Thursday, 27 August 2009

my first ten speed was named scout and had a bell

My sister-in-law lives in an almost excruciatingly pretty place.

(So does my other SIL, but one at a time.)

After you walk up the gentle hill from my house, past the just-starting-to-turn-golden apple tree and the funny giant rock that marks the head of the wild strawberry patch, after you pass the white-painted fire hall and go over the bailey bridge,

(The retaining mesh shakes on the bridge. It can make a small girl uneasy enough to walk her bike instead of pedaling like the wind.)

her driveway sweeps down through trees that hold their branches across the way to create an airy tunnel, the leaves rippling in the breeze overhead, sighing at your approach. Underfoot are smooth pebbles and the odd pine cone and the curling remnants of last season's fallen leaves, but mainly smooth hard-packed soil and meekly low-growing vegetation, careful not to sprout above the level where mufflers will scorch the leaves. There are nooks you can stop in - a small outcropping of rock overlooking the chuckling water, a larger grassy space where the August heat blends the scents of fallen pine cones and sun-bleached wood into a wall of scent that yanks you back into summers past and makes you both wistful and pensive, remembering other roads, other freedoms, other wind-in-your-hair moments when you were just yourself, not anyone's daughter or friend, only yourself, careening down a country road, shouting into the wind.

It's a long smooth stretch, perfect to take bikes down, good for giant swoops and loops and curves and the all-over-the-road acrobatics that come from just starting out with five gears instead of one and being insanely interested in the processes going on in the gear lifter behind you. It's long enough so that a boy on a new bike can outpace his furiously pedaling shorter-legged sibling and get some road

for himself.

And the river mirrors the insanely blue sky and the last of the beach roses send notes of their high sweetness into the air and the world is perfect.

And timeless.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

quickie update

Well, we didn't wash out to sea.

There were a few minutes where it looked like we'd lose power for a few hours, but so good.

And I kind of think it's all done.

I've been at work all day. Hope things went as well at home as they did here!

Saturday, 22 August 2009

billy boy

The entire province is peering to the south and pondering how worried to be.

Tomorrow (or Sunday morning, or Sunday night, dependent upon whom you listen to) a Hurricane named Bill is going to come roaring up the coast and drop a lot (or a little) of rain and a whole lot (or maybe just thunderstorms!) of wind along the coast.

We expect a wild and crazy night. Or maybe just a wet and windy Sunday.

I mean, we'll be fine. We will. But this constant second-guessing sucks.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

she's a big girl now

She didn't flinch. She didn't cry.

The doctor told her to look away and she did, hesitantly, but she stayed stone-still on my lap until both (one on each arm!) bandaids were applied.

My brave girl. She'd do just about anything to get to go to school. Tomorrow we're going to go look at backpacks and pencil cases, lunchboxes and clean white sneakers,

and then?

Then she'll be ready. For school.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

colour blind

We went for a drive the other day - ended up in Barrington and Shelburne, two towns in a part of the province I don't visit a lot. They're both lovely, although differences are clear - Barrington (and the surrounding area) is mainly fishing-based, and Shelburne trades on its historical status while trying not to reel from the loss of the Air Force base nearby.

Shelburne Harbour is beautiful. Lots of museums, artisans plying their craft from days gone by, and a general air of stepping back in time.

We rounded the corner (my head full of must shoot that! Want to take a picture there!) and saw it.

Amistad. La Amistad.

And suddenly I was trying to explain to my son what a slave ship was - how it happened, before, but musn't happen again, how this lovely ship reminded us not to let history repeat itself, how people all over the world needed a reminder sometimes that things have not always been so easy.

Cass scrunched up his face, thinking hard. Then, his voice alternately bewildered and outraged: 'They were slaves - because of the colour of their skin? Why?'

I paused, thinking. The very-Afrikaans man aboard the Amistad gave me a small smile.

'I hear that a lot with the younger kids.' he said. 'It gives me hope.'

