Monday, December 17, 2007

iron jenny bonney

Did I mention that I was a birthday party pirate about a month ago? Yes, it is what you think. I dressed up as a pirate and led a bunch of 10 year old boys on a treasure hunt. I know it sounds sort of cheesy and horrible but I had a blast.
First of all I got my Halloween dress-up fix at last. I unearthed all of the favourite costumey bits I have squirrelled away and wore them all at the same time (pirates like to layer). It's funny that dressed up as a pirate was the most glamourous I've felt in ages but it felt great to put on the layers of heavy, full skirts, the cinching belt and vest, a big blousy shirt, rings on every finger, ratty gloves and a sleek silk kerchief. And I wore make-up for the first time in a long time. Alright it was brown eyeshadow smooched across my face and knuckles but it still required some preening time in front of a mirror. I admit I felt a little self-conscious toting my lantern along the subdivision sidewalk. Methought my coin belt jangled a wee bit too much but I tried to swallow my nerves and look tough.
And it rocked! 10 year old boys are not afraid to admit that they are having fun. My cousin (the mom) had devised a devilishly intricate hunt that took us two hours! We got to tear through the park after dark looking for clues! We got to dig up the back yard! I got to talk like a pirate all night! And now! I get to write about it ! using many exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monkeyboy takes his mother's silliness very seriously.

this one's for meg!

*because you are thirty-two now
*because I forgot your birthday
*because I know you peek in here now and again and hoped you might be pleased by your own personal birthday message post - Ta Dah! - even though it is a week late and there is no excuse for that.


Song for a Tall Brown Haired Gal (sung to the tune of your choosing but make it snappy)

(p.s. imagine the bracketed bits are back-up singer bits)

She like to siiiiiing
A lot. (want to start a church of singing)

She wear her birthday bli-ing
To clean the house. (ooo la la tiara)

She teaching Eng-
-Lish in Korea. (why why why teacher why?)

She wishin she could fliiing
A snowball. (poof. thud.)

She cool! (she cool) She funny! (so funny) She thoughtful! (full of thought) She a honey! (yah!)


Friday, December 14, 2007


The month-long hiatus. Yeah. I know. Bad. But I have been knitting. Productively. Actually finishing projects that actually fit the people they were intended for. HaveI done a bad thing by making monkeyboy a knitty addict as well? He actually climbed up into my lap this morning while I was (quickly) checking my email and said, "Hey Ma, let's look at some knitting!" (italics his). I kid you not.
So my current mess looks somethings like this. Snow melt and mud by the front door obscured by piles of bootshatsmittsscarvessnowpants. Dining table covered by Christmas gifts, wrapping stuff from last year that I want to reuse, half-addressed cards, bags of pinecones, The Trumpet of the Swan (our new chapter book) and a pile of ironing. Kitchen counter covered by good intentions ingredients (I keep meaning to get to some Christmas baking...) and dirty dishes (as usual.) Coffee table covered by upturned laundry hamper/kitty cage, goo-girl's beloved board books and broken crayons. The tree is coming in this weekend so soon all of this will also be covered by the ubiquitous, prickly spruce needle. And more snow. Monkey boy is addicted to Fraggle Rock and googirl just wants to keep changing her outfit and climbing up on chairs. And spinning on little rugs. A very good time.
Smith is cranking out the orders back there, lord love him.
I have to go back to work in a few weeks. I am ignoring this.
Monkeyboy and I are working on a big snow-sculpture of Herbie the Love Bug. We are just in the planning stages now.
Last night I went out for dinner for Willy's birthday. A New Zealand feast. I have always said that I hated lamb but I was wrong, so wrong.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

be hopeful

Both of these have been moving around my house for the last couple of years, either taped up inside my kitchen cupboards or stuck on a my junk board. I thought that typing them out again and sending them into the blogosphere would be a good meditation, a good remembrance.

Discourse on Good Will

May all beings be filled with joy and peace.
May all beings everywhere,
The strong and the weak,
The great and the small,
The mean and the powerful,
The short and the long,
The suble and the gross:

May all beings everywhere,
Seen and unseen,
Dwelling far off or nearby,
Being or waiting to become:
May all be filled with lasting joy.

Let no one deceive another,
Let no one our of anger or resentment
Wish suffering on anyone at all.

Just as a mother with her own life
Protects her child, her only child, from harm,
So within yourself let grow
A boundless love for all creatures.

Let your love flow ourward through the universe,
To its height, its depth, its broad extent,
A limitless love, without hatred or enmity.

Then, as you stand or walk,
Sit or lie down
As long as you are awake,
Strive for this with a one-pointed mind;
Your life will bring heaven to earth.

(from the Sutta Nipata of The Buddha)

Now, When the Waters Are Pressing Mightily

Now, when the waters are pressing mightily
on the walls of the dams,
now, when the white storks, returning
are transformed in the middle of the firmament
into fleets of jet planes,
we will feel again how strong are the ribs
and how vigorous is the warm air in the lungs
and how much daring is needed to love on the
exposed plain,
when the great dangers are arched above,
and how much love is required
to fill all the empty vessels
and the watches that stopped telling time,
and how much breath,
a whirlwind of breath,
to sing the small song of spring.

