Monday, December 31, 2007


In reflecting over the last year I have to be thankful for alot. As my Christmas letter states most of the highlights, the calm moments have been just as important.

I hope this new year is a continuation of the happiness I already have in my life. Some new adventures and this journey to better health....How else could I possibly keep up with that sexy french husband of mine.

To all of you internet connections..thank you for your friendships, comments, glimpses into your lives and just being all the different people that you are.

It really is a small world...sharing and reading of eachothers small part of it is very special indeed.


Friday, December 28, 2007

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN......Me and a Ghost?

You know when you're driving down some streets at night, u are compelled to look into the windows of the homes as you go by. The curtains aren't yet drawn so u get a glimpse into their lives. Wonder who they are, is the home a warm happy one? Oh I see they have their Christmas tree up, or wow what a big TV...As we peek, our minds often ask split second questions like those ones.

It was such a cool night with a light snow falling that I was compelled to go outside and see if I could capture the sky. When I did, it was almost 2 am ...Yes I threw on a pair of sweat pants, under my nighty, and went outside at 2 am lol. It was worth it though..although I have a really cheep camera, as is often evident lol, I still like a cpl of these pics.

I hope that ppl driving by thinks my home is warm and inviting...I love that u can see my Christmas tree ...although blurry, u get the picture lol....

NOEL 07  Outside looking in

From the other angle, u see the beautiful trees that surround my modest home...I love how the branches are bare in winter as much as they are full in summer. See what I mean about the sky being bright , even in the dead of night...with the snow falling in the air it was very need for street lights this night, it was so clear ...

NOEL 07  Our house

NOEL 07 Our house at night

When I used the flash, all it showed was the snowflakes in the air..the rest was mostly black as u see on this pic below...this photo however, was different, I do believe I had company lol. It looks to me like a ghost flying towards my house. So we were both outside looking in lol. Incase you're wondering, it wasn't cold enough to generate any condensation from breathing, nor was it foggy, it was very clear, and the other flash pics didn't show anything out of the ordinary lol...So I am convinced that this ghost stopped by because he too thought my house looked warm and inviting lol...

NOEL 07 ...ghost pic?

And finally, I think he was inpressed with my tree...I got a photo of all the lights on it..all be it abit blurry lol...Only because the only way you can catch the lights is if you turn all the house lights off and your flash too...I really need a better camera ...although, I would have to do the same with a better one...atleast u now see that I put almost a gazilion lights on my tree lol...

NOEL 07 the tree's lights

So there you have , you and a ghost, outside looking in lol. What do u think? Even with a fushia door..Does my home look warm and inviting? I hope so ....

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


When I was a little girl, our tradition was ...Christmas eve, we went to bed early because santa couldn't come unless we were asleep. At the strike of midnight we were wakened to come open our gifts. The days before Christmas gifts from our parents and family were put under the tree but that special moment at midnight, we were all sleepy eyed and rosy cheeked...we were filled with excited wonder at seeing the gifts that Santa left us...they were never wrapped, they were always just there, set up and ready to play with, like on display. But before doing anything, we had to check to see the baby jesus in his bed of hay in the manger and remember it was why we were celebrating Christmas. We then proceeded to open all our with them, eat whatever was set out and be up till the wee hours. Happily bring out gifts to our rooms and sleep in late Christmas morning.

I continued this tradition with my own daughter.

Now that she is almost 18...we do much of the same thing, except have her or her niece Chantal go to bed lol. But they still have to wait till midnight. My neice Chantal has celebrated Christmas with us since her mom died when she was 11 yrs old. This year was no exception, but this year she brought her son Kayshawn, now 7 months old, and his dad Jeff . Her father (my ex brother in law) Sylvain, also spent the evening of Christmas eve with us.

Here are a bunch of pics of them...if u click on anyone of them, it will bring u to many more loaded in my flickr page...hope u enjoy.

Me and the dogs ofcourse lol...

NOEL 07 067

The kids playing Monopoly, killing time till midnight lol..

NOEL 07 063

Kayshawn with his granddad Sylvain...

NOEL 07 059

Jeff and Chantal..

NOEL 07 022

Cleo and her bf Dave...

NOEL 07 020

Chris and the dogs...

NOEL 07 009

Me and Kayshawn..

NOEL 07 015

Christmas day...Me, Kayshawn and ofcourse the 3 dogs....Can Shinoo be anymore relaxed lol.....

NOEL 07 076

Many more pics in flickr but u get the picture lol...we had a great Christmas...we enjoyed the time spent together and everyone got spoiled. We have much to be thankful for.....

I hope you all had a terrific Christmas or holiday...from my family to yours....Joyeux Noël...

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Where to start? It’s been an eventful year for sure. I should start by hanging my head in shame for not doing my xmas cards last year. I could probably go into a pitiful list of absolutely reasonable excuses for not doing them of which I am sure all of you will nod in agreeable unison. So I will omit all of the above and just thank you all now for your utter devotion and understanding.

You all know that Chris and I got married last year in June 2006. As no xmas cards were forthcoming I will update you with some tidbits. The wedding was everything that Chris and I could have wanted. It was small and intimate with very close friends and family, 27 people in all. At the Intercontinental Hotel in Montreal. The ceremony was in both French and English and our reception was lovely with a 5 star service and a lot of dancing, was had by all. I think my dad is still reeling that his oldest and last daughter FINALLY got married. I would bet he keeps a photo of it in his wallet to keep checking that it really happened! I was blessed in having my sister Brigitte as my photographer. She did an awesome job of capturing our special day.

We went to Niagara Falls for a 5 day honeymoon in August. I know, how cliché! It’s as spectacular as it’s said to be. We even had the pleasure of fireworks (HEY! You perverts, I wasn’t referring to HONEYMOON NIGHT FIREWORKS! That would just be too much information!) the fireworks were seen through our 28th floor window, while relaxing in a spa tub full of bubbles! At first we thought it was for our benefit but turns out it’s a regular thing…Who knew?

