Monday, May 26, 2008

A Star (Wars fan) is born

Most Friday nights chez Party of 3 are pretty laid back. After the long school/work week (especially now that 2 week-night soccer practices are thrown into the mix), Fridays are all about kicking back and relaxing. We usually head over to Carp Video right after I pick the girls up from daycare and the girls choose a movie each and then after dinner and a trip to the playground (weather permitting) we change into PJs and watch a movie and eat popcorn. It's how we unwind.

And since we do this nearly every Friday, we've pretty well watched all the movies in the children's section of the store. We have our favourites -- Rae especially likes to rent the same movies over and over -- but Leah has been looking for something different. She really likes the Harry Potter movies, though they tend to be too scary for Rae.

So when I saw the ads for the new Indiana Jones movie, I had a brainwave. Maybe it was time to introduce the girls to Raiders of the Lost Ark. They were very excited. I remember loving that movie. I am apparently brain damaged, as I evidently had forgotten almost everything that went on in this movie -- the bloody impaled native guide, the poisoned monkey, the dessicated mummy corpses, the melting face/drying out and crumbling to dust face/exploding head during the finale, and all that other good gory stuff. Rae fell asleep before Indy reached the first jungle temple, which was probably a good thing. Leah....well, if Leah was an 8-year-old boy instead of an 8-year-old girl, she probably would have loved the movie. As it was, she had her eyes hidden for most of it. I kept offering to turn it off, but she'd say "No Mom, I want to watch." And by 'watch' she meant bury her head in the pillow she had balanced on her drawn-up knees while plugging her ears. Sigh. So Saturday, it went back to the video store.

I had another brainwave. Star Wars! Yeah, I bet she'd love that. And she did. I hadn't seen the movie in years, and I had forgotten how much I loved it too. But it was tucked away in the synapses. I started quoting dialogue along with the characters, "The Jundland wastes are not to be travelled lightly", "You've never heard of the Millennium Falcon? Should I have? It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.", "I have a bad feeling about this.", "This is some rescue. When you came in here, didn't you have a plan for getting out?". It was like seeing old friends again. And Leah's hooked. She's watched it three times already and is full of questions like "If Obi-wan is dead, how can Luke hear his voice?", "Why did Obi-wan let Darth Vader kill him?". She's impatient for next Friday, and The Empire Strikes Back.

Leah is just captivated by Obi-wan. Rae is more of a Luke Skywalker fan. Neither of them can quite understand their mother's preference for Han Solo.

(Oh, but you will, girls, you will. Someday.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Evil ninja assassin cat

Good morning, Large One. Your calves look especially juicy sticking out of your bath robe this morning. I may look as though I'm sitting here grooming myself, but really I am only counting the seconds and calculating the trajectory before I launch myself at you, pin you around the knee with my front paws and sink my fangs into the sweet, sweet flesh of your leg. Iams kitten food cannot begin to compare with the taste of fresh-caught limb. (But two words, Large One: razor. blade. I don't know whether to bite your leg or groom it. Seriously.)

Yes, Large One, now that you have finished subjecting yourself to the vile and unspeakable water spray, go and get Loud One and One Whose Hair I Like to Chew up from their nests. I need more prey.

I am the the mighty hunter. I am Death made flesh. I stalk my victims through this house and no-one is safe from my wrath. The small toy horses with the intoxicating hair do not please me with screams when I put my ears back and chase them, as your skin kittens do. My thirst for blood and destruction (and the Kim Possible action figure) shall be indulged.

Behold the flayed body of the oven mitt! Fear my anger, humans.

And get me a Pounce treat.

A tuna one.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Thank you ladies and gentlemen, I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your waitress.

Morning. The usual chaos as we try to get ready for school and work. Leah is putting homework into her backpack. I am hunting in the fridge for yogurt for my lunch. Rachel is getting herself dressed.

Rae: Mom, I can't wear these panties, they're dirty!

Me: No they're not, I just got them out of the dryer.

