Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Year That Was....

Well... 2008 has been quite the year for me!

January saw me venture into online dating. There are supposed to be plenty of fish in the sea, and in February/March, I thought I had reeled in a keeper. That, however, did not pan out in my favour, so the line went back in the pond....

March was the month that my ex finally got around to giving me the $$ buy-out from our property division. This meant there were a few things I could now afford to do, number one being look for a house!

April saw me buy my very first house, owned only by me (well, me and the bank, but whatever..). It meant another move (in July) a year after the one following the demise of my marriage. But this move was exciting and uneventful (thankfully!).

It also meant buying new livingroom furniture, new washer and dryer and painting the livingroom (the first in a very long list of anticipated home renos that will take me years to complete... only to start all over again as the first renos will then be outdated.... *sigh*).

May saw my horse go to my best friend for a couple of months' further education, as I could foot the bill for that for a while. He's such a fun horse to ride and tries so very hard when you are teaching him something new. Thunder had fun and I know my friend did too! This is what she does for a living, but she really has fun with the horses she knows well.

June saw the addition of Pips (aka That Damn Cat) to the family. BB, the old kitty codger in the house, took her appearance in stride with nary a whisker out of place. Zoë was so relaxed about it, it was silly. Pips, on the other hand, was the one hissing and growling for weeks on end every time she saw BB. She absolutely loves the dog, however, and snuggles up to Zoë whenever possible. The dog tolerates her with an air of resigned mild interest.

June also saw another fish pulled from the sea... but that one turned out to be of little interest... didn't have the strength and spunk to make it game enough for me....

July was the month my divorce went through. That is one chapter of my life I am glad is closed....

September, the fridge that came with my house (a relic from the 80's, I swear! it was Harvest Gold.... ugh) decided to become incontinent and piddled on the kitchen floor with great regularity. It did, however, continue to keep things cold and frozen where they should be cold and frozen. However, it was not long before I grew tired of having a towel living on my kitchen floor to catch the effluent. So a brand new fridge found its way into my kitchen (and onto my credit card...) and the old one lived on the deck until carted away to wherever old, leaky fridges go.

At the end of September came another catch of potential interest from the fish pond. This One seemed quite game although very Busy. But I was patient and we slowly seemed to be moving along. And I was pleased.

There have been a few bites throughout the year, on the line I have cast into that pond over and over again. Most are only that - the barest nibble. At times, when I take a look at what has grabbed onto the hook, I have to cut it loose and try again.... and make sure my toes aren't near the edge... there's sharks in them thar waters!

In October, finally... I underwent surgery to remove my gallbladder. It had been plaguing me with belly aches and hot air for several years, defying diagnosis until finally viewed via MRI - twice. The offending organ was removed via a little hole just above my belly button. I am toying with the idea of a belly button piercing to hide that thing - makes me look like I have two!

Just six days after my surgery, That Damn Cat began her escapades which resulted in a huge vet bill for emergency xrays, surgery, drugs, etc. She needs to learn to be more discretionary about what she consumes. And to not have a totally hissy fit when confined to an entire bedroom, attempting escape through the heating ducts.... That became a costly, messy affair that had me at my wit's end until she was safely extracted from said duct in the basement. Totally unscathed... just very tired. Damn cat....

November, there were spiders in the snow (I kid you not... really) and general evolutions in the goings on with the Busy One. As the month progressed, he began to draw away....

Early December... the Busy One decides he doesn't have the time or energy for a relationship but still wants to be friends... yeah... riiiight.... and the line snapped, with that fish plunging back into the sea, never to be heard from again.

Then, out of the blue, from another pond, comes a tiny nibble.... an interesting nibble.... one that continues to nibble as I wriggle the line.... hmmmmm.

Just before Christmas, as I am working extra shifts, trading shifts and ending up with a schedule that sees me working 14 shifts in 16 days (five on, one off, three on, one off, six on)... the week before Christmas, I take my truck in for winter servicing, an oil change, and could you please adjust my parking brake as it doesn't hold worth a damn anymore?