After all that excitement we had a nice quiet Christmas. I should add that anyone here would say differently. I was somewhat stressed over the holidays last year as I was preparing for a long awaited gastric bypass surgery. It was scheduled for January. There were many preliminary things to do before the actual surgery. It was however, the best thing I could have ever done.

Since having diabetes for the past 3 years and being on more meds then anyone should be on at my age. My health was not good and getting worse with the added problems often related to diabetes.

Within 2 months of my surgery I was able to eliminate most of my meds. Up until now I am almost half the woman I used to be! Ok, not quite half but I have lost over 80 lbs so far and I am now diabetes free! I am however consistently working out.

Speaking of which, I have seen people on TV or elsewhere proclaim and swear that once they started working out, they LOVED it. Having this epiphany they wondered why they hadn’t started years before. Well, I would like to know if one has to have a personal trainer prodding them with an electric zapper to say they had such an epiphany or do they just buy these said epiphanies? Let’s face it most of these people are celebrities who can afford it. If you are one of the lucky ones who own an epiphany and you may have an extra one lying around. MAIL IT TO ME PLEASE! Why? because frankly I spend most of my time arguing. If arguing caused weight loss I would be thin as a rail. If it got a person in shape, I would be an Olympic gold medallist! Who am I arguing with? The voices in my head! When I wake up, one says it’s time to get on the elliptical or treadmill, the other says the gravitational G-forces keeping me in bed are just to strong to attempt getting up. One says it’s the right thing to do while the other says I deserve a break today. On any given day one will get ugly with the other. Oh it can get ugly but I assure you, what’s even worse is the actual work out. There is no better way to say I HATE EVERY SINGLE SECOND OF IT! Why does 30 minutes seem like a lifetime? I would rather pluck psychotic chickens or hang upside down while singing opera off key in a bat cave. Don’t ask me where those thoughts came from. I’m still scratching my head. So basically you can see why I could really use one of these epiphanies. It would make all this a lot easier. Having said all that, because it’s not easy, the moment I get through that 30 minutes of bodily torture. I have that feeling of blissful OMG I AM FREAKING DONE FOR TODAY! Of that I can be proud.

The down side to the surgery though is that I lost a lot of hair given the initial trauma to the body. Quite common. To fool the eye I had to go blond for less contrast on my head. Got a funky new do, look 10 years younger and have to buy all new clothes. What a total bummer! I can see you all nod in unison again as you commiserate with me.

In other news, we went to Chicago last June to visit friends. Our hosts really showed us a great time and we hope to go back some day. I would have loved to go to an Oprah show but they were on hiatus. I did get a photo of yours truly in front of the Oprah Studios sign! Hey, don’t scoff, you would have too, admit it!

To top that off, my baby, my little girl, my bright ray of sunshine….ok, I’ll stop now. My Cléo graduated from high school last June. Always young for her class, she was 16. She worked over the summer and fall. Had her 17th birthday in September then applied for college and was accepted to start this coming January!! We are very proud of her.

We also have a new addition to the family. We rescued another dog. Yes 3 dogs are more then enough but we fell in love with this goofy guy immediately. It took him no time at all to figure out THE best place to be when yours truly is sitting down. I am covered in dog as we speak. I finally realised the big picture behind my surgery, better health, working out 5 times a week to ultimately result with all this weight loss. It’s all been about having more ROOM in the chair for ME AND 3 DOGS!

We plan a very quiet comfy Christmas season. Our hopes for next year are a spring holiday in France to visit with Chris’ family. Hopefully I can put enough money aside to actually be able to shop in Paris! Hey, stop nodding in unison! I know you don’t mean it this time!

I hope this letter finds you all well. Wishing you a great Christmas and Happy New Year! Lots of hugs from us to you until next year.
Love Monette & Chris x0x0

Friday, December 21, 2007


FINALLY DONE! Merry Christmas to Us!! I'm sticking a bow on the bathroom door I swear! I just love it! For a small bathroom..I think I made it look light and clean with abit of style...If not, I like it anyway lol.

But first...let's recap the BEFORE...dark bathtub in the corner, hidious tiles, and even worse wallpaper over all, (was removed before pic).

Decor-reno 005

Decor-reno 006

Downstairs Bathroom 2

To this...Chris worked so hard. I love the new granite top on the old vanity. All new fictures with new lights, mirrow and accessories. Heck, all new walls and floor also!

Downstairs bathroom 2 Downstairs bathroom 4 Downstairs bathroom 6

It may not be evident here but the bathroom seems so much larger then it was . I went for the luxury of white towels and sewed on an accent stripe to match the bold fabic I have on the wall as a decorating feature. I did the same with the candles.

What do u think? Hate it? Love it?....Opinions are's fun to exchange notes..share ideas. I'm so into the christmas spirit now that it's all done!!! JOYEUX NOËL TO ALL !!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Look who I found sleeping under the tree! Not an hour earlier, I had placed the first presents there. I think he has designated himself the GIFT GUARD DOG! I'm just wondering how he will react this week as we add more gifts...they will certainly eek out his cozy nook here lol.

Look who I found sleeping under the tree.

Tobad the camera doesn't really pick up all the lights I have in the tree...I swear I put over 1000 of them in there lol.

dogs 106

I thought I would add this pic below as a reminder what summer looks like lol. Specially after the snow storm we had on sunday.

SUMMER 07.....




We got over 2 feet of snow on sunday...btw, some ppl asked me if Chris got home ok sunday night. He did , 3 hours late, and when he finally got here he had to shovel the drive for an hour to get the vehicle in. This was the 3rd time the driveway had been shoveled on Sunday! The good news is that Chris doesn't go back to work till Friday...the perks of working weekends. YAY!

