Friday, January 6, 2017

Conditioned response

I can't believe the holidays are over.  As a kid they seemed to last forever, but now everything seems to be moving at warp speed.

We had a nice time visiting everyone.  Christmas Eve was the the Hargreaves clan.  Brad's Dad was out of the hospital, so he was able to join us which was great.  I get along great with my brother and sister in law and so we had a great time playing cards with them, my nephews and the boys.

Saturday we played a bit of a joke on the kids.  We kept their big gifts hidden away.  They opened all of the present under the tree and were really happy with all of things that they got.  We cleaned up all of the wrapping paper carnage and started to make some breakfast.

Somewhere in the midst of making breakfast, Brad got his drama on and made up some charade about finding some presents etc etc.  Zach got his phone and virtual reality headset and Logan got the PS4.

Both were over the moon.  I have since tried the VR and let me tell you it's nuts.  You can look  up, down, 360 degrees around you are immersed in this world. There is a bunch of apps, so we have swum with sharks, explored the Grand Canyon on a tight rope and gone on a roller coaster.  The roller coaster one is unbelievable.  My stomach went up and down as if I was really on it.  At one point I had to take the headset off because I thought I was going to be sick it felt that real.

After breakfast we headed up to the hospital to visit my Grandma.  Christmas at the hospital is pretty glum.  But we tried to make the most of it.  We brought her some gifts (ones that would be enjoyable, but practical for the hospital knowing that she wouldn't be moving back to her apartment) and some english biscuits.  I have been told repeatedly by my Grandma that the cookies in the hospital are beyond subpar.

In the past we always went to Grandma's apartment block and rented out the coffee shop for Christmas, but this year, with Grandma in the hospital there was no real reason to do so.  It was super practical, but always felt so antiseptic.  Instead, we had Christmas dinner with my Mum's side at my place.  It was really nice and felt like the Christmases we used to have.  I loved it, but felt really guilty for loving it without Grandma being there.

Boxing day was with the Preston clan at my Uncle Bob's place.  It's funny, the dynamic has totally changed.  A number of years ago, my boys were really small, but I was the only one in that stage of life.  No one else had kids.  Now, my kids are teenagers and we have a second baby boom with Wade, Easton and Fay all under 3.  Christmas is really fun with the little munchkins running around.  At my in laws, the boys and their cousins are relatively close in age, so they all hang out together, but there is a 13 year age gap between Zach and Fay, so it's a little different on the Preston side.  That being said, everyone tries to make sure that all the kids, big and small have lots of fun and feel loved on Boxing Day.

My birthday was lots of fun.  Debbie and David hosted this year.  Debbie went above and beyond. She organized "minute to win it" games for all the kids (and the adults).  It kept all 9 kids (8 boys and 1 girl) busy and made for lots of laughs for the adults.

I felt all the love with Birthday cake and extremely thoughtful gifts.  Although, they did sing Happy Birthday, which they know I hate, which is probably the reason they do it.


But all good things come to an end and back to work we go.  Brad and I went back on January 3rd, but the boys are still off until January 9th.  Lucky b*ggers.   However, it has somewhat worked in my favor though.  I refuse to let them sit around playing video games all day, so they have been assigned chores to do.  Boys have had to shovel the driveway (and backyard so Stella can move around), vacuum the house, do laundry, clean the kitchen, organize their rooms.  My little minions have been busy.

Going to miss that when they go back.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming.  When we had our Grey Cup party, I was chatting with my friend Kat.  I am not sure how we landed on the topic of shampoo, but we did.  I have really fine hair, as does Kat and was complaining how it just falls flat all the time.  Kat said that she has started a new trick whereby she conditions first and then shampoos.  Seems so foreign... I can't do that!!!

But what do I have to lose, my hair looked like a cat's breakfast anyways.   I was really surprised... it works!  Your hair still feels really soft, but it isn't weighed down at all.  Lots of volume.  Woot.

I have now adopted it into my regular regime in the mornings.

Fast forward to Christmas when my friend Erin gave my a great gift basket from the body shop.  It was Pina Colada scented.  Yum!

Now it's sad to admit, but whenever I get new shower stuff, I am excited! I can't wait to try it.  So yesterday, I was all a glow with anticipation to try this new body scrub.

Loved it.  Super soft skin.  Blow dried my hair as usual and got dressed.  Looking in the mirror after I noticed my hair looked a tad greasy.  I felt the back and it was still damp, so I chalked it up to not drying it fully and went down for breakfast.

