Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Once again we reach that dreaded time in our yearly calendar. No, I don't mean the last minute Dec. 24 11 PM WallyMart run. I am referring to the time of year that strikes fear into the hearts of every parent. The time of year you will find parents begging their boss to enforce mandatory overtime. The time of year where you will find parents in the parking lot ripping random wires out of their cars. No, I am not talking about going to work in a blizzard. I am of course referring to the time honored dreaded SCHOOL CHRISTMAS CONCERT.

When political correctness started to kill common sense, I thought perhaps it would take the concert with it. Nope. They just changed the name to 'CELEBRATION OF THE SEASON" and away we go. Don't get me wrong. Five year olds singing, crying and wetting their pants is always a joy to observe. I just find them a huge inconvenience. You know how it goes. The "school" concert cannot be held in the school because it is too small. Instead they move it across the city. You now must rush home from work, feed the children, dress them and then fight your way through RUSH HOUR traffic so you can make it in time to watch your little darling stand on stage, frozen in fear, until the teacher has finished her solo (it is a teacher solo because all the children either forgot the words or have stage fright) then you can try to find your car in the parking lot and fight 300 other parents to the exit. The preparation for this enchanting night is always fun. Personally I would rather rub my forehead on  cheese grater but to each their own. The teacher usually asks the parents to provide a costume made from virgin Alpaca fur. Preferably the albino virgin Alpaca. After all, doesn't everyone have a virgin alpaca in their back yard? Don't forget the matching shoes and hat. The costume must also be hand sewn. My version of sewing involves a stapler and duct tape.  If it can't be fixed with those supplies, it isn't getting sewn. My children were always the ones with the paper bags as a costume. The other children have beautiful hand made costumes made from the finest silk and Alpaca. Mine look adorable and orphaned in their paper bag shirt and garbage bag jacket held together by neon pink duct tape. How can you not love the concert season?
Have I mentioned that the concert is always held on the coldest night of the year. The one where the weather man is warning you that exposed skin will freeze in 5 seconds. If you stand in one spot too long, you will be frozen there until spring. This is also the night where a car will stall in the middle of the one and only exit to the parking lot.
 Two of my children are in the school band. The band concerts are a special kind of hell. Each grade plays two songs. Grade 6 -12. Wonderful. Oh I forgot the important part. Each year the grades play the same song. The song the Grade 6 class played last year is the same song the Grade 6 class will play this year. By the time you are done, you have sat through at least 6 years of the same damn songs. God help you if you have more than one child in the band. I am in year 6. I still have 4 more years to look forward to. Lucky me.
My favorite concert of all time happened when my oldest child was in grade 5. Two boys in Grade 4 got into a fist fight. ON THE STAGE DURING THE CONCERT
That was the best one. I doubt very much this week's concert will ever top that one.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dear Santa,

I can explain. It wasn't my fault. I swear it wasn't. I was just trying to put a little Christmas spirit into the house. All I wanted was a nice pretty Christmas tree. One with lots and lots of lights. Not as many as last year. You remember that one? The heat from all the lights overheated the tree and it burst into flames. The Fire Chief said it was the most beautiful Christmas tree fire he had ever seen. All the pretty lights set off a lovely glow as they exploded from the heat. And now we have very original ornaments. After all, how many people have melted ornaments that  Salvador Dali would be proud of?

This year I was going to test the lights BEFORE I put them on the tree. I did. I tested everyone of those damn bulbs. Do you have any idea how long it takes to test 2000 bulbs? Let me tell you it takes A LOT of time. God made the world in 6 days. It took me three weeks to test all those damn bulbs. For a while I thought the world had become polka dotted. Turns out it was just the results from staring at all those bulbs for so long.When they were finally all working, I carefully put them on the tree. Well first I had to chase the cat to get the string of lights back. He thought we were playing a game. I would start to put the string of lights on the tree and he was on the other side pulling them down. I finally put all 2000 lights on the tree. I was ready for the big lighting. I gathered the family we sang songs and I began to plug in the tree lights. Guess what. Nothing happened. NOT ONE DAMN LIGHT LIT UP! I carefully removed the lights and tested them again. Yup they all worked. I carefully strung the lights up again. Again they didn't work. By the third time I tried this I just lost it. I am so sorry Santa. I tried. I really really tried. I just lost my mind. The kids have told me I got a strange look on my face and then began to kick the tree while frantically ripping the branches off the tree while screaming something about a conspiracy by the tree light manufacturers to force me to buy all their lights and send their kids to college while they retire to South America. I can't vouch for this story as I have no recollection. The next thing I knew the tree was halfway through the window and the children and cats were cowering under the bed.

The children have now purchased me an early Christmas present. I now have a beautiful artificial pre-lit tree. It looks very pretty all lit up. I wish I could get a closer look but the children have forbidden me to get anywhere near the tree. I still think it would look better if I put a few more lights on it. Just a few. What can it hurt?

I believe that the pre lit tree was invented by some poor damaged child. I think this poor child was traumatized by memories of their parents throwing a tree through the window in some crazed frenzy of frustration. See I didn't damage my children. I created memories and perhaps sent them on the road to future entrepreneurship.

See Santa I told you it wasn't my fault. I tried. I really tried. Next year, do you think you could bring me pre wrapped and bought presents? I think it might save my sanity.


Monday, November 29, 2010


After spending many hours searching (read dreaming) through the real estate listings, I think I have finally translated them. It is all about reading between the lines.
Here is a sample of commonly used words in the ads and my translation.

CUTE/COZY: Or any other combination/synomym of these words mean the place is not much bigger than living in your car. It is a suitable size for one small elderly lady and her pet bird. As long as they don't want to move at the same time

NEWLY RENOVATED: They slapped a fresh coat of paint over the mold before you arrived

SAFE NEIGHBOURHOOD: Last week the police raided the crack house next door and they haven't made bail yet.

