Rabbit Holes

This weekend we decided to have some down time.

We were tired, and BDH’s birthday had just passed. We were unable to celebrate it when we wanted to, last weekend, because That Girl decided to bring home a stomach bug from school and consequently barfed spectacularly and stayed home from school and then spent the weekend recovering.

Then on his actual birthday, a weekday, BDH of course had to go to work and That Girl had some of her many activities in the evening and so it wasn’t an optimal time to celebrate. So we pushed back until this past weekend. Continue reading

The One Where I Like Stuff

Well, May is done. It was an extraordinarily long month. Lots of work for BDH, lots of appointments for That Girl, lots of doctor and physio appointments for me… And we got FURNITURE. Grown up, actual, real, FURNITURE.

A sofa. And a chair. Not from Ikea. Just let that sink in for a couple of minutes.

I KNOW.

So it was a busy month, but there were many good things too. My shoulder is healed via physio and exercises to the point where today will be my last physio appointment for the indefinite future. And I can exercise again. So, YAY!

But because it was busy, we did a bit of blanket fort-ing on the weekends, or whenever we needed to just rest. Movies and TV and knitting and games. Nice.

I have binge watched a few things. A number of times. (Not just in May, mind. But also in May, if you know what I mean.) Things like… Continue reading

Finding Happy

It’s a fair comment to say that I’ve been struggling to be happy these past few weeks.

There are a number of factors contributing to my down mood. The holidays are over, which is always a come-down. An online acquaintance, a young vibrant woman, died of H1N1 flu this week. Stinkerbelle is fully five, in all it’s glory, and with that comes a whole host of challenging behaviours. Unrelated to that, we’re getting her into private Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy to assist her with catching up developmentally, which is a bit of running around and a fair bit of money, which will be hard. The weather has been frigid and cold. But mostly, I am a person who gets the winter blues, or SAD, in the midwinter, and so the dark and cold of late January and February see me struggling. Continue reading

Music Monday: Weather Report

Well, it is November. And November in this part of the country means weather. We’ve been getting some, it’s fair to say — not tornadoes like our neighbours to the south, but it’s been crappy enough.

So I decided to share the weather with you.

(Get it? “Weather With You”? Okay, I know it’s bad, but follow along now, people.)

We’ve had a ton of rain, which is normal for November. I don’t like it.

(That one was pretty obvious.)

There’s snow blowing by the window. And it’s getting dark earlier.

(Okay, that one was a bit of a stretch. But I like the song and it has a very sexy Jack Davenport in it. So sue me.)

But worst of all, it’s crazy windy. There’s a mighty wind blowing. All across this land.

(Hee.)

And that, folks, is the weather here from Suburbiaville. Good night, and may the good news be yours.

 

I’m Back, With a SQUEEEEEEE

Well, we have made it through our martian death flu (thanks June) and come out the other side.

And to celebrate, the first morning I am feeling better, I woke up to THIS — this magical, glorious, YEARS-awaited piece of televisual goodness that has set my Doctor Who fangirl heart all to squeeing out loud and shrieking with excitement.

I may have cried a tear or two. It is true.

I give you, the return of My Doctor:


I think even BDH will clap his hands with glee over this. We’ve been cursing the BBC PTB (BBC Powers-That-Be) for weeks, nay MONTHS now, about not bringing Paul McGann back.

AND THEY DID.

I swear I shall never speak ill of MOFFFFAAAAAAAATTTTT again. Until I do. Of course.

Photo Essay: What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Alrighty peeps. Yes, I know I have been away for a bit, but we went on vacation to NS. And I couldn’t very well post about it, because it would be all OHAI THERE INTERNETS WE WENT ON HOLIDAY NOBODY IS HOME COME AND ROB US BLIND.

But we are home NOW, and just in time for a Saturday photo post… which is brought to you today by Stinkerbelle and her LeapPad camera!

We drove down to NS, and on the ride, That Girl used her LeapPad to take pictures. OH YES SHE DID. OVER 2000 OF THEM. We took a look at them once we got home and OMG LAUGHED OUR ASSES OFF.

And so, I decided to give you a sampling for your viewing pleasure! YOU’RE WELCOME.

Now, of course we went to visit Grammy and Grandad…

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And to hang out on the deck and swim in the pool…

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But the journey is half the fun! And there was so much to see, and so we let Stinkerbelle document it all.

