Did I say that out loud?

Thoughts and musings of a mom

Resolutions Version 2017

Every year, I try my darn tootin’ hardest to create a new and astonishing list of resolutions that will rock my world.  And every year, I put more effort into creating the list than I do actually keeping any of them.  Whatever.  So, without further ado, I present to you Christy’s New Year’s Resolutions Version 2017.

1) Eat clean.  Wait!  I already eat clean.  I wash my hands right before I eat half a box of KD.  Therefore, I eat clean.  I am so going to crush this.

2) Convince Ganong’s Chocolate Factory that they should bring back the vanilla cream drop chocolates that they used to carry in their Red Wrap box.  In the words of Sinead O’Connor, nothing compares to you.  I do not have a plan of action for this endeavor yet, but stay tuned.  

3) Make sure I always have soap in my soap dish, clean underwear in my drawer(s), and 400 rolls of toilet paper stockpiled in my basement.  I usually do ok here, but when a girl’s got to wear her Wednesday undies on a Monday, it may be the equivalent of not forwarding on those chain letters that your great aunt Gertrude emails you 5 times a day because she just got the internet and her first email account (in other words, unnecessary certain doom).

4) Read more.  This means, of course, that I may need to not binge watch British detective programs on Netflix so much.  I know reading will make me a much smarter person, but so will throwing in a few British phrases occasionally into conversation.  Hey mate, I’m so knackered because I haven’t slept in a fortnight (my luck, I probably just swore and didn’t realize it).

5) Stop putting 2 spaces after every period when I type.  Who am I kidding?  I.  Just.  Can’t.  Do.  It.

6) Give up my magazine subscriptions. Contrary to what I believe, I will not be less of a Canadian if I don’t read Chatelaine and Canadian Living every month.  

7) Have more company over.  My husband and I used to be really good at this.  Now we suck.  I think people still like us, but we need to make the time for this.

8) Incorporate as many song lyrics into everyday conversation as I can (without getting fired or divorced) because deep down, don’t you all believe that life needs a soundtrack?  

9) Get the front step stained.  We’ve lived here for over 8 years.  It’s time.  Enough said.

10) Eat all of the contents of my freezer.  The stockpile needs to be depleted.  Anyone up for a few turkey dinners, served with a side order of hamburgers and something that may have been shot in someone’s back yard (legally)?

Of course, I’ll work on being a real healthy, kind and all around wonderful person too in 2017.  But hey!  Rome wasn’t built in a day….or a year.  Or least, I’m fairly certain it wasn’t.

Oh, and I’d really like to sing backup for Meghan Trainor…you know, if these other resolutions don’t work out so well.

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Tax Time

In honour of another tax season coming to an end, I thought I would share with you a little tale of my taxation woes.  Now before you become all concerned that I’ve been avoiding taxes for the last several years, let me tell you, no, that is definitely not the case.  Revenue Canada knows about every penny (or should I say, nickel) that we have ever earned.  In fact, most years they like to ask about it at least twice.  I swear we’ve been audited more times than our federal senators.
Several years ago, way back in the day, my husband used to complete our taxes for us by paper and pen.  The first step in the process was to go to the local post office and acquire at least 7 or 8 income tax packets.  Yes, two are really what’s necessary, but (lots of) mistakes happen. So on this one particular day, after being married for a couple years and receiving the same general return from the government each year, I figured we would be in the same boat yet again (and no, I don’t mean up the creek without a paddle).  The following is the exciting and thrilling play-by-play of my husband and I doing our taxes 90s style (more my husband, but I play a nice supporting role here, just staying out of his hair).
Husband goes upstairs to complete taxes.  I work downstairs on stuff (ok, maybe I was just watching tv, my memory is a bit foggy on that detail.  It was before we had children, so I really might have just been watching tv, it’s completely plausible).

Husband comes downstairs: “We owe $2000 to the government.”

Me: “There is no way that is true.  Go back upstairs.”

Husband retreats.  A little while later, comes back down the stairs:  “We now owe the government $500.”

Me (keeping in mind that my financial goal in life was to make over the Basic Personal Amount in one fiscal year, which the government kept raising, much to my chagrin): “Go back upstairs.”

