I Love You Forever and on Tuesdays

 I am now back home in Calgary and I am thinking maybe I was a little premature when I started mouthing off about my love for Toronto in my last post. I still do but, phew the traffic is incredible.

Jo, my daughters, grand children and I had lots of fun together. We really miss Toronto.

On Tuesday Jo and I took off from Ajax where we were staying to Rexdale to visit my sister, then to Brampton across Hwy 7 to visit 2 sisters. It took us an hour to go from Rexdale to Brampton. All the time I was visiting my sister in Brampton, I am thinking about the long trip back to Ajax. I was unable to visit sister #3, Jo had to get back and of course now I have a sister mad at me, probably.

On Wednesday Jo, daughter J1 and 2 grand kids took off to Quebec leaving me ‘free to do my thing’.

I have a million friends in Toronto, let the fun begin.

Except to go from point A to point B takes forever; everyone is sooooooooo far away, not because of distance, but grid lock traffic. I returned the 7 passengers rental, now I have to rely on my daughter J (too many J’s, was a good idea at the time). To my surprise, she is a very aggressive driver. When I ask her why, she said, ‘eat or be eaten’. Wow I don’t even recognise her, I guess that’s what Toronto has done to her.

My plan was to visit at least 6 friends in two days, but I had to beg off, I just could not find the energy to travel around the city. I think next time I’ll arrange for my friends to come to me. J

Still I had a great time with my daughter and granddaughter (AJ) and Jr. (J’s step son). AJ and I had lots of bonding time; she would wake me every morning by poking me in the eye then running away, the little things that make me happy.

On Thursday AJ told me she loves me forever.

I told her I love her forever and a day.

She told me she loved me forever and on Tuesday.

Nice times.

 I took lots of pictures to include in my post but I forgot my memory stick on J’s computer.

On Sunday I had to say goodbye to AJ, she broke my heart by refusing to acknowledge me. She is 2 with a 6 year old vocabulary, going on thirty. I think she was heartbroken also.

J says she has been asking for me.

I need those pictures or Skype.

Oh well back to reality, Calgary. My daughter the raceway driver and I drove away for the airport; my son in law ‘A’ and his neighbour were working on building the fence. ‘A’ is a busy body, always doing something. He and Jo, my wife, would make a great team.  Of course I would be the boss.

Looking at ‘A’ and the neighbour cause me to reflect on ‘my neighbour to the right’. You may recall that he too was working on a fence when I left Calgary. He had not consulted with me like good neighbours do before he stated building the ugly fence on his side of a perfectly nice chain linked fence. Now there are two fences his and ours.

I think I need to take a course in conflict resolution.

When I was a kid in St Kitts I purchased a subscription to the Readers Digest magazine. I would read it from cover to cover but always reading the sections ‘laughter the best medicine’ several times, a source of great wisdom. On my way from Toronto I was thinking about that magazine and how it gave me many hours of pleasure and decided that rather than allow the neighbour to the right ( or anyone else) to bother me and now I have lots of time on my hand, I will deal with my frustrations using humour.

Maybe one day ill send ‘the neighbour to the right’ the link to my blog or not.

The only Kittitian couch potato in Calgary.

When I left TO the temperature was 24C, I got home to 9C, and yesterday it was 4C. And overcast. When will summer be here?.

My neighbours to the right

I gave in and made the trip to Toronto with Jo and daughter and the grand kids. The kids were so excited to go on the plane, when the plane took off Buddy was so excited he stared to laugh. I was totally surprised by his reaction. All was good until the last 45 minutes when Buddy decided that he had enough and started to whine. Baby from hell, my god, if I could I would have left the plane. I felt for the other passengers.

All bad things do come to an end, eventually.

I must tell you, I always say St Kitts is where I tethered my DNA, but now I know for sure that my heart is in two places, St Kitts and Toronto. I have been visiting Toronto a couple times a year since I have been living in Calgary but this is the first trip since last summer.  God I miss this place.

When we got off the plane, the first thing you notice is people everywhere, didn’t mind the crowd; on the highway, so many cars, didn’t mind the organized chaos; people makes left hand turns on red light; who cares I am home.

