Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Day in the Life of...

I love reading the snappy little updates of everyone's status on Facebook. Whether it's a quest for a new job, where they have been or what they ate... the crappy game of our NHL team or the more positive updates of the kid's playoff games (The Oilers will be lucky to get some of these kids!) It all is small and (sometimes) trivial in the whole of one's day but insightful none the less. i like em! So, instead of trying to update my FB status hourly i thought i would give you a typical run down of a day. I picked today because it's fresh and random and a typical sampling of where my time is frittered about.

5:45 am - Blink! Awake again. Laying in the dark i have about 5 minutes of silence, then the puppy begins to whine. I am so glad i have a puppy now. It's housebroken me in a matter of weeks. I never knew that BOTH of us needed to pee at exactly 5:10... usually i would wait till the happy hour of 7 before Nature called - who knew she could be such a life saver.
6:00am -Turn on coffee maker with puppy pulling at my robe.... fire up Mini Mac and wait.
6:10am Drag puppy attached to my robe out to the deck with my Mac and coffee, read emails/facebook. I have to admit that i am a bit of a FB junkie with my little Sorority Life, Farmville, Mafia and Cafe game on there. It's retarded -yes... and a total waste of time but really how productive can one be at this hour of the morning.
7:00 am- wake up Shay buy disengaging puppy and throwing it onto her bed.
7:20 am- repeat process with Ronin.
7:25 am look in fridge for lunch/ dinner ideas for the masses. Commence cooking of the breakfast while listening to bickering kids in the bathroom. Look longing at coffee pot but refrain from refilling cup...too much to do to stop and drink it.
7:45 am- Serve round one of breakfast to Shay... Ronin is usually half dressed and wondering where he left his pants from the day before - much like Chris who is away in Singapore for the week.
7:46 am- Open pantry to stock lunches and find an army of ants crawling around the shelves. This ant business is nothing new. You have to be careful to throw out your garbage outside at night... they happen to be carnivores i think attracted to any meaty product. I left a chicken wishbone on the counter to dry out a few months ago and discovered this. I turned on the kitchen light on in the morning to see thousands of ants converging on this bone. It was defiantly a pee pee dance moment. It's almost magical the appearance/disappearance of them. Remove the carcass of cockroach/wishbone and they, poof! disappear into the cracks of the house. This time it was the dog food kibble left open in it's bag.
7:50-8:00am - Troops are assembled and while one is emptying out the pantry the other is vacuuming my ant farm while i finish out the lunches for them.
8:00am - Kiss Shay good bye
8:05 am- look longingly at coffee maker but bypass it to the laundry room. Laundry is a process around here. Yes, we have the standard mini front loader that most Kiwi homes have AND we have a dryer of sorts. Although truth be told, you stand a faster chance of drying a load of clothes by inserting a straw into your mouth and blowing on the clothes. Million dollar houses have clothes lines along with the garden variety houses here to dry your clothes. They tell us it's because we are "conserving" energy but really it's because the country won't import North American technology here and pay the money to import it. Ok, well I imagine no one *could* afford it actually and that's why we are stuck with the clothes lines. Ask me this winter how my laundry is coming in the 3 months of constant rain we are expecting.
8:10am - hang clothes and hope for sun.
8:15am - tell Ronin to get ready to go to school... repeat this process every 5 minutes until 8:30.
8:30am - kick Ronin out the door missing one of the following because it was left at school. A.) lunch box B.) jacket C.) Hat D.) permission slip for some activity.
8:31 am- Launch myself at the coffee maker
8:35 am drink coffee and make a list for the day.
Today's list is pretty much the same; Paint bedroom trim, vacuum/dust, more laundry, shopping, and a new item - pick up Thabo from the kennel.
It's been close to 7 months of us being without our dog. He enjoyed his fall and winter in Canada and for the last 30 days i have been visiting my big guy in the Klink. I am anxious to have him come home and meet the new puppy. I have no idea how this is going to go.
9:00am - Normally i would be out walking Wally the puppy in the jungle right now but have decided to table this until i get back from the kennel and walk both dogs. Jump into shower and push semi living giant flying bug down the drain with my toe.
9:30 am- On the road... now back home, i would be hard pressed to be out the door in half an hour and presentable but i have new KIWI standards and thus have no shame leaving my home with the barest of make-up and semblance of a hairdo. What hairdo? My Hairdresser is pushing 80 and she cuts my locks with a straight razor to keep the curls from going out of control. Honestly wet hair is better. Have you ever seen the episode of Friends where Monica goes to the tropics and her normally straight hair gets bigger in every scene? Yes, that's me!
