August 24, 2009

Be Careful What You Wish For

I've always felt that I missed out on a basic female relationship because I don't have a sister. I pine for someone to help me pick out my clothes for big events, for someone to hang around and drink coffee with me and bitch about life's little annoyances, someone to shop with, someone I can call up and they'll always be available. Someone who will build me up when I'm down and bring me down when I get too full of myself. Someone who is always there and who loves and accepts me for being me.

I always wished I had a sister.

In high school I used to travel with a friend's family at March break. We each had a brother two years younger, but no sisters. We both wished we had a sister and decided we might as well pretend.

We used to tell people we were sisters. We didn't look all that much alike, she was much taller than me and we had very different facial features. But her father and my mother are both naturally red-haired and we both look like the non-redheaded children of redheads: fair and freckled with natural twinges of red in our dark blond hair.

When we told people we were sisters, they always believed us.

We have very different lives now but we keep in touch. She told me recently that she believes we've known each other in past lives; that we actually were sisters in some long distant, other past.

She and I have a very different way of looking at life. I'm not sure if I believe in reincarnation but when she tells me we were sisters, I want to believe her.

People sometimes claim to have seen me places I've never been. When this happens, they always accuse me of behaving in way I never would.

In my first year of university, I was living in residence and failing miserably at fitting in. The rooms in the basement of my coed residence were all occupied by male students. The basement rooms quickly became party-central and the basement boys formed a fraternity-like bond. A few months into the school year, I attended a party in the basement. I was sitting watching a card game when one of the basement boys sat down next to me.

He smiled a knowing smile and asked, "How are you feeling today?"

"Fine. Why?"

"I just wondered because you were so drunk last night."

I looked at him, confused. "No I wasn't," I said. "I don't drink."

His smile changed to a frown. "You're lying. You were down here last night and you passed out in my friend's room."

I shook my head, "That wasn't me."

He looked around and called out to another of the basement boys, "Was Mel down here drunk last night, or not?"

His friend looked at me. "I don't know. Whoever it was sure looked like her but if she says she wasn't, I believe her."

"I don't," said his friend, "it was her."

"It wasn't me!" I was starting to get annoyed, "I've never been drunk."

He rolled his eyes, "Whatever." He got up and I was left alone, wondering who had been in the basement, drinking until they passed out while wearing my face.

Years later, in Toronto, I was out at a pub with some friends. It was my first time visiting the pub, which was some distance from both my home and my school. The waiter handed us our menus and smiled a knowing smile in my direction.

He came back a few minutes later and took our drink orders. My friends and I all ordered cokes.

He grinned and said with a wink, "A coke? That's not what you were drinking last night."

I squinted at him in confusion, "What?"

He smiled, "You were here last night with a group of friends. I guess you don't remember because you were pretty drunk."

"That wasn't me. I've never been here before."

He insisted, "Yes you have. You were here last night. I never mistake a face."

I sighed inwardly and decided to just go with it.

"It must have been my twin sister. She and I haven't been in touch in years but I think she lives nearby."

I ignored my friends' shocked faces and went on with my story.

"She's pretty wild," I told him. "Not at all like me," I smiled.

He smiled back, "She sure is! She danced for half the night on that table over there and had to be carried home by a bunch of her friends."

"Yeah. That sounds like her."

He went off to fill our order and my friends asked me why I'd made up a fictional sister.

I explained that this wasn't the first time this had happened to me and that I was tired of not being believed when I told people it wasn't me they'd seen. "I'm just so tired of being accused of showing up and passing out everywhere I go, so I invented a sister to take the blame."

I always wished I had a sister.

But instead of the close friendship I craved, I got a wild, drunken pseudo-sister who preceded me to parties and restaurants and created an undeserved party-girl image everywhere she went.

Somehow it's just not as satisfying as I thought it was going to be.

Lesson learned: Be careful what you wish for.

Thanks to Erin at The Mother Load for this award:

I great big pink fluffy heart adore Erin. Head on over to her blog and tell her I said hi!

I'd like to pass this award on to everyone who loves art, dance, theatre or design.


