Friday, 30 November 2007

this post brought to you by the letter y

Right out of the blue Cass spoke up.

"Mom? So is this a real dead chicken I'm eating?"

Crap. So THIS was the next parenting hurdle I hadn't prepared for, huh?


I waited, mind suddenly racing. Why DID we eat chickens? Why was it okay to eat them and not, say, the cats? Why was it okay at all? Where did I stand on this?
Why hadn't I thought about this before?

He was quiet for a moment, moving his food around on his plate. I could almost see the questions forming.

"Can I have the other leg?"

I'm certain this isn't the last I'll hear about this.
But it gives me a small respite where I can work on a better answer than "Because they taste good."

'tis the season


1) I made it through NaBloPoMo. Relatively unscathed this year, actually, and with fewer filler posts than last year. Go me!


2) Tomorrow the Christmas tree goes up!

Thursday, 29 November 2007

don't panic. hmph.

At the manse today, I was working on the bulletin, happily picking along on my new computer, woo-hoo and learning the new programs...

and the bugger froze on me. Several times. Then it tried to convert all my saved WordPerfect stuff to Word.

and after I worked my way through that while swearing a blue streak and gesturing wildly at the leering screen the printer stopped communicating with something and the whole thing...went to hell.

After abusing its' parentage, I cracked my knuckles, rebooted everything, and tried again.

Remember Hitchhikers' Guide To the Galaxy?

No, not the Don't Panic part,

the gesturing jello head part.

The computer? It's laughing at me. Loudly.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

beginning to understand the draw of an air-raid siren

Remember that commercial (I can't, for the life of me, remember what they were selling) where the woman takes an air-horn out of her purse, and everytime the salesman she's talking to says something she doesn't like, she drowns him out?

I think I want one of those.

B: Honey, I think the washing machine BLLLAAAAT dead in the BLLLAAAAT We should think about getting a BLAAAAT BLLLAAAAAT BLLLLAAAATTT.

Cass: But, Mo-om, I don't wanna go to bed. How about I stay up and BLLLLAAAATTTT
(he stops talking)
Me: It's a school night.
Me: No.
Cass: (opens his mouth)
Don't mess with Mom, mister.

Rosey: Dolly wants to go outside now. (She heads for door.)
(Rosey is wearing a hat, striped socks,a t-shirt, and panties. Dolly is bundled into a romper and R's treasured blankie. It's 50 degrees outside.)
Me: (mildly) Not until you've got some clothes on.
R: (heads starts revolving) Wha? Wha? You're NO FUN! You're MEAN! You -

C'mon, you have to admit it'd be handy. And (cough) fun.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

and here I'd never been missing not having one

Today I:

-went to the local Job Shop, where I had to wait for fifteen minutes for the secretary to quit yapping about music and help me with the ten-second procedure I needed help with.* (I'm not sure if my irritation was evident, or it was simply that I didn't have a penis like the two guys that were leaning on the counter when I got there that was the problem...)

-went to the library and found oodles and oodles of Christmas books,

-made Turkey Chop Suey, and now the Reign Of Turkey is over.

-decided Christmas will NOT be turkey at our house, probably prime rib like last year. Or lamb! Huzzah!

-heard Rosey's (loud and proud) new phrase: What the hell is THAT?

-realized it's near impossible to correct your daughter when you're knocked to the floor, laughing fit to kill.

All in all, not a great people day. But tomorrow will be better. The Boy has a playdate after school and B will be gone much of the day, so it'll be just me and the pottymouth. Hmm. Need to think of fun things for her to do.

*She: raises her eyebrows at me.
I: (not liking this at all, muttering under my breath Yeah. I gotcha. You're grinchy.) Can you please see that this gets in the dispatch bag for tonight?
She: Oh. Is that all?
I: It is!

some things I am not meant to understand

B is watching tv. It's wrestling.

I'm over in the corner on the computer, trying not to listen and getting sucked in anyway.

B: (at the screen) What the...? Aww, really?
Me: Boy, the women sure screech a lot at each other.
B: It's supposed to be like that.
Me: Oh.

a few minutes later

Me: Isn't this like a giant pissing match?
B: (shoots look my way) It's wrestling.
Me: Oh.

a few minutes later

Me: So Chicken Feathered Man is buddies with Neanderthal Man? Aww...
B: Uh.
Me: Y'know, it's nice that he has friends. You'd think he'd be ostracized on the playground...

B: So, are you finishing something on the computer?

Monday, 26 November 2007

a slightly less gleeful post

Okay, usual post-holiday meal fridge stuffed to the gills with turkey and all the trimmings.

Cass: Hey, Mom, can I have a melted cheese sandwich for supper?


Turkey soup, anyone?

