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At Home With Ailsa - July
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* July '04 * June '04
It's the Weekend! Yippee! Sat. & Sun., July 31st & Aug. 1st, 2004. Man, can you believe it's August?? Only a month left of the Summer, and we haven't done anything fun, yet! I have to go really fast today, because I slept in (too much Weeding and Gardening last night), and wouldn't you know it -- Dwight's up earlier than usual on the Weekend, and he wants me to come and make the Breakfast. Ugh. I suggested Scambled Eggs with Salsa, a healthy little breakfast, but it seems that they all have their hearts set on Bacon & Eggs, so that's waaay more work for me... wel, I'll type fast, but you can read it as slowly as you like! ha,ha,ha!
Dwight's actually already been sitting in my Office, watching me work to see how fast I am, which is intensely annoying (Cara says she hates the 'annoyink', and says I shouldn't 'make words up' ... whatevah' ... I happen to looove making words up, so I'll only stop for a little while!). I couldn't get up this morning because my back was so sore from all the crazy Weeding, last night. I went outside with Dwight to help him install the new White Shutters on two of the Top Windows (I'll show you a picture as soon as I have time to go out and take some new ones...), but while I was waiting around to hand him the tools, I thought I'd just do a little weeding. Well, didn't Dwight get in on the action, then we ended up weeding the entire two front Gardens, and pulled out 5 Trees and 2 Bushes that didn't make it through the winter. I wanted to transplant the ones that still had a little bit of Green still on them, but Dwight is ruthless with that stuff and tossed it all out.
Ah, well. It does look a whole lot better, and we are having the Open House, tomorrow, (Sunday), so it needs to be tidy for that. But we did get the new Shutters on, and they look fantastic. With all the extra weeding 'n all, we didn't get around to the back of the house to install the other two sets of Shutters, so we'll do that right after breakfast. I think Dwight wants to go get a load of 'Fancy Rocks' for the Front Entry Path, too -- he said there are some new purple decorative rocks, so I'd like to see them, but the chances are very, very high that we'll go with our favorite Small White Rocks, because they're pretty and shiny!
The Shutters were surprisingly easy to install, though. The hardest part about the Shutters was trying to find someone who carried them. I finally got fed up with trying to find some and went out to measure all the windows (good thing, too, because with the naked eye, all four of the windows appear to be identical, but the two windows at the front were 40" in Height, and the two windows at the back were 48" in height -- whouldda thunk that? So it's always important to measure at least twice, even if you're absolutely sure, since your mind can play little tricks on you! Anyway, I had measured all the windows that needed Shutters, then I just started phing around to see who had them, or where I could order them I finally got them through Totem, but they didn't give us our usual discount because the guy at the Counter didn't know Dwight (he was new), and he said there were't any discounts on Custom Orders. Hmmmm. I think they came in under $300., anyway, so Dwight didn't feel like pursuing that any further, but when you are in the middle of a big Build, go ahead and pursue that, since the vast majority of what you will be purchasingf will be 'custom', and you should receive your Builder's Discount.
Tip of the Day: Always ask for a Discount. Why not? What can it hurt? If the Store gets mad (silly), just say, "Okay, I'll go down the road to the next Store and spend my $500,000. there..." and if the manager is still too stooopid for words and won't change their minds, go on down to the next store. We saved at least $60,000. on this house from my careful shopping and asking for a Discount where ever I could. That was worth it, no?? Even if the discount saves you 10%, that really adds up over time, especially in a Home Renovation or a Build.
Better go make some breakfast! I can hear Dwight in the kitchen, rattling around a fair bit... and if he's mad about that, he won't be any fun to work with later when we have to put up the rest of the Shutters... better go!
Be back in a bit with some pictures!
I'm back! Man, I've been working non-stop since I went upstairs for Breakfast -- about 5 hours ago... ah, well. We got the other two Sets of Shutters on the two windows at the back of the house where they belonged (there are 38 windows in this house, and only 4 of them required Shutters -- the rest are enormous, so they don't need anything else). See the Two Windows on the Right side of the Front entry? That's where two sets went.
It's funny when you look at those windows from the outside of the house -- the window on the Right is in the Front Entry Bath, and it's huge when you're in there, but from utside it appears tiny -- the Shutters look great, though -- they add a nice sense of depth to the house.
Have a Fantabulous Weekend!
Later, Baby! Ailsa!!
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Friday, July 30th, 2004. Hi, Honey! You're Home...wit' ME! I have to think (and type!) fast, this morning, because I want to get outside to mow the giant lawn before it starts raining... apparently, we're in for some major storm this afternoon. The weird thing about Calgary (Alberta) is that even if the clouds are dark and menacing, they frequently amount to nothing, whereas everywhere else I've lived, if you saw some enormous black cloud overhead, there would be a showwer within a half an hour... but not here, so I find it really throws me off. I'm afraid of getting hit by lightning when I'm on the Riding Lawn Mower (or in the Hot Tub, or out on the Lake... it's a running theme with me! ha,ha!).
Have I told you that I was hit by lightning some time before I got Pregnant with Aidan? Yep. And bizarrely enough, I was just washing some dishes at the kitchen sink in our last house, and a storm must have whipped up, and BAM! The Lightning Bolt must have travelled through the sink and hit me -- with enough force to throw me back about 5 feet. Wild, eh? So now I'm particularly uptight about that. Dwight says I'm over-protective of myself, but if I'm not, who will be? And sometimes I think that boy would be quite happy for me to take those risks, provided it meant the Lawn would look nice... maybe I could just Rent him out, since I canny sell him! ha,ha,ha!
Oh, and speaking of 'boys', Aidan and I went to McDonalds for lunch, yesterday, to while away the time when Cara was writing her Math Exam in Town (it seemed silly to go alllll the way home -- 10 minutes! -- just to come allll the way back, when we could easily hang about 'in Town' during the afternoon...). So we're standing in line waiting to put in our Order, when Aidan struck up a conversation with a wee 9 year old boy who happened to be holding a Bionicle Toy, which Aidan loves. They were chatting away, and the wee boy says to Aidan, "Where were you born?" Aidan looks over at me and points to my stomach and says very slowly, "Well, I was born from my Mummy's Tummy..." ha,ha,ha! We all laughed and I had to tell Aidan that the wee boy wants to know what city, so now Aidan gets that! Funny how little minds work, though, ain't it? ha,ha!
I put an Ad in the Local Calgary Sun, too, for the Open House that we are definitely going to have this Sunday. Dwight said he wouldn't have an Open House if I didn't Advertise it (I believe in Advertising, too, but sometimes you can find yourself with a free Sunday and the house is already tidy... then it's just a matter of putting the Signs out...), so I called this morning to confirm that.
Tip of the Day: It's always Wise to Advertise your own house whether you are selling it yourself or through a Realtor. Local Papers and the Internet are your best bets, and they can really pay off. The easiest way to get your Ad into the Paper (and it automatically goes on the Newspaper's Website, too) is to put it on online. Plan out the Ad in advance, so you can get all the Information you want to include in the Ad, figure out how you can abbreviate all those words (!), then Place the AD. The really important information is the Size of the house, the Price, Location, Special Features, and a Contact Number. Our Ad was already getting pretty long, so I didn't include the Mountain View part, like I usually do, but I figure that if someone is interested in the rest of the house, they'll call or swing by the Open House, and we can tell them, then. Just think of your Ad like Bait -- you need to put out enough info to get them hooked, then you can reel 'em in later! ha,ha,ha!
Actually, that's a good way to look at Selling a House, especially when you are selling it on your own. Think of the Selling Process as a Fishing Adventure. It's fun to go fising, and you wouldn't feel like you wasted a whole day if you didn't make a big catch one day. You'd enjoy the lake, relax, have a beer ... not too many beers, cause no-one appreciates a drunk host! ha,ha,ha,ha! Remember, we're really talkin' about Open Houses, here! ha,ha! That would be kinda fun, though...sometimes we have put the coffee on for some Bailey's and Coffee, but that's just for extra fun! I happen to enjoy the Open House days, though, because for one, I can get everyone in the house to help me clean it all up, and secondly, I can spend the whole day Reading or chatting, and Dwight & Cara like to watch Movies. In between that, you have the opportunity to meet some nice people, and one of those people will be your Buyer, so that's always good!
Oh, and we run the Open House from 1-6 in the afternoon, since the house is already clean and tidy, so why not make the time-frame something more workable for people other than the old standard of 2-4? They're more like ShowHome Hours, that are set like that so folks can actually get there and come in to see the house. There's nothing more annoying than going to all the bother of driving over to see a place and the Sign is just coming down. We've sold quite a few homes, and each time we've had more people at the very end of the day than almost any other time. Once a couple of girls swung by the house, and it was just a bit after 6:00pm, and we had already jumped in the Hot Tub (every house we have has a Hot Tub!), but they were anxious to see the house and had a good sense of humour, so Dwight showed the house in his Swimming Trunks! ha,ha,ha! Thank God it wasn't a Speedo! ha,ha!
Okay, I better get to mowin'! Oh, and that Dwight says to me last night, when we were in the Hot Tub and I told him I wanted to mow the lawn, today (yes, all our conversations are rivetting like that! ha,ha!), that "mowing the lawn is a great break for you". No. Mowing the lawn is a job for me, NOT a break -- now where does he come up with this stuff?? Plus, that tells me two things -- one that he doesn't perceive anything I do as 'work', and two, he thinks my life is one big 'Break'. Hmmm...so check out the new Links above the Daily Update for the Political Jokes and the 'Favourite Food Sweepstakes'. Hey, someone has to Win the Money -- why not one of MY Readers, eh?? ha,ha!
I'll go get some new pictures -- be right back!
Here's my sweet little Tia! Dwight brought home some Beef Ribs the other night, and by the time I got around to giving one to Tia (she looooves them!), it had started raining, and Tia doesn't care for the rain...
So here's Tia trying to figure out what to do and where to go with this giant Rib Bone! We all laughed ourselves silly, because she sat there for ages trying to figure the whole thing out! She kept looking out the door at the rain, then over to her Bed, and back out the door, again ... hilarious! I finally managed to get her to go into the Laundry Room to eat it -- but I had to put a towel down, first, since she doesn't like to get the floor dirty -- a very nice quality in a wee dog! ha,ha,ha!
Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! And if you know someone (maybe YOU!) who might be interested in Buying Our House, drop by on Sunday! I promise Dwight will be fully dressed! ha,ha,ha!
See Ya' Later, Baby! Ailsa!!
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Thursday, July 29th, 2004. Hey, Baby! Whatz up in da' hood? The Neighborhood, I mean! ha,ha! Our little Neighborhood has been so quiet, lately. All winter long you're inside because it's sooo cold, then we just had a Heat Wave, and everyone was inside because of that... that doesn't leave a whole lot of time to be outside in this neck of the woods! Ah, well. At least Aidan and I got a lot of Park-Time in this Summer. We love the park in the town closest to us (it's 7 minutes away...!) that runs alongside the Sheep River -- Aidan calls it 'The Forest Park', because the Trees are so thick and beautiful. The water is moving along at a good clip, still, so we're all tempted to get a raft to go for a Float down the river.
You know how I told you ages ago that we were working on the Fireplace Mantel for the Lower Living Room Fireplace? (There's a great big Fireplace in the Great Room, too, but Dwight won't even talk about that...) Well, we went ahead and cut all the pieces, then I painted them all, and then Dwight put them under this tap thing, and wouldn't you know it, they 'suffered some water damage'... now how did that happen?? Needless to say, the Fireplace Mantel was never completed (Dwight doesn't want it at all -- he likes the Fireplace Surround the way it is right now -- just with the Granite all around it, but I want the whole Mantelpiece as well...). So last night I said to Dwight that I am going to go ahead and call our Finishing Carpenter (the Carpenter who does all the finicky woodwork) to get him to come over to build the Mantelplace for us, and he was all mad... what are you gonna do? I'll tell you what I'm gonna do, though -- I'm calling our Guy! Wish me luck! ha,ha!
I went out to water all the Flowers and Trees at the Front of the House, last night, and I was very surprised to see how many new Hollyhock Plants have come back up. Dwight thinks they are like weeds -- I think he wants all the plants to come out when I'm weeding at some point in the future... except for the Trees, and I'll have to remove a few Trees that didn't survive the Winter, too. Poor things. But I really love Hollyhocks -- I think they're really pretty, so I'm either just gonna leave them where they are, or transplant them so they are 'more orderly' so Dwight won't complain so much.
Hey, you know what that reminds me of? This stooopid thing I read not that long ago -- it was supposed to be this big 'Principle for Life', but it was so intensely stupid, I had to put the book down. The 'Principle' was 'To Always & Only Think Positive Thoughts'. Now, that's a nice little thought if we're talking about dogs or horses, who always seem to be pretty happy. (I'm thinking about horses because Aidan spent a good portion of the day, yesterday, trying to convince me of why he should have a horse in the house... his big selling point was that he would be happy to clean the horse's feet! ha,ha!) Anyway, anyone with half-a-brain (and if you're a Monty Python Fan, you're probably already humming the tune to 'Eric the Half a Bee'..., since that's in keeping with the whole 'half-a-brain' thing!) will have thoughts that range from positive to negative and back to positve again. This is normal human brain functioning, and to only think Positive Thoughts is to be a moron... or heavily medicated on your choice of pharmaceuticals! ha,ha,ha!
No, the best way to be is to Be Positve, Have a Positive Attitude, but watch out and be aware of the Negative stuff. God Knows there's plenty of negatives out there, and to pretend there aren't won't help anyone. That's just crazy. And when you're thinking about a Build or Renovation in this manner, it's very wise to consider how you will handle all the possible negative outcomes, then figure out how you could take Positve Action against them if they were to happen. Hiding your head in the sand is useless, not to mention annoying to your spouse! ha,ha,ha! (Now who am I talking about?? yuff, yuff!)
And that crazy Dwight said to me on the way out the door, this morning, while I was busy folding Laundry and getting the Breakfast ready that I need to call and book him an appointment for a Massage (now I'm a Secretary, too), and then he looked at himself in the mirror and said his jeans have a wrinkle in them. Yes, and they always will. He's lucky they're clean... ha,ha,ha! So I'm not so sure how long I want to continue on this unpaid Maid and Secretary Service... how negative is that?? ha,ha! Who the hell cares? That would drive me crazy if I had to put up with someone who was only 'up', since they would be sooo phony, I'm sure. Or I'm guessing... whatever. Either way, I wouldn't want to hang with them -- frankly, I like to hear a little bitter complaining (as long as it's funny, or we can make it into something funny...!). How would you ever get to know anyone if they only said 'good things' all the time, and why would you even bother? I love a little dirt in my chat, if you know what I mean! ha,ha,ha,ha! (Yes, that last one was just for my own entertainment! ha,ha!)
Tip of the Day: Be open and honest about what life is really offering you, so you can accept it and make changes wherever you might need to. It's surprising how much stuff we can put up with and just keep rolling along without making any changes at all, since human beings tend to like the familiar, and dislike the possibility of something new. The reality is that we can all become re-adjusted to any new surroundings within a few weeks, if it even takes that long. Quite often, it'll take less than a week to get used to new surroundings or new circumstances, so no need to fear Change. I think the one of the best lessons you can ever learn for yourself or teach your children is the ability to Change, and not fear it. We all know there wil be things we have to cope with that come along with any Change, but there are the old things that you would have had to deal with, too, if you didn't make a change. Anyway, Keep a Positive Attitude , but consider the Negative, then you'll be usin' yo' whole brain, and not just a tiny fraction of it!
Okay, better go get some stuff done around here, but I'll be back in a bit with some new pictures for you!
Here are some more shots of the Newly Paved Driveway... that's the Hot-Tub Deck off the Sunroom on the Far Left of the House (the South Side!). We were out there the other night, around 12:30 in the Morning, to watch the Northern Lights -- they were the best ones I've ever seen, dancing all over the Sky. Amazing, and something to do at least once in your life!
And you can kind of see my row of Trees around the inside of the Driveway -- poor wee things -- they barely survived the very last Snow & Ice Storm of the Winter Season -- I'm still waiting for someone to stake them back up so they'llmake it through another year! And the new Shutters are in at Totem -- I just need Dwight to swing by and pick them up, then maybe we can get them on the house this weekend... stranger things have happened! ha,ha!
I'm thinking today's a good day for an Ice Cream... are you with me?? We should all meet at the Dairy Queen for some 'Low-Cal' Ice Cream! (I'm pretty sure it's 'Low-Cal'... stooopid pharmaceuticals are clouding my thinking, but I know it's all positive! ha,ha,ha,ha!)
Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! See you, tomorrow!
Later, Baby! Ailsa!!
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Wednesday, July 28th, 2004. Good Morning, Sunshine! See ya later, Moonshine -- that's giving me a headache, anyways... ha,ha,ha! Wonder how many folks still make their own liquor out back by the Wood Shed?? Not too many, I hope! And that's another big upside of vacationing or living in the U.S. -- cheap liquor! When Canadians go down there for a holiday, it's all we can do not to buy up the entire stock, since the prices are a fraction of the cost up here -- you can't afford to be an alcoholic in Canada! ha,ha,ha! They could create a new AA Group for people trying to sober up who come up to Canada to do it, and they could call it A,Eh! ha,ha,ha! I do like the mental image I have in my mind, right now, of Dwight 'out back' with a Straw Hat and a piece of straw hangin' out his mouth, a pair of dungarees and working away at a still, trying to "turn 'dem potaters inta some kinda wiiine..." (don't forget to use yer hillbilly voice for that, for extra fun!).
So did you see the conclusion of Trading Spouses? Man, that's my favorite new Show! Hilarious! Those poor kids doin' all the work while ol' Tammy (we nicknamed her 'Whitey', just for fun! ha,ha!) sat in the bedroom watching a Ball Game and drinkin' a Beer... now that ain't good! And I loved when Mela called out the other Dad for doing absolutely NOTHING around the house -- some houses really run like that, though -- I could never hang with that. The idea of sitting around and letting someone else do every little thing for you is just not right -- although, I know some folks in my own home right now who pretty much do that... hmm mmm. Hope I'm not living like that, and this is just another example of my own delusion about my life! ha,ha,ha!
I liked the Allocation of the Money, though. Mela's Family must have been Renting their house, since she left enough for a Down Payment on a new house -- that's what I would have done, too, and allocated $20 Grand to pay off any outstanding bills -- very wise. I thought it was weird when Anthony, Mela's Husband, said he wouldn't have done this one-week Trading Spouses if he had known someone else would decide where the money would go (they each were given $50,000. for their Participation in the Show -- not bad for a week's work! I'd like to know where to sign up for that! ha,ha!). When it comes to money, just take it -- $50 Grand is $50 Grand, no matter how you look at it, right?
