Monday, August 27, 2007

Camping & Tent-Trailer Trash...

Just got back from two weeks of vacation and it is hard to get back to the grind.

I love camping. I love spending the majority of every day outside, rain or shine. I love not knowing what time it is. I love not having a telephone interrupting my day and not knowing for sure where I left my cell phone. I like not having a computer, TV or video games robbing time from my day. I love eating when I'm hungry and sleeping when I'm tired. I love the ritual of boiling water and washing dishes after a meal. I love the conversations that start because of a particularly adorable red squirrel that felt it was his place to loudly complain about the shortage of peanuts. I love the sound of crickets at night and birds in the morning. Afternoon naps are very under-rated and should be a part of our everyday life if we feel we need them.

I came home feeling like I had finally found the time to recharge my batteries, that instead of going through the motions of my life, I did a little living. I came home very Zen and peaceful and I am having a hard time finding the motivation to pick up the pace to the expected speed that we normally live.

Life moves far too fast. In a few more years we will be empty nesters. I'm not prepared to see my son leave for University yet. The weeks slip by, the months, the years and it's always...well some day we will...well, fill in the sentence as you wish. But I feel like we get caught up in the flow of our lives with out really appreciating the details and aspects of every day.

When was the last time you took the time to look at a tree in the early morning light? Just to look at it and marvel at it's beauty. How the light shines as it touches the dew on the leaves and the sound the leaves make as they rustle in the breeze. Yes, they have their own sound. It's a sound that can't be heard over the noise of cars, people, radios, ipods, lawn mowers and all of the various back ground noise that we become accustom to and tune out.

How much are we missing out on simply because it has become like white noise in our heads that we just tune out?

I saw a starry sky full of more tiny pin pricks of light than I every thought the heavens could hold. I live in a rural area and thought that the lack of street lights allowed me a better view of the night sky than my urban neighbours. And I was partially right... I do see more stars than city dwellers but nothing close to the spectacular sight that can be seen in a truly dark rural area.

I look forward to our summer camping. My life is too scheduled.

Camping is a time that I treasure. I feel revitalized. I will hold the memory of this time in my heart and try to remind myself to be more impulsive and spontaneous. I will try to remember that just because technology is moving at the speed of light, my life does not have to. I will try to remember to appreciate the details of the people and places that surround me. I will try to remember that cameras take much better pictures when you take them out of the camera case. I will make more time for the things in my life that are truly important rather than simply urgent or expected.

Yes, I am proud to say...I really am tent-trailer trash and ain't it grand!

Friday, July 13, 2007


Well, working from home had mixed results.

On one hand, accessing my email and calendar is incredibly fast and it doesn't tie up the phone line. On the other hand, we found that the cordless phone seems to interfere with and disconnect the wireless signal. We will have to problem solve and see if the phone can be changed to a different channel. (Worse comes to worse...we go back to corded phones.)

The other problem is minor but important. To access the wireless signal we have USB adapters that plug in. But you need drivers installed on the computer/lap top/Xbox for them to work. The lap top I brought home doesn't have a wireless network card installed and I did not have the administrative privileges to install the drivers needed to use the USB adapter. Therefore, no VPN access for me.

It turned out okay. Most of the files that I needed to work with were attachments to emails in my inbox, which I could access. So we are calling it a success and on Monday I will corner the powers that be to get the drives installed on the lap top so that I will be good to go next time.

No rant required. God, sometimes I love technology.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Today we finally joined the 21st century and got wireless high-speed internet. It's so's scary. We no longer have to tie up the phone line for hours downloading windows updates or patches. Thank the gods.

Of coarse the kid now wants a subscription to Xbox live and various other software for the PC that simply wasn't possible to run on our 24.4 kb per second dial up. We went with the wireless router, so that we can access it anywhere in the house or even the tent trailer in the back yard...if that's what floats your boat.

