Sunday, July 29, 2012

mid wasa update

I guess with four kids and only one grown up and no other human contact than with each other, it's inevitable that at some point there may be some contention.

I don't know about you but I long for a lack of contention SO HARD that it causes in me a level of anxiety that actually breeds contention. Which probably makes me a hypocrite? Or an enigma. Whatever it might be doesn't matter, because it makes me something and that something leaves a lot to be desired.

It's my own fault, really. And this trip confirms it. My kids are lazy, indoor kids. If I had to pick an analogy, and who doesn't love a good analogy, then I would pick the lazy, sleepy, purry indoor cat to the wild, energetic barn cat.

They would rather be inside, like me. I mean, I love camping and they would say they do too but lets face it, if I could sit and purr and snooze in the sun all day then I would much prefer that to entertaining myself endlessly in the forest.

I guess the apples don't fall too to speak.

In a 9 day tenting, coolering, sleeping bagging, hard ground sleeping, reading (me trying), no tv'ing camping trip I would say it's fair to assume that the only grown up (me) is at some point going to want a break. But no break is to be had. Unless....

Unless I lose my patience and chastise the bickering children for two minutes too long and they all go away for 20 minutes leaving me to brood whilst reading the silliest book I have ever read.

Yes, I'm still talking about Outlander. I'd love to be done with it but the children.....

I'm tired.

So, I guess what I'm saying is that today was not such a great day. There was contention, a chastising mother, a back-talking 12 year old and some quiet time.

All in all we are doing well and having fun despite the fact I brought too much bread-like stuff and it's moulding. It's hot hot hot. And my lake hair is inexplicable.

And I won't even mention that Amelia's hair hasn't been brushed since Thursday........

Would we trade it for being lazy at home?

Nope. None of us would. And I know because I asked everyone if we should just pack up and go home.

So, here I sit on the beach. The children are frolicking in the lake. Contention spent and passed. This is what it's supposed to be like. I guess we all just forgot for a moment.

Hold up.....spoke too soon. The 12 year old is still on one.

I'm walking away...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

tell me what to do, please

I feel like I'm in a bit of a conundrum. Today is the day we are supposed to go camping. The truck is fixed and sitting in my drive way. The food is bought and, except for the cooler, packed. Laundry is done. Everything is sitting by my front door waiting to be put in my truck. I am ready, I feel ready to go.


There is just one thing, my iPhone crapped out last night. Took it's last breath. Died and won't take a charge. So now I have no access to the real world.

Did I ever tell you about the time I took four kids camping by myself and locked my sleeping baby in the truck with the a/c on while I ran down to the lake to tell my girlfriend something?

No? Well let me tell you, it was terrifying when I realized I couldn't get into the truck without the very keys that were keeping it running and cool, on the inside, with the doors locked.

It only took an hour, which is nothing short of a miracle, being so remote. I was running from one place to the next with my girlfriends cell phone trying to find help. A lovely man drove from Kimberely to help me and unlocked the truck. I waited, with a couple of rangers beside the truck ready to smash the window if the baby woke and became upset. She slept through the whole thing and didn't wake until I opened the door to grab her and squeeze the living daylights out of her. Tender mercies.

I cried a lot that day.

Anyway, without a cell phone, that situation would have been very hard to navigate.

Do I leave today and go camping with no access to help or to the man or to any of the things I love so much. My music, for the 4 hour drive. My email. My blogging. I fear my blog will die if I'm not there to feed it. My plan was to feed the beast via my iPhone.

No Instagram! This is truly a tragedy in the making, people.

Now what?

Am I being alarmist? Should I just go and pretend this is a time when single woman travelling with 4 children don't need a cell phone? There was a time such as that, I know there was but......

Or do I postpone it a day and try to get the phone situation sorted out?

Being out of touch with the man for 10 days makes me uneasy and driving through the mountains with no way of calling for help makes me nauseous.

