Saturday, 31 January 2009

shocking journalism

There was much rustling of the newspaper today at work, tight knots of people drawn into huddled conversations, hushed voices exclaiming disbelief, outrage, and sorrow.

The murder of a little girl hit this area hard. It was the first homicide since 1993, and matricide made it particularly shocking.

The papers have written graphic accounts of Statements of Facts given at the courthouse, and now the entire province knows exactly what happened the night of January 27, 2008.

I understand that knowing, facing the demon, lets us excise our own fears of what happened (although I doubt many of us thought anything worse that what actually did)
- and this is the axe of journalism; 'How can you know if we don't tell you?' the whitened teeth and artfully lacquered hair of what makes the news disturbing, and makes people sit up and take notice and want action! and to change the world!

but still

but still

I daresay many of us would have felt compassion for the victim and outrage for the criminal without the mental picture of Winnie The Pooh underpants on a crumpled body.

God save her family.

Friday, 30 January 2009

tuesday's child

Please, please, go here, read Tuesday's story, and leave a message of love and hope for this traumatized, heartbroken family. If we in the blogging world could only take away their pain for an instant...

Karissa's mother pled guilty to second-degree manslaughter this morning. Google if you want the details - I haven't the stomach to report on it.

And I watch my achy, feverish daughter sleep this morning, clutching her tattered blankie, her eyelashes fluttering down, down as she fights to stay awake, and wonder about the world she's growing up in.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

hugo does it again

Y'know what? I've written about this before. I wrote about Chapter One and mentioned the Star Wars episode.

But it's so good.

So, without further ado, back for one more night only, Hugo, the cat of a thousand faces.....does every major cast member of Star Wars.

Trust me. It's good.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

did you just call me ma'am?

Today I did something I never thought I'd do.

I never, in a million years, thought I'd be begging off writing something. Citing work and responsibilities and a thousand other things. Turning down the stuff I love for a paycheck.

I feel so....Republican. (Okay, cheap shot.)

But it's true. I've taken a leave of absence (taken leave of your senses, cries my brain, what are you doing??) from Better Than A Playdate.

Because I'm busier than hell right now, and crafting is somewhere waaay down on the list of things to do between call the dentist about Cass's teeth and schedule a pap smear.

I'll come back, if they'll have me, in the spring. Fresher, and ready to pick up my tools and craft again.

Or something like that, anyway....

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Monday, 26 January 2009

Grateful Monday

Grace In Small Things is the brainchild of Schmutzie. While I am grateful for things everyday, I can't imagine talking about it everyday - so for others like me, she suggested - why not just post Small Things on Mondays? A good idea, I think! After all, we all need more to be grateful for on Mondays!

Monday Grace In Small Things:

1. I am grateful for the dog, who pillows his bulk on my feet and gives me comfy toes.
2. Being able to lay hands on nail clippers, scissors, and tweezers when I need them.
(I buy several and leave them strategically placed around the house.)
3. Vanilla Sugar Butter body butter. I smell like a giant sugar cookie and I'm all soft, too.
4. Dancing with my kids. We've started doing this at night after supper and while B can outlast me, no one can move it move it as long as Rosey.
5. I am grateful for my soft warm bed, where I'm heading right now.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

out and about

I've been driving around a lot lately, back on the way back roads, and I've been seeing some wonderful things:

Friday, 23 January 2009


Some of the toys Santa brought this year weren't well thought out.

Brown Pony to Grey Pony: Dood! Are you supposed to be smelling her ass?
Grey Pony to Brown Pony: (dreamily) She's so...fancy!
Snow White costume: I'd Whistle While I Wait if I only had lips.
Cinderella Gown: Commoner! I'd rather talk to Barbie's skirt than you! Come on, Snow White's Dress Up Costume!
Barbie's skirt: (Suddenly overcome with shyness, she tragically begins to split under all the attention)
Barbie: Hell-oooo! Why am I here, and my clothes are there? Bad enough I'm here next to the fart putty....
Fart Putty: Bloooop.
Pink Pony (giving Barbie a look) Well, that wasn't me.
Grey Pony (sotto voice) You know, it really wasn't....

