Saturday, June 28, 2008
(Check out the shoes on the clarinetist. Only in Europe!)
Flags of the world
Statues of Liberty for North America
(A Mountie or two would have been nice. *sniff*)
Footballs for Europe
Coolie hats for Asia
Sombreros for South America
And, finally, the 'La Pomme' Wagon.
Last year Mighty Mouse was on board. *sniff*
With formalities over, the party could begin. Sausages, hamburgers, fries, and drinks were served by the village fire brigade, hors d'oeuvres by the parent association, and dessert by the parents of the preschoolers. There were free carousel rides, a bouncy castle, carnival games, and the unofficial annual water fight.
The party went on well into the evening, long after the Mighty family headed for home.
When the horn sounded that signaled the event's end, there was a general moan of disapproval. The kids were escorted back into class for their final dismissal and, with that, the 2007-8 school year was over. On with la promotion!
In case you are curious:
la promotion (PRO-mo-sion) - a parade, ceremony, and party which marks the promotion of all students from one grade to the next
Friday, June 27, 2008
But then the sun came out--and stayed. Leaves sprouted one, after the other, after the other until, low and behold, the seedlings looked almost presentable. All along the girls had planned to give 'un petit pommier' to their teachers. Now they could. They transplanted them yesterday and presented them today, the last day of school.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
When we arrived at the conference I quickly snapped up the one and only copy of her book from the book stand and began to read. Ancient Persia in The City of the Dead...an adolescent girl disguised as boy... a much younger brother with prophetic dreams...evil kings, wise men and a birth foretold in the stars... I was not only hooked--I was transported.
Alphabet of Dreams is classified by the powers-that-be as a young adult (YA) novel. I can't help but agree. While the main character, Mitra, is at most 14-years-old, the vocabulary used in this narrative is extremely rich and could prove discouraging to a less advanced reader. That said, if you were to read the book along with your young teen, it could make for a truly unique summer reading experience.
Bravo, Ms. Fletcher. I look forward to meeting you again.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
burst from the Sun and aimed straight for the Earth
and bearing one wish that she’d had since her birth:
A glowing blue ball through the darkness appeared
As Twinkle flew quickly, it rapidly neared.
Twinkle wiggled and wriggled and squiggled to steer
Toward sparkling blue oceans and seas as they neared.
Blushing red peaks in a tidy long row
towered high up above a thick forest below.
She wiggled and wriggled and squiggled to steer
Toward rugged red peaks and green trees as they neared.
Despite wiggles and wriggles her path did not change,
Pushing past rocky peaks to a great yellow plain.
“I wish to be yellow, the colour of gold;
I wish to be coloured, a sight to behold!”
She wiggled and wriggled and squiggled with glee
so certain she was that bright gold she would be.
not started to drip great round drops to the ground.
In the blink of an eye there were drops on all sides
and to Twinkle’s dismay there was no place to hide.
With no way to stop and without means to steer
Twinkle’s last wish became perfectly clear:
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
In all seriousness, Hugo the Great, aka Le Grand Hugo, is a terrific kid and it's a shame I'll have to give him back when his parents return from London today.
We'll miss you, big guy!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
If my novel ever makes it past the slush pile, they will have been a huge part of getting it there.
Have a great summer, ladies. Write on!
Friday, June 20, 2008
A few years later, I was on my way home from work when I had a sudden change of heart. Eight months pregnant with Emma the Brave, it occurred to me that I could give birth at any moment--right there, squatting on the side of the Deerfoot Trail. I stepped on the gas. The second I walked into the house, I announced my decision to the Captain. "I'm getting a cell phone."
Forever the selective cheapskate, he replied, "Don't do that. Take mine."
I had to admit, he had a point. As the Captain wasn't traveling, he didn't need his cell. He was either at work or with me. I took him up on his offer and, as luck would have it, never used it.
A repeat bout of cell phone urgency occurred when Moody Mouse was on the way, only this time the hypothetical birth took place on Highway 400 and Emma was watching. Once again, I scooped the Captain's portable and the feeling dissipated. Moody was born right where she was supposed to and the phone never got touched.
Well, I've been getting that feeling again. The first inkling came when I lost track of time and was 20 minutes late to pick up the girls and their friend from school. A few days later I left my headlights on outside where I volunteer. But the bean that burst the bag came last Friday when I passed out in a downtown pharmacy. Not only did I not have a phone, but the Captain was away and I didn't have the phone numbers of anyone who might have been able to help.