QUIET NEIGHBOURHOOD: SEE: Safe Neighbourhood or else it means you are next to a cemetary

ACROSS/NEAR GREENSPACE: The neighbour only cuts their grass once a year.

APPLIANCES INCLUDED: We were too lazy to move them and they only work part of the time. They are your problem now.

NEUTRAL DECOR: I hope you like white

DRY BASEMENT: It is today as long as it hasn't rained or the spring melt hasn't started yet.


ORIGINAL HARDWOOD FLOOR: The house is uneven

ORIGINAL OWNER: Nothing has been done to the place since they moved in the house.

HANDYMAN SPECIAL:  Be carefull where you step you might fall through the hole in the floor.

NEWER AIR CONDITIONING: Bullet holes or broken windows.

ALARM SYSTEM INCLUDED: If you don't already own a guard dog or gun you better get one to live in this neighbourhood.

QUICK POSSESION: I need to leave town today or I know the roof is going to collapse and I want out before it does or jail sentence starts next week and I need money to pay for a new lawyer.

CLOSE TO SHOPPING: Above the store

CLOSE TO TRANSPORTATION: Next to the train station or bus station

CLOSE TO WATER: Leaky roof/ basement or flooded lake

Last but not least

OPEN CONCEPT: Someone stole the doors.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I am so angry I am spitting nails. I made the mistake of watching the news this morning. Actually watching the news wasn't the mistake. The mistake came when one of my least favorite city counsellors came on and I didn't change the channel. This man is pushing to make panhandling illegal. Don't get me wrong. I don't like aggressive panhandlers. They sometimes scare me. What made me angry was what he said. He said they are all able bodied and there is no reason for them not to get a job and contribute to society. I beg to differ. Mr. Steeves they may seem able bodied but that does not mean they are able to hold a job. Some of these people may be able bodied but not able minded. Some of them battle addictions. Sometimes these addictions prevent them from getting or keeping a job. They lose everything. A lot of the shelters won't let them stay if they are drunk or high. What are they supposed to do. The safety nets fail them. How are they supposed to live? Some of them sit all day trying to get a day labour job. Some days there are not enough day labour jobs for them. What are they supposed to do then? You don't qualify for Unemployment if you haven't worked the required minimum number of weeks. How do they live? Some of these people battle mental illness. These mental illnesses sometimes prevent them from holding down a job. Again, sometimes this can lead them to lose everything. Tell me what are they to do? I understand that panhandling can be an annoyance to some people. I understand that they can be a traffic hazard. But to assume they are all just too lazy to get a job is just plain wrong.

I have to tell a story about a panhandler. I used to work downtown. I took the bus to and from work because it was much easier than battling for a parking spot every morning and it was cheaper than having to work for a whole week to pay for your monthly parking fees.  Anyway, I was sitting with a Co Worker at the bus stop waiting. A pan handler came along and sat down beside Clint. He asked Clint for some spare change. Clint said he was sorry but all the money he had until payday was his bus fare. The pan handler then dug into his pocket and pulled out some change. He then asked Clint if HE needed some money. Clint declined but that incident stayed with me. This man was down on his luck but he was willing to try to help someone else. Yes Mr. Steeves. These are the people that you vilified. People that is the key word there. They are still people. I hope Mr. Steeves never has to experience life like that but maybe he should try talking to these people before he paints them all as lazy.

Thus concludes my daily rant.

Monday, November 15, 2010


I love my friend Idiot
The more I get to know him, the more I think we were separated at birth. For example; I am a Canadian, he embraces his distant Canadian heritage. We both have the sense of humor that very few people get. We both speak English and Canadian fluently. We are both scared of snakes. We love the same movies and have been known to exchange emails that simply have one line from the Blues Brothers Movie in it. That is the whole email. We are both Twitter virgins and have no desire to start.We both play the clarinet. We both battle Depression. Well you get the idea.

Lately, I have begun to think we are more alike than I previously thought. I have done a few things in the last week. They were not the smartest things in the world. These activities were usually followed by the thought "I bet The Idiot" would have either done that too or else will totally understand why it happened. Let me explain.

On Tuesday I had to take my life in my hands and go downtown. I hate going downtown. I hate the traffic and there is never any parking. It is a pain. I managed to avoid the panhandlers, drunks and traffic. I did this the easiest way I know how. I asked my Dad to drive me. Ha ha not so dumb after all. I had to get my Criminal Record and Child Abuse Registry checks updated. I needed to have an updated version for my interview this Tuesday. I had one from January but they want them done every six month. Which is kinda silly when you stop to think about it. The Child Abuse check takes 6 weeks. If it is only good for 24 weeks I am going to become a very regular and broke customer. Anyway. Of course it is in a government building. So what you ask? That means that every parking spot in a 5 mile radius is for the employees. So basically I could park two streets over from where I live and limp my way downtown or we could drive around forever to see if we could find a spot. Did I mention we brought my Mom along for the ride. She is a little bit of a nervous person. You know the type. You are travelling along happily through a green light when she grabs the door handle and gasps.
"That car almost went through the red light."
"What car Mom? "
That one.
You mean the one PARKED there missing two wheels? That car?
Yes. Didnt' you see it?
We finally found a parking spot on the street. Only four blocks from where I needed to go. Hooray. We won't talk about the Homeless man's cart that was parked there first.
Out we get and head over to the building. On the way back, my Mom begins to run. For an small older lady, she can sure move. As I am limping after her like Quasi Moto, I yelled why are we running. She announces she doesn't think we are allowed to park there and must move this instant. OK. By the time I get to car they are peeling rubber. The smoke from the spinning tires is making it a little hard to find the door handle. I finally grasp the handle and attempt to throw myself into the back seat. In the process I manage to whack my head on the car door. Not the door frame. Nope. That would be for smart people. Nope I actually attempted to close the door on my head. I have managed to give myself a slight concussion. Talent or what?
For my next act I will tell you about my experience in the kitchen. Now I am not a Master Chef by any stretch of the imagination. We live on the 4 food groups. Canned, frozen, take out, and microwavable. When my son was little, the only way I could get him to eat was to tell him it was OK his Grandma made it. Then he would gobble it up. Didn't matter if Grandma made it or not. If he thought she did then it was delicious. I was going to cook a roast in the slow cooker. I got it all ready to go. I then turned it on. I came back a little while later and took a look at it. It was at this point I freaked out. That was when I noticed that I had left the cord tucked in the slow cooker under the pot. I was so worried that I was going to ruin the slow cooker and melt the cord. I immediately turned it off, prepared the fire extinguisher, put on protective goggles, and cleared all children and pets from the kitchen. I then put on the oven mitts and carefully lifted the pot out so I could retrieve the cord. Has anyone else picked out what stupid thing I did? Yup. You guessed it. Hello? How can the pot be hot and the cord melted? Dumb ass here. The slow cooker was not plugged in because the cord was under the pot. Dumb dumb dumb.

