Thursday, September 27, 2007

Only A Few More Things

In an effort to clear my brain of all the clutter that bounces around in it I have been doing little projects around the house.

I dusted, got the bedding switched and vacuumed our bedroom (we have central vac but Bob hasn't put an outlet upstairs yet so I'm using this dusty, smelly thing but it's better than looking at the carpet and wondering why it is now grey (it's normally beige)).

So sanctuary is now clean and a good place to read when I wake up.

Last night I finally found the courage to take the fabric off my couch cushions and wash them. The last couch I did this too the damn things shrunk and got all pilly. Much to my delight these came up roses and the 'doggy' smell is partially gone from our den. (Just need to disinfect the floors now)

Bathing Cody has been on my todo list for about two weeks.

Tonight was D-day and I thought I had killed the poor guy.

The tub turns out to be too deep so even though I got Cody's front end into the tub, he was arched over the side until I could get his back legs in. Once in the tub I had the water running and lathered him up lickety-split. Problem was I was getting those sad puppy eyes which made me rush (so I can't say I got all the soap out of his fur but it was a valiant effort) and I finally went to get him out of the tub only he had no traction so I ended up in the tub lifting him (75lbs thank you very much) out onto a towel.

He was drenched.

He then laid down on the floor and did his huffing thing while I tried to dry him off. While doing this he peed on himself. Fun. So I have towels all under him soaking up the urine and I'm freaking a little bit cause maybe I've now killed him and the bath was hard enough on me the first time I wasn't going to lug him in to clean him a second time.

I finally just stand up and open the bathroom door thinking it was now or never.

Well, I swear he's been acting like a pup all evening. I took him outside (didn't know it was raining out because it was midnight so wasn't helpful in getting him dry) and he ran around like a frisky mutt.

Then he comes in all tail swishy and barking at me cause he knows he's getting a biscuit after that drama.

Pooped, I dropped onto the couch and decided no more anything for the rest of the night. The panic alone should have done me in.

Cody is still wet three towels later so I set up a blanket on the floor.

Nope. He wants on the couch.

I kept him off for about an hour but he was just moseying around the house so I finally got a couple of towels and a blanket to put under him on the couch. You know, the one I washed yesterday? Yeah, my planning sucks lately.

His deep snoring now mocks my earlier horror.

He slept with his head on my side for about an hour and a half and finally turned the other way so the butt end is now facing me. I couldn't find his brush so he looks like a wild dog and I'm sure I won't be winning any 'Pet Owner of the Year' awards from the neighbours when they get a load of his coat.

Looks like buying a brush is on the agenda for tomorrow. I just have to avoid eye contact so he doesn't get me to stop brushing him with those puppy eyes.

Once I realized I hadn't harmed the fella I got some more general clean up done.

Three hours later he's still damp as am I although I changed out of the clothes I bathed him in. Wet dog is the perfume of the day but it's better than stale urine.

Tomorrow is book day.

I was saying to Bob that I was stalling in reading my book and he looks down and says 'well, it doesn't look too thick, you could probably read it in 2 hours.' Uh, no. Six to eight. Then he looks at me and says 'then you'll have to go through that Anne Stuart funk'.

After twelve years of marriage he may not know what I put on my hamburger or if I always want fries with that (YES) but he knows I get blue after reading Anne Stuart!

*wipes tear from eye*

What a sweetie.

Note: Sweetie is heading into Home Depot withdrawal and is sporting 'the blues'.

Must. Stay. Strong.

I'm so going to cave and he doesn't even have Cody's puppy eyes!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Brass Tacks and All That

First, I have Midol brain which means I'm spacey and my arms and legs feel like they could take off without me at any moment. Severely weird and somewhat unfamiliar in feeling.

Second, it should come as no surprise that the above has me feeling pukey.


So keeping this in mind we'll see if I can't write some sort of coherent post.

Yes, it's dicey on a good day but the peanut gallery is now closed so zip it.

Books that I have moved into the 'Good God, you better start reading or you'll have your Avid Reader Card revoked' pile will now be partially listed. Why? Cause I think I only have seven but again, that's seven more than I thought I would have so yippee for me!

Book one.

C'mon. You know it and aren't even remotely surprised by it so I'll leave it unnamed so as not to annoy and bore you.

See, I'm good to you.

Promises Linger by Sarah McCarty - I accidentally forgot (no really but why am I even trying to convince you when you know it's too true) to return this book when my reading twin offered to share hers with me. Bad Cindy. Still, we bought a few of hers together and will be swapping them back and forth. Meanwhile, I'm kind of happy to have this one to pick up and try. I'm thinking this will be my first true foray into erotic romance with the stress on erotic.

Janet Evanovich's Thirteen book cause it should be short and sweet and yeah, I started it and closed it after a few pages because I was all 'ugh' but I know with some of the other books I've selected I need an 'easy' read in case the load becomes too heavy.

Lover Unbound by Ward. The book is HUGE but I know I'll be skipping all the lesser parts, the John parts (sorry, I don't care) and whatever other parts that bore so what, 20 pages of reading or so. Ba-dum tish. Sorry, that was just bitchy but uh, the midol hint above should have clued you in.

One Summer by Karen Robards. Okay, Kristie, breathe. It's going to be read before Christmas or shortly thereafter. Knowing Kristie loves this book makes me happy whenever I see the title in that short pile because I know it's going to rock my socks. (Kristie will now have to find another book I have not read to recommend heartily so I can have my emergency read that makes me happy to gaze upon. I'm such a slave driver.)

Demon Moon and/or Demon Angel by Meljean Brook. I loved her short story but I have to admit the sheer size of these paperbacks had me shying away. After picking up Lover Unbound (and dislocating my shoulder) I decided it was time to conquer my fear and belly up to the bar. The reviews for both these books have been excellent so I know they will be great. I can't promise to read them both because I don't like to overdose on an author and that means I need to leave some space between books.

