lesley crewe

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www.lesleycrewe.com

Hey all,

For those of you who follow my blog, I’m changing webpages. Instead of lesleycrewe.wordpress.com, I have a new site http://www.lesleycrewe.com

What’s the difference you say? Darned if I know but I do what they tell me! I hope to have the kinks out soon and you’ll be getting my pearls of wisdom from the new site very shortly. I’m sure you can’t wait. I know I’d be breathless with anticipation!

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I’m Sharpie as a tack

I went looking for picture frames the other day. I wanted six black ones. The cheapest I could find were around $10 each at Walmart. (No, I didn’t go to Michael’s, I was tired.) So that would’ve added up to about $75 or more by the time I went through the cash. I can think of other things I’d like to get with that $75, like a massage, or a nice dinner, or a tank of gas.

So I brooded for a few days. I have six of my daughter’s drawings in light wooden frames but I decided black was better (who knows why.) Then I had a brilliant idea. Why couldn’t I colour the frames with a black Sharpie pen? I was pumped. Then hubby added his two cents.

“You’d have better results if you painted them black. I don’t think the Sharpie thing is a good idea.”

You’ll notice I didn’t ask for his opinion. So out he goes to save our friend’s bungalow from rotting. He’d be gone all day. I drove to the store and bought a package of two Sharpie Pro pens. They’re thicker. That night I took one out of the package and drew a small mark on the top of one of the frames to see if it would work, but I heard my better-half come up the stairs so I ran to my study and pretended to be writing. I’d have to wait.

Today, once he left to do some more bungalow saving, I spent all afternoon colouring picture frames with my fabulous pens, AND IT WORKED!! It dried instantly. I was very diligent with the first frame tying to get every little bit covered, but then I noticed that if I left a few streaks here and there it looked like they’d been antiqued!! They’re amazing!! And it only cost me three dollars!

I’m so pleased I was right. You don’t always need the right tools for jobs around the house. I hammer nails in the wall with a rolling pin when hubby’s not around, and if I can’t find a nail I’ll use a push pin. It’s all good!

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Date night

We’ve been married for 37 years. Every time we decide to go to town for a night out, it’s the same thing. We argue about what time we’re leaving and where we’re going to eat. It never fails.

“Are you dressed?”

“No.”

“We’re leaving in five minutes.”

“It’s three hours until the stupid hockey game.” (which I don’t want to go to.)

“It’s 30 minutes into Sydney, I have to stop and get my lottery tickets and then fill up with gas and go to Central for bird seed. We have to pick up paper towels at Wal-Mart and then we have to eat and not to mention get coffee at Tim’s before the game.  So where do you want to go?”

“I don’t care where we go and it’s still too early.”

“You say the same thing every time! What’s wrong with being a few minutes early?”

“What’s wrong with being a few minutes late?”

“Where are we going for supper?”

“We’ll go to Colettes.”

“We can’t. It will be too busy, you know that place.”

“Swiss Chalet.”

“Nah, I had chicken last night.”

“Chinese food.”

“Again?”

“Just pick something!” I plead. “I keep telling you I don’t care where we eat! What about Boston Pizza?”

“Too expensive.”

“East Side Mario’s”

“Same.”

“Pizza Delight?”

“Nah.”

“McDonald’s?”

“I hate their fries.”

“Why can’t we go there just once?”

“Fine. We’ll go to McDonald’s to get your meal and then I’ll go to Harvey’s to get my meal. And since we’re doing that, we’ll have to leave early!”

“OMG!” I stomp into the bedroom and throw on the first thing I see. I stomp out again. He stares at me.  

“You’re not wearing that, are you?”

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Pinteresting…..

I thought I had all my vices under control.

I haven’t smoked for decades. I stopped drinking years and years ago. I never did drugs (my kids read this). My fifty shades of grey were always flannel (my kids read this). In other words, I’ve always been a complete bore.

