I know where I am going – Liar! and other tales Part 2

Dear Universe,

After much refection I STILL don’t understand why the crazy stuff happens to me when I am with the family and not my friends! I was busy tell you about my travels with Annie, TTG, Squid and Chatterbox here. To pick up where I left off, please continue…

As I was saying, I am a mom and thought of snacks. I packed apples and almonds, juice and pop. The girls were dying of starvation, and when I say dying – I mean cranky and we were going to kill them. So, TTG gave Squid an apple. Every now and then, TTG wishes she had a “traditional” family of her own. Annie and I tell her constantly she is “Living the Dream” No kids, no weird smells, no messes, no odd sounds – let’s face it – No body sounds, smells and fluids that are not your own IS THE DREAM! Meanwhile, Squid eats her apple and gives the core to TTG where I could sense her facial expression and heard an “Oh Lovely” in the classic family sarcastic tone. I reminded TTG that she is living the dream…

We drive around Northeast Calgary while Annie tries to recall her past life here. 2 hours later we find an Olive Garden! All you can eat bread sticks and salad! We get excited and I jump out to see about getting a table. The Hostess replies, it will be an Hour and a half. AN HOUR AND A HALF?!? FOR AN OLIVE GARDEN? I don’t think so sweetheart, so I run back out and tell the girls we need to keep looking. I remember spotting a 5Guys on the Highway at Airdrie and suggest we head there. So long Calgary, your shopping was great but we were starving so we high tailed it out of there! A while later we get to Airdrie. 5 Guys is on the left side of the double hwy. No left turn for us! We search in vain for the over pass….only to discover an underpass as we drive over it. *Note to Airdrie, signs are a good thing…just saying…

We take the next exit and double back, pull in and park. We spot a Nathans Famous – of Coney Island Fame – and I retell my mom’s opinion of Nathan’s hot dogs…so we continue back to 5 guys. We get to the window and peer inside, all the people who couldn’t get a table at the Olive Garden, came here. It looked like an hour wait. OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! I start to make my way to the empty – yet open – Nathan’s, when Chatterbox pipes up “There is the Dirty Bird, let’s eat there”. Fine – Swiss Chalet it is.

As we stroll over The Dirty Bird Swiss Chalet, TTG claims she has NEVER eaten at Swiss Chalet. WHAT??? how do you live in the same family and never had to eat here? It is Gran’s favorite place! It is known for its chicken. Talk about lucky! Then she went on to tell another interesting fact. While traveling home from Edmonton, TTG went to Swiss Chalet at the Edmonton International Airport only to be told they were out of chicken. WHAT??? How is that even possible? It’s like going to Baskin Robbins and being told they are out of Ice Cream! So the one and only time TTG made the attempt to eat at the Dirty Bird and they were out of Chicken. Omen maybe?

TTG is the only one who ordered Chicken. Ribs, pot pie, and deep fried perogies were the entres of choice. Chatterbox was the one who chose poorly on the roulette wheel of food. Who orders deep fried anything and expects to feel great afterwards? I suppose I should have stepped in and suggested real food at this point. But I didn’t not know they were deep fried and I didn’t expect Chemo Perogies…should have know better, sorry Chatter box.

By the time we finished dinner, it was 8:ooPM – 4 hours AFTER we leave Chinook mall. We pile into the car where Chatterbox complains that it is too dark to read. Squid says  it’s my fault for raising a reader. I should have raised a TV watcher than she would be happy with movies on the ipod. I tell them to suck it up and listen to music. Annie declares it’s time to fill the truck up due to mindless wandering around Calgary…we need to find an ESSO. Would any other station do? Nope…an ESSO please. So back on the HWY north to Edmonton, we pass a Petro Canada…no way – not if we don’t want Grandpa haunting us forever. Petro Canada is a political no no. How about Shell? Nope…Fast Gas? No thanks…Husky? NO! an Esso!! FINE! so we keep driving. The needle on the tank gets to the “Hey Dummy” line and Annie panics. So she demands, Text my man and ask him how far to Esso! WTF? He is not in the car, how is he to know? As soon as I finish texting, there are on the horizon is an Esso. The skies open up and the angels begin to sing. We won’t be hitch hiking after all! Thanks Universe!

We pull into the station, and TTG immediately begins the speculation game. Look at that gal, she put on her fancy pink sweatshirt for a night in rural Alberta! Her man has no shoes and is bare foot. Where do you think they are going? Why do you think that man is smiling? I think there is a hockey bag filled with bodies in the back of his car…CLICK went the locks. Hmmm this place is starting to get creepy. Then TTG asks, Whats a trip without creepy people? True…? Annie tries to get back into the car and we won’t let her in, who wants to risk creepy people joining her? Then we see she has NIBS! WOOHOO Nibs! She is in!

