Category Archives: dreams

Monday Miscellany…

I spent most of yesterday catching up on laundry, since I didn’t get any done with our shopping trip on Saturday.  We had to go to town to pick up Hope from her friend’s house, and stopped at Co-Op for gas.  An older man cleaned our windshield while Jim was filling the tank, and then went over to speak to another customer that he knew.  I overheard him say, “He was autocratic, but fair.”  Not a word I expected a gas jockey to say…     

After we got back, I took the time to make some Spinach Manicotti.  I was quite pleased with how it came out, since it was my first time making it, and I was completely winging the filling!  I had seen the noodles on sale for $1 a package at Liquidation World…I bought 2 (because I always buy even numbers of anything that’s on sale…I have a thing for symmetry).  I had a couple of packages of spinach in the freezer, which I thawed.  I bought two large tubs of lasagna-type cottage cheese, and mixed it with the spinach.  After cooking the noodles for the amount of time indicated on the box, I thought I could use a pastry decorating tool to squeeze the filling into the noodles.  That was a fail…I ended up standing the noodle on end in my hand, and using my other hand to fill it!  I stuffed noodles until I ran out of filling, put them in a casserole, poured a jar of 4-cheese pasta sauce over the top of the stuffed noodles, and put them in the microwave.  I still had several unstuffed noodles left over, which are in my fridge.  Next time, I think I’ll throw a couple of eggs and some shredded mozzarella cheese into the filling…it will probably give it more body.  Along with some garden green beans from the freezer, the manicotti made a tasty supper last night, and a good lunch today!

I was having vivid dreams most of the night…I dreamed that I had gone downstairs.  At that very moment, Jim woke me up because he was “having a low”…I needed to go downstairs to get him some juice and cookies.  I told him I was technically “already up.”

When I arrived at the bookstore this morning, I sat down to read the blogs that I follow.  One of my friends had included a link for some music in her post…I looked in vain for my earphones to listen to it (I don’t have speakers on my store computer).  I texted Anna to see if she’d borrowed them.  “No…” was the reply.  Then I remembered the somewhat “sketchy” girl who had come in on Friday…I had purchased a copy of “Catcher in the Rye” from her and had left her alone near my desk while I went into the other room to get her money.  Crap!  I was excited to get a copy of the book (we get lots of requests for it, but that is only the second copy we’ve had in our ten-year history!)…apparently $5 wasn’t quite enough for her!

The rest of the day passed without incident…we had one customer in, who bought one book (and three Internet orders).  I spent a lot of time looking for an image on Google for a blog post I wanted to write…no luck!  Anna and I came home with Jim, since Dad had an extra rehearsal for the Men’s Chorus tonight…their Christmas Concert is tomorrow night.  While we were eating supper, Jim got one of his “smile” fries caught in his throat.  Hope said, “They’re not supposed to make you choke…they’re supposed to make you smile!”

"Smile" Fries...

 

Anna remarked, “I love irony.” 

Hope asked, “Who’s Irony?”

After supper, Anna poured herself a glass of eggnog.  “What spice is it that you put in it to make it taste good?  Paprika?”

“No,” I answered.  “You should probably use nutmeg!  Paprika would be a whole different taste…”

Hope is making Christmas cookies for her school’s bake sale tomorrow…the school is buying turkeys for people who can’t afford them for Christmas.  I’ve been recruited to help make icing…I think it’s going to be another late night…

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Tiptoeing Through Tuesday…

Tuesday has never been my favourite day, but it’s nearly 11 a.m., and it’s actually been not bad (so far…touching wooden desk as I speak!).

Here are some random things from my last few days:

1. Snow/Whirlwind Shopping Trip/Music on Saturday.  We woke up to snow on the ground on Saturday…not much by New Brunswick standards.  In what was probably record time for shopping with the girls, we managed to pick up winter boots for Hope on Saturday at Old Navy for $19…WIN!  We were rushing to drop off Anna and Brianna at the new Harry Potter movie, and then dropped Hope off at her dad’s to watch the Santa Claus Parade in (uptown) Saint John.  Her dad is one of the judges, so the kids get to watch the parade from the comfort of a Saint John City Transit bus.  This year, the head judge brought them pizza and pop.  Jim and I stopped for groceries (sans kids) on the way home…we hadn’t done a major food run since Jim’s surgery!  We spent $165…nobody had better look in the cupboard and complain “There’s nothing to eat!”  There will be two more parades next weekend: the Lancaster Santa Claus Parade (West Saint John), which Anna’s cheerleading team is in, and the Kennebecasis Valley Santa Claus Parade (Quispamsis), which Hope’s cheerleading team is in.  I finally had the chance to listen to a Richard Shindell album I’d ordered (Courier), thanks to my friend Hippie Cahier.  It was so amazing, I listened to it twice in a row!

