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At Home With Ailsa - June 2005

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Friday, June 24th, 2005. Hey, Baby! What's happenin' with you, you wee bad thing? Juuust kidding! I know you're probably just pretending to be bad... or good... that 'street lingo' is hard to remember, ain't it?? ha,ha! Ah, well. I think a lot of us have had some bizarre weather, lately -- Flooding up here in Alberta, Canada, Earthquakes in California ... and a Heatwave in the East... man, all that crazy weather is causing an awful lot of people a tremendous amount of work.

Dwight's been over at his Dad's house all week, trying to dry up his basement. The only upside for Dwight is that he found all sorts of things he had from when he was a kid, and brought them all home. They're out in the garage, 'airing out', since everything is permeated with smoke from years and years of being in a smoke-filled home. It's amazing how a 'by-product' of a habit can actually seep into wood... now that can't be good! One of the very cool things that Dwight brought back over here is his old Rock Collection -- Dinosaur Bones and very cool pieces of Fossilized Rocks. Amazing.

Many of the pieces are from the Drumheller Area in Alberta, where a lot of Dinosaurs apparently owned Real Estate many, many years ago... oh, and if you've never been to the Drumheller Dinosaur Museum, the Tyrell Museum, (I think that's the right spelling, but there's only one, so if you're in Drumheller, the chances are very, very high that you'll be able to find it!), it's fantastic. So is the Dinosaur Section beside the Los Angeles Museum of Art ... and you can check out the King Tut Exhibit while you're there, too!

I was lucky enough to see the King Tut Exhibit when it went to ROM (The Royal Ontario Museum) in Toronto when it came through in 1976... I was two. No, no. I knows you ain't that gullible! I was 16 -- and it was the first trip I took away from home all by myself -- or at least, without my Family. My Friend, Donalda, and I took the Train up to Toronto from the Belleville Station. The funny thing about that trip is that my memory of the King Tut Exhibit is pretty much equal to the Giant apple I got in the Chinese Market we went to after visiting the Exhibit... I'd never seen such a big apple, so now both memories share the same amount of space in me brain. And I was mad for Steve Martin at the time (still am, since I think he's one of the funniest men alive...), and I loved the King Tut song, especially the bit 'King Tut -- buried in his jammies, Funky Tut'. Ah, the Classics!

Since we've had so much Flooding in the Calgary Area, lately, I've been thinking of ways people could deal with that problem more effectively. Some of the footage we've seen on the news is just awful -- Fully Developed Basements with 4 feet of water... what a disaster. Even an inch of water is a huge problem, especially since so many people Develop their Lower Levels, now. Oh, and speaking of 'Developing Your Lower Level', I added in my new 'Get Rid of Cellulite' page this past week. Try the exercises -- they're easy, don't take too long to do, and are incredibly effective in making your legs and behind smooth and lovely. (Or smooth and masculine, if you're male and reading this! ha,ha,ha!) And, yes, that's me in the pictures -- poor Cara (my 17 year old Daughter) had to take the pictures -- that's gotta be weird taking 'Fitness Shots' of your Mum, but what else is there to do? Dwight can't be trusted to take appropriate shots, at all, at all... I'm sure your imagination will let you figure that one out! Anyway, I've never claimed to be perfect by any stretch of the imagination, so there's further proof of that! ha,ha,ha!

Quick Idea: More of an idea than a tip, really... here's the 'Tip' part first -- if you had any flooding over the last little while, as soon as it's dry in your Basement, cut a hole in the floor and sink a Sump Pump into it. Chances are high you might need a bit of help with this...! I asked Dwight at breakfast (just a little light breakfast chat around our house...) if you could sink a Sump Pump in your House at the Building Stage. He said yes and told me in excruciating detail exactly how to do this. I'll boil it down for you so you don't doze off and hurt your face on the keyboard... apparently, you can get these giant Plastic Tubs that will contain the Sump Pump. You would dig an enormous hole in the Basement Floor before pouring the Concrete. Fill a good portion of it with Gravel -- that's for the Drainage. I think there must be a pipe that leads into the Tub, since Dwight said the excess water would feed into the Tub and would be drained away by the Sump Pump.

