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Daily Update Page full of Building, Construction, Renovation, Real Estate, Family and TV Stuff -- Pretty much anything that happens to appeal to me shows up on this Page! And all with Lots of Laughs, too!!

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Hey, I just figured out how to Archive my 'old' At Home With Ailsa Updates by the week, starting with Last September, 2003... Check it out when you have a minute!

Here's a different picture of me taken ages and ages ago -- before I lost a bunch of weight -- you can see I 'carried it' fairly well, anyway, but it's good to be trim and fit, right?? ha,ha,ha! One day I'll get someone to take some up-to-date photos of me -- maybe even when I'm exercising, so I can show you some of my best moves! har, har, har! Okay, that's enough of that! Let me see if I can figure out how to get this on the Site!

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Here I am! And there's my wee dog, Tia! I'm always in the Sunroom! It's one of my favorite rooms in the House!

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It's The Weekend! June 12th & 13th, 2004. Yo, yo, yo... what up wit' mah Home-ies?? How you doin' out there in computerland? I hope it's not raining (in case you, too, are waiting around for a dry day and your Bobcat Guy to show up...!). Man, it's sooo late in the day -- I knew I should have stayed up late on Friday Night to write my Weekend Update -- it's soooo hectic around here on the weekends with my little demanding family... Dwight wants to have a big fancy schmancy Breakfast on the Weekends, and guess who makes that.... and then he wants me to be available for any other work that he wants done around the house (like a good little slave... or, I mean, 'wife'...), so that means it's next to impossible to get my work done on the computer... see why like to be alone?? With just 4 year old Aidan -- he's the one with the fewest 'outside' needs! And he has just the slightest handle on time-frames, so I can put him off for any amount of time -- "We'll do that next month", or "That's something we do at Christmastime..." Yes, if I could put everything off 'til Christmastime, that would really work for me! I'm busy 'til then! ha,ha,ha!

Oh, and speaking of 'wife / maid', I can't wait to go and see The Steppford Wives... I think I'm a little bit like them, except for the bad attitude, 'n all! ha,ha! But I do like to wear nice dresses, bake a whole lot of treats and make my family really happy with a very comfy home, but I've got that bad little attitude behind it all that wouldn't quite fit in with the Steppford Way! And apparently those wives are not supposed to have any ambition, so that would count me out, right there, since I'm jam packed full of ambition! ha,ha! And that reminds me of something else -- guess what my Ranking is on Yahoo in my Building Category? That's right -- #1! WooHoo! Or should I say, "YaaaHoooo"! So now I'm # 1 out of 8,910,000 websites -- that ain't too bad! All I have to do now is make the thing profitable, and I'm all set! Or find an Agent, then they can make some deals for me! That does sound easier... and maybe I still wouldn't have to leave the house, which appeals to me...

It is interesting that we're revisiting the whole notion of 'The Perfect Wife', again... Is it just me or does it feel like the Fifties are making a come-back in certain Sectors? There's the whole thing with Dr. Phil telling the Husbands of America to "git on home and be a Leader in your Family..." Yes, I'm paraphrasing for extra fun, but he DID say about husbands being the Leader in the Family, and I have a very big problem with that... what happened to the Partenship Idea? If there's a Leader in the Couple, what does that make the Other Person? That's right -- the Follower. Yuck. I ain't no Follower, and I sure as hell wouldn't blindly follow any husband down a path of certain destruction, if he were to be, say, a moron.... No, no, no. I say, let's get back to being Equal Partners, both with important qualities to bring to the Table, and we'll see how that works out.(And just for the Record, I really like Dr. Phil...)

You know what would be really great, and would perhaps help in keeping a whole lot of marriages together? If we got rid of those crazy old notions of what the Wife is and what the Husband is -- up until you get married, you're two happy individuals, each with your own functioning brain (hopefully...! ha,ha!). Then you get married and all of a sudden, 'The Wife' is supposed to defer to her Husband. Hmmm. I wonder why that doesn't seem to work? It sounds like a good model, and yet women seem to get soooo annoyed... they're uppity like that. Me, in particular. I've actually been called 'uppity'. And 'Little Missy'. And on a Government phone call with a gov't Agent, he repeatedly called me 'Miss' when it was a call concerning a Tax Rebate or something like that to do with my Children, so it was a little dig on his end to belittle me. And they wonder why so many Canadians choose to leave the Country... and that's one of the reasons I occasionally refer to Canada as 'Canad'uh'... mostly, it's for my own amusement, but why women can be treated so badly here is beyond me.

The funny thing is that you enter into marriage with all these preconceived notions of who is gonna do what, and when... and it's almost non-negotiable right from the very start. And then 'The Wife' doesn't want to rock the boat, in case they, too, become part of the startling statistics on how many marriages fail (I think it's around 65%). And when I hear people say, "Not like in the good old days, when most marriages stayed together..." Puh-leeease. Do you know who initiates the majority of Divorces? The women. And they didn't do that 'in the good old days' because they couldn't. It was against the law and the vast majority of women didn't work outside 'The Home'. I had a friend when I was about 23 (so about 18 years ago, which is not all that long ago, at all...) and she couldn't even get a Divorce from her Husband because you had to prove all these things, first... and if you've ever had the misfortune to have to prove something in Court, it's next to impossible, since the vast majority of what happens in a marriage happens in private, and between the two people. Hard to show proof from that.

I can't remember exactly when the Laws for Divorce changed, but I think it was in 1984, which would fit nicely with George Orwell's ideas of the 'future'... and there was a great deal of celebration amongst women -- and then the Divorce Rate went up, so it ain't Rocket Science. So now the big concern should be how to keep marriages Happy, not just 'together'. Marriage shouldn't be a Prison Sentence, it should be a nice nurturing place to be where you can both grow, and then welcome smaller people into the Mix... and if it doesn't work, neither party should be punished for Life for having married the wrong one and had a child or children with them... You should be able to both go on with your lives, be productive and live freely -- I hope to do that, myself, again, soon...

Hey, maybe we should revamp the whole system so that you get your Marriage Licence the same way you get your Driver's Licence...Every 2 years it's up for Renewal... no muss, no fuss... and any wealth that's been accumulated during the Marriage up until that date is split down the middle (or so...) and off you go, or stay together. See, no Lawyers! Wouldn't That be nice? It's all very amicable, and then the animosity doesn't have to be there... And what's with those stooopid new Court Ordered Programs where the parents have to go and attend 'Co-Parenting' Classes? What a joke. Especially if you've come from an Abusive Environment, since the Courts don't acknowledge that as being harmful to the children, since the Abuser is surely going to be lovely to the children when he was only abusive to his wife... ugh. I hate that.

I should start a New Page on 'How to Build a Better Marriage', then all of my wonderful Readers can write in and share your 'Happy Marriage' Secrets, or your ideas on how we could all go about building a better marriage... what do you think? We're already waaaaay off the beaten track, so why not stray a little further? I'll change your Name, if you like, and we could all benefit -- or get something off your shoulders (a giant monkey? I don't know what kind of baggage you're carrying around! ha,ha,ha!).

Okay, with all that being said, I still can't wait to go see The Steppford Wives -- hey, wonder how many fights that's caused on the way home from the Movies?? "Is that what YOU want? That's what you want, and I know it..." ha,ha,ha,ha! You can hear it now! Ah, the joy of it all! Good thing there's a gorgeous Ring or Two involved, or it'd be harder to rope us in like that! har, har!

And they should change the Marriage Vows to include, "Do you take this Woman to Make Your Breakfast, Do the Dishes and Make the Bed Every Day?", to which he would say, "Sure, that sounds cheaper than my current Maid..." ... And she could reply to "Do you take this Man to Take out the Garbage, Do the Lawn Work and Change the Oil in the Car?", to which she can cheerily agree... sounds good, so far...! ha,ha,ha! And while they're at it, they can take out 'For Better or For Worse", since I've lived the 'worse', and that's just stoopid to put up with that in the name of any institution... maybe they could replace it with, "Provided you are Kind and Decent"... now that would work for me!

Tip of the Day: It's a Home Safety Tip, since something happened to some friends of ours, yesterday, (they had a huge water leak in their house...), and it reminded me of my Home Safety Page, which you can check out when you have a minute... But here's the Tip for now -- Put a Tag on the Main Water Valve in the House (usually it's in the Furnace Room, unless you're in a really, really old house, in which case, just turn off all the taps!)). You can write in BOLD WATER TURNOFF VALVE, and then in smaller letters, write the instructions of how to turn it off. No kidding. Draw a little Diagram, if you need to -- if it's one of those Taps that is straight, it needs to be turned to a 90 Degree angle to shut it off, so your picture would show the tap running parallel to the pipe so the water can run through, the next picture of the handle to the side, so it shuts the water flow off.

Everyone in the House should know how to turn all the Taps off -- under the Sinks, by the Toilets and the Main Water Valve in the Furnace Room. Knowing how to turn off all these valves in an emergency can save you thousands of dollars, and a whole lot of heartache, so that's always good, right? Remember to show the Babysitter, too, since these accidents sometimes happen when no adults are at home... So if you ever have any water leaking out of anything where it's not supposed to be, immediately go and turn off the Main Water Valve, then call a Plumber. If you wait for the Plumber to come over to do that for you, you'll have a massive amount of damage by then... and when you've located the Shut off Valve in your House, tell all your friends about my Home Safety Page so they can go find their Shut off Valves, too! We'll save millions! ha,ha,ha!

I'll go see what kind of pictures I can find for you, today! Be right back!


See the Yellow Lever? That's the Main Water Shutoff Valve.

Well, thanks for coming in for a little visit! It's always nice to see you -- and I really like your Eyelashes like that -- I guess it's true that loads of Mascara suits absolutely everyone -- even the men... which reminds me of another story, but I'll tell you that another day! Don't let me forget! ha,ha!

See ya, Baby! Ailsa!!

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Friday, June 11th, 2004. Hi, Honey-Cake (I was gonna say 'honeybuns', but that sounds a little inappropriate... although it's probably accurate...! ha,ha!). And Sunshine is a better greeting than Moonshine, which carries a whole other set of criteria -- I can't just assume you've got a still out back, and that's why you're growin' all those potatoes.... Oh, that reminds me -- Cara just started reading The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger -- it's my all-time favorite book for teenagers (and if you've already been a teenager and never did get around to reading it, you'll love it, too...!). So far she likes the swearing ... hey, if that gets them into the book, that's okay, and the vast majority of great literature has a whole lot of swearing -- maybe that's how we can market books to kids! ha,ha,ha!

Aidan was asking me, this morning, if we can go out and plant a Garden -- he's desperate to grow Watermelon and Strawberries -- his two favorite Fruits (my favourite Fruit is Bruce, but that's a whole other story, and I'm sure Bruce will laugh -- he's one of the funniest humans on the face of the planet! ha,ha,ha). It's weird when you're planning to move, because it's difficult to know how much you should do when you may or may not be there to tend to new stuff... I think I might get around that by planting the Stawberries in a huge Planter, with some sort of Tall plant in the center -- maybe some Dracena or some tall Geraniums... I'll take Aidan to the Garden Center so he can see what he likes. I have a couple of enormous Pots from two Tropical Plants that just didn't make it through the winter -- and no, I didn't leave them outside in minus 40 degree weather -- I had them inside, and they still didn't survive -- I think they were done in by depression, but they're not talking, so I can't be sure... yuff, yuff!

Dwight says I cannot have my Wildflower Garden again, this year -- he hates it -- royally. He had some special training from his family to like things that are neat and orderly, and that includes the garden. Now as you might well imagine, I love things that are crazy and unwieldy, that won't conform to the regular rules -- a nice little reflection of me, no doubt! ha,ha! So Dwight has a big plan to put in a 'Gravel Garden' -- no kidding! That's Dwight's idea of a perfect garden -- rocks and the occasional Potted Plant. Our current fight about that garden (it's the Walk-Out Garden, we're gonna call it, should it ever come into being...) involves Trees -- I want to put Trees all along the back of the Garden, and then at the top section and maybe a river bed through the middle, but Dwight says, "No Trees", and walks away. He's delightful to chat with -- no wonder this argument has been going on for so very long! ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: Oh, you know what makes a neat looking Garden, in the middle of a Flower Garden or if you want to create a quick Border -- Potatoes -- they're not just for the Still anymore! ha,ha! They grow very quickly and end up looking kind of bushy, although not like a regular bush, of course -- they'll grow about 2 feet high by the end of the season -- then you can Harvest the Potatoes, and before you know it, you'll be thinkin' about movin' back to them thar mountains! And you'll have to go off your 'no-carbs' diet, but that'll be good for a wee break, anyway! You can grow Potatoes from the Seed Potatoes you can get at the Garden Center, or just leave your regular potatoes in a dark place and let them sprout on their own ... cut them into quarters, and plant then about every 8" apart. There, that's my little Gardening Advice for today!

And I'm happy to report that my 'Insta-Tan' is still on, three Showers later... it makes you feel like Summer really will arrive one day, and you'll be all ready for it! Really, you have to be delusional to live in the North! ha,ha,ha!

Okay, I have to go measure the Windows for the Shutters -- I keep meaning to do that, then another day goes by, and another year... I did measure them last Fall, but it was such a bother trying to find the Shutters that it kind of went by the wayside, then Dwight said he wasn't going to put any Shutters on at all, but I drew them in the original House Plans, so I think they are essential to the Look of the House ... so my best bet is to go back out and do some measuring, then find out where I can actually get the Shutters. I'll run it by Dwight again when I have all the facts, then go ahead and just do it. See why I want to make my own money? I hate that Dwight gets the Final Word on absolutely everything, and he doesn't get why that would bother me... bit of a stalemate there (and that's the understatement of the year! ha,ha,ha,ha!).

I can't get my computer to accept the new pictures from my camera -- that seems to happen from time to time, for some annoying reason... so I'll see what pictures I can find for you! Be right back!

Here's the Walk-Out Garden Area I was talking about -- see the bit where the Bobcat is scaping away the dirt? That's where my Wildflower Garden was last year, and part of the area where I would like to see a bunch of Trees.

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And Dwight built a Retaining Wall just on the one side over by the Hot Tub Deck, which is just up and around the corner from this area. That way, no extra mud will slide in here if we were to have some massive downpour, or something... and today I got another Rope and attached Tia's Harness to it, so she can play out the Back Walk-Out Door , too!

Thanks for swinging in for a wee visit! See you on the Weekend, Baby! Ailsa!!

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Thursday, June 10th, 2004. Hi, Honey! You're Home! And I'm glad you had a minute to swing by! Unfortunately, there's no chocolate left -- but I think there might be some liver in the fridge I could fry up for you... What? You have to leave? What's wrong with Fried Liver? It makes you wanna what?? No, no, no... I would never run out of chocolate... or buy yucky liver... so you're safe to come in and stay awhile! ha,ha! Oh, and I never Fry any food -- Saute, yes, Fry -- no. Too much oil. Butter is sooo much better, and as far as I know (or choose to believe...)it has no fat...and neither does chocolate -- see how much useful information you're finding, today? Yes, it's true that I've made the vast majority of it up, but don't think about that too much -- try living in my happy little bubble -- I think you'll grow to love it! Or at the very least, you'll soon start to grow! ha,ha,ha,ha!

Dwight and I went to my Queen's University Alumni Dinner, last night -- what a whole lot of fun! It's nice when you live somewhere far away from where you grew up or went to School to reconnect with other people who know that particular area inside and out... plus, they always have great food and the drinks they just keep a comin'...! ha,ha,ha! It's one of the few things I do that doesn't involve Children and does involve Drinking! And Dwight is my Designated Driver, so I can have as much fun as I like, so that's fun! We always have lots of great Conversations and get to meet new Graduates who are doing interesting things, but one really cool thing they had last night was a Presentation from the Queen's University Solar Car Team. Very cool!

I've got the link for their website for you (, so you can go in and have a wee look at these amazing cars, and I wanted to let you know about a program that is offered through Queen's and the Solar Car Team to bring this field into the High Schools. The Solar Team has a Program called SolarQuest where they will send Entrants into their Contest a Kit that includes a small photovoltaic array and the basic Instructions on How to Design and Build a Miniature Solar Vehicle. How cool is that? So if that is something that captures your imagination, or you know someone who might be a little bright spark in the universe, check it out!

Oh, and hey, guess what they need? Money! And Products ... it's an expensive undertaking to develop these Solar Cars, but just think of the possibilities for the Future! And they get into a bit of Alternative Energy Sources, too, which I am very, very interested in, of course! But if you or your Company would like to Support this Solar Car Program, they have a whole thing set up where you can donate some cashola and get your Name on their Website or (depending on how much you give, as always...), you could get your Company Name on their Solar Car! Wouldn't that be cool??

I think it would be a lot of fun to have some sort of Sponsorship through Nascar, and then they could have some big Solar Car Race down there and generate even more interest in this Project! Hmmmm, wonder if David Letterman might be interested in this -- he has a few extra bucks and he loves Race Cars... plus, remember Tom Cavanagh from Ed? That was a David Letterman Production, and Tom Cavanagh went to Queen's University, too -- see the connection? How many Degrees of Separation is that? ha,ha,ha!!

Tip of the Day: I've been waiting all day for our Bobcat Guy to come over to skim that gravel off the driveway -- man, that's really going on a loooong time... anyway, I didn't bother to move my Van out onto the road (and off the Driveway) because there's really no guarantee that he'll be here. The reason that is important to me is that Aidan, who is 4, needs to be kept safe all the time, and one of the major causes of Injury to small boys (because girls seem to have some sort of 'danger awareness' built in, and I'm not so sure that boys have that -- which is probably why they can do such amazing things when they're older that girls would be more likely to steer away from -- I'm thinking here of Evil Kinevil... is that how you spell his name? You don't see that many goils out there trying to leap over Ravines and such...! ha,ha!) is from Vehicles -- the boys run behind them, or ride their bikes in front of them. It's a huuuge concern for me, so my big plan is to take Aidan out with me to the car when I have to move it (whenever that might be...), rather than leave him in the house. It only takes a second for a horrible accident, so it's much better to err on the side of safety, and keep those boys right beside you all the time. So the Tip is to keep your children close by whenever there are any vehicles around -- any inconvenience to you is nothing compared with any possible negative outcome, if God Forbid there was an accident.

Oh, and Aidan just came into my Office to ask if he could have a drink of pop -- "You know I'm mighty thirsty, you know..." What is he hanging with Cowboys in his spare time? ha,ha,ha,ha!

I'll go see what kind of pictures I can find for today -- be right back!

Here's Tia checking out the View! I think it's hilarious that she can just sit at the Windows and peer out! She's in Aidan's Bedroom in the First Picture, then in the Dining Room for the other Two shots. There's a 4 Acre Center Parcel that is open space (Green Space is the fancier term for that!) between our house and all the other houses, so no-one will ever build behind us, which is nice.

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Thanks for stopping by for a wee visit! See you tomorrow, baby! Ailsa!!

Hey, check out this Free Stuff! I just got this for you, today, and thought you might like to get some of this stuff -- you could get it for yourself or discreetly slip it into a Gift Basket or add them in with a Birthday Card or Father's Day Card... Cara and I got our new Books that we just ordered in the Mail last night (we're out in the country, so we have one of those 'Super-Mailboxes, and it's very, very exciting when you get a Key in with your mail, because that means you can open 'Box #2b' and you'll get your Gift!). Now, we did pay for our stuff (unlike these Free Things from 1-800-Patches...), but still, it's like getting a gift from yourself -- and you know what I think -- Any Gift is a Good Gift!! ha,ha,ha!

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Wednesday, June 9th, 2004. Yo, yo, yo! What up wit' yo' bad self?? ha,ha! That's just plain ol' fun to say, right? Man, I did that 'Self-Tanning' thing, this morning, so I've spent the whole day trying to avoid 'smearing' it. That is a whole lot of extra work, what with not being able to wear my favorite comfy socks (better get used to not being able to wear 'the comfy socks' each and every day if I'm to go back to a 'regular job'...) and one of my favorite big comfy sweaters ... well, they're not really big, per se -- and they're a bit too revealing to wear to the door, should anyone actually come over to the house -- I have to keep 'standby sweaters' handy (they're all black!) to put on when people come over... that's lovely, ain't it? ha,ha! Ah, well, that's really what I do...

I also called the Bobcat Guy to have him come over to skim off the gravel from the Driveway -- it's the large Gravel that has to come off, then the Crushed Gravel goes on in it's place, then the whole thing is Rolled, Leveled and Paved ... we're back into another bad weather pattern (there's a big surprise!), so it's tricky to know when to get that done, because we want to avoid a big sea of mud. Now, Dwight wanted to wait until the whole Lawn was nice and dry before having the Bobcat come back over, so he can have some Earth moved at the same time (it's never a simple matter of planting a few things for us -- for some reason it always has to involve some giant piece of machinery or other...), but I just want to focus on the Driveway, and get the rest of the Landscaping done after that. Sometimes you just have to go ahead and do what you know needs to be done.

Back to that 'Self-tanning' thing -- I showed it to Dwight on his way out the door, this morning, but he said he could sort of see a difference -- man, I need a better judge! ha,ha! I think it looks very nice, and since we hardly have any nice weather, these days, I might as well get a head start on the summer -- plus, it's safer than hangin' about trying to get a tan -- does anyone do that, anymore? Anyway, I use the Neutrogena Bronzing Foam (Medium), and I combine it with my favorite Hand Cream, Lubriderm, so it goes on very nicely. There's a little warning on the Container that the Tanning Foam doesn't protect you from the sun, so I thought when I do this in the Summer, I'll just use Sun Block Cream instead of the Lubriderm, if I can find one without any Scent, since I'm allergic to most perfumes. Something to try, if it appeals to you. And if you actually have a good relationship, maybe you can get a 'helping hand'...!

Speaking of allergies, for some reason I'm having a lot more reactions to things I never had a reaction to before -- last night Dwight was cutting up some Watermelon right beside me when I was doing the dishes, and my throat was so sore just from smelling it. That lovely Dwight -- when I told him I was having a reaction, he says I'll never make it on the Cruise Ship, since they have so much Fruit.... hmmmmmm... that boy! I'm gonna have to sell him, but if he keeps saying things like that, I'll never get a good price for him, and I'll have to pay someone else to haul him away...! ya'ha,ha,ha! (Yep, that's just for my own amusement! ha,ha,ha!) I like the whole idea of the 'Truck for Charity' pulls up and I carry Dwight out for the Driver to Load Him Up! ha,ha,ha! Reminds me of The Flintstones -- remember when Fred had to always carry the Cat back outside, then it would quickly jump back in through the Window? Dwight would probably do that, too! ha,ha,ha!

So here's the very weird thing with the Allergiy to Fruit and Veggies -- I can eat most of them if they are cooked -- thus the Apple Crumble Recipe, because I couldn't eat Apples anymore... but I can manage the Applesause no problem at all, so that way I can still have lots of Fruits and Veggies -- there was no way I could cut those out of my diet, so that' a good little piece of information that you can try if you get into your 30's and start to notice an intolerance for Fresh Fruit... And that's why I love Pie so much, too, since I can still enjoy the Fruit when it's cooked in the Pie (do you buy that?? ha,ha! I just love Pie, so that's a great way to rationalize that!). Same thing for certain Veggies like Carrots and Tomatoes -- I can eat them if they are fully cooked, like in Soup or Spaghetti Sauce. I wonder if there's ever been a Study on this, since I just happened upon it in my interest in not cutting out the food I really love because of those reactions... let me know if you've experienced anything like that (or if you just love pie, then you can come over and we'll have a wee slice! ha,ha!).

Tip of the Day: Go ahead and go around your Spouse or Partner, sometimes -- the vast majority of the time it's best to come to an agreement where you're both relatively happy, but sometimes one person either stalls out the job too long by indecision or sheer laziness (no, that's not a dig -- it's reality -- sometimes the whole thing can get overwhelming, and you can just shut it all off, then the whole Project comes to a complete halt, which ain't good...), or they won't even discuss it for whatever personal reason, but the Job needs to be done, and generally speaking, it will all even out in the end after the Project has been completed. Sometimes you have to disconnect yourself from a Project so you can not be emotionally involved with it -- does that make sense? Think of it like someone else's job, and you're simply managing it as quickly and painlessly as possible. Make a good Neutral Decision, then carry on with the job. Good Luck with that! ha,ha!

Thanks for popping in for a little visit! I'll go see what pictures I can find for you! Be right back!

Here's a beautiful 'Spring' Sunset -- and it took us all the way 'til June to get into The Spring! Ah, well! That's probably why we all like Hockey so much up here in Calgary -- because it keeps your mind off the bad weather until it's practically Summer! ha,ha!

This is out our Back Door -- I just stepped out on the Deck to take this shot. Go ahead and click on the picture to enlarge it, then you can see what I see! Now won't that be fun?? I also plan to have a couple of Drinks later on -- perhaps you'd like to do the same!! Why, we'll be like Twins (probably Fraternal, since I'm not so sure you look exactly like me...)! ha,ha,ha!

See you tomorrow, Baby! Ailsa!!

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Tuesday, June 8th, 2004. Oh, hey. There you are -- I've been looking for you all day! What's that? You've been looking for me? I've been just a tad distracted this morning, and then the Septic Tank Guy arrived, so that was a legitimate reason for not writing the Daily Update... That and I'm still sad about the Calgary Flames not winning the Stanley Cup in last nights Game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, but Tampa Bay skated away with the Trophy, so now we're on to the next year... Man, that was a great game, though, and the Lightning worked their beeeehinds off for that Trophy, so it was good to see it go to a great Team -- next year, though, maybe it'll come on home to Calgary! We'll always love the Flames -- they played a helluva Game! Go Flames, Go! And Congrats to the Lightning -- I'm just thrilled that sooo many more people got into Hockey who might not have watched before, so it's all good for The Game, and that's good for our Players!

You know what really lightened the mood after we lost the Game last night? The WB's new Superstar USA Show. It's absolutely hilarious, so we all laughed ourselves silly and felt a whole lot better. I've mentioned that Show before, but if you haven't caught it, yet, check yer listings, 'cause it's one of the funniest things on TV right now... the 'Talent' is one thing, but the Judges and the Announcer are hysterical. I got their names close, but not close enough, when I mentioned them before, but the Judges are Tone Loc, Vitamin C, Briggs, and the Host Brian McFayden. How they keep a straight face through it all is amazing to me!

One of my favorite parts of Superstar USA is the was all the Finalists refer to themselves in Third Person. That's never good! ha,ha! Have you ever known anyone who actually talked like that? They're always so completely full of themselves that they perceive themselves as a whole separate person, I guess ... why else would you use your own name in a sentence? It's hilarious! So there's a whole lot of, "JoJo likes to dance", says JoJo in reference to himself... and "Jaimie's gonna be a STAR!", of course all about herself! And I'm sure Jaimie (the very well proportioned Blonde...!) will do well in Hollywood -- hey, did you ever see Son of the Beach? She would be hilarious in that, and may or may not know it's a spoof! ha,ha,ha! Anyway, it made us feel better after The Game, and that's the important thing!

I also spent some time this morning checking out -- they have a lot of really cool stuff in there, and two of the Main People involved are Meredith Viera from The View (she's sooo funny!) and Andrew Shue -- hope that's the right spelling -- anyway, he was the good looking curly haired boyfriend (one of them!) on Melrose Place (we always called it 'Schmelrose Place', but that's just us! ha,ha!), and a major Soccer Player. It's great to see nice people involved in good projects. I've added some of ClubMom's Articles (don't worry -- I have their permission!) onto my Site -- I'll add some new ones as I go along -- it's all dependent on how much time I have!

Brand New Articles through ClubMom -- all sorts of interesting stuff!

Tip of the Day: Here's a little Tip from our Septic Cleaning Guy, Dale, who was here today -- Always close all your Windows and Doors when you're having your Septic Tanks cleaned out... it will not smell nice in yo' house if you leave them open. Yes, I think you can guess the smell, and it's one you definitely want to avoid.

And now a little Tip from me, who forgot and opened the back door for a minute (one minute too long, it turns out... ha,ha!). If you want to quickly make your house smell nice, cut up and Apple, put it in a Bowl of Water and add a bunch of Cinnamon. You know me -- I never measure anything -- just put in what seems about right -- your brain will kick in before the bowl overflows, and if it doesn't, I'm guessing this won't be your biggest problem -- I would imagine you would need to get back to practicing for the WB's Superstar USA, though, so don't let me keep you... yuff, yuff! Anyhooo, pop the bowl into the microwave for 3 minutes -- make sure there's enough water in there that it doesn't burn away, and then you'll have to start all over again! I hate to waste anything, so I peel and cut an apple for Aidan (one of his favorite treats, anyway), then use the peel and the core as the 'Apple' base. It works really well to make your house smell nice.

I took some pictures while Dale was here, so let me go go see if I can get them... be right back!

Well, I couldn't get the computer to accept my new pictures (man, I hate that!), so here are a few shots of what my View is from My Office. That's Aidan in the Middle Picture -- he builds things and Exercises all day long while I work away. The View out my Office Door is actually much prettier than it apppears in that last shot -- it's all green, and I can see the Pool Table and Bar Area -- and Tia is always within view, too! ha,ha!

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Thanks for swingin' by for a wee visit! You're the best looking visitor I've had all day (and I don't just say that to everyone who pops in! aha, ha!)... See you tomorrow!

Take Extra Good Care of Yourself! Ailsa!!

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Monday, June 7th, 2004. Hey, there, Goiiiigeous! Man, the 7th on the 7th -- I'm talking about Hockey, of course! The Last Big Game in the Stanley Cup Finals is tonight in Florida -- The Calgary Flames vs. The Tampa ay Lightning..... that's gotta be lucky, though, the 7th Game on the 7th Day... isn't that a religion? ah, ha,ha! Sports Fans probably could start their own little thing, now that I think of it! We were all so revved up on Saturday up here in Calgary, waiting for The Flames to give us our Big Win -- but the Lightning took it (well deserved, though -- these two Teams are unbelievably evenly matched!), so tonight's the night, as Rod Stewart would say... Go Flames, Go!!! It's gonna be a great Game!

Hey, you know what I was thinking during the Flames Game on Saturday night? I was thinking it would be a great idea to give Richards from The Lightning a Calgary Flames Shirt -- after the Game, of course, just so he could try it on and see how our colours look on him! ha,ha,ha,ha! Plus, he's very handsome, so maybe I'd just like to see him change into that... whatever -- I'm just trying to help the TV Ratings so our Players can make even more money! Oh, and speaking of TV Coverage, who is it who makes the Executive Decision to zoom in on the Hockey Players noses?? What's that all about? Those poor guys, all sweaty from playing so hard, then some idiot sticks a camera right in the middle of their face -- that not good (you must stick your lips waaaaay out like Ned the Neanderthal when you say that! ha,ha! That's just fun!). Why not back the camera up a few feet so we can see their shoulders? I, for one, would love to see their shoulders! ha,ha,ha!

Dwight had a couple of his Employees over to the house on the weekend to get some work done around here -- the Bobcat Guy was supposed to come, too, but he hadn't arrived by 2:00 in the afternoon, and Dwight was panicked that he would get here too late and then Dwight would miss the Hockey Game (see how it's all about hockey right now in Calgary??) ... so Dwight called and cancelled the Bobcat. Thank Goodness for that, because we had a wild day of Rain yesterday, and we would have had a giant sea of mud in the Front Driveway -- exactly what Dwight wants to avoid. We're supposed to have rain all week, so that's no good for Building a Driveway, that's for sure... ah, well... we'll have to see how the weather holds up for next week.

Now here's the best thing that happened for me over the weekend -- Jesse, Dwight's newest Employee, is a Computer Whiz, so he popped into my Office to see about fixing my computer (it was going soooo slowly, it was painful to work on...), and wouldn't you know it?? Whatever he did worked like a charm and the whole thing is working like new, again! YaaHoo! I won't have to get that new prescription of Zantac afterall! har, har! No, no... I would just have a little of that deeeelicious 'Sody Pop' Wine I like so much that I have Dwight buy it in groups of 6... He always says, "I'll just get a couple of bottles', and I always shout after him (by then he's always out by his truck in the driveway...) "No, get 6 -- they're like Sody Pop, remember??" Yes, that's how I rationalize it! ha,ha,ha! So the important thing to get out of that is that I really like the sody-pop wine... no, wait, that's not right... The important thing is that my computer is working normally, again, and all thanks to Jesse!! And it was his Birthday, yesterday, too -- Happy 21st Birthday, Jesse!

So here's the depressing thing that happened -- we were all sitting around the table in the Dining room, having a very nice Lunch, when Dwight pipes up and says, "Hey, Sean and Jesse's Moms are the same age as you!" Dwight's lovely like that ... Of course, Sean and Jesse are full grown MEN, so I'm amazed at the fact that I, too, could have had a child that old... Cara is 16 and Aidan is 4, so I still see myself as a very, very young Mum.... delusional, you say? Perhaps, but it's totally workin' for me, so I'm stickin to my delusion! ha,ha! That crazy Dwight! And to think he's 4 years older than me -- some of HIS friends are Grandparents, so at least I'm not there, yet! ha,ha,ha!

Okay, I have a ton of stuff to do around here, today (Monday is 'catch-up day' after the Weekend with everyone here...), so better go get that done! Plus, I've been working away on my Dads 'N Grads Page and my Home Improvement Shopping Page, so check them out if you feel like it! My friend, Adam, from sent me a link for us to use specifically for Home Carbon Monoxide Detectors -- I asked him to help me with that last week so we could all make sure we're safe enough. I put the link on the Dads 'N Grads Page because they make a good, safe gift for someone you love .... it's one of those things you think about getting, then forget, then remember when you hear of some terrible story on the news... you know the deal, so I thought I'd just make it easy for you to get.

Holmes Air Purifier/Carbon Monoxide Detector

Tip of the Day: Well, one of the Lights went out in my Office the other day, and it's been semi-dark in here ever since -- and I like a whole lot of light wneh I'm working on the computer (which is a good portion of my life! ha,ha!). So here's the Tip -- when you are still at the Building Stage and the Lighting is going in, buy at least two extra Bulbs for each Style of Bulb in the House. We have a tremendous amount of Recessed Lighting, which is very nice, but the bulbs are all different sizes. You can't tell by looking at them, so you have to carefully read the bottom of the bulb, then take the whole thing with you when you go to the store to replace the thing, just so you can match them up. Dwight has been carrying around this 'old bulb' for a couple of days, now, so I'm still working in the semi-darkness, only this time it's literal as opposed to all the rest of the time when it's purely figurative! ha,ha,ha,ha! (Yes, that one's for my own enjoyment! yuff, yuff!)

Oh, and in case you haven't seen the pictures of My Office, it's all Glassed in on the Lower Walk-Out Level of the House, so technically I have all sorts of light, according to Dwight, but I've grown accustomed to all the lights shining brilliantly on my computer, so I miss the burnt out one... but you know there's always one burnt out bulb in the crowd, so now I know which one it is! nya'ha, ha!

Here's a much easier way to get what I mean about my Office -- and of course I have the TV Positioned in the Lower Living Room so I can watch it while I'm working -- no wonder I never leave the house! ha,ha!

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Can you see the Green Rocking Chair? I got that just after Aidan was born, so I could have a nice, comfy chair to Nurse him in (I'm a big believer in Breastfeeding -- but more on that later -- there's a website I want to check out first before passing it along to you...). Anyway, it's my favourite chair, and perfect for watching The Sopranos -- whenever someone is about to get 'whacked', I simply spin around and say to Dwight, "Tell me when I can look..." He's very subtle about the whole thing of me being hyper-sensitive to violoence, so he invariably says "Oh My God -- ugh, not like that! Not the Head...!" That sort of thing, so I probably would be better off just watching it, rather than create my own images based on Dwight's reactions... But The Sopranos Season Finale was great, and now we can't wait for another Full Season! Wonder where we'll be??

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! And you look very lovely in this dimmed light -- maybe we should work like this more often... har, har!

See you tomorrow! Ailsa!

Oh, hey -- check it out -- this came in my e-mail, this morning, and they're all Free e-Cards. I send these all the time to my Family and Friends -- in fact, I better go do that right now, because it's my First Boyfriend's Birthday tomorrow -- Larry, and I think he'll 48 or 49 ... man, where does the time go? (I always had a penchant for an 'older man', even way back then! I was 18 and he was 25...) And I think he's still single, and has always been very good-looking, if there are any Single Gals out there in the Market for a nice guy! I better ask him if he's involved! ha,ha,ha! So Happy Birthday, Larry! I'll send you an e-card! Ailsa!

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It's The Weekend! WooHoo! June 5th & 6th, 2004. Hi, Honey! You're Home!! Wit' da Hostess wid da Mostess...! ha,ha! Man, the excitement in Calgary is palpable! You can feel it permeating the whole City -- it's wild! All the jobs are being cancelled on account of the Game, and everyone wants to be ready in case (!) The Calgary Flames Win Tonight, then we'll have a Party like it's 1999... no, wait, that's already past... like it's 2099! By then we'll have little Robots to do all our Skating for us, but it won't be as much fun as watching these two Teams duke it out -- Go Flames, Go!!! (Oh, and on the offchance you ain't followin' the Hockey Finals, The Calgary Flames are in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals with The Tampa Bay Lightning, and these two teams are so well matched, the Games are incredible... some of the best Hockey I've seen in years!)

Dwight's 'guys' are coming over, today, to help him with some Shovelling and whatever else it is that they do ... there's a lot of Prep work to be done before the Driveway can go in ... I'm hoping that I won't have to do too much shovelling -- I feel I do enough of that when I'm writing... ba-dum-bump! ha,ha,ha! Yes, I'm giddy with excitement... it's hard to describe what has happened up here because of a Sports Team -- an unbelieveably GREAT Sports Team -- Da Flames!! YaaaHoooo! And we haven't even started drinking, yet! ha,ha!

I've been working really hard all week on my new 'Dads 'N Grads' Page, so if you haven't picked out a Gift for a Dad or a Grad in your Life (or you'd like to get a wee something for yourself, since God Knows you're worth it...! ha,ha!) Well, clearly that's MY voice in that last line -- who knows why I feel like I have to justify any special item I might want to get for myself... what's that all about? I know, now that I think of it -- because I'm still dealing with what is commonly referred to round here as 'Dwight's Money', and I hate that... totally! I want to have my very own money, so I can go buy what I like without having to discuss it first, or get 'the big approval'... that sucks... (yes, I'm up late writing this, and getting more bitter by the minute...ha,ha,ha,ha! Bitter and funny -- whatever -- for some reason those two characteristics go together for me!) Anyway, let me concentrate on The Game and try to forget about all that stuff!

Tip of the Day: Here's a little Moving Tip, if you're moving into a new house that you happen to be building yourself -- Once you get your House to the Lock-Up Stage (literally, when you can lock the doors and windows...), start to pack up the stuff from your current home and bring it over in small loads to store in the Garage. And if your Build happens to run a little longer than you thought it would (ha,ha,ha!), you can store all your stuff in the Garage while you stay either at a hotel or temporary accomodations (not the In-Laws, if that can possibly be avoided!).

And if you're not moving into a house that you're building yourself (and I do hope that happens for you at least once or twice in your lifetime...!), start packing as soon as you have a Firm Offer on your House. It's surprising how quickly the time will fly, and before you know it, you have three days left to pack and haven't gotten around to getting any boxes... remember that Seinfeld 'Boxes' Eposide? That happens to everyone, at least once! ha,ha! But it is good to get a handle on the Packing well in advance of any move -- it'll be waaaay less stressful on everyone!

Well, here's a wee picture of me in some Calgary Flames Colours -- Red and Black -- luckily, two of my favorite colours to wear! I did try to make this picture larger, but just go ahead and click to enlarge it, if you want to... and, yes, that's Aidan leaping in front of me, and those ARE my Thigh High Boots -- every chick should own a pair! ha,ha,ha!

Thanks for coming in for a wee visit! Did I tell you how fabulous you're looking today? You look great in that Calgary Flames Shirt!! ha,ha,ha,ha!! Go Flames, Go!!!

Click the Door on yer way out, Baby!! Ailsa!!

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Friday, June 4th, 2004. Yo, yo, yo! What up wit' mah Home-ies?? I had a lot of construction related calls to make, this morning, so it took me ages to get in here to right this... Dwight finally agreed that it's time to hire the Bobcat guy to skim that gravel off the Driveway -- the Driveway Pavers are coming next week, so we don't have any extra time... I'm not sure what Dwight was thinking... apparently, he was trying to wait until the Hockey Finals were over...! So I've scheduled the guys in between the last two Games -- if we even NEED Two More Games -- it's lookin' very, very good for The Calgary Flames to Win the Stanley Cup this Saturday Night -- man, and then Calgary is gonna Go MAD!!! We're all Flames Crazy up here, we're soooo excited about the Flames being so close to Winning the Cup! YaaHoo!

<Purchase last-minute tickets at and get FREE shipping plus 5% off on all orders in June using code "June5">

I don't know what the odds would be on finding a Ticket for any of these amazing Playoff Games -- for the NHL or the NBA, but this is a great Source to try! Oh, and I just turned on Ellen Degeneres's's's Show -- it was a repeat, but Chicago was on performing, and they just said that Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire will be Touring together this summer... man, wouldn't that be a Great Show??

So one of the other exciting Construction-Related Calls was to the Septic Service -- 'ooooh, tell me more!', you say? Okay, I know you're interested in that kind of sh... no, I can't say that... stuff. I had mentioned to Dwight a couple of weeks ago that I thought it would be a good idea to have the Septic Tank Cleaned before we Paved the Driveway, but I couldn't get an agreement on that (there's a big surprise!), until I called Dwight to let him know Ron the Bobcat Guy will be here, tomorrow. Then he says it would be a great idea to empty out the Septic System before the Driveway gets paved... sound familiar?? Ah, well, as long as it gets done. It's generally much easier around here if I just let Dwight think he came up with whatever idea there is, if it means getting the work done. Sometimes I will mention it later, but then he just shrugs it off as my 'fanciful thnking' (my words! ha,ha,ha!)...

Tip of the Day: When you live out in the Country and have a Septic Field, be sure to get your Septic Tank cleaned out every year, if you have a regular amount of people in the house, and other circumstances are in the 'normal' range, too... You can have your Septic Cleaning Service book you in for the same time every year, and that works out well for everyone. We're having that service done a little early, on account of the New Driveway going in -- we don't want anything to happen between now and the time the Pavement is 'set' so the giant Truck can drive up to the Tanks with no damage to the new driveway. Then the whole process doesn't need to happen again until next summer, and who knows where we'll be by then?? Actually, there's something kind of exciting about that -- not having a clue where I'll land by next summer! Hmmmmm... it's all open to speculation!

I still can't seem to get the Photoshop open -- that happens from time to time, for some unknown reason to me, so I'll go get you some pictures I came across yesterday -- they're cute!

So here's Tia wearing her Sweater! I'd forgotten all about these pictures -- I had them labelled under 2004, like I had a plan to only have a few pictures for the whole year! ha,ha!

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Tia is very careful to stay on the Carpet by the Back Door when she wants to go out or when she first comes back in to get her 'feet checked' -- she holds up one paw at a time so you can check to see if her paws are clean! ha,ha! Man, we love her sooo much! It's hard to believe that she's older than Aidan -- but she arrived in our little family a year before Aidan did!

See how she's on her Rope? We put a 100 foot Rope out the Back tied to the Deck, and there's one for the Front Door, too, although she rarely goes out the Front, anymore. She doesn't get to use the full 100 feet very often, because she quickly wraps herself around the only Tree of any substance in the back garden! Funny girl! So we wrap the extra rope around the corner post on the deck to 'reel her in' a wee bit, and that worked. You can see she has lots of room to run around -- she's a lucky wee dog!

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! It's always lovely to see you! And I love that outfit you're wearing ... what is that? Pure Polyester? That's nice the way it stretches with you, no matter which way you go -- good choice! Just ignore those idiots who tell you to go change -- it's important to cling to your own personal style -- and I do mean 'cling'! ha,ha,ha,ha! (Yes, that last one was purely for my own enjoyment! Someone has to keep me amused around here! ha,ha!)

See you tomorrow for the Weekend Update!

Just 'Click' Your Way outta here, Baby! Thanks, Ailsa!

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Thursday, June 3rd, 2004. Hey, there, Honey-Babe! Sugar & Spice, Sweet & Sour -- oh, no, that's someone else I'm thinking of! ha,ha,ha! The important thing is to make sure the 'sweet' outweighs the 'sour', lest it won't be good! yuff, yuff! I just colored my hair (I always do that myself -- for some reason, every time I go to the Hairdressers to get it done, I end up looking like a direct relation to Carrot-Top, and that ain't good, so I just do it myself -- and that way I don't have to stop working, so that works for me, too!). I use L'Oreal B1 -- as in "B 1 Blonde, and see what happens"... it's always worth the experiment to try coloring your hair if the thought appeals to you...

Anyway, so I was looking in the enormous mirror, and I thought to myself, "Man, I could have been a Model... in the Twelfth Century!" ba-dum-bump ... I'll tell ya, I could change my name to 'Rubyn Esk', and people would say, "Oooh, that name really suits you...", then I would never speak to them again -- that's just the kind of Gal I am! ha,ha! Ah, well -- it would be fun to get to a Gym -- my days are so incredibly busy that I'm not sure where I'd fit it in... thankfully I still have my Home Gym Equipment, but I've been a little lax with it, lately, except for lifting my Free Weights in my Office while I'm working...

I spent all night, last night, trying to decide whether I should continue to write the Daily Updates, or if I should cut them back or cut them out altogether ... they are very time-consuming (I put in between 60 - 80 hours on My Site every Week, so that would give me the time to work on other aspects of the Site...), but I really enjoy writing them, and I like the response from my Brilliant Readers... hmmm. Tough call. I think I'll keep them for now, and stop them if I have to go get a 'Regular Job', since there's no way I could manage all of that at the same time. And since I was up all night thinking, I must have fallen asleep in the early morning, then when my Alarm went off, I must have shut it off and dozed back to sleep... that not good, as Thor the Neanderthal would say...

Thankfully, Cara got up with her Alarm, and I saw her walk past our Bedroom, but by then everyone was in a big panic because Dwight had a Crane Guy coming this morning for a Job he's doing in Calgary, and those Crane Guys arrive early and cost a fortune, so you never want to be late for them (Oh, and if you're looking for a great job in The Trades, consider training to become a Crane Operator -- they make a very healthy wage -- we know one young guy who was earning over $90 Grand by the time he was only 19 -- and Dwight dreams of owning a Crane, since you can rent them out to the big Oil Companies by the hour, 24/7... not a bad little deal if you can get it! Of course, a Crane costs about the same as a house, and we still need to have a home before we have a Crane, so he'll have to wait! But it's a good idea, should that opportunity ever find it's way to your doorstep...!).

So here's why I had to turn the Alarm off immediately -- Dwight hates my music -- I like R & B, Hip Hop, Soul... that sort of thing (actually, I like a very wide range of music, but that's what I like to wake up to...), but Dwight hates "that noise" -- he's 46 goin' on 90, I think! ha,ha,ha!(Yes, that's just for my own amusement -- and he's already wearing his black socks hiked up to his knees -- very disconcerting! ha,ha,ha!) Now, because of his extreme dislike of 'My Music', I have to turn the Radio Alarm off the second I hear it, so on regular days I leap out of bed, but not today... You know, I often wonder if I did return to the regular 'world of work', would I be able to get up consistently every day (on time...), but the reality is most likely that I wouldn't be with Dwight if I returned to 'The Outside World', so I could leave the music on as long as I liked -- I flirt with that idea from time to time (like from morning to dusk...! ha,ha,ha!). We'll see, we'll see...

Man, I still haven't called our Bobcat Guy to get the Gravel skimmed off the Driveway. Dwight is concerned that there will be too big a time frame between the time we get the Gravel skimmed off the Driveway and the time it takes for the Paving Company to come over to Roll and Prepare the Driveway for the Paving. We don't want to have a big sea of mud, that's for sure... I wanted Dwight to give me the okay before I hire yet another guy, and I don't have that, yet, so that's frustrating. Think I'll just go ahead and hire our Bobcat Guy, anyway -- the Pavers are supposed to be here next week, and I don't want to miss the opportunity to get this Driveway Paved.

Tip of the Day: Here's a little Lawn Mowing Tip I thought of after I was out mowing the lawn the other night -- Mow the Lawn in the Heat of the Day. It used to be that you would wait until it was cooler out (dusk) to mow the lawn, but it dawned on me the other night that those pesky wee mosquitoes might be out already, and now they pose a risk of West Nile Virus ... Typically, mosquitoes are at their worst in wet environments or in the evening. I can't remember now if they come out in the morning -- you know when you're camping, it feels like they're out in force day in and day out...! Anyway, if it's sunny and the grass is nice and dry, you should be a whole lot safer.

Well, Aidan wants me to go get him another snack, "to help him become even more super fast -- even more like a torpedo!" -- He's an entertaining little boy! I'm lucky to have been able to stay home with him all these years -- he'll be heading off to Kindergarten in the Fall ... all very exciting! So when Aidan is in Grade One, Cara will be in Grade Twelve -- now there's some careful planning! ha,ha,ha!

Speaking of Aidan, here are a couple of 'tricks' I use to get him to drink more water (as opposed to pop...).

The trick is to make the water seem a whole lot more exciting -- I found this Tiny 'Water Cooler' that Aidan can use by himself, so he really likes that!

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The other thing I do is clean out the little Coke Bottles in the Dishwasher, then fill them with water and place them around the house where Aidan is likely to go -- his spot at the Table, where he likes to sit at The Island, and over by the TV. That way when he's thirsty, he's more likely to drink Water. And of course, I always give him a 'Water Chaser' with any Fruit Juice or Pop, and he's "okay with that", he says! ha,ha!

Thanks for coming in for a little visit! And thank you to the extra-nice Readers who clicked on the Ads! I really appreciate all your Support!
See you tomorrow! Ailsa!

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It's a Red Ad in honor of The Calgary Flames -- Go Flames, Go!!! There's another Big Hockey Game tonight at 6:00 pm, Calgary Time... The Calgary Flames vs. The Tampa Bay Lightning... they're 2 & 2, so I'm sure it'll be a great Game!!

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Wednesday, June 2nd, 2004. Hi, there, Sweet Pea! Apple of My Eye... String Bean...wait a minute, that's not right -- I used to be called 'String Bean' when I was a very young Teenager, and was very, very insulted by it, but now it wouldn't be so bad to hear, but there ain't nobody sayin' that to me, these days! ha,ha,ha,ha! Ah, well. You know, I am so incredibly easily side-tracked... I got a couple of interesting e-mails, and the next thing I knew, it was noon, and I hadn't even started my Update, yet... good thing I'm my own Boss! ha,ha,ha! I'm very understanding about how easiliy distracted I am! I rationalize it, of course, as 'having a great range of interests' -- do you buy that? ha,ha!

Well, it wasn't like I wasn't working on the Site -- I found a letter in amongst my massive amount of e-mail that I was trying to get rid of, and it was about Stucco, and the letter was from 'One Teacher to Another...'. I love Stucco and I love Teachers, so I had to deal with that right away ... buyin' it, yet?? ha,ha! One of the huuuge Goals I have for this Site is to have as many Teachers read it as possible, because once a teacher (any teacher) gets new information, or information they think is interesting and presented well, the first thing they want to do is Pass It On... We're all like that -- it's in a Teacher's DNA, I'm pretty sure! ha,ha!

If we could get the message out to all our young Students about how important it is to Manage Your Money Well, we'd have a much happier Society -- it's true. If you are secure in your 'Financial Life', you'll feel better about yourself in general, and that translates into a happier person, so you'll be more likely to meet another happy person, and before you know it, they'll have a swack of little happy people... ha,ha,ha! And I'm here to dispell those stooopid myths that Poverty is a Magical State... puhleeeeease... what idiot came up with that? Poverty sucks, and I'm here to tell ya'! Been there, done that, won't be doin' that again! There's nothing worse than not having enough money to feed yourself or your children -- maybe that's why I'm so obsessed with making a Good Living, now? But I hate when people Romanticize something that is terrible. You don't need to be poor to be creative -- people with money can think, too ... and they don't have to spend 90% of their time trying to figure out how to Pay the Utility Bill...

Anyhooo, if you're a Teacher, or Not a Teacher... (okay, that's everybody included now, right?? ha,ha!) Pass this Site along through your Mailing Lists, and we'll see if we can't help all sorts of Folks to learn how to make their lives better -- even a wee bit makes it all worth while! (That and a reasonable Profit from when My Wonderful Readers Click on My Ads..!) It would be soooo cool to plant a seed in everybody to start thinking about Buying Their Own Place... now here's the irony -- I can't convince my Best Friend, Greg, who will be 52 this summer (man, I canny believe how old my friends are all getting! ha,ha,ha,ha! It's extra-funny because I'm right behind them! yuff, yuff! And for the record, I do have a lot of Male Friends -- always have... I wonder if I had a 'quick dip in the Neo-Natal Androgen Pool', since I tend to 'think like a man' in many circumstances...You know, I just remembered -- I was actually tested for that years ago -- "How is she able to understand a Blueprint...??" Ugh. Those were the days... anyway, it turned out that I am 'Whole Brained' instead of 'Right Brained' or 'Left Brained' -- hey, it's better than bein' 'No-Brained' -- now that would have been a disturbing diagnosis! ha,ha,ha!) to buy his own Home. He's very settled in his Perfect Apartment -- and nothing has moved since I first met him 20 years ago -- I'll bet I could draw you a picture of everything in the Apartment, and it would still be in the same place! ha,ha!

So here's the bottom line on the Brain Thing -- I just think like a Person, or an extremely emotional man... or something...whatevah, I'm happy wit' mah' Brain, and I'm pleased that it can continue to work for me everyday, for free! ha,ha,ha! That ended up being a really, really long paragraph, didn't it? Well, one of the best ways to find a new Site is through word-of-mouth, so feel free to talk about me behind my back to as many folks as you can! Don't worry, I can't really hear you -- I did't Mike all those Cameras, so you should be safe enough to say whatever you like! har, har!

The reason I am trying to get reg to Buy His Own Place is that the closer you get to Retirement, the more and more necessary it is to Own Your Own Home. The last thing you want to do, if it can possibly be avoided, is to have a Rent Payment due every month for your whole life -- you can never guarantee how much you would be paying each and every month, or how high the Rent could potentially go up. It's always better at this stage of the Game to Own Your Own Home. The key is to Buy anything at all that you can afford -- and the sooner, the better. The Big Object is to have your Mortgage Paid Off before you hit the Retirement Years... or at least have the Final Mortgage Payment somewhere in sight by that point. Just think how much better off our kids will be if we can get that information to them really early? We've already taken 4 year old Aidan out Condo Shopping! ha,ha,ha! No, he says he wants 'a really big house...' -- now where did he get that from?? ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: I went ahead and hired a Paving Company to Pave our Driveway, so here's a little tip from 'Bob', the fellow I'm dealing with directly. Before you even have the Gravel Scraped off the Driveway (and this is for a relatively new Driveway...), be sure to take some Round Up or other powerful Weed Killer and spray anything green or greenish in the are you are going to have paved. If you don't do that, the Grass or Weeds will grow right up through the Pavement. Can you believe that? Dwight was outside, last night, spraying down the grass and weeds in the Driveway Area, so I went out to Mow the Lawn. I looove mowing the lawn, so that might be another benefit of the 'Cross-eyed Brain' ... or whole brain thing! ha,ha,ha,ha!

I'll go see if I can get into Photoshop, today -- I couldn't get in yesterday to 'name' a few new pictures for you (they need a special new name before I can get them on the Site...). Oh, and check out Ask Ailsa to read the new letter about Stucco!

Well, I couldn't get into the Photoshop quickly enough (hate that...!), but here are three nice shots of the Three Stages of Stucco. The first step is to 'Wrap' the House -- with Tyvek (or equivalent) Paper and Wire -- looks like Chicken Wire to me...

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Then the Second Step is to put on the 'Scratchcoat' -- that's the grey coat in the middle picture. The Final Stucco Coat goes on last in whatever color you like that is approved by whatever your Architectural Guidelines allow! And that's the Sunroom on the South Side of the House, and the Dining Room and Great Room on the North-West Side of the House. Pretty, eh? Now who's a good little Designer?? ha,.ha!

Aidan is playing a Mouth Organ (in Scotland, they call them a "Mouthie", but I can't think if they have a 'North American Name...oh, a Harmonica! Tha's what they're called...) shaped like a Lobster Claw! Hilarious! He'll have to put that away before his father gets home, since Dwight doesn't find high pitched instruments all that amusing! ha,ha,ha! Now he's trying to 'control me' with the music -- Aidan spends a good portion of his day tying to 'hippotize me' -- too late, I'm already on my way! ha,ha! His big goal is to hypnotize me into doing everything he says -- now where did he get that notion from?? ha,ha,ha!

Okay, that's it for me, today! Thanks for coming in for a wee visit!

See you tomorrow! Ailsa!

Here's the 'Click of the Day' Gimme a little Click on your way out the Door! ha,ha!

Oh, and they have a Free Guide to Long-term Investing, too! Click, click!

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Tuesday, June 1st, 2004. Hey, Baby! Welcome 'Home'! Man, can you believe it's June already?? I thought we'd never see the sun, again -- that was a long, long winter in Calgary, this year -- it started last September and I hope to God that's the last we've seen of the snow! ha,ha! How crazy is that for a weather pattern? No wonder we all have a good sense of humour -- how else could you manage it?? Well, what did you do on yer fancy 'Long Weekend'? No excessive Drinking, I can only hope -- that's for a Wednesday... har, har!

Did you see the Calgary Flames and the Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey Game last night? Those are two incredible Teams -- and equally matched up the waaazoooo... the next Game is on Thursday Night (and an amazing Game it will be, because now we're 2 - 2 in the 7 Game Series, so the Fight is soooo on!!), and we saw on the News that you can buy a Ticket for $5.00 to watch the Game on the Giant Screens at the Saddledome -- you can pick up the Tickets at the Calgary Co-Op Stores, and all the Money goes to the Calgary Food Bank. Isn't that a great idea? That saves any problems with 20,000 people finding a seat (which means fewer brawls...) and a huge amount of money going to the Foodbank. I used to run a 'mini-foodbank' at any School where I was working over the years, at Christmastime, and the amount of labor involved in sorting through the Food Donations is massive, so this way, the Food Bank can use the Money to buy exactly what they need. Dwight is going to swing by the the Co-Op to see if he can score a couple of tickets -- it would be fun to take Cara down there for that kid of experience!

You know what is very sad? That we even need Food Banks, and so many of them. What on earth happened that we stopped paying a Living Wage, or that so many Working People (and many non-working, too...) needed the Services of a Food Bank just to feed themselves and their Families? That's reprehensible in First World Nations, let alone anywhere else. In Canada and The States, we both have a Major Election coming up, so wouldn't it be great to make this part of their Platforms? Aren't you tired of all the mudslinging and crap -- who cares about that? I care about people in our own Countries not having enough to eat or a place ot live. You know that old phrase, "Charity Begins at Home"? Well, I think that should be true for Countries, too. The more you allow people in your own Country to succeed, the more they will then be able to help others -- that's the beauty of the 'pay-it-forward' plan... maybe we can make that work for us on a National Level.

I'll tell you, there were some major changes made to our Unemployment Program in Canada about 10 years ago -- maybe a wee bit longer... anyway, there is a huuuge surplus in that Government Fund, because the Government changed the Rules for who was eligible for Unemployment Insurance, so hardly anyone can get it anymore. That's outrageous, and most Canadians don't discover that until they're out of work, and that's awful. Maybe the old System for the Unemployment Program could be revisited... maybe that could be an Election Platform, too...

And you know what else drives me up the wall -- and infuriates Dwight? The Canadian Gun Registry. What a total waste of good money that should have gone to supporting the vast numbers of Abuse Shelters and Abuse Programs out there. The Gun Registry itself does absolutely nothing to protect women -- in fact, I think it makes matters even worse. Did you know there's a line on the Form that requires 'The Wife" to sign on the dotted line that her husband is NOT a nut, and gets to keep his Firearms at home? Yep.. Think a woman who is afraid of her husband is ever NOT going to sign that? And then the new Gun Laws require the Owner of the Guns to Keep Them at Home -- how intensely stupid is that? And you can't SELL your Guns, because then you have to go and take yet another Course in order just to sell the damn things... I'd like to know what moron came up with this system, then Vote Them Out.

Just so's you know why I am sooo familiar with the National Gun Registry, it's something Dwight used to talk about endlessly -- he's a Hunter (yuck...), as are many, many Canadians... and he likes to go Hunting in the Fall. This is a major issue in our house, because Dwight feels he should be able to take off and go hunting like it's a God-Given Right, and he shouldn't have to tell me when he plans to go... so every Fall is annoying, to say the least. Now, I don't mind all that much if he goes, provided he gives me some heads-up when he's going and that he only tells me the stories of what's happening in his Hunting Buddies Personal Lives, and absolutely nothing about the hunt, which I can't stand... ick. I say, "Why not just swing by the Grocery Store if you want a Steak??" Dwight has no sense of humour when it comes to huntin'...

The other thing I don't like at all is the whole thing about the Gun Owner having to keep their Guns at Home... why can't they establish some sort of Warehouse or something where Gun Owners can 'Store' their Guns until Hunting Season rolls around, again? I know that would require some money to establish, but it's much safer for everyone NOT to have any guns handy in the home, whether they're in a Gun Safe or not, and I know the Gov't has a knack for getting plenty of dough out of Canadians, so maybe some of the Revenue could go to this. Or it could be a Private Enterprise... there'd be a lot of Profit in that, I'm sure... And then they could have some method where the Gun Owner had to show their 'Ticket' for whatever they are off to hunt (I can't think of the special name for that -- Lot Number, maybe...?), and they could call the Spouse or Partner at Home to let them know the Guns were being picked up. Then the Guns could be dropped off on the way home from the Hunting Trip... that would work for me, since I never, ever want to see a gun up close. Never. Something to think about...

Ironically enough, while I've been writing this, the people from Elections Canada stopped by the house to Register us for the upcoming Election. I completely forgot that we were in a New Area, so we would have to Register here and find out exactly where we are supposed to go to Vote, which makes for a Good Tip of the Day...

Tip of the Day: If you've moved between the time of the Last Election and the Next, upcoming Elections, make sure you are fully Registered to Vote, and find out exactly where you are supposed to go to Vote. It's surprising how quickly another Election Year comes along, so it's good to get that stuff in order before the actual Election Day. Now, we're out in the Country, so the Address they Wanted was the Legal Land Description -- who knows that off the top of their head?? I never would have been able to come up with that info if I were in the actual line-up to vote... so if you also need that (or just in general), bring your Gas Bill and Electrical Bill with you to Register to Vote. The information should be in the Top Left Hand of the Bill. Plus, it proves that you live there. And you'll need your I.D. -- a Driver's Licence is usually enough.

Oh, and Elections Canada has a website -- -- you should be able to get any information on How to Register or Where Your Polling Booth Will be... And if you're in The States, you can go check out Rock The Vote -- the only link I have to that is through , Margaret Cho's New Website. Just scroll down a wee bit and you'll find the direct link.

Okay, let me go grab you some new pictures -- be right back!

Here's my fave new Salad -- Pecan Coleslaw. It's a highly involved Salad, what with the Three Ingredients 'n all...

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Start with the Coleslaw that comes Pre-packaged from the Grocery Store. Add on a couple of Dollops (that's a technical term for 'some sort of a large spoonful...') of Mayonaise. Crush some Pecans and add them, too. I like that as the whole Meal, but Dwight insists on having 'real food', too... but I still think it makes a delicious Lunch, all on it's own!

Well, that's not at all what I was gonna talk about today -- see what happens when you get off on a tangent?? Ah, well. We all have serious issues we would like to see dealt with, and the Political Arena is a great place to start, and that's controlled by each and every one of us, so why not exercise your Right to Vote?

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit, today! I loves me a Visitor! And I particularly like the Visitors who Click on My Ads -- that's the way I support My Site...

Hey, I was 'talking' to Jonathan at, this morning (really, I only communicate by e-mail...!), and he said it was OKAY for me to ask you to please Click Through on this Ad. Here's the deal -- I make 10 cents for every click -- so that's a whole dollar after only 10 clicks -- you can see how quickly that can add up to 3, maybe 4 dollars! ha,ha,ha,ha! Given that I have thousands of visitors every day, I'm hoping this will start to generate a 'Living Wage', so go ahead and "Gimme a Little Click!" Thank You -- now I can buy that extra bottle of wine I've had my eye on! ha,ha,ha,ha! Ailsa!

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Monday, May 31st, 2004. Happy Memorial Day to my American Friends!! I hope you're all havin' a great Weekend! And everybody, else, too -- although I know the Canadians out there had a great Weekend because The Calgary Flames WON AGAIN on Saturday! YaaHoo!! All of Canada is behind the Flames, now, so that's very exciting! The Calgary Flames and Tampa Bay Lightning are Playing again, tonight, at 6:00 p.m. The Drama Department at Cara's Fine Arts School must be some of the few people in Canada not watching the Stanley Cup Series, so she has a Play Practice until 6:00... now that ain't good! We'll have to work around that...

I was sooo happy to turn on The View, this morning, and it was a NEW one -- Yippee! Since it's Memorial Day in The States, I thought we'd have all reruns, all day long -- oh, and the highlight of our Sunday Nights is The Sopranos, so just before 9:00 pm, I ran upstairs to make myself a big pot of Tea in prepartion for a whole hour away from the kettle, ran down the stairs for 9:00, and Dwight says, "Oh, no -- it's not on!" So I had to take the remote to check for myself -- so we sat there for a few minutes, trying to figure out if there was a Program Change, trying to decide whether Adrianna being whacked last wee was indeed the Season Finale -- and, incidentally, that's the most we talked all day... Anyway, I figured that we would have heard something in the Papers and on TV about the Sopranos Season Finale, so I said to Dwight that maybe it's just delayed on account of the American Holiday, and too many people would miss it... we were just grasping at straws, at that point! How sad is that?? ha,ha,ha!

Ah, well. I decided to go get some more reading in -- I'm still working away at John Updike's Rabbit At Rest. There's a scene in the Book from Sarasoto in Florida at what John Updike refers to as "Jungle World" -- and I've actually been there, so it was funny to read his account of the Gardens, and know every inch of that Property! That doesn't happen very often, I'm thinking especially if you're heavily into Science Fiction! ha,ha,ha,ha! Oh, hey... have you ever read the Sci-Fi with 'The Overlords'? I read it when I was a teenager, so I can't quite remember who wrote it or the Title, but I do recall it was a great book, and those "Objects" that were spotted in the skies over Mexico a couple of weeks ago reminded me of it. Funny how something like Objects in the Sky doesn't warrent as much Press as, say, a new Madonna Move (although, I like to see that, too... I'm a Girl of many interests! ha,ha,ha!) Anyway, I'm thinking it could have been Ray Bradbury... if you know that book I'm talking about, drop me a line and tell us all... I'll put it on my Great Books Page!

So back the The View -- they had a wee segment on Marriage -- surprise! Apparently, there was a Study that suggested that a Bad Marriage was as bad for your heart as smoking amd drinking excessively... now that ain't good! I quickly did the math, and I'm guessing I'm the equivalent of smoking 5 - 10 packs of Schmokes a Day, plus about 3 cases of Beer... hmmmmm, you'd think I'd be happier -- too bad it doesn't have the 'numbing upside' of the excessive drinking and smoking! ha,ha! Really, I must do something about that! And speaking of that, I got out Dr. Phil's Relationship Rescue the other day, just to have another look at it (I keep them in my little Library around the corner from my Office...), and I started to do one of the Exercises where you fill in the Blanks -- it says, "My Spouse...", "My Parents...", "I'd like to..." and you're supposed to finish the sentence. My answers were awful,so I had to put that book away and go have another Crunchie Bar, which I found helped more than anything -- that could be my new 'Relationship Advice' -- "Don't you have a chocolate bar you'd like to eat?? Try and escape into Chocolate" -- naw, I probably won't be accepted in these days of 'The Food Police"! ha,ha!

Oh, and I ordered some Books from My Great Books Page (catchy Title, I know! ha,ha!), yesterday. Cara came into my room, yesterday to ask me to take her 'into Town' to get a new Book, but I really didn't feel like leaving the House (think I might have a small problem with that -- something has to be really, really appealing to me for me to plan to actually leave the house -- it's very, very comfy out here, and there's so much space that I never feel confined, or anything... plus, there's always sooo much to do, it's hard to find a window of opportunity to 'waste time' shopping... except for on-line, so Cara and I played a game of Scrabble in my Office while I was putting in my order -- we went through my Book Page, so that generally connects to Barnes and Noble.

We ordered Donald Trump's new book, How to Get Rich (for Dwight's Father's Day Gift -- now we have that and the Sopranos what did he get for me on Mother's Day -- can't remember, now, but I know he didn't bother his shirt to get me any Flowers, Chocolates or a Book -- my three favorite things ... hmmmm, must establish a more equal relationship...). We ordered J.D. Salinger's Catcher in The Rye, because I think it's the best book for every teenager in the world to read, and Cara was desperate for the next book in a Series that she's been reading -- Girls on Film, by Zoey Dean. I'll go make a direct link for you for that book -- the other one was called The A-List, and Cara said it was a great read, so if you are a teenager, or you have a teenager, check those out! (And of course, I'll be the first to read old Donald's How to Get Rich, then I'll leave it out for Dwight on the offchance that he reads it, too -- so far, I haven't had any luck with that, although he did make his way through a Guide to Investing...)

Tip of the Day: We got our other Two Quotes in for the Driveway to be Paved, and one of them came in at $6750., plus another $810. for the Sealer, and the other one came in at "Around $6,000."... so here's your 'Tip of the Day' -- never accept any quote that is 'Around anything..." No. It must have a real number attached to it, and everything that is included, and occasionally what is NOT included. Then you know what you're realy dealing with. "Around" is just a bad word to hear in a quote, or anything else, now that I think of it... "How many Convictions have you had?" "Oh, around 30..." See how that can carry over into your regular life? ha,ha,ha,ha! The other thing is to always Hire Local, because the price will be better, especially if they have to bring their Materials and Equipment a fair distance -- that's rarely a good idea.

Now, we know that this Driveway will probably come in somewhere in the $6,500. Range, after all the Work has been done, because the Large Gravel that's out there right now has to be all scraped off, and New Crushed Gravel put in ...and then there will be some Landscaping around the new Driveway. It's always a lot of work, but well worth it in the end, because I'm sure it'll look gorgeous! I'll take pictures through the Process so I can share them with you...

Speaking of New Pictures, I did go and make a Peach Pie, this weekend, and it's deeelicious! I've had a piece for Breakfast, today, because isn't Pie one of the Major Food Groups? Well it is for me, and I ain't a'changin'! ha,ha! It's easy to rationalize Pie for Breakfast -- it's full of Fruit ... aaaahhhh, that's all I got, but still, it's full of fruit, so that has to count for something, right? ha,ha,ha,ha! (Yes, I'm just entertaining myself right now -- who says I need to get out the house more often?? ha,ha!)

I'll go get you some nice new pictures of Peach Pie -- maybe you'd like to make it, yourself, for a wee treat!

This really is very tasty -- I have no idea what kind of Fat and Calories are in it -- who cares?? Not me! To hell with that... I know, I have a really bad attitude, today! ha,ha! Ah, well... that's just the way I is!!

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Thanks for swingin' in for a wee visit! I love to have visitors, even if I can barely see you through the computer! yuff, yuff!

Swigs & Jigs (that's 'Drinkin' 'n Dancin'...!), Ailsa!!


Click on Your Favorite Team Color!!

It's another Red Ad for The Calgary Flames!

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It's Another May Long Weekend! May 29th & 30th, 2004. Happy Memorial Day, for all My American Readers! I hope you have at least one Barbeque to go to, or have a bunch of folks over to your place for a big Grill (that's 'grill', not to be confused with 'girl', which is an entirely different type of party... yuff. yuff!). Hey, maybe this is a good weekend to try some of my favorite Recipes -- and if you're at all trying to 'score some brownie points', so-to-speak (or just trying to score -- really, I'm not completely sure on how desperate you are this weekend...! ha,ha,ha!), I'm tellin' ya, there are some real winners in there -- check out the Cheesecake -- it's a real crowd pleaser... (how desperate are you?? No, don't tell me -- write and let me know the details gotta get to cookin'! ha,ha!).

And speaking of Scoring (and that has but one meaning in this house, and I'm talking here, of course, about Hockey...! n'yuk, n'yuk!), The Big Flames vs. Lightning Hockey Finals are on at 2:00 pm on Saturday afternoon, then again on Monday Night here in Downtown Calgary. And yes, the Police are on Horseback -- that's to handle the types of crime we have up here -- people wandering too far into the Street, possibly some Littering -- it could be crazy! ha,ha,ha! I wonder if they intentionally scheduled the Hockey Game for the middle of the Afternoon so they can keep better control over the Crowds after the Game, especially when (!) The Flames Win! You never know -- that would make sense, though, because you are generally far less likely to 'Show your assets' in the Light of Day than you are under the cover of Night...

Quick Update: Dwight was wrong about the Start Time for The Game -- it's 6:00 pm, Calgary Time... and here we raced around all morning to get all our work done -- I went out and mowed the giant lawn and Dwight dug some sort of tunnel system -- I think he might be trying to escape...ha,ha,ha,ha! Then I went to make the Peach Pie before the Game started, and couldn't find my favorite Deep Dish Glass Pie Plate, so I went out to the Garage to rummage through the massive amount of stuff we have out there that never was unpacked from almost two years ago ... then I remembered that there's NO WAY I could find my precious Pie Plate, because when Aidan was really little I made the same Peach Pie for this big Pie Event at the Church we went to back then, and one person there took the Pie and the dish home, ate the pie and didn't return the Dish...hmmmm. Now there's an example of how Religion done me wrong... ha,ha,ha,ha! (Yes, I'm kiddin' with the bad English -- it's just a whole lot of fun, but if you're thinking to yourself,"What done there is she a'sayin', that there Bad English", there's something else going on, and we don't gots the time to deal with that, here...! We got a Game to Watch -- at 6:00 p.m.!! ha,ha!)

Hey, did you hear about all the Calgary Girls who are now all over the Internet? ha,ha,ha! They were all caught up in the moment, might have had a wee drink or 6, and 'Showed Their Support' in a 'Flashy' sort of way, and some enterprising young men caught it on Film, and now they'se famous! Ah, there's one of the many hazards of Drinking and Watching Your Favourtie Sports Team Win! ha,ha,ha! Ah, well -- maybe more people will want to travel to Calgary to check out the 'Scenery' for themselves -- that can be our new Tourism Promo!

