Archive for the 'Celebrations' Category

O Christmas Tree

I have not had a real Christmas tree in years.  Certain members of the household far preferred the neatness and convenience of a fake tree, coupled with the fact that my children have adored looking at the tree from Halloween to Valentien’s Day meant that closest thing I came to a pine scent in house came in a bathroom can.  This year, however, I was going to do things different.

We went to the lot, picked our tree, and carefully set the tree up in a new corner of the living room, diligently watering it and leaving it for 24 hours to relax.  We named it Oscar.

I admit, that between working two jobs and recent stress I was way way too tired to really enjoy the thought of the tree trimming, but I had promised that last night would be THE night, and it was clear Rainbow had her heart set on adorning Oscar, so we dug out the boxes of Christmas paraphenalia.  It was at that point that a series of observations became apparent:

Observation #1:  I need new Christmas bling How is it that sometime between last year and this year half the lights stop working?  And why can’t someone invent pre-lit real trees?  I’d be all over that.

Observation #2:  Not only will a real tree give you that fresh pine scent, expect to enjoy a woodsy pine carpet through your entire home. There is no escaping the pine needles.  Sweep them up and start all over again.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

Observation #3:  Hopefully the Christmas tree decorating has been a positive experience because chances are, no matter how tired and ready to be done you may feel, you might have to do it all over again.  Yes, no sooner had Oscar been festively lit and lovingly adorned, and we stood back to admire him in all his glory, that he came crashing down in a pitiful heap of woodland gaudiness.  This, I expect, is why many adults added liquor to their tree trimming traditions.

In the end, Oscar stood and twinkled, perhaps less perfect than he was originally, but lovely all the same.  And somewhere in the future, when the stress is long forgotten and only charming memories remain, I expect we will do a real tree all over again.  This time wiser.  And with wine.

Oscar 2011

My Brush With Celebrity

I’m sure that the pending visit of Will & Kate to our fair city was not in small part responsible for the decision to move Canada Day festivities to Victoria Park instead of Confederation Landing.  And undoubtedly our taxpayers are paying generously to have both events bestowed upon us.  But our Canada Day trek downtown is a looked-forward-to tradition in our year, and I think this year it lasted about 30 minutes.

I expected amazing sand castles:

from Canada Day 2007

I expected a little fun something for my kids:

from Canada Day 2007

Frankly, I was disappointed this year.  Yes, yes, there was still cotton candy, but even that was not enough to sooth my expectant soul.  Even food vendors were set up in some weird system where first you had to pay real money to buy fake money to buy food.  Vendors didn’t accept real money.  And don’t get me started on the free fake tattoos. Yes, they were there… but I heard them tell kids that they had to go find some water to put them on themselves.  Seriously?  This is not the exemplary service I have come to expect from the volunteers in the Cradle of Confederation.

Now… as I am preparing to leave I am feeling somewhat let down because I had to admit that this event was to be my substitute for not being able to see Will & Kate.  (I would go see them except for the pesky little working for a living thing.  And my aversion to crowds.)  My long weekend, it would seem, would be both without fanfare and celebrity.  Until…. I saw him…. celebrity in a unitard…

Spiderman…

Me: OMG!  It’s Spiderman!  I am walking among famous people!  This day is great!

Rainbow: Um… that is not the real Spiderman.

Me: How do you know that?  For certain?

Rainbow: You can see his underwear.

Me: The real Spiderman probably wears underwear.

Rainbow: And he doesn’t have web shooter things.

Me: Oh, he might.  Maybe he doesn’t want to show off.  Or maybe they’re malfunctioning.

Rainbow
: And he is sweating. Really bad.

Me
: Well maybe those spidey suits don’t breathe.

So… the jury is out.  Either my weekend was with celebrity or it wasn’t.  But maybe it was.  Maybe.

I now like to think of myself as the paparazzi of superheros.

Another trip around the sun

If there are two things we are about here in the House of Sock, it is cake and wishes.  As a result, birthdays, regardless of how the honouree may feel about being another year older, are always marked with sweets and candles.

Yesterday was my birthday.

True to tradition, my family picked me out a lovely cake and carefully lit a few candles.  They dimmed the lights and brought me out my flaming treat.  “Make a wish!” Rainbow declared…

And then it happened…

In that very moment, for probably the first time ever in my life, I had nothing to wish for.  How could I be so unprepared for something I knew was coming?!  This is the pivotal wishing opportunity of the year!!! My mind quickly browsed the list which has seemed forever engrained in the front of my mind…  A job for the next little while? – check.  Feeling fine? – check.  Kids ok? – check.  I was, to my very surprise, at peace in that moment.

So I closed my eyes, and whispered in my heart “may they live happily ever after” and blew out my candles…

Of course, now looking back on it… I realize I never did get that pony I wanted from childhood.  Maybe next year.

