Monday, May 30, 2011

technology strikes again!!

Ok folks- something has gone wrong with the comment button. It works on all my old posts but it won't work on the I heart new york post. SOOOOO will somebody try this one and see if it works. My theory is that whilst I was clicking and cussing around trying to put the pictures in the last post, I inadvertently clicked something I wasn't supposed to click and now things are all snafu-ed!
If anyone knows how to fix this problem, please tell me. I went into my settings and made sure everything was kosher, but still it's not working.

Fingers crossed that it's just a one time thing. I live for comments, dang it!!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I heart New York!!!

Not withstanding I had to fly in an airplane to get there, I really love New York. BUT...I Love Weehawken New Jersey even MORE!!! If you don't know where Weehawken is, just stand in Manhattan and look across the river. See all those old beautiful houses on the cliff? That is Weehawken, and also Hoboken, which is another great NJ town.

The great thing about these places is they are so close to NYC but you don't hear the noise or have the traffic and your view of Manhattan is AMAZING! These places are like small towns- quiet streets lined with beautiful old homes and trees. I fell in love instantly. Janet Tava, a fellow artist, was so generous and let me bunk at her 100 year old house. She showed me all around her home town and I was smitten. One nice thing among many were the little cha-chittah buses. They call them that either because they aren't full grown buses and they are cheats, or because of the sound they make-I can't remember which, but for $2.50 they get you to Manhattan in about 8 minutes- zip- through the Lincoln tunnel and bang, you are back in the city that never sleeps.
I was there for 4 days and it is all a blur, but I remember one thing. It was amazing.

We went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Twice. One trip just wasn't enough! We saw an exhibit of Alexander McQueen at the museum. If you want to see genius, google his exhibit at the Met. It was called "Alexander McQueen, Savage Beauty." Dresses made out of razor clam shells or metal or shiny plastic or feathers - sounds strange but they were gorgeous! He was a British fashion designer who last year killed himself. We commented that we kind of understood why he exited this life... he left it all on that floor! I couldn't imagine having to always top myself like that. Sad- he was extremely talented. The exhibit was mind boggling and breath taking. The art in the Met was also amazing, and yes I blew off my art show to go back the next day. I could live in that museum. Just camp out right under a painting and look at it for hours. All the art that I studied in high school was there- the impressionists that I love- Monet, Degas, Manet, Van Gogh. Pinched myself a few times. All that remarkable talent in one building is overwhelming.

I sat next to a Father and Daughter in the crowded cafeteria and over heard them talking about not understanding the MORMONS. That was all it took- I asked them what don't you understand and we talked for an hour and a half. What a cool experience that was!!! After all it was Sunday. They were excited to see what they could learn about genealogy and finding their family line. They asked a bunch of questions and I did my best to answer them. The Father wanted to know if he was divorced if he could go to heaven- Of course you can go to heaven, silly man. I explained to him about different parts of heaven and eternal increase, which to him translated into eternal S.E.X. He wanted to know if I could hook him up with a Mormon so he could get to the "top level." We had a great time and I hope some of what I told them sticks and they want to learn more. The daughter got very teary a few times, as did I.

My camera battery died and I didn't have a charger so we went to the most incredible store- B&H- if you want a lesson in Jewish efficiency- just go there. OMGOSH! 280 Hasidic Jewish men in full garb-shatnez, tzitzits, yarmulke and forelocks (say that fast three times I dare ya) as far as the eye could see, all lined up at counters where you inquired, ordered, paid for and picked up your camera battery, each step at a different counter-the last counter at the end of the little sky track that brought your order down in bins from on high. They were all buzzing and yelling and looking frazzled because there were no less than one million customers in there. The traffic was directed all by them waving and yelling and it was like being a cow in a feed lot- It was an experience to be sure!

We ate at Katz Deli- where "Harry Met Sally" and the counter guys there YELLED at you to get up hear and order- get over there and pick up you food!!! The pastrami melted in your mouth!
We also went to The Cake Boss where I ate the most delectable thing I have EVER eaten. It's called a lobster tail and its a thousand layers of flaky pastry filled with some kind of custard cream and it did to you what Harry thought was happening to Sally if you get my drift. Well not quite, but almost!

