Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Careful what you say over pancakes.

David, Rissa and I are enjoying our weekly Sunday pancake breakfast.

"These are great!" says Rissa. "The texture is magnificent!"

We've been trying to perfect gluten-free pancakes for the past several years. It's been hit or miss.

"Yeah," says David, chewing on his maple syrup-soaked pancake. "These are the ones. We've done it! Which is great, because these breakfasts are soon going to be a thing of the past."

I swallow my bite of pancake. My throat tightens. Moisture fill my eyes.

Rissa looks at my face. "Dude!" she says to David. "What did you just do?"

If someone were filming this moment, there would be a well-timed shot of a single tear sliding down my cheek.  Suddenly Rissa is no longer living at home with us. She's at university. She's graduated university. She's living in a different city. She's married and has kids but we only see her twice a year, because she's so busy and has so many commitments. "No more family breakfasts?"

David's eyes are wide. "No! I mean..." He shoots Rissa a panicked look. She shakes her and gives him a "you're the one who said this" eyebrow raise. He reaches over and takes my hand.  "No, we'll still have lots of Sunday breakfasts."

"No," I say. "We won't, actually. You're right. I've got The Cat's in the Cradle playing through my head. I know that it's not really completely appropriate to this situation, but the... end... of the song... that kid who now doesn't have time for his Dad...?" There is more than a single tear now.

"Awwww... Mama," says Rissa. "It's okay. We'll still do Sunday breakfasts."

"But not every Sunday! Not if we're living in different cities! And I know that life is like that. I know that. And I know that we don't see Mor-Mor and Far-Far all that often because we live far from them, but it's different because they had two kids and weren't as hands on and really didn't care when I left home, hell they wanted me to leave home, were wondering why I hadn't yet, but we really like you and like spending time with you and..." I can't continue speaking.

Rissa's taken my other hand. "Mama. It's okay. I promise we'll still have breakfasts. They won't be all the time, but we'll still have them. Just like we have them when we're at Mor-Mor and Far-Far's."

"Yeah?" I sniff, before wiping my eyes with my pajama sleeve.

"Yeah." She turns to David. "You can't just say shit like that. I mean, seriously! She's fragile!"

Turns out? I'm that Mom. If we had a problem child going through her teenage years in a funk of eye rolling with a side of whiny sarcasm, peppered with irrational outbursts, we'd be opening the door for her, we'd be packing her bags.

This is what you get for having a functional relationship with your daughter. Spontaneous fits of weeping over gluten-free pancakes.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

YouTube University

"Do you think there are videos on YouTube on how to do minor surgery?" I ask David.

"No," David says with a note of finality in his voice.


"No, you may not do minor surgery on yourself."

"Don't be silly. I wouldn't do minor surgery on myself."

David's eyebrows rise as high as they possibly can on his forehead. "No?"


"Good," he says, obviously relieved.

"Of course I wouldn't do that. Well, really, couldn't do it, not well at least."

David closes his eyes and shakes his head.

I know that with logic, I can make a good argument. "You, though, YOU could totally learn how to do minor surgery and do it on me. It could be like those scenes in Travelers when David does home spinal taps for Marcy."


"It just doesn't make sense for me to do it."

"It doesn't make sense that you perform minor surgery on yourself?!?"

"Well not in this area, it doesn't," I explain patiently.

"What area? What could you possibly want to remove from your body?"

"My armpit pudge. Nay, verily, my armpit boobs," I say. "I have had armpit boobs ever since I've had breasts. And no matter how much I exercise, no matter how healthfully I eat, no matter how many pounds I lose..." I poke my left armpit boob.   "I still..."  I poke my right armpit boob. "Have..." I cross my body and poke both of them.  "Armpit boobs."

I am apparently speaking in a foreign language. There is no comprehension on David's face. I'm sure that I can get through to him.

"And I know that all it would take is a little 'zip-zop' underneath my pits, a little detail nozzle suck with the Shop Vac and BOOM! They'd be gone."

David opens his mouth to speak. He closes it. He opens it again. "What can I say to dissuade you of your commitment to this plan? Hey! Remember when you were learning to decorate gingerbread houses from YouTube videos? Can we go back to that? Please?"

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Squirrel Nurser

Steve and Lola are looking out the kitchen's east window. Staccato tails twitch back and forth in tandem - something is definitely up. I figure it's our resident chipmunk taunting them from below the window.

"What's going on guys?" I ask, giving them both a scritch behind their ears before looking down.

My hand cames up to my mouth. Not a taunting chipmunk. A dead squirrel. A dead little squirrel. Flat upon our gravel driveway.

"Oh no," I say.

"What? What is it?" David asks from the loveseat.

"There's a dead squirrel outside."


We allow a silent moment of commiseration to make its way through the room. I look back out the window.



"Not dead. It's not dead!" I watch as the supposedly flattened squirrel struggles up before lurching to drag itself under our Honda Civic.  "Oh, buddy. Not there. Don't go under the car. It's not going to be safe under the car."

"Leave it be," says David. "Heather, do not touch that squirrel." (One episode with feral kittens and subsequent rabies shots and I'm no longer given a lot of leeway with wild animals.)

"I won't. Its mother might be around."

I wait. I wait an entire 17 minutes before I go out and lie on the driveway, feeling the gravel leave its imprint on my stomach. Squinting, I can see the squirrel tucked in by the front right tire. It is still, not making a sound. If it is dead I'm going to have to move it so that we don't inadvertently squish its little squirrelly corpse. I shudder at the thought.  I look around. No mother squirrel anywhere.  Our driveway is not close to any real foliage - no overhanging branches - just three car lengths of gravel. 100 feet to the south, the bottom of the yard has trees and then 100 feet to the north there are more trees.

