Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hallowe'en - the one that's not about the kids

The people where I work celebrate Hallowe'en. Enthusiastically. The two departments have a decorating contest, and each department chooses a theme and dresses to that theme. The theme for our department this year was ...

Zombie mobsters and flappers.

I wanted to be a good sport but I didn't have a suit, and I didn't think I needed to inflict a size 2X flapper on the world. We got a flyer in the mail from Fabricland and there were some Hallowe'en costumes in the flyer.

"Look" I whined to TechnoBoy, pointing to a picture. "I want to be one of THOSE, not a gangster or a flapper."

He smiled. "You could call that a flapper."

And he was right.

So not only did I go as a flapper, I was the HOTTEST flapper there.

Because I was wearing approximately 5 yards of polar fleece.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Hey Heather!!

Are you up sewing costumes?

I am!!

Wish you were here.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Must. Stop. Reading

In the past five days, I have read:

The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield

Love Walked In, by Maria de los Santos (I think)

Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen

The first 6 chapters of BLue Shoes and Happiness.

And they were all so marvelous in their very different ways. I am bloated with wordsd, with other people's lives.

Time to go sleep it off.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Not the best day ever

Work - I spend all morning in a human rights session about how to avoid having harrassment claims filed in the workplace. I learn that I can be charged with harrassment if I make any kind of comment about your race, your religion, your physical disability, your gender or your sexual orientation, but you know what? If I taunt you about your WEIGHT, the law doesn't care.

Hoo boy do I care. I'm still steaming about that when my cell phone rings. It's A, and.among other things, her lunch money has been stolen and she's really close to completely coming apart. I leave work for the day and take her to Tim Horton's for chili.

I get home and walk the dog and tidy the house because the appraiser from the bank is coming to assess the house at 4. At 3, B and the boy I look after after school come in.

"I can't talk so good," B says, holding his face. "A bully punched me right in the face on the playground after school."

I polished up my outrage and grabbed the phone but he had already told the vice prinicipal, so I made him Kraft Dinner for an after-school snack instead.

M sits down beside me on the couch. "Some kids at my school play a silly game", he said. "They all play "Keep away from M germs" where someone touches me so everyone runs away screaming."

It's why we need to be cheerful moms, why sometimes there should be chocolate cake, why we need to put down what we're doing and listen. It's a rotten world out there some days - let's make our homes a refuge for those people we love the most.

Is that the time?

9:45 p.m. I was very tired. A was doing homework and wanted company. I sifted through the pile of books clamouring to be read and pulled out The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield.

A worked on homework, I read. A finished her homework, I read. I moved from the couch to the floor to the couch to the floor and never once took in a detail of this household. At some point I must have gone to the bathroom, because my jeans are in there, on the floor, kicked into a corner.

I read all 406 pages. Sequentially, even. I read the acknowledgements and the Reader's Club Guide and "A Conversation with Diane Setterfield" in the back of the book and if I didn't have to go to work tomorrow, I would sit down and read it all again.

Maybe just a few pages as I'm drifting off to sleep ...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Nothing much going on over here

"Oh, I can have coffee", I chirrupped, "I'm not going to sleep tonight anyway."

That was at 7 pm. By midnight I was snoring. I think. I can't hear myself snore but people tell me I knew it. And sure enough, seconds later, there was a small boy standing beside my bed.

"Nightmare?" I asked.

"No", he replied "I just thought you should get up because I just woke up and it's 7:50."

ACK GASP SPLUTTER hurry like a mad fool. Manage to break the kitchen tap right off and spray the kitchen walls before trapping the hose (it's one of those ones that you can pull out. Or, it was one of those. Now it's one of those ones, only broken, so it has a cloth tied around the hose so that it doesn't disappear inside the tap.) Throw the dog in the backyard and pray she pees. Try to encourage and not shout and drive B to school and chase A's bus with the van because there is Ladies Bible Study in this disaster zone in less than half an hour so you can NOT drive her to school and do not yell, do not yell, do not yell and do not say ANYthing about how she can't leave the house until her hair, her beautiful curly hair, is as straight as a poker and get home and unload and reload the dishwasher and tidy the living room and clean (the worst parts of) the bathroom and start to make coffee and oh my goodness, I'm still not over it. I feel like I have been hit by a truck. I'm counting the hours until I can lie down.

Not much up tonight though - picking up books from Christian Publications (Hollywood Nobody - YAY! the last Heavenly Daze book - YAY! etc - YAY!) and taking A to the doctor and then maybe to get her finger xrayed and returning jackets and sweaters and pillows to the girls who were sleeping here this weekend and finding something for supper and having a Bible Study here tonight. Right now I'm babysitting. Babysitting gets easier when your kids are 8. It's not so much "babysitting" as it is "finding out where the kids are every half an hour or so and listening for bloodcurdling screams". I'm drinking an ice cold Fresca, and other than the fact that my eyes are still unwilling to focus, what with being so rudely yanked open this morning, life is good.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Why I'm Not Doing a Thursday Thirteen today

When the first thing that pops into your head when you try to think about a topic for a Thursday Thirteen is "Thirteen People Who Should Shut Right Up", it's likely best to back away from the computer.

on the other hand, as I was attempting to navigate the Internet today at work, I got the best blog name ever:

"Done, but with errors on the page."