-Yehuda Amichai
translated from the Hebrew by Leon Wieseltier

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

my life in the snowbelt begins again

Looking out at the whiteness I remember now why I was so eager to drive my face off for the last six months, going places and visiting people. Because now begins the long stretch of limited and unpredictable vehicular mobility. And getting out of the house with two babes is now going to require two hours of prep time instead of the usual twenty minutes. Goo girl is happy about the whole thing. I'm not sure if I am going to be able to get her snowpants off her ever again. She looooooooooooves them. BIG PANTS! And there will be a puddle inside my front door for the next four or five months that I will always step in, with little wet sock trails leading away from it. And various wet woolen and nylon things hung off of doorknobs and chair backs and spread out in front of heat sources. And bills for said heating sources. And (more) mice coming in for the winter. Note to mice: I know I loved you when I was a kid, rescued you from cats, made you little shoebox houses, then elaborate gravesites when the shoebox thing didn't work out, even though I am reading The Rescuers out loud to monkeyboy, don't think that I haven't changed, inherited my mother's ruthlessness with rodents and things wild that invade my house. Fair warning.
Hey speaking of rodents (for those who can't stand rodents and haven't already been put off by talk of mice, quit reading now...) we went out for Chinese food on Saturday night, before heading out to see the Sadies at the Horseshoe Tavern (which requires it own whole post). We were cozied away in the back room, had just ordered soup and beer when - Ta Da! El Rato! Making a complete and frenzied tour of the room! We laughed. They moved us to the front room (rats don't like the street view?). We stayed and ate - the food was so good, we got drunk on Tsing Tao - although I did experience a full twitch and body shudder and make a "gahhh" noise every time my scarf brushed my cheek or someone's foot touched mine under the table.
It is starting to snow again...

Thursday, November 1, 2007


I'm gonna make this short and snappy because I realize I am missing out on real live social time with smith to be here in cyber space with you (it's not that I don't love you but just sometimes it feels kinda wierd, you know?).
I just realized that this year, the first in my thiry five, I did not dress up for Halloween. I did have a Halloween headress on at some point, one of those headbands with little bats on antennaes and some feathers and glitter thrown in for good measure, but I'm pretty sure I was just wearing it because I was sick of stepping over it in the kitchen. And I was wearing black and orange socks. But really, how pathetic is that for someone who loves to dress up so much that she devoted a large portion of her life to doing it professionally? (I know there is more to acting but I can't tell you how much I loooooooved the dress up part). On the up side I could wax gooey about a certain wiry little bespectacled guy and a very bossy little giraffe who insisted on wearing her rubber boots but I am heading for outer space, i.e. the TV room and parts adjacent.

Monday, October 29, 2007

soup factory

So, last week I made soup. Buckets and buckets of it. And I am still not sick of it. Good thing becuase the weather is gettin nothin but colder. Drove through some snow yesterday on my way home from my weekend off in the city ("The city", as though it were the only one...)

Beets! Look at these darn things! Bottom photo is the white and yellow beets after they were peeled - they looked like a sunset-the top photo is of the beets just out of the oven, sort of scabby and homely looking before the Cinderella effect of peeling them. The fuschia beets went into a big pot of borscht. (front L burner).
And here is the recipe! (It is my Babka's and she is Ukrainian so I don't need to tell you that it is a darn fine borsht. She spells it Borsch. ?)

Babka's Borsch(t)

1 medium onion diced
1/2 cup green peas
1/2 cup potato, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
1/4 fresh dill, chopped (VERY IMPORTANT)
2 tsp salt or to taste
2 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
1 cup or more cream (also good without but....)
1 few fresh garlic leaves if available, chopped
1/2 cup broad beans or fresh green beans diced
8-10 small to medium beets with stalks and leaves
5-8 cups of water or stock of any kind (I usually just use water and it is very tasty).

Wash and peel beets. Rinse leaves and stalks well. Dice beets and put in a large soup pot and water or stock. Bring to a boil and let simmer 10 minutes. Then add all other vegetables, including diced beet stalks. Keep leaves aside for now and add about 5 minutes before other vegetables are cooked. Do not overcook the vegetables. Remove from heat and season to taste with S & P. Add cream and stir gently. Serve with a spring of dill (or lots, chopped) and a dollop of sour cream or a swirl of heavy cream floating on top. Serves 6-8 people.
The back burner was a potato and leek soup - Julia Child's out of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. And the rest of my fridge cleanup went into a pot of cheesy cauliflower soup with parsley dumplings on top. And here is that recipe, my mom's:

Golden Cauliflower Soup
3 carrots, diced
2 ribs of celery, diced fine
medium onion, chopped
1 small head of cauliflower chopped up smallish
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar
2 cups milk

Ina Dutch oven, melt the butter and cook a medium onion chopped up till tender. Sprinkle flour over this and blend well. Stir in milk and cook stirring constantly till thickened. Pour in the stock and veggies and turn to simmer. Salt and pepper to taste. Drop Parsley Dumplings by teaspoon into soup (recipe below). Cover tightly and cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Then gently stir shredded cheese into the soup until melted. Serve hot - full meal deal.

Parsley Dumplings (I loooooooooooooooooves dumplings)

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp oil
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cups milk
2 Tbsp fresh parsley or 1 tbsp dried

Stir together dry ingredients. Add parsley. Combine milk and oil and add to dry ingredients all at once and stir only until flour is moistened. Plop spoonfuls into soup! (see above).