Surrender by Pamela Clare because Kristie mentioned it's a western historical and her last one Ride The Fire was so bloody excellent I still get happy-joy-joy tingles whenever I see the book. I've wanted to read this one for a while but my fear of depleting my TBR pile of all the great books kept me from grabbing it and tearing into it like me on Christmas morning.

Okay, that's it for now. As in that's what my memory is carrying. The book pile is upstairs and even though we know I'm lazy there is the added weight of not wanting to overtax Cody by having him follow me up the stairs. Poor mug. The humidity up here has been hard on him and we're trying to keep him from over doing it. Hell, I'm trying to keep from over doing it!

Not to bring you all down or nothing but Bob and I are struggling with whether Cody is still living a good life. My father was here for dinner on the weekend and I think he was surprised at how much Cody coughs or struggles for breath. Meanwhile, he wags his tail whenever he first sees Bob or I, he will bark heartily at Bob because he knows it will get him biscuits, he still eats his dinner and knows to go outside to do his business. He sleeps fairly soundly and only struggles from breath if he gets over excited (guests make him happy), climbs the stairs or gets up on the couch. Oh and after he goes outside to do his biz.

Bob and I are very conscious about his quality of life but I think we worry that we are too close to know how he really is doing. The good news is that we will check in with each other to see how we think he is doing which never happened with our other animals because they were 'Bob's'. (He had them before he met me so I only felt semi-comfortable saying stuff to him and in the end I know that Winston (one of Bob's cats) suffered but I knew it wasn't my decision to make) Cody is 'ours' and I take my responsibility to my pets very seriously so I know I would not shy away from the truth. Still hearing him do the cough thing can be disconcerting for people who haven't lived with it for the past few years.

Sorry, just something that has been on my mind.

Let's get back to books for a second.

I think I saw somewhere that Lisa Kleypas had another book coming out before the end of the year. She has been hit or miss with me lately so I may have to see how others feel about it. There may be a few other books that will come out -

Oh! Caprice Crane's latest is also on that book pile upstairs. It will be a fairly easy and flirty read I'm thinking. Not really romance but I think it would be considered chicklit. Hey, with all the heavy books (and egads the print is small in a few of them!) I needed a few that wouldn't hurt the brain.

I heard that!

No pictures or links because I need to eat some toast and it's 4:30am and I need to get to bed soon. Bad Cindy but I need to eat to get my stomach to stop trying to heave it's emptiness around. Ugh.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Canadian Currency - A Tale of Silliness

I'll write up the potential reading list for the next post - I wrote this last night while trying to wind down. Bob has created a monster with this handy dandy laptop. I can sit and blog ANYWHERE.

You've been warned.

Annnnnd, onwards!

If you visit some of us Canadian bloggers you may see terms like 'loonie' or 'toonie' when we speak. Recently Jenster wondered what exactly a toonie was. Me, being the kind of person I am decided to do a whole post on our 'funny money'.

You're welcome.

Hey! This won't be about economics so butt in the chair!


First, in the wonderful days of my youth all our money was paper except for anything under one dollar. I should tell you now I don't think I have ever seen a Canadian half dollar. So we have quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies (there was a movement there a while ago about getting rid of pennies and I just know it was a government conspiracy to somehow eek out more in taxes although I don't have much proof - just crazy Cindy logic)

So when I was a kid, if I wanted money I could ask my parents for a dollar or two and this is what I got.

Now I don't know what the Tooth Fairy does in other countries but she usually leaves coins. Thus, for a molar a child would get a quarter. We'll get to the spoiled rotten children of today in a minute.

Okay, I see you there staring at that two dollar bill like it's baloney but trust me, it's real and the red colour was delightful. That's right, our money comes in different colours and all I can say is when I have gone to the States I have wondered how you all don't get ripped off left right and center.

A picture of our colourful currency for your perusal.

Looking at the picture you might not be able to tell there is a striking difference in the colours although the blue and purple look close. Basically I know what is in my wallet with a quick flip through. I'm also aware of what I am handing to a teller. Why? Because I know I had three twenties in my wallet so when she hands me back the change for a 10 I already know we've got a problem.

In the States I'm constantly counting the money and trying to put it in an order so I know where the 20's are and where the fives are. Up here, I can reach into my pocket and with one glance see that 5 sticking out because of it's colour.

And the saying 'I would love me some green' would be better put up here as 'I would love me some brown' as that is the colour of our hundred dollar bill. And yes, I have actually seen many.

Oh and to throw a wrench in the works, there are businesses that won't take 50s or 100s so if you go to an ATM and it's low on the 20s when you need a hundred bucks, you'll get two 50s. Nothing like having money you can't spend to stress you out!

And we're off the rails!

A year ago I saw a counterfeit bill and OMG, how anyone can tell them from the real ones is beyond me. The person said you could tell by the eyes which of course has me thinking they were screwing with me. The other thing they do is scratch the money on paper to see if the ink comes off. And get this, if you go to the bank and get cash and then go to a store where they tell you the money is fake, too bad, so sad. Apparently the last one holding it is the one burned. I told Bob I would just deposit it into the ATM. Luckily Bob explained I could be arrested for passing along fake money. Rock meet hard place.

And, we believe we have found the track again folks!

So the two dollar bill was red (the currency on the left is today's currency so the red has been taken over by the 50, I would have to see if the 50 was always that colour or if it changed once the two dollar coin was released.

Meanwhile the one dollar bill was grey/green.

Hmmm, did a check on Wiki to see if I had my dates right but they have the dollar bill being called a loonie because there is a loon on the back of the dollar bill. I have no recollection of this and called it a 'buck' or dollar.

Then the Canadian Mint decided that it would be cheaper to change one dollar bills to coins. Makes sense since paper money can only remain in circulation for so long as they get ripped or washed umpteen times in people's laundry so when they get to the banks, they will take the ratty ones and take them out of circulation. Coins don't become ratty and they look really pretty after tumbling through the wash!

Thus the birth of the dollar coin.

Huh. What's that you are seeing on the back of the coin? Why that would be a loon and well quicker than they could get them in circulation the population was calling them the 'loonie'

Cause we're crazy Canucks don'cha know. We've been mocked about our term for our little dollar coin but we seem to enjoy the silliness of it and think nothing of turning to our significant other and saying 'hey, you got a loonie?'