Sunday, 25 November 2007

the nine last books I read

Babel Babe asked. This isn't a meme:

The Bird Artist, Howard Norman. - Grim little novel set in Newfoundland.

All Mortal Flesh, Julia Spencer-Fleming - Surprisingly good about love between a policeman and a reverend. I gather it's a series.

Harry Potter, 6 and 7. Re-read 6, thought 7 was not as good as I'd hoped. Really thought the afterward scene (where they're all older, and married to each other) was very disappointing. I mean, EVERYTHING turned out happily ever after?

Death Du Jour, Kathy Reichs - Female forensic scientist. Slides nicely in between Quebec and the states.

The Usual Rules, Joyce Maynard - I think you'd like this one. 13 year old who loses her mom in September 11th, has to up-root and move out with her father (who she really never knew before) and re-invents herself. Nicely rounded out secondary characters.

The Loch, Steve Alten - Weird. Tried very hard to be as technical as a Creighton novel and wound up being prit'near incomprehensible.

House Gun, Nadine Gordimer - Didn't finish as it couldn't hold me - good premise, bad execution.

The Edge of the Crazies, Jamie Harrison - I really, really wanted to like this. It's oddball and sarcastic and crazy, but the author used the word 'stoic' one too many times, and that was that. (The thing is, whenever I read stories with Native Indians in them, it's only a matter of time before the phrase 'stoic face' comes up. It bothers me. Is there no.other.way to describe the characters visage?)

I'm also about half-way through The Kite Runner. New library jaunt on Tuesday. Waaa-hoo!

i want to make it feel like home for you, he said

Y'all, my house smells soooo good right now...

B brought home a turkey last night. (No, from the grocery store.)

He was a doll - went on to learn about brining, stuck his hand under the skin to put butter in, sprinkled salt on top. It's roasting away, along with bread, onion and sage stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn and carrots. I made home beans* and have stirred up a pumpkin pie for later.

I know most of you folks just got done with your turkey (and are probably groaning thinking of the smell of it) but oh, yum. He's done this before and I love it. And, bonus, if he keeps doing it, someday I can sit back the whole day and let him go for it...

And I should get off the computer, so I can help carve. Must tell him to make gravy....

*This is a recipe I cheerfully mangle every year, because even though I have the recipe, they taste NOTHING like my grandmothers. But it's not a holiday dinner without some version of them.

Saturday, 24 November 2007

things of which I am suspicious

via Schmutzie

#1*Hot tea sold without the bag in. Tim Horton's does this, and it always makes me wonder not only how long the tea has been sitting there, but what they're hiding. Inferior tea? Substandard cleaning practices? Really old grotty teamakers? Also, why?

#2*People who are always neat and pressed. These are the people whose lives are untouched by pets, celebrations, children, friends, hobbies, or events. Cardboard Barbie, anyone? Seriously, I like the flaws, the oddities. I like that we're not all the same. I like that we get messy with life and living it.

#3*Children with unwashed faces. Now, not them, specifically. Their parents. Why aren't you paying attention, and why do you feel it's okay for you to be cruising the grocery store with little Charlie smeared with what looks like a days worth of food all over his mouth? (and in my mind, this has NOTHING to do with #2.)

#4*Rap music. It just doesn't seem to do much but bitch and complain, and talk about being angry. There's not much joy in it, is there?

#5*Being outdoors after dark. I loved horror movies growing up. I watched the X-files religiously. Somehow, that has assimilated itself into my adult consciousness as something with red eyes is waiting in the woods. I don't know why. I (really) know there's nothing bigger than a deer in the woods. Maybe a bear, but they don't tend to come over this way - and bears don't scare me, because you can smell bears before you see them.

#6*Buying fish anywhere but off the dock. This includes supermarkets and the men who sell fish out of coolers in pickup trucks. (Is this just a Nova S thing? Everyone around here is shocked that I'm nonplussed by this.)

There's more, but I have to go corral C and his friend - I hear suspicious thumping noises and I think they're practicing throwing apples at the woodshed roof again....

Take. Steal. Make it your own.

Friday, 23 November 2007

passing on dubious pursuits

Bear's been making noises about buying a game system for Christmas. Supposedly for the children.

To be fair, Cassidy has been clamouring for one since the first day he walked into school. All that wholesome peer pressure, and that.

B researched them, and I put the kibosh on buying a new one ($400 dollars? Are you KIDDING?) and we'll see if we get a system at all, but in the meantime...

Cass was given some money from his grandfather for having a splendiforous report card*, and decided he wanted to pick out a toy. While he was deciding which model plane he wanted, I spied something.Something I remembered from way back.

Sonic the Hedgehog.

I ambled over and picked up the package.

