Monday, 27 July 2009

summertime, summertime

The kids have started swimming lessons at the local pool - Cass is mildly enthusiastic while vowing he will never,uh uh never put his head underwater and Rosey is getting all starry-eyed about her very sweet instructor. (Who would be dishy if he wasn't still or damn-near still in high school.)

Actually, that was from yesterday. Today Cass popped his head under - just like that! - and is now pleased as punch he can do that like a big kid. And of course as soon as he did, she was determined that she could do it too. I'm fairly certain they're both going to sprout fins soon.

The backyard pool is up, and was briefly wonderful and fantabulous and the best thing ever - then we started balancing the pH, and it all went to hell quickly. Rust? Algae? I have no patience, and want it settled NOW. After all, we did the work, right?

I had an ultrasound a few weeks back and now am the proud owner of ovarian cysts. It's a diagnosis I wasn't expecting*, as I haven't had any episodes of blinding pain, but now I'm super attuned to any (almost certainly normal digestive) odd rumbles or twinges, and I don't like it.

School starts in five weeks. FIVE WEEKS! Must begin getting school supplies together!

Anyone have any great girl haircuts they could offer? Rosey-roo's hair is too long, really, and overwhelming her face - but the bob just does NOT suit her. I have pictures where she looks like an extra in a David Bowie video - all that dark hair and heavy angles make her look like she's trying to look Asian. Asian-esque. Asian-ish?

Suggestions?

(And I will mourn her lovely long hair. But she's hot and not enjoying ponytails all the time.)

I wanted to be Meg (from A Wrinkle In Time) when I was growing up. Because she wasn't hugely popular or athletic but still used everything she had with courage.

Now I realize I'm envious of her big attic bedroom too.....

my kingdom for a sleeping porch. Or maybe a hammock in the side yard.




*In a nutshell - and Dad, stop reading this: - menstrual periods with excessively heavy flow (up to 16 days duration) for the last seven months. I've been a treat to live with.

Friday, 24 July 2009

bookish

This summer we've had plenty of gray days. Today was different in that it rained - a misty rain that didn't falter - not a boom of thunder to be heard at all, no slowing or stopping (even briefly) just this long soft wetting that went on and on.

We were inside, trying to feign thrilledness (is too a word) over two-weeks-ago library books (and just how many times is a Mom required to read the same book over again, anyway? Whatever that number, I think I reached my quota today.) and sprawled over the living room when C shot to his feet and said 'The library bus just went by!'

Several pairs of eyes begged. 'Can we go?'

Not everyone has a library bus. But my community is just rural enough (and has the right amount of older people in it) that we can choose between driving to the big library in town or hopping on the (can't-miss-it) bus.



This was Rosey's first time, and she was a bit hesitant until we swung open the big door and went up the few stairs and she could see the shelves of books, could see the bench seats and the smiling people sitting behind the checkout desk.

Cass was thrilled to show her where the childrens' books were, and I wandered off to peruse the longer books, chatting with the librarians about the town school (the perennial question - will they try to close it again?!? My feeling: Not for awhile.) and when I looked back they were sitting together, heads bowed over a book, Cass reading aloud, R nodding and turning the pages and grinning at some of the illustrations.

An armful of books later, we were back out into the rain, cheerier than before. With a whole bunch of new adventures to fall into before bedtime.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

sounds like home

A month ago, I entered a contest on Schmutzie's Review Blog. And I won!

My shiny new ipod shuffle is now a very lovely part of my wardrobe. And I'm learning the ins and outs of itunes.

And, oh, the podcasts. I'm particularly fond of the podcasts.

One thing I've missed since I moved here is A Prairie Home Companion. Now, that show is no more, but hearing Garrison Keillor read poetry into my earphones?

Feels like home.

If I close my eyes I could be on the floor in my parents' living room, a book in hand, listening to bits and pieces of stories and rich music and giggling about commercials for things like Powder Milk Biscuits (has your family tried 'em?) or Ralph's Pretty Good Grocery ("If you can't find it at Ralph's, you can probably get along without it") or just the tales woven about people I'd never met that seemed so realistic. Like that branch of the family that was very dear and very well-meaning and...well...completely bonkers.

