Thursday, March 29, 2012

Budget time

I wish I had riotously funny things to write about, but instead I find myself writing around issues, or rather, not writing around issues for months at a time - actively working to avoid talking about the things I'm not going to talk about.

It's been difficult and worrisome, the culture here in Ottawa - we've all been waiting for today. The Federal Budget - we keep hearing from our Senior Management Team that the Public Service will be much smaller when we're through this - Communication is essential, after all - so plan ahead and keep options open. (What options?? Dude. This is what I do. There's not a whole lotta call for a specialist in F-P/T relations outside of Government. Even if I'm good at it, and have mad, read MAD, people skillz.) I do. I can't even talk about how mad they are.

It's exhausting, trying to plan ahead for the unknown, with a car that is 21 years old, and a 'good car' that's 11 years old, and a dishwasher with a rack that no longer actually supports the weight of dishes (or the dishes themselves)... I'm just tired.

I'm tired of the things I can't talk about and the things that I can.

But as I keep telling myself, I have lots of people who love me, and food to eat, and a warm, dry place to sleep at night, and my kids are healthy and we're happy. So that's good right? It's good. It is, in fact, a best case scenario.

But you know what would have made this difficult few weeks so much easier? A little bit of chocolate to fill in the cracks and smooth the edges of the anxiety to help me manage and help me sleep. Alas, (and coincidentally) what do you think I've given up for Lent? Lord help me. (no, I mean it. Please, Jesus, help me.)

Thursday, December 1, 2011



Heh. Long time no see?


I'd love to tell you that I've got a realy good excuse, or I've been sick - been super busy? How about just in over my head.

Some days, it just feels like I'm busy rolling the boulder up the hill, and every morning, I'm back at the bottom.

Other days are great. Don't get me wrong - I'm ok. It's just that there's no extra for writing.

So what's happened over the past four months?

Oh lor'. I found out that I needed to pay my taxes in the US. Or rather, I needed to file for them. (because even if you don't owe, you need to file.) And also tell the US government about all of my bank accounts (joint or otherwise) that I and my husband have here in Canada. In great detail, over the past seven years. And there might be some penalties for that. I guess I'll find out when they get around to it. Or not. So that took some time, and continues to take angst.

MasterP started kindergarten. MlleL started first grade, and started giving up her naps (yeah, I know. I know.) We're struggling with that. It's pretty exhausting, managing the mood swings of a really tired 6 year old. It feels like I'm constantly on a high wire balancing what's happening between the time I get home and the time she gets to bed. Am I making dinner quick enough? How is her blood sugar? Will we make it through without that awful whining, convulsing stagger she does, dragging around the house to display her displeasure? (Never mind that that's a huge button - I have no idea what makes me so crazy when she does that....)

I turned 40. It was pretty great. I've worked on a list, but haven't got far, of the things to do before I'm 50. I'm not sure I'm ready to committ to writing them down. One of them means running a hell of a lot more than I am right now. so....

I ran the Rattle Me Bones the fastest I've ever run 10k on October 23. Which was great, but 2 minutes over where I really wanted (sub 1 hour) so I'm working on feeling better about that.

MasterP turned 4. I made cake pops, and a cake covered in squinkies. heeee.

We went to Target on November 11. We got stuck at the border for almost 2 hours, so ended up having about 1 hour and 45 minutes to shop before tearing north again. LOTS of fun.

November was November. I continue to be super funky (in a hateful way) around American Thanksgiving - mad at everyone for nothing. Man November sucks.

And here we are! We did our first Christmas Activity tonight - making snowflakes. But both pairs of scissors didn't work well, so MasterP was easily frustrated... And then we hung them, and then while working on French reading, MlleL had a full blown meltdown.

I guess tomorrow I'll hope for better.

And meanwhile, I'm trying to type my way down from a chocolate craving.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


At the beginning of the summer, a dear friend invited me to share in an organic 'share' from a local farm. I thought that this might possibly be quite awesome, and signed us up.

Since that time, it's become clear that I don't really know what to do with a wide variety of organic vegetables (especially since it seems that the wide variety is really mostly greens of one sort or another.) My tries to interest the family in these greens, usually by stir frying them in sesame oil and adding soy, are not well accepted.

So much that when picking up last week's share, Husband tried to convince my dear friend to keep ours. Dear friend's husband offered to help him carry it to the car. (heh. sounds like the greens are equally welcomed at her house.)

This week's share included beets. Which, to be honest, I first unsucessfully tried to roast to make delicious beet salad. (I know, right? So yummy!) It did not work out.

So imagine my happiness in having been introduced to Glory Bowls. "No, seriously", I said, putting on the rubber gloves to peel the beets (and changing after getting juice on work clothes, dammit to hell) "You're going to love it!"

"It's a Glory Bowl! It's gonna be glorious!!!" Husband looked askance at that. I mean, I guess I can understand his hesitancy.

"It was created in BC! I took out the tofu and added left over turkey!" Not better.

In fact, until I finished. And put it on the table.

MlleL declared it yummy. MasterP agreed. And so did Husband. In fact, he went back for seconds, and had so much that we barely have enough for lunch tomorrow.

Make this. Make it. You'll be thinking how awesome it is - healthy and super tasty. No gluten, for wheat haters, and if you don't want to use all that oil, well, then, don't!

