Tuesday, July 31, 2007
I cannot say that he was a friend, and my husband knew him much better than I did, but it is still stunning.
He was a wonderful person from what I knew of him, kind, funny and strong, he was married, had two step-kids who he treated as his own and had parented for years, they had a boat and a decent job and to the best of my knowledge appeared happy even days before the event.
I don't know why. I don't know if anyone ever knows why.
It keeps reappearing in my mind and has for a day or two now; stunned. Last time I spoke to him he was telling us about his daughter's halloween costume, she was dressed all in pink with a giant shoe on her head, a piece of gum about to be stepped on...
It seems less funny now.
While I was having a lovely Saturday afternoon, he was killing himself.
All those people....
Monday, July 30, 2007
OK, these are my good Karma shoes...I was in buying a spontaneous gift for a friend yesterday when I saw these shoes...now you have to understand, I had seen these shoes before, and coveted them before, but they were $40, which was OUT OF THE QUESTION.
So today, when I am being a NICE person, what do I see? These, on SALE for, get this...$10!!!
And there was a pair that fit me, which NEVER happens...
How good is that?
Those shoes I bought at Walmart? They won't do. Eldest's lack of sailing shorts I simply forgot about, and they aren't supposed to wear jeans or cut offs anywhere in camp...I mean give me a break ladies and gentlemen this is C.A.M.P. I have to buy them an entire wardrobe? We's goin' to be breakin' some rooooles my friends...'cus youse guys are just a leeetle bit unreeeeasonable.
Eldest has a lovely sunburn.
- did you put on the sunscreen?
- well, do that for three more days and your body will be a writhing mass of puss filled blisters
-EEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. OK M O M, I get it....
Youngest informed me that they went sailing in nothing but their bathing suits - I assume the unsuitable shoes were also worn since they are so hyper about the type of shoes - I think I smell a lawyer somewhere here abouts....
I did not believe her on that note, they must have had lifeys on, and they did, but oh my goodness, they are going to get skin cancer if they are sitting out in a boat all the time in nothing but a bikini and a lifey.....and of course the proper shoes....
Eldest had a nasty kid in her boat, and after grousing and complaining about it all night finally informed me, on her way to bed, that the instructors said that she doesn't have to sail with him tomorrow....
Truth be told, they had a fabulous day, and really enjoyed it, we just have to get a couple of life lessons in place, like....say.....do not put your soaking wet sand covered shoes in your knapsack, and....say....do not take your soaking wet, sand encrusted pants OUT of your knapsack in the middle of the kitchen floor. It is good for getting a reaction, but I don't need the blood pressure work out.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
I'm still plugging away at book six, but I didn't get much done today because I was visiting with Nomad!!WooHoo, she's got a cottage for a month and we went up for the day, and it was MAHHHVELOUS.... The drive wasn't even too terrible, although looongggg. The dog, who gets car sick made it all the way through the long hot drive and then the kids put him on a giant swing sofa thing, and then he barfed. Poor thing...
This amazing and cute bug was on the water slide...
The kids had a great time running around and playing and swimming....and eating, they even watched a movie, High school Musical...We walked out and bought Popsicles, and we had Karwartha Dairy ice cream, two flavours, cherry and maple walnut. Mmmmm good.
These were decorating a local establishment and I loved them....so you get to see them too....
The view from the dock...including the slide....
We are going up again next weekend for most of the weekend and I for one am looking forward to it a great deal...So nice and so relaxing and the air smells so good....so good. It was so great to see Nomad again, I just adore her, and it was such a nice visit...the kids had a blast and we had so much fun...so worth the drive out....just have to wait five more days...
Then we got home. *gasp* We had to start getting ready for the new camp tomorrow, sailing camp starts and there is a fairly epic volume of stuff to take, and for them to leave behind...what fun. We also discovered that eldest has the wrong shoes...
OK, small side rant here, how can any child with four, count them 4, pairs of shoes not have the right shoes?????
Anyway, we went past four different possibilities, until I had to cave and slither over to the dark side and I was forced to go to Walmart. I am not going to go into that rant, it will take FAR too long....