As one would expect, there were some picturesque shots of scenery:

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But unfortunately, she couldn’t remember a lot of the time to lift up the LeapPad to be sure she was pointing it out the window completely…

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…until the scenery became mostly shots of clouds and the tops of trees…

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…or, fairly frequently, bits of the car interior.

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Or, sometimes, her left foot…

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…and for a little variety… her right foot.

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But never mind! There were things to see, so many exciting things! Like, SIGNS!

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LOTS AND LOTS OF SIGNS.

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And, occasionally, the backs of signs.

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This particular sign apparently required a 25-plus-shot pictorial essay.

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(I’m assuming you can get the gist of it from this one shot.)

But there were so many more things besides signs to see on this trip!

Like… Gas stations!

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Gas pumps! FRENCH gas pumps! MON DIEU!

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Overpasses!

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Street lights! Also French!

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MIscellaneous cars!

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The backs of trucks!

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Construction cones!

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Hydro wires!

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Miscellaneous unidentifiable but apparently very close things!

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And, we couldn’t quite get her to understand that you have to hold the camera STILL until AFTER it clicks. So we got a lot of blurs. But occasionally, some strangely bendy things:

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And, when all else failed, she contented herself with taking selfies:

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Or creating art:

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(I have no explanation for that last one. I call it “Darth Duck”.)

Hope your summer is going this well! And, perhaps slightly less blurry and bendy and with less car interior.

Saturday Smile: Surprise!

So, no pictures today. Because WE ARE ON HOLIDAY!

Remember, I mentioned how we were going to take Stinkerbelle to visit her Grammy and Grandad and aunties and uncles and cousins, as a birthday surprise? That we had planned everything without mentioning a word to her, so we could surprise her?

Well, our plan went PERFECTLY.

Yesterday, Stinkerbelle went to school, as normal, and while she was away, BDH and I packed our suitcases and carry-ons and got ready for a week away. Meanwhile, at school, the teachers (who knew she was going to be away on Surprise!Trip), were having a birthday party for her! So when BDH picked her up from school, Stinkerbelle declared it the Best Day Ever.

She had no idea what was in store. So on the ride home from school, they picked up some take-out burgers, and over lunch, we asked That Girl if she’d like to go on an ADVENTURE.

Of course she did!

We said we should probably take a BUS on our adventure, because we’d never gone anywhere on a bus before, and Stinkerbelle agreed. We also thought we should have backpacks for our adventure, and the suitcases we said were bags full of “adventure gear”, just like she sees on Zoboomafoo. So when the Airport Transit van came to pick us up, she just got right in, no question.

Apparently, she thought the adventure should be exploring a cave, and she told everyone that that was where we were going. Thus, as we rode the hour and a bit to the airport, she was growing increasingly more peevish and complaining about the lack of caves.

Until she saw the airport, that is, where she put the cave idea aside for a little while, and asked if we could go look at some planes. We thought that was a good adventure. So in we went.

All the way along, BDH had been quietly telling people — teachers, transit drivers, airline staff — that this trip was a surprise for Stinkerbelle’s birthday, and it was quite unexpected and quite lovely that people had been going out of their way to help play along with the plan. So, at the airport check in counter, where they offered to “take care of” our “adventure bags” for a little while, the lovely staffer asked if we’d like to go for a plane ride. Stinkerbelle OF COURSE said yes. So she printed off a “boarding pass” for That Girl, and a “baggage tag” for her giraffe backpack (with Stinkerbelle’s name and big hearts written on it) and off we went.

We got on the plane, and once again BDH mentioned, on the sly to the flight crew, what our plan was. They immediately played along. One, named Maureen, bought chips and pop for Stinkerbelle from the snack cart, which was a treat. And then she asked That Girl if she would like to help her out by being a Junior Flight Attendant.

OF COURSE SHE WOULD!!

They took Stinkerbelle to the galley, and they made an announcement — that this flight had a Very Special Guest on board, named Stinkerbelle, and it was her 5th birthday next week, and she was going to be a Junior Flight Attendant today. Then, they got That Girl dressed up in a little WestJet apron and some gloves, and she helped Maureen go up the aisle and collect all the trash from the snack service. All the way along, passengers were fussing on That Girl, saying what a good helper she was, wishing her a Happy Birthday… and one, who owned a McDonalds, even gave her coupons for free burgers!

