Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Grown Up Returns

Three and a half years have passed since I last wrote It seems as though I have lived a thousand life times in those three short years. Shortly after our move and 3 days into an exciting new school year and beginning for us, we lost Samantha's father to suicide. It was a devastating loss for us and his family. Our lives would never be the same and rightfully so.  As always, my Sam possessed an amazing capacity to see his death for what it was and understand that his choice was in the end what made him happiest. She repeatedly told her counselor and her teachers and myself that he made the choice so that he would no longer suffer - and she can't be angry for his choice. As for me, well I too understood the choice - it took me a lot longer to get over the anger though.
While death for the deceased is the end of an existence, the living continue to exist, to experience, to love, to grow. Regardless, life goes on. Today I find myself able to talk freely again about being a Grown Up. Today I find myself wanting to share our life. So what I will be writing are in effect events of the past 3 and a half years with memories of healing, growing and moving on.
What prompted me to come back? I re-read my previous entries and laughed at the memories of those long ago events. I am ready to write again.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Grown Up meets Truckzilla





After much deliberation, I had finally made the unwaivering decision to move closer to my family. Really, it wasn't a hard decision... poor economic conditions plus lack of local familial support seemed to make the odds in favor of moving closer to family.

As anyone knows whether you are moving across town or across international borders, the whole process of moving is daunting and exhausting. I like to think I am a fairly organized individual and like to think that I was prepared for moving day when it came. Really, even the best laid plans don't seem to go as we hope. I will say that I was fortunate to have the best packing crew this side of the Mississippi that accepted Pizza and beverages as payment for helping me load my U-Haul truck. Oh, and one of the crew even brought cheesecake as dessert! How great is that?

Imagine a sunny Friday afternoon in the month of July. The temperatures have reached a comfortable 68ish degrees (after months of constant downpour and at best 55 degrees). It is on this fabulous Friday afternoon that I meet the vehicle that will transport all my worldly goods to my new home. And that vehicle is a 26 foot moving truck rented from U-Haul. My mother - bless her heart - is in awe of the size of this vehicle and asks in her so sweet motherly and supportive voice "Could you have gotten a bigger truck?"

To which I respond in kind with my sweet daughterly and reasonable voice "Why no I couldn't Mom as Mayflower wanted over 8 Grand for their services!"

"Well I'm not driving that beheamoth! Doubtful I could see over the steering wheel it's so huge!" Again, so supportive.

Dave, the friendly U-Haul agent is kind enough to go over the vehicles features like a proud used car salesman. "Yup this baby comes equipped with gentle ride suspension, an AM/FM radio, Fuel Economy Gauge to help you maximize fuel consumption and best of all she gets a whopping 9 miles per gallon! This vehicle will get you to your destination GUARANTEED!"
Truckzilla's AMAZING Fuel Economy Monitor - I HATE THE RED PARTS!
As I stare open mouthed at Dave while he explains all of the vehicles' features an impending sense of panic begins to bubble up in my throat. It's all I can do to not begin to laugh hysterically at the disparity of this vehicle and any passenger vehicle found on the road today. Heck even a 1972 Pontiac got better gas mileage than that! But who am I to criticize? Alice Walton I am not and Walmart has not yet ventured into the moving truck business.

When my daughter finally made it home from saying some of her final goodbyes, her first comment about the vehicle I just described was "Wow, when did Truckzilla get here?"

Thus begins a 5 day long complicated, exhilerating and exhausting relationship with a 26 foot moving truck given the moniker of Truckzilla for the entire duration of our time together. Now Truckzilla has an amazing capacity for withstanding much motion, jostling, organizing, stacking and packing. My fabulous packing crew was astonished not only at how much worldly goods and possessions two people owned, but that they actually got it all packed fairly neatly in Truckzilla. This impressive crew took a mere 3 1/2 hours to accomplish the task and I am deeply grateful to each and every one of them who came and helped!
Truckzilla packed and our final photo
Ready to go! I think
Fastforward to a sunny Saturday afternoon. Temperatures repeat themselves from the day before and maintain a warm 68ish degrees. Truckzilla is completely packed. The family car is completely pack. Sam has her nest situated for the optimum travel comfort of a 10 year old embarking on a cross border car ride. (Really she is a professional Road Tripper). Kitty is less than enthusiastic about being relegated to the back of the car in an unknown meshy metal container that will not allow her freedom of movement. Sam's chauffeur is ready to go. And as Truckzilla's designated driver, I too feel ready to get on the road. It's one PM and we are driving out of the neighbourhood for the final time. I am thankful that I am riding solo for this portion of the trip as it takes me until Burlington to stop bawling. Somewhere around Bellingham the sobbing ceases.