We did go to the Surtex art show- gave cheek kisses to all the Galaxy of Graphics folks then blew out of there to immerse ourselves at some great art supply stores in Soho, where I spent money like it was water. Oh dear- the handmade paper! Another Harry met Sally moment!
The food, the noise, the fact that if you can't find it in NYC, you don't need it and never will need it, the architecture and churches, the people, the diversity, the rain and humidity, hot one second, cold and wet the next, the shopping, the taxi's, the buses, the TRAFFIC, which is INSANE! Not sure I would want to live there. I think I could go for Weehawken in a heart beat though. Yup, I do heart New York!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Hail to the Chief!!

If you don't love animals like I do (nobody does-it's unhealthy!) you can go read something else. I just sent chief to heaven. This is a horrible, crappy, sad day.
The first time I met chief he was a stringy puppy living illegally in an apartment of stupid boys in Rexburg, Idaho. He was pretty shy. All the boys said they liked him, but I think one of them didn't because he was very nervous and a bit shy. If I ever find out who abused him, that person is toast. Anyway- the boys got caught with the dog and so his owner took him to Salk Lake to live with his sister, who hated him, didn't want him and kept him in the garage. She decided she couldn't keep him, allergies or some such excuse, and that is where Whitney came in. She called and asked if she could bring him home. GAH! Not another dog. We already had a Boarder Collie. I tried to scare her by telling her she would never get him through the border- She was not deterred. He had papers- pure bread stuff. I said you can bring him home if you find another place for him. She drove all the way home from Salt Lake with him on the front seat, where he accidentally shifted the car into neutral on the I-15 luge! They made it unscathed, barely.
Oh my he was silly looking. He stayed on a bed in the spare room and didn't come out. It was obvious he had been mistreated. Our other dog hated him at first. She growled at him and bared her teeth- like he need that! After a while Stewart got him to come out of the room and Nicky tolerated him but I insisted that Whitney find him another home. There was a lady who had boxers so we took him over to her house to make sure chief would be ok. It looked good- he played with the other boxers and I felt great- this is a good deal. Paige however was not ok. We got in the car and she started to bawl. One of the few times I have seen her cry. I got all mother knows best on her and told her we couldn't keep him, this is a good arrangement, etc. This was a Friday. The lady was out of town for the weekend and said she would pick him up on Monday.
TOO LATE. She came over one more time to see him and I brought him down to the living room. He was acting so scared and shy. I knelt down to try and give him some reassurance and he draped his head on my neck and actually hugged me. That was all it took. We had us a Big Boy Brindle Boxer.
He was always a bit scared of stuff but around our house he was the biggest goof ball. Very affectionate and all 65 pounds of him in the mindset of a lap dog. Always trying to sit on your lap, always with some part of his big body against you or on you. Once I had a really bad inner ear infection and he stayed on the bed next to me for an entire week.
He had what we called the spin move. When he got to go for a walk, he would spin in little circles all over the back yard. He loved to run and he and Nicky would chase each other with no thought for what was around them. One day Chief literally took a friend of mine out at the knees- knocked her flat on her back. You had to watch out for him because he was so big.
When he was about 3 years old we noticed he was limping and trying to walk only on his front legs. Something was wrong. We took him to the vet and he said it was probably his back. This was not good news. Stewart stayed home from a family ski trip to take him to a specialist in Calgary. We found out he had torn both of his ACL ligaments. The specialist could fix him- for $3000.00 a leg. Stew was on board but I thought that was a lot of money. We all cried because I said no-that is just too much money and it was a horrible recovery for the dog. Stewart brought him home so we could all say goodbye. We thought he was just too young to go- there had to be something we could do. We are of the mindset that when you have animals you take care of them and you don't just put them down because they have a chink in their armor. We made a last ditch effort to talk the vet in Lethbridge into fixing Chiefs legs. He said he could do a different operation that was half the cost and the recovery wasn't as hard. So one leg at a time Chief was fixed. The first leg went pretty well, but the second leg was really rough. But he was a trooper, and soon he was back to his old self. Not doing the spin moves- we had to break him of that for his legs sake, but doing great. Until Nicky died.
He turned into an old man over night. He would lay around and sulked all day. SO up to Edmonton Stewart and Paige went and got a female boxer puppy- Mattie, to cheer Chief up. He was a new man!
He lasted for another 7 years, until we knew that he couldn't see very well, or hear and he had some weird things growing in weird places and he snored so bad I had to sleep in another room. We knew he would not be able to make the yearly summer trip to the lake. We knew we wouldn't get any sleep with him snoring like that in the trailer. So today, he went to the vet. He was very excited to get in the truck. Little did he know.
Do dogs really go to heaven? Somebody tell me they do, even if it's a lie. I kind of believe all things that God created are resurrected at some point. Mattie is sitting here looking out the window. It breaks my already broken heart. I hope she doesn't decline because Chief is gone. I am afraid of that. Right now I say no more dogs. I just get too attached. It is much easier when you know they are really sick. Chief was just old. So it's harder.
I loved that dog. His only vice was eating horse poop- yeah, I know it's gross- He was brave and sweet and loving and gentle. He never bit even when the babies would pull his ears or poke him or pet him too hard. He was handsome and big and goofy and I loved him very much. I will miss him every day. I never got tired of petting him or hugging him. I always wondered if the novelty of him would wear off- it never did. Each morning when he snorted and got all feisty, throwing his head around and boxing you with his front paws, it was a treat.
Can you love a dog too much? Yes and no. I know the hurt goes away, thank heaven. But today it's agony.
I love you, Chiefy boy! Rest in peace.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


