Chore Time

Nothing this exciting has happened over the past few days, but I wanted to share an old email from 2008 that I sent to my friend Jan about my trip to the farm…

It is now just before nine and we have been doing chores for the last 6 or so hours (normally it would take under 2 for sure). We started by going out and tagging some calves and moving them around in and out of barns. And then I was told the tractor broke down and we had to feed bales with the horses. So, first, we have to get the horses harnessed. Which means also tying up another one who would cause trouble when the other two are hooked up. While Dad is doing that, Mom and I chop away at ice with an ax to try and get a gate out that has frozen to the ground. We are told that we have to get it out b/c there is simply no other way and no other place for the bale to go except the place this fence is blocking. Eventually, after about 45 minutes, we get it. The horses are also hooked up by this time. I go up to the house to get a sweater b/c it’s starting to cool off (After all, I’ve already been outside for an hour and we haven’t even started chores yet!) and wait on the steps for what I’m told should be only mere moments before they will be passing by to get me in the sled. 10 minutes later, there it is.
We have this contraption. It’s like a mini sleigh and there’s a series of chains and hooks. It’s hard to explain, but basically, you put a big hook in the bale and hook the chain to this mini-sleigh and start to pray. We fed 7 bales tonight and had to hook bales up at least 14 times because they kept falling off. It’s pretty touch and go whether the bale will stay on this little sleigh. Oh, and did I mention Dad is taking this opportunity to break in one of the horses because the one he usually uses is way too pregnant to be pulling? This horse (Jack) couldn’t back up to save his life. And wouldn’t you know it? We have to back up into where the bales are piled every single time. We think it may be because his name is too close to the word “back” so doesn’t understand what we want him to do. And he’s new to the pulling game, so Jessie has had to pull all the weight and push and pull him around. After the first 4 or so bales, she’s getting exhausted and just stops randomly for no reason at all. Oh, and of course there are copious amounts of swearing and exasperated sighs and death looks between Mom, Dad, and myself.
Once we actually get the bale to stay on the mini-sleigh, we take it down to the barnyard and choose a place to put it. There was much discussion about which pen they were going in and what colour the gate was that led to said pen. We have to cut the twine off the bale once we get it off the sleigh and I managed to break the knife. Some poor cow is going to step on a blade one of these days. And of course the only time the horses actually want to go is when Dad and I are busy getting the bale untied and pushing a feeder over top of it and Mom is left to hold onto them. Sometimes, we’d almost get where we needed to be and we’d hit a particularly big bump and we’d lose the bale and have to hook it up again, which of course whoever was doing it could never do it quick enough or tight enough, or basically just right enough. These moments are also full of loving curses and near-slaps, and if there were divorce papers ready to sign, I’m almost certain Mom and Dad would both sign them in these moments.
But, at the end of it all, we brush down the horses, laugh and joke about it already being tomorrow morning, blame farts on various animals (My mom farts a lot. She’d be really happy if she knew I shared that with you all), and hope to Christ the tractor gets fixed tomorrow.

The best part is, we got to do it all over again the next day, except my almost 80-year old grandmother was with us. On the sleigh. That added a new element of fun.

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Yesterday’s Update

I forgot to do this at the end of the day yesterday. I tracked everything I ate yesterday (under my calories) and I got some exercise in. The exercise included Just Dance for Wii, walking up the field with the dogs, and moving giant bags of wool from the barn to a shed. We also took a couple of the horses out for a sleigh ride. There wasn’t a lot of exertion on my part for that, but it was still walking around and being outside for an hour or so. I’m calling it a win.

So far? Failing.

Remember my challenges? Well, so far I’m sucking. I haven’t been tracking my food. And I have been eating pretty much anything that pops up in my path. I was also going to weigh myself all week long, but I forgot my scale in the city. The good news is that I have not had seconds at any meal since I’ve been out at the farm. And I’ve been getting in some physical activity. Yesterday Mom and I took the dogs and went for a walk up the field where Dad was feeding bales to the cows. It was chilly, but not terrible. We were outside for probably an hour and a half or so. On Boxing Day there was a lot of snacking and wine drinking. I managed to sneak in a quick half hour walk with my aunt’s dog though.

Today I am going to track everything. Today I am going to track everything. Today I am going to track everything. I’ll post tonight and let you know how it went.

You Can’t Choose Your Family

I’m not gonna lie, my brother is a dumbass.

I don’t feel like giving too much background information on him right now, but I do want to rant about him. I spent one day with him. Not even a full 24 hours. It was around 9-10 hours. And that was all I could handle. Admittedley, he does have some redeeming qualitites, but he keeps those hidden most of the time.

David is a giant bullshiter. So much of what has come out of his mouth in the past has been either a lie or half-truth, and that makes it really, really hard to take him seriously. Especially when he has a captive audience who doesn’t call him on anything. Like my younger cousins. Yesterday, he was telling them about the first time he ever got beaten up by 5 guys. Yes, the first time. He also told them he’s been stabbed 3 times, and he definitely prefers getting beaten up. I also heard him telling them about the time he went to Mexico. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of him going to Mexico. Oh, he also mentioned that he’s not allowed to leave Canada either. The worst part is, although I don’t believe all his stories, none of them would surprise me if they were true. I just rolled my eyes and went and poured myself another glass of wine.

