Monday, May 31, 2010

Storm a'Coming!

Earlier this afternoon, The Weather Network issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for my area. Unfortunately, it looks like they've retracted it, but I'm still hopeful. The sky has turned wonderfully dark, the wind, although it's still warm, has picked up, the temperature has gone down (from 31C to 25C), and the air is noticeably more humid.

Can you tell I like storms again?

Friday, May 28, 2010

New Gardening Plan

For the past two years, I've planted pots and window boxes full of "pretty" plants--plants selected to make the house more attractive should the market all of a sudden get better. No more!

I know I'm a month or so late (being late is the story of my life), but in the next few weeks I'm going to plant herbs. All kinds of herbs. I've already got rosemary, sage and chives, so I'll probably be expanding to thyme, dill, anise, and cilantro. I might also add garlic and cardamom. All of this is dependent on whether any of it will grow here in Southern Ontario, of course, but that is my plan.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Productive Long Weekend

Well, we didn't actually get any hiking done (in part thanks to heavier rainfall than predicted on Saturday), but it was a good weekend anyway. We vegged, got some chores done, got the canoe photographed so we can actually list it, spent a lot of time at the dog park (Lance's pano seems to have cleared up, and he seems to be back to being his previously happy-with-the-world self.), got a month's worth of meat smoked (Less cooking inside! Yay!) and, best of all, got the backyard arranged more to our liking.

That latter item doesn't SEEM like it would be important, seeing as we've been living in this house over 5 years and plan to put it on the market in September, but it is. You see, we needed to sell the house two years and a half years ago, and put it on the market just as the market fell to rock bottom. Sigh. So we've kind of been in limbo for the past two years, not wanting to spend any more money on the house, not wanting to start any new gardening projects, etc. Not to mention that the house isn't really set up for an outside deck/patio anyway, seeing as the driveway wraps around the left side, and there are no doors on the back or right side. Walking across the driveway to get to the yard has never been particularly appealing, so we dragged our feet doing anything about it before we needed to sell it, too. (Overall, though, it's a good thing it didn't sell then, as our lifestyle and desires have changed so much since we found Wicca.)

At any rate, we broke down and bought some patio furniture, moved things around so we'd have a relatively flat spot to set it on, and now have a little tiny patio at the back! Very exciting!

From An EeeBee Life

And we found a place for the puppy's wading pool (No, he's not spoiled, why?)where it won't kill the grass. Also a good thing!

(He still fits in it, but just! Still, he's all but through growing, so it should last him and his soon-to-show-up little brother or sister through the summer.)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Long Weekend (Yay!)

The start of a GLORIOUS long weekend. Don has taken tomorrow off, has
a holiday on Monday, and he was forced to work from home today due to
bridge damage over the 403. Yay for us! Right now I'm waiting for him
and Lance at the dog park, then it's off to the Petsmart for puppy
food, then on to East City Chinese Food for people food!
Here's to lots and lots of hiking being done this weekend!

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Evil Ex

I've been avoiding writing in this blog because I didn't want to talk about this, but since I can't seem to talk about anything else until I get it off my chest, I guess I'll go ahead and rant.

[rant mode engaged]

Last Friday, I take a quick glance at our bank account (online) to make sure my husband's paycheck was deposited on schedule.  Lo' and behold, it was, but only half the amount showed up.  After investigation, it turns out that his ex-wife, in Florida, has somehow managed to convince the Ontario government to dock his pay to the tune of $12,000 (over the next few months) over an issue that was settled years ago. 

Now, we could have explained this, had we been asked, or even notified, before they started docking his pay.  But, no.  No warning, no opportunity to tell our side, nothing.  And, to make things even better, she's a lawyer, so she gets her legal help for free, while we're going to have to pay another lawyer (and maybe two--we might have to have one here in Ontario and another in Florida) to stop this action.

Whatever money she gets before we can stop it, or at least freeze it until we get it straightened out, is, I'm sure, gone.  We'll never see it again no matter how much we sue.  But that's not what really gets to me.  What really gets to me is that she was able to do it without involving us, warning us, telling us--without anything!  The money just started disappearing, and without half a day of research, we wouldn't have ever known why.  This is so UNFAIR it makes me want to scream, but what's worse is that it's really scary.  Can she do it again, just by making something up, as she basically did this time?  Can she do it any time she wants for any amount she wishes?  WHY DON'T WE JUST PUT ALL OF OUR ACCOUNTS IN HER NAME AND JUST LET HER HAVE IT ALL, THEN????

