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Stress Balls and Bumbles

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Tonight, I looked into the mirror and this is what I saw.

I am tense. It creeps in quickly. One minute I am happy and relaxed and then there it is; across the back of the neck and over the shoulders. What asks Mr. C, knowingly. I can not answer because I do not know myself. How can someone else figure me out when I can not. So I go to the great healer. The tub. Feel answers in the steam and bubbles. Except not tonight. It's still there. Nothing removed to remain like a ring on the tub. So I must think some more and I do and I am and this is what I have come up with...
Work is on my mind. I am juggling a job which has not officially begun again but which might as well have. I am balancing plates on my toes while juggling flaming torches in the air. I am dreading being away from the babe three days a week (although I really know all will be fine). Time is fleeing. Escaping my grasp. I can not hold on.

And then there is tomorrow. I must fire a grad student. Because I hired him. And he has not worked out. And Mr. C and I without a break. Ever. The parents today for one hour. Alone with the babe. I returned. They were hysterical. The babe cried. They thought he was dying. There is no reprieve. The irony of this move to be close to family astounds me.

And then there was tonight. I decided to make a gingerbread tree with the 4 year old. How stupid am I? In this mood I am in. But it was just borderline when we began. Perhaps that is what toppled me over.

No. The much overdue financial planning conversation. Might as well get it all over with in one night. I feel as though I need something desperately but I am not quite sure what it is. A stress ball would be good for starters. There are some nice Christmassy ones like these: fill my stocking, Mr. C...

Written by Cathy

Would you like to come over for coffee?

We could drink a nice hot cup from one of my favourites. Which I bought at Pier 1 for next to nothing.

We would talk about nothing and everything. Things that matter and things that really don't.

We could watch the fishing boats glide in the bay. Zigzaging back and forth as they pull up their traps, hoping for gold. Silence would be o.k., not uncomfortable.

We could coo over the babe and marvel at the things he is doing. Laugh along with his deep delicious eyes and share experiences.

We would talk about Christmas and all the lovely preparations. Reminisce about our childhood and everything we used to do.

Climb into my big comfy couch and melt into its' cushions and talk about everything and nothing and eat warm cookies and fancy chocolates while brewing another hot cup.

The welcome mat is at the front door. All you have to do is call.

Written by Cathy


Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Random things I've been thinking about this morning...

1. I am going to admit something that may be offensive to you. I admitted it to a colleague that was sharing this flight and he gasped when I told him. As we walked to the plane to board, a young female pilot was waving to the passengers cheerfully. My immediate reaction was; hmm I wish the pilot was an experienced grey haired man. I know I know I know save the shame on you's...I am fearful of flying and that was my thought. O.K. My colleague rightfully admonished me; a guy could never admit such a thought without having something ripped out. I am wrong I am a hypocrite, I am a woman working in a male dominated field, so shame on me. It was my thought and I admitted it and I am still thinking about it.

2. The toe on my right foot clicks when I walk. I think it is the joint in the middle of it, to be more specific. It does not hurt at all. It simply makes this noise. Which I found rather amusing until we moved to this house, full of hard wood and high ceilings. And then had a baby. Tipitoeing is impossible for me; in fact, when I do this, the noise is even louder. I woke the babe this morning with my freaking cracking toe.

3. While I was away, Mr. C set the cordless phone on the top of the car while he was strapping the boys inot their car seats. He forgot it was there and drove off, Bye bye telephone. We plugged in an old phone with the cord. I didn't make it to a single call yesterday. So last night I bought a sinfully expensive telephone that has way too many bells and whistles. Turns out it really does, because it rings to the William Tell overture (no, that was not funny, Mr. C) and I don't know how to turn it off.

So those are the random things on my mind this morning. I am taking the babe to my parents for an hour this afternoon while I attend to a meeting (this should be worth a week's full of annoyance) and a Red Cross training course this evening. A full day. And I can barely string two thoughts together.

Written by Cathy

Hey you, google this

Monday, November 28, 2005

So I met a bunch of wonderful people while I was away last week. And a few weirdos. Scientists and academics can be that way. Let me describe just one for you. Lunch on Thursday. Random seating at the hotel and so I am stuck next to a random guy. Turns out he works for the B.C. Department of the Environment. His specialty is goats. I hear all about them over lunch. Lucky me. Then he asks if I have a digital camera with me. I do (of course!;). Can you please take a picture of the dessert and mail it to me? Huh? Well, we have this thing at work whenever we go away, we take picture of the food at the lunch breaks...it's a running joke to see who is getting the best food. Uh yeah, o.k. So I do. Here it is.
Chocolate mousse. You give me your business card. I promptly lose it. You know, you can just image google "yummy dessert" and your colleagues will never know. Oh really? Well, if you do, perhaps you will find the authentic one. Right here. On my blog. And if you do, you will also now know that I found you to be incredibly weird. Eating an unpeeled huge honking carrot in the hotel foyer. What's up with that??? Man, I think you've been spending too much time out in the field with your goats.

