Moments on a Sunday

Today ended up being a relatively pleasant day considering the fact that we had no great plans in store and that Sundays are often low-key anyway what with easing back into school and work. Moments that contributed to my Sunday:

  • I did my third day in a row of the current BexLife challenge, doing ten burpees followed by a two-minute plank. Day one was easy. Day two and three were a bit harder now that soreness has helped me identify the exact location of every single abdominal muscle in my body. Ow.
  • I went to my favourite thrift shop and bought myself a tank top (to wear under low-cut shirts), five shirts, a pair of name-brand jeans, and two My Little Ponies for the kids. Grand total? Just over $28. Yes, I do love thrifting, thank you very much.
  • I finally found kale at a semi-decent price. I don’t know if there’s a better season for kale but every time I wanted to get some it was a tiny little wad of green leaves, often somewhat limp, and cost close to four bucks. Today it was still a bit on the pricey side at $3.49 but at least it was a HUGE bunch and it looked perfect.
  • Related to the above, I therefore was able to FINALLY try kale after hearing its benefits sung from the rooftops from most of the health blogging population. I sauteed half of my bunch with some onion and garlic, and it was quite tasty. I need to find more recipes to try out, so please feel free to share. I’m planning to use the other half tomorrow after work to try out kale chips.
  • Along with the kale – which was a HUGE hit with Hayley, by the way, and she even had two servings and asked for some with her lunch tomorrow – I made chili that I served on brown rice, and I cooked up a small pot of quinoa to take with the leftover chili for my supper tomorrow.
  • I saw a robin today. A robin! In February! That’s insane and practically unheard of. I wonder if that means an early spring after all or if a flock of robins are going to get screwed over.
  • After putting the kids to bed I enjoyed a fairly terrifying episode of The Walking Dead. While I always love this show, it’s been awhile since I’ve had to fight off the urge to climb up onto the back of my couch and hide my eyes. Good stuff!
  • After having taken Friday off, I’ve enjoyed a nice long three-day weekend. Much needed, oh yes.

How was your weekend?

My attempt at the 7-day BexLife Burpee & Plank challenge:

And apropos of nothing in particular, last week I took my favourite of George’s cover songs, Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” and I put it up on YouTube. It’s been years since he recorded it and I still love it.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, let me know what you did!

11 things, 11 questions

One of my favourite fitness people is Bex and she did this post and challenged others to do the same. I have a bit of time to pass until the kids need to go to bed, at which point George and I will watch a movie, so I figured I’d go ahead and do this so as to stop seeing that depressing post I wrote last week every time I open my blog.

The way it works: I have to post 11 random things about myself, then answer 11 questions asked by the blogger I got this from, and then write up 11 questions for others. Whew. Here goes!

11 random things about me:

1. I am insanely competitive. I can be happily lazy or indifferent to something right up until the moment that I’m challenged in a competitive way and then I will lose my ever loving mind trying to meet and/or exceed it. I’m even competitive with myself.

2. Despite the fact that I REALLY WANT TO WIN at things, I’m not a sore loser in any way.

3. In my first year of high school I was so bummed by my first term grade in Ecology (I believe it was 83%) that I went up to my teacher and asked him how I could improve for the next term. He mumbled something about staying engaged and studying harder, but later told my dad at parent-teacher night that he had only answered that way because he was taken aback; no student had ever asked him how to do better after getting a grade in the 80-something range.

4. I failed Advanced Chemistry in a spectacular going-up-in-flames kind of way, getting grades around 35 and 40%. I never meant to take the class. I had chosen Advanced Biology so they decided to just throw me into Advanced Chem too. To this day I haven’t got a single clue as to what we were supposedly learning in that class. Thank God I did much better in Bio!

5. I am fully bilingual having started in French Immersion in elementary school and then Advanced French in high school. By the end of high school, when I was in grade 10 and 11 I was taking the exact same French curriculum as kids in French high schools. I even have a certificate, all formal and stuff.

6. I didn’t learn too much in the way of useful French as far as having actual conversations until after high school when I worked in environments where I needed to use it and dated a couple of French guys. Like many things that you learn in a classroom, actually applying it in life requires a bit of immersed modification.

