Saturday, February 28, 2009

Skinny Saturday 46

Well, thank god it's the weekend! Been another very busy and stressful week with mom in the hospital and bogged down at work. We went out for drinks with Don and Marlene last night after work and then Brad and my sister and I went out for dinner later on. It was a nice evening. It was the official celebration of the end of our mortgage!!! Yup! We are officially mortgage-free! It still find it hard to believe... Twelve long years of socking money into the mortgage, but now we are free, at least from that debt! Now come the renovations and a cottage!! :) (Brad and I have a disagreement regarding cottages - I'd like to own one, he'd rather rent. I think he may win that one, actually. Hey, you pick your battles! And there are some gorgeous places out there to rent!)

After dinner, we came home and watched Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, a film Brad had rented. It was good. Set in the 1930s London.

I biked my 21 km this morning and just returned from the hospital to see mom (and sis). I came home to make dinner for my sister and I. Brad is off to his father's this evening for dinner and a movie. I'm going to make Sicuan carrot soup and a salad (in which I'll put bits of yet another rotisserie chicken. Poor little cluckers!).

Mom is doing only so-so. I think we are going to have to consider placement in a full-fledged nursing home (as opposed to the special care home she currently lives in). She is very weak and tired. This whole ordeal is taking a toll on her.

Gotta run and get cooking. Here's da boyz and a few shots from earlier this week after the huge snow strom. The birds in the back yard were ravenous. It's very difficult for them to find any food under 7 feet of snow! Brad had them eating out of his hand!

OH! And I almost forgot. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHAUN!!!! The BIG 5-0 today!!! We will get together with you and Mary soon, I hope!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Obama's hands

My what BIG hands he has! ;)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Should have stayed in bed!

Oy. It's been one of those days. It started with me missing my bus by about 20 seconds because the gall darn driver was 2 minutes early. That really steams me, and it sure isn't the first time it's happened. So I walk home and sit in the back porch and wait there for about 5 minutes on the off chance that Brad might come back from walking Jasper and be able to drive me to downtown to catch my connecting bus. He doesn't show, so I take off my big clunky winter boots (believe me, one needs big clunky winter boots around here), take off my coat and sit down at the computer. No soon than I do so, do I hear him come in downstairs. Long story short, we clamber back into our winter gear and he drives me downtwon where I do catch my connection.

Work was a whirlwind, and we are still trying to catch up for the snow day we had off on Monday. To top that off, we had a meeting this afternoon that was more blah, blah, blah...

I decide that I am going to take the early bus home at 4:17, bike, and make dinner for my sister, who has been at the hospital all day. (God damn idiot nurses left mom's Nitro patch on again last night! I really am going to sue that hospital. Canadian health care at its finest!)

In any case, I go out to catch the 4:17, and I wait, and I wait, and I wait... It's a no show. I figure it was another freaking early driver and stomp down the street to buy more lotto tickets. When I catch my regular bus, that driver says the reason the other bus didn't show up was because of an accident. A likely story!

I did however make a great salad for sis and I (Brad had to go out), which we just finished...

Now I think I'll turn in early!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Snow Day!

Yipee! Work has been cancelled for the day! It's something that happens once or twice a year, if that, because of a major snow storm. I heard on the radio first thing this morning that the city transit busses would not be driving until at least noon, so I new then that work too would be cancelled until at least lunchtime as well. The website has just been updated and it's cancelled for the whole day! I'll make the Sicuan carrot soup I meant to make yesterday, but never had a chance. I called the hospital and they said that mom is doing a lot better today. I found out also that there was another drug she usually takes that she had not been getting for the past five days. Someone should be reprimanded for these mistakes!

Here are a few more pics of last night's snowfall:

Huge mountain of snow beside our driveway. We shovelled that ourselves!

Brad scraping the snow form the roof of the garage to prevent it from collapsing

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A few pics

Just a few pics. The snow banks below, I took today. As I said, we are to get over another foot tonight and tomorrow! ARGH!