And when the Old Granny got the money from Mela, and Tammy says, "That's probably better because she's in a Lower Tax Bracket, anyway..." and I'm paraphrasing, of course... but you could tell she was thinking, "Crap. I'm the one who had to sit around without anyone serving me for a whole week! And not one person danced with me at the Party..." And I thought fer sures Tammy would have allocated some money for Mela's Family to go buy a fancy Coffee Maker, on the off-chance Tammy ever went back over for a visit! ha,ha,ha! The big hugs at the end, too, where they were all sooo happy to get their own 'Mom' back was sweet -- but I wonder if this will have a lasting impression on Mela or Tammy. More-so Mela, I think, because didn't it seem that ol' Tammy perceived herself as being perfect, and therefore not open to change? No need to change what ain't broked, right?? ha,ha,ha! (You'll have to use that hillbilly voice again, unless you've decided to just use that all the time, now, which should be okay with your friends and family -- maybe curtail that a tad when you go in for a Bank Loan, or sumthin'! ha,ha!)
Tip of the Day: Whenever you are going to Throw a Party (as on the Show!), you want to keep in mind what The Guests might like, or not like... let's just say that everyone in the crowd hates Country Music, maybe the option would be to play one Country Song, then switch it over to something everyone else will enjoy. And a Party is not the time to start anyone out on a new 'Diet'! That's hilarious! Didn't you feel so sorry for everyone having to eat 'Healthy Food' at a Party?? That ain't right! No, no. The Key to having a successful Party is to cater to the specific Group who will be there, so if you do have a Country-Lovin' Crowd, fine, play the Country Music (it's very big in Calgary -- and here I prefer R & B!), but if not, go with what the crowd likes. And when you put on some music or serve some food and you can see everyone's face wincing, that not be a good sign, and even Neanderthal Ned knows that! ha,ha!
I'll go get you some nice new pictures -- be right back!
Finally, I had a chance to get outside to take some pictures of the New Driveway -- looks nice, huh? It's perfect for Roller Blading and Skate Boarding, too, because it's big and circular!
The Front Entrance Stairway is 11 feet wide, I think -- I should go measure it, but maybe I'll do that later... anyway, Dwight built an additional 'Landing' at the bottom of the Cement Stairs, and we brought the Paving right up to the edge of that Cement Pad. That makes for a nice big Entrance Area. And check out the area in front of the Garage -- wouldn't that be great for shooting a few hoops?
Thank you for swinging by, today! It's always lovely to see you! I'll have to be on the look-out for a Tell-A-Friend Banner for my Site, but until I get around to doing that, I would love it if you told a few of your Friends (they don't have to be real Friends -- anyone on yer email list is fine with me! ha,ha!) about my Site! That's the best way for me to increase Traffic to my site, and with any luck, more people will mean more 'Clicks' and more folks signing up for Free Stuff, and that's what keeps me going!
Hey, go do something extra fun fer yerself, today! And maybe do a little something nice for someone else, too!
See Ya Later, Baby! Ailsa!!
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Tuesday, July 27th, 2004. Yo, yo, yo! What up wit' mah Home-ies? Aaah, I love that -- it never gets old, for me! Hey, did you happen to catch that new Show, Trading Spouses? Hilarious! It's fun to see how other people live, since I think it's human nature to believe that everyone is pretty much like you, then when Reality hits you in the face like on Trading Spouses and you see how incredibly different folks can be... it's a little disconcerting, especially if you happen to be considering a big ol' change of adres (so-to-speak...) yourself! So I was busy thinking during the Show that this would be a good little 'exercise' for Couples on the Brink of Divorce, to switch out with another Family just to see whether they really would like a change-out, or if they are better off than they previously believed themselves to be... that might save a lot of marriages, or make the whole process a whole lot easier.
What was up with the 'White Mom', who made reference to her color God Knows how many times -- but she was like a bizarre caricature of a Wealthy 'WASPy' Woman ... man, it was crazy the way she got up in the morning and wanted 'to be served', just like at home with the old Granny! Can you imagine that? But I loved her 'Positivism' that she referred to as an aspect of her loving personality... I'm thinkin' it would be a good idea to check yo' dictionary to find out what all 'dem words is that you would regularly use on camera to see if they are a correct reflection of what you is tryin' to say! ha,ha! Poor Soul. It's funny because Tammy (the Mom) wanted to present herself as Perfect, and that almost always backfires, because that's when people are really gonna look for holes in your story.
On the upside of old Tammy was her obsession with Carbs, and telling the kids how to eat -- and having the 11 and 12 year old boys cook breakfast for her was the saddest thing ever -- what woman on the planet (other than Tammy) would expect wee boys to make a meal for them while they read the Morning Paper?? Maybe the whole scene with 'the New Mom' reading the back of the Package to 'the new family' at the Water Park to tell them all how many Carbs were in their Chips they were trying to enjoy... but if that makes even 10% of the Audience from that Show start taking note of their own Carb Intake, that would be good. That was really one of the few upsides I could see there, but that's what makes for good TV, right?
Now the other 'New Mom', Mela (who was only 29...) looked like she was having a great time, and she seems really sweet. The other Family she found herself in must have wondered why their own Mom didn't have a little more of that sweetness ... and what happens if they don't want to switch back? "Uh, no. How 'bout we just keep Mela over here, and you can keep Tammy over there? Maybe we'll switch back in about 20 years, or so?" Then they would have to hang up and hope that Anthony (the Dad who was stuck with Tammy!) wouldn't put Tammy in the Car and drive her to her own hoe, himself, to get Mela back! At least Mela will be treated like a Goddess when she gets back home! ha,ha!
So here's something that Cara noticed while we were watching Trading Spouses. The Family with the not-so-great house had very, very nice Vehicles, and the big plan to spend the $50 Grand was to buy a Corvette and a Louis Baton Purse. (Is that the right name? Frankly, I would never buy a designer Purse, so I'm not sure of the name -- I should ask Cara -- teenagers know all about this sort of stuff!) It's often more a matter of How You Manage Your Money, not always how much of it you actually have. If you make a series of poor financial decisions, you will never get ahead, but if you make Wise Decisions, you can move up and beyond what you might think you can because of a few smart moves.
When I was 15 (a very long time ago! ha,ha), I went on a Trip with my Family down to the East Coast of Canada. I'd never really seen any poverty before, and I was shocked that poverty existed in Canada -- I thought we had Social Programming that prevented that. Of course, I know better, now, and things are terrible in Canada, now, with an estimated 2 million women and children living under the Poverty Level in Canada (that's a crime, with the Tax Rates that Canadians pay...). That doesn't even include the vast numbers of 'Street People' and folks who need to use the Food Banks, these days. Isn't that awful, in this day and age?
Anyway, when we were 'Down East', we passed a lot of homes that were like little run-down Shacks with these really fancy cars outside these shacks, and big Satellite Dishes (back in the day when the Satellite Dishes were about 9' Wide). That's when my Dad explained to me the different choices people made with their money, but I didn't really 'get that' until I was much older (okay, until my 30's -- some folks is slow learners! ha,ha,ha,ha!). Since Anthony and Mela both work Full-Time Jobs, they must have a fair bit of money coming into the household, and that money would need to be allocated much better -- toward the House and Healthier Food, and waaaay less allocated to the Vehicles. Who cares what you drive around in, as long as it works and is a safe vehicle, if you're house needs a whole lot of work... or if you don't have a house of your own, at all -- that happens all the time. Unless you're rollin' in dough, then go ahead and get whatever Vehicle you like!
Tip of the Day: Put your Money in Yourself, first. In your own Personal appearance (Good, Healthy Food and nice clean clothes, education, healthcare...), then your House, then your Vehicle. And there are times in your life when you might be better off without any vehicle at all, if you are lucky enough to live in a City where they have a good Transit System. And never be afraid to Sell Your House to move to something Newer or More Affordable to make your Financial Life much easier. It's often far less expensive to buy a newer home than start paying for a million things in a renovation of an existing older home.
The big point is to make good choices with the money you bring into the house, no matter how much it is. A careful and realistic look at how much you are really working with a month is a good place to start, then see how much you can really afford on a vehicle, or how much you could save toward a Down Payment, or stuff to make your House into a Home.
Here's the Queen Anne's Bench! Ain't it gorgeous?? I love it, but I think it's probably debatable whether this was a wise use of money! ha,ha! Ah, well -- there's a whole school of thought that you should really 'spiff up your house' when you are selling it, so I told Dwight that's why we bought that! har, har!
And yesterday I found some Spray Adhesive at WalMart, which I wan to use to put together that huge 6' Print in a Frame. I think my best bet is to mark off the part of the Wood Backing I need for the Print so that Dwight can Saw it off when he gets home (one night... who knows which night...). And if I get all the Trim out there all ready to be cut, maybe he'll do that, too -- I'm thinking that my only hope of getting that job done is to get everything prepared in advance and then Dwight might help me. I want to put that Print above the New Poster Frame Bed, where I'm sure it'll look fantastic! Wish me luck with that!
Thanks for popping in for a wee visit!
Later, Baby! Ailsa!!
This Link is Great for My U.S. Readers and my Canadian Readers -- I've been on the look-out for stuff my Canadian Readers can sign up for, too!
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Monday, July 26th, 2004. Hey, Baby! How you doin'? Did you have a good Weekend? Did you get a chance to get in some Fun things, or did it slide by too quickly? We got that new Bed Frame together on Friday Night (now who says marriage ain't exciting? ha,ha!), then we put the Queen Anne's Bench for the Foot of the Bed together on Saturday (it looks beautiful!), then we had to hang up the Three Matching Pictures on another wall in the Master Bedroom because they were squished behind the new HeadBoard... see how much fun you can have, just revamping yo' rooms? ha,ha! Okay, so it wasn't so much fun, but the room does look fantastic, so it was productive. I think that's about all I can hope for, right now, so might as well go with it!
Hey, you know the big Democratic Convention that's going on this week? I don't get why these big Conventions are held in the middle of a City. Why not hold it in the middle of no-where, on some very pretty lake, or at a Mountain Resort? We did that for a Convention that included the World Leaders a few years ago outside of Calgary, (it was held in the Kananaskis, I think, a beautiful area in the Mountains), and it went really well. Far enough from the City to be safe, and not so far that it took too long to get to. It just seems to me that in this day and age, that might be a smarter way to go.
Speaking of Mountain Resorts, it's been a few years since we've been to Radium Hot Springs in the Canadian Rockie Mountains. It's about a 4 hour drive from here, so a very pleasant drive. Except that Dwight hates 'my music' (anything not from the 70's...!), so we have to drive in relative silence, which is incredibly unpleasant... think I just remembered why we don't go away anymore! ha,ha! Ah, well. (Oh, and for the record, there's plenty of music I love from the 70's, just not the same songs over and over again, with nothing new ever...).
And THAT reminds me of the Movie we rented over the weekend -- Starsky & Hutch, with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. Man, that was hilarious! I never missed an episode of Starsky & Hutch (I had a crush on David Sole -- is that how you spell his name? Funny I can't remember that, given the vast amount of posters I had of him...!), so it was really fun to 'relive' that Show, and the whole movie was hysterical. Hmmm, I wonder how old Owen Wilson is? I can't exactly put posters up around my room of him, now (Dwight would get soooo mad! ha,ha,ha!), but he certainly is appealing! No wonder I like the blonde hair so very much! Wouldn't it be hilarious, though, to have an adult room all full of Poster Pin-Ups? You never see that in those Design Shows, now do you?? ha,ha,ha! Plus, Huggy Bear is really funny -- be sure to watch the Fashion 'Fa Shizzle' in the Out-takes for some great laughs!
Tip of the Day: When we were putting that new Bed Frame together, there were little plastic pieces on the 'Screws' for the 'Feet' -- is that what you call them? Like Rollers, but they stay put... anyway, if you are ever putting together a piece of Furniture and there's a plastic piece that is threaded through or in a screw, remove it and gently hammer it in place with a piece of wood and a hammer. You put the small piece of wood over the 'placed plastic' (wherever it belongs), and gently tap on the wood until the plastic is in place. Then go ahead and put the screw in. That way, you won't crack the Plastic Piece or wreck the threading for the screw. That'll save you a big hassle if the plastic accidentally breaks, then you have to pack up the whole thing and start again... now that's annoyink!
I'll go get some new pics for you! Be right back!
That's the Bedroom Wall where I wanted the Three Matching Pictures -- they look fantastic there, so we're really happy with that.
I took the Center Picture so you can see what an enormous wall that is -- it's an 11 foot Vaulted Ceiling in all the Upstairs Bedrooms, so they feel very open. See how the Sunroom is right off the Master Bedroom? So the last shot is from the Sunroom, since I happen to like that angle. Very pretty! I'll show you the new Queen Anne's Bench, tomorrow.
Thanks for swinging by for a visit! Did I tell you how fantastic you look, today? And your eyes are so sparkly -- you haven't been drinkin', have you? I know I have, I'm just checkin' to see if you have, too... no, no, no... I'm just kiddink! It's not Noon, here, yet, and everyone knows the 'Not before Noon, except when you're on holiday or having a Mimosa for Breakfast' ... I mean, with breakfast! ha,ha,ha!
Okay, I'll go get those pictures. See you tomorrow, Baby!
Love & Laughs, Ailsa!!
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It's The Weekend! WooHoo! July 24th & 25th, 2004. Hello there, Goiiiigeous! You look fantastic today -- really, I don't tell you that enough... and one day I hope to be with someone who will actually say that to me without the precursor, "Well, how do I look in this Outfit?" (The answer is almost always the same, "Fine, you look fine, now let's go...!") Oh, it's loving relationship, all right! ha,ha,ha! You know what else I look forward to, that I can write on the Site (!)? Someone who will take my picture, without any begging first. All last week during The Calgary Stampede, I had my camera with us, but I had to ASK to get my picture taken, and the pictures were terrible. That camera adds 20 pounds, and I ain't happy about that! ha,ha,ha!
Ah, well... speaking of new pictures, though, I took some nice shots last night of the New Bed Frame Dwight brought home, yesterday.When I was at Costco last week, buying pies and other delicious things for the Dinner Party on Thursday Night, I happened to see a beautiful (and I mean beeeeuuuteeeeful ) Bed, so I went to look at it for a while, then I stood by the cart with Aidan and sent Cara over to see if she thought it was beautiful, too, then when Dwight got home I told him all about it. Now, this couldn't BE worse timing, since God Knows where we'll all be 6 months from now (depending on when we Sell This House and where we all relocate...), but this Bed was gorgeous, and I couldn't resist it! So I said to Dwight that he could just swing by Costco, have a wee look at the Bed (it was out on display -- man, they have some great furniture, these days!), and if he liked it, too, just pick it up, because I already loooove it.
So Dwight backed the Truck right up to the Front Door last night when he got home -- easy to do because of the Circular Drive that comes right past the Front Entry -- very nice little feature! Anyhooo, there was a giant Box in the Back of the truck, so I knew he haad made the Costco Trip. YaaHoo! More stuff we don't technically need, but still want to have! Perfect! Dwight was too tired from work to bring it in the house just then, and then there was a really god 20/20 on, so we watched that, then another Show, then at 10:00 pm I said to Dwight that we really ought to bring that Bed in the house, so we went out and dragged the giant box into the Front Entry.
I think because the picture of the Bed on the outside of the box was so appealing that we went ahead and opened the box to see what we could put together, last night, and then once we started, we couldn't stop, so we built the whole bed by 1:00 am, and Cara and Aidan had a great time drawing pictures and designs on the inside of these giant boxes! Aidan is using one as a ship, and one will be turned into a Rocket Ship later on, today. He just needs a Fuel Engine, he says, then he's off 'To the Moon!" Funny how that never gets old, eh?? ha,ha!
The Bed came with a Queen Anne's Bench, too, which I have wanted for quite some time, but we didn't have enough time to put that together, too, so I'll do that later when Dwight gets up (he's still sleeping...). But the Bed is goooorgeous, so I took some pictures. And our Master Bedroom is sooo big, we were able to build the new Bed Frame in front of the old bed frame without removing the Love Seat that is on the far wall of the Bedroom. Very lucky. I think the Bedroom is 20' X 18' -- can't quite remember, but it's big. And nice. We're thrilled with the way the new bed looks, but we had to take down the lovely set of Three Matching Pictures, because the new bed-frame went over the center picture, so I think we'll be out shopping for more Artwork, again! Ah, them's the breaks, eh??
Tip of the Day: I found these two Links for a really good Lighting Store, and thought thye would be useful for me to show you how much Lighting is, roughly, and to use this as a Tip of the Day. Changing out your Lighting can completely revamp your Home. Often, brand new homes come with 'Builder Grade' Lighting, because they want you to 'switch up', so-to-speak and pay extra for Good Lighting. Sometimes a Builder will give you an allotment, too, that you can spend on Lighting, so you can go into the place where that Builder has an Account and choose whatever you like. You have to really watch out for that, though, because often the Builder will send you to a really 'High-End' Lighting Boutique, where they jack up all the prices, when you could just swing into Lowe's and get the same lighting for a much better price.
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When we were Renovating our Condo (the Condo we bought when we were first together a long, long time ago! ha,ha!), one of the first things we did was change out the Lights. The Dining Room Chandelier was really dated, and smacked of the 70's, so we replaced that with a relatively simple but beautiful Glass Chandelier, and then we changed out all the rest of the Fixtures, too. What a difference. From the 70's to the 90's in one easy Weekend! We changed the Doors, too, but that'll be a Tip for another day!
Anyway, have a wee look to see what's on the Market that might suit your home. And if you are anxious about the Installation of the New Lighting yourself, call an Electrician or a Contractor who often does this sort of smaller work. It's not time consuming, so even if you're paying by the hour, if you have everything ready to go when the Electrician gets there (each new Light is in the Room where it'll be placed...), you won't be looking at too big a bill!
Let me go get you those new pictures! Be right back!
That's Dwight and Aidan still working away building the new Bed Frame at Midnight -- why that child never sleeps is beyond me -- although, I hardly get any sleep, either, so maybe I DO know where he gets that form! ha,ha!
What do you think? Isn't it gorgeous! I loooove it! We stood and admired our work for about 10 minutes before everyone headed off for bed... and see how the three Matching Pictures in the first picture are gone in the last picture? I have a little idea for what might go above the new HeadBoard, now -- that Print I got in California last summer of the Blue Pool at Hearst Castle. The Print is about 6' Wide, though, so I've been trying to get Dwight to help me build a Backing and Frame for it -- maybe he'll help me with that, today. And by 'help', I mean 'Build'! ha,ha,ha! Oh, and we always build this stuff together, and miraculously enough, we didn't have one fight through the whole thing! So that part was good, too! ha,ha!
Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! I hope you have a fabulous Weekend, and Build Something Great, or just think about Building Something Great! ha,ha! Me, I can't wait to get started on that Queen Anne's Bench for the Foot of the Bed!
Love & Laughs, Ailsa!!
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Friday, July 23rd, 2004. Hey, there, Baby-Cakes! Sugar-Pie! Lemon Pie? Noooo, that's not a name for someone -- that's what I just had for Lunch! ha,.ha! And as far as I am willing to admit, it was a particularly healthy and nutricious lunch, what with the Lemon part of the Pie! ha,ha! Listen, how 'bout you go ahead and continue on without me, into this world you call 'Reality', and I'll just stay back here and live in my own little Fantasy World, where Pie is a Good Choice for a Meal! What's that? You like my Fantasy World better, too? Okay, you can stay back here with me, but remember, you will instantly perceive yourself as being very, very youthful and brilliant, not to mention fabulous looking! ha,ha,ha! See how I can stay so happy?? It's all a happy little delusion!