I go back inside.  I sit. I try to read.  I play Scrabble on Facebook, comment on some posts before I walk nonchalantly towards the dishtowel drawer.

"Don't you even think about it," says David.

"If it is dead, I don't want it to get squished."

"If it's alive, you're going to get bitten."

Temporarily deaf, I grab a tea towel and head back outside. The squirrel has crawled out from under the car and is again lying flat on the driveway. It doesn't even twitch as I approach.  Using the dishtowel as a makeshift glove I scoop up the squirrel. It barely struggles. I cradle the towel against my chest. This is bad. Wild animals don't like to be touched - it's letting me touch it. This sucker is going to die and I'm going to see it happen.

"Uhhhhh... David? Can you, uh... would you grab another towel and maybe the cushions from the storage unit?"

David sticks his head outside, takes one look and rolls his eyes. He then disappears for a moment before coming back with a hand towel from the 1/2 bath.  He's shaking his head as he pulls the outdoor cushions out and places them on the outdoor sofa. I very gently wrap the second towel around the first one and lower myself onto the sofa. The squirrel doesn't move. I open the tea towel and look down.

I touch a finger to its head. Nothing. I contemplate asking David for a miniature hand mirror so that I can check that it's still breathing, when it shifts slightly. Still alive.

"Would you grab me a syringe with some water?" I ask. The squirrel opens its eyes, giving me a paralyzed look of horror. "It's okay buddy. We're just going to get you some water so that you don't become squirrel jerky." My suggestion doesn't seem to impress the critter. 

"If I were a syringe, where would I be?" David asks. 

"Maybe in the first aid kit?  Oh, or maybe above the stove where the pet pill crusher is."

He returns with the syringe.

The squirrel lets me drop water into its mouth before burrowing down into the tea towel, nuzzling into my cleavage and closing its eyes. I look down at him and I swear to God, my boobs start to tingle. 

"Oh, good God," I say.


"You know how when I see a nursing Mom, my boobs get all tingly and I feel like I might actually have milk?"

"You're not."

"I am."

David winces. "Uhhhhh... You, uhhhh... You're not..."

"Dude, I'm not going to try and nurse a baby squirrel. I'm just saying that my boobs are going all maternal on me. Besides, if we're being 100% frank here, this sucker wouldn't get 1/8 of my nipple in its mouth. Plus... squirrel teeth."

"Just when I think you won't go past a line..."

I enjoy a squirrel nap in our backyard before Rissa and her boyfriend name the wee rodent Edwin Von Lichtenstein. We foster Edwin for the weekend before David transports him to a Wildlife Centre where he is placed with other adolescent squirrels. This was his last feeding before we said goodbye. Godspeed Edwin.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Anorexic Caterpillars

Rissa is taking up all the space in front of the bathroom sink - arranging her eyebrows.

"Excuse me hon," I politely request - reaching for the taps so that I can wash my hands.

"Sorry..." She scoots out of the way, allowing me full tap access, before returning to the mirror with tweezers in hand.

Moments later, I remember having caught a whiff of my armpits as I left the bed. They really need a good wash... with soap.

"Excuse me," I repeat, reaching for the soap at the edge of the sink.

"Sorry..." She twists her body to allow me entry to the water once more, while somehow managing to maintain full facial focus in the mirror.

As I dry my pits and hands, she moves back to glue herself against the vanity - sheer concentration on her face as she landscapes the browal region.

I'm not going to ask a third time, it would just be mean. I reach under her for the toothpaste and toothbrush and covertly turn on the water.

"Sorry, sorry," she says, stepping back again, giving me full use of the sink so that I can spit. "I just can't see if I'm farther away from the mirror and if I have my glasses on then I can't control the tweezing /slash/ makeup process." She has now grabbed her eyebrow pencil and is applying it with determined precision.

"Ahhhhh... Totally makes sense when you put it that way. I do find it strange though that the only makeup you apply is to your eyebrows."

"It's all because before I grew them out* I used to have anorexic caterpillars for eyebrows," she says, now pulling clear eyebrow gel from its tube. "With really LARGE heads."

I snort.

"It's true! Remember? They used be all anemic and anorexic... Like caterpillars trying to fit into a dress from three years ago, but finding out it's way too tight and they end up looking like this..."

*To encourage her anorexic caterpillars to have a healthy BMI - Rissa spent our European vacation last year growing them out over a three week period - where only strangers could watch the process.

Monday, August 21, 2017

VERY deep thoughts.

"You look like you're having deep, introspective thoughts," says David. We sit with Rissa, waiting for her first university tour.

"Hmmmm...?" I am, indeed, lost in thought - imagining a future where my daughter is not a daily presence.

"You're looking very deep," David continues.

I snort.


"All I can think now is that I'm DEEEEEEEEEP."


"Like I have a very cavernous vagina."

"Argh..." Rissa shakes her head.

"Like a...?!?"

"I have hidden depths!  My vagina is so deep, it's contemplative. Great pub name - The Contemplative Vagina. There'd be lots of deep pinks and roses. "

"Uhhhh...." David guppies.

"My vagina philosophizes."

"No it does not, and you may not share its philosophy with anyone on the tour!" states Rissa.

"How deep is my love, how deep is my love..."

Go to 0:49 to get to the punch line.

Husband and daughter might give themselves brain aneurysms from eye rolls at this point.

"I really need to know... but ...how can one really measure a cavernous vagina?"

Rissa is now banging her head on the back of her Adirondack chair.


"Ouch," says Rissa. "You'd need to take off the pointy bits."

"And a protractor for the angle.  To get a full picture. It'd be useful in women's studies. WE COULD CHART THE G-SPOT!"

"No we cannot," from Rissa.

