Friday, June 29, 2012

Why?

Why is it so shocking when someone does something nice for someone else for absolutely no reason at all?


Let me explain...

This morning, like yesterday morning, I hit up the McDonald's drive thru for an iced coffee and an egg McMuffin (I've stayed up too late and haven't been able to drag my arse out of bed in time to a "real" breakfast at home...don't judge...we've all been there) Anywho...I placed my order and drove up to pay and noticed a van behind me. I spoke to the nice lady at the window...

"Good morning...I would like to pay for my order and theirs". I'm thinking not a big deal, it's just breakfast.
"Umm, I'm not sure, do you know them, why?" she stammered.
"I have no idea who they are, complete strangers but I would still like to pay for their breakfast"

She was shocked and surprised but after some convincing, agreed to let me pay for both. As I drove away I got to thinking...

Why was she so shocked? It wasn't a big deal to me but clearly is was to her. It both surprised and saddened me. As a society, have we become that cold and unfeeling towards one another that it's "shocking" when someone does something nice for a complete stranger?
Honestly I didn't give much thought to what I did. It's Friday, it's the start of a long weekend and it was a warm and sunny morning. It just seemed like a nice thing to do.


Did it change their day? Did they stop to appreciate my kindness? I don't know. I don't care. It doesn't matter. The point is...even if they didn't...it cost me $5.29. I probably would have blown it on something stupid anyway.

Aesop Quote Art Print by Crafts & Dogs via Etsy


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Random

My house has a big problem. It can never keep itself clean for more than a few days. I have been away for a week and was away for a few days before that so I can blame some, but not all of it on that. Here is just a sampling of the many other reasons why this happens...
  • The housecleaner never shows up for work. Oh, that's right. Because there is no housekeeper.
  • I work full time and climb all weekend.
  • Cleaning is not my favourite past time.
I thought it would be interesting to take a quick survey of the random crap you can currently find laying around my house. Fifteen years ago it might have been things like beer cans, movie rental cases, Pepsi cans and empty pizza boxes. (I was in the army and had 3 male room mates). You know, signs of a good, young person time.

Today it's...
  • Climbing gear in the hallway
  • Socks - but never in a pair, always straggling along solo looking sad. How this continues to happen I have no idea!
  • Excalibur 3000. This thing is huge, looks like a 1970's microwave and has been occupying the corner of the hutch for over a month (hint, hint Adam).
  • Remote controls. I kid you not, there are at least half a dozen laying around.
  • A carboy full of beer (again...hint, hint Adam).
  • Unread magazines. Gripped next to Entertainment Weekly next to National Geographic. We seriously have too many magazine subscriptions (hint, hint Janet).
So tell me, what kind of crap would I find laying around your house?  If you say nothing, it's all clean and tidy and organized, I'm think I just might throw up in my mouth a little. 

via River Duck Gift Company

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Magic of the forest...


Graduation

This week I had the honor of watching my baby brother graduate from high school...




You see...I live far away from my family and don't get to see them as often as I would like...so this week has been special indeed. 


I'm proud of you Matthew. I love and will miss you much.


Love your "favorite" big sister,
Janet


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lavish, Extravagant & Luxurious

Once in a while, when I have nothing better to do (or I choose to ignore a problem with one of my projects at work), I look at random things online. Today it was books on Amazon.ca and then I somehow stumbled upon kitchen gadgets (maybe it because I didn't eat a good breakfast and now I'm hungry). Sometimes I daydream about owning all sorts of fancy gadgets that I could never actually afford. Or that we can’t have because we don’t have enough room to store for them. Anywho, I stumbled upon this...
Rachael Ray Garbage Bowl via Amazon.ca

This is a garbage bowl. Yes, you heard that right...a garbage bowl. Meaning the purpose of this bowl is to throw away your scraps into it as you are cooking. I totally understand not everyone has a trash can positioned two feet from their cutting board. And I totally get that some people are more into cleaning and proper disposal than others. But do you need to buy a special bowl to toss the chicken fat or apple peels into before you dump them into your trash? Do you have to spend $41.58 on such a bowl? Do you not have an extra bowl you can use for this purpose?