That reminds me of one of the funniest Tourism Ads I've ever seen -- it's for Travel P.E.I. (Prince Edward Island, -- a beautiful Island & Canadian Province off the Atlantic Coast of Canada). Anyway, I can't remember very much about the content of the Ad, although my best guess is that it involves Anne of Green Gables in some enormous way (the Canadians will be chortling right now... ha,ha!), but the best part of the Ad is at the end when they say, "Call Now, Ask for Mary..."! ha,ha,ha! And then a website address comes on the screen, and it has, or something very similar to that -- the important thing is that it's just Mary who's in charge of Tourism for the Whole Province! That's hilarious! Now, folks from the Maritimes are known for having a wicked sense of humour, so it's hard to say whether Mary is indeed sitting all by herself, waiting for the Tourists, or if they're having a great laugh about it themselves -- either way, it's pretty funny! ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: I was so wrapped up in the Paving Quote thing, yesterday, that I completely forgot to write a Tip -- sorry about that! Here's an extra-good one to make up for that -- Try to Marry Rich. No kidding! Why not? Try to get a really Good-Looking one, too -- see how this ties in with all the Hockey Players in Town? ha,ha,ha! And all the (hopefully) 'available' Girls in Calgary?? Here, I was going to write something about The Stepford Wives, because I am endlessly fascinated by what makes a Marriage Work, and what doesn't -- from what I can tell, alls you gotta do is be Perfect and Clean your Beeehind off (cleaning the house, I mean...!) -- that's what Dwight wants, so that must be right,(I should just go poke 'im with a stick and get it over with... I'm kidding, of course -- I don't have a stick -- maybe a Pixie Stix -- but then if it accidentally spilled, he'd make me clean it up, and then the whole cycle would start all over again... you can see what a delight marriage is! ha,ha,ha!) and then here comes The Stepford Wives to reinforce that idea... or just make your own money and find someone you love! Ha,ha,ha!

Here are Three potentially 'Mate-Finding and Mate-Keeping' Recipes you might like to try this weekend... actually, I bought some extra Sour Cream, so I'm gonna make a Sour Cream Peach Pie -- now that is one of the most deeeelicious pies on the planet!

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Anyway, these are all pretty easy to make, and fabulous taste treats! The first one is a picture of the Fruit Puffs, then Aidan looking lovingly at the Cool 'N Creamy Cheesecake (it's a no-bake Cheesecake), and then there are my favorite Cinnamon Buns! Yum. It's fun to make nice things for the people you love and care about -- that includes yourself, of course! ha,ha!

Thank you for coming in to see me, today! It's always lovely to have a few visitors stop by for a wee chat -- I can hardly hear you though... oh, that reminds me -- check out Ask Ailsa -- there's a funny new letter on there -- I just posted it...!

Have a Fabulous Weekend! Cheers & Guffaws, Ailsa!!

Go Flames, Go!! YaaaaHooooo!

So to be nice and fair to my many Readers from all over, here are two Ads -- the top one is Red for The Calgary Flames...

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And this one is for The Tampa Bay Lightning -- go ahead and click on the Team you Support the most -- it'll be fun to see which one wins!

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Friday, May 28th, 2004. Hello, Goigeous! Are you all excited about an extra day off, if you're in the States? Lucky!! Not that I want another Monday off any time soon -- those extra Mondays are terrible around here, because Dwight hands out these invisible Work Order Sheets and everyone has to fill them -- my holiday is the day after they all go back to work and school...!

Oh, yeah, that reminds me -- I've been hearing a fair bit from an assortment of people that "It's lucky that I don't have to work at all..." Hmmm. That's always a pleasure to hear, since the insinuation is that I sit around doin' absolutely nuthin' all day, every day...yet magically this Site is Produced. And I think I'm well over my first million visitors to my Site, and it looks like I'll pass the 2 million a year over the coming year... which ain't bad -- it'd be better if My Readers clicked on the Google Ads, but what can you do about that? Nuthin'....but at the very least they must be spreading the word to their Friends, because the Site has grown so much since last May...

What drives me Around the Bend and Over the Hill (?!) is when folks can't see beyond what is in their own immediate little circle. There's Value in every job, and every job is important, and not every job involvs getting up at 6:00 am and heading out the door. Mine starts at 6:21 am, but I stay at Home -- and it's no picnic, for the most part. Sometimes it gets really lonely at home all by myself all the time -- with Aidan, of course, but without any other 'Adult' interaction -- that's why My Site is sooo important to me, because I can pretend like I'm chatting with real adults, and I really like that! Plus, I get some really lovely Letters from My Readers, and that feels like I'm having real and actual human contact... man, I couldn't survive without e-mail, now! And to think I just learned how to use that when I was 37 -- I only know that because the first e-mail address I created was 'thatshilarious37...', in honour of how old I was at the time (I'm 41, now...).

Now I had had some 'activity' on the computer in the years before that, but I could never remember how to turn the damn thing on (seriously!), and I had to keep a paper at the side of the computer with each tiny step written out, which I would consult whenever I had to do anything at all to do with the computer... and the 'Internet Highway' completely eluded me -- I visualized an actual Highway, but had no idea of how I was supposed to access that, and I never really wanted to say that to anyone, since I was secretly hoping that it would either have nothing to do with my life, so I wouldn't need to learn anything new, or I would be able to watch someone else find the Highway, then I could try it by myself...

Remember back before you knew how to use the computer, every person (mostly men...) who tried to show you anything on the computer looked like their hands were just flying over the keyboard. They would say, "Here, just do it like this...", then their hands would go like mad and the thing you wanted would appear on the screen... and you were not one step closer to understanding the whole process. I need to see things slowly, write them down, try it myself -- slowly -- then write it down again so I can remember every single Stage. That's just the way I operate. I still have my books of how to do stuff with the Site right beside me, in case I have a Brain Freeze and can't remember something basic... and that's why it's all very exciting for me when I figure something new out, and so unbelievably frustrating when I can't figure out how to do something that someone else thinks is a breeze... it's still pretty new to me.

And then on top of all that, I'm still raising Aidan, who is now 4, and Cara, who just turned 16, and Dwight, 45 going on 46... he's the biggest handful, by far! ha,ha,ha! And Building Houses... little things like that, so it's very insulting when these people say "It's lucky I don't have to do anything..." -- why wouldn't their little brain kick in and stop them from saying that sort of thing? No one person knows what any other person really goes through in a day, and I think it would be pretty shocking to see it if they could -- not that they'd be invited in -- no ... nice people only... like you and me! And the good-looking Coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning! ha,ha,ha,ha! Okay, that's just a Pipe Dream, but all I've got is this big house and my big Dreams to keep me going, so I'm not gonna take it back!

Oh, no. This is Wayne Brady's last Show on the Air, today. What a TV Crime that is -- what's up with that?? I truly can't understand why another Network hasn't picked him up, revamped his Show (remember my little idea to pair Wayne Brady up with Bryan Cranston -- the Dad from Malcolm in the Middle -- they were hilarious whenever they were together...). Anyway, we'll miss Wayne very much, and I hope to God that some TV Network Executive out there comes to their senses and puts Wayne back on the Air. I think he is one of the most multi-talented people probably on the whole Planet, and I know that he'll do well wherever he is, but it would be a terrible shame to not be able to see him and let him present his cheery self to the world as often as possible. When his new CD comes out, I'll put it on my Website... Good Luck, Wayne!!

Well, I have to go call the Pavers, again, because I haven't heard a word from either of the two other companies I wanted to get quotes for the Driveway. We'll have a window of opportunity next week with good, warm weather, so it would be great if we had the Quotes well before then... not that we can necessarily schedule it in for then, but it's worth a shot.

I'll go get you some extremely cute pictures of Tia looking out the windows! Be right back!

Well that took me a while! I was outside getting Tia to come back inside when I spotted a Paving Truck at the Neighbour's house, so Aidan and I threw on our shoes and went over to talk to them. Now they're gonna give us a quote, too. Yippeee! Can't wait to get his Driveway all nice and paved!

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So here's my wee Tia -- isn't that 'stance' hilarious?? She's a very funny dog! You can see why my windows were covered in little Dog Nose Marks... and you can see how close to the Floor the Windows are -- I really like that height, because you don't feel separated from Nature. Tia especially feels this way! ha,ha,ha! Oh, and these are a couple of the Lower Walk-Out Level Windows -- right beside the Pool Table.

Thanks for coming in today, and every day! It's gonna be a lot of fun when we can figure out how My Readers can all get together -- I'm still thinking some sort of Disney Experience, or maybe we could meet down at the Beach in California -- Zuma Beach up past Malibu is one of my favorite Beaches -- Cara and I used to go out there almost every weekend when we lived in Santa Monica -- there was an amazing little Bakery that we used to stop at on the way out to the beach, and they sold Chocolate "Clam Shells" filled with Cream and a Strawberry -- no wonder we were so happy when we lived there! ha,ha,ha!

Have a Fabulous Weekend! Cheers & Guffaws! Ailsa!!

This Google Ad is called Black & Blue, which is about right after last nights crazy Fightin' Game between The Calgary Flames and Tampa Bay Lightning... what was up with all that fighting? One of the great things about the Playoffs is it's usually really good, clean Hockey, where Skill is the Key Player, but not last night... it was like a Combo-Sport -- half Hockey, Half Boxing...ah, well. There's a lot of tension between then Teams, but that was scary when my favorite guy, Iginla, started to throw the punches at the end of the Game -- we can't afford to lose him over anything crazy like that!

But I'll tell ya, these two Teams are so equally matched, they each scored the Same Final Scores in the First Two Games -- 4 - 1 for Calgary the first night, then 4 - 1 for Tampa Bay last night... how weird is that?? So the next big Game is in Calgary on Saturday Afternoon, and this town is gonna go mad with excitement! And for 'Da Girls' out there, have you noticed how handsome some of those Hockey Players are? Most of them are waaay too young for me (plus, Dwight has some crazy idea that you shouldn't 'Date' while you're married! ha,ha,ha,ha!), but the one I really like is the Coach of the Lightning -- I think his name is John Tortorella... very good looking! ha,ha! (Hey, I'm married, but I still like to have a wee look! ha,ha!)

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Thursday, May 27th, 2004. Hello, Baby-Cakes! How you doin'?? I just realized that the American Long Weekend is this coming weekend, not last weekend... I guess I was thinking we all had the same time off... anyway, I had mentioned that a nice Service that has is a Program where you can go into their Online Store and chose something that they will send to a Person in the Service. What a great idea -- you don't have to know anyone in particular, as far as I understand it... you can check out my Overstock Page to see the sorts of things they have, but what a nice idea -- I really like that Company! And don't forget that if you're in the 'market' for a nice, employed, American man (!), Adam at Overstock (My Affiliate Manager and Friend there...!) is free and available! He's 25, if you're looking for numbers! ha,ha,ha!

Well, I still haven't heard anything at all from the other two Paving Companies to get Quotes for the Driveway. We're in for some Rainy and cold weather over the next few days, anyway, and that's no good for Paving, so I guess as long as we hear very soon from them, we'll be okay. I'm really looking forward to getting the Driveway done -- did I mention that we couldn't do it last Summer because the Irrigation System screwed up and water came out of a pipe right in front of the Garage? We had to have the Spout thing moved over into the Garden Area, where it should have been to begin with... Anyway, there are often things like that that happen during a Build or a Renovation. Things happen, and often not when you want them to happen... you just have to roll with it, and know that all the work will eventually get done.

Ugh, I'm watching a little Canadian Show, and they're making Wild Rice Pancakes -- yuck! Wouldn't you hate to go to your pals place for Brunch and they said they were gonna whip those up? Eeeeew! You couldn't get enough Syrup on them to cover up the taste... there are some things you just want to keep the same old way. A lot of these new Fad Diets are so ludicrously restrictive, that you can hardly Serve a Meal, but that ain't good for anybody. I always like to see people take a more moderate approach to life, in general, and not to forget how to enjoy themselves... and yes, that's exactly what I tell myself when I have a wee treat of my Crunchie Chocolate Bar in the mid-morning! I figure I have the whole day to 'work it off'... and I have all these Free Weights under my desk -- I like to roll them under my feet, and lift them between my feet while I'm working at the computer -- it uses up some 'nervous energy', and increases your muscle strength -- not a bad combo!

The Mountains have been particularly gorgeous, lately, so I took a few pictures yesterday morning. But here's the funny thing -- we've been considering moving back into Calgary (we're outside of Town in an Estate Area now...), since we know for sure that we'll be moving to a smaller home before we decide on where we will Build next... it's all transitional! Anyway, it had been pretty cloudy and hazy over the last little while, so we forgot about the Mountain View, and that was one of the main reasons we had for buying this Property in the First Place. It'll be really hard to find another place with a great Mountain View, hopefully a River View, and lots of Trees. We're not asking for much! ha,ha! It's gonna be a bit tricky... but we are a lot more open to other possibilities of communities to live in than before, so it's really just a 'wait and see' game, now. We never really look very hard at any new Properties until the Home we're in is Sold, since we don't like to add any additional stress onto our lives.

Tip of the Day: Get Quotes before you actually need the work done... Dwight wouldn't let me go and get the quotes for the Driveway early -- I wish I hadn't listened, but then that would have been a whole other issue, and one I can't be bothered dealing with... But if you can possibly get your Quotes together at least a month before you need the work done, you'll save yourself a bunch of headaches. And if you have to beg and plead with any Contractor to give you a quote, forget it altogether -- if you're pleading with them before the job even starts, it'll just be a big bloody nightmare, because they sure won't respond to you later during the job (if they show up...) or, God Forbid, if there are any problems... Just a wee word to the wise! ha,ha!

Oh, and Quotes are Free, for the most part. It's highly unusual to ever have to pay for a Quote -- maybe if it's a huge Industrial Job, but most Home-Owners who have regular Home Improvement Projects get their Quotes for Free. If someone tries to charge you for it, I'd be suspect. Unless you're waaaaay out in the Country, or if someone had a bad habit of constantly having Contractors over to give them Quotes, then they never actually did they Work -- that's borderline crazy, so that wouldn't fly, but let's just say you're completely normal and need a regular job done around the house -- the quote should be free.

I'll go get you some nice new pictures of the Mountains! Be right back!

I took these pictures yesterday morning -- the first two are out the Dining Room Windows, and the Third one is out the Living Room Windows. So you can see why we love the Views around here so very much!

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Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! Oh, hey -- you could make like I'm a Waitress (the talkative kind...!) and give me a little 'Tip' on your way out the door by clicking on the Red Ad right here -- it's Red in honour of The Calgary Flames -- they have their Second Game in the Stanley Cup Hockey Finals tonight in Tampa Bay. You know what they're doing at the Saddledome, where the Flames play their Home Games? They have a thing set up where you can go down to the Saddledome (yep, it's shaped likea a giant Saddle for riding a horse -- it's very Calgarian! ha,ha!), bring a Donation for the Food Bank, and you can watch the Away Game on these giant Big Screens with lots of other Flames Fans -- they can 'Fan the Flames', so-to-speak! ha,ha,ha,ha!

Go Flames , Go!!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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Oh, I almost forgot to mention that my favorite Girl, Fantasia Barrino, won on American Idol last night -- what an amazing Talent she is -- and to think she must have felt her life was going to be so difficult when she had a wee baby at 17, then to Win a Competition like this at only 19 -- what a miracle! She has a beautiful Spirit, so I hope she makes an absolute mint! And the other young one, Diana DeGarmo, will be sure to have a very promising Career, too, so everybody wins in the end, and that's always good, right?? And I hope we hear from George Huff, again, because I really thought he was great!

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Wednesday, May 26th, 2004. Hello, hello, hello! Grab yourself a cup of Tea and come on in! You gotta bring your own Chocolate, though, 'cause I can't part with my favorite Crunchie Bars... unless you're very, very funny, in which case I will share Half of my Crunchie Bar! So you can see how much emphasis I put on 'being funny'... that's how Dwight 'won me over'... he made me laugh all the time. I can't say we laugh all that much, these days, but he's still pretty funny, so he can stay for a while, yet! ha,ha,ha!

Oh, speaking of laughing, have you caught the WB's new Superstar USA, yet? Man, that is the funniest Show out there, right now. We laughed ourselves silly. If you see it listed, click on and check it out -- my favorite Girl is the Pretty Blond (you can't miss her ... she's a Jessica Simspon Fan, and has many things in common with her Idol...). She has a little 'signature move' where she surreptitiously checks her hand to remind herself of the Lyrics to the song she's singing. It's soooo funny, because she clearly believes no one else notices that she stealthily checks her wee hand for the words! Man, it's hilarious! And the Judges and the Host -- Ton Loc, Vitamin C, and 'Fritz', I think his name is... are so hysterical! I have no idea how they can keep a straight face, and their little comments are 'laugh-out-loud' funny! And the Host is Ryan McFaden -- he says at the end of the Show, "McFaden Gone!" like Ryan Seacrest from American Idol says, "Seacrest Out!". It's really hilarious -- you'll love it!

So I called a couple of other Paving Companies to get two more quotes -- it's generally good to get Three Quotes for the really big jobs, and the Driveway definitely falls into that category... One Company I haven't heard back from yet, and the other on is coming over today to have a look at the Driveway. I mentioned to Dwight last night that I had put the Price of the First Quote on the Site, and he was really mad -- whatevah... one of my 'Pet Peeves' is when the Home Renovation Shows do some incredible Make-Over, but don't mention how much it costs to do that type of Renovation. Trading Spaces is a great Show, but they don't include the vast amount of Labor included in the Job. It's fairly common for a really big Renovation to cost around the $100,000. mark, so I would love to see these Shows just say how much the Reno would cost.

There are some relatively inexpensive things you can do to quickly improve your house, and I put a lot of those ideas on my Renovations Page, but when you're talking about Major Renovations, you gotta be prepared to squeak open that wallet! And then think about getting a Home Equity Loan! ha,ha! The easy way to decide whether to go ahead with a Major Home Renovation is to think about how much Value the Renovation will add to your home. If the Value added exceeds the Top Value of the Home 'On the Market' (if you were to sell the house), only do the renovation if you plan to live in the house for at least another 10 years. Or if you're loaded...! ha,ha,ha!

I just had to put one of Aidan's 'guys' into the little Helicopter -- this boy has some very cool toys! He loves to make deals with me all day long about what I should buy for him 'on his special day' -- his Birthday! It's pretty funny! Aidan's Birthday isn't until September, but he's very good at waiting it out! But he still loves to bargain for things, which I think he gets from his Father! ha,ha,ha! It's like Business Training for the 5 and Under Crowd!

Oh, and I just saw one of Aidan's favorite toys -- he drags it al over the house -- it's a 'Pet Mouse'... as you might be able to guess, I can't stand rodents of any sort (including the ones shaped like humans... ha,ha,ha!), so this is an 'old mouse' from the computer! We drew on a wee face onto the front of it, and he just loves it. I should go take a picture of it! I'll do that right now!

Tip of the Day: I spent a good portion of the 'Holiday Monday' cleaning the Windows, and had a lot of fun doing it because I happened to find a 'Magic Cloth' under the Kitchen Sink when I was in looking for more Scrubbies... I got this 'Magic Cloth' at the Superstore for about $2.47, is my best guess, and this little cloth was amazing! I love it, and now I'm gonna go back and get a whole lot more so I can add them to my collection of Cleaning Products I love! Anyway, I had been thinking that we needed to use the Power Washer to clean the Outside of the Windows, because I was sure the dirt was on the outside...

Well, I tried the Cloth on the Front Entry Mirrors (the Closet has Mirrored Doors) -- I figured if it could clean the Dog Nose Marks and the Fingerprints from a particular small boy, it could pretty much clean all the Mirrors... It worked incredibly well, so I cleaned all the Mirrors, and then went around and cleaned all the Windows that I could reach. We have about 38 windows in this house, so it took me a looong time to get them all sparkly clean! So it turned out that I didn't need all sorts of fancy things to clean the windows -- just this one little 'Magic Cloth'! You just dampen it and clean away -- oh, and it takes off the little stickers that might have arrived on the Windows and Mirrors in a Child's Room -- guess whose room that is?? ha,ha!

Okay, this is running long, so I'll get some pictures quickly!

Well, there's the Front Entry Mirrored Doors -- I couldn't find the one I was looking for, but this is always a nice one, and that's Cara in the Picture... and then there's the nose that's responsible for a fair number of the 'marks' on all the windows in the house, because the Windows are only a Foot off the Floor, so they're right at the height of Tia's Nose! ha,ha,ha!


Thanks for coming in for a wee visit! I've been working away on Archiving the old 'At Home With Ailsa' Updates, and now I'm up to December 7th of 2003... it takes a long time to Archive all that writing!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

Today's Google Ad is Red in honour of The Calgary Flames, who Won their First Game of the Hockey Finals!

Go Calgary, Get Your Game On, Go Calgary! WooHoo!!!

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Tuesday, May 25th, 2004. Oh, hey... this is the Anniversary of our Engagement -- for me and the Dwight-man, I mean... hmmmm, I'm sure that if I forgot all about it, Dwight did too -- just another day, now! Dwight took me up to the Calgary Tower, and Proposed as the Sun was setting ... sounds romantic, but I was rattled because I'm not big on Heights, and Dwight was speeding to get to the Restaurant on time, so the Cops pulled us over and we got a Ticket, and I'm not too big on the Cops pulling up behind me, either... And he'd been trying to Propose for God Knows how long, but it never worked out -- he carried 'The Ring' all the way out to Kelowna, this gorgeous little Town in B.C., but things were very uncomfortable out there, so I said to him, suspecting he was going to propose, "Don't do it, now -- you know everyone's miserable...". Then all the way home through the Mountains, every time we passed a Waterfall, Dwight had that look in his eye that he was going to pull over and do it there, so I had to keep saying, "Nope. You know we're all having a crappy time, let's just get home..." So eventually it happened and that was that.

Anyway, the only thing we're really thinking about for tonight is the Giant Hockey Game with The Calgary Flames and Tampa Bay. Calgary is soooo excited about our Flames making it to the Hockey Finals, and I just know they're gonna WIN!! ha,ha,ha! Go Flames, Go! And I just heard last week that Jarome Iginla (# 12 on the Calgary Flames) is having a House Built for him in a new Community just down the road from us -- maybe he'll swing out here for a drive and see us! We'll be the filthy ones in the Garden! ha,ha,ha!

So we actually got a fair bit done, this past Long Weekend -- and extra long it was! Man, it's nice to send Dwight back to work, because he has me working like a work-horse all weekend long -- yuck. (And could I SAY 'work' anymore in that last sentence?? ha,ha,ha!) But my favorite part of any Long Weekend is to send everyone back to School or Work so I can be all alone again -- with Aidan, of course ... he's my little permanent fixture! And he hardly ever makes me do a whole pile of work! (Except for providing a steady stream of Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches! ha,ha!)

I spent the better part of this morning trying to find an old Local Newspaper so I could get the Numbers for some Local Paving Companies. The first one didn't work out at all, and then I stopped to ask the guys across the way from us who were paving a neighbor's Drive to swing by and give us a quote, but nothing, yet... Dwight says they won't come by, but that makes no sense to me... why wouldn't they? We have an enormous Driveway, so it would be a good job. It turned out that Dwight has thrown out every single Paper in this House, so I looked online and couldn't find anything... then I tried the Phone Book, but you have to know the names in advance... annoyink! Finally I remembered a name from the area and looked them up. And the one number I found in the Yellow Pages turned out to be a FAX line -- man, sometimes you just can't find anybody to do the Work! I'll let you know when I'm successful at getting a few quotes...

Oh, and I finally figured out how I can Archive all the At Home With Ailsa Daily Updates -- I started writing these last September (2003), and I had no idea the Pages were so long. It's gonna take me a long time to get the whole thing Archived, but at least it's a start... I just keep plugging away, day after day (sometimes night after night...) to make this Site a functional Tool for people who are interested in Building a Better Future, through the actual Building or Remodelling of their Home to all the other stuff I like to put on the Site. I'm always gonna be a Teacher at heart, so I like to share anything I happen to know with everyone else to see if it can help them, too.

Now I just need to make the Site Financially Viable... it makes enough now that it pays for itself -- Dwight footed the Bill for the first little while, and he felt that gave him 'the right' to say he was going to 'shut the site down' if it didn't start turning an income. That was always really frustrating (to say the least!) for me, because I've worked really hard on this Site, and I'm not ready to give it up that quickly. There are lots of things you can do in your Life that don't turn an immediate profit, but it can lead to a Residual Income that can last for Life, and that's what I hope for with My Site. Dwight does Work that has an immediate Result, financially and otherwise, so it's hard to show him how important this is to me. And if it still doesn't work, at least I've learned how to use the Computer and how to Build a Website, so that's information I can carry into any future Ventures.

Tip of the Day: If you can possibly find a way to create an ongoing Residual Income for Life, do it, no matter what anyone else says... It's surprising how many naysayers there are in any one person's life -- I think it's a phallacy that everyone has this wonderful Support System all around them -- not from my generation, or the ones who came before me... that's not how it worked back then. How many people do you know who have heard they are "too big for their Britches", "Don't be so full of yourself..." or "Who died and made you King of the World?" Those were common phrases designed to keep everyone 'in their place' -- a fairly low place, too. I'm sure that's the reason Our Generation and the Generations after me have gone so far out of our way to make sure our Children feel tremendous confidence in themselves.

Sometimes (not too often, or you'll just go mad! ha,ha!) it's good to go over your Past to see where you might have heard 'lines' that were negative, then make a conscious decision to let go of them and determine for yourself what your Future will hold. It's great to feel really good about yourself, and we have this huuuge opportunity, now, to not inflict that stuff on our own Children. Now, you don't need to tell every kid that they can be a Surgeon, but you can definitely help them to feel great about themselves and to help them find their own path in Life that is just right for them. And hopefully that Path will lead them right into their Own Home, so they won't be dependent on you forever and ever! ha,ha,ha! It's great to be Independent!

Oh, guess what? Someone just came to the Door to give me a quote for the Driveway -- and he meausured out the Driveway (4300 square feet, apparently) and gave me a quote right on the spot -- $5500. for all the work except having the Gravel that's on the Driveway now removed, with 2" of Asphalt. I'll show Dwight the quote tonight, right after the Hockey Game!

Okay, I'll go get you some nice new pictures! Be right back!

Well, these aren't new pictures, but they are a good set of the Evolution of the Driveway!

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The Driveway started out just going from the Road straight to the Garage, but I desperately wanted a Circular Driveway, so Dwight finally agreed, then we had our guys put all sorts of material down to build the Driveway all around like the first picture. Then you bring in a tons of Gravel, and that goes on top of the Dirt, then that's compacted. Now we have to skim off the Gravel you can see in the Third picture so we can have the Driveway Rolled to make it perfectly flat so the Asphalt will be perfect. That's one of those jobs where Perfection is a good thing! ha,ha,ha!

Thanks for coming in for a wee visit! See you tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

Here's a nice Red Google Ad in honour of The Calgary Flames! Go Flames, Go!! YaaHoo!! Don't forget to 'click the door' on your way out!! ha,ha!

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Monday, May 24th, 2004. Yo, yo, yo...what up wit' mah' Home-ies?? ha,ha,ha! I'll never tire of that! So did you enjoy your Long Weekend, or are you still in the midst of it? I can never remember which Country has the Friday of the May Long Weekend Off, and which one has the Monday off -- we have Monday Off, so everyone is still upstairs in bed as I write this -- am I dedicated, or what? Yeah, I'm goin' with the 'or what', too...! I just had the last of the Cinnamon Buns -- man, are they ever tasty! Slightly loaded with Sugar, though, so I won't make them again for a while... Cara and Dwight want to have Bacon and Eggs for Breakfast, today, what with it bein' a Holiday 'n all! It's okay to have these wee treats every so often -- and if you're gonna have a treat, make it in the morning or early part of the day so you have the whole day to 'work it off'... now, Bacon and Eggs as a Bedtime Treat, that ain't good! ha,ha,ha!

Hey, I was just watching Ellen Degeneres (as always!), and Sean Hayes was on -- he's hilarious on Will & Grace, but I had no idea how funny he is 'his own self'... anyway, he was saying that BRAVO is putting on a Show later in the year where up and coming Screen Writers can submit a Proposal and Script for a New Series they want to Create. They'll choose Two of the New Scripts, make them, then Test them for the Viewers to decide which one should be made into a Series. What a fantastic idea! I used to Teach Scriptwriting when I first moved to Calgary 9 years ago (man, I can't believe how long I've been here!), so this is the sort of Contest I love to hear about. Where Skill meets there's a chance for Success!

Oh, and speaking of raging Success, the Ellen Degeneres Show won for Best Talk Show at the Daytime Emmy Awards, and Wayne Brady won for Best Talk Show Host. That's fantastic, except that Wayne's job is coming to an end very soon -- now how that that be right?? If they don't want to leave Wayne Brady on the Show on his own, why don't they pair him up with another funnyman -- say, Bryan Cranston -- they're hilarious together, so maybe a nice new Network can look at that. And I was sorry for 'The Ladies of The View', since they should have a different Award for a Whole Group of People doing a Talk Show ... I'll tell you, I've been watching The View since it first started, and those girls kept me sane through a difficult Pregnancy and my early years with Aidan -- it was like having your smartest and funniest girlfriends over for Coffee, only you didn't have to share your chocolate with them -- perfect! ha,ha! But I'd like to see them win a little something, since they've had such a great Show for so very long...

Did you see The Sopranos last night? Our favorite Girl, Adrianna was 'Taken Out' by Tony after she told 'Christo'fa' that she'd had all that contact with The F.B.I. And Sil did it, so Dwight was saying how nice Sil was, so I reminded him that they'se all Mobsters, and ain't a one o' them NICE! So we laughed about that, to break up some of the tension after watching that Show... but that was shocking to see Adrianna going through so much crap 'for her man'... We look forward to seeing 'Adrianna' on 'Joey' from Friends new Show next Fall.

Dwight just got up, and wouldn't you know it -- he's in a bad mood already. We've never actually gotten through a Long Weekend with everyone still happy -- that's why Retirement holds no special apeal to me -- only trepidation, should I still be here... we'll see what the future holds. I've got him watching Ellen, now, while I finish this, so maybe that'll lighten his mood! She's like a Free Mood Elevator! Forget the Prozac and just watch Ellen! ha,ha,ha,ha!

It's finally sunny outside, today, so I think we're gonna work on the Hot Tub. Dwight had to replace one of the Motors, or something like that. Another $220.00, but once you've started with the 'Big Toys', you have to just keep going. Now we've Replaced the Hot Tub Cover (about $500.00), replaced the Pipes under the Tub, because Dwight didn't get the water in fast enough so the Frost burst the pipes (another $900.00) ... but the Hot Tub is still waaaay less expensive than Dwight's Jet Boat, which we rarely used, so it's still a good choice for us, especially in the summer when it's fun to loll about in The Tub for endless hours... plus, it's very pretty! So it's my job to clean the Tub out before we refill it, so that brings me to my Tip of the Day ...

Tip of the Day: Whenever the 'opportunity' to clean out freezing cold water happens (for me that seems to happen a lot...), you can put on a pair of thing gloves underneath your big yellow Rubber Gloves. It took me years to figure out that little trick to stop your hands from going numb from the cold, so maybe you can benefit from my years of utter stupidity... someone might as well! ha,ha,ha,ha!

Well, I can hear Dwight thumpin' around upstairs -- he's already put on the Bacon on the Barbeque (so it doesn't smell up the house...), so now I have to go up and make the Eggs. He hates when I'm on the computer (time away from servitude to him, is my best guess! Ah, marriage -- it's delightful! ha,ha,ha!), so I have to go...

I put a whole pile of new pictures on my new Recipes Pages that I made on the Weekend, so if you want to have a wee peek at what I look like while I'm baking (very, very glamourous, I'm sure! ha,ha!), you can click on the Cinnamon Buns Page. That's me in the Tight Blue Top -- must rethink my wardrobe! ha,ha,ha!

Thanks for coming in for a wee visit, and thank you to my loyal fans for 'clicking through' on the Ads -- every click supports my Site! See you tomorrow!

Later Baby! Ailsa!!

This Google Ad is called Blue Suey -- sounds yummy! ha,ha!

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It's the May Long Weekend! WooHoo! May 22nd & 23rd, 2004. Technically, that includes Monday the 24th, too, but the chances are very, very high that I'll do a quick Update on Monday, too... there's always something fun to talk about, right?? Of course, Dwight is home this weekend, so he always wants some sort of extra-fancy Breakfast, so I'm in the middle of making my favorite Cinnamon Buns. Yum -- they 're great for everyone, so that's pretty easy to comply with! ha,ha! Anyway, you're looking stunning, today! I love the Red Lipstick -- I'm not so sure that you need to put it all around your lips like that -- this is perhaps one of those times when you do stay 'within the lines', especially for the men, 'cause yo' wife is gonna be soooo mad when she sees how much of her lipstick you've wasted... and then there might be a few issues after that, too... ha,ha,ha!

I spent yesterday making a separate page for each of my favorite Recipes -- it's a cold and rainy Weekend, here, so it's ideal for Baking and Eating -- Diets be damned! ha,ha! I have to keep running upstairs to check the Cinnamon Buns -- I'll make a page just for that recipe when I'm done this... I'll tell you, though, whether you're male or female (and hopefully you've settled on being one or the other...), you can't go wrong with learning how to cook delicious things for your Partner. Feed them something good and they'll follow you home every time ... oh, no, wait... that's a stray dog... or maybe the same thing! ha,ha,ha!

Well, for whatever reason, that reminds me of a book I'm reading right now -- 'Marriage Shock', by Dalma Heyn. So far, so good... my stooopid computer has something wrong with it, so it's painfully slow at doing absolutely anything, so I have all these books in my office that I read while I'm waiting for e-mails to open, or stuff I write to Post to my Site... so it's more than just a little ironic that I'm sitting at my computer, reading a book -- well, I have 6 books in here that I go back and forth between, then three more books I'm reading that I leave in the Sunroom. It's good to keep yo' mind busy!

So this 'Marriage Shock' book is a good long look at the reality of Marriage, and how it can be pretty shocking how much it can change you -- if you were adventurous and a traveller before, once you're married, that all stops, depending on the needs and wants of your spouse. In fact, a lot of things stop that you might have really enjoyed before you were married... So the book looks at how we can make Marriage work in this New Age, so-to-speak... and this is of great interest to me because I really like being married, but it does present its difficulties. There's an old joke 'that every woman needs a wife...', because it's the wife who does a huuuge amount of the work to keep things together, including the Home.

Now something has really been bothering me with Dr. Phil, lately. You know I realy like him, most of the time, but I find some of his statements about marriage to be really disconcerting. There's an awful lot of 'The Husband is the Leader', which by default makes the wife 'the Follower'...yeah, that doesn't work for me... How did we skip back to the 50's?? What happened to 'An Equal Partnership' Ideal? I like that one -- that seems reasonable, but having one person as the leader based on their Gender -- that's crazy. If you have a Woman who is a C.E.O. at the Office, then she comes home to a mousie guy, but he gets to be in charge because of his anatomy -- puh-leeeease! And on the Dr. Phil Show, he has this couple (Marty & Katherine, I think their names are...) who are on the brink of Divorce because of his multiple Affairs and her crazy screaming... (gee, I wonder why she's so mad...?), then Dr. Phil says she should 'just give him a great big hug and let him lead the family', I'm in shock. Marriage Shock, if you will! ha,ha,ha!

I think, especially when you're Building a House, it's critical to have completely mutual respect for one another, or everything will fall apart, at least temporarily. This isn't to say that you'll get along through the whole Project -- that is very hard to do, no matter how well you get along, but it is so important to be able to establish a relationship where you can work off one another. (Unless only one spouse builds the whole thing, then the other one simply moves in, but I would imagine there would be a fair bit of resentment built up in that type of relationship, too...)

Tip of the Day: Work as a Team with your Partner through a Build or any Renovation Project. If your spouse is dead-set against the Project, it's probably not wise to go ahead with it. That also isn't to say that I've dragged Dwight through a Project or Two (ha,ha,ha,ha!), but I always waited until he showed interest in the Project himself before we got started. Sometimes that took a lot of convincing, including sheets and sheets of Diagrams, Financial Statements, Promises that it would all work out... you get the drift! ha,ha! But you do want to be on the same track before any Big Project starts, that way you can both 'keep your eye on the prize' when you're in the middle of a difficult part of any Home Improvement Project!

Here's a good way to start getting your way more often -- make delicious food, then when they're eating it, you casually mention that you might like to build a new house with a 5-car garage... or maybe that's just me! ha,ha!

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I'll tell you -- it's a great thing to have a package of the Frozen Bread Dough in the Freezer -- you can pick it up at your regular Grocery Store... and you can make all sorts of things out of it ... and they all smell wonderful! I take it out at night (on the Weekends...), put it in a Buttered Loaf Pan, cover it loosely with Saran Wrap, then leave it on the Stove until I get around to making something the next day... and that's how I operate! I like things that are easy and not in any way time-consuming, 'cause I'm busy, but we still like to eat tasty things! Equally! ha,ha,ha!

I thought this was practical and hilarious! ha,ha! You could clump your way around the Garden -- fun and entertaining for the Neighbors, too! ha,ha! Now what happens when you hit a really muddy bit? You could strap on one of those hats with the Beer Spouts out both sides, then you could have some extra fun, yourself! ha,ha,ha!


Well, thanks for swinging by for a wee visit! I love to have lots of visitors -- one day I hope to see, oh, a million or so folks in here each day... you never know, right? And then if only 10% of them go ahead and support my Site with a 'little click' on the Google Ads, I'll make a decent living... so do me a big favor and 'click the door on your way out'! ha,ha! Dwight says he'll 'be really nice to me' when I make more than him... now that's a reality of marriage! ha,ha!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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This Google Ad is called Robin's Egg -- seems appropriate since it's supposed to be Spring... we're still waiting up here in Calgary -- Thank God for The Calgary Flames to keep us all entertained until the Sun comes out for the Summer, hopefully by July! ha,ha,ha! Oh, and the First Playoff Game for the Stanley Cup Finals is on Tuesday, but I'm not sure where they'll play -- depends on who wins tonights Game between Tampa Bay and Philadelphia ... one thing is for sure, though, and that is taht we're all in for some seriously great Hockey over the next couple of weeks! YaaHoo!! (That's Calgarian for 'Go Flames, Go!!' ha,ha,ha!)

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Friday, May 21st, 2004. Hey, Baby Cakes! Sugar Pie! Apple Dumpling... or Tart, whichever seems more like you! ha,ha,ha! Can you believe it's The May Long Weekend, already?? WooHoo! We used to call it the 2-4 Weekend (Canadian for 'It's a weekend where we'll get a 24 pack of Beer...' -- oh, we're clever like that! ha,ha!), but now we just say, "How many days do we have to sleep in??" Ah, the times they is a'changin'!! And Beer's waaaay too expensive in Canada (Cheap Beer is one of my many favorite things about living in The States! ha,ha!), so we've switched to 'Fruity Wine', which my hilarious friend, Steve, calls 'Sody-Pop Wine' -- it's deeeelicious!

Hey, have you seen The WB's Superstar USA? It's hilarious! They've done a little spoof on American Idol, so the Judges and Host mirror Simon, Randy, Paula and Ryan from American Idol, only they're looking for the worst singers in America, not the Best... the Judges are just hysterical! I have no idea how they can respond to the worst of the worst with a straight face and not crack up... my favorite 'bit' is when the Simon-like Judge says to the really pretty girls that he doesn't like their singing, but they're hot, so would they like to go out for dinner with him! ha,ha,ha,ha! If you have a minute (or an hour...), check it out -- it's a great laugh!

Oh, you know I didn't get a chance to mention anything about The Calgary Flames winning the Series on Wednesday Night! Man, talk about exciting! The whole City of Calgary is going wild! Go Flames, Go!! My friend Adam from thinks that Tampa Bay is going to take the other Eastern Finals, but I have a feeling it might be Philadelphia ... we'll know soon enough! (I'm writing this on Thursday Night, and the Eastern Finals are playing themselves out right now..) And hey, Adam is Single, 25 and Gainfully Employed, so if you're interested, let me know -- and here's another little tidbit -- he's an American Citizen -- all the Canadian Chicks who want to move to The States will really like that! ha,ha!

And right after the Big Hockey Game, the Season Finale of The Bachelor was on, and we were so revved up from The Flames that we wanted to see a little more 'scoring', if you know what I mean! ha,ha! So we were shouting at that crazy Jesse for not proposing to little baby Jessica -- just give her the damn ring, we were shouting... we're lovely and charming folks! Now why wouldn't he just give her the Ring, and then when they break up in a few weeks, at least she has a gorgeous Ring?! But we did love 'Gun-lovin' Tara' throw up all the way to the Ring Ceremony, then call Jesse on his creepy kissing ('n stuff ...) the night before the Big Kiss-Off... ha,ha! We really enjoyed that, since you shouldn't be that involved with someone else within' 24 hours of asking someone 'to maybe move close to my town'... oooh, there's a commitment!

Tip of the Day: Take some time for yourself every day -- maybe try a wee Relaxation Exercise... have you tried the 'Soooo-Huuum' method of Relaxation? I use that all the time, now, whenever I want to clear my mind. You say 'Sooooo' when you breathe in, then 'Huuummmmm' when you breathe out. Great for falling asleep, too, so don't try it when you're Driving or on a Date -- unless you can't stand the Date... in which case I refer you back to the 'Sody-Pop Wine'! ha,ha! (But then you can't Drive... and you're gonna want to get right home... alone -- then you can have a wee drink and celebrate being on yoir own!) But I hope you have a Great Long Weekend, and get a little Chillaxin' in between all the things you have planned for the May Long Weekend!

Here are some pictures of my favorite Macaroni Salad -- I had no idea how to make that when I first met Dwight, but he really wanted it, so I figured this Recipe out, and it's deeeelicious! I just made up a new page for the Recipe, so you can click on if you want to try it.

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Well thanks for coming in to see me, today! Drive Safely, this Weekend (then every day after that!)!

Later Baby! Ailsa!!

This Google Ad is called Vanilla Cream -- now that just sounds yummy! Stooopid Diet -- that's probably a bad sign when even the Ads sound delicious! ha,ha,ha!

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Thursday, May 20th, 2004. Hi, Honey! You're Home! And it's soooo nice to see you, all dolled up for the party... or work ... or a date -- really, I'm just pretending to see you... just ignore the camera I had installed behind your desk while you were out...ha,ha,ha! Dwight's home, this morning, so that means I had to spend the whole morning cleaning, since that's what he thinks I do all day ... and what he wants me to do all day... that's annoyink! Have you heard that Statistic that a ton of long-term marriages break up after the Husband Retires, because then he's home all day and she has to run around and do his bidding, so she can look like what he thought she looked like all those years he was at work... does that make sense, how I just explained that?

The bottom line is he 'gets to retire', but she has to work even harder, because when she does sit down to watch a wee TV Show or have a Coffee, he then says, "Is that what you did all those years when I was working? Just sit around, drink coffee and watch TV?" Funny how it doesn't work out so well after those kind of comments, especially if they happen every day... So I do not look forward to Retirement with Dwight -- what a nightmare that would be... so we'll just work forever, and that might work out better. It's not like I don't have a plan! ha,ha! But I do think about Retirement a fair bit, now -- it used to be something that seemed sooo far in the Future, that it really wasn't something I had to keep in mind. Also, my life was so crazy for such a long time, it was difficult to see whether there would BE a future... it was a terrible time, so thoughts of Retirement seemed ludicrous to me.

Anyway, I'm at a place now where I can sit back a bit and not have to constantly keep running, so that allows me to see that there will be a future, and it won't be all that long before I'm there. Twenty Years ago seems like Last month, sometimes, so now I have a better perspective on Time, and how incredibly quickly it flies by. The thing to take from this is to start to Make a Plan For Retirement as soon as you are in a position to do so. It would be lovely to start when you're in your Early 20's with a Retirement Plan, but that's not very realistic for the vast majority of people. At that Stage of Life, you feel lucky if you can Pay all your Bills and have a wee bit left over for some fun ... and Retirement is the last thing on your mind.

Generally, it's a good idea to Contribute to your Work Retirement Program, if you have one, and definitely it's a great idea to take advantage of any Employers Program where they Match the amount you put in, or if they provide any sort of 'Stock Advantage' (if you buy one stock, they'll match that, or the Company will give the Employees Stocks as Incentive Pay or Bonuses... it's all good!), try to Buy what you can of that. It's a 'two-for-one' freebie, so it's most likely a good deal, unless the Company Stock is plummeting faster than you can buy it, in which case, you'll be happier buying a case of chocolate...! ha,ha!

Now the one thing that I think is the most crucial aspect of being relatively happy in Retirement is to Own Your Own Home by then. And I really don't think it's ever 'too late' to start on the Ownership Path. Often there is a thought that if someone is in their 40's, 50's or 60's, and they haven't Purchased Their Own Home, yet, that it's just too late, and not worth it. They'll just Rent forever. The problem with that is that you can afford the Rent in the Present, but no-one knows how much Rent will go up in the Future, even if you stay in the same place. Plus, once you buy your own place and start Paying a Mortgage, the Mortgage will eventually be Paid Off, whereas Rent is Forever...

Oh, yeah, and even if you are lucky enough to be in a Rent-Controlled Apartment, it's still a good idea to go ahead and Purchase another Apartment as soon as you can afford it to use as a Rental Property (or preferably to live in, but if you're in, say, Santa Monica down by the beach and don't want to move from there to the boonies of Los Angeles -- are there 'boonies' in Los Angeles?? ha,ha,ha!), and just hold onto that Property until you're ready to Retire and then you can either move into it or Sell it and use the Profit as a source of Income (it's always a good idea to live in the Property for a certain amount of time before selling it so you don't have to pay Capital Gains on it -- ask your Local Accountant how long a Home has to be your Primary Residence before it's relatively 'Tax-Free'...). And if some Big Developer comes in and buys up your Rent-Controlled apartment for Future Expansion, you won't be panicked and have to move in with your Kids -- everyone will love you for that! ha,ha,ha!

Hmmm, Dwight's up and now he wants some Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, so I have to go make that for him -- hey, that can be my Tip of the Day!

Tip of the Day: When you're not feeling Well, or you are in need of something 'Homey and Warm', you might like to try this little Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe -- I just made it up about 6 months ago, but I wish I had thought of this a long time ago... You just Boil a big pot of Water, add in my favorite new Tortiglioni Pasta (about half a box...), 4 Heaping Tablespoons of OXO (Chicken Soup Base), a pile if Parsley, and Onions if you're feeling ill. Or your Family Members aren't well... Onions are the key to getting better, I believe, so I toss them into anything when someone isn't well. I chopped up a bunch (literally) of Green Onions and a regular Onion to put in Dwight's Soup -- must get him all better so he can go back to work! ha,ha!

Now I have to go serve Dwight the Chicken Noodle Soup, so I'll be back in a bit with your pictures!

Doesn't that look yummy? I love making that when I'm a bit fed up, too -- it's extremely easy to make and really tasty.

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When you need a good meal in a hurry, you can skip the Veggies and just go with the OXO and Parsley (Dried). Like any soup, though, the more Veggies you toss in, the better. Just depends on Time and what's in the Fridge. And what you can be bothered doing! ha,ha!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!

This Google Ad is called Green Tea -- I've tried it and didn't like the flavor, but it is supposed to be really good for you... I do drink a tremendous amount of Fruit-Flavored Tea -- I must drink about 7 or 8 Pots of Tea a day... and now I always use the Skim Milk Powder instead of the 2% Milk, and that saves me at least 10 grams of Fat per day, so that's significant. Every little bit helps! I'm in that 'After 40 and now you have to watch what you eat' Category!

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Wednesday, May 19th, 2004. Yo, Baby, Yo, Baby, Yo! How you doin' ta'day?? ha,ha,ha! I hope you're having a great week -- this one seems to be going really fast -- compared to the sloooow weeks of the Winter... and so far, no snow here all week! WooHoo! I finally got around to e-mailing our Paving Contact to get the Circular Driveway Paved... everything has to do with the Snow, here -- you have to wait until you're going to have three days straight of good, warm (around 70 Degrees Fahrenheit or 18 Degrees Celsius...) weather, and that's sometimes hard to come by, so you have to leap on it when it presents itself... So I sent a note to the Paving Contact, and that was returned -- that's not a good sign for a Business Address.

I talked to Dwight about it, briefly (like most of our conversations...!), and he still wanted me to get a Quote from them, so I called the Salesman, who no longer works for the Company, then I called the Owner, who couldn't remember who I was, even though we've e-mailed back and forth last Fall many, many times, and he came out to our Christmas Party... anyway, he finally remembered us, then said they don't do Paving... hmmmmm. That's what all those conversations were supposed to be about, so that was weird. But on my way out of our Estate Area when I had to pick Cara up from School, there was another Company already in the throes of Paving our Neighbors' Driveways, so I stopped by to get the Manager of that Project to swing by our house and give us a Quote for our Driveway.

When I was out watering in the Trees,last night, Dwight came out and we had a look at where we want the Driveway to be paved. When we first moved in here, we had the Circular Drive put in (biiiig fight over that, but luckily, I won that one, and the Circular Shape prevailed...! Some things are worth fighting over! ha,ha!), and it was really big, but for some bizarre reason, people would come over and park their vehicles on the Front Lawn -- the bit inside the 'Circle'. I kept saying to Dwight, "Tell your Dad to park on the Driveway -- we don't pull up on his lawn...", but he wouldn't say anything, so the Driveway Gravel kept being pushed in further and further, so now we have this enormous Driveway...

So every other time we've gone out there to decide where the Driveway sholud go in terms of the Paving, it's ended in an annoyed huff, and we can't get it settled, but the thing needs to be done, and we have this little window of weather, so I told Dwight again how I would like to see it, and he agreed! It's a miracle! I should have checked his breath for alcohol! ha,ha,ha! No, no. We came to a reasonable compromise -- I had wanted a Large Strip of Grass on the Right Hand Side of the Front Entry, then bring the Pavement up to the edge of the Front Entry Step-thingee -- really, I should go out and take some pictures... and Dwight wanted to Pave right up to where the Trees are in the bit right under the Windows, which I thought was 'crazy'... (because I am soooo very lax about Dwight's ideas that I don't like! ha,ha,ha,ha!). Now, we both knew that strip of Grass thing would be annoying to Mow -- you'd have to get out the Regular Lawn Mower, and I really just like using the Riding Lawn Mower, now... so Dwight suggested we put down some nice colored Rocks in the same strip area, and we agreed on that. So now when the guy comes over to give us a quote, I can show him exactly where the Paving will go. I'll let you know how much the Quotes come in at, and which one we choose...

Tip of the Day: Get three quotes for each job... but that's an 'oldie' Tip, so here's something else from last night -- I have all these new Trees out at the Front, and some older Trees at the End of the Garden and they are all in great need of a lot of water. My new trick (and I wish I'd thought of this years ago!) is to take the fancy schmany nozzle off the Hose, and just set the end of the hose beside the trunk of the tree. I leave it there for a few minutes (depending on the size of the Tree), then move the hose to the next tree. The Tree gets a really good drink, and it's faster for you, too.

Oh, and if you have to water Trees and Plants that are really far away from the house, you can connect up all the Water Hoses until they reach the Trees, but pull the hose over before you turn the water on -- I was trying to save myself some time by turning the water on first, then dragging (and I mean draaaagging...) the Hose to where you want it. It's much lighter that way -- I know because Dwight came out to tell me -- nothing like a lecture a day... keeps the spouses away! ha,ha,ha,ha! (I'm. of course, thinking of a good 'Hoser' joke, here, but it's huuugely inappropriate, so you'll have to continue thinking on your own, then I'll catch up with you later... on the less seedy side of the street! ha,ha,ha!)

I had to get the Hose to the End of the North Side of the Garden, so that had to stretch 225 feet -- that's a looong way to drag a hose full of water, so that's a Work-Out right there! (Or so I told myself!) Now I need to connect the Soaker Hose to the end of the other 100 foot hoses, then I can just leave it out there for a while and turn it on every so often... that's the kind of Gardener I am -- when I remember, I'll do it, and when I notice everything is drier than dirt, I'll see if I can't remember for the next day...! Ah, well. I fel very strongly that if Trees were dependent on Humans to remember to Care for them, there wouldn't be very many Trees still in existence, since Mother Nature takes good care of them, herself... that's what I think when I'm busy procrastinating for another day about the 'watering'! ha,ha,ha!

Oh, here's a little TV Tidbit -- I went to Bryan Cranston's Website the other day-- we love him as the Dad on Malcolm in the Middle, and now he's in a new Movie, Seeing Other People (which looks hilarious!) with Lauren Graham from The Gilmour Girls (which we also love...), and I felt like Bryan (Mr. Cranston, I would imagine he likes to be called by close Family and Friends... and the Occasional Fan...! ha,ha,ha!) would make a great Talk Show Host along with Wayne Brady, because they are hilarious together (and it's a crime for Wayne Brady to not be on TV...), and they could Banter with each other and with their Guests... so I wrote to Bryan Cranston's Site to mention that... and the connection with Lauren Graham is that she works for The WB Network, and they take chances with New Shows, and they have some of the best Shows on TV, so maybe they'd be more likely to give something like that a shot... you never know, but it's fun to 'put it out there', in case Serendipity takes over and it actually happens! ha,ha!

So if you love Bryan Cranston, too, check out -- you'll like the Site! And tell Bryan I said 'Hi!"!!

Okay, let me go get you some nice pictures -- be right back!

Can you see Aidan through my Office Windows? He's sitting on one of our favorite new things -- the Exercise Ball! Aidan and I blew the thing up, but our Pump pin broke when we were about 3/4 of the way full of Air, so I tried to get the 'Stopper' in there as quickly as possible, but of course there's even more Air that escapes during that process... so it's really bouncy.


Aidan sits on it almost all day -- he rolls it down the Stairs for me to do my exercises -- I love to bounce it under the computer -- it must do something...! ha,ha! I'm addicted to that when I'm watching TV in the evening, too! I'm sure my family loves that! But I use it for Back Leg Lifts with the Free Weights -- I like it better than a Regular Work-Out Bench. One day I'll find someone who can take some pictures of that so I can show you what I mean. You just lay on the Exercise Ball on your Stomach, roll yourself forward, then go ahead and lift the weight with your ankles. It's one of my 'Signature Exercises'!

Thanks for coming in for a wee visit, today! It's always lovely to see you... and you look stunning in that MooMoo -- don't listen to the naysayers about that look -- listen to your heart about how comfy and practical it is... ha,ha,ha,ha! (Is that how you spell 'MooMoo'? Remember those long flowing dress-like outfits from the 70's -- Homer wore one in one of my favorite Simpsons Episodes where he tries to get sooo heavy he doesn't have to work...practical and hilarious!)

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

This Google Ad is called Black Knight -- I could use someone to come and rescue me from my little insular tower... ha,ha,ha!

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Tuesday, May 18th, 2004. Hey, HEY, Hey! What up wit' mah Peeps?? ha,ha! You look fabulous, today -- is that a new set of teeth?? Did you used to play a little Hockey? Have you been watching the Stanley Cup Hockey Finals? I didn't know there was going to be a Game with the Calgary Flames vs. the San Jose Sharks last night until Dwight came home and told me. I thought there was always a 36 hour turn-around between the Playoff Games, but I guess not -- anyway, The Calgary Flames won (!), so now they're 3-2 with San Jose, so we're all thrilled about that in Calgary! Now, about the Teeth -- if you've been watching the Games, you'll have noticed a disticnt lack of Teeth (specifically the front row...), and yet no shortage of Female Followers... so what can we learn from that? That's right -- if you're Highly Skilled and Highly Paid, you got it made, Baby! ha,ha,ha! Just a little slice of Reality!

Speaking of Wealthy, Highly Skilled Athletes, I think this is the week where Jesse The Bachelor takes 'his girls' back to meet his Parents -- but here's the thing I thought was really funny that you might not have heard... you know Crazy Trish? Well, she used to 'go out with' Ryan Seacrest -- but get this -- she can't quite remember him! ha,ha,ha,ha! So that tells me that she is in fact NOT a Gold Digger, or she would rack her brain trying desperately to recall an 'evening in the backseat' so she could casually bring that up in conversation, and maybe start something up again, now that Ryan is abundantly Rich and Famous! ha,ha,ha! (Yes, I am very, very amused by that!) You know they're a gold digger when they remember you by your Car, but can't recall your name, face or phone number! ha,ha! "I'm sorry -- what kind of Car do you drive? And which House was yours? What was your Salary, again?" And if you only start to see some sign that they can remember you AFTER those questions are answered, that ain't good! ha,ha!

Hmmm, I have a ton of Laundry, today, so I'll post this then come and finish it in a bit...and my Sweet Little Aidan (he's 4!) is my little 'Laundry Helper' -- he goes to each Bedroom and pushes the Laundry Baskets through to the Laundry Room for me. Man, he's a Good Boy! I'll miss him when he goes to School in the Fall! Hard to believe that as Cara is just finishing her High School Years, Aidan is just starting Kindergarten ... so now I have a 16 year old and a 4 year old -- whodda thunk that?? Thank God I have a good sense of humor, for all the little jokes the Universe has played on me! ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: I've mentioned this before, I'm sure, but I can't tell you enough how Laundry Baskets have made my life sooo much better -- sad, I know! ha,ha! I use Laundry Baskets for everything -- mostly Toys and occasionally Laundry, if I can get my lovely Family to actually put the Laundry in the baskets... for some bizarre reason Dwight leaves his Jeans and assorted Laundry Items (yes, you know the ones...) on the floor beside the Laundry Basket... now what's that all about? I just can't get him to put them directly in the Basket... Anyhooo, Laundry Baskets are great when you're Moving, since you can put all your wee things in there that you might have missed in the big boxes, and for carrying a bunch of Gifts to a Party, or if you're delivering a bunch of stuff somewhere... Last Christmas when we had our Giant Christmas Party where our Guests each brought a Toy for a Needy Child and a Food Donation for our Local Food Bank (a nice idea to do at any party...), I used the Laundry Baskets to collect and deliver the gifts. Very practical. And then Aidan uses one as his 'Shell' for when he pretends to be a turtle -- pretty funny!! ha,ha!

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit, today! I'll go grab you some nice pictures, and finish folding my Laundry! Be riiight back!

Here's my sweet little Tia none too happy about having to wear a Diaper -- actually, it's one of Aidan's Pull-Ups! Tia was in my Office with me (she's in here right now, too -- she likes to lay beside me while I'm working...) and I could hear all this rumbling, then the occasional toot! Now that ain't good! So I felt her nose and it was warm, and the rumbling persisted for quite a while, so I figured it was better safe than sorry, and put one of Aidan's Pull-Ups on her.


When Tia was a little Baby, too, she caught a bug from some water she drank when we took her for a walk down by the River. I didn't even know that could happen, and she got really sick, poor wee thing. She was a small pup at the time, so it was hard for her body to deal with it. Tia arrived in our Family before Aidan did, so back then we didn't have a ready source of 'nappies' (Scottish for 'Diapers'!), so Dwight had to run out to get some for Tia... we had to get the tiny ones because her behind was so little, so we've used this technique before! Oh, and you can see the Wave Pattern in the Tiles we laid -- the Wave Pattern makes the Tiles look clean all the time -- very practical for regular folks!

See You Tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

This Google Ad is called Melancholy Blue -- aawh, this is a good color because I just found out that Tony Randall passed away last night at the age of 84. That's soooo sad -- I loved him in The Odd Couple, and then everything after that was so funny. He was a wonderful, kind man, and had a timeless sense of humor. We'll miss him. I hope his new little Family is all right -- that must be awful for them, what with the wee boys, 'n all... But he had one incredible Life, and lived every day to it's fullest, and that's the best we can all hope for, so we can remember him as one of the Great Funny Men of our time.

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Monday, May 17th, 2004. Hey, Sweet Thang! How you doin' today? I hope you had a great Weekend! I was so happy to get up this morning and see the lawn all nicely cut -- it looks gorgeous! There's a nice sense of accomplishment when you can look out over your work that you remembered to do on the Weekend! And now our weather is finally warm enough that we can get the Driveway Paved -- man, every time I think it's nice enough, it snows again -- it's the craziest thing! So I have to e-mail some folks, today ... must not forget... every day I find myself so busy, that another day goes by and I haven't contacted the Pavers, but now it's a good time, so I better get right on that.

Oh, yeah. That's something good to know -- whenever you're getting ready to do any Project around the house (or Build the whole house...!), get your Quotes well in advance. Some folks think they can pick up the phone and get a Contractor that very day, which is relatively unlikely, unless it's an Emergency. The Trades we found need the most 'lead time' are the Carpenters (especially Finishing Carpenters), Painters, Drywallers, the Flooring Installation Guys -- really, everyone on the job needs quite a bit of 'heads-up'. We're well on our way into Summer, the busiest time of the year for most Construction Workers, so keep that in mind when you have a project that needs to be done in a certain time frame, then extend that time frame... better that than a bottle full of Prozac! ha,ha,ha,ha!

Dwight and I were watching one of our favorite Building Shows, Real Renos (Dwight really likes the Contractor, Jim, on the Show, because he 'tells it like it is...'), and they were saying how frustrating it is as a Contractor when Clients want the job done in a Week, or a very specific time frame, but the Clients don't book the Contractor far enough in advance, or they won't make up their minds on the work that needs to be done. So a good rule of thumb (must find another phrase, since I hate the 'rule of thumb' so very much...) whenever you have any Construction Project is first to get your quotes early and choose the Contractor quite quickly, then be prepared for when they get there. Get all your information together for what you wnat and don't want, and have a very clear idea of what the finished Project should look like before they step foot on your doorstep.

One of the worst things that can happen in a Build or in a large Home Improvement Project is for the Clients not to be able to make up their minds on an item that they think is small, but it holds up the whole project, then the Client is mad when it isn't all magically done by the little Date they had in their minds at the beginning. This ain't good! It's annoying on both ends, so it's always better to know in advance what colors you want, what door handles, what Toilets, Fixtures... it's endless. And then make a decision and be prepared to live with it. And know that every change that is made cost money -- often, lots of money, so if you've started the House Build and then it occurs to you that what you'd really, really like is an extra Shower in the Toy Room, be prepared for another months worth of construction and a giant Bill at the end.

One of the things Jim on Real Renos was dealing with in this particular Episode was a Couple he was working for who were doing the 'Hand Wave' ... that's where you wave your hand in any particular direction and casually state that you'd like the 'sweeping grand stairway over here, and the 4-storey Waterwall over there...' (Yes, that's me in the last quote, but I do know how much that costs, and how long it would take to build it -- in fact, I would just be the Manager on the jobsite and I'd have drawn that out in advance for the Architect to draw in... but that's just me! ha,ha,ha! Me and my simple needs! "I dinny want for much -- jus' a wee Waterwall and a lovely Staircase, is all..."! ha,ha,ha!)

Anyway, this couple did the Hand Wave and thought all the 'little changes' would be free, and the project would still come in at the same time. ha,ha,ha! Does the phrase, "Not a chance in hell' come to mind? It's funny, since you would never go to the Store and fill up your Cart 'with just a bunch of little things', then not be required to pay for them -- that's how your bill goes from $2.47 for Milk to $342.79 when you swing by Walmart to pick up the Milk -- okay, that's me again, but I only got a few little things... ha,ha,ha! But things add up, and items that you might not initially think are costly can be insane ... like Plumbing Fixtures. It's shocking how expensive a set of Taps can be. It's nothing to spend $800. on a set of Taps, and I'm being fairly moderate, there -- that's high-end stuff, of course -- you can get Plumbing Fixtures for a much lower price, but they never show that on Real Renos!

So at the end of this couple's Home Reno, Jim the Contractor gives them their new Bill, and the 'Hand Wave' stuff cost over $17,000., and they were in shock. Now, two things, here. First, it would have been in the Contractors best interest to tell the Clients the cost and time frame attached to every item on the 'Hand Wave' tour... and secondly, they should have read and signed for each item, or they could have had a blanket agreement that they understood there was a new cost involved in every change.

Typically, you sign that kind of agreement when you're having a Home Built for you -- and you have to pay any additional amount that is necessary to bring the house to the Architectural Standards of the Neighborhood -- this can easily run from $5,000 - $50,000., but the average amount is generally around $20,000., so watch out for that. You can get around that by accepting the 'Baseline Home', but they get you hooked in with the different choices you'll be asked to make. Just remember that every little upgrade ("Did you want a Toilet in the Bathroom??") comes with a Price and additional Time, so it's better to be prepared and fully aware of everything from the beginning.

Tip of the Day: Hey, did you watch The Sopranos last night? Tony's 'Girlfriend' was set on fire when her very long-sleeved Robe caught on Fire when she wasn't paying attention to what she was cooking. Man, I can't stand Gas Stoves, and I don't care HOW High-end they're supposed to be! I like Safe and Easy over 'Oh lookie what I have in my kitchen...' (nooooo, I'm not just talking about Dwight, now, although he probably would fall into that category, too! ha,ha,ha,ha!). So my Tip of the Day is to make choices for itenms in your home that are true to who YOU are, not to what someone else might say is 'High-end'... with any luck, no one that annoying will get to live there, and you want to be comfy in your own home -- and don't wear long flowing sleeves when you're cookin' with gas (or Date Tony Soprano ... there, that outta cover it! ha,ha,ha!).

Oh, yeah. I got an e-mail this morning from a friend of mine in The States, and there's a thing they're trying to do to send a message to the Big Gas Companies -- they're trying to get everyone (and I mean everyone...) to NOT Buy Gas on May 19th. The object is to make the Gas Companies aware of the Power of the Consumer -- and the Government will feel it, too, and maybe take heed, since a good portion of the price paid at the pump (in Canada, anyway) goes to Taxes. It's hard not to feel powerless with all the things that are going on, but if each person did one thing, that would make a massive point, wouldn't it?? Let's try it -- it's worth a shot, so-to-speak.

Okay, I'll go get you some nice new pictures! Be riiiight back!

I took these pictures out of Aidan's Bedroom window, this morning. This is the Garden on the North Side of the House -- it took me about two hours to cut the Grass. Two hours all by myself -- it was great!! ha,ha,ha!

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Thanks for coming in for a little visit -- I love to see you every day, otherwise I'm just talking to myself, and that ain't good! ha,ha,ha! See you tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

This Ad is called Cut Grass -- I chose this ad because I finally got out to Cut the Grass, yesterday! WooHoo! It's fun out there on the Riding Lawn Mower -- all by myself, no kids, no annoyink husband...but Dwight did come out to watch me -- I thought he was going to call me over to say how cute I looked mowing the lawn, but instead he had called me over to tell me how to mow it his way... ugh. Shouldda kept on driving! Ah, well. I got to be alone for a good two hours -- we have a lot of grass to cut... and I still have another section of the yard to do, but I think I'll leave it for Dwight. But he did show me how to make the Riding Mower go faster, so that was good!

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It's The Weekend! May 15th & 16th, 2004. Yo, yo, yo... What up, Daaaawg?? And Dawgette, if that's the female form... I can't remember my French... ha,ha,ha,ha! A little language humor for you, there -- that's always fun! I'm just watching the News while I'm writing this, and wouldn't you know it? Someone stole a Radioactive Truck in Calgary .... now that ain't good! Where on earth would that have happened -- would the Truck have pulled up to a Convenience Store, or God Forbid, a Local Gas Station?? And it apparently had a tricky label on the side of the Truck, with something like "Radioactive Truck" written on it -- that's not one of our bestest and brightest, that's fer sures! ha,ha,ha!

But that reminds me -- we've taken some huge increases in our Gas Prices, lately, and they had a wee blurb on the News last night to say how much goes to the Oil Companies, and how much goes to pay Taxes... and Surprise (or in French, "Quel Suprise!!"), over 70% of the Price we pay at the Pump goes to Taxes. And they wonder why there's a 'Brain Drain' in Canada... Hmmm, it's a mystery, all right. And if you're not familiar with the 'Brain Drain' Term, we use it in Canada to refer to the 'Smarties' who head to the States to pursue a better life, what with being able to get a good job that lasts for more than 3 months and comes with an actual Salary and a Contract ... I'll tell you, the best Teaching Contract I ever got was from the Los Angeles Unified School District, where Teachers don't have to sit on pins and needles every Spring, waiting to see if they'll get yet another 'Pink Slip' -- that's no way to treat a Teacher...(the Pink Slip bit, I mean...)

Cara's party is this weekend, so we'll be very busy with that ... and with any luck, whatsoever, it'll be dry enough outside so we can crank up the Riding Lawn Mower and head out to cut the Grass. There's a little window of opportunity when the Grass is finally green and starting to grow enough that it needs a trim, to the point where it's suddenly 3 feet high, and you're mowing through a jungle! No kidding! And we're very close to one of my favorite times of year when all the fields around us turn a beautiful shade of deep yellow -- those are the Canola Fields. Oh, I'll go get those pictures from Last year to show you, because they're cool.

It's funny how you can develop a fondness for Fields... that's what it is to live in the Country, I guess! And if you ever have the opportunity to travel through Canada in the late Summer, there are fields and fields of lavender colored plants -- I've forgotten now what they're called -- I'll ask Dwight tomorrow -- he was born in Saskatchewan, and that's where they are, but it's very cool, since it looks like a vast sea of Purple, then yellow, then various shades of green... very pretty! Who knew the Praries could be so picturesque??

Tip of the Day(ish...): You know how I mentioned about the Hydrogen Peroxide being good for your Skin about a week ago? Well, I wish I had discovered that about 25 years ago! That would have saved me a ton of money on the million different cleaning products, facial scrubs, creams galore, etc. that I've bought over the years. This stuff is absolutely amazing. Go ahead and pick up a bottle (it's very, very expensive -- expect to crack open that wallet and let about 95 cents fall out! And that's probably about 65 cents at Walmart in The States -- see, there's another reason to Migrate South! ha, ha,ha!)

Anyway, the Hydrogen Peroxide Cleans and Tightens your Pores (all very exciting...!), and makes your Skin look great! And pick up some little Cotton Pads, too -- they seem to work out really well -- they come in packs of about 200 (I was going to say '2,000', but that's probably only at Costco...! I loooove buying in 'bulk'! ha,ha!), so that ought to last you for a few weeks! ha,ha! But you really will see a huuuuge difference in yo' skin, so check it out! and let me know if you have a big 'Success Story", and we'll post it for fun! Just wash your face as you usually would (or if you're just too drunk to do that, again, go ahead and just use the Cotton Pad with the Hydrogen Peroxide on it, then stumble off to bed -- at least your face will be nice and clean! ha,ha,ha!), then wipe your face with the Cotton Pad with the Hydrogen Peroxide on it.

Oh, and I hear it's great for Cuts and stuff, too -- the very next time Dwight gets a cut, I'll be sure to try it -- he loves when I try my little 'experiments' on him! ha,ha,ha!

So here are the Canola Fields outside of our house. Beautiful, eh? Yep, and that's Tia -- she's a wee dog 'Outstanding in Her Field' -- yuff, yuff! Couldn't resist that one! Just click on the Second Picture to Enlarge it, and you'll see oor wee Tia!

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And that's one of the Windows to the Right of the Fireplace in the Great Room upstairs. We love a good View, and you can see we totally scored with this house! ha,ha!

So this Google Ad is called Pot Roast... now who missed their Dinner when they named it? ha,ha,ha!And a BIG thank you to my Site Readers who are clicking through on the Google Ads (and the other Ads!) -- I really appreciate your Support!

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Oh, and The Calgary Flames (Aidan calls them 'The Alberta Fires'...!) are Playing The San Jose Sharks on Sunday at 2:00 pm, our time... Go Flames, Go!! The Sharks gave Calgary a run for their money in the last Game, so there's going to be some more seriously great Hockey coming up!!

Hey, you know what I've never seen outside a Hockey Arena? A Prayer Circle... maybe we outta give that a try, too! Canny hurt! ha,ha,ha!

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Friday, May 14th, 2004. Hi, Honey! You're Home! Wit' MEEEE, your Hostess wit' da Mostess!! I'm workin' on that, though, but not today -- I bought me a big ol' case of Crunchie Bars for my own Mother's Day Treat, and I plan to have one pretty much every day until they're gone -- I figure that'll take me right up to the end of the School Year... Man, I can't wait for Summer!! Who knows what this Summer will bring? It dawned on me last week that we don't have to plan a move for the Summer -- that's the most common time to move, when the kids are out of school, then you get them settled into the new house before the next school year ... but that's not always necessary. You'd be surprised at how resilient kids are -- and grown adults, too.

Ooooh, that leads nicely into something I don't remember mentioning in here, before, but it's an issue a lot of Parents are anxious about -- for their children and for themselves. There's a bizarre notion straight out of 'The Fifties', that you can never, ever change your kids' School. God Forbid they change schools and have to learn how to adapt to change. Change is the cornerstone of Life, and it's one of the best things you can learn for yourself or teach your kids. We're in a brand new Century, and who knows what the next 50 to a hundred years will bring.

Can you imagine how bizarre it must have been to go through the last Century, and experience all the changes from Land and Air Travel to Computers, and the millions of new things in-between... I don't think we can even fathom what the future might hold for us, but I do know we will all need to prepare ourselves to handle Change (and I hope the kids working the Fast Food Tills will take note of this -- what's with the struggle to figure out 'change from a dollar'...?? ha,ha,ha! That's just a shame!). So if an opportunity arisies where you could let your child (or yourself...) experience some Change, go ahead and take the opportunity. I really do believe this will be the most important skill for children in the next Generations -- what are we up to, now -- 'Z'? What's after that? 'AAA', or is that just a Motor Vehicle League? ha,ha,ha,ha! I'm part of 'The Baby Boomers', but that period lasted a long, long time, so maybe we could streeeeetch out the 'Z' Generation for another 20 to 30 years, or so, and see how that works!

But in terms of Moving, it's great to have an opportunity to 'Start Fresh'. If you're changing Communities, Schools, Jobs, maybe a huge Career Change -- those are enormous changes, but they can bring amazing new things. Great new Friends, new job opportunities, all new experiences -- and a chance to present to your new world a different Persona, if you feel like it. Also, the people in the New Community won't know you from when you were in Grade Three -- they only see the Adult or 'New You', so you won't be judged on some idiotic thing you did when you were 7. Who wants to be dealt with like they're still a kid? Not me, I'll tell you. What a nightmare that would be. I say, "Move On, Move Up ... Move Over...!" (Okay, that was just a quick reference to something else that might happen when you move, but we won't get into that, now! ha,ha,ha,ha!)

Cara's big Party is tomorrow, and she's going to a Concert tonight, so that means I'll have to do all the cleaning up for the party. I said to Dwight, last night, that he'd have to move his big Power Tools out of the Pool Room, because they are too exciting to look at and not touch a little, so he needs to move the Air Compressor, Air Nailer and his Radial Arm Saw -- just a few tools laying around on the flor, like any normal house! ha,ha!