We arrive at the Canadian Border with what I think is the proper paper work in hand. I am asked by the Canadian Border agents to please go inside and talk to an officer there. I am so pleased with my excellent organizational skills as I approach the desk of the Inspections Officer I proudly declare that I am a Canadian Citizen returning home. The Officer - whose name I don't know because they all have badges that don't have names but rather numbers - looks briefly at my household goods declaration, asks the value of the goods and then asks to see the export documents for my vehicle.

"Export Documents? It's a Canadian Car! It's coming back to it's country of origin and it needs Export Documents?"

"Well yes Ms, you see the vehicle has been exported from Canada to be imported into the U.S. And now that you are returning to Canada with your vehicle, it has to be exported from the U.S. to be imported into Canada. I'm afraid you are going to have to go back to the U.S. Customs and acquire proper documentation from them."

I am to say the least stunned. I try hard to fight the panic once again rising only this time hysteria is barely contained as tears begin streaming down my face.

"So you are telling me Officer 8675309 that I must take my vehicle and my truck full of all my worldly goods and traverse back into the U.S. to talk to their customs agent to export my car. Then I must take my vehicle and my truck full of all my worldly goods and traverse back into Canada and show you said exportating documentation?"

"Yes Ms. I am. Though I doubt they will be able to help you as they only do inspections Monday through Friday. Today is Saturday."

"Can you at least offer me the courtesy of allowing my moving truck to remain here as obviously you do not have any qualms with the contents of my truck?"

Big huge put out sigh by Officer 8675309 "Fine! But make it quick."

As I leave in my passenger vehicle to go back to the U.S. I wonder if Officer 8675309 realizes that I am dealing with U.S. customs. Quick is not in their vocabulary. And golly gee, Sam has decided this sounds like fun and wants to tag along.

I arrive at the U.S Customs and there I encounter Officer Obvious. I call him Officer Obvious because when I come in and talk to him about my dilema, the first words out of his mouth is "It's Saturday!"

Hence Officer Obvious.

"Why yes Officer Obvious. It is Saturday. How very astute of you to point that out to me. Saturday is also the 7th day of the week and was named for the planet Saturn. Coincidentally this Saturday as in today is the day that I am trying to move back to Canada with my vehicle which I have brought back to you because I apparently need to export it! Which is ironic because it came from Canada in the first place. Can you please tell me what I need to do?"

Officer Obvious replies: "You need to come back on Monday when we do the export inspections with your banking paperwork. And then you need to stay with the vehicle in the U.S. for an additional 72 hours until the inspection has cleared customs."

Once again stunned. Once again fighting hysteria. Once again fighting back tears.

"OK, Thank You Officer Obvious for your esteemed assistance."

I return shoulders slumped with a now traumatized 10 year old doing her best to keep it together. Sam cries out " Wait Mommy! Does this mean we are not going to move  now?"

"What it means darling is that we are temporarily delayed in our process of moving."

As we return to our worldly goods on the Canadian side of the 49th parrallel, a new Officer 1234567 - who is obviously more experienced than Officer 8675309 and a heck of a lot more sympathetic to our plight - welcomes us back to Canada for our "Extended Stay". We are given leave to address the issue of exporting the Chev at a later date. This time I am overjoyed that SOMEONE has understood the importance of this move and as I tearfully thank the Officers, Mom, Sam and I quickly rush back to Truckzilla and the Chev for fear that they might change their mind. This time the sobbing only lasts about 15 minutes when we reach Chilliwack.

Mom and I were definately overcome by our stroke of good luck with the Canadian Border Agents. Yes indeed I was thankful to be home. Officer 1234567 gave me the kind of Canadian Welcome that the motherland is known for. I felt it to be a good omen of things to come. It was at this moment that Truckzilla showed us her true colors. Mighty she may be and impressive storage capacity she might have, but this gal REALLY has expensive needs. And by expensive I mean it didn't take not one but two $100 bills to fill this plus sized gal's tank. Yes that is an impressive TWO Benjamin Franklins, TWO Sir Robert Bordens (Canada) 100 SMACKAROONIES, 50 TWOONIES. What ever you call it Truckzilla will only accept the highest of denominations in currency - foreign or domestic.

