Thursday, 31 January 2008

spilt milk

We were halfway through supper (B's yummy pan-fried haddock) tonight when Jasper oozed by us and nonchalantly ambled into the pantry, walking slowly and unobtrusively, intent. Distant crunching noises and a happily wagging tail whomping against the wall (Nothing to see here, folks! Just a Good Dog! Look away!) alerted us that he had his head in the dog food bag again, and R was sent to roust him out. R came back to the table wiping her fingers on her napkin.

Mama, Jasper's sticky.
No, sticky.

So when the chocolate brown dog disappointedly kerflopped down near the table we all had a look. He looked fine. A bit disgruntled at being caught stuffing his face...his face...his face?

Jasper never had a white eyebrow before. Or a white streak on his side. This was bad.

I looked at B. 'Glue?'
He shrugged unhappily. 'Maybe, although the only thing I can think of that's in the pantry that it could be is..
'Paint' I breathed, and sprinted for the door.

Oh God no.

At least half a gallon of bright white acrylic flat base coat was puddled on the floor. While the middle was gooey liquid, the edges were hardened and tacky.

It took me most of an hour to clean it up. At least it came up.

Now, does anyone know how to get paint off a dog?

Jasper says: I like the Groucho Marx look. Now feed me.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

canorous autonomy

Cass has decided he can take his own baths now. He's mastered the hard-to-do-bit, the sloshing of water over his head after shampooing, and feels confident in soaping up and rinsing off without any help. Not that I was helping that much, you understand, but now I'm not invited in to read while he splashes away.

This relieves me from the nightly ritual of handing him a washcloth so he can cover his parts (Mooo-oooom!) and finding another so he can wipe his eyes free of bathwater.

And now that I'm not there, he sings.

A mixture of short songs he learns at school (Here comes the train for you...Sometimes fast, sometimes slow, eve-rrry day the train will go) and songs from his MP3 player (Accidentally in loooove, I'm accidentally in loooooo-vvvvee..(pause)..Say I'm the only bee in your bonnet...Make a little birdhouse in your soul)* trickle from the bathroom and wend their way downstairs, where his father and I sit, grinning like fools at each other.

Six is sometimes a know-it-all, and definitely testing boundaries, but six is very, very nice.

And musical.

*His musical taste varies hugely from Shrek (that retching sound? Not attractive, Alethea!) soundtracks to Death Cab For Cutie to dance stuff to Newfoundland jigs. Pigeonholing this kid is going to be tough.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

playing around

* Find out how to make practically anything
* Watch practically anything
* Make mosaics with photos

But I need to get off the computer - new seed catalogs to pore through tonight! It's almost a promise of spring...

Monday, 28 January 2008

searching for old wives advice

Is it REALLY true that kids get pneumonia if they go outside and play in the snow and falling rain? Really really? a snow day.

The weekend spent indoors wasn't too bad, but we're on the third straight day and I swear if I poked a pin in the general area of mah chilluns they would pop! with suppressed energy.

The dog is eating a rock. A rock, people. He's that stupid bored.

B had to take the car in for inspection - he didn't seem all that broken-up to leave,come to think of it. Hmmm.

I'm going to go make muffins. Maybe if I mix some multi-vitamins in they won't get sick when I give in to their begging and pleading and shove let them play outdoors.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

grey skies are going to clear up

Pretty, isn't it? Now if it would just warm up a little.....

Hopefully soon.

Three things I'd like right now:
1) The garbage to magically take itself out
2) To stop coughing, my god, this is awful!
3) Where is my muse? Blog365 is going to be horrible if the best I can do is post a picture of my window and a notice that I'm still hacking.

Oh, and taking the garbage out, apparently.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

pig and pepper

One of the things I brought with me is my lithograph. I think I was six months old - maybe younger - when my godfather bought it and presented it to my parents, and I've loved it ever since I could register that it was mine.

