Saturday, December 30, 2006

Farewell to Helen Coonan, my friend

I knew it yesterday. Deep down inside of me I knew the news would not be good. I saw her son's name on my caller ID.

Helen Coonan and I have been "penpals" for 10 years and 10 months. My son has just been born. She was from Wandering River Alberta. I initially wrote to her for a "recipe" for colorful logs made from newspaper. She had been widowed, and so had I, therefore the letters started there. Over the years she wrote of Bryce, and her children. She especially loved to speak of her grandchildren. She spoke of holiday gatherings, and told me once she liked big get togethers, but it always felt nice to get back home. She had a son that lived in her yard, and spoke of those children. One grandchild had visited Nova Scotia. She wrote of Lac La Biche, and bowling there. She often mentioned the weather, the drought, or the heavy rain, and seemed genuinely worried for the crops. She always mentioned my boys, and every year she would tell me how they had grown so much. She would ask about the business.

She always sent her card early, and in it she always had a good 3 to 4 page handwritten letter.
She never sent me a card this year. Helen passed away in a motor vehicle accident in October.
Her family waited for my card to arrive in Alberta, so they could track down Charlene from Nova Scotia.

Although we never met, I have had many cups of tea with Helen Coonan, and I will miss her smile.

Friday, December 29, 2006

from the Canadian Press


Prominent business people who died in the past year:
Robert Rich: Inventor of non-dairy whipped topping, at 92 at his home in Palm Beach, Fla., in February.
Steve Stavro: Founder of the Knob Hill Farms grocery chain and former owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs, at age 78 in April.
Edouard Michelin: 43-year-old father of six and co-CEO of the French tire company founded by his great-grandfather, in a fishing-boat accident off Brittany in May.
Kenneth Thomson: Canada’s richest man as chairman of Thomson Corp., at his Toronto office in June, aged 82.
Kenneth Lay: 64, founder of Enron Corp., at his Colorado vacation house in July, after being convicted but before being sentenced in America’s most notorious business fraud.
Mac Cuddy: Who turned an Ontario turkey farm into a major agribusiness that sold poultry to McDonald’s for chicken McNuggets, at his home in Strathroy, Ont., in October, aged 86.
Javis Roberts: Who battled neighbours to open Sensations, a strip club in a quiet district of Dartmouth, of cancer at age 45 in November. Among the club’s neighbours, congregants at the Dartmouth First Church of the Nazarene prayed for him regularly after learning of his illness.
Zalimkhan Magomedov: President of the National Oil Institute Foundation, a Russian energy company, shot dead in November in an apparent contract killing.
Earl Joudrie: A senior Canadian energy industry executive and a director on numerous corporate boards — but best known for getting shot and wounded by his estranged socialite wife Dorothy in 1995 — at his home near Peterborough, Ont., aged 72, in late November.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Christmas Wrap-up

Yes, Christmas is come and gone. I worked Xmas Day as I had no staff to work a shift. It wasn't so bad, even called an employee to tell her she could be a half hour late, I would stay a bit longer. Other than the queen we are boarding, the residents were all very pleasant and happy.

Christmas Eve is always lots of fun at Mom's with the gang. Tristan is 1 and a half. He was under the table and it has been 2 years since we had a kid crawling under the table to get to their mom. Something about that feels nice. Jules crawled till he was 7 or maybe even 8, and that didn't feel so nice. He was very,very excited and talked nonstop all day. If they had a pedometer for the mouth, he would have accomplished some greatness that day. Tristan was the entertainer for the most part. Elmo also tickled us adults quite a bit, however Tristan seemed a little unsure of the red giggling idiot.

The kids were up before 4 am. Yes, it is not a typing error. Santa came and brought drums and an electric guitar. I was surprised he never left earplugs in my stocking. Drums are loud, aren't they. I used to make very sound decisions, and be on the ball, but all that seemed to leave me in 2006. I am hoping to get my mind back in '07, and will let you all know when I find it.

I cannot do without mentioning my mother's meal on Christmas eve. Joan is a wonderful cook. Creamed Turkey and her dressing is the family's fav, year after year. She baked up a storm this year... Mince pies, apple pie,sweets galore, and more,... Including this gorgeous eggnog cheesecake. One by one, we tried the cheesecake, and one by one, we put our forks down and wondered.... what the hell is in this. There was words softly spoken around the table. Words like plastic, cardboard, ... Then came the moment of truth when mom approaches the table and says, "so how is the cheesecake?" Renaud is watching the wheels in my brain turning, and for once I appear to be speechless. I am just trying to find the right words. Mom is looking right at me, and I appear to have the dimmer lights way down. Come to find out...The culprit was this rum from Grenada she put in the cake. It was hilarious. We passed the bottle around and sniffed it. Like Martine said, you got an A+ for presentation Nanny, but an F for taste.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

On Kissing

The count down is on in our house and Jules is already having trouble sleeping. He has so much stuff going on inside that head of his. Even asked at the supper table " Do you have to practice to kiss?" I said what all mothers say.... Ask your father.

And he did. "Well", he said very seriously, "it's like everything else in life, a little practice always helps".

The answer was cute, but the man is so dry. Where is the humor in him???? His tickle bone must be displaced. I am the only one at the table that can hardly eat anymore, because I am giggling so. Then I talk a bit about love and kissing, and get "that look" from the dry one. The one that says, OK drop it.