Written by Cathy

Beautiful British Columbia

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Four days basking in the beauty of the Okanagan.
Not looking for Ogopogo, but seeing how well his waters are faring.
Testing new equipment, new monitoring techniques. Among amazing people.
The family fared well, but I knew that they would.
Ten hours; who cares...it was great. Snow across the country (with one really slippery landing in Montreal, Heidi; you are having some harsh weather already...), but still none here.
Back to the routine.

Written by Cathy

I love you, among other things

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Gotta erase those photos as soon as I am back. Can anyone really stand photos of themselves? Everyone else always thinks they are better than you do. And you only think; but I don't really look like that, really...like when your voice is tape-recorded and it is played back; you think, I don't really sound like that, but do I? It is too late, our power had been out from yet another storm but is now back on again (NS Power you rock again). Just in time to see the end of the Amazing Race (what is up with that Florida family???). I leave for British Columbia tomorrow and will be working there for a few days. I will not be blogging (fyi)...

So, Mr. C. because you read this, here's your list of things to do while I am away:

1. have loads of fun with the guys
2. give them constant hugs and kisses from me
3. kiss the babes' hands, tickle him behind the ears, and fly his blankie in the air over his head; all of these things make him belly laugh.
4. sing "Go to Sleep" every night to our son in your best mommy voice and make sure his hands are always clean and that he brushes his teeth really well and has plenty of fun every day.
5. give him the thumbs up sign enthusiastically at swimming lessons; he looks for this.
6. drive safely wherever and whenever you are out.
7. give them both more hugs and more kisses and more tickles behind the ears and smother them with I love yous from me.
8. as much as my mom and dad insist (or not) on you coming over for dinner, think it over very carefully and remember that it will likely end up being more work than help.
9. make sure that both boys are dressed properly for the weather; bundle the babe up and make sure both have good warm clothing on.
10. who cares about the housework and any work, for that matter; just have fun fun fun
I love you and I'll see you Saturday night.

Written by Cathy

After (for unrelentless Chloe)

Written by Cathy

After (well, kind of)

Left while the Sun (hmmm) was rather still out
Publishers did not talk royalities (still pending) but rather coming to Quebec in January to help pitch the book and perhaps work on another. On the topic of weather. The weather was rotten today. I can write a book about that.

Returned home when the Sun had already gone down. My new haircut blends into the background. I am simply unphotogenic, and the lighting will not cooperate.

Written by Cathy


Written by Cathy

Girls can be elves, too

Monday, November 21, 2005

So you see. In pink, naturally :). I have had enough of HTML (Horrid, Terrible, Mind-numbing computer Language) (yes, I thought that up all by myself). I am bored of changing the template already. I love the template designs that are out there (Thank you Chloe) but just couldn't figure it all out without spending an inordinate amount of time and frustration. So I am settling for what I have, which I am, still not satisfied with.

Did your brain break asks my soulful beautiful child, when he hears me crying. Thinks that the tears coming out of my eyes are pouring from the inside of my head. My love, my life. I love you beyond words of this world.

Tomorrow I am meeting with the publisher of my textbook. The year before maternity leave, I wrote a textbook on a topic that I completely avoid here. Because that is the world of my work and this is not. We will be talking about royalties (hmmm) and the potential for another book (double hmmm). I have to take the babe with me because, well, that's another story, but the publishers know and they are both women with babes of their own, so I've been assured it is fine (and he's a very quiet babe, as babes go).

After the meeting I am finally going to the hairdresser; my favourite place to go. This hairdresser is featured on Much Music (Canada's version of MTV, right Heidi!) this week, so I trust their prices are about to go up exponentially. Crap.

And then there is the upcoming trip. I leave on Wednesday for British Columbia. It will take me
10 hours of flight time to get there. From one side of the great white north ot the other; seriously, this country is just too big. Plain and simple. I will be back on Sunday...work related trip, my wonderful amazing husband is taking the time off to be with both boys. I am lucky beyond belief. That doesn't mean there aren't things that can still make my brain break, though.

Peace and love to you bloggers.

