Thursday, January 31, 2013

Twenty Four

I often wonder what a typical day in people's lives look like. Not the special days, just the basic "ordinary" day. Yesterday I took the pains to write down almost everything I did and it looked something like this:

6:30am -Get up, have coffee, check emails and blogs, read paper.
7:30am -Get dressed, start breakfast. Hash browns in the waffle maker(interesting) one egg, toast. Take recycle out to the garage
8:30am -Start bread, make bed, wash breakfast dishes and clean up kitchen
9am -Athena starts her math, I look over my daily 'to-do' list and realize
that the cat snuck into the garage when I took out the recycle and
she is crying at the door because she is freezing. She spends the rest of the morning curled up on a heating vent. I fill up Athena's vitamins
for the week.

10am -Punch down bread and shape it into loaves. Talk on the phone to my  expectant daughter who is doing laps in the mall to bring on labour.
Athena watches her 20 minute episode of TreeFu Tom.
10:30am -Athena sits at her modelling clay table and listens to Pippi      
Longstocking. Our first book on CD. She loves this. Thanks to Sarah
and the Read Aloud Revival. I put the bread into the oven, set the
timer for 33 minutes, run down to the treadmill and start a 30 minute
program. The cat watches me.

(I swear I cut the dough exactly in half but every time one loaf is markedly larger)

11:00 am- Back upstairs with 29 seconds to spare until the bread is baked.
Back to the classroom for spelling, Latin and Copywork.
Noon -Athena starts to make a thank you note for her Aunt and Uncle for a birthday gift she got in the mail. I go outside in -36C to pick up dog
poop ( I do this each and every day so there are no surprises in the spring) and shovel the walk so the paper girl won't just throw the paper in the snow like she did this morning. Brrr.
12:30 - Lunch. Salad, leftover pizza and cold chicken drumsticks.

1:00pm -Science. Continuing our winter study. Snowflakes, sun dogs, ice and
 quinzees. How fitting.
1:40pm -Have a heated discussion with a telemarketer from a collection agency
that calls every day leaving messages on the phone for someone we do
not know. This is the third time we have tried to get our number 
off of this list. She says we are not calling your number even though
I pressed redial to get a hold of them in the first place. (not my proudest moment)
2:00pm -Deposit Athena's piggy bank money into the bank. $50. There is a
machine at Safeway in the city and all you do is dump your coins in
and they sort and count it and give you the cash. All for a fee of 12%.
A bit costly but Canada is getting rid of the penny and she had 900 of them the tally said. Well worth the time saved. Pick up a package at the post office, get mail, chat with the post mistress. Drop of books at the
library. Chat with the librarian. Go to the corner store for milk and cheezies for the girl. (Don't judge)
2:45pm -Attempt to type a reply email to my sister in law while my fingers
are frozen solid.
3:00pm - Athena starts to read a book she got at the library and eats the
cheezies. I go upstairs to my yoga studio and practice.

4:05pm - Finished yoga, Athena is scooting around the kitchen and my daughter calls to say she is NOT in labour. While I am talking with her Paul callsto tell me he will be late. Again. And while I am talking to him, my oldest daughter calls to chat as she got off of work a bit early today. While I talk with her I sliced both loaves of bread and bagged them,put away lunch dishes (oops) and did some dinner prep.
5:20pm -Take Athena to dance class in this FREEZING COLD.
5:40pm - Paul gets home from his road trip. The dog starts bawling because
she is so happy to see him. Most of the time you can find her in her kennel in the depths of despair when he is away overnight. I finish getting dinner ready.

6:15pm - I pour a glass of wine and visit with Paul who has just come back from picking Athena up from dance. Supper simmers.
6:40pm - We eat dinner (a few minutes late. Usually it is 6:30) and share all
the stories from our days.
7:45pm- I run Athena's bath, Paul does dishes.
8:30pm - Athena gets her bedtime massage and cuddles from me and then I
go downstairs and pick up my knitting. My left hand aches a bit and hope it is not Arthritis and know it isn't. It's just the constant chill in the air.
9:30pm - I go have a shower. A long shower to warm my chilly bones.
10:00pm - Bed. I am thinking about my daughter and wondering if there will
be a new grandbaby tomorrow.
5:00am - I get a phone call from my 8 year old granddaughter to say Mom is in
the hospital and she puked. Today is the day!!!

UPDATE: IT'S A GIRL! (that makes 8 in a row for our family and number 9 girl is due in May)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Deep Exhale

I don't even know where to begin as I sit at my desk and write this post. Sigh. Suffice it to say, our 3rd home choice did not work out. I am not upset. I am too much of an optimist to be upset about something like that. My frustration lies in the interim. The big space in between. The unknown.
I am 100% not a big city girl. Woman is a better word I guess. Middle aged woman to be precise. I was born in a city. Not a big city, but a city nonetheless. I hesitated to get my driver's license when I turned 16, in part because my boyfriend,(who is coincidentally my husband) drove me everywhere and in part because I didn't think I'd like to drive in a city. When I turned 21 I decided it was time. So my husband took me to the DMV in our station wagon (not kidding!) with no less than 3 car seats strapped in the back (still not kidding) and I went for my test. I passed. Hopefully because of my driving skills but it could have been out of pity. (See above parentheses).
I am a little off track here but I do emphasise... I AM NOT A CITY girl  woman  middle aged woman.