So- which are you, ladies? OL stands for old lady- YAH stands for young and hip. Apparently there are strict rules to how one dresses and if you aren't careful, you could fall into the Old Lady category- FOR SHAME!!! I don't think I fall into either category because I dress solely for comfort. That should be it's own category I think.
The rules state if you are all matchy pooh, you are an OL. hmmm- If I pair black with other black then go with more black and accessorize with just a hint of black, am I matchy pooh?

I think I have learned the do's and don'ts. I have made some real fox paws (yes I meant to say it that way) I did do the tights and tunics at one point- but at that juncture in time, it was YAH! And I was skinny. I also went through a coverall stage. What was I thinking???Oh right- cover ALL- says it all don't you think? And the comfort category rides again.
Layers- that is YAH. But then you run into menopause and the more layers you have on the more deadly you become flinging them off in the throws of a hot flash! Nope- no layers for me!
Then there are mom pants. I haven't made that mistake for many years. You do, at some point, know when to stop "tucking!" Well some people never do figure that one out. Sad but true.
I think my problem is I HATE TO SHOP!!!!! I just do NOT get the attraction. I know people who shop 2 or 3 times a week and there are those who shop daily! REALLY? Either on line or walking the malls, it is the most tedious torchure I can think of- I would rather clean toilets! I am not kidding. Here, let's put all these tiny clothes out on racks and have you shuffle through them all, knowing full well they won't look one thing like they do on the hanger once you put it on you!
Let's prove to you once and for all that you really are fatter and shorter than you think you are and you truly are built like a lump, all the while knowing you also have the added insult of paying big bucks at the end of this humiliation. Shoes aren't so bad- my feet haven't changed too much, but swim suits?? Forget about it!
My closet is full of stuff I bought that I have seldom worn because it never fit right in the first place but it's better than going home empty handed. And I hate that when you have some money and you really need something- nothing is cute and nothing fits, but when you are broke- everything looks cute. Happens every time, am I right? The shopping Gods truly despise me!
I have 3 categories of clothes in my arsenal.
1. Church clothes- mostly some form of black-interchangeable, 5 sets as there are only 4-5 given Sundays in a month...easy. Done. And with OL legs- thank the Gods for knee length black boots!!! Those would be what you call an old stand by, especially in Canada- 6 months of the year, and some years you can stretch it to 7 or 8!-WHOOT WHOOT!
2. Comfortable painting clothes, which almost everything becomes at some point in time, (even my pajamas have paint on them)- with the exception of Sunday clothes because I don't paint on Sunday and I am out of that stuff in 8.7 seconds anyway!
3. Hiking, skiing, snow shoeing clothes. Stewart is a lucky guy- he always knows what to get me for my birthday or Mother's day- Hiking stuff!
That's about it- oh and swim suits and wet suits for the summer. I am not a fashion plate- never have been, never will be. Just can't be bothered. Oh dear...I think I just fell into the OL category.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Planes-check, trains-check, extra credit for bus-check, on to automobiles.
My good friend Jackie decided that we needed to go to Utah to visit our respective families. Sounded like a good idea, except that it was in the middle of winter. No worries- in Canada- if you stayed home because it was a bit blustery outside, you would never leave your house. So off we went. After 5 days of- well -staring at the walls because it's also winter in Utah- I had had enough, and when Jack called to ask do you want to go home tomorrow, a day earlier than we planned, I said YES PLEEEEEASE!!! Problem was another huge storm was supposed to hit. We didn't care, we were done like dinner! Looking back on it now- dinner should have stayed in the oven a bit longer because that was one heck of a storm.
We got out of Utah with little incident but when we hit Mallad Pass in Idaho, all traffic had come to a blizzard induced hault. The pass was closed. We sat in the truck under a bridge for a couple of hours. We made our own playing cards out of paper. ummm hmmm it was a good time. When we saw that the snow plows were headed up the pass we squeaked in behind them and drove about 10 miles per hour but we were moving toward home so we didn't care. There was a problem though. The windshield wipers couldn't keep up with all the snow and they were freezing up with ice. Jackie drove with one hand on the wheel and the other one out the window, constantly flicking the wiper on her side, trying to free the snow and ice so she could see. I traveled with my head out the other window attempting to tell her where the side of the road was in case we went in the ditch. A good time was had by...well...neither of us, but hey- we were not sitting in condo's in Utah with our elderly parents trying to entertain ourselves!

