19 July 2012

Write off

Just got back from the collision centre and I’m sad to report that my beloved Tucson is broken beyond repair. The rails that hold up the engine are twisted and it would never drive the same. I’m gutted.

Going back and seeing the car, without the post-accident adrenaline rush, was pretty horrible. I had a chance to fully absorb the damage and ponder what could have happened had I stopped one fraction of a second later. I got teary-eyed as I took out the rest of my valuables and fished out the last of Andrew’s little traveling toys and trinkets. The Tucson was a wonderful family car and I’ll miss driving it.

Speaking of driving, I have yet to try it again since the accident. Thankfully we do have another car, although I’ll admit that I hate to drive it because I have become so accustomed to sitting higher up.  I know I have to work up the nerve, bite the bullet and have another go at it. My confidence is shaken and I’m apprehensive about now having to but another unfamiliar vehicle.  But running away from problem never helped anyone and I know this is just one more thing that I’ll have to work past. If my Mom could get back in a car after her horrible accident, I have little excuse.

So what now? Being chauffeured by a very loving and patient husband and feeling like I’m back at damn square one.  Oh course, the insurance company is also taking their sweet time in determining the payout for the car. If this goes on much longer, I’m going to have to settle for a rental until I can buy a new car. 

In the grand scheme of life, I know this is just a mere hiccup- albeit an expensive one. 

17 July 2012

Happy to be alive

It’s thanks to my guardian angel that I am able to make this post today. I had a very close call in an accident yesterday morning. I consider it a miracle that both I and the other driver walked away unscathed. My car is totalled, but I have to keep reminding myself that metal is replaceable, while people aren’t. I got to sleep in my own bed last night and hug my child, while I could have just as easily been lying in the morgue. I still get the tremors when I think about it. 

In short – I am at fault. It is a hard and horrible thing to admit. I was turning left at a busy intersection that unfortunately doesn’t have a protected left turn. Just opposite me was another large vehicle making a left turn as well. I thought I could see around him although my view must have been partially obscured. I proceeded to make my turn only to find a large commercial truck barrelling down on me. I stopped a fraction of a second too late and he attempted to swerve around me to avoid T-boning the car. The passenger side of his truck ended up hitting my front passenger headlight and continued to slice straight across the front of the car. It knocked the front bumper clean off as well as some of the hood, leaving my engine exposed. 

With adrenaline running on high, I was surprisingly calm and had the good sense to pull my car out of the intersection and onto the side of a road. After making sure my neck was okay, I hopped out and ran to the truck to make sure the other driver was alright – that was my chief concern. Thankfully, we both walked away without injury, albeit a bit of stiffness in my neck. My car was goner, while the truck had a few scratches and some flat tires. We were very lucky. A fraction of a second off and I could have been hit directly in the side. I doubt I would have survived because the truck was pulling a 1 ½ ton loaded trailer. When I stopped to survey the damage and was being looked over by the paramedics, that’s when it really hit me. I started crying and shaking. I could have killed someone, Drew could have lost his mother and Dan could have lost his wife. 

I understand that accidents happen, but I can’t shake the horrible feeling of knowing that it was my error. I could have sworn the way was clear; I turn at that intersection almost daily and just never imagined I could do something like this. I am lucky that I can live to tell the tale and learn from it. This has shaken my confidence as a driver but I’ve got to get back out there, provided insurance will even still be affordable. I am currently waiting to hear back from the auto body shop to see the final assessment of the damage. I wouldn’t be surprised if insurance decides to write it off. See image below.

And this is how it happened – my car is the black box and the red one is the truck.

Please everyone. Be extra vigilant on the roads. If there is ever any doubt in your mind when making a turn, don’t proceed. Be damned with the cars behind you and take your time.

03 July 2012

On the road again

Anyone out there? Hello?

Here it folks - proof that I'm still alive and kicking. I have been totally out of touch with the blogosphere these days. Not only have I been completely inactive in posting, I haven't even had a chance to read up on my favourite bloggers out there - a sure fire sign that work is dominating my life again.

I have been putting in an obscene amount of overtime in my new"ish" position at work. While many of you enjoy the lazy, hazy, dog days of summer, I'm up late writing speaking notes and turning my hair prematurely grey...no seriously, ask my hairdresser.

Event season is on. Normally I love working events but even I will concede that two biggies less than a week apart may well send me to the funny farm. On the plus side, I get to travel.  On the downside, the most I see is what passes by me from the airport to the event and back again.

I'll be heading to Calgary in two days for my first event. I'll be getting there on the opening of the Stampede but sadly, will not take in any of festivities. It's back to Ottawa on a red eye flight to spend a day with Andrew and remind him that he does, in fact, still have a mother.  Then its off to Vancouver for another event next week. I'm looking forward to the end of that one because I'm giving myself a rare day off to sightsee. I so rarely treat myself these days and hubby agreed that I day off was in order for me (and probably for him too because I haven't exactly been joyful to live with these past few months).

