Monday, April 30, 2007

New or same old, same old?

I'm coughing again today, worse than I have been for about a week. Not sure if it has anything to do with my being out for a walk for an hour yesterday. My neck was cold because of the wind, maybe I wasn't dressed warmly enough? Other people are wearing t-shirts, and I still have a scarf. All I know is that I have a nasty sounding cough again today.

I am also stressed about work, which I can't discuss here. That's likely not helping.

I hope this is only a minor setback. I don't want to be full-blown sick again. That is, if I did actually get over what I had for the past month.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Just say no

I tried to test a new recipe today, in anticipation of Cinco de Mayo. It involved deep frying. I went out and bought myself a thermometer so that I would be able to tell if/when the oil was heated to the right temperature. While the oil was heating, I worked on the chocolate sauce. That seemed to be going relatively ok until my uncle called to chat. I either should have stopped cooking or not picked up the phone... but I tried to multitask. The end result was that the thermometer broke, leaking its insides into the oil. I hadn't even made the dough, but it was this early on that I decided to call it quits. Deep frying is tricky, and since I'm not prepared to go out and buy a deep fryer just for the sake of experimentation, this is as far as I'm willing to go.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Happy Birthday John!

Today is John's birthday. If you would like to wish him a happy birthday, please do so today.

Dirty Dancing

Saw an ad for this on TV this morning. Back in theatres for two nights only, in celebration of its 20th anniversary.

We're getting a Fairweather again

The sign is up on one of the new buildings out east for Fairweather. Hunh. Never thought they'd come back to SJ.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Car Search: Part 1

My car is ending its lease next month. I have two choices: buy out the lease; or lease/purchase a new car. I am now starting to look at new cars to see if there are any that I prefer over my current car.

Find a sporty sedan, similar to my current Grand Am GT. Must be a GM vehicle so I can apply my credits toward the lease/purchase. Want XM factory installed. Don't want to lose any features I already have.

Saturn Aura

I started my car search on Tuesday by stopping by the Saturn dealership. I specifically wanted to look at the Saturn Aura, recently awarded North American Car Of The Year. I asked about the hybrid model, but that is not going to be available until the fall. It is also going to be a 4 cylinder vehicle, which is a step down from what I have now, and not what I'd prefer.

I liked the fact that it has won an award. It also seemed very roomy on the inside. The seats were comfortable. Windows were built to reduce road noise.

It seemed very blah on the inside; I found it boring. It struck me as a good family sedan, but it didn't feel like "me". I'm not ready to settle down yet when it comes to my car.

Pumpkin Patch open again

Today's the day, the Pumpkin Patch has re-opened for the season.  Yay, fresh produce and ice cream!

Where's the syrup?

Over 2 weeks ago, I mailed some maple syrup to John.  I wrote "maple syrup" on the customs form, so there was nothing to hide.  I sent the package by Air Mail.  It still hasn't arrived in SoCal.
Somewhere in Canada, Customs agents are enjoying pancakes with my syrup.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Weekend & Monday

I had a fairly decent weekend. Friday night I watched TV and talked to John on the phone.

Saturday was such a beautiful day that I wanted to be outside in some fashion. I spent some time taking out my driveway markers, pulling the compost bin around the yard to pick up branches, and picked up garbage that had made its way onto my property. Before going outside, I spent some more time in the basement, doing some more keep/toss/donate. I went to church as usual, then off to dinner with my grandfather, Dad, stepmother, aunt, uncle, cousin & wife, and my two brothers. My older brother made a quick trip down this weekend to do some audio wiring at my Dad's house. We celebrated my grandfather's upcoming birthday and afterward spent some time at his house. Afterward I came home and watched some TV. John wasn't feeling well and we didn't get to chat.

Sunday meant I had a lot left to do. I wanted to get my grandfather's tax return done right away, so he would know if he owed or was getting a refund; it was the latter. I had laundry to do. I also wanted to continue with the basement organization. I worked away at that for a while, and then my Dad and brother came over to start drilling the hole for the sump pump. I now have a big hole in the basement and the pump is ready to be installed. Dad still has to come back with some additional materials to finish the job. After the work was done, my brother went back to my mom's to shower, then we ordered Chinese food for the three of us and had dinner together.

I went to the dentist today for my checkup and cleaning. No cavities and they told me my gums were looking better than usual.

