Tuesday, 30 September 2008

robots from the sky


Guess what Cass wants to be for Halloween. Guess. Just guess.
Bumblebee. And not the fluffy little honeybee I originally thought, either.
No, (sigh) my son wants to be him.

And he would dearly love if I could suit him out with one that transforms, too. Y'know. In case I get bored with the challenge.

So now I'm scoping YouTube and DIY and all sorts of sites and getting a handle on this.

I think.

Rosey? My literal-minded, not given to huge flights of fancy baby girl? The one to whom flowers are pink, not blue, and dogs are brown not red?

Wants to be a purple kitty.

Which I can handle.

I think.

With wine.

sex and drugs and rock and roll (okay, not really)

How do you start The Talk?

Before Cass was born, B and I hashed it out. There were fair divisions of things. There were discussions....about discussions. There were ideas, and waving of hands.

B will do the no drugs/smoking stuff.

I get the NO SEX (ever, hee) talk.

And now he's damn'near seven and noticing girls* (KILL ME NOW) and...

and I have no idea how to start.

I really think he's going to need the no smoking/drugs talk earlier than he'll need the sex thang (not because anyone's pushing heroin among the first-graders, but because I just think it's better to learn not to put things in your body before he knows...not to put anything in someone's body?? I'm so confused.) but B doesn't seem really pro-active about that, so...I bring it to you.

Websites? Books? Magazines?

*There are three (three!) in his class that he thinks are 'so pretty, Mommy, pretty'.

Monday, 29 September 2008

coming clear

Kyle came, and went, and except for a few branches down off the old oak tree and the tarp blowing off the woodpile, we were fine. The rain and the wind bothered Rosey, who refused to sleep in her own bed and cuddled in close. Soon there were four in the bed, and when the power went out around eleven, everyone gasped and huddled together.

Today the wind blew clean and chill and fall-ish - like the storm swept all traces of summer away and now we're ready for sweaters and hot drinks, romping in fallen leaves and the beginnings of can it really be? Halloween.

C (so far) wants to be Superman. As long as it isn't some incredibly time-consuming thing that I end up making, whatever's okay. (FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, no one mention Transformers.)
Rosey hasn't made up her mind - it's either a Pony (as in My Little) or Barbie. Both ideas make my right eyelid twitch and make me think I'm going to get an old white sheet and a pair of scissors and R will be going as a ghost.

Or maybe we'll give her a satchel and send her off as the Ghost of The Buyout?


Saturday, 27 September 2008


Hurricane Kyle is coming to dinner.

They say. Frankly (and this is the attitude that's going to bite me in the ass some day) I'm really tired of the frantic running around, stocking up, tying everything down, hunkering down and the waiting that comes whenever a big storm hits.

Most of the storms that blow up the coast of the States peter out with a few breaths of wind and some warm rain, then clear out to beautiful sunsets and mild days.

Then, five years ago, there was Juan. Ohmygosh, there was Juan. You can still see the scars on the woods near Halifax from that today. Juan taught a lot of people how to prepare, and the value of being good neighbors. Emergency Preparedness went up, as did volunteering, province-wide.
It was no longer acceptable to think someone else would take care of the old woman who lived alone in the house on the corner, or to not join a Neighborhood Watch or stand ready to help in whatever way you could.

After all, we were in this together.

That was five years ago. The ideals we aspired to have slipped. We're more home-centred, more thinking of our own kids than the neighborhood's, more complacent.

I wonder, will it take another disaster to make us come together again?

And I wonder, is this how it felt in the world wars?

Friday, 26 September 2008

my heart, it is full

Also my time card.

Good grief, I've been working a lot. Well, maybe not a lot, but enough so I fall into bed at night and dream rushed dreams and daren't go near the computer for fear I'll give in to blogging and Scrabble and (oh, GOD) Bloglines (I haven't been on Bloglines in DAYS. I'm scared now to look at how many hundreds of posts I've missed.) and stay up all night.

And tonight I've had the company of not only my two, but an extra boy.

Yup. Cass is having his first sleep-over.

(And the small girl? Rosey, who gets crushes on all of Cass's friends? Loooves this one. She finally had to be put to bed about an hour ago, loudly protesting. As for the boys? I think they'd happily play Playstation all night.)

Me? Oh, I'll be playing Scrabble......

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

eight years

Eight years ago, I stood at the back of a tiny country church and fussed with my veil and tried to peer around the corner. I thought if I could see you, the knot in my stomach and all the butterflies in my tum would fly away.

I was on the wrong side of the church to peek, though. My brother must have thought that I was trying to send him a coded message, and nearly blew my cover by starting toward me. The organist caught his movement out of the corner of her eye and fumbled a few notes. When she tried to see what he was doing, most of the first few pews turned around and....well, I nearly ruined the beginning of my wedding.

