Friday, February 25, 2011

Once upon an accident....

Falling down became second nature and it really didn't bother me.
Nancy Kerrigan

So last week I fell off my Bicycle.

One second I was upright, the next I was facing the ground with the dog dragging me across the driveway.

A friend told me I should blog about it.

The only problem with that idea is, the wounds are still a little too fresh.

Not to my pride, that's used to being bruised by dumbass accidents.

But my actual wounds still hurt.. my knee still bleeds if I bend it too much, I can't do anything more strenuous than walking to the bathroom with out a knee brace, and the bruises, although not as bright, are still covering 85% of my lower body.

so needless to say, all I can think to write about the situation is....

I went for a bike ride. I fell. It sucked.

Perhaps with a little time it will get funnier, and I can blog about it. For now it's just a story about how everything in life this week has been slightly more difficult than need be.

On the other hand... I have fallen off things before, and those wounds have healed nicely.. so let me tell you about the time I fell off the horse....

It was a few years ago in in the Dominican Republic. A group of us decided to go horseback riding.

Now let me just clarify, that I don't actually know the first thing about riding a horse, other than it is simply something I feel the urge to do every single vacation.

It's like drinking one of those kamikaze drinks, it's not something you do on your average weekend, or something that is necessarily a good idea, or even something you particularly enjoyed the last time you did it.

Yet still you think you should since you are on vacation. It's time to do something stupid.

This rodeo ranch actually come up and above par for Caribbean horseback riding. The horses are strong and healthy looking, well groomed, most of them seem to be under the age of 75.

And the trail we are taking is a nice ride along a beach.

This goes far beyond a shorter horse back ride that we had taken earlier in the vacation with another tour group.

That "trail" involved the driveway to the ranch, and a back road. We rode on horses that aren't much bigger than your standard size poodle... and I'm pretty sure one of them whispered to me that he was the original "Silver" from the Lone Ranger.

Add to that, the fact that the workers rode mopeds and zipped back and forth up and down the road yelling to the horses to get moving and you get a not so very enjoyable ride.

That what happened when you pay $15 in the DR.

When you pay $65 you get healthy horses and a beautiful beach. You get tour guides who are so good at riding they actually stand up on their saddles to check on everyone. Quite impressive.

Before we head out on the trail we all pose for photo ops on our strong healthy horses, and Rachel mentions that I look lopsided... I checked my bathing suit top and then thought nothing more of it...

(Just kidding, I don't think I actually checked anything... I was on a horse!! Life was Awesome!!!! Who cares if I'm crooked???)

Apparently the horse does.

A half hour into the ride, we have made it the entire way down the beach. Some horses are taking their own sweet time (mine) and some are full tilt running.

It looks really cool..... everyone who is not running, is trying to urge their horse on to run. We all want to be having as much fun as Lee and Carla, who have the horses trying to race each other to be in front.

We can tell it's fun because of their shouts of joy.

Suddenly, just like on the bike, I am one second upright, and then I am sideways.

My horse does not enjoy this, so he rears up and I fall flat on my back.

I'm not really hurt, because we are on sand dunes, but I'm petrified I did something wrong to piss it off.

(The saddle had actually come loose, and scared the horse. No one figured that out at the time, which is why the next series of events unfolded as they did).

One of the trail leaders comes over with a "Please don't sue our ass" look on his face, asking if I'm alright.

I'm fine and I'm just asking if the horse is mad. I really don't want to get back on a horse that hates me.

(While I fully believe if you fall off a horse you should get back on, I do think there is a loophole there somewhere for horses that are having a slight case of PMS.)

So since we are an hours walk back from the ranch, the leader tells me I can have his horse, and he'll take mine.

What a plan.

I stupidly agree. And so instead of falling off a little horse and getting back on it, I fall off a little horse and get back on one that is twice as big.

After heaving myself into the saddle I realize the mistake.

And as I open my mouth to mention that maybe I am a little more afraid on the big horse and I'd rather take the little angry guy... my horses instincts kick in.

He is a horse that is usually only rode by one of those Dominican cowboy leaders that can do things like handstands on the saddle.

He is also used to being in front of the group... you know, leading everyone.

