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At Home With Ailsa - March 2005

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Thursday, March 3rd, 2005. Hello, Gorgeous! Goiiigeous! You look fantastic in that Straw Hat. The dungarees I'm not so sure about, but wear them for a few more days (and hopefully there will be more mud on them by then...), and then we'll see how they look. But the hay sticking out of yer mouth -- I'd keep that, fer sures. Now why hasn't anybody asked me to do a MakeOver Show?? I can spot a good look when I see one ... I think! ya'ha,ha,ha! Oh, hey, that reminds me of Extreme Home MakeOver, which is a great Show on the Abc Network with Ty Pennington, the old Carpenter on Trading Spaces. What a great guy, too. Anyway, if you happen to know someone who would benefit from a Fabulous Home MakeOver, go to, Keyword: home makeover, and submit an application. It's always worth a try!

So I had a terrible 'Work Out Accident', this morning. I started doing a major Work Out every morning after we got home from our Trip to the Mountains (Banff and Canmore, Alberta, Canada) when I saw what I suppose I really look like under those ridiculously bright lights they always have in Hotel Bathrooms. You know how I told you how much I love the Dimmer Switch in my Master Bathroom? Well, as it turns out, I look waaaay better at home because I guess I can't see myself very clearly! (Also, I think there might be some Wine involved, but I digress...)

Plus, I put on one of my new Bathing Suits that I got on our little Shopping Spree, last week (I tried the Bathing Suit on, it looked fine, so of course I bought two...), and for the first time in years, I bought a Two-Piece, instead of a One-Piece Bathing Suit. Well, that was a big mistake, because the Top rode up, and the Bottom moved down, leaving me with my tummy poking out -- cute and endearing when you're 2, but mostly just disturbing and sad at 42! ha,ha,ha,ha! So now I really have to work out if I'm gonna look great at 50... thanks a lot, Oprah! (And just for the Record, I love Oprah, and I think it's fabulous that she's raised the bar for what we think we can look like at 50!)

Anyway, I was on my Total Gym, which I love, but I don't know what I was thinking (most likely, 'how could I get rid of some more fat, faster!' ha,ha,ha!). If you've been on a Total Gym, you'll know that you sit on your knees for some of the exercises (technically, your knees are bent and you are sitting on your feet...). I was doing some nice Arm Pulls (to hopefully tighten up my arms -- you never want your arms to continue flapping when you wave good-bye to someone -- that ain't good!), when the thought occurred to me that maybe I could try something new. Now, for the life of me, I can't remember the actual move that I unsuccessfully tried, but I definitely remember flopping backward in a bizarre angle, still clasping the handles. I really couldn't figure out how exactly I was going to be able to get up without breaking anything (me!), until I saw the metal base of the rocking chair close enough for me to grasp, then I very carefully extricated myself from the Machine.

I checked for bruises, then went over to my very, very safe Recumbant Bike, which I also love, and highly recommend. Now, you might be wondering what happened to my Big Weight Loss, if you are a long-time Reader (for which I thank you very much! Thanks to you and God Knows how many more of you, you've made my little Site one of the Top Sites in my Building Category -- in the Top 3 out of 1.8 million sites in my area, so that's fantastic! Now to make it turn a buck!! ha,ha,ha!). Seems like I accidentally put on about another ten pounds, or so. (Okay, emphasis on the 'or so'...!) Perhaps it was the deeelicious Chocolate from Christmas, and then again from Valentine's Day (and with any luck, Dwight will remember to get me more Chocolate for my Birthday on March 7th!!), or the tremendous amount of relaxing Television Viewing over the really cold months this winter...I'm full of excuses -- and chocolate, apparently! ha,ha!

Oh, that reminds me of the best part of our Trip to the Mountains, last weekend. I had THE BEST Caramel Apple I've ever had in my whole life. No kidding! I wish I had taken a bite of it when we were still IN Banff, so I could have gone back to the store to buy 12 more (because I'm moderate like that! yuff, yuff!), but I didn't have it until I got home and made a nice big cup of Tea, to really enjoy the Caramel Apple. So, of course, I took a picture of the Chocolate Shop where I bought the Caramel Apple -- Mountain Chocolates in Banff. It's right on the Corner over by the Park with the Ice Sculptures, about a block from everyone's Favorite Candy Shop in Banff.

