Saturday, May 26, 2007

I'm almost 30 old do I look???

I like to think of myself as a pretty good wife.
I let my husband sleep in most weekends. I do stuff like grocery shop, clean the bathroom and put his socks in the laundry basket (without really saying much).
And, when my husband brings something wonderful home, like a 44" television, I do really nice things like go to the Beer Store to buy his favourite beer so that when he comes home with said television, and a friend helping him haul it, he can have a nice cold beer.
See, I'm nice that way.
I even wore a short skirt for when he got home, and totally agreed to him going out with his friend for the night (and the friend is staying over, and I will most likely be nice and get up with the toddler while he sleeps in). See. I'm a good wife.
But you know what part of this bugged me? The trip to the beer store.
It's not that I don't like beer. But, the beer I like is available at the LCBO, and I rock that store. I like the LCBO. I usually wander the aisles and pick up a bottle of wine and, if I'm so inclined, some beer.
But the beer store???? The place is not for me.
First of all, I never know which line to get in. When I do figure out the line I stress the entire time I am there. What am I getting? How do I know if things come in 6's, 12's or 2-4's. And, how to I order? It's sooooo frustrating.
Again, today, this happened. I lined up forever, and when I got to the front of the line I got nervous and ordered the wrong thing. Who knew Sleeman didn't come in 6's. Why doesn't Sleeman come in 6's? And, did you know there are various different kinds of Sleeman?
When the woman at the cash asked me which kind of Sleeman I wanted I just looked back at her completely flummoxed. She said which one was the best. I said fine.
Then she asked if I wanted ice. Stupidly I said "aren't they cold?"
When she started to laugh I knew what the next question would be ... "Can I see some i.d.?"
I gave it to her and she shouted for the whole store "You were born in 1978? Is this a fake i.d?"
I think she was kidding.
I don't think I look that young.
Once the entire line figured out my age, and I had convinced her (thanks to my work i.d. and my health card) that I really was 29 I left. Beer in hand.
Ever the good wife.
Next time I am going to the LCBO.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Car, Anyone?

Mike and I have been debating the idea of buying a new, or new to us, car.
Our current car is the same age as our marriage. Seriously. We bought our car the week we got home from our honeymoon. It's a Pontiac Sunfire. We've paid it off. And, it's had many good days. But, the poor car is not doing that well.
This is completely our fault. We didn't keep up with oil changes, we've ignored the little rattles that have built up, and, oh yeah, we've hit it may times.
I think I actually scratched the wheel cover the first week that we got the car. I once drove it into a pole. Mike's rear ended a couple of people.
And, now we have a car that is requiring a fair amount of repair. We both agreed that when monthly repair bills equal monthly payments we'll consider a new car.
And this is what we are looking at.
Don't laugh.
It's the Dodge Magnum.
Yes, seriously.
Mike is very fond of this car. I'm not so sure. I'm really not ready to buy a mini van. I'm not even 30 ... so no!
But, a station wagon????
I know it's the new wave of station wagons. I think it's a little hearse like. And, to be honest, I'm not so sure about my driving skills.
As much as I joke about them, I am really quite comfortable with my Sunfire. I know the angles. I can back into parking spots with ease, and I have no problem parallel parking it. In fact, I quite enjoy the parallel park. I'm used to the angles. I know the mirrors. I like it.
And, I'm not sure that graduating to a larger car is the way to go. I mean, yes, it will assist me in my garage saling. I will be able to store a heck of a lot of stuff in there. But, I will also have to manoeuvre that thing at garage sales. It sort of scares me.
I would love to move to a smaller car. My friend has a mini and I really like it. But, it's not practical for us. I would really love a Smart car, but again, not practical. I suggested to Mike that since we only have on parking spot, that we get 2 minis so we would each have our own car. But, no. We don't have that much spare cash, and we really wouldn't all fit.
So, we're back to looking at the Station Wagon.
It's not that I don't like it. There are some great features. Matt loves the rear wiper. I can reminisce about my youth with a station wagon (called the "humble hornet") and the good old days where we'd drive to Florida and my parents would let us sleep in the trunk.
But, I don't think that will be an option for Matt.
We'll see ...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Books and Eulogies ...