It was on our way home from the lake that I couldn’t keep my mouth shut any longer. We did the annual “Twinkle Tour” through town and were driving by the parents of one of my brother’s old high school friends. He wondered if his friend was home and I said he sure is, I can see him standing outside right there.

David:Look at those guys, smoking a joint without me!

Me: Holy you talk a lot.

David: YOU talk a lot.

Me: No, I really don’t.

David: What’s your issue with me?

Me: Really? You really needed to make a comment about drugs?

David: mumble mumble mumble

There is a time and a place for a comment like that, and in the truck, with your family, while driving around looking at Christmas light, is not the time, nor the place. It’s just one of those things he says, in the hopes of impressing someone. And who was there to impress? Mom? Dad? Me? Oh David, you’re so worldly and cool. Tell me more about how awesome you are.

My brother doesn’t have a vehicle at the moment so he was wondering how he was going to get back to Tisdale, where he’s been living, the next day. Dad said someone would drive him back in the morning. I think he had to work this morning or something. It’s only a 20 minute drive, but no one really wanted to do it after all that food and drink and in the dark. He seemed ok with it. But that was before I showed my distaste. As soon as we got home, he made some calls and informed us someone was going to pick him up shortly. I hope his early departure wasn’t on account of me *halo*

Did I mention that he didn’t give anyone Christmas gifts? Even though I always have something for him, and so do Mom and Dad. Clearly Christmas isn’t about getting things, and I never expect anything from anyone. If I want to give a gift, I’ll give it. For whatever reason. But my brother is a different story. The only time he’s ever given us gifts is when he was married. And that was because his wife bought and wrapped them. But he has no problem showing up for meals and gifts, and then acting like a douche who thinks the whole world is against him and owes him something.

Rant over.

I’m Not Gonna Lie…

Why the hell would you need to tell people you aren’t going to lie? This phrase drives me crazy! Urban Dictionary defines it as this:
 
“One of the gayest expressions commonly used today. Often used before stating something obvious or something that no one would bother to lie about. This expression is over used and almost always makes the user look like a douche.”
-I’m not gonna lie, that movie was terrible.
A lot of my friends say this on a regular basis. People I work with say it. Strangers say it. I started reading a new blog the other day and had to stop because 4 posts in a row contained this phrase. I have even caught myself saying it once or twice because it is so prevalent in my environment, and I immediately slapped myself.
 
Who started this?!

What Kind of Dumbass Shops On Christmas Eve?

 

I am a procrastinator:  It’s Christmas and I just finished my shopping today. I really only buy for my parents, my brother, and maybe a couple other little things, and I did my shopping yesterday and today. Except that yesterday, everything was so busy that, had I had a toothbrush in my purse, I would have fashioned it into a shiv and gone all “Oz” on strangers. I almost drove away from the Walmart parking lot as soon as I entered it. But I desperately needed toilet paper. Like, totally gone, forced into using fancy, 3-ply tissue from a limited edition box designed by Umbra. And I just can’t justify using that on my ass, as dainty as it obviously is. So, I found a parking spot somewhere over in the next town, walked for half a day, and finally made it into Walmart. My intentions were to pick up some tp, grab a movie for my brother, a Wii for my parents, tape for wrapping said gifts, and get the hell out. I managed to walk out with toilet paper and a movie (and a few other random items I picked up along the way). The electronics section was ridiculous and so many people were touching me! I could feel my head about to explode from anxiety, so I made a mad dash to checkout and was able to make my purchases after standing in line for a mere half hour. Since Walmart is open 24 hours right now, I decided I’d take a shot at it before leaving for work the next morning and I would spend my evening doing laundry and wrapping what gifts I did have. Hey, remember that tape I was supposed to buy? Fuck.

Today: I got up at 5 o’fucking’clock. I made it to Walmart by 540 and went straight to the electronics section. Guess what? Sold out of Wii’s. And thanks to a late message from my friend Angela last night, I already knew the other 24 hour Walmart was sold out as well. So now what? I wander around, looking for something for my parents. I really should have had a backup plan, especially considering I work 7am-7pm both today and tomorrow and nothing will be open when I’m off work. I didn’t see anything for my Dad, but I picked up a heated blanket for my mom. Not the greatest, but it would have to do in case I couldn’t figure something else out. I paid and left (once more forgetting to buy tape). Then I remembered that Shopper’s Drug Mart is also open 24 hours. I had some time to kill before I had to be at work yet, so I decided to check it out. They had some Wii’s in stock! Yay! And I remembered to buy tape! And I earned some points for buying it there! I’m a points whore. To be honest, I had thought of buying the Wii at Shopper’s before this point, but I’ve been kind of waiting for a points event where I could earn 15x the points or something along those lines. I had to settle for standard point earning this morning 😦 Anyways, they had the Wii, but not the game I wanted. So back to Walmart with me! I figured I may as well return the blanket while I was there.