August 21, 2009

This One Goes Out to My Mother-In-Law

Whenever make-up comes up in conversation with my mother-in-law, she asks me, "Why don't you at least wear a bit of lip colour?"

I don't normally wear any make-up at all and I guess my MIL, who is always rocking a lovely shade of lipstick, thinks I need some.

So this one goes out her.

Me before make-up

I've got my lipgloss.



And voila!

What do you think? Was my MIL right?


August 20, 2009

Peanut Free Snacks from PC

I was sent a big bag of President's Choice peanut free snacks to try.

For the record: I did not pay for these snacks but I am not being paid to write this, I was not told what to say, this is my actual opinion.

I agreed to try these products because my sons' school doesn't allow us to send anything with nuts, peanuts or seeds in their lunches and I actually buy and like the PC products. It's a good match for my life.

Okay? Are we good?


Here's what I received:

● Crispy rice marshmallow squares
● 3 boxes of little snack cakes: Brownies, carrot cake and banana cake with chocolate chips
● 3 boxes of Soft & Chewy cookies: Oatmeal raisin, oatmeal cranberry and oatmeal chocolate chip
● 2 boxes of Blue Menu Wheat Bran bites: Maple & brown sugar and banana bread
● Dipped & Chewy granola bars: chocolate fudge chocolate chip
● Mini Chef's Teensy Weensy muffins: Chocolate chip, banana and blueberry
● PC blueberry cereal bars

I was excited to have the chance to try these products out. We shop at PC and use many of the PC brand products, especially Blue Menu. I was disappointed when I first opened the package of peanut free snacks because they weren't healthier. For the most part I'll be sticking with the PC products I already buy for the kids' lunches: Unsweetened apple sauce, cheese string, wheat bran bites (which did arrive in the package), dried fruit snacks, etc... I also really like the PC Blue Menu nitrate free sandwich meat.

On with the review:

The healthiest snacks we were sent are the wheat bran bites, which I did buy last year and sent to school with my kids. My kids won't eat the banana flavour (of any of these snacks), but the maple is tasty. They can be a bit dry and are probably best enjoyed with a glass of milk.

The Soft & Chewy cookies are very good. They're downright yummy and I like that they're packaged individually, making them so easy to throw in the boys' lunches as an extra little treat. Last year I was buying Bear Paws because of they were peanut free and packaged in individual servings. I found, though, that the serving size was too big for little kids. I'll be replacing the Bear Paws with these cookies this year, for sure.

I won't be putting the snack cakes in the kids' lunches but I just want to say, here for the record, that they're very tasty! Especially the brownies. Yum! I will probably buy them as a special desert treat every once in awhile (brownies with ice cream, most likely).

I will not be buying the muffins (okay, but not great), the granola bars (good but not my thing) or the rice crispy treats (the kids love them, but I'd rather make my own).

Does your child's school have a ban on certain foods? What snacks do you send in your kids lunches?


August 18, 2009

Ask the Reluctant Housewife

I've enjoyed reading posts by a few of my favourite bloggers which were based around questions their blog readers asked them.

I also enjoyed answering my readers' questions when I did 'Ask the Reluctant Housewife' as my 100th post.

So, one year and 310 posts later, I want to do it again. Answering your questions should give me an opportunity to tell some fun stories based on what you're interested in reading about.

Now all I need are the questions.

Ask away in the comments and I will answer with all the charm and TMI I can muster (very little of the first and probably more of the latter than is good for anybody).


August 17, 2009

First Kisses

Erin at The Mother Load shared a very well told story of her first kiss today.

So in honour of Erin, I thought I'd also share my first kiss story:

He said he wanted to show me something so I followed him down into the basement. It was chaos. The walls were framed up, but uncovered by Gyprock or plaster. Two by fours and tools were scattered everywhere. The floor was treacherous and unfinished, with exposed dirt and broken concrete. He watched me take it all in and laughed. "My father is putting an office down here for his business."

He sat on the edge of the unfinished window, leaned forward and whispered, "I'd like to kiss you."

I grinned, thinking it was a joke.