Friday, 14 August 2009

spam jam - strawberry ham

For the last few days my blog has been getting Asian character spam. I loathe and detest that word verification rigmarole, so the first few times I brushed it off, but it kept coming back.
(And all on the same post, which makes me think I've been scraped somewhere, but *head hits desk* I'll worry about that later....)

So, finally, I put the hammer down. (I have this strange thing about being able to read what comments I get, see?) First, though, I figured I'd better check and see what was actually being said. God forbid I should cut off a reader who.....reads an entirely English blog and responds in characters...yeah. It didn't really sound like I had anything to worry about, but who knew?? And my mother raised me to be polite.

I used Google Translate. Cut and pasted, guessed at Chinese, switched to Japanese, and voila!

The message read:

Height of summer! One girl is a feeling of open world's spoiling for a H! Oh you girls o network to raise the mood for him at the knee! Of course, it's also OK to help you! Now, by accessing the Ministry of Relief Now

I need to go tell Bear that he needs to be open world spoiling me. I feel the need for some open world spoiling. Somebody contact the Ministry of Relief Now, because I am pining away for some open world spoiling, darn it.

And raising the mood for him at the knee is destined to become one of my favorite euphemisms for sex ever.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

warped speed ahead

When I left to fix dinner, there was an episode of DogTown on and everyone was wrapped up in it.
Rosey : The cute doggies! LOOK at the CUTE DOGGIES!
Cass: WHY did the two dogs that grew up together have to be separated? Wouldn't they be lonely?
and I muttered something about they're both big dogs, and look! The nice man is introducing them both to new dogs and now they'll have new friends and fled without admitting the doggies were very, very cute to the kitchen where I could hack at veggies in peace.

I made the salad, boiled the water for the spaghetti, and reheated the sauce....all without help. It was a little strange. Usually I have helpers who will sneak tastes while stirring or chopping things. I chalked it up to the allure of the dogs and loaded plates.

The kids hurtled in for their suppers (Sunday nights they are allowed to eat in front of the tv) Rosey chattering something about a kitty, Cass complaining did he really have to eat the tomatoes - y'know, a typical night. They thundered back to the livingroom and I joined them a few moments later to find that things were different from when I left.

Cass was very still on the couch, his plate forgotten on the table in front of him, a hand curled on his lower abdomen, his mouth wide open.

Rosey slurped in some spaghetti and chirped 'Ooh, LIONS, Mama!'

And I turned and looked at the television ( The dogs were gone. What was that? Some sort of hooded worm with a spiky collar? Man, Nat'l Geographic Channel is pretty science-y!) I was just mentally patting myself on the back (Exposing them to microbiology! Never too young to be curious!)

and the announcer said 'Just like his domesticated counterpart, the lion also bites his mate. But when the female lion screams, it's because the male's penis is hurting her, with its' rows of spiky barbs.'

My son went white, his hand now protectively clutching his groin as feline screams (Passion? Pain? Who could tell?) filled the air.

And I realized I had abandoned my children to the evils of lion porn.

Must go check the sofa cushions for loose change. I'm starting the therapy jar now.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

picked over

Last night I blithely noted on Facebook that Rosey had water stuck in her ear. She's the least whiny of all of them (yes, I include B there!) so when she rolled over (she was in my bed again) at three seventeen this morning and cried because her ear hurt, I figured something was up.

And our doctor's office is closed today - he takes semi-random days off during the summer, which is great because hello, no three week abyss of figuring out who's doing coverage and boo, because do we have a doctor or not today? Anyhoo.

So I'm at work, and expecting to see my kiddles smiling faces (although I'm pretty sure B won't be smiling - being the parent-in-charge and having a sick kid is never fun, and even less so when you've been up on a 24 hour shift the night before and your wife won't stop calling to see what's going on when you have everything under control*) any minute.

Then we'll see what on earth is wrong with R's ear.