We munch on nibs and it adds to the bloated gross feeling from the Dirty Bird. TTG announces, no matter what I say or how much I beg, do not pass me anymore nibs. FINE! Be that Way! So we stuff them into the glove box. Soon we are on our way, headed North in the dark – no street lights on Alberta rural hwys  – because we are tough red necks here! About 10 minutes into the trip we here…I need to go to the bathroom. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??? You couldn’t go at ESSO? Annie says we are not stopping because A> she has turned into my dad and B> She doesn’t want to stop at the prison town at night. Fair enough..HOLD IT Chatterbox.

As we continue on in the dark, we start to hear gagging noises. Chatterbox, are you okay? Yes, comes the reply. Then the gagging gets more frequent. I yell to Squid to reach back and grab a bag, empty it and give it to Chatterbox. Full on Heaving ensues. Awesome… TTG and Squid join the gag fest. The smell is starting to get rank, so we crack open the windows only to learn we are driving in farm country. The manure smell is as bad. Now the dilema – which is better? Vomit or manure? The heaving stops and Chatterbox passes the bag to TTG – once again TTG YOU ARE LIVING THE DREAM!The bag starts to leak and the screaming begins! Quick grab another bag! TTG pulls all her clothes out of her bag and says WAIT! I need the receipts incase I want to return them!!! Finally the leaky bag is tucked safely into the the second bag. I surmise out loud to TTG “I bet that apple core is looking pretty awesome about now!” With all the panic and screaming, Annie finds a turn off to the rest stop. It is pitch black and not far from the prison. We pull over to the side of a grain field covered in stubble. We all jump out like we are covered in puke. They scream, shake and stand around while I get Chatterbox cleaned up and sorted. I take tissue from the clothing bags and wipe up messes. I would give my first born for a diaper bag filled with  wet wipes about now. I spray the seats with “Sweat Pea” Hand sanitizer and we pile back in. TTG and Annie quickly lock the doors. At this point I discover two scary guys were hiding in the ditch and scrambled up the hill when we pulled up. We are in the middle of no-where, surrounded by farms and a prison is a couple of miles away. Yet there, are two guys in a ditch…hmmm either they are escaped convicts OR they are bottle collecting boy scouts. I’m pretty sure they were neither, but it’s not for me to speculate!

By this time it’s after 9:00PM. We are tired, smelly and really want to go home, yet we can’t seem to stop laughing. We see a dead moose on the side of the road and a totalled car on the other side. We share stories of past travels with duct tape and dad and granny and why she got the queen bed in Ireland while Annie and TTG got the table top. Eventually we stopped talking and began what we always do on every single family trip. We play silly songs a sing along, like this one:

Happy Travels!

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My friend Oracle from DownUnder invited me to guest blog over on his site 

It contunies the Adventures of Travel’s with Granny – if you are so inclinde to visit! Say hey for me, I love his adventures 🙂

I know where I am going – Liar! and other tales

Dear Universe,

Why is it when I travel with friends, it is relatively normal events happen? But every time I travel with family, a gong-show ensues? The day trip to Calgary was no exception. Chaos, hilarity and puke happened in epic formation.

I best explain…

My sister Annie and her daughter Squid, drove my cousin The Travelocity Gnome (TTG), ChatterBox and myself to Calgary for a fantasy filled Saturday complete with a stop over at Tiffany’s to buy myself a ring. TTG posted this on facebook:

– 1.5 hour flight, up @ 6:30am, 3 hour drive, 2 malls, 2 hour search for dinner, 1 road side puke stop near the jail (where just happened to see 2 guys running from the ditch in the dark), all to save $12 PST on items I could have bought 3 blocks from home – but it was a great day with my cousins and their kids.

intriguing isn’t it? Where shall I start? When I travel with non-family members, the trip is lovely and fun. When the entourage is involved we always end up crying. Not because we are sad, but because it seems to bizarre to be true, yet it IS true.

The day starts with no coffee and traveling to Red Deer for the customary pit stop, which means a visit to the Ladies and coffee. For some reason I  was talked into have a tea instead of Tim Horton’s Coffee. Mostly because I don’t prefer Timmy’s. I must be the only Canadian out there who is not in dire need of a Double Double. (Not at 230 calories a pop thank you very much!) We pile back in and realized that by stopping, all the people we passed on the way down, must be passed again. No wonder dad never ever stopped to let us go to the bathroom.

