Do We Attract What We Are Afraid Of?

It’s no secret that I’ve had an interesting array of experiences with critters, but recently things have gotten a little crazy in the spider department. I’d like to know why they like to visit me so much, and not someone who might happen to love them! I’d also like to know why they have to be so ugly, if they were all as cute as lady bugs they could walk around on my wall anytime.

It started a couple weeks ago when I was just waking up, laying in my bed praying.  I said “Amen.” and then opened my eyes to see a spider repelling from the ceiling right above my face! I rolled out of the way with ninja lightening speed and gathered my nerve to look back.  It was a HUGE daddy long leg and it was just hanging in the air right above where my face would have been, as if it was disappointed it no longer had a face to land on.  I ran to get my husband so he could get rid of it and low and behold, it was still just hanging there when he got back.

After that incident we cleaned our bedroom top to bottom, got rid of any clutter, and filled in any cracks in the wall until I felt it was squeaky clean enough to get over the damage to my mental psyche enough to sleep in there again. When I say sleep, I mean with the sheets pretty much over my face, and definitely covering my ears!

We found a recipe for a home made spider deterrent.  Add 5 drops of peppermint oil and a squirt of dishwashing liquid to a cup of water. Spray this along the base of all your walls. The smell is amazing for us, but putrid for spiders!

We found a recipe for a home made spider deterrent. Add 5 drops of peppermint oil and a squirt of dishwashing liquid to a cup of water. Spray this along the base of all your walls. The smell is amazing for us, but putrid for spiders!

Now, just the other day when I grabbed a small pile of clothes that were freshly folded out of the laundry and sitting on my bed, I noticed something rising up off of them.  It was a spider!  A spider had been hanging out on top of my clothes and was trying to make a mission impossible exit back to the ceiling! Unfortunately for him, (oh I pray it was a him and not a female who may have laid eggs on my clothes) my ninja reflex skills squished him with a shirt. Unfortunately for me, I am now sleeping on the couch again.

The pillow says it all!

The pillow says it all!

Fruit Skewers

I was quite pleased with myself when I was able to make the teen girls at my son’s birthday party go, ‘Oh my gosh! Those are SO adorable!’  I’d like to give you the same power by sharing this really simple recipe for fruit skewers.

fruit skewers

I think these would also be great sticking out of a summer drink!

All you need is a watermelon, a large carton of raspberries, a large carton of blackberries, a melon baller and a package of wooden skewers.

Wash all of the fruit well and pat dry.  Cut your watermelon in half and make little balls using your melon baller.  This was my first time using one of those so I suspect you’d be able to do an even better job than me as mine were more like half moons…but they were still loved!

Pick up a wooden skewer and slide it through the fruit alternating between watermelon, blackberry, watermelon, raspberry, watermelon, blackberry.

That’s it!!! Keep them refrigerated until ready to serve.

Feisty Fireworks

When I was a child, my parents would always have big parties for the May long weekend, which concluded with a fireworks show put on by my dad and his friend on our front lawn.  It has been at least 20 years since we’ve done that, so on the occasion of my dad’s 70th birthday, my siblings and I decided to surprise him at the end of his party.

We totally set the scene.  We very quickly and with ninja-like finesse moved everyone’s cars and set up lawn chairs in the grass. Our set up got stalled for a few minutes when we opened the box of fireworks and had our minds blown by the size of them!  Some of the names had us muttering ‘What are we doing?!’ … quickly followed by ‘This is going to be epic!’

Not a very long fuse on this one!  Hence the name I think!

Not a very long fuse on this one! Hence the name I think!

We brought everyone outside, with them still not knowing what was going on, and had the kids do a little dancing around to trick my dad into thinking this was going to be something different.  We then brought out the buckets filled with sand and two huge firework rolls sticking out of them ready to go.  My brother surprised us all and blasted a soundtrack he had recorded for the event.

We had never lit fireworks ourselves before, but we remember our dad packed them in sand, so we figured it must look something like this.

We had never lit fireworks ourselves before, but we remember our dad packed them in sand, so we figured it must look something like this.

My dad’s jaw was wide with amazement and we very proudly lit the first fuse, me holding the flashlight, and RAN! Oh man, that fuse was sparkling and moving so fast that I panicked, screamed like a little girl and dropped the flashlight – but kept running like the thing was going to blow, all the while unintentionally kicking the flashlight with every step! I’m proud to say that my sister had my kids on Skype, who couldn’t travel with me, and they saw the whole thing. Yep … I’m going to enjoy getting teased for that one!

Needless to say the fireworks went off beautifully and were massively impressive. I came to enjoy the thrill of even lighting the fuse myself!

Needless to say the fireworks went off beautifully and were massively impressive. I came to enjoy the thrill of even lighting the fuse myself!

We ended up drawing a little crowd, so our audience got bigger just in time for the grand finale.  My brother changed the music to a swelling instrumental he had planned for this moment.  He lit the final fuse and BAM! The first flaming ball (as they were described on the packaging) went high in the sky.  BAM! The second flaming ball went in a rainbow arc.  I heard my brother yell, “It’s tilting! It’s tilting!”  BAM! The next one went completely sideways just missing my cousin’s car. BAM! The next one hit the ground and bounced up onto her car. This was not just one firework, this was a grand finale firework tube with 30 flaming balls set to go off inside!