(Oh, and you? Were white. And uneasy-looking. But you shot me the sweetest smile as I started up the aisle....)

Happy Anniversary, hon.

There's no one I'd rather have done this with than you.
Shall we go for another eight?

Monday, 22 September 2008

not a dyson

Saturday night was the kids tball game 'under the lights'. The local town invited us out for one last game - with a barbecue beforehand - it sounded great, and the kids were really enthused. There was a slight hitch when the game was delayed until almost eight pm, leaving the field foggy and the air turning frigid. The weather made watching the game harder....All the parents huddled together in the bleachers and shouted random things at whatever red-shirted kid we could (barely) see streaking around the bases.

But they did love it, and hot dogs eaten under the sodium lights? Really COOL.

My mother used to talk about how my father, when they were first married, would give her appliances for birthdays and anniversaries. They were usually funny stories, and we'd laugh.

Well, my mother has become my father. This is the second microwave she's bought me. And a vacuum.

Me: Mom! Get away from those Dysons!
Mom:But they're so nice!
Mom: Yeah. And they're nice!
Me: (whispering) I'll bet. Mom, THERE IS NO CARPETING IN MY HOUSE.
Mom: But they suck up everything!

Salesman: Uh, can I help you?
Mom: My daughter wants a vacuum that doesn't suck.
Me: blink blink
Salesman: Excuse me?

Friday, 19 September 2008

hey, I miss you guys!

The Incorrigible Parental Visit is...going really well. It's hard, though, when you have people sleeping in your livingroom, to get in any good computer time.

So I'm getting in a few minutes here at work.

Last night was the Open House at Cass's school - we met and talked to his teachers, who agree with me that my boy is brilliant and magically delicious smaht for his age. (Well, they said things like 'He really learned a lot over the summer!' and 'We don't think we're going to have any problems this year at all' but who were they kidding? I knew what they meant.)

I was a little concerned because C is in a mixed primary/grade one class, and while that was great last year (he learned all the grade one stuff!) I was afraid he might stall out this year if he was repeating a lot of the same things.*

But his math teacher shook her head at me. 'Don't be surprised if C comes home moaning about how 'we didn't do this in class, Mom!' She's going to be introducing him to some second-grade work, as well as his regular homework.

It was a nice night - Rosey and Cass ran wild on the playground with some of their friends, my mother and stepfather wandered through the small school I've told them so much about, and B and I talked to C's teachers and met his new principal.

Ah! All done! Now I'm going to go scoot home, eat supper, and relax with my family tonight...I hope you have a great night too!

*I hated math until I hit tenth grade Geometry, where I discovered that there were pictures involved. Hating Algebra like I did was a handicap when trying to take University courses. (Which means, yes, Virginia, I DID use that crap once I got out of high school.)Cassidy really likes math and science, and the more he's interested, the better off I think he'll be....

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Monday, 15 September 2008

dora distress

Please, for the love of GOD, someone tell me their kids have outgrown Dora The Explorer and her asinine sidekick Boots the footwear-challenged?

And WHEN did it happen?

Waaaay back at the Spring Carnival this year at the school, Rosey-Roo spied a haul of Dora VHS tapes. I was a mean, mean Mom and made her just pick out one, which she did after pondering each for what felt like hours.

She picked out the one where Dora's Mama has a baby. And she looooves it.

And I smile, and try to be anywhere else in the house, and smile, and hope the VCR will eat the darned thing before I have to take matters into my own hands.

from spring flowers to a moonlit garden

I love tinkering with photo programs.
Some times you get stuff you never thought of.

For instance, I can go from this:

to this:

and totally change the mood of the photograph.

Kinda cool, huh?

Sunday, 14 September 2008

back in the eighties

Have you ever noticed the television stations play old movies on the weekends?

One network seems to own the rights to Jaws and plays it over and over and over....

This weekend seems to be the Beverly Hills Cop series retrospective. Every time B turns on the tv there's the heh-heh-heh-heh of Eddie Murphy's character.

I don't remember these movies. The theme song and a couple of the characters, yes, but the movies, no.

And I frankly don't understand the pull. B has been perched on the sofa for most of the afternoon, exclaiming over the good parts and laughing. A lot.

While I ponder the ridiculousness of a Detroit cop going after bad guys in Beverly Hills (jurisdiction? Has no one heard of jurisdiction?) and wondering why all the really bad guys

have English accents.

So not like real life. And funnier than some of the hairstyles in the films.

Although not, by a long shot, more fun than the shoulder pads!

Saturday, 13 September 2008

rub a dub dub

Holy crap, I'm tired.