I have more fun with Rosey's toys here and here

Thursday, 22 January 2009

i should probably stick with the frozen yogurt

You know you've had too much sinu-tab when you catch yourself deliberating in front of the ice cream freezer

(Nuts or no nuts? Chocolate? Fruit chunks? So bored with all the usual....Hmm. Coconut cream pie. Sounds...gelatinous. And I bet I'd have to floss. Onward! Hey - since when have they had Butter Tart ice cream? No, probably too rich. But I do like pecans. Chocolate? No, Bear will get a headache, and then I'll be eating the stuff forever. I feel like a lemon sorbet. Well, I don't, but I think something cold and clean like that would be nice...)

and you look up into a pocket of silence and realize you've been mumbling

(out loud)

all of this, and people are avoiding your eye and obviously think


a loon.

Sigh. I need more medicine. And kleenex. Wonder if I can get B to run to the store for me?

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

i dub thee hopeful day

The telephone did its' weird little shrilly song and woke me out of a sound sleep.

Me: (blearily) Hello?
Friend: (bellowing) IT'S YES WE CAN DAY! Aren't you up YET? THIS IS THE DAY WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR! Bush is HISTORY!
Me: Um. (lip-smack) Yes.
Friend: Aren't you celebrating?
Me: Well, I will when I get up.
Friend: Oops.
....a long pause...

Me: Well, thanks for calling. Probably the nicest alarm-clock message I've had in a long time!
Friend: (still verbally boogie-ing) We did it! He's IN! This is SO COOL!
Me: Um, hon?
Friend: What?
Me: You do remember you're Canadian, right?

I don't blame her for forgetting. This is a wondrous day, and nations all over the world are celebrating, not just the States.

Yes, WE CAN DID!!!!


Monday, 19 January 2009


Anyone out there know anything about sheep?

This week's haul from the library brought me The Contrary Farmer, a book that I've been delighting in since.

Gene Logsdon talks about farming the way grandparents describe the world they grew up in - lovingly, with respect and a touch of stubbornness. His words make me ache to set up a tiny farm on our land here, to have a few chickens and a pair of sheep or goats. To have a pair of boots caked in gawd-knows-what and a first-name relationship with veterinarians and grass seed merchants. To know my land down to where the patches of sweet grass straggle into the clover.

He also makes me want to plan a real garden this year. Must talk to B about building some raised beds....

Sunday, 18 January 2009

a small aside:

There are very few things more surreal than navigating through newly fallen snow (Careful! Remember you're not driving your car and this one is lighter, smaller, and isn't four-wheel drive) peering through the windshield

...and hearing Prince's 'Raspberry Beret' on the radio.

Aaaaand now it's stuck in my head.

More after work.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

he's back!

LOVE Simon's Cat. I showed you other video here (and linked to another there, too)

Go. Giggle.

Friday, 16 January 2009

i like ice. Inside, that is.

We bought a new refrigerator last year.

Unlike the one we had, this one has an ice-maker. Not the fancy-dancy ice from the door kind (we thought we'd end up with a LOT of water on the floor, since they don't build 'em high enough to be out of the reach of the 'I'll Do It Myself' twins)

but really, having ice cubes? And not having to twist them out - or worse, pick them out with my nails - of the ice cube tray is heaven.

I'm still excited about it every time I get a glass of water.

You wouldn't think such a little thing could wow you - but it does, somehow. Amazing how a bit of water can do that.


The ice outside, though, isn't thrilling me. Oh wait - you've heard we're having a cold snap? That everyone is having a cold snap? Well, I won't talk about the (bitter and soul-less) cold. (At least not too much.)