Cass learned his colors by pointing at it. Rosey has picked out a few butterflies and stabbed her finger at the pig, burbling about 'Old MacDonald' and 'pink!' Bear forgets about it and then stares fixedly, probably wondering what in hell that ginormous bug is doing on there, and why, again, do I love that so much?

Simply put: I love it because it's never the same when I look at it. There's always something new I see, some nuance or oddity that grabs the eye. I also love it because Alex gave it to me.

And one of the best things about it is the name. Pig and Pepper. What does that mean?
It's part of (another mystifying misnomer) The Alice In Wonderland Suite.

Now, did Alice ever meet a pig? Which figure is Alice?

And what's the deal with the giant cricket?

Friday, 25 January 2008

catch a falling star

Sometimes I think my kids will do that.

That they're both bright and talented is a given. Gorgeous, undoubtedly. The future is in their reach. I have no idea how they'll do it, (and neither do they, yet) but both my children are going to go far and have fun doing whatever it is they decide to do.

And sometimes, just sometimes....

I think I'd have to catch a falling star just to get their attention.

Today was too cold to play outside for very long, so there was plenty of pent-up energy flooding the house. Lego fights and chasing games abounded. I let the mayhem go on a bit too long (wasn't paying attention to the rising crescendo) and R ended up getting a scrape from falling into something, so there were tears and wails and the brandishing of band-aids, and then a snack.

I read three books today, and managed to yell at every member of my family, separately and together. Why the attitude? Why did I fall out of the grumpy side of the bed on a day filled with such gentle pursuits?

The children and B have had a cold that they have gamely passed back and forth. Today, they decided to include me. (Damnit, never should have taught them about sharing.)

I could go on, but why? Y'all all know what a head cold is like. Suffice to say I'll either die tonight or be better tomorrow. Betting on the latter.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a date with some Thera-Flu and my warm pajamas.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

oh the interesting things you can find on the mothership**

Because - admit it - we all just wanna be big rock stars...

The ROCK STAR meme...

1. Click here.
The first article title on this page is your band name.

2. Click here.
The very last four words of the last quotation are your album title.

3. Click here.
The third picture, no matter what it is, is your album cover.

Add your name and album title to the picture and post!

Ready? Rock on!

Autograph signings to be announced at a later date.

**Postcards, all kinds of good stuff

(Oh, and I forgot to check who this photo was by before I clicked out, so I can't give credit. Isn't it splendid toast, though?)

it only takes an hour to make a huge difference

Thanks, RA, for letting me in on this...

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

stomach drop

935 false statements. Jee-sus, Mary, and all the saints. I can draw two scenarios from this:

A) The President is an asshat. An uncaring, deluded asshat who never thought this would come out, or wouldn't matter if it did.


B)The President has surrounded himself with asshats who can't get their information right.

and what sort of person surrounds himself with idiots? See A.

I wonder sometimes if there'll be an America to take my kids home to.

(Oh, and one more thing. What's 350,000,000,000 divided by 935 ? Anyone know, besides my answer, which veers very closely to : A fuck of a lot?))

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

tuesday shmoosday

crooked tree, originally uploaded by jessalogic.

The wind was really whipping around the other night - snow on both sides of the trees...

Cass went skating last week. And bounced home, big-grinned and thrilled with himself. 'Some teachers and parents helped me, 'specially M's Mom (I heart M's Mom) and now I can skate. But slow. If I go fast, I fall down.' So now he's thrilled and excited about the next skate, and I'm thrilled and excited that he's changed his mind and embraced this.

The first parents meeting to save the school took place tonight. It's going to be a hard fight. I also think we've got a lot of good ideas.

I think I'm losing control over this computer world. Facebook, Twitter, Flick'r, three blogs, a blogroll that hovers near 100, a fairly active chat board - crap, if I could find a way to make money in this chair, I'd never move. But right now? Something has to give. (First time I've admitted that.)