Now, I know it was a while later but I can't really remember when but the loonie was biting the mint in the ass so they decided that a two dollar coin should be introduced (it's twelve hours after originally writing this and I have no clue what this sentence means so don't frown and add logic, you'll get a headache, just walk away). Wow. It's bad enough my wallet is heavier than ever but they want to make a two dollar coin?

Look at that beauty! I love the center design and really who doesn't love a polar bear? So you think maybe it would become called a 'bearie' (where was I when the populace decided to name it something silly!?) or 'polar' but nope, us Canadians are a laid back bunch and when it came out it was naturally called the 'toonie'

So here is a picture of our coins in full glory (again, I've never seen a half dollar so it's quite unique to see one. I'm not sure vendors would even take one as cash.

There was talk of making the five dollar bill into a coin but I think the government and mint were worried what us laid back folks would call it.



Now that would be ridiculous.

Oh and to finish up, clearly the Tooth Fairy has come into some serious money. Molars are now going for two bucks! A little girl I was talking to the other day who had recently lost a tooth was not pleased that the tooth fairy only left her with a loonie.

The great thing about having coins worth up to two bucks is that you never know how much money you have until you pop it out of your pocket. Wow! 10 bucks! I thought I had no money! Then there is my husband who doesn't use coins. He saves them and about every two months he saves up to 1000 bucks in coins.

That goes into his 'change account' which has been used to pay off many of our big purchases. Thing is I think it'd be two years before he could save enough for my new kitchen cabinets but he bought exterior doors for the house and the bill will be 5000 dollars (on a don't pay for 18 months kind of deal) and Bob already has more than that saved up.

So yeah, I love me the loonies and the toonies!

If I have gotten any of this wrong I'm trusting Kristie, Nath and Ames to straighten me out because really this is just the history of Canadian money as I remember it. Which isn't always the way things really happened.

What's funny is Canadians enjoy poking fun at ourselves and hey, it makes us seem harmless but really, how harmless is a country that houses the C-Rex?


Dangerous Lover by Lisa Marie Rice

I'm thinking I'm the last of the blogger crew to read this book so maybe everyone has moved on. Still, we do love to talk books so I'm doing a, uh, thing.

I'm going with a B-, yeah, well, no, that's good.

Cindy Blurb: Once upon a time there was a young girl from a wealthy family who volunteered at a shelter. While volunteering she met a young man and she made an impression. Apparently, Ben, (the young man) used to break and enter into her family's home when no one was around to just be there. Or something like that.

The book opens when Ben discovers his drunken father has finally kicked the bucket and leaves the shelter to start a new life. Before leaving he peeks in the window of the young girl's home on Christmas Eve and carries the scene with him for the next 12 years.

As a Cindy aside, at no point did I get the feeling that the young girl, Caroline Lake, had any clue who this guy was. Wasn't even on her radar.

Anyways, 12 years later Jack Prescott (Ben) has finally made his way back to find Caroline. Figuring she'll be happily married and living the life of those with money, I just can't say what he was hoping for. Apparently just a glimpse before he started the next chapter of his life.

Imagine his shock (and delight?) when he discovers that Caroline lost her parents years before in a traffic accident and that her only brother survived but needed intense care until just a few months ago. Since her father had been making bad financial decisions, Caroline is far from the rich girl he once knew.

Caroline, meanwhile, is one lonely woman who lost her entire family but holds the family home by sheer will even though the boiler is tempermental and her boarders have all left for more gracious accommodations. Even though this new man looks scruffy and down on his luck, she is grateful when he doesn't question the rent she needs and promptly takes him home.

A weekend of loving, an evil guy, sharing of Caroline's pain and voila, HEA. At least, I'm thinking HEA even though it wasn't on the page.

First order of business, if you all read this book and there was a scene where Jack and Caroline sit and sort out everything that happened and declared their love for each other, let me know.

Mine was missing.

Huh, after checking the cover of this book again, I don't know why I had it in my head that it was supposed to be erotic romance.


I love me an alpha hero and although Jack had many of these characteristics I'm thinking he may have had some beta in him also. Or obsession. Something like that.

When Jack comes back into Caroline's life he is thinking he's not good enough for her. That lasted thirty seconds. Then it was he had to have her and finally, no one else would ever have her. Thing is, Jack never tells Caroline who he really is. He let's her get to know the man he is now (which is fine but when Caroline got creeped out at one point, I was all, you better run!!) although his plans are to now live out the rest of his days with Caroline in her parents house. (creepy)

I'm not sure I can explain it very well but it was like Jack was in love with the vision he saw 12 years ago of a family sitting around singing Christmas carols in a beautiful home. In fact, when he makes the mistake that throws Caroline it's about the house and Caroline is forced to wonder how he would know something had changed in one of the rooms years before he showed up. My question after discovering that would be, do you love me or the house? Cause I'm painting that room purple!

There is also the falling in love during a snow storm over a weekend. Although I don't remember Caroline ever thinking she was in love until she knew she was in serious trouble with the evil guy. I did like that Jack wasn't sure why his chest was hurting every once in a while but then, he thought he was only sexually attracted to Caroline so discovering he could care was sweet although, maybe a little more of that would have kept my 'creepy' sensation to a minimum.

I should also mention that I didn't read one part of the evil guys side of the story. Nope. I started, knew what was going to happen next and flipped the pages until I came back to the H/H. I did that through the entire book so there were a few plot points that came together for me closer to the end but then I wasn't missing anything either. So I also missed many of the graphic scenes that Keishon (okay, I can't find the review) had warned me of in her review of this book. Knowing it was about 'blood diamonds' had me skimming sections and the parts that I did read were horrifying but I kept my eye from settling on the words. Hard, but I wanted to read a romance, not another shoot 'em up, mystery, planet saving, specie protecting story line.

Just needed a little love.

