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Preview: A Mess of Pottage

A Mess of Pottage

lentil-free, i promise.

Updated: 2018-03-06T00:16:18.603-08:00


Cower Not, Jedi!


These are Jack's latest Lego obsession. He calls them Jedi Huts.
He has run out of little square bases. Otherwise, he says, he would make a whole city of them. Each one is customized and has a lot of luxury details.

(image) (image)
But my favourite is the simplest one, the one he made for "Luke's nephew". As Jack explained: "Most of them are open all the way across the front but this one - see? has this little bit of wall at the front that makes a little corner that you can cower in. I call it a Cower Corner."
Because everybody needs a corner to cower in sometimes, non?

Fear not the Rat, O Jedi but fear the Google Eyed Bookworm!

snow splosions


Wow, that haiku from my last post is still really speaking to me. I just read from the point of view of writing report cards which is a really onerous task (that's my word of the week, onerous). Yes, onerous, except when I am actually writing them. Then I get into the flow of writing, saying things in just the right way, selecting words that actually mean something and I stop being stressed about it. Mostly, anyway. Thankfully the trend in reporting seems to be away from robot speak and back to talking about real live kids doing real live things. Anyhoo, the point is that when I stop thinking about the snow (i.e. onerous task) as a burden and think about it as something that I can and must own, it all lightens.

I have to admit that I really enjoy messing around with words, crafting the old sentences. So pickle me this, reader(s?). Do you have a word problem that needs solving? Send it my way. I'm your gal. After January 27th, anyway (Report Card Due Date.)
I was out in the snow tonight with the fam and was mostly lost in thought about the dance lessons that I'm working on for tomorrow. They are going to be about making dances about snow and winter poems, carving pathways in snow and space, and lightness, and bound and free energy (tobogganing!) and I am really excited about them. I found a couple of beautiful pomes in David Booth's anthology of poems for kids , Til All the Stars Have Fallen (which i love love). The poems are My toboggan and I carve winter by Jane Wadley and Winter walk in forest by George Swede. If I could build every lesson around a poem, I would.


I also remembered how much I like looking into my house from the backyard at night.

hi, ku!


waga yuki to/ omoebo karushi /kasa no ue

'It's my snow"
I think

And the weight on my hat lightens.

-Kikaku, trans. by Alex Kerr

I have been enjoying following several beautiful blogs by friends, family and strangers this year:
(soulemama, PhilOlogy, and Life in Colour) and recently I have been missing keeping my own record here. My paper systems (ahem, I use the term "systems" lightly) are always so haphazard and difficult to maneuver. I like the clarity and linear nature of a blog, even while lamenting the slow death of cursive and the general unstinting shift from analog to digital.

So, I am moving back again to naming my own snow, the soft quiet white noise of my life, observed.


swing out


(image) Summer is just around the corner. I'm taking the next 21 days to set the bit, habitwise. Hobbit and rabbit wise too. Moving and writing, sorting and purging, making way for crickets, sand and stars.



I was cleaning out monkeyboy's backpack this afternoon and underneath the NoFrills bag full of wet bathing suit and towel, crusty lunchbag and the collection of Sacred Scraps of Paper and Pebbles I unearthed a little notebook. It was the middle third of a cut up exercise book. There was only one thing written in it, on the first page and it was this:

"ToDay anD Every Day from now On Lets live in a way that Let's us find Powems."

YESSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!! Let's do it!!!!!!!!!!!

I was only slightly disappointed to discover that monkeyboy hadn't come up with this on his own but I want to thank his teacher who sent it into his little brain and down his arm. I want to thank her in a big way.