Now, one house that I saw on the News had TWO Sump Pumps operating in their basement, and everything was fine until the City cut off their Electricity. Not good. Their house was completely flooded. I asked Dwight if it would be wise to hook the Sump Pumps up to an Alternative Source of Energy -- Solar Power being the most obvious. That way, you wouldn't be on the Grid at all, and would not fall prey to that kind of disaster in the future. Dwight also said that you could hook the Sump Pump up to a Generator, too. Cheaper, probably, but you may or may not have time to get that organized and installed in time for Flood Control. Something to consider for your next House Build!

Oh, speaking of Dwight, he needs a new Employee, as soon as humanly possible, so if you know anyone who is big and can carry a fair bit of weight (up to about 50 pounds, I think... and not all day, just occassionally), drop me a line or call 403-258-3033. That's Dwight's Business Number. It's a Business Message thing, so be sure to leave a name and number (as with any good Business Message), then a little detail. We just posted the job on this new Canadian Job Bank Website -- if you want to check that out. There are so many jobs out here in Alberta, so if you are anywhere else and looking for work, Go West, Young Man ... and Young Woman! The Job is Construction Labourer, starting at $10./hour. You would be sure to get a raise in no time by showing up for work every day -- very high standards out here!

And later in the Summer, or early Fall, I think Dwight will be looking for a Sheet Metal Worker, so if you know anyone with that qualification, have them contact us, please! And if you are at all interested in earning a great living and enjoy working with your hands, consider a Career in the Trades. I just found out about a new Program run through the John Howard's Society (don't worry -- it's not just for criminals, any more -- that could be their new slogan!), called LEAP. I need to get more info on it, but it sounds like it's a 6 week Introductory Course for Men and Women to get them into the Trades. I'm pretty sure it's a Free Course, or might be covered by another source, but definitely worth checking out.

One of my Pet Peeves (really, don't like that term because it smacks of a High School Yearbook Quote...) is the whole thing some High School Counsellors (hopefully this is a problem of the past) do when they can't figure out what to do with a kid who doesn't fit their own 'University Mold'. Now, you know how much I love Post-Secondary Education, and it was definitely the right road for me (I went to Queen's University ... then York University and California State University, Dominguez Hills...), but many Counsellors hold the Trades up as a last resrot to kids who aren't going to University. That's crazy -- and offensive. You can see from the zillion or so pictures of our house on this Site that we're doing okay...perhaps quite well, according to Canadian Standards. And all thanks to the Trades. Anyway, checking out the many different Trade Options that are out there is a fantastic idea --- everyone should have a 'physical skill' that they can use for their regular income, or fall back on if their 'Professional Job' doesn't pan out. (Sadly, this is happening a lot more than you would ever think, because of Downsizing...)

Dwight's home early, today, so better go pretend like I know what's for dinner, tonight! (It's BBQ Ribs -- who doesn't love those? I know, I know -- vegetarians don't seem to like Ribs very much...something about 'the bones' ... reminds me of a date I went on in L.A., a long time ago, and I found out in advance that my 'date' was a vegetarian... long story short, I ended up going through the Drive-Thru at Jack-in-the-Box to get a Bacon Bacon Cheeseburger so I could be sure I had something to eat before I went out. Funny. I couldn't, for the life of me, think what he might have in his Picnic Basket, other than Wine, that I would want to have... it was at The Hollywood Bowl, too. There's another memory that is mostly about the food, and only a wee bit about the actual event -- wonder what that means?? ha,ha,ha!)

Okay, must run! See ya' Later, Baby! Love, Laughter and a Wee Bit o' Luck! Ailsa

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Friday, June 17th, 2005. Hello, hello, hello, you lovely wee thing, you! How are you, today? Fantastic, I'm sure! Is your hair all extra-curly (assuming that you might have some hair...!), these days? Out here in Alberta we've had sooo much rain that my hair has been a big curly mass for weeks. I'm sure some folks have wondered what I'm doing with a partial 'Afro', since my hair just gets bigger and bigger as the day goes on -- nothing intentional on my part, since I devote about 30 seconds a day to my hair! ha,ha! (No, not yer typical 'gal', as Dwight might say, now that he's turned 46 and seems to be using the term 'gal' all the time now -- a little weird!)

