Monthly Archives: March 2006

Caution! Mechanic at Work!

So the ‘engine coolant’ light has been on in my car for about three weeks now. Since this is not the first time it has come on, I’m not as squirrelly about it as I should be. I’m due for an oil change too (or overdue, since I shoulda gone in September), so I just thought that I would get them done at the same time.

Flash forward 3 weeks and I still haven’t gone and that little red light is like my conscience. Quiet, unassuming, but it’s there all the time, weighing heavy on my soul

So I blow the dust off my owner’s manual and read up on Engine Coolant, inconveniently located in four separate sections of my manual, all of which you have to read if you want to know what’s going on.

I go to Wal-Mart and couldn’t find exactly what the manual said I needed. So I called my mum and asked her to ask my dad (Dad’s a little deaf and a lot Greek so asking him technical stuff on a cell phone is generally a bust. Your best bet is to ask mum, who will then shout it several times at Dad and when he mumbles an answer, she will tell you what it was). But Dad and Mum weren’t 100% sure (at least you didn’t sound 100%, Mum!), so I asked the guy who worked there. He was helpful, but unfortunately they didn’t have what I wanted. And I hate asking questions like that because it makes me feel dumb. I’m not dumb, I’m just not an auto-mechanic.

So off to Cambodian (Canadian) Tire, where I purchase my Dex-Cool engine coolant and then it’s back home. Jenge says, “You’ve done this before?”

“Nope!” I reply, “But I read the book.” And here are my instructions if you want to do it too!!

1. After ensuring engine is cool (okay, I ensured it wasn’t hot, I mean I drove home 2 hrs ago so it was warm but not hot), remove the lid of your coolant tank while being careful not to get sprayed in the eyes by liquid burning fire!! The burning the burning!! (this was according to the picture in the book of what could happen if you did it wrong – so not helpful)
2. My coolant (and I think everyone else’s) has to go in a half and half mixture with water. Why they don’t sell it diluted when everything else in the world is a rip-off, I have no idea, so step 2 – Fill pickle jar with water (I used a standard Vlasic pickle jar – Baby Dill with garlic)
3. Empty pickle jar into coolant tank
4. Fill pickle jar with coolant (thus ensuring my 50-50 mixture, plus my coolant tank was empty with a capital E so I knew I’d be adding lots!)
5. If still not full, fill pickle jar half way with water, the rest with coolant.
6. Add to tank.
7. Peer into cavernous dark hole and wonder if it’s working. (This step optional)
8. Screw lid on tightly. Remind self not to wipe hands clean on cream sweater.
9. Close hood.
10. Check nails for breakage. No breaks, we’re good!
11. Start car

And no coolant light!! I’ll have to wait till tomorrow to make sure it doesn’t pop on at some point since it was on 80% of the time, but off for 20%. Wish me luck!

So the running tally of things I can do for myself regarding my car is now:
1. Change windshield wipers
2. Change tire (Shut it Donna, I can so!)
3. Add washer fluid
4. Add Coolant
5. Check oil
6. Add oil (I haven’ t changed it yet, but I have added it after the light came on!)
7. Jump start with cables
8. Check battery
9. Know when the alternator is about to blow and why the alternator is a VERY IMPORTANT part of your car!!

Yea me!


Lottery winner!

So I ordered some specialty soap from Bean’Stock and they called me on Monday to say that I may have gotten the wrong order. I called them back and let them know that I hadn’t received it yet, but when I did, I would call them and let them know either way. So last night I opened the mailbox and got my delivery notice from Canada post and when I picked it up at the 7-11, it was the wrong order.

So I called this morning and to let them know and they said that they had re-shipped my order and that I should get it shortly. I asked if I should ship the mis-order back to them, or to someone else and they said I could keep it! I was like, “Are you kidding me?” and she said nope, I could keep it. I was so happy! Free stuff! I felt like I won the lottery! I feel like all my years of niceness have been rewarded! I always try really hard to be polite and pleasent to sales people and when I found out I got the wrong order and told them, she apologized and I said that it was okay, these things happen and not to worry and then she let me keep it! Whoo hoo! It’s the best thing that’s happened to me all month!


Crazy Cat Lady for the new Millennium?

Okay, so I post about my dogs. Alot. More than alot. Most of the time. This has me worried. Am I new and not-so-improved version of the Crazy Cat Lady? Will I find myself in 20 years with the Police and the Humane society at my door confiscating my dogs because there are over 20 of them? Will neighbors call in and complain about the smell forcing the cops to come and break down the door, where they will find 20 dogs all living in squalor and me, rocking in the chair next to a long dead fire, mumbling to myself about the good old days, which frankly, aren’t that good? Will checkout girls give me a sad knowing look as I stock up with tins upon tins of dog food?

