Friday, February 11, 2011

Ode to Number 5

I'm off to the murder house for the extraction of number 5. It's a sad and stressful day as I say my farewell to number 5. She's been with me since she broke thru - for over 40 years - closer to 50! And what an amazing service she has given me. She's had 2 root canals and because she was so special - she even wore a crown. Does that make her a princess???? She was my second root canal while I was at university and back then cost me $240 ... a large sum for a stuggling student.

So at precisely 11.15 this morning I bid my feared and painful goodbye. And she's not just any extraction - no! You see for most of last year she had been broken and lost her crown ... so she exists purely as a root.

Hence the fear and trepidation as I imagine how number 5 is going to be extracted when she is unable to be gripped with plyers .... as for an implant ... well, that depends on the price - but my husband says he loves me with or without the tooth. (translation - I can think of better ways to spend $5000) ;)

Can I run my long run tomorrow? How long will she take to heal? Farewell number 5! I have appreciated your loyality over the years. You have been a wonderful friend.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Jock Strap!

Tonight we had a rather unexpected surprise at Karate ... somehow I didn't get the memo, but thankful to happen to have my camera in my handbag!

It turned out that it was Cody's graduation.  He performed with his classmates, broke a wooden board in 2 with his bare hands and was presented with the highest 'Ranger' honour of a solid Gold Belt.  This means he is now ready to commence his Leadership training in the young adult classes as of next week.   He also now wears a new fancy smancy uniform!!!  He's very self impressed and full of self accomplishment!  At this same time I needed to purchase his protective gear ...  

Yes, we (meaning Cody) had to 'inspect' in detail every item before we left the building ... it was so funny to watch - but my favourite was when he got to the Jock Strap ... 'mum, why to I have to wear one of these? (holding up a jock strap and using his normal speaks - aka loud) ... So quietly I tell him ... it's to protect your 'privates' (trying to keep anatomy talk to a minimum)  You see, I've never tried to hide or give cute names to his body parts - he's always called a spade a spade, and today evidently was going to be like every other day ....

Cody: what does it do?  How does it work?  Why would anyone try to hurt my penis?  As the body parts started to flow naturally from his mouth, the smiling and interested spectators started leaving like I had the plague .... evidently my answers did not satisfy him ...

And his questions didn't stop. Started again in the grocery store, and library ... and all the time in his 'quiet' voice! (Being scarcastic there!).

We got home and he was beside himself to inspect them further .... mum, he said, they look like undies! With pieces missing ...

Now, I myself having never seen a pair up close, intriged as much as he, and dying inside laughing whilst pretending all the time to be knowledgeable, slowly figuring how to put the piece in, you know, the hard bit, and then getting him try them on.  If only I could have captured the look of male reverence as he proudly displayed his new acquisition.  So I got a wooden spoon and proceeded to hit it. Big smile on his face.  Mamma, it doesn't hurt!!!  NOW he gets it!

I still haven't been able to explain well enough to satisfy his curiosity as to why girls don't use one ... Cody's logic dictates that girls have 'privates' too ... make sense to me ... ???

Anyways, proud of my little ones accomplishments and he looks like he's ready to take on the world!  Yea for all the Jock Straps out there!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

'When You Thought I Wasn't Looking' - unknown author

Found this poem in Cody's Karate's monthly newsletter.  Makes me stop and think about how my words and actions should always be setting a positive example ....

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you feed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make my favourite cake for me, and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I heard you say a prayer, and I knew that there is a God I could always talk to, and I learned to trust in him.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you give of your time and money to help people who had nothing, and I learned that those who have something should give to those who don't.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it, and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn't feel good, and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I saw tears come from your eyes, and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it's all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I say that you cared, and I wanted to be Everything that I could be.

When you though I wasn't looking, I learned most of life's lessons that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking, I looked at you and wanted to say, 'Thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn't looking.'

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Birth of a Marathon Runner!

I'm going to run a marathon!  There ... I said it!  And yes my friends are looking sideways at me - but that's ok!  

Why you ask?  How on earth did you get to that?