Okay, plug-and-play. Okay, Sonic, Ecco the Dolphon, Columns, a few more I didn't really remember....ten bucks? Sold.

And now my six year old is beating my bum on Sonic.

Although I can still outjump him while playing Ecco.

*A) The kid is a genius. All his teachers agree. Well, they used words like 'really enjoys school' and 'clearly understands all the concepts we talk about', but I knew what they meant.


B)Bear and his siblings are still gape-mouthed in disbelief. Money? for grades? But we never.... Funny how the rules don't apply for grandkids.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

where I'm from

Thank you, Spanglish.

An Exercise in Identity

I am from red wool mittens, from Sorel Boots and ponchos and wandering on the dunes.

I am from small houses with odd details, refinished furniture and good smells of roasting meat and old books. From comfortable laps and goodnight stories after getting lost on deserted beaches, the roar of Lake Michigan like a tempo in my blood.

I am from leaf-dappled, myrtle-strewn paths, the old apple trees down the meadow, the broad, flat, slow, easy river.

I am from Hoppin' John on New Year and banana pancakes and deep hazel eyes, from Rosemary and Laurinda and many Edwards, strong and true.

I am from smart, independent women and caring, compassionate men. From lightning bug night-lights and midnight cocoa when it stormed. From peanut butter and red onions, oysters swallowed raw and whole.

I am from the religion of my fore-fathers, hot Sunday mornings spent in dresses and scratchy tights singing, learning a God my grandparents considered a friend. I am from doubt and questions and using science to quantify. I am from faith.

I'm from the great North-East, daughter of Dutch shoes and German immigrants, of scrapple and home beans and fat, purple grapes. Of daisy-chains and algebraic equations and debate at the dinner table and always, always being encouraged to question.

I am from hand-lettered scrapbooks, rag dolls with button eyes, the hissing of summer lawns and bluegrass festivals, clog-dancing and candy-covered macadamias, celebrations and shared joys and tears and hoopin' and hollerin'.

I have been so loved.

(read this, and do if you wish.)

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

star light star bright

I bought my first Christmas ornaments of the season today.

My tree is covered in Christmas memories - worn ornaments from my childhood, a few scattered mementos from the years in my first apartment (there's also a small spray of silk flowers that I wore in my hair my first prom and a mirrored string of stars that was one of the decorations at a friends wedding) and a few funny painted and glued things that Cass has brought home.

It's a kaleidoscope of things I loved and things people I love gave me.

Every year I buy a star ornament. I'm not sure why I'm drawn to stars, but they look terrific among the toy trains and chipped unicorns, and glitter sweetly in the lights.

Today I bought a tub of fifteen opalescent snowflakes, each about the size of my palm. They'll blend nicely, I think.

This weekend I think I'll get the shaker bottles of glitter and the glue sticks out from where I hid them last year, and dig out the construction paper, popsicle sticks, and pipe cleaners. Introduce Rosey to the pleasures of covering yourself in shreds of sparklies and cut up bits.

There's always room on the tree for more memories.

(And in re-reading this I realized it sounds like I have my Christmas tree up already. To paraphrase the jolly elf.....NO,NO,NO - not until December, at least!)

Monday, 19 November 2007

all about Bear

Thanks, Danigirl!

1. Who is your man?
I call him Bear here. He has a perfectly good name, but when I first started blogging I thought he might not like people from around here knowing who he is, so I started the pseudonym. Turns out he doesn't really care, but it's a habit now.

2. How long have you been together?
We were married in September of 2000. About a year and half before that, I think.

3. How long did you date?
We didn’t. I met him on-line (yes, I'm one of those people) and we started emailing back and forth, and then moved on to visits. We didn't actually live together (or in the same country) until about a month before the wedding. Y'know, I think I'd probably kill R if she pulled a stunt like that - what were my parents thinking?

4. How old is your man?
(Laboriously doing calculations in my head) Born in '69, so... 38.

5. Who eats more?
Depends on what time of day. He eats more breakfast and late night snacks, but I probably eat more dinner than he does. (I taste while I cook, which is why noone else had any carrots* last night)

6. Who said “I love you” first?
I don't even remember where we were.

7. Who is taller?
I am, by an inch or so.

8. Who sings better?
This is hard to say, because while he hums or whistles, he usually doesn't sing.

9. Who is smarter?
I'm book-smarter. He's definately more real-life smart than I am. And mechanical!

10. Whose temper is worse?
Um. We were raised to disagree in totally different ways. I tend to blow up, shriek for a bit and then I'm done, (and the sun can come back out) and he internalizes everything and then finally growls about something three weeks after it happens. It's slightly disorientating. You're mad about what? When did that happen?