Rae: But they've got Pooh on them. *collapses laughing*

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Six things

A while back, Moo tagged me with the '6 things about me' meme. I've done something similar before, once or twice, but I'll see if I can think up 6 more things about me that you might find vaguely interesting. I'm not making any promises on the level of interestingness though.

As always, the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
6. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

(I'm not going to tag anyone, this has been around a few times, but if you'd like to play, hey, knock yourself out and leave me a comment so I can go look at your answers.)

1. I'm a pretty lucky person. I mean beyond the 'I have my health, 2 beautiful daughters, a home, good job, wonderful family and friends' lucky (though I'm lucky in those respects too). Over a 3-year period, I won nearly $5000 worth of things from a local radio station by playing their contests and phoning in to win. The list: a Sens date night (a limo picked us up and took us to an Ottawa Senators (NHL) hockey game, with dinner beforehand in the upscale restaurant where the season-ticket holders eat, seats at the blue line only 3 rows from the ice, and a limo ride home. They even threw in $50 for a babysitter and a DVD movie for the kids to watch while we were out.) Then all the winners of the date nights -- there were ten -- were entered in a draw for a pair of really nice diamond earrings, and I won the draw. A couple of years later I won a power washer and tickets for the Rolling Stones concert when they came to town, with a pre-concert party/dinner with the other winners and some of the radio station DJs. Still no luck with lottery tickets though.

2. I'm a cat person rather than a dog person. Don't get me wrong, I like dogs and have even loved dogs in the past, but given a choice, I'll pick a cat every time. (See, this is what I mean about the level of interestingness.)

3. I'd rather read than watch TV or a movie. This is kind of weird, considering I'm an editor and read for a living -- you'd think the last thing I'd want to do when I got home was read, but that's what I do. I keep buying DVDs on sale, and VHS tapes from garage sales, to have on hand when there's nothing good on TV, and I still haven't gotten around to watching them. I found an old VHS copy of Foul Play, a Chevy Chase/Goldie Hawn movie I remember loving when I was a teenager, at a used book sale a while ago. I put it in my bedroom weeks ago, thinking I might like to snuggle in bed and watch it. I haven't yet, but I've read at least 8 novels during that time.

4. I was trapped in an elevator once. At the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa. On a Sunday, when there are no technicians on site. In total there were 5 of us on the elevator: me with a toddler Leah in a stroller, and a friend with her youngest in a stroller, and her claustrophobic husband. It was not a fun 20 minutes or so. But at least none of us gave birth.

5. I've never seen the movie "Grease".

6. I bumped into Margaret Atwood once. I was living in Toronto and working downtown. One day I was heading into the bank near the corner of Yonge and College. I wasn't looking where I was going, I was rummaging in my purse for something, when I walked smack into a lady coming out of the bank. I stopped and apologized, and then went into the bank thinking, "I know her from somewhere." Yeah, from the author picture on the backs of several novels in my bookcase. I also saw David Suzuki in a pub on College St. a couple of weeks later. And once, when walking to a restaurant for lunch with friends from work, we passed the Delta Chelsea and saw a limo pull up and the Ramones got out. Toronto was fun.

So there you have it. I have no more random and/or interesting things to share. I will not be doing any more of these postings. You can thank me for this by sending chocolate.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day weekend recap

I just finished reading about what XUP did on her Mother's Day weekend, and I shamelessly copied the idea was inspired to share my own weekend with you all.

It was a really great weekend. The antibiotics kicked in, and although I'm still coughing like a chain-smoking rhinoceros, I have most of my energy back. I declared a weekend moratorium on housework (except for the ongoing loading/unloading of the dishwasher to keep us in dishes) and the girls and I had fun. The weather was lovely - about 19 and sunny, though Sunday was really windy.

