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Showing posts from November, 2009

I'm A Wreckerator!

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Those who know me know that when I screw up, I like to screw up BIG. So there's nothing more comforting for me than to go lurking at Cake Wrecks to laugh loudly at the screw-ups of others.

One Sunday last spring, some stupid remarks by an idiot named Kanye West prompted a post over there with a children's book theme (to see this post, click here. You'll be glad you did.). When I saw my kid's favourite book featured in cupcake-cake form, I knew I had my cake theme for his next birthday. All I had to do was wait about six months.
Well, the 4-year anniversary of the day that joy and evil converged and came screaming out of my uterus has arrived! Yes! Rosemary's Baby is 4! And, just as I promised myself, the Very Hungry Caterpillar cake was the main attraction at dinner tonight!
So, for reference, here is the cake I aspired to copy:

And here is the cake I made:

This, of course, leaves me in a bit of a quandary. On the one hand, I could keep finding gorgeous cakes to replica…

150

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My 150th post should be something more than a hodgepodge of chatter...but it won't be. So, without further ado, I give you post #150!!

Firstly, our tree-trimming party. Firstborn enjoyed trimming the tree:


Rosemary's Baby was more into the hot chocolate.

And, don't most highly-anticipated family events end like this?


Or this?


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I've decided I need a new apron. The last one I made about a year ago in a very light fabric, and has ended up looking like this:


Gross. My plan this holiday season is to go through my fabric stash and find a nice DARK one for my next apron.
******** Speaking of crafts, I finally got around to making myself a beaded wreath for my front door. It's a little thin for my liking, so I'll work on the design and try again...someday. It'll do for now. ******* And, I have been remiss in thanking Tater Tot Mom for this award:


A fabulous award from a fabulous blogger! Thanks!!
******** Finally, despite my strict adherence to my no-impulse-purchases ru…

My Christmas Miracle Comes With Soy Sauce

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First, I'd like to thank everyone for their really lovely comments. There's no denying that this Christmas will be more of a struggle than usual, but knowing there are so many people out there pulling for me really makes me want to kick some Christmas butt and have the best damned holiday possible. And today, something has happened that is going to surely make that more likely.

Before we had kids, the Captain and I established a holiday tradition of our own. Like many Canadians, we started ordering Chinese takeout on Christmas Eve. We loved this tradition, and once the kids came along, it made a very hectic night just that little bit less stressful, because I didn't have to have a meal on the table on top of stuffing stockings and frantically wrapping gifts. Unfortunately, the last time we observed this tradition was 3 weeks after Rosemary's Baby was born, on Christmas Eve 2005.
By the following Christmas, we'd moved to the place we live now. It didn't take long …

Christmas Cheer

The last week has been a little insane.

First my close friend emailed me to say her husband was in the ICU on a respirator with H1N1. Things got bad enough early last week that he had to be put on kidney dialysis. His kidney and liver function was so weak, it was looking very, very bad there for a few days. The good news is that he has now turned a corner and, while he has a very long way to go, he is most definitely on the road to recovery. He is a great guy, and for this good news I am so very thankful.

Then came Friday. I got a phone call in the afternoon from the Captain's uncle. I could hear in his voice that something wasn't right. He didn't beat about the bush. The Captain's father had had another heart attack, but this time he hadn't survived it. It took me about 8 hours to get in contact with the Captain, and because he was so far from base, the satellite communications were terrible. He could hear me, but all I could hear was a dead line. I yelled down the …

Oh, Christmas Tree

I have just spent the last hour unwinding the lights on my pre-lit tree. I spent the hour before that trying (unsuccessfully) to find the loose connection that was stopping the big section of lights in the middle from working. At this point, my nice, fake, low-maintenance tree has taken about twice the work of a real one. And it isn't even decorated yet.

The tree arrived yesterday. I know I should've just taken it back, but once I had it together, the idea of taking it apart, packing it up again and lugging it back to the store with kids in tow was just too much to bear. Also, there is the slight possibility that the lighting malfunction may have had something to do with the fact that Rosemary's Baby, seeing a full-sized TREE in our living room, couldn't believe his luck and tried to climb it. Both he and the tree ended up in a horizontal position on the floor. So this one time, it may not be the fault of Sears. Though they still have a lot to answer for in the women…

Kids Say the Darndest Things...

When we moved to this house, it was largely to get our dogs to stop barking. Living on base or in the city, they'd sit by the window watching for bikes, or scooters, or passing children. And when they saw those things, they'd go bananas, barking and jumping at the window. I guess in the absence of any real threat to their turf, they had to find alternatives.

We moved out here where there was nothing outside the window but a highway and a big farmer's field, and we heaved a HUGE sigh of relief that there was nothing left for the dogs to bark at. So, you can imagine our irritation when, in the first five minutes of living here, they switched from bikes and kids to local wildlife. A squirrel scampers past, and they bark. A few birds drop in looking for crumbs, and they bark. A fox or deer stops on the front lawn and practically poses for my camera, and Rusty and Jerome make like they're going to bust right through the front window, scaring our guest off before I can even g…

And Now I'm a Grammar Nazi

The Suburban Princess has posted a grammar lesson today on when to use "I" and "me" in a sentence. It has inspired me to offer up a lesson on my own grammatical pet peeve.