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm looking forward to the end of summer. Hopefully September will see a lull in event requests and a return to 'relative' sanity.

08 April 2012


I love that my child sees beauty where most normal children would see fear. Happy Easter!

03 February 2012

Score one for the “Tooth Doctor”…

Every now and then my kiddo manages to stun me. As luck would have it, he was a total gentleman for his first visit to the dentists last night. Hubby and I couldn’t have been more surprised. We were fully expecting an epic meltdown, followed by red-faced apologies and a mad dash out the door.

While he did whimper when hubby tried to put him in the chair, our savvy dentist decided to take another approach. Hubs got into the chair first and Drew sat on his lap; this seemed to put him at ease. The dentist then gave Drew a few tools to hold to get him interested. Wouldn’t you know it…he opened his mouth and jammed them in like it was nothing. The window of opportunity to actually get a decent look at his teeth was short-lived, but at least he didn’t cry. I helped coax his mouth open a few more times by getting him to roar like a dinosaur. Fortunately, all his teeth are there and spaced nicely. As for the snaggletooth, it seems to have been caused by his finger sucking. Drew ditched the soother when he was little and started sucking on his index finger even well before his teeth started to grow in. It turns out that he actually managed to affect the shape of his pallet, causing one tooth to grow in longer. Sounds pretty horrible, but the dentist assured us that the problem should correct itself as he stops sucking his finger – a habit we have been encouraging him to indulge in only at bedtime now.

Perhaps the best part of the whole appointment was when the dentist took Andrew over to a small treasure chest to pick out a reward for his good behavior. It doesn’t take much to win over my little guy. He picked out a little race car (of which he already has numerous) and all of a sudden you could see the love and adoration in his eyes. Just this morning, Drew was telling me how much he enjoyed the “Tooth Doctor” – score! We’ll see if he loves her so much when he actually goes for a real cleaning in nine months….that may take several cars.

02 February 2012

Dental distress

Tonight will mark a new milestone for our family – Drew’s first visit to the dentist I’ll readily admit that I have been avoiding this visit like the plague. If you even come remotely close to the little guy’s teeth, his hair gets redder and his horns begin to sprout. Our twice-daily tooth brushing routine is typically accompanied by unearthly screeching, swatting hands, tears and many expletives murmured under our breath. In short, dental hygiene is a battle.

Despite the struggle, I know that it’s high time that Drew sees a dentist. To put things delicately, he has a snaggletooth that has grown visibly longer than the rest of his teeth. While we have come to love the tooth and accept it as part of his quirky charm, it probably does warrant a quick look to see if it is affecting his bite. We would be remiss if we ignored it.

Even if Drew did have the "snaggle" issue, the kiddo still has to get used to the dentist. I pray that he won’t grow up to be one of those individuals that is paralyzed by fear each time they get into the dental chair. It’s just another little life lesson that he will have to learn - you may not “like” it but you have to “endure” it. If all else fails the old creative dishonesty may work. Something tells me that the explanation, “if you don’t go to the dentist, your teeth will fall out and you’ll never be able to eat again,” might resonate best with him…he loves food THAT much. We’ll see how desperate I get.

Wish us luck.

01 February 2012

5 simple ways to mess up your tween daughter...

Allow her to get a perm when she is already going through an awkward stage of life

Dress her in red when she has red hair…polka dots are an added bonus.

Add plenty of volumizing mouse to her hair to ensure that perfect triangle shape

Make sure her glasses cover “at least” half of her face

Allow her to carry stuffed fireman puppy companions

I’d love to tell you all that I don’t know who this kid is but the sad truth is

...drum roll...

It’s ME circa 1992

I would like to thank my father for bringing back horrid and painful memories of my youth, especially on Facebook for all to enjoy. Lovely Dad...just lovely….

On the plus side, I did eventually grow into my looks and grew the perm out. Oddly enough, as an adult I accidentally discovered that my hair is naturally curly. Looks like I could have saved my parents a good $100 on the bad perm. Actually, I’m glad they paid so much for my coiffe; I consider it payment for the other fashion atrocities they made me endure ; )

29 January 2012

Chalkboard Hermetic Jars – FTW

I am proud to report that I have completed my first of several Pinterest-inspired projects. While most of you were likely doing more normal weekend-type things, like being sociable or generally useful around the house, I was meticulously painting chalkboard paint onto hermetic glass jars. “Why?” you ask. Because I can!

