Wednesday, December 29, 2010

You might be a hockey mom if....

(Ny apologies to Jeff Foxworthy and his "you might be a redneck" -- I've stolen his schtick). I've spent two days at a peewee hockey tournament.....

You might be a hockey mom if:
-you have a pocket full of fifty-fifty tickets in your winter coat
-you hang a woolly blanket over the stall of the bathroom door
-you have bookmarked in your favourites
-you have all the arenas within a 100 mile geographical radius in your GPS
-you only watch the sport but you refer to the team as "we"
-you say "keep your stick on the ice, and your head up" to your child -- sometimes when you are not headed to a game
-you can signal like a referee so that your child knows they have a two-minute time out on the timeout chair for roughing, and you don't have to say a word
-you understand the term "arena purse."
-you carry at least one large blanket in your vehicle
-you know which arenas serve the best french fries
-you decide which mittens to buy based on how loud they can clap
-you fill Christmas stockings with hockey tape and deodorizer

You might be an annoying hockey mom if:
-you have a cowbell in your purse

Any more, friends?  Feel free to add to the list!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Just some stuff

This has been a busy week. Here's a glimpse (in no particular order, except the last two which are up to the minute...)

1.  Girl decided to bath That Cat. 
He liked it. 
Now he smells like Bath and Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar. 
It's weird. 

2.  Made Skor bars, fudge, cashew brittle for coaches.  Made some brittle for me too.  Ate it all.  Not sorry.

3.  Finished shopping.  Haven't wrapped a thing.  Yikes!

4.  Bought DH a new Lazyboy for Christmas.  The leather colour is called "black cherry."  I think it looks black.  Boy and Girl say it's purple.  DH is silent on the matter.

5.  Did laundry.  More laundry.  And then I did some laundry. 

6.  Made Boy's bed and guess what I found behind it -- LAUNDRY!

7.  Girl is currently writing another letter to Santa.  She is revising her list, for the third time.  I told her it's too late.  Santa is done.  He's already in the air somewhere.

8.  Girl checked  Apparently Santa doesn't leave for a couple of hours.  Darned internet easy access to all information.

Merry Christmas friends!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Christmas Story

This isn't a Christmas story in the traditional sense, but it's a story of hope and it is the story of how one of my wishes has come true.  It makes me a bit weepy, and I debated not writing it for that reason (soggy screen and all) but my D S-i-L (Dear sister-in-law) told me I should 'cause it's one of those stories that people like to hear because it tells of good in the world.  So here goes....

Several years ago when I was a lowly vice principal I had a student who spent a lot of time in my office;  partly because he was frequently in trouble and partly because he needed a safe place to go.  Over the two years that he was in my school I got to know him pretty well.  His story broke my heart and  haunted my dreams.  More than once I very nearly brought him home.  DH and I discussed it several times and I had his blessing to do so, should life take us that way.  You see this boy had a wicked step mom, and a blind (figuratively, not literally) mostly absent dad.  His life was unbelievable, and I won't share all that he told me as that is not my story to tell. 

I made repeated calls to the Children's Aid Society.  In the spring of his Grade 8 year I called at least twice a week for months.  Nothing happened.  I was sick at heart to think of what would become of him over the summer and as he went to high school.  Who would know his story?  Where would he go to cry?  I said a quiet prayer every day for his safety. 

In August of that summer I got a phone call from him at my house.  (This is the part where I cry, so excuse the soggy screen.)  He told me he had been removed from his home and taken into foster care.  He really, really liked his foster family and he would not be returning to his father's house.  Then he thanked me.  He said, "thank you for seeing ME, not the jerk I was.  Thank you for not giving up on me.  I am going to be okay now."  After that call I cried and cried. I went to DH and said "I can die tomorrow now.  I have made a difference to one." 

