Monthly Archives: February 2009

Dusty and old

Wednesday is a fickle day…. sometimes I love it, and sometimes I hate it.

This week, I love it.

My father-in-law called me this afternoon and left me a message letting me know that a package had arrived for me. How exciting!!
I was pretty sure I knew what it was, as my mum was sending me a box of books. They are getting ready to sell the house, and are cleaning things out….. and I have way too many books

(while I am writing this, I am sucked into BattleStar Galactica….)

Anyways, sure enough those books arrived, and what a thrill it was to open the box!

My Granny’s books that she had passed on to me…

3 mini volumes of Shakespeare that I used to eye longingly when I visited her house. They were so little, just the size a young girl would find especially appealing (Remember when anything little was so desirable? Tiny writing, teeny My Little Ponys, Cabbage Patch Preemies, very small stickers….)
(Best episode of BSG ever… and now I have moved on to a dvr’d episode of Leverage)

When I was in Uni finishing up my English degree, my sweet Granny broke the news that our family had a famous relative that was a writer.
This was pretty much the most exciting news I had ever heard, and I immediately headed to my University’s extensive library to locate his books. And to my delight, there they were!!

His name is Charles Reade, and he was a contemporary of Dickens. I guess my Granny had a set of his books, family inherited, that she had thoughtfully ruined by storing them in my mum’s drafty, poorly insulated shed (a shed that my sister and I painfully remember painting many summers ago).

So those poor books, who lounged alone in a damp cardboard box for years, were freed when my interest in literature was revealed. I love my Granny and I know shes a little absentminded…. but those poor books.

Mum and I took them to an antique book dealer, who told us that there was no point in even attempting to have them restored…. they were just too far gone…. oh poor darling books…

They have joined us down in Florida, where they will have a better home than that damp shed.

Funnily enough, one of my sister’s old books joined the batch that was sent down. I only knew it was my sisters as it had the name of one of her high school boyfriends in it (who I will only refer to as Mr Camoflague). It was full of pressed flowers from her 18th birthday….

Now I only need a proper bookshelf to store them on. And they might lounge for a little in the box that they arrived in…

Regardless, they completely brightened up my Wednesday!


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Photo tag!

This was passed on to me from Jenna at The Working Mom Experience , and even though I have no-one to tag (expect her) I am posting it anyways, just for fun…

1. Go to your Picture Folder on your computer or wherever you store your pictures.
2. Go to the 6th Folder and then pick the 6th Picture.
3. Post it on your blog and tell the story that goes with the picture.
4. Tag 5 other glorious peoples to do the same thing and leave a comment on their blog telling them about it.

So here it is!

This is from some little town, which I think was called Tenryugawa, in Japan…..waaaay back in 2002.

The back story…..
M and I both lived in Japan for about 3 years, teaching English and were actually neighbours and co-workers during that time. I arrived in the fall of 2001 and he arrived in January of 2002, we worked at the same school, and lived in this teeny rundown apartment building on the 2nd floor. At the point that this picture was taken (by M), his Dad was visiting him from Florida and you can even see him (by the tree in the middle) and me too (over on the right), and M and I were not dating. We were just friends. Friends who spent rather a lot of time with each other. Oh, like every night.

We took his dad in our tiny school car out into the hills of this little village, to this temple that M had found that summer. It was Momi-ji season (which is the season for viewing the beautiful Japanese Maple tree leaves), and as you can see they are glorious. Almost like they are on fire… I had never seen anything like it before.

So we went walking around, up and down these funny steep stairs, with these brilliant trees all around us in November of 2002.

And about 3 weeks later M and I were dating (although everyone thought we were anyways, so it came as no big surprise to anyone).

And we have been together ever since!

*cue ‘oooohs’ and ‘aaahhhhs’*

Thanks Jenna for tagging me in this fun game. It’s kinda neat to revisit pictures like this…. one of these days I should post some more Japan pictures and the stories that go along with them…

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MacGyver (and crocheting)

Well, now that I have spent far too long attempting to customize my blog, and V is down for his morning nap, I will attempt, once again to complete my rambling post from earlier (while I watch MacGyver of course).

When MacGyver came back on the air, I will never know, but I can’t think of anything I would enjoy more on a Sunday morning (before the whole household is awake, I mean) than watching him make a bomb from duct tape and some toothpicks, while he singlehandedly (not a word? not sure) saves the world in a polite and mannerly fashion. Awesome.

So recently I have been trying to come up with a nice project to keep my hands busy. I mean, one can only facebook and read celebrity gossip for so long post-dinner. And I like crafty things like needlepoint and crocheting.