Rest assured, I am not reading all your blogs and even noticing errors, let alone mentally correcting them with my imaginary red pen. I don't expect bloggers to follow the rules of grammar, and I'd rather enjoy the blogs I love sans judgement. But if you're interested, I figure I'll (finally) make minimal use of the English degree I got 15 years ago and share this little tidbit.

The one grammar error I see more than any other in my local newspaper looks something like this:

"The people that cause the problems in our community don't want to fix them."

or this:

"Mr. Brown is the person that people should see if they want gardening information."

So here's a very basic, very simple rule to remember: if you're writing about a person, you want to use the word &…

Drabby Pic and Recap

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First, here's a drabby pic of me breathing a sigh of relief that my children have gone to bed:





'Nuff said!


Now, onto my Remembrance Day recap.


I fought with myself for a few days about whether or not I'd go to our small town's annual ceremony. As the only military family in town with someone currently serving overseas, it'd look good for me and the kids to show our faces. And there was about an 8% chance of us getting through it quietly and without incident. On the other hand, that meant that there was a 92% chance of Rosemary's Baby ruining everyone's moment of silence by breaking free and noisily climbing the town war memorial while I frantically stage-whispered at him to get down. So in the end, I decided it was just safer to stay home. Small townsfolk remember these things and talk about them for years.


But I wasn't going to sit around the house in my pyjamas, acting like it was just another day off. Firstborn and I had talked about the meaning of Remem…

War Stories

With apologies to old hippies everywhere...

When I was a kid, we did a Remembrance Day assembly at school every November 11th. It was always the same. Our well-meaning teachers, who had come of age right at the time when Woodstock, love-ins and LSD were in vogue, yanked out the sheet music to such hippie-tastic numbers as "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" and put us to work celebrating the relative peace and freedom we continue to enjoy to this day.

I understand what they were trying to do, and I don't blame them for it. But I think those assemblies may have glossed over something very important. Remembrance Day is not about promoting peace. It's about remembering war.

On May 24, 1941, the HMS Hood was destroyed by the Bismarck at the Battle of the Denmark Strait. Some 1428 crew were killed, including my grandmother's little brother, a 21 year-old kid who, like so many others, had left the family farm to fight the good fight.

Every family has at least one story, from…

Moderation

Well kids, the time has come. Because I'm now so popular--or possibly because my profile picture is so sad and creepy--I'm starting to get a fair bit of spam offering to improve my sex life with Viagra and/or enlarge my penis. For the record, I'm happy with my penis just the way it is.

So, just so you don't think something's wrong when your comment doesn't immediately pop up, I'm enabling comment moderation. Bear with me here. This constitutes new and confusing technology for me and it may take a day or so to figure out. As long as you're not offering me sex toys, being blatantly abusive, or threatening terrorism, your comment will (eventually) appear.
William Shatner, this is your cue.

Comment Moderation...The Final Frontier...

Real vs Fake

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The Captain has only been gone 2 weeks. Already I've committed the ultimate marital sin.
You hear stories about the things wives get up to while the husbands are serving overseas. The wife who moves a new guy in the minute her husband's gone. The wife who clears out the bank account and does a runner. The one who takes all his extra tour money and spends it on new shoes. I never thought I'd become one of those nuts who does something crazy while he's away. But I have.
Yesterday, I bought one of these:

Okay, fine. For the average marriage, this is not the ultimate sin. But when the Captain finds out, things may get a little heated.
You see, the Captain grew up with a real Christmas tree in his living room every year. It's a tradition that is important to him, and one on which he will not compromise. I grew up with a fake one, so the idea of a real tree doesn't bother me too much. I admit, I like the gorgeous, fresh pine smell that fills the room when you bring it in…

Debt

Stephanie's Group Blog Thursday today is about freebies. I actually have very little advice to give on getting stuff for free. I do go to save.ca and print up coupons, and I do enter contests and giveaways when I can, but that's about the extent of me finding things for free. What actually made me want to post when I saw Stephanie's blog today was that she talked about her credit card rewards. And I have some very strong opinions (who ME?!) on credit cards.

When the Captain and I graduated from university and headed cross-country to find our fortunes, we were in some debt. Certainly not the kind of debt a lot of people come out of school with these days, but for two out-of-work kids with rent to pay, the $30,000 or so we did owe was overwhelming and caused us huge amounts of worry. So, when we both got good jobs that paid better than anything we'd ever had before, we set about the task of paying off that debt and acquiring some savings for the future. It was the best th…

I've Got This Theory About Muppets...

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Today being the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street, I've decided to share with you an insane little theory I've been working on for years. Let's see if you can figure out what it is.
When I was a wee thing, I loved Bert. Bert was my favourite of all the muppets. His bottle cap collection was so awesome. And all those paper clips! WHO has that many paper clips? The answer, some 30 years later, is ME! I'm an organization nerd. I like order, and I cannot relax in my own living room if it's a mess. I'm anal. I'm bossy. I'm cranky. I'm...Bert.
Sister #1 is just a year younger than me. When we were little, she liked the Count. She ended up being the more academically inclined of the two of us, and she grew up to become an actuary, which means she has a very intricate understanding of the world of finance. She doesn't live in a creepy castle with bats (though that would be cool), and she doesn't wear a black cape, but she might have a widow's pe…