Wednesday, December 29, 2004

I have been blessed this year

I got spoiled rotten this year. I am a very blessed and loved. My mom got me a really nice red 3 pcs pijama set. Cléo got me a basket full of sweet smelling bath stuff. Dad sent some money that I put towards my new coat.

My tree held a few surprises under it this year. I was pleasantly pleased by the few things that my sweety remembered in passing. I constantly complained about my mouse cord on the laptop. He got me a small cordless mouse YAY!

I also got an electronic french/english dictionary..for those who know and LOVE me, also know I am somewhat challenged when it comes to spelling . OK, OK, so I am NOT perfect...who knew.

I was also treated to a gorgeous watch....we actually saw it together in a watch store and he was determined to get me something more, besides the forementioned surprises already under the tree, that he was sure I would like . This was before xmas, but once we saw it and both loved it, he bought it for me. We had it gift wrapped because I had no intentions of wearing it before christmas. It is a beautiful Calvin Klein watch with a swiss movement. I will also add that its the most expensive watch I have ever owned. I almost choked when I saw its price , looked up at Chris with an incredulous look on my face like...YOUR NOT SERIOUSLY THINKING OF BUYING IT?? He in his calm, charming, loving manner says "Do you like it? " ..."Yes but"......" No buts, I love you and I can buy this for you " ......What can a girl say to that I ask you ?

can you tell I am a happy camper?

isn't this the coolest watch u ever saw? lol

I was lucky to have found a gorgeous coat just before christmas aswell, I love it and its the nicest coat I have ever owned. It wasn't an official xmas present but I did good by getting it for 75% off the regular price....some of my friends wanted to see it ..hense the pic lol...

I have to now tell u of another special gift I got. This gift took months of preparation and thoughtful caring for a best friend. Shannon could not have better shown her generous and loving nature with the time and care she took in putting this together for me. I love her to bits.

Let me preface this by saying that years ago I had showed her a bunch of postcards from europe. These were from when my sister spent a few months there.
All the postcards were of beautiful doors, of all colours. I had the plan to frame then and put them as a collection on a wall in my house . Just never got around to it. ...Shannon always remembered this. Last summer when Shan was here, she and my bf Chris drove around taking pics of nice doors in our neighbourhood and when we went to Quebec city she got some there aswell. Over the next months, she had printed, matted and framed 9 photos of doors. Each pic has a word that all together read "THE ROAD TO A FRIENDS HOUSE IS NEVER LONG" my own door photo has the word FRIENDS on it and Shan made it so that my door is also in the very middle of all 9 photos. My friend did an awesome job and really floored me with this present. Words can not describe how much I appreciate the loving time she took in putting this all together for me. I love my friend Shannon.

How cool is that I ask you? I have yet to decide exactly where this 9 picture display will hang but when I do , I will be sure to take a pic of it.
So as I was saying, I have been blessed this year. The new year to come can only hold promise and happiness. I feel so fortunate and humbled by the people in my life , near and far. I could only hope for the same to be true for everyone else.

Friday, December 24, 2004

I just wanted to wish all of my friends, family and readers a great Christmas. From our family to yours.......LOVE, LAUGH, AND BE MERRY.
Wether you will party hardy with loads of family or having a quiet christmas like we are with only a few , appreciate those u are able to share it all with and think happy thoughts for those that can't. HUGS 0X0X0X

Monday, December 20, 2004

Thought I would share this pic of my sister . She is the one with the big camera lol. This was in Sudan Africa a few weeks ago.She was traveling with the Prime Ministers office to take part in the Frankaphone Countries Summit. She told me it was quite an experience. Posted by Hello

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Dear Santa

Here is the deal. I have this online wishlist but when I actually tryed to order one or two things these stores didn't want my money. Something about it not being green , wtf?? So anyway I was wondering if your not to busy on the eve of Christmas if you could swoop down and pick me up a few things on your way back home? It's on your way since I live in the great white &%?!@* North too. .........Promise to put some warm brandy in our Coacoa if you want...hugs 0x0x

Dogs can send Christmas letters too

As of this week in December, it has been one year since we adopted our little dog from the SPCA. We love this dog to bits. Hard to imagine life without her now. So a few months ago I had this cute idea. I figured that with all the adoptions they handle , there are certainly a few of the animals they say good-bye to that they would love to hear back from. Like are they ok, is the family good to them? I would bet not many call back to say "All is well, our animal is adapting well to us."So ....

