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Thursday, December 15, 2011

When the Chips are Down

I don't know if you'll remember this, but I really don't enjoy being chilly. In fact, I hate it. If I ever met Old Man Winter, we would have Old Man Floods because he would melt under the disdain of my eyeballs.

Oh yeah, I said it. Disdain. I sneer in the face of Winter.

I do this because I freeze up when I get cold. I'm not kidding when I say that I believe I had frostbite in my hands - a brisk wind absolutely paralyzes them and I can't move my fingers. You may laugh, but wait until you get frostbite - you won't be laughing then!

So, after work today, I dutifully trotted over to my window and punched the little button to start my vehicle.  Meanwhile, I thank the Lord God in Heaven for my SUV because the roads here are treacherous. Swishy snow atop ice - perfect driving conditions, no?

Anyway, my beloved White Lightening started and I waited for the kids to finish writing their little tests. Meanwhile, my guts were near-foundered from hunger (aka I was starving, for all of you people not from Newfoundland), and there were major discussions to be had before I left the building.

Discussions - go.

Tests - go.

Food - no go.

: - (

Grrr. Off into the cold Arctic freezer-burn-weather I go to get my mail and possibly something delicious to eat before I go home. I didn't make it very far because I was just too contrary. Chips were on sale for $2 so I bought two bags. Fine.

Chocolate, Ginger Ale, and Plain Wavy Lays for supper. I'm not complaining. Whatever.

If someone thinks I should be eating healthier meals, then someone needs to cook said meals for me. I'm just sayin'...

So I got home, plugged in my vehicle because it's -15 and no doubt it'll end up being -5000 before the night is done, and my hands were immediately frozen into claw-like figures.


This is painful and infuriating.

Why do I have to be Gargoyle Claws?

So I don't sleep all night and I have Owl Eyes, and then I get to have the ole Gargoyle Claws, too.


Beatin' the boys off with the sticks, I'm tellin' you.

(It's funny how phrases have changed so much that the meaning of something in my grandparents' generation has an entirely different meaning in my generation. If you think the above sentence was sexual, it wasn't, and that goes to show you're not old enough to read that sentence, so pretend you didn't see it.)

Back to the Claws... I plugged in the SUV, and grabbed my stuff and trudged off into the house. Well, into the backyard, and over the deck, and to the back door... because you know, I am Fred Penner/Batman, and nothing is ever really simple with me, is it?

When I got to the back door, the old Gargoyle Claws were still going strong, and the Sensor Light kicked in but went out because it was taking me so long to get the key in the lock.


So I would have to walk back a few feet to get the light on. I had to do this a couple of times.

The key was in the lock, but it wouldn't turn.

I would have laid my head against the door and cried, but I thought it might freeze there, and I would be a real whole Gargoyle.

Finally, with my bookbag in one arm, and the bag of chips pinched precariously in my fingertips, I got inside and made it to my door.

And dropped the chips. *sigh*

Frozen solid hands. I couldn't pick anything up - so I gave it a little tap.

With my foot.

Just a little tap, a kick, you might say.

Not a full-on soccer ball kick, but one that I may have used to usher something in the door. Like an unruly bag of chips.

Problem: the chip bag exploded everywhere. It actually gave me a bit of a fright.

In fact, I think the bag exploded in fear before my foot even touched it - a premature explosion, if you will.

Chips were everywhere, as you can see.

I forgot about my hands a little bit then because I was wondering what in the name of God got into those chips.

I knew what was going to get into those chips - a little white furry monster, for sure.

He had a field day. You know the rule, "Take what you touch" ? Well, Harley Barley the Maniac ran around and licked a lot of chips. He was very excited about the bounty on the floor.

When the chips are down, you have to make the best of it. Monster Lips sure did.

I saved what was left in the bag for my Party Lunch (aka not a real meal but I'm too lazy to make one so I'll pretend I am celebrating something) and scooped up the rest to throw away in order to save myself the trouble of scooping them up in the various other forms they would take as they digested through the Maniac's body.

So, now... chips, chocolate, coffee, liquer, and a collection of psychological essays on Dexter.

Makin' the best of it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Jeepers, Creepers, Where'd You Get Those Squeakers?

I lost my mind before about Harley's toys, especially the rubber squeaky ones. He doesn't have many toys.

Harley's toybox

The squeaky rubber ones always manage to get under my bare feet and get snaggled up, somehow. Then I have squishy rubber squeaking on bare feet, and the constant squeak noise drives me nuts. Meanwhile, the toys are usually bulky, so I always slip on them and nearly crash into walls or fall to the floor.

At times, this also causes some toe problems, which causes me to lie down for awhile from stress.

Between him running around gleefully stomping on the squeakers to make noise, and me inadvertently stomping on them, it's just too much.

I took one of the worst offenders - the yellow one - and took out his squeaker.

His lookalike friend, the green one, is still going strong. I hate his little squeaky guts. Harley loves him.

look closely, see the squeakster

Harley loves all the smelly, noisy things.

But seriously, look at that toybox ^ . Over half of the toys, despite being covered in cloth, are noisy. A limb, the face, or the entire thing squeaks. Once, I walked on a toy, nearly fell, tried to recover and in the process almost walked on Harley, and HE squeaked!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas in the Woods

Ah, Christmas.