We get through and I am hating it, and then we get to the express cash, the lady in front of me must have about 30 items, and the cashier lets her through, then she hasn't signed her credit card and has no ID because her friend went out of the store with the card, then after signing the unsigned card and charging her purchases, she buys more, but pays cash with a $50, the cashier doesn't have change, so they have to wait, but do they move aside so that I can make my purchases? No, I have to do it around them, and I was a mite, um, pushy by the end....
I hate walmart. Hate it.
OK...so then we go home, and have a nightmarish orgy of organisation, and I am about to sit down and do a ton of marking when I realise that I have a guest lecturer tomorrow morning, there are other things I am supposed to be doing at that time, but SORRY, gonna be marking. Too tired now, I drove all told for over 5 hours, and I was up at 5:30 this morning...time to read a little Potter and go to bed.
Hey, here's something cool....the spell checker doesn't recognise walmart!!! ISn't that cool.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
The show went on...and it was fun and funny. The girls wanted me to tape it, so I went and rented the coolest little video camera, I'd never used one before, it was so tiny, and a bunch of other folks were videoing, but they really wanted me to tape it too as their Dad wasn't there, he's still in Spain..Soooo....
I took still photos before and after, and video during...an adventure all around.
The kids had done an amazing job, the play was half an hour long, with a battle scene and a dance number, as well as lots of text, which they had also written...it turned out really well....
One of the kids said they wanted it to be funny, have deaths and also adventure, and they did it all.
There was a sorceress, a troll king, his brother the fox who was nice, there were two knights in shining armour, a phoenix, a fairy, an ice dragon and a cowgirl. Also there was a narrator/musician/extra dancer. The story was set in an enchanted forest in which the cowgirl had found herself, her companions being murdered by the magical, and rather violently vengful trees, she herself escaped and together with the magical cast set the world to rights...
They were fairly content about it all as well, although I think they are a bit sad that this camp is ending, it was so fantastic that it is hard to top, and hard to leave. There were of course times when it was difficult, but by and large, they thought it was amazing. So did I. What an opportunity.
Lets hope at least one of the videos turned out well.
Road trip tomorrow...should be fun.
Off to read Potter, the copy of number 7 I have available heads up to a cottage on the 5th, so if I don't hurry up I may have to start reading it before I finish 6!
Friday, July 27, 2007
Remember that forgetfull blogger award?
I think I just won it.
One more week till my husband gets here!!!!!!!!!!!!YIPEE
Big day for the play tomorrow! Knock on wood, it goes well.
Off to read.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
I just got the SIXTH H.P. book out and I am off to read that....
I know, I know, but seven will make more sense if I review this first.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Well! Thank you very much!!
Now according to Trish's site, the thoughtful blogger is given to someone like this....
For those who answer blog comments, emails, and make their visitors feel at home on their blogs. For the people who take other's feelings into consideration before speaking out and who are kind and courteous. Also for all of those bloggers who spend so much of their time helping other bloggers design, improve, and fix their sites. This award is for those generous bloggers who think of others.
I am honoured. Maybe I am being too nice on this site? Naaaa.
Though maybe I wasn't very thoughtful about all those people who drive down the road dragging their child by the ankle. They may libel me for calling them doofuses. Maybe there will be a class action lawsuit... I think I used jerk too. Hmmm. Maybe I don't deserve this award.
Well, thanks, and now to pass it on....I think it is only to one person...
*scratching my head*
*examining my blogroll*
To quote Trish,
Hmmmm, this is tough to chose just one....
Beth over at Booksetc has already got it and richly deserved it. If you didn't have it already....
Easily, I'm delighted to nominate Kate over at Expat Mama who has helped me out with information about schooling in Spain, and we have traded book lists. She's an American living somewhere near Madrid, and has been there for around a decade, she's got kids in the school, though much younger than mine, and is going to teacher's college in Spanish...bless her linguistic soul...
So there you have it.
Briefly, eldest seems to be responding to the anti-biotics, you know those ones that I bought for 98 cents over there in Spain. Well. Here. Guess what they cost. Same drug, same company....Can't guess?
She did go to camp today and walked the dog, although she was pretty uncomfortable. It is progress.
Oooo, and I had another weird traffic moment today I meant to blog about, but can I remember what it was? NO. I just remember sitting in traffic thinking that I should post about it, but now I cannot remember what happened.
