About this week-end

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Sometimes I wonder if I’m doubling up on titles – surprised this one wasn’t taken…

We saw Draft Day on Friday – we both really liked it. We learned it was originally supposed to be about the Bills, but apparently it’s cheaper to film in Ohio than New York… hence. So there’s no warm fuzzy between Hollywood and the Browns. It’s all about the dollars. Thas cool.

William and I some apps at the Kilt and Fiddle and Lonestar. At the Kilt we were among a few dozen Windsor Express fans. Of course I knew that Windsor has a professional basketball team, I even knew that the Express are in the play-offs (the level of which I do not know) – but I did not realize that the Express has die hard fans and they gather on away games at the Kilt and Fiddle. Even at a Detroit Pistons game I have never been surrounded by so many people actually interested in basketball as I was on Friday night.

Interesting.

Although I’m not a basketball fan in the least (did like playing it in highschool – I was terrible), I can relate to sports fans – mostly their pain, not so much their joys.

Yesterday William did some power washing with our super duper new and amazing power washer, and emptied the hot tub. We might fill it before our Masters golf tourney, depending on weather. I worked online for about 6 hours – all in preparation for our upcoming vacation. It will be worth it. It will be worth it.

We had a nice date night in last night. We played Monster Bash pinball on PS4 – greatest game ever! I couldn’t make it through Thor – yes, great movie, totally in my wheelhouse of enjoyment, but I was tired.

And today?

Prolly watch some Masters golf and have dinner at MomG’s, William is getting the lawn mower going. I’m going to hit GolfTown for spikes for my golf sandals and Best Buy as my mom needs a new computer or laptop and I’m her tech support. I’ve already worked for 3.5 hours today online – nearly done.

Oh and a nap, did I mention I hope to take a nap today?

Life’s good.

Fun and Funny

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To me anyways…

It’s great when things just work the way you hoped, planned expected the first time around.  Yay technology and ease of use!

But – when something doesn’t go right, it’s less irritating when there’s a fun little message… such as:

Capture

 

It’s even better when something good happens: like occasionally I get virtually high fived by a monkey.

MailChimpHighFive

 

Sometimes it just makes my day.

(Oh and if you love playing with images, go thru AppSumo and find the deal on ShareasImage – so easy, money saving – if you pay for stock photography like I do – and fun!)

shareasimage (1)

That’s all for now – the countdown for vacation begins! Life is good.

My mother-in-law: A short story by LG

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I’m going to start by stating that I hit the jackpot when it comes to my mother-in-law. She’s pretty much the nicest, kindest most thoughtful person you could possibly meet. She helps us out so much with the dogs and is just so incredibly thoughtful. Thoughtful occasionally bordering on hilarity – like in December when she went to Costco and bought us 48 rolls of toilet paper, ‘just because’.

Along with all kinds of wonderful, she is also a little… slow on the uptake, let’s say. Now, my husband claims she is a very different person since she had a brain aneurysm about 15 years ago (surgery, coma, rehabilitation – the whole 9 yards) but I never her knew her before. I think like many aging parents, there is so much in her head, occasionally thought processes aren’t as clear as they once were.

Am I being harsh? I hope not. Anywho… now a little more back story.

I get up early – like really early. My most productive time of the day is from 5 or 6am until 11am. No phone calls, the dogs are mellow and few emails mean I’m taking care of business left and right. After walking the dogs and lunch, maybe 1 – 2pm-ish, I’m pretty burnt out, as I usually fall asleep around 11pm, so I like to take an hour and just chill. If I fall asleep -awesome!

I come from a family of nappers. My father napped every afternoon (self-employed) as did his father (politician, funny but true), so that and combined with my work habits and sleep patterns, I really don’t beat myself up about this hour of afternoon luxury.

It seems like just about everyday someone calls during my moments of down time. It’s usually either my mom or my mother-in-law. I swear that they have some sort of ESP when it comes to the worst time to call.

So… now the story. To set the scene, I’m a little groggy as I had just fallen asleep… and the phone rings.

LG – Hello?

MIL – Oh hi Liz, I’m not bothering you am I? (see, like I said, seriously nice. If she knew I was indeed napping she would have felt terrible for days and might try to make up for it by buying us tomatoes or something).

LG – Nope, just working away. (at napping, damnit!)

MIL – (laughing) Oh, okay good. I’m just wondering, can you get right to I-75 off the bridge now? (The bridge to the US had a major change a few years ago, FYI)

LG – Yep, coming off the bridge you have two options, just take the option for I-75.

MIL – You don’t have to go around anymore to go north?

LG – (ummm… you never had to go around to go north, only south… through a sketchy neighbourhood – Hotel Yorba anyone?) Ummm, nope.

MIL – So you can get right on I-75 north from the bridge?

LG – (ummm… well known fact if you live where we live… you take the bridge to easily go south on I-75, and the tunnel to easily go north on I-75… it saves merging 4 times through downtown Detroit…) Yep.