Candy Canes, Santa, Jingle Bells, Stockings, Shiny Ornaments, and Turkey Dinner.

Mmmm. Sounds like Love to me.

Wait, I forgot about Traveling.

To the Woods.

If you read any of these blogs about my childhood, you might remember that I grew up in the woods. Wait, I mean The Woods. My Mom and Nan still live there. So, every now and then, I fly or drive across the continent to visit the girls in The Woods.

This Christmas, Harley and I are flying. Harley's such a good little traveler.

He has been across this vast, broad, great, wide, days-long-if-your-dog-gets-sick country a few times now.

The first time we went, I wasn't sure what to expect, so I went to the vet and asked for some doggie sleep meds, just in case Harley went nuts. Well, I wasn't sure what 'doggie nuts' (sorry, couldn't resist) meant, so I waited, and waited, and waited.

Well, Harley wasn't used to being squished into a little bag. Ah, Harley and bags... remember the blog about poop in a bag? Good times all around, there.

He didn't poop in this bag, but he was antsy. He wanted out. He was well-behaved on the plane for awhile. Everyone 'oohed' and 'aahed' over the cute, little, Teddy-Bear-looking puppy. "Such a sweet little guy, and so well-behaved!"

And then his little teeth would come out, and his legs would start kicking and thrashing against the side of the bag. It looked like a little earthquake in the soft-sided doggy carrier, or at the very least, like I was kidnapping something that really objected to being in a bag.

I was sad because I wasn't sure if this warranted giving him a pill. I called my cousin, and asked if I should give him one. He's so little, I was actually afraid I would kill him. It was actually a quarter of a pill, but I was nervous nonetheless. Between us, we decided that Harley got the pill. After an hour or so, the pill kind of kicked in. He was so wound up, it took awhile for the meds to really take effect.

A guy came over and talked to me for a long time and in retrospect, despite the story about being military on holiday, he was probably airport security, checking out the drugs I was feeding my dog.

We boarded the plane to Toronto, and Harley settled in for the trip. He didn't move for the entire flight. My heart was so heavy in my chest because I actually thought I had killed him, and the flight attendant would not let me pick him up off the floor to check. She was so mean to me.

The guy next to me told me he would keep watch while I checked on him, and I could actually lift his limbs but he wouldn't move on his own. I was so scared.

When we landed, he was groggy but I made him get up and walk around. I was terrified that I was killing him. He was so out of it for the entire rest of the day and evening, it was like he was drunk.

I didn't have to drug him on the way back, so maybe he remembered the meds and thought I punished him for being a savage on the first flight. He behaved perfectly on the way back (but the savage kids next to us wouldn't leave him alone until the nice flight attendant moved us away from them). All the 'oohs' and 'aahs' were deserved at that point.

His little black eyes would stare at me as if to say, "Mama... I'll be a good boy. No more funny-head stuff, please!"

Anyway, this year we are flying again. I am worried that Harley will repeat his baby-wolverine-trapped-in-a-bag performance. Should I drug him?

Meanwhile, I have to catch 3 flights, then drive 3 hours into The Woods after I stay at a friend's house for the remainder of the night once I get off the last plane. It's quite a trek. It's between a mountain and a bay, quite remote. When I say I'm going on vacation, I mean it. See ya.

The last time I went home in the winter, it took me about 5 or 6 hours to make the 3 hour drive back to the airport because the weather was so bad. The snow was drifting onto the road so that I could barely see out the windshield, and I certainly would not have been able to see the road had a transport truck not come up behind me and stayed there the entire way.

Nerve-wracking? Only a tiny bit.

Some people love traveling to an island for Christmas. Newfoundland is an island, and some people love traveling there. In the summer, it isn't so bad. In the winter, it's really hectic and worrisome. I told Mom the other day that she needs to move somewhere where I don't need to drive 3 hours into the Woods just to see her. She just laughed. "I like the woods," she said, "I'm never leaving Newfoundland!"

That's what she thinks. One day, she may find herself like Harley: all drunk-feeling, stumbling around, and in Fort McMurray.

And I'll say, "Oh... I must have given you Harley's meds by accident. Sorry 'bout it. Welcome to the city!"

A Favourite Writer & A Favourite Subject

Read this, please:

Welcome to Fort McMurray

picture courtesy of Welcome to Fort McMurray

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Insomnia: O Hello, Inner Rock Star, You Don't Wanna Sleep?

It's December 1.

I have had an insomnia for a awhile now. My body shuts down only when absolutely necessary.

It's 3am and I'm still awake. I have to get up for work in no less than 4 hours.

This is what I call fun times.

My dog sits on the floor, crying, because he apparently cannot go to bed alone. He walks morosely back and forth to the bedroom, as if to say, "We are missing a vital part of our routine, here."

I changed around my furniture because I thought I had too much energy. Nope, that wasn't it.

I worked on writing my novel - piecing together stories I began years ago.

I could paint the house.

I could finish decorating my Christmas tree and wreath.

If I was in a big city, I could go get groceries or go to a movie.

But then, I would have all my chores done.

And really, I'm kind of easy-going: I don't care that I have all these projects laying around. It's all good.

Insomnia: a procrastinator's nightmare.