Tuesday, September 29, 2009

So what shade of brown is that guinness?

I must quote an old, dear girlfriend with whom I have seen many years pass. Like a few others where we weren't always on the same page at the same time, we seemed to keep a thread alive until we were back on the same page again.

Last night, with my bookclub babes, we were talking about the past, and she said, "you know you are in a different stage of life when you are no longer talking about the beautiful shade of brown that your guinness is, rather, the rather earthy shade of brown that your kids movement was."

Yup. She nailed it. What? Spare time and money to kick back and drink beers until the wee hours of the night? I used to do that?? Me? Really??!! It seems like a lifetime ago - now, in the middle of diapers and the end of toilet training, nightly wakings for feedings, and budgets, and reading books, and playing with cool toys. Yeah, I wouldn't trade it for the world. Everything in it's own time, and I am glad I have the fuzzy memories of the past to give me some chuckles, but really, the here and now is pretty damn cool and I feel pretty grateful.

Sometimes you hear an old song, or see an old face, or even just chat about where you have been and where you are going, and you realize that you have been many different selves, or shades of yourself with a core you. Time marches on, no matter what moment is now.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Now I have to wait?

I just finished reading two most excellent books, Steig Larrson's first two books from the Millenium series - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and then The Girl Who Played with Fire.

The third book won't be translated from Swedish until next year. May in fact. Nothing like finding a few really good books and then having to wait almost a year until the final book will be released. The other unfortunate part is that Larrson passed on 5 years ago, so the series is done with 3 and what apparently originally slated to be 10 books...

I raced through the first book, and then savoured the second book a bit more, knowing that I would be waiting for the final installment, and just really enjoying the read.

These books were great, well off the beaten track, interesting plot, keeps you guessing, the characters are well drawn out, and the social issues revealed in the course of the books were pretty interesting as well. I feel bereft that the books are done - picking up my Deaver just isn't on the same level.

Monday, September 21, 2009


After a great holiday, and decent border experiences, we arrived home to discover that the fridge got turned off. Bloody hell.

You're tired. Your kids are tired of being cooped up in a moving vehicle. Your cats are clinging to you because you finally got home. It's your parents 40th wedding anniversary and you are making dinner. Your youngest needs to be breast fed, and everyone needs to go the can. Your fridge is off, and the meat had melted and there is water and crap on the floor. And then the funky smell of food going bad. It felt like a bit of a catastrophe. Something to be said about being a team with your spouse. Ken tackled the roast and the bulk of cleaning the fridge, and I dealt with the kids. Well, kid. Brandon was having a nap, and thankfully, he continued to sleep once we got home which really helped us just to deal with the mess. Connor was a bit out of sorts, understandably after being in total chaos on the road as an almost three month old!

We lost pretty much everything. The fridge stuff, the freezer stuff. I had stockpiled a bit knowing we would be on a budget getting home from a holiday, and it's just all gone. I don't think neither of us knew how to react. I think we did a damn good job holding it all together. Just frustrated. More than likely Brandon was playing in the fridge and moved the dial, I could have also left it off when I used the microwave and turned off the fridge to not overload the circuits, yet regardless of the finger wagging, the end result was still the same.

We have a beautifully cleaned fridge. Shopping wasn't an option yesterday. It's hard to think of the bits and pieces you need to replace, or what you actually keep in your fridge. Ken's mom came with me today and I was grateful for the help, especially since Connor's routine has been off. Brandon stayed and had a cool day with my dad. It truly takes a village to raise kids, there are moments when you just need helping hands.

The empty, clean fridge, the thing is, it's also unnerving. We have never had an empty fridge, for me, not since I moved out years and years ago. It's strange looking in and not seeing milk, or eggs, or anything beyond margarine and ketchup and mustard. Shopping was a strange experience, trying to figure out what you needed again to create a good base, and then what you would just get in later shops, the more specialized products you don't use all the time. It is a bit strange when you have nothing in there - we had lots of dry stuffs, but your fridge.. I feel much better now that we have food again. The dial will be covered in hockey tape. Hockey tape is right up there with duct tape.. more uses than at first expected.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mt. St. Helens

Well, we originally intended to come home on Saturday. On a whim, we decided to stay another night and see Mt. St. Helens.


