Last week my daughter had a day off from school. The school district calls it a 'Professional Day' or a Pro-D day for short. It is a day where the teachers are supposed to hone their skills to make them better teachers.

My mother-in-law is a retired teacher. She told me that on these 'Professional Days' teachers take fun how-to-do courses such as how to make sushi. Yeah, so um, I am sure that all the teachers go back to their third grade classes and teach their eager students how to roll a California roll. At any rate at least the kids are happy to have a day off from school and the teachers get to make sushi.

On the last professional day Holly and I had a mother-daughter-day. We did not take any sushi classes. I figured she would learn that at school. Instead we went to McDonald's and had cheese burger Happy Meals. We sat by the window so we could see the cars leaving the drive-thru. We played the game: Guess if the Driver is an Old Guy. (Like 50 or above- that's old to Holly, not so much to me, but that is beside the point.) The car would come around the corner and we would have to guess if it was a old man behind the steering wheel. You see our McDonald's drive-thru is popular joint for old men to get hot coffee. We found this game very entertaining.

After our lunch we headed to the mall to Color Me Mine. I painted Holly an ice cream cone cookie jar. Holly painted me a piggy bank. His name is Dimes.

When I got him home I found out that 'Dimes' was a mafia piggy bank He is what the mafia calls an 'Earner'. His name is Dimes because he takes nothing less than a dime. Don't try and feed him a penny or a nickle that will just make him angry and the last thing you want to do is get 'Iced'. The worst part about having Dimes in the house is that he is also an 'Enforcer'. I think he has to work for the mob because he doesn't want to be turned into 'Gabagool'. Gabagool is a form of deli meat made from pork. Yikes for Dimes.

When I walk by Dimes, who sits in the kitchen, he quietly says to me, 'Your only as good as your last envelope.' Gulp.

He has assured us that our payment to him is our benefit. We wouldn't want our valuables to end up missing would we? What would we do without our glasses, our watches, our iPhones, the remote control, or worse the dog? He says that he will ensure that these items stay in place...for a cost.

All I am saying is I am glad his name is not Twenty Dollar Bill. My stuff, my family and I would be totally screwed. I will keep paying Dimes because I fear he may be watching the other way while my stuff gets 'misplaced'. I can see it now: 'Where's my laptop? How will I blog?' I am now paying to blog. Extortion sucks. Forget about it!

The Cheapest Way to Exercise...

The most inexpensive workout is walking. I guess on some level that would be true. You could go outside right now, even barefoot and just walk in any direction of your choice at no cost to you. You would burn calories and gain muscle tone, but your feet would be worse for the wear. I am not doing that because I live in British Columbia, Canada, and there is a high probability that it would rain during my barefoot walk. I hate having cold wet feet.

Ten days ago, my family started the Going the Distance 2012. Holly decided to lace up her sneakers too. I don't blame her. Who wouldn't want $400? Holly and David actually run. I am so impressed. They can run all they want but I am the most determined to win, and even if I have to crawl those last few kilometers to win I will do it.

I know I haven't blogged since we started the challenge but I have been busy walking as a result I have been busy being bone tired. On the first day as I started out on my journey, (Doing the most inexpensive way to exercise on the planet.) it hit me- the way I walk isn't cheap. I was carrying a butt-load of necessary walking items that would make a pretty good argument against walking being so inexpensive. I figured out that it would be cheaper for me to buy a one year membership to a gym than to go on this one walk. Here is why:

I had my:

My iPhone: I needed it to track my route using an app called iMap. Hey, I need to put my GPS to good use. What if I forget where I walked to by the time I returned to home? How will I tell anybody that I traveled down Mary Street, then took a left at Edward, took a right on Yale and then walked continuously until I turned around and went home? I use a lot of my precious brain power writing this blog.
i Phone: $570.00

My iPod: For the music of course. I can not walk in silence.What if I started thinking?
iPod: $145.00

My Body Bugg: The Body Bugg is a device I wear on my right arm. The Body Bugg tracks how many calories I burn throughout the day based on how much I move.
Body Bugg: $150.00

My Nike + iPod tracking device: Check this out- It's not enough that I have my iPhone to map my walk, my Body Bugg to record my calories, I also have to have a chip in my shoe that syncs up to my iPhone that records how far I have gone, the amount of time I have walked, the speed in which I am walking/running, and the amount of calories that I am burning, all courtesy of Nike. Thank you Nike and iPod.
Nike + iPod: $50.00

and last but not least...