Tonight my mom came over and I helped her with a written report she needed to do for a training course. In exchange, I got a bag of ketchup chips and she took 4 items to iron for me (she has an obsession with ironing). Everyone wins.

Today at work was very frustrating. Work would be a lot less stressful if you were allowed to tell people off. Incident #1 involved wasted time. That makes me angry. The second incident involved someone masking their criticism with attempts at humor. I often bring my or my mother's baking in to work so it will be eaten instead of going to waste (or eating all of it myself). I don't do it every week, but maybe a couple of times a month. On repeated occasions, one of my co-workers has made comments like "I wish you hadn't brought that in" while smiling and making it sound like a joke. Today's comment was: "There's the culprit. I should string you up by your..." It was said with what she thought was humor, but after hearing so many of these comments, combined with her previous comments telling me I was too thin and needed to eat more, I had had enough. I turned around and said to her, "It's not like I'm shoving it down your throat. It's up to you whether you eat it or not."

This woman obviously has food/weight issues; I am not insensitive to this. I don't walk into her office and sit and eat cake in front of her. I don't do anything to purposefully make her feel bad. I am just very frustrated that I can't bring in food without her being all passive-aggressive at me. I feel like she thinks I'm the devil because I'm skinny and bring in cake. I'm sorry if you find it tempting and it doesn't fit into your diet, but that is something you need to address by yourself without criticizing others. If you can't stand the cake, get out of the kitchen.

Friday, April 20, 2007


On my lunchhour yesterday, I had purchased a departmental afternoon treat of ketchup chips, so I wasn't very hungry when I got home last night. I did a few things on my PC, then sat and had a choice to make: do I sit on/get sucked into the couch tonight, or do I go down to the basement and get some things done? I decided to choose the basement.

I managed to transfer books into 5-6 plastic bins, and organized by author. I still have a couple of boxes of knick-knacks, misc books and papers to go through, but most of the books are done. I wish I had my bookcases back (they had to be thrown out after they got too moldy from the first flood), but there's not much sense in buying bookcases until I get the basement issues sorted out.

I also bagged up the clothing I wanted to donate, but I still need to go through my closet and be a little more picky about items that I don't wear.

Definitely some progress made last night. I hope to continue it this weekend and get it done. I do have some plans for this weekend, though. My older brother is coming down tomorrow to do some wiring in my Dad's new house. My aunt, uncle, cousin & wife are coming up this weekend as well. Since we will all be here, we're taking my grandfather out for birthday supper. His actual birthday is next Saturday.

I am hoping to break out the BBQ this weekend too. I'm looking forward to having John do some grilling when he gets here (3 weeks to go).

I'm guessing this is a no, but I will ask the question just in case: Does anyone want a copy of Anne of Green Gables & the sequel on VHS? If you want them, they're yours. I upgraded to DVD a couple of months ago.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

10 Things I Hate About Commandments

This is hilarious

Things & things

I am gradually getting better. The last 2-3 days have seen me not needing to use cough drops, cough syrup, or Advil, so that is a definite improvement. I still have a cough, but it is not as bad as it was. Also am still quite tired. I can't seem to get enough rest.

Since the rain has ceased, my basement is now drying out. Hopefully by tonight I can return some items back to the floor.

I'm bored. It's not that I don't have a lot to do around the house, but that I can't get motivated to do any of it. I need to do some spring cleaning, especially the windows. I also need to continue getting items out of cardboard boxes and into plastic bins in the basement. The desk in my home office is piled with crap that needs to be sorted and filed, but I somehow seem to keep on ignoring it. I think what I need to do is make a to-do list so that I can concentrate on picking off one item at a time, instead of it feeling like I have more to do than I can handle.

There are a couple of tasks I want to make sure I tackle this weekend, though. One is to buy a mat I saw in a Home Depot flyer which goes under your BBQ to collect any stray drippings. With the weekend scheduled to be sunny, I'd like to break out the BBQ and grill something for a change. The second is to replace the filter(s) in my air exchanger. I haven't touched it since I moved in, and the filters are likely long overdue for a change. I also have a bunch of clothing and other items that need to be dropped off at Value Village.

