular job done around the house -- the quote should be free.

I'll go get you some nice new pictures of the Mountains! Be right back!

I took these pictures yesterday morning -- the first two are out the Dining Room Windows, and the Third one is out the Living Room Windows. So you can see why we love the Views around here so very much!

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Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! Oh, hey -- you could make like I'm a Waitress (the talkative kind...!) and give me a little 'Tip' on your way out the door by clicking on the Red Ad right here -- it's Red in honour of The Calgary Flames -- they have their Second Game in the Stanley Cup Hockey Finals tonight in Tampa Bay. You know what they're doing at the Saddledome, where the Flames play their Home Games? They have a thing set up where you can go down to the Saddledome (yep, it's shaped likea a giant Saddle for riding a horse -- it's very Calgarian! ha,ha!), bring a Donation for the Food Bank, and you can watch the Away Game on these giant Big Screens with lots of other Flames Fans -- they can 'Fan the Flames', so-to-speak! ha,ha,ha,ha!

Go Flames , Go!!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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Oh, I almost forgot to mention that my favorite Girl, Fantasia Barrino, won on American Idol last night -- what an amazing Talent she is -- and to think she must have felt her life was going to be so difficult when she had a wee baby at 17, then to Win a Competition like this at only 19 -- what a miracle! She has a beautiful Spirit, so I hope she makes an absolute mint! And the other young one, Diana DeGarmo, will be sure to have a very promising Career, too, so everybody wins in the end, and that's always good, right?? And I hope we hear from George Huff, again, because I really thought he was great!

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Wednesday, May 26th, 2004. Hello, hello, hello! Grab yourself a cup of Tea and come on in! You gotta bring your own Chocolate, though, 'cause I can't part with my favorite Crunchie Bars... unless you're very, very funny, in which case I will share Half of my Crunchie Bar! So you can see how much emphasis I put on 'being funny'... that's how Dwight 'won me over'... he made me laugh all the time. I can't say we laugh all that much, these days, but he's still pretty funny, so he can stay for a while, yet! ha,ha,ha!

Oh, speaking of laughing, have you caught the WB's new Superstar USA, yet? Man, that is the funniest Show out there, right now. We laughed ourselves silly. If you see it listed, click on and check it out -- my favorite Girl is the Pretty Blond (you can't miss her ... she's a Jessica Simspon Fan, and has many things in common with her Idol...). She has a little 'signature move' where she surreptitiously checks her hand to remind herself of the Lyrics to the song she's singing. It's soooo funny, because she clearly believes no one else notices that she stealthily checks her wee hand for the words! Man, it's hilarious! And the Judges and the Host -- Ton Loc, Vitamin C, and 'Fritz', I think his name is... are so hysterical! I have no idea how they can keep a straight face, and their little comments are 'laugh-out-loud' funny! And the Host is Ryan McFaden -- he says at the end of the Show, "McFaden Gone!" like Ryan Seacrest from American Idol says, "Seacrest Out!". It's really hilarious -- you'll love it!

So I called a couple of other Paving Companies to get two more quotes -- it's generally good to get Three Quotes for the really big jobs, and the Driveway definitely falls into that category... One Company I haven't heard back from yet, and the other on is coming over today to have a look at the Driveway. I mentioned to Dwight last night that I had put the Price of the First Quote on the Site, and he was really mad -- whatevah... one of my 'Pet Peeves' is when the Home Renovation Shows do some incredible Make-Over, but don't mention how much it costs to do that type of Renovation. Trading Spaces is a great Show, but they don't include the vast amount of Labor included in the Job. It's fairly common for a really big Renovation to cost around the $100,000. mark, so I would love to see these Shows just say how much the Reno would cost.

There are some relatively inexpensive things you can do to quickly improve your house, and I put a lot of those ideas on my Renovations Page, but when you're talking about Major Renovations, you gotta be prepared to squeak open that wallet! And then think about getting a Home Equity Loan! ha,ha! The easy way to decide whether to go ahead with a Major Home Renovation is to think about how much Value the Renovation will add to your home. If the Value added exceeds the Top Value of the Home 'On the Market' (if you were to sell the house), only do the renovation if you plan to live in the house for at least another 10 years. Or if you're loaded...! ha,ha,ha!

I just had to put one of Aidan's 'guys' into the little Helicopter -- this boy has some very cool toys! He loves to make deals with me all day long about what I should buy for him 'on his special day' -- his Birthday! It's pretty funny! Aidan's Birthday isn't until September, but he's very good at waiting it out! But he still loves to bargain for things, which I think he gets from his Father! ha,ha,ha! It's like Business Training for the 5 and Under Crowd!

Oh, and I just saw one of Aidan's favorite toys -- he drags it al over the house -- it's a 'Pet Mouse'... as you might be able to guess, I can't stand rodents of any sort (including the ones shaped like humans... ha,ha,ha!), so this is an 'old mouse' from the computer! We drew on a wee face onto the front of it, and he just loves it. I should go take a picture of it! I'll do that right now!

Tip of the Day: I spent a good portion of the 'Holiday Monday' cleaning the Windows, and had a lot of fun doing it because I happened to find a 'Magic Cloth' under the Kitchen Sink when I was in looking for more Scrubbies... I got this 'Magic Cloth' at the Superstore for about $2.47, is my best guess, and this little cloth was amazing! I love it, and now I'm gonna go back and get a whole lot more so I can add them to my collection of Cleaning Products I love! Anyway, I had been thinking that we needed to use the Power Washer to clean the Outside of the Windows, because I was sure the dirt was on the outside...

Well, I tried the Cloth on the Front Entry Mirrors (the Closet has Mirrored Doors) -- I figured if it could clean the Dog Nose Marks and the Fingerprints from a particular small boy, it could pretty much clean all the Mirrors... It worked incredibly well, so I cleaned all the Mirrors, and then went around and cleaned all the Windows that I could reach. We have about 38 windows in this house, so it took me a looong time to get them all sparkly clean! So it turned out that I didn't need all sorts of fancy things to clean the windows -- just this one little 'Magic Cloth'! You just dampen it and clean away -- oh, and it takes off the little stickers that might have arrived on the Windows and Mirrors in a Child's Room -- guess whose room that is?? ha,ha!

Okay, this is running long, so I'll get some pictures quickly!

Well, there's the Front Entry Mirrored Doors -- I couldn't find the one I was looking for, but this is always a nice one, and that's Cara in the Picture... and then there's the nose that's responsible for a fair number of the 'marks' on all the windows in the house, because the Windows are only a Foot off the Floor, so they're right at the height of Tia's Nose! ha,ha,ha!


Thanks for coming in for a wee visit! I've been working away on Archiving the old 'At Home With Ailsa' Updates, and now I'm up to December 7th of 2003... it takes a long time to Archive all that writing!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

Today's Google Ad is Red in honour of The Calgary Flames, who Won their First Game of the Hockey Finals!

Go Calgary, Get Your Game On, Go Calgary! WooHoo!!!

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Tuesday, May 25th, 2004. Oh, hey... this is the Anniversary of our Engagement -- for me and the Dwight-man, I mean... hmmmm, I'm sure that if I forgot all about it, Dwight did too -- just another day, now! Dwight took me up to the Calgary Tower, and Proposed as the Sun was setting ... sounds romantic, but I was rattled because I'm not big on Heights, and Dwight was speeding to get to the Restaurant on time, so the Cops pulled us over and we got a Ticket, and I'm not too big on the Cops pulling up behind me, either... And he'd been trying to Propose for God Knows how long, but it never worked out -- he carried 'The Ring' all the way out to Kelowna, this gorgeous little Town in B.C., but things were very uncomfortable out there, so I said to him, suspecting he was going to propose, "Don't do it, now -- you know everyone's miserable...". Then all the way home through the Mountains, every time we passed a Waterfall, Dwight had that look in his eye that he was going to pull over and do it there, so I had to keep saying, "Nope. You know we're all having a crappy time, let's just get home..." So eventually it happened and that was that.

Anyway, the only thing we're really thinking about for tonight is the Giant Hockey Game with The Calgary Flames and Tampa Bay. Calgary is soooo excited about our Flames making it to the Hockey Finals, and I just know they're gonna WIN!! ha,ha,ha! Go Flames, Go! And I just heard last week that Jarome Iginla (# 12 on the Calgary Flames) is having a House Built for him in a new Community just down the road from us -- maybe he'll swing out here for a drive and see us! We'll be the filthy ones in the Garden! ha,ha,ha!

So we actually got a fair bit done, this past Long Weekend -- and extra long it was! Man, it's nice to send Dwight back to work, because he has me working like a work-horse all weekend long -- yuck. (And could I SAY 'work' anymore in that last sentence?? ha,ha,ha!) But my favorite part of any Long Weekend is to send everyone back to School or Work so I can be all alone again -- with Aidan, of course ... he's my little permanent fixture! And he hardly ever makes me do a whole pile of work! (Except for providing a steady stream of Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches! ha,ha!)

I spent the better part of this morning trying to find an old Local Newspaper so I could get the Numbers for some Local Paving Companies. The first one didn't work out at all, and then I stopped to ask the guys across the way from us who were paving a neighbor's Drive to swing by and give us a quote, but nothing, yet... Dwight says they won't come by, but that makes no sense to me... why wouldn't they? We have an enormous Driveway, so it would be a good job. It turned out that Dwight has thrown out every single Paper in this House, so I looked online and couldn't find anything... then I tried the Phone Book, but you have to know the names in advance... annoyink! Finally I remembered a name from the area and looked them up. And the one number I found in the Yellow Pages turned out to be a FAX line -- man, sometimes you just can't find anybody to do the Work! I'll let you know when I'm successful at getting a few quotes...

Oh, and I finally figured out how I can Archive all the At Home With Ailsa Daily Updates -- I started writing these last September (2003), and I had no idea the Pages were so long. It's gonna take me a long time to get the whole thing Archived, but at least it's a start... I just keep plugging away, day after day (sometimes night after night...) to make this Site a functional Tool for people who are interested in Building a Better Future, through the actual Building or Remodelling of their Home to all the other stuff I like to put on the Site. I'm always gonna be a Teacher at heart, so I like to share anything I happen to know with everyone else to see if it can help them, too.

Now I just need to make the Site Financially Viable... it makes enough now that it pays for itself -- Dwight footed the Bill for the first little while, and he felt that gave him 'the right' to say he was going to 'shut the site down' if it didn't start turning an income. That was always really frustrating (to say the least!) for me, because I've worked really hard on this Site, and I'm not ready to give it up that quickly. There are lots of things you can do in your Life that don't turn an immediate profit, but it can lead to a Residual Income that can last for Life, and that's what I hope for with My Site. Dwight does Work that has an immediate Result, financially and otherwise, so it's hard to show him how important this is to me. And if it still doesn't work, at least I've learned how to use the Computer and how to Build a Website, so that's information I can carry into any future Ventures.

Tip of the Day: If you can possibly find a way to create an ongoing Residual Income for Life, do it, no matter what anyone else says... It's surprising how many naysayers there are in any one person's life -- I think it's a phallacy that everyone has this wonderful Support System all around them -- not from my generation, or the ones who came before me... that's not how it worked back then. How many people do you know who have heard they are "too big for their Britches", "Don't be so full of yourself..." or "Who died and made you King of the World?" Those were common phrases designed to keep everyone 'in their place' -- a fairly low place, too. I'm sure that's the reason Our Generation and the Generations after me have gone so far out of our way to make sure our Children feel tremendous confidence in themselves.

Sometimes (not too often, or you'll just go mad! ha,ha!) it's good to go over your Past to see where you might have heard 'lines' that were negative, then make a conscious decision to let go of them and determine for yourself what your Future will hold. It's great to feel really good about yourself, and we have this huuuge opportunity, now, to not inflict that stuff on our own Children. Now, you don't need to tell every kid that they can be a Surgeon, but you can definitely help them to feel great about themselves and to help them find their own path in Life that is just right for them. And hopefully that Path will lead them right into their Own Home, so they won't be dependent on you forever and ever! ha,ha,ha! It's great to be Independent!

Oh, guess what? Someone just came to the Door to give me a quote for the Driveway -- and he meausured out the Driveway (4300 square feet, apparently) and gave me a quote right on the spot -- $5500. for all the work except having the Gravel that's on the Driveway now removed, with 2" of Asphalt. I'll show Dwight the quote tonight, right after the Hockey Game!

Okay, I'll go get you some nice new pictures! Be right back!

Well, these aren't new pictures, but they are a good set of the Evolution of the Driveway!

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The Driveway started out just going from the Road straight to the Garage, but I desperately wanted a Circular Driveway, so Dwight finally agreed, then we had our guys put all sorts of material down to build the Driveway all around like the first picture. Then you bring in a tons of Gravel, and that goes on top of the Dirt, then that's compacted. Now we have to skim off the Gravel you can see in the Third picture so we can have the Driveway Rolled to make it perfectly flat so the Asphalt will be perfect. That's one of those jobs where Perfection is a good thing! ha,ha,ha!

Thanks for coming in for a wee visit! See you tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

Here's a nice Red Google Ad in honour of The Calgary Flames! Go Flames, Go!! YaaHoo!! Don't forget to 'click the door' on your way out!! ha,ha!

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Monday, May 24th, 2004. Yo, yo, yo...what up wit' mah' Home-ies?? ha,ha,ha! I'll never tire of that! So did you enjoy your Long Weekend, or are you still in the midst of it? I can never remember which Country has the Friday of the May Long Weekend Off, and which one has the Monday off -- we have Monday Off, so everyone is still upstairs in bed as I write this -- am I dedicated, or what? Yeah, I'm goin' with the 'or what', too...! I just had the last of the Cinnamon Buns -- man, are they ever tasty! Slightly loaded with Sugar, though, so I won't make them again for a while... Cara and Dwight want to have Bacon and Eggs for Breakfast, today, what with it bein' a Holiday 'n all! It's okay to have these wee treats every so often -- and if you're gonna have a treat, make it in the morning or early part of the day so you have the whole day to 'work it off'... now, Bacon and Eggs as a Bedtime Treat, that ain't good! ha,ha,ha!

Hey, I was just watching Ellen Degeneres (as always!), and Sean Hayes was on -- he's hilarious on Will & Grace, but I had no idea how funny he is 'his own self'... anyway, he was saying that BRAVO is putting on a Show later in the year where up and coming Screen Writers can submit a Proposal and Script for a New Series they want to Create. They'll choose Two of the New Scripts, make them, then Test them for the Viewers to decide which one should be made into a Series. What a fantastic idea! I used to Teach Scriptwriting when I first moved to Calgary 9 years ago (man, I can't believe how long I've been here!), so this is the sort of Contest I love to hear about. Where Skill meets there's a chance for Success!

Oh, and speaking of raging Success, the Ellen Degeneres Show won for Best Talk Show at the Daytime Emmy Awards, and Wayne Brady won for Best Talk Show Host. That's fantastic, except that Wayne's job is coming to an end very soon -- now how that that be right?? If they don't want to leave Wayne Brady on the Show on his own, why don't they pair him up with another funnyman -- say, Bryan Cranston -- they're hilarious together, so maybe a nice new Network can look at that. And I was sorry for 'The Ladies of The View', since they should have a different Award for a Whole Group of People doing a Talk Show ... I'll tell you, I've been watching The View since it first started, and those girls kept me sane through a difficult Pregnancy and my early years with Aidan -- it was like having your smartest and funniest girlfriends over for Coffee, only you didn't have to share your chocolate with them -- perfect! ha,ha! But I'd like to see them win a little something, since they've had such a great Show for so very long...

Did you see The Sopranos last night? Our favorite Girl, Adrianna was 'Taken Out' by Tony after she told 'Christo'fa' that she'd had all that contact with The F.B.I. And Sil did it, so Dwight was saying how nice Sil was, so I reminded him that they'se all Mobsters, and ain't a one o' them NICE! So we laughed about that, to break up some of the tension after watching that Show... but that was shocking to see Adrianna going through so much crap 'for her man'... We look forward to seeing 'Adrianna' on 'Joey' from Friends new Show next Fall.

Dwight just got up, and wouldn't you know it -- he's in a bad mood already. We've never actually gotten through a Long Weekend with everyone still happy -- that's why Retirement holds no special apeal to me -- only trepidation, should I still be here... we'll see what the future holds. I've got him watching Ellen, now, while I finish this, so maybe that'll lighten his mood! She's like a Free Mood Elevator! Forget the Prozac and just watch Ellen! ha,ha,ha,ha!

It's finally sunny outside, today, so I think we're gonna work on the Hot Tub. Dwight had to replace one of the Motors, or something like that. Another $220.00, but once you've started with the 'Big Toys', you have to just keep going. Now we've Replaced the Hot Tub Cover (about $500.00), replaced the Pipes under the Tub, because Dwight didn't get the water in fast enough so the Frost burst the pipes (another $900.00) ... but the Hot Tub is still waaaay less expensive than Dwight's Jet Boat, which we rarely used, so it's still a good choice for us, especially in the summer when it's fun to loll about in The Tub for endless hours... plus, it's very pretty! So it's my job to clean the Tub out before we refill it, so that brings me to my Tip of the Day ...

Tip of the Day: Whenever the 'opportunity' to clean out freezing cold water happens (for me that seems to happen a lot...), you can put on a pair of thing gloves underneath your big yellow Rubber Gloves. It took me years to figure out that little trick to stop your hands from going numb from the cold, so maybe you can benefit from my years of utter stupidity... someone might as well! ha,ha,ha,ha!

Well, I can hear Dwight thumpin' around upstairs -- he's already put on the Bacon on the Barbeque (so it doesn't smell up the house...), so now I have to go up and make the Eggs. He hates when I'm on the computer (time away from servitude to him, is my best guess! Ah, marriage -- it's delightful! ha,ha,ha!), so I have to go...

I put a whole pile of new pictures on my new Recipes Pages that I made on the Weekend, so if you want to have a wee peek at what I look like while I'm baking (very, very glamourous, I'm sure! ha,ha!), you can click on the Cinnamon Buns Page. That's me in the Tight Blue Top -- must rethink my wardrobe! ha,ha,ha!

Thanks for coming in for a wee visit, and thank you to my loyal fans for 'clicking through' on the Ads -- every click supports my Site! See you tomorrow!

Later Baby! Ailsa!!

This Google Ad is called Blue Suey -- sounds yummy! ha,ha!

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It's the May Long Weekend! WooHoo! May 22nd & 23rd, 2004. Technically, that includes Monday the 24th, too, but the chances are very, very high that I'll do a quick Update on Monday, too... there's always something fun to talk about, right?? Of course, Dwight is home this weekend, so he always wants some sort of extra-fancy Breakfast, so I'm in the middle of making my favorite Cinnamon Buns. Yum -- they 're great for everyone, so that's pretty easy to comply with! ha,ha! Anyway, you're looking stunning, today! I love the Red Lipstick -- I'm not so sure that you need to put it all around your lips like that -- this is perhaps one of those times when you do stay 'within the lines', especially for the men, 'cause yo' wife is gonna be soooo mad when she sees how much of her lipstick you've wasted... and then there might be a few issues after that, too... ha,ha,ha!

I spent yesterday making a separate page for each of my favorite Recipes -- it's a cold and rainy Weekend, here, so it's ideal for Baking and Eating -- Diets be damned! ha,ha! I have to keep running upstairs to check the Cinnamon Buns -- I'll make a page just for that recipe when I'm done this... I'll tell you, though, whether you're male or female (and hopefully you've settled on being one or the other...), you can't go wrong with learning how to cook delicious things for your Partner. Feed them something good and they'll follow you home every time ... oh, no, wait... that's a stray dog... or maybe the same thing! ha,ha,ha!

Well, for whatever reason, that reminds me of a book I'm reading right now -- 'Marriage Shock', by Dalma Heyn. So far, so good... my stooopid computer has something wrong with it, so it's painfully slow at doing absolutely anything, so I have all these books in my office that I read while I'm waiting for e-mails to open, or stuff I write to Post to my Site... so it's more than just a little ironic that I'm sitting at my computer, reading a book -- well, I have 6 books in here that I go back and forth between, then three more books I'm reading that I leave in the Sunroom. It's good to keep yo' mind busy!

So this 'Marriage Shock' book is a good long look at the reality of Marriage, and how it can be pretty shocking how much it can change you -- if you were adventurous and a traveller before, once you're married, that all stops, depending on the needs and wants of your spouse. In fact, a lot of things stop that you might have really enjoyed before you were married... So the book looks at how we can make Marriage work in this New Age, so-to-speak... and this is of great interest to me because I really like being married, but it does present its difficulties. There's an old joke 'that every woman needs a wife...', because it's the wife who does a huuuge amount of the work to keep things together, including the Home.

Now something has really been bothering me with Dr. Phil, lately. You know I realy like him, most of the time, but I find some of his statements about marriage to be really disconcerting. There's an awful lot of 'The Husband is the Leader', which by default makes the wife 'the Follower'...yeah, that doesn't work for me... How did we skip back to the 50's?? What happened to 'An Equal Partnership' Ideal? I like that one -- that seems reasonable, but having one person as the leader based on their Gender -- that's crazy. If you have a Woman who is a C.E.O. at the Office, then she comes home to a mousie guy, but he gets to be in charge because of his anatomy -- puh-leeeease! And on the Dr. Phil Show, he has this couple (Marty & Katherine, I think their names are...) who are on the brink of Divorce because of his multiple Affairs and her crazy screaming... (gee, I wonder why she's so mad...?), then Dr. Phil says she should 'just give him a great big hug and let him lead the family', I'm in shock. Marriage Shock, if you will! ha,ha,ha!

I think, especially when you're Building a House, it's critical to have completely mutual respect for one another, or everything will fall apart, at least temporarily. This isn't to say that you'll get along through the whole Project -- that is very hard to do, no matter how well you get along, but it is so important to be able to establish a relationship where you can work off one another. (Unless only one spouse builds the whole thing, then the other one simply moves in, but I would imagine there would be a fair bit of resentment built up in that type of relationship, too...)

Tip of the Day: Work as a Team with your Partner through a Build or any Renovation Project. If your spouse is dead-set against the Project, it's probably not wise to go ahead with it. That also isn't to say that I've dragged Dwight through a Project or Two (ha,ha,ha,ha!), but I always waited until he showed interest in the Project himself before we got started. Sometimes that took a lot of convincing, including sheets and sheets of Diagrams, Financial Statements, Promises that it would all work out... you get the drift! ha,ha! But you do want to be on the same track before any Big Project starts, that way you can both 'keep your eye on the prize' when you're in the middle of a difficult part of any Home Improvement Project!

Here's a good way to start getting your way more often -- make delicious food, then when they're eating it, you casually mention that you might like to build a new house with a 5-car garage... or maybe that's just me! ha,ha!

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I'll tell you -- it's a great thing to have a package of the Frozen Bread Dough in the Freezer -- you can pick it up at your regular Grocery Store... and you can make all sorts of things out of it ... and they all smell wonderful! I take it out at night (on the Weekends...), put it in a Buttered Loaf Pan, cover it loosely with Saran Wrap, then leave it on the Stove until I get around to making something the next day... and that's how I operate! I like things that are easy and not in any way time-consuming, 'cause I'm busy, but we still like to eat tasty things! Equally! ha,ha,ha!

I thought this was practical and hilarious! ha,ha! You could clump your way around the Garden -- fun and entertaining for the Neighbors, too! ha,ha! Now what happens when you hit a really muddy bit? You could strap on one of those hats with the Beer Spouts out both sides, then you could have some extra fun, yourself! ha,ha,ha!


Well, thanks for swinging by for a wee visit! I love to have lots of visitors -- one day I hope to see, oh, a million or so folks in here each day... you never know, right? And then if only 10% of them go ahead and support my Site with a 'little click' on the Google Ads, I'll make a decent living... so do me a big favor and 'click the door on your way out'! ha,ha! Dwight says he'll 'be really nice to me' when I make more than him... now that's a reality of marriage! ha,ha!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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This Google Ad is called Robin's Egg -- seems appropriate since it's supposed to be Spring... we're still waiting up here in Calgary -- Thank God for The Calgary Flames to keep us all entertained until the Sun comes out for the Summer, hopefully by July! ha,ha,ha! Oh, and the First Playoff Game for the Stanley Cup Finals is on Tuesday, but I'm not sure where they'll play -- depends on who wins tonights Game between Tampa Bay and Philadelphia ... one thing is for sure, though, and that is taht we're all in for some seriously great Hockey over the next couple of weeks! YaaHoo!! (That's Calgarian for 'Go Flames, Go!!' ha,ha,ha!)

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Friday, May 21st, 2004. Hey, Baby Cakes! Sugar Pie! Apple Dumpling... or Tart, whichever seems more like you! ha,ha,ha! Can you believe it's The May Long Weekend, already?? WooHoo! We used to call it the 2-4 Weekend (Canadian for 'It's a weekend where we'll get a 24 pack of Beer...' -- oh, we're clever like that! ha,ha!), but now we just say, "How many days do we have to sleep in??" Ah, the times they is a'changin'!! And Beer's waaaay too expensive in Canada (Cheap Beer is one of my many favorite things about living in The States! ha,ha!), so we've switched to 'Fruity Wine', which my hilarious friend, Steve, calls 'Sody-Pop Wine' -- it's deeeelicious!