Saturday we went shopping. I was eyeing the BlackBerries with their full keyboards--imagine the blogging!--but conceded to the Captain's hand-me-down. Not bad, eh!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
It wasn't for the money---don't get me wrong; that would be nice---but more for the recognition, gratitude, and admiration that comes from working at something at which you excel. Motherhood is rewarding, but it's inherently lonely. Not that the Captain and the girls don't show their appreciation--they do. But it's a long haul, both for those who give and those who receive. The human body is a master at accommodation. We stop smelling, feeling, and hearing that which we sense all the time. We're not ungratious; it's just how we're wired.
As it turns out, I didn't get the job. Some day I will be the teacher a kid never forgets. Just not now.
It's been an amazing experience for the whole family, these hamster pups. Peanut was quite the little mother, nursing her crew almost non-stop for two weeks before weaning could begin. I couldn't help but wonder if she'd done it before. If not, I sure could have used instincts like hers seven years ago. That said, it's clear that Peanut is ready go solo again. (She's been caught pinning Patches to the wood chips as if to say, "My cage. My wheel.") As for the rest of us, we won't be forgetting them any time soon.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
I love you!
Two years ago, we invoked a tradition of our own, recruiting a couple of other Canadian families to go water skiing on Lac de Genève. There are a few pay-as-you-go ski boat operators at the Geneva end of the lake. The dads, moms, and the occasional kid ski until their legs jiggle while snacking and sipping between runs. Unfortunately a cool, wet spring has postponed this year's event. Nonetheless, we're having a celebratory barbecue and saving our wet suits for a warmer day.
We love you, Captain! You are a terrific dad!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
I'll be tracking my revision hours instead of my word count this time around. My goal? An average of two hours per weekday until June 27, when the girls finish school. Should I appear to be slacking, public ridicule via comments is encouraged.
Want to know what I'm working on? Read an excerpt here.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
"I can't really tell if the problem is powdery mildew or downy mildew. Both are, yes, a sort of mould. Apple Powdery mildew is quite a serious disease that starts on the stems and leaves shortly after bud burst and takes the form of a powdery white coating. You can treat it with a simple fungicide. Mildew problems are common in many seed varieties that have not been treated with an anti-mildew fungicide, and are exacerbated by very damp conditions.The very next morning I was fungicide shopping and by noon I'd sprayed every last leaf, both top and bottom. Within hours the plants had lost their dusty pallor. Had I not forgotten them out in the pouring rain--not once, but twice--they might have been cured. Unfortunately, in a clear case of horticultural neglect, two seedlings re-entered the circle of life. There is new growth on the remaining twenty, so hope prevails.
"If it's downy mildew, you will see yellowish spots on the upper leaves (it's probably not this) and can be treated with a copper-based product."
At one point last week I warned the girls that the seedlings might not make it. Their response: "That's okay, Mommy. We can grow tomatoes instead."
Monday, June 9, 2008
Emma the Brave's standing on her desk chair which she's pulled in front of her bookshelves. In her hands is a big book I'd saved from my own childhood, one I'd purposely put up high out of reach: "Where Did I Come From?" by Peter Mayle. Evidently she's grown.
I take the book from her hands. "I suppose we could. But are you sure this is what you want to read? It's not a story book, you know."
"It's about how babies are made."
"There's absolutely no story."
We settle on to her bed and open it up. The paper that lines the front cover is filled from top to bottom with cartoon sperm. The one in the center wears a top hat and is carrying a rose. "You're sure about this?"
She looks me dead in the eye. "Go."
I begin to read. The book begins by myth busting. Emma giggles at a picture of a baby being carried in a sling by a stork. "That's silly," she says. While Santa and the Tooth Fairy are still within the realm of possibility, a baby-porting bird is unfathomable.
The book goes on to properly name the private parts of the human body for both males and females. The giggles come again, not due to the proper names, which she's known for as long as she can remember, but due to the made-up ones they mention. She thinks the word 'boobs' is hilarious. I can't help but agree. If they ever need to name a fifth Teletubbie, 'Boobs' could be it.
By the time we get to the nitty-gritty, where 'tab A' inserts into 'slot B,' she's in absolute hysterics. "YUCK--" she cries, then pauses with sudden revelation: "You did that with DADDY?!"
I guess she did get a story after all.
Thursday, June 5, 2008