Life According to lights

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Location: Middle of Nowhere, Northern Ontario, Canada

Friday, December 30

Happy New Year from the lights family!

I'm running a little late today. We decided last night that we're going to the cottage tonight rather than Saturday morning so while Dave's at work, I'm stuck with all the packing. Yay. We're staying there until Monday afternoon so I'll be offline for a few days. Coco, please don't have the baby until I return, mkay?

I hope you all have a very safe and fun-filled NYE and that 2006 is your best year so far.

love & hugs...

lights out

Thursday, December 29

Speaking of Canadian Hick Heritage

Hope my brother won't mind me sharing his picture with you but Coco's comment about our Canadian hick heritage I had to share. *snicker*

He does a lot of ice fishing while he's off work in the wintertime. He seemed very happy to open this present. I wish I had thought of it.

After Christmas dinner we went to visit the true hicks/rednecks when we went to visit Dave's brothers. I really should have taken pictures because mere words are not enough to adequately describe them. We weren't there for long, thankfully, but at least we made our one a year appearance. It's not that I don't like them, I do, I just don't have anything in common with them. My one SIL and I get along well. We both wonder what kind of drugs we were on in our teens that we ended up marrying into this family.

Wednesday, December 28

Yep, another one!

We all had a lot of laughs watching the puppies open their presents. I managed to get Holly's froggie away from her and re-wrapped it for her to open on Christmas Day.

Her favorite toy was one that Casey got so I guess we'll be getting her one next time we get to Wallymart.

After the gifts were all opened we put out the snacks/lunch. They were my responsibility and I made a nacho dip, spinach dip, crab dip, veggies and dip, a shrimp ring, and my sister added water chestnuts wrapped in bacon. We were still full from breakfast but that didn't stop us from making a major dent in the snackage. Then the cards came out again and once again I kicked everyone's ass in hearts with a final score of 6. I? Rule at hearts! Actually, I was very lucky, but I didn't admit that to them.

While the boys played guitar I got Sara playing Elf bowling (courtesy of Swami). Her and my Dad laughed themselves silly.

By 1:30 we gave up waiting and started passing out presents and the late-comers finally arrived. We open presents one at a time going around the room so that we all get to see what each person gets. This is much easier now that the kids are a little older.

I got a gold anklet from Dave, a green Roots zippered hoodie from Jamie, a red fleece zippered sweater and turtleneck from my parents (and their annual $500 cheque), and the new Blue Rodeo CD and some scrapbooking stuff from my sister, who drew my name.

The sweater that we bought for Sara was a huge hit. She never took it off the entire time we were there. Jamie was very happy about the vacuum cleaner we gave him. We all teased him about getting old to be excited about that kind of present.

More pics...

I tried posting more than one picture at a time but have given up.

Jamie - my son, in the white tshirt, and Matt, in black, jamming on Christmas morning. My parents paid for Jamie's guitar lessons when he was Matt's age and they were really enjoying hearing the results. He was playing some Neil Young and sounded great. I told him that it was nice to hear him play something I recognized rather than the head-banging shit he played when he lived at home.

We had to wait for my brother and his family to arrive. We'd already had a big breakfast and the kids were getting anxious so we were trying to distract them.

Christmas Pics!

We had a picture perfect Christmas Day. It wasn't cold and we woke up to great big fluffy flakes gently falling. It was so pretty.

Dave and I got to my parent's house on Christmas Eve around 8pm. They had already eaten so we had some leftover meat pie, got settled in, made ourselves a drink and then the card games started. We played hearts and I won with a score of 9. Woohoo! I rock!

While we were playing the topic of movies came up. My Dad has lived in this small town all his life and can be a little narrow-minded at times, but he is getting better about his prejudices after our numerous heated discusions and he's becoming much more tolerant of lifestyles that differ from his. That being said, he started telling my sister and I about this new western that he wants to go see at the theatre. He's going on about how excited he is about it because there just aren't any good westerns anymore. I sat there listening and just knew he was talking about Brokeback Mountain so I asked him what the name of the movie was. Sure enough, he was talking about Brokeback. Being the evil child that I am, I sat and thought about it for a few minutes before I told him that he probably shouldn't go to it. He protested and asked me why he shouldn't go. When I told him it was about gay cowboys my sister sprayed her diet coke out through her nose. My ribs were sore by the time we finally stopped. I can just imagine the look on my Dad's face if he had actually gone to the movie. Dad took it in stride though, even when we continued to tease him throughout the next couple of days.

