Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Feeling icky

I'm feeling quite unwell but I don't know why. I'm fine if I don't eat but after I eat I feel queasy and my stomach feels unsettled. Last night I also dreamed that I was physically sick, which is unusual for me. I have crazy dreams but I've never been sick like that in a dream.

Maybe my body is just worn down from the packing and everything, I don't know. It doesn't matter, I guess... what matters is that I'm cranky and tired and feeling icky. I'm going to take it easy tonight and try not to work too hard tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Take me to your leader

For a long time I've wondered what would happen if aliens actually made contact with this planet. They'd have to be officially greeted and all that and who would do that? I'm not sure I trust the US government to do that job; I have a feeling that they might be more interested in detaining those aliens indefinitely and hushing up their existence.

So you can imagine how excited and relieved I was yesterday when I heard that the UN had appointed an alien ambassador! Finally, if/when aliens show up, we'll have a definite leader to greet them. Of course I wondered why they were appointing this ambassador now: did something happen? has contact already occurred?

Sadly, this story is false. There is no UN alien ambassador, and so there is no leader who can receive and greet aliens. We're left with the individual countries deciding for themselves what will happen if we're ever contacted.

Of course there are many people who say that aliens have been here. Apparently US military pilots saw UFOs deactivate nuclear missiles some number of years ago. You don't have to look very hard on the internet to find stories from people who claim to have seen UFOs or aliens. Which kind of makes me wonder whether there really has been that much contact or if there are that many people like me who thinks that it would be sort of cool to be contacted by them?

Monday, September 27, 2010

A little of this, a little of that

For the first time, we've decided to hire movers to move our stuff to the house. I've always moved my own stuff (with the help of friends and family) but I just can't physically do the work now. We do have friends that would be willing to help us but it would be exhausting for everyone. So in the interests of just getting 'er done, we're going to do this with movers.

Because we're going to be using the movers we need to be sure that the destination room for each box is clearly identified. We'd been labeling boxes with the contents but not necessarily the room where the boxes needed to go, partly because we hadn't made those decisions.

Over the weekend we bought five colours of duct tape (silver, white, red, black, and camouflage) and masking tape which we'll use to identify the different rooms. We figure that if the tape is seen on two neighbouring box sides - or perpendicular to one edge - it'll be easy to see from most orientations. The other advantage to this scheme is that we only need to put one big piece of tape on each box. When I'm finished the sewing room - which is getting close to being done - I'll go and label all of the boxes we've packed.

Closing is only two and a half weeks away - eep! As we get closer and closer to our closing date, we're feeling the pressure to get things done. For example, I still need to make all the calls to switch things over to the new address, and we need to finish packing, and we need to go out and find a dinette set. I'm trying to stay calm and focused but of course I'm a little stressed.

And of course there are life events happening all the time, too. I'm supposed to have my Pamidronate the day before closing and to see my oncologist the Monday after. I think I can manage the oncology appointment but I don't want to do the Pamidronate that week as I think we'll be very busy. I'll call to change the appointment tomorrow and hopefully they can accommodate me.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Major appliances and sofa - done!

We're going to be the proud owners of our very own appliances and a sofa! Yes, after weeks of shopping trips and research, we have finally purchased a fridge, stove, and washer for the house, as well as the sofa we decided on yesterday.

After much thinking, we decided to go with Sears for the appliances because they have a good warranty and the company has been around for so long and is so big that if we run into problems, they'll still be around. We started off at Sears Home, where we'd originally seen a lot of stuff, but when we were there there was practically nothing on the floor. I became very disappointed and overwhelmed by this because we didn't want to just put in an order without looking at the appliances again and checking them out. So we went to the Sears at the nearby mall and bought the appliances there. They had such a great selection!

We ended up buying Kenmore appliances because the brand is fairly reliable and the warranty is good. We bought this bottom-freezer, french-door fridge (made by Amana, we think). The freezer has wire cage bins that promote air circulation and the fridge has all the adjustable shelves and extra storage areas that we wanted.

We bought this slide-in dual-fuel white Kenmore range. We decided on a slide-in model so that the oven controls were at the front of the stove instead of the back so that I don't have to try to reach over pots on the stove to get at the oven. Also, we get the gas cooktop, which we wanted, and the electric oven, which we're used to. All we have to do is hook up the gas (we elected to have Sears do it) and we don't have to touch the electric. The only extra warranty we bought was for this range because we've read that the electronic control pad is especially vulnerable to heat and breaking on this type of model.

Choosing the washer turned out to be a bit more complicated. Our plan had been to buy an LG washer but after talking with the sales guy we decided on a Kenmore (made by Samsung) front-loading washer because of the way it balanced the load. The LG balances an unbalanced load electronically while the Samsung/Kenmore uses ball bearings to mechanically balance the load. The sales guy actually demonstrated the washer spinning a single towel (definitely an unbalanced load) and we were impressed with how it balanced the little load.

