Friday, August 31, 2007

So near and yet so far.

One of my cousins is here visiting, and rumour has it that she has a copy of book SEVEN for me....I am, shall we say, excited.

Unfortunately she forgot to bring it tonight when we got together.


Of course I was very polite. (Hi worries)

We will get together again on Sunday or Monday and try to pass it on.

The kids and I were saying that maybe I could read it aloud to them on the plane over, but if someone hasn't read it, and hears me part way through. Well that would be awful.

I may have to just read it to them once we get to Spain.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

phones and fun and books to read....

The new phone is doing OK, I only hung up on one person so far...

We went and hung out in a park with a bunch of friends this evening, that was so much fun, I cannot remember the last time I did something like that, we played Boche, and croquet, and badminton, then Frisbee, all of which I am appalling at, there was lots of good food, and we had so much fun. Dogalicious was pretty hungry and worn out by the end of it though.

We spent the bulk of the day packing because it seems that we have the house rented out Thank God and the occupancy date is TOMORROW! Today (Friday) if your reading this at work, so we had to get E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. that we were storing into the house NOW. The only problem is that I am pretty sure that we are not going to be able to make everything we want to bring to Spain with us fit in the box. Hmmmmm.

This could be a problem.

I'm working on it though.

Packing also makes Chuck very very nervous and edgy, he wanders around like someone has just beaten him and is going to again very soon. Poor dog. Someday he'll get used to it.

I also went and exchanged "The Kite Runner" which I will be eternally haunted by, for another book. What a lovely task.

We went to The Flying Dragon, one of the world's best bookstores on the planet. I would love to LIVE there. The people are so nice and helpful and in love with books, and there are comfortable places to sit, and the books are fantastic, it is such a lovely lovely spot. If your in Toronto, it is on Bayview south of Eglington on the East side, and their children's section is brilliant. The kid's section is actually most of the store, it would be more acurate to describe them as having an adult section. Love that place.

I picked up "Poets and Pahlevans" which I had never heard of before, by Marcello Di Cintio. It's subtitle is "a journey into the heart of Iran". The author is a writer (duh) and was a wrestler, and is fascinated by the Iranian/Persian cultural interest in poetry and wrestling, which are apparently tightly interwoven.

I started to read it in the car, and disciplined myself out of it, I have to save it for Spain, but oh I ache to read it.

I'll let you know more about the books later.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The new phone....

Yup, it came today, and it has more features than any one human really needs. Honest to goodness....

The manual is the size of the phone book in some towns.

That said, I am looking forward to a phone that dials 4 willingly, as this was becoming problematic. Which is stressful when 416 is the number you have to dial at the beginning of most calls.

I am not going to use it tomorrow I think, I have a couple of important calls to make and receive and I am not positive I can answer it reliably.

On another note, I tried a new ice cream. Wow!! President's Choice Canadian Maple....Oh my....creamy and rich and yummy. The first ingredient is fresh cream, and there are chunks of maple sugar candy all through it....oh oh oh oh oh...why couldn't we have found it earlier?

All you's worth the drive.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The rom and the city in Pics...

We went off to the Royal Ontario Museum today, to look at an exhibit, but also to gape at the new building....

What do you think?

Some chairs inside, they are pretty cold to sit in, and you slide slowly out. There seems to be some kind of audio-painting in this area as well.

A friend's desert at lunch in the ROM, a strawberry was certainly pretty.

I had this chocolate blueberry job, very tasty....

The food there was excellent, though there wasn't over much of it...

Here we were at the island this you get a look at the city scape at night.

And a shot of the full moon on the water....there was an eclipse early this morning, but we missed it, darn it.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Feeling kind of blue...

One of the things that is rather a drag about coming back for the summers is the bad news. Two deaths, a cancer diagnosis, five friends with serious marital problems, a divorce..... problems with ex's, problems with schools.

I think it is that everyone is pleased to e-mail their good news to us, but saves the bad till we're here in person. It makes it a wee bit distressing sometimes. I brace myself now when I come back.

I don't know if you experienced this when you were younger, but there was a summer or two when you couldn't turn around for a wedding invitation. Seems I am entering the summers of divorce.

One friend has a theory that there are stages for women in marriage. Lust. Baby lust, dependency when the babies are small so you put up with most anything and are so sleep deprived you hardly notice. Then they get a little bit bigger, and your head comes up, you look around. Lust has worn off, baby lust is a distant dusty memory, and suddenly you look over your spouse and think, "I don't need to take this shit anymore..."

