Friday, 29 June 2007


It is NOT FUNNY to take the kids' banana stickers and hide them on his shorts put them on your husbands clothing. NOT FUNNY. NOT AT ALL.


Well, not to HIM, at least.....

Tuesday, 26 June 2007


In a fit of industriousness, I decided today the kids and I would move the wood pile near the house. See, the kids pool is right there, and I want to make a garden so it's pretty, not oh look! the kids are playing near the wood heap! sort of thing. The kids were thrilled. They've been dying to plant stuff.

So after naps the kids and I headed out. I piled and loaded old nasty-falling apart wood onto the wheelbarrow, wheeled it over the verge, and dropped it over the bank, where it will gradually decompose among tree branches and grass clippings.

My helpers?

Cass filled a toy wagon with twigs and trundled them, then lost interest and disappeared into the house, only to re-emerge with a toy piano. The kid can't play, so this wasn't exactly a good thing. It did, however, drive off the crows.

Rosey was pretending to mow the lawn on the other side of the house. When we first came out, she picked up a piece of wood that had wood slime on it, and spent the next ten minutes wiping her paws on the grass and complaining. Ewwwwwww, she said, her nose wrinkled. Ewwwww.

We found two frogs, and caught a glimpse of Barney, the resident garter snake. He was fat and happy. (Probably from eating frogs.) Dirt-covered (me - I looked like a farmer) and red-cheeked from running (kiddles 1 and 2) celebrated the last wheelbarrow-full with freezies and some berries.

**EDIT** I'm not sure why the next few paragraphs didn't show up on the page - my draft looks great? Chalk it up to Blogger, I suppose!**

It was then, of course, that one of the women I work with pulled up. She was friendly, but not her usual enthusiastic self. She had some papers for me for next week's bulletin, and was veeerrry careful not to touch me when she handed them over. I shrugged it off (maybe I was a little dirty? I vaguely remember rubbing my cheek...) and carried the papers inside.

Where I saw what I looked like. Anyone remember the scene in Mary Poppins where they all pretend to be chimney-sweeps? I wasn't dirty, I was mud-encrusted. I had a dirt tan. I was black from head to foot, with red smudges on my lips from the too-ripe strawberries. No wonder I scared her. I scared myself.

I have no idea what to say to this woman next time I see her. The kids and I were tunnelling out an escape hatch? We're behind schedule on our adobe house? I'm going to have to think of a good one for this.

Later, R flung open the shower curtain and goggled at my dirty feet. She stood there for a moment, looked right at me and said "Potatoes?"*

*I should clarify this: We tell the kids there's enough dirt in their ears (on their legs, etc) to grow potatoes in - right before we swoop in with the washcloth.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

he did the wiggle

B has decided we eat too much processed food. (He's right.)
And I've been reading about the 100 Miles thing. It does make sense.

So last night I brought home ingredients and went through the recipe rapid-fire with B, finishing up with a hip-bump and a warbled "Spread it real good!" ala Salt and Pepper (ah, the eighties. When I was younger, cuter and seriously unaware of what a dork I look like dancing.)

He looked confused. "Aren't you going to write that down?"

I scrawled it on our blackboard, crossly, then stood by while he read it.

B sighed.

"It's fish."

"It is."

"And weird stuff."

I blink-blinked at him.

He turned back to the blackboard.

"So, do you get it?"

He nodded, still reading. Then down to the last line and...


was that....


His hips moved. A ghost of a wiggle.

He'll do fine.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007


Every once in awhile, I take a picture I'm proud of, something I love and feels like I really captured something - a photograph instead of just a record of the days....

We were outside in the yard yesterday playing hide-and-go-seek. I was (of course!) seeking.

Rosey's crazy giggling gave her away. But we had to hunt to find Cassidy.

My boy, the wood sprite:

Tuesday, 19 June 2007


This year the azaleas and rhododendrens at the park are fierce and gorgeous.

We went on Fathers Day. The park was (surprisingly for such a pretty day!) almost empty. Small people ran ahead and shouted back and forth (Come see 'dis! No, look at that!) and the (slower) bigger people admired the rocks, the pines, the ladyslippers peeking here and there. I also reveled in walking hand-in-hand with B.

I took a lot of pictures of pretty stuff:

Look at the sun dappling everything!

and tried to get some of the kids. But they were feeling fine and footled-free, so most of my kid pictures? Turned out like this:

Miss R, running back from an alternate path side trip

Which was fine.

I hope your day was just as nice.

Monday, 18 June 2007

he grew up fast

I realized this morning that (except for the obligatory face-wipe once in awhile) that I haven't had to help Cass with grooming in a few months.