So tomorrow is my shopping day...I hope to get the few things left on my list for xmas. Also get the 2 remaining things needed for my new bathroom...I am going to finish sewing my fabric border accents on my new towels today. So I am really hoping to take some AFTER pics of the new bathroom tomorrow...we will probably stick a bow on the bathroom door also, since it's basically our xmas present lol ..We decided to be very lean in terms of xmas presents to ourselves because of it...and thats just fine with me...I get such pleasure going into my new bathroom new mirrow and lights are so nice..I reorganized all my stuff, put a shelf with baskets for everyting under the sink in the vanity. We accumulate so much useless stuff, it feels good to go through it all once in awhile lol.

So I will be posting bathroom pics soon I promise...Untill then, I am in the spirit, can't wait to get abit more shopping done...have some baking lined up for this weekend...and got a bunch of stockings to stuff with doodads and whatnots later lol. I don't have anywhere to put them out empty really so I will just take them out at midnight on xmas eve.

I have just loved all the comments about different traditions on my last post...keep them coming..It's so special to learn how others celebrate their holidays.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


OK, It's a sickness! I like to dress them up sometimes. I swear I don't make them endure things long lol. This pic took alot of trys, and a treat stuck to my nose for them to look my way, all while keeping the antlers on LMAO... Oy, the things I do sometimes. So they aren't smiling but they LOVE me anyway! If you click on the pic itself u will see it better, for some reason it gets cropped off on the blog.


I am finally getting into the Christmas spirit. We are in the home stretch with the bathroom. It's basically DONE! I just have to sew the accent borders on my towels, get a free standing towel rack, and a floor vase to put my branches in. Then and only THEN will I take a finished photo of the ensemble. I can't wait! I should be getting those things all done this week.

I got my tree done lastnight. I really hate doing it lol, It's such a chore for me, but I am always so happy when it's done.

We are being hit by a major snow storm as I type is worse then the one we had last week of 35 centimeters in a day...It hasn't stopped since morning. At times, it's even hard to see the house across the street through the blizzard conditions. Chris is at work right not...supposed to finish after 8pm tonight...I can't help but wonder and worry about his trip home. The snow plows are hardly making dents with such conditions. I am very thankful that we have a 4 x 4 traction on the vehicle.

On one other note...have I ever mentioned how much I love EBAY. Luckily I am not one to shop online often lol. But when needed...ebay is the place. The cpl things Cleo wanted for xmas have been sold out all over weeks ago. I got everything in ebay...sure u pay abit more and the shipping but it's worth it to see the happiness of someone recieving something they really wanted. At my house, I refuse to give money as a gift. My neice always comes her for xmas to open gifts and this yr is no exception..whe will come with her bf and their little son. When they all go to my ex's house for their celebrations, they ALL get money. I think money is get what they want, but it's also no fun. nothing to open with anticipation, or tear the bow off. So for yrs, they always get real gifts here and money from everyone on her dads side. I also feel that...they can't be much bothered with actually shopping for the girls...just stick some cash in a card. My daughter is getting a real gift from her uncle this yr, only because he gave me the money to do so because I knew what she wanted. I'm just glad that they know that they get to open gifts here. I also have to do the tree and decorate lol...No one else goes to that trouble either. I'm the only one who still does a tree. No matter how old they get, they are still kids inside when it comes to Christmas lol. I'm glad I can still give them that.

I do understand that after the kids grow up, many stop doing all the decor etc...or spend xmas elsewhere.

Do you still do a tree? Or decorate for the holidays no matter what your beliefs? I don't want to leave out those who don't celebrate Christmas. What kind of decorations do Jewish people do for Hannukah for instance? I love hearing about the traditions of others. For instance, I have always followed a french tradition of opening out gifts at midnight on Christmas Eve...we stay up very late into the night. Tell me about yours.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I was looking through pics and thought a BEFORE- AFTER would be good lol.


Summer 07


Winter is here (nov 07)

Tayo loves the snow. Keeps putting his nose in it..and after a few trys of getting a pic of it before it melted...I got this one...

Tayo, sniffing snow

Christmas is officially here for me when I have sent out my xmas cards. I got all 50 of them done Sunday night and mailed them off yesterday!! I always feel like yelping in glee when they are done. I address each one by hand in caligraphy (even though it could be done perfectly with a printer,it's just not the same). I enclose my xmas letter in each one with a personal note and I seal them all with an old fashioned looking wax (actually glue) seal. I look apon my cards as a small gift. The time I spend on each is time I am thinking about the recipient. I will post my xmas letter as soon as the few online friends and family have recieved theirs lol.

As time goes by, the art of the LETTER becomes less evident. We use email, file forwarding, and contacts are at our fingertips. It's great for so many things. As it's just as easy to phone ppl all over the world. I LOVE technology!

That said...I still think that there is NOTHING like recieving a real letter or card in the mail...SNAIL MAIL! Some are plain, some have colourful stickers, some have cool return address labels (mine are charactures of all of us !) As you savaur the envelope, see your address handwritten on it by a friend or family member. You know that u were in their thoughts as they prepared it, bought or made the card or took the time to write you a note. The simple anticipation as u rip the seal and open the card or letter is always special. Each card makes you smile and be thankful. They are a gift of thier time and thoughts.

I know some of you answered this question on an earlier post...for those who haven't...or wish to elaborate....Do you do xmas cards? Do you love recieving them? Or are u past snailmail and do E-cards instead?

Friday, December 07, 2007


Each year, my sister and I both send out alot of Xmas cards. To make sure everyone gets all the yearly news, we write a Christmas letter and put a copy of it in everyones card. I always look forward to my sister's xmas letter because she is halarious. We send eachother our letters for approval before they are let free untoo the world. So I share with you today my sister's Christmas letter.


Hello, hello, hello! Here we all are again, busy with plans, preparations and feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.