Side note. Do NOT get me wrong. We love our parents and it was nice to visit- but after 5 days of it and being stuck inside because of extremely bad weather- you get a little stir crazy. Jackies Dad had Alzheimers, and my Dad had been taking pain killers for some reason and couldn't figure out why he was throwing up all the time- you all know how much I like throwing up so can you understand why it was imparitive that we GO HOME??? I did save my Dad, literally, so it was a good thing I was there- I was the one who figured out why he was so sick. Idiot Doctors- another story for another time-

After 10 hours, we made it to a gas station in Idaho Falls- which should have taken only 4 hours, but we were that much closer to home so we were happy campers. Here is where the fun really starts though. Jackie decides she has had enough with flicking the windshield wipers so she politely asked the gas station attendant if he would replace the blades, a perfectly reasonable request under the circumstances. One teeny tiny problem though: Jackie is a bit blind at the best of times and a tad unobservant. She had not noticed that the attendant was minus one arm. She blissfully walks off to pay for the gas and leaves me in the truck with the one armed man. He was trying his darndest to change the windshield wipers with one hand and he was reeeeealy mad- can you just see it? And there I sit not knowing what to do- should I get out and offer to help? Sure- like I know how to change wiper blades!! Not a clue! I thought, maybe I could just get out and go inside the gas station and hide, but then that would look really rude. No, I just sat there trying not to watch the train wreck in front of me, and that guy was really ticked off. At some point I look over longingly at the gas station and there stands Jackie, first she is looking horrified at the situation, then she must have seen MY annoyed face because she breaks out in very inappropriate laughter which in turn starts my inappropriate laughter. I just hid my face as best I could and prayed he couldn't see my shoulders shaking.

It must be said here that Jackie and I have this very adverse effect on each other- for 33 years now we have been the seemingly insensitive brats in every awkward or embarrassing situation. We should know by now to avoid any eye contact in dire situations because this is what happens. It doesn't help that we are both very easily amused. Like the time we had a self breast examination class for Relief Society, complete with a movie- we shouldn't have looked at each other then either. Or the time I was giving a lesson in Relief Society and the little old ladies who are deaf and don't know how to whisper were really kicking it up making a racket and I looked at Jackie and put my gun finger to my head and pulled the trigger. That was a mistake! It's just an immature sad disaster each and every time, but we can't help ourselves.
I really don't know how the one armed gas man got the blades changed. It took an agonizingly long time. I know because I was stuck in that truck inches away from his angry eyes for the duration thereof. As we drove off, both of us in tears at this poor mans expense, and with me telling Jackie that if she ever did that to me again, I would personally throttle her with my own two hands, we noticed that the blades were still collecting ice and snow and they weren't one bit better. I watched the ineffective blades for a while and then I told Jackie to pull over. I got out and grabbed the wiper, reefed on it for all I was worth and Sheazamm. They worked. The only thing that was wrong with them was they had been pulled out too far by Jackie's constant flicking and they weren't touching the window. The blades that had been replaced by the one armed bandit were perfectly fine. We laughed ourselves silly all the way to Helena, Montana.

We reminisce about this event all the time, and we feel guilty and we try to keep straight faces in honor of the one armed man who replaced perfectly good wiper blades for two ditsy blonds who had no business being on the roads in a class 10 blizzard. We feel kind of bad...really we -snicker,! Honest!