"Our life is frittered away by detail...simplify, simplify." - Henry David Thoreau

I know I said "blog like no one is reading" but it's nice to know these people are

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sex, Drugs and Grade 5

The other night my 11 year old and I were lying in bed reading - my idea of heaven is a place where all young boys would choose to read beside their mother instead of playing on their DS. Any how, we were lying there when he started to try and tell me something and the conversation went something like this.

Number One Son: Mum, ummm, if I tell you something, promise you won't get mad?

Me: Of course I won't. (At least, I hope I won't have to) Just tell me the truth.

Number One Son: Well, it's, like, ummmm ...

Me: Yes?

NOS: Ummm, well some of the kids at school, ummmm ...

Me: (Oh no, this could be serious) Yes, it's okay, you can tell me anything. (Gulp)

NOS: The kids at school were, like talking about something that, I, ummm, didn't know about. Don't get mad, but I lied.

Me: (Calmly) So the kids were talking about something and you lied and said you knew what they were talking about?

NOS: Yeah.

Me: What was it? (Help, help, help)

NOS: It was, ummm, it was, it was ...

Me: (Okay, I can't take much more, might as well jump right in) Was it ... drugs?

NOS: Noooo!

Me: (Deep breath) Was it ... sex?

NOS: Nooooooo!

Me: (OMG, is there something new that I don't even know about yet?) Well then, what were they talking about that you lied and said you knew about?

NOS: (Pregnant pause) Dirt bikes.

Me: Dirt bikes? (Is this some sort of code for illegal Grade 5 goings-on?)

NOS: Yeah, all the kids in my class have one and I said I knew how to ride one and I don't and I am the only kid in my class who doesn't!

Me: Right, I think this is something you need to talk to your father about, dirt bikes are not in my area of expertise.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

When life is hard, here are somethings to remember

Maggie May, over at Flux Capacitor wrote a wonderful post that I linked to because her words really got me out of a hole and made me think about what I am doing to help myself and others in my life. Here are my personal additions to her eloquent words.

1. Sleep - Right now I can't get enough of it and I am usually getting eight hours at least, so the sleep that I am getting is not of the good quality sort. Part of that is because my Other Half is tossing and turning with his own worries beside me. He is going to try and do something about that, get some help and we are both going to work on solving the problems that plague us late at night.

2. Eat Healthily - This is something I have really fallen off the wagon from. I love to cook but my kids don't always love to eat what I cook. I try to buy local, natural and organic foods, but I do have certain food vices, like bacon and Cheez Whiz - together. I want to get back into feeding myself properly, not just eating the kids' leftovers or over eating because I am down. Spring is here and soon there will be fresh, local food to have fun preparing for myself and others.

3. Drink Water - Another thing I have let slide. Not enough water throughout the day. I can feel when my body needs it, now I must act on that feeling and keep drinking this vital fluid.

4. Keep Up Appearances - Not in the keeping up with the Jones way but I, far too often, leave the house barely having brushed my hair. I wear the same uniform everyday because I can't be bothered to put together an outfit and, for the last four months, it has been covered by my long black winter coat anyways. It is finally getting warmer, I can shed some layers (and some pounds) and be more inspired in my wardrobe choices. I don't have to spend any money, I have a closet full of clothes that I hardly ever wear.

5. Listen to Music - I always feel better when I remember to take my iPod with me when walking the dog (which I also need to do more often, for both our sakes) and I should always blast the tunes when I am cleaning the house (another thing to get back into the routine of doing regularly) and when the boys are driving me nuts. Music soothes the savage beasts, they say.

6. Dance - I can't remember the last time I danced, but I will find time to do so - soon and with abandon.

7. Have Sex - This is one of those things that falls so far down the list of priorities after sleep, kids, work, cleaning .... but one that isn't so hard to do. We just have to the make time and I know it's all good.

8. Take Care of the Spirit - For me this means taking time for me, whether I spend it reading or riding or writing. A friend once said that a happy mother makes for a happy family and she was right. No offence to all those incredible Dad's out there but if you want to take a reading of a family's mood, take the mother's temperature.

