Thursday, 30 April 2009

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

yellow spooks them

B's been logging lately, using a chain saw, a tow rope, and the Blazer. It does speed things up to bring the fallen tree up to the woodshed and then cut it into lengths here versus chopping it up in the woods and then bringing pieces out. It strikes me as kind of....well, back-woods, but I guess it's all in the name of efficiency...

(and I KNOW I need to get pictures, I will, I will!)

And, in the continuing dead animal chronicles, last night C came running up to me as I yanked sticks (we's gonna have a brush fire next week) breathlessly announcing, all rounded eyes and surprised mouth - 'A BEE, Mom! A BEE!'

And, of course, Rosey started screaming (because obviously?? A yellow flying anything can be combated with utter and total panic - the noise stops the menace IN ITS TRACKS) and running around in circles, getting white faced and then tear-stained and the cries were ringing over the hills (curtains in the neighbors houses all beginning to twitch) and I sprang to see what was the matter and she was fine.

But still running in circles.

Between zooming around, she managed to fill me in. There was a BEE! In the GRASS! And Cass SAW it!

Explaining how bees like to sit in the spring sun and warm themselves and weren't a threat did NOT help - they were both still spooked and ready to freak out.

Finally, I asked them where they had seen the bee. Cass did some wild swooping gestures and I walked over, finding a tiny bright yellow spot on the grass. I squatted down and poked at it with a stick.

Cass was incredulous. 'Mom! What are you doing? It could sting you! '

I motioned him over.

Um, hon, that would be hard. This bee? Doesn't have a

Monday, 27 April 2009

thievery in a small town

Today was the first day of the Music Festival here - Cass sang his solo (and wasn't nearly as nervous as last year, hurrah!) and then his class sang, beautifully, and did really well. The room was full to bursting with parents and grandparents and good feelings. Smiles and bonhomie abounded - it's easier to cheer on all the different classes when you know a few kids in each -and look how sweet they all looked in their good clothes!

We left - Cass firmly clutching a Participant ribbon - and drove home. It was a beautiful day.

And while we were all watching our children, reveling in the small-town goodness of it all, a police van was pulled up to our school and RCMP officers were patrolling the halls..... because some bastard broke in and stole laptops, projectors, sports equipment, and the goddamned milk money.

I want to go into a tirade of whatthehellisWRONGwithpeople, but I think if I started?

I just might not stop.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

there's a beach in my memory

Last night the scent of spring was wafting through the house (First night this year with the windows open! Yay!) and I discovered that I've forgotten things. Things I thought I'd never forget.

Now, I've lived away from home for ten years now, and while I think I could find my way around my old stomping grounds pretty well, I'm distressingly foggy on some points.

Where was that old beach with the overgrown bushes and rotten tire swing? It was out back of a deserted old house, but how did I get there?? All those country lanes stretch out green and tree-shaded in my memory, but which one would I take? Would I remember if I was riding a bike?

Part of me wants to blame it on moving thousands of miles away and having a life (husband, kids, jobs, etc) during that time, while the other part? Shrieks in dismay that I don't remember and how could you forget the place where S first kissed you? What is wrong with you?

Funny, how I remember the moonlight on the beach and the shuss of the waves on the pebbles and thousands of other sounds of that night and can't remember how to locate it.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

thursday night commercial, scene eight


My library books came in.

And one of them was The Gun Seller.

No, it doesn't sound like most of the other books I read, since I'm really not a mystery/who killed who with what gratuitous violence fan. And the cover looks like a blow-up of a comic book - really not my usual.

But The Gun Seller was written by Hugh Laurie. Yes, that Hugh Laurie. And I was curious.

And 29 pages in, I like it. He writes like a character in a twenties detective flick, all foggy street and dark, devious expressions. But sprinkled in are these really incredible descriptions, like:

But of course you would have got the message. Rayner could have swathed himself in shimmering silk and put an orchid behind each ear, and nervous passers-by would still have paid him money first and wondered afterwards whether they had owed him any.


