Friday, December 30, 2011

A Post Fit For a Queen

I am fully aware that I have been absent around here as of late. In my defense I have been sick. So sick in fact that I barely finished my Christmas shopping and for the first time in many years did not send out our annual photo Christmas card. I am pretty devastated about the latter but it just wasn't going to happen. Chris got slammed with the flu first and then like the wonderful sharing person he is he passed it on to me. And in true form I got way sicker than he did.

I really hate being sick around the holidays, it takes all the fun out of it for me. I love to drive around and look at Christmas lights--didn't happen. I love to shop--didn't happen. So thankful for an amazing husband who picked up the slack for me. Christmas Eve and Christmas day was fun times with family but I just didn't feel like myself and was so disappointed when I was barely able to eat any of the delicious turkey dinner Chris and I cooked on Christmas day. Just when I was starting to feel better I decided to go to the doctor today for a chest x-ray for some bad pain in my left ribs. I wanted to make sure I hadn't cracked a rib from my violent coughing fits last weekend. Sure enough my ribs were fine but good thing I went in, because the chest x-ray--while showing my ribs were fine--showed I have pneumonia. Hooray! Just in time for New Years. Suffice it to say our plans for tomorrow night are now to stay in and not go have fun with our friends Tammy and Jeremy and others. So yes boo hoo for me. This sucks.

But as the title of this post would suggest, this isn't about me. It is about the Queen, Today is my dear friend Carly's birthday and for her and her alone I sit here posting on my very neglected blog. I probably should be in bed but my love for Carly prevails. You never know where you might meet friends who became an important and special part of your life. A wedding in Seattle brought Carly and I together and I am so very thankful. Happy birthday to the greatest Canadian in all the land. I hope your day was special!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Daft Awesome

I've got a song stuck in my head. I hate that, because whatever you do, it won't leave.  In fact, as I am typing this, I have YouTube open in another window and its playing said song as we speak. In fact, the whole "movie" is playing.

If you ever have time and you're into techno/anime, go watch/listen to Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem. Its basically an entire anime movie set to Daft Punk songs. It's pretty cool. The specific song I have in my head is "Digital Love." Love that riff.

I tend to sometimes get sucked into a YouTube vortex. I will click on on video, and so on and so forth, aaaand there goes 2 and a half hours. Like right now--I'm watching an episode of Star Blazers. Awesome. Good thing the wife's still sick. Nyquil for her, useless internet videos/music for me!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Chicken Soup and Thermometers

You must forgive me for neglecting this space the last few days. I thought I lucked out and the nasty cold/flu bug that got Chris a couple weeks ago had left our house without bothering me. Well, I was wrong. It decided it couldn't leave without paying my body a visit. So, my weekend was spent in bed or on the couch. In the last 3 days all I have eaten is any combination of chicken soup, crackers, applesauce and oatmeal. Easy weight loss plan I suppose. Ha! Between the two of us these last few weeks I think we have kept Vick's (NyQuil, DayQuil, VapoRub), Tylenol, Mucinex, Chloraseptic--spray and lozenges--and of course Halls in business. For reals.

Being sick has got me seriously behind in my Christmas shopping etc. I do have some shopping done, but usually I am well on my way to being done by now and have things that need to be shipped well on their way. Hopefully in the next day or two I will have a package sent off to Edmonton for the family up there. We haven't even got to our Christmas cards yet. Sigh! So, if your Christmas card is late now you know why. 

On a totally unrelated note it was raining skittles in Seattle tonight, literally. Beast Mode baby!!!

Friday, December 09, 2011

An Oldie But a Goodie

A post I wrote a few years back when I participated in a Blog Off for Breast Cancer with some blog friends. I know it is such a cop out to make this my post for today. Truth is, I don't feel well, it's been a long week and I am going to bed. So read and enjoy :)

I love to go camping. I love the whole idea of escaping the city and getting away from it all. No TVs, no computers and no telephones. Just peace and quiet for as long as you choose to stay. I only have two rules when I go camping and they are as follows:1. NO BEARS, none whatsoever. None of this telling me they don't ever come around or only one is sighted a year. It doesn't matter, it's a rule and it stays that way. Chris broke this rule one time and I nearly killed him. There is only ONE exception to this rule and that is if it is The Berenstain Bears, because let's face it, they are cool.2. There HAS to be a working toilet within walking distance of the campsite.After that I am up for anything. I love the outdoors and I love the simplicity camping can bring into your life. Call me crazy, because I like a running toilet but at least I am not one of those girls who has to cart all her makeup and hair products with her when she goes camping. One of the reasons I look forward to camping is so I can leave all that stuff behind and not worry about it for a few days.

The fire is the main comfort of the camp, whether in summer or winter, and is about as ample at one season as at another. It is as well for cheerfulness as for warmth and dryness. ~Henry David Thoreau