Monday, October 22, 2007

in which we take a detour

We dropped my sister-in-law off at the airport yesterday which I was a little sad about because we had such a nice weekend. Monkeyboy is crazy about her. She kept his little mailbox full of fun games for him to play with his cars, bought him coke for breakfast and let him snuggle up with her in the mornings. Good auntie.
We parked up high on the roof at the airport so we could see planes landing. It was so beautiful that smith thought we should take the slow route home and maybe stop at the mcmichael gallery. Which we did. There was an art sale on and the Robert Bateman exhibit so it was a zoo but we had paid our 5 bucks for parking so we stuck it out. And in spite of crowds and line ups and a googirl on the edge we had a good time. We even lined up and waited to get in to see the Bateman exhibit which we debated skipping but I was glad that we didn't. His paintings are beautiful, detailed and luminous. Monkeyboy's fave was Salt Spring Sheep. Baaaaaaaa. He was better behaved than some of the 50 year olds I saw, poking away at the canvasses. I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying "Stop that! You're grownups for god's sake! Even my five-year old can tell me that you're not supposed to touch the art!" We also spend a good chunk of time checking out the Tom Thompson room. Monkeyboy said "He does water REALLY good." And most of the Group of Seven paintings "remind me of my Uncle W!" Googirl really dug the Totem Poles and the a big stone polar bear carving: "kittycat!".
Today I am going to attempt to cook up the fifty pounds of vegetables that have taken over my fridge. Soup anyone?

in progress

The red square hat sans boings.

The extra large toque with lumpy star for Chef Nikos.

The beginning of scratchy acrylic scarf. I so love the colours of this yarn but it is so cheap and plasticky that it squeaks. I am knitting it on the ultra beautiful birthday needles from pippa to make it feel better.

Friday, October 19, 2007

in which we are tardy, again

Goodness, it is already the 20th of October. Shame on me. I am going to take a page out of Bobealia's blog and do a week at a glance thing to try to get back up to speed.
I will go move backwards in time. (cue soundtrack -something Space Capade-ey).
Tonight: spent most of the day rustling up a robot costume for monkeyboy to wear to a birthday party tonight. Thank god my crafty and talented sister-in-law was here to whip up a silver jumpsuit. We drew circuits and a control panel on with a sharpie and monkeyboy took great delight in adding "a bumhole!" which we labeled "Disposal Unit". I spray painted some water shoes gold (thinking, will the toxins leak into his little feet? so paranoid) and stuck some google eyes and strobe blinkers from the corner store on an old colander which i lined with foam for comfort. The level of comfort should not have been a concern since an overwhelmed and exhausted monkeyboy wore his costume for exactly 5 minutes. Because I told him he could take it off for the rest of the night if he wore it for at least 5 minutes.
Me: Auntie worked so hard on this costume, she will be sad if you don't wear it for at least 5 minutes. If you wear it for 5 minutes, you can take it off for the rest of the night"
Monkeyboy: Ok. 5 minutes, ONLY.
Me: Ok, now go show it to your cousins. (I am shameless).
Monkeyboy will only show the costume to people who come into the hall to see him.
Monkey boy (every 30 seconds): Is it 5 minutes yet?

On the way home, we realize that we have left one of the strobe blinkers on the counter. Monkeyoy loses it and insists that we turn around to retrieve it. I am merging on the really big messy part of the 401 right before the 400, swathed in by 12 lanes of traffic, not really into pulling a U-ey. So, there is great sadness in the Hyundai. Googirl gets in on the scream scene. I am tired and bitter and turn up the Elvis Costello, singing "I Want You" which I find outrageously sexy most of the time but which now only serves to deepen Monkeyboy's despair.

Luckily, at home there is lots of scotch and marshmallows and a lovely sister-in-law to have a good laugh with at the end of the evening.

Thursday: Dizzy. Feeling dizzy, naseous, thinking it is the flu. I know it is probably just low iron but can't help indulging in morbid fanatasies of some exotic, tragic ailment. Things seem to clear up with a cup of mint tea and several chapters of "Julie and Julia". Which is strange considering that she discusses cooking offal for most of the book. Googirl is working hard on cutting some more teeth. Needs a lot of carting around, which is unusual for her, busy bee that she is.

Wednesday: Got monkeyboy off to kindergarten, reluctantly. We are late, again. In spite on the handy dandy new clock radio/CD alarm we got him for his birthday. We are late and have to sign in at the office which monkeyboy hates. Made a list, packed googirl into the car and set about crossing things off of the list. Run over to school for teacher interview after school - Jack is doing great- he is reading! he is counting! he is running errands around the school! he loves library! he want to learn to write stories! although he does this weird, nervous, swishing his finger around and around in his mouth the whole time his teacher is talking to him. Smith and monkeyboy went to see "Queen Live in Montreal" at the movies while I knit up a storm finishing an extra large hat wool hat with a star motif (fancy! lumpy!) for Chef Nikos last year's birthday prezzie and starting a nice chunky square cap with boings from a pattern I found on knitty (looooooove knitty) and a scarf out of some really nasty cheap Red Heart acrylic that had a beautiful color mix that i couldn't resist. I also have a big crocheted shawl on the go. As with most of my life, too much on the go, but I like to have options. Have good long talk on phone with beautiful friend.

Tuesday: Quiet day at home. Date night with smith in pm - see Micheal Clayton - love Tilda Swinton. Love George Clooney. Especially love oh god what's his name, the crazy guy Tom Wilkinson.

Monday: Monday? Oh yeah, the day that laundry ate.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

me new career!