Heading out the door, I pulled on my super s*xless winter boots.  In the process of doing so, I got a bunch of melted boot water (Canadians will know what I mean here).  So before leaving I went to wash my hands.

Looked up at the mirror and was dismayed to see my hair was still greasy.  What the heck?  Perplexed, I stood there mulling the situation only to gasp in revelation.

I forgot to shampoo.

In my excitement over the Pina Colada scented shower, I forgot to shampoo after I put the conditioner in.  Awesome.

There was no time for me to wash it again, or I would have been late for work.  I also couldn't leave my hair down as I would have looked like a total greaser as the day went on.  So I opted for what all girls do when a coiffure goes sideways. I opted for a ponytail.

While this was a solid solution to my problem, it was a double edged sword.  I never wear my hair up, so people noticed the difference, which means they were looking at it, which was the thing I was trying to avoid in the first place.

In the end I made it thought the day without any "Shower Much?" comments, which was nice of everyone.

Today is a new day, full of hope, promise and a clarifying shampoo.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Carded

Last year, I made the (somewhat) bold decision to not send out Christmas cards.  It was for a variety of undramatic reasons, but mostly I just got tired of the "look at how perfect we are" letters and pictures that you read over for 5 seconds and then send out with the recycle on Dec 26.

In chatting with my friend last year about the card embargo, I said something along the lines of "it's not like anyone keeps track..."  She smiled, blushed and replied... "I do".

At the time I giggled to myself in a way that girlfriends do when they are poking fun at each other and didn't give it a second thought.

Fast forward to Christmas 2016.  Apparently Erin is onside with the majority of people who keep a list!!  Last year we easily go 40 cards or so.  This year? 12.

How quickly I have fallen out of favour.  At first I didn't care, but then I started to get annoyed, How fickle are these people that I am ruthlessly scratched off the Christmas card list after a one year hiatus**.

**As a side note, I realize this is wildly hypocritical.

They don't know if I intentionally made the decision to opt out of an overpriced 3-second-soon-to-be-recycled card.  For all they know it could have got lost in the mail, post office could have flooded or perhaps my vehicle broke down on the way to the post office and I was so distraught I forgot to mail them?

Seeing as Erin is my source for this type of greeting card list behavior, I had to circle back in the name of research. Is that the norm?  Is that what keepers of lists do? Apparently Erin has a systematic holiday greeting card algorithm;

  • If you send her a card and she likes you (new friend, coworker etc), you are added to the mailing list (lucky you, because she is quite an awesome person). 
  • If you have knowingly moved on to the holiday party in the sky, you are removed from the list, but not before sending some love and light your way.
  • If you have morphed into a giant d*uchebag over the course of the year, you are unceremoniously removed from the list.

But what does she do with someone who previous held a glorified position on her list who does not send her a card? Ay, there's the rub.

Here is Erin's system.  If you miss out one year, you are given a one year grace period, a benefit of the doubt if you will.  Maybe you ran out of stamps, maybe the card fell between the car seats and it was simply a one off.  However if you miss two years in a row the game has changed.  You have had more than a year to save up the $1.00 required to send her a card and for gawd sake if you've lost two cards in between the seats of your car, what other unspeakable horrors lurk down there?

It is at this point that Erin will mentally thank you for your years of kind consideration and quietly remove you from the register.

This seems far more reasonable and as such I should have received  at least somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 cards.  What this means is that I have been given no grace period, no time to save up some change for a stamp or clean my car.

You know what though?  To use a horrible trite phase; At the end of the day...it doesn't matter how many cards are on my mantle.  The holiday season to me is the warm, festive get togethers with my friends and family, the goofy holiday traditions we keep up, buying that perfect gift I know will make a friend smile.Well that... and a holiday pour of wine and some Toffifee by the fire.




Friday, December 9, 2016

Budget Queen

Every Christmas I set out a detailed budget for Christmas Shopping.

Since I tend to get caught up in finding the perfect gift, I have learned from past Mastercard bills to stick to the budget... always stick to the budget.

As I have done in past years, I have saved like a squirrel to the point where I pay cash for all of the Christmas gifts.  For some reason, saving my scheckles so I can walk in and plunk down cash makes me feel like a rock star.  Ok, debit card doesn't have the same rock star feel, but you get the gist of it.  As a side note, technology is robbing us of those satisfying moments...I have a profound sense of loss over not being able to slam down a phone when warranted.  Angrily pressing "end call" doesn't have near the same satisfaction.