One of my favorite things about camping is the fire. I love to sit around the fire. I could sit there for hours and stare at the glowing orange of the fire and listening to the crackling of the wood. I love the peacefulness of it. The fire serves so many purposes. Obviously there is the whole keeping you warm thing, but aside from that how else would we survive an entire weekend on hot dogs and marshmallows if we didn't have a fire to cook them on? What about s'mores? They just wouldn't be possible without the fire. I remember camping in 1997 with some friends from high school and sending the boys to make us s'mores at all hours of the night and bring them to our tents. I also remember us all thinking it would be fun to go for a swim in the lake at like midnight--even though it wasn't even June yet. If you could only know how cold that water was. Me and the rest of the girls spent the rest of the night in front of the fire drying our hair. Perhaps the midnight swim wasn't the brightest of ideas, but thank God for the campfire to dry us off that night.
A lot of people who are hardcore campers make fun of me and tell me I am not a real "camper" because I refuse to camp in the mountains or in the middle of nowhere. I like to go to a campground where there are other people around, and where my only social interaction during the trip is not some bear or wild cat who attacks me as I pee behind a tree. That just does not sound like a good time to me--seriously--it doesn't. I have been afraid to camp in the mountains for as long as I can remember. There was no experience that I went through that made me scared. It is just a general thing. Big ass wild animals live out there, so why would I want to go? And yes I know, before you waste your time I will say it for you. Bear attacks are rare and as long as you keep your food away, etc you will be fine. I know this, but it still doesn't change my mind any. I get that it is rare for a bear to walk up to your tent, rip a hole in it and drag you off in the middle of the night. But attacks do happen, and my luck I will be that one person it happens to. Therefore, I figure if I leave them alone and stay away from their place of residence then I will be fine.My favorite camping trip that I have ever been on is when Chris and I went camping on the Oregon Coast for a week. We stayed at Beverly Beach State Park which is almost right on the ocean. The Oregon Coast is among my favorite places and if you have ever been there or seen it in pictures you know why. Our campground was fairly big, yet quiet. We were happy to have found a site surrounded by trees and it was almost as if it was our own little place. In the evenings when it got dark, we would go for a walk along the beach and enjoy the views of the stars and listen to the crashing of the waves that we couldn't quite see anymore. All along the beach you could see bonfires and hear people talking and laughing. At our own campsite Chris would make us a fire and we would sit around for hours talking, drinking cheap beer and roasting marshmallows.

The first night we were there it was pretty late when we arrived and already very dark. We carefully unloaded the car, and used the headlights to light the way as we set up the tent. After everything from the car was unloaded we decided we would lite a fire and jut relax for a few hours before we climbed into out tent for the night. Chris was in the tent changing when he called out to me to ask me to grab the lantern from the car. Now this lantern was not one of those new-fangled battery powered plastic ones, this thing was the real deal. Old school with fragile glass and even more fragile mantels. The kind that basically turn to ash at the slightest touch. There I was, lantern in hand walking back towards the picnic table. Well, I didn't make it that far. As I was walking back I completely forgot about the cement block in front of our parking spot, and I tripped over it and went flying through the air. I landed almost face first on the cement, scraping up my arms, my elbow and my hands. The lantern did an acrobatic show of its own, flying through the air and hitting the ground and bouncing back up off of it with the loudest bangs and clangs you could imagine. It was almost midnight--you could have heard a pin drop and there I was making all the racket I possibly could. Once Chris realized that for the most part I was okay he could not stop laughing, and after a while I saw the humor in it as well and could not stop laughing myself. Miraculously I was more damaged than the lantern was, not a scratch on it. Tell me, how does that happen? How do I fling a glass lantern through the air, have it come crashing down on the cement and somehow it doesn't break? Whatever the reason it certainly gave us a good laugh that night. Although I was feeling a little sore and stuff from my fall when I woke up the next morning.
Lets talk about raccoons for a minute. Now, people would have you believe that raccoons are cute and therefore they are harmless. Let me tell you people, this is just not true. Have you ever encountered a raccoon? They are frightening little creatures and the thought of their claws scratching at my face gives me the shakes. Like at any campground--you will always have raccoons. We were very careful to keep all food and garbage away in the hopes they would stay away from our campsite. One morning we woke up after it had been pouring down rain all night to find muddy raccoon paw prints all over our picnic table cover and our camp kitchen. Little buggers had made quite the mess in search for a midnight snack. The next night they got pretty brave when we were sitting by the fire and they made their way towards the picnic table. Chris ended up scaring them off, but for a while they just stood there staring us down and hoping we would drop something they could snatch up.

Chris and I have not been camping for a long time. We are both hoping this summer will offer some opportunities to camp in some of the beautiful places out here in New England. We have yet to take Belle camping. That should prove to be very interesting as she doesn't like things with four legs so much and I am not sure she realizes that she would have no chance against a raccoon.

If you hate camping because you have been and it just isn't for you then I respect that. But for those of you who have never been and say you don't like it you need to try it at least once. I have a feeling that you might just like it.

What I like about camping is you can get really dirty. Either you're all by yourself, so no one else sees you, or everyone you're with is just as dirty as you are, so nobody cares. ~Anonymous

Thursday, December 08, 2011

I know some of you are probably wondering how Treevey our Christmas tree is doing, so I thought I would give you an update.

Treevey is doing great. She is drinking lots of water and smells fresh and clean. She brightens up our living room and our lives.

She is fulfilling her destiny as a Christmas tree in the best way she can.

Thanks Treevey!

Mucus...Not As Cool As You Think

I'm sick. I hate being sick. I hate being sick because I can never imagine myself ever being well again. Luckily I rarely get sick, which ticks my wife off because when she gets sick, it always seems to be for a week and its pretty bad, whereas I get it for a day. Or maybe half-a-day. This time, however, the quick turn around was not to be.

So last Sunday whilst driving home from Seattle, I started feeling crappy.  No nausea, just fever.  Sure enough, we stopped in Woodland for dinner, and I got out of the car and immediately started shivering. So we got home and I took my temperature, and it was 101.9! That's rare for me...or maybe well-done! Ha!

