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Archive for September, 2012

I Survived!

Howdy.  I’m back home after getting thru my eye surgery earlier this week.  I’d like to say I was brave, but I was not.  I bawled like a baby.  It was not a pretty sight.  Thank goodness for my mommy who was with me.  And for the nurses and other patients who tried to get me to stop crying toughen me up.

Mom and I headed to the City at 6am.  I had to be at the hospital by 7:30 to register and all that jazz and we barely made it.  Traffic was ridiculous and the rainy/foggy weather didn’t help.  We weren’t there very long when I got called in.  I had to change into the lovely johnny shirt and robe and then go into the pre-op room.

Can I rock the op scrubs, or what?

The pre-op room had several other patients and each had a nurse.  Some patients were preparing for surgery and some were just coming out.  I sat with my nurse, a lovely lady named Brenda.  She asked me some questions and then I started crying.  I am not brave.  I’m not gonna lie.  The idea of having needles in my face and eye scared the shit out of me and I was not prepared to handle it well.  So I freaked out and started crying.  So bad that the nurse eventually brought my mom in to sit with me until it was time for surgery.

Please keep in mind that I was the youngest person waiting for surgery…the condition with my eye is something rare and “never happens” to someone my age.  So, I was probably 25-30 years younger than the next youngest person.

The nurse put the shunt in my hand for which my iv of drugs would be attached later.  Because of my heart condition, she also had to order a cardiogram right away…that was fun.  Nothing like having your breasts exposed to a stranger in a strange place.  But that was over and done with quickly.

I stopped crying.  Then started.  Then stopped.  This went on for a while.  Eventually the surgeon came out to chat with me and said to my mom “How am I supposed to operate thru all those tears?”  Yeahhh, your concerns are a little lighter than mine, buddy.  Figure it out.

Actually, I should be nice.  The surgeon is super duper and I am quite thankful to him.

Eventually I was rolled away (in tears, but not kicking and screaming) into the operating room.  The nurse in there chatted me up, trying to take my mind off things but I called her out on it.  I hopped onto the operating table, got a pillow under my knees, got the drug tube in my shunt and quickly faded.  Although I was awake thru the surgery I don’t remember anything.  The only thing I remember was starting to cry again partway thru and heard Dr. O say “she’s crying” and asked me if I was okay.  I didn’t answer…I don’t know if I couldn’t or if I was just too emotional but he again said “she’s crying” and then I was out of it again.  I mentioned this to Dr. O the next morning and he said that once he heard me crying he got the drug doctor “anesthesiologist” to give me some more meds.  Smart guy!

Now, most people who had returned from the surgery while I was waiting to go in were pretty coherent.  Not me.  I had way too many drugs in me.  I was like drooling Homer Simpson.


My mom was brought back in to wait with me.  I remember the nurse talking to her about post surgery stuff…but I don’t really remember much of what was said.  I slept-ish in the chair for a while and eventually mom took me to the patient lodge across the street where I slept for a few hours.  Once I was awake I was ready to have some food and a big glass of water.

I was not feeling too hot

My mom was keeping people posted thru the day on the surgery and afterward.  She posted on Facebook at one point that I was “very weepy” which is a complete understatement.  But even afterward I was, for some reason, emotional.  When talking to Blair later in the day I got choked up and teary-eyed…probably from the drugs and the stress of the morning. 🙂

In the evening I had some visitors, which was nice and some unexpected.  And Lisa Lou brought me treats.  Whoop-de-whoop!  Thanks again, Lisa. ❤

I had to see the surgeon again at 7 the next morning and he said everything went well.  Unfortunately, we won’t know until Christmas (at the earliest) if the surgery was a success.  Here’s hoping.  He said there’s 80% chance my vision will improve but it could be up to two years to get it back to normal….IF there is a change at all.  So I’m praying.

I was happy to get home and I think Winston missed me.

Aww, someone wanted to cuddle.

