Showing posts from June, 2009

A Week Of Extremes And Realization Of The Importance Of Being

A big week. A week of strange extremes.

Both children graduated this week: Em has finished Grade 8, Dee Grade 5. Both go to new schools in the fall, and while it's extremely exciting, it's also hard to swallow. Our children are growing up, and I'm not ready for it.

My beautiful daughter, Em. Fourteen, going on 26. We're very proud of our baby girl, who got Principal's Award yet again, as well as the English Award. Straight As across the board (except in Music, but that's because she readily admitted to being lazy and not we are punishing her for the summer with loads of music lessons and being allowed to only listen to classical renditions of hit songs, aka Musak, for the entire summer).Our little Dee, full of glee and smiles, with his teacher. He did really well in all his subjects as well, but excelled in heading soccer balls. That's our boy.

And then, another hard few days at work. Too much disorganization, too many people taking time off, and i…

Itchy Nipples

I don't know about you, but lately, I've had the itchiest nipples ever.

Digging my nails under my shirt and under my bra, I can't say it's a pretty picture.

And itchy love muffins just make me think about Jon and Kate, and that just makes me sad. I hate to admit it, but here goes. I feel like my very close friends have just announced their impending death, and I find out that all that money they were bequeathing to me ... was just a big fat lie. Which just makes me want to puke, because of course they aren't close friends of mine. So, who am I to even say that? That's what I'd say to someone else telling me exactly what I've just told all of you. And, I would never even be friends with someone like Kate, because Kate is nasty and mean, and bossy, and I would have to react to her in a very passive-aggressive way, which would be exhausting. Not only that, but her hair freaks me right the heck out. What the hell? She looks like she's got a sizeable hedge…

I Will Always Love You, Even When I Don't Like You Very Much

I can't do anything right. And I am an awful mother.

This is what my daughter thinks of me.

And I have to ask myself, how did we get to this place?

I know. So many friends with children older than mine have told me this is what it's like. "Just wait, it gets worse before it gets better," they tell me, smirking.

Except, it's not so funny.

And although, if I can step back and look at it all objective-like, pretending I'm just an observer, I can accept this place we're in, and know that this is all 'normal' and expected.

But it feels so abnormal, so wrong, and so awful, that I can't for the life of me see how it could be normal, in any sense of the word.

Because it was just yesterday that I was holding her tiny hand in mine, and she looked up to me as her everything, her adviser, her truth teller, her safe place. Where did that little girl go?

Now, we have a girl who is still a little girl in so many ways, but is also growing up all too quickly, and beli…

Father's Day Mackerel Style

I spent the better part of Sunday doing what my children should have been doing, seeing as it's their father we were celebrating, and seeing as they are more than old enough to deal with making a nice breakfast and helping out with preparing the picnic we planned to have for dinner to celebrate their wonderful dad and all that he is.

Yeah, whatever.

Dee took two hours to wash dishes from the day before, because that's how he rolls, and that's after arguing with him about it for close to 20 minutes because he wasn't washing them properly, and they were ending up dirtier than when he started. And Em was cranky, what else is new. So, I started making Mr. Handsome's omelette, replete with peppers, red pepper cream cheese, and onions, as well as a batch of bacon, just the way he likes it, but inside I was boiling, because why can't the kids just stop fighting and whining and act their age?

Oh. They are acting their age? Goddammit.

Well, grow up then.

Mr. Handsome loved h…

Happy Dad Day, To My Favourite Dads

My father was a good father.

He was the kind of dad who would spend his only free day of the entire week with his kids. He would take us camping every year without fail, on his own, because we loved it. He tried to teach us life lessons with every event, and sometimes was just as happy not to, and to just "be" with his children.

He raised his children mostly on his own, after his wife left him. He did the best he could with what he had and knew.

My favourite time was squeezing in beside him in his old rocking chair, placing my head on his chest, and listening to his heart beating. And the best part was when he would speak: his low voice reverberating in his chest and through my head, almost putting me in a trance.

He was a great father, a great friend, and I miss him a lot. Happy Father's Day, Daddy.

Mr. Handsome is a good father.

He spends his weekend putting a basketball net together for his son. He invites the kids to come along biking whe…

A Little Slice of Heaven on Earth

Give Kids The World. The most wondrous, absolutely marvelous place on the face of this earth.

We had the great fortune of spending a week there back in 2002. It happened by chance, as most things in life do, and we are forever grateful to everyone and anyone to have had the opportunity to experience this place of heaven on earth.

The Castle at Give Kids The World. Dee has a glowing star on the ceiling there, forever and ever. Every child who visits gets a star. Just another amazing thing about this place.

