7 Benefits To Being Snowbound

1) Being forced to make homemade bread.

2) Less laundry - housebound kids stay in jammies all day.

3) The snow insulates your roof.

4) Having to live on leftover Christmas chocolate because you've run out of apples and bananas.

5) Having to use Bailey's in your coffee because there's no cream left.

6) The mess of scattered toys in your yard is hidden under the snow.

7) The kids make such a mess in the house that you CAN'T vacuum ;-)

Return to Jeanne's Blog List


How Often Do You Change Your Carbon Monoxide Detector Batteries?

I was in the kitchen today and out of nowhere heard a familiar chirp... the sound of my carbon monoxide battery indicator. Naturally I had to test and retest and open all my windows and... you get the picture. Omg, it's making a sound, it must mean impending doom.

When I took the detectors (I have two) off the wall, I discovered a post-it note I'd tacked underneath that said the last time I'd installed fresh batteries was December 1, 2007. So I dutifully changed the batteries and updated the post-it.

I'm more aware of carbon monoxide these days, since our furnace is old but our windows are brand new (ironically enough we may have been safer with old drafty windows, lol). My husband wants new couches, but I think our next purchase will be a new furnace.

Meanwhile, at least my alarms have fresh batteries...
Return to Jeanne's Blog List


My Dog And His Ball

At the moment, we have about a foot of snow in our back yard. As much as my dog loves the snow (being a Husky cross), he loves his ball more. This means that he still insists on having someone throw it for him, regardless of the weather.

In the sun, this is fine. In the rain it's not really fun, but still possible. In the wind, you have to be careful how close to the fence you throw it.

In the snow, you need some kind of infra-red-snow-magic tracking device, or an unusually high tolerance to the sound of madly barking dog.

With EVERY throw, the ball disappears into the depths of the snow. If he sees where it goes (if), he will run to its point of entry and start burrowing like a groundhog. Sometimes he actually finds it.

Most of the time, however, his snow covered head pops up for air, and he looks quizzically at you, waiting for YOU to get down in the snow to root around and find HIS ball.


I may have said this before but I'll say it again - he's lucky we love him!!
Return to Jeanne's Blog List


Baby Powder Saved My Bangs

Warning: girlie post.


I recently had bangs cut after being without them for about seven years (prior to that, had 'em my whole life).

It was fun for the first half hour or so: "Whooo!! I look ten years younger!! Why didn't I do this sooner!!"

Then I started remembering... the toque cowlicks, for one (ack). Aaaaand (giant groan) the worst part:

The Oily Bangs Thing.

Not so bad when you're twenty something, but when you're twenty years older than that... oily bangs can ADD ten years to your looks.

Thank GOD for the Internet, that's all I can say. I did a quick Google and read Reese Witherspoon's hairdresser's secret: baby powder!!! Ever since then, I've been dusting my bangs with baby powder as soon as they're dry, and it's worked like a charm.
Return to Jeanne's Blog List


Help Save Ballet BC

Our city's Ballet troupe, Ballet BC, is in serious financial trouble. I think it would be such a shame to lose a valuable cultural organization such as this. They may have to close their doors in 2009 if their fundraising efforts fail.

Here is a link to their website for more information: http://www.balletbc.com/

I'm trying to get a group of fellow Moms together to take our daughters to see a performance of the Nutcracker. If you're contemplating doing the same, here's the Ticketmaster link:


Good luck to everyone at Ballet BC - let's keep their doors open and the dancers in our city!

Return to Jeanne's Blog List


Let It Snow!!!


We (the kids and I) have been itching for some of the white stuff, and now we've gotten our wish!!

Mind you it's quite wet, so I don't know how long it will stay, but hey, it's beautiful to look at as it's falling from the sky :-)
Return to Jeanne's Blog List


Making A Dog Bed

I'm sensing a theme here (woof ;-)

So we bought our pup a dog bed. We bought it from one of those large chain pet supply stores (love going in them, but my Visa doesn't!!). Our dog is a large breed - he's a shepherd cross and is about 75 pounds and is 27 inches at the shoulder, so we bought him a large bed.

It cost $100.00.

It is, basically, a large piece of foam with a giant zippered cover. The cover is very durable, and is covered on one side with faux fur for additional comfort. But still.... a hundred bucks? Really??

Hmmmm. If I had a sewing machine....

You could go to any fabric store, I'm sure, and get a tough nylon sort of fabric, and a zipper long enough for one side. Then all you'd have to do is make it into a giant pillow case and fill it.

Foam is only one option for filler - you could even save Styrofoam and use that instead (tip - make a second bag to go inside to hold the Styrofoam - this one can be less durable fabric - so that when the cover gets dirty and needs washing it's easy to remove the filling).

I wish I'd thought of this idea before Hubby went to the pet store with his MasterCard ;-)

Return to Jeanne's Blog List


Dog Training That Works

More on the subject of dogs... not only have I been witness to the construction of the best dog fence ever (yay Dad!!), but I've also dealt with pretty darn good trainers as well.

Our current dog had aggression issues towards other dogs, which made him hard to walk. We enlisted the aid of Custom Canine, and learned some really neat tricks as to how to get through to our pup.

Their training is completely non-aggressive and psychology based (for instance, they don't use choker collars). They focus on speaking the language of the dog - as in, understanding what motivates certain behaviour and creating different motivation.