Now, here's the amazing thing -- when I walked into that Chocolate Shop, I thought it looked just like one of my favorite Chocolate Shops in Los Angeles (Marina del Ray, actually). I happened to be going through a drawer in the Kitchen, yesterday (looking for a piece of embroidery I bought for my Mum), and there was an empty box of chocolates in there. I had saved the box because it was so pretty. Wouldn't you know it, it's the SAME Chocolate Shop! Really, what are the odds on finding two of the same tiny wee Chocolate Shops thousands of miles from each other?? And all because of my sheer belief that, yes, I DO deserve a wee treat! ha,ha! All I have to learn is how not to have so many 'wee treats', and stick to a nice, safe exercise routine! Now I need to contact the Company to see if they sell their deeelicious Products Online...!

Better get going -- have to Marinate some Meat for the BBQ, tonight!

Live, Love & Laugh, Ailsa!

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Saturday, March 12th, 2005. What up, what up, uh, whaaaat uuup wit' mah Home-ies?? Yes, I watched The Apprentice where they had to 'get down with their bad selves' to be cool with 'The Artists'... ha,ha,ha! I really enjoyed the MidWesternGirl Goes Rapper thing. Mary Kay, watch out -- soon they'll have to add a Red Line in with all the Pink Stuff (Tanna, I think her name is, works for Mary Kay, and that's how that reference snuck in there, in case you missed that bit of the Show...). That does remind me of my favorite new song, though -- 'Drop It Like It's Hot', by Snoop Dog. Loooove that song! Dwight (Old Man Dwight, as we now call him) hates anything that might even remotely be construed as 'Rap', so we can only listen to it when he's off at work -- thankfully, that's quite a bit of the time...

So I turned 42 last week -- on Monday, March 7th, to be exact. And since then, I've been obsessing over staying Young Looking 'til I'm 50, so I'll look great for the next 50 years... or that's my theory. I figure if I look very youthful at 50, that oughtta carry me through another 20 or so years, then we'll see where I go from there. It's a big plan, carefully thought out to include lots of chocolates and, now that I've discovered them, Caramel Apples... and a fair bit of Wishing! Hope it works!

It's bizarre that when I turned 41, I just thought of it as '40 and a One', but now that I'm 42, I feel that much closer to 50. Must be because so many of my friends (many of them old Boyfriends -- and when I say 'old', now I guess I really mean it -- ya'ha,ha,ha!)(and when I say 'many boyfriends' -- oh, let's not get into that right now... there might be some impressionable youth out there that we want to deceive into thinking anyone over 40 has been married forever, nothing more, nothing less...! Aaaah, it's good to ignore your Past. Am I right??

I had to get up early, this morning -- unusual for a Saturday Morning -- because Tia, The Dog refused to go out last night, so it was imperative that I let her out first thing this morning. Anyway, the important part of that little story is that since I was up early, and no one else was up yet, I tought I'd pop down to my Office to get an Update done on my Site, since I've been far to busy eating my Birthday Chocolates all week to get any work done on it. Well, wouldn't you know it -- Dwight came through to see what I was doing (the dishes...), and to chat. Again. About the Landscaping that needs to be done this year. Ugh. He refuses to do what I say is right, which is endlessly annoying to me. He wants to build these fancy walls out of stone for the flowers that won't grow there. Even the Trees don't seem to want to live when they're in that spot -- I've lost at least 20 Trees in the last couple of years. Suicidal Trees, I'll call them. Sounds like a Grunge Band, no??