I've been busy all week getting my 'Dads & Grads Gift Page' ready. It's cool all the stuff I found that I thought would make great Gifts. I love giving a great gift, because it's a nice way to let the person you are giving a 'wee pressie' to that you really care about them, and know what they like. I got Dwight a 90 Piece Socket & Wrench Set, a 'Boom Box' (as Dwight calls it -- someone is caught in a time-warp!), and some Books. One is another Dan Brown Book (okay, really it's for me, since I am desperate for something new to read from Dan Brown ever since I finished The Da Vinci Code a couple of weeks ago...!) I've forgotten the other books I've picked up for Dwight -- I buy the stuff and hide it away, then try to find it all on the morning of any given 'Big Event'. Without fail, I'll come across gifts in little corners of the house, hidden carefully away from some other holiday -- but those are like 'Lucky Finds', so it's all good!

Aidan and I were all over Calgary, yesterday, trying to find the right Battery for my Video Camera -- very annoying. It's a JVC Camera, and apparently, those Batteries are very tricky to come across. I finally found one that was similar to the old battery, but it didn't make the camera work, so I haven't solved my little problem of getting my new photos from the tiny disc in my camera onto my computer, then out to you on my Site... ugh. I'm jeeeest a leettle frustrated with this camera, right now. I'm going to try to Google the info on the camera, later, to see if I can fix the thing, myself, since none of the guys in the Camera Shops seem to actually know anything about the 'said camera', although they go ahead and manhandle the thing as if they do. Like dating, except for with the camera... ha,ha,ha!

I had Cara take some new pictures of me doing my favorite 'Anti-Cellulite' Exercises, since, for some reason or another, that 'Get Rid of Cellulite' page has disappeared from my Site. I know -- what's that all about?? That's why my Info should be in a Book Form, then you'd actually have to rip out the pages to make them disappear (or pin up in yo' Locker or at your Work-Station! ya'ha,ha!). I have the old pictures somewhere, but when we took those photos, I was using the Giant Exercise Ball to lay on to do the Anti-Cellulite exercises, and I never did bother my shirt to blow the Exercise Ball up al the way, so my body kinda 'sank' into it -- a very, very lovely look. Perfect for any 42 year old 'Pin Up'! ha,ha! Ah, well. It dawned on my about a month ago that I could use the fancy wee Bench at the bottom of my Bed as an Exercise Bench (I use it almost every day, now -- not today, because it's cold and yucky outside, and that sort of weather ain't conducive to exercising... plus, I found a Cadbury's Flake Bar in the Cupboard, so I opted for my favorite Chocolate Bar and a nice hot cup of tea instead...). Anyway, as soon as I can get my camera fixed, I'll put on the new pics with all the directions to have fabulous legs well into, oh, your Nineties... I'm guessing. I'll let you know fer sures in about 38 years... is that the right math? I don't know -- I'm a Writer, not a Mather...

Must run! Have a great Father's Day on Sunday! See ya', Baby! Love, Luck & Laughter, Ailsa!

I'm making this Cookies 'n Cream Cake for Dwight for Father's Day -- he gets to choose any Special Treat he likes for Father's Day! It's quick and easy to make, and it's one of his favorite Cakes -- pop in to check out the Cookies 'n Cream Cake Recipe .

Happy Father's Day, to all the Great Dads out there!

Tell a Friend about My Site - Ailsa's Scottish Diet * NEW Scottish Steak Pie! <PSP (Personal Sony Playstation)><Win Great Prizes at PermissionResearch!><Click Here to Claim Your Free American Flag! ><Proud of your state? Click here for the web's largest selection of state flags. > Check Your 2005 Astrological Forecast! * Freebies! * Fitness with Ailsa * Ailsa's Weight Loss Program* Cool Stuff * Travel * Home Search -- MLS * Site Menu

Friday, June 10th, 2005. Yo, yo. What up wit' you, my favorite Home-ie?? Oh, it's nice to be back in my Office for a few hours. Man, I've hardly had any time at home all week. I looove my Home Office -- it's so cozy and quiet, except for all my favorite TV Shows blaring in the Background. I was out at my Annual Queen's University Alumni Dinner last night (lots of fun and some truly brilliant people... more on that later), so I missed The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I canny miss that, so now I'm watching it on the Comedy Channel at 10 am. Good or bad that I have this all planned out in advance?? ha,ha!