I have thought of that child very often over the years; hoping to get a glimpse of him if I drive through his new town.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago.  That boy, a young man now, came to see me at my school.  He had been to my old school and they gave him directions to find me.  I knew him immediately as he stood at my office door.  (pause -- more kleenex now).  He gave me a big hug and thanked me again.  He came to find me to tell me that he had put college applications in the week before and wanted me to know that.  His marks are amazing and he will likely get into whatever college he chooses. He also volunteers in his new community and he speaks so highly of his new family.  He has reached out to his father and they have begun to rebuild their relationship now that the step mom is out of the picture. 

He also invited me to his high school graduation in the spring.

I am so proud of this child.  He lived through really horrible events and yet he has the heart to be grateful, to be kind and forgiving, to be compassionate to others and to be motivated to do his best.  This is amazing.  I will go to that graduation, and I will be as proud of him as if he were my own. 

At that graduation I will give him a card that tells him all that he means to me.  I will tell him that although he has thanked me, I have yet to thank him.  And I need to.  Because of him I know that prayers are answered.  When I think of him it reminds me what my job is really about, and it is not test scores.  He also reminds me that there are really good people in the world, even if they appear buried in their own circumstance.  When I think of him, it gives me hope.  I know he will do great things in the world and I am so happy to be in it with him.

Merry Christmas. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tree Solution

Girl came up with a great solution for our tree.  Our fear was that Rocky would climb the tree and knock the thing down, breaking ornaments and creating mess and stress in my life.  Girl's solution was to decorate the tree with all her stuffed animals so that if the tree went timber, then nothing would get broken.

Here is the mighty (artificial) pine in it's glory

This is what happened immediately after we put the last bow on the tree....

And now....

Now it seems after moving a few bows and bears....

Rocky has found peace under the tree.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Litter Box Saga

Yep, this is a post about Rocky's litter box(es), so if the thought of such reading (sans photos) is disturbing you better go elsewhere.

I actually thought of doing this post a couple of months ago, but it didn't seem, well, newsworthy.  It's still not, but it's reached a reasonable conclusion so I will write it anyway.

Rocky has always been really good about using the litter box, except the first time he discovered the dryer and got overly excited about it (just like a wiggly puppy would).  I don't have any complaints about him going where he shouldn't since. 

Here's the issue.  He doesn't like doing his different jobs in the same space.  As the immensely thoughtful brainiac cat he wishes he could be he would pee in the litter box.  If he had to do the other job he'd step into the box, carefully push/lift/throw litter out of the box.  Then he would climb out, scoop up the litter and make a neat pile just outside the litter box.  Then he'd jump back in, back up to the edge, hang his hiney over the side and poop into the pile.  Ever the neat-freak he'd then crawl out of the box again and cover up his pile.  Every morning it was like finding little poop shrines infront of his box. 

DH thought he'd found a great solution.  He and Girl bought a kitty outhouse.  It's a box-like thing with a small door only big enough for Rocky to crawl in.  It has a lid and a deluxe feature that means if you roll it over the clumps inside get separated into a small drawer to make for easy clean up.  It's also much bigger than the original box, so we figured That Cat would have room for all his needs.

Nope,  he'd just shoot the litter out the door and poop in the pile like usual.  The difficulty was it became one big pile (think pyramid) because the door was small.  Also, it was hard to put the litter back in through the little hole. 

DH was frustrated that That Cat couldn't appreciate the expense and luxury of the outhouse.  I was frustrated with the poop alter I had to clean up each day.

Girl found the solution.

She put litter back in the old box and put it beside the luxury suite.  Now he separates his business between boxes. 

Problem solved.

Ay, Eiy, Eiy.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

why I fear for my tree

I fear....

....though it started out innocently enough. 
Just a peek.  Up here.  What is this thing???

Just gonna look up here for a minute...

then stretch really far up, so I can....

....hide in this really good spot.  I can't see The Mom, so she can't see me....

So you see, you see why I fear for my Christmas tree?

I think I might not decorate it.  I might just go with the crazy cat ornament......