By 11:00AM we arrive (unscathed and still friendly to each other) to the hallowed halls of CrossIron Mills. The Shopping Capital of Alberta – that’s right, I said it – Calgary has BETTER shopping venus than Edmonton, however – that is it – that is the ONLY thing they are better at – except for being closer to the mountains but that is just geography and has nothing to do with hockey or football or Universities or parks or Art Galleries or Skylines or Pizza or million other things. We practically run at a full on sprint to get inside. First stop is Coach Factory. I have a list for family I must fulfill and then I make a major impulse buy for FABULOUS red leather gloves. We shop all day, laughing at fashion and try on stripper heels that nearly break our ankles, compare sparkly shoes and walk away bogged down with copious amounts of bags. My purpose for going was to buy boots. Did I? Nope. But I did make my very first visit to the Gap and was pleased to discover I CAN WEAR GAP where I bought a shirt for Chatterbox. THAT was THE highlight until Tiffany’s…

When we exhausted all shops at CrossIronmills we travelled south to Chinook Mall. The BEST non outlet mall in the universe Calgary. We parked underground in the most technologically advanced parking lot EVER. The lights on the ceiling tell you where there are empty spots! Red is full, Green there is space. I spent more time marvelling at this than was necessary, I took 10 pictures ( remember a time before digital photography? 36 pics and would I waste them on parking lots? I think not) I walked like a girl with a purpose, straight to Tiffany & Co. I made another impulse buy – Tiffany Notes Ring – size 8  – to remind me of all sorts of things to be shared at another blog. Annie was flashing pics of the engagement rings for her fella and for the Universe, tell the Universe her preference. I walked out excited with the pupils dilated while we then shopped for TTG and Squid.

At 4:00PM it was decided that we don’t eat dinner at the mall – no Joey’s for us! Annie use to live in Calgary and declared that SHE knew we could travel Mcleod Trail and find a proper NON Fast food entre for us. FAB! Lead away Sista! We pile in and instantly become frustrated. Calgary is filled with stupid one-way streets with no left turns. Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine. We make a million right turns and continue heading north on Mcleod. I was feeling particularly hyper and felt the need to read aloud every single sign and shop I saw. Annie asked me if I ever shut up, I replied with I am only being helpful by listing possible eateries. The only restaurant we saw that we didn’t feel we needed to pack heat was Hooters AND kids eat free! Woohoo! Saturday night in Calgary was lookin’ fiine… We held a vote and by unanimous decision, kept driving. It did lead us down the road of speculation – a rich and honourable tradition in my family. Who takes the wife and kids to Hooters? Do they then travel to the Bass Shop and buy the lifetime supply for cheese doodles for dessert? It was interesting and lead to comments that are not suitable for posting – but funny none the less. As we traveled on Mcleod, the downtown core unfolded before us.

We saw the Calgary tower, Calgary’s largest phallic symbol. We wondered what it was like standing on the observation deck watching other people work at their desks. I don’t know about you, but I’d pay $50 bucks to ride up there and see that! Chatterbox had told the Universe that she wished to see the Calgary Tower. So, the universe led us there via Annie getting lost. We pulled in front and the girls piled out. Chatterbox took pictures of the tower and Squid took pictures of the buildings that were NOT the tower.

I helped out Squid by pointing to the tower…but this made no difference. So we all piled back in with Annie at the helm. She drove and drove while I continued to read every sign and building. We passed actual Hobos – they were sitting by the tracks, we passed an actual hippy love bus – it had flowers and peace signs painted on it, we passed the saddle Dome where we speculated the province would give Calgary arena money and not to Edmonton, and then we drove to places unknown. At this point my sister was frustrated with me and we magically turned into my mom and dad. My head was playing music and singing “lalalalalalalala” and Annie’s head was playing “Oh for crying out loud ET you are a WORST NAVIGATOR EVER!” In my defence, I didn’t think I needed to navigate because ANNIE LIVED IN CALGARY AND BRAGGED ABOUT KNOWING WHERE TO GO! I AM NOT A MIND READER – I am an anticipator and influencer, but in this instance, I TRUSTED HER. It is well documented how hard it is for me NOT to be in control. Did I boss her around? NO! Did I tell her what to do? NO! Did I trust her when she said she knew? YES! To be fair, without ANY HELP from me, other than my sign reading prowess, we she found our way back to the Deerfoot Trail. Still without food in our bellies. Luckily I am a mom and packed snacks…

Stay tunes for part II Where you will learn how to recognize a Moose and escaped convicts.

Show of hands please, who wears their jammies all day?