I bought a book with these super-cute crochet patterns that I was really excited about. I had images of decorating V’s dresser with these funny things, and giving them as Xmas gifts (and people would exclaim at my cleverness, of course). I got half-way through a zombie, left it in my desk at work for about 3 weeks, completely lost track of the number of stitches I was on, and then gave up. It’s still at work. In my drawer.

Then I thought I would give some needlepoint a go. I love embroidery, and have done it since I was a child. It seemed like the perfect thing for the sofa in the evening. Again my imagination went mad, and I pictured our house tastefully decorated with some of my finished products. I even went as far as to imagine my grandchildren bringing one of these on Antiques Roadshow (after I had passed on), only to discover that it was worth thousands! Folk Art or something like that…

So I gleefully started, worked on it for about 3 days or so, only to discover that I had used the wrong color AND the wrong stitch for the whole section I had done. I was so disappointed. I unpicked everything and then put it aside for the evening and haven’t picked it up since. Every time I open that drawer, its in there… looking at me. It wants me to work on it, and I feel so guilty (Not tonight, I have a headache….). So I just don’t go in that drawer anymore.

But still my quest for crafts continues….

I made V a little blanket to snuggle around him when I brought him home from the hospital (even though I live in Florida, and he was born in June….. he needed a baby blanket made by his Mum. And I needed to keep my hands busy.).

It’s too little for him now, so I got it in my head that I would make him a big-boy blanket. Again, my darn imagination jumped ahead to him and his wife moving into their new house, and this blanket tenderly being laid on the side of an arm chair in the den.

Based on this vision, it took me about 45 minutes to pick out what color it should be. I didn’t want it to be like that shag carpet you picked for the house in the 70’s. So even though I like colors like chartreuse and mustard yellow, perhaps not the best for this project.

I started last night and have high hopes for this craftiness. It’s low-maintenance. I can put it down and not feel guilty. It won’t glare at me from a drawer. I won’t have to make excuses to not work on it. It will be understanding (and maybe give me a massage?? Oh, no wait, thats my husband…)

I’ll keep you posted on how this works out…. wish me luck!

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Morning distraction

Up nice and early with V again this morning. Although I must say, his ‘nice and early’ has changed from 5:15 to 6:30 and that’s do-able for me. He is strangely into The Wiggles this morning. So am I. We haven’t really started the whole kids show thing yet, just once in a while, and I find them fascinating.

And odd.

Especially ‘Yo Gabba Gabba’.

Actually I am so distracted that I forgot what I was going to write about this morning…. Ummm, I might need to come back to this…

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My mum was on my mind today, as she is most days. This is Mum circa 2003 in Kyoto with me…. best mini-vacation ever.

I find that I think about her more and more these days, maybe more since I became a mum myself.

More so since I have realized that I am way more like my mum than I ever thought.
I think this was mostly brought on by my recent obsession with V’s food. I can’t even explain what has come over me, but I feel like I am super obsessed with what goes in and out.

I now completely understand my childhood, when I think back to the funny things we ate. My mum was a firm believer in the health-food store, and my sister and I never ate sweets that came from anywhere else. God how I hated carob chips and yogurt-covered peanuts and raisins when I was young. Dried banana chips, home-made yogurt and other exciting things….

But now as I try to feed my son things that are delicious and healthy, I completely see where she was coming from.
Especially in an age where children seem to get stuck in chicken nugget and macaroni & cheese ruts. Something that I am sure that I can overcome. With my delicious homemade food that is!

So I was so disappointed when he didn’t like avocado. Seriously didn’t like it. And cried cried cried when I tried to feed him bite number 4. But, no problem, I thought it was delicious….. coulda used some salsa though…

I know my mum had my health at heart, and now I find myself in the same position and completely in agreement with her.

It’s times like this when I wish she was closer.

There really is nothing like having your mum around. Unfortunately with her being on the West Coast, it makes it rather hard.

I have all of these lovely memories of her from when I was little….

When she used to surprise me with a brand new Laura Ingalls Wilder book or Frank L. Baum book, just at the right moment.

When she would make me tea and toast when I wasn’t feeling well.

When I was sick,she bought me my darling Audrey Deana (oh my precious Cabbage Patch Preemie)

How she would always brush my hair just right.

How she would do sweet things like have ‘manicure night’ and do my nails, even though its something she doesn’t really like and I have had to force nail polish on her on more than one occasion…

How she has always known just exactly what I like….. in every situation…

And so I miss her.

We have our lovely weekly skype chats, and talk on the phone on the weekends. The 3 hour time difference is just a little tricky to navigate, especially when you have a little one and go to bed at a freakishly early time.

I wish she was closer…
love you Mum….


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Orange soda

Today was a lovely day….

Not only did V sleep in until 7:20 (almost unheard of! It’s almost like being on vacation…), but I actually was out of the house sans husband and child. Out with a friend (who was also sans children and husband). And not only that, we went to the movies. AND we saw something completely frivolous and girly, something we never would have seen with either of our husbands.