And while on the subject, can this bowl be used for multiple purposes? Would it be weird if I use my trash bowl as a mixing bowl?. Also, Amazon tells me that people who bought the trash bowl, the purple one pictured above, also bought one in red. Apparently they needed two trash bowls. It almost sounds lavish and extravagant. Luxurious even.
"Did you hear? The Jones’ don’t just have one trash bowl, they have two!! I saw them with my own eyes! They can afford to waste not 40, but 80 dollars!"
On that note, I am going to try and convince someone to get me a Cocoa Grande Hot Chocolate maker for my birthday.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Freaky Deeky

I've spoken before of  lollipops and rainbows, usually in terms of of awesome it would be to poop lollipops and rainbows, and so far I've determined the following: Lollipops = delish. Rainbows = gorgeous. But what about unicorns? Well...unicorns = freaky.

Sorry. I know unicorns are supposed to be mystical, and merry, and lucky, and pretty, and all that jazz. But really, they’re just plain freaky.

Consider all the other mythical creatures you can think of. They’re almost always half one thing and half something else. Isn’t there a half-person, half-horse? And mermaids. Half-woman, half-fish. You cannot tell me that mermaids are not friggin cree-py.

Unicorns are better than that, I guess. At least unicorns are not cross-bread with humans. And at least they can fly, can’t they? Flying is a nice upside.

However… they do have a horn growing out of their head, which kind of negates the other stuff. Can you think of any animal with a horn that is not threatening and weird? Rhinos are apparently pretty vicious. Dinosaurs too.

Sorry. There’s really no way around it… a cross-breed of a horse and a rhinoceros is downright nuts. I don’t care what you say - I just can't see the good side of a Rhinocorn.


Rainbow Chubby Unicorn by Dorky Dino via Etsy

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Observation

I think a child just might have the best observation skills around.

When we're born into this world, everything is fresh, new, unfamiliar, and most of all, uncomfortable.

By sheer instinct babies react to anything they're not comfortable with. They're on high alert for just about anything, albeit their mother's embrace. All too often when I see babies, or even young children, their eyes are wide, alert, and darting. It is this unfamiliarity, this sense of fresh exposure, that allow their traveling eyes to capture their surroundings.

As we grow, antiquity and familiarity moss over the world, like a veil of dust. Our eyes droop...we look at our feet...and the child-like shine we once had disappears. And perhaps only returns every once in a while we play tourist.

As much as I strive to observe, I...
grow bored,
grow tired,
grow old.

We attempt to observe the usual in unusual ways, but might fail to re-capture the freshness, magic, and enchantment little children all too plausibly see everyday.
As children, we observe what we genuinely want to, what we need to. As we become old, it is likely we observe what we think we want to,what we think we need to.

Let's not grow too fast. Let's all take the stop to and observe like we used to. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

What I Know

I know that I am 1 in 7 Billion.

Now that can be looked at in more than one way ...

I am unique ... 1 in 7 Billion. Totally special, rockin' awesome. No one like me in the world. I like that.

But ...

I am 1 in 7 Billion...what do I matter? In the hustle and bustle of life, cars passing me every day hurrying to get who knows where, what does it all matter? Where are they going? Why are they in a hurry? Being angry, pushing shoving, ... don't they know, we're all going to die? Don't they realize their "all importance" will be forgotten?

Thursday morning we lost an important and amazing member of our family at just 30 years old. She was 1 in 7 billion. She lived a life here on this earth. She was important. I know...to all of us. 

Pause for reflection.

Do I matter now? I ask this when I'm sitting in the middle of a bustling mall, when I'm driving on a packed highway at rush hour. There are 7 billion of us running around on this sphere...running, like ants. Where are we going? And why? Hurrying, scurrying...all needing to do this and to do that. It is overwhelming. But here is what I know and I know that I know that I know it.