[end of rant mode]

Sorry, everybody, but I just had to get that out.  Hopefully we'll be able to get back to normal now.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


That's IT!  No more changes to my blog!  I'm through messing with it!  Not only am I tired of tweaking it, but the last tweak I did lost about half the blogs I was newly following!  Grrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!  Not to mention all the other things I could've/should've been doing all day!  (My Correspondence of Spellcraft assignment, my Magickal Names meditation, cleaning house, doing laundry, WRITING in my blog(!), actually practicing some drawing, studying the tarot, yoga, learning to knit . . .)  Sigh.  Again.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Midnight Snacks

I remember when, once upon a time, the term "midnight snack" meant that after I had been asleep for  awhile, I would wake up hungry, get up, and go have something to snack on.  Ah, the good old days.

I was wondering, as I snacked before going to bed around midnight, when did we get so busy that we can't for the life of us get to bed at a decent hour?  Decent, of course, meaning any time which will result in eight hours sleep. 

Sounds like a pleasant dream, doesn't it? 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Loss of Innocence

I woke up in the early hours of the morning, at a time Don calls oh-dark-thirty, and had a random thought that disturbed me so much I couldn't go back to sleep for a long, long time. 

Our last dog, Merly, was scared of EVERYTHING.  Life was a terrifying experience for her.  I thought for a long time that it was our fault--that we'd trained her wrong, or not enough, or too much.  Then I learned more about animal psychology/behavior.  I found out that while we might have been able to alleviate the fear, had we known more about it, we could never have made her feel totally safe, thanks to her early upbringing and her basic personality.

 So, when we got Lance, we decided to do everything in our power to make sure he didn't suffer from any of the same terrors.  We crate trained.  We took him to trainers who started their Early Puppyhood Education class with the statement, "Imagine what your child would grow up to be if the entire time he was growing up, he never had to hear the word 'no'."  We spent every spare moment we had for three months socializing him with people and dogs and situations of every conceivable type.  We nurtured and protected and encouraged and loved.  AND IT WORKED!  Neither of us had ever seen a happier puppy!  His ears and head were always up, his eyes were always alight with love and mischief, and he never met a stranger, human or canine, that he didn't like.  His life motto was "Hi, I'm Lance!  And life is GREAT!"  That's the way he was until he hit 8 months, that is.

At that point, as we were warned would probably happen, he got hit with panosteitis.  'Pano', as it's commonly referred to by the owners of large breed dogs, those who most often go through it.  It is, to put it simply, 'growing pains.'  It typically occurs in the long bones of the legs, jumps from leg to leg, and can take anywhere from days to months to go away.  There is no avoiding it, and no 'cure'.  Analgesics help control the pain, but still, sometimes they can hardly walk from it.

For the past two weeks, he's been favoring his front left leg, and doing everything from limping slightly to laying and whimpering so continuously it sounds like he's crying.  Worst of all, exertion of any kind makes it worse, so we can't play fetch with him, or take him for walks, or take him to the dog park.  The vast majority of training involves him standing or sitting or walking, so that's out, too.  All of a sudden, he's in pain, and we've stopped playing with him.  I can't imagine what he's thinking.  He must imagine he's being punished for something he can't figure out.  He's still getting as much love and attention as we can give, but it's not enough.  He's a puppy!  He needs exercise for developing muscles.  He wants to run and play.  And he doesn't have the capacity to understand why any of this is happening to him.

He's changed.  His ears and head are more often down than up anymore.  He sleeps SO much.  And he's not as happy and carefree as he used to be.  I don't know if he ever will be again, after having gone through this.  (His right front leg is getting better, but yesterday he was favoring his back right leg.)

AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO TO FIX IT.  Or even if it can be fixed.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Chicken Feed

I am SO excited!  I just read my very first bit of information on the care of chickens--chicks, to be exact!

Now, this may not seem like very exciting news to anyone else, but to me it's the first step towards having a real farm!  You see, Don and I have been talking about the possibility of having actual livestock on our eventual farm, going back and forth on different animals, dreaming and planning, etc.   This all with me knowing next to nothing about any of it.  Don, at least, was raised out in the country around various animals. (The most notable of which, apparently, were the %^&* cows, but that's another story, or stories, altogether.)