9. Be of Service to Others - Again, something that falls way down to the bottom of the list when things like paying the bills keep getting in the way but we all know someone who is having a tougher time than ourselves. I have to make the time to help out at school and volunteer in our community. This will help me with #8 because sometimes the best way to take care of yourself is by focusing on others.

Again thank you, Maggie May, for inspiring me to do some thinking and writing. Now I have to do some doing.

Everyone should read this

Maggie May at Flux Capitator really got me this morning with her post.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Calgon, take me away ...

Now that I have a horse there is only one thing that is really missing in my life and now that I have a horse I need it more than ever! When we moved into our house a year and a half ago I was thrilled at the thought of the boys having their own bathroom. No more sitting on wets seats or falling in because miraculously someone put the seat up but then left it there. I overlooked the tiny detail that my new all-to-myself (oh, I let my Other Half use it from time to time) bathroom sadly lacked a tub. There are four bathrooms in the house but only one tub.

Now, I love my baths, I used to take one at least three or four times a week with bubbles and a little pillow for my head and the door firmly shut while I rested my weary bones or soaked my PMS cramps away and I would read. Picture the first time I drew a bath (I love that phrase, makes me think of maids and ladies in waiting) for myself in the boys' bathroom. First of all, it is a luxury all-in-one fibreglass unit from the 80's with a glass door that hermetically seals shut for the steam unit. Yes, not only does it have jets but it has steam which we quickly disconnected so no one scalded themselves and the mold it spawned didn't spread throughout the house. After a good scouring with a very environmentally-unfriendly product, I bravely gathered my bathing must-haves - pillow, stool with my book, towel and cup of tea on it and climbed in.

It was strange, but I felt like I was stepping up into the tub. Then I tried to sit down and I realized to my horror that the tub was only 4 inches deep on the inside and I was feeling vaguely claustrophobic even with the door propped open. The length was okay but this one was so shallow that there was no way I could ever submerge myself. Now in my old tub I was used to alternating between submerged knees or boobs and that was okay because I love the water really hot so I have to let part of me cool off while the other bits are under water. But this tub didn't allow for anything to be underwater completely at any time. My belly (which, I admit, isn't exactly flat) rose above the surface along with just about every other part of my topside. Relaxing this was not, but I had no other option. Then to add insult to injury, I realized that the electric hot water tank that the previous owners had installed just before we bought the house, barely holds enough water to fill this pathetic excuse for a tub and it takes about an hour to heat up the next round. I like to top up my hot water every so often over the course of an hour long soak but that wasn't going to happen with this set up.

So, here I am, tubless over a year later. I have made it through two winters of coming home from the ski hill frozen and trying to warm up in the shower and now that I have a horse again my poor out of shape body cries out for a long hot soak after each ride. I am thinking about offering to clean my friends' bathrooms in exchange for a soak. I plan trips to pick up my Dad's mail so that I can hide out and have a bath. I don't know how much longer I can stand it. We have talked about redoing our en suite but that isn't in the cards for a while and the easiest thing to do would be to rip the hideous unit out of the boys' bath and replace it with a good soaker tub and re-tile the walls. Maybe that will be my birthday wish next month - I'll offer to grout and take great pleasure in ripping the whole thing out. Maybe the boys can use it as a fort in the yard?

Wordless Wednesday

The view from my horse last week.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Really I have, but as I warned you last week, the kids were off school and my days consisted of getting up early to pack lunch, load skis, boys and dog into the car and head for the hill. Now it wasn't all bad. Spring did come through with lots of sun and warmer temperatures, although they appear to be long gone this week. And I did get some serious patio time with the Bain de Soleil and Corona. More to come as soon as I wrestle the mountain of laundry into submission.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sun Streaming in My Window

Although it is still below zero (Celsius) outside, the sun is streaming in and I am quite toasty sitting at my desk. But all that sunlight is illuminating the pressing need to do some spring cleaning - soon. The windows are filthy, I can do the insides now but I will have to wait for the warmer temperatures the weatherman has promised for next week to do the outside, that and I have to take the Christmas wreaths down from the front windows before I can actually clean them. I know, I know, it's March and the wreaths look sad and forlorn and the sight of them drives me crazy every time I pull in the driveway. But the average temperature since January has been -10 C and there was no way I could get out there and unhook the wires that are now hopelessly twisted from the relentless Arctic winds we have had since when? November?

