Ugh. Forty-nine trips around the sun and what do I have to show for it? Chin whiskers.

Today was my 49 birthday. Let me tell a little about how the day went.

For the past year and a half I’ve been having hot flashes on and off. Yes, I am perimenopausal. Hot flashes aren’t exactly the bees knees, but they beat the ever living crap out of cramps and bloating. I have been stoically accepting of this life change.

Well, this morning’s birthday surprise was a uterine salute. My body chose the early hours of my 49th year to get all nostalgic for my youth. If my ovaries could talk they would have shrilly and on a bullhorn been heard saying; “I know it’s been 10 months since her last visit but even at 49 we thought fertility must surely be important to you so we’ve pulled out all the stops for one last visit from Aunty Go-The-Frick-Away-Already. Hope you didn’t throw away those supplies and still have a bottle of Advil handy!”

I got that sorted and washed down two Advil with my morning americano.

Then I puttered for two hours. Old people are allowed to putter. At the end of two hours it was time for me to get ready to head out for a birthday lunch with a dear friend. I bathed, dried, and looked in the mirror. To my horror the cool winter shadow cast across my face revealed a half a moustache and a wee goatee.

I plucked, pulled on a swell skirt and blouse, tied a nifty scarf around my neck, donned a jacket, slipped on a pair of closed-toe two-inch heels, and headed out into the snow.

Lunch was great. The company was superb. We lingered over coffee happily chatting. So the shooting toe pain I got when I tried to stand up was a bit of a downer. Apparently my toes have unilaterally decided I am too old to wear heels and that they prefer to be unfashionably unbending.

I walked tottered on rigid feet over ice, in addition to the throbbing return of the Aunty Kill-Me-Now uterine cramps in my lower back, to my car to drive home. I got home. Remembered I was supposed to stop at the bank. Got back in the car and drove to the cluster of stores on the corner and then sat in my car trying to remember why I was there. I gave up and drove home. Pulled in the garage and remembered I was supposed to stop at the bank. Got back in the car and got half way to the grocery store before I realized that I had passed the bank. Made a u-turn and finally got to the bank.

Home again, I took advantage of the last 30 minutes of daylight and did a little touch up on a painting I have been working on. Went to wipe a paint brush on my painting smock only to realize too late that I didn’t have my painting smock on. No more painting, I ran upstairs and quickly removed my favourite green cardigan, rinsed the paint spot thoroughly and tossed it in the washer. It was green on green so I’m pretty sure it will be OK.

Hubby came home. He made me chicken and potato chowder, a cheesey pannini, and served it with a glass of seasonal ale. This is the highlight of my story.

He then cleared the table, and I wandered off to the living room with the remains of my seasonal ale to get an early start on my evening embroidery. Attempting to start a new thread I dropped the needle. Not on my lap. Not next to me on the couch. So I stood up to look at my feet. It was not on the floor. Puzzled, I sat back down. On the needle. My howl scared the dog and she spilled that tasty ale all over the couch.

Hubby cleaned it up, and put a thick blanket over the damp spot. We settled in to watch Vikings. We had to pause it shortly before the end so he could – in my stead as it is my birthday – run to the airport to pick up my prodigal son.

I decided that I would use this break to have a hot bath to ease my lower back cramps. I started the water, then ducked around the corner to hang up my clothes from the day. Done, I went back to the bathroom expecting a full hot tub. The tub was empty and the water running lukewarm. I had forgotten to stop the drain. No bath for me.

The day has ended alright. My darling has filled a hot water bottle for me, put a bandage on the needle prick in my left buttock, and fed me two more Advil. I have my boys all back at home. I am tucked in to my comfortable bed with a book of short stories by Alice Munro.

Tomorrow I will wake up to the last year in of my first half century of first world problems.



Happy first world birthday to me

My birthday was Monday. The day played out pretty well.

The noise of my husband showering before work woke me from a sound sleep this morning.  After he toweled dry he came over to the bed, leaned over and whispered “Good morning my love, you are 4 dozen years old today.”

I found that confusing.

First of all, I was in a pre-coffee stupor. Secondly, I never liked multiplying by 12. But I gave him a kiss and a few moments later managed to pull together the mental capacity to understand he had just wished me happy 48th birthday.

Before he left for work he brought the suitcase upstairs to our bedroom for me, and placed a wrapped box on my laptop in my office. I marvel at what he can accomplish before coffee.

The suitcase was for me to pack as we had only two days until we flew out to Ottawa for Christmas. I would have gotten the suitcase myself and started my packing earlier, but spiders. In the basement. In the basement storage speakerscloset with the suitcases. I don’t like spiders.

The wrapped box was my birthday gift. It held speakers for my laptop. I can now fill my office/art room with the sounds of music. This such a relief. The stereo is on the other side of the house and the sound just doesn’t carry from the east to the west wings at all, and the speakers built into my laptop are too feeble to do my music justice.

