Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Welcome T'mortons, Can I Take Yerder?

SillyMortalMama reminded me of something when she mentioned Chester Drawers.

A disturbing trend has been noticed at our local Tim Horton's. When the kids remark on it, I know it must be a fairly pronounced trend. Occasionally we'll use the drive-thru.

Welcome t'mortons. Can I take yerder?

Yes, I'm flattered to be welcomed to Tim Horton's. You most certainly can take My Order. Or-der. Two words: Your. Order.

Then, while you're at it, you may also make eye contact, you may put the lid on correctly after stirring my coffee and then pass it out the window to me. If you notice it dripping, do not sigh and roll your eyes as hot coffee trickles over my wrist and onto the ground while I scramble for napkins over in the glove box all because you lack the courtesy and common sense to prepare a coffee in the cup!

Also, if my coffee or-der totals $2.60 (large double-double and a medium triple-triple decaf) and I hand you $2.75, you are then obligated to return $0.15 to me!! Don't stand there looking out the window at me like you expect me to drive away without my change. What IS that? Such an attitude of entitlement. Unless, of course, I'm now expected to tip sloppy customer service?! I don't recall that memo.

Which reminds me of another story. Same Tim Horton's. I'd say a different employee, however, since they all seem to acquire the same drawled vernacular, it's hard to tell.

Employee: (while having chest and an elbow draped on the counter) That will be $4.60.

Customer #1: (opens wallet to get money)

Employee: Oh!! I take $20 tips you know!!

Customer #1: (ignore rude comment from Employee who continues to lean over counter and stare into wallet; hand over cash to pay) Thank you, Ma'am.

Employee: Ma'am!!?? You called me 'Ma'am'!! Hoooollllyyy! I should keep this $20 as a tip. 'Ma'am' is for old ladies! (turn to fellow employee) Hey Jessica, this guy called me 'Ma'am'!!

Customer #1 gets his change and moves on. Customer #2 approaches counter.

Employee: What can I getcha, Ma'am?

Seriously. How would you feel if you were Customer #2. I cannot believe the ignorance of some people. If this is how they behave at work, I am scared to think how they behave in the company of friends and family.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

This Week...

Here we have our week of planned activities. You will see that there is a strong Winter theme. In the midst of it all, we're attempting a bit of school-ish work and some de-cluttering.

Monday: Homeschooler's Skate at the local arena. Hang out at the arena for a bit. Hockey practice.

Tuesday: Swimming and Indoor Soccer. Stretch parental resources to accomodate two children, two activities, one car and one start time.

Wednesday: Out of town Sewing Workshop with fellow Homeschoolers.

Thursday: Afternoon Pond Hockey, weather permitting. Indoor Soccer.

Friday: Skate With The Braves. Family Date Night.

Consider yourselves updated. ;-)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

All Because My Closet Is Organized?! or What Spending Too Much Time Indoors Forced Me To Do.

So this is interesting....

Your Personality is the Rarest (INFJ)

Your personality type is introspective, principled, self critical, and sensitive.

Only about 2% of all people have your personality - including 3% of all women and around 1% of all men.
You are Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Judging.

RegularMom over at Like I Have Time For This was right. I didn't really want to hear: Your Personality Type Is Pretty Much Plain Old Run-Of-The-Mill. You boring bastard.


Being judging and self-critical isn't necessarily on my list of secret desires either. After hearing this, I thought I might go hibernate some more. But then, I intuitively realized that the Jehovah's Witness ladies were coming up the drive so I, being so principled as to understand my priorities, rushed to the basement and tackled some laundry. That made me realize what a mess my closet was and as punishment for my sloppy folding and indiscriminate piling, I had to tidy up. Well, who knew my idiosyncrasies depended upon the state of my wardrobe?!

Here's me with a tidy closet:

Your Personality is Very Rare (INFP)

Your personality type is dreamy, romantic, elegant, and expressive.

