"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

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Waiting for Winter

Wishful thinking (those are ski tracks going down a snow covered mountain)

No, there isn't any snow on the ground up here yet (thank god) and since right now I am waiting for a service call because the furnace conked out after we turned it on for the first time and tomorrow we have to go up north to close the cottage, I really hope there's none in the forecast anytime soon. We got my nephew on skates for the first time and hockey season has started for Number One Son. He is still playing goal and made the rep team where he is the only 13 year old. That is actually a good thing as it means that his teammates are big guys who can protect him from the other big guys. I don't know how he stands there as the puck comes hurtling towards him but he never flinches. We are also preparing him for his first trip with his ski team to Colorado. This is a huge deal and they are leaving in less than two weeks. He will be gone for 10 days and it is the first time he has travelled on his own. So far he seems to be okay with it, very excited and we have talked a lot what to expect, living with roommates and not flipping out if everything doesn't go exactly as planned.

Number Two son and I will be going to Jay Peak in Vermont in December for a week with his team which I hope will be a chance for us to have some one-on-one time since he is having a tough time with the kids in his class again. I really do look forward to ski season starting because they are all so happy skiing and racing every weekend (not to mention more than a few week days) and even if it means only having two days in the entire winter to sleep in (that would be Christmas and New Years Day) it's worth it.

PJ's first time on skates

So the weekend was full of wintery sports as we went down to the city to watch the CBC show Battle of the Blades. Funnily enough my three testosterone filled sons love watching this show which pairs ex-professional hockey players with ex-Olympic pairs figure skaters. Up until this season it has been male hockey players learning to skate with picks and tiny little figure skaters but now there is one female hockey player, Tessa Bonhomme who still plays professionally. It's a little bit cheesy as figure skating often is but it is the one show we all watch together every week.

Waiting for the show to begin

So when my Other Half realized that the producers of the show had bought a boat from us last year and he emailed to see if we could get tickets. We both assumed it was no big deal but it turns out it was. Normally you do have to pay to watch the show but we were not only given the tickets but put in VIP seats right on the ice. Stuck actually on the "island" around which the skaters entered and left the rink. It was very exciting but unfortunately we weren't allowed to take photos during the show. We all had a lot of fun and was our first family night out in a while and although it made for a late night and a slow start this morning I realize we have to make more of an effort to do things like that especially getting my now very much small town boys back into the big city more often. How was your weekend?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bridesmaids and the Mother of the Boys

We finally watched Bridesmaids the other night, all of us, the boys included. Trying to find something everyone would like these days is difficult. Number Two loves anything that he thinks we would deem inappropriate, Number One won't watch anything even remotely scary and Number Three doesn't really know what he wants to watch but he knows it can't be for little kids. As for me, I hate blow 'em up, car chase movies. I don't mind a clever thriller a la The Italian Job and my Other Half, let's just say he sat through Something Borrowed for me without complaining.

So we ended up watching Bridesmaids which I thought they'd sit through if only to see the bridal salon/food poisoning scene and I was right. They loved it, Melissa McCarthy in particular. I am hoping most of the innuendo went over their heads and we did have to fast forward through the sex scenes but the thing that really hit home for me wasn't the whole over-the-top wedding, it was the friend who was the mother of three boys who needed a real Bachelorette Party to get away from the animals in her house. That, I could identify with. My house is all male, as I might have mentioned a few times. Even the dog, while neutered, is still a boy and, like most boys, he pees everywhere. My life consists of shopping for, cooking of and cleaning up massive quantitities of food (and only one of the three is officially a teenager) I do laundry every other day and it consists mostly of dingy, mismatched gym socks because they are always left on the floor where the dog finds and enjoys his most favourite snack (don't even ask what they look like when they come out the other end)

But the worst part in the movie is when the MOB talks about how everything in her house is "sticky" I don't even want to contemplate this stage. I remember reading a blog post a while ago (back when my boys were still cute and smelled like bubble bath) about giving teenage boys an endless supply of tube socks. At first I thought, I guess that makes sense, although for some bizarre reason my boys and all their friends only wear tiny little ankle socks, the kind I used to play tennis in, even in the dead of winter when they refuse to wear boots they have a half an inch of bare skin showing between their shoes and pants (they also grow at an alarming rate and I can't keep up with it so half the time their pants are floods) But I digress. Back to the tube socks. Apparently they are great containment vessels.

It took me a while to get it so I'll give you a moment.

Get it? I know. Gross. Really? That's what those long, stretchy socks that come in 12 packs are for? I don't even want to think about it. So while most women enjoyed the story of two best friends learning to appreciate one another, all I could think about was the fact that up until now the worst mess I have had to contend with is the one on the walls and around the base of the toilet. I am so not ready for Stage Two of Teenage Boys.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Oh, go fly a kite!

After spending two wonderful days with the grown ups in our family at the wedding, we returned home to rescue my mother and aunt from the kids. We arrived at my Mum's place in time to eat turkey leftovers, fly kites and hit a few balls.

Mum, my brother and sister and the boys

What to do when there's no wind

Staying out of harm's way

See the little black thing my brother is holding up? That's his blackberry, he videoed the entire kite-flying expedition including when the dragon kite "attacked" the ATV as they slowed down. It's the little things that amuse us.