"Next time I'm at airport security I'm going to volunteer for the full body scan and request a print out of the results."

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Destruction of Generation Z.

It might take a village to raise a child, but God forbid if you actually attempt it in North America. 

Parenting in the new Millennium seems to have taken on the Three Monkeys approach: See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. 

Parents have become myopic helicopters hovering over their children's playgrounds, test scores and job interviews. The result? You can't swing a selfie-stick without hitting an entitled, self-serving Millennial or Gen Zer who is in no way ready for the real world. Basically our generation is fucking over our children's generation  - all in the name of supportive parental love.

I never thought I'd become that vintage dinosaur.  "Back in the day..." if any of my parents' friends saw me fucking up, I'd get called out on it and after I took that deserved tongue lashing, I'd get to tell my parents what I'd done. Now? Our village is more apt to speak up about strangers' kids than friends' kids. When a child's safety is in question? Folks mobilize. That kid left in the backseat - the child teetering on the edge of the sea wall? Emergency Services are called and the parents are virally shamed. But with friends' kids? When their kid is behaving abominably, when they themselves are sucking at their job? Surreptitious, eye-rolling silence.  You don't mess with other people's parenting. It's the unspoken rule. "Darling, it just isn't done." 

Why not? Why can't we tell our best friend that their kid is a whiny asshole? In the nicest way possible, of course. Why aren't we speaking up? Why do we not call out our friends' bad parenting choices - when they allow their 7 year old to take them hostage because they don't want to cause a public scene? When they do their kid's homework so that little Morgan gets her 'A.'

Isn't it our job as parents to raise contributing and functional members of society? Can't we help each other do that? We're not supposed to be their best friends, we're supposed to teach them not to be dicks. For every autonomous young adult, it seems as if there are three more absolute dicks beside them. 

So, no, your kid doesn't get a ribbon just for showing up. Mediocrity isn't something that should be celebrated. Having a cell phone active in class is not a requirement. Your kid is in school, learning - if it's an emergency the office will contact her! Didn't you see Ferris Bueller's Day Off? Please don't call to negotiate with potential bosses when your kid fails at a job interview. You're ensuring that they will NEVER be considered for employment. Don't text your 19 year old every five minutes while they are at their summer job - they are fully capable of putting in a full day's work without communicating with you.

Kids need to fail to thrive. They really do. Failure will help them learn. They need to be able to regroup on their own. Allow them the opportunity to make mistakes in safe ways, like not studying for a quiz and roiling in the "12% OF MY FINAL GRADE!" panic when they get that D+. Sure, you can proofread their essay, but don't rewrite it for them. They can do it. I promise you. Kids are resilient. They're smart. They can multi-task, plan and figure shit out. They're the future -  please, for the love of all that's holy in the universe - don't fuck it up for all of us.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The tilted tata - using transformational positioning to achieve a youthful bosom

"Do you think we can take tasteful pictures of my breasts?"

David perks up. "Most certainly."

"For public consumption?"


"You know, for my blog..."

"Ummmmm..." His mouth opens and closes. "Don't get me wrong.  I am ALL for your breasts being on display. But... why do you want to have tasteful breast pictures on your blog?"

"I want to discuss breast balance with visual aids."

"Ahhhh... Might I say again... I am all for your breasts and your right to proudly display them in the public domain... I just worry that if you have pictures of your breasts on your blog that you will then get blocked because of nudity... frankly, because of nipples. Breast health sites get blocked because of the nipples."

"Well that's ridiculous.  They're just nipples. On breasts. Which 50% of the adult population has."

"And I reiterate, I am all for them being out there."

"It's not like I'm filming myself having sex - I'm not going to be playing with my breasts in the pictures."

David had not anticipated this escalation. "Uhhhhh...."

"I just want pictures. I want to compare the breast balance."


"Yes, comparative balance.  When lying on your back, most middle-aged breasts C cup or higher, pretty much slide into your armpits. I have discovered that there is a particular ribcage roll combined with torso tilt that gives the appearance of youthful firmness so that your breast - because it only works for one breast at a time - resembles a vintage jello mold."

"Is that what you're doing when you say 'Look at this! Look at this!' in bed?" David asks.

"Most of the time, yeah."

"I think for this particular post to work, and by that I mean so that you don't get blocked and you don't get a bunch of whack - pardon the pun - jobs stalking you, you'll have to take euphemistic pictures."

My eyes light up.  "That I can do."

As I'm gathering up my visual aids, David comes back into the room with his phone in hand.  "I found a level app that should help, lie down on the carpet."

That right there? That's why our marriage works.

With this app placed on my chest, we discovered that a
16 degree ribcage roll  with 3 degree torso tilt helps
 my breast achieve faux firmness. The level that
resembles a breast? An unexpected bonus.

Friday, June 30, 2017

And that's why you need to know your prices...

If I'm walking funny today, it's because I've been well and truly fucked. $13.38 folks.  I spent $13.38 on 1.365 kg of gluten free flour.* I thought I was doing the right thing, I really did. I thought that buying all purpose, gluten free flour at the Bulk Barn had to be cheaper than getting the Robin Hood all purpose gluten free flour at No Frills. It's BULK for fuck's sake!

Yes, I should have known better.  I've been burned by the Bulk Barn before. I've come out with a handful of pecans and a bill for $17.72, I've spent $25 to decorate a $5.25 gingerbread house. 

Used to be that I'd buy 5 different types of gluten free flours/starches at the Bulk Barn and mix 'em all up at home in my big-ass mixing bowl - rice/corn/sorghum/potato/tapioca residue coating my already pasty white body.  After filling glass jars with my newly amalgamated all-purpose flour, I'd jump into the shower - a gluten free, sticky mess. But lately, I've been lazy. Like teenaged sloth lazy. I've been buying the Robin Hood flour at No Frills during my regular shop for an astonishing $6.49 for 907 g.  