Anyways, I decided to go to the ER just in case. I checked in, they ran all the tests: blood, urinalysis, chest x-ray, etc. Nada. My diagnosis? "Fever of Unknown Origin."  Greeeat. So I went home and basically stayed in bed the next two days. It must have been viral, as Evey didn't get it.  The fever went down, but this schizo virus can't make up its mind and decided it wanted to hang out in my lungs. Y'know, cause having asthma since I was a baby isn't enough--now I get to cough up all sorts of amazing colored mucus and wheeze like a 90-year old man who smoked for 70 years who is now on an oxygen tank! Hooray!

I have been hitting the Nyquil every night, and medicating with Mucinex as well. I think its winding down. I even had to reschedule a root canal, as me sitting in the chair coughing up a lung probably wouldn't be the best idea as there are multiple sharp objects in my mouth.

So in review: Being sick is dumb.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Letters to Santa

Every year Chris and I make Christmas lists. Mostly they are for each other, but we also send them out to those in our families who like to have an idea of anything we might be needing or wanting in particular. I always feel like a little kid sitting in her room creating a letter to Santa, writing down all the things I wish for.

I really am a pretty easy person to shop for. It really doesn't take much to put a big smile on my face and have me giddy as a Christmas ham. In fact, a new pair of socks with a fun design on them has been known to make my day. I don't expect much and I always grateful for whatever I am given. 

What I love more than getting presents is giving them. I LOVE Christmas shopping. I really really love it. I love giving someone something I know they wanted or even something I totally just bought on a whim but knowing they love it. It makes me so happy. 

What is on my wish list this year you ask? An Oilers jersey, a Kinect, socks, slippers, light for my kindle etc. 

So, what is on your wish list?

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Cute Niece to the Rescue

Once again I am left speechless, or in this case typeless. Shocking I know, since on a normal day I don't shut up. Just ask Chris. So for days like this I am thankful that I have the cutest niece in the history of nieces.
For real, who needs to read my rambling when you can just look at the cuteness oozing from this picture and spilling all over my blog. Annika just turned 1 last week and she is just too cute for words. This could be my favorite picture ever. 

Monday, December 05, 2011

Adventures in Christmas Trees


 Any guesses what we did tonight?

We actually got out tree yesterday. It didn't have a very good start to it's life with us but that was yesterday and today we have welcomed Treevey into our lives with open arms. We of course had a strand of lights out which required a trip to Rite Aid to get some new ones. This of course gave us the excuse for a stop at Starbucks for Peppermint Mocha's and Peppermint Brownie Cake Pops. So the tree is up and decorated, we watched Elf which has become our tradition when putting up the tree. Belle was no help, she just laid on the couch and watched. Go figure!

Tomorrow we will get to the rest of the decorations and the outside lights and then all we need to do is finish our Christmas shopping.

Now if someone could just order me a white Christmas we will be in business!!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

The Muppets Say it Best

I had nothing to blog about tonight. Then I saw this on facebook so I thought I would make it my post for the day. Enjoy!!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

The Best Real Roses I Never Got

Today Carly posted about the super cute Christmas card her boyfriend Kevin made with crayons and sent to her before they had even met. I gotta give him credit, his skills with the crayon were above and beyond, and how cute that he did that in the first place. If you care to read the post and see pictures of his card you can do so by clicking HERE.

This got me to thinking about one of the cutest and creative gifts that Chris ever gave me. To this day, I think it is still one of my favorites.

A few years back when we were living out east in Boston we had decided that money was a little tight so we were not going to spend any money on Valentine's Day on dinner, gifts or even flowers. Chris and the other technicians had a workshop in the basement of one of the Starbucks stores where they would do paperwork and work on machines. Little did I know on this day Chris was a busy little beaver making me my most favorite bouquet of flowers he has ever given me.

I was so surprised and excited when he presented them to me that night and he was so proud of his handy work. He had made them from pink bubble wrap, steel wire and electrical tape. A dozen pink bubble wrap roses.

I keep them on a shelf in our living room. Love them! So there you go guys, a gift doesn't have to cost a bunch of money to make a woman happy. A little thought and effort will win us over every time.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Tis The Season...Or Is It?

The calendar says it is Dec 2nd. The Christmas tree lots, the lights and the Christmas music everywhere would suggest it is indeed the Christmas season. But I am just not feeling it.

Perhaps it is just simply that we haven't decorated yet. Hopefully that will all be taken care of this weekend. Hopefully by this time tomorrow night, the tree will be up and we will be watching a Christmas movie and sipping on a glass or two of wine. But even then--something tells me it still might be missing some white stuff of the flaky nature (and I'm not talking about dandruff...)

Growing up in Edmonton, Alberta I am used to long, cold and snowy winters. Call me crazy but I loved those winters and I miss them. The cold and the snow just adds to the beauty of the Christmas season, at least for me. Even when we lived in Boston we always had a white Christmas. Winters there are not quite as cold, long or snowy as Alberta winters but they were good enough. We enjoyed some great storms out there and most importantly had snow during this season. I miss that.

It's not like we have sunny balmy weather here right now or anything. Sure it's a little cold but I assure you it likely won't snow here one bit this year. Just like it didn't last year. That makes me sad. Perhaps I should invest in a snow machine. At least that way I can make my own snow whenever I want.

How about you? What gets you in the Christmas spirit?