These are just a few of the reasons I am starting to think that Idiot and I were separated at birth.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I am now going to reveal myself as a hypocrite. Not really proud of it but I am what I am.

Just a little news story caught my eye and raised my temper. A few posts ago I mentioned how I was tired of all of the Breast Cancer Campaigns. Here is where I flip flop slightly. AS the story goes, Winnipeg Blue Bomber player, Jon Oosterhuis wore pink gloves in a game to bring awareness to Breast Cancer. Just as NFL teams have done. The players were warned not to do it. I understand there are sponsorship contracts and what not the CFL must honor. This player wore them anyway. The CFL has fined him$250 for the infraction.  The player said he knew he was breaking the rules but figured he has never been fined by the League before and this was a good enough cause to risk it. He has no issue paying the fine even though many fans have contacted him and offered to pay his fine.  I understand why the CFL did it. They have to honor their sponsorship contracts. What upsets me is that the CFL had a chance to look good. They had a chance to improve their public image. I don't think anyone would have complained. BUT, instead of turning around and donating the money to Breast Cancer Awareness/Research. They kept the money. They lost a huge goodwill gesture.  In my opinion, the CFL is a small thinking league. They are the bush league of the NFL. I am disgusted with them right now. While the attention to Breast Cancer instead of all cancers sometimes bother me, I am annoyed that the choice by the CFL and my reaction to it, makes me a hypocrite.


Monday, November 1, 2010


I have been a bad blogger again. I have neglected you. I am so sorry.

What has been happening here? Not much. Still unemployed? Yup. Any prospects? Nope. However, I know one place got my application. In order to apply for the job you must do it online. Not a problem. However, you have to attach everything. Your transcripts, diploma, certificates, criminal record check, child abuse registry check, CPR and first Aid certificates, etc.  I am surprised they have not asked for fingerprints and birth certificates. I tried to attach them all but ran into some trouble with a couple of the forms that were too large to attach. I had to try again later. I got a call a couple of days later. Apparently, I had applied for the job twice under two different SIN numbers. Whoops. I guess when I logged back on to complete the application, I reversed the first three numbers. Good thing I wasn't applying for a computer teacher job.

We finally have heat. I was putting of turning on the heat for as long as I possibly could. Makes the heating bill lower. Finally I could stand it no longer and had to turn on the heat. Well, I tried. It warmed up in the house and then it got colder and colder. We tried turning up the heat, still no luck. Finally I clued in. Perhaps I should check and see if the pilot light is still on. No pilot light. NO heat. We re lilt it and had heat again... then it went out again.... and again... and again. Now it is freezing in our house. OK. Time to call the repairman first thing in the morning. Saturday morning we called. They assured us they would be there sometime on Saturday. OK, perfect. We waited and waited. About 3:30 they called and told us they would not be showing up that day, they were too busy but they assured us they would be there Sunday Morning. OK. One more day won't kill us. We got up early Sunday in anticipation of having heat once again. We got the call at 9. Did we still need them to come? YES!! Okay they will call back in half and hour. They called back three and a half hours later. He said he would come soon. Uh huh. I heard that one before. They did finally arrive and three hundred dollars later, we have heat again. Yippee.

Halloween has come and gone. It was a different one for us. Over a week ago some nut opened fire on innocent people in the North End of the city. Two men were shot dead when they opened their door. One young girl was shot when she said she didn't want to buy drugs. They still havent' found the shooter. People are scared. Parents were not taking their children Trick or Treating and people were scared to open their door. The Friendship center opened their doors and asked for donations so the kids could go there and get some candy in a safe place. The public responded and the children were able to have Halloween anyway. It is so sad that the children pay the price.

Up until the last minute the girls were not going out for Halloween. Then they changed their mind. Hello? Unemployed and you want me to make/buy you a costume two days before Halloween? Have I mentioned that my idea of sewing is duct tape and staples? My one daughter threw together an outfit out of her closet. They other one wasn't as creative. So a quick trip to Value Village and I told her she had to be a ghost. Ghosts are u underrated. No one is a ghost anymore. Plus no sewing is involved. She was a ghost. Until she got to the bottom of the stairs and discovered she could not see to the side or down, just straight ahead. I told her that was the only direction she needed. She disagreed. She ended up ditching the costume and just going door to door as herself. She did not bad. The only ones that wouldn't give her anything was our neighbour. Go figure.