It's just me and the kids. What if I get hurt, or sick? The kids are stranded trying to get help. If one of them gets hurt or sick I can get them to help but not having a cell, after I've had one for 10 years, leaves me a bit panicked.

Not to mention I got about 4 hours of sleep last night and my head is pounding. Making solving this problem more tedious.

I know, you're wondering why I'm not used to the headaches induced by insomnia. I'm wondering the same thing.

Well, now that I've written this all out I am thinking that today I will go get a new phone and leave tomorrow. I may sleep tonight and feel better about the whole thing if I plan for that.

What would you do?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

the waiting.....

I had a temper tantrum last night. I stomped my feet and I even slammed a door before anyone could yell at me "don't slam the door!"

This is the beauty of being the grown up. I get to do the yelling and the slamming.

Without boring you with temper tantrum details I will tell you that I do not care for the feeling of being trapped. It makes me cranky and testy and prone to the slamming of doors.

I don't have a vehicle right now. I do, however, have 4 children and a million things to do and can't because I don't have a vehicle. Being trapped in and or around the house for days on end makes me stabby.

Throat punchy.

Slammy, stompy, sulky and plain old mad.

Anyway, I spent the night alone, in my room, with Bertha (yes, I named my laptop Bertha), a book, some pop and some DVD's.

A much needed time out.

Remember when spending Friday nights alone meant something else? Something a little more self esteem destroying and a little less 'ahhhhhhhh, that's better'.

In three nights I leave for 10 days to brave the wilderness and it's inhabitants. And by that I mean my children in a tent. There is a lot to do before then and I would love to be doing it but.........

I have lists. 3 lists. Things to eat. Things to buy. Things to pack. They are all sitting idly by while my truck sits in a shop that doesn't work on Saturdays.

I know, I can't believe it either. A mechanic shop that doesn't work on Saturdays? Who do these mechanics think they are anyway?

So.....I have some time to kill while I wait. I really wish I had the new Footloose DVD. I could use me somma that right now.

Things are going to get really crazy up in here as soon as my truck is fixed and by the time I get to Wasa Lake I will be so spent I will wonder what I was thinking. Usually I reserve that question for about 5 days in.

So now I will go set up the new tent to make sure it even works and has all its pieces. Then I will put together the hibachi and make sure it works and has all its pieces.

Then I will wait some more........

What are you waiting for?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

say, er....what?

Once again the two wee's are at day camp. One happily and one not so happily. Why does the 9 year old think he's 14 and therefore too old for the 'little kids' at day camp?

I am supposed to be doing homework but instead I am not doing homework.

I want to talk about the word 'er' for a moment. Indulge me, would ya?

I am reading Outlander. I bought this book about three years ago and have put it off because it's long. And it's also part of a series which scares the crap out of me. I like to remain non-committal when it comes to most things. I have committed to an eternal marriage and to at least 4 eternal children. That's a ton of commitment, is it not? I would like, therefore, to have relationships that are a lot less committal because of all the previously mentioned commitment.

Okay, here's an observation that has plagued me the entire time to took to write that last paragraph: Commit has one t. Committal has 2 t's. Committed had 2 t's but commitment only has one t.

I don't get it.

Anyway, books are a pretty safe place to remain non-committal. No one gets hurt when I decide to not finish a book. Well, I get hurt because once I start something I like to see it through. Until I think too much about commitment and then I decide that books are not something I need to be committed to. Are you confused yet?

Good, welcome to my blog.

Okay, so, Outlander has about 850 pages in it. To me that's a big book. I don't like such big books because guessed it, my commitment, or lack thereof, issues. But I bought the first of the series because I heard good things and I did love the Harry Potter series (except for the last half of the last book which I still have yet to finish. Another story.) But clearly, I don't mind a good series. How do you know if it's good, though, if you don't read the books? And 7 or more 800 page books?? That is starting to look like an eternal commitment to me.

This is totally not what I wanted to talk about today. What is going on around here?