I've been reading the best book the week. It's called the Memory Keeper's Daughter. On the weekend I really wanted a good book to read. I was tired of reading chick lit (love it, but needed a break). I have been thinking about reading this for awhile, so I decided to pick it up.
It's a little bleak, I warn you. But, it's amazingly good. I'm loving it. Ironically my sister started reading it the same day. However, she reads at a very different pace than me, so while I am almost done and would love to say more about it, I will not ruin it for her.
Anyway, if you're looking for a good read, you should pick this up. (If you are my friend, yes, you can borrow it. Let me know.)

And, on another note... I've been thinking about posting this for awhile. It's the eulogy that I said at my Grandma's funeral. It's not sad. Don't worry. I was driving home with my mom from a parenting seminar tonight and we were talking a bit about my Grandma. And, I realized that I wanted to share some of her. So ... voila.


One of my favourite books is The Fifth Business by Robertson Davies.

When I read this book it struck me how much this term could be used to refer to my Grandma, Betty Jones.

The term fifth business refers to the main character in the book and has its roots in the opera.

The definition of the Fifth Business is a person who has no opposite: the odd man out—neither heroine nor her lover, rival nor villain—yet essential to the plot.

This is a role that Grandma has always played in my life – and the life of my sister and cousins. She never was the key player; she left that first to our parents and later to our partners. But she has always been essential to the plot … otherwise known as our lives.

For me it would be hard to talk about Grandma without also talking about Grandpa who passed away five years ago. When I think about Grandma, so many of the pictures that come to my mind are pictures of her with Grandpa.

Grandma and Grandpa were, quite simply, amazing grandparents. They loved all of their grandchildren to pieces. Going to 389 Sutherland Drive for visits wasn’t just something we did at Christmas and Easter. It was almost a weekly occurrence. Grandma would always have something made for dinner – it varied between things like ham or meatloaf or lasagna, but we could always expect to have peas, ginger ale, diet coke and vanilla ice cream. Always.

And we made their home like our second home. We would play red light green light outside in the summer and we would play Atari in the basement in the winter. Looking back I feel like we took the comfort for granted. We’d fling ourselves on the couch with a can of diet coke. Or we’d open up the Russell Stover Chocolates without a second thought.

As I said before, Grandma’s role in our lives was unique. She never played an aggressive role, but she was always so important to our lives.

Grandma was our cheerleader. She was also an amazing listener. And she was a great role model. I often see my parents and Barry and Bonnie turning into the grandparents that Russ and Betty were.

I learned a lot from Grandma. The first thing that comes to my mind about grandma was bravery. I’m not sure that this would be the first thing to come to mind for everyone, but to me this was a biggie.

When I was about 8 Grandpa had an operation. He had to stay in the hospital at night, and we had spent the evening with Grandma. As we were leaving I asked her what she was doing that night. She told me that she was watching Murder She Wrote and then reading a mystery book in bed.

As a child who was afraid of the dark, I marveled at her courage.

This is also a woman who raised three children – spending a lot of time alone while her husband traveled. A woman who as a new bride moved to a different country to follow her husband, and a woman who later in life watched one son play football, a daughter live first in Japan and then the Philippines, and another son go through major surgery.

If that’s not bravery, I don’t know what is.

Another trait about grandma was her amazing sense of humour. She knew how to laugh at herself. After leaving Buffalo she never lost certain words such as Davenport, which means couch, ice box, which means fridge, and WARSHroom which is the bathroom. As we laughed at these words, Grandma laughed right along with us.

She also laughed about her backseat driving. Whenever we went anywhere with Grandma and Grandpa we would sit patiently as Grandma would shout “Russ Russ” constantly for the entire car ride. She would say that she was a much better backseat driver than regular driver. It turns out that I inherited her driving skills because it took me 5 driving tests to finally pass.