I had my first 'Incident Report' on Pinky today. Seems she fell and smacked her face on the floor at school. She's got a nice nickel sized red-patch-turning-to-bruise on her cheekbone.

B is getting over the flu. Which is good, because soon I would have to begin banishing him to the basement.

So, to recap:
Computer time - long. (But good.)
Rosey-bruised but unbowed.
Bear- bad bad bad bad bad bad. About to be shouted at by his nearest and dearest, because baby? You can get your own tissues.

Monday, 21 January 2008

shot in the dark

The kids had their second flu shots today.

It's the first winter Rosey's been old enough to get a flu poke, and neither B nor I can remember Cass having two last season (as kids are supposed to do the first year) - so he had two this year as well.

The first shot was a month ago. Both of them were fore-warned, but what was actually going to happen didn't seem to click. So Cass was taken off guard, and cried piteous tears of outrage and surprise when the doctor swooped and stabbed.

Rosey was non-plussed. She locked eyes with the doctor, then quietly put out her arm.

'So she's the b-r-a-v-e-r of the two?' asked the doctor, patting Cass's shoulder and offering a lolly.

'I t-h-i-n-k so.' I said, amazed at Rosemary the stoic.

Since I hated being surprised by bad stuff growing up - an extension of being woken up by flicking the lights on - I talked often and easily about the next poke - that it would be quick, and the last one for a whole year, and now it was nothing to be afraid of because we knew exactly how much and how long it would hurt. Sometimes my mouth runs and my brain is left in the dust.

Note to self: Do not ever try this strategy again.

Today was a fight to get Cassidy into the car, a fight to get him into the doctor's office, and a fight to get him to stay put once we were in the exam room. R just wanted a lollipop.

Rosey went first. She picked which arm she wanted her (cool red) band-aid on, watched as the poke happened, then said (in a normal tone of voice) ouch! Then she asked for a red lollipop.

Despite everything being calm and relatively non-traumatic, Cass DID. NOT. WANT. to take off his coat. After awhile (probably five minutes, but felt like ten or more) of trying, I finally got it half off him. He picked a band-aid (blue) and was promised a sucker, but then balked.
And turned into a sobbing mess.

I hate these moments, when you know that you have to hurt your child to protect him from something, and I'm not proud of the fact that I practically had to pile-drive the boy against the exam table to get him to hold still. His 'No, mommy! No!' are still ringing in my ears.

Of course, twenty seconds later, he wiped the tears out of his eyes and asked for an orange lolly.

But it was a long twenty seconds.

So Cass has decided that he's not brave at all when it comes to needles. And Rosey is. A very reasonable attitude, given his age. And who knows? It could change.

But next year it's Bear's turn to take them.

Sunday, 20 January 2008

can you fix her, Mama?

Rosey loves her dolls. Assorted dolls of all shapes and fabrics line the house. Several sleep in her bed while others rest in tableaus around the room. One is sharing the couch with Bear right now, left to keep him company while he watches tv, and I had to trek out to the car tonight to retrieve one we'd left strapped in Cass's car seat.

This interest in her little persons is sweet, especially since she's recently discovered they can leave their clothes on, and we all happily listen while she tells us about dolly's day or prattles on about boots and hair ribbons and if Ally needs a diaper change or not.

Unfortunately, this also puts me in the exalted position of The Fixer.

'Mama, can you put her shoes on? Where is Bigbee's* sweater? Have you seen Nina's romper?'

Then, today, we hit the big time.

'Mama, can you brush Strawberry's hair?'

oh no.

Strawberry smiled at me, her hair in two enormous plaits, looking like an afro gone wild.

So, I cut the bands out of her hair, swirled her around in the bath-tub, and brushed Strawberry's hair. She still looked like a Big Haired Beauty Contestant, but it was a little more manageable.

So I did what every other person does in this day and age. I went on the internet.

