Friday, May 25, 2007

Micheal Card is a genius

Listening to "Come to the Cradle" because A loaded it onto my mp3 player - it's been a fair while since my kids were babies, but this song made me want to stand up and shout "Amen!" And I'm a Baptist.

Nathan's Song

Welcome now little stranger
to a world filled with wonder
filled full of the fragrance of
life's sweet bouquet
but dear one, take warning
that birth's a like a morning
to a lifetime that flies past
like one single day

soak up like sponge all that's joyful and best
and squeeze yourself out upon those who are blessed
A God-given gift has been wrapped up in you
You show more of Him than I'll ever teach you.

etc ...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Just to keep some balance

I am almost out of the Prize Winning Mustard CCAP gave me at Christmas time. I have made it last this long by not letting anyone else taste it, and hiding it at the back of the refrigerator in case we have company who don't know the Mustard Rules. In spite of all that, it will not make it through a summer of hot dogs.

"Into each life a little rain must fall", indeed.

Why the butter bell, you ask?

Okay so here's the thing.

Margarine, while being inexpensive and tasting acceptable, is Death to Good Cholesterol. A few years ago, I was told my bad cholesterol was fine (to an unnamed relatives' everlasting surprise because "really??? but you're FAT." Yes. Mindboggling. I don't have AIDS or cancer, either. Not even bunions. Yet.) HOWEVER, my good cholesterol was on the low side. So I went home and asked Dr. Google what to do, and he told me to switch to butter, and hang the expense.

So switch I did. Enter the great problem. How oh how do you keep butter spreadable without it melting and running out the sides of the lovely Tupperware container you have? Or just melting in whatever it's in, or separating and getting disgusting ...So far, we've used a Corelle bowl, which is not coverable, and Things have fallen into it. And still, there is the meltage. (My good cholesterol is in an acceptable range, however)

Enter the butter bell. Sealed, fresh, spreadable. Plus mine is red with a pewter rooster on it.

Life, my friends, is beautiful.

Thirteen moments of light

(from Michael Card's song "The pain and the longing/the joy and the moments of light/are the rhythm and rhyme/the free verse of the poem of life")

1. Dwight's music in my ear, on my MP3 player at work.

2. Maddie kicking her heart out in a mud puddle.

3. Hot coffee.

4. Giving that coffee to two homeless men huddled together under the overpass, out of the May snow.

5. B on rollerblades, blazing around the park with the puppy bouncing along beside him.

6. E-mail from Massachusetts.

7. C's baby, snug and safe, kicking against my eager palm.

8. Size 22 instead of size 24.

9. The teenaged boy I hired to mow the lawn backing away from the $20 bill I offered him, because he thought that was way too much money for a few hour's work.

10. My mother's voice on the phone.

11. A butter bell. (this is so miraculous to me that I feel like it should have its' own post.)

12. A and her dad working on a kite for a school project.

13. Wandering with the pup.

Was that the July long weekend?

So the local folklore says that if you wait until the May long weekend to plant your bedding plants, you are safe from the risk of frost.

There's a heavy snowfall warning in Calgary today. Accidents all over the city, roads like a skating rink. The neighbour's bedding plants? running for cover. My weeds, however, are camouflaged nicely.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

One from the Y chromosome child

(I try to keep the stories balanced, in case anyone's counting.)

I washed their soccer clothes the other day, and then forgot to put them in the dryer. Consequently B was standing in the laundry room waiting for his soccer uniform 2 seconds before he had to leave for the game. At the last possible second, he snatched his uniform and put it on.

"Well" he said "the shirt's a little damp, but these shorts? They're headed to Lava Land!!!!!"

Now why didn't that occur to me?

Conversation with my eldest:

Me: Hey, were you okay last night? You were so quiet after the movie, I was wondering if I had somehow hurt your feelings.

A: No, I was trying to see how long I could go without opening my mouth.

Me: Um. How did that come about?

A: Oh I just noticed at one point that it had been a long time since I'd opened my mouth so I decided to see how much longer I could make that last.

Monday, May 21, 2007


so is self-discipline something you're born with? are some people genetically predisposed to it?

Can you take it in pill form?

Weather sucks, I'm tired and hungry (good sign my sugars are out of whack) and the puppy *gasp* is annoying me.

I'm in such a bad mood I may as well go write a novel :)

Ways to Get SideTracked Writing A Novel

1. Spend a week wondering how old is too young to get married in this world you've created.

2. Spend some more time wondering if you have a 14 yr old protagonist whose father gets killed in the first three chapters, is that YA fiction? And if it's YA, are people allowed to get married, or does that make it no longer YA? but if they don't get married, how can they give birth to the two children who figure largely in Novel #2. (yes, I know. Shut up.)

