Showing posts from January, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different

I've been writing some pretty long-winded posts lately. So let's try something new. Let me see if my readers can look over this one without having to wonder if they should go get a snack first.
It shouldn't be too hard. Rosemary's Baby has just walked in wearing no pants and carrying a pork shoulder from the fridge. Sitting here much longer would be like inviting him to burn down the house. I know, I say that like it's a bad thing... My picture today is of my "new" baker's rack. I'm pretty excited about it because it replaces an old wood shelf originally intended for use in the garage. It is a hand-me-down (along with two other bookcases) from my friend, the Lawyer, and her husband, who works with the Captain. They're moving out of their house on base and were going to put it on the curb. I've given away my fair share of stuff, but I've also acquired some pretty great scores from friends and it's gotten me thinking about not only the …

When it Rains, it Pours

Last night, the Captain came home and got to work on the washing machine. We've had an ongoing issue with the whole thing shutting down at the point where it should be draining. The Captain says the pump's wearing out. After 3 years of moderate use, followed by 5 years of heavy use (remember, I've been doing a dozen cloth diapers a day since Firstborn was a wee little thing. And not cleaning out the drain filter. Allegedly.), the poor washing machine is coming to the end of its lifespan.
Usually, turning it off and on again will fix the problem, and when it doesn't, there's a connection just underneath that we can wiggle. But yesterday, neither of those things worked. After some time (and some swearing), the Captain was ready to give up. In a moment of mild frustration, he gave the bottom of the machine a little kick. And voila! We have drainage again! So, while we search out a deal on a new washing machine, we figure there are a few loads left in the old girl. And …

The Big Five-Oh!

I've never looked forward to January. It's always just been a fact of life for me that after Christmas there's this period of dull, dreary life-apathy until Easter rolls around. Sure, there are a few little breaks. I make resolutions to try to keep me motivated through the new year. Then Valentine's Day is here and I have an excuse to make chocolate fondue, or heart shaped vegetable patties for the Captain's dinner. St. Patrick's Day is always fun. But really, overall, it's like this long, miserable slog to spring. Well, not anymore!
If there's only one thing I've learned from the native Manitobans I've met since moving to this freezing ice patch, it's that you have to just make the best of winter and use it to your advantage. Does this mean I'll be taking up skiing, snowboarding and ice fishing this winter? Perish the thought!!
I am a hibernator. The lack of sunlight and fresh air is probably part of the problem. So, yes, I'll attempt…

Three Years Later

Today is an anniversary of sorts. Not one I necessarily pull out the cupcakes for (that'll happen tomorrow. Stay tuned!), but an anniversary to be marked nonetheless. Three years ago today, we arrived in Manitoba.
When we left New Brunswick--gorgeous, beautiful, temperate New Brunswick--we were experiencing a particularly warm period, considering we'd just passed mid-January. When we arrived at our hotel in Maine, we were wearing sweatshirts. In retrospect, we were incredibly lucky with the weather and driving conditions. A road trip across Canada (and a few of the more northerly American States) is not something you'd usually want to do in the dead of winter. As we continued to make our way west, the air temperature got steadily lower, and by the time we made it to North Dakota, we were driving in a white-out. All the Captain had to help him stay on the road were the taillights of the transport truck in front of us. When they closed the main Interstate, we had to follow th…

TGIF, Indeed!

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I don't know how you working mothers out there are doing it!
Today, I had a solo trip into Booming Metropolis. The Captain had a little more leave to burn before beginning the insanity that is the work-up to deployment, so he took this week off and was, therefore, home with the kids. I don't know why I never learn, but these solo trips always loom large for me as something akin to a spa day. I picture myself having a leisurely drive into the city, coffee in hand, running a few errands, shopping, lunching with a friend and coming home renewed and relaxed. Here's the real story. My 45-minute drive into Booming Metropolis was, I admit, uneventful. But that's only because out here in the middle of nowhere, we don't see many cops on the roads. If we did, I'd probably have gotten a ticket. The car is broken right now. Very broken. Both front turn signals are out, as well as the daytime running lights. Our local mechani…

