Thursday, June 25, 2009

Random thoughts

  • Random thought upon seeing a bunch of highschool boys at the ice cream stand trying to impress the girls: Just because you can grow a beard, doesn't mean you should.

  • Random thought upon first noticing the unusually large number of robins in Carp this spring/summer: Awwww, it's so nice to see all the birds around. It must mean that the environment is doing well, at least around here.

  • Random thought upon seeing that Norwalk Furniture has changed its name to Lûxe Home Interiors: It's about time. Really, who wants to buy furniture from a store that shares its name with a virus that causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Kind of like bragging to your neighbour, "Yes, that couch is stunning, isn't it. We got it at Stomach Flu Fine Furniture -- you know, down on Carling Avenue?" That was probably the worst business name since "Ayd's Meat Market" back in Windsor.

  • Random thought upon noticing all the bird poop, mostly from robins, on the driveway: Wow, there are a lot of birds around this year.

  • Random thought upon purchasing LCBO gift cards as end-of-year teachers' gifts: Nothing says "Thanks for educating my child" like alcohol.

  • Random thought upon skimming bird poop out of the pool for the first time: Hey, bird poop floats! Who knew?

  • Random thought upon skimming bird poop out of the pool for the second and subsequent times: Freaking birds, stop CRAPPING in my pool!

  • Random thought upon being woken for the first time at 4:20 a.m. by the sound of birdsong: How beautiful! Back when I lived in Ottawa, it was sirens from the fire station that woke me in the night. This is so much nicer and gentler.

  • Random thought upon being woken for the second and subsequent times at 4:20 a.m. by the sound of birdsong: Shut up, shut up, Shut Up, SHUT UP! OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WILL YOU PLEASE JUST SHUT UP AND LET ME SLEEP!!!!!!

  • Random thought upon finding the remains of a robin on my front walkway that had run afoul (afowl?) of a predator during the night: Yesssssss! (accompanied by Gretzkyesque fist pump.)

  • Random thought upon hearing coyotes yipping and howling down in the valley in the wee hours of this morning: Wow, the hair on my arms just stood up. What a wild and amazing sound! How lucky am I to hear that haunting noise coming in through the window on the night breeze while I'm tucked up all safe in my bed? Nature is beautiful.... I wonder if coyotes eat robins.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I don't think I want to know what's going on here

I went into Rae's bedroom the other day to put away some laundry, and I found this little tableau. I would have asked her what was going on, but she was on a playdate at someone else's house. (By the time she returned and I asked, she simply shrugged her shoulders and said, "I don't remember".)

I tried to figure out a scenario that would take into account Bride Barbie and Belle in the car with Aladdin lying on the hood, naked except for his little cap and his gold pointy-toed boots, while Erik (Or Derek, I can't remember which) sprawled face-down in front of the jeep. Because I'm telling you, it looked disturbingly like a couple of Michigan hunters with a deer tied to the hood of their pickup; if, you know, Michigan hunters were wearing full wedding regalia and a ballgown and driving a cute little roadster, while the deer was a clothing-challenged Arabian kid who's best friends with a genie. I can't even factor in the drunk/sleeping/dead guy on the road ahead. Competing hunter, perhaps? Friendly-fire collateral damage from the deer/naked-guy hunt? Too many Barbie Budweisers? The mind boggles.

There has to be an innocent six-year-old explanation for this. Maybe BB and Belle were out for a drive, when Aladdin, driven from the shower by a wasp, pulled on his boots and ran out of the

OK, how about this: Derek/Erik and Aladdin were taking a walk, and it was hot, so Aladdin stripped down, when Belle and BB......nope.

OK: Aladdin is sunbathing face-up on the hood of Belle's car while she's changing the radio station, and D/E is sunbathing face-down on the ground. Bride Barbie is just heading off to bring back iced tea for everyone.

There. There's an explanation I can live with.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Victoria's Secret, meet Red Green

It was not the best of days yesterday. I got up at 4:30 a.m. in order to try to fix a mistake I'd made the night before with the swimming pool. The pool is up and running but I'm still fighting with the water quality it to make it something that one might want to swim in, rather than something one might stock bass in, and I got up early to try to rectify the problem and still get the girls up, dressed and fed and dropped off early at daycare so I could be on time for an early workshop at work. (What I did wrong with the pool would take an entire blog post on its own to describe -- suffice it to say it involved 3 kilograms of stablilizer granules, a black stocking, a tug-of-war, and much angst. But I digress...)