Maybe there is forgettful blogger award...Maybe I should start one...If I remember....
Thank you very much Trish!
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I went by a few minutes later and they were still sitting there and the kid seemed fine.
The next weird one was when I was walking the dog, early in the morning...way too early in the morning. I was tooling peacefully down the street when I noticed a guy was lying curled up on the sidewalk with a jacket under his head leaning against the front wall of a yard. Now this fellow was well dressed, not a suit mind you, but clean and well dressed, watch and all, although no shoes, and he appeared to be asleep. There was a car parked beside him and a woman standing beside the car talking on a cell phone not looking at him. A little strange I thought...as I went past I asked her if she needed a hand and she assured me he was fine, so off I went, again feeling rather uncomfortable about the situation.
The only thing I can figure, the only rational reason for this is that he has epilipsy and was recovering from a seizure. Certainly you wouldn't get out of a reasonably padded car to go and smash yourself up on the pavement, so I can only assume he was much more comfortable on the cold hard early morning sidewalk as he tried to get himself together.
Eldest is still ill, although we have better pain killers so she is coping somewhat better, and we have started the anti-biotics. Cross your fingers for her that they work. Youngest is still impressively scarred, but otherwise fine.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Eldest is still hurting. Man that bends me out of shape. Makes you feel so helpless.
Youngest managed to do a big faceplant onto concrete yesterday and has some impressive facial scabbing today. I may send her off to get her front teeth checked too.
This evening was however one of those stupendously stunningly beautiful evenings. I was over at dinner with my sister in law and youngest, and we took the dog for a walk. We found creeks and quiet pine groves, an enormous rasberry patch and the most beautiful skies...including a rainbow...double in one section. Thank goodness for that. Moments of beauty are such a relief.
Here is a great egret, rare in Toronto, we saw it on the weekend, although with global warming, who knows how long it will be rare here....
And a great blue heron just up the river.....they look more spectacular in the winter in Florida in their mating plumage....
These lovely copper jobs were on the rasberry bushes we were denuding.....
And here is a part of that rainbow, it was so big it required three photos to get it all, this is the best of the shots....
Sunday, July 22, 2007
The girls and I traded rooms this weekend, they had had the bigger room because, well, there were two of them and the man wasn't arriving anytime soon, but their mess expanded to meet the size of the room, so a trade was in order. The other problem was that my fancy work clothes hang in a free standing curtain fronted armoir, which is decidedly un-dogproof, and as said dog spends a good portion of the day locked in my room while the rest of us are out and about, there was a problem about him eating my clothing, something he has done in the past. I was contemplating this difficulty when youngest looked at me and proposed that I simply turn the cupboard around to face the wall. Well there you have it, problem solved.
Today, baddog got his front legs up on the table and lapped up about a third of our tuna lunch from the bowl. Here was the problem. The kids had quite a craving on, but it was the last of the tuna. The almost-seven-year-old boy who lives here had the idea of washing the tuna, met dismissively by me that you cannot wash tuna. I went to the neighbours, they weren't home. Back again, when the washing the tuna idea came up again followed by and explanation of the plan. Sure enough, it was a good one. A strainer and a new lot of miracle whip later, and we're all set.
I am continuing to rumble around in my head questions about why people chose the route they did. Currently I think it must boil down to values...by which I don't mean ethics, so much as what they value out of their life, and what they are willing to invest their time and energy into. An internal list of where they would expend their precious energy...be it work, or possessions, or money, or image, or family, or or or or or
How conscious do you think we are of these things? Certainly I knew one girl who in her early twenties was an unabashed and outspoken gold-digger. She had no intention of marrying anyone who did not have at least a boat and a plane. I have to admit that at the time, and still, I admire her clarity and, well, balls in knowing what she wanted and going for it. Unfortunately she is on husband three now, so it doesn't seem to be working out for her. I do think it a shame though, I still kind of feel like she deserved it.
Then there are the folks who only dated deadbeats, or pre-meds, or lawyers, or MBA's. Strange I put all those in the same sentence...does that comment on my biases? Values? My mental list of what is most important...?