We printed off a pic of our cute pouch Shinoo, using half a page then bottom half was a letter from Shinoo herself ...yes I do realize that dog speak is difficult to comprehend but I am gifted that way, why else would some affectionately call me bitch?

So Shinoo (with my help) writes that since xmas coincides with her one year anniversary in her new home, she wanted to send them a greeting and update. She couldn't be happier with her new family and as evident in the photo she is also able to follow the latest trends in hair care and styling as per her own instructions to her *mommy. She feels very loved and gets lots of affection and could not imagine being with anyone else. She also thanked the SPCA for the great care they gave her before this family adopted her. Had they not been there for her then, she would not be living the life she is now........ then signed her paw..

She then got abit mushy and I will respect her privacy by not going into that. So we then put her letter with pic in a nice card that the family all signed and voila. I hope they appreciate some good news from one of the animals they cared for. They had told us last year that she had been there for some time and many of them had become attached to her. Had I been one of them I think I would have liked to know how she was doing . I also think the SPCA don't get enough thanks for the good work they are doing. I hope our small gesture made someone smile the day they got it.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Xmas Letter

I am not referring to my xmas letter but the one my sister Nicole wrote this year. Her writting style is a small yet good glimse into her head. You will undoubtedly discover what I have known for years. My sis is smart, witty and very funny. Unlike our other globe trotting photographer sister(Brigitte), this one is a stay at home mom of 2 children but she has her own business doing AutoCad. Before that she made extra income by sewing/making all kinds of nifty crafts or towel sets for babies and selling them to boutiques. In other words Nicole has always been very creative and resoursefull. Many cool projects I have done in the past come from her insperations or her countless discoveries. She has always been the brainiac of the 3 of us. You know the kind. Those who breezed through school with straight A's without cracking open a book. What always comes to mind though as you get to know her is how she can make you laugh without even trying or how generous she is of herself with those she loves. She would so want to groan at everything I just wrote hehe but what can I say, I have always been extremely proud of her and felt lucky to have her as a sister the cool perk is also being a friend to this terrific woman.

Now to intro her letter. I will start by just mentioning that last years letter was a funny account of her dying appliances. Either by old age or straight out was halarious to say the least. I can not begin to count the number of unsightly nonbeings. Suffice it to say it weren't purdy. Now this will explain a few references to that affect in the following letter. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Nicole's Christmas Chronicle 2004