Everyone was hollering and ducking.  My brother ran up and pulled the tube straight only for it to fling itself the other way instead.  In the process he had to hurdle it as he almost ended up with his own flaming you-know-what’s.  Now the fireworks were blasting straight into the bush and bouncing off the street.  My brother then ripped the tube out of the sand bucket and proceeded to try and butt it out on the street like a cigarette.  Luckily he found a puddle and got the thing to go out.  At that very moment everyone burst out with laughter and I really and truly had to lock my legs so I wouldn’t pee my pants!  I haven’t laughed that hard in years!  Oh, and yes … my kids were still on Skype!

Thought you might like to see the aftermath of the Grave Digger. Looks like something made for war!

Thought you might like to see the aftermath of the Grave Digger. Looks like something made for war!

Home fireworks have come a long way since we were kids.  My dad’s face lit up, just like ours used to when he put on the show for us, making this hands-down, the best birthday present.  Of course, the other take-away from this experience is to always pack the dirt down firmly around your fireworks so they don’t go sideways!

 

The Girl Who Tried To Cheer For An American Hockey Team

I have discovered that seeing an NHL hockey game in Los Angeles is a very affordable thing to do.  You can get tickets for $30-40 and they always have availability! I’ve been taking advantage of this with a few other Canadian friends and we have now been able to see all of our favourite Canadian teams as they come out here to play the American hockey team; LA Kings.

You can imagine our surprise when we all met up at the subway station and one of our friends was sporting an LA Kings shirt! She announced to the rest of us that she felt she had been living in LA a long time now, so she thought it was time to start rooting for her home team. You can bet we all let her have it for that!  You see … it’s an unspoken rule that no matter where you live, when it comes to hockey, any Canadian team will always be your home team. On this particular day the Winnipeg Jets were playing.

 

Canada sweater and LA Kings shirt

You otherwise wouldn’t know it, but BOTH of these girls are Canadian!

 

If we own jerseys, hoodies, or any apparel of the visiting team, we wear them to the game.  If not, we wear whatever Canadian gear we have.  It’s amazing how many others from the ‘True North’ you’ll spot at the Staples Center. Our friend, however, didn’t think all of this through! Of course, we made friends with other Canadians around us and pointed out the trader in our presence.  She would hush us and say that she was busy trying to concentrate on training her eyes to follow the other team. If the Kings scored she would clap and cheer, but it lacked any real look of joy.  She really did put in a lot of effort.

Somewhere in the 3rd period, when the Jets scored for the second time, our friend unleashed a fist-pump to the sky accompanied by a loud, deep from the belly cheer that had everyone around turning their heads. The rosy colour of life returned to her cheeks and she proclaimed, “I’m back!”

When we went out for a drink after the game, she explained that while she was watching the game as a Kings fan, she really wasn’t enjoying the game at all, but when she switched back to cheering for the Jets she started to have a great time and love hockey again, even though the Kings won the game. Let this stand as an experiment that was conducted on behalf of all Canadians, so no one else will have to go through it.  You have permission to cheer for other teams, but when you are out of country and ANY Canadian team is playing, even if you’re not normally a regular fan of them, THEY ARE YOUR HOME TEAM! It’s for the love of the game, and your own good.  After all, WE ARE HOCKEY!!!

 

A Night Out With Jim Fox

Jim Fox must have been happy to see some fellow Canadians at the LA Kings game the other day.  It shouldn’t have come as any surprise, as they were playing the Toronto Maple Leaf’s! For those who don’t know, Jim Fox is a retired Canadian NHL player who spent all 9 of his seasons with the Kings.  Before the game started they gave a special ceremony honoring him. On the way in the door they gave each of us our own Jim to hang out with!

Our Jim started off being pretty cool.  He hung out and watched the game with us, ready to broadcast the highlights at any moment if we needed him to.

 

bobble head at a hockey game

Looking good Jim! Our view from the Platinum Lounge at The Staples Center.

 

After a while, Jim wasn’t satisfied with just standing around and he decided to get in on our fun.  Turns out Jim’s a lot of fun himself!

 

bobble head and beer

Jim’s still a good Canadian, enjoying a fine beer! (That’s Shock Top with a slice of orange)

 

I wonder how he felt about the outcome of the game? The Leaf’s beat the Kings, so being that hockey is such a Canadian sport would he be sad that his team that he played for lost, yet still be happy because it was a Canadian team who won? He must have felt a bit conflicted because he insisted on coming out with us after the game.

 

bobble head at a juke box

Jim took over the joint and had to set the mood with his favorite party songs!

 

Trouble came when Jim realized he wasn’t the only Jim at the pub! You see, other hockey fans went out after the game and they had their own Jims too.  That’s when our Jim went a little crazy trying to prove he was the man.

 

bobble head gives a kiss

He planted some fresh ones on the ladies!

 

bobble head drinking

But soon got in way over his head … seriously, he could barely keep his head on straight!

 

It was pretty clear to all of us that Jim didn’t really think any of this through.  He went all out, and was a ton of fun, but in the end he just wasn’t the playa he made himself out to be … he ran out of money.

 

bobble head at an ATM

I have to admit, I did feel for the guy.

 

Better luck next time Jim! Hey, think of it like this … I saw a lot of people leave their Jims behind when they left, but you got to come home with us, so in the end you really did win!