And just in case you have dolls and hairstyling woes, I present to you:

Hair Rescue!

I'm going to try soaking her head in fabric softener tomorrow. 'Cause I'm the Mama, and I can fix things. Or at least find out how it's done.

*We're assuming this is a contraction of Big Boy, the doll's original name.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

saturday night

Saturday nights are quickly becoming my favorite night of the week. B and I curl up on the couch, he watches Cops while I fiddle with the computer, and then Vicar of Dibley comes on. We both giggle and snort and I usually get a toe-rub (aaah, bliss!) and we laugh about our days.

I was astonished to find that Vicar has been on for thirteen years, and only ended last year. This is astonishingly good news - more episodes to watch!

More laughter! More foot-rubs!

Friday, 18 January 2008

high water

B is sick, tossing-up sick.

So he was moaning on the couch, and suddenly he cocked his head (like a pointer! On scent!) and said 'Is that the pump?'

He might as well been tongue-clicking in Swahili. Pump? What is this...pump you speak of?

Sure enough, the pump was merrily humming along to itself. That wasn't the problem. It just didn't shut off.

So the rest of the night was spent draining and climbing into the well. The foot-pump had broken? Come loose? Run away? I wasn't so clear on the specifics, but I held the ladder and pointed the flashlight and nodded in the right places.

B and his brother conferred and B climbed up and down and up and down and hung off the ladder (Above the water! Balancing! Side note: B doesn't like heights. I don't like small, enclosed spaces. We were a treat to watch.)

Then they both went off to go poke the pump in the basement and left me next to the well.

It was one of those starry, clear nights where you can hear the occasional jet overhead and maybe the hum of a truck out on the highway, but nothing else except the wind in the trees.
I looked at the stars for awhile Where was Cassiopeia again? and heard a 'plink!'

Plink! Plink!

I looked around with my flashlight, and figured out if was coming from the well.

I leaned over and focused the flashlight down on the old stones. The pump had drained the water down to a little under six feet, and while I watched, a drop trickled down the rocks and plinked! into the water.

The well was re-filling itself.

I'd never seen the well this close, and never at night. The light glinted off the streams and penetrated the pool below. It was beautiful. Ancient.

Amazing things are everywhere.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

oh noes

Cass thinks the cheezburger site is hilarious.

I love that his humour is developing, that his grasp of what's funny (or his version of what's funny, whatever) is changing and growing....

but I'm not thrilled about the language.

Moms! He shouted down the stairs. I's takin a shower, 'kay?

'WHAT?' I bellowed back.

I is takin.....oh never mind. I'm getting in the tub, okay?

'Okay, honey. Sorry, for a minute there I thought you were a talking cat.'

Oh. Cool! Really?

'Yeah. I was about to call the circus.'


'I was going to call the.....why am I yelling up the stairs?'

Aw, Mommy. You wuves your lolcat.

Not as much as I loves the circus and all the money I'll be making. Get in the shower, Cassidy, and stop making my language-loving heart bleed.'

I now understand how much my parents must have hated it when I flounced around saying things like 'I am so sure' and 'Whatev...'

Sorry, Dad. I promise to never say 'I puked my guts out' again. Ever.
Cross my little LOLcat heart.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008


  • Damn, it's cold. (I know - bitch, bitch, bitch. But seriously? Being negative on the Celsius scale sucks.)

  • Monster dog needs training. I've now started carrying broken bits of cookie-bones in my pockets. The dog loves me and the kids say I smell like toast. What an interesting perfume you're wearing, Jess! Please God let me remember to take the stuff out of my jeans before going out in public....

  • How can the Man In The Yellow Hat not realize that every.single.freaking.time. he says 'Now be a good little monkey' all hell breaks loose?

  • I absolutely realize that the previous bullet actually means there's too much PBS going on at my house. A small pink girl with a brown monkey fixation lives here. And parents that like coffee and quiet in the morning. Screams of 'Jorge! Is time for Jorge!' don't mix well with that sort of thing.