I don't feel that way, thank goodness, I'd be more than a bit blue if I did.

Feeling blue too because the house still isn't rented....

We aren't going to be able to bring the boat up from Florida this year, we just cannot afford it....

And damn it I miss being on the boat something fierce when I let myself think about it.....

Can't seem to get Grad school off the ground....

We are sort of betwixt and between, busy saying farewells, and have too much to do, but still a good bit till we go....

Then again (determined optimist here) we are healthy, happy, have each other and have a great life.

I'll stop my bitchin' now.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Car Wash

We took the kids through a car wash tonight to their tremendous delight. They had been begging all summer and a good portion of last summer too. I knew what they meant. There is something fascinating about a car wash. Your Dad doesn't steer, takes his foot from the pedals, you enter this long tunnel where weird things spray the car and slap up against it, and the feeling of peril if you do open the window, reinforced by your parent's stern admonitions not to. It is all so exciting, like a dance with danger when you know it's safe. Like a mini-tour of Jonah's swim in the whale, or a feasible version of the magic school bus.....the kids even articulated that it was like a monster attacking the car.

The were excited and giggly for half an hour after, like they had escaped a brush with death, only funnier.

I'm not sure how much cleaner the car is though.

Chuck and the grape take 2

Well, as you may be able to tell, I tried again with the video, and yes blogger, I have high speed access, so I think the problem is at your end.... Instead I decided to include this exciting instalment!!!

Do you know what this stuff is?


We discovered it on our way south and then again in the Bahamas. Now I LOVE, that is L.O.V.E. popcorn, but when you sprinkle this stuff on it???? Mana from heaven. Honestly, it is that good. Can we get it in Spain? No. Can we get it in TO? With great difficulty. So I got six boxes, all they had. In Florida you can get it in great big fat cans. Mmmmmmm. Put it in most anything, hot and salty and flavourful.

Yum yum yum.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Chuck and the grape

Well, I was going to try out the new BLOGGER VIDEO FEATURE....are you guys listening?

I took a two minute video of the dog, and after an hour and a half, it hadn't finished loading. As you can see, I quit and merely added this little diatribe.

A little more work at the drawing board looks necessary


Please excuse the absence yesterday, but I was having quite a treat of a day and didn't get a chance....we did go bike riding again, fortunately for me, not quite so far and it is raining today so I am probably off the hook....

The treat part is a friend's 40th birthday today, and her husband decided to do something a little special, and gain lots of good husband points as well....he had a whole surprise evening set out for her, and I was part of the package. A bunch of her friends met at one house where a giant freaking limosine picked us up...I'd never been in a limo before so that was kind of cool, and then we went over to her house and got her. She was a little surprised.

We then got her in and went off to theArt Gallery of Ontario , which had a bunch of small displays, some of them quite spectaular. They had a best of from the Victoria and Albert museum in London, all mideival and renaissance items, including the relequary from Thomas Aquinas' left overs so to speak, then they had a body of work from
Chuck Close who is an amazing photographer who then worked with weavers to transfer his gigantic portraits, which are spectacular in and of themselvs, into tapestries...on jacard looms. Each work took over 30 months to create, and they are amazing. There was also a display of contemporary Indian (East) art work, which was rather dispairing, and a display of traditional pieces from the Tsimshan people in British Columbia. Predicatably they were taken by Europeans ages ago, and have recently been purchased by a body of Canadian investors, but have not been returned to the people to whom they probably should belong...they were amazing works.

After this we got into a cab and hustled off to Jump, a fancy restaurant in TO for a very nice dinner, we had Tuna Tartar, and truffle gnocci, steak, seafood, a molten chocolate cake, seared bluefin tuna...all very very good, although the gnocci were a bit salty and the bathrooms squalid, even after I mentioned the fact to the staff, so be warned. After this delight we went on to a really nice hotel in downtown TO for a sleepover! How good is that? I haven't had a sleep-over in a long time. We got up this morning, had a fancy breakfast and all went on our ways.

It was pretty fantastic, and really nice to see my bud for such a long time. She lives out of town and when we get together with our kids it is at best a challenge to have more than a fragmentary conversation. Her kids are younger, and we are getting there, but it is still tough.

It was also neat because some of her friends who I have met over the years were there as well, and I got to know them better than I had before. A really delightful group.

Lovely lovely lovely.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


The man's asleep, the kids are asleep, the dog is asleep, and I am still up trolling through university websites.



