Friday, October 31, 2008


It always makes me sad when I have to empty my flower pots and yank the dead plants out of my garden.

It means that the weather is getting colder, and I hate being cold. Makes it much harder to be outside.

On the other hand, I now have table and chairs in my dining room (I brought in my little bistro set, because it is exactly the right colour).

I think the cats approve.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Done, and just in time

Please forgive the bad photos - windy day, and taken just outside the office, as I snuck out of work early to drop it off, on the way to the chiropractor.

Anyway, what a gorgeous scarf, if I do say so myself. I'm gonna be buying lots of silent auction tickets in this bucket, hoping to get it back.

Oh, and it recovered nicely from the coffee. Though I must say, the unworked yarn was rather tangled. Thank FSM for Eucalan.

Monday, October 27, 2008


For the past six months or so, my thermostat has read "ba lo." No idea what it meant, and didn't really care.

Until today. When I got home from work (after an hour and a half's walk, thanks very much), I thought it seemed cold in here. Then, after some time had passed, I thought I would crank up the thermostat, because the wine was sitting at 17 degrees, and it's better to be between 18 and 25 degrees.

Pushed the button. Nothing. Pushed all the buttons. Still nothing.

Hmm. I thought to myself, "Man, I hope the pilot light isn't out. I would have no idea what to do, and no one to call about that one (too poor to call my handyman right now)."

So, bravely, I go down to check (still haven't figured out how to change the filter, but I can see the pilot light without opening anything). Whew! Pilot light was on. Come back upstairs, carefully avoiding looking at the mess that is the basement of doom right now.

Flip the little cap on the thermostat, and for the first time, actually read the sticker on the inside.

First sentence: This thermostat requires batteries to operate.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have heat!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Nine down, a billion to go

This is the stage I was at when I stopped for the evening:

Eleven boxes unpacked, and most put away.

This is the leftovers (box of cookbooks not shown. Also, how did I get so damn many cookbooks? I didn't even really cook until I moved to Chez Peepee):

Sorting out what was to stay and what was to go was simple and difficult at the same time. I mean, I know I don't need the copy of Fighting for Your Marriage that my therapist thought I needed. Clearly, that marriage is long over, and a similar situation is not likely to happen anytime soon.

Also, I have embraced being an atheist, and can safely toss all the books on meditation and spirituality that I bought when I was often asked to speak at faith-based events and lead devotionals (looking back: what the hell were those people thinking?).

I can also toss all the books I bought at yard sales, etc. for under a dollar and never was able to get into.

Some books, however, are still sitting in a to-be-determined pile. While it's unlikely that I will ever get around finishing Hobbes' Leviathan, it's handy to have around, both for making me look brainy and for squashing bugs. Plus, the Enlightenment, and indeed, most of the 18th century is my favourite period in history. I never know when I will want to look up some sort of obscure quote to support my drunken argument.

Same for my collected works of Sir Walter Scott. Who knows? Tomorrow, I may take a study break and decide that 18th century poetry (again with the 18th century! Sensing a theme?) is just what I need.

I'm thinking this is going to take a while, and I'd better move some stuff around.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wish me luck

One of tonight's projects is to move these books:

Into this:

It's going to be difficult because there are at least five more boxes of books downstairs. Two boxes of CD's. Multiple boxes of knick-knacks.

I will have to be harsh.

Cold. Unemotional. Distant. Ruthless.

All easily done when dealing with lovers, boyfriends, husbands and the like. Not nearly so easy when it's my beloved books.

I will be reciting this post to myself, during the entire time. Especially #5 "If you don’t use it, need it, love it, or feel inspired by it, get rid of it."

I think it's serendipity that it showed up in my bloglines this morning.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I've used up all my favours

My brother, handy-man extraordinaire, flat-out refuses to assemble anything purchased from IKEA.

And now I understand why.

My two partners-in-whine spent several hours this afternoon and evening assembling my bookcase. Thoughtfully taking into account the damage I've done to it, in the two years its been sitting here, waiting for assembly.