At this point I have 3 incisions in my eyeball and two small needle marks just below my lower lash lid.  I have to take 3 sets of drops four times a day and am not allowed doing much.  At this point I’m not permitted to tie my own shoes (thank goodness for flip flops).  I have to wear my shield and/or my sunglasses for protection.  Thank goodness I have Willy Wonka style sunglasses.

I like ’em big!

My retina is now unprotected and my eye has to stay dilated all the time to help protect it.  If I get anything in my eye I’m up shit creek.

Today I went for a walk and my mom took me to get some groceries.  I had plenty of people staring at me and I think I scared a little boy.  A little old (OLD!) man on a scooter in the grocery store drove up to me and said “You need to lay off the boxing!”

I’m telling people I beat up ninjas

This is me today…I’ve got a bit of a shiner, I can’t open my eye all the way and there’s that kooky dilation.  Not too bad.  The incisions hurt and the drops are like shards of glass going in my eye but other than that I feel pretty okay.   Fingers crossed for constant improvement.


Favorite Facebook comments from after surgery – and yes, my friends are assholes 🙂 :

Anthony:  You’re kinda a cross between a bee, and a pirate. (My favorite.)

Jason: Wow, already got your Halloween costume ready.. nice

Dedra:  I still love ya even if you are a one eyed bandit!

Elizabeth: Yay one eyed beauty

Matt: looks like you’re ready for a star trek convention

Lisa: even doped and sporting the eye patch…you’re still one sexy lady! :p

Anne: Do you have a wooden peg leg too?

Blair Sr.: who hit u?

Vanessa: ARGG! Sorry! I had to!

Ryan: you know… most pirates have a parrot, just say’in

Brian: Do you have a matching metal colander to put on your head…to keep the alien brain waves out???

I’m Goin’ to See a Man about an Eye


Heading out to for surgery!  It’s dark and cool and earrrrly.   Here’s hoping for great results.


Well Ain’t THAT a Kick in the Pants?!


So, here it is Monday and for the last five weeks I’ve been counting down to my my eye surgery which had been scheduled for tomorrow morning.

The plan was to work until noon today, then go to an appointment at the local hospital and then head home and get things prepared for tomorrow’s journey.

And not that I am looking forward to having eye surgery while I’m wide awake…at all!!  But I’ve finally sorta made peace with it and have been looking forward to eventually being able to have perfect vision again.

So this morning I got to work, began training my temporary replacement, confirmed my surgery and finished up some loose projects around my desk.

At 11:45 am I was called into the boss’s office where we discussed my temporary (2 week) hiatus, I received my ROE so that I could begin my sick leave paperwork this afternoon, got my “final” paycheck, and went back to my desk and my trainee.  At a few minutes to noon I get a phone call from the surgeon’s office…..

Cancelling my surgery!

WTF?  Are you serious?  Am I being Punked?  Where’s Ashton-Frickin’-Kutcher??

No, I was not being punked.  This was real.  And it screwed EVERYTHING up.

However. we got things straightened out.  My surgery is now booked for Thursday morning.  I got “reinstated” as an employee.  I finished my work day after my appointment and will continue the week thru until Wednesday afternoon where I will semi-relive a “Groundhog Day” a la Bill Murray.


Cheers.  🙂

Back to School

Last Wednesday I started a course that my employers are paying for.  This course (which is every Wednesday evening and wraps up just prior to Christmas) will entail me to take on more responsibility at work.  I’m quite excited about it.  I love school!!

I was actually really excited about starting.  It’s going to be a lot of work – a LOT of homework and concentration – but more responsibility will hopefully mean more money.  And hey, it sure does look good on a resume.

The first night went smoothly, my only complaint is having to sit for two and a half solid hours in a shitty chair with a broken tailbone.  It took me nearly 10 minutes to get up just to go for a pee break.  And I’m not without sound effects.  A few grunts and groans go a long way.

I can tell that I’m already a teacher’s favorite…along with another student.  She and I were two of only a few to speak up, ask questions and get involved.  Interaction is a key to success.  I’m usually pretty chipper so I figured no point in holding back that night.

