Saturday, July 31, 2010


There is a war going on in my house.

I will concede that I have just lost a battle, but know that I am determined to win the war.

I had a beautiful wandering jew plant in my kitchen.  It hung gracefully down the plant stand.  Full and lush.  Then it met Rocky, who strategically shredded it within days.  Rocky was cunning too.  He did his damage at night when he knew he wouldn't meet the fly swatter.  I had to resort to the fly swatter when the water thing didn't work out in my favour.

I saved the few pieces of plant that I could.  I'm starting to root them all over again.  You can see the spider plant babies in the background were a casualty of war too.

After careful observation I determined that Rocky wanted two things -- one to play with the plant and two, to have the windowsill they were sitting on.  See, the sunlight there is perfect for a napping kitten, unfortunately that's why it's the perfect place for my houseplants to flourish. 

In the end, I conceded.

I moved plants around so that there was a napping space available.  This is Rocky "hiding."  He didn't know he'd beaten me yet.

This is Rocky enjoying his victory.

I lost this one, but I resolved to stay firm on the "no cats at the table" rule!

Friday, July 30, 2010

new contraption

My friend calls our backyard "the Camp" because there are so many kid things to do.  In truth, I think it's as much fun for DH as it is for the gang.

We have a new contraption.  It's the swingset that looks a bit like a shop chain-fall behind the shed.

It's 13 feet out of the ground.  There's 6 feet in the ground.  The construction of the mighty swingset was quite the production.  We had the loader, tractor and gator all involved.  All that horsepower and I only got to run the level and hold the ladder.  The gang got the motorized stuff.... 
But I'm okay with that -- less responsibility that way. 

It's so high that you get a really nice swing going; even I have been swinging.  As long as I don't put my head back, or close my eyes, or go too high I don't get any vertigo or tummy oopsy-daisies.  It's a really good ab work out too.

So if you call, and I say I'm working out I might be on the contraption...

Monday, July 26, 2010

I don't know what to call this post....

So I'm in the kitchen chopping rhubarb yesterday when I hear the unmistakable sound of a snowmobile.  Snowmobile?  It's July.  It's 28C outside.  Couldn't be.

This is what I see.  This is the Boy on our old sled.  In the field.  In his flip flops.

Then this is the Boy on his dad's machine.  Still wearing flip flops (but notice he has a helmet on too!)

I know, I know, you are thinking what parent allows their child to race around on a snowmobile in July.  I guess I should have sent him back to the shed instead of getting the camera out.

This is what the other responsible parent chose to do.....

Sigh.  Only in Canada   in Small Town on the Estate. 
I am a RedNeck mamma.....

Saturday, July 24, 2010


So DH and I had this plan.  We figured that if Rocky scratched the furniture or jumped on the table etc. then we would squirt him with water.  We assumed that if we did that a few times he would learn not to do certain things.  He's a smart cat, he'd catch on quickly....

The other night I caught him on the counter, in the kitchen sink.  Perfect place for the water discipline plan.  I turned the tap hose on him.  He did not leave the sink.  I don't think he even blinked.  I soaked that wee guy and he did not care.  Then I felt really bad cause he seemed to be half his size and he was dripping wet.  I set him on the floor and carefully dried him off with the closest tea towel.  Clearly, the discipline plan we had so carefully worked out was not working as we had assumed it would.

Next day we had Rocky outside in the garden.  He discovered my fountain.  Interesting.  Then he discovered he could walk around in it.... and splash.  Cool. 

We've  nixed the squirt bottle plan.

New plan? 

Beat him.

And then he does cute things like sleep on my phone books and I know I'll never spank him.  He now has licence to run amok.  Someday I'll be saying things like "playing on the table again?  Okay.  Just this once." Or "it's okay that you've shredded my wandering jew plant, it only took me two years to get it that full and lush." 

