Doughnuts and Death Stares

Coffee is on! Come and get it! We all have to share one Doughnut because I ate the others. I didn’t intend to eat all the others, it just happened. You can’t leave fresh doughnuts lying around and not expect me to eat them. The odds are only slightly better than leaving Toffifee unattended around here.

And I have an excuse for eating all the doughnuts – it’s because I’m an idiot.

You know when you think you are fixing one problem but it turns out you’ve only made another problem and the other problem turns out to be a monumentally stupid fuck-up? Yeah? Well, I did that.

The Viking probably wasn’t listening to me when I convinced him to go along with the scheme. He does that quite often – not listening to me – and it’s something he should work on immediately because shit happens when he isn’t paying attention. He stares at his computer screen while I discuss the current problem and he nods and says “uh huh” and then I wrap up my case and he says “uh huh” so I carry out the plan.

Unfortunately, he hasn’t got a bloody clue what ride he’s just agree to and by the time he actually realizes what the ride is he’s halfway across the Grand Canyon on a zip line yelling “WTF?!!”

On this particular occasion, it’s the cats. I see you aren’t shocked that I am having cat problems. You must know me better than I know me and if you had been paying attention you might have saved me from myself. That’s why you only get 1/16th of a doughnut with your coffee – you’ve let me down.

 So, here’s what happened. Izzie hasn’t been the most welcoming of cats to her new playmate. For the most part she has adopted an “I hate you but I’m fascinated” stance and slapping happens frequently. We were coming to the realization that she may never be a socialized, normal cat.

But then she deeked us out last night. Teddy was sleeping on one side of my leg as we watched a movie and she came over, lie down on the other side of my leg and put a paw on Teddy’s leg. They slept like that for over an hour! I was over-the-moon happy! Until he woke up and she beat the crap out of him, again. The aggression was particularly bad after that, almost like “I may have slept on you but I still hate you.” Sigh.

I was worried leaving him on his own overnight. You see, we close our bedroom door at night so they have a chance to interact without us being the cause of jealousy. So, we decided to put Teddy in a room where he was safe for the night. But that didn’t seem fair. Why should he be locked up when it’s Izzie being the beast? And here’s where I went wrong.

You already know what I suggested, don’t you? I can hear the collective moans of disgust.

The Viking “uh huh-ed” his way into this arrangement and we moved Teddy’s litter box into our room, brought a water bowl and a food bowl in and supplied him with a couple of toys.

This morning, all hell broke loose. For two hours. By the time I got out of bed, The Viking was wide-eyed and slightly twitchy. “We never should have kept him in the room with us! Izzie is going nuts!”

Well, hell! Realization dawned quite quickly. Crap! I was so busy trying to save Teddy’s bacon that I didn’t think about how Izzie would feel about this betrayal. But, here’s the weird thing. Teddy somehow found a backbone no one was using during the night. And after the first couple of slapping blizzards, Izzie settled down and they are actually playing. Playing!

Have I managed to stumble us all to the base of some turning point? As far as I can tell, I haven’t managed to do a single thing right but Izzie just greeted Teddy with a nose touch and not a single slap. It was so casual, like they were old friends meeting at a pub. I’m not accustomed to such clear successes. My finished products are usual in the line of “We Can Live With It Even Though It Isn’t Perfect” or “Better Luck Next Time”.

Yet, I think I see a light at the end of the long, dark tunnel. Or….it could be Izzie’s Death Stare reflecting in the dark. Who knows?

Thanks to Part-Time Monster…..

Updates, Profanity & Apricot Brandy

I received an email the other day regarding my Simply Accounting software. Usually when I get these I delete them without a second look, but this time, for some reason, I scanned the message quickly until my eyes found the words ‘database corruption’ and then I fainted. When I woke up I read it more carefully. Here are the highlights of the email:

Good Afternoon Lori,

 I am your Account Manager at Sage 50 Canada.

 I am emailing you as a courtesy as our records indicate your version of Sage 50 is obsolete and no longer supported.

Some updates on your Windows operating system may be incompatible with your actual version of Sage 50/Simply Accounting which may generate, in some situations, a database corruption.