Man, am I off to a late start, today! That Dwight decided to go into work a little later, but that threw me off for the whole day, since I usually come straight down to my Office to write my Daily Update, but Dwight thinks (hopes is more accurate! ha,ha!)I do HouseWork all day long, and only work on the Website a tiny bit -- where he gets this notion is beyond me, since I couldn't possibly develop a website of this magnitude with a few minutes a day -- I usually work on it for at least 6 to 8 hours a day. Anyway, to keep up with Dwight's idea of what I do all day, I felt compelled to do a whole pile of Laundry and tidy up the house from last night's Dinner Party (which went well and was a whole lot of fun!).
I didn't get down to my Office for ages, then I happened upon this Great Deal someone sent me for My Readers, and that was me off on yet another tangent, so I made a new page for you to see what kind of Freebies you can get -- thanks to the magic of the Internet. Ooooh, I love a great deal, and FREE is about the best deal around, right?? I figure that the Free Trial things are useful, since you get a little 'heads-up' before you decide whether you want to purchase it or not. You can always say 'No' at the end of the Trial Period... Hey, they should have that for Marriage, too! You could try 'em out for a few months, and if you still want to Buy the Package, you can, and if it's more of a, "Uh, I don't think I want this particular package for Life...", you'd be able to send 'em back! I know -- I'm jam-packed full of revolutionary ideas like that! ha,ha,ha! Most of my ideas involve 'sending 'em back'! Take a wee minute and pop in to see my new Freebies Page -- maybe there'll be some things that will appeal to you, too!
I'm thinking this might be a good Weekend for an Open House -- we haven't taken our House Sale very seriously at all, this time around, mostly because we love the house so very much, but it is a good time of year to Sell, and finally we're all done with Hockey Season and the Calgary Stampede (Calgary comes to a complete shut-down during the Stampede, what with all the great Parties and Breakfasts 'n stuff, and all of Calgary was glued to the TV during the Flames Games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs...), so this is about our first free weekend. Hard to believe that so much time can go by when you can't find a spare weekend! Plus, the house is all lovely and clean from last night's Dinner Party, so why not take advantage of that?
Tip of the Day: Try to Sell Your House on your own, at least at first if you have the time for that and are comfortable doing this. It's a good Market out there, so why not give it a whirl, first? If you feel you've given it a good shot and haven't Sold Your House, yet, go ahead and Hire a Good Realtor. Keep in mind that you don't have to Hire the First Realtor who comes over to your house -- it's just like hiring someone to work for you (and that's exactly what they are doing -- working on your behalf...), so make sure you like or have professional respect for them -- if you feel tension from the very beginning, skip it and get another one.
One of the best things we like about Selling on our Own is the ability to have Open Houses whenever we like without any fighting over whether Open Houses are an effective Selling Tool -- of course they are. How many items have you bought when you were able to have a good look at it when you just happened upon it? Or you're already in the market for something, so you are actively on the look-out for the Product (a new Home or Vehicle...or Spouse... nooo, now look at that digression -- how many times has that happened, now?? ha,ha,ha! What's really on my mind, today?? har,har!)... that's when you will see an Open House Sign in a neighborhood that already appeals to you, so you swing in to have a wee look. Many, many House Sales happen directly because of an Open House, so definitely go that route.
I'll go get you some pictures -- be back in a minute!
I finally found that picture of my Total Gym that I dragged out of my Exercise Room (where I never, ever used it!) to put it behind the Settee in the Lower Living Room. (A Settee is a Couch!)
That's Aidan going like mad on the Air Walker -- that's a fun piece of Equipment, and I find I can alter the Work-out by bending my knees more than you normally would on this machine -- it targets the Quads a whole lot better!
And you can barely see the Exercise Equipment from over by the Pool Table -- for some reason, Dwight hates having the Exercise Equipment out in the Living Room, but that's where it is most functional for me, so that's where it's gonna stay! And that's my Office, all Glassed in -- nice, huh? I love it!
Thanks for popping in for a little visit! See you on the Weekend, Baby!
Love & Laughs, Ailsa!!
Check it out -- I just found this for you, this morning! I love a Freebie, and Lowe's is a Great Store, so this is the perfect Combo!
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Thursday, July 22nd, 2004. Hi, Baby! You're Home, again! And I love when you swing in for a wee visit! What's that? You brought me a little gift, and it's made of chocolate?? Yippee!! Hey, I was at the Post Office the other day (in Canada, most of the Post Offices are Privately run), and on the way to the back of the Store, Aidan and I passed the Chocolate Section, so of course we slowed down to have a wee look. I've decided to stop buying Chocolate Bars by the Case, as I had a tiny habit of doing since we joined Costco (!), so now I'm on the look-out for a more moderately sized box of chocolates... Anyhoooo, I came across these Russel Stover Chocolates -- Butter Nut Toffee. If you can track this stuff down, it's unbelievably deeeelicious!
So, you're not gonna believe this, and I'm having a little difficulty believing it, myself, because it happened sooo quickly... you know the little Financial Prayer I got from a Friend and put on the Site two days ago? Well, now I'm gonna read it twice a day, because, man, is that working! Every Website has a 'Ranking', and yesterday during the day my Site was Ranked at 297,545, then last night when I went on the computer to order a Magazine Subscription and a the Donald Trump Book for my Best Friend, Greg (it was his 52nd Birthday, yesterday -- man, me friends is startin' to get a little old!! ha,ha,ha!I'm sure he'll appreciate that!), so of course I went onto my own Site to order the stuff from my Shopping Pages, and my Great Books page came up with a really high Ranking -- 79,599.
At first I thought that was incredible that each page might be ranked separately (I'm still a 'newbie' to the computer world, and frankly, I think it's all amazing what you can do and who you can reach with the computer...!), then I went back to my Home Page, and lo and behold, the whole Site is Ranked at 79,599. I still feel like I should check it over and over, to see if there was a mistake, and they meant someone else's Site, but it's still like that, today! So now we'll see if this huge move up in Site Ranking actually has a Financial Upside to it -- hopefully, that means more people coming in for a visit, and that will, with any luck, mean more folks clicking on the Ads and Shopping on my Site... then I would see a Financial Reward! WooHoo! Hey, maybe I would have a high enough Rank that some Agent or Book Publisher would find my Site and offer to make it into a Book!! ha,ha! Okay, now I'm just dreaming! But it's fun to Dream, right, and who knows when those Dreams might come true! So I loves me that little Financial Prayer -- go ahead and try it -- everyone (most people) have their own Belief in God, so it's good for everyone -- and worth a try, at the very least!
Oh, and you know how I told you that Dwight organized his own Dinner Party for tonight? Well, I use the word 'organized' rather loosely, since yesterday I said to Dwight, "What time are your Special Guests arriving?" He says he's not sure, because he hasn't talked to them yet -- seemed that he hadn't called to invite them to their own party... So I had to tell him to call them for sure to see if they could even make it for the Dinner, and then to call me so I would know how much Food to get. It turned out that they could come, no bother, but then I got an email from someone else coming to the party, and Dwight's Friend didn't tell his wife that they were all coming over here for dinner ... Men! (You really can't sell them, and I know this for sure because apparently, "It's illegal"...blah, blah, blah ... all those Laws!)
Tip of the Day: I get so used to looking at Blue Prints and House Plans that you forget that not everyone is as familiar with the territory, so if you are relatively new to this area, here's a good thing to check when you are on the Internet or flipping through a Book looking at House Plans. Right after you've checked whether you like the General Style of the House, and the House Size (square feet), check to see the Length and Width of the House. You might be very surprised at how wide a House is, and it won't fit on the Lot you have already purchased or plan to buy. Most City Lots are under 45' Wide, so you really have to watch out for that. Many Lots are under 35' Wide, now, so then you really, really need to see what you can up with that you like and will fit on the Lot.
It's a lot of fun to look through House Plans -- I love the On-line Stores, and you can save thousands and thousands of dollars by purchasing your House Plans online (or through a Book), than to have them Custom Drawn. This house was Custom, because I designed it, but the next Build will either be one of the House Plans I found in a House Plan Book Cara got me a couple of years ago, or I'll reconfigure this house (because this is my all-time favorite home!) to fit on a City Lot. That would need to be a very big Lot, though, because this house is 136' Long and about 42' Wide. (It's a 5400 square foot Walk-Out Bungalow, fully developed...) I could move the Triple Car Garage so it could be rotated to make an L-shape, which would save some space. And I could maybe make this house into a Two-Storey, so the Bedrooms would be Upstairs... you can move things all around on any Set of House Plans -- it just takes a little imagination and lots of cash to pay for the Architect's Fees to create the changes! ha,ha!
Okay, I have to go clean up the house and get the meal ready for tonight! Hopefully, Dwight will get home before his Guests Arrive! Once, in a previous relationship (!), I gave a Dinner Party, and the person who wanted to have the Party swung by a Strip Joint on his way 'home' (not My home...), and showed up half way through the meal. Yes, that wasn't very good planning... and one of the many reasons I'm married to Dwight, now! ha,ha,ha! "For now", I should have said, since one of my favorite things to call Dwight when he annoys me is, "My Current Husband..."! ha,ha,ha! He laughs, too, so it's okay!
Let me go get some nice pictures for you! Be right back!
Finally, I have some pictures of the Master Bedroom... You can see the Interior Window that looks through to the Sunroom, which is just off the Master, and there are gorgeous Double French Glass Doors leading into the Sunroom. I just took some new shots of that, so I'll see if I can get them on the Site, tomorrow.
Can you see all the 'Throw Pillows' on the Bed? Contrary to what they said in 'Along Came Polly', Throw Pillows look great on your Bed, and really dress it up. I've chosen all muted colors for this room, because they are relaxing and pleasant, just what you want in a bedroom. There's an 11 foot Vaulted Ceiling in all three of the Bedrooms Upstairs, which I think realy makes the Rooms feel airy and open. The Master Closet and Ensuite have the 11' Vault, too -- very nice!
Thank you for popping in for a little visit! Go do something fun, today!
Love & Laughs, Ailsa!!
Great Freebies! ** To Top
Financial Prayer -- Man, this is totally workin' for me!! And I want it to work for you, too! And everyone else you add into this little Prayer! Makes me want to throw up my hands and shout, "Thank you, Jesus!" ha,ha!
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Wednesday, July 21st, 2004. Hey, HEY, Hey! How you doin', ta-day?? I woke up this morning thinking about that little Financial Prayer I got from a friend of mine, yesterday, that I put on the Site. That's the fun thing about having your own Site -- you can add anything you want, any time you want...very nice, very noice, as Bernie Mac would say! ha,ha! So I thought of a few things, but one thing is that I'm going to read that Prayer on my Site every morning for a month, and see what happens. Can't hurt, and with any luck, my Readers will do the same (and will click on the Ads...!), then we'll see how we're all doing by September. What do you think? I say it's worth a shot!
So one of the other things that I was thinking about was that we could create some sort of a 'Money Pool' so we could gather up our money and then one Reader a Month, or something (it would depend on how long it took to raise the money...) could get enough for a Down Payment on a House, or a good amount to get their House Renovations done if they already owned their own house. I've mentioned the idea of getting together with a Group of Friends or Co-Workers, Church Members ... any Group that you know well and trust, and pool your money so you can get the funds together faster for a Down Payment on Your Own Place.
Now, what are we but a big group of Friends, right? You pop in and Read my Daily Update every day, and from your letters, I can tell we're pretty much on the same wave length, so maybe there's something we can all become involved with that can either get you the money you need, or go towards someone else to get their lives in order. I'll have to flesh it out, to see how I cWhat if the money came in to my Business, then MY BUSINESS were to Give the Money Away to one lucky Reader... I wonder if that would work? ould administer it, but I'm thinking it would have a base where each person who wanted to be involved could send in a Check for, say, $10.00, then we would see how long it would take to get the Fund up to $10,000., (the average amount of a Down Payment in the $100,000. House Price Range), then I could put all the names of people who sent in their money into a 'pot', so-to-speak, and Draw one out to see who would receive the Down Payment Money. If it worked out well enough, maybe we could do a Draw every Month...
The problem, of course, is how do you do that where it isn't a lottery, it's just people pooling their money? And I wonder how much work that would be for me? I would have to include some sort of administration fee, or it could be included... see how I have to give this some more thought? But that's how these things come into being, and all because of that little Prayer. I was considering all this stuff, this morning, and had to quickly get up and write it down. And what if we had two versions -- one with $100., one with $10., where you're Name would go directly on a List with the $100. one, and that money would add up a whole lot faster (depending, again, on how many Readers were involved...), then each person from the List would receive the 'Pooled Money' a whole lot faster. Hmmm. What do you think?
So tricky, but worth thinking about to see if we could swing that. The idea of doing this with your Friends involves putting in a whole lot more money a month -- say $250. or $500. each, put your Names in a Hat and when you have enough money for one of you to use as a Down Payment, that person gets it, but they have to guarantee that they'll continue to put money into the hat for a certain amount of time -- that's where the idea falls down, since once someone has received the money they needed, they will then want to 'move on' (literally and figuratively), and won't want to (or be able to) contribute to 'The Fund' anymore.
Let me get out my trusty Calculator to see how many people we would have to have 'contribute' before this could work... Okay, for the $10. thing, we would need 1000 Readers to 'Contribute' to get the $10,000. Down Payment Money, and for the $100. thing, we would need 100 Readers to pull their money to get to the $10,000. mark. Hmmm... can you smell the smoke from me brain?? ha,ha,ha! And how would Taxes figure into this? Man, no wonder Financial Advisors make a lot of money! ha,ha! I'm not a Non-Profit Agency, just a girl with a website ... (you know what I mean...!), so I don't think we could work it like a Donation. And a 'Contribution' would surely be taxed up the waazzoo, especially here in lovely Canada... What to do, what to do?
Well, you can see I'll have to pray on this a little more, but if you have any ideas, drop me a line, and maybe we can work this out, together. Me and my New Friends! I wasn't going to tell Dwight about this, because he always 'boohoos' every new idea I have before I have a chance to see it through, but in this case, I could use his Financial and Business Advice, plus, maybe his Accountant can point us in the right direction, or steer us away from the wrong one!
Tip of the Day: Create your own Down Payment Fund, or Renovation Fund, or a Fund for whatever you might need it for. Money accumulates a lot faster when you have a Real Plan to follow. Set up a Separate Account where 'The Plan' money can live. And I say 'Live', because this is money that will change your life, either by allowing you to Buy Your Own Home, or do the work you need to do for the Up-keep on your Current Home, or after that is all done, it can be your source of Security, so you won't need to worry about what will happen to you or your family, should something, God Forbid, happen that puts you in financial straits. Put in what you can afford from each Check per Month, or Once a Month.
My favorite way to Manage Money is to learn how to Live on the First Pay Check in the Month, then Save the Second Check. It's a good place to be, but it takes a lot of work to get there. And there are times in your life when the 'Second Check' will be needed for something else (like Building a House!), where you know you will be making money on the Item you are spending on, so in this case, it's more of an Investment than just strictly a whole pile of Purchases. Of course, you have to actually Sell the House to take the Profit out of it, to re-invest in the next Property, but that's another Topic for some other day. I think I have that on my Real Estate Page... Oh, and if you are in a 'Two-Income' Household, make a Concerted Effort to live off only One Income, then try to Save as much as you can from the Second Income. Worth a try, right?
Let me go see what pictures I have for you, today!
Here's my sweet little Tia! This is her waiting outside my Office Door...
My Home Office is all Glassed in, which I love, and I hardly ever have to close the door (to make a call or something -- my Office is Sound-Proofed when the Door is closed), but no matter where she is in the house, the second I close the door, I have a small dog and a small boy standing at the door waiting to get in! Same thing when I'm in my Ensuite Bathroom in my Bedroom -- whenever I open that door, Aidan and Tia tumble in, having waited outside for me! Soooo funny! Ah, it's good to be 'popular'! ha,ha,ha!
See You Tomorrow! Save a little Money, today! ha,ha!
Love & Laughs, Ailsa!!
Great Freebies! ** To Top
Financial Prayer -- Just in case you feel you need a little Boost!
Tuesday, July 20th, 2004. Hi, Honey! You're Home, again! And it's always so nice to see you! Man, is that a Poncho you're wearing? They never go out of style -- especially the ones with the Floral Designs -- they'se goiiiigeous! And the whole 'One Size Fits All' really works, too! ha,ha,ha!
I've been busy this morning working on my new Financial Prayer Page -- it's in no way what I was going to work on, this morning (now there's a big surprise that I've been side-tracked once again! ha,ha,ha!), but I thought if this is something you're into, and it helps anyone out at all, then why not? I'm a big believer in the Power of Prayer -- God Knows (literally!) that I could never have gotten through some of the dreadful things that have happened in my life had I not had Prayer in my life, so why not pass that along, right? Did I tell you I used to desperately want to be a Nun? Yep. Mostly for the Flying, since The Flying Nun was my favorite Show, and I was pretty sure I could Fly, anyway -- it seemed like the perfect Profession for me -- except that I'm not Catholic... details, details! ha,ha,ha!
Once I leapt off the top of some really high bleachers (because my sister said she had already done it, and of course, I already firmly believed I could fly, too...and we were 4 & 5 at the time...I was 4!), and went straight on down to the ground. Schmack! My parents rushed me to the doctor's, and he gave me this Giant Lollipop, so it all worked out well in the end. And never forgot not to jump off Bleachers, again...! ha,ha! The things you can do when you just Believe, eh? Funny! I still take flying leaps like that, but mostly in the Business and Relationship Sectors! yuf, yuff! (Hey, is that how you spell 'Bleachers'? I've been doing the Laundry all morning, and I'm busy thinking about Bleach! ha,ha! Is it 'Bleechers'? No, that loks silly -- and wouldn't you know it -- I don't even have time to check my Dictionary right here on my desk!)
Anyway, check out the Prayer if you're into that -- I hope it brings you closer to the Financial Life you want to lead, orkeeps you where you already are in your current Success.
Dwight told me last night that we're having a Dinner Party on Thursday -- good to know in advance! I'm gonna need to pop into Costco to pick up some Cakes and Pies -- they have the best Bakery around. And they're all the same, so if you ever see their Strawberry Cheescake or their Lemon Cake, go get youse some! No kidding -- they're both delicious. And Calorie Free, as far as I'm willing to admit...! ha,ha,ha!
Okay, I have to get going! See You Later, and I'll get you some pictures of the Stampede Breakfast!
That's Aidan getting a Horse Ride -- lots of fun! "YeeHaw! Ride 'em, Cowboy!", Aidan always shouts when he's on a Horse -- or the Riding Lawn Mower! ha,ha,ha!
And there's Cara and her Best Friend, Jenise, along with Aidan in front of the Giant Stampede Breakfast in Okotoks, the little Town we live 7 minutes from! It's always a great turn-out, and everything is Free, so it's a very nice Community Event.
Love and Laughs, Ailsa!!
Financial Prayer -- Just in case you feel you need a little Boost!