“He’s Just Not That In To You” was really funny. We giggled non-stop. It could have also been a combination of the orange soda and buttery popcorn we were ingesting.
Orange soda might be my favorite thing ever. Mum and I used to get orange soda and a Twix bar when we would go to the movies together…. And I think about that every time I drink it at the movies…

Anyways, and then we did some window-shopping.

So pleasant…

M worked last night, and so tonight was our designated V-day date. He gave me a gift certificate for a massage, as apparently I need more relaxation in my life. Well, I KNEW that! But, when your partner points it out in a gentle manner, that’s when you know you need to take some more time for yourself.

But today, I feel plenty relaxed. Movie, shopping, chillin’ with my little man, red wine, delish-fondue, and the pleasant anticipation of a massage in the near future…

An hour later…..

Post fondue I feel even more relaxed. And a bit silly from the nice bottle of wine that M picked out to go with dinner… M took Chewie out for a walk and I cleaned up the kitchen.

Did you know that if you don’t stir your fondue enough, the cheese eventually balls up in the bottom of the pot? As I tried to pour the fondue into the garbage disposal, I noticed a huge clump on the bottom.


It was a taffy-like consistancy, and literally I picked it up like a huge wad of freshly chewed gum. And balled it up (it was the size of a baseball) and put it in the trash. I am sure some homeless person will be very happy to find that in our dumpster

We are now spending the rest of our Sunday on season 5 of The Wire. Tres enjoyable!


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Valentine’s Day and I am home alone.

Well, home with V who’s sleeping….. and with Chewie as well, who is also sleeping. M is at work tonight and we are ‘celebrating’ Valentine’s Day tomorrow.

I was thinking about V-day today, mostly when I was at Target this afternoon looking for a few things…

Target was a crazy gong-show, filled with people, mostly carrying bouquets, looking a little manic. Not that it was really any different from Target on any other day.

As I sit on the floor of my living-room while watching ‘Must Love Dogs’ (which I must admit has a reediculous amount of ads) I contemplate the shopping pressure that this day puts upon us all. I could feel the frantic energy radiating off of everyone, which I must admit effected me as well and I even succumbed slightly… I almost bought a set of popsicle molds that came with a Cosmopolitan mixer. In a heart-shaped box. But then I thought why?! And then I followed that up with “As if M would like this! Ha!”.

Although, I would like that. Cosmo-flavoured popsicles? Yes, I definitely would like that.
But it made me wonder why I need to wait until this particular day to spoil my sweetie, really I can do that any day…. I just need to remember to…
I have gone passed my imposed time-limit for rambling tonight, and must sign off so I can wrap up some sweet things for my sweet thing….

And then head off to bed with dreams of cheese fondue drifting through my head as I eagerly imagine tomorrow nights dinner….

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Every week I send a packed bag over to Ginette’s with V, filled with clothes for the week, snacks, bibs…. all of those little things he needs for the week.

Ginette is the lovely lady who we send V to every day. She adores him, he adores her, its a mutual admiration society all around. Its a good thing.

Anyways…….I always tuck a little bag filled with teething rings and soothers into the duffel bag, and Ginette always puts the receipt for the week in that little bag. So today, when I went to take it out, I found something else in there.

A little heart-shaped lollipop and a couple of Dora Valentines from the other little girls that she looks after.

And they were all addressed to ‘Benson’

Benson?! Who is Benson?

Benson is apparently my son.

This made me giggle so much.

I love Ginette because she loves V. Frankly, we are lucky to have found such a wonderful, caring person to look after our little man. But, she says the oddest things to me sometimes…. Usually when I am dropping V off, she traps me at the door and has these very deep conversations with me.

One morning she told me that she had a doctor’s appointment coming up, and that it was for her ‘pop’. I had no idea what she was talking about, but then she started making gestures, gestures that I never need to see a woman make again, I figured out what she was talking about.

Not her ‘pop’, but her ‘pap’, as in her pap-smear…. Not sure why she needed to share with me… Or gesture like that…

Another morning she trapped me by the front door, telling me all about how Jesus saved her life.


For, oh, about 5 minutes. Now I know that that doesn’t sound like a long period of time….. but it is. Imagine 5 straight minutes of someone telling you how praying to Jesus saved their life. Just imagine….


After some particularly bad diaper rash, I started using a cream on Mr V’s little tush. I sent some over in the weekly bag for Ginette, and asked her to start using a little bit of it if she noticed any problems.

He came home that day with not only his whole entire bottom covered in cream, but his whole front too. And his front bits. Pretty much from the waist down he was covered in cream. About 1/4 inch thick or so. I wondered why . Why?!?! It took me forever to scrub it off of him. And it happened the next day, and the day after that…… and the day after that as well.