(image) This is the lonely first half of a pair of bunny slippers I am crocheting for my sister-in-law. I thought a snack might distract it from its singular existence.
I have always loved Easter. When I mentioned this to one of the other moms in the parking lot at the daycare, she seemed mystified. I could understand her disconnect. After all, what is there for a modern, secular person to love about Easter? Chocolate, ham, pots of tulips, bunnies, chicks, eggs, pastels? Yes, all of these things figured in my childhood experiences of Easter but these are not the only things I am nostalgic for. I was interested and moved by all of the church business of Holy Week: the palms, the supper, the passion, the joy at the end of it. My aunt would always come for the weekend and she brought with her attention and interest and left the scent of Anais Anais on my quilt. My mother always did a lot of special cooking around Easter. She always made eggy, braided Ukrainian breads and, once, sweet bun bunnies with icing. We ate the bunnies for breakfast with Champagne and orange juice. Our decadence was interrupted by the cat, bringing us a freshly killed mouse. For a few years she made Laura Secord style eggs, sugary fudgey on the inside and chocolate coated with our initial iced on top.
This bunny slipper picture reminded me of a certain quality to the light on Easter morning. I always tried to wake up early before everyone else and creep downstairs, following a trail of Smarties. One morning I woke up early enough to read finish the second half of The Stray, which had several great maps and a sad and mysterious ending. I remember once quietly singing Lord of the Dance to the rising sun. The melody is the same as the Shaker hymn Simple Gifts. I still love it. It always makes me feel that Easter feeling again, when I was awake and alone with the sun coming up, my family around me safe and sleeping and good food on the way.

Tis a gift to be simple tis a gift to be free
Tis a gift to come down where you ought to be
And when you find yourself in the place just right
It will be in the valley of love and delight.

Dance, dance wherever you may be
I am the lord of the dance, said he
And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be
I will lead you all in the dance, said he.

See? Joy. Whatever spring rite you've got going on, I hope you feel it too.

don't be a fool


April is almost upon me and I feel restless. Too bad there is no spring thaw a happenin'. With hardly any snowfall this winter there is nothing left to thaw. No river of ice to break up with a rifle crack. Is this how people who live in the temperate climes feel when spring comes, a bland easing in to a greener time? I don't think I like it. I heard the birds singing when I went out this morning and I liked that very much. I must have been missing them (the birds) because the window ledge in front of my computer desk is full of birds. My friend Becky, a pro-fessional bird girl, spotted no less than eight birds here:

I also got this very fantastic bike for only $35 at the Bibles for Missions thrift shop over the March Break. Jack also got a bike there for 5 bucks! (This thrift store is awesome. I nearly bought a fifties lace wedding gown for ten dollars but I knew there was no way i was going to fit into it - it had a teeny tiny waist - and it was still way too long for Sal. ) When I was loading this very heavy bike into the back of my car to take it home, I had visions of pedaling this baby down to the market and returning home with a basket full of bread and roses. At the time, I was ignoring the reality of the long steep hill that leads back up to our house from the market. And the singular nature of the gears. I took a spin around the block with Jack and was shocked to discover what felt like an intense grade on the last stretch coming up to our house. While walking, this incline was almost imperceptible but trying to pedal 50 pounds of British steel up it gave it a whole new seriousness. Smith took it for a spin next and promptly broke the chain by attempting to switch gears (folly). But I am still in love with this bike. It makes me happy to see it every time we pull into the driveway. I may even get the chain fixed before the snow falls again.


in-depth reporting


In the interest of being totally literal and unimaginative, this week's posts will be a series chronicling the mess on my desk. The Mess of Pottage. It's January, my brain is frozen. Or perhaps I am hoping to divine some deeper message (besides "clean up and get organized) lurking in the chaos. Like listening for patterns in white noise or reading tea leaves.