  • I have a new camera (I loves my new camera) and the software for it is incomprehensible. So far, I've just been running everything through Picasa, because even studying the manual that came with the software program is giving me fits. I think I need to learn Photoshop. Is there anyone clever out there who could tell me if it's best to take a class for that, or if it's strictly a buy-and-try sort of thing?

  • Todays Mission: Find all The Boy's Socks. This may mean looking under the bed. If I don't blog tomorrow, you can assume I'm buried under an avalanche of Bionacles and dinky cars. (Although the monster dog will probably sniff my pockets out.)

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

trial and error

My son attends a tiny, rural elementary school, grades Primary through sixth.
We (B and I) love that he is able to go to school where his father went to school, that he knows all his teachers, that the school is located a house away from his grandfather's house.

We love that he is so loved there, that he's soaking up everything like a sponge, that everyone there is so interested in our boys' future.

Tonight I attended a meeting about a report commissioned by the school board to discuss school utilization. Our tiny little school has less-than-optimal enrollment, and costs the province an over-average amount to keep running.

In the past, studies like this have been the beginning of efforts to close the school - and the beginning of prolonged efforts by the community to keep the school open, to not let the doors close and keep this bit of history alive. How many people can say they went to a country school with individualized attention?

Now, this isn't the last meeting, and no final recommendations have been made. If they close down the village school, the primary students would be on a bus first thing in the morning for a minimum of an hour and fifteen minutes* one way - a bit long to send little ones, think? Especially since they'd have the same ride home. Kindergarten children, on a bus for over two hours?**

The school also has a LOT of community support. The village has (for amenities) a post office, a church, a fire hall and a store - noone wants to see the school close down.

But pocketbooks and assimilation mentalities may rule the day.

This may be a battle. But we'll fight, to keep our kids childhoods' local and complete.

*No, we don't live an hour and change away from the nearest other school. But with circuitous bus routing, that 's the amount of time the Bus Garage came up with.
**And guess who'd be on that bus? Miss Rosey-Posey herself, as any changes would start the year she enters school.

Monday, 14 January 2008

snow in the boots

Aw, hell, it's snowing.

It's not that I didn't know it would snow again - it is, after all, only the middle of January - but I was hoping that maybe, just maybe...

Instead tonight we unloaded wood in our winter coats and mittens and the kids ran, whooping, for the yard to go coasting under the glow of the streetlight.

I stood with my hair full of wet and hoped that someday they'll remember this, that one night their Mom and Dad took leave of their senses, let go of all the rules and let them out in the dark and the scudding snow so they could fly down the hill in the gathering dark, the wind whistling in their ears.

Then back in for hot vanilla milk*, steamy baths, and a long reading session, while the night tapped 'round the windows and the snows fell thickly down.

*Pot of milk, warmed, with honey, vanilla and a shake of cinnamon in. Very nice in thick mugs with hot toast, and more quieting before bed than hot chocolate.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

do I have school today?

Both the kids have asked me that today.

It's not that it's been a boring day - same old, same old, but not boring - we played outside for awhile, and there have been spirited games of Candyland (I am RUEING* the day I saw that on the shelf and thought 'Oh, look! Something from my childhood! I must GET THAT!' and somewhere my mother is laughing) and Snakes and Ladders and The Wheels On The Bus and computer time and a nap - but by Sunday, they both miss their schools and would cheerfully put in a few hours there if the opportunity arrived.

Does anyone know if anyone has invented velcro jackets for dogs? Anything would be better than the metric ton of hair I swept up today. I've tried asking him to shed outside, but it doesn't seem to work...

Looks like it's time for a cuddle before supper. Poor little girl, the fresh air and the games of tag do her in.

*And I honestly do know that this is spelled ruing. It looks really odd, though, in all caps.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

we went:

over the river

peeked through the dancing faerie leaves

looked in the puddles for fish

and found, tucked back in the woods,

the remains of an magical old building.

