The Children Have Officially Eaten My Brain!

So being a busy, scatterbrained mom I tend to be running a little behind, and it’s quite a feat to actually get anywhere on time. But today I set a new record…I can’t say for being on time really…but for extreme earliness.

I was determined, whatever it took, to make it to my dear friend Penny’s retirement dinner. She has been the secretary at my midwifery clinic for all my 6 children, so she has known me since the earliest days of my motherhood. She has always been there for me with her attentive warmth and kindness. I really wanted to honour her today by coming with a hug, a gift, and a poem.

So I scrambled to find babysitting, called up and down my phone list, and finally found help in my kind upstairs neighbours. After getting the kids ready for bed and settled in with a movie, I threw on a dress, necklace and heels and ran out the door. Literally.

On the sky train I wrote Penny’s poem: “My Penny is Worth a Million Bucks,” grinning that I got it done just on time…then I scooted as fast as my heels would carry me, scrambling down shortcuts and asking directions from friendly folks outside their house.

By the time I got to the pub I was over an hour late…but better late, than never, right? Inside it was very quiet and none of the staff had heard of Penny’s retirement dinner. At all. Oh, dear….
Beginning to worry I checked the online invitation. I’m sure it was on Wednesday, I’m sure! Oh! Oh! It was next Wednesday. Which is also next month! I was one week early, and not even in the right month.  A world’s biggest idiot sign glowed brightly above my head as I slunk quietly out the door.

That’s it!  The children have officially eaten my brain. What was left of it. No wonder they’re hungry all the time! Anyway, kicking myself and laughing I took a selfie to prove my ridiculousness:

  Then, like a good mom with free time on her hands, I went a shopped a sale at Gymboree, and brought home some summer clothes for the kids.  And then like a good blogger I worked on this post on the bus ride home. Now I just have to work on being a good invitation reader…

Well, I hope this made Katie from Australia laugh, because she writes the best “fail” posts, and this day was sure a big belly flop! But if it made you laugh than it was a worthy misadventure…

(See Katie’s crazy stories if days gone wrong at https://laptopontheironingboard.wordpress.com/category/fail-2/)

And at least I got Penny’s poem done…in my traveling studio….ehem, sky train….which is actaully a much less distracting atmosphere than my house.
Tomorrow, after I put my silly self with my sore feet to bed, I’ll share Penny’s poem with you all.

Goodnight, sleep well, and may your brain be with you!

(I hear it’s nice…)

Beware the Silver Soup Pot and Other Nonsense

Because of recent reports of a serious shortage of ridiculous nonsense on my blog, and lest you think it’s all doom and gloom in Crazy Land, I thought I would remedy the situation by telling you about all the silly posts I’ve thought about writing lately, but haven’t yet.

I thought about telling you many silly things, like how my house looks like a band of roving toddlers frequently celebrates raves in it, or that Santa crashed into it, with his entire sleigh of presents, and then left (not “Nice!”). But then I though I’d better clean up the mess instead of drawing cartoons of it.

One of my cartoons was going to be of me homeschooling the kids in the midst of the chaos. My husband would walk in the door and look a little stunned. Then my speech bubble would say, “Clean? Who me? I’m just the tutor!”

But I tried to make the right choice (at least a few times.) Scrubbing floor vs blogging. Ugh. Dirty floor, here we come. Hmmm, sometimes it’s no fun to be responsible. But don’t worry, I won’t let it happen too often!

I also thought about telling you about the incident with the soup pot. Sounds very innocent, doesn’t it? A pretty shiny silver soup pot. But you’ll see. It’s awful.

We walked in the door from an outing to be hit by a terrible stench. “Oh, yuck, I should’ve taken out the garbage with diapers,” I thought. So I did. No better. Must be something in the sink. Did dishes. No better. What is it?!

Then I checked the silver soup pot which had been sitting, looking pretty, on my stove all week, or possible since the Stone Age, I couldn’t be sure. Aaack! Broccoli from outer space with mossy tentacles , growing rapidly and certainly soon to be developing artificial intelligence, nourished by the primordial sludge of aqueous goop it sat in.

THE WORST SMELL EVER!!!

And I’m a mom, so I’m an expert in stinkage. I even feel sorry for the other nasty compost I rapidly dumped it on. It could be used as a deterrent for robbers. Just leave an open pot in front of your door. If the stench doesn’t stop them, they’ll trip on the pot, slip in the goop, and meet a ghastly demise in your entranceway.

…I think I may have watched “Home Alone” a few times too many as a kid. Possibly only beaten by “Ernest Goes to Camp” and “The Princess Bride.” All of which explains my highly refined sense of humour (i.e. the stupider, the better)…

So beware the covered silver pots sitting on your stoves. You never know what might be lurking within their deceptively shiny walls. And while we’re on the topic of animate kitchen utensils, you’d better watch this fabulous musical kitchen jam by the Muppets’ very own Swedish chef. Crank it up, and don’t forget to dance! 😉 It’s a very effective cure for moodiness known as “Muppet-Therapy.” But more about that another time…

The Muppets: Pöpcørn – YouTube

Summer Evening Sunshine

20140727-162715-59235026.jpg

Wow, it’s been a year since I registered with WordPress, and my blogging journey began. To celebrate this, I’m going to publish the first post I composed on my blog, which never made it out of the draft box until today.

Blogging has been so good for me, because it’s helped me to write so much more regularly, and to feel more confident. Writing is now easier and more fun, especially because of being connected to a great community of fellow readers and writers online. Thank you all for each word of encouragement.

I actually feel comfortable calling myself a writer now, which is new, and have even had a few short articles published in a paper. Hurrah! 🙂 It seems the more I write, the more opportunities to write come, and I’m very happy and grateful for this. Here’s a little snippet with my name in print!