Back to shopping.  I love shopping but I am not a huge fan of parking.  It wasn't so bad when we had the car or the Rav, but parking our huge truck is ludicrous.  While Brad can squeeze the truck into a spot meant for a smart car, I am relegated to parking at the far end of the lots next to all the fancy cars, whose owners are terrified of scratches from the commoners.

Cue online shopping.   LOVE it.  Starting on Black Friday, I got some great deals.  The best one was a phone for Zach.  Now, I had always said I would never get my kid a phone before he turned 14.  Sigh.  Never say never.

His teacher actually suggested it to help keep a record of his assignments due dates as Zach tends to shy away from writing things down.  Plus, he is one of 3 kids in the whole class who don't have them.  Seriously.  WTF?

I admit defeat.   I thought I would get him a 5S, which is $0.  When I looked online, MTS was having a black friday sale and the 6S iphone was on sale for $99 (regularly $120).  I couldn't justify it, Brad doesn't even have a 6S phone, so the 5S was just fine.

My friend suggested that I buy the phone via the mobile shop at Superstore.  I have walked by the mobile shop 1000x and never even noticed it.  Apparently on Black Friday they were having a one day sale.  You could get the same MTS phone, but you would get an added bonus of 250,000 PC points.

For those not familiar PC points are the Superstore reward points.  250,000 points equates to $250 in groceries.  Yes please!

When I got the superstore after work, there was a huge line and two young guys trying to hold down the fort.  By the time it was my turn, I had been waiting for easily a half hour.  To his credit, the kid was really trying to be helpful, but I could tell that he was done.  I said I wanted to get the 5S phone for $0.  They didn't have any.  Sold Out.  Well sh*t.

At that point a Pizza Pizza delivery boy showed up.  No kidding. Even though this kid was working in a grocery store, he clearly wanted no part of it and ordered out.  My respect for him went up ten fold.  He excused himself to go pay for the pizza and then came back to help me. With a renewed sense of purpose he said, "You know what?  I don't even care.. I'll give you the 6S for $0 instead.  Does that work?"

Yes. Yes it does.

Major score.  I practically skipped to the till.

Problem is now I got Zach a phone which Logan REALLY wants.  I couldn't help but visualize Christmas morning with Logan being so disappointed.  Now I know some perfect parents will drone on about how things don't have to be equal... that they are individuals.. That very well may be true when it comes to their emotional needs, but when it comes to gifts? Yeah, don't kid yourself.... brothers keep score.

I knew that Logan wanted a PS4.  But since we already have an xbox one (xbox 360 as well), it was hard to justify.  I have been preparing Logan for the fact that he won't be getting one for Christmas as they are too expensive.  Then the phone score changed things.

Since I had a budget assigned to each of the boys and Zach's big gift now cost be nothing (outside of the monthly bill, but I am choosing not to factor that in at this point), I could reallocate the funds assigned to Zach to Logan and I'd have enough for a PS4.

Add to cart.

I am all but done shopping now, except for stocking stuffers which I will continue to accumulate until Christmas Eve.

I have just a few things on my own wish list.  Not sure why, but any other time of year I can think of a million things I'd love to have, but come Christmas, I can't think of any.    Slippers, a hair dryer (see a previous post for the urgency of this request) and Kinetic sand.

Kinetic sand is the coolest. It's technically for kids, but 38 falls in the Ages 3 and up, so I'm good.

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Take it down to the paint

For as long as I can remember we have cut the boys hair.  They always seemed to want brush cuts like their Dad.  It was great because with one set of high quality clippers we have saved years of having to pay for haircuts.

Not Zach
Recently Logan has wanted hairstyles that there is no way that I could attempt with clippers alone, so we have started taking him into the salon.  Zach on the other hand truly does not care and the simpler the better.  Brush cut it is.

This weekend I was sitting across from Zach at dinner and noticed that his hair was looking a little unkempt.  His hair is poker straight and super thick, so as it grows it basically goes straight up, extremely similar to the photo here (Zach wouldn't let me take the "before" photo).

Since Logan has started going to the salon, I wanted to give Zach the opportunity to go.  But Zach is really shy and doesn't like crowds, so the idea of going to the mall during the busy Black Friday weekend was not something he wanted to do.  Cue clippers.

I asked Z how long he wanted it, to which he replied that he wanted it the same length as Brad's.

Since Brad was the last one to use the clippers, I left the guard that was already there on and started to give Z a haircut.  The first strip and I panicked. It was short.  REALLY SHORT. I can see your scalp perfectly kind of short.