Well... was I in for a rude surprise! The rear differential was leaking - blown seal - into the brakes. So guess what.... I had a huge bill just before Christmas... one that I certainly did not need. But the truck works just fine now....

Christmas Day I was so tired I couldn't get out the door until 4:00 p.m. to go to my niece's house for dinner and gift exchanging. Had a great time, as always, but was totally fried and left for home around 8:00 p.m. Such a party pooper! But I left my camera behind by accident... well, that will be another post soon. They had a good laugh adding to the shots already captured on it.

It is now New Year's Eve. I have spend a couple of hours chatting with my fish in that pond. I worked today and have tomorrow off. I plan on watching tv for a while tonight. Not sure if I will make it to midnight, but that is not a big deal. It is already the New Year in a good portion of the planet.

I hope all of you out there in the Blogiverse have wonderful New Years, wherever you are. May 2009 be full of the wonders of life, the joys of living and the riches that come with a heart full of love.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Let's see your score for THIS one! says I'm an Uber Cool Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!


Monday, December 29, 2008


Boxing Day was a lovely day... with a high temp of -6C. So lovely that myself, Zoë, my sister and her dogs trucked around the dog park for an hour. The dogs had a blast running through the snow and playing, with no winter clothing on.

Today, as I get ready to take Zoë for a walk, it is -21... but feels like -30 because of the wind.

Layer upon layer... just to survive a trundle so the dog can run and burn off some steam. Sometimes I wish I had a 10 lb dog instead of a 100 lb dog - so that she could run around the house for exercise when it is this cold.

*sigh... very big sigh*

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A 50/50 Chance...

You Are: 50% Dog, 50% Cat

You are a nice blend of cat and dog.

You're playful but not too needy. And you're friendly but careful.

And while you have your moody moments, you're too happy to stay upset for long.

They Must Have Looked In My Window....

Your Ideal Pet is a Big Dog

You're both energetic, affectionate, and a bit goofy.

And neither of you seem to mind very slobbery kisses!

Because they would have seen this:

Am I just a mish-mash?

You Are a Chimera

You are very outgoing and well connected to many people.

Incredibly devoted to your family and friends, you find purpose in nurturing others.

You are rarely alone, and you do best in the company of others.

You are incredibly expressive, and people are sometimes overwhelmed by your strong emotions.

Confidence, not Depends

Your Underwear Says You're Confident

When you're bad, you're very bad. And when you're good, you're still trouble!

You're comfortable in your own skin - and don't care to impress anyone.

A Little Bit Naughty?

You Are 70% Normal About Sex

You're so normal about sex, it's a little scary.

Your sexual attitudes and experiences match up with most other people.

Like everyone else, you're a little naughty and a little traditional.

You enjoy sex, but you're not a total freak about it!

Perhaps, if I actually had a sex life, I would have a higher percentage of normal????

Friday, December 26, 2008

Positively Balmy

It would seem that the cold spell has ended... well, at least for the time being. It is a tropical -8C outside right now and has been all day. It hasn't moved from that temperature since I got up this morning and it is now 6:30 p.m.

So either the weather gods are looking upon us a bit more favourably, or the weathernetwork thingy on my computer taskbar is stuck.

I prefer to think of it as favourable. ;-)

Being a balmy day, it was time for a trip to the dog park. My sister and her two pooches joined us. It was warm enough that no one had to wear boots except us humans. The dogs tore around and had a blast and we walked for almost an hour! Even though I take Zoë out every day for a walk, some are quite short - like when it is -46 with the wind and even bundled from head to toe, I just can't stand to be outside for much longer than 10 minutes.

Can I put in an order for an early and relatively dry spring, please? I am tired of winter already....

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008


So I will be visiting warmer climes until
I thaw a bit from the sub-zero temps
in this neck of the universe...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Just Chillin'

I probably won't be around for a while....

I have too much to do right now....

Between getting ready for Christmas...

Working extra shifts to pay the bills....

And just needing to get away from the computer for a while....

Cuz I spend way too much of my time in front of this infernal machine....

I am spent...

And not just $$$...

My life away from this thing is not what I want it to be...

Is not what I need it to be....

And for the most part, that is out of my control....

