For the love of everything sacred, not again….

I’ve been pondering my head lately.

Having had three (that I know of) concussions, I thought their stories might be worth sharing. The first was in land, far, far away. Well, actually it’s only an hour from me…. but I digress.

When I was 12, I was an avid horsewoman(horsechild?!?). Like most girls, I loved horses and begged my parents for riding lessons. For my eighth birthday, success!!! I was not a girly girl. I didn’t want “equestrian” lessons and had no desire, whatsoever, to ever use the word jodhpurs, let alone wear them. I wanted to ride western. I wanted to be a cowgirl. I was a natural, I was told, and after my ten lessons were up, I pondered my future in the world. Luckily, my mum bonded with the family who owned the ranch in question, and they agreed that if I wanted to help out around the ranch, I could continue lessons for free. I mucked out stalls, cleaned bridles, fixed saddles, and shovelled more shit than any other kid I knew. And I grew up in the country! Fast forward four years later, and I was still there. I was now a terribly experienced horsewoman (oh hell yes) to the point that I was now officially a trail guide. That meant that I was considered more experienced than any of the people wanting to rent the horses and go for a trail ride. Every ride had to have a guide.

This pissed off a number of adults, but it was quite entertaining the number of times I had to come to the rescue, at the tender age of 12. And I garnered a fair amount of respect the day that one of the bitchy horses (I still remember her name. Colby.) turned around and bit my leg instead of the horse I was riding. As big, strong, adults pried her teeth from my 12-year-old leg, with me cursing instead of crying, they stopped questioning if I was up to the task. In that time, I was pretty impressed with myself in general, because at 12, I had a regular paycheque. I was also pretty proud of the fact that, since I was responsible enough to take care of the urban adventurers, I was also responsible enough to go out alone. *insert dramatic music here*

It was a beautiful day. I was riding one of my favourite horses, named Sundance. He was a strawberry roan, so pretty, with a wonderful personality, and jeepers – could that horse run. 🙂 We weren’t even 1/4 of the way around the trail when it happened. A bee got caught underneath his saddle pad. I didn’t last long on his back. I was bucked off, got my foot caught in the stirrup, and was dragged for some distance until I was dislodged on a pile of rocks. That’s pretty much all I remember. Apparently, the alarm was raised back on the ranch when Sundance returned, sans rider. A search party was mustered, and apparently I came to half-way back. The owner sent my mum off to the hospital with me, with her promise that she would bring me back. I was, quite literally, going to have to get back in the saddle that same day.

I returned – victorious from the hospital – bruised, concussed, and still bleeding a little, but ready to get back onto a horse. They put me on Tag. She was 29 years old. Safest horse on the ranch, I was assured. No problem. I was 12, but I was stubborn and tough. We got 3/4 around the trail when we approached the back of what was then known as Bell Northern Research. It’s a nice part of the trail, a good open spot to run, with a forest up ahead to slow down and cool down through. On the other side of the fence was a baseball diamond that the BNR employees used to play softball. There was a jovial game going on that day. A few smiled and waved at us on the horses. And then it happened. No one expected a home run. The ball actually hit my horse on the ass.

Have you ever seen a 29 year old horse panic? I have. She tore across the field at a speed that only racehorses might be able to muster. Did the forest stop her? No. Did she follow the path? No. She found the path of most resistance, which included a number of buckthorn trees. If you’ve never seen a buckthorn tree close up, they have thorns on them that can reach 4 inches in length, and are strong enough that they can pierce a car tire if run over at just the right angle.

20 minutes later, I returned to the ranch, still concussed, still bruised, and now bleeding profusely from so many wounds that it would have been counterproductive to even count. The owner’s daughter had been my companion through this romp through hell and attempted to explain my condition. The owner shook his head, looked at my mother and was about to speak when I slid, bloodily off my horse, and promised to return the next day, so long as he didn’t send me out a third time.