The problem with clippers is that there is no going back.  One super short strip and you are committed.  So I had no other choice but to keep going.

At first Zach and I were laughing as I was working on the back of his head.  Once I made my way to the front he started freaking out and he had every right to!  OMG.  I haven't felt that bad about something in a really really long time.

So we finished and Zach stormed off to have a shower and rinse off all of the leftover little snippets of hair.  I was near tears.  Zach is such a sensitive kid and if the other kids at school made a comment, it would be devastating.

But once Zach got out of the shower, he seemed fine.  We played a bit of Clash Royale (I have yet to win a game) and then it was time for bed.

The boys got off to school the next morning and I was on the edge of my seat for Zach to call me when he got home from school (both boys call me around 3:30 pm each day).  Thankfully, Zach had a good day.  He said that they started using his old nickname (Sargent Buzzcut), which he likes, so it was all good.  It was funny, Zach said that it was ok because his hair had grown a bit overnight and it wasn't as short the next day.  I was not about to correct him.

I was still trying to figure out what happened.  Why the h*ll was the super short guard on the clippers?  Brad couldn't figure it out either and he absolutely was the last one to use them.  After a short amount of investigative work, we realized that Brad had left the "eyebrow" guard on.  Basically I had cut Zach's hair to eyebrow length. Awesome.  Once again clinching my sport as Mother of the year.






Sunday, November 27, 2016

8 Inches

I am not one for crazy hairstyles.  Actually, no.  I should rephrase. I love offbeat, unique hairstyles, but I have neither the skill nor the patience to carry it off.

Working in a corporate environment, there is a huge amount of leeway, especially when it comes to color.  Honestly I would love to have lilac unicorn hair, but it really wouldn't fit in with where I work.

I had really long hair before Brad and I got married.  Kept it long so that I could have an elaborate updo.  After the wedding, I chopped it off.  But I had a stylist dip dye my hair rainbow colors.  It was glorious.  It's a beautiful thing when your outside matches your inside.

Currently, I have been rocking some beyond mundane nut brown Rapunzel locks.  Since I blow dry my hair everyday, the ends were totally fried.  It was a sh*t show.

I kept meaning to make an appointment to get it cut, but something always came up and forced me to either cancel the appointment or not make one at all.

Finally I was able to carve out some time on Saturday to go.  I figured it would be a surprise for Brad to come to my hair being so short.  I went to the salon and was greeted by a lovely chipper young woman.

Despite the fact that I love to talk, I really hate small talk.  It is just so superficial and blah.  Hairstylist/client chat (unless you have been going to the same person forever) is the pinnacle of small talk.

Generally speaking I hate lulls in the conversation.  They are really awkward. I tend to fill the void with random nattering, not my best quality.  But in a salon chair, I got nothing and sit there in stony silence.

This also comes back to bite me when they ask if I like it.  I can never seem to spit out the words if I genuinely don't.  You know what would be fun though?  To make up a completely different identity.  For that 30 minutes in the chair, be a pediatrician, a firefighter, an author... the sky is the limit.  A little 30 minute fantasy.

Fantasy or note, bottom line is that I did a big chop.  8 inches.  It really doesn't matter what medium you are working in, 8 inches is significant (*wink*).

When a woman gets a haircut, you want someone to notice.  Yes, yes of course, we got the haircut for ourselves and we don't need anyone else's approval....blah blah blah.  We want someone to notice.

Yeah, well, no one did.  I am not sure what is more horrifying, the fact that no one noticed or the idea that no one mentioned it because it was bad.  Either way... confidence is in the sh*tter at this point.

My two best friends noticed, so there is that I suppose. I guess I would have thought that big of a cut would warrant at least a comment or two, but nothing. Nada.

Meh. Whatever.

What is more tragic however is the fact that I have had to send my hairdryer into that salon in the sky.   It took me a good couple days to finally admit that it had died.  I kept trying to convince myself that if I held it a certain way, or twisted the cord just right it would work.  Nope.

So now I have been relinquished to my emergency hairdryer.  A dusty old relic whose role purpose is to fill in when the soldiers on the front line are out.    This thing, while filling a crucial purpose has all of the dryer power of someone trying to cool off a hot bite of lasagna.  Pitiful.

My new haircut, which has the potential to look really good, now looks brutal because I am dealing with inferior equipment.  Since it is so close to Christmas I refuse to buy myself one and instead have done the practical thing and added it to my list.  Fingers crossed it shows up under the tree or I will be first in line on Boxing day.


