Wednesday 29 June 2011

A good night sleep would be nice, Crumpet!

Isn't Crumpet the sweetest?!

She's settled in well with us. She and Morgan play together ... when Morgan has enough, he lets her know. They clean each other and snooze together.

Isn't that nice?

Except that Crumpet is only three months old and has sooooo much energy. The last week or so when we go to bed, she still wants to play. So she brings toys to bed and plays with them or chases her tail 'round and 'round. Or she nips at our toes and fingers. Or jumps on us. Morgan sleeps at the foot of the bed and she wants him to play. Like us, he just wants to sleep. We got Morgan and his late foster brother, Byron, 8.5 years ago when they were three months old and they weren't this lively at night!

So we haven't been getting a lot of sleep.

We decided yesterday we had to do something about it.

I stopped at a pet store to buy a kitty jail crate to put her in at night. They suggested instead that I put her in the spare room at night. I bought an extra litter box and put it along with food and water in our spare room.

When we went to bed last night, Morgan and Crumpet weren't in our room so I closed our door, shutting them out rather than confining her in the spare room.

That worked ... for a couple hours. Then we heard scratching at the door. Concerned about the potential damage to the carpet, I opened the door and there was Morgan and Crumpet (she was doing the scratching). She was so happy to see me and started purring and wanted to be patted. What a sweetie! She and Morgan settled in with us.

A couple hours later I heard pitiful squeaky meowing and banging. Gord had apparently put her in the spare room (she must have gotten rambunctious). She wanted out and it sounded like Morgan was helping her escape. So I let her out and closed our bedroom door before they could get in.

Then there was scratching at the door later on. Not caring about the carpet, I tuned it out and went back to sleep.

So it wasn't a totally restful sleep but it was better than what we've been having. Apparently she'll settle down when she gets fixed, which we can do anytime. She has a vet appointment next week for her second set of shots so I'll get it scheduled.

Tuesday 28 June 2011

Book ~ "The Good Bride Guide" (2009) Matt Dunn

From ~ Ben Grant is fed up with always meeting the wrong girl. Having just celebrated his 29th birthday by being dumped by his 29th girlfriend, he decides he can't go on like this. Why can't he be as blissfully happy as his best friend Ashif, about to marry the beautiful Prithi, a bride chosen for him by his parents? Suddenly Ben has a great idea: why not ask his own parents to do the same for him?

But while Ben's parents see this as the perfect opportunity to set their son on the right path to matrimonial bliss, it soon becomes clear that Ben's idea of the kind of woman he wants to settle down with is quite different from that of his somewhat traditional mum and dad. Following a series of disastrous dates, Ben starts to realize that he wouldn't let his parents pick him out a shirt to wear, let alone a woman to marry.

But when Ben finally meets the girl he thinks might be "the one", he realizes that maybe he does have something to learn from his mum and dad after all. Can he learn the art of romance from his parents and land the girl of his dreams?

I discovered Matt Dunn last month and enjoyed his writing ... this is the third book of his I've read.

It's guy lit ... a story written by a guy about a guy looking for love, an interesting concept.

The story was good and I was cheering for Ben in his quest as he meets some ... er ... interesting women his parents set him up with. There are some funny misunderstandings ... you see them coming and you go along for the ride.

The characters are likeable ... Ben's parents would be a hoot to have a beer with.

Monday 27 June 2011

Ring of Dreams - Week 4 with Yvette Raposo

Tonight was the last night for Ring of Dreams, conducted by my pal, Yvette Raposo.

Gord and my pal, Shawna, were also there.

One of the focuses of tonight was about cause and effect and the laws of attraction.

Are you the cause (taking control and keeping your power) or the effect (blaming others and giving up your power)?

At the end of the class, Yvette had us visualize our future and the steps to take to get there.

It will be interesting to see what seminars Yvette has in store for us in the fall!

Saturday 25 June 2011

Session 99 - A Craft Beer Festival, Toronto, ON

Gord and I went to the Session 99 - A Craft Beer Festival this afternoon with my friends, Darlene and Jen. Advanced admission was $35 (which included a mug) and samples were $1 or $2 each.

Gord, Darlene and I went to it last year at Sunnyside and had fun. This year it's in our 'hood ... sweet!

When we got there, Gord ran into Cass Enright of The Bar Towel ... they made beer together last Friday afternoon.

The opening ceremonies ...

There was quite a selection of about 35 craft beer from across Canada inside and out, plus food vendors which sold hamburgers, pulled pork sandwiches, oysters, cheese and cupcakes.

We checked out a food and beer pairing session with Executive Chef Joe Levesque and Trevor Lui. Kevin, a brewmaster with Hop City Brewery, paired their Barking Squirrel beer with braised short rib, mashed potatoes and asparagus.

Joel, the brewmaster at Mill Street Brewery, paired their new ginger beer with beef kabobs, bok choy sum and mushrooms.

There was entertainment inside. Here are New Country Rehab (they were good) ...

And NQ Arbuckle ...

Here are Jen, me and Darlene enjoying a brew outside on the patio ...

We had hamburgers by the Burger Bar which were good.