 Long story short, I gave him my Mastercard and he sent me an email with instructions. Evidently, my software was so obsolete I had to download a 2015.3 file before I could download the 2017 Edition. I asked him if a monkey could follow the instructions he was sending me and he assured me that even a monkey could perform the required skills.

Once my software was updated and working properly, I sent C. an email.


Hey C,

It worked! I only had one small hitch.

The 2015.3 Download asked me a question about activation keys and in a blind panic I started stabbing the Serial Number and Activation Key into the spaces and it got all irritated and said it didn’t know me well enough for that kind of intimacy and I said that it shouldn’t be asking me any questions then, and it said I was annoying, so I yelled “You started it!” and then it said that it didn’t like my tone, and I said I didn’t like it’s tone when it said it didn’t like my tone, and then it said “You’re Activation Number is WRONG!” so I said ‘FINE! I’M LEAVING!’ and decided to ignore it completely and move on to the 2017 Download and the 2015.3 yelled ‘GOOD RIDDANCE!’

You may get a complaint. In my defense, I am 3 years into Menopause, the batteries in my mouse just died and I wasn’t expecting any questions from that Download. There is a slight possibility I may have over-reacted. I always expect the worst of updates and upgrades; baggage from a failed upgrade to the original Star Craft, I suppose. It’s a fault I should work on but probably won’t.

The 2017 Download took several long moments to berate me for my obsolete Sage 50 Edition. Apparently it barely recognized the files involved. I tried to explain that I liked my Edition – there were no surprises, I knew exactly how to do everything, we were friends! 2017 wasn’t impressed and I suspect it actually rolled its eyes at me.

When it finally finished desecrating my files and opened the new dashboard….well……there was a little bit of profanity. From me, not 2017. It looks terrible! It’s all modern and font-y and dull! It’s like the décor in the Space Shuttle! I like a little color, a few wrinkles, some fraying around the edges…..some personality! My old man is gone and some sort of Accountant-y guy showed up. It’s horrible!  Hideous!

But then I opened up a new invoice and…….there he was!!! He’s not gone! Someone put a really ugly suit on him but his underwear is exactly the same! Happy, happy, happy!

Overall, this process was less painful than I thought it would be. Good work! The only way it could have been better is if you sent someone directly to my house to help me with deep breathing techniques while the upgrade had its way with my files. I realize this might be unnecessary for most people so maybe you could just offer it to women well into Menopause. And a bottle of Apricot Brandy would go a long way in getting me to keep my software up-to-date.

Wait. Are you in charge of all obsolete Sage customers? Am I your worst? Maybe I was your only project! Did Sage create an entire department to talk me into upgrading?! If that’s the case, sending me Apricot Brandy might put you out of a job. So, how about you give me Apricot Brandy and I promise not to upgrade for another 5 years.


C. didn’t strike me as a guy with a good sense of humour though. He might not appreciate my thoughts at all but that wasn’t the point of writing the email. The point was – he pried my Mastercard number out of my extremely reluctant hands while holding my files hostage and that sort of thing requires a lengthy response. Especially when it costs me the kind of money Sage wants for their Accounting program.

3 hours later…..

Huh! Apparently, I was completely wrong about C:


Hahaha, that made for some very good post-lunch reading material! 

Apricot Brandy is a good start, I’d prefer a nice 18-year single malt, but hey a drink is a drink. Hope everything is working out well for you, let me know if you need anything else, and I’ll definitely get it sorted.

Thanks Lori!

Waaaaait a minute……


I think you are confused, C. I wasn’t going to send you Apricot Brandy. You were supposed to send me Apricot Brandy. It’s nice to know that you like 18 Year Single Malt though, in case I need to bribe you or something. I would definitely send you 18 Year Single Malt for a software related favour in a distant future.

 Wait. Are your emails monitored? Maybe I shouldn’t be throwing around words like ‘bribe’ and ‘favour’. If you get in trouble, let me know, I’m sure I can fix it.

 PS: Everything is working perfectly.

I was trying to save the guy’s job and he suddenly thinks I should send him whatever the hell 18 Year Single Malt is? And who considers any old drink as good as another old drink? I’m talking Apricot Brandy here – there is no equivalent. If someone handed me a glass of Sambuca and told me it’s as good as Apricot Brandy….well, there would be profanity and then a lesson on the finer points of drinking spirits.

