Friday, August 29, 2014

How to Eat an Elephant

Photo taken by my mother-in-law, Jean Sibbald, when she was in Kenya last year.

First: DON'T eat elephants! (Also, don't buy ivory.*)

Second: Hypothetically speaking, eating an elephant is a daunting task. Even if you were starving, it would be hard to eat an entire elephant before it started to rot. Today, I'm thinking about this as a metaphor.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

How I Spent My (Extremely Awkward) Summer Vacation

During the summer between grade seven and grade eight, my friend "Margaret" invited, nay begged me to go to her family's cottage for a couple of weeks with her, her mother (Alice), and their tenant (Jack), but without her father.

Jack, as it happened, was Alice's lover as well. Margaret told me that as an "only child" she dreaded being up at the cottage with the two fornicators. I was to be the distraction.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Grow where you're planted.

Grow where you are planted.
When I was a newlywed military wife, someone told me that it was important to "grow where you're planted." At the time, I thought, "Well, duh," but as years -- and moves -- came and went, I learned it wasn't as easy as all that. And I've known military spouses who've never stopped yearning to get back to that one golden posting . . .

Monday, August 25, 2014

Another Parking Flashback

Finally remembered where I parked the car.
You know, it's pretty remarkable that I do not have anxiety attacks whenever I leave my car in a parking lot. I've written about at least one of my experiences in a parking garage. Oh, yeah, and then there was the time I ripped off the side mirror. And those other times. Here's another tale.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Buh-bye ghastly green!

I can't tell you how happy I was to see that moss green disappear.
Last night, for the first time since we moved in, we were able to sit in the living room without feeling like we needed to install pot lights. I didn't even hang up the string of twinkle lights that used to live in the window.

It felt good.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Womp . . . womp . . . wommmmp.

Primed and ready for the test paint!
(iPhone pictures, so don't judge.)
After weeks -- nay, months! -- of procrastinating, I finally got out the paint and prepared to tackle the ghastly green walls of the living room.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014

Doesn't cost anything to look.

So many colours to choose from!
I've about had it with the decor in our living room. It's too dark, it's too green, and the furniture is too big for the space.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Fiction Friday: Knock at the Door

Clare Boothe Luce
Previously, in The Walker:
Carla, who lives alone in Toronto, sees a woman and a young boy walking along the side of a highway in rural Ontario. She stops to pick them up and ends up bringing them home to live with her temporarily, to rescue them from a violent home situation. The woman, Bettany, turns out to have a volatile temper and little motivation to get on with life. The boy, Michael, is worried that they'll be kicked out. Carla is torn with wanting them to stay (she has really connected with Michael) and wanting them out of her house (Bettany is clearly a freeloader). Bettany recently told Carla that she is moving out to share a house with Ben, a man she met in the park.

The following Friday, Bettany loaded her few things into Ben's car, buckled Michael into the back seat and left.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Baby's First Haircut

Kane in all his wet, furry glory, about to dive into the pool. (The sunset light is what's making him look so brown here.)
Don't you hate those baby books? You know -- the ones where the exhausted new mother is supposed to remember the date that her third child said its first words? Those books were a constant accusation to me, a guilt trip about what an incompetent mother I was.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Meandering Thoughts on Depression and Suicide

Suicide is not chosen; it happens when pain exceeds resources for coping with pain.
"I wonder why this is hitting you so hard," Stephen mused yesterday, more than 24 hours after I heard about Robin Williams's suicide. It was a question I asked myself.

The moment I saw the word "suicide" in connection with the news, I started crying and have had fits of tears on and off since then.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

You are not alone.

RE-POST: In response to the news of Robin Williams' suicide, I am re-sharing this post from 2011 in the hopes that it will help someone. Depression can be fatal. Depression lies.

You are not alone.
I have had the incredibly unfortunate experience of assuring someone that she was stronger than she realized, only to have that person attempt suicide the following week.

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Tale of Two Weddings

After signing the wedding registry, April 28, 1984
As many military couples have done before, we had two weddings; one for expediency, and one for broader celebration. Here's the tale.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Seasons - a 2015 Calendar (UPDATED)

At the suggestion of one of my friends, I have pulled a few of my photos -- all in high resolution, so they will print well -- into a wall calendar. Take a look at it, and let me know what you think.

Are there pictures I've missed that you really wish were in it? Do you need pictures of Kane or Elly in it? (Those felt a little too personal, though they are cute animals.) Would you rather see one that was *just* flowers? Just animals?

(Note: I don't get any commission or percentage if you do happen to buy one, but if you do (and you let me know) my ego will be stroked, and that's always a pleasant thing.)

UPDATE: With feedback from friends, I've created a calendar with a floral theme. See it here.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Back-to-school time has excited me ever since I can remember. New school supplies! New clothes! Seeing friends I hadn't seen all summer! What's not to love?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Amazing Disappearing Treats: Bouchées aux noix or Nutty Nibbles

Bouchées aux noix
When we lived in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, we had a lovely neighbour named Odette who shared a few recipes with me. By far the most popular on was the recipe for these treats, which she called Bouchées aux noix, which roughly translates to Nutty Nibbles.

These bars may be the least healthy treats I've ever shared with you, but they are absolutely delicious.

Today, I'm sharing the recipe and some tips I've learned the hard way.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Well, that escalated quickly! (Or: the day I accidentally became a troll.)

The Internet is a very, very special place with lots of very, very special people. As if that were not already clear to me, I inadvertently stepped in e-doo-doo on Saturday, when I commented on a picture posted by George Takei on Facebook.

Here's the picture.

Friday, August 1, 2014

I may have gotten carried away . . .

My brother Andrew holding my nephew James, my nephew Drew doing a happy dance,
his dad Jason behind him, woman smuggling a pillow into the stadium in the background,
and my sister-in-law Mary Ann
The other day, my niece (who blogs at Diane, Diapers, and Drool) posted that adorable picture of the family enjoying a Chicago Fire soccer game. Ordinarily, Drew (in the foreground) wears an adorable, but slightly fake smile in photos.

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