Hmmm, I'm just watching The View while I'm writing, this morning, and they're doing a Gym Wear Segment, but all the women are in big Sweaters with long sleeves and long Pants -- man, what kind of Work-Out are they doing?? I get sooo hot when I'm working out, that I hardly wear anything -- I don't get how they can do any sort of a decent Work-Out with all those clothes on?? Now here's a funny little story -- I was actually booted out of a Gym, once, for not wearing enough when I was working out. Well, not so much 'booted', as asked to wear a Track Suit when I was working out -- no, I don't think so... I wanted to wear my little Gym Outfits, and they said that made people uncomfortable. Well, it be a gym, and people are there to work out, so I couldn't be bothered with that. I found a great new Gym with mostly men, and they had no problem with it at all... ha,ha,ha,ha!

I'm a 'Weight Girl', in that I like to Lift Weights. Well, as it turns out, the other women in the Club wanted to know what I was doing, and how they could do it, too, and I wanted to tell them because I hate to see anyone waste their time at a Work Out that won't do what they want it to do -- get them into really good shape, and fast... so I told them all to skip the Aerobics and go straight to the Weights. Weights will trim you down and shape you up faster than anything else -- have you seen all the folks slaving away in the Aerobics Classes who never really look all that different? But it's a huge money maker for the Gyms, so they want to keep it. And this is not to say that you should never do Aerobics -- do it if you like it, but when you want to see a serious change in your Body, it's time to hit the Weights. Really, I must write the Exercise Page...

Many folks have been trying to get me to wear Track Suits for years -- the first thing I do when I get a new Track Suit as a gift (I would never buy one for myself...) is to get out the scissors and cut the legs down to shorts. I just get too hot, is all... and that crazy Dwight gets himself in a knot every so often, because I don't own any Pants -- I just like skirts, then I have a few pairs of shorts I wear when I have to, like when the workmen are coming over and I'll be up on a ladder -- little times like that! ha,ha,ha,ha! I built the whole house in my Mini-Skirt, much to Dwight's chagrin. But what do I care -- I just want to be comfy, and my little Black Mini-Skirt is my favorite piece of clothing. I wonder if I'll still be wearin' it when I'm Eighty? Now there's something I might consider changing! ha,ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: You can practice 'making changes' by doing one little thing different every day. Any little thing. Usually walk in on direction around your Kitchen Island? Go mad and go the other way... or use a different cup or glass when you normally use the same one every day ( hopefully, cleaned during the nght at some time... ha,ha!). Just make a conscious effort to change up one thing each day. Do that for a month, and see how easy it is to make changes, then start to make bigger changes. Oh, try a 'Food Change', if that's something you've been thinking about. Instead of having a Piece of Cake at night, have a Rice Cake -- no kiddink -- I'm particularly fond of the Popcorn Rice Cakes. The save the Cake for a 'healthy' Breakfast! ha,ha,ha!

I'll go get you some new pictures -- be right back!

Here's the Turkey Soup and Fresh Homemade Bread I made, yesterday. And it was deeelicious! Oh, rats -- forgot to send some in to to work with Dwight for his Dad -- I always like to send in a big Dish of Homemade Soup for Dwight's Dad... oh, well. Next time.


So I added in a bunch of chopped Celery, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Onions, Green Onion, Green Peppers and tossed in some Frozen Corn and Peas, left that for another hour while the Bread was baking, then everything was ready when Dwight came in from picking Cara up from a School Play Practice ... and just in time for the Survivor Show where Rupert got to walk away with a Million Dollars -- Go Rupert, Spend Yo' Money!! ha,ha! I'm sure that money will be put to good use by Rupert, since he has a heart of gold -- a very nice characteristic in a man!

And did you see the Finale of Frasier? Man, I'm gonna miss that Show -- I loved all the nuances, the great guffaws, the fabulous transitions from Scene to Scene and the little Titles of the Scenes... what a great Show. What a great way to end the Show, too - with the Prospect of New Beginnings for everyone on the show. Very nicely done!

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit, today. I'll see you on The Weekend!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

This here Google Ad is called Peach Melba, which I'm guessing is a tasty treat you might find in Atlanta -- am I right?? ha,ha! Oh, yeah, that reminds me -- I should make up a whole Page for my favourite Peach Pie Recipe -- it's one of those things you make that 'creates a following'... everybody looooves it, and as far as I'm concerned, it makes a delicious and slightly nutritious Breakfast! ha,ha,ha! (Of course, I also believe that the Lemon Cheesecake Pie I am about to go and get a slice of is also a good Breakfaast, but that's just because it's okay to have treats in the morning, so I like to take full advantage of that!)

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Thursday, May 13th, 2004. Hey, Baby! What's up? Your Dating Card, I hope -- oh, no. Wait... that's The Bachelor -- or the Girls on The Bachelor! ha,ha! Those crazy Goils -- I felt sorry for the way they couldn't quite get why ol' Jesse didn't choose them, when it's not really about the 'why', just the fact that he made that particular choice. Too often, folks think there should always be an explanation about why or how things didn't work out, or there was a lack of connection, when most of the time, it's merely a matter of Attraction or lack thereof... It's a shame when someone says, "Hey, how come she got him and I didn't??" You can't 'get' someone -- anyone... you need to meet somewhere in the middle and see if things work out.

Here's something that was driving me up the wall that a lot of young women fall for -- the idea that 'the Poor guy' is a great guy. Not always. And not any more than a Man with Money. Money doesn't make you Good or Bad, and neither does the lack of it, except it can cause different behaviours depending on how the person reacts to the monetary situation. Some Rich Guys are ludicrously Cheap, and that's a terrible trait, and some Poor Guys are overly generous, and that's part of the reason they don't have any money. It's far more important how they manage the Money they do have, more than how much of it they have to manage.Women need to stop Romanticising Poverty -- there ain't nuthin' romantic about not being able to Pay Your Bills, no matter what anyone says, so that really bothered me when 'The Girls' ganged up on Trish who was at least smart enough to get that concept.

But I thought The Bachelor was jeest a leettle creepy, last night -- now why did Jesse ask Mandy 'to spend the night' if he wasn't going to choose her, and what's with the whole thing about having to check everything out before he can even begin to make a decision about whether he likes her, even a bit... yuuuuck! You can't whittle down the choices through witty conversation?? ha,ha,ha,ha! (It's funny because I don't recall hearing any witty banter this time around... Plus, I think he had his own 'special technique, but I'm just guessing... yuff, yuff!)

Hey, you know who might make a funny Bachelor? Rob C. from Survivor -- the one who made all the hilarious remarks on 'The Island'. Or Kwame from The Apprentice -- who cares if he's funny -- Kwame is just plain fun to look at, and if there happens to be a game of Shirts and Skins in every Episode, what of it if he always plays on 'The Skins' side -- now that would really boost the Ratings, no?? ha,ha,ha,ha! (Okay, I did just create that visual for my own amusement, but basically that's all I do anyway - if I'm not amused by it, how would I know whether it would delight someone else, hmmmm?) Or in each Episode with Kwame as The Bachelor, the Wardrobe People could 'accidentally' misplace all his Shirts ... I know, I know, that's huuugely inappropriate, but it is a good visual, so I'm keepin' it! ha,ha,ha!

Oh, and you know what a good Spin-Off for Trish from The Bachelor might be? Who Wants To Have An Affair?? Yep, I think it'll be a big, big hit, especially with 'The Wives'... You could have all the Husbands lined up, each one with a sad, sad story about how their wife can't stand them another minute (oh, no, wait,,, that's the wife's story... his story is about how hard done by he is, never getting everything he wants 24/7... brings a tear to yer eye, it does... ha,ha,ha,ha!), and Trish could listen with those big wide eyes, absorbing every needy word, then she could choose a few to 'try out'. And on this Show, she could take as many as she liked... you can skip the Roses and hand out Martinis, that way everyone would want one! Oh, I think I have a good handle on this TV thing! N'yuk, n'yuk, n'yuk!

So we haven't done a stitch of Construction Work at home, this week. When there's a Big Birthday, that pretty much takes ove rthe whole week, and I need to take the next couple of days to get ready for Cara's Party on the Weekend. She's having a House Party with about 15 kids ... should be fun. We have a nice big area on the Lower Level with the Bar and Pool Table ( and, no, there won't be any 'drinking', but the Bar is a handy place to put all the Snacks and Pop -- it's about 10 feet long, 3 1/2 feet wide, so lots of room for stuff...), and the Big Screen TV is down here, too ... I'm trying to convince Cara to set up her Den as a Dance or Music Area -- so far, no luck, but we'll see what happens. Dwight's going to do a BBQ, since he's the BBQ King, and I'll do all the Salads and Snacks. And Aidan promises to 'Be Good'! ha,ha,ha!

Memorial Day is coming up in The States, and one of my favorite Online Companies,, has a Program where you can go into their Site, Choose a Gift,. and have it sent to a Service Person in the Military. Isn't that a nice thing to do? I have a whole Page just for Overstock, but you can click on any of the the Pictures to take you into the Overstock Site -- it's an unbelievable store, so you might just find a wee something for yourself, too! (That's the way I shop! ha,ha!)

Tip of the Day: Have you noticed the Trend toward really enormous Baseboard? If you start taking note of the different types of Baseboard in homes, you'll see that the Trim in Victorian Homes is enormous, then as the homes move into the middle of the last Century, the Trimwork got really narrow, and now we're back to the giant Trim, again. If you have a home you want to Update relatively quickly, other than painting the walls a modern color (Tans and shades of Sage are big right now...), pull off the Skinny Floorboard and replace it with really 'fat' stuff.

And a really easy way to re-use your old Baseboards, if they are carefully removed and in good shape, you could take some 'Straight Boards' or a piece of MDF and you can 'Rip it Down' to 3 to 6 inch pieces, paint them the same color, then put the 'Straight Piece' on the walls, first, then add the 'old board' directly on top. the beauty of the Baseboard you've taken from the wall is it will already be cut, so you won't have to fiddle around with all the Mitred Edges, which can be hard to do. You can use the same technique of 'building up' the Baseboard with Brand New Lumber in a new Project.

I'll go get you some new pictures -- and I need to put on a Big Pot of Turkey Soup... I'll be back in a jiffy!

Surprise! It's the Turkey Soup! I use pretty much the same Soup Base for most of my Homemade Soup. My favorite way to buy Spices is in the Giant Containers, because I like to use a lot of Spice when I'm cooking.

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I'll make up a whole Page just for the Turkey Soup Recipe, but basically you just start with 3/4 of a pot of water, toss in a ton of spices (I pour the spices in...'A little bit of this and a little bit of that...' You know how it is!). Onions are fabulous for 'curin' whatever ails ya', so chop up an onion and throw that in, too. Then I rinse the 'Soup Starter' (a mixture of Lentils, Beans, Barley, etc., etc. -- you can pick it up in your Soup Aisle in the Grocery Store), dice the meat and stir it all up in the pot. Turn the heat down to Low and let it simmer away until about an hour or so before dinner,then toss in all sorts of Veggies -- whatever you have in the house. It's always delicious.

I happened to take out a frozen Loaf of Bread Dough this morning, so it's on the Stove busy rising, right now, and when I'm done this, I'll go cut it into pieces to make it magically transform into Rolls. It makes a nice Meal on a Cold and Yucky Day! Now who has a lucky family, hmmmm?

Thank you for coming in for a wee visit! I'll see you tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

This little Google Ad is called Cut Grass, which seems like a good one to use, today, since I keep looking out the windows to see when it'll be dry enough to get the Riding Lawn Mower back out -- all that snow is making our Grass Grow! (So there is an upside to Snow in May! ha,ha!)

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Wednesday, May 12th, 2004. Hello, Goigeous! Yes, that's an 'oi' in the middle of 'gorgeous', just for fun! Man, I'm exhausted, today -- or maybe it's the leftover effects of the Super Motrin I took last night ... those little pills are like a mini-miracle in a bottle! Not in a weird way, of course, but they'll take all the pain away in no time at all, and you'll snore you're way back to your regular self. So here's what I did -- and don't tell Dwight, since he told me this would happen, but I never like to listen to him in case he ends up being right, and then I'm wrong... you get the drift! ha,ha,ha!

Anyway, Cara and I each got a Pair of Roller Blades -- me for Mother's Day and Cara for her 16th Birthday. Now, I used to be a Figure Skater (and by 'used to', I mean about 30 years ago! ha,ha,ha!), so I thought I would just strap on the Skates and nature would take over. Turns out, No. Apparently my body can't remember that far back, and God Knows my mind is a little sketchy about it, too! So I just stood up with the Skates on (they seem enormous!), and rolled them back and forth to try to get a 'feel' for the skates. That only lasted for about 4 minutes, then I took them off and stored them in the Laundry Room, where Roller Blades belong... then the next morning, I could hardly stand upright. For some odd reason, the upper middle part of my back was sooo painful, but I had a ton of stuff to do, so I couldn't take anything for it during the day. That's where the magical Super-Motrin came in, and why I am so very thankful for it! ha,ha! I'll try it again when I have something else to lean on -- like a Full-Size Steel Frame I could Skate behind!

Ooooh, The Bachelor is on, tonight -- we're addicted to those little Shows -- we're hoping Cara will see how people can treat each other in these 'mini-relationships', and how easy it is for some men to go from one girl to the next to the next, then ask if she has any friends... now that ain't good!(And girls can do the same thing in reverse...)You know what would be a great thing to get everyone who is dating to do, especially when they're in the 'Under 25' Category? You can see how quickly these fabulous relationships fizzle out, so if we could just get folks to wait for Three Months (I know, that's a bit of a pipe dream, but a girl likes to dream! ha,ha!) before they make any 'big commitments' to anyone else, that might save a whole lot of grief in the long run. You get a pretty good handle on the other person in that amount of time, unless they are an expert at hiding their true personality (yes, that happened to me -- that's how I've gathered up most of the information over the years -- I'm hoping to save you from some bother later on...). Plus, I love the 'Blue Up-Lighting' behind the Plants on the Show -- if I ever find those, I'll let you know right away!

Tip of the Day: This came up in our house again the other night. Our weather has been bizarre, lately -- hot enough for the Air Conditioner to come on automatically, then cold enough to snow later that night. The problem is that the house can still be too hot for Dwight (he likes it cold all the time...), but it's too cold outside to turn on the Air-Conditioning, so he opens up the windows in the Bedroom. That would be fine, except those Bedroom Windows are about 15 feet off the Ground, so if Aidan were to push through the Screen, he wouldn't survive it, so it makes me very anxious. We bought a whole lot of 'Window Locks' that you can just screw on, and I like them to be placed about 6" above the bottom of the Window, since that would provide enough Air-Flow for the room and keep small children safe. Our lives would all be much better and safer if Dwight would quit moving the little locks so he can open the window all the way.

The other thing is that Aidan has the strength to open the Windows by himself, now, and he can do it so quickly, that you may not be in the room with him when he does it, so keeping those Window Locks about 6" from any opening really works to kep him safe. This is a huuuuge concern for Parents in Highrise Apartment Buildings, where it is really a much better option just to be warm, rather than take a chance with anyone's safety, but those little locks can prevent a child from opening a window, and that's the most important thing.

So in my next house, with my next husband... (ha,ha,ha,ha,ha!), I'm going to put in the new Windows that open from the Top -- I had never seen them before, but they look like a good idea! I'll look around for those, too, and I'll post them when I find them!

Oh, I almost forgot! I got an e-mail from my friend, Karen in Manhattan Beach (I identify my friends by Name and Place -- whatever that says about me!), and I posted it on my Breast Cancer Research Page. It was a wee note about a new deal M&M's Candies has where they'll donate 50 Cents from the sale of every package of the new Pink and White M&M's to the Susan G. Coleman Foundation, so you can get yo' Chocolate Fix and Support a Great Cause at the same time!

Let me go get you some nice pictures -- be riiight back!

These are three of the many, many areas in this house that we Tiled and Grouted. I love Tile -- it's beautiful and practical. The first shot is of the Dining Room right after we finished Grouting it. Then there's the Sunroom after we finished that, and then the Steam Room, so you can see the Wall Tile in there...

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I'm showing you these pictures so you can get a good handle on how much Tile I've dealt with over the past little while... and here's a great Tip for you if you have a Place that needs a Reno, and the Grout looks terrible. (Incidentally, Grout is the stuff in between each tile, and the new stuff is easy to clean.) You might find that really old Grout changes color, or is moly or just plain ol' dirty. An easy way to deal with it is to use a Dremel Tool (like a little Drill, but with a Flat Head) to remove the top layer of the existing Grout. That might clean it up enough that it looks brand new. If not, drill down a little bit further into the exisitng Grout to remove it (not necessarily completely...) , then mix up a batch of new Grout and put it in between the Tiles. If you're replacing The Grout, you might want to take the opportunity to change out the color of the grout to 'bring it up-to-date'.

Oh, and don't ever be 'afraid' of light-colored Tile with a Wave Pattern, or light-colored Grout. Dark grout is actually a lot harder to work with when you're putting it in, especially if the tile is light -- White or any lighter shade of grout blends in eaily with the tiles, so it's much easier to clean up. And Grout is easy to clean, so you don't have to worry about staining. You can check out my How to Tile Page to learn how to Tile and Grout!

Thanks for swinging by for a wee visit! See you tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

We actually have made a fair bit of money over the years in the Stock Market, and I think people were shying away from it for a while there, but now it's time to 'head on back'... I wish we had kept some Oil Stocks, now, since the Price of Oil is going through the roof... and I like the idea of investing in Bio-Medical Stocks, especially if it's for something you feel personally connected to... that makes you feel like you're doing your own little bit to provide the money for the Necessary Research, and if that brings you a financial windfall as well as a cure, all the better!

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Tuesday, May 11th, 2004. Yo, yo, yo. What up wit' my Home-ies?? It's a big exciting day, here -- it's Cara's 16th Birthday! Sweet 16 -- we've been waiting a loooong time for this day to come -- why, it's been about 16 full years! ha,ha,ha! No, no, everybody waits that long for their 16th Birthday .. we really have been waiting for this Big Birthday, though, since we've been living under these bizarre rules that get to decide where we live and how we live until now -- at the Magical Age of 16, though, who is going to be successful at telling them what to do? Nobody, that's right! Why it's like you're familiar with 16 year olds!! ha,ha,ha!

Oh, you know what I heard on the News the other night? Other than a Street Hockey Game was shut down by a By-Law Officer here in Suburban Calgary, home of the Hockey Puck... pleeeease, Canadian Kids have been playing Street Hockey since the Dinosaurs still roamed the Area -- probably with Hockey Sticks in their giant hands -- I don't have actual proof of that, I'm just surmising... and if you are particularly interested in Dinosaurs, one of the best Dinosaur Museums is not far from here in Drumheller, Alberta -- and there's a 'mini-Grand Canyon there, too -- who knew?? There was a tremendous amount of Dinosaur Activity out here -- the other place I really like is the Tar Pits in Downtown L.A. -- definitely worth a visit!

Okay, back to the original News Story that concerned me -- and it's an issue I feel very strongly about, but I don't hear much debate about it, which I find surprising. There's a Group in Alberta who want to switch the Legal Drinking Age from 18 to 19. Really, I do not understand how this ever became a moveable number, since 18 is the 'Be all and end all' Age of Majority, signifying that you're a full-fledged Adult. You can Go to War, Vote, Die for Your Country (this is the biggest one for me, since any Government that would allow someone to die for the country but not allow that same person to have a beer, because they aren't nearly old enough to handle it is a sham... I'm truly shocked that so many folks go along with this...), Get Married, Have a Family, Work in a Full Time Job, Pay Full Taxes on Your Full-Time Income, Drive Anywhere, Move Anywhere (unless you've beed unfortunate enough to have a child with a control freak, but I digress..) -- live a complete life all on your own, but not be allowed to have a drink. That's ridiculous.

Now, I know the argument is that too many young people Drink and Drive, then people get hurt, but the answer is not to change the Laws so that Drinking between the ages of 18 to 21 is Illegal -- who really believes that would stop them, anyway? The same person who is out of control with their drinking at 19 is the same person wh is even more out of control with their drinking at 24, since by then they'll have more money to spend on booze. This is more a matter of teaching our Youth (and the rest of Society) to be more reasonable and rational, and to use Moderation whenever possible, and then for those times that they don't follow the Middle Road, make sure they stay put wherever they are ... it's much safer to stay where they are than to try to get home no matter what, especially if it's to comply with a Curfew or a mere notion of when the person should be back home. Dealing with one person's wrath is much better than everyone dealing with an Accident, God Forbid...

So I think the really big question is how do we teach Moderation? I'm Scottish, as you probably know , and in Britian, 16 is considerd a very viable age for making reasonable decisions, which I believe is true for the most part. (And that's why any 'Youth' between 16 and 18 who commits a heinneous crime should skip straight over to the Adult Court ... ) I've known many, many 'Youth' in that age range, and never have seen even one who didn't know what they were up to -- I have no idea what Childless Person came up with that rule... they may not make the wisest decisions all the time, but neither do some a Thirty-Eight Year Olds ...

The bottom line is that you just can't punish the Majority for the stooopid actions of a few. It isn't Fair, and it isn't Right. It has to be One or The Other -- if you're old enough to live like an Adult, you're old enough to have a Stawberry Dacquiri... or a Beer, or whatever else you might like, just do it in Moderation. Bring back The House Party, and introduce the concept of B.Y.O.B, again -- this time it can be 'Bring Yo' Own Bed'! ha,ha,ha! The new slogan could be 'Stay Put, Stay Safe'... We actually have that little 'rule' in our house, but more in reference to the weather, which can be pretty crazy around here (there's a Snow Storm, today, in fact...). We had some terrible Fog earlier in the Year, and you literally couldn't see 20 feet in front of you, so that makes Driving impossible. Our deal was that if anyone got to the Corner of the Road and couldn't see any Traffic at all, they would turn around and go back to the nearest place they could stay that was safe -- if that meant a night in a Hotel, so be it... that would always be better than something terrible happening...

Maybe we could focus our energies on figuring out a way to get people home after they've been drinking, or set up a deal with Hotels to allow for a place to stay, where the Parents could pay the Hotel Bill 'the next day', if someone showed up and didn't have the money to stay... imagine the lives that could save, right there? Or you could get a Bill you could pay over time? Maybe a room set up like a Hostel... something to think about...

Well, that was controversial, wasn't it?? Ah, well. I'm not the only one who thinks this stuff .. I'll go get you some nice new pictures -- be riiight back!

In Honour of Cara's Big 16th Birthday, here are some nice pictures of Cara!

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The first one is Cara watching Ellen Degeneres on TV (we looove Ellen, she's sooo funny!), then there's Cara out mowing the Lawn, and then Cara on her way to her Grade 9 Graduation. Beautiful and Nice! (Not to mention Smart and Funny!!)

Thanks for popping in for a little visit! See You Tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

(And Happy 16th Birthday, Cara!!! Love, Mummy!! xxxxooo)

Wow -- I'm just watching Oprah, and wouldn't you know it, she's just started a new 'O At Home' Magazine -- I'll have to go find a Link for that for you -- can't wait to read that!

Oh, and there's a new Ask Ailsa Question that I did instead of the usual Tip of the Day!

This Google Ad is called Blue Bird, which seems appropriate, since I Hope to God we are as Free as a Bird to make our own choices (whatever they may be -- it's all about having the Freedom to make the choices all by yourself!) soon enough... I'll be sure to keep you posted!

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Monday, May 10th, 2004. Hey there, Baby Cakes! Sweetie Pie... Sugar Dumpling... what's that? A Donut of sorts? Hmmmm, sounds pretty good, one way or another, much like you! ha,ha,ha! Well, did you survive Mother's Day? It has to be one of those days with the highest level of Expectations on the planet... did you notice? So I had a nice day, and everything went quite well until last thing at night -- I went into the Kitchen, and all the dishes were still there, and then I went to each Bedroom, and none of the Beds had been made... so I had to make the beds because I like everyone to have a comfy 'made' bed every night, cleaned Cara's Bathroom, then made my way to the kitchen again to prepare things for the Morning Routine... but when I got up, this morning, I noticed that Aidan had his toys all over the Living Room Floor,and that makes Dwight mad, so I had to clean that up before Dwight got up. Then there was no room on the island to make the lunches because of all the stooopid dishes...

So I don't know how to play this one -- I made it very, very clear to everyone that I was Okay with having my Mother's Day Dinner at home, provided that I didn't have to clean up my own dishes, like at my Birthday, but here we go again... and since no work was done at all, yesterday, I have double the amount of cleaning to do, today. Ugh. Dwight did not notice that I was mad, this morning. I think he's getting used to my arms at my side and a cheek to kiss on his way out the door...! ha,ha,ha! Whatevah... Hey, you know what is a good Show to watch when you're fed up with yo' Spouse? Blind Date with Roger Lodge. No kidding! Not only is Roger Lodge really funny (and very attractive...!), it's a great reminder of how crappy Dating Life can be... you tend to forget that once you're Married.

I find myself trying to remember my Dating Life, but I really never did 'Date' much. I think I was almost always friends, first, then it was more like going out with friends, then just one friend, and so on and so on... you get the drift! But if you watch enough Episodes of Blind Date (it's one of our favorite Shows...), your spouse looks less and less annoying! ha,ha,ha! So it serves a purpose, and is very entertaining! And speaking of Friends, I look forward to the Joey Spin-off with one of our favorite Characters from The Sopranos -- Adrianna (of Christo'fah' Fame...), and I hope they deal better with any children who are brought into the Story-Line than Friends did -- I couldn't stand it that they were always leaving the Babies all alone and carrying around that stooopid Baby Monitor, like that was great Child Care... Too many people watching who might think that's an okay habit to get into, especially with Infants... puh-leeease... that part was just annoyink... And I hope they do a better job of showing actual Integration that reflects the Demographics of L.A., since that's the Setting for the New Show.

I did get some great reading in, yesterday, though -- I picked up a copy of Erma Bombeck's All I Know About Animal Behaviour I Learned in Loehmann's Dressing Room -- hilarious... Erma Bombeck's humor is timeless. And I had picked up some Scottish Pipe & Drum Music in a Two CD Set from Costco, (and I picked up another Set for My Dad for Father's Day, that'll be here before you know it...) so I got my Tea, a lovely piece of Lemon Pie, My Erma Bombeck Book, put on the Pipe Music, and had a great morning in the Sunroom! Dwight came in for a little while -- I think he really loved the Scottish Bagpipe Music...! ha,ha,ha! I was singing away to all the Scottish Tunes, and said to Dwight, "Doesn't this make you want to March??" ha,ha,ha! No, apparently it didn't, so he left to watch TV, and I got to be all alone! Yiipee!!

I had a Big Plan to have a nap at some point during the day, but then Game One in the Western Finals in Hockey came on -- The Calgary Flames vs. The San Jose Sharks, so I couldn't miss that, then the Finale of Survivor was next, followed by The Sopranos -- no wonder no-one cleaned the Kitchen... now I just have to decide whether I will cave in again, and clean it myself, which is the most likely thing, since I don't want any fights the day before Cara's 16th Birthday, which is tomorrow -- can't wait! So I have a lot of wrapping to do in my Gift Wrapping Room -- and I get a surprising amount of use out of that room!

Well, I just went upstairs to get Aidan some more Watermelon, looked at the big mess in my Kitchen, then broke down and did all the dishes... Thank Goodness we have the Two Dishwashers -- I filled them both, so they're running right now. Not sure whether I'll mention it, or just let the anger simmer away... that technique seems to work for Tony Soprano -- did you love the Anger Management Classes? They don't always take! ha,ha,ha! That crazy Dwight -- and the worst part is he never, ever feels the need to apologize -- it's all water under the bridge for him -- maybe I should live like that, too, only I can't seem to get away with that -- wonder why?

Oh, and did you see they have a little twist on Survivor? You can go to their website,, and Vote for whichever Survivor you feel should have won, or another Survivor you would like to see a Million Dollars go to... personally, I like Ethan, since he's soooo nice (and I really like his hair! ha,ha!), but I think you can vote on The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and The Sexy, too, so that outta be fun! And check out the Survivor Buffs while you're in there, and say to yourself, "Hey, wouldn't my Group, School, Team or Business Logo look great on a Buff??" If you answer yourself out loud, you'll have a few issues to deal with first, then you can e-mail me and I can 'Hook You Up' with The Buffs!! Now won't that be fun??

Okay, I better 'Get to Wrappin'! It's so hard to believe that Cara will be 16 tomorrow! Wow... I hope that doesn't make me 'old'! ha,ha,ha! We were trying to remember our 16th Birthdays, but couldn't. Nothin', not even a faint memory! Now that ain't good! Oh, and Cara got her Ears Pierced on Saturday, so that opens up a whole new realm of Gift Ideas for her, so that's fabulous! And they look great -- she had plans earlier in her life not to ever get her ears pierced, but that's just the sort of thing that happens around the age of 16 -- suddenly you really want to look like an Adult. And the Mum wants to look less and less like an Adult! ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: Hey, did you know you can Renew your Library Books Online? I just discovered that about 8 months ago, and it makes your life a whole lot easier... you used to have to drag all your books back into the Library, they'd stamp them all, then you'd drag them all home again. Then you would do the same thing in just over three weeks, right after the actual Due Date, so you'd rack up all sorts of Fines... Anyway, you can go to the Website for the Library in your area, click on your Library Number and your PIN, then renew all the books on-line. Man, I love my computer -- well, not 'love', this week, because it's still painfully slow, for some reason... but it is very useful, so I really like it. That's basically how I feel about Dwight this week, too -- useful and practical, but not all that lovable...! ha,ha,ha,ha!

Let me go get you some nice new pictures! Be riiight back!

Well, are these pictures pathetic or useful? You decide! ha,ha,ha! I wanted to show you some easy Exercises you could do while you're sitting at the Computer, because so many of us are practically chained to the computer all day ... actually, if you really are chained to the computer, I'd like to see your picture, too, but only in a voyeuristic way! ha,ha,ha,ha!


I couldn't get anyone to take pictures of me Exercising, so I just took these, myself -- those are my legs! ha,ha! So here's what to do while you're at the computer -- Get a bunch of Free Weights. Store them carefully under the Desk, like you can see that I do! You can use any Weight you like -- start little and increase the amount of weight as you get used to the Exercise. I like the 8 and 10 pound weights for this exercise.

Set the Weight 'standing up', then put a foot on either side. Keep your Back Straight, then lift slowly up and down. You can do quick little lifts, too, if you have A.D.D. -- no, no... I'm just kiddink! But I do the little quick lifts just for fun -- I would imagine they do something, so why not? I'll have to make up my At-Home Work-Out Page, soon -- I've been thinking about it a fair bit, lately... must get some pictures of myself so I can show you some good exercises that actually work!

Thank you for coming in for a wee visit! See you tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

This Google Ad is called Cumulous Cloud. Nice, eh? Very calming!

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Mother's Day Weekend, May 8th & 9th, 2004. Happy Mother's Day! I'm pretty sure you're either celebrating it yourself, or celebrating it with someone else in mind, but one way or another, everybody's got a Ma, right, so it has to be important on some level... I'm hoping for a whole Mudda's Day Weekend., but we'll see. So far, I've had quite a flow of 'Traffic' in my Office here, tonight -- I'm trying to get this written on Friday Night, so I can have a semblance of a chance of sleeping in on Saturday or Sunday... Cara was in earlier with the Scrabble Game, so of course everything stopped so we could play a sleepy game of Scrabble. That's a fun little game to play -- I'm not really a 'Game Girl', except for Scrabble and Chess. And then Mind Games, of course, because they're always mature and fun... and hardly ever destructive... ha,ha,ha,ha!

Now it's 12:30 in the Morning (so technically it's Saturday Morning...!), and Dwight's in my Office. I said to him it's a little distracting for me to have him in my office, eating cereal and playing with the dog, but he thought he would just watch me while I was working ... then he started to choke on his cereal, so I had to give him some of my Tea... you can see how that wasn't distracting at all... ha,ha,ha,ha! Can you tell I'm a little delirious with the lack of sleep?? Ah, well. I'm not the first sleep-deprived Mutha' you've known, I'm sure! Is that how you spell 'delirious'?? You'd think after all that Scrabble, I'd know that sort of thing, but the older I get, the worser mah' spellin' gets! ha,ha! I used to be obsessed with Spelling -- I wonder if that's what lead me in the direction of being an English Teacher... and if you're fairly new to 'The Site', I really get a laugh out of 'playing wit' da language', because I think we sometimes get a little too 'high falutin' with English, then it's not so much fun anymore -- and here we're trying to get more kids to read... really, the secret is that we need to get everybody to read more, so makin' it fun is the best way to do that, don't you think? Me neither... What were we talkin' aboot?? ha,ha!

Oh. It's almost May 9th, and you know what weird thing Dwight and I have in common? That's right, we both love Malibu Rum and Orange Juice -- it's the tie that binds us together... no, wait. That's not it... Oh, yeah, now I remember -- we were both married on the same day twice. Yep. The first time around, we were both married on May 9th, 1987, at approximately the same time, but on opposite sides of the Country, and with different people... How weird is that?? And of course, the second time we were both married on the same day, it was the day we actually married each other in Santa Barbara, California. That's why we like it so much down there... that, and I hear it's easier to get a divorce, should the need ever arise, in Sunny, Single California...! ha,ha,ha!

Guess where I got most of my information about California? That's right, from Melrose Place...! Remember how Heather Locklear (sp?? will that keep coming up??) used to get married, divorced, the married again in the same Episode? Now that was good TV! ha,ha! Oh, the 90's... a whole decade of decadence... Thank Goodness for The O.C., or I wouldn't learn anything new about my favorite State -- California! Oh, and just for the record, we always called it "Schmelrose Place", and I think I see "De O'Schmee" instead of The O.C. in the very near future -- why we can never call anything by it's rightful name will remain a mystery. Probably why, for a while there, I took to calling Dwight 'a malastard'... and as you can well imagine, I thought that was hilarious, and luckily, so did Dwight! ha,ha,ha!

It's Cara's 16th Birthday on May 11th, so I definitely will need to get some shopping in -- Costco, here I come... Dwight is lookin' sweaty! ha,ha! He doesn't really like my 'Costco Trips', that's why I had to cut back on the number of times I went there to once every 6 weeks, or so ... and that's how I was able to 'save' us well over $500. per month... ha,ha,ha! Whatevah'... it's sooo hard to be rational when you go through the Big Costco Doors -- everything looks highly practical, until you leave with your enormous Bill and have to figure out how on earth you'll get it all into the Van... every time I think about 'switching out' my Chevy Cargo Van, I think about how much stuff I can squeeze in there, and can't bring myself to part with it... although I would like a Van in a Gold Color... hmmmm. Must look for a Gold Cargo Van!

Tip of the Day: Here's a Financial Tip, and I mention it because I happen to be thinking about My Van. As soon as you can, buy your own vehicle outright. Leasing is an easy way to go at the beginning, but a nightmare at the end, whereas if you go and buy a Used Car (which I also highly recommend -- say, 1 to 4 years old, then drive that for about 5 years, then 'switch up' again... just like a house! ha,ha,ha!), or even a new vehicle, and work toward paying it off completely, you'll own the vehicle outright, then you'll have one less payment to make per month. The ultimate goal is to own everything and not have any payments other than general upkeep. It's a nice, easy way to live... very stress-free, and it'll give you waaaaay more time to poke around and watch TV... doesn't that sound exciting? No? Maybe you could go on a Trip, or somethin'... we can't -- we're too busy, but one day we will, and I'm sure it'll be work related! Ah, that's the life of the reasonably comfy -- why don't they make a Show about us, hmmmm? ha,ha,ha!

I'll get some new pictures for you in a wee bit -- must get some sleep!

I'm baaack! And here are the reasons I celebrate Mother's Day! That's Cara and Aidan baking with me in the Kitchen -- that's a fun thing to do with (and for) your kids...

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And then there's Cara at the Front Entry on her way to her Grade 9 Graduation -- next stop, Grade Twelve!! ha,ha! And then there's Aidan dressed as a wee bug at Hallowe'en -- and he is as cute as a bug in a rug, no?? ha,ha,ha! Of course, I'm 'Mother' to Tia, too, so you can have a quick click on her name to see what our wee dog looks like, if you haven't seen her, yet... they're all gorgeous and amazingly smart! Lucky, lucky ME! Scooooore!!

See ya later, Alligator... remember that ol' line? I always loved that little ditty (although it has very little to do with Jack and Diane, from what I recall...)! Think I'm overly sleepy, now, fer sures!

Oh, hey, and if you've been wondering what you can get for ME for Motha's Day, just 'give me a little Click', will ya, huh? My click -through rate took a dive down to 1.5% of my Readers clicking through last week -- egads, that ain't good! A click a day keeps the banker away...' I don't know, I just made that up, but I do appreciate all your support... maybe my new, revised goal should be 'to get my 'Click-through Rate to 2.3% ... now that's just sad! No, I'm shootin' for 50% of my Readers clickin' their way 'out the door', so-to-speak... that's seems entirely reasonable to me... Anyhooo, thanks for popping in on the Weekend!

Happy Mother's Day!!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

This Google Ad is called "It's a Girl!". How cute is that?? ha,ha! Anything for a Click, eh??

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And it's not too late to Shop for Mother's Day, so Click Here to Find some Great Gift Ideas!

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Friday, May 7th, 2004. Hi, Honey! You're Home, again, and I'm still here! Have you done your Mother's Day Shopping, yet? I finished mine, yesterday -- I got my Mum one of those really big Electric Griddles -- I love my griddle (perhaps a bit too much!) for making fancy Breakfasts and Fish, 'n stuff... that'd be a good Name for a Seafood Restaurant that ain't too fancy, "Fish 'N Stuff" -- sounds delicious! ha,ha! Oh, you know? That probably is the name of a Fishin' Tackle Store! Anyway, so I got the Griddle and a Gift Certificate for my Mum to buy whatever Flowers she likes. That works out well for us, since we live so far apart (about 3,000 miles, I think...), and that way she can go and choose the nicest looking flowers at the Store, and get a bunch of Hanging Baskets -- what Mum doesn't love a Hanging Basket of Flowers??

That reminds me -- I bought myself a gorgeous Hanging Basket of Fuscias, which I love, but it's far too cold outside to hang the Flowers up, so I removed the 'Hangy Part' and put the flowers right in the middle of the Dining Room Table. They look beatiful, but guess who is obsessed with how the Blossoms open, and how easily they come off in yo' hand when you just give them a tiny tug?? That's right, it's Dwight... ha,ha,ha... no, it's the other, much smaller boy in the house, Aidan! So now there are Blossoms all over the house, and last night he was trying to 'Clean the Flowers' in the bathroom sink, then dry them on my good towels... funny! So I had to say to Aidan this morning that all the rest of the Buds and Flowers have to stay on the Plant... so far, so good! ha,ha! I took some pictures, and a shot of the bowl of water I put out so that Aidan can put any other Blossoms that just happen to fall off the plant and straight into his hands so they have a chance of further survival!

I had to make up some 'Mother's Day Rules' for Dwight, and hopefully they will apply to everyone else, too... so as a Public Service to all the Moms out there, and to help save some Dads and Children a whole lot of disgruntled Ma's out there, here goes...

1. Be Nice to Da' Ma! Sometimes this can be tricky, but you have to make a special effort this weekend... then hopeful, every day after that! ha,ha!

2. Buy her something nice and wrap it up. No be givin' Da Ma something still in the Walmart Bag -- now that ain't good, even if you DO go to great lengths to tape the bag shut!

3. If you do buy her a Cleaning Item of some sort (and be extra careful what you buy... and maybe stand back a wee bit when she first opens up the Broom...! ha,ha!), make sure you offer to be the first person to use it. I think I would skip the whole, "Say Mom, why don't you use this Dishcloth to wash the Dishes right after you make us all a Big Breakfast..." Noooo, that probably won't go over nearly as well as you would think... 'dem Ma's is soooo sensitive! ha,ha!

4. Refrain from making any comments, whatsoevah, about Cleaning, the need to clean, who's gonna clean up this big mess (with a glance over to Da Ma...). Nothing. Nada. Dinny do that. Cleaning chat has to 'stay on the inside', just like any negative thoughts -- just keep everything bottled up, then you can write to Dr. Phil on Monday... har, har!

5. Make Plans that include Da Ma. I know the Big Game is on that day -- I'm planning to watch it, but not every Ma is into Sports, so be sure to figure out the day, in advance, to make sure she feels appreciated and special. And loved. These are the things that really matter to all Mothers. Your Gifts, a Planned Dinner, Lunch, Brunch... these are all interpreted as a direct link between how much you Care about her. It's true, so there's no point in booking a ride down 'De'nile River'! ha,ha,ha! (Yes, that's making me laugh out loud -- I love a little play on words like that...!)

6. If you happen to be so lucky as to have more than one Mother in your life to celebrate on Mother's Day, be sure to make everyone feel important, but don't put the wrong one 'On Top', or your life will take a sudden and surprising downward turn... here's the Order -- Wife First, then Yo' Original Ma, then any other Mothers you know (no Soprano Jokes allowed this weekend..."Oh, you a Mutha', all right..." No, no. That is amusing, but you'll need to just save those jokes for later ... maybe on Sunday night around 9:00 p.m.! ha,ha!( If you're a Soprano Fan, you'll know that's when the Show Airs every week!)

7. This one's specifically for Dwight -- and any other man crazy enough to have to be told this -- "Don't make her cook on Mother's Day, and never make her clean up the Kitchen after the Meal... even if it is the next day..."Oh, Honey, just leave those until tomorrow..." Got that, Dwight?? I had to clean the Turkey Pan from my own Birthday Dinner -- I left it for a week, hoping beyond hope that someone in the house would clean the stoooopid thing, but no-one did, so I eventually caved in and did it, but not happily. Angrily. Maddily... I just made that word up, but I like it -- I think it suits me! ha,ha! So I hope it doesn't suit me too well, this weekend! ha,ha!

8. Give the Mom in your life (all the Mums!) the Whole Day Off! Being a Mum is a 24/7 Full Time Job, with nary a Day Off, so having a whole day when they don't have to do all the usual 'duties' is the biggest treat of all ... but, of course, you have to complete Rules 1 through 7, first! ha,ha,ha! Good Luck with that!

So I hope that helps a whole bunch of Mums, Dads, Children, and the occasional Pet -- really, I have no idea how smart your dog is, but I have to assume your cats can read, they just can't be bothered reading all the way through... oh, and a Gift comes from every kidlet -- it took a lot of work to bring each child into the world, so a wee 'pressie' from each child is not over-indulgence... it's a very practical way to maintain happiness in the home! ha,ha!

Let me go get you some nice new pictures! Be riiight back!

Here's the Beautiful Fuscia I got for myself last week -- from Walmart, of course -- it's one of my favorite Stores!

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So here are Three Views of the Fuscias safely up on the Kitchen Island, and there's sneaky aidan 'testing the flowers to see how easy it is for them to stay on the plant...', then the wee bowl of water for the flowers that 'failed the test'! ha,ha,ha!

Thanks for coming in for a wee visit! I'll see you on the Weekend for my Weekend Update!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

Happy Mother's Day!!

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This Ad is called 'Mother Earth', which seems appropriate!

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Thursday, May 6th, 2004. Good Morning, Sunshine! I need you to brighten up my day, because there ain't no sunshine when you're gone... no, wait, that sounds like we should be singing, and maybe you already are... but I need a little sunshine because it's May and Cold and Snowy, here in the Bitter, Cold North... I hear it's supposed to be 'Warm and Sunny' later in the day, but it ain't lookin' that good, yet! "Bait a minute", as Aidan says ... I hope I'm not the Bitter Cold North, personified! ha,ha,ha,ha! I'm sure I could melt under the right circumstances...! ha,ha!

Did you catch some Great TV, last night? We're huuuge O.C. Fans -- what a great Show. You know what I don't get, though? Why is The O.C. referred to as 'A Guilty Pleasure'? It's incredibly well written and the Cast couldn't BE any better (yes, Chandler talks like many a Canadian...! ha,ha!) -- and then there's the Scenery, what with the Infinity Pool and the fabulous Architecture... no wonder we love it! So that was the Season Finale, and they dealt with some Big Issues, and with a nice open and even-handed way, equally presenting both sides of the Abortion Issue.

They made it very clear that life isn't all grand just because of the house you live in -- I loved the Scene at the end with Marissa alone in her gorgeous new house, 'A Princess in the Tower'... and Seth Cohen saying how horribly he was treated before Ryan got there to change things up, because he'd been so badly bullied in School. This is another of those great Shows you can watch with your Kids and use it as a 'Jumping off Board' for 'topical discussion' -- that's high-falutin', ain't it?? Ugh. Well, you know what I mean -- it opens up topics that are difficult to broach between parents and children ... you forget that younger people may or may not know about the struggle for human rights for so many people, and I had to tell Cara about Roe vs. Wade, and how important that piece of Law is and was. It's very sad to think that there are still folks out there who would happily take away Reproductive Rights from Women -- I don't get that. Wonder why one person would want to take away the rights of another person?? Makes no sense to me...

And then on The Bachelor (what a fun night of TV!! Perfect for a cold, snowy May Night!! ha,ha!), old Trish was given ''Da Boot'! Man, I really didn't see that coming, since Jesse, The Bachelor, seemed to really like the 'Nasty Girl' thing she had goin' on... but what a weird ending... Trish sounded like she might have a bit of a 'stalker' personality, so we started chatting about that -- I had to deal with a stalker for a long time, and it was an absolute nightmare. I think there's a much better understanding of it, now, but back then, the response was that you were "so full of yourself that you thought someone wouldn't stop watching you..." . That was common even with the Police, who didn't take that very seriously, especially from women. Thank God things are changing, now, but it was exceedingly difficult to deal with back then.

So back to Trish -- what would make someone -- anyone -- want to be with someone who clearly didn't want to be with them? What would be the purpose in that? She's 'gonna get what she wants, no matter what...' Ooooh, sounds like a beautiful, loving way to start off a Relationship! ha,ha! So I said to Dwight, "What would make someone DO that?' Dwight figures that the 'Stalker Trait' happens with a person who has such a huge Ego, that they just can't believe it if they are 'dumped', or 'not chosen'... no matter what they do to cause anyone to remove them from their life. I thought that was pretty accurate, and ol' Trish seems to fit that role. Hopefully, it was just the way they Filmed it, and she was just 'temporarily crazy' -- and it was mostly for the Ratings, since who doesn't want to see what happens when Trish breaks into one of Jesse's final Dates...

Oh, and I need to find out who the Artist is who did those gorgeous Paintings on the Walls at The Bachelor House that they show during The Most Dramatic Rose Ceremony, Evah!'... A great friend of mine has Paintings like that -- that's in his Style of Painting -- very large Paintings with lots of brilliant color... as soon as he gives me the 'Okay', I'll let you know more about him, but let's just say he's a World-Reknowned Artist, and I think he's destined to be one of 'The Great Artists' of Our Time. I can't wait to give you some 'real information'... I'm like a Promo-Girl, now! ha,ha!

You know how I had to run out and knock all the snow and ice off all my poor Trees who were all bent over to the ground by the weight of the snow, yesterday? Well, I was soooo exhausted from 'Saving the Trees' that I didn't immediately clean up the dirt Aidan and I got on the Floor in the Main Entry, and wouldn't you know the first thing Dwight says when he came in the door early was "What's all this dirt doing on the floor??"(of course, say that with a Hillbilly Voice, for extra fun, since that's how I imitate Dwight ... I just like to strive for accuracy... ha,ha,ha!). So anyway, that made me really mad, since I interpret everything he says about the 'state of cleanliness' of our house as a direct insult on me not doing enough cleaning around here -- I don't care to be thought of as 'The Maid', oddly enough... you'd think I'd love that, but, no, not so much... I realized later that I'd been a tad annoyed with Dwight for the past two days, and they happen to be the same two days every month, so you know what I think I have? PMS. That's right -- Post-Marital Syndrome! ha,ha,ha,ha,ha!! Oh, that's funny! I'm just amusing myself, now! ha,ha! (Yes, I'm laughing out loud!) And me thinks I'm not the only having this!! ha, ha,ha!

Let me go grab you some new pictures ... be riiight back!

Ahhh, look at my poor wee Spring Wreath, all covered in snow! Now that ain't right!

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And then I poked my head out the door and took these two shots of the snow across the Street -- I feel soooo sorry for all the trees that are struggling under the weight of the Icy Snow -- this must be what happens in an Ice-Storm, only we got to add some snow to that! Lucky Schmucks!! ha,ha,ha!

Thanks for popping in for a little visit! Hey, don't forget about Mother's Day this Sunday-- I'm thrilled with that Wizard of Oz Bag I ordered for Cara -- the Link is on My Mother's Day Gifts Page. Just click on and it'll take you straight to the Red Satin with the Famous Ruby Slippers!! Ah, it's the little things that count, and really show them how much you love them...

See You Tomorrow! Later, Baby, Ailsa!!

So this Google Ad is called 'Popcorn'! Isn't that hilarious? I love that they've named all their Ads! Oh, and thanks to all my Wonderful Readers who have been clicking their way out of my Site -- I really appreciate your Support!!

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Wednesday, May 5th, 2004. Ola, Baby!! Happy Cinco de Mayo!! Que Pasa? Ooorrr, que paso, depending on how masculine you are! ha,ha,ha! I didn't even know about Cinco de Mayo until I moved down to Los Angeles, and the celebrations down there were huuuge! And a whole lot of fun. Luckily, I've always been very fond of Strawberry Margueritas and Tortilla Chips with Salsa, so it was a really easy new Holiday to learn all about! ha,ha,ha! Must remember to make up a batch of Strawberry Margueritas to have with dinner, tonight -- it'll go perfectly with the 6" of SNOW we got last night and this mornign... ugh!! Snow in May -- now that's just wrong!

Oh, maybe we can all have some sort of Mexican Dinner, tonight... have you tried my favorite Taco Spaghetti, yet? It's deeeelicious! And, of course, very easy, since I really can't be bothered with a 12 Step Recipe ... who has that kind of time?? I love the Recipes that look good, then you go to check out the Recipe, and you need Items you can only find in Specialty Shops in Bangladesh, which is very, very practical for all the folks at home who are just trying to figure out a new meal for their families that's fast, easy and nutricious... the fast and easy bit is the most important, many's a time, and you just hope for the best with the 'nutrition' bit! ha,ha,ha! But it is nice to find good stuff to add to your 'Regular Line-up' that you and your family will enjoy, so that's why I wrote some of my favourite Recipes on my Tips and Recipes Page.

I've just recently been giving each of my recipes their own little page so it's easier to find them -- hope that works out better... So far I have the Cool 'N Creamy Cheesecake Recipe, the Salsa Chicken ( hey, that would be good for tonight, too -- I think that's what I'll make for dinner!! ha,ha!), and today I made the Taco Spaghetti Page. It takes a long time to get everything done... Let me know if you try the Recipes, and we'll get your comments on each page for the Recipe you try. Happy Eating!!

I have to go move all the Painted Pieces of Lumber we did for the Fireplace Mantel from the Garage, right after I'm done this... what with all that crazy snow and ice, last night, Dwight definitely has to park in the Garage. We use the Garage as a huuuge Workshop, but when the weather is crappy like it is, today, the stuff has to move -- we need to Install it, anyway, so maybe it's 'Nature' trying to make us do more work around the house! ha,ha,ha!

Here's a funny thing -- I was just saying to Dwight, yesterday (it was 20 Degrees Celcius, which is about 70 Degrees Farenheit .. you double the Celcius Number and add 30 to convert the number...), that I thought it was finally warm enough to get the Quotes for the Driveway to get it Paved. I wanted to get it paved last Spring, then there was a problem with the Irrigation System outside, so that had to be fixed, then we had to wait for 'settling' of the land, again, and then the snow came early and we missed our opportunity to pave in the Fall. So you can see how our lives are ruled by the weather ... and Dwight... whatevah -- I think I'll still go ahead and get the quotes, because now I'm just annoyed with it.

Tip of the Day: If you can wait, try to let the Land 'Settle' for a good year before you put in a Paved Driveway. Or any Driveway, really -- especially a Stamped Concrete Driveway -- they look fantastic, but they are very pricey, so you would want to minimize the risk of cracking or sinking by waiting for a year or so before you pay for a fancy schmancy Driveway. You can have the whole thing Rolled and a whole lot of Gravel put in (and also Rolled) to create the Base for the new Driveway -- it's a little more work, but worth it in the long run.

Okay, let me go get you some nice new pictures! Be riight back!

Here's what we woke up to, today! Can you believe that?? Snow in May! And I just went upstairs to get Aidan a wee snack from the Pantry, and happened to glance outside when, to my horror (okay, that's a bit of an exageration, but I was shocked...!), all my Center Trees (the trees that line the Circular Drive) were so heavily laden with Snow and Ice that they were all bent over and flat against the Ground.

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Aidan just came into my Office to tell me it's Mother's Day on Sunday, and that's the day "When Mother's get to do everything!" So I said to him I was hoping to take that day off, and that maybe HE could do my work for me... So Aidan says, "Oh nooooo! I would be exhausted!!" And then he ran away, as he does at the end of every conversation! ha,ha,ha!

Anyway, I had to Throw on my Coat, Boots and MITTENS (ugh!), and Aidan happily put his stuff on, too, and we headed out to get the snow and ice off the New Trees. If I hadn't seen them, all the trees would have been lost, and I have about 15 Trees out there lining the Driveway... It turned out that I had to get a big Broom to knock the Ice and Snow off the poor trees, then hook the Broom around the base of each tree and pull it back upright. Now that was exhausting, and now that crazy Dwight can carry his own lumber downstairs when he gets home... but I will still make a nice dinner, so I hope I don't hear any complaints from the Peanut Gallery, 'cause that won't go down well... I think I might be 'The Disgruntled Worker', today! Now that ain't good!! ha,ha!

Thanks for coming in for a wee visit! I always enjoy your company! ha,ha!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

You know what's cool? Google Adsense Ads have all these different colors, and I love the Names of them -- this one is called 'Aquadoodle' -- cute, eh? See, webmasters can have fun, too!! ha,ha! So I put these on a separate page for myself to use when I'm getting things ready for my Daily Updates, then it ended up being a whole page of all the different Colored Ads, with their Names, so if you have a minute, you can click on that and see which color you like the best -- I'll use your favorite ones on my Site!

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Tuesday, May 4th, 2004. Hey, Baby-Cakes! How's your Day going so far? Great?? Did you see the big Hockey Game between The Calgary Flames and The Detroit Red Wings, last night?? Man, that was an unbelievable Game! 0 - 0 for the entire game, and a Goal finally came for Calgary right before the end of the Ist Overtime Period ... Wow! I can't remember a Game with no scoring all the way through... that shows you how fabulous these two teams are, and how amazing their Goalies are... So The Flames won, and now we're going into the Third Round of the Hockey Finals! YaaaHoooo! Calgary is thrilled! Go Flames, Go!! (And I really hope Steve Yzerman -- the Captain of The Red Wings who took a bad hit to the face in the game before last -- is okay. Poor Guy! These Hockey Guys take some serious injuries, then come on back for more -- I'm glad they're raking in the Dough -- and so they should!)

Cara had one of her classmates over yesterday afternoon to work on a School Project, and wouldn't you know it -- he's a Computer Genius! WooHoo! 'James the Great', we'll call him, since I've been looking for someone who can lend me a hand with my website since my old webmaster, Steve, left for Toronto to pursue his Comedy Career... so James showed me how to go in and change the 'Meta Tags' -- the words that show up for a Search Engine, so that's good (it all boils down to More Traffic, which means More Clicks, and that equals More Money, and that allows me to maintain the Site, so that's why it's an all-consuming thought process for me!). And, James is going to help me 'Build' a Side Bar for easier Site Navigation -- all very exciting for me!

Hey, you know what Great Movie Cara and I watched last Weekend? Love Actually, with Hugh Grant (yum!), Liam Neison (another yum! ha,ha!), Emma Thompson and a whole lot of other great Actors... It was a really nice litle flick -- I'd been counting down the days (yes, my life is very, very full! ha,ha,ha!) for Love Actually to come out on DVD, since I'm allergic to Perfume, so I don't go to the Theatre to watch movies. We have the Big Screen TV, so for me it works out better to just watch any movies I like at Home, then I don't have to worry about how much perfume anyone beside me is wearing... Oddly enough, I really like Perfume, I just can't breathe around it, then my throat is sore for ages.... stooopid allergies!

Back to the Movie... What I thought was great about the Movie was the notion that Everybody has a Story of Love -- everyone, no matter what their circumstances. One of my favorite bits in Love Actually was part of the Out-Takes. It was a short Clip about Two Women in a Dessert Section of Africa, and it's taken out of a Still Shot, then the camera moves in to see what they're really saying. The Still Picture suggests struggle and poverty, but when the camera zooms in, the two women are just going about their daily chores, chatting and laughing about their husbands and children. I loved that! In the midst of everything, they were light-hearted and cheery, talking about Love. Ain't that Sweet?? And the great thing about a British Film (and this is true of a lot of British Literature, too...), it's not all about Romantic Love, and it doesn't always end well, just like Real Life. And, it's hilarious! Cara and I were roaring through some parts of it! Oh, and there was a bit of Nudity (also a big part of British Films!), so Cara and I have a deal for Movies like that -- I say, "Uh, Cover your eyes!" And then, miracle of miracles, she does!! ha,ha! So far, so good...!

Tip of the Day: It's a 'Skin Care Tip'! I just tried this the other day -- it's something you might have heard of, before, but never tried because you think like I do, and thought anything with 'Peroxide' in the title would be a BAD thing... ha,ha,ha! Anyway, I picked up a bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide (there's the word!!) at WalMart the other night (for the huuuge sum of about 97 cents!), and after a fair bit of thought, tried it on my own skin. Yes, I use myself as a human guinnea pig -- always have, always will. Dwight used to be a fairly willing 'patient', but now he's afraid 'his skin might burn'... wah, wah, wah...! ha,ha,ha! Okay, that was just for my own amusement, but he won't let me experiment on him, anymore, so that just leaves me! So you can use the Hydrogen Peroxide as a Facial Toner. It's really good, and very inexpensive. Just wash your face like you normally would (I hope you've tried my favorite Baking Soda with a wee bit of Liquid Anti-Bacterial Soap...), then use a nice Hand Cream or whatever Moisturizer you like.

Okay, now I'll go get you some nice new pictures! Be riiight back!

The Deer are back! It's all very exciting, especially for Tia, who is absolutely desperate to go and have just a little taste of one of the Deer! ha,ha,ha! No, no. The closest this wee dog will ever get to the Deer is to sniff the ground after they've been in the Yard. She can spend hours outside, sniffing all the delicious 'Deer Smells'! ha,ha!

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This is right across the road from our house -- pretty, eh? It really is like living in a Park. See how well camouflaged the Deer are? That's amazing to me how animals can make themselves part of the 'Background', if they so choose. And lookie, lookie -- some more GREEN!! YaaHoo! Man, it was a long, cold winter, so we're thrilled at any little bud that appears on the trees, and every blade of grass that presents itself... now here's a weird thing -- there's a bunch of grass that's popped up in Aidan's Gravel Playground, but none where we intentionally planted it... go figure! ha,ha! We're going to have the Spray Grass done this year when the weather is becomes consistently nice! Can't wait!

Thanks for popping in for a little visit! See you tomorrow!

Click your way out of here, Baby! Ailsa!!

Oh, you know what I could do? I can let you know from week to week how the 'Click-Through Rate' is going for my site -- maybe it could be like some kind of Scale thing -- no, wait. I don't know how to draw on the computer... Well, at the very least, I could let you know when my clicks get higher -- I'm under 5 %, right now, so when it goes to 10 %, I'll be sure to let you know... and when it gets to 100 %, I'll take you all out for a Drink! ha,ha! How does that sound? Sounds good to me, too!! ha,ha! But you know, it would be fun to have some giant 'get-together' with all My Readers -- maybe we could have a 'Disneyland Day', or something like that, where there's enough room for massive amounts of folks (at least Ten! ha,ha,ha!).

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Monday, May 3rd, 2004. Hello you beautiful thing, you! How was your weekend? Wonderful. I hope! I was just outside replenishing the Info Box under our House for Sale Sign. There was a lot of 'Traffic' through our little neighborhood, yesterday -- and by 'Traffic', I mean people driving through the neighborhood looking to buy a Property... and we have almost all Builders in this Estate Area (which tells you it's a good neighborhood when the Builders want to live there themselves...), so there are about 5 Houses for Sale out here, right now. We haven't taken our House Sale very seriously, yet -- it's different when you're the Builder and you're selling your house -- you love it, and you just live there 'til it sells, then you start the Building Process all over again. No rush. Plus, it's such a gorgeous house, we're having some difficulty letting go of it.

It's funny -- even though you know for sure you'll Build again, right now we're in a 'time of fluctuation', so I'm not exactly sure how long it will be before another Build happens... definitely there will be a period of Renting or Buying a much smaller home until the next build, though. Maybe that's why we're going so slowly on this one... oh, and that reminds me of a Show I watched while I was cleaning the Kitchen, yesterday (yes, there's a Big Screen TV upstairs, too, conveniently located in the Great Room so I can do all the Dull Chores and still be entertained...). It was that Canadian Show, Buy Me! Have you seen that, yet? Hilarious. It's a Show that is supposed to Showcase Realtors, but sadly, it doesn't present them in a good light, so it's hysterical for us to watch... the one Home Owner who is using a Realtor says at one point, "I'm feeling bullied..." Yes, you want to pay a whole lot of money to be bullied. Who doesn't love that feeling?? ha,ha! So I say, again, if you're going to use a Realtor, be choosy about who you use, and don't keep 'em if they make you feel ill when they call or stop by the house (right, like that's gonna happen after you've signed the Contract...).

There are so many myths that come up in the Show, it would take too long to go over them, but one of the biggies was the notion that "The First Offer is Often the Best Offer". Please. That's ridiculous. If the First Offer is in the Range of acceptable amounts you've already decided to accept, fine, but if it's some crazy Low-Ball Offer, forget it. It's only good for the Realtor, not the Home Owner, because it won't really make that much difference in their Commission Check, but it will make a huge difference in how much money you walk away with from the Sale of your own house... don't forget that... There, there's my Public Service Announcement for the Day! ha,ha,ha,ha! Oh, and if you forget how much stuff you can get with $10,000. - $40,000., call me and I'll show you some stuff! Think how long it would take you to actually SAVE that amount of money in the Bank, free and clear, before you accept a Deal you're not in any way happy with...

Oh, and that's not to say that you shouldn't be willing to compromise and negotiate on a Deal -- every deal involves a certain level of compromise, but if you're feeling ill about it, and think you're being taken advantage of, if ever there was a time to listen to your Intuition, this is it.

Okay, even though it's a little lengthier, let's just do one more thing ... there's a whole bit about the house being on the Market for "A WHOLE WEEK"... like that's a bad thing. Ugh. A week is nothing... so, one, unless it's an emergency, never allow yourself to get into a situation where you have to sell your house in a very short time-frame... If you see another house you absolutely loooove, then you go ahead and put an Offer in on it, make it Conditional on the Sale of Your Current Home. If the Buyer won't go for that, forget it. There are a surprising number of fabulous homes out there, and the stress level you'll avoid will be worth it. (Unless you're rolling in dough, and can easily carry a Double Mortgage. That's when you still have to pay the Old Mortgage and pay the new one, assuming you can get that much Credit ... then you're back to the 'you're already loaded' bit, in which case it's a non-issue....) . Anyway, I think you get my drift! Always keep in mind how long it would take you to SAVE UP all the money you would be compromising if you did a High-Speed, Low-Money Sale. Then it would be your decision whether that's worth the loss.

Tip of the Day: Stay True to Yourself when you're making any deal, whatsoever... you always know in your heart what is right and what is absolutely not the truth, and there are some folks out there who really enjoy 'bending the truth...' and then dragging you through the mud until you aren't sure what is the truth and what is an out and out lie... so it's a good idea to write down everything you want out of a deal, don't sign anything important if you're unsure, or it doesn't 'feel good', then go home and check your little notepad to see how close to the truth you were with 'said person'... this applies to Dating and Marriage, too! ha,ha,ha!

Well, I still haven't been able to get back into Photoshop, but I'm ever-hopeful that the thing will work, eventually... be right back with some nice pictures for you!

YaaaHoo! I finally got into the Photoshop Program to 'convert my pictures'...! So don't these Cinnamon Buns look deeeelicious?? They are, and they're 'Oh so easy' to make, too, so I'll do a quick run-through, tomorrow, if I can remember!

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And if you're ever doing an Open House, want to make something delicious, or want to impress someone special, try making your own bread from the Frozen Bread Dough. It's Easy Schmeasy -- just put the Frozen Loaf in a Buttered Loaf Pan, cover it with Plastic Wrap and leave it alone overnight or for about 8 hours. You can pop that straight in the Oven to make regular Bread, or you can magically transform it into Cinnamon Buns or Dinner Rolls -- I'll show you later! Any way you make it, it'll make your whole house smell fantastic!

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! Do me a big favor and 'Gimme a little Click' before you head on to your next fun thing you have planned for today... my goal is to get a 50% Click-through rate with My Readers -- that's not too hard to get, I'm hoping -- it's completely free to click on the Ads for you, but it does support my Site, which is very, very good...

So Every Click's a Good Click!! ha,ha!

See You Tomorrow! Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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It's The Weekend! May 1st & 2nd, 2004. WooHoo! It's May Day! Are you gonna make a Maypole Cake?? I used to make one every year -- first for my Students when I taught Elementary School (High Schoolers and College Kids ain't into May Day like you might like to think they are! ha,ha,ha,ha!), then for Cara when she was little. Now we don't have that kind of time, but it was a fun tradition for a really long time. My Mother used to have us run outside first thing in the morning on May 1st, rub the grass and shout, "Rabbit, Rabbit"! It's a Scottish Tradition, and one I have chosen not to carry on, since it seems a little silly... ha,ha,ha! Plus, I have no idea what it's supposed to mean, other than the onset of Spring -- maybe it has some old Celtic thing in there -- must remember to ask her!

Oh, and speaking of "Rabbit, Rabbit", when we were at the Library last week, I picked up a copy of John Updike's Rabbit At Rest. I couldn't remember whether I'd read it alread, but I loove the Rabbit Series -- are you a John Updike fan, too? Love his work! I started reading it last night Now that Sex and The City is off the air, that leaves our Friday Nights completely empty, so now there's room for reading... don't that sound exciting?? I know you envy me! ha,ha,ha,ha! If only you, too, could have absolutely nothing interesting to do! Ah, well. The times they is a'changin', so maybe the future will hold some great Plans! Oooooh, I'm hoping for House Plans... I'll never change! ha,ha!

So I just went into eMerchandise to check out their Wizard of Oz stuff for Cara's Birthday -- she's my little Mother's Day Baby -- not so little , anymore... Cara will be 16 this May 11th -- all very exciting! Anyway, Cara was Glinda the Good Witch in a School Play when she was in Grade 6, so every year I like to get her a wee something from The Wizard of Oz. When I clicked on eMerchandise and saw these new Hand Bags they have -- one beautiful Red One with Dorothy's Ruby Slippers on it, and the other one in Pink with a picture of Glinda the Good Witch... man, are they ever nice! Anyway, here's the Link so you can go check these out! Very, very cool Gift for Mother's Day or a Birthday! (Or just because you want it, or you know somebody who would... the main reason for the vast majority of our purchases! ha,ha,ha!)

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I just went into eMerchandise and ordered the Red Wizard of Oz Silk Bag for Cara! And a Sopranos Sweatshirt for Dwight -- shhhh, don't tell him -- it's for Father's Day! ha,ha!

Oh, and since it's the beginning of another month, here's a link for your Horoscope -- I like this one -- it's always fun to read! AstrolnkMay2004.doc . If that one doesn't work, try this one -- You know my take on Astrology -- if it provides positive thoughts about yourself, it's all good! Go ahead, step outside the box and have a wee read -- it's free, of course -- I love Free Stuff! ha,ha! Here's an interesting little tidbit I found out at the Psychic last weekend -- she said I was a 'Whale' -- no, not weight-wise -- ha,ha,ha! Apparently, there are some Pisceans who really swim upstream, against the crowd and against all odds, because of their drive to succeed, and that's me.... neat, eh? So now I'm on the lookout for anything to do with Whales! And they say I'm not easily influenced! har, har!

Here's a little TV Stuff -- do you love The O.C.?? Me, too! So does Cara ... it appeals to all ages, what with the Beaches, Cool Folks and all that smut! ha,ha,ha! There's nothin' we like better than a good ol' 'cat fight'!! Well, the whole Cast of The O.C. will be on the 'On Air With Ryan Seacrest' Show on Monday, May 3rd. Ryan Seacrest is hilarious, so if you haven't seen his new Daytime Show, yet, try and catch it -- he's on in the middle of the afternoon, here -- God Knows I'm still always working on my Website, so I can easily watch it from my Office! Lucky me!

Dwight got a call last night to go out Boating with one of his buddies -- he just needs to 'bring his tools', which means they'll be working on the engine as much as they'll be boating! Ah, well. Dwight likes that sort of thing, and he really misses his old Jet Boat. I'll post a picture of it if I ever figure out how to get my Scanner to work, again... Dwight sold his Jet Boat the week before Aidan was born -- it was a sad day to watch it drive away, but we know where it 'lives', and the young guys who bought the boat painted it a Brilliant Yellow with Black Trim (Dwight had it in shades of Blue and White...), so it'll be easy to spot next time we go up to Sylvan Lake in Alberta. If you see it first, you can tell them you know us and we said, "Hey!".

We always get very attached to our 'Toys', but when it's time to sell them, it's nice to see them go to a good, loving home...! How's that for personalizing whatever we have?! ha,ha! And it gives us a good excuse to get away for the weekend to 'see the boat'... Dwight still wants to go out on a House Boat for a Vacation -- you can rent them in B.C. for short vacations -- but I still think Aidan is too wee for that type of risk. And if there's a Boat Trip, it'll be a Cruise where I don't have to cook!! ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: "Know when to Hold 'em, Know when to Fold 'em"... Good Advice for Stuff like Big Toys (Quads, Boats, Houses...!), and sometimes the occasional Relationship... Sometimes you can hang on to something so long it loses it's value... not Real Estate, of course, that's the one true thing that either maintains it's Value or, more likely, increases substantially. It's very, very rare that Real Estate Values ever drop, but if they do, just stay put if you can, and ride it out, since they will eventually rise again, then you can make some money on your investment. That's why, when we Buy or Build a House, we choose something we truly love ourselves, so we can live somewhere great until we're ready to make another move. Works for us!

Oh, here's a little 'Aidan Tidbit'... this morning he came into my Office while I was working and dragged in his enormous Stuffed Elephant, 'Mimi'. He named her himself years ago... anyway, Aidan, who is 4, kept referring to Mimi as a boy, so I said to him, "Mimi is a girl's name, so she's a girl"... to which Aidan replies, holding Mimi up by her Tail, "Well, Mummy, do girls have tails??" ha,ha,ha! He got me there, and when I looked down at Tia (she's a Cockapoo, so her Breed has no tail...) I saw that she wasn't going to help me, since that just confirmed Aidan's theory... so that lead into a relatively lengthy discussion about boys and girls... no conversation is all that long with a four year old boy, unless listening to the many evolutions of Pokemon counts as a conversation! ha,ha,ha!

Now, I think I fixed my computer, yesterday, so I'll go see if I can get some new pictures... be riiight back!

Ayyyeee, that's annoyink... the rest of my computer seems a lot better, although it's still too slow... but I canny get into the Photoshop Program to convert the pictures from my Camera. Luckily, I have these shots from when we were cutting the pieces for the Fireplace Surround. That's Dwight's new Radial Arm Saw -- see the cool Laser Beam? Tools are very hi-tech, these days! We used the Table Saw and the Radial Arm Saw for this Project. Oh, and one more Saw -- the hand-held one, but I've forgotten what it's called, so I'll have to ask Dwight.

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See the Clamps in the Third Picture? Clamps could be your new best friend... although, hopefully you're never that hard up for friends... n'yuk, n'yuk! But they are a great tool, so if you don't have any in your Tool Collection, go ahead and get some. They'll hold things when no-one else will... and they keep everything nice and firm and stable, just like a good friend! ha,ha!

Thanks for swingin' in for a wee visit! Did I tell you how fabulous you're looking, today? Yep, that's right... I've secretly installed some hidden cameras in yo' house... now you know who that Repairgirl was! ha,ha,ha!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

Guess what color this Ad is? Blue Whale! No kidding... so we'll give this a whirl -- and I'll see if this improves my 'click-through' rate -- apparently, it's below 5% of my Readers, and that ain't good... so I'm hoping to move it up to 98% -- ha,ha! I would HOPE for that, but I'll be really happy if even 50% of my Readers became 'Clickers'... you can always hope, right??

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And there's yet another Flames vs. The Red Wings Game on, today -- we're watching it right now! Go Flames, Go!!

WooHoo! The Calgary Flames Won, again!! It's taken me soooo long to write my Daily Update, today, that I've watched the whole Hockey Game -- and Steve Yzerman, Detroit's Team Captain, took a terrible hit to his face, so I hope he's okay. That'll raise the issue of Face Visors -- a lot of Players already wear them, so I'm sure it'll be up for discussion whether they should become mandatory. But man, Calgary's Goalie, Miikka Kiprusoff is unbelievable -- you just can't get a puck past that guy! I'm thinkin' he might just take us all the way to the Stanley Cup!! YaaaHooooo! (That's Calgarian for 'WooHoo'!! ha,ha!)

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Friday, April 30th, 2004. Hey, Baby-Cakes! My little Sugar Dumpling... can you believe it's almost May?? I love May, and not just because Cara was born in May -- it's that magical month where you trade in all the crappy shades of dirt for tons of bright, cheery colors! Which reminds me of something I've been thinking about for a while... have you ever noticed how funny a lot of Canadians are? Not all, that's fer sures, but the vast majority are really hilarious, up for a laugh any time... so here's why I think they (we...) are able to find a spec of humour in almost anything -- it's because we are soooo colour-deprived all winter long (and some of us have really, really loooong winters...) that we can spot even the most subtle colour change, and take it as a sign of hope that Spring will eventually return again. That makes us an ever-hopeful group, as a whole, that things will get better... and I'm pretty sure that's the characteristic that let's you take anything and make it funny! See how freezing cold weather can work in your favour?? Who knew? ha,ha,ha!

