Sunday, October 5, 2014

post essay blog post

Can you figure out that title? What I mean to say is that this post is written after I just wrote an essay. You know? Post essay as opposed to pre essay? Whatever, it's a stupid title, I get it.

So, I have been thinking about this here blog a lot lately and how much I used to love writing it and keeping it updated and how it was the most fun hobby ever. Now it's this thing in the background that I miss.

You know what else I miss? Novels and netflix.

I should have titled this post novels and netflix. Where was that brilliance 47 seconds ago?

I have not opened a novel since August. In fact, I am half way through a pretty decent read that I had to forsake in the name of further education. It's been so long since I touched the novel I can't even remember what it is called or who wrote it and I might not even, at this moment, be able to recall where it is.

Ohhhh. my heart weeps for fiction.

I spent August in bed, reading novels and coddling my love for binge watching tv shows on the flix. I did, I'm really sorry, but I did. It was a slow, lazy month and I am not proud. But I knew September would be banana-town and dude, banana-town is an understatement.

So here is the Coles notes version of my life over the last two months:

-the teenagers both had birthdays in September. And both were...uneventful. All because I am not awesome with the full time student/mom/party planner job description. Am I fired yet? Why am I not fired yet?

- I read a ton. Hours a day. And nary a novel at that. It's all textbooks and the such and wow, just wow.

-I am taking four classes at the university in an effort to be done my degree sooner rather than later. Call me crazy.

-I have two boys in football and that is a part time job and let me tell you something, the pay sucks! But I will say that we do get a crap load of pleasure from watching our boys play football. It is pretty dang fun. But what I have learned about myself during this football season is that my heart is not cut out to watch young men play sports. I weep, literally, when any of them get hurt, and last week alone two ambulances were called at two different games and neither of those games did I have a child even playing in and I shed tears. I am a wimp. There, I said it.

- I have teenager issues. I am not allowed to say more but what I will say is that I have teenager issues.

- I also have laundry issues. And clean house issues. And cooking dinner issues.

- I have eaten everything.

- I am overwhelmed in a coping pretty good sort of way. As long as you don't check my coping on Tuesdays because Tuesdays be crazy.

But here is the gist...every time I set foot on campus and curse the day ahead I try to remember that I actually love the university and these are my last few months there and enjoying the journey is important.

So I make an attempt to enjoy the journey.

Even though the journey involves Biology 205.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

summer realizations

This really has been the summer of Catie. I mean, in terms of doing as little as possible that makes my unhappy, that is. I haven't had near enough beach time for my liking but there isn't too much I can do about that.

Or is there? I'm not sure. I am too busy sitting around watching Netflix and reading novels and wondering how my children got old enough to not need me so much anymore. I have one kid who works all day (and it isn't Cicely), I have one kid who sits around most of the day on the computer, waiting for all those people who want her to work for them to call (and that is Cicely). I have one kid who plays with his friends all day and I have Amelia who has decided she's a big girl and can entertain herself.

Every now and then I inject myself into their view and ask "how's it going? Does anyone need anything?" to which they respond with one word answers like "good" and "nope". And I continue wandering around aimlessly pondering this stage of our lives and what it means.

And this is my determination. They are growing up. So amazingly fast are they growing up. I feel like they are leaving me behind.

I have spent the last week or two wishing September would come faster and then smacking myself on the hand for wishing away the summer like that. But I am wishing for it because then school will start again. For me. When I am in school I am so busy and have so much to do and I don't feel so left behind anymore.

When I go out I force as many children as are home to go with me. I feel like I need to spend every minute with them. I feel almost desperate to be with them, as if our time together is limited. I don't know if that is true but that's what it feels like. When we are all home, they don't want me. They have their own interests and rarely does that include me. It's how I trained them, I wanted them to be independent and self-reliant and damn, if they aren't the pictures of self-reliance! So I take them places because they need me to get them back home again. They are trapped by my methods of madness and they don't even know it.

This summer has felt different than every other summer I have ever had as a mother. And I think I know why.

Here is the truth. I have one year of school left. And my heart is being pulled towards a career. I want something for me. As the children grow and leave I have to make sure I have something for me or I will be sucked into a chasm of sadness and displacement. I won't be able to get out, it will eat my sanity and leave me empty. I know it will. I know this because I feel it when they are busy and I am not. It surges through my veins when they are gone and I am home without them.

It comes on so fast. I barely have time to blink and it's there. There's a heaviness, a loneliness, a sinking. I don't like to be alone. I mean, what mother and housewife says that? Don't get me wrong, I like me some alone time. But a day, one day, with nothing to do and I am literally in the dumps. That's all it takes. I have the standard list of things I want to do so that I don't get like that. Like reading and housework and errands and movies. But my distractions only carry me so far.

I used to be the queen of projects. I used to do so much when my kids were young. I doted on them and then doted on me in my free time. I was painfully happy and content in my role of mother. Stay at home mother. But none of those things I used to love hold any interest for me anymore. They are all things I used to do alone, because I was hardly ever alone and I cherished the time I spent with just me. But now, I feel an aversion towards my home. Where there used to be a craving to be home there is now a longing, a pull to get out of the house and stay out as long as there is no one in it lest the loneliness eats me whole.

People gently criticize my choices. They ask me why I do so much. They ask me how I do it. The answer is simple. I have to do it, or I sink. And I don't want to sink. I do everything in my power to make sure that when I do start to sink I know that soon I will have to shake it off because there is just so much to do and only me to do it. That chaos, that busy bustling of energy, is where I find my level ground. It's where I feel most sane and put together. It's where I aim to be forevermore.

The moment I stepped onto the university campus two years ago I knew I had chosen the right path for me. It has never felt wrong or unmanageable and I know it is leaving me with options of where I will find joy. It isn't the path for everyone, I get that. I am excited for the future, and what even appears to be the near future, even though it means this time at home with my children might be coming to an end. There are many moments when that is hard to reconcile in my soul but then I remind myself that nothing is set in stone, my options are wide open, I am not trapped in a life that has the tendency to make me unhappy, and my children are still here with me, for the time being.

