Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I am addicted to Cadbury Popping Mini Eggs and for the sake of my children, I really hope there is a 12-step program out there to help me work through it.

I think it's time to refocus on the South Beach diet too, well maybe after New Years - after all there is much indulging to do to finish this year off properly!

I took the kids to the Royal Ontario Museum today which is always a painful exercise but one I like to subject them to every so often. Fortunately they had interactive computers for the kids to use and a GIFT SHOP which saved Jakob's sanity but only by a thread. Many bitter words were muttered under his breath, and not so quietly muttered as we approached the diamond exhibit. But we survived and made our way to Paupers for a family meal of grease and questionable meat products and a pint of beer for me to wash the whole salty mess down with. Paul met up with us - poor bugger is having to work this week but is currently unconscious on the living room couch and has been for quite a few hours now.

So on to more exciting news...a love letter from Elte came in the mail today - their big end of year sale has started, discounts on everything until January 31st! I have made a promise to myself to get up early and head out by 10:00 to see what I can find. Just in case they too have the perfect nesting tables for an even better price than Crate & Barrel and perhaps a rug for the living room. Do I dare even say that out loud?

Tomorrow is a day of Elte opportunity and potential and then it's off to the Rushton with Pat & Beth for lunch and and finally we will finish the day/year ringing in the 2009 with Kim & Scott and many good friends.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I went to my happy place this afternoon with a few hundred thousand of my closest friends: Crate & Barrel (http://www.crateandbarrel.com). The sun shone brighter the day they made their way north and this was my first time visiting. All previous attempts THWARTED by the lack of parking at Yorkdale Mall. I would drive up enthusiastically, becoming increasingly bitter the more times I circled through the various parking lots and then in absolute frustration, drive home. Today I took the subway.

The problem with taking the subway though is that it amounts to dangling a carrot in front of a mule. Sure I could see all the beautiful things they had to offer, but could I take them home with me? So home I headed armed with discounted decorations and tea towels. But I will be back, oh yes, I will be back. For there are Nero Nesting Tables I am considering. "What?" says Paul. "What the #*$& are nesting tables?"

These, I say, are nesting tables. Feast your eyes.


And look at the description, how could you not want them?

Handcrafted in striking detail, natural black fossil stone and antiqued nickel form modern rounds in two nesting sizes. Each unique tabletop is a patchwork of subtly varied, rustic black stone. Hand-forged bases of hot-rolled steel with hammered corners and ball feet are nickel-plated and hand-antiqued for added individuality. Larger table base is open to accommodate its smaller counterpart.

* Natural black fossil stone with heat- and water-resistant polylite seal
* Hand-forged, hot-rolled steel bases with antiqued nickel plating and poly-vinyl top coat
* Large table measures 19"dia.x24"H, small is 15"dia.x22"H


Something to ponder as I drink a glass of wine and watch Futurama with the boys.

One last note regarding finding the fabulous circle stickers I decorated Jakob's room with: if you live in Canada check out DeSerres, a Toronto-based art store (http://www.deserres.ca) for a really good selection and they will ship (perhaps to the States as well, I didn't dig that deeply).

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Here are a few shots of our Christmas between the hours of 7:30 and 7:35. Just kidding, the presents took 7 minutes to open and as you will see, it was a bit of a retro Christmas for Jakob complete with gumball machine and lava lamp.

As much as I love having family join us for brunch (no one could make it this year) I have to admit that having my boys to myself, listening to music (currently Radiohead but have also listened to Neil Young, Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney, Barenaked Ladies), drinking coffee, hanging out in my pajamas until noon and beyond...has made this the most wonderful Christmas morning.

The pictures are a little out of order, Blogspot treats my uploading of pictures like a deck of cards that gets thrown up in the air and lands randomly around the house with some making their way to the cat box.

Merry Christmas everyone - may 2009 bring you good health, love and much happiness.
Love Meg, Paul, Satchel and Jakob






Bambi all decked out for the holidays.









Sunday, December 21, 2008

Note to oneself: never drink more than ONE cosmo made by Bob. NEVER.

And definitely not three, which is what happened yesterday at a fabulous afternoon cocktail party thrown by Bob & Joe and left me in bed by 7:30 pm. Thankfully with the help of a lot of water, gravol, 2 tylenols, and 12 hours of sleep (I owe Paul BIG), I'm feeling not too shabby this morning but think that in future, I should swear of hard liquor except for the occasional French martini.

Oh but I had such a good time! Bob & Joe are two of my most favourite people in the world and make me laugh harder than most people really should in public situations. I still keep laughing thinking about yesterday, sounding a little bit like an aged Bette Davis.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

This is what I am facing and will be facing until January 26.



Pure frustration.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wow - it's really snowing hard outside. To think that only 10 minutes ago I shovelled the walk and now I can't see the walk.
On December 16th, Jakob the fabulous turned 7!



We had a small party with his best friend Zach, Kim & kids, Pat & Ridley and William, Brenda and Aidan. And unlike last year, not one present was ASS! A.S.S.! Everything was awesome and he was really happy - especially with the gigantic chocolate caramel cake. He has presents and a hot $10 bill in his wallet just waiting to be spent on pokemon cards. And I have already been told that we WILL be going to ToysRUs this weekend so he can buy his cards and then I can fork over another $60 to complete the pokemon play set we gave him because it is a REALLY GOOD DEAL. I love Jakob - he is the funniest, most dramatic and intense, and also the most caring person. Because this is blog post is to celebrate all things awesome about Jakob being 7, I won't mention the trying stuff, the stuff that has me rummaging through the liquor cabinet by 4pm most afternoons.