It's amazing what sits in memory, and what comes back. I was only 7 when St. Helens blew, but I still remember... and seeing the landscape wasn't what I expected. Yes, I have google-earthed the area a few times, and yes, the area around the eruption/blast zone was about what I expected, what I felt after seeing St. Helens was surprisingly though- I felt. hope. The vegetation is lush once you are away from the immediate area around the mount, and it is beautiful. Where getting to Rainier is a twisting, old growth lined road, the road to Helen is a gently rolling road with some incline. It is visually strange seeing so many trees the same height, and the noble firs were gorgeous to see as a grove and not as a Christmas tree. Nobles are very symmetrical, so interesting to the eye as you speed by.

We had some terrible weather at the top, got soaked a few times. Although, weather on mountains moves pretty fast, so we stuck it out and ended up with some pretty good views of the mount. Never did see the whole thing, but we did see the glacier that is forming, and most of the outlying areas. The devastation 30 years later is unreal. Seeing the green on the slopes, and seeing the rebirth is uplifting and reminds you of the cycles of life. We will be back one day to see even more of the mountains.

Must say, traveling with the young ones isn't always easy. Dealing with food, bathroom trips, breastfeeding in the van, and then when Connor would cry, and cry, and well... cry until he would fall asleep. When you take away the routine, life does get a little crazy. All in all, the boys were troopers considering that we covered about 1500 kms in 4 days...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mt. Rainier

Today was a surprising day. NW Trek was a good zoo and we ended up seeing most of the animals that they had on site. A lot of space, in the woods, a very Pacific Northwest type experience. In some ways, not as many animals as I would have expected, but very nicely done. Also nice to have a 2-1 from going to Point Defiance the day before. One advantage of the zoos/aquariums stateside is that they are so much more reasonably priced... $15 per adult to get in, and that includes the 45 minute tram ride to see the "prey" type animals (moose, elk, deer, mountain goats).

After the trek we zoomed back to the scenic railway. Instead of billing itself the scenic railway of Mt. Rainier, it should have read, "nice, two hour trip through trees, going away from Mt. Rainier". Not what we expected, a bit of a bust. Being on the train was nice, and we sat in an outdoor car... made me glad we also had a 2-1 for this! The highlight was going over a trestle bridge, but of course, that would be when Brandon had to go to the loo. Verrra interesting helping yer kid go on a moving train in an old school bathroom. One for the books!

It was disappointing though - we really wanted to see Mt. Rainier. After the train, it was time to drive. Mt. Rainier was calling us. It was beautiful. Something to be said about seeing a huge mountain on it's own. The rockies are amazing, but you almost get a bit jaded because everything is majestic. There is something to be said about seeing a mountain close up, being in the meadows, gazing up at the peak. We will be back. There are some amazing places to stay, and I would love to see all of the park. We would have been better off just spending the day cruising the national park rather than the railway. Live and learn.

Christine Falls, on the route to Paradise (area close to peak where you can stay in a fancy lodge)

view of Mt. Rainier

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A new school year

The kids are back at school, the weather is changing, and I am enjoying my maternity leave.

It always feels strange when the regular routine is no more, and you are busy finding yourself again in your new reality.

I had no idea that having two kids would allow me the time to mellow out in a way.

Yes, there are moments where you want to tear your hair out. Run screaming. Cry. Laugh like a crazy person. But for me, I am just happy, right now, having two. I find my days are better when we have some kind of routine, and I get a few minutes of physical exercise on the Wii Fit. I am better when I can jump in to a good book and escape for a few moments. Some times I worry about balance - enough quality time with Brandon, with Connor (and not just breastfeeding), and then with Ken, and maybe even myself! I will never be a perfect housekeeper, but I am trying harder this time to just keep things a little more organized. In a way it is a good thing that we don't have enough space, because we would just fill it.