The only crappy thing is that I doubt there are any research or paper assignments.  Balls!!  I love research papers.  Fortunately, the evening before I helped a friend write a research paper for her course.  It’s her first time in college so she hasn’t had to write anything since high school more than 10 years ago.  I’m pretty sure she’s getting an A.  I’m really impressed with myself the end result.

I’ll be missing this week’s class because my surgery is scheduled for Tuesday and I intend on being extremely medicated Wednesday night when I return home from the hospital.

I’ll be home from work for two weeks so I’m hoping to be a little more faithful with my blog in my boredom recovery time.


“The Witch at the Window”

I still find the cover creepy

When I was 8 or 9 or 10 I read a book called “The Witch at the Window” by Ruth Chew.  As some of you know, I have always loved to read and zipped thru Nancy Drew novels, The Babysitters Club and even Archie Comics….but “The Witch at the Window” is one of those books that has always stuck with me.

It was suspenseful and thrilling and entertaining for my young mind.  And something about that witch on the cover always freaked me out.  In fact, I used to flip the book over so she wasn’t staring at me I couldn’t see her.

I have this book somewhere and more than likely it’s in the attic above my parents’ garage along with my Cinderella book and Barbie Dolls and whatever else I hung onto is leftover from my childhood (which is actually quite a lot).  Eventually I’m going to climb up there and dig it out.  To read for myself and perhaps to read to Abby.  But mostly for myself.  😉

Oh Nostalgia.





Pumpkin Spice

A true sign of Fall….pumpkin spice everything popping up.

This past Saturday my mom and I ventured into the City for some shopping.  It was gorgeous and sunny and we had a great day.  Before we left the mall I wanted to stop at Second Cup* for a Pumpkin Spice Latte.  It’s that time of year again and *we don’t have a Second Cup or a Starbucks in our area (*the City aka Halifax is an hour from where I live) so occasionally I will treat myself to one or the other.  Not often, but in the fall I like a little pumpkin spice and in winter all the damn time I quite enjoy a candy cane or mint flavor in my beverage.  Yum.

So on Saturday I had me a PSL.  It was sooooo friggin’ good that I couldn’t stop talking about it, couldn’t stop thinking about it, couldn’t wait to go back and have another.  *drool*

FORTUNATELY, as luck would have it, Blair and I were in the City on Sunday with the girls and I was so delighted when he stopped at a Second Cup so that I could satisfy my new addiction craving.  I love him. 🙂

Pumpkin Spice Latte = Yummy Addiction

I think it’s actually best for me that there are no Starbucks or Second Cup franchises handy, otherwise I’d be broke and addicted and as big as a house.  I’ve been spending a wee bit of time searching for a healthier, at-home version that I can attempt to screw up make for a tiny portion of the cost.  Good luck to me.


If You Can’t Beat ’em…..Join ’em.

So, although I realize that less than 2 weeks ago I was bitching about the end of summer and not being prepared for the coming of fall (https://welcometosandyland.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/summer-breeze-makes-me-feel-fine/), for some reason, my adventure this past weekend has sorta put me in the mood for autumn and I got in a kind of harvest-y mood.  So I figured I’d direct that energy into something useful:

I’m a sucker for glitter

….and now I can use my table for something other than holding my mail/keys/junk

I’m pretty impressed with myself for making my kitchen look so pretty this soon in the season BEFORE summer is even over.  (I’m trying not to cry.)




~Choose Your Own Adventure~

For a couple of years now I’ve been trying to get Blair to take a trip anywhere to Mahone Bay with me.  It’s only an hour, maybe a little more, away but  the atmosphere is completely different than where we are.  It’s a beautiful little tourist trap where several movies/tv shows (including Haven) have been filmed.  It’s very New Englandy and I have been wanting to get back there for a while.

But something always comes up or a fiasco happens and our plans get ruined.  So a few weeks ago I decided I would venture out on my own and  I have been looking forward to the adventure.