Hey, have you seen The WB's Superstar USA? It's hilarious! They've done a little spoof on American Idol, so the Judges and Host mirror Simon, Randy, Paula and Ryan from American Idol, only they're looking for the worst singers in America, not the Best... the Judges are just hysterical! I have no idea how they can respond to the worst of the worst with a straight face and not crack up... my favorite 'bit' is when the Simon-like Judge says to the really pretty girls that he doesn't like their singing, but they're hot, so would they like to go out for dinner with him! ha,ha,ha,ha! If you have a minute (or an hour...), check it out -- it's a great laugh!

Oh, you know I didn't get a chance to mention anything about The Calgary Flames winning the Series on Wednesday Night! Man, talk about exciting! The whole City of Calgary is going wild! Go Flames, Go!! My friend Adam from thinks that Tampa Bay is going to take the other Eastern Finals, but I have a feeling it might be Philadelphia ... we'll know soon enough! (I'm writing this on Thursday Night, and the Eastern Finals are playing themselves out right now..) And hey, Adam is Single, 25 and Gainfully Employed, so if you're interested, let me know -- and here's another little tidbit -- he's an American Citizen -- all the Canadian Chicks who want to move to The States will really like that! ha,ha!

And right after the Big Hockey Game, the Season Finale of The Bachelor was on, and we were so revved up from The Flames that we wanted to see a little more 'scoring', if you know what I mean! ha,ha! So we were shouting at that crazy Jesse for not proposing to little baby Jessica -- just give her the damn ring, we were shouting... we're lovely and charming folks! Now why wouldn't he just give her the Ring, and then when they break up in a few weeks, at least she has a gorgeous Ring?! But we did love 'Gun-lovin' Tara' throw up all the way to the Ring Ceremony, then call Jesse on his creepy kissing ('n stuff ...) the night before the Big Kiss-Off... ha,ha! We really enjoyed that, since you shouldn't be that involved with someone else within' 24 hours of asking someone 'to maybe move close to my town'... oooh, there's a commitment!

Tip of the Day: Take some time for yourself every day -- maybe try a wee Relaxation Exercise... have you tried the 'Soooo-Huuum' method of Relaxation? I use that all the time, now, whenever I want to clear my mind. You say 'Sooooo' when you breathe in, then 'Huuummmmm' when you breathe out. Great for falling asleep, too, so don't try it when you're Driving or on a Date -- unless you can't stand the Date... in which case I refer you back to the 'Sody-Pop Wine'! ha,ha! (But then you can't Drive... and you're gonna want to get right home... alone -- then you can have a wee drink and celebrate being on yoir own!) But I hope you have a Great Long Weekend, and get a little Chillaxin' in between all the things you have planned for the May Long Weekend!

Here are some pictures of my favorite Macaroni Salad -- I had no idea how to make that when I first met Dwight, but he really wanted it, so I figured this Recipe out, and it's deeeelicious! I just made up a new page for the Recipe, so you can click on if you want to try it.

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Well thanks for coming in to see me, today! Drive Safely, this Weekend (then every day after that!)!

Later Baby! Ailsa!!

This Google Ad is called Vanilla Cream -- now that just sounds yummy! Stooopid Diet -- that's probably a bad sign when even the Ads sound delicious! ha,ha,ha!

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Thursday, May 20th, 2004. Hi, Honey! You're Home! And it's soooo nice to see you, all dolled up for the party... or work ... or a date -- really, I'm just pretending to see you... just ignore the camera I had installed behind your desk while you were out...ha,ha,ha! Dwight's home, this morning, so that means I had to spend the whole morning cleaning, since that's what he thinks I do all day ... and what he wants me to do all day... that's annoyink! Have you heard that Statistic that a ton of long-term marriages break up after the Husband Retires, because then he's home all day and she has to run around and do his bidding, so she can look like what he thought she looked like all those years he was at work... does that make sense, how I just explained that?

The bottom line is he 'gets to retire', but she has to work even harder, because when she does sit down to watch a wee TV Show or have a Coffee, he then says, "Is that what you did all those years when I was working? Just sit around, drink coffee and watch TV?" Funny how it doesn't work out so well after those kind of comments, especially if they happen every day... So I do not look forward to Retirement with Dwight -- what a nightmare that would be... so we'll just work forever, and that might work out better. It's not like I don't have a plan! ha,ha! But I do think about Retirement a fair bit, now -- it used to be something that seemed sooo far in the Future, that it really wasn't something I had to keep in mind. Also, my life was so crazy for such a long time, it was difficult to see whether there would BE a future... it was a terrible time, so thoughts of Retirement seemed ludicrous to me.

Anyway, I'm at a place now where I can sit back a bit and not have to constantly keep running, so that allows me to see that there will be a future, and it won't be all that long before I'm there. Twenty Years ago seems like Last month, sometimes, so now I have a better perspective on Time, and how incredibly quickly it flies by. The thing to take from this is to start to Make a Plan For Retirement as soon as you are in a position to do so. It would be lovely to start when you're in your Early 20's with a Retirement Plan, but that's not very realistic for the vast majority of people. At that Stage of Life, you feel lucky if you can Pay all your Bills and have a wee bit left over for some fun ... and Retirement is the last thing on your mind.

Generally, it's a good idea to Contribute to your Work Retirement Program, if you have one, and definitely it's a great idea to take advantage of any Employers Program where they Match the amount you put in, or if they provide any sort of 'Stock Advantage' (if you buy one stock, they'll match that, or the Company will give the Employees Stocks as Incentive Pay or Bonuses... it's all good!), try to Buy what you can of that. It's a 'two-for-one' freebie, so it's most likely a good deal, unless the Company Stock is plummeting faster than you can buy it, in which case, you'll be happier buying a case of chocolate...! ha,ha!

Now the one thing that I think is the most crucial aspect of being relatively happy in Retirement is to Own Your Own Home by then. And I really don't think it's ever 'too late' to start on the Ownership Path. Often there is a thought that if someone is in their 40's, 50's or 60's, and they haven't Purchased Their Own Home, yet, that it's just too late, and not worth it. They'll just Rent forever. The problem with that is that you can afford the Rent in the Present, but no-one knows how much Rent will go up in the Future, even if you stay in the same place. Plus, once you buy your own place and start Paying a Mortgage, the Mortgage will eventually be Paid Off, whereas Rent is Forever...

Oh, yeah, and even if you are lucky enough to be in a Rent-Controlled Apartment, it's still a good idea to go ahead and Purchase another Apartment as soon as you can afford it to use as a Rental Property (or preferably to live in, but if you're in, say, Santa Monica down by the beach and don't want to move from there to the boonies of Los Angeles -- are there 'boonies' in Los Angeles?? ha,ha,ha!), and just hold onto that Property until you're ready to Retire and then you can either move into it or Sell it and use the Profit as a source of Income (it's always a good idea to live in the Property for a certain amount of time before selling it so you don't have to pay Capital Gains on it -- ask your Local Accountant how long a Home has to be your Primary Residence before it's relatively 'Tax-Free'...). And if some Big Developer comes in and buys up your Rent-Controlled apartment for Future Expansion, you won't be panicked and have to move in with your Kids -- everyone will love you for that! ha,ha,ha!

Hmmm, Dwight's up and now he wants some Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, so I have to go make that for him -- hey, that can be my Tip of the Day!

Tip of the Day: When you're not feeling Well, or you are in need of something 'Homey and Warm', you might like to try this little Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe -- I just made it up about 6 months ago, but I wish I had thought of this a long time ago... You just Boil a big pot of Water, add in my favorite new Tortiglioni Pasta (about half a box...), 4 Heaping Tablespoons of OXO (Chicken Soup Base), a pile if Parsley, and Onions if you're feeling ill. Or your Family Members aren't well... Onions are the key to getting better, I believe, so I toss them into anything when someone isn't well. I chopped up a bunch (literally) of Green Onions and a regular Onion to put in Dwight's Soup -- must get him all better so he can go back to work! ha,ha!

Now I have to go serve Dwight the Chicken Noodle Soup, so I'll be back in a bit with your pictures!

Doesn't that look yummy? I love making that when I'm a bit fed up, too -- it's extremely easy to make and really tasty.

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When you need a good meal in a hurry, you can skip the Veggies and just go with the OXO and Parsley (Dried). Like any soup, though, the more Veggies you toss in, the better. Just depends on Time and what's in the Fridge. And what you can be bothered doing! ha,ha!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!

This Google Ad is called Green Tea -- I've tried it and didn't like the flavor, but it is supposed to be really good for you... I do drink a tremendous amount of Fruit-Flavored Tea -- I must drink about 7 or 8 Pots of Tea a day... and now I always use the Skim Milk Powder instead of the 2% Milk, and that saves me at least 10 grams of Fat per day, so that's significant. Every little bit helps! I'm in that 'After 40 and now you have to watch what you eat' Category!

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Wednesday, May 19th, 2004. Yo, Baby, Yo, Baby, Yo! How you doin' ta'day?? ha,ha,ha! I hope you're having a great week -- this one seems to be going really fast -- compared to the sloooow weeks of the Winter... and so far, no snow here all week! WooHoo! I finally got around to e-mailing our Paving Contact to get the Circular Driveway Paved... everything has to do with the Snow, here -- you have to wait until you're going to have three days straight of good, warm (around 70 Degrees Fahrenheit or 18 Degrees Celsius...) weather, and that's sometimes hard to come by, so you have to leap on it when it presents itself... So I sent a note to the Paving Contact, and that was returned -- that's not a good sign for a Business Address.

I talked to Dwight about it, briefly (like most of our conversations...!), and he still wanted me to get a Quote from them, so I called the Salesman, who no longer works for the Company, then I called the Owner, who couldn't remember who I was, even though we've e-mailed back and forth last Fall many, many times, and he came out to our Christmas Party... anyway, he finally remembered us, then said they don't do Paving... hmmmmm. That's what all those conversations were supposed to be about, so that was weird. But on my way out of our Estate Area when I had to pick Cara up from School, there was another Company already in the throes of Paving our Neighbors' Driveways, so I stopped by to get the Manager of that Project to swing by our house and give us a Quote for our Driveway.

When I was out watering in the Trees,last night, Dwight came out and we had a look at where we want the Driveway to be paved. When we first moved in here, we had the Circular Drive put in (biiiig fight over that, but luckily, I won that one, and the Circular Shape prevailed...! Some things are worth fighting over! ha,ha!), and it was really big, but for some bizarre reason, people would come over and park their vehicles on the Front Lawn -- the bit inside the 'Circle'. I kept saying to Dwight, "Tell your Dad to park on the Driveway -- we don't pull up on his lawn...", but he wouldn't say anything, so the Driveway Gravel kept being pushed in further and further, so now we have this enormous Driveway...

So every other time we've gone out there to decide where the Driveway sholud go in terms of the Paving, it's ended in an annoyed huff, and we can't get it settled, but the thing needs to be done, and we have this little window of weather, so I told Dwight again how I would like to see it, and he agreed! It's a miracle! I should have checked his breath for alcohol! ha,ha,ha! No, no. We came to a reasonable compromise -- I had wanted a Large Strip of Grass on the Right Hand Side of the Front Entry, then bring the Pavement up to the edge of the Front Entry Step-thingee -- really, I should go out and take some pictures... and Dwight wanted to Pave right up to where the Trees are in the bit right under the Windows, which I thought was 'crazy'... (because I am soooo very lax about Dwight's ideas that I don't like! ha,ha,ha,ha!). Now, we both knew that strip of Grass thing would be annoying to Mow -- you'd have to get out the Regular Lawn Mower, and I really just like using the Riding Lawn Mower, now... so Dwight suggested we put down some nice colored Rocks in the same strip area, and we agreed on that. So now when the guy comes over to give us a quote, I can show him exactly where the Paving will go. I'll let you know how much the Quotes come in at, and which one we choose...

Tip of the Day: Get three quotes for each job... but that's an 'oldie' Tip, so here's something else from last night -- I have all these new Trees out at the Front, and some older Trees at the End of the Garden and they are all in great need of a lot of water. My new trick (and I wish I'd thought of this years ago!) is to take the fancy schmany nozzle off the Hose, and just set the end of the hose beside the trunk of the tree. I leave it there for a few minutes (depending on the size of the Tree), then move the hose to the next tree. The Tree gets a really good drink, and it's faster for you, too.

Oh, and if you have to water Trees and Plants that are really far away from the house, you can connect up all the Water Hoses until they reach the Trees, but pull the hose over before you turn the water on -- I was trying to save myself some time by turning the water on first, then dragging (and I mean draaaagging...) the Hose to where you want it. It's much lighter that way -- I know because Dwight came out to tell me -- nothing like a lecture a day... keeps the spouses away! ha,ha,ha,ha! (I'm. of course, thinking of a good 'Hoser' joke, here, but it's huuugely inappropriate, so you'll have to continue thinking on your own, then I'll catch up with you later... on the less seedy side of the street! ha,ha,ha!)

I had to get the Hose to the End of the North Side of the Garden, so that had to stretch 225 feet -- that's a looong way to drag a hose full of water, so that's a Work-Out right there! (Or so I told myself!) Now I need to connect the Soaker Hose to the end of the other 100 foot hoses, then I can just leave it out there for a while and turn it on every so often... that's the kind of Gardener I am -- when I remember, I'll do it, and when I notice everything is drier than dirt, I'll see if I can't remember for the next day...! Ah, well. I fel very strongly that if Trees were dependent on Humans to remember to Care for them, there wouldn't be very many Trees still in existence, since Mother Nature takes good care of them, herself... that's what I think when I'm busy procrastinating for another day about the 'watering'! ha,ha,ha!

Oh, here's a little TV Tidbit -- I went to Bryan Cranston's Website the other day-- we love him as the Dad on Malcolm in the Middle, and now he's in a new Movie, Seeing Other People (which looks hilarious!) with Lauren Graham from The Gilmour Girls (which we also love...), and I felt like Bryan (Mr. Cranston, I would imagine he likes to be called by close Family and Friends... and the Occasional Fan...! ha,ha,ha!) would make a great Talk Show Host along with Wayne Brady, because they are hilarious together (and it's a crime for Wayne Brady to not be on TV...), and they could Banter with each other and with their Guests... so I wrote to Bryan Cranston's Site to mention that... and the connection with Lauren Graham is that she works for The WB Network, and they take chances with New Shows, and they have some of the best Shows on TV, so maybe they'd be more likely to give something like that a shot... you never know, but it's fun to 'put it out there', in case Serendipity takes over and it actually happens! ha,ha!

So if you love Bryan Cranston, too, check out -- you'll like the Site! And tell Bryan I said 'Hi!"!!

Okay, let me go get you some nice pictures -- be right back!

Can you see Aidan through my Office Windows? He's sitting on one of our favorite new things -- the Exercise Ball! Aidan and I blew the thing up, but our Pump pin broke when we were about 3/4 of the way full of Air, so I tried to get the 'Stopper' in there as quickly as possible, but of course there's even more Air that escapes during that process... so it's really bouncy.


Aidan sits on it almost all day -- he rolls it down the Stairs for me to do my exercises -- I love to bounce it under the computer -- it must do something...! ha,ha! I'm addicted to that when I'm watching TV in the evening, too! I'm sure my family loves that! But I use it for Back Leg Lifts with the Free Weights -- I like it better than a Regular Work-Out Bench. One day I'll find someone who can take some pictures of that so I can show you what I mean. You just lay on the Exercise Ball on your Stomach, roll yourself forward, then go ahead and lift the weight with your ankles. It's one of my 'Signature Exercises'!

Thanks for coming in for a wee visit, today! It's always lovely to see you... and you look stunning in that MooMoo -- don't listen to the naysayers about that look -- listen to your heart about how comfy and practical it is... ha,ha,ha,ha! (Is that how you spell 'MooMoo'? Remember those long flowing dress-like outfits from the 70's -- Homer wore one in one of my favorite Simpsons Episodes where he tries to get sooo heavy he doesn't have to work...practical and hilarious!)

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

This Google Ad is called Black Knight -- I could use someone to come and rescue me from my little insular tower... ha,ha,ha!

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Tuesday, May 18th, 2004. Hey, HEY, Hey! What up wit' mah Peeps?? ha,ha! You look fabulous, today -- is that a new set of teeth?? Did you used to play a little Hockey? Have you been watching the Stanley Cup Hockey Finals? I didn't know there was going to be a Game with the Calgary Flames vs. the San Jose Sharks last night until Dwight came home and told me. I thought there was always a 36 hour turn-around between the Playoff Games, but I guess not -- anyway, The Calgary Flames won (!), so now they're 3-2 with San Jose, so we're all thrilled about that in Calgary! Now, about the Teeth -- if you've been watching the Games, you'll have noticed a disticnt lack of Teeth (specifically the front row...), and yet no shortage of Female Followers... so what can we learn from that? That's right -- if you're Highly Skilled and Highly Paid, you got it made, Baby! ha,ha,ha! Just a little slice of Reality!

Speaking of Wealthy, Highly Skilled Athletes, I think this is the week where Jesse The Bachelor takes 'his girls' back to meet his Parents -- but here's the thing I thought was really funny that you might not have heard... you know Crazy Trish? Well, she used to 'go out with' Ryan Seacrest -- but get this -- she can't quite remember him! ha,ha,ha,ha! So that tells me that she is in fact NOT a Gold Digger, or she would rack her brain trying desperately to recall an 'evening in the backseat' so she could casually bring that up in conversation, and maybe start something up again, now that Ryan is abundantly Rich and Famous! ha,ha,ha! (Yes, I am very, very amused by that!) You know they're a gold digger when they remember you by your Car, but can't recall your name, face or phone number! ha,ha! "I'm sorry -- what kind of Car do you drive? And which House was yours? What was your Salary, again?" And if you only start to see some sign that they can remember you AFTER those questions are answered, that ain't good! ha,ha!

Hmmm, I have a ton of Laundry, today, so I'll post this then come and finish it in a bit...and my Sweet Little Aidan (he's 4!) is my little 'Laundry Helper' -- he goes to each Bedroom and pushes the Laundry Baskets through to the Laundry Room for me. Man, he's a Good Boy! I'll miss him when he goes to School in the Fall! Hard to believe that as Cara is just finishing her High School Years, Aidan is just starting Kindergarten ... so now I have a 16 year old and a 4 year old -- whodda thunk that?? Thank God I have a good sense of humor, for all the little jokes the Universe has played on me! ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: I've mentioned this before, I'm sure, but I can't tell you enough how Laundry Baskets have made my life sooo much better -- sad, I know! ha,ha! I use Laundry Baskets for everything -- mostly Toys and occasionally Laundry, if I can get my lovely Family to actually put the Laundry in the baskets... for some bizarre reason Dwight leaves his Jeans and assorted Laundry Items (yes, you know the ones...) on the floor beside the Laundry Basket... now what's that all about? I just can't get him to put them directly in the Basket... Anyhooo, Laundry Baskets are great when you're Moving, since you can put all your wee things in there that you might have missed in the big boxes, and for carrying a bunch of Gifts to a Party, or if you're delivering a bunch of stuff somewhere... Last Christmas when we had our Giant Christmas Party where our Guests each brought a Toy for a Needy Child and a Food Donation for our Local Food Bank (a nice idea to do at any party...), I used the Laundry Baskets to collect and deliver the gifts. Very practical. And then Aidan uses one as his 'Shell' for when he pretends to be a turtle -- pretty funny!! ha,ha!

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit, today! I'll go grab you some nice pictures, and finish folding my Laundry! Be riiight back!

Here's my sweet little Tia none too happy about having to wear a Diaper -- actually, it's one of Aidan's Pull-Ups! Tia was in my Office with me (she's in here right now, too -- she likes to lay beside me while I'm working...) and I could hear all this rumbling, then the occasional toot! Now that ain't good! So I felt her nose and it was warm, and the rumbling persisted for quite a while, so I figured it was better safe than sorry, and put one of Aidan's Pull-Ups on her.


When Tia was a little Baby, too, she caught a bug from some water she drank when we took her for a walk down by the River. I didn't even know that could happen, and she got really sick, poor wee thing. She was a small pup at the time, so it was hard for her body to deal with it. Tia arrived in our Family before Aidan did, so back then we didn't have a ready source of 'nappies' (Scottish for 'Diapers'!), so Dwight had to run out to get some for Tia... we had to get the tiny ones because her behind was so little, so we've used this technique before! Oh, and you can see the Wave Pattern in the Tiles we laid -- the Wave Pattern makes the Tiles look clean all the time -- very practical for regular folks!

See You Tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

This Google Ad is called Melancholy Blue -- aawh, this is a good color because I just found out that Tony Randall passed away last night at the age of 84. That's soooo sad -- I loved him in The Odd Couple, and then everything after that was so funny. He was a wonderful, kind man, and had a timeless sense of humor. We'll miss him. I hope his new little Family is all right -- that must be awful for them, what with the wee boys, 'n all... But he had one incredible Life, and lived every day to it's fullest, and that's the best we can all hope for, so we can remember him as one of the Great Funny Men of our time.

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Monday, May 17th, 2004. Hey, Sweet Thang! How you doin' today? I hope you had a great Weekend! I was so happy to get up this morning and see the lawn all nicely cut -- it looks gorgeous! There's a nice sense of accomplishment when you can look out over your work that you remembered to do on the Weekend! And now our weather is finally warm enough that we can get the Driveway Paved -- man, every time I think it's nice enough, it snows again -- it's the craziest thing! So I have to e-mail some folks, today ... must not forget... every day I find myself so busy, that another day goes by and I haven't contacted the Pavers, but now it's a good time, so I better get right on that.

Oh, yeah. That's something good to know -- whenever you're getting ready to do any Project around the house (or Build the whole house...!), get your Quotes well in advance. Some folks think they can pick up the phone and get a Contractor that very day, which is relatively unlikely, unless it's an Emergency. The Trades we found need the most 'lead time' are the Carpenters (especially Finishing Carpenters), Painters, Drywallers, the Flooring Installation Guys -- really, everyone on the job needs quite a bit of 'heads-up'. We're well on our way into Summer, the busiest time of the year for most Construction Workers, so keep that in mind when you have a project that needs to be done in a certain time frame, then extend that time frame... better that than a bottle full of Prozac! ha,ha,ha,ha!

Dwight and I were watching one of our favorite Building Shows, Real Renos (Dwight really likes the Contractor, Jim, on the Show, because he 'tells it like it is...'), and they were saying how frustrating it is as a Contractor when Clients want the job done in a Week, or a very specific time frame, but the Clients don't book the Contractor far enough in advance, or they won't make up their minds on the work that needs to be done. So a good rule of thumb (must find another phrase, since I hate the 'rule of thumb' so very much...) whenever you have any Construction Project is first to get your quotes early and choose the Contractor quite quickly, then be prepared for when they get there. Get all your information together for what you wnat and don't want, and have a very clear idea of what the finished Project should look like before they step foot on your doorstep.

One of the worst things that can happen in a Build or in a large Home Improvement Project is for the Clients not to be able to make up their minds on an item that they think is small, but it holds up the whole project, then the Client is mad when it isn't all magically done by the little Date they had in their minds at the beginning. This ain't good! It's annoying on both ends, so it's always better to know in advance what colors you want, what door handles, what Toilets, Fixtures... it's endless. And then make a decision and be prepared to live with it. And know that every change that is made cost money -- often, lots of money, so if you've started the House Build and then it occurs to you that what you'd really, really like is an extra Shower in the Toy Room, be prepared for another months worth of construction and a giant Bill at the end.

One of the things Jim on Real Renos was dealing with in this particular Episode was a Couple he was working for who were doing the 'Hand Wave' ... that's where you wave your hand in any particular direction and casually state that you'd like the 'sweeping grand stairway over here, and the 4-storey Waterwall over there...' (Yes, that's me in the last quote, but I do know how much that costs, and how long it would take to build it -- in fact, I would just be the Manager on the jobsite and I'd have drawn that out in advance for the Architect to draw in... but that's just me! ha,ha,ha! Me and my simple needs! "I dinny want for much -- jus' a wee Waterwall and a lovely Staircase, is all..."! ha,ha,ha!)

Anyway, this couple did the Hand Wave and thought all the 'little changes' would be free, and the project would still come in at the same time. ha,ha,ha! Does the phrase, "Not a chance in hell' come to mind? It's funny, since you would never go to the Store and fill up your Cart 'with just a bunch of little things', then not be required to pay for them -- that's how your bill goes from $2.47 for Milk to $342.79 when you swing by Walmart to pick up the Milk -- okay, that's me again, but I only got a few little things... ha,ha,ha! But things add up, and items that you might not initially think are costly can be insane ... like Plumbing Fixtures. It's shocking how expensive a set of Taps can be. It's nothing to spend $800. on a set of Taps, and I'm being fairly moderate, there -- that's high-end stuff, of course -- you can get Plumbing Fixtures for a much lower price, but they never show that on Real Renos!