My Sketcher toning shoes $100.

Grand total for afternoon walk: $1015.00

I could have bought a gym membership for $480

The only crappy part about walking is that I am still nervous about walking on the main roads. When I do, I feel faint and my heart beat speeds up. I much prefer the side streets, but it is hard to walk side streets when you are trying to accomplish longer distances such as 10k. You end up walking by the same house over and over again and then people start to think that you are casing out their joint.


Amy: 46km
David: 33km
Holly: 28km
10 day total 107km as a family.

Go-the-Distance 2012

Have you ever wanted something so bad you could feel it in your fingertips and the desire made it so you couldn't sit still to write your blog? That's where I am at today. This blog entry is probably going to suck. My focus is on something else. It's on MONEY! I love money. I don't just 'heart' money; I love it. But you know what else I love? I love to win money! That is what I plan on doing.

As you know I hate exercising. Yeah, but to get the money I am going to have to put my loathing of exercising to the side and pretend that exercising and I are best buddies. At least until June 1st; after that we can go back to being arch enemies.

My husband and I are very competitive. He never lets me win at anything, nor I him. Because he is he and I am me we decided to have a little competition. It's simple really:

Whoever walks or runs the most kilometers by June 1st at 11:59pm wins $400. (Yes, that will be my husband you see running his bum off at 11pm on June 1st trying to catch up to me.)

Now we all know that I am going to win hands down. Yes it is true my husband is a runner and once he gets back into his groove he will be able to bang out 10k in an hour, but that just means that I have to work...I mean walk smarter.

I have more time on my hands, strong legs, and a will to win. Gasp I might have to take up running which I hate even more than exercising but for $400 cash I will pretty much do anything. If my husband thinks that he is going to just stroll in and take the $400 he has got another thing coming to him. I want a new Fossil handbag, wallet, and watch. Yeah, I will run for Fossil.

I post our weekly stats.

Game on Darling...game on!

They, Them, Those Guys

Sometime ago I was in the kitchen with my husband while he was doing the dishes. We were discussing the merits of geometry. I hate geometry so much. I don’t know why it’s important to know how far a tree is going to cast its shadow at noon. (If you need to know about shadow casting for your profession, or if it's your hobby my apologies for being so dismissive about the whole thing.)

Actually it all started with discussing how wonderful my grades were in high school. We agreed that I rocked in biology, English, and history. We also agreed that I sucked at geometry. When I studied geometry it always involved breaking pencils and crying fits. I think I may have even tried to bribe my teachers with cash for A's.

Me: Math was one of my best subjects; thank you very much. (That part is true. I loved everything else to do with math. Plus I had a really good paying job so I could afford to supplement my teacher's salaries, and that is all I am going to say about that...)

My Sweet Husband: Yeah but you sucked at geometry.

Me: Geometry is not math! You don’t need geometry for anything useful.

My Sweet Husband: You need it for building bridges, buildings, and other important things.

Me: When is the last time you built a bridge? I don't see bridge building on your calendar next week? Did you forgot to write it on the calendar? (My husband writes every event on the calender. He doesn't just write about dentist or doctor's appointments; nope he also uses the calender to inform the family of when to make phone calls, give the dog his flea pills, and so forth.)

My Sweet Husband:  No, of course I am not building any bridges next week.

Me: See, since you are neither building a bridge or tower next week geometry was a bloody waste of time for you too. (He is an accountant, how many accountants use geometry?) We had to suffer through geometry in school was because they thought it would be a good idea to torture students.

My Sweet Husband: Who are 'They'?

Me: You know 'Them', you know 'Those Guys', come on,'THEY'!

My Sweet Husband: Oh 'THEY', 'Them Guys'.  Yeah, I have heard of 'Them', but why do we always listen to 'Them'?

Me: Ooooo that is a good point. I wonder why what 'They' say gets around so much…

When did 'They' become so powerful, and who are 'They'? I can’t remember 'Them' as a child, so I think 'They' are fairly new to the scene. I am certain 'They' were not around when I was a small child because I'm certain I wasn't walking around saying to myself, ' What are 'They' going to think of my outfit? How could my mom dress me in such a crappy outfit.' No I was perfectly happy wearing my green cord pants with my red and yellow top, and my Mary Janes to round out my outfit.

Does anyone out there know who 'They' are? Are they are group, a committee, a panel, or what? I know 'They' are important to most of us. I want to know why we care so much about what 'They' think about us: Are 'They' are going to think I am crazy if I go out with that guy from accounting?