2. Laundry/Migraine on Sunday.  Four loads of laundry…first migraine for a while!  Family ate pot pies/fries for supper instead of planned lasagna.  I ate Multi-Grain Cheerios and Saltines (neither of which stayed down).  Opted to PVR Amazing Race instead of watch it (you know I’m sick when that happens!).

3. Jim’s Sense of Smell Came Back.  Since his sinus surgery almost two weeks ago, Jim hasn’t been able to smell much.  Anna was scrambling eggs Sunday morning, and he actually caught a whiff of them!  He’s also happy to be able to blow his nose again!

4. Relaxing Monday.  Worried that the migraine might come back, I stayed home from the bookstore on Monday.  Played on the computer and made lasagna (with homemade spaghetti sauce from our garden tomatoes) while Jim slept through old Newhart and M*A*S*H episodes in the La-Z-Boy.  Dad and Anna got home late – they had seen a car hit a deer (one of a group of three), but the deer got up and ran off after doing a little cartwheel.  The man’s car was slightly damaged.  We watched Amazing Race after supper, and were happy to see Chad and Stephanie go…I give their marriage a year…tops!  Two and a Half Men came on at ten…I’ve been underwhelmed with the show this season…the writing was a lot funnier when the dirty jokes were subtle.  I used to let the kids watch it, knowing they probably wouldn’t pick up on the raunchy parts, but now, it’s just “in-your-face” crass!

5. Weird Dreams.  I dreamed of running again last night (for somebody who doesn’t run, I dream about it a lot!).  I also dreamed that I was in town with no purse, no wallet and no phone.  Then I ran into another running man who was “having a low” (Jim is Type 1 Diabetic – he has “low” sugars a lot in the night), so I followed this poor guy into the men’s room to try to help him.  Realizing I’d wandered into forbidden territory, I came out and informed the staff in the snack bar that there was a man “having a low” in the men’s room, and that they should get him some juice.  Then I used some Chinese girl’s (I think she was a stripper) Hello Kitty cell phone to call home to ask Jim to come and get me…but not before we went to my old apartment in Moncton to deliver a blanket(?) to a bad mother who was letting her two toddlers run around outside by themselves.  While we were there, my brother wandered in (having made the 1000-mile drive from Ontario)…my aunt from Florida was already there!  If I’m going to have weird dreams, I do it right (I think it might have been the hot dogs we ate for lunch)!

6. Stats.  Opening up a friend’s blog post this morning, she was complaining that she had gotten some 1500 hits this past WEEK by searchers using the search term “turkey” or variations thereof…I think I’m going to tag all my posts “turkey” this week!

7. Airline Security.  A friend on Facebook posted a link to a note written by someone else about the recent airline security “personal” searches, and how ridiculous they were.  It was quite well-written – the poster declared that he would choose the “patdown” search when he flew home for Thanksgiving.  I got a chuckle from a commenter who suggested that he “Wear a quilt [my italics].  Go commando.”  Yeah…that will make it better…

8. Perfect Stranger Chills in PA.  Another friend on Facebook lives in Pennsylvania, and celebrated her 40th birthday this past weekend.  She was at the ice cream machine at the Old Country Buffet in Scranton at the same time as Bronson Pinchot (Balki on Perfect Strangers).  I wonder if she did the “dance of joy”? 

9. More Shopping With Teenagers Tonight.  Jim is bringing Hope and Brianna with him tonight when he comes to pick up Anna and I…Hope needs a new winter coat (she’s grown out of last year’s), and both Bri and Anna need new boots (Anna’s $90 ones from last year are totalled!).  I’m hoping that my MasterCard escapes with cuts and bruises rather than a skull fracture…

10. Holiday Decorating.  I have friends who have already decorated their homes for Christmas…I personally think they’re deranged!  I saw a couple of Target ads for Black Friday last night…nuts! 