Er. Er is what I wanted to talk about. Do me a favour and read this next sentence out loud: "You were, er, ah...I ye not remember me, from then?"

And this one, remember, out loud: "Oh, er, aye."

And this: "I, er, don't suppose he means to take any steps about it?"

Now, in all honesty, have you ever in your life heard anyone use the word 'er' in a conversation? With you? In real life?

Um? Yeah. Too much um. Uh? Naturally, most of us use that one. And not intelligently, I might add.

But er? Is that an English, like from England, thing? I don't like it. And it is way over used in this book.

I want to propose that we do away with the word 'er' in the English language as it seems nonsensical to me and completely unnecessary.

Are we all agreed? Good.

I will admit that I almost broke up with this book at page 100. That was the level of my commitment. 100 pages. I decided that since I read that 100 pages real quick-like I would commit to another 100. I am on page 200 and I, er, will admit that I, er, really like it.

So I will, er, commit to the end. Of this book. Not the series, necessarily. Geez, what do you want from me?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


So.......I received my university correspondence course in the mail a few weeks ago and haven't even cracked it open because I've been so lazy busy doing other things. Okay, that's a lie. I did crack it open and closed it 5 minutes later when the children made it perfectly clear I would not be expanding my brain with knowledge and stuff at that particular moment. I haven't even tried because my minions make it real hard-like.

Anyway, I need to get crack-a-lackin. Youknowwhatimean?

In the interest of academia I bribed the two littles with big ol' slurpees if they went to day camp today.

Here is where I plug the City of Calgary community day camps. They are free, people.


Free day camps? Yes please.

Anyway, so they are at day camp until 3:30 which means that as soon as I am done talking to you, my people, I will be educating......and stuff.

While I was filling my cup with ice, the cup in which I will pouring Diet Pepsi into momentarily, I said to the 14 year old, "We need to put more ice cube trays in the freezer because you and I are going through ice like the Dickens."

To which she responded, "Did the Dickens go through a lot of ice too?"


Okay, so if you need me I am here. Getting smarter. Or that's the plan anyway. Everyone be quiet now.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

anyway, it's tuesday.......

So, it's Tuesday and here's what I think about that:

1. I need the wee one to learn how to ride her bike before we leave for camping next week. But I don't want to teach her. And I don't want to pay the ridiculous Pedalhead price of $160 to have someone else teach her something the rest of us learned for free. Because that's how it went back then. We got on our bikes and we learned how to ride them. Now we pay people, no more qualified than ourselves, to do it for us. I'm not so sure what this says about our lazy society but what it says about me is that I'm cheap.

I can't teach her though because I'm low on patience and I figure I should start stock piling it for the 10-days-of-camping-with-just-me-and-4-children extravaganza coming up.

2. Next Tuesday I leave for 10 days with 4 children to camp. In a tent. Just me. And them.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

3. Back to the bike thing. I offered any and all other children in this house $20 to teach her so I don't have to. They went out an hour ago and I haven't seen or heard from anyone so not only is it quiet but children are learning things and making money.

4. I am fully expecting some big juicy tears to come through the front door anytime now.

5. My truck is dying. Which may impede my ability to camp next week but let's hope not since I have already started the list making for this grand event and that is no easy feat!

6. Tents and coolers and 4 kids. 10 days. I may have mentioned........

7. I just threw away ANOTHER pair of Amelia's shoes that I just caught the dog eating. This is the thing. A couple of months ago I went out and bought her 4 pairs of $5 shoes. So it doesn't make me nuts when she eats them but come on dog! Enough.

8. Yesterday the dog ate a bottle of suntan lotion. That's gross, right? Why doesn't she believe me when I tell her it's gross to eat that stuff.

9. And also, yesterday she ate half a brick of unsalted butter. In one gulp.

Honestly. Dogs are dumb. I've taken to calling her Dummy because, really, what else is there to call someone who eats unsalted butter and suntan lotion?