Okay well, maybe the warm and fuzzy part is only in short bursts (like hot flashes) or maybe I’m just getting the flu. Once again I find myself spending more time thinking about what I haven’t done, than what I have which makes me a little tense. I’m pretty busy with work right now too, and I have to keep reminding myself that everything will get done. Probably not very efficiently, nor particularly well, but it’ll get done. There’s something good to be said about not having terribly high standards. We may discover that the roll of stamps I lost got baked into the cherry pie come Christmas day but we’ll laugh………

This year has come and gone incomprehensibly quickly it seems. The kids are doing what kids do and they’re both fine. Hayden played organized soccer this year for the first time. He loved it and we’re planning to continue but if he wants a career in soccer we’re thinking his future might be in team management. Tess continues to play in the high school band and is teaching herself to play the guitar. She is going to France and Spain in April with the school for a ten-day trip and is very excited about it. We informed her that if she wanted to go on this trip she had to pay for most of it herself. She got a job at the amusement park west of Calgary (Calaway Park) from May to October and earned more than enough to help pay for the trip. She enjoyed the job and wants to go back again in the spring.

I’d love to be able to report that I’ve dropped more weight but that would be a lie. I think we’ve reached a point in our relationship where I can be completely honest with you and you won’t think less of me. (I’d like there to actually BE less of me…but I digress,) I have continued exercising but still less than before my Achilles problem. In September I started doing a core strengthening class twice a week. It’s called “Butts ‘n Guts”. Seriously that’s what it’s called, but for the first couple of weeks I wondered if I was ever going to regain the feeling in my thighs. Do you have any idea how difficult it is (and how stupid it must look!) to try to run a quarter mile when you can’t feel anything between your knee joints and your hips? I do. And when you do regain some of the sensation in your thighs they feel about as supportive as two slices of dill pickle. Some days I really hate it but I will keep going, the mandatory reduction of my dress size commands it. I’m still running, I started running outdoors in the summer and I prefer it to indoor track running so I’ll do that as long as I can. I’m finding it harder to make the time and muster up the motivation to run frequently though. Running outside has it’s down side, like hills (but not the downside of hills-that’s the easy part-the upside is the downside….oh you know what I mean). They suck. Almost as much as when the battery dies in my MP3 player. With music on I feel stronger and more energized. If I don’t have music playing in my ears, drowning out the sound of my gasping and choppy breathing, I feel more tired, and kinda like there isn’t enough oxygen in the entire universe. It must be psychological-but we won’t open that can of worms. There isn’t enough cyber-paper in this computer to try and analyze my psyche. The choppiness of my breathing is also a direct result of the inability of ANY bra manufacturer on the planet to construct a really good supportive (and I mean SUPPORTIVE-the girls don’t seem to be maintaining their stronghold in the battle against the evil forces of gravity) sports bra for those of us ‘curvier’ types. I’ll find one some day but in the mean time I’ll keep running. Because it turns out I’m not in any better shape than every other pickle-legged athlete wannabee. With a little luck I’ll break through this plateau. If not I’ll just go shoe shopping. I also tried yoga for 6 weeks and though I did enjoy the physicality, I think the point is lost on me. Is it just me or is it a little weird when a yoga instructor says things like, “Let your eyesight rest just behind your eyeballs.”? I know that there must be a mind and body connection somewhere but why can’t I just punch it into Google Maps and print out the directions?! Maybe I just need more yoga and I do plan to go back, but for now my pragmatic brain just doesn’t get it. I’ll go for the relaxation but I don’t think I’ll find the answers to the universe anytime soon.

And speaking of the pragmatic and practical, we’ve continued to make improvements on our home this year. At last check, Wade and I are still married, although the ‘happily’ part doesn’t apply 100% of the time. But Wade is a patient man and no matter how long it takes, he always eventually figures out that I am always right…even when I’m wrong. And that’s when ‘happily’ kicks in again until the next dispute. Our biggest project was re-doing our deck this spring. Our deck is not high but it wraps around two sides of the main level of the house. If I remember correctly it was well over 600 square feet. That might actually be bigger than the main level of the house. If I had built this house I would have opted for a bigger house and a smaller deck! Come to think of it, there are a lot of things I would have done different, but don’t get me started. We didn’t rebuild the deck we just removed the entire floor, replaced joists where needed, leveled it so that the two sections matched up (don’t get me started on the design that must have been done by a 4th grader either), built two new sets of stairs and re-decked it with composite material for “years of carefree use and enjoyment”. It was a big and labour intensive job but when it was done we were extremely happy with the results. We got some help from Ben on a couple of occasions too, which really helped. I think I spent more time out there this summer because for a change I wasn’t worried about dropping things through the huge gaps between the old wooden deck boards. I swear some of the spaces were big enough to drop an infant through. Okay, I’m exaggerating a little, but a preemie for sure. Wade also continued the hardwood floor down one run of stairs inside and soon we’ll do the other run and upstairs hallway. Woohoo, no more carpeted stairs to vacuum! He also just finished a slate backsplash in the main bathroom so the jobs have been relatively small since the deck. I say relatively small because I had very little to do with either job. Wade did most of the work but of course if I’d had more of a part in either of them I would have made them out to be excruciatingly laborious. My favorite projects are the ones where I can watch and supervise.

We’ve started the process of buying materials for the next stage of our foray into renovation hell-the downstairs bathroom and hallway. This bathroom is the bane of my existence and I refer to it as the dungeon. I can’t wait for it to be done. The part where I have to do actual manual labour, I can definitely wait for. I yearn for a vanity that’s bigger than a breadbox, and a toilet that doesn’t rock while you do your business. I’m also partial to closet doors that are hung right side up. But I can yearn all I want, it’s become quite a challenge to get our hands on the materials we’d like to buy. We are also planning to change all the interior doors in the house to a particular style that we both love but Home Depot don’t seem to want to sell them to us. They have the door on display and it says right on it, “Now In Stock”. But there is no price listed. And of course there are no doors in stock. One day when a miracle happened, we were able to talk to a real life, living, breathing employee.