Thank you, Schmutzie, for hosting this giveaway - I love the Fit in 15 website, and I love my new ipod!

Saturday, 18 July 2009

just pooling ourselves




Even a sub-level pool with two inches of water in it can be tons of fun. And you can laugh at your parents while they worriedly discuss yanking up the pool again.

Yes, again. This time it won't take so long.

But a pool - especially one that's so much fun already - should be flat. So you can swim.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Thursday, 16 July 2009

housekeeping

I survived not only an ultrasound yoinking on old scars (am not pregnant, was not the point) yesterday, but an occurrence of the rarely-seen but hugely-hated chin breakout.

The sand for the poolis here. We're all terribly excited and we'll go spread and level it this afternoon. Tomorrow B will be home and he'll pack the stuff and we'll layer the rest of the big pool stuff and then....THEN...we can fill the pool.

I'm beginning to get a niggling feeling that I should be watermarking my pictures. Or something. Any advice?

Speaking of pictures, I sort of....broke....my camera last night. I'm still reeling (MAH BABY!) and I have NO IDEA where to take my preshus in to be fixed. I have a sneaking suspicion I may end up driving to Halifax.

I tried to plug the download cord in and succeeded in pushing the connector plug into the body of the camera. I flapped and swooned and was horrified until B, ever the practical one, explained that in the meantime I could take the memory card out and download into our card reader. So no harm, no foul, except that I broke my camera!!!!! ( she wails) a lingering sense of clumsiness.

A few weeks ago I entered a contest the lovely Schmutzie held - and I won a Ipod shuffle. (Go me - I never win anything) Now I'm noticing how much nicer my life runs when there's a soundtrack playing in the background. Really - how bad can the in-fighting be when Landon Pigg is crooning about coffeeshops? Ahem. Now I have to figure out what podcasts are and how they transfer onto this sweet little machine and I'll be all set.

Hum. This IS a harum-scarum post, isn't it? Ah well.

Going to have to steam my face tonight....

Mama, can I use the music player now??

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

oh so poolish

Oh mah GOD.

The pool, or 'Sweet Mary on a carburetor, what were we THINKING??' is coming along. I think.

In order to level the ground, there are a distressing lot of things one must do. I mean, it's good, honest, productive work, but wow, is it dirty. I looked like a La Brea Tar Pit tourist that had fallen in. Cass was unrecognizable. B was a giant brown smudge. Rosey....well, Rosey had a very dirty face, black arms and legs, and a clean white shirt at the end. She's so not mine.

We're stuck at the point of needing sand to put under the pool now. Some will be delivered soon, and then we'll be able to spread the sand, check that the whole area is level, re-set up the pool, and then (the piece de resistance!) the fire truck will come and fill the pool. You can guess which part Cass is excited about - possibly even more than any actual swimming.

So now we have a big dirt circle on the lawn. It's lovely. And soon I will have an actual pool I can swim in. I think.

I would hate to think we were being poolish about things.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

such a bad, bad blogger

But honestly, it's turning into a very busy summer.

The kids came home on Friday, browner, leaner, and taller than I remembered, with giant smiles stitched across their faces and stories of a wonderful time. Cass went fishing (he's wanted to for a long time) and caught a mess o'fish. Rosey swam and dug holes on the beach and perfected her swinging on a swingset on the beach. They roasted marshmallows and ate yummy food and I'm surprised the adults that were there have any ears left a'tall - because when my two are happy? They talk.
Lucy was so happeeee to see them. When Cass went to bed that night, she pinned his head to the bed with her paws and washed his face for him. Such is patch-ed cat love.

I've been writing articles for the local newspaper for the last few months (under the guise of the Community Health Board) and it's been quite a journey. First the articles I wrote were credited to someone else ( a clerical error that kept happening and by no means a deliberate thing) and now...well, now I'm beginning to wonder if I was better off being (pretty much) anonymous. There's just something about other people editing your work for content that sours it.

And (a small whinge) the title that was added on? Ridonkulous.

But! A little souring is good for the soul. Or something. Especially if it means I'm getting published.