By and by she was sitting on the hideous sofa with half a pint of what I thought was brandy but turned out to be Calvados, and I was standing by the door wearing my smartest and best 'I am psychiatrically A1' expression.

So I'll keep on.

Oh, and when you're reading a Hugh Laurie book? You can hear his voice saying the words as you read them.

And he speaks with an English accent. Coo-ee.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

21 April

Today was a day for craft projects and bubble baths. For trashy romance novels, and a trip to the library to get serious books I've been waiting for forever. For the weather to go from sun to rain to spits of ice and snow to rain again.

For chocolate and stolen kisses and long phone conversations with people I love.

It was a perfect day, in fact, to turn thirty-eight. So I did.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

two award-winning parental moments

Rosey was busy with a coloring pad and fancy new crayons while the sermon went on. She requested that I draw things (a heart, my name, a bunny) in a medium whisper, but stayed still and relatively unobtrusive next to me.

The first reader went up. She found her place, pushing her spectacles back on her nose, and began to speak about how we should all be believers.

R stirred. 'Beavers? Does she mean the ones behind our house?'

And I didn't realize how much we push don't play with your food until tonight. Both the kids sat, sharing uneasy looks, eyeing their plates. Finally Cass spoke up.
'We eat these at school. Can I use my hands?'

I nodded. R was clearly bewildered at all the little dishes of toppings. 'Is this salad?'

Lips twitching, Bear showed her how to pick and fill her taco.

'So much for diversity, huh, Jess?'

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

the giant jumperee

It was fifty-four degrees today.

Ahem. It was FIFTY-FOUR DEGREES today!!!!! And sunny.

It's funny - I forget just how good fifty degrees feels on your skin every year. Maybe it's because the last time we felt fifty degrees around here was when it was a low - definitely not worth celebrating.

But today there was rejoicing! And much running and looking at things - at the pale green veil that is just (just) starting to creep over everything, at the cool clear water still rippling behind the house. R and I went for the mail and spent some time walking over the old bridge that runs through the village. I'd never done that before - and now I can't figure out why not. Must take the camera next time, though....

And now I'm just about to light a (small) fire for tonight to keep the night-chill out, while Cass reads aloud ('There's a Giant Jumperee in Rabbit's bureau!') and Rosey rocks on her rocker.

I think it's now officially Spring.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

gimme the jellybeans and nobody gets hurt

The clock blinked 5:23. I lay still, trying to figure out what had woken me up....oh yes, that would be the whispering and giggling going on downstairs.

Seriously, 5 in the morning?

Hushed voices floated up the stairs.
'Did you find any?'
'No. Did you look under the sofa?'
'Do you think they're in the bathroom?'
'The Easter Bunny wouldn't go in the bathroom!'
'Well, where are they?'

I grinned in the dark.

Feet pounded towards the bedroom. 'Mo-om!'
I'm never sure what the protocol is for these moments. It's best if they wake me up, right? Hmmm? What's going on, guys?

'We can't find any eggs!'

I stretched, yawned. Well, where did you look? Did you try the pantry? Or the kitchen?

Cass took off like a shot. In a minute there was a victorious yell and they were back, dumping their booty over the sheets and ogling their chocolate.

Then I went to work.

While I was gone, B supervised the tying of hairbows and the matching of socks and took them to his sisters house, where the Bunny had left many more treats. They ate fabulous food and had a wonderful time.

Then I came home to much showing of loot and many chocolate-scented kisses. It was a nice day.

Of course, after awhile some desperate law-breakers showed up, looking for a farm market stand to rumble....such riff-raff 'round these parts!

sweet jesus

straight off of Yahoo News:

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - While most Christians mark Easter with prayers and song, one Swedish church opened its mass Sunday by unveiling a life-size Lego statue of Jesus Christ, its pastor told AFP.

Churchgoers had donated nearly 30,000 Lego bricks to build the 1.78 metre (5.8 foot) high statue, said Per Wilder, the pastor of the Oensta Gryta Church in Vaesteras, about 110 kilometres (70 miles) west of Stockholm.