(insert theme music for “Hinterland Who’s Who” here)

Male voiceover: The Orange-Breasted Home Depot Employee is a solitary creature, only making contact with others when absolutely necessary for survival or when cornered by members of another species. If cornered, this cagey animal acts stunned and nods its head until its foe backs away out of sheer frustration. The Orange-Breasted Home Depot Employee then promptly goes back into hiding until it’s next chance encounter.

(insert theme music here)

Anyway, they could not find any information regarding the price for these doors. So after much ‘taking down of information” and vehement promises to call us back and give us facials and pedicures, we waited 3 weeks. Calling and reminding them didn’t help either. We even went back and checked to see if they’d heard anything. What do we have to do to make them sell us a few doors?! Maybe if we threw in a bonus and promised to buy a lawn tractor too, or we could offer to pay 10% more for the doors as an incentive. So what is 10% of “I don’t know” anyway? We’ve given up on them and moved on and we’re hoping to strike a deal for actual doors (as opposed to the imaginary ones they’re not selling at Home Depot) at Totem. Nothing is ever simple.

In the summer we took a holiday in BC as usual but this time we stopped in Fernie where I lived until I was around 14. I wanted to show the kids all the places I had lived and gone to school. I was giddy with the anticipation of taking them on a tour of my childhood. Unfortunately, the elementary school where I attended the longest has been torn down. The highschool I attended is partially demolished and being converted to condos. The place where my Dad worked was bull-dozed and is now the town’s swimming pool facility. The outdoor swimming pool I swam in hundreds of times was filled in to become part of a centennial park. Fortunately, Wade saw most of these landmarks before it was too late when we were there in 1992, but the kids are convinced that I never lived there and that I’m making the whole thing up. Maybe CSIS is trying to erase my life piece by piece. They could be systematically removing any proof of my existence because they’ve heard about my crime of long-winded Christmas letters and are planning to ‘off’ me before I strike again. If you don’t hear from me next year, deny any association with me and don’t ask too many questions. Save yourselves, it will be too late for me.

This summer was a big one for Wade’s Mom. She had her 75th birthday in August. She’s still going strong, never stopping for long or for much. She lives in another town but drives to Calgary/Cochrane many times a year. We had her party here and Wade’s brothers and sister, nephews and their respective families all came. She’s not one to spend money on herself but had been saying that it was probably getting to be time to upgrade her 1998 vehicle. She doesn’t like shopping for those types of things and just kept putting it off. Since this was a special birthday everybody chipped in and bought her a nearly new small 2005 Toyota SUV. It’s similar to what she had, just a lot newer and she was completely shocked. Now we worry a little less when she’s hitting the highway and on the move. We also took over the hassle of selling her old vehicle (which offset the cost to everyone of the new vehicle) and she drove back to Drumheller in comfort, fully insured and registered with a fresh new license plate to go with her fresh new wheels. We think she’ll remember this birthday.

This summer was a big one for my Mom and Ben too. They got a dog. She’s a little Tea Cup Maltese and very cute.

She’s also very much a princess and though her name is Sophie, I’m certain that somewhere on some official document it reads “Grand Duchess Sophie of Cochraningham” (‘cause she thinks she’s all that). I don’t ever remember being as pampered as my new ‘sister’. I seem to remember home haircuts with crooked bangs but Miss Sophie goes to the beauty parlor every couple of months. I think she’s their favourite child now and I’m pretty sure they’re leaving everything to her in their will. Hayden really loves her though and they get along well.

Well that time has come again where I send you all good wishes. We love hearing from everybody at Christmas and we hope you’re all well.

Merry Christmas to all of you.

Love, Nicole,

P.S. The appliances say hello!

Monday, December 03, 2007


As much as I feel younger since my health is better, some parts of me I have no control over. I went for my eye test today and as I suspected, reading glasses were in order. I can still read with no problem but if tired my eyes get strained and really tear up alot. When the doctor showed me the difference the glasses made it was enough for me to get me some of those! I didn't want to spend alot, just the standard ones they had was fine. There weren't alot of choices but I liked the funkier ones so I picked the brightest one they had lol...Hey, I don't have to wear them all the time and I think they are cute. Might as well enjoy them lol.What do u think? School marm or sexy teacher? Cute intellect or colour blind bat brain?

As for my hair...well, thats a whole other thing...IT'S SHORT!! I was liking the longer length I had before but unfortunately what I didnt loose a few months ago, what was left was not healthy, so as I started to bleach it to hide sparceness on top, after a few times the sick ones started to break. I had expected this but still bites! My hairdresser is the best. I have nothing negative to say about her work. It's all about my hair. The good news is that there is alot of regrowth coming in. Lots of fuzzies that are very difficult to style, along with the new needed alot more cut to even it out. In doing so, the longer hair in the nape looked odd so we shortened that also. Oh well, it will grow...alot more things to be thankful my new funky blue reading glasses!!

My first reading glasses

This past week winter really hit hard with lot's of cold and even more snow. I had to pull out the winter coat. OMG what a difference a winter can make. Many changes are gradual when losing weight but when the last time u put your coat on was when u went in for surgery .....well, see for yourself. This pic is taken with the coat done up! I can't believe I used to fill this up!

This is my coat done up!! wow

Below, I have overlapped it ...each edge actually meets where the side pockets are lol! I may get it taken in or give it to someone. For now I can't really afford a new coat so it will have to do. With xmas almost here I am not about to spend money on a coat. I would rather buy presents lol. So what if I am wearing a fuzzy tent! Do you have a problem with that? I don't! Besides...I have funky new reading glasses!

Too much coat!

In my flicker are a few more pics. My spring coat that is more sweater like thankfully hangs better lol. By next spring it might hang way to much but oh well...the horrid perils of losing alot of weight. Whoa is me. New clothes...ack..just the though of it pains me. ......NOT!

