Friday, September 30, 2011

Book: My (not so) Storybook Life



Liz, of Mabel's House wrote a book, My (not so) Storybook Life
and is having a giveaway to win a signed copy.
I have been following her blog for some time now,
and I can say with certainty that Liz is a genuinely great person
and has a wonderful sense of humor.
I look forward to reading her book!

Check out this excerpt:

***
Once one has breathed in the deep pungent aroma of sewage, you never again forget the nose-hair singeing, eye clawing, throat gagging experience. It comes over you slowly. You begin to feel like a character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as your muscles involuntarily jerk and you run screaming and blowing raspberries. Anything to get away from the mind-numbing stench.
But let me explain.
It was 6:30 a.m. I was standing in my retro pink tiled bathroom trying to open my bleary eyes and ready myself for work. As I stood there, peering into the mirror and wondering what demented nighttime fairy had planted four new wrinkles on my face, I paused and sniffed.
“Matt… what’s that smell?”
Matt staggered from the bedroom in his underwear, eyes half shut. “I don’t smell anything.”
I pointed my nose into the air like a hunting dog. “Seriously? You can’t smell that? Did you go to the bathroom in here earlier? I told you to use the room spray when you do things like that.”
Matt puffed out his bare chest and gathered his pride as best a man can with sleep in his eyes and a small hole in the side of his underwear. “I just woke up!”
I frowned, catching a glimpse of my makeup-less hot-rollers-in-hair state and tried not to think about the fact that I looked fifty instead of twenty-nine. “Well, help me figure this out. Because something smells ripe.”
We sniffed the sink drain and ruled it out as a suspect.
“Is it coming from the toilet?” Matt asked, examining it from top to bottom.
“No, that’s not it,” I snapped. I’m not known for my milk of human kindness in a disaster. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a survivor. I plan on eating my radish like Scarlet and clawing my way out of the nuclear dust while dragging my loved ones with me. But I won’t be doing it with positive phrases and a smile.
“Hon, I just don’t know. We’ll call a plumber after work, maybe it’s coming from under the house.” Matt staggered a little, trying to get past me and out of our tiny bathroom.
“Well, that’s just great,” I moved aside and pulled the shower curtain back so I could perch on the side of the tub and give Matt room to move out the door.
That’s when the full brunt of nastiness filled the air around us, a swirling mix of excrement and acrid stench that would have brought the sewer dwelling Ninja Turtles to their knees. Where the normally slightly-clean-with-a-hint-of-soap-scum bottom of the tub should have been, there sloshed gallons and gallons of brown sewage.
I clutched the front of my sweatshirt and held my breath. Matt began to dry heave.
“Get out and shut the door!” I screamed as we bumbled into the hallway.
“I’ll deal with this,” Matt grabbed my shoulders, trying to talk and hold his breath at the same time.
I could feel my eyes glaze over, the horrors of typhoid and hepatitis in our bathtub filling my mind. But more importantly, I could envision our evaporated savings account. In my mind’s eye I could see the long, gray hallway at the bank. A worker shrouded in a black suit pulled a set of keys from his pocket and unlatched a small locker labeled “Owen Bank Account.” Inside were two small stacks of quarters and a few crumpled dollar bills. It was bleak, not only because the banker with an unimaginative wardrobe gazed at me with an expression that could only be interpreted as “You’re a Big Fat Loser,” but also there was a very definite possibility we wouldn’t be able to pay for a plumber.
I wasn’t necessarily a spend thrift. In fact, I was downright frugal when it came to decorating with thrift store furniture and rewired vintage lamps. But the fact was, we were poor. We were starting out at starter jobs with starter salaries. We were starter adults with a starter bank account.
“Okay,” I nodded numbly, thankful that Matt was taking the lead on such a disastrous biohazard. “But make sure the plumber is super cheap. We don’t have much money!”
I left for work like a wino stumbling through a fog, not really remembering my commute, not really doing any work as I sipped my coffee and stared blankly at the computer screen. A disaster of such gargantuan proportions had previously been unthinkable in my life, and now I found myself attempting to push the image of a vast sea of bathtub poop from my mind. But I was sure of one thing: Anne Shirley never had to get ready for work while breathing raw sewage.

***

Like it?
Look HERE for a chance to win a copy.
Or buy a copy on Amazon.


Friday Funny: Blog Writer's Block



This is me lately.
I can not think of anything interesting to blog about.
And if I do, I don't have pictures to post along with it.
Or I don't have the energy to put a copyright on them.
Any suggestions for getting out of this slump?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

You Asked.... Weight Loss, Hearing, and Stampin' Up!



Last week, I gave my readers a chance to ask me anything. I only received a couple of questions this time around, but you can email me your questions any time.

Mallen asked: Are you doing anything in particular to lose weight?(congratulations by the way!)

A: My two biggest changes have been 1) Cutting back the consumption of Coke and 2) Getting Off My Wide Behind.

I was drinking up to 6 cans a day of Coke (and that was on an average day - if I was having a bad day, I sometimes had more!). I now only have a few a month, if that. This past weekend I had a few because I was driving on the highway and was trying to keep myself awake (it didn't work).

I started doing the Shred, but over the summer I failed to do that much. However, I started walking again in January, and not letting my chronic pain stop me. Now, I walk much further and tolerate the pain longer.

That's about it. My weight loss is slow-moving as a result, but I'm hopeful that means it's more likely to stay off. You can read more about my weight loss journey HERE.

Mallen also asked: Were you always hard of hearing?

A: Yes, I was born with a severe profound hearing loss as a result of Maternal Rubella (German Measles).