So did you watch Survivor, Last night? (Thank Goodness for Satellite TV, which let us watch Survivor early -- before the Big Calgary Flames/Detroit Red Wings Hockey Game...) Anyway, for a while there I thought ShiiAnn might actually make it to the Final Two, but she just couldn't seal those lips and keep the mean stuff in... what I always find great about Survivor (other than all the fabulous Beach Scenes and the occasional smutty scene... n'yuk, n'yuk...!) are the little glimpses into what makes a person likeable, or most likely to be booted 'Off the Island'... My favorite 'Survivor' is Ethan, so I was sorry to see him go -- I liked the way he played the Game. And one of the least likeable Players was ShiiAnn, and you know why? Because she went out of her way to make other people feel stupid. You'd think that folks would loooove that, but oddly enough, no, not so much... Why, it seems to annoy them... and poor old ShiiAnn didn't catch on to that, and couldn't stop herself from doing that right 'til the very end.

To Re-cap -- We'll call this our 'No Be' List, just for fun! 'No be callin people 'Stoopi', even if you think they are...', 'No be monitoring what food someone else be eatin' -- trust me, I, I mean, they know!', 'No be countin' other folks Drinks -- that's just plain annoyink, and then they're gonna need even more to cloud you out...' (ha,ha,ha,ha! That's directly from my past, with a girl who used to go to the Happy Hour Specials with us who would always say, "Ailsa, that's your third drink... blah, blah, blah..." Can't even remember her name, since she didn't get to hang about much longer after that! ha,ha! Had totally forgotten about that -- oh, and those were my 'Bus Pass' days, when I didn't even own a car, let alone drive one, so the number of drinks was based more on how much money you had than anything else...and of course, they were my 'Pre-Baby' Years, too!)

And did you see the Calgary-Detroit Hockey Game? Even Cara likes to watch with us -- it's exhilarating Hockey -- great Game, too, until the endie bit when one of the Flames' Players, Nieminem, seemed to push Joseph, the Detroit Goalie, into his Net. I'm hoping it really was an accident, and not intentional, because these two Teams have been neck and neck with Skill Level, but if you piss Detroit off (and why wouldn't that happen?), now it's a Game of Anger instead of a Game of Skill...

One thing that truly amazes me when I watch Men play sports (and yes, I'm sure this'll seem sexist, but here goes...), all these guys beat the crap out of one another, jamming each other into the Boards, Sticking and Tripping them, then they skate off the ice like it's just another Business Day. It's hilarious to me. Can you imagine how moody all the girls would be? Hmfffffff... Not big-league Sports Women -- they play the game at the same level as the men -- I mean your average gal, like me, fer instance! ha,ha! Man, I would be soooo mad! And I'd think about it, and consider sending an e-mail to the offending person -- not a phone call, because I don't really like to get into it... ha,ha,ha,ha! Well, I don't know how these guys do it, but I'm thrilled that they do, 'cause it's all very entertaining for us! (And just to clarify, I'm a Feminist/Humanist. I believe very strongly that everyone, regardless of sex, race, religion, culture, or any number of things that could create an unfair environment, should all have an equal shot at anything they like. And should be paid for the job at-hand, and that payment should not be lowered for any reason... we still have a long way to go with this one...)

Well, you know how I was trying to clean out my computer, yesterday, to make it work normally, again? It did clean it, and it turned out there weren't any Viruses in it, but the problem still exists, so I'm not sure what to do next. However, since I couldn't work on the computer, that freed up a whole day for me, so I got all the Painting Done for the Fireplace Mantel, so that's ready for Installation this weekend -- or today if Dwight comes home early, as he has planned... it'll be great to see that Fireplace all done! And then I had some 'leftover paint', so I brought it inside to do little touch ups around the Trim Work. Looks great! And in between that work, I made some nice Home-made Buns, so I was very pleased with myself for what I did in one day... ha,ha,ha! But mostly, I was proud about the Buns! First things, first! ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: Next time you're in the grocery store, pick up some Frozen Bread Dough. No kidding. I'm enamoured with it, now! I've used it over the years, but I found that package of five of them in the Downstairs Freezer (I hardly ever go in there, so I'd forgotten all about it...), and now I'm trying to figure out different ways I can use it. So last Sunday I made Cinnamon Buns, then yesterday I made a loaf into the Freshly Baked Rolls -- and I had some Chili frozen from before, so it was a really nice meal... My whole deal with putting the Recipes on my Site is that you will find one, two, maybe ten (!) new dishes that are easy and delicious for you and your family, then they will become Staples in your own household. I wish they would teach really useful 'Home Studies' in High School, so everyone could leave that stage of their lives with a big pile of great recipes and handy Financial and Inter-Personal Skills, then we'd be off and running for a much better life. I wonder how I could get the Schools to make some big Curriculum changes to teach kids what they really need to know to be successful? I guess that's why my little Site is here, eh? ha,ha,ha!

Now that you've bought the Frozen Bread Dough, the only thing you really have to remember is to take a loaf out the Freezer, put it in a Greased (I always use butter...) Loaf Pan (or any pan you have around the house...). Cover it with Plastic Wrap (not too tightly), then let it sit there for however long you like... I tend to take the Frozen Bread out at night, cover and leave it on the Stove until the Morning, then you can pop it straight in the Oven for some Freshly Baked Bread, or flatten it out on some Parchment Paper, spread some butter on it, sprinkle with lots of Brown Sugar, Cinnamon, and perhaps some Crushed Nuts, if you like them... roll that up lengthways and slice it down. Put those little 'pinwheel slices' in a buttered Baking Dish, and 15 magical minutes later, Voila! Everybody in the house loves you! ha,ha! And all through the Power of Baking! Works for ME!! (Then you can ask for pretty much anything you want, so start thinking about that while you're baking! ha,ha,ha,ha!)

Okay, cross yer fingers and wish me luck in getting my new pictures up on the site -- this bug in my computer is really annoying me, now, because it's interfering with my work, and I dinny like that! ha,ha!

All right, so I did eventually get into the Photoshop Program, but it only let me do one and a 'half' pictures before shutting down, again... so here's the picture I was able to get ... It's all the Painted Pieces for the Fireplace Mantel. Can't wait to install it!

I'll do a whole page to show you how to Build a Fireplace Mantel yourself, should you ever want to! I just need to get the rest of the pictures, and that ain't lookin' good, right now... Oh, and yes, it is a big garage -- it's an over-sized Triple, and the next time I build a great big house, if there's room on the Land, I'm going to build a Five Car Garage, because that seems very functional to me! ha,ha,ha!

Hey, thanks for popping in for a wee visit! Love to see you, as always! Feel free to bring along ten of your closest friends... or the ten people you ususlly send Forwards to that you're not all that worried about... ha,ha,ha,ha! Come on, it's the computer-age -- we all know what that list is! The trick is to not let yer 'Forward Friends' know! ha,ha,ha!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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Thursday, April 29th, 2004. Hi, Honey! You're Home! And just in time to start painting, so grab a brush, and lets head out to the garage... oh, no, wait... that's a job just for me... rats! And here I thought I might have someone to keep me company while I'm working! Ah, well... I'll think about you, then it'll feel like you're all in the garage with me...! You know, the Psychic saw a Card for me on the Weekend (when I took Cara in for a 'Fun Reading'...) that said (or suggested...'!) that I was reclusive. She thought that perhaps that wasn't the case, but in fact here in Calgary I am extremely reclusive. I rarely leave the house -- mostly because I am soooo busy with this Website and all the Building Activities ... and then on top of that, and more importantly, I'm not sure where to go... I've already done the 7 things I like to do around Calgary, about a zillion times over, so that doesn't really leave anything new... so then stuff around the house seems even more important, then I'm even more inclined to just stay home... you can see how that cycle starts.

And that's why we get very excited at the prospect of having Guests over... that's just part of the reason I am seriously considering moving back to Los Angeles... not only do I love it there, but there are endless possibilities of stuff to do, and if you ever, ever ran out of things to do, there, you could be in 'The Vegas' in 4 hours (if you didn't hit Traffic...!), jump on a Plane and go all over the place for virtually nothing (compared to Canadian Commercial Airline Prices...) or just go Up or Down the Coastline -- you'll have a fabulous time either way you go... so you can see why I miss it. Now I do adore the Mountains out here, and our House is incredibly beautiful... but I figure I might like it better if I moved back to L.A., then just came back here for visits, rather than the other way around... man, Life is soooo Short, and I want to make the most of my life...

Hey, did you see The Bachelor last night? Oh, that crazy Trish (Trish Trash, we'll still call her, just for extra fun...!). She makes for some good TV! You know when the Bachelor hands out the Roses at the 'Most Dramatic Rose Ceremony Evah...' bit, where the Bachelor says, "Will you accept this Rose?". Well, when Jesse chose ol' Trish, Dwight pipes up, in a high pitched voice, "Trish, will you accept my wallet?" He's funny like that -- that sense of humor gets Dwight out of a lot of 'hot water', if you know what I mean, and I'm pretty sure you do! ha,ha,ha! It is an interesting thing to watch how different the Women are from 21 to 28 -- that's a huuuge difference in Life Experiences, so no wonder the Girls are all so different.

Now here's a weird thing I was thinking about while we were watching The Bachelor... his name is Jesse, and I know he's from Ontario, Canada, where I grew up. Well, it suddenly occured to me that he looks like a 'hybrid' of my first 'real' boyfriend, Larry, and he had a little nephew, Jesse, who was 4 the last time I saw him... and now he must be about 25... so then I thought, "Is there any possibility that Jesse the Bachelor could be related to Larry??" Must write to him... (and yes, if you're wondering now, I have had some very, very attractive Boyfriends over the years... makes for a fun life! ha,ha,ha!) But at the very least, I could find out who all is single, for all my single gal Readers! See the important things I think about! It's either Quantum Physics or Matchmaking -- and anything in-between! ha,ha,ha! It's good to be versatile!

I'm running my Panda Active Scan, yet again -- it turned out that every time I tried to open any of my e-mail addresses, the computer would eventually shut down, and the cleaning process wouldn't complete itself. So today I'm going to try just doing my Daily Update (this piece!), then leave it at that for today. Hopefully, that'll let the Scanning Process complete itself, and then solve the problem in my computer. But a whole day without e-mail -- now that's hard to do! On the upside, though, that'll free up a lot more time for me to go out to the garage to put the last coat of paint on the Fireplace Mantel pieces, then they'll all be dry in time to put them up on the Weekend. Can't wait to see that Fireplace done! Of course, Dwight and I already are in 'a discussion' about what the Fireplace Mantel sould look like in the Great Room Fireplace -- I'm happy that Dwight has finally agreed to put in a Mantel place on both of the fireplaces, but I lost the 'design war' on the first go-round, so I hope to have more luck on the next round!

Tip of the Day: I can't remember whether I've mentioned this, before, but I was using it this morning, so It's in my mind .. anyway, it's a Tip to Use Parchment Paper. That stuff is great! I just discovered it's many uses about 5 years ago, so I know not everyone is using it already... You can buy it in enormous rolls at Costco (that's how I buy it) or normal sized rolls in the 'Saran Wrap' Section of your Grocery Store -- you know where that is... So here's how you can use it -- you can put it on any Baking Tray as a liner, and no food will stick to it, and for Clean Up, you just fold it all neatly up and toss it in the Trash... not Trish Trash, just the regular garbage! ha,ha,ha,ha! The important thing to remember is to make sure the Parchment Paper never goes over the edge of the Baking Tray, if it's flat like a Cookie Sheet.

Parchment Paper on a Cookie Tray is particulary good for Cookies, Baked French Fries, Baked Chicken... really, I love the stuff! And this morning I used it to separate the Lunch Meat that I won't be using until next week, so rather than wasting it, I cut about 6" squares of Parchment Paper (and of course, I never measure anything that isn't Building-related...!), then place three slices of Lunch Meat (enough for one sandwich...) on a piece of the Parchment Paper, then a layer of meat, a piece of Paper... you get the idea. Then I pop them in a Zip-lock Bag, Label it with a Permanent Marker, and pop it into the Freezer so I have small amounts of meat I can take out if I need to only make one Sandwich... Good idea, huh? I don't like to waste anything... and I like to have something available to make whenever the situation arises and I need something right away -- without having to run out to the Store to get it. Saves Time and Money -- exxxxceeellllent!! (Yep, think 'Mr. Burns' from The Simpsons!)

Okay, so here's one of my favorite places about 45 minutes outside of Calgary, in the Mountains. Beeauuuteeful! It's stunning out there, and every time we go out to Elbow River Falls, we bring our Picnic Lunch and have a Wienie Roast -- you'd love it, I'm sure of it! Unless you're Vegetarian, in which case you could easily have a 'Veggie Dog'!! ha,ha,ha! Or just stick to the Toasted Marshmallows! Yum! I love them when they're a beautiful tan color!

** **

Well, now that I've put these pictures up and described our typical Picnic out there, I'm desperate to go! Must check the Weather Forecast to see when it won't be snowing! ha,ha,ha! (It's the end of April, and we had a forecast of 20 cm, or about 8", which Canadians find 'funny'! Sometimes when you live in Canada you gotta search for the humor!! ha,ha!)

Thanks for coming in for a wee visit! Always lovely to see you!

Catch you tomorrow! Ailsa!

< >

Oooooh, and the next Hockey Playoff Game between The Calgary Flames and The Detroit Red Wings is on tonight! WooHoo! Now that's some great Hockey!!

Go Flames, Go! Go Flames, Go!! YaaaHooo!

(But I still like The Detroit Red Wings, too, since I'm so proud of my old student, Darren McCarty -- #25 -- for doing so well and being so successful!!)

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Wednesday, April 28th, 2004. Hi, Honey-Buns! I know I can call you that, because most likely, in your heart of hearts, you believe it too, and why not? You know what I always thought was hilarious? The notion that everyone has in their head about what they look like. Generally speaking, you see yourself as what you looked like at a time when you were younger (often much younger...) and you liked what was going on in your life at the time. Think about it for a second -- am I right? I'm 28 and on the beach in California in my picture of myself, and Dwight says he's 20 and at the Disco...! Drop me a line and tell me how you see yourself -- it's a fun little brain exercise!

Man, I'm still dealing with that crazy virus in my computer... every time the Scan is almost done for the cleaning process, the computer shuts itself down. Very annoyink! And here I have some great pictures to share with you (now we're back in Kindergarten...!), and I can't get tinto the Program to give them each a name and put them on my Site... ugh. I'll just keep trying to solve the problem, and hopefully I'll be back on track soon -- thanks for bearing with me! Ooooh, and thanks for all my lovely Readers who have clicked on the Google Adsense Ads -- my goal is to make enough with those Ads to Pay the Mortgage. Now wouldn't that be nice?? I know I've said it before, but I really do appreciate your Support -- it keeps my Site going!

Hey, did you see the Hockey Playoffs, last night? (Or were you watching Basketball??) Anyway, we were watching the Calgary Flames vs. The Detroit Red Wings, and what a great game! The Playoffs are fabulous for bringing in people who don't normally watch Hockey, because it's almost all skill, since every second (literally...) counts. So of course I was thinking about that during the Game. Calgary's Goalie, Miikka Kipruhsoff, is one of the most amazing athletes I've ever seen. He's incredible. So are all the Players at this Level of the Game... but here's one thing they ain't ... Daydreamers. Can you imagine the level of concentration you'd have to have to catch a puck in your glove in mid-air?? That would not be the time for your mind to wander off to what you might do on your vacation next year... ha,ha,ha,ha!

And that's why Weight Lifting and my Exercise Machines at home work for me -- not only can I think about a zillion things while I'm working out, but I can also watch some of my favorite TV Shows -- you know I never like to miss something that interests me! ha,ha,ha! So I need to get Cara to take some pictures of me doing my favorite Weight Lifting Exercises with Hand Weights and my sort of blown up Exercise Ball... they're great exercises, and anyone can do them. There's a bunch of stuff to do right at your Computer, too, so I'll show you those A.S.A.P. -- so you can see why I need to get my computer operating smoothly, again.

Tip of the Day: Take advantage of Opportunities as they present themselves in your life... sometimes a little something will come up that you weren't expecting, but try following just one of these things, and see where it brings you. You might discover a hidden talent, or uncover an Interest you can follow and maybe that'll open up a whole new path for you. The whole key is to keep yo' mind open to possibilities, and let yourself go a little. (And, no, this doesn't include cute girls or guys who might 'present themselves' to you at a Strip Club -- that' ain't an opportunity -- that would be a different sort of thang...! ha,ha,ha,ha!)

Okay, wish me luck trying to get some new pictures! I'll be back asap!

Well, here's the new Microwave that Dwight just bought -- and there's my little old Microwave... I had a tough time letting go of my old one, because I won it when I was on Scrabble with Chuck Woolery years ago...


Dwight had a real issue with the age of my Microwave and his concerns about a 'possible radiation leak'... blah, blah, blah... I suppose there was some truth in that, so now I'm okay with the new Microwave, and am getting used to how much faster it is than my oldie but goodie, in my opinion...! ha,ha,ha!

Thanks for swingin' in to see me! I love me a Visitor! Or thousands of Visitors!! ha,ha!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

I think this was the right Link that I thought was pretty funny -- should have a Wink and a Pair of Sunglasses, if it's the right one! ha,ha! Go ahead and have a wee look!



< Avoid online payday loan and cash advance scams. Information about scams here. >

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Tuesday, April 27th, 2004. Hello, hello, hello! Oi, I've been working with my computer all night trying to get rid of some stooopid virus that's in it, yet again. I put Panda's Free Active Scan on my Internet Connections Page, and I scanned it twice, but there's still a problem with the computer that I haven't been able to figure out. Annoyink! But if you are having a bother with your computer, and you suspect there may be a Virus, go ahead and click on that -- you can clean your whole computer or just the part that you are suspect about ... I think I'll scan the whole thing again and hopefully it'll go all the way through this time -- it completely froze, this morning,when I came down to check on the 'puter -- no mouse control or anything. The lucky thing now is that this stuff no longer panicks me -- now I know that you can clean it out and start again... sounds like something I ought to do with my life, sometimes! ha,ha!

So I never was able to get into my Photoshop Program to get some pictures for you, yesterday -- sorry about that... I hope it works, today, but if not, I have a couple of pictures from last week I wanted to show you, anyway, and they come with a good little story, of course! I love a little story -- my favorite people are folks who can spin a little tale... I can't be bothered talking to people (at any great length, anyway...) who can't string a few words together... especially when a good portion (say, 90%) of the Story involves the Weather -- now that's hard not to fall asleep through! ha,ha,ha! But I do like the "And She said... and then He said... and then I said,"What the ...!" Now those are usually pretty juicy stories -- the kind that bear repeating! ha,ha,ha! And only occasionally to the people actually in the story...

I was sooo busy with the computer problem, yesterday, that I never did get out to the garage to get another coat of paint on the Mantelplace pieces. The air feels really heavy outside, today (with any luck, we'll get some rain... don't worry -- that's only about 3% of the story...! ha,ha,ha!), and normally I don't paint on Rainy Days, because I always feel like the paint will dry 'sticky'. I have no idea whether that's true, or not, but it seems like an excellent excuse to have a nap instead of working... ha,ha,ha! Oh, who am I kidding? I'll be out there painting all day -- damn that Presbyterian Guilt!! ha,ha!

Hey, you know what I forgot to mention yesterday? Dwight read in the newspaper last week that there's a possibility of Arrested Development not being picked up for next Season. If you haven't seen it yet, it's Ron Howard Production, and absolutely one of the funniest Shows on TV. What's happening that all the smart, funny, hilarious Shows are being yanked?? There must be someone out there with loads of monies who can develop their Very Own Network to carry all these great Shows and see what happens. We're losing Ed, Frasier, possibly Arrested Development, The Wayne Brady Show (come on, that guy is amazingly talented .. if anyone deserves to be on TV, it's Wayne Brady...)... the list goes on and on with other good Shows that deserve to stay or be resurrected. Remember that old Show, Cupid? It was hilarious. When did Smart and Funny become a bad thing?

Speaking of Shows, I'm watching Oprah as I write this (man, I love My Home Office!!), and they're doing a show on How Couples can become Millionaires. Some of it was good, and some of it is a little 'pie in the sky' for average couples. "Just put away an hour a day of your wage, then $5.00 on top of that, then another $20. per day into your House Fund...." Now, I know this ain't popular, but I don't particularly like Retirement Funds, per se. You know I am really 'Home-Oriented', so I think it is far more important to get yourself into your own home, at any level you can afford, stabilize your financial life, then start to save up a nice little nest egg for later. The big key with buying your own home is you'll be paying yourself to live in your own home -- that's what you do when you're a Home Owner.

Here's the Deal -- if you're paying Rent at $500. per Month, that's $6,000. a year that could go toward owning your own future. In fact, that's a good way of looking at Home Ownership -- as a Direct Method to Own Your Own Future. Lookie how smart I is -- thank Goodness I own my own Site, or I'd be at risk of someone quickly swiping it 'off the air'... ha,ha,ha! The more common amount of Rent is $850. per month for a typical family. That's over $10,000. a year. That's money that could be going toward your future. Because Interest Rates are so incredibly Low, right now, you could buy an Apartment or Condo and pay the same amount in a Mortgage Payment -- and the wonderful thing about Mortgage Payments is they eventually disappear, and you'll own the Home Outright. Rent Payments ain't ever gonna end... which is great when you're a Landlord (ugh, will always hate that word!), but terrible when you're approaching Retirement and you still have huge monthly payments to make.

I would love to see everyone learn how to manage their money well enough, and early enough in life, to save up for a Down Payment on a Home. Any Home. It drives me crazy that everyone and their dog wants to move directly into a Mansion. Puh-leeeease. Start with absolutely anything you can afford -- and be prepared to move, move, and move again. The money you make in Home Equity (the money you make on the Value of the Home the Day You Bought It until the Day You Sell It... and this can be a really substantial amount...) is used to put toward the purchase of your next home, and so on and so on until you are Mortgage Free with at least $200 Grand in the Bank. You would be shocked at how easy this really is. It's how we ended up here...

So here's the Advice that was on Oprah that I did like, and think is very useful -- okay, it's all the stuff we do that allows us to Build Buy, and Build again... so I know that it works. It's one of the primary reasons I started writing this Site, and what keeps me going when I get frustrated when it doesn't earn as much as it really needs to... but that's a whole other story (and very little of that is about the weather...!). Anyway, there is a whole notion of Living on One Income in a Two Income House. If you were on your own, you'd find a way to live well on your very own Income, so why not try to do that when you have Two Incomes, and then you can save the other Income.... it's worth a try. Even if it's only for a planned amount of time, or try putting one whole Paycheck aside every other month in a Special Savings Account that is only to be touched in an Emergency. And no, generally speaking, Dairy Queen is not an Emergency...! ha,ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: I think the easiest way to save up to $500. a month (for me, anyway, and it will most likely work for you, too) is to cut out a few trips to the Grocery Store or Department Store. You know the deal -- you go in for Milk and Bread, and walk out with a Cart-full of stuff and $176.42 later. So I actively decide to NOT SHOP unless I really have to, and even then, I look carefully at what is in the Pantry or Cupboards, and see if I can't put it off a wee bit longer. Works for Me! The important thing is not to then turn around and say, "Ooooh, lookie how much money I have for Crack..." Look, I don't know what all your habits are ... ha,ha,ha,ha! And I'm thinking that folks who are inclined toward the 'Crack Market' aren't all that likely to use the word, "Lookie"...! ha,ha,ha,ha! So I've saved us at least $6,000. a year since I started doing that. And it was a conscious decision to make that change, too, because I knew I needed to stay home with Aidan (he was too crazy for outside Child Care when he was little -- he's fine, now, so he'll be all ready for Public School in the Fall), so I felt I wanted to save our family more money.

Okay, let me see if can get some pictures...

Well, I still can't get into Photoshop to get the new pictures, but these are pretty recent of My Office and my great view of the TV... that's how I never miss a Show I might want to watch while I'm working on my Website! "Sweeeet", as Aidan would say! ha,ha,ha!

** **

See all the Black and White Prints of the Single Flowers? I love them ... they're my new favorite thing. I just adore Flowers, and love the shape and texture of the individual Blossoms, so these are a perfect fit for My Office!

Thanks for swingin' in for a wee visit! Let me know how much you're Saving, and how much you've made in Home Equity over the years, and we'll put that on the Site! We all love a Success Story, right?? ha,ha!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

Get a Mortgage

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Monday, April 26th, 2004. Hi, Honey! You're Home! And man, you are looking stunning, today! Sparkly eyes, that cute little nose right smack in the middle of your face like that -- and that Gold Tooth...that really works for you...You're gonna need a little more Bling Bling, though, to carry off that look -- maybe start with 10 Gold Chains, then see how that looks -- you're neck will hurt for the first few hours, then you'll hardly be able to feel it at all. Then head off to The Office -- I have a feeling this is the Big Day you'll finally get that raise! Then you can pay for all those Gold Accessories, and with any luck, buy a big pile more! ha,ha,ha!

We had a busy little Weekend ... the Fireplace Mantel is really coming along. Dwight and I finished all the 'cuts' for the lumber, which just means all the pieces are cut and ready for Painting and Installation. I gave al the pieces a nice first coat of Semi-Gloss White Paint, yesterday, and when I'm done writing this, I'll pop out to the garage to give them all a second coat. I think Dwight wants me to do three or four coats of paint, but I'll see how they look at Two Coats. I did catch him inspecting my work, again, yesterday -- there's nothing more fun than yo' spouse checking your work for faults. Fun, fun, fun.

I've told him many, many times not to do that anymore, because it makes me feel like a 'poor employee', someone you really have to keep an eye on because they are so likely to screw up -- and here I am a highly competent woman, so that never goes over as well as Dwight seems to think it will... and then he finished with a 'back-handed compliment' -- "You're really getting good at this painting thing..." Ugh. I've painted literally thousands of feet of Trim in this house, so it's very annoyink to hear that. And that's why I drink... no, no. Liquor is far too expensive in Canada (there's oanother great reason to move back to The States...!), and I hate to waste money that could go to the Purchase of Another Home... Anyway, all this stuff happens on any Project Dwight and I work together on, so you just have to really want to get the thing done to get through it. Luckily, the Fireplace Mantelpiece looks great, so it's all worth it!

And I took Cara to the Psychic on Saturday afternoon -- we had a great time! You know how I was hoping she would see 'A Great Acting Life' for Cara in her Future? Well, whadda you know -- that's exactly what came up! WooHoo! But here's a little tidbit that came up because I was in the Room, and our 'Auras' connected... The Psychic, Brenda, (I know, you always expect 'Madame Erica' or 'Grace', not necessarily 'Brenda' or 'Nancy' ... and yes, those are the only other two names I know for a Psychic, since they're the only other one's I've been to! ha,ha,ha!) saw that I was a Writer, and then she said that perhaps in the Future I would Write Something For Cara to Star in -- now I've never thought of that, and that's a fabulous idea!! Plus, Brenda Read My Cards, too (just for Fun!!), and she saw some great things for me, too... it's always good to have Positive Thoughts in your head about your Future -- good for those days when it's hard to remember that something great is right around the corner!

So I was looking in one of our Four Freezers (that seem excessive, don't it?? Ah, well, I'm nothin' if not excessive...! ha,ha,ha!) for some Soft Taco Shells, and I never did find them, but I DID find a bag of Frozen Dough for Bread ... I'd completely forgotten that it was down there! The Extra Freezer and the Frozen Bread Dough... Anyhooo, I brought the 'Bag o' Bread' back uptairs to the Giant Freezer in my kitchen with the intention of making some Cinnamon Buns, which I did. Cara came into the Kitchen to learn how to make them (everything Cara does now is in preparation for her moving out, since she'll be 16 in May, and moving out is on her mind...). I have begun taking pictures of some of the stuff I Cook, so I can pass the Recipes along to you guys, My Delightful Readers... I think that if Recipes are easy and result in a delicious new dish for you and your friends or family, then I've done a little bit more to improve the lives of those around me (a little Goal of Mine! ha,ha!).

Let me take a minute to get you some of those pictures -- and since Cara was in the Kitchen, too, she took some shots, and surprise of all surprises, I'm actually in them! WooHoo! I haven't had a second to look at them, so I hope to Goodness I look okay! ha,ha! Ah, well. I'm hoping you love me for who I am, and not just for what I look like!! ha,ha,ha!

I'll be riiiiight back!!


Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! While you're waiting, go ahead and Click on this Link to find out more about Foreclosures -- they're a great way to make a huuuge amount of money in Real Estate!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!


<Federal Homes ::: The Nation's Trusted Foreclosure Search Engine!>

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It's The Weekend! April 24th & 25th, 2004. Yo, Yo, Yo... What's Up Wit' Mah' Home-ies?? ha,ha! Man, I never tire of that! I can only hope that you are half as easily amused as I am, then we can all chuckle our way to the Bank! That's where we're going, ain't it?? Aaaah, Money... how I love ye so... we should go around saying that until someone gets clobbered by an angry Socialist. They can be a tad bit bitter, what with only eating rice and stale corn, 'n all... you gotta watch out for that. Use your wallet to protect your Beeehind! ha,ha,ha!

So I'm taking Cara to a Psychic, today. She's been desperate to go ever since I went to a Psychic for MY Birthday... so I finally gave in and booked her into the 'Local Psychic' (!) last Saturday. And guess what happened? That's right, she didn't show up. We didn't see that coming! (Just a little Psychic humor to get us warmed up! ha,ha,ha!) I know there are different schools of thought on the whole going to a Psychic thing to begin with, but taking a Teenager to a Psychic -- that's a whole other story... so here's my take on it-- I think it can have a really positive spin. Let's say the Psychic tells 'Said Kid' (let's call this kid, "Cara"...!) that she will become a very famous Actress (is it still okay to say 'Actress, or does everyone have to be called an 'Actor'? I canny keep up with all the nuances in the words...!)... that she will Graduate from High School, and then Earn a Degree in Literature, and Marriage and a Baby after she's 25...(okay, now we're moving more into what I see in her future, but still, maybe I can pass a note to the Psychic when we first get there...)

Anyway, here's my bottom line on the Psychic and the Kid thing -- if the message is nice and positive, and the kidlet leaves feeling great about themselves, then stays on the straight and narrow in order to make all their Dreams Come True, ain't that a good thing?? And some kids, like many an adult, need to hear someone say their Future Looks Bright and Wonderful, maybe a few bumps in the road (for me, that would be Marriage Number One, and possibly Marriage Number Two...Look out Lucky Number Three! ha,ha,ha!), but everything will turn out to be great. That's a good message, and I would be very happy with that.

And I still think that a Psychic would be a great addition to any Teen in Serious Counselling for Depression (or worse...), because they could hear some nice positive things. You'd have to be sure the Psychic got that, though... they're there to say,"Yes, sure looks like you have a future, and don't it look Bright!" And, "I see lots of money and love in the near future ... and you will be living near water..." Oooooh, but I hope that's not a Sewage Treatment Plant, though, and again, I've slipped back into what I want for MY future...! ha,ha,ha!

Oh, and speaking of Happiness and Marriage (yes, I suppose they DO sometimes go together... ha,ha!), I happened upon a new website by Margaret Cho -- remember her from TV a few years back -- hilarious Comedienne! Anyway, Margaret Cho was on Sharon Osbourne the other day (she was on the SHOW, not on Sharon Osbourne... really, must you drink at the computer?? har, har!), and not only was she showing her new Clothing Line (which was fabulous -- very feminine!), but she was telling Sharon about her new website, Of course, I was working on my Website while I was watching The Sharon Osbourne Show, so I immediately clicked on and what a great site!

I feel very strongly that Love and Marriage should be open to any two people in Love who want to get married. Period. The notion that the Gov't would make a choice that would not provide for Equality under the Law for every member of it's Society is reprehensible to me... and I don't see this issue as very far at all from the whole issue of Inter-Racial or Cross-Religion Marriage. It's not very long since those Marriages were frowned upon (and legislated against, in some places...). I know a number of Couples who got Married back in the day when they were the only two Single Catholics in a small town, and so they were thrown together in marriage. (Personal Choice, of course, but not a whole lot of it...)

What possible difference would it really make to anybody who is already married who(m) someone else wants to marry? What do they care? They're already married, so I'm sure they have some Laundry to go air out... ha,ha,ha! But to Legislate Against Gay Marriage -- that's just plain crazy talk. Thems fightin' words... and so the other huuuge thing Margaret Cho has on her new Website, is a direct link to Rock the Vote. No matter where you stand on any issue, it's critical to get out there and Vote. We're soooo lucky to have a say in the running of our lives, it would be a terrible shame to waste that. Oh, and kudos to Ontario and B.C. here in Canada for making the right leap of faith, so-to-speak, and to the other places around the Globe that are putting People First, Politics Second. We can never forget all the hard work of the Civil Rights Movements to Let Freedom Reign For Everyone. There, I said it. Put that in your pipe and smoke it -- but not here -- maybe 20 feet outside the building!! ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: Surprise! It's an Exercise Tip! Did I tell you I used to Be a Fitness Instructor? Yep, back in the days of yore... and I was heavily into Weight Lifting for about 12 years -- looove that! Especially for Body Shaping, but more on that another day. Today's Tip is for anyone who likes to 'exercise' while watching TV, and really not doing much else (it's the New Me!!) You know those Large Exercise Balls? Well, have you bought one and had a terrible time blowing the thing up? Me, too! (Really, did you see that coming?? ha,ha!) So I got the thing mostly blown up, then some more air escaped when I tried to put the plug in, so it'a a fairly pathetic lookin' Exercise Ball at this point.

But here's the good part -- it's an amazingly comfortable Foot Stool. Whodda thunk that? So I use that all the time when I'm sitting in my favorite Rocking Chair (who sounds a little old, now??). Turns out, it's really bouncy, so you want to bounce your legs on it, and it's fun. I'm sure it's unbelievably annoying to anybody else in the room, but you'll have a great time... and it seems to do a little toning on your legs, too. You can get really fancy and roll the ball away from you, then back toward you with your feet or calves... or just bounce until someone screams at you to stop... again, your choice up until a point, then the decision is scooped right out from under you! ha,ha,ha! Try it, though. At the very least, you'll be really comfy while you're watching TV!

And now for some nice fresh pictures...

We've been busy working away on the Fireplace Mantel, and we're really happy with the Progress. That's Dwight fitting the Side Piece that will become a Column on top of the Base Piece. The Center picture shows how the Column will be built up with Three Pieces of Trim -- you just attach them with Duct Tape so you can stand back to look at them. They are never in any way perfect at this stage -- this is just for making decisions about what you like or don't like, then all about who wins the argument! Me-2, Dwight-1, so I won this round in the Home Playoffs! ha,ha,ha!

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The Third Picture is of the Fireplace with the Two Columns cut and ready for Paint. So the Base Block is built up with 3 pieces, and the Columns are built up with 3 different pieces of Trim -- it's a nice design. Then we built the 'Box' that will be the base for the Top of the Mantel, and cut the Dental Molding to fit that -- I'll post those pictures as soon as I take them... and I write an Update! ha,ha!

Thanks for swingin' in for a wee visit! Have a fabulous Weekend!!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!! Remember my favorite little ditty, "Gimme a little click, will ya, huh? 'Cuz I... lu'uv You!"

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Friday, April 23rd, 2004. Hi, Honey! You're Home!! And still with me! Now what are we gonna do when I move out? And then it's 'Buy Your Own Condo With a' ha,ha,ha! Well, who knows, it might not be that far away... life is a funny, funny thing, and often just a tad annoyink! Ah, well. I'm sure I'll figure something out. And then I'll Build again, one day... hopefully sooner than later, since you know how I love to Build so very much...

Hey, did you watch any Hockey Play Off Games, last night? We watched The Calgary Flames Vs. The Detroit Red Wings -- my two top favorite Teams, and here they are up against one another -- makes for some seriously great hockey! The Calgary Flames won, and everyone here in Alberta is going mad with delight! It's a funny thing how a Sport can bring massive amounts of people together who might be otherwise divided... So it's the Best of 7 Series, and that means plenty of incredibly exciting hockey -- I particularly like the Play Offs because there's waaay less fighting -- no one wants to lose a man or waste any time, so it's an 'All-skill, Little Violence' Game, and that totally works for me! ha,ha! I just made this Link for you to do a little 'Comparison Shopping', if suddenly you're desperate for a Hockey Jersey!! <Buy Hockey Jersey's from >

You know what I would like to see one of the Big News Media Shows, like Dateline or 20/20 do? I'd love to see then do a piece on 'The Changing Face of Hockey'. If you've been watching the Hockey Play Offs, you'll have seen The Calgary Flames' Team Captain, Jarome Iginla (# 12) -- he's one of my favourite Players. Now Hockey has been a very, very white game, if you will, and it's fabulous to see a little more color in the game... Canada is very different from The States when it comes to mentioning anything to do with Race. When I first moved down to the States, all of a sudden I had to fill in all these Forms that asked me what color I was, and I never knew what to fill in.

Yes, go ahead and scroll back up to see what I look like, and to see why I'm sure they must have thought I was crazy, but in Canada, we focus on someone's Nationality and Culture, not the shade of their skin. I was looking on the Form to see where it said, "Scottish', or at the very least, 'British' or 'Canadian'... so I always ticked off 'Other', since I knew for sure I wasn't 'White'! I had an idea in my mind that 'White' meant 'WASP', and I didn't want to be that... it took me the entire time I lived down in California to be able to understand all the subtleties involved in the whole race thing... Anyway, with that in mind, I would love to see more people who might not have been into Hockey before, consider it as a viable Sport, and then we'll see what Hockey looks like Ten Years from now! So maybe someone will pick up that kind of story and run with it... we'll see, we'll see!

Dwight was home yesterday morning (ah the life of the Self-Employed!!), so we were able to get a good start on the Fireplace Mantel, and so far it looks really good. We designed and cut a number of pieces, and now I need to finish this and get out to the Garage to Paint all the pieces Gloss White. I'm pretty sure I still have lots of paint... should check that! I'm taking pictures as we go through it, of course, so I can show you how to Build a Fireplace Mantel, too -- have to say it's easier than I thought ... although we haven't tackled the Top Piece, yet, and we only had about three fights through the job. You gots to like fightin' if you're gonna work with your spouse on Construction Projects! Or just let them do the whole thing themselves or Hire the Entire Job out, and even then, there'll be stuff to fight about. Just the way it is... then when you're done, you can both stand back, admire your work, and commend yourselves on how well you work together...! Funny! It's like Childbirth -- you completely forget how God-Awful it is until you're there again, then you think to yourself, "How the hell did I forget this??" Construction Projects are just like that! ha,ha,ha,ha!

And now for some Pictures of the Fireplace Mantel 'In-Progress'...

That's Dwight measuring the Fireplace Area again before we 'get to cuttin'... it's all about measuring! So we had 7" on either side of the Fireplace, so the Base Blocks are 6 7/8th" wide and 11 3/4" High. We played around with different looks for the Base Blocks, then I finally convinced Dwight to have Three Blocks Flush against the Fireplace on the one side, then 'Stepped up' in 1/2" increments on the opposite side. Looks great!

** **

Then we went out to the Garage to start cutting the wood. We bought a 4' X 8' Sheet of MDF, and most of the Mantelpiece will come from this Sheet. It cost about $25.00. Dwight is going to pick up the Dental Molding Trim, today, so we can put that on the Top Piece. There is 'some discussion' on how that'll be done -- I'll let you know how that works out!

Okay, gotta get out to the Garage to get those pieces painted before Dwight gets home...

I think my new motto might be, "Gimme a little Click...', like the song, "Gimme a little Kiss, will ya, huh?" -- I sing it to the kids all the time -- oddly enough, never to Dwight! ha,ha,ha,ha! Okay, that one WAS for me, but I'm deeply in need of being amused, so there... But when you're all done reading, go ahead and 'Gimme a little Click' -- Every Clicks a good click!

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! See you Tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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Thursday, April 22nd, 2004. Hey, HEY, Hey! How's it goin', eh? I'm all Canadian today, eh, 'cause of all that there Hockey, an' so many of oor Teams are in the Play Offs, eh...! ha,ha! If you've never watched a game, tonight's a good time to start -- catch the Second Round of Play Offs with The Detroit Red Wings vs. The Calgary Flames -- now that's gonna be a great Game! Can't wait! We had to go over our schedule to make sure we watch Survivor early, so we don't miss the Game! Thank God for Satellite!! It's the little things you like the most, ain't it? And, hey, if you happen to want to place a small Bet on any of the Hockey or Basketball Play Off Games, I know a place... on my site! Check out my newish Gambling Page -- there's a funny little thing about the Origin of Gambling, with Org and Dorg, a couple of fancy Cavemen... and yes, I did make that up! ha,ha!

Well, did you see The Bachelor and the ever-so-delightful Trish? Trish-Trash, I think I'll call her, just for fun! I'm tellin' you, I think Jesse the Bachelor will take her right to the Final Two. Wouldn't surprise me a bit... but I really like Tara the General Contractor, because a loves me a girl in the Trades (and Dwight likes her because she's so very pretty! ha,ha!). Dwight loves The Bachelor Shows -- he spends a good portion of the Show saying, "Ooooh, I'd Date that one, and I'd Date that one, too..." I always counter with, "Dwight, you're married... you can't Date any of them, now be quiet -- we're trying to hear what Trish did...!" We're lovely like that! ha,ha! And you know that 'Trish-Trash' is great for the Show's Ratings! I think she'd be fabulous in an evil role in a Soap Opera, don't you? Think about that next time you see her...!

Dwight is home, this mornign, so we're going to get started on the Fireplace Mantelpiece. We've been fighting about it all week (here's the fight -- "Dwight, let's build it like this..." and I show him diagrams and pictures. Dwight says, "Okay." Then we go to the Store and Dwight says there's no way in hell he's gonna build it like that, and then I'm mad... that's how we fight. Then I tell him to build it any way he wants, because I just want to get the job done... then I start trying to figure out how I can make more money on my Site so I can have a greater say in what we do around here... it's all very exciting, this world of construction! ha,ha,ha!). So today we're going to come to a decision about how we're going to build the stoopid Mantelpiece, then head out to the Garage and 'get to cuttin'! Then I have to paint it a nice Gloss White Paint to match the Baseboards. I'm sure it'll look gorgeous. I'll take some pictures, to be sure!

Tip of the Day: Try to fight at home, if at all possible. Never fight with anyone in a car -- it's never worth it, because you don't want to be an upset Driver, or upset the actual Driver... but you can be a really fed-up Back-Seat Driver, you just can't say anything much until you get home... You know all the stuff you've ever heard about Building and Renovation being a real Test on a Relationship? Well, it's true, all true. The key is to keep your Eye on the Prize. And that Prize can change significantly from the Beginning of the Build or Project to the End... You definitely want to get the Job Done, so just keep looking at the bottom line to get things finished, with the least amount of Stress to yourself and your Partner. Remember, the better the job, the more you'll get for it when you have had enough and sell it all! You can take your half and go sit on a beach in Mexico -- now that's something to think about when the going gets rough! Of course, your Partner will probably insist on going to Mexico, too, because who wouldn't want to go to, say, the Baja Coast?? Just give yourself something pleasant to think about in order to get the job done, and you'll be all right! Also, I find Chocolate, Tea, and the occasional Bottle of Wine works wonders, too... ha,ha,ha!

I'll post some shots of the Fireplace Mantel when we're done for the day... around Noon, I'm guessing!


Thanks for swinging by for a little visit! See You Tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

Oh, have you tried this Service, yet? What a great idea, and now they have it for Canadians...! I'm gonna check it out, because we have paid sooo much in Late Fees over the years -- we can never remember to get the DVDs back to the Movie Store on time ... let me know if you have Tried this DVD Service -- you can check it out For Free, which is always good, to see if it'll work for you. Now there's a good deal, eh??

<>< >

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Wednesday, April 21st, 2004. Hey, Baby-Cakes! What it issss?? ha,ha! Think 'Coool, Laid Back, Struttin' Down the Street'... I could try that here, but someone would be sure to call the Cops -- 'AAAH! There's a'City Folk' up in our little Town'!! No, I'm kiddink... I'm just pretending to be 'City Folk'... it's good to live in your own little world sometimes, ain't it?? ha,ha! Oh, I just finished writing a Response to Rick M. on Ask Ailsa -- just click on that to read it. He wants to know how to Negotiate with Developers and Builders. Ha,ha,ha! -- I know, I laughed, too! But you can always try, then pay them whatever they want, if you really want the Home...

Hey, did you know Bill Gates has a Book out? Two, in fact. Who would have guessed Bill Gates would ever have enough time to Write a Book, let alone Two Books, what with his Mega-Fortune to Manage 'n all... anyway, I found it at the Library, last week, and started to read it. It's called Business @ The Speed of Thought, which is a notion I looove. What a great thought, in and of itself. In the Computer World, you think of a great Business Idea, quickly find the right Person who might be able to help you, and fire off an e-mail. Whammo. A new Business Venture is formed. It's a miracle of the Modern Age, and it never ceases to amaze me.

Think about how we used to do Business a mere 10 years ago? That seems like yesterday, to me, but that's just because ah'm gettin' a wee bit old! ha,ha,ha! (No, I consider myself 40 and a One, and very youthful... not youthless, which rhymes with 'toothless', which is a whole other thing...and 'utheless', if, say, you had a lisp...ha,ha,ha,ha! Okay, I'm just amusing myself, now...) Anyway, remember when (or IF, in some cases...!) you had a great idea, or a great product or service, you would have to go and do some serious research at the Library, finally find someone who seemed like they might be able to help guide you to where you wanted to go, then sit down with some Letterhead Paper and write a very serious letter. then you would take great care to get out the old Typewriter and type out the letter, then get it to the Mail Box and hope for a response (if any) in about 3 to 6 months, maybe a year.. Now you just send off an E-mail and get your message across just like that -- Business @ The Speed of Thought -- no wonder he's sooo Wealthy -- Bill Gates is Brilliant!!

<Business @ the Speed of Thought: Succeeding in the Digital Economy
Business @ the Speed of Thought: Succeeding in the Digital Economy


You know, I just went into Barnes & Noble to make this Link for you, in case you want to pick up this book, too, and wouldn't you know it? Bill Gates has all sorts of Books out there... not to mention the Softwear! ha,ha,ha,ha! I know, that was just a little bit of gratuitous fun! And then I also made a link for one of my favorite 'fun' books -- Linda Goodman's Sunsigns... I'd forgotten about that book, but it's a whole thing about the Astrological Signs, and it's one of the funniest books I've ever read. Now, don't tell ol' Linda that I said that, because I'm pretty sure it wasn't intended to be funny, but you 'll see yourself and your friends and loved ones (hopefully both!!) in the pages of this book... lots of fun!

Ooooh, and here I am watching Oprah while I'm writing this, and she has just introduced her new Book Club Selection -- I love those books, because often they aren't the kind of book I would go and seek out, so I love when you are lead to something that is fantastic -- I loooved East of Eden, last Summer -- what a great read! So Oprah's Book Choice is The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, by Carson McCullers -- of course I put that on My Book Page, so we can all have a go at it, so-to-speak! You can click on and see some of my favorite books, too -- maybe we have some in common -- write and let me know ... I love to hear from my Lovely Readers!

Tip of the Day: Here's a little Tip I happened to try last night, in my never-ending quest for an easier way to do more work... it's to make 'Making the Bed' much faster and easier. If you have a big Comforter Set on your bed (and I hope you do, since it instantly makes your Bedroom look fabulous!) Fold the Comforter in Half from the Bottom of the Bed, right over all the pillows. That's right -- just lift the whole thing up and over to wherever you put it at night... I put it over on the Sofa in our Bedroom...or you can just throw it on the Floor where you won't trip on it in the middle of the night... Then in the morning, you can roll out of bed (wait for it to be completely empty -- that's a more personal tip! ha,ha!), then just put the Comforter and Accessories back on the Bed and unfold it so it looks perfect, again! See how easy? Remind me to talk about 'Perfection', tomorrow!

Let me go see if I have some Pictures of the Master Bedroom -- I love it, it's sooo beautiful and huuuge!

Here it is! And there's Tia on the Sofa in the Master Bedroom -- she's usually on the Bed, so I always have to scoot her off of there to remove the Bedding! It's all very comfy!

** **

That Interior Window in the Bedroom leads through to the Sunroom, and the Master Ensuite and the Walk-In Closet are on the other side. Nice Plan, huh?? And all out of my little head! See how handy an imagination can be?? ha,ha!

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! See You Tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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Tuesday, April 20th, 2004. Go Flames Go, Go Flames Go! WooHoo! The Calgary Flames won their First Round in the Hockey Play Offs, and now they're going up against one of my other favorite Hockey Teams, The Detroit Red Wings (because one of my old students from when I used to Teach High School, Darren McCarty, #25) is on the Detroit Red Wings Team. So I love both those teams, and can't wait to see that Game. I think you tend to choose the Teams you love and Support based on proximity to your Home, then anywhere else you might have lived along the way... and then add to that any Teams with People you actually know... or are attracted to...(!) Maybe that's just me! ha,ha,ha! Ah, well, I'm a little shallow like that, sometimes! yuff, yuff!

So my other two Hockey Teams that I really love are The Toronto Maple Leafs (Borje Salming, #21 from when I was 15 and heavily into Hockey -- and the Players...... ah, the Teen Years!), because I grew up relaltively close to Toronto, and The L.A. Kings, because I used to live in L.A. -- or work there -- technically, I lived in Santa Monica... but you get my drift!

Now, back to Building and Building Accessories... we got a call on the weekend from a Realtor who said she had gotten a call from one of her Clients who was interested in buying our Land. Well, we don't have a piece of Land sor Sale, unless it includes a 5400 square foot house... and we didn't return this particular Realtor's call because the notion of someone driving by our house, seeing the Signs and our Phone Numbers right there, then calling a realtor when it clearly says we're selling the house on our own -- who can be bothered with that. Call us directly -- we're easy to talk to, and if there's a bottom-line concern that someone who sells on their own can't handle the Paperwork, or they're more protected by using a realtor, that's just not possible, because everybody has to go through a Real Estate Lawyer, so there's nothing to worry about. . I think I'm overly annoyed at that, and I probably shouldn't be. Some days these little things just get to you, but you have to slog your way through them and carry on. Mostly, though, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be very nice, right now, if a realtor were to call me down for Selling on our own, and that's what it felt like. There's no other business on the planet where one person feels they have a right to call you down on how you choose to Market Your Product, which is what Selling Your House is all about. It's an odd little game.

And just to be clear, we have no problem with Good Realtors -- they're a necessary and great part of life in the Building Game -- it's the mean ones we can barely tolerate, and I just don't get how such a high percentage of any one group can be perceived as unscrupulous, like the old stereotype of the Used Car Salesman... Maybe there's something that can be done on a grass roots level where that negative stereotype can be changed into a big positive. I think as a Buyer or Seller in Real Estate, you can start things off with only supporting decent folk -- that's easy to do, since you can choose any Realtor to Purchase or Sell a Property -- let the nice people get a cut of the pie. Money talks, and then the ones who are still using some unpleasant and unnecassy tactics will see the light and come around, or choose a different profession.

Man, this is my day of clarification -- I'm not dissing the realtor who called us -- I just can't be bothered calling back for someone who may or may not exist, and who actively chose to go around us -- that's too weinie for me... and I'm sure you have guessed by now that I'm not big on befriending 'weinies'... ha,ha,ha! I like nice, strong, confident folk. Nothin' wrong with that...! And that's why I like YOU so very much -- you exude confidence, my favorite quality!

Tip of the Day: If you're a Parent and your kid is always after you for Pop (okay, this is me and the lovely wee Aidan...), and they're still small enough that you can pull one over on them, and they don't realize it (!), try this -- Pour some Pop (Aidan is calling it 'Sody Pop', these days... that really breaks us up! ha,ha!) into a small Creamer part of the 'Sugar & Cream' Set -- for the life of me, I can't remember what the normal name for them is... anyway, pour the pop into a smallish container with a Spout. Then give 'said child' a very small glass or cup that they can use to pour the pop into. One, they will enjoy controlling their own drinks, and two, it's good practice for hand-eye co-ordination. Then I always serve any sugary drinks with a 'Side Order' of Water. Aidan calls it his 'Water Chaser'... now look who's ready to hit the Bar when he's 18...!! A mere 12 years away! ha,ha! They 'take a swig of pop, then a swig of water...'. Now isn't that fabulous parenting?? ha,ha! I call it, "Living in the Real World!" It's my own special technique...

Now let me go get you some pictures! Be right back!

So here we have the sneaky way of giving your Kid less Pop, followed by a Water Chaser! They think they're getting their pop, and having some fun...

** **


There's Aidan giving me the 'Thumbs Up'! See how happy?? ha,ha! And then there's a tiny bowl of Chips -- it's all in the size of the container... worth a try, if you want to moderate how much of any particular thing your child is eating or drinking.... I don't think this'll work with Gin an' yo' spouse, but you never know... might be worth a try! ha,ha!

Thanks for swingin' in for a wee visit, today! Always lovely to see you!

Pop in tomorrow, and we'll have a little chat!

Later, Baby, Ailsa!!

I thought you might know someone, or be someone, who might find this useful!! Oh, and I added all sorts of things to my Online Education Page -- I still have some stuff I want to add to it, but have a wee look and let me know what you think! I firmly believe that Online Education, and finding Regular Post Secondary Institutions Online, is the wave of the future... check back in 10 years and we'll see if I was right! ha,ha!


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Monday, April 19th, 2004. Hey, Baby! What's Up?? Did you have a great Weekend? I hope so. We finally got to the Hardware Stores to get the Materials to Build the Mantelpiece. I wanted to build it, yesterday, but Cara really wanted to go shopping, so I took her into Town (makes us sound like little Country Bumpkins, but I enjoy saying it for fun! ha,ha!). Anyway, I thought Dwight might have gotten a head start on the Fireplace, but instead he watched a bunch of movies -- everyone needs a day off just to poke around, so that was good. And I scored some fabulous Shoes and a gorgeous new Suit -- now I just need to find somewhere to wear them! ha,ha!

Hey, did I tell you I was going to send Ellen Degeneres a Four Leaf Clover, sinc eshe mentioned them on her Show one day, and I have an unusual ability to spot a 4 Leaf Clover almost anywhere I go...? We have them all around this house -- maybe that makes me lucky -- I'll be sure to let you know! ha,ha! Anyhoooo, I finally got around to mailing it, so we'll see where that leads -- my big hope is that Ellen gets the 4 Leaf Clover, and has me come down to find one for her 'directly'! ha,ha1 Or maybe one of her 'People' will click on my Site and discover us all in here, chatting about construction and life... who knows. You'll never be found if you don't go out there and introduce yourself, right??

I'm Coloring my Hair as I write -- yes, I'm a Low-Mainentance kind of gal! I like to do everything myself -- who has the time to go out to get these things done? And speaking of that, Cara went to get her hair done at the Hair Dresser's on the weekend, and last night she cut a little more off, herself, since really, she looked pretty much the same when we left the Hairdressers... anyway, we were watching The Sopranos, and no kids are allowed downstairs into the Theatre Room when we're watching any 'Adult Shows', so she had to wait until I was finished watching that to show me what she had done to her hair... so I got out my trusty scissors and fixed Cara's Hair -- now it looks fabulous! Funny. We both have long hair, and that's sooo easy to manage on your own. So now she's just gonna let me do her hair - it's easier and I'll give Cara the money we would have paid the Hairdresser.

And speaking of The Sopranos -- did you watch that last night? If you did, did you happen to notice the Sign over Christahfah's Desk? (Yes, pronounce Chrissie's name phonetically!! ha,ha!) 'Expect Miracles'! Right after he beat the crap out of his new AA Buddy! Hilarious. You want to stay positive when you're a druggie in The Mob. First things, first, 'n all...! ha,ha,ha!

Okay, I better get this color stuff out of my hair, or who knows how blond I'll be ... and yes, I'm blond by choice, not by genetics, and I'm completely okay with that! And lookie how smart I is! ha,ha,ha!

Okay, be back in a bit, blonder and bettererer...! Here's something to click on while you're waitng -- I'm sure there's an AA Group in there, too, if you are also a Troubled Mobster with positve attitude! ha,ha!

<Visit and discover ALL the answers to YOUR health questions!>

Tip of the Day: It's a Jewelry Tip, since I just discovered it, yesterday! After we got home from Shopping, Cara and Aidan wanted to pop into the Hot Tub, and I never wear any jewelry in the Hot Tub, so I thought there might be a nice and easy way to clean my Gems up while I was in the Tub... and that's how I figured it out. So here's the Tip. One: Get a Hot Tub... ha,ha! Just kidding! (Really, you would enjoy it, though, if you haven't already got one...) No, no. Just get a small container -- as always, I used Plumbing Parts, because we happen to have a lot of that sort of thing around the house... anyway, pour some Shampoo into the small Container and add a wee bit of Water. Stir it and drop all your jewelry into the mixture. Put it somewhere safe where some idiot (you know the one in your house who is most likely to throw out something important to you...) doesn't throw out your gorgeous jewelry... Let them soak in the Shampoo for however long you like,them clean and rinse them off with a Toothbrush -- preferably an old one... your choice, really! ha,ha! It'll make your Diamonds and Other Assorted Gems Glimmer!!

Rats, Dwight's home early, so I can't stay on the computer any longer... I think I have to go help him unload a Load of Gravel... I know, you wish you could trade lives with me, 'cause you love manual labor more than anything -- you should also like working for free... goes with the Territory! ha,ha!

Hmmm, let me see if I can find some fast pictures before I go outside...

Here are some Hot Tub Shots -- and that's Dwight in the Tub on the day we had to Crane the thing back out of the Deck to replace all the Pipes that froze because Dwight didn't hook the thing up fast enough when we first installed it, and they all froze. Well, one of the Pipes Froze, but we just replaced them all for good measure. Saves money in the long run, since it's about $700. to change everything out, so you really want to keep that to a minimum. See how Toys can be expensive??

** **

We were all laying about in the Tub the other night, and Dwight says, "This Tub has cost us $1200. a Float..." Yes, he's a barrel of laughs... so now we'll have to really use the Tub all the time to justify the cost. Could be more difficult jobs! ha,ha,ha!

Thanks for popping in for a little visit! See you tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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It's The Weekend! April 17th & 18th, 2004. Hey there, Good Lookin'! A Shiny Bit of Brilliance in the Universe! (Ain't that a nice way to think of yourself?? I think so, too!) So guess what we're finally gonna do, today? That's right, Build the Fireplace Mantel! WooHoo! Can't wait. I showed Dwight a couple of Mantelplaces I liked last night, and we have had it waiting for someone to give us a quote, so we're just going to build it ourselves. I'll take pictures as we go along, as always, so you can learn how to do it, too, in case that appeals to you...

We had planned to get lots of Landscaping done this Weekend, but what with all that crazy snow last week (and it's still on the ground), it would just be a big sea of mud out there, so that'll have to go on hold, yet again... the weather's really starting to bother me, given that it's Spring and we're still dealing with Snow! Ugh. Must move South! And more than 10 miles!! ha,ha!

Yum -- I just ran upstairs to make me a wee bowl of my favorite Apple Crumble -- I really have to get back on track with the whole 'Diet thing',much as I hate that word... I'm thrilled that so many of my fabulous Readers have tried my Apple Crumble Diet, and have lost a ton (literally??? ha,ha!) of weight -- it's the easiest schmeasiest way to drop some pounds in a hurry, then keep them off for life. Unless you discover those new Cadbury Chocolate Toffees, like I did last week. They're delicious little morsels, and of course I felt it was completely reasonable to eat 3 at a time, many times a day...

You know what I rely heavily on, now? The information panel on the side of every package of food -- I hope they do make that mandatory for all food items, so Consumers can make informed decisions about what you eat and how often and how much of it your indulge in... And so there is no information panel on the Cadbury's Caramel Chocolate Package, so I have to assume they are perfectly fine for me! It's sooo crazy, because even though I clearly know better, I have rationalized that the amount of sugar must be low, because they're hard candies... man! I'm delusional about it!

It's funny that I need to see it in Print to make the final decision that I'll have no more than 4 a day, then mete it out accordingly. It's my guess that Company's who make Snack Food may be anxious about putting their information about the Carbs and Fat Content of each Item, but it's absolutely critical info for the vast majority of the population. Plus, we all want to be informed consumers, now, and there's no turning back, once we're on that path. People won't stop buying all their favorite Snacks -- they'll just be more selective about what they eat and how much of it at any given time. (Hopefully, never within 2 hours of their Bedtime -- Three if you can make it! ha,ha!)

So speaking of buying too much of the wrong food, yesterday after I took Cara in to get her hair cut (and it looks great, by the way...!), we swng by the local Tim Horton's to get some Boston Cream Donuts for Aidan -- he dreams about them, and goes out on the Deck at night to wish on a Star for them... no kidding! "I wish for something tasty to eat -- one hundred zillion boston cream donuts..." He's moderate in his wishes, just like his Mother...! ha,ha,ha,ha! Anyhooo, we went through the Drive-Thru, and we had the nastiest person serve us -- man, she was just horrible. Now, I know that Boy loves his Donuts, but I won't support any business where the Employees are rude to me. I'm buying donuts, for Goodness Sake -- who needs to be stressed out by a meanie doing that?? Puh-leeease! And you know the irony in a lot of places where you will encounter nasty employees? They are often at the Management Level, and have become little demi-gods. Nothing nicer than a demi-god -- they're always so kind and caring... ha,ha,ha! So Dwight will have to get Aidan his Boston Cream fix, because I'm never going back to that Donut Place, again. Live and Learn, Baby, Live and Learn.

Tip of the Day: Hire great employees, or at least make sure they are polite to your customers.Or Be a Great Employee.As much as I feel for the Owners of the Store or Business that has terrible Employees, I feel even more strongly that the Owner is ultimately in charge of what goes on in the Organization, and the people on the Front Lines who are dealing with the Customers have to be nice. Bottom Line. Competition is tough out there --there are lots of great places to choose from, so if your Employees are turning away your Customer Base, it's time to redirect that Employee, retrain them, or 'Do Like The Donald' and Fire their sorry beeehind! And quit moving up the mean ones, leaving the nice ones behind -- what's that all about? It happens in all organizations -- The Teaching Field is notorious for that -- they often take the worst Teachers who were awful with their students, and move 'em on up... now that's not a good message, is it?

Let me go get you some pictures! Be riiiight back!

See the Fireplace in the Far S.E. Corner of the Lower Walk-Out Level? Apparently, that's very good with the whole Feng shui thing, so ain't that lucky?? ha,ha! I'm not about to do much else in accordance with a method thought up to accomodate folks with teensy apartments, where space is of the utmost, and here someone comes along and tells them where to put everything they have in order to bring in some good luck. I say, be prepared for everything, and when a good opportunity presents itself, you'll be ready -- now that's how I define 'Luck'!!

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Oh, yeah. I DID try to put something Pink in our Bedroom -- supposed to make things all rosie, 'n all -- that ain't workin', neither! ha,ha,ha! Therapy or Something Pink, Therapy or Something Pink... such a tough decision! yuff, yuff!

So that's the Fireplace - Dwight still loves the nice clean lines of the Granite, which I love, too, but I definitely feel like a Mantelpiece will look lovely there, so now I have to go get Dwight up and make him a nice Breakfast so he'll agree with me about the Fireplace! ha,ha,ha! Who said manipulation is bad?? They're craaazy! In the long run, it can often be a good thing -- that's my story, an' I'm stickin' to it! ha,ha,ha!

And there's the annoyink snow I've had enough of -- that last picture is out our Front Door. The Trees across the Road aren't really that fr away -- it's hard to get a picture of what we really see... but I guess they are about 300 yards away, now that I think of it... whatevah... they're really beautiful, and it's like living in a Park!

Thanks for swingin' in for a little visit! Have a fabulous Weekend! Oh, hey, and after you sign up for stuff on my site, can you drop me a line at I'm testing out this new Program, and I need to see if there's a screw-up with it -- seems to not be tracking well, but that's the easiest way for me to figure it out -- you know I always like to find the easiest way out! ha,ha,ha! And Thanks for Signing up for stuff -- I really appreciate that!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!


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Friday, April 16th, 2004. Yo, yo, yo! What up wit' mah Home-ies?? Holla'!! Well, did you see it -- The Apprentice?? Man, was that a Great Show, or What?? Could you wipe the smile off your face when you saw that fabulous New Building Proposed for Bill to Manage, or that unbelievably gorgeous Golf Course and Resort in California? Wow. Wouldn't it be a riot to Build a House in there?? ha,ha! Now that's my kind of Building!! Can you tell I'm all excited? What about that crazy Omarosa? Oi, does she drive you crazy? What an emotional roller-coaster ride, what with being sooo mad at Omarosa trying to ruin everything for Kwame, taking Jessica Simpson away just when 'The Donald' was coming in to meet beautiful little Jessica... and what was up with the whole Breakfast fiasco? Why didn't anyone call down to the Caterererer (think Homer!) around 8:00 am to confirm the Breakfast Order?

Big Congrats out to Bill, though -- man, he really pulled that out of the hat. He seemed to be dealing with a tiny bit of sabotage too, what with a Major Sponsor's Ad Poster being taken out to the dumpster. Now who throws away a Box without looking inside to see what's in there? Even if there are a lot of boxes to get rid of?? Puh-leeease! I thought the 'chicken little' thing was a bit annoyink, and I personally would not care for a Boss like that, but then again, I don't have $5 Billion Dollars, yet, so clearly Donald Trump knows what he's doin'!! ha,ha,ha!

And lookie what I found! A great Deal on Trumpalicious Stuff! Don't we all want a little bit of Trump, right now?? I want to work with a Trump Coffee Mug -- for my Tea, of course, since I'm a little 'Tea Jenny', but I'd like to see that on my Desk every day! Talk about Business Incentive!< NBC Store Free Shipping on Orders $50+ >

So what will happen to Kwame, now? Wouldn't he make a great Bachelor?? You know you'd watch it, because fer sures 'The Donald' would make a Guest Appearance! Hey, I wonder if The NBC Store has a T-Shirt with Donald and His Chicks on it -- you know the Sketch he did on SNL?? (That's Saturday Night Live, for the Oldies in the crowd -- I just learned that, meself!! ha,ha!) Who knew Donald Trump was so hilariously funny??

And then with Survivor right after The Apprentice... (we're on Satellite, so we get our choice of when we'll watch stuff -- very practical for TV addicts like ourselves!). Now who's one of the most brilliant TV Producers on the planet?? Mark Burnett. That man is sheer genius! We love both those Shows, and hope to watch them for years to come! Boston Rob is like the Omarosa of Survivor, except that occasionally he shows some redeeming qualities. (Although, Omarosa does have some fabulous Suits and an uncanny ability to schmooze...!!) That Boy'll be gone as soon as he doesn't win an Immunity Challenge, though, me thinks... (think Shakespeare, not the moron down the road! ha,ha,ha!). Must say I was happy to see Kathy go -- not sure why I didn't like her! (!) I've changed my mind about Shiiann, now -- I thought she might fly under the radar until the very end, but as soon as she becomes vocal, again, she'll be out, too.

Now I'm thinking that Rupert stands a good chance of winning, again. He's very sweet. And I like that he's such a good Family Man, and loves his Wife and Daughter sooo much. He could use the money to dig a giant hole and build a house over it!! As long as he Cribbed and Poured it, it would all work out, and no water would run in! Yuff, yuff!

Tip of the Day: Bizarrely enough, it's a Laundry Tip, because this is Laundry Day -- in fact, almost every day is Laundry Day around here, my life is soooo glamorous and exciting! Anyhooo, here's something I just figured out about a month ago, and it has been working really well. Perhaps you figured it out years ago, and I'm just starting to catch on, but here goes in case you're a fair bit like me...(!) -- Have everyone in the house bring their Laundry straight through to the Laundry Room and put their laundry directly in the Washing Machine. Whenever it is full, go ahead and run it. I know, that sounds sooo painfully simple, but it has really changed how much Laundry piles up. Go ahead and try it for a month, and let me know if this trick works for you, too. And the other little trick is to make the rest of the people in the house actually DO IT!! ha,ha,ha!

And now for some new pictures!

Okay, I swear these are the last of the Easter Pictures -- but you know I am 'Camera Happy'! This is the lovely Park where we went to Roll our Easter Eggs. If you click on the First Picture, you'll be able to see the Mountains more clearly. It's a great hill, though, because the Grass is really short, and there's grass as opposed to Muck, which we are more accustomed to... ha,ha!

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And that's Aidan chasing after his Egg as it rolled down the hill. When he found it at the bottom, he was devastated, "My egg, my beautiful egg! It's ruined!!" I guess he had missed the bit where the Egg would break open and we would eat them! Poor little guy -- but it was hilariously funny, so you can find humor in your child's, that ain't right!! ha,ha,ha!

Thanks so much for swingin' in for a little visit! I always enjoy your company, and I hope you enjoy mine! Feel free to bring ten thousand of your closest friends with you next time -- the more, the merrier... or drunkerer... it's so hard to remember those catch phrases, ain't it?? ha,ha,ha!

Love & Luck, Ailsa!

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Thursday, April 15th, 2004. Hi, Honey! You're HOME!! And it's soooo nice to see you! Did you get your Taxes Filed? Hope so -- I don't know how many years I did my Taxes at the very last minute, then had to run to the Post Office to File them -- Thank Goodness for the Computer, since you can File Online, now -- that's why I made that Online Taxes Page -- and I included the Extension Forms, since that's a good thing to do if you can't get your Taxes Filed by Midnight, tonight. Oh, and remember that if you're expecting a Refund (lucky you!), it won't be affected by Filing for an Extension (which I think gives you 'til August to File Yo' Taxes), but if you think you DO owe Taxes, you'll start paying Penalties at the Stroke of Midnight, so keep that in mind.

One thing that's really weird about being Married (one of the zillion things...) is the whole Financial Thing -- Dwight insists on being wholly in charge of the Taxes... he has an Accountant, so he likes to hand everything over to his Accountant, but I was Single for a really long time (!), and I was always in charge of all of my own Financial Affairs, so it's bizarre for me to have to relinquish control, there. I guess I don't have to, but it's less stressful to let Dwight handle it, since he seems to want to do that so badly... Now there are a lot of women who do let (or give in to...) their husbands manage all the money, or the bulk of it, and then they don't have a good handle on how to manage their own money. I firmly believe that everyone needs to be fully informed about money, or you might end up with none, and that ain't good.

At the very least, you need to know how much you have and where it is. We still have an account I don't have any access to -- now that's annoyink! Who can be bothered with that? Now I want an Account that Dwight doesn't have access to...! ha,ha,ha! And I think I'll use it to buy frivolous things! Then we can just stand back and watch Dwight's Blood Pressure go up and up! ha,ha! No, no. I'm just kidding... I don't really like to buy very many frivolous things -- I'd rather save my money and buy more Property! Now Dwightie would be Okay with that! As long as I let him come and visit! ha,ha!

Oh, and speaking of a propensity to mismanage money, did you watch The Bachelor with lovely, charming Trish, last night? What a gem -- not quite as polished as she thinks she is! I think her middle name might very well be,"Snaggy", but I'm not sure of that, so don't quote me! To her face! ha,ha,ha! She's one of the many women (mostly it's women, since a lot of the world's money is still in the hands of the men, but I'ma tryin' to change that up a little!! ha,ha! We want to ALL have it, right??) Anyway, Trish has not actually met any men with money, because if she had, she'd already know that folks who have a fair chunk o' cash don't like to spend it frivolously. She thinks there will be Dinners Out Every Night, A Nanny, A Personal Trainer, no actual attention to the children, which would only happen 'by accident'... ugh. That's a good way to rip through a few million in no time at all. She needs to read, "The Millionaire Next Door" to get a better handle on how people with money really live.

You know who does the Dinners Out Every Night thing? Folks who want to LOOK like they have a ton of money, but it's mostly an act. It's tiresome eating out all the time -- you know when you're on Vacation and you have to eat at Restaurants the entire time? It's really fun for the first few days, then by the end of the holiday, you can't wait to get home and have a bowl of Mr. Noodles or some Homemade Spaghetti! And it's one thing to Be Wealthy, and another thing to Stay Wealthy. Poor old Trish -- she's deluded... but she might just win, or come in the last Two Standing, so-to-speak. She's a little like a Trophy Wife -- Shiny on the Outside, Hollow on the Inside. Whatevah... let's hope Jesse has a brain in his head and can see through the charade. But she makes for great TV -- even Dwight wouldn't be quiet during the Show, he was so busy saying what was wrong with her -- The Bachelor is like a Sport to Dwight! ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: It's a Realtor Tip -- we were watching that relatively new Canadian TV Show 'Buy Me!' last night, and we were appalled at how the Realtor pitted the husband against the wife. I hate that sort of business practice. So here's the Tip -- whenever you're going to do any really big Financial Deal -- Buying a Home, Selling a Home, Buying a Vehicle... you know -- the big stuff -- be very clear with your spouse before you talk to any outside Third Party. Make a Pact that you won't let outsiders come between you, because it's a common business practice, even though it is remarkably sleazy. Welcome to the Wonderful World of Real Estate! But you know what? Always keep in mind that you are in charge of your own life, so there's no need to bow to outside false pressure. So Know Yourself as much as you Know Your Spouse, and you'll be able to get through the pressure a lot easier!

I'll go get you some nice new pictures! Be right baaack!

You know how we painted Our Easter Eggs on Easter Morning before we went to the Park to Roll them? Well, here they are! Invariably, I put Ducks and Flowers on mine, Cara Draws a Face, Dwight Draws a Bunny, and now Aidan can really do his own 'Personal Creation'!

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Cara did a Donald Trump Egg, this year, too -- now we all know he's a Good Egg, right?

Thanks for coming in for a wee visit! See You Tomorrow!

Yippee! The Apprentice is on, tonight -- I'm still pullin' for Kwame! We'll talk all about it, tomorrow! Can't wait!!

Love, Luck, and the Occasional Dinner Out! (ha,ha!), Ailsa!!

Check This Out! <Americas Best Kitchens> You can get some Great Free Recipes and Stuff, and Submit Your Own Fabulous Recipe -- then you'll be famous!! "Finally!!", as Aidan would say! He hates having to wait sooo long for Fame, what with him being 4 already, and no million dollar contracts, yet...! ha,ha,ha!

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Wednesday, April 14th, 2004. Hey, HEY, Hey! How are ya', today? Everything good? No worries? I hope so! And let me know how you got to that point in yo' life, 'cause I'd like to be there, too! ha,ha! I wish I had more time to read that new Marriage Book, 'The Challenge of Marriage', since I just looove the Chapter Headings -- they're hilarious! Here's what I want to check out, today, when I get a mnute -- 'Marriage is No Heaven' (D'uh!!), 'The Answer to Philandering' (looove that fancy name for something that ain't good at all...), and 'Mating Serves Secret Personal Anticipations'...ha,ha,ha! Which one should I read first, you think? That last one sounds like a crazy e-mail I might get about, say, ten times in a row!

