party!

Halia

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Today is Halia’s 6th birthday – time flies so fast! It seems like just recently we made the drive to Peterborough to check her out… (she’s on the far left).

She came home and started growing so fast and into her huge paws.

We’ve had some great trips and adventures in the last 6 years.

Things are a little difficult right now. Because of her two torn tendons, she can barely walk. I take her to doggie therapy twice a week, and that’s her big excitement,

no walks or playing with other dogs and no extra treats, as we have to be really careful about her weight. Still, we wouldn’t trade her for the world – she brings us so much happiness! So happy birthday Halia, and many more!

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LG on being a good host

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I’ve been busy this morning preparing for our little Superbowl party tomorrow. I peeled 3 1/2 heads of garlic (no, I didn’t chop them – that’s what the food processor is for!) for the 10 lbs prime rib, the garlic/cheesy shrimp and the garlic/oil bread dip. needless to say our house smells garliscious.

Although we’re just having a few people over, I have 2 lists prepared, one for today and one for tomorrow. I try to be a conscientious hostess in every way I can think of… here are some things I do…

– If people offer to bring something over, that’s great! Unless of course, we really have too much food. If so, we maybe suggest a fun drink to bring for everyone. I think people want to feel that they’ve contributed and sometimes it really adds to the party and lightens the load. Too much food is always better than not enough, especially if drinking is involved!

– Be clean. I wouldn’t feel comfortable having friends over with piles of junk about, but it’s also the little things… I always make sure glasses and silverware are clean (the dishwasher doesn’t always cut it), and there is room for their coats in the closet (unless there are too many people, then they get collected in the spare bedroom, which is also neat in appearance).  

– Be accommodating. If I know that a few of our guest abhor seafood (for instance), we try to make appetizers that they might like. Also, this time of year, I think it’s important that friends can get into our house without trudging through a snowdrift, so the driveway and walkway are cleared (as much as possible anyway) of snow.

– Get ready for fun. We try to have as much done before our guests arrive so socializing can begin! The tables are set, there is enough seating for dinner and lounging, salt and pepper shakers are full, ice is made, plates and napkins for appetizers are out and ready.

– Think of the possibilities… Even though it’s Superbowl and most of the focus will be on the TV, we are open to playing games (on Wii, Move or a board game), or going in the hot tub.  Sometimes we hit golf balls in the field, or have an impromptu dance party.

– Drinking heavily, bad language and late nights are not child appropriate in our house. There is a time and place for everything, and in general (and IMHO) kids don’t belong at our parties, plus I think some of (not all, mind) our friends could use a break from their child orientated and focused lives.

I know when I go to someone’s house, I want to feel comfortable, both where I’m at and who I’m with. I’m truly not able to completely let loose if I feel I’m being judged, so if someone does something silly (okay, sometimes it’s me…), don’t sweat it, go with it and most importantly – have fun. (Sometimes people behave in a truly offensive or rude way and obviously that is not acceptable, so just next time don’t invite them!)

Certainly as hosts we’re not perfect! Sometimes we drink too much and often I am a bar Nazi, (constantly washing shot glasses and cleaning sticky spots) but when all is said and done, I think that most people who have come for dinner and spent an evening at home with us have had an enjoyable time.

We’re looking forward to tomorrow!

2010 in review

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In general, 2010 was a fairly awesome year, let’s review…

We rang in the New Year at our house with friends where we watched the Canadian juniors lose to the US. Other than that, it was a great party.

A few days into the New Year I received a call from William which started, ‘I just wanted to call you, in case you try to reach me later and can’t get a hold of me…’ AKA as the Frankenfinger incident when the end of Billy’s middle finger was nearly severed as a few hundred pounds of steel fell on it and the other broke in half. (also noteworthy is that it was my brother’s fault). This is what it looked like a week or so later…

Yummy.

Certainly not a highlight of 2010.