Excellent happy to hear that.

Yes, I’m sure bribe and favor would be frowned upon haha.

No worries Lori

Take care

 I bet he never sends me Apricot Brandy.

Two Cats, One Week – A Review

Hello!  Come in!  We don’t have to huddle in my bedroom this week and can have our coffee at the kitchen table like normal people do.  Muffin?

First things first, we finally settled on a name for poor Kent: Teddy Bear. Because he’s quite literally a fuzzy, sweet Teddy Bear and since he’s already a year old I can’t see him outgrowing it. He looks bigger than Izzie but that’s because his fur is ridiculously fuzzy. It’s like he’s wearing Chinchilla pajamas.  There’s no other way to describe the way his fur feels. So, while he looks bigger than Izzie, she actually weighs more.

Mim approved of the name, The Viking liked it and, best of all, Kent came running when we called the name.  So, ‘Teddy’ it is.

The first couple of days were….well….hair raising. The profanities and curses were completely out of control. I had no idea cats could be so precise, eloquent and long-winded in their opinions and the blizzards of slapping were, to be honest, appalling.

But that was then and this is now and the situation has calmed down significantly. Izzie has transformed from Indignant, Profane, Furious Feline to Resigned, Defeated, Slightly Confused and Excited Feline.

And while the household has eased back to normalcy, there have been complaints.

“Something is playing with my toys. Make it go away.”

“A turd was on my Castle and now it has The Stank.”

“You touched it and now you have The Stank.”

“A very large hairball is in my tunnels and I like it not!”

“It touched my tail! My TAIL!”

“The Turd put a turd in my litter box! I can never use it again. Ever!”

“The Hairball ate all of my food and now I’m starving to death.”

On several occasions she didn’t bother with complaining at all but took matters into her own paws.

Me: Is that some of Teddy’s fur between your toes?

Izzie: Maybe.

Me: Stop slapping him! He just wants to be your friend!

Izzie: ……

For his part, Teddy is just happy to be here but he’s not above disturbing shit.

“Hey Izzie!  Look! I’m sitting on your precious Mama!”

“Oh! Oh! I’m touching your castle!! “

“YooHoo! I’m in your tunnel! Ha HA!”

“Are you going to finish that? No? Perfect! I’m still hungry.”

And it turns out that Teddy isn’t too nice after all and is quite capable of defending himself, as evidenced by a few well-placed slaps of his own.  However, as the week progressed, the slaps lost momentum until now it’s more poking than slapping.

They are experimenting with chasing each other at the moment but there seems to be some tricky negotiating going on. Apparently Teddy got too close for comfort once……“Whoa!  That’s my Lady Parts, Buster!  Back off!”…….and then Izzie was just a little too enthusiastic for Teddy’s taste…….Holy Shit!  It’s just a game!  Dial it back, Sister!”…... so there is a flurry of shouting, cursing and name calling.  Playing has never been so complicated. A short burst of Spontaneous Patty Cake went surprisingly well though.  I call it a win.

And then, there was ‘The Incident’. While Izzie was taking a nap on my keyboard, Teddy figured out how to get on top of the fridge and invaded her Secret Place To Sleep. He settled himself comfortably and then called:

“Izzzzie! I’m in your BE-ed! It’s so nice I think I’ll sleep here forrrrr-evvvvver.”

Izzie launched herself off the desk and onto the window sill, behind the curtains and then a big jump onto the fridge. Every bone, sinew and muscle was ready for battle. Except Teddy wasn’t easy to push around anymore and he was settling in for a good, long nap.




Which necessitated another complaint.

“Mom, we need to talk about Hairry. He has to go. Seriously. He has taken over my bed and now I won’t be able to sleep ever again.”

Obviously, I had better get another bed. Pronto.

They are greeting each other with nose touches and Ring A Round The Sofa is a success. Teddy has taken to The Viking and The Viking has taken to Teddy. It’s a Bromance. Just two guys hanging out, watching TV. In the meantime, Izzie curls up with me, just a couple of girls hanging out, making fun of the two guys hanging out and watching TV.