Each day I scrubbed a layer of cream off his bottom, and each day she put it right back on. This continued for about a week.

I am non-confrontational, I admit it…

Its hard to be confrontational when you explain things very very clearly, and then someone ignores you completely. Or maybe doesn’t understand you at all… I will not even get into that now…)

Oh, my poor son Benson….

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I am looking around my bedroom at the clutter of my husband….

As hard as I have been trying for years to curb his messiness, clearly I am not doing a good job. His mountain of laundry in the corner of the bedroom attests to that. As do the stacks of cd’s that are scattered over pretty much every surface of the bedroom. As do the empty, slightly sticky cups that cover the desk….. and then there are those small pieces of paper that he deposits over everywhere (which the dog gleefully grabs and runs through the house with, only stopping when he is under large pieces of furniture so he can slowly and loudly rip them apart).

I do make an effort, I really do. But at some point it just gets a bit silly. I mean, I can only say the same thing so many times…. before I feel like I am repeating myself like some sort of robot (and a nagging robot at that).

So I am trying to be patient and hoping that he will take the hint, the hint that I am so cleverly inserting into this blog…. that big hint about cleaning and picking up after himself.

*nag nag nag nag*

He is busy.

I know….

But, I can only do so much….

Anyways, sometimes his absentminded messiness makes me laugh (usually after it annoys me it makes me laugh).

There was that time when he was changing his clothes and he left his shorts in our bathroom sink…. and then he witnessed them take flight as they flew past his head in annoyance (mine).

Or the time that I was looking for my work slacks, only to discover that he had absentmindedly left them on the computer chair (as he doesn’t know how to hang things up) and then sat on them for, oh, about 90 minutes while he ate breakfast and surfed the net pre-work. (And that might have happened this morning)….. M disagrees and says it was only at least 40 minutes

Or that time he used my toothbrush and then didn’t rinse it off and left it sitting, soaking wet in the toothbrush holder covered in mouth foam (so gross).

Or that time that he used my facecloth to rub down his head post-hair cut, leaving it covered in hair, and then hung it back up (without rinsing it off)….. only for me to discover when I went to wash my face later….

He is a little forgetful…

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Domestic G

My whole entire house smells like cauliflower.

As I am sure you know, this is not the most pleasant of smells. Its kind of a cross between a dirty bathroom, and a full diaper-genie. Which, in retrospect, are kind of the same thing…

This lovely odor is the end result of me being all domestic and stuff and making my own baby food. 2 weeks ago, I made broccoli. And that first foray was really based on my mum telling me that it was something that I loved as a baby. And since its not something you can buy, I was interested in seeing what V though of it.

He loved it, which just motivated me to make more….

One of my good friends and I have been discussing making our own food recently. Actually, we have been discussing it to the death. Going over every little teeny tiny detail of the process. I even went and bought a book.

Sadly, every recipe says the same thing…. “Chop finely and steam for 10 minutes, then puree…” And thats how you make baby food. I am so glad I spent $20 on that book.

It is terribly satisfying though. I feel domestic like I have never felt before. I might even go and buy an apron!

So 2 nights ago, it was sweet potatoes, and tonight I made cauliflower and cheese. I freeze it all in ice cube trays, so its in easy little portions (somebody elses clever idea). I haven’t had a chance to feed him any of these latest creations, but he will eat them soon…. I am already thinking about what will be next…

M thinks I am being too adventurous with the food, but I just don’t want it to be boring. I have this dream that V will have as an adventurous palate as we do.

Although, thinking back to life pre-M, I remember when I thought that Mexican food was too spicey. When M and I lived in Japan, he used to cook some hawt things and that is where I think I learned to appreciate those more risque flavors. And probably living in Japan expanded my tastebuds as well.

I was placed in so many situations where I just had to eat things. I remember one time where I was invited to one of my students housewarming parties with my boss. I didn’t realize that the woman whose house I was invited to was quite high up in the company. And that all of the other guests would be very rich businessmen that she worked with. And that her brother was a very well-known sushi chef who busted the bank preparing a divine meal for her most beautiful new house.

I was introduced to sea urchin (something which still makes me think of damp sponge when I think back) and chicken cartilage (which makes my teeth flinch and my tongue spasm in memory).

Later meals with different students put me in close proximity with things like spicey fish guts and fried crickets…. (neither of which I ate….. strategic exit to bathroom each time, leaving M with a clear path for both).

Bascially what I am saying is that I would like little V to grow up with an adventurous appetite, something I hope to encourage with delicious things that I have made myself…

Clearly I am on my way to being a total Domestic Goddess ( capital letters all around).

I probably need to go out and buy that apron…… and maybe a hat…

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