In the end, I would have preferred more dialogue (the first sex scene was a little weird in that Caroline said nothing and even Jack was wondering WTF?) and perhaps a closing that would have let me know that Jack wasn't really just obsessed but was in love. Like maybe giving up the house. I'm just saying. I wanted to know that Jack and Caroline would love each other no matter what. They could move and get new jobs or travel for the rest of their lives. Whatever. Just the knowledge that they weren't about to relive Carolines' parent's lives. (Caroline's father enjoyed spoiling his wife (which I can totally seeing Jack doing) but he was spending money he didn't have and for some reason I feel like Jack could do the same thing without saying to Caroline 'hey, financially we need to scale back'. Sure, you think 8 mill should hold you but worse things have been known to happen)

So, I enjoyed the hero although worried he was more obsessed than in love. I couldn't really tell if Caroline loved Jack or loved the fact that he could fix stuff and she wouldn't have to be alone anymore. AND it all happened in a weekend.

B- cause it kept me reading and it was better than some of the other books I have forced myself to read.


I'm not sure which book I'm going to read next as I'm worried if I read the AS I'll fall back into the great book blues but then, I really should read it so I can write a 'proper' review. Meh. Who needs that when I write up these kind of beauts?

I bought Lover Unbound today and could I maybe get a little warning next time that I'll need a front end loader when picking up a book of this size. Egads! I'm thinking I'll be skimming more than a few sections of this one.

On that note, I have pulled some books from the TBR pile and put them in one section to help with the 20 book challenge I'm working up the nerve to do. It's amazing the treasures that are lying in wait up in that book room.

Who knew?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

AAR Top 100 Romances

I'm falling behind on my blogging I tell ya!


Starting October 1st All About Romance will be opening the polls for the Top 100 Romance Books of all time. (I added the all time but hey, if it's voted on by hundreds of people, I'm thinking 'all time')

I hope you will click through here because I think LinnieGayl and Princess did the announcement best!

The last time I voted in this poll (I wasn't a pollster) I only got up to 34 books before my brain started convulsing under the work load. Then again, I'm also a procrastinator so I think I had about 2 hours to get it filled in before the polls closed.

Hopefully with this head's up you can start on your list (Rosario would be so very happy but she's in London and I don't know if her spreadsheets are with her) and hopefully you can use your blog posts about books to help you remember those gems that get lost in the deep ether of our brains.

Just me again?

I should buy some Ginkowhatever.

My next post should be on Dangerous Lover, you know, if I kept to any sort of plan.

A Partial Plan

Now I know I'm bad for talking about books but maybe you've noticed the book talk is at nil.

Hush. We're not saying the word!

So I'm forming a plan. This year I have only read 20 books (this is the worst I've been since the 'Slump to End All Slumps' happened about 4 years back) but I'm thinking it's time to take some extreme action.

Then I remember who I am and think I'm wasting everyones time by even suggesting I could do this.

All the same, I've had it on my mind for about a week and since we know I'm easily distrac - ooooooooh, a shiny object, how pretty - Wait! Right. Distracted. Since it's been jostling around in there for a week I figure I might actually have to do something about it.

The plan?

Read 20 more books before the end of the year.


Can I take that back?

Okay. Mean, but okay.

I figure I know which three are going to be read next. I started Dangerous Lover by Lisa Marie Rice while waiting in some line or another and the beginning is totally sucking me in. So that's one. Then there is the Anne Stuart. Yep. Then Ward's Lover Unbound.

So I only need to figure out 17 more titles that will either be published between now and the end of the year or I need to stop sticking my tongue out at my TBR pile.

That last sentence just blew my stress level for the week.

I need a nap.

Edited: I'm on my way as I just finished Dangerous Lover - I'll write up my thoughts later. I figured out the fourth book which is by Caprice Crane so already I'm ahead of where I was last night when I wrote this!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fractured Thoughts

I'm sick of brown in decorating. Seriously. It's one of those 'fads' that will age a room after a few years. Don't get me wrong, dark woods are not counted in this. It's that chocolate brown and pale blue look that's killing me. Now I've seen it with pink and green and UGH!. Enough already.

I've decided to buck the trend and make grey the next big thing. Unlike brown, grey comes in a million shades depending on the base colour so I know I can work with it better. Right now, I'm trying to stay away from anything with a blue tint to it and I seem to be over green too. I'm still a purple chick but I don't mean Crayola purple but steel grey purple. Yum.

Yep. It's that time. I have to start picking paint colours for the main floor. And I'm soooo not doing anything 70's inspired like the 'trends' that are happening now.


It was pool cleaning day because it was gorgeous out and Bob and I got into a wonderfully warm pool. Still it took me lots of time to skim the pool, back wash the filter and try to vacuum. (Vacuuming is a pain because we keep losing suction and it involves running back and forth - it's best done with two people so one can hold the stupid plate down in the filter return beside the pool while the other is 100 ft away trying to re-prime the pump. I don't deal with frustration well)

Tomorrow is in the planning stages. I've been looking at Cody and thinking about how I need to put him in our upstairs tub and give him a bath. Note I'm still thinking about it. Which seems to be the theme of the last few days. Thinking and not doing.

Gah!! My eyes!! I'm watching a design show and the walls are painted brown and supposedly lime green only it looks like brown and avocado green. Hello 1970. Ugh.

AND, my napping and sleeping mojo have left me. I only slept for 7 hours last night. WTF? I was up at 1:30pm today which is not like me when I got to bed at 6 am. Then I tried to have a nap but I seem to remain in this semi-conscious state that makes me feel nauseous. Yuck.

It's 3am now and I am tired but I'm afraid to try sleeping in case I once again just lie there waiting. And yes, I've taken the sleep meds after reducing them over time.

I'm also horribly bored. I haven't had this since the last snow fall. Not good.

Okay, off to kill some time.

Yes, I'm avoiding the 'S' word. Hoping if I don't type it, it won't be true.

Geez, on another subject the Canadian dollar is almost equal to the US dollar. Now, I pay 11 bucks a book while the US price is much lower. Shouldn't I now get to pay the lower price on my books?

