Holiday Preparations

My family was making wursties today in Calgary.

I was putting up lights outside my house in Alabama. (My technique needs some improvement.)


My mom put her lights up yesterday, while my dad rang the bells for the Salvation Army at the mall, like he does most years.

I’ve got my stack of Christmas cards here next to me, waiting to be signed and mailed.

I”m making plans for their visit next week. My mom, dad and sister are coming to see my commencement next Sunday.

Then a little over a week later AB and I are getting on a plane and going up to Canada to see them.

It’s a busy, busy time of year.

One Year Ago Today: It was the perfect Saturday-mix of productivity, relaxation and socializing.

Next December

I am already looking forward to next December. Not much for living in the moment, eh?

Really I’m just thinking of what it will be like to not have to worry about school stuff any more.

I’m keeping myself busy today, with only sporadic moments of weepiness. Feeling my little girl go limp in my arms was kind of traumatic.

The cleaners came today, and I always open the blinds when they’re here so they can see what they’re doing. We’re very much a blinds closed kind of house. But they are still open right now, and I’m looking out at the neighbors Christmas lights coming up one by one. Has that speed limit sign always been there?

Maybe I should open the blinds more often.

One Year Ago Today: One of the first things I did in February was to essentially fire my orthopedist.


Mouse 2005 – 2014

Mouse Portrait 024

Mouse aka Leeloo aka My Little Girl

We found out that my cat had cancer last month. I’ve been trying to make her comfortable ever since. She’s a tough little thing who doesn’t complain and just does what she can. But she can’t jump up on the furniture any more. She cries when we pick her up because her tumor is so big. And she’s eating only off and on.

I don’t want to see her in any more pain, and her quality of life has gotten really, really small so today is her last day. I’m giving her all the pets, which is the only thing she seems to like anymore, and spent the whole day with her.

AB said today that she was salvation for my psyche after Hurricane Katrina. She’s mopped up a lot of my tears, and made us laugh a lot over the years. I thought I would have more time with her, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Good night my little green-eyed girl. I’ll miss you so much.

One Year Ago Today: Rundown does not even begin to describe the situation around this here carcass.

Post Exam Rambling

I spent nine hours in a little room today drilling with flashcards, but now the final is over. And I am pretty sure I am brain dead.

This is my last semester of my program. I am going to commencement in a little over a week. It took two years, and now I’m almost done.

Just one more final to get through.

I can do this.

One Year Ago Today: Starting at a new college is always so confusing.


This Week Ladyloo Is….



Flattering Ms. Plumcake by shamelessly ripping her off.

WearingFluevogs. I went on a shoe-buying bender this summer when none of my shoes started fitting, and the Fluevogs I bought have been the hands-down most comfortable and non-boring of the bunch.

Smelling – I smell nothing. I refuse to believe that I have a cold, because I don’t have time for a cold, but my sense of smell is noticeably MIA.

HearingTaylor Swift, 1989 I actually bought this CD. Like an actual compact disc. I have been listening to it in the car, and it is making me happy.

Reading – Flashcards. I am a consummate index card user when I’m studying, and I’m working off a stack right now for my impending finals.

Watching – Continuing the campy, lighthearted entertainment theme, I’ve been watching Sleepy Hollow which has horrible plot holes, and requires extreme suspension of disbelief, but also has monsters of the week, and a very pretty Tom Mison.

Wanting – To discover that there is some kind of metal flange that will allow me to attach my IKEA legs to my IKEA table top, because I seem to have lost all the necessary hardware.

One Year Ago Today: Fun electro-pop for a drizzly, stressful week.


The Annual Resurrection

If it’s December 1st, I must be bringing this blog back to life. Thanks to Holidailies for bring us all out of the woodwork.

This has been quite the year – new job, finishing school and…well, that’s about it really. Those two things took up 98% of my brain power this year. The other 2% was all Cocoa Puffs, Pop Tarts and coffee.

I’m looking forward to being back for a bit. I forgot how fun this can be.

One Year Ago Today: But I’m back! For a month (I hope) anyway.


Horoscopes for My Birthday & My 38th Year

Thank you Sally Brompton!

For the year:

The moon’s eclipse of Mars on your birthday suggests that certain relationships will be a little raw over the coming year. You will have no option but to work through what is dividing you – and a year from now you will look back and be so glad you did.

And for today:

Act in haste now and you will almost certainly regret it later. Despite what others may tell you there is no need to rush. On the contrary, you will accomplish more if you let things happen rather than try to make them happen yourself.

Year End Meme of 2013

The meme, courtesy of Sundry.

1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
Being incapacitated by a migraine.  Having a CAT scan of my head. Grad school.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? 
It seems that my news years resolution last year was to buy more shoes. You would think that would be an easy resolution to keep, but the only shoes I bought for myself were replacements for worn out pairs, and some slippers. I’m obviously not doing this right.

In a total cliche move, I think this years resolution is going to have something to do with taking care of my carcass better.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Katylady had a beautiful little boy, and my co-worker had her little girl.