Our Civic election is over. The incumbent Mayor won once again. Plus, we have a new take on "Bring Back the Jets". Former Jet, Thomas Steen was elected to city council. We will see if he can play the politics game as well as he played hockey.

I am still making my way through the hell that is known as Parent of A Moody Teenage Girl. If you have not experienced this little piece of heaven let me tell you. IT IS NOT FOR THE WIMPY CHICKEN. I am not quite sure I am up to the job. If I say something, it is wrong. If I look at her, it is wrong. If I don't say anything, it is wrong. If I make her bed or make her dinner, it is wrong. She growls at everyone. I am not sure I will survive this one. I have decided one thing. I would rather have 10 more boys than one more girl.
God help me.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


It is election day here. It has been a pretty close race for Mayor. It is close depending on what poll you believe. I have heard the incumbent is ahead by 50% of the vote, is tied, or is behind by 3%. Time will tell. I have said it before and I will say it again. I don't care who you vote for...JUST VOTE!

My son is disappointed. He can't vote in this election. He doesn't turn 18 until Feb. I told him my story. I have always been a light political junkie. I would follow the campaigns closely. I was turning 18 and the election was called. You would think I would have been thrilled. Nope. Election day was the day BEFORE my 18th birthday. I couldn't vote. I was so frustrated.

I am following the election in my home town. I am curious what will happen. Most of the councillors will be new. Very few are running for re election, if any. I admit I am not sure. I get a kick out of one candidate. The story I have been told is only hearsay so I cannot say if it is a true story or not. I suspect some of it is based in truth. This man has run before. The problem was, he was under house arrest at the time. Therefore, council meetings would have to be held during the day because he had to be home by 6 pm. It makes me chuckle. I do know he has faced assault charges and I believe he has filed a lawsuit against the RCMP and the city. If it is true,  it will be interesting to see what will happen. Does this mean he will be suing himself? Someone told me people are wondering if he loses if he will be suing the entire population for not voting for him. It wouldn't be the first time a criminal held the position of Mayor. When I was a child, the Mayor went to jail for tax evasion. At least the current candidate is upfront and honest about his criminal past. Again I don't know how much of the story is true. It is a small town and stories tend to get distorted. It will be fun to watch though.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


How do I spend my time? Other than sleeping and eating, not a heck of a lot. Today I was standing in the hallway asking the age old question "WHAT IS THAT SMELL?" It kinda reminded me of old cat food. After moving furniture and sniffing all corners ( Oh, I am so glad no one walked in on me doing that. I look crazy enough on a regular day) I concluded there was no left over cat food hiding. It still did not answer the question though.

So in a small fit of insanity. I began to clean out the hall closet. That lead me to the next question.  How can five people with no money own so many shoes? We could give Imelda Marcos a run for her money.
*Side note* If you had to Google who Imelda Marcos was, you are too young for me.

 The embarrassing part came when I realized that 90% of that huge pile of shoes we mine. I don't go anywhere. Why do I need so many shoes? Duh, to go with all the purses. After sorting all the shoes I was pleasantly surprised to discover only two shoes without mates. I guess you could put them together and have a very interesting, unique pair of shoes. I then began to dig my way out of the pile discarding old ugly shoes along the way. When I was done, I had pared the pile down to two pairs for each person in the house, and 236 pairs left for me. I thought it was a pretty good job. I finally had a sense of accomplishment.

I have now put in a call to the Diabetes Clothesline http://www.diabetes.ca/get-involved/supporting-us/clothesline/ to come and pick up all the old shoes. This is a great program. If you have one in your area, I strongly recommend it. Everyone benefits.

Next up, I think I will tackle the old, ugly clothes the rest of the family has tucked away in their closets. I consider this a public service. After all, no one wants to see that Hawaiian shirt you have left over from Spring Break in High School. I don't care if it is your lucky shirt. I am saving humanity by getting rid of it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I finally remembered the password to my old blog. If you read the old blog and it brought you here, Welcome. Glad to have you back.
I am telling you, asking me to remember things is not a good idea. In my world, it is a good day when I can remember my name and the names of all my kids.Remember when we were kids. What did we have to remember? Where we lived, where our best friend lived, locker and bike combinations,our phone number, best friend's phone number and possibly the phone number to reach a parent at work or emergency services , depending on your regular needs. At the most, we had a secret password to a secret club. It was usually something easy to remember like "boys stink". Damn, maybe I wasn't supposed to say that. That is it. Now even kids have to remember so many things. Home phone, parent's work numbers, cell phone for both parents, their own cell number, best friend cell number and home number, cell number of every other child in school, where they live, alarm codes,locker combos,PIN numbers and passwords. Now kids have passwords to emails, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, log on to computer both at home and at school. No wonder my kids keep forgetting their rotting lunches in their lockers. They can't remember the locker combo to get it out. Instead, they bring air freshener to school and try to figure out exactly what kind of sandwich they had brought to school for the first week. Ewwww.

Just for the record, I was so busy with this post I forgot about my bagel. Burned blueberry bagel may make for great alliteration. It does not however make for a great breakfast.

Friday, October 15, 2010


It has been four months since we lost Melissa. I miss her. What hurts more is watching my little girl hurt. I know she misses Melissa every day. I don't know how to help her. How do you explain the unexplainable? How do you tell a 12/13 year old that sometimes love isn't enough to save someone? Sometimes the pain they carry is too much for them to bear anymore? I can't explain it her. It must be even harder for Melissa's Mom. Imagine the pain she must have felt. To find her daughter like that. To have to tell her three Grandsons. To suddenly have three small boys to raise. To have to call people to tell them what happened. This woman is one of the strongest people I have ever met. In the midst of all her pain, she took the time to call me and tell me and tell me that Melissa was gone. She was thinking of my daughter. She didn't want her to hear it somewhere else. What a wonderful lady. In the middle of her pain, she thought of my little girl.