So that's what he decides to do. Go from the back of the group... to the front a half mile ahead of us.

And since I actually have no idea wtf to do on a horse, I can do nothing but hold on for dear life, as we run the entire length of the beach.

People cheer me on as I pass them.

As I pull closer to Lee and Carla, I realize their shouts of joy, are actually screams of terror.

I know this because they sound exactly like mine.

My most valuable lesson learned from this experience, is that I am a fast healer.

The scars I have on my shins from the saddle are pretty much non existent now, three years later.

So that give me hope, that even those I look like a six year old these days, with Band-Aids covering my knees by the time I'm thirty I'll have adult legs again.

That is if I can manage not to fall off anything between now and then.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I've been on so many blind dates, I should get a free dog.

"A man on a date often wonders if he'll get lucky, a woman already knows"

So the other day my Stronger Half and I had the inevitable conversation that happens between couples this time of year....

SH- "So are we supposed to be doing something for Valentines Day?"

A hard question to answer, because neither of us really enjoy spending money, and we've done an awful lot of that in the past year, so blowing 200 bucks on dinner and a hotel seems kind of frivolous.

Especially since we've only been living in our house for 6 weeks, so it still feels a little bit like a hotel anyway.

Add to that in the fact that the Saturday before was our fundraising dance for Bust-a-Move, leaving me no time or energy for any weekend fun.

He's was informed that yes he had to come, and no attending a dance that I am organizing and working at all night does not count as a Valentines Day date.

Although it would top our previous attempts.

Last year I made a big deal out of wanting to go see a certain cheesy movie, and then at the last minute told him we didn't have to.

I meant we could go see something else. He thought I meant I didn't want to do anything at all.

So Feb 14th we wound up on his brothers couch watching a random episode of Amazing Race.

As most know, I'm not a fan of TV being a part of a relationship in general.

But worse, they have a wide screen that squishes people and makes them distorted, and it's hung above their fireplace, which for some reason makes me a little motion sick to watch it at that angle.

I was not pleased.

But I will assume half the responsibility for that failed day for my lack of communication.

The year before we were in Cuba.

Your typical beach day shenanigans ensued, and to make a long story short, I wound up at V-day dinner solo.

I'm only assuming 10% of the responsibility for that failed day, because I did supply him with the Bubba Keg, but he's a grown man and it was his choice to fill it up so many times.

So we don' t have a great record for celebrating this Hallmark holiday... but for some reason I feel the social pressure to celebrate it, so this year I feel we should try again.

I'm not one for following traditions just because everyone else does it, but perhaps it's because we don' t have an official anniversary, that I'm so fixated on celebrating our relationship at least once a year.

( We simply don' t know when our first date was, sometime at the end of June, that's all we can remember)

Although when he asked what I would like to do, my only reply I could come up with was.

"Eat Chocolate. Real Chocolate"

(This eating clean is starting to get to me.)

So short of overdosing on sugar, I couldn't really think of anything I wanted to do to mark the occasion.

Until I read this from Free Flying

Her man is awesome. I am so proud of him for his effort and creativity.

And I got very excited... that sounds like fun... then I tried to find other great ideas.

If you Google "valentines day dates" you get a lot of cheesy "I give my heart to you" type ideas of rose petals and hidden love notes.

That generally makes me want to throw up. But I pushed past that and found my top five date ideas.

(I was going for a top ten list, but my gag reflex wouldn't hold out. I could hardly find anything that didn't make me want to murder a Cherub. It is honestly why I didn't post last week, I just couldn't find anything worth laughing at.)

5.Play with Fireworks
How could you not love someone who planned a romantic evening that involved explosives??
(The only exception to this rule that I can think of is igniting flatulence. I am country, but I don't live in a barn.)

4. Go Ice Blocking
"Ice blocks can be purchased from a supermarket or (obviously) made with very little effort. Grab one of these babies and head to your nearest grassy (that’s important) hill and turn it in to a giant slide! It’s a good idea to bring a towel so you don’t have to sit directly on the ice block. And it gets old fast, so have something else planned."

hahah I had never heard of this... it is the opposite of sledding. I'm impressed that the person actually thought to point out that "grassy" is important as opposed to what? A paved hill??