So, here goes.
Today the current items litter my desk:
  • my monitor, keyboard and mouse as well as my old laptop (including power adaptor, mouse and portable hard drive), dazzle card, digital cam (batteries are dead) and cell phone(also needs re-charging), a solar powered calculator and a camera tripod,
  • Smith's keys
  • a 3 inch Eve toy with replacement arm and tiny plastic boot with plant growing out of it, a small rubber cheetah and a Lego wizard (to keep the bogons away)
  • a bristle hairbrush,
  • a smooth stone from French Beach
  • a letter and photos from my mother-in-law
  • 3 Alice Munro books of which I have double copies (Friend of My Youth, Runaway and Away from Her if anybody needs 'em)
  • a printout of a Georgian Bay cottage which the owner refused to rent to me
  • the most recent issue of Professionally Speaking magazine open to the page about Olympic lesson plans
  • a construction paper circlet, made by Jack
  • a ball of fuzzy green synthetic wool with tiny balls of colour threaded along it, a clear plastic purse handle
  • a Christmas package awaiting delivery (still)
  • a map of Montreal
  • a pile of Bermuda sea glass wrapped in paper towel
  • 2 pieces of unopened mail (bills)
  • an empty eggshell blue coffee mug, an empty tea mug, an empty oatmeal bowl and spoon
  • a green blown glass sea-urchin paperweight
  • a travel-sized packet of tissues
  • a box of Curious George bandaids and a birthday party invitation (Come PARTY like an ALIEN!),
  • a lab test requisition form (for Jack) and two stool test kits with instructions
  • Bernstein's Reverse Dictionary ("mess, confused condition: MARE'S NEST") in which I found my own handwritten copy of this passage from Annie Dillard's The Living:

"Swing out", the voices said in the darkness.
"Push from the platform, and when you're all the way out, let go."
When? he thought. Where?
The heavy rope pulled at him. He carried it to the platform edge. He hitched up the knot and launched out. As he swung through the air, trembling, he saw the blackness give way below, like a parting of clouds, to a deep patch of stars on the ground. It was the pond, he hoped, the hole in the woods reflecting the sky. He judged the instant and let go; he flung himself loose into the stars.

There you have it: my life in 6 square feet.



We jam packed the good times in last week, I tell you.
The Good Lovelies rocked the Vasey Church. In the sweetest way possible. Scott Cooper and family hosted and it had a very cozy, famdamly vibe. Scott played Porter Wagoner's Satisfied Mind which is maybe one of the best songs ever. And we all sang along to Silent Night. Robert Munsch has a book called Purple, Green and Yellow and at one point the heroine, Brigid, gets a pack of SuperDuperNeverComeOffUntilYourDeadAndMaybeEvenLaterIndelible Markers. When she uses them to draw, she draws roses that look more like roses than roses. Everything looks too good to be true. That's how the Lovelies sounded. Lush and smooth. It didn't hurt that we were in the front row and catching a lot of their live sound too.
The next morning it snowed and blowed like the begeezus.
SalGal's holiday concert was everything a concert of tiny people should be. Sweet, exuberant, slightly chaotic, not too long. She continues to regale us with "Give peace a chance, Baby!" and Silent Night at the top of her lungs. I attempted a few carols on the piano today. I quite butchered them, but the kids didn't seem to mind.
I headed up to my mom's on Friday and spent the day out in the freezing, snowy woods, cracking down old sumac trees and dragging them home to help build a palisade around the old barn ruin for Willy's wedding. It looks pretty wild and gorgeous. Mom made homeade bread and killer minestrone for lunch. The girlies played tea parties. A great day.
We had the cousins over on Friday night and the kids just rolled around the house in waves of play. "Let's play spies!" They all play spies. "Let's draw!" They all draw.
Saturday and Sunday were days of a thousand things, reconnecting with old friends and family, eating and drinkin and eating and drinking some more!!
Come evening, we found ourselves singing along once again, this time to White Christmas with my friend Phil. Everyone was packed into the house, cheek by jowl, standing in the hallway, sitting up the stairs. He has been singing for over a decade but this was my first time hearing him. It was worth the wait. We used to work together at the record store and we must have listened to Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas CD about 500 times. But when he sang Christmastime is Here, it felt fresh and sweet all over again.
So, let the damn roof leak. (yes, it really is. yes, the brand new one.) I'm going to keep on singing.

