Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The luck of the Irish!

My paternal grandmother was a McKenna from Nova Scotia who had her family traced back to Ireland. I think that if there was any luck in her Irish blood that it must have thinned out by the time it got to me. My luck, when it comes to prizes, lotteries and games of chance, is pretty much non-existent. Oh wait! I did win that Nike tote bag one time. And there was that time when I was about 8 or 9 that I won the jackpot when I went to bingo with Grandma and Grandpa. Of course my older cousin Dave had let me stand in front of him in line so my Mom made me share my winnings with him cuz you just know that my lucky card was supposed to be his lucky card.

I'm thinking my cousin Dave got more of the lucky Irish blood than I did.

So here I sit with my less than full strength lucky Irish blood pondering life (cuz you know I have nothing better to do!) and I've decided that I am indeed pretty lucky...

Why just last week I was lucky to have any hair left on my head when I went in for a TRIM. Why, oh why do I always get the hairdressers that are measurement impaired? I know, I know! We have moved to the metric system here in Canada but surely when I say I want an inch trimmed off my hair the hairdresser should be able to make a good guess at what an inch actually represents. I swear I can almost see the hairdresser's mind turning while she is doing the math - "1 inch equals roughly 2.2 centimeters. Or is that 1 pound equals 2.2 kilograms? Or 2.2 kilograms equals 1 pound? Does she want me to cut off 1 pound of hair? Or one kilogram of hair? Damn! I'll just cut a chunk off and pretend I know what I'm doing."

And what about that time my credit card was "compromised" at the mall so the credit card company cancelled it immediately upon hearing from the Police. Why that was really lucky for me that criminals stole my card number and that I couldn't go shopping until I had a new card issued. Wait! That was really lucky for Dan. I on the other hand suffered miserably for the 3 days it took for Canada Post to deliver a new card (and then promptly made up for it - hey! give me a break, it was Christmas time!)

I was also really lucky to marry a man that is so handy in so many ways - he can fix cars, furniture, electronics. He can build whole computers from spare parts lying in a box in our storage room. He can even sew! Why he has literally saved us thousands upon thousands of dollars by not having to purchase new items for our house - Boy! Am I lucky! I'm even luckier that so far his sewing prowess is basically limited to hemming pants and mending rips. I couldn't stand the thought of how lucky I would be if he started sewing clothes!

And I've also been really lucky in getting my wish to be the mother of girls instead of boys. I looked forward to playing Barbies and house, baking cookies - you know- girl stuff. Putting worms on hooks and pretending to be overjoyed at the thought of having rodents, amphibians and other creepy crawly creatures as pets just isn't my thing. Boys, from my limited experience, never, ever, ever sit still (unless of course they are trying to catch a rodent, amphibian or other creepy crawly creature.) Girls, on the other hand, are really good at sitting still and playing for hours. That is why every toy they own must be within arms reach, entirely covering the floor, never to be picked up until the threat of a super sized garbage bag is made. Boys like to run around yelling and hollering. Girls just sit still and emit high pitched screams. So, I am really lucky that I don't have to chase around a couple of hollering boys but instead have to tread gingerly trying to avoid serious foot damage from stepping on Barbie's stiletto heeled shoes or the antenna on her pink convertible while refereeing screaming matches. But you know, while all that running around after boys might be a good exercise program I think any benefits are outweighed by the ensuing stress of watching boys dangle from tree branches, popping wheelies on bikes or swinging "sword" sticks at the evil monster/ninja turtle/escaped lion/brother. I think stress lines age you faster than a few extra pounds. So in my round about thinking - I'm lucky to have a few extra pounds?????????

(and for those of you that think I have just propagated a gender stereotype...well, I guess I'm lucky I live in a country that allows free speech. Furthermore because this country also allows YOU the right to free speech I am even luckier that I subscribe to a blog that allows me to moderate comments.)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sounds of crickets chirping

No, this post title is not a reference to the much anticipated but definately far off into the future arrival of Spring. It refers instead to the total abandonment of this blog and the ensuing silence.

I freely admit it. I am a terribly bad blogger. I haven't been on this blog in months but have certainly managed to spend some time on the other 2,593blogs on my favorite lists. I have scrapping blogs, photography blogs, coupons and deals blogs, blogs of friends. There is a blog for everyone out there. Just so you don't think all I ever do is sit in front of my computer screen I thought I’d do a quick run down of all that has been going on in my life since my last post that has kept me away from here.


Dan comes home. Dan has 5 weeks off work. Dan can't sit still for more than 5 minutes. Dan orders hardwood for entire house. Denise, who has no problem sitting still watching TV, sitting still reading a book, sitting still eating chips, no longer has the opportunity to sit still for even 1 minute. Denise helps Dan lay hardwood floor in 4 rooms and a very long hallway. Dan lets Denise rest over the holidays but hung-over Denise helps Dan finish a room on New Year's Day. Denise takes opportunity to lay down later that day.