Written by Cathy

Like moving furniture, only worse

Sunday, November 20, 2005

I have always had an obsession with moving things around; move this chair here, no, don't like it there, put it back here...you get the idea. I have so far been able to remain relatively satisifed with the plain look of this blog, but tonight I decided to start messing around with the html. I could probably spend the next ten years occupying myself with colour schemes and such, but since I really do have a life, and need to get some sleep, this will have to do for now. Major disclaimer; I am not finished! As you can see, or not see, as the case may be, the title can not be read and I can not fix it. As many times as I change the colour from white to something else in the template, it is bound and determined to stay white. I would most appreciate any useful URLS on blog design or tips any of you experienced types might have. I am afraid that I have entered into something here that I wish I hadn't gotten into. Much in the same way that I sometimes wish all of the furniture could magically return to the way it was before I spent the entire day moving it about.

Written by Cathy

Enter Cranky Elf

The Rankin & Bass Rudolph characters are no longer made, but I found a bulk package of 12 of the characters for $40.00. They were going to be for Christmas, but we watched Rudolph on Saturday night and thought it would be far more fun to sneek them out one at a time...where will they all go by the time all 12 are out! Mr. C and I are having far too much fun with this.

Written by Cathy

Rankin & Bass, Pancakes and Sunday (not so) funnies...

These fellows keep appearing around the house. How did they get here? he asks...Perhaps they jumped out of the t.v. Well, then we should turn on the show and see if they're still there on the show or not... the pure magic and joy from the mind of a 4 year old. There will be more, courtesy of the wonderful magical Rankin & Bass, popping up around the house in the days ahead.

And meanwhile, coffee, pancakes, and the Sunday papers, with not so much innocence. Perhaps we'll go to the waterfront and have greasy french fries and battered haddock for dinner.

Written by Cathy

Please tell me where I can buy one of these

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The babe has infected Mr. C and I.

It is bad enough when one parent is out. But both. Waiting for signs from the 4 year old. None yet; everyone knock on some wood. Out in the -4 degrees chasing the neighbours cat, did not help. Just trying to be a good neighboor. It does not go outside. Must have slipped out. Don't want them to lose it. Oh, it's allowed out now, neighbour says....

The whole house slept the afternoon away. And then, off to the shopping mall to mail THE letter, and who do we find, but Santa himself. Already! Our son is out of his skin. In the line. Santa needs to go feed the reindeer now, his helper elf says (translation: Santa needs to go for a bathroom break). We wait, while Santa does his duty ;) and then our beyond excited son can not speak; he is mute with fascination. Santa asks what he'd like; he looks at me what would I like? He's been rattling the list off for over a week now; IwantaV-Smile paintsetaDoragameaplayvendingmachinetoytrainandDorahouse. He cracks me up. Talks a mile a minute as soon as he's off Santa's lap. We have a nice time, our sick family on an outing, infecting countless unsuspecting others....

And now, time to collapse into our freshly washed Laura Ashley flannels (the best sheets in the world, people who live in cold winter climates!). The cold and the colds are here...

Written by Cathy

Maybe this was the problem

Friday, November 18, 2005

Perhaps we invited Pest#2 over for dinner one too many times. Now he thinks it's o.k. to winter over in our attic. Well, that was then and this is now, mate. No room for you at this Inn.

Written by Cathy

Prenatal Classes and DVDs

4 Year old got the Madagascar DVD this week; his absolute favourite; loves loves the movie and carries the case around with him. The DVD is full of special features and he navigates through the menus like an expert. I watch and have no idea what he is doing. And he knows I don't know. A condescending tone creeps into his voice...mooom, you don't know what you're doing. I can hardly disagree, but he's being disrespectful so I get annoyed. Our stubborn selves clash. He starts to melt down because something isn't working; the thing is skipping. Mr. C. has just left for work. The babe is crying; needs to be fed. I call on the cell. Mr.C. is not even at the end of our street. Turns around and comes back to fix the DVD. To the rescue. 4 year old and I exchange looks.

I am convinced that prenatal classes should teach you useful things like how to carry a baby seat without wrenching your back, how to properly clean a DVD so it doesn't skip, how to make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich, what are the best ways to get spit-up out of the carpet...; you get the idea; stuff that would really help me out here. All that birthing breathing stuff didn't help me a lick, and it's all over in a matter of hours (or days), anway. It's the next 18 years that I'm more concerned about.

Written by Cathy

Let the Reindeer Games Begin...

Written by Cathy


Thursday, November 17, 2005

IF you happen to find yourself driving down a road in Nova Scotia. And IF the posted Speed Limit says 60 km/h (about 40mph). And IF you happen to find yourself driving 80 km/h (about 50 mph). And IF you are driving round a bend and spot a police car. And even IF this is your first violation of the speed limit....

You will be pulled over.
By a very large cop.
And scolded.
And given a ticket.
For $215.00
And your license will be suspended
For 7 days.

I know. 'Cause it happened to me today.

Written by Cathy

And that's that. But now love.