Well, while we were in London, England, the London Marathon took place - and it ran right by our hotel, so we were smack bang in the middle of it!  We went out and cheered for about 5 hours - I lost my voice ... absolutely did not think it would be very interesting ... instead had a ball of a time!!

Cody turns to Daddy and says, 'Daddy, why don't you run in the Marathon so we can cheer you on?'  Daddy replies ... 'oohhhh, Daddy couldn't do that, but Mummy can!' ... so there you have it ... 

So, I ask you, why not?  Yes, I'm starting out a little later in life, but some of those runners were in their 80's and I'm guessing they started somewhere!!!  For those of you who know me, I'm very determined once I commit to a task.  I'm not planning to WIN the marathon - although stranger things have happened - just to be in one and finish the line .... no pressure, running and walking when needing to!

I'm slow ... in fact you most likely can walk faster than I can run ... that's ok.  I'm there for me, not to race.  

There really are LOTS of benefits as I see it.  They include:

Great roll model for my son
Getting fit
Losing some flab - I hope
Gaining energy
Acomplishing goals

Here's the downside as I see it:

Finding the time to fit the excercise in
Paying to run in races (what's with that????)
Wear and tear on my body

So what have I done so far?  I started on the treadmill and eliptical while I was in London - walking of course!  Then slowing introducing the running.  20 mins on each.  Once I got home I dusted off the treadmill and have been using that to build up.

When I started I ran at a 4 miles per hour pace to find my groove ... which by the way took 6 weeks of making myself so it.  Once I found my groove, running became addictive.  What I mean by finding my groove is when you push a tad and can keep on running without having to stop for a walk.  My visual motivation that I watch on the treadmill is:

Calories burned

I'm not killing myself and constantly monitor my heart rate so as to manage my running.  After I returned from Europe, I went for my first 5k run with a friend and we had a blast!!!  She left in the dust and did a fabulous job!  I think I did good to ... well, for me I did and I was running ... and I crossed the finish line ... more amazingly, I wasn't last!!!

I ran my first 5 k in 46 minutes and I didn't kill myself.  I did however get a sore knee so now I'm on joint vitamins to help with the fluids in the knee.  That was the first time off the treadmill so it was a little rougher on my body.

I still have a lot to learn - but I'm going to do it!  It may take me a while to build up, but that's ok too.  My hubby has helped me get decked with 'real shoes', some clothes and most exciting was my generation 2 ishuffle!!!  Wouldn't mind the garmin type watch, but that can wait!!!  So, I look the part!

My friend was very encouraging before my first 5k when she told me that I have a ready won.   Standing at the start line when 99.9% of the worlds population wasn't ... all I had to do was finish the race.   

So, that's it in a nutshell.  I'm going to run a marathon!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Thought Provoking ....

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.
- Maria Robinson

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ur ine Paris!

Last week-end this time we were on our way by Eurostar to Paris, France ... thankful that we had decided to go via the chunnel as opposed to flying ... nature decided to play havoc with the volcano that I can't pronounce!

The first week in London was full on!  Our first week end on arrival we went to Hamleys - just off the Oxford Cirus tube stop ... this was one of Cody's 'must do' ... he ran in arms wide open and left dejected and near tears ... 17 pounds for a transformer (not electrical) ... which he could get at home for $10-$12 USD ... so we next went to PJ's 'toy shop' - the ferrari dealership across the road - again, he ran in with arms wide open and left dejeted and wishing he had a job that paid more ... I thought, oh look at that nice mug - 40 pounds!!!  So I gently put the mug down, told the lady associate that she should never let the gentleman associate (who was singing out of tune next to her) to enter American Idol ... and quietly left everyone laughing!

Luckily we went into the National Geographic Shop for a nosey to find a treat!!!!  They had the show live there ... we had missed some of it, but it was entertaining and right up Cody's list of things he loves most!  There was reptiles, insects, mamals - just amazing - even a skunk!  She was adorable and affectionate (yes, we all got to pat her ... and yes, she had her scent package in tact).

