It’s Not All Mary Poppins

A meme, because it’s easy

A meme from Hannah, via Nicole, because I genuinely want to get back into blogging, but seem to have zero energy for it.

If Jane had 3 apples and John had 78 nails, how many layers of clothing are you wearing (how is the weather in your neck of the woods?)

I am wearing three layers on top (not counting the bra): tank top, long-sleeved tee, sweater. Two pairs of socks on my feet. Weather: Brilliantly sunny, but cold. (-17C, w/c -23) What with all the sun, if there were no wind, it would be lovely. But there is wind. So, outside is beautiful to look at, but not a place to linger in. (But yes, we’ve been outside.)

What is keeping you sane during these long winter months?

My holiday. Dreaming of it, planning it, and going. I was here last week.
I will get through the rest of the winter remembering it. The white sand, the turquoise water, palms trees, kayaking, snorkelling, swimming, sailing, the reef… Aaaaah. The rum punch. (Possibly more than was good for me.) I stayed with a friend who lives there. (LIVES! there.)

If you were on a boat with a box of chocolates and your mother-in-law, who would you throw overboard?

Oh, dear. My mother-in-law is a very sweet woman who has had a couple of near misses with the grim reaper this past year. She’s very frail, and her days are numbered, so what she has are to be treasured. I’m sure the fish will enjoy the chocolates.

What’s in your underwear drawer besides underwear?

My underwear drawer is a basket that really doesn’t have much room for anything but underwear. There may, however, be a wee Lelo in there…

Do you trust yourself with sharp objects near your face? (As in, do you pluck your own eyebrows? Do you have any eyebrow horror stories?)
I do pluck my eyebrows, and no, no horror stories. My two daughters have the delicate skin and much get their brows done at least 24 hours before any event for the redness to fade. Me, I’m fine after about 20 minutes. Obviously, those delicate genes did not come from me!

I am terrified of dead bodies, spiders, and the dentist. What are you scared of?
Caves. (I’m mildly claustrophobic, and all small spaces make me uneasy, but caves, no matter how large, terrify me.) Driving a two-lane highway in winter with a snowplow approaching in the other lane. Both those things will make my heart pound so loud I can hear it in my ears, and cause me to break out into a cold sweat.

Are you wearing nail polish? And if so, what colour?
I love nail polish and wear it most days. It is a true test of my common sense to walk by a display without buying another bottle, which I could not possibly finish before it goes ooky, given how many bottles I already own. But I loves the stuff!

Currently, I am wearing Essie’s ‘For the Twill of It‘ on my fingers, and have an ambitious dark blue-turquoise-white confection on my toes intended to look like tropical surf. And you know? It sorta does! 🙂

February 11, 2014 Posted by | memes and quizzes | , | 3 Comments


…is here. After hesitating throughout November, appearing in the forecasts, only to retreat coyly when the predicted time arrived, winter arrived with a bang. Fifteen to twenty centimeters, swept in on 45km/hr winds (gusts of 60 – 70 k). Overnight.


It’s WINTER out there.

The children, of course, are delighted! So excited, so ready to get out and play, in their new mittens and new boots and new snowpants and new coats…

And me?

I’m feeling inert. I know I should get them out. It’s beautiful out there. Mild and a bit melty, which is perfect snowman weather. Perfect. I could dig out the kid-sized shovels and take them for a flounder in the drive. I could get them into

their new snowpants
(with the zippers and the snaps and the velcro and the elastic)
and their new coats,
(with the zippers and the snaps and the velcro and the toggles)
(or their hand-me-down onesie-style snowsuits, as the case may be)
their new vests
(zippers, velcro)
and neck-warmers
and fleeces
(zips and/or velcro)
and hats
(velcro and/or ties)
and wooly socks
and scarves
and sweaters
(some with buttons)
and leggings
and boots
(with liners, velcro, elastics and/or toggles)
and leg-warmers…

But somehow? Somehow the very thought of a FUN!!! outing to PLAY IN THE SNOW!!! just fills me with ennui… (Though really, I know I should be shouting “THANK GOD FOR VELCRO!!!!”… but I’m not.)

The battle is on:
I know the sunlight will do me good
and the fresh air will do them good
and they’re so cute, floundering about in the snow,
and really,
they’ll last about 14 minutes before they’re
and want to go in, anyway…

and suddenly, there’s that ennui thing again.

Yup, it’s winter, all right…

December 10, 2009 Posted by | Canada | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Lyrical only goes so far

912snowflakes1“Look, Mary! The moon is out!”

It is in fact the sun, so heavily shrouded by clouds and falling snow that its brilliance is muted to a mellow white glow. It could well be the moon. I start to say as much, but Anna is still talking.

