Thursday, October 27, 2011

Turning 40 today.

Today is my birthday. I am 40. ACK!!!!!!!

Typically I LOVE birthdays, they are among my top three favorite days of the year. I'm having a bit of difficulty with this one and things are popping up for me that I didn't anticipate.

This year (in February) my parents separated after 40 years of marriage. I have not posted anything on my blog or on facebook about it. Initially my parents asked us to please not post anything and I refrained from commenting to respect their wishes. I actually COULD write ad nauseum about how it has affected me, my siblings, my mom ... but I have refrained. Until today.

Today my dad is in Asia - somewhere. I think he is travelling but don't know for sure. I don't have a phone number for him. I don't have an address for him. I don't know where he is living. I could email him and he will respond to me as soon as he is able but sometimes that isn't for many days.

My dad won't remember that today is my birthday. My mom would usually remind him. He isn't great at sending letters or cards and never has been but ALL my life - until today - my parents would call first thing in the morning and wake me up to say happy birthday. It has been a tradition until this year.

I have actually had a pretty good day as far as days go. I have had an outpouring of love from friends, family and my kids. But my dad (wherever he is) doesn't know I turn 40 today.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

A meme to jumpstart my blogging block

I took this from HERE

1. If you and your friends formed a biker gang, what would your name be?
Flyin' Purple People Eaters

2. Are you more of a talker or more of a listener?
I would say I am more of a talker.

3. What's your favorite sport?
Soccer. Football. English Premier League. Liverpool Football Club. Are there any other sports?

4. Would you rather be really hot or really cold?
Being cold is hell for me.

5. Who do you think should be the next president of the United States?
Hillary Clinton

6. Do you believe in fate?
I like the idea of fate. Don't know if I believe in it though.

7. Have you ever been fired? If so, why?

8. If you had the opportunity to live one year of your life over again, which year would you choose?
Probably 2002. Following the brain surgery of my spouse, I would do better because I know better.

9. If you won a $1,000 shopping spree for any store, which store would you pick?
If I were being practical I would choose the grocery store, but I would prefer a bookstore, maybe or

10. Who do you think should run for president of the United States?
Steven Colbert

11. If you were stranded on a desert island, which one person would you bring with you?
My spousal unit

12. Are you a morning or night person?
Absolutely a night person

13. If you had to cook dinner for someone tonight, what would you make?
Martha's Chicken and nuts
14. What do you think was the greatest invention in your lifetime?
The one I personally use - ereader.

15. What do you think is your most attractive feature?
My hands

16. Where's your favorite place to buy clothes?
Old Navy

17. What did you eat for breakfast today?
I don't eat breakfast because I am not a morning person and eating in the morning makes me sick.

18. What was your favorite year?
The END of last year when the adoptions were made final - not the beginning of the year when we were told we were not permitted to adopt!

19. What celebrity would play you in a movie about your life?
Rosie O Donnell or Steffi Graf.

20. If your house was on fire and you could only grab three things, what would they be?
I am assuming that my family and pets are safe... I would grab.... 1.Photoalbums. 2. African Art.  3. Journals.

21. How many countries have you traveled to?
Let's see.... 7, but I have been in airports in more.

22. If you could have the starring role in one movie what would it be?
I thought tomb raider but I would rather star opposite angelina jolie than replace her as the lead....
So I think I would like to be the lead in "Salt". I would love to be a spy :)

23.Would you rather be a zombie or a werewolf?

24. What's your favorite season of the year?

25. What's your favorite city?

26. Star Trek or Star Wars?
I used to be all about Star wars but probably now more Star Trek. That's what happens when you marry a trekkie.

27. What websites do you spend the most time on?
Facebook. Netflix. Postsecret. Goodreads.

28. If you could go on a road trip with any person, dead or alive, who would it be and where would you go?
I'd go with my spouse and we would visit every province and state in Canada and the USA

29.What's your dream car?
I have always wanted a mini-cooper, but it would be asinine to have one where we live. So I have to say .... some kind of BIG truck with 4 wheel drive.

30. What was your favorite movie as a child?
The only movies I can remember from when I was a child are E.T. and Return from Witch Mountain.  I preferred E.T.

Monday, October 24, 2011

my autocorrected text conversation....

Me: Oh dear. Final days until I'm 40.
My spouse: Yep. Lol. Enjoy your salad days!!
Me: I do like salad

Friday, October 21, 2011

Don't put the Birkenstocks away yet please!

