15
Jul 14

What every daughter wants

is a dad who feels this way about her:

and a dad who thinks that she is special enough to write this song about:

and while daughters may say things like this (warning, this tantrum is on the long side):

What they really mean is this:

And what I want all fathers to hear is this:

 


14
Jul 14

Oh, she of few words

It’s a post in pictures today. This the most I can do from my hiding place under the bed. I am loving summer, loving all the time with my smalls, but between that nasty summer pneumonia that took me out for over a week and that fickle bastard we call LIFE, my inner world is in painful, upside-down turmoil. Hence, this picture post. So, without any further whining, here are some recent pictures from my iPad:

I made this:

Well, really, I planted some onion seeds(?) at the end of last summer and forgot about them. This summer, this is what happened. And it is delicious. I am the laziest gardener ever and this time, it totally worked out in our favour. Yay me.

Well, technically, I caused it to grow in that I planted some onion seeds(?) at the end of last summer and forgot about them. And then this summer, this little (HUGE) beauty (and some friends) happened. And it is delicious. I am the laziest gardener ever and this time, it totally worked out in our favour. Yay me.

And, I a little bit made this:

But I'm unsure if it's a pumpkin or a zucchini because my crack-shot labelling skills are actually non-existent and my enormous laziness reigns supreme.

But I’m unsure if it’s a pumpkin or a zucchini because my crack-shot labelling skills are actually non-existent and my enormous laziness reigns supreme.

And on the weekend, this happened:

And they all look absolutely gorgeous. Of course. (Haircuts courtesy of Mr. K.B. - my multi-talented husband).

And they all look absolutely gorgeous. Of course. (Haircuts courtesy of Mr. K.B. – my multi-talented husband).

I found this on the interwebs and it cracked me up:

I have never seen an episode of The Big Bang Theory, but if this is the kind of brilliant wisdom imparts, I really must source the show on DVD. Stat.

I have never seen an episode of The Big Bang Theory, but if this is the kind of brilliant wisdom imparts, I really must source the show on DVD. Stat.

And finally, because, despite my poor language choices, pyjama bottom couture, and the fact that I usually forgetting to wear lipstick, I do strive to be a better person, every fucking day, I strive and while I admit that I usually fail, I always, always, always get back up and keep trying.

Manners. I have them, I know right from wrong but somehow my emotions keep getting in the way of me using said manners to the fullest. It's total fuckery I tell you.

Manners. I have them, I know the right and wrong things to do and say in just about any situation but somehow my emotions keep getting in the way of me using said manners to the fullest. It’s total fuckery I tell you.


09
Jul 14

This song resonates. It is just RIGHT.

No secret, I’m a big music fan, always have been, and have never pigeonholed my musical experiences to one artist or genre and remain open to all music from any artist who has the guts to put something out there for the masses. And every now and then, a song comes along that just strikes a chord in me and Colbie Caillat has struck that chord with her new song and video ‘Try’.

As a woman and a mother, I love the message in this song and will play it for my daughter AND my sons (after Raffi and before Sharon, Lois and Bram, of course). And I’ll talk to them about the song and video, so Ms. M starts to learn that she doesn’t have to TRY to look beautiful, she just IS beautiful and worthy and so that my sons learn that girls and women are NOT the way they look, they are not mascara and lipstick, they are full, complete human beings with so much more to offer than a pretty face and that diminishing a girl’s value based on the way she looks causes her pain and makes her suffer unnecessarily. And so that all of my babies can appreciate that we, as people, all have struggles and want to be accepted just the way we are, just the way we look, whether or not we choose to get all gussied up or opt to just keep it real.

“You don’t have to try so hard/ You don’t have to, give it all away/ You just have to get up, get up, get up, get up/ You don’t have to change a single thing,” Caillat sings in the chorus. “Don’t you like you? ‘Cause I like you.”

Take a look and listen for yourself and see what you think. Does the song speak to you?


10
Jun 14

Garbage is heavy so we reduced the load

Ever since we moved into this house, I’ve been enamoured with the idea of composting our ‘natural’ garbage. This family of mine goes through crazy amounts of produce on a daily basis and all of the inedible peels, rinds and waste really add a lot of heft to the green bin, that up until very recently, I had to navigate or carry down the driveway at some ungodly hour in the morning. Every freakin’ week. And I did not enjoy doing it. But I also did not enjoy the idea of having a smelly house fully of rotting trash. So I carried that trash out all the while still cruising Pinterest and frugal sites for composter ideas.

