December 25, 2011 in hourly photos

idea originates from Andrea
photos are unrehearsed, untouched, uncropped... and no 'redo's:

7am: the wake up back tickle

8 am: she had the fire going by the time
we all congregated downstairs

9 am: red clover, red clover epiphanie bag!!!

10 am: bacon and crepes

11 am: and coffee
(but not Keurig)

12 pm: The Clean Up

1 pm: xmas music
(I am SO picky)

2 pm: white christmas after all

3 pm: happy happy joy joy

4 pm

5 pm: playing scribblish

6 pm: Tdinner
(hours of prep for minutes of consumption)

7 pm: bright lights

8 pm: more presents

9 pm: table cloth

10 pm: more scribblish

11pm: time to retire


maroon mondegreen

Maeve belts out the lyric in the car on the way to synchro this week. I giggle.

"Whhaaaat????!" she challenges.

"Hee hee. That can't be it... Sorry for laughing, but that can't be the right word."

"It IS. What else could it be??!"

"I don't know, but I'm SURE that they don't say 'Take me by the tongue'..."

ha ha ha.


coming clean

When Joe and I were in NYC in May, we visited the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. In the Asian Chapel there is a bronze tri-panel by the late Keith Haring. It was donated by Yoko Ono, who apparently welcomed Keith Haring into her home for his last months where he created this particular piece of art:

I've always liked his stuff. It's crisp, clean, energetic but smudged with humour to deliver a message. Or not.

Our tour guide had lived in the city long enough that he remembers seeing some of his graffiti around long before Haring became Known. (but then again he also remembered going to Studio 54, which makes me think that he perhaps didn't really)

Many (many, many) view graffiti as an Eyesore. I actually like it. Not the tags that proliferate occasionally, but real mural-type art. Along trains, under bridges... done well, I think it's very cool. And I like it better than seeing the scrubbed pale square leftover on the sides of buildings.

Change focus to last night. I'm standing in front of a display for cleaning implements (brooms, sponges) all decorated with Keith Haring's work ...

there were even lunchbags,
this is Maeve's new one


latest mondegreen

Maeve's mondegreen details:

song: Rumour Has It by Adele

lyric "rumour has it"

mondegreen "groomer hazard"


procrastinate until perfect

I chose One Little Word back in January, plunked my credit card down (virtually) and was instantly enrolled. I thought about my One Little Word all that month, struggled to complete the month's prompt, took some deep breaths and put it aside. It wasn't perfect, and it took me a couple of days before I got up the nerve to open the binder again. You know, cuz I thought it was shite. Well, actually that's not exactly true... I was paralyzed by the thought that someone else would think it was shite. Truth be told, I kinda liked it.

But if your proud of something... well, that's just ASKING for trouble. No?

February was okay too. The prompt had to do with photography and oddly enough I'd been thinking of photographing my word in my environment way back in January. March I don't remember... oh! I developed a gluten-free bread recipe that was worthy of the toaster. And peanut butter. But that recipe didn't come together until May.

April I was pissed off at myself cuz I wasn't creating a binder as visually stunning as the teacher's example. We were to write a letter to ourselves to be opened in a year. Be nice to yourself Yvonne when you read it next April.

May I can't remember, probably cuz I was confusing it with March's. June's looked like a lot of fun and I was SO looking forward to doing it because it was creating random little art canvases. But I haven't done it yet and it's almost the middle of July. I think July's is about creating a musical playlist but I haven't screwed up enough courage yet to open the video prompt and find out.

In my head, there is a definite disconnect between my intentions and my actions. And it's frustrating as hell!!!


running out of June in which to post

Every year, every time June comes around it rushes right by me in a blur. End-of-school-year stuff always catches me off guard. It's like a mental forehead smack, every time! You'd think by now I'd have caught on... sheesh!

I'm trying to deal with this thought pattern that I've been having, sparked by my (very quick) perusal of The Vegetarian Myth. My brother-in-law recommended at Christmas break, I think because I mentioned The Paleo Diet in passing conversation. This book has stayed with me, but in such a negative way that I really hesitate giving it any more thought.

The author's premise is that the development of agriculture has been really really bad for the earth, and I think she was advocating for us to return to our hunter-gatherer roots. Not sure exactly how all of us would manage to become nomadic, but like I said I did only peruse it. Not only that, but every technological advance that I can think of is linked to being able to sit in one place for a while. So I can't imagine how civilization would look if we were still hunting and gathering. Excellent idea for a spec-fic book though...