7. Although I love the hell out of yoga, am pretty good at some of it, and enjoy certain fitness workouts I was not an athlete type in high school. I was very active outdoors, including biking and TONS of cross-country skiing, but I sucked at organized sports.

8. It’s kind of the same thing with the fact that I have a strong sense of spirituality but suck at trying to involve myself in organized religion.

9. I like living in a place where things are convenient – grocery stores close by, bus lines (when the union isn’t on strike – STILL!), parks, etc – but I really would prefer living in a nice house in the woods.

10. The ocean brings me peace. I haven’t been to the ocean in far too long, I can’t wait for warm weather so I can throw on my bathing suit (goal for this year: bikini!) and go back to Crystal Crescent Beach.

11. I love Halifax but frequently wish I still lived back home.

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Posted in Me

The quiet unspoken truth

I love it here. Halifax is a beautiful city, it’s right on the ocean, and in the summer I can be at the beach in about 20 minutes or less. Swimming in the Atlantic, being on the coast, it’s all a wonderful and amazing thing. Also, the people in the Maritimes are generally just as nice and friendly as the stereotypes claim them to be.

You know there’s a “but” coming though, right?

But.

Photo via montreallimo.ca

I miss home sometimes. I miss our families, I miss our friends, I miss the old school and the community I had there, I miss being at home with my kids, I miss the dog we had to leave behind, and I even miss the silly “should be inconsequential” things like Chinatown, the Biodome, and good poutine.

I know that sometimes it takes time to get settled and feel at home and for awhile I thought I had, but lately I have an ache that won’t go away no matter how much I love it here.

I’m homesick and there’s very little I can do about it except breathe and wait for it to pass.

Posted in Me

A quiet Mother’s Day works for me

I had a nice quiet Mother’s Day so far today and honestly that’s exactly what I needed and wanted. It started off a little more exciting than I really needed though; just before 6 am I was woken up by a puking Breanna and that’s just never a good thing. It happened twice in the space of an hour and if you happened to hear a strange shattering sort of sound followed by tinkling that would have been my heart breaking when she tearfully asked me, “did I ruin Mother’s Day?”

After reassuring her that being sick most certainly did not ruin anything, I got her cleaned up and back to sleep for a little longer until she finally got up a little past 8 am. At that point she sat in the living room with Hayley and George and I snoozed a bit longer until George woke me up to tell me he was off to the store to get some bacon for brunch. Upon his return he brought me some coffee in bed and I laid back and read a bit (reading this book which is every bit as amazing as everyone has said) until I was called to the living room for brunch. Cooked by George and served by the kids.

Good morning

The kids also gave me their homemade cards and Hayley had made a couple of things in school; the nice thing about having classes in English and in French is you get double the stuff! They also both have a tradition of presenting us with something we already own and love (I don’t know if this is of their own brainstorming or if they got the idea from the Caillou Christmas DVD but either way it makes me smile every holiday) so Breanna had wrapped up one of my books and Hayley had wrapped up a photo of her as a week-old baby. I don’t know, I know that commercialism has attacked Mother’s Day much like it has done with other holidays and there’s some belief that you need to be showered with jewelry and whatnot but as nice as those things are, it’s the homemade presents that stand out to me.

Crafty

I had thought of maybe going to the park for an hour or two but with Breanna not feeling well I decided to pass on that. We did end up making it over to see George’s parents for a brief visit though we didn’t stay too long since they were going out for supper and we still weren’t sure whether Breanna was sick from a virus or just something that she ate.

When we got back, George made supper for us. Poor Breanna’s appetite was pretty low so she had a bowl of soup and we ate some delicious pasta. Afterwards we settled on the couch to watch some TV together but in the end Breanna wanted to go to bed earlier than usual. After a quick bedtime story she was passed out in under five minutes, a bucket on the floor beside her just in case. Unfortunately Hayley was starting to feel a bit off herself so I’m thinking the odds of this being food-related are pretty slim and it’s starting to look like a virus.