For example, let's say your dog is pulling on a leash. Other training methods would advocate yanking on a choke collar to curb this behaviour.

Custom Canine, on the other hand, considers the dog's motivation for pulling: he wants to go!! So what do you do? You stop. (Or more specifically, you take the dog by the collar and turn around in a circle and then stop.) Once the dog has stopped pulling (allowing the leash to be slack) then you start walking again. If the dog starts to pull again, you stop.

The dog will eventually figure out that if he is to get anywhere, he mustn't pull on the leash.

There are many many similar tips and tricks such as this that they teach, and believe me, they work. A simple way to sum up their method of dog training is that it's not dog training so much as it is owner training ;-)

Return to Jeanne's Blog List


Building A Good Dog Fence

Yes, this blog is truly "anything and everything", lol.

Friends of mine just got a new pup, and it took me back to my childhood and all the dogs we had. We were talking about dog fences (they have a nice sized yard in Coquitlam) and it reminded me of the wonderful fence my Dad built for our Husky when I was in high school.

(For those of you unfamiliar with the Husky breed, they DIG, and are professional escape artists).

Anyway, about the dog fence:


  • Diamond wire
  • Logs
  • Shovel
  • Hole making tool (don't you love my high tech terminology? ;-)


  • Make holes at even intervals where the vertical posts will be.
  • Dig trenches in the ground to connect the holes.
  • Attach diamond wire to vertical posts, with the bottom of the wire touching the bottom of the trenches.
  • Lay logs in the trenches and attach the bottom of the diamond wire to the logs.
  • Fill the trenches, burying the logs.

The net result is a dog fence that even the most over zealous digger can't get beneath. It's a lot of work to install this particular fence, but it's worth the effort.

Return to Jeanne's Blog List


Christmas Is Coming!!!

We set up the tree today, and decorated the house. The kids and I had a blast, while Hubby watched with a smile. Happy December, everyone!
Return to Jeanne's Blog List

Migraine Auras

I get migraine auras. I'm having one at the moment, so I thought I'd look it up, and found this awesome vid at Mayoclinic.com.

The only symptom I suffer from is the visual aura, and sure enough as they say, it lasts about thirty minutes. I have yet to identify a trigger, although I do chart them. Luckily for my peace of mind they only happen about 3-4 times per year (and December is a common month for me, which makes me think maybe it's Christmas stress?). Who knows.

All I know is that as I'm typing this, it's fading away... yippeee!!
Return to Jeanne's Blog List


As Hot As Vegas - In Yellow Grass Saskatchewan

Hey!! We do have hot weather up here sometimes!! I can quit surfing and longing for southern U.S. summer weather updates (in the summer, lol) and look in my own back yard.

(So what if it only happened 70 years ago?? It could happen again!)

On July 5, 1937, Canada's highest temperature record was set, in Yellow Grass Saskatchewan. It got as high as 45C (114F), and hasn't been that hot since.

I know it still gets pretty hot in the interior (Osoyoos regularly gets close to 40C in the summer and the lake gets to around 24C), but 45C is pretty impressive ;-)
Return to Jeanne's Blog List


Dr. Oz's Anti-Aging Wine In The Blue Zones

Ok, Dr. Oz, I heard ya say it was mostly the alcohol and not the grapes that has the anti-aging effect in wine!! (I knew I liked Dr. Oz ;-)

Oprah then said something like "so then you could have a shot of vodka every day instead?" (I paraphrase - I can't recall what her exact wording was).

I like wine - don't get me wrong. I prefer white or zin to red though, and was always under the impression that the health benefits were from the grape skins (hence the red colour in red wine). According to Dr. Oz, though, the alcohol is a significant part of the benefit (provided it's not drank in excess of course).

Hmmm. Does that mean I can keep putting Bailey's in my coffee? Heh heh

Here's an exerpt from the episode recap on www.oprah.com:

Dr. Oz says 90 percent of the benefit of wine is because of its alcohol. The other 10 percent is because it's got an antioxidant called resveratrol.

But the real benefits of drinking wine—red or white—aren't nutritional. "Wine happens at 5 at night when you get together with your friends. It happens with your family. And it's as much the ritual and doing it a little bit every day," Dan says. "They say people who drink two glasses of wine a day outlive those people who don't drink any. But you can't save up and drink 14 on Saturday.

Sounds good to me ;-)
Return to Jeanne's Blog List


Calgary Stampeders Win The Grey Cup

Congrats to the Calgary Stampeders for their 22-14 victory over the Montreal Alouettes in the 96th Grey Cup!
Return to Jeanne's Blog List


My Dog Is In The Bathtub

Not because he's dirty... noooo, you'd have to go outside to get dirty. MY dog is cowering inside the house, crouched down in the tub... 75 pounds of scardy-cat, trying to hide from the gusting, whistling wind.

I'm not sure what he thinks the tub will do for him. The upside, I suppose, is that he hasn't crawled into my lap (he crawled into my husband's lap a few years ago during a dog fight scene in "Snow Dogs"). Yes, it could be worse.

In his defense, we do have a couple of large trees by our house, and a couple of years ago the wind was bad enough here for trees to fall, slicing open rooves like they were butter. The worst of the damage for us was a tree that split in half in our bad yard - nothing touched our house (thank goodness). All the scary stuff was a in a neighbouring community and covered extensively on TV. Hmmm. I had no idea the dog had been watching ;-)
Return to Jeanne's Blog List


The Demise Of Written Language

I just read this interesting article at www.wired.com about the supposed demise of text based blogs.