I am 1 in 7 Billion and I am special. I am important...if even to the small cluster of people in my life.

The question to myself is this...am I making the best use of my time with those people out of 7 billion who are special to me? Because they are special to me and I need to tell them so.

I need to tell them I love them and cherish them...here, now.
I need to slow down and laugh, consider how important I am, how important each person around me is...everyone has a role, everyone has a part in our giant play of life.

It is overwhelming to know I am 1 in 7 Billion people working, playing, striving on Planet Earth.

So are you.

How will you live, here, today, where you are...Be uniquely you...1 in 7 billion...there is only 1 you.




Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Waging War

I'm generally pretty good at sometimes hiding how I'm really feeling with a few smiles, some humour and a good laugh so you may or may not know that I've been waging an angry war against a funk that I seem to be in. I blame in part...infertility, IVF , frozen embryo cycle after frozen embryo cycle, a miscarriage and an upcoming IVF cycle. 

At times, it’s been ugly, but I am holding my own. Even when we can’t rally against our enemies we just bunker down and avoid the weapons being hurled at our heads. In a manner of speaking.

In another manner of speaking, my enemies haunt me every day. I’m constantly on guard. I walk around with one of those medieval shields and a giant lance just waiting for something to pummel me.

Full disclosure? Protecting myself all day is utterly exhausting. And on top of it, I spend most of my time feeling ashamed, thinking about how I feel less and less like “myself” with every passing moment – more like a weaker me; a failure, an embarrassment.

I know damn well that I’m not supposed to think that. It’s silly. Laughable even. I’m supposed to tell that little voice inside my head to shut her dirty whore mouth. But full, FULL disclosure? It’s remarkably difficult to digUP out of that hole. Which, in turn, makes me feel like I'm failing at fixing myself – an even heavier hit to the gut.

So this is my new bugga-boo.
I am going to take everything I have and win this war. And then, then, I am going to bust through that tall, dark and ugly wall that holds me back and throw every busted brick at it until it comes crumbling down.

I do not want to feel like this any more. I want to feel like me again.
I'm going to stand tall with my shield and lance and fight to find Janet again!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mr. Skunk

Allow me to set the scene...

It was a warm June evening, I was tucked into bed, soundly asleep until suddenly my senses were assaulted with the unmistakable scent of a skunk. As I lay there, wide awake,  I decided that getting sprayed by a skunk would really threaten the stability of my sanity.

I'm not sure what actually is the worst part about that thought. Well, sure I am. It's the smell.

I can imagine it would sting my eyes and burn my nose. And would it hurt my skin? And what about my clothes? What if I were wearing really nice clothes that I loved? Or wearing my most comfortable pajamas? The logic of this fear tells me that I would probably be wearing pajamas because skunks are crepuscular. Crepuscular species, i.e. rabbitsskunkscats, and hyena, are often erroneously referred to as nocturnal.
 At any rate, all that matters they are out in the dark and if I were to encounter one, it would be at night - probably venturing outside to put the garbage out or something. But that's where it gets irrational - because I don't put the garbage out. Adam takes out the garbage. I probably make him do it for fear of encountering a Godforsaken skunk. My clothes would be ruined. And my hair. I'd have to shave it off. You'd never get the smell out. And I couldn't even go inside after. Someone would have to spray me down with the hose (not that it'd help.) I'd be laying in a post-traumatic ball in the grass yelling at the windows for someone to come rescue me. Yep. The smell is the worst part. 

But it's not just the smell. It's their evil little eyes and pointy nose. They kinda seem, if you're not thinking about it too much, like they oughta be friendly. Like a mixture between a cat and a beaver. But don't be fooled by the fuzzy exterior and childhood memories of their romantic Parisian kin. They're actually more like a mixture between a ferret (yes I understand some people love ferrets - I'm not one of them) and those huge overgrown rats from The Princess Bride. Terrifying.