I got up early Saturday morning to get ready and head out.  I promised Amy K. that I would stop by and visit during her garage sale.  So once I got there, plans changed somewhat and she decided to go with me.  Which was fine.  An adventure on your own is fine and dandy but an adventure with a friend is a hoot!

I was so ecstatic when we finally made the curve and found ourselves in Mahone Bay.  The marina was to our left and there were beautiful sailboats everywhere.

Mahone Bay Marina


I’m not going to post everything because it’s not as exciting if you’re not there….but following are some of the more interesting and humorous things from our day.

We stopped at this mom and pop ice cream & antiques store – seriously, it’s called Dad’s and Mom’s:

Ice Cream and Antiques

Amy got an ice cream cone…I tripped over a chair trying to take a picture of this creepy-ass doll.  This thing is worse just as bad as those damn China dolls (https://welcometosandyland.wordpress.com/2012/08/21/china-dolls/).  Her eyes followed me everywhere *shudder*.

Forget the China dolls, this thing is just creepy!

Here I am getting my photo taken with my handsome new boyfriend….sorry Blair…every woman loves a man in uniform.

Aw honey, don’t be shy.

We stopped at this terrific little bakery…..

If only it tasted as good as it looked.

But EVERYTHING was made of soap.

So pretty…and mostly smelled so good. But my allergies kicked in and I lost my voice and we had to leave.

We did some shopping at other little spots – lots of jewelry and antiques

I bought some great items here.

And I realllllllly wanted this:


Several places had designated spots for hubs:

See? Blair would have been right at home here.

And one shop had this guy outside:

“Please play with me.” *Sad Face*

He talked and sang to us thru the screen door.  Poor boy just wanted someone to love him.

Eventually we stopped at Mader’s Wharf Pub for lunch.  We first sat on the deck for a drink (I had a huge glass of water on the rocks).

Trying to look chic as I guzzle

But it got a little chilly and this damn crow would not shut up!

See the little effer??? Loud and OBNOXIOUS!

So we moved inside to a different atmosphere:

1) Dead animals mounted as decor (aside from the rhino I saw deer and birds…)

2)  There was a crazy group of hat ladies there.  we never did find out what their “tour” was for but they seemed to be having fun…and there were tons of crazy/obnoxious hats.  I think I’m gonna start a club.

3) The Crab Guy

Are you a fisherman? Because it seems you have crabs.

He was constantly staring and I counted FOUR times he grabbed/adjusted his crotch.  Right there.  In public.  Didn’t try to hide it or avert anything.  Just gave himself a little tug.

I joked to Amy “He must be a fisherman because it’s apparent he has crabs.”  It was funny at the time.  Wait.  It’s still funny.  (And honestly, do I even need to mention the lame matching shirt and do-rag??)


While we waited  for lunch to arrive I drew some art:

And attempted a good pose:

Strike a Pose

Then I became the photographer and snapped Amy chowing down.

Lunch was delish!

After lunch we shopped some more and found these precious goodies:

Amy’s new book. I’ll never look at cookies the same way again.

*sigh* If my life were only this simple

I would love to hand these out for others to wear 🙂 (Would that make me a douche bag?)

Eventually the sun began to set and the shoppes closed their doors and we headed back to our neck of the woods.  But all in all it was a great day! A great little adventure.








Meatless Monday (Actually, it was Tuesday)

(I still love me some chicken!)

I’ve been trying to think of some groovy ideas lately to replace meat (on occasion, gimme my chicken and fish!) and thanks to Steph I came up with this delicious dish for my dinner last night:

Gourmet Portobello Mushrooms

I started off by soaking my mushrooms in a marinade all day.

The marinade was made of olive oil & red wine vinaigrette, garlic, dried onion, pepper, dried red peppers and other herbs and spices.  The mushrooms marinaded for about 8 hours.