The author's main point, if I interpreted it correctly, was that there is no longer the same market for long drawn out prose as there was several years ago, and other Internet media that is more image based, such as Flickr, or light on text, such as Twitter or Plurk, is the way of the future.

These platforms, with their limited space for words, enable the not so proficient writer to be on the same level as the skilled wordsmith. This got me thinking about the typical e-mail by many people: there are many abbreviations used, and not much punctuation or capitalization.

Should we be concerned about the generally accepted lack of "proper" language use, or should we embrace this effective and efficient style of the future?

Cats And Laptops

Ha! I'm not the only laptop user being tormented by my cat:



There were many more, but since I left composing this post until 2 minutes before I have to go wake the kids for school, I now have to log off...


Why Do I Even Have Cats Again?

The other one has a penchant for clawing the screen door. The NEW screen door. Between that and the, uh, VOMIT everywhere I'm beginning to wonder who is crazier, me or the cat.

Let's recap:



  • Good cuddler

  • Purrs well

  • Extremely handsome
(That's all I have right now, but it may be enough :-)


  • Costs a fortune to feed (has FUS)

  • Scratches the screen door

  • Pukes everywhere

  • Hair everywhere

  • Always underfoot

  • Very loud meow (part Siamese)

  • Scratches the furniture

  • Did I mention the puke?




  • Um (UGH) sometimes pees and poos where she shouldn't (she's a Manx and is missing some bladder and bowel nerves)

  • Tries to sleep on my lap top

  • Scratches the furniture

  • Hair everywhere

  • Is always on the kitchen counter and no amount of pushing her off makes any difference

Hmmm. If you're not a cat person, you no doubt are noticing that the CON lists are longer. However if you have a soft spot in your heart for all things feline, then you understand how important the PRO items are ;-)

What the hell. It's only a screen door.


My Cat Loves My LAP

Apparently we've reached a compromise ;-)


My Cat Loves My Laptop

Out of nowhere... it started this week. She tries to climb up onto the keyboard, and brushes up against the screen as she's madly purring away.

It's cute and everything, but the hair is starting to get annoying... ahhhh...


Incubator Babies Become Happier Adults, Study Finds

Here's an interesting tidbit: I read an article in the Vancouver Sun on November 11 that cited a Montreal study about infancy incubator time and depression later in life.

To the surprise of the researchers involved, the results of the study were counter-intuitive - that is, babies separated from their mothers at birth and placed in incubators seemed less susceptible to stress and depression later in life.

How bizarre!!


In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

- John McCrae


I'm Back :-)

Had friends come to stay for the weekend so no time to blog. We had a wonderful visit :-) I took approximately 5,000,000 pictures so now I have to edit one or two, lol.

In a minute I have to go wake the kids for school, so no time to blog now either! Sheesh you'd think I was busy or something...



...to President Elect Barack Obama and all of his supporters!!


US Presidential Election Race Updates

(oops... I had a widget here that tracked the votes as they came in. I added the tag "U.S." and lost the widget)

U.S. Election Day!

Today is the big day for our neighbours south of the border! I am very interested to see the election results, and will be tuning into the TV later on.

Good luck to all involved :-)


Set Your Clocks Back!!!

I forgot last night. Ahhhh, an extra hour to myself this morning!!!

So in case anyone else forgot, and you find yourself running early this morning and don't know why...



When Will We Have Snow?

That is SO not fair: http://www.theweathernetwork.com/weather/caon0512

(When I copied and pasted that link, it was -2C with snow in Ottawa. I have family there. But who knows what it will say when you click on it 'cause it'll change with the current conditions.)

I love snow!!!!!!!!! When will we get ours?? When when?? Today??? Pleeeeease????


On the bright side, at least we've had the most gorgeous sunshine here on the west coast :-) That and the beautiful big yellow leaves everywhere has made it nice to be outside. Still, every time our temperature dips to close to zero, it's such a tease...


The First Day Of Winter

The first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere is the day that the sun is farthest south, which is usually December 21st or 22nd (aka Winter Solstice).

I just thought I'd look that up (gotta love the net).

I don't know why this surprises me... isn't it the same every year? Should I find it odd that the first day of winter is so close to Christmas? (My husband would say that I'm odd). Yes, he has quite the sense of humour.

Light bulb moment: maybe that's why I'm a last minute Christmas shopper!!!! My internal shopping clock is set to buy Christmas things only after the first day of winter!!!

Phew, I'm glad I figured that out. Here I was thinking I'm unorganized, or something...


Candy Is Dandy, But Coffee Is Quicker

I read an interesting article in the Vancouver Sun this morning. (I can't seem to link to it though - the only on-line version I can find looks like it's in Russian or something? Oops.)

Anyway, the gist of it was that people who are holding a warm beverage are more likely to warm up to a perfect stranger than if they are holding an iced beverage.

A study published in the journal Science showed that physical properties such as temperature can affect emotional reactions. They even go as far as to suggest that shoppers who want to resist impulse purchases brought on by pushy sales people could carry an icy can of pop in their pockets.

Hmmm! So if you suspect that someone wants something from you, and they bring you an nice hot cup of java, it may be better to leave it on the table rather than holding it in your hands...


