It’s Not All Mary Poppins


I’ve been tagged by weirdgirl. Here’s the scoop:

Remove the top blog from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom.

The Queen of Spain
The Weirdgirl
It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Select five people to play (entirely voluntary, of course)

Andie D.

What were you doing ten years ago?

I’m going to fudge this by a year or two, to hit an Important Crossroads in my life. Tennish years ago, I was newly single. My husband had moved out. I was on my own, with three small children, and a very modest income, read, under-the-poverty-line income. My response? Throw a party! The theme? “Break Free”! Guests were to bring a) alcohol for my empty liquor cabinet (that stuff is expensive); b) a tool for my non-existent tool-box (they all went with my ex); and/or c) money.

I was on my own, I was finally, finally at peace. No more tension, no more anxiety, no more hostility and fear. It was wonderful. I now have an almost-ulcer that I attribute to those last, awful years, but my life now is peaceful, happy, autonomous, and filled with love. Much better!

What were you doing one year ago?

Again, a wee bit of temporal fudging. A year-ish ago, I’d just been evicted from my home of twelve years. Nothing we’d done: the landlord just wanted it for his son. We had, as per the letter of the law, 60 days to move out.

I was in a complete panic. Here were my issues: we had no significant savings, and thus no down-payment. Our intention had always been to buy a house after the children had moved out. We have, between us, a boatload of children. Renting till they were out of the house so we could buy something smaller just made sense. So, no downpayment fund.

I didn’t see how we could buy a house. But if we rented? I run a daycare in the house. How many landlords would fall over themselves to offer their property to a woman whose livelihood results in battered homes? Furthermore, we HAD to stay in this neighbourhood, in order to keep my clients, but this is not an inexpensive neighbourhood. We were going to be out on the street!

It had a happy ending. We did, miracle of miracles, find a house, a house that was, for me, love at first sight. A house in the right neighbourhood, and – here’s the miraculous bit – selling for a full hundred thousand less than a comparable on one the same street. (It was because of the bathroom: hideous in shades of turquoise, and so small that I just don’t know how I’d get to the toilet were I ever to become pregnant. Even the bathroom, for me, is in a “so ugly it’s cute” category.)

We saw the sign, we called ourselves an agent, we went in, we bought it. Pretty much just like that. There’s a “no downpayment” option in Ontario, so that’s what we did. Our savings covered the closing costs. Parental units kicked in a little more which helped with the moving expenses and sundry other “surprises” that inevitably happen. We did have it inspected, we did use a lawyer, we’re not complete fools, but man, it was FAST!

We were evicted April 28; on May 28 we were moving into our new home! It’s probably a little too small for our current needs: this is one highly overpopulated home, but I love it. And in ten years, when all the children are out? It’ll be perfect!

Five snacks you enjoy.

Miss Vicki’s Lime and Black Pepper potato chips
Miss Vicki’s Salt and Vinegar potato chips
Party Mix
I think that’s it.
Though I like chocolate and liquorice allsorts, I don’t snack much on them. To me, snack food is salty!

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics.

I know all the lyrics to about five hundred songs, including:
90% of everything the Beatles wrote. Those songs are just so sing-able!
“Allelujah!” by Rufus Wainright;
Most of the Wesley brother hymns;
“You Can Leave Your Hat On” by Randy Newman;
“Charmed Life” by Diana Krall.

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire.
Millionaire, as in a million-dollar annual income, or millionaire as in a one-time million in the bank, I wonder? Let’s assume the former!

1. Pay off the mortgage.
2. Start all the renovations/improvements we’ve dreamed about. (No desire to move; I love my small house, and I love the neighbourhood, but it would be a much, much nicer small house if I had the money to spend on it!)
3. Quit my job: Write, travel.
4. Build a school in a third-world country every five years.
5. Sponsor more foster children.

I considered paying all the kids’ bills through university, but dismissed that as a bad idea. A little struggle is not a bad thing. Help them, yes. Enable them to live easy, own a car, not worry, even a little, about making ends meet? Not good for them. If they can accomplish this themselves, good for them, but to hand it to them without any effort on their parts would give them completely unrealistic expectations of the world to follow. And develop within them that much-dreaded “sense of entitlement” that so offends me.

