F EPIC EN

Today was going to be a day spent in the University Library writing my paper due on Tuesday. But the library has a dress code. No it isn’t uniforms and ties, nor is it heels and skirts, but they do expect good hygiene and day clothes.

I have hag hair, jammies and Newfie socks…I am not going anywhere looking like this. I save this special look for my family…they don’t care how I look as long as they get food for dinner. I may treat myself to a comfortable chair and move to my son’s office chair, but other than that, if you need me, I will be firmly ensconced in front of my dying computer screen.

There is a loose connection somewhere in my screen and the screen will flicker with vibrations within the room. Good thing I do not live on a fault line or I would never see what I write and it would be a crap shoot for marks from my Prof. I have a certain level of expectation for marks and a failing screen will not help. I hope a few band-aid solutions (tilting the screen into the perfect position 500 times a day) will help. The pay off are these:

 

Worth it? You bet! They are comfy, cozy and slouchy. Brings back to my summer camp days of slouchy socks and Birkenstocks! Beautiful? No…but not caring. I have had an emotional week. I experienced every emotion, including shock. I heard my mom say the F word with ‘en on the end for added emphasis. My son thought it was awesome, in fact his words were “What an Epic Day! First we had early dismissal, then we win a curling match, then Grandma swears! EPIC!”

I grew up in a Print Shop. My mom and grandfather worked their fingers to the bone and I learned language that would make a sailor blush. Hearing these words from my mom was shocking, but I already knew them. For the record, my mom NEVER SWEARS. Not since that fateful New Years when she made that resolution. Sugar was the word of choice. We would tease her and offer up alternatives like, Shatner! or Snickerdoodle! or Fudgcicles! We would randomly mock her with these alternatives until the situation was diffused. However, even I knew not to tease and mock her after last Thursday night.

My parents (an elderly senior couple – wow I think I just mocked her – I should clarify here. My mom tells the world that she is 75 so they can tell her how great she looks. I will not disclose her age but she is WAY younger than 75 but old enough to be a “senior” and does look fabulous for her age of 75 which is 10 years younger than her mom) took their car to to Mr. Lube to have their Oil Changed. Clearly there was some sort of miscommunication because the oil was not changed, just removed.

My parents then drove home, or should I say attempted to drive home. Their route follows a long and dark country road, before meeting up with the freeway to take them to their home in the city. They live close to a suburb and often will use it’s services instead of competing with hoards of people within the city.

I received a call from my dad asking me to rescue my mom who was stranded on a dark stretch of highway in the country. I grabbed my son and off we went. For the record, my dad was being the hero – mom doesn’t need rescuing. She is tough as nails and I pity Mr. Lube. They have never felt a wrath like hers. My parents will play good cop/bad cop. Dad swoops in and is all kind and nice, saving the db doofus from a fate worse than my mother’s wrath. My mom said THE WORD. It starts with an F has an uck in it and ended with en. Apparently that spells EPIC! My son was quite proud of the list of events my mom was going to do to Mr. Lube.

On the way home he said to me, wow…epic…no wonder you were afraid of her when you were a kid.

For the record, nothing scares me.

except birds… maybe mice… but that is the official stance of fear from the Edmonton Tourist.

This is part of the reason I need my Newfie Socks this week…. It is also the long weekend here in Alberta. That’s right JUST ALBERTA! Take THAT Ontario! This is the only good thing that former Premier Getty ever did. A long weekend in the middle of February. That and win a Grey Cup in 1956. Staying at home and being comfy is what I need – in spite of having to work tomorrow…it’s just face painting, so that will be funish. And I need some comfort because my ear is bruised.

What? You didn’t hear? How is that possible? I received 40 comments, emails and private messages regarding this matter. I pierced my ears this week and not in the conventional way of going to a piercing artist and having them jab a needle into my ear…no I am too cheap for that. I had my ears re-pierced several weeks ago in a tattoo shop. It was simple. In 1982, I had my ears double pierced. What i didn’t know was I was allergic to gold. My ears were always infected so I let them grow over. The scar was still visible and in my infinite wisdom I thought I could jab surgical steel studs through the scars and repierce them.

