Thursday, December 29, 2005

Here is a newer picture of Dad and then one with Nan MacAulay and I think Little Ron (?) and is the bottom one Joe?

I don't know who Dad is with in these photos and I don't know who any of the people are in the black & white photo. Can anyone help?

I was looking through some stuff trying to find something for Henry (sorry Henry...but I still haven't found it. I know it is here somewhere so I will keep looking.) when I came across some old pictures that I thought I would share. The lower one is Henry & Dad and the upper one is me & Dad.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Paul and I planned to go to Future Shop to buy a MP3 Player on Boxing day but when we got there the line up was outside, down around the corner. I knew it would be bad but he didn't believe me, so we went to WalMart instead and we got an even better deal than the one we wanted from Future Shop. Plus, I bought this really cool back pack that is also a cooler bag/picnic basket that is insulated and comes with all dishes and even little plaid napkins for $6 marked down from $25. It will be great when we go to Fundy National Park next year hiking. Maybe it will keep the water a little cool, rather than the lukewarm stuff we usually end up drinking.

I bought myself some really nice stainless steel Wolfgang Puck pots and fry pans for Christmas. I've always wanted some really good quality pans but Paul seems to ruin everything so I figured, why bother? He burns everything he cooks to the bottom of the pot; he uses my good wooden batter spoons to stir juice mix so they are all red or orange; he soaks everything, even if it ruins it, like my sushi mat . Last summer he used one of my good stainless steel spatulas to scrape the BBQ clean. So I finally decided to buy them and store them in the spare bedroom and only bring them out to use them when I am making something special and put them back when I am done. Paul is not allowed to touch them. Problem solved!

I also have a new blender which claims it crushes ice very well, but I have yet to test it out. I love icy drinks like strawberry daiquiri, pina colata, orange julius, etc. Last time we had friends over my old blender would not crush the damn ice so I had it in a baggie out in my laundry room banging on it with a hammer on the floor. Some of the ice cube would break through the baggie and shoot across the floor and Daisy would dive after them. Nice. After that fiasco I decided it was time for a new one. I will try it out on my next day off. Oh, and I also got one of those big roaster pans with the raised tray inside. It was the easiest clean up after cooking a turkey I have ever had. That was money well spent, let me tell you. Although it was a little tricky to get out of the oven with oven mits on as the hinged handles lay flat. Still, totally worth it.

And of course, I got some more books to add to my already sagging bookcase shelves. I got some more cookbooks, a couple of novels and one biography. Now if only I could get Paul to help me finish the kitchen renovations (like the huge hole in the ceiling) then maybe I could enjoy cooking again. We've got to get back on track with the entire house renovations, actually. We are are more than halfway done but we just lost our motivation. Hopefully when I start working out again I will have more energy to work on other projects like the house (I typed as I yawned). We'll see.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

I try never to be in any picutres if I can help it, but Paul shot this one after I had four glasses of wine so I didn't really object.

I always make the potatoes for the family gathering at Paul's sister's house on Christmas Eve. My hands are still brown from peeling so many! My cheese and onion potatoes were such a hit that I think I will make a bigger batch next year. I made a big batch of plain ones just in case anyone (like Paul) likes things old fashioned but I think Paul was the only one who had any so next year I will only make a small pan. I went back for seconds on the sour cream and chives, and I know I wasn't the only one, so I will try to remember to make the same amount next year.

Overall everything was a success. Gloria cooked a turkey and Shelley cooked a roast of beef so there was plenty for everyone. It was great to see Leigh and his girlfriend Jennifer made it down from Toronto to spend the holidays in Saint John. I can't believe how much he has grown up since the last time I saw him just two years ago! One day he is a teenager and then all of a sudden (so it seems) he is a man. The kids were just as excited as ever and I always enjoy watching them have fun. Thanks to Shelley and Barry for hosting the gathering at your house again this year! I know it is a lot of work, but we really enjoy it.