Is this where it’s going? Is this what it’s coming to? Thinking back over the last few weeks and about my life and wondering how often I go out and what I go out for, here are my findings:

I went to the post office because my online shopping purchase was in
I went to the gas station so I could get to work
I went to work
I went to my sister’s to scrapbook
I was going to go to a party with Donna, but I didn’t want to go so when Donna cancelled I was pleased as punch
I used the phrase ‘pleased as punch’ (so I didn’t go out for that one, but it’s scary none the less)
I went out for coffee cream (because life is not worth living if there’s not a cup of coffee to look forward to)
I went to doggy day care

It’s looking quite dire. Maybe I already am the crazy cat lady. I know my neighbors must think I’m loony since all they know of me is that I am quite frequently yelling out the patio door at Rocky: ‘SHAME ON ROCKY, SHAME! NO BARKING, DO YOU HEAR ME?? NO BARKING!’ and I’m usually in my pj’s as I do this, hair all over the place. That and they’ve prolly seen me dancing in my kitchen. Little do they know, I’m dancing only to the music in my head. And I’ve recently taken up knitting. It’s not looking to good. In fact, it’s pretty ominous.

But I don’t want to go back to my bar days for a number of reasons:
1. It’s freakishly expensive to go out to bars. That being said, I am a pretty cheap drunk
2. At 30yrs old, I may be pushing Cougar Territory
3. It’s no longer fun to have your ears ring for days due to the music
4. I don’t bounce back from the drink like I used to. Time was, I could keep up with most of the people around me and still get up the next day and mow the lawn, but the last time I had the girls over for drinks, I’m pretty sure I took a nap in my bathroom for an hour. Or so Heidi tells me, quite frankly, it’s a blur.

So what’s a girl to do to get out? I’ve tried the sporty route, but my acrylic nails keep getting in the way (and I’m NOT getting rid of them!). I’m geeky, but not geeky enough to join a geek group. Book clubs don’t interest me because they only want to read thinky-thinky books, which is fine, but really, I have to use my noodle alot at work and so it pretty much boycotts thinking on my down time.

So unless you’ve got some killer suggestions, it looks like I may be destined to become your neighboorhood ‘cat’ lady, only with dogs. Don’t call the cops. If you’re truly worried, drop off a pound of Starbucks coffee and a half litre of cream. I’ll be fine!


What do you mean, it’s not about me!!??!!

So, while I was at the vet last week, I brought up another thing about Portia-cakes that has been irking me. At bed time, she doesn’t want to come into my room to sleep with me, she wants to go into mummy Jenge’s room. She waits outside the door and cries, it’s the saddest thing you’ve ever heard! But Jenge says it’s impossible to sleep with both Rocky and Portia on her bed as they are both space hogs. So, no Portias allowed! But it’s so SAD! I tell her, it’s okay Portia, Mummy Margarita is having a party and they aren’t invited! But no, she lays down outside Jenge’s door and sighs……. Oh, the drama.

So I asked my vet, what is this all about? Why is mummy Jenge the star? What about me?? And my vet gave me the most SHOCKING news ever!!

It’s not about me.

It’s about the Sock! (Rocky)

Portia is a malamute, and they are pack oriented. They want to be where the party is!! Safety in numbers, who’s got your six and all that jazz. Rocky, however, is a sheltie, and being bred for sheepherding in the lonely Scottish highlands, you didn’t care about a pack. You only cared about your master(or in Rocky’s case, his mistress). It was that or the sheep. And you DIDN’T make friends with the sheep. Sheep are dumb! Sheep can’t even look out for themselves, they aren’t going to look out for you!

Portia won’t come into my room, because I am Alpha dog (Yeah, that’s right, I’m top of the food chain, baby!) and Alpha dog sleeps alone (although sometimes she does sneak in for a few hours). Sniff, but it’s lonely at the top! I feel like the girl at the party that no one wants to dance with!

So even though, technically, it’s not about me, I still feel like I just lost the dumbest popularity contest EVER!!



Damn you, Cadbury, Damn you!!

Tis the season where I face my greatest challenge in the battle of the bulge. Cadbury mini eggs. OMG, they are soooooooo good. I actually had a discussion about them last night with Donna. While I thought it was just the crunchy goodness of them, Donna made me realize it’s also their chewy texture and meltability. I’ve tried other chocolates, and nothing compares. I’m not even that much of a choco-holic. I could go days, weeks, without thinking about chocolate except those darn mini-eggs. Jenge bought a jumbo bag a couple of weeks back and I could not pass by without reaching in for a handful of chocolately goodness. So good! We finanlly decided that the mini bag of mini eggs is all we are allowed! The jumbo bag is too tempting! So now I limit myself to a mini bag a week. So yummy, so chewy, with just that extra but of crunch, mmmmmmmmmm. Cadbury, you are my nemisis! Mortal enemy! But like all great enemies, we have a complex bond of love and hate too intricate to unravel. I love you, I hate you. Damn you, Cadbury, Damn you!!