I am cautiously optimistic at this point.  Izzie is learning how to give Love Eyes that don’t look like she’ll kill me in my sleep and Teddy has learned that a collar isn’t the end of life as he knew it.  The only problem left then is that our desks simply aren’t big enough……

Perhaps The Queen of Mean has met her match.

PS:  The cover photo isn’t mine – I found it on the Internet.  All other photos are actually Izzie & Teddy.


Kent Isn’t Superman. Apparently.

Hello! Come on in. I’ve got fresh coffee but no Toffifees or any other delectable treats because I’m on the wagon. My sugar intake was getting out of hand and steps had to be taken. However, if you have smuggled something, I’m completely ready to fall off the wagon for a few minutes while no one’s looking. Because I’m weak.

We have to sit in my bedroom because I have a problem. And it’s getting bigger by the day. And it’s all of my own devising. We should be safe here though.

Never let it be said that I always make good decisions. If someone were keeping track, I’m probably only batting 40%. It’s not that I don’t think everything through because I do, and if you asked anyone who knows me, they would add ‘ad nauseam’ to the statement. I think my problems begin when I start thinking that everyone thinks like me despite the mounting evidence to the contrary.

What I would do in any given situation, it turns out, isn’t what most normal people would do.

Don’t ask me why. I think I’m perfectly logical and can critically think my way out of most wet paper bags when necessary.

My newest problem involves an old problem that I thought I found a solution for, but it turns out that I’ve only made the problem bigger. And louder. And more painful.

You see, the adorable, sweet Izzie isn’t actually adorable and sweet. Think Queen of Mean and you’re not far off. One moment she’s lovey and the next she’s got a claw at your Jugular Vein.


We believe it’s because she’s frustrated that we don’t play with her as much as she wants us to play with her – which is every damned waking moment. We play an average of 3 to 4 hours a day with her but that’s not enough because she won’t play by herself. At all. We have all the lastest in Cat Entertainment plus all the Golden Oldies toys and nothing engages her. She needs a playmate. To be certain that was the issue, we tried it out with Mim’s cats and she played wonderfully.

So, on Thursday, The Viking and I went to the Humane Society and adopted another cat. Yes. That’s what we did. And the regrets are piling up. I searched through every SPCA within an hour’s drive of Calgary and finally found an adorable, 10–12 month old cat that had experience with other cats and was calm and chill. We went out to meet him – Kent – and WOW! This little guy came right over to us and climbed on The Viking for loves immediately. We talked to the staff and they all adored him. He was the perfect!

So we brought him home.

And Izzie lost her damned mind!

She couldn’t hiss and spit fast enough, loud enough or long enough to fully articulate her feelings. Honestly, the X-Rated curses and name-calling was enough to curl my hair and my hair is firmly and determinedly straight – just ask my hairdresser. Her future playmate fainted and he’s lived on the streets for several months.

We put poor Kent in the spare room with a litter box, 9156 toys that Izzie won’t play with, food and water and reinforced the door with 6 inches of solid steel.

Imprisoning Kent calmed Izzie slightly but when I went to sit and love her a bit she slapped me 4 times in quick succession. I think it was Morse Code for either

You! Cheated! On! Me!


What! Is! That! Thing?!


Make! It! Go! Away!!


You! Will! Die! Slowly!!

And every single time I touch Kent, I get slapped by Izzie. Hard! I’m not talking ‘love taps’, I’m talking ‘bitch slaps’!


I am only thankful that she isn’t using her claws which indicates that there is a small portion of her soul that hasn’t fully gone to the dark side.

So, there you have it. Kent isn’t sticking up for himself so The Viking and I are rotating cats through seclusions using the spare bedroom and our only bathroom. We communicate via walkie-talkies:

Me: I have The Evil One contained in a sack in the kitchen. It’s a rodeo so you should hurry.

The Viking: Roger! I have The Sweet One and moving to the family room.

Me: Roger…..Wilco….I think. Transferring The Evil One to the Bathroom in 5….4….3….2….1!

The Viking: Has the package been delivered?

Me: The Package is secure.


Me: I probably should have gone pee before we put The Evil One in here. If I’m not out in 4 minutes send help. They should wear armour.

The Viking: For Fucksake!