Great Freebies! ** To Top
Monday, July 19th, 2004. Yo, yo, yo! What up wit' mah Homies? It's been a while since I've referred to My Lovely Readers in a semi-gang kind of way! ha,ha! We're like the type of Gang you want to see coming toward yo' house -- with hammers, saws, a few cans of paint... all ready to fix the place up, right?! ha,ha! Well, Cara's Play is over (Yippee! That was a whole lot of work!), so now we can sit back and start enjoying our Summer -- right after Cara finishes her Summer School Math Course (so she'll have yet another Grade 11 Course under her belt -- that'll make things easier if we do a big move during the School Year...). Ah, well. The Summer is a good time to get some Course-Work behind you, since it still feels a little bit more leisurely than pretty much any Course-Work during 'the Regular Year', for some reason!
Cara and I are watching a re-run of Ellen, since she missed them the first time around, and The Rock is on this Show... he just said he weighed 140 pounds when he was 8, and that's more than what Dwight weighs, now... that ain't good, when there are 8 year olds out there who weigh more than yer husband! Ugh. I think I told you that Dwight won the 'Guess My Weight' Game at the Calgary Stampede, last week. We have no idea why Dwight has lost so much weight, but he refuses to go to the doctor, and he's like a reformed anything, where all of a sudden, they're all 'Holier-than-Thou' about whatever they have 'given up' or conquered. Very annoyink, if you happen to still enjoy doing whatever has become the new thing they are vigilant about...
So now we have this whole thing where Dwight watches what everyone eats, and 'can't understand how anyone could not eat whatever they want...'. Seriously -- he was going on about that last night, when they had a segment on the News about the Low-Carb Products maybe becoming less popular in the near future. I hope they always have Low-Carb Products on the Market, and I'm thrilled to see all the Useful Consumer Information on the side of the Package of so many Food Items. I lok forward to the day when that information of the amount of Carbs, Fat and Trans-Fat is on every single item of food (except for Fruits & Veggies, of course!). One thing that drives me up the wall and that I find particularly useless for folks who are really trying to watch their weight (ME!) is the Package Label that says 45 grams of Carbs for every 45 gram Serving of the Product.
Okay, 'The Product' is Red Licorice (the Giant Ones!), which I am very fond of! But I like (and need!) to be an informed Consumer (and I mean 'consumer' quite literally! ha,ha,ha!), so I was reading the package label on the weekend, and it's very unclear how many grams of carbs there are in Each Piece, which is what I wanted to know. I'm telin' ya, you need to be a mathematician to figure it out, and that's not fair to the consumer, when they are roaming through their Cupboards at night, trying to find a wee something to have for a snack that won't make them balloon right out... you know what I mean!! ha,ha! (Dwight doesn't, but you do, since my best guess is that you have some compassion for other folks who aren't completely Perfect...!)
So I had to do some math to come up with how many Pieces of Licorice I could have (I'm not ludicrously strict with this, but I like to keep anything within moderation -- liquor excluded, of course -- ha,ha,ha! Turned out that Two Pieces aren't too bad...). I had to find the Total Amount of Grams per Package (which was annoying because it took a while to find that info...), then divide that by the Number of Pieces of Licorice per Package. That left me with 20.83 grams per piece, or 41.6 grams for two pieces (which is what I wanted...). The Package said it was '38 grams of Carbs per every 45 gram Serving'. That ended up being 35.2 grams of carbs for two pieces, but 38 grams for two pieces and a bit... now who has two pieces and a bit? I just want the info to be clear and easy to read, and you shouldn't have to go find your calculator before you have a little snack...! Maybe some Manufacturers are Reading, today, and they'll make the changes for everyone except for Dwight, who doesn't ever read the side of any package! (Unless it's for, say, Mutual Funds! ha,ha!)
Tip of the Day: Since this has turned out to be mostly about 'knowing what you're getting', here's a little Real Estate Tip for you. Our Landscaping guy, Ron, was over on the Weekend, and he has a Real Estate Story that is terrible for him, but a good warning for all of us. Ron went through a Realtor, and like everyone else, thought he would get good, reliable Service. Instead, he got a big pain in the shirt and is still dealing with this problem a whole year later... His Realtor Sold his House, and Ron was all moved out and thought the Sale was going through as planned, when he got the call to say the Sale didn't go through -- within 24 hours of the Sale. Now, that can happen, but when it does, the Buyer has to forfeit their Deposit, which on Ron's Property should have been at least $60,000., since his Property was in the High $600 Grand Range. His Realtor initially accepted only $5,000. dwn, which is ridiculous on a house that price, so Ron had to make the Realtor request at least $25 Grand down.
You'd think that would be enough of a hassle to have to tell the Realtor how to do their job, and insist on it being done (sometimes you really have to watch that, and remember that you're NOT their pal, and this is a Business Transaction, and has to be dealt with accurately and professionally). For Ron, it got much worse. Not only was he now in his new place, but the two Realtors in charge had allowed the Buyers to Purchase another Property, with NO PENALTY for cancelling their deal with Ron. No, no, no. Ye canny do that! The Buyer's Realtor should have made it abundantly clear to the Buyers that if they renegged on their deal with Ron, they would have to forfeit their Down Payment -- that's the Rule. And the other Realtor should have made that very clear to the Buyer's Realtor before happily Signing it off. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
So here's the thing -- you always have to be on the look-out for yourself. Unfortunately, everyone thinks they have hired a professional, and they'll know the rules, but sometimes they either don't know the rules, or think they can get around them, or fool their Clients into thinking the rules don't apply to them. The $25 Grand in question for Ron's place still is in limbo, which is crazy, and I'm sure those Realtors didn't even get a wrap on the knuckles. That's one of the many reasons we always sell on our own. We like to know exactly what's happening, and we do that by having Direct Contact with the Buyer and most importantly, with Our Real Estate Lawyer. You can request Direct Information from your Realtor, too -- no need to feel intimidated -- you're paying plenty for their Services, and they are working for YOU -- not the other way around. It's no big deal to have confirmation that the Down Payment Money has been Paid, and the correct amount is in the Account with the Lawyer.
Here are a few more pictures form Cara's Performance at Bard at The Big Rock, Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, just outside of Okotoks, Alberta. It was a great Performance -- even in the middle of a Heat Wave!
I made a whole page just for The Bard at The Big Rock, so you can click on it to see more pictures, if you like!
Thanks for swinging by for a wee visit!
Go do something Fun, today! See you tomorrow! Ailsa!!
Man, I love those Wave Petunias -- have you picked any of those up, yet, this year? They're fabulous -- they just keep on growing and growing -- even in bad weather conditions, which is very helpful for me out here in The Prairies! ha,ha!
Great Freebies! ** To Top
It's The Weekend! WooHoo! July 17th & 18th, 2004. Funny how excited we can get just over Two Days, ain't it?? But they're two fancy days when you get to do what you want, and not have to hassle with a commute, except to places you actually WANT to go to, right?? ha,ha! See how important we value our Freedom? No wonder I crave a little more of that for myself, but that's a whole other Story...! So, Welcome In, Honey-Cakes! Banana Dumpling! Hey, what exactly is a 'Dumpling', anyway? I've forgotten, but it doesn't really sound 'light and airy', does it? That doesn't sound like a good description of you -- maybe 'My Little Cupcake' is better... What's that? You don't like that, but now you're hungry and need to go grab a snack? ha,ha!
Hey, you know what new snack I just tried was? Those Rice Krispie Caramel & Chocolate Bars. I make Rice Krispie Treats for the kids (and Dwight -- the largest kid in the house -- also the oldest, coming in at 45...!) whenever Aidan cajoles me into it, but that's the first time I had bought the Caramel Bars. I've only had one, but it was a tasty wee treat and very low in fat (about 3.2 grams per Bar, which is very good), so if you are watching what you eat (not in a weird way, of course!), these are good to try. I bought the ones with the Rainbow Chips in them for Cara and Aidan, but they don't hold the same appeal for me as the Caramel Chocolate ones do! Oh, and I got a bag of thoses Cadbury Chocfuls, too -- I find I still need a wee something for a treat, and they fit the bill, so that's good. It's a Moderation thing, and not a Denial thing that works for most people when they are keeping an eye on their weight. I just like to pass along stuff that works for me, and maybe you'll try it and it'll work for you or someone you love, too!
You know what I didn't have time to get into on Friday's Update? We had that crazy Rain & Hail Storm in Calgary on Thursday night, and a lot of homes were Flooded, many of them because of those annoyink Window Wells. Those things drive me up the wall, but they are often necessary if you have a Window that comes below the Ground Level of your Basement. Some nut put one in out here at this house on one of the few days when I wasn't on the jobsite, and when I came out and saw it, I had Dwight fill it in completely and tamp down the ground. It was completely unnecessary, since the Window was above the Ground Level, and the area around that window gently slopes away from the house specifically to allow the rain to flow away from the house, then Dwight has put in a fairly fancy Drainage System outside of the Walk-Out Level, so everything is very safe for water around here.
Tip of the Day: If you have a Window Well (those metal things around a basement window), make sure when the weather is nice that you have proper drainage from it. Most New Home Builders are very careful with putting in Drainage Pipes and lots of Gravel in them and attached to them, but if you have an older home, be sure that you don't suffer Water Damage by the Window Well clogging and filling up with water, which can be too much weight for the Window to manage, then the water will come into the house, and you don't want that.
You know how I would manage that? I don't know if this is the technical way (I talked to Dwight about it, but he was really droning on and on, so I decided just to tell you my idea! ha,ha!), but I would have three pipes with holes in them (Weeping Tile) put into a trench in front of the Window Well. I would cut three holes in the Well Metal, and put a mesh covering over each hole -- fine enough mesh that water can get through it, but not dirt. The reason I would put three pipes in instead of one is because if one pipe happens to fail (because debris gets stuck in it and causes the water to fill up in the Window Well), that still would leave you with two other possible exits for the water. Those seem like better Odds to me! And at the very least, put a good solid layer of gravel in the Base of the Window Well to help the Water drain away.
Oh, and have you seen all the Coverage on Martha Stewart? Man, that's a scary thing for women, because it looks to me more like a warnign not to get 'too big for yer britches' to me, since she clearly doesn't belong in a Jail. What is the deal with some folks getting angry with people who have managed to work hard enough to do well in life? Isn't that the Big Goal? That's a rampant attitude in some whole Countries, but I never would have thought that would happen in The States -- the Home of All Freedom, in my mind. Now the bizarre thing about this is that maybe this experience will lead Martha in a whole new direction, and maybe we'll see her make some significant improvements in the Legal and Penal Systems. Sometimes a horrible situation leads to a new understanding of an old problem. Martha Stewart is just the kind of 'go-getter' we might need to make those big corrections.
Aidan and I went to see Cara'a Play, Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing (The Bard at The Big Rock), and it was great! Aidan, on the other hand, was not-so-great... so the next Performance I go to, I will leave Aidan at home with Dwight (sounds like a column that Dwight might write, but it would be considerably shorter, due to the main facts that Dwight doesn't like the computer, and he hates writng, so for now it'll stay 'At Home With Ailsa'! ha,ha,ha!). I missed whole sections of the Play running after Aidan and getting him to be quiet, which was virtually impossible. We did score some great Fold-up Camp Chairs, though, from Canadian Tire -- for only $9.99, and they came with a carry bag, to, so that was handy!
Here are some pictures of Cara's 'Bard at The Big Rock' Production of Shakespeare's
Much Ado About Nothing.
Cara played the part of Margaret, and she's the one in the Green Outfit. The Costumes are great, too, and the Setting is beautiful, in front of the Mountains. It was a little hazy because the weather was sooo hot when Aidan and I went out, but you can see the outline of the mountains in the shot of how Aidan spent his afternoon 'Watching the Play'! ha,ha,ha!
I'm going to make a Page for The Bard at The Big Rock, so click on to see more about the Play! Oh, and Cara received 'The Key' -- it's like an Actor's Award, and it goes to the most Deserving Actor at the end of each Day. She is very, very excited about that! And I think Cara will end up in Soap Operas -- she has the talent and the looks for it (!), and she can memorize lines like you wouldn't believe! (There's no way I could ever memorize the lines that Cara does!).
The Bard at The Big Rock is on all Weekend, at 2:00 and 7:00 pm, Saturday & Sunday, at The Big Rock just outside of Okotoks on the way to Black Diamond, for any Albertans looking for a little Entertainment this weekend!
Thanks for popping in for a wee visit -- go check your Window Wells, if you have them, to keep yourself and your house nice and dry!
Do Something Fun This Weekend!
Later, Baby! Ailsa!!
What appeals to you, today?? I'm gonna go with ... Puppies! ha,ha!
Friday, July 16th, 2004. Good Morning, Dearie. My wee dear... Dear, Dear me... just a whole pile of 'old' phrases that are fun to say! ha,ha! Wouldn't it be entertaining for yourself if you were to call everyone you met, "Dearie", today? You could add an easy 40 years onto your age just by that one simple word! har, har! Well, everyone in Calgary is bailing themselves out from a major Rain and Hail Storm, last night. We're about 14 minutes from the City of Calgary to the South, so I guess that's far enough away to be in a whole other Weather System -- no kidding! So we didn't get a drop of rain, but we were all on a Tornado Watch all night, so that was pretty scary.
The worst part for me was that Cara's Play is on right now (through 'til Sunday, two Shows a day -- at 2:00 & 7:00 pm), and it's an Outdoor Performance at 'The Big Rock', so really that's a giant field with an enormous Rock in the middle of it. Not a good location when there's a Tornado Watch! So I spent the whole evening watching the skies, ready to jump in the van to go and get her, if need be. The skies were beautiful, considering that it was a Storm Watch, 'n all, but the cloud structures were amazing. I was busy looking for a long, flat cloud structure, since I think that's what a Tornado Cloud looks like. When I first moved to Calgary, I was completely freaked out by the Cloud Structure, because we get 'Chinook Clouds' that form a straight arch across the Western Sky, and, of course, I thought they were Tornado Clouds. Took me a long time to see that they really were a Good Sign of warmer air to come! Ah, well -- now I know!
Now, whenever there's a massive Rain and Hail Storm, no matter where you live, you run the risk of Flooding. I was shocked at the amount of water in Calgary when I watched to Local News, last night -- there was water in the Roadways up to the height of the SUV Windows! Can you believe that? Once that happened when I was living in L.A., and a whle Road turned almost instantly from a regular street to a raging river. Two of my great friends happened to be driving down that road at the time, and they were lucky to escape with their lives. Seriously. It was horrendous.
Tip of the Day: If you see a large amount of Water accumulating on a roadway, choose an alternate route to drive, or park your car and find somewhere safe to ride out the Storm. I think people tend to have a false sense of security when they are in their cars, and that there's every good reason to believe their car will magically hydroplane over the water. Nope. The water gets into the engine and can stall it out, then you're stuck in the middle of this brand new river, with the water rising. When that happened to my friends in L.A., they became quickly immersed in this Flash Flood, so their Car stalled out, the water rose so high that they had to climb out their Car Windows and Wait on the Roof to be rescued. One woman further down the road must have decided her best bet was to swim to safety, but the current in a Flash Flood is very strong, and very, very sadly, she wasn't able to make it. My friends tried everything they could to save her, and so did the Emergency Crews ... very sad. So don't think your vehicle can do more than it's intended to do, and stay put until someone can come and save you, if, God Forbid, you were ever to find yourself in this sort of situation.
And speaking of Advance Preparation, while we were having dinner last night, (and we have had some fantastic meals since Cara left the Freezer Door open and I had to put all that meat immediately into Marinades, so we had sooo much meat on the table, since we had to cook the rest of the meat all up, yesterday, that Dr. Atkins would have been proud! ha,ha! Dwight was having the Pork Tenderloin done in the Montreal Steak Spice Marinade, and I started with the Pork Steaks in a Greek Marinade, and Dwight takes a bite of his and says, "Ooooh, you gotta try the Tenderloin -- it just melts in your mouth!" So we had a big Feast and it was delicious, so we're not so mad at Cara, anymore! ha,ha!) we were watching the clouds get darker and darker, then the Tornado Warning came over the TV while we were watching Blind Date, the Show we watch to remind ourselves of how crappy Dating can be! (Good for married couples! ha,ha,ha!) Anyway, I said to Dwight that we really shoud have a plan for this, since we know exactly what to do in the Snow and stuff, and I know how to deal with an Earthquake, but not with a Tornado.
We finally decided our best bet would be to go to the Gift Wrapping Room on the Lower Level. It's the only room with no windows, it's towards the back of the house on the Lower Level, and it seemed like the best location. I gathered up some Emergency Supplies, just in case, and took them down to the Room. Aidan helped me carry stuff down (mostly, he likes to carry the Flashlights!), and I brought a bunch of Water. It's funny that when you live in an Area that is prone to a Flash Disaster, everyone has an Emergency Kit in their Homes and Cars, but up here, we realy don't have to think about that very much -- I prepare for bad weather in the Winter by buying tons of food that I store away like an over-sized squirrel (!), so we never run out of something to eat, even in a series of Snow Storms! Well, we're all ready, now, but it's wise to come up with a Plan that everyone in the Family can quickly follow, just in case.
Oh, hey! Did I tell you I made a whole new Skin Care Page? Yep! All my favorite 'tricks and tips' (sounds like something you might find on 4th Avenue of pretty much any city! ba-dump-bump! ha,ha!) for Skin Care. Check it out, and pass it along to anyone you think might benefit from the information, please! I like stuff that is effective and inexpensive, so that's what I advocate. Plus, it's all tried and true, so you don't have to feel like a little guinnea pig checking to see if any of it'll work! However, most likely you will still enjoy running on that giant circular running device in your cage...and everyone loves shredded newspaper...! ha,ha,ha!
All right, let me go get you some nice pictures ... be right back!
Here's a quick peek at my kitchen -- this Island is fabulous! and the Double Dishwashers are essential!
Thanks for coming in for a little visit! See you on The weekend!
Later, Baby! Ailsa!!
Hey, guess what? I got a wee note, this morning from one the fellows at this Company (GoToMyPC -- his name is Aydin, and surprisingly enough, I really like his name! Plus, they're located in Santa Barbara, one of my favorite possible future locations to buy some Land!) -- they have a little Contest on for their Affiliate Members (that's ME!) so I could win a wee prize if I had even Ten of my Readers sign up for their Free Service. It's perfect for the Summer, too, since you're more likely to be travelling, and this let's you connect to your own home computer. I wish I had known this before our big vacation last summer!
Thursday, July 15th, 2004. YaaHoo, Cowboys ... and Cowgoils! Or as Aidan says, "YaaHoo, Ride 'em Cowboys" whenever Dwight takes him on the Riding Lawn Mower (get them to love it early, so they'll help you later, if only for the good childhood memories -- and $50 Bucks! Those kids -- they ain't cheap!) or for a Horse Ride! And speaking of kids who cost their parents a lot of money, Cara accidentally left the Freezer Door open -- the Upright Freezer out in the Garage. I went out there while the Appraiser was here, today, to see what kind of easy dinner I could make because I was exhausted from all my Cleaning and Driving Duties of the day (Dwight called me in the morning to say the Appraiser would be here at 5:00 pm, and I already had a whole day planned, so I had to race madly around the house cleaning the whole thing. Good thing I got a head start, yesterday...