Oh, and then we threw some rocks.

It was a good walk.

Friday, 11 January 2008


Yesterday the printer at the manse stopped working. Just stopped.
I turned it on, it started to warm itself up, and died.

Well, hell. I fiddled with it for a few minutes and when it wouldn't obligingly turn back on I gave up and scheduled a service call for this morning.

Today (after a fun morning where Cass asked 'Mommy, can you take me to school?' and I like a sucker being a good mom said yes, sure, get in the car NOW damnit, and we hurtled down the road to the school and found out they don't let kids in that early, so I was late anyway) the repairman fiddled with the big old beast of a copier for twenty or so minutes and said bewildered things like "We've never had one of these models just die. Stop working, have error messages, sure, but just die like that? Not so far." which wasn't really helpful, because hello? Still dead.

...until I noticed that the little plug-in heater in the office wasn't working either, and it dawned on both of us that one of the fuses in the house had blown.


Oh, he tromped around the basement with me and found the panel, where (lawsy, look!) it was discovered that yes, indeedy, one of the fuses had blown.

When we flicked the switch I could hear the copier in the office begin humming.

It sounded sorta like it was chuckling to itself too.

*It works the best for the title to be said in an E.T. phone home voice.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

goodbye, burra sahib

Sir Edmund Hillary has died.
July 20, 1919 - January 11, 2008

The world is a poorer place without this great old gentleman.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

more innocuous plastic crap

Hi! I'm a pretty pony.

A pretty, pretty, pretty pony. See my curly hair? My big eyes? Aren't I cute?
Don't you want to play with me?

This is my little bed. Isn't it pretty?

I fit so nicely in my nice little bed, like a good little pretty pony.

I'm such a pretty little pony, until you turn the light out.....

and my butt glows fire red and I become the PONY HARBINGER OF DOOOOOMMMMMMM.

(snort. Happy Meal, my ass. No wonder she can't fall asleep tonight.)


(a very basic and not-too-sweet cake)

for TX Poppet, who asked

Preheat oven to 350.

Melt 1/2 cup butter, mix with 2/3 cup molasses in bottom of large bowl.
1 cup rolled oats*
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
and 1/2 teaspoons of:
baking soda
pinch of cloves

Stir with 2/3 cup milk. It will make a lumpy, odd batter.
Greased square pan about 30 minutes or so. Done when cake begins to pull away from the edges of the pan.

Also really good with a handful of chopped pecans, topped with any icing or glaze. Or eaten straight out of the pan. Your call.

*Using rolled oats gives it a definitively bumpy texture. I've been known to run the oats through my food processor for a minute or so to break them up a bit, too. This makes a smoother cake.

This makes the house smell fantastic and is an easy thing to whip up before the kids get home.


Tuesday, 8 January 2008

bouncing back

I picked C up from school early today. Wee man dove into the action, ended up taking a soccer ball to the tum, thoroughly lost his wind, and decided after a bit he wanted to come home.

He was quiet during the afternoon but by the time R was home he felt well enough to go out and play with his truck and mug a bit for me and the camera.

He'll be fine.

He was gracious about posing, at least. The blur of blue there is Rosey, who didn't want to stand still long enough for me to click the shutter. Too much to do!

Monday, 7 January 2008

noone named crocker lives here

I've been going through a spate of cooking lately.

I blame the weather. Nothing like a blast of Arctic wind straight off the tundra to stir up the juices and make you want something hot and filling like beef barley soup, or shepherds pie. Split-pea and ham! A big rosemary and garlic cracked-pepper roast.

Oh, and cookies. Oatmeal, spice drop, caramel. Sometimes I'm so domestic I slay myself. Last night I even made a Parkin cake, topped off with a lemon glaze. (Thin-ish oat-cake with lots of ginger and nutmeg - not too sweet.)