The Great Divide. . .

So, I was watching What Not To Wear last week (the America version, not the UK one, don’t hate me Heidi!) and afterward they had another show on, What Not To Underwear. So, being the TV junkie I am, I stayed tuned. They took 3 women (regular sized women with regular issues – not size 2 women) and helped them change their underwear shopping habits. One woman was 34 and had never owned an honest-to-goodness bra. Now, I already knew that 85% of women were wearing the wrong size bra. I myself was one of them until this time last year when I took myself to a bona fide lingerie store and got fitted. Turns out that I’ve been wearing the wrong size since junior high (the last time I was fitted, lol). No wonder I could never find one I truly loved!

But I digress. . . One of these women had never owned a pair of thong underwear, to which I sympathized, myself being a thong virgin. But at the end of the show, she completely (!) turned around and swore off regular underwear forever. She had been stalwart in her refusal to try one, but then became a champion of thongs. This I could totally relate to, myself being quite stubborn in my refusal to try one. But after seeing her, I thought I would give it a go.

So I went to Sears, (where frankly, I get alot of stuff. Honestly the stuff at those Mall lingerie stores is soooooooo cheap it falls apart after 2 washes) and invested in a pair of thong underwear. I came home and informed my younger sister, Jenge, who, to my complete surprised, fessed up that she too had tried this before. But she said, apparently she had the wrong kind. Wrong kind! I repeated. There’s a right and a wrong kind?? She nodded and told me that someone had told her that there was indeed good and bad thong underwear.
“Well, what’s good underwear then?”
She shrugged, “I never asked. Didn’t really feel like I had to know.”

So I went to the most reliable source you will ever find on all things girly girly and female. My nail tech, Amanda. Seriously, if you ever need to take an unofficial poll or find out something or see if anyone else has the same problem as you, ask a nail tech. Their clients are all women, they talk to them for an hour at a time, and get to know them quite well. I’ve been seeing Amanda for at least 5 years I think. She probably knows more about me than you will ever, and knows just as much about her other clients. So I brought this up with her. And yes, she tells me, there are good thongs and bad thongs. She explained it all to me (I won’t go into detail here as I don’t want to get shut down by the blogger police, but suffice to say, simple underwear is better!).

But, I had already purchased a pair from Sears. So I’m stuck with what I got, and today was D-Day. So what’s the verdict? Well, after trying to get them into a comfortable placement I finally gave up after 2 minutes and decided there really wasn’t a comfortable placement. That being said, it’s not all that bad, but it’s not all that great either. I’m definately aware of them. Perhaps this will go away. Perhaps I need to try a few more. I guess I was wearing the wrong bra for years and was uncomfortable but that didn’t stop me from wearing a bra. And now, I have the right bra and it’s GREAT! So I guess I should give this the old college try. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’ll give a big shout out to my mum who said she didn’t mind if I blogged about my undies. Thanks, Mum!!


Knit Happens!

So in addition to scrapbooking, I have also recently taken up knitting. It occurs to me, that I can never just ease into a hobby. I must know everything I can! Buy books! Magazines! Supplies!! As you know, my paper fetish is well out of control (although recently I went to the scrapbooking store and only spent 6 bucks! Unheard of!)

The same is proving true for knitting. I started off my making a scarf for Portia (which she never wears, I mean really, she is a malamute and hardly in need of a scarf). Then I made a scarf for me, one for Donna, one for Amanda (my nail tech) and one for my older sister, Ann. Then I tackled my first big project, doggy sweater. I figured I needed more practice and since I was a beginner, chances were it wasn’t going to be perfect, but Portia wouldn’t care. Portia is now the not-so-proud owner of an ill-fitting but lovingly made turtleneck.

My other projects right now are a cape and what I call ‘The Ugly Blanket.’ The ugly blanket is going to be an amalgamation of different squares made with yarns of different colors and textures. The goal – make it as UGLY, yet incredibly fascinating and touchable as possible. Plus it’s great when you only want to do a little knitting, you just whip up a square in whatever kind of yarn you like.

So now I have a yarn fetish too. Like some sort of strange yarn pervert, I slink into craft/hobby stores and stare at walls upon walls of yarn, reaching out and touching some, feeling the weight, wondering what I could make of it. I joined a yahoo group for knitters in my area too, and I’m glad to see, I’m not alone! Plus reading the posts gave me TONS of new websites to troll for my next yarn fix.

When I told Donna I really liked knitting she just gave me a sympathetic head tilt and said something along the lines of, ‘But of course you do.’ She knows she’s even less likely to get me out of the house now! But I like it. It’s very relaxing and strangely hypnotic. Like meditation. Only you don’t have to chant (I mean, I guess you could chant if you wanted to, but then people would really stare!).