As you may or may not know, we are looking for a new home near North Battleford, Saskatchewan. (Stop your eye rolling you Saskatchewanites) Paul's job requires we move there. I have told you before what my dream is. And then I told you about plan B. And more recently we decided to look at a house in the city. (gasp) A small city of 14,000 but still... a city.


I told you some of the reasons why a small town would be better and then I went on to think that a city might be okay. I wondered to myself, and out loud to my daughter if I might be seen as someone who flip-flops. Undecided. Flitting from one idea to another. And I am not. Really and truly I am not. I KNOW what I want deep down in my very soul.

I want to live on an acreage. Country living calls to me. The trees! Oh how I love trees. The animals. The birds. The wide open spaces! These are the things I dream of and migrate toward.

And chickens. I want to have some laying hens. We love eggs. We get farm fresh eggs now, (thank you Clint) but the joy and satisfaction of having your own flock and collecting you own eggs.

What gnaws at me and gets me thinking is Little Miss A. Punkie Pie. Will she be lonely out there? Then part of me says she'll only be with me for another 10 years or so. This will likely be my last chance! I know that if she needed more interaction with peers, she could opt to go to school. Right now I think she would rather chew glass. And so I imagine each scenario in my head. One thing I know, I am really good at creating a life wherever we are and I will be good at it wherever we go.

But please, take a peek at a few of my book shelves and tell me, do I give up my lifelong dream for my girl? Or do I throw caution to the wind and let the cards fall where they may and gracefully face head on whatever comes our way.

PS I think these two brats would go with the country home.
PPS They are getting along much better now. Thanks for asking. :)

And yes, that is Athena's scooter in the kitchen. She scoots around the table at least a half hour a day.
(first four images from Google)

Monday, January 21, 2013


More and more I have been appreciating the weekends.This new year, I set some pretty definite intentions. One of them was to take an entire day off. Usually Sunday.
This is quite new to me but not really a novel idea is it? People have been doing this for a long, long time. I did it once back in, what I like to call "the Christian days". And it was very refreshing.
I used to use Sundays as a day that I could get a jump on Monday. Change beds, throw in some laundry,school planning.Things like that. But now I have been reading, having an afternoon bath, practice yoga, hiking, skating. We even asked a family we barely knew over for dinner, and it was great! (Although that did take some scrambling to put together a dinner for 5 extras with just a few hours notice!) It has been great. I highly recommend it.  Taking Sundays off that is... and inviting strangers to dine with you.
This past Sunday we had Athena's 9th birthday party. Paul took her and her cousins (and their daddies) out for lunch and mini golfing. I went out for lunch with two of my adult daughters (their mommies). It was the first time in 30 years of being a mother that I was not in attendance at the party. And I was okay with that. See? It's the new me! Trying new things. Finding different ways of thinking. I am liking it.
(One of these lovelies is recovering from the flu. One had a pukey day last week and Athena is just coming down with a cold. Poor things.)

(Doesn't keep them from being goofy though!)

(Don't I have the sweetest little granddaughters? Yes, I thought you'd agree.)

 Did I mention she is 9 already? Our oldest daughter turned 30 (30!!) on the weekend too. (I am 47 years old so you can do the math. ;))
(And the new friends we made. Such fun!)
The weather turned cold over the weekend. We had melting temperatures just the day before and on the weekend -40C with the windchill. Still, I took the time to go fill feeders and I am glad I did. It was like a feeding frenzy! Chickadees, Nuthatches, Pine Siskins, Sparrows and Redpolls were all gathered around within minutes.
And this pair of Pine Grosbeaks was the icing on the cake. New to our feeders this winter and this is the first time the male was brave enough to come around. Beautiful.

And the tiny redpolls. So cute and... red. They are one of my most favorite winter birds.


Another thing about weekend is that I am afforded the time to stand at the side door, drink my coffee and watch the sunrise. The color floods the sky and makes a wonderful start to the day!

And now a new week has already started. I have a little one with a cold so she is spending the day in the bath tub, on the computer, on the chaise reading and watching some DVDs. She is sick so infrequently that she is unaccustomed to so much resting. She said to me "Oh so this is what we do in our house when someone is unwell? I like it!"

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Nine years old.
Sometimes it seems like yesterday this girl came into our lives.
Her favorite things:
Color: Purple
Book: The Little Prince
TV Show: Tree Fu Tom
School Subject: Handwriting
Favorite Breakfast: Waffles and Pancakes
Favorite Dinner: Spaghetti and Meatballs
Favorite Thing to Do: Any Screens (oh brother!) and playing outside.