I brought a lap top home and plan to work from home tomorrow. This ability may be old hat to some of you but personally, I find this option too cool for words. We will see how effective this turns out to be...I have the phone number for tech support handy.

Update to follow tomorrow...let's hope it isn't a rant.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


The new job is...amazing.
I'm working with a group of dynamic, self-sufficient dragon slayers. They all believe in what we are doing and are committed to contributing to the success of our agency. It is quite a unique experience.
Most of the staff members are new, like me, and we are creating processes and making stuff up as we move forward. There isn't any blue print to follow. We are one of 14 new government agencies, mandated to transform the health care system in the province of Ontario. No one has done what we are trying to do. We are flying without a net. It is soooooo cool.
Everyone I work with, without exception, is talented, motivated and truly believes that we can change, at least our part of, the world for the better. And they are a lot of fun too.
Today in our weekly staff meeting, one of our senior directors wanted to know what every one's schedule was like at 2:30 PM. She then informed everyone that we were going on a small road trip and attendance was mandatory. We all headed to Dairy Queen for a sundae. You have to love a company that can be silly and managers that say things like "It's my job to ensure that you are having fun. What's fun for you?"
I've been working at the new job for almost two months and it feels like two and a half weeks. It's interesting and it really has been a lot of fun. It doesn't feel like "work". And hey, I get paid too.
Life is good!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Now What...

My feet are securely back on the ground now, after my initial excitement and elation over my new job. The reality has started to sink in and with it comes the anxiety of "Oh my God, what have I got myself into?".

No one quits a job of seven years without a little trepidation. Last night all that I could think of is"What will happen now?", "Will I be successful at this job?" and "Will I be able to meet the challenges of the new position?"

And then, this morning when I woke up I realized that the reason I was looking for a new job is because life was just too damn predictable. My current position is very comfortable. Every day you come to work and you know just what to expect. When I look at a calendar I can tell you what I will be working on next week or after the second quarter of the fiscal and next March at the year end.

So the reality is that I'm not really sure what I will be doing next week or next month or next year... and isn't that amazing! Life just got a whole lot more interesting.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I Got the Job!

There will be many sacrificial martinis offered at the alter of the gods.

I am overjoyed!

Now, I just need to write my resignation letter.

::smile from ear to ear::

Monday, April 23, 2007


The countdown continues.

Tomorrow at 5:00 PM I will find out if I do indeed have a new job.

If I am offered a new position I can guarantee you that first thing Wednesday morning I will be submitting my resignation. I've tried hard not to go there yet. I don't want to jinx anything and I don't want to count my chickens before they've hatched but it's hard. I haven't been entirely happy here for some time and the prospect of a new challenge is like cat nip. Completely irresistible.


Till tomorrow then.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Never Ending Interview...

I have been a VERY patient person of late. Do I get a gold star or what?

I recently interviewed for a new job. The first interview was cancelled due to bad weather and rescheduled for two weeks later. When I finally went to the interview it consisted of a one hour interview followed by one hour of testing and then half an hour to write a spur of the moment essay. There were 10-12 candidates

Two weeks later I was invited back for a second interview. This one was only 45 min or so and then I was given a "take home project" to complete and email in a couple of days later. I also had to fill out a consent form for them to check all of my references, do a police check and verify my education. There were only 2 candidates left.

Two weeks later I get a call "inviting me for coffee" with the CEO. I'm told this is a good thing and I am the only candidate that he is meeting with but they still have not confirmed that they are going to offer me employment. I have been reassured that it is not an interview.

I set up the appointment for coffee at our local Starbucks for, you guessed it, two weeks later. So I will meet with the CEO on April 24th and we will see if this long, very involved process is actually going to pan out for me.

The entire process has taken about two months. I have been alternating between excitement strong enough to make me vibrate and angst that I have failed to land this job, that I really, really want.

So the count down begins...only four days to my answer. Cross your fingers for me and GOD help the person who makes me jump through one more hoop before they decide if I'm the person they want for this job.