11:15am -arrive home with Big Boy and introduce him to the 7lb bundle of fun. I have to say that it didn't go *that* badly all things considered. I knew that Thabo would be easy enough going what i didn't know was how freaked out Wally would be by his size. She ran over to him flopped on her back and pee'd herself into submission.
11:30 - 12:00 -Followed the trail of Wally dribble around the house with my carpet cleaner.
12:00-1:00 - maybe it's like shutting the gate after the horses have gotten out but have decided to take both dogs on a walk in the jungle. Thabo *may* be a wee out of shape for all the hill climbing we did. He started off strong enough but like a pack a day smoker i was hard pressed to get him to walk all the way home.
1:00-3:00pm - Paint trim in Master Bedroom. This is fun! Well i have a really really hard time painting nice stained wood over with a solid paint usually. It goes against everything in my mind much like laying carpet over hardwood -it just shouldn't be done! But the wood is tired looking and if we try and pry it from the walls it just breaks so what to do? I'm not *that* much of a Martha to hand sand and re-stain so white paint it is! Actually it looks a lot less dated now that i have added the 4th coat.
3:15 pm -Reward myself with food. A bad time of day to be sure... not one to eat breakfasts and skipping lunch, usually it's something fast and crappy that goes to fill the void. Hey! And a News Flash! New Zealand is now importing Doritos!!! I went out and bought all the flavours to stimulate sales. Like most foods here with familiar labels from home i buy it's never really tastes the same -almost but a little to the left if you know what i mean? They have started bringing in KRAFT products and i have been supporting the Philly cream cheese and slices but ya, I'm used to a certain texture with the cream cheese back home and this is more likened to sour cream consistency and the slices are white and not tasting a whole like KRAFT. Apparently there is some copy write laws here as well because brands like Kellogg's have to rename their Rice Krispies to Rice Bubbles and even though i recognise the McCain brand logo it's under the pseudonym "Keri"... the groceries are under some sort of witness protection program down here.
3:30pm -Kids arrive home and in tears after seeing Thabo at the door... what a reunion!
4:00pm- It's the worst part of the day... i am beat and have hours to go. Not motivated to cook dinner and unless it's Saturday (my day off from being the chef and pizza rules the roost i have to drag my ass back into the "Camper Kitchen" and sort it out. My kitchen *is* very similar to the 5th wheel we owned in our previous life... tiny stove... squat little fridge... lacking in cupboards. KIWI homes rarely have cabinets above the counters - i can't figure this out. I have issues with trying to fit in 1 cookie sheet into the oven. For roasting and such i have turned to my BBQ to fill the void. I am soo happy that i made Chris bring that monster with us. So yes, in most likelihood we are BBq-ing *something* tonight.
6:00pm dinner is served in the TV room. Used to have a dining room... before the Man decided to hang the much needed light above the table but that was a job in itself with rewiring to accommodate and the holes in the walls to be patched/sanded/ and filled. Now my china cabinet is in the middle of the room and it's contents fill the table pushed to the far wall waiting on Himself to finish what he started. The kids and I don't bitch because we like eating in front of the TV... it's a treat and it keeps them from stabbing each other over perceived hoarded condiments at the table.
6:30pm Clean up and walk the dogs. Neither seem to appeal to the kids so i spend a fair amount of my time yelling at this point and throwing the odd guilt dart hoping it hits one of them in the middle of their forehead.
8:00pm- Back on the couch... maybe pretending to either watch a program or read. I have my eyes closed and am begging for bed. There have been times when the kids just leave me in this position and wander off to their own rooms for the night....
8:30pm Start the 5 min cycle of reminding the masses to get ready for bed. Repeat until 9:oo
9:00pm - stumble into each child's room and kiss them goodnight warning them that i will be back if lights aren't off at 9:30. This is a complete crock of bull since they both know i will be drooling in my own bed by that time and likely could have a house party with me none the wiser.
9:05pm- ready for bed with my book and reading glasses on ready to read..
9:06pm- passed out with reading light on and in the semi upright position. At some point in the evening i wake up enough to take off my reading glasses and turn out the light or Ronin comes in and does it for me.
Yes, that's the cycle folks... the little party animal is tucked away for the night ready for yet another 5:45 am wake up call...I know i must be the envy of you all!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Blindside