Anyway, I thought I would just pop out to the Garage Freezer where I keep most of the meat and stuff, and the Freezer door was askew -- by about 4 inches. Cara had gone out yesterday afternoon to get a loaf of bread, and hadn't bothered her shirt to look behind her whn she closed the Freezer door, so another loaf of bread happened to tumble out of the door and wedged itself between the shelves, preventing the door from closing. Had she taken an extra second to look around to make sure the door had completely closed, I wouldn't have had a huuuuge mess on my hands, and wouldn't have lost so much food. I was not a happy camper, to say the least. Good thing she was down at the Stampede Grounds having lots of fun, because it would have been a whole lot of work for her, here...
So of all the things, I had to empty the stuff out of the Freezer while the Appraiser was here -- he and Dwight were actually in the garage by then, and I'm muttering away to myself, "Ugh... Teenagers...!" (That sort of thing...), so I had to explain what had happened. Annoyink! So it turned out that I lost a whole pile of the food, but some of the meat was still half frozen, so I had to quickly put all the different types of meat into whatever Marinade I thought would be good, so we ended up having this much fancier meal than I ever would have imagined earlier in the day while I was cleaning! I had to do a Rosemary Marinade for all the Flank Steak (man, that stuff is expensive these days, ain't it??), a Greek Marinade for the Giant Pork Loin Chops, and our favorite BBQ Montreal Steak Spice Marinade for the Pork Loin Roasts.
Dwight said he was going to barbeque it all, but I said just to cook all the Flank Steak (I always buy in Bulk, then carefully separate it out so I have meals for a month without too much thinking... which worked for me until today...), and we'll cook all the Pork Loin tomorrow. If only we could think of someone to invite -- must get out the Phone Book! ha,ha! And the irony is that even Cara won't be having dinner with us, tomorrow, because her Play is on... it The Bard at the Big Rock, and it runs from now 'til Sunday -- drop me an email if you're in the Calgary Area and you want to go see it -- it's just outside of Okotoks.
We ended up really enjoying our dinner -- massive amounts of Veggies, too, since they had all thawed out. Most of them I had to throw out, and a whole pile of other stuff, too, so I had to talk to Cara about it when she came home. All I want is an apology and a clear understanding of why you have to watch what you're doing... that doesn't seem that hard, does it? Hmmmm... some days it seems like I'm trying to convey that message to Dwight, Aidan , Cara, and the Dog, Tia! Ah, well. Maybe tomorrow will be better, and frankly, Tia was very excited that we had sooo much meat, tonight! ha,ha! It's an ill-wind for a wee dog!
Tip of the Day: Well, hopefully you won't have to make all those Meat Marinades all on the same day like I had to, today, but Marinades are a great thing to have up your sleeve when you're cooking. If you don't regularly use them, now, maybe consider trying one the next time you're going to have a Barbeque. The Base is always the same -- 1/3 Cup Vinegar to 2/3 Cup Vegetable or Olive Oil. Just add in some Greek Seasoning (you can find it at the Grocery Shop), some Basil and a little Lemon Juice. I put whatever meat I am Marinating in a Giant Freezer Bag, then just pour the mixture into the bag, seal it and shake it around a wee bit, then pop it into the Fridge until you're ready to cook it. Soooo easy. And then soooo tasty!
Use the same 1/2 to 2/3 ratio of Vinegar to Oil and add whatever other Spices you might happen to like. It's the easiest scheasiest way to get the meat prepared for dinner. And if you don't BBQ, just pop the meat in the Oven at 350 Degrees for whatever amount of time cooks it thoroughly. I usually time this by going to the Sunroom to have a cup of tea and hopefully read a little, and by the time I remember I've been cooking something, it's ready, but this is a non-scientific approach, and it only works when Dwight is Mr.BBQ, or I'm cooking something in the oven... and no one ever leaves me alone in the Sunroom for any amount of time -- no wonder I can never get any reading in! ha,ha,ha!
I'll try to get some new pictures -- be back in a bit!
Here I am! We went to a Stampede Breakfast that Dwight's Business supports (at Silver Dollar Casino where Dwight does a lot of work...), this morning, and it was a lot of fun. We've been going every year -- this was my 8th year...), so it's fun to see how big the kids are, now! That's always shocking (and a bit of a Reality Check!) when you see a kidlet when they are 8, then don't see them again for what doesn't seem all that long to you, and they are in their Twenties! Man! There's NO WAY I can be that old! ha,ha,ha! Ah, well -- I'm young at heart, and I want to match how I feel, thus the healthy living! Chocolate & Liquor have Anti-Aging Properties, don't they?? har, har!
This is a beautiful Rainbow we had last week after some pretty crazy afternoon Rain Showers. I took these from the Front Door and from Aidan's Room -- now there's a Room with a View, right?? You can just spot a part of the paved driveway in the first picture, but I go get you some really good shots of the new driveway, as soon as I remember!
Okay, better get going! Thanks for popping in, today!
See ya' tomorrow -- and make sure all the doors close behind you -- which reminds me of one of Dwight's lovely, lovely phrases... "Don't let the door hit you on the &** on the wy out the door...!" Really, he saus it all the time -- I think he just enjoys saying it! Mens -- you can't sell them! (Legally...! ha,ha,ha!)
This seems like a good mix! ha,ha!
Great Freebies! ** To Top
Wednesday, July 14th, 2004. Hello, hello, hello! I hope you're having a fabulous day, so far, and who knows what'll happen later, eh? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink... say no more! (A little Monty Python for you, bright and early! ha,ha,ha!) No, no ... a good portion of my 'Audience' (that's you!) is married, so I'm pretty sure nothing like that'll happen -- chances are much higher that you'll maybe do some gardening (not a euphanism, sadly enough...!), or maybe catch a little TV... it's an exciting life, all right! Ah, well. Contentment has it's upsides... which reminds me of something a Psychic said to me years ago (the first one I ever went to, the day before I met Dwight -- wonder how much influence that had on my interest in Dwight? Hmmmm...) Anyway, she had said I would have a speedy Proposal and would be very CONTENT, but she didn't say I would be Happy. Is it possible to be content without actually being happy? I suppose I'm living proof...
That's something that I used to think about all the time -- "I'm content, but am I truly happy?", and the answer to myself (see how lonely I am up here, chatting away with myself about Universal Questions?? ha,ha!) was always, "No., or "Uhm, well, I guess not...", then I would be distracted by some small child and not have any more time to think... I know I love the House, which I feel very attached to (so I wonder how attached I will feel when this house is sold...), which really makes me a 'HouseWife', since I maybe feel more married to the house than to my spouse -- at least sometimes -- say, from 8:00 - 4:00! ha,ha! Anyway, it's a little weird when you have everything you're supposed to want all your life, which technically makes you content, but here I am, a little malcontent! Go figure!
I'd feel a lot better if I had made the decision all by myself to live here in the first place -- I wanted to return to L.A. after my stooopid Divorce went through back in 1995 -- man, that seems like a long time ago, now! That option wasn't given to me, though, because of assinine custody laws, so Calgary it was. I had to make the decision that this would have to work, since I'd be here for such a long time (Cara was 6 when all that happened, and now she's 16). That raises those old issues again about how much I've given up over the years for my children -- pretty much everything. I have no regrets about that, of course, because the safety and happiness of your child is paramount for any parent, but I look at it now and wonder if this is the time for a bigger change. Such a hard call.
If I stay here, we could continue Building and I would very much enjoy that, but living in Calgary doesn't allow me to pursue my Writing Career or my Teaching Career, either, to any great degree. This Site is great for maintaining my writing skills, but it's not moving in the direction I was hoping for... but thanks to my Big Supporters for your efforts -- I always appreciate that. I would be trading off a relatively easy life of leisure that has allowed me the time to learn how to use the computer and get this Site off the ground, and affords me the time to devote to this Site, since I treat it like a Full-Time Job, but because that time and effort doesn't result in any sort of reasonable income, I would soon be going back to a regular job.
It's tough to say if I should just keep slogging away at this, and see where I am six months or a year from now, or just bite the bullet and head back into the Workforce. Gone would be the hope of an Afternoon Nap (I never get to have one, but I do relish the possibility of having one if there was ever an opportunity!). I'm not sure why this has become a big stumbling block for me, but it has -- I think 'The Nap' must represent the level of Freedom I have here, in regards to my schedule. And I wonder how much Freedom I would actually have if I were to move and go back to Work? What if I'm being delusional about how much fun it'll be to be around real adult humans, again?? Stoopid memory -- wish it would work a little better for me! ha,ha,ha!
Well, I guess I'll need to make up my mind pretty soon about what I'm gonna do -- nothing is ever as cut and dried as it seems, especially from the outside. It would be good if you could make a 'partial decision', so that you could turn back and try the old route, again, but often once a new path is chosen, that be it! You gots ta' live with the consequences. I keep thinking that maybe my ambivalence is indicative of something, but I don't want it to be, so I'm carefully ignoring it, and pushing those feeling aside, in favor of the idea of a New Life, whatever that may be. Man, must read Illusions, again -- I always read that whenever I find myself at a crossroads, and methinks I am there right now!
Once again, that's not anywhere near what I was planning to write about -- I happened upon a book at the Library -- pure chance -- about Dentistry, so I'll tell you about that tomorrow -- unless I accidentally end up on yet another tangent!
Tip of the Day: See if you can spend the next week just following wherever life is leading you -- I know, that sounds a little 'hippi-ish', but seriously, it's a funny thing where you might be led that you had no notion of at the beginning of the day, week, month, year ... or in my case, decade! ha,ha! (Just a wee bit slow, I guess! ha,ha,ha!) I've been conscious of doing this for the last few months, and it has been an interesting ride. This book on Dentistry at the Library is something I might have glanced at with interest, before, but because of this new 'Follow the Big Leader' thing, I went ahead and picked it up and read it. Fascinating, and just what I needed to read. Hey, it's worth a try -- don't do anything intensely stupid, of course -- I'm pretty sure that's not what is intended by that 'Follow the Leader' thing -- "Why, I was thirsty, and then I saw this Bar, so I went in, and wouldn't you know it, they were serving Beer... and then I looked across the room and through blurry eyes, I saw a sheep..." No. Not a sheep... they don't let Farm Animals in bars (very often), but I thought maybe there are a few Engineers in our Audience, and there's nothing they like better than a cheap sheep joke! ha,ha,ha!
Here are some nice Bathroom shots -- you can see that we really like large Tiles -- they look fantastic. The secret is to Tile all the way up to the Ceiling. And when you are going around a Fancy Jet-Tub, go up a little higher (about a foot higher than the 'old days'!) for a nice high-end Finish.
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That'a Double Tub -- technically, room for three people, but that's a whole other type of column, so we won't go there! ha,ha! We also varied the colors in the Tiles for Each Bathroom, so that the Main Bath is a fairly light color, then a bit darker in the Master Ensuite (because that room is large enough to carry that off), then darker still in the Steam Room Bathroom. And those Tiles are 24" Tiles, I think... I'll have to go measure them for you, one day! Anyway, that's Dwight standing in the Steam Room right after we finished Tiling it (all the walls are tiled, then there's a Glass Block Window and a lovely Glass Door, so lots of light can get in...), and he had just installed the Movable Showerhead. You can use this Steam Room as a giant Shower or it seats 4 for a Steam. Very nice little feature!
Thanks for swingin' by for a little visit! Did I mention you look fantastic, today? I love those Leather Chaps -- I have to assume you're trying them of for size because it's Stampede Week in Calgary, and for no other, less seemly, reason! ha,ha,ha!
See you tomorrow, Baby! Ailsa!!
Which Path are you gonna follow, today? I'm going with Magazines, because I have to get some magazines for my best friend, Greg, who is going to turn 52 on July 21st! Man, and he still looks like he's only 50... ha,ha,ha! No, Greg has a timeless look of being in his forties! It pays to be handsome, because that never gets old, so-to-speak! ha,ha,ha!
Tuesday, July 13th, 2004. Hi, Honey! Welcome Home! Come on in and leave your shoes right behind the door so no one else can get in -- that's what Dwight and Aidan do, and that technique seems to work for them! ha,ha! And here I have a special Carpet just for shoes as you come in the door, but I guess it's only for 'girl shoes', since we're the only ones who remember to use it. Ah, well. What are you gonna do? I'm doing my bit for other women out there by raising my Son to be a Good Man -- Toilet Seat Down, Flush Every Time, Be More Independent... and later I'll teach him how to do his own laundry and cook his own meals -- and then I promise to be a good 'Mother-in-Law', when the time comes (hopefully, at least another 20 years away! ha,ha,ha!).
Now, I don't have to deal with any Mothers-in-Law anymore (I've had two, just in case you're wondering about the plurality of that last line! ha,ha!), but when I did, my life (all our lives) were an absolute nightmare. Some folks are particularly difficult to be around, and often you end up married into their family -- so take the In-Law thing seriously if you are considering marrying someone with a nutty family. And with that said, go ahead and marry them anyway if you feel the marriage will work, because everyone comes with a crazy family attached, it just a matter of how your new Spouse will deal with it. Most women are very good at drawing boundaries around their new family, and if someone from 'outside' tries to hurt or harrass your Spouse or Partner, or God Forbid Your Children..., women are good at telling the offending person not to do that anymore, or just to remove that person from their lives. Often permanently, if need be.
Now a lot of men aren't quite that good at drawing boundaries. Mostly, they prefer to pretend that nothing is really going on, or their little hands are tied and there's nothing they can do about it... Yes, that's effective. Dwight and I were talking about this a while ago, and he says that the 'offending person' (my words...) would eventually just die, so why not just wait 'til then...? Hmmmm. Let's see -- Deal with the Situation as it is, or Wait for them to die... that does seem like a difficult choice. So here's a radical thought -- how's about we believe what people tell us when they say, "This is happening to me and I can't live with that anymore", and then the person whose job it is to solve the problem squeaks open their mouth and tells said offending person not to do that thing anymore, or they won't be seeing them, again. Or for a while, if the 'never again' thing is too much for them.
We ended up managing our difficult situation by Dwight just going for visits by himself. He wouldn't stand up for me, and when I tried to stand up for myself, it just got worse, so finally I had to put my foot down and say I wouldn't subject myself to that environment anymore. Of course, that didn't go over well, but clearly we were at an impass, and it was ruining our marriage (which, quite frankly, I think was the end-goal for this individual, anyway ...), so I had to take a stand. Holidays were by far the worst times of the year, since everyone is supposed to pretend that their family is somehow related to Norman Rockwell, and there's no one saying horrible things in the corner and everyone around them in tears... except for the husband, who is oblivious to the whole thing, and he's as happy as a clam (I have to assume that clams are happy -- probably extra valium in their shells, is my best bet! ha,ha!).
Oddly enough, this is not at all what I was going to talk about, this morning, but it's funny how you can get off on a tangent and just go from there -- that's part of what makes writing this little Daily Update fun -- it's whatever happens to be on my mind at any given time! Now what happens on the day when I have absolutely nothing on my mind?? That not be good, as Neanderthal Ned would say! ha,ha! I just finished Marriage Shock, last night. It was a great book, and I was going to talk about that, because there are some crucial ideas in there that could turn the tide on the vast number of Divorces, if we were all to change our old notions of what marriage is into something more workable, primarily for the 'wife', since all the husbands I know seem to be pretty happy, no matter what's going on... I love the stories of when 'the wife' is in the back room packing up all her stuff to leave, and her husband is on the phone with his buddy telling him how great everything is! ha,ha! Man, that must be a big pail of sand they have to carry around to keep their heads firmly placed in it! ba-dump-bump...
Onto the 'House Stuff"... we're getting an Appraisal on the house,this week, so Dwight says to me on his way out the door, this morning, that maybe I can clean up the house today. And last night, he said I should get Aidan's Closet cleaned up before he got home in the afternoon. Luckily, I don't have anything else to do, whatsoever -- I'm just here to clean... and that's one of the things I'd like to see changed in marriage -- you shouldn't have to turn in your White Gown for a Maid's Outfit the day you get married. WooHoo! Free Maid Service -- For Life! I'm surprised men aren't out there actively trying to get married, instead of women still being the ones who are more anxious about entering into that Institution. Anyhoooo, it looks like I have a lot of cleaning to do, today. It's easier just to do it and get it over with than have to deal with another conversation about it later.
<Win a $1000 worth of DVDs!>
Tip of the Day: When you are getting yourself ready for an Appraisal, for an Open House, or just in general, the easiest and fastest way to prepare the house is to do one room at a time. That might seem obvious, but it's easy to skip from one room to the next and it's a haphazard approach, and it feels like there's a lot more work to be done than there actually is. It's much faster to start in the Bedrooms, straighten up each one, then make your way systematically through the house. Treat it like a job, and it'll be better. I like to have the same Cleaning Products in each Bathroom -- I find that works for me because I can never remember to carry the stuff all the way to the next bathroom -- something always happens that prevents me from going from one bathroom to the next... (his name is 'Aidan'! ha,ha!). And I keep a little stack of Large Garbage Bags in the drawer of each Bathroom, too, which makes tidying up faster and easier.
I'll go get you some nice pictures -- be right back!
Here's where I'm gonna spend the rest of my day! ha,ha! We have 4 Bathrooms, so it takes a while to clean them all, and not forget what you were doing on the way to clean each one...! That's Aidan in front of the Front Entry Bath, which has an 11 foot Vault -- very nice, and an Oversized Mirror -- they all have over-sized Mirrors, especially the Master Ensuite that has a mirror that follows the line of the Vault -- very cool.
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The 'Family Bath' (really, it's the kids' bathroom) has a Jet Tub, too, because everyone wants their kids to be happy, too -- it costs a bit more than a regular Tub, but it's worth it for the children and it's good for Resale, too. I got that gorgeous Shower Curtain at Linen 'N Things -- it's one of the most beautiful Shower Curtains I'd ever seen, so I had to buy that! And then that's our Over-sized 42" Diagonal Shower -- it's fantastic! Every Shower has the Hand-Held Shower with that cool Bar that lets you adjust the height of the Showerhead.
Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! It's always lovely to see you! Thanks for leaving your shoes on the Special Little Shoe Carpet! Maybe one day we'll go mad and put them in the Closet! ha,ha!
See you tomorrow!
Go do something Fun, today, just for yourself! Ailsa !!
Oh, you know how I'm supposed to be on the lookout for a new Vehicle? And by 'New', I mean 'New to Me...!'? Well, I came across this Service, and it looks very useful, so check it out if you, too, are in the Market for a 'New to You' Car!
So that's how you spell Swarovski Crystal! That's what I just got for my Mum for her Birthday -- I got a gorgeous Crystal Brooch in the shape of a Tulip, since she loves Spring Flowers. It's a very pretty Site, so check it out when you have a minute!
Monday, July 12th, 2004. Hey, you, Good-Lookin'! How you doin'?? Did you have a fabulous Weekend? I hope so... we went down the The Calgary Stampede, yesterday, and we came home with armfuls of Prizes. Lots of fun! We totally scored at 'The Birthday Game', where you 'place your bet' on your Birth Month -- we won that twice, so Aidan got to choose whatever giant Stuffed Animal he wanted -- we were trying to get him to go for the enormous Nimo, which was very cool, but he was desperate for a Big Purple Care Bear, so that's what he got, and he says he loves it. Her name is apparently, 'Candy Bear'...hope he doesn't come home with someone with a similar name when he's in his 20's! ha,ha,ha,ha! That only works when you're Four!