4. Did anyone close to you die? 
Some of AB’s family members passed away, and one of my co-workers. I wouldn’t say any of them were close to me, but they were close to people I care about.

5. What countries did you visit? 
Just Canada.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013? 
Maybe a bit more job satisfaction.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? 
December 18th: Got a new job.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? 
Deciding to do something about my mental health, and following through.

9. What was your biggest failure? 
Not taking as good a care of my physical health as I did my mental health.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? 
My back has continued to be an issue, and I had one doozie of a bout with the flu. I also started having pretty severe migraines.

11. What was the best thing you bought? 
A new car. I did not realize how bad of shape my car was in until I started driving the new one.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
All the people of southern Alberta – and Canada. After the floods, the way they all came together was just incredible.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Congress. Rob Ford.  The Quebec premier.

14. Where did most of your money go? 

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? 
That moment after a final is done, when you’re just overrun with relief.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013? 
This is a total toss-up. Either Imagine Dragon’s “Radioactive”, or Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky”, or Vampire Weekend’s “Unbelievers”.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter.
c) richer or poorer?  Poorer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? 
I wish I could have done a better job of some of my freelance work. And used the time I had to educate myself more about career related things.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? 
I wish it were possible to sleep less.

20. How did you spend Christmas? 
Quietly at our own house. AB was sick, so I nursed him some. I finished up a puzzle, and I prepped for my trip to Canada the next day.

21. Did you fall in love in 2013? 
Not with anyone/thing new.

22. What was your favorite TV program? 

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? 
Hate is always a pointless emotion.

24. What was the best book you read? 
Either Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life or Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? 
Probably Vampire Weekend.

26. What did you want and get? 
A new car.

27. What did you want and not get? 
To travel outside the country. Or inside even. School made it hard to travel, and I miss it, desperately.

28. What was your favorite film of this year? 
I really liked Ender’s Game.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 
I was 37 on my last birthday. I went to my in-laws house for the day, and had a lovely time with them all.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? 
Immeasurably? I was actually pretty satisfied with this year, in the end.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013? 
Button downs. Cardigans. Big necklaces.

32. What kept you sane? 
Without a doubt, medication.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? 
The mayor of Calgary, Naheed Nenshi.

34. What political issue stirred you the most? 
This is embarrassing to admit, but I didn’t pay much attention to politics this year. I know that means that I’m privileged not to have to worry about them, but between work, freelance, and school I didn’t have much energy left to fight battles that seemed fruitless.

35. Who did you miss? 
My family. My grandparents. My far away friends.

36. Who was the best new person you met? 
A few of my classmates have turned out to be really great. I need to work harder to make sure I keep up with them.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013. 
Look after yourself. It’s a gift to yourself, and to the people who love you.

One Year Ago Today: I’m so glad he was there for me when I needed him.


This week Ladyloo is…

This week ladyloo is…

Wearing –  Kiyonna London Car Coat. This coat is a few years old now, but living where I live there isn’t much call for getting a new winter coat every year. So I keep this one for my winter trips to Canada, and it’s a good mix of basic and fancy. I can wear it most places easily.

SmellingHoneymania Body Butter from the Body Shop. A Christmas gift from my mom, I’m putting it to good use in this dry, Canadian air.

HearingCBC Radio One. Talk radio here is so rational, thoughtful, and intelligent.

ReadingMarketing in the Age of Google. I have know Vanessa Fox online for a long time, and I’d been meaning to read her books for ages. With the new job starting next week (ack!), I thought now would be the perfect time.

Watching – Moose. I woke up this morning, and my mom asked me how I slept. “Fine. And there’s a giant moose behind your head.” Out the window we watched a moose cow and yearling chew the willow branches, and then slowly amble into the neighbors yard.

Wanting – To get caught up on Holidailies. This may end up being my worst showing in the ten years I’ve been doing this.

One Year Ago Today: Not only was the gift a surprise, but the giver was a surprise.


Sunday Drive

The plan for today was to drive out to Canmore, and have lunch. It was the perfect day for it. Sunny, blue skies, that made the mountains just pop off the horizon.

On the way we drove past a lot of areas that had been affected by the floods in June. Creek beds that I always remember being dry, are now choked with gravel and mud and boulders, and are five times as wide as they were before.

I was nervous about seeing the devastation – I can’t handle it very well any more – but a lot of work had been done since June, and the communities seemed to be getting back on their feet, if not quite back to normal.

My parents specifically wanted to go to Mountain Mercato for lunch. It’s a small cafe and European grocery. The coffee there is to-die-for. Definitely on par with Crema in Nashville. We ordered an obscene amount of food, especially considering the teeny bistro tables. First a couple of antipasto plates with pate, almonds, cured meats, pickles and mustard on bread and crackers. And then we each got a panini as well. So much food.We had to leave some on the plates or risk exploding, and I was so disappointed.

On the way back to my parent’s house we stopped at my brother’s new house. Him and his girlfriend and her little girl are a really lovely little family. My brother seems down right domesticated these days.

The weather this trip has been a roller coaster, swinging 30 degrees Celsius every day. Snow, sun, wind. Just what you’d expect from the foothills in winter. I miss it so much.