I've decided to stay. Thank you for your words. Blogger friends.
I got a speeding ticket today. Day Dreaming in the rain. I'll write about that tomorrow. But now we all need a little love in the rain and drizzle and grey, don't you think?
I wrote this yesterday for my babe. I love you.

Your baby days
are fleeting.
Hold out your hand;
it slips through my fingers.
The hourglass has turned
I watch the sands of your
smile cascading.

Your baby face,
cheeks in my hands.
Hold out your hand,
look through my face,
My window. I am yours.
You are mine.
My baby, my breath,
for such a short time.

Written by Cathy


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I have been afflicted by pests in this latter part of today. Pests of two different sorts, but both pests nonetheless.

The first has caused me to contemplate leaving blogland. I got a post that creeped me out; I of course deleted it, and it was probably harmless, but nevertheless, I started doing this whole blog with lots of trepidation and now feel comfortable. Writing is cathartic for me and this blog has initiated the catharsis. Perhaps I don't need this as the outlet any more. The juices are flowing. I don't want to edit my thoughts, be cautious with what I have to say. And right now, right here, I do. I despise this feeling. I am not asking you whether I should or should not leave, I am wondering what your feelings are about blogland and creepy people that are or are potentially lurking around....has this ever bothered you or not? Is it all harmless? How many pests are there out there among us, good blogger friends?

Now to the second pest. We discovered that there is a squirrel living in our attic. Hunkered down. We can't catch it. Will have to pay for a pest guy (or gal) to get it out. No idea how much this will cost; no experience with pests (of this type). This should be interesting.

Written by Cathy

And Now for Something Completely Different...

I am a lover of language and languages, from the time I was very young and listened to the sound of my Oma speaking German with my father. It amazed me to hear my dad speaking another language. I wanted, needed to learn. So I did. And now I am fluent too. I can also get by with Spanish and French. While I was doing my undergraduate degree, I took a course in linguistic anthropology as an elective and was fascinated. I loved that course and still remember specific lectures. The professor was amazing. If I didn’t end up going the geographical route, I would surely have stuck with anthropology.

While scanning through Arts & Letters Daily, I came across this article, from The Independent. We all know that the Inuit have numerous words for snow, but there are strange and amazing words for items we, in the English speaking world, would never have imagined. So here I am selecting a few for all of you, for your enjoyment.

Chloe; I think you should use this word today. From Portuguese FUCHA, meaning to use company time and resources for one's own purposes.

Michelle; I know you do this, because your photos are among the best I have seen. From Chinese QIANG JINGTOU, meaning the fight by a cameraman to get a better vantage point.

Lois; This one’s for you. Maybe your kids can try it out. From Brazilian Portuguese GRILAGEM, meaning the practice of putting a live cricket into a box of newly faked documents, until the insect's excrement makes the paper look convincingly old.

Heidi; Do we share this trait? (sorry, I don't mean to embarrass you...). From Indonesian LATAH, the uncontrollable habit of saying embarrassing things.

Jase; Since awhile ago you said that you could. From Indonesia, DESUS, the quiet, smooth sound of somebody farting but not very loudly.

MomyBlogR; I think this word would apply to us if we were together. From Japanese KUSUKUSU, the suppressed giggling and tittering of a group of women.

Vani; This might actually be useful because soon you’ll have three. From Samoan. FAAMITI , to make a squeaking noise by sucking air past the lips in order to gain the attention of a dog or a child.

Romani; Think of this while you’re walking through Hooterville. From Malay, KERTEK, the sound of dry leaves or twigs being trodden underfoot.

BerlinBound; Because I’m sure you’re doing this with your big move this week. From Hawaiian, PANA PO'O, to scratch your head in order to help you to remember something you've forgotten.

Christina; Don’t let this happen to you from those yoga pants. From Tulu Indian, KARELU, the mark left on the skin by wearing anything tight.

Marel; As your young ones are starting to talk. From Chinese, YUYIN, the remnants of sound that stay in the ears of the hearer.

Angel; Beware what you think you see. From Japanese, BAKKU-SHAN, a girl who looks as though she might be pretty when seen from behind, but isn't when seen from the front.

Ruthie; Because you assisted your mom, and you are keeping the light. From Danish, FYRASSISTENT, an assistant lighthouse keeper.

Dr. Deb; Because I think you could co-ordinate pretty much anything. From Italian, CAPOCLAQUE, someone who co-ordinates a group of clappers.

Sarah; Please tell me you’re not. From Russian, KOSHATNIK, a dealer in stolen cats.

MissB; Tell me you haven’t done this to your nice friend in the video. From the Pascuense language, Easter Island, TINGO, borrowing things from a friend's house, one by one, until he has nothing left.

RiskyBiz; Do you do this with your co-workers when the peckerhead boss is around? From Hawaiian, 'A'AMA, someone who speaks rapidly, hiding their meaning from one person while communicating it to another.

