Friday, November 30, 2012

And lo, there were lights...


Rissa was at a sleepover, we had the house to ourselves for the evening, so when we left Shopper's, arms laden with chips and popcorn, we were intent on getting home as quickly as possible.  (Insert eyebrows waggling in deliberate sexual innuendo here.)  It was cold and drizzly as we raced back towards our house.  But then, we hit George Street, and I looked south towards the Town Hall.  There were holiday lights and garlands and fir trees all twinkly and sparkly, it was a defibrillator to my holiday joy.

I'm like a freaking magpie. Christmas decorations instantly delight me - the twinklier the better.  Why is it that something as simple as coloured lights can make a gal so happy?  I won't beg for jewelery, but show me sparkly lights and I almost lose my mind with giddiness.

"Can we go see?  Can we go see?" I jumped up and down - a 5 year old had possessed my body.

"If you like," said David in his Father Knows Best voice.

I scampered down to the main street to get closer to the twinkle and the holiday swag.  There were families making their way east towards the park.

"Maybe they're lighting up the park!!  Can we go?  Can we go??"

We stood together, David had his arm around me to keep me warm.  I didn't bring along my Cold Avenger mask - I was breathing through my scarf.  We were stomping our feet - David didn't even have gloves - we weren't supposed to be out of the house for long - we'd just gone out for 'before the sex' snacks.  A half hour later, amidst a crowd of eager young families and bumped-into friends, David and I stood - counting down to illumination.   As hundreds of us yelled, "Three, Two, One!!!" the park was ablaze with colour and sparkle - our small provincial town was a freaking fairyland. 

We walked home, hand in hand, still grinning.  Holiday music was piped in on the main street.  People were laughing, kids were saying "Did you see?  Did you see?"  We basked in those small town moments.  A few steps from our door, the drizzle, which had mercifully abated while we were waiting in the park, began again.   Even that made us smile, so disgustingly contended were we.   All of this unexpected joy, because we'd wanted chips and popcorn.

The bandshell with attending minature village.
Small town park - or could it be  DISNEYLAND?!?
You'd have to be soulless not to like this shit!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Paying it forward...

Everybody wants something, right?  And you don't get something for nothing.  That's the rumor.  Watch out folks, my inner Pollyanna is courteously clawing her way to the surface!   The sun is shining and I'm filled with the frickin' milk of human kindness.  I have a proposition:  what if instead of all the take, take, taking - we just did a bit more of the paying it forward?

Doesn't come easily to some.  You're in your own world, you're stressed, your credit line is through the roof, the kids need to be taken to dance, or hockey, or piano...  You're busy, you don't have time.  But how about this?  Just for today -  do something without wanting anything in return.  Today, it's not going to be about you.

So leave the quarter (or loonie) in your No Frills cart, drop a handful of lucky pennies in a public place, if you've got a granola bar (or leftovers from your pricey lunch) give them to someone who's hungry.  Say "Yes" instead of your automatic "No."  Spread the word about a cause that needs momentum.  Throw accolades at the unsuspecting.  Compliment that gal at the bank who has awesome hair.  Smile at a stranger - say a "Good morning!"

Yes, it's corny, but you know what else?  I can guarantee that every little act that you do - every little act not for you - every act of kindness without that selfish core - makes you happier.  That's what's so great about it.  The less selfish you are, the more you think of others, the happier you become.   You end up getting something for yourself, just by being... nice. 

So how about just for today, share the happy.  Tomorrow you can go back to being an asshole.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I'm not Scarlett O'Hara

My weekend is full of Santa Claus Parades and Peter Pan rehearsals  - so we're into reruns...


I'm not Scarlett O'Hara, which means a regular guy will not ever be able to sweep up into his arms.  I was reminded of this the other night when David hugged me.  I jumped up and wrapped my legs around his waist and he really did his best not to drop me or give in to the impending hernia.  He didn't grimace or anything!!  I sighed and let myself down so that we didn't hurt ourselves.

"The Scarlett O'Hara, being-carried up-the-staircase-thing, just ain't gonna happen with me."

"It's not you, it's me."


"I don't have the upper body strength.  I need to do more pushups."

"Yeah, that... and I don't weigh 120 lbs and haven't since I was 12."

"If you weighed 120 lbs, you'd look like a cadaver."

"Yes.  But I'd be a cadaver that you could then sweep into your arms and carry up the stairs."

"Not unless I do a lot more pushups."

I might have pouted.

In an uncharacteristic Caveman moment of problem-solving, David responded.  "I could drag you up by the hair."


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Delete, delete, delete

I should just un-subscribe.  That'd be the sane thing to do.  From Old Navy and Ikea.  From the Gap and Sears.  From Style at Home and Banana Republic.


I don't have money to buy any crap from any of the retailers who send me their online flyers.  I have financial blinders on.  We require nothing new in our house.  Apart from a new roof, but I don't get flyers for that.

Except right now?  We're leading up to Christmas and I do still have some shopping to do - and what if there was something perfect for that niece/nephew/mother-in-law/parent/child/spouse/friend???  What then?  Then I would have missed it and could have SAVED money on the gift - so really I can't unsubscribe until after Christmas.  So for now... just one quick peek (you know, just to see what potential gifts I might be missing out on)  and then delete, delete, delete...

Alfred, Macy janitor: "Yeah, there's a lot of bad 'isms' floatin' around this world, but one of the worst is commercialism. Make a buck, make a buck. Even in Brooklyn it's the same - don't care what Christmas stands for, just make a buck, make a buck." 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Getting my cats high...

So... I put down catnip last night This is the conversation I overhead.