It's a good thing the Boy and Girl understand "time out."  My parenting options of squirt bottle, beating or spoiling completely are pretty limited. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

More Rocky

Conversation with DH last night
Me:  DH, Rocky has been chasing his tail for 20 minutes!  What do you think that says about him?
DH:  You've been watching a cat chase his tail for 20 minutes.  What do you think that says about you?
End of conversation.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Again, not mother-of-the-year

The Boy played in a baseball tournament this weekend.  I had second thoughts about letting him play because he's been sick and on the couch for the past week.  He begged, and gave me those big blue eyes and a "please, mommy."  I never get "mommy" unless he wants something, I shouldn't be so suckered in....

We left for the tournament at 6:30am on Saturday morning. Yep, 6:30AM (while DH and the Girl slept in.) The first game was at 8:00am.

At 7:55am I gave the boy some cough syrup.  I didn't want him to do his cough-bark during the game.....

At 8:30am I thought the Boy was moving a little slowly.  But he wasn't coughing, so I wasn't too concerned.

At 8:35 I realized that something just wasn't right with his movements.... then it dawned on me.  The cough medicine comes with a warning -- may cause dizziness....  Clearly caused dizziness. 
After the game I asked the Boy how he was feeling.  He said "a little light headed.  But I did okay, I just tried to catch the middle ball."  The middle ball?  "Yeah, sometimes I saw 3 coming at me, so I just put the glove towards the middle one......" 

Next game I didn't dope him up.  I figured a coughing fit was better than a ball in the head....  Yep, that's mother-of-the-year thinking right there, folks.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Rocky the Great

Rocky loves shoes.  I know, I know.  A cat after my own heart. 

He attacks the Girl's flip flops on a regular basis.  That's why the kids don't put their shoes away.  Yeah, that's why they don't put their shoes away.....

But this is what I don't get.....

These are the Boy's shoes.  The shoes he refuses to wear socks with in the summer time........

They are funky, funky boy shoes.  Yuck.  And Rocky loves them.  So now they smell like funky boy and cat spit.                                                                                                                                                    

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Another New Friend

Another little buddy on the estate...
I got up early (I know it's summer and I'm off, how early is early???) and noticed this little fella peeking out of the tree by our deck.  He was sleeping 'til he heard me open and close the door; then he sat very patiently while I adjusted my lens for the morning light.
I showed DH our visitor but he didn't think he was as cute as I did.  In the afternoon DH and DS used the loader bucket -- specifically  DS drove the loader and DH got in the bucket so he could get a lift to the hole.  Inside he found 5 baby raccoons -- no, he didn't take any photos, he was worried about mamma attacking him. 
So, now our little 'coon family has been safely removed to a more rural area a couple of miles out of town.  And I am relieved that DH was neither attacked, nor dumped out of the loader bucket by the Boy.

Monday, July 12, 2010

yum, yum, yummo

Famous Peanut Butter Squares.
DH loves these.  They may be the reason he married, they're not the reason he married me, but they might be the reason he stays married to me.  These are super easy to make, and are a comfort food around here.
DS isn't feeling well and his appetite has disappeared.  I'm hoping that the PB Squrares will help.  I know, I know, most mothers would make chicken soup or something nutritious.  Me, I do dessert instead (the jello is setting in the frig.)
Here's the recipe.  Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. 

1 cup brown sugar and one cup corn syrup.  Mix together in a big pot (it has to be big 'cause you'll need lots of room when you add the cornflakes.) Bring to a boil then remove from heat and add 1 cup of peanut butter.  Mix well. 
Then add 5-6 cups corn flakes.  Mix well -- this is hard work 'cause you want to cover all the cornflakes, so keep stirring and flipping (there is probably a cooking turn for this motion, but I don't know what it is.)  Spread into a greased glass baking dish.  Flatten slightly with the back of a spoon.  Hint:  if you cover the back of the spoon with cooking spray first then then the cornflakes won't stick to it. 
Spinkle a couple of handfuls of chocolate chips over the top.  This is important -- don't put too many on.  Too many chocolate chips sends the chocolate/sugar/peanut butter ratio off.  Put the pan in a 350F oven for about 3-5 min.  You'll know when it's done when the chocolate chips are shiny. Then mush down the chocolate chips with a knife to spread them out a bit.