I guess "great fortune" is a misnomer in this case, seeing as to get to spend a week here, you have to have a child with a life-threatening illness. Just a minor detail.

GKTW is a tiny little village in Kissimmee, Florida, built specifically to give families with a child who has a life-threatening illness just a little taste of happiness and joy.

The famous Ice Cream Palace. Let's just say we spent A LOT of time there. Doing what, you ask? Eating. Ice. Cream.Sundaes.

We didn…

Llamas and Alpacas, Oh My!

Ottawa is known for being the capital of Canada, for having some of the most beautiful scenery, for having a farm smack dab in the middle of the city, and for being the place of birth of the Beavertail.

It also has llama and alpaca farms.

This alpaca is not a nice alpaca. Notice the stare. He is staring us down as we near the fence. I am not imagining this.That's right. Llamas and alpacas.

I suppose, if you want to get technical, I'd have to say the farm we saw wasn't in Ottawa proper. More like on the outskirts, in a little village called Osgoode, about half an hour from Ottawa. Which, for we Ottawans, is still Ottawa, because we're self-centred like that.

Dee and I happened upon this farm as we went on a Sunday morning road trip. We just up and went, early Sunday, without a destination in mind. I just wanted to get out. It was a beautiful day, Dee was needing some one-on-one attention, and that's how it happened. Within half an hour, after Dee packed up some cold sal…

The Excitement Is Overwhelming, aka Thanks For Coming Out

I can't believe it! I won something! I actually won!

That's right, guys! I won an Ipod shuffle!! Awesome Stesha over at Hot Chocolate Caramel Mocha had a contest, or something, I don't actually remember what it was that I somehow entered. That gives you some idea of how fried my brain is. Anyway, I won this Ipod, and I was so excited when I found out that I almost wet myself and had multiple orgasms, all at the same time. Now, that's excitement.

Before I go on with this sad and totally self-centred post, please visit Steshaand give her some smiles.

I think I screamed when Stesha emailed me to tell me I had won. Mr. Handsome was sitting on one side of me, and Em on the other, and when I told them, they looked at me like I was ... well ... nuts.

And then I got upset because they started making fun of my utter excitement and my disbelief that I had actually won something, and that 'something' being an actual Ipod!

Both Mr. Handsome and Em scoffed that it wasn't rea…

Just Call Me Van Gogh

My left ear was the last straw.

As Mr. Handsome so succinctly put it, "Can't anything on you work?"

Well, I guess the short answer to that would be, "Apparently not."

I thought today we'd start taking a closer look at my various body parts, one by one, to give you an idea of who I am, or perhaps, what I'm not.

In today's lesson, we have the head. Overall, not bad. Head coverage, that is. My hair is usually pretty good. My crowning glory. Yes, I have to over-condition it now that I'm aging, so that it doesn't come out of the shower looking like an old Brillo pad. But, in the grand scheme of overall bodily function, it's no problemo.

Then, we come to the skull and the brain within. Lots of headaches. Bad ones. Bad bad migraines that at times cripple me, and make me lie in the fetal position on the bed, sucking my left thumb and whimpering. Been dealing with those since I was four years old, actually. No one believed me back then, however. I tol…

Our Dad Says Hi

Planting flowers at our dad's (and now our mother's as well) gravesite. Dee, my brother Adonis, and myself.

Our annual ritual.Bitter cold that Sunday. There was hail that day, and rain. The wind whipped our bare hands as my brother and son dug and watered and planted, and I stood supervising and taking the odd photograph. Those are my specialties. That, and drinking consecutive mojitos and eating an entire supersized bag of Cheetos in one hour.

A sad time, for sure. Lots of memories.

This year, however, we did some laughing as we reminisced. Remembering the silly things our parents would say or do.
It is our first year planting flowers for our mother as well. She passed away in March. And although our parents separated way back in 1972, my father paid for a spot for my mother next to him, to make sure she had somewhere to go and that she'd be taken care of.

My brothers and I are now orphans. And, when I really think about it, I am very sad, and don't really believe it yet. …

The Unseen Imprint

The other day, Iwas in this big funk at work.

Not because of anything, really.

It all came down to the fact that I wasn't getting invited to eat lunch with some of the others who take lunch at the same time. I was feeling very left out, and it hurt. I sat there, in the kitchen/lunch room, which overlooks the picnic tables outside, and I watched as six or more staff sat out there, enjoying each other's company. And here I sat, alone. It's almost as if I was playing out a sort of self-torture, a sado-masochistic ritual.

