Archive for the 'Family Jewels' Category

Sock Girl: Mouse Hunter

You may recall that about this time last year we had our first encounter with creatures of the basement.  Well, our issues with our “neighbours” have continued.  I can only assume that they are a super-mutant breed that defies science, too numberous to vanquish, or incredibly lucky.  My tactic lately has been to ignore them and perhaps bore them into a desire to move on.

On Saturday evening, I was upstairs talking to Dolittle when Rainbow screamed in the office below.  We came running downstairs to find her in the hall pointing at the floor.  There, leisurely sauntering down the floor as if out for an evening stroll and he owned the place, was “a neighbour.”  This was our first face to face encounter.

“Don’t kill him!” one of my girls demanded.  “Awww, he’s so cute,” said the other.

I now, of course, find myself in the uncomfortable position of having to decide in front of my children whether to pommel the varmint who steals our chocolate, or channel Snow White and be one with the wildlife.  Uncertainty hangs in the air.  I decide to buy time and trap him in Dolittle’s boot.

“Don’t kill him!” they repeat.

Clearly the decision has been made for me.

I lift up the boot and peer under.  He is lying on his back, paws curled up on his chest, playing dead.  Clever bugger.  He clearly has aspirations for movie roles.  Much ooo-ing and awww-ing ensues over his performance.  I abandon the boot and replace it with an ice cream container.  I know I must act fact before his theatrical accolades turn into pleas of “Can we keep him?”  A plan is hatched to take him to the park and set him free.

I slip a dustpan under the container and put on my coat.  Rainbow, expecting this may be a rouse to vanquish the little actor privately, decides to come with me.  Together we walk to the park and release him under a tree.  He is no longer playing dead and sits there in some kind of amazed shock.

“I think it’s too cold out here for him,” Rainbow laments.  I hurry her back in the direction of home.  I know no good came of this.  If we linger, she’ll have me knitting him slippers before bedtime.

“He was very cute,”  she remarks.  “Promise me you won’t kill any others?”

“I promise if I find any others leisurely strolling down the hallway, I will treat them in similar fashion,” I reply.  It was a promise I think we all can live with.

Until next time, neighbours.  Until next time.


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…


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.

: And he is sweating. Really bad.

: 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.

The Shoemaker & The Elves

You may recall that we got a new puppy last summer.  While her intelligence and her waistline do seem to be growing, her behaviour is frequently questionnable.  She is, I believe, frequently aware that what she is doing is wrong (hence the growth of intelligence).  She just doesn’t really care.

Shoes, for example… I have no doubt in my mind that she knows they are not to be chewed on.  But, being the girlie girl that she is, she does love shoes.

So yesterday Dolittle had a friend over for a while, and Rainbow and I were racing around the house getting ready for taekwondo class.  As I’m searching out the bags of gear, I hear the anxious yell of “Mom!!!” from the kitchen.  Racing to see what the emergency could possibly be, I find the puppy, relaxing on the friend’s shoe, the insole dangling from her mouth.

When we have rescued the shoe and insole, Rainbow asks me if we should tell Dolittle.  I decide that it would be better to fix the shoe, and tell her after the friend leaves.  In retrospect, that was probably not my finest parental advising or example setting moment ever, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

As quietly as we could to avoid detection, we get out some wood glue (the only kind of glue I can find), apply a thin layer to the insole, and carefully lay it inside the shoe.  Unfortunately, however, the child had man-sized feet, so wearing the shoe to flatten the lining was not working so well.  Rainbow then offered to assist by volunteering to be piggy backed around the kitchen as I clopped around.  Ultimately we decide that the two shoes don’t really match, and the other shoe showed some signs of dog love as well, so we took that one out, glued it, and clopped around in them both.

When the insoles were finally smoothed out and in place to our satisfaction, we placed them out of the puppy’s reach and left for taekwondo class.