That was Friday.

On Saturday we sat around at my daughter’s house trying to figure out what to do. So many choices, finally we settled on Centreville on the island. I had not been there in 20 years. The kids were totally excited by all those peoples plus we got to go on a big boat. What a fun day, rides, food and animals. Man I love this place.

On Sunday, its open house, my daughter just moved into her new home and the family came over. We are a nutty family, siblings, children and grandchildren, oh and Bernie, my friend from Calgary. He escaped and moved to Toronto two weeks ago.  Lucky guy, he really likes it here.

My family laughed and laughed while having a beer or two. We reminisce for what seemed like hours, jumbie talk and all. It is amazing how four people grew up in the same house can have such different recollection. It’s all good. Did I mention how much I missed this place?

Today is Monday and we are going to take a breather, so I have time to put my thoughts together. My sons are back home in Calgary, they are not responding to my text messages. I won’t forget.  

So what to write about.

My son in law is building a fence, yesterday he was telling me that the neighbour is not cooperating which got me thinking about my neighbour in Calgary.

 It may not be wise to complain about your neighbours on the internet but I just cannot help myself when it comes to my neighbours ‘to the right’. A couple days after we moved in we met that neighbours ‘to the right’. They were quite friendly.  G and J had been living in their house for a few months before we got here, G the male, was quick to point out to Jo and I that he had a choice of his and our house as they were both for sale at the same time and he choose his because it was nicer and added that if we wanted he would give us a tour of his house.

 OK they are off my list and I remembered thinking, I wish the phone would ring.

He then added that he and his common law wife had been together for 6 years and they had a ‘blended family’.

 Who cares!   The damn phoneeeeeeeeeeeeee, please.

Then J, the female, complained that the previous owners of our house was loud and did not look after their dog.

Uh huh. Had enough of them for one day.

They were very aggressive and pompous.  My son said he thinks G is a bully.

That happened in July of 2005, the rest of the summer was ok but I remember saying to Jo; ‘now that is a couple we would not want to conflict with, we are going to lose’, it was just my instincts. We avoided them, although we were always polite.

G and J had a dog, a very nice docile dog. I believe she was a show dog. Sometimes in the afternoon they would take the dog beyond their fence to community green space for exercise and run free. Two simple rules, dogs had to be on a leash and you have to remove the poop, the community provide poop bags and disposal containers. J would always take a bag for the dog’s poop. After her dog would do its thing she would pretend to look for the poop, of course she never found it. This was a big dog. I would be sitting some 30 feet away and could see it. I have reminded other neighbours of the rule.

I took my advice, would not confront J and hated myself for it.

Then the following summer, they installed a hot tub on their back porch, I’d say 20 feet from my bedroom. I don’t know much about hot tubs but I suspect that this was not a very expensive one, it is awfully noisy. I lost a lot of sleep because of it, have had to change room occasionally to sleep.  I am sure it met city guideline for noise.

I took my advice, did would not confront them and hated myself for it.

In the third summer they installed a water fountain in their garden. Ever listened to water run all night when you can’t sleep? Can be quite annoying, makes you want to pee.

I took my advice, would not confront them and hated myself for it.

Besides what can I do? When you are dealing with unreasonable people you can’t reason with them.

Living next to them is not all bad for me. On the third Christmas Jo burnt the turkey she was cooking. Hahahaha, I hate turkey. I am a chicken man, can eat it every day. To get the smoke out of the house I opened the front door and stood there so no wild animals could enter. Well shortly after J the common law wife of six years comes around the corner of the house in a house coat and slippers:

She asked ‘have you seen my cat?”

Ok I am from Trafalgar, strange images entered my head.  I didn’t know she had a feline pet. As you know there is a great calypso for every occasion.  I can recall a song at will when the situation presents itself.

You may recall from my previous blog that I live a parallel life in my head as a comic. This was one of those times when the comic in me comes alive. I simply could not help myself, at that precise moment I started humming the following song, well not the whole song, didn’t have time.

just a song

I was distracted in that moment, she is standing on my porch in her wardrobe and is looking past me right into my kitchen.  