So it is time to just chill... kick back.... take stock of things...

Figure out where my life is leading me...

Sunday, December 7, 2008



What An Ordeal!

Saturday morning, when I took Zoe out for her morning walk, it was -24C......

There was, however, a wind from the north.....

this isn't called Winterpeg for nothing......

which gave us a windchill of -31C!

Zoe wore her stylish winter coat by Ruffwear, made of tough Cordura Nylon in two tone black and royal blue, with reflective piping on the sides, and sporting a chest protector with stretch, quick-release straps. Her booties are Muttluks, with genuine leather soles and a warm fleece lining.

My outerwear, however, consisted of a gazillion layers in an effort to avoid total body frostbite within the first two minutes of exposure to the very nasty elements.

In no particular order (I am sure you will be able to pick them out in the photo above), I piled on (and this is over top of my bra and panties) (and, no, there will not be any photos of that) a pair of polar fleece longjohns, a long sleeved t-shirt, regular cotton socks, a pair of big wooly socks, a polar fleece pullover, wind pants lined with fleece, a tuque, a double layer fleece scarf, a down parka with hood, snowmobile mitts with glove liners, and Sorel Glacier boots, cold rated to -100.

I did not wear the cat. She has the brains to stay inside the house at this time of year. (Let's see who can pick her out of all those clothes!)

All this just to take the dog out for a poop and a bit of a romp in the snow. She is only getting one good walk a day when it is this cold, so it needs to be one where she can run and play.

The tuque was pulled down over my eyebrows. The scarf was doubled over and pulled up over my nose. I was completely unrecognizable. I could have robbed a bank and no one would be able to give the police a description except that I have blue eyes....

I think we were outside for all of 20 minutes.... it took me longer to get the dog and myself dressed!

I think I heard something about another three months of this.... GAK!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Isn't that a line from an old Guess Who song?

No time left for you....

Well, my new man friend and I sat and ate nachos this evening and yakked - about all kinds of stuff, most of it just silly, day to day stuff, nothing important.

But we did get to the important stuff - like where things were going. And despite the fact that I like this guy and would like to see things go somewhere, at this point in time, that is not going to happen.

As he says, he has to get his sh*t together a lot more before he can deal with starting a relationship. And, he says, smiling sadly, he's got way too much sh*t!

He is taking a bunch of courses at the local community college, sponsored by his employer. He figured it would be a walk in the park, because he already knew about 80% of what he needed to know for his job. Well, it turns out there is all kinds of content in the curriculum that he doesn't need but is being taught anyway. So it has turned out to be a hell of a lot of work. And, of course, more stress.

Plus the ex is a handful, what with being very uncooperative with family mediation.... trying to get things settled to where they can both carry on with their lives and have the issue of the kids in a routine that works for both of them.

At this point he just can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, and doesn't have the time or energy to put into a relationship.

So he realizes that this has been unfair, with me waiting to see what will happen. He has been open and honest with me, talked with much candor about how things are and how he feels.

He doesn't like this either but at this point, can't do much about it.

So we are going to just be friends, and keep in touch on occasion.

I was actually surprised - we both were - at how easy it was to talk about this and just make a decision on what to do with the situation. We both needed something a little more concrete and we both agreed on the same thing. And despite the fact that the decision made wasn't what I wanted, it was a relief to just make one.... he said the same thing.

Who know what life will be like, say, six months from now. We may both still be single and then he may be in a position to put the effort into a real relationship. Or we may both find someone else, and just remain friends.

Hard to say.... only time will tell.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Well, it seems I jumped the gun somewhat this weekend.

I assumed, because my new man friend wasn't answering my IMs, that he was ignoring me and didn't want much to do with me.

Turns out I was very wrong.... and I am embarrassed about it too, as I should be.

He is using a work computer (notebook) at school, that they have loaned to him. The courses he is taking are all work related and they are paying his tuition and fees, so they let him have a laptop to take with him.

This past week, he was in the office and they did some upgrades to it, but neglected to tell him that now he doesn't get any of the pop-up boxes that IMs show up in. (For security reasons, of course...) So despite the fact that we had been IMing in the past while he was at school and often in the evenings, he was so busy the past few days, he didn't really pay attention to the fact that I hadn't contacted him via that route.

