Wednesday, June 18, 2014

My old dog Dez: Post from the past

Rescue Dog

She was a runway no one wanted.

She had roamed the streets for a bit and picked up a few others like her on the way. You would think that would harden a girl, but when I got to her she was still the happiest, most carefree thing on the planet.

She looked at me with puppy dog eyes and tried to crawl under her cage door in her excitement to meet me. I named her Desdemona.

Dezi smile
That smile

Happiness is contagious

Dez loved everyone with ferocious intensity.

She met every person at the door with a well placed two front paws to the groin and a plan to lick the heck out of them before they left the house.

She chased a lot of guys off that way.

She had an amazing ability to put your entire forearm into her mouth and lick you with both sides of her tongue. You would be dripping with dog slobber by the time you could disengage yourself.

Odd dog toy

Her favourite toy was a doll I got from Value Village.

She tore it to bits and left little pieces of baby throughout the house. You could say "Dez, go get your baby head" and she would trot off and bring back the doll's head with such pride.

She played with balloons and tennis balls and ropes, but her most favourite thing was people.

Dezi's best friends

She loved a few people more than others.

Our friend and room mate, Shannon was one of her favourites.

Shannon would get down on the floor with her and give "Dezi hugs". Dez pretended she was not impressed, but secretly she loved them. Shannon would take her running around the lake and Dez would be more energetic when she got home than when she left.

The dog was born to run.

Desdemona also loved one of Shannon's friends named Chris, our room mate Dave and babies.

Dez loved little kids. I think for lunch, but that was never proved.

Her two favourite things - babies and bath

Reluctant owner

When I brought Desdemona home, my mother was not impressed.

I hadn't gotten permission from her.

In fact, the only reason I got her was that my Dad felt that Davy (my sister, Ky's dog) would be lonely while Dad was working in Europe. As he was leaving for 3 months, he suggested I go pick a dog out from the Humane Society.

I feel like he thought that out pretty well.

I promised Mom she wouldn't get any bigger.

I lied. She was only 7 months when I brought her home.

She got bigger.

Mom's champion

Dez loved Mom.

Mom used to play with her despite claiming she had no time for it. Mom would take her out on walks and run Dez down a block and back just for fun.

When Mom first got sick, it was Dez that noticed.

She would sit by Mom's chair with her head on the armrest and whimper.

She sat for hours like that making sure Mom was okay.

Before Mom's first hospital visit, I had to force Dez to go outside to pee. She didn't want to leave Mom's side and she was none too happy that I would even suggest it.

Keeping Mom company


Dez met her best friend when she was 4.

She heard Lexi on the other side of the fence and knew she had to do something. So, she tore the fence down.

Lexi and she played for hours back and forth, chasing each other, eating things they shouldn't and playing fetch. They had a system when Lexi would catch the ball and present it to Dez with flair so that Dez could return it and get the praise.

Lexi was a bit over zealous at times and Dez was the only one who could keep her in line.

Dez and Lex
Lexi (left) and Dez (right)

Sports injury

One day when they were playing, something happened and Dez hurt herself.

She hobbled for a week or so and it got so bad we took her in for X-rays.

She had sliced a piece of bone off her back leg. The piece was the size of a glass shard, but held all her tendons.

It couldn't be repaired easily.

They hoped it would right itself and we put Dez in her kennel for 30 days on serious amounts of Valium. She was so sad I could hardly bear it. And, the month didn't help.

So we let her roam again, but the worse the pain got, the worse she got.

One day she ran from the house and attacked another dog.

We knew it was time.

Saying goodbye

We made the appointment at the vet's office and Lyn, Dad and I went with her.

Saying goodbye to Dez was the hardest thing any of us had ever done. I don't think I ever saw Dad cry that hard.

Mom was going to be in the hospital that week so had to say goodbye before she went.

Later Mom would say she was happy Dez had to go before she was really sick because Dez just wouldn't have understood.

Dez saying bye to Dad


I was hit with such devastation after Dez died I didn't know how to recover.