I replied ‘no, what does it look like?’

It then occurred to me that she might be looking in my kitchen to determine what I was cooking.

She: ‘she is white and a little heavy, she is getting old’.

That did it, more humour.

On cue I changed the tune in my head:

This time I won’t post the song, just a reminder that I am a chicken man.

Me:  ‘not I have not seen your cat’ and slowly closed the door.

I doubt she could tell how much fun I was having.

That was the last time I saw J. I had not seen G either for some time until one nice spring day in April. G was wearing a back brace and a cast on his arm and walking with a limp, quite a scene. Before I could ask about his health, he said all in one sentence:

‘I fell down the stairs, broke my back, J has left me and I am now the principal of my school’

J is the superintendent of the school district. I bet she beat him up. You see how I think? 

At the end of the summer he introduced us to D his new fiancé. They got married shortly after and she brought her two dogs with her and my problems stared.

As you know I am home during the day. The dogs are housed in the garage with a door to a fenced in area outside. Last school year, when the family would leave for school, I think they work together, the male dog sits on a log, about 20 feet from ‘da couch’ and bark sometimes for 2 hours non-stop. He sits on the log because he does not want to sit in his poop. Oftentimes I have to go out for a while. I thought about contacting the bylaw people, but as soon as you play that card it is a crap shoot, he is not a reasonable person.

Anyway, one day several weeks ago I approached G and mention that the dogs bark constantly when he is not home. I figured a different wife, maybe he has mellowed. He took offence and cussed me like he was from The Village. I had not been tongue lashed like that since I asked a neighbour if she was having twins. I was about 10 at the time.

People I walked away with my tail between my legs. I was traumatized for a week. I wanted to apologise for upsetting him.

I did not take my advice; I confronted them and hated myself for it.

I have decided to do some self therapy. I am not a passive person, I know how to stand up for my rights, I also know what happens when you report noisy dogs, mostly nothing. Sometimes they force the owner to remove the dog’s vocal cords, if the dog barks at night.

Oh I was talking about a fence. In the last two weeks he started to build a new fence in front of the old fence. This fence is a few inches above the legal height a fence should be. Normally I would not care. What to do.

 Jo says I have too much time on my hands.

Someone has to be the boss, right?

Last weekend we were inspired to finish the stonework on the front of the house. It was no easy task. Neither Jo nor I had ever done any cement mixing so that was the most difficult part. In the end we had to get our son to do the masonry work because of the height (low), which was really hard on the back. Anyway we are quite happy with the result, what do you think?

It is amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it.

Jo and I make a good team. I have a 5 days ‘let’s sleep on it’ policy as a general rule. Jo has a do it now policy. I would never set out to do carpentry, plumbing, masonry or any of the trade. I am not good with my hands. I have a good mind for planning and supervisory skills.

Somebody has to be the boss, right. 

I remember once when we lived in Toronto we found water leaking in the basement. The house had 3 floors plus the basement, so the water could be coming from anywhere. After careful analysis we decided that the water was leaking from the toilet on the top floor. The other side of the bathroom is a walk in closet, so we agreed to cut a hole in the wall and peek. This would be the easiest solution. You know my 5 days policy. I went to my ‘workshop’ for a ruler, stopped on the way back for a pencil and pad. This was to do the planning prior to my 5 days thinking time.

The leak was a slow leak and as luck would have it the water was running right into a drain in the concrete floor of the basement.

When I got back with my tools, Jo had already punched a huge hole in the gyprock and had her head in the hole looking around for the source of the leak. We were wrong; the pipes were as dry as a bone. We found a pop can in the walls though.

Ok now we have a dilemma, we can punch a hole in the laundry room or the dining room. There are no pipes in the dining room so that leaves the laundry room. We carefully put a hole in the gyprock close to the ceiling of the laundry room, again we found no leaks, but the pipes are wet meaning the leak in above the entry point, yikes.