Sleep Deprivation

Taking the kids to the park today... enjoying the walk, the fresh air and the scenery... admiring some new houses just built along the way... when all of a sudden...


I see a house with headstones in the front yard. (omg, really??) Now I know we live in a multicultural society, but burying people in your yard? For real?

(seriously. how sleep deprived am I.)

It wasn't until I saw the headstone marked "Elvis" that I finally clued in...
Halloween is coming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mwah ha ha ha
(ok you can stop laughing at me now)


Googling Is Good For Your Brain

Alright!!! Sheesh it's about time... a good excuse to blog!! It's keeping my brain fit :-) lol


Key Words Search

Here's a neat tool that I've been using:


It's a real-time listing of what people are typing into Internet search engines. Very handy if you're looking for searchable key words to include in your blog title or post to increase your traffic...


Itsy Bitsy Spider.... Part 2

Ooohh!!!! It's still down there I just know it!!!! I can't avoid my office any longer 'cause I have some Christmas presents that I have to hide. Which means not only do I have to go in there, I also have to move stuff around, too!!!


Itsy Giant Spider...

...in my office!!!! BLECH. You know, those "wolf" ones that look like they could carry away your chair?

I can't squish them... they're just too big, and uh, easy to feel through the paper towel. I have to immobilize them first, then remove them. Last time it was a huge SPLOSH of hand cream, and a large zip lock freezer bag.

This time, however, the little monster was to fast, and scooted out of the way of the hand cream. It darted back behind my filing cabinet, and now there's a big blob of hand lotion soaking into the laminate ('sokay 'cause it's cheap stuff) because I'm too jumpy to get near it to clean it up, in case Stupid Head comes back out.


Luckily for me I have a wireless router and a laptop, so I'm upstairs in the living room instead of being at my desk. I will have to go back down there eventually though. Hmmm. Maybe if I bring a blow torch with me it'd be ok ;-)


Ok, Bring On The Snow

I don`t like the in between, wanna be something but it`s not, stuff.

It`s 3C at the moment (37.4 degrees Fahrenheit), so if I have to put on mittens and a toque anyway, give me snow!!!

Don`t tease me like this, then revert back to 11-13 ish C (53 ish F) next week. I want either sunglasses and shorts weather, or take the kids to school on a sled weather!!!

(So there ;-)



...now it's worth $0.11 more. Glad I didn't sell ;-)

Gas Rip Off-I Mean Prices

So.... why again, is it, that gas has fallen to below a dollar a litre back east but it's still close to $1.30 here in BC?



A Question About The U.S. Dollar

OK everyone... I need your input!!

I have a wee bit of U.S. stashed (not that much... sigh) and I want to sell it when the exchange rates will give me the most profit. At the moment the greenback is worth about $0.09 more than our loonie.

Yesterday it was worth $0.10 more, which makes me think I should sell now because maybe it's sliding? Dunno. Any thoughts?

There are certain things I understand, like dollar cost averaging, for example. I intend to continue with our mutual fund purchases through this market slump.

However the factors which influence the dollar are not something I'm up on. Help!!! Anyone have any ideas where it's going? Up? Down?

Thanks :-)


Dreary Fall...

...is here!!

We had the strangest September here. It's as if the last half of August (which was dismal) and September swapped weather. Up until the day before yesterday, it felt as though it was still full blown summer.

Now it's cooling down a bit... it rained today and yesterday... and I can't wait for frosty mitten weather!!

I've had enough of the heat. I want to be on "snow watch" again - you know, when you're at home and it's one of those grey days, and you glance out the window to see little powdery flakes floating down from the sky? Oh hurry up!!! Bring it on!!!


What To Do When Your Laptop Won't Power Up

Here's a tidbit I learned today that I thought I'd pass on:

My laptop wouldn't power up (GASP!!!! ohhhh noooooo!!!!!!). There was no response at all when I pressed the start button, regardless of whether or not it was plugged in.

We took it in to the Best Buy Geek Squad, and the first thing our Geek (sorry, couldn't resist) did was take the battery out. Then he plugged in the laptop, and presto, power.

Apparently sometimes the batteries can move so that one or more of the connectors aren't touching, and rather than allowing the computer to short out, it simply powers down to protect itself (cool huh).

The solution is to make sure that the laptop is turned off, remove the battery, then plug the laptop in using the power cord. Once it's powered up, tip it over and reinsert the battery. At this point you may have to recharge the battery, as it may have become drained (mine was).

Ok DON'T LAUGH. This was news to me!!! I'm a laptop newbie ;-)


Here's A Money Funny For Ya

I was surfing for finance tips and found this excerpt from a Saturday Night Live skit... it made me laugh. Below is the dialogue of a husband and wife (Steve Martin and Amy Poehler) in their kitchen as they talk about money. Thanks to the blog on http://www.getrichslowly.org for posting this, as I missed the aired episode:

Wife: Oh, I just can’t get these numbers to add up

Husband: Like we’re never going to get out of this hole.

Wife: Credit card debt, does it ever end?

Salesman: [entering from who-knows-where] Maybe I can help.

Husband: We sure could use it.

Wife: We’ve tried debt consolidation companies.

Husband: We’ve even taken out loans to help make payments.

Salesman: Well, you’re not the only one. Did you know that millions of Americans live with debt they can not control? That’s why I developed this unique new program for managing your debt. [Holds up book] It’s called, “Don’t Buy Stuff You Cannot Afford”

Wife: Let me see that. [Reading from book] If you don’t have any money, you should not buy anything. Hmmm … sounds interesting.

