Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Computer problems.....and addiction???

A few nights ago, Sunday, I believe, we had a rather ferocious windstorm, which howled all the night through. During that time (at least when we were awake) we had three, possibly four power outages...very short ones....not even lasting a minute. During those outages, our main computer was on and when the power went out, we just rebooted it and all seemed well....seemed being operative word here. The last outage happened when DH was playing his game and so he just rebooted it and then shut it down for the night.

Waking up the next morning, the wind had died down to a brisk breeze and the sun was out and all was well with the world. That is...until I went to go online....nothing happened. The computer usually automatically goes online when it's started up for the day....but there was just one single light glowing ominously from the modem and no "ingoing" or "outgoing" lights flashing at all. So I did all the usual stuff....unplugged the modem, plugged it back in....unplugged the router, plugged it back in.....and then I phoned Shaw.....

So.....I waited for close to an hour for the tech support from Shaw....and yah, yah, I know, I can hang up and have them call me back and I won't lose my friggin' place in line...(the recording sounds SO patronizing!!)...but I just have a feeling that if I hang up, that'll be it....I'll never get to talk to them again!!!So....I put on my telephone earphones and waited....and waited....and waited......until finally a young man called Jeff talked to me. He gave me some options to try and then seemed to think that should work and left me to to speak. didn't I called Shaw again....and waited....and waited.....and waited...only this time, I got smart....I kept my earphones on, hung on to the cordless and did a few household chores...thereby relieving the guilt of not doing anything!! I finally got through a second time to another young fellow called Steve, I think....and he tried some more options....some even included changing some settings (that gets scary!)....but in the end...nothing worked, so he scheduled a Shaw techie to pay us a visit the next day and check things out.

I fretted (as I am wont to do in these situations) and so I thought I would head downstairs to practice. My laptop is in my practice studio, so being the eternal optimist that I am, I thought..."why don't I just open the lid on my laptop and un-hibernate it and see if it goes online??" Well....bless my soul if it didn't go right to my homepage and sat there blinking at me....Windows Messenger and all!! Whooee!!! I was ecstatic!! I calmed down enough to do at least 15 - 20 minutes of practice and then back to the laptop. In the meantime...hubby was upstairs on the main computer offline and playing his game. Nyeh nyeh na nyeh na!!!!

So here's the thing you see. I couldn't believe how excited I was to actually have the internet's an addiction of sorts which I'm sure some of you are also afflicted with to some degree. I am addicted to regular contact with the internet.....sigh.....whenever my mind goes into neutral mode, I find myself heading to the computer room. Maybe it's sort of like something to kickstart the mind working again. Is this a good thing?? Not totally sure and don't know if I care much.....'s always interesting and enlightening and whenever it gets to the point that it isn't....I shall stop, I'm sure.

The Shaw techie did show up at 9:30 yesterday morning and found that our ethernet card on the main computer had been "fried" by the power outages...which is odd because we have 2 surge protectors. However, he did say that it was an older card...probably on it's last he very kindly replaced it and now we have internet on both...count them BOTH computers. is good!!


Sunday, January 27, 2008

The BEST news and stuff.....

So I got great news yesterday.....I phoned the hospital to check on my aunt and found that she had been sent home. I called her at home and she is feeling much better, but still has to take it easy. Now she has help coming in to make her life easier, now she can get back to her painting and writing and now she can concentrate on staying healthy and enjoying her life, her family and her friends.......thank goodness!! It has been a worrisome time but yesterday a great load was lifted from my heart. Thank you God!!!

Yesterday and today I have been trying to catch up on things, but seem to be getting mired down in small details.....ah well...such is life. At least I don't have to make dinner tonite as my bro has suggested we all go out for Chinese food and he will foot the was an offer we just couldn't refuse :-)

But......before that happens, I have some practicing to do and a kitchen that needs tidying up, and a shower to take.....(yes....I AM still in my jammies at 2 in the afternoon on a Sunday....sigh)

One last thing... last night was not a good night sleep-wise for either DH or myself...too much coffee after supper I think. In any case, to while away the time awake, I came out and found that the first thing I thought of to do, was......knitting!!! I had some mohair wool that I found with my mom's stash from years ago and a pair of VERY large needles. So I'm making a narrowish, shortish, mohair scarf to wrap around my neck in the very cold weather.....white and fluffy and a very loose knit!! I have bigger projects to tackle knitting-wise, but I couldn't resist the wool!! The fact that it was the first thing that came to mind surprised me......who knew???