So at the end of this couple's Home Reno, Jim the Contractor gives them their new Bill, and the 'Hand Wave' stuff cost over $17,000., and they were in shock. Now, two things, here. First, it would have been in the Contractors best interest to tell the Clients the cost and time frame attached to every item on the 'Hand Wave' tour... and secondly, they should have read and signed for each item, or they could have had a blanket agreement that they understood there was a new cost involved in every change.

Typically, you sign that kind of agreement when you're having a Home Built for you -- and you have to pay any additional amount that is necessary to bring the house to the Architectural Standards of the Neighborhood -- this can easily run from $5,000 - $50,000., but the average amount is generally around $20,000., so watch out for that. You can get around that by accepting the 'Baseline Home', but they get you hooked in with the different choices you'll be asked to make. Just remember that every little upgrade ("Did you want a Toilet in the Bathroom??") comes with a Price and additional Time, so it's better to be prepared and fully aware of everything from the beginning.

Tip of the Day: Hey, did you watch The Sopranos last night? Tony's 'Girlfriend' was set on fire when her very long-sleeved Robe caught on Fire when she wasn't paying attention to what she was cooking. Man, I can't stand Gas Stoves, and I don't care HOW High-end they're supposed to be! I like Safe and Easy over 'Oh lookie what I have in my kitchen...' (nooooo, I'm not just talking about Dwight, now, although he probably would fall into that category, too! ha,ha,ha,ha!). So my Tip of the Day is to make choices for itenms in your home that are true to who YOU are, not to what someone else might say is 'High-end'... with any luck, no one that annoying will get to live there, and you want to be comfy in your own home -- and don't wear long flowing sleeves when you're cookin' with gas (or Date Tony Soprano ... there, that outta cover it! ha,ha,ha!).

Oh, yeah. I got an e-mail this morning from a friend of mine in The States, and there's a thing they're trying to do to send a message to the Big Gas Companies -- they're trying to get everyone (and I mean everyone...) to NOT Buy Gas on May 19th. The object is to make the Gas Companies aware of the Power of the Consumer -- and the Government will feel it, too, and maybe take heed, since a good portion of the price paid at the pump (in Canada, anyway) goes to Taxes. It's hard not to feel powerless with all the things that are going on, but if each person did one thing, that would make a massive point, wouldn't it?? Let's try it -- it's worth a shot, so-to-speak.

Okay, I'll go get you some nice new pictures! Be riiiight back!

I took these pictures out of Aidan's Bedroom window, this morning. This is the Garden on the North Side of the House -- it took me about two hours to cut the Grass. Two hours all by myself -- it was great!! ha,ha,ha!

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Thanks for coming in for a little visit -- I love to see you every day, otherwise I'm just talking to myself, and that ain't good! ha,ha,ha! See you tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

This Ad is called Cut Grass -- I chose this ad because I finally got out to Cut the Grass, yesterday! WooHoo! It's fun out there on the Riding Lawn Mower -- all by myself, no kids, no annoyink husband...but Dwight did come out to watch me -- I thought he was going to call me over to say how cute I looked mowing the lawn, but instead he had called me over to tell me how to mow it his way... ugh. Shouldda kept on driving! Ah, well. I got to be alone for a good two hours -- we have a lot of grass to cut... and I still have another section of the yard to do, but I think I'll leave it for Dwight. But he did show me how to make the Riding Mower go faster, so that was good!

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It's The Weekend! May 15th & 16th, 2004. Yo, yo, yo... What up, Daaaawg?? And Dawgette, if that's the female form... I can't remember my French... ha,ha,ha,ha! A little language humor for you, there -- that's always fun! I'm just watching the News while I'm writing this, and wouldn't you know it? Someone stole a Radioactive Truck in Calgary .... now that ain't good! Where on earth would that have happened -- would the Truck have pulled up to a Convenience Store, or God Forbid, a Local Gas Station?? And it apparently had a tricky label on the side of the Truck, with something like "Radioactive Truck" written on it -- that's not one of our bestest and brightest, that's fer sures! ha,ha,ha!

But that reminds me -- we've taken some huge increases in our Gas Prices, lately, and they had a wee blurb on the News last night to say how much goes to the Oil Companies, and how much goes to pay Taxes... and Surprise (or in French, "Quel Suprise!!"), over 70% of the Price we pay at the Pump goes to Taxes. And they wonder why there's a 'Brain Drain' in Canada... Hmmm, it's a mystery, all right. And if you're not familiar with the 'Brain Drain' Term, we use it in Canada to refer to the 'Smarties' who head to the States to pursue a better life, what with being able to get a good job that lasts for more than 3 months and comes with an actual Salary and a Contract ... I'll tell you, the best Teaching Contract I ever got was from the Los Angeles Unified School District, where Teachers don't have to sit on pins and needles every Spring, waiting to see if they'll get yet another 'Pink Slip' -- that's no way to treat a Teacher...(the Pink Slip bit, I mean...)

Cara's party is this weekend, so we'll be very busy with that ... and with any luck, whatsoever, it'll be dry enough outside so we can crank up the Riding Lawn Mower and head out to cut the Grass. There's a little window of opportunity when the Grass is finally green and starting to grow enough that it needs a trim, to the point where it's suddenly 3 feet high, and you're mowing through a jungle! No kidding! And we're very close to one of my favorite times of year when all the fields around us turn a beautiful shade of deep yellow -- those are the Canola Fields. Oh, I'll go get those pictures from Last year to show you, because they're cool.

It's funny how you can develop a fondness for Fields... that's what it is to live in the Country, I guess! And if you ever have the opportunity to travel through Canada in the late Summer, there are fields and fields of lavender colored plants -- I've forgotten now what they're called -- I'll ask Dwight tomorrow -- he was born in Saskatchewan, and that's where they are, but it's very cool, since it looks like a vast sea of Purple, then yellow, then various shades of green... very pretty! Who knew the Praries could be so picturesque??

Tip of the Day(ish...): You know how I mentioned about the Hydrogen Peroxide being good for your Skin about a week ago? Well, I wish I had discovered that about 25 years ago! That would have saved me a ton of money on the million different cleaning products, facial scrubs, creams galore, etc. that I've bought over the years. This stuff is absolutely amazing. Go ahead and pick up a bottle (it's very, very expensive -- expect to crack open that wallet and let about 95 cents fall out! And that's probably about 65 cents at Walmart in The States -- see, there's another reason to Migrate South! ha, ha,ha!)

Anyway, the Hydrogen Peroxide Cleans and Tightens your Pores (all very exciting...!), and makes your Skin look great! And pick up some little Cotton Pads, too -- they seem to work out really well -- they come in packs of about 200 (I was going to say '2,000', but that's probably only at Costco...! I loooove buying in 'bulk'! ha,ha!), so that ought to last you for a few weeks! ha,ha! But you really will see a huuuuge difference in yo' skin, so check it out! and let me know if you have a big 'Success Story", and we'll post it for fun! Just wash your face as you usually would (or if you're just too drunk to do that, again, go ahead and just use the Cotton Pad with the Hydrogen Peroxide on it, then stumble off to bed -- at least your face will be nice and clean! ha,ha,ha!), then wipe your face with the Cotton Pad with the Hydrogen Peroxide on it.

Oh, and I hear it's great for Cuts and stuff, too -- the very next time Dwight gets a cut, I'll be sure to try it -- he loves when I try my little 'experiments' on him! ha,ha,ha!

So here are the Canola Fields outside of our house. Beautiful, eh? Yep, and that's Tia -- she's a wee dog 'Outstanding in Her Field' -- yuff, yuff! Couldn't resist that one! Just click on the Second Picture to Enlarge it, and you'll see oor wee Tia!

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And that's one of the Windows to the Right of the Fireplace in the Great Room upstairs. We love a good View, and you can see we totally scored with this house! ha,ha!

So this Google Ad is called Pot Roast... now who missed their Dinner when they named it? ha,ha,ha!And a BIG thank you to my Site Readers who are clicking through on the Google Ads (and the other Ads!) -- I really appreciate your Support!

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Oh, and The Calgary Flames (Aidan calls them 'The Alberta Fires'...!) are Playing The San Jose Sharks on Sunday at 2:00 pm, our time... Go Flames, Go!! The Sharks gave Calgary a run for their money in the last Game, so there's going to be some more seriously great Hockey coming up!!

Hey, you know what I've never seen outside a Hockey Arena? A Prayer Circle... maybe we outta give that a try, too! Canny hurt! ha,ha,ha!

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Friday, May 14th, 2004. Hi, Honey! You're Home! Wit' MEEEE, your Hostess wit' da Mostess!! I'm workin' on that, though, but not today -- I bought me a big ol' case of Crunchie Bars for my own Mother's Day Treat, and I plan to have one pretty much every day until they're gone -- I figure that'll take me right up to the end of the School Year... Man, I can't wait for Summer!! Who knows what this Summer will bring? It dawned on me last week that we don't have to plan a move for the Summer -- that's the most common time to move, when the kids are out of school, then you get them settled into the new house before the next school year ... but that's not always necessary. You'd be surprised at how resilient kids are -- and grown adults, too.

Ooooh, that leads nicely into something I don't remember mentioning in here, before, but it's an issue a lot of Parents are anxious about -- for their children and for themselves. There's a bizarre notion straight out of 'The Fifties', that you can never, ever change your kids' School. God Forbid they change schools and have to learn how to adapt to change. Change is the cornerstone of Life, and it's one of the best things you can learn for yourself or teach your kids. We're in a brand new Century, and who knows what the next 50 to a hundred years will bring.

Can you imagine how bizarre it must have been to go through the last Century, and experience all the changes from Land and Air Travel to Computers, and the millions of new things in-between... I don't think we can even fathom what the future might hold for us, but I do know we will all need to prepare ourselves to handle Change (and I hope the kids working the Fast Food Tills will take note of this -- what's with the struggle to figure out 'change from a dollar'...?? ha,ha,ha! That's just a shame!). So if an opportunity arisies where you could let your child (or yourself...) experience some Change, go ahead and take the opportunity. I really do believe this will be the most important skill for children in the next Generations -- what are we up to, now -- 'Z'? What's after that? 'AAA', or is that just a Motor Vehicle League? ha,ha,ha,ha! I'm part of 'The Baby Boomers', but that period lasted a long, long time, so maybe we could streeeeetch out the 'Z' Generation for another 20 to 30 years, or so, and see how that works!

But in terms of Moving, it's great to have an opportunity to 'Start Fresh'. If you're changing Communities, Schools, Jobs, maybe a huge Career Change -- those are enormous changes, but they can bring amazing new things. Great new Friends, new job opportunities, all new experiences -- and a chance to present to your new world a different Persona, if you feel like it. Also, the people in the New Community won't know you from when you were in Grade Three -- they only see the Adult or 'New You', so you won't be judged on some idiotic thing you did when you were 7. Who wants to be dealt with like they're still a kid? Not me, I'll tell you. What a nightmare that would be. I say, "Move On, Move Up ... Move Over...!" (Okay, that was just a quick reference to something else that might happen when you move, but we won't get into that, now! ha,ha,ha,ha!)

Cara's big Party is tomorrow, and she's going to a Concert tonight, so that means I'll have to do all the cleaning up for the party. I said to Dwight, last night, that he'd have to move his big Power Tools out of the Pool Room, because they are too exciting to look at and not touch a little, so he needs to move the Air Compressor, Air Nailer and his Radial Arm Saw -- just a few tools laying around on the flor, like any normal house! ha,ha!

Hmmm, I'm just watching The View while I'm writing, this morning, and they're doing a Gym Wear Segment, but all the women are in big Sweaters with long sleeves and long Pants -- man, what kind of Work-Out are they doing?? I get sooo hot when I'm working out, that I hardly wear anything -- I don't get how they can do any sort of a decent Work-Out with all those clothes on?? Now here's a funny little story -- I was actually booted out of a Gym, once, for not wearing enough when I was working out. Well, not so much 'booted', as asked to wear a Track Suit when I was working out -- no, I don't think so... I wanted to wear my little Gym Outfits, and they said that made people uncomfortable. Well, it be a gym, and people are there to work out, so I couldn't be bothered with that. I found a great new Gym with mostly men, and they had no problem with it at all... ha,ha,ha,ha!

I'm a 'Weight Girl', in that I like to Lift Weights. Well, as it turns out, the other women in the Club wanted to know what I was doing, and how they could do it, too, and I wanted to tell them because I hate to see anyone waste their time at a Work Out that won't do what they want it to do -- get them into really good shape, and fast... so I told them all to skip the Aerobics and go straight to the Weights. Weights will trim you down and shape you up faster than anything else -- have you seen all the folks slaving away in the Aerobics Classes who never really look all that different? But it's a huge money maker for the Gyms, so they want to keep it. And this is not to say that you should never do Aerobics -- do it if you like it, but when you want to see a serious change in your Body, it's time to hit the Weights. Really, I must write the Exercise Page...

Many folks have been trying to get me to wear Track Suits for years -- the first thing I do when I get a new Track Suit as a gift (I would never buy one for myself...) is to get out the scissors and cut the legs down to shorts. I just get too hot, is all... and that crazy Dwight gets himself in a knot every so often, because I don't own any Pants -- I just like skirts, then I have a few pairs of shorts I wear when I have to, like when the workmen are coming over and I'll be up on a ladder -- little times like that! ha,ha,ha,ha! I built the whole house in my Mini-Skirt, much to Dwight's chagrin. But what do I care -- I just want to be comfy, and my little Black Mini-Skirt is my favorite piece of clothing. I wonder if I'll still be wearin' it when I'm Eighty? Now there's something I might consider changing! ha,ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: You can practice 'making changes' by doing one little thing different every day. Any little thing. Usually walk in on direction around your Kitchen Island? Go mad and go the other way... or use a different cup or glass when you normally use the same one every day ( hopefully, cleaned during the nght at some time... ha,ha!). Just make a conscious effort to change up one thing each day. Do that for a month, and see how easy it is to make changes, then start to make bigger changes. Oh, try a 'Food Change', if that's something you've been thinking about. Instead of having a Piece of Cake at night, have a Rice Cake -- no kiddink -- I'm particularly fond of the Popcorn Rice Cakes. The save the Cake for a 'healthy' Breakfast! ha,ha,ha!

I'll go get you some new pictures -- be right back!

Here's the Turkey Soup and Fresh Homemade Bread I made, yesterday. And it was deeelicious! Oh, rats -- forgot to send some in to to work with Dwight for his Dad -- I always like to send in a big Dish of Homemade Soup for Dwight's Dad... oh, well. Next time.


So I added in a bunch of chopped Celery, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Onions, Green Onion, Green Peppers and tossed in some Frozen Corn and Peas, left that for another hour while the Bread was baking, then everything was ready when Dwight came in from picking Cara up from a School Play Practice ... and just in time for the Survivor Show where Rupert got to walk away with a Million Dollars -- Go Rupert, Spend Yo' Money!! ha,ha! I'm sure that money will be put to good use by Rupert, since he has a heart of gold -- a very nice characteristic in a man!

And did you see the Finale of Frasier? Man, I'm gonna miss that Show -- I loved all the nuances, the great guffaws, the fabulous transitions from Scene to Scene and the little Titles of the Scenes... what a great Show. What a great way to end the Show, too - with the Prospect of New Beginnings for everyone on the show. Very nicely done!

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit, today. I'll see you on The Weekend!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

This here Google Ad is called Peach Melba, which I'm guessing is a tasty treat you might find in Atlanta -- am I right?? ha,ha! Oh, yeah, that reminds me -- I should make up a whole Page for my favourite Peach Pie Recipe -- it's one of those things you make that 'creates a following'... everybody looooves it, and as far as I'm concerned, it makes a delicious and slightly nutritious Breakfast! ha,ha,ha! (Of course, I also believe that the Lemon Cheesecake Pie I am about to go and get a slice of is also a good Breakfaast, but that's just because it's okay to have treats in the morning, so I like to take full advantage of that!)

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Thursday, May 13th, 2004. Hey, Baby! What's up? Your Dating Card, I hope -- oh, no. Wait... that's The Bachelor -- or the Girls on The Bachelor! ha,ha! Those crazy Goils -- I felt sorry for the way they couldn't quite get why ol' Jesse didn't choose them, when it's not really about the 'why', just the fact that he made that particular choice. Too often, folks think there should always be an explanation about why or how things didn't work out, or there was a lack of connection, when most of the time, it's merely a matter of Attraction or lack thereof... It's a shame when someone says, "Hey, how come she got him and I didn't??" You can't 'get' someone -- anyone... you need to meet somewhere in the middle and see if things work out.

Here's something that was driving me up the wall that a lot of young women fall for -- the idea that 'the Poor guy' is a great guy. Not always. And not any more than a Man with Money. Money doesn't make you Good or Bad, and neither does the lack of it, except it can cause different behaviours depending on how the person reacts to the monetary situation. Some Rich Guys are ludicrously Cheap, and that's a terrible trait, and some Poor Guys are overly generous, and that's part of the reason they don't have any money. It's far more important how they manage the Money they do have, more than how much of it they have to manage.Women need to stop Romanticising Poverty -- there ain't nuthin' romantic about not being able to Pay Your Bills, no matter what anyone says, so that really bothered me when 'The Girls' ganged up on Trish who was at least smart enough to get that concept.

But I thought The Bachelor was jeest a leettle creepy, last night -- now why did Jesse ask Mandy 'to spend the night' if he wasn't going to choose her, and what's with the whole thing about having to check everything out before he can even begin to make a decision about whether he likes her, even a bit... yuuuuck! You can't whittle down the choices through witty conversation?? ha,ha,ha,ha! (It's funny because I don't recall hearing any witty banter this time around... Plus, I think he had his own 'special technique, but I'm just guessing... yuff, yuff!)

Hey, you know who might make a funny Bachelor? Rob C. from Survivor -- the one who made all the hilarious remarks on 'The Island'. Or Kwame from The Apprentice -- who cares if he's funny -- Kwame is just plain fun to look at, and if there happens to be a game of Shirts and Skins in every Episode, what of it if he always plays on 'The Skins' side -- now that would really boost the Ratings, no?? ha,ha,ha,ha! (Okay, I did just create that visual for my own amusement, but basically that's all I do anyway - if I'm not amused by it, how would I know whether it would delight someone else, hmmmm?) Or in each Episode with Kwame as The Bachelor, the Wardrobe People could 'accidentally' misplace all his Shirts ... I know, I know, that's huuugely inappropriate, but it is a good visual, so I'm keepin' it! ha,ha,ha!

Oh, and you know what a good Spin-Off for Trish from The Bachelor might be? Who Wants To Have An Affair?? Yep, I think it'll be a big, big hit, especially with 'The Wives'... You could have all the Husbands lined up, each one with a sad, sad story about how their wife can't stand them another minute (oh, no, wait,,, that's the wife's story... his story is about how hard done by he is, never getting everything he wants 24/7... brings a tear to yer eye, it does... ha,ha,ha,ha!), and Trish could listen with those big wide eyes, absorbing every needy word, then she could choose a few to 'try out'. And on this Show, she could take as many as she liked... you can skip the Roses and hand out Martinis, that way everyone would want one! Oh, I think I have a good handle on this TV thing! N'yuk, n'yuk, n'yuk!

So we haven't done a stitch of Construction Work at home, this week. When there's a Big Birthday, that pretty much takes ove rthe whole week, and I need to take the next couple of days to get ready for Cara's Party on the Weekend. She's having a House Party with about 15 kids ... should be fun. We have a nice big area on the Lower Level with the Bar and Pool Table ( and, no, there won't be any 'drinking', but the Bar is a handy place to put all the Snacks and Pop -- it's about 10 feet long, 3 1/2 feet wide, so lots of room for stuff...), and the Big Screen TV is down here, too ... I'm trying to convince Cara to set up her Den as a Dance or Music Area -- so far, no luck, but we'll see what happens. Dwight's going to do a BBQ, since he's the BBQ King, and I'll do all the Salads and Snacks. And Aidan promises to 'Be Good'! ha,ha,ha!

Memorial Day is coming up in The States, and one of my favorite Online Companies,, has a Program where you can go into their Site, Choose a Gift,. and have it sent to a Service Person in the Military. Isn't that a nice thing to do? I have a whole Page just for Overstock, but you can click on any of the the Pictures to take you into the Overstock Site -- it's an unbelievable store, so you might just find a wee something for yourself, too! (That's the way I shop! ha,ha!)

Tip of the Day: Have you noticed the Trend toward really enormous Baseboard? If you start taking note of the different types of Baseboard in homes, you'll see that the Trim in Victorian Homes is enormous, then as the homes move into the middle of the last Century, the Trimwork got really narrow, and now we're back to the giant Trim, again. If you have a home you want to Update relatively quickly, other than painting the walls a modern color (Tans and shades of Sage are big right now...), pull off the Skinny Floorboard and replace it with really 'fat' stuff.

And a really easy way to re-use your old Baseboards, if they are carefully removed and in good shape, you could take some 'Straight Boards' or a piece of MDF and you can 'Rip it Down' to 3 to 6 inch pieces, paint them the same color, then put the 'Straight Piece' on the walls, first, then add the 'old board' directly on top. the beauty of the Baseboard you've taken from the wall is it will already be cut, so you won't have to fiddle around with all the Mitred Edges, which can be hard to do. You can use the same technique of 'building up' the Baseboard with Brand New Lumber in a new Project.

I'll go get you some new pictures -- and I need to put on a Big Pot of Turkey Soup... I'll be back in a jiffy!

Surprise! It's the Turkey Soup! I use pretty much the same Soup Base for most of my Homemade Soup. My favorite way to buy Spices is in the Giant Containers, because I like to use a lot of Spice when I'm cooking.

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I'll make up a whole Page just for the Turkey Soup Recipe, but basically you just start with 3/4 of a pot of water, toss in a ton of spices (I pour the spices in...'A little bit of this and a little bit of that...' You know how it is!). Onions are fabulous for 'curin' whatever ails ya', so chop up an onion and throw that in, too. Then I rinse the 'Soup Starter' (a mixture of Lentils, Beans, Barley, etc., etc. -- you can pick it up in your Soup Aisle in the Grocery Store), dice the meat and stir it all up in the pot. Turn the heat down to Low and let it simmer away until about an hour or so before dinner,then toss in all sorts of Veggies -- whatever you have in the house. It's always delicious.

I happened to take out a frozen Loaf of Bread Dough this morning, so it's on the Stove busy rising, right now, and when I'm done this, I'll go cut it into pieces to make it magically transform into Rolls. It makes a nice Meal on a Cold and Yucky Day! Now who has a lucky family, hmmmm?

Thank you for coming in for a wee visit! I'll see you tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

This little Google Ad is called Cut Grass, which seems like a good one to use, today, since I keep looking out the windows to see when it'll be dry enough to get the Riding Lawn Mower back out -- all that snow is making our Grass Grow! (So there is an upside to Snow in May! ha,ha!)

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Wednesday, May 12th, 2004. Hello, Goigeous! Yes, that's an 'oi' in the middle of 'gorgeous', just for fun! Man, I'm exhausted, today -- or maybe it's the leftover effects of the Super Motrin I took last night ... those little pills are like a mini-miracle in a bottle! Not in a weird way, of course, but they'll take all the pain away in no time at all, and you'll snore you're way back to your regular self. So here's what I did -- and don't tell Dwight, since he told me this would happen, but I never like to listen to him in case he ends up being right, and then I'm wrong... you get the drift! ha,ha,ha!

Anyway, Cara and I each got a Pair of Roller Blades -- me for Mother's Day and Cara for her 16th Birthday. Now, I used to be a Figure Skater (and by 'used to', I mean about 30 years ago! ha,ha,ha!), so I thought I would just strap on the Skates and nature would take over. Turns out, No. Apparently my body can't remember that far back, and God Knows my mind is a little sketchy about it, too! So I just stood up with the Skates on (they seem enormous!), and rolled them back and forth to try to get a 'feel' for the skates. That only lasted for about 4 minutes, then I took them off and stored them in the Laundry Room, where Roller Blades belong... then the next morning, I could hardly stand upright. For some odd reason, the upper middle part of my back was sooo painful, but I had a ton of stuff to do, so I couldn't take anything for it during the day. That's where the magical Super-Motrin came in, and why I am so very thankful for it! ha,ha! I'll try it again when I have something else to lean on -- like a Full-Size Steel Frame I could Skate behind!

Ooooh, The Bachelor is on, tonight -- we're addicted to those little Shows -- we're hoping Cara will see how people can treat each other in these 'mini-relationships', and how easy it is for some men to go from one girl to the next to the next, then ask if she has any friends... now that ain't good!(And girls can do the same thing in reverse...)You know what would be a great thing to get everyone who is dating to do, especially when they're in the 'Under 25' Category? You can see how quickly these fabulous relationships fizzle out, so if we could just get folks to wait for Three Months (I know, that's a bit of a pipe dream, but a girl likes to dream! ha,ha!) before they make any 'big commitments' to anyone else, that might save a whole lot of grief in the long run. You get a pretty good handle on the other person in that amount of time, unless they are an expert at hiding their true personality (yes, that happened to me -- that's how I've gathered up most of the information over the years -- I'm hoping to save you from some bother later on...). Plus, I love the 'Blue Up-Lighting' behind the Plants on the Show -- if I ever find those, I'll let you know right away!