Because Jakob turned 7, over night he outgrew his winter boots and most of his clothing.

Finding a pair of size 3 boots in downtown Toronto this late in the year is not for the faint-hearted. And then to bring them home, find that they are EXACTLY THE SAME SIZE as the size 2 he outgrew is enough to push the sanest person over the edge. Then returning to the madness yesterday to hopefully exchange for a size 4...well, where's that poster about booze and pills again because it pretty much sums up my mental state.

I took yesterday off work because I was walking around in a state of perpetual anxiety and hoped that having one day off before the kids are out of school (today, last day until next year so help me god) might help make me feel like I'm on top of all things Christmas. Unfortunately our back door no longer works - worked fine on Wednesday at lunch for Satchel, by 3pm no longer worked. Can't open it from the inside or outside. That became my first project of the day (after making coffee and showering - a girl MUST have her priorities) - spending the first of 90 minutes trying to find all the paperwork for our Pella products (and cursing contractor for NOT calling us back) and then the rest of the time on the phone with Pella convincing them we are legitimate customers with $10,000 worth of their product in our house and are desperate to get our back door working again UNDER WARRANTY. Sadly we will have no working back door until January 26 which is not putting me in my happy place.

What's also not putting in my happy place is that my two cats do not understand the door doesn't work and will stand at the back door staring me down and crying to be let in so that I have to leave the house from the front, walk around to the back, pick them up one at a time (usually Arthur first), walk to the front of the house, throw Arthur in, go back and get Hamish and begin again. Yesterday it was while in a white terry robe, wet hair, and biker boots...scaring the poor man dropping off a 2 pound roll of flyers.

But I did manage to get all my presents wrapped (while watching ALL ABOUT EVE - love that movie - and drinking flavoured coffee), boots exchanged for the last pair of size 4 in all of Toronto, books bought for Jakob for his stocking (Bad Kitty Gets a Bath! I love Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel - a fabulous book based on the alphabet which still makes laugh so hard I weep tears of joy especially while holding a French martini and would recommend to all parents who have kids age 2-4 and over 40) and work on my final assignment for my final class.



And as of last night, my indesign class is over - I feel so free!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I am completely hungover (see following) but rather than sleep in preparation for tonight's party and tomorrow's hangover I finally dusted off my camera and took a few promised shots.


Here is the most fabulous gingerbread man (far superior to the feeble attempts at creating blood splattered zombie men by the boys in my life):



and the (best spent $33) circle stickers used to transform Jakob's room:



Now, time for a nap.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Changing brain equals HONOUR ROLL!

Satchel came home with the certificate today - there will be celebrating this weekend!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's that crazy time of year when I am being pushed to the edge of sanity by all things Christmas.

Not a day goes by that I don't think to myself: I can't believe Jakob just said that! I really should blog...or Satchel truly has lost his changing brain, he is out of his little hormonal mind, must blog...but then 2 weeks and four allergic reactions go by and...nothing. Sorry.

So in the past couple of weeks both boys received their reports cards and did very well (thank GOD!) and Satchel's teacher wasn't the blood sucking horror he made her out to be, in fact she seemed...well rationale - as rationale as one could be teaching a class of roughly 30 brain-changing 12 year olds.

Paul continues to do well on the SouthBeach diet, me too now that wine has been added back in on a regular basis - oh who am I kidding, like it ever left. But I am down to 130 pounds and really that's as low as this near 5'10" frame needs to go. Paul won't weigh himself until Friday so I have no idea how much he has lost but I think it's closing in on 15 pounds - and he's looking pretty darn good I might add.

I've had FOUR ALLERGIC REACTIONS in the past 2 weeks to what I think are sulfites (except for wine - again THANK GOD) and have an appointment with an allergist in January to find out what the hell is going on. I'm wondering if it has something to do with me approaching menopause, maybe my system is being thrown out of whack. But it's really pissing me off. REALLY PISSING ME OFF. Because I'm just too busy trying to deal with Christmas and Jakob's birthday to be hiding out in public washrooms waiting for the benedryl to calm the fiery sunburn-like rash that has taken over my face.

But onto things that are much more fun than crazy children and hives the size of Barrie.

We had a children's Christmas party at my office and I decorated the most fabulous gingerbread man. So fabulous that it put Paul's, Satchel's and Jakob's to shame. And being the mother that I am, I let them know that mine was vastly superior and to stop rolling their eyes because they will get stuck.

I also bought a package of circle stickers at the one of a kind craft show and decorated Jakob's entire wall with them - and they are amazing! And a bit addictive, I'm now pouring through the small catalogue I was given to see what else I can to do our house. Perhaps a wall-sized black chandelier is exactly what we need in the dining room.

I'm a bit behind in my picture taking so will photograph Jakob's wall to show what you too can do to a room in your house for all of $33 and also my gingerbread man - which I sadly ate because I could not come up with a name.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Jakob's big word of the day: constipatedness.

Oh? You've never heard of constipatedness?