For the record, I was back the next day…

The set up…

There are few things worse than online dating… one is definitely the set-up. Especially when the set-up is by someone who hardly knows you.

“He’s awesome!”, “So thoughtful!” and “Such a nice man.” were terms thrown about by someone who is a friend of a friend. I’d been single for about eight years, borderline given up on online dating, so I thought “why not?”. hahahahahahahahah

I met this man at a local restaurant. My first impression was hair that hadn’t been washed in about four weeks, a turtleneck sweater that had stains on the neck and the arms, and his pants were pulled half-way up to his chest like an 80 year-old man. I smiled sweetly, and sat down.

Over the course of one glass of wine, I learned that this man wasn’t a friend of a friend, in fact, he was her best customer at the restaurant that she worked at – because he ate there every day! He was two years older than me. Not bad… He lived in his parents’ basement until he was almost 40 but it was time to move out. So he moved in with his brother. That turned sour when his brother actually met a living, breathing woman, and turfed him out after they got married. Where did he return? To his parents’ basement. I see a theme here. Apparently his mother wasn’t well. That would explain the stained and ripped clothing he wore for our first date.

Did we go out again? Um… no.

I don’t have children and I’m not about to adopt ones older than me…

Run away, run away!!!

Can you guess which one is not like the other?

Speaking of the joy and bliss of online dating, another story just occurred to me.

I met another fellow once… He was very nice, very down to earth, very gentlemanly. We went out a couple of times, actually. He held the door open for me, he bought me dinner, and he admired my shoes. On the third date, he invited me over to cook me dinner. “That’s a nice gesture.” I thought to myself. And how nice to find a man who can cook. That was rare, back in the day.

As the evening progressed, he got more chatty and decided that the night was ripe for honesty. So he showed me his closet. The man had spent more money on women’s clothing than I did. Granted, he was about 6’2″ so I would imagine his clothing came from a far more expensive “big girl” store… This also actually explained a lot. He had fingernails that went significantly father than beyond the tips of his fingers on both hands, and they were disturbingly manicured.

The other interesting revelation was that apparently after our first date, he had followed me through a mall one day, dressed as his alternate persona. How I missed the ginormous woman following me is beyond me. I must have been really focussed that day.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against anyone who likes to explore different avenues, but as he eyed the sweater I was wearing, all I could imagine was how stretched out it would be if he borrowed it…

Why online dating sucks

When I was younger, I was convinced that online dating was the way to go. I’m not one for bars, and I’m really more of a homebody than anything. At the time, I lived alone and worked from home – spending 24/7 within the same walls does not facilitate a fabulous romance. And, there weren’t usually a lot of eligible bachelors hanging around on the street, waiting for me to check my mailbox.

I had been on one unnamed website (Lavalife) for a while, when I started chatting with an interesting gentleman. He said he was 42, of average build and 5’8″. Now, to put things into perspective, I was 35, 5’3″ and perhaps a bit above average, but not too much so. When we did actually meet, it turned out he was 52, shorter then me and was so round he reminded me of a garden gnome. To make matters worse, he had a daughter only two years younger than me. We spent the entire dinner with him talking about his daughter, and me talking about my dad. Creeeeeepyyyy. Needless to say, neither one of us contacted each other again.

But the question still remains in my head… Why would you lie to someone about your age, height and weight if those are the first three things people are going to see? If you’re going to lie about the blatantly obvious, what else would you lie about?

I AM THE WEASEL QUEEN!!!!

I have an old house, in fact, it’s over 130 years old. Obviously, it’s old-school construction. It’s triple brick with very little insulation, for the most part just air in between the layers of brick (which is fantastic during Canadian winters – NOT!). The inside walls are lathe and plaster and there is usually just enough room for mice to traverse the walls and chew on the lathe – most often at night. Near my head. When I’m trying to sleep. I also have six cats. Two of them are intrepid enough hunters but they are clearly not earning their keep. They lie there, staring at the walls with great fascination, yet the mice remain elusive. As I type this, I have one cat sitting on the arm of the sofa staring into a corner. There’s nothing there.