Anyway, I want to spend the Landscaping Money on Trees, Bushes that might live, and Rocks. White Rock, to be more specific. Of course, Dwight wants grey rock (which looks like plain gravel), or something equally unattractive, so I said that he doesn't get to decide on the Landscaping, because so far all his ideas have been crap. I'm soooo sweet and sensitive in the morning! ha,ha,ha! But it is true, according to me, that his ideas suck when it comes to gardening. Almost everything in this house that he vehemently disagreed with at the Design Stage, he now firmly believes were all his ideas, and look great. Like the Sunroom and the Billiard Room. And the Circular Drive... I could be obnoxious and go on, but mostly I can't remember anything else... but my point is that I feel I need to be in charge of the Landscaping. I wonder what has happened over the years where I used to slowly try to convince Dwight to do certain things, and now I just say, "Oh for God's Sake, Dwight, just do it my way, and get it over with." I know. I'm delightful. And charming. And all full of chocolates!

Which brings me to 'Fat Actress', with Kirstie Alley. Did I spell her name correctly? I'm sure someone will let me know, and within 6 months or so, I'll find time to write back to thank them! There's been a whole lot of controversy around the first Episode, which I thought was very funny. And I know from fat... and I didn't think it was offensive in any way -- it was Comedy -- it's supposed to poke fun at everything, and the Title gives the Viewer a little hint about what might be poked fun of during the Show... Ah, well. As long as it stays on the Air.

Here's what I was surprised at, though. When I was going through the Guide on our Satellite TV thingee (which I looove and could never live without, now, because I feel I really need all 999 Channels!), I came across Fat Actress on Showtime. I quickly looked to see if it was also on a Prime Time Station, and it wasn't, so that was our first clue that the Show was going to be a little 'out there', in terms of Content and Language. I thought it was like Beggars and Choosers (remember that great Television Series?) meets Arrested Development, with the whole 'Stream of Consciousness' thing going on. Hilarious. The Cast was really surprising, too, with one funny face after another, and Mark Curry in a recurring Role -- yippee! I love him -- he's hilarious! So it's a good Show, and it looks like they'll have all sorts of amazing Guests, since they started right off the bat with John Travolta. Do I smell a visit from Tom Cruise? Man, wouldn't it be something to have that many Good Looking Friends?? ha,ha,ha!

Oh, before I forget -- I was in at Aidan's new School (which we loooove!) on Friday to teach the Kindergarten Kids how to make Marshmallow Bunnies for Easter. They're extra-cute, so I thought I'd show you a few pictures and make a new page to let you try it at home with any small people you might know (or yourself, if you should, perhaps, have a certain yen for marshmallows and bunnies ... and some time on your hands!). It takes about 20 minutes to make the Bunnies, and the Kids love them.

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Ain't they cute?? Aidan and I made the Sample Bunnies at home (that's the Kitchen Island). It's fun to do wee crafty things with your Children, and they tend to remember doing stuff like this more than half the really expensive things you do with them, so if you have a bag of marshmallows kickin' around the house, try these out!

Well, better go see who wants what for Breakfast! Oh, and there's a sweet little girl (read:dog!) at my Office Door, waiting to get in. My Office is all glassed in, so that's how I can see her. Better go get Tia some food, too -- her new favorite Dog Food is called Beneful, which you might want to try if you also have a cute little dog!

Live, Love & Laugh, Ailsa!

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Good Friday, March 25th, 2005. Happy Easter!! Hip, hop, hip hip to the hop... that's my little 'Easter Rap' for you so you can sing and dance a little while you eat all that chocolate... with any luck, only a few pounds of it will stick to yo' thighs!! Or mine... I can add them to all the chocolate and Caramel Apples I've had over what I now refer to as my 'Birthday Month', since I've been treating myself all month long! Ah, well. Makes me happier. Heavier...happier -- almost the same thing. I've hardly had any time on the computer at all since I started my little Exercise Routine about three weeks ago -- sometime around my Birthday. Nothing like getting older to make you take a long hard look at yerself!

