Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Snacking Fox

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

I have been missing in action from this blog.  As my sister recently pointed out, I am a terrible multitasker. Lately I have been busy deciding whether to have another midlife crisis, packing, and preparing to move that checking in on the blog has taken a back seat.

However, I have not been too busy to enjoy multiple viewings of this delightful snacking fox. If I can find a new career feeding marshmallows to cute woodland creatures I know that everything will be okay.

One More Reason Why I Love My Dad

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

I dropped in to visit my parents today. As I was preparing to leave I heard my dad muttering something and my mom asking him to repeat himself.

“I’m talking to the cat,” he said. “We’re working on a shopping list together.”

He then sat back and slid the pad of paper and pen across the table.

Here is his list:

  1. Poison for the cat
  2. Wire to tie the cat’s paws
  3. Plastic bags for cat carcass
  4. Hymn book for service

The Tallest Man on Earth and Ice Cream

Friday, June 15th, 2012

I’m going to see The Tallest Man on Earth tonight which has reduced me and my fellow concert going pals to giddy school girls. He is like a Swedish Bob Dylan, plaid-wearing adorable folky guy who, ironically for his monicker, is actually quite slight in stature. The week has seen a barrage of emails discussing his marriage to a curly haired hat wearing cutie and whether we should invest in floppy hats and perms.

Today’s email included a report that my friend had dreamt that she was having ice cream with the singer. Our other friend quickly responded that in  her dream he was making her ice cream on their farm. I have them both beat. I am wide awake, watching him on video while eating real ice cream.

Puppies, Guardian Angels and Forging Ahead

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

cute puppy

I have been recovering from a trip to British Columbia, where I had been soaking wet, cold and anxiety ridden. I have returned, if not triumphant, at least intact.

Much to everyone’s mirth, concern and confusion, I decided that I was going to take a canine massage course. “Dog massage?” A sensitive friend snorted. “It’s called petting. You don’t need to take a course to learn that.” When I told my parents of my intentions my dad dropped his head in his hands. “Please,” he said from behind his hands, “Stop talking. I don’t think I can take it.”

I’ll admit that it sounds a little crazy. Then again, when I attended massage school twenty years ago it was far from mainstream and was met with raised eyebrows. I decided not to worry abut how I would make it work or if it would lead to anything. Not everything needs to be mapped out and planned perfectly. Not everything is a straight path. If nothing else I would be popular among the neighbourhood dogs.

“Besides,” I reasoned with the Sweetie as he tried to keep his face in a neutral mask of support,“all ideas sound crazy at the beginning, right?”

I fast tracked myself through the distance learning portion of the course and found a practical class that was happening in Langley B.C. I booked myself a room at the one of the suggested hotels, packed my things and ventured out to the middle of nowhere.

The first day didn’t start out well. In the cab en route to the facility I was alarmed that we seemed to be driving forever on the Trans Canada highway, dodging giant logging trucks. I started to smell a faint trace of oregano and opened my bag to discover that the pasta salad I had bought for lunch was slowly leaking its contents all over my books. The assignment that I needed to hand in was becoming mottled with olive oil and sun-dried tomatoes. The cab fare had now reached $50, I was late for class and was considering throwing my bag out the window.

As we did the rounds of introductions I started to feel myself perspire. Everyone was either a vet tech, a dog boarder, or worked in animal shelters. “Hi ,” I said,” acutely aware that I smelled like a pasta salad and was sweating profusely.” I massage humans and I have a cat that doesn’t like me.” I saw one of the instructors exchange a glance with the other.

It suddenly occurred to me that some experience other than having a family pet thirty years ago would have been helpful. I started to panic. Somehow everyone but me had figured out that our learning  facility was nowhere near Langley and everyone else was at a hotel minutes away. I had already prepaid my six days at the Travelodge to get a better deal. I was stuck and screwed. I felt like a fraud. I was feeling like I had made a huge mistake and I wanted to go home.

