Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Travel Tuesdays #14

...if it's Wednesday, we must be in Venice! Seems like I'm consistently a day late for TT these days. Should I start calling it Wandering Wednesdays instead? Nah...
Venice was one of the many places the Ex-bf and I traveled to. We were there for a week, and honestly 2 days would have been enough to get a good gist of what the Island is all about. It's very pretty and pedestrian-friendly. Every canal or bridge you pass is picture-perfect. The gondolas add to the romance of the city, but be prepared to drop $100 bucks for a short ride, more if you want the Gondolier to sing "That's Amore!" We were lucky in that our trip fell during the yearly Historical Regatta which really was the highlight of the whole week. The Regatta dates back to the second half of the 13th century and many of the locals were wearing historical costumes.
One of my favourite food memories is Insalata Gorgonzola It is quite possible that I had it every day. I think I am now inspired to make this salad on the weekend. Or maybe, it'll have to be tonight as I've just caught myself salivating!
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Monday, April 23, 2007

Last week I mentioned that I planned to apply for another position at the hospital. I worked on my resume, wrote a great cover letter and submitted it on time. Then, I didn't hear anything. I called the manager of this department and left a message. Still didn't hear anything. 10 days later she finally called me at work only to tell me that unfortunately she was not even going to interview me, because I was not Critical Care staff, and that was where they were getting their pool of nurses from. I told her that I was very surprised at this because as mentioned in my cover letter, I had over 10 years of Critical Care expertise, and while I was now Recovery Room staff, I have a flexible schedule that allows me to work 12 hour shifts. As well, other team members of her Response Team had personally approached me and suggested I apply. She said she was sorry, but at this point, I did not qualify. I was pissed off but suggested she keep my resume on file.
An hour later, I was at the job posting board looking to see if there was anything new. The physician who runs the Response Team saw me and jokingly came over to tell me not to bother looking, there was nothing worthwhile for me. Let's just say he caught me at a vulnerable moment. I was still pissed and told him that I had just been turned down for his Team, and that I was "a little miffed." Of course, I said this with my face feeling all flushed and I'm sure my eyes were getting a little watery. (A terrible response when I feel frustrated at something I can't control in my personal life.)
He actually tried to offer me a position in one of the step-down units that needs experienced nurses but I told him that I was looking to try something new, and had been really interested in the Response Team.
Anyway, to make a long story short, the hospital just called wanting to set up an interview for the Team. I'm guessing that having had a good working repore with this physician he spoke with the manager on my behalf and they decided to at least offer me an interview.
Turns out that this would have been scheduled while I'm in Europe, so we'll see what happens. Hopefully an interview will happen when I get back.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


OK Seriously. Where did the week go? I'd love to say that I've been too busy to blog. (I've been too busy to blog!)
But the truth is, the day just gets away from me and then I'm too tired to be creative about any kind of post. Last Saturday, I kept myself busy by watching 9 hours of TV. I was a complete and utter couch-potato, and I loved every minute of it! A co-worker has lent me Seasons 1&2 of Lost and Grey's Anatomy. Since I had never even seen 5 minutes of either of these shows, I was naturally instantly hooked. I must admit, Lost has me completely captivated! I am especially captivated with Sayed and Sawyer. Wowza! I'm about halfway through Grey's Anatomy Season 1, and while I am enjoying it, I think the eye candy is much better on Lost. Something about sand and sea and half nekid men running around all's like being on vacation in the comfort of your own home. Speaking of vacations, ours is coming up very soon. We leave in 10 days and I am VERY excited about that! I've done my research and we should be able to pack in a lot in the two weeks that we are away. I still need to get a bigger memory card for the camera because I plan to take lots of pictures.
In other TV news, girly-boy Sanjaya was finally kicked off American Idol. I was quite happy about that because quite frankly, he sucked. Even his hair sucked. My hair no longer sucks as I went to the salon yesterday. I now have reddish hair with blond highlights, and then to top off my new look, I had my raven-black eyebrows lightened. Who knew that changing the shade of eyebrows could make such a startling difference to your face? (I might have found another new addiction.)
Spring has finally, finally, finally arrived! Our weekend will be spent peeling paint off of our deck, replacing rotted boards, sanding and staining. It promises to be sunny and warm all weekend, and I'm looking forward to spending the days outside. It's early morning now, and Greg is already outside working. Oh, how I do like to see a man sweat!
The previous owners left us a few garden pets. I like this little Boston Terrier, but Mr. Mao seems to think otherwise. He looks positively disgusted, doesn't he?! Head on over to Pets Garden Blog and check out the Beautiful Bengals who are hosting this week's Weekend Cat Blogging.
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Sunday, April 15, 2007

