Try This One On For Size

It’s summer.  That time of year when my attention turns to enjoying the sunshine, spending time at the pool or beach, drinking beer on my balcony, drinking beer on my balcony (sorry, said that already), and finally getting some decent exercise. Further to the exercise thing, I decided to get some athletic wear because it’s proven that wearing it will burn calories. (That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.)

Shopping for athletic wear is as problematic as shopping for ordinary clothing: wild variability within sizes.  I used to wonder why this was so, until I discovered that the wrong labels were sewn on.  Exhibit A, below.


These are two difference sizes

Shopping isn’t fun, like in the old days.  Back then, all you had to do was stick your head out the change room door and ask the sales girl for a different size. Now you have to get dressed, leave the change room, rummage around until you find a different size (or, if it’s a suspected labelling problem, another of the same size), run back to the change room (assuming no-one took it in your absence) and start all over again.  This happened to me for over an hour in a store which happened to monitor its change rooms. I spent more time talking to the cloyingly cheery change room monitor than I spent buying clothes.

Which brings me to the other half of my complaint: where are the pesty sales people when you need them?  You know, the ones that follow you around the store and bug you constantly until you want to deck them?  Maybe they’re conspiring with the dummies who sew on the wrong size labels.  I may be onto something.



Ah, Spring.

I love spring. My favourite season, besides summer.  Trees budding, flowers in bloom, warming temps, no boots–almost perfect.  Except for my annual bronchitis.  It’s becoming a thing.

Sometimes I beat it, but mostly I don’t.  And it’s not that I don’t try to avoid it–I’m the biggest germophobe I know.   I carry hand-santizer in my car and purse, and wash my hands constantly whenever I’m home.  I won’t eat in restaurants or in fast-food joints during flu season, just in case.  I won’t touch the door handles when I leave a public washroom (the rare times I use them), instead stuffing my hand in my sleeve and using THAT.

And I still get sick. It’s a curse, I tell you.

So I’ve just spent the past few weeks sick and weak, but today I seemed to finally turn the corner. So, seeing as how I was getting healthy, I decided to do this:


I dropped the paper shredder on my foot.  Actually, it FELL on my foot of its own accord, the heavy shredding portion popping off the paper basket when I moved it, just to spite me.

It’s a curse, I tell you.



Drive At Your Own Risk

The 401 is a major highway in Ontario, Canada, starting in the city of Windsor and stretching east to Quebec.  The Toronto leg, about mid-way going east, is considered the busiest in the world, and one that I’ve driven on more than one occasion grim-faced and white-knuckled.  Fortunately for me, most of my highway driving takes me in the other direction, toward Windsor, which over the years is proving to be as crazily treacherous as its eastern counterpart. Windsor is home to one of the busiest borders in the world, with about 1 billion in trade crossing back and forth between Windsor and Detroit, Michigan. There are over 30,000 trucks crossing that border daily, and they all take the 401 to get there.   Not surprisingly, there are horrific accidents which occur on the 401. Every summer, while I commute back and forth between London and Windsor to visit family, I’m tempted to kiss the ground every time I arrive at either end safely.

I’m not going to post photos of these accidents because they involve fatalities (and besides, I’m superstitious); instead, I thought I’d provide you with some rather amusing traffic misadventures which are real head-scratchers.


I couldn’t even guess as to how a car ended up on a roof.



Not a towing company I’d recommend.



Wow.  Just…wow.



I’m starting to think that getting a tow is a really bad idea.



The driver wanted his roof safely removed from his vehicle.  Who am I to judge.



This is how NOT to do a three-point turn.



When a cobble road masquerades as quicksand.



Again with the roof. Note to car:  You cannot fly.

New Digs

Damn I’m tired.  Was moving always this hard?

The day before the move I packed, sorted, purged, and packed some more from 8:00 in the morning until 1:00 in the morning, with only a short dinner break.

And of course I couldn’t sleep when I went to bed, so after a mere 2 hours sleep arose at 7:00 the next morning to wait for the movers. By 11:30 we were on the road and, an hour later, started the whole process in reverse.

Buddy the dog and Clancy the cat did very well through all this upheaval.  The day of the move Clancy snoozed in his carrier, while Buddy went down the hall to explore the garbage shute (little bugger snuck away when I wasn’t looking.  My neighbour brought him back to the apartment, whereupon he was summarily jailed in the bathroom for the rest of the move-in.)

A week later I’m unpacked and more or less settled.  I was so looking forward to relaxing in the pool when I was done but unfortunately the pool is closed for repairs.  So for now, I’m parked on my balcony and enjoying the view, relishing the fact that I no longer have to cut the lawn.


My balcony overlooks a sweet terrace. I consider this to be MINE.

I love my flowers.

I love my flowers.

Close-up of the community gardens.

Close-up of the community gardens.

Move Countdown: T Minus 11 and Counting

Moving day is gettin’ close.

I received the keys to my apartment on June 15, and have made several trips to the apartment to get a head start on settling in. Mostly, I brought storage items in order to determine whether I have more purging to do.  I’m proud (and a little shocked) to say that the apartment’s three closets will accommodate my storage needs.

example of thermofoil doors.

example of thermofoil doors.

A few weeks ago I asked the property manager about replacing the existing kitchen cabinet fronts which had seen better days.  I didn’t hold out much hope, but to my delight and surprise she approved the request and the new white thermofoil fronts, with pewter pulls, are being installed this week.  My delight was tempered with a bit of concern after I read online that thermofoil cabinetry isn’t heat resistant, and has been known to peel if there isn’t a heat shield installed around hot elements, like a stove or dishwasher.  I emailed the property manager about this, and she assured me that she’s never seen this happen and that the “beauty of a rental is that if there’s damage it will be repaired or replaced without cost to you.”  Good.  I’m keeping that email and holding her to it.

Rocky Road by Benjamin Moore, aka my apartment journey.

The rocky road of apartment selection.

In addition to new kitchen cabinet fronts, I decided I needed a new colour on the walls to replace the sickly yellow ivory.   It’s a fairly large space to paint by myself, so I recruited family members to assist. One thing led to another and family members decided that they would hire a professional painter as an apartment-warming gift. Except for the bathroom and bedroom, the entire apartment is now painted in a nice neutral shade, emblematically called Rocky Road.  It’s amazing how a nice paint colour can transform a space, particularly an apartment, which otherwise can be fairly boring.

The complex is an interesting mixed bag of residents:  seniors and university students.  My building is 80% seniors, several of whom I met over the past week. It’s interesting how differently the old and young interact; from the younger residents you get a polite hello, while the senior residents give you their life story in a 30 second elevator ride.  (Well, not quite, but they are very chatty.)  During one of my trips,  I met Catherine, who happens to live down the hall. She told me that no way was she going to live somewhere and not know her neighbours, so she gave me the lowdown on each of them. So now I know that the 90-something-year-old lady who lives on my right is a nice lady who doesn’t get out much but shares her newspaper with everyone, and that the 80-something year old lady who lives on my left is afraid of dogs until she gets to know them.  I must have passed muster, because Catherine told me that the ladies will be so happy to hear that they will have a “nice neighbour.” And I think I’ll have nice neighbours too.