Minuit:  (immediately pawing, huffing and rolling in afore-mentioned catnip) This shit is great!  OH MY GOD!  This is the best shit I've ever had!

Lola:  I wanna try, let me try, let me... (sniff, sniff, roll)  oh WOW!!!

Steve:  I don't feel anything.  (sniffing)  Nope.  Nothing.

Minuit:  Dude, this must have come from BC 'cause I'm seeing colours I have never seen in my... your face is soooooooo fluffy.  (rolling on her back, doing a cat yodel)

Lola:  Is that Tom Jones?!?  You guys!  You guys!!  In the corner... there...! (roll, roll...)

Steve:  Nothing.  I'm feeling nothing.

Lola:  "What's new pussycat... meow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow..." (hysterical cat tittering ensues)

Steve:  What?  What is it?

Lola:  Maybe next time, dude.

Minuit:  I need some of those chicken kitty treats, maybe with some Häagen-Dazs.

Steve:  I feel so disconnected...

Lola:  Wave your paws in the air, like you just don't care!!

Steve: (rolling on his back, from side to side)

Minuit:  Dude!  Dude - are you feeling it?

Steve:  No.  But when I do this, Heather will rub my tummy and that always makes me feel good.  I'm taking it where I can get it. Oh yeah!  Right there!  Right in the cat pit, now under the chin.... yeah....

I'm pretty sure the webcam got a contact high from the cat.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Why can't I just keep my mouth shut?

I catch myself doing it.  Yesterday was Pink Shirt Day at school in support of anti-bullying.  Rissa loathes pink - she was wearing a coral coloured shirt.

"I thought you were wearing pink today... for the anti-bullying thing."

"This is pink."

pause, 2, 3, 4...

"That's not pink."

"Yes it is."

"Rissa I hate to say, but it's not."

"It is."

This is where I pressed my lips together so tight  that they were now between my teeth and I could taste blood.  Don't say anything....  Don't say anything...  Just turn around and leave...  I managed to make it out of the room without shouting to Rissa, the world and the universe,  "THAT SHIRT IS NOT PINK!!!" 

It doesn't matter.  It doesn't matter that she wasn't wearing true pink.  She'd go to school and say "This is the closest thing to pink that I have."  Of course she'd be lying, because I just checked in her closet,  and she totally has a fancy pink tanktop and a pink 1950s style shrug - both bought by me because they were cute and would look amazing on her, because despite my never wanting to dress my female child in pink, it turned out that she looked freaking amazing in pink and when she was an infant and had next to no hair, people kept mistaking her for a dude, so we dressed her in pink for a while there; but since about the age of 3, Rissa hasn't liked pink, so she's never worn either of the pink items in her closet.

She's 12.  She should be able to wear whatever she wants to - I mean I'm not going to let her out of the house at the age of 12 (or 19) dressed like Slave Leia, but if she wants to wear a coral shirt for Pink Shirt Day - I should just shut the fuck up and let her.  EXCEPT I CAN'T.  Because when she said the shirt was pink I could clearly see that it WASN'T

I chatted with David about it over lunch.

me:  I'm now writing about how hard it is to keep my mouth shut with Rissa.
David:  hah!
me:  I'm trying to be better, but that shirt totally was NOT pink this morning.
David:  no - it was not. does seem to be a natural inclination to open your mouth in certain circumstances...
me:  HAH!  It's like telling me that a cat's an elephant.  It's almost impossible for me to say that a cat is an elephant when it clearly isn't... THAT CAT IS NOT AN ELEPHANT!!  That's like saying that a table is a chair...  or the sun is the...  Oh, good God - I'm the Shrew.*  FUCK.
David:  hah
me:  Rissa's mother is the fucking Shrew. BLARGH!
David:  choose your battles... that's all I can say. 

Wow.  That was a revelation!  I am the Shrew.  So I can either a) continue to be the Shrew and eventually drive my daughter away with endless nitpicking and the need to be right or b) I can keep my mouth shut and let her figure out her own shit and wait for her to ask my opinion.  (epiphanic sound of angels' chorus)  I've got to give up the 'being right.'  It's not gonna kill me to bite my tongue if she wants to define colour by a different spectrum than mine.  It might give me angina, because my body reacts to even the smallest of stressors in the most fucked up way possible, but it won't kill me.  And scotch can totally help the angina.

*Katherina Minola from William Shakespeare's  The Taming of the Shrew.  In my opinion his best comedy, but really NOT popular with the politically correct who can't seem to take it in historical context.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Faux Christians

I hate the faux Christians.  Love, love, LOVE the real ones - I know a bunch and they are the kindest, most supportive and liberal-minded folks out there.  The faux ones?  They're the ones who hide behind the Bible and pretend to be all godly, but are actually prejudiced, racist and pretty much ignorant of, not just how to be a good Christian, but how to be a good person. They're the ones who make organized religion sketchy.  They're the ones whose behaviour convinces me to talk about spirituality instead of religion.  The faux Christians are the ones who abandon their child when that child comes out or chooses the 'wrong' spouse, or lives a different lifestyle.

Those professed 'good Christians' love to lob around Biblical quotations, like "Love the sinner, hate the sin," or any variation thereof, as if Jesus himself was speaking through them.  So here's the thing.  Jesus never said that. Now, I haven't actually read the entire Bible, but I have spent WAY too much time this morning doing internet searches on that particular quotation.  And you know something?  It's not from scripture.  And it's not from Gandhi as is rumoured.   It's from St. Augustine of Hippo, who wrote 400 years after Jesus.  And you know what?  It's still a crappy quotation.

