"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

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Olympic Torch in Our Town

At 7:30am we hit the local diner for breakfast and then went out into the frigid
(-20C with the windchill) morning air to wait for the Torch.
The van reads -
106 Days
45,000 kms
12,000 Bearers
Check out the website for lots more wintery torch photos that will give you the shivers

The kids ran alongside the unknown (to me anyways) Torch Bearer

It was a thrill to see the flame up close

Onward to Vancouver

Saturday, December 26, 2009

To Keep Away the Post Christmas Blues

If you haven't seen this, I dare you not to smile.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Pass this Christmas Wish Along

Otin has once again opened my eyes to someone new who has a request for all us, far and not so far, flung bloggers. Go to Beth's blog and see what you can do on this Christmas Eve to make a child's wish come true. Just try not to mess up your keyboard if you, like me, can't hold back the tears, then go and hug your children really, really tight.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

And now a Public Service Announcement

For those of you out there with computer literate, but not necessarily savvy, children and you haven't heard of Common Sense Media go there now. This website of movie, game, book and TV reviews has become my on-line bible for what to let my boys watch, play and even read. And the best part is they think that the age appropriateness guides are somehow enforceable by an invisible police force which will swoop down into our home and unplug all the screens if they are caught with anything rated over age 12. If Common Sense Media says "The Hangover" is for ages 17+ then end of discussion, as opposed to when I say that it is not a kid's movie and all I get is , "But Mum, everyone in my class has seen it." It provides parents points to talk about with their kids before or after you have watched, played or read. It rates language, sexual content and even consumerism which helps to make our children (and ourselves) more informed about why and what advertisers and producers are putting in their "products."

So as we careen headlong into the post-Christmas orgy of DVD-watching, movie theatre-going and handheld-gaming visit their website and check out the thoughtful review of the only movie my kids really want to see over the break,. If nothing else it gives us adults ammunition (not to mention, confidence) to sit down and talk with our kids about what they are being bombarded with 24 hours a day. I'm heading over there right now to make a donation on behalf of my children. Funny how these sorts of sites that are actually making a difference in our media-saturated lives aren't the ones being bought up for billions of dollars by google or Bill Gates.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bah Humbug

My f**king Blackberry won't charge. How much do you want to bet that there is no way to fix it and I will have to buy a new one? There is no prize for the winning answer.

Next up - my scathing condemnation of Volvo's electronic keys which don't start cars and result in hundreds of dollars in repairs and two weeks without said car while waiting for a part from Sweden. It's a Volvo, for god's sake, whatever happened to "They're boxy but they're good"?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Winter Wordless Wednesday

The weather outside is frightful

But in here it's so delightful

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Just when you think no one is reading

The only thing better than seeing your followers go up is getting an award from a fellow blogger whom you admire. Jen at Harried Mom of Four has bestowed upon me an award and I am beyond thrilled to be thought of as "honest" The great thing about bloggers is you get a sense pretty quickly if they are for real or not. Although why anyone would take or have the time to create an entirely fictional persona is beyond my realm of understanding. But then it might be fun to be a young, single woman living in Australia writing about magazines. But I digress, Jen is definitely one of the real ones and she and I get the same sense of relief that some where across a border someone else is going through the same s**t as me. When my kids were younger a friend of mine moved to St Louis and at the time we wished for some sort of technology (it's called a webcam now) that would let us peer into one another's houses and see that we were both going through the same thing. Instead we would ring each other up at 4 o'clock her time and 5 o'clock mine and tinkle the ice cubes in our glasses and toast one another.

But back to the the award, ten honest things about me:

  1. If I had to give up all foods but one it would be cheese which I know comes in many different forms which is why I chose it

  2. The first blog I followed was naturally nina who couldn't be less like me which was probably why I loved her

  3. I wish I was a morning person but not enough to get up early

  4. I love all my children equally just not necessarily at the same time (if you have more than one you know what I mean)

  5. The real reason I like living in a small town is that I can be a big fish in a little pond, that and I don't ever have to parallel park the Suburban

  6. I really don't like watching hockey whether my son is playing or not

  7. I used to think I looked like Meg Ryan, now I am glad I don't

  8. I worry I will inherit my father's mother's wrinkles but not her metabolism and my mother's mother's metabolism but not her smooth skin and end up looking like a Shar Pei dog

  9. I love end of the world movies & books so I will be renting 2012 when it comes out on DVD, plus I love John Cusak, so what more could I ask for?