Chicken Hawk asked me if I used potatoes…um Chicken Hawk – I don’t think potatoes are sharp enough. I used the original studs from weeks before and bought new ones for my perfectly healed first holes. In my infinite wisdom, I purchased two packs of eyebrow surgical steel ball closure rings. I want something semi-perminent so I don’t need to worry about swimming and losing jewelry.

These ball closure rings are a pain in the Shatner to put in. I had the entire entourage helping me. When it was all said and done, we had used needle nose pliers with me laying on the bed with a ton of people twisting the crap out of my sore ear (I had already pierce the second hole – painful? Very – but I gave birth to 2 kids prior and had my gallbladder removed and walked for 7km on a broken foot  so it wasn’t that bad…) I saved myself $80 bucks and earned a TON of compliments from 4 year old girls who told me I look pretty. One even patted my tummy and said my tummy is smaller! I love my girls!! They are always ready with a complement!

Suffice it to say – I will not be removing my earings for quite sometime. If I do it will be for a very good reason…like these:

Earrings in platinum with round brilliant diamonds, for pierced ears. Size mini. Carat total weight 2.39. $12 000 CND.

 

Meticulously matched for size, color, clarity and presence. Earrings of round brilliant diamonds in platinum, for pierced ears. Round brilliant diamonds, carat total weight .22.  $1250 CND.

 

Thus the reason for Newfie Socks…. That an my dear friend Sue lost her battle with breast cancer. I am blessed to be the recipient of one of her beautiful quilts. Her kind soul touched many and will be always remembered.

 

You’ve Got Mail!

When I was a kid, I loved it when I would come home and mom would say there was mail for me! It happened about once a year, when my Auntie from Winnipeg would mail me a package for my birthday. It was usually something cool, like the Boney M Record, a new wallet and matching rainbow key chain, or a Bee Gees 8-track. After I moved away from home, I got mail regularly in the form of bills. Not as much fun, so I joined some message board quilt swaps and traded everything from 6″ squares of quilters cotton, to a full size quilt. Yes it was expensive. I eventually stopped quilting altogether and donated my fabric stash and many many quilt tops to the quilters at Make-A-Wish Foundation here in Edmonton. They make a quilt for every child in Edmonton who gets a wish. Pretty cool actually. Often those quilt blocks were signed by the quilter who made them. I received stuff from New Brunswick, Canada, Ohio, USA, and even Tasmania, Australia. I did receive packages from everywhere else in between. I loved mail day. It got to the point where I could not afford that addiction hobby any more. Now I enjoy my finished quilts and am thrilled I made lots for everyone. ChatterBox still has her pink lemonade quilt hanging on her wall. It makes me happy to see it there.

Sadly, I don’t get mail anymore. At least not snail mail. I often wake up to 13 email in my regular account, 10 in my Edmonton Tourist account and  1 or 2 in my third account. Mail I still get and it’s fun…usually. My favorite email comes from friends who live far away and we support each other’s goal setting. My next favorite is for plans about family picnics. Yes it’s true, my family emails each other instead of calling. I prefer text, but mom and dad haven’t figured that out yet. I get assorted “junk” mail or spam that I sign up for and for some I don’t. But the best one is Monday morning. Tiffany & Co send me their weekly update filled with lovely sparkly things. Now that I have been to Tiffany’s I know their pictures are crap in comparison. Yet they are still lovely to look at and dream about.

Then today in the mail I got this

A lovely hand written thank you note from Jill at Tiffany & Co. in Calgary. People’s Jewelers never sent me a hand written note, neither did Ben Moss Jewelers. This lovely hand written note was Embossed with the return address. I carefully opened the envelope without tearing it and discovered a gem! Tiny embossed non printed words that said

