Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stand By Me

A video to feed your soul today!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

She's Ready!

The Wee House is ready to sell.

We have cleaned and painted and patched and tidied and arranged until we could do no more; she's ready to sell.

She'll be formally listed by the end of the week; in the meantime, we are letting friends and acquaintances know and are having a little pre-listing open house tomorrow night for anybody who wants to stop by.

She's a beautiful, wonderful little house and I hope that somebody else sees that too!

Monday, April 27, 2009

You bet I did.

Given the choice this morning between vegetables, fruit, sandwiches and cake left over from a retirement part on Friday afternoon, I had cake. And not just any cake, but the corner piece with all the icing. At 9:30 in the morning.

And I'd do it again.

Because I like cake.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Our Trip to the Eye Doctor

WH and I make our eye exam appointments on the same day each time we go. We have to same optometrist, so it just makes sense to go together. The first time we went together was also the first time that either of us had been in for an examination in a very long time. We both came out of those appointments with our 20/20 vision affirmed and joking about "passing" our eye tests with flying colours. I think we even went out to dinner that night to celebrate.

Last night was Eye Appointment Night, 2009. WH passed with flying colours again. Chorus? Not so much.

At my appointment a couple of years ago, while there were no problems with my vision, the doctor remarked that I had a weird little cataract thing in my left eye that would have to be removed when I was little old lady. He framed it at the time as more of an interesting thing than something to be concerned about. I haven't given it much thought since because, hey, 20/20 right?! My eyes are awesome!

Sigh. The cataract has gotten much, much worse in the last two years and the vision in my left eye has gone from 20/20 two years ago to 20/40 today. The funny thing is that I haven't noticed any problems with my eyesight. But there was no doubt when he asked me to read the littlest line of print with my left eye, that I couldn't do it. In fact, I couldn't read the second littlest either. Or the third. The first one I could read was the second biggest one, and it was still blurry.

"Hm," he said.

So here are the two sides of the decision of what to do about it. On the one hand, if we do nothing, I'm a happy camper with a cataract who feels like she can see just fine and has, to this point, not been bothered by said cataract. On the other, if I have cataract surgery, my left eye will be as good as my right eye for all things except reading, for which I would need glasses.

We're going with the first scenario until I start to be bothered by the eye. It makes me wonder if it's not so much that I haven't been bothered by the problem as it is that I have just been confident in my "perfect" eyes that I haven't noticed the problem. So I'll keep an eye on it, as it were, for the next little while and see if, now that I'm aware of the problem, it starts to bother me.

It is somewhat surreal to be considering cataract surgery at the ripe old age of 29.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

About the Silliness

I sing about random things. Brushing my teeth, cooking dinner, getting dressed, how ridiculous the cats are, etc.

I'm not entirely sure why, but I suspect it's for attention. Or more specifically, if I do sing long enough about something silly enough, I can make my husband laugh, one of my favourite activities.

After breakfast this morning, I was in the bathroom singing the I Have Good Hair Today song (I have good hair today because I used the straight-iron that my husband gave me for Christmas... oooh yeah... and I fixed my weird flippy thing in the back... woo woo yeah... I have good hair today).

WH was sitting in the living room with a bemused expression on his face.

Chorus: Do you ever wonder to yourself what the hell kind of crazy person you married?
WH: Nope.

Lucky for me!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekend Review

Oy, what a weekend.

Saturday morning, we headed to Giant Do-It-Yourself Store and bought the tile and accessories for our kitchen backsplash, which was the last part of the kitchen reno project from last year that we had to finish. Once we got all that home, WH headed downtown to play a wedding and I went to the fabric store to find something suitable to reupholster the ends of our couches, where the cats have done some fairly impressive damage. In the meantime, our bathroom contractor arrived to fix the two windows he broke on our front porch. By the time WH got home from the wedding, I had one end of the love seat done and looking really good! By the same time, the contractor had decided that he couldn't fix the windows afterall and had gone away again. I finished the love seat and the couch while WH started tiling. He managed to get all the non-cut tile up before we headed to a Chamber Choir Executive meeting to discuss the budget for next year. Somewhere in that afternoon the cats got out of the house (twice) and needed to be retrieved. We had a somewhat panicked 10 minutes of not being able to find Baby Cat, but she appeared out of the back alley eventually. So that was Saturday.