Local snow banks

Sis and mom in mom's room at her home after an outing last fall

Our back yard (garden) when it's not covered in 5 feet of snow

A yummy salad Brad made last week

Sleepy dogs

Also an update on mom. They moved her today into the cardiac care unit as her heart rate has been irregular most of the day. The nurses there seem much more attentive there, I must say. Her nurse there also noticed that she was not receiving her main blood pressure medication and asked us if we could bring it from home! Can you imagine! She has been in hospital for almost a week and she has not been getting one of her main pills!! It's a drug that the hospital does not supply - everything else she's getting (we had the nurse check). It's unbelievable that SOMEONE did not tell us this before. Negligent, to say the least. In any case, the nurse there somehow rounded up one pill for for today and one for tomorrow. Hopefully another doctor at the hospital will be able to write her a new prescription after that or her own doctor can call in the prescription. I knew that the hospital had a list of all of her medications and assumed she was getting it all. Man. You really cannot assume anything.

Sunday catch-up

Hey all... Been a busy few days again. My sister and I have been up at the hospital a lot, and my sister finally talked to a doctor today. In addition to the congestive heart failure that mom has had for the last few years, she now also has atrial fibrillation, which is what is causing her rapid heart beat. It, too, is a chronic condition that they cannot do a lot about other than treat it with medication. And of course, having gotten off her routine and not moving a whole lot, she has become constipated, which is bothering her more than anything else at present. My sis is up with her now, and I'll head up after lunch. I'll take her piece of the raspberry pie I made yesterday. If there is any left! Brad, my sis, and I ate about three quarters of it for dessert last night!

On Friday night, Brad went to his dad's, my sister and I ate at my favourite restaurant downtown. Sis started with a ceasar salad followed by one of the specials, a steak, and I had the tropical shrimp rolls as an app and gnnochi as a main. We shared a crème brulée for dessert with which I had a glass of late harvest wine. It was a great meal. The Premier of our province and his wife, with whom Brad and I are friends, were at the restaurant as well and they came over and chatted with us for a few minutes, too.

Last night, I picked up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store (bad vegetarians, bad!), and served it with potatoes and carrots for dinner. My sister is the most finicky eater I have ever seen! She won't even eat margarine. Brad made a couple of baguettes the other day, which we all dove into, but sis had hers plain, as we did not (at that point) have any butter in the house... I never thought to put out a platter of olive oil. I think she may have deigned to eat that!

Weather wise, the snow just keeps coming and coming! We receievd another foot on Thursday and we are suppposed to get over a foot tonight! I'll take some photos when I go out this afternoon. You folks in more southern climes will not believe the snow banks we have here! I am even struggling to believe it, and I live here - and unfortunately have to shovel it! Hopefully work will be cancelled tomorrow, at least in the morning. If the coming storm is as bad as predicted, it will take a while to dig out! We got an e-mail from our friends George and Barb who are vacationing in the Dominican Republic. Barb said they were having a great time and was wondering if we were getting any snow. HA! They are due to return tomorrow night. Hopefully the storm will have passed by then, but they will have a huge amount of shovelling to do when they get home, unless they have had someone plow them out.

And I didn't win the gall darn lotto again last night! Grrr... The jackpot was a record $48 million, and it was split between 4 tickets in Québec and Ontario.

I'll leave you with a few pics of some of the Carribeen villas I have been drooling over recently and throw in a few boyz to make up for the lack of a Skinny Saturday yesterday.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Welcome, Mr. President!

Obama is in Canada! For about six hours anyway, restoring a long-standing tradition of U.S. Presidents making Canada the destination for their first trip abroad. (A tradition that Bush ignored.) He was greeted at Ottawa's airport by Her Excellency Michäelle Jean, Governor General of Canada. The President will also meet with our Prime Minister, the unfortunate Stephen Harper, and Opposition Leader Michael Ignatieff. The U.S. President enjoys an 81% approval rating here in Canada. Yes he does!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Just a quick post to update you on my mom. I did take the afternoon off yesterday and took her over to the health care clinic in the town where she now resides. After waiting for about an hour, we got in to see the doctor, who was a woman doctor whom mom had only seen once before, I think. When the nurse first took mom's blood pressure it was a staggering 220/120! Unbelievable. Her feet and legs were swollen and she was very short of breath as well. They give her an injection of lasix, which is a diuretic, and after about half an hour she started to pee and pee and pee... Long story short, we spent the afternoon there and then they - thankfully - decided to send her on here to the hospital. They took her in an ambulance, and I went back to her home and grabbed some of her essentials. I came back home (it's about a half hour drive - in the blinding snow at times last night!) and grabbed a quick bite. My wonderful and handsome better half had made a pizza, which was delicious, called my sis in Edmonton, and then went up to the hospital where I met mom in the ER. We thought at first that she might have to spend the night in the ER, but a short time later the nurse informed us that they had found a room for her. Phew! Mom had not eaten anything since lunch and it was approximately 7:15 p.m., so after receiving the doctor's permission, I gave her some of the left over baked salmon and baked potato that Brad and I had had the night before along with some hummus and peas and corn. It was cold, but it hit the spot. Poor old gal was ravenous!