Only about 5% of all people have your personality, including 6% of all women and 4% of all men
You are Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving.

Thank you, if you've gotten this far. Sad, isn't it? I've resorted to random Internet quizzes. I've been feeling a lack of blogging mojo lately and this just proves it, I suppose.
Perhaps it's time to shake things up around here; clean out the cobwebs; slap on a fresh coat of virtual paint. We'll see. Hope all is well with you who regularly haunt me here. I'm checking in even if I'm not too talkative here.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ks Birthday

Ks 10th birthday was filled with a little more glitz and glamour than we traditionally have come to expect or plan for. That was fine and dandy for her - a newly 10 year old "pre-teen" <-- her words. Me, I'm actively fighting to keep them as young as possible for as long as possible.

Birthdays in our house involve a few gifts as soon as you wake up. Makes for great pictures. Really. Celebrating at Grandma M and Dr.G's house was no exception. (Birthdays in our house usually involve a few gifts and a family outing with a lunch or dinner of the celebrator's choice. This year, since we were in the Baltimore area, K chose to visit the National Aquarium - which we did on the 22nd. The rest of the festivities happened on Dec. 23rd, K's 'real' birthday.)

Grandma M, who was excited about our first holiday with her had gone all out. K, in fairly good spirits (and totally shocking us who know her truly introverted, never-preforming nature) donned the crown provided for the festivities.

There was some shrieking involved during the unveiling of the gifts. This one in particular is an engraved iPod Shuffle. It's a good thing B thought to load it and charge it before we left home.

A little later in the day, we ventured out for the traditional Cake Search. K seemed a little daunted by Grandma M's wielding of the fire extinguisher when it came time to eat said cake. Apparently Grandma's house is equipped with a fairly sensitive sprinkler system.

The day was ended with a surprise trip to Medieval Times for a dinner show. Go White Knight!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Post Holiday Santa Hat

A few years ago, I came across a pattern at that I liked. It's a chunky, crocheted Santa Hat. I whipped one up in short order, only to find that it was huge. This prompted me to actually read the beginning of the pattern which clearly states that it is sized to fit over a Santa Wig. And just who might wear a Santa Wig? A big, burly, Santa-ish man, don't you think?? I gifted the large hat to my dad, the only Santa-ish man I know.

I began another Santa Hat, this time, reducing the pattern - not really at random - hoping it would fit one of the kids. I was, surprisingly, successful. Surprisingly, because I was new to this whole crochet thing and I didn't really understand stitch gauge or modifying patterns.
Fast forward a few years to Christmas 2007. K and I were shopping before leaving for our Christmas trip and she found some very bulky, kinda sparkly white yarn. It would be great for another Santa hat. R had been wearing the finished one nonstop and K would like one. I figure it's a hat, we're in Canada, hats are good.
On our long drive, I crocheted my little heart out. Until I ran out of yarn. Still, I'm not very good at the stitch gauge thing. The project was postponed until after Christmas. Which brings us to now. I did play with the pattern again to size it down a bit. It seems to be a fairly forgiving pattern. The finished hat is chunky and big and very warm, probably due to the sheer amount of yarn in the band. A giant pom-pop pulls the hat over in a pleasing Santa-Hat style.
I wonder if this counts as getting ready for Christmas 2008?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Pics - Our Christmas 2007 Trip

Opening the travelling gifts from G. Christmas this year has officially begun - Dec.20/07

The sleeping quarters at Grandma Maddie's house.

The Lindt Chocolate store. Who knew?! And you can buy individual chocolates! In flavours we Canadians have never even heard of! Raspberry and orange. Raspberry and Orange!!!

A decadent way to end lunch on the 22nd.
Christmas Eve.

Christmas Day. More electronics. I fear I may never again see an unplugged kid. That's not true...they're pretty good at self-regulating. Sort of.

Boomer. Old crochety bachelor at the grand old age of 25. Unless you have food. Then he's charming.