I catch myself quoting them all the time…Well, 'They' say this…and 'They' say that...

I also buy into the crappy ideas 'They' feed me…
If 'They' say that wearing 'smoky eyes' is sexy then it must be true. Smoky eyes on me equates to a raccoon eyes. But who am I to argue? 'They' said it, and 'They' are never wrong.

I really care about what 'They' think. If my house is a little messy I have to clean it because… What will 'They' think if 'They' see my house this way? I guess on a positive note 'They' motivate me to keep my house clean. God forbid if I should have a glass on my counter or some fluff on my carpet.

I have a feeling that I am not the only one who is victim to 'They'. If you ask someone who “They” are- most likely, after some thought, people will tell you that 'They' are 'EVERYONE'. I guess 'They' are a committee after all!

It is my opinion that we all have a bad case of 'THEY-Syndrome'. I have it. I care too much about what 'They' think. It's for the wrong reasons. Am I nuts? (Don't answer that.) Why do I care what 'They' think about me? But the truth is since I found out that 'They' existed I have done my best to make 'Them' happy. I have tried to keep myself balanced and healthy. I have lost weight, and got me a tummy tuck, I drive the right car and have a beautiful home, I kept my handsome accountant husband around and we have raised a beautiful daughter, and the list goes on and on...I think doing all of these things are important and necessary for good life, but I should have done these things for 'ME', not 'They', 'Them', or even 'Those guys'. If you are like me, and you have 'THEY-Syndrome' you can do the following things to break the cycle:

1. Stop spreading the word of what 'They' say. Smoky eyes really do make some people look like a raccoon. It's okay to put an end to Cosmo's influence. Cosmo is the worse 'Theys' around, sorry Cosmo.

2. Stop caring about what 'They' think. You're your own person. Let the 'They' committee move on to someone else who hasn't read this blog entry.

3. If you get invited to become a 'Them', 'They', or a 'Those guys' decline and stay a 'You'. Judging others is  kind of how this whole thing got started.

4. Don’t do things based on what you think 'They' want you to do. This just encourages 'Them'. Just be true to yourself. Trust me you will be much happier. So dance in the streets,marry that cute accountant, do whatever makes 'YOU' happy. 'They' will get the message that you don't care about what 'They' think anymore and  'They' will  leave you alone.

In the past I always thought that if I lost weight, did my hair nice, talked just right, and followed the in-crowd, 'They' would like me better, and that 'They' would accept me. What I have come to realize is: that 'They' were always 'ME'. I was the one criticizing my looks, my dancing, and my beliefs. Now that I know my thinking was flawed I have to stand up and trust myself, love myself, and most importantly accept myself.

Following my rules have made me feel good in my own skin. As for today, I am proud of myself. In the end that is all that matters

Oh by the way 'They' still suck for making me take geometry...

An Hour Everyday Will Keep the Doctor Away!

This is not a weight loss blog. I had one of those and it was boring. I was always complaining about how much weight I needed to lose, setting goals for myself, promising to lose weight, it was a mess. It was a hot mess. (That is my new phrase: hot mess. Everything in my life is a hot mess; everything in your life too for that matter.) I love that phrase.

As it turns out part of my critical care plan, (which to me sounds so life and death) is to lose weight. That is a total bummer. I do not 'heart' losing weight, and I pretty much 'heart' everything else in life. Losing weight is so hard. Food just taste so yummy, and exercise takes time away from being so lazy, and folks I like to be lazy.

My doctor says I have to exercise an hour every day. I double checked, because he said, 'An hour everyday.' Plus I have to do yoga or meditate everyday as well. This is really going to cut into my lazy time.

The good news is I can start by walking for the first month. I don't have to go all 'Biggest Loser' style in the gym right away. I'll tell you a secret, but you have to swear you won't tell my doctor: I was suppose to start last month but I didn't. I used the excuse that I was too tired. I got up today bone tired and I thought to myself enough is enough. I have to do this even if I die in the process. So much for my critical care plan.

I have some goals for the weight loss but I won't get all up in your face about my goals. They are mine. I just have to get the job done, and then I can move on and do something else. It's not like I am 250 pounds again. My hill is very small to climb in comparison. It's doable.

But I will say this losing the rest of the weight will help my mood and my health, and that will be a good thing.

Proof That I May be Crazy...