Now I can paint to a waltz, sculpt to jazz, sew to the sounds of the grand ole opry, and type to a soothing folksy ballad.

Another first world problem solved. My husband is my hero.



First World Mental Vacation

Oh, I know what you’re going to say. Yes, I have been away. But let me assure you, that isn’t because my first problems have diminished. Not at all, if anything they have compounded.

Take for instance, problem #1: My job was not allowing me to reach my full potential.

im too pretty

8:30 to 4:30 everyday, in a cubicle, at a computer, managing paperwork and filling in meaningless forms. Running in circles for approvals. It was like living Vaclav Havel’s The Memorandum, but without all the hilarity. So, I quit. I went back to school.


After the heady impulsive rebellion driven rush, the reality of the situation kicked in.  I had to write an eloquent resignation and rush around to shop for schools supplies to accommodate the demands of student life.

  • I had to get a new laptop
  • A nice laptop case.
  • I had to get a new router so I had reliable wifi in every corner of the house (it was notoriously spotty in the northeast wing).
  • I needed a new chair for my ‘office’.
  • I needed a reading lamp.
  • I needed more comfy leggings and warm sweaters to keep off the chill as I studied.

Shopping is a lot of work.


And then came problem #2: School has not improved in the past two decades. It was like a Jr High nightmare flashback. With god as my witness, I swore I would never parse again.

But I parsed, and bit my lip with every missing oxford comma.

I settled in to spending 3 hours a week in class and several more hours a day in yoga pants sitting at my laptop in my office working through my course readings. The only breaks I got were when I got up, basically whenever I wanted, to make myself a latte or have a hot bath. It was rigorous and exhausting.

That was just to start, my entire second post secondary journey was fraught with peril. But, that’s for another day. Right now, I am late for my manicure.

Why do the righteous suffer?

I hope I can write this blog mashing the keyboard like a leper. My left hand is a stub – wrapped in a wet towel and I SWEAR there is STEAM coming off it.

better arm wrap

How did this happen, you ask?

Well, we entertained last night. We threw a soirée. You know how much I love to give of myself. I slaved all day to make sure the maid got the house clean enough and the caterer got the food right. Honestly. I barely had time for my yoga. Or my manicure. Or my hair appointment.

So, this morning I got up and thought – I deserve some ME time.

I ran a hot bath. Then turned on the TV on the wall at the foot of the tub and put in an episode of Pretty Little Liars.


It was lovely, I have to admit. However, all good things come to an end, and I had to get out in the end. So I reached over casually to get my towel, which had slipped from its rung. Rather than find a warm fluffy towel I found metal – hot metal. I scalded my hand on the heated towel rack.

What a way to end my gift to me!

Of course I should be used to the fact that good things don’t last, for me. But I can’t help but wonder in what way I have offended god.

I feel like Job.


I Feel Better Already

Good news everyone! Me and B have a new home.

Now, before you all start checking your inboxes – I would love to have you all over to celebrate my happiness but please be patient as we have purchased a fixer-upper.

fixer upper

I know, I know, money wasn’t the object so why in goodness name would I ever consider buying a home that was less than perfect? It’s not like I’d ever buy clothes at an outlet mall, or buy last year’s technology to save a buck, right?

I haven’t really compromised my principles, B just helped me see the possibilities I could explore in a house I could really put my own stamp on.

For example:

Instead of inheriting a library built to hold the literary travesties of Danielle Steele and Dan Brown…


I can design and have built a library worthy of Dostoyevsky and Hemingway.


Instead of taking over someone’s tired old craft room still smelling of Stampin’ Up and hot glue guns…


I can create a place for paint and clay and belle arte.


Yes, it’s a fixer upper for me. I shall soon enter a world of hiring contractors and choosing hardwood, but I will survive and come out of it a better person with a better house to feel better about.

Second chances, on Second thought



B: Darcy my love.

Darcy: Yes, darling love of my life.

B: I have been thinking…

Darcy: Of course you have, darling.

B: …about the second house we looked at…

Darcy: Second house? Hmmm…

B: You remember?

Darcy: Ummm…we’ve seen so many…

B: You noted the the unfortunate flecked gold kitchen tile.

Darcy: Gold is so 1983.

B: Of course it is my love. I don’t question your judgement. It would be immediately removed – I wouldn’t have it otherwise. You also rightly condemned the tacky mirrors and glass shelves on each side of the fireplace.

Darcy: Mirrors remind me of Hugh Heffner. I can’t condone that, can I?

B: Your condemnation is justified, my love. Remember yet? You feared that the master bedroom walk in closet would hold your clothes, but was not big enough to also hold your shoes.

Darcy: I must have a place to keep my shoes, should I go barefoot?