There isn’t much change today except Izzie only slapped me twice. And Kent isn’t Superman. Apparently. Because he just cowers when she growls. Perhaps he’s too nice. That should never be a problem but when you are dealing with The Queen of Mean you have to stand your ground.

I hope I don’t have to get a third cat to save the second cat from the first cat.

PS:  We aren’t sure about Kent’s name.  He came in with two other cats – a female and a male – and the staff at the SPCA named them Lois, Clark and Kent.  Witty, but I’m not sure I like the name Kent.  Kent.  Kent.  Kent.  When The Viking, with his accent, is calling him….it sounds so close to….well, you understand.  On the other hand Clark Kent was a bit of a wuss until he became Superman.  And it will take Superman to tame Izzie, I’m afraid.  But Izzie’s name is Isolde so we thought Tristan was a great name.  Maybe I’ll go and make The Viking yell ‘Kent’ over and over to make sure it doesn’t turn ugly…….

Thanks for stopping by. Hopefully we can sit in the kitchen for coffee next time you come.


Thanks, as always, to Part Time Monster for hosting Weekend Coffee Share.

A Family History, A Tax Return And A Book

I’m over-extended. I bit off more than I could chew. I’ve procrastinated myself into a maelstrom of missed deadlines. The pressure is on. I don’t have any time. Every distraction puts me further behind.

It’s my own fault, of course – which makes it worse. I can’t even point a finger at someone and holler “IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT!” I can’t even lose my temper because The Viking might list all the time I have wasted in the past 6 months when I could have been working on the projects that I’m now stressing over. I hate it when I think I know what he’s going to say.

Priority One right now is Year End for our business. It’s kind of time sensitive – I can’t put it off for another week because I have invoices for 2017 that have to wait until I’m done 2016. It’s not like it’s difficult, it’s just been neglected into a sweaty, angry mess that I have to untangle and decode before I can end it.

In my defense, I found something I wanted to do more than the things I am supposed to be doing. I can’t be alone in that. Who wouldn’t want to write a blog post instead of entering depreciation of company-owned machines? I took a whole diploma program for business accounting so I could do our books only to discover that I hate accounting. This sort of thing happens to me more than you might imagine. Be that as it may, it’s a chore that has to be done and I’m the only one capable of doing it.

I’ve promised to stay on top of it in the future so I don’t have to spend weeks at the end of the year. Sigh.

Priority Two is the huge project that I took on without knowing exactly how much work it would actually be. I wanted to give my children a story and pictures about where and who they come from. Every kid should know that.

So, I’ve been scanning old pictures; I’ve spent hundreds and hundreds of hours doing it. The book portion of the project is about half finished but I’m not really happy with it so will start from scratch again. It’s all worth it for my kids and grandkids though. Right? And as soon as I’ve finished Year End, this becomes my Number One Priority.

Priority Three is a labour of love. The Viking and I subjected ourselves on Europe for 7 weeks in 2014, from Denmark to Italy to Croatia and back to Denmark. I kept a journal of our adventures and I will expand it and, hopefully, have it published. Trust me that no one has ever taken a European Vacation like The Viking and I did. Seriously.

And now that I’ve written all my priorities down, I can see a hint of New Year’s Resolutions which I had decided not to do because I never take them seriously enough. These might resemble Resolutions but they definitely are not Resolutions. These are……um……hmmm…..well I don’t know what to call these other than Priorities so that’s what they are.

I have a plan. It’s a good plan, a meaty plan that, once accomplished, should make me feel like a Goddess. A Goddess with a Family History and a Tax Return and a Book! If only the Gawds will play along…..

And then I can celebrate!

I’ve Created a Monster

If we were having coffee, I would have a confession to make.

I’m addicted to Toffifee. They are so delicious I just can’t stop eating them! Of all the yummy things I ate over the holidays, it’s the Toffifee that has me in its grasp and I can’t break free. Safeway is enabling me because they are selling them for half price and without even realizing it there are 2 boxes in my shopping cart. I put them in the freezer hoping that I would have more self-control if they could break my teeth but no such luck. I just suck on them until they thaw out and then chew. I am so weak!

We were watching TV the other night and The Viking picked up the tray of delectable confections to try to wedge a stubborn one out of its divot and for a moment I thought he was hoarding them like Golem with his ‘Precious’ and I almost lost it.