So me getting all pissed off at him for ignoring my IMs was completely out in left field, but neither of us could have known that. He was at work today and found the memo on his desk about the upgrades. Looks like in the near future, he won't be able to access MSN at all on that laptop.

Looks like in the near future, he will be buying his own computer for home so this won't be an issue.

But we talked on the phone and got things all straightened out and all is well. And yes, I did apologize to him... several times...

Silly me.... and damn those computer geeks at his work for screwing things up for us! How to ruin a relationship when it has barely started....

Saturday, November 29, 2008

That's The End Of That....

How can you grow a friendship, or any kind of a relationship, if you don't put some effort into it?

You gotta keep in contact on some level, to nurture things, to get to know someone.

If you just don't have the time, or the interest, then be honest and fess up. And let it go....

Have the balls to be a man and say this isn't right or isn't the right time or whatever....

Don't string me along.

Cuz I just cut the string and walked away.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Silas. Love of my life as far as my pets go. This cat came into my life in 1979, shortly after a cat that I had was put down suffering from diabetes and kidney failure. Silas was supposed to be dead. Someone had found (what they thought was) a dead cat and scooped up the body and took it to the closest vet clinic to be disposed of. Turns out the little guy was alive, although a bit hypothermic from the cold - it was February in Winnipeg, after all. He had been hit by a car (in the head, judging from the swelling and dried blood and broken teeth). When they warmed him up, he woke up and started purring. I don't think he stopped for the next 18 years. He was so handsome, with his white eye liner, freckled nose and ears and his wonderful personality! This cat loved everyone. He was extremely affectionate and trusting, and not too bright. But considering he had his brain cells scrambled early in life (the vet figured he was about 6 months old when he was supposed to have died), he was an amazing hunter - guess those instincts were not part of the scrambled bits! He never did figure out how to get down a tree, though. There were many times when I had to stand under the tree branch and catch him. He didn't understand that cats are not squirrels and can't climb head first down a tree - so he always got stuck. But would gladly jump into my arms, trusting me to catch him (thank gawd I always did!) and never using his claws. Sweet, sweet Silas. He went deaf in his old age and became very frail, but would never jump if you surprised him or woke him up - he would just blink at you and chirrup a hello.

This young fella is JJ (registered name is Smartest Play Olena - Quarter Horse gelding). In this picture he is two. He is at his first horse show and just won his first ribbon - out of a class of 11, he got 5th! Pretty damn good for a guy who didn't know what the hell he was doing! Very calm and laid back, he is now partnered with a 10 year old boy who is a timid rider. And I know the family so I still get to see him! He's a sweetheart.

This is Sehra (pronounced 'Sarah' - so I like to be different - whatever!). She (and her sister below) were my barn cats when I was still married and living on a hobby farm. Got them as pipsqueak little kittens from a girlfriend's barn and they grew to be huge (14 lbs each trim fighting weight), excellent mousers and really good company. Both of them would go walking with me on the farm, even if it meant slogging through bodies of standing water. (It's pretty funny to see two cats up to their armpits in the water while the 100 lb dog is trying to find a way around it!) Sehra caught this rat one day - the only one I ever saw on the farm - and was very proud to show it to me, but then just walked away and left me with the carcass. So I put it on top of the wishing well in the back yard and let the crows take it for a meal - they loved finding little bodies on there - the take-out restaurant for the birds! Whatever the cats didn't eat ended up on the wishing well for the birds to enjoy. Sehra loved to be carried around and in the winter would climb up the back of my big parka to sit in my hood. From there, she would often walk onto one of the horses' backs to sit perched on a big, warm bum - nice vantage point I am sure!

This is Emmie, Sehra's sister. A lovely brown tabby who could snag anything out of the air. Many times I watched her hunting on the farm, flying through the air after dragonflies or birds. One day, she had captured a rather plump mouse and was having a bit of fun with it. She lay in the grass, with the mouse sitting up on its haunches in front of her. The mouse would gnash its teeth and flail in her direction with its tiny front paws. Emmie would then bat the thing a few feet away, watch it tumble ass over tea kettle, and wander over to do it all over again. The mouse never did try to run away. It became lunch.