Friday, January 25, 2008

Working man and To Do List ........

I am again the wife of a working man....albeit a part-time working man...but nevertheless a working man.
I now have to decide what to do with my day....ALL BY MYSELF!!!
....which actually isn't a bad thing....just takes a while to get used to...

I have now gotten into the habit of jotting down the things I need to do and I'm whittling away at the list well as making additions to the list each day. There are some givens in my day. They time (which includes email, blogging and checking out other blogs or favourite websites)......practicing for a minimum of 30 min a day, more if possible....keeping the kitchen tidy (I am making great use of the dishwasher).....making the bed (which consists of fluffing the duvet and straightening up the pillows)...and that's about it. Housecleaning I do usually once a week (with help if possible) and that's usually Sunday before the bros come for dinner and major housecleaning happens whenever we have overnight guests or visitors who don't know us that's a retirement thing you know, our own version of energy conservation...our energy!! :-) However, I digress.....

After I do the "givens", I then feel free to tackle the list ....or not.....or just mooch around in my workshop or just read. As some people would say...."it's a great life!!" Now...some people would also say that I could do all this whilst DH is home, and I probably could. However, there is this built in desire, need, wish, whatever you want to call it, to co-ordinate my day with his when he's home. That usually consists of shopping and other errands, TV watching, and reading. So...the secret is to "make hay while the sun shines" so to speak...... do my own thing when he's working, so we can schedule "together" activities when he's home. I detect a slight trace of organization here?? One can only hope....


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Good News and Bad News ( for me)

So to start seems that so far my beloved aunt has fought off the dreaded Norwalk Virus....thank goodness. I phoned yesterday and she seemed to be on the mend. I shall check tomorrow. Hopefully we will be able to get down to the coast the week after next to see her in person.

Another blog topic....
Today, I got on the scales and horror of horrors, I have exceeded the amount that I swore that I would never exceed again and those that know me well, will know what that amount is. So the question that occurs to me (as to many others in the same predicament I'm sure) why is this?
Why, when you know that you are well overweight and you know what you have to do...why can't you do it???
For years, I have asked myself that question, and for years, I have come up with varied answers.....not's someone else's fault.....I'm depressed....and on and on....well, it's all a load of cr*p. It all boils down to the fact that I just haven't managed to motivate myself enough to take on this huge commitment to eating properly for an extended length of time...i.e. the rest of my life!!

So the question remains....what can one do to motivate oneself??? What can deter the creeping hand into: the cookie jar, the fridge (and many varied cheeses), the (drool..)biscotti..(bad bad Costco!!), and anything else that appeals at the time. For's all about the SNACKING!!!

There's a bigger issue going on here and I haven't quite figured it out. It's all about the whys and wherefores of eating habits and how to change them....but then again, isn't that usually the way of things with weight control?? To be quite frank, the only person that would understand this whole problem is one who has to deal with it too. Even doctors don't really understand...I mean, how can they, when I don't understand it myself....sigh.

I have yet to come up with a definitive solution, but it's a cause for concern and one that needs to be addressed.....sooner than later!!

In the meantime, I'm going to try to keep myself busy and well watered to shave off the few pounds over the (shudder!!) upper limit so I can at least start from an even number......:-)


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Somewhat encouraging news......

It seems that my aunt, along with other patients, is in non-visitor mode for the time being as there is an outbreak of the Norwalk Virus in her unit. Not good......however....

She did have one visitor today I am told, (dressed in gown and mask) and the report back is that she is very "with it", so it strikes me that my fiesty but very sweet aunt is fighting back!!

I was encouraged to phone regularly to see how she's I will

In the meantime...I am still praying...


Please God.....

I'm feeling conflicted....or at least my emotions are....

On the one's been DH's birthday and we have had a wonderful dinner and then laughed ourselves silly at American Idol .....

On the other hand....I was notified today that my dear 96 year old aunt is in hospital recovering from heart failure brought on by pneumonia....and is now suffering from gastrointestinal problems. She's being assessed to decide how she can still live at home....'s a conflict because I don't know whether to laugh or cry. You know...when you are having a good time, but then you have that nagging feeling that something isn't quite right and then you remember.....

I will be getting more information tomorrow, so there is nothing to do but wait...something I'm not terribly good at doing.

All I can do is pray....which I will do fervently!!