Yep, I make economists cringe in horror at my ignorance.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sharing Some Crazy

I know it's September when the dreams start.

I've been dreaming all week that it's only a few days till Christmas and I haven't bought any gifts and there are only hours left to shop AND our super extended family is coming and it would be horrible if they woke up to no gifts. Oh! And all the stores are selling candles. That's it.

So, I woke up this morning thinking I had to get to the mall immediately. Then I remembered it's only September.

I've known for years I have a broken brain but it's funny that I'm actually able to observe and note the times when my brain cracks. Years ago I just would have been stressed to the hilt and begging Bob to help me get the shopping done pronto. Now I wake up and once I realize I have months yet I calm back down but at least now I know the anxiety is starting.

Although I do wonder why my brain brings this stuff up. I'm thinking my brain automatically equates the end of summer to 'It's Christmas!!! Your most stressful time of the year!!!'.

Stupid brain.

I want a refund.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Lazy Days

Well, really, what else kind of days do I normally have? All the same today was a nice, easy relaxing day.

I'm starting to stay up later and will soon be back on nights. It's a weird fear I have of going to bed and not being able to sleep so I stay up until my eyes burn so we're looking at 3:30 am right about now. By Saturday I'll probably be back in my nocturnal pattern.

So I went to bed last night thinking today would just be indulgent because no one was expecting me and Bob was at work so I could just veg. Imagine my surprise when I decided to answer the phone (yes, if you call my house 10 to 1 you'll be talking to a machine cause I don't answer to no master. Yeah, yeah, it's because I'm too lazy to run to the phone to catch it in time) at 11:15am to find that Bob was taking lunch and wanted me to get up and go out with him.

All Right!!

So I was showered and prepped when he got home and he took me to Paris.

Paris, Ontario.

Now it ain't much but he wanted to take me to a little restaurant that had a back deck looking over the Grand River (which is low now cause no rain). I love water and eating by water is just a dream for me. One of my favourite places is a restaurant in Huntsville, Ontario (I've been going to Huntsville since early childhood so I get weepy whenever I go but I just love it there) that has a gazebo hanging over the river. Today I may have found a place 3 hours closer to home which is peaches because I haven't been to Huntsville in years but I'll happily hit Paris.

The food wasn't great and they didn't have potatoes on the menu and well, I need potatoes for a meal to reach even a remote chance of getting a good review.

Hey! On that note, what is with the salads that look like someone went into my backyard and started plucking whatever was growing. Uh, yeah. Half the salad on my plate looked like weeds I had pulled from my garden and after a few bites I was done. I never used to eat salad because when I was young all salads were made with lettuce - okay there's a name but I can't remember. I hated salads with a passion. Then I discovered Caesar salads and thought it was a good compromise. Until Bob told me I might as well order the french fries if I was going to eat a Caesar. Since mama didn't raise no fool I bloody well ate the fries. Then I decided to use romaine lettuce in a normal salad. I'm telling you a beam of light struck. I could eat salad all day long as long as it's made with romaine. Anything else and you might as well put a plate of twigs in front of me.

You still here?

I know. Where half the crap in my brain comes from I'll never know.


Then Bob just hung out and we had a nap. He made himself something for dinner because I've been feeling sick to my stomach (okay, why do I always spell stomach with an e at the end? Is that Canadian? Spell checker makes me wonder if I know what I think I know - yeah, it's like that!) around dinner hour so I tend to scram. I ended up going out and getting fries and chicken nuggets. Yeah. Not proud.

The next few days in my neck of the woods are supposed to become HOT. I'm hoping it's true (can't trust those weather people) so I can get in for my final swim of the season. Like I said before, if I had known the last time I was in the pool was the LAST time in the pool for the year, I would have basked in it a little more.

So here's hoping.

Oh and Bob can't afford for me to be up during the day. I spent 500 bucks in two days. Normally I couldn't do that kind of damage cause stores are closed but oooops! 200 was spent on my Godkids back to school stuff and the rest was spent on two pairs of Nike shoes (I'm going to see if I can return a pair because there is a joint that's painful and for a hundred bucks they should feel like angel wings on my feet) and a heart rate monitor for when you are working out. Since I only buy sneaks about once every three years I'm okay with the money but still, it was a shock when she rang it up. As for the heart rate thingie, I have one but it stopped working thus, a new one needed to be purchased.

Hmmm, I've been very good about not googling 'overheating while working out' but I'm extremely tempted to see if there is a solution.

As to other things did you hear about this?

I could totally see it if he was on a romance reading binge but computer games?

Oooooh, Scrabble just popped up, gotta go!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Right, I Remember Now

At the old house Bob had a rule about what I was allowed to do.

See, Bob had been living in his house for a few years so he had already decorated the way he wanted.


No really, even Bob admits this now and I razz my best friend (his ex) all the time about her lack of taste.

There were friggin' geese on the kitchen walls.

I'm just saying.

The rule? One room at a time. I wasn't allowed to tear off the wallpaper in every room at once because that would have been too distracting to a man who is a bit of a neat freak.

Being the excellent wife I am, I stuck to the rules because I did want to change things and hey, one room at a time would be all my attention span could handle.

Why do you need this information?

So you can feel my bafflement.

It started with Bob telling me he wanted to tear up the hallway flooring. He's already stripped the wallpaper (which was horrifying) and started peeling all the trim up.

Did I mention we still own the 'other' house? Where a lot of our money is tied up?

So I may have mentioned that Bob had to slow down and not spend money for a bit. Bob's all, 'yeah, it doesn't take money to do demo'.

Are you ready? Are you sure?

Okay, here is my dining room wall. Ugly colour yes, but it's there.

See, I'm standing in our living room taking this picture. I can sit calmly in my reading chair and enjoy my book without seeing the crap cluttered all over my counters.

It was a good scheme.



No wall.

Suddenly the ugly is all over the place!

Yep. A wall was torn down so Bob could see how the floor plan would feel opened up.

It's official. There's not a room on the main floor that doesn't have some sort of demo going on. I'm glad we got those awful curtains down finally but uh, that loss of a wall just puts the 'ugly' front and center.