So for those who want to spout meaningful quotations that are actually attributed to Jesus in the actual Bible...  You know what a better quotation would be?  "Love one another."  How about if,  instead of following some archaic notion of what sin is and what sin isn't, how about we choose love?

So here's me, the next best thing to an atheist, starting a campaign. The  Let's put the Christ back in Christian campaign.   Because these faux Christians?  They're giving the real ones a bad name.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Condom Races

"Anything interesting happen in school today?"

"My Mom lost to Your Mom."

I gave her a look.

She sighed, despairing for my ignorance.  "In dodgeball today.  We lost."

Ah yes.  Rissa was in a Dodgeball tournament.  She and her friends were split between two teams.  Rissa's team was "My Mom"  and the other team was "Your Mom."  These names were chosen for the sole purpose of how they would sound when announced by the principal over the PA system.

"Today in dodgeball, we have My Mom vs Your Mom." 

"Right.  I'm with you now.  So you were on which team?"

"I was on My Mom."

"And who was on Your Mom?"

"Jacob and Liam"

Mental head shake.  "And My Mom lost?" This was turning into a variation of Who's on First.

"Sadly yes.  We were hoping that we would make it to the finals and that way the principal would have had to announce it all again."

David chimed in.  "Maybe next year you could have new teams.  My Mom's Meatloaf vs Your Mom's Mac & Cheese."

I roll my eyes at him.  "Anything else interesting?"

"In health we had condom races."

I do my best to imagine what that could entail.  "Were you blowing them up and then letting them loose in the classroom?  Passing them like a HOT POTATO game?"

"Let her finish..." David says.  In my mind I'm thinking BANANAS!!!!!

"We had bananas."


David shoots me a disparaging look.

"There were four to a team." 

Now I was confused.  "Four to a team?"

"Whichever team of four who put all their condoms on the banana first won."

"You were putting four condoms on a banana?"


"One on top of the other?"


David shrugged. "Better safe than sorry."

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Jet Engine Torso

Is it hot in here?

I have solved the impending energy crisis!  It's so simple.  We hook up all the women in the world who are having hot flashes... into a power grid.  Women 'of a certain age' giving off their heat - the combined estrus  would produce more energy than the SUN.  As long as there are women enduring peri-menopause - we will have a never-ending energy supply!

Not quite sure of the logistics yet... the way the machines stole power from humans in The Matrix kind of wigs me out - although frankly, if I kept my hair long, the outlet thingie at the base of the skull might be hidden.

Or... no, wait!  WAIT!!  The outlet thingie could be a feature!  You know - embellished with Swarovski crystals and other great shit.  It'd work like Mary Kay!! But instead of a pink Cadillac for so many sales - the more heat a flashing woman gives off - the more bedazzled her outlet would be.  High heat producers would have higher quality platinum outlets with more precious gems - the most prolific of heat producers would get the rarest gems in the world like blue garnets and jadeite.  Women in their 40s and 50s would be the saviours of the planet - we'd be frickin' rock stars.

"Bow to us you lowly youth - we rule the world!  Shower us with chocolate and salt and we will share our mighty power with you!  Show disdain for our wisdom and beauty and you shall die an Antarctic death!"

David just added his two cents.   "Or..."  There is a gleam in his eye.  "You could use some sort of turkey thermometer type thing, but you know with a, uh... vibrating capacity.  The power stations would be more like spas and you would, ahem, insert the, uh, vibrating probe, while women are on chaise lounges having pedicures.  Plus, you could film it.  Pretty much win-win all around..."

Monday, November 19, 2012

Microbes for Movember???

So this appeared in my news feed recently...

Movember moustaches may hold hazards

Seriously?  This is a news story?  What is the CBC doing?  And show of hands, how many men out there don't wash?  And by that I mean EVER.  How many don't wash their faces EVER?  How many don't take the time to wash after having raw fish and/or spaghetti and/or steak tartar? How many wait days and days and days with food and or bodily fluids resting upon your facial hair before you wash? Anyone?  'Cause I'm pretty sure that's when you're going to have hazardous microbes in your 'stache.

So, if you ARE one of those dudes who NEVER washes your face - for God's sake START WASHING - you are not a teenaged goat!  But otherwise, could the CBC stop trying to instill panic in the public at large not to mention the dudes who are just trying to raise awareness for men's health issues??

Friday, November 16, 2012

I think my fingers are having a stroke...

Or... I'm being possessed by the spirits of homophones past.  Instead of the word 'do' I type 'due.' Instead of 'red' I type 'read.'   I actually typed 'aisle' instead of 'I'll' this morning.

So?  Any thoughts?  Any closet neurologists out there?  'Cause right now?  I think I might be in a cross between Memento, Primer & Inception, my mind's feeling THAT fucked.  It's not like they're just typos.  Is this where all those brain injuries I've had through my life are coming back to haunt me?  I really should have had that brain MRI a loooooong time ago.

Does anyone else do this sort of stuff?  And before you suggest it - I don't use auto-spelling. I don't do text speak.  EVER.  That's not what's happening here.   I spell out my words - I never even type "laugh out loud" let alone the ... the... acronym for it.  (Just can't do it - would rather drive a frickin' nail through my eye.) I usually write "hee hee hee" to indicate I'm giggling or "HAH!" to indicate a guffaw of laughter.  And just to really screw me over this morning, it took me a full 30 seconds to come up with the word 'acronym' just then.  BANJO!  Just checking.  I don't use "8" for the 'ate' sound.  So WHAT.  THE.  POOH. 

Last night, I was trying to explain the misplacing my homophones thing to David.  I then spelled the wilderness mammal BEAR as B A R E.  And that was NOT my intention.