That and I was watching Fat Actress with Kirstie Alley (she was on the Show, I was in my Dressing Gown at Home...!). Man, that has got to be my favorite new Show -- it's hilarious! And not in any possible way meant for a 'Young Audience'. Or anybody with an aversion to, say, swearing or lewd language. But that's the part that makes the Show so good, so I for one am very happy that Kirstie has her Show on Showtime. The only annoying thing about it was that because we are on Satellite (which I love), and our Server was changing their 'Smart Cards' that go in your Satellite Receiver, the Satellite Company ran a continuous and extremely annoying banner across the bottom of the screen to remind you to switch over to your new Card. Ugh. Now my favorite trick this same Satellite Company is trying to get all their Viewers to switch their cards -- they keep offering free porn channels if you just switch you new Card. Funny. I can see who they are catering to! ha,ha,ha! So I switched the damn thing, and now we can watch Fat Actress without interuption.

So here's the deal with my new Exercise Routine -- I've started a thing where I won't 'let' myself turn on the computer until I've put in an hours worth of Exercise. And that worked for two weeks, then I was sooo far behind in my work that I thought, "I'll just do a couple of hours on the computer, then I'll get in my hour of exercise", which, of course, in no way worked. Once the computer is on, that's it for me. I'll work all day. And if it weren't for those needy children and demanding husband (!), I'd probably never stop working... Anyway, I noticed that lately I've been saying not very nice things to myself -- or thinking them, anyway, as if they are normal thoughts, so it crossed my mind that I'm definitely not the only one to do that. So that's when I thought I'd mention it on my Site, in case you happen to be doing the same thing, and it's along the same lines as what's on Fat Actress.

You would never, ever (hopefully) say to your Best Friend, "God, you are looking really fat. You absolutely should start doing something about that. Oi, are you really that fat??" No. You would never say that sort of thing to a good friend, but I think a lot of women, in particular, really do say that to themselves when they look in the mirror. So I say we all have to stop that. It can't possibly be good for our self esteem, and if you did have a creepy friend who said crap like that to you, you'd surely have to cut them out of your life. So if those words seem familiar to you, Fire that Voice, and adopt a new one. "You look great. What are you, a Size 16? Fantastic! You are looking very, very voluptuous!" See, isn't that better?

Oh, that reminds me of an incident that happened at Costco last week. Cara and I were looking at some cute little skirts in this enormous Costco-esque pile, searching for anything that might appear to be our sizes. There were a lot of Size 16 Skirts in the pile, and they were not in keeping with a normal Size 16 -- why they can't make Standard Sizing is beyond me. I never see men's clothes with all sorts of differences in what the sizes should be and actually are... But I digress. Let me tell you the annoying part -- this youngish girl was standing beside me, and she says with a voice of complete disgust, "Ugh, these are sooo big -- Size 16!", like she'd never seen anything so horrible. So for that lovely girl, I hope she has a million kids and comes back in ten years searching madly for a Size 16 she hopes to fit into! ha,ha,ha! (Yep, that's where my humor is right now...!)

Well, so far I haven't said one word about Building. Hmmmm. Here's what's hapening on the Building Front in our house -- I'm waiting for a nice clear day to take Dwight by some new Land that I found when I was looking for a new Restaurant for Dwight to take me for my Birthday Dinner -- did I mention I had to find my own Restaurant? I know. I'm so lucky, it's hard to believe. I wonder why I can have such a bad attitude, with this sort of adoration... Wonders never cease, I tells ya'! Anyway, I did find a fantastic Restaurant, Orville's, and its right on this new Golf Course in Okotoks. Gorgeous setting and fantastic food. And if you happen to be a Single Male looking for a Single Female, you might want to swing out to check out the Servers -- very pretty! And nice. Oh, I just found their number on my desk -- it's 403-995-5563, if you want to call for a Reservation. The prices were very moderate, considering the Setting and the Food. And if you are going there for a wee treat, email me and maybe I'll meet you there! (Emphasis on the maybe, since first you need to not be crazy...! ha,ha,ha!)

Back to the Building -- there's a whole new area they are Developing on the East End of the Town closest to us (Okotoks, Alberta), and I can't believe I had never been up on those roads. There's an endless amount of Land to Develop out here, so we love that, but to discover a fabulous new area with incredible Mountain Views -- now that's a real treat! So I found a Bare Land Acreage that is up for Sale not all that far from the Restaurant, and I jotted down the Realtor's name. I haven't called yet because there's no point in wasting his time until Dwight says he likes it, too, and he sees the same potential that I see. And all that brings me to my 'Tip of the Week'...