Ah well, we'll see.

Went for a long bike ride with youngest today, something she has wanted to do for ages. My kids aren't very good at riding bikes. They can swim with sharks, row a dingy, sail a boat, tie knots and start an outboard (maybe), they can enter a school cold and make friends, and they know a bunch about how the world works. They can also speak a bit of Catalan, but ride a bike...not so good.

Eldest taught herself with great determination three summers ago. We had to walk 45 minutes each way every day between the house we own and the house we were living in for about 2 weeks. She wobbled and veered her way back and forth the whole time refusing any help. She got it on the last day, and never got on the bike again. The next year she got one chance at it, and it's true, you don't forget how to ride a bike. Same this year. She isn't very interested though so rides little.

Youngest was on training wheels the year that eldest learned. I was only willing to let them risk death under the wheels of a car one at a time. Last year she took the wheels off and figured it out, then did a massive nasty road rash inducing face plant and that was the end of that season for her.

This year though she is raring to go. Got her a new bike that fits...shoulda taken a picture. It must way a million pounds, has hand brakes and gears, along with shocks...something I've never had, and this new to us bike cost $65! She's so happy, and improving with every outing. You see, while eldest wants to read and write and draw, youngest wants to DO something. Be it cook with us, or make a loom, or costume orbird feeder, or pick berries...this is a girl that wants to be with someone doing or making something. She would have been having quilting bees if she were that generation.

So a big fat bike ride was right up her alley. We went down hill first, then along a fair way, back again then the dreaded uphill home. She was riding pretty fast on the flats by now, and my sore heiny on the man's bike was wearing thin shall we say. There must be more comfortable seats out there for women. Our anatomy is just different to say the least, and men tip their seats up at the front so they can rest on their *ahem* padding, while for us that just seats us firmly on a little paddless and bony patch. No harm done, but really.

Youngest had blisters on her hands and walked up the second half of the hill home. She, by her own admission, was much better going down hill, on the flat and up hill than when we left, but still sucked on the sidewalk where she veers wildly driving into everything in sight. She has the classic problem of looking fixedly at what she doesn't want to hit, and then driving right into it.

We had fun, though it was sweaty. Wish me and my sore nether regions well for tomorrow's ride. Maybe I can at least get that seat lower. The quick release is fine, but the seat is jammed.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

PhD blues.

I went in today to find out about the PhD possibility.


I have to be a full time student to get the funding, and for a PhD I have to be full time period. That means I have to be in Toronto. Do these people not have a concept of say, international studies?

Ah well. I'll have to look at a different route.

There are a few things I can look at.

What frustrates me is that Lesley University in Boston offers fantastic possibilities for highly regarded courses of study, but I cannot afford it, while the fully funded program in Toronto does not have the flexibility I require right now.


I cannot see my way through this right now.

However, my sister said to me once that determination was my most defining characteristic - I still haven't figured out if that is entirely a good thing - but it does point out that I have usually achieved any goals I seriously set myself. This is gradually becoming one of them.

We'll see what happens.

One of the things I love about my work here is the challenge, the people I work with and with whom I get into contact are so bright and stimulating intellectually, I am forced to THINK and stretch and reach. I am forced to look at things a new way. I miss this when I am gone. That is part of why I am interested in doing graduate studies, aside from the obvious and mundane 'career advantage', although while I am sarcastic about that, it could open doors to more levels of work of that would provide that zing.

Eldest seems to be gradually on the mend. Thank goodness.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I finished work today.

I am left with a strange free floating aimless feeling, I have been so focused and directed for the last while it feels odd to be looser.

I handed in my ID card and FOB along with the master key I was issued, and tomorrow my computer account will freeze....I have become a nobody until I reappear, like I have been put into storage.


Eldest is still sick, fever, now a rash. A sore throat. May it end soon please.

A friend at work does a lot of handwork. She makes beautiful pieces of felt work paintings whereinshe actually makes the felted pieces of different colours that she then does embellishing work on. It is quite beautiful. Now she is doing bead work jewelry, I may have to join in the fun on that.....I got the info I need.

In reality I still have work to do, I am gone, but not gone.


Monday, August 20, 2007


Rode the subway for the first time in a while....there was a guy on the train being critical of everyone because we were not all chatting with each other. He didn't like it the fact that if you talk to other people in the subway folks think your nuts.

Maybe people just don't want to talk, bud.

Or at least not to you.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Here's pics..