And then one day, while at Princess Auto, Mr. K.B. saw a rolling composter that was on sale(!!) for $150.00. I balked at that price, but Mr. K.B. took one look at it and said, “I can totally build that.” And so, a few weeks ago, he set about to do just that. And he did. And it’s amazing, function and didn’t cost us a thing because he repurposed a lot of things he already had on hand. So now I have a rolling composter and my trips to the curb have become much, much lighter. Like, it has gone from me dragging two green bins, heavy and full, to taking ONE green bin 3/4 full and seemingly light as a feather.

My fancy and frugal rolling composter. It's a little bit of wonderful in a spherical shape.

My fancy and frugal rolling composter. It’s a little bit of wonderful in a spherical shape.

Having a handy husband or partner or kid is one of the most frugal things you can do!

Having a handy husband or partner or kid is one of the most frugal things you can do!

*Happy dance* (Just to embarrass my kids, because I live for them but I also live to embarrass them, apparently).

The second thing that I now have (read Mr. K.B. made for me) to make the whole ‘ getting the garbage to the curb day while reducing injury and cursing’ thingy is this:

The frugal (free) super garbage trolley of the 'wick!

The frugal (free) super garbage trolley of the ‘wick!

Not even fully loaded - rolls like a dream. No more smashed feet from that evil green bin!

Not even fully loaded – rolls like a dream. No more smashed feet from that evil green bin!

Again, in his brilliance, he fashioned this mega-helpful trolley out of a discarded tow-behind kid carrier (assuming behind a bike, not a car) and some metal shelving he had on hand. And honestly, it really does handle amazingly well. Now the kids WANT to help take out the garbage. Could it be? Really? Might I be actually WINNING?!?!?

 

 


02
Jun 14

One high speed car chase does not a vigilante make. It takes at least two.

Once, years and years ago, my son Declan and I were dropping off a bunch of things for donation at our local Goodwill. It was a Sunday, so they were closed, and so as per usual, we left our things with the other donations piled close to the entrance. We unloaded the car, hopped back in and left, hanging a left out of the parking lot which lead us to drive past the Goodwill once again.

As we were driving by, I saw that a nicely kept, newer minivan was parked in the space we just left and that a woman and her son were going through the boxes and bags that Declan and I had just unloaded. I swung into the parking lot across the street and watched for a few moments, because I could not believe what I was seeing. I could feel my blood pressure rising, watching this woman load the items that Declan and I had JUST DONATED to charity into her newer-than-mine vehicle. I decided that I had to try to confront her.

Now, realize that this was before everyone and their grandma had a cell phone, smartphone, digital camera, dash cam, YouTube, etc. We had brickish, heavy, blocky cell phones that only stored a few numbers and dialed and received calls – no pictures, no texting, no internet, no 24/7 connectivity with the rest of the world. So, thusly disconnected from our friends and family, off we drove back into the Goodwill parking lot, and rolled right up on her. She knew she was busted. She knew that she was stealing, that she was doing the wrong thing and that I was ANGRY.

She took off. I took off after her. I got her license plate, but I still followed her to just shy of the airport (from Scarborough, for any of you familiar with the area). For those not familiar – that is fuck far. And she was scared, driving erratically and I was single-mindedly in pursuit. What was I going to do if I actually got her? No flipping idea – I was just do infuriated that she would take her kid and STEAL from the GOODWILL, items that MY KID and I just DONATED. You know, TO HELP OTHER PEOPLE.

So, while we’re flying along the 401, I can see her son WALKING around inside her almost brand-new minivan (needs to steal from charity?), playing with a toy that I KNOW that my son just gave away “so another kid who doesn’t have any toys can maybe play with it, Mummy.”

And then, I just stopped. I took the next exit and headed home. Explaining to my child why we would continue to do the right thing, and why when we see someone doing the wrong thing, causing harm, that we cannot sit quietly by and pretend not to see it. That we must act, because it is the right thing to do. Now, I did also explain that typically high-speed highway chases are rarely the exactly right thing to do either, but that because we had her license plate and vehicle information that we could let the store know and they could decide what action, if any, to take. In the meantime, since it’s highly unlikely that someone drove 45 minutes or longer to hit up that exact CLOSED Goodwill, I cost her a ton of gas and time that day (I was driving a little economy car, so it cost me far, far less than it did her ;))

I never much thought about what I now call the ‘Reverse Donation’ before that day, but ever since that day, I have been hyper-pissed off whenever I see someone looting the donation drop offs. I don’t usually have a camera or other means of recording it, but this past weekend, I did have a camera with me, so I did capture what appears to be yet another mother-son team in a minivan doing the Reverse Donation with a Twist – treating it more like an exchange program than a straight up DONATION program.