Finally, I got involved, because it was bothering me that they were working so hard. Also, I'd finished heating the appetizers they'd so thoughtfully brought for snacking.

It appears that I have most of my mobility back, and I haven't lost my strength, over the last six months. I like to think I helped a little. Either that, or I was hanging by my arms off the top just for fun.

Anyway, done! Assembled! I thought I'd unpack books tonight, but that will have to wait. Too tired.

But here are some photos:

Two of my best girly pals, going waaayyy beyond the call of duty.

Yeah, we buggered up a couple shelves. That's where the really large books will go. It all works out.

The next bookcase I purchase comes with assembly. I will never do this again, nor will I ask anyone to do this for me again. Never. Clearly, this is the line, and I just crossed it.

N and M - next time we go out, I'm buying the drinks.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Almost done

The boys are coming back next week to install the trim - apparently, because this linoleum isn't being glued, it needs time for the bubbles to work themselves out, and for the linoleum to "stretch."

OK, whatever. I'm just excited about not having to watch where I step every moment. In fact, I'm not wearing slippers, shoes, or flip flops right now, and it feels really damn good.

Anyway, I had left for a few hours, and when I got back, one said "hey, this this looks really nice! I wasn't sure if this was a good idea."

That's exactly what they said about my choice of paint colours. This reinforces my idea that I make questionable choices, but somehow manage to pull it off, with a good amount of flair.

Anyway, pictures!


Dining Room

Someone was either supervising or scared earlier today. I'm not sure which.

Flooring update

The guys have been working like gangbusters since 10 AM. Seriously, if they were single, I'd take a shot. They are that good to have around.

Oh, and so far, the floor looks great.

Friday, October 17, 2008


After nearly 10 months, this is getting covered up tomorrow.

I've even been enjoying scrubbing the floor in anticipation.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm a reasonably smart person

At least, I think so.

I manage to dress myself each morning, get to work pretty much on time, feed myself, pay my bills, that sort of thing.

I'm also a pretty good conversationalist, and have talents that are an addition to my workplace. I'm reasonably well-read and try to keep up on current events.

But every once in a while, I do something so amazingly stupid that I have to wonder how smart I really am.

For example, this morning.

I knew that to safely stand on the incredibly crowded transit bus, I could not hold my bag, my coffee cup and the railing. Something had to go. That was my coffee, which I carefully placed into my bag. I was able to check on it, and make sure it was still upright.

The bus was really crowded when I got off, but I managed. Then I got to my transfer point, and realized that my coffee cup was sideways. And almost empty.

Just about everything in my bag was soaked, including my breakfast. Coffee soaked Ryvita does not taste good, for the record.

Yup, that's the wrap for the silent auction. Not quite sure how I'm going to handle that.

My brand spanking new book. Ruined. Well before I finished reading it.

My precious Ravelry tote. I had hoped to not wash it for a bit, to maintain that crisp stiffness of a new tote that I love so much. Whoops.

See? That's gross.

My school books got some damage too, but I'm able to reprint the stuff with the worst damage. The rest of it is just brown on some of the edges.

But the worst part? No coffee. I have very few domestic skills, but I can say, without bragging, that I make a damn fine cup of coffee. I dragged my butt all day, as a result. Until I got home at 10 pm. That's a long time to wander around, stinking like coffee but unable to source some of the good stuff.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I think I am in love

with Senator Obama.

Since my own election was a crushing disappointment, locally and nationally, I'm going to pay attention to my friends south of the border.

My toes (but not my fingers, those are busy knitting) are crossed for my fiber(re)ly brothers and sisters.

I'm pissed

and not in a good way.

$300 million wasted.

Mr. Harper, I invite you to my home, to spend an evening with me. Bring your degree in economics with you, because you will need it.

I'm an accountant with a keen interest in economics. Let's play ball. Baseball, street hockey, whatever. Hell, let's knit together.