Tip of the Day: This came up in our house again the other night. Our weather has been bizarre, lately -- hot enough for the Air Conditioner to come on automatically, then cold enough to snow later that night. The problem is that the house can still be too hot for Dwight (he likes it cold all the time...), but it's too cold outside to turn on the Air-Conditioning, so he opens up the windows in the Bedroom. That would be fine, except those Bedroom Windows are about 15 feet off the Ground, so if Aidan were to push through the Screen, he wouldn't survive it, so it makes me very anxious. We bought a whole lot of 'Window Locks' that you can just screw on, and I like them to be placed about 6" above the bottom of the Window, since that would provide enough Air-Flow for the room and keep small children safe. Our lives would all be much better and safer if Dwight would quit moving the little locks so he can open the window all the way.

The other thing is that Aidan has the strength to open the Windows by himself, now, and he can do it so quickly, that you may not be in the room with him when he does it, so keeping those Window Locks about 6" from any opening really works to kep him safe. This is a huuuuge concern for Parents in Highrise Apartment Buildings, where it is really a much better option just to be warm, rather than take a chance with anyone's safety, but those little locks can prevent a child from opening a window, and that's the most important thing.

So in my next house, with my next husband... (ha,ha,ha,ha,ha!), I'm going to put in the new Windows that open from the Top -- I had never seen them before, but they look like a good idea! I'll look around for those, too, and I'll post them when I find them!

Oh, I almost forgot! I got an e-mail from my friend, Karen in Manhattan Beach (I identify my friends by Name and Place -- whatever that says about me!), and I posted it on my Breast Cancer Research Page. It was a wee note about a new deal M&M's Candies has where they'll donate 50 Cents from the sale of every package of the new Pink and White M&M's to the Susan G. Coleman Foundation, so you can get yo' Chocolate Fix and Support a Great Cause at the same time!

Let me go get you some nice pictures -- be riiight back!

These are three of the many, many areas in this house that we Tiled and Grouted. I love Tile -- it's beautiful and practical. The first shot is of the Dining Room right after we finished Grouting it. Then there's the Sunroom after we finished that, and then the Steam Room, so you can see the Wall Tile in there...

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I'm showing you these pictures so you can get a good handle on how much Tile I've dealt with over the past little while... and here's a great Tip for you if you have a Place that needs a Reno, and the Grout looks terrible. (Incidentally, Grout is the stuff in between each tile, and the new stuff is easy to clean.) You might find that really old Grout changes color, or is moly or just plain ol' dirty. An easy way to deal with it is to use a Dremel Tool (like a little Drill, but with a Flat Head) to remove the top layer of the existing Grout. That might clean it up enough that it looks brand new. If not, drill down a little bit further into the exisitng Grout to remove it (not necessarily completely...) , then mix up a batch of new Grout and put it in between the Tiles. If you're replacing The Grout, you might want to take the opportunity to change out the color of the grout to 'bring it up-to-date'.

Oh, and don't ever be 'afraid' of light-colored Tile with a Wave Pattern, or light-colored Grout. Dark grout is actually a lot harder to work with when you're putting it in, especially if the tile is light -- White or any lighter shade of grout blends in eaily with the tiles, so it's much easier to clean up. And Grout is easy to clean, so you don't have to worry about staining. You can check out my How to Tile Page to learn how to Tile and Grout!

Thanks for swinging by for a wee visit! See you tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

We actually have made a fair bit of money over the years in the Stock Market, and I think people were shying away from it for a while there, but now it's time to 'head on back'... I wish we had kept some Oil Stocks, now, since the Price of Oil is going through the roof... and I like the idea of investing in Bio-Medical Stocks, especially if it's for something you feel personally connected to... that makes you feel like you're doing your own little bit to provide the money for the Necessary Research, and if that brings you a financial windfall as well as a cure, all the better!

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Tuesday, May 11th, 2004. Yo, yo, yo. What up wit' my Home-ies?? It's a big exciting day, here -- it's Cara's 16th Birthday! Sweet 16 -- we've been waiting a loooong time for this day to come -- why, it's been about 16 full years! ha,ha,ha! No, no, everybody waits that long for their 16th Birthday .. we really have been waiting for this Big Birthday, though, since we've been living under these bizarre rules that get to decide where we live and how we live until now -- at the Magical Age of 16, though, who is going to be successful at telling them what to do? Nobody, that's right! Why it's like you're familiar with 16 year olds!! ha,ha,ha!

Oh, you know what I heard on the News the other night? Other than a Street Hockey Game was shut down by a By-Law Officer here in Suburban Calgary, home of the Hockey Puck... pleeeease, Canadian Kids have been playing Street Hockey since the Dinosaurs still roamed the Area -- probably with Hockey Sticks in their giant hands -- I don't have actual proof of that, I'm just surmising... and if you are particularly interested in Dinosaurs, one of the best Dinosaur Museums is not far from here in Drumheller, Alberta -- and there's a 'mini-Grand Canyon there, too -- who knew?? There was a tremendous amount of Dinosaur Activity out here -- the other place I really like is the Tar Pits in Downtown L.A. -- definitely worth a visit!

Okay, back to the original News Story that concerned me -- and it's an issue I feel very strongly about, but I don't hear much debate about it, which I find surprising. There's a Group in Alberta who want to switch the Legal Drinking Age from 18 to 19. Really, I do not understand how this ever became a moveable number, since 18 is the 'Be all and end all' Age of Majority, signifying that you're a full-fledged Adult. You can Go to War, Vote, Die for Your Country (this is the biggest one for me, since any Government that would allow someone to die for the country but not allow that same person to have a beer, because they aren't nearly old enough to handle it is a sham... I'm truly shocked that so many folks go along with this...), Get Married, Have a Family, Work in a Full Time Job, Pay Full Taxes on Your Full-Time Income, Drive Anywhere, Move Anywhere (unless you've beed unfortunate enough to have a child with a control freak, but I digress..) -- live a complete life all on your own, but not be allowed to have a drink. That's ridiculous.

Now, I know the argument is that too many young people Drink and Drive, then people get hurt, but the answer is not to change the Laws so that Drinking between the ages of 18 to 21 is Illegal -- who really believes that would stop them, anyway? The same person who is out of control with their drinking at 19 is the same person wh is even more out of control with their drinking at 24, since by then they'll have more money to spend on booze. This is more a matter of teaching our Youth (and the rest of Society) to be more reasonable and rational, and to use Moderation whenever possible, and then for those times that they don't follow the Middle Road, make sure they stay put wherever they are ... it's much safer to stay where they are than to try to get home no matter what, especially if it's to comply with a Curfew or a mere notion of when the person should be back home. Dealing with one person's wrath is much better than everyone dealing with an Accident, God Forbid...

So I think the really big question is how do we teach Moderation? I'm Scottish, as you probably know , and in Britian, 16 is considerd a very viable age for making reasonable decisions, which I believe is true for the most part. (And that's why any 'Youth' between 16 and 18 who commits a heinneous crime should skip straight over to the Adult Court ... ) I've known many, many 'Youth' in that age range, and never have seen even one who didn't know what they were up to -- I have no idea what Childless Person came up with that rule... they may not make the wisest decisions all the time, but neither do some a Thirty-Eight Year Olds ...

The bottom line is that you just can't punish the Majority for the stooopid actions of a few. It isn't Fair, and it isn't Right. It has to be One or The Other -- if you're old enough to live like an Adult, you're old enough to have a Stawberry Dacquiri... or a Beer, or whatever else you might like, just do it in Moderation. Bring back The House Party, and introduce the concept of B.Y.O.B, again -- this time it can be 'Bring Yo' Own Bed'! ha,ha,ha! The new slogan could be 'Stay Put, Stay Safe'... We actually have that little 'rule' in our house, but more in reference to the weather, which can be pretty crazy around here (there's a Snow Storm, today, in fact...). We had some terrible Fog earlier in the Year, and you literally couldn't see 20 feet in front of you, so that makes Driving impossible. Our deal was that if anyone got to the Corner of the Road and couldn't see any Traffic at all, they would turn around and go back to the nearest place they could stay that was safe -- if that meant a night in a Hotel, so be it... that would always be better than something terrible happening...

Maybe we could focus our energies on figuring out a way to get people home after they've been drinking, or set up a deal with Hotels to allow for a place to stay, where the Parents could pay the Hotel Bill 'the next day', if someone showed up and didn't have the money to stay... imagine the lives that could save, right there? Or you could get a Bill you could pay over time? Maybe a room set up like a Hostel... something to think about...

Well, that was controversial, wasn't it?? Ah, well. I'm not the only one who thinks this stuff .. I'll go get you some nice new pictures -- be riiight back!

In Honour of Cara's Big 16th Birthday, here are some nice pictures of Cara!

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The first one is Cara watching Ellen Degeneres on TV (we looove Ellen, she's sooo funny!), then there's Cara out mowing the Lawn, and then Cara on her way to her Grade 9 Graduation. Beautiful and Nice! (Not to mention Smart and Funny!!)

Thanks for popping in for a little visit! See You Tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

(And Happy 16th Birthday, Cara!!! Love, Mummy!! xxxxooo)

Wow -- I'm just watching Oprah, and wouldn't you know it, she's just started a new 'O At Home' Magazine -- I'll have to go find a Link for that for you -- can't wait to read that!

Oh, and there's a new Ask Ailsa Question that I did instead of the usual Tip of the Day!

This Google Ad is called Blue Bird, which seems appropriate, since I Hope to God we are as Free as a Bird to make our own choices (whatever they may be -- it's all about having the Freedom to make the choices all by yourself!) soon enough... I'll be sure to keep you posted!

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Monday, May 10th, 2004. Hey there, Baby Cakes! Sweetie Pie... Sugar Dumpling... what's that? A Donut of sorts? Hmmmm, sounds pretty good, one way or another, much like you! ha,ha,ha! Well, did you survive Mother's Day? It has to be one of those days with the highest level of Expectations on the planet... did you notice? So I had a nice day, and everything went quite well until last thing at night -- I went into the Kitchen, and all the dishes were still there, and then I went to each Bedroom, and none of the Beds had been made... so I had to make the beds because I like everyone to have a comfy 'made' bed every night, cleaned Cara's Bathroom, then made my way to the kitchen again to prepare things for the Morning Routine... but when I got up, this morning, I noticed that Aidan had his toys all over the Living Room Floor,and that makes Dwight mad, so I had to clean that up before Dwight got up. Then there was no room on the island to make the lunches because of all the stooopid dishes...

So I don't know how to play this one -- I made it very, very clear to everyone that I was Okay with having my Mother's Day Dinner at home, provided that I didn't have to clean up my own dishes, like at my Birthday, but here we go again... and since no work was done at all, yesterday, I have double the amount of cleaning to do, today. Ugh. Dwight did not notice that I was mad, this morning. I think he's getting used to my arms at my side and a cheek to kiss on his way out the door...! ha,ha,ha! Whatevah... Hey, you know what is a good Show to watch when you're fed up with yo' Spouse? Blind Date with Roger Lodge. No kidding! Not only is Roger Lodge really funny (and very attractive...!), it's a great reminder of how crappy Dating Life can be... you tend to forget that once you're Married.

I find myself trying to remember my Dating Life, but I really never did 'Date' much. I think I was almost always friends, first, then it was more like going out with friends, then just one friend, and so on and so on... you get the drift! But if you watch enough Episodes of Blind Date (it's one of our favorite Shows...), your spouse looks less and less annoying! ha,ha,ha! So it serves a purpose, and is very entertaining! And speaking of Friends, I look forward to the Joey Spin-off with one of our favorite Characters from The Sopranos -- Adrianna (of Christo'fah' Fame...), and I hope they deal better with any children who are brought into the Story-Line than Friends did -- I couldn't stand it that they were always leaving the Babies all alone and carrying around that stooopid Baby Monitor, like that was great Child Care... Too many people watching who might think that's an okay habit to get into, especially with Infants... puh-leeease... that part was just annoyink... And I hope they do a better job of showing actual Integration that reflects the Demographics of L.A., since that's the Setting for the New Show.

I did get some great reading in, yesterday, though -- I picked up a copy of Erma Bombeck's All I Know About Animal Behaviour I Learned in Loehmann's Dressing Room -- hilarious... Erma Bombeck's humor is timeless. And I had picked up some Scottish Pipe & Drum Music in a Two CD Set from Costco, (and I picked up another Set for My Dad for Father's Day, that'll be here before you know it...) so I got my Tea, a lovely piece of Lemon Pie, My Erma Bombeck Book, put on the Pipe Music, and had a great morning in the Sunroom! Dwight came in for a little while -- I think he really loved the Scottish Bagpipe Music...! ha,ha,ha! I was singing away to all the Scottish Tunes, and said to Dwight, "Doesn't this make you want to March??" ha,ha,ha! No, apparently it didn't, so he left to watch TV, and I got to be all alone! Yiipee!!

I had a Big Plan to have a nap at some point during the day, but then Game One in the Western Finals in Hockey came on -- The Calgary Flames vs. The San Jose Sharks, so I couldn't miss that, then the Finale of Survivor was next, followed by The Sopranos -- no wonder no-one cleaned the Kitchen... now I just have to decide whether I will cave in again, and clean it myself, which is the most likely thing, since I don't want any fights the day before Cara's 16th Birthday, which is tomorrow -- can't wait! So I have a lot of wrapping to do in my Gift Wrapping Room -- and I get a surprising amount of use out of that room!

Well, I just went upstairs to get Aidan some more Watermelon, looked at the big mess in my Kitchen, then broke down and did all the dishes... Thank Goodness we have the Two Dishwashers -- I filled them both, so they're running right now. Not sure whether I'll mention it, or just let the anger simmer away... that technique seems to work for Tony Soprano -- did you love the Anger Management Classes? They don't always take! ha,ha,ha! That crazy Dwight -- and the worst part is he never, ever feels the need to apologize -- it's all water under the bridge for him -- maybe I should live like that, too, only I can't seem to get away with that -- wonder why?

Oh, and did you see they have a little twist on Survivor? You can go to their website,, and Vote for whichever Survivor you feel should have won, or another Survivor you would like to see a Million Dollars go to... personally, I like Ethan, since he's soooo nice (and I really like his hair! ha,ha!), but I think you can vote on The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and The Sexy, too, so that outta be fun! And check out the Survivor Buffs while you're in there, and say to yourself, "Hey, wouldn't my Group, School, Team or Business Logo look great on a Buff??" If you answer yourself out loud, you'll have a few issues to deal with first, then you can e-mail me and I can 'Hook You Up' with The Buffs!! Now won't that be fun??

Okay, I better 'Get to Wrappin'! It's so hard to believe that Cara will be 16 tomorrow! Wow... I hope that doesn't make me 'old'! ha,ha,ha! We were trying to remember our 16th Birthdays, but couldn't. Nothin', not even a faint memory! Now that ain't good! Oh, and Cara got her Ears Pierced on Saturday, so that opens up a whole new realm of Gift Ideas for her, so that's fabulous! And they look great -- she had plans earlier in her life not to ever get her ears pierced, but that's just the sort of thing that happens around the age of 16 -- suddenly you really want to look like an Adult. And the Mum wants to look less and less like an Adult! ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: Hey, did you know you can Renew your Library Books Online? I just discovered that about 8 months ago, and it makes your life a whole lot easier... you used to have to drag all your books back into the Library, they'd stamp them all, then you'd drag them all home again. Then you would do the same thing in just over three weeks, right after the actual Due Date, so you'd rack up all sorts of Fines... Anyway, you can go to the Website for the Library in your area, click on your Library Number and your PIN, then renew all the books on-line. Man, I love my computer -- well, not 'love', this week, because it's still painfully slow, for some reason... but it is very useful, so I really like it. That's basically how I feel about Dwight this week, too -- useful and practical, but not all that lovable...! ha,ha,ha,ha!

Let me go get you some nice new pictures! Be riiight back!

Well, are these pictures pathetic or useful? You decide! ha,ha,ha! I wanted to show you some easy Exercises you could do while you're sitting at the Computer, because so many of us are practically chained to the computer all day ... actually, if you really are chained to the computer, I'd like to see your picture, too, but only in a voyeuristic way! ha,ha,ha,ha!


I couldn't get anyone to take pictures of me Exercising, so I just took these, myself -- those are my legs! ha,ha! So here's what to do while you're at the computer -- Get a bunch of Free Weights. Store them carefully under the Desk, like you can see that I do! You can use any Weight you like -- start little and increase the amount of weight as you get used to the Exercise. I like the 8 and 10 pound weights for this exercise.

Set the Weight 'standing up', then put a foot on either side. Keep your Back Straight, then lift slowly up and down. You can do quick little lifts, too, if you have A.D.D. -- no, no... I'm just kiddink! But I do the little quick lifts just for fun -- I would imagine they do something, so why not? I'll have to make up my At-Home Work-Out Page, soon -- I've been thinking about it a fair bit, lately... must get some pictures of myself so I can show you some good exercises that actually work!

Thank you for coming in for a wee visit! See you tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

This Google Ad is called Cumulous Cloud. Nice, eh? Very calming!

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Mother's Day Weekend, May 8th & 9th, 2004. Happy Mother's Day! I'm pretty sure you're either celebrating it yourself, or celebrating it with someone else in mind, but one way or another, everybody's got a Ma, right, so it has to be important on some level... I'm hoping for a whole Mudda's Day Weekend., but we'll see. So far, I've had quite a flow of 'Traffic' in my Office here, tonight -- I'm trying to get this written on Friday Night, so I can have a semblance of a chance of sleeping in on Saturday or Sunday... Cara was in earlier with the Scrabble Game, so of course everything stopped so we could play a sleepy game of Scrabble. That's a fun little game to play -- I'm not really a 'Game Girl', except for Scrabble and Chess. And then Mind Games, of course, because they're always mature and fun... and hardly ever destructive... ha,ha,ha,ha!

Now it's 12:30 in the Morning (so technically it's Saturday Morning...!), and Dwight's in my Office. I said to him it's a little distracting for me to have him in my office, eating cereal and playing with the dog, but he thought he would just watch me while I was working ... then he started to choke on his cereal, so I had to give him some of my Tea... you can see how that wasn't distracting at all... ha,ha,ha,ha! Can you tell I'm a little delirious with the lack of sleep?? Ah, well. I'm not the first sleep-deprived Mutha' you've known, I'm sure! Is that how you spell 'delirious'?? You'd think after all that Scrabble, I'd know that sort of thing, but the older I get, the worser mah' spellin' gets! ha,ha! I used to be obsessed with Spelling -- I wonder if that's what lead me in the direction of being an English Teacher... and if you're fairly new to 'The Site', I really get a laugh out of 'playing wit' da language', because I think we sometimes get a little too 'high falutin' with English, then it's not so much fun anymore -- and here we're trying to get more kids to read... really, the secret is that we need to get everybody to read more, so makin' it fun is the best way to do that, don't you think? Me neither... What were we talkin' aboot?? ha,ha!

Oh. It's almost May 9th, and you know what weird thing Dwight and I have in common? That's right, we both love Malibu Rum and Orange Juice -- it's the tie that binds us together... no, wait. That's not it... Oh, yeah, now I remember -- we were both married on the same day twice. Yep. The first time around, we were both married on May 9th, 1987, at approximately the same time, but on opposite sides of the Country, and with different people... How weird is that?? And of course, the second time we were both married on the same day, it was the day we actually married each other in Santa Barbara, California. That's why we like it so much down there... that, and I hear it's easier to get a divorce, should the need ever arise, in Sunny, Single California...! ha,ha,ha!

Guess where I got most of my information about California? That's right, from Melrose Place...! Remember how Heather Locklear (sp?? will that keep coming up??) used to get married, divorced, the married again in the same Episode? Now that was good TV! ha,ha! Oh, the 90's... a whole decade of decadence... Thank Goodness for The O.C., or I wouldn't learn anything new about my favorite State -- California! Oh, and just for the record, we always called it "Schmelrose Place", and I think I see "De O'Schmee" instead of The O.C. in the very near future -- why we can never call anything by it's rightful name will remain a mystery. Probably why, for a while there, I took to calling Dwight 'a malastard'... and as you can well imagine, I thought that was hilarious, and luckily, so did Dwight! ha,ha,ha!

It's Cara's 16th Birthday on May 11th, so I definitely will need to get some shopping in -- Costco, here I come... Dwight is lookin' sweaty! ha,ha! He doesn't really like my 'Costco Trips', that's why I had to cut back on the number of times I went there to once every 6 weeks, or so ... and that's how I was able to 'save' us well over $500. per month... ha,ha,ha! Whatevah'... it's sooo hard to be rational when you go through the Big Costco Doors -- everything looks highly practical, until you leave with your enormous Bill and have to figure out how on earth you'll get it all into the Van... every time I think about 'switching out' my Chevy Cargo Van, I think about how much stuff I can squeeze in there, and can't bring myself to part with it... although I would like a Van in a Gold Color... hmmmm. Must look for a Gold Cargo Van!

Tip of the Day: Here's a Financial Tip, and I mention it because I happen to be thinking about My Van. As soon as you can, buy your own vehicle outright. Leasing is an easy way to go at the beginning, but a nightmare at the end, whereas if you go and buy a Used Car (which I also highly recommend -- say, 1 to 4 years old, then drive that for about 5 years, then 'switch up' again... just like a house! ha,ha,ha!), or even a new vehicle, and work toward paying it off completely, you'll own the vehicle outright, then you'll have one less payment to make per month. The ultimate goal is to own everything and not have any payments other than general upkeep. It's a nice, easy way to live... very stress-free, and it'll give you waaaaay more time to poke around and watch TV... doesn't that sound exciting? No? Maybe you could go on a Trip, or somethin'... we can't -- we're too busy, but one day we will, and I'm sure it'll be work related! Ah, that's the life of the reasonably comfy -- why don't they make a Show about us, hmmmm? ha,ha,ha!

I'll get some new pictures for you in a wee bit -- must get some sleep!

I'm baaack! And here are the reasons I celebrate Mother's Day! That's Cara and Aidan baking with me in the Kitchen -- that's a fun thing to do with (and for) your kids...

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And then there's Cara at the Front Entry on her way to her Grade 9 Graduation -- next stop, Grade Twelve!! ha,ha! And then there's Aidan dressed as a wee bug at Hallowe'en -- and he is as cute as a bug in a rug, no?? ha,ha,ha! Of course, I'm 'Mother' to Tia, too, so you can have a quick click on her name to see what our wee dog looks like, if you haven't seen her, yet... they're all gorgeous and amazingly smart! Lucky, lucky ME! Scooooore!!

See ya later, Alligator... remember that ol' line? I always loved that little ditty (although it has very little to do with Jack and Diane, from what I recall...)! Think I'm overly sleepy, now, fer sures!

Oh, hey, and if you've been wondering what you can get for ME for Motha's Day, just 'give me a little Click', will ya, huh? My click -through rate took a dive down to 1.5% of my Readers clicking through last week -- egads, that ain't good! A click a day keeps the banker away...' I don't know, I just made that up, but I do appreciate all your support... maybe my new, revised goal should be 'to get my 'Click-through Rate to 2.3% ... now that's just sad! No, I'm shootin' for 50% of my Readers clickin' their way 'out the door', so-to-speak... that's seems entirely reasonable to me... Anyhooo, thanks for popping in on the Weekend!

Happy Mother's Day!!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

This Google Ad is called "It's a Girl!". How cute is that?? ha,ha! Anything for a Click, eh??

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And it's not too late to Shop for Mother's Day, so Click Here to Find some Great Gift Ideas!

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Friday, May 7th, 2004. Hi, Honey! You're Home, again, and I'm still here! Have you done your Mother's Day Shopping, yet? I finished mine, yesterday -- I got my Mum one of those really big Electric Griddles -- I love my griddle (perhaps a bit too much!) for making fancy Breakfasts and Fish, 'n stuff... that'd be a good Name for a Seafood Restaurant that ain't too fancy, "Fish 'N Stuff" -- sounds delicious! ha,ha! Oh, you know? That probably is the name of a Fishin' Tackle Store! Anyway, so I got the Griddle and a Gift Certificate for my Mum to buy whatever Flowers she likes. That works out well for us, since we live so far apart (about 3,000 miles, I think...), and that way she can go and choose the nicest looking flowers at the Store, and get a bunch of Hanging Baskets -- what Mum doesn't love a Hanging Basket of Flowers??

That reminds me -- I bought myself a gorgeous Hanging Basket of Fuscias, which I love, but it's far too cold outside to hang the Flowers up, so I removed the 'Hangy Part' and put the flowers right in the middle of the Dining Room Table. They look beatiful, but guess who is obsessed with how the Blossoms open, and how easily they come off in yo' hand when you just give them a tiny tug?? That's right, it's Dwight... ha,ha,ha... no, it's the other, much smaller boy in the house, Aidan! So now there are Blossoms all over the house, and last night he was trying to 'Clean the Flowers' in the bathroom sink, then dry them on my good towels... funny! So I had to say to Aidan this morning that all the rest of the Buds and Flowers have to stay on the Plant... so far, so good! ha,ha! I took some pictures, and a shot of the bowl of water I put out so that Aidan can put any other Blossoms that just happen to fall off the plant and straight into his hands so they have a chance of further survival!