Nancy; Because you’re on the west coast, and stereotypically so many do, never feel the pressure to do this. From Chinese, ZHENGRONG, to improve one's looks by plastic surgery.

Would you like one too? My sincere apologies for leaving anyone out. If so, it was completely unintended, and the babe is waking.

(But for those of you visiting, but not commenting, are you a BUZ-BAZ ?)

Written by Cathy


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A little more clearly now.
The babe seems to be better and I'm crossing things off my to-do list. Parent-teacher interviews with my son's preschool tonight; well that will be interesting.

Written by Cathy

One Day I Think Deeply, the Next I Can't Think at All

The babe has a cold. Barks like a seal. Sounds like he's choking. It shakes me. Not sleeping well. Starting to teeth on top of it all. Feel sorry for him. Sorry for myself. Work is knocking. More and more e-mails are coming, telephone calls; when are you coming back, can you do this can you do that, how do you do this? I am meeting with a babysitter this week. Not looking forward to it. I am away on a conference for some of next week; on the other coast. Not looking forward to it. I hate change, but once the change occurs, I get settled. Comfortable, then have to change again. Shopping for Christmas has begun; lots of things finished, but still lots more to do. Why is everything so expensive. I think there's a lot to go around, and then there is none.

I have a mixer going round in my head right now. Spin spin spin. Faster and faster. The thoughts are getting folded, like batter. Little bit of this, dash of that, add a drop of sunshine and a dozen roses too.

Look this way, turn there, no over here, do this, no I'll do that....stop.

The 4 year old has made his letter to Santa; no surprises except one; a Dora Talking House; where am I going to find one now...hoping that Toys R Us still has one, but can't get out with a sick babe.

Written by Cathy

What do you love?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Conversation in the car yesterday: Mom, what do you love? Asks our 4 year old. Well, I love you. I respond. What else? I love your brother and Daddy. Daddy, what do you love? He asks. His father says the same thing, but adds the names of the family pets. What do you love, sweetie? I ask, expecting him to say something along the lines of how the conversation had already been going.

I love fettucine. He responds. Needless to say, guess what we had for supper last night?

Written by Cathy

Did You Have a Bad Day, Dear?

For Chloe. I hope you had a better day than this poor dear.
Congratulations on your new job!

Written by Cathy

Dunk Your Head Under

Saturday, November 12, 2005

My 5 month old babe is getting baptized tomorrow. Mr. C and I were trying to explain the whole thing to the 4 year old. Then the Minister will dunk his head in some water....Aawww, I want to be baptized too. 4 year old says. We explain that he already was baptized, when he was a baby. But I don't remember it; I should do it again, so I remember. I think he had visions of dunking himself in the water like he had this past summer:

I'm afraid he may be sadly disappointed when he witnesses something like this instead:

I went to the store to buy a cake for the lunch that my mother is having afterwards. What do you have written on a baptism cake? I had a mental break. The lady at the bakery is looking at me with a blank look; Happy Baptism? Uh, no, I say. How about "On your Baptism"...followed by the babe's full name. She can't spell baptism. Has me repeat the spelling not once, not twice, nope 4 times. I shit you not. I think that I really am losing my patience with people. I can not leave the house without someone annoying me intensely.

Yesterday Mr. C and the children and I were in the Starbucks that has the malfunctioning debit machine, and sat at a table next to a couple hogging the cushy seats. The fellow glares at me at Mr.C back at me again. I look at him. He is obviously working on something that is going to save the world. Perhaps writing a Pulitzer prize-winning novel; no re-calculating the circumference of the Earth; well, whatever, it was obviously of extreme importance given his glare, and he did not appreciate us with our loud 4 year old who has no sense of personal space and the fussing spitting babe. I glare back and my mind screams.... This is not your fucking living room. If you don't want to be bothered by us, or anyone else, go the fuck somewhere else. Of course, this is just my head screaming. I would never ever say something like that to his face. Just hope that my glare said it all.

Written by Cathy

First Frost Today

Notice one of my poor gnomes has had her head lopped off...hmmm

Looks so nice on the evergreen shrubbery.

Off the side deck.

Written by Cathy


Friday, November 11, 2005

Blue skies.

Shoulder Rides.

Rosy Cheeks.

Wind Blown Streets

Written by Cathy


Day. Today. Every Day.

Written by Cathy

Rainy Days and Babies

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Always make me smile.
And today I have both.

No snow, although we are quite prepared now, as you can see. Going to Midnight Madness tonight. How can something so crazy and chaotic make me so happy; I am giddy at the thought. Does everyone know what this is? Shopping until midnight.

I am looking forward to bundling the babe up in his suit and taking him out in the sled. Unfortunately the novelty of the snow wears off very quickly.