Long lovely day, and then a long late night once we got home, so here's some pictures instead.

This is an ancient portage route, and is in fact a good deal older than the sign says as that only dates from the French, but Voyageurs would have come this way.


Pumpkin pie made by the man, a very good pie maker. Mmmmmmmm.

The pond at a friend's place we visited, youngest and a friend swam today, eldest was too sick still.

A picture by youngest that I liked a bunch, we saw humming birds, and gold finches, a turkey vulture, we caught a toad, and saw a swallow tail butterfly, and a caterpillar.

I love the contrast in the tree colours.

Then we were spoiled and we went for dinner at another friend's house. We weren't the bet guests, one child was sick, and the dog ate the brie, and a bag of crackers. Sheesh. They were very nice though...extremely gracious and we had a lovely time. Good company. Gracies J and M.

Here's the portraits from the evening, minus eldest's, she was napping on the couch...

A lovely day, that finished off with sewing....urgh.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Jerkin' my chain.

I am going to be getting a new phone. The cell company called me up and offered one of those sign-up-for-a-long-enough-to-earn-a-major-degree-and-we'll-give-you-a-phone deals. Since my four year old phone is getting a little snarky about dialing the number 4, which is a hassle in a 416 area code that needs said code dialed for every number, I said yes.

I was driving along telling the girls about this, when eldest pipes in.

"Can I have your old phone when the new one comes?"

O: "Well hon, I don't think it will work, and if it does, I'll give it to your Dad."

Eldest: "You never give me anything!"

O: "Come on now...."

Eldest: "All the other kids have cell phones...."


Eldest: "That's OK, I don't want one anyway"

Kids are great for a laugh.


Eldest has since blown a fever. Poor thing, hope the night is quiet.

Friday, August 17, 2007


I was listening to the radio this morning, not the CBC I may add, which has improved tremendously since Andy Barry came back...but trash radio because simply the news today was pretty damn glum and it was a little much at 6:45 am.

On came a listing from Elle magazine about the most important nice guy behaviours in a man/husband/boyfriend. My blood pressure has sored.

Number one, if memory serves, was putting up for you in a fight. Now between you and me I haven't needed anyone to stand up for me in a fight since early grade school, and if my husband waded in while I was mixing it up with someone my only decision would be who to scalp FIRST. I mean grow up ladies....stand on your own two d*amned feet. (I am at work and the big brother computer screening won't even let me type d*mn without that stupid little * thing. Lets see if stupid gets through. How about idiot?)

All of the next ones in the list were a long series of princess behaviours. You know, holding the door, bringing flowers, picking up the cheque at a restaurant, helping you on with your coat. What do you want here my dears, a daddy or a husband? Really. After your about 3 you don't need help with your coat most times, and you could pretty much manage all doors by the age of 4. Granted your Dad probably picked up the tab for a while longer, but hey, he was earning a little more too for most of the time.

Could have puked. No wonder there are so many dam.... sorry d*mned divorces these days if this is what women are picking.

Really my dears at Elle magazine. GROW UP. Don't marry your Dad, or the one you would have liked to have. Marry a husband.

Try respect, care and consideration. Try love that allows intimacy without annihilating difference. Try respect, interest and responsibility. That will pretty much do it for me.

Rant over.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Eldest is going off tomorrow to do a babysitting course.

How did she get so big?

Imagine it.



Today's post is number 300! Whoda thunk.

You know what else? Someone found my site by searching "butt floss beach"!

Dorky Dad may be the number one lobster panty site on the internet, but I'm moving up to number three as the butt floss beach site.

Goodness knows who would type that into a search engine. Then again, they may read this...

Yee Gawds.

Ooooo, just before I pushed the publish button, you know what came on the radio? The CLASH!!!!

Should I stay or should I go

It's always tease tease tease...

(Did you ever notice how tough it is to type tease? Assuming you use those proper finger positions they taught us in junior high?

Love The Clash!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

NOW I understand!!!

There was a news item in the Barcelona Reporter explains everything.

How the Catalans can stay up so late.

Why they eat dinner at 10 pm, even with the 4 year olds.

Why they all look so young for their age.

How they can apparently stay up FOREVER.

Look at this headline!!!!

Average Catalan workday longest since 1999 at 35.8 hours



Kind of a sucky day.

Lots of tired unhappy stressed out down people, and I had to try and carry the whole thing along on my own energy.

It is exhausting though you don't look like your doing anything.

