"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, February 26, 2014

Hope Springs Eternal?

It's almost the end of February and not a spring-like forecast in sight. It seems like since they came up with the name "Polar Vortex" Mother Nature was so pleased she's letting it stick around a little longer. I haven't ridden or even seen my horse in over a month. I have settled into my mid-winter funk and have no intention of getting out of it until the thermometer reads well above zero (Celsius, that is). A couple of weeks ago I did hear a cardinal calling one morning and my heart leapt but the poor old thing must have retreated back into our cedar hedge because I haven't heard a peep since. Georgian Bay has been frozen solid for the first time since we moved here and although it opened because of the winds the other day it is ice-covered again this morning. I have also had to keep the house show-ready every week as we still haven't sold after six months on the market.  My Other Half is away for two weeks at a boat show and I think it is because he was around for most of January that I am finding it so hard to cope without him, of course the boys schedules are crazy and I spend far too much time driving back and forth to the ski hill which is resulting in a formidable gas bill. My Dad, as usual, has stepped in to help out and I will get a break on Thursday night and Friday when I am at our ski club's Ladies Day.

But I have been having a tough time coming up with good things to think about lately (especially as Downton Abbey has finished for another season) and have even tried writing them down when I do but it hasn't helped much. So this is what I have come up with thus far:

  • We all are in bed by 9:30pm most nights, that means lights out for the 11, 13 and 15 year old as well as my Other Half and I pretty much all at the same time. No. 2 Son always pushes it and wants to watch TV or read and now that we have finally weaned them off of us lying with them every night he can read a little after we shut our door. I used to consider myself a night owl but maybe that was only in relation to the morning person I sleep with. Now if I am up past ten I am a basket case in the morning. I really do believe that every hour before midnight counts as double. Boring but hopefully rather virtuous.

  • I have pretty much given up drinking as the combination of staying up late and having even two glasses of wine is lethal. Also, we have entered the era of having to drive our teenagers to and from movies and parties at all hours, although last weekend No. 1 Son took a cab home at midnight which, while costly, was worth me not having to get out of bed to retrieve him. I also have lost all my sense of taste since getting sick over a month ago so I can't even enjoy a good red anymore. Unfortunately this hasn't carried over into eating as I keep cooking things like rice pudding or chocolate chip cookies to see if I can taste them. I have also stopped drinking coffee and now am a green tea granny. Again, it was the fact that after getting sick I suddenly couldn't stand the taste of coffee but I still miss it.

  • We have been consistent in one area with the boys - all screens stay on the kitchen counter at night. No one, including myself and my OH have their phones in our rooms at night. Again, No. 2 is the hardest to police and No. 1 does have his computer in his room but he is so tired at the end of a day of training, dry land and classes that he can barely keep his eyes open and is often the first to put himself to bed.

  • I cook and we eat homemade meals 90% of the time and when we do go out it is to places that don't serve prepackaged meals. Our only fast food foray might be to Tim Horton's as a last resort. The boys, for the most part (No. 2 is again the challenge, no surprise) make healthy snacks after school and pack their own lunches every morning. We go through more eggs, bacon and tuna than is prescribed in the food pyramid but I make complete dinners and always have cut up veggies on the table. They all complain from time to time but I refuse to act as short order cook and prepare separate meals according to their whims. I am also forcing encouraging them to cook more things other than just breakfast or Kraft Dinner on their own.
So that's it, my list of good things for now. There are plenty of other things I would like to be able to add such as less yelling by everyone on the house, getting more exercise and finding something that excites me outside of the house. In the meantime I am spending too much time on line and watching reruns of the Gilmore Girls. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Is this the Road to Pyeongchang?

We've had a tough go of it since Christmas. We're on Snow Day number seven and it doesn't look good for school tomorrow. The Arctic Vortex has had us in its icy grip for three weeks and with windchill temperatures in the -30C range. Buses haven't just been cancelled, the school has actually been closed for four day which hardly ever happens. My Other Half's drive to and from work has been a constant white-knuckler and I'm starting to understand why No.1 Son is in no rush to get his licence since turning 16 at the beginning of the month. The number of cars we've seen in ditches and spinning around in circles is enough to put anyone off from driving.

The front of our manufacturing plant, they've had to dig out the two doors to get in every morning.

But there has been some good times too despite all the wintery weather as we are, first and foremost, a ski family after all and the snow on the hills has been amazing.

No. 1 Son had a top ten finish in his first race over Christmas and then was discouraged by his results in the next two but that made his third place finish last weekend all the sweeter. He has worked so hard, both on the hill and off and no one deserved it more. He has another race tomorrow and is then off to Lake Placid on Sunday for some more training and then back for a CanAM series so fingers crossed.

Ben (on the right)

No. 2 Son has had and has been a bit of a challenge, to say the least, after coming second in his first race he had a set back, fracturing his T1 vertebrae over Christmas so he was off for three weeks but came back strong and finished in the top ten in his second race. At home it's been even more challenging as he approaches his 14th birthday. He is the master debater in our house and I can only hope he finds a career that rewards his verbal dexterity and single-mindedness. In the meantime he has been fortunate enough to spend lots of time with his grandfather who has infinite patience and gives him the attention he so craves.

Cam (on the right)

No. 3 Son trucks along at his own break-neck pace, still hating school and loving every moment outside whether on the hill, across the street at our neighbours backyard skating rink or mini terrain park. If and when we ever sell this house (and I'm not holding my breath with our evermore frustratingly-full-of-excuses real estate agents) he will miss his gang of like-minded boys in the neighbourhood. After conquering his fear that his torn ACL would hold him back he also had a disappointing first race which was a good wake up call for the boy who is used to winning everything. And he did come second in the latest race and is looking forward to his next one on Friday.

Griff (third from the left)

I hope the Arctic Vortex heads back up north soon, the dog and I are tired of being stuck inside and he really doesn't appreciate the snow up to his chest when he has to go outside and lift his leg. Now I'm off to the high school to do course selection with No. 3 and not quite sure how it is possible to have two almost high school age sons. No. 1 is the same age as I was when I met his father but no girls in his life (that I know of) so far which I guess is not a bad thing as his sights are set much higher than placing in a few races on the Niagara Escarpment. Maybe this is the road to Pyeongchang.

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