Let's talk about the recent 25% drop in the stock market. Let's talk about lending rates, and mortgage terms, and how ordinary Canadians got suckered in on "consolidation loans" thinking that a small payment forever is better than some really large payments now.

Let's talk about my friend, who works in the Arts industry. Let me tell you - he has never been to a gala, he never will be to a gala, but if you cut that funding, he's out of a job.

Can he and his new wife come and live with you when you kick him out of a job? (By the way, my friend is not an artist. He's an accountant, supporting the arts community).

Let's talk about the dollar and how that is a fake consolation. Buying cheap crap from the United States is not, in any way, shape, or form, consolation for the jobs that were lost. Sending those manufacturing plants to South America or Asia to escape taxes and lower production costs is not the solution (not that South Americans and Asians don't need jobs. That is not the point.)

Let's talk about the price of gas, and how YOU CAN NOT CONTROL IT (umn, supply and demand. I learned that in Economics 101. How 'bout you?). Your ego is pretty big, and you can do lots of things, but you can not control the price of gas.

Let's talk about the elderly people in our community who are, at best, ignored, at worst, well, it's horrifying, standing at the bus stop every morning, watching people begging. And for the record, I can't help them much. Just sayin ;-) Never mind the inadequacies of the health care system you claim to revere. Put your money where your mouth is, Stevie.

While you are at my home, I hope you will enjoy my home-made wine (because that is all I can truly afford, anymore). My budget is so tight that it's difficult for me to be a good host.

Please forgive me for the snacks being spartan. I hope you ate dinner before you came.

You see, the thing is, I work in construction... I work in the industry that you have pinned your hopes on... in your weak, ineffectual and, quite frankly, lame, platform, and it's not good. Our company is doing reasonably well, true, but that may change. And, I'm OK with having to suck it up a little, so that my fellow Canadians can live a little better. Truly, that's cool.

But when you cannot manage things so that my sacrifice is not so my fellow Canadians, and indeed my fellow world citizens, can not live a little better, Mr. Harper, you and I have some things to talk about.

And no matter how much I am suffering, I am still going to talk. I will talk, and talk. Because I care. And, guess what! I care, even if it costs me money!

So, when I'm making dandelion wine, and eating cat food, because your tax cuts don't apply to me, can we get together and talk? Because I think you really, really need to listen to me.

If not, well, then, fuck you, Mr. Harper. And not in a good way.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Well, I just got home from the ancestral pile. Jr. J is marvelous. Sleeps a lot. His skin is sooo soft. He smells really, really good. Like baby powder and poop (a winning combination, I know). At 10 days old, it looks like he's got his grandad's hairline and ears. I'm tempted to go out and have unprotected sex with a random guy just.... no. Let's nip that thought in the bud right now. I'm pretty sure my parts don't work and that's a stupid move.

As usual, there was lots of talking, and lots of laughter. The highlights were as follows:

Me, to Mini B: It's totally cool if you want to take off your clothes, but please keep your hand out of your butt. That's gross.

Mini B's Mom: Misstea, you need to talk to her father.


Big J, interrupting my story: Wait a minute, tell me more about this handyman.

Me: Well, he's this little Romanian guy with kids about our age. He calls me "nice young lady" and insisted I come to meet his wife and drink some wine...

Big J: I don't want to hear that! I thought you had a boyfriend!

Me: So you don't want to hear about my interior decorator, then?


Aunt M: Your Uncle A needs a pair of socks.

Me: Umn... my brothers don't have Misstea socks.

Sister-in-law: Look! There's a hole in the toe of my sock! (not mine - I looked).

Cousin O (Aunt M's grandson): I want to learn how to knit!

Me: And did you ever start that lawn mowing business we discussed earlier in the summer?

Cousin O: Well...


Grandma: So, Misstea, tell me what's going on.

Me: What do you want to know?

Grandma: Everything. Tell me what you think.

