Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Boy's joke 3

What is brown and sticky?

A stick.

The Love Tree

If you have ever attended my school, or lived in the neighbourhood you would recognize this tree.  It stands in the middle of the very large playing field.  All of the other trees on the yard have been relatively newly planted. 

This is called the "Love Tree."

Legend has it that the Love Tree was so named because years ago, students carved their intials in the tree.  KB + RB etc.

If you look way up, you can still see some of the carvings.

This tree marks the boundaries of the play yard.  Students are not to go past the Love Tree.  I actually say that on the annoucements each September.  "Remember, don't go past the Love Tree at recess."

When I first visited the school, the June before I was to become principal, I asked a group of students to tell me about the recess rules.  They each referred to the Love Tree.

When I meet former students, most inquire if this tree is still standing, and if it still marks "out of bounds."

I find great comfort in this tree.  I think it's the history it holds, and represents.  But it's not static -- you can't say the tree never changes, it does with each season.  Just like the kids who play beneath it. 

Just like me.
KB + RB 4 ever.

Monday, September 27, 2010

learning somethin'

On Friday I was called urgently to the Grade 2 room by one of the special needs students. 
"Camera, Camera" he was calling.
I rushed with my camera to find out what the action was all about.
The "action" was this.

The caterpillar/cocoon/butterfly was opening it's new wings.

Several weeks ago, the caterpillar escaped it's jar-house.  The class looked all day for it -- under desks, bookshelves and in the book bins.  By the end of the day one of the girls had found that it was no longer the caterpillar, but a cocoon had formed on the Science bulletin board. 

They've been watching it every day since.

So here's the cool thing. 

On Friday morning, the class noticed some changes in the cocoon, so they watched it a little more regularly.  Then they watched the butterfly emerge, plump it's wings and finally spread them.  It took a good part of the day.

So the 20 Grade 2s stood this still, oooo-ing and ah-ing and exclaiming at every movement, every change.

It was an amazing thing to watch -- both the butterfly and the kids.

I love that this teacher "let the day go" so her students could be part of such an event.

I think more learning happened here, than any book, video, podcast or DVD could supply.

And I was reminded of the power of wonder.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

sane or not sane? that is the question

My last few posts have contained such words as "insane," "crazy," and "MHI."  Got me a bit worried, reading them over.  Thought I'd better have a check in with me moment, just to clarify my actual state of mind.

Here's my findings.  I am not crazy in the literal sense.  However, I recognize there are those that would argue that point (Sis, DH, Boy, Girl etc) on any given day. 

Here's my reasoning.  I figure a crazy person thinks they are perfectly sane, and everyone else around them is nuts.  Me, I figure I have some MHI, and everyone else around me is perfectly sane and normal.  I see myself as the only nut in the crowd. 

If one recognizes their own craziness, it must mean they aren't actually.

Right?  RIGHT????

Saturday, September 25, 2010

confession of insanity

I've been mulling over this post for a few days now.  I decided to write it, 'cause it's been the thing on my mind for several days, so I've got nuttin' else to post. I"ll warn you now, it might make you itchy, or scared of me....

Here we go.

We had a team of volunteers do head lice checks at our school this week.  Whenever the thought of headlice enters my head, I get itchy.  (You are right now too, aren't you?)

That afternoon I became convinced that I had head lice.  Absolutely convinced.  I called DH.  He told me to calm down.  Then I called Sis, because she is a hairdresser, and she knows how this would freak me out.
The call went something like this:

Me:  Sis, I think I have headlice.
Sis:  Are you itchy?
Me:  Yes.  Everywhere.
Sis:  How long has your head been itchy?
Me:  Since this afternoon.
Sis:  (pause) Since the headlice ladies came to your school to check the kids?  Since you started thinking about it?
Me:  Yes.  And I know it's bad.
Sis:  You are freaking out, aren't you?
Me:  Yes, I'm freaking out. 
Sis:  Calm down.  I will check your head when you get home tonight.
Me:  Sniff.  Sniff.  Okay.
Sis:   Don't freak out.

So what did I do? 

I freaked out.  I changed babysitting plans because I didn't want my teenage friend in a house crawling with  lice.  I made Girl help me strip all the beds, gather the decorative cushions and quilts, collect all stuffed animals, doll clothes, towels, laundry etc.  We carried all of it to the basement.  We created a mountain of laundry.  Possibly 30 loads worth....

Then it occurred to me I ought to check Girl.  Nope, she didn't have any sign of bugs or nits.
But me, I was sure I was crawling with them.  I told Girl to stay away from me.