*He does. I know he does. I am just more aware of things like brushed hair and clothes that don't look like they were picked out by a drunk person with vertigo. Things I never thought would matter to me but do, somehow, and why am I ashamed of this? They are coming to my workplace, after all.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

talk your ear off

First thing this morning, I rolled over and put my face into my pillow. Except it wasn't my pillow, (although it was soft) and it smelt like six days of drool and unbrushed teeth. I reared back and heard a tiny giggle.
'I slept with you, Mama. And you didn't wake up!'

Ah yes. It's the Bed Bandit.

Rosey has never been a good sleeper. She would be our Nightime Roamer, the one voted Most Likely To Be Skulking Around At Midnight. She wakes easily and often, and while she most certainly can put herself back to sleep, she often chooses not to.

So Bear and I are never quite sure where she'll be when we wake up. Always with that small crow of knowing she did something we don't totally approve of (B gets tired of tripping over her when she sacks out in the hallway) - always with her blanket. Usually clutching a stuffed rabbit or a fed-up pissed-and-rumpled-whiskers cat. Limbs akimbo, she'll curl up and nod off, happy to be where other people (or cats) are.

Not that she's a terrible person to share the bed with, usually. Because she's not. It's a bit surprising, though, to find that your husband has morphed into a cheery sprite with little bird feet and an inexhaustible pile of stories.

Now, if I could only teach her that Mama is much happier to see someone when they come bearing fresh-brewed coffee....

Oh, and I need to snag that blanket. Blankie must be washed. Today.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

not a good celebrity

Public speaking is tricky for me.

The woman at the library looked sort of familiar, peering around the corner of the bookshelves at me, her bright little eyes locking on mine every once in awhile as we crossed paths.

I've never claimed to be good on names. Faces I can usually remember, but names - well, the adjective that springs to mind is shameful. (This is actually why Cass thinks I know everyone - because I wave to everyone we pass in the car. Most times I have no clue who they are. But I'm a friendly ignoramus.)

We finally met face-to-face in the back aisle, near the mystery paperbacks - me paging through 'Lassie Come Home' (not sure Cass would read it, altho' he loves dogs) she with an armload of hardbacks.

'I loved Meg too.'

Hmm? 'Um, absolutely.' I peeked over her head for the librarian, hoping she would magically appear and introduce me to this person. No such luck.

She beamed. 'She was my favorite character in the series. Did you read them all?'

I passed Lassie from hand to hand, my mind blipping from one face to another in my memory. Was she from the hospital? The pre-school? One of Bear's coworkers? And what was she talking about?

I hesitated. 'All?'

'Madeleine L'Engle was great, wasn't she? She wrote so many books!'

I must have still looked pole-axed. Kindly, she touched my arm. Speaking slowly, she said 'I read your blog. About Meg. It was great.'

People don't bounce up to me to talk about a few lines I jotted down a week ago. It just doesn't happen. It was amazing and terrifying all at once. I could feel my cheeks heat up while my palms grew damp, leaving great splotches on Lassie's face, wrinkling the cover. Plus I tend to talk like ee cummings when I get excited, all hand-wavy and with the emphases in the wrong places. And I like to talk about books.
A lot.

i like Meg
she is so good and kind. And uses her brains (a great role-model for girls)
and never gives up. She dreams
great purple dreams, and can accept six crazy things
before breakfast.

i think she's amazing.

and she gets the dishy guy at the end. (That counts, too.)

She stepped back, (probably to get out of the way of my flailing hands) her grin still steady but possibly dimming a bit.

Well, anyway. Never one to shut up while the getting was good, I delved into my praise of the secondary characters and threw in the black dog for good measure. By the time I was finished, she had a decidedly hunted look and was casting glances at the circulation desk, where the librarian (who knows my lunatic tendency to foam on and on) was openly laughing.

Ever have one of those moments where the conversation is going really well and then suddenly you can only hear yourself talking about things people couldn't possibly care about and you can't shut up?


I blurted something thanking her and scampered off to go hide my red face in the non-fiction section.

If I ever write a book? I am so screwed.


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...