Saturday, December 31, 2005

hockey's on, i'm baking cookies

Hey ya!! How's everyone on this exciting last night of 2005?!!! Some of you have already started the first day of 2006 -- its weird, eh? thinking back to 1999 and the international freak out re the Y2K bug?!!! time flies and all that nonsense is forgotten. Hey, we get a leap second tonight, as a teeny, little bonus! It seems the old blue marble isn't spinning quite as fast as it used to.

Robbie and I have had an interesting week. . well, okay it was actually rather yucky with both of us being under the weather - so when we weren't working, we were laying around cuz we felt so yuck. A couple of days into the week I took a turn for the worse, as is my stupid body's habit, and Rob kept in a bit of a holding pattern, but now seems to be improving. You know, how i told you in my last comment on the 'sick' post that Levaquin is miraculous and was even my new beloved word?!! I take it back. . . because as I surfed all your blogs last night to see what was up with you, and to help relieve the tedium of being lethargic and ill; i felt this intense itching on the backs of my legs. It got worse. I had just taken my second 'wonder tablet' about half an hour before i started blog reading. Then my arms and hands started to itch and i lifted my arms up and looked with shock at swelled up, angry welts which seemed to be rapidly spreading!! YIKES!!! You know the globes with the countries raised up from the flatter parts? They felt like that. It seems that because I'm allergic to Cipro, which i already knew, I now have a cross reactivity with Levaquin and all its 'relatives', which I didn't know! I just thought, well the doc knows i'm allergic to several drugs. . and this new one wasn't on my 'allergy list'. IT IS NOW, BABY!

The itching was getting ridiculous, so I decided to go into the full length mirror to assess the situation. . i looked at the backs of my legs. . . OH MY. . . . red, ginormous hives up and down the backs of my legs. . my a#@ was completely covered in hives. . . it was kinda funny, though scary. I felt like one of those red bummed primates on the discovery channel. Definitely the 'itchy and scratchy' show last night! I called the drug store. . . the pharmacist told me to get some antihistamine right away and to keep taking it every few hours and to contact my doctor in the morning. He then told me to be on the lookout for difficulty breathing, swelling of the throat or tongue. . I started to panic a bit. . . this scenario is way too familiar with me, having been hospitalized several years ago by another drug reaction. ay yi yi. . . at such times you have to separate your physicality from your psychiatry!!! Anxiety is quite the fooler. . . so I didn't want that faking me out. I popped the Benadryl and went to bed - slept like a log - that stuff is like horse tranquilizer!!

So today I'm on the antihistamines and i'm kinda 'loose'. . wouldn't want to operate any heavy machinery, eh? I still have a red you know what, but at least its fading, the rash that is, not my a!#, though i wish it would!!!! I can't take my new pills until the hives have gone. . the doctor thinks that because my system is so 'on guard' and sensitized, that any antibiotic i take may cause another reaction. Can't i just be friggin' sick? Why this crap???!!!! GAH!!!!

Now to get away from the topic of illness and its inherent yuckiness . . i just made some great peanut butter chocolate chip cookies! YUM!! Glad i'm not allergic to peanuts!!!!! *touch wood* (i touched my head!) ha ha. . .

Rob's watching hockey. . which is one thing we don't share - but that's okay. He loves to watch the odd game, i do my own thing. We had a great chinese dinner for 2. . . Golden Dragon rocks!! No MSG!!! Its a quiet New Year's Eve for us this year. . which is quite nice. We're going to watch "Wedding Crashers", hope its more funny than crude? KK's gone out to ring in the new year with her friends -- dinner and a house party. Lindsay and her family are probably kicking back at home too, having a family NY's Eve. . . so its just me and my best friend!!! ahh, true love!!! I love him so much. This is our 29th new year's eve together!!!! fogeys or what??!!!! heh heh. . .

I'm not feeling especially philosophical, even though its only 2 hours till midnight and another big, 365-day chapter in the world history book is about to be written -- its a big deal!! Let's see how it goes. Who knows what's in store for us? Well, God of course, but for the rest of us, we just have to take it as it comes. Happy new year, fellow babies!!!

Thursday, December 29, 2005


Hey. . . feeling too sick and uninspired.