10. I'm super excited about the day camp happening at the church across the street. Along with the lawn mowing it's so tranquil around here I feel as though I'm not about to slip into madness at all.

11. I am hoping that mid-July is a perfectly normal time to start the crazed craving for the children to go back to school. And if not, then I am way ahead of schedule and being ahead is always a good

12. Last night my brother teased me on the twitter by saying he was waiting to find out if his wife was pregnant or not. It was not cool. Not cool at all!

13. I used to dream about people being pregnant and then finding out they were. It hasn't happened in a long time but I wish it would because I appreciated the head's up.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

bloody footprints

Apparently, I am unpatriotic. I fear I might be expelled from the city I was born and raised in.

I detest the Stampede.

I tried to hang my head in shame at this but it just keeps popping back up with a big smile. My head is not cooperating with the shame I feel I should be having at my refusal to not only attend the Stampede, but to attend any Stampede type event.

Unless that event involves semi-drunk women at Julie's house with a little man who walks around with baskets of deep fried mars bars and mini donuts.

I will attend that anytime of year. Daily, in fact.

My dad always took us to the Stampede, my whole life, so it's not like I don't know what I am missing. As young adults I went with my friends every year for hours on end. I fell in love with the Cranberries at the Stampede. I saw my husband-to-be, Tom Cochrane, at the Stampede. I had good times. When I was 7 months pregnant with my first the man and I went and walked around and my feet got so fat and swollen I looked down and wondered, "why do I do this to myself? I don't even like the Stampede."

A stranger on the c-train told me I was fat and then didn't even offer me his seat.

Stupid Stampede.

Do you know how many dream homes I have entered to win?

Okay, only one. And I have never been to the Chuckwagon races and yet, I still managed to move on with my mediocre life.

My children have never been to the Stampede. They have no idea what it is or what they're missing. And, being the neglectful mom I am, I am fine with it.

I mean, really, what are they missing? Drunk people. Smelly people. Loud people. Rides that look like they were put together by 7 year olds. Over priced games. Over priced food. Over priced rides. Crowds. Line ups. Hot smelly everything.

Have I left anything out?

The man and I went, ourselves, every year for about 5 years. We paid for the train down, the entrance, a drink, a treat and then we went to the casino to win all our money back. And we always did. Until the last year, when we didn't and I caught a glimmer of the gambling addict hidden deep within the recesses of my psyche.

We have never been back and once again, my low standards and lack of motivation allow me to live with it.


I could have named this post more appropriately but I figured no one would read it if they thought I was complaining about the Stampede.

Plus, my puppy hurt her puppy paw and put puppy blood all over my house in the form of little bloody puppy footprints.

Which I just mopped up.

Good day and giddy up.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

a letter to my weight

Dear March 19th 2012,

I want you to know that I haven't forgotten about you. In fact, I think about you everyday. I don't always act like you're on my mind but you are. Sometimes I act like I don't care about you and I act like I never made those promises I made. But that's just me drowning in my own issues.

Pretending like I don't care.

Truth be known, I do care and I can't hide. So I made promises, almost 4 months ago. I promised to take care of my weight. I started. I tried. I failed. And then I failed again. But, true to my form, I carried on.

I thought it might be time to drop you a note and let you know that although I fail, over and over, I also succeed on occasion.

This week I reached the ten pound mark on this 30-pounds-gone-before-my-birthday journey. I know, I know, it took forever but getting there eventually is better than never getting there at all.


Yep, I'm right.

I should also tell you that I met someone.

He's good for me. Good for my my broken brain. He's helping me overcome some of my food issues. He's teaching me better ways and he's helping me make choices that make me happy.

It's good to be happy.

Anyway, he's a cool guy and he's a smarty pants. I'll tell you more about him later.

I just wanted to say hi. I'm here and I'm well and I'm still plugging away at it.