But there is hope on the horizon, the sun is out, the snow that fell all day yesterday prompting my kids to dare to dream of yet another snow day will melt. It must melt or I will be out there with pails of hot water to make it melt. The snow on the ski hills can stick around for another week as it is March Break. Who's kidding who, when they call it Spring Break around here? The boys will be skiing and I will be on the deck liberally applying the Bain de Soleil which will no doubt make me "honey bronzed and highly desirable" as their ads used to say and washing it down with a pint or two. So I don't expect to be doing a whole lot of posting over the next ten days as I will be chauffeuring the boys to and from the hill and birthday parties and sleepovers, but I'll try to catch up whenever I can. I really need that laptop so I can post from the patio, although I wouldn't want to spill any "Bain de Burn" (as we used to call it, mmm ... I can smell it now) or Corona on the keyboard.

Oh, and the spring cleaning that got me started on this tangent - that will come later, first I will make the To Do List, then I will refine the List and finally I will post the List prominently in the house for all to see and maybe, just maybe someone will take down those damn wreaths.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

You like me, you really like me!

This is my first ever award, The Smoking Typewriter. How exciting is that? I feel like I have finally arrived in the blogosphere. So to Mama Goose, I thank you. I always knew I liked you for a reason, not just because you're from my favourite place in the USA.

Here are the rules:

• Post the picture of the award - as if I wouldn't

• Link back to the blogger who awarded me - see above

• Google my name and share the results. (Gee, I've never done that before)

So under Cid they are:

From the Chicago Journals - Clinical Infectious Diseases - Yikes!

From Wikipedia - known as El Cid Campeador, lived from 1040 to 1099, in Valencia, a Castilian nobleman, a gifted military leader and diplomat - Toro, Toro!

The Canadian Importers Database provides lists of companies importing goods into Canada, by product, by city and by country of origin. - zzzzzzzzz ....

And finally there is what I think is an Indian TV show that I can't understand a word of called "The Case of the Missing Bride." Don't know what it has to do with Cid, but maybe someone can translate for me.

And finally,

• Share the love

Beth - she writes the way I would love to someday

Nicky Jane - she gives me a peek into a parallel universe

Maggie May - she makes me love poetry again

Clare - she writes about what is real

Rebecca - she writes and writes and writes

Thanks again Mama Goose, this was fun.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What's My Name's Hidden Meaning?

I love these kind of things, especially when they are oh-so-right!

You are Original and Innovative

You are very open. (mostly)
You communicate well, and you connect with other people easily. (call me a connector)
You are a naturally creative person. (that's what I am)
Ideas just flow from your mind. (too bad there isn't shut off valve sometimes)
A true chameleon, you are many things at different points in your life. (you can teach an old dog new tricks)
You are very adaptable. (when I want to be)
You tend to be pretty tightly wound. (really?)
It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing. (ask my Other Half)
You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. (yep, that's me)
You don't stick with any one thing for very long. (damn, this is right on)
You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. (as opposed to not alot in a long time)
Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start. (projects, what unfinished projects?)
You are very intuitive and wise. (I think that comes later)
You understand the world better than most people. (it's the world that doesn't understand me)
You also have a very active imagination. (Yes ....)
You often get carried away with your thoughts. (carry me away)
You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. (did you just call me paranoid?)
You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals. (signals, symbols, they all mean something)
You are balanced, orderly, and organized. (uhhh, right, I'll take that one)
You like your ducks in a row. (I have ducks?)
You are powerful and competent, especially in the workplace. (Ummm, nope that's my sister)
People can see you as stubborn and headstrong. (who does?)
You definitely have a dominant personality. (Just call me the Dominatrix)
You are a free spirit, and you resent anyone who tries to fence you in. (no fences round here)
You are unpredictable, adventurous, and always a little surprising. (I am constantly surprising someone, somewhere)
You may miss out by not settling down, but you're too busy having fun to care. ( I think I am as settled as I'll ever be)

Now it's your turn.
What's your name's hidden meaning?