At any rate, one of the things we've definitely settled on is that we're going to have chickens.  (Do they actually COUNT as livestock?)  And, of course, I know nothing about them.  Not entirely true, I suppose--I was actually surprised to learn/realize recently that here in Ontario you have to keep your chickens warm!  I'm a South Texas girl originally, so this was downright shocking, after I got over the laughter.  :)  Still, I didn't know anything about the most basic of chicken care, until I stumbled upon a pdf about it in someone's blog.  I won't post the link 'cause I can't find a way to contact the author (or follow the blog, or anything else) other than posting a reply to the post, which I've done.  (Why can't EVERYONE use Blogger?)

Anyway, it was cutesy and REALLY basic, and I have no idea if any of the information was correct, as I haven't researched it or anything.  I certainly wouldn't rush out and buy chicks on its info alone, but it was still exciting!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Today, I thought I'd post a snippet of my response to an extremely well-written article by a friend of mine.  (Which is here.)  I thought I'd just write about my original experience (To read more on it, go here.), but I don't think I'll be able to do it twice.  It was hard enough the first time, so I'll just re-post that. 


I too, used to LOVE rain, and especially thunderstorms. Growing up in South Texas, I rarely saw either, so they were both special and appreciated when they did happen. In May of 1997 Central Texas experienced a REALLY bad tornado "season". We were living just north of Austin at the time, and one of those storms came through the area where we lived while I was home alone. (I later learned it was an F3 from a storm that spawned over 20 tornadoes.) It actually went between our house and the next, knocking over the fence and doing some roof damage., but didn't quite touch down, luckily. I spent the rest of that stormy night in fear of the next siren.

To my extreme distress, the next time a storm blew up (about a week later) I was just as freaked out as I was that night. The fear during storms lessened over the next couple of years, but only slowly. When we moved to the West Coast, instead of missing the violent storms I had once so loved, I was actually relieved that they rarely if ever occurred out there.

Eventually I thought I was over it, but then we moved back eastward (late 2004). Our first summer here in Ontario, I basically went through it all over again. As if it had just happened. I thought I'd be scared of thunderstorms for the rest of my life at that point. Luckily, I was wrong, and I did eventually get more or less over it.

At this point in my life, I can sit on the porch and enjoy a good thunder and lightning storm. I can smile and go back to sleep when I hear hard rain on the window pane. But if I'm out and about during stormy weather, I probably watch the skies more than most.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Appreciation Journals

I'm not sure how much validity this has, 'cause I love journaling anyway, but I'm really enjoying my new practice of keeping an appreciation journal.  I think it is slowly changing my thinking to more positive avenues.  And I especially love that Don is doing it, too, so we can read our entries to each other after we're done, and about 1/2 the time, they're about the same things!  And I totally love the actual physical book itself, with it's pretty pastel colors, faux weathered pages, and soft cover--I love touching it and looking at it, as well as writing in it. 

As to the actual appreciation part of it, I had no idea how much I truly had to be appreciative of in my life.  I mean, I could always find at least 5 things to list about how much I appreciate my husband, but that seems like cheating--after all, I'm not trying to keep a Don-is-great-and-wonderful journal (though he is).  So I try really hard to come up with 5 things I appreciate that are not about him, at least not directly. And I keep thinking of items!  AND I'm noticing more and more with each passing day.  I do actually find myself noticing things throughout the day that I could list at night when I write my entry.  It's nice.

Monday, May 3, 2010


We may be crazy, but here we go again!!!!  The puppies we've been waiting for were born this morning!  There's only one male sable in the litter, though, so we may have to go with a female, but that's okay.  I was torn on the issue anyway.  I mean, a boy would be so much easier in SO many ways, but, still, can anyone say pink collars and pink leashes and pink water bowls and, and, AND!? 

I guess we'll just have to wait and see which one we get!  For now, I'm just eagerly awaiting pictures!

(And little does Lance know that he has a baby "sibling" on the way!  Can I last the next 8 weeks until he has a new playmate to expend energy with???  Can my shoes???)

Alas, Poor Tofu

NOTE TO SELF:  Don't close the refrigerator door when you've forgotten to close the cover to the butter holder. 

The cover survived, albeit covered in cat hair (ick!), and the eggs did not break, surprisingly enough.  The tofu, however, in its own SEALED package, did not fair near so well--package exploded, tofu leaped out, floor got all gross (double ick), toast and coffee got cold while I cleaned it up. . . Sigh.  At least none of it got on the shelves!  And I was able to get the cover back onto the compartment without breaking either!  Yay!