None of this, though, is even that bad compared to one fact - the skunk has ALL the power. It knows I'm more afraid of it than it is of me. I'm convinced that stench is not really a defense mechanism as much as it is a power trip. And once a skunk gets me, there's nothing I can do. And no going back. My life will never be the same. Once he waddles up and posies his dirty ass in my direction - POOF - I'm done for.

My only hope is that his stench would give him away.

But even if I could smell him, how would I know where the stink was emitting from? The skunk is a lurker. A sidler. And he blends into the shadows. It's not like I can say "Ok, Mr. Skunk... Come out, come out wherever you are... tell me when I'm getting warmer." I wouldn't have a chance.

Yep. It's decided. There are lots of fears worth fearing; lots of things I should really be spending my time worrying about. But skunks are now on that list.

Handstanding Skunk by This is Emily Paul via Etsy

Monday, June 11, 2012

Weekend Recap



 Another wonderful Bon Echo weekend...


There was tree climbing...
A newly discovered cliff with lichen the size of your head...
 Broom party tricks...
Much kayaking...


What an amazing way to spend a weekend...and the best part...I get to do it all again this weekend!


Friday, June 8, 2012

New Addition to the "S" List

There are many stressful experiences that we go through in our lifetime. Buying a home, starting a new job, having a baby etc.. but I think that supermarket self-checkouts should be added to that list.

When approaching the checkouts with your three items of shopping, there are usually two choices open to you. You can queue up behind the families putting their monthly groceries through the tills of the new trainees or you can risk your mental health by using the self-service checkout systems. The world of personal shopping really has gone out of the window, to be replaced by a form of torture only previously seen on bad Japanese game shows. Still, it can’t really be that bad…. can it?

A few days ago, I gave the self-checkout at Loblaw's a try (I've been avoiding this for some time). My first challenge came with deciding where to queue. There were three rows of checkouts and other customers seemed as perplexed as me about choosing which queue to join.  I stood there asking myself...

“Should I opt for the queue with the fewest people or should I also take into consideration the number of items in the basket of each shopper in each queue? In addition, should I factor in the likely intelligence of the people in the queues?”

There was one certainty with all this...whichever queue I chose would be the wrong one. Sure enough, I got stuck behind a lady who couldn’t find the barcode on her packet of crackers, a teenager who needed to individually select 15 different flavours of muffin using the on-screen interactions, an old lady who spent 5 minutes sorting through her over-large collection of bank/credit cards in her wallet.

When I finally arrived at the self-checkout machine, frustration turned to stress. I suddenly felt all self-conscious that it was my turn and realised that everyone in the queue behind me was watching me, waiting for me to do something stupid and forming opinions based upon the combination of items in my basket.

I tried to scan my items quickly and, inevitably, put something in my bag too quickly. Very loudly the machine was laughing and mocking me "Please remove the last item from the bag". I did but apparently I didn't do it quickly enough or properly and as a result...I was locked out from the system. I felt completely helpless. I looked around desperately for assistance and a young man in uniform came to help me. "Kyle" as his Loblaw's name tag advised me was his name...scanned his card through the system, gave me a look as if to say “can’t you do anything right?” and then told me to carry on.

In the meantime, I could hear the people queueing behind me, huffing and puffing and whistling to themselves (it could well have been to the tune of ‘Right Here Waiting For You,’ I was too busy panicking to be able to tell). Sweating profusely, I paid, grabbed my bag and beat a hasty retreat.

What an ordeal! If I’d wanted to spend my precious time scanning shopping, I’d have applied for a job as a checkout operator. It’s not service, it’s not quick and it’s certainly not personal – I don’t even get the benefit of having a pointless conversation with a miserable checkout operator. Quite simply, it’s me working for the supermarket and not being paid for it. There’s no fun or benefit to me in that.

It was my first and last time with the self checkout. 