It is the word of the day that he loves.

While sitting in the powder room for an intolerable amount of time, playing his DS, barely able to breath because of the stench he is personally responsible for, he yells out: "Mommy, I am master of constipatedness. I get 2000 constipatedness points.

Mommy, I'm just kidding, there really isn't a contest."
Just when you think you can't get squished any further, the technician turns the crank a couple more times.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Paul and I have been on the South Beach diet for the past 11 days (I should say me loosely since my south beach diet still includes wine and caffeinated coffee) and it has been fabulous! Paul has lost so much weight, no longer snores, his skin has cleared up and (he's going to kill me) his nasty gas affliction has been curbed. It's a miracle diet!

The hardest part for me has been the freaking egg consumption. I don't mind the occasional egg but every morning is torture. And fried up in a pan with a slight spraying of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray does not make it any better. The rubbery and then suspiciously crunchy texture in my mouth, the absolute blandness in flavour - all I want is my high fibre crunchy cereal. It's making me cranky.

But I must add, I'm down a notch in my belt! And I'm sure my blood levels are fabulous even with the slight alcohol content I would probably register.

I'm off to Princess Margaret for my mammogram today. I had hoped the lumpectomy and the mammogram I had in September (with the wire in my breast) would have negated my needing one but nope. I can only hope that having just had surgery, there will be no surprises found this time.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Today is the 2nd anniversary of my mastectomy.

Isn't that crazy?

It still feels like such a huge part of my life. Perhaps because I have another mammogram scheduled for next Thursday. Just to keep me on my toes.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Writing has been light, I've been sick with the flu for what seems like forever.

The most fabulous neighbourhood project opens today: Artscape Wychwood Barns on Christie, south of St. Clair.
http://www.torontoartscape.on.ca/barns/

Artscape is transforming the historic Wychwood TTC streetcar repair barns located in the St. Clair and Bathurst neighbourhood into the Artscape Wychwood Barns – a multifaceted community centre where arts and culture, environmental leadership, heritage preservation, urban agriculture and affordable housing are brought together to foster a strong sense of community.


It's truly fantastic - they have preserved the original architecture of the barns, blending it with modern design to create affordable live/work art studios (artists have already moved in, many displaying their creations in their windows), a year round farmers market, park playground for the children and a community centre.

If you have time, check it out. It represents Toronto at it's finest.



Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

So this is it, the McK 2008 Christmas card and soon to be auctioned off with proceeds going to the United Way. God, I hope I don't get roasted.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

The painting is finished!

I feel so good, despite my throat being sore and my head pounding and me wanting to crawl under the covers and sleep for 36 hours straight...stupid stupid cold. Sure the painting will be a little on the wet side for the United Way auction this Friday but at least it's done! And the icing on the cake is...I don't HATE it!

I will post a picture tomorrow.

On the home news front I have been despairing the mess that is my house, so I rearranged my living room furniture again and am plotting a trip to Ikea to help me realize the attic as my future girls-only floor. To paraphrase Virginia Woolf - a room of Meg's own.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My little ray of sunshine receiving his student of the month award.



Don't trip on the sarcasm.

Jakob has had a terrible day with a rough start this morning...spilled milk, wet pokemon cards, lots of yelling, hurt feelings...and when I picked him up from school he was still distraught. To brighten his day I have invited my third son Zach over for dinner and a plydate but unfortunately Satchel seems to feel that Zach is his best friend too. His best 7-YEAR-OLD friend and he actually competes for Zach's attention - and of course wins because what's cooler than a 12 year old in the eyes of a 7 year old?

So Jakob continues to cry and feel bad and Satchel continues to act like an absolute JERK.

I am really disliking this newly developed facet of Satchel's personality - that and how much his armpits smell. His "What? What did I do? Nothing! That's what. You're always blaming me."

I really hope the teen years are this much fun.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Jakob and I are debating how much we love each other - how much more he loves me than I love him and vica versa. So far he's throwing more than unlimited universes - and for me to just try and top that!

Now it's November and my pumpkins have been thrown into the recycling bin to be hauled off by the city to make compost or vodka or something.

November is the month when I again completely over extend myself. Why I don't read earlier posts of my blog is beyond me because then I would know better and say NO, I AM DEFINITELY NOT DOING ANOTHER PAINTING FOR THE OFFICE UNITED WAY AUCTION AND THEN HAVE IT TURNED INTO THE OFFICE CHRISTMAS CARD. But instead I say yeah, sure... why not? I'm drunk what the heck. So I now have a wet canvas sitting on top of my dryer because I have no where else to paint, and frankly it looks like crap. But I must finish it by the end of this weekend so that it will hopefully be dry by next Friday's auction.

Or not.

Because really, how committed can I be if I'm spending the afternoon drinking wine at the Rushton, our fabulous neighbourhood hang out, with my neighbour William?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

WARNING: SCARY PICTURES AHEAD!


Jakob's comment on the above picture: That's stupid. He prefers the much more intense shot below of our pumpkins (mine with the x's, a portrait, or interpretation if you will, of my voodoo doll who at this time shall remain nameless.)

Our new pet:

After the candy overload.