Saturday morning we walked to the first Carp Farmers' Market of the season. How we made it through the winter without bacon on a bun is truly incomprehensible. Once we had them in hand and were happily chomping away, we ran into lots of people from the village that we really haven't seen since November or so. Once the snow starts flying, about the most you see of the neighbours is a hand waving from a car window, and with last winter's snowbanks, you couldn't see many cars at all. Now that spring is here, we get to see everyone again. (I think it must have been like this in the olden days out on the prairies where the settlers ventured out from their farms to see who had died or had babies over the winter.) We also met, very unexpectedly, Pat and Gerry, close friends from Ottawa and sat and visited with them as well. We headed home with our supplies of butter tarts, citrus cookies, and pansies to plant in the garden, and Shell and Becca dropped by for tea (and butter tarts - a coincidence? Maybe.)

After lunch we went to Andrew Haydon Park and the girls ran wild on the play structures. We came home and barbecued dinner (steak and baked potato and red wine for Mom), and I still had enough energy to mow half the lawn.

On Sunday, I got the home-made cards and a lovely wooden box that Rae decorated for me at daycare. It had chocolates in it that she wanted to 'share' with me. Hmmmm, I kinda thought they were for me. I shared. Leah made peanut butter toast and juice for breakfast, having just learned to use the toaster oven. Rachel pronounced Leah's toast far superior to the toast I make and asked Leah if she would make her toast from now on. (I took the blow to my ego rather well, I think. If it means less work for me, I'm all for it.) We had decided on a Mother's Day picnic at the beach. Though it's too cold to swim yet, I thought that the girls could paddle in the water and build sand castles while I read a book. We packed up and headed to the beach (Rae insisted on wearing her bathing suit). When we arrived, we were very surprised. The beach had disappeared.

It was a small beach, width-wise, but a good 30 to 40 feet of sand stretched from the parking area out to the Ottawa River. Not anymore, or not right now -- the river is running so high (probably from the increased snowmelt from the record levels of snow we had) that the beach is under water.

Those trees underwater on the left of the photo above are about halfway between the upper edge of the beach and the water's edge. Or at least they were last summer.

I looked through some old pictures, but couldn't find any taken from the same spot. The one below was taken a couple of summers ago. I was at the water's edge taking a picture back towards the parking area. I was standing near the trees you can see to the left of Leah's head when I took the photos above. You can see the expanse of sand that's now under water.

We picnicked anyway, and the girls played in the thin strip of sand. Then we went home and I mowed the rest of the lawn while the girls made me a cake. All by themselves. It was beautiful -- chocolate, with fudge icing, decorated artistically and served on a pink and blue plate (you can click on the photo to enlarge it and appreciate the decorations even more).

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


When I was little, I kind of liked being sick, just a little bit. I liked when my mom would make up a bed for me on the sofa so that I could watch TV. I got to drink ginger ale (we never had pop in the house) and she'd make my favourite comfort food for me (tuna salad inside Pillsbury crescent rolls, hot from the oven.) I liked the feeling of being cared for, looked after, safe and warm and cozy.

Now I'm an adult, and the only one in charge of two other human beings....not so much. Being sick is awful. What started as what I thought were spring allergies soon revealed themselves as a cold, which then morphed into the worst case of bronchiitis I've had since Rae was born. And it's kicking my ass. The coughing is bad, but the bone-tiredness is the worst, I have zero energy. It's hard to explain to the girls that Mommy just isn't up to walking to the park, or that just getting to swim lessons is a major feat, and I don't have the energy to do anything afterwards except go home and go to bed. They want to help, bless their hearts -- Rae stands beside the couch I'm lying on and very seriously brushes the hair off my forehead and kisses me there, an echo of the many times I've done that to her fevered brow -- but they're still too little. They're the ones needing looking after.

It's frustrating to be home and yet not have the energy to catch up on the laundry, or mow the lawn, or even get on the computer. So I'm apologising for being a bit absent around here and on your blogs lately. It's not that I don't care. Hopefully, in a few days when the $200 worth of antibiotics and steroids kick in, I can get back to blogging and visiting your blogs. And maybe even tell about the near-death experience we had here at the house.

(I'm not too sick to tease, lol.)