Denise supply teaches a lot. Denise sends most horrid student ever to the office. Denise agrees to teach class of most horrid student on multiple occasions. Denise is not sure if a) she is doing a good job with the class of the most horrid student ever or b) no one else is willing to supply in the class of the most horrid student ever. Denise sucks it up cuz every dollar earned is going in her pool fund. Plus, the most horrid student ever is frequently suspended from school so it's a 50/50 chance whether he will actually be in school that day. Unfortunately, most horrid student ever has a twin brother who is second most horrid student ever. Denise feels sorry for Grade 5 teacher that will have this class next year! Denise is happy to report that she also supplies for a lot of other classes including French Immersion (Denise can count to 39 in French now!), and all grades from Junior Kindergarten (they aren't all as cute as they look!) to Grade 12 math (Hey, Denise took this twice when she was in grade 12 so she is verrrry qualified.)

Denise single handedly does the Christmas shopping and holiday preparations. Dan continues to be oblivious to the fact that Christmas occurs on December 25th each year. During the over use of the trunk for transporting gifts and groceries the hinges somehow let go and Denise needs to hold the trunk open with a block of wood or risk amputation from rapidly closing trunk. Denise guesses that she has gotten many strange looks at the Super Store parking lot as she stands back and fires the grocery bags into the trunk. Denise uses some of said groceries to make 6 batches of cranberry almond bark. Denise eats 5 batches of cranberry almond bark and sends one batch into Dan's work.

Denise enjoys Christmas with her Mom, Dad and brother Greg visiting for a week. Santa brought Denise a new DSLR camera that has been occupying much of her time since. Mom and Dad brought Denise a chocolate fountain. It has also been occupying much of her time since. Santa brought the girls Nintendos. They have also been occupying much of her time since – especially that addictive Brain Age game. Once Denise realized that Suduko only involved numbers AND NO ACTUAL MATH SKILLS a new addiction was born.

Denise takes artsy photos with new DSLR and ever present snow!


Denise's friends enjoy the chocolate fountain. Denise thinks chocolate fountain is tons-o-fun until she has to clean chocolate fountain.


Dan goes away for 6 weeks. Dan spends 4 of those weeks in Texas. You know, one of the warm states. Denise spends these same 6 weeks snow blowing and shoveling. Denise lives in a city that will soon break the yearly snowfall record that has been held for over 30 years. Denise has a large ice rink in her back yard. Denise also shovels the ice rink on occasion. Thankfully Denise’s neighbours share the ice rink and shovel it too!

Before Dan leaves for Texas (the aforementioned warm state) he fixes Denise's trunk hinges but secretly hopes she does not buy anything to put in the trunk. Denise's trunk continues to work. Denise's front exhaust develops a large hole. Denise's car is embarrassing (not to mention probably illegal) to drive. Cheap, Frugal, mechanically inclined husband tells Denise what to do to fix car. Denise digs a can out of the recycle bin, searches for 3.5 hours for the tin snips and cuts a piece of the can to surround the large hole in exhaust. Denise lays on her back on the snow covered, sloped driveway under the exhaust challenged car WITH NO WORKING PARKING BREAK! Denise wrestles with 2 hose clamps and a wrench and manages to cut exhaust noise by about 1000 decibels.

The writer’s strike hits hard and Denise is relegated to watching stupid reality shows. Oh wait, Denise always enjoyed stupid reality shows. Denise like to explain that it is the sociologist in her – she is enthralled by the group interactions of survivors, apprentices and models. Throw in American Idol for its pure entertainment value and a token well-written drama (She’s a huge LOSTie) and her TV dance card is full.

Denise paints the dining room. Denise thinks about painting another room. Denise decides to wait til after March Break when everyone is out of her hair again. Denise decides Cocoa will spend painting time in her kennel. Denise does not like dog hair on her freshly painted walls.

Denise enjoys (huge understatement) a Brownies and Sparks sleepover at a local museum. Denise continues to wonder who coined the term SLEEPover??? Denise also continues to volunteer at the school. The staff needs to clarify if she is a teacher or a mother on any particular day.

Dan comes home from Texas. He snow blows driveway for the 3 storms that week (OK one was an ice storm that immobilized the city but didn't require any snow blowing) that dumped 80 cm of FREAKING SNOW! During the worst storm of the year, Denise, Dan, Allie and Erin drive clear across the city to see Disney’s High School Musical on Ice. Denise stands in line at intermission to buy cotton candy. Denise abandons the cotton candy line when she learns it is $10 a bag! Denise buys a box of Tim Bits for less than $3. Denise white knuckles the entire drive home and vows never to pre-purchase tickets for a winter event again!

Once the city is plowed out Denise gets a new van. This is a stock photo. Had it been Denise's real van it would have been surrounded by 10 foot snow banks!

new van

Girls and dog are fine.


So, this post has proven to be of epic proportion. And to think I’ve even left out some of the important and/or exciting details of the last few months. Of course they were so important and/or exciting that they have totally slipped my mind right now but rest assured, I will be back to share those with you as well.

Until my return, I leave you with the chirping crickets.