With a title like it you can usually assume it's to do with one of the men in this house. Men. What is it about them that drives women nuts? "The problem with women... (men say) is you can't understand them and all those whatyoucallem? Emotions."Totally irrational and emotionally driven." Ehhh, well there's the flip side to that coin I might counter. Men are just problem solving machines looking at logic to rule. It's not to say that one is better than the other. Time and my relationship has taught me that I eventually work thru issues with a bit of added logic and generally emotions do follow the Man once the logical decision is made. How is it though that we are so different? Can you do anything to change what is inherently part of the genetic make up of another. Blah blah blah, too *emotional* I see, I should make my point.

Here's the deal; Ronin is having girl problems and while listening to him muddle thru the issue i have to laugh at his totally "logical" way of making a choice. It appears that the Boy is in high demand in school by the ladies. Why this makes me feel like a mother bear with a cub I'm not sure. For some reason I am able to relate and empathize with the Girl about her boyfriend dreams but it's quite another kettle of fish to find some Kiwi tarts trying to get their hooks into my little man.

Ro came home today in a pissy mood. I assumed that since I was going back with him for our first Meet the Teacher night that maybe he was upset by some of the comments his teacher was going to make. I too was getting prepared by drinking a glass of wine. Anyways, a bit of prodding and a few jellybeans later he gives off this big sigh and says, "Mom, it's a girl and I don't know what to do. I need your advice." OHMYGOD! The boy who tells us nothing of his personal life is FINALLY going to open a door. I sip my wine and nod encouragingly. "Ok, Ro what seems to be the problem." "Well, he says, Lilly asked me if I wanted to be her boyfriend and I wasn't sure about that so I told her that I had to go home and ask my Mom." (I am totally keeping a straight face at this point because to my knowledge Ronin's motto has always been to do something first then ask for forgiveness after). The Boy then got a bit emotional with me because then he blurted out that Lilly's retort was to call him a Pussy and walk away. He say, "She was so mad at me and ya, what is a Pussy anyways?" Oh sweet Jesus, hold on Ro. Mommy needs to refill her wine glass. So while I drain the dregs of the first glass he goes on to tell me that she is giving him till tomorrow for an answer but he has ANOTHER bit to add to this; Christie ALSO asked him out today and he told her as well that he had to ask me first before giving an answer. Ok seriously? Seriously, what is going on with these girls? My gut instinct is to tell Ronin to tell these hussies to back off but really, if I do that then maybe the next one he brings home to me is a heroine addict supporting herself by stripping. I feel that I am on a slippery slope here folks and so I just ask the question right back to the Boy; "What do you FEEL about this honey?"

The Logic button kicks in right about now and he starts to list the pros and cons of both Lilly and Christie. Lilly is better looking but Christie is the class President and has a lot of "power" and he's quite drawn to that I am hearing. Another point for Christie was that she didn't call him a Pussy and was willing to wait on my answer. BUT Lilly is still pretty.... The more he went on in his logical way the more aghast I was at no mention of any emotional ties he had to either so I asked him, "Which one makes you feel good when you are around them?" Well, they are both nice (I am assuming name calling aside here) but the thing that swayed it towards Christie was this Logical Tid Bit that the Boy came up with; "I think it's gonna be Christie because as a guy you maybe don't want to have someone as good looking as you or better looking than you. It will make her want to try harder to keep me as her boyfriend." ???? Forget the glass, I am now drinking straight from the bottle. Look, I *know* we are talking about 10 year olds here but the deal is this whole visual I am getting right now of the years to come and the differences between my two children. Clearly, ever so clearly, I can see my baby Girl one day floating down an aisle in some gossamery white gown on her Daddy's arm in a big beautiful church with my surgically enhanced self dabbing tears from my smooth, youthful, (but not overly done) dewy complexion. (I didn't know the Bride had an older sister? That can't be her Mother!) Yes, there will be a lovely reception and her dancing in Doctor So'n So's arms and everything will have such a magical quality about it.
Then I see the Boy.... leaving me a note telling me all about his impending nuptials at the Local Trailer Park (BYOB) with his stripper wife and 2 kids from the previous relationships she's had (But she's "pretty" Mom! And since she's stopped the Crystal Meth her skin has really cleared up!) I also see him asking for a cash "Donation" to put towards her new set of boobs as a wedding gift. Like *that* is going to happen! Anyone getting a new set of boobs around here should be your Mother.... trust me on this son, she will have earned them by the time we boot you out of the house and a hefty dose of Botox too to get rid of all the lines that you are beginning to put in my face! See? I told you I am able to reach the logic once I have gone through the emotions.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