11. Who does the laundry?
Me, although to his credit, he will if I ask him to. If I don't ask, the laundry renders itself invisible and cannot be detected to the male eye.

12. Who takes out the garbage?
He does, mostly. He also does all the outside stuff and brings in the firewood.

13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed?
He does, now. I started out on that side and I can't remember why, but we switched. Must remember to switch the lamps, though - I can't read at night with his!

14. Who pays the bills?
He does. I have attempted to take over my share several times and it works better for him to sit down and do them all at once.

15. Who is better with the computer?
I've never met Better With The Computer. Why? Do you know him?

16. Who mows the lawn?
He does. We've got a huge lawn and I am certain that if I ran the lawnmower, I would end up running over my foot. (This actually happened to a friend of mine in grade school.)

17. Who cooks dinner?
I'm about at 75% for that. He's better with meat than I am and is of course, King of the Grill.

18. Who drives when you are together?
Are you kidding? It's all him.

19. Who pays when you go out?
Whoever isn't wrangling the children at that time. (Get along, little dogies!)

20. Who is most stubborn?
Him. Like a rock, or something you have to drag through mud to get to water. I'm more opinionated. And I mutter a lot.

21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong?
I don't know.

22. Whose parents do you see the most?
His. His Dad lives three minutes away, while my family is at least eight hours away. (sigh) Hopefully in the new year.

23. Who kissed who first?
I did. (Thus earning the title 'that Pushy American')

24. Who asked who out?
Hummm. He had reservations to fly to Michigan, but the airline sent me a ticket reward for being on standby, so I actually went there first. (Nothing like a three am phone call to announce your girlfriend's going to be there in three days, is there?)

25. Who proposed?
He did. I looked up from tying my shoes and there he was, down on one knee, his hands shaking.

26. Who is more sensitive?
About people's moods and things to say? Me, I think.

27. Who has more friends?
Here? Him, definately.

28. Who has more siblings?
I have a brother, and he has two sisters and a brother, so he wins that one.

29. Who wears the pants in the family?
(slyly) Since I very rarely wear skirts, I guess you could say we both do?

He is my Bear, and we do well together.

Want it? Take it! (the memo, not B) If you're doing NaBloPoMo and need content, or just like it, take it, please!

*Package of baby-cut carrots, steamed, then tossed with a sauce of roasted garlic, a little honey, a swipe of lemon juice, salt and black pepper - oh my god was it good!

Sunday, 18 November 2007

i should have remembered this from last year

I bought clementines. A box of clementines. Friday night.

And now they're gone.

Not that I'm complaining (my kids like fruit! Why would I complain about that?)

But I would have liked one.

Or maybe a banana, which also disappeared...

Saturday, 17 November 2007

may have to join a support group

And instead
of doing anything on that list, I'm pottering around.

I blame Bear. He didn't have to make pancakes for me. And the sun doesn't have to shine so beautifully. And I suppose the kids don't have to play quietly; I'm sure I'd get a lot more done if they'd just fight like cats and dogs.

Enablers, all of them.

All right, to work.
Because the only thing worse that lazing this bee-yootiful day away would be to have to face that entire list tomorrow.

Friday, 16 November 2007

hopping around like the easter bunny on speed

I have nine books to read and a rainy, wet weekend to enjoy them in.

Today I bought Chocolate Chai Tea - which, it must be said, tastes not really chocolaty or chai-ish, but is instead like drinking hot Yoohoo - and some cheese bread and I think I'm going to eat myself into a carbohydrate coma and float away, nose deep in a book.

Ha. A girl can dream.

Tomorrow, I must:

Get Rosey's hair cut before she runs into something and injures herself. Yes, her bangs are that long.
Make a hair appointment for myself next Tuesday so I don't have either of the beloveds rug rats with me when I go, so I can relax instead of startling the hairdresser with the hairy Mom eyeball when they inevitably misbehave.
Round up a scripture verse reader for one of the services this weekend and email the minister.
Find some paperwork which I know is here somewhere, but where in hell is it?
Get tennis shoes for both the kids and Rosey needs slippers too. (Damn, they grow fast!)
Make ham-and-bean soup and chili, possibly, dependent upon how cold it gets.
READ some blogs instead of frantically trying to post all the time. This is the big draw-back of NaBloPoMo, and as Sarah Louise says, December should be known as NaREADSBloMo. A good suggestion.
Oh, and I want to make phone calls to relatives and write letters.

That should leave me plenty of time to read, right?
(birds chirp) Right?

Well, maybe I'll have time on Sunday....

Thursday, 15 November 2007

seven more things you wouldn't know about me

I did do this awhile ago, but why not? I can always think of a few new weird things at random...

