It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Toddlers are Contrary Critters

Despite a sky the colour of my son’s “white” sport socks – the way they used to look, anyway, before I strategically switched to gray socks, so now they can be this colour legitimately – and a rather damp wind, the children’s relentless energy drove me outside.

Maybe with an hour or so of park play under their little belts, they would be able to sit for more than four seconds. Maybe they would stop the ear-piercing shrieking that always accompanies their running. Their ceaseless, kitchen-to-livingroom, livingroom-to-kitchen floor-pounding, china-rattling, bambambambambambam…. Those little feet do not “pitter-patter”, let me tell you.

Never mind those skies. Never mind the damp. Never mind the nasty chill wind.

Must. Get. Out. Of. The. House.

So we pack them up (no one was helping me; that was a royal “we”), we get them outside, we take them to the park, and when we get there….

They sit in the sand.
They sit on the play structure.They are calm, they are still, they are quiet.


November 22, 2005 Posted by | outings, quirks and quirkiness, the dark side | 7 Comments




November 21, 2005 Posted by | commemoration, memes and quizzes | 11 Comments

The Medium is the Message

Arthur beams up at an elderly lady who’s beaming down at him.

“Aren’t you the fine young man?”

“I’m a very loud boy, but I’m learnin’ to be quiet,” he informs her.

“Oh, isn’t that nice, dear?” says she, turning down her hearing aid.

November 21, 2005 Posted by | Arthur, manners, our adoring public, outings, the things they say! | 4 Comments

Good Thing They Are…

Your Eyes Should Be Brown

Your eyes reflect: Depth and wisdom

What’s hidden behind your eyes: A tender heart

What Color Should Your Eyes Be?

November 20, 2005 Posted by | memes and quizzes | 2 Comments

Undercover Operator

So you know that little near-miss I had with Katie and the hummer? Some of you made helpful suggestions: I was warned to put the object in question on a higher shelf; someone else mentioned something about a sock. Good ideas, and thank you for your input. People may wonder why I carry a single sweatsock in my purse, but no more than they might wonder why I need that other thing in there. (If I were a guy, the purse would be more of a mystery than the sock, but that tangent is for someone else’s blog.)

Well. Since then I’ve come across not one, not even two, but THREE other possibilities. Q and I, staid old mostly-married couple that we are, have a weekly date night; this week’s included a trip to Venus Envy, wherein we discovered a “Vibe Cosy” which looked like something your grandma would make — if she’s partial to crocheted cucumber covers. It would prevent scratches on metallic surfaces, but it doesn’t really hide the contents, so, not quite the thing for we privacy-impaired mommies.

The second is a little throw cushion with a zipper down one side, which opens to reveal a cottony-soft hideaway for your several of your buzzing buddies. These cushions come in three tasteful patterns: Zebra, Tiger, and Cheetah. Yes, indeed. Good idea, bad, bad, bad execution. But maybe I can sew my own?

And then I found it. Not on a shelf, but in a magazine on a shelf. Far and away my favourite, this form of camouflage would work really, really well in Mary’s world. Brought to you by the designers at….

Feast your eyes on these little gems:

It’s the cozy family!! Little blue Misho, who fits over a mini-hummer, and big red Tricky, who can handle up to eight inches. No info on the pink terry number: maybe it’s for your water-friendly friends?

So, all nervous mommies, there we have it! The perfect disguise for a child-friendly, kid-dominated home: a comfort object for mommy’s comfort object — what could possibly be more apropos??

November 19, 2005 Posted by | Mischief, Ottawa, sex | 12 Comments

Don’t You Just Hate It…

…when you grab the bathroom doorknob, and it’s slimy???

November 18, 2005 Posted by | eeewww, the dark side | 5 Comments

Christmas is Coming, the Crafts are All Begun

Today’s Christmas craft was potato printing. You’ve all done this, I’m sure. Take a few good-sized potatoes, but not too big for the kids to grasp. Cut them in half. Cut a shape into the flat surface. I generally use cookie-cutters for this. Press the cutter firmly into the potato, then cut away the outside of the shape. Easy!

Darcy, here, is using the “slide-n-smear” technique perfected by George a few minutes earlier. George had accidentally slid his star stamp across the page.

“Oh, look!” He crowed. “I made a shootin’ star!”

Vicarious learning is big at this age. A moment later, Darcy is crowing too. “Oh, look! I made a shootin’ tree!!”

Tip: For the very youngest children, only provide one colour paint. Or, if you want to be clever and educational as well, provide a two primary colours and see what third colour results.

N.B. Christmas colours are NOT both primary, so if you want artwork that is not a series of mud-coloured amoeba, give the tots one colour at a time, with enough time between for a little drying to occur.