"You just spelled B A R E."

"No I didn't!"

"You totally did!"

"Oh God, that's it.  I'm having a stroke right now.  Or I've had a stroke and I've lost all my homophones.  Is my mouth drooping?"

"No, your mouth isn't drooping.  Why would you only lose homophones?"

"It's not just homophones - I lost BANJO the other day, and... and... I lost - SWEET MOTHER OF ALL THESAURUSES...  What else did I lose?"

"I don't know sweetie."

"You see?  OH GOD.  You could totally Gaslight me!!!  If you wanted, you could totally  Gaslight me.  I think I'm losing my mind anyway - so how would I even know?"  I back away from him in the bed, my eyes wild and wide.

"Good thing I'm not independently wealthy.  All you could get would be some crazily bad lounge music and a plethora of holiday decorations with a side of vintage dresses.  Maybe it's the dresses you're after!!!"

He shoots me a look of utter disbelief.

"Although frankly your back is much wider than mine and you'd have to have them altered.  No, not possible.  The amount of body hair that you'd have to shave/wax would deter that.  You don't even like it when I pluck your shoulder hair."

"Shhhh.... It's okay..."  He tucks me into his side and kisses me on the forehead.

"It's NOT okay.  I'm having weird-ass aphasia!"

"Sweetie if you didn't remember the word 'aphasia' then I'd be worried.  I think you're good."

"Due ewe reely mien it?"

Thursday, November 15, 2012

If I were ridiculously wealthy...

The phrase "SPARE NO EXPENSE!!!"  would readily fall from my lips.  My holiday shopping would be joyfully a la carte.  I would tip with bills, not toonies.

I don't have that kind of disposal income... right now.  But very soon, very soon (insert scheming world-domination maniacal laughter here) it shall come to pass...

So here's what's going to happen until then.  Every time I see something that I know my loved-ones would go apeshit for, but I can't afford - I'm going to file it.  And for Christmas, I'm going to let everyone know about all the things I will get them when I am ridiculously wealthy.

I'm starting file folders for everyone I know.  That way, when I see that $700 etched print by Liz Menard  that would be perfect for David, I'll add it to his file.  Same with the ridiculous cat bean-bag warmer Cuddle Kitty that would make Rissa giggle...   And when I see an exorbitantly priced coffee table book that I know Meg would salivate for - it's going in her file.   Then I'll just give them the lists of their future gifts.

This epiphany hit me yesterday while I was helping my friend Lisa at the Moose Show.  Lisa, my crazy friend, my incredibly talented artistic friend, the friend who makes me snort ginger ale through my nose.  (That makes it sound like she has me tied to a chair and is waterboarding me with ginger ale.  She totally doesn't do that.  She does, however, make me laugh so hard that I snort and just so you know, snorting ginger ale is painful.  "It burns!  It burns!")

I was watching Lisa yesterday do a wire sculpture of a gold fish, from a freaking photograph.  She had the photograph and was artistically extrapolating.  My brain just doesn't work that way.  What I want to be able to do for her?  I want to be able to commission pieces and pay her WHAT THEY ARE WORTH!!!   If she spends 150 hours making something - she should be earning WAY more than just a couple of bucks an hour for her artistic labour.   I want to rent a public space in downtown Toronto to display her astoundingly awesome 7 foot long Korean Dragon wire sculpture so that the A freakin' G O stands up and takes notice of her brilliance.  Check out her works here:

And now I need to research sand sculpting companies who might offer workshops.  Then I can tell David and Rissa that as soon as we're rich, we are going someplace like Hawaii or California and we're going to learn how to build even bigger and more bad-ass sand sculptures than the ones we do now.

'Cause you know what?  Dreams come true.  It's happened to me over and over again.  And I am determined to continue my dreaming in TECHNICOLOR and no frickin' bank statement is going to stop me!

Carly Sioux 2012
ps.  I'm included in a Blogger Soundoff this month at Circle of Moms along with other fantastic women!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Losing my Nouns

I know that I know this...  Give me a sec...  Starts with a B maybe???

So lately, at least a 1/2 dozen times a day, I lose my nouns.  Yesterday I couldn't remember the word BANJO.  I could see the thing in my mind, knew it was roundish on one end, that you play it like a guitar, picks are really needed to make it sound good - what it was actually called?  Not a fucking clue.  So then this moment of panic sets in.  In the vaccuum that is left of my mind - I'm like a freaking USB drive with nothing on it.  And then later - all of a sudden I'll let out a mighty YAWP of realization:


Relief slides over my being and I can breathe again, because I've been holding that breath ever since I couldn't remember the word.  It's called aphasia.  I know that word, but apparently banjo is just too difficult.  Or economy, or Gwen Stefani or the frickin' colour chartreuse - how can a person forget the word CHARTREUSE??   I mean just LOOK at it!  I'd remember having a stroke right?  I'm pretty sure that I haven't had a stroke, but given what else I've been forgetting, who knows?  I sometimes look in the mirror just to be sure that one side of my mouth isn't drooping.  Nope, still good. 

So this could just be middle age, or peri-menopause - or even thyroid - which I vowed just yesterday that I wasn't going to mention, but from what I've been reading 'brain fog' can totally be one of the symptoms.  Or, it could be from a brain tumor, infection or dementia.  Awesome.  So what I've learned is to never Google 'aphasia' when you're freaking out.  Basically, never Google ANYTHING when you're freaking out.

Let's put some spin on this:  If it's dementia - it could happen relatively quickly and I could be one of those happy demented people who smiles and wants to have sex all the time.  Maybe if it's a brain tumor it could press onto a part of my brain that suppresses hunger?  Or suddenly I might be able to play the piano?  Infection...???  I'm sure there's a positive way to look at that too, I just can't remember the word.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I am NOT an 83 year old woman...