A definite highlight of 2010 was the Olympic games. It was a time we were all so proud to be Canadian. The best of the best was the men’s team winning gold in Olympic hockey. It was a great night that I will never forget!

I ventured to Tennessee twice last year, once on my own to rake leaves and clean up the yard, and again in the summer with Kiki to golf and have fun. It was a great trip and we had fan-damn-tastic time.

I golfed from late March until mid November this year. I promised myself to enjoy the course this year and not get too involved, but rather be a participant in the fun as opposed to the organizer. This worked fairly well, but I did end up serving on the board (until it was disbanded in August), being the volunteer co-ordinator for the RCGA Canadian Juniors Ontario Golf Championship, (which I did not volunteer to do, but I saw my name with that title in a newsletter… hmm),

helped with 9 hole stats, helped William hold a charity tournament, and our Essex County Masters Event (which doubled in size from last year – sounds impressive, doesn’t it?) and raised over $5,000 being present and selling tickets at every event! Next year (if there is a next year, our course went bankrupt and is for sale… the new owners might not honour memberships… ugh…)  I dropped my handicap significantly in 2010 without a single lesson. I tried to practise at least twice a week for a half hour at a time, (that and seeing repeatedly what a good swing looks like on Tiger Woods Golf 2010… no seriously, it helped) I finished the season being one of the lowest female handicappers at our course (it is a small membership, hence bankruptcy…) with a 12 index. Fancy that!

There were several fantastic events and tournaments I played in – so much fun with friends. I’m so lucky.

We went camping only once this summer, and had one solid day of good weather, but left 2 days early due to extreme rain. Fun though.

We went to the drive in twice, but only made it in once, as we were turned away as the place was packed! It was funny to meet our friends at the drive in (which is 2 hours away) by chance!

It was a great year for me to be a Cleveland Browns fan, but not in proud to be a fan, look how awesome our team is, winning season kind of way… Kiki, William, Jim and I ventured to Cleveland 2 times in 2010 (once already in 2011!), Kim and I saw the Browns play Detroit in pre-season, and Billy and I saw the Browns in Miami. Of course my life as a football fan would be exponentially better if the team had a winning season, or, God forbid made the playoffs, but such as it is… woo is LG… Still, we had a tremendous amount of fun in Cleveland and every week in football season following the Brownies.

Our cruise in late November was of course a major highlight. It was probably one of the most relaxing vacations I’ve ever had!

On a more somber note, Halia, our Rhodesian Ridgeback turned 5 in February. Ridgies don’t have long live spans and she is currently suffering from arthritis in her spine. Although she regularly sees the vet and is well medicated, it is difficult to see her aging, and not really being able to help her (she weighs 100+ lbs). Also my cat, who has always lived with my mom, had to be put down in the late fall. He had a bowel obstruction and nothing could have been done to save him. He had an amazing life though – a good 13+ years. That’s probably the hardest thing about the years starting fly past; although you can pack as much fun and adventure into as one can handle (or afford!), everyone ages. So I guess it is about enjoying every moment and even making a simple night out with friends or an afternoon at home by myself memorable and enjoyable.

All the best to everyone in 2011… life is good.

The New Year

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There is about a dozen things I should be doing right now (laundry, water the plants, take down Christmas decorations, walk the poochy – just to name a few), there are several things I should be blogging about as well (the trip we returned from almost a month ago, the books I read, general rants about stupid people). But I’m going to say a few words about this past week-end.

I should like to mention that one of my NY resolutions (yes, I make some every year, I should be blogging about that too) is to feel less guilt…

New Year’s Eve was quite awesome, with the exception that the Canadian Junior’s (hockey btw GOM, lol) lost their game, but it was just the round robin, and they beat the US last night (did not see it, as we completely forgot it was on!! ARG!). I think the gold medal final game is on Wednesday against Russia – we’ll have to be sure to watch it!