Philemon, le petit ourson, voudrait bien etre un renne comme son ami Eugen.

Written by Cathy

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Your words swirl
Like tendrils through the air
The haze of hate fills the room
I take a breath and feel the choke
Like second-hand smoke
It will kill.
Not my lungs, but my heart
Slowly kills
Those words the air
Like second-hand hate
I do not breathe it directly
But it reaches me from your mouth
You spew. Exhale.
I hold my breath. Do not inhale
I hold my breath. Do not inhale.
The words of hatred.
But they choke me nonetheless.

Written by Cathy

Check List

1. Take car in to garage for servicing. Wait with babe and try to keep him appeased in a cramped waiting room for one hour, but really more likely an hour and a half.

Done. $75.00 later. Guess what? It took an hour and a half. Surprise surprise…

2. Try and find a warm snow-suitish type thing, but yet not a snow suit for the babe(he won't be playing in the stuff this year, just being rid around in it). There is a chance of snow tonight, which means my view from the window could significantly change tomorrow. This will be an expedition in trying to find something that is a. not amazingly puffy and huge; b. not an absurd amount of money; c. something that will fit into his car seat and d. something I think I can stuff him into on a regular basis without him having a meltdown over it and me not wrenching my shoulder over again.

Bought one. It didn’t snow, but it’s coming soon enough. Fulfilled all criteria except b. (of course!). I am the world’s worst sucker for cute children’s clothes. I’ll post a photo soon.

3. Drop into the grandparents. I will not get annoyed today. I will not get annoyed today. I will not get annoyed to day.

Oh mama, did I get annoyed annoyed annoyed. Actually, I just don't want to talk about it:(

4. Pick up 4 year old from Preschool. Babe accosted by filthy fingers. Hope he's had a good day.

4 year old got kicked in the head today (this kind of thing never never happens), Babe spit up on my shoulder, I got a ticket for parking in the visitor parking spot, rather than the parent pick up spot. God damn. I only parked there so I would be closer and not have to schlep the babe too far with my sore shoulder. I am still trying to think of a way to challenge this one.

5. Take both children to Mr. C. Manouveour through the parking garage, elevators, hallways, labyrinth with stroller and strolling child.

Picked him up in the car across the street. Score one point for me.

6. Go to first Red Cross Meeting. Hmm...this will be fun.

Met in the "Emergency Command Centre" Sooo interesting. Canadian Red Cross volunteers who have just returned from Louisiana talked about their experience. There will be lots of training involved, but I am really excited about this. It will be very fulfilling, and there was a room full of like-minded people. Gotta like that!

7. Quickly return home for meeting with the Minister. Our babe is getting baptised on Sunday.

Got home, not quick enough, I think he was annoyed. Sorry, got a full life. Things are in order for Sunday. I just need to buy a cake on Saturday.

8. Watch Amazing Race. Ahhhhh.

It was good, but I fell asleep before the end, because it was two hours long. The crazy family got deleted…

9. Blog a bit. Oh, hello there:)

Love your comments. Fun fun fun. I am addicted. Waiting for the addiction to wear off. Mr. C. makes fun of me. Says fine, just don’t blog about me. I’m blogging about you, I’m blogging about you….

10. Collapse.

That I did. And now I need to tackle all the housework that got ignored yesterday. Ugh.

Written by Cathy

To-Do List

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

1. Take car in to garage for servicing. Wait with babe and try to keep him appeased in a cramped waiting room for one hour, but really more likely an hour and a half.

2. Try and find a warm snow-suitish type thing, but yet not a snow suit for the babe(he won't be playing in the stuff this year, just being rid around in it). There is a chance of snow tonight, which means my view from the window could significantly change tomorrow. This will be an expedition in trying to find something that is a. not amazingly puffy and huge; b. not an absurd amount of money; c. something that will fit into his car seat and d. something I think I can stuff him into on a regular basis without him having a meltdown over it and me not wrenching my shoulder over again.

3. Drop into the grandparents. I will not get annoyed today. I will not get annoyed today. I will not get annoyed to day.

4. Pick up 4 year old from Preschool. Babe accosted by filthy fingers. Hope he's had a good day.

5. Take both children to Mr. C. Manouveour through the parking garage, elevators, hallways, labyrinth with stroller and strolling child.

6. Go to first Red Cross Meeting. Hmm...this will be fun.

7. Quickly return home for meeting with the Minister. Our babe is getting baptised on Sunday.

8. Watch Amazing Race. Ahhhhh.

9. Blog a bit. Oh, hello there:)

10. Collapse.

Written by Cathy

Chicken Large

Monday, November 07, 2005

When I was my son's age, we lived in Saskatchewan on a Canadian Air Force Base. Nestled in the wheat fields of rural Canada. I had discovered a love of books but could not yet read, so my father would indulge me with one of my favourites; Chicken Little. As the youngest in the family, I related to this little guy. As one who had dramatic tendencies, I related even more. More Chicken Little, and the sky that was falling. I loved that story and heard it often.