Dear Facebook,

Today you told me to buy this:

You thought I might enjoy a plus-size corset from SpicyLegs.com.  Facebook, take a good look at that gal…She is NOT A PLUS-SIZE Model! If I looked like her I would think about indulging in prettier underthings. I double dog dare you to squeeze me into that facebook. As it stands facebook, I have limited options. Granted, I wouldn’t spend serious money on it now because my sizes keep changing regularly. Besides, that is not the point.

Today you eavesdropped on my conversation with my pals. I was telling them about a snack time conversation I had with a FOUR YEAR OLD I had today. She asked me if I owned pajamas. You just couldn’t keep your comments to yourself now could you facebook? No, you could not. You didn’t even WAIT for me to give my friend an answer before you gave me options. Lets look at the options, shall we? Because as I glanced at all 4 of them, and facebook, you are getting to big your britches.

First of all, you suggested I purchase a Plus-Size corset. Then you showed me a picture of what I wouldn’t look like. Ouch facebook, ouch.

Secondly, you thought it would be fun for me to stay in my Pajamas ALL DAY and get paid to social network. Really facebook? Does Mark Zuckerman wear HIS pajamas all day? I don’t think so. People who wear their jammies all day tend to have labels attached to them, for example facebook, invalids, hospital patients, babies, Hefner, shift workers, Banana’s and apparently professional social networkers. I have a job facebook, and I quite like it thanks, AND I get to wear clothes to work.

Thirdly, you thought I might like to lose my belly fat. Again with the ouch facebook. In case you haven’t been reading my other updates, I will fill you in. I swam today for an hour. Yesterday I did 50 minutes of circuit training. I eat less and move more. Sure I have SOME belly fat left, but there is 4 clothing sizes less of me than there was at Christmas, so bugger off facebook. I refuse to pay you or your friends money so I can lose belly fat. That was a very low blow facebook.

The icing on the cake facebook was when you suggested. Lula Lu Petite Lingerie. One side of your mouth you are spouting plus-size and with the other AFTER I LOSE THE BELLY FAT, you want me in a -A cup size…NEGATIVE A?????  Have you seen George Clooney’s (my future ex-husband) girlfriends? They are NOT -A’s. They have CLEAVAGE. And thank you very much facebook, so do I. I wasn’t even a -A when I was an infant.

Facebook, I know you are lonely and want to sit at the grown-ups table for cool conversation. But this isn’t the way to go about it. Blurting out hurtful and impulsive things is just not okay. In my line of work when you do stuff like that, you get a time out. Is that what you really want facebook? Don’t MAKE me call your mom, because you know I will.

You’ve Got Mail!

When I was a kid, I loved it when I would come home and mom would say there was mail for me! It happened about once a year, when my Auntie from Winnipeg would mail me a package for my birthday. It was usually something cool, like the Boney M Record, a new wallet and matching rainbow key chain, or a Bee Gees 8-track. After I moved away from home, I got mail regularly in the form of bills. Not as much fun, so I joined some message board quilt swaps and traded everything from 6″ squares of quilters cotton, to a full size quilt. Yes it was expensive. I eventually stopped quilting altogether and donated my fabric stash and many many quilt tops to the quilters at Make-A-Wish Foundation here in Edmonton. They make a quilt for every child in Edmonton who gets a wish. Pretty cool actually. Often those quilt blocks were signed by the quilter who made them. I received stuff from New Brunswick, Canada, Ohio, USA, and even Tasmania, Australia. I did receive packages from everywhere else in between. I loved mail day. It got to the point where I could not afford that addiction hobby any more. Now I enjoy my finished quilts and am thrilled I made lots for everyone. ChatterBox still has her pink lemonade quilt hanging on her wall. It makes me happy to see it there.

Sadly, I don’t get mail anymore. At least not snail mail. I often wake up to 13 email in my regular account, 10 in my Edmonton Tourist account and  1 or 2 in my third account. Mail I still get and it’s fun…usually. My favorite email comes from friends who live far away and we support each other’s goal setting. My next favorite is for plans about family picnics. Yes it’s true, my family emails each other instead of calling. I prefer text, but mom and dad haven’t figured that out yet. I get assorted “junk” mail or spam that I sign up for and for some I don’t. But the best one is Monday morning. Tiffany & Co send me their weekly update filled with lovely sparkly things. Now that I have been to Tiffany’s I know their pictures are crap in comparison. Yet they are still lovely to look at and dream about.