We were supposed to go see my parents tomorrow; we usually go on the Saturday but George had to work. At this rate though I’m not sure we’ll be able to. If everyone’s sick they’re not going to handle being in a car very well. We’ll see in the morning.

Strange sickness aside, it was a good Mother’s Day anyway. I had no humongous plans in store so nothing had to be put on the back burner (not that I would have minded anyway) and all I wanted to do was take it easy today which is exactly what I got to do for a large part of the day. Pretty good if you ask me.

Happy Mother's Day

In fact I still want to take it easy and there’s a cup of chamomile tea, a couple of chocolate chip cookies, and a book waiting for me. Happy Mother’s Day to anyone who is a mother, was a mother, wants to be a mother, has a mother, or had a mother. I hope your day was special in some way too.

Getting to the party a little late

I’m the sort of person who generally likes to be on time for things, although since having kids I find it harder to do that. When I only had to get myself ready it was much easier. Regardless, it would seem that I’m a bit late to the start of the 2011 Ultimate Blog Party. (I can’t blame the kids for my tardiness this time, I was simply under the weather.)

One of my friends participated this year and last and enjoyed it so I thought I’d go ahead and hop in as well. I’m supposed to do an introduction post. Those of you who have been reading for awhile will already know most of this stuff by now, but at the same time I’m now realizing how horribly out of date my “About me” page is so this will help bring things up to speed a little bit. I guess the best place to start with is with me.

Photo by Paul Mason

My name is Sherry Osborne and I’m 36-year-old mom of two, wife of one. I currently live in Montreal, Quebec Canada but I’m thrilled to be able to say that as of today (April 4th) I have only 84 days left before we pack up and move to Halifax, Nova Scotia. That’s been a dream that is a long time coming and although I will be sad to leave many people that I care about I can not wait to start this next chapter. I mean, really. Who wouldn’t want to live there?

Skyline

I’m a bit of an addict when it comes to two things (three if you count my obsession with the show Criminal Minds): Yoga and photography. I’ve been slowly learning and improving with photography since I got my first digital camera years (and years) ago and am completely in love with my Canon T1i DSLR. I have apparently morphed into a control freak who is unable to shoot in anything other than manual and I prefer RAW so that I can adjust everything to my liking. I try to remember to post photos regularly over on my Flickr account.

As for yoga, I started practicing in late January of 2010 for the sake of trying to ease the ache in my legs that I felt on a regular basis (stretching out those hamstrings has helped tremendously) and primarily to fight back against the panic attacks that I also dealt with almost daily. I often half-joke that yoga saved my life but it’s not that much of an exaggeration really. Lately I’ve been mildly obsessed with getting my body to do crazy things that shouldn’t even be possible.

Eka Pada Galavasana

Oh Em Gee

George and I have been together for over 12 years and have managed to not get sick of each other yet so that’s a great sign. ;) We met at work where I was the only female employee at the time, and our boss (a good friend) warned George and the other men in the office not to “go after” me lest it cause awkwardness of epic proportions. So much for that. The rest, as they say, is history.

Schmoopy

We have two daughters, Hayley (8) and Breanna (5). They fight and bicker relentlessly but then they settle into playing together so well that I have hope for the future that they’ll actually be good friends when those three years of age difference stop mattering so much.

Uh-huh...

Other than that, we have two non-human members of the family. I’ve had a cat named Cricket for almost 12 years. She is neurotic, terrified of everyone but me, hides behind our washing machine and rarely leaves the bathroom because that’s her safe place. Moving her two provinces over with a 14+ hour drive to get there should be… interesting.

Pretty kitty

In early October 2010 we also added to our family by adopting a black lab/border collie mix that Breanna named Winnie. Winnie answers to “Winnie”, “Winston”, “Winklestein”, and “You big &%$#ing dummy” equally well. Last nickname aside, she is a great dog and I adore her.

Ummm

I guess that’s about all that you need to know to get started, though feel free to ask if I’ve left anything out. By visiting my blog you’ll see that I most frequently write about family life, packing progress for Halifax (and I sure wish we were there already since my sister‘s due date for her very first baby is today and she could have my first niece any day now!), and yoga as well as the occasional curse-laden rant. I hope you’ll stop by again!