My son is now the same age, and has discovered a love of the movie theatre. He has seen only three, but I was thrilled to hear that Chicken Little would be coming to the theatre; something we would both love. I bought him the book so we could read it before we went. At four, it's better to read him the story in advance, to avoid the million questions in his rather loud voice throughout the movie theatre. So we purchased the book with the movie theatre version of the story and came home that evening to read it.

The world is a different place now, than it was in 1975. Times change, we evolve. For better or worse. But this story I had loved as a child was now a tale of monsters and aliens, tentacles and space ships. Was this what we now needed to amuse and hold the attention of our children. What had Disney done to my favourite childhood story? I read on. My son's interest waned. I could tell that he didn't really like the story. Give him aliens with tentacles and he scares. No wonder. I would have too. I would have hated this version of the story as a child. NOt only was it scary, but the story was weak.

My son has not asked to see the movie, I am going to buy him the real version of the story, and we will coninute to share wonderful and meaningful moments. I have heard that the reviews of Chicken Little are really bad, but have not seen any first hand yet. Regardless, it was the number one movie this past weekend, and the stores are full of it's merchandise, just in time for Christmas. I have decided that we will not go. Maybe we'll put on our own puppet show after we read the real story and curl up on his bed and make up some more chicken little tales that don't have anything to do with tentacled aliens.

Written by Cathy

How do these people answer the telephone?

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Written by Cathy

That was my Saturday and This is my Sunday

We left at 6 a.m. For the 2 hour drive. Environment Canada conference. It went well. My Centre will receive some funding. Couldn't have gone better. My shoulder started to pain towards the end of the day, but not severe. Got home at 10:30 p.m.

Finished reading My Friend Leonard. Oh so funny but sad, too. Anyone who reads A Million Little Pieces must read this one too.

Miscellaneous things with the family today. Stores are closed on Sundays in Nova Scotia, so we have to go to a market to buy groceries. Need to think of something for supper. Overcast and rainy again. Will work on the Rosie entry later.

Can't seem to have a sunny Sunday. Hope yours is filled with Sun.

Written by Cathy

Nothing in particular

Friday, November 04, 2005

I woke in the night with searing pain.
Pulled muscle in my shoulder. Acting up again. Something to do with an 18 pound 4 month old, I think. I couldn't move. Frozen in pain. Could not pick up the babe or take care of the boys alone today. We made calls. No one could help. Mr. C. had to stay home. He called work and explained. He was supposed to interview someone for a job today. Left them short-staffed. Nothing we could do. Moved back to be close to family and there is none. Went to the doctor and she says I need physiotherapy. When/how am I supposed to fit that in?

I have to go to a conference 2 1/2 hours drive away tomorrow. The suits are starting to ask when I am coming back. The pressure is starting again. A day full of schmoozing. Oh how I am looking forward to it.

Hopefully a peaceful night curled up on the couch with a good movie and popcorn:)

Written by Cathy

Streaming video from the other side

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I came across this today, which I initially thought was a joke, but turns out it actually is true. You can pre-tape it and literally speak from beyond the grave; An iGrave....what would yours say?

Written by Cathy

Thinking about everything and nothing in particular.

Red Cross.
I am now a Volunteer.
Lady came this a.m.
It's official.
I can help people.
Try to save the World.
A little bit more.
Thoughts in my head.
Shake and they go away.

Work is knocking
On my door.
I'm not ready,
But have no choice.
Good weather, bad weather,
Change. Too quick.
I like the calm.
Predictable. Organized.
Everything has its place.
Chaos coming.
I am watching it now,
Out my window.

More more more.

Written by Cathy


Dream Big.
Your Wildest
Your Passion
Your Truest

The Worst
You Wake Up.
Before They
Come True.

But in This Life.
You Take Chances.
Your Dreams
May Come True.

You Do Not Wake
And You See
Your Desires
Unfold Before You.

Dream On.

Jacob's Dream 1639 Oil on canvas, 179 x 233 cm Museo del Prado, Madrid

Written by Cathy

Look into my eyes and let me mesmerize you with my cuteness

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

My Babe. 4 1/2 Months.

Written by Cathy

On the topic of Vietnam and Band-Aids...