When I was ready for dinner I heated a skillet and added a bit of the marinade to the pan (no extra oil for me) then added the mushrooms, more herbs and spices and some sliced red onion.


I grilled on one side for several minutes then eventually flipped the portobellos.


Once finished cooking I drained off excess marinade/oil, put on a serving plate and added fresh chopped tomato.

Pretty and delicious!







Vintage Finds

So, in an earlier post I mentioned that Amy K. and I had done a little vintage shopping this past weekend.  I always have a blast digging in the bins and sorting thru the racks.  And I always come out on top with some great finds.  This time was no different.

For $20 I got a cool pair of jeans, a sweater, 2 beautiful blouses and a new suede jacket.  Can’t beat that!

The jeans that go with everything and a the Star sweater.

These jeans are so comfy.  The sweater Amy wasn’t too sure about but I absolutely love it.  It’s got shimmery gold stars and a few buttons on the shoulder.

This sweater gets a gold star

And I already have the perfect shoes:

Dressy Casual

For more formal occasions – my Steve Madden ripoffs.

I love a good blouse.

My armskin is so gross. Tanya, LOOK!!

Sweet little details

Two blouses are even better!

Yellow…my favorite color.

My shoe collection is endless:

my REAL Steve Madden shoes (Madden Girl)

The creme de la creme:

Who doesn’t love a little soft suede?

Matchy matchy:

Guess Shoes I scored in the US with Steph

Unfortunately, I’m not allowed to wear jeans to work…EVER, so I’ll have to rework the tops with dress pants or skirts.  But the jeans will be perfect for fall weekends.  In fact, I wore the first outfit to Jaime and Steve’s birthday party on the weekend…with flip flops, of course.



This past weekend was a long one.  Yesterday was Labour Day and for the heck of it, I took today off as well.  It’s been a good one.

Friday night was uneventful but Saturday morning I was up extra early.  I got ran errands in the morning and then had a doctor’s appointment (my poor tailbone).

In the afternoon Amy K. and I went vintage shopping and I got some cool finds which I’m quite excited about (stay tuned).   Amy K. is one of my favorite people who I’ve hung onto since elementary school.  I’ve mentioned her before but figured she deserves a little shout out.  🙂

In the evening Blair and I went to a birthday party for my friends, Jaime and Steve.  Steve has been mentioned in my blog many times (in older posts when it was my ‘Weekend Update’ thingy) and Jaime you may recall from The Asshole Club (https://welcometosandyland.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/meeting-of-the-a-hole-club/).  She’s HILARIOUS.  I was excited to get to the party as it’s not often that Blair and I get to do things like that.  I savored the moment.

Although I really wanted a damn hot dog to roast over the fire (thanks for nothing, Steve 😉 ), Jaime was kind enough to let me chomp into her mini-cake.  I had a sliver and satisfied my craving for something to eat.  😀

The highlight of the night was bringing Jaime her sweet-ass gift.  I was ecstatic to give it to her….I believe she was ecstatic to receive it:

Happy Birthday, Asshole!

You may remember this poor little kitty portrait from here:   https://welcometosandyland.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/cat.jpg , which, not sure if I ever mentioned this but Jaime gave me the pic for Christmas.  It was the best gift.  I told her I’m looking forward to opening up my birthday present in a month’s time.   🙂

Sunday Blair and I vegged out in the morning and watched a movie until he left to pick up Abby.  I had a date with my nephews in the afternoon and we had a blast.  ( I also had a quickie visit with my girl Steph which always makes me happy since she’s so far away now and our visits are limited.)

I took the boys to the park, then to McDonald’s for lunch and to visit the playland, then to the Dollar store where I let them each pick out a toy.  Aunt Sandy is okay with buying “cheap gifts”, as my brother and S-I-L so kindly put it.

After dropping them off at dinner time I headed out to Blair’s for the night.  We had a relaxing evening ate veggie nachos.


The next day we were lazy again.  Actually, Blair was lazy (“IT’S LABOUR DAY!”), I am always up for an adventure.  Regardless, we lounged around in the morning and early afternoon.