Did I hear someone say, “I wonder how Nicole’s appliances are
doing.”? I didn’t think so……….
Yes, gentle reader, it’s once again time for me to hold you all captive as I enthrall, titillate and otherwise mesmerize you with my tales of intrigue, international espionage, and steamy romance. No wait…..that’s not my life, that’s a James Bond movie. That kind of sucks for you because a Bond movie would be WAY more interesting. Anyway, here goes….
The past year has been a full one for us, not because of anything big, just all the never ending little stuff. The kids are now five and twelve. Tess is in seventh grade and hates all the homework she’s getting this year. She still plays percussion and keyboard in band and joined the school’s jazz band this year . She’s also still taking piano and has gotten to a level where she actually likes to practice. Woohoo! She still whines about doing the theory but hey, a mother can’t have everything. This past summer she wrote and passed her first level of theory at the Royal Conservatory. After she’s completed a couple more levels it’ll actually count as credits in high school. It’s not terribly motivating for her as it’s a payoff that is literally years away. She’s so short-sighted! The paper route is still a thorn in her side, but her bank account is really growing. At this rate she’ll be able to pay for some post-secondary education. However, at the rate university tuition is rising, she’ll only be able to afford to pay for about 15 minutes worth! That’s not even enough time to find all your classes…………..
Hayden started kindergarten this fall-good times! He got off to a rocky start but he soon figured out that school was fun and the first teary days became a distant memory. He claims that he ‘doesn’t want to grow up’ so we just avoid that topic and try never to use phrases like, “You’re getting to be such a big boy.” or “Eat your broccoli, it’ll make you grow big and strong.” It’s counterproductive.
As for my work, the air balancer I started working for just over a year ago has been busy and I’m doing all of his drafting as well as my Dad’s. So, I’m very busy these days between work, kindergarten shuttle service, classroom volunteering, and everything else that is my life. This time of year is always a little hectic and with me working a lot more, Christmas preparations are behind. I can contribute much more by way of funding at Christmas now, but I can’t find time to get to the stores and actually buy the stuff! It’s such a conundrum. Speaking of conundrums, Wade is fine and busy as always. The herd this year is still 24 hooves strong (he told me to say that-it sounds bigger) and for the first time the guys will be taking a couple of live cows to the butcher. Usually the ‘deed’ has already been done before they get delivered there. The butcher we used to use is no longer in the business so we’ve had to look elsewhere for the service. In a week’s time the two full grown cows need to be ear-tagged and coaxed into the horse trailer (for the first time in their lives) without the use of the usual equipment like a cattle squeeze and/or a shoot. It should prove to be an interesting and very long day for the cowboys and whatever gets locked in that trailer-man or beast- goes to the butcher, so they’d better be careful. I’d try to document every agonizing detail on video if I didn’t think I’d be shaking so hard from laughter that I’d spoil the footage. I’ll let you know how it turns out. In the meantime, I’ll keep looking over my shoulder because Wade is determined to practice on something or someone with his new ear-tagging gun. My ears are ALREADY pierced, thank you very much, and NO I do not want a nose ring!
Brigitte and Glen are doing fine. Brigitte is really enjoying her job with the Prime Minister’s Office. She’s traveled to Russia, France, Chile and Africa, just to name a few places. We’ve been the recipients of some lovely souvenirs and appreciate her thinking of us. In February she and Glen came to Calgary for a big tattoo convention (Glen’s a very talented artist) so we were able to have a nice visit with them. Brigitte and I went to Canmore for an overnight stay to enjoy some girl time and the boys had to watch the fort and keep the home fires burning. Brigitte and I got stinking drunk and partied like animals. Wait…that’s another movie. In reality, except for the Puerto Rican stripper named Julio and the unfortunate incident with a police cruiser that lead to the need for bail money, we behaved like proper married women. We shopped and shopped, then got facials and manicures. It was heavenly.
Mom and Ben are also well. Ben had some health issues this past summer and had surgery to remove his gall bladder, which was causing him all kinds of trouble. After some surgery related complications, he fortunately has bounced back and is his usual active self.
Monette, Chris and Cleo are faring well also. They’ve gone through some job/work changes, causing some upheaval but ultimately working out for the best for both of them on many levels. I’m sure they’re relieved to be through it now and are settling into the new routine. We hope they can make it out west for a visit next summer.
Now you, fair reader, have been unaware as you read that while I’ve been writing this letter, I have fought with valiant effort, an internal battle. The inner war I waged was to keep myself from mentioning anything about household appliances, other than my opening sentence which was meant to make you laugh and to frighten you all at the same time. Having fought the good fight I am faced with the harsh reality that my inner ‘troops’ are weary and I’m out of ‘ammo’. I am waving the white flag and surrender to my driving need to inform you that we finally got a new fridge. For this I must largely thank the air balancer I work for in Calgary. No, he didn’t buy me a fridge, but his Christmas gift last year put us in the right place at the right time. He gave us tickets to a magic show and we (by some unexplained miracle that I hope to repeat sometime in the next decade) got there quite early. We went into the nearby SEARS store to kill time and the fridge we’d been lusting after for some time was on sale and there was a ‘no GST’ event ending that day. We took this as an omen, threw caution to the wind (Old, still-chugging, ugly almond top mount refrigerator be damned!) and bought a new one. Fear not all you environmentally conscious loved ones, ‘Old Faithful’ is happily chugging on in one of our rental properties living out the rest of its dubious life with useful purpose. We’ve since added a cupboard above the new fridge where there wasn’t one before because Wade has learned that the way to my heart is through added kitchen cabinetry (refer to Cowie Chronicle-2002). I am currently on a covert mission, planting the seeds of ‘stove replacement’ in my dear husband’s subconscious. I’ll let you know how the cassette tapes I play while he sleeps, and the subliminal messages in oil on the bathroom mirror (visible only when it’s steamed up) are working. I’d settle for a new love seat in the front room, but that’s not an appliance, it’s furniture. You don’t want to get me started on furniture…………..