I have just edited my profile and you will all be pleased to learn (as i was, upon posting it) that I am entering the Accounting industry in Afghanistan.
New beginnings indeed.
Perhaps this is the vision of the woman with coins at her feet that the psychic pointed out.

not sleeping OR that damn house

I am not sleeping because that damn house sold. That damn house that we have been so speculative/daydreamy/hem-hahy about has done bin sold. So onward, right? frig. and blast. and #@$%!klj$*&#@. I will not be getting those four weeks of headspace back but!!!!!!!! it is October. October the best month of the year!!!!! Has anyone seen my Dylan Thomas book? frig. and blast. and fuckity fuck. It has done gone missing just when I wanted to share me favourite poem about October (especially for those with October birthdays). October, October OOOOOOOOOOOO!
New beginnings.
And a dentist's appointment at 1 pm.

Monday, September 24, 2007

buncha sickies

We are all descending into plague land. Monkey boy was the first to fall victim since he is back at the germ-factory known as Senior Kindergarten. Googirl is definitely living up to her nickname but it hasn't slowed her down. She is a super-duper stander upper but still prefers the scoot. And smith is stricken. And grumpy about it. I am just waiting for the ax to fall, laying in supplies and getting things done while the going is good. I have broken out the sticks and string and am trying to plow through my knitter's block, finishing about the bajillion little projects that I've started over the last few months. I am not allowed to bring any more yarn into the house until my stash is cleared out a bit. It's a good thing that the colder weather is here. The moon is waning too, a good time to be finishing things up, I think. Fall is here! (Monkey boy likes to count the days - yesterday he lay down on the lawn, sighed and said "Second day of fall") My most favorite and melancholy season.

Monday, September 17, 2007

limbo lee la la la

I'm sitting in my dining room - well, I call it a dining room but it is really just a too big table squished between the couch and the piano. Sitting between a bouquet of droopy roses from the bombastic bush along my back fence and a pile of litter that includes a stuffed bison, a bag of "goose droppings" (actually chocolate covered raisins), a tiny pumpkin, notes to self written on the back of unpaid bills ("note to self: pay bills"), 10 dinky cars, a paperback, a big fat yellow measuring tape and a very large letter O. Typing. Thinking of my two favourite words right now, which are: "slacker" and "laundress". They seem to typify my life at the moment.
Is anybody else out there having facebook burnout? I am. Also having laundress burnout. And slacker burnout. Am ready to be productive and energetic anti-laundress. Here's to dirt! And studied dishevellment! Finely tuned and muscularly executed wrinkling! Yeah! Take that entropy!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

extended mat leave

it's true. i am not back at work yet. i will work when goo girl walks. so has her daycare decreed, due to licensing changes. can't say that i am overly anxious for her to walk. not that there is any danger of that since she has perfected the scoot and is breaking land-speed records for bum travel.

Sunday, September 2, 2007


This was the odometer reading on the red car for a brief period between Gooderham and Irondale this evening. smith and i watched it until it clicked over to 222223. (the road was straight and true, don't worry)
labour day always feels like new years day to me. like something hanging in that clear september light, shimmering before it clicks over into the new rush and busyness of september. (september light - wow! it is the best - i want to swim in it, throw apples up into it!)
i have been feeling melancholy and elated for the past couple of days. we are thinking about buying this wreck of a house on this lot situated squarely on my left ventricle. (is that where the heart beat impulse issues from? forgive my hack anatomy). and i am trying to just lay back and let things fly and not get toooooo excited or tooo dissapointed or too anything. my horoscopes advise me to recognize that I am maybe missing some important other issue (hmmm, going back to work, maybeeeeeeee?) by getting caught up in this. And also to get some blessed, soul-restoring sleep.
Damn you cyberspace - you keep me awake! (just one more set of brackets, i can't help it).
Good night lovelies.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Peoples was gettin' DOWN!

I spent over twenty hours on the road, between Wednesday night and Friday night in pursuit of a Black Crowes concert in Northampton, Massachusetts. (NO KIDS!) What a great couple of days. Got to spend hours in a car chatting with a very fun, intelligent couple who we don't get to see enough of. Stayed at a lovely B&B so close to the park that we could hear the sound check from our bathroom window. Got to spend hours drinking, dancing and yelling "Whooooooooo-hooooooooo!", also with said couple at The Pines Theatre. Here is a link to some footage of a Wilco concert there - you get a great sense of the initmacy of the place. Imagine us down in the front row, close enough to spit on Chris Robinson (who looked ancient and coked out but man, he can give 'er):
Suzanne had a long spontaneous conversation in the washroom "It's good to be back". In America, a land where people talk to each other.
Our first stop in Massachusets was of course a gas station/McCafe complex thingie but there was a farmers market stand right out in front of the MacDonalds! Fresh local blueberries, eggplant, chard, peaches, organic garlic and more more more! And a big pile of cool fresh juicy apples glowing with a nimbus of just-pickedness. Fresh! Macs! Not last years apples! God they were good.
Then we stopped for lunch at a greasy little roadside joint. The beer was cold, the food was piled high and the conversation was of great books, heavy on the CanCon. We felt like had arrived.
After the concert - which was over by 9:30 (is this not a dream vacation for an almost 35 year old mother of two? crazy but not toooooo crazy)- we rolled down to a pizza joint operated by a Turkish family - Morgan kept asking them for Turkish words and I just couldn't get my head around them - Meg - I need some lessons.
The next morning we slept in - sweet hallelujah - and then went for breakfast at the Cup and Top Cafe in Florence. Yummah! Local suppliers! Fresh yoghurt! Fair trade organic beans!Great coffee.
A couple from Vermont thanked Morgan for his enthusiasm at the concert. And assured us that they had not voted for you know who. "Sometimes it's just embarrasing to be an American."
On the way home, a herd of deer, a huge double rainbow and a fingernail moon hung low.
We're doing it again next year!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