3. Spend half an hour trying to decide if you need the word "diminishing" before "mob".

4. Try to figure out what the dog is crunching on. (turned out to be a small vial of frankincense - I'd call the vet but I'm pretty sure "the dog ate my frankincense" isn't a question they get on a daily basis)

5. Blog.

6. Read it out loud to your half asleep husband and ask him if the redemptive analogy is working. When he says "Huh?", spend half an hour rethinking the entire novel with your right brain, while your left brain laughs at you because you KNOW how dopey he is in the morning.

7. Give the kids chore lists that have to be enforced.

8. Decide that RIGHT NOW is the time to figure out where on earth all the Adventures in Odyssey DVD's are.

9. Beg for coffee.

10. Write this whole scene where Brynn asks Kharfel a million questions as they carry his dying father through the forest and then think - but wait. Would Brynn be asking all these questions at a time like this? (I know I would - I get through pain by cocooning myself in information, more and more and more of it.) As you sit stupefied at your computer trying to answer that question ....

11. Have your husband finally wake up and tell you he wants you to go to Home Depot with him.

ARGH. At least Brynn's Dad is half-dead. Kharfel is carting him through the forest as you read this. For all I know, Kharfel could be carting him through the forest for the rest of the week, because I am getting hauled away from this computer now and who knows when I'll get back?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Did I mention I'm writing a book?

Here's what it's like.

The first draft is kind if like extracting a tapeworm - tedious and difficult and the results kind of disgust you.

Doesn't that make you want to go write one yourself?

The interesting thing is, when I write poetry, and I'm finished the first draft, I think "Wow. That is the best thing I have ever written. Every word is golden. What a shining example of my brilliance." And then I go read it five days later and it has degenerated into something Badly Needing Work.

When I'm writing prose, however, I look at what I've done that day and think "Wow, that is so bad. I think I'll go read something well written and depress myself." And then I go read it five days later and it has magically improved.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Books I Quite Enjoyed That I May or May Not Have Mentionned Yet (in no particular order)

1. Out of Africa, by Isak Dinesen

2. Tigana, by Guy Gavriel Kay

3. Pascal's Wager, by Nancy Rue

4. Awakening, by Angela Hunt

5. Apples of Gold, a Parable of Purity, by Lisa Samson

6. Wrapped in Rain, by Charles Martin

7. A Clearing in the Wild, by Jane Kirkpatrick

8. Alphabet of Thorn, by Patricia McKillip

9. The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver

10. A Poetry Handbook, by Mary Oliver

11. The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein

12. The Bible

13. The Big Red Barn, by Margaret Wise Brown

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Dear clothing manufacturers

When did small boys = skulls happen? And why?

And cut it out. He's EIGHT. With a full head of hair. And he's fully capable of imagining his own violence without parading around with that kind of crap on his clothes.

But while we're at it, thank you for long skinny shirts = young girls.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


Me: Good morning, X. Could you please have a shower before church this morning?

X: Well I was GOING to, but now I don't want to.

Me: (trying not to laugh) I'm sorry.

X: BeSIDES. All that's going to be showing is my HANDS and my FACE.

Editttttted to add:

(ten minutes later)

Child X: Mom, I have decided not to have a shower this morning.

Me: X. Get in the shower.

X (louder than ALL CAPS make it sound): I HAVE BEEN CLEAN FOR TOO MUCH OF THIS MONTH!!!

Last I heard, the shower in the kids bathroom was running.

Who gave that woman a dog? and why won't she stop writing letters to it?

Dear Puppy,

(never mind how old she is - she's 12 lbs. She'll be a puppy forever)

Thank you for learning not to eat goose poop. Now could you stop rolling in it, please?

Sorry I let the big mean goose attack you at the park today. I thought it was the best way for you to figure out that they do not want to play with you, and the fluffy yellow thing they have with them is not a stuffed animal, no matter how interesting it looks. I'm hoping that in a day or two you will stop yelping when you see geese on the path.

Yes, I will drop the leash and let you run your legs off. No, I do not believe you will catch a robin. Please forgive this lack of faith in you. Please notice that cats catch birds by sneaking up on them. Cats do not define "sneaking" as "running top speed and barking, with your leash bouncing behind you".

I know we were gone for three days and the kids had school and soccer and and and but that does NOT give you the right to pee on the floor every time you see me talking to the guinea pig.

Also the guinea pig is not a puppy and does not want to play with you. Also it has very long sharp teeth and will bite harder than a goose, who didn't even really bite you, you big baby.

Don't eat the bird bones the cats leave on the ground, please.