And then a friend tells me about Pinterest. “You’ll love it. You just pin things you like.”
“What for?”
“Because you can.”
“But why?”
“Have you got something better to do?”

No.

So I start pinning cute animals because I love and adore animals. This is fun. Until I realize there are at least a billion different species and I want to pin them all. I’m well on my way to doing that.

Unfortunately I run into a picture of a dog who looks like our old dog Teddy. I now have eight hundred pins of corgi’s because mutt Teddy looked like a furry corgi.Then I see a dog who looks like our beloved mutt, Harry and now I have an entire scrapbook of Flat-coated retrievers.

My constant weeping over dead pets isn’t doing a thing for my sanity, so I pin a piece of art. What a huge mistake. I am now an art expert and my pins are worthy of the MOMA. You would not believe how many artists have lived since the beginning of time.

To distract myself I pin a recipe. I should’ve jumped in quicksand. Julia Child has nothing on me for a week, but then the rot sets in. Instead of fantastic healthy vegan dinners, I’m pinning recipes that have two ingredients….cake mix and Sprite….peanut butter cups and Oreo cookies mixed in with Cool Whip and marshmallow fluff. I’ve even pinned a thing that said to stick a can of Eagle Brand Milk in water, in a Crock Pot, for ten hours and open it up to find a glob of carmel. Really??!!

Since I don’t want to be a diabetic, I start pinning household hints. The only thing you ever need for absolutely anything in the world is Dawn dish liquid, vinegar and baking soda. Clothespins are very handy too.

I make the mistake of pinning a nice picture of someone’s kitchen. Now I hate my kitchen.

I hate all the paint colours I’ve ever chosen, I hate my furnitiure, my house, my garden, my car and my life. Nothing I own will ever live up to some of the mud rooms and laundry roooms I’ve pinned.

I’m now at the point of sticking pins in my eyes so I can’t see the computer and pins in my fingers so I can’t click the mouse. Innocent people should be warned that Pinterest is really Pinprick. A petty irritation or annoyance.

….but did you know you can use an elastic band to unscrew a stripped screw..and use a pants hanger to look at your cookbooks…and use a bungee cord as a makeshift curtain rod….

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My funny Valentine

So now that hubby and I have been married for almost 37 years, this is what Valentine’s Day looks like.

We go to Walmart and spend five minutes perusing the card aisle. I’ll pick out the best and most expensive card I can find for him and he does the same for me. We meet at the top of the aisle and hand each other our cards. “Happy Valentine’s Day” we say together. We read the cards and say “Aw!”. Then we kiss and put the cards back.

We’ve just saved fifteen bucks that we’ll use at Wendy’s for a slap-up meal.

After almost 40 years together, saying I love you on Valentine’s day is sort of redundant.

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Hack, hack…I’m getting a virus….

So when you go to lesleycrewe.com it’s like you landed in the Middle East. There is Arabic writing and music, and a big sign that says I’ve been hacked.

Okay…since I know nothing, I contact my web server. The kid at the support desk emails to tell me to remove my index file and reupload my index file and then change my passwords, such as FTP and cPanel.

I have no clue. I email to tell him so.

He emails back and asks if I have a website backup.

Guess what? I have no clue. So I tell the kid I’m old. He hasn’t answered back.

You know what would make a million billion trillion dollars? If someone invented a machine that automatically fixed everything with one click…forget the help windows and 100,000 pages of instructions.

I grew up in a time when computers were the size of railway cars. I have an age bias. I don’t want to touch anything for fear of causing internal bleeding. An index file to me is in a drawer in a library. It takes me all day to find something, but I’m suprisingly calm.

An FTP is a sound of a flat tire. A cPanel has something to do with a bra. And I’m pretty sure backup means the cops are coming.

Is it any wonder I suffer from anxiety?? This kind of situation makes me anxious, and what makes me more anxious is my husband coming in from outdoors, seeing I’m on the phone with our son to see if he can help, and talking right over me.

