Sunday, November 29, 2009

"You wouldn't like me when I'm angry ... "

I won't turn green and get big. But I'll rant.

Look at this beautiful labradoodle (labrador retriever / poodle cross): Beautiful, right? Poor thing has been taken back to the humane society three times.

1. The first time was because "he became too big". Um, the mix of standard poodle and lab might get big. These breeds might become more than 100 lbs, but of course you can never predict his exact weight. Think about it with people: ever seen two average height people have a tall child? One or more pups in the litter might be smaller than the rest, and one or more might become larger than the rest. It happens with dogs on an even greater scale than in humans. And this dog comes from big-ish dog breeds. That is irresponsible and abusive to the dog's needs. A dog becomes a member of your family, not something to be returned if it's too big, small, or imperfect in the human's eyes.
2. The second time was because the family was moving ... so they just left the dog behind in the laundry room. I cannot fathom such cruelty. It is deplorable, abusive and inhumane. Those humans do not deserve to call themselves human. That's all I have to say about them.
3. The third time was because the household cats could not get used to the dog, so the owners just returned the dog to the humane society. (Socializing pets with new pets can be hard. The owners may not have done the research needed to prepare or put the effort into doing it, but who knows their whole story?)

Isn't that poor dog's history disgusting and angering? This poor dog has done nothing wrong. He's been loyal, beautiful and innocent as human after human abused him in some way or another. Click here for his story.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

We have another 4-legged animal

I would love to adopt a second rescue dog. There are so many dogs in need of homes, and we have the room to have them. But Wade is happy with one dog.

So I was surprised when Wade told me right before bed, "We have another four legged animal in the house".

I knew he didn't just go out and pick up a dog. "A mouse?" I asked. "Yep."

Wade tried to kill it with his hockey stick. He almost got it, he told me, but he just missed when he brought the stick down. He told me that if he was closer, he'd have gone after it with his hands. Apparently, at a friend's house, he caught a mouse with his bare hands. (I did not ask what he did with the mouse.)

That freaked me out. Wade got a lecture on diseases: rabies and hantavirus. I told him not to TOUCH a wild mouse again.

We were both surprised by the mouse. There are no "signs" of a mouse living in our house (well, the unfinished area of our basement). There's no torn up tissue, no chewings, no mouse droppings.) Hopefully, that means the mouse hasn't been here long. I don't care about the mouse per se, but rather about the droppings it leaves (because that's unsanitary, gross and disease-causing). Wade's getting mouse traps on the way home. I don't want to kill the mouse - I mean, he just found a warm spot to winter (kinda like snowbirds). But what other option do we have? If we catch and release, he might find his way back to our house.

Do you have experiences with mice, vermin, or other uninvited guests?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

KFL&A Public Health: follow-up "letter"

Remember when I told you how inefficient your system was? Remember when I sent you about three different emails expressing my concern? (Thanks for the prompt replies, by the way. I did appreicate it.) And remember when I sent letters to the editor that were published in two local newspapers expressing my displeasure with your organization system's inefficiencies?

Yeah, me too.

Well, it seems like you've figured things out. Finally! If anyone shows up with more than a 45 minute wait, you get a wrist-band to come back at a designated time. That's great news!

And even better, the flu shot has been available to EVERYONE in Canada for the past week. No more prioritization by "high risk": everyone can get vaccinated for free in Canada.

My husband went on Friday, and the wait was only 30 minutes. (He still didn't feel like waiting 30 minutes, so he left. But he'll go back when he has more time.)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Introducing Charlotte

Charlotte is 3 days old, weight 6 lbs 2 oz at birth, and is the daughter of some very good friends of mine: Welcome to the world, Charlotte!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Princess was a very bad girl today

Very bad.

We went to my mom's neighbourhood and went for a walk with Yogi Bear, my mom's American Eskimo dog. A kid (maybe 12 years old) was riding his bike on the sidewalk, and as he went by us, he stopped and Princess bit at his leg. He was okay, he wasn't shook up, and the skin wasn't broken. At first, we actually (including the kid) thought she only got his jeans, but that wasn't the case. I gave his dad my vet's contact information (so he could verify she was up-to-date on all shots). As soon as we got back, I called the vet to tell them what happened and ask for a recommendation on a dog trainer. The father hadn't yet called the vet to ask about Princess at that time, but when he does, they'll confirm Princess is in fact up-to-date on all shots. Also, since the skin wasn't broken, there's no risk of any disease transmission, but I'm sure it'll still reassure the father.