So how would your list go...goals for a life, what do you want to accomplish before your done? Given a limited fund of energy, as we all are, how would the pie chart of time spent look like in your actual life, and how if you could chose more freely? Do they match? I would love to hear....I am not sure I can do a pie chart on the 'puter here, but I'll be reflecting on what mine would look like...more later.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
I just got six months worth of mail all in one day, and you know what? That is WAY too much mail for anyone to process at any one moment. Jees Louise! And so much of it requires me to DO something. The kids love getting mail though because it means that they get all of their magazines! There's another great thing about bing a kid, good mail.
I am going to have to get more sent over to Spain....then we'll get more yucky mail there too.
I had dinner with an old friend who I've know since I was 12, and her husband and kids, and his sister and husband and kids, and her sister...did you follow all that? A group of people I grew up with, well some of them, and who all had pretty similar upbringings to me, and as I look at the people and the jobs they have and the houses and the lifestyles we all have, it is fascinating to ponder why we married who we did, and the choices we have made about career and lifestyle, and WHY we chose the way we did. Very different right down the pipe...
Then again, I am not sure you can ever really understand the inside of someone else's marriage, it is tough enough to understand your own.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Look what eldest drew!!! Pretty good, no?
And look who was out walking one night....
One of the things I am pondering these days is this....very year I feel less close to my students personally, yet I am teaching them better each year. Substantially. I don't know if it is because I am getting used to the teaching process and the first time through was the most intense, or if they are two halves of an inseparable whole, or whether my mind is sitting more firmly in the curriculum and the real material and skills I want to impart rather than the detail. Obviously you cannot become these people's friends while the course is on-going. Heck, I may have to fail some of them, yet I still want to feel comfortable with them. An interesting line of investigation occurring on the side.
On another note, if your driving one of the400 series highways in TO one of these days and you discover the frayed remnants of a car stereo, it may be mine and I gave the freak up. I am sorry, but we are talking serious CRAP radio. The CBC...OMG could those interviewers do a worse job??? I mean really the entire program is so profoundly predictable. An issue comes up, you know who they are going to get, and what the person is going to say before it even begins. There is no creativity, no thinking from another angle, no journalism...it is merely a venue for public personas to get on air and say what they want to say....AAAGGGGK
So then I go over to the rock stations, which I can manage for about 5 minutes because the music is endless replays of the same crap I listened to for the last three decades punctuated by brainless commentary, and then it was topped off for me today by the add for "fat assassin" A pill you can take that kills hunger, presumably some kind of speed, but WTF???How stupid do they think we are??? How stupid are the listeners???
I listened to the sound of my tires humming on the highway. It was better than anything I could find on the radio.
The potential tenants are officially gone. Off we go again.
I have a small problem with the potential tenants. The credit check was not, ummmm, well, good. It was bad. Very bad. So I think we are back to square one on that. Crap.
Rainy day here today, I keep being cold. Brrr.
The kids are a bit of a mess, although we finished watching Akeela and the bee last night on the computer. The one I am using has the most miserable speakers, you have to listen so carefully...I have turned the volume up everywhere I can find to....anyway, it was a fantastic movie, although if we had tried to eat popcorn it would have been completely inaudible.
We all really enjoyed watching it.
Chuck the dog dislikes rain fairly intensely. He was all excited running to the door this morning and when I opened it, he stopped hard and fast and stood on the threshold looking out for a loooong time. Then another dog went by in the street and he decided to go out. It wasn't that bad in fact.
Groceries tonight. Isn't that fun.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
I am going to try to keep this from being a photo blog, but what the heck...here's some more. Look what the kids are making at camp...this is one of the women who is helping out showing the beginnings of a giant puppet... you may recognise the head....
The internal frame...
The costuming goes on, most of the body is done.... and this troll wields a glue gun, so ya better watch out!
The arm being stretched out....he has looooooooong arms......
Looks pretty cool, eh?
This guy still needs another arm, and there is another giant puppet still to come. Eldest will be carrying this one.
Still no credit check in. *tick tick tick tick* *nails drumming*
Monday, July 16, 2007
Aren't they all life altering though in their own way?
Still, my little story changed a lot today.