We also upgraded the washer to have a drum with smaller holes so that clothes wouldn't get forced into them when spinning. The drum has a dimpled design and somehow it works. This washer also has a sanitize cycle and a quick cycle, just like the one we'd been considering before. We'd been hoping to get a white washer but the only choices were dark blue and flame red... so we picked the dark blue. It won't go with our white dryer but that's ok with us. We ended up purchasing this washer.

Lucky for us, Sears was having a sale on these appliances and we also had a coupon to save on appliances from our home inspection company so we ended up saving quite a bit on these purchases. Plus we got a Sears card with a big points club multiplier which will give us cash back or a Sears gift card or something so we saved even more.

We'd thought that it would take no time at all to order these appliances but in the end we spent about two hours looking at and actually going through the purchase process. We wanted to be done then but sadly, we still needed to buy the couch we picked out. Since we went to all that trouble yesterday to choose it we figured we should order it because it'll take five or six weeks to arrive. We thought the ordering process should take no time at all because we'd already made our decisions but it ended up taking another hour.

This time we snapped a photo of the main and accent fabrics for you:
Sofa fabric
Main fabric on the bottom
Patterned accent (pillow) fabric on top
The colours aren't quite perfect in the picture, but the main fabric is a light grey-taupe. One thing I love about the accent fabric is that each of those rectangles is a different texture. While we were waiting for the purchase to go through I played with the accent fabric, running my fingers over it and tracing out all the lines.

It turns out that the store will allow us to borrow their fabric samples anytime if we need them. We can also order the fabric itself if we wanted to make curtains or upholster or cover another piece of furniture. I could see that accent fabric on a chair of some kind, maybe.

After spending all this money we thought we were finished shopping Until we remembered that we still need to buy a dinette set. We know what we want and just have to find it so we'll look for it this week. Once that's done we won't be buying anything more until we're in the house.... although we do have our eye on Palliser Rhumba theater seating (with power recline). It's the most comfortable theater seating ever and the power recline is fantastic, but we can't buy it until we know what space we're using and how we're going to set it up.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

We found a sofa!!

After many hours of looking at sofas and sitting and standing and walking around, we've finally decided on a sofa. we first checked out another furniture manufacturer before going to the main showroom and factory for the furniture manufacturer that we liked last weekend.

We discovered that we really did like the sofa we saw last weekend and that we really did find it to be the most comfortable and best-looking one for us. We'll be ordering the sofa this week sometime, but we've decided to buy a regular 3-seater sofa and ottoman from Distinctive Designs in model Daytona:

You can't see it, but the arm curves around the back ever-so-slightly, which we especially like since the sofa will be out in the open and not against a wall.

We're choosing the fabric "Unique" in colour "Birch" and we'll get accent pillows in fabric "Horizon" in colour "Charcoal". The main colour is a fairly light variegated grey-beige with darker black-brown spots in it. From a distance, it's all one colour but up close it's quite interesting, and it will go with a lot.

The accent fabric is a white/tan/brown/grey/black jacquard fabric with overlapping squares. It picks up both colours in the main colour so it goes with the main colour and doesn't pop out too much. The combination of the main and accent fabrics also go really well with black leather, which is important because we're going to buy that awesome black leather circle chair we saw a couple of weeks ago.

We'd actually decided on a totally different set of fabrics: a single-toned dark beige for the main colour and a crazy print with black for the accent. But when we put the black leather against it it just didn't work as well because the main colour didn't have enough layers to it and the black was just too harsh.

If it sounds like we spent a long time looking at fabrics, we did; in fact, we spent about an hour looking at the furniture and then another hour and a half or more looking at fabrics. We wanted to be sure that we were making the right choice. Because this sofa is the first piece of furniture we're buying and everything else has to go with it, we needed to be sure that we love the colour and fabric and that lots of other colours go with it. Better to spend lots of time making the decision now than rushing the decision and regretting our purchase for years and years.

Tomorrow we're going to go and purchase appliances. This plan seems to be coming together!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Too much packing?

I didn't think it was possible to do too much packing, but I was wrong. I was packing up the sewing room and making such great progress that I didn't want to stop. You know now it is when you're completely engrossed in something and everything is coming together and you just want to keep going? That's what it was like. Except that I should have stopped long before I did because I ended up exhausting myself. By the end I was trembling, I was so tired. Packing is hard work!

Even with this huge effort, the sewing room is still not completely packed up. Sigh. There isn't so much left, at least compared to what I've already packed. There are a couple of boxes in-progress and there are some piles of stuff that have been sorted but not packed. So much of this process has been about sorting and organizing; the packing is really secondary.

Since I was so exhausted from packing, we stayed home tonight and explored our new netflix subscription on the Playstation network. It is awesome - there are so many movies and shows and they stream directly to the PS3. It's way, way, way better than the Rogers On Demand service because it's faster, with a better user interface, a more interesting and complete selection, and selections for the user based on their selected preferences and ratings. If you have a PS3 and you love movies, get netflix for it.