Actually, the reason (if you can justifiably call it ‘reason’) behind my project is that I am always looking for new ways to showcase food when entertaining. March is rapidly approaching and hubby and I will be hosting a joint St. Paddy’s/ Birthday party. Playing on the old Irish stereotype, I want to have a “build your own mashed potato” bar. Sure I could put the garnishes in regular old kitchen bowels, but where is the fun in that? Instead, wouldn’t it be superb to have each item in its own little glass jar with a chalkboard placard on it denoting its’ contents? Anyone? I tried to explain the necessity of such a concoction to hubby and I don’t think he got it – give the man potatoes in a gold bowl or an old shoe and he would be happy either way. However, being the patient hubby that he is, he allowed me to do my “thing” and watched Drew while I scoured the Dollar store for jars.

This was probably one of the easiest DIY projects I have ever completed, not to mention one of the cheapest. Eight glass hermetic jars cost me only $12. The chalkboard paint was $25 but I still have a myriad of other little projects I plan to use it on….yes there will be more! My next plan of attack will like be chalkboard dipped wine glasses (another cute party idea) and a menu board for the kitchen. While I’m at it, I might as well paint a little blackboard for the kiddo to use in his playroom.

I’ll be sure to post pictures of my little creations once the paint has dried. By then, I’ll like have a hundred other things on the go. I knew this website would spell trouble for me.

27 January 2012

Ode to freezing rain

You make me slip,
You make me spin,
And often late when driving in.

You cover my driveway with a coat of ice,
Which cleaning off is less than nice.

You wake my child,
You coat my car,
You cancel trips when traveling far.

So please why don’t you go away,
And freeze someone else’s miserable day?

~ The Rambling Redhead

26 January 2012

New eyes

Oh how I wish the title of today’s post was true.
Instead, I’ll have to settle with a new pair of glasses.

I have been wearing glasses since the tender age of one, when I was diagnosed with “very messed up eyes” (which I’m sure was the exact terminology used by the doctor). My eyes were crossed quite badly and needed surgery to get them pointed in the right direction. While I’ll admit that they did a pretty great job, I was left with a fairly ludicrous prescription. Not surprisingly, I have amassed quite a nice collection of coke-bottle glasses over the years. Tack on the 80s fashion, carroty hair and a bad perm that lasted for three years (no joke) and you have yourself a veritable target for the popular kids in school. Oh well – there are certainly worse fates to endure! I could have been blind so I consider myself fortunate.

Thankfully a bit of wisdom came with age. I used to hate wearing glasses as a child. Now I have come to like them on me; they’re just another fashion accessory even though my prescription still limits me from most of the trendier styles. The only painful part is the price. I have major appreciation for my Mom and Dad who shelled out major bucks over the years to ensure that I had thinnest lenses possible. Now that I pay for my own glasses, I have found out just how pricey they can be. No discounts or cute little two for one deals for me, a simple pair can easily set me back $600. Not surprisingly, I have to be very comfortable with what I choose. I tend to avoid trends because I know I’ll be stuck with my glasses every stinking day for about four years or so.

As if the stress of choosing the “right” pair of glasses wasn’t difficult enough, guess who stupidly decided that it might be a fun activity to share with her toddler? Bloody hell – what was I thinking?!? Of course he was going to throw a tantrum and want to try on the hundreds of shiny glasses within his reach. Thank God for hubby and the fact that there was a pet store close by. I was in the store for well over an hour due to computer issues and not enough sales people. Had I known that were going to be so many issues, I would have gone by myself. I think poor hubby counted every damn fish in that pet store twice over. Did I ever mention that I love him?

Thankfully I did walk away victorious last evening, albeit poor. My new eyes should arrive in a week or so. I’m also happy to report that hubby and I are still on speaking terms.

25 January 2012

Pining to pin

Has anyone seen my life? I have been looking for it since jumping onboard the latest and greatest internet behemoth – Pinterest.

“What is Pinterest?” you ask. Aside from being a large, time-sucking black hole, it’s actually quite a neat tool for internet-based brainstorming and collective idea sharing. The concept is very simple – sign up for an account and start posting pictures and links of things that interest you. It’s similar to pinning pictures on a communal pegboard for all to see. You can get great ideas on pretty much everything under the sun – recipes, d├ęcor ideas, crafts, fashion, DIY projects, etc.

In a nutshell, Pinterest will likely become the bane of my existence. As if I wasn’t busy enough, I now have about 10 different craft projects that I want to execute around the home. The Gods of Pinterest have spoken and I cannot silence them. I cannot simply admit that something is a good idea, I have to try it myself and perfect upon it.

You know, come to think of it…Pinterest may kill me.

So tell me, are you also pining to pin?

24 January 2012

Toilet Talkers

Life is all about the simple little pleasures. Typically we take these things for granted, never fully appreciating them until they are compromised.