Then today in the mail I got this

A lovely hand written thank you note from Jill at Tiffany & Co. in Calgary. People’s Jewelers never sent me a hand written note, neither did Ben Moss Jewelers. This lovely hand written note was Embossed with the return address. I carefully opened the envelope without tearing it and discovered a gem! Tiny embossed non printed words that said

Tiffany & Co Makers New York

It was on the edge of the envelope where the “licked” part sticks to. I noticed it was embossed and not heat set. It was actually stamped with an embosser. I come from a family of Printers and Pressmen. Excellent quality paper is not lost on me. I love the feel of a heavy weighted paper as it comes out of the envelope. It screams quality. In consultation with my Aunt and my Mom, both worked many years in the family print business, we discussed the type of paper it was. Without feeling it and holding it up to the light, they could only give their best guess. My Aunt thought it might be Crains Crest. It is a high quality paper that is uses for the best stationery and the American US dollar (or at least it was back in the 80’s.) Then I talked to my mom. She is a savant when it comes to paper. She asked me to hold it up to the light and describe it to her. Through the light you could see tiny lines that looked like it was woven then covered with an imprint. Mom figured it was a linen paper. Linen is more expensive that Crains Crest. Then I held it to my nose and breathed it in. It smelled like the paper room at the family print shop, it smelled like a new book, it smelled like my grandpa without the extra ink he always wore. It made me smile.

As I opened the envelope, the words “Tiffany & Co” were perfectly visible in the V of the envelope. A detail that would be lost to many but not to printers and graphic artists. As I pulled it out, This is what I saw:

I read the hand printed script, it said:

Dear Robyn,

It was such a pleasure meeting you and your daughter.

It was an honor to be part of your first Tiffany Piece.

I look forward to shopping with you both again soon.

Best Wishes

Jill

Let me just say that I have experienced some of the best customer service in the world. Included in that is Disney. They treat you like you are a million bucks. But Tiffany took it up a notch, from the way they treated my daughter, to the way they treated me and the service during and after. Then the note. Lots of companies would do well to take a page out of Tiffany’s customer service manual. It is likely the reason they have been around since 1837.

Well Jill, I love getting mail from you, so I look forward to shopping with you again too.

Because Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Got the Cindy Lauper song in your head now? Surprisingly that was the only tune we didn’t listen too on our chick trip to Calgary. Cast of Characters included :

  1. The Edmonton Tourist – Navigator and planner extraordinaire
  2. Polly Pocket – Pilot and Shopping Empress of the Universe
  3. ChatterBox – Master of the second wind (after the meds wore off) and water slide fiend
  4. Crash – Self contained tornado and lover of all things PINK!

We headed out for out shopping destination bright and early Saturday morning. The Plan was to get to the Crossirons shopping mall and spend ALL FREAKING DAY THERE! Then head over to the hotel and play on the waterslides.

Typically it takes about 3 1/2 hours to drive from Edmonton to Calgary unless you are driving in a car filled with ADHDers. I was not without a diagnoses so I fit in too. Crash diagnosed me with OCD, thank goodness because I was feeling left out! A word of caution to all of you who have never been in close quarters with so many ADHDers – expect to never rest and expect to hear CONSTANT talking. When I say constant, I mean every stinking second. When we hit Red Deer for the obligatory rest room and snack break, I was sure we had only been in the car 20 minutes. Polly doesn’t let grass grow under the wheels, that’s for sure! As quick as we got to Red Deer, it seemed just as quick getting to Calgary, 2 1/2 hours from Edmonton –  for the record.

There is was laid out before us. The stuff legends are made of. Crossiron Mills Shopping Centre spread out in all it’s mythical glory, ready to be conquered by the fab 4.

We entered the super sized building and immediately split up. Girls heading left, mom’s heading right. The mom’s were heading for the Coach Factory Store. We had heard mythical tales that we didn’t not believe possible. We were about to be convinced. I don’t believe in the old adage “seeing is believing” but in this case I need to be convinced. Once we caught a glimpse of the store front, I think we squealed. There was a guy out front who mocked us by clapping his hands a saying OMG it’s COACH! That made me laugh, I am sure he saw that a million times a day.

When we walked in, we were handed a 30% off everything in the store coupon. That included clearance AND sales. We scoured every nook and cranny before we found the bags that called to us. Mine were “deals of the day” and located on the $99 table. Apparently they feature different bags every day for $99 and they go fast. I grabbed 2.With the 30% off it was $69 EACH! I KNOW! Reg. $248!!!!!  I nearly fainted.

Do you remember Wilma and Betty from the Flintstone’s when they went shopping? They would yell Chaaaaarge IT! Then get all caught up in the feeding frenzy. That was me. I was willing fight off all those other women for my bags.

I’m sure an hour or more past before we were ready to get in the huge queue for the till.