You may notice that there are no pictures of the children in costume - I completely forgot. Or maybe it was the wine.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fabulous news first: Jakob has received the student of the month award for respecting the school/class rules and people and also for his peace keeping initiatives. This is an incredible honour and I could not be more proud of him. I'm trying hard to push down the thoughts of "My Jakob? Peace Keeping Initiatives? You mean the 6 year old who lives in my house who is currently on the floor having a massive fit because he's sucked at at Guitar Hero? AFTER ONLY ONE TRY. That one?" Wow, crazy.

Another piece of fabulous news: I found in my mailbox a cheque from the city for $1,356 because we did not kill the city-owned tree at the front of our house when we renovated THE BACK OF OUR HOUSE. One credit card paid off, healthy payment on a second card. Sweet. Of course no interest, and I almost feel like they deducted a few dollars as their fee for kindly hanging on to it for us for no reason.

And the final bit of fabulous news, the magazine is done and I can now go to bed before midnight because god knows I need my beauty sleep. Make-up can only go so far. And I can rename the voodoo doll for who ever pisses me off next.

So...I went into St. Thomas this past weekend to visit my mother. My mother and I have a complicated relationship, based on a sense of mutual dislike for many years - though she will deny it, while not taking to me for years. To get a sense, I started putting together my feelings since I was completely cut off from the internet while on the train:

I am currently sitting on a train without internet access, having just had a glass of mediocre Spanish wine….but it was only $5 so how can I complain? I am also confined to my seat with a full bladder.

I would say this is the most unenjoyable train ride to London I have ever experienced. I had visions of working on my photoshop assignment but that was a pipe dream. The train shakes like a $3 vibrator and I have nowhere to place a mouse. And try highlighting a chain link fence without a mouse or stylus…I dare you.

I’m off to London, well really St. Thomas, to visit my mother because of concerns she might be dementing or to see if her increasingly disintegrating memory is the direct result of an extremely poor diet lacking in anything nutritious, especially proteins, but heavy on Tim Horton’s muffins. Not good when you’re a diabetic. Plus she called me quite upset asking me to spend time with her, she felt like she was being bullied and not listened to.

I have been dreading this trip. My last experience with my mother was while visiting my brother in Edmonton and upon return I had accepted that if I never saw her again, I would be fine with that. But over a short period of time my bitterness wore off and I began to feel more concern for her welfare. I called occasionally to be caustically told that she would never call me again, that way I could call her when I was available. Meanwhile she systematically calls all my siblings every night of the week. I struggle most with that here is this woman who was nasty to me from birth until mid 20s when our relationship evolved into more ambivalence and here she is old, memory shot, and now expecting me to drop everything and come stay with her, to be the shoulder she needs right now.

It’s hard to put aside my bitterness.


I'll continue writing about my weekend and the dysfunctional relationship shared by mother and daughter later as I promised my little scholar and his brother (who was asked to the SCHOOL DANCE BY A GRADE 8 GIRL - man I am not ready for this) I would take them to the Sufferin' Mall to check out Halloween costumes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'm sitting here drinking a glass of wine and pouring through all the goodies found in my Clinique gift bag from Holt Renfrew. A cornucopia of treasures.

I had visions of having the most indulgent afternoon, at least until 3pm but it was not to be because my cell phone began ringing incessantly just past 1:30. It's now 8:02, I'm on my third glass of wine and bordering on a nervous breakdown...and the name of my voodoo doll has been changed to Garth.

And it's snowing. I'm not prepared for the plummeting temperatures. I'm not even prepared for Halloween. I don't have the energy to hoist my camera and take a picture of the most awesome spider decoration every, purchased for $20 from Shoppers Drug Mart.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's 9:00 pm and I'm counting the seconds to put Jakob to bed.

I have to say that I am the QUEEN of time management.

Not only have I VOTED like all my self respecting anti-Harper friends and family (at least I'm keeping my fingers crossed) but I have also designed a logo for a truffle goddess, in fact 2 versions, revised an ad for a certain magazine that will NOT go away and two other options because they just couldn't be happy with the original version...oh no, because let's want other options for an ad that is perfectly fine but dick around getting final revisions to me on everything else. For of course I want to stay up all night tomorrow. Wow, where did that rant come from? But really, I need my beauty sleep, it's not like I can photoshop myself before going to work. And honestly, it's seriously impacting my blogging. Seriously.

I also began sketching ideas for a painting that needs to be finished in 4 weeks, I should say needs to be DRY in 4 weeks, for the office United Way auction. Then made soft & hard tacos for the family, accommodated a play date for Jakob, made popcorn and I'm not even done yet.

But let's change blog direction, let's touch briefly on my relationship with my contractor. I email, he emails, Paul emails, he emails - it is now left up to Paul to schedule a date for him to come through the house...because I'm SICK of him. So this is where we are right now...waiting to schedule a time for him to come through and assess and hopefully correct. Hopefully. Because you know the warranty ran out forever ago and it's only his big generous heart that has him coming this final time and the sound I hear is the clock ticking and not the feeble blip of his pacemaker.