Got home, ate and then we went to the grocery store. I sat in the car with the dog. I had brought the camera in the hopes of finding one hidden patch of beauty. None. Well, the dog, but he turned his back on me and went to sleep. I took a couple of photos of light standards in a desperate attempt at urban modernist architecture, then realised how freakin' ridiculous that was and went to sleep too.

'nuff said.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Citizenship and parties

A woman I know is going to be getting her Canadian citizenship tomorrow. This strikes me as fairly special, kind of an occasion. Then I wonder if this is a case of rampant patriotism. I have just a little bit of a problem with nationalism. Really, an issue. All those folks you may know who have problems with religion because so many people have died in it's name? Do the math. Nationalism leaves it sucking dust and fumes in the distance.

None the less, I am feeling compelled to make a bit of a big deal out of this, though I haven't puzzled out exactly how I feel. Is this even grounds for a celebration? It seems that way to me, one of those major life altering moments, but is everyone happy? It must feel a little mixed in some way. It is a committing step away from an individual's home country. Some people of course would retain dual citizenship, so this would merely be a bit of paper that opened doors to new possibilities. For others it may well signify safety and relief from a dangerous and treacherous situation. Some others may derive great pride from it.

I was in the dollar store buying a couple of Canadian flags to celebrate the event, when I got talking to the guy behind the counter. As an aside, I used to think that people always talked to me, but I realised when I stopped and watched myself that my mama didn't bring me up right and I talk to strangers ALL THE TIME. I do find out some fascinating things though.

The man behind the counter and I got talking, as I noted above, and I mentioned that I was buying this pair of made in China - now there's another blog post - Canada flags and that they were for a friend that was getting her citizenship tomorrow. He said to me that he was going to bring one of those flags when he went, so then we got talking....I asked if he had taken the test yet. You have to here, and most adult Canadians would flunk it miserably, name the provinces and capital cities, and questions about the political system topped off by questions about Canadian history. He had. The conversation went on and I said that she has to go alone tomorrow, everyone has to go to work and she doesn't have much family here. Kind of a shame, but he assured me that he had gone alone, we then had a little discussion around verb tenses while we sorted out if he had gone or was going to go...he had, but he reassured me that there is an MP there and they have a little food and give out little flags, so there is a bit of an event. I hope someone takes her picture.

When my husband got his Spanish citizenship returned after, well, lets just say a lot of years, there was no ceremony at all, they sent it in the mail.

Ho hum.

Though I am not sure how he felt about it, I mostly felt relief after three years of bureaucracy and at least one very expensive flight from the Bahamas to sign a piece of paper. Plus it meant that we could go to Spain.

By the same token we didn't get up off our fannies and do anything about it either. Maybe that is why I feel a little ambivalent about celebrating my friends new citizenship...maybe it isn't that big a deal and I am being a flag waving kook who is getting it way out of proportion. Then again, maybe it is a big deal, and she would love to have this life milestone celebrated. A welcome party so to speak.

Hold on, I think that is why I want to have the party, sort of a house warming kind of thing...a welcome to the club party. Uh oh, I am not sure I like that club thing though; if someones in, there's always someone left out.

Lets just call it a make you feel welcome and valued party. Yup, I think that's why I want to celebrate.


What do you think?

Monday, August 13, 2007

An accidental rant...and ice cream

I have been posed an interesting little ethical conundrum in the last few days, frankly much to my dismay. I am irritated at being forced into the situation, and I am now fairly sure what I am going to do about it.

It is one of those lovely 'damned if you do and damned if you don't and in fact damned if you do nothing, and damned if you try to slide out sideways' spots.


I am annoyed at being placed here, as it was frankly stupid in the first place, and I am annoyed that what should have had absolutely nothing to do with me at all has sucked me in like a nasty little itty bitty black hole....

The joys.

On another note, I was reading "Rosie" by Anne Lamott, who also wrote "Bird by Bird: some instructions on writing and life" which was brilliant. Rosie was not. I got half way through, the main character was still swilling back too much booze, she had switched one boyfriend, the child had apparently aged three years, thought that was not apparent in any way but an increased lippiness.

One more scene of the Mom hung over in the morning, and bored and too butt lazy and stupid to get a life, and the kid fending for herself and was going to send me to tearing the book apart, slowly, page by painful page. I took it back to the library. Life is too short for crap books, so if you read this and loved it, I'd be fascinated to hear why, and if you haven't read it....Don't bother.