Saturday, December 01, 2007


We took Cleo to Le Collège Lionel-Groulx for her orientation. She starts classes in January 2008. It's a good college only about 20 mins north of us. I was hoping to take a photo of her infront of the main building but the thought of it totally mortifyed my daughter. OK, I get it! I was too dark outside anyway but I was able to get a quick pic of her outside the car window. She deamed it OK to smile at me, only because I know she was excited about being there herself.

She had a bunch of things to do apart from paying her registration fees. Get her photo done for her student card and write an hour long english test to help class her in her english level. Then listen to the whole orientation presentation. All this took about 4 hours. I ofcouse was NOT allowed to partake in any of this as a parent...and frankly thats ok but u know us moms...we want to help or be there while at the same time we want to let them fend for themselves.

Quick pic  on orientation night at college This is the school's main building.

Le Collège Lionel-Groulx Le Collège Lionel-Groulx 2

Luckily, one of her school friends that we have known since the kids were 4 yrs old, is also going to this school. She will be traveling with him to school. Will be much better then taking alot longer going by bus and will help him with gas expenses.

While we waited for Cleo, Chris and I went to a mall in the area and got abit of xmas shopping done. This year, it seems like xmas just suddenly snuck up on me. I know its early but I haven't done my xmas cards yet or mailed out gifts that should be sent out asap. As it is, I am frightful that we will be lucky if the ones to France get there on time. I hate feeling like I'm late with stuff! The good news is that the bathroom only needs painting and floor boards. That should be done this coming week! I will post pics as soon as I can. With the cost in labor we decided that the bathroom is our xmas present to ourselves this year lol. It was however worth EVERY PENNY!

How about you? I know some of you have xmas presents and cards done in sept! (Claire!) For u NORMAL ppl, are u the type that takes it easy shopping over a month, or buy all your presents on xmas eve? Do u stress, fret or just breath easy knowing it will get done however?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A SUMMIT ATTAINED! and the reasons WHY!

I haven't talked much lately about my weight loss. WHY? Because I was forever stuck in a stawl. Very frustrating to say the least when I kept seeing 201 to 205 lbs on the scale for over 2 months...ARGGHH!. Good thing you all didn't hear the obscene expletives used everytime I got on that scale..would make a truck driver blush! I just wanted to break the 200 lb mark!! Then FINALLY I did! I let out a WHOOP and Chris came running in and WHOOPED some more! This happened last week. I didn't blog about it untill I knew it has STUCK lol. That day I was 199.5 lbs ...YES ...Just under the 200 mark, but hey its UNDER! Today it is 197 lbs so I'm glad the process has finally restarted. That day of Whooping, Chris went to work and came home that day with this beautiful bouquet of flowers ..AWE..what a guy.

Weight breakthough flowers 2

Many who know little about Gastric Bypass surgery, figure it to be the easy way out. It's a normal thought actually. But untrue. Yes it reduces the stomach size thus restricting food intake. But alot less food means, takes alot less time to digest..and one can become hungry alot faster. In the beginning, eating is baby steps so the weight falls can be painful, difficult and u ask yourself wtf was I thinking. BUT once u start eating more normally, all be it smaller portions, u feel your life get abit easier. That said, even with smaller portions, u always have to watch out for high caloric addicts will always be food addicts so its easy to sneak in stuff, specially if u don't have the dumping syndrome...I don't...but I have tryed to be logical and not gone over board. I have also been working hard on the treadmill and eliptical.many don't. The hard part is dealing with having to eat often, which again goes against what we are used..but that said, we are hungry often because we eat smaller portions. I was stuck for that reason. Nothing was moving. Untill I started changing more things that we eat, I say we, because Chris loves everything I have made from the G I Diet Cookbook . It's what started the motor working again, so here are some more photos of recipes made ...absolutely delicious! Below is White Chicken Chili with low fat sourcream topping on a bed of Basmatic rice.White Chicken Chili

Below is the Apple crumb recipe but I used Canned peaches instead...worked wonderfully! We loved it!

Peach Crumble

Below is Chicken Tagine...a terrific Moroccan dish served with Basmatic rice and sprinkled with fresh mint. Just Devine!

Chicken Tangine

Finally , here we have Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese carrot cake I have ever had, no joke. It's moist and absolutley delicious...without the icing it's a green lite food, like all the others above..meaning u can eat these foods WITHOUT GUILT they are the things u can eat as much as u want foods...with reason they say, don't eat 12 apples in a day, it's just not smart lol. With the icing it's yellow lite, meaning a few calories, so be careful. But again the icing is made with the lowest fat cream cheese, no fat plain yogourt, some splenda and its very smart as icings go. It's VERY filling so one piece is enough. Let me point out that the part cut out here was enough for 3 servings NOT one lol, I wanted to show the inside of the cake lol.

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icubg

I hope I haven't made u too hungry lol. I do hope however that some of you go out to get this cookbook, it has been fun cooking and baking new things but knowing they are all EXCELLENT for us with no compromising on taste, is just the Cherry on the top! Also the only reason I have restarted losing weight.

Please share...have u any really great food tips? Or recipe books you know of that give great healthy alternatives? Btw the link to the book I am talking about is inbedded in the title here G I Diet Cook Book.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Hard to believe that my baby will be starting College this January! We got the acceptance papers yesterday. She is very excited! She is entering a program this first semester that is pretty open so she can do credits while seeing what major program she wants to go for. Her goal is arts and music if she can swing it. Time will tell. The important thing was getting her foot in the door.

I think it worked out better that she had to wait a session rather then start last sept because of late credits coming in ect. Why..well,She just turned 17, 2 months ago! But also because she started working in a nice french resturant this the kitchen.When the tourist season dropped off...she started working with some ppl, putting up TEMO's (they are those temporary car port things ppl errect for the winter). While still keeping her kitchen job during the weekends. So unless it rained...she has been working 7 days a week. I am proud of her...she has been putting money aside to help with her college costs.