 
The rest of the day was fairly uneventful with our drive. We spent the night in a hotel in Kamloops. Sam was disapointed that it did not have a pool and declared the "Super 8" not so super. And I only took out one small corner stone on a wide turn - but I swear it was already loosed by some previous truckzilla type incident that did not involve me! Truckzilla was appeased with another hundred fed into her enormous belly.

Sunday rolls around and we find ourselves faced with another beautiful day with 68-ish degree (now calculating in celsius 20-ish degrees). We begin the second leg of our trip through the rocky mountains.


Truckzilla meets Alberta

If any of you have travelled with children you should know the cardinal rule is when the vehicle stops for any reason that is the time to go to the bathroom. Usually I try to time my stops at a place that has restrooms or close to it toilet type facilities. Travelling with a girl brings a certain element to the necessity of said stops at facilities that absolutely must pass her inspection. In other words there is no peeing in the woods for this 10 year old.

However on this fated trip, my 10 year old has quickly learned that when nature calls EMERGENCY one cannot be so discriminating. After a good 15 minutes of debate about the available facilities and another 15 minutes of explanations on how to use the facilites, Sam was resigned to the inevitable as natures emergency had become a code yellow! I proudly stand watch (I had won the debate and it wasn't an easy one!) as my precious 10 year old begins her first outdoor nature call in the woods. About 100 yards away I notice the trees rustling. Then a figure appears. My mind is trying to comprehend what it is seeing while hoping that what I am seeing is not really what I think it is.

About 10 seconds later there is no doubt in my mind that Sam's first outdoor nature call was being crashed by Brother Bear!  And a hungry black one to boot! I turn to my precious 10 year old and quietly tell her to pull up her pants.

"But Mom I am not done!"

"Samantha I don't care as right now about 100 yards away is a black bear and that is one bear I do not want to meet right now. So for the love of Georgia pull up your pants  and haul your hiney back to the truck NOW!"

The adreniline starts pumping as I run behind my daughter who is holding up her pants and running as fast as her legs could carry her. I am trying my hardest not to draw attention to the bear and behind my daughter I whisper yell to "MOVE FASTER NOW!"

Fortunately we only have about 40 yards to the vehicles. I yell at Sam to jump in the car on the passenger side. I yank open the door, startling my mother who at this point had been blissfully unaware of our 4 legged friend due to her need to take a quick cat nap while we were searching for our outdoor facilities.

"HOLY MARY MOTHER OF GOD WE JUST SAW A BEAR! WE HAD TO MAKE A RUN FOR IT! I'M SURE SAMANTHA DIDN'T GET TO FINISH HER CALL TO NATURE! AND WE NEED TO GET THE HECK OUT OF HERE BEFORE BROTHER BEAR DECIDES TO COME INVESTIGATING!"

Mom didn't seem as concerned about the necessity to get on the road then. Mind you Sam and I were still running on pure adreneline from our near fatal encounter with Brother Bear. It's hard to remain calm and keep things in perspective when you had to run for your life holding your pants up in the middle of the woods. Yes we were absolutely freaked out of our ever loving minds! But seriously who wouldn't be? Especially if that was their first encounter with a bear!
If you look closely right above the gravel road next to the tree and the rock you will see a black spot...
That's Brother Bear!
Sam has since informed me that there will be no more peeing in the woods for her. I completely understand!

After our near death experience travel with Truckzilla returned to normal. When we reached Hinton, "Zilla" called out for some more hundreds to fill her emptying belly. She was once again appeased with a Sir Robert Borden! Samantha delicately inquired as to whether or not she could visit an indoor restroom with flushing toilets due to her interupted call to nature a few hundred kilometres back. We of course obliged her!

Finally at about 7 PM we roll into the great village of Wabamun. Truckzilla not quite starving, but getting close. We all breathe a HUGE sigh of relief that we have made it with our vehicles, goods and minds intact. What Mom and I really want is the biggest glass of beer we can find! We settle for a bottle or three. Sam takes a very large glass of ice water.

Truckzilla resting after her long and arduous journey across 1 country border and 2 provinces! She is relieved!