5 Things To Be Thankful For This Year

Yes, I realize that Canada had our thanksgiving quite some time ago, but it’s NaBloPoMo and I’m stuck, and to honour my American friends who celebrate this week, here are 5 things I am thankful for this year:

  1. That I found some work. Enough work, in fact, to qualify for employment insurance again when that work comes to an end.  I am very thankful for that.  And I truly like where I am currently working, despite the tediousness of the task, and am really thankful for the learning opportunities it has provided, and the people that I have met there.
  2. That my family, friends and self are healthy and safe. That is huge.
  3. That my kids are good kids… and I don’t mean little angels who get along all the time and tidy their rooms without asking (I don’t know those kids).  They are the kind of kids who care about other people, have conscience, and try to do the right thing.  I am so very grateful for that.
  4. That my life has laughter. I can’t imagine existence without it.
  5. For the people in my life that support me through difficult times. I have had my share of struggles, and I am always blown away by those that reach out and support me… family, friends, and even readers I have never met have continued to touch me with their kindness, supportive words, prayers & good wishes.  I have felt that I matter, and that you care, and that has meant the world to me.

A thankful list could go on for eons, of course.  I haven’t even touched upon how thankful I am for things like chocolate, and coffee, and cartoons, and childhood enthusiasm, and that spray stuff for cleaning your glasses.  I could go on for days.

What 5 things are you thankful for this last year?

There was a cake emergency

You may recall that Wednesday was my birthday.  You may also recall that I have a part-time weekend job.  Well, this part-time weekend job has been pretty good for remembering my birthday with a cake every year since I started so I left for work today with a skip in my step because how bad can a day be when it will likely involve cake, right?

It was a day fraught with technical difficulties.  I think every piece of technology I came in contact with failed at some point in the day.  And then a colleague suggested pizza for lunch.  That worked for me, as it would be the perfect starter for my cake.  I peeked on the Front Store Manager’s desk and there was indeed a cake box there.

“I bet there is cake,” I told my co-workers delightedly.  You see, while I don’t do birthdays per se, I still do cake.

The pizza arrived and I strolled into the back room and peeked in the cake box.  Chocolate.   So far so good.  I pulled back the cover.  “Happy Birthday Jackie” it said.  Ummm… I’m not Jackie.  But apparently she has a birthday soon too.

So I went back to my computer.  “There will be no cake.” I announced.  I attempted to sound very matter of fact and not the least bit disappointed.  The subject dropped.

At least for them.  But my feelings were hurt that I was forgotten.  Because I’m eight apparently.  So I made silly comments throughout the day… jokes about writing head office, the cake emergency, etc. , all in jest, of course.  It was not like I was going to faint way or anything.

And then, an hour before my shift was over, the driver came in with this, arranged by my co-workers:

And it could not have been more delicious. Or colourful apparently. And it was much more lovely than Jackie’s plain old chocolate cake.

So to my co-workers, thank you, thank you, thank you.  You made me feel special and made my day.

(And I really do hope Jackie has a lovely birthday as well. )

Hmmm…

I actually had a story to tell you today, but I have just figured out that yesterday’s post was my 500th blog post.

Who’d have thought when I started that I’d have that much to say…

I’ll tell you my story tomorrow… (it’s about 20 years old but still classic Sock Girl stuff, and I can’t believe I’ve never told it here before)…  But right now, in honour of my 500 milestone, I think I’ll go find myself a treat.  I think we need some cake around here or something.

Canada Day 2009

While not my favourite part of Canada Day, one of the things I inevitably do since having kids is take them to the waterfront for a little bit of “fair” festivities.  Typically there are rides and games and plenty of over priced junk food to waste away a day and budget.  It doesn’t always go well, but is a typical part of our Canada Day here in the “cradle of Confederation.”  For the first few years of their lives, my kids thought the waterfront was what people were referring to by the word Canada.

So this year, despite leaving it to much later in the day, Rainbow and I (Dolittle was with friends) headed down for our annual visit.  And I have to say, this year, in terms of “fair,” the birthplace of Canada kind of sucked.  There were about three rides, a couple of bouncy things, and a few games (though they were free).  (But is it sick that I actually liked the fact I didn’t have to spend much time at that venue?)

But there also were a few traditional things that you could still take in…. Overprice snacks were still available.  You could get a variety of free water applied tattoos (available this year in the poppy, the maple leaf, and all three Olympic mascots), Canada flag pins (and new this year was a lovely pin celebrating vetrans).  And there were free concerts and a petting zoo.

I was surprised at how enjoyable I actually found the Olympic mascots as I watched them dance and interact with children.  (The one in the middle was my favourite).

blog-mascots

And you could still find proud Canadians, willing to wear their patriotic hearts right there on their sleeves (and everywhere else)…

And then pose happily for tourists (I love that!)…

blog-canadiangirls2

And, of course, the biggest Canada Day celebration in our house is not the fireworks, or the fair, or the free tatoos.  No… Our biggest July 1st celebration is that it is also the dog’s birthday… who sported his very own Canada flag tattoo for the occasion.

blog-dogtatoo

Happy Birthday Canada!  And Happy Birthday Silver!
I love you both.


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