I'm holding out putting away my Birkenstocks. Somewhere in the back of my mind I believe that wearing my birks will delay the cold weather. So far it has worked out ok but this morning was a might cold on the tootsies as I ran with Max to meet the bus.

Yesterday we missed the school bus entirely. I knew we would and honestly didn't even care. I work until after midnight on Wednesdays and so getting up on Thursday morning is already a chore for me, but for some reason on Wednesday after I got home from work the boys woke up and they were up pretty much the rest of the night. I think silence finally fell in the house at about 4:30 and there was no way I was getting up at 6:30.
I think that's the second time this year we have missed the bus which is pretty good all things considering.

This morning as I was on the back porch putting coats and boots on CJ I happened to look up and see out the window the bus coming down the road. In the instant I saw it I thought we were late and so I yelled "RUN" to the boys and we headed out the back door at as fast a pace as could be managed considering I was carrying a backpack, a bagel for CJ, mitts, a touque and CJ!
We have to take a flashlight already. It is pitch dark and since we live in the boonies there are no streetlights on the road. Max had the flashlight and was running. I was running behind him and CJ was screaming he was being left behind so I was "kind of" carrying him. I dropped a mitten and when I turned to pick it up Hugo saw it and grabbed it and ran off like it was a great game of chase.
The bus saw us and waited but Max ended up not having mittens this morning. It turns out she was five minutes early which was a huge relief to me since I thought my timing was messed up and it really wasn't. Unfortunately I will have to suck it up now and set my alarm 15 minutes earlier since it is colder because dressing both boys to go out takes longer now that we have to dress more warmly.
I didn't notice in the hustle out to the road how cold I was, but on the walk back to house my toes protested the exposure. Turns out the temp this morning was -5, so I guess the protest was legitimate.
Oh how I hate wearing socks and shoes. I guess I have to add another five minutes to the alarm if I have to dress myself as well.
Winter, I hate you.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I never conceived that body functions would be such an integral part of my daily life.

I knew that boys found body functions humorous and I AM the mother of two boys, so I expected that at some point the boys would find things like burping and farting funny. CJ in particular thinks noises made by his body are a thrill.
Don't get me wrong. We are making attempts to teach manners and to have the boys say "excuse me" when they do happen to pass gas. However, I had NO idea how captivating poop would be. Nope. No idea.

We have been working on toilet training for a while. With Max the going has been slow and he still needs reminders and has accidents. CJ has taken to using the toilet like a duck to water. He LOVES it. What he doesn't love is wearing pants. Going to the bathroom has become an excuse for him to remove his pants and underwear and go nekkid for as long as possible. If going to the toilet means he can remove his clothing then he is all over it.

Living out on the acreage has allowed some freedom in what I like to call "location of excretion". We have let the boys got to the bathroom outside because we figured at least they were going and they were developing an awareness of bodily demands. When the boys were foster kids we were MUCH more strict on where and when they would go to the bathroom and going outside was avoided. It's one thing to let your own kid urinate in your yard but we felt the province would frown on us letting foster children void anywhere they wanted!

For the most part this has worked out o.k., especially since we were able to train them that the back porch was NOT an acceptable location to urinate on. We have always tried to get them to poo inside (but admittedly haven't always been as successful as we would like to have been.)

Now they are both using the toilet most of the time. CJ in particular is very proud of his endeavours and whenever he uses the toilet he wants one, preferably both, of his parents to come and look and give him a high five before he flushes and washes.  We do. We have created a monster.

A proud pooping monster. He is extremely proud of his poop. He is VERY excited to show it to us. He comes into the living room, or kitchen, or bedroom and says "MOM! Come see! BIG BIG POOP!" Once we have witnessed the miraculous expulsion he then tells us he is going to "BIG BIG FLUSH".

Now all of a sudden his older brother is in on the action. Max, who initially did not want ANYONE looking at him or heaven forbid, asking him if he was using the toilet wants to share his poop with us also.  Yesterday he asked me if his poop was as big as CJ's poop.

Just what I wanted to be when I grew up, a comparative poop analyst.

I will just say this. After I went to the bathroom this morning I considered for one moment if it would be appropriate for me to call CJ in to check out my poop. He would have been impressed. I let the thought go and went for the big big flush.... this time.

Doors ... and then the water pump

We have been living in our house for a few years now. To be sure it is a bit small to be "ideal" for us - especially since the introduction of Great Dane Hugo to our household two years ago.
There are many, many things which need to be repaired and upgraded on the house and although it sometimes feels as though we are not moving forward on any of these projects we do sometimes make small improvements.

