Tag Archives: from my old blog

With a little help from my friends

16 Jan

After last Tuesday’s disastrous attempt to walk Nanuq between work and suppertime I realized that I really would need help in order to survive the two weeks without Michael.  And the help came, sometimes from unexpected places.  My neighbour Heather took Nanuq out with her dog Kodiak on Wednesday.  Tim took him on Thursday (and again yesterday).  Hugh and Anissa walked down from their neighbourhood to take on the Friday walk.  I got a suprise e-mail from Carole (Yukon Chatterbug) on the weekend, offering to take Nanuq out with her dog if we happened to live close by (which we do).  Thanks so much to all of you!  Nanuq and I are both very grateful.

Speaking of help and surprises, I was reading through my blog stats last week and came across a referring site that included my name in it.  Curious, I clicked on it and was brought to a page that included my most recent post ("The green, green grass of home") and a couple of pictures of Jade from the Halloween photo album.  It also said "Copyright Fawnahareo 2007" at the bottom of the page.  Of course, I hadn’t created the page, so you might understand that I felt as though I had temporarily stepped into the Twilight Zone. 

As I was trying to figure things out, I got an e-mail from George (who plays a mean bass in The Big Band) saying he’d killed a few minutes by throwing together a page for me to play around with, since he knew I was looking for a new bloggy home.  Wow, what a nice thing to do!  Big Band rehearsals consist of a lot of practicing and not much chatting, so I don’t actually know anyone in the group that well.  But now I know someone I can refer people to for web hosting and design services.  Thanks, George!

And now while we’re on the subject of moving blogs, I’m just about ready to move house over to WordPress (although I wish I could take George’s photo album module over with me, since it looks like I’ll now have to start using Flickr for photo sharing).  I think I’ve got the mashed-together-paragraphs thing figured out.  I hope to be seeing more comments once I’ve moved over — I know I’ve got a few lurkers, and this is SO all about you, you know.

Home sick

15 Jan

It’s not often that I actually stay home because of a cold, but Jade and I both started sniffling yesterday and she woke up twice last night because she couldn’t breathe. When we got up this morning, Jade looked pretty awful and by the end of breakfast, I’d decided we’d better not inflict our pestilential presence on the world.

The strange thing is that I wasn’t feeling so very terrible myself, but by the time I’d called work and the daycare, I felt as though I’d been run over by a train and just wanted to crawl back into bed. Jade, on the other hand, started running around like a wild child. Fortunately, I was able to doze on the couch for an hour (not sleeping, mind you) while she read books, banged on the piano, knocked over the guitar, asked me to pick it up, righted it herself, and strummed the strings.

I have never had so many colds in my life as since Jade started daycare last January. I hope that this is something we’ll both outgrow, starting about now.

We both just finished lunch and now it is time for a nap. Sorry, make that naps.

Dancing baby

13 Jan

Darn, it’s almost 11 p.m. again.  I was hoping to get a few more things done tonight, like reading more of the midwifery material I need to have done before a big meeting on Tuesday, and also posting photos from Germany and Mexico because I promised these would be on my blog in the annual letter I sent out to friends and family last week. Most of the letters have arrived at their destinations, but the photos have not!  Sorry folks.  If you’re here for pics, keep checking back; it’s near the top of my list.

Many of the evenings where I haven’t been getting things done, it’s been because I’ve been getting stuck at the piano.  The Big Band has a dance coming up on Saturday the 26th, so I’ve been practicing for that, but I’ve also been working on a new song.  I was pleased with it when I finished it, and then I got disenchanted with it, but tonight I made some changes that have got me excited about it again.  So I just couldn’t leave the piano when it felt so close!

I just wanted to write a quick post to tell you all about some of Jade’s new words.  Today I heard two words that I’d never heard her use before: "lap" and "dance".  Although she didn’t use them together, thank goodness.

"Dance" came first.  I’ve been playing lots of music during the day, and we often dance together.  Some of the big band-type music really gets the heart pumping, particularly when you’re swinging a toddler around in the air.  Anyway, I had some big band music on this afternoon, and Jade came over to me, put her arms out to me and said, "dance?"  How could I resist?  She’s getting good at it, too, and not just in my arms.  Charmaine came to babysit for an hour so that I could walk Nanuq and since she’d just taken her first belly-dancing class, she showed Jade some of her new moves.  We have a budding belly-dancer in the house!

The second word came about when I sat down this evening (on the toilet, no less) and Jade came running over clutching several books.  Normally she asks to be read to by saying, "book? Book? Yeah?" but this time she said, "lap?" instead.  Despite being caught with my pants down (snort) we sat together and read for a bit.

Yesterday she surprised me by pointing at the koala on her toothbrush and happily announcing "lala!"  I also learned that an umbrella is a "lella" and a hippo is an "ippo".  (We’re making sure she learns all the most important words first, you see.)