Husband: Sounds confusing.

Wife: I don’t know honey, this makes a lot of sense. There’s a whole section here on how to buy expensive things using money you’ve “saved”.

Husband: Give me that. And where do you get this “saved” money?

Salesman: I tell you where and how in Chapter 3.

Wife: OK, what if I want something but I don’t have any money?

Salesman: You don’t buy it.

Husband: Let’s say, I don’t have enough money to buy something. Should I buy it anyway?

Salesman: No.

Husband: Now I’m really confused.

Salesman: It’s a little confusing at first.

Wife: What if you have the money, can you buy something?

Salesman: Yes.

Wife: Now, take the money away. Same story?

Salesman: Nope. You shouldn’t buy stuff when you don’t have the money.

Husband: I think I’ve got it. I buy something I want, then hope that I can pay for it. Right?

Salesman: No. You make sure you have money, then you buy it.

Husband: Oh, then you buy it! But shouldn’t you buy it before you have the money?

Salesman: No.

Wife: Why not?

Salesman: It’s in the book. It’s only one page long. The advice is priceless and the book is free.

Wife: Wow. I like the sound of that.

Husband: Yeah, we can put it on our credit card.

Announcer: So, get out of debt now. Write for your free copy of “Don’t Buy Stuff You Cannot Afford”. And, if you order now, you’ll also receive, “Seriously, If You Don’t Have the Money, Don’t Buy It” along with a twelve month subscription to “Stop Buying Stuff” Magazine. Order today.


Songwriting Gone Soooo Wrong....

Ohhhh nooooo.... oh my ears!!!! Make it stop!!! AAAAAAhhhhhhhh.....

"I've Got A Crush On Stephen Harper" song


Don't Try Taking Mine Back!!!

Oh geeeez... And they wonder why we don't take our government seriously. It turns out that some of the Climate Action Dividend cheques issued earlier in the year were sent to people who didn't qualify to receive them.

Now they are in the process of trying to get the $1.8 million back (18,000 misdirected cheques). I wonder how much money this effort will take?

While I understand that the criteria to determine eligibility for the payment was based on tax returns that may not have accurately reflected the status of the recipient (alive, and residing in BC) as of December 31, 2007, there should have been some kind of allowance for this. For example, if a recipient has since become deceased, the money should go to his or her estate, rather than it having to be returned to the government by the grieving family.

But what do I know... other than the fact that I'm not giving mine back!! lol


Hmmm... Not Sure...

The first time I tried Chrome, I found it much faster than IE, and I quite liked it. Now, however, anytime I enter a search term, it gets hung up with a "resolving proxy" message. I'm sure it's fixable, but I haven't had time to look into it. Instead I've been going back to IE...



Google's new browser!!! I'm definitely trying that. I'll let you know how it goes...


Patents, Anyone?

Wow!! This is cool: http://www.google.com/patents

I had no idea it was there. Now all I have to do is come up with a reason to look up a patent ;-)


An Unexpected Effect Of The Pill

S0 I'm catching up on my reading - all my newspapers were saved for me while we were gone. This morning I read this article in the Sunday August 17th Province: "Pill Affects Sexiness Of Men's Scent".

I don't know about you, but I find this interesting (and slightly hilarious). Supposedly the way a woman's libido interprets a man's scent is influenced by whether or not she is on the pill, which can cause a woman's preferences to change when she goes on or off it.

Nature encourages a woman to be attracted to a man who is genetically different from her, in order to result in healthy offspring (you know, it's that old "don't have kids with your cousin" thing). Apparently this changes when women go on the pill: instead they become more attracted to genetically similar men.

So... could this actually play a part in the breakdown of relationships, as a women's scent preference is altered by a change in her pill usage? Hmmmm...


I'll Be Back....

....after August 18th. We're away on a family vacation until then, so I'm posting this same message on all of my blogs.

(I thought I'd be organized and write some posts and post date them for while I'm gone, but that never happened. Life got in the way, I guess ;-)

See you soon!


Man Beheaded On Greyhound Bus

I used to ride Greyhound buses all the time and thought nothing of falling asleep with headphones on, next to a stranger. You feel safe because of the other people around you... as long as your wallet is tucked away where no one can sneak it from you, what's there to worry about? Yikes...


Can You Imagine...

...if a rock slide like the one yesterday happens during the 2010 games??? Niiiice.

Seriously!!! What would they do? The alternative to the Sea To Sky Highway, if you need to travel between Vancouver and Whistler, is one of three things:

1) flying at high cost
2) ferry transport (using a dock that's been out of service for years)
3) driving for about eight hours

Kevin Falcon (ooh I wouldn't want to be him!!) is "very confident we'll have a situation in place to deal with these things...We will have contingency plans."

Ok... when? The games are less than 2 years away. Best get started on that now, folks.


Tobacco Fighting Cancer

Now there's a concept!! I read an interesting article today about a customized vaccine therapy using tobacco plants.

The cancer being studied is follicular B-cell lymphoma. The treatment method involves using a virus that attacks only tobacco plants, and altering that virus so that it contains DNA from a patient's cancer. The researchers then infect the plant with this cancer carrying virus, to generate the production, in the infected plant, of the protein antibodies also seen in the patient's tumor. The antibodies are then extracted from the plant and purified, and injected back into the patient.

