Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

I made some resolutions last year and I always intended to blog about them but I never did. They include the ever famous "lose weight, get out of debt, eat better" etc. I tried to be a bit specific but the first two are the only ones I really stuck to. Well, in my fashion. The first was "no soda pop", I accomplished by modifying to mean "no buying pop for drinking at home". I was allowed to drink it when I was out but not at home. That alone cut down on the amount that I drank a LOT. I'm sticking with that one this year.

I was closer with the second one. (No alcohol) I never drank a lot but I knew that I was getting fairly blase towards alcohol and I didn't like that. I used to be a "non-drinker" and I decided it was time to go back to that. It worked. I can count on one hand the amount of times I had alcohol last year and then it was usually just wine with dinner. I'll stick with that this year too.

I'm adding two more this year as well.

1. Quit speeding. Even five kms over the limit is too much. If it's 50 in town, go 50, not 60. On the highway the posted speed is 100 kms. Go 100. Not 110. It is HARD. I am used to going too fast so the world goes by at a certain rate. It's hard to learn that it should go slower. I'm finding that by conciously keeping my speed down, I am paying more attention to the road and I'm being a more cautious driver. It's good.
2. Brush my teeth every night. For some reason I've never been in this habit. In the morning is easy, your mouth tastes nasty. At night I *always* forget. I'm trying to build a new habit. It doesn't take long and I know it's good for me. I'm tracking how often I remember and, while I'm not perfect yet, I'm definitely building the habit, and that's what matters.
So there, my two, achievable, new years resolutions! On top of the much harder ones...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Things To Do Before I Die

On February 13, 2006 I posted my list of "Things To Do Before I Die". I reviewed it in May 2009 but I’ve since accomplished more of the items so it’s time to review it again.

The bolded items have been accomplished.

96 (and counting) Things To Do Before I Die

1. Fly first class
2. Live on my own in my own place
3. Eat at Sonic

4. Live in another country...or at least another province (scheduled for August!)
5. Host dinner party for at least 8

6. Visit an art gallery
7. Go to Texas

8. Ride in a hot air balloon
9. Fly in a small aircraft
10. Visit a planetarium

11. Take a winery tour
12. Do high tea somewhere
13. Attend Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
14. See a drive in movie
15. Get room service and have breakfast in bed at a nice hotel (I've done room service, but not for breakfast)

16. Play blackjack at a casino (I’ve played slots but not blackjack yet)
17. Make homemade ice cream
18. Try ten new foods (I have to sit down and count. Ten foods since February 2006? I’m sure I’ve accomplished that)
19. Go sailing
20. Ride in a limo

21. Be debt free
22. Go horse back riding on the wide open plains
23. Sleep under the stars (without a tent)
24. Fly in a 747
25. Collect all 50 US state quarters (only 10 to go!)

26. Attend my ten year high school reunion
27. Visit Australia
28. Visit Great Britain
29. Get a cat
30. Take a cruise

31. Work an election
32. Watch all moves on AFI top 100 list
33. Be in Ottawa for Canada Day
34. Draft a will
35. Spend one weekend totally unplugged. No TV, No Computer, No Phone

36. Visit the Maritimes
37. Tour the US Eastern seaboard
38. Pour water from the Atlantic ocean into the Pacific
39. Fast for 24 hours
40. Be in audience of a game show or talk show and/or try out for a game show or reality show

41. Learn to cook
42. Cook a turkey
43. Play with a hand bell choir
44. Complete 25 different crossword puzzles
45. Take a Self Defence Class

46. Fire a gun
47. Host a fondue
48. Take real swimming lessons (learn proper back stoke, kick turn)
49. Leave to drive a stick shift
50. Try yoga

51. Take a cake decorating class
52. Visit Nashville
53. Go parachuting
54. Take a refresher First Aid course
55. Sell something on Ebay

56. Try snowboarding
57. Try Golf
58. Watch the Yankees/Mariners play ball
59. Drink tequila in Tijuana
60. Go to Disney Land/World

61. Get a bikini wax
62. Buy a new condo (or house) (or town house)
63. Go white water rafting
64. Climb Mt. Cheam
65. Have a baby (or two, or three)