More Vacation Memories

Ok, enough Mamma Drama and all that health care crap. Let's go back and revisit some of the fun we had while the Man's parents were here.

After a quick recovery of our nature walk the Cruise Director decided to take the family on a trip to Rotorua. What can i tell you about the town? Much like any of BC's little pit stops of touristy fun fun towns. Actually, if you really want to get a better feel of the place picture Kamloops. Well, strike that. SMELL Kamloops and it's pulp mills and you will get a better picture. Rotorua is built around the sulfur pits. The smell hits you like a brick wall upon your arrival (after endless butt clenching in the car around the windy 4 hour road). I thought to myself, "It's strong but you will get used to it in a few hours and you will hardly notice it!" Um, no. Every day was just as pungent as the next... the only reprieve is when a wind caught just so. But hey! it's gorgeous there.

The first order of business was to locate the rental the Man procured on the Internet. Sounded fantastic with it's 3 bedrooms/2 baths/ hot tub and kitchen! It was absolutely all that it claimed to be on the Internet (thank you God!) and we quickly unloaded the masses from the car with our little puppy, Wally, to meet the caretaker/owner who greeted us with a huge smile until her eyes drifted to the pup. Apparently the Man didn't enquire to the policy of pets and for sure there was a huge STOP sign on the proprietors face. As I have mentioned before; the Kiwi are *such* a polite folk. She stammered her policy of no dogs and lamented that it would be hard at this point to find another lodging... if only there was a way. She nervously got her husband who said that under no uncertain terms was the puppy allowed in our unit. We had brought Wally's crate with us and we all nodded to the beat while he read us the riot act. The dog should remain in it's crate outside on the deck unless we were about and then it was allowed to wander freely in our fenced yard. Ok, well... that would be almost do-able except for the four days we were there it rained on every one! Soooo, yes. We snuck the puppy into the house in the evening so she could lay on our bed and sleep. I was up at 5 am to dodge the owners and was taking her for long walks around the neighborhood. It was a good set up until the morning the owner came into our yard and peeked into the kennel. We thought we were being crafty by putting one of Shay's Stuffy's in there but he noticed the decoy and knocked on our door where my father in law answered that morning with the wriggling bundle of joy in his arms. With his eyes bulging the owner blustered and whined "It's not fair!" and stormed away. Not fair? Ok, I agree, it's not fair... but we were trying our best here and the dog was cleaner than clean with all 6 hands constantly taking her on walks. WE also know that the guy was lurking in his window to try and catch us in the act AND I have no doubt he was in our unit while we were all away on day trips looking for stray dog hairs on the carpet. No matter Ole Stink Eye was certainly most happy to see us go at the end.

Some of the day trips we took were quite fun. We went into the Redwood forests for a walk and Chris decided that we should go "off trail" for a wander. Does *everyone* have short term memory loss? Have we all forgotten getting lost in our own back yard for hours? Well, it turned out ok at any rate.

We also went to a Kiwi conservation zoo. As you may or may not know; the Kiwi bird is not only our national symbol but also an endangered species. For 10's of thousands of years these critters ran around the island with no natural enemy. Then the white man came and messed it up. They have no wings, no natural defenses and are easily killed. Shayla has come to love the Kiwi Bird (although in truth the label "bird" is miss leading) The Kiwi have more traits that liken it to a mammal than a bird if you sit in on the lecture. Anywho, the big thing here is that Shay got to actually touch one -or rather it ran up and touched her with it's beak while we were standing in a breeding room, in the dark. Very shy and nocturnal are the Kiwi and such a rare experience for anyone to have a close encounter. She was over the moon and tears welled up in her eyes after having the gentle creature come up to her. She left the pavilion and shelled out some of her meager savings to "adopt" a Kiwi which she goes online and see updates from time to time.