Monday, January 14, 2008


On this concert weekend, I started driving again.....well actually I did drive on the Lower Mainland for a short time over the holiday, but for actually driving on a regular basis....this was the weekend for it.

I had been banned from driving by my optometrist and DH because I had virtually no clear vision in my right eye....and my depth perception was out the window (so to speak). However, on December 4, I had surgery to correct the problem and though it's taking a while (and will take longer) to get back to somewhat normal, it's much better than it was.

So the opportunity arose this weekend for me to take the wheel and fend for myself, travelling to and from rehearsals. It was a slightly unnerving experience at first. I almost missed a set of traffic lights and I found myself going slower than usual and trying to watch everything. One doesn't realize how quickly a one time regular activity, when stopped for a period of time, can become new and fearful. In the words of someone famous..."It's a jungle out there!!" However, after the first day, calmness and serenity settled in and I remembered how much I really enjoy driving. It was hard to give it up, even though it doesn't take up a large part of my life. For the most part, DH does the driving, but the fact that I couldn't even if I wanted to was a bit hard to take. It just removes that feeling of independence.

I'm sure that DH is happy too, so now he can stay home and do what he wants instead of ferrying me around everywhere!!!

So independence is is sight....and freedom for DH.....and life is good!!


Friday, January 11, 2008

Music and ice roads......

Well, I'm in the middle of a double concert weekend with rehearsals starting at 4 this afternoon and then again at 7:30 tonite and then 1 pm tomorrow with concerts tomorrow night and Sunday afternoon. We had rehearsals on Wednesday night and last night as well. It's a good concert....with the Viennese theme...a soprano and a tenor and lots of Viennese waltzes and operetta music to celebrate the New Year. This type of concert is fun to do because it's the type of music I grew up with. My dad used to sing a lot of the operetta stuff and either myself or my brother accompanied him on the there are lots of memories flying through my head this weekend.

I am coming to terms with the fact that our son is going to drive a truck on the Ice Roads in the Northwest Territories at the end of this month. I'm finding, as usual, that the name of the game is more information and less worry. Consequently I have been perusing sites about ice road trucking, studiously avoiding anything that relates to the History Channel series about same. For those that know me, I know that's a change, and a positive one at that.....but now I'm finding I prefer to read the real information, statistics etc....rather than a sensationalized version of it.
In any case, I did find a site that has a map of the route they'll be taking and updates on the road conditions I expect I shall be following that assiduously. I'm still concerned and worried, but more a normal worry than "freaking out" worry. So I guess that's a good thing.

Next week I shall hopefully be getting into some sort of routine around here. I really need to get into my workshop and make use of my new art supplies and books. I will be starting back swimming again, all going well, and hopefully that will be an incentive for further progress.

For now's lunchtime!!!


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Problem solved and the music begins.....

I am feeling like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders this morning.....

I finally got my new MP3 player to work with my laptop. I guess it pays to peruse various and sundry forums about the offending software. In actual fact, it was not the software that was the was Windows Media Player. I had to re-install WMP 11 again...and voila!! I have since uploaded 5 CD's and will do more as time permits. I am so looking foward to this....a chance to hear all my glorious music on the run so to speak!!

I'm finding that my tastes in music are expanding somewhat as I get older. I have always been rather eclectic in my musical tastes, with the emphasis being on classical music, however, lately I have been checking out new CD's by artists that I've never considered before. Joni Mitchell, Annie Lennox, and Celine Dion. I even have heard some music of Amy Winehouse that intrigues me....

I think I'm looking for music that inspires and expands the mind and music that makes me raise my arms and go YESSS!!! There's also the music that makes me do a "happydance"...or in my case .."a stilted hardly moving the legs but moving the arms around madly and jerking the upper body happydance". I have also developed a taste for Irish and English folk music, John Tamm being a new discovery. If you've ever watched the Sharpe series on PBS, he's the one who sings "Over the hills and far away" ....just a great natural voice. It's all fun and now with the MP3 player I can keep the music flowing!!

But....the fact that I solved the problem with the laptop makes me feel incredibly pleased with myself. It was frustrating....but now it's done there's a bit of "the little train that could" feeling to it. This is how I react when I solve a problem with the computer.....childish..maybe, giddy..maybe, but nevertheless.. a deserved kudo to me :-)


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Exercise and Passport photos...

Yaaayy !! I am back the next day to blog again....I just amaze myself!!

So to start, I have another gem from Real Simple.....

