"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

Saturday, August 22, 2009

This never gets old

I'm an aunt for the ninth time and this time it is my sister's son. After a long wait and one round of IVF Patrick James Charles arrived. He is perfect, of course and my boys can't wait to meet him after breakfast this morning.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Storm Clouds Gather

Yesterday at about 4 o'clock the sky got very dark and the wind started to come up. I told the boys to turn off the computer in case the power went off and then we watched an amazing display of lightning accompanied by thunderous claps which shook the house. Meanwhile just down the highway a tornado touched down and tore the roofs off ski chalets and took out one of the chairlifts on the hill. These are some photos a friend took from the highway.

We, here in Ontario, live in a very benign climate - no wildfires or earthquakes of any consequence like out west, hurricanes rarely make it this far north and inland and if it snows we all just go skiing but this is yet another reminder of how Mother Nature should never be underestimated.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

River and his little buddy Archie explore the creek

Friday, August 14, 2009

Yesterday I Listened

Yesterday I sat on the dock at a friend's cottage and listened to the kids' hoots and hollers as they jumped off the raft and their laughter as they played and the splashes as they swam and I listened to my friend tell me that his nine year old daughter has cancer.

She and my second son went to
pre school together and then started kindergarten the best of friends which they remained until the day in Grade One when they realized that she was a girl and he was a boy and things were never quite the same. She used to come over to play and when the boys got particularly silly or rowdy she would come and sit at the counter and make muffins with me. They would walk home for lunch together and push each other on the swing while I made grilled cheeses. She is now taller than my son with a mane of strawberry blond hair. She had to have part of her jaw bone removed in May so she is very self conscious now about her face which to me hasn't changed a bit. She isn't in any pain but the stress is taking it's toll on her parents.

So I sat and I listened and didn't know what to say. I still don't but I will call and email them every once in a while and I hope they will take me up on my offer to use my Dad's place in Florida when they need to get away from doctors and hospitals. The hardest part is the unknown for them and for those around them. The doctor's can't tell them how this will turn out so we will all continue to wait and listen and hope for the right words.

Friday, August 7, 2009

If a mother's picture is taken without her kids does anyone see it?

I know that most blogger/mothers are like me - we love to take pictures. Photos of our families, of places and things we love and we love to share them. I think it gives us all an ability to really get to know each other even when separated by time zones and borders. I love seeing photos of other people's kids and homes and even the meals they have created but what we rarely see is pictures of ourselves.

When I look back at old family photos from my childhood, of which there are many, there are lots of me and my brother and sister. Many of us with our father and grandparents, our pets, taken on holidays at the cottage or camping. And some just everyday pictures of us growing up but there are next to none of my mother. She was always behind the lense. I remember her not wanting to be a group shots, she was self concious about her weight even though she wasn't a big woman at all. In early photos of her I see a beautiful, young mother.One professional shot of her and me when I was a year old was even used as an ad for the photographer.(Again, I wish I could show you but I am posting on my bb from the dock) But as the years went on she slowly disappeared from the pages of our albums.

Now I see the same thing happening to me. When the boys were younger I was in many pictures mostly because I was the one holding them and my husband was forced to pick up the camera. A few of them I love, others I could happily burn or delete if not for the adorable baby or toddler in my arms. As a teenager I documented most of my friends' terrible 80's haircuts and boyfriends. Fortunately for them the photos are safely in albums in my basement not on facebook. To this day I tend to pick up the camera at parties and events, partly to hide behind but also to give me a purpose. In our family life I love to capture candid shots of the kids and friends with a long lense. As for me, I may have to ask my sister-in-law who is a professional photographer to train her camera on me when I am not paying attention.

It is that age old question that mothers sometimes ask themselves, "Do I exist outside of my family? Or "If a picture is taken of a mother without her kids, does anyone see it?"

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Brother and Sisters

First, a point of procedure - I apologize for any abrupt endings to posts(like yesterday's) and the lack of graphics. I am posting from my blackberry which does not have a camera and I don't know how to link to other blogs, so for the next few weeks you will have to be patient and I promise to link to all of you, repeatedly after Labour Day.

So, back to the topic at hand - How do families with boys and girls spend their time together? Today we ran into another family at the local farmer's market. They have rented a cottage and are spending two weeks "en famille" meaning it is just Mum, Dad, son and daughter. The kids are 11 and 9 and they don't know anyone else on the lake.

I am at a bit of a loss as to what they do all day. My boys wake up too early and bicker over who woke up first. Then they disagree over what to have for breakfast (I am not running a diner) then they fight over whether to play soccer, or catch frogs, go fishing or go for a swim. Tough life, I know but they still fight - constantly and physically. I can't imagine our friends' son and daughter spending every waking minute going at it while their parents enjoy the peace and quiet of the lake.

I know lots of you have various computations and permutations and family dynamics. Please, as a MOB I know I am not alone, but here's hoping that even mothers of sons and daughters are pulling their hair out as we reach the mid way point of the summer.

Early Mornings and Nights

One of the upsides of my children's early ringing internal alarm clocks is that I get to enjoy the lake before anyone is out on it. Our lake is quiet to begin with as we are restricted to boats with less than 20hp which rules out waterskiing and tubing as well as jetskis, thank you Ministry of Natural Resources.

And since I am posting from my bb which doesn't have a built in camera I can't show you a photo of the peace and quiet outside.

Inside is another matter. A the haunting cry of a loon echoes across the water the horrible screech of No. 3 Son reverberates throughout the cabin. He has been pushed off my kingsize bed by one of his big brothers. I vacate my bed as soon as I hear the patter of their feet on the stairs up to the loft where I sleep. They all sleep in one room here so when one wakes up the others soon follow. The only electronics they have up here are their Nintendo DS's which with headphones on are quiet but, of course once they all are awake the day begins.

Yesterday was our first real day of cottage time without any guests ans I waa ready for them. We had stocked up on beads - mostly wood and fake bone - while we were in town and the boys were actually into making necklaces. The patterning they always seem to be doing in Math comes in handy

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Blackberries on the Dock

For years I have enjoyed my morning coffee and the paper on the dock. The coffee is easy, I get it all ready the night before so all I have to do is turn it on in the morning. The paper requires correct change and a boat ride but now that my boys are old enough to drive the little tin boat the paper is delivered into my hands. But now there is another option - reading on line or, as I am doing now, typing. Is it a good thing to still be so connected in the wilds of Algonquin Park? The jury is still out on that one. In the meantime I will try to balance the pile of books and magazines on my bedside table and all your latest posts.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device
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