ghosts of christmas


In the midst of mad wrapping and procrastinating about writing my cards, Pip's lovely christmassy post inspired many Christmas memories for me.I have a lot of of happy Christmas TV memories. Which seems a little pathetic. But there we were, all together, watching. I felt safe and connected. One Christmas day, West Side Story was on the air. I think I was about 11. The opening credits were a little boring but mom told me that she loved it, so I kept watching. It floored me: the music, dancing, the epic tragedy. I still love watching it around Christmas time and am kicking myself for not getting down to see the Startford production this summer - I heard it was pretty great.Maybe it was this same Christmas, or maybe it was another but I remember sitting and watching TV for hours curled up with my mom. It felt like such a treat. There was some strange Muppety special on about a Frog prince. The princess was enchanted and couldn't talk properly: "Break the hall in the candle of her brain!" Does anyone else remember this?There is still something luxurious and wonderful to me about sitting down to watch 2 or 3 movies in a row.I also remember sitting around by the tree with my whole family one year, listening to the radio. It was Stuart McLean's Vinyl Cafe. The first time I ever heard it. We laughed until our guts ached.I could write a book about Christmas food memories. I will be sad to miss Christmas pudding with whiskey sauce this year. We are going to be away from home for Christmas this year, with Smith's family. But we are going to have one humdinger of a party to celebrate my little bro's wedding on the Winter Solstice, so we will be getting our merrymerry on here before we depart. Bonfire, vows in the snow, lamb, sangria -can't wait!I am very excited to go and see The Good Lovelies and Scott Cooper tomorrow night. I should bring a big box of kleenex as I am sure it will conjure up memories of the last time I went to see them with Pip. We laughed like loons and cried like babies. I haven't been listening to anything except Sufjan Stevens lately. Mysteriously, the copy of Come on Feel the Illinoise that Greg and Meighan gave us has stopped skipping - hurray! And we currently have his Christmas set of 5 EPs on shuffle in the stereo. He does a very sweet version of Lo How a Rose E'r Blooming. I love that song. I guess I should shake things us a little but I can't seem to find my Bing Crosby xmas disc or my Weinachten mit Heinjie! Xmas just ain't the same without Heintjie singing "Kling, glocken,klingalingaling!!!!!". I'll bet the Lovelies do a wicked version of MeleKelikimaka....I should be knitting. Ay, the push is on, to complete last minute gifts. I am trying to be kind to myself and not start any projects that I can't finish in a day or two. But I keep finding such cute things on Ravelry and Knitty. Must. Not. Look.My reading lately has been mostly limited to Anna Karenina. I love it and I refuse to rush it. With Jack, I am reading The Winter Drey, book two in the excellent Trilogy of the Tree by Sean Dixon. It's funny and strange and sweet, based on Norse myths and history. Jack is loving it, but he wondered: "How did he (the author) think of all of those crazy names like Snorre and Trondheim and Norway?" Crazy old Norway. We seem to be all about beautiful wintery books these days. Any suggestions for your favourite book about winter or favourite book to read during the winter. I cancelled our daily Globe subscription. It was a big commitment and I was starting to feel like I should get up earlier just so that I could get through the paper. I am missing it a little but am also slightly relieved. Although I am back to living under a rock status. What's happening out there in the big ol world?[...]

keeping up


I am still reading like crazy but it has been a jam packed month in other ways as well. I planned and executed Jack's 7th BDay party - Jedi Training camp! , cooked a turkey for Thanksgiving, made a pilgrimage to L.M. Montgomery's home in Leaskdale with my mom and took my in-laws out to see the Sound of Music. I also had a hard stint of knitting in there. It's all or nothing with the knitting - I find it so hard to put down once I'm in the groove. Also, I joined Ravelry, which is a fantastic knitting networking site. Very dangerous.
Smith and the kids brought me breakfast in bed this morning which was the best lemon meringue pie I have ever eaten, from The Lemon Tree Bakery. Wow. Crisp, sweet toasted meringue, creamy lemon filling, crisp short crust. Wow.
I should be out there planting bulbs this morning - purple crocuses and pink tulips, but it is damp and I am feeling a little blah. Speaking of which I think I am going to go and get the kids and myself vaccinated against H1N1 this week. Severe cases are so swift and unpredictable - it seems prudent to vaccinate, for ourselves and others.
I also borrowed my mom's sewing machine and am eager to get started on some curtains and a few sweet dresses for Sal.
And somewhere in all of this, I'm trying to squeak in some time for writing.
Right now, thought, I think I will go and have another piece of that pie. Wow.

what i'm reading


I have been reading The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo out loud with Jack. We finished it last night. At a very high-stakes, emotional point in the story, the princess puts her hand over her heart. She is preparing to forgive a rat. Jack's hand moved involuntarily over his own little heart. When Mig was reunited with her father, he gave a happy little clap. "Well, I hope she's written more books because that was the best book I've ever read."