This is the day where I wish my little neighbourhood shop sold lottery tickets because I am positive this is my lucky day. Earlier this afternoon I did a quick run to the Sufferin Mall because Lucy my beloved cleaner was here and she's really chatty and it's hard to clean when your chatting but on my run I forgot a couple of critical things like leaf bags and feminine products. So after returning home I go to get the mail and what do I find on my front porch? - no NOT maxipads, those were in my mailbox in a giftbox from Shoppers Drug Mart - LEAF BAGS from some incredibly sweet real estate agent who wants me to sell my house. How fabulous was that! Satchel thought that by accepting the leaf bags we were morally obligated to sell our house RIGHT NOW, so I clarified for him by saying "No, you're just morally obligated to use the bags to clean up all the leaves on our property RIGHT NOW you little brain-changing sweetheart."

Now that it is 9:30 and not one edit has come through, it's time for me to put Jakob to bed and throw the big smelly one into the shower.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

It is a sad time when I am too busy to blog - there are so many moments each day when I think "must tell the world about the craziness that is Jakob." or "must NOT mention how I had a breakdown yesterday and screamed FUCK OFF at the children as they continue to fight and wrestle and say nasty things to each other."

I am so busy right now that with any luck I will actually make the Friday deadline and can then sleep for 12 hours straight and boot up my computer without wanting to weep.

This will also give my eyes a chance to learn how to refocus again.

Friday, October 03, 2008

The 12-year-old changing brain is pushing me over the edge!

Last night all the first floor phones went missing, including the swishy brand new one. The only person who actually gets/makes phone calls (because his parents are phone-phobic) is Satchel.

Paul went ballistic when the base starting ringing at 9:45 pm and he couldn't find a phone to answer. After I finished putting Jakob to bed I came downstairs and hit the locator button - first phone FOUND, buried in the couch where Satchel had been talking to his two friends.

Pushed the next locator button and followed the beeping to...Satchel's backpack. He had it buried deep inside, under the foul gym clothes. This means he took the phone to school. But why? It's not a cell phone, the range isn't even that great.

So up Paul and I go to talk to him...he protests, he didn't do it. He didn't put the phone in the couch or the backpack. Why would he put the phone in the backpack? That wouldn't even make sense! Why do we always blame him for everything.

hmmm...because it was in YOUR backpack?

Life is completely unfair, neither phone was his fault, we're always blaming him, Daddy's retarded.

That was how he ended his argument.

I wanted to end the discussion with yeah, well you smell bad. But being the more mature of the retarded lot of us, resisted.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

There is a new girl in town and her name is Sharp, plus a few number - maybe some letters. But her measurements are OUTSTANDING. She's 37" and waifishly thin, how does one compete with that?

I have lost all three of my guys to her as she sits mocking me subtly on the coffee table - confident with her power to dominate.

Outside of stealing her batteries I have nothing to hold against her.

But the payout is sweet - for I now have a peaceful bedroom without sand in the bed and there is no reason for the boys to ever hang out in my room again!



The painting above Sharpy is one by Paul of his brother Dan while he was at NSCAD.

For our anniversary I snuck it out of the house and had it reframed. Picking it up 2 days after having had surgery and feeling quite proud and warrior like as I carried it into the house. I wasn't completely thrilled with the framing, I had hoped for a bit more of a shadow box effect to emphasize the ragged edges of the paper and I should have opted for more matte - but he loved it and it's so nice to have crazy old Dan hanging over us.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Don your helmets, WWIII is about to begin!

Paul responded to _____ and it was not a warm fuzzy email like the one I originally wrote.

I cannot wait until this is all over.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Had a response from my contractor yesterday and I am counting the days down to when I never have to deal with him, speak to him, email him, THINK about him again.

He is the very definition of an ass (as Jakob would profile him, A.S.S. ASS!). I could tell from his deer-in-the-headlights expression he was not happy running into me a few weeks ago but when I emailed him to confirm his end of September start time on the deficiency list:

Hi ___,

Paul noticed that the bathtub faucet is moving and is concerned that water is getting behind it - can we add to the deficiency list?

I know you mentioned work was slowing down end of September, do you think you'll be able to come beginning of October?

Best regards,
Meg


He responded with this:

I don't mind repairing the faucet. But this is not a deficiency item . The deficiency list was completed prior to you releasing final payment. And like some of the work you requested are our last meeting, a loose faucet is not generally covered under warranty work. You must keep in mind that the warranty period expired a long time ago. I don't mind completing minor repair work even though the warranty period has expired as an act of good faith. But I cannot expected to correct items that are damaged as a result of normal wear and tear for free. I will have to have a plumber in to examine and correct the problem.

I think he must be forgetting that the reason we have gone long beyond the one year warranty period is because he either a) ignored our emails/calls, b) claimed he was too busy, c) was going to time it with another job which fell through and d) begged off for time because of a personal problems.

And Paul's very valid concern is that the faucet is loose because it was poorly put in originally (like other plumping fixtures that had to be corrected) and not that it has loosened in one year through normal wear and tear.

I would love to ask Mike Holmes what do you do when the work is done reasonably well, at a very high financial cost, but your contractor acts like a high school bully ever time you question his decisions?

Anyway, back to stabbing toothpicks into my voodoo doll.

Friday, September 26, 2008

God help me. I'm home with the flu and Jakob is channeling Jimmy Hendrix and I have my adopted son over who every 3 minutes says he's hungry.

I say "GO HOME! YOU'VE GOT FOOD THERE I'M POSITIVE."

He's still here.

And I'm popping advil like we're facing a chemical famine.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I think I need to change my title - meg's reno just isn't doing it for me. I feel like lipstick needs to be applied, in the metaphorical sense.