66. Read through the entire bible
67. Stay at a bed and breakfast
68. Go to Las Vegas
69. Go to Paris in the spring time
70. Learn enough about classical music to be able to identify popular pieces by ear

71. Shop at the Mall of America
72. Visit all five great lakes
73. Stay overnight in NYC
74. Go to Boston in the fall
75. Stay overnight at a Casino

76. Visit the San Diego Zoo
77. Visit Sea World
78. Take a full two weeks off at a time
79. Go on a blind date
80. See a live horse race and place a bet

81. Visit the Grand Canyon
82. Take a trip by train (aka travel somewhere on Amtrak)
83. Do the Vancouver Sun Run
84. Go to midnight mass
85. Attend Sunrise Easter Service

86. Go skinny dipping
87. Visit all 10 Provincial Legislature Buildings. (3 down 7 to go)
88. Buy cowboy boots
89. Go to the Olympics (17 days to go!)
90. Fly in a helicopter

91. Go to a NASCAR race
92. Get married
93. Participate in a team sport for a season
94. Sing a solo at church
95. Really try to loose weight/get in better shape

96. Learn another language

So, counting the ten new foods thing, I’ve accomplished eleven. 85 to go.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Ancestors in the Attic: Journey to Ortona

So almost a year after I received the initial enquiry, the episode of Ancestors in the Attic featuring my great uncle, Melville Madden, aired on History Channel in Canada on January 21, 2010. The whole family was waiting in anxious anticipation to see how it would turn out and exactly what the researchers turned up and we were all very happy with the results. You can view the 23 minute show at Select "Journey to Ortona" (Episode 44) Let me know what you think! (and be sure to watch for my name in the credits :D)

A Full Life

I live a full life.

That’s a term I came up with after I got tired of people asking how I was doing and answering “busy”. Busy is such a cop out and it doesn’t explain anything.

I attend church and bible study twice a week each. I square dance on Monday nights. I’m a member of our local Genealogical Society, a book club, a table top gaming group, I scrapbook, read voraciously and have a large circle of friends that I try to meet up with on a regular basis. Not to mention the fact that I work full time, volunteer (less than I’d like to) and try to go to the gym when I can squeeze it in.

One of the local CMC’s, who is a friend more than a CMC, invited me to her workshop on Saturday. I was considering going but then I realized that I’d be much happier if I just stayed home, slept in, and scrapbooked in my pj’s. I was joking with a coworker and saying that I was going to tell everyone that I was scrapping with the CMC even though I wasn’t, just so I wouldn’t be invited out somewhere. He laughed and said “you’re just a ‘Yes Man’!”

Now my dad has said that before. He’s said that I have trouble saying no but I wrote it off as him being anti-social and not having the same priorities as me. I LIKE being busy. I enjoy seeing people and I do say no…sometimes. On the flip side, I also like and need alone time. I’ve always been like that. I have three younger brothers and I’d often just go to my bedroom, close the door, and play alone as a child. Now I get that quiet time because I live alone and when I’m at home, there’s very rarely anyone with me.

January has been a crazy busy month with very few days or evenings set aside for just me. I have a packed calendar and I keep joking that the tag line for my life should be “a tendency to over-commit”. Kevin’s comment worried me though. Does being busy mean I CAN’T say no? Or that I should practice saying no more?

I posted on ScrapShare and got some fantastic advice.

scrappygal: The difference is stress and if you are doing what you WANT to be doing rather than what you feel you SHOULD be doing.

If your life is full of fun things you enjoy doing and you go to bed satisfied with your day, you are fine.

If, however, you are doing things for everyone else while you are stressed out about your own stuff that is not getting done and you realize you haven't read a book or scrapbooked in a month because you've babysat for 5 friends, helped two move and taken on an extra project at work that no one else would do, you have a problem.

busyizzy: I think your life sounds wonderfully enjoyable! I also think it's okay to say, "I'd love to come scrap (or whatever), but I have other plans," even when those other plans are sleeping in and hanging around home in your jammies all day! Those kinds of activities can be planned just as clearly as a movie night with a friend, and are just as legitimate to keep in your calendar. Enjoy yourself, and I'm sure you'll find ways of saying no that work for you.