It's been a good life. And I am determined to make sure it stays that way. For them. And for me.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

the job hunt

I really just want to sit and read this book I delved into last night and can't put down. It is hilariously wicked and the sarcasm in it is to die for. If it is possible to die for such a thing.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette. I hate it when the library covers up the title with their stupid stickers.
Sarcasm. I need sarcasm in my life. In fact, I would die without it. It's part of who I am. My genetic makeup, so to speak. I feed off it. This book is... is...just so....weird. I love it. Having said that, I am only half way through, maybe it'll fall apart and turn into the garbage I expected it to be. But as of now? Nope, not garbage. Great. Laugh out loud funny.

Anyway, I want to be sitting and reading this book but I feel an overwhelming urge to share with you the experience I am having with my oldest child. She's a peach. A real joy these days.

Was that sarcasm?

In truth, she is a really great kid. She's lovely and kind, sweet and polite, smart and beautiful and all good things. But mostly when I interact with her she is not always the sunshine and rainbows she appears to be.

She's looking for a job. And has been for quite sometime. She's a tad picky and maybe a little snobby, if I may be so bold, about where she wants to work. I believe all good people are allowed that sense of entitlement in their lives on occasion.

Bad people too. Not that I believe in bad people.

Yes I do.

I have seen, over the last six weeks, her open her eyes to a degree about how picky she's allowed to be in finding a job. She's tried all her dream jobs. No bites. So now she is extending out to her less than ideal job locations. She even applied at EggsOasis, for crying out loud.

Stupidest name for a restaurant on the planet. I mean, I love eggs, but c'mon.

I am prodding her gently to try places she wouldn't normally try; however, she is about a 1 on the patience scale with me.

1 being the least amount of patience one person can have for another human being. Like so impatient that if she had a gun and two bullets she'd shoot me twice. And then she'd go to jail for murder but it wouldn't matter because she doesn't have a job.

Today I offered to drive her around, again, to hand out resumes. I would drive to a place and say, "What about here?" To which she'd respond with something as helpful as, "I'll try them later."

Ahhhhhh, now I see where the problem in finding a job lies. She suffers from later syndrome. I'll do it later. I'll check online later. I'LL ATTEMPT TO FIND A JOB LATER!

I see how this works. And I also see how it doesn't work.

So, we're at the mall. We are walking around. She has a folder full of resumes. I say things like, "Have you applied here?"

"No." That's all I get. A no. Just no.

"Why not?" I ask as sweetly as is physically possible.

Huff, grunt, eye roll. "Mooooomm. Geeeeeez."

After a half dozen of these responses I pull off my nice girl pants and put on my naggy mom hat. So now I am standing pantless, in the mall, wearing a stupid hat on my head. A look I don't care for, you should know, even if it is metaphorical. "Look kid, do you want a job or not? We are standing here right outside this store in the same mall you have come to 5 times looking for a job and you are telling me you haven't applied here yet? I am asking why. Eye rolling is not an appropriate response to this question."

"FINE!" And off she goes into the store. And the eye rolling becomes all mine.

Here's another fun conversation we had today:

Me, after she returns to the truck from going into a restaurant, "Well? Are they hiring?" A simple and appropriate question, in my opinion.

Her: "I don't know."

Me: "What do you mean, you don't know? Is it open?"

Her: "Yes"

Me: "Did you talk to someone."

Her: Yes"

Oh my gosh, kid! Throw me a bone!! You're killing me.

Me: "What did they say?"

Her: "The manager wasn't there."

Me, exasperated: "You know Cicely, you should still leave a resume when that happens."


Me: "Well, c'mon Cicely. Tell me these things so I don't think you're walking away without even trying."

Which isn't what I wanted to say at all. What I really wanted to say was: you know what you're doing, oh wise one? Really?? Because.....oh never mind, the rest is just mean and she's probably going to read this and then never speak to me again. Ohhhh, how I will miss the snarky one word answers. Eye rolling is non-verbal though so I am sure I'll still get plenty of those and her sweet, unabrasive nature won't be lost unto me forever.

So, now we are home, jobless, hot and spent. Taking our distance from one another in an attempt to recover from this torturous, yet ongoing event we lovingly refer to as the job hunt.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

the family reunion

This month we had our very first family reunion, on my side. My mummy wanted it real bad-like so someone made it happen.

Not sure who it was, maybe my sister?

Anyway, four nights in a lodge in Waterton with 31 people. At first I was like, "Yippee!!!!! A family reunion!!!!!!" And then as time went on I found that exclamation marks were falling by the wayside and eventually it got to the point where I was like "A family reunion????? Whose idea was that????"

Mmmmm, skunk spray jelly beans.
And then I got there. And saw all my people in the same place. And I was all "Only four nights with all my people??" It just wasn't enough. The cuteness from the little ones was too much. We played and ate (oh mercy did we eat) and swam and walked and ate ice cream and played funny games that involved jelly beans that tasted like boogers and skunk spray and barf and an assortment of ill-tasting things. The kids had an amazing time together and all the grown ups got along. Not that the grown ups in my family don't get along but four nights in a lodge? C'mon, that's a recipe for disaster.


The man and I even sneaked away for a romantic dinner in Montana that may have included a steak the size of my head.

The time flew by. I loved it. It was a really great and wonderful and lovely experience. Except, my iPhone does not take great pictures at said lodge.

And then this happened...

Monday, July 28, 2014

i may be marathoning the mindy project as we speak

Forgive me blog, for I have sinned. It has been two months (exactly) since my lost blog post.

Was that sacrilegious? Unoriginal? I do apologize.

Honestly, though. Where does the time go? I don't even know where to start....