Tiffany & Co Makers New York

It was on the edge of the envelope where the “licked” part sticks to. I noticed it was embossed and not heat set. It was actually stamped with an embosser. I come from a family of Printers and Pressmen. Excellent quality paper is not lost on me. I love the feel of a heavy weighted paper as it comes out of the envelope. It screams quality. In consultation with my Aunt and my Mom, both worked many years in the family print business, we discussed the type of paper it was. Without feeling it and holding it up to the light, they could only give their best guess. My Aunt thought it might be Crains Crest. It is a high quality paper that is uses for the best stationery and the American US dollar (or at least it was back in the 80’s.) Then I talked to my mom. She is a savant when it comes to paper. She asked me to hold it up to the light and describe it to her. Through the light you could see tiny lines that looked like it was woven then covered with an imprint. Mom figured it was a linen paper. Linen is more expensive that Crains Crest. Then I held it to my nose and breathed it in. It smelled like the paper room at the family print shop, it smelled like a new book, it smelled like my grandpa without the extra ink he always wore. It made me smile.

As I opened the envelope, the words “Tiffany & Co” were perfectly visible in the V of the envelope. A detail that would be lost to many but not to printers and graphic artists. As I pulled it out, This is what I saw:

I read the hand printed script, it said:

Dear Robyn,

It was such a pleasure meeting you and your daughter.

It was an honor to be part of your first Tiffany Piece.

I look forward to shopping with you both again soon.

Best Wishes

Jill

Let me just say that I have experienced some of the best customer service in the world. Included in that is Disney. They treat you like you are a million bucks. But Tiffany took it up a notch, from the way they treated my daughter, to the way they treated me and the service during and after. Then the note. Lots of companies would do well to take a page out of Tiffany’s customer service manual. It is likely the reason they have been around since 1837.

Well Jill, I love getting mail from you, so I look forward to shopping with you again too.

Because Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Got the Cindy Lauper song in your head now? Surprisingly that was the only tune we didn’t listen too on our chick trip to Calgary. Cast of Characters included :

  1. The Edmonton Tourist – Navigator and planner extraordinaire
  2. Polly Pocket – Pilot and Shopping Empress of the Universe
  3. ChatterBox – Master of the second wind (after the meds wore off) and water slide fiend
  4. Crash – Self contained tornado and lover of all things PINK!

We headed out for out shopping destination bright and early Saturday morning. The Plan was to get to the Crossirons shopping mall and spend ALL FREAKING DAY THERE! Then head over to the hotel and play on the waterslides.

Typically it takes about 3 1/2 hours to drive from Edmonton to Calgary unless you are driving in a car filled with ADHDers. I was not without a diagnoses so I fit in too. Crash diagnosed me with OCD, thank goodness because I was feeling left out! A word of caution to all of you who have never been in close quarters with so many ADHDers – expect to never rest and expect to hear CONSTANT talking. When I say constant, I mean every stinking second. When we hit Red Deer for the obligatory rest room and snack break, I was sure we had only been in the car 20 minutes. Polly doesn’t let grass grow under the wheels, that’s for sure! As quick as we got to Red Deer, it seemed just as quick getting to Calgary, 2 1/2 hours from Edmonton –  for the record.

There is was laid out before us. The stuff legends are made of. Crossiron Mills Shopping Centre spread out in all it’s mythical glory, ready to be conquered by the fab 4.

We entered the super sized building and immediately split up. Girls heading left, mom’s heading right. The mom’s were heading for the Coach Factory Store. We had heard mythical tales that we didn’t not believe possible. We were about to be convinced. I don’t believe in the old adage “seeing is believing” but in this case I need to be convinced. Once we caught a glimpse of the store front, I think we squealed. There was a guy out front who mocked us by clapping his hands a saying OMG it’s COACH! That made me laugh, I am sure he saw that a million times a day.

When we walked in, we were handed a 30% off everything in the store coupon. That included clearance AND sales. We scoured every nook and cranny before we found the bags that called to us. Mine were “deals of the day” and located on the $99 table. Apparently they feature different bags every day for $99 and they go fast. I grabbed 2.With the 30% off it was $69 EACH! I KNOW! Reg. $248!!!!!  I nearly fainted.

Do you remember Wilma and Betty from the Flintstone’s when they went shopping? They would yell Chaaaaarge IT! Then get all caught up in the feeding frenzy. That was me. I was willing fight off all those other women for my bags.

I’m sure an hour or more past before we were ready to get in the huge queue for the till.