Don't eat dirty kleenexes you find in the street.

The bedroom garbage is not a Chew Toy Storage bin. Drop that! And that! Is that my underwear in your mouth???

Can I interest you in some goose poop??

the one that walks you

ps thanks for snorting for joy when I come home. Have a treat. Sorry it doesn't smell worse.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Time's fun when you're having flies

Today I dropped my daughter and her friend off at the Mall, to go shopping on their own for an hour and a half. And they didn't even look too young to be going off their own like that.

Today TechnoDad took B shopping with his birthday money, and there's been this huge man-child in roller blades thundering around our neighbourhood all afternoon, looking like he knows what he's doing, and sharing with his sister and all that nonsense.

Tonight the two of them hung out downstairs watching a movie and building forts and treating each other with respect and kindness all evening long while I did the dishes, etc.

I'm going to look at baby pictures now.

Friday, May 04, 2007

I *told* you I was lucky

(lifted from the comments - I think H just changed the Thursday Thirteen to a Friday FreeForAll ;)

14. He would drive thousands of miles to pick up someone he cared about, wire money across the ocean if his sisters needed it, or give away almost anything he owned if it would help a person he loved through a rough spot.

15. He is an adventure junkie.

16. He'll help you solve almost any computer problem (unless you buy a Mac - then you're on your own).

17. He likes to learn and keeps his mind open to new possibilities.

18. He would consider driving across 2 provinces just to come skydiving with me (maybe next time).

19. He's crazy about his wife and it shows when he brags about her.

20. Even though he is about as smart and confident as a person can get, he manages to stay humble.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Hey it's Thursday!

Thirteen Things I Love About My Husband

1. He's got an astonishing amount of common sense.

2. He is the most consistent person I have ever met. (A and I were discussing this the other day and she said "I know!!!! How does he DO that??")

3. Even when he hates what I cook, he says "Thank you for the supper."

4. He is an involved father, and his children know he loves them.

5. He recognizes his faults and tries to correct them.

6. He has great hair.

7. He has the gift of spontaneity. (In the interest of stark honesty, I do not always prize this trait.)

8. He loves his family with his whole heart, and there is nothing he wouldn't do for them. Not just me and the kids, his siblings and his mother as well.

9. He loves God.

10. He is a loyal friend, and strives to be there for his friends when they are hurting.

11. He is allowing a dog to live in this house, even though she sometimes pees on the floor when she sees him, because he knows how much it means to me and the kids.

12. (see the whole last post)

13. He is frighteningly bright.


TechnoBoy and I were away for a few days, celebrating a quarter of a century of married bliss. Well okay, bliss, determination, mediocrity, moments of light, great companionship, hundreds of thousands of miles in a vehicle together, well over a thousand stops for someone other than the driver to use the bathroom, laughing, crying, saying stupid things to each other, saying sweet things to each other, saying things that make each other laugh until we can't breathe, maybe even a hundred games of Settlers and two million snores.

Wouldn't have changed a thing. Well that's not true. I'd learn to be nicer, sooner, and maybe I'd've had an unselfishness switch installed so I could always respond with grace. Because I love the man with my whole heart, and I feel really really really really lucky.

I'm sure there's a more eloquent way to say that.

He changed my life. Sure, marriage changes a person. But when we met, I didn't like ME very much. I covered that behind a lot of loud laughter and a lot of words, a torrent of words, and oh, could I be funny and sarcastic and could I ever make great fun of myself. But underneath - I believed every negative message I whispered into my own ear. This is what lucky is: I would have married the first man that paid attention to me - in fact, I did. (Don't get me wrong - I loved him. But when you're in that needy a place, emotionally, you don't necessarily love with any measure of wisdom.) We met when I was in Grade 12, and we spent the next three years trying to wait until we were old enough to get married. Lucky is when you marry the first man that comes along, and that man is TechnoBoy. He loves me. He approves of me. He doesn't look at me and think "Wow what a screw up." In the early years I used to say "He's pretty sure if I ever did anything wrong it was by accident." I know better than that now - but there is no substitute for that kind of love. He thinks I'm great. He likes it when I'm goofy, and he does me the honour of having serious conversations with me, like I have a clue what I'm talking about. Whatever it is I want to try, he thinks I can do it. And then he thinks I should do it, and there is nothing quite as life-changing for an insecure person like I was as having someone in your corner like that. Wholeheartedly approving of you and cheering you on and sometimes, even in awe of you.*

He rescued me. He rescued me from insecurity and overcompensating and freed me to be the woman God wants me to be.

That's what lucky is.

*I'm in awe of him too. He can use the phrase "refractive index" in ordinary conversation and make people know what he means.