I've been too much of a couch potato recently. I have been finding too many things on TV that I want to watch. Now that spring is here, and the daylight lasts longer, I need to get back to walking. I take walks for enjoyment, and rain and high winds are not enjoyable situations in which to walk. Thus my spring recommencement of regular walks has not yet begun. Today is pretty windy out, and I need to run an errand at lunchtime, so I think I will start back again tomorrow.

I may also try to go out and look at cars this weekend. My lease expiry date is only a few weeks away, and I need to know what I'm going to do. I'd prefer to have a new car, but only if I like it better than my current car. So, first step is to look at new cars and see if I like any of them. I plan on looking at the Saturn Aura, the Pontiac G6 and Grand Prix, and maybe a few others. If the Grand Am was still available, I'd be strongly considering getting it for a third time in a row. No-can-do this time though. I currently have $1859 in credits from using my GM Visa, so that will help the price a bit.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

3 weeks and still going!

I just reached the end of week 3 of my cold, do I win any kind of award?  I am getting better, honest.  I'm down to only coughing when I have to talk for a while, and last night I didn't wake up coughing or have to hack anything up.  I am still feeling pretty exhausted though.  Some day, I will be well again.
My Dad's been very busy, and as a result, hasn't had time to install a sump pump for me in my basement.  It rained all day yesterday, the ground is still hard, and the water table is high... you do the math.  Dad came over last night to have a look and we did manage to uncap a pipe and get some water flowing back out again, but couldn't get the cap off another pipe.  He just called and said he had 2 sump pumps being shipped up.  Not much we can do until it stops raining and dries up, then we can get it/them installed.  We may put two pumps in, on opposing corners of the basement.
I'm all set for my lawn care this year.  I'm sticking with the same people who did my mowing last year, and also getting them to do the fertilizer & weed killer.  I had two separate companies doing those jobs last year, and the fertilizing/weed killing was costing a fortune.  By combining it with lawn mowing, I can get a better price.  It's also a lot cheaper because it's a smaller company with lower prices vs a larger business who seem to charge a premium for those services.  I'm looking forward to spending a little bit less on that this year.  I'm glad this is all arranged before the start of the season, so I'm not calling around trying to find someone after their schedules are booked up.  Fertilizing is going to start around the beginning of May, and mowing around mid-May, dependent on weather.
Speaking of weather, enough with the below-average temperatures already.  It's barely warm enough to rain.  I'd like to be able to stop wearing my winter coat.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

New Maroon 5 video

This is the new video from Maroon 5 called Makes Me Wonder. It made me wonder if they were thinking of O'Hare when they filmed it (see pic below).


This is O'Hare Airport in Chicago, the walkway between terminal B and C.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Drink crystal dilemma

Look in my fridge and you will usually see a pitcher or two of juice, grape and orange. For over 20 years I have purchased and enjoyed drink crystals from Crosby Molasses Co. A few months back, I began to notice a trend at both Sobeys and Superstore of the product starting to disappear from the shelves. I filled out customer comments, talked to product managers, and still didn't get any closer to an answer on why the product wasn't available.

Last week, I wrote to Crosby's directly, figuring that if the product was not available at any of the grocery chains, perhaps they've decided to stop manufacturing them. The answer I received was quite different than what I expected. Crosby's told me they are still making them, are more than willing to sell them to the chains, but that some chains have delisted the product. Delisting not only means that they no longer stock it on their shelves, but that individual store managers can't special order the items in for customers. Crosby's said that none of the NB grocery outlets were ordering the product anymore, and I fear that may be a national decision. They suggested I could get a local corner store to order it for me through a wholesaler, or it may still be carried out-of-province. Crosby Molasses Co. is a company located in Saint John. I can drive there in a matter of minutes, yet I can't buy this product anywhere in the province. So much for supporting local companies.

Armed with this knowledge, I set out to write emails to 3 grocery chains:

Atlantic Superstore: They answered me the next day. They said "procurement in Brampton" were delisting the crystals in favor of the new singles crystals (I assume they mean that Crystal Light product). They said they only had so much room on their shelves, and had to get rid of the old to make way for the new. Sort of understandable. I wrote them back and pushed a bit more, asking if they could at least list the product so it could be special ordered, without the stores actually having to stock it.

Co-op: Co-op doesn't sell the product, but I asked if they could start to stock it, or if they would special order it for me. Their response was that they didn't list the product either, but that their private brand crystals were made by the same company. I could buy those and it would be cheaper than the name brand. I have purchased their brand before, and it is a decent substitute... but it's still not the same. I know my juice.