We didn't do any Zorbing -that being thrown into a huge inflatable ball and rolled down the hill? We did, however take in the luge. That was an interesting experience with us riding up the side of a small mountain in a gondola to don smelly helmets and stand in line for a luge to appear off of what would be really a chair lift type of thing. Three races and three levels of expertise to choose from. Of course we all opted for the beginner run for the first go round. Very much like a toboggan really with a steering wheel and some rudimentary way of slowing down. The sleds were all damp from another recent rainfall so it was a bit squishy sitting down in mine. No matter... 1.5 km ride should be nice and oh? is that rain I smell again? Yup, being the mother hen that i am i waited until everyone else went (didn't hear any screams so off Iboarded) and about 2 minutes into the ride a downpour of rain commenced. I was sooo prepared with my little shorts and sweater on! The rain made the track extra special in it's slipperiness and I was sailing down at break neck speed laughing like a loon. Of course, everyone *else* had gone first and was safely tucked under an overhang -nice and dry when I made my "big spash" at the finish. I was a sponge -a soaked rat if you will. Wow! look at that! I have 4 more rides that we have paid for and so off we go again up the chair lift and on to bigger and steeper runs. Some ppl had enough of the wetness and were flogging off their extra ride tickets on us....seriously?? The Boy was in his glory and outlasted us all by sailing down the expert runs while the rest of us waited at the top in semi protection from the elements.

Yes, we all went and looked at "where's that smell coming from." Or the Sulfur parks if you prefer. ANOTHER seemingly endless trek around bubbling craters emitting the foulest of foul smells. I would have vomited at the stench but hadn't eaten that morning so tried quietly to dry heave while other around me raved enthusiastically and snapped oodles of picture of goopy mud and day glow water pools. You know, if I could have just shoved an air freshener up my nose I would have enjoyed the whole thing and will tell you though that the formations were nothing like I have ever seen. It was like being on another planet with it's strange trees and rocks and the day glow waters. The heat emanating from all around was so intense and the lack of animals was even stranger.It was an eery kind of quiet. I kinda wondered if there were any animals that could thrive here. I wouldn't likely want to encounter them at any rate. Shades of Stephen King novels come back to haunt me.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Health Care? What's that?

Well, after some trepidation and requests for posting this I have decided to write about my (ever so personal) experiences with the NZ Health Care System.

Ah, Good old Canada. How I miss the days of running to the Medi Centers with sick kids and sitting in a petri dish of snotty nosed people and hacking children crying in the waiting room for hours on end trying not to breathe. While waiting for the Doctor to finally call our name I spend much of my time scrunching myself into the smallest space possible thus avoiding touching anyone or anything that is most certainly contaminated with this week's bug. But really, what is the sacrifice for "free" medical attention and a kick ass insurance plan to cover the meds? As a certain commercial would claim; "Priceless".

We have been most fortunate here so far as not coming down with anything. That said I did make it a priority to go and establish a relationship with a family Doctor down here. Things are a bit different Health Care wise with a pay to play idea of visiting your physician. I am almost sure that the waiting rooms back home would be cut to half if this were ever the policy back home. The cost to us is partially covered by the Government here but we do pay about $30 out of pocket each time we go. Of course the price skyrockets if you should ever need to seek the advice of a Specialist...if you choose not to be put on a 6 month waiting list. My thoughts are if you are in need of a Specialist? you are going to buck up the money if you are able. Good news on that is that you are almost certain to retain their services in a few days time.

Chris is going in for surgery on his knee. The Man has managed to rip something inside of his knee the week we moved into the house. Apparently he DID need help moving the Curio cabinet from the garage to the living room. He's lost so much muscle mass in his leg it's scary. Got him into the DR...which lead to an MRI which is leading to surgery with a scope to fix some bone chips in his knee and get him back to shape. Easy procedure i am told and the recovery is 4-6wks. Maybe we will get him a cane with flames on it like House? He's happy to finally have an answer and solution. We have had enough time to look into our health care policy and it *looks* like it will be covered for the most part. I am sooo leery of these policies after watching Micheal Moore's doc on the US health care system and ppl paying premiums and still getting screwed over for 10's of thousands of dollars.