Much better today, thanks

So last night, for some reason, I had one of those nights where rage crouches inside your head like a caged tiger, just itching to burst out.

I can often distract myself, and so I tried writing, and got 70 words in before Word started typing obscure special characters instead of quotes and question marks, and I closed it down and then when I tried to re-open it, all shortcuts to Word had disappeared from my desktop. When I called TechnoBoy to help me, he asked me WAIT? What? WAIT? I ground my teeth to stumps and 3.6 minutes later he came and fixed it and I stuck my tongue out at my computer and remembered ...

Migraines. Biggest clue I am getting one? Unreasonable murderous rage.

I went to bed.

The migraine has not materialized. I'm hoping I tricked it.

ps the 70 words? I'm so stuck. Is Kraith going to surrender the wood without question or is Brynn going to have to argue with him? Or follow him and steal it? or ??? I don't think it's fair of Brynn to make Kraith compromise himself like that, just when things are going so much better for him.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Odyssey overload

Dear John Avery Whittaker,

Wow, do my kids like you. Wow am I tired of hearing the same two episodes of Adventures in Odyssey playing *simultaneously* from the kids bedrooms while they fall asleep. In fact, I'm considering sticking forks in my eyes to make the whole experience more enjoyable.


Cranky in Calgary

Friday, October 12, 2007

Silica gel update

Does no harm to dogs or children, according to Dr. Google.

Based on observation, does no harm to 12 lb dogs.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Kid bits

I forget what I was talking about, but I said "Hey, I know - stick it in your ear." (I was talking to B)

B laughed. "No, we could stick it in your ear, and then it would land on your cochlea."

Me: "Cochlea?"

B: Oh fine, then, the part that looks like a water slide."

Me: "Did you say cochlea?"

B: "Well it's not like it would get as far as the hammer."

Me: "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, the COCHLEA."


The kids are back in piano lessons. One of them is doing very well. I had the following conversation with the other one today.

Me: I think we need to talk about the lies you're telling yourself.

Child: I'm not lying!!!

Me: Not out loud you're not. I mean the lies you are telling yourself in your head about how you can't play the piano.

Child: Oh, those.


A ordered a hair straightener for her birthday. She straightened her hair almost immediately, and it looks great. It looks great curly, too, but she is just so pleased. She can't stop touching it, and styling it, and looking at it in the mirror.

There's no punchline to that one, I'm just sayin'.

Ok what else? The dog is still cute, and really smart when she wants to, and really very stupid when she wants to be.

And Yipes! I'm teaching an 8 week poetry workshop, like someone who knows what she's talking about, starting next Monday. I'm a bit overwhelmed - I only put my name on the list because Intro Poetry never has enough registrants, and I was tired of disappointing people who wanted to teach. So ha ha, joke's on me. And all those people who signed up hoping to learn something.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Can a dog eat silica thingummies?

Apparently, yes, with no negative side effects.

I'll let you know if that changes.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Add to your reading list

I'm going to quote a paragraph to you, and then I'm going to ask you all to go lend support to my dear never-met-in-person friend T, who is writing her story. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

When he came (back) home, a couple of hours later, the bruise was starting. It wasn't horrible yet, but it was starting. He had gone to get a haircut, and while he was there, he paid for me to get my hair cut & colored. Wasn't that nice?

She's at, and her courage humbles me. (Her first post on the topic is dated October 1.)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

In the spirit of Art Linkletter

So we're sitting around doing the things we do. B drapes himself over my shoulder and says "I really want to try dirtbiking some day."

A looks up from a craft. "And that's just the kind of random thing boys say all the time."


Driving home last night, and A is in one of those scrape-me-off-the-ceiling giddy moods. I say something mild about bedtime when we get home or something and she shrieks "What's your ..." and then there is a long pause in which she proves to me that she can indeed think before she speaks, as she is considering the maternal impact of the word 'problem' in this sentence, and then she finishes "...dilemna???"

The dilemna, my oh so verbal child, is how on earth to teach you not to be rude when I am laughing that hard!!!

It's her birthday today.

I'm a lucky lucky woman.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

So, how was your weekend?

So there's this thing that happens to me. I go somewhere and have an amazing time and come away changed. I come back to my real life and it takes a day or two to get my bearings, and then I don't want to talk about it because it's all so ...much, and I mistrust superlatives and some things are too big or too small or too internal to discuss ...

The cake was beyond what I'd hoped it would be, and nobody dropped it, and the friends for whom it was a gift were delighted beyond telling. I missed most of the book launch because the main speaker's plane was late, but she did finally arrive, just in time to speak in fuzzy purple pyjamas and skip off to bed. I thoroughly enjoyed my time riding back and forth with Slow'n'Steady (although ...slow? har har) and I learned something about God. I made some new friends and I threw a temper tantrum in front of a random group of friends and acquaintances. I had a satisfying evening at a restaurant with some new friends and some old ones.

I went from the conference to the last half of our church's Ladies retreat and lay awake until 4 in the morning processing the first half of the weekend.

Although I'm not writing it up that way, it was an exhilirating weekend, and I'm sorry it's over.