Off Topic, But So Important.

I'm going to do something I rarely (if ever) do on this blog. I am about to voice a political opinion.

In this day and age, we have so much. Families have a car for every person (or more), big houses, drive long distances to work, all kinds of technology in and around their home, and it's made the Western culture fat, lazy and greedy. People think Robbie and I are crazy for only having one car between the two of us. I always tell people, I work in my basement. Robbie's workplace is a five-minute walk from our front step. We don't need more than one car. Heck, we hardly need one.

And yet, I know families with only one person working outside the home, and one staying home with the kids, but they have two (or three) vehicles. They drive absolutely everywhere. They could easily walk to the supermarket or the park, but they choose to drive. Or they choose to have a gigantic home that's heated warm enough to grow tropical plants. Or they choose to run their dishwashers with five dishes in it. Or they choose to eat out.

It's all choices, and now, the culmination of our choices has led us to this place. A place where "dirty oil" is the ONLY oil, and species are disappearing off this planet faster than you can sing the ABCs, and our children! It's expected that the children being born now will be the first generation since the years of the Black Plague to live shorter lives than their parents. And it's because of our choices that we have no way to stop an oil well that has, for a month, been spewing black sludge into one of the most diverse waterways around North America. Even worse, as BP races to try to fix this catastrophe, to try to stem the tide of oil, which is now settling in the Louisiana wetlands, people are shrugging their shoulders and saying, well, not much we can do about it. We need oil to live. There are religious zealots excited about this disaster because, in their minds, it means that Christ is returning post haste. The sooner we trash the earth, the sooner Judgement Day will arrive. Hallelujah.

But look at it. Look at the carnage. Our earth is dying. We are the ones killing it.

Our life of leisure is not worth this. If the ocean dies, the earth dies. If the air is ruined, the earth dies. If the land is scorched, the earth dies.

People may think that we're all good seeing as we've mapped the human genome and can bend nature to our will, but here's a news flash. If the earth dies, we die with it. All of us. There are no people who can live on this planet without our ocean or our plants or our air. It doesn't matter if you've managed to breed a teacup-sized wolf, cloned a thousand sheep, grown an ear on the back of a mouse or can fly around the world at five times the speed of sound. We cannot survive without the earth.

So come on, people. Do we really need to wait for the governments of the world to tell us to cut back on our driving, think about what we're buying and consuming and to change our damned light bulbs? Half of you don't like your government anyway.

I'm not saying that we should all stop driving, use our houses for firewood and start tanning hides for clothing, but how about we start with recycling, using a compost, walking where we can, turning off lights when we leave a room, growing a vegetable garden, planting a tree, buying used before new, investing our hard-earned cash in companies that are trying to find legitimate energy alternatives, shopping locally, and turning off that TV and computer and cellphone and spending some time with our families once in a while?

We are humans. We were gifted, whether by nature or some deity, with an extremely useful brain. It may sound so cliche, but if we can figure out a way to put a person on the moon, surely, surely we can find a way to alter our own thinking, our own mindset to consider not just the here and now, but also the future, the consequences and what could be.


A Weekend

This weekend is a long weekend here in Canada. Monday is a day off, which is much appreciated by everyone.

Last summer, our best couple friends moved west, to Vancouver Island. Seeing as it was Robbie's best friend, it's been rather hard on us, and sometimes, it seems like we have no one to do things with. James and Jen were kind of our go-to couple, as their oldest daughter is only a year-and-a-half younger than Elodie. Of course we're lucky enough to be blessed with as many friends as we have fingers and toes, but in this part of the country, a rat race is definitely played, and it's hard to make time for leisure.

So for Christmas this year, Elodie and I gave Robbie a trip to Vancouver Island to hang out with his best buddy and his family. So on Thursday, he flew out, and Elodie and I started our Mommy/Daughter weekend. So far, it's nice. I always love just hanging out with Elodie, just the two of us. Our family has a really good routine, and sometimes it's nice to toss that right out the window. And that routine has been tossed.

I took Friday off work. We picked up my cousin's two-year-old son so he could have some fun time away from his new baby sister (it's been kind of hard on him). He and Elodie had a tonne of fun, racing around the house, destroying Elodie's bedroom, eating the most kid-friendly lunch EVER (goldfish crackers, mac & cheese, cut-up hotdogs, corn on the cob and strawberries), and playing at the park. After dropping him off after a solid four hours of playing, we went to my parents' house to visit my grandparents who had just driven in from Saskatchewan.