"Highway robbery!!" 
I would say to myself every time it landed in my shopping cart. Though the ease, and frankly, cleanliness, of not having to mix the flours on a Sunday morning before a batch of homemade pancakes was totally worth it. It'd given up my bulk mix dreams.

But last night, I had to go to the Bulk Barn anyway. You know, for macaroni cheese sauce and apparently... popcorn salt, because it caught my eye and I'm in a constant state of salt craving.  Before I knew it, I was sashaying down that gluten free aisle.  I'll just look, I thought. I'll comparison shop. Trouble is, because my middle-aged/peri-menopausal brain can no longer retain information, I couldn't remember the Robin Hood cost per 100 grams (even though I specifically looked at it on Monday at the grocery store), nor could I actually remember how many grams were in Robin's relatively tiny bag.

Turns out? Big Baking has beat Bulk. That Robin Hood bag of gluten free flour with xanthan gum already mixed in? It's 20 cents cheaper per 100g than buying bulk flours at the Bulk Barn. I would have actually SAVED money, had I spent that money at the grocery store.

Paying through the nose for specialty ingredients and then paying an extra fucking $2.76 at a place that is supposed to save a gal money?!?

*calming breath*

Okay. It's only $2.76 more. Put into my evidently hormonal perspective, it's less than a Fleur de Sel Lindt bar on sale at Shopper's Drugmart. I'm still saving money by baking from scratch even with Bulk Barn's exorbitantly priced, ready-made flour melange. That flour in my cupboard will be able to make at least four pancake breakfasts, several dozen cookies and assorted other baked goods - which if I were to purchase already baked, gluten-free goods, would be 2 boxes of Wow's Key Lime cookies. Don't even get me started on what a pre-made loaf of bread 1/3 the size of a regular  loaf of bread will cost you, I just got my blood pressure down.

*For those who believe that gluten free is just a fad/scam and doesn't really have an effect on people and I could be saving many dollars simply by not using gluten free flour in the first place?  Watch me eat a hotdog in a white bun.  I'll be high after 3.5 minutes. It will last about 1/2 an hour and then I start crying. It's a favourite thing for my boss to watch at company BBQs.

Friday, June 23, 2017

lyrical opposition

"I've figured it out!!" I exclaim.

"You have?  That's great!" says David.

"Figured what out?" asks Rissa.

"It's 'take-a-chance, take-a-chance, take-a-take-a-chance-chance!"

"Runh?" from Rissa.  

His interest now piqued, David stops mid-sandwich prep.

I clarify. "I'm playing ABBA on repeat in the car. I've never been able to sing along with the boys' part for "Take a Chance on Me." So I was listening really hard today and I've got it.  And though it seems as if it's 'take-a-chance, take-a-chance, take-a-chance-chance-chance' in actuality it's not 'chance-chance-chance.' There's another syllable in the phrase and only two 'chances'.  It's 'take-a-chance, take-a-chance, take-a-take-a-chance-chance'! "

David and Rissa are looking at me like I'm nuts. Disbelieving eyebrows grace David's forehead. "Nu-unh," he says.  "It's 'take-a-chance, take-a-chance, chick-a-chick-a-chance-chance.' "

I take a moment to try it out his way.  "Yeah, it works rhythmically, but why would it be 'chick-a-chick-a-chance-chance'? There's no 'k' in 'chance'."

David is stymied for a moment.  He immediately googles the song.

"It would be if chicken were singing the song," Rissa pipes in.

The sounds of ABBA fill the kitchen. We all close our eyes and listen, tilting our heads to one side, ensuring complete comprehension of syllables.  After a couple of verses we turn it off.

"It could be either/or," I say.

"Yeah," says David.  "Take-a and chick-a are very similar."

"Don't discount if chickens are singing it," says Rissa.


Friday, June 16, 2017

how to raise a diva

A beautiful child is ahead of me in line at the Big Box store. She is approximately 7 years of age, dark hair, striking blue eyes.  Freaking adorable.  I find myself inclined to smile simply because of her incandescent beauty.  And then I hear her scream/whine this:

"I want TWO Kinder eggs!!!"  

The tone immediately pulls back my parental shoulders and raises my mommy eyebrows. I take a calming breath.

Don't say anything Heather.  Don't say ANYTHING.  Not your kid.  She is NOT your kid.  Maybe the adult will parent-up. 

I wait patiently.  The dad has yet to reply.

He's going to make a good choice. He's got this.

"But sweetie you already have one Kinder egg."

"I want TWO Kinder eggs!!!"

"Now sweetie, what did I just say?"

"I want TWO Kinder eggs!!!"

"Well, you'll have to ask your mother..."

She'll have to...? Did that motherfucker just do what I thought he did? Did he just fucking pass THE PARENTAL BUCK?!? 

"Mummy!  MUMMY!!!"

"What is it sweetie?"

In a slightly less whiny tone. "I want TWO Kinder eggs." No 'please,'  no 'May I have?" 

"You already have a Kinder egg."

"But. I. WANT. TWO!!!!"

I make eye contact with another parent waiting in a line one till to my right.  We are 1980s Cold War spies.  We both give almost imperceptible head shakes.  Present etiquette restricts our ability to act. As long as those parents are not physically or verbally abusing that child in front of us we keep our mouths shut.

"But you already have one sweetie."  

The mother is calm.  She won't cave.

"But I want TWO!!!"

"Well, allllllllll right, you pick out one more, but just one..."

What the fuck just happened? Our Cold War spy duo has now become a trio with another parent from the line to my left.  You could cut diamonds with our glances. Without saying a word we all know that if that were our child she would not be leaving that store with ANY Kinder Eggs.