Be back soon!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

As the World Sleeps

this was written in 2000. . . i tried to write something this week, but it didn't even seem to have any soul. That's what happens when you try to force creativity - it can't be done. If it doesn't flow, there's just no use even trying without it. Even though i wasn't inspired, i did remember this one, and fished it out of one my my folios. I remember the night i thought the thoughts. .I was fed up with the silly stuff we all feel pressured to do every Christmas and it felt so hollow - so I started to think about Jesus. . more than just thoughts about swaddling clothes and the "Bethlehem cast" - i started thinking about why He swapped earth-shaping, ruling power for risky, messy, ultimately fatal submission to the most important reconciliation act in the history of history -- Why did he accept this seemingly raw deal? In the calm darkness of my room i felt this "Grinch episode" within my own heart, you know? the growing 3 sizes? Only it wasn't something that i did, but it was something God did for me - and i knew why he agreed to it.. .. ... love. Love isn't logical.

Jesus, I think of you this cold Christmas night, as the world sleeps.
I think of creation. You made us to be perfect, like you and we loved you with perfect love.
I think of how we changed with that fateful choice, i think of what we became, how low we sank, how tainted and cursed.
The wall between us constructed sin by sin, choice by choice.
The depth of our depravity, the spread of our selfishness pierced your holy heart.
Your tears watered the earth.
You made a choice to step out of your glory and you came down to us.
You became one of us.
Your breath could melt the sun, but you breathed words of love to us,
even to those who didn't love back.
Your love cut through the darkness of our ignorance like a search light slices the night sky.
Something in us stirred - that long dead part of us.
You knew that it was your destiny to die and that your death would destroy the wall that our rebellion had built; the wall that keeps us from you. I don't understand this, its just so much to take in.
You bore the crushing load of our guilt and it was the death of you.
In your dying, you repaired the damage our choices had made.
When your work was done, your Father lifted you up and held out to you the glory you had set aside.
But you didn't sit back -- from then till now you have not stopped loving us, calling to us, hearing our prayers and praying on our behalf to your Father.

You gave yourself with no guarantee that we would treasure the pardon you died to secure.
Many have grabbed hold of the life you offer, though many don't honour your sacrifice, some don't even know about it and others take no time to think about or to understand the depth of your mercy.
We pierce your heart again and again and we are not properly sorry.

Jesus, i think of you this Christmas night, as the world sleeps.
As i think of you, this night's blackness becomes mid day and the bitter wind blows warm; caressing the earth and whispering your love to listening ears.
Thank you for making everything all right.
Thank you for not giving up on us.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Norwegian pines smell good

Believe it or not, Rob and KK got our tree on Tuesday evening, and i didn't get the lights on it till tonight!!*Friday* procrastination. . . I hate putting the lights on. . . i always seem to get saddled with this odious job. . all because one year I saw a professional 'Christmas tree lighting expert' on CityLine (tv magazine type show) demonstrate lighting the tree from within. . i.e. in the 'trunkal' area and concentrating the lights there; which admittedly looks fabulous. Incidentally they must be white lights, and cords must match the colour of the foliage (green!). After watching this segment, I happened to open my trap and mention this great little trick and Bob's your uncle, I've been in charge of lighting ever since. Weird, I grew up believing that the putting on of the Christmas tree lights was the man's job?! Oh well, I'm not really one for perpetuating gender stereotypes!! (though a little voice inside my head always says "this is a man's job" whenever i do the tree lights ! *does this seem like some weird dichotomy to you?* But really, the cutting down of the conifer in this family is the man's job. . though I could totally do that too!!! I am woman hear me roar. I think sometimes my 'equal opportunity' attitude towards these types of things puzzles my old school mother in law!! Which always makes me laugh.

When Rob and KK went to get the tree at the tree farm i had only one stipulation: FRAGRANCE! I wanted to be able to smell evergreen!! Too many Christmases I have been disappointed with Scotch pines totally devoid of aroma. Rob doesn't have any sense of smell, so he's just not concerned about it, but I want to walk in the room and say "ah!!" I have this thing about scent. . yeah, yeah. .

So, tonight i wore long sleeves - smart girl - avoided the arm hives- thank goodness! I put the political debate on TV, and listened and occasionally glanced up at the 4 candidates as they bandied big promises and pointed jibes. It was a strange way to decorate a Christmas tree. . no mood music. . just yapping politicians generating lots of hot air. But I wanted to catch the debate. . cuz I need to know how to vote!!! Kinda hate that politics is at the forefront the week before Christmas. I'm on a political epanel, so I had to be able to answer all the questions that would follow, which did, and i did!!!