WCB---Seeing Double!

Mr. Mao and The Dutchess can often be found sitting at the top of the stairs when we come home. When we first moved in, the mirror was covered with Wallpaper (see middle pic) and it was only after we removed the hideous paper that we discovered that there was a mirror underneathe. We decided that the mirror actually wasn't so bad, that it opened up the staircase somewhat. We love the wood floors, but hate the green tile. The cats probably couldn't care less, however I did capture their reflection yesterday. Imagine having CLONES of my little monsters?!
Now do head on over to for more Byootaful kitties!
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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bit of This, Bit of That

I'm still in a bit of a blogging slump. I'm not quite sure why because I do think about things during the day that I'd like to blog about I just don't get around to it. Mostly because my favourite time to be on the computer is just before I go to work. Then, I'm sure I could spend HOURS blogging! Work has been a bit tedious lately but I have started to change things up a bit, tomorrow I am working in the ICU. Today I also applied for another part-time/casual position that I'm hoping that I can do along with my regular job. It means working one or two shifts a week on the Rapid Response Team, which is basically being on top of the sickest patients in the hospital who are not in the ICU and trying to keep them from a crisis situation. It involves good assessment skills and decision making skills which I think I'm pretty good at. I'm optimistic that I will get the job, but who knows. The last few interviews I went on scared me out of trying for any new jobs. Used to be (in nursing anyway) that as long as you were a living breathing body you were hired. Now it is a lot more competitive. Which is good, but not if you are not interview prepared. So, that is my project for the weekend. I have to look up info on successful interviewee skills. Any tips?

In other news, really it should be the FIRST news because I was so choked up about this: My good friend Sal has asked me to be Godmother to her son Liam!

He is cute as a button, and already a big boy! He is the spit and image of his Daddy-O.

I've been busy planning our trip to Europe. We leave in three weeks and I've narrowed the trip down to this: 3 days in Berlin, 3 days in Prague, 1/2 day in Dresden, 3 days back in Berlin (free accommodation!) and then 3 days in Amsterdam. I am researching things to see and do that will be interesting to both of us, but am also more interested in finding things that are a little off the beaten path. Any tips?

Lastly, this week my head has also been quite fuzzy. In particular I've been having problems with my keys. Two nights in a row I left the keys in the front door and we went to bed. Yesterday I arrived at work, parked the car, gathered my work bag, lunch bag and shoe bag, Opened the car door, Locked the car door, Shut the car door....and then realized that I left the keys IN the car, With the car running and the door Locked. WTF?!

Thankfully, my Knight in shining armour came and saved the day with his extra car key. I was still half an hour late for work.

I should have stayed home and Blogged.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Travel Tuesdays #13

Over the past few days we've been doing some decorating around the house. We've been living here 5 months now and many walls were still unadorned. Monday I came home from work and Greg had decided to paint our garnet red wall in the living room. He decided that the wall didn't match the hardwood floors, nor our green tiles. So, back to taupe the wall went. I had Tuesday off work, and I decided that the wall needed a bit of pizzazz so I went and bought some artwork. The photos really don't do the pictures justice, but here's an idea. They are quite large. The first one pretty much covers the width of the wall that used to be garnet. I liked the colours in this one, but I also liked it because it is a bit mysterious. I feel like it captures that moment at dawn when it's not quite light out but you can still make out the colours, and there is a hint of fog in the air that will be burned off in a few hours. The colours remind me of Tuscany without the typical Tuscan scenery.