Something to ponder.

Something to distract me while I obsess about Satchel (yes, the one who's brain is changing) going to an afternoon school dance, his first. One that he has INVITED A GIRL TO because "Mom, do you want me to be a wallflower?"

Ummm...yes?

He is answering all my questions about her with "I'm not comfortable with this line of questioning." So I turned off the interrogation light to make him a little more comfortable, but still nothing - outside of her name!

He's even going home on his lunch hour so that he can shower and change into something cool - an outfit he spent nearly 15 minutes picking out last night.

This is so unlike him - he's never cared about what he puts on (as long as it's not a dress or something Dad picked out). He's even put his clothes on backwards and said "it's fine Mom."

I might just have to take a walk over to the school today, just to horrify him. I call that responsible parenting.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I'm great!

There were no cancer cells so I don't need radiation and it was the non-aggressive kind of tumour so I don't need further surgery!

I feel light as air.

And slightly drunk.

And exhausted.

And giddy!

But I have to say the 4th floor at Princess Margaret Hospital is as depressing as the basement where patients go for radiation treatments.

This is how I pass the time with Paul while waiting for Dr. McCready in dismal little hospital rooms, I pretend I'm the sound effects person for the 1960s episodes of Star Trek.

I was laughing so hard I had tears running down my face when the doctor came in (not Dr. McCready, a young unknown doctor) - he must have thought I was either emotionally wrecked or insane...especially if he caught me imitating the swoosh of the automatic doors or the boop boop boop of the medical equipment.
I see my oncologist this afternoon to find out the results from my last surgery and I have to tell you, I'm completely agitated...and to make me really fly off the handle there is a beeping going on in the office. A high-pitched beeping similar to a smoke detector with a dying battery attached to a loud speaker system.

Last night I decided the best course of action would be to stay busy but of course this is the cue for Jakob to follow me around with his little guitar hero speaker fresh from a box of Mini Wheats...it makes the most hideous noise and the designer and manufacturer should be strung up by red licorice with at least a hundred of the little darlings blaring so that they can truly appreciate their most wondrous creations and what we parents go through daily.

I kept warning Jakob that I was feeling cranky but that just made him want to stick closer to me. And then it happened, I snapped and told him to F*&* Off. I kind of felt bad about it (but not really) and did apologize but then continued snapping for the rest of the evening. And Arthur with his constant begging and whining and yelling and need to trip me? well it's truly amazing he's still alive.

Fortunately no children or pets were sold on ebay last night - I managed to collect myself by sitting on the back step with a glass of wine while Jakob had a freezie until Paul came home.

So wish me luck, because I swear I'll cry if I'm told I have to have another surgery.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

When Paul's away, Meg must play...with a little help from Kim and a lovely bottle of an Italian red (thank you Kim!).

Last night we managed to make my weekend plan a reality by moving all the living room furniture into the dining room and the dining room furniture into the living room. Both spaces work so much better with even our furniture standing out more (in a good way, it is getting kind of old) - and this new configuration should also cut down the damage caused by whacking our legs on the coffee table by at least 99%!

Once I take a few pictures that do the rooms justice (meaning tidying them up and adding flowers, in essence fluffing) I'll post them.

And now Paul's reaction: "I love it, I think it looks great."

He can stay.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

First, thank god for make-up and photoshop and cold bottles of beer stuffed into my bra (only ONE mind you and I emptied it first). Just wanted to get that out.

I ran into MY CONTRACTOR and the look of panic on his face was priceless! You could sense his mind racing with "what do I do, it's Meg, but I'm trapped, she's right in front of me, I haven't responded to her emails in months...maybe she won't notice me...pushing a baby stroller..."

But notice him I did. And to make him feel bad told him I had a lumpectomy 2 weeks ago and am still recovering...just to make him squirm. Because nothing makes a contractor squirm like woman troubles talk. I should have brought up how bad the menstrual cramps are these days, must be because I'm closing in on menopause.

And hey, I have a dental hygienist to recommend.

He has PROMISED me that the deficiency list will be taken care of at the end of this month.

So a Jakob story. I've taken to leaving him little notes in his lunches, thinking that it would make him happy. But there was a major flaw in my thinking because after all, this is Jakob I'm doing it for.

Today's note said: Have a GREAT day Jakob! Love Mommy xoxoxox

Jakob surprised ME with a returned note written on the opposite side of the paper:
MOMMY this is really messed up. Stop GivEing NotEs to me plese.

He did soften the blow by adding 4 hearts and 3 stars. I think I might just have to tuck this into the school booking I'm keeping him for him to read when he's 30...so the mother guilt will last that much longer.
Jesus - what a morning.

I'm surprised I made it in to work alive.

First - I'm all dressed up, I'm actually wearing a skirt. This vintage skirt by comrags, really beautiful, and to complete the visual a fitted black sweater with 3/4 length sleeves, my disco ball necklace, diamond earrings, black cardigan with big black buttons and 3/4 length sleeves with my gigantic black flower brooch attached, and my new Cole Haan black big square toed pumps with white stitching and silver buckle. I look insanely cute - kind of like a 1950s secretary in a Hitchcock film heading out to a funeral...about to be attacked by birds.