And here we are ... Darlene, me, Gord and Jen.

My favourite beer of the day was King Brewery's Vienna Lager ... yum!

Such a fun time and a good opportunity to try different craft beer! This was the second year for it and I hope they did well enough to do it again next year.

Friday 24 June 2011

Keeping clean

Morgan has always been a cleaner.

Crumpet doesn't mind ... in fact, she reciprocates.

Thursday 23 June 2011

What I didn't miss tonight

Here are Crumpet and Morgan snoozing together ...

Book ~ "Stories I Only Tell My Friends" (2011) Rob Lowe

From Amazon ~ A teen idol at fifteen, an international icon and founder of the Brat Pack at twenty, and one of Hollywood's top stars to this day, Rob Lowe chronicles his experiences as a painfully misunderstood child actor in Ohio uprooted to the wild counterculture of mid-seventies Malibu, where he embarked on his unrelenting pursuit of a career in Hollywood.

The Outsiders placed Lowe at the birth of the modern youth movement in the entertainment industry. During his time on The West Wing, he witnessed the surreal nexus of show business and politics both on the set and in the actual White House. And in between are deft and humorous stories of the wild excesses that marked the eighties, leading to his quest for family and sobriety.

Never mean-spirited or salacious, Lowe delivers unexpected glimpses into his successes, disappointments, relationships, and one-of-a-kind encounters with people who shaped our world over the last twenty-five years. These stories are as entertaining as they are unforgettable.

I don't dislike Rob Lowe but I can't say I'm a big fan either ... he's okay.

But I like reading celebrity stories, though, so that's why I read this.

It's okay, not great.

We learn a lot about Lowe's upbringing ... divorced parents, uprooted to California and trying to fit in with the surfer guys, mentally ill mom, living in the same 'hood as the Sheens, etc. And there's a lot about how he met his wife, Sheryl, that they have been together for 20+ years and have two kids, and that he went through rehab in 1990.

What's missing are the details of the scandalous life he led when he was younger. He had a long relationship with Melissa Gilbert which involved cheating and a miscarriage. I'd read was pissed that she only warranted a couple paragraphs in Lowe's book while she wrote chapters about him (I've never liked her, BTW). The video scandal when he was with two girls (one of them underage) got a paragraph. If you didn't know it happened, you wouldn't realize the impact it had. So he has really sanitized his story. It's his book so I guess that's his right. So it you are looking for something juicy, this isn't it.

I've never seen The Outsiders , St. Elmo's Fire or About Last Night ... but now that I know the stories behind them, I'll check them out.

Country Kettle, Barrie, ON

I had a 7am session this morning in Barrie.

Rather than getting stuck in the Toronto-bound traffic, I had breakfast at the Country Kettle to wait it out a bit.

It's not a fancy place ... nice and cozy.

I had the Country Breakfast ... two eggs, ham, home fries, toast and homemade jam ... and milk.

It was good and cheap (about $6 for breakfast).

My server was friendly and attentive.

I'd go back for brekkie if I was in the area.

Country Kettle on Urbanspoon

Wednesday 22 June 2011

What I'm missing at home ...

Bums touching bums ... stripes touching stripes ...

Scarpaccio’s Ristorante Grill & Wine Bar, Barrie, ON

It's been a busy week.

Actually it's been a busy three weeks and I'm feeling it.

I'm looking forward to life getting back to normal next week when I'm back in the office and not on the road.

I didn't feel like going far for supper this evening. There's not a lot of choice for restaurants where I'm staying. Scarpacci Ristorante is nearby so I went there.

When I got there at 6pm, there was just just me and another fella. Here's the view from my table in the corner.

There isn't a lot of choice on the menu. I orderd the whole wheat penne with Italian sausage in a tomato basil sauce. It arrived in about five minutes.

Hmmm ... that should have been my first clue.

I despise parm cheese. Usually with pasta, you are asked if you want some. This came with it already on top so I scraped it off as best I could. The sauce was okay. The pasta was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay overcooked to the point of being mushy ... not enjoyable at all. The sausage was good and garlic bread was okay.

Needless to say, I didn't eat it all.

Tim, the server, was very attentive and made sure I was well taken care of. I didn't have the heart to complain to him.

I should have ordered in a pizza.

Monte Carlo Inn, Barrie, ON

The client I've been doing 7am sessions for yesterday in Ajax and this morning in Markham want one tomorrow morning (the last one) at 7am in Barrie.

It's over an hour to get to Barrie so I'd have to be up even earlier than the last couple of days. So I figured I'd drive to Barrie this afternoon and stay overnight.

Here's my room at the Monte Carlo Inn ...

It's not fancy but is comfy.

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Crumpet 1, Furry ball on scratching post 0

I had a couple seminars to conduct for another client at 11am and 1pm downtown.

I had a half hour to spare by the time I got back to Toronto after the breakfast seminar so came home and dropped the car off.

When I walked in, there was a dark furry ball in the entrance.

The kitties don't have such a toy.

Upon further investigation, I discovered it had been ripped off the new scratching post.

Hmmm ... I suspect Crumpet was involved.