We went to Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and the National Art Gallery and we fortunate to view some of Van Gohs work (Sunflowers and Wheat fields were on display - some of his more recognisable work).  That was Sunday.  With PJ off to work the next day, Cody and me hit the road for the next few days.  We went to the ZSL London Zoo, London Sea Life Aquarium, Westminster Abbey, Vitoria Tower Gardens (to feed the pigeons), Big Ben, Parliament Square and buildings, the Wellington Arch, Buckingham Palace - we watched the changing of the guards (with 2000+ others), a wonderful walk through the St James Park (feeding the pigeons, ducks - I even got to hand feed the squirrels!), Museum of Natural Science, Sciene Museum, the Royal Air Force Museum (which turned out to be absolutely fabulous) and a wonderful visit with a friend who just happened to be visiting London the same week!

Then Paris.  Because of the volcanic erruption, the train was packed - and the station was crazy with 'campers' trying to get a seat on any train out of London.  But the trip was awesome!  The countryside was picture perfect and it made me want to get out and go visit all these places!  So I had high hopes for Paris going in.  We packed extremely light - 2 small carry ons - as we planned on using the subway as the travel books had said - ' easy to use and great to get around'.   The first sign we see is - beware of pick pockets!  So now we are 'on guard' and then the smell hit us - the smell of urine.  Not a 2 year 'opps' kinda smell, but a full on, in your face - I peed and I'm proud of it kinda smell ... Cody was ready to go back on the train!  The 'easy to use and great to get around' was proving to be a little more of a challenge!!  But glad to say we arrived ready safetly to our hotel and ready for the next 2 days ....

Our hotel was close to the Arc de Triomphe.  We decided to find a grocery store, so I asked a gentleman if he could help us - yes, he said.  He said the lobsters were that way and pointed ... so we thanked him kindly and proceeded not any closer than we were before ... laughing of course!  We walked down the Avenue de Champs onto the Elysees to the Plae de la Concorde.  Followed by the Jardin Des Tuileries until we reached the Musee de Louve.  What an awesome museum!!!!  That in itself could take a week!!!!  In particular, we wanted to see the Mona Lisa, which we did, along with fabulous works of art and sculptures.  I definately could go back and spend more time in the Louve.  We continued down th St Eustache Forum de Halles and into the Centre Pompidou Beauborg.   The place was insane with people!  Crazy insane! 

After lunch on the sidewalk we went over to Notre-Dame via the Palais de Justice.  Notre-Dame was amazing.  Our feet were 'smoking', so we took the subway over to the last item on the Saturday adgenda - the Eiffel Tower.  We went all the way to the top - the wait was long, the child petrified, but came with PJ and myself (hanging on for dear life - loudly asking - what if someone is undoing all the bolts????)  How can this be safe????  I think he would have kissed the ground if he knew he could upon coming back down!  That being said, the Eiffel Tower was what most impressed him!

Everywhere we went there were combat dressed men with ooseys - I'm guessing police????  It's kinda unnerving with them holding on to them ready to spring into action ...

Sunday we set out to finish our 'to do' list.  We started with the Jargin des Plantes where we went to the Musee National D'Histore Naturelle, the Pantheon followed by the Palis du Luxembourg and into the Jardin du Lxembourg.  Cody was starting to tire so we headed back to the Parc du Champ de maps by the Eiffel Tower.  The closest description that I can tell you about the people was that it was a people sea - a people sardine canned together sea - I've never seen anything like it ever before!  Ever!

It was time to say 'goodbye' to Paris and head on back to London.  Cody was glad.  He came to the conlusion, too many people smoked in Paris and it was toxic.  We were back at the hotel at 12.30 that night glad to hit the pillow!  Poor hubby had to turn around and go to work bright and chirpy the next day!  As for the city of Love?  Not this time ... I was with the men I love, but it really is a jackel and hyde city ... I would say London is more a city of Love than Paris ...  go figure!

Now with an exhausted child, we have taken things a  little slower.  We decided to take some further out lines and go shopping.  So we've ended up in Lewisham, Beckton, and Gallions Reach.  Interesting finds have been ASDA (Wal-Mart - but very different!), Smyths (toy store), pound store (and 99P stores), Tesco, and TK MAXX (know as TJ MAXX where we live.

