Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Here in Canada ... We Do Things The COUPON Way!!!

So, remember the Chicken & Fries episode? Or as one of my co-workers now calls it - 'Chick 'N Fries!' LOL

I sent an email, with a link to that blog post, to the Fry Company. One of their representatives responded the next day. According to my stat counter, she even read the post ;-) And so did quite a few other people in their QA Dept LOL.

Now, there's something I feel the need to point out here. If this little incident had happened in the States, I'm thinking I'd be a wealthier woman today.


If someone can make a fortune off the fact that their coffee was too hot, think what this struggling single Mom could have ended up with by finding a Non-Edible Lump of Something in her french fry bag?!?!?!?

Cash people!!! We're talking cold hard cash here!!!

But alas ... this is Canada. I wasn't even offered hush money to NOT publicly say their name! LOL

And I'm not that much of idiot that I would attempt to sue the Fry Company over finding something 'strange' in my fry bag.

I told them about it. Shared the strange occurrence in a blog post.

'nuff said.

The Fry Company wanted to compensate me for finding what they called a 'grease buildup' in my fry bag.

True to their word, they sent me $10 worth of coupons for their product.


Fries for weeks Baby!!!

Who needs cash, when here in Canada ... we do things the COUPON way!

Thank you Fry Company People. If you're reading this, I really do appreciate the gesture of the coupons :-)

...... Who am I kidding ... I would have rather had the cash!

That's it! I'm movin' to the States! ;-)

Later all! I have to go spend my coupons now!


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Calling All Music Experts! I Have A Challenge For YOU!

A couple of months ago, I heard a song on my favourite radio station, that is actually a re-make of an old 70's song by Dream Academy, Life in a Northern Town.

It has been 'redone' by Sugarland, Little Big Town and Jake Owen and it's absolutely AWESOME!!!

There's only one little problem ...

I can't figure out part of the freakin' chorus!!!

I've listened to it countless times. I've googled it. And the only info I can find on it is 'chanting'. Well ... chanting WHAT?!?!?!?

Here is the song ...

Here is your challenge! What the heck are they saying after:

Hey Oh Ma Ma Ma

? ? ? ? ?

Hey Oh Ma Ma Ma

Heeeyyyyyyy ahhhhh

Life in a Northern Town

Hey Ma Ma Ma ...

What the heck is it? Someone please, save what precious little sanity I have!!

Hey Ma Ma Ma ... :-)


Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Cat Came Back ... A Week Later! - The Final Tale From the Road

I have to admit, I had a good time on my vacation this year. Lots of quality time spent with the boys and my Mom, and time spent just RELAXING!!!

Having said that, there was one thing that was nagging at the back of my mind, and bothering me the whole trip - back home, our cat was missing.

Remember our cat Puss? The indoor-turned-outdoor cat who likes to leave me presents on our doorstep? Yeah, her.

The day we left on vacation, I let her out first thing in the morning, knowing we wouldn't actually be leaving the house until mid-afternoon, so there would be plenty of time to call her back in.

Mid-afternoon came ... I called ... no cat.

OK. Not a big deal. I knew the ex was coming by after work to pick up the dog, and look after her while we were gone, the cat would certainly be back by then and ready to come in.

The ex showed up for the dog. No cat.

He called her for half and hour. No cat.

The boys called their Dad before going to bed that night. "Did Puss come back? Did you find her?"

No cat.

I figured one night 'out in the wild' would be ok. I know she likes to hide under our deck, and figured she'd just spend the night there.

The next night after work, the ex came back for the cat. No cat.

Almost every night, for the next seven nights, the boys had the same conversation with their father.

"Did Puss come back? Did you find her?"

"No boys, I'm sorry, she didn't. But I put more food out for her today. Since the food keeps disappearing, she must be eating it."

I didn't have the heart to tell them that I figured it was probably one of the neighbourhood raccoons or some other animal that was cleaning out her bowl every night.

I resigned myself to the fact that she was most likely gone :-( There's no way she'd be able to survive for a week outside, all on her own. Remember, up until about a month ago, she had not experienced 'the wild'.

I thought about our Puss every day. She was constantly at the back of my mind. Was she ok? Was she eating? Had she found water? Was she alive?!?!? Why wasn't she coming when she heard the ex ... she knows him, knows his voice ...

The night before we were due home, the ex even brought his friend's wife over to our house, thinking a 'female voice' would coax Puss out of hiding.