googirl goes up

Up the steps. Very pleased with herself. Pounds the step below with her little feet. Thumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthump. thump. thump. Checks to make sure I am watching. Grins. Thumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthumpthump.
Goes down the stairs.
Goes up the steps. Looks back over her shoulder. Grins.
"Duh, da da da da DUH!"
Scootscootscootscootscoot. Stop. Eat something off the floor.
"What are you eating little girl?"
Scootscoot mom is coming to stick her finger in my mouth scootfasterscootfasterscootfaster.

clothes make the monkeyboy

We are putting p.j's on, the ones with the green and blue stripes.

monkeyboy: "I'm not BEING Cinderella right now, I' m just me, but when I put these p.j.'s on, I FEEL like Cinderella, all over."

Happy, happy monkeyboy.

reading is dangerous

Because it makes me want to do things. So because I am reading "Animal Vegetable Miracle" I have made this pact with myself to can a big whack of peaches and tomatoes while they are lolloping all over the produce landscape. And I have read all of these books on home schooling this week (I am a crammer) so I am trying that on mentally and today was not a good day for the home school game. 0 points to home school today. Never attempt to envision home schooling while on the first day of your period, a first day home, alone, with two cranky kids tired from vacation and junk food, dirty kitchen, laundry up to your ears kind of day. On that day you should envision a deserted beach, a deep lounge, a large fruity drink, a pile of novels and no door to be knocked on. And then you settle for pizza and snuggling up to watch Cars for the 400th time. Not a bad compromise, really.

Thursday, August 9, 2007


I know a lot of you tune in in hopes of hearing a bit about monkeyboy and googirl - i promise lots about them in the next post.
For now - sleeps.


But don't be satisfied with poems
And stories of how things
have gone with others.

Unfold your own myth,
Without complicated explanation,
so everyone will understand
the passage "We will have opened you."

Start walking toward Shams (the great teacher)

Your legs will get heavy
and tired. Then comes a moment
of feeling the wings you've grown


I read Eat Pray Love last week and I was expecting to really hate it but I have to admit that I loved it. I laughed and laughed and kept interrupting smith's reading to read bits of it to him. And it opened me up, got me thinking about what I want, what I REALLY want - not things, not what I want to do, but what I want to BE. In it, a Balinese medicine man describes the theory of the universe as a circle, with both heaven and hell being the same destination, the outer ring, but the journey being different - getting to heaven you pass through seven levels of happiness and getting to hell you pass through seven levels of unhappiness but you end up at the same place - love. I KNEW IT!
So universe (and beautiful people out there in cyberland) keep sending me your thoughts and i will keep sending you mine. Oh this post seems oh soooooo flaky but that's where I'm at and I am sending it out to yoooooooooou!

Im still on the homeschooling visionquest thingy. Alternating between reading books about homeschooling with reading a Sophie Kinsella novel (which is pink, of course.) Oh, yeah and some, er.. Kierkegaard and stuff, eh? Yeah, sure. Just about to dive into Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle. A book about food and our world, big and small.

Speaking of food - when I went to pick up our beautiful organic veggie box this week there was so much bounty! The baskets were full of purple peppers and big juicy garlic bulbs and beans, tomatoes, greens, swiss chard, potatoes, hot hot peppers, more ground cherries, beets (two kinds!), big buckets of sunflowers and piles of fresh aromatic herbs. As monkeyboy says "MmmmmmmmmmMMM! Kim grows such nice food!". The harvest season is upon us people - go forth and fill up on local. I saw the birds starting to flock yesterday. A chickadee, three bluejays and many starlings in the space of five minutes all over my lawn - i will just whisper it...(fall! yay!)

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

be brave

So I'm reading this book about homeschooling and I get a very nervous feeling. My pulse is up and I have butterflies and I wonder if it is because I have stumbled upon something that I truly desire: to live with my kids every day, answer questions deeply, let them follow their interests, follow my own. September is looming and it is so loaded that I can hardly breathe. Back to work for me and back to school for monkeyboy. I hate the idea of us each in separate classrooms, learning about how to manage and be managed. Our summer has been so rich and full of detail. And space. Any discussion or thought of institutions this week - school, church-has put me so on edge, made me drive my heels in. Oh universe, send me some reckoning. Tell me that I am not just summer crazy, but deeply lucid. As I wrote this, three fire trucks came to stop on my street, silent,but blazing with lights.