Husband again retreats to his paper and pen, and by this point, nearby garbage can.  He comes back down the stairs for the third time.  He almost appears ready to give up: “The government now owes us nothing, we owe them nothing, we are even.”

Me (still working on something very important probably): “Go back upstairs and don’t come back down here until the government owes us something.”

(A little while later.  Insert theme music to Jeopardy here). Husband returns for the final time: “The government now owes us $2000.”

Me:  “Good, you’re done.”
Fortunately the government agreed with our final copy that was signed and mailed to them, and we received our precious return.  Now in the years since, my husband (fortunately for the sake of trees everywhere and global warming) has discovered the concept of e-file and it appears to be a less cumbersome process.
Now, looking back on it though, why would I ever question the number of audits we have received?  Things that make you go hmmm.

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Oh, Mickey, You’re So Fine…

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Last week, our family went to Disney World for the first time together.  I had never been there as an adult, but went twice as a child, back in the days when there were only one or two parks.

I figured this was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip (or my last once-in-a-lifetime trip to Florida) so we decided to stay on resort.  Because of this, going back and forth from the resort to the parks, involved countless bus trips.  This time gave my husband plenty of time to chat up the other tourists (he may or may not have swapped venison recipes on one trip), and me, time to reflect on our adventures.

So, without further ado, here are my top ten not-so-secret things you may or may not know about Disney World 2015.  I suspect none of these reflections will be found in any of their brochures.  Ok, I strongly suspect.  Without a shadow of a doubt.

1) You can still land a rocket on Mars safely in the Mission Space ride in Epcot with your eyes closed.  Tightly.  Without breathing.  And without your sister who bailed on you when she saw the barf bags.

2) They say it’s the happiest place on earth.  Clearly those people NEVER took children to the park for the ENTIRE day in 30 degree Celsius (or 174 degree Fahrenheit) weather.  It must have been one of those honeymooners who wore Mickey and Minnie bride and groom ears who coined that phrase.  You know the ones.  They have the coordinating Mickey and Minnie shirts too.

3) Based on my extensive research, aided by a child who MUST visit every public washroom on earth, Disney must have more working tampon dispensers than the rest of every public washroom in all of North America combined.  Either that, or no one has permanently etched a pertinent message regarding its working condition on any of them yet.

4) Talk about one stop shopping.  At the Margarita kiosk in Epcot, you can buy a margarita (thus the kiosk name) AND a bag of Doritoes.  Because, well, why not?  I know when I’m enjoying a bag of Doritoes, my first thought is always, “Man, I sure could use a margarita to wash this down with!”

5) And while, we are talking about alcohol…back to that guy who coined the phrase “happiest place on earth.”  He may have been one of the dads walking around the park, holding his beer carefully, while his wife pushed their loving bundle of joy in the rented Disney stroller in the 30 degree Celsius (or 174 degrees Fahrenheit) hot sun.

6) If you are planning on riding on one of the Disney buses to and from the resorts, keep in mind that you may need to stand up on the bus and hold on (for dear life) to the Holy Crap Handles (depending on your audience, this device may have a slightly different name).  Shave and deodorize your armpits accordingly.  Enough said.  Oh, and hold on tight, because it can become awkward really fast if you fall in between one of those lovely honeymooning couples.

7) Those big refillable Mickey cups (not to be confused with the little Mickey cups…wink, wink) should come with a warning label about developing a possible addiction to Cherry Coke after the 964th refill.

8) Eventually you just want to flush a toilet on your own.  In your own time.  When you are good and freakin’ ready.  Although you must admit, the automatic water sink feature would be a good idea in your own home.  The towel dispenser could become a little too expensive though.

9) It’s the only place on earth where you want a Mouse, or should I say, Mousekeeper (Disney word for Housekeeper) in your room.  The last time I had a mouse in my own house, I left it a tip, but it said “Snap!”  And the mouse said, “Oh, crap!”

And finally, because all good lists should have 10 points…

10) And while you are sticking around the resort, take part in the festivities that surround you there.  For instance, everyone in their lifetime should rent a four seater bicycle.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  But you’ll probably die laughing anyways.  Oh, and it’s probably not a good idea to go with the margaritas and Doritoes right before that.  Armpit hygiene optional.

But when all is said and done, even though going to Disney may be more of a trip than a vacation, there is nothing better than seeing the happiness on the face of a child (and sometimes really, really tall ones too) when they finally get to meet Mickey and experience the magic of it all.