Stinkerbelle was BEYOND thrilled. She was beaming. Three things she loves — being social, helping tidy up, and being the centre of attention — were making this the Best Day Ever. She loved it.

But it was not done yet. At the end of the flight, once we were at the gate, Maureen said that Stinkerbelle could go up and sit with the pilot. So off she went, where the pilot fired up the plane again so all the lights and dials would come on. He got her to pull on the steering and turn it and so on, and took pictures, and she had a grand time.

But that was the end of the flight, and so we said perhaps we’d get a bus home, and maybe have some supper and watch some Doctor Who. Stinkerbelle thought that was an excellent idea. So she hugged Maureen, said thank you to the other flight staff, and high-fived the pilot, and off we went out into the airport.

Now, for all Stinkerbelle knows, an airport is an airport is an airport. She doesn’t know between Hamilton or Toronto or Halifax. So as we walked through the airport, after getting off the plane, she thought we were on our way to get a bus home. And, as we went down the escalator, BDH had the video camera out and interviewed her about her day’s adventure.

She had no idea who was awaiting her at the bottom of the escalator, and it was only once we got through the doors and into the baggage claim that she saw her Grammy and her Uncle Mike that the jig was up. She ran, ecstatic, into Grammy’s arms, for big hugs, and then hopped and danced with excitement that WE WERE VISITING GRAMMY AND GRANDAD!!

She had had NO IDEA. Not a one. We had pulled it off. And it was the Best Almost-Birthday Surprise Ever.

Although her birthday is still a few days away, I hope she loved her present. And although the trip home will likely not be as magical, I hope she’ll be able to remember this particular birthday for years to come..

Carjacked By Cows

So, yesterday, I spent a lot of time writing a post for you. It was full of existential angst and deep thoughts. And as boring as shit. So I put it aside and thought, “Meh, not today. I will work on it tomorrow.”

AND THEN THIS HAPPENED.

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And I thought SCREW THE EXISTENTIAL POSE, THIS IS COWS! So I will tell you about this instead.

So. As you may know, BDH plays soccer. He is a goalkeeper, and thus an endangered species. Because in soccer, nobody wants to play goal. Everyone wants to run around and SCORE goals.

So when he goes to soccer, he is often asked by other teams to play for them because they have no goalkeeper, or theirs is injured, or what have you. Which is what happened last night.

BDH went out to play his game for 9 pm. When his game was finished, he was asked by another team to play for them at 10 pm. And when THAT game was finished, at 11 pm, ANOTHER team asked him to play. So he did. And thus it as that he didn’t get out of the sports complex until after 12 am.

Now, we live in farm country. The breadbasket of Ontario. And it is also Mennonite country.  So, despite the Tech Triangle and cities of over 100K within shouting distance, we also often have many, many farms between here and wherever it is we are going. And as it happens, BDH’s games were on the edge of town at a complex surrounded by farms.

And, last night, we were having some weather. Our normal last blast of wintry weather that comes in the first week of April before spring well and truly arrives. It was not fit for man nor beast outside. Which is why it was an extra special bit of WTFery for BDH to get in his car, head off down the country road from the complex and toward home, and down a hill, only to find…

COWS.

A herd of cows, milling about the road. Some trotting jauntily along. Like they had just busted out of the joint or something, and were headed into town to the pub to partake of some proverbial wild oats.

So, the wind is blowing, snow is drifting. And there are cows. So BDH pulls off to the side of the road, for fear of hitting, you know, any one of a number of bovine friends. And thinks, what to do?

The answer, I can tell you, is NOT to get out and make that “scoo! scoo!” flappy hands gesture, trying to shoo your animal friends in a certain direction. Because partying cows? THEY WILL NOT BE SHOO-ED. Oh no. They immediately turn around and are all YO YO YO MAH BITCHEZZZ WASSSUUUUP and come trotting toward you, all friendly-like.

Being chest-bumped by a fairly large bovine, even in a friendly “wassup” kind of a way, is NOT what you want at 12:30 am on a deserted country road in blowing and drifting snow. Oh no it is not.

Now, perhaps — given that it WAS cold and snowy and these cows were out and about on a road when CLEARLY they should have been tucked up in a barn somewhere — perhaps it was more a case that these cows were all EXCUSE ME, KIND SIR, WE SEEM TO HAVE LOST OUR WAY IN THE SNOW, WOULD YOU BE ABLE TO PLEASE DIRECT US TO THE NEAREST AGRICULTURAL FACILITY IN WHICH WE MAY BE ABLE TO SEEK SOME ACCOMMODATION, AND PERHAPS SOME OATS?

