My crazy did not beat out my sanity this morning. Everyone won.

“Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat…”ūüé§

This song. I’ve known it since childhood. I have wonderful memories of singing it in the back of the car with my grandma while my grandpa drove me home on Sunday evenings. It is a good thing that I have those childhood memories though, because this morning I heard this song, no fewer than 300 times between the hours of 7:45 and 8:30. So not even hours but rather, minutes. The song was performed at various tempos, pitches and volumes. Over and over and over again, the singer trailed after me, thisclose to my elbow at all times, crooning away until I was sure that my head would explode and my heart rate was letting me know that my anxiety was reaching critical levels. I needed to get out of my own skin, but there was no escape, there was no hiding.

I wanted to scream, cover my ears and run away, but I did not. Instead, I kept reminding myself that soon, in the near years to come, none of my children will likely sing with such glee, such careless abandon, such enthusiasm and happiness and if they do, it will possibly be something far less innocent than a Christmas carol. So, with that thought reverberating in my mind, I slapped a smile on my face, gritted my teeth and said “lovely, darling!” with enthusiasm after each and every rendition.

I cannot regret my feelings, they came out of nowhere and took root, but I would have regretted very much had I given into those feelings and squashed that innocent and joyful happiness out of one of my children by snapping at them to pipe down or cut it out.

Now, not even an hour later and they are all safely at school. The house is empty and quiet and my anxiety has slunk back into the dark corner of my being where it resides. While I sit here, quietly, I can feel the tears welling up in my eyes and in my heart at the memory of that sweet, smiling little face belting out “Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat! Please drop a penny in the old man’s hat…” ūü马†ūü駬†The tears are a mixture pride, shame, happiness, love and sorrow all at once. But mostly of love.

Thus, I have decided to use this moment in time to define myself as a mother today, to remember that for all the mistakes that I make (and I make a lot of mistakes), sometimes I get it right. Most importantly, I will use this morning as a gentle reminder to myself that while the days feel long (oh so very, very long sometimes!) the years are flying past and that fact is easy to lose track of when I’m too busy keeping track of the daily strife and upsets. Really though, in all honesty, what sort of psychopath wants to track those memories anyway? Not this sort, I’ll tell you, No. This sort of psychopath is going to track the singing moments, the smiling moments and the loving moments.

And just in case the song is not already playing, on repeat, in your head, here you go.

You’re welcome.

~A.

P.S. Join me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Sometimes, I post info, ideas or photos everywhere, and other gems (and duds) only get posted in one place. Some things are totally worth skipping, occasionally there are things well-worth sharing. Either way, I’m happy for the company (as long as we can both stay in our own homes, in our jammies, with no actual face-to-face contact. #IntrovertProblems). Please feel free to like, comment on and share any post, for any reason, including blind rage and mockery.

Parenting: I’ve learned that there are only degrees of failure. And that’s okay.

When I first became a mother, I was young. Not Loretta Lynn young, but young enough to still have a head full of delusions of grandeur and invincibility that only come with youth, or serious mental health issues or head injuries. At that time, it was my youth at play. Now, well, the jury is still out but the youth defence is out of the running. Since I wanted to be a mother SO badly, I just knew, no, really I KNEW that I would do everything right and that  my child would be totally amazing and surpass any of my wildest ambitions or aspirations for him.

20 days into this whole motherhood thing, and it's a piece of cake. Easy-peasy. He's a little squirmy, but nothing I can't handle. (March 1994)

20 days into this whole motherhood thing, and it’s a piece of cake. Easy-peasy. He’s a little squirmy, but nothing I can’t handle. (March 1994)

Seven days later. I'm still smiling, still too dumb to know what was coming my way. While he is very clearly starting to understand just what a newbie he's been stuck with and when the realization hits, it hit hard. Poor bub.

Seven days later. I’m still smiling, still too dumb to know what humbling lessons are in store for me. While he is very clearly starting to understand just what a newbie he’s been stuck with and when the realization hit, it hit hard. Poor bub.