(and I just can't read doom & gloom books like I used to. Gone is my subscription to Ms magazine, my Naomi Wolf books. Sorry Gloria, David Suzuki but I'm burnt out: I don't see much change. I can't care that much anymore; it's someone else's turn...
OK Yvonne... lighten up.)

I actually really like June: my daughter was born mid-June and I love the longer days. The weather usually isn't too hot or humid yet. But by gosh it's so busy!!

Note to self: read this post next May!!


38 degrees with the humidex

Picture yourself at an elementary school play. The stagehands are all grade 3 and 4s. A change of scenery is required, but the hands are sweaty from nerves and the rope slips right through their hands and the backdrop unfurls quickly and hits the stage with a resounding BANG.

Wow. Winter just changed into Summer!


current rotation

I think we all agree that the best line is:
"it's like Paradise, spread out with a butter knife"


strike a pose

I will often command him to jump up and sit on this rock during our walks. I also snap photos of him, but for some reason this one looks a bit surreal... it looks like he's posing in front of a green screen that I've digitally swapped out with a backdrop. Oh, and I've positioned each blade of grass individually.


a happy anniversary

20 years ago I saw the most fireflies I've ever seen at once. The hot air balloon couldn't take off because of the humid, threatening weather. My better-than-everyone fastidious aunt had a one-bite profiterole explode on her during the reception; I thanked karma while giggling behind my hand when I found out. I had to convince the staff to indeed cut up all the cake; we were gonna eat it, not save it. Chris made everyone - including me - cry; I really wish he'd written his speech down but he did it off the cuff and there's no record of it other than emotional memory.

It was relaxed and fun and funny. And I can't believe it's been 20 years.


brown chicken brown cow

Blaze likes pillows. He really likes them... finds them very sexy I guess. When he was a puppy it was blankets but after he was fixed he lost interest. But every once in a while one of the sofa pillows beckons and he's powerless to its charms.

It doesn't happen often, and he seems quite embarrassed* when caught. He'll skulk off to compose himself and then reimerge all hey what's up? and carry on as if he wasn't just caught in a compromising position with a stuffed object.
(*comic use of anthropromorphization... I know he can't feel embarrassment)

This time the recomposure didn't go so well; his... bits wouldn't retreat. I found him a couple of minutes later on the landing just standing, looking confused. A quick glance was all I needed; he was stuck. In the ON position.

For some reason his posture bothered me and I've heard that having this body part stuck in the ON position - especially from constriction - can prove dangerous. So I thought I'd give him a couple of minutes alone to calm things down and then we'd see.

Still stuck. Still standing, confused. So I call the vets and for some reason after the receptionist confers with a tech on duty, recommends 'bring him in; right now'. I explain to the kids that they're on their own for feeding themselves (and it has to be more than just Cheerios; protein must be involved) and ready the dog to get him transported.

I had to lift him up into the car - front end, then back. I walk around the car to get in, and for some reason I decide to check on him just one more time. Maybe cuz he's sitting comfy now? Don't know. But his bits have settled back into the NORMAL operating position. I make him stand right there in the backseat of the car and yep, sure enough he's fine.

Retrace our steps, back into the house and unclip his leash. The kids are just getting bowls down for Cheerios and look over surprised. All clear I say as I start to dial the vets office.


double yew tee eff

I am so very disappointed. Specifically in my fellow Ontarians. I'm not a political person per se. I have my beliefs, and I have always voted. Rarely have I been totally happy with the results, but this is the first time I've been so deeply saddened by the outcome.

What on earth were y'all thinking??! This is a government that caused parliament to fall, that took it's ball and went home when things weren't going its way, that banned the term climate change when it came to power five years ago. Yep, it was 'illegal' to utter that phrase: even if it appeared in your title, or on your business card and letterhead.

Yes, yes... the Economy... don't raise the corporate tax rates... I heard you. My thinking is this: in 100 yrs when historians look back on this time what will they say about this electorate? I mean, come on... Canada has never been THAT much of an influence on the world's economy. Much of what his government has accomplished has been heavily tainted by luck for a better term. If the US economy went in the tank, we'd be safe not because of what Stephen Harper did or didn't do... our safety measures were already in place, no? He was just lucky that our system isn't the same. He didn't actually DO anything. Other than take credit for it...