The Boy, he complains about then gets in his bath. He brushes his teeth. He puts his laundry in the hamper. His room stays prrrrrreetty clean. (I squint when I go in there.)

He's learning to read and add and subtract and he's outside laughing and running with the dog...

And he's not so small anymore, is he?

Sunday, 17 June 2007



Happy Father's Day! Thanks for being mine.

I miss your quiet humor and your take on the world and I wish we lived closer.

You're the absolute best.

Your wayward daughter,

Saturday, 16 June 2007

not all the kids are human

Even though I like to pretend I picked you out, the plain truth of the matter was nothing was permanently decided until you passed the stinky cat-butt test.

Happy Fathers Day, B! We love you.
(And you're Kate's favorite sleeping spot.)

Friday, 15 June 2007

ye olde cyanide butt

Rosey's got a pooper problem.

It's a virus, of course, we pretty much figured that even before the doctor at outpatients said so, but what really clinched her visit was the stink.

Sick butt has to be the worst smell in the world.

It started last weekend - went from hmmm to I think R is poorly to Jesus what's that smell?! to B and I Rock-Paper-Scissor-ing for diaper duty.

Five days, different food each day, and the same eye-watering odor every time.

My horrified thought was a parasite. With B and I both working around sick people and R's regular exposure to other kids and her propensity to suck her thumb...well, there isn't enough hand sanitizer in the world to keep one or the other of us from bringing home a stray bug or two.

Side Advice: Don't ever, ever Google anything when you don't know exactly what you're looking for.

Searches for things like: diarrhea and smells the same for five days or toddler poop smells bad for five days pop up all sorts of things that are not helpful. One paper suggested neutering - Bear was very concerned until I clicked back to the beginning of the article to discover it was talking about Beagles, not small stinky kids.

So off she went this morning to outpatients*. Filled a few diapers in the waiting room, but stayed dry and happy while the new doctor examined her. I was laying out my concerns and getting the you-know-it's-a-virus-nods while he checked her ears and eyes and listened to her heart, (while R flirted and didn't act sickly at all) and was just about finished (Carefree! Look! She's not even ill! Tickle tickle, little girl!) when he palpated her bowel and Rosey...well, tooted.

You would have thought I goosed him. His eyes watering (and breathing shallowly through his mouth) the doctor rocketed back on his stool.

There! I said triumphantly. Now DO YOU SEE.

He recovered his professionalism quickly, listing things to feed her, things she could drink. Mentioning that if X and Y happened, to take her in for a re-check.

He paused after that, discreetly gulping the fresh air in the doorway.
'She could probably go to her regular doctor for that, though.'

*Our regular guy was out of the office today - they reccommended we go up and see the fellow on call.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly...

I am not a sports person.
Have never really been one.

Oh, I played volleyball in high school for a bit, and I can watch football with the best of them, but as far as actually playing?


Cass has his first t-ball practice Thursday night. We realized yesterday he wasn't outfitted for practice, and so today I whizzed up to town and found a glove. (He's thrilled. It's black and red and the pouch thingy lights up if the ball gets in there.)

Before I left, I had an unsatisfactory conversation with B, who I assumed knew all about the proper fitting of sports equipment.

(B is on the computer. I am lurking in the hall while the children find their shoes and get ready to launch themselves out the door.)

Me: Ooo-kay. A glove. What size does he need?
B: They don't come in sizes.
Me: So how are they sized, then?
B: His fingers need to fit in it - you know, like a glove.
Me: But...does there need to be growing room? Or should it a glove?
B: Which hand does he need?
Me: Why? He hasn't lost one, has he?

B eyed me, obviously wondering if I wasn't sharing the good stuff again, then slowly and ponderously explained the throw with right arm, catch with left (and vice versa) idea.
B: Are you sure he throws with his right hand?
Me: I don't know. I think so. I'll have him throw something to me to double-check.
B: Just gets one that fits, okay?
Me: (clattering down the stairs) Should it fit over his hand, or over his wrist too? And what about the room to grow?
B: Look! The kids are waiting for you in the car! Bye, honey!

So...I hope like hell the salesperson I buttoned to assist me actually knew what he was talking about.

And I have a sneaking suspicion I'm going to have to start reading up on this stuff myself.

Monday, 11 June 2007

small whine to go

Bedtime is becoming a problem here.

Cass loves bedtime, loves the ritual and the tucking in and the goodnight, sweet boy and the gentle pull-to of the door.

Rosey thinks it's all bull and she should be up with the big people for hours.