  10. One of my new favourite shows is called Lie to Me, really.

Here are my choices - all very different but all very honest (I think)

Alyson at New England Living

Tanis at Attack of the Redneck Mommy (now she is honest on TV)

Koreen at Wacky Mummy

Sarah at Clover Lane

Jess at Drowning in Kids

Friday, December 11, 2009


Thank god for Fridays and Happy Hours, even if it is only 8 in the morning. Thanks to Otin for the shout out on his Spotlight. Cheers to the Wiz and RxBambi for hosting Happy Hour.
Here are a few things that make me happy:
  • Dristan nasal spray - the only thing that has allowed me to sleep the past few nights
  • it's finally winter as it should be just two weeks before Christmas
  • my boys had a sleep over at their aunt & uncles last night ;)
  • the ski hills are opening tomorrow
  • we are going to a proper grown up dinner party tonight
  • snow means no more muddy paw prints on my duvet, now there are just wet spots
  • all the new shows are already in reruns so at least I can catch up on the episodes I missed (of course there were less than six episodes of some shows, what's up with that?)
  • Jen at Harried Mom gave me an award for being honest, stayed tuned for new revelations
  • finally, I think I am officially over my traditional pre-Christmas slump, thanks to Otin and Santa

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Life List

What have I done so far -

Stayed in a Zermatt pensione with a view of the Matterhorn

Lived in three countries

Gone topless on the French Riviera

Driven a vintage convertible Jaguar

Had a French Canadian boyfriend

Saw the Northern Lights

Wandered through the Louvre on my own

Took the car train through the Alps

Spent two nights alone in the woods

Married my high school sweetheart

Made love on the beach

Still to do -

Make love in a canoe

Take my children to live in the south of France

Write a book

Throw a big party for our 25th anniversary - see how many people who were at our wedding come

Ride in a fox hunt

Operator, how can I help you?

The other day our Number One Son was at the arena, where he spends most of his time these days whether he actually needs to be there or not. At first I worried that we were just dropping him off to watch his friends play hockey without being there ourselves but then I realized that one of the perks of living in a small town is that there is always someone there who we know and who will keep an eye on our son (that and he hasn't demanded his own phone "cause everyone else has one") So we'll know practically before he does when he orders fries at the concession stand or if he is talking to a girl. But the other day when he was heading over I thought I should ask him what he would do if he needed to get a hold of us. My husband jumped in and said that he could call us from the pay phone which is one of two left in our town. (The other is in front of the dodgy-looking motel where the Greyhound bus drops off passengers) This suggestion lead to a very interesting conversation between father and son, Baby Boomer and Generation Cell.

"You can call home collect," my Other Half helpfully suggests. Number One looks honestly perplexed.

"From the pay phone outside," his father continues. Now my son looks genuinely confused, as if his father is speaking another language.

"Huh?" is his reply.

My brave partner soldiers on with his explanation, "You just pick up the phone and dial zero and tell the operator you want to make a collect call to our home number."

Now my son is starting to smile, he's figured it out, his Dad is trying to punk him.

"Yeah, right Dad. Why wouldn't I just ask one of my friends or a parent if I can use their phone?"

He walks away smiling and muttering to himself, "Funny Dad. Collect call? Operator? What's an operator?"

Monday, December 7, 2009

Putting on the schnitzel

Last night we decorated the tree, an exercise fraught with danger and delusion. The danger being three over-excited boys all racing through the boxes of ornaments I carefully put away last year each one individually wrapped in tissue paper to get to their favourites and delusional because every year I think we are going to have a "perfect" tree. But this year Number Three Son had us all falling over one another laughing (luckily the tree remained upright) when he asked, if finally, after all the homemade, Popsicle and glitter covered ornaments had been carefully hidden, I mean placed, could we please, please put on the "schnitzel"? We all stopped, looked at him and then as the meaning dawned I laughingly replied "Yes, but no clumping the schnitzel, drape it individually at the end of the branches."