Kellie. Lovely young chatterbox. Known to antagonize others.

Monday, January 7, 2008

A Short Story in the Life of Us

The kids chose to spend some of their Christmas money on a big book of Greek Mythology. They've been enjoying reading about Ancient Greek Culture and folklore, so it was a sure thing.

Today we skimmed through the book. We opened flaps and pored over the maps. We traced the mazes and just checked out the book in it's entirety. After all, it'd be a shame to spend the day on page 1 when page 8 might be all the more interesting.

So this evening when R was climbing around the living room, he banged the back of his leg and immediately went into the fall-down dramatics one might expect from an overtired, silly 8 year old.

"Oh, my Epimetheus Bone! Oh! I just cracked my Epimetheus Bone on the coffee table! Oh!"

I looked at him, wondering what on earth he could be talking about. Then it came to me in a split second: he'd whacked his Achilles Tendon. What a kid.

Not A Day In The Life

I was going to go with a "Day In The Life" type of blog for you today. However, I recall that I cleaned up after the dog in the melting backyard today. I'll spare you.

Today was a little school-ish. But then, I'd been prepping the kids by counting down the days until we returned to a regular schedule. We hit the couch for some reading. Cracked the math books so we can remember what they look like. Squeaked out a couple of thank-you notes.

Have I mentioned I'm not the world's most patient person? Not only that, but I have no capacity to tolerate trying things. Most days I experience a moderate degree of frustration and annoyance. I blame my dad. Today, I managed to keep my wits about me. I didn't lose my patience with the kids. Sure, I was frustrated once or nine times, but I kept a handle on it and we got through the day accomplishing quite a few things. You'd think that now that I am thirty-twmmphlth that I would be mature enough to just accept these things and move on. Nope. Daily Struggle.

We are in the midst of a melt. It's been steadily getting warmer over the weekend. Everything is wet. We saw a cloud move through our back field ground level. We've been having work done on our building. New siding, soffit, fascia and eavestrough. The workers haven't been back since a week before Christmas. The siding is mostly done, but no eaves trough. It's a gamble stepping out the door to see who gets the drip down the back of their neck. There's water piling up everywhere. I was enjoying our tall snowbanks. I think I'll miss them. But, Winter is only beginning, so hopefully we'll see the snow return.

The Christmas tree has been put away. I packed up the ornaments making sure to mark the kids' new ones with their names and the year. I am glad that when they grow up and have their own tree that they will have plenty of ornaments to decorate it with.

So, an early night for me. These 6:30 mornings catch up with you in the evenings!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Ravelry and Me

I've taken a few minutes over the last couple of days to delve into the new site. What fun! It's organization and networking all in one shebang.

There are tools there to keep track of everything you can think of concerning your knitting, your crochet or your compulsively collected stash of yarn. I think I'm supposed to say 'fiber', not 'yarn'. I can catalogue my needles. I can earmark favorite patterns I'd like to try out. I entered only one project in my personal notebook. It's a fun Santa Hat from that I'm making for K. R already has one. I can't believe the feeling of motivation that Ravelry is inspiring. Very cool side effect of all that organization!

Not only can I organize, but I've been poking around checking out the networking opportunities. I've joined a couple of groups relevant to my area. Although my small town doesn't yet have a group of it's own, there's one that's close. There's a certain anonymous comfort in knowing that I'm not the only one enjoying this new plaything on the 'Net. I've noticed there are swaps and take-along project groups to join as well. How's anonymous accountability for motivation!? Certainly better than not having any local real-life peers to share in your projects.

I think I'm going to have fun with this Ravelry thing. Off to work on the hat! Enjoy your weekend.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Ice Storm 1998 - My Pics

Here we are spending the day doing what we did during the Ice Storm of January '98: chatting, reading, hanging out, listening to the radio. In our area, the radio station was the saving grace for many people. The local radio personality stayed on the air for days on end taking updates and spreading the word. Through the radio updates, we knew where there was gas, propane, firewood, food, water and emergency shelter. We knew which roads were closed, where outside help was coming from and which services were providing door-to-door checks.

