Holidaze…

Hello my name is Linda and I HAVE WAY TOO MUCH STUFF!!!

I took the week off as a “stay-cation” in hopes to get some much needed organizing done in my home but the week seems to have just zoomed by.  I’ve had a lot of fun and strangely I’ve done more cooking than anything else.  I have started the household re-org (which explains the random shelving unit in the middle of my living room…) but really need to get a move on if I expect to have it done by the end of day Sunday.

Now that I have a decent camera I’ve decided to try selling some of my things on eBay to make some extra money.  I’m attempting to organize things into sell, donate and toss piles but I’m completely overwhelmed.  I’m by no means a hoarder but I feel like I’ve seriously lost control.  My dream would be to have someone come in and do this all for me – where’s that Peter Walsh dude when I need him??

In addition to the pain of merely organizing all of my crap, I’ve had to contend with a crazy puppy weaving in and out around my ankles and trying to chew on everything in the room.  Felix was completely out of hand this week, especially his peeing in the house, so he ended up in doggy jail for a couple of days.  This was by no means a maximum security incarceration, more of a Conrad Black or Martha Stewart level of punishment.  In other words he was confined to the downstairs bathroom with all of his toys but without me.

I have 50 gajillion things left to do and only 3 days and 2 arms to do them with (PLUS houseguests on the weekend!).  Pray for me.  Nah never mind praying for me, pray for Peter Walsh to magically appear at my door, because I’m going to need all the help I can get!!

Time to pull out the big guns baby!

February has been really difficult.  In spite of it’s status as the shortest month this little guy has really been giving me an ass kicking thus far.  (Although in defense of poor February, who I thought of quite fondly up until this year, I think that any month that starts with a drop kick to the heart wouldn’t be my favourite no matter the number of days…)

Today in particular sucked.  It sucked initially merely because it was Thursday and not Saturday.  I woke up this morning elated that it was Saturday and I could sleep in (um, not so much).  I got to work and my laptop is completely dead (scary black screen of doom).  Throughtout the day I didn’t leave the office for a minute I was so busy  and now we are in the middle of an insane blizzard.  I’d call a do-over if it didn’t mean extending an already looooooong week…

In honour of my craptastic start to the day I decided I needed to pull out the big guns.  Nothing in the world makes me happier than these boots.  OK well admittedly there are many things that make me happier than these boots, but I wasn’t wearing any of them on my feet today.

Oh hello lovelies…

Fluevog Operetta Maria in cherry red *sigh*

 And now for a close-up…

Fluevog Operetta Maria detail

Seriously, who could be depressed in these boots?  I mean the sole itself says “your love makes me sing” on the bottom.  Who could ask for more?  They are like instant happiness, a big fat dose of amor, a smile for my heart and damn they are comfortable.  When the day is awful and things need to change, nothing beats these show stoppers!!!

Tomorrow is Friday and then I’m on holidays.  I am ever so grateful that I have enough Fluevogs to carry me through the next 24 hours..

Catsup, ketchup, catch-up, whatevs…

Although I’ve been creative with my footwear and taking lots of photos, I have yet to post them.  Today therefore I must play catch-up, so here goes!

Last week I decided to stop my frozen toe pity party and bring on the Fluevogs.  I had been resorting to thermal socks inside my Aldo boots indoors because my office is extremely cold in the winter when it’s in the double digits below zero celsius.  This past week we’ve had a break in the weather, at times hitting above zero celsius (egads!) so I cracked open the Vog vault and let some out to play.

Friday featured the Fluevog Mini Lily Darling in black and white.  I bought these off eBay quite a few years ago.  They are one of the workhorses of my Vog collection.  Not the ugly step sister my any means, but comfortable, practical and not as showy as some of her sisters.

Fluevog Mini Lily Darlings

Look at me hard at work!  This photo in my office shows me I should perhaps indulge in some filing sometime soon and empty my recycling box (who knew I ate so much Activia yogurt?? Not me!).

In spite of the fact my Mini Lily Darlings are more function that flamboyance, I still adore the crazy heel, the white piping and the stitching detail.  They are my go-to shoes when I want to be quietly subversive…

Mini Lily Darling detail

My weekend was again filled with a whirlwind of heinous Birkenstocks and shearling boots with a brief appearance by my Aldo Jezeks when I went out for lunch with my friend D on Saturday.  I must add that the fantastic coat also made an appearance at that same lunch and was christened “stunning” by my ever fashionable friend D.