Stealing sucks. Stealing sucks even worse when you involved your kids. Don’t suck.

If the sun hadn't been directly in my eyes and making it impossible for me to know if I was actually getting the pictures that I was trying to get, I would have had about ten times this number of pictures. Mr. KB told me later that Ms. Reverse Donation with a Twist was waving at me for a bit, but I didn't see that. I wish I had a picture of it though!

If the sun hadn’t been shining directly in my eyes and making it impossible for me to know if I was actually getting the pictures that I was trying to get, I would have had about ten times this number of pictures. Mr. KB told me later that Ms. Reverse Donation with a Twist was waving at me for a bit, but I didn’t see that. I wish I had a picture of it though!

 


01
Jun 14

There is a reason why I rarely shop retail anymore

And that reason is because holy shit! Have you seen the prices of children’s clothes these days? I thought that consumables like clothing were getting cheaper and cheaper (both in cost and quality), but a quick sprint through The Bay on the way to the dentist last week burst that theory all to fuck.

I had to pass through the little girl’s clothing on my way through the department store to reach the mall entrance. My little Ms. M was not with me, but since she is SO completely and totally crazy about pretty dresses I notice these things more often now. One tiny adorable little sun dress caught my eye. There was not more fabric involved than would enclose one of my thighs (ok, so it was for a chubby four-year-old, but still). So I paused for a minute to check the price. $50. FIFTY-Freaking-Dollars. For ONE dress for a four-year-old. And people are actually doing this? Really?

I can’t remember the last time I spent fifty dollars on a piece of clothing for myself, but I know that it’s likely been a decade or longer. Looking at that little dress, likely poorly constructed in another country by an underpaid workforce, and taking into account the costs of shipping it to Canada, I figured that it was, RETAIL, at a store NOT Wal-Mart, a $10 dress, all day long, it was good for $10. So, that being the case, how, in the name of Sheba, can anyone reasonable justify either charging or spending $50 on a dress for a child who will more than likely cover it with spaghetti sauce, peanut butter, washable (but really unwashable) markers, and if she’s clumsy like me, blood, within a matter of 15 minutes of pulling it over her head? $50 is over 40% of our weekly grocery budget. One stinking little fabric-lacking, stain-attracting dress for $50? Really?

So, while I have a daughter who loves beautiful dresses and clothes and shoes and purses and all of those traditionally feminine trappings, I am fortunate to have a few tools to facilitate her utmost desires while still being able to feed and clothe the rest of us.

1) Shop off-season – all of those beautiful dresses? Discounted 50% or greater in another month or so.

2) Shop the thrift shops – some of us have been doing it a lot longer than Macklemore and can always find new or nearly new currently styled clothing at 75 - 95% of their original retail price. The privilege of wearing something ‘first’ is never a wise financial investment nor worth the price. Think new car and instant depreciation. Let someone else pay the ‘immediate-gratification tax’ on the item and you will reap the benefits when they get bored with it and donate or sell it shortly there after

3) Fix your shit. Now, this is easier for me to say because I happen to be married to a guy who is killer talented with a sewing machine and isn’t afraid to try to use it to make, repair or create just about anything. But I like to think that even if he was not the fearless talent that he is, that I would step up and just get it done the best way that I could.

Just because I refuse to completely buy into this ‘throw away’ or ‘over-inflated-sense-of-entitlement’ obsessed culture, does not mean that any one of my kids walk around looking like homeless waifs. They are clean, well-dressed and shod until ten minutes after they leave my house. Then all bets are off and yes, they may appear to be slightly feral and homeless. To me, that has all the markings of doing childhood right. I don’t need to spend hundreds, no, it would be thousands of dollars (four small kids, so multiple everything by four) every year on clothing for them to look presentable and feel loved, happy or successful. No, having clean, well-fitting clothing and not living in fear of tearing or wrecking a $50, $60, or $70 dollar dress or shirt is about where I want my kids to land.

In my younger years I would have never thought that one day I would feel this way or admit it out loud, because as much as I love sparkly and shiny things, and ridiculously expensive taste, I love my life not being trapped by consumerism and trekking through the mall spending money I don’t have, on shit we don’t need and have no room to house. I am finally at a place in my personal growth (!?!?) where I can see something, admire it, maybe even love it, without needing to own it.