Me: “What are you doing?! Why are you holding them like that? They aren’t all yours, you know! You only get 3 rows! 3! And put them between us so you don’t have an unfair advantage. I can’t believe you’re hoarding!”

Him: Holy Fuck!! Take it easy! I was only getting one and it was stuck.”

Me (narrowing my eyes and holding out my hand for the tray): I thought you were taking them away from me.”

Him: I would never do that. I know how much you love them.

Me: ……..

The Viking may need to take steps. Clearly, I can’t be trusted. I told him that after this last box is gone I’m not buying any more. He tucked the Toffifee he was eating into his cheek and said “Good! We have to stop eating all this shit. If you bring any more of it home from the grocery store I’ll smash it to smithereens!”

WHOA!! That sounds like a challenge! 

Gawd!! Doesn’t he know me well enough by now to know that he just provoked me?! I’ll start hiding boxes of them around the house so I can sneak eat them when he isn’t looking. I’ll feel horrible about it but I’ll still do it.  That’s what happens when I’m challenged because the first thought to enter my mind is:  Challenge Accepted!  And once I accept a challenge…..well, there is no going back.

Couldn’t he have said something nice like “I know you’re addicted so we’ll go shopping together, in the evening, so I can give you moral support.”? Nope! He had to poke the bear!

It’s because of his Christmas gift and all the Testosterone that came with it. Now he feels justified to be all Viking-y and to throw his weight around.

So, now he has a Shield and a Battle Axe and I don’t. What was I thinking?! You don’t just arm a Viking and then hope he doesn’t use them. Of course he’s going to use them! He’s going to wave them around and chop things and bash things with his shield and he’ll grow a gross beard and put it in braids with beads and bones and he’ll let his eyebrows get all insect-y. He probably won’t answer my questions anymore either; he’ll just grunt and wave his axe at me with one hand and a chunk of meat with the other. On the plus side though, I won’t have to worry about cutting his hair any time soon.

So… more Toffifee. I’m feeling the chocolate/caramel/hazelnut withdrawals already. My hands are clammy and shakey and my mouth is dry and I have a twitch in my left shoulder. I suppose he’ll go through my shopping bags like a Doobie Dog at the Airport except he’ll be a Viking in the Kitchen. He’ll probably smell my breath for the slightest hint of Toffifee in case I ate a whole box on the way home from the store.

I’ve created a monster.

Maybe I can steer his axe waving in certain directions, like the Friends of Geesus or another Home Security Alarm salesman when they come up the sidewalk. When you have an armed Viking you don’t usually need a Security System. I may as well get used to it because I’m pretty sure that the manufacturing company won’t let me return them after that email I sent.

If he calls me “Thrall” just once though…….

PS: I miss you already Toffifee. My birthday is in 4 months and we will be together again.

PPS:  Here is the email I sent to the company that sold the Battle Axe and Shield when I was worried if it would arrive before Christmas.  In case you’re interested.


I’m checking on the status of my order.  I purchased a Battle Axe and a Shield for my Viking husband on November 22, 2016 as his Christmas gift.  I haven’t received a notice that it’s been shipped yet though and now I’m getting a little concerned that it won’t arrive before Christmas Eve. 

 I don’t know if you know anything about Vikings but they have a tendency to scowl and curse and froth at the mouth a lot when things go off the rails.  And, unfortunately, I’m not an actual Shieldmaiden that would have much of a chance in a pitched battle, especially since I could only afford a Battle Axe and Shield for him…..not for me.  I’m defenceless here.  The best I can do is a Dutch Oven and a large Flipper.  I suppose I could put a pot on my head as a helmet but it wouldn’t fit very well.

 Also, he has bought me a gift for Christmas but, in all honesty, I can’t possibly open my gift if I don’t have the gifts for him.  That will just make Christmas a very sad event for both of us.  And Christmas in January isn’t the same at all.  Have you ever seen a very sad Viking?  That’s worse than seeing an angry, snarling, farting Viking!

Anyway, I’m hoping for good news but if you don’t have that then I’ll settle for bad news as long as I know it well in advance of Christmas so I can let him down gently.

 Thank you for your time and attention,


Lori, aka Mrs. Completely