The day went on in a blur. We found FCUK, Guess, Urban Planet, Fossil, Brooks Bros., Lush as well as old favorites like H&M, Winners, and Michael Kors. Before we left, we headed to the Bass Shop – or whatever it was called. None of us are much for fishing but we were told this store was a sight to be hold. This place was amazing! It was filled with life trout and taxidermy. If you are into that sort of thing, you seriously need to go!

After a long day of shopping the car looked like this:

The next day was filled with my beloved Tiffany’s and by day 2 of shopping the car looked like this:

I learned lots about traveling with ADHDer’s

  1. They will kiss moose
  2. They walk FAST
  3. They talk A LOT
  4. They laugh A LOT
  5. They are a great choice to go away with 🙂

Thanks Girls for the Great Trip!!!

Oh Calgary, I bow to your shopping prowess. But it is still ON when it comes to hockey…just saying.

 

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

I woke up this morning and slowly cracked open my eyes, then a huge grin spread across my face. It wasn’t a dream after all. The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was the new love of my life.

Her name is Tiffany.

She is silver and shiny and she is aaaaaaaall mine.

This past weekend I was lucky enough to be able to go on an all girls weekend to Calgary with Polly Pocket, her daughter Crash, and my lovely Chatterbox. We had these plans in the works for a long time, ever since we discovered there was a Coach factory store down in Calgary. I know what you are thinking, a Coach Factory store? That is too good to be true! Wait until you hear THAT story tomorrow…

Today’s story is about a dream come true. I know it seems shallow, desiring something from Tiffany’s so desperately. But it isn’t the contents of the blue box so much as what it represents.

We woke up around 9 Sunday morning and the girls went for a last trip on the water slides while we packed a TON of shopping packages up. We spend a full day shopping at Crossiron Mills. But today was about Tiffany & Co. The first stop was Tim Horton’s so we could eat breakfast at Tiffany’s Canadian style! Coffee and a danish to go, a little reminiscent of Holly Golightly! Then we drove south, towards the Chinook Center and all it’s glories.

As we neared the mall I started to hyperventlate a smidge. I had the same feeling I get when I am at Disneyland for rope drop. We parked and made our way in. When I saw the ropes outside the store and the classic windows, I started to shake. I can’t describe the feeling I felt. It was a dream come true. I saved for a very long time for this moment. This moment was about setting goals, achieving them, reaching for something I thought was unattainable, and then holding it my hand. A year ago I applied for University, never really believing I was smart or or good enough. That was the beginning to learning a whole pile of new stuff about me. I learned what I was made of, I learned what I was capable of and I learned failure happens. It isn’t about failing, it is about taking the learning lesson from it and applying it to the rest of your life. If you can do that, it isn’t a failure after all.

So here I was. Whipping out my danish, which I never ate, it was just for effect. My coffee in my other had and I stood in front of the window, smiling like a kid at Christmas. I posed for pictures, gulped my coffee, took a deep breath and entered.

I was greeted at the door by security, bidding me good morning. I was dazzled by the sparkling diamonds that proved to me no picture on earth can do these sparkling beauty’s justice. I lingered at the princess showcase, and thought wistfully of conversations past. I reminisced about all the events that flooded through my memory banks. This showcase holds some very special memories that I will never let go of. In fact, it brings hope for the future. I knew I needed to keep moving forward, as much as I wanted a princess cut diamond on my finger, it was not for me today. I moved forward into the back of the store. The store itself was shaped like the infinity symbol, it made it seem like everything went on forever. I found the keys and sighed softly. I telepathically told those keys I will be back for you once I graduate.

As I was drooling over the keys, a sales person came up to me and inquired if I needed help. My instinct was to say no. But the I remembered that I earned this. I worked damn hard this year. I saved for this. So I spoke up and said, yes I am looking for a Return to Tiffany heart tag key pendant. She replied the Return to Tiffany items are this way. I followed her eagerly.

She unlocked the showcase and pulled the pendant from the case, she explained it came on a 16″ chain and was about $120-$150, but she needed to check the skew because NOTHING had a price on it. I corrected her and said, it should be $180. I received a smile and was told she loves it when people research. That is me all over. I do nothing without planning. I told her I would take it and now we needed to shop for my Chatterbox.

I took a page right out of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and told her what our price range was for Chatterbox. Chatterbox had come down with a cold before we came and was holding her hand to her nose in a discreet way. Chatterbox could not express what she wanted other than needing a tissue. So the lucky dog was shown the way to the rest room. Being a girl after my own heart, she took pictures! Oh Chatterbox, you are the best!!