Friday, November 18, 2016

Deer Lord

Two more days....

Brad has been gone hunting for the past 10 days, which means I have been left behind to hold down the fort.

Whenever Brad leaves, it makes me appreciate all he does for our family.

Working downtown and getting home in time to make dinner and get to the boys to a 6 pm hockey practice is nearly an act of God.  HOW do other parents do this?  Seriously... HOW?

But since I usually work much later than 5 pm and I generally take the bus, I've had to make some adjustments to say the least.  Thankfully Brad found a ride out to the cabin, so at least I have the truck.  Otherwise what were we going to do... take the hockey bags on the bus?

Add to all of this we have recently implemented a no video game during the week rule.  Which is great and all, but it frees up the boys to get on each others nerves after school until I get home.  Surprisingly though, they have gotten along, or at least agreed to a cease fire by the time I arrive.

One of the good things that came out of this whole thing is that the boys have had to learn how to step up.  When Brad is in the city, he gets off work around 2:45 pm because he goes into work so early.  This means he is always home when the boys get home from school.  Although it sucks that he has to make dinner every night during the week, at least he gets to do so at a leisurely pace before having to ship them off to hockey.

I do not have that luxury, so rather than throw hot dogs at them from a safe distance, I  have had to coach Zach and Logan how to make meals over the phone.  Tuesday I walked him through Cabbage rolls (albeit it was just frozen and had to be warmed up) but he did have to make veggies and rice.  Wednesday it was lasagna and Caesar salad (dressing made from scratch!). He was pretty pleased with himself and rightly so.  Logan prefers to make breakfasts and has become somewhat of an omelette chef!

In between all the dinner prep and hockey this week, I had to work from home in the evenings to make up for the fact I was leaving early.  Which sounds like it is the best of both worlds except that the remote connections are painstakingly slow and we have a new puppy.  Stella just wants your attention and when she doesn't you are immediately suspicious that she has found some random corner to pee in.  So I can barely get 15 minutes of solid work done before having to hop up and check where she is.  I would have had the boys watch her, but I had to make sure that they were getting all of their homework done.  Zach especially since he had to study for a big math test this week.

It may have been messy, but we have managed.  That being said, I'm a complete zombie because I am not getting any sleep as my sweet fur baby Stella still gets up once a night.  Usually around 3 am she lets you know by licking your face, which means without fail, there I am in the wee hours of the morning, standing outside waiting for her to have a bathroom break.  If there are no distractions, it's a 2 minute pit stop.  But lord help us if there is a car driving by or geese flying overhead, then bladder be d*mned you better settle in as it's going to be awhile.

Today is Friday and I have to leave early to get Zach to a 6:30 pm game.  Games are more stringent than practices.  For a practice, you can show up 5 minutes before it starts and as long as you can get dressed fast, you're good to go.  With games, you have to be there at least 45-50 minutes ahead to listen to the Coach's game plan.  Plus all players are required to be dressed and ready early because games can start up to 15 minutes before their scheduled time and if all players are not ready you could forfeit the game.

Doing the "hockey math" as I call it, I have to have Zach at the rink for 5:45 pm.  It takes 10 minutes to get to this rink from home, so we have to leave at 5:30.  I have to feed the boys dinner first, allowing 30 minutes for that and be home early enough to cook it.  My best guess that in order
to hit all of these milestones I need to be home by 4:45 pm.

For added fun, Logan has a game tonight too, but at 7:10 pm, so he has to be his rink by 6:30 and the rink is about 15 minutes from Zach's rink.  The trouble is that both boys really want me to watch their games and I don't want to hurt either of their feeling, so I am making my best attempt to watch a bit of both.  Thankfully the rinks are close together.  So here is my game plan:

1. Leave work at 4:00 pm
2.  4:30 (ish) Arrive home and make dinner
3. Feed boys and leave the house by 5:30.
4. Drop Zach off at the rink around 5:45

5. Go get a much need coffee at Starbucks which should hold me until I can have some wine.

6.  Drive Logan to his rink and drop him off by 6:00 (ish).
7.  Drive back to Zach's game and watch the first period and half of the second, leaving around 6:45.
8.  Drive back to Logan's rink to catch puck drop.
9. Watch the watch the first period and half of the second, leaving around 7:40.
10.  Drive back to Zach's rink and pick him up.  Zach usually takes about 20 minutes to get changed after a game, so I would arrive when he is done, approx 7:50pm.
11. Drive back to Logan's game, arriving approx 8:05pm just as his game is ending.
12. Drive back home

If all of this comes to pass, I will award myself with a holiday pour of wine once I get home and binge watch "The Crown".  Hockey Mom life is no joke.