By the time it was our lunch break I was close to tears. As I stood in the grocery store looking  for a replacement for my abandoned salad, I recognized a classmate. I started babbling about lodging in the middle of nowhere. She reached in her bag and shook out some lozenges. “Have you ever tried these?” She asked, “They’re Rescue Remedy lozenges.  I always have them on hand because I get anxious and it takes the edge off. We use it at the shelter when the dogs are freaking out. I’ll give you a ride back to your hotel, don’t worry about it. Find me after class.” With that she floated away in search of her lunch, as I stood in the produce section furiously chewing my Rescue Remedy lozenges, my eyes burning with hot tears of gratitude that a stranger could be so kind, just when I had needed it the most.

It was a week of mishaps and a comedy of errors. I hadn’t packed enough warm clothes and it was cold and rainy every day. I’d spend the evenings trying to dry my running shoes on the radiator and guzzling wine. I’d listen to the giant black crow that seemed to be squawking with a megaphone on top of the Travelodge sign like a bad omen. I would struggle to get my dog out of his kennel while my classmates in their dry clothes and rubber boots would already be settled with theirs.

I had a few good moments during the course. One day we massaged ten week old puppies. There were a few times that my dog actually sat still and seemed to settle into his massage and I didn’t feel completely incompetent. My guardian angel would pick me up every morning and drive me back every evening, gracious and generous each time. We’d compare anxiety stories and she’d press more rescue Remedy lozenges in my hand while refusing to accept gas money.

Sometimes you embark on something with particular expectations and come away with completely different outcomes. I learned some canine massage, but I learned a lot more. I will never stay at the Langely Travelodge again. I learned how to use a travel corkscrew out of sheer desperation to get at my wine. Regretfully, I realized that despite growing in many ways I have never left my insecure self behind. Happily, however, I have the ability to forge ahead, even when I want to run in the opposite direction. I found out that guardian angels do exist. I was very lucky to meet one. I learned that you should double bag your lunch if you have packed anything that can leak. I learned that when everyone, including yourself, thinks you are an idiot you can still come away with valuable lessons. They won’t necessarily be the lessons you thought you’d learn, but foolish experiences can still make us wiser.

Day Brightener

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

I woke up feeling sick even after handfuls of Chinese herbs and mega doses of vitamin C the night before. The Sweetie tried to coo something sympathetic but I could see him recoiling slightly, edging himself away from me and my stuffed up nose, fearful that my germs were going to leap on him at any second. I know I caught it last weekend. It may have been the guy behind me at the airport who coughed so enthusiastically that it actually ruffled my hair like a virus-laden breeze. I shouldn’t have reached for the inflight magazine on the plane. They are germ incubators masquerading as glossy reading material. You never know who has been thumbing through that thing and how many times the pages have been used as a kleenex. The sickness may have been delivered by my niece and nephew who were both extremely phlegmy. At one point I looked down to find a glistening mound of mucous on my thigh, hand delivered by my nephew. Whatever the source, I woke up this morning feeling woe-begotten and sporting a taupe complexion.

Then I stumbled across a brilliant gem on YouTube and had the best laugh of my day. Everything was going to be alright, plugged head or not. I immediately demanded that The Sweetie watch it with me. He just seemed puzzled.

“What are we looking at?” he asked as I laughed uproariously. “It’s just a photo of a cat.”

“But the music!” I yelled,” It’s that horrid Rick Astley song!”


“The cat looks just like Rick Astley, it’s like they’re twins!”

I then forced The Sweetie to watch the ghastly Rick Astley video from the eighties. “You see it don’t you?” I cried.

“Who would look at that cat and then think of Rick Astley and then put it on YouTube?” The Sweetie mused to himself as I continued to slap my knee in delight. He began to back away.

“I am happy for you.” He said as he turned away and left the room, probably suspecting that I have been swilling the cold medicine a little too eagerly.


Monday, October 24th, 2011

I am a cliche. I am not proud to be a stereotype but I love firemen. They aren’t like cops who seem too testosterone driven and just want to boss people around and be intimidating. Firemen are all brawny and heroically throw themselves in the face of danger to save lives, then use their ladders to help kittens out of trees. After a shift of rescuing they return to their cute spotted dogs at the fire station. What’s not to love? My admiration is now solidified after hearing about the story of two firemen who gave mouth to snout resuscitation to a dog that had succumbed to smoke inhalation. Giant dreamy sigh.