B: I would carry you on my shoulders before I allowed such a thing! It had the bonus room with the fireplace and skylights that I suggested you could use as a studio; but you rightly worried that all the windows overlooking the garden just served to restrict the number of paintings you could display at any given time.

Darcy: I need to be surrounded by my own creativity, or I may die.

B: Your creativity sustains me as well, my love, and you will have an art room. You are my work of art come to life. My Mona Lisa…


Darcy: You make me blush. Was the house brick?

B: Yes! Do you remember the house?

Darcy: No. But it sounds dreadful.

B: Dreadful is priceless. The listing was reduced; I thought we could take a second look, my love.

Darcy: OH! So now we are shopping in the discount bin (a tear runs down my cheek). I suppose my love was also a bargain?

B: Your love was a heavenly blessing – let me wipe your tears, my love. Don’t think of it as a discount, but as thrift; thrift is a virtue. Virtue for the virtuous. (we share a passionate kiss) And we could take the money we save and spend it on something nice, something sparkly for you, my love. It’s what you deserve.

Darcy: Not bargain sparkly…

B: Never my love – top-of-the-line sparkly. So can we re-visit?

Darcy: Of course, whatever you want, darling, I defer to your manly authority.

B: I love you…

Darcy: I love you so very much…

B: No, I love you more…

Darcy: But I will love you until I die…

B: I will love you from the grave…

Darcy: I love you enough to defy the grave…
B: I love you enough to escape the third circle of hell to find you…
Darcy: And I would love you even from purgatory…
B: Kiss me…
Darcy: Darling…

House Hunters Inconsolable

Oh my. House hunting looks so much simpler on TV.

Here is a run-down of the ‘houses’ we’ve seen:

  1. Big corner house, decor dominated by the keg (?) of Jägermeister, assorted Jägermeister paraphernalia and hentai inspired artwork.
  2. House on a quiet cul de sac, with guest room in the basement down the long narrow hallway past the utility room, conveniently only three steps to the toilet behind a curtain right next to the furnace.
  3. Home in a quiet neighbourhood; comes with security system, which consists of cameras mounted inside each window to monitor activity outside the house, probably in no way connected to the strange wiring throughout the house and the multiple money counting machines in the upstairs office.
  4. Quaint home near river valley trails, filled with love and the wafting odor of jasmine just masking the smell of damp concrete and raw sewage.
  5. Traditional family home with warm interior. Could be even warmer if any of us make a spark accidentally igniting the hardwood floors, wood paneled walls, wood ceiling beams, wooden counters, wooden shelves, wooden sauna…
  6. Spacious home, the sense of space is amplified by the insipid grey linoleum throughout the entire house; stairs, foyer, living room, library, family room, den, kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms…
  7. Historic heritage home with antique fixtures, including the original chicken coops in the unfinished basement (?)
  8. New home with master bedroom on main floor. Large glass enclosed fire place in wall, conveniently open on both sides and placed between the living room and master bedroom – exceptional home for entertaining guests!

I’ve had to severely downgrade my expectations and opinion of humanity in general. Seriously. These aren’t even POOR people’s homes. These people have enough money to buy some taste, or hire someone to have some on their behalf.

Tainted Love

B and I took a break from our simple lives for a well deserved celebration. It was the anniversary of our second date.

Isn’t that sweet?

We don’t celebrate the first date because it was just confusing and awkward.

It is very unfortunate that such a beautiful day of remembrance has to fall on Halloween weekend though. It is so difficult to be romantic watching a drunk guy in a Super Mario costume pee on the bumper of the pub-crawl bus. The incident has left me scarred and probably ruined the anniversary for me forever. Now when I think of B and I’s first kiss the image will be tainted.

I don’t know how I managed to eat my Bananas Foster. I am stronger than I give myself credit for.

Simple Needs – fiddle-dee-dee

The house hunting has officially begun.

The real estate agent has our list of parameters. It should be simple to find a house.

It has to be big enough for the 5 of us – obviously not less that 3500 sq feet, there must be 4 bedrooms above grade and at least one spare, a library, an art room, a media room, a gaming room for the boys, a den with a fireplace, a living room, the dining room (with a fireplace) which must hold my 12 seat dining room table, we all need walk-in closets (how would we function without them?), with a double garage, a garden, a deck, and it must be close to a ravine.

I would ask for more but you know me, I don’t like to be greedy.

Honestly, is this too much too ask? It’s all I need.

A Hunted House

Oh my but I am nervous and scared and excited and giddy and apprehensive and enthusiastic and just a little bit sleepy.

B and I are house hunting – squee!

I know all of you out there will be interested in how I manage to survive the trials and tribulations of finding a home up to standard. Rather than retell the story to everyone I decided to start a blog. I love you and want you all to have only the best, no tired retold second hand stories for the people I love. I feel it is my duty as a friend.

I can’t wait to start sharing 🙂Image