I turned my nose up at ‘old ways’ of parenting. Let my baby cry? That’s barbaric! That’s abusive! Never! Force him to sleep in a crib, alone? Make him deal with it alone when he is very clearly sad, hungry, dreaming of monsters, gassy, teething, fussy, lonely, etc. Nope. That this better, smarter, mother. No.¬†He was going to know that Mummy was there. That Mummy would protect him from *everything* bad, scary or painful and encourage and lead him towards everything healthy, good, smart and successful. No public school for my baby when it came time for kindergarten. He was too sensitive, gentle, clever, kind and the other kids would just ruin him. No way. Private school only. Single mother, constant university and college student, living in my mother’s basement, sending my child to private school, because he was THE BEST. There was no better boy or child anywhere. See? I told you, I was completely delusional.

Two months in and he knows. He already knows. I, however, wouldn't figure it out for around another twenty years or so.

Two months in and he knows. He already knows. I, however, wouldn’t figure it out for around another twenty years or so.

And then the years past and I got married, puberty hit (him) and I moved us from Scarborough to Keswick. All in the same year. And KABOOM! Toss in a new-found interest in girls and all the other treats that come with hormonal changes in adolescent boys, and it sank my battleship. Like, totally and completely torpedoed that fucker. Granted, I was fairly unprepared for how all of those changes would affect all of us, especially my relationship with my son and his with me but still the world fairly imploded. And it no longer mattered that I had sent him to private school for all of those years. Or that I had enrolled him in art lessons, music lessons, rep baseball, swimming, martial arts, skating, etc. It no longer mattered that I fed him a healthy diet of fresh foods, little-to-no refined sugar, no artificial sweeteners, colours, additives or preservatives. It no longer matter that I paid three-times more for natural, organic shampoo than regular drugstore shampoo for him or that I breast-fed him for over a year rather than formula fed him. None of it mattered or made a bit of difference. Life as I thought it would be was no more. Humbling lessons to learn indeed.

Fast forward again and he is now only weeks away from turning 22 years-old, older now than I was when I gave birth to him. He is not at university and about to finish his last year with his degree in hand, nor is he away at college, and either of these two scenarios is where I thought we would be today and what I single-mindedly determined the plan to be in the beginning. No, it is not where we have landed and he is making his own path through life now. Whether I agree or disagree with his choices, whether I think that he should just listen to me and do what I say because I just fucking know better than he (being twice his age and all), just does not matter. He is going to be the person, the man, the partner, the friend, the son he chooses to be and I honestly believe that is the way it was going to be no matter how I parented him.
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And now, with over two decades of parenting experience behind me and more decades of experience to come, I believe that is how it is with all¬†children. We do our best. We make the best choices and decisions we can in the moment, with an eye to the future, with our hopes, dreams and ambitions for them in mind. We love them, we guide them, teach them, discipline them and care for them. We screw up, make mistakes, do or say things we regret, and we sometimes act in anger, even when we should know better. But at the end of the day, they will be grow into being the kind of people they are meant to be. Each and every one of them. Some will be doctors, lawyers, activists, or leaders. Others will be villains, lazy, shiftless, or deadbeats. And still others will be somewhere between the two extremes. Neither society superstars nor the dregs of society, but rather somewhere safely in the middle, you know, where most of us live. I mean, let’s face it, our world is not¬†full of wonderful, motivated, helpful people, but rather it is a place with all types of people, good, neutral and bad and all of those people have parents. Just like we have and we now are. And we can no more take credit for our children¬†who become doctors than we should carry the blame for the children¬†who become villains. After all, can we reasonably blame or credit our parents for how we all turned out as adults or the choices we’ve made along the way? I know that I (sometimes regretfully) cannot.

Today, as an adult child, I honour the hard, sometimes (okay, most of the time) thankless job that my parents had¬†raising me (and the job they still have¬†parenting me, the over-grown baby that I am, although I try to thank them more now). Today, as a¬†parent of an adult child, I love and cherish my grown child, not just for the child he was or the history we share, but for the man he is becoming. His life and future are in his hands and I am excited, interested, and terrified to see where his journey takes him. But I will always be here, in his corner, ready to offer him the benefit of my experience when he asks, guidance when he’s lost, and Tylenol when his head aches from the stress and pressure of ‘real life’ adulthood. ~Sigh. ????