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Tuesday Trifles…

Here are some highlights of my last few days:

Shopping with Teenagers

After my rant on Friday about What the Cool Kids are Wearing, I took my two younger daughters shopping on Saturday.  We had two goals in mind: give the kids some “alone time” with their biological parent (Jim took his kids out too), and find me some new jeans, since crotchless denims aren’t really in style in New Brunswick…

Our first stop was Value Village.  I love Value Village mainly because it’s NOT the Mall!  I tried on four pairs of pants, and bought one for $6.99 (another one would have worked, but I discovered it didn’t have a top button when I got into the changing room).  While I was trying to squeeze into too-tight pants, I overheard a conversation between two guys in the next two cubicles who were trying on Halloween costumes: “Wow, these shorts are really short!  They look good though!”  “Do you have a headband?”  “Yeah, I’ve got a Nike one I can just wear inside out!”  I wish I could have seen them!

I debated getting a nice hardcover copy of “Charlotte’s Web” for Elise, but it was heavy, and I didn’t particularly want to carry it around for the next two hours…should have gotten it…it was only $3.99.  Hope found a wig and a shirt for her Halloween costume, and another top.  Anna got a vintage computer game she remembered from childhood and a DVD of some movie…I put the $50 or so on my debit card, and we headed across the street to the mall.

I was feeling a bit faint when we got there…time for an emergency frosted cinnamon roll…lucky I had my handy Tim Horton’s card with me!

Saved by my Tim's card!

“Is it time to go yet?”  I don’t know how many times I asked that over the next hour-and-a-half, as the kids dragged me into one store after another: Ardene’s for jewellery (for the Halloween costume – ended up being jewellery, headbands, track pants, and a hoodie!); Aeropostale for a hoodie (make that TWO hoodies – they were half-price, after all!); and La Senza for bras for Anna.  My fingers were cramping from typing in my pin number on the debit machine!  I did get a FREE bra though!  Standing at the checkout at La Senza, I was rooting through my wallet for my “bra card” (there it was, right next to my coffee card, my sub card, and my card card [no, I'm not stuttering - Hallmark]).  The perky clerk informed me that we had reached the magic number to receive a free bra (and I’d only spent $798!…I might be exaggerating, a little).  “You can pick the most expensive one in the store if you want!” she reported excitedly.  I share my friend Jane’s enthusiasm for bra shopping.  We’d already spent way longer than I had wanted to in my least favourite place.  I was like a deer in the headlights.  Handing the kids my bags, I looked anxiously around and grabbed a couple of bras, pretty much at random (avoiding the neon colours and the zebra stripes).  Into the changeroom I went.  Success!  One fit: the girls didn’t look too bad (and my daughters looked fine too!).

We celebrated with fruit smoothies ($10 and change for two smoothies for Anna and Hope – I don’t do any liquid thicker than water!).

Jim and his kids picked us up out front, and we headed home.  They had gotten some cool stuff too…

So, my girls spent the afternoon with me, I got new (used) jeans and a free bra, and it only cost me $200 (what’s wrong with this picture?)!

Disturbing Dreams

I had two rather disconcerting dreams on Saturday night (I blame the cinnamon roll!):

1. I dreamed that I was making out with a tattooed man.  I didn’t make this guy up…he’s a guy who lives in Saint John – not bad-looking if you can overlook the tattoos on his face, and multiple piercings!  I feel a bit sorry for him, though, because he’ll probably never be able to work a regular job.  He is quite a talented photographer, and occasionally sells photos/plays bongos on the sidewalk for money.  Anyway, it turns out that Tattoo Guy is a very good kisser (at least in my dream!).  I was disturbed by two aspects of the dream: that it didn’t seem to bother me that I was engaged to Jim and kissing another man, and that I really am not attracted to tattoos, especially on someone’s face!  I told Jim about the dream, to which he replied that he’d dreamed about chasing a radioactive alligator around his parents’ yard (he works in a nuclear power plant). 

2. The second dream must have been a residual from Open Farm Day.  I dreamed that I was on a farm where animals were kept on shelves.  On one shelf, there would be three piglets, and on another shelf, there would be three calves lying down.  There was only about a foot between shelves – no room for the animals to stand up!  The shelves were covered with manure…it was gross, but I didn’t think anything of it!

Gardening Apathy

The “new car smell” is starting to wear off of gardening for me…is it wrong that I’m wishing for frost so that I can be done with it for the year?

Sunday I went out and pulled out my sunflower stalks (or in some case, broke them off at soil level – those things are tough as small trees!).  They were getting in the way of picking tomatoes…the piles and piles of tomatoes!  I am freezing the big ones, and packing the little ones in lunches…there are not enough tomato-eaters in my household to eat all that I planted!  The increasing number of fruit flies buzzing around the bowls are telling me that something’s rotten in the pile…

I cooked two more squash and put them in the freezer…there are many, many more to cook…

I harvested my two “dry” bean varieties yesterday: romano beans, and orca beans.  I shelled the romanos, but still have to shell the orcas.  The yield is quite small, compared to what I got from the green beens.