Me: Umn, well the house is good, and work is good, and I'm taking classes, and the G7 finance ministers are meeting this weekend to work out a deal....

Grandma: I knew you would know. You're my smartest girl.

Me (to myself): well, at least she's not telling me I'm a failure because there's no one to look after me when I am old. And making me cry.

Grandma continues: So I'm going in for a gall bladder operation on Thursday...

Me (to myself): I need a smoke and a drink.


Dad: For the first time in my life, I sent a cheque for $100 off to the Liberal Party. I just really like Cousin R. Whenever I hear him speak, he sounds real.

Me: Dad, Cousin R is the wrong flavour!

Dad: Well, after taxes, it only costs me $36.

Me: Well, at least you have an opinion. And you care.


Mom and I were sitting around in the kitchen, eating olives and reading our respective newspapers. She had been querying me about her car. Was it useful to me? Did I get done what I needed to get done? Is the cupboard stocked for the winter? I laughed, and told her that I had shopped myself out, as I had, just a couple of days previously, found myself wandering down the kitchen aisle considering buying silicon muffin tins (isn't that an oxymoron!) just because I had sooo much food and thought I wanted to bake more.

She was quiet for a moment, and then said, "Those were the best pies I've had in a long time."

Well, that's a hint, if I've ever heard one.


Dropping me off at the bus depot:

Mom: And your father is buying your ticket.

Me: No, that's OK.

Mom: We spend money on your brothers, and it's only fair. Don't argue.

So, I get out of the car, with my dad, and we walk into the bus depot. He's telling me all about how the government just sends him a cheque for $1,000 every month, and he doesn't even need the money.

Me: Um, Dad, do you realize that it's your money? You paid into that for years. It was enforced savings.

Dad: Yes, but I haven't touched that account in months.

Me: But it's your money. You deserve it. You don't need to work so hard, if there's money coming in.

Dad: crickets chirping

Me: So anyway, I'll call you when I get home...


My father's CPP is only $1,000 a month!?!?! He's a lucky one, who was able to save, had a spouse with a job. He's a man who has busted his ass, honoured his obligations, never spent a dime he didn't have to (I have had two family vacations with my dad. One when I was six, and the other when I was 34!) He neglected his family for all those years.... and he's paying out on the higher end, I know it. And it's only $1,000!!!


Oi. Love my family. Love them, love them, love them. I truly do. Espescially when Mini J was happy to see me at 8:30 AM (she remembered me from yesterday). But around the 24 hour mark, I want to be at home, with my cats, and my books, and my knitting, and wine. Oh, dear sweet wine. I'm very thankful for you, right now.

Friday, October 10, 2008

One more sleep

until I get home to nomnomnom these cheeks.

I can't wait to meet this little fellow.

Though I won't share his name on teh innernets, I will tell a story about his name.

Years ago, when my brothers, their girlfriends (now my fabulous sisters-in-law) and I were sitting around, we started talking about baby names. I don't know why. I suspect I was rather drunk.

But, I do remember saying that if I ever had a son (there was still a possibility of me reproducing, then) I would name my son xxxx. Because that name was the Scottish version of my father's first name (not the name he uses), the name of his father (the greatest man who ever walked the earth. Seriously. I miss him every day) and my maternal grandfather's name. It is also the name of the man who acted as parent to me when I lived abroad, in Scotland. It is a name that is powerful, significant, and there's no way to make a silly nickname of it (that might be the most important part).

I think a name is important. A name should be chosen carefully, because it influences its recipient. A name should be inspiring, full of possibility, and perhaps most importantly, beautiful. That child will have that name for the rest of his/her life (unless he/she chooses otherwise, and that's OK too).

I knew that Jr.J was going to be born on September 30. By 3 pm that day, I was starting to worry. By 10 pm, I was rather panicked. So, I phoned my mom. She wouldn't tell me anything except the basics, because it wasn't her news to tell. It was a boy, all was well... and she thought there would be some issues about the name. Seems that my other brother and sister-in-law were considering that name as well, for a boy (one month to go!).