I don't mind policing the halls for a bit after she goes to bed, but when she gets up six times in an hour and wakes Cass, who stumbles out with an excuse (because what self-respecting five year-old is going to willingly be in bed when his two and a half year old sister is up??)

then I start getting frustrated.

B is useless not much help in this situation - he likes having the girl perch on his knee and talk to him and he doesn't like being the heavy.

I, on the other hand, am relentless about the me time and usually refuse to rescue him when she's been sitting in there with him for two hours* and then (astonishingly) won't go to bed when he wants her to go.

And I hate yelling. I don't like having her blub for a moment before she settles down to sleep - it makes me feel like a bully. But the dividing line between B and I and how we handle the nightly balk is growing wider and wider, with me playing the (increasingly) Wicked Witch.

There should be some sort of middle ground that we could strike - but I'm at a loss as to what that could be.

Funny, somehow I thought all the sleep problems were behind me now that she's past toddler-stage.

Any ideas?

*Both kids go to bed between 7:30 and 8 pm. Sometimes Cass reads for awhile. Tonight she finally went to sleep at 10:15.

Sunday, 10 June 2007

and things were sandy

Yesterday was the Kite-Flying Festival at Summerville Beach.

I had this all planned out - how the kids would romp and play and have a terrific time (like last year) but it didn't quite work out that way.


It was freezing at our house. And dreary. After a long debate about whether or not the festival would even be held on such a miserable and cheerless day, I bundled the kids up and we went anyway. And, of course, as soon as we drove into town the sun broke through, the sky cleared and it turned gorgeous.

But still cold.

There was a good turnout for the festival - lots of wonderful kites. Many happy people. This was going to be fun!

Breathing in the (lovely) salt air, I unwrapped our kites and discovered that none of them worked. (damnit)

I had three. And none of them were complete.
(double damnit)

I was down on my knees in the sand trying to figure out how to make one kite out of three when two co-workers of mine and their gorgeous boys arrived.

Immediately, one of them came over to see how she could help. My friend R is quite crafty, you see, and can Figure Things Out - an amazing thing to (impatient old) me, who was contemplating snapping all the bloody sticks in half and tying the smallgirlchild to the string. (Hmph. Wonder how high she would have flown?)

So, with CraftyWoman's help, we did this: (and bless her)

look! up in the sky! it's a bird! it's a...kite!

There was a great deal of running and playing by Cass, especially with the other boys, and a good amount of this:

get those tootsies in the sand...aaah...

But Rosey was having none of it. Hunched inside her hooded sweatshirt, she trudged up and down the beach after Bear, pleading to be picked up and making it entirely obvious that she was missing her bed and her nap and why were we here, again? By the time we took pity on her and left she was snuggled on B's shoulder and sleeeeeepy.

Maybe we'll try again next weekend.

This time, I'll put the kites together before we get to the beach.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

so noone had insurance?

Unlicensed driver loses wife in fatal crash

Staff Reporter, The Chronicle Herald

Wayne Hubley only meant to pick up his common-law wife from work last Friday. He never imagined it would be their last day together.

And now Mr. Hubley, whom police charged Wednesday with driving without a licence, is left to reflect on his mistake in a crash that cost Diann Marie Weeks her life.

"It’s a tragic loss, it should not have happened," Mr. Hubley, 58, said in a tearful interview Wednesday, after Halifax Regional Police announced the charges against him and a second driver.

Ms. Weeks, 45, of Dartmouth, was a passenger in Mr. Hubley’s Chevrolet Corsica that tried to make a left turn into the lot at Ben’s Bakery and Dave’s Farm Market at 322 Main St. in Dartmouth and was struck by an oncoming PT Cruiser at 12:40 p.m.

Ms. Weeks, a mother of two who worked at Sobeys, was pronounced dead upon arrival at hospital. Mr. Hubley was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

"The thing is I shouldn’t have been driving but I just buy cars and I sell them and I took the car out to pick up Diann coming from work and that was the end of the car, I wasn’t going to drive it anymore," Mr. Hubley said. "I just wanted to see how the car worked before I fixed it up and sold it."

Since the crash, the days have been "very, very sad," he added.

"I lost somebody I loved," he said. "I loved my wife and miss her very much."

On Wednesday, police ticketed Mr. Hubley, whom they did not identify, with failing to yield the right-of-way, driving while his licence was revoked, driving without insurance, operating an unregistered vehicle and operating a vehicle with expired inspection.

The four occupants of the PT Cruiser were not seriously injured. The driver of that vehicle, a 23-year-old North Preston man, was charged the day of the accident and issued a summary offence ticket for driving without a licence.