These are the orca beans...aren't they pretty?

The root vegetables: carrots, beets, and rutabagas are next…is it winter yet?

Doing Our Civic Duty

Yesterday was the New Brunswick provincial election.  Jim and I made a point of getting out to vote, knowing full well that our candidate would not win, but that we did the important thing and exercised our right to vote!  People that don’t bother to do so really piss me off!  I told one young (educated) friend of mine to write somebody ridiculous in (I suggested Elvis or Lady Gaga) if he didn’t like the candidates, but to vote anyway!

The Conservatives won by a landslide, but only because of the rush to vote for anybody who didn’t represent the current party in power!  Voter turnout was only 68%…I wonder whether the outcome would have been the same if everyone had made it to the polls?  I don’t want to hear any bitching from non-voters when the Conservatives muck it up worse than their predecessors…maybe if you’d gotten off your ass, they might not have made it in!

And on that note, I’m going to have my lunch…

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Ready, Set, Go!

So, one of my favourite shows, The Amazing Race, started again last night.  Ever since I got hooked on it way back in Race #5, I’ve dreamed about being on the show…

Jim would be my team-mate.  We’d wear matching Canadian flag T-shirts (everybody loves Canadians!), relaxed fit jeans, and comfortable shoes.  The other teams would call us “that nice, boring couple”  and wonder why we never yell at each other!

"Wendy and Jim...Parents of Teenagers"

Of course, I’d probably have to make some changes to prepare for the competition:

1. Get in shape (other than round!)…I wonder if the show will still be on in 2015?  I might have to give up potato chips…

2. Conquer my fear of heights.  Standing on a stepladder makes me dizzy…I might have difficulty rappelling down a tall building…

3. Learn how to pack light.  I’ve seen those knapsacks the contestants carry…I’m guessing they don’t have blow dryers in there?

I might have trouble surviving without this...

4. Get over my squeamishness of snakes and other reptiles…I might have to get up close and personal with one of them…ewww!

5. Learn to swim with my head under the water (I taught myself, and I like to leave my contacts in so I don’t bump into things!).

6. Be more adventurous about foreign food.  Right now, I don’t try anything with the potential to cause gastric distress (and I’m lactose-intolerant, so that includes a lot of different foods!).  If I can’t identify it, it doesn’t go in my mouth (however, I do like lots of things that other people don’t: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, squash, and chicken hearts).

7. Learn to drive (again).  I had my temporary permit for a year when I was a teenager, but never took the test.  I have always driven an automatic…I’m a huge fail at stick shifts!

This scares me more than a snake would...

8. Brush up on my geography.  As a former stamp collector, I’m pretty familiar with North America, Europe and Asia, but my knowledge of the continents south of the equator is not very good (unlike one contestant last night, I do know that London is not a country!).

9. Pick up a second language (or two).  My Ontario secondary school French is rudimentary at best (laughable at worst – my French Immersion kids laugh at my pronunciation all the time!).  I can count to ten in German.  I can say “Hello,” “Goodbye,” and “Thank you,” in Spanish.  I can speak Teenager though: “OMG!  Did you see that dress she had on?  It was right weird!”

10.  Learn to love being grubby.  Those poor people on the Race have been subjected to all kinds of nastiness: mud, hay, dirty water, paint, pies, etc.  It must be all Phil can do to contain himself when some sweaty contestant pops up in front of him with muck running from every orifice…

11. Get over thinking that using my sexuality to get what I want is wrong.  I would have no problem flashing my bare ankle in Saudi Arabia if it got us what we needed!

12. Find somebody to look after our kids for all the weeks we’ll be gone…we do plan to come home with the million bucks after all!

Any takers?

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My Bucket List…

Several of my blogging friends have recently posted their “Bucket List,” which is essentially a list of things you’d like to do before you die.  I’ve never written mine down, and it changes sometimes…here’s what it is today:

1. Go to Tuscany, Italy.  See the art/architecture, drink the wine, and eat the food!

Tuscan Countryside...

2. See the following musicians live: Elton John, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, and Simon and Garfunkel.  I finally got to see Neil Young in concert last year – it was amazing!

JT...Still Sexy at 62...

3. Finish my collection of “Lucile” books by Owen Meredith (Lord Bulwer Lytton).  Between 1860 and 1938, it came out in some 2000 different bindings – I have about 45.