Reading with Jack is one of my favourite things in the world, ever.

We are going to read The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, also by Miss DiCamillo, next.

Speaking of reading, I am also going to try to use this blog to keep track of... well, everything. But especially reading. I know there are whole websites for this sort of thing and I might around to that sometime soon but I'm going to start here.
Sooo, this week I am consuming (like a fire! I am on fire! Reading books like a crazy lady!), the following books:

  • Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market 2007, pub. by Writer's Digest
  • The Encylclopedia of Writing andIllustrating Children's Books by McCannon, Thornton and Williams, pub. by Running Press, 2008
  • Back Roads of Ontario Map Book (pub?). I love maps. Very much.
Children's Novels
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  • Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (she is so amazing)
  • A Kind and Gentle Knight by Kit Pearson. Great great great.
Picture Books
  • Good Night Sam by Marie-Louise Gay. I love Marie-Louise Gay. Their house is always a little bit messy, because they are busy being kids and I find this very endearing.
  • Pirates Don't Change Diapers by Melinda Long and David Shannon
  • Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner
  • Please, Louise by Frieda Wishinsky and Marie-Louise Gay, pub. by Groundwood: well, here is the book I would like to write about Jack and Sal - it has a great twist at the end.
  • The Trailer Park Princesses by Pete Marlow and Leanne Franson pub. by Annick Press
  • Some Birthday! by Patricia Polacco
  • The Art Room by Susan Van de Griek and Pacsal Milelli: about children taking art classes from Emily Carr: Last line/page: "and then went out to see/ with eyes that were wide." Lovely. Reading this with Jack, he said: "I looove these pictures. I wish she could give me art lessons."
  • Hello Twins by Charlotte Voake pub. by Candlewick. I love Charlotte Voake's Ginger books. So happy to find this one. Another great brother and sister book.

I also have some grown up novels that I'm dying to take a crack at when I have a minute: A Little Stranger by Sarah Waters and The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga.

living under a rock


I have a confession to make. It has been weeks since I watched or listened to a newscast. You might be kind and imagine that I am getting all of my news of the world from online sources. Or perhaps you assume that I have been reading the newspaper. But, dear reader, this is just not the case. When I am online I am in the tiny soundbite world of Facebook or deep in knitting or writerly blogs. My television time is strictly DVD these days. I gave up several hours of my life last week to Absolutely Fabulous, which I had never seen before and am now totally besotted with. I want to marry Jennifer Saunders and her genius for physical comedy and cringeworthy-yet-lovable characters. But I digress (as usual). I have read a big pile of fiction in the last month and several gorgeous essays and am currently trying to read as many award-winning children's novels as I can lay my hands on. When I am in the car I have been listening to The Good Lovelies and The Weakerthans. I am starting to feel downright irresponsible. Not about listening to fantastic Canadian bands and reading well-crafted children's novels - gosh, that seems rather wholesome, doesn't it? - but about my lack of interest in the greater world. When I say greater, I mean the world outside of my personal sphere of influence.
The next book on my shelf is Thoreau's Walden. My dad loves this book and I have never read it. I'm sure he will have something to say about this sort of thing.
Maybe I will simplify and cleanse during this coming week: bread, water, Thoreau, walks in the forest, paper and pencil only. And the radio tuned to CBC.