But the ice. The ice outside. I've almost gone ass-over-teakettle twice now, and R has the first battle wounds - she slid down the sledding hill using her chin as a brake.

One of the men in my parish came to see me at the manse yesterday. He's 96 and stumps around in this weather with studded boots and an ice-pick cane. He's very comfortable being outside, which didn't stop me from watching him set off for home with my heart in my throat.

I like ice. Inside, that is.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

mouth full of mush

Rosey and Cass were hosed from the beginning when they learned to talk.

I guess we should have suspected they'd have trouble, what with B and I having such different accents,* but it's not the type of thing you worry about when you decide to have children. You just don't think about how the differing ways you pronounce vowels**, for pete's sakes, are going to screw up your children's pronunciation.

Which is why my daughter says Ub for up. (And gets all offended if you call her on it, because to her head? Totally speaking clearly.) And woe betide you if you call her Ub. After her head stops spinning around, she'll fix you with the most indimidating glare she can muster and say 'I said UB! My name is not Ub!'

But it's fun to say. And it's kind of fun to wind her up, too.

*My mother: Y'know, honey, you're starting to sound Canadian.
Me: Really? (thinking: Then why oh why do I have to repeat myself so often?)

later, the same day:

Kids at Cass's school: Your Mom talks funny.
Cass: (Totally unconcerned) Yeah, she's from away.

**I'm sure you think I'm joking. You should hear the lengthy SCAL-op versus SKAAL-op debates that B and I can diatribe out. We are not pretty.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

backstage pass

R is busting out all over. In the past few months, she's become interested in cooking, dancing, painting, babies, playing a mean air guitar, and singing.

B and I registered her for school next year. Mah baybee! (sniff) She's so excited. This means she'll be 'in Cass's school, Mama! All the time! And I get to ride the bus! And bring my own water-bottle* in my backpack! And have recess!' and then she jumps up and down for awhile and hugs herself, so overcome with the wondrousness of it all that she can't stay still.

Today she brought home a fistful of drawings from pre-school. B and I were looking through them and making appropriate ahh- and oooh noises when we noticed something.

Rosemary has rock-star handwriting.

Can't you just picture this on a CD cover?

We knew she'd grown up fast. But we weren't prepared for her to start signing autographs.

*This bears explaining - Cass has a very cool camouflage stainless steel water bottle, and R is enraptured with it. After a few teary days we bought her her own. (Not camouflage.)

Monday, 12 January 2009

Sunday, 11 January 2009

and then the day dawned

Okay. I'm not going to take five days to tell you about this trip. Too much else to talk about, and I think I'd die of boredom, recounting everything. Short version: The weather went from bright and clear to crappy like a pendulum. My classes were great - bright smiley people and lots to learn. The food was lovely, the dining companions, divine. The only downside to the hotel was that the internet never seemed to be working.

I managed to get my tire repaired - although that was a long, drawn out process - and I completely missed my chance to have a blogger meet-up, much to my disgust.

Witchypoo, next time I'm in town, can I buy you supper or something?

Now I'm back, and tomorrow begins another week. Tomorrow B goes in for a CT scan of his back - he's been home now for awhile with back pain that doesn't seem to be responding to therapy. Now we'll know what the problem is, at least!

And tomorrow I put my new training to good use.

Life is full of possibilities right now.....

Saturday, 10 January 2009

it was a dark and stormy night

Hey - I'm home!

And it was an adventure. I love adventures. Especially when part of the allure is a quiet (clean! By someone other than myself!) hotel room and good food.

Getting there? Part of the adventure.

I'm not a city driver. Highway/freeway driving? Looping through lanes, shifting into overdrive, zooming past Sunday drivers? The best. Blows all the cobwebs out.

But city driving? Inching along, gaze riveted on the car in front of you, too engrossed in watching for the sudden red glare of brakelights to see what's going past your window? No thanks.