Oh, and speaking of e-mail, I have actually been getting spam e-mail from my own address -- now how they do that is beyond me, but if any of my Readers ever get a letter from me from my address, it ain't from me... I have no clue how to do a Newsletter of any sort, so I could never figure out how to do a mass mailer... bizarre. And here's another very odd thing -- when I opened my address, this morning, I'm down at least 3500 e-mails... that's strange, isn't it? Hopefully all that info wasn't lost, but I have no idea why it would be lost... anyway, if you wrote to me at that address, give it a little time to see if it all comes back.

Oh, I've been meaning to get this link for you for ages -- it saved me a bunch of times when I've had a Trojan Horse, a Worm, and another annoyink Virus -- their system completely cleaned out my computer and got me back on track right away. <Award-winning protection: Panda Antivirus Platinum> Panda Software has an excellent Free Service to remove any viruses from your Computer. Just go to their site, scroll down 'til you see the Blue Box, Click on 'Scan My Computer', and let it do it's own work. It's great!

We had a big Snowfall again, last night, so now Tia, the Dog, is covered in snow when she comes back in the house from Playing, so gotta go clean her up -- be right baaack!!

Okay, here I am! Tia loooves the snow so very much! Tia and Aidan love it more than anyone in the house, because they see it primarily as a playing tool, whereas the rest of us see it as potential work and a safety risk, especially on the roads. I'll tell you, if I do get to move to a much warmer climate, I won't miss driving in the snow one tiny bit!

Tip of the Day: Well, are you inundated with Chocolate left over from Easter? It's all very exciting opening all the Baskets of Easter Goodies, and the chocolate looks really good, but no-one really eats much of it, so it tends to sit in the Pantry until I have to go in and throw it out. So this year, I was standing looking at all the Chocolate lined up along the Island (it's a 10' Island Countertop, so you can imagine how much extra chocolate we're dealing with around here... ha,ha,ha!), and I came up with a plan to use it... I'm going to Shave some of it for future use (Grate it, then pop the Chocolate Shavings in the Freezer), and melt the rest of it to use as the chocolate part of a Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake. I'll post the recipe as soon as I make it up... seriously! ha,ha! I never know how I'm gonna make anything until I get started!

I tend to like a Baked Chocolate Cheescake better than a Non-Baked Cheesecake with Chocolate, since it just seems to work out better. So if you already have a great Baked Cheesecake Recipe, follow that, then melt down the extra Chocolate (just pop it in the microwave with some butter...), then pour it in a circle over the Cheesecake Batter already in the Pan, then use a knife to swirl it around. You'll love it!

Ooooh, just thought of something -- you could melt down the chocolate to mix with some Whip Cream, then pop that into some nice Parfait or Wine Glases. I'm sure that would be tasty!

You know the easiest way to become a good cook? Start playing around in the kitchen with different things. You can start off with your own Basic Recipes, then add stuff as you go along. There aren't any big rules in the kitchen -- just try to aim for 'something edible', then go for 'something deeeelicious'! It won't be long and you'll be a master at everything you do... or you can scrap it and go out for dinner! ha,ha,ha! It's all good!

And now for some new Pictures...

There's Aidan and Tia on Easter Morning! Cute, or what?? ha,ha! And there's Tia desperately trying to get at some of the Chocolate -- then when she finnally was able to snag a little piece, she ran to her bed to eat it! Funny!

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Thanks for swingin' by, today! I love a visitor!! Or Thousands of Visitors! ha,ha!

See You Tomorrow! Love and Luck, Ailsa!

I just made a new Internet Connection Page, for folks who are Travelling, or people who are in one of those Relationships where you have to basically live out of your Suitcase -- you know when you go over there and stay a few days, then they come over to your place and hopefully not stay too long... until a Ring Emerges... ha,ha,ha! Anyway, there are tons of times when you are away from your Home Computer, and still need to Access it -- makes me less anxious about actually taking a Holiday, one day...!

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Tuesday, April 13th, 2004. Hey, Baby-Cakes! Little Butter Tart! Is 'Tart' okay? No? Okay, I'll be waaay more sensitive tomorrow, fer sure! ha,ha! I'm reading this hilarious book, The Challenge of Marriage, that I got from the Church a few years ago, when I asked my Minister for some help -- I got this book and laughed myself silly through it -- because it's insanely crazy... here's a little example, "The Four Rights of the Dominant Sex" -- guess which one that one is?? ha,ha! And then there's "Interpersonal Communication without Awareness"and "Jealousy as a Psychiatric Problem"-- it's key information like that that can really save a marriage! ha,ha,ha! Think I might do little tidbits from the book as I go through it, again, to use it as a 'jumping off point' for some fun discussions! The book was originally written in 1946, then released again in 1974, so it's good, current information! yuff, yuff!

Hey, you know my 'Hook Me Up' Page? Well, I think I've made my first 'Site Hook-Up'! Our friend, Woody, found Rhonda's info on the Hook Me Up Page, called me, and I Hooked them up! Voila! Just like that! Dwight met with Woody (at the Bar, of course...) to chat and for Dwight to get his Tile Saw back from Woody -- Woody is an Oil Man, first, but he's the one who first taught us how to tile. What a great skill! I think he does Powder Coating Inspections for the enormous Pipes in the Oilfields -- I know he goes all over the world to do these Inspections, so if you knw anyone who needs their Pipes Checked, drop me a line! ha,ha! I'll keep you posted on the Woody & Rhonda thing, though -- we can just live vicariously through them!

Oh, that reminds me -- ages ago I got a letter from a woman called 'Angel' or 'Angelique', I think, about Trevor, our Carpenter (very good-looking carpenter... you don't have to be good looking to be in the Trades, but a good percentage of them are! WeeHee for Me!! ha,ha,ha! Makes working very easy!). Anyway, I literally have thousands and thousands of e-mails, so I tried to go back and find Angel's letter a couple of times, but to no avail, so if you know (or are!) Angel, please have her write to me, again. Same thing goes if you've written to me and I haven't responded within a week -- it means I either didn't open your letter because it was too generic (or maybe suggested I could grow an appendage I don't even own, or words that are just slightly misspelled so they can get through... very tricky!), or I can't find it when I go back to look. Either way, please write again with a specific Subject Heading -- maybe include 'Site Reader' -- I'd respond to that in a heartbeat! ha,ha!

Oh, and dinny ferget aboot oor wee Adam -- that boy needs a Date! Remember, he's 25, EMPLOYED (Yes, it's true!), and living in Salt Lake City...but hails from New York. Come on, Ladies ... he won't be on the market long! ha,ha,ha! You can reach him directly at . That's how I met him -- he's my contact guy at -- one of my favorite Online Stores! I just heard from Adam, and he's working on some Links for me for their Magazines (they have fabulous Prices, and I love giving Magazines as Gifts...) and soon enough for their new Travel Section. Overstock has everything you could imagine, then a zillion more things! Excellent for little Shoppers like myself!! And with any luck, My Readers!! ha,ha!

Hey, if you know anyone who is going to make a Purchase Online, anyway, send them to My Site, so they can buy it through me -- it helps to Support my Site, and then they'll get hooked on all the fun, too! It's all about 'Word of Mouth', Baby -- I'm not even spending my usual $35.00 a year on Advertising anymore -- now my fabulous, brilliant and helpful Readers are helping me to 'Build My Site'! And I thank each and every one of you!! Tank you very, very much!! (And just so's you know a little bit more about my lovely marriage, Dwight used to get sooo mad at me spending the $35.00 per Year on Advertising -- he thought that was a ridiculous waste of money... ugh. See why I need to make my own income?? ha,ha! I can't wait 'til I can tell him what I think is ridiculous... so click away, my lovely Readers!!)

I caled Ron our Landscape guy, yesterday, and he's coming over this weekend to 'move some Land'. I'm not sure why Dwight wants so much Land moved -- I like it where it is, but he can do what he likes as long as we can get the Spray Grass down this year. Last year we tried Grass Seed, which worked relatively well, but we have an Acreage, so it's just too big an area to cover effectively with Grass Seed in the old-fashioned manner. The Spray Grass is cool because it is literally Sprayed out all over the Lawn to give complete coverage. I think this is the ideal time of year to get that done, before the massive Rain Showers we're all hoping and praying for -- those dry summers are too hard on our Farmers.

Tip of the Day: This is something I tried last night, in an effort to stop Aidan, our 4 year old, from kicking Dwight in the middle of the night when Aidan invariably comes into our bed... I know there are plenty of other Parents out there dealing with the same thing, so if you are having a bother with your kid in your bed, try this... Roll Up a Bath Towel Lengthwise, and place it alongside the person who hates being kicked... And it really worked, too! Now I wonder if I should build a little wall made out of Brick or something to block in my own side of the bed?? ha,ha,ha,ha! (Again, that one's for me -- I have to keep myself amused!!)

Let me go grab you some new Easter Pics! Be right back!

So here's my Easter Table -- I love a pretty Table -- and then a Pretty Table all Full of Chocolate -- that's even better!! ha,ha! Cara made that cool Easter Basket -- she tied a whole lot of the Easter 'Grass' around the Handle of the Basket, and it looked fabulous!



Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! See You Tomorrow!

Love & Luck, Ailsa!!



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And this is the Link to see one of my Site Reader's House -- Jack... he's moving to Saskatchewan, so he needs to sell his home right away. Maybe we can help him out!


Monday, April 12th, 2004. Hi, Honey! You're Home!! Wit' MEEE, your Hosstess wit' da Mostess!! ha,ha,ha! (I'm workin' on that, though... me and My Apple Crumble...! ha,ha,ha!) Did you have a lovely weekend? I hope you had a fabulous Celebration -- whatever it was you were celebrating! I took some pictures (now there's a big surprise! ha,ha!) of the Easter Sunrise Service over-looking the Mountains that Cara and I went to, yesterday morning. It was gorgeous, and a wonderful way to start off our Easter Day. I'll post the pics for you. today.

There are a few thing I was thinking about at the Service -- the obvious stuff, then the not-so obvious thoughts, too -- they're the ones I wanted to mention ... You know what would bring a whole lot more people 'Back to the Church'? Informal, Outdoor Services. And with any luck, Non-Denominational... Everybody is looking for a nice, uplifting, happy experience, and if includes some great Scenery, great Music (I love a good Hymn!) and no Specific rituals, then I think folks would go in droves. I really do. There was a beautiful spot in Ontario where I used to go for Outdoor Services -- I think it was in the Brighten Area -- so hard to remember all the little Towns in that Region -- it's all very pretty. Anyway, they had built some log Beam 'seats' on a hillside beside a Wooded Stream, and that's where the Services were held. Doesn't that sound nice?

Now, I realize that in Cold Climates, we would be restricted to the Warmer Months, but what about places with Year-round great weather? I'm thinking, as always, about California!! That's never far from my mind! ha,ha! But wouldn't it be great to have a Service down at the Beach, or in the Gorgeous Gardens they have down there? I'd go all the time, and I'm sure there are all sorts of Folks who would go, too! Sometimes a Whole Church with all it's Rules and Regulations can be intimidating or daunting to people who may be 'outside the Fold', but still Believe. And I think that's probably a whole lot of folks. There was one Church I went to for almost 2 years, and the last day we went there, one of the women 'Greeters' wouldn't shake my hand -- me. I'm not a 'baddie', and even if I were, that's not nice... and who needs crap like that?

I would hazard a guess that everyone who used to go to Church and doesn't go anymore has a story like that to tell -- then they never go back. Which brings me to another thing I was thinking about, yesterday (probably all these thoughts were brought on by a slight over-indulgence in chocolate...ha,ha!)... you know, we are about the first Generation to have Children who were not raised in any Church. That was unheard of before, even in our Parents' Generation. That's a huuuge Cultural Shift, and I'm not sure what kind of general ramifications that'll have... I truly believe that all these adults and kids who feel displaced or unwelcome in a regular Church would welcome the opportunity to Gather somewhere nice, feel comfortable, and not have to worry that they aren't sure when to Stand Up and Sit Down, or What to Say and When to Say It... It's a big step to walk through the Doors of a Church, but it's easy to stroll down to the Park. Just a little something to think about...

Okay, that's enough of that... back to Building! I got another letter for the Ask Ailsa Page, and you know I can't resist those letters -- I love them! So this one's from John from Ontario, and he wants to build a Two Bedroom, One Bathroom Cottage Style Home in Southern Ontario. I'm trying to convince him, and anyone else, to always, always include at least Two Bathrooms in any new structure -- it'll be well worth the money and effort! More Bathrooms, Less Fights! Trust me, it's true!

And that brings me to the last thing I was thinking aboot... that crazy Dwight keeps going in MY Bathroom in the early morning when only I'm allowed in there -- okay, to be fair, that is my own rule, and Dwight refuses to go along with it, and technically, it's the Master Ensuite Bathroom, so his as much as mine... but that doesn't support my fight, so forget about that! ha,ha,ha! My 'idea' is that Dwight has to stay out of 'My Bathroom' from 5:30 am to 7:20 a.m., since that's when I need the Bathroom, and he never needs (or wants...) to get up any earlier than that. Doesn't that sound reasonable? Yeah, it does to me, too! ha,ha! So twice in this last week, Dwight has been in the Bathroom when I left the room for two seconds to go turn the Kettles on... ugh. Annoyink! So that's it -- in my Next Build, I'm definitely going to put in His and Hers Ensuite Bathrooms -- I'm not sure who is going to get to use the 'His' Bathroom -- it ain't lookin' good for Dwightie right now! ha,ha,ha,ha! (Okay, that one is just for me! ha,ha,ha!)

Tip of the Day: Put in at least Two Bathrooms in your New House at the Building Stage. You won't regret it, since there's bound to come a day when more than one person is in the house, and then you're gonna wish you had Two Bathrooms...! And just for the Record, we have Three and a Half Baths -- a 'Half Bath' is a Bathroom that has everything but a Shower &/or Bath. A Front Entry Bathroom is typically a 'Half-Bath'.

Now let me go grab you those new pictures -- there are some great shots!

So here are some shots from The Easter Sunrise Service out at 'The Big Rock' that Cara and I went to on Easter Morning. It's a piece of rock that 'broke away' from the Mountains during the Ice Age -- cool, eh?

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So there are all the people going to the Service, then the Sunrise, the Service itself (Great Minister from The United Church, by the way!), the Mountain View to the West, then the Procession of everyone leaving, and The Big Rock itself. Rock Climbers use it to practice for their big climbs. Plus, it's fun to hike out to... and the Views are magnificent! What a great way to start off our Easter Morning!!

Oh, almost forgot to tell you -- one of My Site Reades, Jack, is moving out of Calgary to Saskatchewan, so he has just put his House on the Market. If you know anybody who might be interested, here's the Link and you can go check it out! I clicked on to see Jack's house, and it's very nice -- priced at $235,000. in a very nice neighborhood with the most gorgeous Waterfall Park and Lake. And they have a beautifully Landscaped Garden! Tell him I sent you -- I'm sure he'll give you a Good Deal!!

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! I always love to have Visitors! And thanks for 'Clicking and Signing Up' for All the Contests and Free Stuff -- every single thing helps to support my Site!


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Easter Weekend, April 10th & 11th! Happy Easter! I hope you Love Chocolate, since this is THE Chocolate Holiday ... and of course, if you don't happen to celebrate Easter, you can still eat lots of Chocolate and just Celebrate Your Life, right?? Maybe we should ALL do that every now and then -- jus' a big ol' celebration of our lives... now that would be fun! I hope we can have Cake! (Okay, who hasn't had Breakfast?? ha,ha,ha!)

I had to go upstairs there for a minute -- I heard a faint knock at the Door -- why people persist in knocking at the door in a giant house like this is beyond me, but whatever -- really I was alerted to actual people at the door by Aidan, whose relaxed, calm response whenever there's someone (anyone...) at the Door is to run back and forth in front of the door squealing, "Yikes, yikes, yikes, yikes..." It's all very entertaining. Normally, the Dog is right in there barking along side Aidan's squealing, so I usually have to make the two of them stand on the Stairs in the Front Entry so I can open the door, but I glanced out and spotted the Bibles... most folks who are coming over to buy your House aren't bringin' they own Bibles, so-to-speak, so I just motioned "Is this about Religion?" They nodded, "Yes, indeedy!" (I'm guessing...), so I signed back that we already have a Religion... Hmmmm... now, really, is it great timing to try and convert people on Easter Weekend? I've already bought all the chocolates and feel very secure in my Faith...!

So then when I was telling Dwight who was at the door (we're all still in our jammies...), he said I should have opened the door and tried to sell them some Air Conditioning Systems, then I could have told them, "We've already Got J.C., but do YOU need A/C??" ha,ha,ha,ha! Okay, Dwight's pretty funny, so that's a big reason why he gets to stick around, for a while, yet, anyway...

So we watched a great movie last night -- Something's Gotta Give, with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton. Wow -- I wouldn't have guessed it would be as fantastic a movie as it was, so I highly Recommend it... and for all of us who loooove houses, you're gonna love Diane Keaton's Character's House! It's stunningly beautiful (so is she...), with Four Sets of French Glass Doors in one room, a fully glassed in Bow Window in her Home Office, 2-Storey High Windows in the Living Room, a fabulous enormous Island in the Kitchen -- really, the film is worth watching just to check out the house! But the Storyline is fabulous, and the acting was hilarious! Check it out when you have minute! Man, would I love to get my hands on the Plans for that house -- Have I told you I used to spend a lot of time on the Twentieth Century Studios Lot in Los Angeles, California? Yep, so the Outside of the House most likely didn't match the inside of the house, but still, I'd like to see those Plans!

< >

I also really liked the running Theme throughout Something's Gotta Give with the whole 'I Love You' versus the old stand-by 'Love Ya'. I like stuff with word plays, what with bein' a writer, 'n all... but it's true -- when someone adds 'Ya' to then end of pretty much anything, it adds a little bit of distance ('Love Ya', but only this much... 'Miss Ya', but just a litte bit... you get the idea.)

So back to the Big Easter Celebrations -- Cara and I are going to a Sunrise Service -- that's my favorite of all Services -- there's something about being out in Nature, beltin' out the Hymns... I love that sort of thing! And I really like the whole play on the 'Sunrise/ Son Rise' -- love that! The Service starts at 7:00 a.m., so Dwight and Aidan can sleep their way through it at home, then Cara and I can be back in time for the Easter Egg Hunt -- now that'll be a great Morning! And I won't have to chase a relatively small boy all over the fields, since the Service is out in the Open Fields...

Oh, and then we boil our Eggs, Paint them, then go to a nice Hill and Roll Them! It's waaaay more fun than you might think, if this is a new Easter Tradition for you. It's a laugh riot, for some reason... my old dog, Hamish, a great big Golden Lab, used to sit and wait for us to roll the eggs, then run like mad down the hill to get to them first -- we would all laugh ourselves silly -- lots of great Easter memories! You have to Boil the Eggs until they're really Firm, cool them down completely and dry them off, then use Water Colors to Paint the Eggs, or Markers to Draw pictures on the Eggs... and you know those litle boxes of Paas -- I think that's what they're called -- they color the whole egg, then you can add stickers and what-not. That's always fun, too. I boild about a dozen eggs, that way we're all sure to have two each that survive the ride to the Hill, since you only want to Roll the Uncracked Eggs.

The Eggs are Symbolic of New Life, and I think decorating them is a symbol for Beauty in Life, then Rolling the Egg symbolizes the Stone Rolling away from The Tomb. You toss the egg down the hill, and let it roll until it cracks -- sometimes you have to run down the hill, retrieve yo' egg, run back up and try again until it cracks! See the fun?? ha,ha,ha! We bring along some Salt to sprinkle on the Eggs and then we eat them! Delicious! Sometimes it's the really simple Traditions that make a Holiday really Special and Memorable, right?

And here's one more little tricky, tricky recipe that you might like to add to your Holiday Dinner -- 'Nutty Coleslaw'. I always buy the Coleslaw 'pre-cut' in the Salad section of the Grocery Store. Add just enough Mayonaise to lightly cover the Shredded Cabbage and stuff. Put about a Cup of Walnuts or Pecans (I used Pecans when I made this last night...) in a Baggie, then crush them with a Rolling Pin. Add the Crushed Nuts to the Salad, and mix it well. Voila! It's absolutely deeeelicious!

Tip of the Weekend: Buy Silk Plants for your house -- I know, that seems sooo obvious, but what an on-going difference they will make to the look of your place! I happened to buy 5 Silk Trees from Walmart, yesterday, when I was in to buy Milk and some Stickers to put on the INFO Box out on the House For Sale Sign. I found the INFO Stickers at the back of the Store,.looked up, saw the Silk Trees, asked how much they were, and bought 5 of them. I had to really jam them into the back of my Van -- lucky I don't have a Sports Car, no?? ha,ha! I wasn't sure what Dwight's reaction would be with me showing up with sooo many Trees, but it turned out that he loved them, too, Thank Goodness. No fights over that... so I put one on either side of the Big Screen TV downstairs, one in the Corner by the Pool Table, one in the Great Room, and the last one in the Front Entry. Now I need to go back and get some more, because they look fabulous! And they won't wither away, like the rest of my 'Real' Plants!

Let me go get you some pictures of my new Silk Trees, so you can see whether you might like to try that, too .. or perhaps you have, already, and now you want to add some more!

So here are the new Silk Trees -- nice, huh? The Space is so huge that the house just kinda soaks them right up, but I like how they look. The first Three Pictures are of the Lower Living Room and Billiard Room. The third shot is from my Office, through the Windows, thus the 'Glare'!

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Then these last three pictures are of the Main Floor Level, looking into the Great Room from the Dining Room in the middle shot, and that's the Front Entry Tree in the last picture -- not a very good shot, but I'll get a better one some day... I took them this morning before I even had a cup of Tea! ha,ha!

Thank you so much for coming in for a wee visit! Hope you have a great weekend!
Happy Easter! Hope the Easter Bunny is Kind to You!!

Love & Luck (because that's a good combo!), Ailsa!!

<Hickory Farms Easter>

<Easter Gift Baskets><Easter Flowers>

My Whole Page Full of Easter Goodies!!

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Good Friday, April 9th, 2004. Yo, yo, yo! What up wit' my Home-ies?? ha,ha,ha,ha! I love calling us that, since we all love ourselves some Homes,right?! Wow, did you see The Apprentice last night? Does that Omarosa drive you up the wall, or what?? Man, I'd have to Fire her myself -- poor Kwame... but he doesn't say very much, not that I'd want to do battle with Omarosa any time soon, either, since there's clearly no winner in that sort of battle... ugh. She really loves her meals, though, don't she? ha,ha! "Uh, I'm having a nice meal... could you handle that for me? It's just my Job, but it's far more important for me to have Dinner than to make this work for Kwame..." I'm paraphrasing, there, and then I added a few of my own thoughts... not good, though, and I would imagine it'll be a little tricky to get around that behaviour of sabotage out in the Real World. With any luck, she'll see the Show, be shocked herself, then make the necessary changes... she's a Smart Woman, so I'm sure she'll come out on top, but man that was hard to watch ... but excellent TV!! Oh, that Donald -- he knows how to choose 'em!

And speaking of choices, I was surprised at how badly ol' Amy did in her Interviews. You can't answer a question by changing it to suit the stock answer you had in mind -- that's hilarious! I would have laughed, then said the same question s-l-o-w-l-y, and waited for her to laugh, because you have to see the funny side of things or it ain't gonna be an easy ride for any future Employees. Ever worked for a Humorless Boss? Ugh. Can't find another Job fast enough... But didn't I call it a long time ago with Bill, Amy and Kwame going to the Final Three? Trump should call MEEE! ha,ha,ha! (Mostly because I'd love to meet him, and I desperately want to see that 6-Storey Waterfall! ha,ha!) I hope Kwame Wins -- he's my favorite, by far. We'll see, we'll see!

Oh, and on Survivor, you know how I had said Boston Rob had gone up 20 steps in my books for being so sweet about Amber, his 'goilfriend'? Well, his horrible back-stabbing with poor ol' Lex moved him below scum level -- what number is that? ha,ha! You know what I can't stand? Whenever a Player thinks they are in charge of the whole game -- that just irritates me somethin' awful! BUT, I loved the New Buffs, love all the play the Buffs get, and I hope to God I can get some good Contracts with the Buffs from My Site because of that type of exposure to the Buffs! Can't you just see your own Logo on a Buff? Come on, now -- I'm tryin' to make more money than Dwight so I can decide with him about the stooopid Fireplace Mantel! ha,ha!

And speaking of Dwight, I finally broke down and told him at dinner that he had to apologize for his very bad behaviour the other night... so he gave this big long explanation of WHY he did what he did, but nothing about what he said, and still no apology. This is very annoyink, because now I have three full days of stuff I want to talk about, but don't want to go against my new thing I'm trying to see if I can't make Dwight come around all on his own. Stoopid Reverse Psychology! Dwight would do remarkably well on Survivor, because even when he did speak, no-one would be able to understand him, and then he wouldn't remember what he'd just said, so alliances would be easy to break... plus he's really good at Building Houses, so the chicks would dig that! ha,ha,ha! So my new strategy is not working well and more of a bother for me than anything... like when parents Ground their Teenagers -- then who has to really pay, hmmmm?? ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: Be prepared before you have any Interview or go in for any Important Business Meeting. You need to know all about the Company or Organization, Yourself, the Type of People they want working there... oh, that reminds me of an Interview I went on when I was in my very early Twenties... (yes, waaaaay more than three years ago! ha,ha,ha!). It was for Katimavik, I think the Program was called. As far as I know, it still exists, but I went in for this Interview wearing what I always wore for an Interview -- a beautiful Feminine Suit, Skirt 'n all... it never occured to me that they wouldn't recognize that I was wearing a Suit for an Interview, but that I would be wearing my Camping Clothes for the Job, since it was some sort of Camping/Helping Organization... Everybody else who showed up for the Interviews were wearing their Jeans and looked a bit rough -- I'd never seen anyone show up for an Interview looking messy, so I was pretty shocked, myself.

Needless to say, I didn't get the Job, Thank Goodness, and returned to my first love, Teaching, where I made even less money than I would have with Katimavik! Really, I wish they'd pay Teachers better, since so many leave the Profession as soon as they can figure out how to earn more. And it is about the money, because no matter how much you love what you do, you have to feed, clothe and house your family, and that has to come first. Also, there's the small problem of Teachers not having any say over what happens in their Classrooms, anymore, and the Government of the Moment going in and Changing the Curriculum every Two Minutes, but that's a Rant for another day! And I haven't even started on the Homework Issue! See how much there is to talk about?? Must make up with Dwight! I have a very high need to chat, if you haven't guessed that by now! ha,ha,ha!

Hey, it's almost the Deadline for Filing Yo' Taxes, so I quickly made up a new Tax Page for you -- Check out my New Tax Page!

And now for some cute Pictures!

Here's my Two Favorite 'Girls'!! ha,ha! Cara and Tia! And wouldn't you know it, they're both wearing Buffs! Tia not as willingly as Cara... Oh, and Cara is a whole year older, the French Glass Doors behind Cara are Painted White, now, and I have lovely white flowing Drapes on the French Glass doors. Tia hasn't changed a bit!

That's the Settee in my Master Bedroom, and the Sunroom is Off the Master, too, just in case you're new to the Site!

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! See you on The Weekend!

Happy Holidays! Ailsa!!

<Easter baskets and flowers>

<Easter Gift Baskets><Easter Flowers> My Whole Page Full of Easter Goodies!!

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Thursday, April 8th, 2004. Hey, Good Lookin'! Are you all geared up for the Long Weekend? Normally, I love Easter, but this year, it feels kind of weird... I'm mad at Dwight, today -- for the last three days, actually... and I've barely spoken two words to him, and do you think he's noticed?? No! And last night I was so mad, I wouldn't go out in the Hot Tub with him, so he had to go and Float out there all by himself... now that's really showing him, ain't it? I think I've got a good strategy goin' on ... Of course, he gets out the Tub and tells me how fantastic it was...ugh. I'm never gonna get through to him when he's this blissfully unaware!

Hey, you know what arrived in my e-mail, this morning? A little thing you can sign up for Starbucks Coffee and Crisy Creme Donuts! Crispy Creme has just come up to Canada, recently, and I heard about a Brand New one in the North of Calgary, so next time we're up there, we'll be sure to check that out! So here's the Link -- <Sign up for a FREE $10 Starbucks Coffee Card and 2 Dozen Yummy Krispy Creme Doughnuts>. And here's a funny little 'Donut Story' -- who knew there'd be actual stories attached to Donuts, but Donuts are a huuuge part of Canadian Living, so here goes... On the first afternoon after the big incident that made me mad at Dwight, this week, Dwight brought home two boxes of Donuts. No words of Apology, just Donuts... and here I am a full-on Adult, and I'm gonna need some real words -- in addition to the Donuts!! ha,ha,ha!

Good Friday is a Holiday in Canada -- I can't remember whether I had Good Friday off when I lived in The States... well, if you do have a holiday, tomorrow, and you are lucky enough to head out on a mini-vacation, have a great holiday! We are staying home (there's a big surprise!) and guess what -- working on the House! One thing I will definitely do differently in the Next Build is to Hire More Outside Help -- that's hard to do when the other person in charge of agreeing with you happens to be capable of doing many of the tasks at hand, but one person (or Two, when I'm helping him...) is not an effective way to work at most jobs -- it's just too slow. So, if we are still together (!) to do the Next Build, I will be more forceful about Hiring 'Outsiders' for even the 'little' tasks! Wonder how many Donut Boxes there'll be around that Project??

Wow, The Donald is on Oprah, right now -- man, I love working at Home! What fun! I never miss a Show! Yippee!!

<Trump -- How to Get Rich: Big Deals from the Star of The Apprentice
Trump -- How to Get Rich: Big Deals from the Star of The Apprentice

> And it turns out that Donald Trump has a new Book Out -- Surprise! And it's right up our alley -- How To Get Rich! ha,ha! So, of course, I had to immediately go in and make up an Ad for you so you can buy it -- maybe we can all read it together! Now that'll make a Great Gift for the Holidays, too, along with the Flowers and Chocolates!

Oh, and The Donald handed out a little bit of Free Advice on Oprah's Show, too -- the two really good tidbits were, "Don't intimidate people" and Invest in Real Estate! WooHoo! We're already on the right track! Now don't that make you feel good?? ha,ha!

Aidan spent a good portion of his morning trying to convince me that we should take a vacation and go on a Pokemon Cruise -- "It's only for Pokemon Masters, and I am one!", he squeals! ha,ha,ha! That Boy -- he has a very active imagination... he lives in the realm of the Pokemon, and pretty much every conversation comes back around to Pokemon at some point! Cara's friend, Scott, gave Aidan his old Pokemon Cards, and Aidan keeps them in a Stack and cuddles them like a wee girl would cuddle a Doll! Sooo funny!

I need to call our New Finishing Carpenter, Albert, to see if he can give me a quote on the Fireplace Mantels. Or one of them -- Dwight said it was okay to have the Lower Level Fireplace Mantel done, then he'll decide whether there should be on upstairs... you know why I want to make more than Dwight? Because until I do, he thinks he gets to make all the final decisions, and I suppose I feel like that, too, on some level. (It's a low level...) And that's why I appreciate every click and sign-up from my Lovely Readers!

And the Weather is finally getting nicer, so I think it's time to get some quotes for Paving the Driveway. My guess is the quotes will come in around $3,500 - $6,000, so I think I'll get three quotes, then we'll make our decision. Oddly enough, most of the big decisions are mutual -- it's the smaller projects that Dwight wants the final say over... annoyink! But I'll let you know how much our Paving Quotes are, and which one we choose. Then we'll pray for some good weather so we can get the Driveway Paved -- man, that's gonna look fantastic, since it's a beautiful Circular Driveway.

Ooooh, I just about forgot that the New Bachelor was on, last night -- did you see it? Jesse is the Bachelor Guy, and very good looking,and wouldn't you know it, he's Canadian -- and one of the girls he really likes is also Canadian -- I thought they only chose American Contestants for Love, but I'm happy to see that! My favorite 'Girl' is Tara, the General Contractor! You Go, Girl!! We need to get more Women in the Trades, and it's great to see how attractive she is, because being capable in the Trades doesn't mean not being attractive, or being any less a woman -- that's the craziest thing! It's all about taking charge and making more than the average Wage that many women make outside of the Trades... even in the Professions. I don't think there is a Glass Ceiling in the Trades -- and if you find one, you can just break through it wit' yo' hammer! ha,ha,ha,ha! (Okay, that one's for me -- I really like that analogy!)

Tip of the Day: Learn a Skill -- any Skill. Tiling, Organizing, Plastering... whatever happens to appeal to you, because you can always find a job when you have Specific Skill Sets to offer to an Employer, and then with any luck, and if this also seems like something you would like to do, you can set out on your own and Run Your Own Business! Yep! That's another great way to Get Rich! Then you're paying yourself, and not held in by a set Wage determined by your Boss... And if you're wondering how on earth you can learn these new Skills, you can get a job with a General Contractor (maybe Tara, if you're that lucky!!), take some Courses from a local Community College or High School, or Develop your Professional Skills with a Degree. I happen to like a combination of those things, then you'll be ready for anything!

Now let me go grab you some New Pictures! Be right baaack!

It's Easter, so it's all about the Eggs this weekend, right?? Here's the easiest schmeasist way to make Scrambled Eggs for yourself or a big crowd. Hopefully, you won't use the same number of Eggs! ha,ha!

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I always put in Two Eggs per person, then add a wee bit of Milk. Mix that with a fork. Cover it and pop it in the Microwave for the same number of minutes as you have eggs, so 8 Eggs = 8 Minutes... see how easy?

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Use your Oven Mitts to take the Eggs out of the Microwave. You can Serve the Eggs like a Souffle, or chop them up with a knife and fork to make Scrambled Eggs. I serve the Scambled Eggs with Toast and Salsa, which is delicious, and often I make Sausages &/or Bacon on the Side. It's all very healthy! ha,ha!

Thanks for coming in for a wee visit! Happy Easter! And Passover!

See You tomorrow! Ailsa!



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Wednesday, April 7th, 2004. Hello, hello, hello! How you doin', Baaa-by?? Does that sound Spring-like? Perhaps a little 'Sheepish'?? ha,ha,ha! Reminds me of some Engineers I know! Man, I'm a little sleepy, today - I was up 'til 2:00 a.m., last night, creating my new Easter Gifts Page -- I like it -- lots of Flowers and Chocolate -- two of my all time favorite things! I put all sorts of neat stuff that I thought you'd like if you're sending something off to someone you love, which reminds me of an Ad I came across for Mother's Day -- it said, "With Warmest Regards"! ha,ha,ha,ha! Now that's a lovely sentiment for your Mother! I should put it on my Mother's Day Page when I make that just for fun! ha,ha,ha!

Hey, I just got a letter from Bhupinder -- he wants to Build His Own Home in the Toronto, Canada Area. I really enjoy all your Letters, so I like to answer them as quickly as I can. You can read Bhupinder's Letter on my Ask Ailsa Page.

So I just wrote a wee letter, myself, to Ryan Seacrest on his Show, On-Air With Ryan Seacrest -- . . I was watching the other day when Rachel Hunter (Rod Stewart's ex-wife, and lovely woman all on her own...!) Ryan had been on a Tour of Rachel's House when it was up For Sale, but he didn't buy it, so that means he's still looking, right? And doesn't he have a gorgeous Girlfriend (perhaps soon to be a Wife ... I smell May Sweeps!! ha,ha,ha!) who would looove a great big beautiful house?? Hmmmm?? So, of course,I wrote to say he might want to consider Building His Own House, then they could follow the Build on the Show. Wouldn't you tune in for that?? I know I would!

So here's the deal when you're building a really huge, gorgeous house -- that's when you can literally save (and then make, after you've lived in it for a few years, you sell it, then you build yo'self another mansion... ha,ha! You know that's my favorite thing!!) millions of dollars. That's a lot of coin, and I love to see Celebrities going ahead and trying this whole Building thing. And I would really, really love it if I ever got to help them through the Building Process -- for a small Fee, of course! ha,ha,ha! Hollywood (or the Surrounding Area...), Here I Come! ha,ha,ha,ha!

Hey, Donald Trump is going on Oprah, tomorrow, and he's gonna tell us all how to get rich! WooHoo! And how about giving us the Plans to Build that 6-Storey Waterfall?? I'm gonna need that! And all the Candidates will be on who've been 'Fired Off', so-to-speak! Can't wait! Hey, did you like my color choices I used to Highlight their names?? ha,ha! Green for Doanld -- the color of money (although that would have worked for Oprah, too!!), and Purple for Oprah, since she loves "The Color Purple'!

Tip of the Day: Whenever you encounter someone, anyone, in any circumstances, whether it be in Real Life, in Books or on TV, who has really become Successful, Stop, Look, and Listen! Not, Stop, Drop and Roll... that's a whole different sort of meeting... I can't be bothered with someone who clearly has their life in a shambles, barely making it month to month who wants to give me Financial or Life Advice. Puh-leease! Gimme a Break! But when I do meet someone who has their Act together, I want to learn as much from them as I possibly can. Most Successful People are happy to impart their wisdom, and little tidbits of Advice you can take into your own life to see how it can change for the better.

Let me go get you some new pictures!

You know how I told you a while ago that I made a Cookies 'N Cream Cake for Dwight's Birthday on Feb. 25th? Well, he's been after me since then to make another one, so I made one last week. It's very, very involved, what with the Two-ish Ingredients and the 15 minutes, tops, that it takes to make it! ha,ha! And see my two very happy kids enjoying the Cake?? Everybody loves this treat!

** **

So that's what the Cookies 'N Cream Cake looks like from the Top, and those are the carefully selected Ingredients -- that's right, you guessed it -- Cookies ... and Cream! ha,ha! Just Whip up the Whipping Cream, put in about a teaspoon of Sugar while you're mixing up the Cream. I always put the Chocolate Wafer Cookies in a Flower Shape, then put a blob of Cream on each Cokie, then just build it up until you have about 6 Layers.Then you put the last of the Cream on the Top for 'The Icing'.


Now, the extremely cool thing about this Cake is that it looks like a 6 Layer Cake completely when it's ready. It takes about 6 hours in the Fridge, I'm guessing, to be ready... try to keep everyone away until then! The Cream softens and expands the Wafer Cookies, so then it's like a very light Cake, all layered with Cream... gonna try this on the Weekend?? Deeelicious!

See you tomorrow! Hey, click on my Easter Page and let me know what you think!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

Well, this seems appropriate, in preparation for 'The Donald' on Oprah! Soon we'll All Be Rich! ha,ha!


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Tuesday, April 6th, 2004. Hi, Honey! You be Home, again! Good to see you! Hey, and it's the 6th -- that's supposed to be a good day for Financial Success -- I know, that might sound like I'm grasping at straws, but right now I'll take any little piece of positive thinking and run with it...!

Have you been on MSN this morning? I go in to check my Business e-mail first thing in the morning, and I was side-tracked by an interesting Article about buying a 'Fixer-Upper' House. It was a good article, except for the bit about a Coat of Paint being a good way to fix up a house. That is relatively true, but here's the thing about a 'fixer-upper' -- they can cost you far more than buying a Newer Home, and the money to fix the thing up has to come straight out of yo' wallet. With a Brand New House or a House that is in Good Repair, your money is all wrapped up in the Mortgage.

Everybody always thinks they're gonna get all the work done for under $2,000. -- I have no idea where that number comes from, but it's the first number in people's heads when they're thinking of a big reno -- no matter what size... so when the plumber shows up to replace the Bathroom because it's a disaster area, and his quote is $3 Grand for a basic Bathroom Reno, shock waves run through the room. And Painting is no easy chore, nor is it cheap. The painting for this house was somewhere in the $7,000. range -- possibly higher -- we try not to think of it, now, because it was waaaaay higher than we anticipated.

And replacing the Carpets ain't cheap, neither... (yes, I'm playin' with the Language -- no need to get yer knickers in a wee knot! ha,ha!) Man, you can easily go from Zero to $10,000. for flooring, and that's in a smaller home... I just don't want to see folks think they're geting a great deal when it might be the biggest nightmare of their lives... I hate that! As long as you know exactly what you're getting into with a 'fixer-upper', you're fine, but if you want to make a profit on the home, be sure in advance of the Purchase that you won't have to put more time, money and effort into the home than what you will ever get out of it when you're ready to sell.

Have you been to my Renovations Page, yet? I wrote it ages ago, but it's full of great ideas that can really help in a renovation -- just remember to keep your eyes wide open for the actual price of something before you rip apart yo' house thinking it'll be cheap and easy. That'll be your next date after your current relationship falls apart after the Reno! ha,ha,ha!

Now here's one of the weirdest dreams I've ever had, and it happened last night -- and wouldn't you know it? It's 'Plumbing Related'! In my dream, I woke up and went into my bathroom, but the Toilet was gone. Bizarre. So when I woke up 'for real' I was laying there thinking about this crazy dream, and realized it probably is a symbol for something that Dwight can do to take something from me that I can't replace myself. So then after I got up, I thought, "Well, I can just hire a different plumber, and get a new Toilet!", then I felt a lot better... weird, though, eh?? Hmmm, now that I think of it, perhaps that's an even bigger message that I could replace Dwight, should I ever have to... I'll keep you posted! ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: If you're looking at purchasing a 'Fixer-Upper' Property, please-oh-please be realistic about how much it'll cost to truly fix it up, and where that money for the Renovations will come from. Think about how much extra cash you have at the end of a regular month, now, and if it's not more than a Thousand Dollars, you're renovation will be long and tortuous. I know -- that's crappy news, but it's the reality. The beauty of buying a home in good repair or Brand New is you have One Payment a Month (hopefully ... then you'll make one or two 'extra payments' per year with the money you would have used for all the renos...), and you'll live comfortably.

Now let me go get you some Pictures! Be right back...

So here's one of the House For Sale Signs we had Professionally Made Up.


The first picture is the Sign in the Dining Room, beside my very pretty Wine Rack -- see, there's still some left in there! ha,ha,ha! Oh, and that's Dwight's Cell Phone, so For God Sake's don't phone the '809' number! You won't enjoy that phone call! You can call our normal number (995-1462), though, if you're interested in Buying Our House!

The other picture is one of the Signs out at the Front of the House -- Dwight built the Frame to Put the Sign on, and secured it to the Ground with a steel post so it won't fall over in the wind -- and we have some storng winds out here! Then we put a Mailbox at the bottom of the Sign, and I filled the Mailbox with Information Sheets for the House.

The Information Sheets always have the Price, Size of the House, and all the Features of the House, so they give any Potential Buyer a quick Overview of the Property. Of course, everything I do has pictures to go with it, so there are some nice shots of the house too!

Thanks for Coming in for a Wee Visit! Hey, thanks for signing up for the Free Stuff & Contests on my Site -- I really appreciate every 'Click' and every 'Sign Up'! You're keepin' me afloat! ha,ha!The other picture

See you tomorrow! Love & Luck, Ailsa!

< >< ><Need a place to store your stuff? Find a Storage Provider now!>


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Monday, April 5th, 2004. Hey, Baby-Cakes! Sugar Dumpling... My Little Candied Apple...really, I have to start having Breakfast before I 'get to writin'! Ah, well. I'll have my Apple Crumble for One when I'm done this... then I have to go check out some Properties that are up for a Tax Sale here with the City of Calgary. Ironic, since we happened to pick up House of Sand and Fog on the weekend. I'd read the Book when it was one of Oprah's Book Selections, and loved the Book. The Movie with Ben Kingsley was incredibly Powerful -- I highly recommend it. But the whole Movie is based on a Guy who buys a home through a Tax Sale from the County, then all hell breaks loose after that.

What was amazing about House of Sand and Fog was the sheer number of underlying Themes -- I'm sure you can guess that I love that sort of thing! Bigotry, Greed, Excess, Corruption, Power, Love, Compassion, Hatred, Secrecy, it was a great movie! And for me to still be mulling over all the different themes ... now that's the sign of a Great Movie!

So back to the Tax Sale thing -- I've actually been checking into this as a method of attaining Properties for about the last 4 months, or so. I'd heard about it a long time ago, but had forgotten how great a deal it can be. What happens is The City or County takes over a Property where the Taxes haven't been Paid -- there are all sorts of reasons why someone would stop paying their Property Taxes, but it is a legitimate way to Purchase Property, so you don't have to feel guilty about it. I've been wondering if it would be possible to contact the people in advance of them losing their Property, so you could pay them directly. Let me know if you happen to know the answer to that...

Have you ever seen those Ads in the Paper where someone has to sell their house quickly, so you can just take over the Payments and give them a few thousand to get them on their way? I would hope that everybody knows to go ahead and sell their property before they get in so deep that they lose it completely -- that's a sad thing when it happens.

So here's what to look out for in Your Local Newspaper -- I have a Link for Newspapers around the World on my Links Page -- just scroll down until you find it, if you're looking to buy property in a different location than where you currently live... Anyway, the Ad will usually be in the Back part of the Newspaper, and come under the Title Public Notice -- Public Sale of Land. The other thing you can do is go online to your own City, Town or County Website and key in Public Sale of Land. It's worth a look to see what's available.

On a more personal note, my hair is a little crazy today -- it's gone mad with the curls! I've got 'Hot Tub Hair'! ha,ha! Ah, well -- it must be from the Heat or something -- I can't remember why, and I'd forgotten that my hair reacts like that... but I'll tell you, it's fabulous having the Hot Tub up and running! We went in for the first time on Saturday Night, and it was wonderful -- hard to believe we let so much time go by without hooking the Hot Tub up -- this is the Tub that Dwight bought two years ago when we were still in our last house -- we had a Hot Tub over there, too. When we sell our houses, we always leave the cool things in the house -- Hot Tubs, Pool Tables... stuff like that.

Oh, you know what was really funny? Dwight and I were lolling around in the Hot Tub yesterday Evening (we had about an hour and a half before The Sopranos and Arrested Development, two of our favorite Shows...), when Aidan came to the Sunroom Door and saw us -- he had been watching a Show in the Living Room, and Cara was watching him... anyway, Aidan takes one look at us, motions to acknowledge he's seen us, then puts his finger up in the 'I'll be right back' signal. Less than a minute later, he's back with his 'Little Swimmers' on and he's in the Tub! ha,ha,ha! Hilarious! We keep the temperature at a 'Family Friendly' Temperature around 99 - 102 Degrees. We keep it under 99 Degrees when Aidan might come in with us.

And on the off-chance that you've been watching all the Reality Dating Shows, and now you're convinced that Hot Tubs are only for the Dating Couple ... Nope! They are great for families and regular folk -- we get a lot of chatting and laughing done in the Hot Tub. It's just another relaxing place to be, and all the kids can jump in, too -- just no splashing, which is better in any case. The other thing that is fabulous is the Therapeutic Value that the Hot Tub has -- Dwight won't need to go to the Chiropractor so often, and it was the Tub combined with a great Physiotherapist (Scott, where ever he is now...) that healed a terrible Arm injury I had for years (one of my Special Needs Students attacked me when I was teaching in L.A. -- that just happens from time to time in that Field), and a bad Neck Injury from two car accidents out here in Calgary.

I was looking for a Link for Magazines from today, because I still haven't sent my bestest friend, Greg, his Christmas Present -- don't worry -- he'd be in shock if I ever got a present to him on time! His Birthday Gift usually arrive sometime in November but Greg's Birthday is on July 21st... that's just the kind of gal I am! ha,ha! Anyway, I hadn't realized that Overstock has Magazines, too (really, they have everything you could possibly imagine, and then about a zillion other Products after that...!). Anyhooo, I have to Order Maxim Magazine for Greg -- Dwight really likes that Magazine, so I figured Greg would enjoy it, too. I never did find the right link, but I did find this one that is very useful for any 'Wanna-bee' Writers in my Audience. And the best Writer's Magazine is, by far, Writer's Digest, if you want an insider's track to Writing for a Living.<How to Write Articles for Newspapers and Magazines>

Tip of the Day: You know a really easy way to clean your Sponges you use in the Kitchen Sink? Pop them in the Dishwasher whenever you're running it. You can throw them in the Washing Machine, too, but the Dishwasher is the fastest and easiest way to clean the sponges.

I'll go get some pictures for you -- be right baaack!! (Now won't you be surprised if I come back with my Bathing Suit on?? ha,ha,ha,ha!)

Well, it's just one picture, today -- I made this last week when I was procrastinating about doing something else that I've forgotten about now... some important business deal, no doubt! ha,ha,ha! This is the sort of thing I am likely to do when I'm fed up with something not working, or not going through fast enough...

So here's what I did -- I had a Frame from Walmart that I must have bought a few months back, and it happened to be sitting behind a plant in my office. Then I cut out a picture from one of my 2003 calendars that also happened to be within my view from my office chair -- you know how you spin about when you're fed up?? Then I spied some scissors that I'd left on my desk a while ago, and Voila! A little bit of cutting and pasting later, I had a lovely new picture to hang up. And according to the Psychic, Daffodils are very lucky, so maybe that'll help my Business Deal go through a little faster, then those Big Checks will come my way -- also what the Psychic said!! ha,ha,ha,ha!

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit, today!

See you tomorrow!

Love & Luck, Ailsa!

Every day, now, I'm gonna try these new Links -- let me know what you think...When you check them out, it supports my Site, so that's always a good thing, right??


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The Weekend Update for April 3rd & 4th, 2004! It's the Weekend -- YaaHoo!! And guess what's working? No, not Dwight... even better than that -- The Hot Tub! WooHoo! It should be hot enough to get into by Tonight, but I ain't no fooool -- I'm sending Dwight in first! ha,ha,ha! Electricity and Water -- that's a combo Dwight can try, and if he's still okay, I'll get in, too! So what's up? How you doin'?? Did you have a great Business Week -- get a lot done at Work? It's fun to accomplish a lot of stuff, then you can sit back on your laurels (or whatever you call your beeeehind! har, har!) and enjoy what you've done! That sounds good, doesn't it?

I got an interesting thing in my e-mail, this morning, and I'll get the Link for you because it's fun to read and might make you feel good about your Future, which is a positive thing all around... It was from Rose Marcus -- she's an Astrologer that I discovered in a Financial Magazine I like to read. How funny is that?? (The part about the Astrologer being in the Financial Magazine, not the bit about ME READING a Financial Magazine... now how flaky do you think I am -- well, I'm considerably less flaky than what you might currently believe... and one day I'ma gonna prove it to you! ha,ha,ha! Not today, though -- today can be a 'she seems a little wacky' day!!)

AstrolinkAprilforecasts.doc (75 KB) OR You know, I should make an Astrology Page, just for fun... I see me working on that sometime in the near future... ha,ha!

I have been having a lot of fun looking for Contests and Free Stuff for you, though. That stuff is great -- wouldn't it be cool if you were able to Win some huuuge thing, then we could post that on the Site? Here's a couple of Samples -- ooooh, I loves me some Free Stuff! <Get a FREE 60 Minute Phone Card!><Choose from a list of products you can get for free!>

Today we have to put up a nice neat new House For Sale Sign, hopefully with the Mail Box full of Information Sheets that I made up ages ago... I'll take some pictures to show you the Final Project. And Dwight has to put the rest of the Boards on the Deck -- the ones we had to remove to lift the Hot Tub out of the Deck.

Okay. let me go get you some pictures of the Fully Operational Hot Tub!!

Well, here she is -- our beeeautiful Hot Tub, all full of Water and ready to go! WooHoo!

** **

Can you see in the Third Picture how the Railing is 'missing'? Yep, thanks to that crazy wind storm that came out of nowhere last week... so now that whole side of the Deck need to be replaced. Ah, the joys of Home Ownership!

Now I have to run upstairs to make Breakfast for everyone -- Scrambled Eggs & Salsa -- if you haven't tried it, it's delicious!

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! Have a Fabulous Weekend!

Love & Luck, Ailsa!

Oh, and I have Two New Letters on my Ask Ailsa Page, so swing in there for a quick read, too!

So here's the cool thing about the internet -- absolutely anyone can make money with 'Da Net'... and aren't we all up for making a little extra million or so?? ha,ha! But seriously, check this out -- everybody knows somebody who needs a Wholesale Flower Connection -- why shouldn't that be you?? Worth checking into, no doubt!!


<Greenhouse Express>

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Friday, April 2nd, 2004. Hey, Baby! What's Up?? Did you enjoy your April Fools Day Pranks and Jokes, yesterday?? ha,ha,ha! I have to say I really had a laugh when I was writing my bit about Dwight runningo ff to join the Circus -- he would never do that -- they don't Pay enough! ham,ha,ha! Always a Boy to watch the 'Bottom Line'! So the Clown Shoes, Tutus and Leotards are still safely in the Closet, which is an excellent location for them! ha,ha!

I just answered a couple of Questions on my Ask Ailsa Page, so pop in to see that when you have a minute. I get a lot of letters from My Wonderful and Brilliant (not to mention good looking! ha,ha!) Readers, so I'll try to get one or two letters on the Ask Ailsa Page every day -- or a few times a week, at least, depending on my schedule... One letter is from Kara, who was out to visit me last weekend with her wee boy, about Bathroom Exhaust Fans and Building Insurance, and the other letter is from William, a fellow who also went to Queen's University, my old Alma Mater... he's thinking about Building a New Home (as opposed to Building an Old Place...) in Ontario Countryside. I grew up in Ontario, and my Parents Built their own home on an Acreage, too, so that's a nice little connection!

Dwight and I went outside to get the Hot Tub hooked back up yesterday afternoon, and it's almost ready to go -- I put a wee story about that on the Ask Ailsa Page, so you can look out for that -- one day I'll learn how to connect one thing directly up to another thing, but I don't have time to do that, today, what with trying to figure out how I can sneak a nap into my Afternoon routine, 'n all! ha,ha,ha! In a nutshell, though, (which is where Dwight seems to reside a great deal of the time... but I digress for a cheap gag...! ha,ha!) the Tub still isn't running, but it's full of water and looks fantastic! One of Dwight's Electrician Buddies is popping over tonight to have a look at the System and Install a New Breaker...then, I hope it'll work.

Tip of the Day: It's ever-so-helpful to have 'Friends and Buddies', or at the very least Acquaintences, who know something about Construction. They can save you a lot of time, trouble and money, because they can quickly identify a problem or tell you how much something ought to cost. I had a wee visit with a Neighbour, yesterday, and we were chatting about Air Conditioning (who doesn't have a wee chat about Air Conditioning?? ha,ha!), and she was telling me that they just got a quote to have Air Conditioning Installed in their house, which is a bit smaller than our house, and they only need to Cool the Upper Floor of their Bungalow -- well, the quote they got was almost double what it probably should cost them, depending on their current Heating System. I told her I'd send Dwight over to have a wee look -- that one quick visit could save them over $2,000., so that was well worth a conversation, right?? Plus, we got to relax and have some Tea in the Sunroom -- now don't you want to pop over for a wee visit, too?? ha,ha,ha!

Oh, I almost forgot about Survivor and The Apprentice, last night -- what a couple of fabulous shows! So on Survivor, Boston Rob moved up about 20 notches for me when all he wanted to do was 'protect his girl'...Come on... collective sigh... now that's really sweet!

And then on The Apprentice, I was really surprised to see how thrown Amy was when things weren't going well with Hot-Headed Nick. For one, he would make a terrible Partner for her, since he looks like he wouldn't manage well if she has a higher level of success than he achieves, which is very, very likely, given how smart and beautiful she is, topped off with a very temperate Personality... do you see a Movie Career in her Future, or is that just me?? ha,ha,ha! But she seemed to be dwelling on the lack of receptiveness to her all day (by Nick...) instead of being focussd on the Sales Task at hand. And Nick couldn't let go of Amy saying that she felt that Bill was her biggest competition...

My favorite part of the Show was at the end with T-Roy and Kwame. These two guys are at the Top of their Game, and handled themselves with Grace Under Pressure. Very impressive. And very different from how Two Women together in the Past Shows have reacted... we need to train our Girls to handle themselves calmly in the Board Rooms of the World, and The Apprentice is a great Show to demonstrate how to handle yourself effectively... I think the competition is now between Kwame and Amy -- I like Bill, but Bill often doesn't like how other people work, and a good boss needs to let their Employees deal with situations as best they can, otherwise the Boss will end up doing all the work -- Kwame seems to have the best skills in that area -- plus, I want The Donald to keep Kwame around long enough for them to film him working out without a shirt, again... one can always hope! ha,ha,ha,ha! Okay, I know that's just a tad shallow!

Okay, let me go get you some new pictures... be right back!

Do you love a Big Seafood Dinner, and want to know how to make it at Home? Well, you know how I've mentioned that I was a Waitress in a Seafood Restaurant when I was a Student in University? As you might well imagine, I hate to let a learning opportunity slip by me, so I got them to teach me how to cook all the food on their menu while I was there! (And, yes, I was a great Waitress, because I loved to chat with our Customers, and there's nothing I appreciate more than great service...!)

** Crab Legs, Shrimp & Strawberries!

Makes a great Date Meal, too!(This applies only to our Single Readers -- now you Married Readers must know by now that yo' spouse is just gonna get really mad if you try this meal out on a Date that don't include them! ha,ha,ha!)

Okay, so this couldn't be easier -- just buy your Snow Crab Legs (you can get King Crab if you like, but Snow Crab is easier to get into ... fewer cuts to yo' hands in your frenzy to get into the meat..! ha,ha!), and they can be Frozen or Fresh, depending on where you live.

Boil a Giant Pot of Water with a little Salt in it. Put the Crab Legs in the Boiling Water and let them cook in there for 14 Minutes. Take the Crab Legs out of the Pot with Tongs and put them on a Platter. Serve them with individual bowls of Melted Butter -- just pop it into the Microwave for about 20 seconds to heat it up, ready for 'Dipping'! Yummy!!

Take out a Shrimp Ring from the Freezer in advance, and you can serve the Crab Legs with the Shrimp Ring, French Bread, Strawberries, and possibly Baby Potatoes, if you like! All easy to do and it makes for a lovely meal! Now do you want to come over for Tea and stay for Dinner?? ha,ha,ha,ha! We should all have a big meal together, sometime...that would be a whole lot of fun!!

Thanks for swingin' in for a wee visit! I hope I can save you some money, time and stress, too! Wouldn't that be great??

See you on the Weekend!

Love & Luck, Ailsa!

< >

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Thursday, April 1st, 2004. Good morning, Folks. I'm in shock, this morning... I just got up and found a note on the Dining Room Table -- it was from Dwight. He's finally done it, after years and years of threatenening and holding it over my head... he's run off to join the Circus. I knew it would probably happen one day, but I didn't see it happening, today. How ironic, with April Fools, and all... I went to check the Closet, and all his stuff is gone -- the Leotards, the Tutus, those stooopid Clown Shoes -- everybody knew they were too big for him -- who was he kidding?? What a Clown! The Note said he had to," follow his Dream, his pasion" (Dwight can't spell...), and become a Trapeze Artist. Artist my ass -- all they do is hang about all day, but I suppose he is good at that -- plenty of practice, anyway.

Well, I better go clean up -- what a mess -- I think some of his friends must have swung by to pick him up -- what a load of Clowns -- and never enough seatbelts for them all, either. I hope the Coppers nab them and their stooopid little Monkeys, too. Well, I'll tell you -- it's for the'll be good to get that little monkey off my back, at least until next week when he'll be angry about being demoted to 'Pet Patrol', which is just a fancy euphanism for 'Pooper Scooper' -- I hope it's in the Elephant Tent! Now that'll show him!

I need to go collect my thoughts and find the Insurance...

Happy April Fools! Go have a leettle bit of fun, today!! ha,ha,ha,ha! Ailsa!

<Shocking April Fools Day Pranks!>

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Wednesday, March 31st, 2004. Hello, Dear. Dearie. My Wee Dear...okay, who sounds like a Granny, now?? ha,ha,ha! (I can't talk like that -- I Hope to God it's years and years before I become a real Granny! Must remember to keep Cara locked up!! ha,ha,ha!) That crazy Dwight used to call me 'Dear' when we were in our early years... used to really creep me out! I'd say to him, "Ugh, you're creepin' me out! Just call me Baby", so he did and it stuck...and now it's lucky if he says goodnight to me at all, what with the old age 'n all!! ha,ha,ha! (I know, that one is for me -- Dwight's only 45, but I find it endlessly amusing to think of him as 'old' -- now what's that all about?? Probably his 'new look' that he's recently adopted. Of course I have a name for it -- I call it the 'Old German guy moving to Florida'... now, Dwight is German, so I can get away with that, and he would looove to move to Florida... but he's been tucking in his shirts, hiking his pants up and wearing his socks pulled right up to his knees -- all very disturbing! He used to do it for a laugh, but now it looks like he's settling into his brand new look! That ain't right!! ha,ha,ha!)

Oh, speak of the devil, and there he is... (it's an old Scottish Phrase, if you haven't heard it a million times before, usually as you enter a room where people have been talking about you!) Dwight just walked in the door... he's sick today, which is very unusual for Dwight, so I had to run upstairs and tuck him into bed, make more soup for Aidan ( he has a wee cold, too...), then come back down to my goigeous Office to finish up my work for today. Aside from my usual Daily Update (this At Home with Ailsa Page...) and my Ask Ailsa Page, I've been busy making a new Contests & Free Stuff Page for you, my extremely good looking and lucky Readers, who also happen to enjoy saving a few dollars here or there (until you have, say, a couple of hundred thousand dollars, then it's off to buy more Real Estate! ha,ha,ha!)

And if you have an extra minute and are 'curious' about what kinds of 'apparel' I like, you can take a peek at the bottom of my Drugstore Stuff Page ... I hope I got the right picture, but let's just say it would go very nicely wit' mah boots!! ha,ha,ha!

So the Hot Tub is back in it's rightful spot in the Sunroom Deck (it's sunken -- the Hot Tub, I mean, not the whole Deck!...), but the weather has taken yet another turn for the worse, and so has Dwight, so we're going to run the risk of the pipes freezing and bursting, again, if Dwight doesn't have a good snooze to get rid of those icky germs so he can go back outside and hook up the whole Hot Tub... All the electrical needs to be reconnected, then we have to Fill the Tub and turn the thing on -- fingers crossed that everything is working properly! Dwight had me pop out to the Deck to check the temperature of the water that is currently sitting in the Hot Tub from his 'Test Run', yesterday. It's cold but not frozen, so that's a good sign. Now I better go make Dwight some soup, too! And maybe a 'Hot Toddy', too -- hot Whiskey and Water, with a wee bit of honey and lemon, for Dwight's taste!

Crap of all crap -- my Tip of the Day was lost when I was trying to Save it -- this stoopid computer is driving me u the wall, today! Ugh. Well, I'll make it a quickie Tip, then do the one I had for today another day...

Tip of the Day: If you have an 'Older Home' (that can be anything from Ten Years old to over a thousand years old, depending on where you live -- here in Calgary, the City of Everything New, a Ten Year Old Home is considered to be a 'mature' house -- that used to really break me up when I first moved here, but now with all the Brand New Neighborhoods, I get why they say that...) and you want to give it New Life, consider painting the Doors and the Trimwork Bright White. If you have enough money in your budget to replace all the older brown wooden doors, switch them out for White Colonial Paneled Doors or French Glass Doors. You'll be amazed at how quickly and easily that can change the look of your home.

So that's a weird thing -- for some reason, all of my work on this Page has shifted over to the Left Margin -- and here I like it in the middle... now how did that happen, I wonder?? Just another 'puter mystery!

Let me go get you some new Pictures ... be right baaack!!

These are my new 'replacement' flowers for the Front Entry, Second Level... Bright and Cheery -- just the way I like everything, including People!! ha,ha,ha!

** **

Thanks for Popping in for a wee visit -- let me know if you Win Anything, or what kind of ree Stuff you get from my new Contests & Free Stuff Page! See you tomorrow!

Love & Luck! Ailsa!!

These just appealed to me because I looove Easter!


<Easter Gift Baskets >

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Tuesday, March 30th, 2004. Hello, Hello, Hello! Sorry I'm soooo painfully late -- my crazy computer kept freezing up for some unknown reason... well, I'm sure some computer folks would know why, but I don't have a clue... anyhooo, here I am, now! Can you believe it's almost April 1st -- April Fools Day?? Drop me a line and let me know if you've ever done or had a great April Fools Joke...When you're Single, it's always fun to go with the old tried and true "Ooops! I'm pregnant"... or "Hey, I'm getting Married!" These are particularly uproarious depending on your Lifestyle! ha,ha,ha! Now, they would just be shocking and miraculous, so not quite so funny -- ah, how times change... Check out this Link I found for a few laughs! <Shocking April Fools Day Pranks!>

Aaaah, this thing froze, again! Now I'm almost out of time before the Crane gets here -- remember we had to cancel the Crane on the Weekend because the Winds were too strong, but it's a very mild day, today, so the Hot Tub is going to be tested to make sure it'll hold water, then lifted back into the Sunroom Deck. I hope, hope, hope that the Hot Tub is back to normal, so we can get in there, now that the Weather is nice, again!

I better keep this short so I can get it posted... hey, you know what? Quite a few of My Readers have tried my Apple Crumble for One (just because it's tasty and because it's fabulous if you want to lose a few pounds or maintain your regular weight...), including Kara, who was over here in my real house (not just on-line!) on the Weekend. Let me know if you've tried it, too, and maybe we can put some success stories on the Site.

Tip of the Day: I just found this out from Cara's Boyfriend (!), Scott, who happened to work for a Paving Company last summer... We need to get our Driveway Paved, but the weather turned horrid before the Driveway could be poured, so we've been waiting and waiting for some warm weather to get going on that, again... So here's the Tip -- if you've ever wondered how hot it has to be before you can Pave your Driveway, it has to be at least 18 Degrees Celsius or 66 Degrees Fahrenheit. Good to know, right? And it should remain in that temperature range for about a week, I'd say, to be sure it doesn't freeze.

In Calgary, Alberta (Canada), we can go from Zero to Sixty in one day, then back down to Zero, so to speak, so that's what you have to avoid because it's very expensive to Pave your Driveway, especially if it's huuuge like ours! Ah, well, I looove the Circular Drive and I'd put another one in where ever it would fit in any future build.

Oh, and speaking of the whole 'Boyfriend thing', I was really trying to steer Cara away from the Dating Game until she was 16, but she's only a month or so shy of that (Cara's Birthday is May 11th!), so that's not bad -- close enough, and Scott is really nice, so she's picked well! Now here's the really funny thing -- we never for a minute thought the Boyfriend Thing would work in our favor -- you only think of the not-so-great things that can happen, being parents, but Scott can fix our VCR and bring over his old childhood toys for Aidan, so Aidan thinks he's hit the jackpot, what with a particularly pretty Older Sister 'n all! ha,ha,ha,ha!

Okay, let me go grab you some pictures ... be riiight back!

Can you tell from these pictures how much area we have to cover with the Paving? Oddly enough, there wasn't much time between the first two pictures of the day we put the Trees around the Driveway, and the First Snowfall...

** **

I want the whole area in front of the garage doors paved, then all around the Circular Driveway. I'll tell ya', it's great driving right up to the Front Door -- Dwight always 'brings the car around', if it's parked in the garage -- I don't think I've ever gotten in the car in the garage -- now what does that mean?? Should I just change Dwight's name to 'Jeeves' and get it over with? ha,ha,ha,ha!

Thanks for Popping in for a Visit! See you tomorrow!

Love & Luck! Ailsa!

Oh, I happened upon these Links this morning when I found the April Fools Day Stuff -- that's the Birthday of my favorite old Dog, Hamish (he was a beautiful big Yellow Lab...) and my old Webmaster, Steve ... well, he's not that old... he'll be turing 24, I think! ha,ha,ha!

You know me -- I love a good deal!!

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Monday, March 29th, 2004. Good Morning, Sunshine! You're looking bright and cheery, today! I hope you had a lovely weekend, got some stuff done around your place, and saw The Sopranos!! ha,ha! If you did see The Sopranos, did you love Tony's note to Dr. Melphi?? See why it's sooo important to learn how to spell? So when you want to tell someone you have a crush on them, you'll be able to say you hold thenm in high "riggard"! ha,ha!

You know what I just remembered? When Dwight and I first met (9 years ago...), I was living in Ontario, Canada, and Dwight was out here in Calgary, so he used to write me letters -- hilarious when I think of that, now, because he's not a boy to put pen to paper, except to write out Bills (!), so that must have been hard for him. Anyway, there are plenty of men (typically men...) who can't spell, don't need to be able to spell, because they have a Secretary to do that for them! Funny. But the thing that gave me 'paws', was he put a little heart over the 'i' in Dwight, which I took as a sure sign of insanity... and perhaps I was right! ha,ha,ha,ha! (Okay, that one's just for me!!) Turned out he was trying to make sure I knew how he felt about me... so it was okay in the long run... and he doesn't do the heart thing anymore, so that's lucky!

Hey, guess what I did on the Weekend -- I had my first 'At Home Visit' with one of my Site Readers, Kara... and you know how I always say how Smart and Good Looking My Readers are? Well, wouldn't you know it -- I was right! I knew it! And so now my feelings about how brilliant and talented My Readers are are confirmed! (Weird to put two 'are's together -- now we're pirates!! And we're gonna need some Parrots and Eye Patches...) My daughter, Cara, took a picture of us, so I'll post that, today!

We had a bizarre thing happen just when Kara was leaving -- Dwight was outside working on the Hot Tub, which is'out standing in the field, so-to-speak, when a huge gust of wind swept up and lifted the Hot Tub Cover up off the top of the Sunroom Deck and crashed through the Deck Railing. Thank God Dwight wasn't working right below the deck, where he usually is working, because the Hot Tub Cover flew over at such a force that it literally stood right up and crushed through the metal rails... wild.

We did have the Hot Tub Repair Guy over (turns out he does have a name -- John..., which was ironic, since we had just watched the Final Show of Sex and the City, when we find out Mr. Big's name is John, and we had been going around calling our Hot Tub Repair Guy, 'Mr. Hot Tub Repair Man'...we're witty like that! ha,ha,ha!). Anyway, Dwight had to saw out a big square from the bottom of the Hot Tub Base, then remove the Foam that covered the Plumbing. Glad that wasn't my job! It only took about an hour to replace all the Jets and Plumbing in the Base of the Hot Tub, but we had to cancel the Crane to lift the Hot Tub back into the Deck because of the high winds, but we would never have thought the wind would be able to pick up the Cover. So Kara got a little taste of what really happens around here!

Oh, yeah, and Cara wanted to watch Julia Robert's new movie, Mona Lisa Smile, on Saturday Night, so we rented the DVD -- what a great movie! I wasn't all that sure about it, at first, because it didn't seem like it had done well at the Box Office, but I think this is one of those Films that will do very well as a Rental. I think they missed the mark when they were advertising it, though, because they made it look like Julia Robert's Character was some sort of bumbling young professor, when in fact she was a great strong character with plenty of depth. And I loved the whole play on the Advertising from the 50's where the Husband measures his Wife's legs for just the right Ironing Board! ha,ha,ha! I know Dwight checked out my legs, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't for ironing! Although, now that we're married, maybe that is what he was thinking about!! ha,ha,ha,ha! It's a great Flick -- rent it when you get a minute!

< >You know why I chose this Link? Because I used to be completely obsessed (is there any other way to be obsessed?? ha,ha!) with finding 4-Leaf Clovers. (And because we watch a lot of DVDs, and I thought you might, too...) Anyhoooo, no matter where I went or what I was doing, if I spotted a Clover Patch, I'd be over to scan it for 4-Leaf Clovers. And I wouldn't stop looking for them until I had a certain number of them -- 3, 5, 7 sometimes 11...I liked to make a little bouquet out of them ... still like me?? ha,ha! Now, for some very odd reason, when I look into a Clover Patch, my eyes are drawn instantly to the 'Four-Leafers' -- who knows why. I have 4-Leaf Clovers pressed in every book in the house, and when I open up my wallet (squeeeeeeak!!), 4-Leaf Clovers fall out! So when Ellen was talking about Clovers about a week ago, I went to get one for her to pop it in the mail. It's lucky to find a Clover, then pass the Luck along, so that's just what I'll do -- soon as I can remember to mail the letter! Thank God for e-mail, or no-one would ever hear from me at all!

Tip of the Day: I'm thinking of this Tip because I hate to iron, even though my Ironing Board is a good height for me (Dwight measured it -- ha,ha,ha!), and I happen to be doing an inordinate amount of Laundry today, because my life is chock full of exciting things like that! The Tip is to Turn the Dryer on and let the Clothes tumble around for at least 10 minutes before you take them out to Fold them. With any luck (think 'Clovers'!!), you won;t have too many wrinkles and you can just smooth the clothes with your hands. I do have a wee Steamer for any wrinkles that Dwight is annoyed about, and he's welcome to use the Steamer any time he likes... har, har! And so I don't hear many complaints...

Let me go get those new pictures for you! Be riiight back!

So here we are -- that's Kara, My First Site Reader to come in for a real visit 'At Home With Ailsa'! ha,ha!

** **

Then there's the New Plumbing for the Hot Tub. Dwight says it's a Forced Air, I think. And then there's the poor Hot Tub up on it's Side, with the Braces that Dwight Built -- good thing he did that, what with the crazy wind, yesterday!

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! Always lovely to see you!

Love & Luck (couldn't we all use a bit of both?!), Ailsa!!

This is a good Deal of the Day -- in case you have Hardware or Home Improvement Stuff to buy!

< >

< Ace Hardware One Day Only Sale - Free $25 Gift Card >

Ask Ailsa -- I'm getting new questions every day!

And, of course, have a wee look at my new Page!

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It's The Weekend Edition! March 27th & 28th -- can you believe that -- the end of March, already?? Hi, Honey! You're Home! With Meee, Ailsa, you lucky thing, you! And we'll have sooo much fun -- what with all the milk and cookies, 'n all...what's that? You can't reach them? Not to worry -- I'll eat your portion, then report back to you on how tasty they that's the best kind of Visitor, ain't it -- someone you can chat with who lets you eat all their cookies?? ha,ha,ha!

Well, Dwight arrived home early on Friday Afternoon to tell me the Crane Guy was already at the house -- I wasn't expecting the whole Craning of the Hot Tub to happen until Saturday Morning, so there was a bit of a scuffle to get things together, but the whole thing went very smoothly. The thing about Hiring a Crane for any Project is to be prepared as much as you can in advance, since you typically pay by the Hour. In order to be able to lift the Hot Tub out of the Sunroom Deck (because the Plumbing underneath the Hot Tub needs to be replaced...), Dwight had to first disconnect all the Electrical and other Plumbing Connections, then remove all sorts of Boards and Beams that were on the Deck surrounding the Hot Tub.