Then I went to Sis's house.  I proudly told her all I had done to start the disinfecting process. 
Then she checked my head.  She took her time; she went through each strand.
Then she declared, "you do not have headlice."

Me:  Are you sure?  I'm itchy.  I can feel things crawling.  It feels like I am infested.
Sis:  You are infested with a raging case of crazy...  (these aren't her exact words, but I know her well enough to know she thought I was nuts.)

So now, bug free, I have a month's worth of laundry to finish this weekend. 
I also know that a saner person might just gather up the quilts and throw pillows and put them back where they belong. 

But it's been established that I have MHI (mental health issues) about some things, so I just can't put them back; they've touched a laundry basket and the basement floor.  I have to sort, wash, dry and then replace.

While I do that, I will try really, really hard not to imagine bedbugs.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Crazy things make me happy

My spice cupboard makes me happy. 
Happy because it's all lined up.
Happy because it's labelled.
All is in order.  It's easy to find.  It's organized.
When I open the cupboard, this truly makes me feel all is right with the world.

This makes me a bit happy too.  Not totally over-the-moon happy, but definitely grin-generating.
I'd smile wider if the lasagne noodles were in containers, not their boxes.  And I'd be absolutely giddy if the lids were all the same colour.
But I'm pretty-okay-happy because I can find everything and the labels are all the same font.

I know.  Weird.  But that's the way I roll (and smile).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


This is Lacey.  I borrowed her a few times this summer for a class in Girl's horse shows.

Lacey has reminded me of the thing I was missing, that I didn't even know I was missing. 

I have missed horses, and I have missed riding.  (It's been 20 years...)

And now the show season is over and I have no idea what I will do with this new/old void. 

I do know that Girl feels the same way about riding Strawberry Shortcake.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Bad Day

There is a poster I've seen somewhere that says, "When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."

That's crap.

 I think when you've come to the end of your rope you should acknowledge it.  Say, "I'm done." Then you should let go and hope to fall into a vat of chocolate.  Indulge and wallow a bit. Then climb out.  Grab your fuzzy pajamas and a wine (alternatively you could fall into a vat of wine and then grab chocolate). Then I think you should be able to say "I had a crappy day.  I'm not doing anymore today.  I'm not hanging on to be brave or to save face.  I am just done.  Tomorrow I will attempt to climb the rope again.  But I'm not just hangin' in there anymore."

And I think you should not feel guilty about that attitude or the indulgences.

That's what I think.

I'm done.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


"Think what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about three o'clock every afternoon and then lay down on our blankets for a nap."
~Robert Fulghum.

just sayin'....

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It's called "trick the people"

Trick Number One:
It's called "hide under the china cabinet." 

If you have been especially bad --like, if you've been on the counter, or into a plant, or if you've been on the table sticking your paws into a vase and wrecking a bouquet, or if you've put teeth marks in a shoe -- this is a good trick.

Here's how it works.  As soon as you hear/see/smell people coming run, then DIVE, dive, dive under the China cabinet.  Then peek one eye out to see what is going on, and to make sure no one has noticed anything amuck in the kitchen.  This trick is effective for two reasons:  1) no one can get to you under the cabinet, unless you get cocky and stick your head out for too long and 2) if you are here, how can you have done such damage way over there?  Clearly, people, there's been a mistake.

This trick has two drawbacks: 1) Sometimes you have to hide for a long time, because it seems, people, especially the big red-headed one, have long memories.  2) When you are a growing kitty sometimes you forget to take into account that your head is larger than it once was.

Trick Number Two:

If you have been a bad kitty -- like, you've dug in a plant and then walked through the bathroom sink and left muddy footprints all over the counter, if you have taken a sock or two (not matching, of course), if you have hidden hair elastics or barettes, if you have scratched a chair or climbed a curtain -- this is a good trick.

Here's how it works.  As soon as you hear/see/smell people coming, run then leap onto The Chair.  Hold your head up high but not too high, look interested but not too interested, pose in a slightly arrogant, somewhat aristocratic manner.  This trick is effective for two reasons:  1) if I am here doing this, I could not have done that, and 2) Look at me.  I am beautiful.  Would I have stooped so low?

This trick has two drawbacks. 1) If your paws are muddy, you've not only given yourself away but you've also muddied The Chair.  2) When you are on The Chair, you are readily accessible and vulnerable.  There is no place to hide, and looks can only take you so far....

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Boy says "Mom, blogging is so yesterday.  We're glogging now."
Glogging?  Kinda sounds like the way I describe a backed-up sink to DH.