It isn't the number, it's the effect.

I know people for whom having more than 2 outside work and family obligations is just WAAAAY too much. Stress inducing. Horrific.

Then there are people like you. Only TWO? Bored bored bored...pace pace pace..... THAT would be stressful.

It sounds like you know that this Saturday would be better NOT going to the crop. So.... no thank you SuzyCMC. That says to me that you can read your own needs and say no when your own needs say "time for a day off".

But the rest of the time, your own needs say "hot diggity, tonight's book club and tomorrow is game night and I can't wait for square dancing!"

Not for some.... but for you? It's working.

When you start dragging your sorry butt to those events because you're obligated and really you'd just rather stay home in your pj's, then it's time to re-evaluate and start cutting.

Jill in FL: There is nothing wrong with your full schedule as long as it makes you happy. It's when you start to resent the items on your schedule (or the people who keep asking!) that it may be time to step back and answer no instead of yes. Do as much or as little as you're comfortable with, and if it's scrapping in your jammies at home this weekend, then that's what I'd do!!

kermit: You know when you regret that you said yes and you dread following through with the commitment.
I’m copying them all here because I have a feeling I’ll want to refer back to them. I admit by Friday night I was staring to regret the commitment I had scheduled but I made it through and it made having all day Saturday and Sunday with nothing but church and bible study that much more sublime. Tonight I’m skipping dance because the rest of the week is pretty busy and I know if I don’t start out feeling grounded, I certainly won’t end that way.

So, whether I DO have a tendency to over commit, or if I just live a full life, it’s my life and since I do know where to draw the line, I’m going to keep it up :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010


This is what I saw today when I opened my mail box. The title of this post is what I thought (please excuse the language) I know I should be excited, and I am, but I'm also scared spitless.

For some reason I've been saying "IF I'm accepted to school" looks like they want me. I've applied to three schools, this was my second choice although for a lot of reasons it could be my first. How on earth do I decide though? I have until May (technically) to accept the offer. I think I'll wait for a little while at least. Mostly I just need to get used to the idea. One one hand it's super exciting. On the other, completely overwhelming. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! LOL

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Good Costco Story

I get my prescriptions filled at Costco (it’s pretty much the only thing I buy there and it’s under my mom’s membership to boot). They have a system where you can call in to an auto answering service, enter your RX number and request a refill. They then contact the doctor and, as long as it’s approved, you can pick your prescription up in a few days.

My dear mother picked up my last prescription (a three month supply) before Christmas and with the travelling I’ve been doing I got off track so I didn’t start actually taking the new pills until about a week ago. It took me a few days but I finally clued in that the pills are smaller than they used to be. I usually take 20 mg and these were only 10.

I called the doctor to ask if I he had changed my dosage, or if it was wrong. I got a call from Costco an hour or so later confirming that the prescription had been for 20 mg and if I had the 10’s, that was wrong. They offered, since it’s their mistake, to drive over to my work (which is CLEAR across town), pick up the old prescription (which I’ve started taking already) and drop off the new one.

They called before they came to confirm my location and the Costco lady just left. She showed me her ID to confirm that she wasn’t someone off the street, she gave me the new prescription (a full three month supply), and took my old one back. Now that’s service!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Happy New Year!

I have some draft blog posts that I haven’t had a chance to finish. Lots has happened in the first three weeks of the year but if I try and wait to recap it all, I’ll never get back to blogging. So, instead I’m just going to jump in as of today. If I get back to the other posts, great. If not. That’s okay too.

For today, a funny.

I get tons of emails each day so I have to dedicate time to dealing with and organizing them. I tend to keep most of them for reference. I have 27 main folders in my inbox and each has a multitude of sub folders.

I also get a lot of spam. Most of it is caught and redirected to my junk mail folder but once in awhile I have to move one manually. Today I wanted to move a Viagra ad to junk but the default folder that it would have gone to was “office supplies” LOL

Anyways, I’m back and I hope to post more regularly. I have a 12 of 12 post to put up too. I hope your new year is going swimmingly :)