“What’s Paul say? Can it be fixed? Did you press that thingy like I told you to???”

When I wave my arm in his general direction to try and get him to shut up so I can hear what Paul is saying, he gets pissed! “Gee whiz….don’t have a cow….I only asked a question!”

Yes, and you asked the question while I was listening to Paul say something important, and now I have to ask him to repeat it, and I feel his impatience with his stunned mother, so now both the men in my life are ticked.

I can’t even go for a walk to clear my head because there’s a blizzard outside. Time for a bath.

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Favourite Excuses

This is a list of my favourite excuses for calling my kids when I miss them. They’re completely fooled every time. I have no idea how I get away with it.

1. “The computer is screwy…what am I doing wrong?”

2. “Where’s the volume button on this cell phone?”

3. “Remember that movie we watched? Who was the guy we both hated?”

4. “Is it snowing there yet?”

5. “Did you see your brother today?”

6. “Did you see your sister today?”

7. “I’m going to kill your father.”

8. “Where did you buy those curtains again?”

9. “You know that program you downloaded on my computer? Where did you put it?”

10. “Who’s the good king on Game of Thrones?”

11. “Who’s the bad king on Game of Thrones?”

12. “Who’s the other bad king on Game of Thrones?”

13. “Do you need extra AirMiles?”

14. “Are you coming home for (insert holiday here.)”

15. “Did I leave my curling iron there?”

16. “When are you going on vacation?”

17. “You have 300 Beanie Babies downstairs. Can I biff them?”

18. “How’s your cold?”

19. “Have you used the new CrockPot I got you for Christmas?”

20. “What are you doing this weekend?”

21. “Should I join yoga?”

22. “What should my next book be about?”

23. “Did you read my latest book yet?”

I really miss them but I’m sure they don’t miss me because I’m never off the bloody phone. But I’m very grateful that they are so patient with me.

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writing and not writing

I haven’t been on my blog since November 2012. As a writer trying to sell books this is a grave sin. All the experts tell you you’re an idiot if you don’t update your website, your facebook page, your twitter page, etc. etc. But to tell you the truth, I can’t figure out how to update things so I just leave it. I often bug the gal at the publishers to do stuff for me and then I feel guilty.

I had the added stress over Christmas of trying to figure out a new phone and my husband and I still can’t answer it, so there isn’t much hope for me in this crazy world of self promotion.

What I have been doing is writing another draft of a book I hope to have out in the fall. This is the kind of writing I like. Just me in my room with the cat, typing stuff. (If I’d forgotten that comma, you’d have thought the cat did my work for me. Pay attention in English class.)

So now I’m just making stuff up to write about so I have something on here and then the dashboard graph will go up and I won’t feel like a complete failure. And that’s what all this determined promoting is doing. If you’re not on top of it twenty-four seven, you’re doomed!!!

Aren’t I doomed if I don’t write another book? If I spend all my time on here, how am I supposed to write books? The only way I know how is to spend endless hours at it, so I don’t have time to write and write.

I have to write and not write. Right?

Perhaps my readers would rather I didn’t waste their time with silly missives like this and just got back to the job at hand. They’ve already told me I’m not allowed to go on Pinterest anymore. That site is like a drug.

So if the stuff on this website is old….which it is….and you’ve read it before….you have….don’t get bored (it is boring)….just let me get on with my work and I’ll try to have a little book out in September.

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A pain in the ass….head….shoulders….knees and toes, knees and toes….

I fell out of the house yesterday.

John took the step away while doing renovations. He told me about the missing step several times. I remembered for two whole days and didn’t have a problem. Then I forgot.

I fly out the door and into the air, looking exactly like those running jumpers at the Olympics. I have quite a conversation with myself before I hit the dirt driveway.

...I shouldn’t stick my hands out because they can break off…I should land on my hip or my shoulder…I’m taking these bastard flip flops and throwing them in the garbage…how long it will it be before John notices me dead on the lawn?  