MIL – Oh, that’s good because I’m going to Ann Arbor.

LG – (ummm… Ann Arbor is nowhere near I-75 north or south) Oh, well then you’d want to take 1-94 west.

MIL – I-94?

LG – Yep, like you’re going to the airport, but just keep going. It takes you right near Ann Arbor.

MIL – Ohhh.

LG – It’s easy to get to right off the bridge.

MIL – Oh, that’s good.

LG – Whatcha going to Ann Arbor for?

MIL – Me and Elsie are going there for lunch. (I look at the clock… it’s 2:30pm…)

LG – Today?

MIL – Oh no, maybe in a week or two. I might be going to London next week.

LG – (Oh, I understand the immediate need for directions then… ) Oh, what’s in Ann Arbor?

MIL – There’s a great fish and chip restaurant in the south, I forget what it’s called, but in Michigan it’s called The Chop House.

LG – (Well, that makes perfect sense… a fish and chip place that sounds like a steak house). Well it must be pretty good to make that trip (Ann Arbor is about 1.5 hours away, plus any time delayed at the border).

MIL – It really is. Plus I’m thinking about it now because I’m hungry because I’m on a diet.

LG – (Ah… it all makes sense now!) That sounds good. Howabout next time I’m over I pull up Ann Arbour on a map so you know where to go.

MIL – Great, thanks! Okay, well, I’ll talk to you later then, have a great day.

LG – Thanks, you too.

Yep… just another day in the life. Honestly I appreciate the entertainment, however poorly timed!

My recent obsession is getting out of hand

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I should first say that I’ve been working a lot lately. Like a whole lot more than normal. Big things going on with my main contract, the usual with my other contracts, one random quickie contract, cleaning up some stuff for an older temporary contract and a bit of volunteer type stuff. Ack. The timing of said work is acceptable as it’s not golf season and I’m pushing hard for an easier April (vacation!).

Anyway…

I’ve been obsessed with email!

Aside from having one email account open at all times when I’m online, I probably check into my email accounts more than 20 times a day. Insane. Encouraging/supporting this obsession is that fact that I can just grab my phone and view all the accounts at once without having to log in and out.

I also feel (more obsessive behavior) that I have to reply immediately. Even if it’s just to say, ‘I’ll look into this later today and get back to you by this morning.’

Why this obsession? I guess it’s coming from a  place of politeness. One of my biggest pet peeves is not receiving a timely response to an email I’ve sent. So many times I send documents – no thank -yous. I ask questions – no answers. I go over and above, do favours and extras… <insert cricket sound here> I send out well thought out and polite emails – and I receive one word replies. I even schedule emails to be sent (yay Boomerang for gmail) to be sent when they’re most likely to be read (or not wake up the recipient in case they are pushed emails on their phone and sleep with it nearby).

Poor email etiquette Drives Me CrazyThis too.

Of course I’m not perfect. Of course there are emails I don’t reply to in an appropriate or timely fashion. Of course. I send and receive up to a 100 emails a day – can’t be perfect all the time – but I try… I really try.

I think because other people drive me nuts my obsession is getting a bit out of hand. Email interactions are honestly the only way I communicate with some clients. Like seriously I’ve worked with this awesome client since November and I have never seen or spoken to him. I have a couple of clients that are super good with getting back to me, and I know if I haven’t heard back from them within a few hours that something went awry. Honest – it happened twice yesterday alone.

When other contacts don’t reply to me appropriately, or especially timely, I often (and perhaps wrongly… or not…) translate that into ‘you’re not important. I don’t care what you’re saying’, etc.

I know I need to ease up for my own sanity – perhaps when I’m over this huge hump I’ll return to my normal near obsessives self as opposed to this constant phone in hand email Nazi I’ve become. Ahhh. Wish me luck.

Weird week

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Well, I guess it’s only Tuesday, but last week was weird too. 

I’ve been really busy with my main contract. Like really busy. It’s not my normal stuff, it’s a lot of ‘what if’s’ and online learning. I have been outside of my comfort zone many times in the last few weeks and this is going to continue indefinitely. Perhaps always. 

William’s been on a weird work schedule – it’s government contract so they call the shots. All kinds of split shifts, working thru the night and overtime. Aside from the extra money and him banking a lot of his hours for overtime, another ‘benefit’ is that I’ve been able to spend a few extra hours online in the evenings. Although my eyes are killing me right now. 

The weather is wacky. It should be about 45*F this time of year, but it’s been much colder – except the last two days have been warmer. The next two days are going to be highs in the teens again with about 6 or so inches of snow expected tonight and tomorrrow. Ugh. 

