Showing posts from October, 2008


Halloween greetings, all! Firstborn has just gotten on the schoolbus in his Superman costume and I'm preparing for an early evening of trick-or-treating before handing out a few treats myself. Frankly, I can't wait for November 1st. As a kid, I didn't really start trick-or treating until I was about 11. Before that, we lived in England, where that sort of thing just isn't done. But it didn't take long to figure out that it was the greatest candy-grab anyone could've ever come up with, and for the couple of years I was still young enough to participate, I looked forward to it, eagerly planning my costume from the first day of school in September. These days, I can't help but see it as one more thing to get through. It's a hassle having to put kids into costumes and strap them into the car (because we can't walk anywhere from here), then walk them all over some little neighbourhood, all the while having to rein-in Rosemary's Baby as he attempts to

Taking the Easy Route

Before we had kids, the Captain and I dreamed of living in the middle of nowhere, with a big chunk of land to call our own. The idea of growing our own vegetables, chopping our own firewood and working on an old fixer-upper was our idea of heaven. But after a couple of years (and a couple of winters) out here on the farm, I've learned something about myself that I think is pretty key. I am all about convenience. Today I will tackle the last 30 pounds of home-grown tomatoes. They will be stewed, strained through a seive, cooked down to a sauce and canned, to be stored in the pantry for those cold winter days when I want a taste of proper summer tomatoes on my spaghetti that you just can't find in a tin at Wal Mart. By the time Firstborn gets off the bus at the end of our driveway and demands an after-school snack, I will have finally finished the week-long process of canning a total of just over 100 pounds of tomatoes from our garden. And it's been hell. Last year, it was su

How Many Army Wives Does it Take to Screw in a Lightbulb?

Technology waits for no man, and this weekend marked a new scientific breakthrough for me. For the couple of you following my little blog, you may note that there has been a layout change, and I've also learned to include photos in my posts. While these skills are certainly basic, for me they're actually pretty exciting. But, as ever, my quantum leap also brought with it the inevitable frustrations that made me want to throw a lamp through a window. The Captain usually takes care of things like setting up the stereo system and fixing the computer when it unavoidably starts crashing every 4 months or so. So, when he's gone I like to steer clear of rocking the boat. If I can just keep the computer on an even keel, I figure I'm doing okay. But being a military spouse is about being independent, being able to fix problems yourself, even if they are what I like to call " Man-jobs ". So, this weekend, I decided it was time to stop namby-pambying around and figure ou

Test Picture

Here we have Firstborn and Rosemary's Baby on the sled hill our wonderful neighbour made for us last year out of snow from our driveway. If this makes it successfully into my blog, it will mark a technological breakthrough for me, and will open up a whole new world of opportunity in terms of my blogging! Proper post tomorrow!

Movin' Easy

There are advantages to having the Captain gone for weeks or months at a time. Sleep is a big one. No one is there to steal all the blankets, accuse ME of stealing the blankets, snore all night or (my personal favourite) decide at 3AM that he has insomnia, turn the lights on and start reading without clue-ing in that this might bother me. Food is another. I can go on whatever diet I like and not have to deal with his complaints when I refuse to keep potato chips in the house, and I can have cereal for dinner, cake for breakfast and eat at whatever time of day or night I please. But the best thing about the Captain's absence is, by far, the music. When our family is together, Saturday and Sunday mornings are lazy. We eat a big breakfast and rarely get out of our pajamas before 11AM. The kids eat, watch TV and play while we surf the internet or read magazines over a third or fourth cup of coffee. The atmosphere would be heavenly if it wasn't for the Captain's nasty little hab

Beating the Blues

The wedding is over, and the verdict is in. The bride was gorgeous, and everyone in attendance had a fantastic time. So, why do I feel like crap? It's not like I hoped it'd be a disaster in my absence. Quite the contrary. That everything went off without a hitch was the best news I could've heard. But there's something about hearing it from other people instead of witnessing it myself that has sent me into a bit of a downward spiral today. Yesterday, I felt a little miserable, but also like it wasn't the end of the world. I was at least able to focus on my most shallow losses. Today, the real disappointment of having no wedding memories to speak of has kicked in, and I just plain feel blue. Some people really revel in feeling depressed. They make sure everyone around them knows it, don't get out of their pajamas all day and cry into their ice cream bowls while watching old episodes of The Waltons . This doesn't do it for me. When I feel gloomy, I want out. N

LBD: The Only Surefire Way To Avoid Asking "What Was I Thinking?!!"