Half my parental units will be here mid-week, and I never realized that we had SO MUCH JUNK in the house. Most of it is cleared out, and yet I'm still certain at some point during their visit my mother will sotto voce exclaim something about my slovenly habits.

Or my out-of-control children.

Or something.

Tact and maturity: A long couple of words to explain the concept of biting your tongue.

Friday, 12 September 2008

working in the dungeon

I was putting the dead people xrays away today down in the basement.

(Hospital basements? Miles of corridors, exhaust fans, flickering lights, broken equipment and old furniture squatting along the edges waiting to be sent to the dump, and a slight chemical scent in the air that leads you to suspect the morgue is probably next door, behind one or another of these odd locked doors.)

We've been culling the deceased from the Xray department from awhile, making space for the films of visitors who've slipped beachcombing, the MVAs, the basketball injuries and bar fights, the wrenched knees and unsteady hips of the arthritic.

I've been down in the basement a few times now, hauling the enormous folders, slipping them into their new shelves. Giving them new people to talk to. The room is warm and smells of cardboard dust and forgotten things, but has good light - useful when trying to decipher the four, five, or six digit numbers emblazoned on the yellow film cases with their peeling stickers.

It's hot work, and it's almost eerily quiet once the door swings shut.

I read a Clive Cussler novel today - I'd never read him before - and while I was thumping things into place, thought how easy it would be to create a character for that type of book (Secret Service, espionage sort of thing) that took on a new identity....perhaps one she found while shelving the xrays of deceased people in a hospital basement?

Thursday, 11 September 2008

marking the day

Seven years ago:


I was still in bed, and B called up to me.

Jess? I think you should come down.
His voice was funny, somehow - tight, and concerned, not his usual get out of bed, lazybones! banter - enough to make me lumber up out of the blankets, and plod, grabbing the handrail the whole way down, to the main floor.
A plane flew into the Trade Center.

The baby kicked. Oh? I yawned. That's awful. Was it someone learning how to fly? Because that happened before, you know. I shuffled out to the kitchen, intent on my morning banana shake*. I was heavily pregnant and just bent on getting through the day.

I came back into the livingroom, sipping.
No. It was a big plane. Then his face went all un-hinged and shocked and he whispered
Oh, God.

And the second plane came out of nowhere....

I just remember being so afraid, so afraid, and trying to keep the turmoil in my head and not let my pregnant body know I was stressed, frightened beyond belief that this was the end of my country (because what else would happen? surely the other shoe must drop now?)

and muttering to the child still tucked up inside me

Don't come out just Please God don't come out.....



Motherbumpers' feisty baby G went off to preschool (click that link for her daughter's first few days, told with the legendary wit and style of the bumpahs)and I scribbled off something about R's latest friend, Dinner Roll.

Yes. Dinner Roll.

He's a new character, and I've been asking R what they do - apparently, they play on the bikes and the slide and have snack together at school.

Honey? What's his name? His name can't be Dinner Roll.
(thinking: What mother would be so cruel?)

DinnerRoll! His name is Dinner Roll, mama! I stand corrected.

The area I live in has a penchant for Celtic names, and I've been racking my head for a few days, trying to figure out what on earth Dinner Roll could be a permutation of. Was it Celtic? Ethnic? Were there exchange students at the preschool?

Today I finally asked. Cornering the director, I blurted out Who is Dinner Roll? She looked thoughtful for a moment. 'Nicole?'

No, R says it's a boy.

Her face lit up. 'Daniel. It's gotta be Daniel.'

Apparently, not only is Daniel R's new bestest bud, he's been introducing Rosey to everyone as 'This is my girl-friend Wosey.'

I can't wait for that engagement announcement.

*Pregnant people! You will never have leg cramps! One banana, enough milk to fill a glass. Whirl in blender. Add shake of cinnamon. They're yommy. (Except when you've been living on them for months.) Milk=good bones banana=potassium, which helps lessen and relieve charlie horses. You're welcome.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

do you....wanna....play?*

I love word games.

My parents started me out on a game called simply 'Dictionary'. The leader opened the dictionary to any page and read out a word. Everyone playing then wrote down a made-up definition of the word while the reader wrote down the correct definition. The leader collected the slips, read them all out, and then people had to guess what the correct definition was. The zanier, the better.

Then came circle-a-words, crosswords, acrostics, and word jumbles. The pleasure of solving things in pen and ink!

These days I have less time for pen and paper, (although I keep a crossword puzzle book next to the bed - it's great for those nights when you can't fall asleep and suddenly it's 4 am) and it's mostly the computer.

Scrabble, scrabulous, word whomp, scramble, ladderwords, wordcube, wordtwist, any and all. I'm not wonderful at them, but I really like them.