Then when the Crane Operator was here, Dwight worked along side him to secure the Slings around the Hot Tub so it could be raised up and over the Deck Railing. Thank Goodness Dwight has so much Boating Experience, because I noticed there was a lot of knot-tying going on -- and not your regular knots, but the fancy ones Dwight is good at doing... Because Dwight works with Cranes all the time with his Company, D.K. Mechanical, he knows how to manouvre the Item that's being moved-- someone generally has to stand beside it to steer the item in the right direction. I'm good at steering people in the right direction, but not enormously heavy objects seemingly flying through the air -- that's just outside my realm of comfort! But I'm happy to take lots of pictures!

Now the Hot Tub is on its' Side, waiting for Dwight and the Hot tub Repair Guy to fix it -- I was going to say 'her', but maybe that's a bit weird for you! ha,ha! Ah, well. We get some pretty crazy winds coming up out of no-where in the Spring, plus it's a good Safety Precaution to build a solid Brace on the Tub. Dwight ran over to the Garage, cut some Lumber, grabbed his Drill and ran back over to the Tub to build the Braces before the Crane Operator removed the Hook from his Crane. Now the Tub is good and Safe, so it'll be okay to work on the underside. Poor thing.

The nights have been sooo starry, bright and clear, lately, that now we can hardly wait for the Ho Tub to be fixed. Our daily ritual used to include popping into the Hot Tub to discus our days -- does it sound like we sit around in the Sunroom or lay around in the Hot Tub a lot?? ha,ha,ha! Work Hard, Learn to Relax, right??

Hey, I'm watching a new little Show called 'Open Homes', where they take a couple of houses where the Owners want to put them on the Market,and revamp them to increase their Value. That, of course, doesn't 'jive' with what the typical 'Appraisers' think -- they claim to base the value of the home on 'concrete items'...Personally, Ican't be bothered with Appraisals -- the Value of the Home is what it will fetch in an Open Market. If the Appraisals are there to protect the Banks from Drug Lords who are selling their houses at some absurd price to their other friends, the Drug Princes (okay, I'm just making that bit up -- it's jeest a leettle stoooory!!), in order to 'clean up their money' (money laundering, if you were nodding off during the last sentence, right after the mention of the word 'Prince' -- "Oh,I know this story", then you started to lose interest...), then I think that's hilarious. For one, I'm a pretty sure that Drug Lords (and Princes) don't need a Mortgage... it appears they have their very own money.

The whole notion that every house is worth exactly what someone else sold their house for around the corner is insane -- what moron came up with that one? People sell houses for a variety of reasons, so if one person has been strong-armed into selling their home for a fraction of what it's really worth because they have to move or have already purchased something New, and now they live in fear of carrying Two Mortgages (again, this ain't happenin' to the Drug Lords...), that has absolutely no bearing on how much the house down the road should cost. The sooner we do away with that crazy notion, the happier all the Home Owners will be. Besides, the Appraisal should only be in place to ensure that the House in question is worth the amount of the Mortgage that is placed on it. Doesn't that seem fair?? Let me know what you think -- maybe we can get a few of My Readers Opinions on this whole thing...

I lost track, there, for just a minute... and here I was only going to mention that they had a Heart Shaped Flower Garden on 'Open Homes'...the Grass was cut out in a perfect 'fat heart' shape, and they had filled the heart with Flowers and Shrubs -- what great idea! Now I want to try that, too -- think Dwight'll go for that?? ha,ha,ha!

And now for some pictures of the Hot tub and the Crane (like Beauty and the Beast, only two inanimate objects...think it'll fly as a love story? No??).

Here's the 10 Man Hot Tub still in the Deck. Then Dwight is hooking up the Slings to the Crane Hook -- see how you would want to feel comfortable doing that job??

* * *

And then there's my poor Tub up in the Air -- I gotta tell ya', that's a bit nerve-racking watching the Tub flying around! The final Stage is to lower the Tub to the Ground, then tip it up on its' Side. That's when Dwight ran over to the Garage to cut the lumber to build a couple of Braces -- one for each side of the Tub.

I'll let you know how it goes with the Hot Tub Repair Guy -- who knows -- maybe the next time I'm writing, I'll be all relawed from lounging around in the Hot Tub! Can't wait!!

Thanks for popping in on the Weekend! I hope you're wearing your jammies!!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!

You can actually get all sorts of Tickets with this Link,but, of course, I'm pining for L.A., so I liked this one the best!

<Hard-to-find tickets to Los Angeles Lakers at>

Ask Ailsa -- I'm getting new questions every day!

And, of course, have a wee look at my new Page!

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Friday, March 26th, 2004. Hey, there, Good-Lookin'! Can I call you 'Schmarmy'? Don't worry -- that's a good name -- it comes from 'Smarty', then morphed into 'Schmarmy'... if I could add 'schm' to the beginning of every word, I probably would, but then even fewer people would stop drinking long enough to read my work, or listen to me in general, although, really, you wouldn't have to stop drinking just for reading or listening, would you? I'll ask Dwight, as soon as he puts his glass down... ha,ha,ha! I'm kiddink, of course -- he drinks straight from the bottle...har, har. Okay, onto more serious stuff -- and Don't Drink and Drive, or Read and Drive... just Read OR Drive... and for Goodness Sake, please don't ever do them all at the same time. There -- that'll be my Public Service Announcement for today. Ain't that nice?

It took a while for me to Post my Daily Update, yesterday, because My Server was doing some sort of 'switch-over', or something like that... and on the one day when I actually got the Daily Update done by Noon! It's all solved, now, so I'm right back to normal..ish! I've been looking for a little 'window of time' to create a New Page for one of my favorite new Stores,, so so I grabbed the opportunity and built it -- swing in and have a wee look when you get a minute.

There are sooo many cool things about, but one in particular that I thought you would be interested in is their 'Worldstock' Program. They buy Products from around the world (thus the name...!). Overstock looks for very unique products that would sell well on the Site, pays the Artist or 'Craftsperson' what they want for the Item, then gives them a percentage of each sale from their Product on Overstock. Isn't that a great Program? So I thought you might BE someone who would have such a Product, or know someone who does... anyway, wouldn't it be neat to see our own stuff on the Overstock Site??

PLUS, I'm trying to find Adam, the Marketing Exec. I talk to at Overstock at little Date, here or there (hopefully, 'there', since he's in Salt Lake City, so it would be easier to meet for coffee if the date were 'there'...). Anyhoooo, Adam is 25, very, very clever, witty, and he has a job!! WooHoo! It's a myth that chicks dig men with no jobs -- no, no, no. Women are most often looking for a man with a job! ha,ha,ha! So if you (or someone you know) is interested in 'talking' to Adam about a Date or a Product, you can drop him a line at Let me know how it all works out! ha,ha!

Hey, I'm watching Famous Homes and Hideaways (it turns out the Host's Name is Sonia Benezra...), and they're at Aidan Castle, today! It's in Scotland, of course, and we love anything that happens to have one of our Names in it! My wee Aidan is busy building me a 'diamond' out of these foam squares that can be formed into blocks ... he says he knows how much I like Diamonds, and that's why he's building that! Aidan builds all sorts of things from the second he gets up until he crawls into our bed at night... yep, 'our bed'...ugh.

We're both completely fed up with that, but it's hard to feel like fighting with a sleepy 4-year old at midnight (not to mention a sleepy 45 year old!! ha,ha!) ... so our new 'tight house rules' are, "No kicking or punching in the middle of the night..." And Aidan cheerfully agrees to that, then immediately falls asleep. Last night I tried to carry him back to his own, barely used, room, but he woke up right away, got his pillow and made his way right back to our bed. He says it's really comfy in there, and I suppose that's true. I'm hoping that School will wear him out completely, and he'll get onto a normal schedule, and sleep in his own room consistently... fingers crossed! But he's a boy after my own heart, and he has my Inner-Clock, so he needs very little sleep. I generally get about 5 hours sleep, which isn't very much... that's why I was soooo excited, yesterday, at the prospect of possibly going back to bed for a wee nap -- the whole bed to myself, 'n all!

You know what's really funny? It crossed my mind the other day that when you're in your 'Early Adulthood' (16-32, or so...), all you do is dream of having someone to share a bed with (in a good way -- nothing weird, and certainly not any sort of 'rental program', or 'work-to-own' deal, although, that is one possible way to look at an Engagement Period... ha,ha,ha!). Then you find someone, and quickly discover how much room they take up, then you spend the next section of your life (or the rest of your life, if you're licky enough to have found the right one...!) trying to figure out how you can get the whole bed to yourself, again! Funny, eh? These are the earth-shaking things I think about when I'm all by myself -- finally!! ha,ha,ha!

Oh, and before I forget... did you see The Apprentice last night? Man, I love that Show! And am I happy to see Katrina hear those magic little words, "Yo' Fired!" ... Yippee! She had to go -- you can't get into a snit every time things don't go exactly your way... that was just annoyink! Pretty Girl, though, and Dwight's gonna really miss her Legs... Oh, but my favorite bit of the Show was the 6-Storey High Waterfall! That's what I need! (I realize I have 'want' and 'need' slightly confused, but then, that's just the way I think... how long before you think I can get that?? We should take Bets...! ha,ha!) So that was actually pretty close in style to what I do want to build -- only I think it would be cool to have a Waterwall extend to Two Storeys, which is a lot more 'do-able'... And the Living Room could overlook it... and it could Flow into the Lower Living Area -- let's say the Theatre Room... hmmm, now I'll have to stop what I'm doing to draw out some new House Plans!!

Tip of the Day: (I almost forgot!!) Try to stay focussed and on what was I saying?? Oh, right. If you ever want to really Brighten up a Front Entry or Laundry Room, and there already happens to be a Closet there, go ahead and remove the Old Doors (or Install the New Ones during a Build...) and put in Mirrored Sliding Doors. Skip the Bi-Fold Doors, where-ever possible -- little fingers can get hurt in them, and a Regular Door almost always looks better. We replace the Front Entry Closet Doors in a Condo we first lived in, right before we Sold the Place, and what an amazing difference it made to the First Impression for Potential Buyers! Now we put in the Mirrored Doors so we can see what we look like on our way out the Door! ha,ha,ha!

Okay, let me go get you some new pictures.. be right baaack!!

You know how I was telling you we put in the Mirrored Sliding Doors in the Laundry Room, last Weekend? And I only had to wait 18 months for that job to get done?? Ah, well, it's done, now, and it looks fantastic! The whole Laundry Room has a lovely open and cheery feel!

** ** **

The First Step to Installing Mirrored Sliding Doors (or any Sliding Doors, for that matter...) is to Drill a Hole through the Floor so you can attach the Bottom Slider Rail -- see it in the First Picture? Then you attach the Top Slider Rail, which comes with a pretty little Cover Plate... (I find it helpful to have Two Strong Men around to do this work! ha,ha!) Then you Lift the One Mirrored Door and Set it in the Track at the Top, then at the Bottom. Then the Next Door -- same thing. And Voila! A gorgeous New Room!!

In case you're wondering who the Two Strong Men are, the one in the Second Picture is my Husband, Dwight, and then that's our New Employee, Sean, who just happens to be 23, employed (!) and Single... I feel like I'm runnin' a little Dating Service, ovah he'ah!! (Think Boston Rob from Survivor!! ha,ha!)

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! Tell all yo' friends, and three of yo' enemies (there may be some cross-over, there, depending on your 'Interpersonal Relationships'! ha,ha,ha!) -- the important thing is to tell folks about my little site, -- the more the merrier! OR, 'the more the richier...' -- something like that -- it's hard to remember these things! har, har!

See you on the Weekend!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!

Here's a little sample of my Page -- check out the Boots -- they're goigeous!!

<>< Part of!><>

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Thursday, March 25th, 2004. Yo, Baby, Yo, Baby, Yo! What's up wit' you and yo' house?? ha,ha! I'm working in my Dressing Gown (as opposed to the regular Ball Gown...), this morning, because Dwight had to leave really early, and I am determined to go back to bed... except that I turned on my Computer, just to see if there was any urgent e-mail business to take care of before heading back to my nice comfy bed, and here I am... still on the computer and still in my Jammies! Hope no-one comes to the Door! ha,ha,ha!

Ah, well. I've been working away behind the scenes to get The Buffs out there in a big way... I'll let you know how it all works out, but I think I've hit on a fabulous Fundraiser (or good old-fashioned Profit Maker...), so we'll see, we'll see.

And then it occurred to me that it's almost Tax Time, not the most wonderful time of the year, and that's why you don't hear a lot of Songs and special tunes, "It's Tax Time, It's Tax Time, My Least Faaavorite Time of Year..!" I love to make up wee songs -- and I rarely need any sort of special occasion -- Dwight cleaning up the house has a pretty little ditty -- "Mr. Clean, Mr. Clean, He is such a crazy fellow; Mr. Clean, Mr. Clean, He is driving me insane..." It's all sung in a gleeful way, so you can actually get away with a fair bit of stuff if you just put a little lilt to it! ha,ha,ha!

Here's your 'Psychic Moment for the Day', which I'm sure you're on the edge of your seat to hear... or you're on the way to the kitchen... or some other room...Me, I just ran up to grab a wee bit of Chocolate, since "It helps me write..."! I found out what all these Symbols mean when I had my Tea Leaves Read this past Monday (no, not a Past Life... although I can't prove that... whatevah!). So if you're a long-time Reader, you'll know that I am completely obsessed with Water Walls, Waterfalls, and now I've added Fountains to that list. I love the sound of Water Running, flowing, trickling (like a Babbling Brook -- 'shut up already!', you get to shout at a babbling Brook... har, har!) -- I just love the Water. So it turns out that a Fountain is a Symbol for Peace and Prosperity in Your Home. Now that ain't a bad combo, so must get me a Fountain!! Maybe Dwight'll put one in the New Patio Garden for me -- why not? I'm worth it! Right?? ha,ha,ha!

Hey, The Apprentice is on TV tonight -- Go Donald, Go Donald...! The Apprentice is definitely one of the best Shows on TV, these days. Did you hear the rumour that it's required watching for some of the MBA Courses around the Nation? ha,ha! And for good reason, because it's not only incredibly entertaining,but you'll walk away with a little golden nugget of information to make your own Business Better, or be a more effective Employee. And with any luck, you might see yourself as an Enterpreneur and cast out on your own one day!!

We have an on-going discussion after each and every Apprentice Episode -- Dwight is sure that if HE had been on the Show, he would definitely win. I say, "No, Schmimie (because that's what I call him -- it makes perfect sense to me!!), YOU would make a terrible C.E.O. -- you make a great Boss and Owner, but you have to be calm, cool and collected to be the C.E.O., and that ain't you, Baby!" Then we laugh and laugh, because Dwight really enjoys the thought that he might be even a tiny bit like Donald Trump! ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: Well, I saw this on Ellen, last week, when she had 'The Skunk Lady' on her Show. It's a little Tip to prevent small animals from digging up your yard... and I think this Tip would work if you have a pretty small Yard, or you have a Bank Account very similar to Donald Trump's, since it involves covering your Whole Yard. Anyway, and I hope there's no problem with me telling you this... when you are ready to lay the sod (I already have a little joke about this on my Landscaping Page, so let's just say it was a joke involving Dwight, who is the folly for many a laugh for me!!), Roll out the Ground, first, then put on a layer of Chicken Mesh Wire, then lay the Sod. (And then go get yo' spouse and make some lasagna...) The Wire will prevent the Animals from digging in the Lawn.

Now if you're on an Acreage where you are probably more likely to have this problem, you might want to have something in your Garden that might attract an Owl (again, that reminds me of Ellen... she has an Owl in her Garden and she imitates it all the time - hilarious!). It's kind of gross, but the Big Birds will 'take care' of many of the little problems. Yuck! But that's how Nature works, so what are you gonna do?? Buy plenty of Chicken Wire, I guess, or don't look too closely at your garden!

Okay, let me go grab you a few new pictures! Be right baack!

Here are a couple of my favorite Windows -- it's a little tricky to see the Interior Bedroom Window through the Plants, but if you peer through, you'll see Dwight and Aidan through the Interior Window from the sunroom into the Master Bedroom.

** **

The third picture is the beautiful Window in the Master Ensuite Bathroom -- it's a full unit but it looks like Glass Block. The Window reflects the light at the varying stages of the day, so it goes from this gorgeous shade of Blue to Pinks, Purples and Black. I looove it, and I'll definitely use this style of Window in any Future Build.!

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Thanks for coming in for a wee visit! See you tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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Wednesday, March 24th, 2004. Hey, Baby-Cakes! Sweetie Pie! Honey buns...I know, that is slightly inappropriate, but it does make you think you dooooo have a lovely beeehind, don't it? ha,ha,ha! It's all about how you feel about yourself, ain't it?? I'm just here to bolster your Self-Opinion, then who knows what kind of great things you'll go out in the World and do!! Self Confidence Rules!! (Now, why don't we see that on T-Shirts is beyond me!! ha,ha!)

Hey, you know how I watch my favorite Morning Shows while I'm writing My Daily Update, because my Office is all Windowed in, and I can easily see the Big Screen in the Lower Living Room... Well, this morning Kathy Griffin (one of my favorite Female Comediennes!) was on The Wayne Brady Show, and she was saying about a Comedy Competion for Women on -- the Contest is open until March 26th, so if you happen to be a 'goil', and youse funny, go ahead and submit a joke! You never know....!

Dwight has to call the Crane Operator, today, because we watched the Weather Forecast last night and it looks like we have about 4 more days of nice dry weather, which is what we need to have the Crane Drive on the Lawn over to the Hot Tub Deck. Dwight has already removed all the boards around the Hot Tub, so it can be lifted straight up and over the top of the Deck Railing onto the Ground. Then the Fellow is coming over to replace all the Plumbing and Pipes under the Tub (we aren't sure where exactly the leak is, so it's better in the long run just to replace them all, rather than getting the wrong one and having to get the Crane back again to start all over... We're all excited at the prospect of getting the Hot Tub up and running -- and just in time for Spring! We keep the Temperature at 95 Degrees in the Cooler Months, then in the Summer, we turn it down to about 85 Degrees, then it becomes a 'Cool Pool' -- works for us!!

Well, you know how I went to the Psychic this past Monday? She kept seeing the letter 'W' in my Tea Leaves, and I couldn't think of anyone I knew with a first name that started with 'W' (reminds me of Woody Allen's old joke about his girlfriend 'W', the Roller Derby Queen, who wouldn't tell him the rest of the letters in her name -- I think that's from Woody Allen's Without Feathers, which is hilariously funny...). Anyway, it dawned on me this morning that I have a Website, and what are the first three letters on any website -- 'www'! Now, why didn't that occur to me over at Grace's house?? So maybe that was the big connection!! (Fingers crossed for Success!)

I spent a few minutes, this morning, going over my Biography, because I couldn't remember whether I had put my Last Name on that Page -- turned out, I hadn't -- I was a little anxious about that when we first put the Site 'out there', that having my Full Name (Ailsa Forshaw) on the Site would be a problem.... but I'm not afraid, anymore... I've changed a lot in the past few years, and I'm not nearly so fearful as I used to be, Thank Goodness! Fear is crippling, let me tell you. Anyhooo, I hadn't realized how much time had passed since I wrote the Biography, so I wrote a quick Update for that page, too, and later I want to create a new Page just for, because that is one of my favorite new On-line Stores -- they have an amazing selection and fabulous Deals, and you know how I love a good deal!! ha,ha! I'll let you know when I get that done -- or at least started!! Hopefully, today!

Oh, and I've gotten a couple of new 'Ask Ailsa' questions, so I'll put those on the Ask Ailsa Page, too...busy day!! But first, I have to go and make Aidan some Popcorn, since he just ran into my Office to tell me how much he looooves Popcorn! ha,ha!

Hey, if you haven't seen The O.C., yet, it's on tonight -- and I think Survivor is on, too -- we need our weekly fix -- and it's a better value than Crack, according to Dwight, who is always looking for a good deal, too! ha,ha,ha,ha! But The O.C. is hilarious -- the Writers and Actors for that Show must have a riot!

Now let me go grab you some pictures -- be right baaack!!

Well, there it is -- the Fireplace that's causing so much contention in our house! ha,ha! I told Dwight, yesterday, that I went ahead and asked Albert, our Finishing Carpenter for the Stair Bannister, to give me a quote on Building a Mantel for the Fireplace, since I can't get Dwight to do it, and he was fine with that.

** **

Really, that's too big a wall not to have a Mantel, right? And the Giant Piece of Work for the Other Big Blank wall is still a 'work-in-progress', meaning that we're not done that yet! It's about 8 feet X 3 feet, and it'll hang over the Settee (Couch...see, yer learnin' how to speak 'Scottish' or "Sco'ish", pronounced "Scoe 'ish"...! Think Mike Myer's Scottish Character on Saturday Night Live, "If it's no' Sco'ish, it's crrrrap!" ha,ha,ha! Sorry Mike -- hope you don't mind the quote!!) by the Fireplace.

Oh, and here's another thing I learned at the Psychic's -- a Fireplace is a symbol of a comfy, happy home... yippeee -- we have TWO! Neither with a Mantel... not to worry -- I'll fix that!

Thanks for Coming in for a wee visit!! I loves me my visitors!!

See you tomorrow! Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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Tuesday, March 23rd, 2004. (I just about wrote '1984'...which doesn't seem all that long ago to me! ha,ha! Ah, well, back to the future...and I see my Flying Car isn't ready yet, and I was sure it would be ready for me to scoot to work over the traffic by the year 2000...!) Okay, back to Reality! Hello, hello, hello! I hope all is well with you, today, and you're having a fun day, then have something even more fun planned for tonight! Me, I'm married, so I got nuthin', but you, you might get lucky -- who knows!!

What do you want first -- Construction or the Psychic Stuff?? ha,ha! I'm not 'all over the board' -- I just live a full life like everyone else -- wouldn't it be crappy to live a one-dimensional life with only construction...or, I suppose, only psychics?? ha,ha! All right -- I'll tell you about my trip to the Psychic, first... I went up to see her yesterday with a very trusted Relative. If you do ever choose to go to a Psychic, and you don't want to go alone, go with someone who already pretty much knows you, who will not be in shock by anything they hear, and who will be open to the whole process. And keep in mind you're not going to a Lawyer -- it's not real and actual advice or knowledge -- it's stuff you can listen to and see how it might apply to your life. So you can't bring a Binding Contract with you for the Psychic to "So you say I'm going to come into a Million Dollars...could you sign here...and here..and then here at the bottom...!" sign --That won't work! But I do hope you get that Zillion Dollars!!

To start, her name was Grace (still is...), and she looked so much like one of Dwight's Aunties, it was uncanny. I had my Tea Leaves Read, which I've always wanted to have done, but never had. My Dad has a great joke about that, though, that I told her when we first got there... he used to hold the Tea Cup up, swish it around a wee bit, then very solemnly say, "I see you doing the dishes in the very near future..." Ha,ha,ha,ha! It's one of my favorite jokes! She laughed, so I knew she had a sense of humor... So we sat down at the Kitchen Table, like you would at your Auntie's House, and Grace made the Tea. I looove Tea, and drink it from the moment I get up until I go to Bed, so I asked for mine 'Strong'...Word to the Wise -- go with the Weak Tea, since it ain't no Tetley Brand!! ha,ha! So I drank it with some Milk, which made it more palatable.

You have to drink ALL the tea, so that took me a while to catch on to that...when I was done, she flipped over the Tea Cup and had me make a wish (I accidentally made Two Wishes...), while I turned the Tea Cup around Three Times. She lifted the cup and looked for all sorts of wee pictures in the Tea Leaves, which was a lot of fun. My favorite things that she saw were the Wish Bones (Wishes come true), two Hammers (for real!), our House, which was an accurate Shape, surprisingly enough, and my Thigh High Boots!! ha,ha,ha! She wasn't sure about that, at first, then she showed me the 'Boot' with the 6" Heel, and she said,"Would you wear something like this??", so of course I laughed and told her I did! They happen to be my favorite Boots!! It was cool to actually see all these little shapes in the Tea Leaves, and every shpe has a meaning...

Then Grace did a Card Reading, which was interesting -- very fast, so I was busy watching the Cards, listening, and thinking about the Cards...nothing weird, though, in case you're wondering. I do remember that I should be doing well with my Website, and I'm supposed to get a Big Ring in the Summer -- maybe even TWO Rings, and these ones I won't have to buy for myself, and just tell Dwight what 'he' bought for me! Now that would be pleasant!

Oh, yeah. She saw Ben Johnson in my Tea Leaves -- he was in the Sprinting Position with a Maple Leaf over his head. Grace asked me if I knew anyone who might have represented Canada (and how many people really know someone in that stature...), so I told her about Ben, and how he was my old Boyfriend... Anyway, she said I should make sure he sees a Doctor in case he has any medical problems in his stomach region...maybe I'll give him a call. It was Ben who gave me the great idea to Buy Up 10 Rental Properties so you can have a solid monthly Revenue for the rest of your life... I'm still working on that one!

We taped the Session, so one day I'll listen to the Tape, again, because it's hard to remember all the stuff you're told. I did show Grace a couple of Pictures I had of Cara, Aidan and Dwight at the end of my 'session', and she said Cara is a Natural Leader and would become an Actor (she's thrilled about that!!), Dwight can be a hothead (true enough, and when I told him that, he took that as a compliment...go figure!!), and she said how smart Aidan is, which is also true. And how good looking our children are -- all true!! ha,ha!

So I had a really fun day, and I'll try to remember to see people for what they really are, and not how I want to see them, since that was a big chunk of advice I came away with! You can try that, too, on the off-chance you also have a pair of 'rose-colored glasses'! If you want to have a 'Session' with Grace, drop me a line with her name in the Subject Heading to, and I'll give you her number. She can do a 'Reading' over the phone, too, if you live far away...

And now for the Construction stuff! Albert our Finishing Carpenter was over, this morning, to Attach the Newly Painted Bannister to the Wall on the Stairway leading to the Lower Level. It looks fabulous, and I'm glad that job's done! I asked him if he would give me a quote on doing the Mantels (or the one for the Fireplace on the Lower Level, anyway, since Dwight doesn't seem to want any Mantels on the fireplaces -- he likes the clean lines of the Granite Surround, but I want a Mantelpiece...). I'm gonna have to over-ride Dwight on this one, and have the Mantel put on, then see how Dwight likes it. If he loves it, we can talk about putting a Mantel on the Great Room Fireplace, too. Are these Baby-Steps, or more like Baby Elephant Steps?? ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: Here's a Tip from Albert, who happened to use this technique this morning, so of course I asked for details! You know those White Square or Rectangle Vinyl Erasers you can pick up at any Stationary Store? Well, you can use those to carefully erase Pencil Marks from your Painted Walls. Often when something is being installed in your home, like Cabinets or anything that will attach to a wall, the Contractor (or You!) will get pencil marks or lines on the walls, so this eraser will take them right off. I think I would try it very gently with Scuff Marks on the wall, too, if your family tosses their shoes off so fast that they accidentally hit the wall (or you do! ha,ha,ha!).

And now for some new pics from this morning!

Here's the New White Bannister -- ain't it pretty?? I love it! It has some nice soft curves, which I like.

* * *

And then, just for fun, there's a picture of me (with Aidan leaping in front of me) in my favorite Thigh High Boots -- the ones with the 6" Heels! And they're comfy, too -- whodda thunk that?!!ha,ha!

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Monday, March 22nd, 2004. Hi, Honey! You're Home! Wit' Meeee! Did you have a fabulous Weekend? Get a lot of stuff done around the house? We got a lot of work done -- Dwight and his 'New Guy' (Employee for Dwight's Company, D.K. Mechanical), Sean, installed the Mirrored Doors in my Laundry Room, and they look fantastic! YaaHoo! I only had to wait 18 Months for that -- not too bad, in the scheme of things! ha,ha! Ah, well. Better late than never -- this is a good motto to live by whenever you're Building or Renovating anything...

Oh, and Sean is 23, good-looking, a nice guy, and Single, Ladies, so if youse a' lookin'...drop me a line. I'll put the pictures up today if I have time, or tomorrow, should I run out of time, today...

So I'm heading off to see the Psychic, today -- all very exciting! I'll let you know over the next little while what all she says to me! Remember, I've only been to a Psychic once before, and it was one of the most positve things I have ever done in my life, and had a profoundly positive affect on some huge life decisions... many of them leading me to Dwight and into the Building Industry. 10 Years ago I would never have thought I'd be Building Houses and Running an Entire Website that I'd Developed Myself -- I could never even remember how to turn the computer on and had to follow written instructions to to check my e-mail! Ah, how the times they is a' changin'!! ha,ha,ha!

The Painters, Mark and Brandon, were over on Thursday Night, last week, to get the Hand Rail (or the Bannister, depending on what you call it... I just call it "Done!"...ha,ha!) to the Lower Level Stairs. Then I got a call this morning from the Rail Installer, Albert, and he's coming over tomorrow morning to install that, so we're really getting through all of our 'House Projects'.

Did I tell you the Plumbing on the Bottom of the Hot Tub froze over the Winter? When we went out to fill it when we had a break in the weather, one day, and the water started to seep out the bottom from one of the Jets. Dwight immediately wanted to have a Crane come over and lift the entire thing out of the Deck, which I thought was an insane 'first move', so he happened upon a guy when he was at his Plumbing Supply Store who does Hot Tub Repair, and he came out the other day to look at the Tub. Well, can you guess what his recommendation was? That's right -- 'Crane out the Tub and replace all the Pipes on the Bottom', so Dwight was right. So Sean and Dwight had to take apart all the Electrical and Plumbing Connections to the Tub on Saturday, then Dwight pulled apart the Lumber on the Hot Tub Deck around the Tub, so the Crane can come over to pull the Tub out.

Then when Dwight and I were taking a break and sitting in the Sunroom, looking at the poor Tub, which we feel sorry for because we tend to 'humanize' stuff we love, and Dwight was saying he would have to go out and bolster all the other side of the Deck (it's 19' X 22') to make it strong enough to hold the Tub while they're working on it, so I said to him, "Why not Crane it out onto the Ground, and put it on some sheets of Plywood, so it won't get mucky and it'll be easier to work on, and then you won't take the risk of someone accidentally falling in the hole where the Hot Tub usually lives..."

Well, Dwight was very happy with that idea, so he's going to also put a Moving Blanket down to protect the Hot Tub Shell... the whole thing will probably cost us about $700.00, but that's better than replacing the whole Hot Tub... Toys cost money, there's no way around that. But we will definitely NOT buy another Hot tub 2 years before Dwight is ready to install it! He saw it when he was out and about when we were still living in our last house, and I got the call from someone very excited about it, so I just told him to buy it if he really loved it, so we had ourselves another Hot Tub by the end of that day... We love a Hot Tub, so Dwight didn't want to 'take a chance' on not having one for any amount of time, at all... it's a little ironic that the thing hasn't been used at all since we moved here... hopefully it'll be up and running before we Sell the House and have to get another one... ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: Well, I've mentioned having a Crane over to Lift the Hot Tub out of the Sunroom Deck a bunch of times, so this is a good opportunity to tell you what a great job being a Crane Operator is -- there's a Three Year Course you can take at almost any Technical College, and often Companies who employ Crane Operators will train you on the job, or pay for some of the training in an Apprenticeship Program. And if you're wondering how much Crane Operators make, we know a very young fellow (he's 20, now...) who is consistently making over $90,000.00 a year -- now that aibn't bad coin, so it's a great job to think about.

And perfect for women, too...keep your minds open to the possibilities of a Construction Career!! Now this is the sort of information we need our High School Counsellors to know and pass along, right?? Well, that's why I'm here -- for info just like that, and to dispel myths about how much each person in their respective career makes... you might be surprised to know how much Construction Workers Make! You don't have to wear a suit to be rich! ha,ha!

Okay, let me go get you some pictures! I'll be riiight back!

Here's the Hot Tub -- and there it is through the Sunroom Windows -- soo it'll be all fixed up and ready to go! WooHoo! Can't wait for a float in the Tub!!

** **

Thanks for popping in, today! See You Tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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Sat. & Sun., March 20th & 21st, 2004. Yo, yo, yo! What Up wit' my Home-ies?? I really do think that's a good name for us, what with our intense love of Homes, 'n all...ha,ha! Happy Spring!! YaaHoo! It's Spring -- my favorite Season of the Year, right next to the Summer, the Fall and the Winter, so I suppose I love all the Seasons, but there's nothing like the new Green Grass, the little Buds on the Trees, and, of course, Spring Flowers, which I adore!! Maybe after a long, cold winter, the bursts of color are what I love so very much...I can hardly wait for the Zoo's amazing Floral Display. Did you know the vast majority of Zoo's have Botanical Sections?

I've been checking out the Garden, to see what I can plant and where, and what ground needs to be moved with a Bobcat...we never do 'little' Landscaping Work -- everything always seems to be on a large scale for us -- wonder why that is? ha,ha,ha! Oh, and just so's you knows, by 'Garden', I mean the entire Lawn & Garden Area -- that's the British way to refer to the area you own outside your wee hoosie!! Our Lot is 495' X 113', and the House is 138' in Total Length, so that leaves us with plenty of room to play with in 'The Garden'! Yippee! I loooove to Garden!

Now, at the Walk-Out Area, we ran out of time to develop that last summer, so Dwight had the Bobcat come in the other day to clear away another skiff of Land, and we'll get him back to move some Gravel under the Hot Tub Deck, so it's easier to walk under the Hot Tub. But for the Walk-Out Patio Area, I think we're going to go with a 'Wilderness Park' Theme...Trees, Pathways, Park Benches, that sort of thing. We'll have to bring in quite a bit of Gravel to put on the Base, and Dwight wants to put in a Dry Well.

A Dry Well is very useful in any area where there is the slightest possibility of water accumulation that could seep into your house, which we want to avoid at all costs... To Build a Dry Well, you need to get yourself a big piece of Culvert Pipe, about 3 - 4 feet in diameter, and drill holes all around it. This is so the water can drain out the holes.

Then have a Bobcat dig a hole big enough for the Culvert Pipe to fit in it, so the top of the Pipe is at ground level. Or dig it yourself -- we never want to hurt our backs, so we always hire that out ... you can hire a Bobcat by the hour or by the job, so price it out before you dig that big a hole by yourself.

Put the Pipe in the hole, then fill it with large rocks (2 - 3 inch washed gravel or rock will work well), and put the rocks around the outside of the Pipe, too. Fill the hole back in and landscape right over it. There, now you don't need to worry about and water coming into yo' house!

I wasn't able to get out and Plant any Bulbs last Fall, in time for the Spring Flowering, but I'm going to craftily get around that by using some Silk Flowers in the Base of the Pots that look like Urns that already have little Evergreen Trees in them. I'll put the Silk Daffodils around the Base of the Trees, then add in some Silk Vines. I'll post a picture when I get that done... Here's a wee link in case you, too, are looking for the easy way out, so-to-speak! I hope I don't go so far as putting Silk Flowers in the Actual Flower Beds, but we'll see how long it stays too cold to plant anything 'real'!! ha,ha!

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I have to run up and get the lunch for everybody -- be right baaack!!

Okay, here I am! Now what would Dwight eat if I had somewhere to go, hmmmm?? Ah, well. I don't mind feeding everybody -- it's in my nature to want to make sure everybody has whatever they need -- thus this whole Site, right?? ha,ha! It's all about helping people! Oh, and speaking of that, I want to thank you guys, my brilliant and loyal Readers for clicking on the Ads on my site -- that's how I get paid, so I really appreciate every little click and every thing you sign up for! Then I have a good argument when Dwight says he's "gonna shut down the Site"...ugh, I hate that. I would never threaten to shut down his Business... but I do need to make sure that my Site doesn't cost more to produce than it brings in, and that's what he's always on about... we'll prove him wrong, though, won't we -- just me and you!! ha,ha! In yo' face, Dwight!! ha,ha! (I know, marriage is lovely like that! ha,ha,ha,ha!)

And now for some pictures before I have to go out to the Garage to Paint some Posts White...

We don't have nearly this much 'Green' just yet -- too early in the Spring around here for that, but this'll give you a bit of an idea of some of the Garden we need to Landscape. That's the Bobcat at the Walk-Out Patio Garden Area -- I actually had a very pretty Wild Flower Garden in there, last Summer, but Dwight didn't like it -- his Mom was one of those very particular Gardeners -- where the Garden is meticulous with 6" of dirt between each flower, so that's his idea of a great Garden. I, on the other extreme of Gardening, like to cram as much color as humanly possible into every square inch of the Garden, so you can see there's plenty of room for planting and fighting around here! ha,ha,ha!

So when Dwight says, "I'm going out to weed", them's fightin' words for me, because it means he plans to 'fix' my Garden so it conforms to his own idea of what looks good! Now he wants to gravel the whole thing in, and my compromise is to add in as many Trees as I can, then put Flowers in Giant Planter Boxes. I'll let you know how that goes!

** **

Thanks for popping in -- I'll be back to get you some great pictures!

Have a fabulous weekend!!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!

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Friday, March 19th, 2004. Hey, HEY, Hey! How you doin', t'day?? I hope you were able to find a big enough rake to rake in all the dough you're gonna make! Or Shovel, depending on whether you really mean it when you say, "Yep, I'm makin' some serious coin, now", and you have a zillion nickels! ha,ha! Now, that wouldn't be so bad, except for the rolling of the nickels, 'n all... We got Dwight a Coin Roller a while ago, and he used it once or twice, then he added that to our job list, so now nobody uses's one of those jobs that looks exciting and fun until you have to sit down and actually do it! ha,ha! I hope you have figured out a great way to make some money and have fun, too, so you want to keep on doing it!

Then you can make your big wads of cash, pop in here to find out how to manage it into mole hills, which we'll fix up and sell over and over again (or we'll build brand new mole hills and wait for them to appreciate in value...) until you've got yourself a big ol' mountain!! ha,ha,ha! Too cryptic? You know what I'm talkin' about!!

Well, I had a call on the House, last night, from a fellow in a wheelchair. The reason I tell you this is, he's only 29 and he was severely injured in a Work-Related Accident while he was working as a Framer. (I know, that's horrible, and I hope to God he got an enormous Settlement...) Now he is looking to Build a Bungalow that is completely Wheelchair Accessible, and a Bungalow is the perfect House Style for that. You might remember that I am a Special Needs Teacher, first, and in that Role I had a lot to do with making sure life was better and places were easier to maneuver with a Wheelchair. When I first started with that about twenty years ago (hard to believe that sooo many years have slipped by -- and look how young I look! ha,ha,ha!), Wheelchair Access was not readily acceptable, and the vast majority of the Sidewalks were impossible to 'get up on'.

Things have changed drastically since then, Thank Goodness, and we have all sorts of neat new products for people with Handicaps, so life is much easier, now. So I was chatting with this fellow, James, and I invited him to pop over for a wee visit with his Wife (he's a Newlywed...) so we can talk about what his options are for a House that will be suitable for him and his wife. I talked to Dwight about it when he got home, because I couldn't quite remember the deal on skipping the Cement Basement, so I wanted to clarify a few facts before I meet with James. In a Cold Climate, you generally have to have a Basement, but it is possible to skip the Cement Floor, which can save a big pile of money if you never intend to use a Basement.

To skip the Cement Basement, you can build a 4 foot Frost Wall, add a couple of feet or so to bring the house to whatever above-ground level you want to start at, then you can put compacted Gravel on the 'floor' inside the Frost Wall. You would then go ahead and put the Subfloor on the Frost Wall using Engineered Wood, or possibly Steel Beams. (Steel is getting more and more expensive by the minute, according to Dwight...) Anyway, that would save James some money that he could put toward building Ramps and getting Special Plumbing and stuff.

You know, building a home yourself can be great if you happen to be dealing with a handicap, because you can lower the Light Switches, Sinks and Countertops, Door Locks, Ramp the Stairs, remove Interior Stairs... it's endless, and the house would be perfect for you. Now for resale, you could have all the stuff at regulation height, too, which wouldn't be hard at all. Well, I hope we can help James and his wife through this process a wee bit -- sometimes it's serendipitus who you meet in your life, and they can help you in ways you least expected it... that's why you should always stay open to new people and conversations, since you never know where they'll lead you.

Tip of the Day: Well, this is kind of a medical one, so if you're really squeamish, look away... har,, it's not icky, really. It's a little 'cure' that you might like to try if you are over 35 and 'things' have started to appear on your body that were completed unexpected and definitely unwanted...those annoyink little Skin Tags. Still with me? Okay...a while ago, Dwight had one under his arm (I'm sure he'll be thrilled to know I told you this, but this is to help a lot of people, so he'll have to understand I told you for humanitarian reasons! ha,ha,ha!), and everytime he put his arms over his head when he was trying to relax, all I could do was try to figure out how to get rid of the thing. (The skin tag, not Dwight...ha,ha,ha!) And after I had Aidan, there they were, and there's no way they could stay, so I went to work trying to make them go away -- for good! Here's what I came up with -- Put a tiny amount of 'Wart-Be-Gone' (again, this is not about Dwight! ha,ha,ha,ha!) Gel on the end of a toothpick (which you will not be putting in yo' mouth, later, so discard it right away...!), and apply the gel directly on the skin tag. It'll just dissolve away. Be extra careful not to get the Gel on any 'normal skin', since I'm sure that would hurt, and we want to avoid pain at all costs, right?!

Speaking of that type of pain, apparently you can go into the Doctor and have them surgically removed, but that's outside of my realm of things I'm willing to do, so Home Remediy it was for me and the Dwight-Man, who can now relax without me staring at his underarms! ha,ha,ha,ha!

No, don't worry. I won't choose pictures of skin tags, although that would be relatively amusing... I'll go get you some good new pics! Be right baaaack!!

I just took these shots the other night when Dwight was Finishing up the Tiling on the Bar. This is the Lower Walk-Out Level Living Room and My Office. I moved all the Furniture around, and I much prefer this configuration.

** ** ** **

If you're looking to give your place a quick 'uplift', try rethinking where the Furniture should be -- sometimes a simple change will make a huge difference in the feel of a room. Besides, what's the worst that could happen? You'll decide you don't like it and move it all back? If you're worried about how it'll look, draw it out, first. You can do little 'cut-outs' of your furniture,then put them in a 'room' you've drawn on paper (hey, is there any software for this -- that'd be a good Product, right?? ha,ha!). Might save your back and a wee bit of time.

I've actually been going Room-to-Room, changing the Furniture about, and it's made a big difference. I think I'm done, now,though -- I can't think of what else to move! Just mah'self, as soon as we Sell the House! har, har!

Thanks for coming in for a wee visit, today! I love to see you, whenever you get a minute!

See you on the Weekend!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

Oh, check this Link out -- it's for, a fabulous Internet Store. They have an incredible selection of Home & Garden Products (including a Hammock -- perfect for snoozing outside!!). I've been on the phone with one of their Marketing Representatives, this after noon, Adam Russo (who is Single and 25, for the Single Ladies out there in 'Puterland! ha,ha!), and we were talking about how I can make a bigger Profit on my Site...that just happens to be one of my favorite Topics, so we chatted for ages. Anyway, I'm going to make a whole Page for the Overstock Stuff, since it's amazing how much they have ... and extra-low Prices, too, and you know how much I like to Save Money (so it can be re-invested in Real Estate, of course! ha,ha,ha!)! I'll let you know when I get that done -- maybe by the Weekend!

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Thursday, March 18th, 2004. Hey, Baby! What's Up? The Wallpaper? No? Trying desperately to scrape it off, and it ain't goin' well? ha,ha! The new finish is Paint, but I still think there's a place for Wallpaper -- in moderation and not in a crazy vertical print or jammed with hens and kitchen utensils! ha,ha,ha! Now who didn't have that in their kitchen growing up?? Man, our Mothers must have really loooved Kitchen Utensils ... and metal watering cans! But if you've purchased a home with some lovely Wallpaper that really has to go, you can consider using a really heavy Wallpaper in a subtle tone and cover right over the old stuff, or you can get a Steamer and steam the wallpaper off. That's a lot of work, so for Goodness Sake be nice to your Spouse and Kids so they'll help you with the job!

Oh, I've been working away on my Ask Ailsa Page, so if you're in here wondering where I am, today, and what on earth is taking me sooo very long, I've just been side-tracked, again! Check it out for another new letter -- this one's from Bhupinder, and he needs some info on Building a House. Of course, I've added in my own two cents about why so many people choose to Sell Their Own Houses, the Difference in Costs and Structure between Bungalows and Two-Storey Homes...and a bunch of other stuff of great interest to us all! Hopefully I'll be done with my Daily Update by the time you've read that! ha,ha!

Be right baaack!!

Okay, here I am... and wouldn't you know I found something else to do while I was on my way to writing this?? Other than the usual taking care of Aidan (he's 4!), the Laundry and the rest of the House? Actually, I was side-tracked in a round-about way because of the laundry. Did I tell you I was fed up with the Laundry Closet because it just seemed cluttered and disorganized? Well, I was, so the other morning I pulled everything out of it, folded it all neatly, put most of it back and stored the rest in the Garage. But I came across one of my, for lack of a better and more politically correct term, 'fat tops'! God Knows I have a lot of them, now (Yippee! Fat Tops are great to have, because it means they don't fit me anymore!! YaaHoo!).

So I can't walk past a Project that happens to cross my mind -- if it's fast and easy, I'll just stop whatever else I'm doing and work on the new Project, and if it's huuuge, I'll quickly sketch it out so I don't forget what I want to work on, next... no, I'm not on Speed, but thanks for your endearing concern...ha,ha,ha! Just the other morning I had a brainwave on how to Develop the Lower Patio Area outside the Walk-Out Door, so I had to Draw that so I could pass it by Dwight when he got up...he won't go for the Swing Set in the back, because he likes to live like we don't have children in the house... he's delusional like that! ha,ha,ha,ha! Okay, that last one's just for me! ha,ha!

Where was I? Oh, yes. I was surprisingly the 'Fat Shirt'! I happened to be watching Famous Homes and Hideaways while I was working on my Site, this morning (remember -- Glassed in Office with fabulous Big Screen TV View!!), when the Host came on (Van Ezra is all I can recall of her name right now -- Gloria, maybe? Ah, well-- you know the Show!), and I really liked her Top, so, of course, I quickly sketched it out. Now when I walked by the Fat Shirt, I thought, "I can transform that annoyink shirt into something really pretty!", So I grabbed the scissors, My Video Camera (for you!) and cut off the Sleeves up to the Neckline. Then I made a little 'Band' to go around the top Front of the Top, to create soft gathers...see how I haven't mentioned any sewing yet? ha,ha! I like to do things the easy schmeasy way!

Anyway, I'll get Cara to take some pictures of my wearing the New and Much Improved Top when she has a minute...Dwight still claims he doesn't know how to work the Camera, so that lets him off the hook! ha,ha! My face is in hardly any of the pictures Dwight does take of me, anyway, so you won't be missing much, depending on how you look at that! har, har!

Tip of the Day: Don't throw old stuff out right off the bat -- see if there's another use for it -- whether it be your, wait, that's not right...I mean 'old shirt' or something else...ha,ha,ha! Okay, calm down all you male readers -- we love you, too! You're very useful and practical to have around...Now I'm trying to think of what else you can recycle into something you'll use again... hmmm. How about an Old TV Unit into an Aquarium? I always wanted to try that -- remember those old Units from when we were kids? (For all my 'Young Adult' Fans, that was back in the 1880's...or so...). Oh, and Calendar Pictures, which are often sooo gorgeous, they can be Framed and Hung on the Walls... makes for inexpensive and beautiful Artwork around the house.

Drop me a line if you have some good 'recycling tips'!

And now to get the new pictures...

So here's the little something I was side-tracked by this afternoon... I call it 'My Fat Top Made Thin...'


You can do this with any T-Shirt Style Top with a Top Collar that you don't like anymore, or that you've grown out of, thanks to the deeelicious Apple Crumble Diet!! ha,ha!


Just start cutting from the base of the Sleeve Line and curve it upward to the edge of the Collar. See how easy?? Then if you want to gather the Front together, you can make a little Band out of the Sleeve, then put it around the Front Section at the top. And if you want to get extra fancy, you can cut the back out, but leave the's a nice look!

Oh, and if you're wondering what the Background in the picture is, it's the Pool Table -- isn't that a gorgeous shade of Purple? Reminds me of my new Tanzanite Ring! ha,ha! Clearly, I love the color Purple, so-to-speak!

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! See you, tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

Ace Hardware is cool -- they have a huuuge selection of cool stuff you'll love! Great for Gift Ideas, too!

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March 17th, 2004. Happy St. Patrick's Day!! I assume you've been drinking since Breakfast, since it's one of the few days out of the year (the other ones being your Birthday and the Third Saturday of Every Month...ha,ha,ha!) where it's okay to have a 'Wee Nip' with yer breakkie!! ha,ha,ha! As long as you add in a wee bit o' the Green Food Coloring... Ach, ah'm ah no right?? ha,ha!

Man, I'm sooo easily side-tracked, today! I got another letter from Kara for the Ask Ailsa Page, so I wrote back on the Site, right away, (Click Here to have a wee look at the new Ask Ailsa Questions...), then I thought ,"What better day to enter a few Contests?", what wi' the Luck o' the Irish, 'n all... so that took me a lot longer than I thought it would...ah, well. Here I am now, so dinny worry yer wee heed (I hope you're a Mike Myers Fan, and remember 'Heed' in the 'I Married an Axe Murderer' Movie! ha,ha!). Anyway, you'd look great in a Lexus, sporting a Diamond Ring with a Fistful of Cash, right?? ha,ha! What's that? You already DO look like that? You know, there's nothing wrong with over-abundance, from what I can tell! In fact, it looks like a whole lot of fun!

Anyhooo, Kara has just bought a Building Lot and is in the Process of getting the Permits through. This can be a slow and painful process, but it pays to have all your paperwork in order, first, and to be extrememly nice to everyone in the Office! Surprising how far a smile can go... and if they ask you to make any changes, or add more Forms, smile and say, "Okay! I'll get right on it!", and really mean that! And don't feel like you can't ask for help -- the folks who work in the Permit Offices are really nice and it's their Job to work with you -- but not in a weird way -- they won't really walk you through it, or anything...if you really get stuck, consider Hiring a Contractor who knows the ropes (and maybe the people at the Permit Office, too!) to manage this part of the Build for you. You can have a quick scroll down my Links Page, too, if you're looking for detailed information on Permitting -- I know the guy, Mike, who owns that Permit Site -- you'll recognize it when you get on the Links Page! (There, that saved me about 5 minutes!!)

Tip of the Day: This is a great Tip if you're Planning to Build but haven't actually started, yet. And also, if you happen to be building a Two-Storey Home...Have your Architect Draw in the Main Floor at 9 or 10 Feet in Height. No kidding. A standard Two-Storey automatically comes with 8' Ceilings, but if you raise the Ceilings to 9 or 10 Feet, you'll change the whole feel of the house. It'll feel open and airy, bright and cheery. (Can you tell that's how I like houses to feel?? ha,ha!) The Cost Difference in Lumber, Drywall and other Materials is not that significant, in the vast scheme of things, so it's worth at least investigating. If you're having your House Built by a Builder, have them Price that Out for you, so you can make an educated decision on whether to 'Raise the Roof', so-to-speak! (Which reminds me of J.D. Salinger's Book, 'Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters'...I love J.D. Salinger!)

Now, a quick word of caution-- the majority of New Housing Developments come with a boatload of Architectural Controls, so you'll have to check your Total House Height to make sure it still falls within the Guidelines. Guidelines...that's funny. 'Things you must do' might be a tad more accurate! ha,ha,ha! Ah, it's all a part of the Wonderful World of Building!! A World we all want to live in, right??

Okay, let me go grab you some new pictures! I'll just be a minute or two...

Well, this seems appropriate for St. Paddy's Day! Stuffed Green Peppers -- yummm!

** **

They're easier than you might think -- just take your Left-Over Spaghetti Sauce (I hope you make a ton of everything, then find two uses for it all...) and mix it with Two Cups of Rice, cooked (raw if far too crunchy!!). Clean and hollow out the Peppers, then put a cube of Cheese in the bottom of each Pepper. Fill with the Rice Mixture, add a few more wee cubes of cheese, pop the Tops back on the Peppers, then shove them in the oven at 350 Degrees for about 45 minutes. See how easy? And they're fabulously deeeeelicious, too!

Thanks for stopping in for a wee visit! Are you going straight to the Bar from here? You know, you can always try a wee bit o' Green Tea, if you ever, ever tire of the Green Beer... ha,ha,ha,ha! I know, I know.... that is a crazy thought!

CHEERS!! Ailsa!!

Here are some Contests for you to Enter -- I hope you're wearing Green for Extra Luck! And holding an Emerald between yer Teeth might work, too... which reminds me of a bizarre and funny thing that happened when Aidan was really wee -- maybe 9 months old, or somewhere in there where he was obsessed with grabbing my jewellery, and on this particular day, eating it! We were all looking through a Showhome, when Aidan literally grabbed my Emerald Necklace and ate it -- so I'm screaming for Dwight, "Dwight! He's eaten my Emerald!" And the girl in the ShowHome thought I was upset because he had eaten a precious jewel (perhaps a non-parental response...)...but of course, I was beside myself that Aidan had actually eaten a necklace! We were frantically looking for it on the floor and in Aidan's clothes when we, thankfully, found it lodged in his Bib Overalls, but it was hilarious that the ShowHome Woman thought we had valued the jewellery more than the Boy! ha,ha,ha! And he's never eaten another Gemstone, since!

The Luck o' the Irish Be With Ye'!!

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March 16th, 2004. Yo, yo, yo! What up wit' mah' Home-eeeees?? Doesn't that sound about right? ha,ha! We all love Homes, and we're on 'At Home with Ailsa'...I like that! Tia's just strolled into my Office -- she's a bit too perfumie for me, today, since the Groomer used perfume (she was in for a grooming, yesterday) after we expressly asked them not to -- and apparently the woman was quite rude to Dwight when he went to pick Tia up ... plus, her hair was sticking up all over the place, so she wasn't groomed very well at all... so I'll remove them from my Site, since I like to recommend people we actually use or folks with a good reputation... Next time, we'll try out a Local Groomer. Poor girl, though -- she was desperately trying to cuddle into me in the Sunroom, but I couldn't breathe around her, so I'll have to wash her again with the allerpet/d -- that'll take any scent away, Thank Goodness! Tia can't manage long without a cuddle from her Mummy! (That's MEEEE! ha,ha,ha!)

Hey, did you see that new Show, Cracking Up, with Molly Shannon (she's sooooo funny!) last night? The Show is really funny, but more importantly to us (!), their House is very nice, and they have a Water Wall in the Front Foyer! YaaHoo! I adore Waterwalls -- I was completely obsessed with building them while we were building this house, but that crazy Dwight wouldn't let me take time away from this build to work on the Waterwalls... maybe in the next house...we'll see. I have the whole thing all planned out, of course (I love to sketch out my ideas so I can run them by Dwight ... I need him to do the Plumbing, Sawing and Electrical portions of the job -- that's why he had so much say... Electricity and Water make me just a tad nervous! ha,ha!) Anyway, now that we can see a Waterwall every week on Cracking Up, I'm far more likely to be able to convince Dwight that we need one, too... and the sooner, the better!

One weird thing about the Projects we're working on, right now, and stuff I'm contemplating buying, is that you always have to keep in mind that you don't know where you're going to be living, next... the chances are extrememly high that we won't have nearly the space we have I think I'll have to put the Waterwall on hold for a while. Rats! And I was really looking for ward to building that, too... maybe I can swing Dwight around to my way of thinking -- wish me luck on that one! ha,ha,ha!

Now the other Show (you know I'm 'TV Girl'!!) that has a fabulous house is The Average Joe. Adam, one of the Last Men Standing on his last Show, has returned to find a mate of his very own... and they're back in the Original House, which is spectacular. At first I thought it only had a Double Car Garage, which I thought was odd for that size of a house, then the Camera panned out to reveal another Double Car Garage, then another and another -- an Eight Car Garage! WooHoo! What a great idea!

So all morning I was thinking whether that would ever be necessary for us... "Necessary"! ha,ha,ha,ha! I suppose that ain't the right word! I definitely want to Build a House (which, incidentally, I've already designed -- must try to remember where I put those Plans...) with a Five Car Garage, because that seems very practical for us ... One Two-Car section for our Tools and Projects, since we like to work in the Garage, and then a space for each of our vehicles, including a spot for a future car that Cara might get, since She'll be 16 this May, and will be Driving before we know it... you gotta plan ahead, right?? ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: I'm cleaning the Sinks, today, while I write. Here's an easy scheasy way to really clean your Stainless Steel Sinks... Put the Stopper in Tightly, turn on the Hot Water, then quickly pour in some Bleach and some Squeezie (Liquid Dish Soap...). Fill the Sink at least 3/4 of the way Full. This is a good time to throw in any Face Clothes or Dish Towels (I used to throw Aidan's Bibs in...) that could use a deep cleaning -- no point in wasting the Bleachy soap, right? Anyhooo, by the time you remember to go and empty the Sinks, they'll be all sparkly and new! Voila! Wasn't that easy? I use the Water to clean the Floors or Windows, too, depending on how ambitious I'm feeling that day!

Now let me go grab you some new pictures... be right baaack!

So there's Dwight in his beloved Steam Room... he had just finished installing the Shower Head. If you remember from about a month ago, we were going to Install a Double Rain Head for the Shower, but it turned out to be impractical because it isn't adjustable. The Shower Head that we put in is now the Third one in this House -- it's the best Shower Head we've ever used, so we'll stick to the tried and true!


The Third Picture shows the Seat on that side of the Steam Room -- there's seating for Four, so two on each side of the Steam Room... and in the Fourth picture, I panned up so you can see the Tile that is angled on the Ceiling (on the Floor, too... just looks nicer that way!). And the last picture is of the Steamers -- I think that's what you call them... they're the little things that the Steam comes out of! I'll ask Dwight if they have an actual name! ha,ha!

Well, thanks for coming in for a wee visit, today! I always love to see you!

See you tomorrow! Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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March 15th, 2004. Beware the Ides of March....or Not, whatever...but it's all I can think of, today! Damn those stooopid superstitions and that crazy Shakespeare for making sure we all remember that one! ha,ha,ha! Ah, well. I guess I'll still do some work, after all, but I'm not going to Start a New Business until tomorrow -- for real, I'm working away in the background with some new Business ideas, but I don't want March 15th to be the 'Start Date'...

What can you do? As much as you might want to remove yourself from the old Superstitions you learned when you were growing up, they're still lurking around in the back of your mind, and spring into action when you try to cross them...that's when you think, "Well, I'll just wait another day", or,"I'll trim my Nails on Saturday..." (That one comes from the old, 'Ye canny cut yer nails on a Friday'...comes from the Connection of Christ on the Cross, but I think about that every single time I catch my nail on a Friday, and I often will cover it with a bangage rather than go against the superstition... It's my guess that Mel Gibson's Mum told him the exact same thing, and maybe that's why he made the Movie, since he was thinking about it every Friday...while he sat down for a Fish Supper! ha,ha!)

Have you seen The Passion of The Christ, yet? It's a little outside of my realm of what kind of stuff I can watch -- I don't fare well with violence of any sort, no matter the plot line... plus, I'm a Believer in the Life of Christ, and focus more on that. I remember some signs that were posted in the Sunday School Section of my Church when I was growing up -- they were huge signs, and they made a major impact on me in those formative years. The Signs were, LIVE<LOVE<LAUGH<LIFE. Nice, huh? That's what I took out of The Church. It should be there to lift you up and bolster you when you're down...I'm not big on the whole "Now don't forget you're all little sinners... then on the way out the Door, the Preacher shouts cheerily, "Good-Bye, you little sinners! See ya' next week! Bring your check-books!! Bye-eee!" Yeah, not big on that...

The thing that I think is the most interesting about Mel's new movie is that it has opened up the whole Discussion of Christ, again, and when Dwight and I caught the tail end of a Dateline Story about Christ, I immediately got up to get my Bible to see what the true facts were. I have an amazing Bible with a huge Biblical Dictionary and Historical Section at the back -- fascinating. But to make the whole story come to life in such a huge and dramatic way is remarkable... I just hope and pray that it is not Anti-Semetic, because that would be horrifying, and that's not The Message of Christ (to Bring Peace...).

Oh, and speaking of that, did anyone else happen to notice when Ethan on Survivor was walking down the beach carrying that 'cross-pole' to Tribal Council, that night... with his head hanging down, looking all forlorn, 'n all... didn't that look familiar?? Ah, well. Easter is on it's way, and we're all very excited about that around here! We roll our Easter Eggs (symbolizes the Stone rolling away from the Tomb and new life...), and this year we know where there are some really great Hills!

Oh, the things I think about! And all while I'm waiting for the Painter to come luck, so far... some Trades you have to wait longer for than others. Dwight's Company has to be really fast because he deals with Furnaces (and Air Conditioning -- "Hurry, hurry! It's 90 Degrees in here!! I need it to be a coooool 72!!" Emergencies like that! ha,ha,ha!). But with Furnaces, you need to deal with that right away so there's no issue of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, which is a frightening thing. Hey, if you're looking for a good Wedding Gift during Wedding Season (which should be for everyone, but that's a whole other issue...), consider getting a Carbon Monoxide Detector -- they're very reasonably priced, these days, and get one for yourself, too, and your Maaaa, just to keep everyone safe and sound!

My Sweet little Tia is off to the Groomers, today...and I miss her, already! It's seems very quiet in the house without 'Little Barky'! She has soooo much fun looking out all the Windows, and because we are nearing the Spring, the wee Prairie Dogs are coming back out, and Tia only wants to eat one of them, if she could only catch them! Thank Goodness they're sooo fast, since I couldn't deal with that, at all! Yuck! But we do like it when she watches the Prairie Dogs for hours on end, planning for the day she'll catch one! ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: I almost forgot to add in a 'Tip of the Day'! If you have a pet (or Pets...) who is going in to the Groomers, and you don't like or are allergic to Perfume, you can just ask the Groomer to avoid any perfumed products. And if you haven't seen my Tia Page, and you desperately want a pet, but are terribly allergic to them, you can get a product called allerpet/d (for Dogs) or allerpet/c (for Cats). This stuff is miraculous. When we first got Tia, we chose her specifically because her breed (she's a Cockapoo) is supposed to be non-allergenic, but I still had a reaction to her until we found the allerpet/d, which changed everything. You just put the liquid on a cloth and rub it on your pet. We did this a number of times when she was little, then about twice a year after that. She doesn't have any scent at all, now, so she's even more perfect than before, if that's possible!! ha,ha,ha!

Okay, I'll go get you some new pictures! Be riiiight back!

So here's my gorgeous wee dog, Tia! And that's a nice shot of the Tile Work, too! They're 16"X 16" Tiles, in case you're wondering -- I wouldn't lay the Floor with anything smaller than that, again... in fact, now we like the 24"X 24" Tiles -- they're amazing!


She's scruffy, but cute! And there she is at the Front Entry, waiting for Dwight's Truck to warm up -- he forgot to park his Truck in the Garage, last night, and it's frosty this morning, so she's anxiously awaiting the drive... Can you see her in the last picture? Just click on the shot to Enlarge it, and you'll see her in the Front Seat. Tia actually has her own Seatbelt, which is pretty funny. We got it when she was a puppy, and it just keeps your dog in place in the Vehicle. Then Dogs can be safe, too! ha,ha!

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! I'll let you know what we did on the Weekend, tomorrow, since I've run on too long, already, today!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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Saturday & Sunday, March 13th & 14th, 2004. Hey, Good Lookin'! My guess is that you have the highest E.Q. (Emotional Quotient) of all the people in your Therapy I right?? Why, I'll bet you could win on Survivor, what with all that common sense, 'n all! And hopefully, you'll find out enough info on my little Site to Build the Shelter, thus becoming the 'Cream of the Crop'... all you need to do now is become an excellent Fisherperson (!), and you're in! ha,ha,ha! Or just get yourself a big bowl of popcorn and watch it on TV -- yes, that is a better idea. Much easier...less stressful...and then you can really appreciate your comfy bed when you think of the poor souls out there in the real jungle!

Speaking of some 'poor souls', Cara was out with one of our young neighbors, Brent (they're both in Grade Ten), to canvass the neighborhood to Raise Money for the 30 Hour Famine for World Vision. What great neighbors -- Cara and Brent raised $150.00! That's a lot of money for a great cause. World Vision has a website, too-- it's -- my guess is that you could give a donation on-line, or you could send a check (cheque if you're in Canada!) to Cara and she'll take the money into the School. The kids go in to do a 30 Hour Famine in late April -- it's a great Cause, and it gives the kids a little insight into what it really feels like not to have any food to eat. It's an experience that leaves a lasting affect on the Students, and creates life-long concern for others. Now that's a good Program, right??

I'm a big believer in the $10. Donation -- I think there's a far better possibility of Raising money One Dollar at a Time, or Ten Dollars at a time, than asking people for a whole lot more than that. It's a little pet peeve of mine, that some folks with a big wad of cash assume that everyone else does, too, and that the Donations should start at $50.00. I think that's too much to ask for, since people have their own lives to pay for, but still want to Give Back, as soon as they can, but not in such large amounts. Just think, if a hundred of my Readers each sent $10.00, we'd raise $1,000.00! Now that would help a whole lot of People! I'll put our Mailing Address on my Contact Page, and if you would like to send a wee something...

Actually, I think I'll make up a whole page where we can all go in to make a Donation of our Choice -- lately I've been coming across all sorts of new ways to Give over the Internet, which I think is a fabulous idea.eBay has a whole section just for Donations -- cool, eh? I'll let you know as soon as I get it set up. I remember when I first moved down to Los Angeles, and October rolled around and I finally had a little bit on money behind me, again, after a rough few years, and there was a T-Shirt Drive for Veterens on my favorite Radio Station at the time -- I can't recall the #, but it was run by Mark & Brian in the Morning -- they were hilarious, and they gave me lots of laughs at a time I desperately needed to laugh. Anyway, I was able to make a $35.00 Donation, and it felt great to be back in a position where I could help someone else. And now I have this fabulous Website and can reach tons of other Caring Folks like myself, so why not make it easier to give a little when we can?

Tip of the Day: See what you can do to give anyone one or any wee beastie (a beastie like Tia!! ha,ha!) a helping hand whenever you can. It doesn't have to be much -- just a kind word or a big smile to someone can make a huge difference in their day. And kind words stay forever -- it's amazing how long you can remember the nice things people say to you.

I thought I'd put this Link up for you because Dwight was mad that I didn't return a Movie (Radio -- very sweet!) last weekend that he rented... ugh. That Boy... but if you happen to have situations like this, Netflix might solve yo' problem, too! We thought when we first got the Satellite that we would order the Pay-per-View Movies, but that's annoyink because you have to commit to an actual time to watch them, and we're always doing some Project or another that takes waaaay more time than we thought ("Oh, hurry up and put in that Shower Head... you've got 10 minutes before Dinner..." Yes, that was part of yesterday's conversations, and we really do talk like that!)

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Oh, yeah. I keep forgetting to tell you about a Movie I saw on television last weekend -- can't believe the whole week has gone by and I haven't had a minute to mention it... Anyhooo, I just came across it when I was looking for Suze Orman's Show, and it was an oldie but a goodie, and one I'd never even heard of -- Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, with Cary Grant. No kidding! It was hilarious, and most of it still rings true, today. The prices are pretty funny -- good to just hear prices like that ($17 Grand for a House!!)... You might be able to find it at your local Video Store!

I'll get you some new pictures in a wee bit...

Well, I was going to put on some pictures of the new Shower Head that Dwight put in the Steam Room, last night, but then when I got up this morning, I was in the mood to make some nice little Treats for my Family. I just came up with this Treat at Valentine's Day (because I forgot to get a Cake!), and it turned out to be fabulous, so here's a 'Picture Recipe' -- who has the time to read?? ha,ha,ha!


Look in your Freezer Section of the Grocery Store for Tenderflake Pastry -- get the "6 Pastry Shells" Package. Better, yet, get Two, since you'll want to make this more than once! ha,ha,ha! I use Fresh or Frozen Berries, so if they're frozen, sprinkle the Berries with some sugar and pop in the Microwave for 5 minutes on High.

You just bake the pastry according to the instructions -- I always sprinkle a little bit of Sugar on the top of the Shells and use Parchment Paper, because it makes for an easier clean-up. Carefully remove the center of the Tart Shell and fill with the lovely Berries.

Of course, you will need some Whip Cream, and then place another Whole Berry on the Top. Voila! A delicious little Treat! These are fabulous for a Dinner Party, too, I'm just partial to this type of thing in the Morning! ha,ha,ha! I'm like a little Martha, only I don't care much about perfection -- I just want it to Taste Great and Look Lovely, too!

Drop me a line when you try these and let me know how they went over! My new Motto can be, "Makin' one more person happy at a time"! ha,ha,ha!

Okay, I have to go help Dwight install the Mirrored Laundry Room Closet Doors and do a little Tiling... all in a days work, right??

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! Have a fabulous Weekend!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

Lookie what I finally found! I looked everywhere for this link a while ago, and for the life of me, couldn't find it -- God Knows I'm always talking about Cakes, and what with all the Birthdays and other 'Cake-Friendly' Celebrations around, this is a fun thing to do!

< A sweet alternative to flowers>

<Cakes, cookies & balloons - hand delivered!><Order globally, baked and delivered locally!>

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Friday, March 12th, 2004. Hello, Darling! L'il Darlin'! Darlin', that's not right... that sounds more like a Donut Shop...which reminds me -- we had to drive to my favorite Tim Horton's Donut Shop the day before my Birthday to the only Donut Shop in Town that makes my absolutely favorite Donuts -- the Snow Eclairs. Yum. They look like a Hot Dog Bun, only it's a delicious donut, and it's full of Cream and sprinkled with White Icing Sugar. They didn't have any already made, but the very lovely woman who served us ran into the Back and made one just for me, then wished me a Happy Birthday at the end! Now that's fabulous Service!! One year, I got 6 of them and arranged them in a circle for a 'makeshift cake', which was pretty funny! Sometimes you have to be creative with stuff you love! ha,ha,ha!

Hey, have you ever seen Famous Homes and Hideaways? I love that Show, and it's just about to come on -- man, I love Satellite TV! I like to check out the different House Designs and Landscaping.... you know, for future reference when I'm filthy stinkin' rich, as Aidan says!! ha,ha,ha!

Well, did you see Survivor and The Apprentice, last night? Both about surviving the Jungle out there... They had a gorgeous Boat on Survivor -- Dwight wants one like that -- they aren't as expensive as you might think, and if you're looking at it as a possible 'Retirement Home' (as Dwight was...), and you've been living in a pretty nice House for a good portion of your Adult life, it ain't toooo much... Dwight's big plan was to sell whatever house we had and use some of the money to buy a huuuge boat, and the rest for a Retirement Fund and a Condo 'On Land'...then when we were in California last summer, on vacation, we all went over to Catalina Island on the Super-fast Ferry, and everyone was soooo sick from the ride that no-one would go with Dwight to look at more Boats! ha,ha,ha! Now we can look at them, again, but at the time, the seas were rough and the ride too fast for us, so we couldn't manage it. But Dwight is a 'Boat Boy', so I'm sure seeing that beautiful Boat on Survivor, last night, will have him thinking about his plan, again!

And I was relieved to see Heidi here those infamous words, "You're Fired!", from the Trump-Man! Finally... what was up with that little gutter mouth thing happening there?? You can't make your way into the Boardroom talking like that... what was she thinking? But then Heidi was on The View, this morning, and she seemed so nice, so I'm thinking there's another one who will do well on her own or working strictly in Sales... she seems really talented in that area. And just so's you knows, I ain't no priss about 'colorful language', but it doesn't belong in the Boardroom,or on a Show like that -- it seems so odd that armed with the knowledge that the TV Cameras are on you 24/7, why wouldn't you curb yourself a little?

And speaking of the Cameras on The Apprentice being on 24/7, why don't they just show the clip of the block of cement that fell on Omarossa's head? Nothin' like a chunk of cement fallin' on your head to make you feel like a quick game of basketball! And since so many of us are construction folks, you know that the second you recover from something bonking you on the head (or anywhere else...), you go find the offending item and show it to everyone within 'talking distance' ... "Oh, look what just fell on my head!!" And if you're anything like Dwight, you would attempt to throw it as far away as possible... Plus, who really believes that Donald Trump is going to have any people on a Work-Site where anything is 'loose' (not including the workers, of course... ha,ha,ha!) without wearing their Hard Hats?

Hey, is there really a Music Video from Donald Trump? Ryan Seacrest (of American Idol Fame, of course...and he has a really quick wit...) had a portion of it on his Show, Ryan Secreat On-Air, and the clip was hilarious, so keep an eye and an ear out for it, on the off-chance that's it's a real thing! Cara is my MTV connection, (except for Cribs, which I love because it has beautiful houses...) so I'll get her to tell me if she's sees the whole Donald Trump Video, and I'll let you know!

Tip of the Day: It's always wise to have a good handle on what kind of conversation and 'words' will fit nicely into whatever environment you're in... just think, you would never talk to your Grandmother the same way you would chat with your Friends, which is still different than how you would talk at the Office or with your Clients... It's common sense, but when you're watching old Heidi on The Apprentice, that's when you realize that not everyone has a solid hold on that idea...

Okay, let me go grab you some new pictures... be riiight back!

Here's my Girl in the Laundry Room Sink! She loves to play outside all the time in the Spring -- right before the grass is really full and the snow is melting, daily... so those little paws get pretty mucky!

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Dwight put in a Spray Fixture in this Sink, so it makes a great area to clean up Tia's little dirty paws! Isn't she cute? No wonder we love her soooo very much! ha,ha,ha!

Thanks for coming in for a wee visit! Say, feel free to bring a few of your friends over, anytime -- and if the kids aren't around (or any Grannies...!), they can say anything they like! ha,ha,ha!

See you on the Weekend! Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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Thursday, March 11th, 2004. Howdy, Cowfolks! What up wit' you?? ha,ha,ha! Little mix of some cultures, there... that's always fun! I'm wearing my new Tanzanite Ring, today -- think it's my new 'lucky ring' -- I'll let you know if it works! At the very least, it's a lot of fun to look at, and it gives me something gorgeous and shiny to look at while I'm writing! ha,ha,ha!

Have you noticed there's hardly any new stuff on TV this week? Everybody and their dog's on Vacation -- lucky schmucks! But tonight we can get a new fix of The Apprentice and Survivor, so that'll be good. Funny how you can become so dependent on Good TV to keep you happy -- but it's better than Crack Cocaine, so I suppose it's all good! Oh, and did I tell you about Dwight's take on Crack Cocaine? We were watching a News Report on it, and they said it has a 3 minute 'high', so Dwight says, "That's not good value for your money..."!! ha,ha,ha! I'm sure that's what the addicts in the Crack House are thinking, too -- surely they're conscious of their Money Management Techniques! Martha Stewart isn't the only one without a good connection to 'the common people'...har,har!