 
 

Don’t forget to come and hang out with me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Some posts or moments¬†make it to all four sites, others only exist on the site I post them on, so make sure you’re not missing out on anything (rants, updates, cute moments and homicidal-like rages), like or follow along on those sites too. ????
~A

Bucket List update – Six weeks in and the results are not so much pretty.

Yikes! I had better step up my game and quickly! I only have four weeks left to get four months worth of challenges done. Oh yeah. I got this.

The many moods and personalities here this summer.

The many moods and personalities here this summer.

Or, maybe I don’t. Here’s the rundown so far:

1. Go for daily walks (not strolls) for a minimum of 45 minutes.
This has fallen by the wayside. While we were away, we were doing a lot of hiking daily, but since we’ve been back, walking to pick up the mail and over to the park is about as much walking as I’ve managed (aside from ‘normal’ walking!)

2. Organize and declutter the linen closet.
I’ve tidied it up, but it’s still basically the same, in terms of being an abyss of fabric.

3. Go for a bike ride with the kids three times a week (at least).
The kids are on their bikes almost daily. My bike remains hiding in the back of the shed, hoping I won’t remember it. Need to dig it out.

4. Go to the library weekly.
We are killing this one. Aside from the week we were away, we’ve been there every single week borrowing more books and movies. Miranda is addicted to the ‘Fun with Dick and Jane’ series. What’s old is new again.

5. Do a family field trip to see a Blue Jays game.
No progress on this one yet. Need to get tickets and a date sorted if we’re going to do this.

6. Paint the laundry/powder room, including refinishing the cabinets.
I was thinking to start emptying out the cabinets this weekend, but need to talk to Mr. K.B. about it because I’ll need some help from him to take the cabinets down and figure out the baseboard etc.

7. Take my minion army to a splash pad at least once a week.
We’ve been a few times, but they it’s been chilly every day we think of it and other days it’s not fitting into our schedule. But hosing them off in the backyard has worked out well!

8. Deal with ‘Draft’ blog posts once and for all.
Still slogging my way through the list. I’ve deleted a few more, since they were time-sensitive and don’t make sense anymore. And a few that were little more than a sentence or two and I no longer remember where I was going with them. And I’ve finished and published a few. Of course, I’ve also added a few new ‘Drafts’ to the list, but I think I’m still coming out ahead on this one so far.

9. Do a big field trip to the ROM, complete with GO Train rides.
This is happening this month. And Nana is going with us, so we’ll omit the train ride but add TTC buses and subways to the roster.¬†First time for my minions, about the jagillion billionth for Nana and I, but it’s been long enough since I’ve ridden it, that I’m sure it will ¬†be fun. ūüėČ

10. Go and visit with Nana once a week.
We’re doing well with this one too. Again, aside from the time we were away this summer, we’ve made it into the city to see Nana every week. Is there ever an age when we don’t need our mama’s? I really don’t think that there is.

11. Create, frame, and hang individual chore lists for each of my minions.
I admit that I had forgotten about this goal. I’ll work on it while they are at day camp. Should be able to get all four done tickety-tock.

12. Go for one lunch and one dinner picnic each week.
Has not happened weekly. May need to adjust this one a bit.

13. Blog twice a week.
I’ve been blogging more consistently, updating the blog’s Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages with micro-blog posts almost daily. So, I’m calling this one a win.

14. Set up a new bed for Pax, re-arrange the furniture all the minion’s rooms to optimize their spaces.
Not done. But it needs to happen this month, so it’s time to pull out the calendar and start scheduling these bigger-type jobs so that I create time to get them done, instead of trying to fit them into ‘leftover’ time.

15. Make sure we get some family time at the cottage.
Done! I haven’t gotten around to blogging about it yet, but our time there included lots of sunshine, thunderstorms, swimming, fishing, roofing, plumbing, repairs, and destruction. There were books read, puzzles built and wild raspberries consumed on a daily basis. There were bites, stings, and a quiet afternoon spent in the ER (everyone is fine!). All in all, we packed a\lot into our cottage time and can’t wait to do it again (perhaps this time skipping the destruction, stings, and ER ūüėČ )

Cottage kitchen table. Sums up things well - book, puzzle, bananas, pump manual, water bottles, notebook and pen.