Please don’t tell me that any of this means that I may be a grown up. Anything but that.

Nope. Not a cocaine addict. A different kind of mental illness courses through these veins, but it does so without the aid of narcotics. Yay, me.

Nope. Not a cocaine addict. A different kind of mental illness courses through this body,I am sure, but it does so without the aid of narcotics. Yay, me.


24
May 14

Getting and having the flu during warm weather is balls.

I cannot believe it. I finally have a house full of healthy kids (woot!) and I wake up yesterday with my throat ON FIRE. But in my usual optimistic way, I decided to ignore it, and will it away. My methodology was flawed. And as a result, I was up most of the night tossing and turning, my head aching, my joints doing a constant dull roar and my throat as fiery as ever. The cherry on top was the continued irritation of the root canal that I had part one of earlier this week.

I am truly having a moment of self-pity and sadness. It’s finally, FINALLY, a gorgeous, sunny, warm day outside, primed for getting all kinds of things done outside and all I want to do is drink copious amounts of tea, take WAY too many drugs and pray that sleep overtakes me until I wake up full of energy and pain-free.

I’ve never been a great sickie. I push through the pain, sure, I do. That’s what maternal units do, isn’t it? I got the kids to swimming lessons this morning, did breakfasts and lunches. I’m about to go and toss a couple of chickens in the oven to roast for dinner, but inside I’m weepy and whiny and feeling oh, so achy and pathetic.

Ok, enough of my pity party. The fat lady (me) has sung, so it’s over. Before I go, I’ll share a bit of happy news – my nest is once again full. All five of my lovely babies are under one roof again.  It’s a temporary thing, a few months probably, but still. It does this mama bear’s heart a whole lot of good being able to see all of my people each and every day.

And finally, I’ll leave you with this tidbit of wonderful from Maya Angelou:

I'm giving the quest to achieve normal and starting the quest achieving a more complete me. Right after this flu fucks off, that is.

That settles it, I’m giving up the quest to achieve normal and starting the quest of achieving a more complete Me. Right after this flu fucks off, that is.


14
May 14

First world problems and nail polish is a clever choice of weapon, Universe.

Here is the definition of #firstworldproblems for those of you who may be confused by the reference.

Back in the very early 1990′s, my parents paid for me to take a trip to Indonesia for six weeks (I really did have THE BEST PARENTS EVER. Um, actually, I still do). It me took two days and three plane changes to get to Bali. It was actually insane for a teenager, but I knew no fear. Anyway, I had a long stop over in L.A. and that was the first place that I saw something that stopped my heart and actually made me feel like I really was in la-la land.

Fluorescent pink, perfectly manicured nails. Two hands worth of precisely shaped, active-length, squared-off nails painted THE MOST perfect neon pink in the history of pink. Be still my adolescent heart. I thought that if I had to, that I would spend the rest of my days searching for that colour and would not rest until I found it. And I wasn’t even a huge nail polish-y kind of girl. But something about that valley girl with her bitchin’ nails torque’d me in a such a way that over twenty years later, I’m still in pursuit of that fucking nail polish.

And now, I find myself the proud mother of a little girl who is very girly, and enjoys nail polish as part of her ‘look’. So, today, she wanted her nails painted and I figured, why not try yet another pink in my quest? So I painted her tiny little nails with her choice (Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Rockstar Pink – which, incidentally isn’t NOT pink at all, and is actually purple with a shitload of sparkles in it – WHO is responsible for naming these colours?) and then I decided to try the Nicole by O-P-I City Pretty Rose on my own nails. And you know what?

Surprise! Not the right colour! It looked SOclose in the bottle but I’ve now decided (again) that nail polish is an asshole. And that Miss Perfect Nails in the Most Perfect Colour was actually a plant (by the Universe, the government, an ex-boyfriend? I don’t know), put there for me to see and to ruin my life. And also, I decided that I will never, ever, ever buy another pink nail polish again.

Well, until the next time the ABSOLUTE-FOR-SURE IT’S-RIGHT-THIS-TIME bottle of polish jumps off the store shelf and into my cart. I’m too weak to turn it away. What can I say?

Possibly the worst hand-selfie ever, but you get the idea.

Possibly the worst hand-selfie ever, but you get the idea.