He leaned forward again and lightly brushed his lips over mine.

"Your lips are very soft," he told me.

I reached up and touched my lips, too shy to say anything.

He smiled, "Tomorrow I'm going to bring elastics to the bus stop and shoot them at you."

Later that night I told my parents what he'd said about the elastics. I had been worrying for hours about going to the bus stop the next morning.

My parents called his and a few moments later he showed up in our living room and apologized for scaring me.

The next day he was at the bus stop, but the elastics were not.

We never talked about the kiss. And I never told anybody.

Erin is trying to build up her followers list. Head over to her blog, read her first kiss story and follow her because - whether she's sharing her tips for living green, spinning yarns about herself and her twin girls, or explaining how to make proper Challah - she's always fun to read and she's very worthy of a follow.


August 16, 2009

5 Random Thoughts for the Weekend

Just because the world needs more cute.

1. Hubby has some guitar music open in a separate window on the computer. The song's title is 'Your ex-lover is dead'. Every time I glance down I get a little shock, despite the fact that I don't even have an ex-lover. (it reminds me of an evil fortune cookie)

2. Do you ever read and comment on people's blogs for months on end and wonder to yourself why you bother with commenting because your comments are never acknowledged? Obviously to follow a blog and comment for months or years at a time is a type of relationship and it kind of sucks when it's completely one-sided. To me, it feels like I'm off in the distance waving my hands, calling too softly for them to hear, "Notice me, notice me. I'm here."

3. If I'm making anyone feel like I described in #2, please let me know in the comments because it is the furthest thing from my intentions. Not that, you know, I'm important enough to make anyone feel that way... but, you know, just in case. For the record: I love comments. I enjoy the feedback and back pats they supply with every post I write. They're great and thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

4. I am pathetically down in the dumps today. Just kind of sad and mopey and lacking in initiative. It's probably PMS. Of course I will take your head off if you dare to suggest to me that it's PMS. Do not negate my mope with your anti-feminist diagnoses!

5. I just said to my husband: "It's not rocket science, it's just friggin' pizza." Why? Because I am just that obnoxious, that's why. Now you know. Blame it on #4 if you will, but be careful I'm not anywhere nearby when you do.


Thanks to Jenn at Jenny Says What? for this fab award:

I'm going to pass it on to the first 5 commenters on this post because they truly are fabulous.


August 10, 2009

Funhouse Mirror and More - A Visit to the Science Museum

Buddy was allowed to choose our activity for the day on Friday as a reward for being a good big brother. He chose to visit our local science museum and I chose to bring the camera.

We took pictures in the funhouse mirror:

The boys took a ride in an automobile:

Riding along in my automobile, my brother beside me at the wheel...

And a trip to outer-space to visit an astronaut:

Me: "Smile and say 'birthday cake'!"

Them: 'Hold your breath! There's no air in space!"

And did a bunch of other fab science-related stuff:

Visiting the thing (some kinda giant vacuum tube or something)

The tunnels (one of the boys' favourite things at the museum)

Light and image experiment


And in other news...

That evening we took a walk to drop some books off at the library and visit the playpark. Monkey had his kaleidoscope in his right hand and his polar bear in his left. He was running along the sidewalk and tripped. Because his hands were full, he wasn't able to catch himself and he landed on his face. Poor Monkey!


I picked him up and there was an enormous, bleeding scrape covering half his face. We carried him home to clean it up. After the clean-up I put a big Spiderman bandaid on his cheek. It was so big I had to trim the edge so that it wouldn't cover his nostril. I stood back and admired my work. All better, I thought, but Monkey was worried.

"Everyone's going to make fun of me with this bandaid on my face," he wailed.

I assured him that no one was going to make fun of him and we made our way back outside where his big brother took one look at his bandaid covered face and said, "Whoa! You look cool!"

Monkey's worries were instantly erased and we went on our way to the library and the playpark.


August 7, 2009

A Chicken With Four Legs

I wondered if I spoke too soon when I told Monkey that there's no such thing as a chicken with four legs.