I went with Aidan on his Kindergarten Zoo Trip, yesterday, to The Calgary Zoo. Beautiful Gardens. Fantastic Kids' Playgrounds, with giant Snake and Caterpillar Slids -- very cool. And the kids had a wee look at the Animals, too! They had a new Train Ride for the children to take through the Zoo, and Aidan had missed the first ride. We were strolling past the Lions when the Train happened to drive by us, and Aidan pulls his Two-nie out of his pocket and runs after the train madly waving his money! Sooo funny! He thought they would see his money and surely stop to let him on the Train! Of course, I had to race after Aidan to catch up with him, so a good little work-out for me, too... He got on the Train, and it was hilarious. We went through the zoo with another wee Aidan that we know, who is in the other Kindergarten Class, so my wee Aidan kept referring to him as 'The Other Aidan'. Very entertaining for me!

Oh, and if you're wondering what a 'Two-nie' is, it's the clever name someone came up with for the $2.00 Canadian Coin. We replaced our $1.00 Canadian Bill with the $1.00 Canadian Coin years and years, ago, and it was called 'The Loonie', which was apropos given that a lot of Canadians thought the idea was a little crazy... Anyway, you can see how 'Two-nie' rhymes with 'Loonie', and represents the measly two dollars it is worth (about 38 cents US -- kiddink! No, no. Our Dollar is doing a bit better, so it's about 75% of the U.S. Dollar, which happily makes Canada a great Tourist Destination, since you won't believe how far your dollar will go...! For U.S. Travellers, it's like a Giant 25% Off Sale throughout the whole Country! ha,ha,ha!).

Back to some of the lovely people (mostly women, last night...) that Dwight and I were talking to at the Queen's University Alumni Dinner... there was one woman I was talking to whose son is just finishing his Degree at Queen's, and he is involved in the Queen's University Solar Car Team. This is a very cool Project, and I have a link to them on my Alternative Energy Page, since this is an interesting development in the Automobile Industry -- and frankly, just cool to look at! Anyway, they have a New Program, Adopt-A-Cell, where you can help to sponsor the development and use of The Queen's Solar Car. You can Adopt a Cell of the Solar Car, or Adopt a Kilometre of the road they'll be travelling when the Solar Car races this summer. Just follow the Link and click on 'Donate'. They have a great Program for School Students to get an early start on working on Solar Cars, so pop in and have a wee look.

I'm all outta time, again. Man, when am I gonna have more time? And I still have to do something to get ready for the Garage Sale, tomorrow. We've had a tremendous amount of Flooding out in our Area (High River and Calgary) this past week, so it seems like a terrible time for a Garage Sale. I think we'll have a 'partial' garage sale if it's not raining...maybe just keep the stuff inside and open up the Garage Doors if the rain stops and the Sun actually comes out. Dwight doesn't seem very keen on it, so I'll have to play it by ear.

Quick Gardening Tip: Weed after it rains, but use your regular Kitchen Rubber Gloves rather than the usual Gardening Gloves. Easier to find (probably!), and you get a much better grip on those crazy weeds! Oh, and speaking of 'crazy weed', how nutty is that for the US Supreme Court to Ban Doctors from prescribing Medical Marijuana to their Patients who need it? Silly. Maybe they should pop up to Canada for a wee visit, where we are a tad more open to things like that... just a thought! 25% off your U.S Dollar! ha,ha,ha!

See ya', Baby! Love & Luck, in that order... Ailsa!

<Black Eyed Peas>

Wednesday, June 1st, 2005. Yippee!! It's finally June! Only one month left of School for us, and we're getting that much closer to nice hot weather!! That's a very exciting thing in Canada! ha,ha,ha! Oh, and speaking of 'Hot Things' in Canada, did you happen to be one of the Billion or so people who watched Donald Trump's Miss Universe Pageant? Miss Canada won! WooHoo! And she was absolutely stunning -- see what we can grow up here? ha,ha! That crazy Dwight was glued to the TV -- remember when Miss USA came on in her Bathing Suit? Dwight says to me, "Oooh, she's a Full Figured Gal...". "Gal". I think you have to be over 80 to use that word, no?? And "Full-Figured"... puh-leeease! A Billion Viewers, though -- that Donald is a brilliant Businessman to get into the Beauty Industry! Oh, and I really liked Miss Mexico because she had the loveliest wee face -- very sweet. She looked like she laughs a lot, and I like that in a person!

