Christmas Has Exploded!

016Remembrance Day seems to be the official end of the non-holiday season.

Once we’ve paid tribute to our brave veterans, Christmas explodes onto the scene, taking over every public space with baubles, greenery and…random body parts???

Most of the decorations are festive and jolly–others somewhat disturbing.

Fess up–who thinks disembodied limbs clawing their way out of a tree says peace. love and joy???

Oh, BC Hydro–Why Must You be so Vexatious?

001I’m a rule follower.

I don’t wear white after Labour Day; I don’t go swimming until two hours after I’ve eaten; and I never peak at my presents before Christmas morning.

Okay–I do peak at presents, but for the most part–I’m a rule follower.

When I get a bill, I pay it…before it’s due.

So when I got my final BC Hydro bill for $130.23 back in September, I didn’t even open the message.  I just went to the bank the next day to pay it.

Shortly after that I started receiving strongly worded emails from BC Hydro.  They wanted their $130.23  They mentioned a Collections Agency if I didn’t pay them ASAP.  Ack!!!

Attempting to clear up this misunderstanding by replying to the email, I learned that while BC Hydro is able to send threatening emails to their customers, they don’t read responses.

Contacting them via their 1-800 number resulted in frustration–over fifteen minutes on hold before my call was dropped.  A letter to their head office went unanswered.

After yet another, even meaner email, I set aside a couple of hours to call BC Hydro.

So–it turns out they hadn’t credited my account for the last TWO bills I paid, even though they have a record of both payments.  Since they’d rolled the penultimate bill into the final one, I paid it twice and they owe me $113.74.  (See–send me a bill, and I’ll pay it, even if I’ve already paid it.  I’m a utility company’s dream!)

I hope I receive my refund cheque from BC Hydro soon.  I’d hate to have to alert a Collections Agency.

2nd Hand Rose

011I’ve mentioned my new-found love of second-hand and consignment stores.

Some of the “bargains” I picked up have already been donated back (dated black leather blazer with the contrasting stitching, I’m talking about you!)  Others, have become well-loved and often-used staples in my life.

These are my top second hand items:

I bought a used blanket.  (Don’t judge!)  When I saw it in a décor consignment shop, I was won over by its soft mint colour and the tag that says–wait for it– “Made in Canada.”  (It’s so cute–it has an elk on it!)  Even though the blanket factory likely closed a generation ago, it feels good to buy domestic products.

I wear used shoes.  (Again, don’t judge me until you walk a mile in my shoes–which you may have done if you owned these shoes before me!)  I promise, these ballet flats looked new when I bought them.

Used jewelry is way cheap!  I’m the kind of girl who can’t be bothered fussing with jewelry.  I like pieces I can put on and forget.  This usually means fine jewelry, which can stand up to showers, shampoo and puppy cuddles.  Since my Sailor was sadly deficient in the family jewels department, I had to acquire my own collection.

The diamond studs are from a well-known vintage jewelry store in Victoria, so I’m confident they’re genuine.  The ring, which came from the SPCA Thrift Shop, may or may not have genuine stones, but it’s 10K and the centre “sapphire” is a gorgeous denim blue that makes me smile.

Do you do second hand, or does the thought of used stuff make you squeal?

 

 

When Good Dogs Go Bad

025So, I think my Chihuahua tried to kill me last night…

I put the bath mat on the floor before I went in the shower.  Climbing out, I took a huge step, expecting some traction from the mat.

Instead my wet foot slid across the bare slippery floor, and this girl who never advanced beyond a beginner level yoga class came close to doing the splits.

Confused about the missing bath mat, and slightly shaken by my near fall, I heard a snort in the bedroom.

I discovered the missing bath mat.

You can’t see it in the photo, but my little bath mat thief is grinning…in a threatening manner.

I knew I shouldn’t have told her she’s in my will.

Haute Dog!

005I haven’t had a bath in over two months!

Sadly, the cottage is far from perfect.  No laundry, no bath tub…no joy!

Every night I squish my grimy body into my coffin-sized shower stall and perform a series of contortions in an attempt to come out cleaner than I went in.

I miss bathing so much that the idea of languishing in a tub of warm water, wine glass in one hand, novel in the other is never far from my thoughts.

I’d almost given up on my squeaky clean dreams when I found the answer–public dog baths!

For $10, one can enjoy a hot soapy interlude at the pet supply shop.  Granted, it may not be as private as I’d like, but it’s a bath!!!