This next picture we hung in our foyer, quite high up on the wall as the wall is shared between the basement level and the main floor level. It is large, about 4'X5' and it is the first splash of colour you see as you step into our house. Again, the colours appealed to me, but what I liked about this one, is that it reminds me of stained glass. What is the picture of? I'm not sure...maybe a flower, maybe a volcano?

This next one I chose for our basement. Our basement has a very Retro flair to it. We have a poppy red wet bar, a stereo on legs that I rescued from my mom's crawl space, Circa 1950's, Lucite globe hanging lamps. Somehow, it all works together. When I saw this picture, I instantly liked it. To me, it feels kind of Retro, but I like the atmosphere as well. A rainy night, could be any big city in the world with the lights reflected in the puddles on the ground. In the darkness of the rain, the street is alive with colour. I get the feeling of looking out a window at the street, but I'm cozy warm inside.

And lastly, this picture was also hung in the living room. It is a photograph that I took in Oia, Santorini a number of years ago. I backpacked by myself around some of the Islands and I always think of this time as that of my own enlightenment. It was a trip I took as I was ending an 8 year, very unhealthy relationship. Oia was intensely beautiful, and for me, also intensely lonely but I realized that I also found a lot of strength in that loneliness. I learned that I was more than capable, and didn't need to be emotionally dependant on someone else. I was OK on my own.
So, that is this week's edition of Travel Tuesdays! I thought I'd change it up a little this week.Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Weekend Cat Blogging

Saturday night I made a fabulous spiral cut ham with all the fixin's for my In-laws. It turned out really well, if I do say so myself. Mr. Mao did his rounds at every corner of the table hoping to get a few nibbles. I know, I know...we've taught him bad manners. At least he didn't sit on the table like he usually does when it's just Greg and I.
Sooner or later, he knows he knows that persistence pays off, and he will get a little treat. This time he was lucky that Grandma Two-Four shared her dinner with him.

After dinner, the kitties retired to their bedroom. I'm fairly certain that it offers the best view in the whole house. They are spoiled little critters, aren't they?

Do make sure that you head on over to vi st Upsie and Sundance at What Did You Eat? Sundance still can't be trusted outside so he is sporting a fancy red harness. Upsie is showing off her unique features and smiling for the camera. There is even a cutesy little squirrel pic. My how that squirrel is growing!Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Travel Tuesdays #12

Turkey was one of my most favourite countries to visit.
My friends and I travelled around the country by local bus which was very inexpensive and that was a good thing, but as we found out the roads were treacherous, and the buses extremely smoky. I remember at one point being barely able to breathe the cigarette smoke was so thick. Just when there was a little bit of clearing in the haze the man in front of me lit up again. I thought I was going to die! I politely tapped him on the shoulder to try to get him to butt out, but of course he spoke neither English, nor German. He did smile however, with his baked bean teeth, and offered me a cigarette! Thinking back, I should have just taken the whole pack off of him! Another kind of funny thing I remember: at one of the bus stops along the way a young boy came on board with lemonade. I felt a little sorry for him, so I bought a glass. I was just finishing the last drop of this lukewarm drink when my friends boarded the bus again. When they saw what was in my hands, they asked where I had gotten it from. I pointed to the young boy and they started laughing hysterically. (Good thing they had just gone pee, or they would have peed themselves!) Apparently, as they had walked into the restroom they had seen the same young boy mixing up his lemonade concoction in the men's room. He cut up the lemons on the counter, used water from the grungy sink, and then he used his grubby little fingers to stir the whole mess up! Lesson learned. Thank god I didn't get e-coli.
One of the prettiest resort towns we went to was Kusadasi. Many cruise ships stop in this port so it really does cater to tourists. We stayed there for a few days and really got to explore the surrounding area. Ephesus is perhaps one of the most interesting ruins I have ever seen and it dates back to something like 6B.C. It is believed that the Virgin Mary may have spent her last days in this area. Pope Benedict XVI has even celebrated mass here (just a bit of UBI!)
From Kusadasi we moved on to Pamukkale, which in Turkish means Cotton Castle. It is, by far one of the most spectacular places I have ever seen. It is listed on the World Heritage Site and was founded in ancient times as a healing spa. The white cascades are made from calcium deposits from the thermal mineral waters. There is a natural spring that bathes ancient marble columns and the temperature coming form the ground is 35 degrees Celsius. Swimming in this water is akin to dunking oneself in hot Perrier water! Since 1994 when I was there, there has been a lot of hotel construction that has occur ed. When we were there, there were only two hotels and the one we stayed at was quite simple but luxurious in that by opening up the back door to the room, we actually stepped out into the spring water baths. We were able to walk on the travertines, which I believe is not permitted anymore.
(click to enlarge)
Leaving Pamukkale, we took an overnight train back to Istanbul which I would highly recommend. I guess it was the milk-run and we stopped numerous times along the way. While my friends arrived in Istanbul bleary-eyed from lack of sleep, I remember it as one of my best sleeps ever!
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Monday, April 02, 2007