Did I tell you we are having a Neighborhood Garage Sale -- a Parade of Garage Sales, I think they call it. It's from 9:00 - 5:00 on Saturday, June 11th. I can't wait, because we absolutely must get rid of a whole lot of our stuff. We have boxes and boxes of stuff we've accumulated over the years that we haven't even opened since we moved here almost 3 years ago. Now that ain't good! I figure that if you can easily and happily live without it for three years, maybe it's time to let go of it... except for Photo Albums, and if I find mine, I'm keepin' in a better place next time... so I have to get started going through things to get ready for the Garage Sale. Cara and Aidan have sooo many toys, many that they've never even opened or played with, that it'll be good to see them go to a new Home.

Quick Tip: If you are having a Garage Sale, get sheets of Plywood to put all your stuff on display. You can use your old Moving Boxes to hold up the Plywood 'table' -- one on each side and maybe one in the middle if it's holding heavy items. Set the stuff out waaay in advance so you don't have to panic on the big 'Sale Day'.

So a bizarre thing hapened to Aidan and I, yesterday. We were standing outside of a local Drugstore, because I had to go mail a letter, and we happened to run into some kids we know from Aidan's School. We were all standing chatting when Aidan slipped away from me and tried to run through the Out Door. I turned around to him almost get caught in the door -- horrifying. It was an Automatic Door, so I ran over, grabbed the door and pulled Aidan out.

Now here's what I want to know -- do Automatic Doors have a Safety Sensor like a Garage Door has that would prevent a child from being crushed in it? Small children don't have enough weight to active the doors, but God Knows they're fast enough to try to sneak through one. What made me really mad, aside from Aidan doing such a crazy thing, was that I had never even thought of the 'Out Door' as a Danger Zone, and I'm 'Safety Girl'.... Drop me a line if you know anything about the safety features of these doors. If there aren't any safety features, maybe we can all act on that so no children get hurt. Aidan could easily have had his arm crushed if I hadn't moved so quickly -- very scary.

The other thing I did yesterday was make a Scottish Steak Pie. Sounds exciting, I know. No need to be jealous. You can make one, too. I had a tremendous need to make a Steak Pie because I happened to make a New Page on my site for the Steak Pie Recipe on Monday, so by the time I was finished writing about the Steak Pie, I was desperate to have a wee bite of it! Luckily, I had some Steak and Sausage in the Fridge, so I cooked it up for the Pie. Yum. It's unbelievably delicious, so if you are looking for something new to make, try it out. If you are Married or 'looking to be married', make this for your Mate, and you will be in for a nice treat! Dwight was very excited to come in the house after building some Trellis on the Deck to find a lovely Steak Pie!

It's raining here, today, so it's very pretty outside, and it smells delicious. I love that smell of the grass and the roads when it rains. I happened to mention that to a couple of Nurses when I was pregnant, and they thought I had some iron defficiency or something (that, plus I was obsessed with eating ice... which I still love). Nope. I just looove the smell when it rains. And I love the smell in the Garage after Dwight has been working on mis Bike, so I could easily have been a Mechanic, providing that most of the job involved smelling! ha,ha! I took some pictures, this morning, to show you how similar our neighborhood is to my favorite Painting in our Great Room -- Stephenson's Pan's Island. I'll go and 'Name them' first, then see if I can post the pictures, today. It's very cool that a picture I've loved for years is reflected in the Land I chose to Build on!<

Buy at
Pan`s Island
Buy From

> Okay.Let me go see if I can get those Pictures for you! Thanks for popping in for a wee visit!

See ya', Baby!! Ailsa

P.S. (Which reminds me of the Da Vinci Code, which I am currently reading and can hardly pull myself away from it... !) I almost forgot to tell you about some great movies we've seen, lately. I took the kids to see Madagascar on the Weekend, and it was hilarious -- for all of us. We laughed ourselves silly! I loved the King of the Lemars, 'King Julien' -- soooo funny! I looked it up, and that part was played by Sacha Baron Cohen, who apparently has a Show on HBO called Da Ali G Show, so now I'm going to be on the look-out for that. National Treasure was great, too, and Hotel Rwanda. And if you haven't rented Finding Neverland, it's a beautiful wee movie, too. Great for the whole family.

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Live, Love & Laugh, Ailsa!

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

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

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