We ended up watching Between the Folds, an amazing and beautiful documentary on folding paper... it included the most incredible, amazing origami sculptures made out of a single (sometimes very large) piece of paper. One artist has made 3-D origami people... they're so cool! Another models his designs mathematically... because it's all math underneath, isn't it? I can't deny that we were intrigued because there's a strong mathematical background to taking something from a flat sheet of paper to a three-dimensional object. We gasped at how beautiful the different creations were. It's a beautiful and intriguing documentary, and if you get a chance, watch it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

More furniture shopping

Ok, so I got zero packing done today, but we did go out and look at furniture tonight. We went to the nearby town of Guelph to check out some of the stores there. Shopping for furniture is getting a lot faster. Because we've tried so many sofas, we now know which brands we don't like and we can also tell at a glance which sofas are likely to be too big, so we can just ignore all of those and zero in on what looks ok.

Tonight at one of the stores we discovered a brand we hadn't seen before that seemed to fit our requirements pretty well but they didn't have that much choice. They have a showroom in north Toronto that apparently requires a pass to get into; the owner of this store gave us such a pass. We're thinking of going there Saturday morning (they're open until 2pm). That way we'll see all of the possible options for their lines.

Most of the sofas we're looking at can be customized as far as fabric goes and to make sectionals or whatever. Some also offer customized pillow and seat shapes and stitching, arm types, and leg style. This is great because we'll get a sofa that is completely unique and everything we could possibly want. However, not all of the furniture stores carry samples of all of the options, making choosing the perfect sofa much more difficult.

We'd thought - well, I'd thought - about going to another furniture store in Mississauga that carries a different set of furniture manufacturers. However, because we already have several good brand possibilities, we don't really need any more brand choices. We may go there to see what accessories they have when we get to that stage but I don't think we need to go there to look at sofas or chairs.

Tomorrow: packing.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Progress is being made

Today I managed to get some packing done - yay! I thought that it would be really hard to pack the surfaces in my sewing room because they were a mess but once I started, it wasn't so bad. It took some time to sort things together but it turns out that there were few types of things than I thought there were. Really, there were only unfinished projects, commercial patterns, patterns I've traced, and notions on those surfaces. I'm by no means finished packing that area but I made good progress today.

This evening I went for coffee and a yummy dessert with a friend of mine. I don't get to see her as often as I'd like to because we both have lives but I always enjoy our visits. We tried to go to a new pastry shop but it closed too early, so we'll try that place another time.

Tomorrow I have my echocardiogram appointment. The respirologist wants me to have this test done to be sure that I don't have sarcoidosis in my heart. I'm quite certain that I don't have anything wrong with my heart and that there's no sarcoidosis there but it doesn't hurt to be sure. I had an echocardiogram before my very first chemotherapy back when I had my primary cancer in 2000 and it was no big deal. Back then I had to have it done to make sure that my heart was strong enough for that chemo as it was/is known to cause heart damage. As I remember, the test was no big deal.

I wish the echocardiogram was earlier in the day so that I could do that and then come back and pack but the appointment is for 3:30pm, which means that I'll need to try and pack earlier in the day. But if I do that, when will I get to watch all my recorded tv shows? :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fall tv is really here

I took a packing break today. I probably shouldn't have taken the break but I did. I just felt really tired again and decided that it would be better for me to rest than to get exhausted. There will be packing done by me tomorrow.

Last night was the start of the network fall season on tv. We watched the seventh season premiere of House and were quite disappointed because it was all soap opera and next to no medicine. I know that they had to move this particular storyline forward but I don't see why they couldn't have given more attention to the medicine that made the show great. I think that this show has jumped the shark and is on its way to cancellation.

We also watched the premiere of the much-hyped The Event. It was ok. The timeline jumped around, which was annoying, and some of the story was obvious given the show's synopsis. There was a twist at the end which was sort of interesting. Some of the characters did some silly things during the show. We'll continue to watch it unless it gets really silly. Heck, we made it all the way through Persons Unknown, and it was horrible, but there's more competition for our tv-watching time now and we don't have time for really bad tv.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Even more packing

Finally, the fabric is packed. Well, except that I have two small bins that I need to combine into one big bin and that then need to be filled with the fabric allocated for them. It's either that or I buy more small bins but I don't know if it's worth it.

So my fabric fits into about 25 of those 10Gal bins. Each of those bins is 24" x 16" x 8.5" or so, and I was trying folding my fabric so that it fit into a 12" x 8.5" area, fitting two fabrics into each row. I couldn't do that all the time, so I think if I say that I fit 1.5 fabrics per row that would be fine. With that information I can figure out how much space the fabrics will take up on shelves but I'm too tired to do the calculations.

One thing I have to decide whether I want to fold the fabric flat or upright, and space considerations may make that decision for me. I think that storing my fabrics upright, wrapped around acid-free comic book backer boards or something similar, will take up less space than storing the fabrics flat. Plus the fabrics are easier to find when they're upright - it's the way the fabric stores do it, after all. Some of the most delicate fabrics will be better off hanging and others should be stored on rolls.