Jen asked: I was wondering how your Stampin' Up! is going.

A: Well, as with any new business, I've had my ups and downs with this business. I have some great customers, but I need to expand my customer base. A few weeks ago, I went outside my comfort zone and invited some strangers to my open house in addition to my regular customers. Unfortunately, no one came! I was so bummed. But just a few days after that, I had a SU party at a friend's and each of her guests were brand new and they all enjoyed themselves and made orders, so I felt successful again. I hope that things will continue to go in the right direction. Even though right now I am not making a lot of income, in fact, I am probably losing money, I am still enjoying it and will stick with it in hopes that it will become a successful business.

Unfortunately, due to customs and all that, I can't sell to my American friends, but if you are Canadian, you can order from my website 24/7 or join my team as a fellow demonstrator! Send me an email if you're interested! (I'll have to be brave and use some COURAGE to let people know my full name. lol)

~@~

Thanks for asking!! If you have any questions, please feel free to email them to me at any time! Just let me know you're asking for the segment "Ask Me!" If I get enough questions, I'll do this segment on a regular basis!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Funny: Masked Procrastinator




I procrastinate by looking for Funnies for you.
Man, is it ever hard to find funnies that are funny AND appropriate to blog.
My sense of humor is much more crude!
(as evidenced by my pinboard for funnies!)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ask Me


(the hat I made for kick off party)


I've been in a bit of a bloggy slump lately.
So I thought, why not have another edition of Ask Me!

I haven't done one since moving my blog here from my old link.
(Which is still up, by the way, for your reading pleasure.)


Ask me anything you want to know
(be nice though!)
and I'll do my best to answer.
Can't guarantee I'll answer all the questions, but I'll try!

I'll do the follow up post next Monday!

Have a great week!


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mouse & Squirrel

So in addition to the wasps,
my yard has apparently become home to a mouse and a squirrel.

Took this video from my kitchen window,
where they appear to be chattering about food.
I suspect the conversation went something like this:

Mouse: Please, Squirrel, pass me some food.
Squirrel: No! It's mine, all mine!



p.s. I don't know where the music is coming from on here?
Perhaps I had a website up on my computer that played it, I dunno!


p.s.#2 Yes, I know, I need to weed my yard
but with the wasps nest right there, yeah, I don't think so!


Reflect



(photo source)

Remembering the victims of 9/11

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Homestay



Remember a couple months ago,
I told you that a I was anxious about a couple things
that had potential to change my life?

One of those things was a job down the street
which I did not get.
I was (and am still) bummed about it.

The other thing happened!

I applied to be a homestay parent
for a student who attends the local school for the deaf.

On the day of the aforementioned post,
I met with the homestay coordinators
and then a couple weeks later,
I met with the family of the student whom they were trying to find a placement.

I kept in touch with the homestay coordinator
but it wasn't until this past Friday that I got the official letter confirming that she will stay here.

Today was her first day of school, so after class her bus dropped her off at my house.
It's been an interesting adventure so far!

She will stay here Monday evening- Friday morning every week
and go home on the weekends
and for any holidays.

I cleared out my guestroom/office
and rearranged it for her.
It's not completed yet
but it's good enough.

I wish I had the before photos on this computer.
but basically the futon/bed was against the window wall,
and my desk was where the futon was.
there was a bunch of other junk in between.
I was amazed at how much bigger the room looks now!

If this works out,
she could be here until she graduates high school.
(she's in grade 9 this year)

So, that's one of the many reasons
I've been so busy lately.

Because she's under legal age, I won't be posting pictures or anything. I know you'll understand.



Monday, September 5, 2011

Weigh-In: September 2011



I can't believe it.
I didn't lose a single pound in August.
On the upside, I didn't gain anything either.
I stayed exactly the same.

I know I didn't do alot of exercising
but I did go for a walk almost every day.
I'm not really sure where the lull is coming from
but this has to change soon.

I had a very stressful August.
Probably one of the most stressful months I've ever had.

Things should be better soon.
Then maybe I can focus on my health some more again.



Saturday, September 3, 2011

Wasps!


You may recall that last year we found a wasp nest in my apple tree.

I hired someone to come get rid of it for me.
It cost me $100 and he didn't even take the nest down, just sprayed it.

In the past week, I have had at least 4 wasps get into my house.
Talk about panic!
Especially after being stung by a bee in June.

My friend brought over a wasp trap for me.
I put it up and for 3 days not a single wasp got stuck on the trap.

The other day I noticed that there seemed to be alot of wasps by my kitchen window.
I started to watch them and saw that they appeared to be going down into the dirt.
I did a quick google search which showed me that wasps do build underground nests.

I looked closer (through the window, of course)
and saw that they were going through a crack between the dirt and the concrete of my patio.

My friend suggested laying the trap down in front of the crack,
so I tried that and within a few minutes....




Yes! It worked!
Within 15 minutes there was probably 50 wasps trapped to this thing.

And by the time the sun went down it looked like this...



Whoo hoo!
Unfortunately, though, there are still several wasps flying around
so today I bought some wasps spray
and when it gets dark, provided it doesn't rain again,
I am going to attempt to spray this myself.
I'm very nervous and scared to do this!!
Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fake



This photo was taken with my webcam.
I was on the verge of tears.
So I faked a smile and took a photo.
Because, isn't that what the whole world does?
Wear masks to hide how they really feel?

Though I'm not one to usually hide,
I'm tired of fighting with people
simply because I don't always wear a mask.

(it's too bad I have to hide my good feelings too.)