You can also find me on Twitter (where my nickname of Sherina apparently makes many people in Indonesia think that I’m some famous teen pop star of the same name, sigh), Flickr, YouTube, and I write professionally over at this celebrity blog. I have a pro site over here but I haven’t figured out what to do with it yet. And of course you can always email me by hitting the contact link up top! Thanks for dropping by!

Posted in Me

Another year older

Yesterday, July 7th, I celebrated my birthday and turned 36 years old. I remember when I was 29 I spent the weeks leading up to my 30th birthday wringing my hands and feeling strangely unsettled. I don’t really know why other than I had some vague idea that I was not whatever I had expected to be by age 30. What I was supposed to be, I do not know, but whatever. In the end, I was fretting over the big day and then when the 7th finally rolled around it was so far from a big deal that it was practically a non-event.

That’s the last time that I stressed over my birthday and the number associated with it. I reserve the right to freak out when I’m about to turn 40 and every decade after that, but in general it wasn’t an issue at all yesterday. The only thing I didn’t like about it is that I just like the number 35 so I was sad to let it go, but 36 will be good too.

I’m in better shape at 36 than I have been in the past ten years and feel great (more often than not). The last time I was so fit was when I was doing kung fu for two hours a day six days a week. As of now, I do yoga (almost) daily and it’s done so much good for me, not only physically (man is yoga great for toning your muscles without turning into a female Arnold) but mentally and spiritually as well. On top of that I’ve discovered a cardio workout that I love (hello Zumba!) and I find myself wanting to try more and more new things because of this fitness addiction. When I find myself feeling in shape, feeling strong, and feeling healthy (not to mention the bonus of helping me through panic attacks), it’s hard to be down on something like age, you know?

Anyway, the day was a good one. It was brutally, disgustingly HOT so it was very low-key but it was good nonetheless. I got some of my favorite things as presents – books! I ordered one for myself with Amazon gift certificates, and nearly missed the delivery. It wasn’t supposed to get here until the 9th but I saw the postal truck as we were leaving the parking lot and sure enough I saw the familiar Amazon box as the mailman approached our front door. I jumped out and ran over asking if it was for me and I think he was thrilled that he didn’t have to climb up four flights of stairs in that heat. (I got Going in Circles and blasted through 100 pages last night; I loved her other two books but this may be my favorite!)

George and the kids dropped me off at Indigo so I could browse the books for the one I wanted; turns out they didn’t have it in stock but I always have a backup choice so I got the 4th Sookie Stackhouse novel, Dead to the World. I am woefully addicted to this series and determined to read them all as soon as possible. I was skeptical at first but I’m a fan now.

After they picked me up, we went out to the West Island and stopped at the secondhand bookstore. I ended up picking up Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood since I really enjoyed the first two books.

I love books.

Since we were out there we went down to the water but it was so disgusting outside. Even with a slight (and I do mean SLIGHT) breeze coming off the water it was just uncomfortable, there’s no shade, and everything was just a big nasty haze. I managed some pictures but less than five minutes later we were on our way back home.

Lakeshore

Hazy

36!

The kids had also picked out a little extra gift for me when I had been in Indigo, and I love seeing what they feel will be good for me. George doesn’t usually give them any input so it’s all their idea. Breanna knows I like candles so she got me a pink pillar candle and Hayley chose a little pink bear that lights up.

Presents

With everyone having new reading material and the thermometer reaching record breaking levels, we stayed as quiet as possible until supper. Breanna did make a tea party for me though, since she was distraught that I wasn’t having a party for my special day.

Tea party

There was no way I was turning on an oven or even standing over a pot on the stove so we had cold chicken, potato salad, and macaroni salad for supper. It was the perfect meal on a day like that. I also elected to have Birthday Pie instead of cake. So much better!

Birthday pie

Birthday pie

I have absolutely no complaints (other than the weather, but I AM Canadian, eh?) about my birthday or my age.