Looking back, I think it was the knowledge of what was to come.

If I had to say goodbye to Dez, it meant I may have to say goodbye to other people and things I loved.

To help me make sense of things, Mom and I went out to Mom's favourite relaxation place, the cabin by the lake. We spent the afternoon one day making a memory book and filling a shoe box full of Dez's things.

I painted it white with Dez's name in blue and lovingly placed into it Dez's brush, collar and baby doll head.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Kitchen progress - sort of settled: New house update

Considering I've updated you all on every moment of this house build, it's only fair I keep you in the loop.

We are in our house and getting settled.  We now have a fridge, a working dishwasher, and back pain.

Oh, the back pain.

Unpacking blues

I've been spending my free time opening boxes and deciding where important things should go for the rest of their lives. It's very strenuous.

The potato masher needs a good home, people!

The kitchen is the only place I am even close to being done. The living room is a near second.  The Guy has organized and unpacked his office, and is now fixing and installing little things around the house.

We will be fully settled someday.  In time for my retirement party, I assume.

The Kitchen


Kitchen layout

In case you forget, this is the layout of my kitchen.  You enter from the foyer on the left hand side and come straight into the kitchen. It stretches from one end of the house to the other and is bathed in southern light.

It's exactly what I wanted.


The island is a thing of beauty. It is shiny and lovely and enormous. It is 8 feet long and 4 feet wide and has SO MUCH ROOM FOR ACTIVITIES!

The accent wall with my paintings

In the island is a deep sink with an awesome faucet that does all sorts of neat things. I'm super paranoid about water spots and scratches right now, so I'm being fanatical about wiping every droplet.

It also has a working dish washer. That was a bit of a struggle to get, so I'm thankful it's there.

I am still in awe that I no longer have to wash by hand.

So much in awe.

Fridge and Stove

My fridge is also now present and working. After over a week of going to the garage to get anything resembling food, I have been excited to put things in a shiny new refrigerator.

It takes so little to please me.

Small minds and the like.

I also now have a stove! It is gas and shiny and easy to use.

Despite one small mishap when I forgot I had something on the stove and burnt it to a crisp, it has been a wonderful addition in our lives. I love using it and am almost excited to MAKE stuff.

Anyone who knows my hatred of all things cooking will be amused by this.

Pantry door and stove


I explained to someone today that I have been planning the organization of this kitchen for 6 months now. It's only fair I get to really do it up right.

I have shelf liners in every drawer and cupboard and I have everything organized based on type, purpose, and amount of use.

I'm a big nerd. I'm aware.

Pot drawers are amazing

I cannot express to you the joy I have found in pot drawers. I have 6 of them and I'm in love.

I only have 6 pots, so I could do one in each!

I haven't, but I could.

Instead, I have drawers of plastic happiness (what my Dad calls Tupperware - it amuses me), a drawer for our toasters, and drawers for things I never knew could go in drawers.

I'm in my happy place.

I have not organized the pantry yet, but I will get there eventually. I am waiting on a couple of turning tray thingies that I'm forcing my brother to foray into Ikea to pick up for me and then I can go to town.

One room down, a zillion to go.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Monty would like you to call SPCA

Since moving into the new house, it has been a whirlwind of activity.

Change is hard

Monty has been on edge for months since he saw us starting to pack up the rental in April.

Mom packs a bag, there is obviously something wrong.

2012-06 Monty and Monkey
Sucky baby

Since being in the new house, it's even worse. There is chaos everywhere.  


The Guy and I sleep in separate rooms (taking turns on the couch) because our bed has not arrived. Monty goes from one room to the next and back again because he needs to check on both of us while we sleep.

During the day, our every waking moment is spent unpacking. Boxes are everywhere and I am constantly on the go. 

For a dog who must be near me at all times, this is quite exhausting for poor Monty.

Shadow in dog form

He follows at my heels as I traipse from room to room, putting things in places, moving things to other places, or standing around doing things. He stares at me with sad dog eyes wishing I would sit for awhile and give him cuddles.