It was dark. (Although not stormy. Yet.) and there was just enough snow falling to slush up the roads and dirty the windshield a bit. I made pretty good time (although the slick-ish roads made for a bit of judicious slowing) and was just getting onto the exit ramp when the pavement noise changed for a moment. (I's foreshadowing heah.) Then it went back to normal. I chalked it up to the road surface being wet? dry? something and promptly went and got lost in the outskirts of Halifax.

Halifax is the big city in Nova Scotia. It was designed and planned out to confuse the British, should they ever land there and stragglers withstand the assault from the harbour.

Okay, that and the planning commission is full of blind, greedy people. (Snirk.)

Yes. I got lost. There are these huge mall-like (I was in Beyers Lake/Clayton Park/The Land of Strip Malls and Gaming Clubs, if anyone local wants to commiserate with me on this) developments EVERYWHERE, and not much signage. I finally realized I was lost and pulled up in a strip parking lot to re-peruse my maps. When I swung back out on the road, there was a strange noise coming from my tire. Ka-whumpa whumpa whumpa.

I swore and swore and pulled over (into yet another big-ass catacomb) to assess.

Now. I've had flat tires before. My father wouldn't let me get my license before I could change a tire. But it was cold and wet and sleeting and dark, I was hours from my house, and every warning I'd ever had about being careful in the city was ringing in my head. I drove slowly around the corner, and there - like a lighthouse - in front of me, was a Chevy Jeep Dodge dealership. With people in it.

Which was open.

I parked and double-checked the time. The service bays were dark. Still - maybe they could let me into the covered garage so I could put the spare tire on?

I went out of the sleet and the dark and the rising winds into a clean, comfortable haven, where after I blurted 'I need a rescue' a gentleman in a nice three-piece suit brushed over my idea, shucked his jacket, and went in and changed the tire. Himself. While his co-worker made me a cup of coffee and commiserated about the (steadily more) crappy weather.

My rescuer? The dealership owner. Patrick. (And I'm going to find out what the name of that place is, and promote you where ever I can - because really? That was a wonderful thing to do.)

They charged me nothing and sent me on my way. P even put the tire into a bag so it wouldn't drip mess all over my car and marked where the hole was, so when I went to have the tire fixed it wouldn't be hard to find.

Oh - and he gave me directions so I wouldn't be lost anymore. Simple directions, using landmarks, not this turn north and go 10.6 kilometres stuff. Who does that work for, anyway? You're in a strange place, driving, looking out for signs, watching traffic and peering at the odometer? Sheesh.

I made it to the hotel with no muss, no fuss, no bother, dropped my stuff, brushed my teeth, eyed the bathtub longingly, and went to bed.

Lord knows what further adventures I could have had if I'd tempted fate and stayed up.


Today is cold and snowy and still. We've a winter storm warning bearing down on us, (although we'll see how much of it we actually get) and the kids are fractious and tired of being cooped up.
There's a bathroom that really needs cleaning (bleach!) and laundry

(oh god, the laundry!! Bear did quite a bit while I was gone - unfortunately his idea of doing the laundry consists of washing it, drying it, and leaving it in piles in front of the dryer. So most of the clothes are clean - but the cries of Mo-om! I have no socks! echo around the house.)

and there are a ton of things to do.

I missed you! What happened while I was gone?

Monday, 5 January 2009



has left the building. Hand-in-hand with Elvis. And a couple of aliens (but really, they just want autographs. Not scary at all.)

But only for a few days. I'm taking a short road-trip to Halifax (that's the big city 'round here) for business and a little pleasure, and I'll be back Friday. Not really sure how or if I'll get computer time in there, so if I can, I'll update you. If not, you'll hear about it on Friday. I'll be journaling everything like mad (still with the Blog365) and will tell all.

And I'll miss you.

Don't get into too many scrapes while I'm gone, m'kay?

Sunday, 4 January 2009


I usually read in the corner of the livingroom.