I just popped upstairs to get Aidan a Sherbert Ice Cream Cone, and spotted the new Steam Vacuum Cleaner. I had to put it together, first (took me about 20 minutes, including the time it took me to try to figure it out, then actually reading the instructions to get the thing together, which mad ethe whole process much faster...!). Of course, I had to try it on some Throw Rugs, and they came out beautifully, so now I'm gonna go try it downstairs on the regular Carpet. I'll be riiiight back -- now I'm on a 'cleaning mission'!

Well, I finished the Carpet Cleaning a while ago, then ended up looking on the Net for a little while for some more Construction Information, and lookie what I found! Check it out if you're lookin' to buy something you can actually hold in your hands... hey, maybe one day they'll want to Publish the Information from MY Site to add to their Construction Books! Wouldn't that be nice??

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Anyhooo, I tried my new Carpet Steam Cleaner, and man, is it possible (or Legal...??) to love a Steam Cleaner?? Not THE Steam Cleaner who comes over to yo' house -- I mean the actual machine...again, not the guy who comes over...that thing is amaaaazing! WooHoo! I love to remove any stains of any sort! Aidan says (after I had it all set up...), "Oooooh, that's so groovy!" Now where did that boy pick up that term? Maybe he's secretly watching old re-runs of The Brady Bunch! ha,ha,ha! It was a little bit loud when I was running the machine, so when I was done, Aidan says, "Whew! Finally, sme peace and quiet around here!" He's very dramatic! Where does he get that from?? har, har!

Now, you know I'm not one to follow the rules, mostly because they annoy me, but also because I often have an idea that surpasses the old one, so I like to try out new things... I thought of this years ago, but have never actually owned my own Steam Cleanin' Machine in order to try out my little idea, but now I have and I'm here to tell you it worked! Big Time! YaaHoo! If you're a long-time Reader, you'll also know that I love Oxy-Clean -- that stuff is like a little bucket of Miracles! So instead of adding the Regular 'Carpet Shampoo' to the Hot Water for the Steam Machine, I added in One Scoop of the Oxy-Clean. I gave it a good shake to dissolve the crystals, then went ahead and hoovered away to my heart's content! What a great afternoon! It worked perfectly, and now the Carpet looks fabulous (someone couldn't bring herself to 'go outside' during the really deep freeze we had earlier this winter...), and I'm thrilled! Now I can tell Dwight that I bought the Machine!! ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: Try something New that you really believe will work -- try it my way -- do it on the sly when no-one knows what you're up to, then only tell them what you did if it works -- or you get caught -- whichever comes first! ha,ha,ha,ha! (Okay, I'll admit that last one was pretty much for my own amusement! ha,ha,ha!)

Let me go get you some Pictures for Today! I'll just be a minute!

Here's my favorite Sunroom -- Dwight's home, now, so I'm just on my way up there so we can have a wee chat before Dinner... anyway, that's the newly painted Garden Room Doors. Very pretty in White -- Dwight was right about that. Then you can see through the Garden Room Doors to the Sunroom Chairs... the Sunroom is 12' X 19', so lots of room in there for all sorts of furniture!

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And the last picture is of the Chairs with the Doors swung open -- I open them every morning so Tia-The-Dog can stroll in (she loves to sun herself all day long in there!!), and we don't close them again until Bed Time. It's a beautiful, cheery room!

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! You look fabulous, of course, and is that a new perfume I smell?? No? A Shower, you say? Good idea. Must plan for that! ha,ha,ha!

See you tomorrow! Later, Baby, Ailsa!!


Hey, if you haven't had a minute to pop in to see what kind of Real Estate is on eBay, take a moment and check it out -- it's amaaaazing!!

< Find great deals on real estate at eBay>

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Wednesday, March 10th, 2004. Hello, hello, hello! It's lovely to see you, and you're loking particularly svelte, today! What a great word, not to mention a fabulous look!! ha,ha,ha! We had the worst Snowstorm, yesterday, and wouldn't you know it, I was actually out of the house and got stuck in it. Ugh. California, here I come! har, har! I can't stand driving in the snow, let alone when it's a full-blown snowstorm... It really is a tough call for me whether to live in a cold, snowy climate, when there is a possibility of living in a much warmer one...

And speaking of a full-blown storm, what do you think about the whole Martha Stewart thing? I'm constantly amazed at the Legal System and the Media they way they really go after a Woman who has 'gotten too big for her britches...' (note I didn't forget the 'r'...!)... I don't believe, that, of course, because I love to see anyone who works hard to get ahead become very successful, and I can't stand it when the second a woman makes it to the top, some folks immediately want to pull them back down. Why is that? Wouldn't it be better to be happy for everyone who does well, and help all the up-and-comings to do well, too?

One thing that drives me up the wall is the whole thing that she has (had...?) all that success but no man, so there must have been something seriously wrong with her... puhleeease, what's happening with the fifties throw-back that all women must have a man to define her? That is sooo annoyink! And just when Sex and the City has gone off the Air, and we need more messages that life is good with or without a partner... depends wholely on the partner, no?? But with all that coin, why didn't Martha get herself a better Defense Team? Wasn't Johnny Cochrane available? And Jail Time -- maybe the Prison Cells should be reserved for people who are a danger to the public, not for the ones being held up as an example...

Can you tell I'm mad at Dwight, today? ha,ha,ha! Ah, well that's what it is to be married... sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't .. or was that peanuts? Who can remember these things? ha,ha,ha! No, that crazy Dwight didn't even give me a hug when I came in from my harrowing drive through that stooopid snowstorm. Can you believe that? Me neither... So when I was making the dinner (the moment after I came in the door... oh, it's paradise, I tells ya'!), I said to Dwight, "Did you want to say or do anything? I just had a harrowing drive..." So he responds that he already said, "It's bad out there, eh?". Yep, that about covers it. So we got some drinks and 'retire' to the Sunroom -- Thank God for that room -- it keeps the boy around! I said to Dwight that I think marriages have a better chance of staying together when there's a fabulous big house involved! ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: Go ahead and come clean if you think you might have commited even the tiniest infraction -- it's better than jail time, right?? And even if there aren't a whole lot of Cameras in your face to see what you might have done, it's always good to recognize whatever bad thing you've done and quickly and willingly offer up a sincere apology. Not like Dwight's facetious, "Well I'm sooooorrry..." -- that never works, then you just have disgruntled spouses (not too many disgruntled spouses! ha,ha!), children, employees... Poor Martha -- why don't they just give her a giant Fine and put the money toward a good Youth Program (The Dishin' Dogs, The Foldin' Falcons... something like that...) and let all the people she employs in her 'Domain' stay on the job, hmmmm? Just a thought!

Okay, I'll go get you some new pictures... be right baaack!

No, I'm not scraping the bottom of the barrel for pictures! ha,ha! I was actually dreaming about Light Switches the other night -- ooooh, how exciting, you're thinking!

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If you're thinking of doing a quick and relatively inexpensive Home Improvement Project to update your Home, try replacing all the old flip switches with the New Rocker Switches. They are sooo much nicer and will make the place look like you're livin' in the year 2004 in no time! You can Hire an Electrician to do the Wiring if you're not comfortable with that, or if you've never tried it. The last picture is the Thermostat for operating the Radiant Floor System -- it's just like the regular Heating or Cooling System, so you don't need to worry about whether it would be too tricky to operate -- it's a breeze!

Thanks for popping in to see me for a minute! See you tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

<I love Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Everything you really need to know to become Financially Secure and Happy!>

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Tuesday, March 9th, 2004. Hey, Baby-Cakes! Sugar-Pie! Apple Dumpling...okay, that's it -- I'm gonna have to get a snack before I write this, or the whole thing will have food references...! ha,ha,ha! I still have my Apple Crumble for One every day -- I just found out, for sure (fo' shizzle...??! ha,ha,ha!), that it's great for lowering your Cholesterol, too, since Apples, Oatmeal and Bran all help to lower Cholesterol. Not bad, not bad -- and tasty, too! I have to go get my Cholesterol Tested, so I'll have a bit more of the Apple Crumble for One, then go get that done... we have a history of High Cholesterol in our Family, so it's an important part of my Health Regime.

Well, we had an intersting Evening, last night... Dwight and I always 'Retire to the Sunroom' (yeah, go ahead and think of The Howells on Gilligan's Island -- I'll play the part of 'Lovee'!! ha,ha!) to relax with a Drink (Tea is my Drink of choice, and Dwight happens to like a Rum and Coke or Iced Tea...) and talk about our day. It's a good time to catch up on what's happening in his Business and in Mine. Anyway, last night we were sitting in the Sunroom when a Call came in for the House, and I could see the car at the end of our Land, so I told them just to pop on in... to make a relatively long story a bit shorter, we invited this lovely young couple in to see the House (which is For Sale By Owner, of course, since Dwight and I both see a House Sale as a simple Business Transaction...). They loved the House and I'll let you know what happens, next...

So the reason I tell you this (other than the obvious reason that you love Real Estate and Personal Stuff, too!! ha,ha!) is that you will often hear that 'demographics' have to be applied to Home Buying and Home Selling. There used to be an old notion of what type of Buyer would purchase a Home in our 'Market niche', and the big assumption that was that 'young people' would never have the money to buy at this level. Well, Dwight and I live here very comfortably, and we know all sorts of people in our age range and much younger who are buying gorgeous big houses. When I designed this House, I designed it with Family Life in mind -- I'm not the only young mother who wants great big Bedrooms for the Children... and then a million other cool features in the House for everyone else! Why not, I say?! We should all be extra comfy!

The other thing that I thought was really significant was that they absolutely loooved the House, and weren't afraid to express themselves. One of the other crazy old notions is that you should always appear to find a home barely acceptable before you put in an Offer. When it's a Home for Sale By Owner, all those rules go out the window (they're stooopid rules, anyway, and have to go...). Our price and ability to negotiate the house sale doesn't change when a Buyer loves our home -- in fact, when we know a Buyer loves one of our homes, we go out of our way to see that they get a great deal and everyone is happy. We were watching a Real Estate Show a while ago, and one of the Realtors proudly says that there's never a House Deal where everyone is happy -- what a big pile o' crap, that is... it's easy to work out a suitable agreement between civilized folks -- how hard can that be?? Puhleeease... Business People work out mutually agreeable terms all the time, or they wouldn't be in Business one more second... maybe one industry can learn from the others, ya' think? ha,ha,ha!

We'll see what happens, this week, then if an Offer comes in and the funding is all fine, we'll have to pop into town on the weekend to see if there's a house we'd like to buy. I've seen a few that I liked, but I couldn't get Dwight to come and and have a look to see if he liked them, so now he'll have to... we'll probably pick up a smaller home (than this... but not toooo small...), then start looking around for more Land to Build on in the Future. We'll see what happens...

Tip of the Day: You know what I always have on the Dining Room Table, no matter what? A lovely Tablecloth. It looks great and happens to soak up any little (or big...) spills that might occur. Plus, it always feels like you're having a wonderful 'Dining Experience' when you have a pretty Tablecloth on the Table. It's easier to clean, too, since I just fold the thing up when it's done (so-to-speak...) and pop it in the laundry. You can see one of my many, many Tablecloths in the First Picture... my favorite ones have a 'Satin' Finish, and are Cream, Sage and Gold (individually, not all together, although that would probably look nice, too...). Soooo pretty! Also, you're waaaay less likely to clutter the Table where you eat with all sorts of papers and paraphenalia -- that's so easy to do, but if you're changing the Tablecloth every other day, or so (depending on the 'Spill Factor' in yo' house...!), there won't be enough time for any serious accululations!

Okay, let me go grab you some new pictures! Be riiight back!

Well, you know how I looove Flowers, right? But here's the problem -- I'm horribly allergic to them, and Dwight can't stop himself from getting me roses, so this time he got me one single rose, and I was okay with it, so here it is... I am particularly fond of looking into the centre of the Rose, because I love the structure of the Rose Petals...

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And I couldn't find my 'Single Bud Vase', so I found a Candlestick Holder that I bought years ago, and it turned out the thing was hollow, so it made the Perfect Bud Vase. Who knew?? Then I took the Rose around to the Sunroom (everybody needs to have a visit to the Sunroom, no?? ha,ha!), so that's it beside the other flowers... pretty, eh? And isn't the Tiled Floor nicely Grouted? ha,ha,ha! That middle picture would make a lovely Screen Saver or Poster... hmmmm. Isn't the Bear Table cute? I love it!

Thanks for swingin' in for a wee visit! See You Tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

I love Ace Hardware -- they have a ton of cool stuff, including a gorgeous Bistro Set -- all very Romantic for a Hardware Store!! ha,ha!

< >

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Monday, March 8th, 2004. Hey, Good Lookin'! I love the way your eyes gaze at the computer screen! Or glaze over...whatever, they're very the Left one Custom made? (Think Captain Ron, one of Dwight's all time favorite movies!!) Well, I'm wearing my gorgeous new Tanzanite, Diamond and White Gold Ring from my Birthday, yesterday. I typically don't like to wear any jewellery at home -- I put it on when I go out, and take it all off the second I'm back in the house, but I do like to look at it from time to time. Anyway, this ring is soooo beautiful that I thought I'd wear it wile I'm working, today. The lights over my computer are nice and bright, so the stones are really sparkly - a quality I happen to love in Gems!! And Eyes!! ha,ha,ha!

So now I'm officially a whole year older -- 41, or, as I prefer it, "40 and a 1"! Dwight pointed out, last night, that for 10 or 11 days (depending on whether it's a leap year...), he's 5 years older than me, but now he's back to being a mere 4 years older... yes, he had a few rum and cokes -- funny you would ask about that...! ha,ha,ha! And a lot of Turkey and Cake (I had 6 Different Selections -- I bought thm and I figure I'm worth it! So there! hummfff... I was slightly disguntled in the middle of my Birthday Afternoon, right after I opened my Presents and before my Party Guests arrived, because that Crazy Dwight turned into 'Mr. Clean Freak', yet again. Man, he just can't get a handle on his need to please other people -- but not me, so I got some thinkin' to do... and just when I thought I could sit back and stop thinking... take a little break from my thought process for a while... ah, well. Good thing my Ring is sooooo gorgeous! This is the sort of day when a fabulous big house really pays off for the husband! ha,ha,ha!

But I did have a great Party in the evening, so that was good... and part of one of my Birthday Gifts is to go t a Psychic! Cool, eh? That's a fun ting to do every so often in your Life, if it dosn't conflict with your Belief System... the last time I went, it was literally the day before I met Dwight, and I was still going out with Ben Johnson (yes, you might remember him from such films as "Roids R' Us" ... juuuust kidding! You gotta have your sense of humour firmly in place to get through this life with a few laughs, right??). Anyhooo, that was the only time I've ever gone to a psychic, and it was a really moving experience. I was at a terrible time in my life with my horrible ex-husband putting Cara and I through the ringer, just because he could, and I didn't know what kind of a future Cara and I had ahead of us. Funny to think that I had quite an interesting 'personal life' in the middle of all that turmoil... but the thing the psychic did for me was she showed me that I actually had a future, at a time when I felt like maybe we wouldn't survive it...

One of the amazing things she told me was that I would have to choose between two men 'for love', and one of them I hadn't met yet, but when I did meet the 'next one', there would be a 'speedy proposal'. Well, wouldn't you know it, I met Dwight the following night, and the boy was smitten with me. We all just about dropped when he said, after about 10 minutes, or so, "Remind me to marry this girl..." (yes, he was drinking that night, too -- what's your point?? ha,ha,ha!) That's when he asked me out for Dinner, and I glanced down at my 'Ring Hand', where Ben had not given me a ring, and I thought, "Well, I guess he's not committed to me..." and accepted Dwight's invitation for Dinner. We hit it off right away, and Dwight got in at a good time, because it was great just having someone to talk to who spoke English all the time, and I didn't once have to say, "What was that? Pardon me? I didn't quite catch that..." Of course, now I have to say those things all the time, but that's not because of a language barrier... har, har!

Now, keep in mind I was 31 at the time, and quite anxious to get on with my life, get remarried and have another baby, so that was a huuuge focus for me. Oh, and the psychic said I would have a son, and that I would be pregnant at 35, and have the baby when I was 36, and guess who that turned out to be? That's right -- Aidan!! Man, was she smart! ha,ha! At the time I thought I was going to have a really, really fast (not to mention cute!) baby, and I had thought it would have happened a whole lot faster, so-to-speak, so I remember being pretty disappointed at the prospect of it possibly taking sooo long to have another baby...

Anyway, to make what is turning into a really long story, short, that Psychic had a profound affect on my whole life, because she was so positive about my future, and she told me lovely things about Cara that I deserately needed to hear at the time -- the things that I remember the most is that she would be a Singer and Dancer (which she is...), and would be happy and healthy (which she also is, Thank God...). Oh, and speaking of that, I don't feel like going to a psychic doesn't fit in well with my Religion -- I think anything that gives you hope for a better future is a good thing. In fact, I think it would be a good thing for anybody, regardless of age, who is in need of having a little insight into their future (I'm really thinking for folks who are sad or, God Forbid, suicidal... I know that's really a sad thought, but it's a reality of our lives, and if this is a good way to save a few lives, then let's give it a try... might work better than years of Therapy -- Incompetent Therapy, that is...), would be a good trip to make.

Oh, and speaking of Therapy, did you see The Sopranos, last night? Ooooh, we've been waiting for a long time for that! Dr. Melphi is one of our favorite Characters... and Dr. Phil even got a mention from Tony Soprano on the Show -- now that's success! ha,ha,ha! And then Arrested Development was on -- what a great night of TV!! We just have to get the VCR that we tried to set up downstairs moved back up to the upstairs TV, because The Sopranos happens to be on at the same time as The Simpsons and Bernie Mac, and I canny miss them, so we'll have to get that stooopid VCR set up so I can tape them... that's the only drawback to Satellite -- you can only watch one Show at a time (I know, there's a tear streaming down you cheek right now for me...ha,ha!), and you can't get the PIP (picture-in-picture, which we used to love...).

Tip of the Day: Today's tip comes by way of my of my Loyal Readers, Theresa... she writes, in reference to my Tip about putting Info Sheets in a Mail Box on a Post beside your House For Sale Sign, "... I have seen these boxes out there, that you can actually put curbside, posted to a pole or something. they will hold extra flyers with your house specs that people can take, but there's a plexiglass front that has one of the flyers on display..." Now I had forgotten about the Plexiglass Info Holders, so I'll need to call Dwight and get him to bring home a sheet of Plexi-Glass. You can cut it with a regular Hand Saw (Plug-In...), so it's like working with wood... Dwight says it cuts, "like buttah..." ha,ha,ha! Anyway you could sandwich the Info Sheets between the Plexi-Glass Sheets and screw them together. Wonder if he'll do that for me? Frankly, I'd be happy with a Sign at the very Front of our House -- he still won't agree to that, and the ground is too frozen for me to go out and pound a sign in, myself... I'll have a look around to see if you can just buy the Plexi-Glass Info Holder on-line... I'll let you know if I can find one.

Oh, yeah, check out Theresa's whole letter on my Fan Mail Page -- still think that's pretty funny that I would have Fan Mail!! ha,ha!

Now let me go get some new pics for you... be right baaaack!

Okay, so here's my lovely new Tanzanite Ring -- is that too weird a shot?? ha,ha! Ah, well... that's my personal View of it! And there I am blowing out the Candles on my Birthday Cake (the Chocolate Mousse one -- you can't put candles on every cake, because that gets a little weird... right?? ha,ha!)

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Yesterday I was wearing my new Tanzanite Ring with my Diamond Ring that just happens to match it, but today I just felt like wearing my new one all by itself. Soooo pretty! (Gotta keep myself amused with sparkly things while I'm writing! ha,ha,ha!)

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(Just in case you can't get enough pictures of Jewels!! Or maybe that's Meeeee!! ha,ha!)

Thanks for coming in for a wee visit! It's always lovely to see you!

Until Tomorrow, take care of yourself and have some fun! Ailsa!!


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It's the Weekend Update for March 6th & 7th (My Birthday!!), 2004. Hey there, Sugah', Sugah''re lookin' extra sweet, today! You weren't rolling in Cinnamon Buns, were you? No, don't waste them like that -- maybe roll about in some Icing Sugar -- that's a much better use of your money, and we're all about good money management, no?? See how it starts At Home?? ha,ha,ha,ha! No, it's not a 'gin-soaked morning'... I'm just excited about my Birthday! It doesn't matter how many you've had, it's impossible not to look forward to another one! It's one of the few things you always want more of, right??

And tomorrow I finally get to wear my new Tanzanite Ring, so I can hardly wait for that -- each day since I bought the thing for myself (that's often the reality of married life...), I've had one look at my new Ring every day -- it's soooo gorgeous! I adore the shade of Purple the Tanzanite has. And you know how I had that Lasik Eye Surgery to permanently correct my vision last summer? Well, it changes how bright things are, so I couldn't quite see the ring clearly when was at the Store -- well, I saw it clearly enough to squeal with delight and buy the thing, but when I was looking at it this week, I saw that it has 4 little Diamonds, too. Two on either side of a row of 5 Round-Cut Tanzanites... oooooh, can't wait to wear it!

Did you happen to watch Survivor last Thursday? One of the Reward Challenges came with a Prize of Steak Kebabs, and Dwight went on and on about how good they looked, so guess who came home with all the makings for some Steak Kebabs?? That's right, Dwight. He loves to BBQ, so he had big plans for that. Then, of course, you get sooo tired and start thinking of ways you can still have a great meal but with a whole lot less work, so we did our old 'stand-by' Tin Foil Veggies Trick', and the meal was much easier to make and still delicious. I took some pictures of the process so you can try it if you don't already BBQ your veggies like this... Who would have thought you'd get great ideas for Dinner from Survivor?? And no worms or grubs involved, either! ha,ha,ha!

For my Birthday Dinner, Dwight is making me a Big Turkey Dinner, which we all love. I am particularly fond of staying Home (you've seen my house, so you can see why I like it so very much! ha,ha!), so we're going to have a little Family Get-together over here. And that Dwight better not make me do all the cleaning -- he's a good cook, but a bit of a clean freak, so he has to take a break from that, this weekend... or at least I do! Although I do want to try out my new Steam Cleaner for the Carpets... I haven't had a chance to even take it out of the Box, but I want to try it and let you know whether the thing works, or not. My big plan is to put Oxy-Clean in the Steam Machine bit, then see what that does... I'm going to try it on an older Throw Rug that Dwight likes, but I think is not that nice... you don't want to practice on your good carpet, or that could be a $10,000. mistake! That not be good, as Neanderthal Thor would say! ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: When you are Selling Your House, a good way to quickly 'Share Information' with your Potential Buyers (if they are 'Drive-By Spies' -- they are driving around the neighborhood and 'spy' your house! ha,ha!) is to have a Mail Box on a Post with Single Sheets with all your House Information. The reason I think of this is because I was just saying to Dwight, last night, that we really need to do that, since it gives people a quick overview of your Home so that they can make an informed decision about whether they want to pursue the Deal... Include the Size of your Home, Special Features, some Interior Shots, and, of course, the Price. That's bottom line what everyone needs to know. Wish me luck in convincing Dwight to Make that for me, today!! ha,ha,ha!

Well, I can hear some people moving around, upstairs, so they must be up -- I like to write when everyone is either asleep or out the house ... just the way of a fickle writer, I suppose! But it works for me, so I'm stickin' to it!

Let me go grab you some pictures before I have to make some French Toast for everybody -- maybe you can come over some time, and I'll make some for you, too! Wouldn't it be fun to have some huuuuge 'Buildyourownhouse' Party?? Must think about that... then we could all see whether we look identical -- or not!!

So here's the Quick 'N Easy way to make BBQ Veggies! That's my Island in the Kitchen, of course. Thank Goodness it's sooo big, because we always like a lot of space when we're working in the Kitchen -- and Dwight still gets in my way! ha,ha,ha! But we do almost always work together on the Big Meals, which makes things a lot nicer...


See the Olive Oil and Montreal Steak Spice in the Background? Just wash and cut your Veggies, put them on the Tin Foil and drizzle with a wee bit of Olive Oil and a Sprinkle of the Steak Spice, then seal up the 'package'. Use a separate piece of Tin Foil if you're making a giant pile of veggies, and just fold in the edges to make sure the Steam stays in.Throw those on the BBQ when you put the Meat on (or on their own, if you're making a Vegetarian Meal...). Oh, and you can do your Potatoes like that, too -- just slice them thinly and put them on the BBQ right away...)

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And there's the Peppers -- like a little Pepper Medley, with all the colors! You can do any Veggies like this -- they're always delicious and it's soooo easy it'll leave you more time for drinkin'!! ha,ha,ha!

Thanks for swingin' in for a wee visit! Oh, I almost forgot to tell you -- I have a Link for you to check out -- it's for the Wee Village in Scotland where my Parents have a place -- Paul McCartney has a fair bit to do with this 'wee toon', too (you have to say that with a Scottish Accent!!), so I think you'll get a kick out of it. It's -- my new pal Johnny runs the Site!

Take Care of Yourselves, and Your Loved Ones, okay, and your 'liked ones', too, in case you're mad at your 'loved ones', today!! ha,ha,ha!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!

(I'll be a whole year older when I write to you, next!! And One Ring Heavier! WooHoo!!)

Oooooh, and don't forget to watch The Sopranos on Sunday Night -- man, can this weekend get any better? ha,ha,ha!

This is my 'Weekend for Jewels', because it's my Birthday Wekend, and I looove Jewels! ha,ha! Ah, well, a girls gotta love something, right? I just happen to love Jewels and Real Estate... oh, and chocolate and books...ah, really, the list is endless of 'Stuff I Love'...! My favorite 'Hangy Down Earrings' are Blue Topaz, so I loooved this Necklace -- what a steal, too! Man, it doesn't take much to make a girl happy, these days! Thank-you, great prices on the Internet!! ha,ha,ha!

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Friday, March 5th, 2004. Yo to my Peeps! What up, Baaaby?? I just wrote the 'Health Care' thing, first -- funny how you can get off on a rant so early in the morning -- you can blame that one on Dwight -- I know I am! ha,ha,ha,ha! Okay, that's just a little insider joke for all 'dem wives out there! ha,ha! Anyhooo, it's my last couple of days being 40, so I should probably savour them, but instead, here I am all disgruntled, 'n all... what's a girl to do?? Every time I think I've come to a good solid decision on something, sumpin' else happens that puts me right back into 'Decision Mode, 2004'...! So, I think I might just have me a wee nap -- surprising how that always makes me feel better! ha,ha,ha! (It feels like a total luxury to me to have a nap during the day when I could be out working at a normal job... That's a major part in my 'Decision making, too, let me tell ya!)

Oh, yeah, now I remember what I was going to talk to you about, this morning! Funny how you get so fuzzy about thoughts and stuff... har, har... Did you see The Apprentice, last night? Oh, Man, do I love that Show. Gotta say, I was glad to see Omarossa go -- it's too bad she couldn't figure out how to become part of the group, though. She's another one that I think will be very successful on her own -- not everybody is a 'Team Player', and not everyone needs to be. My favorites are still Troy, Bill and Amy. And I like Kwame, too -- especially with his glasses on, but that's probably a whole other story...ha,ha,ha! And what did you think of the Art Work? I loooved the work by Andrei -- is that the right spelling? Maybe 'The Donald' will have his Work made into more affordable Prints and he and the Artist can get richer and richer... ha,ha! I love to see an Artist become 'filthy stinkin' rich', as Aidan says! It's nice when someone's hard work pays off...

And what about the extra-creepy Art? Not my cup of tea... or gin, although maybe a few cups of gin might make it appear more palatable... or not... depending on how honest you are when you're stinkin' drunk (okay, that's my phrase, not Aidan's... ha,ha!)! I liked the theme of 'Go with what you like', as opposed to trying to make money from something you really don't care for. I think that goes for Housing and Real Estate, too. We would never buy any piece of Property we wouldn't consider living in, ourselves. That includes any Rental Properties, too. If I can't see myself in the Property, then it's a no-go. Oh, and I like Nick a lot better, now -- after that one-on-one Meeting with Donald Trump saying he thought he was a good guy with plenty of potential, that Boy can right himself a ticket to a great C.E.O. job! Lucky, schmuck! Can you imagine getting the 'Big Okay' from 'The Donald'?? Man, his head must have been swimming!

Cara was performing in her Fine Arts High School's Choir & Band Concert, last night, so I got to go all by myself -- ooooh, sometimes it's just fun to leave Dwight and Aidan at home...I don't get many opportunities like that! Anyway, it's sooo nice to see your Child up on a Stage (Cara's in the Choir) -- I get so 'teary' when I see Cara like that -- it's hard to believe she'll be 16 this May, and it won't be long after that before she's a full-fledged, now how a I gonna cope with that?? That's the sort of thing I think about when I don't have to watch Aidan every second! It's bizarre to think that Aidan will just be starting his School Days as Cara is finishing hers... not including Post Secondary Education, of course! Then we had to race home to catch Survivor and The Apprentice -- what a great night of TV!

Hey, I'm just watching The Wayne Brady Show while I'm writing this, and I cannot understand why on earth his Show would be cancelled? He's fabulous -- hilarious, musically talented beyond belief, a great Talk Show Host... it makes no sense what-so-ever... Surely there's another Network that can pick him up and make a big pile of money with his Talent -- where's Donald Trump to produce a New Network?? ha,ha,ha! TrumpTV -- doesn't that sound good? I'd support it!

Cara just called and I need to pop in and pick her up at school, so I'll finish this later! Be riiight back!

Okay, I'm back, and I just wanted to mention about a new virus that came into my computer, yesterday, that you can watch out for over the next little while. It comes into your e-mail as if it is coming from your own Company -- especially disturbing if you are the only member of your Company, like me! And my e-mail letter was signed, 'From the Team of', and there is no Team! I had to contact my Server because the note said my e-mail would be going down, which it won't, because it's just a stooopid virus, but here a link to go get some info on it if it has entered your computer:

My Server sent me that for me to check out. Now, I always love to get e-mails from you guys, my lovely and brilliant Readers, but since I get a vast amount of e-mail every day, I only open letters with a clear Subject Heading, so it's good to steer away from anything including 'enlarge', 'girls, girls, girls', or 'Hello'...I know, that seems a little obvious, but it's tricky thinking up a good Subject Heading, sometimes, so go with something specific about the Site -- that'll work! And keep an eye out for that crazy virus!

Tip of the Day: Don't open weird e-mail attachments... get your friends to identify their letters, if you can, then be a bit brutal about ignoring stuff you aren't sure about. Better to be safe than sorry, especially with our precious computers -- and I mean that, of course -- I looove my computer, and I don't want anything bad to happen to it!

I'll go grab you some Pictures...

Here are three different Angles of the Lovely Green Wicker Chairs in the Sunroom. The first on is the View from the Master Bedroom (the Sunroom is adjacent to the Master Bedroom...), then the middle one is right in the Sunroom.

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The third shot I took through the Interior Glassless Window in the Master -- you can get a good angled shot from that Window! The third view is what I see from 'My Seat' in the sunroom -- Dwight always sits on the Green Chairs (feet up on one chair... sits on the other), and I sit on the Settee. (For the non-British, that's a Couch!) Tia, of course, cuddles in with me on the Settee, so it's all very comfy! And a fabulous View, to boot!! ha,ha,ha!

Thanks for swingin' in for a wee visit -- you know you can alwasy open my Site without any worries!

See you on 'The Weekend'!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

As you might have guessed, I'm heavily into the Health and Wellness Thing -- I really believe that it's far better to take good care of yourself, and for Public Programs to spend the money on Health Maintenance and Prevention, to make massive improvements in our overall Health Care. I'm very concerned about the lack of universal good Health Care, and it doesn't look like things are going to get a whole lot better in that area, so it's critical that we each take care of ourselves and those around us if we're going to survive the Health Care Crisis.

It's a little scary to think of so many of us ('The Baby Boomers'...) getting to be in an age range where we are more likely to require Health Care, and the current state of affairs, today. In Canada, there is a terrible shortage of Doctors -- so bad that it's really hard to even find a Doctor for your Primary Care... and trying to get in to see a Specialist is next to impossible. There's a real issue here about whether we should have a 'Two Tier Health Care System', as if that's the worst thing imaginable. I find it amusing, at best, because we already have a Two Tiered System (Two Tiered meaning that the Rich can afford more Health Care Provisions than the Poor can, so it's Rich against Poor, something that supposedly doesn't exist in Canada -- it does, of course, just like it exists in every single society... it's just that you're supposed to pretend we're all equal, here -- what a joke...).

I think the general thought of most Working Canadians who have an Employer who pays for their Health Care is that the System is fair and even -- not so for the Self-Employed and Under-employed (God Help you if you're UNemployed...) Canadians. The monthly Fees for Health Care are far to much for many families, so they have no Health Care Coverage. You have to produce a Health Care Card when you go to the Hospital or any Doctor's appointment. I'd like to know what happens to the folk who don't have a Card -- are they refused Health Care? I know there is a Walk-In Clininc in the Downtown Areas of most Canadian Cities for folks without Health Care Cards, but what about the thousands (I hope the numbers aren't insanely high, here...) who live ordinary lives and just can't afford the Monthly Health Care Premiums? I think ours is something like $230./month... I'll have to ask Dwight, since he takes care of that through his Business...

And that doesn't even begin to cover Dental or Vision Care -- ridiculous. There used to be really comprehensive Prenatal Care (Good Care starts in 'The Womb'...!), but I'm not sure if these programs have been phased out in the interest of 'The Budget'. Interesting that there's sooo much money for the Government to waste on Flags ($20 Million...), and Advertising Campaigns ($100 Million...), but just not enough money for Health Care. Now how does that seem 'Fair'?? Please. I wish they would just run things like any decent Company, then this Massive Spending Wate could really change and our Tax Dollars could get back to work supporting Programs that are effective and efficient for a successful society. (We do have a great Health Care System here in Canada, just to clarify...)

Okay, I've gotta jump down offa' my soap box, now... I'm sounding quite a bit like a disgruntled 40 year old, no?? ha,ha,ha! Not for long...soon I'll be a disgruntled 41 year old! Can't wait!!

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Thursday, March 4th, 2004. Hello, hello, hello!! Man, you are looking stunning, today. Love the way your eyes seem so symetrical... but why are your pupils so tiny? Not to worry... I won't tell anyone else! ha,ha,ha! March 4th -- My Parents' 43rd Anniversary! That's a long, lng time! I love that Date as a Wedding Anniversary, though -- March Forth into a New Life... good idea, huh?

Dwight just came downstairs to say goodbye, since he's getting readu to head off to work, but he hasn't bothered to shave in days, so now he looks like he could own 'Steet People Mechanical', rather than his current Company, D.K. Mechanical! ha,ha,ha! He's lookin' pretty rough ... I think he's still in the Miami Vice 'unshaven' Phase ... but that Show just went off the Air, what, a mere 10 years ago? Time flies when you're 45, I hear!! ha,ha,ha! Wonder if that'll happen to me, too?! Oh, and for My Birthday (this coming Sunday...), I've decided I'm going to celebrate Birthdays in my 40's with a "40 and a One", "40 and a Two", and so on, like a count up to Fabulous Fifty (think Oprah!!). I like the idea, and it's my birthday, so I'm stickin' to it! ha,ha,ha!

I had the worst headache, yesterday, so I hardly got any work done on my Site -- today I'd really like to 'tidy up' my Shopping Section. There's always sooo much work to do, and I work on my site all by myself, of course, so straightening everything out takes time. I had to take some medicine and lay down for a wee bit, and it struck me how easy my life really is... sometimes it takes an illness or something out of the ordinary to see something more clearly. I've been stuggling with a lot of difficult decisions,lately, and yesterday I realized that I don't have to struggle -- I can just wait and see what happens. I can' have some influence over my future,but for the most part, it'll just unfold the way it wants to, right? Simple concept, but it had a profound affect on me. And so I feel a whole lot better, today...

Well, the Painters didn't show up, yesterday, so I'll have to see if we can contact them. Sometimes your paths just cross, and the timing doesn't work out. Right now, it's not such a big deal, because I'm home the vast majority of the time,and I have a ton of work to do around here (including my Website!), but I'll tel you, at other times of my life it was a nghtmare waiting for someone who didn't show up. In particular, when I lived in Santa Monica, California (oooh, that was a nice place to live!!), I had to take a Day Off Work just to wait for the Cable Guy. What an annoyink experience -- you don't even want to go to the bathroom, on the off-chance that you miss the guy, then you have to take another whole day off (since they can pinpoint when they'll be there , "Anytime between 8:00 am - 5:30 pm"...). Can you imagine if we all operated like that? All other businesseseses...think Homer Simpson... would come to a screeching halt. I can only hope that Satellite TV has created enough of a Competitive Market to stop the Monopoly that allowed them to provide such terrible Service.

Oh, and speaking of Homer Simpson, you know how I've mentioned that I've written some Spec Scrpts for The Simpsons? Wel, I was watching yet another absolutely hilarious Episode written by John Swartzwelder, and man, would I ever love to meet that guy -- he must be hysterical, and I don't mean that in a 'crazy' kind of way...! ha,ha,ha! I wonder if he's the kind of guy Ellen would have on her Show, since she often has Guests that are not as 'Mainstream' as many of the other Shows... which reminds me, Ellen had Prince on her Show, yesterday, and he was amazing. He is going back on Tour with a 'family show', because lots of his 'old fans' now have kids, and they want to go to the concerts, too! Isn't that hilarious?! Anyway, he was as fabulous as ever, so I'm going to be on the look-out for when Prince comes up to Calgary so I can take Cara.

Tip of the Day: For the next month, or so, trying doing one thing different every day. It doesn't have to be a huge thing, but if you always do something exactly the same way, just change it out a wee bit to make a slight change. You never know how that will affect the outcome... you can try this in your relationships, too. If you typically have one reaction (especially if it's a negative reaction...) to something your spouse does or says (or they way they breathe in that annoyink in and out way...! ha,ha,ha!). Maybe plan that one in advance, because it's hard to break old patterns. Even if it's only changing one word (yep, you know the word!!), or a look, it's worth a try to change it out and see what happens. Think of it as your own little human experiment!

Okay, let me go grab you some new pictures from my archives! Be riiight back!

This is our Master Bedroom when I had to move all the stuff out of the Adjoining Sunroom the day we were Grouting the Tiled Floor. Aidan thought it was fabulous to have so much furniture in there, and he thought all the plants loked like 'A Garden Valley'!



Here's Aidan in front of 'The Garden Valley'! He liked it sooo much (he kept saying, "Oooooh, I like the jungle Garden Valley you got in here..."!) in the Bedroom that I kept all the plants in a big 'bundle' in the Sunroom when I put all the furniture back in there. And Aidan was right -- it does look fabulous!

Thanks for coming in for a wee visit, today! See you tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

Well, you know how much I happen to looove Chocolate, so I thought you'd like this Link!

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Wednesday, March 3rd, 2004. Hey Baby-Cakes! Sugar Dumpling! (Not toooo much of a 'Dumpling, of course -- you're just the right size of Dumpling! ha,ha!) Well, I had a house full of sick children, yesterday -- if two children makes a 'house full', and, frankly, it does for me! Anyway, everyone seems much better, today, so that's good. The Painters are on their way over, and it's weird when people are here to work but there are sick folks around...

Poor wee Aidan -- he hates taking any medicine, and it took me all day to remember how I used to get it into him -- he's a very healthy little man, so I rarely have to give him any medicine at all, which is good. Anyway, it took me ages to find his Childrens' Tylenol (you know how you should never to give Aspirin to children... but do you remember when you were a kid how incredibly delicious the little orange tablets of Aspirin were? I loved them -- lucky we're all around to even think about it! On the off-chance that you haven't heard of it, aspirin can cause Reye's Syndrome in children, so hold off 'til 21 to indulge in Aspirin!). Anyhooo, I forgot that I could crush the tablets to mix in with his Strawberry Jam, then put it in a sandwich... by the time I did get that done, he'd fallen asleep, again, which was better in the long run. The other thing I could have tried is to dissolve the tablets in a wee bit of water... I'll keep that in mind for the next time.

The Painters are coming to Spray Paint the New & Improved Fancy Bannister a nice Bright White. I'm sure it'll be lovely. We're really getting through the last bit of the 'To Do' List for this House. It's always such a tough decision on when to Sell a House for us, because as a Builder, you're constantly coming up with great new ideas for homes that you can hardly wait to build, but at the same time, it feels like you just finish the first house completely, then you're on to the next... no matter how much time you spend in it. Tomorrow is March 4th, and the 2nd Anniversary of the First Day of Digging for this house. Time Flies when you're having fun!

Now, a bizarre thing happened here over the weekend that I didn't get a chance to tell you about. I was talking to Dwight on the phone to find out when he was coming home, when I stolled into the Sunroom and just about dropped -- there was a blazing fire on an acreage across the street from us. The fire looked to be about 10' high, and about 4' wide, but the most important thing is that there was a fire at all... out here, a wind can come out of nowhere, and this particular 'Flame' was very close to a home that is under construction, at the Wooden Frame Stage, so it would be like a tinder box. So, I squealed, "I've gotta do something!", and hung up on Dwight. I tried to call 911, but accidentally dialed '411'... good thing, because while I was telling the 411 girl that I had dialed incorrectly, I saw a man walk between the Fire and the New House, so I knew there was more to the story...

I figured I had enough time to run and get the binoculars (am I sounding more and more like Gladys Kravitz from Bewitched?? ha,ha,ha!) so I could get a better handle on what was happening. Keep in mind that a Fire is Bad News in any Neighborhood, but in an area with houses under construction, they could go up in flames before the Fire Department could even get here, so the right thing to do is to be a watchful neighbor... So I watched the Flames for a while, because they had gone down substantially, then I ended up calling the President of of Condo Board (we have a Condo Board to manage the Property -- very small Fee to do a whole lot of maintenance work, which frees us all up to Build More Houses...) -- partly because he is the other house out here with a view to the back of the house where the fire is, and partly to find out if he knew the source of the fire...

Well, wouldn't you know it, it was a guy burning his Construction Waste. Can you believe that? How stooopid is that? Man, Rent a Construction Bin for the Construction Waste... or pile it up during the Build and have a Hauling Service come and take it away every 6 weeks, or so. It costs a little bit more money, but not nearly as much as it would cost if, God Forbid, a house were to catch on fire... and then spread to the other homes in the area. The incredulous thing is that this is a regular Builder, and they, of all people, should have known better, so I hope it doesn't happen, again. Can you hear me now, "Abner, Abner...!"

Tip of the Day: Keep an eye out for your Neighbors. Neighborhood Watch exists for a good reason -- it keeps everyone and their Properties that little bit safer. And if you see something 'untoward', go ahead and say something. Silence or a lack of early action can lead to tragedy, so it's better to check it out and speak up than to allow something to happen that could easily have ben avoided. And get a Construction Bin for the Waste from a House Build or Renovation Project... it's just a whole lot safer! Thus ends my Public Service Announcement! Now let me go get those binoculars and see what's going on, today! ha,ha,ha!

Let me go grab you some pictures! Be right baaaack!

Two of my favorite 'things'... Tia and Cheesecake! ha,ha,ha! They both look good, don't they?


Now, the reason I put a picture of the Cheesecake before I put the Cherry Topping on it was to tell you that you can put any topping on you happen to like. Quite often, I'll leave it Plain, then put all the different Toppings on the Table when I serve it, so everyone can choose whatever they're in the mood for. You can just buy Cherry or Blueberry Pie Filling (that's the easy way!), or make it yourself. Think I put that recipe right under the Cheesecake Recipe... or you can put out some Lemon Curd (like jam, only can find it in your Jam Section at the Grocery Shop). You can also drizzle Chocolate and Butterscotch Syrop on the Cheesecake -- then it's like a 'Turtle Pie', which is always nice... and, of course, you can serve it with any Fresh Berries of the Day ... and a Smile... that'll be the best part! ha,ha,ha!

Thanks for coming in for a wee visit! Always lovely to see you!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

This Ad arrived in my E-mail, this morning, and it looks like a really 'normal' Plan, so check it out if it's something you're interested in... and have the Apple Crumble for One, too, of course! ha,ha!

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Tuesday, March 2nd, 2004. Howdy, Cowboys...and Cowgirls...and Cowdogs... I don't know, I'm just making that last bit up! I just saw our Cowboy Hats in the Laundry Room (yes, I'm always doing the Laundry...), and Cara and I were checking out new Jean Skirts for possible Outfits for the Upcoming Calgary Stampede when we were at The Mall on the Weekend.. We go to The Silver Dollar Casino Stampede Breakfast, every year -- they're one of Dwight's major Commercial Clients, so we always have to look nice and 'Cowboyish', but in a really stylish way! It's like playing Dress-Up, only everybody shows up in the same outfit! Lots of Fun! Plus, you get sooo many Pancakes, Sausages, Steaks, BBQ Ribs... you name it -- anything you can think of that seems 'Western', and it's there!

So it looks like Dwight has finally found a new Employee -- we've been pretty much 'Employee-less' since our favorite guy, Steve, left to pursue his Comedy Career in Toronto ('Trono', The big 'T-Dot'... why it's the city with a Brand New Mayor... I just think there's a really funny Ad for Toronto, and the first thing they mention about how great the city is, is the Brand New Mayor! ha,ha,ha! Oooooh, now I'm gonna pack my bags for a Weekend Trip! I actually used to live in Toronto, so I have lots of great friends there, and it is a gorgeous city...).

Anyway, I had a call on the House last weekend, and it turned out our house was waaay bigger than this Couple had thought, so I was telling them about some of the other Properties in our Neighborhood that they might like (it's good to help your neighbor -- there's a buyer for every house, so we like to point people in the direction that will work for them...) -- there's a very high quantity of Builders who live here, which tells you a lot about the area -- if a Builder likes it, then it's a great place! I think there are 3 'Spec' Houses (a House a Builder puts up in advance of having a Buyer -- you build it first, then put it on the Market, as opposed to waiting for a Buyer to come to you to have you build a specific house for them... it's a good approach -- less stress for the Builder, in general...), so I was chatting away with Glen (the Dad) about the area, one thing led to another, and it turned out he had Two Sons -- one 19 and one 21. YaaHoo! When we hear that, we hear, "Potential Employees"!! ha,ha,ha! So Dwight went and met with them, last night, and he was really impressd with 'The Boys'. We have a really big job coming up, so he needed to find some great Workers.

Tip of the Day: You never know what or who other people know, so it's critical to learn how to schmooze, be chatty, have a decent conversation -- not with everyone, since there really are some 'snaggles' out there, and they aren't any fun to talk with, anyway, and God Knows you won't want to talk to them, again, but you do want to develop the personal skills to talk to people you don't already know. Frankly, some folks could benefit from mastering the Basic Art of Conversation -- the doors that will open for you just from one simple conversation will amaze you, if you're new to this idea. You'll make new Friends, new Business Connections, new Employees or Employers ... and if you're Single, perhaps even a whole new Relationship! WooHoo! Now, ain't that worth trying?? ha,ha!

We had the Cherry Cheesecake with Dinner, last Night -- aidan wanted to have it 'For Dinner', which was pretty funny! Not all of it, of course, because it's light but 'rich', so you only need a wee slice... or two!

Anyway, here are some pictures of My Favorite Cherry Cheesecake -- try it when you get a chance -- you'll love it!

(Actually, I just need a minute to go get my Camera, Get them into my Computer -- lots of pushing and shoving, as you can well imagine...! ha,ha,ha), Name them, then put them on the Site -- that's what takes me sooo long, sometimes! Be right baaack!)

So if there's any question of whether your Family will love a tasty Cheesecake, here's your answer in Aidan's cute little face!

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You can take this same 'little boy' face and project it onto the face of any grown male, and whammo, everybody's happy!! ha,ha,ha! And the Chicks dig it, too! ha,ha,ha!

Thanks for coming in for a wee visit, today! I always love to 'chat' with you! See, we're working with Conversational Skills all the time... See you tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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I'm sending some Flowers to my Parents, today, for their Wedding Anniversary, and they happen to be at their Place in Scotland, right now, so I needed an International Link, so here it is for you, too, in case you also need it!!

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Monday, March 1st, 2004!! Yippee! It's March, one of my favorite Months! Partly because it's my Birthday Month (Next Sunday -- can't wait! And The Sopranos starts then, too, so it's a banner day!), and partly because it won't be long, now, before the Spring Arrives, and I looooves me some Spring!! And so guess what I did in honor of my Birthday? (If you're married, you'll get this completely, but if you're Single, you might think it ain't very romantic...!) Anyhooo, we were out Shopping at The Mall, yesterday, and right at the very end of our Shopping Day, Dwight took Aidan 'For a Ride' up and down the Escalators (Aidan loves the way they work!), so Cara and I nipped into People's, a lovely Jewellery Store, "Just to have a wee look...".

Of course, I already have the Gems picked out that I wanted, and had 'put in my Order' with Dwight at Valentine's Day, but he didn't pick up the hint, and there's a limit on how long I can wait for new jewels to arrive on my person ... what was that? Let's see, Valentine's Day was Feb. 14th, and yesterday was the 29th, so it looks like my extended waiting period is about Two Weeks! That seems reasonable... ha,ha,ha! So Cara and I pop into the Jewellery Store to see the Tanzanite, my new favorite gems. They're gorgeous, with a beautiful violet/purple shade. Like little Purple Diamonds... and wouldn't you know it, I found a beautiful Tanzanite Ring with White Gold (Tanzanite seems to look a lot nicer against White Gold than Yellow Gold...), then Dwight called my cell phone to say he and Aidan were already out in the Van, so I just bought it for myself! There. Now that's done!

When Cara and I got out to the Van, I said to Dwight, "Well, would you like to see what you got me for my Birthday? It's gorgeous!". So I took it out the Box and showed him. He loved it, too, but now I can look at it from time to time, but I can't wear it until my Birthday, so that'll be the big Present! ha,ha,ha! It just happens to match perfectly with another Ring that I got 'From Dwight', but I got that myself, too -- he was right in the Jewellery Store with me that day, too, but he wouldn't say whether he really liked it or not, and I loved it, so I just bought it and he said, "That's fine, buy whatever you like..."Oooh, Mr. Romantic! But in the end, I have the Rings I really wanted, so all's well that ends well, right??

I'll show you pictures of it as soon as it is truly mine to wear! And I came home and made a Cheesecake (see what good things happen when a woman is happy?? ha,ha!), so I'll take some pictures of that before I serve it, tonight, since I never did get around to taking shots of that for my Recipe Page! It's soooo yummy, and ladies, if you wnat something from your man, go ahead and make this for him... you'll get what you want!! ha,ha,ha! (And for the mens, you'll have to get it for her, anyway, so why not get something tasty out of the whole deal?? Then everybody will be happy!) Aaaah, Chicks dig Gems... that's just the way it is, and there are a zillion Jewellery shops out there to propve my point! har, har! (Oh, and when we got back from 'The Mall', Aidan said we ought to build a Mall in our house -- he feels our house isn't big enough! ha,ha,ha!)

We happened to pass by a house in the neighborhod that had been up for Sale 'For Sale By Owner' for the requisite Three Weeks, then yesterday Dwight saw a Realtor Sign on the Property. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it reminded me of a thing we used to hear that was absolutely ridiculous. "If your house doesn't sell in the first 3 days to one week that it's on the Market, the chances of it selling drop dramatically..." Oh, really? Come on, now, we're not idiots... that's not even a mathematically sound statement. Selling a House is like Fishing -- you cast out the Bait and Wait for a Bite.

If you're out Fishing and you don't catch a fish within the first 5 minutes, do you pack up your tackle and go find someone else who might cast a net for you. No, you'd wait quite a bit longer, maybe change your bait to something shinier (that's right, I just bought a whole pile of new Fishing Tackle for Dwight on his Birthday, so it's fresh in my mind! ha,ha!) relax and soon enough you'll get a bite. Or a boot -- whatever!! Still, you would think it was craaazy to get all set up for some fun fishing, then give up after the first few casts.

Likewise with Selling Your Own Home. If you're inclined to Sell Your Own House, plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time. Figure out the amount you would be paying a Realtor to Sell it For You. Typically, the Realtor Fee is 7% on the first $100,000., then 3% for every $100,000. after that, so in our case, that would be over $22,000. That's a lot of coin, and we're both seasoned Business People, and see the Sale of a home as just another Business Transaction. We're happy to do a little legwork (so-to-speak!) to keep the 22 grand to put toward our next Property. And we use a Realtor when we Buy other Property, unless the Seller is Selling on their own, too... And we're not trying to put anyone out of a job, but there's no rule out there that I have to hand over 22 grand to someone else to do a job I can easily do on my own -- that's not being 'unfair' -- that's just being sensible... do you know how much jewellery I can buy 'From Dwight' with 22 Grand?? ha,ha,ha! No, no... I would prefer more reasonably priced jewellry and more Real Estate! There's a better Return on Real Estate!

Tip of the Day: This is a good Tip for Selling Real Estate, Following Your Dreams, Accomplishing Something Important... Give things plenty of time. Figure out how much money you would be paying a Realtor to sell your home, then think about how long it would take you to Save Up that much money. More than Three Weeks? You have to balance the whole thing out, since sometimes stuff happens in your life when time is of the essence, and you do what you have to do, but if everything is fairly normal, why not Cast out a line and sit back and wait for a bite? Same thing for Your Career -- nothing happens overnight -- years and years of prep work go into making it big, in any field... it's a myth that those big things happen instantaneously. They don't -- you have to work for it, but the rewards are great when they come, so just keep plugging away, and you'll get where you want to go. You can MARCH Your way to Success!! ha,ha,ha!

We had a gorgeous Sunrise, this morning, so let me go grab you those pictures! Be riiight Back!

Here they are -- the Sunrise shots from this morning. The first two are taken from the Laundry Room, which has a fabulous View -- makes doing the laundry a lot more pleasant!

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The third picture is out the Front Entry Windows -- the Windows surround the Front Door, a configuration I really like and will definitely do again in a future Build.

Thanks for swingin' by for a wee visit! I love to see you every day! (Unlike some other people I prefer to see once a decade, or so... mostly the 'or so'!! ha,ha,ha,ha! But you I like!!)

See you tomorrow! Later, Baby! Ailsa!!!

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Saturday & Sunday, Feb. 28th & 29th, 2004. First of all, Happy Birthday to all the Leap Year Babies! Just think, Dwight barely escaped that, what with his Birthday falling on the 25th -- then he would have celebrated his 12th Birthday... or 13th -- I don't know the math, but I do know that 12 or 13 sounds about right!! ha,ha,ha,ha! So how you doin', this weekend?? Do you have big construction plans? Dwight had to go in to do some work, today, but we managed to get into a discussion about what the Mantels around the Fireplaces should look like. It's our big issue, these days... okay, it's one of many, many issues, but we're married, and that's just par for the course, right?? Ah, well.

So I know exactly what I want the FirePlace Mantels to look like, and Dwight keeps saying he doesn't know what he wants... I think he should just build what I drew and get it over with. Now, that's sounds like a good compromise to me -- don't you think that's only fair? ha,ha,ha! My Birthday is coming up next week, so maybe I can use that as leverage! Now that's a healthy relationship for you!

Hey, I got a great letter that I put on my Fan Mail Page (I just like the idea of Fan Mail -- it amuses me greatly!! ha,ha!) from Jodie in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Oh, and I put it on the Ask Ailsa Page, too, because the info is important, and we want as many people to find the letter as possible!) Her big question was 'Is it Better to Sell First, then Buy Land and Build', and my resounding answer was 'Yes'! If at all possible, it's always better to Sell your Current Home, then Buy a New Home (or Prep for Building a new home...), because it is far less stressful. When someone runs out and buys a new home, or puts an Offer on a New Home before their home is even on the Market, that creates massive amounts of stress. Stress you can easily live without.

The only exception is when you have a big wad of cash in the Bank, just looking for a new place to live, then you can go ahead and Buy the Land in advance, then work away at selling your own house. Most Building Sites come with a set time that you have to build on (you must begin the Build within a 3 year period... that sort of thing...), so if your Bank Account can handle it, go ahead and Buy the Land First. It's really a big money game, but if you are absolutely going to need the money from the Sale of the first home in order to buy the next property, Sell First, then Go Shopping for Houses!!

Well, it's the Weekend, and everybody wants a fancy schmancy Breakfast, so I should get going... I, myself, made up an new Batch of my favorite Apple Crumble Recipe, last night, so I had Apple Crumble for One for breakfast, but I'll have to make them all something yummy. Which reminds me -- since I made that Cookies 'N Cream Cake for Dwight's Birthday last week, I've been thinking about making a Cheesecake. I bought an extra Carton of Whipping Cream (my Cheesecake is not baked, so it's lovely and light and fluffy! See, now I'm gonna have to make it!! ha,ha!), so I'll need to pick up the rest of the ingredients to make one for tomorrow. Mmmmmm, now I can't wait! I put my Cheesecake Recipe on my Tips & Recipes Page, if you want to go check it out. Oh, just thought. I can use the Cheesecake to 'encourage' Dwight into building the Fireplace Mantel my way! ha,ha,ha,ha! Aaaah, the power of food!

Now, let me grab you some pictures! Be right back!

Okay, so here I am much slimmer than I was there for a while, and all thanks to my tasty Apple Crumble for One Recipe! I've lost about 30 pounds on that 'diet' -- ugh, hate that word -- I much prefer,"Here's something different, but still tasty", but that takes too long to say! ha,ha!

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And then in the third picture, that's my lovely daughter, Cara, who will be 16 this May -- wow, I can hardly believe it! And to think I'm still 28! har, har! No, no! I have no problem with my age, whatsoever... I'm thrilled to find myself so much smarter, wealthier, and completely ready for the next 40 to 60 odd years of my Life -- that's a lot of time to accomplish some fabulous stuff, right?? You can't really tell from the pictures, but Cara is taller than me, now! It's sooo funny when you have to start looking up to see your own child!! ha,ha,ha! (Oh, yeah. We're in the Sunroom, right after we got home from Dwight's 45th Birthday Party!)

Cara just got up and turned on the TV to MTV Cribs -- it's a great Show, for the folks who looove beautiful Houses, and it looks like MTV has a Cribs Marathon on this Weekend. Keep an eye out for it, though -- it's fun to watch. Plus, I'm always thrilled to see young people with money run out and buy an incredible home, so that if, God Forbid, they ever woke up one morning in a pool of something or other (eeewww!!), and find themselves 'not-so-famous', they'll be able to look around and see that they still have a home worth a few million to fall back on! ha,ha,ha! It's all about good planning!

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! Have a fabulous Weekend!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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Friday, February 27th, 2004. Yo, yo, yo! What up wit' mah peeps, yo??? ha,ha,ha,ha! I'm gettin' down wit' my bad self! ha,ha,ha! Oh, yeah, that reminds me -- Cara took some pictures of me trying to get Tia to stop wiggling when we were taking some new shots the other night -- it was really funny, so I was laughing and laughing, and since I laugh a lot while I'm writing my little Daily Updates (I really am laughing where ever you see 'ha,ha,ha!'... Someone has to keep me amused, right, and if it's me all by myself, so be it!), I thought you might like to see those snapshots! I'll put them on in a bit!

Well, did you see The Apprentice last night? Man, we love that Show! Donald Trump and Mark Burnett, together again! Oooooh, I love a great idea! My three favorites are Troy, Amy and Bill. They all are Level-headed, Brilliant, and Socially Intelligent People. I can't say I care for any hot-heads -- that type of personality is a nightmare to work under, so they wouldn't make a good C.E.O. Ironically enough, though, they do often become their own boss! But a C.E.O. is still not 'The Big Boss', so it needs to be someone who instills trust in The Company, Their Clients, and Their 'People' -- 'peeps', if you will.... ha,ha,ha!

And have you noticed there are some folks who feel that some types of work are 'beneath them'? That attitude has to go. We're doing all right, and I'm sure there are plenty of people who would drive by our house and never know what type of jobs we really do, and how much we love doing them. We know, without a doubt, that every little bit counts, and you should know all the aspects of the job and not be averse to doing whatever needs to be done to keep the job moving along. And not being averse to the different aspects of any job means that you won't be averse to the people who actually do those jobs... A good Manager respects every single person in the Organization as being critical to Its' Success, so keep an eye out for which of Donald Trump's Candidates (the ones who haven't heard, "You're Fired!" ha,ha,ha!) is respectful of others, and who is too judgemental.

"The Donald" is on Ellen, this morning -- two of my favorite people (that I haven't met yet... ha,ha,ha!) on the planet on the same stage! And then Harry Connick, Jr., who is just hilarious, is on, too -- wow! I hope Ellen stays on for years and years!(I'm watching Ellen's Show right now, as I write -- ooooh, how I love my Glassed-in Office! What would I ever do if I had a regular job, again, where I couldn't have Ellen on the Big Screen as loud as I want it?! ha,ha!)

So what were we talking about, yesterday? Oh, right -- 'How to Make Money in Real Estate'! ha,ha! I think about that all the time -- what do you think about the most? Hey, if you're thinking about a lot of stuff that doesn't move you ahead in your life, try this little 'Mind Exercise' -- every morning, or whenever you have an opportunity to close your eyes for a few minutes, picture yourself living in your Dream ome. Then picture yourself in a Home you can Afford right now. Then see yourself selling that home to buy the Dream Home... You get the idea. Let your mind wonder around your possible future, but keep it all positive. Now here's the cool part -- once you put those images in your head, your brain will take over and start you moving toward your new goal even when you're not aware of it. Before you know it, you'll be writing to me to see if it's a good idea to Build Your Own Dream Home! ha,ha,ha,ha!!

Tip of the Day: When you are even beginning to think of Buying Your Own Home, or Moving Up to a Larger Home, start putting money aside in preparation. It's much easier when you're doing the 'Move Up' process, that's why it's sooo critical to get into anything at all (hopefully, a mortar and brick house -- in other words, it can't be 'wheeled away'...) as soon as you can, since you can use the Equity (the amount of money you've made on a property that is the difference between what you bought it for and what it's worth now...) toward the Purchase of your next house. Remember, if you Buy a Home, live in it while the Property gains in Equity, then Sell it and put the Equity toward the New Property, then do that same process a few times, before you know it you'll be Mortgage Free. Then you can start buying Rental Properties...!! ha,ha,ha! But putting some money aside for Legal Fees, Advertising Costs if you're Selling, and Closing Costs if you live in the States. And then you still need the money for the Down Payment, of course. (Don't worry -- it's within your reach when you choose a manageable Price Range for Your New Home!)

And now for a few 'Laughing Shots'!

That wee Tia -- she's soooo funny! And just in case you're wondering, yes, I did have a bit of a 'Liquid Dinner'! Just a wee bit, though -- I didn't have to drive, so I had my favorite Winter Restaurant Drink, a Monte Cristo. Yum. Coffee, some sort of delicious liqueurs, topped off with some Whipped Cream -- fabulous! But then after I had that drink, my fingers were all covered in sugar (from the sugar on the Glass...), so Aidan says to me, "Oh, don't worry, Mummy. I'll lick them off for you!" So, of course, I laughed and laughed! And here I am, still laughing! ha,ha,ha!

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Okay, that's enough fun for today! Now I have to go clean the Toilets! ha,ha,ha! See how the fun never ends?? ha,ha,ha!

See you on the Weekend!

Later Baby! Ailsa!!

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Thursday, February 26th, 2004. Hey, there, Baby-Cakes! How you doin'?? I hope you're havin' a fabulous day, makin' some money, savin' some coin... You know, it took me years and years (32 years...!) to understand why I had to start saving money. Yes, I am a bit of a slow learner -- why do you ask? Something I said? ha,ha,ha! Anyway, I used to have money put aside for regular Living Expenses, then for about 8 long, horrible years, I had to keep a ridiculous amount of money aside to pay Legal Fees (not good... what a complete and utter waste of time and money... and wouldn't you know it -- those are two of th most valuable things to me -- my top most important things are Family and Freedom -- now who wouldda thunk that?? ha,ha,ha!).

I had to really 'relearn' how to use money so it would work in my favor. A lot of us grew up with some seriously bad financial advice and lessons, and you don't question what you've picked up from your past until you learn there's a different (and yes, better...) way to manage your money. I was watching Sharon Osbourne, yesterday, and she had on a woman who has developed a website devoted to educating Women about becoming Financially Healthy -- It's a very informative site, so have a wee look when you have a minute. They have a Group you can join to learn how to Save Your Money, too. They also have another site, -- I haven't had a second to check it out, but if it's anything like , it'll be very useful.

Now, those Sites are specific for women, but you know I'm a big believer in everyone becoming Financially Healthy (and then as wealthy as possible, too! ha,ha,ha!) and Happy, so if anyone out there in Computerland, or 'Puterville, depending on how far away from the City you are (yuff, yuff!), drop me a line and let me know about any good sites that strive to educate everyone -- other than mine, of course!

So here's the Bottom Line for Saving. First, get yourself a Marketable Skill -- whether you Learn on-the-job, at a Post Secondary School or at a Technical College. The important thing is to have a good Skill Base so you can always Support Yourself. Now wouldn't that cut down on crime, hmmm?? Anyhooo, after you get your great new job (or stay in the old crappy one that is still paying you to be there...!), pay off all your Student Loans and do your best to reduce your Credit Card Debt. Of course, make sure all of your monthly bills are paid on time to Develop a Good Credit Rating.

Then, once you are comfortable Paying off your Bills, start a completely separate Bank Account just for your 'New Home Fund'. Financial Health means that you don't have to worry about whether you have enough to live on month-to-month, or where you will be able to live, or how long you could stay... those worries can literally take years off your life, because the stress level is through the roof, as you will know if you have 'been there', too. Dwight is actually one of the few people I have ever known who has never had a truly stressful Financial Moment -- Dwight's idea of total financial despair is if his Savings Account were to dip below $10,000. I couldn't relate to that when I first met him, but now I get it, so it's crucial to me that I share this new financial perspective with the world -- you know me -- always operating on a small scale! ha,ha,ha,ha!

So now you have yourself a Special Account that is just for you to Save for the Down Payment (and a variety of Other Costs) of Your New Place. It's critical that you work toward Owning Your Own Home (any home..), because then you will be putting a huge portion of what it costs to live right back into your own pocket. Don't get me wrong -- there's always a time and a place when Renting is the only way to go, but Home Ownership is a Necessary Goal for Financial Freedom.

You can go over your Budget with a fine-toothed comb to see where you have extra money, or where you could 'create' extra money -- let's say from your Lunch Fund, or Coffee Fund -- or skip one shopping trip to the Grocery Store or Mall, and Save that money. It won't do you any good if you make up a great new Budget, then run out and spend the extra on something else you don't really need. And please, oh, please, watch out for 'The Car Trap'. Use Public Transport if you live in a Big City and it's practical, if you can, or buy a Good Second Hand Vehicle -- I say 'Buy' instead of 'Lease', since you'll pay it off and then it'll be all yours. Leasing is just like Renting, so you'll never own it, and Wealth is all about Owning Stuff. Specifically, Owning Stuff that Appreciates in Value. Ooooh, that's a good line!

By this point you have figured out how much you can put in your New Savings Account, and whether you'll put money aside from One Check per month, or a bit from Each Check. We tend to use the first Check of the Month to Pay Monthly Bills, then Dwight likes to Save from the Second Check at the End of the Month. If you're paid Once a Month, you might want to have the Bank automatically redirect a certain amount of your Check right into your Savings Account, so you don't even see the extra money.

Oh, and after you've saved up $5,000. or more, change your Savings Account to a Guaranteed Investment Account (a G.I.A. Account). Most Banks offer that, and it'll have a higher Interest Rate than a regular Savings Account or your Checking Account. I was talking to a fellow (Colin Wallace in London, Ontario, Canada...) with the Bank we deal with, and he gave me some of the Basic info about this Account. Dwight likes an Investment Account, but this G.I.A. Account is a good choice if you want to keep your money really liquid, in case you find a New Home to Buy... Thanks, Colin, for the Info!

Well, this is getting really long! I looooove talking about Money! Almost as much as I like rolling around in it! I'm kidding! Just kiddink! I wouldn't want to rip it with some spikey shoes! ha,ha,ha!

Let me leave it at that for today... Now I'll go get you some nice new pictures. We celebrated Dwight's 45th Birthday, yesterday (and the Cookies 'N Cream Cake was deeeelicious!), so I have some pics from that.

Be riiiight back!!

Here's your Daily Pics Fix! Finally, some new pictures of MEEE! The first two pics are of Dwight's little tiny Family Birthday Party -- just the 5 of us -- including Tia, of course! What's a party without a dog?? If you look closely, you can see the Cookies 'N Cream Cake -- for such a simple recipe, it's really fantastic!

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And then that's me after we got home from the Restaurant. Tia is never very far from me -- cute, eh?? ha,ha,ha! Ooooh, you can really see the Bear Table, too -- ain't that nice?? (Note the beautifully grouted Sunroom Floor! ha,ha!)

Thanks for popping by for a wee visit! See you tomorrow! Bring all your pals! (Actually, I don't even care whether you like them or not -- let's just work away at Building Traffic, and making people Happier! And by that, I assume you've all tried the 'Sex Tip'!! Oh, I'm full of all sorts of useful Tips! ha,ha,ha,ha,ha!)

Oh, hey! I got a funny thing about Personalities in my e-mail, today -- check it out on my new 'Fun Stuff' Page I just created! You'll maybe recognize yourself or a friend and have a good laugh! ha,ha,ha!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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Wednesday, February 25th, 2004. Hello, hello, hello! (Okay, go ahead and use your British accent, but then only use it a few more times, today, until you start to notice people cringing when you approach them -- that's a sure sign that you've perhaps overused your 'knack' for other accents! ha,ha,ha!) It's Dwight's 45th Birthday, today, so he's all excited. You know how I was telling you that I couldn't get Dwight's favorite Black Forest Cake for his Birthday? Well, I thought I'd better make him a cake, myself, so I made him his favorite 'Childhood Cake' -- you know the kind of cake your Mom would have made.

Dwight's Mom used to make him a 'Cookies 'N Cream' Cake, so I popped out to the shop last night and got some Whipping Cream and a couple of boxes of the Mr. Christie Chocolate Wafer Cookies, came home, whipped up a big bowl of Whip Cream, and started stacking! It's just a layer of Cookies, then a layer of Whip Cream, a layer of cookies, another layer of Whip Cream -- and so on and so on until you have a giant mound of 'Cookies 'N Cream'! I actually always make it in the shape of a Flower, since I am very fond of flowers, and the cookies are round, so it's fairly easy. (Start with one cookie in the middle, then 5 all around -- and voila -- a Flower Cake!) What happens is the Whip Cream causes the Cookies to soften, then when you cut into the 'Flower', it's just like a cake -- a very nice Cream Cake! And it only takes about 15 minutes to make the whole thing! WooHoo! Just the amount of time I had available! ha,ha,ha!

Hey, I'm just watching Wayne Brady on the Sharon Osbourne Show, and they're talking about why they were both cancelled -- now, I don't get that. Why doesn't another Network just pick them up -- maybe even together? They're both great talents, and clearly have a huge following, so where does the decision come from, hmmmm? (See how I cleverly avoided using the preposition at the end of the sentence -- that's not punishable by law, is it?? There are soooo many important new laws they're enforcing these days...)

So you know how I have a 15 year old daughter, Cara, and a 4 year old son, Aidan, right? Well, normally they are both very well balanced, self-sufficient, independent children, but yesterday was a 'day-off' from normality. It's a little weird dealing with Adolescence and Early Childhood at the same time, but that's what I have, and, of course, I love them both dearly.... Now I know I'm not the only parent out there dealing with the Adolescent thing where they go somewhere and you don't know where they are -- Cara went to a friend's house after school to work on a school project, and even though she told me she was going to go over there, I need to get the phone call to confirm that she arrived safely and when she wants us to come and pick her up.

When I still hadn't heard from her by 6:18 pm and it was starting to get dark out, I had to call another Mum to get the number from where Cara was, so I was not happy about that... So the question is 'How to Get Your Teenager to Let You Know Where They Are, and When They're Coming Home', right? This is such a big issue for soooo many parents -- I think kids get so wrapped up in whatever it is they're doing that they honestly do forget to call. Even if they have their own Cell Phone, the problem still seems to exist.

Here's a list of possible solutions to make this particular parenting problem easier:

1. Have your Teenager write out a complete list of the names, phone numbers and addresses of any home they might visit. You'll get some resistance, but that's a small price for personal freedom and less stress in the family.

2. Ask them every morning (or the night before if mornings are hectic in your house...) what their plans are for that afternoon or evening. Good to keep one step ahead of them!

3. Tell them how much you love them, and how upset you get when you don't know where they are. It's a love issue, not a control issue, so good to keep that in mind, right?

4. Set a time that they have to contact you by -- I need to know before Sundown, since a kid out after dark when I don't know where they are is waaay outside my realm (I'm guessing it's outside of your parenting realm, too!).

5. I'm not a fan of 'Grounding' (just reminds me of old TV Shows that I didn't even like...), but if the Teenager will not comply with some common courtesy, then you might have to have them come straight hoe from school for a week. Generally, the mere suggestion of that is enough to get a kid to call in, though.

6. The overall key to having a good relationship with your Teenager is to Have Good Solid Communication, where you can both know what's going on in the Family, and where your young almost-adult can feel like they can have their independence with the least amount of restriction. We all want that, though, don't we? But a quick call in to the Parental Unit can save a whole lot of bother for everyone.

I'll tell you tomorrow part of what bad thing Aidan did, because that's another common problem for parents of smaller children -- won't that be exciting?? ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: It's a Parenting Tip -- surprise! You can use this for anyone you're having 'an issue' with, though -- works with everyone. Stay as calm as you possibly can, and if you do get really mad, try to get yourself back to being as calm as you can, as quickly as you can. Sometimes it's realy important that your child can see directly the reaction you have to what ever they've done, so they can get a good handle on what not to do, again, so I'm not a believer in sugar-coating a reaction, but you want to try to moderate it as soon as you can. Then when the 'moment' has passed, use the whole incident as a learning tool to explain what they did wrong, have them repeat it to you, with an assurance that you love them and they will try to remember to be extra good in the future... a very common promise in our house! ha,ha,ha!

Let me go get you some nice pictures ... be right back!

Here's the Birthday Boy Grouting the Sunroom Floor last Saturday. Dwight is the 'Mixer and Filler' and I'm the Line Smoother and Cleaner -- I really do looove that job, too! It's fun to make the room look beautiful!

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Oh, you can see the Open Window that leads into our Master Bedroom -- very cool little feature. We chose not to put any glass in it so that I can easily water the plants in the Sunroom. Also, it creates a lovely, open feeling to the bedroom, which we both like. I said to Dwight it would have been nice to get a picture of meeee grouting, but he said he doesn't remember how to use my camera...and that could have been a great 'cleavage shot'...oh, well. Guess that keeps it a family site!! ha,ha,ha!

