Tuesday, 30 June 2009

now THAT's entertainment

Nothing like choking on your popcorn:

  • The Slap Chop. Brought to you by the same oddball that screams about the ShamWow. Watch for the bit (:55) when he says 'You're going to love my nuts.' 'Scuse me? That's a little forward, isn't it?

  • Cass and I went and saw Transformers II. It was wonderful and muscle-y and lots of robotics and explosions and the plot was every bad thing critics are saying about it. There was one point where the souls of the machines (???) talk to the hero at a gauzy cloudlike crucial plot point and I think I snorted aloud. The plot doesn't quite hang together, but the whole thing was absolutely joyous in its execution of every single small boys' dream - I had no problem picturing the grown writers of the film all hunkered down on the floor playing with the toys from their childhoods and then using every single battle scene they loved. Worth the money to go and see - if only for the way the smaller ones in the audience forget to blink after awhile - but you'll probably get a kick out of it too.

  • And the latest thing the kids are crazy about is Kidz Bop - pop songs sung by children. I would probably enjoy this more if I could hear over the grinding of my teeth if it didn't remind me of cheap record albums hawked on tv when I was growing up. Anyone else remember K-tel?

Monday, 29 June 2009

lord love a duck


After three days of threatening skies and dripping and misting and cold winds and fog (lord, the fog!!) and putting extra blankets on the bed (and it's almost July, for Pete's sakes, I had to dig the extra blankets back out) and stuck-in-the-house kids and wet grass and 'can't we just go to the playground and see if it's too wet?' and general malaise which even cookies couldn't cure.....

It's raining like a freaking monsoon out there.

Here's to sunshine.

Monday, 22 June 2009


Driving down the highway with two kids in the back - full of bubbles and chocolate and bonhomie - just a plain-jane day, went for a bicycle ride earlier but nothing really sensational happening and maybe we'll bake something tonight.....

and suddenly the skies OPENED UP and there was a DELUGE and the back of the car fell silent
and there was a whiff of consternation in the warbly voice that whispered
'Mama, why is the rain thumping so hard on the car?'

and then there was a CRACK OF THUNDER

and the kids both went white and shoved their noses against the glass while straining to still hold hands across the car seats

and you can't make the weather change - can barely see to drive the car - and oh, God, the road is flooding and am I sliding? am I skidding? This feels like a skid.... turn into the skid (I think) and my GOD the water is fountaining up over the car into the opposite lane

and from the back seat: 'Mama?'

What would you do?

There is nothing else. You must not let these children feel like they are anything but safe with you. This means that this can NOT be scary.

So, you work one hand across the dashboard until you feel the volume knob and you turn it waaay up and wag your fool head off to Crazy Frog.

Which makes them giggle. AND the rain is slowing to a dull roar. Success!

So, apologies to anyone who passed me on the way back home today. I wasn't ignoring you. And I wasn't having a seizure.

I had some dancin' to do.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

garbled love

Both of my kids are goofy about their Dad. They clamor to sit by him, to give him the last kiss, to talk to him first about their days.

Today there was shopping and discussing what to do to celebrate Daddy tomorrow and excited giggles and much scurrying to hiding places to excitedly finger gift-type things.

Because they love to fuss over their Daddy.

So, from our children, written by our youngest:

Ha Perfat Hersday, honey. Much love.

And just...well, because damn-this-thing-is-cute, and because I can't think of a more convoluted way to say I love you:
funny pictures of cats with captions

Friday, 19 June 2009

back ends

Have you ever looked at the not-so-pretty side of your town? Not the seedy part of town, but the part that faces the parking lots and scrubbier, unkempt things. The carelessly painted bits and the broken pavement?

If you drive down towards the next town and park next to the blue bridge, across the road from the tied-up floating old boats that protestingly creak and tug at their moorings in the breeze, you can see across the river to the communal parking spots and the backs of some of the businesses there.

You can see, even though it's nearly six pm on a Thursday night, that both the hardware store and the notions shop are still doing a brisk business, and that the park is studded with knots of older kids too cool to go on the swings or the slide but eager to use the picnic tables and old benches to chat with their friends.

Look, there are the fading murals on the buildings - aren't they beautiful? - and try to count the colours of all the shops you see.

You can watch in delight as a group of middle school boys file past, rampant in their coolness, suddenly shouting and pell-melling it toward the end of the long fishing pier, tossing off clothes and diving in like young seals.

You can grin at the scene before you, spread out before you like the present it is, and hear the echo of your delight in the sound of the river chuckling and slapping to itself as it flows into the varied blue of the nearby ocean.

Summer's here.

Monday, 15 June 2009

the pout of sodor

THIS is the face I get when I burble something about how Thomas (of Tank Engine fame) doesn't teach you anything and shouldn't we see if something else is on? THIS is a scary face.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

time and tide

The lupins are out, brightening our hearts and roadways.

They look like spiky crown-tops of some forgotten woodland king, peeking out of the long grass. A few years back, Nova S planted lupins all along the roads and highways in a beautification - and quite possibly tourist - project. Aging stock and repeated mowing have destroyed many (they're quite a fragile plant) but there are still enough to make you gasp as you come around a corner and see a field dappled with coloured pointy stalks, swaying in the breeze.

Blues and pinks and purples, everywhere you look for a few weeks each spring.

I spent a very nice afternoon lazing around - Cass was at a party, and I had time to myself - an intoxicating few hours to stroll through the grocery (which is a very different place when you aren't running through the aisles on a time line or shepherding children) go find some things to take photos of, and sit (sit!) at a park, smelling the beach roses. It was heady and wonderful and completely foreign.