After all, there is definitely a limit to my everyone who really knows me, is very well aware of. ::evil smile::

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Saw these quotes and just had to share:

“One only needs two tools in life: WD-40 to make things go, and duct tape to make them stop.” -G. Weilacher

“I'm tough, ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay.” - Madonna

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe.” - Albert Einstein

“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” - Robert McCloskey

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Big Four Ohhh...

In celebration of my 40th Birthday I have decided to take a page from Kat's book and compile a list of 40 useless things about me. Enjoy!

  1. I hate yellow flowers, both cut and the garden variety. One of the first things I did when I move into my house was to eradicate them from my garden.
  2. I procrastinate about just about everything until I can't look at myself in the mirror. Then I tackle the issues with too much enthusiasm and scare the living begeezes out of just about everyone around me.
  3. You are guaranteed to hurt my feelings by telling me that you find me to be intimidating.
  4. When I close my eyes while listening to music I actually see colours and shapes. I thought that everyone experienced music this way and only recently discovered that it wasn't "normal".
  5. I love all music with two exceptions; Rap and Country.
  6. When I watch TV or listen to the radio the volume control MUST be on an even number. ( I howled when I discovered that Kat shares this odd quirk.)
  7. I met my husband at the bus stop on the first day of high school the year I was in grade 11.
  8. I then dated a guy that turned out to be his best friend for several years.
  9. I did not start dating my husband until years later after I had graduated from college.
  10. I have been happily married to my hubby for 17 years and we have been together for 20 years. (half my life)
  11. When I married my husband my parents took him aside and asked him if he was sure he was doing the right thing and did he realize what he was getting himself in to. They also informed him that once he married me I had officially become his problem. (No joking.)
  12. I love my family. Warts and all.
  13. I was a model child, an honour student and, until I was 16, thought that I would become a nun.
  14. I was a difficult teenager. I guess I made up for lost time.
  15. I am opinionated and direct. I appreciate people who "say what they mean and mean what they say".
  16. I hate ignorant, bigoted people. I also hate people who refuse to take responsibility for their own actions or decisions. Everything, somehow, is always the fault of someone else or is a complicated conspiracy to screw them over.
  17. My favourite colour is red.
  18. I have two favourite numbers; 4 and 6.
  19. I will turn forty on the fourth month of the fourth day.
  20. I hate mornings and need to be well caffeinated before having the ability to be civil.
  21. I was naive enough when I got married that I mistakenly thought that I had to fill out paperwork to "change my name". The result is a new birth certificate in my married name. I know... I really do have blond moments.
  22. I love camping. As long as we are NOT sleeping on the ground. My husband affectionately refers to me as "Tent Trailer Trash". I wear the label proudly.
  23. I read. A lot. It's an addiction of sorts.
  24. I LOVE raspberry cosmopolitans. In fact all things martini just flat out do it for me.
  25. I am a cat person. A house is not a home until a cat is in residence.
  26. I am not a dog person and I tolerate them with less grace since the passing of our 18 year old Pomeranian dog, Ducky.
  27. I am an army brat.
  28. I have moved 17 times in 40 years.
  29. I always feel better when my toenails are painted. Preferably some bright colour that I wouldn't normally have on my fingers.
  30. I plan to get my first tattoo in commemoration of my 40th birthday...a martini glass of sorts.
  31. I LOVE dark chocolate, especially Leonida's.
  32. White chocolate is an oxymoron and as far as I'm concerned is the crappy byproduct you are left with, and should chuck out, once you extract all of the cocoa solids. (or real chocolate)
  33. My role in my family is to actually vocalize what everyone else is thinking but is too afraid to say. This does not always make me very popular...but at least I'm fulfilling my role.
  34. My mom is one of my most favourite people on the planet. We had a few years when I was a teenager, and thought I knew everything, when we barely spoke but have had a wonderful relationship both before and after the period that I temporarily lost my mind.
  35. I have been blessed with some very special and unique friends. You know who you are and I'm not sure I could have arrived at this point in my life, this well adjusted, without all of you supporting me every step of the way.
  36. I was raised Roman Catholic and after my disillusionment with them...long story...I don't have any affiliation with any organized religion. I believe in a Higher Power but I don't think anyone has Her figured out just yet.
  37. I love to cook, entertain and throw parties.
  38. I hate parties thrown in my honour. So, there will be no 40th birthday bash for me. Thank you very much.
  39. I never thought I would be a mother but I have a wonderful 14 year old son that I am eternally grateful for each and every day.
  40. My son still thinks I'm cool. How cool is that?