Saturday, December 24

Merry Christmas!!!

I had great intentions of getting around to everyone's blogs yesterday and wishing you all Season's Greetings, but work was crazy and then we ended up with company last night. I was feeling so tired when we got home from work but when I opened the mailbox and found a card from Miss Nookie I perked right up. Today I've got a ton of stuff to make and wrap and pack before we head to my parent's house later today.

It's kind of doubtful that I'll be back online before Monday night but I might be able to sneak a few minutes online from Mom's computer.

We made this snowman last night and had a big snowball fight. And yes Carey, I was a little drunk at the time. He does have arms, you just can't see them in this picture. I think we need to find him a hat and a scarf before we leave though. It was a perfect night for snowmen and snowballs and we had a blast. It was mild and the snow was coming down in big fluffly, sticky flakes. We're definitely going to have a white Christmas.

I didn't get a chance to tell you all that on Thursday the boss brought me a little present from him and Mean Jean. If she keeps this up I'm going to be forced to drop the Mean part of her name. It was a bottle of her homemade wine and a box of chocolates. Yesterday the boss told me that I could work from home on Thursday and Friday next week if they make it back from Ottawa. He will call and leave a message for me if he won't be able to get back. I was pretty happy about that. I'll be able to sleep in for 11 days in a row! Woohoo! I'm more excited about that than Christmas.

Last night, after playing in the snow, we came inside and had a drink by the fire with Kade and Sophie. I pulled out a box of toys for her kids and they were having fun on the other side of the rec room. A while later Holly comes over and jumps up on the couch with her new froggie (that was wrapped and under the tree) in her mouth. Sure enough, she had found one of her presents and had unwrapped it while we weren't paying attention. Holly loves Christmas and knows which presents are hers. I think I'll try to get it away from her today and re-wrap it. If she ever lets it go. She's walking around with it in her mouth at the moment and she slept with it under her paw last night.

Okay, I've gotta get my act together. I hope you all have a safe, happy and healthy holdiay and that Santa brings you exactly what you want. See you all in a couple days!

Thursday, December 22

So maybe I don't want a basement in my next house

Last night at 4am my friends Howie and Nicky awoke to a sound that didn't seem right. Howie went downstairs to check things out and stepped into a foot of water. A hose on the washing machine had broken and flooded their entire finished basement. All of their Christmas presents were floating, and their furniture ruined. They've got the water out now and are just waiting to hear from their insurance agent. Merry friggin Christmas.

They have such bad luck at Christmas. Last year their youngest daughter had chicken pox, and two years ago they found a weasel in their other daughter's bedroom and had to evict it. But this year? Takes the moose cake.

Wednesday, December 21

Give me strength...

In less than one hour I have to endure a pizza lunch put on by Mean Jean. I swear she must have read my rant about the company doing nothing for the employees at Christmas over at the Round place.

Yesterday she came around and asked everyone if they liked pizza and said that they were going to order pizza today. I have a conundrum. Should I just be grateful that I'm getting a free lunch or is it okay for me to say that I'd rather eat raw snails/slugs with the Weavers and Judd, man than to have to sit with Mean Jean and listen to the boss man stutter and stammer through a speech.

Monday, December 19

Raclette Dinner

On Saturday night Dave and I were treated to something new for us. Kade and Sophie invited us to a Raclette Dinner at her house. I'd never even heard of them before but once I saw the Raclette I remembered seeing one in Canadian Tire a couple weeks ago. Apparently they're very popular in Quebec.

If you've never been to one, it's something like a fondue only the meat and veggies are cooked on top of the Raclette. We had chunks of chicken and moose as well as shrimp. For veggies we had onion, orange and yellow peppers, mushrooms (sorry Bob) and a baked potato. The meat and veggies were placed on the Raclette to cook with a little margerine and Bovril liquid beef seasoning. While that's cooking we drank wine and talked and cut up our baked potato. When the meat and veggies were done we put it along with some baked potato into one of those pie shaped trays then topped with cheese (she had swiss and something else that I can't remember). You then put it on the bottom level where the cheese melts on top of everything. It was SOOOOOO delicious! I have now added a Raclette to my Christmas wish list.

So have you ever been to one of these dinners? Or am I simply the last to know about Raclettes? It was a perfectly lovely evening.