When my daughter was struggling in her old school, she would sometimes go down the street to Melissa's house. She knew she was always welcome there. She knew no matter how bad her day was, she could go there. The boys loved to have her and so did Melissa. My daughter loved to go there and look after the boys so Melissa could study. She felt accepted there. I never told Melissa how much that meant to both of us. Now I will never get the chance. That is something I will regret for the rest of my life. Even when they had to move, Melissa would still come and get my daughter and take her to her new apartment for a visit. Those times meant so much to my daughter.

My parents moved into the apartment block next to the one Melissa lived and died in. Those first few weeks were so hard. We had to see it every time we saw my parents. We were there the day her Mom had to clean out the apartment. It was so painful to watch.

I think the one thing that helped my daughter is that another lady we know, has told her repeatedly how much Melissa loved her. Every time we see Angie she mentions that. I think it helps my daughter to know that Melissa loved her as much as she loved her.

I miss Melissa and her smile. I wish I had seen the signs of her depression. Deep down I know there is nothing I could have done that would have changed her mind but I sure wish I could have saved her.

I miss you Melissa. Your boys miss you. My daughter misses you. We love you

I know a few of you, like me, do battle with that monster depression. I beg you if you ever feel like Melissa did to please talk to someone. Call me/email me/ text me. Whatever. Just talk to someone.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The brave Chilean miners, los 33, have been safely brought home. Like most people I watched the miners emerge one by one. Each one greeted by tears and joyful, thankful family members. Each reunion would bring tears to my eyes. What struck me the most was how different things are there. The Chilean President was to greet each and every miner. He too had tears in his eyes each time. I couldn't help being a little cynical. The thought crossed my mind that politicians here would not stay for the whole time. They would be there for the first miner and the last miner. Those are the photo op ones. After the first miner is rescued, the politicians would scatter and not return until the final photo op arrived safely. The opposition here would be screaming about the cost, the environmental groups would be screaming that this is what they deserve. Mining is a danger to the earth and so on. I think it is official. I am a dark, jaded person.
In some ways I feel the Chilean people are much better off than we are. The government has said the cost of the mission was irrelevant. What was important was the rescue. Damn the money. Good for them. They all sang the National Anthem. With gusto and obvious pride of their country. I live in Canada. We don't do that. We shuffle our feet, look down and mumble the words. We don't spontaneously break into our National Anthem. Not even after winning a hockey game. This love and pride of country is something I find fascinating. I am also a little jealous of the love of country they all show.
 I also loved that so many of the miners would either drop to their knees and/or openly thank God for their rescue. All of this happened in front of the cameras. There was not some frantic producer there yelling to cut away or bleep/edit out any mention of God. No one said it was offensive to hear how their faith saved them during that horrible dark time. No one said you have to balance the mention of God with a mention from all other faiths. Nope they just rejoiced and most prayed right along with them.
Chile should be proud today. They showed the world they are a proud, hard working, God fearing family. When times are tough family pulls together. Just as Chile did!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I'm gonna make you mad

I am going to say something that is inevitably going to upset someone. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I am tired of it. I am tired of sports teams with their pink hats and shoes. I am tired of my newspaper being pink.I am tired of companies putting pink ribbons on their products. (Not to mention, I am never quite sure how much of my money the company is actually giving to breast cancer) I am tired of  every time I go to the grocery store they are wearing pink hats and shirts and selling hot dogs and drinks for Breast Cancer. I am tired of Face Book campaigns to turn FB pink for Breast Cancer Awareness. I am so so tired of it. Don't get me wrong. Raising money for sick people is a wonderful thing. What bugs me though is  why is Breast Cancer the only cancer getting all of the attention. I don't see all the attention made for colon cancer, for example. Why? Simple. Colon cancer isn't sexy. You can't make cutesy bumper stickers like "Save the Ta Tas " for colon cancer. What about ovarian cancer? Throat cancer? Stomach cancer? Are these cancers not as deadly? Of course they are. These cancers still kill people. People with these cancers still suffer. Why is breast cancer the only one with all the attention and money? Personally, I would be more inclined to donate and support a general cancer campaign. Everyone with cancer can benefit then. Yes breast cancer has touched our family as I am sure it has touched many other families but so has cervical cancer, lung cancer and throat cancer. I love nothing more than to have cancer eliminated for good. All types of cancer. While breast cancer awareness is good, so is all cancer awareness. I know this will upset some people. I am not being heartless. I do sympathize with people with breast cancer. I do wish for a cure. I just want a cure for all cancer.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Unemployment, Distractions, and Home Decorating