I think I can prove that my brain is turning into marshmallows. Here is concrete proof that I am in trouble: I am watching Toddlers & Tiaras on TLC. The worse part is- I am enjoying it. My life is going down the crapper.

The Fair Maiden's Closet

Once upon a time there was a fair maiden that had a condition known as hairspray headache. Her parents took her to doctor after doctor. Each doctor told them that the headaches were all caused by the same thing: Aqua Net hairspray overload. As it turned out the fair maiden spent hours doing her make-up and getting her 'wall-of-bangs' just right. The maiden would not dare to step out of her cottage without the right make-up, perfect clothes, and the stiffest hair in all the land, even if it took many hours and several cans of Aqua Net hairspray to get it just right. The maiden was content in the knowledge that this was the way her life would always be.

After she finished school she went to work for a local clothing merchant. A decade had passed. The 'wall of bangs' was now replaced with the 'Rachel look' from Friends. Aqua Net was replaced with higher end hairsprays and styling products. The maiden dressed even better than before. You see she got a kick-ass discount for new clothes from the merchant. The maiden had a new outfit for almost everyday of the week. Her headaches were a thing of the past because she no longer took hours to get ready in the morning. She had become a pro. Her hair was fabulous, her clothes rocked, and her face was beautiful.

But the merchant was stingy. The maiden wanted to make more gold. She went found a job working for a big corporation. The big corporation did not require the maiden to wear fancy clothes, style her hair, or even wear make-up. Instead the corporation offered many extra hours to work for extra gold. The maiden reasoned that she could make the extra gold by working 'overtime' or she could spend the extra time getting pretty and make no gold. Since the maiden loved gold she went to work in jeans and a nice top. Her hair was still done nicely, but her make-up stayed in the bathroom drawer untouched.

One day the maiden fell ill. Maybe it was because she had exposed her brain to too much Aqua Net. No one can know for sure. The maiden once a perfectionist when it came to her dressing, doing her hair and make-up could now can barely get out of her nightgown. If she did manage it, she would put on mismatched clothes: blue socks, grey sweats, green top, and a pink sweater. It seemed like the maiden was now suffering from a rare case of 'Clown's Dressing Disease' or CDD for short.

Did I mention anywhere in this story that the maiden married a prince? Well she did. But she was still a maiden for some reason. Anyway, the prince kept buying her clothes in the hopes that the maiden would be cured of CDD, but he had no luck. He would come home to their cottage from fighting dragons to find his fair maiden in flannel nightgowns instead of the cute clothes that he has bought her. But to the prince's credit he always told the maiden that she looked beautiful anyway.

However, the maiden was so frustrated because she wanted to get all prettied up; not for her prince, but for herself. She wanted that part of her life back. But if anyone asked her why she could not manage it, well the truth was, she was just really too tired to make the effort.

It is uncertain what happened to the fair maiden. Some say they have seen her roaming the streets in her flannel nightgown with her puppy. Some say they have seen her dressed in a way that could only be described as a result of her CDD.

One thing this narrator knows for sure: The maiden has a butt load of clothes in her closet and should be able to find something cute to wear. 'Get out of your nightgown, Fair Maiden!' Sorry but tough love was the only way to go people.

I'd better go and get dressed...

My Weekly Rant

Here's my rant:

Facebook is a dangerous animal in the hands of the wrong person- pretty much the whole population. The worse thing about Facebook is when you post stuff on Facebook it becomes official. There are no rumors or guesses, because the tidbits of information came from youYou are the one who posted those embarrassing photos of yourself half naked humping a stripper pole. You are the one who wrote that status update that said: 'My boss is a complete wanker, douche bag.' No sorry that was all you. Let's not even begin to address 'Drunk Facebooking' that is a whole other issue by itself.

I am a Facebook-lurker, so most of the time I keep my mouth shut and stay out of sight. I look at your vacation pictures, I 'like' your status', but for the most part I sit in the background watching the circus that is Facebook. 

The following is a true story:

I was on the phone with my sister, her name is Ivy Jean. I decided to tell her that her name reminded me of the word 'vagina'. I didn't mean any harm by it. It was just a off the cuff comment. We were having one of those silly conversations. I realized that I am probably the only person on the face of the earth that made that  particular association...well until she posted this on her Facebook wall and these are the responses that came after. I omitted all of the last names to protect the identity of all those involved. 

according to my sister the 'V' in Ivy-Jean, makes her think of Vagina. She wants me to change my name... Thanks Amy!!