So did you see The Ben Johnson Story on Saturday? Not a bad show, and at least they made it clear that steroid use was rampant in Sports (What?? I hope that's not a big shock for you! ha,ha,ha!), and they actually mentioned The East German Womens Swim Team -- remember all the jokes everyone used to make about that? What a big farce, and Ben was the easy scape-goat. And just to clarify the last line of the show, "Ben lives at home with his Mother...", his Mum does live with him, but I've been in that house many times, and the house house belongs to Ben, it's a gorgeous home in a very upscale area just outside of Toronto, and his Mum is very lovely. It's a cultural thing -- plenty of cultures have their Mums live with the family, it's just the way it is. And he has made a tremendous amount of money in his lifetime, and has invested it wisely, so he's not down and out as that last line would suggest -- why they always want to suggest that is beyond me. And Ben is an incredibly talented singer, although, I couldn't stop laughing when he sang to me -- I never was good at having someone sing to me, directly with out bursting out in laughter! Ah, well!
Hey, I just remembered -- I've actually had a song written for me in the past, too -- I'd forgotten about that! You'd think a girl would remember that sort of thing, but I was seeing a couple of fellows at the time (neither of them seriously... those crazy twenties! ha,ha!), and I only remember laughing, and being worried about how to turn down the gift that was about to follow... oh, those were the days! It would have been better if I had been able to just listen to the song normally, but that crazy sense of humor got in the way! It's very flattering, though, so if it ever happens again, I'll be sure to listen, and then laugh later. That way, at least I'll be able to hear the song! ha,ha!
I've got Tia tied up outside the Walk-Out Door, this morning, so I can see her while I'm working. We've got those 100 foot ropes with the clippy thing to connect to her collar tied to the end of the Rope, then I just put some giant knots on the other end of the rope, then I can let her out to play without worrying about her. I should make one of those for Dwight! ha,ha,ha,ha! Okay, that one was strictly for my own amusement! ha,ha! No, no. He doesn't need a rope -- I need to figure out a way where he won't be so close to me all the time! Last night after we got home from The Calgary Stampede, I was in the kitchen making my favorite Macaroni Salad, and there's a lot of Cutting and Mixing (what with the ton of veggies I love to have in that so it's nice and fresh and crunchy!) to make that meal, so I was at the Island for a long time. Dwight was standing at the Island watching me the whole time -- ugh. We have a long-standing issue with Dwight acting as my 'Supervisor', so I had to say to him to either talk to me while he was hanging around watching me work, or go find something else to do... so he moved to the other side of the Island and sat down to watch -- and that made me uncomfortable, so I forgot the Relish and the Dill Pickles...still, it was very tasty, and it's even better the next day (God Knows I always make an enormous batch of it, so it lasts for days!).
And I have to return my Books to the Library, today -- I've been slogging my way through John Updike's Rabbit at Rest, but it's taking me forever... every time I go into the Sunroom with a cup of tea, all set to read my book, Dwight finds me and sits down for a chat. That's fine (unless it's a story I've heard a million times before, then Dwight is offended when I cut to the chase and say I already know this story, does this version have a twist...?), but this is a really, really long book, so I need some serious alone-time to get through it. Now I'm past my alloted time for reading, according to the Library, so I'll take them back later. I'll need to make note of the page I'm on, then take them out again in about a week or so -- now who does that really benefit? Ah, well. Maybe that's part of the reason Libraries aren't being used as much as they used to be -- that and the advent of online Libraries, which I think are a great idea. I'll look around and see if I can find us a good link to them that we can all use!
Tip of the Day: I thought of this, yesterday, when we were down at the Stampede Fairgrounds... The next time you are going to a Fair or something like that where you might be lucky enough to win a whole pile of little and big Stuffed Animals, bring a piece of string about a foot long to tie around your Belt Loop so you can easily tie on any prize you might win. (Not the giant Stuffed Animals -- that would just be weird to tie that on your Belt! ha,ha!) Just a wee tip to leave your hands free to eat more Candy Apples and Tiny Donuts! ha,ha,ha!
Let me go grab you some new pictures! Be right back...
Here's a good little Project you can do in less than a day -- tidy up your Closet. It's amazing how different even a smaller area can look just by tidying it up and rearranging things in a better pattern. Often when you first move into a Home, you just put everything exactly how you had it in your last house, and that may or may not be the best lay-out for the Area. Sometimes taking it all apart, or cleaning it all out to re-organize your stuff will work wonders.
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So that's our Master Closet, which I love because it has an 11 foot Vaulted Ceiling with a Chandelier -- who doesn't want a Chandelier in their Closet, eh?? ha,ha! And those are my favorite Shoes, all lined up -- they don't get much wear, so I can keep them in this closet, and the rest of our shoes are out in the other closets... You can put a strip of spare Carpet or a Runner in your closet if you want to keep your shoes in there and not damage the regular carpet.
See the White Boots? Those are my Stampede Party Boots -- that's about as Western as I get, and then I have a White Cowboy Hat to go with them -- and a whole little outfit in between, of course! ba-dump-bump! ha,ha,ha!
Oh, and I finally had a minute (or two) to make my new Fitness At Home With Ailsa Page -- I've been trying to get to that for a long time, because I have some great Exercises for you to try to get (or keep...) yourself in great shape in no time at all. There are little tricks that 'The Gym Boys' showed me, that aren't done very often anywhere else, so I wanted to share those with you. And then someone will be sure to write a song for you, too -- or at least start singing to you while you're exercising! ha,ha,ha! And you'll laugh and laugh, which is also good for your system, right??
Thank you for coming in for a wee visit! I love to see you everyday, and I appreciate every little 'click' from my Readers!
See You Tomorrow! Ailsa!!
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It's The Weekend! WooHoo! July 10th & 11th, 2004. Howdy, Folks! I should have said "YaaaHooo!", because The Calgary Stampede is going on in Calgary right now. It takes over the whole city with the actual Stampede down at the Saddledome, and then there are Stampede Breakfasts and Parties for the whole 10 days ... lots of fun. Aidan had his first Horse Ride last year when we were at a Stampede Breakfast -- they almost always have Horse Rides for the kids, Pancakes and Sausages for the Breakfasts (they're all Free...), Prizes, Games... all sorts of fun things. Dwight went to a big Stampede BBQ, yesterday 'with his guys' (his Employees!), and it sounds like they had lots of Alberta Beef and a great time. Businesses put them on for all their Clients, and then there are the General Ones for everyone. I think we'll try to get down to the Fairgrounds sometime soon -- I love the Mini-Donuts and The Superdogs -- I'm easy to please! ha,ha,ha!
So I finally made it to the Bank and got my hideous old married name changed to my normal name, yesterday. I've been trying to get that name off my Credit Card for 15 years, now -- it's incredible that much time has gone by... It was my old hyphenated married name from my first horrible marriage, but the Bank wouldn't change the name on the Card because first they wanted to see proof of the Divorce (you'd think that if you produced every document except for that with my reular name on it, that would be enough, but no, they needed to see the actual Divorce Documents.
It took me 6 years to get those damn things (that was back in 1995), because my ex-husband was allowed by the Courts to keep the Case going forever -- it would still be going if the last Judge hadn't written on the Papers that this Case was not to be appealed -- can you imagine putting in an Appeal for a Divorce Case? How idiotic is that?? Assinine. And that's the nicest word I have for that whole system that allows one party to be horrible to the other one through the Court System. And that's why I feel so strongly that Divorce and Custody does not belong in the Courts.You don't go to Court to GET Married, so you shouldn't have to appear in front of a Judge to dissolve the marriage, even if one of them wants to keep it -- that's insane.
And for Custody, there shouldn't be an issue about this like there is these days -- the Mother is the one who had the kid(s), so unless she doesn't want the child(ren) or is an Addict or Abusive, she should 'get the kids'. Plus, children aren't objects 'to get' -- man, I can't stand that. And that is not in any way to say that there aren't tons of great Dads out there, but the ones who are actively fighting to take the children away from the Mother are playing a horrible game of Abuse -- and where we ever got the notion that we are soooo separate from The Animal Kingdom (now what do they do when there's a Mother Bear wandering close to humans with her Baby Bear? They close off the whole area to humans so no one is attacked, because the Mother Bear will do anything to protect her Cub -- and we're not much different when it comes to the protection and safety of our children...)? So how is it possible that the Courts can't seem to recognize that where there has been Domestic Abuse, often the Father will try to take the children as revenge against his former wife? It ain't Rocket Science, I'll tell you, but I don't see much change in the System since I was caught in it.
So that's that done, Thank God... and then I went in to see a local Pharmacist (because they know more about Drugs than anyone else...) to see if I could get some information about a safe Drug that Aidan could take before he goes in for his next Dental Visit, so he would be relaxed enough to get some more work done. It turns out that there is a drug that might be useful for Pediatric Sedation -- Chloral Hydrate, 50mg/kg of Body Weight. So now I have to go and see my Family Physician to discuss that with him to see if this would work for Aidan. You have to be really proactive with your own health and the health of your family members to get the care you want and need. I'm not one to follow blindly into anything, and a little investigation is good, then you yourself know what the real story is, right?
Tip of the Day: Be your own best Advocate. Everyone believes that when they hire a Professional to do anything, from a Lawyer to a Dentist or Doctor to a Realtor or Contractor, that they can wash their hands of any of the work, because they just hired someone else to do all the thinking and work for them. Not so. No matter what the issue at hand is, it's critical that you do your own Background Work. It'll save you a lot of time and money (depending on the issue), and if it's a negotiation thing, try The Donald Trump Way of sitting down with your 'Opponent' to see exactly what they want and try to hammer out a deal.
I did do my best to get a normal settlement with my icky ex, but the thing about people (and I use that term loosely...) who are controlling or crazy is that they never tell the truth, and the fight is what they enjoy, not the resolution, so I'm not entirely convinced that 'sitting down' technique would work in those circumstances. Worth a try, though, maybe in some very Neutral Place... and people shouldn't be able to come after the other spouse later in life well after any marriage has ended looking for more financial support -- we have a great friend who is going through this again... his ex-wife has been able to continue to go after him for more money and stuff, years after the fact. It's just a marriage -- there's nothing else that binds people like that in the eyes of the law (okay, children, but that's different...), so we need to actively get rid of these stooopid old notions that every marriage is for Life (sounds like a Sentence to me, especially if it's over...), and that it's okay for one spouse to completely ruin the other person's life because they are vindictive or just plain annoying. That's why you didn't stay with them in the first place, right?? Man, I'm on the bandwagon, today!
Oh, and speaking of inappropriate 'sentencing', that big Special is on tonight, if you're in Canada, about Ben Johnson, my old boyfriend. I hope it presents the facts, and he gets to say what he's felt for a very long time. I'm looking forward to watching it -- and I see from the Ads that his English is a whole lot better -- I used to have to do that, "Pardon me? What's that, again?" all the time whenever we had a conversation -- that was the big appeal of Dwight when I met him -- he could speak English really well (okay, relatively well... ha,ha,ha!), got all my jokes and actually made a whole pile of jokes, himself. That, and I wasn't wearing a Ring from Ben, so I thought, "Tcch... I can't wait forever...!" (It had been about 8 months, but I was 31, and anxious to get on with my life, so a Commitment was important to me back then... by the time you hit your 30's, you pretty much know who is right and who is wrong for you in the first few minutes, so I figured 8 months was plenty of time to make a decision... and the upside of that story is that Dwight had a ring on my finger within the first few months, but had given me a 'Promise Necklace' after the first two weeks -- now that's a good decision maker! ha,ha,ha!)
Okay, let me go grab you some new pictures -- be right back!
Since we've been dealing with Aidan's teeth all week, here's a good Tip for Parents -- first, that's Aidan in the pictures! And that's him giving us the 'Thumbs Up' Symbol (which reminds me, it's great to teach your very tiny infants Sign Language so they can communicate with you before they can physically talk.. more on that, later!).
It's next to impossible not to let your kids have some pop, but limiting the amount they have by putting it in a really fancy wee glass or cup works really well. They love the fancy 'vessel', if you will, still feel like they're getting the pop, and then you have them do a 'Water Chaser' -- they take a swig of water right after each drink of pop. Now Aidan is in the habit of doing this, and he has water the vast majority of the time, and occasionally has some pop. And there he is at his tiny Water Cooler -- anything that makes water seem more exciting and enticing is worth a shot! Plus, you can see the Great Room Windows behind Aidan -- nice, huh? I love those Curtains, too!
Thanks for popping in for a little visit!
Have a Fabulous Weekend! Ailsa!!
This Google Ad is called Cut Grass, which seems about right for today since I definitely need to get out there to cut the grass. It's been soooo rainy for so long that it was too wet to cut (and the risk of mosquito Bites is too high for me when the grass is wet... because of that whole West Nile Virus thing, 'n all!), but it's nice and sunny today, so I'll have to get Dwight to back the Riding Lawn Mower out of the Garage for me so I can get started. I'm anxious about doing that myself because when Dwight parks the thing, he wedges it into this little space at the back of the Garage and I am not comfortable enough with the machine to maneuver the thing about safely....
I just went upstairs to say Good Bye to Dwight because he has 'An Emergency Call' to replace a Kitchen Garburator! ha,ha! "Help, my Garburator is broken!" That seems funny to me, but Dwight knows the family really well and they're having a big Party tomorrow, so I guess they'll need their Garburator operational for that...?! And I said to him about moving the Lawn Mower out of the Garage for me, and he says I could just put it in Neutral and Push the thing out! Can you believe that? Puhleeeease... mowing the lawn is a favor to Dwight, since technically, that's his job! Ah, well. Maybe I'll give that a shot later today... Anyway, which Ad appeals to you, today? You know I love your Support!
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Friday, July 9th, 2004. Hi, Honey! You're Home -- wit' ME! I hope you brought the cookies, 'cause I'm almost all out... no, I can't even pull that one off -- I would never, ever run out of cookies! If we were ever to have a Power Outage, we could eat cookies for about, say, a month or so, then we could move on to whatever real food we felt like having. Oh, that reminds me -- if you are busy putting together an Emergency Kit, or gathering up some Emergency Supplies 'just in case...', don't forget to include a Can Opener (n, not the Electric One...! ha,ha!). Those Pork 'n Beans won't open themselves, and think how mad you'll go trying to get into it if you have a power outage in the middle of the day for about 2 hours, and you feel like you're starving... see why cookies are important? They come in an 'easy-to-open, hard-to-close' bag! har, har!
It's my Mum's Birthday, today -- we sent a really nice Gift -- a lovely piece of Swartzkey Crystal -- is that how you spell that? Must check! Anyway, it was really gorgeous, so I'm sure she'll love it! It's nice to get someone something that they'll actually like and that they probably wouldn't buy for themselves. I look forward to the day when I don't have to buy all my own 'gifts'... Cara is old enough, now, to get me things on her own, and I really lve that, but I do look forward to having a certain 'adult male' buy me something, instead of waiting until My Birthday or Christmas to see what he got for me! Man! I mean, "Men"! ha,ha,ha,ha,ha! (Yes, that one was purely for my own amusement! ha,ha,ha!)
And here's a quick update on poor wee Aidan's teeth -- I finally found a Dentist who would deal with Aidan right away -- it seemed like everyone wanted to just look at his tooth, and then put off the treatment until I agreed to put him under General Anesthesia and do all his teeth at one time. There's no way I will agree to do that, because the risk factor is too high for me, and I don't agree with it unless it's a medical emergency. Plus, these are baby teeth (Aidan is 4, almost 5...), and the one in question yesterday would have fallen out in the next year, anyway, so going to extreme lengths to make it all perfect is silly. I found a local Dentist, we went in a Noon, he took one look at the tooth, froze Aidan's mouth, put a piece of gauze over the tooth and pulled it out.
The whole procedure took about 15 minutes, start to finish. Aidan wanted to go to the Movie Store to rent a couple of Pokemon Movies right afterwards, and he was completely back to normal by the time we chose the movies. Trauma, schmauma... Now the funny thing is that Aidan is experiencing a little bit of 'separation anxiety' from his tooth -- he didn't want to put it under his pillow last night for the Tooth Fairy because he wanted to look at it for a while longer. The first thing he did, this morning, was get out the little box with his tooth in it to have a wee look! Funny. And the great thing is, now, that he knows what's involved in going to the Dentist, so it'll be much easier the next time.
Tip of the Day: If you have a child who has difficulty at the Dentist, consider getting them a Night Mask to wear at the Dentist. We brought Cara's SpongeBob Squarepants Mask (I looove SpongeBob Squarepants, and Aidan gave me a sticker for Mother's Day - it was 'The Spongiest Mom Ever' Award, which I proudly put on the Fridge, of course! ha,ha,ha!). I put the Mask over Aidan's Eyes just as we got started, then I held his hands down and helped to hold his face still while he was being frozen, and it really worked. I'll do that Night Mask thing every time we go to the Dentist, now -- I highly recommend that. No one needs to see what's going on -- no wonder kids get scared -- what is that, rocket science? Anyway, it worked and he's fine, so now we can go about our business of finding a Dentist who is willing to work on Aidan's teeth a few at a time until they're all done, without knocking him out completely.
And as promised, here's the Real Estate Story I've been trying to get to all week... Last Friday someone we know very, very well took Possession of a new Condo. It wasn't for him, it was for his 'girlfriend', if you will... (it's a much longer story, but that's all I can tell you about that part, for now...). So here's the thing -- the 'girlfriend' decided that she didn't want to move into said Condo, and when Dwight went to check it out, he found out that there had been a clause in the Condo Bylaws stating that the Owner of said Condo had to be the Primary Resident, and that no Rentals were allowed at all. So now this guy's stuck with a Condo with no one in it (just for the Record, it's NOT Dwight's Condo, and he doesn't have a goilfriend -- remember, it's Dwight's rule about 'No Dating Outside the Marriage' -- he's such a stickler for the rules! ha,ha,ha,ha,ha! And yes, that does greatly amuse me! ha,ha!).
Of course, no one is around now to deal with this big mess, so nothing will happen until the end of the month, no doubt, if then -- but it looks like this Property should have been handed right back to the Realtor on the Possession Day to put it back on the Market. What a waste to time and money, not to mention the stress involved. So here's the Big Lesson -- Always read the Fine Print on any Agreement, but especially a Real Estate Agreement -- and ALL the Rules will appy to you, whether you want to believe it or not. The problem happen when some folks believe themselves to be 'Above the Law', and that they will easily be able to work around the rules. Not so. Those Rules will be there to annoy and frustrate you until you either work to change the rules, of move away from them. That Be Reality...! So don't let Reality Bite you in the ...you know what! ha,ha,ha! I'll keep you posted on what happens with this situation -- anyone want to buy a Condo in Calgary?? ha,ha!
Hey, you know what I just thought of -- why don't we have a page where My Readers can write in and tell us what kind of Property they're looking for, or what property they want to sell? We can create our own little Network. What do you think? My new friend, Crystal, has a house for Sale in Okotoks (the little town we live close to... in Alberta, Canada). It's a Three Bedroom with a Fully Equipped Mother-in-Law Suite -- in a very nice area for $255,000. Great price, eh? Drop me a line and I'll put you in touch with Crystal and her Realtor.