(Hmmmm. This is feeling very Bridget Jonesy. Stay tuned for posts about how many times I've checked my Facebook, how many gin and tonics I've consumed, how many home decorating magazines I have "flipped through" and how many episode of Ab FAb Volume 2 I have watched-probably all.)

p.s. sept 21st - facebook: about 50 times, no g & t but large quantities of pie and froot loops and sorry mr. thoreau, i have not cracked Walden once. news: not even going to go there.. but i did subscribe to the Globe and Mail! For which I was admonished to never answer the phone when i am home alone again.

many hats


I was going to title this post too many hats but I removed the too because I think I handle the many.
So, if anybody is still out there reading this, I am back on again. It's the back-to-school effect. Back on the blog wagon.
After a long, rich summer of travels, nuptuals and hello-agains and farewells (too many farewells for my liking) I feel shook out and ready for some shape and routine.
The kids were delighted to head back to school. They were on Tuesday, anyway. But this morning Sal pitched a fit and reawakened some of my old guilty feelings about full time daycare for her.
I am supply teaching again this year but am relieved to not feel guilt about not doing that full time. According to our accountant, I worked exactly the right amount last year to maximize my financial input for this household. Armed with that, I feel more confidant to plan out a life that includes time for the work I really want to be doing: writing. (Colon or semi-colon there? Help, please.)
Of course, there are still all of the other realms that I am a part of too: mothering, accounting (badly), keeping house, cooking, gardening and making things and hanging out friends and family. I am trying to be pickier about who and what gets my time, which is not easy for me.
I can't wait to start my Nia class again next week and have been entertaining the thought of running again. Well, I have invited this thought over for tea and we have been tossing dates back and forth but have yet to really make it happen.
My house is full of peaches and pears, ripening like so many good intentions. And fruit flies, hovering, like so many doubts and excuses.
Jam will be made, dammit!

to do list-jan 18, 2009


1. write and illustrate a children's book
2. bake more bread
3. play piano daily
4. make plans to hike the west coast trail
5. make plans to spend my 40th birthday in France
6. tobaggan more often. i love it.
7. start running again.
8. be more gooder.

drawn to the cheeses of kittyness


I tried bobealia's meme with the fd mosaic maker. Fun. I like the top half best. The bottom half descended into some silliness. It is in fact a fairly accurate visual map of my brain, now that I think about it.

i shirk work


like everyone i am in denial about getting back to work after the holidays. my hiatus from work was extra long as i spend most of november working on the house. shifting gears is painful. i can't get up and put on my filthy work clothes. again. i actually might have to iron something soon. and i have to blow dry my hair. i don't think i was cut out for working away from home.
perhaps it is time to finally pursue my lifelong dream to wrtie and illustrate children's books. although we do have some bills to pay. guess i will just have to get out the shoe polish and suck it up. i guess the good news is that i am not covered in drywall dust or unnameable demolition garbage. my back and knees do not ache (too badly) and i can feel the ends of my fingertips.
today googirl is extra gooey with a cold so i am home sweet home after a nice and easy half day out in the trenches. the sun is shining which makes everything seem so very fine. the house is quiet except for the tippy tap of keyboards, upstairs and down. i might start to purr...

imagine the sound of a cassette tape on fast forward


mixed in with the sounds of drills, falling rubble, concrete setting, dust flying, snow lashing the windows, wood warping in the chilly house, lonesome and dark. (do lonesome and dark have a sound?). fast forward again with more banging and sawing and hemming and hawing and toes warming in cold upstairses where i grew up and stews stewing and sanding, sanding, sanding , sanding, sanding, sanding, then much vacumming and gathering up of stuff. Ding, dang, dong - we're BACK! back in the darned ol, fabulous new house.
yeah, i stayed away from the blog a long time. i think it was fear of pretentiousness, fear of this becoming a blog about The Reno That Ate My Brain.
also, lack of high speed internet.
and heck, i was busy!
well, that' s over.