This morning we went to the house and got the measurements for the appliances and my sewing room. Between those measurements and my fabric needs I should be able to start planning out my new sewing room. Whenever I have time, that is. :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Designing our space

Ok, so we didn't do any packing today. Instead we planned out our great room furniture so that we know what we want to buy. We created several different workable configurations with the same pieces of furniture: a condo-length (87") sofa, a reclining wing chair, the awesome circle chair we loved, and possibly a bent-knee chaise or other chair. We'll need end tables and coffee tables and rugs and bookcases as well to help define the space, of course, but we wanted to figure out what furniture we need to buy.

It turns out that our great room is going to be a strange place to fill. The current owners have a piano in part of that space and we know why - it's hard to fill that space otherwise. The current owners also have the tv above the fireplace and we'd rather have the tv beside the fireplace, so that complicates the design a bit more.

I feel better having this design-work done. It means that once we confirm the dimensions of the rooms we can go ahead and buy the furniture. Coincidentally enough, we're going to the house tomorrow to get whatever measurements we need. Not only will we be able to buy furniture, but we can buy appliances, too!

We still want to check out a few more stores for furniture and appliances, but we hope to make a decision on both by (or on) next weekend. We may not buy everything at once, but might just start with a couple of pieces and see how they work.

We do still need to buy a dinette set as well and we've been feeling a bit discouraged because we haven't seen the 42" wood pedestal table (with leaves) with wooden chairs we want. Then we remembered that we live practically in the middle of Mennonite country and they make fine wooden furniture. We just need to go to a place that sells furniture made locally and we'll find the table we want. We might even find some accent pieces there, too :)

This furnishing a house thing takes so much time. I don't know how decorators do it - although I guess if you care less about comfort than we do, it's easy to put a room together. I'll be happy when we're in our new place with some furniture.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Where has the time gone?

The sewing room is looking slightly less full after I packed up a few more bins. Almost all of the lightweight fabric  has been packed up now; I have the coat fabrics, denim fabrics, and some other bottomweight fabrics to pack up and that'll be about it. Oh, and there's the interfacings, too, and I have to figure out what's in the three big bis already in the room. And then I can start cleaning up the tables in the room.

Honestly, I'll be happy once that room is done. There are a few areas in the rest of the house that both of us need to sort but the sewing room is the biggest job in the whole house. I'm feeling a little bit stressed about getting the room done because no amount of work seems to be making much of a dent. I'm starting to feel the time pressure for the move and it's everything I can do to keep myself calm.

We did look at a bit more furniture today and I'm pretty sure that we've decided to get some version of one of the ones we saw last Sunday. We're not sure whether we want a sofa, couch, or something else. We'll play a bit with them in that interior design software. We've put the house in and we should be able to import the sofa stuff to see which configuration will work best for the great room space. Ideally, I'd like to have one seating area around the tv and another one- or two-seat reading area over by the window. I'm not sure what will end up working; we'll have to see.

We'll be doing more packing tomorrow along with catching up on some recorded tv programs before the new fall season is upon us.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Movie nights are back!

Our friends were doing renovations so they've only recently had people over for Friday movie night. I wasn't feeling up to going last week but we went tonight. Their house looks gorgeous! I'm so happy that they have the house they wanted (or part of the house, anyways).

Tonight's movie was Date Night, a comedy starring Tina Fey and Steve Carrell. These two comedians are very funny; watching the outtakes where they improv'ed different lines was hilarious! I'm amazed and in awe of people who can say funny things because I'm not at all like that. I don't get jokes, either.

Anyways. The movie is funny, if a bit improbable. In the movie, a married couple goes into Manhattan to change up their lives. They take someone's dinner reservation and are mistaken for the original people who happen to be blackmailing a crime boss. Hilarity ensues. The movie is funny in part because it really captures what it's like to live with the same person for so long and to have the same routine with them. And the situations, however improbable they may be, do give lots of room for the stars' comedic genius.

If you like lighthearted comedies, this is definitely the movie for you. It's funny and definitely worth renting.

Back to comment normal

I'm sorry, everyone, but changing to allow only non-anonymous comments seems to have messed something up so that comments aren't showing up. I get a notification of the comments but they don't show up. I don't know why this is happening.

So we're back to allowing anonymous comments so that all comments show up.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A big day out

I have disabled anonymous comments on this blog for the time being because of the number of anonymous comments being left on my Words post. If things settle down I may go back to allowing anonymous posts if people I know prefer them.

We had a few appointments in Mississauga today so Ian and I spent the day there. Each appointment only lasted about 10 minutes but two of them were doctor's appointments and the other was about the mortgage so it was important that we made the trek there. It would have been more fun if it hadn't been raining so heavily, but the weather is beyond my control.

Between appointments we did a little furniture and appliance shopping. We've finally figured out the seat depth and height that suits me best, at least when I'm wearing shoes: 18" seat height and 21" seat depth. Unfortunately that seat depth is too short for Ian to be comfortable, so what I think we'll do is get a couch with a good seat height for me and a comfortable seat depth for Ian. By putting a pillow behind my back, I can then make the seat depth shorter and therefore right for me. Problem solved!