The day went on in a blur. We found FCUK, Guess, Urban Planet, Fossil, Brooks Bros., Lush as well as old favorites like H&M, Winners, and Michael Kors. Before we left, we headed to the Bass Shop – or whatever it was called. None of us are much for fishing but we were told this store was a sight to be hold. This place was amazing! It was filled with life trout and taxidermy. If you are into that sort of thing, you seriously need to go!

After a long day of shopping the car looked like this:

The next day was filled with my beloved Tiffany’s and by day 2 of shopping the car looked like this:

I learned lots about traveling with ADHDer’s

  1. They will kiss moose
  2. They walk FAST
  3. They talk A LOT
  4. They laugh A LOT
  5. They are a great choice to go away with 🙂

Thanks Girls for the Great Trip!!!

Oh Calgary, I bow to your shopping prowess. But it is still ON when it comes to hockey…just saying.

 

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

I woke up this morning and slowly cracked open my eyes, then a huge grin spread across my face. It wasn’t a dream after all. The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was the new love of my life.

Her name is Tiffany.

She is silver and shiny and she is aaaaaaaall mine.

This past weekend I was lucky enough to be able to go on an all girls weekend to Calgary with Polly Pocket, her daughter Crash, and my lovely Chatterbox. We had these plans in the works for a long time, ever since we discovered there was a Coach factory store down in Calgary. I know what you are thinking, a Coach Factory store? That is too good to be true! Wait until you hear THAT story tomorrow…

Today’s story is about a dream come true. I know it seems shallow, desiring something from Tiffany’s so desperately. But it isn’t the contents of the blue box so much as what it represents.

We woke up around 9 Sunday morning and the girls went for a last trip on the water slides while we packed a TON of shopping packages up. We spend a full day shopping at Crossiron Mills. But today was about Tiffany & Co. The first stop was Tim Horton’s so we could eat breakfast at Tiffany’s Canadian style! Coffee and a danish to go, a little reminiscent of Holly Golightly! Then we drove south, towards the Chinook Center and all it’s glories.

As we neared the mall I started to hyperventlate a smidge. I had the same feeling I get when I am at Disneyland for rope drop. We parked and made our way in. When I saw the ropes outside the store and the classic windows, I started to shake. I can’t describe the feeling I felt. It was a dream come true. I saved for a very long time for this moment. This moment was about setting goals, achieving them, reaching for something I thought was unattainable, and then holding it my hand. A year ago I applied for University, never really believing I was smart or or good enough. That was the beginning to learning a whole pile of new stuff about me. I learned what I was made of, I learned what I was capable of and I learned failure happens. It isn’t about failing, it is about taking the learning lesson from it and applying it to the rest of your life. If you can do that, it isn’t a failure after all.

So here I was. Whipping out my danish, which I never ate, it was just for effect. My coffee in my other had and I stood in front of the window, smiling like a kid at Christmas. I posed for pictures, gulped my coffee, took a deep breath and entered.

I was greeted at the door by security, bidding me good morning. I was dazzled by the sparkling diamonds that proved to me no picture on earth can do these sparkling beauty’s justice. I lingered at the princess showcase, and thought wistfully of conversations past. I reminisced about all the events that flooded through my memory banks. This showcase holds some very special memories that I will never let go of. In fact, it brings hope for the future. I knew I needed to keep moving forward, as much as I wanted a princess cut diamond on my finger, it was not for me today. I moved forward into the back of the store. The store itself was shaped like the infinity symbol, it made it seem like everything went on forever. I found the keys and sighed softly. I telepathically told those keys I will be back for you once I graduate.

As I was drooling over the keys, a sales person came up to me and inquired if I needed help. My instinct was to say no. But the I remembered that I earned this. I worked damn hard this year. I saved for this. So I spoke up and said, yes I am looking for a Return to Tiffany heart tag key pendant. She replied the Return to Tiffany items are this way. I followed her eagerly.

She unlocked the showcase and pulled the pendant from the case, she explained it came on a 16″ chain and was about $120-$150, but she needed to check the skew because NOTHING had a price on it. I corrected her and said, it should be $180. I received a smile and was told she loves it when people research. That is me all over. I do nothing without planning. I told her I would take it and now we needed to shop for my Chatterbox.