Since I was talking about my travels to Vietnam yesterday, I thought I would open up a random page from my journal (as I have started to recently do in other posts).
Here's what I opened to:

Wednesday, October 8, 2003 5:10 p.m.
"So far I have only been writing while attending meetings. Now I am in the air-conditioned comfort of my room. I am going out for supper with Bronwen and Heidi - I am scared to go back out into the sweltering heat again - over 40 degrees Celsius !. I have never expereinced such heat - intense intense intense - my feet have been swollen from the moment I arrived and swollen sweaty feet mean blisters. I had to buy a box of bandaids. Now that is a whole story in itself....

I went to a small "shop" (stall)-again-no words for the scene outside yet-. Now, how do you ask someone who speaks no English for a "bandaid" - which, of course, is one of those words that is based on a name brand, which, I am sure, does not exist here. So I pull off my shoe and show her my oozy, burst blister and try to mimic putting a bandaid on. Oh yes, she gives an understanding nod. But she obviously does not sell them - she puts her hand on my shoulder for me to come with her (an act of kindness that I have come to find to be rare out on the streets). She points across the street to what I guess is a drugstore. Damn, I have to cross the street again - the very act of which involves jumping between motorbikes. At the times I was nervous, but that was before I found out that 28,000 people die in Hanoi per year from traffic accidents (a good form of population control, one of my Vietnamese colleagues jokingly informs me). So, finally - hobbling to the drugstore - show the feet again - buy a box of 100 bandaids for $2.00 US - a crazy amount for them (the average Vietnamese makes about $2000.00 US per year) - but very reasonable to me. People usually buy individual bandaids, not the entire box. The clerks were astounded that I wanted to purchase the entire box. Not heard of. Crazy North American.

(yup, that's them; I still have the box as proof...only used when we have run out of the "real" ones; they are so gummy that they leave stickiness on your skin for days after removal...)

The pharmacist speaks English - an older woman working behind the counter does not - she asks me something, which the pharmacist translates - Where are you from? Canada. She wants to know how old you are. 32. They both laugh, as the older woman says something. Does she think I am older or younger? I ask. Oh - she says you look older. Thanks...old, and too big to buy clothes (see yesterday's post), with pussy swollen feet and sweat pouring down my back. This is a very uncomfortable place for average-sized westerners. I have seen a few miserable looking types in the old section downtown - I probably look the same."

Written by Cathy

American "Express"

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I just got my AMEX card renewal today. While going through the miscellaneous information that comes with the card, I came across a brochure describing my travel insurance benefits. One if I ever have lost baggage. I travel with my job quite a bit and this is one benefit that I could stand benefitting from, especially on one travel occasion two years ago....

I travelled to Vietnam to work on clean water infrastructure in the remote countryside outside of Hanoi. It was November here and I decided to travel via London, because it is one of my favourite places in the world. The weather was cold and damp; typical...so I was dressed for that weather. Upon arrival in Hanoi, the heat immediately overwhelmed me. I could feel it even in the air conditioned airport. I do not deal well with heat. My Canadian body is adapted to the chill. I was so overwhelmed, that my body heat was detected on the infrared detector that one had to go through for the purposes of detecting passengers with fevers (this was the height of the SARS scare). After clearing up the fact that I was not contaminated with some deadly disease (just a hot Canadian;), I went to claim my luggage. Well, you know where this is going. It didn't arrive. Nothing. I was told to travel to my hotel and that my luggage would be sent to me upon it's arrival. When might that be? I asked. Blank look back tells me it all. I might never see it again.

Hanoi. City of heat. Nothing but the clothes on my back. Might I also add City of Small People. I am not being stereotypical, but really, the people are just quite a bit smaller than me; at 5' 7", I towered over most people. Needless to say, I had a hard time finding anything to buy off a rack that would fit me. I call American Express to inform them that my luggage has not arrived and that I am without clothes, necessities, etc etc....the phone rings and rings. No response. I call over and over. No response. So much for their 1-800 international number. I don't know what good it would have done me anyway, since American Express cards are hardly useful in most shops or markets. Bloody credit card company. Not a bit of help.

Can you see me asking Do you accept American Express to these ladies??? Only wads of cash; there is no coin currency in Vietnam, so some of my bills were literally the equivalent of pennies. The wads of cash made me feel like a millionaire. To some of these people, I was a millionaire.

I ended up having to have clothing tailor made. That's right; full body measurements and entire outfits created in less than 24 hours. Now that's service. Delivered to the hotel. Quite the experience having your measurements taken on the street; chest and everything. I am the proud owner of fancy traditional Vietnamese clothing that still hangs in my closet. Pure silk. Less than $20 for an entire ensemble. I ended up working in the heat in the traditional Vietnamese garb for almost a week. A few days before I left, my t-shirts and shorts, bathing suit arrive....

I still have a hard time putting that whole experience into words because it was such a crazy trip. I have some diary entries. Maybe I'll share a few some time.

Written by Cathy

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