Boy learned to Glog on the first day of school.  He is so keen on it, that he's done his glog homework every night without being asked.  And I have to admit, it's pretty cool.

Glogging is like making a one-page poster that can include all types of media -- pictures, video, clipart, text, sound, and data.  You have colour, font, sizing, graphic options by the hundreds.  It is a bit addictive.

Boy taught me, so I taught my Grade 6s today. Already they know way more than I do, and I had about a 19 hour jump on their learning....

When I get my first glog done (I'm slow) I'll link it to this blog.  ....Even if the blog is old news.

PS  If you are keen google "Glogster" and get started.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I tried to get a photo.  I even had the camera ready, but by the time I got to the playroom to take a picture of the CLEAN floor, it wasn't clean anymore.  Girl had been there.  'nough said.  Picture "PigPen" from Charlie Brown fame.

Last night DH and I were flipping through channels.  We came upon the reality show "Buried Alive" the stories of hoarders.  It was fascinating in a train-wreck sort of way.  The lady they featured  had a beautiful home that was stuffed to the roof with stuff, junk.  Her husband had left the house 3 years before because he couldn't live in the chaos.  For the episode he was coming back into the house for the first time.  I said to DH "if that were me, I'd open the door and then turn around and leave.  I couldn't do it."  And I couldn't.

I recognize hoarders have serious mental health issues.  And I don't make light of that. I just recognize my own MHI (mental health issues) and clutter/chaos trigger near breakdown in me.  Hence my aversion to the playroom after Girl has let loose.  It is best for me to avoid that room.  All I have to do is walk in the room and my crazy sets in.  Piles, mess, stuff on the floor (anyplace, not just the playroom) send me to lou-lou land and I have to get out.

Girl hangs on to "stuff."  Every piece of paper and craft ever made is held in a special place in her  heart.  It literally causes pain to throw things out.  She's too sentimental.  Me, I am the opposite.  There are very, very few things I feel that kind of attachment to -- my internal organs, and the organs and souls of my peeps would be about it.

If I had to choose actual items to save from a fire I'd say I'd pick my wedding ring, the Royal Doulton that was my grandma's, and the first painting DH gave me.  I'd have to say Rocky too (even if he started the fire, 'cause I wouldn't put it past the punk.)  That's it.  Everything else can be replaced.  It's just stuff. 

That's why I could never relate to the hoarding thing.  I can't imagine surviving in such chaos. 

I need my peeps, and I need tidy.  Now if I could just train the peeps to be tidy.....

Boy's Joke 2

So a pirate walks into a bar.  He has a steering wheel attached to the front of his pants. 
The bartender says "hey man, did ya know ya gotta steering wheel on yer pants."
And the pirate says "RRRRRrrrr, it's drivin' me nuts."

Again -- I apoligize, it's Boy humour.  You either get it or you don't.  Creates a mental image though....

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Boy's joke

Did you know diarhea is genetic?
It runs in jeans (genes)!

I don't encourage -- I just laugh and pass along!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Canning. Nesting?

When I was pregnant with Boy I had the undeniable urge to can stuff.  I'd never canned anything before in my life, but I really, really, needed to make my own salsa, relish, chili sauce (there, you know my hormones were making me wack, 'cause who even knows what to do with chili sauce?) and jams.  I made it all. 

There in lay the difficulty for all future summer harvests.  DH loved all that I made.  So, for 12 summers now I spend a day or two in July making jams and many days in August doing something with tomatoes and cucumbers and zucchini.  This year I made rhubarb jam for the first time.  Yummy.  I also did 2 double batches of salsa, cucumber relish and canned the rest of the tomatoes to use for soup and stews in the winter.

I don't pretend to be any kind of cook or baker.  I make some stuff that people like, but I will never win any awards.  So, even though the kitchen gets humid, sticky, and smelly like peppers and vinegar I will continue to can (even though the desire to "nest" lost it's compulsion about 12 years ago) because when my peeps open a jar of something they ALWAYS  say it's the best.  E.D. Smith has nothing on Momma in their eyes....

Also, as Boy pointed out, if we are ever trapped in the basement during a tornado we would never starve -- we could eat jam and salsa for weeks!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I've had difficulties with water this week.

On Monday, after my run (when was in my sweaty-smelly mode) I tried to take a shower.  I say tried 'cause I could only get scalding hot water from the tap.  I tried all the usual jiggling of the knob, turning off, waiting patiently (well, not so patiently, but there was definitely a pause).  Nothing worked.  I hollered for DH.  Said a cuss word (promised I'd put a loonie in the swear jar) and then nearly cried when DH said the valve in the thingy that controls the whatsit must be broken. 