I had to make up some 'Mother's Day Rules' for Dwight, and hopefully they will apply to everyone else, too... so as a Public Service to all the Moms out there, and to help save some Dads and Children a whole lot of disgruntled Ma's out there, here goes...

1. Be Nice to Da' Ma! Sometimes this can be tricky, but you have to make a special effort this weekend... then hopeful, every day after that! ha,ha!

2. Buy her something nice and wrap it up. No be givin' Da Ma something still in the Walmart Bag -- now that ain't good, even if you DO go to great lengths to tape the bag shut!

3. If you do buy her a Cleaning Item of some sort (and be extra careful what you buy... and maybe stand back a wee bit when she first opens up the Broom...! ha,ha!), make sure you offer to be the first person to use it. I think I would skip the whole, "Say Mom, why don't you use this Dishcloth to wash the Dishes right after you make us all a Big Breakfast..." Noooo, that probably won't go over nearly as well as you would think... 'dem Ma's is soooo sensitive! ha,ha!

4. Refrain from making any comments, whatsoevah, about Cleaning, the need to clean, who's gonna clean up this big mess (with a glance over to Da Ma...). Nothing. Nada. Dinny do that. Cleaning chat has to 'stay on the inside', just like any negative thoughts -- just keep everything bottled up, then you can write to Dr. Phil on Monday... har, har!

5. Make Plans that include Da Ma. I know the Big Game is on that day -- I'm planning to watch it, but not every Ma is into Sports, so be sure to figure out the day, in advance, to make sure she feels appreciated and special. And loved. These are the things that really matter to all Mothers. Your Gifts, a Planned Dinner, Lunch, Brunch... these are all interpreted as a direct link between how much you Care about her. It's true, so there's no point in booking a ride down 'De'nile River'! ha,ha,ha! (Yes, that's making me laugh out loud -- I love a little play on words like that...!)

6. If you happen to be so lucky as to have more than one Mother in your life to celebrate on Mother's Day, be sure to make everyone feel important, but don't put the wrong one 'On Top', or your life will take a sudden and surprising downward turn... here's the Order -- Wife First, then Yo' Original Ma, then any other Mothers you know (no Soprano Jokes allowed this weekend..."Oh, you a Mutha', all right..." No, no. That is amusing, but you'll need to just save those jokes for later ... maybe on Sunday night around 9:00 p.m.! ha,ha!( If you're a Soprano Fan, you'll know that's when the Show Airs every week!)

7. This one's specifically for Dwight -- and any other man crazy enough to have to be told this -- "Don't make her cook on Mother's Day, and never make her clean up the Kitchen after the Meal... even if it is the next day..."Oh, Honey, just leave those until tomorrow..." Got that, Dwight?? I had to clean the Turkey Pan from my own Birthday Dinner -- I left it for a week, hoping beyond hope that someone in the house would clean the stoooopid thing, but no-one did, so I eventually caved in and did it, but not happily. Angrily. Maddily... I just made that word up, but I like it -- I think it suits me! ha,ha! So I hope it doesn't suit me too well, this weekend! ha,ha!

8. Give the Mom in your life (all the Mums!) the Whole Day Off! Being a Mum is a 24/7 Full Time Job, with nary a Day Off, so having a whole day when they don't have to do all the usual 'duties' is the biggest treat of all ... but, of course, you have to complete Rules 1 through 7, first! ha,ha,ha! Good Luck with that!

So I hope that helps a whole bunch of Mums, Dads, Children, and the occasional Pet -- really, I have no idea how smart your dog is, but I have to assume your cats can read, they just can't be bothered reading all the way through... oh, and a Gift comes from every kidlet -- it took a lot of work to bring each child into the world, so a wee 'pressie' from each child is not over-indulgence... it's a very practical way to maintain happiness in the home! ha,ha!

Let me go get you some nice new pictures! Be riiight back!

Here's the Beautiful Fuscia I got for myself last week -- from Walmart, of course -- it's one of my favorite Stores!

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So here are Three Views of the Fuscias safely up on the Kitchen Island, and there's sneaky aidan 'testing the flowers to see how easy it is for them to stay on the plant...', then the wee bowl of water for the flowers that 'failed the test'! ha,ha,ha!

Thanks for coming in for a wee visit! I'll see you on the Weekend for my Weekend Update!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

Happy Mother's Day!!

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This Ad is called 'Mother Earth', which seems appropriate!

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Thursday, May 6th, 2004. Good Morning, Sunshine! I need you to brighten up my day, because there ain't no sunshine when you're gone... no, wait, that sounds like we should be singing, and maybe you already are... but I need a little sunshine because it's May and Cold and Snowy, here in the Bitter, Cold North... I hear it's supposed to be 'Warm and Sunny' later in the day, but it ain't lookin' that good, yet! "Bait a minute", as Aidan says ... I hope I'm not the Bitter Cold North, personified! ha,ha,ha,ha! I'm sure I could melt under the right circumstances...! ha,ha!

Did you catch some Great TV, last night? We're huuuge O.C. Fans -- what a great Show. You know what I don't get, though? Why is The O.C. referred to as 'A Guilty Pleasure'? It's incredibly well written and the Cast couldn't BE any better (yes, Chandler talks like many a Canadian...! ha,ha!) -- and then there's the Scenery, what with the Infinity Pool and the fabulous Architecture... no wonder we love it! So that was the Season Finale, and they dealt with some Big Issues, and with a nice open and even-handed way, equally presenting both sides of the Abortion Issue.

They made it very clear that life isn't all grand just because of the house you live in -- I loved the Scene at the end with Marissa alone in her gorgeous new house, 'A Princess in the Tower'... and Seth Cohen saying how horribly he was treated before Ryan got there to change things up, because he'd been so badly bullied in School. This is another of those great Shows you can watch with your Kids and use it as a 'Jumping off Board' for 'topical discussion' -- that's high-falutin', ain't it?? Ugh. Well, you know what I mean -- it opens up topics that are difficult to broach between parents and children ... you forget that younger people may or may not know about the struggle for human rights for so many people, and I had to tell Cara about Roe vs. Wade, and how important that piece of Law is and was. It's very sad to think that there are still folks out there who would happily take away Reproductive Rights from Women -- I don't get that. Wonder why one person would want to take away the rights of another person?? Makes no sense to me...

And then on The Bachelor (what a fun night of TV!! Perfect for a cold, snowy May Night!! ha,ha!), old Trish was given ''Da Boot'! Man, I really didn't see that coming, since Jesse, The Bachelor, seemed to really like the 'Nasty Girl' thing she had goin' on... but what a weird ending... Trish sounded like she might have a bit of a 'stalker' personality, so we started chatting about that -- I had to deal with a stalker for a long time, and it was an absolute nightmare. I think there's a much better understanding of it, now, but back then, the response was that you were "so full of yourself that you thought someone wouldn't stop watching you..." . That was common even with the Police, who didn't take that very seriously, especially from women. Thank God things are changing, now, but it was exceedingly difficult to deal with back then.

So back to Trish -- what would make someone -- anyone -- want to be with someone who clearly didn't want to be with them? What would be the purpose in that? She's 'gonna get what she wants, no matter what...' Ooooh, sounds like a beautiful, loving way to start off a Relationship! ha,ha! So I said to Dwight, "What would make someone DO that?' Dwight figures that the 'Stalker Trait' happens with a person who has such a huge Ego, that they just can't believe it if they are 'dumped', or 'not chosen'... no matter what they do to cause anyone to remove them from their life. I thought that was pretty accurate, and ol' Trish seems to fit that role. Hopefully, it was just the way they Filmed it, and she was just 'temporarily crazy' -- and it was mostly for the Ratings, since who doesn't want to see what happens when Trish breaks into one of Jesse's final Dates...

Oh, and I need to find out who the Artist is who did those gorgeous Paintings on the Walls at The Bachelor House that they show during The Most Dramatic Rose Ceremony, Evah!'... A great friend of mine has Paintings like that -- that's in his Style of Painting -- very large Paintings with lots of brilliant color... as soon as he gives me the 'Okay', I'll let you know more about him, but let's just say he's a World-Reknowned Artist, and I think he's destined to be one of 'The Great Artists' of Our Time. I can't wait to give you some 'real information'... I'm like a Promo-Girl, now! ha,ha!

You know how I had to run out and knock all the snow and ice off all my poor Trees who were all bent over to the ground by the weight of the snow, yesterday? Well, I was soooo exhausted from 'Saving the Trees' that I didn't immediately clean up the dirt Aidan and I got on the Floor in the Main Entry, and wouldn't you know the first thing Dwight says when he came in the door early was "What's all this dirt doing on the floor??"(of course, say that with a Hillbilly Voice, for extra fun, since that's how I imitate Dwight ... I just like to strive for accuracy... ha,ha,ha!). So anyway, that made me really mad, since I interpret everything he says about the 'state of cleanliness' of our house as a direct insult on me not doing enough cleaning around here -- I don't care to be thought of as 'The Maid', oddly enough... you'd think I'd love that, but, no, not so much... I realized later that I'd been a tad annoyed with Dwight for the past two days, and they happen to be the same two days every month, so you know what I think I have? PMS. That's right -- Post-Marital Syndrome! ha,ha,ha,ha,ha!! Oh, that's funny! I'm just amusing myself, now! ha,ha! (Yes, I'm laughing out loud!) And me thinks I'm not the only having this!! ha, ha,ha!

Let me go grab you some new pictures ... be riiight back!

Ahhh, look at my poor wee Spring Wreath, all covered in snow! Now that ain't right!

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And then I poked my head out the door and took these two shots of the snow across the Street -- I feel soooo sorry for all the trees that are struggling under the weight of the Icy Snow -- this must be what happens in an Ice-Storm, only we got to add some snow to that! Lucky Schmucks!! ha,ha,ha!

Thanks for popping in for a little visit! Hey, don't forget about Mother's Day this Sunday-- I'm thrilled with that Wizard of Oz Bag I ordered for Cara -- the Link is on My Mother's Day Gifts Page. Just click on and it'll take you straight to the Red Satin with the Famous Ruby Slippers!! Ah, it's the little things that count, and really show them how much you love them...

See You Tomorrow! Later, Baby, Ailsa!!

So this Google Ad is called 'Popcorn'! Isn't that hilarious? I love that they've named all their Ads! Oh, and thanks to all my Wonderful Readers who have been clicking their way out of my Site -- I really appreciate your Support!!

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Wednesday, May 5th, 2004. Ola, Baby!! Happy Cinco de Mayo!! Que Pasa? Ooorrr, que paso, depending on how masculine you are! ha,ha,ha! I didn't even know about Cinco de Mayo until I moved down to Los Angeles, and the celebrations down there were huuuge! And a whole lot of fun. Luckily, I've always been very fond of Strawberry Margueritas and Tortilla Chips with Salsa, so it was a really easy new Holiday to learn all about! ha,ha,ha! Must remember to make up a batch of Strawberry Margueritas to have with dinner, tonight -- it'll go perfectly with the 6" of SNOW we got last night and this mornign... ugh!! Snow in May -- now that's just wrong!

Oh, maybe we can all have some sort of Mexican Dinner, tonight... have you tried my favorite Taco Spaghetti, yet? It's deeeelicious! And, of course, very easy, since I really can't be bothered with a 12 Step Recipe ... who has that kind of time?? I love the Recipes that look good, then you go to check out the Recipe, and you need Items you can only find in Specialty Shops in Bangladesh, which is very, very practical for all the folks at home who are just trying to figure out a new meal for their families that's fast, easy and nutricious... the fast and easy bit is the most important, many's a time, and you just hope for the best with the 'nutrition' bit! ha,ha,ha! But it is nice to find good stuff to add to your 'Regular Line-up' that you and your family will enjoy, so that's why I wrote some of my favourite Recipes on my Tips and Recipes Page.

I've just recently been giving each of my recipes their own little page so it's easier to find them -- hope that works out better... So far I have the Cool 'N Creamy Cheesecake Recipe, the Salsa Chicken ( hey, that would be good for tonight, too -- I think that's what I'll make for dinner!! ha,ha!), and today I made the Taco Spaghetti Page. It takes a long time to get everything done... Let me know if you try the Recipes, and we'll get your comments on each page for the Recipe you try. Happy Eating!!

I have to go move all the Painted Pieces of Lumber we did for the Fireplace Mantel from the Garage, right after I'm done this... what with all that crazy snow and ice, last night, Dwight definitely has to park in the Garage. We use the Garage as a huuuge Workshop, but when the weather is crappy like it is, today, the stuff has to move -- we need to Install it, anyway, so maybe it's 'Nature' trying to make us do more work around the house! ha,ha,ha!

Here's a funny thing -- I was just saying to Dwight, yesterday (it was 20 Degrees Celcius, which is about 70 Degrees Farenheit .. you double the Celcius Number and add 30 to convert the number...), that I thought it was finally warm enough to get the Quotes for the Driveway to get it Paved. I wanted to get it paved last Spring, then there was a problem with the Irrigation System outside, so that had to be fixed, then we had to wait for 'settling' of the land, again, and then the snow came early and we missed our opportunity to pave in the Fall. So you can see how our lives are ruled by the weather ... and Dwight... whatevah -- I think I'll still go ahead and get the quotes, because now I'm just annoyed with it.

Tip of the Day: If you can wait, try to let the Land 'Settle' for a good year before you put in a Paved Driveway. Or any Driveway, really -- especially a Stamped Concrete Driveway -- they look fantastic, but they are very pricey, so you would want to minimize the risk of cracking or sinking by waiting for a year or so before you pay for a fancy schmancy Driveway. You can have the whole thing Rolled and a whole lot of Gravel put in (and also Rolled) to create the Base for the new Driveway -- it's a little more work, but worth it in the long run.

Okay, let me go get you some nice new pictures! Be riight back!

Here's what we woke up to, today! Can you believe that?? Snow in May! And I just went upstairs to get Aidan a wee snack from the Pantry, and happened to glance outside when, to my horror (okay, that's a bit of an exageration, but I was shocked...!), all my Center Trees (the trees that line the Circular Drive) were so heavily laden with Snow and Ice that they were all bent over and flat against the Ground.

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Aidan just came into my Office to tell me it's Mother's Day on Sunday, and that's the day "When Mother's get to do everything!" So I said to him I was hoping to take that day off, and that maybe HE could do my work for me... So Aidan says, "Oh nooooo! I would be exhausted!!" And then he ran away, as he does at the end of every conversation! ha,ha,ha!

Anyway, I had to Throw on my Coat, Boots and MITTENS (ugh!), and Aidan happily put his stuff on, too, and we headed out to get the snow and ice off the New Trees. If I hadn't seen them, all the trees would have been lost, and I have about 15 Trees out there lining the Driveway... It turned out that I had to get a big Broom to knock the Ice and Snow off the poor trees, then hook the Broom around the base of each tree and pull it back upright. Now that was exhausting, and now that crazy Dwight can carry his own lumber downstairs when he gets home... but I will still make a nice dinner, so I hope I don't hear any complaints from the Peanut Gallery, 'cause that won't go down well... I think I might be 'The Disgruntled Worker', today! Now that ain't good!! ha,ha!

Thanks for coming in for a wee visit! I always enjoy your company! ha,ha!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

You know what's cool? Google Adsense Ads have all these different colors, and I love the Names of them -- this one is called 'Aquadoodle' -- cute, eh? See, webmasters can have fun, too!! ha,ha! So I put these on a separate page for myself to use when I'm getting things ready for my Daily Updates, then it ended up being a whole page of all the different Colored Ads, with their Names, so if you have a minute, you can click on that and see which color you like the best -- I'll use your favorite ones on my Site!

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Tuesday, May 4th, 2004. Hey, Baby-Cakes! How's your Day going so far? Great?? Did you see the big Hockey Game between The Calgary Flames and The Detroit Red Wings, last night?? Man, that was an unbelievable Game! 0 - 0 for the entire game, and a Goal finally came for Calgary right before the end of the Ist Overtime Period ... Wow! I can't remember a Game with no scoring all the way through... that shows you how fabulous these two teams are, and how amazing their Goalies are... So The Flames won, and now we're going into the Third Round of the Hockey Finals! YaaaHoooo! Calgary is thrilled! Go Flames, Go!! (And I really hope Steve Yzerman -- the Captain of The Red Wings who took a bad hit to the face in the game before last -- is okay. Poor Guy! These Hockey Guys take some serious injuries, then come on back for more -- I'm glad they're raking in the Dough -- and so they should!)

Cara had one of her classmates over yesterday afternoon to work on a School Project, and wouldn't you know it -- he's a Computer Genius! WooHoo! 'James the Great', we'll call him, since I've been looking for someone who can lend me a hand with my website since my old webmaster, Steve, left for Toronto to pursue his Comedy Career... so James showed me how to go in and change the 'Meta Tags' -- the words that show up for a Search Engine, so that's good (it all boils down to More Traffic, which means More Clicks, and that equals More Money, and that allows me to maintain the Site, so that's why it's an all-consuming thought process for me!). And, James is going to help me 'Build' a Side Bar for easier Site Navigation -- all very exciting for me!

Hey, you know what Great Movie Cara and I watched last Weekend? Love Actually, with Hugh Grant (yum!), Liam Neison (another yum! ha,ha!), Emma Thompson and a whole lot of other great Actors... It was a really nice litle flick -- I'd been counting down the days (yes, my life is very, very full! ha,ha,ha!) for Love Actually to come out on DVD, since I'm allergic to Perfume, so I don't go to the Theatre to watch movies. We have the Big Screen TV, so for me it works out better to just watch any movies I like at Home, then I don't have to worry about how much perfume anyone beside me is wearing... Oddly enough, I really like Perfume, I just can't breathe around it, then my throat is sore for ages.... stooopid allergies!

Back to the Movie... What I thought was great about the Movie was the notion that Everybody has a Story of Love -- everyone, no matter what their circumstances. One of my favorite bits in Love Actually was part of the Out-Takes. It was a short Clip about Two Women in a Dessert Section of Africa, and it's taken out of a Still Shot, then the camera moves in to see what they're really saying. The Still Picture suggests struggle and poverty, but when the camera zooms in, the two women are just going about their daily chores, chatting and laughing about their husbands and children. I loved that! In the midst of everything, they were light-hearted and cheery, talking about Love. Ain't that Sweet?? And the great thing about a British Film (and this is true of a lot of British Literature, too...), it's not all about Romantic Love, and it doesn't always end well, just like Real Life. And, it's hilarious! Cara and I were roaring through some parts of it! Oh, and there was a bit of Nudity (also a big part of British Films!), so Cara and I have a deal for Movies like that -- I say, "Uh, Cover your eyes!" And then, miracle of miracles, she does!! ha,ha! So far, so good...!

Tip of the Day: It's a 'Skin Care Tip'! I just tried this the other day -- it's something you might have heard of, before, but never tried because you think like I do, and thought anything with 'Peroxide' in the title would be a BAD thing... ha,ha,ha! Anyway, I picked up a bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide (there's the word!!) at WalMart the other night (for the huuuge sum of about 97 cents!), and after a fair bit of thought, tried it on my own skin. Yes, I use myself as a human guinnea pig -- always have, always will. Dwight used to be a fairly willing 'patient', but now he's afraid 'his skin might burn'... wah, wah, wah...! ha,ha,ha! Okay, that was just for my own amusement, but he won't let me experiment on him, anymore, so that just leaves me! So you can use the Hydrogen Peroxide as a Facial Toner. It's really good, and very inexpensive. Just wash your face like you normally would (I hope you've tried my favorite Baking Soda with a wee bit of Liquid Anti-Bacterial Soap...), then use a nice Hand Cream or whatever Moisturizer you like.

Okay, now I'll go get you some nice new pictures! Be riiight back!

The Deer are back! It's all very exciting, especially for Tia, who is absolutely desperate to go and have just a little taste of one of the Deer! ha,ha,ha! No, no. The closest this wee dog will ever get to the Deer is to sniff the ground after they've been in the Yard. She can spend hours outside, sniffing all the delicious 'Deer Smells'! ha,ha!

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This is right across the road from our house -- pretty, eh? It really is like living in a Park. See how well camouflaged the Deer are? That's amazing to me how animals can make themselves part of the 'Background', if they so choose. And lookie, lookie -- some more GREEN!! YaaHoo! Man, it was a long, cold winter, so we're thrilled at any little bud that appears on the trees, and every blade of grass that presents itself... now here's a weird thing -- there's a bunch of grass that's popped up in Aidan's Gravel Playground, but none where we intentionally planted it... go figure! ha,ha! We're going to have the Spray Grass done this year when the weather is becomes consistently nice! Can't wait!

Thanks for popping in for a little visit! See you tomorrow!

Click your way out of here, Baby! Ailsa!!

Oh, you know what I could do? I can let you know from week to week how the 'Click-Through Rate' is going for my site -- maybe it could be like some kind of Scale thing -- no, wait. I don't know how to draw on the computer... Well, at the very least, I could let you know when my clicks get higher -- I'm under 5 %, right now, so when it goes to 10 %, I'll be sure to let you know... and when it gets to 100 %, I'll take you all out for a Drink! ha,ha! How does that sound? Sounds good to me, too!! ha,ha! But you know, it would be fun to have some giant 'get-together' with all My Readers -- maybe we could have a 'Disneyland Day', or something like that, where there's enough room for massive amounts of folks (at least Ten! ha,ha,ha!).

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Monday, May 3rd, 2004. Hello you beautiful thing, you! How was your weekend? Wonderful. I hope! I was just outside replenishing the Info Box under our House for Sale Sign. There was a lot of 'Traffic' through our little neighborhood, yesterday -- and by 'Traffic', I mean people driving through the neighborhood looking to buy a Property... and we have almost all Builders in this Estate Area (which tells you it's a good neighborhood when the Builders want to live there themselves...), so there are about 5 Houses for Sale out here, right now. We haven't taken our House Sale very seriously, yet -- it's different when you're the Builder and you're selling your house -- you love it, and you just live there 'til it sells, then you start the Building Process all over again. No rush. Plus, it's such a gorgeous house, we're having some difficulty letting go of it.

It's funny -- even though you know for sure you'll Build again, right now we're in a 'time of fluctuation', so I'm not exactly sure how long it will be before another Build happens... definitely there will be a period of Renting or Buying a much smaller home until the next build, though. Maybe that's why we're going so slowly on this one... oh, and that reminds me of a Show I watched while I was cleaning the Kitchen, yesterday (yes, there's a Big Screen TV upstairs, too, conveniently located in the Great Room so I can do all the Dull Chores and still be entertained...). It was that Canadian Show, Buy Me! Have you seen that, yet? Hilarious. It's a Show that is supposed to Showcase Realtors, but sadly, it doesn't present them in a good light, so it's hysterical for us to watch... the one Home Owner who is using a Realtor says at one point, "I'm feeling bullied..." Yes, you want to pay a whole lot of money to be bullied. Who doesn't love that feeling?? ha,ha! So I say, again, if you're going to use a Realtor, be choosy about who you use, and don't keep 'em if they make you feel ill when they call or stop by the house (right, like that's gonna happen after you've signed the Contract...).

There are so many myths that come up in the Show, it would take too long to go over them, but one of the biggies was the notion that "The First Offer is Often the Best Offer". Please. That's ridiculous. If the First Offer is in the Range of acceptable amounts you've already decided to accept, fine, but if it's some crazy Low-Ball Offer, forget it. It's only good for the Realtor, not the Home Owner, because it won't really make that much difference in their Commission Check, but it will make a huge difference in how much money you walk away with from the Sale of your own house... don't forget that... There, there's my Public Service Announcement for the Day! ha,ha,ha,ha! Oh, and if you forget how much stuff you can get with $10,000. - $40,000., call me and I'll show you some stuff! Think how long it would take you to actually SAVE that amount of money in the Bank, free and clear, before you accept a Deal you're not in any way happy with...

Oh, and that's not to say that you shouldn't be willing to compromise and negotiate on a Deal -- every deal involves a certain level of compromise, but if you're feeling ill about it, and think you're being taken advantage of, if ever there was a time to listen to your Intuition, this is it.

Okay, even though it's a little lengthier, let's just do one more thing ... there's a whole bit about the house being on the Market for "A WHOLE WEEK"... like that's a bad thing. Ugh. A week is nothing... so, one, unless it's an emergency, never allow yourself to get into a situation where you have to sell your house in a very short time-frame... If you see another house you absolutely loooove, then you go ahead and put an Offer in on it, make it Conditional on the Sale of Your Current Home. If the Buyer won't go for that, forget it. There are a surprising number of fabulous homes out there, and the stress level you'll avoid will be worth it. (Unless you're rolling in dough, and can easily carry a Double Mortgage. That's when you still have to pay the Old Mortgage and pay the new one, assuming you can get that much Credit ... then you're back to the 'you're already loaded' bit, in which case it's a non-issue....) . Anyway, I think you get my drift! Always keep in mind how long it would take you to SAVE UP all the money you would be compromising if you did a High-Speed, Low-Money Sale. Then it would be your decision whether that's worth the loss.