Sam and I look at each other and smile. We are here. We are here. And we make a toast: "To our new life!"

Sam says: "Mom, we need to write a new anthem for people who are like us! We'll call it O Canericans!"

Our dual heritages!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Grown Up Job Description No.25

As a Grown Up, I have come to realize I do not have just one single job to do on a daily basis. I know, big shock right? It was to me too when I came across a job today that really was not one I wanted to put on my resume. Honestly, my hat goes off to the people who perform this job regularly and without trepidation. There is a special place in Heaven for these people. Before I reveal to you the not so fabulous addition to my Grown Up responsibilities as well as skills I wish I didn't need, I must tell you how the title came to be.

Spring has sprung and I don't know if you've noticed but lately there are an awful lot of birds out there. I was driving home minding my own business and enjoying the suns' beautiful rays that seem to be a rarity in our neck of the woods. Ahead of me on the side of the road a flock of birds possibly startled by the shining of the sun on my car suddenly take flight, frantically beating their wings in the hopes that they can take to the air before the perceived threat over takes them. My heart begins pumping madly hoping that they make it. Today, not all are so fortunate.

I cringe as I hear the tell tale thump as a tiny body smacks against the grill of my car. I silently pray that the bird is not stuck there and hope against all hopes that it has fallen off. Not wanting to stop my car to find out, I continue along my merry way. I arrive home, park my car in the garage and proceed to forget about the "unfortunate incident" on my way home from work today.

Now being the busy Grown Up that I am the car does not really have time to cool down before it is time for me to go out again. After having once again parked my car and gone about my business, it was as I was returning to my vehicle that my hopes were dashed and I discovered I had indeed committed vehicular birdslaughter. There on the front grill of my vehicle was the bird I had so desperately hoped "made it". Chills run up and down my spine as I try to suppress my horrified scream. And being the mature Grown Up that I am, I run past the front of my car making signs of the cross and desperately try to get in my car without making eye contact with the dead thing. And of course I get in my car and continue to pray that no one notices that I am driving around town with a dead thing attached to the front of my car. (Can we say Cleopatra any one? 'Cuz I am the Queen of Denial.)

As I am picking up my daughter from her friends' house, I tell my daughter's friends' mother about my little "problem" hoping that she might help me solve it. Turns out she has a phobia about dead things too! So no luck there. Strike one.

Sam seems very interested in my little "problem". Mostly I think she is just fascinated by the fact that I am driving around town with the dead carcass of a bird on my vehicle. I know pretty much right away she won't be any help - she just wants to stare at it.  Ball one.

As I continue to drive home, I mentally go through the list of neighbors who would best be able to help me with my "problem". Across the street... in another state. To the right... 90 if he's a day and deaf to boot. To the left... PERFECT... 3 boys and they just mowed my lawn yesterday! I tell my plan to Sam who seems to think I have come up with a brilliant idea. We are smiling and excited that we have figured out a solution to our "problem". As we drive around the corner we eagerly look to the neighbors house to the left expecting to see the boys playing outside and at least one of the vehicles parked out front. Much to our dismay, the front yard and driveway are both empty. Strike two.

Things are looking too good for me. I am still driving around with the poor dead bird attached to the front of my car. Suddenly, inspiration strikes. A quick stop at the house to grab a garden tree stake and we're off again. Fortunately we live in an area that is not so far from nature. I drive my car about a mile down the road and come to a property that is undeveloped. Sam and I get out of the vehicle. I arm myself with the tree stake and together we walk around to the front of the vehicle.

There we are both staring at the front of the vehicle and the dead carcass of a bird stuck to the front. Sam asks: "Well Mom, what are you going to do?"

I take a deep breath and I say: "Well Sam, I'm going to do what any Grown Up would do. I'm going to return this poor pitiful creature that had the misfortune of meeting its' untimely demise on the front of my vehicle back to its natural habitat. That's what I am going to do."

I nod my head because nodding my head makes the bold statement I just made seem more authentic that way.

Then, with Sam walking behind me we walk toward the front of my vehicle with the tree stake pointing straight in front of us. And doing what any Grown Up would do, I flick the dead carcass off the front of my vehicle with the stick. Screaming and shaking off the impending willies from dealing with the trauma of removing the dead thing from my vehicle, I toss the tree stake into the woods along with the dead carcass and push Sam back into our vehicle peeling out of the property like Bo Duke running from Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane in the Dukes of Hazard.