Seattle Sister

Pez and I have known each other since age 7, but really became BFF's in Junior High school. This picture of us was taken the summer of 1979. Hard to believe that was 28 years ago. God how time flies. It seems like just yesterday when we were blowing bubbles...I actually remember when this picture was taken. We'd also probably just gotten our hair cut by my mom who used to practice on my head first, and then give Pez a fabulous cut. While I had the suburban "hockey-do" Pez would end up with the latest Farrah Fawcett style.
Over the last quarter century (doesn't that make us sound OLD?!) we've taken different paths in life, but have always remained close. I spent years in the Middle East and during that time Pez got married and moved to Minneapolis and started a family. Years later, she moved with her family to Seattle, and I went back to the Middle East. Throughout this time, we've written letters, emails, talked on the phone and our relationship, despite the distance in miles, has gotten closer. She is the sister that I don't have. So, every once in a while, even though we talk regularly, I need a Pez Fix in person. It was her birthday this past weekend, and I thought that would be the perfect opportunity to spend some time together.The weekend was Fabulous! It was so good to see her boys, they are the cutest, funniest, smartest, most creative, loving and polite kids I have ever met. Pez and her husband have done a wonderful job. It really was fun stepping into their lives, even if just for a few days.
We spent a lot of time shopping. In fact, we shopped 'til we dropped! I tend to be a little on the frugal (cheap) side, but once I bought the headband which was handmade in France for $52, my credit card had a mind of it's own! A Macy's card was opened and it purchased three pairs of shoes, Lancome make-up and the (gift-purchase with purchase). At Target I also bought some nifty-cool patio lights for our backyard, which I absolutely, desperately needed to buy.
Friday night I got to partake in Cosmo Fridays with Pez and her gal friends. I had heard a lot about these ladies, and was so glad to meet them in person. Pez has some really great friends and they made me feel very welcome. I also discovered that Washington State has some really exquisite wines. I am sad that we can't buy them here in Ontario.
Saturday was Pez's actual birthday. We drove into Seattle in the morning and went to glassybaby which is a place the glass blows these gorgeous votives.
Pez surprised me with a late Wedding gift of these beautiful votives. She picked the green one because it reminded her of Dutchie's eyes, the blue because of Mr. Mao's, and red because she knows it is my favourite colour. The votives go perfectly with the tablecloth I bought at William Sonoma. Glassybaby was having a moving sale and were selling seconds, and also some China Babys. I bought a suitcase full of the China Baby's because the price was right, and even though they are not as nice as the original ones, still look pretty. Luckily, not a single one was broken on the trip home.

Saturday afternoon, Pez's hubby also arranged for a special celebrity pedicure for the two of us. While we had are feet scrubbed, scraped, massaged, soaked in paraffin we were also able to enjoy a luscious glass of Washington wine. I have to tell you, it was the most exquisite experience! And, for once, BOTH of our feet look pretty. (Mine, are the square, Shrek-like paws) For anyone who is interested in the colour, it is Deer Valley Spice by OPI.

We arrived home to a wonderful steak and shrimp dinner made by Pez's hubby, and an incredible chocolate cake with raspberry coulis.
I hope Pez enjoyed her birthday as much as I did!

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