Motherbumper made me do it.


Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
Share 7 random and or weird things about yourself.
Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I drink most of my daily water intake between the hours of, say, ten and midnight. See, after the kids go to bed is me time. I watch tv, hang out with B, play on the computer. Ten o'clockish, I head upstairs and grab my books and a BIG bottle filled with ice water. I tuck into bed and read. Ah, bliss!

2. I'd love to be one of those women who can wear makeup well. I don't understand makeup. I've bought books, watched videos, taken classes. I can't put eye makeup on to save my life. In most makeup I look like a hung-over raccoon. Adding to the kids' therapy bills, no doubt.

3. I thought Cass was a girl. Really thought he was a girl. B and I decided we wouldn't find out, but I was so sure it didn't matter. I was amazed and thrilled and excited (and zonked! Awesome drugs!) to find out he was a he. But once I got home and the grandparents and well-wishers had dispersed, and I was alone.....I (darting eyes around) put a dress on him. (sssh!) It was like putting nail polish and lipstick on the star quarterback. It was blatantly obvious he wasn't a girl. And once I pulled that outfit off him, all the cravings and low-level disappointment that he wasn't a girl...were gone. And now he's a big tall boy who has no recollection that his mother once stuffed him in something calico. Let's keep it that way.

4. I love the way the older people here talk. There are so many expressions that they use that are unique to this area - I've even caught myself saying Holy Jumpin' and using 'bath' as a adverb. (Are you going to bath the baby?) (Ah damnit, that may not be an adverb, but it's nearing ten pm and I just went to the library today, so my grammar may not be up to snuff) This is a fabulous post about the way they talk 'round here. (even if it's witchypoo's old blog)

5. I have a collection of cat mugs. I've always had cats, and when you have cats, people who love you and don't know what to get you, buy you something with a cat on it. At one point I had seventy-three. I still get a few every year or so.

6. I have beauty marks on my left arm in the shape of a star constellation. In another weird thing, Cass has a beauty mark directly above his left buttock, and Rosey has one the same size above her right.

7. I've never learned to play poker, and no one has ever offered to teach me. Not that I'm begging to learn or anything (I've never seen a Rocky or a Rambo movie either, and I'm not feeling the pain yet...) but it still seems odd, doesn't it?

Oh hell, do I really have to tag people?


The Bloggess
My Float
Evil Pink Cupcake
This Is Not Going To Help
My Life

It's too late. I can't count.

sometimes I wonder

I was at the manse today, struggling with the rasen-fracken* computer (which is HALLELUJAH! going in to the computer guy TO-DAY!) and took a break to make myself a cup of tea and have a stroll around.
Okay, I just wanted to remove my foot from the vicinity of the screen for awhile. Whatever.

I was standing at the window, watching the rain fall down, and noticed that the caretaker for the place had put white rocks all along the edge of the sidewalk. What a good idea! I thought to myself. Sometimes I work here late at night, and part of the sidewalk is in shadow, and I'm always doing the shuffle-forward-feel-with-foot dance so I don't walk off the last step down to the street.

He'd placed reflectors there earlier, but some kids had absconded with those on Halloween. (And what is the matter with these kids? Stealing from the church? Does no one believe in hell anymore?) At least now I'd be able to see....

It was about that point I realized the white rocks were actually lumps of melting snow.

Sometimes I'm amazed they let me parent.

*Bear likes old Looney Tunes re-runs

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

domesticity redux

The dog is being all sweet to me today.

Hmph. He'd better be. I almost had his furry pelt last night, after the faithless hound ate all my hanging-to-dry pasta. Shrimp in lemon garlic sauce is much less spectacular with regular spaghetti.

Lately I've been getting into a cooking and baking thing - this doesn't happen all the time, as my missing-sweets husband will sadly tell you - and dragging out old recipes and hunting for new ones to try.

(Oh, Joke, dude? Missing your recipes. Reminder to self: Must make Shredded Granny Pants soon.)

I have on the desk in front of me a lovely mimeographed map. It's actually a copy of the one that the school board gave out to their drivers, so I'm relatively easy about heading out into the wilderness this afternoon. And B was kind enough to highlight the way and go over each turn, so we'll find him.

And then when we get home maybe I'll try to make pasta again. Hmph.

And the dog will stay in his kennel.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

snaaaarg (whistle) phhla-buh.

Someone is snoring from the chair behind me. It's either the girl or the dog.

Jeez, I hope it's the dog.

Labs are allowed to sound like truck drivers, while preschoolers should snore a little more delicately.

I've been fooling around with my template today - and managed to delete a whole section of buttons and things. What a pain to put them back!