Until the next ten pounds,


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

the magic railing

There is a magic railing in my mum and dad's house. It's not much to look at but its magical powers confound the senses.

The senses of the 6 year old, that is.

You see, last summer when we were there Amelia found a penny, which she thinks is the greatest thing. She left it on the railing for safe keeping and checked on it multiple times a day.

One such penny checking instance she noticed the penny had magically turned into a nickle.

And the next day, a dime.

A quarter.


Mind blown.

This year, when we showed up she set off to find a lucky penny and much to her astonishment found three! Three lucky pennies. Do you know anyone that lucky? Well, I do.

Anyway, on to the railing they went. It took a few days for the penny fairy to notice that Amelia was trying to grow some serious dough. It took some prodding through various whiny statements such as "why are my pennies not changing?" And a sadness of face that would melt even the coldest of hearts.

Nickels. Three of them.

Dimes. Three of them.

Quarters. Three of them.

And the morning we left she went to see what her fortune was and low and behold.......three Loonies.

Next time we go I am staying long enough to turn those pennies into $100 bills.

And then I will be claiming the mommy tax.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

what is your point?

When Amelia was in kindergarten she would ask everyday if she could take a toy to school. And everyday I would tell her no and give her some reason I thought was solid as a rock and sufficient enough to dissuade her from ever asking again.

Like, it could get lost.

Fool proof.

Or, someone might steal it.

I was not thrilled about teaching her that children steal but we live in hard times, people. Reality is a killer.

How about, it could get lost or broken or even slightly maimed?

All great reasons to not want to take your toys to school.

None of it worked. She really wanted to take a toy to school and she was relentless in her asking.

Finally one day I put my foot down and said something along the lines of "You are never ever ever taking a toy to school and don't ask me again!"

She didn't ask again.

One morning, before school, she disappeared into her room with her backpack. I new something was amiss. I'm super sleuthy like that. However, I didn't get to use my amazing detective powers for her sneaky skills are so lacking she made my job a piece of cake.

She came out of her room and announced, "Okay! Okay! Okay! I DID NOT just put a toy in my backpack." As she proceeded to wander around the room, swinging her arms ever so casual.

If ever there was a backhanded confession more blatant than this they would have made a Dateline special about it.

"Oh really? Let me see your backpack please." I ever so casually responded to her grand announcement with a giant smile on my face, which now that I think about it could have been induced by pure evil, and not general amusement.

For I sniffed I was on to something. Something that might allow me to use my ultimate super power. And that is consequencing the disobedient.

She did not want to bring me her backpack and my insistence ignited a meltdown in her so enormous I wondered what toy she had smuggled into her backpack. It had to have been something so terribly important to her and of great worth

And it was.

It was Mini. Her beloved miniature stuffed Terrier.

Anyway, what is the point of this story?

There is no point. I am at the beach.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

the random vacay

Is it possible to will the weather to do what you want it to? We are here, in the Okanagan waiting, ever so not patiently, for the weather to get decent enough to do what I came here to do.

And that is rot on a beach with one of the most awesome books I have ever read and a never ending supply of Diet Pepsi.

I sure do love how the supply actually never seems to end.

Anyway, this is what a family of 6 does to kill time while they wait for their sun dance to reach the Gods and grant their one simple wish.......

A warm sunny beachy day.

They buy two really stupid DVD's and then watch them back to back. The Wrath of the Titans appeals, apparently, to only those with the Y chromosome.

And Mirror Mirror, which was the let down of the century for me. I waited for that thing to come out on DVD so I could buy it and I hated it so much I got up and left the room. So I can't even really say I watched it.

Because I didn't.

I simply don't understand the whole accent confusion thing. Some are English. Some are not. Some are trying and failing. Or are they? Julia Roberts, are you trying to be English or just a very proper American?

Explain yourself.

This family wanders malls and tries, in vain, to explain the concept of money to the little people tagging along who will not get it to save their lives.