Appliance shopping was a little more complicated. We wanted to compare the appliances we'd seen the other day with what was available at Sears. The sales guy was quite pushy even though we told him that we weren't buying today because we don't have the measurements. Sears is having a sale that gets extra club points this weekend and he wanted to call when the next such sale was coming up. When he asked for our phone number I foolishly gave it to him.

Then he said that since he'd spent some time with us (all of twenty minutes of the half hour we were there), he wanted the commission on the appliances so we could just order them by the phone. I don't know if I want to do that, partly because we haven't been able to really check out the different models and we want to be able to touch and pretend to use them. These aren't cheap!

We did learn one thing, however: a dual-fuel range might be a good idea. These have a gas cooktop and electric oven. We want a gas cooktop for sure. the problem with a gas oven can be that it has more fumes. Plus if we kept the electric part we wouldn't have to downgrade the 220 outlet to a 110 - something that might have an impact on resale value.

As you can tell, it was a very long day. After all the appointments and shopping we got to relax and visit with Ian's parents and have a yummy dinner at their place, too. Now we're home and I'm ready for tomorrow's packing adventure.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The book club is back

My book club has started up again. Yay! This time we're studying The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. The premise of the book is that we don't get to choose our beliefs about the world, ourselves, or other people; instead, we're trained by the people around us to believe what they believe. The books says that we can change all that if we choose to live by the following four agreements:

  • Be impeccable with your words (speak with integrity, say only what you mean, and speak out of truth and love)
  • Don't take anything personally
  • Don't make assumptions
  • Always do your best

The book uses the word "agreements" differently than most of us do. Agreements are like beliefs or practices; they're the filters through which we see the world. so if you make those four agreements your core beliefs and structure your world that way, you'll be happier. I guess this is because you'll be substituting negative or limiting ideas for these positive ones. We'll see how that goes.

It doesn't really matter whether or not this book helps me see the world better and to be happier. I'll get something out of the book that will help me live my life better. Really, the best part of the book club is the other people in the group. I've been in groups with these people for almost four years now and I'm completely comfortable with them. I miss them when I don't see them. So that's why, no matter what book is being studied, I'll sign up for book club. And if I learn something while I'm there, so much the better.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More packing

I'm making progress in the sewing room. It's taking longer than I thought it should have because I had to re-fold any fabric in the pile on the floor. I also had to press lots of those fabrics, too.

I've finished packing the ginormous pile on the floor along with a couple of other fabrics. I've filled (well, over-filled in some cases) eight 37.9L (10Gal) Rubbermaid Roughneck bins with fabric. Half of those contain my knit fabrics and three of the other four contain my specialty fabrics. We went out and bought another six of those bins which I think will be enough for the rest of my fabrics. We can also get more if we need them.

Once I finish packing up the fabric I've got to pack up the mess on the tables. There's a lot of stuff on those tables and packing it up will be much like doing an archaeological dig. There's unfinished projects, pattern pieces, full patterns, traced patterns, pins, needles, thread, trim, buttons, magazines, and more... and all of it needs to be sorted and put away. I can't wait for it to be finished.

Tomorrow I'm starting the book club again and Thursday we've got appointments in Mississauga all day, so I won't get as much packing done this week as I'd hoped. As long as I finish packing by the end of next week I'll be happy.

Just like with the books, sorting while packing makes putting things away in the new house easier.I'm so excited about my sewing room, even though I know that it'll take time to finish. We need to go to the house and get some measuring done for the appliances, so we picked up some paint chips to try and figure out what colour the walls are. I also picked up a bunch of very light paint chips to look over for my new sewing room. I'm so excited to be looking at these paint chips and imagining what the space will look like. Of course I also just love looking at paint chips and imagining the possibilities with them.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Packing up my sewing room

I've finally started packing up the sewing room. I started with the big pile of fabric in the middle of the room. I thought the packing would go more quickly but it turned out that lots of the fabric in that big pile was really wrinkled. Wrinkled fabric doesn't pack well so I ended up having to give some of the fabrics a light pressing, and that took time.

I have some beautiful fabrics. There's a gorgeous lightweight black wool crepe there that would be perfect for a holiday dress or outfit. I have gorgeous black silk organza, black silk gauze, and a lovely black burnout velvet design. Not to mention some gorgeous pant fabrics. Sigh. I do love my fabrics. They're so beautiful.

I'm happy to have started packing up my sewing room. It's the most daunting of the packing I have to do because the room looks like it belongs to a hoarder. Which may be close to the truth, I guess, at least when it comes to sewing-related items. I prefer to think of myself as someone who doesn't know how to organize things or who's chronically disorganized.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A rather productive day

We found a couch that we both think we like, finally! It has the right look because it's not too modern and not overstuffed but it's still comfortable. It's also reasonably-priced and we can customize the pieces. That's good because we don't yet know if we want a sectional or a couch and loveseat or what.

We're still going to check out a few other places this week that make different kinds of furniture so that we can be sure that we're making the right decision. At least we're starting to narrow down we want - our wants are coming together with what's available. If I were a more "normal" height, this whole process would be much easier because we could just test for comfort instead of having to test for size and comfort.