Friday, December 16

There goes the neighborhood

For Seana and anyone else who didn't hear about the excitement in my sleepy little neighborhood this summer. My house in on the highway and there are 5 homes in a row. We're spaced out fairly well but we're fairly close by boonie standards. The first house is a tiny little thing and it's owned by Buddy. Iris is his common-law wife. Her dad lived with them. During the summer, like us, they'd live at their cottage.

On Labor Day weekend we were out floating around in the middle of the lake when the cell phone rang and we heard that Iris's dad had been murdered in the house. Then we found out it was Buddy's son that shot him. I was totally freaked. I still can't believe that it happened. The freakiest part is that this time a year ago, Buddy and his son were borrowing our garage to do a bunch of work on a car. I still find it difficult to wrap my head around the thought that a murderer was on my property. Well, technically he wasn't a murderer then, but you know what I mean.

The son asked Dave what he owed him for the use of the garage and Dave told him to give us each a tattoo (seeing as the son was a tattoo dude) and he'd call it even. The first thing I thought of when I heard was "There goes our tattoos!" *snicker*

The house sits empty now. It wasn't much of a prize to begin with. There's a river that runs past (read: through) it and last summer it flooded and washed out the highway. That family has very bad luck. I'd be afraid of next summer arriving if I were them.

Wednesday, December 14

This doesn't happen often

I have nothing to say. Kidding! I always have something to say!

On the way to work yesterday morning, between Dave and I, we saw three shooting stars.

I stayed up until 11pm to watch the TAR final last night and I regret it this morning.

Last night I prepared 46 Christmas cards for mailing. Every year I say I'm not going to do it but I always do.

I'm torn about what to do for New Year's Eve. Some of our friends are going to a party/dance at the Legion and if I want to go there I'd have to buy tickets right now. But that's not what I really want to do. I prefer spending New Year's Eve either at the cottage or at home with another couple and a few drinks and snacks.

My steel supplier here at work just brought me a bottle of Carolina's Irish Cream and glasses in a gift box. Woohoo! I love being in Purchasing at Christmas!

Sunday, December 11

Wanna hear about the hot date I had?

Dave and I did our once a year movie date and went to see Walk the Line on Friday night. I've been wanting to see it ever since I started hearing about it and I wasn't disappointed. I loved it and was sad when it ended.

We don't normally stick around in town after work because Holly's at home all day and we don't want to leave her alone any longer than we have to. On Friday we brought her to town and let her have a play day with my sister's dog, another Shih Tzu. After work we did a little Christmas shopping and then went to the 6:30 show because I didn't think I'd be able to stay awake for the 9:40 one. Getting old sucks. *snicker*

After the movie we went and picked up Holly and then decided to just grab a couple subs from our favorite sub place and head home. The sub place is located right beside an adults only store and while Dave was getting the subs I noticed a sign on the door saying it was closed for the staff Christmas party. When Dave came back with the subs, I asked him if he wanted to go look around in the store. The look on his face was priceless. Imagine his disappointment when he found out it was closed. He so thought he was getting lucky. *snort*

Yesterday we had our annual Friends Christmas Dinner. Normally I have it at my house because I have the most room and a table that can actually seat all of us but this year one of the other couples hosted it. It was a great time. There were six couples, tons of food, plenty of drinks and so many laughs that my ribs hurt today. We played Mad Gab and Gestures. Got home around 4:30am so I'm doing a whole pile of nothing today.

All in all it was a pretty good weekend. I can't wait to move closer to town so that we can do the movie thing more than once a year. Next time though I'll make sure that Dave doesn't shake Salt and Vinegar seasoning on my bag of buttered popcorn. It wasn't a good combination for me. The bonus was that the mega Diet Coke had enough caffeine in it to keep me awake til about 1am. I'll probably have to have one for breakfast tomorrow after the Survivor finale.

Thursday, December 8

You're invited!!!

Today is a very special day. It's Swami's birthday and I think we should have a little blogparty for her. Birthday suits are optional.

Drinks are on me!

Wednesday, December 7

What might have been

My grandson would have been seven this year. His name was James Jacob and he wasn't in this world for long (less than an hour) but he changed my life. He was an anencephalic baby.

I remember the day my son called me (yes, over the phone) and told me I was going to be a grandmother at the age of 38. I wasn't the least bit happy. He was 19, unmarried (not that I wanted him to be married) and he was living with his girlfriend in her parent's basement. I remember being so sad at the thought of him having to go through the same challenges that his Dad and I went through when I found myself pregnant and unmarried at age 17. My hopes and dreams for my little boy's future were shattered in that moment.