No cat. The cat was definitely GONE!!! My poor Puss ... ending up as some freakin' raccoon or maybe coyote's dinner :-(

Not wanting to upset the boys more than the already were, every day I simply told them "You know what? We just have to wait and see what happens when we get home. I think she's FINE and just not coming out for Daddy!"

Unfortunately, I didn't believe my own words :-(

The night we arrived home, I dropped the boys off at their father's, picked up the dog, and left with Alec's instruction to 'call the minute you find Puss!'

I didn't expect to be making that call.

I went home, straight onto the deck and started calling. And calling. And calling.

No cat.

With a very heavy heart, I headed back through the house, out the front door and started unpacking the vehicle.

On one of my trips, I let the dog out.

A few minutes later, I'm hauling stuff out of the back of the truck, I turn around and see Belle with her head stuck under the hedge, tail wagging at a freakish pace.

It couldn't be ...

Could it?

"Belle ... what is it girl?"

Not two seconds later, two beautiful little green eyes were blinking at me from under the hedge ...


It was like something out of a corny movie. She ran towards me meowing, I ran towards her, yelling her name, scooped her in my arms and we covered each other's faces in kisses!!! LOL

After seven days outside, alone ... the cat came back!!!

I honestly couldn't believe it!

We went inside and I checked her out. She was noticeably scrawnier, but overall, she was OK!!!!

With her still in my arms, I picked up the phone and called the boys.

I have no idea where she was for all that time. I'm assuming she didn't go far, and kept coming back to check if we were home. I'll never know for sure.

I noticed a change in her 'outing behaviour' after her little adventure though.

The first few days after we were home, she'd only go out for a few minutes at a time. Then she'd be sitting at the door again. "Are you there Mom?" "Gonna let me in Mom?" LOL She didn't go far for long.

Now, after being home a couple of weeks, she's venturing out for longer trips again, and not always coming home right away when I call her.

Damn cat.

But she's our damn cat, and we love her, and I'm glad she's back :-)

'Nite all.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Mom's Cookin' Brings 'Em From All Over! - Tales From the Road V

My Mother is an awesome cook! Whether it be a turkey dinner with all the fixin's or pies, cookies or homemade jam, with berries she'd picked herself.

I didn't inherit this wonderful cooking gene from my Mom.

Just ask my ex.

Or my kids.

Or the dog ...

My Mother however, yeah, awesome. And the sea gulls along a northern New Brunswick beach think so too!!! And word's getting around ...

When we first arrived at the beach, aside from the crappy weather, the other thing I noticed right away was the amount of sea gulls that were gathered outside my Mom's place.

After dinner, I understood why.

She fills a plate with the left-overs, and takes it out to the birds.

I watched them all week. They start to gather shortly before dinner ... waiting ... knowing ...

"Soon ... soon, the human will appear with the shiny plate of food ..."

And then ...

Time to chow down!!!

One night we were having dinner and noticed one of the neighbours with a video camera. She was shooting a bird down by the water. This wasn't one of the usual food scoundrels though, this was a visitor!

A cormorant

The neighbour with the video camera told me they are uncommon in that area of NB.

Word about Mom's leftovers is really getting around!!! ;-)

He took a little stroll along the beach, waded out, swam a bit, then flew away.

He wasn't quite as cool as Alfie, but interesting to see nonetheless :-)

Nite all!

And if you happen to be walking along the shores of NB and notice an unusually large flock of gulls outside one particular spot, don't worry, it isn't a reenactment of The Birds, it's simply my Mom's feathered panhandlers waiting for their dinner ;-)


Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Best Laid Plans ... Led To 'ALFIE' - Tales From the Road IV

Mid-week of vacation, we decided to take our chances with the Weather Gods and made plans to go tubing down the Miramichi River.

This is easily one of the most beautiful and famous rivers in the province of New Brunswick.

Famous for it's Atlantic salmon, the Dungarven Whooper and the fact that "royalty, prime ministers, presidents, rock stars and Hollywood icons have cast a line into its legendary waters." lol

Now, we were going to park our butts in it for a couple of hours, and float the afternoon away :-D

Or so we thought.

Mom had called the automated message at the tubing place, and it gave the hours of operation and great directions. We drove an hour and a half to get there, through back country roads, only to find out ... they were closed.

The Miramichi Valley had experienced alot of rain over the past couple of weeks, and the river was too high to attempt tubing. The water had come so far up on land, it had reached part of the crops. It was too dangerous.

You can't argue with 'dangerous', so we turned around and headed back 'into town' for lunch.