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Due to the economy ...

With Christmas bills already piling up higher than the snow banks around here I am seriously considering sitting my children down and saying, "Due to the economy we are going to have to let one of you go." Then I would continue with, "It's not that any one of you in particular hasn't been pulling your weight, in fact none of you have. So this isn't personal, it is purely a financial decision based on the following data."

Who has the most future earning potential? ie. who will most likely to be able to support me in my old age in the style to which I would like to become accustomed.

Number One, if your dream of being a goalie in the NHL comes true you may be my ticket. Number Two, if you use your charm and good looks wisely you could marry well and I would be very happy with my own "granny wing" in your mansion. Number Three, well as my friend who met you moments after your birth once said, "He'll either end up in jail or in a corner office somewhere." So you are a 50/50 split.

Who is likely to cost us the most in educational fees?

Well, since none of you appear to be a scholar this is a tough one. Number One you are a good student but we are banking on a hockey scholarship to an American university so you're okay. Number Two, haven't really shown much aptitude for academia but given your propensity for staying in your jammies for as long as possible combined with a predilection for eating Kraft Dinner morning, noon and night, maybe you are the most likely to stay in a post graduate programme well into your prime earning years. Number Three, after our Grade 2 Parent/Teacher interview this past week, I'm thinking you are a safe bet for the vocational stream where you can take things apart and hopefully learn how to rebuild them. And having a plumber or electrician in the family is alot more useful than a PhD these days.

Who is likely to cost us the most in hospital and orthodontist's fees?

Now I know I live in the land of universal health care but still, did you know that getting a fiberglass as opposed to an old-fashioned plaster cast is extra? And don't get me started on braces. So, Number One, you have already broken one leg, that's your quota and I think goalies are less likely to get smushed in a game than the other players. Number Two, if you don't stop sucking your thumb immediately and not just for the month that you are at summer camp I don't want to think about the pain, I mean cost of your braces. And Number Three, well let's just say you are never getting a motorcycle until you are out from under my roof.

Who is most likely to win it big?

Well, Number One I know you are not a risk taker, you are the typical eldest child, cautious and careful so I don't see you hitting the slots any time soon. Number Two, you have the most likely to become addicted to anything (see thumb sucking above) so the chances of you hitting it big are good but also the chances of you blowing it all right away on another horse race or poker game is 100%. Number Three, you are a risk taker but far more likely to do so in real estate from the way you play Monopoly and I'm okay with living in a hotel on Park Place.

So let's see, to tally up the points, we have Number One Son with three for and one against. Number Two, you have one for and three against and Number Three you have one for and a couple split down the middle.

Now let's go over the severance package we will be offering.

You will have out-placement services to help you update your CV and look for another family. We will provide references along the lines of , "Having known the candidate since conception ..." And we will offer a pay out of a dollar for every grade achieved with an additional loonie for every year in the family (hmmm, Number One's is looking more expensive to let go than keep on)

Now if one of you were to take early retirement from the family we would be happy to give you the package but you are on your own in finding a new position elsewhere. I realize that some of you have already been looking elsewhere in light of recent cutbacks and downsizing. The fish were the first to go what with electricity costs to keep their tank warm and we have downgraded from large to small crickets for the gecko. So if you have found a comparable position please feel free to clear out your room and sports equipment from the garage. Security will escort you from the building and make sure that you haven't absconded with any of your brothers' DS games or hockey cards.

In these tough times tough choices have to be made but we feel certain that we will be able to make the best possible decision for all the parties involved. Just look at it this way - if one of you opts out, he can change his birth order position from say, middle or youngest to oldest in another family or you can always play it safe and make a lateral move and remain at your current level.

We wanted to make you all aware of our current thinking and will be getting back to you soon so that we know where our Christmas dollars should be focused. And of course, we will let Santa know of your change of address ASAP.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


On Monday afternoon we tried to get down to the water in time to get some decent shots for our business Christmas card, but better late than never didn't work. The sun dropped down behind the trees just as we got the boat on the beach.

River wasn't too interested in being a model for the shoot, he'd rather roll in dead fish.

Oh well, I guess next year we'll have to do it like the magazines and shoot in August.

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