"I rode the exercise bike this morning for an hour and a half. If it was a real bicycle, I would have been in Belgium by now. "
— Allison Janney in The West Wing

..... and that definitely WOULDN'T be me.....however it struck a humorous chord with me. I've often thought that an exercise bike or a treadmill would be a good investment....however, DH doesn't agree with me. He says that it would never get used....although how he knows that is a question in itself. I think that swimming will work for now....and if I ever do feel like walking I will do the rounds on the indoor track at the rec centre with my MP3 player plugged into my head. I think that walking with someone is a good thing, if you don't have to think or mull over anything....just chat. I find that swimming laps in the pool is a good time to think through problems or issues that need clarifying....just back and forth slowly and methodically breathing in those wonderful swimming pool fumes ;-) It's even better when you have a paddleboard and you can rest your chin on the board and stretch your arms out and let your legs do all the work, or alternatively, rest your upper body on the board, with your arms wrapped around it and again let your legs do the work.

This morning DH and I have been filling in the applications for passport renewal....after which we will take them down to the Canadian Government "Service Centre" along with our old passports and hopefully before too long we will get our new ones. It's interesting that when we had the photos for our old ones taken in late 2002 or early 2003
(can't remember exactly when)..I was smiling.....not a good photo, but nevertheless I was smiling. Now, however, one is not allowed to show any expression whatsoever on your face. In fact the lady taking my photo at BCAA told me I look "awfully sad" I lifted the corners of my mouth a tad and then I just looked serious.....or expressionless I guess. We had our originals taken in 2002 after 9/11 but it seems that since then rules have gotten even tougher as far as pictures go. I guess they like to see a picture of you as you will look to them when you approach Passport Control.....either scared ----less, or really p----d off!!! It makes it so much easier for them to match the picture to the person...:-)
On that note, I will finish my epistle for today and proceed with the rest of the day...or whatever's left of it!!


Monday, January 07, 2008


So I can't believe it's been over a month since I last posted. I always WANT to post, but then when it comes down to actually put words on screen, my mind draws a blank. So I'm letting the thoughts flow for now.

It's been a hectic and somewhat chaotic *season*.....but nonetheless enjoyable!!
It's all about family and seeing family and talking to family and renewing familial ties. Exhausting yes...but oh so inspiring!!

The Kamloops side of the holiday was unexpectedly a lot of fun. I say unexpectedly because I was quite prepared to celebrate Christmas quietly with DH and NO KIDS and suck it up. As it turned out, we had rather well-spaced visits throughout the time from extended family members with an afternoon of art thrown in for good measure.

We did make a 5 day visit to the coast for our Christmas with the kids and their sig. others and our grandson and also for a New Years Eve "do" to celebrate the marriage of our nephew!! Lots of visiting and some shopping and catching up was included in those five days.

Our little Bichon Chauncey also had some time to renew acquaintances with friends at his favourite kennel....although I think the excitement got to him a bit as he had a bout of tummy trouble (polite words for puking doggie!!)on the way home and at home. That cleared up though and he is as right as rain now....

I am now in the process of R&R. I was supposed to start back to swimming today, but I suddenly realized yesterday that I need a few days to recover when I have busy times. It's an ongoing element of my life which I tend to forget about sometimes. I have a concert weekend coming up, so I'm getting up to speed with my practicing and in general trying to get my "art" house in order . Also....I was given an MP3 player for Christmas and I'm trying to find the time to upload the music I want.....and....I have photos to deal with ....posting for download etc... So this all has to be done at a rather subdued and slower pace.....and hopefully by next Monday I will be up and running (figuratively speaking) to hit the pool for some laps. I'm also fighting this overwhelming urge to get back under the covers and snore the day away!!!

I'm thinking lately that a somewhat more frequent blog might be in order. Not daily...although it can be....but more often than I have been in the past. It's all about stimulating the brain to think of things to say. It's so much easier to curl up and read what others write....easier but not very productive. I read or heard somewhere that if one wants to write, one should do so every day...even if only a few sentences. Interesting concept that.....I expect some of my blogs will go as follows....." Here are my few words for today.....Blah Blah Blah.....Slainte!!" I think though, that it's all about the discipline of sitting down at the computer and writing a few words EVERY DAY.....grab the coffee cup and head downstairs or into the computer room and eke out some random thoughts....bizarre though they may be (well maybe not TOO bizarre)....and soon it will get least I hope so.