Maybe it's because the parents of these little people spent $70 in the food fair to feed them one meal. Maybe that's where their confusion lies.

The mom takes the oldest son out for his treat night. He wants to see the Hunger Games, which just so happens to be playing in the cheap theatre of this small town.

Awesome coincidence, if I do say so. I loved that movie the first time and I loved it even more the second.

"I volunteer!! I volunteer as tribute!!"

That part makes me cry and, apparently, every time. And when Rue dies? Well, that goes without saying.

The little one discovers processed cheese in the wrapper and gets excited everyday when grandpa lets her eat "plastic cheese" as her treat.


This family discovers the wonder that is the the Chocolate Candy Shop Blizzard from Dairy Queen. It is the flavour of the month and if you haven't had one then I suggest to get your scrawny butts to the local DQ and indulge. Because, seriously, it is ridiculous.

We discover the Bulk Barn in this small town. We find out that there are three in our own big city but heaven have mercy......

The Bulk Barn? Where have you been all my life?

Make your own Screamers in the same store as the make your own milkshakes?

I know what this place is.

It's Candyland!

And being in Candyland might just be the next best thing in a beach town where it's too cold to go to the beach.

The man sleeps endlessly and in fact just said this very thing, "Vacations are exhausting." Poor guy, he's working so hard.

I have commanded that he feed the children because, despite the fact that it is only 17 degrees outside, we are going to the beach.

With our coats on.

P.S. For those of you who care, I am reading the Dovekeepers and it is by far the best thing I've read in eons!

Eons, I say......

Monday, July 2, 2012

rock of ages

Finally. Finally after, like, days and days of waiting. Finally I saw it. The movie that I have been dying to see since I saw the trailer in March.

Rock of Ages.

Laugh if you will. It's fine, I can take it. I know my oldest brother is laughing at me. He's the rude one. And my next older brother, the one who thought Mulholland Drive was brilliant? Let's not go there. And my baby brother? Well, he thought it was just okay. But I know in my soul that if he just opened his heart and his mind and then he'd be free to love as I love.

Ohhhhh, these movies with singing and dancing in them. What is it about these movies that make me gleeful? Like happy beyond what I can contain.

I saw Mamma Mia in the theatre four times.

Enough said.

There was only one guy at Rock of Ages more excited to see it than me. He was the one in the back snorting at the jokes and singing full out every time a new song came on. No one bothered shushing him. And really? Why would they?

Sister Christian, oh the time has come
And you know that you're the only one
To say


Here is my critique of the movie. Besides the fact that it was awesome what I have decided about it is:

1. Julianne Hough is gorgeous but sounded like a bit of a chipmunk when she sang. And she didn't nearly dance enough.

2. Alec Baldwin. His gay Dennis is as hilarious as his straight Jack Donaghy.

3. Russel Brand never ever ever disappoints.

Like ever. He should be in every movie ever made. Every single one. Except maybe Jane Austen movies.

4. Paul Giamatti is slimy and gross and mostly always appropriately cast.

5. Catherine Zeta-Jones. Where has she been? She is awesome. And talented. And awesome.

What is that anyway? Can every actor sing as well as act? I love the talent and I love that it is mostly hidden and then all of sudden Tom Cruise busts out a Poison song. And a Bon Jovi song. And Def Leppard song. And convinces us, the audience, that he is indeed the decrepit rock star he is paid but a meager salary to portray on the silver screen.

That guy can sing. Who knew?

But I do have one question. Why so crooked? Why did he walk around crooked in the entire movie? Like he was facing one direction but walking in a completely different direction.

All gumby-like.

It was weird and I didn't get it. If that's a rock star thing then I haven't seen many rock stars walk.

This is quite possible.

6. The rating was wrong. All wrong. The movie was raunchy and not something I want my 14 year old daughter to see. Call me a prude.

Just not to my face. Please and thank-you.

When it was all done the man exclaimed, "that was awesome!"

I totally agreed.

Enough said.