This is Sehra and Emmie as babies - I think they were about four months old in this shot. They did everything together. They are still on the farm with my ex. I miss them...

This is Western Zip (aka Zip or Zippy Pony or Zippy Doodle when he's being an airhead), a registered Appendix Quarter Horse (which means he is half Quarter Horse and Half Thoroughbred) gelding. One of the smoothest and most talented horses I ever owned and rode - a sweet guy but too excitable and nervous in the show ring for what I was looking for, so he now lives with a girlfriend who is doing barrel racing with him, which suits him to a T!

Liberty - a little (and I mean almost small enough that I could touch my heels under her when I rode!) grade (meaning unregistered and possibly mixed breed) Quarter Horse mare. She bucked me off one fine fall day, in the throws of one of her early heat cycles as a barely two year old - just as I was swinging my leg up across her back (so I didn't stand a chance, the little witch! and I have the scars to prove it...). She was such a teenager then! But now is a solid, wonderful horse for a teenaged girl - they are absolutely smitten with each other and go everywhere and do everything together - a great match!

Ah... Joe... sweet old guy. He was my ex's first riding horse. He's a registered Shire (breed of draft horse) who weighs one ton (no word of a lie!) but will do absolutely whatever you ask of him. He has the most gorgeous blue eyes, as you can see in the picture below. He slobbers madly when eating apples, so only give the first one by hand! His feet are the size of dinner plates. Check out his fuzzy slippers!

Isn't that a beautiful eye?

Ginger - a registered Paint mare (solid) who had the misfortune of aborting her foal while in her initial under-saddle training - we didn't know she was pregnant - which caused her quite a bit of discomfort. A very solidly built mare who ended up moving to Minnesota.

This is Coal - he is my ex's current riding horse. He's from a PMU farm (google that if you don't know what it is) and is amazing. He is about 16 hands in height (which would make him about 5'4" at the shoulder) but weighs in at about 1700 lbs. He is a mix of Percheron, Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse and Clydesdale. He is solid but not drafty in appearance and is fabulous to ride. Smooth and powerful and extremely sensitive and responsive, all of which are unfortunately wasted as my ex is not a good rider and Coal's talents are beyond him. Coal has the temperament of a Golden Retriever and comes when he is called - at a full out gallop, no less! Quite impressive to see.

My little Barley - he was supposed to be my show horse but he died of colic a couple of weeks before he turned one. You never met a more laid back, quiet and unflappable little guy. He would have been very stout and quite tall, and would have been a wonderful all around horse, if he got anything at all from both of his parents. His death saddened me horribly - such a little trouper through the colic episode, but he twisted his gut and would not survive the trip to Saskatoon for the surgery (which I couldn't afford anyways - not at min. $5K!) so I had to make the decision to have him put down. I wept many tears for my Barley Boy.

Strawberry Daiquri - aka Daq - my very first horse. A lovely, talented, stout little registered Paint mare who has more get up and go than the EverReady Bunny. We learned so much together and shared the same birthday. She loved mini donuts and sweet potatoes, nectarines and apples. She would fall asleep with her nose on the farrier's (guy who shoes and trims horses' feet) back. She now lives in Red Lake, Ontario, with her daughter and the father of that daughter (who is no longer a stallion as he was gelded [neutered] a couple of years ago). She is going to turn 19 in February next year and is still going strong.

This is Jake. He was a rescue from San Diego, California. One day when I was living down there he showed up at the stable where I boarded my horse (Daq), on death's doorstep from starvation. He was half bald - most of the hair on his body had fallen out from untreated allergies and he had worn down most of his front teeth from years of chewing on his itchy skin. He spent 6 years with me (my vet estimated his age at eight when I took him in) and was the absolute best dog ever! He was so happy and would do anything I asked - even getting in the tub on his own for a bath, despite disliking getting wet. As he lost his hearing around the age of 12, I taught him hand signals for all the commands I used. He would frequently turn and look for me to see if I was saying anything to him, to make sure he didn't miss anything. Definitely would have loved to have gotten him as a puppy - I can only imagine how great of a dog he would have been without all the trauma he suffered before he came into my life.