Do you know what simple little thing makes me happy? Getting to do my “business” in peace and solitude…

Perhaps my yearning for solo toilet time stems from the fact that, since becoming a mother, my bathroom breaks are frequently interrupted by a curious toddler. At home we have adopted a fairly laissez- faire, open-door policy. Because we are potty training, I encourage our little guy to take an interest in general bathroom mechanics. Usually though, he just tries to flush the toilet or steal the toilet paper…we all have to start somewhere.

With the situation at home, it’s not surprising that I aspire to have a little peace and quiet on the workplace throne. Unfortunately, however, there is little to be done about the dreaded “toilet talkers.” I’m sure you all know what I’m talking about; perhaps you have even been one yourself? The toilet talker is usually an uber-friendly person that tries to carry on an amicable chat in the next stall. Usually they have best intentions, trying to break the awkward silence with a little banter. It’s almost as if the toilet talker is afraid of bathroom sounds, like they are trying to disguise that fact that “bathroomy” things are going on around them. I’m not sure what is more awkward, cutting one loose in the silence or interrupting a friendly conversation with a tell-tale noise. Personally, I like to put on my blinders when I enter the bathroom. My modus operandi is - get in, get empty, get out.

If you insist of being a bathroom “buddy”, try these tips for success:

- give a quick “hi” or head nod before a person enters their stall
- save the banter for hand-washing time
- don’t continue long chats in the bathroom (awkward for other stall users)
- finish your chat in the hall

So what is your opinion of toilet talkers? Are you guilty as charged or are others just as anal (pun totally intended) as I am?

23 January 2012

Out of the mouths of babes

One of the best parts about having a toddler is hearing the crazy stuff that comes out of his mouth on a daily basis. Drew is at that precious age right now where he’ll spout something incredibly insightful one moment, promptly followed by motorboat noises or incoherent babble. In short, he makes us laugh…a lot!

One of the other beauties about toddlers is the fact that they seldom hide anything. If something is on Drew’s brain, he’s sure to let us know. Often we’re left scratching our heads in disbelief and wondering where he comes up with the strange notions that float around inside his little red noggin. Of particular noteworthiness is his latest obsession – the “Scratchy Monster”.

I was first introduced to the Scratchy Monster two weeks ago. Drew and I were eating breakfast and discussing the bad weather we had experienced the previous night. We had a bad bout of freezing rain and wind that reduced Drew to tears; he hates loud noises against his window. It took several visits and much coaxing to get him to bed, which is not habitual. Eventually the poor little mite cried himself to sleep.

As it turns out, poor Andrew did not realize that it was simply rain hitting his window, despite our many assurances. Instead, he concocted some sort of horrid monster in his mind. No joke, this is how our conversation went.

Me: Poor Andrew. You didn’t sleep well last night because of all the noise.
Andrew: Yes Mommy.
Me: There was lots of loud rain.
Andrew: It was scary because of the “Scratchy Monster”
Me: The what?
Andrew: The “Scratchy Monster” gonna eat me Mommy.

I have to tell you, it took a good deal of willpower not to laugh aloud. He was so deadpan and matter-of-fact in his delivery that I almost believed him. Instead, being a good Mommy, I assured him that scratchy monsters do not exist, and that he was really hearing freezing rain on the window. He has since started calling all rainy Scratchy Monster.

While I’m happy to report that fear of old Scratchy has dwindled somewhat, he now assures me that “the robots are coming” when we lay him down to bed. Either his overactive imagination is getting the best of him, or he knows more about that whole 2012 Mayan calendar scare than the rest of us. One thing is certain – never a dull moment where he is concerned.

20 January 2012

New year, new blog, new redhead

Happy 2012. For those you that still make your way onto my blog from time-to-time, thanks for sticking with me and for your patience with my infrequent posts. I am hoping that I can resurrect the blog this year and start getting some of the nutty thoughts floating around in my head out onto paper again…or should I say screen? I digress…

2011 certainly wasn’t the best year for me on record mentally or physically. In short, I threw myself a one-year pitty party. I have tried to write about depression many times before, but it is something I can never quite seem to adequately describe; I don’t like to dwell on that part of myself if I don’t have to. What I can tell you is that I am starting 2012 off in a much better place. There comes a point where you hit a brick wall. You can either fall over and give up, or you can pick yourself up, brush yourself off and try to find a way to get over onto the other side – I am doing the latter. I am back to eating healthy and exercising daily. It isn’t always easy , but I am forcing myself to take time for myself. On days when I start to feel myself slipping back into old habits, I look to my wonderful son and husband for motivation. They deserve a happy and healthy mother and wife. Above all else, I owe it to myself to feel happy and well-balanced too.

I an attempt to keep myself on track and to meet my health goals- I have launched a new accountability blog. If you care to follow that particular journey, you can join me at:

For those of you interested in the more “lighter fare,” I’ll continue to write my general daily musings here on my regular blog. Life with a redheaded toddler is never dull – I have lots of stories to tell ; )