The common view of the cottage kitchen table. Sums up things well – a great book, a difficult puzzle, ripe bananas, a pump installation manual, fresh water bottles, a dead moth, a notebook and a pen. What else could we possibly need?

16. Read one book a week (for myself, no pictures, no large font ūüėČ ).
I¬†have read TWO complete books – cover to cover. Doesn’t sound like a lot, I know, especially since I was once a book-a-day reader, but two books in five weeks beats the hell out of my last year record of one book for the year…

17. Go for nature walks weekly.
Since we’ve been back, we haven’t ventured too far into the forest, but we’ll likely rectify that this weekend.

18. Wash the car with the kids twice a month.
Nope. Haven’t done it once yet. I think the kids and I will tackle washing the van the week after next, since Mr. K.B. just did a top to bottom wash of it last night. It looks so good now!

19. Re-vamp the basement space.
I have not gotten to this task yet. I did tackle the storage under the stairs, but there is still the kids area, the dance room, the winter gear and kitchen overflow to manage, sort and organize. So far, I’ve pretty much just avoided interacting with the basement.

20. Crochet blankets (lapghan or better) and/or scarves for my minions.
Really need to get on this. Not sure what my issue is, but I just need to pick up the hook or loom and GO. Starting this on Sunday evening.

image

This sums things up nicely.

I’m apprehensive to really do an objective analysis of my progress so far, so I’m slipping on my rose-coloured glasses and deciding that I’m going to be happy with what I’ve done so far but also still strive to do more, do better, and have fun with the summertime we have left this year.

P.S. Don’t forget that we’re still updating the Facebook, Instagram and the¬†Twitter pages fairly regularly, so feel free to stop on by and leave a Like, Follow, comment or suggestion or just come by and see what other Keswickian randomness is brewing up in here.

Almost three weeks in, time for a 2015 Summer Bucket List Check-In

I thought today may be a good time check in with my Summer 2015 Bucket List and take stock of how I’m doing, where I’m winning and where I’m tanking.

1. Go for daily walks (not strolls) for a minimum of 45 minutes.
I’m calling is a partial – 50/50 win/tank. Room for improvement, so a good walk is on tap for later today. Get ready for it feet!

Keswick sunsets are simply breathtaking. I love walking in the evening, even if I am a mosquito magnet.

Keswick sunsets are simply breathtaking. I love walking in the evening, even if I am a mosquito magnet.

2. Organize and declutter the linen closet.
Not yet. Although I did get the suitcase put away in there again, but organized and decluttered the closet is not.

3. Go for a bike ride with the kids three times a week (at least).
The kids have ridden their bikes almost daily. My bike is still hiding in the shed. Probably terrified at the thought of having to cart me around the block a time or two. But I did buy a helmet, so I’m on the right track on this one.

4. Go to the library weekly.
We are rocking this one! The smalls are loving the summer reading club and have been reading like mad. Once or twice a week to the library is our norm so far. Yay, us!

Miranda's rocking her library swag! The kids want to wear these bags everywhere now - LOL!

Miranda’s rocking her library swag! The kids want to wear these bags everywhere now – LOL!

5. Do a family field trip to see a Blue Jays game.
Not yet. Am thinking this will be an August event.

6. Paint the laundry/powder room, including refinishing the cabinets.
Not even close. I still need to empty the cabinets, take everything off the walls and as Mr. K.B. to sort out the baseboard situation behind the washer and dryer before any real painting can start. So, am thinking this will end up being an August project as well.

7. Take my minion army to a splash pad at least once a week.
We went to the Whipper Watson splash pad. But it was one of the colder days of summer, so it wasn’t quite the fun we were anticipating. Running through the sprinkler the following week was a much bigger hit though!

8. Deal with ‘Draft’ blog posts once and for all.
I’ve been hammering on this one left and right. I think that I have either finished writing, trashed or published eight posts, previously known as ‘Drafts’ since deciding to make doing so a priority.

9. Do a big family field trip to the ROM, complete with GO Train rides.
Another August event, methinks.

10. Go and visit with Nana once a week.
We’ve done well with this one. And we’ll see her later this week as well. So far, so good.