Scott and the family dropped over for a short visit after we came home to bring surprise gifts. I say surprise because we don't normally exchage gifts with them as we do a family name exchange instead. Lets just say we all had a good laugh and your gift will really be enjoyed!! I took a great picture after you left but Paul didn't want me to post it

Mom came over for a visit and it really nice. I took her to Shelley's last year with us but and she was quite overwhelmed with all the people and noise so I thought it was best to leave her home this time around. She has never been great in social situations anyway and last year she had to go home and lay down after because it took so much out of her. I made Christmas dinner at my place for her and I think she enjoyed it. She doesn't really cook much for herself so I think she really enjoyed all the food more than the presents. Plus, she missed Daisy. It is funny how Daisy remembered her and knew that she can't jump up on Nanny so she was so gentle. It was adorable!

Paul and I both have to work tomorrow so we will miss the Melvin family gathering in Moncton this year. So, hope you all have a great Christmas and know that we miss you and hope to see you soon.

I tried that squash recipe Les and it was really good. It wasn't quite as fluffy as the original recipe but it was still good....good enough that I am making another batch tonight with dinner. It has been the closest to the original I have made yet, so thanks a bunch!

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

So Daisy loved her gifts and had a great Christmas! We need to start having some kids, cause this is getting a little silly! Oh well, she is our baby.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Spoiled little girl! Santa brought her one of her presents early, a peanut butter filled bone. Yummy!

Well hello to everyone and a very merry Christmas!!

Joe, congrads on your new bling bling (the Alberta Centennial Medal) and I am glad to hear you are feeling well. Well, from what I hear, it seems everyone is ready for Christmas. I'm happy for you all, but I am really not ready. I suck! I've barely decorated and wouldn't have at all if Mom wasn't coming over for a visit. I guess I have just been a bit stressed lately and it is hard to get in the Christmas spirit when other stuff is on your mind.

Which reminds me, Mom got her new glasses today and she says she can see a bit better. That is great news.At least she can see enough to get by until her surgery in the spring. She said we will have a little laugh though when I open my gifts because she really isn't sure what she bought me. All the more fun!

I took my christmas cross-stitch picture out to hang up about two weeks ago and it is still sitting in my hall. Here is a good tip for all you avid cross-stitchers out there--never trust that the woman working in the craft store will give you the right size adia cloth for your pattern. Just because she works there doesn't mean she knows what she is doing. I bought the pattern at the same time as I bought all the materials. I asked the lady who worked there to cut me the correct size cloth off the big roll that they had. She looked at the pattern and cut what she thought was correct. I never questioned it because it seemed to be fine. That is, until I got about half way done stitching the thing and realized that I was coming really close to the edges at the top and bottom of the fabric. Too late then to fix it and I sure wasn't going to start over. I just barely made it to the bottom of the fabric which wasn't enough to fill the frame I had already purchased. Since a standard frame wouldn't fit it and I couldn't afford to get it professionally framed, I thought I was out of luck. Then I came up with the idea of adding a piece of green ribbon across the bottom to hide the gap. It looks alright, but not really great. Next time I will count the entire thing out before I start stitching to make sure I have enough fabric. Lesson learned. I still love it though. It took me forever to complete and some day I will get it professionally framed.

Better go. I have a squash recipe to try.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Anyone got any quick weight loss tricks....besides starvation? I'm all ears!

I can't believe Christmas is almost here and I have to endure more unphotogenic photos. I guess a photo never lies. It seems every year I am ready to make that New Years resolution to get my act together and start exercising and eating right, but it just never seems to last very long. How can I stay motivated? If only I had enough money to book a vacation somewhere warm where I would have to wear bathing suits and shorts. That would do the trick! And, by the way, how is it that I keep getting older when some people seem to never age (ahem...Monica) ?!? I guess I missed out on the genetic boat with that one. Maybe if I had some kids to run around after I would be thinner....that gives me an idea...hmmmm...if I start now then maybe I could have a Virgo baby. Paul and I (and Daisy) are all Virgos. That could be fun. Well I guess now everyone knows my plans for this

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Well, the world seems like such a smaller place all of a sudden! Now that I have been keeping up on all the family news with everyone's blogs, I feel like part of the family. It is kinda odd though, since I haven't actually met everyone yet. Hopefully that will change next summer. And Hi to Steven. I have changed my settings on my blog so I think you will be able to add comments now even if you are not a blog member. Are you planning to visit New Brunswick next summer to?