So I continue to happily knit away. Don’t be surprised if you get a scarf for your birthday!


Graduation Day!!

Today was Portia’s last puppy class and we graduated! She has made such improvements over the last 3 months! Those of you who knew us when I first got her know the troubles we had. The shoes we lost to chewing, the remote controls lost to chewing, the books lost to . . you guessed it, chewing! It used to be you couldn’t ever leave her alone for fear of what would happen, but now I sit here happily typing away on the computer while she is downstairs, unsupervised and I don’t have to run to the landing every two seconds yelling ‘What’s going on down there?? You stop it, you stop it right now! Don’t act like you can’t hear me! DON’T MAKE ME COME DOWN THERE!!’

I wish I could say I’ll miss those days, but I won’t.

She’s still a spirited doggy, apt to find something if you leave it out, but we can now leave coffee mugs on the breakfast bar and not hear a dog jump up, start to lick it and then knock it over!!

Now, while on a walk, she will sit when you stop, she always stays to the left side and she will heel when told. She can also ‘lie down’ and ‘come here.’ I’m so proud of her!

For those of you interested in her nose, no new developments lately, still waiting to see if the antibiotics will do the trick. We’ll keep you ‘posted!’


The view from your high horse must be sooooooooooooooooooooo great. . . .

I am a TV junkie. I love TV. I’ll watch crappy shows just because I don’t feel like doing anything else. Don’t get me wrong, I also watch a number of good shows, too. What I can’t stand is when you ask someone if they watch a certain show and they say (somewhat disdainfully). . .

“I don’t watch television.”

Or even better . . .

“Must be nice. I’m too busy to watch television. “

All said in a droopy, my-personality-was-sucked-out-of-me-at-birth tone.

Well, it must be fabulous to be you. You must be sooooooooooooooo terribly important! You probably have more culture and refinement than the rest of us knuckle-draggers. You prolly only read non-fiction too. I bet you’re just itchng for the next Encyclopedia installment to comeout. You prolly edit your own dictionary as well since those apes at Mirriam-Webster can’t define worth a damn!

I feel sorry for you if you are so inefficient at your life you can’t squeeze in a half hour of mindless television. I feel even worse for you because you have the personality of an old ball of lint.


So what if it’s sucking my brain out? So what if you burn more calories while sleeping than when watching TV. I need a little fiction to take the edge off all the reality in my life. And there are good shows out there. The problem is, when a really good one comes along it’s too smart for the majority of the public and so they cancel it after one season (or threaten to cancel it – Cross your fingers for Veronica Mars!)

So what am I watching? Take a look, but judge not, lest ye be judged*
1. Battlestar Galactica
3. Grey’s Anatomy
Reruns of Dead Like Me (on showcase)
Gilmore Girls
6. Supernatural
7. My soaps, All My Children and One Life to Live (Shut it, okay! I know they are totally unrealistic, but as I said, I get enough reality in real life!)
8. The Dead Zone (on space)
9. Numbers (if I can stay awake, but at 11pm on a Friday after a full week of work, it’s a crapshoot)
Veronica Mars (when it comes to Canada, I don’t have satellite)
Video on Trial (on Much Music. OMG it’s the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time!)
Holmes on Homes (on HGTV – honestly, I used to not like him, but he grows on you, the big lug!)
Mythbusters (on Discovery – those guys are crazy!! I love it!!)

I don’t always catch all of them on a regular basis but if they’re on, I’ll plunk my butt down and watch. And I refuse to feel guilty.
So I hope the view from your high horse is pretty good, because I guess that’s the only thing you’re watching!

*See, knuckle dragger that I am, I do know some smart-ass quotes!


The Nose Knows, part Deux. . . . (or IT’S NOT A TUMOR!!)
This is a before picture of her nose – when it was all black!

So I just got back from the vet and she said that it may just be a bacterial infection but we can’t know for sure without doing a biopsy on Portia’s nose. (!!) So, we treat it as if it were a bacterial infection and then wait to see what happens. Dose of antibiotics in the morning, dose of antibiotics at night, wash food bowls in dishwasher daily.

If it’s not a bacterial infection, then in is an auto-immune system disorder and this is how it starts before their ‘faces start to fall off’ (and that’s a direct quote!!) I guess the skin starts to peel quite dramatically because the body is attacking it!!

Who knew a pink nose could be the sign of something so terribly nefarious!! At first I thought it was so cute. Oh, look, her nose is turning pink! Little pink nose!! How darling!

And now it’s like a ticking time bomb sitting on her face. We just have to wait and see. . .
WHO KNEW!! Cross your paws for Portia!!