So those are the highlights of the day.  Hmm, I sure hope Jade sticks with belly dancing and leaves the lap-dancing out of her repertoire…

The devil (didn’t) make me do it – Part II

11 Jan
Part I was posted yesterday.
It’s possible that at other times I would have made a different decision, but this time I decided that the only thing to do was to phone the cash machine company.  Feeling foolish, I went into a meeting room so that the call would be more private (the joys of working in a cubicle) and dialed the toll-free number. 

"Help Desk, " I heard.
"You’re probably going to think I’m crazy," I said.  I explained the situation to him.
"Let me make sure I understood you," said the man. "You requested $160."

"And you got $180."


"So you got 20 bucks extra."


I must give him credit for not sounding completely incredulous as he clarified the situation.  The poor guy didn’t quite know what to do.  I didn’t have the cash machine receipt with me in the meeting room and I had forgotten to check the bank records online to make sure of the withdrawal amount on record.  I gave him my name and number and told him I’d call back when I’d gotten the rest of the information. 

He did thank me for my honesty and told me, "This is the way that you receive blessings."  To be honest, I had been hoping he’d just say I could keep the $20.  But blessings are good, too.

Off I went and checked my bank records online: there it was, a withdrawal for $161.20, so no problems there.  I got the receipt out from my wallet.

When I called back, Didier had left the office, but Mark took my call and started putting my reference number into his computer.

"You’re going to think I’m weird," I said.

"Am I?  Well, I’m ready to be entertained!" he said cheerfully.  "Oh yes, you’re the honest person who called in that everyone’s been talking about in the office today!"  Isn’t it heart-warming to know you can provide a good story for a whole office full of people you don’t know?  Hmm, I guess it’s not so different from blogging.

Mark told me that the cash machine is operated by Wal-Mart so I should call their cash office, and he gave me the number to call, if I should decide to do so.

Well, I’d gone this far, so why stop now? The woman in the Wal-Mart cash office sounded a bit guarded at first.  These poor people probably only ever deal with irate customers who’ve been short-changed at the machines.  When I explained what had happened, she said, "Oh, but the machines all balanced out in the last few days."  Which probably means that the poor guy who used the machine before me got short-changed $20 and didn’t notice it.  Since it’s been a few days and nobody has gone to the cash office claiming to be short $20,the woman told me I could just keep it.

Woo hoo!  Honesty does pay!

I wonder if this means I don’t get any blessings?

The devil (didn’t) make me do it

10 Jan

This week I feel as though I’m being tested.  Yesterday I mentioned the accidents I get into whenever I’m in a rush.  This week, single parenting has meant that I’ve been running from pillar to post, wreaking all kinds of havoc.  Besides spilling soup all over Jade’s toys and tripping over computer cords, narrowly avoiding a broken nose, I had a run-in on Sunday that I really wanted to run away from.

I was doing errands with a cheerful but very tired Jade (since she hadn’t napped at all that afternoon) and decided to get a BBQ chicken from the Superstore in order to save myself cooking supper that night.  There were no chickens left, but I still ended up picking up about $80 of groceries.  In the dark and freezing parking lot, with suppertime looming and Jade practically asleep, I hurriedly installed Jade into her carseat, packed the groceries into the cloth bags I had forgotten in the car, and then went to return the grocery cart.  I had to pass between my car and the one parked next to it and I remember thinking, "I’d better not hit that car" before the corner of the extra-large shopping cart clipped the edge of the car’s passenger side mirror.

I winced at the blow and the sound of cracking plastic.  A closer look confirmed that a piece had broken right off, leaving an unsightly hole behind the intact mirror of the Chevy Impala.

I looked around.  No one was there.  No one had seen me.  The owner of the car probably wouldn’t even notice the damage to the passenger side until days later.  I could very easily have driven away, but for the weight of my conscience holding me back.  Sighing, I found a piece of scrap paper in my purse, a pen, and scribbled out a note as best I could with half-frozen ink.  I tucked the note under the windshield wiper and headed — carefully — home.

I got a call the next day from the owner of the Impala.  He was very nice about the whole situation and kindly shopped around to find a good price on a replacement part.  He also very generously offered to cover the cost of installing and painting the part if I covered the cost of buying it and shipping it from Grande Prairie($150).  He didn’t even get annoyed when he came by the house to collect the cheque and I had to admit that I’d searched high and low and couldn’t find the chequebook.

I decided to go to Wal-Mart to use their cash machine and pick up some picture-hanging wire at the same time.  I know there’s a fee for using those machines, but I didn’t want to try to park downtown and struggle into the bank with Jade in tow.