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New Year’s Resolutions Version 2015

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Yeah, um, so New Year’s Eve is tonight and therefore that means I only have a few hours to fulfill last year’s resolutions. Some took, and some will most likely appear on this year’s list. I flossed my teeth more often, I didn’t have a root canal, I cleaned off my dresser a few times, I got my passport, and I now have slightly more blog followers than I did this time one year ago. Thanks to my husband, my shower is looking pretty good (I wouldn’t lick the floor of it by any means), and my basement is beginning to come together. And of course, there are the ones that will remain on my new list, like the veggies and the Bible reading.

So without further ado, or something like that, here is my new list for 2015:

1) Convince my family that they need to unravel their dirty clothes before flinging them towards the other ravelled dirty clothes that have accumulated since I last unravelled dirty clothes and threw them into the washer. An intense training session may be required for this.

2) Post on my blog and my blog Facebook page more frequently. Not so much that my regular 5 readers are desensitized and never read any of it again. Of course, this may have to occur after my latest Netflix-a-thon comes to a bitter end.

3) Clean out my entire basement. Once upon a time, I had dreams of selling the contents of my basement, and getting my girls braces with the extra cash. I am not quite to the point where I just light a match and hope that insurance (dental or otherwise) takes care of all of my issues. There is hope as long as Costco still sells mammoth shelving units.

4) Print more pictures of my family and actually place those pictures on the wall. Or make really cute little ones and put them in my wallet. Oh, I need a new wallet.

5) Be more social. I’ve become quite the hermit in my later years. I know, hard to believe, (insert sarcasm here) being the socialite that I was in my younger days. Maybe I should invite people over more, like every Friday night and we could eat cheese ball and fancy crackers, and we could do each other’s nails, and tell ghost stories. And if they insist, they could help me clean out my basement and hang pictures on the wall.

6) Figure out how to actually use my cell phone. Which I suspect means not letting my 7 year old take selfies during church or while driving in a vehicle anymore (she’s used up all of the memory…is that a tech term these days?). I’m still saying no to a data plan, so there really can’t be that much to learn, right.

7) Take my husband to Newfoundland. Without the kids. And see an iceberg. And kiss a cod. Ok, maybe I’ll just plan a trip to NFLD while my kids aren’t in the same room as me.

8) Read more.  My Bible, and the 3964 e-books I’ve downloaded.  I know, I have a problem.  Exaggerating is only one of them.

9) Eat out less often. Buy/hunt more meat, cook it and serve it to my family. But not with cheese ball and crackers. Vegetables, lots of vegetables. I may not be ready to embrace clean eating, but perhaps I should try for eating-cleaner-than-my-shower-floor-clean.

Ok, I can do this. I’m going to rock 2015.

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Somewhere down the road

This weekend my husband and I went to a beautiful outdoor wedding. The weather was perfect for the end of September, with just the right amount of warmth from the sun and light breeze for the occasion. The festivities were set right on the water, with the guests sitting on wooden benches nestled amongst the trees beside the winding path down to wedding altar.

The gorgeous bride was in the youth group my husband and I ran many moons ago, as were her sisters and friend who were three of the five bridesmaids. The minister was my husband’s best man in our own wedding 18 years ago, and his wife was my first roommate in university. This all made for a delightful afternoon of reminiscing and celebrating the future.

If I were to segment my life into different periods, I think I would do so based on the places I have lived throughout my time on this earth. The period lines would be somewhat blurred as well, as at times, I have travelled only a few miles up the road to live in a different dwelling. We have lived in our current home, having moved 30 minutes into town, for just 6 short years. As newly weds, we had lived double that amount of time in the small community in the area where we attended the wedding.

On the way back home from the festivities, we took a little detour, looping around where we used to live. The big, old red house had changed. It was not the same as when we lived there. Landscaping was being completed and renovations were changing the blueprint of the house we used to call our home, our first home, the home where we brought both of our daughters after they were born.

We also drove by our former neighbour’s house. It was empty now as she had recently passed away, and her husband 6 years prior. They were dear friends to my husband and I as we were just starting out on our new adventure of home ownership and parenthood. Many an evening we walked down to their house, made ourselves at home at their kitchen table, delighting in her cooking and his stories. And oh, the stories that were told. The true gift of hospitality.