Since January school really has sucked the life out of me. And I have another noholdsbarred year left to go. Ugh...sigh...whyisitsohard? I am all tired and worn out and completely dazed. Like a shell of a human being.

That may have been a tad over dramatic.

I feel old. I might be old. I might be too old. Justkeepswimming. Over and over and over again.

So, I have been to my mummy's house, in the Okanagan, or the lake as I like to call it, twice this month already. That was a lot of commas, what am I learning at the Uni, heaven have mercy! The first time was gloriously relaxing. I took Amelia and her little friend Emily. I took Emily to keep Amelia out of my hair. I mean, I took Emily because...who am I kidding...I took her to keep Amelia occupied so as to not interfere with my entirely selfish beach novel reading. I am at eight novels finished since July 1st.

That's awesome, right?

Goof balls

So the second time I went I had planned only to take Holden and Amelia because their little cousins were going to be there to occupy them so as to not interfere with my beach novel reading. But then the teenagers decided they wanted to come, and not work as was originally planned, and I couldn't talk the man into ditching work and coming too, and so therefore I had the teenagers all to myself and there is just something about that that lacks in, hmmmm, what do you call

Just kidding, they're fun. #whatever.

Why are there so many commas in this post? I do not know.

So now I am home for the rest of the summer because football season starts on Monday and boyohboy do I love football season. Plus, also, I am doing a block week course first week in September (block week is when you do an entire semester in 5 days so really it'll be a pieceofcakeIamsure) and I already have homework for that so besides all the non-beach novel reading I plan on doing I also have a text book to read for a 5-day marathon course.

My life is so fun, I know.

Also, I have decided that I am on the hunt for the scariest book ever. And in this hunt I have discovered that I totally dig the King. Stephen King that is. He's loads of fun to read. I even had my first Stephen King induced nightmare last night. It was actually more like a Paranormal Activity dream where I was possessed by a demon and being dragged out of my bed and stuff and it was super scary but I have to admit, I kinda liked it.

I may some respect or another. The 21 episodes of The Mindy Project I have watched in the last 24 hours may be proof of that. Or maybe a result of it? I don't really know at this point.

So...there you have it. Happy Monday and remember to read read read because it is amazing amazing amazing.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

bait and switch

Once upon a time he brought roses every week, he wrote love letters, only used his best manners and never ever farted.

So I married him.

And then the flowers stopped and the bodily gases started and it came to my attention that boys are very very gross.

We call that the bait and switch. Well played, sir. Well played.

So the other night I climbed into bed after a long day. The man was already there, all cozy-like under his weighted blanket, Iggy. We settled in for an episode of Veronica Mars on the Flix when, all of a sudden, this conversation ensued.

"The cat puked on my blanket," he says.

"Oh..." I said, my eyes naturally scanning the blanket. The puke was still there. Still. Weird, I thought. Why is it still there?

"Are you going to clean it up?" I ask.

"Eventually," he says.

Sooo....I got out of bed and cleaned it up.

Will the romance ever die? Gosh, I sure hope not.

Friday, May 23, 2014

in the news...

As I sit here at my desk pondering the many ways I can potentially procrastinate on what I am supposed to be doing, which is homework, I start scrolling through the CNN news. Because, although that is part of my homework, it is also extraordinarly interesting. Babies are falling from the sky and coups are being had. It is all very fascinating and anxiety inducing. I am also listening to music, but I shouldn't be because it makes me all ADD-like and jittery and then I dance and stuff and nothing gets done.

Nothing is getting done here people. Nothing, I say.

I have two spring classes and I have never taken two spring classes before therefore I have no idea what taking two spring classes is like. Is it too much? Is it enough? I am overwhelmed? Am I completely ahead of the game? I have no idea what I am. I do homework all the time and yet I have no idea if I am ahead or behind. And, before I even know it it will all be over!


I love spring.

One of my classes is about Propaganda and Persuasion and I find it most exhilarating. The prof is this kooky fella who looks just like one of my older brothers. It's disconcerting. He used the word kerflaffle the other day. Which isn't even a word, and we all know it. But I have nothing but the utmost respect for a university educated human being who has the cojones to not only make up words but then use them in a lecture.

He gave us this overwhelming assignment and I am….overwhelmed by it. Or I was until I sat down to figure it out and got it done. Just like that.

We have to watch the news. Watch the news!! I don't watch the news. I don't read the news. I don't even know what news is.

I ran out of Diet Pepsi. Now that is news. Or is it?

See, I have no idea. Anyway, we have to pick four news outlets and compare how they present the same story. One has to be the BBC, one has to be strictly Canadian, one has be American and one has to be non North American. We have to watch the news, we can't just read the website, and then put together a presentation for the class describing the differences/similarities etc….

Now if you're a news watcher this is probably nothing, but for someone like me I was all "What? the What??? WHAAAAAA?!?!"

I didn't know what to do.

But I pulled myself together, and got all serious-like and brave about life and it's international news happenings. It's all good. It was actually really easy. And thank-you Thailand, your recent coup really helped a sister out.

And now, I am an expert news watcher. And I should mention this assignment isn't due until June 2 at the very earliest. So we'll go with "ahead of the game" on this one.

Also, I need this. How bad I need this might be news worthy. I swear it is. Call the press.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

thoughts on a may long

Confession time. I am not a lover of the May long weekend and I haven't been for many many a year. Maybe even a decade. Or more. Yes, definitely more than a decade. I go to bed every Victoria day evening feeling an overwhelming sense of guilt that I haven't worked hard enough to provide for my children a fancy trailer that I can spend a day getting ready, so we can pull it to some campground and freeze our butts off for three nights just to come home and get the trailer unready.

Don't get me wrong, I love camping. But warm camping. You know, the fun kind of camping.

If I could actually afford a trailer I'm not entirely sure I would have one. They seem great, I won't lie, but the upkeep? And the storing? And the setting up? I am way too lazy for that.