She has done some more growing up while earning some money. Also not afraid to work hard to earn it. I think this hard work experience was exactly what she needed before starting college. The fact that she is helping to pay for it herself will also make her more serious about the school part.....I can only hope lol. Reality tells me that the college scene is also full of *LET'S PARTY!* mode but those are things she will have to weigh for herself.

This time last year , she was all about...OMG, I CAN'T WAIT TO LIVE ON MY OWN! ON CAMPUS or WITH FRIENDS IN AN APARTMENT...speach...u know the whole, I NEED MY SPACE...chant. After working for her own money these past months, she realized alot of things...(althought these things I had often pointed out myself) but u know how us parents have no idea what we are talking about.

Anyway, she had these thoughts of being on her own, going to college, working full time to pay for all that by herself. I have nothing against the idea, lord knows many ppl do it. But there was no need in her case. She could still get a part time job, live at home and travel to school with alot less living expenses.

Well low and the past months, her ideas have reflected the realization that she would get alot more out of remaining home....HMMM I wonder why lol.

It's all good...and it get's even better. She finally broke up with the LOSER bf she had since the beginning of last summer. I any mother would, that it would eventually die but it was a slow death. Although I.m not surprised as it was her first SERIOUS relationship. She was aware of our opinion of him to a certain extent, but he was welcome here regardless as he was her bf. She had to come to her own conclusions...and thank goodness she did!

She has just turned 17 yet a new chapter in her life begins and I'm just so happy for her. The fact that she is a free bird going in, will help her fly even higher. Knowing she can always land safely at home everyday will make her and MY life alot easier also lol!

Sunday, November 18, 2007


FINALLY...tomorrow, work begins on what used to be the bathroom downstairs!!!! Whooo hooo!! We finally found a contractor to begin work on it with Chris. He was recommended by a friend and with Chris' help it should hopefully, only take a week.

The timing couldn't be better actually, although it's been a long wait...right now, with Chris working weekends this month...he is home for 4 days of the week so he will be here the whole time except Friday to work with the guy. I am ofcourse always here also...but I have to remain upstairs with Luke AND I am not really into doing construction lol. I will stick to paint chips and accessorizing thank you very much!

We are just so happy it will finally start to materialize. The fact that the former bathroom has been totally gutted really saves precious time and money because Chris did it himself. I can't wait to finally add the AFTER pics to the renovations photo folder!

Best of all will be remaining asleep as I groggily make my way a few short feet to the bathroom to pee in the middle of the night.....AHH BLISS......

Rather then wake up, gage how BAD I really have to go...u know that inner conversation we have....I'm all warm, do I REALLY have to go NOW? or if I don't I will regret it in half an hour...arghhh....Now I have to trudge out of the bedroom...then all the way up the MILE of stairs...then undo the security fence we have in the hallway for Luke...then go to the this time totally awake...come out...redo the security fence, go down the 2 MILES of stairs...get into bed.....I know, you all must feel so bad for my whoa's...haha


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

One of those YUCKY FEELING days.

You know the kind. The days u get up and just feel like crap. Dragging your feet, achy and sore all over. No apparent reason.

Worst part of it, is I had to put my face on and dress out to go out. YES, OUT! day out is usually saturdays I know. Today however, Chris and I had to do some bank stuff...and we both had to be there so we booked the sitter. Her minimum is 3 hours so I had made a list of things to do.

I haven't felt this crappy in a very long time...I must be fighting something.As I was putting the ingredients together for our breakfast protien/smoothy ...I got really dizzy and had to go sit town right then and there. Achhh...yucky feeling. I got my stuff done, did a half ass job on my face lol and thought...I just wanna go back to bed!

We got our stuff done, even dragged my feet into a few stores to get the few items on my list. Closing my eyes each time we were in the car and Chris was driving. Thank god he was home today. We stretched it to 2.5 hrs and just wanted to come home and go to bed. Chris scooted me to bed and I slept for 3 full hours...I wish I could say I feel better...the sleep was good but I still feel all fever but feels like it.

Hopefully tomorrow I will feel better.

As for good news...Chris will be working weekends for a month...YAY! Tobad it's not for always...Since I have the clients/boarders here 24/7 it makes no difference to me if he works weekends. The great thing about it is he works 3 , 12 hour shifts..fri, sat and sun...but he is HOME 4 days! Hense him being home will be so nice for this month..and worked out great for me today, as he took care of the boys for me so I could be the veg I am today.

Another good note...My sister turned me onto a great cookbook called (The GI Diet Rick Gallop) It's full of 200 terrific recipes all made with healthy, nonprocessed ingredients. Must sound horrible lol...but actually I have been impressed with every recipe so far..and Chris has loved everything I have made. I have started taking photo's of the dishes...I should have taken pics from the beginning but didn't think. So far I have Beef Stroganoff on whole wheat pasta ......

Beef Stroganoff on Whole Wheat pasta Almond Cheese Cake with Mixed Berry Sauce

To finish with an Almond Cheese Cake with a Mixed Berry Sauce. Absolutely delicious! The best part is that is all GOOD for you and VERY low on calories!!! You wouldn't be able to tell at all that it's made with tofu instead of heavy cream cheese! HONESTLY! How cool it that...great desert without the guilt!

I will be adding more...a few I have already tryed and loved.

Anyone have a great dish they found that is yummy AND good for u? lol.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


So, this past summer my gf Theresa and I both took in a friend of both of our daughters ..for about a week each in June. The friends mom asked us because they were moving but the apartment wouldnt be ready for a few she needed to find places for both her daughters etc...long story short, we took Mel in for a cpl weeks each out turn....Later in the month the mom gave each Theresa and I a ticket to a show in the local theatre. A very nice gesture to thank us. Knowing also that me and Theresa are good friends, was a perfect gift to give us a girls night out.