The results, as you can see, are chaotically spectacular!

November 18, 2005 Posted by | Christmas, crafts | 7 Comments


Well, it may not be a “giant snowman”, but it’s not a bad start!

November 17, 2005 Posted by | my kids | 7 Comments


A few flakes of snow flicker past the front window, driven in a chill wind to land on the sidewalks and instantly melt. It’s not very appealing, but a little fresh air will do us all good.

“Come on, guys! Let’s get our stuff on and go outside!”

Darcy is delighted. “Yay! Let’s go outside and make a giant snowman!!”

November 17, 2005 Posted by | the cuteness!, the things they say! | 3 Comments

Fine Dining

Bet you’re expecting something about grilled cheese sandwiches and spilled milk. Wrong! This is the Real Deal.

A caregiver friend had been given a $125 gift certificate last Christmas to a local very nice local restaurant. She had long decided that the best person to share her largesse was a woman who would fully understand just how very much it had been earned, and who needed the taste of civilization as desperately.

So off we went to Beckta. Click the link, click it right now!! …..

…. There. Wasn’t that lovely? Don’t you feel calmed and relaxed?

Did you see that bottom picture, the one with the vase lit from underneath? See that table just behind it? That was our table. We were seated – servers pulled out the chair and pushed it back under you! But we are careful not to look too delighted by this, as this would prove us to be unsophisticated, which we are not.

Actually, we dress up pretty nicely. She was wearing very cool maroon pants decorated in an indian pattern of stitchery and some glittery bits, and an understatedly sexy black blouse. I was in a curve-hugging brown nicely scoop-neck dress under a watered silk blazer just about the same length as the dress: shortish. Heels for both of us: brown boots for her, black suede shoes for me. We’re a nicely balanced pair: she’s as blond as I am brunette; she’s as willow-thin as I am curvy; I go for dark lipstick, she’s a pastel girl. And she’s my very best friend.

We share a sushi appetizer, which was amazing. And which we both ate with chopsticks, because we are Sophisticated. My friend very sophisticatedly smeared a liberal layer of wasabi all over her first piece, and then spent five minutes removing her eye-liner from her streaming eyes with the thick white linen napkin provided for just such an eventuality. Very sophisticated.

She had the BC Halibut, “just for the halibut” she says, a very classy joke, suitable for such a high-toned establishment. I had the chowder. (Read the menu!! You can be there, too!)

The chowder came in sections! The server placed an assortment of seafood and delicately sliced spring potatoes artfully arranged in a wide shallow bowl in front of me. The he left. Hmmm… maybe in truly high-class places, chowder isn’t soup? And then he returned! Bearing a large stainless teapot affair in which was the broth for my soup! Coconut based broth. Ummmmm….

And she ate with her fork in her left and knife in her right, and I tipped my bowl away and scooped my soup away from me, and sipped delicately from the side of the spoon. See our good manners and natural elegance?

Dessert: creme brulee for me, tiramisu for her. Melt in your mouth goodness. The coffee was too strong for my taste, but I am a coffee wuss, I admit it. It did balance the sweetness of the creme brulee very nicely. And neither of us licked our plates. Which was a shame, really. These are the sacrifices one make for elegance.

Not the complete lack of any mention of alcohol. She did have a glass of wine; I stuck to tonic water. Not because I feared the demon alcohol would summon up my inner table dancer, but because we were making sure our gift certificate lasted the whole meal. She got the wine because this meal out was her Christmas present – but don’t tell her that: She thinks it’s because my trick stomach was acting up. I am such a good friend!

Oh, and did I mention the “gifts from the kitchen”? Before we’d ordered, two little espresso-size cups of squash bisque with provolone cheese were placed in front of us, on their signature plain white, square plates. Oh, but it was good. After dinner, two teeny pieces of fudge and a couple of “ben-somethingfrenchsounding”s, which turned out to be teeny-weeny deepfried pastry balls. An awful lot like quarter-sized Timbits, truth be known, with a crustier outside and way more sugar. Truly sophisticated people don’t know what a Timbit is, but we didn’t say the word out loud in the restaurant, so I don’t think we blew our cover. Everyone knows “ben-somethingfrenchish” is much more Sophisticated than “teeny timbits”.

We sat and we talked, we savoured, three hours flew by. And the bill? $124.32

Man, are we good: 68 cents to spare! A gorgeous meal for the price of a tip. (Generous – we are too unsophisticated, I confess, to take this kind of “dining experience” for granted) If that blew our cover, too bad.

Now I’m off to write my friend’s clients a thank-you note!

November 16, 2005 Posted by | food, holidays, Ottawa | 16 Comments