This is a pic of my backyard, looking toward the back of the garage portion of the house.

A little further afield, you can see a bit of the devastated treeline. This is my dad and my favorite dog ever, Jerry Lee.

Here we are still standing by the tractor looking toward the barns.

A very dark picture looking out the front door, past Jerry's head into the yard. The structure around the tree was our tree house. The ground was littered with branches, limbs and twigs. Really, you should be able to see much more open snowy yard. Surprisingly, the branches that came down didn't damage the house or the vehicles in the drive. There was a lot of clean-up to do once things settled down after the rain and ice. The whine of chain saws became commonplace. This particular tree was taken down the next summer - after R was born and my wedding approached in August of '99. Another big maple in the front yard is still doing ok minus a number of limbs. The birch seems to be permanently bowed and a small fir tree sprang back to grow up normally.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Ice Storm 1998 - 10 years

It was ten years ago almost to the day that the Ice Storm struck our town. It was both gorgeous and devastating. It was also memorable.

I awoke the morning the power had gone out beside a sleepy, new baby. My mom was sitting in my living room (I was living in an attached apartment at my parent's home in the country) waiting for me to wake up. I immediately noticed it was cold in the house. Mom had let me sleep in as I was a good heat source for the baby. K had been born on the 23rd of December. She was a mere two weeks old. My life was a fog of breastfeeding and diaper changing. My mom was doing her best to get her life to revolve around the grandchild's.

Long story short, we toughed it out at home for an hour or so. The neighbourhood was certain the baby would be getting cold any time so I packed up and headed next door in order to forestall the parental mutiny that was about to take place if I hadn't. My GP lived next door to my parents. The maternity nurse lived two doors down the other way. Our GP's house was equipped with a number of wood stoves, an excess of empty bedrooms and a well stocked freezer. Along for the ride was Mrs. GP, their neighbours on the other side and my extended family. We embarked on a week of eating like kings in order to use up the food that was thawing. The menfolk thawed ice for necessary water (flushing and bathing). The womenfolk reached deep into our ancestral instinct and prepared wood-stove-top meals. K was bathed nightly in a stockpot - not because nightly bathing was necessary, but to ensure everyone got a turn. As it turns out, babies are very entertaining in a house of 12 people with no electricity.

My uncles smuggled a generator to our home from Barrie, Ontario. It took them nearly 24 hours to make the usually 4 hour drive. They packed their own food and water as there was none available on the way. The generator was hooked up to my parent's home and then shared among the neighbours throughout the day so the pipes of the homes would not freeze. We got to know the hydro workers who worked to repair the lines and restore power on our road. To gas up the car meant waiting in line for hours - and only if you had cash - to hope there was still gas at the pumps by the time it was your turn. For a change of scenery, a stroll around the grocery store was entertaining and informative. There certainly wasn't much food to buy as the trucks stopped running and people had panic-shopped the shelves to nearly empty.

It was definitely an adventurous time. It was an important time as well. We learned about community and helping others and graciously accepting help for ourselves. To his day, I can call any of the people on my parent's road and they are ready and willing to help. We learned about being prepared and surviving without panicking (well, most of us, anyway). We learned about patience.

The pics here I gleaned from the 'Net. I'll have to scan in my own for you to see. I still see remnants of the Ice Storm here in town and out at my parent's place. The trees have no tops. They're sort of flattish across the tops - stunted looking. If you walk in the woods, you can still find half-downed trees, damaged from the weight of the many inches of ice. It was a memorable time. So much so that in my emotional post-partum state, I immortalized it by adding a weather related 6th name to my poor daughter's moniker. Yes, the poor thing has 6 names in total. Like I said, it was a memorable time.