If I do sit anywhere for more than a minute, he collapses on the floor in a heap.  

Later today on I, MayB: Monty would like someone to pay attention to him.
As I work on my project.

The moment I so much as move, he is up and on alert.

He is an anxious mess.

Bad dog mommy

We are not helping him any either.

The Guy has temporarily moved to night shift at work.  This is problematic for Monty as it means both The Guy and I have similar hours of work and Monty is alone in a strange place with strange sounds and he is abandoned.

The first night we went to work, he barked for almost 3 hours with only a 1/2 hour break in the middle.

It was then our tenants (and good friends) came and rescued him.

That has been our itinerary for the last week or so. We leave the door to the common space open, Monty says good bye and then snuffles at the tenants door so they will let him in.  He lounges for a bit, says goodnight to Lil E, and then heads upstairs.

Easy peasy.

Well, as long as his parents remember a few important things.

One night, The Guy forgot to leave a light on. Strange place, strange noises, and darkness = freaked out dog.

Bad dog?

A week later, we both thought the other one had let him out to pee. As soon as he went into the tenants house, he peed on the sheepskin rug that was a gift from Lil E's grandparents when they were in AUSTRALIA.

Of course, he did.

Two days after that, we got so busy in the house we forgot what time it was.

Monty was quiet.

Until he peed on the floor.

Moral of the story

I am trying to make sure I pay attention to Monty.

When I am taking down time, I try and spend lots of time showing love.

I think, until we all settle into the house, we will all be a little on edge.

I really hope he's the only one who pees on the floor though.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Frustrations and thankfulness

You would think that finally moving into our new house would mean I was bursting at the seams with excitement and unable to control myself from showing you everything.


Not so much.

We are in. That is true.

Moving issues

We went without a fridge for 5 days, our dishwasher leaked all over the floor, the closets are a disaster, and neither The Guy or I have slept more than 5 hours a night since we moved in.

Montel has cried and barked for hours every time we leave the house and the soundproofing will only be effective once the entry way is finished and isn't so echoey.

I am happy to be here, but I will be happier to be settled.

Here are the things I am able to be thankful for this week.


  1. My brother had a health scare the last few months, but got some good news recently.

    He might be a butt face, but he's ours and we don't want to lose him anytime soon.

    We had SO MANY matching outfits

  2. My father and his wife arrive in Canada in a few days. He will arrive to my house after the middle of the month. I'm hoping I have a bed for them by then.

    Dad and Tanya
    This is a perfect picture of them as a couple.
    Dad is very pleased with himself
    Tanya is one step from rolling her eyes at him.

Life improvements

  1. The coffee "bar" area in the new house is awesome. It looks that much better now that we have a fridge and don't have to go to the garage for creamer.


    It will be better when I get a chance to decorate more, but LOOK!!!
  2. I got an award from the Women's Committee at my Union for the work I've done. I was pretty impressed - even with the misspelled name!


  3. I got an accidental day off today. I have no idea why I booked it. I guess God knew I would need the break by now.

The next step

This coming weekend will have me working to finish unpacking the kitchen, starting on the bathroom, working on my private contract, taking time to hang out with Lil E and Monty, and collapsing in a heap on the floor.

Some time soon, when I can laugh about it, I will start talking about the house.

I'm not there yet.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Librarian: a post from the past

I originally wrote this post in April of 2010. Librarians played such an integral part of my childhood and now many people I know and tolerate love (including my sister) are librarians.

As I am currently researching and writing for my contract work, I thought fondly of doing papers with the support and knowledge of our local librarians.

If you know a librarian, or you know how to find anything about any topic, thank them for enriching your mind and our lives.


The Librarian

Since the beginning of time, or at least the beginning of our lives in this city, my family has been going to the same library.

Every weekend, my mother would bundle the four of us kids up and we would begin the trek down the street to the library.  It was not a far walk, by any means, but it seemed that way to us.  A baby in a stroller, an older toddler, a geeky trouble maker, me (practically perfect in every way), and Mom wandered down the 4 or 5 blocks to the library.

old books (2)
Can't you just smell the knowledge?