11. Create, frame, and hang individual chore lists for each of my minions.
Need to get on this one. Chores are one of those slow, agonizing things around here unless there’s a great deal of crying and whining involved and I really want to bring the volume down around here. And regain some of my dignity. My children are beginning to think that I’m just a big baby with all of my whining.

12. Go for one lunch and one dinner picnic each week.
We’ve done well picnicking on the weekends, but so far, all of our weekday lunches have been at home. I’ll need to start setting up picnics in the backyard for them.

13. Blog twice a week.
This has been happening. At least twice a week. Plus I’ve been miles better about posting regularly to the ¬†blog’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. ūüôā

14. Set up a new bed for Pax, re-arrange the furniture all the minion’s rooms to optimize their spaces.
Have not yet set up the bed but some furniture has been re-arranged and we have done a preliminary clean out and purge of some high-risk areas (desks and closets).

15. Make sure we get some family time at the cottage.
Hoping to get some cottage time later this month, but we shall see.

16. Read one book a week (for myself, sans pictures and large font).
I’m working my way through a book at a snail’s pace, but I’m reading, so I’m claiming this one as a quasi-win. It’s hard to take/make time to read for myself, but I do so enjoy it.

17. Go for nature walks weekly.
We have yet to¬†get¬†into our forest, it’s been buggy as heck lately, but we’re exploring nature on our regular daily and weekend outings.
IMG_6052

18. Wash the car with the kids twice a month.
Hasn’t happened yet. Maybe a fun Friday activity. We shall see.

19. Re-vamp the basement space.
Have gotten some clearing done in the dance room and bar area, but I’m still miles from being able to call this accomplished.

20. Crochet blankets (lapghan or better) and/or scarves for my minions.
This one I haven’t touched yet, but¬†really need to get on or else I am running the risk of not having them all completed in time (I crochet s-l-o-w-l-y).

Next Bucket List check in will be the first week in August. I’ll try to have some impressive results by then. I’m a slow starter, I suppose. Also, I need to remember to bring out my camera more often – I’ve just realized that I’m super light on July pictures this year. ūüėČ

 

Upside-Down Pizza Casserole – Recipe

I have to share this one. It is simple, it is fast, and it is totally and completely delicious (if you like pizza, that is. And, if you do not like pizza, then I am sorry but this is not your tribe). I made this for my smalls¬†this week and they went nuts for it. It immediately moved right up the list of Mason’s favourite foods to secure the #2 spot (meatloaf appears to be immovable from the top position) and the rest of the kids declared it “The BEST! I don’t just like it, I LOVE IT!” So, with those rave reviews, it warrants a share.

Quick note: You can use store-bought/pre-made pizza dough (not the pizza crusts, the dough!) or you can whip up a quick batch at home. I’ll include my quick and dirty pizza dough recipe here at the end, just in case you want to try it. ALSO, this is meant to be eaten with your fingers. It is not a dignified meal, and that is probably another reason why my children loved it so.

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Ingredients:
Pizza toppings – pepperoni, onions, peppers, whatever you normally put on your pizza
Mozzarella cheese, grated, approximately 300g
Italian salad dressing OR Pizza Sauce
One recipe OR one bag of store-bought pizza dough

Directions:
1. Prepare the dough (either make some up or pull the store-bought one from the fridge)
2. Preheat oven to 425¬įF
3. Lightly grease or spray a 9×13 glass casserole dish
4.Chop up and prepare your toppings.
5. Layer toppings in the casserole dish

My kids are not big "toppings" people. They are boring pizza eaters. But I love them anyway.

My kids are not big “toppings” people. They are boring pizza eaters. But I love them anyway.

6. Cover toppings with excessive amounts of mozzarella cheese

They are, however, all about the cheese. So they redeem themselves. Slightly.

They are, however, all about the cheese. So they redeem themselves. Slightly.

7. Add sauce over the cheese, if using salad dressing, just a quick “Z” shape across the dish should be enough. But, the choice, as with everything else in the this recipe, is yours ūüėČ

We like it nice and saucy, but some people, eh, not so much.

We like it nice and saucy, but some people, eh, not so much.