What he HAS done is taken away my (secret) pride: that we are good stewards of the land. Or, we try to be. Yes, it's important that we have the means to pay our own household bills. But I also think it's important - obviously more important than what Harper thinks - to try and take care of our Home so that in 100 years my ancestors aren't embarrassed. Or worse.


am I just a drunk bunny?

They don't believe in the Easter Bunny anymore, yet oddly enough still want chocolate. So we hid some. The next day,

Joe : hey, there are still many eggs that I hid and you two haven't found yet.

Me: yeah, me too.

Maeve pauses, then walks over to the liquor cabinet. Opens it. Finds an egg.


five things before coffee

No one likes black jujubes in our house. Can they be successfully composted?

Realized that I wasn't going to have to give up *my* music when my two-and-a-half year old daughter exclaimed from the back seat "Mommy!! It's Weeeee-zer!!!"

Why is it that my son got the curly hair, and not my daughter?? She wants it; he doesn't.

I often create band's names during the day. Like, multiple times during the day.

Coffee is a bean, cocoa is a bean but peanut is a legume.


the march post, part II

Greetings to and from: using the Pano app on my awesome iPhone.

We went to Mont-Tremblant for Family Day weekend in February. The day we arrived it was 13C and when we woke up the next day it was apparently -30C with the windchill at the top of the mountain. (Yea, and there's no such thing as climate change... right, Mr Harper??)

One morning I took a look at the top of the mountain using their webcams; it was so beautiful... I love the colours of the morning and twilight skies. I even managed to get the moon in one shot!

So then I arranged with The Skiers to go and stand where I'd see them:

We had lots of fun. Neal and Maeve are old enough that they now want to ski all day long, and I'm no longer an anxious traveller so I'm much more relaxing to be around...

the march post

It's March 31st, and if I want to have any post in this month I gotta do it now.

Thing is, nothing springs to mind that is bloggable. Nothing has sprung to mind since the beginning of February really. Proof is in the post dates.

Oh, there've been Random Musings over the last seven weeks, but nothing 'worthy' of sitting down and creating with. I've been creative in other ways: noodling around with iMovie, slopping Modge Podge on some things, loving all my new photography apps on my iPhone, baking polymer clay into wee cupcakes... and trying to stay in touch with my One Little Word: [clean].

I'll be able to access April's prompt for the One Little Word workshop starting tomorrow, and I'm hoping that I can do better in April cuz March was a bust. March was Action: find something to Do that has meaning with your word. I decided to find or develop or create a yummy gluten-free bread so I can have toast with peanut butter on it. One of the definitions of [clean] for me is Eat Clean and I do a lot better off gluten, so I thought this Action would be great. (and easy)

Pftt. Shudda known better. How many loaves of bread did I make? One. And a blechy one at that.

I looked around online, and I have some recipes myself and I figured out what I wanted in my loaf compared to others and last week I finally got around to hauling out the bread machine to create a wonderful loaf of gluten-free bread and then I'd be able to fill out all my lovely scrapebookey printouts JUST in the nick of time. Nope. Not gonna happen.

But you know, part of this workshop for me is to embrace the imperfection. Somehow it's tied into my One Little Word. I finished January's task and immediately wanted to pitch the sheet of paper. It wasn't Perfect. But I didn't, and it is still in my binder and now it doesn't look so bad. But I was really uncomfortable walking away from a Job Not Perfect. And then I had unexpected palpitations just showing my creation to my husband; what if he just shrugged and walked away or laughed or something? Better off to keep it to myself... but I didn't. And he was kinda impressed!

So come on April... what's it gonna be??



paraphrase of The Current's The Voice from this morning:

"an elementary school in the polygamous community of Bountiful BC has made the Fraser Institute's top list; a topic sure to come up at the next Parent Parent Parent Parent Teacher interview"


feeling purple

Today in this part of the world we remembered a very sad occasion and my kids wore purple in honour. Daron Richardson would've been 15 yrs old today, but she didn't get to celebrate this milestone. Unfortunately her parents have started marking a whole new milestone now.

My son is only one-and-a-half years younger than Daron was. The news last November, and remembering it today kinda hits home. I just cannot imagine coming home to find your child in the basement like that. It's unthinkable, unspeakable.