Apparently the advantage of the plant based approach is that it's very fast (it takes about a week), whereas using animals to make vaccines can take months.

Imagine that... a healthy use for tobacco plants ;-)


I Still Love My Dog...


This time it's the clumpy chunks of shedded fur everywhere. Not just individual hairs, but giant, chair sized clumps (ok I exaggerate). If you think "oh, at least you can see those to pick them up, so it's easier to clean than single hairs" think again, because he also sheds single hairs.

Now because I truly do love my dog, I'll look at the upside.

(what, you mean now?) ok ok. Hang on a sec.

Still thinking.

Um... ok, well, thanks to ALL THAT FUR, he's super fun in the snow (being that he's a Spitz dawg and all ;-) He loves the snow as much as the kids and I do. If he didn't have a bum hip, I'd get at harness for our toboggan. The kids would have a riot, and puppy would be completely on board and enthusiastic.

Also, because I truly truly love my doggie, I will rise above and do my best to overlook the fact that we can't walk past any other doggies without mine going BALLISTIC. Given the fact that he's 70 pounds, that means that I have to grab his collar and use most of my strength to DRAG him past the scene of the action. Since this is not my idea of fun, this means that to walk him in peace, I have to wait until at least 11:00 pm, at which time most folks have already returned home from their dog walking duties.

The upside in this case is easier to identify: if you're a burglar scoping out a new neighbourhood and you see me and my crazy canine, you're likely to think "hmmm... that one looks vicious - I'll skip that house."

Plus I'm on a first name basis with all the staff at our local hospitals 'cause of all my recurring dislocated arm joints (again, I exaggerate).

Truthfully, I'd be lost without him. He's my third child. (No wait! That's my Canon 5D. The dog's my fourth child ;-)

In any case, as much as I complain, I couldn't be happier that we're his forever home :-)


A Dog And His Yucky Gross Slimy Things

I love my dog.

Not so much for the tennis balls he chews and salivates all over, and then sneaks in the house.

Yes, I know, that a slimy ball is better than live mice. And while my cat earns her keep through spider killing, my big ol' puppy dawg (70+ lbs) earns his keep by barking loudly when he hears strange sounds around the house.

It's all good. Except for the fact that he protects his balls (tennis ;-) like they were gold, and he hoards as many as he can in the dining room. Bottom line: watch your step, and be prepared to wash your hands after redepositing the balls to the back yard (oh and stand out of the way, because once a ball is thrown, he has no regard as to who or what he knocks over in his quest to chase it). Opening the sliding glass door is also helpful.

At the moment he has only one inside, underneath my chair. It was green when it came home from the store, and now it's an undefinable combination of dirt and dog spit colour. I'm supposed to pick that up???

Yes, I must love my dog.


Busted With Backlash

Phew, for a minute there I thought I lived in an inhumane world.

Luckily for my peace of mind, the NDP has given Kevin Falcon the reprimand he so sorely deserves after his inappropriate comments about the July 1st police suicide intervention and resulting traffic delays.

I agree that he should be forced to apologize. How are the police supposed to deal with future similar incidences if there is a precedent set that traffic flow has higher priority than human life?

(I wonder what the elderly lady who was rescued thinks of all this?)


Kevin Falcon Is Being Set Up...

...to look really, really bad by the press. That's the only explanation for his claiming to be irritated by being stuck in traffic, all so that the police could save a life.

Surely he can't really be that callous. (If it had been his mother on that bridge, would he not have gladly sat idling in his car for as long as it took?)

The sad reality is that so many people out there probably feel as he did, and are more focused on the six hour bridge closure rather than the fact that the woman was saved in the end.

End of post. I am too angry to write any more.


Ha! They Really DO Squeak.

Mice, that is. My fierce spider killer Manx has discovered that she is also adept at rodent nabbing. The only problem is, she likes to bring them into the house, still alive, so that she can play with them.

The first one found it's way into Alyssa's bedroom in a mad frantic attempt to escape the cat. Alyssa was amused and delighted (as was the cat!). Fortunately the mouse's visit in the house was short lived. My husband managed to chase it down the hall, into the kitchen, where it jumped into a box. From there he was able to set it free outside.

Today mouse and pursuer came through the front door (ha!! never will I be fooled again... I'll be thinking twice about letting her in next time she meows!!!). To make a long story short I had to move the basement suite fridge to catch Minnie, which prompted some squeaking. Poor thing. I hope I didn't injure it. In the end, I was able to box and release this one as well.

This is my new reality: the hot summer "oh my gosh open the door" weather has arrived at the same time as my cat's new hunting prowess. I think I'm going to start a mouse log. As of today, we're at two and counting...

Oh Canada...

Happy Canada Day, everyone!

Well, to carry on with that theme, I'm watching Canadian Idol at the moment. Not really sure what I think. There isn't really anyone I'm rooting for, because, uh, I'm not really sure if I like any of them. My husband and I both agree that in our opinion, this is the least appealing group of finalists since the show first aired several seasons ago. (Because, you know, I could do any better?? lol). What the heck, hand me a mike. I'll show everyone what bad really is ;-)



Ooh!! Some cat ads!!! That only took three days... lol, good to know (not sure why, but what the heck ;-)



LOL Still running the MB ads I see. This is a good test of the crawler time frame. I love cats... cats are cute...

