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At Home With Ailsa - April '04

At Home I * At Home II * At Home III * At Home IV * Archived At Home With Ailsa Pages!

February '05 * January '05 * December '04 * November '04 * October '04 * September '04 *August *

June '04 * June 1st - 4th * June 11th-13th *April 5th- March 30th * April 6th - 18th * April 19th - 29th*

May 11th - 31st

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go Flames, Go!! YaaaaHooooo!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Go Flames , Go!!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Later Baby! Ailsa!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Later Baby! Ailsa!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Later, Baby! Ailsa!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

See You Tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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

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

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See ya', Baby! Ailsa!

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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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