We had certain rules and guidelines before we were let loose in the library.  No running, no yelling, and only as many books as we can carry home.  This usually meant 10 - 15 children's books for me.  It wasn't near enough, but I knew we would be coming back the next week.

Many of the librarians in our library were there from the beginning.  There is the lady who looks like Dave Foley in drag, the lady with the really long hair and low voice, the other lady, and the one who we moved next door to about 15 years later.  They were the staples of our library.  They knew our names, what we liked to read, what grade we were in, and which movies were playing on Kid's Movie Day.

I never really thought about them much.  I knew they would always be there.  I knew that the one with the long hair would sneak me racy Western novels when I was 13 and Mom wasn't looking.  I knew they existed in the library, but didn't think of them in the outside world.  To me, they would just always be there.

Old timey librarians (via)

This week, I went in to get a new library card.  The long haired librarian with the smokey voice was there.  She instantly knew who I was despite the fact it had been years since I had seen her.  She asked about my sisters, my brother, my father in Ukraine.  She was thrilled that I had gotten married and wanted to know all about it.

We talked about the last time I got a new card (I was 12 and thus allowed to check out books without Mom's permission!) and how many years it had been since I had been visiting the branch.  We thought about it and realized it has been over 25 years.  She laughed.  The first time she met our family, she was 10 years younger than I am today.

Getting older is a bitch.

We chatted for a bit and I carried on my way with a handful of knitting books and a promise to come in and visit more often.  I thought about it and realized how lucky we are.  It is a rare place indeed where the staff of an establishment watches you grow up and becomes such a huge part of your life.

I like how small the world is some days.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

My top 10 shoe picks for women who hate shoe shopping

Today, I had a small meltdown.

Shoe shopping is not fun

I went to pick out a pair of runners for every day wear. The first thing the girl showed me these:

Yeah. 15 colours. NO.

After a rant about how I am a damn grown-up, I went to two other stores and bought a pair of reasonable shoes.

Comfortable shoes

This led to a very interesting conversation on Facebook about how I have no sense of joy.

It's true.

But, like I said, I did the neon thing in 1987.  I am NOT doing it again.

Finally, my cousin asked for help with her shoe issues. And I do mean issues.

So here is my list.

The essential shoes for women who hate shoes 

1. Black riding boots

Good with dresses or skinny jeans!

I love a good pair of black boots. I bought the most expensive pair of my life and I wear them with everything. Skinny jeans, tights, or bare legs, they look great with everything. You cannot go wrong with one good pair.

I have a pair of brown boots I bought in Vegas 5 years ago and they are my favourite.

3. Neutral dress shoes 

low heel, sling-back

There is always a spring or summer wedding you need to go to. Have a pair of these handy. You will never go wrong.

4. Black dress shoes 

black pumps - classic

Also, you will have a Christmas party or fancy dinner to go to. Black pumps is a must. You must have a pair of black pumps. Skirts, dress pants, or LBDs need a good pair of pumps.

5. Flat slip-on casual shoes

Black, classy, and comfy.

These are for casual jobs, lunch with friends, or a coffee date. They are also just a good go to shoe.

6. Comfy casual sneakers 

Basic, but cute.

These are great because you can buy a thousand cheap pairs of these. These are shoes that never stress you out. They don't judge you or make you feel bad about yourself. They just accept you are wearing comfy pants.

7. Cute ballet flats in as many colours as you want! 

Aren't these the cutest?

These are the cuter version of casual sneakers. They make you feel pretty and think that everyone is smiling just for you.

8. Leather flats 

Fry Carson Sandals

A good pair of leather sandals are worth the money. Trust me.

9. Runners


You will need to work out eventually. Get a pair of runners. But, for the love of God, not the neon ones.

10. Wedges!! 

Ralph Lauren wedge 

I might be biased, but these are my go to for everything. All summer long, I wear these and maxi skirts and tank tops. Don't get too high of wedges because your feet will hurt.