Now that we are the better par through toilet training, I am much happier. He has done really well - a few accidents, like the one an hour ago, but I can't really complain. Brandon loves to take his pants off - now it is a trial to get him back in to them. He likes being partially clad. Can't blame him on that one! It does make going out a little trickier. We have no mastered the fine art of going to the loo in all foreign places. Grandfolks, sure. Out at public places, not so much. He tends to hold it like crazy until we get home.

I also can't believe that with two, I am starting to get more organized. Maybe because I am scared shitless of what will happen if I am not. You leave the kitchen for 36 hours and it is a disaster. It takes hours to clean. I am learning. You fit laundry in when you can. You do one little chore, and keep a list. Crazy stuff. Work will be a cake walk after this! LOL

Connor is closing in on 10 weeks, or was he already? Wait! 11 weeks old. Wow. It's going so much quicker than it did with Brandon. I am so much less stressed out and wound up. Maybe that is part of the reason I can be so chilled about it all. We have already been through a trial by fire and I am better at picking my battles. The last few weeks we have been sticking much closer to home. Our routine is to maybe go up to the park at the top of our hill, do our big routine, or hang around the homestead. Felt like getting a few things done around here, and I guess not feeling overly social. Sorry!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Three and half years later...

I finally ordered some wedding photos.

Well over three years after the fact. It was one of those things that has been on my "to do" list forever and a day.

With all the points collected from buying diapers, I had a free 8x8 book, and 200 prints. So I finally did it. Printed them (read ordered them online), made a book, and put them all together.

The prints and book arrived today! I am pretty stoked.

All in all, a pretty painless experience too. No duty! EVEN BETTER!!!

I may just have to do this again one day. Nice to just sit here at my computer, do my uploading, order, pay online, and wait! Just like magic and a hit to the wallet, here they are! I even ordered some prints from the summer!

I can finally show off our wedding pictures in a book, and not force unsuspecting folks to suffer through a 30 minute slide show of our photos. We only did that a few times...

Who knew? It is nice to be able to look at the wedding pictures. It feels like a lifetime ago - and my dress still fits! Okay, the dress is a little big, but I still felt like a princess when I put it on. I still have no idea what to do with it - keep it, or sell it at a second hand store. Needless to say, it stays hanging in the closet - a reminder of a great day.

It feels good to start getting a handle on our photos. It felt like a few things just stopped there for a long while, and now they are starting up again.

Monday, September 7, 2009


And now a return to our regular programing. Not.

Since reading My Sister's Keeper, I delved in to a few books which were more or less satisfying.

I quickly sped through an Erica Spindler book, Dead Run, and it was just okay. The last one I read of hers really kept me interested, this one, not so much. It was a quick read and the story won't really stick. Some do, some don't.

The next one I blitzed through was a Tess Gerritsen book, The Sinner. This one was better - I enjoy the cop/ME series that she has going. I have read them out of order, so it is nice picking up an earlier book just to get a feel for some of the back story.

Then there was Lisa Jackson's, Left to Die. You can tell she has written a lot of books - easy to bounce along the surface of this novel because it really wasn't all that deep. I just finished it, and can't say that I feel a great level of satisfaction after turning the last page. This feels like the book of a decent writer who churns out many books a year. Funny, you can start to tell.

It seems that the authors I really like generally only publish a book a year, if that. Speaking of which, I think there are a few coming out soon that I can't wait to sink my teeth in to, like the new Gabaldon... I figured the series was done with six.. but she continues on! Will be interesting to see where Claire and Jamie end up next.

Funny, after you read a couple of books that were truly satisfying, it is hard to go back to those that just aren't as fulfilling. Makes me glad I am a quick reader, and also that I am getting better at either buying used books, paying forward, or getting those books paid forward to me. I guess at the end of the day, some books are great escapes, some are intriguing, some you savor every step of the way. Out of this trio, I would go for the TG's book - a little more substance.

Friday, September 4, 2009