We had a few pop overs during the day and dinner, which was planned for 7, was ready at 7:05! Amazing. It was awesome if I do say so myself…

We played WTF and a few of us hot tubbed it, but it was raining pretty hard… generally we sat about and chatted.

Playing WTF – Barry obviously chose B…

Now in Cleveland…. we got a super deal, thanks to Priceline and stayed at the Marriott Cleveland Key Center – (notice the non-Canadian spelling of center), which has the best downtown location of all the Cleveland hotels for our purposes… Here we are at the Chophouse – we had a great bartender and watched a bit of Winter Classic.

 

The traditional chugging of the beer! 

One of the awesome things about the Chophouse is icy strip on the bar. I want one! It appears that a baby was walking on the bar! 

 It was pretty darned cold on Sunday morning and we got a bit of a late start for tailgating, but it was still a good time. My camera died at the lot and sadly Kiki lost her new camera at the stadium! Rats! So not too many pictures, and too bad, Kiki’s camera is (was) pretty sweet and she took a ton of awesome pics… ;(

The game was by far the worst one I’ve ever seen live. An interception on pretty much the first throw, then the Steelers scoring again on the first drive put Cleveland down 14 – 0 after a minute of play! ARG! The agony – especially with all those nasty Steeler fans in attendance. Yuck!

We’ve been going non-stop since American Thanksgiving. Party, vacation, party, party, party, Christmas, party, New Year’s, Cleveland…. my body is needing a break from excessive food and alcohol intake!

I’m going to do a few things around the house now, mentally composing posts that I hope to write later. Life is good.

Sunday night

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So why am I posting on a Sunday night – you probably aren’t even asking that question, but to know that William and I are huge Survivor fans and should be watching the finale and ultimately the reunion show may provide a little insight.

Background.

This was a great week-end. William’s Christmas party was on Friday night at a swank golf club (don’t even get me started on golf clubs right now, that’s a whole other post…) and last night we attended house party. Woot woot. ‘Tis the season.

Tonight William is on call, but at a ‘friends’ house for a black jack party. Oh yes, apparently I was invited, and am in fact so popular and a crowd draw that my attendance was confirmed before the invite was made, but anyways. Instead of being at this party tonight I’m washing my hair… yeah.

I had to do the sneaky ninja fake page to my husband in case he needed a reason to leave. He didn’t really, it sounded like he was having a good time, which am I happy about, I’m even more happy that I’m not there. If I’m not there, there is a significantly greater chance that things can’t be randomly made up about me. I choose not to be gossip fodder.

Yes, tinsy bit evil, well, whatever.

So on with today’s minutia.

Cleveland oh, Cleveland, how you disappoint me. Against Cincinasty? Really? And Miami… at least one of our teams today could have beaten a bottom feeder, but oh no. We’re going to Cleveland on the 1st to see them play the Steelers on the 2nd. Because the play offs are nearly a guarantee for the Steelers I wouldn’t be shocked if Cleveland wins, as perhaps the Steelers plan on ‘saving’ players. Arg! Although I hate Vick with the heat of 10,000 suns I did pick Philly to win this week, so that comeback was appreciated.

I think I’m slightly more ahead of the 50 books in 365 days challenge than I originally thought. I’m pretty sure I just completed book #45, not #44 like I thought. Still a tough row to hoe though.

We’ve finally decided on New Year’s plans and are having a few peeps over for prime rib dinner and perhaps some pop overs for seasonal cheer. Should be good.  Yip.

I still would like to post about our vacation. It was so awesome and seems like a dream now.

Did anyone happen to catch the 60 Minutes (I love that show!) piece about people with super-duper extreme and crazy memory abilities? Wow. Pretty neat stuff. Interesting about the ‘chicken and egg’ questions – are areas in their brains bigger because they have this ability? I’m thinking maybe I need to develop my super powers. (I do indeed have the odd ability to remember where I was the last time I heard a song.) Certainly not a Take Over The World type of power though… hm… I’ll work on flying.

Happy Civic Holiday!