Friend1  or your gender!!! lol
January 21 at 1:31pm · Like ·  1
Ivy-Jean might also be the 'G' sound from Jean...
January 21 at 1:31pm · Like
January 21 at 1:31pm · Like
Friend2 Oh Amy - but then Holly would have to change her name too
January 21 at 1:34pm · Like

Friend2 ‎('cause it's the Holly *and* the Ivy)
January 21 at 1:34pm · Like ·  2

Ivy-Jean k, just to please my sister and Alison's need to combine me n my niece's name. I will change my name to Pea, and Holly can be carrot.
January 21 at 1:37pm · Like ·  1
Amy Where is the 'dislike' button? Dislike, dislike, dislike, dislike, dislike, dislike! That was a private conversation. Oh, and 'Pea' would make me think of the pee.
January 21 at 4:10pm · Like ·  1

January 21 at 4:11pm · Like ·  1
Amy PS... 'Holly' doesn't need to change her name. I can't think of any body parts when I think of her name. Whew!
January 21 at 4:13pm · Like ·  2

Sisterinlaw Hahahahaha!!
January 21 at 5:17pm · Like ·  2

Friend3 Imagin if your name was Verginia? :D
January 21 at 5:25pm · Like ·  1

Ivy-Jean  If I change my name, then we wouldnt be 'the holly & the ivy anymore' S'ok, I'll go with pea... Virginia works too ;)
January 21 at 5:30pm · Like ·  2

Friend4 regina!
January 21 at 5:33pm · Like ·  1
Friend2 again  Yeah, you can Virginia, and Holly can be (north) Carolina. They're neighbours:)
January 21 at 5:37pm · Like ·  1

Friend3 I always got those two mixed up as a kid
January 21 at 5:37pm · Like ·  1
Amy  You got Ivy Jean and vaginas mixed up? See I'm not the only one.
January 21 at 5:57pm · Like ·  1

Ivy-Jean   Ok, so I now see how easily it is to mix up Ivy-Jean with vagina... I can't believe I've been using that name for 24 years, and no one has told me!!! 
So I need a name change... Any ideas??
January 21 at 6:46pm · Like
Amy No Silly, we love you just the way you are ♥

January 22 at 12:45am · Like ·  2
Ivy-Jean I keep telling you, 'Silly' just doesn't work! I say try again.
January 22 at 1:36am · Like
Amy  You DON'T want me to help you pick. Good night Silly, I love you.
January 22 at 1:40am · Like ·  1

Friend4 vagoner
January 22 at 10:35am · Like ·  1

Friend5  And whats wrong with it ?, it's abeautiful thing... u should be proud of that "V"
January 22 at 11:13am · Like ·  1

Friend4  vajayjays unite is whats happening here
January 22 at 11:20am · Like ·  1

Ivy-Jean  Yay for Vagina!!
January 22 at 9:05pm · Like

Now why in the world would she post that on her wall? I wouldn't have. I would have kept that between her and I. She didn't have to broadcast it to all of her friends that Ivy Jean has a link to vagina. 

I am not embarrassed by what I told her. I have no regret. My comment was not meant to harm or be spiteful in anyway. It is just one of those things you say when your filter isn't fitting on just right. 

Now when I say the word Ivy Jean I bet you thought of the word vagina. Now look at that; we associate the word vagina with her name.  Ivy Jean...gotcha again! See this stuff really works. Now you can use the two words interchangeably. 

Now all of her Facebook friends are in the same boat as I am in. Most likely they all think of vagina when they hear or see her name. I don't know how many people would be willing to admit it, but you know who you are. For the record Since she put it on Facebook, it's official her name is now synonymous with the word vagina. 

My sister, I do love her, and God bless her too. She decided to take this whole vagina thing to a whole 'nother level. She bought a Dairy Queen ice cream cake for dessert. It was yummy. It was a Cinderella cake. Yeah, but the bad thing was, she had the nice lady at the DQ write ''Vag Cake' on it. That cake was meant for a sweet little girl's birthday. But no my sister had to celebrate her new and improved name, 'vag'. Plus the ladies at my local DQ are going to think about vagina every time she comes in to get a ice cream. That is no way to live, Ivy Jean!

This too was also posted on her Facebook wall. With the caption: Mmm... Vag cake.... :D

Maybe I should have kept my thoughts to myself and never told her what I thought of her name. But I don't understand why she has to keep broadcasting it to the universe. I also don't have a problem with vaginas in any way, I say be proud if you got 'em. But come on a vag cake, really?