And they also are kind enough to mention that it is really only fun once or twice, so you better have something else in your back pocket to entertain the girl ( May I suggest fireworks?)

3. Build and shoot a potato gun

"Again, a date that’s probably more for the guy than the girl. You can buy all of the parts you need to build a potato gun for less than 20 bucks (ammunition included!) which is a couple of PVC pipes and an ignition source (like a lantern lighter and hairspray). Good fun — a decent potato gun will go 50 yards. You can find instructions all over the internet."

This is truly a great date, he is making something with his hands ( always a turn on) and again we have playing with explosives component. Not to mention, we're doing the cleanse and can't eat potatoes anyway!! what a great way to not waste that 50pd bag we have in the bin!

2. Mini Golf

I hope at this point in our relationship he understands my love for all things miniature. Appetizers, small spoons, short dresses, and mini golf all fit on that list.

He could score extra point by creating his own course, the cheesier the better.

1. Treasure Hunt/ Relay Race

Competition gets the blood pumping and team work would strengthen your bond. Screw watching Amazing race, I want to actually DO Amazing Race...

So the ultimate date that would guaranteed to land me in the bedroom (or perhaps the hospital)

Starting with a little ice blocking, we would slid down to the balloon area.

We would then use blow darts to release the potato gun assembly instructions (learning from Free Flying's mistakes, there would be no bed jumping involved).

After assembling the potato gun, we'd have a good round of "Potato Gun Golf".

At the last hole you would have to light a series of fireworks to win the challenge.

Throw in a cup or two of hot chocolate to celebrate our win

(we would win, of course, as we would only invite other couples that we knew we could beat)

and you have yourself a masterpiece date of epic (redneck) proportions.

Friday, February 4, 2011

All marriages are happy. It's the living together afterward that causes all the trouble. ~Raymond Hull

I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. ~Rita Rudner

I meant for last weeks blog to have a quick little memo at the top about what I should call SH, and then I could move on to a real post.

But the memo kind of turned into a mission statement (oh Jerry MaGuire, I know how you fell down that slippery slope). So it just become last weeks post.

So now, on to this weeks, post, which is, in fact last weeks, re-heated.

I do believe, I may be a little bit difficult to live with.

Every once in a while I have one of those moments, when you step out side your body and float about yourself and see whats really going on in the world from someone else's point of view.

Every time I have a moment like that I jump right back in my self and start thanking the Powers That Be that people actually put up with me.

Some times I'm amazed I have anyone left in my life who is sane.

SH is on the top of that list.

Take our latest excursion together.

I am dragging him to "Simply For Life".

No we don't want to loose weight, please stop attacking me for making my family be healthy.

I work with the owner, I like the program and what it stands for, and I believe we could all use a little wake up call sometimes.

Since I'm a wimp and seem unable to do anything on my own any more (note the fact that my sister is doing Bust-A-Move, I wouldn't sign up for Belly Dancing until Michelle agreed to go, and I seem unable to make any sort of decision on anything without polling clients about it for three weeks first) I some how convinced him to do it with me.

Actually I tried to trick him into doing it with me.

The radio announced that Blue Cross gave a Two-for-One special with SFL, last fall. I somehow managed to convince him that we could still get that deal. (My complete inability to lie will be saved for another post, but I promise you, this little white lie was a lot of stress for me)

I should also note that I have spent the past year pestering him to do it, talking about everyone else I know that's done it, having dinner parties with friends who are on it and making him eat weird vegetables to prove to him they taste good....

Add an entire year of me nagging, to the promise that it's actually free for him to do it, and that is how I convinced him to do this with me. ( I'm not mean, I just know it's a waste of time for me to cut up carrot sticks if he's going to be sitting on the couch beside me eating double fudge brownies and whipped cream)

Monday morning comes, and we need to drive an hour to our initial appointment. We don't do early mornings well, especially ones we aren't getting paid for.

So I'm in a general disorganized mood, thinking I can do fifteen more things than is actually humanly possible before we leave, and he is pestering me with silly questions like "So what is it that we're actually going to have to do for this first appointment" and "Is this like a ten minute appointment, or an hour and a half?"