"This work began a year and a half ago so we saw that the initiation date was fitting in well (with this year's Easter holiday)," Wilder said.

"It is a fantastic installation and it will be there as long as we think it is in a good spot," he said.

"All those I spoke with were full of praise, saying how fantastic the model looks and how much good work we put into this," Wilder said.

The model was based on Danish sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsens's 19th century work Christus, which depicts the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Wilder said the statue would remain permanently at the church and there were no plans to sell it to raise funds.

On the one hand: Wow, what a project!
On the other hand: REALLY????

Friday, 10 April 2009

swanee river

And today while we were all out, enjoying the sun and exploring what havoc the beavers hath wrought (three trees down - big, thick chips as long as my thumb - fierce little buggers, aren't they??) Bear running the chainsaw and rrripping up logs into lengths for firewood and the kids chunking stones into the water and the fool dog dancing on his lead, wanting to simultaneously run full-tilt into the shallows and go find the most ginormous stick he could fit in his jaws -

(you know, the usual spring mayhem)

and a car pulled over and a man asked if he could put his kayak in the water.

B and I have been talking about finding a small boat for in back of the house - my father had (still has, I believe) a collapsable canvas kayak that I remember riding in, cruising on the lake, and I thought being able to paddle around would be a neat way Cass could feel grown-up and independant and free.* Of course the water is only there for a few weeks each spring and fall, but the expanse seems to cry out for someone to enjoy it.

And there he was. And when he was through, he climbed out and asked if my kids would like a try.

And they did.

And they'll always remember that. It was amazing.

And now I'm going to have to get a boat.

*While I could still see him and keep an eye on him, she said in a small voice.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

of recklessness and water

I'm late posting in three different places, my desk looks like someone slobbered on it, and still....

The watershed behind the house is full of water again. Deep, and blue, and rippled with the wind. Rosey was throwing stones and trying to make the beaver show himself by smacking the water with a stick (don't laugh, it works!) and I was letting her inch closer and closer to the deep grassy edge...

(no, she didn't fall in)

(breathe, Bear, breathe!)

Bear is very careful with the kids around water. Veeery careful. If they ever fall in, it will be all my fault - I don't set a good example and will happily take of my shoes and paddle in the puddles with my small-and-eager sidekick. Water is fun.

Of course, I grew up around a lake. With sloping depths and sandy bottoms. Without a current. So his fears are justified.

But this daughter of mine was born to be a water-baby. She gets it. She feels the water in the wind on her skin, breathes it in, turns green eyes on it with a loving, longing look.

She will be the swimmer of the two, the boater, the sailor, happy on the high seas.

She stands at the window, watching the water.

'Can we go out again?'

Of course.

thursday night commercial, scene six

Oh, McDonalds, damn your greasy, cardboardish hide. You and your (sniff) cheesy (sniff sniff) ads.....

that make me tear up every time.

Monday, 6 April 2009

day of grace, week ten

1. Giggling with my husband. We took a long drive this afternoon to look at the risen river levels (picture taken upstream)

and Cass was in a talkative mood. Babble, babble, babble...
I was answering questions from the backseat while R and C talked to each other and over me, enjoying themselves and laughing.

'No, Cass, there aren't any sharks in the river.' I opened my mouth to go into how sharks were salt-water fish, and blah blah blah......

B rolled his eyes. 'Oh, but there are, Jess.They only eat chatty little boys. They have a better flavour.'

2. Seeing that the young beaver behind us (or his friend - there are two now!) is making himself at home:

This makes me absurdly happy. I love that we can be so near these wild animals and they can just go about their lives, not minding us....

3. The sun. Glory be, we had a spring-like day today! We ran around in shirtsleeves, exposing our paleness to the sun and turning our faces up into the warmth.

4. Budding scientists. Mentos rockets are cooool, Mom!

Why yes, son, they are.