All kidding aside, this is a Christmas letter after all and we send our good wishes to all our friends and family during this holiday season. May you be blessed with health, happiness, people who love you, and most importantly, decent appliances.
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 03, 2004

Xmas Cards Done!!!

I savour that feeling of bliss that over takes my being when I have placed the last stamp and put the last xmas card in the mail slot. I have a personal relationship with each card I prepare. This year I mailed out 45 cards. This is a norm for me. As much as I enjoy it I also make it such a chore. I am anal retentive when it comes to my xmas cards. I actually start this process after xmas every year. I like to buy nice cards but the nice ones are quite pricey and given the number I send out, I hit the stores for the after xmas sales. I usually find them at half price and even then when buying 2 or 3 boxes it doesn't make it cheap. I love the hunt for nice ones nonetheless. Then they are tucked away for a quiet year till its that special time.

I begin by writting my xmas letter. Many of the card recipients are people like aunts, uncles, cousins or long lost school friends from all over the country or abroad. No news is exchanged all year untill we send out xmas cards hense the xmas letter. I try to digest the years events or share tidbits of this and that. Then I add a cute graphic or two and print them all to fold and stick inside the card. I realize some may find it cold to send a form letter out but atleast they get all the news and even if I wanted to hand write it all out in each card there wouldn't be enough room anyway. I do try however to write a little something in each and every card. I have been told in the past that my letter is well recieved and most look forward to it now.

I also do each and every address on the envelope in calighraphy with a wide fountain pen. It makes for an old style look, very classy and I hope also appreciated when recieved in the mailbox. I feel like the small extra attention I pay to each card is all part of the Christmas spirit and the time I have taken to addressing each one is time spent thinking good thoughts about the person it's going too. I then seal the back with a pretty sticker. I used to actually melt a special letter wax that was red or gold then pressed with a stamp that had a fancy M on it. I broke it a couple years ago and have looked for one since or one with just a fancy design but everytime I see what I am looking for they never have a design I like. I no longer need an M but a combined M/C intertwined would be awesome. Untill I find one I like I will stick to pretty stickers. I did warn you that I was anally retentive when it comes to my cards , stop rolling your eyes at me lol.

I will actually post my xmas letter on here in a week or so . My reason being that some of my readers are also going to get a card so I don't want to have them reading it twice. Besides most of the news on there has been written about in my blog through the months as well. Just their luck to have to read about it over and over again. My life is quite mundane so the few interesting things that happen I make sure to write about.

As for the rest of you out there, I wish for you all to have a great Christmas and Holiday Season. For those of you who do not celebrate this time or do it differently then myself, I hope you enjoy the time off or the spirit surrounding our good thoughts for loved ones. As we say here in french JOYEUX NOËL ET BONNE ANNÉE..