I've already contacted the recommended dog trainer and am awaiting them to get back to me.

Can you believe this little thing was such a bad girl?

I was very shook up for at least an hour and a half afterward, and I'm still a little shook up. We will certainly make sure this doesn't happen again.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Our house is sold ...

... again

Call me cynical, but given our last experience, I think I'll hold off on "celebrating" until the house sale has completely closed.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Extreme Honesty

Seriously, the past few days have been really bad for lacking self control. If you know me personally, please don't judge me for what I say in this post! Tonight, Wade wanted dessert, so I baked cupcakes. And I proceeded to eat 4 1/2 of them. Apparently, two or even three cupcakes wasn't enough to satisfy me, so I ate 4 1/2. Think that's bad? Earlier this week, I had 1.5 L of ice cream over a period of two days. That is not a typo: I had 6 cups of the delicious cookie dough ice cream. Seriously, what is wrong with me? I ALWAYS feel overfull afterwards. I did this a lot when I was 10, 11, 12 years old, but I kicked the compulsion. It has always come back occassionally, but it lessened over time. Although, like this week, my over-indulging still happens now and then, it hasn't happened in well over a year. When this compulsion occurs, it's like some monster that must be fed overcomes me, and I can't stop eating until I am FULL. And I don't mean a little full, I mean bursting at the seams with more calories, sugar and fat than I would normally eat in a week.

There is no feelings of gratification when I'm done. I used to feel extreme guilt and shame for doing this to myself. Now, I realize there is no sense in feeling guilty. I just feel mad and frustrated with myself for not having more self control. It's just sometimes, once I start indulging, something turns "on", and I just can't stop eating.

I felt sick fifteen minutes ago. I wonder if I would feel better if I was sick, but I never want to go down that road, fearing it could lead to bulimia. My body just doesn't work that way: I am never sick if I overeat. Once the sugar high subsides (from the icing on the cupcake), I might feel so gross (as my insides digest all this unhealthy food) that I'll curl into a ball, or maybe (and this is what prefer) I'll have enough energy (and not feel too gross) so I can go for a walk and feel a bit better. I do not see myself as bulimic, but perhaps I have the potential to lean that way. I don't get sick, exercise or starve myself to compensate (as is the definition of bulimia), but I might go for a walk to feel better, and am often "turned off" sweets for days after (even thinking of sweets actually turns my stomac right now).

It really is like a compulsion, a monster that overtakes me and must be fed. How awful.

If you have any similar experiences, please feel free to share. Do you feel guilty after binge-eating? Do you or did you have any binge behaviours - eating, drinking, or otherwise? Do you see me differently (positively or negatively) for what I've admitted. Please feel free to share by commenting or emailing me.

Go Gaels, Go!

My husband and I both did our undergraduate degrees at Queen's University, a reputable school in Canada.

Although Queen's has acquired a bit of a party image in the past five years, the "big party" is only held on one week-end a year. Um, a party school that only has one party week-end and where most of the partiers don't even attend the school? Not such a party school, IMO. (For more information, see here or here).

Anyway, other than the one week-end of partying, at Queen's, we do things just a little different: for example, fraternities and sororities are banned (to foster school spirit and loyality, and it seems to work), and our official school song is in Scottish Gaelic. Yes, Scottish Gaelic.

Our football team just won the Yates Cup, which means next week, they play the semi-finals for the National Championship, referred to as the Vanier Cup. While we watched the game, tuckered-out Princess (tired from a 45 minute walk with Wade), helped us cheer on Queen's:
How cute is she?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Do you have triskaidekaphobia? Or worse paraskevidekatriaphobia? Then today is your worst day (for the third time this year)!

Paraskevidekatriaphobia is fear of Friday the 13th, and today is the third Friday the 13th this year. I didn't know that word until I looked up Friday the 13th on wikipedia! I did, however, know triskaidekaphobia, the fear of 13.