Sunday morning, WH leapt out of bed at an early hour and went back to Giant Do-It-Yourself-Store to rent a wet tile saw and get the rest of the tile up. (No Church Choir this week.) I got up eventually, sorted the laundry and put the first load in the washer. A few minutes later I came downstairs and discovered that the floor drain, into which the washing machine drains, was backed up and that our basement floor was very, very wet. We borrowed MB's plumbing snake, but it didn't take us very long to figure out that we were dealing with a pretty major problem. Phoned emergency plumbing place, emergency plumber arrived and needed something ridiculous like NINETY FEET of snake to find the problem. Drum roll please.... TREE ROOTS! Not quite the news a person hopes for a week before putting a house on the market. Anyway, he got the immediate problem solved; we gave him $500 for his trouble. Sigh. But the tiling got done and looks fantastic!

Then we headed to the church for a rehearsal, and concert (unrelated to the rehearsal) and our annual St. Arnold's Beer Tasting event. While WH rehearsed, I helped get the food and set-up for the beer tasting ready. Then we decided not to go up for the concert afterall, and took advantage of the time we had before the tasting to get a bunch of the set-up done for this week's church rummage sale. You see, the rummage committee was all a-flutter that we had planned a concert and the tasting on the same afternoon as their traditional set-up, so we promised to do all the set-up. We await reports this morning of all the things we have set-up incorrectly.

Anyhoo, beer tasting was a great success... lots of food, plenty of beer, and a really wonderful turn-out. Our theme this time was comparing local beers with European imports, and then pairing the beer with local food. The comparisons led to some great conversations!! Once the event was over, we tackled the massive clean-up while the rummage sale set-up was completed. WH and I went out for dinner because we were, by this point, too exhausted to think about cooking. Came home, decided we were still too tired to think about any of the items on our house to-do list, and went to bed pretty quickly.

I slept well, which was good.

How was your weekend?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Five: Household Applicances

Sally at the Revgals is in an domestic state of mind this morning, and asks us the following about our home appliances:

1. What is the one appliance you simply couldn't be without?

Coffee Maker Coffee Maker Coffeemakercoffeemakercoffeemakercoffeemakercoffeemaker. In a word (or two), our coffee maker. We recently had to replace the fancy one we got at our wedding but the new one works just fine. And we've started grinding our own beans too, which is fun. We both have a growing appreciation for fine coffee!

2. What if anything would you happily give up?

You know, I can't think of anything because where there are things that I would happily give up, I tend to give them up. It took me a little while to get used to the idea that we should have a meat slicer, but now that we have it and have used it a couple of times to turn roast beef or ham into good sandwich meat, I can see the value.

3. What is the most strangest household appliance you own?

Our strangest household applicance might be our popcorn maker, which isn't really an appliance at all, I guess. It's one of those stove-top poppers with the crank that you turn, and it makes the best popcorn in the whole wide world. No microwave popcorn at our house!
We also have an ugly ice-crusher that we never, ever use, but still keep because it's a tie to a dream we have to build a functioning bar in our basement someday.

4. What is the most luxurious household appliance you own?

We have a creme brulee torch. This is because creme brulee and I are a match made in heaven, so we thought we should have the wherewithall to make it ourselves.

5. Tell us about your dream kitchen- the sky is the limit here....

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Stop the Madness!

It used to be that when nefarious and infamous people were looking for a way to make the celebrity last a bit longer or to make a few extra bucks, they would "write" a book. Meaning, they would sit down with some author or another and spill their guts or give the inside story or rat out their teammates or whatever, and the NY Times Best Sellers List would eat it up, etc. etc.

See Canseco, Jose, for a perfect example.

But now apparently, these same kinds of people have found a new and much lazier way to stretch the fifteen minutes. Reality Television.

Vick, Michael
Suleman, Nadya
Blagoyevich, Rod

WHY DO WE LET THEM DO THIS? In no way will any of these television shows improve our cultural landscape, inspire intellectual discourse, amuse us, or provide any kind of redeemable entertainment value. They are annoying, self-aggrandizing, self-pitying(to say nothing of BORING) tripe.

If Michael Vick wants to redeem himself in the public eye, then fine. But I'd have a much easier time believing the genuineness of that desire if there wasn't a fast buck to be made in the process.