The landscape is icy with dirty snow, flooded frozen fields and tiny patches of brown grass. It’s seriously depressing. It’s been the worst winter ever – without exaggeration. This winter has broken local records for low temps, snowfall totals and percentage of the Great Lakes frozen over. This was prettier than the muddy mess out there now: 

photo

Here’s a pic of Halia from a month ago walking on the Greenway. It’s kind of hard to tell in the pic, but the drifts are about 5 feet high and at times the rest of the snow pack we’re walking on is about 3 feet deep. Insane amounts of snow (yes, it’s Canada, I know). I’ve had enough. It’s been so bad, we’ve had to push back our annual golf tournament by a month! I can’t imagine the courses being ready in 4 weeks. 

It seemed like when we booked our vacation it was rather ‘last minute’ – ho no! It’s taking forever to get to mid April. Ugh, I’m really looking forward to it to say the least. 

I’m going to try to spend another hour online before calling it a day. 

Life’s good. 

Work from home

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Hard at it!I recently read an article (I’m too embarrassed to say from which publication – suffice to say it’s a respected Canadian magazine) which stated that people who work from home should still ‘dress for success’.

Really? Like, really?

The article said something to the effect that to be in a proper frame of mind, to be professional, we must look the part even if we work alone from home. The article further stated that us at home workers should be well prepared and looking sharp in case we have to ‘run out at a moment’s notice’ or ‘meet a delivery person for a package’ (of course not real quotes, because I can’t find the darned article online to read again, but you get my gist, right?).

Really?

So I’d like to respond, albeit briefly, as my eyes are bulging out of their holes from staring at this screen all day.

  • When I’m working at home, I’m wearing joggies and possibly a toque, depending on the weather. Odds are I’m wearing the shirt I slept in or went to the gym in (my socks however, always match and look awesome). I’m not drunk or stoned, although I am on occasion, hungover (#keepinitreal #whosnot #dontjudgeme). I truly feel I can articulate myself well regardless if my pants are made of 100% comfy cotton and have a silky draw-string. Hey, at least I’m wearing pants. If you work from home and choose not to wear pants – hey, whatever floats your boat.
  • One benefit of working from home (I am self employed, so this might not be applicable to all) is that I’m rarely called out on a moment’s notice. If I can’t make an urgent meeting (I’ve yet to encounter any drop-everything-and-get-into-the-city-urgent-meetings in the world of social media) it might well be because I’m choosing to walk my dogs at that time. Another benefit of being self employed and working from home is that in general I find I have plenty of time to pull on a pair of fancy pants when the occasion calls. (It rarely calls.)
  • In my most humbled of opinions (and yes, of course this is all just my opinion – it’s a blog!), webcam Skype calls for business purposes are full of cheese and not at all necessary for my line of work (hey, it’s all about me, see above). The request of ‘hey, let’s Skype this meeting’ would be politely declined as I eye roll myself into migraine. So not necessary.
  • Perhaps a package will be delivered. I do occasionally get packages (let’s review: sports tickets, AERO Garden supplies, Grace-Adele jewelry, and I’ve recently ordered my husband a birthday present, but as if I’d tell you what it is!). Nary a business related package. I like to buy my business stuff in person (‘cept fonts) – it’s a special outing. So, do I care if I’m wearing joggies with a runny dog nose print located precisely on my privates? Do I care if I spilled oatmeal on my shirt? Um, so no. Why though? THE GUY IS WEARING SHORTS AND IT’S 2*F OUTSIDE. Is he my target customer? Does he even know what I do in my basement all day? (not that, the other thing). I don’t have a sign outside, so likely not.

Let’s recap:

  • I like to be comfortable.
  • I own fancy pants
  • Whatever floats your boat of goats.
  • Yay! Packages!
  • I don’t care what the UPS guy thinks of me (plus I used to play volleyball with him, during the days of short shorts and I might’ve caught a glimpse or ten of his giggleberries).

One day I’m going to write an article about what it’s really like to be self employed and work from home. One day when my eyes aren’t begging to be closed.

March 2

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Today is our 12th wedding anniversary (silk, if you must know). Yay us!

Kind of interesting to note… I was looking for an appropriate card. Now, I don’t expect one to say everything or express my feelings perfectly, that’s what the big blank spot is for… but as I sifted through cards, there were many that simply were missing the mark. As example:

‘You’ve been there with me through all the tough times.’ While true, we’ve had some tough times (his father’s death, the loss of a great pooch), but let’s focus on the positive here. Those lines and ones similar make it seem like ‘we’ve came from the brink of divorce and back and we’re still together’ Ugh… not even close.

‘We’ve made this wonderful family together.’ Ugh… we’ve adopted dogs. We had no part in their making.

‘Through all the laughter and tears.’ Honestly the most tears in our marriage have been a direct result of cutting onions, or when I’ve touched my eyes after handling hot peppers. Honest.

Anywho… suffice to say the last 12 years of our marriage (we’ve been together just under 13 years total) have flown by like a perfect summer day. He’s not only the best husband I could imagine, he’s a genuinely generous, funny and truly good all round person. I’m lucky and I acknowledge that.

Life is good. Cheers to us.