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Ah, the beloved Civic Holiday – a holiday simply because it was too long of a stretch between Canada Day and Labour Day to not have a day off… The Beer Store and the Liquor Store are the main benefactors of this great day. William is working right now (big surprise), but he has a tee time later, as do I… just not together.

Kiks and Jim hosted a little golf outing and pool party/barbecue on Saturday. It was awesome… one of the best parties I've ever been to… great people, food and fun. I am still so sore from doing front flips, back flips, back flops, belly flops, front flops with a twist, etc… I must say that back flops are by far the most painful if properly executed. I feel like such a little kid when flipping (or flopping) in the pool.

I can't believe how fast this summer is racing by. I am enjoying it. I am making an concerted effort to love every minute of it, and perhaps that's why is flying past. There are so many good things coming up and going on… golf this week, dinner with friends on Thursday…. next week is going to be crazy…2 golf tournaments plus regular play, Hall of Fame football game (already??) and relaxing quiet time with William… ahhh…

Life is great.

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Summer list

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Here's a list of things I'm consciously doing to be certain I'm soaking up every bit of summer:

– Kept up in the garden, and with yard work. The broccoli is looking really bad though… the onions are coming along nicely, as are the herbs, and the tomatoes. I'm so glad I replaced the grout in the flagstone patio. It looks 100% better. I've drained the rain barrel three times and now it sits empty… we really need rain!

– Swimming. I've been swimming several times – mostly just to cool off after a hot round of golf or after doing yard work, although I have just sprawled out near the pool and read a book. Nice.  

– Sat outside just to watch fireflies. A bonus was I also watched Nick prancing about catching them. Yes, he's 26. We watched some bats too.

– Dined al fresco. Had a nice dinner with BMW in Kingsville. Also enjoyed drinks outside at a bar patio.

– Sat in the shade a read a book. I've fixed my zero gravity chair (the bindings became a bit rotted, so I replaced them with zip or wire ties. It actually still looks pretty good and is oh so comfy.

– Went outside just to see the stars. They have been some brilliant nights lately. Love seeing Saturn, Mars and Venus (Mercury hids a bit too much).

– Went skinny dipping. It's even funnier because it was with William at my mom's pool and she was home. I felt like a naughty girl! Quite fun!

– Had friends over for dinner. Just last night in fact. Lovely.

– Went to a friends' house for dinner. It's nice to be served by others! We had a great time.  

– Went to Tennessee. Had a great time with Kiki. I still feel guilty about spending so much money though… ugh…

– Discovered a new summery cocktail…. Smirnoff Ice Lite with a splash of cranberry. Delicious!

– Golfing. I've played in club events, 2 leagues (love the quota points league), competitive match play, and tournaments. Just yesterday my handicap dropped again… My goal was always to be an 18, as I was consistantly around a 22… now I'm a 14! That's about an 11.5 index. Holy crap!

– Enjoyed the birds. Those greedy little buggers though! They are going to make us go broke with all the feed I put out! If I don't put any out or forget to, I feel guilty! We have orioles, sparrows (of course), ugly common black birds (I'm trying to appreciate them), robins, doves, hummingbirds, and finches. Love it!

 

I wish I had a pic of the hummingbirds, but they are wiley and elusive!

– Been to the drive in. Actually we've been twice, but once denied! I love the drive in! I hope to go while we are camping this week-end.

– Attended a pool party. It was for my mom's birthday in June. Nice to see all the kids - William played with them in the pool, we ate KFC and had a nice time. There was even a special guest appearance by my brother Dave… his first family function (beside my wedding) in a good 15 years! I have photograhic evidence!

 Here are some things I have not done yet:

– Gone camping. We're camping this week-end though in Goderich.

– Been to the beach. We'll do that this week-end too.

– Walk with William to the Dairy Freez just to get ice cream. I have a serious hankering for a hot fudge sundae. One of these days.  

So far, so good! I'm loving summer.

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