It has been determined, by me, after some serious observation over the last three weeks, that I am most certainly the laziest person I know. On the planet.

The laziest person on the planet. That title belongs to me and I am not so proud.

It's time for some changes in that department before I stop fitting places. Because I am noticing that I don't fit everywhere so well anymore.

I digress.

May long. The man works every May long. In 19 years I do believe he has worked every single one of them. What if he didn't work? What would change?

BBQ's would be had. An outing of some sort? Perhaps. But maybe an inside outing because, like I said, it's cold out.

Okay, it was actually nice out this weekend. Not camping nice but walkabout nice. And because it was nice out my guilt at writing a paper and allowing iPads and video games indefinitely went from a 6 to an 8.4. Yesterday, to stave the guilt, I took the two littles for lunch and to see Godzilla. Not an outside activity but an activity nonetheless. It knocked my guilt down to a 7.8.

I hate guilt. But it is something I am very good at. An accomplishment, of sorts.

Here's to hoping next May long has bad weather to justify all the in-sided-ness or no homework and a husband who isn't working.

A girl can dream.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

oh, the insanity

So my kid thinks she's leaving me after high school. She thinks she's going to graduate and then move away to get a university education she says you can only get at one university, in one faraway city.

 And it isn't this one.

Who is this kid? This kid with the ability to dream and make plans that actually make sense, as much as I don't want them to. I really don't know where she gets this from, all this bravery. I mean, it wasn't until the very last minute of grade 12 that it was brought to my attention that I needed to not only decide what I wanted to do after high school but I needed to do something about it. Like apply to university, or something. But this kid of mine?? She's only in grade 11 and she's got it all planned out, like some freaky planning maniac. She spends hours plotting and planning and making it work in her head and on paper.

What is this messed up plan? Well, I do declare, she wants to go to Ryerson University in Toronto and get a degree in something I've never heard of before. She says it's the only university in the world that has this degree and that she has to have this degree like you need to have air. I need to have carbonation.

That is some serious need, I tell you. And she needs it that bad. Like THAT bad.

And here I sit thinking that really she just wants to get the heck out of dodge and finding this random, unheard of degree on the other side of the country is her only way to do it. And then I think why, oh why does my darling daughter want to run away from home? Why does she want to leave her mama?

Ouch, my heart.

She's making me feel old.

I ask her on occasion how she plans on making this work. How will she just up and move to Toronto? How will she afford it? How will she eat and go to school and make money and not die from missing-her-mother? Again, I ask, who is this kid?

I can remember after three years of post secondary education, while living at home, I contemplated moving away to finish a degree in Criminology at one of a very few universities that offered it. I remember thinking about how exciting it would be to have roommates and a job and debt. Lots and lots of debt. And then I thought, "No thank you. I will not leave my mummy for further education."

She is only 16 and is planning her grand escape and I won't deny it sounds exciting and romantic and brave. But I won't lie, I think she is on crack (metaphorically, of course) in thinking this is doable. She's crazy.

She's crazy, right?

Or maybe she's not. Maybe she's living the dream. Maybe she will do it, because lots of kids do. Or maybe she will decide that leaving her mama is not cool.

Not cool at all.

And then she will stay here and go to school close to home where she gets to live at home for free and eat all her papa's food and not have to worry about all those things that are keeping me up at night worrying about on her behalf.

I mean, she is young. Maybe all this mature, planning for the future garbage is really just a cover up for being out of one's mind.

Could she be serious about this? Or is this plan just all kinds of crazy?

Only time will tell....

Friday, May 16, 2014

belated mother's day miracle

Well, Mother's Day has come and gone and that is fine by me because I did not care much for it this year. My gift left me wanting.

I mean, my real gift was great because of course I went to the mall and picked it out myself. I kept telling the kids they bought me a wonderful Mother's Day gift and when they asked if they could see it I told them they had to wait, for it must be a surprise to SOMEONE.


It was the surprise, post-dinner gift I didn't like so much but I shan't complain for the man hated it more than I did. But I declare, I believe he asked for it when he tried to garburate many and much potato and turnip peels.

He made a lovely dinner of BBQ steak, roast potatoes, garlic mushrooms and turnip (which I love so don't ewwww me) and then began his Mother's Day cleanup. He's good at Mother's Day, I will give him that. But...he is insistent the garbuator work to a standard most garburators refuse to work at.

I try to ease the garburator in when I'm dealing with it. I go slow, little bits here and little bits there. I talk real sweetly to it. I don't want any garburator rebellion whilst cleaning up. The man, on the other hand, thinks a certain way and it's his way or the highway. The man is passively stubborn. But don't tell him I said that or he may not so passively rebel against me.

Anywho, I am positive I am not spelling garburator right.

So although Mother's Day dinner was a delight, the kitchen at the end of the day was not. It was a hideous mess because as hard as he tried he could not unplug the blasted demon before we were forced to turn in.

Have mercy...

Don't even mention the oven drawer. The thing is a disaster!

Did I mention we had started a load in the dishwasher and were forced to stop it because the sink guts were all taken apart? No? Well I'm telling you know. The sink guts were everywhere and dishwasher was now sitting idle, mid-load. Gross.

Day 2. The man comes home from work with vats of drano and goes to work. Pouring drano in, waiting, snaking, blowing air, garburating, attaching sink guts, removing them, pouring drano, waiting and so on and so forth in that fashion until once again it was time to retire into bed for the night.

Have more mercy......

Day 3. By this time I am anxious about the mess in the kitchen. I am feeling a panic attack coming on and so off I head to hot yoga because if you can't come to terms with life's tragedies while sweating your brains out then you are not qualified to have life tragedies. It came to me whilst lying in a pool of my own sweat that I was going to have to do something about the kitchen.

I started contemplating various caveman techniques. I decided to go home and wash the dishes by hand.

 In the bathtub.

And so I did.