We also stopped by two other neighbours’ houses to discuss the nearly completed moose season and the upcoming deer season. Both homes of the parents of former youth group members. More memories of Friday evenings spent in the gymnasium in the local elementary school. Youth, freshness, laughter, love, and a longing to draw each of them closer to God.

Changing gears in our conversation, on our way home, I chatted with my husband of a funeral we had attended a couple years ago. The man had been a mentor and confidante to my husband in those years. He knew what life was like for us when we were first married and for my husband previous to our marriage, as we tried to forge ahead through years of youth ministry. As I sat in the church that afternoon, I was overcome with emotion as people walked in for the funeral service.

People from those years sat down, sang, listened to the words of reflection, grieved and celebrated a man whose life was a testament to his dedication to his family and God. I had looked around and saw some of the same faces I thought would some day be at my own funeral, if I were so lucky. I grieved at the loss of this man, but also the timeframe in which these people were all encapsulated. I wanted to go back and relive the happy moments just for a little bit, and hold onto them tightly.

But I know time goes on. We grow older. And so does everyone around us. Circumstances change. We roll with it. Jobs change and babies are born. More tears. More laughter. There is death. There is life.

Sometimes I long for those days that seemed longer and less hurried. At times, I grieve for those days, those moments, those celebrations, even the routines.

There are moments I regret in my 40+ years on this earth, but not the houses and communities we made home. I have made mistakes. Each has been a lesson learned. And each new period brings me quietly to the next, watching our own children growing up now, watching their futures unfold.

Even as I stray, God has guided me on this road.

This road just 30 minutes into town.

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Why I’m not wearing new fancy shoes to school today

The good Lord above blesses us with intuition. Sometimes we listen to it, and sometimes we don’t. Unfortunately, this is a story about how I didn’t.

This weekend my daughter asked me if I wanted to go for a bike ride with her. Not incredibly in the mood for a whimsical trip around the neighbourhood, and knowing we had company coming over, I stated that I did not. I did relent though when she asked me immediately afterwards if I would go play with her and her new skipping toy that she had just purchased at Walmart that afternoon.

As I sat on my front steps and watched my daughter try out her skipper/skipping toy/ankle chewer, I thought to myself, I could do that. It had been a few years, but I knew I still had it in me. Just put the circle con-TRAP-tion thing around my ankle, swing it around in some kind of centrifugal force type manner and hope for goodness sake, I can jump over the attached rope and ball. You get the picture.

I should have known when I couldn’t get the loop on my ankle without taking off my shoe first that it was a mistake. But did I stop myself? A big resounding no.

I also should have stopped when a nearly audible voice told me that I could break my ankle with this device. But did I listen? Heck, no!

Well, my daughter and I took a couple turns each. I was trying to be fair, but I was getting pretty good at this. We had even brought the toy out onto the street because it was more difficult to do in the grass, our driveway had just been sealed and the street was very quiet at the time.

So, on my final (and I mean final) attempt with this destructor, I was doing really well, and even promised my daughter that I would give it right back afterwards. Visions of kicking it old school were running through my head, pre-electronics, kids playing out on the street, an impromptu street hockey game between the dads and the kids. A real Norman Rockwell painting. I think I even heard a choir singing in the background.

And then gravity and all of the other creative forces of nature screeched in, interrupting my little poorly-timed daydream.

I looked down and saw my left foot step and roll over on the darn ball, plummeting me to the pavement, in an embarrassing fall. I wasn’t completely flat out, but decided that for dramatic effect (and maybe even for safety’s sake), I had better lie down the rest of the way. I didn’t hear a snap or crunch, but there I was lying on the street, so I figured I had better get my daughter to go retrieve my husband, the paramedic, from the house to assist me.

My daughter didn’t race to go get him as quickly as I thought her little body could carry her, so she had to be told a couple of times to go get him. A deep, hoarse whisper rose from the depths of my soul and she finally got the memo. Note to self, practice kid’s response time when mom is giving orders while lying in the middle of the street.