Why is 13 such an unpopular number? Well, again, according to wikipiedia, it's unnatural because it's one higher than 12. Twelve is good because there are twelve months in a year, twelve zodiac signs, twelve hours in a clock, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve apostles of Jesus and twelve gods of Mount Olympus. Evidently, twelve is a good number, therefore thirteen is a bad number.

And why is Friday the thirteenth bad? According to my all-knowing (and usually accurate) wikipiedia, Friday is unlucky because Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Therefore, Friday + 13 = double bad.

So, how do you like that history and cultural lesson?

Anyway, that's all I have to say about today. Best to avoid stepping on cracks, breaking mirrors, spilling salt, walking under ladders, and so on today. Oh, and join me in wishing Jen a Happy Birthday! Jen and I met in grade 6 figure skating, then went to school together from grade 7 to the end of high school (called OAC here, also known as grade 13). She's a terrific gal, and even though I've only averaged seeing her every other year the past five years, I still consider her a friend!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Princess learned a new skill today

She learned how to play by herself, taking her toy and throwing it in the air then catching it herself. It's pretty funny to watch.

While we wanted to name her Kiah (Australian aborigine for a beautiful place), she really does know her name is Princess. She responds to it so easily. So at this point, it's less and less likely we'll make any attempt to change her name.

That's all I have to post today. :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lest We Forget

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

This poem In Flanders Fields is recited by (English speaking) children all over Canada. It was written by Major Doctor John McCrae, a Canadian serving in World War I. He later died in that conflict. I recited this poem aloud when I stood in Flanders in 2005. I recited it in my head at Vimy Ridge earlier this year. It always sends chills down my spine when I recite it. It is powerful and emotional, and is also performed in other Commonwealth countries on Remembrance Day.

My wedding date was June 6th, 2009. Exactly 55 years earlier, Operation Overlord, now better known as D-Day commenced. Canadians paid a pivotal role in this battle, securing Juno Beach faster than any other allied force and advancing farther into France than any other allied force on that day.

A picture I took of some remaining trenches in Flanders Fields, 2005:

A picture I took of Vimy Ridge, 2009:

A picture of Wade and me at Juno Beach, 2009:

Sunday, November 8, 2009

So ... you have mere hours to enter!

You have probably already heard about Professional Bridesmaid's (who I often refer to as Pro 'Maid, or just PM) super-duper amazing giveaway: a personalized address stamp from Barbara Kua Calligraphy. If you haven't heard, you should go check it out now!

Friday, November 6, 2009

More Princess pictures!

A woman and a dog were playing fetch on tv. Princess saw the person throw the ball, then wagged her tail and ran behind the tv to look for the ball.


So I threw a ball for her.

Here's some new pictures of her:

Setting into our new home ... Day 0!

You know I moved recently. Well, just over a month ago. Here's a "home movie" I took on "day 0" - the evening we moved in!

By the way, I had no idea I was so emotional in my facial expressions.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

100 days to the Olympics!

The Bay (the company that outfitted Canada's Olympic Team) emailed me to tell me there are 100 days to the Winter Olympics in Vancouver!

I'm excited!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

To KFL&A Public Health

To whom it may concern:

I arrived at the flu clinic at 8am for the 10am opening. I was 12th in line. Ahead of me were four people over 65 (they told me they were over 65), knowing full well that the clinic was for those under 65 with chronic conditions only. We waited until 10am, when pregnant women, children under 2 years old, then children under 5 years old skipped the line. I agreed with the first two categories skipping the line, and further agreed when those in wheel chairs and on oxygen were individually pulled out of line. But that only added about 15 minutes to my wait.

When those under 5 years of age were added, a long line formed. In fact, the line was so long that I did not get my flu shot under 11am. In spite of being 12th in line, I waited for over an hour to get my shut! The clinic opened around 9:45 am, opening early, but all the children under 5 years old getting priority meant that the 12th person in line did not get seen until 11am!

You need to reconsider your organizational system. By having the "special" high risk include children under 5 years of age, it delayed opening of the line to "general" high risk by over an hour. That is unacceptable.

Also special exemptions for those OVER 65 is not right. Rules are there for a reason, based on risk. Those over 65, you tell us, have a partial immunity to this strain because a similar flu circulated many years ago. I will, however, consider advising my older relatives (over 65) with cancer that if they make a case with the doctor on-site, they will get an exemption.

Thank you for reading my concerns.