Go read

The Christmas issue of Bread ‘n Molasses is out, and in it my article Lucky.

(Re-reading it, I think you may want to grab a kleenex.)

Building mysteries

We’d been having trouble with our dishwasher.

Sometimes, it would clean a load fine. Other times the soap would be clumped up, water would be in the bottom and the dishes, naturally, would still be dirty. The kids are in charge of dishes because if it were left to me, they’d never get done and the dishwasher has been what saved our family. Either way, there were still a lot of accusations flying and kitchen conferences about which child was responsible for the current dirty dish state.

One day, I was making supper and the dishwasher was running. Emma came into the room. “It’s too loud, Mommy.” I explained it was washing dishes and it would be done soon. “But you can stop it, see?” she pointed to the front of the dishwasher. “See the red X Mommy? Just push it like dis and da noise stops.”


Last week, or maybe this weekend, Emma was still playing happily with her balloon, fastening it on to everything and anything that would hold it. Toys, rocking horse handles, Addison’s halo, the umbrella tree plant, other people’s hands – anything that stuck out.

I went upstairs for seven whole minutes to wake Ron from his nap.

When I came back downstairs, I could see straight into the living room and how Emma had dragged the umbrella tree (potted in a large enamel pot I used to bathe Sarah in as a baby) over to the couch, and failing to attach the balloon to it, had instead stripped the lower limbs, all three scrawy ones, of leaves. And a couple new branches.

When we got this rather large tree, in return for an hour’s computer work, it was sadly pot-bound. I had rescued it into the larger pot since it was the biggest thing I had at the time and recently sprung a leak. Umbrella trees grow slow, and the lower growth of new shoots had taken four years.

“Oh, Emma,” I sat on the floor in the middle of the leaves. “What did you do?” I whispered. She looked at me half-confused, half-sad. “I was trying to grow new plants.”

Daddy had to help her clean it up.


Yesterday, I helped wrap the presents Emma had bought for her siblings. We got the first one done, and as I set it aside, I turned back and asked her what was in it. She told me exactly. I laughed and said, “Don’t tell! It’s a secret, remember?” We tried again. I asked her what was inside, and she told me “It’s a seeeeecret.” Every gift she wrapped, I went through the same game. She even wrapped up the stickers she bought herself that we had left in the bags. “They are to Emma from Emma,” she told me. We carried everything back downstairs and placed them under the tree. Sarah and Meaghan rushed over to see. “Are these for me?” “What’s inside?”

“You can’t open dem yet.” Emma said, “and it’s a secret.” Later, she took her self-wrapped stickers and opened them. “It’s just what I wanted!” she told me.


Last night, Ron found something mysterious. “Take a picture,” he said, “And have a contest to see who can guess what it is.” So I did, and here it is:
(click for bigger)
Ron knows what it is, and I think I know. Emma told me she wrapped it up, just for Daddy.

Random snippets

Carol really knows how to throw a party. My two oldest kids are still in bed. Emma told us on the way home she wanted to stay with Christina and sleep in their big family bed. “With no Mommy?” I asked. She told me Christina’s mommy would do.

I have lept froward with technology and discovered Bloglines. Now I won’t stalk your website obsessively (unless you don’t have a feed of any kind) and I can instantly know if you’ve updated. I *love* that.

Another thing I love: It’s a Wonderful Life – 30 second version.

Sarah & Meaghan spent a large portion of their day yesterday making a radio station on tape. Remember tapes and cassette recorders? Excellent things to have around the house. They’ve come a long way since the tape I have of them at 4 & 6. Still cute, though.

Oh! And a cool yule to everyone. Here’s to the days getting longer.

Never has a quiz result been so accurate

Your Christmas is Most Like: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Christmas is a big, boisterous event at your place.
And no matter what, something hilarious usually happens.

Our bus

Today is one of those days where I will spent most of my afternoon in the van. (aside: Why do they call it homeschooling when we are never home?) Addison has physio again, and I have errands. We have one big ol’ vehicle so at lunch when Ron comes home, we will all pile back in the van, drop him off at work, drive across town the back way, drop Addison off at the hospital, then cross the *other* bridge and do errands at that end of town.

Sometimes I have to think up things to do, because it’s too far to drive all the way home, sit there for 15 minutes then drive all the way back. But it’s not so bad, discounting the traffic, the snow, the lights timed to change red just when I get there and the idiot drivers.

But on the initial leaving, when we first manoeuver our way into the late-lunch traffic, we stop at Tim Horton’s where the order is the same. A large double-double, a medium hot chocolate, and two timbits. The big kids never want anything. We have to park the van because the driver side window is stuck closed, needing to be fixed. It was worse this summer when it was stuck open, so we fixed it enough to get it closed for the winter.

The kids and I wait in the van, listening to the radio’s retro tunes and poking fun at it. Emma sits in her carseat, waving her legs and asking questions:

“What’s that man doing? When is Daddy coming back? Where are we going?”

“Why do you ask so many questions?” I asked her one day, when the questions did not stop, all the way throught the wait at TH, the exiting from the parking lot, around the loop to get on the bridge, and half-way across to the other side.

She laughed at me. “What’s a question?”

So that’s what I’m doing later, running around town. Food to the food bank, books to the library, empty pop bottles to the recycling depot (Is it warm out? I hope so.), second hand books to John’s. All the little things that wait by the back door and spill out over the kitchen, all stuffed in the back of the van waiting for a day just like today.

Two stories for later:
John’s Used Books
and we’re all going to Carol’s place for supper tonight.

Site Update

I had trouble updating the photoblog this morning, so I ditched it and installed something else. It works really, really well and was pretty easy to use (except for the parts where I was making it more difficult). I was even able to point it to the photos I already had one here so I didn’t have to re-upload them.

I’m still updating the thumbnails (it couldn’t “find” the old ones) and last time I took pictures I forgot to readjust the date, so the new ones are buried on the first page of the archives. The cutest is this one. I also horked all the old comments. Oops. Plus I have to reinstate categories.

But I highly recommend folderblog. You just upload your pics to a directory and it finds them for you, no database needed.