Monday, July 30, 2007

sinister pickles

The jar on the end, slightly separate, the loner, did not seal. They shall be banished.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Poor neglected blog

As usual of late, smith and i are off in our separate corners in the blue light, tapping away. The moon outside is almost full, the babies are sleeping, both getting awfully long and lean. I just finished unpacking from last weekend and am packing again for this one. I managed to sneak in not one but two movies out this week -Ratatouille and the latest HP. Feel spoiled rotten. Made ratatouille yesterday with a big zuccini that I snagged in our veggie basket this week. Food movies always make me want to cook and eat their featured food - Tam PoPo was frustrating because all we had in the house at the time to satisfy our noodle craving were instant noodle packs.
I even made pickles today, four jars of them. They are sitting on the counter now. I am waiting for the one on the end to seal. I used my mom's recipe - dill and garlic on the bottom and top, 12 parts water, 4 parts vinegar, 1 part salt. Monkeyboy was eager to help-got himself a pickle-poking stick and started hacking off dill for me. The kitchen was a glorious mess. He was very interested in the pickle-cucumber connection as he loves cucs but hates pickles. "Are cucumbers pickles? Do cucumbers come from real live mommies?" (This i think from the talk about "baby" cucumbers. ) Which reminds me of a discussion we had about chimpanzees. I said that chimpanzees were a lot like humans and he said "Yes, they give birth to live young." That boy knows his mammals dangit!
He insisted on packing the last jar of pickles himself.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Reading about Matisse will not make me paint like Matisse, will it? Or reading about Virginia Woolf thinking about writing Mrs. Dalloway will not make me look like a century tree, will it? Summer is so goddamned beautiful and there are so many books out there. I am deep into the pool of summer reading. Thank you God for late July and fine novels and deep lakes.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

mariposa for meg

Even before you add in the music and the beautiful craftspeople Memorial Park is an idyllic spot. Curving out into Lake Couchiching, lots of beautiful tall trees catching the breeze. Green and blue luscious summer. Monkeyboy loves MusicPark as he calls it. He stretches out his jackrabbit legs and runs and runs and runs (after getting his face painted as a cat of course). And then he swims and swims and swims. And swims some more. He even sat down for five minutes of music and Auntie K helped him make a nifty cardboard box guitar covered with wood-grain mactac. Very cool.
Highlights for me included: The Bill's crazy super-long klezmer bluegrass finale - I was sitting right down in front on a blanket - standing, dancing by the end of the set; Hawksely Workman's monologue about the sexual confidence of the insects that swarmed the mainstage; hearing Madrigaia again and again, all over the park; the Sadies' suits and There is a Higher Power; Chuck Baker's Northern Town song(sorry i didn't catch more of your sets Chuck); Matt Anderson as a blues-playin hair-flingin force of nature; seeing Ron and Lisa at their booth; seeing musicians playing Ron's gorgeous guitars at their booth; convincing almost all of my women relative and friends to buy a pair of Sarah Apple's block printed beaver undies; Lisa modelling said undies over her jeans; Amy Millan's hat and her ultimate down-to-earthedness; Gregg Hobb's funny divorce song; running into the parents of an old friend; running into family; running into more family; running into still more family; Jill Barber's gorgeous voice; women musicians wearing sundresses and cowboy boots;crazy ass lightning storm swirling around Gordon Lightfoot; deep, deep downpour while waiting in the parking lot to go home.
Wish I had had an instant polaroid transfer photo done by Melanie Gordon at her booth. Very gorgeous - check out her link at the side here. Lisa had one done and I was jealous and admirous. Am also covetous of quilted wall hanging purchased by Pip from Katherine McLellan. BUT I have two totally gorgous paintings evocative of the view from an airplane coming in at dusk over Toronto and they make me feel lifted every time I see them. Thank you beautiful and talented Lisa Belanger!!(she is related to me eh?).
Can't wait until next year.

Monday, July 9, 2007

here i yam

Tired, tired, tired. I want to write about our great weekend at the Mariposa Folk Festival but I am just too dang tired. Lightning, blues, beer, lakewater, kids, klezmer, blankets in front of the stage, ice cream, watermelon, sweet melodies, shady lazing, long lake views laid over with acoustic riffs, funny undies, coolers, tall trees, cat-face painting, piggy backs. All goodness but it made me very zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

summer damp

I love our old house but there's an old house smell that comes out in the summer, a damp dirt smell, especially after the rain. Makes me want to light a fire.
We have been busy already this summer - spent the weekend in Niagara with the cherries and the wine and the falls and the stunning lake views and the tourists. I got a little giddy by the falls, I always do. It always amazes me that you are allowed to get so close to them. Does anyone else feel a little worried that they might not be able to resist the urge to fling themselves in? They are just so damned magnetic, elemental. Yeah, in spite of heat, kids, zoo atmosphere, still awesome.
We found some ok sushi for lunch at the kiosks and a french-speaking woman at the plastic table beside us wove a grasshopper - "une sauterelle" - for Jack out of a long blade of grass. Then we headed up the parkway to the Butterfly Conservatory. Also awesome in spite of insane crush of humanity. Monkeyboy and googirl were filled with delight, faces up, fingers out. Sweet.
My mom rocks. She tagged along and babysat the kids so we could go to a wedding and sample figs and champagne on a vineyard patio. Our table at dinner had great lengthy pop culture conversations.
Hitting the road on the way back from Niagara-on-the-Lake, Monkeyboy said "I'm not sleepy or anything, but are we halfway home?"