The plot is thin to stagnant; the main character is loathsome in her endless ennui; the child, who has the potential to rescue the book, and the scenes between the mother and child are the only thing worth reading, is poorly characterised so that there is no depth or change as she ages. The friends are flat, and while potentially interesting, are given too salutary a treatment.



This is turning into a bit of a rant isn't it.

My evening was actually quite lovely, we all went for a walk with the dog for an hour and hit a Baskin and Robbins and got the girls some ice cream, walked by some lovely houses, saw a scarab beetle was wonderful. I love those sort of simply pleasures.

Hope you had a lovely evening too.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The urge to talk

We took the girls swimming at one point today, and the man was there as well. I thought it would be a great chance for the two of us to hang out and chat while we watched the girls imitate fish. There was, however, a lady sitting next to us who had a two week old baby; so adorable and so tiny and so astonishing.

She seemed to need to talk to someone. I said 'hi' and complimented her baby, and we were off, a full hour and a half later we were still chatting away. She did mention that her mother says that she was a chatterbox as a kid, which I can believe, but she also has been home with a newborn and a three year old for two weeks, and just seemed to need someone to talk to.

I remember doing that several times in my life. When my babies were very small, when I had been travelling alone a long time...I remember telling a complete stranger a life changing bit of news while we were waiting in the Mongolian Embassy in Beijing...there was simply no one else to tell, so I told him. I still don't remember his name.

I have also turned up at families house in the middle of a long trip and quite simply talked their ears off. I was even conscious of the fact that I could not stop, but I just couldn't stop talking. They were very kind. Probably a little bored to, but very kind.

I am a more extroverted kind of person, and there are times when I am simply compelled to talk to someone because I simply haven't talked to ANYONE in a while. This serves me well in Spain, it makes learning the language increasingly important.

This woman turned out to be quite fascinating in fact. She had called a friend who also had a three year old and invited them over so that her child could swim. Swimming two weeks after a baby with a two week old along is a little much. The little girl had never been willing to swim on her own before, but this time alongside her friend, and embraced by a lifey and inflatable ring paddled and kicked her way around, and floated over onto her back as well. A very big day.

The woman told me of her childhood growing up in East Africa, and going to the beach but never swimming, only eating and playing. Apparently the only children who were taught to swim were the fishermen's children, or the really naughty children who went and swam anyway. She then said that some of those ones didn't make it.

It was lovely to talk to her. It felt familiar too. She seemed basically pretty happy, just needed to chat.

The man got his back scratched while we chatted which he probably preferred anyway.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A Saturday

We had a quiet day at home, did a few errands, got the youngest new shoes, with possibly the stupidest sales woman on the planet to help us, I had to remind her that there are those foot measuring doo-hickey things so we didn't need to stand around guessing indefinately, and then you know where it says 'right heel' and 'left heel'? So that your big toe actually sits on those lines that tell the sizes? Used it wrong, every time, both kids. Impressive.

We also got new bikes, the eldest is a loaner, so much the better, I don't have to store it, the youngest's is new, well, a new used bike, complete with five gears, hand breaks and shocks (Why does and eight year old need shocks anyway?)

I'll snap it tomorrow, it weighs about a thousand pounds, but she's happy.

This evening we went to the theater, we saw this show....

Which is at the Factory theater for one more night as part of the summerworks was an amazing show and the visuals were spectacular. When you first go in the set seems plain and simple, but it is filled with many layers of secrets and beauty...simply astonishing. She made all of the puppets as well....

Then we went and ate far too much dipped soft chocolate vanilla twirl icecream. What a lovely evening.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Went sailing, thank goodness.

That's lovely isn't it, sentimental, but lovely. Pretty rough couple of days at work, and then horrific traffic coming home, I almost didn't make the sail, but they kindly waited to the last possible moment...

There wasn't much wind, but I still managed to be inappropriately intensely competitive, not something I usually have to contain, I can be pretty competative, no doubt, but this was a bit intense....

We all had a good time despite me, and it was sooooo lovely.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Chocolate and books. What more can a girl ask for?

The treat drawer for the office I share is unfortunately in my desk, the bottom drawer. I have spent the day eating wasabi peas and gooey incredibly rich chocolate truffles.


That has got to be bad for you on some level, and it is certainly an unlikely combination...though yummy if enough time passes between the mouthfuls. One of the other women at work tried it and liked it too, but she is 7 months pregnant. I have no such excuse.

Strange but true.

This is busy blooming outside the door, and I thought it was gorgeous...