And being childless made me realize how different things will be this fall. With both kids in school, I'm going to have time for things.

Time by myself. Time for myself.

Which will be as strange in its own way as having both kids be in school.

Funny how seeing the strange, shaggy flowerheads peering out at me can cause such introspection.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

thursday night commercial, scene thirteen

I can't stop smiling when I see this. Can you imagine seeing this in real life - being swept off on a tide of energy, surrounded by laughing, smiling people?

I would have danced too.

Monday, 8 June 2009

huddled masses

Today was one of those days where the car was hot but the breeze blowing in the windows was chill and clean and smelt achingly fresh and of the ocean.

There is a tinge of salt and seaweed scent on the air almost everywhere in Nova Scotia - a reminder of the Atlantic that bubbles outside our doors and wends its way into our minds and thoughts and attitudes. Most people don't think about it, so ingrained is this breathing in of ocean tide and ocean current into their very beings, and only miss it when they move away, where the air smells different and the humidity is all wrong and the land under your very feet seems boxy and strange.

You can breathe better out here.

And today? Today, with the windows wide-open, letting out all the hot air out of my car and sucking in great draughts of fresh, sea-scented air - air with hints of lilacs just-coming-into-bloom and the crisp tang of newly mown grass?

Today I thought of people who live in cities, cities with more than two gas stations and food options galore, places that aren't asleep by ten o'clock, people that live concrete-brown and asphalt-grey lives - and realized that this minute?

This very minute?

Not jealous in the least.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

second floor

I swing up the stairs, around the newel post, and down to the first door.

It's dim in there - the blue of twilight coming through her lace curtain and her Madeline nightlight cheerily glowing in the corner, but the dark can't hide her grin and wave when I come in.

Surrounded by stuffed rabbits of every size and possible colour, my little one waits for her tucking-in with a wiggle and a determined planting of her feet on top of the covers. When I bend and sweep her blanket up, I have to find resting spots for all her bunnies before she'll relax into waiting-for-sleep.

Saying goodnight to her is a process - a song, prayers, a second song, a quick kiss and a conversation about what tomorrow will bring, and only then do I walk down to Cass's room.

Cass is usually reading. Or possibly playing his DS, covers pulled up but the sheet crumpled at the foot of the bed. It takes me a minute to fix that, settle him with his fan turned on, his door opened just so, Lucy the cat ensconced in her spot at the end of the bed and his final kiss, and then we talk a little about the day.

He loves me, he says, and he'll see me tomorrow.

And I step out of my big boy's room and walk softly down the hall, past his already-slumbering sister's room where the plop! of a bunny hitting the floor is the only sound, and head toward the pool of light at the bottom of the stairs.

I love this time of night, when the television is muted and low and I can hear them turn over or scramble up for a quick drink before bed. When the cat padding down the hallway to check on the girl is the loudest sound in the house.

When my babies are safe, and fast asleep, and dreaming.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

charming and friendly

The lovely Joie from Canned Laughter gave me this:
This award is given to the writers of blogs that “are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.”

Okay, my eight:

Jewles from Cat Hair Tumbleweeds
Bronwyn May-b from Buggering Crap Monkeys
Kittenpie from Life of 'Pie
Emma from Where there's a Willer
Chantal from Two Hands Full
Mary from Them's my Sentiments
Caroline from Stomper Girl
Witchypoo from Psychicgeek

Thank you, thank you, Joie!

Today was a good day - I worked in the afternoon and came home to a bright-eyed girl who wanted nothing but to ride bikes, ride bikes, ride bikes but was stymied by her bright-cheeked brother, who spent the day home from school with a spring cold and didn't want to play.

So, since he's her biggest toy, she stayed inside and found something quiet to do.
We looked at old pictures, played dominoes and did computer mah-jongg while Cass slumped on the couch, not exactly listless but with something missing from the usual sprong in his step.

Spring colds are awful. But short-lived, so perhaps tomorrow we'll be back to adventures.

Today we'll kick back and relax a bit.

thursday night intermission

It has been a BANG-UP, FANTABULOUS day.

First, I went to do the last fluoride treatment of the school year - and scored a free toothbrush. Free stuff - not to be sneezed at.

While I was there, Cass's (very lovely and fabulous) teacher came scooting up to me in the hall and let me know that my boy, my just-getting-out-of-first-grade-won't-be-in-second-until-the-fall boy, is reading at a grade 4.5 level. This makes the bookish part of me sing with happiness.

Then I didn't have to get naked at the ladybits doctor. Although having conversations with him while I'm fully clothed and not staring at the ceiling? Really, really strange.

And after some whirlwind working and driving and working again, I came home to both kids riding their two-wheelers, swooping around with abandon in the waning summer light, and then, to top it all off.....Bear made supper.

And dessert was a make-your-own sundae bar. Really, can it get any better than that?

I don't think so.

Monday, 1 June 2009

life among the beasties

Cass's class went to Ross Farm last week, and I went along, bemused at the number of people who recoiled when I admitted I'd never gone before. 'But....you've never been?'

Well, no. But he's only a first-grader! And I didn't grow up here, remember? (Now if you want to talk about Mackinac Island, I'm your girl....)

Anyway. Gorgeous place. Even if you're the unlucky kid with the Mom who keeps forgetting to pack snacks.

Cass loved it so much he wants to go back this summer. But this time, with snacks.


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...