At the moment we are in desperate need of TWO new exterior doors.

Both doors are made from wood and neither is insulated. One problem with the house being as old as it is is the fact that nothing is "standard". The doors are not standard doors. In fact, the back door is so short, it is impossible to find a replacement by walking into a store or to a "used" lot to find a replacement.
The screws holding the door into the frame have become stripped and completely pulled out of the wall on the top hinge and the door "flops" around. in addition to the flopping problem, it is impossible to put any kind of weather stripping around the door to stop the wind, rain, and snow from coming in because the door simply does not fit the hole that was made for it.

The front door is a hollow wood door with a piece of glass in the middle. The glass has fallen down into the door and now there is a hollow door with a hole to the outside which I have covered with duct tape to prevent the majority of the air from coming in. If I sit on the couch in the corner by the front door the wind will literally blow my hair!

Every time it rains we have to pile towels at the base of the door to mop up all the water that pours in underneath. It has been our intention to replace the front door before winter and to try to at least fix the back door until we can come up with a more permanent solution at the back entrance.

We have been trying and trying to get someone to come and help us make repairs for months. Literally months. We live in such a small town it is impossible to find a contractor who is willing to work on a project so small. In the entrance to the grocery store, the drug store and in the town paper there are fliers advertising people who are willing to work on small house projects. We have called these people. One is booked "for months", one has not replied, one came out and apparently worked on the back door, but it is not fixed?!

I am getting desperate. I asked the maintenance man who works with me if there was anyway he could come out to the house, measure what we needed for the front door, come with me to buy a door and install it. I KNOW it will turn into a larger project than simply pulling the old door out and putting the new door in. I know it is beyond my capabilities.
He said he would help. He said he would measure and we put together a plan for him to come out this weekend. At the last minute on Friday he came to me with this:

It is a sheet of paper on which he would like me to measure and insert lengths to save him some time.
ACK! I absolutely do NOT want to do this. Have I mentioned this house is old? I can GUARANTEE that the numbers I measure will leave him shaking his head and he will want to measure again to make sure I have done it correctly. I JUST WANT SOMEONE TO HELP ME !

We stuck with the plan to have him come and help with the door on Saturday , and I (quietly) planned to let him measure what he needed anyway!

On Friday night I went to bed. All was well. In the middle of the night the toilet made a terrible gurgling noise and all of a sudden.... we had no water!

The house was silent, which is a bad thing. I went to the basement to check on the water pump. There was power to the pump but no water pressure. This I know is a bad thing.

We get water right into the house from the springs so we don't need a cistern or to haul water which I LOVE. There was water in the tank. I don't know enough about the system, but I know when it is not working.

This is not OUR pump - but it is what our system looks like.

Saturday morning first thing I called the plumber. I told him what I knew and that we needed some help. He wanted me to check a few things and so I was taking instructions from him on his cell, which was cutting out, laying the phone down upstairs because there is no reception in the basement, and trekking up and down the stairs with the boys and dogs in my way the whole time to check on what he was asking. Still no water pressure. After many calls he said he would send someone out to check it. He did ask me if I knew it was a weekend and the call out cost was higher than normal. I did know this and unfortunately we cannot live without water and so we needed to pay whatever it cost to get it repaired.

I took the boys to swimming lessons, (where I made them shower twice!) and the plumber came out and fixed the switch. I was hugely relieved it was the switch that needed replacement and not the entire tank, but my plans to get a door this weekend just went out the window.

So today we have a pump and water that works, two doors that STILL need repair, and it is the second weekend in October.

I sure as heck hope I can figure out what to do with the doors before the snow flies and the water lines in the house freeze because there is no front door!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Toilets to avoid if travelling in Northern Alberta

We had to go to the city this weekend because Cj needed oral surgery. We decided to take off on Saturday after the boys had swimming lessons because we were thinking they would be tired out and would travel better and we wouldn't miss a week of swimming lessons.
It turns out they weren't tired, but they loved swimming and it was worth it anyway.
This was the first trip we have ever taken with both boys in "big boy underwear" and I was a little concerned we would make it without any accidents.
The boys were AMAZING and we made it accident free!
We did stop at a LOT of gas stations and on the side of the road once or twice but it was worth it.
I will just add here that if anyone is every travelling in Alberta and you end up in Whitecourt, do not, I repeat, DO NOT use the bathroom in the Whitecourt Esso on the north side of town. That place is NASTY.