Sobeys: They have yet to answer my email.

Once I noticed that Sobeys was trying to get rid of the product, I bought what remained of a case of grape that had been reduced to clear. I will live off that for a while until I figure out what to do. I am out of orange, so I've had to use the Co-op brand, which isn't as sweet. I may try using less water and seeing if that makes a difference. I also stopped by the Bilk Barn and bought some of their orange drink crystals to see if it was anywhere near the same.

If any of you reading this blog live elsewhere in the Maritimes, would you take a look the next time you buy groceries and see if you find Crosby's drink crystals in Grape or Orange?

Which Serenity character are you?

Your results:
You are Kaylee Frye (Ship Mechanic)
Kaylee Frye (Ship Mechanic)
Inara Serra (Companion)
Zoe Washburne (Second-in-command)
Dr. Simon Tam (Ship Medic)
River (Stowaway)
Wash (Ship Pilot)
Derrial Book (Shepherd)
Malcolm Reynolds (Captain)
Jayne Cobb (Mercenary)
A Reaver (Cannibal)
You are good at fixing things.
You are usually cheerful.
You appreciate being treated
with delicacy and specialness.
Click here to take the "Which Serenity character are you?" quiz...

A couple of feasts...

This Week

When you were a child, which crayon color was your favorite?
I don’t remember specifically. Purple has always been my favorite color though.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being highest), how likely would you be to change jobs if it required you to move?
I could be in that situation if John is unable to move here. I would have to move and change jobs to live in SoCal. Other than that, it would depend on where I was moving to. A move within the Maritimes doesn’t interest me.

Take all the numbers in your birthday and your phone number and add them up, one by one. What’s the total? [I assume they mean month and day]

Main Course
Have you ever “re-gifted” anything? If so, what was it and who did you pass it on to?
Yes, I will admit that I do this sometimes. Yankee swaps at work are usually regifted snowmen knick-knacks. People at work love them, and I don’t like having them hanging around in a box in my house, so everyone is happier.

Name something you need from the store.
Parmesan cheese.

Last Week

When you travel, which mode of transportation do you prefer?
The fastest way possible is always preferable. I don't like traveling, but I have fun once I arrive. I hate long car trips and get carsick, so I can't read while riding in the car. I usually try to be the driver so I have something to do. Flying would be my preference, that way I can still read or watch something, and there is a bathroom to use without having to interrupt the trip.

Have you ever met a blogging friend in person?
That’s how I met my husband, so yes. :)

When was the last time you were really, really tired?
I’ve been tired a lot while having this cold. It’s making me exhausted.

Main Course
If you could have dinner with any one fictional character from a book or movie, who would it be?
So many to choose from. One would be Bridget Jones, and we could discuss our mutual admiration for Colin Firth.

Fill in the blank: One day, I hope to see my grandmothers again.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

2 weeks, 2 days, cough cough

It's been 2 weeks and 2 days now since my cold from hell began. As of today, I am significantly better, but still have some remaining annoying symptoms. Every morning I seem to be in a contest to see how much green stuff I can expel. I head to work, though I am feeling more energetic than last week, I still find myself tired. I have no recollection of pressing snooze twice this morning. I was so deep in REM sleep that I could barely keep my eyes open to get in the shower. Every evening, around 10pm, I begin to cough a lot more to the point of extreme annoyance. Perhaps my house is too dry. But I am feeling better.

This really is just a bad cold. Why has it hit me so hard? From talking to others, I am not the only person being hit hard by whatever bug is going around. It makes me feel like a loser though. I can't get over a simple cold? I guess the answer is that this is not a simple cold.

I've spent a lot of time this week researching flight options for John's visit next month. I've been a little pushy about getting something booked, in part because a seat sale was just announced yesterday and I want to make sure we have the best options available. I'm also lonely and want to be able to mark on the calendar when he will be back. Sometimes I handle our separations ok, and sometimes I don't. I don't seem to be handling this one very well. I'm not sure if that's because I've been sick and generally miserable from that, or if I am just growing tired of continually having to be apart. I just want to hop on a plane and go see him. Oh, to be rich.