Speaking of procrastination and greenery. . i have fresh boughs, swag and 2 wreaths sitting out on the deck, in the snow, waiting to be hung!!! AHHHH!!! we're crazy. . we get these Christmas accessories then we wait till days before the' big day' to display them?! We haven't even put the lights on the bushes outside!!!! We suck!!!! Rob bought the lights 3 weeks ago!!!

Maybe tomorrow will be the day all this comes together?! Please let it be so!!! I love to go down to the basement now. . the gorgeous Norwegian pine smells wonderfully piney. . and I'll forgive its seeming inability to retain needles, scads of which I have pried from the carpet with yards of duct tape!!! KK decorated last week, so the house looks warm and holiday ready - inside anyway!!!

I hope that you're all having a tad more success with your own decorations, preparations for the holidays?! I'm 90% finished with the gifts, so at least I'm ahead of the game in some ways!!!

Its the most wonderful time of the year. . . ding dong ding dong. . .

Thursday, December 08, 2005

barenaked for the holidays

Curious to read this one?!!!! gotcha!

Its not as bad as all that. . .and its DEFINITELY too cold here to go through the holidays starkers. I bought a new holiday CD for us to listen to this year. If you're not familiar with the 'hardest working band in Canada' *The Barenaked Ladies* Here's a link for their site:

How can I describe BNL? zany. . talented. . . hilarious . . . unique. . . . I love these guys!! Anyway, their holiday disc is called "Barenaked for the Holidays". I really recommend this one. Its got some crazy little fillers, some cool originals, some traditional stuff and some funky Hannukah songs. . which brings me back to elementary school days when our Christmas pageants always had to include Hannukah songs because half our school's population was Jewish.

Speaking further on holidays. . this is a week off work for me. . my pre-Christmas 'get everything done or else' week!!! I devised this stratagem. . well actually it came about not so much by design as by default! I was supposed to be in Cancun at this very moment!!! Instead, what am I doing? I'm sitting in my teddy bear robe, my hair up in clips, blogging this. D'OH! I'd much rather be doing the samba, or perhaps listening to a Mariachi band. . plunking down in a beach chair and doing absolutely nothing. . . Thanx Hurricane Wilma for destroying our resort! *I won this trip back in the summer and had booked for this week* Now we have until next September to take our trip. . so we're in the midst of deciding when. Looks like we'll take it to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary!! So, yes, getting back to my plans. This is the first year I've ever taken 1 week off before Christmas. . and a girl could get very used to this! I'm lovin' it! I can go shopping in the day time, with all the seniors - its bliss! No rushing, ravenous crowds, no fighting traffic out to the stores. . I did my chocolate store trip. . i got some of my baking ingredients, the stocking stuffers are bought. . most of the presents have been purchased. . I've been socializing and cleaning up and going to dance at nights and wishing I could retire RIGHT NOW!!! My oldest daughter cleaned our house from top to bottom today as her Christmas to us! She did a fabulous job!!! I could get very used to that too!!!

Anyway, its 1 a.m. . how will i ever begin to retrain myself in this regard?! i'm like a sleep retard! duh, you're tired. . GO TO BED!!! I'm worse than a little kid who doesn't want to miss anything!! Maybe I wouldn't loathe mornings if i got to bed at a decent hour? I really do detest them. Don't get me wrong. . i'm glad to wake up!!! *its nice to be alive!!!* I HATE waking up before I want to. . i haven't wanted to waste this week sleeping half the day. . so i've been waking up before 8 a.m. all week. . I get Rob to wake me. . cuz I have trouble waking up on my own!!! At least he can hear the alarm!! It feels almost impossible for me to get out of bed. Its like the bed's got this invisible tractor beam that draws me back if I try to get up. Its so strong I can hardly fight it! My eyes don't want to open. I am so out of it -- groggy, grumpy. . droopy - its not pretty. Takes me a good hour before I feel human - i grunt. . don't use words for a little while. I'm glad that my husband is like me. . cuz if he was one of those 'spring out of the bed and beat his chest' types and said things like "good morning, sunshine! up and at 'em!", etc. . You know what? I think I'd hafta to get physical. When my kids were little it was my hardest part of the day, waking up!!! But I loved them, so I dragged myself outta bed for 'Mommy duty'. Once they became old enough to get up, get their own brekkie and get dressed, i thought i'd died and gone to heaven!!! When they became teenagers and also liked to sleep in. . i was so proud of them!!! Like Mommy, like daughters!!!