Got a tax rebate which helps a bunch,
RENTED THE HOUSE!!!!subject to a credit check
Toying with a PhD!!! *Grunch*
Sunday, July 15, 2007
These are the funky new pants, it's a little tricky to take a photo of yourself, so this is the best I can do for now...
I spent a bunch of the day on a friend's boat. He and his family have just gotten it, and didn't know where to start repairing things, so I created a to do list for them. He kept sighing heavily, but maintained that this was what he wanted. He actually got a pretty good boat, and although he has a bunch of work to do on it, none of it is critical. Well, that isn't true, some of it is fairly critical, but none of it is difficult or very expensive. They are lucky, it is a great little boat.
Looking forward to seeing mine some day.
Once again a busy day, I've got to crash. The dog has lost patience with me and started jumping on me and howling/moaning to get to bed, I guess he's tired too.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Got new dog food as well, lamb and rice flavoured, seems to meet with higher approval. Good for the mutt.
Late night, time for bed.
Friday, July 13, 2007
The dog just climbed onto my bed, I swear to you that beast is getting naughtier every day. He is an absolute punk about stealing food now.
We went for a walk with the dog this evening that turned into something of an ambulatory feast. First we found black berries, yummy, then we headed to the last of the mulberries, then over to a friend's house where we had blueberries, waffles, that they had made themselves, and ice cream along with a touch of Turkish delight. I also got an invite for Sunday to go over and check out their new to them 26 foot sailboat. Go and kick the tires so to speak.
Then I am going to go to bed and READ!!!! It has been soooooo long....I may stay awake for a bit. Now you frequent readers my have thought that I did that last night, but after posting my friend from upstairs came down and we talked a little longer than was good for my recently recovered self so today was again a bit of a stagger, but tonight....I will read, at least a page!
And I will nap tomorrow and Sunday. I. Will. Nap. BOTH. Days.
And, for your entertainment, the owner of these feet shall remain nameless, but this is a fairly impressive party trick!
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Hallelujah ladies and gentlemen, I am able to say today that I am NOT exhausted. For the first time since we arrived in Canada about three weeks ago now, I feel good. Like James Brown put it. WoooHOOOOOOOO.
What a delightful feeling. Have to say, I am probably still tired in the grand scheme of things, but I am not simply dragging my sorry ass around from one thing to another fighting the numbness in my head. What a fantastic feeling.
OK, on to something more interesting. One of the things I noticed when I got here is that as far as I can tell, everyone and his hairy nose-picking uncle was reading, or at least had purchased Blink by Malcom Gladwell. Now this made me curious, and since we have some challenges around getting new books, there would have been times I would have fallen on it with GLEE. Not now. I started it, but really. Meh. He wanders all over the countryside in these really long examples that only shallowly illustrate what I think he is trying to get at. Pop psych. Blech.
What I picked up at work, always a fascinating place to find a good read, especially since some of my co-workers are deeply intelligent and passionate readers, was "The Hand" by neurologist Frank R. Wilson. The subtitle is "How its use shapes the brain, language and human culture." This I am dying to read. I have long believed for a variety of reasons that the close realtionship between the hand and the mind is one of the keynote factors in our humanity. That is aside from the mundane pincer grasp non-sense where we can do stuff because of our refined tool using. I think that this ability to make and use tools was shaped by, and was also instrumental in the sculpting of our minds, intelligence and human spirit. I am anticipating a good read. I'll try and let you know. Since those few lines of Blink are all I have managed in the last three weeks, which is profoundly pathetic for me, I am anticipating a pleasant evening as I may even stay awake for more than a paragraph!
Here are some pictures of some of the things that the kids are making at camp:
A troll's head if I am correct,
THe troll's fingers, one made by each child...
A musical instrument made by youngest and a buddy out of found materials from our walk yesterday...
Have a lovely day, I have.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Soooooo instead here are some photos I took when we went on a wee field trip to Edwards gardens.
This is a cool pattern I have seen in the pavement...
I have no idea what this is about.
I made a decent meal tonight anyway...spinach salad with grapefruit and avocado. Mmmm. There were other things too, but that was the best.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
The girls had, shall we say, a FEW crises this evening, on top of me returning from work exhausted and suffering from a mild case of sunstroke/heat stroke...so my attention wasn't really on the meal...burnt the damned pasta. Tossed a can of coconut milk on top, squirted in some honey and bailed out. Needed a new view to say the least.