I hear these words coming out of my mouth:  "Oh it's just the microvascular angina, hypothyroidism and the reynaud's syndrome...."  I think: Shut up!  Shut up!  Shut up!! You are not an 83 year old woman, just say you're 'fine'!  When someone asks you how you are, JUST SAY FINE!!!    Nobody wants to hear it.  Nobody wants your torrent of symptoms and self-diagnoses lobbed at them like a grenade full of energy-sucking leeches.  SHUT THE HELL UP!!! 

Problem is, people keep saying "How are you?  Are you okay?  You're looking a little green."  'Cause right now?  I look like utter crap.  Lay me next to a cadaver and we'd have the same skin tone.  Hence my honest reassurance to folks by poo-pooing all my many symptoms.  "Nothing to worry about... I've got my nitro spray... yadda yadda, sick speak, sick speak."  You can see when their eyes glaze over at the 'too much information."  It's pretty much the same time that the word microvascular leaves my lips... annnnnnnnnd.... they're... done.  Because people don't want you to be honest.  They want you to lie, like everyone else does, and just be FINE
So this is me, taking a different tack.  I will slather on the makeup - add some blush to take away the pallor, smile and say "I'm well, how are you?"   Cause I'm NOT 83  and won't be for another 39 years.  And even when I am 83, I don't want to be that person who defines themselves by their maladies.   My Granny lived to be 103 years old and I never once heard her complain.  When she was 100 she was knitting knee blankets for the 'old folks.'  She was mostly blind and mostly deaf and dropped a few stitches in those knee blankets, but they are BEAUTIFUL.    And when I get cold for absolutely no reason in our 20 c house because of my weird-ass health crap, I can wear one of those blankets around my shoulders, put on a hat and a scarf, shut the hell up and channel my Granny.

The most beautiful slipped stitch I've EVER seen!

There's a frickin' blue sky out there today and I'm going to catch some of those rays.  Cause I know for damn sure that fresh air helps EVERYTHING and that all I have to do is put one foot in front of the other and I am determined to do just that.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Candy Cane Coated Porn

Flyers... oh, sweet, non-denominational deity, the holiday flyers that have begun arriving at our house.  GIANT EXPERTS' SALE!  HOLIDAY BLOWOUTS!  BREED YOUR OWN REINDEER!

I want, nay verily, I NEED, a Self-Shaping Pre-Lit 8' Fir Tree for a mere $399.00!  No wait!  There is a 7' Pre-Lit Flocked Blue Spruce which has FAKE SNOW on it for only $199!!!  I can balance it on 6 large hardcover books, to make up that foot difference in height!  Plus I'll have saved a whole $200!!!  No brainer really.  Must buy, must consume, must own...    

We wish you a Capitalist Christmas!
We wish you a Capitalist Christmas!   
We wish you a Capitalist Christmas.... 

I LOVE Christmas. J'adore Noël!   Jeg elsker Jul!  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!  The carols, the ornaments the window displays...  I salivate just thinking about it all.  Literally.  There must be some sort of gastronomical response when I see sparkly Christmas things.  I'm like Pavlov's Dog, but with twinkle lights.  So when the Home Hardware flyer comes into the house with HOLIDAY merchandise, it's pretty much porn to me.  Candy Cane Coated Porn.  (insert drooling, slathering noises here) And I need it all!!!

Except that I already have an entire ROOM in the basement filled with holiday decor.  It used to be the Coal Room, when houses used coal.  Not huge, but about 200 cubic feet of space to stack holiday things.  I have many boxes - all labelled.  My favourite:  Whimsical Ornaments - filled to the brim with Patience Brewster Krinkles ornaments that cost a frickin' arm and a leg at full price.  

But most of them I got after Christmas for 1/2 price - on account of the fact that paying $40 for a single ornament is  demented.  Although I did once spend $200 on ten 1/2 price ornaments.  But even David himself couldn't be mad at me when he saw how ecstatic I was as I showed him each dog in pajamas, each crocodile with fancy shoes, each polar bear in a tutu.  

Every year when I bring these whimsical ornaments out to put on our dining room tree*, I dance around like a frickin' sugar plum fairy.  The glitter that remains on my hands after placing the ornaments, I spread all over my body.  "Mummy, you have glitter on your knees!"  "Yes I do!!  It's CHRISTMAS!!"   And then I douse her in glitter as I listen to Elvis's Christmas album -  the best and the worst of Christmas music all rolled into one cd, but that's what my Mom always listens to - so it's the first album on our playlist every year.  But really, after Elvis gets played, I'm a traditionalist - Christmas circa 1930-1950.  Campy, sappy and deliciously steeped in nostalgia.  Christmas Lounge = Musical Perfection. 

For those other Christmas Fiends out there - this is for you...  Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians doing a 1954 tv special - at around the 10:00 mark there is a tribute to the Nutcracker suite which is almost my favourite Christmas thing ever.   (Uploaded by on Jan 1, 2012)

 *Three.  We have three.   Christmas trees.  THREE.  Dining Room Whimsical, Living Room Traditional and the Front Porch Slender. If I could afford it, I'd have one in EVERY room of the house - around which I would dance, covered only in glitter.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Autumn Chore Weekend

This weekend is the weekend things are supposed to get done.  Caulking (snerk - yes, I have the mind of a 12 year-old boy) of windows and such.  Maybe even a hedge trimming (snerk).  Round 1 of leaf raking was Thursday.  My inner thighs and quads are still complaining about that.  I guess I don't do a lot of squatting in my day-to-day activities.  Maybe I should have stretched first?  Oh GOD.  That's what it's come to... stretching before yard work.  Hello body - welcome to your 40s.