5. Water. And old buildings. With sunshine. I'm becoming a water rat, aren't I?

Sunday, 5 April 2009

religion fails, and nature wins

Rosey's religious upbringing has been....lackadaisical, at best. While she knows the stories and cheerfully says her nightly prayers, she hasn't been exposed to actual church that often. And while I attend services, she doesn't - a combination of there not being many -well, any- young ones in the congregation, and my own certainty that she's just too young to sit still for an hour.

She surprised me today by wanting to go.

And she did really, really well. There was some kicking of heels and a little wandering, but that was easily contained and not at all distracting. (We were in the back.)

We were doing well (even through the sermon! which I remember as a child dreading) until I realized there was a Love Feast.*

Well, crap.

Since I really didn't want to explain the process in three minutes or less, I told R we were going to stay back in our seats. She craned her neck and announced (loudly)'Look, Mama, they're having snack!'


The rest of the service went well, though. She'll keep going back with me as long as she still continues to show an interest.

Once we got home, I shoved dinner in the oven, and Cass went outside. Within moments he was back, panting and excited. 'There's a beaver in the backyard!'

He took off to go see if he could get close and I followed within a few moments to snap some pictures. We ended up on our stomachs in the winter stubble, inching closer to the young beaver as it nibbled (dead grass? grubs? something) from under the water.

Cass is really interested - in both nature and photography, and we stayed out there for a good half-an-hour, just talking and watching. It was all very peaceful and nice - to sit outside with the breeze blowing the cobwebs away, and to sit outside being still with my usually harum-scarum boy.

What the heck, I thought. Surely he'd know. 'Cass, what do you call the ceremony in church where people drink a little grape juice and eat bread?'

Cass looked thoughtful. 'A social?'

Yup, lackadaisical.
But at least he knows his way around a camera.

*We're United Church of Canada, and have a lay minister right now. Since we don't have an ordained UCC minister, we can't have Communion - hence the Love Feasts, which is (I suppose) Communion Lite? Same procedure, but less official.

Friday, 3 April 2009

a tale of two days and catto del grando

So Wednesday morning I was shrieked awake by forty pounds of deliriously happy girl, all tousle-head and flying blankie 'IT'S MAX AND WOOBY DAY! IT'S MAX AND WOOBY DAY, MAMA!'

And after I peeled up my eyelids and it finally registered that the reason I couldn't see her wasn't blindness but that it was five-thirty in the freaking morning and it was still dark in my bedroom, she was too excited to go back to sleep.

I explained (rather patiently, I thought) that MAX AND WOOBY AREN'T THERE YET and NO, WE DON'T HAVE TO LEAVE NOW and LEMME ALONE, KID, YOU WILL BE AT ONE WITH THE BUNNIES SOON. Mollified, she went off to her room to tell ALL her babies about the rabbits and I fell back to blissful unconsciousness for another few hours.

So Wednesday night was all bunnies. And it was good.

Max and Ruby photo by Natalie Mansfield-Herman (thanks Natalie!)

She was blissful and excited and happy beyond belief.

Thursday, Cass and I were ready to see the monsters. And the aliens.

Cass is awesome to take to the movies - awestruck, doesn't yell or steal the armrest or the popcorn, and likes to watch the trailers (like his Mom) so a great time was had by all. An ice-cream rounded out the night. I think we'll be at the theatre a lot this summer.

Then there was today. The old girl Kate has been ill, so we hoisted up her stripety protesting ass and took her into the vets, where they dutifully checked her out. And what looked like thyroid, acted like thyroid but wasn't thyroid last year is now (taaa-daa!) thyroid.

And holy God, I think they charged me a set sum based on how many stripes the cat had.
Katie says: I love the vet. But let's have him come to our house next time.

At least this time they didn't want a sample.

It appears my grandiose old dame has finally become an elderly cat. She's earned it though - I've had her (we think) seventeen years, and our family would be poorer without her. So I will happily pay the vet bills as long as (I'm borrowing from Johnny Virgil here) she doesn't know she's sick. Even if that means pilling her. For the rest of her life. (sigh)

Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings....

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 ...