A Couple of Projects

It may be unnecessary to mention this, but these projects are completely unrelated. We attended a birthday party for a one year-old on the weekend, and I've taken to knitting gifts for babies lately. I don't know. Those boxes full of little plastic bits and pieces that take the parents an hour just to unpack leave me a little uninspired. Plus, I worry that someone else will come with the same thing, and I never remember to get those gift enclosures you're supposed to ask for at the cash register. If I make something, I know they're getting something unique, even if they're too little to care. So, I made Po, the littlest of the Teletubbies. Rosemary's Baby seemed pretty interested, so I should really make one for him too, as soon as I can catch my breath. My other project was to make 75 wedding invitations for Sister #4. This is why I am out of breath. It really was enjoyable, but boy I wouldn't want to do it for a living. I had so much fun using my awesome …

When the Temperature Dips Below -50, It's Time for a New Handbag

Here in Southwestern Manitoba this week, the weather has been a little...chilly. Yeah, yeah, I know. We've all been feeling it. Every time I log onto my facebook page, I read more status updates about -25 -this and ice-and-snow-that. Well get this. Yesterday morning, out here in the middle of nowhere, with the wind chill, we hit -52 degrees celsius. Do you know what that feels like?! Poor Rusty took one tentative step out the back door for her morning pee and immediately started limping. I'm taking this to mean it's okay to start dressing my dogs in coats and booties.
Now, don't get me wrong, I hate competition, so I'm not pooh-poohing the rest of you (wimps) who are also not enjoying the typical bitter Canadian January temperatures, but it's been extremely cold here. When this happens, the kids get a touch of cabin fever (Rosemary's Baby poured a jug of Kool-Aid down the back of the TV set. Perhaps it's time to involve a child psychologist...) and I'…

John Gray's Next Book Should Be "Mars vs. Venus: World War III"

Back in the day, before we were married, the Captain and I did a lot of bickering. Those of you who know us might find it funny that I speak in the past tense here. We still bicker. Lots. But back then, it was way out of control. I'm pretty sure there were several tables at our wedding where bets were being placed on how long we'd last, and I doubt anyone today is collecting on their optimistic wager of "over a decade".
Early on, we found a book that we liked. It was called Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus and it was written by a self-help guru named John Gray Ph.D. In later years, we would be disappointed to discover that the Ph.D. portion of his title came from an unaccredited university, that he lived a good chunk of his life as some sort of new-age monk, and that John Gray was, in general, not the sort of Ph.D.-holder we were looking for to save our relationship. But for those first blissfully ignorant few years, we thought the book made sense and attempte…

Oh Captain, My Captain!

This one's going to be short and sweet. I know that's a little ironic considering I've already been MIA for the better part of a week now, but look what the Captain bought me!! Yes, it's a Cuttlebug!!
The Captain is funny about the whole Christmas gift-buying thing. If he knows I want something but I don't ask him for it, he'll go out and buy it for me, all excited and pleased with himself because he knows it will be a fun surprise. But if I make the mistake of actually mentioning that I want something (or, say, listing it right in my blog), for him the fun kind of dissipates and he doesn't bother, preferring to think of something else all by himself. So I wasn't surprised when I didn't find the Cuttlebug sitting under my Christmas tree, what with the fact that I've brought it up, oh, 245 times a week for the last year. But this week, it went on sale for a fantastic 50% off at Michaels, and in a convenient coincidence, I'm also in the midst …


The thing about New Year's resolutions (for me, anyway) is that I wake up on January 1st, make some dramatic proclamations about eating healthier or cleaning up this pigsty once and for all, and begin my year with a clean, crisp idea of what will be achieved. And often, I do accomplish these things. But it's the two or three days after New Year's Day that kind of do me in. After I've picked the goals for the year that are important to me, a few more start creeping into my head and I mentally add those as "unofficial" New Year's resolutions. Then I add a couple more. And before you know it, my head is spinning with all the things I have to pull off over the coming year. One came to me today after I read a prompt on this blog. Check it out--it's very cool.
Last spring, I had a car accident. In the past, I've scratched the truck trying to get it through the back gate, and I did have one fender-bender early on in my driving career, but this was nothin…