On Valentine’s Day Monday I took a holiday day from work and took Lewis to the vet.  He hadn’t eaten anything since Friday morning and when he rolled over on Sunday evening I saw his entire belly was fuchsia under his fur (which in my experience is a somewhat unnatural colour for a dog’s skin) so it was off to the vet first thing Monday morning.  After spending a gazillion dollars he was diagnosed with an allergic reaction and given an antihistamine.  Evidently he hasn’t been eating because he’s “depressed”… which is apparently contagious as I am now also depressed after paying the enormous vet bill.

Poor depressed fuchsia Lew at the vet 😦

We followed up the vet appointment with a romp through the dog park.  Because of the unseasonably warm temperature I pulled out my fancy rubber boots which are black with red maple leaves all over them.  I meant to take a photo but I forgot until the end of the walk and by that time there was a little too much “dog park” all over them to be presentable.  I promise a photo at a later date after a bit of a hose off.

Tuesday I broke out a second pair of Vogs in honour of the continued amazing weather and my fabulous coat.  I decided to go with the second workhorse from my Fluevog collection the Operetta Malibran in green.  I love the Operetta toe shape and heel height – like the Mini’s they feel like they are made for my feet. 

Fluevog Operetta Malibrans in green

My Operetta Malibrans are a bit different from most of the pictures I have found online as mine have grey rather than tan piping.  I like to pair them with my favourite grey patterned tights to highlight the piping.

Fluevog Operetta Malibrans, bottom of "stunning" coat and Felix

Please excuse the gratuitous puppy in the photo – I had to take the picture when I got home and this was the only one where he wasn’t actually completely blocking the shoes in a frantic attempt to eat the “stunning” coat!

CBC Canada Reads and a confession…

OK so in the “About Me” section I admitted I read, but I didn’t really come clean about my extreme voracious reading syndrome.  Oh how I adore reading!!  As a consequence my second favourite time of year is the CBC Canada Reads debates.  (The first being May 15th International Fluevog Day, naturally.)

For those of you who aren’t in the know, Canada Reads is CBC Radio’s annual battle of the books, where five Canadian personalities select the book they think Canadians should read.  Each personality selects a book to defend and the books are eliminated one by one until a winner is declared.  The debates air on CBC Radio One.  This year the contenders were:

Debbie Travis, defending The Birth House by Ami McKay

Ali Velshi, defending The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis

Georges Laraque, defending The Bone Cage by Angie Abdou

Lorne Cardinal, defending Unless by Carol Shields

Sara Quin, defending Essex County by Jeff Lemire

OK so here’s where I admit my super nerdiness and my chronic extreme voracious reading syndrome.  Each year as soon as the Canada Reads book list comes out I spring into action and order them all from my local library.  I try to read as many of the books before the beginning of the debates and then spend the whole week glued to the radio cheering for the book I most enjoyed.

I managed to get all but Essex County from the library before the debates.  I read Unless (loved it), The Birth House (liked it), part of The Bone Cage (blech, couldn’t get through it) and am currently working on The Best Laid Plans (love, love, love it thus far).  I threw my weight behind Unless by Carol Shields because it is an amazing read and I adore it’s defender Lorne Cardinal (we’re Facebook friends!!).

Unfortunately Unless didn’t win in spite of Lorne’s eloquent defence, and The Best Laid Plans took the contest.  I’m about 1/3 of the way through that book and I’m really enjoying it.  I’m not sure it’s for everyone, but as a good portion of the Canadian public really enjoys political humour (which totally explains my not-so-secret crush on Rick Mercer…) I think it’s worth your time to give it a go.

Now it’s confession time.  I bought something yesterday.  I know, I know I’m supposed to be on the GAAD and it was only February 8th and I’d gone and blown the pledge already.  In my defense though I wasn’t actually shopping or planning to shop and it wasn’t emotional shopping because I was feeling bad and needed a pick up.  It was merely a matter of requiting love.

I have been walking past this particular store for months now and they had a coat in their window that I came to adore with all my heart.  This particular store specializes in Aboriginal style clothing and accessories, by which I mean beaded items, moccasins, etc and is VERY expensive, so I lusted in private but never thought it would be mine (much the same feeling as I have about Rick Mercer, and strangely LL Cool J).  Well after my fantastic laughs with my old friends yesterday I again walked by the store and thought I’d throw caution to the wind and go inside and see how much it was. (Do you see that red flashing light??  Well I was ignoring it…)

To make an inordinately long story even longer, there was only one (and they only ever ordered one), it was beautiful, it was my size, it fit perfect, it was 50% off (still expensive mind you) and they gave me an extra 10% off it I was attending the convention at the attached hotel (and if by attending they meant walking by from the parking lot to my office then yes I was!).

I decided to give it to myself for my birthday this year which is not until next month so I won’t be wearing it or posting any pictures  of it before that time… OK maybe I’ll wear it if it warms up enough to wear it… oh look at that, the forecast calls for 0C on Saturday and +3C on Sunday… again there’s that annoying red flashing light… probably best just to ignore it…

Home is where the heart is!