Oh, the drama.

But wait. There's more. I accidentally closed the dishwasher door and it started up again unbeknownst to me. I left the kitchen and returned a few minutes later to see water pouring out from under the cupboard doors. It was pouring all over the sink guts that were lying on the kitchen floor. The same sink guts that, used correctly, keep the water contained under the sink. Now, they are nothing more than floor decor.

So I cleaned up that mess. And I was still sweating from all the yoga-ing I had done earlier. And the leaning over the tub for an hour. I was a sweaty annoyed lady. Have you seen those? They aren't pretty.

Then the man came home, with more drano, and a determination that spoke volumes to me in a silent way. It said something like, "I will conquer this plug and don't even mention a plumber to me because I am the victor in this story, not some stinkin' plumber."

We admire the man and his ambition.

I grinned, tucked my aggravation away, and watched him poor more drano down the pipe. And wait. And fiddle and fuss all about the sink. We stood staring at two sinks full of water wondering when this plague would lift.

By golly, oh plague of broken sinks and stinky dishes, be gone from this home.

He plugged up one side and ordered me to hit the garburator switch. Which I did because I am nothing if not a team player.

The sinks drain. It is a belated Mother's Day miracle.We stood in awe and amazement. And then we high fived because again, team players.

I have since cleaned up the kitchen, done multiple loads in the dishwasher and pretty much gone on my merry way.

And that, my friends, is how the Dabels do Mother's Day.

Friday, May 9, 2014

another friday mishmash

I was convinced that when I had two weeks off school I needed a project. I had a head full of ideas: I could paint a room, work on my book, clean up the hovel. I did none of it. Instead, I have run around, driving myself places, and I can't even remember where now. My head is swimming in bafflement, what do I do all day?

I bought groceries three days ago and they are still sitting on my kitchen floor. Canned goods and the such. Some might look at me, or my house, and assume a level of depression has fallen like a veil across my life. But I assure you, it is not so much a depression as it is an astoundingly high level of lazy. It's cavernous actually. A cavern of lazy, that I fell into when school finished and I took the time to stand still and check out the scenery. It took my brain a few days to realize that everything had just stopped. It was going full hog and just stopped.

And boom, cavern of lazy.

So anyway, it is Friday, before the Wednesday when school starts again and I have nothing to show for it besides unemptied groceries, unfolded laundry, atrophied muscles and an unfinished novel.

So the other day I walked into a 7-11 and was followed by a person who turned out to be an old friend of mine. After we greeted each other she said, "Funny story, I saw you get out of your car and walk in here and I was watching you from behind and noticed your outfit and thought 'that is SOOOO Mormon'."

And hey! I'm a Mormon, so that's awesome. Or is it?

Still, my head is all abaffled. I don't know that I want to look SOOOO Mormon. What does that even mean? I mean, do Mormons have a look?

Okay okay okay. I know the layered look is a fairly common Mormon look and that whole spaghetti strap tank top over a t-shirt look is pretty Mormon. So I guess we can add maxi skirt and sweater to the uniform as well. Sigh...I didn't know. Not only am I a Mormon, but I look like one too.

Ba dum ching.

Here is the skirt in question.  I am not putting it on, so don't ask.

Back to being a student, I did not too badly this semester, having way overloaded myself with four classes. I am quite relieved. And all bafflety-like that with my level of confusement in all things Geology I still managed to get a B+. Not the best grade ever, but you try to decipher Greek for 4 months and then take a multiple choice test in it. I'll happily take the B+ and wish Geology a nice life for it I and are forever over.

Forever I say.

I know what you're thinking. You're wondering how someone who makes up their own words is allowed into a University. Well, they are. So there. And I will continue to make up words here, there and everywhere because there should be no such thing as words that make sense to me that aren't really words.

Make sense? Ofcourseitdoes

Happy Friday!

Friday, May 2, 2014

a friday catchup


I know, you thought I had vanished, and I sort of did. I fell into the chasm of life and life can be a whirling dervish. But right now I am here, in my bed, with my laptop, nursing some hungry hormones and useless cramps and wondering why I feel panic at having nothing to do. Since the beginning of January I have had something pressing to do every minute of every day and now the semester is done, finals are done and I literally have nothing pressing at the moment. The man has gone skiing and so I feel that if I want to sit in bed and watch the Flix all morning then that is what I will do.

Thank you very much.

My 3 three old nephew calls it the Flix and he is dead right. It is flixy.

So let's update the blog and catch myself up with life. Let's see...where to start?

Let's start with the fosters. In a nutshell, I will say that having these fosters made me reevaluate life and when they moved out a couple of weeks ago we decided, or I did, that I am not fostering anymore. Having gone back to school, having difficult teens of my own, and basically being spread as thin as a chubby girl can be spread, it was time to take a look at what can go and what can't. Since it would appear unethical to rid myself of my own teens, and I have no intention of getting this far in my degree to walk away, it just seemed right to end a fostering career that didn't feel good anymore.

Maybe I'll tell you more about that later, maybe I won't. The boys moved in with family which is a good thing and so that is that.

Next, school. Yesterday I received two of my four class marks. One was for geology, which has terrorized me for the last 4 months and the other was for a Canadian pop culture history class. One of these appears to be an easy A and the other, as I said, terrorized me for the last 4 months. I don't know what it takes to get an A in this history class but I clearly don't have it. For as brilliant as I think I am, whoever marked all the writing I did for this class did not agree with me. I did better in geology, the terror, than in Canadian pop culture. How does one not get an A in hockey, rock n' roll and corsets?

I don't get it. University is baffling unto me.

Next, the gray. I have four gray hairs and I have named them all Jack. Okay, Cicely can have one. But Jack gets the rest. The punk.

What is the deal with teenagers? Can someone please enlighten me? Why are they wired to drive their parents nuts? I spend most of my day shaking my head in disbelief at their wild mood swings, their strange choices and just at their general...everything. How ever will I survive the next 15 years?