I have two upcoming trips for work. First up is a meeting in Washington, DC, in mid-June. I booked my flights for it today, after a week of staring at the flight options, not knowing what to pick. Do I stay extra time to do touristy stuff? Do I try and get home as soon as possible? What will it cost me above what my company will pay? Do I try and have a stopover in Toronto? I seem to be even worse than usual this week at making decisions. After an email yesterday requesting our arrival & departure dates, I had to book something today so the hotel reservations could be finalized. I ended up trying to balance low cost to me with some time for seeing the sights. I'll leave here at 6:30am (I don't relish that) and arrive in DC by 10:30am. That will give me the afternoon and early evening to sightsee. I have a dinner to attend that night, and then my meeting the next day. I'll have my evening free, then head home the next morning. I won't arrive home until supper time. The hotel we're staying at is within walking distance of the White House, Smithsonian, and many other things. The key will be choosing what I want to see most and fitting it into my limited time frame.

The second trip is my annual conference. I just found out this week that it is being held in Palm Springs. Quite a relief for me, as the other choice was Florida during hurricane season. This location is perfect for me to be able to see John: it is only 1.5h away, and his mom lives nearby. I still have to put some thought into this trip and decide when I'll go, what vacation time I want to take, etc. The conference always occurs around my birthday, so I will likely be away again this year.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Going postal

Having had many comments from people saying they couldn't find my postal code online, I called Canada Post last December to ask if it could be remedied. I spoke with someone at the Rothesay Ave post office, who understood my issue, and we chatted for a few minutes on exactly where my house was located. He said he would submit a request to have me added in, but mentioned it may take a month or two to show up because the database is only updated monthly.

I am working on some address clarifications for work today, so I decided to check and see if it had been fixed yet. Lo and behold, I now exist! Yay! A big thank you to the man who followed through on his promise.

Now if I could just get my letter carrier to realize that my neighbors' mail doesn't belong in my mailbox, I'll be all set. This seems to be an issue, for some reason, as I repeatedly get my next door neighbors' mail. Their last name is sort of close to mine, but I have also gotten mail for my neighbors two doors down, who have a very different last name. I think he's not reading the street numbers properly, and is just getting everything mixed up. This only started happening in the last few months. The letter carrier I had when I first moved in came to my door to drop off a parcel and seemed very attentive to names, so I am guessing he's either moved on to another route, or he takes vacation and I get stuck with the person who isn't as detail-oriented. I've been considering sticking a label inside my mailbox with my house number and last name on it, but the last thing you want to do is piss off your letter carrier.

I guess for now I will continue to walk next door and drop off my neighbors' mail. I don't mind doing that, but many of us don't have mailboxes on our houses because our mail comes to group boxes. I'm always worried the mail I leave on their doorstep (if they don't answer the doorbell) will fly away, so I try to prop it under something heavy. I have a rock on my doorstep for that purpose. I may have to donate a rock with my next mail delivery.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A bit better

Feeling a bit better today. Last night I turned the corner from sore throat into head cold stage, so that's usually the sign that I am on the mend. Also a sign that I may go through a box of Kleenex in the next few days, but so far so good.

I decided to work from home today. I have a lot of stuff to do that doesn't require me to be at my desk, so that works out well. I have the stove going, my XM radio on, and get to work in comfy clothes while drinking as much fluid as I can. This chair isn't quite built for all-day use though, so I think it's time to get up and take a break.

Need to get better before JCS night!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Making up for lost time

I had successfully made it through this winter without getting sick or taking a sick day... until last week. My sore throat started last Tuesday morning and is still scratchy a week later. The norm for me is usually a couple of days of sore throat, then it breaks and I am into a massive head cold. That has not yet happened, and I am still stuck in scratchy throat stage. I left work around 2:30 this afternoon and came home. I probably shouldn't have gone in at all.

Fearing some kind of infection from the fact that it has lasted this long, I called my doctor's office on the off chance there might have been a cancellation today. Ironically, my doctor called in sick with the flu. I am not the kind of person who requests medicine every time I get sick, but this just doesn't seem right based on how I usually react. I may try and get an appointment with the clinic tomorrow if I am still feeling the same. I am just not getting any better at all. My only change has been from shooting pain in my throat to scratchiness. Other than that, I am exhausted all the time, have no energy, have a slight nagging cough, and just feel generally miserable.

I've gone ahead and kept planning for JCS night this Friday... surely I'll be better by then?