blog post subjects under consideration:
  • are my kids watching too much tv? (answer: yes)
  • groups/families - mine
  • boxing kangaroo pens
  • road trips i would like to take (this subject inspired by boxing kangaroo pens)
  • window coverings of my life, past and present
  • fear
  • education
  • fear of education
  • all-terrain vehicles i would prefer my neighbour didn't own
  • how i should spend the next ten years of my life
  • how to be good (nick hornby already wrote a book about this that i didn't like very much but maybe i need to read it again, now that i'm a little older)



i felt that i had to squeeze in a post before june was over to keep up with my blinding post-a-month pace.
i have been on the road a lot, catching up with friends, always feeling like the visits were too short. sweet but not enough.
i have not been obsessing over the drawing board - the house plans have reached a slight hiatus brought on by bureacracy, over, literally, a matter of inches. tomorrow i am going to post a humongous sign on my lawn announcing our intentions and inviting public scrutiny. i am feeling a little self-conscious about it. i think i had imagined a much smaller sign.
people continue to urge us to move rather than renovate but we feel like we are supposed to be here and are counting on the house to come through for us. or at least to survive the onslaught. sorry house. just remember that we love you.
just because i am not currently spending every spare moment sketching and resketching and tracing and measuring does not mean that i am not horribly distracted on a deep level. i realized today that my response time to "hey mom guess what?" is about 6 seconds. a long hmmmmmm?
must wake up. must stay present!

sniptious things


"Sniptious things for your style", in fact. My favourite junk e-mail subject line to date! I have no idea what they were trying to sell me and erased it before I could find out but now I am wondering about the snip-factor, you know? Maybe that is really what my style needs. Some sniptiousness. Sigh. Missed opportunity number fifty-three thousand and seventeen.

looth tooth


The dust is pretty thick around here. In truth I have been avoiding this blog like a pile of papers that needs sorting and tending to but which will probably end up in a drawer somewhere. What can I say? I have been doing and making and thinking in three dimensions and the last place I want to be these days is in this little text box! Je m'excuse my sweeties. And I lost my digital camera and the deadwood dvd's just kept on coming in the mail and the laundry, oh god the laundry - nearly two solid months slaving down in the laundry mines!!!!!

Green things are growing and they are not in my fridge. The rhubarb that I transplanted last fall has survived both in its original bed and the new location. This makes me ridiculously happy. Almost as happy as the discovery that Joel Plaskett is playing Mariposa this year. Hot dog! Troutie is shedding like crazy. My brother tells me that he sheds so much because he is fat. Does this make sense? The scooter and the trike are out of the shed and wearing grooves in the sidewalk. Googirl is jealous of monkeyboy's enormous snowboarding/bike helmet. Googirl continues to pee on the pottie with reasonable regularity and great pride. We have paid our taxes and taken the snow tires off of the red car. I am still running but my hips are giving me trouble this week. They feel my achin bones. I have been teaching a lot of French lately and, strangely, my french seems to be getting worse. C'est dommage, n'est-ce pas?

But the big news around here is that monkeyboy lost his first tooth on Friday at around 3pm. He spent the remainder of the day sending whispered pleas to the tooth fairy and marvelling at the new architecture of his lower jaw. "Now the air doesn't have to go between the cracks of my teeth to get to my tongue - it can just swoosh right in!". He keeps asking me to look and see if his new tooth is coming in yet. I have an excellent little sarah apple pop-open wallet with a sad baby fairy on it that I wrecked the spring on that has found a new purpose as the tooth fairy wallet. The tooth fairy pays big bucks these days - two whole dollars! And let him keep his tooth besides! (On account of it being his first one, as she explained in her very messy reply note. Monkeyboy's note: "Hi TooTh FaiRy Look my 1ST tooTh"). He has a little lisp now that just makes smith and i melt.