And that my friends is how today I added to my resume the prestigious title of "Dead Thing Remover".


Rest In Pieces Little Bird. May you fly freely in that big nature scape in the sky.
(Image from Dennis Yu.com)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Picky Eater meets the Sweet Potato

We're a little slow in our house about trying new foods. I am the Grown Up in a house with what is commonly known as "The Picky Eater". Yes, for what feels like years now our diet has consisted of pizza, macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese, chicken nuggets, spaghetti, PB&J and other common child favorite foods.

It is not for lack of trying to convince "The Picky Eater" that I am truly NOT trying to poison her and she will NOT meet her demise if she is to eat the food that I prepare. That the food I prepare does indeed have flavour and may just be something she would enjoy if she would just open her mind to the possibility of enjoying it. But alas, "The Picky Eater" is not so easily convinced. Many of the meals I have prepared have often been spoiled by "the Picky Eater" and her theatrics of choking, gagging, pretend throwing up and dashes for the trash can to spit out the "offending" food. And of course, my appetite is lost because of the rejection and disappointment of having failed as a nutritionist and chef. My Grown Up sensibilities can only take so much - even from a child.

We have however begun to reach what I hope is the beginning of the maturing of her taste buds and quite frankly "The Picky Eater". And I am not ashamed to admit that I am capitalizing on the rage that is called Sweet Potato Fries. Our first encounter with Sweet Potato Fries came at a restaurant back in the motherland in an area so vastly removed from the major producing states of sweet potatoes. Sweet potato fries quickly became an addiction.

I have learned however that what "the Picky Eater" has come to associate as a sweet potato is actually called a yam, but I am not about to split hairs over that distinction. I am even more excited that she willingly helps prepare what has become a house hold favourite. I do not even have to ask her to peel the sweet potato/yams. If she knows its on the menu, "the Picky Eater" will get out the necessary supplies and begin the preparation of the sweet potatoes. The point is "the Picky Eater"  has a decided this is a food she will eat and eat regularly. Can I get an "AMEN"?

"THE PICKY EATER" PREPARING THE SWEET POTATO.

SWEET POTATO & SPECIAL SPICES

YUMMY DELICIOUSNESS!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

When I grow up... a conversation with my 10 year old

One of the most common questions asked children is what do they want to be when they grow up? As a parent I have had many conversations with my daughter on this very question. Sam has been able to verbalize what she wants in complete sentences since she was about 11 months old... this has been both to my delight and chagrin. She has often surprised me in her opinions and thought processes. And continues to do so ... again to my delight and chagrin.

A recent conversation with Sam about when she grows up has given me pause for review of her 10 years and how her choice of careers has also changed in that short time... as I'm sure it will continue to change until she graduates from college.

At 2, Sam wanted to be a mommy... just like me. This was evidence in her special care and treatment of the family dog... Teddy. I would often find him wrapped in many blankets on a bed in the house only to be told by my then 2 year old "SHHHHHH! Teddy's napping! You have to be QUIET mommy!"

At 3 Sam decided she wanted to try her hand a being a beautician. She would jump for joy when I brought out the hair pretties and fingernail polish so we could have "Beauty Time". Once again, Teddy was the recipient of her careful ministrations as household beautician. I came home from work one day to find poor Teddy running through the house with a bright purple stipe down his back, leaving hot pink footprints in his wake as he attempted to escape from Sam's House of Beauty. This was in addition to the puddle of polish on the floor and the beginnings of a Picassoesque type painting on the bedroom door.  Upon further investigation, I also found my lovely 3 year old daughter in my bathroom with my make up spread out over the counter... her attempts to apply make up evidenced on her face with eyeliner out to her temples a la Cleopatra, green shadow on her eyelids up to her hairline, and pink lipstick around her mouth yet surprisingly not a smidge on her actual lips.
When she saw me her face lit up as she asks "Don't I look pretty Mommy?" What could a mother say, but "Of course sweetie! Now where is Daddy?" Who not surprisingly was absent. When I asked him where he was during this he replied: "She told me it was ok!"
First of all, when is it ever ok to leave a 3 year old UNSUPERVISED with a dog, 30 different colours of nail polish and her mothers make up? And second of all WHEN IS IT EVER OK TO LEAVE A 3 YEAR OLD UNSUPERVISED? But that is another entry for another time.
I shudder to think if her choice has been to open Sams House of Tattoos.