20140727-162714-59234743.jpg

I encourage anyone who has some crazy artistic idea they are afraid to try to give it a shot, because amazing things are possible. You’d never imagine what you’re capable of and what great opportunities may come unless you try.

So here’s that first post my then trembling fingers never hit publish on. All the best to my fellow writers, and cheers to all of my wonderful readers! I’m so glad you’re sharing this adventure with me!

Summer Evening Sunshine

20140727-165412-60852177.jpg

After a long day of meals and snacks and diapers and messes, stories and games and breaking up squabbles, it is the most beautiful thing to sit in the evening summer sunlight in the garden, surrounded by bees and flowers, just drinking it all in.

My big girls are jumping on the trampoline–getting along for the moment–and the baby is sleeping. One toddler is snuggling on my lap and the other is wandering about naked, eating raspberries like a chubby, curly haired garden gnome.

Moments like this, worries of the world seem far away and irrelevant, having faded in the mellow warmth and simplicity of the summer evening.

Pausing from the endless seeming cycle of distracted multitasking, I am finally quiet enough to be aware of this divine beauty that has escaped me until now, and in this moment, feel connected to eternity.

Writerly Ramblings: On Not Blogging Enough Lately

20140622-210430-75870941.jpg

So for one reason or another, like in the Baby Blues cartoon above, I’ve been letting the usual business take over more lately, and haven’t been blogging very often for the last few weeks. It’s very easy to find something else more urgent on my to-do list (anything that stinks or screams jumps right to the top), but constantly choosing something more pressing than pressing publish is having it’s effect. If I went to a specialist my appointment would go like this:

“What seems to be the trouble , ma’am?”
“I haven’t been myself lately…I’m more irritable and impatient, and I feel like adrenaline is always rushing through my veins, even late at night and early in the morning…”
“I see…and have you been blogging lately?”
“No, not much.”
“No ideas?”
“Quite the opposite. Words are buzzing around my head at night. I’ve got so many ideas I can’t choose which one write about next, or even if I make a draft, which one to publish.”
“Aha! It sounds like you are suffering from an unblogged duct, caused by an excess of ideas and a deficiency in publishing them.”
“But I don’t know where to start…”
“Well, the best remedy for unblogged ducts is to write something, anything, and publish it as soon as possible. This will help overcome this flare-up of perfectionism, and get things flowing again.”
“Thank you, doctor. I’ll get write to it!”
“Once you hear that little sparkle sound of a WordPress notification of someone’s comment on your iPad, you’ll start feeling yourself again.”

So here I am, imaginary doctor’s orders, writing. And I’m glad. I’ve been missing you all. You might think that writers are solitary creatures, only concerned about crafting words in the dark loneliness of a late night office. But the opposite is true. Writers have a great need to connect, to share their experiences, to inspire and be inspired, to encourage others and to be supported themselves. It’s about people ultimately…

20140622-205103-75063443.jpg

I’ve been wanting to tell you about our giant expedition to the park with Uncle Winston, about the inspiring homeschool conference I attended, about the Father’s Day dinner at a Chinese restaurant that ended by me being peed on by the baby, about my new Barefoot Books home business that I’m so excited about, and about all the crazy things my almost four year old has said lately, among other things. So hopefully I’ll get to all these things very soon, and let’s hope this post gets things up and running again!

And for anyone else who has been putting off writing lately, get to it! You’ll feel a lot better…

20140622-202809-73689879.jpg

I’ll tell you all more about it soon, but for anyone who wants to check out my new Barefoot Books site, here’s the link. Hope you’ll love these books as much as my kids do!

Barefoot Books: Colourful, Cultural Books for Creative Kids

20140622-211937-76777913.jpg

First Snowdrop: Tiny Signs of Spring

20140129-223446.jpg

This beautiful delicate snowdrop, pushing its way out of the rubble of mushy brown leaves, sticks and manure, to let its little pure white head glow in the sunlight, is a sweet sign that spring is slowly coming, that hope for renewal after winter is alive. A sign that even when life makes us face our worst fears, such as the death of a loved one, we can come out of the haze of sadness with eyes that still see the beauty of the world.

I dedicate this picture to my great friend and fellow blogger Monique Leblanc, the one who inspired me to begin sharing my adventures in Crazyland. I offer it for her especially, because she recently passed the due date of her son Hilary, who was born asleep half way through her pregnancy. His appearance was like this snowdrop, brief and achingly beautiful.

I offer it also because she has recently moved from the balmy west coast to the frozen (but friendly!) fields of Saskatchewan, and is much more likely to be seeing snow ploughs than snow drops at this time. The great thing is that she thinks this is fun! 🙂

I want to honour her unfailing friendship, her joyful sense of adventure, and her great dedication to her family. She has been for years, and always will be, a wonderful inspiration for me. She embraced me and believed in me when we first became friends, and has never ceased to love and encourage me. Cicero said so poignantly:

What sweetness is left in life if you take away friendship? Robbing the world of friendship is like robbing the world of the sun.

I was afraid of losing her closeness when she moved away, but instead feel closer to her than ever, thanks to the phone, and her uncanny ability to know when I just really need to talk to her. As Anne Shirley said so well: “True friends are always together in spirit.”

Blogging has also helped us to stay close as we try our hands at writing and jump into this wonderful online community together. Check out the awesome blog she writes with her husband Ryan at thelasttimechange.blogspot.ca/

Life can be tough, but if you have a good friend to laugh and even cry with, everything is ok. It gives life a stability that can sustain you through the roughest waters, and help you laugh over your little daily disasters with someone who knows you better than you know yourself. Our old buddy Cicero agrees:

Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.

I hope all of you have friends like this. Have you told them lately how much they mean to you?

20140201-090158.jpg