The only other option was the dining room. The walls in that room had some beautiful decorative ceiling and baseboard mouldings and we did not want to touch them. After some hesitation we made a hole close to the floor baseboard, that way we would cause minimal damage. What bad luck, no leak but the pipes are wet. Finally we did the dreaded thing, we removed most of the gyprock around the pipe and eureka, we found the problem. When the house was built over 50 years ago, a nail use in the wall board had entered the pipe and was now rusted.

It took a while but we manage to repair all the walls carefully and redid the mouldings.

It is amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it.

The only Kittitian Couch potato in Calgary

Takes a whole village to calm me down

Last week I was unable to write and it took me until Sunday to figure out why.

My youngest son is going away and I am not happy about it. There I said it.

I have tried every little trick in the book to get him to stay at home, but he has decided that it’s time to fly the coop. Last year he applied to go to school in Edmonton and BC, but using some well developed tricks that I developed over the years, I was able to get him to stay at home and go to school in Calgary.

Ford makes great cars. The model comes with Bluetooth, Satellite radio and the works.  He even got a trip to Toronto thrown in. It worked.

This year I had nothing to offer and his urge to fly is stronger than my ability to bribe, so in 3 weeks he will be gone to the University of Saskatchewan to continue his Engineering program. Ever been to Saskatoon in the winter time? Me neither, but all reports say it is awfully cold. I gave him a really warm coat, he will need it. Maybe after a year he may decide I am not such a bad roommate, but he will be in for a surprise, we have plans for his room.  Great commercial.

You may recall from an earlier blog that I admitted to being a helicopter parent. I actually followed my kids around like they were royalty, walking a few steps behind them everywhere they went. I also drove them everywhere if required; my minivan had over 500,000km, most soccer runs. I thought I had it all covered, I was able to raise perfect children.

My kids are adults now and they are beginning to tell me stories about life as teenagers. How could I have missed so much, I get embarrassed and total surprised by their stories, I am not able to write about them so I won’t.  I didn’t give my kids an allowance, there was no need, they had no place to spend money plus I pretty much gave them everything they needed or so I thought.

Jo stayed home for three months when J2 was born. The first day back to work she committed the cardinal sin; she called the sitter to see how things were going. It turned out to be a pivotal moment in our lives.

Starting the next day after that call, Jo stayed with the kids for several years as D and E came along. When we got totally broke Jo had to go back to work and we hired a live in nanny for a couple of years.  She moved out as the kids got older and we hired another nanny to come in everyday and mind the kids.  Eventually we did not need her, the little one was now in school full days which coincided nicely with me losing my job, no I did not purposely lose it, so guess what, I stayed ‘home’ for about 4 years.

 I actually started my own home based software company, working when the kids were in school.

The last 3 kids went to a French Catholic School where the students are bussed. The bus picked them up in front the house and dropped them off in front of the house; they had no time to get in trouble.  One by one they went off to high school and had to take public transportation. At first I drove but then it became impossible.

Then I lost control.

I avoid talking to my daughters about their teenage years after all they were angels and Ill like to keep it that way.  My boys on the other hand have stories that I still don’t know how it was possible for them to have actually done the things they talk about.

As it turned out we were justified in our parenting style, we could not leave them alone.

So you ask yourself, how did I get this way?

Growing up in St Kitts the whole village raised you. My dad was very strict so to do anything I had to be sneaky.  For the most part the kids I grew up with had a lot more freedom than me to move around so to fit in I had to be very creative.

Unlike my kids I had to work really hard with my dad.  If I was to list my chores you would feel sorry for me, but don’t, I devised ways to go out and have fun like my friends.

I recalled having to sneak away from the house to go to the local beach, which was just a couple hundred yards away.  It was easy though, didn’t need much, we swan naked.  A day at the beach would start as the sun got over the trees and the sand would warm up.  For the most part the bathers were local folks, totally safe, but sometimes we would get visitors from far away, like St Johnston village, 1KM away.  Ah ah.

Occasionally my dad would show up to get us and we would scramble up the hill behind the trees lining the bay, which would take us close to the cane field. I think that would be Buckley’s cane field. The trick was to race home and get there before he did and pretend to be working. I actually did it once naked. Piece of cake.