But BDH does not, sadly, speak Cow. And thus is was that he beat a hasty retreat back into his car — which was then, inevitably, ENVELOPED by a sea of COW — and found himself calling the local police.

If it had been a four-car — or even a four-cow — pile-up on the road, the police would have been there in a flash. But as it was just adventuresome cows, BDH found himself sitting there, adrift in a sea of mooing bovine friends, for three-quarters of an hour until a police officer arrived. A police officer, it must be said, who must have drawn the short straw to have been dispatched on such an assignment as this.

And, when the officer did pull up, BDH greeted him apologetically. The unfortunate officer said ruefully, “This is not the first time this has happened.”

At which point, no doubt, there was some muffled chuckling amid the herd.

So BDH left the officer in the care of his newfound cow friends to go knocking on farmhouse doors, which for all I know involved holding up a cow and asking the farmer in question “Does this belong to you?”, and headed for home.

When I told him he should go back today and ask compensation from the farmer for his time, he agreed. Although the look of horror that passed over his face when I mentioned payment in STEAKS is probably understandable.

“No. No way. I KNOW those cows.”

Sneezing and Sneaking

Well, it was inevitable. After BDH and Stinkerbelle both getting a cold two weeks ago, and me sitting there saying HA HA I REFUSE TO HAVE THIS BASTARD COLD, what happens?

I got the cold. Actually, it came on like a Japanese bullet train. Last Thursday morning, I got up and exercised. Fine. I had breakfast. Fine. Took That Girl to school around nine o’clock. Bit of a sore throat. By noon, I was sneezing my brains out. And by five PM, I was ready for bed.

And, to add insult to injury, it had snowed that day, and when I was going to pick Stinkerbelle up from school, I slipped on a patch of ice and hurt my back. So that was fun.

But in spite of that, our week has been ticking along fine. We’ve been doing our thing, working and school and whatnot, busy as usual. I’ve had quite a few projects on the go at work keeping me pretty busy in my non-Stinkerbelle-maintenance hours. I’ve been running errands and the like as well when she’s at school. And BDH and I have been determinedly working our way through THE ENTIRE The West Wing when we have some TV-watching time.

BUT. There is something on the horizon. Something coming. Which is very exciting.

I am only telling you this, Dearest Internet Peeps, because I know you can keep a secret. And also, because Stinkerbelle cannot read yet. So.

Stinkerbelle’s fifth birthday is in two weeks, and we are — AS A SURPRISE — flying her to Nova Scotia to visit her Grammy and Grandad and family. And to have a party.

She has NO. IDEA.

We’re going to drop her off at school in the morning, and while she is at school, get our bags packed and into an airport transport van. And then when she gets home, we’ll just get into the van and she will have no idea what is going on. Until we get to the airport.

And then she’ll positively flip her lid with excitement. Which is kind of the point, really.

Five is a big deal. She’ll be going off to Big Girl School in September, and we wanted to do something a little special. And, because she tells us almost every day how much she misses her Gram and her Grandad and her aunts and uncles and cousins, what could be more special than partying it up big time with them?

That’s what we thought too.

So, there’s lots of preparation that has to happen before then. Like I said, I have some BIG projects at work to get done. I’ve had to online shop for birthday presents and then get delivery without her being aware of it. OMG laundry like whoa. Cat sitters to be arranged. Teachers must be informed of absence. The house has not been cleaned since Chretien was PM. And all on the sly, without Herself knowing.

This, on top of the MOM MOM DID YOU KNOW THE EASTER BUNNY IS COMING HE WILL BRING ME CHOOOOOOOOCCCCCOLLLLATTTTE that’s been going on for two weeks AT LEAST. And has also required some on-the-sly stuff as well.

It all kind of adds to the excitement, really.

So, yeah. While it has been busy, it’s starting to get crazy fun busy. But if we can get through this weekend, and all the cleaning and laundry and organizing that has to happen, without spilling the beans, I will be happy.

As I mentioned, THIS IS A SECRET. I am counting on you to KEEP IT UNDER YOUR HAT. DO NOT LET ME DOWN.

 

Obsession

It’s been a week around here. BDH is down for the count with what appears for all intents and purposes to be a norovirus, and That Girl and I are biding our time to see if we’re next.