Well Joe, I'm really glad the surgery went OK. And I saw that you got two for the price of one, so that really worked out good! LOL.

One thing I noticed about the family blogs is that everyone seems to enjoy cooking (or at least attempting) and that Leslie and Monica seem to be really good at multi-tasking. I guess some things must run in the family. Now when can we get the rest of the family on a blog? Especially Henry with the kids...we are missing out on some great pictures! And you are on the computer all day! You have no good excuse.

I have been wondering if anyone in the family has old photos of Dad that they could post? We only have a handful of old ones and none when he was really young. To be honest, we don't have all that many, even from the last few years. Seems like anytime there was a camera around, Dad was on the other end. He loved to take pictures! I'd love to see a picture of Brenda and David and their families, as I have never met them. I know everyone is really busy this time of year with Christmas and all, so no rush. I just thought I would plant a seed just in case anyone happens to be going through photo albums and would like to drop me a line. I was wondering if all the "kids" (Paul, David, Henry, Joe, Anne, Betty, & Brenda) ever had a family photo taken with them all together at once when they young? I know there is good age difference between Paul and Henry so if Henry was young, Paul must have been....well...older. But you know what I mean.

I know when people tend to enjoy cooking they ususally have a 'specialty'. You know, something that they make often that everyone loves and they are always asking them to make? Well, I'd love to know some favorite family recipes! Anyone want to share their secrets? I've got a ton of Christmas gatherings to attend this year and I am I bored of the same old, same old. I need some new ideas. I especially like sweets, spicy food and international dishes (although my ulcer sometimes doesn't agree). Joe, you must have learned some tricks of the trade in all your travels? I 'll try almost anything once, as long as it doesn't involve tentacles of any kind. Sorry, but that is where I have to draw the line!

I went to Sobeys last night to get my groceries and they only had one cashier open. Can you imagine...a week before Christmas! And guess what? He was new and SOOO S-L-O-W I thought I was going to die! I bought a Coke from the vending machine because I felt like I was going to pass out and the darn thing exploded all over me when I opened it. There was only one person in front of me when I got into line and it took me over 45 min to check out! The guy behind me started eating chocolate bars off the rack he was so frustrated. I went to the manager to complain after I was done. Did they really expect to only have two customers an hour? I've never in my entire life seen someone who moved so slowly. It is the closest store to my house, but I think next time I will go somewhere else. Is it just me, or is that amount of time just unreasonable? Maybe I was just in a mood.

It was so cold last night the wind just went right through me. It was really making my eye hurt. And, yes, for anyone who has seen me lately, I mean the one with pink eye. With all the running around lately my immune system has crashed. I have an ear infection, a sinus infection and just to make me look great in time for the holidays (drum roll), pink eye. I've got to say, I look wonderful....NOT! Ha Ha. What can I do? It is just a waiting game now. Hopefully it will get better soon so I don't give anyone an unwanted Christmas gift.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Have you ever seen a hungover dog? Well, now you have.

Poor Daisy. Paul and I drowed our sorrows the other night with a big pan of Rice Krispy squares and eggnog with rum. I went to bed before him and when I called it a night we still had half of a big pan of squares left and Paul had a large glass of rum & eggnog (and we were mixing them mighty strong) on the coffee table. Well about 5:00 in the morning Daisy was looking out the window "singing"...sort of part bark, part howl, part whine. We told her to stop over and over but she kept it up, which is totally not like her at all. I got worried and got up to check on her and look out the window to see what was upsetting her but there was no one around. Eventually she fell asleep and when Paul got up to get a drink a few hours later he came back to bed laughing. He said he figured out why Daisy was so weird. Turns out he forgot to clear off the coffee table before he went to bed and Daisy finished off all the treats, rum & eggnog included.