Errands that don't get done during the week while I'm carless are left until the weekend.  I've got my hands full, so here is a post about my crazy cats and the resulting stompery from late October...

Thou Peevish Sheep!

Yesterday morning...

David had been looking forward to sleeping in.  15 more minutes of it.  He wasn't carpooling because of an after-school literacy meeting.  He set the alarm in anticipatory joy -  there may have been some contented chortling and 'nom, nom, nom' noises as he snuggled into the bed.  Then, the cats fucked it all up.

Rissa got up before we did, but didn't feed the cats.  This had the cats looking for people in the house who would feed them.  Launching themselves onto the bed, they began their own version of an intricate Bollywood dance number.  David, doesn't enjoy cat dance at the best of times, less so when he thinks he should be sleeping in.  There may have been some hurtling of the cats off the bed, perhaps propelled by under-the-blankets feet, followed by some growling and stomping on David's part to get them out of the room.  Then a door might have been slammed.  Grumbling ensued and not the under-the-breath kind.  After two minutes of this, he left the bed and STOMPED down the hall.

What you need to understand is that we are emotional vampires in our house - we suck up the energy of others around us.  We then magnify that energy and spit it out onto unsuspecting civilians.

David was in a mood, ergo I was too.  And I already wasn't thrilled to be woken up by violent kicking followed by doors slamming.  What with Hurricane Sandy being en route, the barometric pressure was wreaking havoc with my head.  I was hoping to stagger to the bathroom, dope myself up and sleep the morning away.  And now?  Now I was up.  And worse, my stomach thought it was time to be up so I needed to eat.  So I STOMPED down the stairs.

And there was poor Rissa, minding her own business with two stompy parents grumbling and growling and having yet to even said good morning to each other on account of the fact that David was convinced that the cats should be thrown into a bag and then into a box and that box should be thrown into Lake Ontario; (it would never happen PETA - so re-fucking-lax, and un-twist your panties!)  and I was mad because instead of him asking me to do something about it he just got all stompy and slammy.

By the time I told Rissa that she couldn't wear her brand new ballet flats to school in the rain, she was ready to burst into tears.  I managed to turn her around by reminding her that her rain boots have polka-dots on them and that's ALWAYS a good thing to have on your feet. Then she got into the spirit herself.   She found a pair of knee high rainbow socks to wear underneath the polka-dotted rain boots,  and put on her stylish navy rain jacket - with belt.  Soon after, via email, David and I apologized for our peevish sheep attitudes and, at the end of the day, we all helped make dinner together.  Long-standing angry grudges averted.

Friday, November 9, 2012

We are NOT a mouse house...

Ahhh, the joys of autumn...  (Insert contented drinking your cocoa sigh here.) I sit typing at the north end of the dining room.  The early afternoon sun warms my shoulders.  The house is deliciously warm.  If I wanted, I could take my laptop and write in front of a blazing fire in the family room.

And yet...and yet... Our three cats stare with x-ray vision at the dining room walls... What's that noise?  What do I hear?  scritch, scritch, scritch, scritch...  I knew it was too good to last.  Rodentia.  Renovating our house to make it theirs.  To be fair it only sounds like something small, mousish in size and perhaps only one of them driven indoors by the cooler weather to stake claim on a rodent condo in our... main floor ceiling / 2nd floor flooring joists.

I just want to say, "DUDE.  Please.  Not now.  We can't afford an exterminator.  We still have to patch the roof where the frickin' raccoons roosted last season." 

I am a lovers of animals.  I had an encounter with a squirrel last weekend that was delightful.  He ate spiced pecans OUT OF MY HAND, and then hung like freaking Spider Man from the tree trunk upside down to eat them.   I love rodents of all shapes and sizes,  I just don't want to HOUSE them.  We already have three cats and frequently take in animals to babysit.  No more animals in our house. 

Unless, of course, if someone said, "This poor blind, nearly lame, elderly dog has to find a home or be put down." David would then have a fight on his hands 'cause my immediate go-to is "I'LL DO IT!!!" And then I hold onto that animal in a near-suffocating hug as David tries his best to quell that urge within me.  Limpid blue eyes would blink blink up at him and I would win.  'Cause really, if person says NO  to a blind, nearly lame, elderly dog who won't live for much longer any way and really has nothing wrong with them apart from the being blind, nearly lame and elderly?  That person must be a Nazi, and nobody likes being called a Nazi.  Right David? So we're keeping this theoretical dog!

But now that there's the scritch-scritching, I'm imagining there must be an infestation, possibly of Biblical proportions - 'cause they apparently did plagues up really well back then.  So in the same way that when a pet has fleas every itch you have MUST be a flea bite, or when someone in your acquaintance has pink eye your own eye begins to twitch and water... Now, every sound in my century home that scritch scritches... is now a rodent with 26 others having a house party in our walls.  On the plus side though, the boiler isn't leaking as much...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I see Zebras...

...where there aren't any.  We were driving past a farm on the weekend and I was convinced there were zebras grazing.  With delighted glee, I thought to myself, "Hey look!  ZEBRAS!"  I was just about to point them out to David, but as we drove by, I realized that in actuality they were horses wearing plaid blankets.  Which had me in near hysterics because they really looked NOTHING like zebras seeing as it was brown and white plaid.  Really, I could have been imagining golfers dressed as horses and it would have made the same amount of visual sense.  Then when I tried to explain it to David he just looked at me like I was insane... AGAIN.