It's raining, washing away all the snow. You wouldn't think we'd still have green grass in November, but the rain is melting all the pristine whiteness into a more recognizable colored world. (And the autumn leaves, sadly waterlogged and drifted to the ground, still pretty, but muted now. Very few leaves left on the trees now.)

It's a good day for pajama pants, a mug of tea, and - maybe - gingerbread.

Monday, 12 November 2007

gender differences

We hopped into the car and drove for hours (okay, a smidge under two) on back roads along hill and icing-sugared dale, gawking at old farms and shaggy, winter-coated cows and ponies pawing hopefully at the snow. We were deep in farm country.

B had to pick up a bus, we were all bored, and the girl could nap. Why not?

So off we went. I was having fun, counting cows and tractors with the two, every once in awhile lazily thinking 'Hey! So this is where North Centre is!' Refereeing She won't give it back! fights, passing out water bottles. A lovely trip.

We pulled up outside a dairy and I got out of the car to stretch and toss a stick for the hopeful farm dog and was completely blindsided by my husband, who
(Sunnily! Devil-may-care!) told me I would have to come pick him up after his run on Wednesday.


Bear has this ability to find his way even on the smallest, bump-ridden two track, and not.

He's going to have to draw me a map. A detailed map. One that includes mailboxes and major landmarks, and doesn't start with "And you head towards Halifax, then make a left towards Podunkville..." One that doesn't include the words you can't miss it.

Bear paused. "Well, how else am I going to get home?"


Sunday, 11 November 2007

and the backyardigans sound like distant crows

Hola from the snow belt!

I'm feeling very winter-ish today, due to the first (sticking) snowfall of the year. The kids (including ol' Strep Sally) guess you'd better slow the Mustang down... have been outside (briefly) in the wonder of white, and returned rosy-cheeked, wet to the knees, and pissed that I won't let them stay out there. Mean Mama that I am.

The house smells fabulous. In a fit of both pioneer-ism and thriftiness (the autumn pumpkin and buttercup squash used as decorations on the porch? Frozen solid.) I peeled the squash, chunked it up, added nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, some butter and a dribble of honey - then folded it all into a foil packet and put it on top of the woodstove to simmer and perfume the air. This afternoon I'll blend it all and add eggs and milk, and we'll have squash pie.

And if the orangutans ever behave, I might make Rice Krispie Treats.

'till it rang twenty-nine times

Thirty-two years ago yesterday, the Edmund Fitzgerald went down.

Gordon Lightfoot said it best:

There are tragedies that resonate in each person's lives - despite being only four when she went down and having no direct memory or association with the event, it seems like I've always known about this. I wonder if all kids who grew up in Michigan in that time period do?

Saturday, 10 November 2007

broken dervish

Small girl has strep throat*. Boo-ya.

Between her three medications and boredom from not being allowed outside, Rosey has been having periods of perkiness where she whizzes all over the house and then collapses wherever she is, blanket in hand. Even if that's on the floor.

Strawberry-flavored penicillin is a little like speed, apparently.

*My favorite post ever about strep throat does NOT apply here, but is still worth linking. (And viewing!)

Friday, 9 November 2007

the baby's name is barbie


And even though Rosey was up most of the night (she said, gripping her coffee mug tightly - Where's my refill?) with some sort of croup-y thing that descended out of nowhere, this morning I packed her up and we went out to score her reward.

First she wanted a fairy-tale Barbie. Then the one with the kitty toy.

Then after I'd broken her heart (kiddo, I can guarantee you that you're going to have to keep your pants dry for a long time before Dad will let you score a 60 dollar Barbie styling head) she spied the baby doll section.

And suddenly Barbie didn't matter so much anymore.

Okey-doke*, a baby doll, then. Since there were about two aisles worth, I thumbed through my purse to see if I had any reading material, planning to be there awhile.

But she lost her heart quickly - to a baby doll that came with a spare outfit, a plastic potty (The irony! It slays me!) and a plastic diaper bag to keep everything in. And not in pink - in purple, to my surprise.

On the way home, R was talking softly to her new toy.

'Her name is Barbie, Mama.'

Of course it is. What else could she be called?

*My spell checker wants to make this ikey-dikes. This may become my new catchword.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

murmur murmur whisper

lean verrry close. No, closer. Can you understand me if I don't move my lips a lot?

Rosey blew the barbie bribe yesterday. Today, I picked her up at pre-school to have her teachers tell me (all four of them) that she stayed dry all day and 'was all excited about her new barbie.'

She has an hour and a half left until bath-time.

Pray for us. Or something.

And ssshhhhh.

nice out, but a little nippy

Cass didn't have school today (teacher in-service day) and Rosey did, so he went with me to get her into town. Cass had brandished a flyer last night at me - activities put on by the region during the school break - so he went to dance-dance revolution for a few hours, while I frantically ran errands.