Upon return home, we confessed to Dolittle, that the puppy had loved up her friend’s shoes so we fixed the insoles.  She raised an eyebrow and gave us ‘the eye’…  “Those shoes?  The insoles are always coming out of those.”

Not any more, baby.  Not any more.

The Quilt

Because of the content of this post, I have been unable to tell this story here before Christmas.  I am delighted to be able to tell you now…

There are three farmer’s markets here in Charlottetown in the summer… one of which (the best one) falls on a day I always work, and the other two were new this past summer.  So when the two new markets opened, Rainbow and I were delighted to have this new opportunity to explore.

We set out for the first Friday market, just a block from our home, and Rainbow was immediately drawn to a table where a lady was selling raffle tickets.  First prize was a china cabinet, second was a quilt, third was a set of Paderno pots, and fourth was a tent.  She loved the quilt.  She talked to the lady selling the tickets briefly, and asked me to buy her one.  So, I offered up my toonie ($2 coin).

The next market the lady selling tickets was there again.  Again Rainbow went to the table to talk to the lady.  She asked for another ticket, and again I bought her one.  She asked that each time I see the lady, even if she wasn’t with me, that I buy her a ticket.  I agreed.

And so began a summer of ticket buying and decorative planning.  She picked paint chips that would match her dream quilt.  She picked accessories to go with her new decor.  She imagined what would happen if she won 1st prize and pondered whether the second prize winner would trade.

But, as fate is wont to do, the day of the draw came and went, and no call came.  Not for first, second, or any other prize in that raffle.  The dream faded, and life went on.

And life did go on.  Summer passed, and fall was nearly done as well.  November was not without its stresses, and it seemed there was little that could rekindle my spirits at times.  And then the phone rang.

The caller introduced herself as Mrs. R.  She said she was the lady selling tickets on a quilt this past summer.  She was very disappointed that Rainbow didn’t win the quilt, so she was making her one for a Christmas surprise.  She tried to find very similar fabrics, and thought it was pretty close.

A perfect stranger was using her time and resources to make my child’s dream a reality.  I was touched beyond words that there was such kindness in the world.

When Christmas day arrived it was probably the most joyful spot in her her morning.

And, of course, owning the most perfect quilt in the world has the added bonus that each morning one’s bed must be made and admired 🙂

Merry Christmas my lovely blog friends.  I hope your dreams came true too.  And I hope to be here more in the near future.

A Few Things I Don’t Hear Nearly Enough (or Possibly Ever) From My Kids

sock-bullet“Just relax, and let me do that for you!”

sock-bullet“I’ll just get that with my own money!”

sock-bullet“These vegetables are just what I was craving!”

sock-bullet“I think I’d like to study now.”

sock-bullet“Would you like to use your computer now?”

sock-bullet“I’m not at all bored.”

sock-bullet“There is absolutely nothing I need that I don’t already have.”

sock-bullet“I love what you’re wearing, Mom!”

Looking Up#2 – Strike the Pose

You may recall that May’s NaBloPoMo theme is about looking up… so if I may direct your attention momentarily way, way, way up… to more divine subject matters…

Tomorrow, my dear Dolittle is making her Confirmation.  To prepare for this event, each of the young adults being confirmed had to attend confession.  On Saturday, I took Dolittle to the church to complete this step in her preparations.  I am still giggling about the conversation on the way home:

Dolittle: The priest has an accent.  He was kind of hard to understand sometimes.


Dolittle: But I’m guessing you’re not supposed to high-five the priest.

Me: Ummm.. No.

Dolittle: Because he was there with his eyes closed and his hand up in the air, and he was mumbling something I couldn’t understand, so I thought maybe he wanted a high-five.


Dolittle: And I gave him one.

Me: You high-fived the priest in confession?

Dolittle: Yep.

Me: What did he do?

Dolittle: He just opened his eyes, and I said, ‘Sorry, Man!”  Then he started to laugh.

I have no idea what they talked about, but I think it may have been a confession neither she nor the priest will forget for a while! 🙂

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