Sunday, July 1, 2007

the crack cocaine that is facebook

At a wedding in wine country, a couple of Saturday nights ago our table spent hours discussing pop culture. No one else at our table had kids - not one single toilet training, feeding, sleeping anecdote was heard. It was fun and heady but I felt kind of queasy when we started discussing cyber entertainments like facebook and second life, both of which kind of creeped me out. I know, I know and here I am blogging about it so who's the junkie, really? And, you guessed it - I am a full Facebook junkie as of two days ago.
Also, I seem to be at the centre of a karmic reconnection vortex (am really into that word this week - VORTEX!!), facebook being the least of it. As Smith just pointed out, maybe this is a symptom of blogging, thinking that it is all about me. (Hey buddy, aren't you the one reading Cosmos and Psyche?).
I guess the question I am asking myself is are some kinds of connection better than others? More and more I am thinking that is snobbish and holier-than-thou and that the universe is just saying connect! connect! i don't care how! Like that scene in Barbarian Invasions where the daughter says goodbye to her dying father via an emailed satellite video.
More later. Must sleep. Maybe I will just check my facebook one more time......

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie
Originally uploaded by seriouslygood1

pie in the sky

i went to a celebration of life party this evening, a memorial event for a family friend who died in march. we looked at pictures and told stories and toasted him and ate some of his favourite foods (although lobster and corn on the cob, his absolute faves, were sadly absent). my mom made a lemon meringue pie that was to die for. her pies of late have been stellar, the apotheosis of pies (am i using this word correctly? i love it and don't want to abuse and misuse it.) she made a rhubard raisin custard pie with a whole wheat crust last month that is currently at the top of my Best Pie Ever Eaten list. i know i digress but i think that bud would approve of the current tack of this post. he was a big fan of pie. so, let's hear it - favourite kinds of pie, best pie ever eaten, pie to die for - don't be afraid...hit that lil' ol' comments button......

Thursday, June 21, 2007

indian food (a song)

Another hit by monkey boy.

Accompanied by a drum kit consisting of a plastic yellow hardhat, a plastic red fireman's hat, a cowboy hat and a live cat:

indian food!
indian food!
we've got it
indian food!
right up here
on the stage
come get it
on a plate
right now!
indian food!
indian food from thailand!

over the hill (and back again)

On Tuesday night I drove an hour to meet a dear friend (hello dear friend) in a small town neither of us knew, a quiet little half-way hamlet. There was not even a Tim's ladies and gentlemen, I kid you not. We had fried dinner and chocolate milk in the only game in town and walked to the gas station for a chocolate bar for dessert. By then, whatever had been happening at the Legion had wound up and the Weight Watchers meeting at the library was over so we just drove around talking and listening to music until I had found every dead end in town. We saw it all: the co-op, the water tower, the old folks home, the co-op again. I was glad I went. We got honked at (twice!) walking back from the gas station which was funny because we were talking about how we started to think of ourselves as old this year. Which is also funny because I feel simultaneously old and adolescent at the same time a lot lately: awkward, over eager, shy, scattered, pretentious. I am not sure how to present myself, how to dress, how to talk.

Hey friends far away if you are reading this, I miss you! I think of you often! I am thinking of you now! I would drive an hour to meet you too if I could, walk under the maples (or the lindens or the pines or the palms or whatever tree is growing in that half-way town) and talk, laugh, cry, be silent, talk some more. And then take the long trip home feeling full again, feeling myself again.

summer solstice

We spent the last few hours of this longest day of the year at Dufferin Grove Park enjoying the Cooking Fire Festival. Had a very tasty dinner of vegetarian enchiladas and a rich beautifully textured bowl of hominy soup with wild boar cooked over an open fire. Dessert was fresh ice cream sandwiched on cookies. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Monkeyboy spent the night kicking up the dust and running as fast as he could. He has a need for speed and bouncing these days. Googirl just wanted to eat grass and scoot around.

Ah, Les Trouveres, you have captured my heart (again) and made laugh until I almost peed. More please, more please, more please.

Monday, June 18, 2007

procrastination and the five point plan

Well, here it is, procrastination, happening now. According to the Five Point Plan, as orchestrated by the brilliant and beautiful Jennifer W (also talented - multi-talented) I should be working on writing and illustrating a children's book, while formulating an outline for a blockbuster young adult novel that will make me tons of money and allow to immediately fulfill my lifelong dream of writing for a living. I don't like to write these things down because I worry about putting new fresh little ideas out in the cold. But is almost midsummer and the soil should be well warmed by now so I should just lay them in.
Smith was playing ultimate frisbee at J's school tonight so I walked over with the kids. J wanted to play mini-car store and practice jumping up at the monkey bars. S watched J and sang her loud songs and charmed folks with her lil' button eyes. The geodesic dome/climbing structure was gone from behind the school. I guess it was getting dangerous. The little girls running ahead of us called it the beehive. "Mommy, mommy the beehive is gone!" Too bad, because it was groovy and retro and nobody seems to put them up anymore. Oh Buckminster Fuller, where have you gone?
J caught a moth and was deeply, tragically saddened when it flew away. He perked up when we got home and by then time I had gotten S down he had brushed his own teeth, changed into his pj's and gotten his own snack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AMAZING! The snack was a big bowl of marshmallows, but I couldn't bring myself to chide him after such a rockin display of independance so we just saved some for tomorrow, threw a glass of milk down after them and brushed our teeth, again.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

(sorry about the neckstretcher photo...)