Five bad habits.
1. Chew my nails. Not consistently – right now they’re not bad. But once in a while I go to town on them – ick.
2. Laziness.
3. Getting distracted in the middle of conversations.
4. Picking at the dead skin on my heels. I know – gross.
5. Chew on the inside of my cheek, particularly when reading. Which I do a lot.

Lordy, some of those are gross. And I just admitted them to the Internet. I’m either brave or completely shameless!

Five things you like doing.
1. Blogging!
2. Reading
3. Singing
4. Walking
5. Hanging out with my children.
6. Talking to my sweetie.
7. Ignoring directions.

Five things you would never wear or buy again.

I’ve seen fashions come and go enough to know that something that looks truly goofy to me right now could very well come back, and I’ll be wearing it again in ten years. So, clothing? Can’t come up with much.

1. Capri pants. My backside does not appreciate them.
2. String bikinis! (This is Emma’s suggestion, and she’s right. Once upon a time, I looked damn fine in one. Now? Not so much.)
3. A car. If I had a choice, I’d go vehicle-free, renting when needful.

Five favourite toys.
1. My laptop!!
2. My piano.
3. Our budgie. (Okay, so he’s not a toy, but I find him amusing.)
4. The glue-gun
5. My sewing machine.

January 2, 2006 - Posted by | memes and quizzes


  1. I did this a little while ago. It’s amazing how many turning points there are in your life when you think about it.

    The glue-gun:-) I used one of those for the first time a couple of years ago on a childminding course. I’d never seen or heard of them for domestic use before. Great fun, but utterly unsafe in my hands! I think you need just an iota of dexterity & artistic understanding:-)

    Comment by Mrs.Aginoth | January 2, 2006 | Reply

  2. Good grief – I’ll try but it may take me to 2007. Angel has me trying to think of five weird things about myself. Everything about me is weird – where do I start?

    Comment by Granny | January 2, 2006 | Reply

  3. This is my first time! Be gentle.

    Comment by Andie D. | January 2, 2006 | Reply

  4. I JUST did this one last night. CityMama tagged me. And I also tagged Andie D.! Too funny.

    I was so glad to hear your eviction story had a happy ending.

    And I LOVE it that you threw a party when that husband left. Yeah! That is sooo the right attitude.

    Ooh. I could just HUG you.

    Comment by MIM | January 2, 2006 | Reply

  5. I did it… and was tagged by MIM as well, but I did it after seeing it here!

    Mrs A informed that my answer to 10 years ago made her feel old…

    Comment by Angela | January 2, 2006 | Reply

  6. I tagged Granny, too, with this same one.

    I`m going to tell the PETA people what you said about your animal companion!

    Kidding. At our house, the animals have to earn their keep by acting cute — just like the children.

    Comment by L. | January 3, 2006 | Reply

  7. MrsA: I love the glue gun, but I’ll confess that most times when I use it, I get a teeny burn or two!

    Granny: Don’t feel obliged. If you think it would be fun, go ahead. I know I’d enjoy reading what you come up with. But if it’s just a burden on a busy woman, don’t worry about it. I’ll just have to keep reading your blog, then, won’t I, if I want to get to know you better?

    Weirdgirl: Both of them seemed pretty scarey as I was going through them, but the results? Bliss!

    Andie D: Hmmm. This is a pretty big one for your first time… I’m told it helps to go slow. 🙂

    mim: I’ll take that hug, but maybe not till next week, when (crossing my fingers) I’m not siiick.

    Angela: MrsA probably didn’t know till then how old you are now! It still astonishes me to realize I can remember things from twenty years ago – and that I was an adult then, too! Urgh.

    L: PETA, huh? Then we won’t be telling them my opinions on the relative intelligence of cats vs. guinea pigs… Good thing the cat does “elegant” so well, is all I’m saying.

    Comment by Mary P. | January 3, 2006 | Reply

  8. OK
    I saw the first part of your post, saying you’d been tagged and I was wondering just how one gets tagged with these things!
    ThenI scrolled down!
    I’ll get on this soon! (I just told my son I was coming to turn the computer off so he’s literally hanging on me now, saying “just click the ‘X’ button, Mommy!)

    Comment by LoryKC | January 3, 2006 | Reply

  9. Lory: LOL If this is your first, it’s a stinker – so loooong. I sure hope it was more interesting to read than it was to write! (This to say I won’t be offended if you get halfway through and say, “Oh, nuts to this!”)

    And now, click that X button already! Bye!

    Comment by Mary P. | January 3, 2006 | Reply

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