28/52 36 and counting

If next year is like this, I’ll be very happy.

I've become an addict

Yes, it’s true. I have indeed become an addict but luckily it’s not the kind that requires rehab or interventions. It is, however, the kind that might create the sort of danger where people don’t want to talk to me anymore (or read my Twitter updates or Facebook status) because they get fed up of hearing about it.

I have, over the past few weeks, become completely and totally addicted to Yoga.

And all I can say about that is, good lord it’s about time. I think if I could find all my jotted down New Year’s Resolutions – whether it’s online or in a notebook – I could probably go back at least five or six years and find “start doing yoga” every year.

For reasons that I can’t even understand, I never got around to it. I know resolutions aren’t often kept but that was one that I almost never even seemed to try. Many years ago, back when VCRs were more prominent than DVD players, I bought two yoga videos. I did one of them twice and I think the other is still in the shrink wrap.

I think I always had trouble getting into anything fitness related for various reasons. Mainly though, I don’t like exercise that is easily identifiable as exercise. That’s why joining a gym for me is the equivalent of taking a couple of hundred dollars and flushing it straight down the toilet. I joined a gym once. I went a handful of times and never returned. I don’t like having to go somewhere to work out and I don’t like the nature of the gym. That’s why doing kung fu worked for me. Yes, I still had to leave home to do it, but it was so much fun that getting in shape was like a pleasant side effect. That was the time when I was in the best shape of my life, my body was like a rock and I was strong, but it was something I did (six days a week, two hours a day) just because I loved learning forms and learning how to be a total martial arts machine.

I think that’s why yoga, now that I took the plunge, is working for me. I could take a class, and actually I would love to do a drop-in one day, but I can do it at home. I can find someone to teach me online or via DVD and I can do it at my own pace. I can decide how much I want to do on any given day. And it’s FUN. It’s not using weight machines, running on a treadmill, or climbing 80 flights of stairs on the stair master (which was actually my favorite thing about the gym).

I started near the end of January. On Tuesday, February 16th, it will be 21 days. They (the elusive expert “they”) say that it takes 21 days to make a habit. I think I’m already there. I’ve become obsessed. I read about yoga. I watch videos on YouTube. I got a couple of DVDs to make longer workouts.

I started at random. I had wanted to do yoga because a) I wanted to get in shape – I’m not overweight but I’m not fit, and I wanted to change that, b) I wanted to tone up and strengthen my muscles a bit, and c) I wanted something to fight back against my panic attacks. Exercise in general is good for that, but yoga especially so because of the balance and breathing.

One day my calves were hurting me. Anyone who’s been pregnant knows that ache you can get in your calves, the one that is caused by compressed nerves and then goes away when your baby is born. After Hayley, it was gone the same day. With Breanna… Well, she was born in 2005 and I’m still waiting for those aches to go away. I always thought yoga might help with that. That day when my legs were hurting yet again, I impulsively looked up sun salutations on YouTube. It was the best thing I could have done because I found Dashama demonstrating a basic Sun Salutation. I watched, then I tried. I followed this one:

It was love at first sight. Hmm. First stretch? Whatever.

Dashama is a teacher who travels around the world to instruct people about yoga and she has a 30 Day Yoga Challenge. I loved doing the Sun Salutation (shaky balance and lack of flexibility and all!) so I signed up, which meant I would get a link to a yoga video on YouTube every day (sometimes with bonus videos). I started off doing three rounds of Sun Salutations (or 6 altogether – 3 for each side) followed by the video of the day.

These days I average about 30-45 minutes of yoga because I go back and do some of the old videos as well, creating my own workout depending on what I feel like doing. Today I did my Sun Salutations, a round of vinyasas, inner thigh stretches, another set of different vinyasas, and my daily video which was a variation of the Sun Salutation that required a lot more balance than the basic type. I had to force myself to stop at that point because I was hungry but I was tempted to do shoulder stretches too.

Some days I throw in some cardio and some ab work for fun. Most days I don’t really need abs because a lot of the yoga works the core so hard that it’s not necessary for extra effort.