We went to the Auto Flea Market last weekend and got ourselves a good dose of internal combustion glory!!!! And got to see Great Uncle Hughie, that jolly old elf. What a boy's paradise - or nightmare - especially loooooved the old boy who gave J a toy gun, saying "There you are, that's what you need. We've got to take care of the kids."????????? OK, that said, most of the people giving J free stuff were quite sweet about it. You could tell that they just saw a little guy with a hankering for little cars and wanted to make his day.
Miles and miles of tires, coveralls, old mufflers, Crocs knockoffs, spare hoods, pistons, headlights, side panels, repair manuals, antiques, gaskets, gew gaws and of course beautifully restored old cars and trucks. J was in heaven.

dark saturday

Yesterday morning we went out for lunch. I had done some stinky painting and we needed to get out of the house for a few hours. We had walked around the block scoping for garage sales, thought about going to the park but it looked like rain. We finally headed up to the junk food plaza (Tim's, our pizza place and Subway) and here's where the day started to feel warped and unreal. All of the light fixtures and ceiling tiles in the Tim's were hanging crazily from the ceiling. Renovations, ok but for some reason I found it very unnerving. Then we saw two cruisers and yellow caution tape around a pair of sneakers and a pile of bloody clothing. They were big white sneakers, teenage boys sneakers. We distracted monkeyboy with food and headed home and on the way home saw that the park was also ringed with yellow caution tape. That morning a couple of 16 year old boys had been stabbed across the street from the park(our park) by another couple of boys, thrown into a stolen white Lexus and then thrown out again a few blocks later at a plaza (our plaza). They were taken to the hospital where one of the boys died. Sad, sad, sad.
All day even before I knew all of these details, I felt edgy, out of sorts, charged, but in a totally aimless, frustrating way. On the late news, this story was preceeded and followed by stories about traffic accidents - a huge one to the south of town that closed part of the 400 down for the night and another, small but fatal, just north of my parents house ( both of these pretty much at the boundaries of my existence right now). Nothing touching me directly but my whole personal geography bracketed and laid over with violence and death, the dark underbelly of summer's energy.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

calling all angles

One of my high school English teachers loved to stress the point that it was The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence, NOT The Stone Angle. All anglers would be mocked.

The title of this post was supposed to be Calling All Angels because the beautiful song of that name by Jane Sibberry (actually a duet with k.d. lang, another Canadian gal) is running through my head but a typo intervened and i feel that the tone of the new title lends itself more to examination, prediction and dissection than to transcendence, luminosity and feathers.

So in this post I will not be lamenting that the beautiful play Icaria by Number Eleven Theatre will no longer be produced (the set was ceremoniously burned last summer after the final performance). If you missed it, you should feel a little sad.

I will also not be relating the story of how my cousin's budgie was killed by the fumes of a chili sauce being pickled in a summer kitchen.

Or, I suppose the transcendence of that chili sauce - the earthy spiciness! the tart bite of vinegar! the sweetness of the tomatoes that summer! Oh for a mess of scrambled eggs!

No, none of that.

Instead I call forth the engineer within (not a very good one - neglects to measure twice or use a level), the pool shark of my soul (cue awonk), the protracting pundit to look at all the balls on the table, the lay of the land, the hang of the string in the wind and call all angles, name them now!

But first I need to go and listen to that song. (And maybe go to bed - these long midsummer evenings make me lose track of time.)

Monday, June 4, 2007

firefly boy

Originally uploaded by nannamamma

Song to googirl on the way to the Cottage by monkeyboy

we're almost there
we're almost there
we're almost there
we're almost there

500 reasons why
we are a family
feel like a hmmmm
yeah yeah
we're almost there

500 treeeees and
what do you get
but it's so fun
we're almost there

it's a long way

400 thiiiiings
so so so so so so
it's a long time ago
it's a dark sun
it's a sad sad day

why are we getting off of the way
500 clues

whooooo! yeah!

it's so fun when we're drivin to the cottage
why are we getting so big and loose
it's jus the cottage no worries to see
it's just the cottage road

Thursday, May 31, 2007

arrrrrrrr!!!! my captain jack

so i went out to the movies by myself on tuesday night (sorry kel) and saw a big summer blockbuster.
it was a good thing i was in the mood for it because my choice of movies at the barrie galaxy on a tuesday night consisted of:
a sequel, a sequel, a sequel OR (wait for it...) a sequel!
yup, four movies at a twelve screen cinema.
ahhhh, barrie. "sooooo wonder white", as nick put it.
but it was a tuesday night, the parking lot was packed and i felt like part of the happy herd.
and i will not lie, i wanted eye-candy and lots of it. so hurrah for johnny depp and orlando bloom! plus, there was a preview for the golden compass, which made me giddy.
i LOVE going to the movies by myself. i feel free to absolutely love or hate whatever crap gets thrown up on the screen. if you haven't done this before, i highly recommend it.
you have my permission to be anti-social. go forth! get yer popcorn! you won't have any trouble finding a seat.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Poste the Firste

Hi lovely friends.
I am about to lose my blogging viginity - bloginity? virgoggity? Well here I am, all yours, in all of my procrastinating glory trying to avoid the backspace and delete keys and just get something out there to you beacuse I love seeing the mess of other people's mind via their blog, so......

Piled around me are bills, wee girl's shoes, not-so-wee boy's paintings and the damned looming folders (real and imagined) of Things I Have Been Meaning To Do (for quite some time). The season of knitty frenzy has ended and now I am up to my elbows in manure slogging out some new beds along the back fences. We put in a rain barrel this weekend and it is already overflowing. It gives us a feeling of bounty and self-sufficiency.

Speaking of self-sufficiency, I read Cormac McCarthy's novel The Road this week and it gives new meaning to the term. What a harrowing and beautiful read. I was sort of shell-shocked by it and found myself being extra tender towards not-so-wee boy and weeping at people walking their dogs and other ordinary activities.