Now, I know I'm a grown-up (well, I think I am), and I know it probably just looked that way, but I couldn't help feeling the way I felt, and the pain it caused. And all because a couple of people (one of them the person who is training me) are too rude or self-centred to think about anyone but themselves.

And then I wonder why some people just seem to fit in effortlessly, get invited into all the group events, are part of the "crowd", and every…

Flapping Asses And Arms, Yo

When your ass flaps against the backs of your legs, you know it's time to hit the gym.

And, as luck would have it, I looked up "ass flap" in the dictionary, and guess who I saw? That's right. Me. With my ass, hitting the backs of my legs like there's no tomorrow.

There was no better time than Saturday to witness this amazing event, as I spent the better part of the day gardening. That's right. I gardened my entire front area, including three largish pots, the entire front of the steps, and I also put down a bag full of black mulch, because I saw it at someone's house last week and liked it enough to remember it. I thought it looked awesome, and would therefore make my house and garden look awesome as well. That's how it works, isn't it?

As I tilled the soil and got my hands extremely dirty (well, mostly my right hand, because I tend to use one hand more than the other, and I also tend to unconsciously keep one hand clean when doing dirty tasks. No, I…

Romance At Its Finest

Mr. Handsome and I went out for dinner Thursday night. Alone. Without children. Just the two of us. No one else.

Grandma decided to steal the kids and take them to see the movie Up and then for a bite to eat.

And because I, in my perpetual peri-menopausal state of flux, began cramping and menstruating again for the second time in a one-and-a-half-week period (ha! period! get it?), there wasn't going to be any hokey pokey going on around here between Mr. Handsome and I. So, what's the next best thing, you ask? Food, of course!

So, off we went to Capone's, this wonderful little Italian restaurant we've been to many times. The inside is dark, the walls covered with photos of Mafia figures. Of course, I had to be led to our table by my arm, my eyes unable to focus and adjust to darkness very quickly.

I ended up having the chicken amaretto, which I love, especially since it comes with this amazing potato that is shaped like a thick finger and cooked in some kind of coating that…

Ice Cream Memories

The bowl of ice cream sits beside me. Frost lines the bowl. The spoon shifts as the mound begins to melt ever so slightly. I take a spoonful and let it rest on my tongue.
The chocolate envelopes my every sense. My mind goes back in time. I am nine years old. It's summertime. The heat rises from the pavement in front of the house, waves of vibrating heat, so thick I'm sure I could touch it. The buzz of junebugs fills the air.
I spend my days on my bike, or running through neighbour's yards, soaking in the sun's energy, so happy to be alive. I feel happy, healthy, and am able to forget about the sadness that rests inside my home.
My father comes home from working a hard shift. His familiar smell as he walks in the door greets me. Sweat, oil, fatigue. He works hard.
I check his pockets and pull out the slim box of gum he always seems to have. I feel like he keeps the gum there for me. Fruit-flavoured. My favourite. I take a couple of pieces, a special treat, and replace the box…

Dog of Big Claws and Little Brain

There is nothing worse than (except perhaps a colonoscopy/endoscopy two-for-one deal) your so-smart-he's-stupid standard poodle running up and down the wooden stairs at 5 a.m., when you don't have to be up for another two hours, and especially when you consider sleep to be a very rare commodity.

So, there was Gryphon, our lovely standard poodle who is often mistaken for a golden doodle because we don't do the frou frou haircut and style poofy thing with his hair, and he's making spins on the hardwood as he races up the stairs to our bedrooms, frantically sniffing under every door, and then races back down the stairs. A couple of minutes later --- clack, clackety, clack clack --- back up the stairs he comes, and the scene repeated itself again.

Gryphon in one of his quieter moments. Note the innocent look on his face. Don't be fooled.

I have not slept through a night since I was first pregnant back in 1994. It's a way of life for me now. I'm a very light sleepe…

Beauty In The Midst of Chaos

Although my backyard may be the perfect example of a complete and utter mess, there is still beauty to be found.

Honeysuckle growing by the front door. I have yet to see hummingbirds here, but I never say never.

Bridal veil spirea. Perfection in nature.

Bleeding hearts I planted last year and forgot about. And this year, they gift me with this. I am in awe.

Our bridal veil spirea plants in the front yard. We are the envy of the neighbourhood for only a very short time, when these plants blossom. And then, we are once again relegated to the garbage heap of neighbours: those who don't follow the rules, do their own thing, and let the grass grow just a little longer than everyone else. I wouldn't have it any other way, except if we hired a handsome, half naked Spanish lawnboy to come cut the grass while I sit in my deck chair and swig down a Mike's Hard Lemonade as I supervise.