Since I have completed my journey down the road to higher education and a smaller bank account, I have now entered the "OMG I NEED A JOB" Arena. Funny how the road to higher edumacation was much easier. Who knew. In my battle to keep from completely losing my mind, I have decided to start a few home improvement projects while I wait for an employer to call and say " WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? YOU ARE PERFECT! YOU ARE EXACTLY WHAT WE NEED. NAME YOUR PRICE. So far, that call has not come. Hell, I am starting to think my phone doesn't work at all.
For my first project I painted my daughter's room. It was time. When her brother was in Grade 5, he occupied the room. He painted it red with a splatter painted wall. It looked great then. He moved into a room in the basement and his sister took over his room about 5 years ago. His sister happily moved into the red room. Lately she has been complaining about painting it. My sweet little girl is the most stubborn, hard headed, independent, decorating challenged individual you will ever meet. This is the girl who at the ripe old age of two days old, had the nurse at the the hospital so driven to frustration she told me "Miss Susan has an attitude". Great! At two days old I already knew I was in for the battle of my life. She hasn't changed. She has attitude an knows how to use it. Once she has made up her mind, it stays made up. Great for when you want to achieve a goal. Not so great when decorating a room. I cannot describe the colors she chose for her room. She wanted three walls blue and the fourth wall painted blue with green stripes. Yikes. I gave in thinking I can always just close the door. The project is now completed. It makes her mad but I can't help it. Every time I walk past her room I start humming a tune from the circus. Her striped wall reminds me of a circus tent.She informed me that a circus tent is red and white not blue and green so stop humming that stupid song.
I began the job of painting her room. Before I tell the story there are two things you need to know about me. One, I am afraid of heights. I am also afraid of snakes, mice, closed spaces, escalators, driving and teenagers but I digress. Two, I am cheap. When we first bought our house, there was a garage sale down the back lane. I strolled over to see what they had. Among the treasures, I found a paint splattered, wooden ladder for the inexpensive price of $5. SOLD . I thought if it had that much paint on it, it must have been a great ladder for painting with. Perhaps I should have paid more attention to the little old man with the two broken legs and broken arm sitting beside it. It was not until I tried to use it for the first time that I discovered that the paint spatters were not from various painting jobs. It was used to hold the ladder together. It is the most wobbly unstable thing I have ever stood on. However,  I paid five whole dollars for it and damnit I am going to use it until one of us falls apart completely.
Like a lot of us Bloggers, I own a cat. Actually, my kids own two cats. I just feed them, clean up after them and threaten to strangle them.The quiet old white one is Snow White. My daughter's cat is the black cat we have affectionately nicknamed Butthead. His given name is Killer. FYI, it is very embarrassing to take a tiny kitten named Killer to the vet. We are surrounded by the biggest dogs I have ever seen. I am pretty sure the one beside me did not only chase after a mini van. I think he ate it for a snack. The dog on the other side of me drools so much I need flippers to get to the door. There we sit. The Vet calls Killer and everyone looks at all the big dogs. I have to stand up with this tiny fluffball and say "here he is". I could hear the snickering all the way to the back. Mental note... never let your kids name the pets.
I began the job of making my daughter happy and making every interior decorator in a 500 mile radius cry. My parents were over while I was painting. They heard me yelling, a crash and a small zebra run out of the room. What had happened was Butthead was curious. While I was balanced on the ladder with one hand on the ceiling and one foot on the window, the cat wanted a peek at the paint can balanced on top of the ladder. I am on one side of the ladder trying to prevent it from tipping while he climbed the other side  to peer into the can of primer. We lost the balancing act, the can flew with the cat right after it. We now own a small furry zebra.
I can't wait to start planning my next distraction.

Monday, September 20, 2010


I like to believe that I am at least a partially enlightened person. However, something happened that made me realize how wrong I was.
It is simple to believe that we as a society are accepting of people with mobility issues. After all, they have all the good parking spots right? Until you are faced with a mobility issue yourself, you don't see how inaccessible our world can be.
After my son had surgery on his knee, he was in a wheelchair for trips to the mall. We tried to get into his favorite video store. It was almost impossible. The aisles were not straight so it required alot of  maneuvering to get him in. When we wanted to leave it required a delicate dance of back and forth movements to get him out. It certainly would have been easier if the people standing watching us would have moved out of the way. Instead they stood behind us or when we backed up, they moved to take the spot we were just in. We then would have to wait for them to move so we could continue our dance to get out of the store. What a horrible experience.
After my knee surgery, I was on crutches. I had to get to the College to write my final exam. All public buildings must be accessible by law. That is great but it is obvious no one with a mobility issue was ever consulted during the construction of the buildings. My exam was on the second floor. Yes there is an elevator. There is however a huge problem with that. The parking is between buildings E and F. The elevator is in building D. So, once i made it up the ramp and into the building, I had to hobble to the next building in order to get on the elevator. Once I arrived on the second floor, I had to hobble my way through buildings D, E and F in order to get to my exam. It was a good thing I have a paranoia about being late and I always try to arrived everywhere early. It took me twenty minutes to get from the elevator to the exam room. When you add in the twenty minutes it took me to get back to the elevator I spent more time walking than I did actually writing the exam. I was exhausted by the time  got back to the car. Why is there not an elevator in each building? We were lucky, in our case it was temporary. I feel for the people who must spend their life in a wheelchair.
My Father contracted Polio when he was a child. He was lucky and survived. He spent many months in a hospital far from family and friends. He was only a child and he was all alone. That story always break my heart, but that is a post for another day. My Father was not confined to a wheelchair. He had many years where he was able to walk. While running was not something he could do, he was still able to live a good life. As he ages though, his mobility is rapidly decreasing. This has opened my eyes to the difficulty he faces. While he gets a good parking spot at the mall, he has trouble negotiating the floors in the mall. Until you have an issue walking, you don't realize how slippery those stupid floors are. I discovered this myself when I had to use crutches after my surgery. One wet spot on the floor and you quickly become road kill. Something as simple as an unexpected uneven door entrance can send you sprawling. Now they are looking at moving into a condo but his needs make it difficult to find one for them. He needs close parking since he can't walk far especially in the winter with the snow and ice. He also needs very few stairs inside the condo and an elevator is a necessity. He finds walking on carpet hard so he would like hardwood or laminate. Of course builders are willing to do that at first. They say it is all easy to do and of course it is included in the cost. Then they come back and say they can do it all but of course since he has special needs, they will have to increase the price for him. While it may not be discrimination, it certainly does make finding housing difficult.
I was pleased to find one builder who actually took all of these things into consideration. He was showing us the condo. In the kitchen, he was showing us the door open button. It was halfway across the kitchen. He admitted at first he didn't understand why it was there. Then it was explained to him that if you are in a wheelchair and have to press the button to open the door, quite often you don't have time to get out of the way of the door opening and you get hit with the door. I am ashamed to admit, I hadn't thought of that either. This condo had considered many mobility issues and had included them at no extra cost. I was impressed until we got to the laundry room. Most condos now don't have room for the traditional washer and dryer. They only have room for the stacking sets. Great for space saving , but think about it for a moment. If you are in a wheelchair, how on earth are you supposed to reach the top buttons to turn on the machine? It is impossible. Unless you have a poking stick like Homer Simpson. The you just have to cross your fingers and hope you didn't just wash your best wool sweater in the hottest setting since you can't see that far up to see what button you are pressing. I don't understand how a builder who had seemed to have thought of everything could overlook something so basic.
Here is the part that I am embarrassed to admit I had never even thought of. Before school started, I took my daughter to get her hair cut. As I was waiting for her  a woman came into the shop. She looked around and then asked if they were able to accommodate a child in a wheelchair. The lady was assured they were able to so the lady went out to her van. She then maneuvered her child and his wheelchair out of the van and into the shop. Until that moment, it had never occurred to me that something we think is so simple, such as getting a haircut, actually requires planning on the part of someone with a mobility issue. I had never before really looked at a barber shop to see how much space is between chairs. Is there enough room for a wheelchair? How do you cut the hair of a child in a wheelchair? Is the barber comfortable enough to do it?
While I am thankful that I am relatively healthy I am also feeling very self involved. How could I not notice these things before? I wonder how many other people have never thought of these things either. How patient must people with mobility issues be to live with this every day and not constantly complain. I don't think I could do it. Could you?