So that kinda leads me to well, me; For the last 4 months i have been struggling with a growth in female plumbing department. At first i thought it was perhaps an ingrown hair.. I mean it started like that. A bump, tender and reddish. It would grow to about the size of marble and then shortly around the time of my period it kinda disappeared. There would be a week of fine-ness and then the cycle would start again. By month #3 I had an app't with my Dr. It was back again but now it's the size of an egg yolk. She put me on antibiotics and scheduled me with an OBGYN (private of course if i wanted to bee seen this year sometime). Went and paid my $200 about 10 days ago to see the Dr. Unfortunately there was nothing to really look/feel at as it was gone. She gave me a best couple of guesses and told me to make another app't if the growth came back. It did... about 3 days later (irony!) and WOW! it was fantastic! Of course at that point I was in full on period mode AND now we are talking the whole egg not just a yolk. It was all I could do to keep going thru my day with the pain. AND I caught a cold! YAY ME! Coughing was like almost tandem to passing out. So, here I am... trying to sit and drive to see Thabo every day... the in laws are still here ( a blessing really) and just trying... trying to make it till after dinner where i would finish cooking and creep quietly off to bed. So yesterday was my 2nd OBGYN app't. I went in, she confirmed what she thought it was.. my Bartholin's Gland was probably blocked... didn't unblock by itself and I have an abscess and cyst forming there. Maybe the cyst was on/in the gland... who knows until I go in for surgery. Well, this is where it kinda goes off the rails. So I am sitting on the bed with just my dress hiked up to my waist having this discussion on going in on Friday (booking the theater, getting the staff, anesthesiologist... and Ii interrupt her and say, "How much is this going to cost?" Well, you know Dr's... she gets kinda flustered and says she really is not sure and I would have to take it up with the staff behind the desk and I interrupt and say "This is in the thousands isn't it?" Looking quite uncomfortable she nods. I don't have that kind of money atm...( think of the shoes I could buy!) hell I am not even sure if we are covered. How many claims of surgery can you have in a given month before they yank you off the policy or jack up your already gag worthy premium? Ok, so I say to her, "Can we do this right now? Here in this room. Can you cut this out of me?" There is a beat and then a small "yes, I could do this but you understand that I could only put in a local." OK then. Tell me what you need to do in this procedure since I will be here with you and awake and i kinda like the details before they happen. So she tells me that she will cut an X and take out the cyst... drain the fluid and then stitch it open and the gland needs to heal from the root out. She says the local is only going to be good for (at most) an hour. She can give me pain scripts and details on how to clean the wound after and that's about that.

Yes, for a second I thought of just booking the surgery...but I also know that it couldn't come close to giving birth on a pain scale so hell... I just said "go grab your gear and let's do this!" I only hesitated for a second when my stupid vanity kicked in and I said something about how is this going to look after? LOL, I mean it's right beside my episiotomy scar... will it really matter? She assured me that it will look pretty much the same after it's healed. SOoooo ya. She made about three trips to the surgery to get her gear and I just laid there thinking my pretty thoughts and tried to remember the calming breathing techniques they teach you in childbirth. The needle was the worst. When a DOCTOR tells you "this is going to hurt" you KNOW; THIS IS GOING TO HURT!! Well the site was already under pressure with fluids and injecting even MORE into it... I tell you, it WAS like giving birth all over again. I was cursing like a sailor (oh those poor women in the waiting room!) and in the back of my mind I was saying "Do NOT grab the OBGYN and scratch her eyes out, DO NOT!" We kinda waiting a minute for everything to settle in and then we had some surgery to do. There were sample taken and are being shipped off to the lab to make sure the mass was ok. I think the funniest thing while I am there with her between my legs is her saying "Oops!" WTF?? I crane my head forward and I say "Look. Here's a tip; when the patient is AWAKE, they NEVER want to hear oops". What's going on down there? Well apparently she was having issues with the needle getting tangled in the thread. So there I sit about 20 min later with a big pad on me (wasn't I *just* in a pad a couple of days ago?) and she's writing scripts for pain and bots. She looks up at me and asks how far do I have to drive to get home? I am thinking (rush hour now) about 40 min...yes, we both know what that is going to mean. The local will be long gone before I can reach the safety of my house. Well, what to do? How bad can it be? Worse than the 10 scale that I walked in with? As it turned out about 2 minutes into my drive the local instantly disappeared and guess what? I was sitting on a 12 now! GO ME!