"In this case, this person has never had a driver’s licence but he has had his privilege of obtaining one revoked, which I believe would mean he does have some history with the Registry of Motor Vehicles," Const. Jeff Carr, a Halifax Regional Police spokesman, said Wednesday.

The penalty for each ticket is a fine. There’s no evidence to indicate that speed was a factor, Const. Carr said.

Since February, the RCMP-Halifax Regional Police traffic services unit has stopped 43 suspended drivers and seized some of their vehicles in a crackdown to get as many of the province’s roughly 10,000 unlicensed drivers as possible off the road.


Yes. Sad and horrible. And terrible for her children.

But the thing that struck me most was the last sentence.
....of the province's roughly 10,000 unlicensed drivers......

In 2006, the population of the entire province of Nova Scotia was 934,405. That's a pretty small group to have so many of us wandering around without drivers licenses.

Now, I have no great love for the RMV
. But 10,000 people without licenses? 10,000 people on the road without the benefit of the checks-and-balances system of a driving test?

Doesn't that seem wrong?

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

irritated grunt

Across the road from my workplace workers are re-shingling the roof, and the non-melodic thwacks! and pings! of the nailers are really breaking my...what?

Breaking my concen....what? (thwack!)


Earlier I went to the bathroom, flushed and looked out the window to see a construction worker having his morning mug and a cigarette on the roof. We waved - after all, don't you feel more comfortable being friendly to someone whose seen you whip your pants up?

It's a gorgeous day outside, damn it, and I'm not home to plant seeds or paint the livingroom or...cripes, anything. Can't it rain while I'm working???

Work is implementing a new computer system, so the week is rushed and crazy and tempers are high. Fun to be here. (thwack! ping!)

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Sister Mary Justice

We had a movie morning.

Cass and I were all agog over Operation Stormbreaker* (he wants to be a spy when he grows up now, natch) and then he wandered off to do pseudo-judo moves on the dog, so I picked The DaVinci Code to watch next. I wasn't thrilled with the book, but hey, why not, right? The kids were busy elsewhere....

Cass burst back into the room, calling over his shoulder "C'mon, Rosey! Mama found another movie, and this one will be cool with nuns and stuff!"

Nuns? Wha'?

He bounced on my lap. 'Does he have one?'

'A nun? Of his very own?' Vigilante nuns?

'Yeah! Is he a bad guy or not?'

I figured out he meant gun after a bit of snorting to myself, picturing cowboys with nuns riding sidesaddle behind them. High Noon indeed.

*Really, a good movie. Action, spy gadgets, cool stuff. Cass was very impressed and I liked it too. And the lead actor is hot in that sort of 'I would have really had a serious thing for you when I was a teenager' type thing.

Friday, 1 June 2007

it's good fertilizer, anyway

I didn't think Jas had had any of the (yummy!) dish soap, as he seemed fine - just counted myself lucky and trotted off to bed. We've been experimenting with leaving Brown Dog out of his box at night - he's confined to the first floor and can't come up to visit us in our beds, but moves around between the kitchen and the livingroom.

I sat bolt upright in bed at 3:28 a.m. There were uneasy pacing noises coming from below and a sudden ka-thunk! as Jasper reared up and put his paws on the top of the gate.

A silence fell.

Then, out of nowhere, a howl. A quavering, high-note howl that lifted me out of bed. (The dog, he can keen with the best of them.)

I don't think my feet touched the stairs as I ran down. I forgot the gate at the bottom and rebounded onto the stairs (nasty ass bruise) but managed to throw him out the front door before his legs uncrossed.

Such is the single-mindedness of dogs that after ten minutes of shitting himself inside out picking places around the yard to explode squat in, he bounced up to me hopefully holding a stick.

I tried to explain. "Doggie, it's four o'clock in the morning."
He wagged.

"It's dark out."
He whined and pranced. But... I drank dish soap! Because I'm stupid I love the little girl! I'm dumber than a box of rocks such a good dog!

"But I don't wanna.....oh, hell, give it to me."
He feinted and eye-rolled and did the butt-wag, overjoyed.

We played fetch for twenty minutes or so before I went back to bed. It was the least I could do.

On my way back upstairs, though, I detoured through the kitchen and tucked the bottle of dish-soap in a new higher spot.

Rosey and the Dog Of Very Little Brain? Are cut off.

Yarn over and over

Someone, an old babysitter maybe, taught me to crochet when I was six. I remember making long braided loops of yarn and thinking how pretty ...