Instead, the pocket-sized prima donna rushes to the candy shelf. "Yay!  Barbie Kinder egg!"

Now the father pipes up, "You can have the toy....but I get to eat the chocolate from the second one."

"But I WANT the chocolate too!"

"You'll have enough chocolate with your own egg sweetie," says the mother.

"But I. WANT. IT!!!"

"Oh well, we'll see..."

Oh yeah - this kid's going to be a joy when she's a teenager.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

anatomy lessons for aging birds

I do a double-take as I open my elbow. Since when does the skin there look like a plucked chicken?  Like a really old, plucked chicken? Freaking ANCIENT.

"Whoa!  What the....? EEEEEEEEEEEW!"

"What are you doing?" asks Rissa.

"Look at this skin!"

"What about it?"

"My inside elbow looks 90!"

"No it does not."

"Sure easy for you to say, your inside elbow looks like a spring chicken."

Inside elbow.  That sounds awkward. Crook? Inbow? Elbow Pit? Does it have an actual name?  Like a Latin name?  And now I need to know what it's really called so that my irrational haranguing over it can have gravitas.  

It strikes me that if the skin on the outside of your elbow is colloquially called the 'wenis' that would mean that the skin of the inside elbow is dubbed the...


Rissa emphatically says NO.

I show her the skin of my elbow.  "Wenis."


Then rotate my arm so that the interior really old plucked chicken elbow skin is on view. "Wagina."


"Are you sure?"


"Wenis."  Rotate arm.  "Wagina."

"NO.  You're ridiculous."

I feel my logic is sound.

"Fine.  I'll look it up."

Ladies and germs I give you the cubital fossa.

"Fossa cubitalis est mihi senescit."

"You're ridiculous."

"Yes, but I'm ridiculous in LATIN."

Friday, May 5, 2017


Rissa and I love IZombie.  We love when Liv cooks the brains each episode.  We love when Major's personality transforms after eating mind candy. We love the theme song, the bad puns, the comic panels.

And then Blaine says, "I was singing Hallelujah... the Jeff Buckley tune..." Which is when I lose my shit.


"What?" asks Rissa, thinking I've lost my mind.

"He means Hallelujah  written by Leonard FUCKING Cohen! Jeff Buckley did a COVER - a fantastic cover, but it was a FUCKING cover!!"

"Whoa, simmer down there Mama."

"How can they? Grrrrrr....."  grumble, grumble, grumble.

"Mama - seriously it's..."

"No, what if this is like the moment on New Girl when they dissed Birdman and I couldn't respect the writers any more?"

"What if it's just because of Blaine's memory loss that he can't remember that it's Cohen and this is a very in-crowd joke?"

"Then they made the WRONG fucking joke!  Buckley's version is too old.  If you're going to make it a joke for folk-rock fans, they should have said, 'I was singing Hallelujah... the Pentatonix Tune...' which came out 2016 and would have completely let the audience KNOW that it was a joke as opposed to the way they did it, mis-attributing it to Buckley, whose version is, I freely admit, pretty fucking close to perfect, but you don't DENY Cohen's songwriting skills - the dude is a genius!!!  And he's BARELY FUCKING dead!  Even fucking SNL did an obscure tribute to the guy!!!"  snort, grumble, snort.

"Wow," says Rissa. "You weren't kidding when you said you're a little moody with your unexpected period."

There's the possibility that my hormones have hijacked my higher brain function.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Cat Olympics


"What the???"  David, Rissa and I all turn towards the laundry closet, from whence the sound emerged.  When had we docked a ship back there and how had it broken free from its moorings?

"What was that?"  We all look at each other, on the cusp of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spocking  for who gets to discover the damage.

"I'll go," I offer.  I creep towards the area of the ruckus.  The box that holds the dryer sheets and lingerie bags is now on the floor - the accordion drying rack is askew on the wall.   On the stacked dryer sits Lola, the smallest of our cats.  The dryer sits at least 6.5 feet off the floor.  The upright freezer from which she obviously jumped, upon which the laundry accouterments rested, is at least 5.5 feet high (165cm).

"How did you get up there?" I ask.

 "Is that Lola?"

"It is.  She's on the dryer."

"How did she get up there?"

"I think she jumped up onto the freezer and then bounced from there to the dryer."  I look at Lola  "Is that what you did?" I ask.

Lola remains coquettishly silent.  She's our cat who can jump straight up in the air and then insert herself perpendicularly at that ascent.  No scrabbling, no clawing. It's kinda spectacular. 

Or at least I thought it was until I saw this video.  If Lola has a shot at the 2018 Cat Olympics we're going to have to up her game.

Monday, April 10, 2017

I need a groomer...

WARNING: This post doesn't pull any punches.

I need a table set up in my home, under the most natural light possible, where a team of  aestheticians clad in neuroscientist's glasses can groom me every morning. This finding  hair on my face, chin, neck, legs - breasts - at inopportune moments has got to stop.

Hairy breasts throw a girl's groove off. Particularly because the discovery of said hair usually occurs after a boisterous lovemaking session where David has spent a great deal of focus, shall we say, on the breastal region. I'll head to the bathroom to freshen up before sleep and I'll see a looooooooong black hair on my breast. I'm not saying there's enough to floss with, but something a centimeter long does draw one's attention, particularly when I could swear that the hair hadn't been there the day before.

Ditto with the sudden beach side/pool side realization that the hair on the backs of my thighs could have me placed in a "Switched at Birth?" ad for a yeti.