We bought a pool. A not-too-huge one, but one the kids can actually swim in versus kicking their feet a lot. On other words, a real pool. One of those inflatable jobbies that needs an absolutely level site. The site we picked? Not level, which became glaringly obvious when the pool began to list as it filled. So tomorrow B is going to level that part of the lawn (a process involving string, sticks, a level and a shovel) re-erect the pool, and then fill it.

(And somehow we're always surprised when the projects we pick take longer than we anticipate. We never remember the old rule of 'Plan for twice the amount of time and money than you originally think', and it bites us in the butt every time. We're either foolish or eternal optimists.)

A looong process for a very nice result.

The kids are hopping-up-and-down excited, and crestfallen at the lack of sun today. But just by having the pool (we have a POOL! says Rosey, all agog) - even while it's not functional - the promise of awesome times ahead is enough to smooth over this temporary setback.

Now if we could only have some sun.....

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

ve have questions

Whump!

I opened my eyes reluctantly. 'Hi, Lucy.'

Lucy put her paw on my nose again. Wake up! Lazy humans.... That's better.

'Ow. Quit with your pokey little paws, cat!'

Don't make me bare my claws....Hey! This is important. Someone has stolen the children. They're not in their beds.

'No, they're not. The house is going to be quiet for a few days - they're on vacation.'

You let someone take my petting people away?


I yawned. 'Think of it as a vacation for you from getting dressed up in doll clothes.'

Lucy did a double-take. But...who will pet me? Who will purr him to sleep? Who will leave cat-hair on her clothing? Are they alone on this vacation?

'Naw, Luce. There's a dog on the trip with them.'


You did what???

I'd like my boy back now, please.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

third time's the charm

Rosey bounced up to me, beaming. 'Look.' she breathed, 'Look.'

Tight in her hand, the fingers uncurling, up on her tip-toes, watching her own palm....

barely breathing, hair swinging forward on her shoulder....

And there - there! in her hand was her tooth.


Third time's the charm, Rosey. Thanks for letting me keep one.


two steps to the right

I'm a little wrong-footed today.

I missed seeing Loth on her adventure in my part of the area, the weather will NOT cooperate with doing anything outside, and I'm a little homesick.

Today is Independence Day in the United States, and it feels very wrong and strange that I'm the only person around that has the urge to make red white and blue cake and arrange sparklers and fried chicken.

(But perhaps with that far-off thunder we keep hearing we wouldn't be outside for picnicking and fireworks anyway?)

And I'll have pretty lights tomorrow night. Not all is lost.

Still.....

Some days it's just harder to be a pseudo-Canadienne.
image from here

Friday, 3 July 2009

looking for loth

And I haven't found her. Yet.

Despite walking the fair this afternoon, looking for a small but handsome group with striking accents, and prowling the pirate ship, I fear I have come up empty-handed.

Calls to her B&B net me the answering machine.

Loth, my dear, I hope you're out having an awesome time, where ever you are. And if you'll send me info where you'll be at either of the other places you said you were visiting, I'll catch up to you before you leave.

I promise. I'm so glad your stay has been wonderful so far!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

and the wheel goes round, round

You learn a lot, working in a public place.

Today, for example, I've had conversations about everything - from the cafeteria is making more wraps for lunch to the weather and isn't-it-a-shame-the-park-grass-will-be-all-ripped-up when the semis hauling the carnival rides sink into the soft ground and the latest potluck get-together news. There's a timelessness to it all, to the time-worn queries and sighings over the weather and the concerns that small-town life bring - and a sweetness I never found in other places I've lived.

There's a comfort in living here, in knowing not only my son will be safe as he rides his bike to his friend's house*, but neighbors along the way will note that he goes by and remark upon it as they drink their tea or hang out their wash or flip on their computers (we're not quite as 50's-ish as immediately appears) and Bear will get queried about it by tomorrow afternoon.

Because my young'uns are part of this community now. Assimilated into the great patch-work of it all, of births and deaths and heartbreaks and tradition, of other people watching my kids grow up, remembering in the back of their minds what my husband was like as a child.


Some of them remember when B rode his bike by himself for the first time too.




*For the first time! All by himself! How did he get so big so fast?