I put my card into the machine and requested a $150 withdrawal, only to be told the amount had to be a multiple of 20.  I revised my request to $160 and then was told that there had been an error processing my request.  Biting my tongue, I re-inserted the bank card for one last try.  This time I got the $160 I requested… plus $20 more.

I didn’t quite know what to do.  Does the machine actually belong to Wal-Mart? Does the money in there actually belong to them or to some independent company?  Besides, even though the receipt said $160 (plus the $1.20 fee) I wanted to make sure that it was actually $160 that had come out of my bank account.  I wrote down the toll-free number from the machine and headed home.

To be honest, I stewed about this for a couple of days.  Having just come away from an experience where I got to bask in gooey feelings of righteousness and honesty, do I then turn around and pocket $20 that doesn’t belong to me?  Or do I simply shrug my shoulders and decide this is my reward for being such a damned fine person?

What would you do?

Two contrasting stories come to mind.  One is the story of Jesus being tempted by Satan in Matthew 4:1-11.  The other is one of my favourite short stories by Mark Twain: The Facts Concerning the Recent Carnival of Crime in Connecticut .

Tomorrow: the conclusion

The green, green grass of home

9 Jan

This is a long post, so I’ve tucked some of it away under the fold.  Click “Continue Reading” to see the rest of my ramblings. 

Single working parents of small children, I salute you.  I am only on my second work day of this stretch of single-parenting, and I already feel beaten.  For the second day in a row, I went into work 40 minutes late, after being up until 1 in the morning trying to prepare for the day, hoping it would get off to a smooth start, which it didn’t.

I decided this morning that I just wasn’t going to get stressed out about being late.  I’ll simply keep track of the time I owe my employer, and when Michael gets back, I’ll go in to work and make up the time on a Monday that I usually stay home.  When I rush around, I tend to get into accidents, which slows me down, having to clean up the mess I wouldn’t have made if I’d just been slower in the first place.

The main problem these last two mornings is that Jade has been waking up in the night or early in the morning, and by the time she goes back to sleep, it’s the time we’re both supposed to be getting up, but I’m exhausted.  Her routine has been off since our Christmas holidays started (so many parties!) but I was hoping it would be back to normal by now.  She’s tending to sleep in and isn’t napping as well in the afternoons.  If it weren’t for work and daycare, I’d be happy to sleep in and have shorter naps (or no nap) later in the day, especially with the short sunlight hours we have now.  But the necessity of getting to work on time and of trying to maintain a routine similar to what they do at daycare makes this a non-option. Continue reading

Blogging woes: looking for a new blogging home

8 Jan

I started blogging at Live Spaces in April of 2005.  There wasn’t a lot of thought that went into the choice of blogging platform. I’d just discovered blogs and my main source of information was my sister’s blog, which she had started on Live Spaces (although it was called MSN Spaces back then, I think).  I’d been reading her blog for a few months and loved that I could finally keep abreast of what was going on in her life – she was so busy, we rarely talked on the phone.  I thought some of my family and friends might like it if I did the same thing.

There are a couple of good things about Live Spaces.  It’s very easy to upload pictures to create online photo albums, for one.  It’s pretty much idiot-proof easy to start.  You can do a little bit of customization with the theme and drag-and-drop built-in widgets around.  But I don’t know anyone who is seriously blogging who uses Live Spaces now.  Most people want more flexibility  to customize the look of their site.  Besides, despite my visitor’s account, people who come here have a heck of a time leaving comments, even when they do have an MSN Passport.  If they use Firefox, there are all sorts of issues (which is just dirty pool, in my humble opinion).  Since for me blogging has grown from a way to keep family and friends in the loop into being part of a larger community, I feel I’ve really outgrown Live Spaces.

It’s been a while that I’ve been thinking of switching to another blogging platform, but which one?  I already have a blog on Blogger, and since I’m such a Google groupie I use Gmail and the Google RSS Reader and such, so it would be easy to go there. 

But WordPress seems to have some great things going for it, too, particularly seeming to be friendlier to visitors than Blogger.  And if I eventually decide to get really serious, I can decide to find a host and take total control over how the thing looks instead of using a template someone else designed. However, I’ve started a test blog with WordPress and I’m having some issues with formatting the text- the system keeps deleting my line breaks so that all my paragraphs are mashed together.  I hate that!  Since the WordPress Support Desk is closed for the week, I’m left to wonder whether the advantages are worth the headache.

So, bloggy people, what have you to say on the subject?  If you want to leave a comment and haven’t got a passport, try using IE and sign in as fawnsguest using the password 99Nanuq.  Or you can reach me by email by mashing my first and last names together (my last name is Fritzen) and adding gmail (*dot*) com. At least if you’re reading this on Facebook it’s easy to leave a comment.  Whew, at least something is easy.