No one knew what I was up to that day. I mean everyone knew I was going in for a looksie but ya.... took me forever to get out of the car and to the front door where astonished looks greeted me as I handed over my scripts with a terse "fill. these. now." My father in law beat a hasty retreat to the Chemist with the girl and I was offered the only comfort my mother in law could think of at the time... a glass of wine. The pain killers are kick ass... I get one every 12 hours. I did take a mirror down there and peeked and it is just as the OB described to me, "It looks a bit like the dogs breakfast." Nice.

Now, no freaking out is required. Everything is "ok". I *promise* to pay my $30 to have the stitches removed even though I am thinking "How hard can it be?"..... God Bless the Alberta Health Care system!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Holidays with Chris's Parents.... or how i dropped 10lbs in 2 hours

We are well into the heat of the summer now. Sunrise is at 6:28 am and it is setting around 9:04pm. I know this without ever having to glance outside you know. And NO! I'm not reading from the weather channel either... what fun would that be? How I know this actually is when the clock hits 6:28 am we are hit by the ALL CONSUMING jungle song of the Cicada bug. They live in our trees you see? They start the day and continue on (without a break) until nightfall. I actually don't know how many there are out there, I am guessing hundreds because frankly if I stop and think in the thousands I get a little queasy. For the most part you can hear them but don't actually get many sightings. The biggest bit of excitement of an encounter so far is my Father in Laws. He decided to do a bit of reading in his bed with the lights on and the windows open. One friendly little fella was attracted to the light and landed in his bed playing his ever so loud wing song. Dad won't cop to doing the actual pee pee dance but he did manage to catch it and release it outside (um, well that probably was my Mother in Law that did that) and so the Cicada left only to return seconds later - repeat... repeat again... finally close window!

So YES! We have Chris's parents here for a three week visit! It's been lovely so far and we have managed to take them out and about to see a bit of the New Zealand sites. A scant two hours after their arrival Chris decided a "walk" around the neighbourhood and down to the beach would be nice for them. I was a bit iffy on the idea as they had been traveling for 14 hours to get here but everyone was game. So, out into the backyard we go and into the bush. Kinda had to make our own path thru the trees and cobwebs... sorta a half walk and sliding on your bum thing down the embankments but we ended up on an actual path a few minutes later. Everyone was chatty and in high spirits as we ended up at our rocky beach 15 minutes later... looked at the waves and started along the coastline.... over rocks, er... mud.... a wee bit of water... and on and on.... I finally caught up to our fearless leader after carrying Ronin thru the water at one point and asked Himself if he knew where we were actually going. There didn't seem to be any clear path that would lead us up back into the houses that were looming above us on cliffs. "Oh yes, just around the bend here" was the reply. Uh huh... ok maybe not that bend but the next one... or is it the one bend 1 km down the beach i see? Really kinda like one of those desert mirages everything seems closer than it really is. I have to say at this point the chit chat started to peter out and everyone was kinda doing the glance thing at the tide that was coming in and gaging the rocks for scaling. No matter, we found an entry back into the forest that would (hopefully) lead us back up to civilization. Another km or so and we were out of the forest and into a neighborhood that I have never seen. The sun was making it's presence known and the heat hit us like a wall as there was no wind to be had. This was becoming ridiculous! Where the hell are we Chris? Well, at the bottom of a very steep hill lined with houses and so began our climb up, up, up! At one point I just *had* to stop! We found a bit of shade and I assessed the troops. No sun hats, no water.... no idea where i was. I am thinking (as I try to work up enough spit to swallow) that this is a fine way to kill your parents. Finally I see the cemetery and I *know* we live on the other side of it. What i didn't know was how humungous the land was to house the dead... and wow, maybe we should just pick a plot in the sun here and all lay down and save someone the trouble of transporting us back there. So I point across the valley and say to my Mother in Law, "we live over there! On the other side of this!" The reply was, "You want me to walk ALL the way down there and ALL the way back up !" Um yes, and probably another couple of Km to the house... we have beer... Well, that was enough to keep them moving. So after our little jaunt and a beer the folks greatfully went to their room and passed out. I am giving Himself the ole Stink Eye and hissed at him, "So, trying to kill them are you? I hope that you, Mr. Cruise Director of this *holiday* they are supposed to be having has something a little less daunting on the agenda tomorrow!" "Of course! he replies stoutly. I have it all under control." God Save us.... I know there will be more to write.