But I must say, my husband’s response time was much quicker. He immediately came out of the house and came to my side, bending down and trying to help me up off of the street. He told me later that because I wasn’t screaming in agony, he actually took me a bit more seriously. Make another note to self, remember that in the future, but use it for good and not evil. And for the rest of you reading this, if my husband is your paramedic, he’s going to take you more seriously if you’re not screaming bloody murder after your arm has been cut off.

While attempting to walk up my driveway though, I realized that I was going to faint. I’m a fainter. I admit it. I lost all pride decades ago in this department. I faint at the sight of needles, I faint at the talk of needles, I faint while getting a needle, I faint while someone else is getting a needle. I even almost faint just thinking about a needle. In fact, this paragraph is making me woozy. But apparently now I faint while trying to hobble with a sore ankle in my driveway, as my husband gives me direct paramedic orders to keep on going.

I made it though, all the way to my front steps, with a little tough love from my husband. Ok, I also admit, I’m a really bad patient. Although there was that time I had my wisdom teeth pulled, and I think I was pretty funny that day. And then of course, there was that other time when I was in the midst of giving birth to my second child, when the intern told me that HE knew what I was going through. He learned a new lesson that day, so yeah, I’m not always a bad patient. But pretty close.

Back to the story, and under my husband’s orders, I regained my composure out on the front steps. With his assistance I made it to the recliner in our living room and positioned myself there for the majority of the evening. I made a quick Facebook status about my embarrassing fall and found out that most of my neighbours were away at that time, and that there was no video footage of it floating around cyberspace.

The next day my foot continued to swell and some bruising appeared. I continued to elevate, ice and rest for most of the day. I even learned how to use crutches. I would have posted a picture of my foot, but to be quite frank, I wouldn’t have made a foot model prior to this occurrence, so I saw no need of putting you through that. And by the time I had proper lighting for a quick shot, it would be another day of not shaving my legs, so ah, yeah, not going to happen.

This brings me to today, our final day of summer vacation, and I’m left sitting in my recliner, continuing to ice and elevate my foot. I’m happy (ok, maybe not happy, more like, pleased) to report that I can put on a pair of shoes (they really won’t fit in our dress code for work tomorrow), and I actually walked across the lawn without any crutches. Tonight I will practice internal wincing just in case a 5 year old accidentally steps on my feet tomorrow in eager anticipation of their first day of kindergarten.

So here is what I have learned from this particular episode of The Life and Times of Christy Terris Hoyt…
1) I’m not 12 anymore. Nor am I 22. Who am I kidding? I’m not even 32.
2) When the good Lord above tells me that I might break my ankle while playing with a skipping toy/ankle chewer, I will listen and actually heed the warning next time.
3) Oh, and when my husband brings home crutches from his parents’ place three weeks prior to the above-mentioned incident, I won’t question him and tell him that we can easily pick up a pair from the Red Cross. Thankfully, he listened to his intuition.

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Guess Who Bought a New Purse

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It’s not a new BLUE purse. In fact it is quite orange and small. And it has flowers on it. But most importantly it has no keys and padlocks (or secret passwords or guards)!

I bought it in Saint John at a locally owned shoe store (Happy New Brunswick Day Weekend to me!). My husband had gone into the store initially by himself to find a pair of shoes (he wears size 15/16 men’s shoes, so those of you who have to purchase size 13, breathe a collective sign of relief that you don’t have to remortgage the house every time you need to buy new shoes). He stepped out a few minutes later to tell me I should come in and check out their purses. I love my husband!

In the end, he walked out with new shoes (at a decent price) and I walked out with my new purse (more than my eBay purchase, but still at a decent price).

Now, here is the question, when do I have to switch back to my black winter purse?

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Travel with Me, My Tweet

The last time my husband and I got away by ourselves, without children, without any agenda, was eight years ago. Far too long. It was our tenth anniversary and we decided to stay in the same inn where we had honeymooned years before. Only on that particular weekend, a skunk had sprayed the chimney down in the basement, and guess whose room had the chimney go right up through it? We did switch rooms, and all was well, but in the years following, we decided we were just as happy with Chinese takeout from a local restaurant.

So last week, when my sister asked if she could take my children for the weekend, I didn’t hesitate too long at all and made plans for them to visit her, and for my husband and I to hightail it out of town. In fact, we left the country. We debated camping because I’m a smart shopper (cheap), and I have an incredibly unhealthy fear of bringing home critters from hotels, which is very ironic when you think about it. In the end we stayed at the Hampton Inn, the hotel voted number one in Bangor, Maine, by people who stayed in hotels in Bangor. Or someone like that.