We were celebrating Hubby's new job with a store bought chicken, a dutch chocolate loaf and a few small gifts (a new sweater and an aloe plant). Monkey and Buddy both had drumsticks and, when he'd finished his, Monkey asked, "I can has more of that chicken bones, Mom?"

I smiled and shook my head, "There are no more drumsticks, honey."

"Aw! I want more."

"Well, they're all gone. Sorry, doll. Chickens only have two legs, you know."

"Next time can we get a chicken which has four legs?" he asked.

"There's no such thing as a chicken with four legs."

A few minutes passed while we all chewed, then Monkey said, "Mommy, I wish the kids had a secret lab."

Yes, I'm worried I spoke too soon when I told Monkey that there's no such thing as a chicken with four legs.


Should I Post?

I feel like I have no stories to tell.

Or at least I feel like I don't have the words or the wit to tell my stories today.

Is it better to wait for creativity to strike or is it better to post for the sake of posting?

Last week sucked.

I was sick. Dizzy, coughing, exhausted: sick. It's stupid to be sick in the summer. It's ridiculous.

To make matters worse, I always feel self-conscious when I'm sick because when I tell people how I'm feeling they often ask, "You're sick a lot, aren't you?"

I hate that. In response, I either growl, "No," or frown and say, "No more than most people." Then I peer out from under my lowered eyebrows until they look away, uncomfortable.

I'm sure they wonder why I'm so annoyed.

I'm annoyed because I don't want people to think I'm sickly.

One of my greatest frustrations is that I can't control what people think of me. I want to come across as together, creative, intelligent, effective. Not sickly and pathetic or lazy and morose. And yet people always say, "You're sick a lot, aren't you?"

This week I feel normal, almost like my old self.

I feel fine. And yet when I tell people how I feel, no one says to me, "You feel normal a lot, don't you?"

Last night Monkey went to bed crying. It was late. We'd let the boys stay up and watch So You Think You Can Dance with us. The kids love the dancing.

I remember when Buddy was small, he came home from preschool and told me that boys can't be dancers. I told him that boys can most definitely be dancers and that men who dance need to be very strong because they often have to lift the women dancers. To prove my point, I turned to YouTube and we watched some ballet. So You Think You Can Dance has proven to Buddy that men can indeed be dancers and that dancers, both male and female, are amazing athletes.

We had Wednesday's show on our PVR and started watching it as we ate supper. When it ended we started watching the finale results show. At around 9:30pm, I noticed the time and told the boys they needed to get straight to bed and to sleep. It was way past their bedtime. Monkey, who was overtired and emotional, wasn't ready. He wanted to finish watching the dancing. He wanted his polar bear. His bug bite was itchy. It was NO FAIR! Stomp, stomp, stomp. Finally Hubby picked him up and carried him to his bed, tucked him in and told him to stay put.

He cried for a few minutes and I heard Buddy say, "Why are you crying, Monkey?" A mumbled conversation followed and then I heard Buddy reading Monkey a story. He read his brother to sleep and then crawled in his own bed and fell asleep, himself. I was so proud of him.

So today is Buddy's choice day. Buddy gets to choose the day's activity because he's such a great big brother. And a great kid. And a super reader. All that good stuff and more.


Special thanks to Mamma-Face of Blog Ignoramous for this lovely award:

I pass it on to everyone who comments on this post.


So that's it... My post for the sake of posting. My stories told despite my lack of words and wit.

So what do you think: Is it better to post for the sake of posting or is it better to wait for creativity to strike?


August 6, 2009

The Blog's Been Changed

Just so I can draw your attention to it:

Check out my blog.

I changed it.

It took a long time because I had to teach myself how to do everything as I went along.

Skills I learned:
● How to format the background images for the blog, the body and the header. And how to add edges to those images.
● Navigation bar - how to make the images and add the links and how to stick it in the header.
● How to match colours
● all the html
● a bunch of other stuff I can't bring to mind right now.

And that's all... I just wanted to point it out.

Let me know what you think... but be gentle I think I'm likely to be rather touchy about it. I'll try to be open to criticism, though.

Okay then.