Then? You too will be sitting around thinking about making this for a dinner party. Too informal? Perhaps. It's a rice bowl, after all.

Maybe, like me, you'll imagine your guests donning black robes and serving your every whim. I mean, it looked great for the first half of the season, right? Focus on that. And look out for a spunky blonde with a fake 'little sister'.

(yeah, that's right. I linked to explain the joke.....)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Wishlist: A Cleaning Lady

List of things I found under the cushions of the couch today:

1. 15 raisins, not completely whole;
2. 6 crayons, also, not completely whole;
3. two pink socks, (matching) in different locations;
4. a multicoloured zooble;
5. a sound making flashlight designed to assist in the reading of 'Cars: Carburetor County'
6. countless crumbs. (and I do mean countless);
7. 3 pieces of fruit candy, the kind obtained from the Canadian Tire vending machines. (clearing throat and looking at Husband here.); and

Just saying.


Perspective is the weirdest thing.

It's so variable, so biased.

It has, in the months immediately following the half, become harder and harder to see my accomplishments. My waist is once again covered with layers of sloth and pancakes.

And so I return to the pavement, at an hour I have only previously vaguely talked about (5:30). Husband laughed at me when I've mentioned it before. I am not known as a morning person. But it's before the heat of the day, and (mostly) before the after work fatigue hits. It allows me a morning that is of my own choosing - and the time to wake up before I am hit by the demands of the day. It is a remarkably peaceful thing, but also, apparently a rather busy time of the day for other runners.

I love it. It gives me time to get the work out out of the way. I can listen to my podcasts and have lunch again, with others, and not feel guilty for having not done what I should have.

That said, these runs are affecting my perspective. Where once the distance was (a little) easier, they are difficult again. The early morning sun at my back strikes me in such a way as to cause my shadow to resemble a giant fertility figure - a tiny head and giant bottom waggling along the road. No wonder this is so difficult, I think, look at the size of that!

Mrs. Maiden has told me the story of her comeuppance as a 40-year-old. She was wearing her blue bikini and feeling rather proud of herself for doing that at her age; "not too shabby," I remember her describing herself. However, after laying on some sun warmed rocks in the North Channel during a cruise on the Maiden family boat, she sat up with a squelching, sucking noise. Her back fat had sealed her to the stone.

I remember thinking that was hilarious. Ok, well it kinda was, until the fertility figure thing.

And until I raised my arm to wave goodbye after having spent the weekend with awesome friends from my youth and most of our kids, doing really great beachy cottage type things, and caught a glimpse of the bottom of my arm waggling away in it's own fond farewell.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Conversations with kids

Before the rewedding, I took them both in for haircuts.

"What'll it be?" asked the hairdresser, looking at MlleL. "Short" she says, pointedly ignoring me in the mirror. "No" I say. no. Except that then the stylist suggested donation.

She gave me her reasons, involving her ability to do her own hair, to wear her hair down, and the like. And I get it. I'll make the appointment to get her hair cut (which is very, very long) and she can donate it. We've discussed length, and options for donation, and she's given me a deadline. As I brush it at bedtime, I try to take my time now, knowing that these moments are limited.

The other night, she watched me in the mirror as we talked and I brushed and she finally got it.

"Will you miss it?" She asked.
"Yeah," I said, "but this is your hair. It's your body. It's ok."
Suddenly, she looked closer. She took the makeup mirror and moved it closer to me, flipping it to the magnification side.
"What do the cracks do?" She asked, pointing at the corner of my eye.

This morning as I was making my coffee:

MasterP "Mama, where does Santa live?"
"In the North Pole, buddy. Remember? With the elves?"
"Yep. Where dat?"
"Where it's winter all the time. Remember?"
"oh, yep. It not winter time now. It's rainy day."
"Nope - no snow. Which is good, right? Summer time is Mama's favourite time."
"Summer time is not my faborite time."
"No? Well, when is your favourite time, sweetie?"
"Well, not bed time."

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Ottawa Half - a bit late

So finally, a round up of what it was like to run 21.1 kilometres, again. Finally.

It was, as you well know, the fourth half I've trained for. The second one I've run. It hurt. Oh, lord.

I started with colleagues (I mean, who better to spend over 2 hours of pain with than the folks you see every day? And yes, Janey, you better believe I had mascara on.) The pick-up guy, to be exact, was our bunny. And I did my best to stay with him, even though it was my fantasy pace. I had honestly planned to finish. I thought maybe I could do better than last time, but I was prepared to run the same race and figured that'd be ok.

It was crowded. So crowded, that I was soon knocked back in the pack - the pick-up guy turning to check a few times for a thumbs up, but soon I could only see his back, and his ears...

I ran through neighborhoods, past work, across the bridge I cross on almost every lunchtime run. I experienced unbelievable kindness when my ipod fell and the guy behind me stooped in the middle of the surging crowd to pick it up.

I ran past a pirate family no less than three different times, I ran through heat, and drizzle and steady rain, I ran past signs that made me laugh out loud (worst parade ever) and ones I considered stopping to debate (you've done harder things than this), I ran past old colleagues and new, some who recognized me, but most who didn't - I certainly didn't smile the whole time, but there was a moment when I realized that if I stopped to walk the rest of the way, I'd still have finished faster than I ever thought possible.

And that moment was pure brilliance.