As we got older, we became more innovative in avoiding our dad.  My weekend chores included cleaning the back yard, feeding the birds, harvesting the birds. The cleaning part was my least favourite job so it required me to be ingenious.  It was very difficult to get away on a Saturday morning.  I hated Saturdays.  My dad kept a tight rein on us.  But I was able to escape.

As I got older my weekend job expanded to bottling ‘duke’ (like a brandy) and wines, sweet oil (cooking oil) and filling canisters (bottles and lamps) with kerosene. My dad would import barrels of alcohol and other goods and bottle for sale.  I would occasionally have a taste of the alcohol; hey I was a kid.  That job was ok except it took away from my play time.   Again I devised ways to ‘run’ away and have fun.

There was a downside to running off to early, you could not return home for hours sometimes, until my dad took his afternoon nap. Also my teenage years night time jaunts presented some unique challenges. There were quite a few of us sneaking out and we only had one house key.

I was the master of escape. I bet you are wondering what my escape techniques involved. Another time. All these years I was certain my dad knew what I was up to.

Was I a fool to think my kids would be different?  Yes I was, they weren’t.

Oh well, you go when you got to go; I left home before I was his age. Hmmmmm. I feel better.

The only Kittitian couch potato in Calgary.

PS. I just made up a song, when you read this if you can hum the tune from the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, it would help with the imagery.

I was a bad ass, my baby sister called my TonTon, the rest of the family and my friends called me Macaroni, my enemies call me Redman or Cheche. I walked with a stick. Whenever I was challenged I would back up a couple steps and draw a line to indicate my badness, cross it and we fight. Never lost a fight. Hahahaahaha.

The real reason behind the line was to give me a good running start.

Actually it is a rap.

I bet my sons can’t top that.

You win some and lose some

Last week Jo and I had been struggling with the idea of driving to Vancouver BC for a holiday and to visit my sister who is visiting from England. The drive through the Rocky Mountains is absolutely breathtaking and I was hoping to share the scenery with you. I have been procrastinating at buying a new camera and the trip would have been a good justification.

I am not cheap; I am just so bad at photography, not sure if it’s worth the money.

I remember a few years ago I took my brother to Niagara Falls, every visitor to Ontario goes there; anyway he gave me his fancy camera and asked me to take a picture of him. He kept saying, ‘turn it around, turn it around’, I didn’t understand, took a picture of my face. I just didn’t get it until 2 years ago when I started filming my garden. Now there are so many things I want to film, for example the aerial acrobatics by the sparrows in pursuit of the mosquitoes. This show takes place in my backyard daily.

Regarding the trip to Vancouver, we had to make a decision by last Wednesday if we wanted to go; the drive which is approximately 11 hrs each way, takes some planning. The decision was dependant on the Calgary weather forecast for last weekend.

You may recall a few weeks ago Jo and I started a project on our front veranda which involved mounting some stones on the front of the house. You may also recall this started out as a strip and repaint project.

 We purchased the stones which had to come all the way from Burnaby BC, not sure why, Alberta is full of rocks. It is amazing how just about every car in Calgary has rock chipped windows. I quit counting the nicks in my windshield. I’ll wait until it gets really bad and replace it.

I just got distracted again, I am suppose to be writing about my veranda; see what happens when you are a couch potato?

OK, I received a call last Wednesday from Home Depot informing me that the rocks had arrived. I went with my son and got them. Nice rocks.

We had some great news; the weather woman says we should be expecting awesome weather for the weekend so we decided to finish the veranda project instead of going on the trip. That was Wednesday, on Thursday the weather woman changed her mind. The weekend is going be a hodgepodge of conditions; rain, wind, hail, and tornado. 

She was right, hated saying that, anyway, we had it all even a tornado just a few kilometres north of Calgary.  Typical, wait five minutes before you answer if someone asks you, ‘how is the Calgary weather’, it may change?