I would like to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to my parents for their gray hairs named Catherine. For I assume there are many.

If you have easy teens then move on. There's nothing to see here. I don't need to know. I already spend too much time trying to figure out where I am going wrong. I don't need more to think about.

Mostly I am being over dramatic. Or am I? I blame my hormones.

So how about you? Whassup?

Monday, March 17, 2014

dabels do dip

We used to get TLC but switched cable providers and now we don't get it anymore. So that means we used to get Honey Boo Boo but we no longer do.

Which is both sad and unfortunate. For we really did enjoy the Boo Boo. Remember the 'sketti episode? When they made their fanciest and favourite meal? It was spaghetti with margarine and ketchup and…..barf.

Like I said, we really did enjoy the Boo Boo, for the Boo Boo made me feel pretty spectacular about myself.

Pre-tty spec-tac-ular, knowwhatimean?

Anyway, I truly believe that almost every family, if not every family, has a meal akin to 'sketti. We don't say it out loud or tell people we eat it because….

Well, because it just isn't right.

But lately, our oldest foster son has let it spill about our own personal 'sketti. He told our foster agency and his social worker and he made it sound like the bestest and fanciest and most wonderful dinner. He loves it. Then the other day I made a joke on Facebook about making dinner and having it take 13 minutes and people wanted to know what it was and I was like, "Ummmmm, nooooooo way am I telling you about what we are eating for dinner."

But I have decided to show you the slum side of the Dabels and share my most bestest and fanciest and wonderful recipe with you.

Promise you won't judge? What was that? Too late? All right then.

We call it….. dun dun dun…..Dip.

Yep, we call it Dip. We do not serve it to guests. We do not even acknowledge its existence. Dip? What is Dip? I do not have any idea what you are talking about. See how that goes?

Except we forgot to tell foster kid one and so the cat is out of the bag. When I ask my people what they want for dinner they usually say Dip. Because they love it. But really………I don't know what to say……

Here goes:
Brown some ground beef
Add red onions
Add kidney beans
Add Hot and Spicy ketchup. Like lots and lots and lots and lots of ketchup. Until it's runny like a chili.

You can put it in a casserole dish and put sour cream on it and cheese and melt it in the oven for a few minutes. At least, that's what fancy Dip looks like. But we don't even do that. We put it in bowls and throw some cheese on it. And then we use tortilla chips to dig out that dip and put it in our bellies.

And now I hang my head. Ground beef and ketchup. Yep, that is how the Dabels do Dip.

I am so so sorry you are on the receiving end of this little secret. You may go throw up now.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

sparkling hill. the story of the spa.

Okay, I can't take it anymore. I need to tell you about the time I went to the spa. Here it goes.... Once upon a time, I went to the spa. I am now one of those girls who says things like, "When I went to the spa..." Because I have. Been to the spa, I mean. I took this lovely little getaway with some friends and we drove the seven hours so we could go to the spa. And do spa things. Which we did, by the way. And it was incredible.

And to the fine people at Sparkling Hill, I want to say thank you for hosting me and my motley crue at your sparkling and most phenomenal hotel.

It was worth every second of the drive. I was in heaven all weekend. Three nights away, no school, no kids, no husband. Just me and my friends at the spa. Although, I will say, Sparkling Hill is built for couples as well. Completely. Bathtubs in the living room. Bathrooms with no doors (private toilets, though. Phew.) Walk through showers. I must get the man there sometime for a couples massage in the romantic, elegant little couples rooms. It sounds divine, youknowwhatimean?


I can hardly wait. He can, but I can't. But, what does he know anyway?

Sparkling Hill is in Vernon, B.C. You know what else is in Vernon? My mummy and daddy. So this was perfect because it meant some two on one time with the folks in their town. That's never happened before, me being there without anyone else, just visiting for the afternoon with my sweet parents, whom I adore.

After our afternoon together I took them for a little, wee tour of the 'wellness hotel' because if there is one thing I know for sure it is that my mummy likes a view and wow! What a view.

The Serenity Room is banana town. If banana town is code for heaven on earth, and in this case it is, then this room was banana town. Floor to ceiling windows. One wall of windows overlooks the hills and mountains. The other wall of windows overlooks the lake. My gosh, do I love me a lake view. To be on top of a mountain overlooking a lake is my idea of perfection. In case you were wondering what my idea of perfection is.

This is it.

There were saunas, many many saunas. All kinds. And they smelled amazing. Actually, the whole place smelled amazing. Even the water had a flavor. I swear it did and I drank a ton of that delicious mountain water. I couldn't get enough. But back to the saunas. There was like 100 of them and they were all different. The crystal sauna, the rose sauna, the dry sauna and the cold sauna (that actually had ice on the walls, brrrrrr). Okay, I think there were only seven altogether but seriously, I have never seen anything like it. You just walk from sauna to sauna and back again. Whenever you want! When was the last time I got to do things for me whenever I wanted? As it turns out, I do not have a high threshold for saunas. I sort of maxed out a lot sooner than most of my friends but I will concede that the selection is stellar and the facility is impeccable. There are pools, indoor and out. A pool, outside, with a light snow coming down and stars in the sky?



And thank you, of course.

While I was there I had a facial and a hot stone massage. I almost cried when the massage was over for never ever should a thing as wonderful as a hot stone massage come to an end. Ever. It was tragic. I loved it.

The food. Amazing. It accommodated all the weirdos in my group who don't eat certain things. Like gluten. Weirdos. The breakfast buffet was lovely. The dinner in the fancy restaurant (and by fancy I mean dress code!) blew my mind a wee bit. The service and the staff? Honestly, I don't even know what to say, except it was the nicest place I have ever been to and the fanciest for sure. I was pampered and spoiled. I even read an entire novel. I can't get over it. I just can't.