Gristedes Supermarket at Night NYC by Jeffery B Kellner via Etsy



Thursday, June 7, 2012

Stop Staring At Me

Went to the store yesterday on my way home for butter (Adam promised home made cinnamon buns) and lip balm and had the displeasure of ending up in line behind a woman who, for some reason, insisted on facing me/the back of the store, rather than standing in the direction of line motion and goal achievement. Worse, she just stood there staring at me, seemingly oblivious to my increasing discomfort. There are unspoken rules in our society, many of which involve body placement and direction, and most of the time I assume that everyone's read the same rule book that I have, but, as usual, I'm wrong.

In order to avoid conversation and eye contact - since the only thing I had to say was, “Hey, how about turning around?” - I suddenly became captivated by various items for sale in the checkout line. It’s always interesting to see the stuff they think we’re going to want at the last minute, isn’t it? The sewing kits, lip balm (but hey...I needed this), razors, tape—it’s all there for a carefully reasoned point, folks; this ain’t accidental marketing. Possibly, then, you can imagine my surprise when I curiously picked up what turned out to be a...



vaginal syringe or, more specifically, a Vaginal douche Insufflator. I should have stopped there but then read the packaging label. (I really, really wanted to take a picture with my iPhone but had to settle for what Google found instead). 




This little thing is used for a good clean out, and I sincerely wish I’d stopped right there. But I’m one of those “no paragraph unturned” readers, and besides, Mrs. Social Gaffe was still staring at me, possibly more intently now than ever, and so I persevered.

And thusly learned that another suggested use for this handy piece of rubbery plastic is that it can
 also be used as a nasal cleaning device. For the next several moments my mind made frantic, yet feeble, attempts at un-reading, forgetting, erasing. Those two bodily orifices should never be sharing the same piece of white plastic. Ever.

Luckily, that’s when the clerk finally said “Ma’am?” signaling my queue companion that her opportunity to make a financial transaction had arrived. This caused her to turn away from me at last, fascinating as I am, which is when I quickly replaced the item on its little metal display basket and noticed that the man in line behind me was also intently interested in my purchasing decisions. Just another reason why I love me some shopping.




Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Karma Project Update

I regret to inform you that I’m not doing all that well in the Be Kind to Bugs - Project Karma department. One day this week, just as I walked into the kitchen, I noticed an ant by the patio door. I stepped on it, and I smushed it. Just like that.

It was not an accident, but it was not exactly premeditated, either. Let’s just call it involuntary antslaughter. One second the poor ant was alive. The next, it was not and I was muttering, “Crap, I just murdered another bug. This isn’t good.”

That dead ant seemed to set off some sort of murderous tendencies in me, too. Within the next 5 or so minutes, I stepped on a few more ants. 


I don’t know what got into me. I just don’t. It was an ugly, ugly day as far as Bug Compassion goes. Just the thought of it makes me feel dirty inside.

Then, I dropped a battery that I was taking out of the package and it rolled under the TV bench . At first I refused to stick my hand under there and get it because the it had become encased in cobwebs, dust bunnies and other gross things that tend to collect underneath your common every day TV bench.
It happened to be a sunny day, too. The sun was shining through the window. It was one of those sunny  days that makes you realize just how bad of a housekeeper you really are. I thought, “I can’t believe how many cobwebs are under there!". I stood there thinking for a few moments...then out came the vacuum. I mean, a battery was at stake here, a channel needed to be changed!. The vacuum was justified. Don’t you agree?
And, cobwebs couldn’t possibly be the same thing as spider webs.  I thought they might be the product of my old dead skin cells and something sticky. I didn’t think any live insect actually needed them for its well-being. At least that was the story I decided to go with as I took the vacuum hose to every corner in the room. I shoved it under every table/stand, took it upstairs and vacuumed under my bed. I was on a roll!
That’s when I learned something important.
It was this. I was always told me that if you really want to find something, you ought to stop looking for it. I always thought that advice made a lot of sense. When I vacuumed under my bed. I found nearly ever sock I’d ever lost, along with a button I thought lost, a shower curtain hook ??, some spare change, a restaurant gift card that sadly, was expired, and a toothbrush. This is what I learned...if you really want to find something, you ought to look under your bed.
Since my sock collection instantly multiplied by about 3 pairs and I grew richer by 35 cents, I decided that sucking up all the cobwebs under my bed could not possibly be bad for my Karma. But I checked Wikipedia, the ultimate authority for all of my most pressing life questions, just to be sure.
It told me that little spiders do in fact weave cobwebs. But unlike orb shaped webs, cob webs are accidents—just webby crap that haphazardly shoots out of a spider’s butt during birth and during travel. Cob webs are not spider houses. They are spider garbage dumps. It was confirmed. No Karma harm done by cleaning my bedroom.
Estimated Good Karma Points: 1 (helping the nice man at the grocery store with his dropped items) + 1 (fixing a client error that they didn't notice)
Estimated Bad Karma Points: 1 (for accidentally leaving a good book out in the rain) + 1 (for lying about what I ate for lunch) + 1 (for being sarcastic) + 5 (for killing at least 4 bugs) + 2 (for vacuuming cobwebs) + 1 (for neglecting to tip the pizza delivery guy, for reasons I don’t quite understand)
David Ruben Photography via Etsy