Today is an extremely important day for our family. My second-youngest sister (let's call her Sister #3--I have a lot of sisters...) is getting married today. And I won't be there. Suffice it to say that, with the Captain gone, Firstborn both in school and suffering from some pretty severe separation anxiety since his father's departure, doing the 40-hour round-trip alone with 2 small children just wasn't possible. It's at times like these that I question what on earth we were thinking plunging our little family into military life. But, what's done is done, and I will simply have to live with the disappointment of being absent from yet another family portrait. I could go on about this disappointment all day, all the important things I've missed, all the meaningful speeches I haven't heard and all those small moments that will never linger in my memory. But that's just not me. At this very second, as miserable as I feel for missing the wedding, what&#

My Dream Wedding

The Captain and I were fortunate enough to attend a wedding this past weekend. And, while it wasn't the wedding I desperately hoped to attend this month (I'm missing one next weekend and am gutted about it), I'm glad we went. With apologies to all the devout Roman Catholics out there, sitting on the groom's side of the church, we prepared ourselves for what we expected to be a mind-numbingly long mass. So, we were surprised to find ourselves in and out of there within about a half-hour, but this didn't mean the ceremony itself wasn't meaningful or thought-provoking. As usual, given a few minutes of quiet, I got to thinking. And what I thought about was my own wedding. Nothing was particularly wrong with my wedding. It was, in fact, quite nice. The Captain and I, being up to our ears in the kind of debt reserved only for students and idiots, couldn't afford a five-figure affair. So we accepted my father in-law's gracious (and likely drunk) offer to host o

Walk This Way

Well, at some point, I had to get around to this topic, and I can hold back no more. Shoes !!! I've noticed that there are two kinds of people in this world: shoe people and not-shoe people. My friend Thelma falls into the latter category. She owns something like five pairs of shoes. These would include running shoes, winter boots, work shoes and slippers. I can't remember what that fifth pair is for, but I'm guessing it's something sensible and utilitarian. I, on the other hand, cannot get through a day without thinking about shoes, and I own so many pairs, I could (hypothetically speaking, of course) never buy another pair and have more than enough to get me to the end of my life. And I'm assuming here that I'll live to a ripe old age. Off the top of my head, I can count about 50 pairs sitting in my closet, a quarter of which would be boots. Stylish boots, boots that are literally unwearable in my present life, boots with heels that'd make chasing Rosemary

Happy Families

I must respectfully disagree with Tolstoy's theory of happy families . I have a little experience here, having grown up in a happy, if unusual, family and, all biases aside, I believe my current family situation to be a happy one as well. But happiness within the family unit does not look the same wherever you go, and I think this is especially true for military families. Like me, the Captain did not step off the campus of his university on graduation day and fall into a lifelong career. He had a couple of false starts, and by the time he found his true military calling, we had been married for 6 years. Throw into the mix the fact that I was a week away from giving birth to Firstborn the day he left for Basic Training , and our initiation into army life, while perhaps fairly common for military families, didn't look a whole lot like anyone else's. The Captain is away right now. He is, in fact, away a lot. This year has been good, in that by Christmas he will have spent only

Naked Soccer, Grey Hair and the Three Year-Old

Whoever coined the term "terrible twos" didn't stick around to see three. No, this won't be a diatribe on some new horror that Rosemary's Baby has committed. He's still only two for another month or so, and he's been suspiciously inert where mischief is concerned these past few days, leading me to believe that he's going to come up with something mind-blowing this weekend. My hair turns greyer just thinking about it. But looking back to Firstborn's antics after he hit the big 03 gives me a little cause for concern. Today, he is a happy, basically well-behaved five year old. He was never as "busy" as his little brother, generally preferring to read books and sit still and play with things. But we had our fair share of "episodes" with him as well. I've already referred to the chocolate syrup debacle, and the vapo-rub disaster and that alarming hot pepper thing. But there were others. Entire bottles of baby powder sprinkled all

The Big Picture

The old school pictures. Whooda thunk that one day, my fluorescent-pink-sweatshirt-and-purple-feather-earring-wearing self would produce her very own subject for funny school pics? No one in my seventh grade class, that's for sure. Firstborn is in kindergarten. It's been a harrowing first month for me. On the first morning, before having to put him on the bus (and subsequently following it to school to make sure the centre of my universe arrived unharmed), I spent the morning bawling like an idiot. The end of an era, the beginning of the end of stay-at-home motherhood. I do, of course, have a couple more years here with Rosemary's Baby, and I'll make the most of that time, but waving bye-bye as Firstborn happily trotted off to his classroom that first day was devastating. But with the inevitable chore that is school comes some fun stuff too. A few days ago, he hopped off the bus and handed me his backpack, protruding from which was an envelope. An unmistakeably glossy e

Math Problems

Warning: I'm about to sound like one of those stand-up comics whose observational humour rocked the 80's and shaped the comedy of today. For this I apologize. WHAT is WITH those skill-testing questions you have to answer every time you enter a contest?! In magazines, online, even on kids' cereal boxes, it seems every contest out there requires you to do some multi-operational mathematical equation in order to be eligible to win. So, what, the mathematically challenged among us don't deserve awesome prizes we could never afford to buy ourselves? If the world wasn't already such a messed-up place, we'd recognize this as blatant discrimination. But it does beg a compelling question. Is there a government conspiracy to improve our math skills? Whoa, I think I got a little crazy there for a minute. In my last life, and there have been a few, I taught grade 6. In the district where I taught, there was a manditory professional development project we all participated i