Books Beth with whom some of you may recall I went and met a week or so ago very generously gave the girls gift certificates for a bookstore....look what we got. Thanks Beth. Hope you haven't left yet and you see the post...

I also picked up a couple of books that fascinate me from a variety of angles...

How I love a bookstore.

The man got the girls some earrings...very grown up.....

And the other....

I am busy working away at "The Hand" which is taking me an inordinate amount of time to read, mostly because while the book is fascinating, and I am going to purchase a copy because so much of it is so relevant to what I do/teach and am interested in that I keep wanting to underline....this is how it reads(picked at random):

That explanation was compatible with both the statistics and the seemingly paradoxical occurrence of opposite handedness among identical twins.
Fascinating, but it requires a little more concentration than I can always muster.

The section I am currently reading about handedness is fascinating for two reasons at this moment. First, they have discovered exactly nothing about why some people are right handed and some are left. Secondly, the argument moves on to state that hand dominance in a superior - inferior mindset may well be meaningless. We culturally do this, in Italian for instance the left hand is the mano sinistra, as in sinister, and right is mano destra as in dexterous. This book's supposition, so far, is that it is more useful to look at the different roles that the two hands play when tasks are being done...the right wields the tool (if you are right handed) and the left manipulates the material. You may understand the vital but different role of each hand if you picture trying to cut paper with only one hand. The other difference between the two is that the so called dominant hand is used for micro-moviments and for fast or repetitive movements while the non-dominant hand is usually utilised for macro-movements. A neat way of looking at things.

A fascinating read.

This book will also warrant a re-read or two. One of those books I got also looks comparable, and also deeply fascinating. It is called the language instinct and the subtitle is How the Mind Creates Language. I can hardly wait...and this one I own!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007


Short on inspiration today, I have a couple of postable thoughts, but they just don't seem appropriate somehow, or they are work related, or are a little private...I suppose this is one of the worthwhile disciplines of blogging, can I come up with something to say, even when I apparently have nothing to say.

Youngest fell asleep in the car on the way home this evening, we'd had dinner over at a friend's house and got home, not exactly late, but at bedtime....

She reluctantly groaned out of the car as we arrived back and staggered inside admitting that she was faking for the last bit.

I remember falling asleep, or nearly asleep in the car when I was a kid and lying there desperately faking because you are just too bone weary to get out and clamber through the bedtime routine, and the nights my Dad was merciful even though I was painfully huge and carried me in were simply heaven.

There are times it is great to be little, and a broad shoulder can just pick everything up and handle it all for you. Laying you gently and lovingly to sleep at the end of a late night.

I can so relate to her when she does this...there are days I still wish it worked that way.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


I turned around from writing that last post and there was dogalicious flaked out on my briefcase, which he had opened to make it comfier I might add. He also didn't eat his breakfast till I got home. He's in wuv.

Silly dog.

Work and SAILING

Back to work today, that wasn't too bad, just the usual range of crises. Then this evening I got to go sailing!!!!

The man is here and can pick up the pieces on childcare so out I went and was it ever fun. Screwed up and forgot the camera, but what the heck it was rainy enough I may not have gotten it out anyway. We did well too in the light and fluky conditions we had, and ended up in second by a fingernail. Slightly beating youngest's third place that she posted in sailing camp today.

The coolest thing about sailing camp in some ways is the youngest is racing/sailing with the eldest daughter of my old sailing buddy with whom I competed in dingy racing at a relatively high level for years and years, and now our kids are sailing and racing together. Pretty darned cool. They're having a gratifyingly large amount of fun too. They both look so happy, and we're going to go over there for dinner tomorrow night to keep the fun going on.

When I will get all my work done while this is going on I haven't figured out yet.

Ah well.

Monday, August 6, 2007

It was sooooo wonderful...and that PhD again...

We had such a fantastic was wonderful and relaxing and peaceful, I slept tons and feel mountains better, although I have to admit that as I pulled into TO I got a stiff neck and my sore throat returned....Why would that be I wonder?

We found this little fellow floating by the osprey had got him and lost him by the looks of his belly. We sent him back to rejoin the local ecosystem. The osprey watching was amazing...there were lots soaring and diving at the lake, although I never got a picture. We also saw a turkey vulture from the car on the way back out which was pretty cool too.

Nomad had gotten one of those portable fireplaces so we went an roasted marshmallows, I thought this was a lovely photo of the fire...