"It's lovely to meet you Prime Minister.  Let us retire to the conservatory for our discussion on climate change ."  Passing the elaborate Rococo mirror in the hall, I notice... Oh MY GOD, I have a mustache - a full on - MUSTACHE, that is only visible in natural light!!!

Just this morning in the bathroom Rissa says,  "Whoa, hold on a sec..." before she then proceeds to pluck a long black hair from my spine.

"How am I supposed to check my frickin' BACK for hair?"

She shrugs.

"You do realize that your going to have a full-time position making me less hirsute when I'm elderly and mostly blind, right?"

"I kind of figured."

"I should get the paperwork on that started."


Somewhat related tangent: How do porn stars manage? Sure, they're probably waxed to within an inch of their lives, but why don't they end up with ingrown hairs? Or heat rash? On any given waxing/epiladying adventure, I'll develop at least one ingrown hair, which, when you're as fish-belly white as I am, becomes a throbbing red beacon upon my thigh/breast/neck. Do porn stars have their own team of full-time aestheticians, or am I just over-thinking what porn watchers are really there for?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Those aren't moths.

I'm looking into the back yard.  Big, fluffy snowflakes are falling...

"It's snowing!"

"Seriously?"  The rest of the household does not appear as thrilled with early spring snow.

Strange though - it's only snowing in our yard.

"Wait, they're not snowflakes - they're not just falling down, they're sort of moving in other directions.  Moths?  Are those big-ass moths?"

"There are big-ass moths in the backyard?"

"Weird right?  Are we supposed to have massive amounts of moths at the end of March?"  I say, pleased with my own alliteration.

I look a bit closer.  Now the moths appear bigger and more oblong, like there are families of moths... and they all seem to be flying in from the left side of the yard.

"Those aren't moths."

"What are they?"

"Feathers.  They are white feathers."  I cock my head to the side, considering what I'm seeing.  "There is some sort of bird sitting on the fence, plucking another bird."

"There is what?"

"There is a small bird of prey - like a hawk, or a kestral or something and it is plucking whatever other bird that it caught... on our fence."

David and Rissa come to stand with me at the back door and regard this Mutual Of Omaha moment.

Rissa shudders.  "That's nasty."

David shrugs. "That's nature."

"That is repulsively cool," I say. 

"I have to say I'm a little bit impressed," says David.

"Why?" Rissa asks.  She looks queasy.

"The bird it's plucking is practically its same size. How did it get it up there?"

"Ewwwwwww!" from Rissa.

David and Rissa go about their morning business. I find myself unable to look away from the window. "How is it that it never occurred to me that a bird would pluck another bird to eat it?"

"Because WHY would you contemplate such a thing?"

"It makes perfect sense.  You can't get to the... uh... fleshy... red... bits...."

Rissa looks out the window. "Ewwwwwwwww!"

"...without plucking the feathers away.  That's a determined bird. Maybe it's a chicken hawk!"

"What is a chicken hawk?" asks Rissa.

"I'm a chicken hawk!" I say in my best Henery Hawks accent.

"Ahhh say, ahhh say, ahhh say, son..." says David.

Rissa looks at him like he's nuts.  "What are you doing?"

"Foghorn Leghorn."

"What's Foghorn Leghorn?"

"We've failed as parents.  Quick! Remedial cartoons!"

This teachable moment brought to you by ornithological carnage.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

I'd like to thank the Academy...

"We're really doing this?" asks David.

"I'm willing to try anything," I respond.

"All right, lie down."

He pulls the sheet over me before hefting up a weighted blanket.  Filled with 8 lbs of plastic beads, the blanket is deliciously cool against my body despite its weight.

I am forgoing a sleeping pill so that I that the results from this experiment will not be skewed.  If the weighted blanket relaxes me enough and stays cool enough, perhaps the night sweats won't come. Gratified with the sense of well being, I fall into a deep sleep...

Which lasts until my core temperature apparently melts all the little plastic beads and I find myself trapped under a molten weighted blanket pretty fucking sure that I'm being buried alive.

"GAH!!!  OFF!!  OFF!!!"  I kick and claw at the weighted blanket until it falls to the floor.

"Too much?" says David from beside me, reading a book on his phone.

"Too much!  I've melted the beads."

"I don't think that's possible love. Do you want a cool pack?"

"No, I don't want a cool pack!" I say petulantly.

"Do you want me to set up the fan and you can turn it on if you get too hot?"


"Would you like..." he begins, grasping at any straw to help ease my discomfort.

I take a breath. 

"I want to thank you," I say apologetically, clutching his hand, even though the feel of his warm skin makes me want to jump out the fucking window.  "I want to thank you for everything that you've done and do for me.  I want you to know that I am incredibly grateful for your support during this trying time, and I will do all that I can to continue to earn your support."

"Would you like to acknowledge the other nominees too?"

"Yes.  And I would like to..." I pause as a wave of heat-induced nausea hits me. I sprint to the bathroom. "GRAVOL!!"

"Take a sleeping pill too," he suggests.

I swallow two Gravol with two glasses of water, trying to recoup the liquids that I've lost through my sweating.  "Do not take any other sedatives with this medication," I yell to him as I read the label.

There's a pause as we both consider what the odds of my overdosing would be if I ingest a sleeping pill after two Gravol.

I climb back into bed.  "I will wait another two weeks to see if the natural herbs begin to work and then I'm going on HRT."

"Yeah?" David says, lying close, but not touching me.  He's been with me for the last 6 weeks. And he was here for the bout of night sweats last spring. He knows, insofar as a man who can't possibly know, what I'm going through. He knows that I'm perilously close to completely losing my shit.

"Yes. If my choice is to go the natural route and not sleep for possibly decades or to take HRT and cut my life short with associated risks to HRT?  I'm willing to give up those years and remain a relatively sane member of society with a sense of humour."