Another Day In The Blog Of... (cats)

Isn't AdSense fun. I'm still waiting to reach the minimum payout level so I can actually collect some money.

I'm impressed, to be honest, at how easy it is to use. I haven't had any real complaints. It's not their fault, after all, that my blogs don't generate that much traffic yet.

I'm also impressed with how well their crawler (is that what it's called?) scans my sites for relevant content with which to populate the ads. Hmmm. I wonder what this post will generate. Hey, let's test it out:

Cats, cats (meow), I love cats. My sister is cat sitting a pregnant cat. She might even adopt a baby cat (I know they're called kittens but I don't want to confuse the crawler. Is that actually what it's called?). I have two cats. One that claws the furniture (OK well they both do that) and the other one who does a fine job of killing spiders.

Enough about cats? OK, let's check the (cats) ads...


Bye Bye Bullet...

So our new Magic Bullet bit the dust. Of course it was me who was using it, so I get the fun poked at me.

I really don't think it was my fault. I was making a smoothie with milk, banana slices, and some chunks of VERY soft pear (it was delicious, btw), and all of a sudden during the blending process, it just quit. I tried every imaginable fix, including changing blades, changing electrical outlets, etc. etc., but it simply no longer works.

We bought it at Costco, which is at least one thing in our favour. I looked high and low (and everywhere in between!!) for the receipt but to no avail. To truly understand the irony in this you have to know that I keep EVERY receipt that comes into our house. I might need to start an anti-hoarding blog. The one time I actually need one of the silly things, and it's nowhere to be found. To add further insult to injury, my hubby's cigarettes receipt, also from the same day at Costco, is sitting right there on top of the black bookshelf.

"Neener neener neeeeeener!!! I'm from stinky cigarettes!!! You'll never need me for anything!!! Here I am right here!!!!"


Anyway, back to the "thing in our favour". It turns out that if you have all the original packaging (which we do, thanks to hoarder me!!) you don't need the receipt at Costco, 'cause they can scan the bar code.

I love that place....


Still Customizing This Layout

I'm still trying to figure out the best layout for my blogs. I used one Blogger template for awhile, and now I've switched to another (actually I've used about 3 or 4 ;-) What I'm looking for this time is content that stretches the entire width of the page, although I still can't customize it the way I want it without tinkering with the HTML.

Oh well... I'll get to that when I get it it...


Awesome Coffee :-)

Ha! I KNEW it. Coffee IS good for you.

According to this latest study, coffee can reduce death rates in healthy people. The effect appears to be the same for decaf as well, so there is something else in the coffee that is providing the benefit and counteracting the negative effects of too much caffeine.

Now I realize that a newer study will come out soon that will say the opposite, but since I am a fan of coffee, I'm happy about this latest twist on conventional wisdom. Works for me.

That's all for now... I'm off to grind some beans...


Is Friday the 13th Actually Safer?

According to Dutch statistics it is. I don't know about you, but it makes sense to me.

It's pretty amusing when you think about it. Did the combination of "Friday" and "13" ever pose any real tangible danger to begin with? Instead it serves as a reminder to everyone out there that there's no harm in being careful. What the heck - might as well look both ways before crossing the street.

I can draw a parallel between this and my own general anxiety. I don't think I'm worry-ridden enough to actually be labeled as "GAD", but I have been told by many that I'm, uh, paranoid. So I guess that means that for me, every day is Friday the 13th.

Interesting... so then, logic would suggest that I'm safer than the average person EVERY day. Ha!! I knew it. Paranoia is a GOOD thing ;-)


What My Blog Is Worth

Here's something fun I tried, which I found on http://www.johnchow.com/ :

How much money is your blog worth?

It's a short survey you can take to see what your blog is worth. I'm quite certain I answered some of the questions wrong (I was guessing at some of them) because it says that my blog is worth $2,202,920.

(echos of maniacal laughter)

Wahooo... if it's not currently accurate, then let it be a near future projection ;-)


The Magic Bullet

My husband bought one of those Magic Bullets. Now he's blending everything in sight. He just finished eating ice cream blended with milk, and said: "I have to practice" (for what I'm not sure). To me it's an excuse to eat ice cream, which I fully endorse.

I'm happy because supposedly the thing grates cheese. I HATE grating cheese. I nearly lose about a pound of skin off the tips of my fingers every time I do so. If the Magic Bullet does in fact grate cheese the way the infomercial demonstrates, it'll be worth the $50 my hubby paid for it.



I'm still here!!

When I created this blog I thought it would be the most frequently updated, because of it's open content. "Anything goes" so to speak, but apparently not as often as I had thought.

And now as I write this, I hear the kids getting a little too active (i.e. house destroying) for my liking, so I better go do some parenting...


David Cook

I know I'm a few days late but YAY David Cook!! I wasn't expecting him to win American Idol - I thought David Archuleta would win simply because the audience response always seemed to favour him. David Cook was my favourite though, and had been since he performed "Billy Jean".

I've been taping the show since the second season (watching since the first but that was pre-kids, so no taping necessary) and up until that performance had never rewound a performance. I rewound that one about five times, saved it and made my husband listen, and logged onto iTunes and ALMOST purchased it. That's pretty high praise for me.

Anyway, in my books the right David won.


OCD and Me!