The boys had spotted a Dairy Queen along the way, and although Mom and I would have preferred to eat at the 'sit down restaurant' next door, we ended up at Dairy Queen.

Had the 'Tubing Place' not been closed, we would not have been at Dairy Queen when we were. We would not have finished lunch when we did, and we wouldn't have gone outside with the boys to finish their Brownie Batter Blizzards when we did.

We also wouldn't have met Alfie.

With lunch finished, we were outside sitting on the ledge deciding what to do next, when Alfie pulled in with his owners.

There is a perch on the passenger side, across the dash, with a 'poop bag' directly underneath it LOL He had traveled all the way from PEI and was on his way home. Another hour or so away :-)

He was friendly. Sat on all our arms :-)

And he liked ice cream!

Alfie's owner holding the ice cream.

He was REALLY cool. One thing I didn't manage to get on camera, was when his owners would say "Alfie, do sexy", and he'd puff all his feathers out LOL. Polly would be sharing her crackers with this stud Baby!!!

Our best laid tubing plans may have led to Alfie, but it's not every day you see a parrot pull into a Dairy Queen for an ice-cream, so that, and then hitting Ritchie Wharf afterwards, still gave the boys some unexpected excitement for the afternoon :-)

No ice cream - no sexy!

A little bit of ice cream ... s'all it takes ;-) ... Bwwaaaccckkkk!!!!


Monday, August 11, 2008

'Stuart' - Tales From the Road III

We're always trying to introduce our kids to new things. Expand their horizons, mold them into well-rounded individuals. Try is the key word there ;-)

Sometimes, our kids can introduce us to new things too. Things we may not ever have discovered on our own.

While we were on vacation, my cousin's 11yr old son introduced my boys to 'Stuart', and his mom 'Doreen Larkin', characters in a re-occurring skit on MAD TV.

I had never heard of 'Stuart'. I don't watch MAD TV. I was a Saturday Night Live girl for many years. But never got into MAD.

So if it hadn't been for the kids yelling "Mom! Aunt Kim! You've GOTTA come see this!!!' I never would have discovered this little *gem* Michael McDonald & Maureen 'Mo' Collins have created in 'Stuart'.

Most everything about them, what they say and do, is entirely politically INCORRECT! But between his inappropriateness, and her incredible facial expressions, and 'Waaa - aaa -aaa'ing, these skits provided some of the biggest belly laughs I experienced the entire trip.

Three lines and their responses crack me up in every episode ...

Look What I Can Do!!!

Let Me Doooooo Ittttttt

Stuart, What Does Mama Say ...?


I've picked my favourites for you. You can find many others HERE!!!

Stuart Gets His Picture Taken

Stuart Goes To The Doctor

Stuart Visits A Chinese Restaurant

I would also recommend Stuart Goes To His Dad's.

Enjoy! I certainly did!

... Look what I can do! ;-) - can't you just see me doing this while shoping with the boys?
Hee Hee Hee ...

Sunday, August 10, 2008

"Side Airbag Off" - Tales From the Road II

My older son is 12. He still sits in the back seat with his 8yr old brother, who is in a booster seat and will be for another year.

When they were younger, long trips were a nightmare. I resigned myself to traveling at night just so I could drive without them yelling in my ears, getting on my nerves and at times being dangerous distractions.

I've honestly lost track of how many times I've pulled over to the side of the road for a 'do you have any idea how dangerous that was?!?!??!' speech.

This year, it wasn't so bad. They kept the arguing to a minimum and I didn't have to pull over once :-D

Although I've thought of putting Alec in the front to simply separate them. I've never done it. An air bag can deploy at almost 300 kilometres an hour. I don't want to find out what sort of damage it would do if it happened to deploy with him sitting there in front of it.

In Nova Scotia the laws for child restraints is pretty clear.

The Four Stages of Child Restraint Use

Stage One: Rear-Facing Infant Seat
0 – 10 kg (22 lb.)
Birth to around 1 year old

Stage Two: Forward-Facing Child Seat
10 – 18 kg (22 – 40 lb.)
About 1 – 4 ½ years old

Stage Three: Booster Seat
18 – 36 kg (40 – 80 lb.)
About 4 ½ – 8 years old

Stage Four: Seat Belt
Over 36 kg (80 lb.)
About 8 – 12 years old

Lately, Alec has been asking to sit in the front seat.

I've been saying "No."

He knows he's 'big enough', but I just feel safer with him in the back.

It only takes one fluky child/airbag death incident to make you think twice about having them in the front.