As I walk to the subway station I hear a clatter and a button pops off my cardigan. I pick it up and continue walking. I decide to get a coffee before heading into the subway station. As I'm pouring a bit of the coffee out so I can add cream, my heavy purse drops off my shoulder and coffee splashes all over me. I wipe myself off. I leave and walk to the subway and take a sip and a good portion more spills down me. I have accidentally put two plastic lids and an incredible amount of coffee pooled between those two lids before soaking my clothes and my shoes.

I get on the subway, big delay and now I'm late for work after having actually left the house early for the first time in really...forever. I'm walking from the subway to the office and my shoe heel gets stuck in the sidewalk and I walk right out of it feeling the sliminess of public sidewalk under my naked foot. My beautiful skirt is a bit too big and keep spinning around me with the zipper scraping into my skin leaving a lovely red ring.

I finally make it to my desk and the person I'm currently having issues with is USING MY PHONE. Looking at all my stuff on my desk. Picking up my ipod penquin speaker.

Then boom, huge stomach cramp and my period starts...EARLY.

This truly has become THE DAY FROM HELL.

I go to sew my big button on and it's chipped, making me nearly irrational.

My TDFH continued after leaving work with missing subways, missing buses and having an insane woman pretend to be my new dental hygienist. We spoke about art and she says she likes two artists only: Robert Bateman and Trisha Romance. That alone proves how whacked she is. And just in case you are not familiar with the work of Trisha Romance, I will include a little sample. Oh and check out her official site, because it's even better listening to the embedded music play while admiring the work.


While beginning the cleaning she starts insulting my teeth. "Your enamel is terrible! And it must be a result of all the acidic fruits, juices, pops, beer, etc. that you (DO NOT) drink. And you are totally ineffective in the way you floss. And what is that bump on your tongue?! I'm going to measure it and record it in your charts. How long have you had it." FOREVER.

So my mouth is a mess. It's amazing I can bite into some horrible acidic piece of fruit - in fact any sort of food really.

Her eyes did glass over a bit when the dentist popped in, checking my teeth and proclaiming them as GREAT AS EVER.

Then she went back to cleaning and complaining. "No more lemon in your water. Look at how jagged the bottoms of your teeth are. Do you use your teeth to break tags of clothes?" Sometimes, you got me there crazy lady!

Once home I promptly poured myself a glass of highly acidic red wine, swished it around my mouth and thought about buying myself a teeth bleaching kit and leaving the tray in all night just so I could call her up tomorrow with all the eroding details.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

With determination and nary a drop of alcohol in my system, I tore the surgical strips off my lumpectomy incision to find...that my oncologist/surgeon did a far better job sewing me up than I thought he had!

I was very impressed with the thin straight line he had sewn because what from what I thought I could see through the near transparent strips was a pretty nasty jagged line - but whew, that was just the dried blood trying to encourage me to shed a few pounds.

What I'm having troubles with now is the amount of pain I'm in. I can't ride my bike, walking hurts, stairs hurt even more. The pain in my nipple is more than I can bear which I understand is because it's the nerve centre of the breast. I'm completely exhausted since it's impacting my sleep and more than a little bit nauseous.

I am so glad that I have my follow-up appointment on the 23rd so I can get a bit of reassurance that all is healing well and ALSO that the pathology continues to show the mass was benign and keeping my fingers crossed that I don't need yet another surgery.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I think I need to revise my header to include mother of pre-teen boy who's brain is changing.

This was our conversation the other day:

"Mom, I just want to let you know that because I'm 12 and in middle school, well, I'm changing. My BRAIN IS CHANGING. And I'm probably not going to listen, I'm not just going to do what you tell me, I'm going to think about it and maybe I won't do it. Like I don't care if my room is a mess. And you probably won't like my attitude, but you'll just have to get used to it."

I can't wait until I sit down my little family and tell them "that my brain is changing too. And it's called MENOPAUSE. And you should be afraid, very afraid."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The inscription on the ring Paul gave me on our anniversary.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Recovery is taking longer than I had hoped but I managed to distract myself for a few moments in the Umbra store (and with the help of Tylenol and Gravol) on Queen St.

And the most beautiful things became mine.

Things like this acrylic tree which is ever so much more beautiful on my dresser with my necklaces...


...and the garbage can which I am currently using as an umbrella stand in my kitchen.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

17 years ago today this nut job married me and we have lived blissfully ever since. Blissfully despite my mother, my in-laws, 2 kids, 6 cats, 1 major renovation that will go on FOREVER, breast cancer, miscarriages, job changes, financial difficulties...hmmm, what else?


Anyway, he still can't get enough of me. Nor I him.

Today was spent, well, with me sleeping. Fortunately we were invited to my brother Bob's house for dinner so I did bring a bottle of fine champagne to pop to celebrate. And celebrate like teenagers we did. And now, couple of Tylenol's later, back to bed.

I'm crazy like that.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Lumpectomy...done!

And the hardest part really was the caffeine-withdrawal headache. By 2pm I was REALLY getting agitated...virtually begging to get taken to the OR to be knocked out.

In fact, nearly as agitated as I am right now listening to Paul and Jakob yell, argue, cry...