Taking a week off before Christmas? I love it! I feel on top of things, organized, peaceful, glad. It still doesn't feel like Christmas to me though. Does it to you? I know that its coming at us like a speeding freight train, I just somehow find it strange to think that it is. . Maybe once I get my decorations going I'll be more into it? I have been feeling the peace and love for others feeling - its so good. I want to do good things for others, I think of God and thank him for this season, I want to eat fruitcake with marzipan. . so I bought a little one just for me today!! *i'm the only one who likes it - yes, I'm one of those weirdos * I want to bake cookies. I want to smell evergreen. I love holidays -- you too?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

cold and beautiful

Its so great to see the sky, white clouds, blueness instead of greyness. Its cccccold but its so beautiful. I'm sitting here beside my sliding door, looking out as i write this. I left a poor, little pumpkin out on my deck from Halloween!!! I'm ashamed!! It looks so pathetic, topped with snow. I guess I should put it out of its misery and chuck it.

Got some shocking news from my friend Moni this a.m. We know a lady named Rose who went to the church we both used to attend. It seems that Rose was in a parked vehicle with her sister, waiting for Rose's husband to come out of the grocery store. Rose just slumped forward in her seat and died of a massive heart attack. No word came from lips -- she didn't have time. Her husband went in to get some food, and he came out minutes later to the car, to find his wife dead and his sister in law in a state of disbelief, sorrow and shock. THINK about it!!! ahhhhh!!! I mean we all know we're gonna go some time, but somehow we don't believe it will happen? Rose was . . I can't imagine that word applying to her. . was, past tense. . gone. . Rose was an immaculately coiffed, artfully clothed, cheery, organized, maternal, woman's woman. wow. . this is just so weird. I feel bad for her husband and son. . her sister, all their family - her friends. Everyone says stuff like "life's short", "here today, gone tomorrow", ' livin' on borrowed time', "when your number's up. . . " wow. . .its strange. . isn't it? People die all the time. . but how can we ever really get used to that? Someone I know instantly died in her car yesterday, but i look outside and the clouds are blowing through the sky, the sun is shining, cars are driving down the street, i'm here typing on the computer and its all so strange. I don't even know what to say - i want to put more words down but i don't even know what words to use.

there's something sobering about reminders of our mortality. . striking just the right tension between awareness of living life in the shadow of the knowledge that one day it will cease as we know it -- which right away opens into depths of philosophy, spirituality, eternity and questions of purpose - this is good to contemplate. yes, it is good. One thing that often comes to my mind is something i read somewhere that goes like this: People most likely won't remember everything you said or did, but they will always remember how you made them feel. That, almost more than anything, surfaces in my thoughts, especially when it comes to contemplating how i'm living this life i've been given. I shudder to think of the many times I messed up, acted like a graceless, selfish pig and/or caused anyone hurt. I'm really glad that there is such a thing as forgiveness - the challenge is to ask for it. I don't know about you, but sometimes i'd rather rot than ask. . stupid, i know. pride rears it ugly head.

Tonight I'm listening to a 'teaching CD' with my husband and our friend, Glen. Looking forward to it. The CD series is entitled "Walking In Love". I've listened through the whole series. . wow! its a series of messages on what it means to 'walk' in love. . live your life with love. . what that looks like, what it feels like and the responsibilities it brings. Its excellent. . its tough medicine to take sometimes, because it calls you on behaviour, attitudes, it challenges you to deal with things you'd rather not deal with. . I love that . . i may not always like it. . but i love it and i need it.

So, I do realize that i am still supposed to post pictures from the recent festivities. . and I will when i get my daughter to send me those pictures!!! I have a roll in my camera now that's almost done. . might have to wait till it get it developed, then i can scan them and post those! I must get with the program and go digital. . .yeah, i'm never among the first to go with the new technology -- i'm lazy and not anti-technology, so much as procrastinating -- perhaps its more about prioritizing? Not to mention that I've always preferred to deal with 'word pictures' than picture pictures!