I trekked downstairs to our never-used-shower-cause-now-it's-a-broom-closet.  Emptied the shower/broom closet and had my shower there.  It's not the same.  It's small.  I didn't have my favourite soap.  I banged my elbow ('nother buck for the jar...)

When I got out of my shower I had calmed somewhat and decided a cup of tea would soothe the spirit.  When I walked into the kitchen I discovered a very large, and growing, puddle on the floor.  Seems the water cooler was leaking.  'Nother buck gone.  I hollered for DH.  Seems the whojee on the whatchamacallit might be corroded. I took the cooler apart.  Soaked all  parts in vinegar and put it back together.  Leaked again.  'Nother buck in the jar.  Took it apart again, vowed to be patient (or pause longer) while the vinegar worked it's magic. 

They say say bad things come in threes....

Girl spilled the Brita pitcher (the big gallon one) all  over the table and onto the floor on Tuesday.

I think someone is trying to tell me to wash my kitchen floor....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I am making a declaration.  I am making it loudly (hence the capital letters).  I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY DISLIKE (even DESPISE) MAKING LUNCHES.

This is the second evening I have made lunches this school year, and I figure if Boy can declare today that he is "sick of sandwiches" then I can declare my displeasure at making and packing lunches.

There are too many rules to lunches.  Some are school imposed -- no nuts (as an aside, I find those newletter notices and signs on the doors "Nut Free Zone" pretty funny.  In my experience there are plenty of nuts, students and teachers alike, in most schools....), litter free, healthy foods first, enough for 2 nutrition breaks, etc.  The kid imposed rules add to my stress, "I don't like mustard on my ham, only butter."  "I only like mustard with summer sausage."  "I had an apple yesterday." yadda yadda yadda.

I get why some parents at my school pack horrific-ly unhealthy lunches.  You can just grab a handful of pre-wrapped crap and throw it in a bag.  I carry too much guilt.  I try really hard to cover the food groups and meet the requests, but dang-it I don't enjoy one minute of the process.

There, declaration made.\
No relief in sight, but I've sent my issue to the universe.  Now I shall wait for the lunch-making fairy to appear and make me happy.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The porch

I love this back porch (I love the fence too, but that's another post).  It's not my porch.  It belongs to a house I drove by everyday when I went to my old school in Big Town.  I don't know who lives there.  I never once saw any people out on this porch.  That's a shame.  If this was my porch, I might live on it.

I took the picture, not as a peeping Tom (well kinda, 'cause I didn't have permission) but as a designer.  DH and I are looking at renovating the Estate.  I have a picture in my mind of exactly how things should look when they are done.  DH, thinks in blue prints, measurements and angles.  Our "visions" are different languages.  This is the porch I see on my addition.  Here I will sit and look out over the gardens and pool.  Here I will drink lemonade, or wine, or both, in the evenings, or in the afternoons, or both.  DH likes the porch too, though he still looks at structural stuff like roof line.  That doesn't mean anything to me.  I want an old fashioned porch, that fits with our house, that holds a rocking chair and a small antique wicker table  (to hold the lemonade and wine).

I think I love this porch because it's timeless.   Here it is in sepia -- looks like my Gran's porch (minus the wine....)

It says "Come in neighbour, and BYOB." 

Yep.  I'm all for back porch living.

Friday, September 3, 2010

there's a tongue in my ear

Wake up. 3:37am -- there's a tongue licking my ear -- it's not DH's....

The kids are away at Grandpa and Grandma's farm for the week.  Rocky misses their attention.  He constantly looks to me to entertain him when I'm home.  Unfortunately he's okay with both positive AND negative attention....

He's woken me up twice this week between 3:30 and 4am with his wet nose and wee tongue in my ear.  Can you imagine being woken from a sound sleep with a tiny wet willy?  I generally brush him away, but that is only the signal that I'm awake and want to play.  I find it's best to play dead but Rocky nibbles my eye brows, purrs softly in to my neck, does the ear thing repeatedly.  When he's satisfied I'm not into playing he'll curl his soft body around my head and go to sleep with a loud purr that might actually be a snore.  Then I lie awake (still pretending to sleep) for an hour or so...

Rocky is so lonely this week he follows me every where, even to the shower.  Which creeps me out a wee bit.  I keep wondering if maybe he's some 1920s playboy reincarnated.....
That puts a different spin on the tongue in the ear, doesn't it?