Walmart, take 2: I walk in and the greeter informs me that customer services doesn’t open until 7 and it’s only 620. I work at 7 so no luck on returning it this morning. They close at 6 today and I work until 7. No luck on returning it tonight either. Great. So he sticks a sticker on the blanket so I don’t appear to be stealing it when I leave the store later since I’m obviously not going to trek it back out to my car and then come back in to buy a game. I go to electronics. Again. There is a sales associate just finishing getting a game out for another customer and he turns to me. Our conversation goes like this…

SA: Can I help you find something?

Me: Yeeessss….I need a game for the Wii.

SA: Ok, what game.

Me: I’m not sure.

SA: (exasperated) Well what’s it called?!

Me: (glowering) I.don’t.know. I haven’t chosen one yet. I just walked in.

SA: *sigh*

Ok, dude, this would be an opportune time to excuse yourself and inform me that you’re going to ring the other woman through while I have a look and you’ll be back. It’s cool. There are only the 2 of us in your entire section. No? You want to wait there and stare at me instead? Ok, that’s cool too.

I decide on some dancing game and the 3 of us walk up to the till while he apologizes to the other woman for having to wait. When it’s my turn to pay for my item, the sales associate notices the blanket I’m carrying. And that conversation went a little something like this:

SA: Is that blanket a gift?

Me: What? Oh, no, it’s a return.

SA: We don’t do that here! You have to do that up front!

Me: (blank stare) I.know. I’m not trying to return it here. But customer service isn’t open until 7 so the greeter put this sticker on it so I could carry it around while I shopped.

SA: Oh, ok. Sorry, that’s just our standard answer. I’m almost done my shift and I’m tired.

Me: Merry Christmas.

Tonight I will wrap everything. Oh, and while writing this, I’ve just realized that I forgot to pick up something for the family gift exchange on Boxing Day. Whoops. I’m sure I have something kicking around that I can throw in the mix. Remember my lament about not being home for Christmas? Well, my aunt has decided to wait until Boxing Day to cook her turkey and we’ll do a family celebration then instead of tomorrow. Yay for me!

Weigh Day

I haven’t done one of these for awhile. I’ve been stuck on this plateau and didn’t want to talk about it. But I think I’m getting over it now. I only lost 0.4 pounds, but it’s better than the numbers I’ve been seeing as I sporadically step on the scale. I’m going to weigh myself every day between now and the new year to keep myself in check. As for fitness, I’ve been taking some zumba classes which I think is really helping. And even though the scale is being a dick right now, my body is still changing. I went shopping last week and bought clothes in sizes and materials that wouldn’t have fit me before. And after measuring myself, I am still losing inches, so that is comforting.

 

My Holiday Challenges

I know it’s already well into the Christmas season, but it’s never too late for a challenge. Or challenges. I’m already failing at a couple of them lol

1. Be aware of your calories. Research those snacks and track them! There are 60 calories in one measly icy square. 60! You’d have to walk for 20 minutes to burn 3 of them off.

2. If you must (as I must), have a taste of whatever is there and then go away.

3. At those big, delicious Christmas meals around every corner, wait at least 20 minutes after eating to decide if you really really really want that second helping.

4. Don’t give yourself a free day on Christmas. Find a way to get in at least 30 minutes of activity on Christmas day or eve. Whenever your big meal is.

5. At least 180 minutes of exercise between now and New Year’s Day that doesn’t involve going to the gym (unless you try something new at the gym) or your usual routine. It’s a great time of year for sledding, afternoon walks, playing with children (preferably ones you know), charades, twister, Wii with your cousins, building a snowman, etc.

Farmer Blow

Does everyone know what a farmer blow is? In regards to snot? When you’re working outside, you don’t always have a kleenex with you when your nose starts to run. One solution is, of course, to just wipe it on your sleeve. Another is the blow and toss. For those of you unfamiliar, position your thumb and index finger on either side of your nose. Blow as hard as you can, then pinch your nose while quickly pulling your hand away from your face and down to the side, flinging the offending nose strings safely to the ground, or onto the feet of the person standing next to you.

And finally, we have the farmer blow. Plug one nostril with your finger of choice, tilt your head slightly, and blow. Not so hard that your ears pop and your brain shakes loose, but hard enough that anyone standing around you will be grossed out when the whatnot comes flying out of your nose. Why this blog occurred to me right now is not important, but what is important is my advice. If you have long hair, it is important to pull it out of the way before attempting the farmer blow. Because even if you are doing the more refined version of this move and have a kleenex to catch it, if the kleenex is even slightly out of position, your hair will act as the net. (I just made myself gag a little while writing this. I hope you do the same while reading.) Also, more often than not when I try to spit, I just end up dribbling it down the front of my shirt.