Friday, August 27, 2010


If you know anything about me, you know I hate to cook. I avoid it any way I can. If I didn't have children to feed, I would probably just sell the oven and live off of the three main food groups. Take out, frozen and delivery. Soooo if I hate to cook so much, why am I cleaning my oven on one of the hottest days of the summer? Has being locked in a house with three teenagers finally cracked me? Well, it has but that is not why I am cleaning the oven.
Yesterday, I took my friend out for dinner. The friend who had a really lousy 40th birthday. She left her daughter with my daughters to babysit. The girls wanted to do something nice for my friend so they tried to make her a birthday cake. The key word there is tried. Apparently being out of school for two months also make you forget simple things.. LIKE READ THE DIRECTIONS FIRST!!! They tried to pour all of the batter into one small cake pan. Needless to say, there is no cake. Well, there is half cooked batter in the pan and burnt cake in the bottom of the oven, but nothing to eat. I could have used that as a learning experience. Something along the lines of chemistry. If you add all the ingredients together you get some sort of chemical reaction and the  result will be cake batter everywhere but in my tummy.. Ok, so I never excelled in chemistry. How about using it as a math lesson. If you put X volume of batter into a pan that holds X volume what will be the remainder? Cake batter in the bottom of the oven.  Yeah, I didn't excel in math either.
And that dear friends is why you will find me in with my head in the oven on one of the hottest days of the summer. If you happen to stop by, don't panic if you walk into the kitchen and see my ass sticking out of the oven and my head firmly placed inside the oven. I am not planning to do myself any harm. At least until I try to eat my cooking but that is another story.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I don't know if I have the words to express how I feel. Sadness, horror,guilt. I think they all apply here.
Last month, by best friend's brother and his wife had their first child. A beautiful baby girl. Yes, she was tiny. She was born two months early. We all felt optimistic. After all, premature girls seem to have a better chance of survival than boys. ( See right from birth, we are tougher).
 My twins were two months early. They thrived( unless I give in to that primal urge to strangle them that all parents of teenagers have).Baby Stella was at the same hospital my girls were. She would not get better care anywhere else in the world.
Things were proceeding well. For me, the hardest part was not being able to touch my girls while they were in the hospital. The rules are very strict on that. You may hold them to feed them and that is it. I was thrilled when I was allowed to be the one to carry them to the scale to weigh them. I tried to make those moments last as long as I could. However, a person can only walk 30 feet so slowly. We all rejoiced when the parents were finally able to hold Stella. To me, that meant the worst was over.
Then things went wrong rapidly. Stella's parents live over an hour away from the hospital. They got a call in the middle of the night. Baby Stella had developed an infection. The hospital told the parents they must come now.  They were told that Baby Stella probably had less than 24 hours to live.
We prayed the hospital was wrong. Hospitals have been wrong before. People have been told they have 6 weeks to live and have gone on to live 20 more years. Sadly, this time the hospital was right.
 Baby Stella passed away before she reached the age of one month.
My heart breaks for her family. I cannot imagine the horror they must be living in. I have heard the stories of how maybe it was for the best. I can't accept that. I think living with a child with a disability beats losing your child completely.
 However, I can imagine a tiny tiny white casket. I wish I could get rid of that picture in my mind but it is stuck there.
To top it off, I feel guilty. Is it unreasonable? Yes. Does it matter? No. I still feel an immense amount of guilt. I had preemies. Mine survived. I already had a healthy child. They had none. I had TWO babies. They had one. My two babies survived. Their one precious child did not. Do I realize how lucky I am? Oh, yes.I wish this story had a happy ending. Sadly it does not. I pray that the family finds comfort and peace. Me? I will try to remember how lucky I really am... even when living with three teenagers makes me wonder.

RIP little Stella.

Little Stella's funeral is today. On my friend's 40th birthday. I am sure no one wants to spend their 40th birthday burying their infant niece.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I really need to remember to write down my passwords. I never remember them.
I have not abandoned you my dear Blogger friends. I have just been a wee bit busy. I promise I will make it up to you later this week.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Empty Head Time Again.