I laughed. I told mom that there was a name I had liked, years ago, and both the girls had appeared to file it away for future reference. We talked a little about Mini J, and how she was doing, and I went to sleep, knowing all was well.

My brother phoned the next day, after a good long sleep of his own, to tell me about his son. The son that has the name I chose. I repeat. The. Name. That. I. Chose.

I am thrilled. And flattered that people paid that much attention to my words (regardless of our mutual affection). I am moved beyond anything that a few words I tossed off in a casual conversation were noted. And remembered. And acted on.

Again, welcome to the world, Little xxxx. You have the name I would have given you, if you were mine. I'm pretty sure I'll be yours forever.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Stocking the... um... shelves?

The car goes home to its mommy in two more sleeps. Therefore, I've been shopping. And not for fun stuff either, like yarn and shoes. Rather, it's cat litter (600 pounds in total), toilet paper, water, iced tea.

Well, to be honest, there was one pair of shoes. But not sexy ones, so they don't count.

In fact, today I spent my lunch hour cruising down the aisles at the gi-freaking-normous grocery store down the street, and my thought process went something like this:

Look at item. Think, "Would this be a pain in the ass to haul home on the bus?" If affirmative, place two or four of said items into the cart. I've got enough coconut milk, chick peas, butter chicken sauce, korma sauce, tinned tomatoes, rice and pasta for the entire freaking winter.

I noticed the change in the acceleration rate of the car on the way home. That's pretty impressive.

I don't know if I'm a sucker for punishment or not, but I'm tempted to figure out exactly how much I've spent over the past two months, and how much of that would have been avoided if I hadn't had wheels. It would be an interesting exercise. For a financial dork like me, anyway.

The other thing I've noticed is that I'm running out of room. There's not a whole lot of storage space, here at Chez Peepee, especially if you don't count the basement of doom. I don't think I could get any more food in here if I tried.

And I wanted to. If I'd had a van instead of a car, I'd have bought a freezer today and filled it up, too.

Thank FSM I'll be getting back to my bussing and walking routine. I'm getting tired of all the running around. I'm missing moments like this:

Monday's sunset. After a miserable day of pissing rain. I had to pause for a moment, and savour living in a place as beautiful as this.

The other thing is, my clothes are getting tight. I've been egging everyone at the office for the past two weeks, now that I'm wearing my fall / winter clothes again. That must change, because I'm broke. Spent all the money on gas and food. And likker.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

You know...

you are buying a lot of liquor when the clerk asks you if you are a licensee.

Just sayin'

Monday, October 6, 2008

I might very well be crazy

I have volunteered to donate something knitted to a silent action.

Yarn: Handmaiden Sea Silk in Amethyst
Needles: 5.5 mm (feel like tree trunks after months of sock-knitting)
Now, the question is, since I'm ripping out four rows for every three I complete, will I be done by November 1?
Let's hope so.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I've changed teams

After months of tests and experimentation, I've concluded that I officially prefer Hellman's Mayonnaise to Miracle Whip.

I've finally managed to replicate the only thing I miss about working downtown. A tuna salad sandwich on rye with lettuce and tomato. Lay's potato chips and dill pickles are optional.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Random Friday

I considered going to the watering hole tonight, but I just wasn't in the mood. I wanted to be at home in my nice, clean house (cleaning service came today, woot!).

And because it is Friday, my brain is full of random, jumbling thoughts, and I am freaking tired. Sitting at a desk and thinking all day is hard work, dontcha know?

So, instead of a clear, coherent (relatively speaking, this is me, after all) post, I'm just going to deal with all of the stuff in my head. Or at least, the stuff I can think of, right now.

More new wine that I like:

Especially the Dog House. It was a bin end that I picked up just for fun. I'll be going back to get me more of that.