I bring it up that night in bed. The serious man has that was at the supper table is gone. This stranger is actually laughing about it, and we laugh some more.... And yup.... We get in some more practice kissing.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

On Slouching

I thought this was interesting, from The New York Times

Q. Is slouching at the dinner table really bad for your back? Should we sit up straight?

A. Sit up straight, parents tell their children. It’s a well-known refrain based on the theory that anything other than a 90-degree posture places undue strain on the back.
Despite its persistence, that advice is wrong.
In 2006 a team of researchers at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland looked at 22 volunteers who sat in three positions. The first two positions, sitting upright and sitting with the body hunched forward, produced the greatest spinal disk movement, causing the internal disk material to misalign. The third position, in which the subjects reclined at a 135-degree angle with their feet planted on the floor, created the least strain.
According to the study, any position in which a person leans back, opening the angle between the thighs and the back, is preferable to sitting up straight.
The bottom line is that sitting upright at a 90-degree angle strains your back; leaning back places less pressure on the spine.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Mall woes

Yes, and hour and a half in Yarmouth Mall is enough to send anyone to the mental institution, regardless of how poor the services there can be.

The stuff is very much picked apart. The price on the shelf doesn't correspond with the item anymore. The cashiers are so slow, ready to slip into a coma ( except that one lady at Zellers, she calls me young lady, and she is very peppy). The young men working as cashiers may as well go home. They are too slow, and cannot even get the frigging bag open to put your stuff in. He's handling a bag of hersey's kisses like it's a Waterford water globlet.

Dollarama, well the prices are great , and so are the line ups. I passed by twice, and decided the handsoap can wait till next time.

Bargain Giant.... They have bargains. And a few nice pieces of furniture too. I'd like to watch someone maneuver through the store with a chest of drawers. I did buy something there. 99 cent catnip for memo's winter blahs.

Reitman's.... took forever to get served.

Radio Shack.... Well it looked like a shack. The service was friendly, but the young fella was plain slow. And why is it so necessary to have a personalized receipt from them. I answered more questions from them than I gave on our census survey.

Coles was the only store that won my heart. Clean, friendly staff, and quick moving.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

On the twelfth day of Christmas

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my schemeuse friends gave me...
"9 Corona Beer!!!! "
6 were for their own use,
an ice bucket,
many, many laughs,
and a opener for corona nights by me.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Mantle Monday

This decorating is very time consuming. Well Mantle Monday was easier then TreeThursday , and I don't think there will even be a Staircase Saturday . And Christmas is so close, I almost feel like, why bother now? I was again frigging with lights, when I had the bright idea to gently tap the base of the socket, to see if the bulb was really burnt. A gentle tap on the mantle, was more like a slam, slam..... Well slam #2 made a snap, and complete darkness fell. No TV, lamp, or Christmas tree lights. Blew the circuit , but got it back on. I will be gentle next time.

Speaking of lights, I still need an electrician. And I heard he was going to my father's tomorrow. I told Dad.."Tell him you are invited Sunday for dinner at my house, but there's darn chandelier is in the middle of the dining room table"

I saw an ad for a spider catcher. Very interesting, but for people like me, it just doesn't look lethal enough..... and it's not one of Oprah's favorite things.

Tomorrow night is the big party at work. It will be Tanqueray Tuesday, when the party finally ends. Ha Ha...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Nativity Story

Yup, I saw it at the theatre tonight. It was good. The wisemen were wisecracks, and added to it. I learned why the heck they were going to Bethlehem in the first place, 9 months prego on a slow donkey. And the tax man back them was even worst than Revenue Canada. The scenery was great. And Joseph was cute.

"And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn." The word "manger" translates the Greek word phatne, which means "feeding trough." From this word, which is repeated in the angelic message to the shepherds (Luke 2:12, 16), we get the idea that Jesus was born in a place where animals were fed, that is, some sort of stable. At this time and place, the average manger wasn't made of wood, but rather of stone. ( the manger in The Nativity Story was made of stone.)

On a different note; My tree is up, and the people are home in my Christmas village. They have the lights on, but most are outside the houses , feet stuck in the snow. And the postman is definately a Canada Post employee. Same mail in his bag for a week.

Speaking of slow, I am still waiting for the electrician to put up my new chandelier, which has been sprawled out on top of the dining room table, ready for action. It may have to be my centerpiece . It will be unique.

Friday, December 01, 2006

T'was the 1st night in December

T'was the first night in December
and all thu the house
not a creature was stirring, nor Nemo on the couch

The boys were all snuggled down in their beds
Growing pains in the legs, and Naruto in Emile's head
Jules and 10 teddies, sleeping all over the place
It's a job each morning just to keep a straight face

When outside there arose such a big flash
I jumped from the couch, spilled some gin from my glass
Those darn lights i put out
just a flickering and smoking
it's the pink bulb, the culprit..
wouldn't come on this morning

Out in my tunique, wet feet and all
to the pink bulb to tap it, or even change that darn bulb

And it came on in the nick of time, a little sizzle here and there
And it stayed on while i stood there, rain drenching my beautiful hair.

And on my way back in, gin and tonic in my glass
I sputtered, stay on if you like, if you don't ... kiss my _ _ _.