I don’t know where this yoga beast came from but I’m loving it. In just three weeks I can see so much difference. My balance is improving – I never could have done the Sun Salutation variation before because there were so many moves that required core strength to stay upright but I did it extremely well. My flexibility isn’t perfect but it’s much better. I can now do Downward-Facing Dog with my hands and my feet flat to the floor and my knees perfectly straight, and my next goal is to be able to fold down so that my forehead can touch my knee while doing leg stretches.

In the meantime, I think about yoga and talk about it more than I’d ever imagined possible. I read about it on blogs and in articles on yoga websites. I’ve joined a few groups on Facebook that revolve around it. I find myself randomly doing Tree Pose while standing in the kitchen, waiting for supper to cook. It’s definitely a habit by now.

Oh and my calves? Interestingly, they haven’t hurt in that annoying ache at all in at least two weeks. The only time things ache in my body now is when I’ve worked a muscle group really hard and that’s they kind of ache I like, the kind that says, “hey, I *did* something!”

So that’s what’s been going on lately. I get up, do the school routine with Hayley, have breakfast, wait 20 minutes, and then I do my yoga. Every day, without fail.

There’s no 12-step program for yoga addiction is there? Because I’d like to avoid it if there is.

Finding peace

Old

I’ve said it before, but I really don’t live in the right place. I need to live on a good acre of land, surrounded by a forest, out in the middle of nowhere. A log home would be a nice bonus. I don’t have that but at least I have some woods within walking distance.

Yesterday George took the kids to visit his parents for a couple of hours and since I found myself alone, and it was really nice outside, I grabbed the dog and went walking in the woods for about an hour. I had my iPod (playing a whole lot of Ke$ha, and I am so far out of her intended age demographic but damn if I don’t love her musc, no matter how bad it might technically be), I had sunshine and vitamin D, and I had fresh air.

Spending time outside is always good but being near the ocean or being in the woods is what really calms and grounds me. Since I am nowhere near an ocean – for now – the woods fill the void quite well.

Are you done?

Exposed

Even in the winter.

Back to the routine

Last night I laid out Hayley’s school clothes for the first time in two weeks.

5/365 - Back to routines

Today the alarm blared at me at 6:15 am and the shock of it was somewhat brutal. While I wasn’t exactly lazing in bed all day long over the break, I was sleeping in to an extent and I certainly wasn’t waking up to a loud, noisy alarm.

(It’s my only real option; choosing something softer like a radio station isn’t a good idea for me. I use white noise to sleep so I wouldn’t hear anything too soothing and if I had it loud enough to drown out the white noise then it would startle me awake just as badly.)

I managed to get up, get the dog out, and get Hayley up in reasonable order. Breanna woke up when I did and seemed to be a bit bewildered about being up while it was still dark out, but Hayley was reasonably chipper at least. Leaving was a bit rushed because I have never seen a child so slow about putting on a snow suit, but such is life in the winter here – it’s always a slow process. Even the day we were going sledding it took TWENTY minutes for the four of us to get ready to leave. It’s nuts, I miss just slipping shoes on our feet and walking out the door.

It’s good to be back to the usual routine though. I had all my work done before lunch time (not counting the surprise stuff that popped up this evening, but that’s to be expected when you write about celebrities for a living), and I took down the Christmas tree and all the decorations except for the white lights on my china cabinet and the lights in Hayley’s room.

I can guarantee you I wasn’t that productive during the holidays.

Meanwhile, Hayley had a good day at school and it helps that they started back today so they get a short week to ease back into their own routines as well. Breanna missed her sister a bit but was pretty happy to have all the toys to herself!

Now to get myself to bed since it’s 11:15 pm and tomorrow I have to be up at 5:40 am so I can be at the school by 6:30 to volunteer for the breakfast club. We’ll see if I’m still productive after such an early wake-up call – but at least they make coffee for us!

Why he calls me Horatio Caine

Yes. George started calling me Horatio Caine awhile ago and I should be offended since I’m not a male over-actor with a flair for dramatic use of sunglasses. However I must admit that the reason behind it is amusing and I can’t believe I forgot to write about it.