This post has nothing to do with my footwear or my dogs, and everything to do with a chance meeting with old friends.  I had a doctor’s appointment today for which I allotted copious amounts of time.  Don’t get me wrong, I adore me my socialized medicine, but really this scheduling of patients nonsense needs a huge overhaul!  Today however, unlike a typical appointment where I wait for an eternity, I was in and out of the doctor’s office in less than 15 minutes.  Yes folks, it was a miracle, truly a miracle.

I had arranged to meet my sis for lunch as she works at the hospital next door to the clinic where I had my appointment.  My aforementioned appointment miracle meant that I was almost an hour early so I thought I’d head into the hospital and wander about.  As I meandered through the front hallway towards the inevitable hospital craft sale, wondering how on earth I’d kill so much time (there were only 4 stalls for crying out loud!) I happened upon not one, but two of my childhood friends (one of whom I had connected with on Facebook but I hadn’t seen in person in over 3 decades!!)!

Lots of hugging ensued and we all decided a coffee was in order to celebrate this fortuitous random encounter.  Two hours and lots of laughs later I left the hospital with a huge smile and a warm heart.  One of the things I love most about living back in my home town is that it allows for this random (and oh so lovely and soul uplifting!) event to occur.  And even though my heart no less broken than yesterday, it helps to know there are others around who are willing to hold it together with me while it mends.

What a difference a week makes.

OK so last weekend was MUCH better than this weekend, in spite of fact the Packers won the Super Bowl (woot, woot!).  I tried to make the best of it by keeping busy and spending a lot of quality time with the dogs but it still kind of sucked…

Because I didn’t really leave the house a great deal, my footwear for the weekend fell basically into 2 categories:

1. Horrendous Birkenstock clogs bought by accident a few years ago – comfy as hell but heinous in appearance.  Let’s face it, they pretty much suck the sexy right out of the room.

Similar to mine but mine were originally pink and patterned and are now dyed black

2. Black shearling boots – somewhat like UGGs but made in Canada with a grippier sole.  No need for a photo as I’m sure you’re more than familiar with the UGG style of boot.

I did manage to bust out my trusty Aldo Jezek’s for a trip to the local casino where my Dad and I hit the buffet for dinner Saturday night.  (Thus providing an glaring example of why last weekend was so much better than this one.  Last weekend romantic dinner, this weekend casino buffet with Dad.  ‘Nuff said.)

Friday I’m in love…and National Wear Red Day to promote Heart Health for Women

Ah Robert Smith, you certainly know the way to a girl’s heart.  After a long tough week there’s nothing I love more than Friday!!  

I didn’t take a picture of my boots today mainly because the temperature rose to +3C and my boots were dirty by the time I got to my bus stop (and I had just polished them – arg!!).  So a product shot will have to do. 

Aldo Jezek

So this is what my black boots from Aldo look like when they are clean and not attached to my feet.

February 4, 2011 is National Wear Red Day to promote Heart Health for Women.  I had actually planned to wear my red Fluevog Operetta Maria boots as my red item, but with all of the slush they didn’t even make it out of their protective storage bag!  I adore my Operetta Maria boots so much I often hesitate to wear them because I am terrified of something happening to them.  They are a delicious candy apple red and a perfect heel height… sigh, but I didn’t get to wear them today.

Blah, blah, blah boots, now let’s get back to the more important issue of heart health.  Please consider the following facts:  
• Women are more likely than men to die of a heart attack or stroke.
• Women are ten times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than from any other disease.
• Women are six times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than from breast cancer. Cardiovascular disease kills more women 65 years of age and older than all cancers combined.
• One in eight women between the ages of 45 and 64 lives with cardiovascular disease.
• One in four women over 65 lives with some form of cardiovascular disease.

Now I realize that there are various hereditary causes of heart disease, however there  some factors we can control to prevent heart disease:
• Stop smoking or being exposed to second hand smoke
• Stop eating high-fat foods (fried foods, luncheon meats, high-fat dairy products, etc.)
• Start eating more high-fibre foods (whole grains or cereals)
• Exercise more than four times a week
• Reduce your weight
• Reduce stress

So today I wore red in memory of my Mom who passed away from a heart attack in Oct. 2007, Mrs. L, beloved mother of my friend Krishna who had a heart attack and bypass surgery this week and my colleague Laurel who had a heart attack and bypass surgery last week.  Please repost any and all of this information as I’m hoping every women has the opportunity to learn about the risks.  My colleague who had the heart attack last week is in her early 50’s.  This isn’t our grandma’s disease anymore ladies, it can be right around the corner unless we take care of ourselves.