My lap – his sleeping place.

Eventually, he got some energy and we went out for some exploring.  I left before dinner and hit the gym on my way home.  My tailbone is a little pissed at me.

This morning I had errands to run, which included getting my new passport photo taken.

Ready when you are, Steph!!

Then Angie Whoreface and I hit the beach.  We headed to Kingsport, which is so close but I haven’t been there in so long. It was nice.  The sun was shining and warm.  Angie and I tanned for a bit then walked down to the water.  Kingsport is a great spot but it can get pretty muddy.

Kingsport muck

Fortunately, we had enough sense not to lug our cameras with us down to the water…we were slipping and sliding and sinking.  Our ankles disappeared.  Thankfully we had a whole ocean of warm water to wash off…of course, we had to make our way back to our spot but we managed to get less muddy on the way back.

After going thru a few InStyle magazines and gossiping a bit, our stomachs got the best of us and we grabbed lunch on the “boardwalk”…a hot dog (again, thanks for nothing, Steve) and poutine.  Delicious.  Thank goodness for my work outs or my ass would be huge after this weekend.

We felt a little bad that Kritt was stuck at work so we sent her a love note:


Kritt’s reply:

“U slutsssssssssss! Sad Little Kitten”

We love you Krystal!  Next time.  PROMISE.  (Plus, I’m making you mushroom ravioli so shut yer trap! xoxo)

Of course, the long weekend can’t last forever and I’m home now and preparing for a short week at work (Yay!).   I had a great workout, threw the muddy gear in the laundry and made a yummy and healthy dinner (stay tuned).  Now Winston and I are waiting for a visit from my mom and a phone call from my love.  🙂

Hope everyone else had a great long weekend!


Mushroom Ravioli

This is going to be a lame post but here goes.

A few weeks ago I started seriously craving Mushroom Ravioli; which is very odd considering I’ve never had it.  In fact, I’d never even heard of it until Twilight.  I’ve always been a plain Jane kinda ravioli person, thanks to my dear friend Chef Boyardee (which I’ve stopped eating since I found out how much sodium is in a can).

A Pantry Staple…..mmmmm.

So yeah, it was weird to crave something I’ve never had but regardless, the craving didn’t subside.  So last week I went on the hunt for Mushroom Ravioli.  I checked online menus and asked around but no one seemed to carry this dish.

Then I got thinking about a place right here in my neighborhood called The Pasta Studio (http://thenoodle.ca).  Ross, The Noodle Guy, hand makes all of his pasta right there in his shop and uses fresh and local ingredients.  So I tracked down his email address and asked him about the ravioli (since the menu didn’t list it).  He replied that he was making a mushroom, swiss and dijon ravioli with a garlic and chive butter for the Farmers’ Market the next day and said he’d set some aside for me at the shop.

I picked up my order the next afternoon and could not wait to get my workout and chores done so that I could dive into it….it smelled so friggin’ good.  Well, let me tell you, it was delicious!  I gobbled it up.  I took the rest of it to work the next day for my lunch and Angie Whoreface and Kritt were completely jealous!   Although “JOEY DOESN’T SHARE FOOD!!!”, I was nice and let them both try some (just a nibble tho because, as I said, “JOEY DOESN’T SHARE FOOD!!!”).

Of course, now I’m hooked.  Although I know I can’t eat pasta all the time (way too many carbs for my exercise-addicted ass), I was delighted to find mushroom ravioli at the grocery store yesterday morning.  Needless to say I counted down the hours until I made dinner.

My ravioli was a little different but still yummy!

Mushroom Ravioli with homemade roasted garlic and red pepper “butter”.  Jealous?

My first bite!

Oh Winston…..I know you wanted some too but “”JOEY DOESN’T SHARE FOOD!!!”

I’m looking forward to hosting Girls’ Night so I can feed Angie Whoreface and Kritt and not yell at them for eating my damn lunch (I’m not gonna say it again.).