Which is another reason I'm not sleeping right now - too many games, too many friends.

Wanna play?

*Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, of course!

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

eeeeyah!!!! and aaaaaaah.....


I had a political drive-by tonight. By my mother. Suffice it to say that I don't take it lightly when someone tells me that they thought I was smarter than that.

Oh, and she's just bewildered
that I don't wanna be Palin when I grow up.

disclaimer: I love my mom. And she loves me. She does. Snort. Sarah Palin.


a boy and his dog (just what I needed to calm me down)

Monday, 8 September 2008

mango dreams

I painted the bathroom today.

After all my angst and second-guessing myself about the color, I rolled it on and


Mango Dreams. The color name is Mango Dreams.It ....looks like off-white.



...well, I still can't tell if I like it or not. But compared to the baby-blue and black with random red squares that it was*?

It's fricking gorgeous.

*It was baby-blue squares with rims of black. When we moved in, I painted a few random squares red. It was great for about a month, and I've hated it ever since.

Saturday, 6 September 2008


Yesterday morning the local rental place brought down a woodsplitter. Yesterday B started splitting all the wood that will hang out, collecting spiders and quietly making dirt reside in our building until we burn it this winter.

Yesterday the kids ran around and joyously flung sticks into the woodshed. It was fun, you see.

Today is....not so fun. Today feels more like work and less like we're working near dangerous machinery! Today is more of a grind.

I should have known the kids would find some way to liven things up.

Rosey, the fashionista, was clad in a red flowered top, red and white polka-dotted shoes, and a loose white skirt. When told to go change, she carried on for a bit. When I got tired of reasoning with her (when, oh WHEN am I going to learn that reasoning isn't her strong suit?) I reached out and tugged at her skirt, knocking it down so it rode dangerously low on her hips.

'THAT'S why, R.'

Rosey may not be flexible, but she's not stupid. She gets that clothing that falls off is too big.

Did I mention that the firehall across the road from us was serving breakfast that morning? There was a group of fireman (enjoying a smoke break - don't get that but....oookay) and their wives loitering around the doorway.

So when Rosey ripped down her skirt to her ankles and marched off to the house (incidently taking her panties with it) she had a good-sized audience to witness her anguish at not being able to wear what she wanted to.

Always with the last word.

Or moon.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

first day: grade one

He was so excited he was up, dressed, and hunting out his shoes at six-forty a.m, impervious to his father's yawning 'You know, the bus won't be here for another hour and thirty-five minutes.'
But it was a new! day! and sleeping in was not an option.

Oh my big lovely boy.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

danump, danump, danump...dun dun dah DAH!!

They're coming. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water....

My mom and my step-father are coming to visit. For a week. In two weeks.

This would be a CODE ONE housekeeping situation, I've been mapping out attack areas for the next week or so, and the kids have been warned that messes are strictly verboten and make the baby Jesus cry.

We have cats and a mongrel and stairs (all things Mamasan doesn't do well) so I've been trying to find a decently-priced bed and breakfast within twenty or so minutes of me - and what does it say to the big hotel chains that I can rent the first floor of a Georgian home built in 1833 (full kitchen, sitting room, bistro nook for eating, full big bathroom, queen-size bed with antiques scattered about) for about a hundred dollars less than the Days Inn or the Comfort Inn?

In the meantime, I have to find the mop. Has anyone seen the mop??

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

bonne et heureuse semaine*

I had insomnia last night, and cruised into work on three and one-quarter hours of sleep. My system never really recovered from the incredible not-sleeping baby (R still doesn't like bedtime) and I'm (sorta) used to it. I drank a lot of bad coffee today at the hospital, and managed to keep everything straight. (Go me)

The trickiest part of my day today was when I picked upmy bright-eyed and bushy-tailed kids from where they've been running outdoors! jumping! playing freely! , hoisting their exuberant butts into the car, and fielding the half-a-million questions that immediately begin as soon as I grip the car wheel.

I'm glad they're curious about their surroundings. But usually they're both so wound up they talk over each other in their quest to be heard and understood, so I end up hearing things like:

'Mom! My friend Ainsley-
has a new playstation-
....and Barney said-
how come I don't have a
and Dad come home for dinner tonight?-
....I found a cricket!
Can we have cookies??
I played with the scooter -what, we have cookies?

and by the time I hit the highway there's a subtle tic starting to beat under my right eye and all I can think about is

chocolate. (Angels sing)

And fifteen minutes to myself.

Mom? Did you have a good day?

Maybe only fifteen minutes of quiet, though.....

*As the little paper bit says, have a happy period. Such a lie.

messing around

and using a camera. C'mon over.....



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...