And the other thing we could do is have a 'Thousand Dollar Network', where we could pay each other a Grand for bringing us a Buyer -- wouldn't that be a great idea? We had a 'Finder's Fee' for our last House Sale, and I guess we can do that again, so if you happen to know someone who might be interested in buying MY house, send them my way and if they buy the house, we'll flip you an easy Grand... why not use all the 'Powers of the Internet' in our favor?
I'll go grab some new pictures -- be right back!
Okay, now -- I hope these pictures aren't too weird for you! ha,ha! Ah, well -- this is THE BEST Exercise to prevent or get rid of Cellulite on the planet -- and it's gentle enough that you won't get hurt.
So I like the Exercise Ball only partially blown up -- it's softer, and also the pin happened to break when Aidan and I were blowin the thing up, so use your Exercise Ball any way you happen to have it...! They key is that you can use your Exercise Ball in place of an Exercise Bench, and that's great, since it's a bother finding a plain old Exercise Bench these days -- they're all fancy with too many attachments for me.
Step One: Lay on the Exercise Ball and Roll Yourself Forward so the Exercise Ball is about at your hips.
Step Two: Have the Weight ready at your Feet, sitting Upright so you can catch it in the Arch of your Foot. (I only wear Running Shoes for this Exercise when the weight weighs more than 10 pounds, otherwise, socks are fine.)
Step Three: Slowly raise the Weight Up so your knees are at a 45 Degree Angle, then lower the Weight almost to the Floor. Do 20 or 30 of these, 3 times. Give yourself a wee break in between the Sets. Have Fun, and Good Riddance, Stooopid Cellulite! ha,ha,ha!
Okay, better get going! Talk to you on The Weekend!
Love & Laughs, Ailsa !!
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If you're a long time Reader, you'll know how strongly I feel about Online Education -- I feel like it's going to be the wave of the Future for every Level of Education, especially Post-Secondary Education.
I've checked into this Program for myself -- I'm looking at a Masters Degree in Administration, just in case I decide to pursue my old idea of being a School Principal, which appeals to me since I, too, like to change the rules, and the best way to do that is to get closer to the top of any Organization, right? Plus, it just appeals to me...! Check it out -- maybe we'll be in the same Classes! ha,ha,ha!
Thursday, July 8th, 2004. Hey there, Baby! I hope you're having a fabulous day, or are just bout to have one! Aidan and I will be waiting by the phone to find out when we can go in for some Emergency Dental Work -- right after I finished writing yesterday's Update, I went up to get Aidan ready to take Cara into School for her Play Practice (the performance of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing -- it'll be at The Big Rock just outside of Okotoks next Thursday, July 15th to Sunday the 18th, at 2 & 7...), and he had fallen asleep on Tia's bed (Tia, the dog, was standing there watching him, waiting to get back into her own bed!). That was odd enough, and very uncharacteristic for Aidan to have any nap during the day, let alone in the dog's bed, and his cheeks were red when he got up.
So it turned out that Aidan had a toothache. Poor little man. We've had such a difficult time with his teeth -- from the time he was really tiny, he would clamp his mouth shut and we couldn't get in to brush his teeth. I have no idea why he did that, but I would be able to get in there with a little Face Cloth, but not with the tooth brush. I wish now that we had been more aggressive with that (although, I really don't know how, because that boy could clamp himself shut like nothing either of us had ever seen...) whole tooth brushing thing, because now Aidan has a whole lot of tooth problems. We were hoping that as he got older (he's 4, almost 5...), he would be more capable of co-operating with the Dentist. He's much better with us, now, and let's me brush his teeth with the new Children's Electric Tooth Brushes, which are great, but that doesn't solve the problems from before.
We took him in last night to see if he would be good at our regular Dental Office, but it was a no-go, so now we're off to see another Specialist. I hope they have the Nitrous Oxide -- that seems like our best bet. I can't bring myself to have Aidan 'put under' for anything to do with his teeth. That seems far too drastic to me -- General Anasthesia is something for a Life-Threatening Situation, not Dentistry -- not for us, anyway. It's so easy for others to say that there's a 97% chance he'll be fine, or whatever the risk factor is that they're willing to admit. For me, I'd rather have whatever procedure he needs to have done, done in the Destist's Office, and not at the Hospital. I just can't go there -- that's too invasive and dangerous for me. Dwight has some Face Masks in his Truck for when they're working with Dust or other contaminants at Work, so he's going to bring one in so we can show Aidan what it might be like if he gets the Nitrous Oxide.
We'll see what happens, next -- I hope it's all normal. It's very hard on the whole family when a small member is hurting, because children at a very young age don't really get what's going on around them, especially if they haven't experienced it before. And this is all new to me, because Cara was easy when she was this age - I think we had so many other crazy things going on when Cara was 4 and 5 (all the way through her early life, sadly enough...), that the Dentist was the least of our worries. Hopefully we'll get his tooth fixed and it'll all be okay, then we can work our way through the rest of his teeth as he gets better at dealing with the Dentist.
And yesterday when I finally got some pictures taken for my new Fitness Page and got them into the computer, I couldn't get connected to the Internet -- just a series of weird things, I guess. Anyway, here are a few shots of my favorite Fitness Equipment for the Home, and one of the best exercises to get you all nice and shapely for the Beach this Summer! If you want to try this right away, you can use a couple of cans of soup or something -- anything you can hold that creates a weight in your hands.
Okay, here I am -- I just ran upstairs and got changed into some Exercise Gear -- I could never wear a giant T-shirt to work out -- waaay too hot for me! The object is to really get going on the Machines, so big bulky clothes have to go!
These are my favorite pieces of Equipment, and you can get yourself into really great shape with these few simple pieces. That's a Stepper from Walmart ($49.95!), a Set of Hand Weights (Free Weights, which I love!), and an Exercise Ball, partially blown up. I'm going to make a new Fitness Page with all my favorite Exercises, (maybe tomorrow!) but to get yourself started, you just pick up the Hand Weights (I like the 5 pounders, but you can start with 1 pounders, and work your way up...) and swing them forward and back while you're on the Stepper. It's a great overall work-out! As you get better, you can 'Click Forward, Click Back' in a nice easy rhythm with the Stepper. And watch TV at the same time, or put on some great music!
<><Stamina Electronic Mini-Stepper><>
Thanks for coming in for a little visit!
See you tomorrow! Ailsa!!
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Wednesday, July 7th, 2004. Hello, Sunshine! I'm glad you're here -- that'll brighten up even the dreariest of days! I love a little visitor... which reminds me, I had to make up another batch of my favorite Apple Crumble Mix, last night. Man, I love that stuff, and I'm still losing a wee bit of weight -- now I have it mostly for 'Weight maintenance'. I did step on the scales a few days ago, and was really mad at the stooopid scales for not telling me what I wanted them to say (everything in my little fantasy world is personalized, so I give everything a personality -- my scale is a moron, right now, and I'm not speaking to it until it will do the right thing and put in a better number! ha,ha,ha!) You can see how I keep myself amused, eh?
So for years and years (ironically, my 'thin years'...), I didn't believe in ever using the Scales to weigh yourself. I thought that was a very bad idea, and would make you a prisoner to the numbers. In part, that was right, but here's the bit where I was wrong -- after I moved to Calgary, I immediately went out to find a Gym because at the time I worked out with Weights for about an hour and a half a day, 7 days a week. I wasn't a fitness nut, I just really loved going to the gym. Well, Dwight seemed to be put off by that, I guess because that would be so much time away from him, and I couldn't find a gym that equaled the gym I had left behind in Belleville, Ontario ("Hey" to all my old Gym Buddies!), and frankly, I was a little concerned that I might become attracted to someone else at the gym (it happens...), and then where would that leave me with Dwight, so I let the Gym thing go.
Now, I did not bother my shirt -- it never even crossed my mind -- to change my eating habits, because I knew they were healthy -- for a Gym Girl... and of course I had my 'No Scales' rule in my head, so by the following Spring, I had 'srung into' a whole new girl... ugh. I hadn't even realized I was changing shape a bit, because everything is so bulky that you wear in the winter -- who would notice? Until the summer hit and I pulled out my little summer dresses and they wouldn't do up. A sad day for me... and then I went to a Large, then I thought I might as well be really, really comfy, so I switched up to an Extra-large, and nary a complaint from Dwight, so I didn't do anything about it. After Aidan (I went up to 190 pounds with Aidan -- yikes!), it looked like some weight was coming off, but no one seemed to care one way or another, so neither did I.
When we moved out here, we had just installed some full length Mirrored Closet Doors in the Bedrooms and the Hallways, so that was the first time in years that I had 'an opportunity' to see myself 'full size', and full size I was! Man! Shocking. In our old house, all the mirrors were from the waist up, and that looked pretty good, but now that there was a Whole Picture of myself, I knew I would have to do something about that. I think I was 39 when we moved into this house. I remember thinking at the time that this was the type of house a 39 year old woman would move into... (I had a lot of notions like that back then! ha,ha!).
And that's when I had to wean myself off the 5 chocolate-bar-a-day habit I had gotten into, and that's how the Apple Crumble Mixture came into being. I needed something that was delicious enough for me not to miss the chocolate bars, and healthy enough to maintain my Blood Sugar and lose the weight. I happen to be very fond of 'Food Sciences', so I applied what I had picked up over the years in that are, and came up with the Oatmeal, Barley, Bran and Apple Base... and then I needed something really fast, too, to prevent me from just going into the Pantry to grab anything that might be available for lunch or a snack, so then I started using Applesauce instead of a cut apple. So the whole thing takes ONE Minute to make -- just the amount of time I was prepared to set aside for lunch.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, this little Recipe helped me to lose 30 pounds, (along with the 'no eating after dinner' rule and some relatively light exercise...), so I want to share it with anyone else who might want to shed a few pounds, or so. And if you know anyone you think might benefit from it, you can either tell them about my website (do that anyway, pleeeease! ha,ha!), or make up a double batch and bring it over to them. Once you've tried it, you'll see how tasty it is, then they can start making it for themselves and their family, too. It's a great little 'Power Meal', too. And now I'm back to buying 'Mediums' and I'm very happy about that! YaaHoo!
Tip of the Day: Use your Bathroom Scale in moderation. Don't be a slave to the Scale, or avoid it for three of four Seasons, like I did -- if I had stepped on the Scale once a month, I could have managed the weight gain before it got out of hand, but I didn't, so take a lesson from me! It'll save you a big hassle if you learn through my mistakes! ha,ha,ha!
Man, there's another day gone by and I still haven't told you that story -- it's a Real Estate story -- well, we've got all week... and it's all about following the rules and what happens when you think you're above the law... that hardly ever works out well -- let me leave that for another day -- tomorrow, maybe!
Oh, and if you're in Canada, the CBC is Airing an Hour Long Show about Ben Johnson (my old boyfriend and a great guy...) this Saturday at 7:00 pm, if you want to catch that. I'm looking forward to seeing it, myself. It's funny to watch someone on TV that you've dated! ha,ha! But I do hope they release him from the craziness he's had to deal with all these years, and let him live a normal life. And I guess I should give him a call, sometime -- I'd rather email ...It's easier!
Thanks for coming in for a wee visit! Don't forget to click the door on your way out! ha,ha!
See youse tomorrow! (Think of me in a BeeHive Hairdo, and now I'm your Waitress...! ha,ha!) Ailsa!!
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Tuesday, July 6th, 2004. Hey, Baby-Cakes! Apple Dumpling... Apple of my Eye -- the good one, not the old one... ha,ha,ha! It's funny that a whole year has gone by since I got the Lasik Eye Surgery (which I would highly recommend for anyone who is thinking about shedding their glasses forever...!). And I still refer to the eye that was 'surgically enhanced' as my 'new eye' or 'the good eye' and the other one as 'the old eye' -- "Oh, that's the oldie eye..." Fun to say at a Public Park or Pool -- "Watch out, Aidan -- don't splash Mummy in her Good Eye... watch out for the New one..."! ha,ha,ha! Makes it sound like it might be wooden -- the old, "Would I" play on the "Wood Eye" joke -- remember that one? ha,ha! (And just for the record, that's the only part that has been 'surgically enhanced', in case you're wondering... the rest of me grew to brand new sizes when I had Aidan -- who knew?? ha,ha!)
Man, it's hard getting my Site done in the summer with everyone home and crazy schedules ... it only leaves me a few hours to work, which ain't much. Ah, well ... it's more than I might have if I return to Teaching in the next little while, so I guess I should count my lucky starts, while I can still see them! yuff, yuff! Every morning I think about what it will be like to get back into the pattern of getting everyone out the door on time, including myself -- I've been home with Aidan for sooo long, that it's hard to imagine. Cara was easy when she was little, because I had to go back to work before she was 2, so she was completely used to the routine, but Aidan is a whole other kettle of fish, who has never even heard the word 'schedule', let alone have to live by one...! That boy has sure had it easy!
I had heard a statistic on Dr. Phil, last year, that something like 80% of all the people who had been home for a long time didn't actually return to the regular Workforce. That gave me a little fright, and I was shocked at those numbers. Is it possible that those people figured out a way to make an income on their own, though? God Knows I've tried my best at that, but it ain't workin', so back to regular work it is... but I love Teaching, so I'm looking forward to actual human interaction on a daily basis. That's a novel idea for me up here in the boonies, 7 whole minutes from Town! ha,ha,ha! (Hey, if I can't embellish the facts, what can I do?? It's far more fun to exagerate the truth, if only to amuse myself, right?? ha,ha,ha!)
I'm going to keep the Website (Websitesssss, now that I've learned how to make new Domain Names for my site...!), but I never was able to increase my 'Click-through Rate' (folks who click on my Ads...) -- remember I was telling you about that? My rate is .7% -- how sad is that? What to do, what to do? So even with a really high Traffic Flow (lots of folks to my site), it's not generating any real income... frustrating. If you have any ideas for me, write and let me know -- I love positive input. I've had some great ideas from some of my Faithful Readers, and it's fun to hear what you think! It's good to share this side of the reality of a website, too, because how would anyone know if no-one ever talked about it? Same thing as money -- not enough people want to talk about it, so no-one ever learns. Not the ones who need to know, anyway...
Which brings me to something that has been coming up a lot over the past month or so... and something I had to come to terms with because of the way I was raised not to ever mention money or anything to do with it. I'll tell you, I will never abide by that stoopid rule, again. Who on earth does that help? I believe that the more information (true information) that you can share, the better off we'll all be, so if you have a sure fire way to make more money, or manage your money better, let us all know. There's plenty to go around... and you know the phrase, "You can make money as long as it 's for 'The Right Reasons'..."? I've heard that a lot, lately. I was giving it some thought, and what are 'The Wrong Reasons' that a regular person would have for wanting to earn a decent income? We're not talking about some Big Evil Plan that involves money -- most people just want to earn a reasonable living so their family won't struggle, so if we're still talking in the realm of regular folks, what could the Wrong Reasons possibly be?
And the other thing about that is who would be the one to sit and judge what's right and wrong to do with money? I would imagine that would be a tricky thing to decide. Is it wrong to spend too much on Diamonds? Because it's what? Frivolous? Frivolous isn't bad, if you can afford it. Somewhere along the line 'Frivolous' became a Bad Word... what a shame, because we're not living in a Puritanical World (Thank God), so we should live and let live with our monetary choices, no? The same thing happens when I mention that the next house I build (with any luck...) will have a 5-car garage... what does anyone else care about how big a garage I would like? I'm not hurting anyone, and garages are cheap to build, in the scheme of things. We don't gamble or smoke, but we do like to do little (and big...) projects in the Garage, so we need a lot of work-space for that, but I shouldn't have to explain my needs to anyone, just because it's something they might not want... or feel guilty that we've worked hard enough and long enough, saving all the way and making good financial decisions to get where we are, right? That's annoyink!
I know, I'm ranting. I guess it's because we have to attend a function where I think we'll be 'held to task' for what we have,and that's not even a little bit okay... wonder why people think they can do that? Maybe it's unconscious, maybe it's obnoxious. You shouldn't have to hide from success, or hide from any other aspect of your life, for that matter. It's a funny thing -- I never had to deal with anything like this when I lived in The States -- one of the great things I loved about The U.S. was everyone's willingness and anticipation of 'making it big'. Whether you accomplished this or not, no one ever faulted you for wanting success, or Great Success, and that's a very positive quality in a Country. We could use a little of that up here... in the Boonies! ha,ha,ha!
Tip of the Day: Share your Financial Success and Your Life Success with your Family and Friends. Not in a creepy way, but if you do know how to make more out of your money, or know how to make more of it (for all the right reasons, I'm sure! ha,ha,ha!), go ahead and share it with your Family and those around you. Even a tiny shred of information is better than none, because you never know how the other person will pick it up and really improve their own life...
Oh, and Cara and I were going over her 'Future Budget', yesterday for a Summer Schol Math Project, and she was pretty shocked at how much it costs to live -- in general. I wish every High School Student had an opportunity to sit down and fill out a complete Budget with their expected income for when they'll be in their 20's to see how important a good education and some marketable skills can directly influence how happy they will be. And, yes, Virginia, money does allow for happiness, because the lack of it sure as hell doesn't! (That's right, I said it, and I won't take it back -- poverty is not a dream vacation -- it's horrible, and if we can steer our youth away from that, won't we have a much better society? Yep. Yesseroni! That's why I feel so strongly about it -- the faster we can all drop the 'poverty is great' thing, the better off we'll all be...)
Cara also learned very quickly that being nice is a great way to save some extra money -- it's much easier to swing a better deal with any product whatsoever if you go about it in a kind manner. It's much more pleasant to deal with folks who are kind and fun than to deal with the annoying and abrasive, so when you apply that to buying some products or getting a better deal on something, you can see how it can be of great benefit to you. And you'll be far more likely to 'hook up' with someone else, who hopefully also has a job, then you'll instantly Double Your Income! ha,ha! (Goils who want to get married should run that one past their prospective mates! ha,ha,ha! 'Course, if you have to convince someone to marry you, it's a no-go from the start, but it would make for a fun conversation, then go on out and look for someone better...! I guess that could go for da mens, too, I just see it from my own side, is all! ha,ha!
Hey, did you see the link at the top, there, for my friend Steve's Art Exhibit? He's an amzing Artist, and if you happen to be flying in or out of LAX in Los Angeles in the next couple of weeks, swing by Terminal One to see his Exhibit. I'll have to ask him if people can come in 'off the street', so-to-speak... I would imagine it's open to the Public. I'll let you know.
Here are a few Shots from the Exhibit that Steve sent me -- really, if you have a chance to pop over to see it, I'm sure you would love Steve's Work and the Work of the other Artists in the Exhibit, too.
I made a new page just for Steve -- click here to find out more about the LAX Exhibit and Stephen Robert Johns.
Thanks for popping in for a little visit -- and I still haven't gotten around to the story I was gonna tell you, yesterday... it's a good one, so tomorrow, fer sures! See you then!
Later Baby! Ailsa!!