Brad went up this a.m. to see how she was making out (I work WAY on the other side of town and take the bus) and he helpd her with breakfast. They did another ECG today as well as an ultrasound of her leg. They were worried about a clot in her leg, but the ultrasound apparently came back negative for that, thank god. I went up right after work and helped her with supper and filled out her menu choices for tomorrow's meals. They had left tonight's supper on her tray, but her bed was down, and she couldn't reach it. Apparently, she had rung for someone to come and help her a couple of times, but I arrived before the hospital help did. In any case, she ate all of her meal, which looked not too bad at all for hospital food - roast pork with gravy and mashed potato and broccoli. And Mandarin oranges for dessert; her favourite.

Thank god, though, my sister arrives tomorrrow. Now I gotta go clean for that visit!

Hasta pronto!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Looking Out My Back Door

Out my back door today:
There were great huge snowflakes falling that didn't really come out in the photos. It was "almost" pretty!


My most expensive purchase last summer in Italy. 12-year-old Balsamic Vinegar. Exceedingly yummy! Almost $100 for 100 Ml! It was great drizzled over the scallops.

Skinny Saturday 45 - The Valentine Edition

Hey all. Happy Valentine's Day! Anyone doing anything special to mark the day? We don't do a whole lot. Brad got some fresh scallops this afternoon, so I will do something with them for dinner and then we'll have a quiet evening by the fire I think.

My sister is flying in next week to see mom. She will arrive here on Wednesday. I'm not sure how long she's staying. Mom is really not doing great. The new medication she's on is giving her terrible night sweats and she has to change nighties 3 times most nights. And she is still very short of breath. I may take Monday afternoon off and take her to the doctor.

After Brad agreeing to go South next winter, and as it's the middle of February, I have been surfing madly to find a place to stay in order to assuage my mid-winter blues. Our friends who were in St. Martin sent me some links, and on one of those pages there was a another link to villas! Boy oh boy, there are some beautiful spots down there! It's going to be hard to choose just one place. The jackpot tonight is $25 million, so if I win that, I'll buy a villa in the Caribbean and y'all will just have to come down and visit!

With those pleasant thoughts, let's bring on the boyz!

Addendum: I just recalled that three years ago right now, I was in Mexico at a beautiful Iberostar resort on the Mayan Riviera with great friends Paul and Ron. I called Brad on Valentine's Day. Later in the day, we left the resort and went into Playa del Carmen for the afternoon and evening. We had a really great dinner here. Remember, Paulie??

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Sometimes I'd just like to hop on a plane on a whim and get away for a week or two. Maybe here:

Or here:

Both are in Montenegro, which is fast becoming a new playground on the Adriatic. A lot of Casino Royale was set in Montenegro, and its beauty impressed me in the film (as did the parts set around Lake Como in Italy - one of the most beautiful places I've ever been).

It's one of those days here in eastern Canada. A rainy day in February, which is never nice. Water, snow and slush everywhere and it's slippery as hell. Supposed to turn to snow later in the day. Ugh. Our good friends George and Barb are heading to the Dominican Rebublic for a week on Monday, perhaps I'll stow away in their luggage.

Next winter, I am definitely going South. To my great suprise, Brad agreed to go with me the other day! Well, more specifically, he agreed to go to St. Martin. Friends of ours just had a great vacation there. They stayed at a hotel, not an all-inclusive resort, and there are mountains to climb and other things that Brad likes to do. So you all are my witnesses when I hold him to it! [Brad generally prefers winter and is not a big fan of the heat.]

Here's to warm and sunny dreams in dreary February!