But nobody wants to hear about hot and cold running dysentery, am I right? So instead, I am going to introduce you to my latest obsession: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

Y’all know I love me some period pieces, and the BBC miniseries version of Pride and Prejudice (yes, the one with Colin Firth ONLY — ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES) is right up there near the top of my list. Well, there’s a web series of P&P now, updated and online and free for all to obsess over like me!

It’s REALLY well done. And, if you are home sick or need some diversion, they’re only about 90 episodes in, so at about 4 minutes per episode, you can catch up in a couple of hours. A couple of hours of frankly RIVETING story, even for someone like me who has seen Pride and Prejudice countless times.

Come on. Come down the rabbit hole with me. It’s worth it.

Squirrelapalooza, Exposed

Inspired by others doing their NaBloPoMo posts, I realized that it has been a very long time since I got out our digital SLR camera and took some photos. Well over a year, probably.

For awhile there, I was determined to learn what I could about the camera, about different aspects of taking pictures, and to try to make myself a better photographer. And I really enjoyed it, and thought I was improving.

But, life being as it is, I couldn’t keep at it. So I thought to myself that maybe it was time to start again.

Yesterday I grabbed the camera and decided to just start firing off some pics and get a feel for things again. Which is why I decided to get some pictures of Squirrelpalooza. Despite having to take a lot of shots through the screen and the glass, it gave me a lot of variety of things to capture. So I shut off the flash, put it on auto, and started clicking.

Most mornings, I feed the local yokels, putting out bird seed and peanuts. Normally, this means we’re inundated with squirrels.

Some days, a jay or two will come and hoot and whistle and call and let the others know that dinner’s on.

But mostly, it’s the squirrels.

I’m getting to know them all pretty well now, on sight or by personality. There are two or three very chubby little gray fellows who come and eat like frat boys at a buffet.

There are a couple of little, very saucy black fellows, who I think may be this year’s models, who are bold enough to raid the bird feeder the second my back is turned, even if they’ve been chased off moments before.

I love this little guy, despite him being the sauciest of the bunch. He’s got tufty white ear hair like a little old man.

And then, there’s Little Mama.

Little Mama has been coming to feed for a couple of years now, tired and fat and pregnant in the spring, big boobies in the summertime — and I always make sure she gets something special.

I know it is her by the freckle on her nose, and one between her shoulderblades. And, because she comes and knocks on the window and peers in at eye level until someone notices her.

And now the entire world can see just how dirty our patio window is. Ahem.

Mama knows me on sight, and by the sound of my voice. She will be 100 feet away in the conservation area, but if she sees me at a window, she will come running.

All the others (except our chipmunk friend Pip, who is hibernating now) eat out in the yard. Mama’s the only one who gets her own little pile of peanuts on the top step.

I try to make sure all our little friends have food for the winter, but Little Mama especially. (And the little guy with the tufty ear hair, who looks enough like her that he may even be one of her babies.) I enjoy doing it, my daughter enjoys it, and all this excitement out in the yard is like endless Cat TV for the resident felines.

And I haven’t even mentioned some of our bigger friends, who stay beyond the fence.

They’re for another day. Preferably one where I have the zoom lens.

Birthday Dance Party

Today is BDH’s birthday. So, OBVIOUSLY, it’s a dance party day here at The House of Peevish.

We started with one befitting the day:

Then moved on to one of Stinkerbelle’s recent favourites, that she can move and groove to all day. Which she did, playing it about four times in a row.

Then we have to have one to get us all dancing (and if I am honest, one of Mom’s favourites too):

And then one because it’s just so silly. And because That Girl and I love to sing it in the car.

And finally, this. Because we’re going off the rails on a crazy train, Sir.

Happy birthday to our Big Damn Hero! Lunch, or even dinner. Saturday. Beef vindaloo. Magical ice cream for That Girl. It’s a date!

I Was Gonna

I was going to write up a big ol’ post. Something about fireworks. Canada Day. Bugs with kamikaze issues. But I’m tired, and it’s humid, and we’re waiting on thunderstorms.

And then all of a sudden… it’s just a Craig Ferguson Dance Party all up in here!

And of course…

(okay, so that last one was a little geektacular.)

So, yeah, I was gonna WRITE ALL THE THINGS. Really, I was. But that’s all going to have to wait.

Instead? GIANT MUSICAL MUPPET FLAIL DANCING!