...and Oprah. For those of you who didn't watch this episode, it involved Dr. Oz liaising with another doc who used "exposure therapy" which basically entails embracing what you're afraid of, I guess in the hope that you can be desensitized to it (I don't think afraid-of-flying-me boarding a plane to Vegas recently counts 'cause I had to drink wine to get through it ;-)

This doc took things a little far, though - as far as having those poor germ conscious folk touch the inside of a dumpster and then lick their hands.

(How many of you are with me when I say that not wanting to do this is NOT OCD, but just good plain common sense??)

I'm sure I have some degree of OCD. A friend once tried to convince me that I'm paranoid, and I vehemently disagreed (planes DO crash sometimes, after all). What IF I left the house unlocked? Doesn't it make sense just to double check the lock before you leave? If I ever left the coffee pot turned on I could burn the house down, so I don't think it's unreasonable to double check that either.

I will admit, though, that my need to carry ALL my stuff and not let anyone help me is a little... uh... off the beaten path. Not that I have control issues or anything ;-)


YEAH baby!!!!!

Wahoo!!! Here's a silver lining to having to leave the kids for four days: the weather forecast!! (It's maybe 11 or 12 degrees here). I'm going to have to pack some summer clothes!!! Weeeeee!!!!






Driving In Spite of the Cost of Fuel

CTV has a poll on their website today asking respondents at which gas price increase point would they stop driving. As a non-driver, the answer is easy for me, but I was really surprised at the results of this poll; it really highlights how cars are such an integral a part of our current lifestyle.

I have a friend who falls into the last category of this poll (would never stop driving). Now I see that she's not alone!



Risk of Frost Tonight

You have GOT to be kidding me.

My poor tomato seedlings - they're dying (literally) to be transplanted outdoors. They're outgrowing the teeny tiny little pots I put them in, assuming they'd be outside by now. (sigh). At this rate I'm going to have to start everything else indoors as well, or we won't be eating any of it until September. What the heck, we have the basement. I can bring in a bunch of dirt, and make rows on the floor for the carrots and radishes...


They're Doing What With Our Luggage??

Scottsboro Ala. has a nickname of "the lost luggage capital of the world" because of their Unclaimed Baggage Center. Mishandled and unclaimed baggage ends up there, the contents sold off to bargain hunters who travel to visit the centre.

What I want to know is how the baggage gets there in the first place. Are there that many people who can travel with so many pieces of baggage that they don't claim one when it's lost? Have they forgotten about it?

The only other alternative is that the airlines are not being as thorough as necessary in finding the lost bags. Do NONE of the bags have ID tags? Is there no system in place to hold and back track the path of bags, no record of physical inventory to match up lost bags with descriptions from those filing claims?

This leads me to wonder if the airlines get a cut of the eventual resale of the baggage contents.

Seriously, I don't get it. Lost means GONE, not on the way to some claim centre with stocked shelves and priced contents, complete with a dry cleaning centre for all of the clothes. If they have the luggage to sell, then it's not lost. It's stolen.

In some countries, "lost" luggage eventually goes to charity. This, at least, is not a profit mongering scheme but a silver lining to an unfortunate mishap. However when something that is "lost" is eventually re-sold, I get a little suspicious.


This and That

What did I do without my laptop and wireless router? At the moment I'm watching the late news, downloading music and blogging at the same time. Talk about multi-tasking ;-)

Oh yes I'm also trying to stay awake, listening to my husband make toast in the kitchen, and fighting off a toffee craving. Hmmmm. I'm looking at my cat in his shirt (he has a wound on his shoulder that I'm trying to cover so that he won't lick or scratch - we now look like those people who dress their pets), and now eating the toffees. Listening to a song I've downloaded, and wishing I still had some toffees left...

Hey! It's midnight. I guess I'll publish this now...


Snow In April

OK it's happening. Snow.

I've given up trying to understand or predict... instead I'm just trying to remember where I put the mittens and scarves.



But... it's almost May!!!

I just saw the weather forecast (lower mainland, BC) and we could have SNOW this weekend. I just don't know what else to say about that...


Ok, I was wrong...

'Bye Kristy!! Too bad. I hope you get your horse back...

Omg, LOVE it... surfing other blogs and found this:


C'mon, everyone, vote!! (I voted yes)


My Idol Prediction

Ok so I'm notoriously bad at this. The contestants that I like never seen to do well (except for in season one - Kelly Clarkson was my favourite). This year David Cook and Kristy Lee Cook are my faves.

I was impressed by all of them tonight though. Mariah Carey - wow. I think Syesha did an amazing job - singing one of my favourite MC songs. I couldn't believe the judges going on about "not many people know that song" Really??? I don't know how you can be a Mariah fan and NOT have heard (and loved) Vanishing.

Anyway, enough procrastinating, Jeanne - pick one! Make a prediction! Ok. Who I think will be eliminated next is.... (drum roll):

Brook White

She's wonderful and absolutely real, but I think she's had better weeks. Dunno. I really can't decide at this point... I'm just choosing randomly...


Spelling Quiz

This is kind of fun... I want to link to the blog that I got it from but I can't find it now (page expired). Sorry :-(

Your Spelling is Perfect

You got 10/10 correct.

Your spelling is excellent. You also have a great memory and eye for detail.

First Post

Now that I'm addicted to blogging, let's see how many of these blogs I can keep up ;-) I wanted one that is not restricted to a certain subject matter, so here we go!

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Twitter Updates