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Remembering A Legend: Dave Niehaus February 19, 1935 – November 10, 2010

Below is a post I wrote on our sports blog (which we need to resurrect) back in August 2008 about out trip to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Dave Niehaus, who had been the Mariners play by play broadcaster since they joined Major League Baseball in 1977 was being honored and inducted into the broadcasters and writers wing of the Hall of Fame.

I suggest you take a minute and click on the below and listen to some of Dave's greatest calls. I could listen over and over. Still get goosebumps and still get teared up thinking of what we had and what we have lost. God bless him.

More audio at
Sadly, we lost Dave to a heart attack last November at the age of 75. Dave's family and friends, the Mariners organization and fans around the world were heartbroken at the loss of a legend. He was a gentle, kind man who made me love a game I never thought I would or could. I am forever grateful for that. I am also so thankful Chris and I had the opportunity to see him be honored that weekend in Cooperstown, it was an experience I won't soon forget.

Even though we never met Dave, we did have an opportunity a few years back to have a baseball, mini bat and program from the Hall of Fame weekend signed by him. While still living in Boston, we used our connections within Fox Sports Northwest (now ROOT Sports) to have our stuff signed. A family friend had us meet up with one of the producers out back of Fenway Park who took our stuff to Dave to have signed.

Dave is forever enshrined at Safeco Field with the below statue. Thanks for the memories Dave. Gone but never forgotten. My Oh My!!

August , 2009

--Its funny. Six years ago I would have been the last person you would have seen in Cooperstown, New York, visiting the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. I would have laughed at you if you had told me that one day I would end up there and would spend hours walking around and looking at baseball's past and present as it is captured within the walls of the Hall. I would have told you that you were crazy if you had told me that I would spend hours standing on a street waiting to catch a glimpse of the stars that have made the game of baseball what it is today. If you had told me I would attend the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and have a lump in my throat, tears in my eyes, and goosebumps from head to toe as they introduced the 56 living Hall of Famers I would have shook my head in disbelief. If you had told me that when they announced Hank Aaron and Willie Mays back to back that as they walked upon the stage I would have been moved to my feet and joined the thousands in thunderous applause for two of the greatest to ever play the game I would have told you to get your head checked. Me, love baseball and all it means? Not a chance. But you know, just when you think you have it all figured out, you find a passion for something you never imagined could exist.

You would think Chris would be the one to blame for this love and passion I have for the game of baseball and the Seattle Mariners. But all the credit goes to my mother in law Linda. When I spent weekend at their house when Chris and I were first dating it seemed all they watched was baseball all weekend long. Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. At first I fought it. I swore up and down I would never watch such a boring excuse for a sport. Being Canadian and a passionate hockey fan the thought of watching baseball was nauseating. But slowly I got sucked in. I would sit with Linda and watch the games and before too long I was asking questions, and I was learning the players names and positions. I don't think we will ever forget the day I tried to say the name of the player who became my favorite Mariner. RP pitcher #17 Shigetoshi Hasegawa. I tried and tried but over and over his name came out in all sorts of odd sounds. We laughed and laughed. Shigersnooki Hashegowi. But I learned his name and with each game I was eager to learn more about different things. What a bunt was, what a double play was, what a ground rule double was. Before long I found myself fascinated with the pitchers and how complicated the art of pitching really is. The different grips, release points, the pitches. I couldn't get enough.
My mother in law may have introduced me to baseball and planted the seeds that would turn my into the baseball fan I am today. But it is Dave Niehaus that made baseball real to me. Night after night it was Dave who made me feel like I was at the ballpark sitting in the front row. It is Dave who gives me goosebumps when he utters the words he is so well known for. None better than his grand slam call--"Get out the rye bread and mustard Grandma it is grand salami time!"
There is nothing like it when a ball is crushed out of the ball park and Dave makes you feel as though you are right there--"that ball is belted to deep right field and that ball is going to Fly Away, My oh My!"

Dave Niehaus for those of you reading this and don't know who Dave is, he is the play by play announcer for the Seattle Mariners and has been since their inaugural game in back in 1977. In 32 years Dave has missed only 82 games. Quite the feat considering baseball has 162 game seasons. Through all the bad times in Seattle Dave has always been the constant. Game after game he has always been there. What makes Dave so special is how much he truly loves the game of baseball. He has a passion for the game that is heard in every word he speaks. If a broadcaster does not have a passion and love for the game he is calling then there is no substance to his words. They are merely that, words. With Dave you know it is more than a job to him. He has been living his dream for 32 years calling a game that he is passionate about and a baseball team he truly loves.Being able to be there and see Dave receive the Ford C Frick award and honored by the Hall of Fame was truly a special experience for me, one I won't soon forget. Dave is an honorable and gracious man who deserves all recognition in this world for what he does day in and out. At the end of Dave's speech he said--
" I know there are several bigger names who have preceded me in winning this award. There will be several bigger names after me to win this award, but no one will ever be more appreciative."
Dave is right that no one will ever be more appreciative but in my opinion he is the greatest there is. His name is much bigger and much more important to baseball and the Seattle Mariners that I think he realizes.Living in a city where people seem to move to and immediately desert the team the grew up cheering for just to cheer for the Boston Red Sox makes me sick. There is no loyalty in that and I think it's sad. Dave said it best when he said--

"Millions of fans from the northwest stand here with me today. Believe me, without them, I wouldn't be here today. Over the years, they have been my biggest supporters and they've been loyal to the Mariners through thick and thin, and there was never a doubt in my mind about Seattle being big league territory from the first pitch Diego Segui threw to Jerry Remy 32 years ago, it's been quite a ride and it's not over yet. Believe me, the best is yet to come."