Tip of the Day: Stay True to Yourself when you're making any deal, whatsoever... you always know in your heart what is right and what is absolutely not the truth, and there are some folks out there who really enjoy 'bending the truth...' and then dragging you through the mud until you aren't sure what is the truth and what is an out and out lie... so it's a good idea to write down everything you want out of a deal, don't sign anything important if you're unsure, or it doesn't 'feel good', then go home and check your little notepad to see how close to the truth you were with 'said person'... this applies to Dating and Marriage, too! ha,ha,ha!

Well, I still haven't been able to get back into Photoshop, but I'm ever-hopeful that the thing will work, eventually... be right back with some nice pictures for you!

YaaaHoo! I finally got into the Photoshop Program to 'convert my pictures'...! So don't these Cinnamon Buns look deeeelicious?? They are, and they're 'Oh so easy' to make, too, so I'll do a quick run-through, tomorrow, if I can remember!

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And if you're ever doing an Open House, want to make something delicious, or want to impress someone special, try making your own bread from the Frozen Bread Dough. It's Easy Schmeasy -- just put the Frozen Loaf in a Buttered Loaf Pan, cover it with Plastic Wrap and leave it alone overnight or for about 8 hours. You can pop that straight in the Oven to make regular Bread, or you can magically transform it into Cinnamon Buns or Dinner Rolls -- I'll show you later! Any way you make it, it'll make your whole house smell fantastic!

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! Do me a big favor and 'Gimme a little Click' before you head on to your next fun thing you have planned for today... my goal is to get a 50% Click-through rate with My Readers -- that's not too hard to get, I'm hoping -- it's completely free to click on the Ads for you, but it does support my Site, which is very, very good...

So Every Click's a Good Click!! ha,ha!

See You Tomorrow! Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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It's The Weekend! May 1st & 2nd, 2004. WooHoo! It's May Day! Are you gonna make a Maypole Cake?? I used to make one every year -- first for my Students when I taught Elementary School (High Schoolers and College Kids ain't into May Day like you might like to think they are! ha,ha,ha,ha!), then for Cara when she was little. Now we don't have that kind of time, but it was a fun tradition for a really long time. My Mother used to have us run outside first thing in the morning on May 1st, rub the grass and shout, "Rabbit, Rabbit"! It's a Scottish Tradition, and one I have chosen not to carry on, since it seems a little silly... ha,ha,ha! Plus, I have no idea what it's supposed to mean, other than the onset of Spring -- maybe it has some old Celtic thing in there -- must remember to ask her!

Oh, and speaking of "Rabbit, Rabbit", when we were at the Library last week, I picked up a copy of John Updike's Rabbit At Rest. I couldn't remember whether I'd read it alread, but I loove the Rabbit Series -- are you a John Updike fan, too? Love his work! I started reading it last night Now that Sex and The City is off the air, that leaves our Friday Nights completely empty, so now there's room for reading... don't that sound exciting?? I know you envy me! ha,ha,ha,ha! If only you, too, could have absolutely nothing interesting to do! Ah, well. The times they is a'changin', so maybe the future will hold some great Plans! Oooooh, I'm hoping for House Plans... I'll never change! ha,ha!

So I just went into eMerchandise to check out their Wizard of Oz stuff for Cara's Birthday -- she's my little Mother's Day Baby -- not so little , anymore... Cara will be 16 this May 11th -- all very exciting! Anyway, Cara was Glinda the Good Witch in a School Play when she was in Grade 6, so every year I like to get her a wee something from The Wizard of Oz. When I clicked on eMerchandise and saw these new Hand Bags they have -- one beautiful Red One with Dorothy's Ruby Slippers on it, and the other one in Pink with a picture of Glinda the Good Witch... man, are they ever nice! Anyway, here's the Link so you can go check these out! Very, very cool Gift for Mother's Day or a Birthday! (Or just because you want it, or you know somebody who would... the main reason for the vast majority of our purchases! ha,ha,ha!)

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I just went into eMerchandise and ordered the Red Wizard of Oz Silk Bag for Cara! And a Sopranos Sweatshirt for Dwight -- shhhh, don't tell him -- it's for Father's Day! ha,ha!

Oh, and since it's the beginning of another month, here's a link for your Horoscope -- I like this one -- it's always fun to read! AstrolnkMay2004.doc . If that one doesn't work, try this one -- You know my take on Astrology -- if it provides positive thoughts about yourself, it's all good! Go ahead, step outside the box and have a wee read -- it's free, of course -- I love Free Stuff! ha,ha! Here's an interesting little tidbit I found out at the Psychic last weekend -- she said I was a 'Whale' -- no, not weight-wise -- ha,ha,ha! Apparently, there are some Pisceans who really swim upstream, against the crowd and against all odds, because of their drive to succeed, and that's me.... neat, eh? So now I'm on the lookout for anything to do with Whales! And they say I'm not easily influenced! har, har!

Here's a little TV Stuff -- do you love The O.C.?? Me, too! So does Cara ... it appeals to all ages, what with the Beaches, Cool Folks and all that smut! ha,ha,ha! There's nothin' we like better than a good ol' 'cat fight'!! Well, the whole Cast of The O.C. will be on the 'On Air With Ryan Seacrest' Show on Monday, May 3rd. Ryan Seacrest is hilarious, so if you haven't seen his new Daytime Show, yet, try and catch it -- he's on in the middle of the afternoon, here -- God Knows I'm still always working on my Website, so I can easily watch it from my Office! Lucky me!

Dwight got a call last night to go out Boating with one of his buddies -- he just needs to 'bring his tools', which means they'll be working on the engine as much as they'll be boating! Ah, well. Dwight likes that sort of thing, and he really misses his old Jet Boat. I'll post a picture of it if I ever figure out how to get my Scanner to work, again... Dwight sold his Jet Boat the week before Aidan was born -- it was a sad day to watch it drive away, but we know where it 'lives', and the young guys who bought the boat painted it a Brilliant Yellow with Black Trim (Dwight had it in shades of Blue and White...), so it'll be easy to spot next time we go up to Sylvan Lake in Alberta. If you see it first, you can tell them you know us and we said, "Hey!".

We always get very attached to our 'Toys', but when it's time to sell them, it's nice to see them go to a good, loving home...! How's that for personalizing whatever we have?! ha,ha! And it gives us a good excuse to get away for the weekend to 'see the boat'... Dwight still wants to go out on a House Boat for a Vacation -- you can rent them in B.C. for short vacations -- but I still think Aidan is too wee for that type of risk. And if there's a Boat Trip, it'll be a Cruise where I don't have to cook!! ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: "Know when to Hold 'em, Know when to Fold 'em"... Good Advice for Stuff like Big Toys (Quads, Boats, Houses...!), and sometimes the occasional Relationship... Sometimes you can hang on to something so long it loses it's value... not Real Estate, of course, that's the one true thing that either maintains it's Value or, more likely, increases substantially. It's very, very rare that Real Estate Values ever drop, but if they do, just stay put if you can, and ride it out, since they will eventually rise again, then you can make some money on your investment. That's why, when we Buy or Build a House, we choose something we truly love ourselves, so we can live somewhere great until we're ready to make another move. Works for us!

Oh, here's a little 'Aidan Tidbit'... this morning he came into my Office while I was working and dragged in his enormous Stuffed Elephant, 'Mimi'. He named her himself years ago... anyway, Aidan, who is 4, kept referring to Mimi as a boy, so I said to him, "Mimi is a girl's name, so she's a girl"... to which Aidan replies, holding Mimi up by her Tail, "Well, Mummy, do girls have tails??" ha,ha,ha! He got me there, and when I looked down at Tia (she's a Cockapoo, so her Breed has no tail...) I saw that she wasn't going to help me, since that just confirmed Aidan's theory... so that lead into a relatively lengthy discussion about boys and girls... no conversation is all that long with a four year old boy, unless listening to the many evolutions of Pokemon counts as a conversation! ha,ha,ha!

Now, I think I fixed my computer, yesterday, so I'll go see if I can get some new pictures... be riiight back!

Ayyyeee, that's annoyink... the rest of my computer seems a lot better, although it's still too slow... but I canny get into the Photoshop Program to convert the pictures from my Camera. Luckily, I have these shots from when we were cutting the pieces for the Fireplace Surround. That's Dwight's new Radial Arm Saw -- see the cool Laser Beam? Tools are very hi-tech, these days! We used the Table Saw and the Radial Arm Saw for this Project. Oh, and one more Saw -- the hand-held one, but I've forgotten what it's called, so I'll have to ask Dwight.

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See the Clamps in the Third Picture? Clamps could be your new best friend... although, hopefully you're never that hard up for friends... n'yuk, n'yuk! But they are a great tool, so if you don't have any in your Tool Collection, go ahead and get some. They'll hold things when no-one else will... and they keep everything nice and firm and stable, just like a good friend! ha,ha!

Thanks for swingin' in for a wee visit! Did I tell you how fabulous you're looking, today? Yep, that's right... I've secretly installed some hidden cameras in yo' house... now you know who that Repairgirl was! ha,ha,ha!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

Guess what color this Ad is? Blue Whale! No kidding... so we'll give this a whirl -- and I'll see if this improves my 'click-through' rate -- apparently, it's below 5% of my Readers, and that ain't good... so I'm hoping to move it up to 98% -- ha,ha! I would HOPE for that, but I'll be really happy if even 50% of my Readers became 'Clickers'... you can always hope, right??

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And there's yet another Flames vs. The Red Wings Game on, today -- we're watching it right now! Go Flames, Go!!

WooHoo! The Calgary Flames Won, again!! It's taken me soooo long to write my Daily Update, today, that I've watched the whole Hockey Game -- and Steve Yzerman, Detroit's Team Captain, took a terrible hit to his face, so I hope he's okay. That'll raise the issue of Face Visors -- a lot of Players already wear them, so I'm sure it'll be up for discussion whether they should become mandatory. But man, Calgary's Goalie, Miikka Kiprusoff is unbelievable -- you just can't get a puck past that guy! I'm thinkin' he might just take us all the way to the Stanley Cup!! YaaaHooooo! (That's Calgarian for 'WooHoo'!! ha,ha!)

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Friday, April 30th, 2004. Hey, Baby-Cakes! My little Sugar Dumpling... can you believe it's almost May?? I love May, and not just because Cara was born in May -- it's that magical month where you trade in all the crappy shades of dirt for tons of bright, cheery colors! Which reminds me of something I've been thinking about for a while... have you ever noticed how funny a lot of Canadians are? Not all, that's fer sures, but the vast majority are really hilarious, up for a laugh any time... so here's why I think they (we...) are able to find a spec of humour in almost anything -- it's because we are soooo colour-deprived all winter long (and some of us have really, really loooong winters...) that we can spot even the most subtle colour change, and take it as a sign of hope that Spring will eventually return again. That makes us an ever-hopeful group, as a whole, that things will get better... and I'm pretty sure that's the characteristic that let's you take anything and make it funny! See how freezing cold weather can work in your favour?? Who knew? ha,ha,ha!

So did you watch Survivor, Last night? (Thank Goodness for Satellite TV, which let us watch Survivor early -- before the Big Calgary Flames/Detroit Red Wings Hockey Game...) Anyway, for a while there I thought ShiiAnn might actually make it to the Final Two, but she just couldn't seal those lips and keep the mean stuff in... what I always find great about Survivor (other than all the fabulous Beach Scenes and the occasional smutty scene... n'yuk, n'yuk...!) are the little glimpses into what makes a person likeable, or most likely to be booted 'Off the Island'... My favorite 'Survivor' is Ethan, so I was sorry to see him go -- I liked the way he played the Game. And one of the least likeable Players was ShiiAnn, and you know why? Because she went out of her way to make other people feel stupid. You'd think that folks would loooove that, but oddly enough, no, not so much... Why, it seems to annoy them... and poor old ShiiAnn didn't catch on to that, and couldn't stop herself from doing that right 'til the very end.

To Re-cap -- We'll call this our 'No Be' List, just for fun! 'No be callin people 'Stoopi', even if you think they are...', 'No be monitoring what food someone else be eatin' -- trust me, I, I mean, they know!', 'No be countin' other folks Drinks -- that's just plain annoyink, and then they're gonna need even more to cloud you out...' (ha,ha,ha,ha! That's directly from my past, with a girl who used to go to the Happy Hour Specials with us who would always say, "Ailsa, that's your third drink... blah, blah, blah..." Can't even remember her name, since she didn't get to hang about much longer after that! ha,ha! Had totally forgotten about that -- oh, and those were my 'Bus Pass' days, when I didn't even own a car, let alone drive one, so the number of drinks was based more on how much money you had than anything else...and of course, they were my 'Pre-Baby' Years, too!)

And did you see the Calgary-Detroit Hockey Game? Even Cara likes to watch with us -- it's exhilarating Hockey -- great Game, too, until the endie bit when one of the Flames' Players, Nieminem, seemed to push Joseph, the Detroit Goalie, into his Net. I'm hoping it really was an accident, and not intentional, because these two Teams have been neck and neck with Skill Level, but if you piss Detroit off (and why wouldn't that happen?), now it's a Game of Anger instead of a Game of Skill...

One thing that truly amazes me when I watch Men play sports (and yes, I'm sure this'll seem sexist, but here goes...), all these guys beat the crap out of one another, jamming each other into the Boards, Sticking and Tripping them, then they skate off the ice like it's just another Business Day. It's hilarious to me. Can you imagine how moody all the girls would be? Hmfffffff... Not big-league Sports Women -- they play the game at the same level as the men -- I mean your average gal, like me, fer instance! ha,ha! Man, I would be soooo mad! And I'd think about it, and consider sending an e-mail to the offending person -- not a phone call, because I don't really like to get into it... ha,ha,ha,ha! Well, I don't know how these guys do it, but I'm thrilled that they do, 'cause it's all very entertaining for us! (And just to clarify, I'm a Feminist/Humanist. I believe very strongly that everyone, regardless of sex, race, religion, culture, or any number of things that could create an unfair environment, should all have an equal shot at anything they like. And should be paid for the job at-hand, and that payment should not be lowered for any reason... we still have a long way to go with this one...)

Well, you know how I was trying to clean out my computer, yesterday, to make it work normally, again? It did clean it, and it turned out there weren't any Viruses in it, but the problem still exists, so I'm not sure what to do next. However, since I couldn't work on the computer, that freed up a whole day for me, so I got all the Painting Done for the Fireplace Mantel, so that's ready for Installation this weekend -- or today if Dwight comes home early, as he has planned... it'll be great to see that Fireplace all done! And then I had some 'leftover paint', so I brought it inside to do little touch ups around the Trim Work. Looks great! And in between that work, I made some nice Home-made Buns, so I was very pleased with myself for what I did in one day... ha,ha,ha! But mostly, I was proud about the Buns! First things, first! ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: Next time you're in the grocery store, pick up some Frozen Bread Dough. No kidding. I'm enamoured with it, now! I've used it over the years, but I found that package of five of them in the Downstairs Freezer (I hardly ever go in there, so I'd forgotten all about it...), and now I'm trying to figure out different ways I can use it. So last Sunday I made Cinnamon Buns, then yesterday I made a loaf into the Freshly Baked Rolls -- and I had some Chili frozen from before, so it was a really nice meal... My whole deal with putting the Recipes on my Site is that you will find one, two, maybe ten (!) new dishes that are easy and delicious for you and your family, then they will become Staples in your own household. I wish they would teach really useful 'Home Studies' in High School, so everyone could leave that stage of their lives with a big pile of great recipes and handy Financial and Inter-Personal Skills, then we'd be off and running for a much better life. I wonder how I could get the Schools to make some big Curriculum changes to teach kids what they really need to know to be successful? I guess that's why my little Site is here, eh? ha,ha,ha!

Now that you've bought the Frozen Bread Dough, the only thing you really have to remember is to take a loaf out the Freezer, put it in a Greased (I always use butter...) Loaf Pan (or any pan you have around the house...). Cover it with Plastic Wrap (not too tightly), then let it sit there for however long you like... I tend to take the Frozen Bread out at night, cover and leave it on the Stove until the Morning, then you can pop it straight in the Oven for some Freshly Baked Bread, or flatten it out on some Parchment Paper, spread some butter on it, sprinkle with lots of Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, and perhaps some Crushed Nuts, if you like them... roll that up lengthways and slice it down. Put those little 'pinwheel slices' in a buttered Baking Dish, and 15 magical minutes later, Voila! Everybody in the house loves you! ha,ha! And all through the Power of Baking! Works for ME!! (Then you can ask for pretty much anything you want, so start thinking about that while you're baking! ha,ha,ha,ha!)

Okay, cross yer fingers and wish me luck in getting my new pictures up on the site -- this bug in my computer is really annoying me, now, because it's interfering with my work, and I dinny like that! ha,ha!

All right, so I did eventually get into the Photoshop Program, but it only let me do one and a 'half' pictures before shutting down, again... so here's the picture I was able to get ... It's all the Painted Pieces for the Fireplace Mantel. Can't wait to install it!

I'll do a whole page to show you how to Build a Fireplace Mantel yourself, should you ever want to! I just need to get the rest of the pictures, and that ain't lookin' good, right now... Oh, and yes, it is a big garage -- it's an over-sized Triple, and the next time I build a great big house, if there's room on the Land, I'm going to build a Five Car Garage, because that seems very functional to me! ha,ha,ha!

Hey, thanks for popping in for a wee visit! Love to see you, as always! Feel free to bring along ten of your closest friends... or the ten people you ususlly send Forwards to that you're not all that worried about... ha,ha,ha,ha! Come on, it's the computer-age -- we all know what that list is! The trick is to not let yer 'Forward Friends' know! ha,ha,ha!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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Thursday, April 29th, 2004. Hi, Honey! You're Home! And just in time to start painting, so grab a brush, and lets head out to the garage... oh, no, wait... that's a job just for me... rats! And here I thought I might have someone to keep me company while I'm working! Ah, well... I'll think about you, then it'll feel like you're all in the garage with me...! You know, the Psychic saw a Card for me on the Weekend (when I took Cara in for a 'Fun Reading'...) that said (or suggested...'!) that I was reclusive. She thought that perhaps that wasn't the case, but in fact here in Calgary I am extremely reclusive. I rarely leave the house -- mostly because I am soooo busy with this Website and all the Building Activities ... and then on top of that, and more importantly, I'm not sure where to go... I've already done the 7 things I like to do around Calgary, about a zillion times over, so that doesn't really leave anything new... so then stuff around the house seems even more important, then I'm even more inclined to just stay home... you can see how that cycle starts.

And that's why we get very excited at the prospect of having Guests over... that's just part of the reason I am seriously considering moving back to Los Angeles... not only do I love it there, but there are endless possibilities of stuff to do, and if you ever, ever ran out of things to do, there, you could be in 'The Vegas' in 4 hours (if you didn't hit Traffic...!), jump on a Plane and go all over the place for virtually nothing (compared to Canadian Commercial Airline Prices...) or just go Up or Down the Coastline -- you'll have a fabulous time either way you go... so you can see why I miss it. Now I do adore the Mountains out here, and our House is incredibly beautiful... but I figure I might like it better if I moved back to L.A., then just came back here for visits, rather than the other way around... man, Life is soooo Short, and I want to make the most of my life...

Hey, did you see The Bachelor last night? Oh, that crazy Trish (Trish Trash, we'll still call her, just for extra fun...!). She makes for some good TV! You know when the Bachelor hands out the Roses at the 'Most Dramatic Rose Ceremony Evah...' bit, where the Bachelor says, "Will you accept this Rose?". Well, when Jesse chose ol' Trish, Dwight pipes up, in a high pitched voice, "Trish, will you accept my wallet?" He's funny like that -- that sense of humor gets Dwight out of a lot of 'hot water', if you know what I mean, and I'm pretty sure you do! ha,ha,ha! It is an interesting thing to watch how different the Women are from 21 to 28 -- that's a huuuge difference in Life Experiences, so no wonder the Girls are all so different.

Now here's a weird thing I was thinking about while we were watching The Bachelor... his name is Jesse, and I know he's from Ontario, Canada, where I grew up. Well, it suddenly occured to me that he looks like a 'hybrid' of my first 'real' boyfriend, Larry, and he had a little nephew, Jesse, who was 4 the last time I saw him... and now he must be about 25... so then I thought, "Is there any possibility that Jesse the Bachelor could be related to Larry??" Must write to him... (and yes, if you're wondering now, I have had some very, very attractive Boyfriends over the years... makes for a fun life! ha,ha,ha!) But at the very least, I could find out who all is single, for all my single gal Readers! See the important things I think about! It's either Quantum Physics or Matchmaking -- and anything in-between! ha,ha,ha! It's good to be versatile!

I'm running my Panda Active Scan, yet again -- it turned out that every time I tried to open any of my e-mail addresses, the computer would eventually shut down, and the cleaning process wouldn't complete itself. So today I'm going to try just doing my Daily Update (this piece!), then leave it at that for today. Hopefully, that'll let the Scanning Process complete itself, and then solve the problem in my computer. But a whole day without e-mail -- now that's hard to do! On the upside, though, that'll free up a lot more time for me to go out to the garage to put the last coat of paint on the Fireplace Mantel pieces, then they'll all be dry in time to put them up on the Weekend. Can't wait to see that Fireplace done! Of course, Dwight and I already are in 'a discussion' about what the Fireplace Mantel sould look like in the Great Room Fireplace -- I'm happy that Dwight has finally agreed to put in a Mantel place on both of the fireplaces, but I lost the 'design war' on the first go-round, so I hope to have more luck on the next round!

Tip of the Day: I can't remember whether I've mentioned this, before, but I was using it this morning, so It's in my mind .. anyway, it's a Tip to Use Parchment Paper. That stuff is great! I just discovered it's many uses about 5 years ago, so I know not everyone is using it already... You can buy it in enormous rolls at Costco (that's how I buy it) or normal sized rolls in the 'Saran Wrap' Section of your Grocery Store -- you know where that is... So here's how you can use it -- you can put it on any Baking Tray as a liner, and no food will stick to it, and for Clean Up, you just fold it all neatly up and toss it in the Trash... not Trish Trash, just the regular garbage! ha,ha,ha,ha! The important thing to remember is to make sure the Parchment Paper never goes over the edge of the Baking Tray, if it's flat like a Cookie Sheet.

Parchment Paper on a Cookie Tray is particulary good for Cookies, Baked French Fries, Baked Chicken... really, I love the stuff! And this morning I used it to separate the Lunch Meat that I won't be using until next week, so rather than wasting it, I cut about 6" squares of Parchment Paper (and of course, I never measure anything that isn't Building-related...!), then place three slices of Lunch Meat (enough for one sandwich...) on a piece of the Parchment Paper, then a layer of meat, a piece of Paper... you get the idea. Then I pop them in a Zip-lock Bag, Label it with a Permanent Marker, and pop it into the Freezer so I have small amounts of meat I can take out if I need to only make one Sandwich... Good idea, huh? I don't like to waste anything... and I like to have something available to make whenever the situation arises and I need something right away -- without having to run out to the Store to get it. Saves Time and Money -- exxxxceeellllent!! (Yep, think 'Mr. Burns' from The Simpsons!)

Okay, so here's one of my favorite places about 45 minutes outside of Calgary, in the Mountains. Beeauuuteeful! It's stunning out there, and every time we go out to Elbow River Falls, we bring our Picnic Lunch and have a Wienie Roast -- you'd love it, I'm sure of it! Unless you're Vegetarian, in which case you could easily have a 'Veggie Dog'!! ha,ha,ha! Or just stick to the Toasted Marshmallows! Yum! I love them when they're a beautiful tan color!

** **

Well, now that I've put these pictures up and described our typical Picnic out there, I'm desperate to go! Must check the Weather Forecast to see when it won't be snowing! ha,ha,ha! (It's the end of April, and we had a forecast of 20 cm, or about 8", which Canadians find 'funny'! Sometimes when you live in Canada you gotta search for the humor!! ha,ha!)

Thanks for coming in for a wee visit! Always lovely to see you!

Catch you tomorrow! Ailsa!

< >

Oooooh, and the next Hockey Playoff Game between The Calgary Flames and The Detroit Red Wings is on tonight! WooHoo! Now that's some great Hockey!!

Go Flames, Go! Go Flames, Go!! YaaaHooo!

(But I still like The Detroit Red Wings, too, since I'm so proud of my old student, Darren McCarty -- #25 -- for doing so well and being so successful!!)

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Wednesday, April 28th, 2004. Hi, Honey-Buns! I know I can call you that, because most likely, in your heart of hearts, you believe it too, and why not? You know what I always thought was hilarious? The notion that everyone has in their head about what they look like. Generally speaking, you see yourself as what you looked like at a time when you were younger (often much younger...) and you liked what was going on in your life at the time. Think about it for a second -- am I right? I'm 28 and on the beach in California in my picture of myself, and Dwight says he's 20 and at the Disco...! Drop me a line and tell me how you see yourself -- it's a fun little brain exercise!