I took a page right out of Breakfast at Tiffany’s and told her what our price range was for Chatterbox. Chatterbox had come down with a cold before we came and was holding her hand to her nose in a discreet way. Chatterbox could not express what she wanted other than needing a tissue. So the lucky dog was shown the way to the rest room. Being a girl after my own heart, she took pictures! Oh Chatterbox, you are the best!!

While she was doing a photo shoot in the restroom, I explained that Chatterbox loved charms, so off we went went to look at charms in her price range.

My daughter worked harder than anyone else I know this year. She raised her marks up to honours, she set and achieved goals and quite frankly, I couldn’t be prouder of her. So I topped up her savings to allow her to buy her very first Tiffany’s. A Tiffany Notes Heart pendant was chosen. I gave her my 16″ chain and bought myself a 20″ chain. The sales gal placed it around my daughters neck and I took the picture. Her first Tiffany’s.

Next was the big wrapping production. Out came two blue boxes, two lengths of ribbon and two pieces of tissue. I watched carefully as she tied the ribbon in that special way. We each received our own package. We were Tiffany virgins no more. The pride I felt at that moment was amazing. I achieved my first major goal and rewarded myself.

I will never let myself slip back into the old me again. The new me suits me.

Diamonds are My Best Friend

I have a mental blockage. I have one last assignment to complete, one last paper to write before Christmas Break. I have done the research, I have notes, but why can’t I do it? WHY WHY WHY? I think I need to release the mumbo jumbo in my head so I can focus on the task at hand. My way of doing that is to blog.

As the daily list of “to do’s” increases as the Holidays approach, I find myself with less and less time and cash. Every time I turn around there is another school form asking for another $125 or $6. There are meetings to attend, family obligations, work commitments, and school work to do. I realized I have 3 weeks to go before winter break. I am usually done Christmas Shopping by now. I did get started on the Christmas Baking but Evil Genius and Genetic Offspring took care of that. So now I need to make MORE. This time I shall keep it in my secret lair.

I need a diversion. I need an escape. I am going to imagine for the next 15 minutes that I am well to do and money is no object. I am going to write my Christmas List and give it to my future ex husband, George. He has the cash and the connections to provide me with these delights I want for my fantasy Christmas. Ready? Imagine,if you will, that we are in New York.  Slap on that Brioni dress, slide on those gorgeous Prada boots and walk with me through my favorite store on 5th Avenue. That’s right, we are heading to Tiffany & Co. Come indulge with me.

The Edmonton Tourist’s Fantasy Christmas List!

Dear George, I have been exceptionally good this year. I have made a little of list of special items that I know you will want to shower me with. I will provide pictures so we are VERY clear of my expectations. Thank you Santa Baby George dear.

1. The Ornate Key Pendant

Just the key, not the chain is about $8000.00 I love the Platinum ones

2. Tiffany & Co. Cuff Notes

Again, loving the Platinum $7850.00

3. The Tiffany Embrace

I like the various choices of carat weight, that is so thoughtful Tiffany! Thank you!  This one is only $12000.00 – I don’t want to seem greedy.

4.The Atlas Ring

The White Gold is my ring of choice! This is only a stocking stuffer at $1600.00

5. The Tesoro Watch

I love an every day watch and think this will do nicely! $15000.00

6. The Knots Ring

For those days when I feel like slumming it. $350.00

7. Celebration Rings

I think all of them at once. I like the eclectic look. They start at $11000.00 each. We will have plenty to celebrate. Trust me.

8. Diamonds by the Yard ( best value, buying diamonds in bulk!)

Starting at $5800.00 but such good value! You only buy what you need.

9. Marquise Ring for those quiet nights at home

A BARGAIN starting at $20000.00

10. Circlet Bracelt

$15600.00, see I am not greedy

11. Tiffany Jazz Necklace, coordinates nicely with the Circlet Braclet

$37000.00

Santa Baby George,the total comes to $78850.00 Canadian dollars.

I’m worth it, I promise.

Love, ET