And as the days went by I was overcome by guilt from my new understanding of what I had put my parents through all those years ago. I had always felt guilty but knowing how sad I must have made my parents added to it. One night, during one of my many teary phone calls to my Mom, we discussed, for the first time, those weeks after I came home and told my parents I was pregnant. She told me that she was proud of me and how Dave and I had done so well for ourselves given our shaky start in our married life and that I should never feel guilty. I thank JJ for that. It was an enormous weight lifted from my shoulders.

Plans were made and slowly I began to warm to the idea of having a grandchild. My friends started calling me Nana or Granny, just to get me used to it they said. *grin* Dave and I started thinking about taking the little guy (because for some reason we always thought of the baby as a boy) camping and fishing with us and slowly we started to get a little bit excited about our future grandson. We were concerned though because we didn't see our son and his girlfriend's relationship lasting and we began to worry about having a grandchild whose life we might not be able to be a part of.

In mid-November we got another phone call. This one made me very sad too but for a different reason. During her ultrasound they discovered that JJ was anencephalic which meant that his brain/skull would not form correctly and he would not survive outside of the womb. Arrangements were made for JJ to be born at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and on December 7th we, along with her parents, were by their side as their tiny little son, my Grandson, was born and died. He was so tiny, less than a pound.

I still remember that day like it was yesterday. After a short service at the hospital we went back to the hotel to make phone calls. A Leahy special was on tv. I cried and talked with my Mom for about an hour. Dave and I went to the Hard Rock Cafe for supper and a couple drinks (per my Mom's instructions to get out of the room for a while) and we watched "Something About Mary". It was a surreal day.

I think of JJ every time I drive by the cemetary where he is buried. And every December. And when I see my friends who teased me about being a Grandma at 38 with their grandchildren. And many other times. I wonder who he would have looked like; what kind of personality he would have had; what might have been.

Nana loves you JJ.


Can somebody pass me a Kleenex?

This is one of those times that I almost wish I had a private blog. Not that I didn't want to share this story, just that I hate to make people sad. As today approached I couldn't stop thinking that finally I had a place where I could write about JJ. I hope I haven't stirred up sad memories for anyone. I am still debating about pushing the publish button.

My son and his girlfriend didn't stay together for long. By spring they had parted ways. They are still friendly when they see each other and she called me a few months ago to get my address to return some of my son's baby pictures she had borrowed.

Tuesday, December 6


I just got an email from one of my best friends. Her parents won the lottery! 24 million split between three couples! Woofreakinhoo!!! I'm sooo happy for them! They're really nice people. I've been to their house with Leasa for lunch and other times. So nice to see someone win it that could use it too.

They've been playing the same numbers for 21 years and finally hit. Imagine. They're in their 70s and have about 8 daughters and a pile of grandchildren. It's gonna be a happy Christmas in that family!

So now I think I'm really never going to win the lottery. Last year my first cousin won and now my friend's parents. The odds are against me.

Thursday, December 1

Odds and Ends

Lost was soooo good last night. Dad? *shivers*

Another log truck rolled over on the highway yesterday. No idea why because the road conditions were good and it happened on a straight, flat stretch. Could have been a moose playing chicken. It happened on a very uninhabited stretch and what made me laugh was seeing the undercarriage of the entire truck and trailer draped with caution tape. I guess that's for the moose so they didn't run into it during the night.

A secretary where my sister works was fired for snorting Sweet and Low at work. She thought it was Diet Coke.

There's a commercial on the radio every morning about a DJ at a local bar. The announcer says to "come to the Zoo and party with DJ Jeff only like he can. It drives me crazy.

The new girl that I work with came into my office yesterday and was looking for something to do. I couldn't think of anything that she could do without her ended up in my office for the morning and I really didn't want that. I ended up getting her to rearrange a filing cabinet that was on the other side of my desk. That way I could still surf occasionally without her seeing my monitor. *grin* She spent a couple hours working on this and during the entire time, she TALKED TO HERSELF!!! I was ready to bitchslap her by the time she was done. It wasn't just a sentence here and there, it was non-stop chatter! I won't be giving her any more work to do in my office, that's for sure.

Tonight is my hair appointment. I always end up waiting too long before making an appointment and the last week before the haircut I'm counting down the days every morning while I try to do something with my mop. I'm anxious to see if Shelly tells me how nice my hair looks when I get there tonight. Cause if she does? She's full of shit. *grin*