Based on my vast years of extensive research, all while not leaving the country, I have discovered that people like to shop in Bangor. I like to shop. Therefore I figured that we had chosen a proper getaway location.

If it weren’t for the roaming charges on my non-iPhone cell phone, I think I could have live-tweeted the entire shopping adventure. But instead, you will have to be satisfied with my belated not-so-live tweets via this blog post. So here goes…

@terrishoyt They let us out of the country. #hopewecangetbackin

My husband is happy to be with me!

My husband is happy to be with me!

@terrishoyt Motorcyclists don’t wear helmets here. #safetyfirst, #thatcouldhurt

@terrishoyt I’m in Bangor. I forgot where I wanted to shop. #shouldhavedoneafacebookpoll

@terrishoyt Found the Christmas Tree Shop. Not one Christmas tree in sight. #mustbechristmasinjuly

@terrishoyt Dollar Tree. Have another $397 before we reach our 24 hour limit of $400. #startingoutslow

@terrishoyt Found LLBean. Husband may be out of control. I found a dress I wore when I worked in a museum in 1989. #plaidiswhereitisat

@terrishoyt Buffalo Wild Wings. Have more flavours at Smitty’s back home. #knowwhereiwillbenextwednesdaynight

@terrishoyt BWW. Tzatziki should be a wing flavour. #ithinkiamontosomething

@terrishoyt At Kohl’s. Must. Part. With. Money. Can’t. #mightbecheaperatwalmart

@terrishoyt Finally found our hotel. Looks nice. Didn’t find any creatures. Where to next?

@terrishoyt Found a Christian bookstore. 15 minutes until closing. #shopfast

@terrishoyt Found a giant Wal-Mart. Oh. My. Soul. #diedandwenttoheaven

@terrishoyt Walked into Wal-Mart. Saw school supplies. #almostthrewupinmouth, #thisisnotheaven

@terrishoyt At Wal-Mart. Found only a few deals. Must be wrong time of year.

Me showing off my daughter's new clear sunglasses from Wal-Mart.

Me showing off my daughter’s new clear sunglasses from Wal-Mart.

@terrishoyt Women’s clothing in 3 different categories. Mature women, Casual women, and Not Enough Material for my body. #iamacasualwoman

@terrishoyt Discovered someone who shops at Kohl’s. But she forgot to buy a shirt to go with it. See picture below for more details.

@terrishoyt Next stop mall. I think my husband may have lied to me. I don’t think we saw the entire establishment.

@terrishoyt Olive Garden to eat. Oh. My. Soul. Why does our province not have one of these? #neverevenglancedatkidsmenu

@terrishoyt Husband taking me for drive through back roads. I debate in my head out-of-country issues of van breaking down out of country.

@terrishoyt Back to hotel. Sleep. No children crawling in with me tonight. And yet, I still wake up 3 times throughout the night.

@terrishoyt Quick breakfast, checkout, and off to Target. I want a new blue purse. #defeated

@terrishoyt Next stop is the Burlington Coat Factory. Takes a while to find the coats. Apparently having COAT or TREE in your store name means little.

@terrishoyt Hi! This is 1992 calling. I would like my pants back. This picture may have cost me an arm and a leg due to roaming charges. #worthit

Hello 1992!

Hello 1992!

@terrishoyt Off to Old Town Canoe in where else, but Old Town. Husband bought a paddle. I slept on a display chair. #tiredofshopping

Bucket List Check Off

Bucket List Check Off

@terrishoyt Final destination – Marden’s, where I bought when I saw it. #finallyspent$4onmyself

@terrishoyt No problems at the border. #whew, #breatheagain

@terrishoyt On our way back, pick up children, and thank sister who conveniently just fed my youngest ice cream with chocolate in it. #exhausted, #thankful

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Anniversary Gifts to Celebrate our Marital Bliss

Well, here I am on the eve of my 18th wedding anniversary, hopped up on cold meds, waiting for the drowsy part of the meds to kick in.