While we were away, he and I were getting out, just the two of us, for a coffee run and some quiet time. As we were leaving he asked, "Mom ...can I sit in the front?"

I said yes.

Then something interesting happened.

We got in. I started the vehicle. Before putting it into drive, I noticed a light on the dashboard which hadn't been there before. It was the 'passenger air bag disabled' light.

It stayed on the entire time we were out.

The next time I started it, the light was off again. It hasn't been on since.

A built in weight sensor maybe? Simply one of those freaky things that happens to us, that I don't bother to question ... ? Most likely the sensor ;-)

He's still sitting in the back. Much as he dislikes it. And much as he still argues with his brother at times lol. But I don't have to worry about him getting blown to bits by an airbag in a parking lot fender bender back there.

Just deflecting whatever verbal and physical arsenal his brother may be shooting at him instead lol.

Night all! Buckle Up! Seat belts, AND airbags DO saves lives!


Saturday, August 9, 2008

MOOSE! - Tales From the Road

We're home from Vacation!

A week of fun in the sun and rain ... and sun :-)

And as always, home with tales of adventures.

So, gather into the Korner my friends, family and faithful lurking readers, for MOOSE! The first tale from the road.

Last week the boys and I headed towards Northern New Brunswick for a week at the beach. Vacation. Home.

I've traveled that road the past 19yrs, sometimes as a passenger, most times as a driver, but no matter where you're sitting, the last couple of hours of that trip is still - always - nerve wracking.

It's miles and miles of open, tree-lined highway.

and miles ...

And you'd think traveling all those miles, I'd be worried about these ...

Yeah. It's no fun meeting a convoy going the opposite direction, on a two-lane highway, in the rain. LOL And yeah ... it happens quite often. But that, I can handle.

It's THIS that keeps my hands gripping the wheel, the teeth clenched, and eyes sweeping from left to right, then back again, frowning in concentration, ready to hit the breaks at a moments notice ...

I grew up in a province with alot of moose. These awkward, freight trains with horns have been the cause of far too many deaths along the NB highways.

The road my dad traveled to work each day hid many of these silent killers behind it's tree-lined landscape. The weather and flies often drive them out of those trees, onto the roads and into the paths of unsuspecting drivers.

It wasn't uncommon to hear 'so and so hit a moose the other night/day'.

One night, before we were married, the ex and I were traveling home. It was raining - hard, a car passed us, not 5 min later we hit the brakes as we came upon them. They'd hit a moose. Had they not passed us, it would have been us.

Around home, most everyone knows someone who's hit a moose.

So, in order for the boys and I to get home, we have to travel through miles of moose.

So much so, that you'll find signs like the above along the highway.

And they continue.

And continue.

Did you know ...

There are approximately 300 moose-vehicle accidents in New Brunswick every year, many of them fatal, and most of them occurring between May and September.

More people are injured or killed in moose-vehicle collisions in New Brunswick than in crashes with any other animal.

Moose are especially hard to see in low light because they are dark brown and their eyes do not reflect light like those of deer. Due to their height, their eyes are above most headlight beams.

Finally, it seems the NB govt has taken action. It has begun construction of 'moose fencing' along the 'hot spots'.

The boys seemed to pay more attention to the possibility of seeing a moose this trip. Perhaps because of all the screaming yellow signs and penitentiary like fencing?

They acted as my 'extra eyes' along the sections of highway that weren't yet safely fenced in.

And of course, as luck would have it, this morning we're sitting in the Tims drive-thru just before hitting the road, and we hear on the radio "A number of people have been calling in to let us know there has been a herd of moose sighted along the highway towards xxxx. Drive with care! Make sure you slow down, put your lights on and make sure you have a clean windshield so you can see everything coming at you!"

"Where are we headed Mom?"

"Towards xxxx." Sigh.

However, earlier that morning we'd been to visit my Dad, and before we said goodbye, Mom and I asked him to keep the moose away from us on the way home, to keep us safe :-)

Then, when we stopped for gas and slushies, I spotted and picked up a penny by the slushie machine :-D

So when I heard the tentative "Do you think we'll see a moose Mom?", from the back seat, I explained that I couldn't promise we wouldn't have the adventure of SEEING a moose along the side of the road, but that after Dad and the penny, I knew we wouldn't be hitting one today :-D

In fact, the most excitement we saw along the highway on the way home, was a dead bald eagle, and a woman in handcuffs next to a couple of police officers and a sheriff's van at a roadside rest stop LOL.

Not sure which one was having a worse day...

'Nite all! And be careful if you're driving those highways! MOOSE!