Saturday, July 23, 2011

Anthropoligical Study

While I was away at camp, our long-awaited new-er car came home from it's trips to the auto body shop and mechanic.

We bought this car at an insurance auction in the very early Spring, while there was still snow on the ground.  I have been waiting a very long time for this vehicle.

It is kind of interesting to buy a car at an auction.  You get it completely as is.  The previous owners literally walked away from this car and left a lot of stuff behind.  Here is what I know about the previous owners of my new-er car:
  • They had a pet with a lot of very long white hair who liked to travel.
  • They really loved the black tree-shaped air fresheners.  (After removing around five of them from the rear view mirror I am now paranoid about what sorts of odors they were covering up and when I will discover them)
  • Given the sheer number of ponytail holders found all over the car, they had at least one girl.
  • They are missing one pink glove.
  • The driver liked Tim Horton's.
  • They preferred Crayola crayons.
  • Someone had a Nintendo DS, and they are missing their hard-sided case. (Emmett thought that was awesome.  Free DS Case with purchase!) 
  • They liked eating crackers in the backseat.
  • and oranges
  • and raisins
  • Someone smoked, but not very often in the car.  The ashtray was a little bit dirty, but there were no telltale stains on the ceiling of the car and no scorch marks anywhere.
  • They didn't use the change caddy for money, but preferred to melt candy in it instead.
  • A lot of sticky drinks were splashed around. (8 cup holders, ALL sticky)
  • They used their car as an instrument for auditory torture did not have the same taste in music that we have. (Celine Dion, Nickleback, and Kidz Bop CDs were all left in the car.)
When I first saw the condition of the interior (and that was after Richard cleared out the fast food fliers and random papers and some garbage strewn about) I thought "These people are slobs!  How could they let their car get so dirty??"  And then I cast my eye around the Big Blue Dustbuster that I currently drive and realized that because it wasn't MY junk, I noticed it so much more.  When you fill your car with garbage bit by bit, I don't think you really notice how much is piling up until it reaches a critical mass.

What does your car say about you?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hi Honey, I'm Home!

A couple of days ago I returned from my annual trip to The Lake to work as the First Aid Officer at a summer camp.  I love this camp.  I love going.  This year I patched together enough help that I could leave the kids with their Dad and a few Grandparents and go ALONE.  I know!  What a concept!

Now, I wasn't really alone as I had to watch over the staff and campers, but I had my own cabin, and my own time to do whatever I wanted.  I read.  I knit. I watched cheesy movies.  I went swimming with a lovely black Lab and her sweet owner. I sang the same campfire songs that I have sung for decades.

The dark circles that are always under my eyes disappeared, even after a couple of 16 hour days of tending to the various and sundry illnesses and injuries that happen at a summer camp.  The tension that is always lingering between my shoulder blades and in my forehead almost disappeared.  I feel refreshed and restored.

Of course, all good things have to come to an end, and my re-entry into the real world is not coming without some speed bumps.  I still have a bit of unpacking to do.  Laundry.  I brought home the bulk of it as my mom loves me and always sends the kids she looks after home with clean things, but now that we are all home the daily laundry added to my camp laundry has set me back a bit.  When all of the kids are trying to make up for my absence for a week by all clambering for my attention I feel the tension in my shoulders creeping back in and I have a "Marge Simpson" moment.

It was sooooo worth it.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

It was the Perfect Summer Day

It was a gorgeous sunny day.  The perfect day for a hike.
Emmett needed lots of encouragement to go hiking instead of sitting indoors playing computer games.
We stayed at the back of the line and looked at butterflies...
...and dragonflies.
A couple of kilometers is a long way for a little guy.
He had to stop and smell the flowers sometimes. 
We saw a lot of these.  I have no idea what they are, but they sure are pretty, aren't they?
Of course, the spell had to be broken in the car on the way home, when everyone was overtired and bug bitten.  (you don't want to know how many wood ticks came off of these three!)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Where are YOU from?

I am from Baby Sitters Club Books, from Cabbage Patch Kids and Sassy Magazine.

I am from the spotless bungalow on the corner with petunias in the front and a dog house in the back.

I am from an undeveloped subdivision full of dirt and trees, a winding river and secret imaginary worlds. 

I am from camping in the rain and doing your best with what you have, from Great Grandma Catherine and Barb and Lloyd and Grandmas Alice and Jean, Grandpas Glen and Harvey.

I am from spending, not saving, and from learning that anyone can be a member of the family, whether you share DNA with them or not.
From:  "stay close to your family" and "take care of each other".

I am from singing in the church choir on Sundays, but never talking about personal beliefs or politics.

I'm from  the Prairies and the Parkland.  From meat and potatoes. From pirogi and holopchi from the baba down the street.  From angel food cake and rice crispy treats and Grandma's rhubarb pie.

From band practice, yearbook meetings and Girl Guides. From skating lessons in the winter and swimming lessons in the summer. 

I am from from the feeling of never quite fitting in.  I am from rising above what others thought of me and growing stronger from their hurtful words and actions, from dark moments of loneliness and despair. 
I am from a shoebox full of eyeglasses of increasing thickness.  From bad perms and braces. 

I am from the few moments the real me were allowed to shine through. I am  from photo albums full of achievements, big and small.  From a scrapbook full of merit badges and photocopied photos of happy summer camp days.  From slapping mosquitos and singing silly songs around a campfire.  From long drives on dusty back roads in a little red Toyota truck.

 I am from the hope that things can always get better.

Dang it, Jason!  This was a much harder post to write than I thought it would be.  I am feeling quite exposed now.

Where are YOU from?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Matthew's first movie.

Yesterday we decided to take the whole family to the movies.  We chose Cars 2 because Matthew loves Lightening McQueen so much.

As we stood in line to get our tickets and popcorn, Matthew spotted the theatre's arcade.  He then totally forgot why we were at the theatre and I had to drag him crying off of a video game so we could get to our seats.

He gobbled up his candy and popcorn during the previews in between holding his hands over his ears.  He asked to go to the bathroom during the Toy Story short before the movie started so I missed the ending, which made me sad.  Matthew then decided that running up and down the corridor to the bathroom was much more fun than sitting still and watching a movie, so he asked me one more time a little later, and then Richard took him a THIRD time after that.  When he asked a fourth time, Richard left me with Emmett and Charlotte and he took Matthew to run a quick errand.  When the movie was over we found them in the theatre arcade.

The movie itself was OK.  Not Pixar's best.  I didn't feel the heart and soul like I usually do.  Emmett loved the action sequences and I saw him bobbing excitedly up and down in his seat through them.  Charlotte actually curled up and fell asleep in her seat through the middle of the movie.

My favourite part was Tokyo.  The Pixar-fied city was luminous and beautiful.  The rest of the movie just felt like it was rather lazily written and patched together. I am glad we didn't pay extra to see it in 3D.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Summer Holidays has begun.
To celebrate, I added a dash of colour to my hair.

I also reached a new low in my level of klutziness this week.  I reached over to steal a delicious nacho off of Richard's plate and somehow scratched my throat on a sharp corner.  It hurts a lot.  I am having a hard time swallowing things.  Richard really doesn't like it when I steal his nachos.  Karma is a bitch.

Tune in tomorrow when I tell a story about Matthew's first trip to the movies.