Nomad also is a woman of amazing talents on all sorts of fronts...she read my cards! You can see the cards I got in the photo below. I asked if I should pursue the PhD possibility. These were Russian Gypsy Cards and here's what I got...

And this is an overview of the reading...the first symbol was the ship. How fitting. It symbolises finances, adventure and exploration. Because of the position it is in, I am not likely to make my fortune as a result of the program, but it encouraged action, cautiously. Then I got the bear, which is about work, and effort and timing, again I should be cautious, but go ahead. Then an angel, which told me to look to a power greater than me for advice and assistance. The scales were next up, justice and balance, this one told me that if I go ahead I have to be aware of maintaining balance in my life, something I already struggle with. (Who doesn't?)

I got the hands as well, it shows that my relationships, particularly with my spouse are on solid ground. Kinda thought as much anyway, and it's position showed that I would have strong friendship and support for my life. Which was certainly nice to hear.

I also got the dog, which showed that I have a number of lasting supportive friendships with many people that I can rely on. Also nice to hear.

The boy came on the final card, which is apparently indicative of a fair amount, adventure and youthful energy are here, also travel in the near future. I could see that somehow.

My path in life is supposed to be smooth and joyful...again a pleasant card to get.
The sun appeared, saying that I influence those around me to happiness...and with it's position promises prosperity, happiness, constructive healthy and vital, it actually said that it would be a good time to take a new course or learn a skill...and to trust myself.

Weird huh?

Very nice though too. Nomad said that they don't all turn out that well, and some are sufficiently dark that it is mighty uncomfortable.

We also got talking about topics for the thesis, and I started thinking about an inter-disciplinary study around the ethics/realities of the design and implementation of educational systems for immigrant populations. This would obviously need to be refined a good deal, but I could study this in Spain or here, or indeed damn near anywhere, and I myself am an immigrant in Spain, as are my kids. It is a currently hot enough topic I should be able to get it by the various thesis committees, and it should open some doors to the possibility of work afterwards. It would be a combination of curriculum, philosophy of education and also international education studies. It could also be pretty cool. We'll see how it goes.

Chuck had one rough period this weekend, he got loose and ran through we are not sure how many patches of poison ivy, and since both Nomad and her Mom, who was up, get the most horrendous reactions to it, we washed the dog. Yup, threw the poor pooch off the dock and lathered him up. He was pretty miserable I must say. Nomad commented that we had firmly reestablished any doubts about pack order with the event. He's all fluffy now though, and softer.

Friday, August 3, 2007

He's HERE!!!!! We're away...

I'm picking him up at the airport and we're off to Nomad's cottage for the weekend, I'll bring the camera, and post again when we get back...

Have a great long weekend.

Thursday, August 2, 2007


Late late at night after I walked the dog I put up all THREE posts I wanted to do yesterday...what is up with that...a little fragmented over here clearly...

I also wanted to say though that lovely Beth...had gifts! Isn't she nice? I can't say I was so organised, but she gave me a copy of The Ladies Lending Library, which she reviewed here As I finish off book six, regretfully not in time to borrow book seven which is heading to a cottage for the month with a friend, this has filled a gap that gapes open before me waiting to be filled by book seven...the other book I am working up to reading is Hard Laughter by Ann Lamott.

Tomorrow my husband arrives...I am so so so so .....happy.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


I had a first today.

I visited Starbucks.

I had a three dollar coffee. My goodness.

There was a choice of six kinds of milk and a language, a jargon, an only-the-cool-can-understand lingo....

They are wildly successful. The place is comfy..they have worked very hard at making the store a place to hang out in, to be comfortable in....and it works....They apparently phrase it that they want to make it people's third place...the first two places you want to hang and I suppose being home and ????

The other thing I came away with though was how spoiled we are as a culture...I mean really, can we let this is like a toddler who has to have their milk in a specific sippy cup, with a specific lid, and a specific straw while seated in a specific chair. I mean really, do we need this sort of choice? The guy there listed off six different types of milk and then added that they would be getting 2% soon, like I should be excited.

I actually asked him, somewhat scornfully, whether that was because there wasn't enough choice?

Be glad you have the money for a coffee and get out of town.

Books Beth.

I met up with Beth this evening...and it was lovely...we ate yummy food, see above, and she gave me the book you can see in the photo that she reviewed on her blog a while ago...very kind....

It was a treat, and odd in some ways, the conversation does not follow the usual track for someone you have just met, because of course we know about each other and yet we don't.

One of the benefits of blogging....what a delight.