Thankfully at 4 Sam went back to wanting to be a mommy and once again I was often told to be quiet while "The baby was napping. There was also a brief period from 3 to 4 years where she would want me to turn on the music really loud and would dance on the table. Yes I was concerned about where that "hobby" would lead. Thankfully it was short lived as she got to be too big to stand on the table. Yes, I was relieved.

At 5 Sam loved to play waitress. She would cook up some crazy concoction with her play food and serve it to me. I would of course politely try her "TEA" or "Soup A LA Sam" and declare it the most delicious dish. This was also the time I went back to school to get my bachelors degree. Sam decided she wanted to be a college student. Yes I was happy about this choice... happy that she could see the importance of being a life long learner. She also enjoyed being part of my assignments at school.

At 6, 7 & 8 Sam was adament that she wanted to be a veterinarian. Once again her aptitude for animal care was demonstrated through her love of all creatures. Teddy and this time Kitty were the lucky recipients of her care and operations as Dr. Sam. She absolutely LOVED when we took care of Sadie - our friends the Olson's dog. Thankfully Sadie had experience with the extra love of a 6 year old and took it all in stride.

 During this time she also became an advocate for Saving the Snails of Fireside from the senseless death and destruction by the neighbourhood boys who would purposely run over the snails with their bikes. Since our house was the only house in "the Hood" that does not have brothers, it also became the designated sanctuary for snails. Sam and her girl friends would spend hours after school and on the weekends collecting snails and racing them to our house for safekeeping from the evil boys who were out to hurt the poor creatures. At any given moment we would have between 200 to 300 snails in the sanctuary. Of course once the boys got wind of our Snail Sanctuary the race began to see who could have the biggest collection of snails - the boys or the girls. The Sanctuary eventually grew to provide shelter for worms, caterpillars, rollie polies and the Pacific Tree Frog. After about 3 months of providing shelter to wayward creatures, I managed to convince the girls that the various residents of FSS - Fireside Snail Sanctuary - needed to be released back into their natural habitat. Winter was coming and we could look together to find an appropriate Winter Sanctuary for their residents. The Winter Sanctuary turned out to be a wooded area in Ft Nugent Park behind our house.

At 9 Sam decided that she wanted to be a teacher... yup you guessed it... just like Mommy. She would practice teaching reading to Teddy and Kitty. She would get frustrated with writing...not understanding that opposable thumbs help humans write...dogs just like to chew the pencils and kitty liked to bat it around the house. Sam was delighted when she thought Teddy would count. Of course she would hold a treat in front of his nose and move her hand up and down while counting... when she was done Teddy would take the treat. Kitty, in true cat spirit has been diagnosed with ADHD and deemed needing special classes to continue her education.

Now that Sam is 10, she has expanded on what her life as a grown up will look like. I was impressed that she has thought it out that far. Her plan includes going to college to be... yup you guessed it ... a teacher. She will get married at 28 and have 2 children.

Apparently though in order for her to realize her goals she NEEDS to have a cell phone by the time she's 12.

I'm still baffled as to how I can support that theory. Fortunately 12 is still 2 years away. I have time to find a grown up way to get out of it!

Oh and her choice of phones....
Thank You Apple! I hope you have Financial Aid!

Friday, February 18, 2011

It's the little things

In the hussel and bussel of todays life, there are so many inventions that make our lives easier. I love most of them because they have most definately become time savers. I have to admit that it's the little things that I appreciate that make my life as a grown up just a touch easier.

I have a list as well of my favourite inventions too. Here is my top 5 life saving inventions of all time:

5. Beer (from the 6th Millenium BCE) - what better beverage to accompany pizza, burger, fries, hot dogs, a hot day in summer or after an extremely long day at work? My current fav:

4. The toilet (3rd Millenium BCE) - while finding a private bush prooves challenging in todays modern world, without this fabulous invention I shudder to think what our world would be like without modern plumbing. Yes indeed, I am very thankful for the modern flushing toilet.

3. Toilet paper (officially 6th Century AD in China) - previous versions of toilet paper really are unmentionable. But yes, another fabulous invention.