Hell I've only worked with Kim for a year, and promoted her business to every client that walked through my door, how am I supposed to know the answers to these questions??

We get on the road, and about halfway there, we hit a white out.... that's right... there's no snow falling from the sky, or in the forecast, yet I can't seem to see more than six inches in front of my windshield.

It's just yesterdays snow conveniently blowing all over the highway.

That's okay, all this driving at 40km/h gives us a chance to sit and think, and talk....

SH "So it's still two for the price of one right?"

All I had to say was "Yes" I'm driving bumper to bumper in a line of cars in white out conditions.

He would not have found it suspicious if I didn't give him a detailed answer on how the company manages to stay in the black while offering 50% discounts year round.

But no... I just can't seem to form the words.... so instead... I slip out the truth, and try to spin it into a lie.

"No they've changed it to a percentage off... but I think it works out to just the same anyway... something about I think they're cheating the system....mumble....kinda the least close...mumble...don't know...cumquats....."

Yea... I really can't lie......

"So is it fifty percent off?"

"I uh.. I don't know really exactly, but it's not that much....really.."

At this point I trail off and turn the radio up a little.... we both have a silent understanding that I have been caught in a lie, and that there is nothing to be done about it now. Trying to get the truth out of me will only result in more random mumbling that will just be waste of energy for both of us.

So we drive on, and I try to think of something to change the subject.. like what else we're going to do in Yarmouth while we're there... plan our day, Kent, Canadian Tire, Maritime, and we'll head to our appointment.....oh....

Me "Uh did you bring your phone?"

SH "Why"

Me "Cause I need to call Alayne"

Turns out I work with Kim in her satelight location, and we're going to her main office.

I have no clue where that I have to call one of her other clients for directions.

(no I don't have the number for the SFL office... why would I have that??)

I'm pretty sure if it was legal he would have thrown me from the moving car at that point, but since it's not, and he's generally a law abiding citizen, I am alive to tell the tale.

Fast forward to finally getting to the appointment, it's nothing scary, a bunch of questions about our health and habits, things are running smoothly, I'm starting to congratulate myself on the inside for pushing so hard to do this.

Then she says it...

"And, since your Blue Cross members you get a 10% discount!!!"

She says it like it's a good thing.

Like it's an announcement we should celebrate. And normally you would, if you thought you had to pay full price, you would be happy to see 10% off.

However, if you were expecting something more like a close-to-almost-50% discount, you might be a little shocked.

He shot a look at me, I barely kept myself from crawling under the table and hiding beneath the high blood pressure pamphlets.

I couldn't make eye contact. If I did he would know for certain that the 10% was not a surprise to me at all.

He also knows I'm fairly good at math, so I couldn't tell him I didn't realize two-for-one, and 10% off weren't actually different... by about 40-freakin-percent.

He has the patience of a saint, so again, I live to tell the tale.

Then we head out to pay. My only saving grace is, he doesn't actually know how much this all costs. But as we stand there together, and the receptionist starts inputing our stuff into the computer and asking if we'd like to pay by cheque or credit card I start to sweat bullets.

It was seriously the first phase of my detox, I lost about 3 pounds of toxins just at the counter worrying about what would come out of his mouth when she said the grand total for today, plus the monthly membership fee.

Then, just like a three pointer thrown as the buzzer goes off in the fourth quarter to tie the game, I get my Hail Mary.

He goes to the bathroom.

I grab my wallet, throw $350 cash at the poor receptionist, and hiss "He has no idea how much this costs!! Don't tell him!!!!"

To her credit she barely even flinched. She just calmly picked up the fluttering tens and fives and continued about her work, (Makes me wonder how many other wives have duped their husbands in her presence).

And finally to his credit, we have both survived one week of no coffee, or white sugar, or grains as a 10pm snack. (Harder than quitting smoking was giving up my 10pm Cheerios).

I have not once stabbed him with my fork at supper because he gets 3/4 cup of brown rice while I get nothing but a pile of vegetables and something I like to call Starch Envy.

He has not once looked at me while I have wined about how I miss toast, or hate salad, or that tea makes me sea sick, and said "You got us into this healthy mess in the first place"

Now that we're on this "being healthy" track, he can look forward to a much longer life of putting up with me.