Went to a friend's house, her kids are great too, as is her husband, although no one else was home. We ate burnt pasta with coconut milk, it almost sounds like something you'd see on a nouveau cuisine menu when you say it that way doesn't it? The kids swam and splashed and were HAPPY thank goodness, and we chatted which was simply wonderful. Fortunately she had already eaten and didn't have to suffer one of my moments of culinary genius.
Now I am heading to bed, much later than I wanted, but what can you do.
Why can't we have the siesta here?
Monday, July 9, 2007
So what do you think? What do you lose when your too tired? Does it tie into what is called on most in your day?
Sunday, July 8, 2007
I did not blog while working on the house for the last eternity.
Other things I did not do while working on the house
sleep more than four hours a night
groceries...a big thanks to E who picked some up for me, the kids won't die yet
put out the garbage
I can't think I am too tired
But it is as done as I can get it right now. The listing starts soon.
I even managed to doze off flat on my back, which I NEVER sleep on, on the hardwood floor this morning. I woke up with the dog's head on my arm and a thunderstorm overhead. I didn't sleep long though. I had seen the storm approaching.
Stupid blogger won't let me type a title *grrrr* WHY?!?!?
Wednesday, July 4, 2007
I have the rooms entirely prepped for painting so tomorrow I can just go right to it. Thank goodness. My Dad is going to go over tomorrow and do more work, pull up the worn rug on the front stairs and paint the porch, he may be able to replace the planks on the back porch as well.
A lot got knocked off the list, but I am seriously over-tired. I didn't teach as well as I could have today, and I am one grumpy Mama, so I think it is off to bed for me. Only 10:15! Way better than I would have managed on my own.
Thanks Mom and Dad. Really. Thanks a lot. I know you read this.
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
I got mulch for the front garden, working on that curb appeal, and stain for the porch, paint for the kid's rooms inside which look particularly shabby, yadda yadda yadda...
I then went to the house, spread mulch over the newly weeded garden, those of you who read Nomad's ecstatic comments about working with the earth are not going to hear an echo on these pages. Work to get finished. That is it. I think I would enjoy it much more if there weren't such a deadline.
I pulled nails from walls and spread plaster, etc etc etc basically boring, even if your doing it.
I am not sure I will post tomorrow as my Dad is meeting me over there, he is going to hang a light fixture that I am too chicken to put in myself, and help me rehang a door. I am also going to have the boy who lives upstairs with us, so between jobs, I will feed all the kids dinner, and then drive the boy home, returning with the girls who will crash at our house on thermarests until I finish painting for the night, then I will pour them and maybe the dog as well, into the car, dump them all into bed and crash. The house goes on the market on Saturday, so there is a big push on to get it all done. Also that means that the end is in sight and I only have one week of this insanity until my life can hopefully approach normal again. There will still be stuff to do, but I can slow the pace and get some of it done at a more reasonable pace. One of the porches we build in the yard is rotting badly. I think I will leave it till the man gets here, even if the joint is rented, he can go out and get rid of that and we'll lay down flagstones instead.
The girls are missing their Dad pretty badly these days, particularly the eldest. They had an absolutely fantastic first day of the camp. I cannot get them to tell me anything they did other than dance like robots. Ah well. Maybe when we have more time. I am barely seeing them at all these days.
Monday, July 2, 2007
It is not nearly as bad as I thought it would be though so...lets hope it re-rents fast. We need the cash.
I am over the three of the biggest worries I had though, flying the dog, the tenants leaving, and the state of the house. Now all I have to do is work hard. That I can manage.
Sunday, July 1, 2007
Laura Ingalls Wilder of the Little house books had a daughter. That's not the weird part. Her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, loved Albania and wrote two book about the country. She was a journalist who travelled to WW1 and also Vietnam. And she loved Albania. The books are "The Peaks of Shala" about Albanian life and "Travels With Zenobia."
Hard to picture in some ways.
The sailing was fantastic again, the girls went to Black Creek with my Mom, and we are all bagged out and tired. A good day, but long.