neglectful, I


It is officially spring. Hey dinga ding. And a hey and a ho and a hey nonny no. The forecast for tomorrow holds snow. Yes, snow.Am I allowed to complain? I who have spent eight days out of the last snow packed, frigid month in Bermuda, sweet warm Bermuda, with sand in my toes and green grass all around? Thank you to Sylv, the hostess with the mostess, for that respite.The Vacation in Not-So Brief:Get up at 3am, -24 outside, drive, fly, land, head immediately to beach,eat beautiful beet soup by Sylv and go to bed early.Day 2: A long walk along the rail trail with Sylv's friend Zeudie. Then to Gibb's Hill Lighthouse with Ron the super charming, nattily dressed cab driver for stair climbing, view viewing and yummy lunch with pots of tea. Managed to spill a full pitcher of milk all over. Horseshoe Bay for the afternoon with Teresa and her beautiful girls. Jack flew his new kite. Sal got wet and chattered her teeth. Smith ignored the signs and climbed high on dangerous rocks with Sal to wave at us down on the beach. Saw a huge parrotfish swimming in the shallows, flashing emerald. Drove up the hill to Tio Pepe's where we drank Sangiovese and ordered a bit of everything ("Finally, people who know how to eat"; Teresa). Ate, ate, ate while the kids ran wild, crawling under the table and dancing to themselves in the cloudy mirrored wall. Drove home (Sal on my lap again - freaky!) for more play and bath.Day 3: Dockyards with Teresa after lunch. Sylv took Smith on her scooter. Wandered through the glassworks and Sylv's favourite gallery (with 4 kids in tow - brave weren't we?) then past the grumpy gatekeeper to see the dolphins being fed. Jack and Aimee taking turns snapping with my camera and Sylv's. Great pictures of course.We meandered through the museum but spent most of the time playing airplanes in the irresistable wide green common. We stayed on for dinner at the pub and waited a long time in the cold evening breeze for a bus. A couple was kissing in the bus shelter so we didn't go in. Jack is exhilarated by his first bus ride through the night. Sylv meets us at the stop with the running stroller - she has gone on ahead with her scooter and we carefully make our way along the rail trail in the dark with lots of reassurances for Jack.Day 4: 11am -My birthday present from Sylv - a 90 minute massage from an incredibly gifted Sri Lankan woman, who Sylv calls "The Hands of God". We stop to buy groceries on the way home - all of the vegetables look bionic to me. Sylv says this is not the norm. For three big paper bags of groceries the bill is $187. !! We head home for a relaxed afternoon of arts and crafts. Late that night, Smith and I sit on the lawn and listen to the tree frogs.Day 5: Took the ferry over to town. Coffee in the park and then home again for lunch and several clothing changes before heading to the Aquarium. Instead of Harbourfront for dinner we end up staying at Teresa's, playing Wii and getting take out sushi and pizza from The Specialty Inn. The kids were very happy to just get down on the floor and play - lots of new toys for Jack and Sal.Day 6: A good run this morning, Smith and Sal following along. Sylv runs errands while we head to Church Bay Beach. Lots of big rolling waves and wind but the air is the warmest it has been all week. Sylv eventually joins us and we stay for hours. A painter sets up his easel and works for most of the afternoon. On the way back up from the beach, Sylv recognizes him as her favourite [...]

goo girl speaks up


boooots! booooots!
amo? amo? amo? amo? amo? amo? amo?
hi gittie. gittiegittiegittiegittiegittie! hi poonie. mrow!mrow!mrow! mrow!
uh-oh. hhhhock. hhhhhhock. (meaning, i've left my sock in my boot)
chakie! chakie! hiiiieeeee chackie!
cheese? cheese?
MMMMMooooooooooooooo! (meaning i want to nurse NOW)

yes, you are


Today I taught a Gr. 1/2 class.

I asked "Who here is an artist?".

They ALL put up their lovely lovely lovely lovely lovely lovely hands.

It made my day.



My first thought today when I didn't get called for any jobs was "Hey, since I won't be workin again til Monday, I don't really have to change my clothes for a few days". And the little warning light in my head didn't really go on until just now.

I blame it on not having any sisters to say "What the hell have you got on woman." (My brother used to do that job but it made me just want to punch his head. Sorry Jim.)

And also,winter. I hate being cold so much that I will sacrifice style for warmth in an instant. I know, know, I don't have to but I have a bag lady layering instinct. It makes me feel like...a real version of me. This makes so much gut sense when I clown. The layers of clothing are not just layers of clothing, they are my heart.

Take heart dear reader, I promise to change my clothes tomorrow and the next day. (At very least, my socks and undies). I also promise not to wear my jeans and a black shirt. Again. For you, I wear something a little crazy, hey? Like a tree growing out of my wrist and a bird's nest bonnet. And some big boots. I will make an effort to wear my heart. Not my mood. My heart.

Yeahhh, take that January!