He takes a breath to say something, rethinks, then blows cold air all over my face.

"Imagine," I say.  "Imagine the worst sweaty balls that you have ever experienced.  But this bag sweat is so hot that your hand nearly burns if you touch them.  Those sweaty balls soak your boxers 5 times a night and make you want to puke your guts up every time."

He pales.

"And every time it happens you have a panic attack. Every single time."

"Whatever you want to do love, I'm with you."

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Suicidal Hand

Appendage depression doesn't get a lot of air play.  Unless of course the appendage is a penis and  then any story therein related will fill your news feed.

My left hand has a death wish.  To look at it, you wouldn't think that it's any different really from my right hand.  Fingers the same length - pretty much as strong.  In fact it should be happy, it has a saucy little mole  and I wear my wedding ring  on that hand.  My left hand should be all "Hey, check me out suckas!!" Instead it tries to commit suicide at least twice a week.

I walk or run daily on the treadmill.  Every other day in the midst of this obligatory cardio, my left arm randomly flails whereupon I whack the hell out of my left hand on the treadmill.  Without fail, my middle finger knuckles feel the brunt of of this flailing,  resulting in near permanent bruising and the inability to interlock fingers with anyone.

Perhaps it's not my entire hand that craves death, but rather only the knuckles of my middle finger.  Science has yet to create an accurate communication system with one's body, so I can't check this theory.

David has offered to wrap the body of the treadmill in protective foam for me.  And although having the treadmill encased in split pool noodles for my safety would add a certain je ne sais quoi to the equipment, I have graciously refused.  Mostly because being a grown woman who has to have things padded for her safety is patently ridiculous.

I will agree to wearing these though.   My workouts will now begin with revving noises.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Slept hard and woken up scarred.

With the maximum recommend dosage of Tylenol and Naproxen in my system to combat the migraine spike in my right eye, I collapse back into bed.  I adjust the cold beanbag on the back of my neck and another over my eyes.  Two and a half hours later, I awake pain-free and ready to head into work.

Catching my reflection in the bathroom mirror, I do a double take. My right eye is criss-crossed with disfiguring lines of dermatographia.  I look like the survivor of an aggressive sloth attack, ten years post trauma.  My scars, having healed, while still deep, are no longer angry and red.  I guess that during my drugged morning nap, I'd snuggled with the neck beanbag a little too intimately. I poke at the lines.  They're not going anywhere for awhile. Naturally, I had to take photos.

25 minutes later,  after having enjoyed breakfast, I'm back in the bathroom and find myself snorting at the longevity of the lines upon my middle-aged face.   While attempting to procure the first in a series of time-lapse photos showing the lack of elasticity in a peri-menopausal visage, I twist my head, and yowl as pain shoots through my left side.

I can't breathe!  There must be a carving knife lodged in my side!  Holy shit - I need to get to the hospital!  Where's the phone?  I need to call 9-1-1.  I need to...  Okay calm down Heather. Take a breath...  MOTHER FUCKER!! 

I KNOW this feeling.  I have displaced a rib.  Apparently, women of my age mustn't  snap self-mocking selfies while turning their heads at the same time.  What's next?  I'll pop a rib by blinking too hard?   I'd laugh at the ridiculousness of the circumstances if it didn't hurt so fucking much.  I haven't popped a rib in a couple of years, that must be why the pain is so brutal.  

"Or," says my chiropractor, upon examining me two hours later, "it could be because you've popped three ribs, not one."  

From turning my head.  

I'm drugged enough now that I can laugh.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Who let the lava queen in?


"Hmmm?  What?"  yawns David, before falling back asleep almost instantaneously.

It's 1:30 a.m. Moments ago I was curled next to David, really loving being the Big Spoon.  Now I am temperature of the sun.

The Lava Queen by Wasudo (Deviant Art)

Covers off.   I'm sweating from every pore in my torso...  neck...  scalp.  Ugh.  The Lava Queen is back and she's doing a floor show of excretion.  I stagger to the bathroom, drink two glasses of water, then lean against the sink, panting from my near self-inflicted drowning.

It's my own damned fault.  I had two drinks this evening.  One at dinner and then a Rusty Nail as a nightcap.  Too much alcohol.  Plus I'm on these stupid pills to regulate my period which I think are just fucking my hormones over.  Double whammy there.   Stupid.  It's been a few months since I've been hit this hard.   I thought it was done.  More the fool me.

No problem.  I'll just snuggle back into bed now that I'm cooler and... the sheets are all damp.  I look over at David.  Can I possibly re-sheet the bed with him still in it?  Unlikely. Fuck it.  If I have another flash, the cold sheets will feel fantastic.  See that?  Silver fucking lining.

The only problem is when I start to make the bed in the morning.  I probably shouldn't make the bed with wet sheets.  I could leave the covers off all day and then make the bed right before I go to sleep, or...

"Why are you taking the blow dryer into your bedroom?" asks Rissa.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Two brassieres, both alike in elasticity...

I hold two white pull-on sports bras in my hands.  I hadn't thought I had two exactly the same.  I lay them side by side on the bed, trying to find the well-washed sizing labels.  AHA!  Maybe if I put one on top of the other!

Yes!  The one on top is definitely smaller.  I lift it up and can see a very faint "S" on the inside back. 

"This is totally Rissa's.  I have just averted disaster!"

"Glad to hear," says David.

"If I had tried to stuff the girls in there?  Pandemonium."  I give a self-congratulatory fist bump to the air.

I start inserting my person into the correct brassiere.

"Oh for the love of..."

"You okay over there?"

"I'm good."

One full arm is through the sports bra.  I am struggling with the other arm.  My elbow is caught.  Then it's not.  The bra is now tight around my collar bone - a man-made fabric boa constrictor. I wrestle with the brassiere's band.