Win or lose my heart is in Seattle with the Mariners. You will never see me cheering for another baseball team with the passion I have for Seattle. I thank Dave Niehaus for that. And he is right, the BEST is yet to come. And when that time comes it will be worth every moment of heartache. It will be worth every loss and it will be worth every season the Mariners have let Seattle down. My only wish is that Dave Niehaus will be around for that, I wouldn't want to hear anyone but him calling the final play in a Seattle Mariners World Series clinching game.

Dave Niehaus will forever be in the hearts of Mariners fans. Long after he has retired from baseball he will be in our hearts and he will always be the greatest there is in my eyes.
Congrats Dave, and thank you for sharing you love and passion for baseball with all of us. My Oh My!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

In Sickness and in Health...

For the first time in well, since I have known him, Chris was hit with something this week that found him in bed all of Monday, Tuesday and much of today. It actually started Sunday night when we were driving home from Seattle. By the time we arrived home he was as hot as a overheated radiator on a hot summer day. Which for him is rare. His temperature usually runs right around 98.0. He was at 101.9 with a stiff neck, the chills and so on. After a call to a health care nurse via our insurance provider we were off to the ER at her suggestion. Since I am of the mind set of rather being safe than sorry I encouraged the idea. Chris agreed and we headed out.

We arrived shortly after midnight and without even having to sit in the waiting room we were ushered into a room where the oh so sexy hospital gown awaited Chris. He quickly put it on, and though he would never admit it I think he liked it. After a visit with the technician, the nurse and then the doctor it was determined they would run a battery of tests to see what could be causing his fever and rapid heart rate which was sitting right about 120 for most of the time we were there. Blood work came back showing nothing more than a slight elevation in his white blood cell count which is common when the body is fighting some sort of infection. Urine test and chest x ray were clear. The doctor determined his symptoms were not serious enough to warrant a lumbar puncture, which is the test for meningitis. Thank goodness. So after a couple hours, blood work, chest x ray, urine test and a litre of fluids via IV we were sent home. Instructions given were to come back if the fever stayed at or above 101.5 even with the help of Tylenol. Luckily it stayed just below it. His fever has finally seemed to have come down, even though he is still a little warm by his standards. He is coughing up a storm which I suppose is a good thing since he is clearing all that crap out.

We have never had flu shots, but perhaps this is good enough reason to consider starting to join in on the fun. Maybe next year...

It has definitely been an interesting few weeks around here for us in the medical department. First there was our trips to the dentist which are not over yet. First were the cleanings, then came the fillings. My fillings were done today. I was not impressed to learn I need a crown on one of them that is going to cost us almost 400 bucks. Next week Chris has a root canal. I also need to have a procedure done where a graft of skin is taken from the roof of my mouth and put on my gums in the lower front where I have a pretty bad receding gum.

Last week I had a mammogram which I new was going to result in further testing. Most of you will remember my breast issues from a few years back. If not click HERE to read the blog post about it. I have two benign lumps that I need to have removed. Problem is I am having a heck of a time getting my medical records from the doctors in Boston. Now without them I need to have an ultrasound (AGAIN) and then perhaps even another biopsy. Although at this point I am hoping to avoid the latter and just have my surgery and they can test it once it is out. However if I could just get the stupid records then we may just avoid all that other fuss and just finally get my surgery scheduled. Fingers crossed.

On top of all that I have my eye issues. I feel like an old lady, for real. lol I have a degenerative eye disease called Keratoconus which you can read about HERE if you so desire. In short it is my cornea cones causing distorted vision. I have to wear medical hard lenses to help correct my vision. We have already paid a ton of money to try and get things moving in the right direction only to have to start over with a new eye doctor since our insurance changed. Hopefully by early in the new year I will have my lenses and will be seeing clear as day.

Last week also found me in the ER looking for some relief of excruciating pain in my left leg that had started in my knee and moved up into my thigh and groin. It had been going on about a week or more and I had reached my breaking point. My trip to the ER included an Doppler ultrasound of my left leg and thigh to rule out blood clots as the cause of my pain. Thankfully no such thing was found. I was prescribed vicoden and referred to an orthopedist to try and get to the bottom of my discomfort. While the pain has definitely gotten better I am still having tightness and swelling behind my knee. Fun times.

So there you have it. Mammograms, dental work, 2 trips to the ER and eye doc appointments. All within weeks of each other. We may seem like we are falling apart but I promise we aren't. Ha!

And I must not forget to mention that tonight is DAY 30 of NaBloPoMo in which my dear friend Carly and I signed up to challenge ourselves to blog everyday for an entire month and WE DID IT! Hooray! I dare say we are going to keep it up. I will do my best to continue to entertain you, as long as you keep coming back for  more.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Is it Really Almost December?

I cannot believe that December is upon us. I mean seriously WHERE the heck did 2011 go? I mean really!? It kinda scares me a little at how quickly time seems to be passing by these days. I feel like I blink and it's a new day, new month, new year. Sometimes I think it would be nice for time to just slow down once in a while.

This weekend will be tree time for us. I love driving around to the different tree lots to find the perfect tree for us. We will probably pop in a Christmas movie like Elf or A Christmas Story while we put up the tree and decorate it and the rest of the house. Hopefully Chris will be feeling well enough this weekend (he has been sick in bed since Sunday night) to get the lights up outside as well. I get giddy just thinking about all of it, I really do love this time of year.