Man, I'm still dealing with that crazy virus in my computer... every time the Scan is almost done for the cleaning process, the computer shuts itself down. Very annoyink! And here I have some great pictures to share with you (now we're back in Kindergarten...!), and I can't get tinto the Program to give them each a name and put them on my Site... ugh. I'll just keep trying to solve the problem, and hopefully I'll be back on track soon -- thanks for bearing with me! Ooooh, and thanks for all my lovely Readers who have clicked on the Google Adsense Ads -- my goal is to make enough with those Ads to Pay the Mortgage. Now wouldn't that be nice?? I know I've said it before, but I really do appreciate your Support -- it keeps my Site going!

Hey, did you see the Hockey Playoffs, last night? (Or were you watching Basketball??) Anyway, we were watching the Calgary Flames vs. The Detroit Red Wings, and what a great game! The Playoffs are fabulous for bringing in people who don't normally watch Hockey, because it's almost all skill, since every second (literally...) counts. So of course I was thinking about that during the Game. Calgary's Goalie, Miikka Kipruhsoff, is one of the most amazing athletes I've ever seen. He's incredible. So are all the Players at this Level of the Game... but here's one thing they ain't ... Daydreamers. Can you imagine the level of concentration you'd have to have to catch a puck in your glove in mid-air?? That would not be the time for your mind to wander off to what you might do on your vacation next year... ha,ha,ha,ha!

And that's why Weight Lifting and my Exercise Machines at home work for me -- not only can I think about a zillion things while I'm working out, but I can also watch some of my favorite TV Shows -- you know I never like to miss something that interests me! ha,ha,ha! So I need to get Cara to take some pictures of me doing my favorite Weight Lifting Exercises with Hand Weights and my sort of blown up Exercise Ball... they're great exercises, and anyone can do them. There's a bunch of stuff to do right at your Computer, too, so I'll show you those A.S.A.P. -- so you can see why I need to get my computer operating smoothly, again.

Tip of the Day: Take advantage of Opportunities as they present themselves in your life... sometimes a little something will come up that you weren't expecting, but try following just one of these things, and see where it brings you. You might discover a hidden talent, or uncover an Interest you can follow and maybe that'll open up a whole new path for you. The whole key is to keep yo' mind open to possibilities, and let yourself go a little. (And, no, this doesn't include cute girls or guys who might 'present themselves' to you at a Strip Club -- that' ain't an opportunity -- that would be a different sort of thang...! ha,ha,ha,ha!)

Okay, wish me luck trying to get some new pictures! I'll be back asap!

Well, here's the new Microwave that Dwight just bought -- and there's my little old Microwave... I had a tough time letting go of my old one, because I won it when I was on Scrabble with Chuck Woolery years ago...


Dwight had a real issue with the age of my Microwave and his concerns about a 'possible radiation leak'... blah, blah, blah... I suppose there was some truth in that, so now I'm okay with the new Microwave, and am getting used to how much faster it is than my oldie but goodie, in my opinion...! ha,ha,ha!

Thanks for swingin' in to see me! I love me a Visitor! Or thousands of Visitors!! ha,ha!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

I think this was the right Link that I thought was pretty funny -- should have a Wink and a Pair of Sunglasses, if it's the right one! ha,ha! Go ahead and have a wee look!



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Tuesday, April 27th, 2004. Hello, hello, hello! Oi, I've been working with my computer all night trying to get rid of some stooopid virus that's in it, yet again. I put Panda's Free Active Scan on my Internet Connections Page, and I scanned it twice, but there's still a problem with the computer that I haven't been able to figure out. Annoyink! But if you are having a bother with your computer, and you suspect there may be a Virus, go ahead and click on that -- you can clean your whole computer or just the part that you are suspect about ... I think I'll scan the whole thing again and hopefully it'll go all the way through this time -- it completely froze, this morning,when I came down to check on the 'puter -- no mouse control or anything. The lucky thing now is that this stuff no longer panicks me -- now I know that you can clean it out and start again... sounds like something I ought to do with my life, sometimes! ha,ha!

So I never was able to get into my Photoshop Program to get some pictures for you, yesterday -- sorry about that... I hope it works, today, but if not, I have a couple of pictures from last week I wanted to show you, anyway, and they come with a good little story, of course! I love a little story -- my favorite people are folks who can spin a little tale... I can't be bothered talking to people (at any great length, anyway...) who can't string a few words together... especially when a good portion (say, 90%) of the Story involves the Weather -- now that's hard not to fall asleep through! ha,ha,ha! But I do like the "And She said... and then He said... and then I said,"What the ...!" Now those are usually pretty juicy stories -- the kind that bear repeating! ha,ha,ha! And only occasionally to the people actually in the story...

I was sooo busy with the computer problem, yesterday, that I never did get out to the garage to get another coat of paint on the Mantelplace pieces. The air feels really heavy outside, today (with any luck, we'll get some rain... don't worry -- that's only about 3% of the story...! ha,ha,ha!), and normally I don't paint on Rainy Days, because I always feel like the paint will dry 'sticky'. I have no idea whether that's true, or not, but it seems like an excellent excuse to have a nap instead of working... ha,ha,ha! Oh, who am I kidding? I'll be out there painting all day -- damn that Presbyterian Guilt!! ha,ha!

Hey, you know what I forgot to mention yesterday? Dwight read in the newspaper last week that there's a possibility of Arrested Development not being picked up for next Season. If you haven't seen it yet, it's Ron Howard Production, and absolutely one of the funniest Shows on TV. What's happening that all the smart, funny, hilarious Shows are being yanked?? There must be someone out there with loads of monies who can develop their Very Own Network to carry all these great Shows and see what happens. We're losing Ed, Frasier, possibly Arrested Development, The Wayne Brady Show (come on, that guy is amazingly talented .. if anyone deserves to be on TV, it's Wayne Brady...)... the list goes on and on with other good Shows that deserve to stay or be resurrected. Remember that old Show, Cupid? It was hilarious. When did Smart and Funny become a bad thing?

Speaking of Shows, I'm watching Oprah as I write this (man, I love My Home Office!!), and they're doing a show on How Couples can become Millionaires. Some of it was good, and some of it is a little 'pie in the sky' for average couples. "Just put away an hour a day of your wage, then $5.00 on top of that, then another $20. per day into your House Fund...." Now, I know this ain't popular, but I don't particularly like Retirement Funds, per se. You know I am really 'Home-Oriented', so I think it is far more important to get yourself into your own home, at any level you can afford, stabilize your financial life, then start to save up a nice little nest egg for later. The big key with buying your own home is you'll be paying yourself to live in your own home -- that's what you do when you're a Home Owner.

Here's the Deal -- if you're paying Rent at $500. per Month, that's $6,000. a year that could go toward owning your own future. In fact, that's a good way of looking at Home Ownership -- as a Direct Method to Own Your Own Future. Lookie how smart I is -- thank Goodness I own my own Site, or I'd be at risk of someone quickly swiping it 'off the air'... ha,ha,ha! The more common amount of Rent is $850. per month for a typical family. That's over $10,000. a year. That's money that could be going toward your future. Because Interest Rates are so incredibly Low, right now, you could buy an Apartment or Condo and pay the same amount in a Mortgage Payment -- and the wonderful thing about Mortgage Payments is they eventually disappear, and you'll own the Home Outright. Rent Payments ain't ever gonna end... which is great when you're a Landlord (ugh, will always hate that word!), but terrible when you're approaching Retirement and you still have huge monthly payments to make.

I would love to see everyone learn how to manage their money well enough, and early enough in life, to save up for a Down Payment on a Home. Any Home. It drives me crazy that everyone and their dog wants to move directly into a Mansion. Puh-leeeease. Start with absolutely anything you can afford -- and be prepared to move, move, and move again. The money you make in Home Equity (the money you make on the Value of the Home the Day You Bought It until the Day You Sell It... and this can be a really substantial amount...) is used to put toward the purchase of your next home, and so on and so on until you are Mortgage Free with at least $200 Grand in the Bank. You would be shocked at how easy this really is. It's how we ended up here...

So here's the Advice that was on Oprah that I did like, and think is very useful -- okay, it's all the stuff we do that allows us to Build Buy, and Build again... so I know that it works. It's one of the primary reasons I started writing this Site, and what keeps me going when I get frustrated when it doesn't earn as much as it really needs to... but that's a whole other story (and very little of that is about the weather...!). Anyway, there is a whole notion of Living on One Income in a Two Income House. If you were on your own, you'd find a way to live well on your very own Income, so why not try to do that when you have Two Incomes, and then you can save the other Income.... it's worth a try. Even if it's only for a planned amount of time, or try putting one whole Paycheck aside every other month in a Special Savings Account that is only to be touched in an Emergency. And no, generally speaking, Dairy Queen is not an Emergency...! ha,ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: I think the easiest way to save up to $500. a month (for me, anyway, and it will most likely work for you, too) is to cut out a few trips to the Grocery Store or Department Store. You know the deal -- you go in for Milk and Bread, and walk out with a Cart-full of stuff and $176.42 later. So I actively decide to NOT SHOP unless I really have to, and even then, I look carefully at what is in the Pantry or Cupboards, and see if I can't put it off a wee bit longer. Works for Me! The important thing is not to then turn around and say, "Ooooh, lookie how much money I have for Crack..." Look, I don't know what all your habits are ... ha,ha,ha,ha! And I'm thinking that folks who are inclined toward the 'Crack Market' aren't all that likely to use the word, "Lookie"...! ha,ha,ha,ha! So I've saved us at least $6,000. a year since I started doing that. And it was a conscious decision to make that change, too, because I knew I needed to stay home with Aidan (he was too crazy for outside Child Care when he was little -- he's fine, now, so he'll be all ready for Public School in the Fall), so I felt I wanted to save our family more money.

Okay, let me see if can get some pictures...

Well, I still can't get into Photoshop to get the new pictures, but these are pretty recent of My Office and my great view of the TV... that's how I never miss a Show I might want to watch while I'm working on my Website! "Sweeeet", as Aidan would say! ha,ha,ha!

** **

See all the Black and White Prints of the Single Flowers? I love them ... they're my new favorite thing. I just adore Flowers, and love the shape and texture of the individual Blossoms, so these are a perfect fit for My Office!

Thanks for swingin' in for a wee visit! Let me know how much you're Saving, and how much you've made in Home Equity over the years, and we'll put that on the Site! We all love a Success Story, right?? ha,ha!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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Monday, April 26th, 2004. Hi, Honey! You're Home! And man, you are looking stunning, today! Sparkly eyes, that cute little nose right smack in the middle of your face like that -- and that Gold Tooth...that really works for you...You're gonna need a little more Bling Bling, though, to carry off that look -- maybe start with 10 Gold Chains, then see how that looks -- you're neck will hurt for the first few hours, then you'll hardly be able to feel it at all. Then head off to The Office -- I have a feeling this is the Big Day you'll finally get that raise! Then you can pay for all those Gold Accessories, and with any luck, buy a big pile more! ha,ha,ha!

We had a busy little Weekend ... the Fireplace Mantel is really coming along. Dwight and I finished all the 'cuts' for the lumber, which just means all the pieces are cut and ready for Painting and Installation. I gave al the pieces a nice first coat of Semi-Gloss White Paint, yesterday, and when I'm done writing this, I'll pop out to the garage to give them all a second coat. I think Dwight wants me to do three or four coats of paint, but I'll see how they look at Two Coats. I did catch him inspecting my work, again, yesterday -- there's nothing more fun than yo' spouse checking your work for faults. Fun, fun, fun.

I've told him many, many times not to do that anymore, because it makes me feel like a 'poor employee', someone you really have to keep an eye on because they are so likely to screw up -- and here I am a highly competent woman, so that never goes over as well as Dwight seems to think it will... and then he finished with a 'back-handed compliment' -- "You're really getting good at this painting thing..." Ugh. I've painted literally thousands of feet of Trim in this house, so it's very annoyink to hear that. And that's why I drink... no, no. Liquor is far too expensive in Canada (there's oanother great reason to move back to The States...!), and I hate to waste money that could go to the Purchase of Another Home... Anyway, all this stuff happens on any Project Dwight and I work together on, so you just have to really want to get the thing done to get through it. Luckily, the Fireplace Mantelpiece looks great, so it's all worth it!

And I took Cara to the Psychic on Saturday afternoon -- we had a great time! You know how I was hoping she would see 'A Great Acting Life' for Cara in her Future? Well, whadda you know -- that's exactly what came up! WooHoo! But here's a little tidbit that came up because I was in the Room, and our 'Auras' connected... The Psychic, Brenda, (I know, you always expect 'Madame Erica' or 'Grace', not necessarily 'Brenda' or 'Nancy' ... and yes, those are the only other two names I know for a Psychic, since they're the only other one's I've been to! ha,ha,ha!) saw that I was a Writer, and then she said that perhaps in the Future I would Write Something For Cara to Star in -- now I've never thought of that, and that's a fabulous idea!! Plus, Brenda Read My Cards, too (just for Fun!!), and she saw some great things for me, too... it's always good to have Positive Thoughts in your head about your Future -- good for those days when it's hard to remember that something great is right around the corner!

So I was looking in one of our Four Freezers (that seem excessive, don't it?? Ah, well, I'm nothin' if not excessive...! ha,ha,ha!) for some Soft Taco Shells, and I never did find them, but I DID find a bag of Frozen Dough for Bread ... I'd completely forgotten that it was down there! The Extra Freezer and the Frozen Bread Dough... Anyhooo, I brought the 'Bag o' Bread' back uptairs to the Giant Freezer in my kitchen with the intention of making some Cinnamon Buns, which I did. Cara came into the Kitchen to learn how to make them (everything Cara does now is in preparation for her moving out, since she'll be 16 in May, and moving out is on her mind...). I have begun taking pictures of some of the stuff I Cook, so I can pass the Recipes along to you guys, My Delightful Readers... I think that if Recipes are easy and result in a delicious new dish for you and your friends or family, then I've done a little bit more to improve the lives of those around me (a little Goal of Mine! ha,ha!).

Let me take a minute to get you some of those pictures -- and since Cara was in the Kitchen, too, she took some shots, and surprise of all surprises, I'm actually in them! WooHoo! I haven't had a second to look at them, so I hope to Goodness I look okay! ha,ha! Ah, well. I'm hoping you love me for who I am, and not just for what I look like!! ha,ha,ha!

I'll be riiiiight back!!


Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! While you're waiting, go ahead and Click on this Link to find out more about Foreclosures -- they're a great way to make a huuuge amount of money in Real Estate!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!


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It's The Weekend! April 24th & 25th, 2004. Yo, Yo, Yo... What's Up Wit' Mah' Home-ies?? ha,ha! Man, I never tire of that! I can only hope that you are half as easily amused as I am, then we can all chuckle our way to the Bank! That's where we're going, ain't it?? Aaaah, Money... how I love ye so... we should go around saying that until someone gets clobbered by an angry Socialist. They can be a tad bit bitter, what with only eating rice and stale corn, 'n all... you gotta watch out for that. Use your wallet to protect your Beeehind! ha,ha,ha!

So I'm taking Cara to a Psychic, today. She's been desperate to go ever since I went to a Psychic for MY Birthday... so I finally gave in and booked her into the 'Local Psychic' (!) last Saturday. And guess what happened? That's right, she didn't show up. We didn't see that coming! (Just a little Psychic humor to get us warmed up! ha,ha,ha!) I know there are different schools of thought on the whole going to a Psychic thing to begin with, but taking a Teenager to a Psychic -- that's a whole other story... so here's my take on it-- I think it can have a really positive spin. Let's say the Psychic tells 'Said Kid' (let's call this kid, "Cara"...!) that she will become a very famous Actress (is it still okay to say 'Actress, or does everyone have to be called an 'Actor'? I canny keep up with all the nuances in the words...!)... that she will Graduate from High School, and then Earn a Degree in Literature, and Marriage and a Baby after she's 25...(okay, now we're moving more into what I see in her future, but still, maybe I can pass a note to the Psychic when we first get there...)

Anyway, here's my bottom line on the Psychic and the Kid thing -- if the message is nice and positive, and the kidlet leaves feeling great about themselves, then stays on the straight and narrow in order to make all their Dreams Come True, ain't that a good thing?? And some kids, like many an adult, need to hear someone say their Future Looks Bright and Wonderful, maybe a few bumps in the road (for me, that would be Marriage Number One, and possibly Marriage Number Two...Look out Lucky Number Three! ha,ha,ha!), but everything will turn out to be great. That's a good message, and I would be very happy with that.

And I still think that a Psychic would be a great addition to any Teen in Serious Counselling for Depression (or worse...), because they could hear some nice positive things. You'd have to be sure the Psychic got that, though... they're there to say,"Yes, sure looks like you have a future, and don't it look Bright!" And, "I see lots of money and love in the near future ... and you will be living near water..." Oooooh, but I hope that's not a Sewage Treatment Plant, though, and again, I've slipped back into what I want for MY future...! ha,ha,ha!

Oh, and speaking of Happiness and Marriage (yes, I suppose they DO sometimes go together... ha,ha!), I happened upon a new website by Margaret Cho -- remember her from TV a few years back -- hilarious Comedienne! Anyway, Margaret Cho was on Sharon Osbourne the other day (she was on the SHOW, not on Sharon Osbourne... really, must you drink at the computer?? har, har!), and not only was she showing her new Clothing Line (which was fabulous -- very feminine!), but she was telling Sharon about her new website, Of course, I was working on my Website while I was watching The Sharon Osbourne Show, so I immediately clicked on and what a great site!

I feel very strongly that Love and Marriage should be open to any two people in Love who want to get married. Period. The notion that the Gov't would make a choice that would not provide for Equality under the Law for every member of it's Society is reprehensible to me... and I don't see this issue as very far at all from the whole issue of Inter-Racial or Cross-Religion Marriage. It's not very long since those Marriages were frowned upon (and legislated against, in some places...). I know a number of Couples who got Married back in the day when they were the only two Single Catholics in a small town, and so they were thrown together in marriage. (Personal Choice, of course, but not a whole lot of it...)

What possible difference would it really make to anybody who is already married who(m) someone else wants to marry? What do they care? They're already married, so I'm sure they have some Laundry to go air out... ha,ha,ha! But to Legislate Against Gay Marriage -- that's just plain crazy talk. Thems fightin' words... and so the other huuuge thing Margaret Cho has on her new Website, is a direct link to Rock the Vote. No matter where you stand on any issue, it's critical to get out there and Vote. We're soooo lucky to have a say in the running of our lives, it would be a terrible shame to waste that. Oh, and kudos to Ontario and B.C. here in Canada for making the right leap of faith, so-to-speak, and to the other places around the Globe that are putting People First, Politics Second. We can never forget all the hard work of the Civil Rights Movements to Let Freedom Reign For Everyone. There, I said it. Put that in your pipe and smoke it -- but not here -- maybe 20 feet outside the building!! ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: Surprise! It's an Exercise Tip! Did I tell you I used to Be a Fitness Instructor? Yep, back in the days of yore... and I was heavily into Weight Lifting for about 12 years -- looove that! Especially for Body Shaping, but more on that another day. Today's Tip is for anyone who likes to 'exercise' while watching TV, and really not doing much else (it's the New Me!!) You know those Large Exercise Balls? Well, have you bought one and had a terrible time blowing the thing up? Me, too! (Really, did you see that coming?? ha,ha!) So I got the thing mostly blown up, then some more air escaped when I tried to put the plug in, so it'a a fairly pathetic lookin' Exercise Ball at this point.

But here's the good part -- it's an amazingly comfortable Foot Stool. Whodda thunk that? So I use that all the time when I'm sitting in my favorite Rocking Chair (who sounds a little old, now??). Turns out, it's really bouncy, so you want to bounce your legs on it, and it's fun. I'm sure it's unbelievably annoying to anybody else in the room, but you'll have a great time... and it seems to do a little toning on your legs, too. You can get really fancy and roll the ball away from you, then back toward you with your feet or calves... or just bounce until someone screams at you to stop... again, your choice up until a point, then the decision is scooped right out from under you! ha,ha,ha! Try it, though. At the very least, you'll be really comfy while you're watching TV!

And now for some nice fresh pictures...

We've been busy working away on the Fireplace Mantel, and we're really happy with the Progress. That's Dwight fitting the Side Piece that will become a Column on top of the Base Piece. The Center picture shows how the Column will be built up with Three Pieces of Trim -- you just attach them with Duct Tape so you can stand back to look at them. They are never in any way perfect at this stage -- this is just for making decisions about what you like or don't like, then all about who wins the argument! Me-2, Dwight-1, so I won this round in the Home Playoffs! ha,ha,ha!

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The Third Picture is of the Fireplace with the Two Columns cut and ready for Paint. So the Base Block is built up with 3 pieces, and the Columns are built up with 3 different pieces of Trim -- it's a nice design. Then we built the 'Box' that will be the base for the Top of the Mantel, and cut the Dental Molding to fit that -- I'll post those pictures as soon as I take them... and I write an Update! ha,ha!

Thanks for swingin' in for a wee visit! Have a fabulous Weekend!!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!! Remember my favorite little ditty, "Gimme a little click, will ya, huh? 'Cuz I... lu'uv You!"

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Friday, April 23rd, 2004. Hi, Honey! You're Home!! And still with me! Now what are we gonna do when I move out? And then it's 'Buy Your Own Condo With a' ha,ha,ha! Well, who knows, it might not be that far away... life is a funny, funny thing, and often just a tad annoyink! Ah, well. I'm sure I'll figure something out. And then I'll Build again, one day... hopefully sooner than later, since you know how I love to Build so very much...

Hey, did you watch any Hockey Play Off Games, last night? We watched The Calgary Flames Vs. The Detroit Red Wings -- my two top favorite Teams, and here they are up against one another -- makes for some seriously great hockey! The Calgary Flames won, and everyone here in Alberta is going mad with delight! It's a funny thing how a Sport can bring massive amounts of people together who might be otherwise divided... So it's the Best of 7 Series, and that means plenty of incredibly exciting hockey -- I particularly like the Play Offs because there's waaay less fighting -- no one wants to lose a man or waste any time, so it's an 'All-skill, Little Violence' Game, and that totally works for me! ha,ha! I just made this Link for you to do a little 'Comparison Shopping', if suddenly you're desperate for a Hockey Jersey!! <Buy Hockey Jersey's from >

You know what I would like to see one of the Big News Media Shows, like Dateline or 20/20 do? I'd love to see then do a piece on 'The Changing Face of Hockey'. If you've been watching the Hockey Play Offs, you'll have seen The Calgary Flames' Team Captain, Jarome Iginla (# 12) -- he's one of my favourite Players. Now Hockey has been a very, very white game, if you will, and it's fabulous to see a little more color in the game... Canada is very different from The States when it comes to mentioning anything to do with Race. When I first moved down to the States, all of a sudden I had to fill in all these Forms that asked me what color I was, and I never knew what to fill in.

Yes, go ahead and scroll back up to see what I look like, and to see why I'm sure they must have thought I was crazy, but in Canada, we focus on someone's Nationality and Culture, not the shade of their skin. I was looking on the Form to see where it said, "Scottish', or at the very least, 'British' or 'Canadian'... so I always ticked off 'Other', since I knew for sure I wasn't 'White'! I had an idea in my mind that 'White' meant 'WASP', and I didn't want to be that... it took me the entire time I lived down in California to be able to understand all the subtleties involved in the whole race thing... Anyway, with that in mind, I would love to see more people who might not have been into Hockey before, consider it as a viable Sport, and then we'll see what Hockey looks like Ten Years from now! So maybe someone will pick up that kind of story and run with it... we'll see, we'll see!

Dwight was home yesterday morning (ah the life of the Self-Employed!!), so we were able to get a good start on the Fireplace Mantel, and so far it looks really good. We designed and cut a number of pieces, and now I need to finish this and get out to the Garage to Paint all the pieces Gloss White. I'm pretty sure I still have lots of paint... should check that! I'm taking pictures as we go through it, of course, so I can show you how to Build a Fireplace Mantel, too -- have to say it's easier than I thought ... although we haven't tackled the Top Piece, yet, and we only had about three fights through the job. You gots to like fightin' if you're gonna work with your spouse on Construction Projects! Or just let them do the whole thing themselves or Hire the Entire Job out, and even then, there'll be stuff to fight about. Just the way it is... then when you're done, you can both stand back, admire your work, and commend yourselves on how well you work together...! Funny! It's like Childbirth -- you completely forget how God-Awful it is until you're there again, then you think to yourself, "How the hell did I forget this??" Construction Projects are just like that! ha,ha,ha,ha!

And now for some Pictures of the Fireplace Mantel 'In-Progress'...

That's Dwight measuring the Fireplace Area again before we 'get to cuttin'... it's all about measuring! So we had 7" on either side of the Fireplace, so the Base Blocks are 6 7/8th" wide and 11 3/4" High. We played around with different looks for the Base Blocks, then I finally convinced Dwight to have Three Blocks Flush against the Fireplace on the one side, then 'Stepped up' in 1/2" increments on the opposite side. Looks great!

