Monday, March 23, 2009

DJ Will and a chocolate swan

Here's what happens when you let your wing-man run rampant in the office...

Went out last night -- awesome lamb for CHEAP, and when they run out of takeout containers for the leftover chocolate cake, and you have a creative server, you get this...

Oh, and I'm on a mission to replace my store-bought dishes with my own pottery pieces. Tonight I celebrated two such bowls with a healthy meal of prawns, asparagus and salad... gee, I feel like this is one of Mollie's posts about food! It's really more about the bowls, honest!

Lots to do!

Jan's post had some cute cat pics with captions... this one I thought was kinda cute.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Think warm thoughts

Spring has sprung, the grass is riz, I wonder where the shovel is?

Ah, Spring in Calgary at 5:30 in the morning!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dave the plumber

I know this guy who is a plumber here in Calgary. I met him years ago through one of the community centres that we do regular work for. We all swear he's near stone-deaf because he's always asking us to "turn it up!" at community events. He and his wife are pretty amazing dancers too, and whenever I think of Dave I think of the numerous times over the years that I played for him, Dean Martin's 'That's Amore'.

Yesterday I played plumber. Emarie emailed to say that the toilet in the suite wasn't refilling after a flush. It was the oddest thing, too.

I checked the water shutoff, closing it and reopening it.

The toilet flushed just fine, and I thought the problem was resolved.

Nuh uhh...

Upon the next flush, the problem recurred.

Emarie checked the web for advice. It suggested that we use a coat hanger to clean out the line that runs into the float/regulator. We did that. Again, the tank filled just fine. This time I was smart (or so I thought) and flushed the toilet a few times to be sure.

"We make a good team,", she said. "I look up what to do and you do it!"

Later in the afternoon, Emarie informed me that alas, the problem was not fixed. In the meantime, I'd been chatting with a friend whose boyfriend is/was a plumber. He told me over the phone that for the $15.00 it would be best to replace the float/regulator when this problem occurs. So, off to Home Depot. The really fancy-schmancy regulator, which you can adjust to use more or less water, was only $22.00. It made sense to spend the extra $7.00.

I discovered that this plumbing thing is really very 'plug-and-play'. Unscrew the old one, insert the new one, add water and wait.

The other thing I learned about yesterday's adventure in plumbing is that I can fix stuff... correctly... without it costing more in the end!


The only difference between this Dave and the other Dave is that he can dance and I can hear. Oh, and I'm taller.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Chez Tortue avance

I'm not sure how accurate the title is on a couple of fronts: grammatically, it's a stab in the dark, literally it's probably more accurate. I cleaned out the kitchen last night. The cubboards are going to be a whole other project, but the room itself has literally doubled in preceptual size.

Going through other people's stuff is so much easier than deciding what to do with my own, but I must admit that the whole yoga notion of "non-attachment" is growing on me, and quite naturally. I was chatting with a friend last night about this whole business and she asked me what I was doing with the stuff I didn't want. I said,

"Throwing it out."

She was shocked.

"You mean you're not boxing it up for donation or anything?"

"Nope. There's a certain satisfaction in just... throwing it out. Besides, it's full of bad energy - who wants THAT?"


"I guess you're right. But if you have any furniture..."

Sold, one couch.

Y'know, I clued in a few years ago to the notion that space is more valuable than stuff, and I refer to Bob Hope's comment on the subject,

"Buy land. They're not making it anymore."

But more to the point, with more space, there is also room for more energy. I remember back to my early days of running the business when I was aquiring capital assests. I looked around. All the SUCCESSFUL companies had STUFF, and lots of it. So I went about aquiring stuff. It felt comfortable having it all around because that was a sign of success, right? Meh.

I love my new guest room. In fact, I've taken to sleeping there since it's rebirth back on Friday. It feels great. The kitchen is... on its way, but certainly much better than it has been.

More later on the progress of Chez Tortue, but right now I have a coffee brewing.

Turtle out.