Hell, even Bob admitted the kitchen was uglier than he thought. Duh. Welcome to my view of things.

Who's getting a new kitchen?

I AM!!

Here though. I took another picture tonight after Destroyer-Bob has gone to bed.

I'd be even more excited about it if the other house was sold already but apparently I'm the only one really worried about the money.

Things are about to get very interesting.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Things On A Cat

It all started with an e-mail that asked if I would be able to guest review for The Good, The Bad and the Unread.

Sybil (To be referred to as 'Fairy Godmother' from here on out) had a stack of ARCs she needed to get in the mail to the team and figured she would see if I would be able to take some of the load.

Seeing as how 'Fairy Godmother' has read my so called reviews I decided why not.

Great, she e-mails back, I'll send you Anne Stuart's ARC.


The scream that followed excited the critters in the house but Bob only sighed as he turned the page of his newspaper.

I now wonder if the first few times he had ever heard my squeeing sound over books, he too got excited at the prospect of which lottery amount we had just won.

(In case you don't know what the big deal is with Anne Stuart - welcome to my blog. I love everything Anne Stuart and am an unabashed squeeeeeing fangirl. Okay, you're all caught up)

Hey, our men have it pretty good. Most women only get this excited when presented with diamonds. These guys should be thanking their lucky stars that 10 dollar books are what rock our socks!

Okay, where was I? Oh yes, my latest diamond!

Fairy Godmother mailed out the book the day after Labour Day but I blocked it from my mind. After all, I'm in Canada and if customs got a hold of the book I wouldn't be seeing it before it's release date for sure. Well, I did get antsy this past Monday when it still wasn't here. I started to think that the mailman was also an Anne Stuart fan with the gift of x ray vision, thus seeing my precious gem through it's bubble wrap paper.

Ah, but the jeweler finally arrived and placed my gem in that special box that seems to hold the bad news but also the greatest news!

To mark this special occasion I decided to do an ode to 'Stuff on My Cat' cause the cover of this book alone makes me just the happiest person in the world. That there would be my Amber.

In case you can't read some of the 'fine' print it says:

Advance Uncorrected Proofs
On Sale Date: November 2007

Super Cool!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Because It Makes Me Happy

It usually surprises people that I'm a fangirl of these guys but seriously, their lyrics alone in most of their music is amazing. All the same, it's this song that will get me out of a chair and bouncing around the house.

I'm now a daywalker. My body has wanted to change for a few weeks but I had too many events to let my body have it's way (it can take up to 5 days to switch but I let my body start doing what it wanted on Monday and I'm on the third day). I went to bed at 4pm yesterday and got up at 6am today. I'm excited because I get to get out of the house by myself and get some serious shopping done.

I need to get some of the pics off my camera but again, I haven't dealt with that yet. Why? Cause I got something in the mail yesterday that had me squeeeeing with happiness. Bob was in the area on a business call so he stopped in for lunch with me and was there for the event. He just smiles.

I'll let you in on it when I can get a picture and have more time to blog. Now I'm off to drop some coin in a serious bout of retail therapy!

And So It Begins

I feel like I've used that title in the last week or so. Everything is beginning!

A few things.

1. I don't think I have a word program on my laptop so where am I supposed to type up stuff? I went into Adobe Reader and promptly snuck (hey, is this a word to you guys? The speller doesn't know it) back out because I didn't recognize anything. I left my Office CD at my aunts house. Ooops. Isn't that what happens when you need something pronto.

2. I have a to-do list in my head that is huge and I need to get it down on paper so I can actually see some progress. On that note, I have about 15 pens that are in and out of ink. Shaking the pen, rolling it fiercely on another surface. Well, let's just say I've had enough of that after writing up thank you cards for FIL's wake. So I need new pens and some good paper so I can do up a proper list.

3. For some reason (I'm betting Cody may have had a leak) this room (the den) has a urine smell in it. Bob denies that Cody would have had an accident. Hey, I'm not mad, I just need to know where the smell is coming from. I'm thinking the black light needs to come out. The last time that happened I ripped up all the carpet in the old house. I don't think Bob is ready for that. And I know for a fact he doesn't want me buying a new sofa. A dilemma I'm not sure I'm up to solving right now.

4. The reno house. We still own it, I could write a friggin book about it but I'll save it for an eventual book I will write, sell and get movie rights for. Yep. Gotta make money on this one some how. Let's just go with an ouch as my comment for now. (Just thought of the title - The Business of Friends)

5. I have to post the final shed pics for you guys. The photo program I am currently using is eating my photos at an alarming rate of speed. It's also hiding them in sub folders that I can never recall when I need them. Another thing to add to my list of things to do. Fix the picture program properly. My dad sent the pictures to his friends who *know* Bob and what he is capable of titled 'This is what a Shed looks like in Bob's world'. Of course I sent him the pictures with the title 'New Pics of Your Retirement Villa'.

Oh! Did I tell you the neighbour decided to back off? They are working on some sort of solution for the back side of the shed so I'm not worrying anymore. As long as my bank balance doesn't decrease drastically - there was a comment about how much they liked the brick on the shed - yeah, that ain't cheap and it's on a 1/4 of the shed for a reason.

6. I have the Shopping Channel on right now while I'm typing this - it's on mute so I don't get distracted but I do know they are selling Alloette Anti-aging cream with all the befores and afters. So, anyone use anti-aging creams? I keep thinking it'll be like a glue on my face - it get's rid of the lines by making you look permanently surprised. I'm figuring a crispy skin isn't what I'm going for but how else to explain these results they show on the screen. Oh! What about the one for acne? I've been thinking of trying it because at 37 I've had enough. I just can't remember the name right now.

7. I have a secret that I'll share tomorrow but it's more about me than anyone else so don't get all excited. Basically it'll be a squeee fest and I'm hoping something shows up tomorrow to help me with the brain drains I have going on right now.

8. I now know it's the day after you have to worry about. The evil negative thoughts are trying to invade. Must get more shiny objects to distract myself with.