8. Roll little balls of dough and place them fairly close together in the dish. Sprinkle with a bit more cheese if you like. The dough¬†balls should be between the size of a superball and a ping-pong ball (if they’re too big, you won’t have enough to cover the whole dish, and that could lead to sadness or having to locate more dough).

The first time I made this, it lead to a bit of sadness. This time, while it looks like chaos, there were enough to go around.

The first time I made this, it led to a bit of sadness. Made the dough balls too big. This time, while it looks like chaos, there were enough to go around.

9. Bake in your preheated oven for 18-20 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the dough sounds hollow when you tap on it and you see sauce or cheese bubbling away.
10. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Do not place the glass dish directly on a countertop or solid surface, the shock could cause the dish to break. And that would result in no pizza casserole. And that can only lead to more sadness. (Or, it could cause injury. Either way, we don’t want either of those things ruining a happy pizza experience).
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11. Now, this is where it could get tricky, but since I’m adverse to tricky, I ignore this step, but if you wanted to, you could try to “flip” the casserole out of the pan and onto some other dish so that it was right-side up again, but I haven’t seen this done, haven’t tried it and so cannot endorse it. I cut around the dough in collections of two to four balls and scoop them out with a serving spoon. THIS IS FINGER FOOD. It will be nearly impossible to eat in a civilized way, but it’s so gooey and delicious, that¬†really doesn’t matter, does it?

12. Enjoy!

Here it is again represented in one picture:
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Quick and Dirty Go-to Pizza Dough Recipe

1 package or 2¬ľ tsp yeast
1 cup warm (105¬įF – 115¬įF) water (takes about 45 seconds in my microwave)
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp oil
2¬Ĺ cups flour (All purpose, whole wheat or a combination thereof)

Directions:
Mix together yeast, water, oil, sugar and salt in a large bowl. (I use my Kitchenaid mixer because, well, LAZY). Let sit for five or so minutes, until the yeast starts to grow a bit and it looks a bit foamy. Add flour and mix in thoroughly, if mixing by hand, 20-30 good turns should do it. If using a mixer, until it forms into a ball, maybe two or so minutes. The dough shouldn’t be too wet and sticky. If it is, add a bit more flour and work in.

This dough is versatile. You can either use it right away, or you can cover it with a clean dish towel for a half hour or so and let it rise a bit then punch it down and use. The benefit to letting it have a bit of rise time is a lighter dough, but I’ve noticed no real difference in the taste.

Roll it out, build your pizza. Bake at 425¬įF for 20-25 minutes, checking for doneness after 20 minutes and reducing heat to 350¬įF for the last five minutes.

Food for thought – Scottish style

I love me a good proverb and I love all things Scottish (aye, ’tis in me blood, so it is), so when I came across these little morsels of Scot thought, I knew that I was going to share them.

I don't think that I've ever met a Scot that couldn't or would hesitate to bite!

I don’t think that I’ve ever met a Scot that couldn’t or would hesitate to bite. At least not one in my family.

I love this one just a little bit too much

I love this one just a little bit too much.

So very, very true.

Truth. Need to remember this some days.

There-is-nae-end-to-an

I can almost hear these said in my grandma’s voice with her subtle Dundee accent. Fifty-odd years in Canada softened but did not erase her Scottish accent, pride or attitude. She sure crammed a whole lotta lady¬†into her 4 foot nine-inch, if she was a foot, frame. My grandpa’s accent stayed thicker, but words of wisdom that he would impart would more often include someone’s thumb and meeting their¬†ass, much to the eternal disgust of his wife. If nothing else, the proper Scots lady and the gruff Scots fella were fiery to the end.

I spent a lot of time with my grandparents while I was growing up and often while my grandpa tore around the city streets ignoring stop signs and other cars, my grandma and I would sit in the backseat of¬†what felt like ‘the getaway car’ and sang this song.

A couple of speeding tickets, the occasional hit-and-run in a parking lot and a whole lot of very colourful language peppered our drives. Come to think of it, maybe our singing that song was why the poor man drove like such a maniac. Hmmmmm.

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:

 

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. ūüôā

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.