NOT a zebra.

I have 3 a.m. hallucinations.   There was a small hooded woman on the back of our bedroom door not too long ago.  Reality: David's grey bathrobe with a burgundy towel on top of it - but to me - random hooded woman freaking me out to the point of hyperventilation.   The ceiling fan might have been a luminescent sea creature, or a large bug with five wings and four eyes, or an alien face.  What's just a titch scary?  This is what I see when I'm 100% completely sober.  How schizophrenic does a gal have to be to hallucinate things?

I can walk down the street and make "come here, kitty, kitty" noises to a small bag of garbage on the curb.  It's only when I'm THIS close do I realize that I've been talking to a bag.  Or I'll see a miniature crocodile, and be REALLY EXCITED over the prospect of getting to touch a MINIATURE FREAKING CROCODILE (Just WAIT until Rissa and David hear about this!!!), in the middle of our sleepy little provincial town, only to find out it's just a boring ol' fallen branch.   I like to think of it as "hopefully hallucinogenic."   (TM Heather)

Those thingies that connect power lines to each other?  Couplers?? Groove Connectors?  Whatever the hell they are?  To me?  Frogs.  Well-balanced frogs with asbestos feet so that they can withstand the power from the lines beneath them.  Although they might just be balanced on telephone wires which I don't think have the same kick to them - otherwise there'd be an awful lot of fried pigeons up there.

But then, on my walk the other morning, there was a fox.  An actual REAL fox.  A red one.  On the boardwalk. 

Walking right towards me.  Foxes move differently than dogs.  They lope.  They gambol.  Which is why I knew, even from a 100 meters away that it wasn't a dog and I got EXCITED.  But I didn't want to get my hopes up in case it was just some random stray, skinny dog with palsy.    It walked nearly up to me - about 6 feet away it sat, regarded me (at this point I was crouched down on the boardwalk to make myself as un-threatening and friendly as possible) and then it skirted around me and loped on its way.  If I'd put my hand out, I could have touched it.  I didn't.  On account of the having had a series of rabies shots just this last July from the whole feral kittens incident and David's voice was in my head saying "I will not take you to the hospital if you deliberately keep touching wild animals."  This close.  I was THIS close.  And I wasn't hallucinating nothin'!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Brought to you by the letters... S C O T C and H

Clumping cat litter?  When it gets covered with a deluge of water?  When you're trying to get it off the floor with paper towels or scoop it up into a dust pan?  VERY close, in consistency and appearance, to cat diarrhea.  (quelling urge to vomit)  Even though I KNOW that it's NOT cat diarrhea, the look of it, the feel of it...  and given that the water covering it was slightly warm... the temperature of it?  NOT what I want to be cleaning up first thing in the morning.

Which is why the last time I had to do it, I then gave the job of emptying  the emergency (HAH!) water catcher container thingie, which resides under the boiler's pressure valve in the depths of our Hannibal Lecter basement, to Rissa.  Has she done it?? No, she has not.  I gave her the job because, at the age of 12, her brain should still work.  And yet, as per yesterday's post, the passing of that particular baton was... pre-mature.    Apparently, in all my peri-menopause, multiple concussions, wonky freakin' thyroid glory - my brain still works better than the other people co-habitating with me.  And I forget things ALL THE TIME!!  And I forget WORDS.  Words for nouns, like 'teapot' and 'dish towel'... and that's on a good day.

I'm going to have to put post-it notes all around the house, like someone with Alzheimer's, reminding me to do things because I get distracted.  (See Don't Open That Tupperware - 4th paragraph.)  Nearly last on my daily list of things to accomplish has been to empty the emergency water catcher container thingie.  We already had to safeguard our unreliable-boiler-circumvention-system by putting a paving stone in the bottom of the emergency water catcher container thingie, so that the cats wouldn't keep knocking it over, you know, for cat fun.   They would dance around in the faux cat diarrhea soup (quelling urge to vomit) and then leave little clay cat footprints ALL over the house.  Good times.

Some would suggest that it might be time to replace our inconsistent-at-best boiler.   Some have WAY more money in their savings than we do.  We just need to keep vigil over the water level and empty it every couple/three days during the heating season.  Easy Peasy.  (HAH!)  I had a EUREKA!! moment this morning and finally moved the kitty litter boxes further away from the sub-boiler flood plain, scooped, paper toweled, mopped the floors AND reorganized under the stairs (because I got distracted) ALL before 9:00 a.m.  And you know what?  Scotch smells really good at 9:30 in the morning.  Cheers!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


It's like every time I have ever reminded her has NEVER happened.  Because there it was.  In the sink.  The empty apple juice bottle, from which Rissa had poured her morning juice, sitting there, IN THE FREAKING SINK!!!!

"RISSA!!!!"  I grab the bottle and hold it aloft - an impromptu weapon.

"Yes Mummy?"  She comes in to the kitchen.  Upon seeing me, she backs up a step.  Her ingratiating/panicked smile withers under the wrath that is me.


"THIS," I gesticulate with the empty bottle,  "THIS DOES NOT BELONG IN THE SINK!!!"

"Was that in the sink?"  Rissa feigns innocence.  She blink-blinks at me like a newborn fawn.

I make a noise that is not human.  Her eyes get very wide.  "You are NOT that cute.  Where does THIS belong?!?"

".........?"  I can barely hear her response.


"In the recycling?"

"YES!  THIS. BELONGS. IN. THE. RECYCLING!!   Now please, for the love of everything holy in this galaxy, please put it IN the recycling before I beat you to death with it."   I throw in another "BLARGH!" for good measure.  She laughs, which is good, because it means that she doesn't know how close I truly am to bludgeoning her with the bottle.