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Then we went out to the Garage to start cutting the wood. We bought a 4' X 8' Sheet of MDF, and most of the Mantelpiece will come from this Sheet. It cost about $25.00. Dwight is going to pick up the Dental Molding Trim, today, so we can put that on the Top Piece. There is 'some discussion' on how that'll be done -- I'll let you know how that works out!

Okay, gotta get out to the Garage to get those pieces painted before Dwight gets home...

I think my new motto might be, "Gimme a little Click...', like the song, "Gimme a little Kiss, will ya, huh?" -- I sing it to the kids all the time -- oddly enough, never to Dwight! ha,ha,ha,ha! Okay, that one WAS for me, but I'm deeply in need of being amused, so there... But when you're all done reading, go ahead and 'Gimme a little Click' -- Every Clicks a good click!

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! See you Tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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Thursday, April 22nd, 2004. Hey, HEY, Hey! How's it goin', eh? I'm all Canadian today, eh, 'cause of all that there Hockey, an' so many of oor Teams are in the Play Offs, eh...! ha,ha! If you've never watched a game, tonight's a good time to start -- catch the Second Round of Play Offs with The Detroit Red Wings vs. The Calgary Flames -- now that's gonna be a great Game! Can't wait! We had to go over our schedule to make sure we watch Survivor early, so we don't miss the Game! Thank God for Satellite!! It's the little things you like the most, ain't it? And, hey, if you happen to want to place a small Bet on any of the Hockey or Basketball Play Off Games, I know a place... on my site! Check out my newish Gambling Page -- there's a funny little thing about the Origin of Gambling, with Org and Dorg, a couple of fancy Cavemen... and yes, I did make that up! ha,ha!

Well, did you see The Bachelor and the ever-so-delightful Trish? Trish-Trash, I think I'll call her, just for fun! I'm tellin' you, I think Jesse the Bachelor will take her right to the Final Two. Wouldn't surprise me a bit... but I really like Tara the General Contractor, because a loves me a girl in the Trades (and Dwight likes her because she's so very pretty! ha,ha!). Dwight loves The Bachelor Shows -- he spends a good portion of the Show saying, "Ooooh, I'd Date that one, and I'd Date that one, too..." I always counter with, "Dwight, you're married... you can't Date any of them, now be quiet -- we're trying to hear what Trish did...!" We're lovely like that! ha,ha! And you know that 'Trish-Trash' is great for the Show's Ratings! I think she'd be fabulous in an evil role in a Soap Opera, don't you? Think about that next time you see her...!

Dwight is home, this mornign, so we're going to get started on the Fireplace Mantelpiece. We've been fighting about it all week (here's the fight -- "Dwight, let's build it like this..." and I show him diagrams and pictures. Dwight says, "Okay." Then we go to the Store and Dwight says there's no way in hell he's gonna build it like that, and then I'm mad... that's how we fight. Then I tell him to build it any way he wants, because I just want to get the job done... then I start trying to figure out how I can make more money on my Site so I can have a greater say in what we do around here... it's all very exciting, this world of construction! ha,ha,ha!). So today we're going to come to a decision about how we're going to build the stoopid Mantelpiece, then head out to the Garage and 'get to cuttin'! Then I have to paint it a nice Gloss White Paint to match the Baseboards. I'm sure it'll look gorgeous. I'll take some pictures, to be sure!

Tip of the Day: Try to fight at home, if at all possible. Never fight with anyone in a car -- it's never worth it, because you don't want to be an upset Driver, or upset the actual Driver... but you can be a really fed-up Back-Seat Driver, you just can't say anything much until you get home... You know all the stuff you've ever heard about Building and Renovation being a real Test on a Relationship? Well, it's true, all true. The key is to keep your Eye on the Prize. And that Prize can change significantly from the Beginning of the Build or Project to the End... You definitely want to get the Job Done, so just keep looking at the bottom line to get things finished, with the least amount of Stress to yourself and your Partner. Remember, the better the job, the more you'll get for it when you have had enough and sell it all! You can take your half and go sit on a beach in Mexico -- now that's something to think about when the going gets rough! Of course, your Partner will probably insist on going to Mexico, too, because who wouldn't want to go to, say, the Baja Coast?? Just give yourself something pleasant to think about in order to get the job done, and you'll be all right! Also, I find Chocolate, Tea, and the occasional Bottle of Wine works wonders, too... ha,ha,ha!

I'll post some shots of the Fireplace Mantel when we're done for the day... around Noon, I'm guessing!


Thanks for swinging by for a little visit! See You Tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

Oh, have you tried this Service, yet? What a great idea, and now they have it for Canadians...! I'm gonna check it out, because we have paid sooo much in Late Fees over the years -- we can never remember to get the DVDs back to the Movie Store on time ... let me know if you have Tried this DVD Service -- you can check it out For Free, which is always good, to see if it'll work for you. Now there's a good deal, eh??

<>< >

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Wednesday, April 21st, 2004. Hey, Baby-Cakes! What it issss?? ha,ha! Think 'Coool, Laid Back, Struttin' Down the Street'... I could try that here, but someone would be sure to call the Cops -- 'AAAH! There's a'City Folk' up in our little Town'!! No, I'm kiddink... I'm just pretending to be 'City Folk'... it's good to live in your own little world sometimes, ain't it?? ha,ha! Oh, I just finished writing a Response to Rick M. on Ask Ailsa -- just click on that to read it. He wants to know how to Negotiate with Developers and Builders. Ha,ha,ha! -- I know, I laughed, too! But you can always try, then pay them whatever they want, if you really want the Home...

Hey, did you know Bill Gates has a Book out? Two, in fact. Who would have guessed Bill Gates would ever have enough time to Write a Book, let alone Two Books, what with his Mega-Fortune to Manage 'n all... anyway, I found it at the Library, last week, and started to read it. It's called Business @ The Speed of Thought, which is a notion I looove. What a great thought, in and of itself. In the Computer World, you think of a great Business Idea, quickly find the right Person who might be able to help you, and fire off an e-mail. Whammo. A new Business Venture is formed. It's a miracle of the Modern Age, and it never ceases to amaze me.

Think about how we used to do Business a mere 10 years ago? That seems like yesterday, to me, but that's just because ah'm gettin' a wee bit old! ha,ha,ha! (No, I consider myself 40 and a One, and very youthful... not youthless, which rhymes with 'toothless', which is a whole other thing...and 'utheless', if, say, you had a lisp...ha,ha,ha,ha! Okay, I'm just amusing myself, now...) Anyway, remember when (or IF, in some cases...!) you had a great idea, or a great product or service, you would have to go and do some serious research at the Library, finally find someone who seemed like they might be able to help guide you to where you wanted to go, then sit down with some Letterhead Paper and write a very serious letter. then you would take great care to get out the old Typewriter and type out the letter, then get it to the Mail Box and hope for a response (if any) in about 3 to 6 months, maybe a year.. Now you just send off an E-mail and get your message across just like that -- Business @ The Speed of Thought -- no wonder he's sooo Wealthy -- Bill Gates is Brilliant!!

<Business @ the Speed of Thought: Succeeding in the Digital Economy
Business @ the Speed of Thought: Succeeding in the Digital Economy


You know, I just went into Barnes & Noble to make this Link for you, in case you want to pick up this book, too, and wouldn't you know it? Bill Gates has all sorts of Books out there... not to mention the Softwear! ha,ha,ha,ha! I know, that was just a little bit of gratuitous fun! And then I also made a link for one of my favorite 'fun' books -- Linda Goodman's Sunsigns... I'd forgotten about that book, but it's a whole thing about the Astrological Signs, and it's one of the funniest books I've ever read. Now, don't tell ol' Linda that I said that, because I'm pretty sure it wasn't intended to be funny, but you 'll see yourself and your friends and loved ones (hopefully both!!) in the pages of this book... lots of fun!

Ooooh, and here I am watching Oprah while I'm writing this, and she has just introduced her new Book Club Selection -- I love those books, because often they aren't the kind of book I would go and seek out, so I love when you are lead to something that is fantastic -- I loooved East of Eden, last Summer -- what a great read! So Oprah's Book Choice is The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, by Carson McCullers -- of course I put that on My Book Page, so we can all have a go at it, so-to-speak! You can click on and see some of my favorite books, too -- maybe we have some in common -- write and let me know ... I love to hear from my Lovely Readers!

Tip of the Day: Here's a little Tip I happened to try last night, in my never-ending quest for an easier way to do more work... it's to make 'Making the Bed' much faster and easier. If you have a big Comforter Set on your bed (and I hope you do, since it instantly makes your Bedroom look fabulous!) Fold the Comforter in Half from the Bottom of the Bed, right over all the pillows. That's right -- just lift the whole thing up and over to wherever you put it at night... I put it over on the Sofa in our Bedroom...or you can just throw it on the Floor where you won't trip on it in the middle of the night... Then in the morning, you can roll out of bed (wait for it to be completely empty -- that's a more personal tip! ha,ha!), then just put the Comforter and Accessories back on the Bed and unfold it so it looks perfect, again! See how easy? Remind me to talk about 'Perfection', tomorrow!

Let me go see if I have some Pictures of the Master Bedroom -- I love it, it's sooo beautiful and huuuge!

Here it is! And there's Tia on the Sofa in the Master Bedroom -- she's usually on the Bed, so I always have to scoot her off of there to remove the Bedding! It's all very comfy!

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That Interior Window in the Bedroom leads through to the Sunroom, and the Master Ensuite and the Walk-In Closet are on the other side. Nice Plan, huh?? And all out of my little head! See how handy an imagination can be?? ha,ha!

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! See You Tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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Tuesday, April 20th, 2004. Go Flames Go, Go Flames Go! WooHoo! The Calgary Flames won their First Round in the Hockey Play Offs, and now they're going up against one of my other favorite Hockey Teams, The Detroit Red Wings (because one of my old students from when I used to Teach High School, Darren McCarty, #25) is on the Detroit Red Wings Team. So I love both those teams, and can't wait to see that Game. I think you tend to choose the Teams you love and Support based on proximity to your Home, then anywhere else you might have lived along the way... and then add to that any Teams with People you actually know... or are attracted to...(!) Maybe that's just me! ha,ha,ha! Ah, well, I'm a little shallow like that, sometimes! yuff, yuff!

So my other two Hockey Teams that I really love are The Toronto Maple Leafs (Borje Salming, #21 from when I was 15 and heavily into Hockey -- and the Players...... ah, the Teen Years!), because I grew up relaltively close to Toronto, and The L.A. Kings, because I used to live in L.A. -- or work there -- technically, I lived in Santa Monica... but you get my drift!

Now, back to Building and Building Accessories... we got a call on the weekend from a Realtor who said she had gotten a call from one of her Clients who was interested in buying our Land. Well, we don't have a piece of Land sor Sale, unless it includes a 5400 square foot house... and we didn't return this particular Realtor's call because the notion of someone driving by our house, seeing the Signs and our Phone Numbers right there, then calling a realtor when it clearly says we're selling the house on our own -- who can be bothered with that. Call us directly -- we're easy to talk to, and if there's a bottom-line concern that someone who sells on their own can't handle the Paperwork, or they're more protected by using a realtor, that's just not possible, because everybody has to go through a Real Estate Lawyer, so there's nothing to worry about. . I think I'm overly annoyed at that, and I probably shouldn't be. Some days these little things just get to you, but you have to slog your way through them and carry on. Mostly, though, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be very nice, right now, if a realtor were to call me down for Selling on our own, and that's what it felt like. There's no other business on the planet where one person feels they have a right to call you down on how you choose to Market Your Product, which is what Selling Your House is all about. It's an odd little game.

And just to be clear, we have no problem with Good Realtors -- they're a necessary and great part of life in the Building Game -- it's the mean ones we can barely tolerate, and I just don't get how such a high percentage of any one group can be perceived as unscrupulous, like the old stereotype of the Used Car Salesman... Maybe there's something that can be done on a grass roots level where that negative stereotype can be changed into a big positive. I think as a Buyer or Seller in Real Estate, you can start things off with only supporting decent folk -- that's easy to do, since you can choose any Realtor to Purchase or Sell a Property -- let the nice people get a cut of the pie. Money talks, and then the ones who are still using some unpleasant and unnecassy tactics will see the light and come around, or choose a different profession.

Man, this is my day of clarification -- I'm not dissing the realtor who called us -- I just can't be bothered calling back for someone who may or may not exist, and who actively chose to go around us -- that's too weinie for me... and I'm sure you have guessed by now that I'm not big on befriending 'weinies'... ha,ha,ha! I like nice, strong, confident folk. Nothin' wrong with that...! And that's why I like YOU so very much -- you exude confidence, my favorite quality!

Tip of the Day: If you're a Parent and your kid is always after you for Pop (okay, this is me and the lovely wee Aidan...), and they're still small enough that you can pull one over on them, and they don't realize it (!), try this -- Pour some Pop (Aidan is calling it 'Sody Pop', these days... that really breaks us up! ha,ha!) into a small Creamer part of the 'Sugar & Cream' Set -- for the life of me, I can't remember what the normal name for them is... anyway, pour the pop into a smallish container with a Spout. Then give 'said child' a very small glass or cup that they can use to pour the pop into. One, they will enjoy controlling their own drinks, and two, it's good practice for hand-eye co-ordination. Then I always serve any sugary drinks with a 'Side Order' of Water. Aidan calls it his 'Water Chaser'... now look who's ready to hit the Bar when he's 18...!! A mere 12 years away! ha,ha! They 'take a swig of pop, then a swig of water...'. Now isn't that fabulous parenting?? ha,ha! I call it, "Living in the Real World!" It's my own special technique...

Now let me go get you some pictures! Be right back!

So here we have the sneaky way of giving your Kid less Pop, followed by a Water Chaser! They think they're getting their pop, and having some fun...

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There's Aidan giving me the 'Thumbs Up'! See how happy?? ha,ha! And then there's a tiny bowl of Chips -- it's all in the size of the container... worth a try, if you want to moderate how much of any particular thing your child is eating or drinking.... I don't think this'll work with Gin an' yo' spouse, but you never know... might be worth a try! ha,ha!

Thanks for swingin' in for a wee visit, today! Always lovely to see you!

Pop in tomorrow, and we'll have a little chat!

Later, Baby, Ailsa!!

I thought you might know someone, or be someone, who might find this useful!! Oh, and I added all sorts of things to my Online Education Page -- I still have some stuff I want to add to it, but have a wee look and let me know what you think! I firmly believe that Online Education, and finding Regular Post Secondary Institutions Online, is the wave of the future... check back in 10 years and we'll see if I was right! ha,ha!


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Monday, April 19th, 2004. Hey, Baby! What's Up?? Did you have a great Weekend? I hope so. We finally got to the Hardware Stores to get the Materials to Build the Mantelpiece. I wanted to build it, yesterday, but Cara really wanted to go shopping, so I took her into Town (makes us sound like little Country Bumpkins, but I enjoy saying it for fun! ha,ha!). Anyway, I thought Dwight might have gotten a head start on the Fireplace, but instead he watched a bunch of movies -- everyone needs a day off just to poke around, so that was good. And I scored some fabulous Shoes and a gorgeous new Suit -- now I just need to find somewhere to wear them! ha,ha!

Hey, did I tell you I was going to send Ellen Degeneres a Four Leaf Clover, sinc eshe mentioned them on her Show one day, and I have an unusual ability to spot a 4 Leaf Clover almost anywhere I go...? We have them all around this house -- maybe that makes me lucky -- I'll be sure to let you know! ha,ha! Anyhoooo, I finally got around to mailing it, so we'll see where that leads -- my big hope is that Ellen gets the 4 Leaf Clover, and has me come down to find one for her 'directly'! ha,ha1 Or maybe one of her 'People' will click on my Site and discover us all in here, chatting about construction and life... who knows. You'll never be found if you don't go out there and introduce yourself, right??

I'm Coloring my Hair as I write -- yes, I'm a Low-Mainentance kind of gal! I like to do everything myself -- who has the time to go out to get these things done? And speaking of that, Cara went to get her hair done at the Hair Dresser's on the weekend, and last night she cut a little more off, herself, since really, she looked pretty much the same when we left the Hairdressers... anyway, we were watching The Sopranos, and no kids are allowed downstairs into the Theatre Room when we're watching any 'Adult Shows', so she had to wait until I was finished watching that to show me what she had done to her hair... so I got out my trusty scissors and fixed Cara's Hair -- now it looks fabulous! Funny. We both have long hair, and that's sooo easy to manage on your own. So now she's just gonna let me do her hair - it's easier and I'll give Cara the money we would have paid the Hairdresser.

And speaking of The Sopranos -- did you watch that last night? If you did, did you happen to notice the Sign over Christahfah's Desk? (Yes, pronounce Chrissie's name phonetically!! ha,ha!) 'Expect Miracles'! Right after he beat the crap out of his new AA Buddy! Hilarious. You want to stay positive when you're a druggie in The Mob. First things, first, 'n all...! ha,ha,ha!

Okay, I better get this color stuff out of my hair, or who knows how blond I'll be ... and yes, I'm blond by choice, not by genetics, and I'm completely okay with that! And lookie how smart I is! ha,ha,ha!

Okay, be back in a bit, blonder and bettererer...! Here's something to click on while you're waitng -- I'm sure there's an AA Group in there, too, if you are also a Troubled Mobster with positve attitude! ha,ha!

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Tip of the Day: It's a Jewelry Tip, since I just discovered it, yesterday! After we got home from Shopping, Cara and Aidan wanted to pop into the Hot Tub, and I never wear any jewelry in the Hot Tub, so I thought there might be a nice and easy way to clean my Gems up while I was in the Tub... and that's how I figured it out. So here's the Tip. One: Get a Hot Tub... ha,ha! Just kidding! (Really, you would enjoy it, though, if you haven't already got one...) No, no. Just get a small container -- as always, I used Plumbing Parts, because we happen to have a lot of that sort of thing around the house... anyway, pour some Shampoo into the small Container and add a wee bit of Water. Stir it and drop all your jewelry into the mixture. Put it somewhere safe where some idiot (you know the one in your house who is most likely to throw out something important to you...) doesn't throw out your gorgeous jewelry... Let them soak in the Shampoo for however long you like,them clean and rinse them off with a Toothbrush -- preferably an old one... your choice, really! ha,ha! It'll make your Diamonds and Other Assorted Gems Glimmer!!

Rats, Dwight's home early, so I can't stay on the computer any longer... I think I have to go help him unload a Load of Gravel... I know, you wish you could trade lives with me, 'cause you love manual labor more than anything -- you should also like working for free... goes with the Territory! ha,ha!

Hmmm, let me see if I can find some fast pictures before I go outside...

Here are some Hot Tub Shots -- and that's Dwight in the Tub on the day we had to Crane the thing back out of the Deck to replace all the Pipes that froze because Dwight didn't hook the thing up fast enough when we first installed it, and they all froze. Well, one of the Pipes Froze, but we just replaced them all for good measure. Saves money in the long run, since it's about $700. to change everything out, so you really want to keep that to a minimum. See how Toys can be expensive??

** **

We were all laying about in the Tub the other night, and Dwight says, "This Tub has cost us $1200. a Float..." Yes, he's a barrel of laughs... so now we'll have to really use the Tub all the time to justify the cost. Could be more difficult jobs! ha,ha,ha!

Thanks for popping in for a little visit! See you tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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It's The Weekend! April 17th & 18th, 2004. Hey there, Good Lookin'! A Shiny Bit of Brilliance in the Universe! (Ain't that a nice way to think of yourself?? I think so, too!) So guess what we're finally gonna do, today? That's right, Build the Fireplace Mantel! WooHoo! Can't wait. I showed Dwight a couple of Mantelplaces I liked last night, and we have had it waiting for someone to give us a quote, so we're just going to build it ourselves. I'll take pictures as we go along, as always, so you can learn how to do it, too, in case that appeals to you...

We had planned to get lots of Landscaping done this Weekend, but what with all that crazy snow last week (and it's still on the ground), it would just be a big sea of mud out there, so that'll have to go on hold, yet again... the weather's really starting to bother me, given that it's Spring and we're still dealing with Snow! Ugh. Must move South! And more than 10 miles!! ha,ha!

Yum -- I just ran upstairs to make me a wee bowl of my favorite Apple Crumble -- I really have to get back on track with the whole 'Diet thing',much as I hate that word... I'm thrilled that so many of my fabulous Readers have tried my Apple Crumble Diet, and have lost a ton (literally??? ha,ha!) of weight -- it's the easiest schmeasiest way to drop some pounds in a hurry, then keep them off for life. Unless you discover those new Cadbury Chocolate Toffees, like I did last week. They're delicious little morsels, and of course I felt it was completely reasonable to eat 3 at a time, many times a day...

You know what I rely heavily on, now? The information panel on the side of every package of food -- I hope they do make that mandatory for all food items, so Consumers can make informed decisions about what you eat and how often and how much of it your indulge in... And so there is no information panel on the Cadbury's Caramel Chocolate Package, so I have to assume they are perfectly fine for me! It's sooo crazy, because even though I clearly know better, I have rationalized that the amount of sugar must be low, because they're hard candies... man! I'm delusional about it!

It's funny that I need to see it in Print to make the final decision that I'll have no more than 4 a day, then mete it out accordingly. It's my guess that Company's who make Snack Food may be anxious about putting their information about the Carbs and Fat Content of each Item, but it's absolutely critical info for the vast majority of the population. Plus, we all want to be informed consumers, now, and there's no turning back, once we're on that path. People won't stop buying all their favorite Snacks -- they'll just be more selective about what they eat and how much of it at any given time. (Hopefully, never within 2 hours of their Bedtime -- Three if you can make it! ha,ha!)

So speaking of buying too much of the wrong food, yesterday after I took Cara in to get her hair cut (and it looks great, by the way...!), we swng by the local Tim Horton's to get some Boston Cream Donuts for Aidan -- he dreams about them, and goes out on the Deck at night to wish on a Star for them... no kidding! "I wish for something tasty to eat -- one hundred zillion boston cream donuts..." He's moderate in his wishes, just like his Mother...! ha,ha,ha,ha! Anyhooo, we went through the Drive-Thru, and we had the nastiest person serve us -- man, she was just horrible. Now, I know that Boy loves his Donuts, but I won't support any business where the Employees are rude to me. I'm buying donuts, for Goodness Sake -- who needs to be stressed out by a meanie doing that?? Puh-leeease! And you know the irony in a lot of places where you will encounter nasty employees? They are often at the Management Level, and have become little demi-gods. Nothing nicer than a demi-god -- they're always so kind and caring... ha,ha,ha! So Dwight will have to get Aidan his Boston Cream fix, because I'm never going back to that Donut Place, again. Live and Learn, Baby, Live and Learn.

Tip of the Day: Hire great employees, or at least make sure they are polite to your customers.Or Be a Great Employee.As much as I feel for the Owners of the Store or Business that has terrible Employees, I feel even more strongly that the Owner is ultimately in charge of what goes on in the Organization, and the people on the Front Lines who are dealing with the Customers have to be nice. Bottom Line. Competition is tough out there --there are lots of great places to choose from, so if your Employees are turning away your Customer Base, it's time to redirect that Employee, retrain them, or 'Do Like The Donald' and Fire their sorry beeehind! And quit moving up the mean ones, leaving the nice ones behind -- what's that all about? It happens in all organizations -- The Teaching Field is notorious for that -- they often take the worst Teachers who were awful with their students, and move 'em on up... now that's not a good message, is it?

Let me go get you some pictures! Be riiiight back!

See the Fireplace in the Far S.E. Corner of the Lower Walk-Out Level? Apparently, that's very good with the whole Feng shui thing, so ain't that lucky?? ha,ha! I'm not about to do much else in accordance with a method thought up to accomodate folks with teensy apartments, where space is of the utmost, and here someone comes along and tells them where to put everything they have in order to bring in some good luck. I say, be prepared for everything, and when a good opportunity presents itself, you'll be ready -- now that's how I define 'Luck'!!

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Oh, yeah. I DID try to put something Pink in our Bedroom -- supposed to make things all rosie, 'n all -- that ain't workin', neither! ha,ha,ha! Therapy or Something Pink, Therapy or Something Pink... such a tough decision! yuff, yuff!

So that's the Fireplace - Dwight still loves the nice clean lines of the Granite, which I love, too, but I definitely feel like a Mantelpiece will look lovely there, so now I have to go get Dwight up and make him a nice Breakfast so he'll agree with me about the Fireplace! ha,ha,ha! Who said manipulation is bad?? They're craaazy! In the long run, it can often be a good thing -- that's my story, an' I'm stickin' to it! ha,ha,ha!

And there's the annoyink snow I've had enough of -- that last picture is out our Front Door. The Trees across the Road aren't really that fr away -- it's hard to get a picture of what we really see... but I guess they are about 300 yards away, now that I think of it... whatevah... they're really beautiful, and it's like living in a Park!

Thanks for swingin' in for a little visit! Have a fabulous Weekend! Oh, hey, and after you sign up for stuff on my site, can you drop me a line at I'm testing out this new Program, and I need to see if there's a screw-up with it -- seems to not be tracking well, but that's the easiest way for me to figure it out -- you know I always like to find the easiest way out! ha,ha,ha! And Thanks for Signing up for stuff -- I really appreciate that!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!


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