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat

Yesterday was the Ski Club Championships. It's a big day when all the kids race and then there is a prize-giving ceremony. My boys race all winter and love skiing but the fun comes to a crashing halt once the times are totalled and the medals are given out.

Yes, that is Number 3 Son with the trophy. He cleaned up in the Boys 5 & 6 group. His older brothers came 4th and 5th, very respectable but no hardware to take home. And to add insult to injury, their old man made it to the podium as well the day before. It's not easy being a boy who loves to compete but lives in a world that only recognizes numbers 1, 2 and 3. It doesn't matter how many times we tell our kids that it's not winning that counts, they know it is. You can only pin so many participation ribbons on your bulletin board before you want one of those medals to hang around your neck and it is even harder when your little brother complains that his neck hurts because they were so heavy. Not that I'm not proud of Number 3 but I just don't know how to encourage the other two, when it all comes down to one day and three spots on the podium. Team sports are a little better, Number One son plays goal for a hockey team that barely won a single game this season, but that didn't seem to bother him at all.

I don't want them to give up racing, it is a part of what we do as a family with a great group of friends but every year getting through this day is harder and harder. I guess it is one of life's lessons for us all.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"Come on Eileen" or My Brush with Fame

You know when you tell a story enough times you sometimes can't remember what is really true and what you have just told so many times over that it might as well be? Years ago, decades actually, when I was 16 I spent a couple of weeks staying with friends of my parents at their country place just outside of London. I was horse crazy and the chance to stay in real "pony club" country was overwhelming. I was in heaven, a place with fox hunting, roundabouts, pubs where I could get served and members of Dexy's Midnight Runners.
That's right - the One Hit Wonders who rose to the top of the charts with "Come On Eileen." At least I think it was them. I remember hanging out with the kids who worked in the stable and they introduced me to to a motley-looking group of guys who were painting the house. We hung around flirting until they had finished for the day and then all went down to the pub for a pint. Ironically, I was old enough to drink in the UK but not to drive, which, when you think about it, is the probably not a bad way to handle teenagers. Let them drink their faces off and get it out of their systems before they can legally get behind the wheel.
But back to the Runners, the guys introduced themselves as members of the band and I thought for sure they were teasing me, the innocent girl from the colonies. They proceeded to sing a bit of "Come On Eileen" so I believed them. But to this day, despite the number of times of I have entertained friends with this story I am still not sure if it really was them.
Of course, on that same visit, I also took a couple pictures of Prince Charles foxhunting and those photos were the only cloudy ones in the negatives. Coincidence? I think not.

Wordless Wednesday

Where Canadians live once our igloos melt.

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Room of One's Own

I am sitting at my husband's desk while Number 2 son is on "my" computer in the kitchen. That's it, the one buried under field trip forms, capless markers, random scraps of paper with to do lists, a couple of stray hockey cards and the dust bunnies that have migrated from under the table to on top behind the printer. Usually I can clear a space for myself to work but at 3 o'clock I have hide everything so it doesn't get lost in the tsunami that appears every afternoon when the boys unpack their school bags. While some may dream of gourmet kitchens and others covet the ultimate spa en suite, all I desire, as Virgina Woolf put it, is "A Room of One's Own." Virginia was ahead of her time as she knew that "a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." While what I write is not all fiction, it is true that I would love to have a small space to call my own. A place to read, write and be me, not some body's mother or wife, but just me.
This blog is a start, it has helped me, after 11 years as a SAHM get back into writing. Who knows where it may lead?
For now, until our dream of an addition on the house is realized I will go back to my desk in the midst of the kitchen chaos and maybe I will make the suggestion that it might be a good idea for me to get my own laptop so the kids can commandeer the PC anytime they have homework or the uncontrollable urge to listen to Weird Al on You Tube. Soon enough they will be IMing and facebooking and the chances of me getting anywhere near the keyboard will be even slimmer. So I will officially launch my "since we don't have the money for an addition, maybe a laptop would be a good alternative" stealth campaign. I'll keep you posted.
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