Montreal and the surrounding area theatres...usually have really good shows. Quebec has it's own celebrity community..channels and very rich theatre culture...also often expanded into France and we were looking forward to what ever show we got the git tickets to.

We planned the whole evening, including a leisurely supper at a fondue resturant not far from the theatre. Perfect for catching up,as we don't see eachother often. It was just often do we let life pass us by with the mundane. Months seem to fly by without making time to spend with out good friends? I know, we all have lives, routines, jobs ...but when we finally do make the time, we wonder why it took so long. It was so nice to be with my dear friend. We have known eachother since out daughter's were 1 yrs old. So many many moons now lol.

Me & gf Theresa

So we get to the theatre...great seating. Totally anticipating what's to come. Not knowing really if it was a musical or a play or comedy.

One thing that struck us both...we were not dressed up like for a big theatre production in formal wear...but we did dress nicely..better then casual..Something I would think most would do. It's a show where a substantial price. I could not believe how most of the crowd was dressed badly...what I mean by that is many looked like they had their yard clothes on, no effort in their appearance what so ever! I mean COMMON.. What has happened to basic pride in one's appearance. I could even excuse very young adults because many don't know better but there was as many ppl our age dressed terribly. I am not a snob...I am not talking designer clothes either, I can't afford them myself..I am talking basic...clean, pressed appearance, combed hair !...Sloppy tops, ragged jeans, hair thrown in a ponytail like u are ready to clean the NOT appropriot for THE THEATRE no matter what the show! Am I over reacting here? ...moving on lol...

Turns out it was a music meadly of 80's songs. It was also a premier performance. Now, I am in my 40's so 80's tunes is what I enjoyed in my clubing figured it would be fun even though it's not my prefered choice of music. Theresa in turn...thought the same thing...we are here to enjoy.

Curtin opens...intruments are set up across the stage. Music starts and 2 ppl start singing.

OH ...MY...GOD....!!!...We both started laughing so hard (in eachothers shoulders ofcourse!)...but unfortunatley this wasn't a comedy! It was the WORST show we had ever seen! The costumes were terrible, and although both singers weren't bad, the whole production and what they called choreography was middle school quality lmao! We couldn't wait for the intermission so we COULD GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE! LOL.

We filed out along with most who wanted a smoke outside. My friend smokes so she lit one up while we decided what to do as the night was young and we certainly didn't want to waste it sitting in there ...OH THE HORRORS!! LMAO

Suddenly we hear an alarm in the building. (thinking that someone pulled the alarm for an excuse to leave like us lmao) We see the police pull up, then a fire truck then another emergency vehicle. There was no fire but they had to do the rounds anyway. As this is happening, we decide to call her hubby to come get us and go to her house to drink some wine and just enjoy the rest of our Friday night together. As we are waiting, I notice a fireman standing near the emergency's a truck I have never seen before. I strike up a convo with him..very nice young man...told him of the stellar show lol...had a few laughs...then ask him what exactly the vehicle is. He explains it's for various things..and offers to show us the interior WHOO HOO, COOL! It has built in seats with oxygen incase firemen need it after being in fire...also to rest...there is 2 desk areas with laptops for the supervisors incase of major oversee operations...also a place for ppl that need a place to keep warm incase they are forced out of their homes because of a fire...also all the equiptment needed incase of any dangerous substances or emergency etc...was all very interesting...and I was happy to tell him, that it made up for a wasted hour in the theatre hands down! I was just telling Theresa that ...just watch, as we are stepping down out of the vehicle...her hubby would show up to see us doing so and say WTF..ARE U TWO UP TOO? and that's EXACTLY what happened lol!

Too funny!...We went on to her house, drank some wine something I RARELY do and had a terrific evening. Chris joined us as soon as he got off work for a bit and we came home. Turned out to be alot of fun.

I had to throw in a pic of my new boots. Got them last month at Macy's..when we went to NY state. Along with the very nice satin lined pants I got on sale! LOL

Ankle boots

Just moi, before my gf arrived to pick me up. New, see through blouse with simple camisole underneath but hard to tell lol.

New duds to see a show with my gf.

Now tell I over reacting by being dissapointed at the lack of basic pride of appearance with regards to an evening at the theatre or concert or even just an outting? .....Please share...

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Chris and I went to a Halloween party lastnight. Not a conventional one mind you..but a very cool virtual one. We were actually the hosts of the party.

We had ppl from all over the US, Europe and Australia. Everyone had a good time. Unfortunately I always forget to take photos while everyone is partying..and then kick myself I took a few pics afterwards and of the decorating I did on our Island in SL.

We had even hired a DJ for this event..Loved him!..He was attending the party from Germany.

Many don't get the whole SL (Second Life) thing and thats fine. We sure enjoy it...a very different form of chat but so full of possibilites.


Hill top on the island where ppl arrive.


Buffet set up for the party...


Overview of dance area...the blue/white glow u see on upper right corner..are flying ghosts...they flew around the spooky tree lol. I have more photos of the island in the SL folder in Flickr if u want a look.


We also went to a club with friends...He is Chris and I dancing a salsa together lol. His costume was a construction worker with toolbelt ...quite fitting given all the work he has been doing here at home lol.


So, although I work from home and only get one day out of the house per week...I am still able to meet interesting ppl from all over the world. It's more interesting then just's much more. We have a lovely island, rent out huts and play host to fun events. Doesn't get better then that lol.

Other then blogging , do u have any other online hobby? Other then my talking about it, have u heard of Second Life?

(PS...Last weeks episode of CSI New York..had a whole episode based on Second Life...they had to hunt down the murderer an avatar in SL...was pretty cool..and finished with a cliffhanger...the 2nd part will air in Febuary apparently. SL has a CSI NY simulator where one can find clues and solve mysteris now...Chris and I intend to explore it soon.