 

I fear for the future if this is where Google is leading people

Logical sequencing, sensible leaps in reasoning, educated guessing. ¬†Many of us do these things on a daily basis. ¬†Some of us (um, not me?) take twisty, wonky roads to reach the most logical (to ourselves) conclusions, and sometimes, conclusions just do not gel well with the available premises (or premiss’). ¬†And for me, today, this all started with a Google search that threw shit sideways and rocked my faith in our collective ability to have a future as a people.

Let’s say, for example, I had been listening to my three youngest sons berate, argue, bicker and brawl for the last hour, and in desperation (and my valiant attempt to not toss them all out into the snow to ‘cool off’), I fired up my laptop, opened up Google and typed ” why do brothers” and before I could finish my thought and type “fight,” Google very helpfully (and terrifyingly) filled in the blanks:

 Exhibit 1:

I'm sorry, come again?  How did we get from why do brothers fight to brothers falling in love with their sisters?!?  What PLANET am I living on?

I’m sorry, come again? How did we get from “why do brothers fight” to brothers falling in love with their sisters?!? What PLANET am I living on? ¬†Honestly, people! What the hell are ya’ll doing out there?

 

Exhibit 2:

How can she slap what?  And wadda mean, how can mirrors be real?  And honestly, just stop eating so much.  Finally, what the hell would you want to stop singing?  Sing it, sister!  Sing it loud and sing it proud!  You don't need Google to tame your voice!  (Sorry all you other subway riders)

How can she slap what? And wadda mean, how can mirrors be real? And truly? Just stop eating so much, even a fatty like me knows that. And finally, why the hell would you want to stop singing? Sing it, sister! Sing it loud and sing it proud! Get your Susan Boyle on and give it! You don’t need Google to tame your voice! (Sorry all you other subway riders)

Exhibit 3:

Your life sucks because your hair turned grey while you were sitting around watching the salt melt the ice.  Your pee smells because, well, just YUCK.

Your life sucks because your hair turned grey while you were sitting around watching salt melt the ice. Your pee smells because, well, just YUCK. ¬†Buy some flowers, an air freshener, a frickin’ Scentsy dohicky that everyone and their mother has now. Get a man, a woman, a dog, a paper route, a hobby, Anything! ¬†YOU HAVE TOO MUCH TIME ON YOUR HANDS.

And that, dear people, is why I fear for the future of civilized humanity. ¬†Go home Google, you’re drunk.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go try to sing my weight away, I think there is something to that idea. ¬†When it pans out, watch for my infomercial, coming soon to a television near you (Insert the ‘These claims are not endorsed by the FDA disclaimer’ here). ¬†I bet that I can get Sally Struthers to host it, she’s having a slow year. ¬†What a score that would be. ¬†Anyhoo, off to sing now using Ms. M’s new Hello Kitty (!!) Karaoke machine. ¬†It is too awesome. ¬†First, it’s Hello Kitty, second, it’s pink, third, it plays music, fourth, it has a microphone and fifth, a camera pops out of her head and puts YOUR image on the television screen. ¬†It’s American Idol in my freakin’ living room yo! Thank you, Santa! ¬†Um, I mean, Ms. M. says thank you, Santa.

I went on vacation and things exploded around here

I came home to Keswick only to find that my garden vegetables converted into the vegetable equivalent of ‘Girl’s Gone Wild’ meet ‘Welcome to the Jungle’¬†zucchini nation

contrasting veggies

mondo zucchini

mondo's mini-me

unripened heritage tomatoes

They're supposed to ripen and be purple, but so far they all look green to me.  Must be from hanging out with the zucchini bullies.

They’re supposed to ripen and be purple, but so far they all look green to me. Must be from hanging out with the zucchini bullies.

These were our normal zucchinis before our vacation.  Large, but not ridiculously so.  Apparently, my presence stunts their growth.  Perhaps the universe is telling me to stay on vacation?!?

These were our normal zucchinis before our vacation. Large, but not ridiculously so. Apparently, my presence stunts their growth. Perhaps the universe is telling me to stay on vacation?!?

More about our vacation later, but in a nutshell, we DROVE to Florida, we DID NOT do DIsney, our kids had a FABULOUS time, and gas station washrooms in the South see A LOT more action than their counterparts to the north.

Now, I’m off to find some kick-ass recipes for zucchini pickles, this family can only eat so many cookies ūüėČ