Gramma, Elodie and I went and got some things for dinner, and then when Elodie knocked out in the car on the way home, we decided to go for coffee at Tim Horton's. Elodie stayed asleep for most of it, and only awoke at the end to have a doughnut. We had dinner with my grandparents and parents, and then we went home. Elodie fell asleep in record time, and I followed suit.

Last night, at about 3:00 a.m., I woke up to find a little clammy-footed, snoring kid, two dogs and a cat in my bed. I kicked one dog off and let the rest stay. In my defence, the dog I kicked off is 125 pounds of drool and hair.

In all, this weekend has been one of lazing about, doing what we feel like when we feel like it, heading for impromptu trips to the park, not cleaning up after ourselves (much. I have run the dishwasher once and wiped down the stove and counters), not worrying about getting out of our jammies first thing in the morning, and generally enjoying ourselves.

Today, we have dinner with my whole family (parents, grandparents, brother, cousin and his family). Tomorrow, we're going up to Sundre to see Robbie's step-dad and his family. One brother, two sisters, their families, and then four step-step sisters and their kids (Robbie's step dad remarried after Robbie's mom died to a woman with four girls. What does that make them to Robbie? We figure step-step sisters). It's going to be *crazy* busy, but I always enjoy hanging out with them. Then tomorrow night, I'll drop Elodie into the safe care of Robbie's dad, and I get Sunday night and most of Monday to myself while Elodie goes to the High River Parade.

Robbie comes home on Tuesday. By then, my house will be a mess, my clothing piled up to the ceiling, work screaming my name, but you know what? There's next weekend. Long weekends are for relaxing with your family, and that's just what I intend to do.

Have a wonderful, safe weekend, everybody!! Don't drink and drive!



Just going to put this out there. When adults spread lies and rumors about children, it's pathetic. It's mean. It's underhanded. It makes them look like giant D-bags.

Telling lies about a little girl because you don't like her mother is so immature, I'm surprised that a certain *someone* isn't still in high school. But no, she's almost 30.

Putting this out there, Ms. H, grow the hell up.

ps. I'm still checking that site for reasons just like this.



I'm not sure if you all remember, but a while back, I posted about two large cysts found on my right ovary. As we had been trying to have a baby for a long time, this was a surprise but not a surprise. I knew something had to be up.

Well, I saw the specialist this past week, and I have a diagnosis! PCOS, or Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome is a disorder that affects between 5 and 10% of women of childbearing age. It can present in girls as young as 11 and women as old as 65. What is it, exactly? Well, it's a disorder that really is unknown as to cause, but the main culprit is believed to be a combination of insulin resistance and genetics.

I don't have some of the tell-tale symptoms, but I do have others. For example, while I am spotty, have difficulty losing weight and have rather long cycles (ranging between 35 and 42 days), I don't have excessive body hair (thank goodness) or male pattern baldness or dark patches on my skin.

I am, quite honestly, relieved with the diagnosis of PCOS. It is highly treatable, and once the hormonal imbalance is fixed with a combination of Metformin and diet and exercise (which will result in weight loss), symptoms should disappear. At least it's not something like endometriosis, which runs in my family and resulted in hysterectomies in my aunt and mother, and it's not ovarian cancer, thank goodness.

So on June 4th, I'll return to my doctor, review the results of the blood tests that were drawn last week and be prescribed Metformin and put on a diet plan. I generally eat pretty healthy, but I still have quite a bit of excess weight hanging around that just won't. Go. Away. I'm looking forward to the Metformin giving me a boost in that direction, maybe having some clear skin and most importantly, getting this thing under control as soon as possible.

In other news, my husband and I have both decided it's time to lead healthier lives. We have both given up all alcohol and started to eat even better than we were (no more eating out at fast food joints), and he is in the process of kicking his pot-a-day coffee habit and cutting out all other caffeine. He's been in a terrible mood for the last week or so, but I'm so proud of him for taking this step. I've already noticed that his mood is more even, that his breath smells considerably better, and he's not as gassy as he used to be. Having cut out caffeine over five years ago, I fully appreciate the difficulty of what he is doing.

Also in the healthier lifestyle choices, I have stopped staying up until 2:00 a.m. every night. I generally am asleep by 10:00 (although not tonight due to preparing caramel apples for a friend's birthday party tomorrow), awake by 7:30 and working until about 2:00. I've managed to nearly double my production in the last few weeks, and am bringing in double the income, therefore. I'm very proud of myself and feel like *such* an adult.

So overall, things here in Chez Plied are good. Things are looking hopeful. I shall keep you all updated on my progress. ONWARD!!