Monday, March 09, 2009


...seemed a suitable title for this post. I spent the bulk of Friday evening and into the wee hours cleaning house - in several ways. There has been a tremendous loss of energy in my home. Not because of a leaky roof or poorly sealed windows, but because of the incredible amount of STUFF around. I've blogged about having too much stuff of my own, but this is different. This STUFF is STUFF that other people have left behind over time. It seems that those, other than me, who live in my house from time to time tend not to take all their STUFF with them when they go.

I started with, and honestly didn't get much further than, the spare room. If this room could talk... it was once my office, then converted back to a guest room when Terri arrived from south of the boarder. She and Emarie inhabited the basement suite after a previous tenant left all her STUFF down there, but that's a whole other story. Nathalie used the room as her reading room and quiet space while she was here, and after that Terri's sister's boyfriend at the time rented the space until returning to the East Coast at Christmas. Everyone, with the exception of T. & E. left a great deal of STUFF behind, and let's face it - other people's stuff in my space still uses my energy. In fact, if it were my stuff, it would be here by choice and would likely contribute to good energy all around. Regardless, however, I have discovered that having less stuff increases the good energy in a space.

So, with a strategic plan in place, the whole house should be free of life-sucking STUFF within the week, and the plan is that what will remain is one comfy Chez Tortue. Or maybe a better term would be Chateau. Indeed.

Oh, I need an acronym for STUFF. I got as far as "Stuff That Utterly Fills..." and I'm stuck. Maybe there's another one... hmm... I thought of some with really nasty words that were quite satisfying to my soul, but this is a G-rated blog... or at least tries to be... maybe it doesn't have to be... will I feel better? Probably.

Turtle out.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

It's OK to be sad

On my way home from the University tonight I bumped into a long time friend who invited me in for tea, literally.

We talked for about three hours, something of my course, a bit about life in general and about relationships with people. We also touched on some of what's been troubling me about "being". I asked her quite directly if our happiness comes from within us and that outside influences don't affect that, why it is we ever feel sad or angry or any of what we construe as 'negative' emotions.

"Because it's normal", was her reply.

Well, thank goodness for that - I'm normal!

Right now I'm sad. And that's OK.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

To BE or not to simply BE

There are a few things I've been coming to terms with lately, not the least of which is a sense of confusion. Yoga teaches us to simply "be". There's nothing wrong with not being able to do a certain posture or stretch or hold. It's OK if our mind is clouded at the moment, because that is simply the state of things, and we should allow that to be... but focus on the breath and adjust our movement accordingly.

I think a lot. I mean, a lot. One of the comments that was posted a couple blogs back referred to a little bit of silliness I posted about the "Perils of a Catholic Upbringing". The commenter said,

"Best you've written so far! Not so to have a good laugh."

Point is, I didn't write it.

And yes, my writing IS philosophical.

I'm wondering if that may be the root of my current trouble. You see, I'm finding it quite difficult to be light hearted these days. The stress I'm feeling is that which I'm bringing on myself, or is it?

How often do we hear that outside factors should have no bearing on our internal happiness? That, to me, says no matter what kind of shit goes down, we'll simply be happy because our happiness has nothing to do with said shit; internal vs external.

Do we get to choose how we feel?

I know I've had the opportunity to choose whether I was going to allow something to affect me, so I suppose that is true. Did I choose to be sad when my Dad passed away? Yes, I suppose I did. Did I choose to experience all those 'divorce-type' feelings when Nathalie moved back to Quebec? Yes, I did, however some would argue that I didn't express as many of those feelings as I could have.

Does the fact that we naturally experience negative feelings when negative things happen mean that we're weak and easily succumb to whatever emotion just happens to be floating around the atmosphere, looking for a place to land?

I have a choice to make about a dear friend, and I guess the ultimate question in my mind to which I would LOVE a clear answer is this:

Do we choose how to BE, or simply BE?

About Me

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
English student, Pottery enthusiast, Yoga novice and lover of all people. I make friends over a warm handshake and a beverage. I discover, every day, someone willing to help me along my path.