Awhile back, either late November or early December, I went out with Pearl for her last pee at about midnight. I don’t always take her out so late but we had been watching stuff on TV. I went downstairs and stood there while I waited for her to finish her ritual of pacing back and forth 27 times before finally settling down to pee (what is UP with that?). Off in the not-too-far distance I heard a banging sound and wondered idly what it could be.

It was coming from the direction of our building’s parking lot and I walked towards it to see if Pearl had any other, ah, business to tend to before going back in. I could see something leaning against the garbage bin and thought it was probably banging against the dumpster in the wind. I remember thinking how annoying that must be for the people living in the apartment immediately adjacent to the bins.

As I walked into the parking lot I realized it was a mattress and was therefore clearly not making a loud clanging noise. As this realization hit me, the banging suddenly started up again – directly to my right. It was erratic banging; different speeds, different volume levels, different rhythms.

Directly to my right was a car, some sort of sedan. The erratic banging came from the trunk.

I believe my heart may have lodged itself in my throat instantly. I’m pretty sure it stopped beating for several seconds, then resumed by pounding. I looked all around me very quickly to make sure nobody was nearby, then as the banging started up at a rapid pace, I took off like a bolt for the back steps to get in the back door. I didn’t want to get too close to the car just in case, but I did think to stop long enough to back up and check the first digits of the license plate. Then Pearl and I tore up the steps, in the door, and I am pretty sure that I have never taken four flights of stairs that fast in my life.

I may have nearly given George a heart attack as I burst through the door, threw the leash at him, and announced I had to dial 911. I was so out of breath that I gasped the basics to him while I headed to the phone and called the police.

I explained the details to the 911 dispatcher who took me very seriously, asked for my name and phone number, and told me she was sending the police immediately. Even though it was cold I went out on the front balcony and not two minutes later two patrol cars came up the street, flashers whirling and sirens wailing.

I can’t see the parking lot from my balcony so I had no idea what was going on but a few minutes later the phone rang and it was one of the cops returning the call. He asked me to explain the story to him so I did, amazing myself with my ability to speak in French at this point what with my nerves and all. Once I was done he explained what they had just found.

Luckily, it turns out there was no one trapped inside the car in the parking lot. He asked if I had gone and looked on the passenger side, but I explained that since I didn’t know what was going on I didn’t want to go that close. He said that was a very good idea as far as safety and then he told me what I would have seen had I gone around.

The owner of the car was crouched way down low to the ground on the passenger side in between his car and the one next to it, which is why I never saw it. The owner was – hang on, I still can’t believe this man’s thought process – down there with a regular old hammer, and he was attempting to bang out a dent on his car. The dent was right at the back of the car, over the rear wheel, which is why it sounded like it could be coming from the trunk.

Who in the HELL tries to bang a dent out of their car with a metal hammer in the DARK at frickin’ MIDNIGHT?! The man nearly gave me an aneurysm because I was so freaked out. I swear, it took me over an hour to calm down from the adrenaline so I could go to sleep.

I was a little embarrassed but the cop assured me that it’s far better to call and be sure than to worry. That’s how I feel too. I might have been wrong but I’d rather be embarrassed than ignore it and find out on the morning news that some dead body was found in a trunk, knowing I could have helped. I’m very relieved I was wrong because a) that would be horrible for the person and b) I would have had to pack up and move all of our stuff in 24-48 hours because there’s no way in hell I could live in a place where someone would put someone in their trunk.

After it was all over, George kept looking at me out of the corner of his eye with “that look”, you know, the one of amusement. Finally I believe he made a comment about how I watch too many episodes of “Criminal Minds” and “CSI: Miami” and then he called me Horatio Caine.

It became a source of humor for us for awhile. When I would return from taking the dog out he’d ask if I’d witnessed any crimes and I’d reply that no I hadn’t, but I did need to step over a dead body on my way up the front walk. He continued to call me Horatio for awhile.

Horatio? Seriously? Come on, I think I at LEAST deserve a Calleigh Duquesne!