While she was doing a photo shoot in the restroom, I explained that Chatterbox loved charms, so off we went went to look at charms in her price range.

My daughter worked harder than anyone else I know this year. She raised her marks up to honours, she set and achieved goals and quite frankly, I couldn’t be prouder of her. So I topped up her savings to allow her to buy her very first Tiffany’s. A Tiffany Notes Heart pendant was chosen. I gave her my 16″ chain and bought myself a 20″ chain. The sales gal placed it around my daughters neck and I took the picture. Her first Tiffany’s.

Next was the big wrapping production. Out came two blue boxes, two lengths of ribbon and two pieces of tissue. I watched carefully as she tied the ribbon in that special way. We each received our own package. We were Tiffany virgins no more. The pride I felt at that moment was amazing. I achieved my first major goal and rewarded myself.

I will never let myself slip back into the old me again. The new me suits me.

Zip Your Lip

Did you every see the Adam Sandler Movie You Don’t Mess with the Zohan? I saw it years ago, and yes I laughed with a guilt that only comes from knowing you are laughing about a cultural difference is wrong on many levels…yet I laughed anyways. For those of you who do not feel the need to rush out and queue it up on Netflix, I will give you the basic premise so my blog today will have a frame of reference for you.

Adam Sandler plays  Zohan, an Israeli Special Forces Soldier who fakes his death so he can re-emerge in New York City as a hair stylist.

Let’s fast forward to yesterday. I was shopping with my Honey and ChatterBox. We were looking for swimsuits, phone chargers, Apple TV, and Coach Bags. Yes I bought my very first Coach Bag, she is beautiful and I love her more than my Offspring $15 boots that were a great find! While we were walking down the mall, we passed a kiosk where a man was holding a tray of salt and offered me some. Now I am never going to turn down a free hand scrub, so I accepted it. Massaging the salt into my hands was a tremendous stress reliever. I look at the fellow who offered it to me and he bluntly asked me, why have you never done anything about your Rosacea? I defended my position and exclaimed I did! I just have redness and not the acne associated with it. My new friend said (in a thick Israeli accent) “No no no no no, you are Scottish, Irish, or English, No? I can tell because those women always came to my salon in Israel looking for treatment and only I could help. I tell you what, I fix your rosacea, you zip your lip about the price, and we have a deal, no? Here, you sit, I be back.”

He had me charmed! I was memorized by his crass humor and his stereotypical behavior. To me, I was talking to Zohan aka Adam Sandler. The resemblance was uncanny! The mannerisms were identical!

He continued on ” Here you sit, you are too tall for me, I cannot reach. You know what they say, everyone is the same size in bed.” He just shrugged as he looked at Chatterbox, looking a tad bit remorseful. So I sat, I was getting a facial! WOOHOO! He went on to explain the importance of serum to repair my cheeks, “Now look, I put this on and boom, already it is better, No?” ChatterBox was all over it! She was WOW what a HUGE difference, while Honey looked and shrugged his shoulders saying he couldn’t tell. Then my new friend pulled out the collagen and put it on half my face Are you kidding me? That was an instant face-lift! Half my face lifted up towards my eyes. ChatterBox replied with a HOLY COW! My new friend then produced a mirror and said this was a “This is a $495 value, but because you are so beautiful, I will give it to you for $295 but zip your lip about the price. Here, take my arm and will walk over here.” I’m a sucker for an elbow being offered to me, so off I went to the cash register with him. He started writing it up and I said, I can’t afford this stuff! It’s too expensive. “Ok ok, here’s what I do for you, I throw in a facial, a $75 value, but you must come to my salon downtown”  Hold on there Tex! I cannot pay $300 for face cream, are you kidding me? “Ok ok, we can see you bought a Coach bag, you like fine things. Let me see what I can do” Off to his calculator he went, he made a LOT of frowny faces, and huffed and puffed, then he said ” Ok ok, I give you my manager’s discount. I only give my mother this discount, but you zip your lip and tell no one the fabulous deal I give. When they tell you how gorgeous you look, you send them to me. I do not want your mother, sister and all your friends to come to me looking for this deal, do we understand each other? $250 and it’s yours, only my mother should see such a deal!” $250! Are you kidding me? No, I cannot afford that. “You drive hard bargain, Ok ok, I sell you this jar for $125, still give you the facial, and then you can buy the serum at the facial if you still want it. That’s my bottom line.”