At least today wasn't all about shopping. When we finished sitting on couches we spent some time packing. All of the books except for the ones beside the bed - and there's about a box of books there - are packed. Finally! I knew we had a lot of books but I'm surprised at just how many there were. I don't even know how many boxes there were - 10? 15? 20? - lots. Way too many.

With the books done, tomorrow I'm going into my sewing room and I'm going to start packing it up. We bought some medium-sized totes that I'm going to use for fabric. I'd thought about getting clear boxes for the fabric but since this will only be temporary storage, clear boxes aren't necessary.

The sewing room is so daunting. Every time I go in I get overwhelmed because of the amount of stuff and how little floor can be seen. It's why I haven't been able to sew in there. I wish my organizing sister was here because she's so awesome at getting stuff organized and packed. I'll have to channel her while I'm packing up that room.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Furniture shopping is exhausting!

Testing chairs and sofas is a lot of work! We spent the afternoon looking for furniture at several stores in the city. Each one carried different sofa brands in different silhouettes and we tested all of them. Well, except in the last store; we only sat on about half of the product lines they had because we were tired by then.

We learned that while we love the feel of overstuffed furniture, we don't love the look for the great room upstairs. We don't want something too modern with squared-off lines and hard foam, either. So we want something with some rounded lines that isn't too ginormous and overstuffed and that's comfortable.

At one place, tried out some Natuzzi furniture and fell in love with many pieces. Many of their sofas are very comfortable for both of us - my feet reached the ground!!! - but the looks they had tended to be a bit too modern for us. Plus the samples were all white leather, which makes them look a little stand-offish to us. We actually found a swivel chair that we both love but that costs more than a sectional at other stores. Sadly, it has a curvy look that doesn't really go with anything but overstuffed furniture. Sigh.

I think that European furniture may be a bit smaller than North American-made furniture, partly because North Americans are bigger - or they like bigger furniture. So we may have better luck finding pieces that work for both of us if we can find more European manufacturers. The trouble with buying furniture made elsewhere in the world is that it's going to cost lots of extra money and it'll take longer to make the furniture. Then again, we're not going to be buying furniture for a while after we furnish the house so it would be better to make sure that we get the right furniture.

Even though we weren't looking for entertainment room (family room? the basement, in any case, where the video games will be) furniture, we did test out some theatre seats. There was an amazingly comfortable Palliser theatre chair with a power recliner. Oh, how decadent it was! With the power recliner you can set the exact amount of recline you want.

We also discovered reclining wing chairs today. This might be Ian's favourite style of chair :) I love the look of a wing chair and they're quite comfortable if they're the right size, and to put a recliner on it? Heavenly. I wouldn't mind getting a wing chair made for me, if it's possible and a reasonable cost.

Lest you think we can't make any decisions, we think we've settled on appliances. We stopped in at one of the appliance places today and talked to a very knowledgeable sales guy (who wasn't really pushy, but he was definitely a sales guy) who helped us clarify what we wanted. We need to confirm the measurements in the house before making a final decision on these appliances but at least we know what we want. At least we'll be able to eat and wash clothes in the house, even if there's no place to sit.

The furniture-shopping fun continues tomorrow. Stay tuned...

Friday, September 10, 2010

Cycling up and down

I don't know what's wrong with me this week; I seem to be seriously lacking in energy. I'm tired during the day but when it comes time to sleep I'm wide awake.

I think that I may have overdone it a bit last week and now I'm paying for it. It seems like I can do a lot and have a lot of energy and afterwards I crash. I wish that I could have a consistent energy level without these ups and downs. But when I'm feeling energetic i want to take advantage of all that energy.

It sounds almost like I'm bipolar, doesn't it? Except that my physical energy and abilities go up and down, not my moods or thinking. Well, except that the more tired I am the less happy I am, but I wouldn't say that my emotions are going through an Up-Down cycle.

So I either need to figure out a way to modulate these highs and lows or else make sure that the most intense packing and moving weeks correspond to high-energy weeks (meaning that I'll be exhausted through all of November). I'm not sure what to do. It might help if I forced myself to do things even when I don't have much energy so that things get done.... I just don't want to push myself too much in case I end up crashing even more afterwards.

it'll take some time to think ab

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Aliens on tv?

Speaking of new tv shows, I happened to catch that new History Channel program William Shatner's Weird or What? It seems that hey take strange events and try to figure out how those events could have occurred. One of the segments I saw was on UFOs, where a whole town in Texas saw lights in the sky. Was it flares? Or fighter jets? A UFO? A top-secret US military flight program?

Personally, I think the US probably does have a super-secret military program where they're developing crazy flight technology. I wouldn't put it past them - to me, it's the kind of thing the US government would do.

I also think that it's likely that the planet has been visited by aliens. At least I hope they've been here. To me there's no question that life exists somewhere else in the universe because there are other planets out there and I'm quite certain that life of some sort exists on at least some of those planets. From there it isn't a big stretch to me that some of that life might visit here.