It's really okay to lick the spoons and pan.....The squares go so fast at my house sometimes that's the only way to guarantee I get any...

Sunday, July 11, 2010


 I LOVE MY GATOR!  I was not thrilled in December when the family came home with MY Christmas present.  Who's kidding who?  A gator for mom... I don't think so.
But I take all the nasty things I said (yep, they were nasty) back.  I gardened all day today and used the gator for everything -- hauling mulch, hauling plants, hauling and dumping weeds and dirt, carrying my watering cans and tools.  It was also my shady spot when I took my water breaks.  I'm no longer sure how I functioned with a wagon and four-wheeler or wheel barrow.  I'm spoiled.
So spoiled that I have debated asking DH for a garage door opener -- it's a pain to get off the gator to open the shed door.....

Saturday, July 10, 2010

gender differences

So I took Roxy to the vet yesterday for her shots and check up.  Turns out Roxy has "boy parts" that are not obvious by looking -- who knew?  You can only tell by squeezing the right parts..... 
I debated not telling the family as they had their hearts set on a girl, but I thought that might be denying the male Roxy a chance to be who he is.  DD and I were quite okay with leaving the name as it was, but the males on the estate (especially DS) were adament that a "girl name" was inappropriate.  I think DS pictured the cat getting beat up -- the sissy cat on the playground...
So after much debate we went with Rocky.  I'm not sure it's a gentile enough name because he really seems to be a gentleman -- a combination of rock star wild-man and aristocrat, really. 
In just 2 days he has become a part of the family -- boy parts and all. 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Meet Roxy

Meet Roxy
We decided it was time to have a new cat on the estate.  It just seemed like something (someone?) was missing since Reebok passed away in December.  Friends of ours on a farm just outside of town had some kittens in May that fit our requirements (friendly, female and brown tabby). We brought her home today, and before the jeep was in park in the driveway the kids had her name -- Roxy.  I was rooting for either "Katmandu" or  "Wikipedia" myself, but Roxy suits our wee lady just fine.  So far she has sniffed her way all around the first floor, jumped off and on the couch a dozen times -- they don't have a couch in the farm driving shed, I'm guessing, and had 3 naps.  She has also just made use of her litter box already (yeah, she's smart too!).  She makes my babies happy, and has possibly filled a hole in my heart and home that only a pet can mend. 

Sunday, July 4, 2010


I like to garden, but I am not particularly knowledgable about it.  I look for leaves and flowers on plants that I like and I stick 'em in the ground.  If they don't grow, then I stick something else in that space the next year.  If it does grow, I do a little happy dance, and then I divide the plant and stick it somewhere else.  I water when I remember and I weed regularly, 'cause this is my meditation. 

My approach to pruning is also hap-hazard.  Much like my approach to my own hair.  Every now and then I notice it's looking shaggy (my hair, or the bushes) and then I wack off the piece(s) sticking out.  My DS (dear sister) is my hair dresser.  She can attest to my weak attempts to prune my bangs.....

Yesterday I noticed the bushes at the front of the house were out of control.  They didn't bug me the day before, but yesterday they definitely needed a trim.  I have a really nice hedge trimmer that DH gave me years ago, but I don't like it.  It's too precise.  I don't do the box or globe look for my bushes.  I just grab the pieces that are sticking out and bugging me, and then I cut them off. 

I did  pretty well with the dogwood and black one (I call it Sambooka, but I'm  pretty sure that's an alcoholic beverage, not a shrub), but I couldn't reach the top of the yew.  DH doesn't like to help me with pruning.  He lacks patience and vision, I say.   He says something entirely different.  In the past I've asked him for a boost, but I know from experience he won't help me.  I don't blame him -- I wouldn't want to lift a lady with clippers over my head either... at least not when her definition of pruning is "just cut off anything that is sticking out weird...."  You know, those ears and all....