Next thing on my list once the house is taken care of is our Christmas picture. I am sure you are all very aware that we send out a photo card every year and yes that photo includes Belle. Often we make her look silly with antlers or some such on her head. She is NEVER impressed with such antics.

What should probably be higher on my list is my Christmas shopping. I usually am way more ahead in that regard than I am right now. I usually have a lot of it bought and ready to be wrapped by now. Right now I don't even know what am I getting people. Definitely something I need to get busy organizing over the next couple weeks.

Now if we could only get some snow I would be one happy camper.

This time of year I also usually get into one of those reflective moods where I think of the past year and what I have and haven't done. Figure out where I need to get better in my life and set new goals for myself. I am sure there will be a post coming your way about this in the coming weeks. Until then, enjoy the beginning of this Christmas season. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Words are Better Without all the Letters

Do you ever notice signs when you are driving at night that have certain letters out? Chris and I always seem to come across some funny ones. At least for us they are funny, I am sure most of the time it is one of those you had to be there in the moment type things. Either way, we seem to always see ones that make us laugh really hard.

A while back while out for dinner with Chris's parents we happened to be telling them about this very phenomenon. As we were driving home we saw one that showed them exactly what we were talking about. We were passing a Men's Wearhouse except it read Me Earhouse. The four of us erupted in laughter.

Last week as Chris and I were driving past an Applebee's up in Renton, WA Chris noticed the sign and said to me "hey, do you want to go to Apple?" I looked up to see the back end of the word had its light out. We of course thought this was just hilarious. That was of course till I noticed the other side of the sign and said "now it is just lebee's!" I thought that Chris very well may wet himself right then and there or at the very least crash the car.

Fast forward to Sunday night as we were headed home from Seattle. We were passing through Tacoma when Chris noticed a sign that said "Tacoma Elf Storage." LOL! How fitting given the season, Elf Storage. It totally made my day. So thank you Tacoma Self Storage for having your S out. Maybe they do it on purpose, maybe they don't. Either way. HILARIOUS!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

When Football and Muppets Become One

Growing up in Canada I pretty much lived and breathed hockey. Being from Edmonton, it was and always has been all about the Oilers. That will never change. I was 12 when the Oilers last won the Stanley Cup in 1990.
But with the infusion of young talent I, like most other Oilers fans am excited for the future. It has been 21 years, but something tells me we won't have to wait another 21. 

Hockey is really all we have in the great white north. Aside from Toronto there is no baseball, there is no basketball. The CFL doesn't really count as a pro sport in my opinion. Sure I find myself wanting to see how the Eskimos are doing throughout the season or watch the occasional game when the NFL Network plays a game here and there. But let's be honest, there is a reason those guys are playing in the CFL. The NFL is a far superior league with the best players in the world and so much more fun to watch. 

A huge difference between sports in Canada and sports here is college sports. College sports here are HUGE. Especially football. In some ways it almost seems to me that college football is bigger than the NFL. The average American male spends his entire Saturday watching game after game after game. Our team of choice is the University of Washington Huskies. 
I have always wanted to go to a college game. Watching on TV they seem so fun with the marching bands and the raucous crowds. So for Chris's birthday, I got tickets for us to go see the Huskies play the Washington State Cougars in the Apple Cup yesterday at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. The weather turned out to be decent, no wind or rain and not too cold. I am pretty sure that the hike up to our seats in row JJ of the 300 level burned off any extra calories from Thanksgiving. We had a lot of fun at the game. Of course the Huskies kicked butt and won 38-21.

The Huskies marching band did a tribute to the Muppets at halftime. It was awesome.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the Huskies have a live mascot, an Alaskan Malamute named Dubs. He leads the team on to the field and it super cute. Yes I spent much of the game wondering where he was and trying to find him on the sidelines. Dubs even has his own blog which you can find HERE
All in all my first college football experience was a lot of fun. Hopefully we can go to a few more games next year. Go Dawgs!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Comments, Comments, Comments

Back when I was a blogging regular before my current resurrection, I blogged because I liked to write. I stopped blogging because I got lazy. Now that I have been back posting every day this month, I have realized how much I still enjoy to write. I realize it may not be the most entertaining stuff but it's what I got. For the most part I don't blog for the acknowledgement, I don't need my ego to be inflated because it's not about that. But I am not going to lie. When I write a post about something that is important to me and I feel like I worked really hard to share with whoever is reading and then after 2, 3, 4 days and still there are no comments it drives me absolutely batty. Like I said, it's not an ego thing, it is just nice to know people are actually reading and maybe once in a while even enjoy it.

The Queen and I had this conversation the other day. She too is lacking traffic to her blog. She had made the suggestion that with blogging "you get out of it what you put in to it." She is a wise one. So I have made an effort lately to read more blogs out there and leave comments in hopes of leading some of those people to my blog. If they are coming, they aren't letting me know it. I have made a point of linking posts on Twitter and Facebook and even with that there is still not much coming in. Yes--I realize there are people out there reading it, as I have a counter on my blog that allows me to look at a map of where everyone is visiting my blog from.

When I first started blogging back in 2004, it was mainly to keep all our family and friends out here on the west coast and up in Canada up to date on what was happening in our lives since we had just moved cross-country to Boston. After a while it became an outlet for me. Some days it was some in depth thoughts...and others it was about my dog playing with a frozen poop in the backyard! But back then it really didn't matter what it was about, I had a lot of traffic and a lot of feedback.

So the questions I have are the following:

1. Is it what I am writing about?
2. Is there lack of interest?
3. Is it just all of you who are too lazy to give me feedback any given day?
4. What can I do differently?