An 11 year old boy's idea of heaven (notice the cool shades)

Measuring the apple trees we planted last spring in honour of each grandchild

Golf anyone?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Twenty-two years ago today

Today's weather is not as extreme as it was 22 years ago when I married my Other Half at my parent's farm. It rained, hailed, thundered and lightning lit up the sky and I remember it as perfect. But if I were to do it all over again (and who wouldn't?) there would be a few minor changes like a significantly smaller dress, less pouffy hair and I wouldn't make my bridesmaids wear those awful bows in their hair and I wouldn't have had a great big one on my bum. But I definitely wouldn't change the man I was smart enough to marry at the tender age of 23 and I have to admit that I don't know what I'd say if one of my sons wanted to get married that young.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Whirlwind Weekend

Well, I survived the week and it was worth all the prep to leave the boys with my Mum and get away to this lovely place for the wedding of my cousin to the Innkeeper's daughter.

We arrived on Friday afternoon and had brought a boat (as one does) so that we could get out on the water to explore my Other Half's old stomping grounds. He grew up summering in the Thousand Islands and I spend quite a bit of time there as well when we teenagers. That was pre 9/11 when you could jump in the boat with only a driver's license for ID and head over to A Bay (Alexandria Bay) NY for a night of partying and then boat home dodging Great Lakes freighters when you end up in the shipping lane by accident.

My brother, SIL, sister and BIL enjoying a tour of the Islands

My Other Half's grandmother's island which, according to family lore, was bought for either $10 or $1000 in the thirties. Either way is was a great deal.

Me and my little bro who I don't get to see often enough since he moved to the west coast

Same brother breaking into our room to get the cocktail supplies while I was out searching for wrapping paper.

Not a bad looking bunch

Much later that same night my SIL and I discovered that the bride had requested the local chip wagon be parked outside the reception. Can't think of a better late night snack after drinking and dancing than a gooey paper box of poutine.

The wedding was lovely and the dress I borrowed was perfect. It fulfilled my demands that it look as good as it felt. It was like wearing Lululemon yoga clothes while looking pretty damn good even in comparison with the twenty-somethings in very short dresses and unbelievably high heels. We made it home on Sunday in time to put two turkeys on the BBQ and had 13 sit down for dinner without a hitch. Monday we looked after our friends' two boys while they went house-hunting and then piled everyone into the car to head to my Mum's for a late lunch of hot turkey sandwiches which really is what Thanksgiving is all about - the leftovers. Of course, our foodie friends outdid us on that one by instead of using plain old bread, they made popovers, took the tops off, put the turkey inside with cranberry sauce and poured gravy over the whole thing. So happy that they are are thinking of moving up to our area to start a new restaurant.

Monday, October 3, 2011

It's gonna be a helluva week

Now I have to be organized. Starting right now even though I am wasting time reading blogs and writing posts. I have today and tomorrow to get ready for Thanksgiving. Don't panic if you're south of the border, you didn't fall asleep and wake up seven weeks late. This coming weekend is our Thanksgiving up here in the Great (not yet white, thank god) North and I have to get everything bought, prepped and ready to go because my Other Half and I leave Friday morning for my cousins wedding and my Mum and Aunt will be staying with the boys until we get home on Sunday when we will have our turkey dinner. Not that it's really a big deal as we have never done an over the top, fully decorated and gourmet meal. But we also have friends who are thinking of moving up to our area coming on Sunday to join us and then go house hunting on Monday so that means that there will be the five of us, Mum, aunt, sister's three and four more guests for dinner. It's a five hour drive from where the wedding is so even if we skip the Sunday brunch it is going to be tight getting home and putting dinner on the table. And despite the fact (or perhaps because of it) my Mum did Thanksgiving for 30 years or more she no longer has any interest in the tradition. I am hoping I can leave her a list and Number One Son who is becoming quite the cook will be able to at least peel some potatoes and maybe even make the stuffing. We barbecue the turkey so it doesn't take up oven space and is done in much less time and it is so much tastier but I can't quite imagine my newly minted teenager sticking his hand in the bird to stuff it. Fingers crossed we can pull this off.

As for the wedding, I am looking forward to it, although what to wear is a little problematic on several fronts. One - the weather. It could be warm, sunny and a glorious fall day or it could be cold, wet and miserable much like today. What to wear? Open toed shoes? Stockings? Hell, I just put socks on for the first time this past weekend. I have two dress options, both black, and v-neck so I hope to find a really fun and funky necklace. When? I'm not sure as I work Wednesday and Thursday so it's today or tomorrow. Problem Number Two - what to wear? If I am honest this isn't a problem since it doesn't really matter what the 45 year old cousin of the groom wears since the bride is 29, a stylist who regularly appears on TV and the groom, 36 are both gorgeous, as are all of their friends. So again, what I wear isn't really relevant other than I want to feel and look good for myself and my date which is a bit of a struggle between being looking sleek and sexy both with the dress on and later when it finally comes off. But Spanx are a turn on, right?

So wish me luck on the pre-Thanksgiving organization front, the What to Wear dilemma and, of course, getting out of the house on Friday with the list of everything the boys have to do on the weekend - hockey, dry land training, friends over to play so they don't kill one another, enough food in the fridge for the never-ending eating they now do. It's never easy leaving even at the best of times, let alone leaving and coming home to a sit down dinner for 14. Oh well, it's two nights in this lovely place with my Other Half and hanging out with the grown ups in my family who make me laugh harder than anyone else. So wish me luck and Happy Thanksgiving and Columbus Day!
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