It was actually probably a good thing that she drank the rum, otherwise she might have torn the house apart while we slept, all wired up on sugar. But the next day the poor girl couldn't even lift her head. She slept all day. Once she brought her ball over to us sitting on the couch to play with her but she was too tired after all and slid down the edge of the couch and fell asleep almost instantly. I wish I could include video clips because we were just doubled over laughing at her snoring!! My poor baby!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

I just had a chance to clear out some of my work e-mails and just read one from my best friend Jennie in Ontario. She is all happy because she just got word that her husband Paul (I know....another Jen & Paul...) will be able to get home just in time for Christmas from Afghanistan. I am so happy for her. She is all alone in Ontario working full time with three small children and all her family is back here in Saint John. Christmas without her husband Paul would have been really hard on her. Thank god for small miracles. Oh, and Happy Birthday Jonah!! I am sure you have been really good for Mommy and will be on Santa's Nice List.
Mom called me today to apoligize for upsetting me yesterday when she told me she was going blind. I can't believe her! She is telling me she is sorry for making me cry! How crazy is that? Well I guess she always has been an odd bird. I shouldn't really be surprised. I told her she better not apoligize to me ever again for anything. Ever. It is not her fault and besides, who cares if I get upset? It is Mom who should be upset. And she certainly is, but even though she has a real problem she is still trying to "mother" me and protect me from getting upset. I guess I will understand better once I have children. I guess once a mom, always a mom.

The funny thing is when she said she was sorry for making me cry, I started crying all over again! The whole situation is just sad. Sometimes I can't control myself. Even though we have had our problems over the years, I still love her very much.

Besides, she really can't help the way she is; she has always been that way. There was a time years ago when I kind of resented her a bit for being different from all the other moms. I was selfish and wondered what I did wrong to deserve such an odd life growing up. I just wanted to be a 'normal' kid with a normal family. But as I got older I came to realize that she is my mom, no matter what, and that she can't help the way she is. Then I started feeling sorry for her because it is much harder for her to walk in her own shoes that it is for me to standby. I was raised with morals and values, always had a roof over my head and food on the table. The house was clean (well, sorta) and I knew I was loved. Mom helped me with my homework when I needed it and she always knew where I was at all times and who I was with. I guess I had it pretty darn good after all. Maybe we didn't have the A-typical family life, but what we had was special and unique. I mean, who elses Mom would call them just to say they were sorry for making them cry?

I know now that I am very lucky to have such a good parents. I guess sometimes us 'kids' have to grow up before we can really appreciate what we have.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Mom is blind.

Mom went ot the eye doctor today. She has been complaining that she thinks she needs a new perscription for her glasses for about the past year but getting her to go to the doctor is, well, lets just say REALLY hard. So I finally pestered her enough to give in and go but the news is really bad. She just got new glasses about two years ago and her eyes were fine then but I guess she has advanced cataracts. They told her surgery will help a bit and they are going to give her new glasses but she will still be legally blind. And the worst of it is that it is going to progress until she is eventually completely blind.

I have all these worries now, like where will she live? I wish we never had to sell our house. The place we are in now is not wheelchair accessable. I guess she will have to move into a nursing home at some point. Is there a waiting list for someting like that? And, I am really sad because by the time we have children I am sure she will not be able to see them. I know that sounds really selfish but if I were a grandmother, I would really be sad if I couldn't see my only grandchildren. Plus, what will she do if she won't be able to read or watch TV? How will she eat and get around in the wheelchair? I hope it doesn't get any worse very soon. I will get her to surgery if I have to book the appointment myself and kidnap her to take her there. I can't seem to stop crying. I have to work tonight and to make matters worse we are understaffed because it is the night of the office Christmas party and to top things off the roads are really bad and there are a ton of accidents. It is going to be a long night. I just hope that I can pull myself together long enough to do my job. I am crying now just thinking about Mom. She has had such a hard life. She really doesn't do much but read, watch TV and go out shopping once in awhile. This is so sad. It sucks to get old.