Now that I have started blogging here on a daily basis again, I feel like it is something I will probably continue with--at least for the time being. The lack of comments isn't going to stop me from blogging, but I can say the comments and feedback can only help me and push me to continue writing and entertaining you with whatever useless drivel I choose to toss your way. I mean, you don't want  to miss out on a moment of that. Do you?

So what do you say? Come out from the woodwork you lurkers. Let me know you're there, let me know your thoughts. Even if those thoughts are " hey Evey your blog is so boring I want to poke sharp things in my eyes!" At least I will know you are reading. And poking.

Friday, November 25, 2011

What's In a Name?

I recently found out that my good friend Carly has been called Bob the majority of her life. I have known Carly for about 6 years and I am not entirely sure how this bit of information never came up in conversation. And if you consider the background for this becoming her nickname (you can read about that HERE) and know what a lover of hockey I am then it becomes even more surprising that this never came up.

This got me to thinking about names, nicknames and the meaning behind them. When I was growing up my brother Dave called me Stinky. I am not really sure why. I don't remember giving him an actual reason for it. Who knows though, maybe I was a gassy kid. And if I was, I will own it. Although I think if anyone was actually stinky I assume it was him since he is a boy and all. To this day he still calls me Stinky, Stinky Stinkerson or any other creative names that include Stinky.

*update* I cannot believe I forgot to mention some of the loving nicknames I used to call my brother Dave. The most memorable one being a very long one that went in this order -- David Campbell Soup-Jelly Belly Floyd-Hamburger Helper-Chubby! I even put it in the form of a song. I am laughing at myself singing it right now. Ha!

Aside from being anointed Stinky by my brother, I have had many other nicknames. Pinky was my name back in my days working at our church camp. My maiden name is Floyd--so it makes sense. In high school it was Yivan. I currently go by three names--confusing yes, but I soldier on. I think it is MUCH more confusing for others. In fact when we first moved to Boston and started attending a new church, I had one friend who thought Yvonne and Evey were two different people. Ha! I had introduced myself to her as Yvonne and she always heard people talking about this new girl Evey. A lot of my friends back in Canada and a few here in the States call me Eve. Chris's entire family and most of my friends here south of the border call me Evey. My family and people who know me from way back when I was just a wee little thing just call me by my full name, Yvonne. I will answer to all 3. I am not sure I really have a preference, but I think I've just gotten so used to Evey, so that is the one I mostly go with but I am happy either way.

Even my dog has a handful of nicknames. Her name is Annabelle but for the most part she has always been Belle. Somewhere along the way we started calling her Bubba. I realize this is normally a name reserved for males, but if Carly can be called Bob then surely calling my dog Bubba is acceptable. We use Bubba so often when referencing the dog that she will now answer to Belle or Bubba. We even caught Chris's mom calling her Bubba last week.

Nicknames that drive me nuts are athletes. The lack of creativity sometimes amazes me. I have noticed this especially with hockey players. While some do have some fun and creative nicknames some are just plain pointless. For example if your last name is Conklin, Conks is your nickname. I'm just sayin'--that's dumb. Goalies are the worst for this since they generally have their nicknames on the bottom part of the front of their masks. Some examples; Conklin - Conks, Anderson - Andy, Dubnyk - Dubs. Really? That is the best you can come up with. Poor. What happened to good nick names? Maybe I am expecting too much, but I just want a little creativity. Maybe I could market myself and get hired as the "Nickname Creator" for the NHL. I bet there's good money in that.

So what are your nicknames and the stories behind them?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ramblings of a Woman Full of Turkey

So I had this big ol' blog post planned in my head. But you see, my problem is that I leave it till too late in the day. By the time I find myself sitting in front of the computer, I am too tired to put any effort into it. Lesson learned--I really need to start blogging earlier in the day. So, instead of some thoughtful post this evening I will leave you with randomness from the last couple of days.

Yesterday I had my yearly mammogram. Hooray! Nothing like a stranger jamming your boobs into a machine and putting 25 plus pounds of weight on them. Not the most ideal start to the day. But you gotta do what you gotta do. It really honestly is not that bad. It is definitely uncomfortable but the truth is, it lasts for only 5 or so seconds at a time. If you end up with a nice, talkative technician then they get you talking so you aren't really thinking about the giant booby squeezing device before you.

Later in the day yesterday Chris and I headed north to Seattle for the Thanksgiving long weekend. I have been having some trouble with my leg the last week or so. I had been to urgent care for it twice, but it wasn't getting better. In fact on Tuesday night the pain was so bad when I was in the shower I could barely stand. Last night as we were at Safeway getting some last minute things for today's Thanksgiving celebrations, the pain again became so bad it took everything not to burst out crying right there in the middle of the store. I am sure had I done that, people would have just viewed me as some crazy lady devastated that the last pumpkin pie was scooped up by someone else or Safeway was out of rolls--which they were by the way--we had to go to Albertson's to get them. By the time we got back to Chris's parents house, I was in a great deal of discomfort and concerned something dangerous such as a blood clot could be lurking. So off to the ER we went.