So I'd like to write an open letter so all the teens out there who may be relating particularly well to this topic.

You... Are Not Alone. You aren't. I swear sometimes we should just dump antidepressants into the public water supply*. This depression monster likes to make you think you're alone, but you are not. (*not my original thought: a very smart, depressed friend came up with that one)

Talk. To someone, somewhere, about this. When things were really bad for me I remember thinking I can't talk about this: if I open my mouth I'll start crying and I'll never stop and I'll drown and go crazy. Now granted the first couple of times I started talking about it I did become dehydrated from loss of fluids and ended up hiccupping through most of my sentences, but that calms down. I didn't go crazy, and no one told me I was crazy. People sat and listened, handing me tissues as I needed them and helping me.

It Gets Better. It does. It really, really does. Once your body figures out which hormone goes where and does what and you, your body and your life settle into a rhythm... it gets better. Please don't give up yet.

Start collecting tools (figuratively speaking), things you find helpful to fight this Demon. I realized much much later in life that depression and creativity live hand-in-hand. Being creative soothes that Beast better than any antidepressant does for me. If I'm not able to be creative for a while, guarenteed I will go squirrly. Music is a great tool for me. I truly believe that our brains are hard-wired to respond positively to music. Find a kind that makes your brain happy and strong to combat this Demon and load up your iPod with it.

Exercise. It feels like just about the last thing in the world that you'd like to do but getting some nice fresh blood up to those hardworking neurotransmitters helps.

Sleep. Wow, it's exhausting being depressed or anxious! When you need to, sleep. Of course the human teen's circadian rhythm is changing so there's that to contend with... but don't be surprised if your absolutely wiped (aka knackered: a much better term I think) sometimes. (especially if you've just Talked to someone... I'm always surprised that I'm physically tired from sitting and blabbing. yeah, yeah; and crying)

Basically just hang on; you're not alone and it gets better.

And if you're a parent: listen. Listen first, act second. And get help if you need support too. Let your child know through your behaviour that you can be trusted to take on some of this burden... and then celebrate when things do indeed get better.

Thank you for your time.



This whole food theme seems to be cropping up over and over! That post by dooce, the book that I rec'd for xmas ('s OK it was on my wish list), me and my one little word work... and now this aha! moment I had recently...

I was talking with Eleanor about raclette; explaining it to her and talking about how even my kids eat it, albeit modified. On New Year's Eve we fed all six kids first so they could reach the raclette set in the middle of the table and then us Growned Ups would eat after. Nutella was placed on the table with an explanation that "Drew doesn't eat raclette, he doesn't like melted cheese" or something like that.

I thought nothing of it at the time really. I understand totally, having picky eaters living with me every day... but I realized during my conversation with my friend that Drew's food issue was totally accomodated! I hadn't even realized this up until then. None of the "this is what's for dinner, eat it or else" or "you must try a mouthful of each" or even the cousins "oh, come on... just eat it!". He doesn't eat melted cheese and so he could have a grilled Nutella sandwich. Which he made himself.

Maeve of course asked if she could have one too, and I said sure. She ate some raclette though, didn't even have to tell her to.

I'm not passing judgement. I understand, and it's not a problem with me if my sister-in-law and her husband allow their son to make a food substitution at dinner. It does however illuminate on our food issues from another angle...


I started following Brene Brown on Twitter, and have now registered for an online course that she mentioned. What will my word be...?

I've narrowed down my word choices, and that in itself has been illuminating. Illuminating ruminating... henh.

One thing I've realized is that this is my first home, this house is the first one I've chosen. We've only ever owned two houses, and the first one we moved into and rented from the InLaws and then just cuz it was easier to stay put than move, and the neighbourhood was well located and the school was great... well, it was Good Enough.

But then we moved last summer, and in that process figured out what we did and didn't want in a home. So this is the first place I've Chosen from Scratch so to speak. And it's great. Don't get me wrong, the first place was great too and I was able to renovate it to my liking... but this house is somehow different.

It's not perfect; the backyard is a bit too close to our back neighbours, it sits sideways on the lot so I don't feel as connected to the street as I like and therefore has poor curb appeal. But there's something about it. It's solid, calm, nourished to completion.

Geez, that's so weird-sounding. Sometimes words make concepts difficult to convey. Which is why I'm looking forward to starting that workshop!