Once a little more alive, we ventured to LegoLand in Windsor.  Even got to see the Queens Palace there from the train and bus windows!  I know she doesn't do the cleaning - and it would be insane for just one person to live in that mammoth space!  Cody had a wonderful day.  We stayed until the park closed.  If he could, he would have stayed there days.  He even got his LegoLand drivers license!

We then ventured to the other side of the city to the Kew Gardens.  It was a little more relaxing.  We again brought enough bread to feed the ducks and swans!   We enjoyed the walkway in the treetops, and Cody love going on the flying-fox.  And as if all that walking isn't enough, there is a gym (dear I say that word?) in the hotel that Cody keeps dragging me down to!  I have now been officially introduced to an elliptical!

Well, that's it for now!  The crocs are going strong and evidently by themselves say 'tourist!'  We have been having a wonderful time and now are starting on the 2nd half of our trip.  7 more days in London ... followed by 5 days in Rome, Italy ... should the volcano (which I can't pronounce) be favourable with it's ash vomit! 

And for a little chuckle, I was asked what part of America I was from because of my American accent!  Ha Ha!!!  So cheers from here ... and wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Arriving in the UK!

We arrived safe and sound!  Deprived of sleep ... determined to continue without sleep until tonight ...

Firstly, the people speak funny ... I know, I know, the pot calling the kettle black ... but they do!  But comfortingly so, in an odd sort of way.  More like an old pair of compfy slippers ...

The Marriot - well lets just say - I'm drinking a very nice complimentary glass of wine from them as I type, with an apology note attached ... there's always a story!!!   Beware, spelling may deteriorate!

Taxi from airport hysterical - probably more so with all of 3 hours sleep in a 48 hour period!  I have yet to see all the horse and carriages, but we drove on both a single and double carriageway!  Don't you love it when your taxi driver (with GPS) gets lost????

Child very, very well behaved - 5 hours sleep in the same 48 hour period ... until that same 5 hours was over ... oh well ... tomorrow's a new day.

Husband looking very fresh after his business class flight - have you seen those funky fold out beds they have in British Airways for business class?  They rub it in, because as you board and go to find your seat, you have to go through all the 'happy' people getting ready for bed!  Oh well, it's probably more interesting travelling in the cheap seats ... I never fail to have a chuckle AFTER the fight!  I'm wondering what the poor French gentleman is thinking ... hmmmm ....

NO CROCS ... except the pair I was wearing!  My husband graciously pointed out that it was very obvious that we were 'visitors' ... seriously, not one pair of crocs either on the plane or anywhere to be seen in the Canary Wharf area.

Now I know you've all heard of 'mumbles' - ladies????  Need I say more???  Well, they now have mumbles for men!  They're everywhere disguised as men's suits!  I'm dying laughing ... really, a variant legging for men!  Don't know if this particlular fashion trend will cross the pond, but I think my hubby would like to participate!!!!!  All in the name of 'fashion'!

Eating is very, very expensive!  That may be one of the reasons Twiggy stayed so skinny all these years!   And the packaging is miniture!    I went to 3 different grocery stores today closeby to the hotel.  I dropped an easy 30 pounds (dollars, not weight - but that would have been preferable to drop!) and I'm still wondering what exactly I got for it????  Not a lot!  I purchased a 'gallon' of milk in a 'pint' container the same look - only cute and cubby, at the same price.  The hens here must be the reason for the Queen's wealth, as I'm convinced that 'organic' is code for 'golden' ... 

The place is wonderfully diverse and the people are very enjoyable to watch.   I'm looking forward to tomorrow - going to the 7 or 8 story toy shop aand taking the tourist bus around London sight seeing ... 

Now, I'm not sure when I'll next be able to get online - it's not a free service - rather and additional 80 pounds per week ... so hubby 'splurred' for a one day event!  But I promise to continue to enjoy myself thoroughly,   show Cody a wonderfu memory of a fabulous place, cook as am able, walk alot, and spend time with my family!

Tar rar for now!