My husband and I have already decided that due to our daughter’s birthday party tomorrow, my cold, and work schedule, we would wait a few more days to celebrate. We also decided that we wouldn’t buy each other cards, which at this point in the weekend, I’m hoping that means we were foregoing gifts as well.

Out of curiosity’s sake though, I thought I would look up traditional 18th wedding anniversary gift ideas. It took me going through a few different websites before I found the 18th anniversary. Apparently there’s not much to celebrate between the 15th and the 20th. The no man’s land of marriage gifts.

When I finally did find some answers to my perplexing issue, I wasn’t exactly excited. Porcelain. Yah! A toilet. I admit those toilets with buttons on them for flushing one’s different jobs are pretty cool, but I hardly can justify buying a new toilet when our current toilets are not that old (used, yes, abused, maybe, but not that old).

Of course, I could go with the traditional gift, which is feathers. I think I successfully passed by the feather in the hair rage without getting one, so I don’t think I’ll try to bring that one back (Unlike Justin Timberlake, who tried to bring sexy back, I don’t feel I am that culturally influential). So, now I’m picturing my husband buying me a feather boa at the dollar store. That is kind of funny. Or maybe my cold meds are kicking in. And I’m telling you, if he brings me home a parrot, we might be on the church’s prayer list from now until our 19th anniversary.

And then there is the other modern gift of cat’s eye jewellry. Google image that one. I don’t work for the SPCA by any stretch of the imagination, but some of that stuff is pure weirdness, and maybe even demented. Some of it looks like a real cat’s eye. Makes a fake rabbit’s foot keychain look cute and cuddly, let’s just say.

Ok, so I crossed off the porcelain, the feathers and the jewellry. I think I got it! I think I’ll get my beloved a toilet brush, a real nice one with a matching toilet brush holder, so he can clean the porcelain toilet once in a while. Hmmm, yes, sounds good to me.

Now, if someone would just invent a self-cleaning toilet, I would be all over that, anniversary or not.

Well, Happy Anniversary Scott! Eighteen years of marital bliss (I really mean that, it’s not just the cold meds talking).

Oh, and by the way, next year’s gift is chilli peppers, just to give you a head’s up!

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I’ll take the nachos

Last night my husband, my children and my family all went out for supper to a pizza place in a nearby city. My husband and I were debating what to eat, and as per usual, I was taking my cue from what I could see others were ordering.

It’s an ongoing joke at my workplace that whenever we go out to eat that I always have to make my own food choices based on what the others are eating. On some kind of subconscious level, I don’t sit near the “soup, salad and sandwich” co-workers. They make me feel guilty, completely based on their menu choices.

So back to last night. We were in a pizza joint, no “soup, salad and sandwich” crowd around. I asked my family what they were ordering, but what I was really craving was the nachos that the two women at a nearby table had ordered. I noticed in the menu though that there were two different sized plates of nachos. Trying to be discreet, I quietly asked my husband what size plate he thought they had, the 6″ or the 9″. My husband, who apparently hadn’t cleaned out his ears in a while, didn’t hear my question, and thought I was directing my casual head nod towards the door of the restaurant, to which we were very close. Just at that same moment, an older woman walked into the restaurant and was standing at the entrance waiting to be seated.

Now, before I go any further in this story, one must realize that my husband thinks he either knows everybody, went to school with them, and/or is related to them. This is not true, and I have tried to tell him this for years. Last night, he found out that sometimes his wife is right. Unfortunately, he also discovered that sometimes, his wife doesn’t talk loud enough.

He completely mistook my casual head nod, didn’t hear my question, and thought I was acknowledging the woman standing at the entrance to the restaurant. He started to speak to her, as if he knew her, and she came over to our table. At this point, I tried to use what body language I could muster to tell him, that we did not know this woman. An awkward ten seconds passed where we all tried to clear up the misunderstanding as the realization dawned on my husband that he did not know this woman.

Afterwards my husband excused himself to go to the washroom. He saw the woman, as she had been seated in a quiet booth at the back of the restaurant near the washrooms. He introduced himself, and as it turned out, they had a nice little conversation and the woman did actually know my husband’s great-grandmother (or so she said).

Ok, so maybe my husband does know everyone. Ah, the six degrees of my husband. A new game the whole family can play.

Oh, and I know you’re all wondering. How big was the nacho plate? Six inches. I asked.

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