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Renaming

The phrase “crack of dawn” is an ugly one. It has always reminded me of another infamous crack, and not in a good way. It leads me to believe that the person who coined the phrase “crack of dawn” was not a morning person. No, if this person had been a morning person, she would have called it, “the first glorious hint of dawn.”

Crack of dawn? Crack? That’s a word that only a dawn hater would use. Just my opinion.

Anyway, I’m on a mission to give Dawn a better name. I want to call it something more pleasant, something like Kiss of Dawn. I really like that. First, it rhymes with bliss. Second, dawns are pink, and a kiss could be pink (I think). Cracks are definitely not pink. Third, isn’t it more pleasant to wake to a kiss than a crack? Who wants to wake up to crack? Who? Not me! 

This morning, I just so happened to be awake at the Kiss of Dawn. (See? Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?) Please note that I did not rise early for any truly Zen reason. It wasn’t to meditate. It wasn’t to experience the sunrise, and it certainly wasn’t because my body clock happened to ring loudly at that moment, rousing me from the wonders of sleep that I never seem to get enough of. It was because I somehow managed to hurt my neck, shoulder and back while sleeping Saturday night. How? I have no idea. Adam says it's because I went to bed angry. Anyway...that's what woke me early. I was awake and in pain so why not get up early and get a start on my day. 

I must say...it wasn't all bad and I might try it again tomorrow...might...

Sunrise Crack O'Dawn by Dan Osterman Art via Etsy

Are you a night owl or a morning person?



Friday, June 1, 2012

By The Numbers

It’s time to play “by the numbers,” an equation of types for reviewing your week. This is a fancy way of saying that Math + blogging = quick post. Much liketired Janet + stress = someone locks themselves in the bathroom and sobs.

Here, then, is my week by the numbers.

15: Times I yelled, “Are you kidding me!”


38: Invoices I sent.



2: Locked myself in the bathroom and had a good cry.


1: Pair of new glasses.

12: People who asked me "Is that purple in your hair?". The answer is Yes!

112: Animal facts the strange delivery guy shared with me.

7: Hours sleep I lost from wearing a Holter moniter. I hate that thing.


3: Used the bathroom and found there was no toilet paper.

1: Used bandaid I peeled off the bottom of my shoe. Ewww!

7: Times I asked, “Are you making more work for or less work for me?”

2: Had Lucky Charms for dinner. They are magically delicious!

1: Dropped a full, open bag of milk on the floor.



8: Dog poo poo or bags filled with poo poo left on the street/grass. Come on people!

3: Times I jumped on our backyard trampoline until I thought I was going to hurl.

4: Episodes watched of "River Monsters". I love Jeremy Wade.



4: Strangers laughing at me as I run with my headphones on, singing out loud.


0: Feeling sorry for myself.


1,000 +: Thankful and blessed that I have the life that I do. 

How has your week been, by the numbers?





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