Thanks for the good wishes about Jr. J! He's a good eater and a good sleeper (and therefore the complete opposite of his big sister, as it stands right now). I'm told that big sister, Mini J, is very possessive of the baby-that-was-in-Mum's belly.

As an aside, I did some shopping today, and was strangely drawn to train sets (also, Grandma loves having Mini J for sleepovers. And Mini J really likes to sleep in Auntie's bed).

I got my first assignment back today. I submitted virtually the same assignment I submitted the first time through. I got fifteen (yes! 15!) fewer marks. And, yes, it was the same damn marker. I'm giving myself some time to cool down, and then I am drafting an email to inquire why.

My boss tells me to just suck it up and do what they want me to do. I can't and will not (there's a difference, I think). This whole program markets itself saying that we are leaders, trend-setters, blah, blah, blah. Well, I think I will start a new trend and stop swallowing what they feed me. Part of being a leader is being strong enough to stand up and ask tough questions. I do it in every other part of my life, why not my education (rather, more accurately, this part of my education)?

I'm beyond pissed off, I'm well and truly steamed (I think my anger is feeding off my left-over lecture fury).

But, let's talk about happy things. I stopped in at Costco on the way home, for stage three in my "line the shelves for 2009" project. As always, I strayed from the list. But, I found something that made me really, insanely happy.

You see, way back in 2002, I was having dinner at a friend's house (a friend that turned out to not be much of a friend, but that's neither here nor there) and she served something called "Poppers." She was embarrassed that she was serving something processed, and was even more horrified when she saw the nutrition information.

Well. I loved them. In all their greasy, breaded, fried glory (really, how could one go wrong with breaded, fried jalapenos and cream cheese? It's a winning combination). Yum. Occasionally I would think of them while in the grocery store, and have a half-hearted look. No luck, for six freaking years. Until today. I was cruising down the coffee aisle (naturally) which also has part of the freezer section (normally a place I avoid, because I haven't much freezer space), and I heard a fellow make a comment to his spouse about some sort of processed product. I looked over to see what he was talking about, just as a matter of curiosity.

And. There. They. Were.

Choirs of angels sang as I placed the box into my cart, I'm sure of it.

Every bit as delicious as I remember. Fattening, nutritionally void, but delicious.

Election stuff: I flipped between the leaders English debate and the veep debate down south last night. Both telecasts were infuriating (really, when is someone going to nominate me for benign-dictator-of-the-world? I'm waiting...). N and M happened to be at Chez Peepee for part of it, and despite me having warned them that I would shout at the TV, I think they were a little bit scared.

And tonight, I got the latest email from my party-of-choice, asking me to fill in a survey. None of the responses to select fit what I wanted to say and there was no option to add text. Hmmm. I feel another email coming on.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

You can take the girl out of the country

but you can't take the girl out of the country.

Bear with me - that makes sense.

It's my first federal election, living at Chez Peepee. I checked out my electoral boundaries. I am appalled (and why I didn't think to check this before I bought the house, I don't know. I checked provinical and municipal, 'cuz that's how I roll) that I live in a riding that is mostly "rural" (I use the term loosely) with a wee snippet of the northern part of the city thrown in.

Could we get any more diverse? We have, in this riding, a high immigrant, working class population, combined with sucessful business people living on big-acreage-low-property-tax estates. It's disgusting, because a large segment of the population living here is ineligible to vote, and therefore the fat cats north of me win every time.

Also, if it weren't for CBC, I would have no idea what is going on in my riding. No one has called me. No one has knocked on my door to talk to me. And, as much as I hate leaflets, there's even been disturbingly few of those.

I'm pissed off. Time to renew my party membership and get involved, I suppose.

It's a boy!

As of 8:45 AM on Tuesday, September 30, 2008, I have a nephew.

Weighing in at a hefty 9 lbs, 10 oz and measuring a whopping 22 3/4 inches, I'm pretty sure this one belongs to us.

Welcome to the world, little one! You are going to love this place!