Just... GO AWAY, all of you.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Monday

I have been a neglectful blogging friend this week, in terms of both my own posting and commenting on others. Now that Holy Week is over, I'll hopefully have more time.

Speaking of HW, the music was glorious, the services were poignant and meaningful and there was good will and community in evidence at every turn within the church choir. Easter feeds my musical soul.

We stayed in bed this morning until almost noon, watching useless TV and chatting about things we need to do this week and teasing the cats and eating nice breakfast and drinking good coffee. Then we were off to the local Do-It-Yourself-Store to pick up some tile samples for the kitchen and some paint for our afternoon project of getting all the paint-touch ups in the house complete. And we managed to do it!

We did have some excitement today when Mama Cat sauntered through the paint tray and then left about two-dozen paw-shaped paint spots all over the hardwood floor. Fortunately, we were able to get our hands on her and get her belly and paws scrubbed (which she was remarkably amenable to). Doubly fortunate, all the spots on the floor were fresh enough to come up with a cloth. Triply fortunate, she didn't jump up on the bed while she was on her little paint-covered journey. Currently, she is asleep on WH, with paint still visible on her whiskers. I think she's tuckered out from her adventure.

We're off to rehearsal with Chamber Choir in about an hour, so taking advantage of the meantime to watch a little Jays action.

And spring has sprung in Prairie Town!
Tuesday Morning Update: It is snowing and blowing and generally ugly. Stupid Prairie City.

Monday, April 6, 2009

In which Chorus...

... probably overreacts, but feels good that she got her own way over something stupid and petty.

So the local Gigantic Chain Grocery Store has a deal of sorts involving their cloth re-usable bags, of which WH and I are the proud owner of seven. If you use the bags, and use your Gigantic Chain Grocery Store debit or credit card, you collect extra points towards discounts on future grocery orders. I think it would probably take a person 100 years of grocery shopping with the cloth bags to actually make up any meaningful discount... but that's beside the point.

I went grocery shopping on Saturday morning with my seven cloth bags. I bought roughly $200 worth of groceries. I took them to the checkout, where the cashier asked me if I needed plastic bags (for which they charge 2c a piece). I said that no, I didn't need plastic bags because I had seven of the cloth bags, and that I would be using my store debit card (so she would know to apply the points.)

She didn't apply them and gave me what I realize now was a dirty look.

She rang through all the groceries and told me the total. I asked, politely, if the points for my bags had been applied.

Cashier: "Well... how many do you have?"
Chorus: "Seven."
Cashier: "Well... are you going to be using ALL of them?"
Chorus: (whose smile was starting to be a bit forced) Yes, I am.

With perhaps more force than was necessary, she punched in the code for the bags.

I bagged everything up and was pushing my cart away when, and I kid you not, SHE STOPPED HELPING THE CUSTOMER BEHIND ME TO COUNT THE BAGS IN MY CART.

With full understanding that it's a stupid petty thing, it still gets under my skin. If stores want to create incentives for their customers, they shouldn't make their customers feel guilty about taking advantage of them.

This concludes a Monday Morning Rant.

In other news, Palm Sunday was GLORIOUS!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Things I'm learning...

... about myself as I grow older, and hopefully a little bit wiser each day.
  • The fact that I didn't ask for the advice doesn't mean I shouldn't take it.
  • The term "mind your own business" takes on a whole new depth of meaning in adulthood. I have found few things more exhausting than trying to compare myself to other people.
  • In many inescapable ways, I am who my parents are. But in other ways, I am definitely not. And you know, both are ok.
  • I think that humans are very instinctive creatures and that we know a lot about what's best for ourselves instinctively. But I also think that we can be remarkable close-minded to the concept that our instincts might be wrong. And that if we spend a lot of time getting defensive over what has been a largely instinctive decision, it might be worthwhile giving the decision a second look.
  • It's not enough to make a decision based on careful weighing of pros and cons. I have to have given some thought to how to deal with the cons, which don't go away just because I made the decision.
  • The people who love me will continue to love me even if I change my mind about something that I was formerly adamant about.
  • There is really nothing wrong with not knowing what to do and asking somebody else who does.
I thought if I wrote these all down in my blog, it would help me remember them. :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Free Voice Lesson

I keep going back and forth on whether or not this is a joke. Either way, it's funny.