Before I passed my final test she said to me that if I ever DID pass she would happily go for a ride and not say a word.

You know what? She was one of my very first passengers. We went for a nice drive around Leaside. She sat quietly, didn’t say a word, didn’t even comment when we hit a few cubs and gave me a hug when she got out of the car. She went on many car rides with me after that. She always bit her tongue and often closed her eyes pretending to nap while I drove...

As I said before – my grandmother was a very brave person.

But, above all she was loving.

What I will miss the most about Grandma is the huge smile that lit up her face whenever she saw one of us grandchildren and later one of her great grandchildren enter the room.

On Sunday we had planned to go visit her. I’m sad because we never got the opportunity. Instead my sister and I and our families spent the afternoon in a local park, playing with our children. The day was lovely, out children were playing and having a great time, and we were enjoying each other’s company.

That same day Lisa, my cousin, was enjoying her first Mother’s Day.

I said to Lisa last night that I wish I could have had the opportunity to say goodbye. But, I realized, that for Grandma, knowing her grandchildren and great grandchildren were so happy on her last day on earth would have been the greatest gift we could have given her.

As I said before Grandma’s role in our lives was always a little bit in the shadows. She was happy to sit back and watch us grow and mature and become the people we are today.

And, so much of who I am, who we all are, is because of the role she played in our lives. Grandma will be dearly missed by all of us.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I Love New York (or I'm Crazy!)

We have been talking about our vacation a lot.
Actually, my vacation. With Matt.
Because Mike switched jobs mid-year he does not get vacation time and can't go away with us. This sucks. But, I'm still going.
Since I don't want to drive to Vermont I looked into flights. And, the flight I will likely do stops in New York. Here's my plan.
I'm going to take a super early flight (5:55 am) with Matt from Buffalo to New York. And then we'll spend all day and evening in New York. We'll spend the entire day doing NYC completely. And then we will spend the night at a hotel, get up the next morning and fly to Vermont.
Seriously, I love the idea. The thought of going to the Empire State Building, Times Square, Central Park and of course shopping thrills me to bits. One day. Matt could handle it. We'll take the subway. We'll maybe go on a tour bus. He'll take his first airplane ride.
I've been to New York many times. I know he'll love the hustle and bustle. LOVE IT.
Mike thinks my plan is insane.
It is, a bit. It would be a super long day. But, people, that's is what coffee and adrenaline are for. And, seriously, Matt runs on sugar. I figure he has it in him. And, then we will go to Vermont where we will relax, breathe in the mountain air, and get refreshed.
To me it's worth it.
What do you think???

Monday, May 21, 2007

Run Run Run!

I set a goal for myself, kind of a New Year's resolution. I decided that by my birthday I wanted to run 5km.
In all honesty, I didn't know if I could do it. But, you never know unless you try. And try I did.
Since January I have been working towards this goal. Some weeks have been better than others. Some days I've felt like a runner, some days I've felt fat, ugly, and unable to walk around the block let around jog.
But I promised myself I would do it.
And today I did.
I ran 5k!
A friend of mine is a marathon runner. He knew of my goal. In fact, all along he's been encouraging me to keep going, to get out there, to try it, to not give up.
And, so last week when I saw him he asked if I was ready to go for a run yet.
Imagine my surprise when the word "yes" popped out of my mouth.
Last week was not a good week. I was sad about the death of my grandma, and I was absorbed in the details that go along with death. As I told a friend, I can eat my way through anything - and eat I did.
All the hard work I had done to lose weight went by the wayside as I ate and ate and ate. And I did not go to the gym once.
So, I wasn't quite sure this was the week to attempt this.
But, I decided that I would.
And today we did it.
It wasn't the world's fastest run. I ran 5k in just under 38 minutes.
But ...
Last year at this time I could not have imagined even running around the block, let alone going for a run. And, dare I say it, enjoying the run.
In fact, the last 500 metres I sprinted.
So, happy birthday to me!!! 5k was the gift I gave myself. And, I'm really proud to say I did it.
Next year I turn 30. Do I see a 10k on the horizon???