For the past couple of weeks, at least four of my cats have been gathering in my bathroom, staring under the cabinet under the sink. It’s unnerving because they’ll sit there for hours. Then I started hearing scrabbling from the basement and it was definitely something bigger than a mouse. Before the snow fell I had seen three rats in my backyard, nibbling up excess birdseed. I suspect they came from an abandoned building across the road and high-tailed it over when the food ran out and they discovered a fanatic backyard bird lady in the neighbourhood. But I was terrified that they were in my basement. “How on earth would they have gotten into the basement?” you might be asking. Well, being an old house, there is no sump pump. Instead, I have a drain hole out the back of my house for flooding purposes. I had stuffed steel wool in it, to allow for water flow but reduce critter access, but I began to question it’s effectiveness. The scrabbling continued, so off to the recesses of the basement we go. Not only was the steel wool no longer in place, but it had been pushed about two feet away from the hole. AND a tunnel had been dug above it, through the foundation of my house!!! “THOSE RAT BASTARDS!!!” I exclaimed, noting the pun, which wasn’t intended, but darned funny in hindsight. I plugged up the hole(s) again and vowed to buy traps over the weekend.

Two hours later I heard scrabbling like nothing I’d ever heard before. It sounded like a grizzly bear was running across my furnace vents. No exaggeration, of course. Armed with my flashlight, I ventured into the depths of the basement in time to see the most beautiful ermine running into the depths of the house. It was in its winter colours, pure white with a black tipped tail. All rage turned into one giant “Awwwwwwwwww, it’s so pretty!!!”

So traps are out of the question and I’m now trying to figure out how I can catch this beautiful creature, tame it, and make it my bestest friend. Because who wouldn’t love to see this face every day…

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I decided to check with my local wildlife rescue/sanctuary place as to what might be my best course of action. Apparently, so long as the ermine have easy access in and outside, they will move into a home, eat every mouse and rat in the vicinity (yay ermine!!!) and move on to another food source when it has depleted its food source. Secondly, they won’t attack my cats because the cats are huge (and why tangle with something so huge for no reason) so it will probably stick to my basement and inside my walls, and will move on when it’s bored, hungry or both.

That being said, I unplugged the holes again and I shall allow her (for I’ve named the ermine Ermiony) safe passage through my home. Eat well my dear and enjoy your stay!

P.S. I have discovered a second tunnel. I don’t know whether or not I have an “emergency exit conscious” ermine, or maybe a pair. Wouldn’t it be fun to have an Ermiony and Herman the Ermine?

Death before public speaking

Someone told me yesterday that public speaking is the number one phobia in the world. Death is number two. I suppose it’s reassuring to know I’m not alone because I have an almost paralyzing fear of public speaking. Death doesn’t scare me. A long, slow, agonizingly painful, semi-conscious dying-alone scares me, but death itself doesn’t. I think that once it finally comes, it will just be like sleeping, without the freakishly weird dreams. The thought of public speaking, however, turns my stomach in knots, my muscles seize up and I seriously consider whether or not it would be appropriate to carry a flask full of scotch or whiskey to get me through it. Ironically, I could see myself meeting death while public speaking. That would be my fate.

If I’m going to die, and I know I will, I would hope it would be something quick but spectacularly awesome. A piece of luggage falling out of a plane and crushing me instantly, perhaps. Not only that, but if the luggage belonged to a world famous public speaker. Now THAT would funny. Everyone would talk about that time a suitcase crushed someone. “Apparently she was terrified of public speaking.” they would say. “Funny how the world works sometimes…” would be the response. I used to love the television show Dead Like Me. The fact that the main character was killed instantly by a toilet seat falling from the Space Station entertains me to no end.

Being crushed by a headstone would be another fantastically ironic way to die. I love old cemeteries and gravestones. I’ve already had one body part crushed by one, but that’s another story…

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