I mean, look at the fireplace in the room! The entire place was dripping with Swarovski crystals. It was the most sparkling of places in the history of sparkling places.

I will go back. Either with my love or with my friends or with my mum and my sister. I don't know yet but I will go back. And if you go (and you most certainly should) you must tell me because I will go back with you too.

Here are some pictures. Some of them I borrowed from Sparkling Hill and some of the view shots are mine. My iPhone fails me when it comes to taking awesome pictures that do a place such as this justice. You'll have to just go yourself and see. You must go.

You must.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

cats and kids

Soooooo, I am dying to tell you about my spa weekend/road trip/girls getaway I took a couple of weeks ago but I have been waiting for the time to do it justice. And then, all of a sudden, there was time and I was all "I'm too tired to do justice!"

Because I am a doer of justice. Just ask the kids.

So this is not a post about the spa although, hang tight, because it's COMING!!!!!


I feel the need to yell that, in bold, for whatever reason. So anyway, this is probably just a post about the fact that I have not written anything in forever and well, my poor lil bloggy blog.

It is tragic, isn't it? I do have so much to tell you. There is just so very much to say but when? Where? How? Four university classes and six children and papers and presentations and reading....

Oh, heaven have mercy upon my soul! THE READING!!! There are no words  to express how many words I have read in the last three months. Actually, there is one word.....eleventybillion. I have read eleventybillion words in the last three months. And not all of them even remotely interesting.

Cough cough *GEOLOGY* cough cough.

I seriously hate Geology.

Anyway, if I had time I would tell you about when I took 50% of the children to the doctor, two were of my loins, and she looked at the two that were of my loins and said, "Wow, their eyes are huge and so wide set."

And I said, "Yeah, they have my eyes."

And she said, "There are some syndromes that present with wide set eyes, but on your kids it looks great."

Me, "Ummmmm, ...???...???...???...???"

Or I would totally tell you about the time I argued with a dead white existentialist via essay about whether or not people are born with personalities. I may have accused him of not having children of his own and if he did then he did not spend near enough time with them as toddlers because anyone who has owned a toddler is well aware that they do, in fact, have their own personalities. Anyone ever met a toddler without a personality? Yeah, me either. Anyway, I think the professoress agreed with me because this was her comment, "I'm not a mum, but I've raised several cats, and they all have strong personalities from about the 4th month of life..."

Cats and kids, man. Cats and kids.

I love her.

Or I would tell you about the time I went to the spa with some seriously excellent women whom I love love love. And we had the most amazing time. I was so relaxed. I read a novel. A WHOLE novel in one day.

But I will save that for next time...

Friday, February 14, 2014

miss america and valentine's day

Today is Valentine's Day. I am not a hater of the day, as so many are, but I am  not a celebrator of the day either.

Unless you count buying the man some chocolates and eating cupcakes alone in bed as celebrating...

It has been brought to my attention that I don't blog anymore. Although, this is simply not true, it is painfully true all the same. I haven't blogged in eons and I blame the university. The man would tsk tsk me for saying that, he doesn't care for me putting blame where it does not belong. He would say I did it to myself. He might be right but I dare you to challenge my PMS self with such a proclamation on this day and then make an attempt to get away with your life.

Go for it, I dare you to try.

You see, I am riddled with PMS right now and not making much sense. Also, the world might be coming to an end because I can't see past the cupcakes and the raging hormones.

It will pass. It will pass. It will pass.

So yesterday, as I was PMSing all over the halls of the university campus, I discovered I have a favourite type of student. She is female. And she is ridiculous. She carried with her all the paraphernalia a typical university student might need. Like a back pack. But she also carries with her another bag. It is the size of Africa and I can't even possibly imagine what she has hiding in there.

Until I look at her face and hair, that is. She is Miss America. Or so she must wish to be. For her hair is perfect. Long and curly and flowing. Wait, strike that. It is not flowing. It is an immovable force. One akin to a helmet.

He skin is flawless, her makeup done to perfection. And also, no less that 31 centimetres thick. Her head circumference is astronomical and nowhere near what it would normally be without all that big hair and layers and layers of makeup.

You see, when I go home and do my homework and then my life (for that is the order these things are happening this semester) I sometimes take a study break and ponder that bag that is as big as Africa. What is in there, I wonder to myself. Africa is a really really big place. So a bag that is as big as it is a really really big bag.

What is in the bag? Is there really enough hair product and makeup in the world to fill it? I mean, don't forget, she has her backpack. I know what is in my backpack so I am making assumptions as to what is in hers. But what is in the bag that is as big as Africa? What goeth in there??

And more importantly, why? She already looks done to the nines (that's the saying, right?) Why lug all that extra stuff around with you all day long? Why do this to yourself? Why? Why? Why? This might be the most important thing I have yet to learn at university.

The other day I learned how to use commas and apostrophes so there really isn't much left.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

there is value in motherhood. just look at my children.

A new semester started this week. It's going to be a doozy as I have four classes this term. I am also getting over a nasty head cold that managed to damper my happy first-day-back-at-school spirit.

What would I be without a plug for sympathy on occasion? Anyway.....

Today was my first class of Rhetorical Communication. It is a writing course but before we write we make speeches.

Make speeches, you say?

Why, yes, that IS what I said. Making speeches? For grades? Yes please.

As a mother who nags people to death makes speeches on a regular basis I figure I am made for this class.

So, as part of today's class, we were given an essay and told to evaluate it. The essay was written by a woman who put herself through university without a student loan or any money from her parents. She compared herself to those who were put through school by their parents and how spoiled they were and how their grades weren't as good as hers because she sacrificed for a greater cause and they didn't. She pleaded with all parents to not give money to spoiled, entitled teenagers and to make their kids put themselves through school.

It was a silly essay.

And in this essay, the writer goes on to say that she married in college and is now a full time mother. She also said she was grateful for the life lessons learned.