Saturday the sun came out and we decided to go on with the project, we only have a couple more weekends before Jo takes off to the east for her annual escape from us thingy. Yeah she takes off every year and she always asks me if I want to go, she knows I am going to say no, just tricks. I am on to her though.

So off we go to the Home Depot.

We bought the materials that the instruction sheet recommended, vapour paper, wire mesh, type S cement, sand, trowels, nails and bonding compound. May add something else, there is always something else. The week before we had framed the area with weather treated plywood. I bet you are thinking, man they sound professional. The salesman told us that it would be a breeze.

Let the games begin.

It took us about ½ hr to figure out which side of the vapour paper to turn inside. Well we decided that it did not matter, in 5 years we won’t be in this house. Do you know that every year of the 25 years we lived in our house in Toronto we always planned to move? We didn’t have the energy to follow through. Kids.

So up goes the paper, so far so good. Now the mesh, first we put on our gloves and had a heated discussion about which one of us was more safety aware. She won, actually I gave in.

Jo 1: Tony 0.

We installed one section of the wire, then Jo remembered that the instructions said to install with the ‘small diamonds up’. We looked at the wire for sometime before we decided we could not tell when the wire is mounted which way is up, so we ripped it off for inspection. That took 15 minutes; we remounted as it was previously.

At this point we realized we did not buy enough mesh, so off I go to Home Depot. I picked up the mesh headed for the cash register when I realize that I did not have my wallet. I had to put the mesh back, returned home and did it all over. So frustrating.

We started the process around 9am now it is now about 10:30.

Vapour Paper up. Check.

Mesh up. Check.

All is well.

At this point we are ready to have a party, the salesman was right, piece of cake, oops a breeze.

Now we have to apply the scratch coat of concrete. I got my wheel barrow, added come cement, some water and mixed and mixed. I am looking like a pro. When we thought we had it right, my son tried to apply it. Nope, it cement fell off the wall, added some more cement, nope, more water, nope, more, more, more. When I was a kid I saw my dad built two houses using concrete and I watched, how hard can it be?

An hour went by. Grrrrr.

You know when you are cooking and you do a taste test and add a pinch of this or a pinch of that until you get the taste right? Well it was like that. Finally we decided that we were never going to get it right so we started over. Half bag of cement gone.

This time we followed the instructions.

It would be about now that my dad would hit me upside the head. Some things you never learn.

It worked, up goes the cement, totally awesome. It’s now 2pm and we were tired. My neighbour had come by earlier, had seen us struggling and made us some food. We had a Corona, tuna sandwiches with some fixings, mine without onions, I hate raw onions. We were quite grateful.

The forecast called for lots of rain on Sunday, fine with me, I needed a day to recover and do some serious thinking on my couch. We looked at a couple of movies. Bed time; you know when you are tired and going to bed you can literally anticipate the total body rest you are about to experience?

I didn’t have that experience.

 Jo: ‘tomorrow you take the first floor and I’ll take the second’

Me: ‘where are we taking them?’

Jo: ‘the one that finish cleaning first helps the other’.

I am too tired to fight. Jo two: Tony zero.

We got up at 8am had breakfast and started to clean as it rained and rained. Around 1pm the clouds disappeared, the sun suddenly appeared and we hummed and hawed about finishing the project. We went for it.

Before you mount the stones, it is recommended that they are laid out on the ground as you would place them on the wall. That took about an hour. Jo is the artist. As you know art is subjective, I took a walk.

We started to mix the cement, this time we had to add sand and the bonding compound, two new ingredients; mixing, cooking, more ingredients, tasting, more, more, more. We were at it until 5pm, Home Depot was closed, and we just could not get it to work. We ditched the cement, at this point Jo was so peeved she quit; we moved the stones back to the garage, meaning we have to lay them out again; she took a bath and went to bed.

Haha da Couch.

I could not relax, so I went for more punishment. I mixed a few small batches and with a help from another neighbour got a small stone to stay on the wall. Eureka. By this time it was too late to continue, so I cleaned up. I am thinking. Jo two: Tony 1.

Man I so miss the couch.