Some people wonder why aliens would visit this planet and not contact world leaders - although why they think that world leaders would necessarily tell people that they'd been contacted by aliens, I don't know. There are cave paintings from multiple, isolated cultures (yeah, I know the website may not be the most credible but it does bring all the images together in one place) and other very old artwork out there of strange looking creatures and UFOs. I wonder if perhaps human evolution was "nudged" a bit, and if so, the ones who did the nudging might want to sit back and watch the way humans have evolved.

Then again, SETI hasn't heard anything from anyone else in the universe, which doesn't make sense if there is anyone else out there. Unless they're staying quiet for a reason.

I wish I could see a UFO because that would be so cool and awesome. Until that happens, I've got the tv. And packing.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

I am so lazy

I am the laziest person ever. I'm supposed to be packing and I haven't been doing that. If only everything would pack itself... but it isn't. So I sit here, watching the stuff stay as it is, while I do no packing.

Mostly I've been sleeping. For whatever reason, I've been really tired and am sleeping long past the usual time I get up. I hope that I'm back to normal over the next couple of days because I'm starting to feel the pressure of not doing any packing. This pressure seems to be leaving me sort of overwhelmed and paralyzed so that the more packing I have to do, the less I'm doing. It happens with my sewing, too, which is why I've done no sewing lately.

I'm sort of wondering where summer went. I remember having some really warm days but it's been cool and rainy out there this week. The other great harbringer of fall is Fall tv. America's Next Top Model cycle 15(!!) started today and I know that other shows, both returning and new, are on their way.

Thinking about ANTM, Tyra is still comparatively young as a host but the difference between her age and the ages of the aspiring models was very pronounced in tonight's episode. The stick-figured models-to-be are all squealing and shouting while she's calm and centered in her curviness. She's been out of the regular modeling business for a while now. Soon there will be contestants who were born after she stopped modeling and who have no idea who she really was or why she's there.

I've noticed that the ads and promos for upcoming shows are starting to take over much of the screen which is annoying. NBC is especially bad in their promos because the promos cover up little things like subtitles and person identification titles. I'd complain to them, but it seems that Canada is not a market they're trying to cultivate or maintain. If it were, then shows that are only shown on NBC and not on a Canadian affiliate (like the late and awful Persons Unknown) would have been viewable on the NBC website. I wish the tv stations would make it easier for their viewers to watch their programming.

Of course, the easier it is to watch tv, the less packing I do. So maybe things should stay the way they are until we've finished moving :)

Tuesday, September 07, 2010


Language is a funny thing. I think of it as fixed but it's fluid, with new words and meanings being added to our vocabulary all the time. Even popular phrases come and go. People give "150%" to find something with the "wow factor".

One word that was made up only a few years ago that I strongly dislike is "previvor". According to the people who made it up, "cancer previvor" means "survivor of a predisposition to cancer" although nowadays the "cancer" is assumed and they're called just "previvors". Apparently people who've been diagnosed with the genes linked to ovarian and breast cancer want a label other than "unaffected carrier", which apparently is what the medical community uses.

I have a strongly negative visceral reaction to the word "previvor". I get that people want a label, but this one implies that they're going to develop a disease - which is by no means certain - and that they're the only ones who are genetically predisposed to develop it - which they can't know, because researchers have only found two genes so far that are connected to breast and ovarian cancer. Apparently I'm not the only person who's had cancer (or "survived it") who reacts the same way I do to this phrase.

An organization called FORCE (the ones who made up the word) is trying to get legislation passed (H Res#1522) so that the US recognizes a Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Week as the last week of September, with the Wednesday of that week to be designated "Previvor Day". Apparently this designation is critical in the fight against hereditary cancer. They talk as though this is a fight for all hereditary cancers, but it's only for the few genes for breast and ovarian cancer.

Honestly, there are more diseases out there than hereditary breast and ovarian cancer and researches don't know all of the genes that define this hereditary cancer. And what about other hereditary cancers? Why should they be excluded? What makes these genes more important and deserving of notice than any other?

I'm deeply offended by the idea of this proposed legislation - especially the idea of a "Previvor Day" and hope it won't pass. There is nothing critical about designating the week or a special day; honestly, the calendar doesn't need the extra clutter.

If I was in the US I'd write my House Representative and speak out against this legislation and especially against a "Previvor day".

Monday, September 06, 2010

Out for a movie

For the first time in ages we actually went out and saw a movie. Today's choice was Machete, a movie whose trailer first appeared before Grindhouse.

Machete is sort of a western, I guess, with lawpeople trying to do the right thing for Mexican immigrants against an evil consortium that's seeking to kill or prevent them from entering the US. The story centers around the title character - Machete - as he does his job and later is recruited into this twisted consortium, betrayed by them, and goes on a rampage to wipe them out.

There's lots of eye-candy in this movie. Lindsay Lohan plays a drugged up party girl, which isn't much a stretch for her. Jessica Alba plays a rather improbable immigration agent who walks around in very high heels. Michelle Rodriguez is the leader of an underground railroad for Mexican immigrants. There's also a hospital where the nurses wear mini-dresses with very high heels.