We were asked to say whether we were persuaded by her arguments one way or another and what it was that persuaded us. A debate ensued as to whether it's better to pay your own way through school or to accept funds from parents to lighten your load. We talked about her tone, her diction and her voice. The debate was excellent, many persuasive and differing points were made.

And then the prof said this, "What I don't understand, as a non-mother, is why on earth anyone would work so hard to get a degree, getting all As along the way, just to become a mother."

Now, deep in my soul, in the innermost reasonable recesses of my rational being, I know she did not mean this the way she said it. But, nonetheless, I had no choice to but say something. After all, this class is about persuasive speech. It's about making people see another side. It's about persuading others into another realm of thought.

I didn't even raise my hand. I just spoke.

I don't remember now what I said exactly but I am fully aware of the point I wanted to make and that is this:

The article never said what her life's ambitions were. Whether they were to become a mother, working or stay at home, or if her priorities changed along the way. The article never said what her degree was in because that wasn't the point she was trying to make. I assume. She had a goal. Get a degree. She got it . She wanted to get good grades. So she got them. She had to do it all on her own without financial aid from anyone. So she did. That is what she chose to do.

And then she got married and had babies. Her choice. She chose to be home with them. These were her priorities at the time.

So these were my questions to my prof, and the rest of the class:

Did staying home with her children devalue her degree? (I sure as heck hope not!) Does her choice to get a degree and then have children devalue her commitment to her own personal education and further learning? (Please tell me that can not be so!)

Did she waste her time getting an education during the years when she either didn't want to or wasn't ready to have children knowing that when the children came she would stay home with them? (The answer to this will never make sense in my head if it is a yes. And this is certainly not what I am trying to teach to my daughters and sons.)

Would she have been more of a woman if she'd never had children?  Or if she'd worked with her degree regardless of the children? (No. No. No. No.)


Look people, we all make our choices and everyone's choices are worthy when there are children involved and education as well. We do those things because we see value in them.

How many people do you know received a degree in something and proceeded to work in jobs where that specific degree was not required? Why does your specific university degree have to dictate the choices you make for the rest of your life? Why can't it be one of the elements that make up the whole? The YOU! 

Why can't a woman get a degree, have children and allow that degree to better their lives in whatever way she chooses?

Well I say she can.

Just like I can understand and appreciate why a childless woman, who openly acknowledges that fact that she chose career over babies, might not understand why putting a career on hold or off to the side for a time to be with children might be just as valuable a decision as believing having a career is.

The choices people make with their lives, their educations and their children have to be their own. And that has to be okay with me and everyone else, otherwise we would spend all our time disappointed with the choices of others or not feeling good enough about the choices we make ourselves.

So, to my prof, I sweetly implied that her choices included much education and no children. And I am fine with that. My choices included full time motherhood and education and possibly a future career and I am fine with my choices, as I hope she might also be. Both of our choices have held value in our society. We both contribute. Is there less value in my contributions because they look different than hers?

Nope. Of course not.

And then I was done.

Had it not been a course based on the premise of argument I probably wouldn't have said anything (okay, yes I would have said something) but when you make it clear that class participation is a large part of the grade and then you push my stay-at-home-mom button I will gladly bring forth my side of the argument.

It was glorious. But, of course, like I said, I know that's not what she meant......

When class was done, she did approach me to apologize and to make sure I understood she was not trash talking moms. Of course, I understand. I am a big girl. I can appreciate the difference of opinions and that maybe those opinions are not expressed appropriately all the time. (I just thought that last part in my head, not out loud.)

I mean really, who wants to tick off the prof on the first day?

Not me. Heaven forbid.

Friday, January 3, 2014

eileen was her name

I had the most moronic Christmas tree ever this year. And this is how it came to be.

Right before we decorated for Christmas my neighbours from directly across the road came by. They are a teensy bit older, like maybe not as old as my parents but definitely older than me. They carried with them, like wisemen following the Dabels star, a ginormous Christmas tree.

It's fibre optic, they said. It's 9 feet tall, they said. It's too big for our living room, they said, but perfect for yours. We don't need it anymore but would love to see it lit up in your house, they said.

You see, I already have tree. It's fake but it's great and has served me well for many years. But a 9 foot fibre optic tree? Already with the wee little lights and such? So tall it would take a ladder to decorate? Yes please.

I said yes please.

Well, the tree was so ridiculous it needs to be acknowledged on this here blog, because I am nothing if not a full blown believer in the ridiculous.

I couldn't get it to stand up straight. I tried fixing the base. I tried fixing the tree. It had a natural born tilt, there was nothing that could be done. I decided that maybe a 9 foot tree with a tilt was exactly the kind of tree this family and home deserved. We let her be.

But every few days she tilted more.

And she hummed. When lit up she hummed this horrific hum that aggravated Gemma so terribly it is a wonder anyone in this house got out alive.

We needed to name her, obviously. She was about to ruin our lives and anything with that kind of power deserves a name.

My friend Shauna named her. Eileen. It was perfection.

And so blatantly obvious it begged laughter of the out loud variety.

The man kept saying he'd fix it. He said he'd tie it to something as to keep the inevitable from happening.

Until, the inevitable happened. Eileen leaned. You know what I'm saying?



Once it finally fell over and I begrudgingly tipped it back up, and I say begrudgingly because what I wanted to do was set fire to the world and burn that stupid tree right up (and plus, the wee one cried when I said there was going to be no tree this year so obviously I set it back up), it had this sad little curl in the tip thereof. We left it as is, the big giant squooshed up mess it was and went on celebrating Christmas despite the tree, that was now fish lined to the blinds.


Because of the hum aggravating my mental state so dramatically we had to stop plugging it in, therefore leaving it light-less, which was the exact reason I took the tree in the first place! 

And that is the sad tale of the tree that leaned and is now covertly hidden inside a dumpster as to not alert the generous neighbours whom injected my life with this hideous burden.