Happy Birthday to Me!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Aussie Invitational and Winter Blues

The Aussies came, great food, many drinks and good company were enjoyed and they left...far too soon. Kat also graced our new kitchen with her awesomeness and helped me experiment with a few new martinis. I still think some of them need to be fine tuned before they make it to our favourites list though. (Kat we have a date during March Break to tackle this project.)

I've been in a bit of a funk since Jules and Graham left us while still in the harsh clutches of winters grasp. I miss Jules a lot and having her on the other side of the planet is just hard to accept some times. I guess this trip really brought home the fact that she has moved on with her life and won't be back any time soon. (Not permanently anyway.) I guess a small part of me was still holding on to the hope that she would wake up one day soon and want to "come home". Damn, I sound like a jilted lover for goodness sake.

Jules is family and I'm glad that I got to meet the man that convinced her to rebuild her life so far from everything that was familiar to her. He's a good match for her. It's obvious that she has finally found a partner in every sense of the word. I'm happy for her...really I am...I'm just a little sad for me. I'll get over it and get on with my life as well. There just seems to be a small void where there wasn't before. Maybe that's just the Winter Blues talking. I hope so. And after all, it isn't as if she is gone from my life...we still connect on a regular basis. I know that she will always be there in a crisis and that she will always share in all of the important events in our lives. She just lives each day 16 hours before I do.

So tell me Jules, how is tomorrow looking? ::smile::

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Say a little prayer...but not for me, thanks.

I've taken a long sabbatical from my blog. I needed time to focus on getting my house back together and I decided I didn't want my blog to be about my misfortunes with my home renovations. Issues continue to be ongoing but I refuse to rant about it any more. I just can't justify the outrage over something that isn't really THAT important.

Which brings me to my paradigm shift. I have a friend that seems to flow from one crisis to another. I know that some people believe in a benevolent God that only gives you challenges or misfortunes that, apparently, He feels that you can handle but...when is enough, enough. I'm not convinced, anymore, that even if there is a higher power that they care enough about the day to day minutiae of our lives to be concerned one way or the other.

I see the issues that she is dealing with every day and the new issues that come down the pike on a regular basis. I am astounded that she has not broken yet. I am amazed that she finds the heart or the energy to get up in the morning and face each day. The issues that she is dealing with are life-altering individually. Together they are overwhelming to me, who doesn't even have to grapple with them personally. I do what I can, help as she will allow and offer my support and encouragement when she asks for it but it is difficult to watch. She is struggling each and every day but I don't honestly know if I could handle any of it any better.

It's humbling and maybe that is as it should be. Maybe that is the purpose of hardship, to put things back into perspective for those of us who have lost sight of the bigger picture. For those of us who rant and rave about things that truly are not important.

So my kitchen isn't what. No one I love died today. No one I love is suffering, starving, homeless or ill. No one I love is in an abusive relationship and feeling helpless. There are things that are worth getting upset about, there are things worthy of a rant and a rave but nothing in my life is bad enough, hard enough or bleak enough to deserve the expense of energy required for that level of indignation.

I will try to keep this in mind the next time I want to complain...because when I look at the bigger picture...I think, I really need to relearn how to count my blessings and be thankful for all of good and fulfilling things I have in my life.

And for my friend's sake...I may even relearn the art of prayer and see if I can reignite a little faith.