If staff try to tell me this opportunity is only for dogs, I’ll have one thing to say:  woof!

Friends, if I play my cards right, the word of the day might just be splash.

Splat!!!

004

What lives in a tree and sh!ts fist-sized blobs of thick green slime?

Curious?  Me, too.

Disgusted, horrified and grossed out?  Maybe you’re not, but I certainly was when this gooey clump landed on my head with a nauseating splat.

Errands put aside for another less harrowing day, I sprinted home and leapt into the shower.  (Probably the most athletic interlude I’ve had in months.)

There was so much of it, blackish green splatter marks covered the shower walls after I’d washed (and washed and washed) my hair.  (Picture an en suite at the Bates Motel after Norman’s gone three rounds with a hapless Martian.)

Friends, what can I say, I had to look.

The splatter marks were shockingly green bits of…something.

I hit the interwebs to research slimy green scat, and came up with…nothing.

Until I hear otherwise my best guess is that some left-over Halloween ghoul or goblin shat on my head.

I just hope monster poo is safe for colour-treated hair.

It Skips a Generation

086

Me:  You know how we sometimes hear mysterious sounds coming from the back of the car?

My Boy:  No.

Me:  Sure you do…like last night when I was parking…

My Boy:  That wasn’t a mysterious sound.  You backed into something.

I don’t know where he gets it from (probably my dad), but my Boy can be quite logical–almost Spock-like–whereas I tend toward the whimsical (shades of my Welsh mom’s fey?)

***Check out the photo of the three of us at my Boy’s Christening.  My dad’s wearing a cardigan under his suit!  I love cardigans so much!  I wear them almost constantly through the cold seasons.  Noticing that my dad wore a cardigan to this special event felt like a connection through the years.  File this under the Power of Fashion to Enrich our Lives.

 

 

The Visit!!!

007Yippee!

My Boy’s here for a few days.

I haven’t been well, so our “low key” visit has turned “no key.”  It doesn’t matter that it hasn’t worked out as planned.  It’s tonic to this mother’s tired heart to have her one and only home.

Some things I’m really appreciating:

  1. My Boy’s calm, steady presence.  While I’m by no means going through a crisis (just a blip), my Boy’s a good man to have around when the chips are down.
  2. The big comfy chesterfield at the teeny tiny cottage.  It’s big enough for the dog and me to nap while my Boy sits at the other end, catching up on course work or (more likely) games.
  3. Pizza.  I haven’t had pizza in months.  (Why do I torture myself like this??)  We discovered Coastal Crust downtown.  They sell pizza by the big, loaded slice–perfect for the gal on her own.
  4. Friends.  Not directly related to my Boy’s visit, but my carefully curated group of friends has been amazingly supportive through this time.  Thank you, all!

Lest We Forget

022November 11 is the day we remember the sacrifices made by those in the military.

It’s the day we show appreciation to those who are still with us and remember those who never came home.

As a soon to be former Navy wife, I understand firsthand the stress military life can put on families.

I’d like to express my deep gratitude to all acting and retired military members for the important and often dangerous work they do.

Military members not only put themselves in harm’s way, but they routinely miss out on family events back home.

My wish is that they all return safely from each deployment.  When they get home, I hope they’re provided with whatever support they need, whether it be medical, emotional, post-military career guidance…

This June Veterans Affairs Canada had 750 vets identified as homeless in its database.  Clearly there’s work to be done in properly supporting our brave vets.

In contrast to the shocking lack of resources available to help those who served, the Federal government spent well over $200,000 on a pretty cover for this year’s budget.  Previous governments used a plain cover.  I believe these were more cost effective.

I hope 2017 is the last year Veterans Affairs identifies any homeless vets, but I’m not optimistic this will be the case.  I do, however, feel fairly certain next year’s budget will have an even prettier and more expensive cover.

To all the brave veterans:  Thank you for your service.

So…Who Turned on the Winter???

I was hoping to take some photos of the light dusting of snow on the mountains.

Although I’m vehemently anti-snow, I can admit it has a certain beauty…when viewed from a great distance.

Wouldn’t you know it–it began snowing lightly when I embarked on my picture-taking walkabout.  The mountains were totally obscured by clouds.  I was cold and damp; the pin of my Remembrance Day poppy poking me in the neck  because I’d zipped my jacket so high.

Don’t even ask about my Chihuahua, who was wearing a heavy sweater under her new winter jacket.  (She waddled like a Butterball Turkey on its way to market!)

This is winter on the Coast.