In a rocking recliner that has seen better days. Our first piece of new furniture after we married, it quickly became discolored and stained.

We had a baby. (Which did nothing for the staining and discoloring.) and after awhile, the seat started to rip. (Personally, I always thought it had something to do with the friction of my nightgowned bum shoving back into it at three in the morning.)

But it was still the most comfortable spot in the livingroom, so I found a nice cover for the torn part and we carried on.

We had another baby. She loved the swaying ka-thunk rhythm of the chair and snoozed a long part of her babyhood - day and night - (R was a horrible, horrible sleeper) away, often falling asleep to (yet another) Law And Order re-run.

The kids piled into the chair whenever we took pictures. They put a sheet over it and played fort, and tent, and marooned on a desert island. The old chair was a boat, a rocket, a bus ( sweet voices singing "The Wheels on the Bus go Round and Round") a train, a sled and a stage.

Now-a-days, they use it for target practice, parachute practice, home base for hide and seek, and a time-out chair.

But no one really sits in it anymore. I read in it during the day sometimes, but as a chair, an actual well-loved and used chair? It's not used for that much anymore.

Well, not by a person, at least.

As soon as we head upstairs to go to bed, there's a thwack as the recliner rocks backwards and Jasper drags his weary bones up into the chair.

(He's not really allowed, but he pretty much operates on the 'They're not here, and what they don't know won't hurt them' policy.)

I do the requisite scolding and 'git-ting' if
we catch him slinking apologetically off the recliner in the morning, but it does my heart good

to see that someone still loves the old chair.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

jiminy cricket and the temple of doom

Santa brought a pile of books for under the tree. As we were cleaning up the ornaments (whee! I put the tree away today!) Rosey espied them again and jumped to grab them, sorting out which ones must be read immediately and which could wait a few minutes.

She sat on the floor, busily telling me the titles of her stocking-full of Disney books.

'Mama! See! There's Ariel, and Nemo, and Cinderella, and Indiana Jones, and Woody and the dogs and those lions and the Incredible people.'

I wasn't listening, really, I was busy battling the tree back in the box and trying to remember how in hell I had put all this stuff in the box to begin with. (The plan for next year? TWO full-sized trees. And bigger boxes.) But something caught my attention.

'Indiana Jones?'

She showed me the cover.

Well, she did get the hat right......

Friday, 2 January 2009

first you pan left

Ah, snow. Snow and ice.

Look! A kid in the snow!

And there's another! Coasting. How sweet. My, they did get dumped on in that last storm, didn't they? Well, it is January, after all. There should be snow.

Snow all over.

Except....there. By the house. What the heck?

Guess when Jessica talks about the winds whistling by her house? She isn't kidding. Those winds can move the white stuff.

(Apparently? I live in some sort of wind tunnel. Which is interesting, and makes it easy to take the dog out.)

But it looks really weird from the road.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

eeyore tree

My Christmas tree is still up.

We've had several ornaments broken* - either a giant happy sweep of the dog's tail or the brush-by of a running child - and yet I can't make myself take the thing down.

The ornaments, instead of being strung out in lovely, precisely-spaced order? Are clumped on branches.

I've run into it a few times while wielding the vacuum, so it's pushed farther back in the corner than it's supposed to be.

But it still looks lovely to me - all the sweet lights, my brand-new (gift from B!) tin angel at the top, the reminders of Christmases gone by....

*happy sigh*

So pretty. Especially....especially.....

if I squint a little.

(The title? Eeyore: Oh botherrrr.)

*Hi! I'm Jess. (Hi Jess!) And I'm the Gluemaster.


*clearing my throat*

I'm going to try Blog365 again. Starting today.

I'm either a glutton for punishment, or need to be committed.....

Nah. I just love blogging.

So! You have been informed! And I will crank out my first real post tonight, once I get home from work!

Note to B: Yup, doing it again. Paws off the computer, now.

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 ...