Afterwards (damn can that kid move!) I brought him home and am now preparing to paint the rest of the windowsills on the front of the house. I did the first coat as high as I could reach a few days ago, but I need to drag out the ladder and finish the tops. My house looks like a woman with half her makeup on.

Wish me luck. This could be trouble.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

help foodies help

I have a large bag of gorgeous baby creminis - what to do? (No, seriously.)

bribing with Barbies

Okay, I've never done this before.

With Cass, we just kept taking him to the potty (and taking him and taking him and taking him) and finally one day I told him that we were out of diapers....forever.

But Rosey? Chickadee is wearing me down.

So after exhausting everything we did with Cass, (and I'm just not comfortable rewarding with M&M's, thanks*) we've decided to go for the Big Enchilada.


There's a big chunk of Mama-guilt up in my throat about this. Is it ever right to bribe your children?

The rules are simple. Stay dry until bathtime tonight.
I'll let you know how it goes.

*For all kinds of reasons, which I can explain if anyone wants - the most pressing being that her favorite reward? A mini-box of raisins. Ever been around a preschooler who's had too many raisins? Yeah. I'm thinking toilet-training and imminent diarrhea don't really go together.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

at least it's not the damned frog any more

Rosey's favorite song, which we hear over and over in the car.....
(Mama! Want monsters!)

Litle secret: mama likes it too.

Monday, 5 November 2007

calling all super-letters

(Yes. Rosey's been watching PBS again.)**

We have an overstuffed, grubby recliner that was given to us right before Cass was born. It has rocked both my babies well.

This morning my daughter is stretched out across the seat, head on one armrest, feet propped on the other. Her feet are teasing Jasper's ear. He's in the chair too.

They started curling up like this a few weeks ago, the monster dog carefully climbing over and tucking himself in with her smaller body, and her little feet pat-pat-patting whatever she can reach of his brown fur. And no, he's never been allowed on the furniture before. We like to think it was a mutual decision, since he doesn't try it with any of the rest of us.

Sooner or later, one of them will climb down and stretch out somewhere else. He is a big dog, y'know, and needs much more room - and she's given to elbowing her way into having more room than her share.

She's like her Mum that way.

**Ooh, S, have you seen this??

Sunday, 4 November 2007

i was blind but now I see

Tonight the power came back on. And I did a little dance and ran around hugging lampshades.

Last night, the remnants of Hurricane Noel rampaged through, snapping trees and downing power lines right and left. Our power held on, grimly, until just about two a.m. Then all was quiet.

The children were not thrilled with the prospect of a day with no tv, no computer, no running water, and no (flushing) toilet, but B and I tried to make an adventure of it and they played together outside and on the porch quite happily.

Bear is at work tonight, so after darkness fell the kids were shooed off to bed and I sat reading by candlelight, wondering how in hell everyone pre-electricity wasn't stone-blind. (And overcome by scented candle fumes. Oh, wait - they didn't have scented candles, did they? Shame. Might have lifted them out of their depressions when they realized they were going stone-blind.) And raiding the leftover H'ween candy for suckers, astonished how silent the house is without the dishwasher or the washer or a fan going.

I was nodding off (see: stone-blind, above) when there was a click, and a click, and a whump! and the power was - gloriously - back on!

Do a little dance! Make a get the point.

We had settled in for the long haul, bracing ourselves for days of darkness (NS Power was estimating the power would go back on TUESDAY - and yes, it's happened before) but this time, they triumphed! Hurrah for the power company!

Saturday, 3 November 2007

slave labor

Arms full of books, reading a dust-jacket, I sat my pile down on the check-out desk and fumbled through my purse for my library card. I'm surprised I don't have it memorized.

I love the little library in town. When I first moved here, it was located in a tiny white house where the racks were so close together whirling around quickly was dangerous. A few years ago, the town refurbished one of the old school buildings, and made it into a few different things - a museum, an outreach-jobs office, and a library.

The library is lovely - airy, high-ceiling-ed, and bright. And what they don't have, they can find...

Which is what I was doing there today. Picking up my weekly dose of other voices. The librarian eyed the stack. 'Stocking up before the rain?'

I grinned. She's well used to this. 'Yup.'

'Okay, but I think you need to save some room. You had some holds come in over the inter-library loan.'

I looked at my pile. No way was I putting any of these babies back! I had to think fast.

'No problem. I've got extra hands out in the car.'

Two kids and a husband definitely come in handy on Library Day.

Friday, 2 November 2007

calm before the storm

Gorgeous fall day today. B doing something out in the yard (finishing the trailer?) kids running hither and yon. Even the monster dog was out.