This is not a perfect film. The compositing in the car scenes is terrible; honestly, it's as bad as those horrible Dodge Canada commercials. Lindsay Lohan's body double was obviously a body double because she was missing the trademark freckles. And the story doesn't always make sense and is a little over the top at times, but that's what we expected going in. There's lots of gore, too, and some nudity (although many would argue that this isn't a problem given the lovely ladies above  :) )

Overall, this is a good movie for what it is and we enjoyed it. If you like this kind of ultra-violent killing movie with a little eye candy thrown in, you'll love this movie. If this is not your genre, you won't like this movie.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

A great walk today

Even though it was windy and a little chilly - or maybe because it was like that - we went for an epic walk starting in what will be our new neighbourhood. We went in a different direction than the last couple of walks, going north along the river instead of south or in the neighbourhood. We found the most awesome park right by the river; in fact, at one point, we were on a little bit of land between two parts of the river. Cool.

We also ended up walking around this meadow thing which turned out to be the area that we'd tried to find in our first walk. Parts of it had been paved before and it looked like there used to be something built there but we couldn't figure out what it was. The meadow was really pretty.

Unfortunately, two legs of the walk were in industrial areas. These areas were deserted and felt a little creepy. I wouldn't want to be in those areas alone after business hours.

There are so many gorgeous walking areas near what will be our house! I'm so excited at the idea that there's a lot of beautiful places - and that gorgeous river - where I can walk. I'm sure that the little dog we're going to get will love those areas, too!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

My newest favouritest author

While I was in Toronto I ended up buying books. I love books and I love reading; in fact, one thing I'm excited about in the new house is that the main tv will be downstairs and the living area will be on the main floor.

So anyways, I was really excited to see the book 20th Century Ghosts, a compilation of short stories by Joe Hill. I've come across Joe Hill's stories in a few anthologies and really enjoyed them. Now that I've read this latest compilation, I have to say that Joe Hill is one of the best writers I've come across in a long time. The stories and situations stay with me long after I'm finished reading. I've even caught myself thinking about the stories and situations, asking myself things like, "How cool would it be if inflatable people existed?" or "What if you could create tunnels that led to other worlds?" Most things I read don't stay with me like that.

Although many of his stories have a horror bent to them, not all do. Some of them are more fantasy-based, some are just snapshots of life. Some are sweet and reflective and others are deeply unsettling. This man is a very, very talented writer. I want to read everything he's written because the worlds he creates are so compelling. I want to know whether his novels are as good as each of his short stories.

Interestingly, his father is Stephen King (the writer). Stephen King is good; Joe Hill is better. Much better. If you like fantasy-type or horror stories at all, give Joe Hill a try. You won't be disappointed.

Friday, September 03, 2010

A whirlwind trip to Toronto

I had a fantastic time visiting with my sister and then with her and her husband today. We walked, we talked, we laughed; it was so much fun. I'm really happy that I went to meet up with her because I've missed her (and the rest of my family). I wish she'd been able to stay longer so that we could have seen more of the city as her and her husband are very interested in older architecture and there's lots of that in Toronto.

Last night I took myself to see The Disappearance of Alice Creed, a UK movie about two guys who kidnap a woman  for ransom money. Everything starts to unravel and things don't go as they planned.

It's not your normal type of kidnapping movie: there are only three characters and two major locations used in the film, and there isn't that much dialogue. There's also very little music in this movie, this, combined with the lack of dialogue makes the movie very quiet and subtle. It's a very minimalist film and it really works: the story, characterizations, and actions are realistic and natural.  There's not a lot of action in the film and almost no violence, so this one isn't for everyone. It's worth seeing, however.

Between last night and today I've done so much walking that my feet and calves are really sore. I took the bus instead of driving into the city because I didn't want to drive downtown or worry about parking, and that turned out to be a good decision because I was so tired by the time I got home.

I'm going to take the bus the next time I'm in Toronto, which will be at the end of October. There's a young women's breast cancer conference happening then that I'm planning to attend. The theme for the conference is "Mind, Body, Spirit" which fits in with the stuff I take at the local cancer support center. A few people from my online support groups are going and I'm really looking forward to meeting them. It'll be great fun to see new people and to learn new ways of living and coping with the cancer.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Respirologist appointment

The respirologist was very nice. He liked that I was so well-informed about sarcoidosis and cancer and my medications.

He said that it's hard to believe that the mediastinal nodes had sarcoidosis in them because going from skin sarcoidosis to having it in lymph nodes is very unusual. He accepts the diagnosis anyways because nothing else explains the findings. My lungs show nothing except a little bit of scar tissue from the radiation 10yrs ago and my lung function tests were very good and normal. Therefore, he thinks that there is no sarcoidosis in my lungs.

He'll see me again in March and in the meantime I'll have an echocardiogram to make sure that my heart isn't affected by sarcoidosis. 

Tonight I'm going to Toronto so that I can spend time early tomorrow with my youngest sister, who won a trip to see a favourite band of hers (Down with Webster). I'll be back tomorrow afternoon sometime.