9. I need to blog more about books but I think I'm still in the 'great book blues' mode.

10. My pool looks cold.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

And I'm Back

It was really beautiful and even though I had a bit of a hard go when I left today I knew that I had a bunch of great women rooting for me all over the continent!

And of course Bob.

Here's a picture of me in that dress I had to alter and the shoes I had to track down. I had people I had never met tell me how much they loved my dress. I still think I look like a tank in it but hey, it's the best I could do. (Hmmm, this program won't let me crop so you get the full shot)

In the end, there isn't a picture of just Bob and I although I did do a family shot. I think my dad has a picture of Bob and I together before I got down on the dance floor. Bob asked me to sit at one point because he was worried I was going to stroke out. It's something I've always had a problem with, I get overly hot, very fast and my face becomes beet red. I'm thinking I may have to talk to the doc and see if there is something I can do about it. It's part of the reason I don't work out. I get so hot that I can barely stand it. We have a tread mill and I only get on it when no one will see and I wear next to nothing. TMI? It's actually the reason I swim for exercise but I figure it's not a good thing for my body to not know it's over-heated. I get out of the pool crazy dizzy.

Maybe I should be using Google to find the answer but the last time I did that (last week) I freaked myself out so bad about this huge rash I have that I had to get to a doctor NOW. It's not contagious and it's not a fungus (that's what freaked me out because they were talking about how you would have to wash your entire house in fungicide and stuff and well, you know I'm lazy) other than that, I don't have a clue because I went to an after hours clinic and the doc didn't seem to want to share her diagnosis. I finally asked, well, when will it clear up and she answers 'if it's what I think it is it'll be about 5 days before it *starts* to get better'. At that point I gave up asking questions (I asked about contagious, fungus and then how long and finally I realized it was a minute to the close of the clinic and she wanted out!) But she was right and it's getting better - my friend said she thought it was a spider bite. Ouch!

As you can see I'm just rambling all over the place but I'm trying not to over analyse the day. I cried during the ceremony (I was a bit of a mess and I had no kleenex - way to think ahead) and then there were just moments of hurt that I had to squash down.

Oh and kids!! The kids were everywhere (12-14 from 14 months to 11 yrs) and I loved it. So we watched the kids run and play in the fields (it was in the country) and we sat with the brothers and their family. It was a good time.

I keep telling myself that it's the cycle of life. People move from friendships into family units.

On that note, I'm exhausted and am now going to veg out for a bit.

Thanks for giving me strength and propping me up!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Anxiety, I Know Thy Name

It's 2am which is normal for me to be up at but even though I'm trying hard to distract myself, my brain is managing to affect my body with it's anxious ways.

Tomorrow (Today) is my former best friend's wedding day.

For those needing a catch up - we were friends from birth (is how we used to tell it, I was two years older) and best friends until somewhere around my 26th birthday. Everything fell off the rails around then and I don't know why but I now know that this happens to many people with friendships. Now normally two people who can't seem to talk anymore would go their seperate ways but our families are also the best of friends so somehow we are thrown together and I'm left floundering trying to re-connect while she tries to pretend there is nothing at all wrong.

All right, we all here?

Side Trip!

Years ago while we were still best friends I played a prank on her by telling her I had become engaged and was going to get married to someone she had never met. Well, that back fired on me HUGE because she was horribly hurt that I had been dating someone, let alone was going to marry someone she had never met. Keep in mind, I wasn't dating or anything, it was a joke and apparently I suck at them. So after many tears and lots of apologizing we laughed it off. (This was years before things really did fall apart)

Karma? You betcha. I haven't ever met the man she is about to marry. Hell, I didn't know she was dating anyone seriously so I was somewhat surprised when I was told she was engaged to be married by someone other than her.

Ah, yes, my youthful stupidity always comes back to bite me in the ass.

That said there is an evil, dark side of me that wants to lean in tomorrow while in the reception line and say 'at least I was only joking' but A) tomorrow is not about me and B) that would be cruelty beyond my capability or even C-Rex's oh, and C) she probably wouldn't have a clue what I was saying.

And we're back!

I recently blogged about how going to her bridal shower affected me emotionally. I just didn't expect there to be anything left in me to hurt and yet, there it was.

So even though I know tomorrow has NOTHING to do with me, I'm probably going to be a broken mess of sobs propped on Bob's shoulder late Saturday night after leaving the event.

Afterall, I figure there are people who do know how Carolyn truly feels about me and that they'll be at the wedding. Ouch. Already it hurts.

Poor Bob. He's barely holding on to his tongue. He would love nothing more than to tell everyone how much I hurt but I have told him I can't be the one to pass my hurt onto everyone else.

What continues to be painful is that there is this feeling among the families that it was me that did something wrong. That I did something to make the 'perfect C_______' upset with me.

Okay, I'm going to blog out so that I don't get to angry or upset or say something stupid. I'm still feeling like I want to puke but I'm hoping that will pass.

Bob told me this week that Sunday morning will mark the moment that he feels I will be free from being put in hurtful positions. I don't have the heart to tell him that's probably not true. He's partially pissed we're even going to the wedding because even though we have asked them to visit us, they have never made that choice.

I think it's also hard for Bob when I ask him if he is sure he's really happy. "Afterall, I had a best friend who I thought would be there till the day I died and they left me after 25 years so anything is possible".

If anything I hope the break taught me to be more open, accepting, honest and forgiving in my friendships with others.

So if you just happen to wonder in here and it's Saturday maybe you could send a little emotional strength my way. It will be greatly appreciated.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Caressed By Ice by Nalini Singh

I'm not sure my brain is in the right place to do Caressed by Ice any justice but I have to start blogging again sometime.

Hey, I heard that! I've been a little bit absent.

So let's get too it.


I'm in love with a man named Judd. Really, it's that simple.

Cindy Blurb: Judd Lauren is one bad ass mofo of a Psy who recently defected to save his brother, nephew and two nieces from having their brains put into a vegetative state. Did I mention this is a paranormal? It is. And there are psychics of every kind imaginable and were- animals and some humans. From what I can tell, Judd is probably one of the most powerful of his kind although he has hid it well from not only those who would try and manipulate him but also those who think they know him.