There are a lot of animals who preceded this bunch, but I don't have any pictures on my computer of them. I got my first kitten as a Christmas present when I was seven and have never been without at least one animal in my life since then.

The current ones have all been posted about in previous posts here: Thunder, my horse, Zoe the Bullmastiff, and the two cats, BB (the old man) and Pips (That Damn Cat!). I can guarantee there will be a lot more in the future too. I cannot imagine my life or my house without some furry, four footed creature sharing time and space with me.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A day, a good day.... spent with my friend.... one spent eating, talking, laughing, touching....

One where we spoke of time and children, commitment and learning, giving and taking...

Of lessons learned and bridges crossed....

Of paths unknown and futures unseen....

Of dreams and reality....

Of possibilities....

Of directions we each want to head in....

Finding we may be wandering the same way....

Willing to travel the road together, as friends and companions...

And to discover if there is more for us ahead....

It was a very good day.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Giving For All The Right Reasons

I wept openly while watching this video. What an amazing father this man is, giving his son all the physical freedoms that he cannot do. This is LOVE.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Looking Forward To More Of This....

Thunder in snow a couple of years ago.

In case you can't read that thermomenter, it say -25C.....

Hoar frost is so beautiful....

HALP! Iz stuck an can't getz out!


This one says -36C.... BBBRRRRRRRR!!!!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008


The end of September saw the introduction of someone new to my life. It is now November, and I am patiently waiting, to know what potential this new person may have.

Our lives have parallelled in a number of ways, at a number of times. We have an understanding, a very good one, of where we have each been, what we have gone through. Not just past experiences in relationships, the parallels also reach into activities and interests.

We are alike in many ways, in personality traits, in beliefs, in needs and desires. I do not know at this time if those likenesses are a good thing. Only time will be able to ascertain that. But it does make him feel like a kindred spirit. Will that create a stronger bond? Or only serve to show that sameness is not the best thing.

He is stretched thin right now.... at a time when changes swirl all around him. He has four children, two of whom are very young and require more attention and patience than the older, adult two. But he loves them all dearly - they are his life in a big way. He also has a difficult ex to deal with, her mental illness issues to circumvent to lessen the effect on the little ones.

Add to this, a fulltime compressed college curriculum entirely sponsored by his employer. He applies himself with great fervor and his marks tell the tale of intelligence, drive and responsibility. For completion of this course will further his career.

Then there is me. There is the attraction I feel for him, the affinity that exists. We have spent enough time together, over the past six weeks, for me to know I want to take this to the next level. I want to see what could happen. I have not felt this for quite some time now, and would savour the opportunity to let someone into my heart.

Only he is taking time, over this weekend, to re-evaluate himself, to see where he needs to go, to try and rejuvenate from the burn-out he is feeling. The candle has been burned at both ends for the past couple of months for him and he is feeling quite singed.

I do not know where he will go with his re-evaluation.... I do not know whether that will preclude any furthering of what has just been started. Will he just need time to get through school, get back to the regular routine of work, kids and a social life? Will he feel the need to pull away, to put this aside and leave me where I stand, helpless to do anything but give him time and space?

There are emotions stirring in me for this man. But what we have experienced together so far has been to simply enjoy each other's company, talk and laugh, hang out a bit. It has been slow, which is probably a good thing, for my tendency is to proceed at the speed of light, with intensity and passion, letting the headrush and heartrush dictate where things go. He is much more cautious, wanting things to happen when he is sure about where he wants it to go, and not wanting to rush. It is important to him to be respectful, to not fly headlong into something he is not entirely sure of.

There is communication, spoken, written, all with openness and honesty, hesitation and uncertainty, all of which are building trust and caring between us. But his uncertainty in this, in how much he has taken on with work and school and kids, and now with the possibility of a new relationship added to the mix, all this creates uncertainty in me.

So I have to bide my time, to wait and see, to be there, where he can see me, but not be intrusive, be understanding and patient... waiting....