Tip of the Week: Think long and hard about where you buy your Land where you will Build a New Home. You know the old Real Estate adage, "Location, location, location"? Yes, well, it's true. Choose a crappy spot and you will be lucky to get your money back out of the Project when you are ready to sell, but choose wisely in a great Location, and you will make countless amounts of cold hard cash. (I know, I could easily have used a different phrase, but how often does the opportunity arise when you can refer to anything as 'cold and hard', hmmmm?) Some of the things you should look out for are Future Development Plans. This is crucial when you are buying Land or a House, since you need to know if, say, a new Freeway is in the Plans to go directly behind your Future Home. That's not good for Resale.

Also, watch what else is in your potential new Neighborhood. Look for a nice, neat, tidy Community. Even when you are on an Acreage, you have to look to see what else is there. If you have to drive by an old Farmer's Junkyard on the way to your Mega-Mansion, that might not fare well for resale. Our own little Neighborhood came with a lot of Architectural Rules, which was a little annoying at first, but now we are very thankful for that, since other communities that have sprung up around us who don't have those rules look terrible. And that's a real shame, because there are some beautiful houses in those Acreage Communities, but if there's some TeePee or Old Farm Equipment on the next Acreage over, that just looks awful, and that does Lower the Property Value, or at least minimalizes the amount that Property should increase. (Oh, and the TeePee is fine if it's hidden behind some nice big trees -- it just doesn't look that great out on the bald prairie, is all!)

Oh, and a quick word about The Apprentice. Are you thrilled that Erin is gone? Man, would that girl ever shuuuut up?? How is it possible that you can make it all the way through University and not one person mentions that sometimes it's better to say nothing than to run off at the mouth? Shouldn't there be a required 'E.Q.' Course in High School so everybody can learn when to speak and when to 'keep your thoughts on the inside'? And did she miss the Kindergarten Class where they teach you not to be a tattle tale?? It is a lovely trait, and most people looove that, but oddly enough, not The Donald. So I'm happy to see her gone. And I'm sure she'll do very well out there in 'Erinland', as she calls it. I think you need to be extra-careful when you are on TV not to come across as your very own country... ha,ha,ha! Ah, well. Just a little self-involved. Nothing a few years won't solve, with any luck.

One more thing, then I have to go make lunch for Dwight (and he was bitterly disappointed that I wouldn't stop working to make him some porridge for Breakfast...!). Did you notice that I've made this At Home With Ailsa page much smaller? Yep. Finally, I had a little time to re-organize and make the pages smaller. It takes me ages to do that work, so I'll just keep plugging away on it. If you have any good ideas about how I could change the Site to make it more User-Friendly, or there's something you'd like to see that I don't already have, drop me a line to let me know. I love to hear from My Readers -- your letters are always fun to read! And if you are not celebrating Easter, just enjoy some nice sunshine and hopefully you can still score some Chocolate Bunnies!

Happy Easter!! Hope the Easter Bunny is Good to You!!

Live, Love & Laugh, Ailsa!

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Live, Love & Laugh, Ailsa!

Hey, you can help spread the word about my Site -- here's a new 'Tell A Friend' that my friend James made for me. He's been working away to teach me some new things for my website that I desperately need to learn to make the improvements I really want. Oh, and don't feel restricted by the whole 'Tell a Friend' thing. You don't even have to really like someone to tell them about! What do I care? I'm just interested in loads and loads of people coming in for a visit -- maybe even buying something through the Site! And who knows??? Maybe they'll quit borrowing money from you by learning how to Manage their own money after reading my Articles! ha,ha! So here it is, and it's easy schmeasy to use!<

> Thank You!! Soon we'll be enormous! (And I don't mean just because of all the Caramel Apples, neither! ha,ha,ha!) Uh, oh... I see there's no apostrophe in the Friends Name Box -- must tell James! Rest assured ( I don't want you to lose sleep over this!), I do know it needs and 's... we'll fix it for you! See ya'! Ailsa

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