“The moon is my friend. The moon likes me, because I was born on a full moon.”

Anna has obviously heard the story of her birth night many times. It is part of her personal mythology. “I like the moon, and the moon likes me, because I am a moon-girl.”

She is. Pale and fair, though her beauty radiates life; none of the moon’s delicacy. She’s also sun and storm, blustery gale and spring zephyr. All seasons is our lyrical Anna.

“When the moon sees me, it is happy because I am his moon-girl.” And then, in quicksilver Anna style, she tips her face skyward, chin up, rosy cheeks a platform for the falling snow. Until she opens her mouth.

“I’m catching snowflakes with my mouth! I’m eating the snowflakes!”

“What do they taste like?” I ask, curious. What do snowflakes taste like, to this child of moods and passions, romance and myth?

She crinkles her face and grins at me. Grin grows into a smoky-deep chortle, then a full-fledged belly laugh, rising from her very boots.

“They taste like snowflakes, of course!”

January 19, 2009 Posted by | Anna, individuality, the cuteness! | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments


is very much fun…
though there’s no arguing
that’s it’s pretty awkward to maneouvre through the stuff
when the snowbanks are three times taller than you.

December 15, 2008 Posted by | Canada, Ottawa, outings | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Think hot, think tropical, think ANYTHINGBUTMOREOFTHIS!

We had a Major Winter Storm last night. Possibly our seventh of the season. The city ran through its snow removal budget before Christmas. Lord only knows how we’re paying for this…

It just keeps coming down. Inches upon centimetres upon ice upon sleet upon snow. The snow fell steadily all yesterday afternoon. The sleet fell last night. The freezing rain around dawn, followed by snow for the bulk of the day. The sun has come out now, late afternoon, as have all my neighbours, armed with shovels.

Cars sit in the street. Nowhere for them to go until the driver clears the driveway. There is no street to speak of, only two parallel tire-ruts, six inches deep in the snow. Snow which is levelled flat by the underbelly of the passing cars between the ruts, and mounded even higher to each side.

I rather like this stage of the storm, when the neighbours all come out armed with shovels and do battle with the mounds. There is much camaraderie. People holler encouragement. Neighbours band together to shove a car into a drive. A man crosses the road with a bucket of sand; another helps a neighbour put chains on his tires (illegal on highways, but all right for getting into your drive). Laughter rolls, tangible as exhaled breath in the icy air. The snow, the sheer depth of the stuff, muffles sound. It’s a calmer, quieter, kind, more congenial city which digs its way out.

But still. Enough with the snow already! (“It’s MARCH!” we say to each other, as if THAT means anything in Ottawa. We all know better, yet somehow, it seems an injustice, an impropriety, to be suffering so in March.)

With this the view out your front door — that mound is four feet high and obscures two-thirds of the sidewalk — you can see why Sheri’s “Let’s Pretend It’s NOT Winter” meme is so very appealing. Which is why I’m doing it, Right Now.

1. If you could go anywhere in the world RIGHT NOW, where would you go?

Tahiti. Tahiti has always been my fantasy escape destination. Who knows if the reality would live up to the dream? (Who cares, given how slight is the possibility I will ever get there?) Tahiti. I’d rather be in Tahiti.

2. What’s your favourite tropical drink?

A crushed-ice lime margarita. Slushies for grownups.

3. What’s your favourite (non-winter) activity?

Walking. I do that all year round, obviously, but I enjoy it in the summer. In summer, it’s recreation; in winter, merely transportation.

4. What’s your favourite article of summer clothing?

My red wrap-around dress.

5. What’s your favourite food cooked on the BBQ?

Grilled vegetables, especially red pepper, eggplant, and garlic. Yummmm…

6. You’re on the beach…what do you have on your feet?

NOTHING. I want the heat, I want the sand between my toes.

7. Canoe, motor boat or white water raft? (Or write your own)


8. Do you prefer to swim in a pool, a lake or the ocean?

Ocean. With a sandy, not rocky or seaweedy, bottom.

9. Favourite flavour of ice cream?

I’m not huge on ice cream. Probably President’s Choice Fudge Crackle.

10. What do you look forward to most about summer in general?

Not having cold feet. Long walks. Evenings relaxing on the porch. Early morning reading on the porch.

UPDATE: Forecast for the weekend: 20 – 30 more cm, with a possibility, if the storm settles rather than passing through, of 40 – 50.

Tahiti. Someone take me to Tahiti. NOW.

March 6, 2008 Posted by | Canada, memes and quizzes, Ottawa | , , , | 7 Comments