So today B bounced downstairs after his shower, sniffed appreciatively, and said "Are you making lasagna? It's been ages since you made that! Can you cut me a piece to take to work tonight?"

I put the milk back in the fridge. "Not lasagna. I can make that next week, though."
B sniffed again. 'Spaghetti? Well, that'll be good. Did you make those little meatballs?"

"Not spaghetti, either."

"Well, what good thing are we having tonight?"

...a pause....

"Why, it's frozen pizza tonight, hon! 'Cause I love you."

Sunday, 6 January 2008

chips and cheese redux

Thank you all for your comments about Cass and skating. I wanted to bring you up to speed:

His next skating outing is a week from Friday, not Friday. I was talking to one of the moms from his school and she set me straight. So I have a bit more time. (mu-ha-ha-ha!)

I don't skate, so I'm not a heck of a lot of help. I can, though, watch hockey reasonably well and not mix up whose goal is where, so he and I will be watching some games this week.

And we saw a commercial for Hockey Tonight and many players fell down and he noticed.

So there's hope yet.

I need to talk to a few local people (ahem, Crystell?) about where in hell people go around here to learn hockey skating. This cannot be just something fathers pass down to sons. (Because B doesn't skate either, so in that case C is screwed.) The lessons he took were just general ice skating.

(This is another post, but now I've had several people tell me that Rosey will be falling behind her peers if I don't get her ice skating by next winter. Visions of tulle, sequins and long, dozy car trips are filling my head. Argh.)

And B and I talked about it - Cass loves soccer and has also expressed interest in doing some sort of jujitsu/karate training, so if he really hates skating, we'll follow those avenues. (And he can be the kid that snowboards while everyone else is playing ice hockey.)

But yeah. Canadian child who doesn't like skating. I'll bet it's that Yank mother of his and her corrupting influence.

Saturday, 5 January 2008

25 things that shit me to tears

I love all-consuming. Kim has a great wit. And because today was a bloody-nose, Mom-he-kicked-me (Did NOT!) sort of day, I give you this list of things I hate:

1. Dying house plants.
2. People who careen down the expressway in those new-fangled cars that come without turn signals.
3. Lunching with people who feel it is their duty to give a tip even when ignored the entire lunch not given adequate service. I don't need you to fawn over me, but a glass of water when I've asked three times would be nice. Oh, and a fork without spots.
4. Rough feet, my own or someone else's. Pumice yer hooves, would you?
5. Most flavoured teas. Tea is tea. Tea is not supposed to make your tastebuds think you're swallowing strangely liquefied apples and cinnamon, or worse yet - almonds. Blackberry tea is dreck.*
6. People assuming that since I'm from America I probably know their cousin Leroy in outer WallaWalla.
7. The last two inches of coke-colored water in the bottom of a big frosty glass.
8. Half-finished cups of milk left on the edge of the sink. (Although Jasper, our beginning-to-be-portly and constantly milk-mustached Lab? Thinks it's awesome.)
9. The smell of the bathroom garbage. (R drops her nighttime pull-ups in there)
10. Recycling. Yah, yah, important, and good for the earth, but jesus wept boring. And you can report me if you like, but I don't wash out my soup cans before I tuck them in their proper bag. I'll be damned if I'm going to wash my garbage.
11. The way the dishes never seem to be done. Even when I run a load and put them away, there are always more.
12. People who drive too slowly for safety, even in bad weather conditions.
13. No-fat salad dressings.
14. Women who say airily "Oh, I never eat chocolate." These are not humans and should be avoided at all costs.
15.Casual tattooing.**
16. Automated telephone menus. I just keep hitting '0'.
17. The way U.S. politicians recoil in horror over the idea of socialized medicine. I'm not going to lie: I pay a large boatload of taxes. But any time my children are ill, I can take them to the doctor. And I don't have to worry about a co-pay. Anything's better than this.
18. How finding most of the shows I think are funny has become a huge search-and-find mission - is my sense of humour so out of step?
19. Canned soup.
20. School-board bickering.
21. Trying to find lost mittens. Every morning.
22. Makeup that smears. Or wears off. Or fades unevenly. Or sparkles.
23. Cookies that taste of baking-soda. Expensive bakery cookies. There's a special level of hell for those who don't get the cookies right.
24. The way I've had to explain to my six-year old what terrorists are. He's not stupid. He sees CNN. And the three days of nightmares afterwards.
25. Old women who bathe in strong perfume.