2. The Bra (1913 - Mary Phelps Jacob) - Lets face it, gravity is not our friend. And bless the woman who started the revolution of support for our sisters!

(Pic from Ooopshi.com)

And drum roll please....

My newest favorite advance in technology although its really over 100 years old is...

1. The Paper Shredder (1909 - Abbot Augustus Low).

 I recently scored a great deal on a paper shredder from Office Max. This identity saving device has given everyone peace of mind and personal responsibility to protect their identiy. My handy little machine comes equipped with a credit card shredder, can shred up to 10 pages in less than 5 seconds and lets me know when it has had enough with a sensor that senses when it is close to overheating thus shutting itself down. Samantha has found hours of enjoyment in being my little helper by shredding documents for me. Who knew that all it would take to get compliance is a simple little machine called a shredder?
I have to admit that this new shredder of mine also has some theraputic advantages too. There is much to be said to having a shredder handy...pictures of old boyfriends...shred..., job rejection letters...shred, credit card offers for your dog...shred, mail for previous tennants... shred... well you get the idea.
That being said and done, I love my new investment. It has brought much joy from the super deal when I purchased it, watching my daughter want to do extra chores so she can be "rewarded" by working on my shred pile, to getting rid of unwanted documents. Yes, it's the little things like that that keep me going.

Just my documents to shred, my shredder and me. Yeah, life is good.

Welcome home Shredex 2000!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I would like to fire the household staff

Today I decided I would like to fire the household staff. It began when the butler Alfred failed to wake me up at the appropriate hour neglecting to bring me my cup of coffee and croissant in bed. I mean how difficult is it to grind fresh Arabica beans, place them into the French coffee press, and serve the beverage in the finest china this house holds? And please don’t get me started on the croissant. Pillsbury crescent rolls are a poor substitute for a real hot croissant.

This brings me to the failures of Chef. What ever happened to the fine cuisine of freshly prepared foods? Where does Chef get off thinking he can serve boxed foods and pass them off as haute cuisine? Give the man his own name on a can of prepared pasta in sauce and apparently dinner is served!

Mrs. Mavis the maid has apparently lost her cleaning supplies. The dust is an inch thick in some places and a thick hazy film of dirt on the windows. She claims she can’t remember where she left them. This was after I caught her in the pantry with the butler Alfred in a compromising position. FYI to my guests for dinner – I have since replaced the linens after this unfortunate incident.

Laurel the laundress is MIA for about a week now. We have put out an APB for her complete with her picture. I hope she is found soon, the laundry room has been smelling pretty awful for the last week. On the bright side geologists are interested in the phenomenon growing in the laundry room and are calling it Mount Apparelus.

James the chauffeur has allowed the maintenance on the family vehicle to lapse. And there is a giant crack in the windshield he claims was allegedly caused by a rock that was spit up by a vehicle in front of him. I’m pretty sure he was at another illegal back alley dice game gone wild in Chinatown. Thank Goodness Alfred did not receive a call to bail him out again.

The household children have run amok – again. I lost a toe after a skirmish with Barbie and her gang of California Gurls on the floor of the playroom. Genevieve the Governess is getting lax in her care of the young ones. The resident children told me she was last seen making eyes at Gunther the pool boy when they were there for their swim lessons. (Ok, I admit Gunther does know how to fill out a swim suit - if that’s what you want to call it – in all the right places) Gunther informs me that Genevieve has been teaching the children to shoot back cough medicine like jello shots in the hopes that they will go to sleep earlier at night so they can have some “adult time”.

The gardener Fernando is apparently empathizing with the plight of animals from the African Savannah by allowing the lawn to grow into astronomical heights that will most certainly require a machete to mow through just to find the greenhouse. My prized roses now resemble dollar store floral arrangements. And it is difficult to differentiate where the grass begins and the weeds end. Gone is the lovely manicured estate I cherished. Fernando has started a grass roots organization to save the wilds of Africa through the sale of his original art work on T-shirts with the slogan “Wild is as Wild does”.

Tony and Rocco the Heads of Security have a serious man crush on Dwayne Johnson since he was over here for our annual Snowflake Ball. They keep hounding me to invite him back so they can compare biceps or some other foolish Neanderthal activity.

Now that I have that off my chest I will resume my regularly schedule life and continue wondering if my fairy godmother got lost. I’ll just get my own damn coffee because that is what Grown Ups do!