"I just stabbed myself with my fingernail."

"How?"  (David has yet to look at me.)

"Because," I pant, "this brassiere is made to keep breasts down, so it's super..." SNAP!  "Oh COME ON!"

 "You need some help there?"

"No, I'm fine."  I continue my struggle.  I pause.  Struggle again.  Stop.  "Yes please."

"We could make money from this on pay-per-view."


He notices my bleeding finger.  "Jeeze.  You weren't kidding."

"I'm telling you.  This is a full-contact sport.  Just imagine if two women were doing this."

"I say again - we need our own pay-per-view channel."

Monday, January 16, 2017

Does anyone's carpet match their curtains?

For once I am not talking about my pubic hair, or even referring to yours.  ('Cause let's face it, the boat carrying that particular shade of carpet sailed decades ago when I discovered Flirt hair colour.)

It's all about lipstick.  Please follow my idiomatic extrapolation.  I've been testing lipstick shades on the back of my hand for many years. Okay, I'm lying.  I haven't really been using the back of my hand, which I only just discovered, according to the internet, is the recommended body part you're supposed to test lipstick on.  I've been using the inside of my wrist, because when I started trying on cosmetics (probably with the leftovers from Avon parties), the inside of the wrist was the rumoured place that one tried lipsticks.  I began lipstick trials when I was about 10, and haven't thought that I needed to change my methodology because why mess with a good thing - unless one realizes it's not a good thing - which is what happened last night.

My pattern has been this: I go to Shoppers Drug Mart for something other than lipstick.  Somehow on my way to find the random 'other than lipstick' item, I wind up browsing the cosmetic aisle.  Whilst in the cosmetic aisle, I find several shades of lipstick that I think might be 'the ones,' which I then test on the inside of my left wrist.  I haphazardly hold that wrist next to my face in the bad fluorescent lighting, and then, based on the best of the 'wrist test,' I take my prize-winning, exorbitantly-priced colours home.

I get home, properly apply said lipstick and immediately think the lighting is bad, my eyes are bad or maybe I was really high when I chose the colours in the first place, because the new lipsticks make me look like a clown hooker.  I easily have 10 different shades of the perfect 1950s red for this reason.

Now some of you might be saying to yourself, why don't you just use the testers?  On your actual lips?  If you are one of these people, Are you OUT of your fucking mind?  A cold sore will be the least of your worries.  Cold, flu and viral meningitis anyone?

If you want to apply the testers at Shoppers to your lips, you need to come prepared.  You have to have a bottle of alcohol handy, something you can wipe those suckers off with, and little lipstick palettes or swabs to get that colour onto your lips. Or you ask for help from the gal at the cosmetic counter, which you never generally do as a Canadian because you don't want to inconvenience anyone, and let's face it, choosing the 'right' lipstick with proper empirical testing is going to take you upwards of 16 hours.

Last night, dissatisfied and confused by the practical results of my two new "wrist-approved" lipsticks - I turned said wrist to my face.  As I gazed into our bathroom mirror, an epiphany struck, whacking me upside the head while singing out the word  DUUUUUU-FUS!!!  at the top of its epiphanic lungs.  My face is nowhere close to the same shade as my wrist nor the back of my hand.  Not even a little bit.  It use to be, before peri-menopause hit and my skin went all sallow and melasma-y, but no longer.

No wonder lipsticks never look the way I think they will - the comparative skin I've been using doesn't exist on my face! The closest thing to the skin on my face is the patchy, freckly bit on my decolletage that got badly sunburnt last April which has yet to return to the 'fish belly white' skin that exists on every other part of my body but my face.  My sun-damaged decolletage is the perfect lipstick testing spot!  And really, apart from the odd looks that I'll get when I start drawing on my boobs in Shoppers (plus the subsequent jumping up to get a good look at these colours in any of the face-level mirrors), I am confident that this technique will serve me well. 

*I wasn't sure of the correct phrasing for the idiom 'Does the carpet match the curtains?' There were conflicting reports online.   So  I called my parents.  When my Dad answered the phone I asked him, "Is it 'does the carpet match the curtains or carpet match the drapes?' " He replied that it depended upon what side of the Atlantic you were on.  He's British, so he went with curtains.  When I asked my Mom, she went with drapes.  I liked the alliteration of the double c's, hence the post's title.  What's great? Neither of them batted and eye when I asked.  They get me.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Never use the magnifying mirror.

"Do you see this?" I ask.

"What?"  David is towelling his hair.

"This."  I turn the left side of my face to him.  "This."

He comes closer.  Looks.  Then looks again.  "I don't see anything."

"This."  I use my finger to show him what I'm talking about.  

"I don't see anything."

"I'm growing a beard."

"You are not growing a beard."

"I AM!"  I pull the fine hair from my jawline between my thumb and forefinger now.  "Right here."

"You're crazy."

"I can see it!  In the mirror HERE!"

"You mean in the mirror that magnifies things 5 times their regular size?  That mirror?"

"Here in this light here!" I twist my jaw up to the light and then pull his face closer.  "HERE!  See that?"

"Well, when you twist all around like that, and under the blinding light, and all up close, yeah."

"I TOLD you.  It's a beard."

"It's not a beard.  It's... down... like goose down."

I shoot him a look.

"Swan," he says quickly.  "Swan down.  You're very swanny."

"One morning I'm going to wake up with Mutton chops."

"But they'll be mostly invisible."

"But they'll still be there."

"Then you can be really confident in your application to the biker gang."

I absentmindedly tug at my downy mutton chops as I think about the possibilities.

"Just maybe don't use that as your go-to gesture when you're deep in thought," he says.  Then he ducks.