I could go on.....hey, if tomorrow is a good day, maybe I'll do blackbird's 25 things I never get tired of list!

*While we're on teas? Green tea is shit. If I wanted to drink rubbery-tasting hot grass I'm sure I could find it in the yard.

**Tattoos are fine. But there seems to be a growing feeling that six or seven is a good number, all over your body.

Friday, 4 January 2008

chips and cheese

The boy wants to stop skating.

'I fell down, Mommy.' he says, rubbing his bum. 'A lot. And some kids laughed at me.'


He's had a few lessons, but nothing really structured. ( And those were awhile ago.) I don't know how to convince him that this might be something that he might want to stick with, that ice-skating is cousins with roller-blading and skate-boarding, that young boys+winter=ice hockey around here.

If he stopped now, he could miss out on a lot of fun. On the other hand, I never wanted to be one of those moms who stuck their kids in everything. I feel like I'm walking a hard line, somewhere in between Glee Club Cheerleader Mom (go, go! Siss Boom Bah!) and that Slacker who never makes her kids finish anything.

So! Any advice?

(His next school skating-trip is Friday.)

Thursday, 3 January 2008

this couch doesn't speak to me

I'm trying to convince B that we should start going to auctions.

He pooh-poohs the idea, pointing out that there are hordes of antique buyers here*, and that it would be like me to lose my heart over something that would skip merrily through our price range.

He's probably right. But I love that sort of thing, poking through boxes and forgotten corners, finding something that I never knew existed and envisioning the perfect place for it.

I grew up, you see, in a house filled with treasures my parents found. Re-finishing, painting, modifying. One of my favorite pieces of furniture (and one of the few I brought with me) is a cabinet that my parents found in an alleyway when they lived in Chicago, listing drunkenly against a dumpster, needing some new molding and glass and someone gentle to remove the nine coats of paint that were marring its nice lines.

B wants new things. Things that haven't been owned, that he can look at and think 'There is noone who has sat at that desk until I did'

while I fondle old cane-bottom chairs and Mission-style rockers and think 'I wish I knew your history.'

And plot for the day when I'll have beautiful, aged wood and clear colors in my house.

*And there are. Antique dealers come up from the New England states in droves with big old trucks.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

meandering through my head

Upstairs, the kids are falling into sleep. Here, the woodstove crackles and the dog sighs and shifts position in the kitchen. The tv is set low; I'm scrolling cooking shows.

The cat is licking his paws and looking pleased with himself.

Really? Fresh dill in seafood chowder?

Tomorrow the two go back to school. I'm getting smarter - I made both of them find mittens and hats earlier so I don't have to go through that tomorrow, and C has his monthly milk money tucked away in his pack.

I should really make more gingerbread....

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

on the first day of the new year

We went for a walk.

It was all brilliant blue and sun-glare off ice here, crunchy and slippery underfoot and full of the noise the tree limbs make when they rub together.

A squirrel scolded and blue jays (and an errant gull) flitted through the sky.

And we talked of many things - of how the big cherry-picker down the next bridge works, why the stop signs don't have 'excitement marks' on them, and how on earth the air can be so crisp and clean and full of possibilities.

Tonight it will rain and snow again, and we'll take down the Christmas tree, letting the living room breathe and seem huge and echoingly empty until we get used to the space again.


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...