 


10
May 14

This is not a real post so do with it what you will

I have spent a great deal of time lately thinking about my life. What it has been, what it is and what I want it to be. And what have I come up with? Only absolutely NO ANSWERS AT ALL is what. Not one. And that just does not sit well with someone who loves to plan, make lists, map out everything on paper and then re-map it all with a different set of equations.

Yes, I remember my past. And I am well aware of my present, but where I get stuck is my future. In about five minutes, I’m going to get up and grab a drink because I’m so thirsty one could accuse me of exaggerating, but I literally cannot swallow anymore, my throat is that dusty. Lit-er-ally. Truth. Shit, okay, I’m exaggerating a little bit  lot, but I am thirsty. This does not change the fact that creating this short-term future goal (quenching my very real thirst) does not further me significantly in my quest for a future LIFE plan. Oh sure, I won’t be thirsty anymore but I also still will not have a clue what I want to accomplish, have, be, do or see in my life as it plays out. And that alone is probably more difficult for me than trying to find two matching socks to wear in the morning (I swear elves come in and fuck with my sock drawer while I sleep – thank god for flip flop weather!)

So, I’m going to ponder this some more (and also go and get that drink, I’m frickin’ dyyyyyying here!) and if, I mean when I come up with some more concrete plans, I’ll do a real post about future plans, bucket lists and how to avoid dying of boredom by choosing to wait for life to happen to you instead of planning for what you want and then going out (literally or figuratively) and making it happen.

***Five Minutes Later***

Updated to add: I made THIS happen just now.

Yes, I know diet pop is Satan in a can. Yes, I know what it is doing to my body. Yes, I know that I know better. But also yes, I am drinking it anyway. May the chemicals preserve my body and keep me young and beautiful forever. Or at least keep things all shiny. Have you ever seen what happens when you drop a dirty penny in a glass of Coke?

Yes, I know diet pop is Satan in a can. Yes, I know what it is doing to my body. Yes, I know that I know better. But also yes, I am drinking it anyway. May the chemicals preserve my body and keep me young and beautiful forever. Or at least keep things all shiny. Have you ever seen what happens when you drop a dirty penny in a glass of Coke?


09
May 14

Five nice’ish things that I done did for OTHERS this week

The other day I blogged about five nice things that I did for myself this week (you can read about that here). But, after publishing, as the hours ticked by, I started second-guessing myself and wondering just now selfish and narcissistic I must be to think that is was important to point out all the great things that I did for MYSELF instead of what I did to try to make things better for OTHERS. Because, really. There must be something that I could put on such a list, mustn’t there?

I'm following Ms. Angelou's wise words on this one and do the best I can do. Until I know better.

I’m following Ms. Angelou’s wise words on this one and do the best I can do. Until I know better.

So, after much thought, agonizing and tears, here it is. My list of the five nice’ish things that I done did for OTHER PEOPLE this week:

1. I showered. Every day. No exceptions. You’re welcome.

2. I didn’t eat beans, broccoli or hard-boiled eggs. The air you have been breathing all week has been of higher and purer quality but for my selfless nutritional sacrifice.

3. I wrote this list. As a way of sharing. Because sharing is good, it makes people happy. Unless you’re sharing bedbugs or herpes. That makes people mad. And sad. And homicidal-rage inducing itchy (or so I hear). But this list of giving, it’s a happy share. You’re welcome. :)

4. I did laundry. My family is currently enjoying the bounty of my labour. Clean underwear and socks as far as the can see. Now, you may think this does little for you, but if you’re ever in close proximity to one of my boys’ feet without shoes on, you’d know that the goodness spread via those loads of laundry were further reaching that just my immediate family.

5. I didn’t take a single provocative photograph while telling the bathroom scale to fuck off. No coy duck-faces or headless cleavage shots. No artsy shots of my feet kicking the shit out of the scale. No soaking, sobbing selfies while I bandaged up my toes. No, I saved you all the pain of yet another self-serving story told in filtered selfies and just told you the story. And, if anyone of you is like me (and I seriously doubt it’s the case, but I’m going out on a limb on this), anytime I can hear a story or read something that is not accompanied by a bobble-headed, duck-faced, starved-into-her-bikini-and-in-desperate-need-of-air (and dignity) selfie, I consider it a goddamn Pulitzer prize worthy read.

So please. Don’t ever let anyone ever tell you that I’m not a giver. I give until it hurts. I’m going to go and change my bandages now. Have a great Friday.

Oh, okay. I give. Here's your fucking selfie. Satisfied? I caved.

Oh, okay. I give. Here’s your fucking selfie. Satisfied? I caved.

 


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