Monday, Civic holiday, time to finish this baby; Jo laid out the stones again, this time in the garage, just in case and it went really quickly. After some painful false starts, cement mixing is definitely an art; we got the stones to stay on the wall. We only did half of the area. We were too tired to continue and the rain was on the way, so we quit. We will finish next weekend.

I could hardly move. I made a deal with Jo, she gives me a massage and then I return the favour. She did but I am too tired to return the favour. See how sneaky I am?

Oh Yea

Jo two: Tony two.

Damn I’m getting wordy.

Next week a new set of rules for engagement. I wonder if she keeps score also.

The only Kittitian couch potato in Calgary

Reflection is sometimes a good thing

Just over a year ago my son’s girl freind encouraged me to join Facebook. I asked her what would I do with it, never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined the old friends and family in far places I have been able to reconnect with. Absolutely amazing. Thanks

After I joined FB I started writing silly things daily, here is a sample.

Oct 29/09

On my 15 minutes walk to work I pass a lot of homeless people. The area is pretty dark also. This morning the regular homeless resident in an Antique store doorway was missing. On the ground beside the doorway were 2 loonies ($2), I picked them up. My first thought? Remember that kid in Mary Poppins who refuse to give his pennies to the bank? What a dilemma, probably have to go to confession, oops I am Methodist.

Oct 30/09

This morning at 5:30 am as usual I let the dog out in the back yard. Today she just sat on the ground and looked at me with a confused look on her face and would not move. After 5 minutes I let her back in and she went to her bed. I went to the kitchen and saw a note from Jo who had left earlier to go to the gym, ‘I let the dog out’. You know what I was thinking when I stood looking at the dog? What a stupid dog, I wonder what she was thinking about me.

Nov 4/09

I don’t use an alarm to wake up generally, when Jo is home she does but I am always awake when the alarm goes off at 5:30. Well Jo is away. This morning I got up, took a shower, got dressed, ate, took the dog out (got that yesterday look from the dog again), then looked at the clock. Its 4:30am. And I am thinking, ‘I wonder if the dog knew that?’

Nov 2/09

I bought some new shirts and decided to try one this morning. I have new clothes that I never wear because I like the feel of my old clothes.  Got to work reached into my backpack, retrieved my security badge open the door, go to put my badge into my shirt pocket, there is no pocket and I am thinking what kind of wuss makes a shirt without a pocket.

Nov 3/09

As I stand in line at Timmy waiting for my morning poison I am thinking, if I were to quit coffee, ‘what can I do with the $5 I spend here every day?

Nov 9/9

Remember a few weeks ago I found some money, 2.50$, in front of the antique store doorway where this homeless guy sleeps? I have been walking around with this money for 2/ 3 weeks now and I want to give it back. Here is what I am thinking, because I pass the same people daily, ‘if I were to select someone and give him the money do I now become a target for the beggers?

Nov 10/09

Ok decision made the $2.50 I found goes to Sally Ann, I encourage all to do the same this holiday season. What am I thinking, ‘it feels good to give’

Just a note. I met this homeless lady this morning and we sat talking about her life. Out of respect to her (Gwen) I won’t repeat what she told me but it gives me some new fresh perspective on the homeless.

Nov /11/09

hmmm, I think I missed the memo. I just started this job in January so I can be excused fro not knowing that no one works on Remembrance day. It is not an official holiday for the employees, but we have floating days which you can use for days like this. Yes I am probably the only one in the building, 17 floors, oh well….So what am I thinking? ‘Where am I going to find coffee?’

Dec 1/09

My beef today. I have been watching this building being constructed for over 2 years now and I am just beginning to feel the impact of the structure which is just across the street outside my office window. It will block the sun completely when it is finished. Calgary is so far north, (about 6 hrs drive to the US border…), and the sun’s angle is quite low in the winter months. I may have to find a new job south of that building maybe in St Kitts

Dec 2/09

Ok now its cold, -14°C, not much of a wind except when you get on the bridge to cross the river. The sidewalk is pure ice. We had such a great November I forgot how cold it gets. I have to rethink my daily 2km trek.