Judd's family found refuge from a wolf pack that decided not to kill them on the spot. Shortly thereafter Judd was instrumental in rescuing a female pack member, Brenna from a horrible sadistic bastard who had many of the same powers that Judd himself has.

After the rescue it is Judd that passionate, affectionate Brenna turns to. Judd does all he can to protect himself from Brenna and his 'coldness' that is very much part of the Psy does give Brenna concerns.

Brenna is a proud wolf who although robbed of her innocence, knows herself well enough to know that Judd is not exactly the kind of mate her wolf side needs. The were community is affectionate by nature while the Psy have been programmed to ignore emotions (Judd actually believes he cannot have emotions - which was wickedly awesome when he had a jealous moment - YUM).

So we have two people trying to find out how to adapt to each other because it's clear to both of them that they can't be without each other.

Damn. I'm not doing well here. The blurb does this book no justice at all and I'm telling you, this book rocked!

Judd hit all my 'hawt' buttons. A guy coldly in control of everything and intensely logical who gets smacked up side the head by a woman. I mean, what's better than that. Also, I know there are people who don't like to read about people who are assassins but you just can't fault Judd for who he is. Only knowing the basics about how the Psy treat their children, I'm shocked more of them haven't become raving lunatics. (Although many in the higher ups are just that!)

If it were simple for Judd to love Brenna he would do it in a heartbeat but the Psy teach their young that something as simple as a touch is painful. Every time Brenna needs a hug or even his hand to hold Judd experiences pain. Just falling in love creates brain damage so severe it could kill him.

It just about killed me!

Brenna meanwhile has her own demons as well as a hot temper that can have Judd sitting on the outside trying to figure out what he did wrong. Not that they have any huge misunderstandings, just cultural differences that make each question if they are right for each other.

At one point Judd finally tells Brenna that even if she finds her mate, he won't let her go. I really liked this twist in the usual lore of 'fated mates' and it did create problems for Brenna. She knew she belonged to Judd but her wolf side didn't recognize Judd as it's mate, if that makes sense.

Now I need to be honest. There were a few moments there where I started to worry that there wasn't going to be a sex scene in this book. I mean, talk about tension. I'm not really sure how far into the book it was before these two actually kissed but it was a looooong way. Not only that, I wasn't as drawn to Judd at a certain point in the story because a 'flame out' temporarily stopped his psychic abilities hence, the ability to touch Brenna without pain. Seeing as how I like my men a little angsty having him so carefree for lack of a better word was somewhat out of character, at least for me.

Oh and there's other stuff going on but you really should read the book if you want to know. And I had no clue who the bad guy was - I was all sure it was who I thought it was and it wasn't. Cool.


I almost forgot to mention the power of Singh's ability to world build. I know that J.R. Ward has become quite well know but I personally think that Singh's world is just that much better than Ward's world. There are rules in Singh's world and even though things are changing in the world, they do so because much of what is present is already broken. High praise from someone who is a fangirl of Ward's though.

I'm thinking the new order in Cindy's world is Anne Stuart, Nalini Singh, J.R. Ward. These seem to be my auto-buy authors and well, let's just say that after Ward's last book, she's skating on some thin ice.

I'm going with an A-.

If you haven't tried Nalini Singh's Psy books, RUN! RUN! to the bookstore now!!

Order of books:

Slave to Sensation

Visions of Heat

Caressed by Ice

Now I'm going to immerse myself in the 'great book blues'. While reading this book all I could think is 'this, this is what I want more of!!'.

For real reviews I know Rosario has done one and I believe Holly should have one up soon.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Caressed By Ice by Nalini Singh

I love Judd Lauren but I may just love Nalini Singh a bit more. I'm telling you, this writer should be commanding the kind of audience that J.R. Ward has. Her world building is untouchable. Brilliant.

I'm not going to do an entire semi-review right now. I just finished reading it (for those wanting to know about speed it took me 8 hours - two night sessions of about 4 hours each) and I have a few things I need to get done yet.

Hope your first week of September isn't kicking your ass as much as it's been kicking mine!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Another Quickie

Let's just say that I thought laptops had become more user friendly. Holy crap this thing is slow but I love being able to sit on the couch and run through blogland (for the first time in a week!)

The first laptop had to be taken back. The screen would freeze up and then go black. You would have to run the mouse all over the screen like a scratch ticket to get the visual back. Then it started losing files and I swear I didn't do anything to cause this. Well, I'm not one to pay a heck of a lot of money (I don't know how much because it was from Bob but I know these aren't cheap) to have it not work properly 5 days out of the box.

So we took it back and did we get attitude. I finally walked away from the guy because he was asking stupid questions. Hey, I'm not one of your 'geeks' but even I know when something has been programed wrong so back the hell off. I finally yelled across the store at one point when he asked another stupid question and Bob relayed 'it's just broken!!'. He bloody well went and got another one pronto. Like I was going to sit there and run him through all the crap that was falling apart.

What I don't understand for the life of me is why this company has created a 'back up files' button that when you go to do it, it runs out of hard drive space and cracks up. I've decided to ignore that for now and wait and see if restore points pop up. Problem is, now this other drive keeps saying it's low on memory. Well no shit. You saved a bunch of stuff on there and since I don't know if erasing it will wipe my computer clean you'll just have to cope.

Yeah. Not a computer geek although I wish I was!

As for everything else, I haven't had time to blog hop but was out a bit tonight. What with Bob being off, me not feeling well and spending hours trying to get the old laptop to work properly, there was little time for fun.

So tomorrow is my MIL birthday so we're going there for dinner and my sleep is all out of sorts.

Hopefully I'll be back to myself by Tuesday.

And Caressed by Ice is here but I just can't start it yet. I want to wait until nobody is around and I can sit and not have to be up and down for the whole read. Since I'm a slow reader we're looking at Tuesday when everyone is back to school and work.

Hope you are all having a great Labour Day Weekend!!