I looked over at my family, and I am killing myself laughing. There is no way I would spend that much money on face cream! Tiffany boxes – YES! Coach bags – YES! Face Cream? HA! No way Zohan. Mrs. Stadler has the nicest skin in my family, she uses No. 7 from Boots Drug Store. It is $30. I look at Zohan, put the coupon on the counter and give him a firm “No”

“That’s it? No, just like that? No? Really? No?” was what I heard as I walked away.

That was the most fun I had in a long time. He was hilarious. Go see him, just zip your lip about the price.

PSA – Honestly it is!

I have been suffering from the homework blues! That is where I am most nights. Reading, studying, taking notes, researching things that will bring me (hopefully) a high mark! That is my plan for world domination for success. High marks for the over achiever in me.  I handed in my boring paper and voila! Here I am ready to blog with renewed vigor and enthusiasm.

It is confession time. I haven’t only been doing homework. I learned about a little website  that feeds nutrients into my soul. I spend as often as possible over there. It is like porn for me (it’s okay mom, nothing shocking is going to be written). Trophi Girl told me about this website over lunch on Thursday and since that moment in time I have been hooked. I am addicted. My Honey found me staring at the screen with drool forming at that corners of my mouth. This place is my nirvana. I am like a cheap hooker with a crack addiction. I need my fix daily. I make a point not to bring my credit card into the office for reasons that will lead to bankruptcy. Therefore, I feel it is my duty to share this Public Service Announcement with my friends/bloggers and fellow shoe addicts.

Showdazzle is the name and $39.99 shoes is the game! It sets up a profile for you and finds shoes, bags and jewelry that will tempt your sensations, all for the unbelievable price of $39.99. I kid you not. I don’t even get a friend credit for this PSA. I am sharing it out of the goodness of my heart. It brings me joy, and quite frankly it will bring YOU joy too.

You are welcome.

Got to Love a Long Weekend!

The past few weeks for me have I have been in a funk. You could probably tell by the lack of posts. Who wants to post stuff that sad? Not me. I want to try to keep a positive outlook. So that’s the reason for less than stellar blogs. All bloggers go through this, not much going on in their heads or stuff that just isn’t post worthy. For reasons known only unto me and a few close family members and friends, the tide has turned so to speak and the blue sky is shining through into my life for a moment. This is good news, heck… this is GREAT NEWS!

This past weekend was a long one for us Albertans. It was Family Day Weekend. A holiday created out of the need to give us a much needed break in the throes of the hideous winter. I need that break so stinking bad it wasn’t funny! I have a friend who challenged me to nurture myself. I did it. I spoiled myself rotten. You know something else? I plan to do it more often! I took myself to the AGA. I went to the Tiffany & Co. Counter at Holt Renfrews! I tried on a pair of Louis Vuitton Shoes…. Let’s just say I am developing a taste for fabulous.

I spent some serious time looking at Kate Spade bags. I found a Coach Bag I have to have. The worst of it is, I saw it on the should of a gal I work with. I don’t care if it is the same bag I want. I hardly see her at work. I want it. The good news is, I have a plan.

I started Face Painting again. My booking agent (aka Santa) was very generous and slotted me into two slots right away. This will make a big difference for me. I am able to save and spend money without feeling guilty about family needs. I want to clarify something first. My Honey doesn’t hold the purse strings, it is just, like most families, finances are tight. Especially with me going back to school. By earning my own extra cash, I am able to buy stuff for ME without thinking that ChatterBox has grown another 4 inches or groceries are going up. All that is taken care of in our household account. No, my Face Painting money is my crazy mad money. First of all, I am buying myself a lap top. There are too many people needing the computer for homework. I need my own. Then I am saving for an iPad. Why you ask? I covet them. I love my iphone so why wouldn’t I love an iPad? Quit asking crazy questions! Then I am going into Coach and I am getting myself a fabulous bag. I may buy one before the iPad. I know! Now you understand how much I want one!!! When I was at Tiffany’s I discovered I want a Tiffany key really badly too. There is NO WAY I can Face Paint enough for that. Good thing I have a lotto ticket in my purse.

The next thing I did for me was go to my Hairdresser and tell her I want a new look. She got all excited and Jumping Jellyfish Batman, I have a whole new look! I have straight hair. Gone is the clown hair of yesterday. I am not sure how long the straight locks will stay, but ONE day for sure.

Coming up more self nurturing on the horizon. Next stop, the Library. I know that sounds wild and crazy. I love libraries and book stores. I want to flip through magazines. I miss the days where buying magazines was a regular occurrence. I just can’t justify them anymore. The expense and the green factor just put me off it. The library carries them. Maybe Thursday if I get my homework done, I will reward myself with a little library time.

First things first,  I need to register for yoga class. I will do that tomorrow. Life is getting good.