I arrived at the hospital just before 9:00 am where I was assigned a nurse and taken to my room to change (disappointingly a semi-private room without the great view I had last time) into my hospital gown and slippers. Then a little tank of a woman was designated my escort to the 3rd floor for the mammogram and wire insertion. She was MISERABLE. Kind of wanted to call her Mom.

The wire wasn't as bad as I expected even though they do NOT freeze the breast while ramming it in. And it was done while having an ultrasound and not with the mammogram - which I really couldn't get my head around. How could anyone get a wire in while you're squished as flat as a pancake, surrounded by plastic plates? Impossible.

After the insertion the technician taped the remainder to my skin so it wouldn't get caught on anything which made me feel a bit squeamish - but that might have been the slow onset of my migraine. Then off for my mammogram. Couple of positions and done, back to my room where a lovely ex-convict called James waited with a wheelchair for me. Which I didn't use though Paul offered to take a ride up in it.

Back in my room I decided my best course of action would be to nap and hopefully sleep (avoidance of the headache that was screaming for coffee) until it was time to take me to the OR in FOUR HOURS. I fell asleep, Paul went out for a walk for a couple of hours, and then the prepping began for the return of my roommate who I think just had a mastectomy and wasn't doing very well. Plus from the look of her hair, I think she was recovering from chemo.

This was the hardest time to work through: my head throbbed, I was hungry and thirsty, my magazines had disappeared, the roommate was throwing up on her side of the curtain, I kept snagging the wire that was taped down...I was beyond agitated.

Finally after 2pm I was taken down for surgery and prepped where I had a lovely old and unattractive anesthesiologist flirt with me, thinking I was only 34 years old. He was darling! Into the cold OR room I was taken, hooked up to an IV and then...OUT.

When I awoke, NO HEADACHE!

As soon as I was back in my room I sent Paul down for two cups of tea and a biscuit. Then I ate the hospital dinner: mashed potato, carrots and Salisbury steak dinner and then I felt sick. So desperate to get out, I popped gravol, some strong pain killers and took a taxi home where I have been sleeping constantly for the past two days. I finally took a shower yesterday which was fabulous and removed most of the bandaging, the big stuff, leaving the steri-strips.

My oncologist/surgeon is definitely not a plastic surgeon as I eye my ragged 2 inch incision.

But at least the tumour has been removed and now I wait for my next appointment on the 23rd to find out the pathology and what my next step is: either I'm done or more surgery depending on the type of tumour. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'm done.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Tomorrow is my lumpectomy.

I've been asked all day if I'm nervous or worried. What I feel mostly is dread. Dread at the caffeine-withdrawal headache, dread at having a mammogram and then having the wire shoved into my breast. Dread at waking up in pain and feeling ill from the anesthesia. Dread that the pathology might show something different than the core biopsy.

But I also feel relief because I just want to get the stupid thing out.

Friday, August 29, 2008


Satchel turns 12 today!


And people should be arriving...just about now. And I'm NOT ready.

I'm also about to leave on one of my favourite weekends of the year - to NY state with Jenifer for many hours of outlet shopping.

Will update later.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

So much has been going on, distracting me from writing.

My surgery has been confirmed for next Wednesday. I'm to arrive at 8:30, hang out for an hour before having the wire shoved into my breast while having a mammogram. And then I continue to hang out in the hospital with a wire in my breast until mid-afternoon when I will finally have my lumpectomy.

All I can think is JESUS this is going to hurt. And also calculating how long I will have to go between meals pre and post surgery and that I am not a happy camper on an extended empty stomach - and don't even mention the lack of coffee in my system.

Thankfully this weekend is one of my favourite weekends of the summer - when Jenifer and I hightail it out of Toronto to Wilson NY for a long weekend where we will shop at outlet malls and Target, drink lots of wine, play endless games of UNO, read magazines and watch chick flicks. A terrific way to distract me even though it does mean abandoning Satchel part way through his (12th!!!!) birthday.

This also marks the 2nd anniversary of the start of my life falling apart with breast cancer. It was at Jen's in-law's cottage playing UNO and drinking wine that I started experiencing burning pain in my right breast which led to the check-up with my GP, to the many, many tests with my oncologist/surgeon to the mastectomy and reconstruction. Last year at the cottage I felt like I had come full circle as we drank more wine and played more UNO, I thought I was finished with breast cancer. And now, one year later, it's messing with me again.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I meant to spend my time writing about the fabulousness of the Serengeti Bush Camp experience at the Toronto Zoo but instead am reeling from the news that my cousin Patti has breast cancer and is scheduled for a mastectomy this Friday.

Jesus.

Crazy that this afternoon I was biking home from work, and it was an absolutely beautiful afternoon by the way, and I was thinking to myself it's hard to believe that nearly 2 years ago I was diagnosed only to have my brother call me with the news this evening.

But I'll leave you with one picture while I get my head together of our last morning at the zoo and will update you tomorrow including many stories of Jakob's absolute miserableness, I mean uniqueness.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

We are heading off to the Toronto Zoo to sleep with the lions.

http://www.torontozoo.com/CampsPrograms/BushCamp.asp

Very cool, very exciting!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Today my Mom turns 79.

And what kind of daughter would I be if I didn't post a few photos of her.

What can I say about my Mom?

She loves anything with sugar and acts with great deception when around desserts as if she fears that her habit will be discovered and she will be judged. A little like a crack addict.

1954 (with Bob and Susan)

2008