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Monday, July 5th, 2004. Ssshhhhh ... I'll try to be extra quiet for all the Party go-ers from the 4th of July Celebrations! I have to assume that you might have had a tad more than your limit (which hopefully doesn't exceed the Legal Limit, which would be a whole other thing...). The Canadian July 1st Holiday is pretty laid-back in comparison to the American July 4th Celebrations -- we went to see some little (key word, little...) Fireworks, and Dwight wouldn't pull over to the side of the road soon enough, so we watched them from a great distance, partially behind some trees ... I know, it was thrilling.
I have a whole set of memories to go along with any Fireworks display, as does everyone else over age 8... Anyhooo, when I was 11, I desperately wanted a 10-Speed Bicycle. Remember those? I guess the big thing now are the 'cars' for kids! ha,ha,ha! (Because it seems like everyone and their dog is buying a car for their kid the second they turn 16... I was still riding my bike everywhere until I had finished University! Ah, well. The times they is a'changin'!) So I was at the Fireworks display in Frankford, Ontario, and I had convinced my Dad to get me a ticket for the Fireman's Raffle for this 10-Speed Bike.
We all went back to our Station Wagon (do you remember the ones where the back flipped down so you could sit on it like a bench? That's the kind...), and I was clutching my ticket that the Firemen had let me choose for myself, so I found Ticket # 337, my lucky numbers. I had my fingers 'backwards crossed' for extra luck, and had crossed my arms and legs, too. (That must have been hilarious to watch, now that I think of it -- me all twisted up like a pretzel for 'extra luck'!) I had also found a four leaf clover, that day, so I felt very lucky, indeed... and wouldn't you know it, they called my number and I won the Bike! WooHoo! Back then in 1974, 10 Speeds were a whole lot of money, and I can only recall a handful of folks from our little village of about 2700 people who were 'monied'. It just wasn't like that, back then. I think those were the days before Teachers had a strong Union, so teachers really struggled along (My Dad was a Teacher for years and years), and most Mothers were still at home (where we lived, anyway), so there wasn't a lot of extra money to buy fancy bikes and things.
Anyway, I won the Bike and totally loved it -- it was Purple, my favorite color at the time. So here's the downside -- I took it with me on a sleepover to my friend Sharron's house (the Minister's Daughter, and they lived in The Manse beside the United Church, where I spent a massive amount of my time...). It was hot the next day, so I didn't have any shoes on, and I jumped on my new bike, all excited, put my overnight bag on one side of the handle bars, and headed home a block away -- it was a really small town! Well, the weight of the overnight bag pulled the bike off-balance and I fell off the bike, but the wheels kept going, and those tires were the huge ones with a million spokes. To make a long story short, my foot got caught in the spokes, and the tire continued to spin around (I must have been going pretty fast, now that I think about that...), and my foot was badly chewed up by the wheel. I was screaming for help and our Minister (a lovely man) came running out of his house and he scooped me up and carried me all the way to my Parents' house.
Still with me? ha,ha! So that was back in the days when Iodine was the 'cure of the moment', and wouldn't you know it, we had a Scottish Friend over who was a Nurse, and she took me into the bathroom and poured the Iodine all over the wounds in my foot. My sister says she's never heard such screams. Luckily, my memories run more on how I won the bike and what happened around the event, rather than the pain. Isn't that amazing how that happens to humans? I had scars on my Foot for a long time (they seem to be gone, now, Thank Goodness, since I'm particularly partial to Strappy Sandals!), but I loved the Bike for years and years to come, and used to it get around right through my Teen years. I think my old boyfriend, Larry, still has it now, and I wouldn't be surprised if he still rides it from time to time -- that's the kind of quality we need, right?
Tip of the Day: Wear Shoes whenever you ride a bike or go outside. Hey, if we can't learn from each other's mistakes, how we gonna learn, huh?? ha,ha,ha! And skip the Iodine completely. Dwight was telling me that it actually kills the tissue -- ick. I couldn't listen to the rest of his story, so that's all I can tell you about that part, but I do know to avoid the iodine at any cost! And if you can find a kind Minister, all the better!
I didn't even get a chance to tell you the Real Estate thing that happened to a close Family Member on the Weekend -- I'll tell you, tomorrow...don't let me forget!
Oh, and if you happened to come in on the Home Page, you might have noticed that I've added a new name to the Site -- I finally got a .com address for my Site -- it's www.BuildBuyRenovateSell.com , so we'll see what happens with a .com ... I'm still playing around to see what works. I think I'm going to get a new name just for this page ... we'll see how the other new address works, first, then I'll go from there. It's fun to play around with new ideas to see what works. I just get the new addresses then point them toward this Site -- it was a lot easier to do than I originally thought. I love discovering new things, so it'll be fun poking around with this!
So here I am out Staining the Dining Room Deck. I'm very happy with how this worked out -- very nice shade of Stain, contrary to what Dwight thought, halfway through the job (until he was working on it, too, when it suddenly became a great stain color!).
Of course, Staining ain't the most glamorous job, but it is a lot of fun (for me, anyway...!), and I love what it looks like when it's done, so that always keeps me going through any job. In the Second Picture, you can see that I am holding a piece of Sheet Metal to slide that between the Boards I'm Painting and the Trellis I want to avoid. We happen to have a lot of Sheet Metal around the garage (because Dwight works with it in his Heating and Air Conditioning Business...), but you could use anything thin enough to get in between the two layers so the Stain or Paint can't get through. A thin Cardboard will work well, too. Anyway, does't that look much nicer when it's done? And wasn't that nice of me to switch from my favorite Black Mini-Skirt to my black shorts just for this job? And that's the only time I wear giant T-Shirts, otherwise, I prefer smaller tops... just the way I is! ha,ha,ha!
Thanks for swinging by for a wee visit! It's always lovely to see you!
Do Something Cool, today (or Tomorrow!)... see what happens!
Later, Baby! Ailsa!!
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Great Freebies! ** To Top
It's The July Long Weekend! WooHoo! July 3rd & 4th, 2004. Hello, hello, hello! Or as we get closer to the Calgary Stampede, "Howdy, Folks"! ha,ha! I even went out and bought myself a brand spankin' new Cowboy Hat .. or CowGirl Hat, depending on how much of a stickler you are for the real words! And what a great morning I've had, so far --one of Dwight's Employees came over to help with the Driveway Landscaping, but he's a Summer Employee (I'm talking about Jesse...), so he is very skilled at the Computer and he's going into a Jounalism Course in the Fall -- construction pays very well for a Summer Job, so he's making some money before he heads back to school. Anyway, it was my lucky day and it was raining like mad when Jesse got here, soDwight let me have him to help me with all those crazy problems I've been having with my computer, lately... so now I can get my new pictures saved, again AND I can get back into the Original Two At Home With Ailsa Pages, so I can start geting them archived. WooHoo!
We made the final decision on how to Landscape around the Driveway Paving -- we're definitely going to put a full foot (in width) of gravel around the entire edge of the Pavement, then tamp it so it's really firm. We'll sprinkle the Sparkly White Rocks on top of the regular Gravel to give it a little extra shine, then get some fresh Loam (dirt!) and bring that up to the Gravelled edge, then seed that, too. Oh, and straighten all the poor Trees that were wind and snow swept over during our very, very long winter... poor wee things. It looks like I lost at least 5 trees, so Dwight wants to rip them out and plant some new 'live' trees -- I have a hard time letting go of any plant that has the teensiest bit of life left in it -- I feel like it might come back if I just wait long enough! Like a relationship -- ha,ha,ha!
This has been a 'cleaning away' kind of weekend -- Cara came into the Sunroom the other night and told me how hideous my Plant Configuration in the corner was looking. Whenever I look at it, I see what it loked like when I first put it together, back when the plants were all alive and thriving, but Cara sees things for how they actually are (why, it's like she's living in the real world, whereas I tend to live in my own little make-believe world -- works for me! ha,ha!). Whatever ... I looked at the plants through Cara's Eyes and it really did look terrible, so I had to take out the Two Giant Pointsettias from two Christmaseses (think Homer Simpson!) ago that really looked like they had struggled through two Canadian Winters (man, I hope I don't look like that, too, and am just delusional about what I look like, myself! ha,ha,ha!).
So I cleaned out everything that was struggling and reshaped the configuration of Plants, and replaced the other pegged out plants with new Silk Plants that I got at WalMart the other day... they have a great selection of Silk Plants, if you're wondering where you can get some nice stuff for a reasonable price. Some of the specialty Silk Plant 'Warehouses' are through-the-roof with their pricing for no apparent reason. It's a little disturbing for Dwight to see me pull up with a van full of more and more Silk Trees and Huge Potted Plants, but that's what makes the house look nice, so there... and he quickly forgets about it, anyway, so there's a bonus to the 'not paying attention' thing! ha,ha! See, there's always an upside!
And speaking of my van, I'm supposed to be open to looking for a new Van -- we'll buy a new one when this house sells -- I'm gonna need my big Cargo Van until that whole thing is done, I'm sure. Oh, and we never actually buy any vehicle Brand New -- we wait until the vehicle is one or two years old, then buy it. Lots of people like to get a brand new car every year or two years, so we're like little vultures sitting on the sidelines, waiting for that day...! No, No. Dwight looks more like a vulture, and I'm maybe more like the rabbit at the side of the road, maybe taking notice -- or maybe that's a terrible analogy -- whatevah! The whole thing boils down to how much value you lose the second you drive a brand new car off the Car Lot -- we don't want to incur that kind of loss, so we're happy to wait a bit and get the vehicle a little bit later -- you get a waaay better deal, and by then you'll know if there were any kinks in the car -- and I mean mechanical kinks, because I would think that's tricky information to get if you're thinking of any other type of kinks in the car, and they probably wouldn't give you their phone numbers, anyway, so really, I think we've exhausted that...ha,ha,ha!
Tip of the Day: Find Great Employees! Really, what a difference this makes to your life! Even if you are just looking for someone to come over and help around your house, or work with you on any particular personal project, all the way up to hiring new staff for your Business, having the right Employees will make everything sooo much better. And with that said, "Thanks, Jesse!" Now I can get you all some great new pictures, and I can show you the new Driveway!
YaaHoo! New Pictures of the Driveway! That's the new Crushed Gravel getting all placed and Tamoed down, then they Rolled it all smooth. You can see the new Tar being put down and rolled in the next picture, then there's what the finished Driveway looks like over by my Van. The Driveway is huuuge, so can't wait for a nice dry day to go out and try out our new Roller Blades!
Have a Fabulous Long Weekend!
See ya, Baby! Ailsa!!
Great Freebies! ** To Top
Friday, July 2nd, 2004. Hi, Honey-Pie! Honeycomb ... Honey Comb-over... no, that's not right -- try to spend the whole day without trying the do the 'comb-over'! You know what brings that to mind? That's right, Donald Trump! I just finished his new Book, Trump -- How to Get Rich. Man, what a great read -- I highly recommend it, if only for the hilarious bit about how to avoid being a Loser! ha,ha,ha! It's all about having a Positive Outlook and not saboutaging yourself with negative thinking. I totally agree -- there's nothing worse than hanging with someone who is constantly negative -- except that they're a lot of fun to make fun of, and they never get it, because I have yet to meet a 'Negative Nelly' who actually perceives themselves as being negative. They think they're just being Realistic. "Ooooh, the sky is falling. We can't do nuthin' about it. My lips are permantently stuck t the floor..." Stuff like that, and all in your best 'Eeyore' voice! ha,ha,ha!
Anyway, I couldn't put The Donald's book down -- what a great read. Now everyone in the house wants to read it -- even Dwight, and that's who I bought the book for in the first place, so that's a good sign! It's written in these tiny chapters with hilarious Titles -- wonder if I can tell you a couple of the Chapter Titles and still be viewed by all my AOL Readers -- they screen like mad and do a lot of blocking, or so I hear... well, here's a little taste of one of my favorite Chapter Titles in the book -- "Sometimes You Still Have to Screw Them". Now, come on -- when was the last time you read a book by a Billionaire with a great Chapter title like that? ha,ha,ha!
And one of my favorite parts of the book is right at the very beginning where he does such a great intro with Reference to one of his other books, The Art of the Deal, that the first thing you want to do when you're finished reading this book is to quickly pick up his last book... now that's some seriously good Marketing! You gotta learn from the best! And speaking of learning, I wish I had read this book years ago -- I know it would have helped me to deal with an extremely ugly divorce and custody battle -- Donald offers all sorts of great Negotiation Strategies that I'm sure I could have used. He wants you to sit down and find out exactly what the other Party wants, and I'm not sure that ever really happened once the Lawyers were involved. Have I mentioned that I hate unscrupulous Lawyers? Yep. Surprise! I hate unscrupulous anything -- or anyone...
Which reminds me of what happened yesterday morning, on one of our very few days off -- someone rang the doorbell early in the morning, and we were all still in bed. I made Dwight get the door, and it turned out it was our Paving Estimator back t tell us that they had used more Paving than they had originally estimated and that our Bill would be higher than the Estimate. Well, well, well... and that I was the one how didn't show them exactly where the paving should go, and had serruptiously (my word, believe me...) added a whole section on when the Pavers were here. (I ran the Job) Man, that guy is soooo lucky he was talking to Dwight and not to me -- that crap that a 'girl can't run the job' is sooo infuriating to me, and when someone gives me an Estimate, and then later tries to change the Price, watch out. It's not a GUESTIMATE -- the number you get at the beginning is the number you use to choose the contractor, and then amount you will pay at the end of the job. The only exception is if you DO make a change in the amount of work.
Dwight settled it all out, and gave the guy his final check, and I won't do business with that company again, even though I was happy with their work. I don't like the whole thing about going back on your word, especially if it's in writing. Which brings me to the Tip of the Day...
Tip of the Day: Always get every Quote in Writing. You may need to make reference to it later in a dispute, or to make sure you're choosing the right Contractor. And get Three Quotes for the Big Ticket Items -- it's well worth it. If the numbers are all over the Board for no apparent reason, get yet another Quote until you feel comfortable with how much the job should come in at -- some jobs cost waaaay more than you would ever guess, and others you might be pleasantly surprised at how relatively inexpensive they are. It's important that you stand your ground when you know you're right -- I can't believe this guy would try something that intensely stupid with us... and some Trades have more of this petty stuff than other do, too, for some reason. Maybe all the gasses they smell all day long clouds their brains and prevents clear thinking, 'cause you gotta wonder 'Where their head be at' when they try crap like that -- and on a Holiday, too!
Hey, you know what would be a great T-Shirt logo -- an arrow pointing toward the back and a little phrase, "Insert Backbone Here..." for whenever you have to deal with difficult folks. I used to want to get tiny silver spines that would come in a velvet box that you could give to someone as a 'gift' to remind thenm to stick up for themselves -- or for you, if, say, you were a wife giving it to your husband... who's name is Dwight...and I also thought it would have been very funny to have another 'package' with two shiny silver balls in a black velvet bag, in case they were needed, too. Am I over the top, now? Soooorrry! Or maybe you're laughing, or still thinking about it -- even if you don't laugh for a few more years when a situation arises and you wish you had your own set of shiny silver balls, then you'll think back adn give a little 'guffaw'! ha,ha,ha,ha!
Okay, gotta get going! Talk to you tomorrow! Ailsa!!
Happy 4th of July Weekend to all our American Friends!!
Hey, check out my favorite Macaroni Recipe -- it's fabulous for a BBQ!
This is by far my favorite Cool Salad, and you can make it the day before, if you're that organized and so inclined ... I like to keep it in the Fridge for at least a few hours before serving it, since the colder it is (not frozen...), the better it tastes... and I love it with lots of Ground Pepper!
What Path do you feel like following, today? Surprisingly enough, I'm gonna check out the Pools! ha,ha!
Great Freebies! ** To Top
Thursday, July 1st, 2004! Happy 1st of July, Baby! If you're in Canada, you'll have the day off (with any luck...), and you'll be celebrating Canada Day! And if you are anywhere else, I'll be you're just happy that it's finally July! Lucky Number 7, in terms of the month, and the weather is always beautiful, so that's a special treat, right there! And I've started the Summer off on a good note -- I actually got to go out all by myself without any children or even a husband! WooHoo! I hadn't realized that the last time I got to go out on a non-school and non-working thing was over 4 years ago when I met a friend for lunch at a local Pub -- actually,the same Pub where I first met Dwight -- I just made that connection! Anyway, I guess I always have someone in tow with me -- it's a funny thing to be 'free and clear'... must try that again, but this time I won't wait for another 4 years to pass me by!
I swung into Walmart to pick up a few more Silk Plants and another Silk Tree -- those things are great -- I've already picked up 5 of the Silk Trees, but the house is so big that they just kind of disappear into the woodwork, so-to-speak, so I wanted to get a few more. I passed that by Dwight a couple of months ago, but I can't remember his response... but I left them in the Van, and I'll bring them in when he's not home -- he'll never notice the new ones, and it'll save an annoyink conversation... ah, the things you have to do to keep the peace!
Man, I have been trying to get my new pictures into my computer program, and that stooopid thing won't accept them -- I can hardly wait for Dwight's employee, Jesse, to come back over to help me figure the problem out. I'm hoping he can come over on the weekend, since we want to ge the Driveway all trimmed out with a foot-wide rim of Gravel. After that's done, we'll get some of that sparkly small white rock and put that on top of the crushed gravel. Oh, and the Gravel edge will be 'tamped down' to keep it in place. The grass will go right up to the gravel, so it'll be easier to mow with the Riding Lawn Mower (no one wants to bother getting the regular lawn mower out of the garage...). It's gonna look really nice and neat, and act like a frame for the Pavement.
Oh, and I've been working away to see if I can convince Dwight to tile the Front Entry Exterior Steps with Slate Tile. He brought some Slate Tile Samples home the other day, but he only wants to put them on a patio area on the Lower Level Walk-Out area, but I feel like the same slate tile should go on the Back Patio are and the Front Exterior Steps -- they're huuuge -- 11' X 16', I think -- I'll have to go measure it off, tomorrow so I can figure out how much Slate I would need, then I'll phone around to see where I can get the best deal on tile... then I'll tell Dwight how affordable the whole thing will be, and what a great asset to the house... wish me luck! ha,ha!
Tip of the Day: If you want to 'Firm up' the edge of your Paved Driveway, or hold a gravel path in place, consider sprinkling some cement powder onto the edge of the pavement, or over the Gravel, then water it with your regular garden hose. Dwight told me that little trick when we were discussing how we were going to landscape around the new driveway, which I love -- it is gorgeous! And huuuge! Can't wait to get my Roller Blades out to really test it out! Cara and I got matching Roller Blades this past Spring -- the kind that let you remove the wheels so you can get into restaurants and shops while you're skating -- perfect for, say, Venice Beach, California! ha,ha,ha,ha!
Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! See you tomorrow (actually, I'll be back with some pictures, but it'll take me a wee bit... see you then!)
See ya, Baby! Ailsa!!
Great Freebies! ** To Top
I love this Ad for Spongebob Squarepants Screensavers because on of my very favorite Spongebob scenes is where Spongebob is secretly watching a Show of Jellyfish like it's a porn movie, when Gary the Snail comes in the room and Spongebob yelps at getting caught watching 'something bad' and quickly changes the channel so Gary can't see it ... Hilarious!
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