I land with quite a thud because I’m a hefty gal, but mercifully, despite my moaning, I’m relatively unscathed. A few bruises, a scrapped knee….no biggy.

And then I wake up this morning. The only possible scenario for my state, is that someone beat me with a bag of hammers while I was asleep. How can one fall make EVERYTHING hurt? I used to fall off my bike when I was a kid. I used to fall off bar stools as a university student. I used to fall in front of any kind of vehicle to save my children and bounce back no problem.

The painful truth is, I’m not young anymore.

What a kick in the teeth!

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Why?

There’s something that happens around this time every year, that never fails to astonish me. Well-meaning people buy expensive plastic blow-up Halloween decorations for their yard, to delight their kids and scare trick-or-treaters.

Everything is fine for maybe a day and a half. Then the wind kicks up and a torrential rainstorm moves in and those vampires, ghosts and goblins are flattened into the ground, the air seeping slowly out of their bodies. These once loved creatures gasp for breath but their cries for help are ignored and denied.

What happens next is downright cruel. Their owners LEAVE THEM THERE!!! FOR MONTHS!

It’s bad enough they let them die but to leave them out in the yard to rot is ridiculous. Do these people not know how terrible their property looks with vinyl cadavers draped over their rose bushes? Doesn’t it bug them every time they come home from work, or is it just me? Whenever I see these accident scenes I have to avert my eyes. I don’t want to give into the temptation of blowing them back up with my endless supply of hot air.

And don’t get me started on the pumpkins that are left out on doorsteps until the following summer. As their wizened grins stare fruitlessly at passing pedestrians, they look exactly like abandoned old men with no teeth.

For shame!

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lesley crewe

Anytime you want to see human nature at its best and its worst, be a writer and sit behind a table for two hours waiting for fresh bait to mosey along and buy your book. If you want to attract any attention at all, you either set yourself on fire or keep your head up. This is how I know what I know.

Parents will threaten children with every conceivable fun thing in the universe that their kids WON’T be doing if they don’t stop whining, crying, or hitting their sibling.

“Do you want me to buy you that video game or not? Because right now mister, I’m tempted to turn around and go back to the car!”

“I’m taking away your blankie….are you happy now?”  If the child could talk I’m sure she’d say no.

One mom pulled her five year old along, saying that he’d be the only one on the street who didn’t get…

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Mall behaviour

Anytime you want to see human nature at its best and its worst, be a writer and sit behind a table for two hours waiting for fresh bait to mosey along and buy your book. If you want to attract any attention at all, you either set yourself on fire or keep your head up. This is how I know what I know.

Parents will threaten children with every conceivable fun thing in the universe that their kids WON’T be doing if they don’t stop whining, crying, or hitting their sibling.

“Do you want me to buy you that video game or not? Because right now mister, I’m tempted to turn around and go back to the car!”

“I’m taking away your blankie….are you happy now?”  If the child could talk I’m sure she’d say no.

One mom pulled her five year old along, saying that he’d be the only one on the street who didn’t get a visit from Santa. “Is that what you want? Are you okay with that? No Santa?!”

If you’re going to do something, don’t ask the kid’s opinion. Just do it.

The other pathetic sight is watching men whose wives have left them for a ‘moment’ to run into a store. These poor bastards start off alright, looking at the manniquins in the display windows of the outlets flanking the chosen one, but he soon tires of that and paces. Once that becomes boring, he looks around for a seat. Now he becomes a hunter, trying to find a bench that doesn’t have a scruffy looking couple with tattoos sitting on it, feeling each other up. The more disgraceful the behavior of the horny twosome, the more shit the wife gets when she emerges with her trophy bag.

She starts to excitedly tell him what she purchased and instantly the husband starts yapping at her about making him wait. She tells him to piss off or words to that effect and walks away in a huff. Thereupon he sulkily follows her….kind of like those kids we were just talking about.