Fortunately they were not busy, we were in triage and in a room in no time. The nurse was in, then the doctor who decided he would order a doppler ultrasound on my leg. He was also kind enough to give me a vicodin. That sure relaxed me--it made me loopy and sleepy all at the same time. Sadly for Chris I did not stop talking for a good 2 hours. Not only was I talking, but I was changing subjects at a rapid pace. I think it may have even been a record for me. Thankfully, the ultrasound showed no signs of clots. Thank God. Sadly I still don't know the cause of my issues, and the pain that has started behind my knee has moved up my thigh and into my groin area at times. It has been tight, uncomfortable and honestly just a complete pain in my ass. I will see an orthopedist next week to try and get to the bottom of it. Ideally, I hope it is cleared up before then. In the meantime, I have vicodin in case the pain is bad AND I have Chris to wait on me hand and foot. ;)

We spent today with Chris's brother Bryan, wife Andrea, and our 3 nephews Gavin, Trevor and Avery along with the cutest niece in the whole world, Annika. Andrea's mom Diana also joined us and we had a lovely meal (thanks Andrea), dessert and great day with the fam. Today was also Trevor's 10th birthday, so we of course celebrated that with cupcakes and presents. Good times. Love spending time with all of them.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I will leave you with some of the things I am thankful for. I am so thankful for turkey. Let's be honest, I love it, A LOT. I am thankful for my husband and my doggie. I am thankful for my families here in the States and in Canada. I feel blessed to have amazing friends. I am thankful for our church and some of the great people we have met there. I am thankful for boxed wine. It saves me a lot of money and it really isn't all that bad. I honestly have a much more thoughtful post in mind about thankfulness, but it is just going to have to wait for another day....because shockingly enough...its late.

Right now I think it is time for the big white pill that will make me happy and sleepy. And tomorrow, The Muppets. YES!!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Booby Squeeze

How was your day?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Triumph Over Tragedy

TragedyAn event causing great suffering, destruction, 
and distress, such as a serious accident, crime, or natural 

We have all been touched by tragedy in some form. Whether it is something you have experienced personally or someone close to you has had tragedy strike in their lives, I think the initial human reaction is to be angry, cry, lash out and ask why. It leaves us confused, lost and grief stricken. 

Watching my mum die from cancer was devastating. I was 18 years old and felt like my world had caved in on me. I was brought up in a Christian home with values that I hold dear. But at the time, I was so lost and angry at God and felt like the one thing I had clung to my entire life had left me high and dry. After losing my mum I went through other struggles within our family and on my own personal level. I chose to be angry and I let it define who I was for a long time. I chose to use my grief as an excuse for my actions. 

That is the thing about tragedy and grief. We have the power to CHOOSE how we move forward with our lives. We have the ability to learn from our experience and move in to the next chapter of our lives with our heads held high. It is up to us to take what we are given and turn tragedy in to triumph and be better because of it. Of course it is normal to have a time for grief, but at some point you have to make the right choice, deal with the issues and move forward in your life. 

On Friday night I had the privilege and honor to meet Abby Rike and hear her speak at a church in Bellevue, Washington. For those of you who do not know who Abby Rike is or what her story is, you can click HERE to read a little about her story. For those of you too lazy to click and read for yourself, here is the Readers Digest version: In October 2006 Abby lost her husband, 5 1/2 year old daughter and 2 1/2 week old baby boy in a tragic car accident. Abby's journey to healing led her to the Biggest Loser in which she was a contestant on Season 8. If you watched that season, you know that Abby gripped the hearts of all who watched this sweet woman try to reclaim herself, her life, and her health after a tragedy that so few of us can imagine. Abby lost 100 pounds and now spends her time travelling the country as a motivational speaker sharing her story and her heart.

The minute I learned Abby was going to be speaking close to me, I knew I wanted to attend. What I didn't know was the impact that night would have on me. It would be unfair to try and put into words the gratitude I have towards her. Having watched Abby on the Biggest Loser and read her book Working It Out beforehand, I knew I was going to enjoy every second of listening to her. She did not disappoint. What a blessing she is. 

 - I learned that courage was not the absense of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear - Nelson Mandela

While reading Abby's book, one of the first lessons I took to heart was to stop allowing fear to control me. In regards to weight-loss, I have let fear be in charge for way too long. I have been afraid to go to the gym, join a work out class of some sort or even run in my neighborhood because I am afraid of being made fun of. I am afraid of doing it wrong or failing. I think it is time I get over it. If Abby and the rest of the past and present Biggest Loser contestants can go on national television and bare their souls and stand on a scale every week in a sports bra and spandex shorts then surely I can go for a run in my own neighborhood. As long as I am afraid and worry what those around me will think or say then I will never move forward in my own journey to better health. 

In her book she writes, "a weight-loss journey is about losing so much more than physical weight. In order to become truly healthy, in all areas of your life, you are changed. It's not that you change your personality; you do however become the best version of yourself."

How true is this? I think so many times people who are overweight think if they just lose the weight then all will be good. We can't overlook why we got here in the first place. People don't get fat for fun.

I firmly believe we all have a purpose and path in this life. Sometimes we need to endure the heartbreaking reality of life to find our purpose and live out our truth. I know for me it is about time I do this for myself. It is time I stop sitting around wishing the weight away instead of working hard for it. It is time I open myself up to my current journey, learn from it, be better and use it for good. That is exactly what Abby did. While her story of losing her family is heartbreaking, her story of her faith and her triumph over tragedy should inspire us all to make the changes we need in our lives. 

"Even in your darkest hour, there is always hope" -- Abby Rike

I am thankful Abby has chosen this path in her life. Her faith in God and her determination to reclaim her life inspires me and pushes me. The timing of being able to see her speak could not have been more perfect. It was just the push I needed. 

Who inspires you? Who makes you want to make a difference?