This weekend isn't much better as Saturday and Sunday are carpet bombed with a bunch more games/practices. But eyes on the prize, Brad should be home mid Sunday afternoon.

During all this, Brad has been out hunting.  I wouldn't say it's easy, but there are a lot of deer at the cabin.  However, since you can't shoot does now, it makes things more challenging.  Brad was out since last Thursday and hadn't got anything.  I resisted the urge to text him each day asking if her got one.  I figured if he did, I would know and radio silence  was probably the best thing to keep his stress level down.

They usually hunt at dawn/dusk, but after a whole weekend of that and no buck bounty despite seeing a lot of does, Brad started to log 8 hours each day in the tree stand and blinds.

It finally paid off and he bagged a buck on Thursday after a week of work.  I am relieved as I know he was feeling quite a bit of pressure to fill the freezer.  His brother is coming out again this weekend (he was there last weekend as well), so Brad can relax a bit and play hunting guide.

I'll be glad to have him home.  I know that the boys missed having him home after school and honestly it's easier to cope with everything when there is two of us.




Monday, November 7, 2016

Friends are Family

This past weekend was amazing.

It was full of my friends which made it incredible.

On Friday night, Sean, Erin, Brad and I (along with their son Evan) went to the Florida Georgia line concert.  I haven't been to a concert in ages and was really looking forward to it because FGL is one of my favorite groups.

There were two openers, Chris Lane and Granger Smith.  Chris Lane kind of gives off a Ricki Martin vibe.  He only has 1 hit in his repertoire, so after that one song, his set basically consisted of covers, but for an opener he was pretty good.   Granger Smith was much worse.  This guy focused less on singing and more on dancing around.  He sang his one hit wonder while waving a " Yee Yee" flag around the stage, after which he changed into jean overalls and a white undershirt.  Apparently Yee Yee is the name of his alter ego. At the very end of his set he went to the front of the stage and smashed two beer cans together covering the stage and the fans in the mock mosh pit.   Ok... a few comments;

1. You are not Ziggy Stardust or Sasha Fierce.  You have been on the music scene for all of 5 minutes and barely have enough of a catalog to just be you, let alone a ridiculously ill named "Yee Yee" character.

2. In a half hour set of an opener, there is absolutely no reason to keep the audience waiting while you do a completely unnecessary costume change.  Take your ego down a level.

3. Ending your set with a Steve Austin beer smash is d*chebaggery at its finest.  You don't have enough street cred to pull that off.  By the end of this tour, I am quite confident that you will earn a well deserved punch to the face from the roadie who has to clean up after you each night.

Whatever.  When FGL hit the stage though.. it was gold.  Erin and I stood up the second they started playing and didn't sit down the whole time.  It was awesome.  It could just be part of their overall act, but man.. that country boy charm is something else and the boys turned it all the way up.

After a nice sleep in Saturday morning, I did a bunch of running around and then it was off to my friend Kat's 30th birthday.   Kat is currently expecting, so she had to watch all of us drink on her behalf.  What a trooper.  They set up a poutine bar on the deck and we had a blast with our core group like we always do.

Mine is far left
Sunday was a lazy day.  Around 5:30 Debbie picked Erin and I up and we headed out to the Beachcomber at the Forks for dinner and paint nite.

Paint nite has become really popular.  While it seems like a fairly new idea, apparently Winnipeg is a little late to the party as it is quite well established in other cities.

Out painting for the night was  a rainbow Eiffel tower.  Painting the color background was the easy part.  What was terrifying was reaching for the black paint of the tower.


After you painted the tower (a static drawing) you were supposed to highlight it with white paint.  My highlight left a lot to be desired so I went rogue and stopped trying to make it look the way it was supposed to.  Instead of the static Eiffel tower, mine was a more *ahem* abstract version.  Well that's putting it mildly.  If you look closer, you can see a faceless bearded dude wearing an overly ornate hat.

The steeple of my Eiffel tower is far to short and the top section is too big.  It looks like the Calgary Tower and Eiffel tower had a baby.  But regardless I had fun.

Both Erin and Debbie have a lot going on in their lives and are under so much stress, so it was nice to be able to get them out and think about something else, if even for only an hour or two.

So that was my weekend; filled with friends, laughter and wine.  The best ones always are.
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