So there I was, half asleep, trying to get dressed and moving. The high humidity of the morning, coupled with the fact that I had run out of hair conditoner, meant that I looked disturbingly like this:

And to top it off, my last good bra had popped an underwire -- making it even more of a medieval torture device than it is already. What could I do? I was running out of time. While brushing my teeth, I was seriously trying to figure out which shirt I could put on that would best disguise the fact that I was reduced to wearing a bikini top to work, when suddenly, the solution came to me.

Duct tape.

Good for everything, including emergency underwear repair. And the silver colour is so sparkly and feminine. Red would be proud.

(Keep your stick on the ice.)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Nuns. Wine. What's not to like?

Sometimes a joke shows up in your inbox that you just have to share:

Mother Superior called all the nuns together and said to them, "I must

tell you all something. We have a case of gonorrhea in the convent."

"Thank God," said an elderly nun at the back. "I'm so tired of


Friday, June 12, 2009

Dr. Strangelawn, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Weeds

As a single mum with a full-time job, a commute, a house, and two girls in soccer, you can imagine that my schedule is, well, a little on the full side. And one thing that often gets ignored is the dandelion plantation lawn.

And really, to call it a lawn is to besmirch the word 'lawn'. (The fictional motive I created for the murder in CSI: Carp, episode 1 is totally believable to anyone who has actually seen my lawn.) After casual perusal careful study, I've determined that the breakdown of the plant species in my lawn is as follows:

Dandelions 45%
Plantain 35%
Pricky things that I step on when I go to retrieve toys off the lawn barefoot after dark 10%
Grass 7%
Clumps of daisies and violets that I am forced to mow around or the girls cry 2%
Weird plant that resembles the unholy offspring of Devil's Snare and a mutant blackberry bush that send up shoots into the lawn from its lair under the pool 1%

Not exactly the stuff of golf greens. My real-life neighbour has a lush carpet of emerald perfection that just mocks my poor excuse for a lawn. I used to worry about it. I used to worry that if I didn't get around doing something about the weeds or mowing the lawn on time, then all my property would need would be an old washing machine in the back yard and a rusted out pickup on blocks in the driveway to look like it was inhabited by people named Cletus and Brandine.

But the time involved in trying to make my lawn into something resembling Glen Abbey is not something I have any intention of spending. And really, unbroken expanses of green are a little boring. Dandelions are cheerful. And so are the violets and occasional johnny-jump-up that have colonized the grass in the back yard.

I started thinking about how to make the most of what's growing there now. Hmmmm, if the planned LCBO strike happens, I have the raw materials to brew up enough dandelion wine to keep most of Carp happy through the summer. And plantain is an amazing natural remedy for bee stings -- you pick some leaves and chew them up and then put the wad of chewed up leaf and spit on the sting site, and it relieves the pain. According to my calculations, if the girls get stung by 18 bees/wasps per child per day for the summer, then I'll be able to use up most of it. Mind you, I might get a bit tired of chewing up plantain and/or run out of spit before hitting the 18-sting mark.

So, I do what I can in the mowing department, fitting it in around soccer practices and games, pool maintenance and laundry, grocery shopping and dentist appointments, trips to the library and the splash pad. I don't worry about how much of the lawn is really weeds, because a having perfect weed-free lawn is not as important as all the other good stuff going on. And as my neighbour Chris told me: "If you mow it short, it all looks like grass anyway."

Thursday, June 04, 2009


When Rachel was much younger, she provided us with a lot of unintentional humour. One time, when she was about three years old and could use the toilet by herself, but still needed help with the, ummm, post-activity clean up, she cracked me right up. Leah had fallen and cut her knee, and I had her sitting up on the kitchen counter so I could put a band-aid on her ouchie. Rachel was yelling at me from the bathroom, "I need you to wipe!" I was busy, so I called back, "Hold your horses, Rachel, I'll be there in a minute." There was a pause, and a sad little voice answered back, "But I don't have any horses, Mummy."

See? Literal can be funny.

And this is the funniest thing I've seen in a while: literal videos, where the lyrics have been changed to match what's going on in the video.

It just gets funnier the longer it goes on. The ending damn near killed me. I laughed til I cried, and I might have peed just a little bit too.