It's a virtual mantra. "Rinse.  Please rinse.  Please rinse and deposit in the recycling."  She's heard it so often that she should now be annoying her peers with her vigilance when they visit.  In hushed tones she should be saying, "Never leave anything in the sink that could go in the recycling or the garbage.  My Mom's head actually implodes if she catches you." 

Oh GOD.  I have morphed into this... this naggy, anal-retentiveMOTHER...   I tell her EVERY morning to make her bed.  After my reminding her, literally THOUSANDS of times,  that her bed should be made,  it's as if I'm speaking in tongues.  She looks at me in confusion.  I am an incomprehensible, tenuously polite woman and this new-found knowledge is a revelation.

"Why yes, Mummy.  What a great idea!  Making my bed would make my room much tidier.  I will hasten to do your bidding."

She was there, even commiserated with me a while back when we stared in disbelief as David cleaned up his own kitchen mess.  She was my wingmanThey know, they both know that the house would devolve to anarchy without me in it.  And yet... and yet...  I frequently find myself turning into the snorting, crazy-eyed woman in a bath robe threatening the life of my child.  Because, it's not like she has a brain injury.  She's not Drew freakin' Barrymore in 50 First Dates where each day she has forgotten everything she learned the day before.  SHE SHOULD KNOW THIS!!! 

9:00 a.m.  Too early to start drinking?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ball Gag Mouth Warmers

"I have a plan!" he says.  "I know what we can use!"

"For what?"

"Your outside angina."   

"Excuse me?"  I gave him the "I couldn't have possibly heard that correctly"  look.

He rolls his eyes at me.  "AN-gina.  I said Angina."

"Okay, that makes WAY more sense to me.  I was a bit confused by the whole outside vs. inside notion - it pretty much HAS to be inside, doesn't it?"

He shoots me a look.

"Wow.  Tough Crowd.  Okay.  Tell me your plan!"

"Whenever you go outside in the winter and breathe, it sets off your angina, right?"


"So we can take a dryer ball with the air holes in it, cut it open and then insert a hotpocket handwarmer in it and make some ties to hold it on your head and... VOILA!"

"A ball-gag mouth warmer!  AWESOME!"

"No, no, no!!  That's not what I meant... I meant..." he's now obviously picturing it in his head ... "Oh my God!  It's totally a ball gag mouth warmer."

"But in blue,"  I offer.  "With pointy plastic spikey things.  It would be a real conversation starter."

Instead he ordered me these:

Look!  It's a minature flask  - ON A CHAIN - so that I can have 1 oz. of emergency booze on me at all times!!!

AND he also got me this!  It's called the COLD AVENGER  - It should really come with a cape to complete the ensemble. 

Can't wait to wear that around town.   It's almost like I'm Darth Vader.

Rissa says "I think you should just actually GET a Darth Vader mask.  It would be WAY cooler."

Friday, November 2, 2012


Rissa repels blankets.  She starts the night all cozy underneath the sheets and duvet and comforter and afghan, all of which she apparently needs to have.

"I like the WEIGHT, Mummy.  It's almost like there's an elephant on me."

David and I reckon we can upgrade to a lead blanket or, perhaps chain mail - less bulky, but still weighty enough to keep her happy.  But I digress.  It doesn't matter how many blankets we put on her, whenever we check on Rissa, she is either a) on TOP of the blankets, huddled in a ball in the centre of her bed shivering for warmth  or b) sideways on the bed with limbs splayed EVERYWHERE, blankets now underneath the bed.

This kid can splay like no other.  She has the longest frickin' legs that I've ever seen.  Rissa's always been a splayer.  She did it in her crib.  Arms and legs extended - pushing against the rails, usually sideways.  She'd often wake up with divots on her forehead from the crib rails. 

As we come into winter, trying to keep her zero-body-fat body warm overnight is a challenge.  Long pajamas seem to be anathema to her.







So this is what I'm going to do:  I will make her a sleep sack.  Not a sleeping bag.  A sleep sack.  You know, like the ones toddlers use because they can't be trusted not to strangle themselves with a blanket.  Like this - except for a 12 year old.

Grobag Baby Sleep Sack
I'll find me a cheap-ass comforter and cut out arm holes and a neck hole and I'll make her a sleep sack.  I might even let her choose the cheap-ass comforter... she could help with the sewing!!  See that?  Mother-Daughter project right there!  Teachable moment!  HAH!  And if I can actually get her to wear a long-sleeved shirt - perhaps she might make it through the night without dying of hypothermia.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Hangover

When Rissa has stayed up too late the night before... like last night, Halloween... the next morning is... interesting.

Let's say that she is fragile.  She uses her frowny face a lot.  She grumbles.  She has been known to flop on the floor and emit a "Wailey, Wailey, Wailey!"  Traversing the space between the island and the cutlery drawer is too much for her. 

"Mummy... Mummy, could you please...?"

"Could I please what?"

"Could you please get me a spoon?" Pitiful labrador retriever eyebrows.

I look at her, I look at the cutlery drawer 6 feet away from her.  "No."

"But... but...  It's SO far and you're closer."

My snort of response was not delicate.

She then did her tribute to Charlie Brown over to the cutlery drawer and sadly retrieved the spoon.

Uploaded by on Dec 3, 2009
Fan Post.
CD:"A Charlie Brown Christmas"
Purchase CD/MP3:
(c)1965, 2006 Fantasy/Concord

"It is very difficult to be me."

Bedtime should be sacrosanct.  Especially when Halloween falls on a school night.

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