She likes to switch it up

If you follow my blog you know that our eldest daughter moved out of the house this past November (insert mom tears). The first few months were fine, she would phone me each day, and we’d chat about what we were going to do, how her job search was going, and anything else that came to mind. Well, doesn’t she go out and get herself a full-time job about a month ago!

Gone are the daily phone calls to mom (insert tears again). Instead I may get a phone call a couple of times during the week. Why? Because she now phones her dad! I asked her why she was no longer phoning me each day to chat, her answer “I like to switch it up”. You thought with the title of this post I was going to write about sex didn’t you? I guess I could say I like to be on top occasionally (inserts laughter).

Now hubby puts everyone he talks to on speaker phone, making it easy for me to listen in. The problem is I then want to ask questions? I realize I am eavesdropping on the phone call, but he has it on speaker, so I think this is fair game for me.

Well there he is listening to her tell a story, and I am yelling questions from the other room, but I’m generally being ignored, and apparently interrupting their conversation (I have very good lungs, so even though the phone is in another room, my daughter can clearly hear what I am saying, this comes from years of yelling at my kids to do their chores).

Next thing I notice, he has taken her off speaker phone and he has gone downstairs. I can no longer hear what she is saying, I only hear his voice which doesn’t give me much. Thus I am doomed to wait for my phone call.

Cuba in January was not the best idea for a vacation

Cuba in January was not the best idea we’ve had for a vacation, simply because the weather is not that great. As it is winter in Canada, it is also winter in Cuba, thus there was only one day that we were actually able to sit on the beach, go swimming in the ocean, and sailing. Most other days were spent around the pool out of the wind. Of course no one was swimming in the pool either, since it was freezing but we were out of the wind and occasionally the sun did appear. There was one day where it was warmer in Calgary, Alberta, Canada then it was in Varadero, Cuba because of the chinook winds! We found out that little tidbit of information when we were again spending time in the lobby bar due to the unsettled weather.

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My husband and I went to Cayo Coco, Cuba years ago and had a wonderful time at the resort we had chosen for that holiday. When I booked this trip, hubby wanted to stay in a 5 star resort, so I made sure I read review after review, as I searched for a nice place to stay. Well, the resort we stayed at, which was listed as a 5, maybe was a three (I found many other Canadians with the same opinion well we were chatting on departure day – our plane was delayed for hours). Sadly the food was horrid, either undercooked or overcooked. Now since hubby has been sick on other trips, I had him take some Dukoral (Travellers’ diarrhea) before we left. Now I didn’t take any Dukoral myself because I am usually fine, well as it so happened this time I got sick, thankfully it only lasted about 24 hours. Then hubby was sick for two days, so much for the Dukoral. Due to illness we had to cancel two of our dinner reservations. (If you have never stayed at an all-inclusive resort, there are usually 4 or 5 restaurants where you must have reservations for dinner).

I didn’t find the hotel to be all that clean, the floor in our bathroom was never properly washed under the sink or around the toilet. When you did see housekeeping cleaning, their rags were usually filthy. Washrooms never had paper towels to dry your hands, instead a roll of 1-ply toilet paper was stuffed in the dispenser. Try drying your hands with toilet paper – you end up with little bits and pieces stuck to them. From the outside all looks good, but as with many things on closer examination you see the truth.

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Now there were fabulous parts to our vacation, especially the day trip we took into Havana. I love history, so touring through old Havana was wonderful, except when it cost me $10 Cuban Convertible Pesos for hubby to receive two kisses from official tourism Cubans (our tour guide warned us of this, but apparently hubby wasn’t listening at that time).

Two official tourism people kissing hubby.

At one point we had the bejeebers scared out of us when all of a sudden we heard cannons going off. The cannons were being fired from Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabaña  in celebration of Jose Marti, father of Cuban independence. Here is a short video of the cannons going off:

More pictures of old Havana:

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At the end of the day we had a half hour of free time which most of us spent having a drink in Hotel Ambos Mundos, one of the 1st residence’s of Ernest Hemingway.

one of the 1st residence's of Ernest Hemingway

With that, it was the end of our vacation, of course there was the 4 hour plane delay at the airport, eventually though we made it home after being awake for 24 hours! :-)

What does an Etymology book and Vases have in common?

On the Friday we celebrated my husband’s 53rd birthday, which in my books is a terrible time of the year to have a birthday. For people like me who already hate shopping, to make me go out again, right after Christmas, well you may not receive exactly what you hoped for. Now I do try to find the perfect gift (see last paragraph), I listen to comments you make throughout the year, so when I’m shopping I can readily find it.

A week or so before his birthday, my husband mentioned he liked vases. Now in my defense, this was not the first time he has said this, we have numerous vases throughout the house that are his, not mine. I am not a collector of things, and certainly not vases (I do kind of like the one hubby bought me years ago, but if I was shopping I would not have purchased it).

Vase hubby purchased for me

Vase hubby purchased for me years ago.

After picking up the music cd’s he had asked for, I went on a search for a vase. I had already decided I would not spend a great deal of money on it, just in case he didn’t like it. (Most of you are probably saying, well he could return the gift, but I wanted him to like it, so in my mind returning it was not an option. Besides, I was taught that no matter how much you didn’t like something, a gift was a gift, so you smiled graciously and said thank you.)

So on Friday, there we sat, the eldest and I watching hubby open his gifts (middle child and the young man are away at school). Before unwrapping the vase, he opened four other presents ~ music cd’s (he had requested these, so I just had to go to the store, give the list to the sales clerk, asking her to find them for me ~ remember, I do not like shopping. I’m really digging a large hole for myself, aren’t I?).  Next it was time for him to unwrap the vase. With excitement (mostly mine), hubby unwrapped his gift and this is what he saw…

Picture of the birthday vase.

The birthday vase.

…and he didn’t like it. I thought it was pretty, the stained glass effect, but no matter how many descriptive words I could think of and say, he still didn’t like it, and apparently the eldest didn’t either, since her comment was “I don’t get it when you die”.  Being a very good sport, I did not get upset, even when he said “it reminded him of a trophy”.  

I had already sent a picture of the vase to middle child, who definitely did not like my choice either. Hubby then sent a picture to the young man, who immediately phoned his dad and said something to the effect of “WTF”. Next the young man phoned me, his comment “that’s perfect the etymology book lives on!”. 

Picture of the dictionary of English Etymology.

The Book of English Etymology.

One Christmas years ago, I had given my husband a book of English Etymology because I was 100% positive he had mentioned that he would be interested in having such a book. He, of course cannot remember this conversation. Since then all my children have questioned the reasoning behind buying such a book, and whenever I buy a gift for someone, this book comes into the conversation.

What do you think? Do you like the vase?