This one's nice...I don't have it...yet...

4. Work in the bookstore full-time without having to have a “real job” to eat.

Our fireplace at the bookstore...

5. Buy the house we live in and fill it with books and antiques (after the kids are gone, of course!).

"Our" House...

6. Write a book and have it published, probably something historical.  I edited a book for a friend a few years ago – I didn’t get the see the final proof, and they spelled my last name wrong in the front of the book (Matherson instead of “Matheson”)!

7. Take a summer off and do nothing but read, write, cook, garden, and listen to music.

Relaxing last fall in Grand Manan...

8. Visit Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the only two provinces I haven’t been to yet.

A canola field out west...

9. Learn to make edible piecrust.

My piecrust never looks like this...

10. Go to Germany and see where my ancestors came from (I’m about 3/4 German and the rest is English).  Dad’s family came to the States in the 1750′s, and Mom’s German ancestors came about a century later.  Here are my German family names: Shoots (originally Schutz, we think), Braun, Schmidt, and Auer.

My Mamma, Marie (Auer) Taylor...

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Connie’s Dream…

Last week, my Aunt Connie sent out an e-mail out to our whole family…it detailed an amazing plan to purchase an abandoned house in Florida, move it to the beach and fix it up together as a getaway spot for family gatherings.  Connie’s fantastic plan involves everyone taking a year off work, and going south to complete the project.  She calls it a “pipe dream”  (the words “crazy” and “delusional” have also come up!), but several of my cousins seem quite gung-ho about doing it…she has assigned Jim and I to be in charge of the garden (I also make great homemade bread and brownies!).

Connie's Dream House...

If anyone can pull this off, it’s Connie…she’s been playing tag (and winning) with breast cancer since 1997.  She’s a wife, mother of two, and grandmother of one.  Connie has jumped out of an airplane, and written and published a book (which she kept secret for four years, until it was about to come out – http://bit.ly/cQ7Wt1).  She rides on the back of my Uncle Neal’s motorcycle, and beside him in his classic car.  Connie is now on the speakers’ circuit, delivering her powerful motivational message to groups.   Her picture is beside the words “can do” in the dictionary.

Uncle Neal and Aunt Connie...

I think it’s a great idea in principle…I’m excited about the idea of working together with my cousins, their mates, and their children – everyone has their own special talents.  I’ve always enjoyed living in old houses – new houses are boxy and boring…

I hate to be a wet blanket, but my issue is with the LOCATION of the project – Florida: 

1. I don’t like hot weather, hurricanes, mosquitoes, or snakes. 

2. My kids complain about living 25 minutes away from their birthplace in West Saint John…imagine the noise if we moved 1800 miles away!  It would be a long and expensive commute for Jim’s kids, who go back and forth between our house and their mom’s every week.

3. I would miss my granddaughter – her dad will never leave New Brunswick, and I’m doubting he’d let us “borrow” baby Elise for a year.

So, here’s my proposal:

Jim and I already live in a huge, old farmhouse, which we rent – we hope it may come up for sale in the next few years.  It sits on two acres of land with several hundred feet of frontage on the beautiful Hammond River.  Beside it, there are 20 acres of land owned by my landlord and his brother (some wooded) – lots of room to pitch tents, park motorhomes or build more houses close by.  We have two full baths and two half baths…

Our House...

We could all work together on fixing up our house (it’s in pretty good shape, but needs some cosmetic work – hardwood floors redone, new paint inside and out, etc.).  Jim’s a good handyman, but he’s short on time – he commutes to work for two hours every day.  The vegetable garden will be planted in the fenced back yard soon.  I hope to plant flowers out front too, but will have to figure out how to keep the deer out of them (our resident herd numbers about 18).  When we’re not working, we can read in the hammock, canoe and fish on the river, watch the birds, jump on the trampoline, or go for a walk.  We can barbecue on the deck for supper in the summer time – not many bugs, and it rarely gets over 85 degrees here.  The nearest town, Quispamsis, is only ten minutes away – it has everything we need: good schools for the kids, groceries, banks, drug store, dollar store, liquor store, movie theatres, and restaurants.  There’s a classic car meet every Tuesday night of the summer in Saint John on the Boardwalk.

Doesn’t that make you want to pack up your car and come?  New Brunswick is a great place to live – I’ve been here for 26 years, and never want to leave…I’m sending a link to this post out to my family by e-mail…we’ll see how they react to my idea…

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