Everyday an inquisitive squirrel sneaks down the oak tree and tries to touch noses with the big dumb dog, who (every morning) watches, wags, freezes still, then can't contain himself anymore and must! bark! and lunge! Harrison (the squirrel) just chitters at him for a minute then runs back up the bark. This usually makes Jas so excited that he...well, sprays the area with biodegradable bullets as he sprongs and leaps hopefully about.

Sometimes I call him Machine-Gun Kelly. Fire in the hole! Rat-ta-tat-ta-tat-ta-tat!

(Which is always fun to try to explain to dog-sitters.)

Cass is running with his soccer ball, R chasing after him, and Jas is spotting blue jays. After dusk, (when all the dog walkers have gone home) he'll go off-leash and I'll throw sticks for him until he collapses in a big furry pant-y heap.

B stops drilling and leans on his contraption. Brushing his forehead off, he mutters something about hurrying to finish before the wind starts and....hmm?

I look at him like he's been sniffing too many power tool fumes. The breeze is barely stirring the trees. Huh?

Well, so much for the perfect autumn afternoon. It appears Nova Scotia is getting a visit from post-tropical storm Noel come Saturday.
Whee! Batten down the hatches. So much for color season!

Thursday, 1 November 2007

barbie has the mumps

Hey, remember a few years back when Mattel changed Barbie? Made her more life-like and realistic? Great hurrahs went up to the toy company, who was making Barbie more realistic to younger generations, betting body image, etc. It was a very good idea. But.....

They changed her face.

I have no idea when the de-facing (ha! I made ze pun!) happened - I remember vaguely when the round of new jokes went around about Barbie not falling on her face anymore because she was better proportioned, but her face?

R has a ballerina Barbie. Barbie looks like she's suffering from water retention. And she doesn't look special anymore. She looks haggard and old and.... puffy.

Has Barbie been on a bender?

picked by poppet

Texas Poppet, that is...

The Bloggity Meme Of Four

Four First Names of Crushes I’ve Had:

Hugh: This is no surprise. Even my husband knows about this one. He figured it out from the way I hunker in front of the tv on Tuesday nights, glassy-eyed and shushing him whenever he speaks. But he gets the same way about that woman on CSI Miami, so...

Matt: He was the football player. I was the bookish girl who wrote poetry. It was so not going to ever happen. Didn't stop me from imagining it for...four years? Ah, high school.

Bobby: Third? grade - I was new to school and scared to death - he helped me find the bathroom, the kitchen and the gym...then showed me a really neat tree-fort and shared his Fig Newtons. What was not to like?

Bill, one and two: I had a summer of Bills. Both in my english as poetry course, writing from the opposite ends of the spectrum. Bill One - Lanky, dreamy, actor, musician, slow smile, fantastic plans. Bill Two: Shorter, squarish, fiery, doer, fast smile and faster wit. Couldn't have one and decided against the other.

Four Pieces of Clothing I wish I still owned:

My long pumpkin/dirty squash/baby vomit colored sweater. An unfortunate shade of rust-orange, it was nevertheless the most comfortable thing I have ever owned. It had a v-neck with two bone buttons and cuffs long enough to cover my hands. I still look for that sweater in my drawer come winter.

More of the baby clothes my mother made for me. Most of them were water and must damaged, and fell apart when I tried to save them.

My red wool baby trench coat. It made me feel exotic and noticed.

My multi-colored, last-ends-of-wool slippers that my aunt knitted for me, sadly eaten by the previous dog.

Names I’ve been called at one time or another:

Mainly just Jess. Or Jessie. Or Hey You. Occasionally I get called Bear's woman (as in 'oh yeah, you're Bear's woman!' to which I answer 'No, he belongs to me.'
B calls me honey.

Four Professions I Secretly Want to Try: (like, for a day)
Sitcom Writer

Four Musicians I’d most want to go on a date with:

Simon Le Bon, Duran Duran. Probably should have brought him up in the 'crush' section. Well, my younger self would want to go out on a date with him. Nowadays he looks distressingly like my father. Who is a very handsome man. (Hi, Dad!) But it's disquieting.

Bono. I think the conversation would be excellent.

Andrea Bocelli. My God, that man can sing.

blanking on a fourth here......

Four Foods I’d Rather Throw than Eat:

cocktail weenies


egg salad


Four Things I Like to Sniff:

fresh-cut grass (in the yard, in the yard)

the can of coffee, fresh ground

outside (we get bracing sea air draughts 'round here)

cherry lifesavers

Four People I'd Like To Tag:

hum. Anyone? Everyone?


I took about a hundred names off my facebook friend list tonight. Really, it went surprisingly quickly, with only a few 'who was this ag...