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! See You tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

I put this Search Box here because I found out, yesterday, that you can get those cool Roomba Vacuums at They are the amazing little vacuums that go around and hoover for you -- unlike your children or your spouse! ha,ha,ha! (Actually, Dwight loves to vacuum, which is an interesting quality, but sometimes he swears a bit too much when he's hoovering -- what that's all about, we'll never know... But this is a no-swearing, no-work kind of vacuum, so that sounds great to me!) Hey, now I'm watching Oprah, and they had a product you might like to keep in your Bathroom Cabinet for Scrapes, to keep your lips soft, and it sounds like it's great for lots of other more unmentionable skin issues...we're al about 'issues', today!ha,ha! Anyway, just type in 'ButtPaste' into the Search Box, and the product should come up -- don't let the name throw you -- if Oprah says it's good, it must be fabulous!!)




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Tuesday, February 24th, 2004. Hey, Baby-Cakes! Sweet Little Something!! I've been extra-busy working away 'behind-the-scenes', today, so I'm a bit later than usual posting my Daily Update. You know what I would like to know how to do? I'd like to figure out how you, my lovely readers, could make my 'At Home with Ailsa' Page into a Home Page. That would be cool, wouldn't it? Must try to figure that out, so if you know that sort of thing, drop me a line! Help a girl out! ha,ha,ha!

Well, this is Dwight's last day of being 44 -- his 45th Birthday is tomorrow. I called to order his fancy schmancy Black Forest Cake from his favorite Bakery, and they have just stopped bringing these Specialty Cakes in -- drats! Now I'm gonna have to take a Trip into Costco, because they have great Cakes, too...

Hey, did you happen to catch Average Joe: Hawaii last night? Man, that Show is hilarious! What was the good-looking 'Flight Instructor/Waiter's name? Well, we'll call him 'Mr. Empty'... Larissa (the girl lookin' fer love in all the wrong places...) goes to visit him in his Apartment in Phoenix, and he has a beautiful Blow Up Doll in his Kitchen, then a Stunning Bedroom complete with a Bare Mattress. Oooooh! Every girl's dream! Now, how is it that this guy doesn't own any Bedding? Let that be a lesson to any Single Guys who are looking for a little 'extra fun' in their lives -- save some of your Beer Money up for some decent Sheets, Pillows and a Comforter. You'll have a better sleep even if you are all by yourself!

And then Larissa asked him what his favorite book was, and not only did he not have a favorite book, he couldn't recall having ever read a book... now, I'm here to tell you that you can't judge anyone by that, because Dwight is a 'non-reader', and frankly, I've learned more about how the real world really works from Dwight than from anyone else. So be careful not to judge a book by it's cover... very often. Sometimes you're bang-on, and your gut reaction is right!

So I had a weird call yesterday afternoon -- perhaps in response to yesterday's Daily Update -- who knows. Although it's unlikely that the mean 'snagglepusses' out there are actually taking the time to read my Site -- I'm thinking 'Not', so it's safe enough to talk about them, right? ha,ha,ha! Anyway, this little 'snagglepuss' (do you like that word? It's kind of cute for someone who is not at all cute!) calls me to tell me that our house price should be the same as some of the other houses in our Estate Area that happen to be a third of our size! They are in the 1600sq.' - 1850sq.' range, which is fine, but they can't by basic definition, be the same price as our 5400sq.' home. Puh-leeease. She should phone up the Lexus Dealership next and tell them she wants to buy a Lexus for 12 Grand. Yeah, me too...but then there's that crazy reality to contend with.

Of course, I know the possible source of the Call, and that means I'll have to share another little tactic that some not-so-great realtors will use to try to undermine your confidence when you're Selling on Your Own. It's unfortunate, but they'll really hammer you about all sorts of aspects of your home -- in our last house, we had a couple of unscrupulous realtors tell us that 'nobody wants a Hot Tub', and that having it would hurt the sale. Gimme a break! But the all-time favorite line is to tell you your House Price is too high for the neighborhood -- no matter what neighborhood you're in or what your house is like. That old notion that every house in any particular neighborhood is worth exactly the same amount is ridiculous. Size Matters, believe me! And so do all your fabulous features -- a beautifully Developed Lower Level is not free -- man, if we hear that one more time... These realtors need to go ask a Builder how much it is to Develop a Lower Level, then just accept the information for what it is.

My point is to Know the Value of Your Own Property, and don't let little annoying people (some who haven't even seen your home...) tell you how to market your home, how much it's worth, and whether you are capable of selling on your own. A good Realtor would never use this tactic, so you can use this as an easy sign of a schiester, then turn the other way.

Tip of the Day: I tried this for the first time, yesterday, and it really worked. You know how I was telling you I've been reading Deepak Chopra's Book, The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire? Well, he has a technique to calm yourself down -- it's for meditation, but I used it to calm myself down after the mean phone call (I'm always affected more by that sort of thing than I like to be, but at least I've found a better way to manage the feelings...). First, get yourself a cup of Tea or Gin...ha,ha,ha! No, no. Just get the Gin...kidding! Just kiddink! Anyhooo, lay down on your bed (hopefully you'll have some sheets! ha,ha!) or sit in a comfy chair, and close your eyes. Then as you breathe in and out very slowly, say Sooo-Hummm... "Soooo" as you breathe in, "Hummm" as you breathe out. Then think of the good things you want to accomplish today, then good things you want to accomplish in the future... It really does work. I think that not only does it make your mind quit thinking of the anoyance in your life, it helps you focus on the positive, and that's a good thing, right?

Oh, and just so's you knows, I'm never against any entire Profession -- I just don't like unprofessional behaviour within certain professions, and so it ought to be okay to let others in on mean little tricks that could cause you some grief -- who needs that, hmmmmm? I mean, "Sooo-Hummmm"! ha,ha,ha!

Well, let me go grab you some nice new pictures! Be right back!

This is Aidan's Bedroom -- he has a Full Den/Guest Room Downstairs, but this room is right across the hall from the Master Bedroom. I like Children within easy reach, until they're about 18, or so...! ha,ha,ha!

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So the other thing that I did on Sunday was to re-arrange Aidan's whole Bedroom. I wasn't happy with the placement of the bed -- it was horizontal against the wall -- very weird... Plus, I didn't like the old Bedding, so I got him a cute little Sponge Bob Square Pants Comforter (if you haven't seen Spnge Bob Square Pants, try to catch it sometime -- it's hilarious!).

I see that I'll need to make Aidan a bigger Head Board, or find something else that's safe to put above his Pillows. Boys are always jumping on their Beds, so you have to be extra careful with that one! You can't really see the height of the Ceiling in his Bedroom -- it has an 11' Vault, which is unique in any Bedroom, let alone in a kid's room. Almost all of the Rooms on the Upper Main Floor are Vaulted -- very nice feature!

Thanks for coming in for a wee visit! See You, tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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Monday, February 23rd, 2004. Yo, yo, yo, What Up, Baaaby?? I hope you had a fabulous Weekend! I spent the whole weekend on my knees -- no,no, no. I know what you're thinking, and no, I was not praying -- that's what you were thinking, wasn't it? I'm sure it was... har, har! Dwight and I spent all Day Saturday (well, I wrote my Weekend Update, first...) Grouting the Sunroom. YaaHoo! Finally, the Sunroom is done. Man, that job just got away from us -- I couldn't convince Dwight that it had to be done... And I read in there, so I thought about it every day. Anyhoooo, it's done now and it looks fantastic. Then when Dwight went into Town to pick up Cara (she was out for the day -- those teenagers ain't big on Grouting!! ha,ha!), I quickly put the Furniture back into the Sunroom, but I reconfigured it to include the Bear Table, and changed around how the Plants are in the Room.

As for the Grouting, we started around 2:00 in the afternoon, finished about 8:00 pm, then I moved the furniture and plants back in by 11:00 pm. Man, that is sooo much work, but as you all know, I love Grouting ... I love the way it looks, I love making the Grout Lines nice and smoooooth, and I love the finished look! No kidding! I don't know that I would want to Grout every day, but it is a great skill to have when you're Building or Renovating Your Own Home. Dwight's job is to Mix the Grout and place it in the Tile Lines, then my job is to go over the lines to make them smooth, then you have to go back and clean off all of the Tiles. The Sunroom is 12' X 19', and the Tiles are 16" X 16", with four 4" X 4" patterns in the center. It's my job to empty the Room, first, too, and clean the Floor completely, ready for the Grout. Thank God for Vacuflo, which I highly recommend for every home!

Now, because I spent Saturday Grouting, when I woke up on Sunday Morning, I was in a fair bit of pain, so I thought I'd take one of those new 'Super Motrins'. You've probably seen the Ad for those with all the Runners, although I'm thinking a more accurate ad would be with all the would-be runners cuddled into one another and all sound asleep on the tarmack! ha,ha,ha! Anyway, this one teensie little pill knocked me out completely, and I didn't wake up until I heard a knock at the door. Now, in a house this size (54oo square feet), it's highly unusual to be able to hear a knock at any door, but I'm hard-wired to hear things like that, even in a drug-induced state! I kept Tia (our wee dog!) in bed with me, and Dwight went to answer the door.

Don't worry -- this story is going somewhere...(!). So here I am, all drugged up from my one little Super Motrin I had taken 5 hours earlier, trying to hear who was at the Door. We're out in the Country, so we don't get many unexpected visitors. And who is so stupid as to knock at the door instead of ringing the doorbell, so already I know it's someone of little brain... I laid there for ages trying to figure out who was at the door, and that crazy Dwight didn't bother his shirt to come back and tell me, so I thought it must be a neighbor over to discuss an accident that happened recently... It turned out, a woman had come to the door to inquire about the House (we have it up for sale), and Dwight had let her in the house while he went to get our Handout of the House (a very nice 4 page Handout -- plenty of Info for anyone interested in buying our Property...). Well, in that space of time she had summoned her husband in from their car and they both had their shoes off, ready for a Tour.

Now, I don't care for pushy people, and can recognize them in a second, but Dwight doesn't see the signs, so he quickly felt out of control of the situation. Instead of just saying politely that his wife is all drugged up in the back... no, that doesn't sound right... he could have said this wasn't a good time for a House Tour, but please take this Pamphlet and call us if you'd like to see through the house, he let this woman run roughshod over him and off they went for a tour. Incidentally, I'm not worried about losing a possible house sale because of this little story, since that's not the person who would buy our home. They walked through the house with Dwight, and hardly said a thing, except for questions about the Heating and Cooling systems, and all from her. Dwight said her husband was a 'silent boy' -- a husband who doesn't say a word -- always a bad sign, since it means she's dragged him along and he doesn't want to be there...

Anyway, when I finally got up and got ready to come through to the Kitchen, I still wasn't sure who all would be there, since I had only heard one female voice. It turned out they were long gone, but the whole thing caused an enormous fight between Dwight and I, since I was furious that he hadn't told me what was going on, and here I was laying around all drugged up... All it would have taken was a quick knock on the Bedroom door to let me know who was at the Door and what they wanted. I would have immediately told Dwight to have them come back in an hour... Dwightie didn't get that he had put us all in an uncomfortable position in order to please this pushy woman ( he said she was really nice, but I told him there's not a woman on the planet who can't sense when she's crossing someone's boundaries -- we're just made that way...).

So that brings me to the point of my wee story -- marry someone smart ... no, wait, that's not it...(!). I realized toward the end of our big fight that we had almost become 'victims' of the old 'Divide and Conquer' Trick. I don't know how I'd forgotten about this nasty little game that some Realtors play. What they do (and this is only unscrupulous Realtors, by the way, not the good ones...) is go to one Spouse and convince them that they can't sell on their own, either by making the home owner feel like they are out of control, not smart enough to handle the paperwork, or just incompetent in general. Sounds lovely -- tell me more!! I think it's a very mean tactic, and it actually works in their favor if the trouble they cause between the couple creates a 'Divorce Sale', which is even faster and easier, since the thinking is that the couple will lowball their house in order to sell immediately. That's not good.

I stopped the fight completely and said to Dwight, "Hey, it's the old Divide and Conquer Game. Don't you remember how awful that felt the last time that happened when we were selling our last house? Here we are again -- someone comes in and makes our house feel like we're in complete chaos, then you feel out of control..." And wouldn't you know it -- one of the first things out of Dwight's mouth was "That's it, we're gonna hire a Realtor!". And my response was, "Absolutely not. You think you feel out of control now -- wait'll we all have to get out of the house for a Showing with only a half hours notice..." How he'd forgotten that is beyond me. Plus, my first thoughts after that were that the Realtors Fee (about 25 Grand on a house this big...) would definitely come out of his half... And there you go -- all in about an hours time. Crazy, ain't it? Now what's helpful about that, hmmmmm?

Tip of the Day: Be firm in your Knowledge that you can handle things on your own. Don't let a stranger (or a spouse, friend or family...) make you question your ability to Sell on Your Own, if that's your personal choice. (Of course, you'll have a Good Real Estate Lawyer up your sleeve to help you, but you know what I mean...) And remind yourself and your spouse to put your own little family and their needs waaaaay ahead of any stranger. If they think you're rude for not catering to them that very second, so be it. Anyone who is truly interested in buying your property will happily wait until you're ready to show it (or are up out of bed!!).

And for more information (and to check out lots of great Properties!) on How To Sell Your Own House, check out -- Ed, the CEO/Publisher is interested in MY Articles -- WooHoo! And he gets over 4 million hits per day...! All very exciting! Check it out -- it's a cool Site!

Let me go get you some nice new pictures of the newly grouted Sunroom! I think you're gonna love it!

Be right back!

Well, here they are -- pictures of the New and Improved Sunroom! I'll post the rest of the shots of the 'Tiling-in-progress' on the How to Tile Page.

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See the pattern in the middle? That actually was the wrong tile when I took it out of the box, but Dwight was away in town (as he often is!), so I played around with it for a while and came up with a great configuration, and now he lovs it! Sometimes what initially seems like a mistake ends up being a fabulous feature!

Thanks for coming in for a Wee Visit! See You Tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

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It's The Weekend Update for Feb. 21st & 22nd, 2004! Hi, Honey Pie! Snookums... Schmookums... that sounds like a fairly accurate description of you -- I can't quite see your feet, but I have to assume you're still wearing those giant Bunny Slippers that are 'oh-so-attractive'! ha,ha,ha,ha! Well, there are no 'worker-bees' in our house, today, except for ME! And possibly Dwight! He's sleeping in this morning, so maybe he'll feel like Grouting The Sunroom later on in the day. I was trying to convince him, last night, that we could easily (!) Grout The Sunroom in one afternoon -- not even the whole afternoon, I said, although I am a crappy liar, so Dwight didn't believe that... Still, it's a job that needs to be done, so I'll make him a nice Breakfast when he gets up and broach the Subject again. And that's how you get someone to do a job -- just keep on them, and try to sugarcoat the whole deal so it appears easier, less expensive and waaaaay more fun than it actually is. Sounds like a good ploy for getting someone into a Marriage, too! Same description! ha,ha,ha,ha!

The Steam Room looks fantastic -- we kept going into that Bathroom and turning on all the lights so we could gaze in! You can't open the newly installed Glass Door for 24 hours, just to make sure the Seal doesn't break, so we can have a look inside after 2:00 pm, today. It's stunning, though, so we're thrilled with it. Dwight ran out of time on Friday to swing by his Plumbing Supplier to pick up the Double Shower Head (so two people can shower at the same time, apparently ... that Dwight -- now what does he have in mind?? har, har!). Which reminds me -- that Boy brought home a Box of Chicken Wings from Hooters the other day. I looked at the box and said, "Oh. You went to Hooters?" "Yep." So I waited for some sort of explanation, because I really hadn't visualized Dwight out at Hooters during the day, just popping in 'for a wee break'... I had to ask him again, and still no explanation -- finally, he says they have good chicken wings... and I said, "And that's not all..." Turns out, he finds it a 'convenient stop for Chicken Wings', so I think I'll wander into a Strip Club, myself, sometime, but only for the Lunch Special, of course! Ooooooh, I hope he's good looking! yuff, yuff!

Ah, well. turns out, it is illegal to try to sell Dwight, so I'll have to put up with it -- for now, anyway! We'll see what happens down the road... Good thing he's a good Builder! Oh, hey, did you see on Survivor when Rob the Knob (I'm pretty sure that's his real name -- "What, do I got Stooopid written on my forehead?" -- that Rob!) was busy building their shelter, and his new 'girlfriend-to-be' (Amber) was sitting watching him with admiring eyes? Yep, it's true -- girls dig guys who can build things! Must be prehistoric! ha,ha,ha! I'll tell you, if that didn't convince every man in America (and elsewhere...) to run out and buy a hammer (maybe swing by Hooters for a wee break during the day, because buying hammers is very, very tiring work...!), I don't know what will!

Yes, we're television junkies -- and what of it, hmmmm? Lok what else we manage to get done... why, if it weren't for Dwight turning on a Home Improvement Show about 5 years ago, we would never have thought of oputting in Double Dishwashers -- I'd never even heard of that until Dwight ran into the room to tell me about it! And, man, do we love that feature! Oh, yeah -- have you seen 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition' -- that's very good, and with Ty Pennington, the Carpenter from Trading Spaces. And there are a couple of new ones (new to me...) that I like -- Selling Houses and Buy Me!. (No, that's not a Hooker Connection -- now where is your mind at?? No, no, we're still talking about Houses!) I love Buy Me, because you can really see how some Realtors manipulate the people, and how easily these people fall prey to that. I like to see everyone well educated about their own Property, so they're not so readily taken in if someone happens to be a schiester. (Spelling??) The more you know about your own home and financial situation, the easier it will be to sell on your own, or to hire the right Realtor for you. And you ARE hiring them -- don't forget that their payment comes right off the top of the sale of your house, not from anywhere else.

Tip of the Day: If you choose to Sell Your Home with a Realtor, treat the process as you would if you were looking to Hire that Person for your own Company. You want to feel comfortable with them, like them, be able to get a word in edgewise with them. Ask what their house is like. I personally deal with Realtors just like I would deal with anyone else handling a large portion of our Cash -- if they haven't managed their own life well, I don't want them to manage mine -- any part of mine, and that includes Selling My Property. Now, I'm not nearly so picky when it comes to Buying a Property, although as soon as a Realtor is rude to me, I look at Dwight, leave the room, and we buy the property through a nice Realtor. We reward Kindness. That should be our new Motto! ha,ha,ha! Kindness goes a long way with me -- no need to put up with any silliness -- and certainly not in the Business Arena. There. I said it. And I stand by it, because it's true.

And now for your Weekend Pics Fix!

Here's Albert working on the Installation of the Fancy New Bannister! Stair Rail -- is it called a Banister in North America? My Scottish Genes won't tell me the answer! ha,ha,ha!

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Cool contraptions to measure and hold up the Bannister, eh? I'd never seen those before, so I thought they were neat. Then that's the view of the Library Area and that's my Office Window, too -- must keep some of my books close to my Office!

Now the Bannister is off the Wall and out in the Garage waiting to be Painted White, to match the rest of the Trim. I'll show what it looks like when it's all done, of course!

Thanks for swinging in for a wee visit before you head out for some Chicken Wings at Hooters! ha,ha,ha!

Have a Fabulous Weekend! Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

You know I am a real believer in Online Education -- I think this is going to be Huuuuuge in the next ten years, then forever afer that! It's a great way to get ahead in your Career!

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Friday, February 20th, 2004. Hey, Baby! What's up, today? We have a house full of Contractors, so there's a lot ofactivity around here ... Doug our Glass Guy is busy installing the New Clear Glass Shower Door -- and I'll have you know that I won the fight about which way it was going to open. That crazy Dwight wanted it to open from the Right, so as he could have 'easy access' to the toilet -- hmmmm, No. Not happening. There ain't nobody goin' to the toilet when we're having a Steam! Yuck. That boy needs a quick stop at 'Class 101' -- maybe 'Smoker Girl' (Heidi?) from The Apprentice can teach it when she's done with the Show! ha,ha,ha!

Anyway, Doug is hanging the Steam Room Door so it'll open from the Left, toward the Towel Bar. YaaHoo! I won! (Remember, it's not about winning as long as you win, otherwise, it's all about compromise! ha,ha,ha!)

Hey, check my Ask Ailsa Page for a new letter from Dave from South Dakota -- it's a great Building Letter that you'll enjoy. He mentions in his letter about the Double Dishwashers, which is a feature in this house that I absolutely loooove, and will definitely do whenever else I possibly can in any future house. Dave wanted to know if it's a good idea to have Two Water Heaters, and I personally think it's always a good idea.You never run out of Hot Water, and it's relatively inexpensive when you have them installed during the Build. It's wise to weigh out the convenience to you and your family over the added expense at the beginning, but quite often you'll find that when it's put into the Mortgage you're only looking at $5.00/month or less for a much more comfortable lifestyle.

Dave also asked me about how you can tell what is a good Lot to buy and why. The easiest answer is the one that you love the most, since each Lot has a different View, but the most important thing is the Amount of Water to the Lot. You will find out how many Gallons/Minute, and anything higher than 8 Gallons/Minute is great, but the 3-8 Gallons/Minute can be workable, too. I would be very wary of anything under 3 Gallons/Minute, even though I have heard some folks (only Realtors, actually ... take from that what you like...) say that 1 Gallon /Minute is OKAY, but only if you are completely prepared to build an enormous Cistern and have water shipped in every two weeks or so. And you have to be careful about manageing the water, which is a crappy way to live, so best to avoid that if at all possible.

Let me put this on fast while I'm still working on my Daily Update -- it's been really busy and I've been off chatting with the Contractors -- one of my favorite things to do! ha,ha,ha!

Okay, now where was I? I was just off talking Real Estate with Albert, who is making and installing a new, fancier Hand Rail to go to the Lower Walk-Out Level. It looks fabulous! He has to fit it, sand it, and make everything perfect, then we'll put it in the Garage for the Painters to come back and Paint it White, so it'll match the rest of the Trim. It'll look gorgeous!

Tip of the Day: This was part of the conversation I was having with Albert, so I'll give you the Tip, too, in case you're not familiar with it -- When you take out a Mortgage, take the one with a Monthly Payment (Bi-weekly payments are my financial pet peeve...), then make one extra payment per year, and you'll cut your Mortgage back by years and years. And if you can possibly swing putting any extra money down on your Mortgage, go ahead and do that, too. You can save yourself thousands of dollars! (Then you can use that saved money to buy tons and tons of chocolates ... or jewellery ... or More Land!! ha,ha,ha!)

And now for your daily Pics Fix!

So here's Doug installing the Glass Steam Room Fitted Door. It needs to be sealed all the way around for the Steam Machine to be more effective.

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The middle picture is the Glass Door Installed, then the last picture is 4 year old Aidan, who desperately wanted to be in the picture! ha,ha! That Boy has big plans to move to Hollywood -- he says I can come, too, but not to the Boy Hollywood, which is only for Boys -- I can go to the Mummy Hollywood, which is only for Boys and their Mummies! (That's where all the Laundry and Cooking is done!) Ah, the Male Mind!

I'll put the new pictures of the Bannister up on the Site for 'The Wekend Update'!

Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! See you tomorrow!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

Think I'm going to make a whole page on Taxes -- just a matter of finding some extra time -- ha,ha,ha,ha! Now that's funny!


<Do your taxes online with H&R Block.>

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Thursday, February 19th, 2004. Hi, Honey! You're Home, again! And I hope you've been able to find me no bother since the 'Big Switch' from my Original At Home With Ailsa Page! I really must get a normal picture of myself for this page! Man, it's like pulling teeth around here to get a picture of me! Ah, well, what are you gonna do? Ask people on the street? (Although, probably not a 'Street Person', since that's a whole other thing, and chances are very high it wouldn't go well...) But there's nothing worse than having to plead with someone to take your picture, so by the time they finally do say they'll take the damn thing, the last thing you want to do is smile... so I'm stuck with my 'oldie pics' for now. I'll let you know if I meet any friendly Street People...

So I had to put off writing my Daily Update until I calmed down a wee bit from an Piece on the News, last night, that I found incredibly upsetting. There was a woman in California who had just been thrown in Jail because her 17 year old son had clicked on the Child Find Site and found his picture. They had the biological father on the news, looking like a prince who had come to save the day, claiming that the mother had abducted the child when he was two. Well, wouldn't you know it, this scenario, as horrifying as it is, happened to me. I was lucky and didn't end up in jail, but my control freak ex would have loved it if I had. Thank God I had a Judge who recognized the whole thing as a Control Situation, but I was still sent right back from L.A. to Canada, where I've been held against my will ever since. And some folks wonder why I have the teensiest little anger issues (but only about that, because I despise an abuse of any power, and abuse of power this is...)

So now this Mother is in Jail, and the B.F. (biological father) (rhymes with 'M.F.'...) gets to sit back and watch from his easy chair. I don't know where the 17 year old son is, but I have no idea why the Courts can't just handle this normally, and ask this young man where he would like to live. Plus, the whole notion that a woman can 'steal' a child she gave birth to is ludicrous to me. As soon as that guy wants to carry, then push out a 7 pound baby out of his own body, fine, he can have more say, but until then, the mum should have the final say over what happens in her life and whatever it takes to maintain and care for her children. The B.F. should not have the ability to control the mum's life for the next 18 years of said child's life. There's no jail sentence out there for real criminals in Canada where they are penalized for 18 years -- in fact, the worse the crime, the easier the punishment in this country. I have some difficulty with that, as you might imagine.

So today I'm trying to figure out what I can do to either help this situation or help to cange the Laws so women aren't penalized for having a child with the wrong man. And just so you know, the B.F. is not held to the same standard - the mum has no ability to force the B.F. to live where she can get a good job (I would hazard a guess that there are very few women around who would even want to do that!...), or where she can live a better life -- he can do anything or go anywhere without question. Yes, this is fair, all right. And the Women's Movement doesn't seem to tackle this issue because of the whole notion that men and women can parent exactly the same way -- 50/50 all the way. Every parent knows that's not the true case. Please... children are a handful, and women are usually the ones in charge of their little lives.

I don't see how saying that the woman might be the better parent, especially when children are really little, is in any way suggesting that womencan't also be great C.E.O.'s of a Company... one thing doesn't negate the other. And it also doesn't mean that there aren't a tremendous amount of great Dad's out there -- of course there are. It's never about that -- it always , always boils down to Control Issues -- the former husband wants to control where 'his wife' lives -- even when she's re-married... I think that's where the changes are more likely to happen, because then it's about one man against another man -- the first one trying to control where the next man can live and work, and another man won't stand for this, but if that's the source for Change in this area of Law, then so be it. We'll take all the help we can find!

The whole thing is about being Fair, and allowing everyone to live well and live the way they so choose, all by themselves. Even The Simpsons took on this issue in last Sunday's Episode when Milhouse's Mother got a great new job in another city, but her loser ex-husband who doesn't pay any child support, forces them to return under these same laws... When I was dragged back up to Canada, I had a great Teaching Position in L.A., the B.F. was calling me 5 times a day (often more, and yes, that is considered harrassment in The States, but not in lovely Canada...), and occasionally only paid $30./month in Child Support, which wasn't quite enough to cover the living expenses for raising Cara, oddly enough, so I had to have a Full Time, Solid Job, which I had found in California.

Is this too much for you? I hope not, because maybe we could do something to amke life better for a whole lot of people. It's easy to work out an amicable arrangement with a non-abuser when you find that a Marriage doesn't work out, but we're looking at a 50% Divorce Rate -- that's a lot of women who could find themselves unable to move on with their lives if their ex-husband chooses to put a hold on her. That's just wrong, ain't it? Drop me a line if you have any ideas on what we can do as a little group -- we would need men and women to work together on this to make some real changes. is my address with the most amount of space, but you will have to include your return e-mail address in the letter for me to reply back. Let's see what we can do!

And on the Construction Front, Doug the Glass Guy is coming over tomorrow to install the Steam Room Door, so that'll be very exciting! Since we've finished the huuuuuge Grouting job, we love the Steam Room, again. Can't wait to try that out!

Tip of the Day: Don't have a baby with anyone who is crazy, or shows signs of craziness, since your life will be a living nightmare when you come to your senses and try to leave. And if you see a friend who is headed in this direction, tell them that little tip -- it doesn't get better -- and it's a crappy way to live in 2004. Can't hurt to discuss this in advance of any 'action' whatsoever, just in case! And that goes for Teenagers, too, who never think this sort of thing can happen to them... it can happen to absolutely anybody, and I'm living proof of that.

Okay, now for some pleaseant pictures to make up for the important but not so much fun article!

Let me go grab them for you!

I took these yesterday morning -- you can see how quickly the Sky changes color, since I took them at different times in the morning.



It's really amazing how far down we can see Mountain Ranges -- gorgeous! You can see that I have a very nice life, now, but it's a shame this isn't the life that I really wanted to lead -- I'm mostly making the best out of the situation. My first choice was always to return to California and be in charge of my own life -- ah, Freedom -- I look forward to the day I am truly free, then see what choices I make, then...!

Thanks for coming in for a visit -- I've had a whole pile of Dwight's Hawaiin Macadamia Chocolates , so I do feel a wee bit better -- there's nothing like Chocolate to lift your Spirits! Which reminds me of someting else, more liquid in nature...ha,ha,ha!

See you tomorrow for more Construction and other stuff!

Later, Baby, Ailsa!!

Check it out -- isn't this hilarious?? I just updated Tia's Page, our cute little dog's page, to include this Link. I'm gonna have to get this for Cara, because she'll get a real kick out of this!

< The perfect gift for Dog Lovers>

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Wednesday, February 18th, 2004. Yo, yo, yo! What up, Daaaawg? Gettin' down wit' ma homeys ... homies...okay, who knows how to spell that? Man, we're barely past Valentine's Day, and now it's only a week before Dwight's Birthday. I think he's gonna be 45 -- can't remember... you know how that is! One year, neither of us could remember how old we were, which is probably a sign of something, if I could just remember what that was...Anyhooooo, we're both crappy at math, because we couldn't even count backward without getting sidetracked by shiny baubles or pictures of houses...unless there's a $ sign in front of any number, then we're right on it, with our handy dandy calculators! ha,ha,ha! That's okay -- if it's a love of money that binds us together, so be it! There are worse things we could both like, right? ha,ha,ha! (A Hooker joke comes to mind, but that's probably wrong...!)

I added some letters to my Fan Mail Page -- you can click in there to see who is writing to me -- I haven't had much time to devote to that page, but I did a wee bit, last night! Oh, I'm dedicated, all right!

Hey, I went Downtown Calgary (with Dwight -- I hate driving down there -- the parking is sooo annoyink!), yesterday, to get my 'New Eye' Checked out. You know how I had that Lasik Eye Surgery done last summer? Well, yesterday was the 6 month mark, and my new eye looks nice and healthy, so that's great! If you haven't been in to 'see' my Lasik Eye Surgery Page, and you're thinking about getting that procedure done becuase you're tired of wearing your Glasses, pop in and have a wee look. Lots of Sight References, there, but can't help it, now! That's the last time this week I have Gin for Breakfast -- it doesn't even go with Toast... I'm kiddink, just kiddink! I don't have Toast for Breakfast... ha,ha,ha,ha! Okay, I really do write this simply to amuse myself, sometimes! har, har!

Tip of the Day: Know where to Draw the Line between Generosity and Stupidity...I know, that does sound like good advice for folks strollin' around with money falling out of their pockets... but it is sometimes hard to tell who really needs help and who is just looking for a hand-out. You have to be extra careful. There are some seedy people out there, and they come in packages that often look and sound quite pleasant (no, I'm not talking about myself, here, although I would absolutely loooove it if you made all your online purchases through my Site, but that's a whole other line of pleading... ha,ha,ha!).

So what do you do when someone who appears to be truthful wants to borrow money from you? And the amount is not all that relevant, because it is largely dependent on how much you have to begin with, and what percentage of your money they're asking you to fork over... Money is a funny thing -- it can make or break almost any relationship, that's why most people stick with 'Outsiders' -- the Banks, The Mob... oh, no, wait, that's The Sopranos, and I'm just excited about that starting up again (on my Birthday, March 7th!) get whatever funds they might need.

Often, though, and we've probably all been down this road, you can't go to the Banks, so you have to finance something with Private Money. It's a tricky situation. I think the bottom line is that if someone would, without thought, put you in financial hardship so that they could have whatever they wanted right away, that's a bad sign... But if you can easily afford it, and they will definitely pay it back (or it's strictly a Gift), give it some thought. Remember that you still won't have any more control over how the 'requestie' (my word!) spends they money, so you'd have to hand it over with a tepid smile and hope for the best... and if they come back at approximately the same time next week with another request for money, the answer is, "No. Nope. No Sirreee (Bob -- optional!)..." You get the idea. Watch out for the human seives!

Thanks for swingin' in for a wee visit! I'm gonna go take some pictures from inside my Office (here at home!) for today's Pics Fix!

Here's the View from My fabulous Home Office -- it's on the Lower Walk-Out Level of our house. Of course, I'm watching Ellen, and I can actually see the Mountains and the little Deer Family through the windows over by the Pool Table. That's the Bar area over past the TV.

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And there's Aidan playing around down here -- it's great that I can work away on my website and still see Aidan all the time... and then there's Cara also watching Ellen -- she has this week off school, so what better way to spend her time off??

See you later, Baby! Ailsa!!

These are all Links to -- you'd be surprised at the stuff they carry! Have a wee look -- they have a big Anniversary Sale on right now! (And you know I loves me a Big Sale!! ha,ha,ha!)

<Anniversary Sale - save up to 33% on top selling items! (Ends 04/04/04)><Get up to 50% off allergy & sinus relief! (Ends 04/04/04)><Get 20% off Earth Friendly natural household cleaners! (Ends 03/09/04)>

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Tuesday, February 17th, 2004. Hey, Baby! How you doin'?? Is this your first day back at work after the Long Weekend? If it is, welcome back! It's funny after you do get back from any Holiday from work, because you kinda want your first day back to be a 'slacker day', but once you get there, there's a ton of work that's accumulated while you were away... ah, well. Just the nature of life!

Well, we had yesterday 'Off', so we finally tackled the Steam Room -- it still needed to be Grouted. It was a job that we thought about all the time, put off endlessly, then finally decided to get it done, yesterday. Thank Goodness! And, man, it looks absolutely fantastic! I'll go take some pictures of the Steam Room and get them on the Site, today. Grouting happens to be one of my favorite jobs, but it is a huuuuge amount of work -- Grouting the Floor is a big enough job, but Grouting the Wall (especially if the wall is over 8 feet high!), and then Grouting the Ceiling is very, very hard. The Steam Room has tile on the floor, the seats, the walls and the ceiling (the entire room...), so it took us all day to get the thing done, but it was a job well done, so we're really pleased with ourselves.

Now I'll need to call our Glass Guy to see if the Glass Door is ready to be installed in the Steam Room. I didn't want to call before we were really ready for the Installation -- Dwight wanted me to call, but I hate that -- I never do anything until I know for sure we're ready for the person to say, "I'll be right over...", which often does happen. Doug, the Glass Guy, has already been over to Measure for the Glass Door, since it has to be Custom-Fit, so it should be ready any day, now. We ordered a Clear Glass Door -- no pictures or 'Rain Pattern'. Dwight wanted an etched picture on the glass -- something with Grapes, so I said, "Uh, No, not happening.." , so plain it is... plus, the Tile is soooo gorgeous, I didn't want to detract from that.

Tip of the Day: Yep, it's a Grouting Tip! Work in a Team of Two -- maybe more, but two at the very least. Trying to mix the Grout, put it in between the Tiles, then wipe it off and make the Lines nice and neat is just too much work for one person. I tried that myself on the Floor Tiles, one day last year, and I was only able to get a small portion of the Floor done, whereas when you work with another person or people, you can get a whole lot more done, and a lot faster. Plus, you won't be completely worn out by the end of the day.

Oh, yeah. We chat a lot while we're working, and I happened to ask Dwight how someone would go about fixing their Shower if they had a leak, or their Bathroom Tiles were all screwed up -- one way or another their Shower wouldn't work. He says, "You just cut out the wall around the Shower Head, Weld together the new Plumbing, replace the Drywall and retile the whole area." So I laughed and said that normal, regular folks can't do all that -- what's a quick fix... So he told me the whole thing again... that wasn't all that useful.

So here's my idea -- I have never tried this myself (because Dwight would have a fit at cutting corners...), but I think if you were in a tight fix, and you really had to solve a Shower Issue, try tiling on top of old tile. Again, it's not highly recommended, but it's a better option than not doing anything, I think. And swing by your local Hardware Store to pick up a new Shower Head -- you can try following the Directions from the Package, and if it still won't work, call a plumber and explain what's happening. Many Plumbers will let you pay your Bill in increments, if you need to do -- Plumbers worry about people who don't have a great Shower! It's true!

Oh, click on to my Tiling Page to learn how to Tile or Grout, if you want to give this project a try. And Tile is not very expensive -- it can be, but you can choose any Tile you want, so you are in charge of how much you spend on this Home Improvement Project.

Now let me go take some pictures of the Steam Room for you -- be right back!

Now here are some Pictures of the Newly Grouted Steam Room!

See how there's a little Ledge at the Base of the Door? That's because it's a full Working Shower as well as being an enormous Steam Room, so you have to make sure the water stays in there! Then in the next picture that's the Ceiling -- man, that was hard to do -- lots of overhead work. My neck is sore, today, but Dwight can get the Steam Unit hooked up, now, then the Door'll go on and Voila, we can have a Steam! Then our muscles won't hurt from Building, anymore! ha,ha!

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You can see the corner of the Window in the second shot, then most of the window in the last picture. I love these Glass Block Windows (they come all in one piece...) in Bathrooms. They provide lots of light, but you don't have to cover them, so they're fabulous in a Bathroom or any other Room where you want the light to come in but don't want anyone outside to see you -- like in a Dining Room that faces another house... Doesn't the Grout look nice? I love it! ha,ha!

Thanks for swingin' in for a wee visit! I put an Ad for Hawaii, because we use Trips as our incentives for all sorts of things. Once we cancelled a House Build because we discovered just before (literally, an hour before...) we signed the Big Contract and put our $20,000. Down (that's typically how much you would put down on a home being built for you in the Under-$300 Grand range) that a new Fareway was slated to go in right behind the potential new home... and then we would never have made any money on the Home, so we cancelled the Deal.We were pretty sad about it, because it would have been a lovely home, but then we both said, "Well, we can always go to Hawaii!", and that made us feel a lot better. Same thing for selling this house -- we'll all miss it, but we'll take a quick Trip, find something New, and move on happily enough!

Aaaaand, I've been eating a zillion of the Hawaiin Macadian Chocolates that I technically got for Dwight for Valentine's Day -- I told him the nxt time we have those chocolates, hopefully, we'll have them at the factory in Hawaii! Now doesn't that sound like something to look forward to? Can't wait!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!

< Delta sale to Hawaii: Flights from $393+ >

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Monday, February 16th, 2004. Hey, HEY, Hey! Well, did you and your Relationship survive Valentine's Day?? Man, it's like a conspiracy holiday -- and a hard one to win... Dwight did end up giving me some Chocolates, which is a good thing, because who doesn't know that I love Chocolate?Please -- even the Dog knows I love Chocolate more than almost anything else! So now I've had waaaay more than my fair share and I'll have to get back to my Stepper and Weights to stay 'on track'!

Remember how I had made a couple of little hints to Dwight to get me the Hanging Down Tanzanite Earrings? Well, he didn't know I meant 'Get them for me'...ugh. Hints are useless, but it's depressing having to drag him into the store, show him the Earrings (or whatever other thing it is that I want him to get for me...), try them on, ask how they look (because by then some other shiny bauble has caught his eye and he's wandered off...), then get out my own Credit Card and buy them. That's not as romantic as you might think! ha,ha,ha! Ah, well. My Birthday is coming up in a few weeks -- March 7th (same night that The Sopranos starts it's new Season, so can't wait!!). We'll see what happens, then!

It's funny how men don't get that if they don't give good presents, the jewelery in question will cost them a whole lot more in the long run (oh, about half their stuff...!), because then they have a little disgruntled wife on their hands, and that ain't good! ha,ha,ha,ha!

Now we're back to the usual work-load, and we have a couple of jobs to do, today -- it's a Public Holiday in Alberta -- Family Day, so we'll use the time to get some more stuff done. That Steam Room has not Grouted itself, yet, so we really have to get that done. Man, we've put that job off for such a long time, it's craaazy! We need to get a Set of Mirrored Doors on in the Laundry Room, too. It's one of those jobs that Dwight doesn't think of often, because he's rarely in the Laundry Room, but I'm in there pretty much every day, so I'm contantly thinking about it. He says he has the right Drill Bit in his Truck to do the job -- you need a special Drill Bit to Drill through Tile, which we would need to do, since the Whole Kitchen, Dining Room, Front Entry, Pantry and Laundry Room are Tiled.

I've got a new Ab Exercise I've started doing, lately, that I want to share with you -- realy must find someone to take my pictures exercising so I can show you some great techniques to get rid of any cellulite and get into good shape... Cara's home all week -- maybe she can take some pictures... We'll see.

Oh, I'm just watching Ellen, and it looks like there's a Holiday in the States, today, as well -- so Happy President's Day! Great to spend one more day with the one who didn't buy you a fabulous gift for Valentine's Day, or, even better, with the one who did get something great! It'd be great to know the persentages of folks who are happy with their gifts versus the ones who are disgruntled -- can you tell I happen to love that word -- 'disgruntled'? It's just a funny word to me! ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: Whenever you are thinking about finding a new Financial Advisor, Banker, Mortgage Broker, Investment Banker, Accountant ... anyone who will be advising you on how to Build Your Money or Manage Your Money -- check to see how they live, themselves. Do they live in a nice house, manage their own money well, and are not stressed out by money? I think it's next to impossible to build your money if it stresses you out -- better to be calm and relaxed about the business of getting rich (or "Filthy Stinkin' Rich", as our 4 year old son, Aidan, says! ha,ha,ha!). You'll get there faster, and anyone you use to help you should have their own Financial House in Order, first, too.

Oh, and just because someone does have a big fancy house, or a fancy schmancy car, that doesn't necessarily mean things are going well for them -- they could be in hawk up to their eyeballs just to make their image to the outside world seem great -- watch out for that! I would always rather see someone comfortable in their own skin, and secure in their knowledge of Money. And they should get to know you well enough to know the risks you are ready and wiling to take, or if you only want to stick to the 'tried and true'. Follow your intuition on anyone who has to do with your money, and you'll be okay.

Now let me go grab some pictures for you! Be right back!

I love the Views out of our windows -- on this particular morning, the Moon was so Bright and gorgeous, so I ran down stairs to grab my Video Camera to take these shots. I took these out the Dining Room Windows.


Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! It's always lovely to see you!

Later, Baby! Ailsa!!



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<Everyday04 >

Saturday, February 14th! Happy Valentine's Day!! It's finally here -- yippee!! So Happy Valentine's Day, Baby! I hope you have, at the very least, a fabulous day with either nothing to do but relax and take it easy, or plenty of fun things to do, whichever is your preference! I was planning to sleep in, but we got a call -- construction-related, of course -- around 8:30 this morning... now, who isn't aware that it's Valentine's Day morning, hmmmmm? Man, I can only guess that this particular male caller doesn't have a Valentine, and if he did, she might not stick around for another... Yep, what happens on Valentine's Day sticks with you for the whole year ahead, sometimes for many years to come, depending on what you do!

Ah, well. It's not like I'm missing out on anything, anyway... Dwight is a very generous man, but not exactly 'Mr. Romantic'. He did bring me a Potted Plant, yesterday, with another Plastic Container for me to transplant the Azalea into -- it's very nice, very practical...and when he asked me what was happening for Valentine's Day Dinner, I said he had to be a man and step up to the plate on that one -- I'm not going to make or plan my own Valentine's Day Dinner, anymore. And I've stopped prompting him, too. I want to see what he does all on his own, without me having to get out the cattle prod to get what I want/need/must have... I think you see the picture! ha,ha,ha! I said to him, "Dwightie, what do other men do on Valentine's?" He says,"I don't know. I don't talk to them about that." True enough, they mostly talk about Furnaces, from what I can tell! And Furnaces ain't gonna heat up Valentine's Day! ha,ha,ha!

So far, today, I'm in the 'Under $20. Gift Category', and although you're not supposed to attach feelings to money, everybody does in reality, so it ain't lookin' good for the Dwight-man... we'll see what happens ver the course of the day. I did also say to him, last night, that I do not want to do any Manual Labor on Valentine's Day -- and that's not a euphanism for something else -- I really mean Manual Labor! We're in Construction, remembah'?? Sigh...

Tip of the Day: Buy something decent for your Valentine, and if it's little, make it heart-felt... yep. I'm still not going to tell Dwight that -- he'll have to come to that conclusion all on his own -- he never reads my Site, so I know he won't pick that tip up from here! Men! You can't Sell Them! "One Older Model Male, Rarely Used. Good Condition. Needs Some Work." Well, maybe I could get a good price for him on the Open Market...ha,ha,ha,ha! Okay, that one was just for my own enjoyment!

Hey, have you had a minute to pop into my Valentine's Day Goodies Page? I made it last week, and it's a really nice page -- I'm pleased with how it turned out! And there's a particularly gorgeous Dress that is exactly my style right at the bottom of the page -- scroll down and check it out -- it'll be a special way of getting to know me a little better! ha,ha,ha!

And now for some New Pictures!

** **

This seems like a good day for a beautiful Sunrise and a gorgeous Sunset, so there you go -- pictures taken form my Sunroom, of course!

Thanks for swingin' by for a wee visit! Later, Baby! Ailsa!

And a Very Happy Valentine's Day to You, too!! xxx

Check this out -- I got this in my e-mail, yesterday, and I thought this was waaaaay cool. You can create your own image in this Virtual Reality Place, then your friends go in and do the same thing, then you can say, "Meet you THERE", and go hang out wit' yo' friens' in a Virtual Domain... is that cool, or what? You can meet new people, too, so it's an interesting spin on meeting new folks! Just in case you're looking... har, har!

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Cool, eh? Check it out!

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Friday, February 13th, 2004... Friday the 13th -- again! I hope you get Lucky -- I mean, I hope this is a lucky day for you! Youse... youse guys... now do you feel like you should order something in a Diner from a Waitress with a Beehive Hairdoo?? ha,ha,ha! That reminds me of a cool Diner in Detroit I went to with an old friend of mine, Bruce. We crossed the Canadian Border just to get to that little Diner!

Well, do you know what has been driving me up the wall, lately? No, not just Dwight -- he's actually been pretty good of late -- we'll see how he does tomorrow, on Valentine's Day. Last year was not good at all, so he has making up to do to create a better memory...oh, here's a little Tip for the men out there on Valentine's Day (and then every other day after that...) ... If you have to ask for something, or you just feel like being ludicrously selfish and demand something, skip that approach! It'll never work ... Chicks don't dig that, which I know is a great big surprise! The general idea is that if somebody wants to do something, they will, and if they don't, they won't...and you'll just get into trouble one way or another, so it ain't worth it! Little Tip from Me to You! ha,ha,ha!

No, the thing that has been bugging me is the whole bit about the Man being the Head of the Household... What? Is it the 50's already?? Dr. Phil has been saying it a lot, lately, and usually in reference to Philanderin' Marty -- this guy has been out having Affairs during his Marriage, and Dr. Phil says to him, "What kind of 'Head of the Household' are you?" I'm paraphrasing, of course -- I was in shock that notion still existed, and Dr. Phil has been using it a lot... Now that ain't good. What I'd like to know is 'Who is in charge of the Household when Marty is with his Mistress, hmmmm?' I think that's a pretty good question, and one that I would ask as I was packing up the 'Household' to move on! ha,ha,ha! (Oh, and just so's you know, I really like Dr. Phil the vast majority of the time, just not for that, even though he doesn't say it in an intentionally negative way, and he's clearly a great Husband ...)

And then on The Bachelorette the other night, Lanny's Mother says to poor Meredith (the girl who is 'seeking love', if you're not watching it...) that Lanny will be the Head of the Household, and she will be submissive to him .. but submissive in a good way! ha,ha,ha,ha! It's always great to be submissive -- good for your self-esteem! Puh-leeeease! How will we ever get to a point in Society where a Woman can be Head of State, if the notion that she can't be 'Head of Household' still exists?

What happened to the Equal Partenship Idea? I can't imagine for a minute not making the Big Decisions together -- each Spouse always has their own special areas where they are typicaly 'in charge', then the big stuff you manage together. That doesn't mean that there can't be a fair bit of discussion and persuasion, if need be, but a happy Marriage is an Equal Marriage -- funny how one person in Charge and the other one has to follow blindly along can really turn on you! ha,ha,ha!

Well, that's a lovely Valentine's Sentiment, ain't it? But it is all about love, and then making love last... and we all want that, don't we? Love and a gorgeous big house!! ha,ha,ha!

Tip of the Day: Don't start a big Renovation Project or make plans to Build a House without discussing it with your Spouse, first. If one Partner is not on track with what you're doing, it'll be a nightmare you're better off without. Usually there will be some middle ground where you can find a compromise, then work from that. Sometimes you will get a situation where one spouse just won't budge -- either they're scared to make any changes, or don't want to add any more work onto their platter -- those are legitimate concerns for each individual, but then you'd have to decide whether that will really work for you... oi, it's always complicated, ain't it?? There's sooo much work involved in any Home Improvement Project that if you have to drag the other person along, it's sure to cause stress. Maybe wait for a bit, and see if it's just a time-thing...

Hey, drop me a line and let us all know if you're dealing with something like that -- we love to hear other people's dirt, don't we??

Now let me go and get you some nice pictures! Be right back!

Okay, here they are -- some new pics from my Kitchen -- I just ran upstairs to take the top two pictures.



I took these to show you the File Cabinet Section of the Cabinetry -- it was a last-minute decision -- I drew it on a little piece of paper, showed it to Dwight, then to the Carpenter, and whamo, one of our favorite part of the Cabinetry came to be. Not everything has to be carefully planned and discussed. We use it to keep some Bills organized, put our Car Keys, Pens -- stuff you need to get your hands on in a hurry... Very Functional!

I just thought I probably should have turned the Lights on in the Kitchen before I took those shots, but there's sooo much light in there, you never think about it. I like having an Energy Efficient Home -- Looks fabulous with all our Windows and it's lovely and bright all day, and the house is heated during the day with the Sun -- let's us have very moderate Utilities Bills!

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Thanks for popping in for a wee visit! See you on The Weekend!

Love & Luck! Ailsa!

Hey, I got a little e-mail from Rhonda, one of my Single Readers, and she's 'lookin' for love', so check out her e-mail on my Hook Me Up Page!

Happy Valentine's Day!!

(Just in case you're 'busy' tomorrow! ha,ha,ha!)

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Thursday, February 12th, 2004. Hello, Baby-Cakes! Honey Buns -- no, that's huuuugely inappropriate... Suga', Suga'! There, that is soooo much better! Well, how you doin', today? Have you got your Valentine's Day stuff, yet? Mostly, I just bought a bunch of Chocolates -- I did mention to Dwight that he never did buy me those Long Dangling Tanzanite Earrings (Tanzanite is my new favorite Gem -- it has beautiful shades of purple...) I always wanted...oddly enough, not much response from the Dwight-Man... we'll see what the Boy gets me!

It's always interesting ... it's hard not to attach an emotional response to any gift -- the worst thing is when you're going out with somebody and you don't get any gift at all -- now that totally sucks... You know, that's part of the reason why I wrote the tongue-in-cheek 'Marry Rich' Article -- it's not about how much money someone has, it's how they use it. A Gift should show that you care about the person and you know them well enough to have a good handle on what they like, need, get the drift. Now as much as I loooove Roses, I am terribly allergic to them, but Dwight gets them for me every year -- I gave him a list for him to carry around in his wallet of all the Flowers I like that I'm not allergic to, and occasionally I'll get those. So when I do get Roses, I have to put them in any room I won't be in -- tough to do, since I like every room in the house...

Well, wouldn't you know it -- I was making Aidan yet another Peanut Butter and Jam Sandwich upstairs in the Kitchen, so I didn't automatically switch my Shows over to Sharon Osbourne, and Deepak Chopra was right there on a Canadian Medical Show, Health on the Line. Amazing. He is brilliant, and he's talking about his new book I was telling you about yesterday, The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire. Cool! I think Deepak Chopra will have a profound affect on our world, with his different (not really different -- it's been around forever, in a manor of speaking...) view on Religion and Spirituality. This would make a great gift for yourself and someone else you really love...see how I snuck in being in love with yourself? It all starts from there! ha,ha,ha!

Now guess what! Right after I wrote that last little statement about Deepak Chopra and his Ideas having a profound affect on the World, he said he has a new Website called set up for that very thing! Amazing! Once you've read his book you'll be very impressed, too! ha,ha,ha! And I also popped into his own website, -- there's a tremendous amount of information on there, too, if you also want to check that out!

So we never did get around to Grouting that crazy Steam Room -- man, some jobs just seem to evade you, right?? I wonder why we're not more motivated to get that done? Maybe because I'm not completely clear on what exactly you're supposed to DO in there, or what you're supposed to wear... hmmmmm... Well, it absolutely needs to be done this weekend, so we'll have to get over whatever it is that stops us from doing the work and delve in there! Say, now there's a fun way to spend Valentine's Day!! ha,ha,ha!

My Office is full of dogs, boys and castles ... okay, just one wee dog, Tia, one wee boy, Aidan, and one giant Tower that Aidan says is his castle... so I better get on with the Tip!

Tip of the Day: Have you ever had a minute to check out my Tips & Recipes Page? It was a really early Page, so I'm sure it could do with an overhaul, but there's a great little Valentine's Night Tip (click on and you'll be sure to find it! ha,ha,ha!), but there's also a little known Aphrosisiac on that page, too! Yep. For the most part, tried and true! So if you're lucky enough to have someone actually take you out for dinner, make this on Sunday, or Friday (if you're still trying to make them into a Valentine!). If you're making a Romantic Dinner for Two for Valentine's Day, you might like to try this -- Onion Barley. I know, it sounds sexy, but is it? ha,ha. Little Ellen reference for you, on the off-chance you are addicted to her new show!

I usually serve Onion Barley with a delicious Rosemary London Broil, but you can add it to any meal where you would normally serve Rice or Potatoes... well, pretty much any meal... I wouldn't go with every meal, because too much of a good thing just makes it annoying, and your partner is sure to get suspicious after the 10th night, or so. Some people catch on really quickly! ha,ha,ha! Anyhoooo, give it a try and let me know how that works out for you! Good Luck! Oh, yeah, you can buy Pearl Barley -- not Pearl Bailey -- in the Rice Section or in the Soup Section of your regular Grocery Store!

Okay. Let me go grab you some new pictures!

** **

Well, here's My Office since it's been Painted -- the Trim Work and the French Glass Door, I mean -- looks lovely! We're very pleased with how the whole thing turned out... and now you can see why I love to work in My Office so much -- I have a Mountain View from my desk, too, so that's a nice bonus! A Windowed Interior Room is a very cool thing to do, in case you're thinking of putting one in your own place -- it's fabulous!

Thank you for swingin' in for a wee visit! See you tomorrow!

Love & Luck, Ailsa!! (That could have been, "Hope you get Lucky in Love", which is true, too, so take 'em both! ha,ha,ha!)

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Wednesday, February 11th, 2004. Hi, Honey! You're Home! I hope it hasn't been too much of a bother finding me on my new page for 'At Home with Ailsa'... frankly, I haven't had a second to see if I can get back into the Original At Home Page ... plus, it was getting pretty long, anyway, so a New Page was in order one way or another -- it just took a 'freeze out' to make me create it! Just like real life, where you put off making a change for as long as possible, until something 'freezes you out', or some God-Awful thing happens, then you are jarred into dong something new...

So I've been reading Deepak Chopra's Book, The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, and it is giving me new insights into my life and the lives of others every time I read it. Really, I think it's right up there with the ten most inspirational, life-changing books I've read. He offers up a series of 'exercises' you can do do look at your life, and each one changes your perspective completely -- very cool! It's good to exercise your Brain as much as it is to exercise your Body. I think I'm going to try combining them, although that may not work for me since I like to execise when I'm watching TV -- I time my Stepper and Weights with any half-hour Show... I had to stop exercising during Survivor, because the Volume on that Show is tricky -- you have to turn it up high enough so you can hear all the whispering, but then the background noises are too loud... anyway, that crazy Dwight insists on turning it down so I can't hear the dialogue, and that combined with the sound of the Stepper makes it impossible for me to hear what's going on... so I had to switch to a regular SitCom... I know, I know, 'the trials and tribulations of marriage'!! But it is the little annoyink things that get to you in the long run, ain't it?? ha,ha,ha!

Here's a Direct Link to Deepak Chopra's New Book -- it's fabulous!

<The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence
The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence


Anyway, back to Deepak Chopra ... here's an exercise from the book that I thought was amazing, and it won't ruin the book for you at all -- I highly recommend picking up a copy... You choose two people -- one you are really attracted to and one you are repulsed by ... (no, you can't put your spouse in both lists... and for Goodness Sake, don't show your Spouse if they don't show up on the 'Attracted to' list OR do show up on the 'Repulsed by' list! That won't go over very well, and what with Valentine's Day coming up, you're sure to get less Chocolate, and we don't want that...ha,ha,ha!).

I didn't have any paper handy when I did my Lists, so I just made 'mental lists', which you can do when you're sitting at the computer... Okay, here's what you do -- Think of 20 features or qualities you like in the person you're attracted to, then make another list of 20 things you do not like about the person you find repulsive. Then make two short lists of 3 negative attributes of the person you are attracted to, then 3 positive attributes of the person you are repulsed by... Still with me? There's more to it in Deepak Chopra's book -- I'm just doing the short version... Now, go over the lists and see which attributes you see in yourself, even a tiny little bit.

It's a bit shocking, because you quickly realize you have pretty much all of the same traits to some degree or another. What this exercise did for me was it allowed me to see all people on a continuum, just with different degrees of every aspect of being human. Very nice little mental exercise. The really amazing thing about doing this exercise is it made me see that the two people I am most repulsed by are not all that different from me on a certain level -- they just took a airly common human need and stretched the crap out of it until it was warped, but still, now I can see it on a continuum, so I am not repulsed by them any more... and I have carried around this repulsion and disgust for a very long time, so it was quite a break-through for me. I told Dwight about it -- he's not a reader, but he is open to new ideas, which is a good sign!

So that's the kind of exciting thing I like to do in the evenings! And then I went downstairs to watch American Idol with Cara -- it's a nice little Show... it's neat how these shows have brought Music back to TV -- I hope that shows whoever is in charge of providing the Funding for Music Education how critical it is for all folks, and how uplifting it is. Something has happened over the years to change the focus of Education -- it's never all about the 3 R's -- it's about a combination of all the subjects, and the stuff you remember from all those years in School are typically from The School Plays, Teams you belonged to, Band Trips, the Lunch Room...I like the new Movement to ensure that Public Funding for Music (and the Arts & Sports) in Education stays in place...

Have I told you I used to be a Music Therapist? And my main Instrument is the Flute, which I love. I always use Music in any Classroom I'm in -- it can set the mood in the background, or provide a great tool to get a message or lesson across, especially with Special Needs Students. It's fun!

I'm just watching The Wayne Brady Show while I write this, and he has John Spencer on from The West Wing. Do you remember him from L.A. Law? Well, when I lived in Los Angeles, I had some friends at the 20th Century Fox Studios, so I spent a lot of time there (mostly inebriated, but I was very young at the time -- oh, those craaaazy Twenties!! ha,ha,ha!). Anyway, one day my friend Liza Ramirez (I say her whole name on the off-chance that someone out there in Computerland might know someone who might know Liza -- I've lost touch with her over the years...) and I were in watching a Taping of L.A. Law, and she told me how much she looooved John Spencer! I liked Blair Underwood and Harry Hamlin, but she was totally into John Spencer! Funny -- we were both in our Twenties, so I didn't get that at the time -- I see it now, but that comes with age, to be sure! ha,ha,ha! And then we went out for more Drinks! Ah, I love L.A.! (And wouldn't you know Harry Hamlin came on Wayne's Show right after John Spencer was on ... )

Well, I've hardly even touched on Construction, today -- sorry! Dwight and I have to Grout the Steam Room, tonight -- we've been putting it off and putting it off, but the Glass Door will be arriving any time, now, so it needs to be done before the Glass Door can be installed. There - a little construction news!

Tip of the Day: Take a minute to think about yourself, today. Have a look in the Mirror and make your own list of all of your great qualities -- it'll be fun for you to see what qualities you list and which qualities are at the top of the List! You can do all physical Attributes one day, then Personal Attributes the next day... then maybe personal accomplishments the day after that... you get the picture. It's all stuff that's good for your Soul -- you'll be more confident, then you'll bring lots of positive energy into your life, and that's always good, right??

Now let me go get you some new pictures!

Here they are! Before & After of my Master Closet!


Well, do these look really different to you?? You'll need to click on the pictures to see the Larger Image -- the First shot is of the Master Walk-In Closet before I tidied it all up, and the Second shot is after it's all neat and clean! The clothes on the Top Shelf were all messy -- folded, but randomly placed, so I separated everything into little piles so it looks much neater.

And I moved all the stuff that had made it's way into the Closet, on the Floor, out. Then I moved my favorite shoes to the Opposite side of the Closet, instead of at the back -- ooooh, I know... it's all very exciting! But I feel great about straightening it all up -- it makes you feel like you've got a good handle on things when you rid yourself of clutter! (You know, that would make a funny little new name for someone you've had enough of, but they don't know it yet -- "Hey, there, you little clutter, you!" Make it sound cute, and they'll never figure it out! ha,ha!)

Thanks for popping in to see me! See you again, tomorrow!

Lots of Love & Luck! Ailsa!!

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Tuesday, February 10th, 2004. Hello, Darling! Pre-Valentine's Day Friend! Can you believe there's only 4 days until Valentine's Day?? I'm hoping this will be a good one -- we've had a series of 'not-so-great' ones, so this one really needs to be better... And I told Dwight I do NOT want to cook my own Valentine's Day Dinner this year... that sounds a tad obvious, though, don't it?? The problem is that in Calgary, the weather can be very unpredictable, so it's difficult to make firm plans very far in advance, since everybody (okay, maybe just Dwight...!) waits for the 5-Day Forecast before any plans are made, then it's too late to get a good Reservation... or so I hear. That means we've had our Valentine's Dinner at home pretty much every year -- Crab Legs, Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon and some fabulous dessert... it's always good, but I would prefer to go out, this year. Call me craaazy! ha,ha,ha!

Ah, well. I think I'll pick up some Crab Legs, just in case the same thing happens, again. You know, I used to work in a Seafood Restaurant when I was in University (Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario), and I learned how to cook all sorts of neat things, my favorite being the Crab Legs. If you want to make Dinner at Home for your Valentine (and hopefully you won't use a lame excuse like someone I know does... ha,ha,ha!), and you want to include the Crab Legs, buy them Frozen (unless you're lucky enough to be able to find them fresh...), bring salted water to a rapid boil, then pop them in for 14 minutes. Serve them with individual bowls of melted butter -- yummy. Maybe I will mke that, because now it sounds good again! We'll see what the Boy comes up with...

Oi, don't miss The O.C., this week! We have Satellite, so it comes on many times during the week, but it's a great episode... and I love the Houses, so I spend a fair bit of the hour saying, "Ooooh! I want a house like that! Oooooh, I need a Negative Edge Pool!" I'm lovely that way! I can't help it -- I loooove California, and I loves me some nice Architecture! ha,ha,ha,ha! I never want to say too much about it, because I don't want to ruin the fun experience for you, but there's some seriously good stuff that happens!

Well, I actually straightened out my whole Master Bedroom Walk-In Closet, yesterday -- it's a miracle! It looks much better, now -- I'm not sure when all the neat little piles of clothes on the top shelf went mad, but it's nice to see everything nice and orderly, again. And my Shoes look fabulous! I even came up with a way to hold my Thigh High Boots up -- Dwight was watching me clean up the closet, and when I said to him I couldn't get my Thigh High Boots to stand up straight, he said I should just put them on...yep, he's full of funny little jokes like that! ha,ha,ha! So I'm going to make that my 'Tip of the Day'!

Tip of the Day: To keep your Thigh High Boots nice and straight when they're not in use (!), put a long cardboard roll in each one -- the cardboard rolls that come in the center of your Wrapping Paper... and the other Tip is to Get some Thigh High Boots, for yourself or as a gift for a special someone you happen to love -- they're a little pricey but a fun accessory for your closet! And your life! Oh, that's me wearing mine in the picture at the top of this page, if you scrol back up... They are amazingly comfortable, and they always look good! ha,ha,ha!

Now let me go see if I can get into that PhotoShop Program -- I've been frozen out for a few days, now...

YaaHoo! I got into PhotoShop! Now I can show you some pictures I took this morning of my handy new trick to keep my Thigh High Boots nice and straight -- God Forbid they get a crease in them! ha,ha,ha!


Those are some of my 'Indoor Shoes'...har, har! See the Cardboard Tube in my boots to keep them straight? What a great little trick, eh?

Thank you, as always, for coming in to see me, today! I love a Nice Visitor!

Love & Luck! Ailsa!!

This is where I get my Business Cards -- VistaPrint is a really good Company!

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Monday, February 9th, 2004. Hey there, Baby Cakes! Honey Pie! Little Cream Puff -- no, wait, that ain't right...Cream Filled Doughnut? I don't know -- that's not really better, although they all sound good to me! ha,ha,ha! Ah, well. On with the Show! Hey, did you see the Grammy's last night? I loved the bit where Earth, Wind & Fire, Outkast and George Clinton (Mr. Funkadelic, himself...!) were on the Stage playing together -- now that was fantastic! You know what's cool about music these days? It's no longer divisive between the Generations.I love what Cara (my 15 year old...) loves, and she loves all of my music -- with the exception of Kenny G at Christmas, which I find relaxing by the Fire and Christmas Tree, but Cara can't stand to listen to one more minute! ha,ha,ha!. The only one in the family who doesn't seem to like our music is Dwight, who is permanently stuck in the White-Boy Seventies Music (no disrespect intended, but I just can't listen to any more Robert Plant! ha,ha,ha!).

Sunday is one of the best TV nights, I'm sure -- my favorite little 'Line-up' is The Simpsons, Bernie Mac, Malcolm in the Middle and Arrested Development. Man, there's some seriously good humor, there! Arrested Development is one of the funniest New Shows out there. It's laugh-out-loud funny, so if you haven't caught it yet, look for it on Sunday nights.

You know something that drives me up the wall? No, not just Dwight... the thing that gets me is when someone realy really wants to buy a place of their very own, and they think they can afford waaaay more than is even remotely realistic, then they're told to wait and wait until they can actually afford the 'Dream Home'. That's craaaazy! Why aren't they just advised to start looking at properties in a Price Range that is suitable to their current lifestyle? If you have $5,000. saved up for a Down Payment, then the most you should look at in a new place is a Hundred Grand... it ain't rocket science... and I don't like when someone is told to wait until they have fifty grand in the bank before they should even think of owning their own place. Puh-leeeease. Now all sorts of folks who could and should buy their own home will be frightened away from it, because that is an overwhelming number to have as 'extra cash' for the vast majority of people with regular jobs.

I do think it's critical to have a regular cash flow that you can depend on, and at least $2,000. more than your initial Down Payment. You know, a Condo or an Apartment is a great way to go to get yourself started in the Real Estate Game -- just get in any way you can so you can start paying off a Mortgage rather than spending all that money on rent for years and years until you have 50 grand... it's far more realistic that you would start small, build up some equity (the difference between how much you owe on your property and how much it's worth at Market Value...), sell that and apply all the money you've made on your first place and other money you've saved up in between times against the purchase of the next house. That's the best way to move up, and you won't be stressed about money, which ain't good! Financial Stress has to be one of the most difficult things to deal with, since it's often so hard to solve the problems...

Now the other thing that I can't understand is when a couple (generally it's a couple, since you get together and magically think a home, two cars, a fancy vacation every year, toys galore are all supposed to be part of the 'couple package'...) gets themselves in too deep because of prior expectations of what they should have, as opposed to what they can actually afford comfortably. It's sooo much better to be really up-front with your Mate Financially -- even if you've been together for ages. It's surprising how many married couples have all sorts of Financial Secrets from their spouse, and that can cause a cornucopia of problems.

The best time to find out about a potential mate's Financial Health is before you commit to them, but that's hard to do because everybody is so busy 'posing' and putting what you think is your best face forward. So generally, you don't really get to know your new Spouse's financial ways until you're well into the marriage and all hell breaks loose. One of the biggest shocks is if one partner wants to buy a house and the other one is a confirmed Renter. There is always a time and a place for Renting, for all the times in your life when you aren't ready to buy, but when you are and your partner won't go along with it, that can ruin your financial life, and you don't want that! That happened to me (amongst a lot of other really crappy things...) in my first marriage. Yuck. Thank God I'm older and wiser, now!

So if you're still at the Dating Stage (although I'm not so sure this is a good 'First Date Question', but I am one to get right down to the point as quickly as possible, since I hate wasting my time, even a little! ha,ha,ha!), go ahead and start a discussion about money. Find out if they want to buy a home one day, how they feel about Saving Money, what they want to purchase in the fuure, how much they squirm at the whole topic... hey, you might as well know what you're getting into, because it's one of the number one reasons for Divorce down the road, and that's really cost you a big bundle!

You know what I would want to ask about on a First Date, or sometime in the early dating game...? Do you ever want a Pool?(This is important for me because one day I definitely want to build a house with a pool... now there's a big surprise!) Would you Build House with me? (Okay, that one's critical...! ha,ha,ha!) Are you financially motivated? Do you have a viable Business and/or Job? (Also Critical!) What caused the Break-down of Prior Relationships? Do you cope well with Change? What are your children like (hey, chances are high that anyone I would ever be involved with might have some by this age, plus, this is all hypothetical, since Dwight won't let me Date, not even for a little while! ha,ha,ha,ha,ha! Okay, that's just for my own amusement! ha,ha,ha!)? Little easy questions like that. I'm not big on small talk. It's okay for about a minute, then I want to know the nitty-gritty.

Tip of the Day: Get financially honest with yourself -- it's so easy to hide in the sand on this one, and not face up to the reality of your financial life. Believe me, when you have a good hard look at your Bank Account, what's in it, what should be in it, and how much more ought to be in there, you'll live a much more peaceful life. If you ever find that you've gotten yourself in too deep, bail out as quickly as possible. Bought a big house and now you're feeling 'House Poor'? Sell it and Buy something smaller. Can't afford a House? Buy a Condo -- in your own Price Range. Oh, and think carefully about where to put your money -- your home is waaay more important than what you drive up in -- forget about your image to the outside world and focus on having a nice little nest you can call your own. People who judge you on what you drive (or where you live...) are just plain annoyink, so forget them and think about YOU. Plus, you're waaay better looking and much, much smarter than they are, so don't even sweat it! ha,ha,ha,ha!

And now for your Daily Pics Fix!

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I still can't get into my Photoshop Program, so here's some pics taken from outside my Front Door. I adore Trees -- I could look at them all day ong! Well, provided I had a computer or a book or a TV or someone to chat with... anyway, I really love to look at Nature, so I thought you would, too!

Thanks for popping in to see me, today! See you again, tomorrow!

Love & Luck, Ailsa! (Do you like that? Sounds like a good 'combo platter' to me! ha,ha,ha!)

Go ahead and find out how much you can really aford to buy -- it's good to know this up-front, before you start looking at your first house, or any big new one

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Saturday & Sunday, Feb. 7th & 8th, 2004. Again, for the recluses out there who may or may not own a calendar, and even if they did, couldn't remember what day it was yesterday in order to figure out today's date... although there's many a recluse far more interested in finding another bottle of wine or a better shelter for the Mountain 'Retreat'. I should write a thing 'For the Modern Day Hermit...'! ha,ha,ha! Anyhoooo, hey there, Good-Lookin'! I see you're making a fashion statement today, what with your jammies on all askew. That's what you get when you start drinkin' first thing in the morning -- I'm just guessing, of course... I've never, ever (well, maybe once, but I can hardly remember it, now... har, har!) done that before!

Okay, on with the business of Building. Dwight bought one of those really long poles with the suction cup at the end for changing Light Bulbs on an extra high ceiling. This morning he figured out how to make the thing actually work -- you get it to the height you need, then duct tape it all around the bit that wont stop spinning. There, now you won't have to struggle if you should be changing your light bulbs today, too! Ain't that helpful??

Actually, I'm fairly annoyed at not being able to get back into my regular At Home Page -- I like it, and I've grown fond of it... Now I'll have to start all over again, and who has that kind of time?? I know, I realize that I do, but then there'll be even less time for napping, and it's the weekend -- the ideal time for napping!

I never did get to the Closet, yesterday -- it's an enormous job, and I can't convince Dwight to help me put in another shelf in there -- it's an 11 foot ceiling, so it's not like there isn't enough room, and we alrealy have the wire shelving out in the garage, just waiting for an agreement... and by that I mean, of course, 'when Dwight agrees with me'! ha,ha,ha!

Man, I was on a cleaning frenzy when I got up this morning, though...who knows why! But it reminded me of a little cleaning tip you might enjoy and find useful... so it can be my Tip for today.

Tip of the Day: If you have Glass Doors in your Shower, go grab a Scotch Brite Scrubbie Sponge and the Cleaner (no, not someone you hire -- your spouse is sure to hear you in there, and that probably won't turn out well... har, har!) and head into the Shower as you usually would... Go ahead and clean all the Glass Walls while you enjoy the Shower -- why not? It'll be far more fun that way, and then you and the Bathroom will be clean... Now you can't beat that, right? Oh, yes, I'm full of fabulous cleaning tips like that -- no wonder I have to be alone when I clean the house! ha,ha,ha,ha!

And Now for Your Weekend Pics Fix!

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Well, here's yet another thing I can't get into -- my Photoshop Program. So I had to go into my archived photos for these shots of my office -- I wanted to show you my new pics of the newly painted Office Door -- it's white, now, too. Ah, well. Here's my favorite Office, ever! Pretty, eh? And I can watch as much TV as I want through the Windows! Scooore!

See you later, Baby! Thanks for managing through the 'Technical Difficulties' of today!


At Home With Ailsa (The Original!)

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Thanks for popping in to see me, today! See you again, tomorrow!

Love & Luck, Ailsa! (Do you like that? Sounds like a good 'combo platter' to me! ha,ha,ha!)

Go ahead and find out how much you can really aford to buy -- it's good to know this up-front, before you start looking at your first house, or any big new one!

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