But the nicest thing I ever saw happened at the Halifax Shopping Centre on this last round of signings.  A very trim, erect older woman in jeans was browsing at the sale table, but I could tell she was only using it as an excuse to look around. When she wandered closer, we had a nice chat and then she told me she seemed to have lost her husband. I asked for his description and said I’d keep an eye out. We both laughed.

As she’s moving off, heading in the other direction, I see a older man pick up his pace and try to follow her. I know he’s her husband, because he looks like he could go for a hike or swim across a lake…healthy, active and full of energy.

It’s when he tapped her on the shoulder and she turned around that the magic began. They laughed and smiled at discovering each other again, holding onto one another’s arms. They stood so close together I thought they were going to kiss, but they had what looked like a delightful conversation about where they might go next, or should they stop for lunch?

Honest to God I thought they were newlyweds, which in this and age could be quite possible….maybe on their honeymoon off one of the visiting cruise ships. When they passed my table, she smiled and said she’d found him.

I took a chance. “I hope you don’t think this a forward question, but how long have you been married?”

“Fifty-seven years,” he piped up.

I told them they were lucky.

She said, “I know.”

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Brain-washed

This ALWAYS happens. The only time there is a washer/dryer crisis, it involves your BEST clothes. It also involves a spouse who doesn’t listen.

“DO NOT put my black sweater in the washing machine. I’m going to do it later by hand.” I said this three times. Three times! So what does he do? He puts my black sweater in the washing machine with a load of dark crappy clothes that have dirt on them. Not only that…..he puts it on super-duper cycle….the one where the machine beats the shit out of your stuff.

He brings the wash to the cottage. On top of the laundry basket is my black sweater.

“Did you put this in the washing machine?”

“Yeah.”

“Did you put this in the dryer?”

“Yeah.”

“You COMPLETE BONEHEAD!”  My favourite sweater is now pilly, shrunken and destroyed!!

“What’s the matter?” He looks offended. “I thought I was doing you a favour. Next time wash your own clothes!”

“That’s what I wanted to do but you and your bonehead got to it first!” I pick up my favourite sweater and weep into the fabric.

“Get another one,” he says.

This is when I turn on him. “Do you know how difficult it is to get a lightweight v-neck sweater with 3/4 sleeves??”

“The manufacturer made one sweater, is that what you’re telling me?”

“YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!! The only thing I can do now is go shopping for a completely new sweater.”

“So go.”

“That is not the point, mister!”

Yes, it is. My female brain kicks in. Go shopping, spend money and blame him.

I like it.

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Brain-washed

This ALWAYS happens. The only time there is a washer/dryer crisis, it involves your BEST clothes. It also involves a spouse who doesn’t listen.

“DO NOT put my black sweater in the washing machine. I’m going to do it later by hand.” I said this three times. Three times! So what does he do? He puts my black sweater in the washing machine with a load of dark crappy clothes that have dirt on them. Not only that…..he puts it on super-duper cycle….the one where the machine beats the shit out of your stuff.

He brings the wash to the cottage. On top of the laundry basket is my black sweater.

“Did you put this in the washing machine?”

“Yeah.”

“Did you put this in the dryer?”

“Yeah.”

“You COMPLETE BONEHEAD!”  My favourite sweater is now pilly, shrunken and destroyed!!

“What’s the matter?” He looks offended. “I thought I was doing you a favour. Next time wash your own clothes!”

“That’s what I wanted to do but you and your bonehead got to it first!” I pick up my favourite sweater and weep into the fabric.

“Get another one,” he says.

This is when I turn on him. “Do you know how difficult it is to get a lightweight v-neck sweater with 3/4 sleeves??”

“The manufacturer made one sweater, is that what you’re telling me?”

“YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!! The only thing I can do now is go shopping for a completely new sweater.”

“So go.”

“That is not the point, mister!”

Yes, it is. My female brain kicks in. Go shopping, spend money and blame him.

I like it.

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