Time to empty my head again.
I opened the paper yesterday and saw reality. I grew up in a small city. If you didn't know everyone, you knew at least one person who knew or was related to the person you didn't know.
About two years ago, two young women went missing. Neither woman has been heard from since. Their stories are different but the facts remain there are two families out there that are hurting. I can't imagine the horror of not knowing where your child is. Both of these women have families that love them and miss them. My greatest wish is for closure for these families.
That being said, here is where I feel torn. In one of these cases, I know one of the men suspected in the disappearance. It is so hard to mesh the memories I have of this man and the horror they suspect him of. I realize that people change after high school but to change that much? I admit I have not spoken to him since high school and all the information I am getting now is pure hearsay. I understand there is a certain amount of drug use involved.  I know drugs can change a person but Istill have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that a person I knew and liked could fall so far as to hurt a human being like that.
I am glad I have finally completed my course. It was strange walking past the missing posters, turning the corner and walking past the place I last spoke to the person suspected of hurting her. I hope and pray that this former classmate of mine is eventually cleared of any wrongdoing and these women
are finally brought home to their families.
New topic.
I am begining my journey into unemployment. After running a daycare for years, I have completed my course to be a Special Ed teacher's aide. It was a long haul and I am happy to say I have officially graduated with honors. In order to be ready to work in a school in September, I had to close my daycare. Even though all the parents knew I had been working toward this, I guess they thought I would never actually be done. I gave them three months notice that I was shutting down. They were still really pissed off at me. That in turn, pissed me off. I am tired of chasing people down for money. I am tired of bounced checks. I am tired of bratty kids and I am tired of people cancelling on me at the last moment or just not showing up at all. I am done. I told them all I would stay on until the end of August but since most of them were mad anyway, they are all done now. Except one. They would have stayed on but his business closed down so he isn;'t working now anyway. I will admit I am terrified of being unemployed. Unemployed means no income. I am not guaranteed a job in Sept. I am not sure what I will do if I don't get on in a school by Oct. I am trying not to panic. I feel this is the right move and God will take care of me. At one point I was considering forgetting working in a school and was going to apply for a full time job as a manger of Blockbuster I saw advertised. I was unsure of what to do. Then my lovely neighbourhood Jehovah Witness ladies came to the door. They come faithfully every month. I have no intention of changing religion but they are too sweet to slam the door on. The magazine of the month had a feature article about dealing with unemployment. I was starting to think that might be a sign that I should just wait for Sept. Still unsure, I heard the mail being dropped off. Since I fully expected the monthly bills to start arriving, I asked God. If there are no bills in the mail, I will take that as a sign I should just be patient and wait until Sept. Sure enough there were no bills. So I guess I will wait until Sept to worry about a job. I have always worried about asking God for a sign of something. Mostly because I am concerned I am a little too stupid to catch the sign. I need something to slap me in the face not something subtle. For now, I am taking it as a sign from God. That doesn't mean I don't worry obsessively about money and paying the bills because I do. I am just trying to stay optimistic.
I have a friend who took her dog to the lake with her. He is a very active puppy. She thought it would be nice to take the dog for a boat ride with them. The puppy had never been on a boat before. The puppy jumped off the boat and was hurt. It is very serious. I feel for her. I know her heart is broken. I wish I could fix that for her but I can't. Now I am getting emails from a friend of hers. These emails are asking me for money to help out with the vet bills. I am unemployed with three kids to feed. I can't afford to pay for someone else's pet. I ignored the first couple of emails. Now the emails are coming in telling me that the friend of ours has paid her vet bill. Good for her. However, now the emails are telling me how I can go to our local Pets 101 store and donate money to the fund they set up for her there. OOkkkaayyy. Let's see if I understand this. The vet bills are paid, she has a job that pays better than any job I ever had and I am still expected to give her money? I don't think so. I wish I could but unless my lottery ticket comes in, that is not likely. I am not sure what to do though. Do I call up my friend and explain to her that I just can't afford to give her money (she is well aware that I am not working) or do I just ignore the emails and make it look like I am just a bitch. I have no idea what to do.
There I now have an Empty Head again..

Friday, July 30, 2010

Owning a Canadian

A friend of mine had this posted. It made me laugh.
The comments in brackets are mine.

In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant
Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus
18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance.

The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, written by a US man,
and posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I

have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that

knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend

the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that

Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination ... End of


I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other

elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and

female, provided they are from neighboring nations. A friend of mine

claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you

clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in

Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair

price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her

period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how

do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a

pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors.

They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them? (Who doesn't enjoy the smell of bbq?)

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus

35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated

to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it? (Except the police work on the Sabbath. Who will take care of them and the Doctors and Nurses who will care for them?)

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an

abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than

homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there

'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I

have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading

glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room


8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair

around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.

19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes

me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two

different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments

made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also

tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go

to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? ( I knew polyester was a sin)

Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family

affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy

considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan.

James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus,

Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education

University of Virginia PS (It would be a damn shame if we couldn't own a


Thursday, July 29, 2010


I had fallen so far behind in my Blogging, there was no way I was going to ever catch up. Not to mention the fact that I could not remember my password so I couldn't update the old one even if I wanted to. Sooo away we go with a new one.
A fresh start is good for the soul. After re reading some of my old blog, I felt like I had no business writing a blog. What do I know about anything? What makes me think that my thoughts are of any interest to anyone? Suck it up and stop whining about everything. No one wants to hear it. After some encouragement from a fellow Blogger, one I have great respect for, I  thought I will give it one more shot. I don't promise to post everyday. I don't promise to be funny, political or even interesting. I do promise to try to be me. That is the best I can do.
Wish me luck