Monday, October 24, 2011

A little pumpkin knowledge...

At the girls' school, it's time for the annual pumpkin decorating contest. The only rule: no carving. Emma went head-over-eyeball with paint. Mouse got a little duct-tape crazy. The results are pretty impressive, I must say. Good luck, little ladies! 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Routines

It's September 20th which places the girls and I a solid month into the 2011-12 school year. So far it's been uneventful. The girls both like their teachers and have enough friends in class to keep them happy, yet under the misbehaviour radar. Extracurricularly, Emma and Mouse decided almost simultaneously that they weren't 'that into' figure skating and would not be returning to the rink as has been their winter tradition since age 3. Tant pis. As I see it, I've done my patriotic duty, ensuring yet another generation of Canadians who can keep their butts off the blue line. One year we'll make a family a trip to the Ottawa Canal for sugar-topped Beaver Tails on blades. When that happens, all those years rink-side will have been worth it.

As for me, I'm novice teaching 5th and 6th grade Science and learning more than the kids. Thursday I get to teach 6th grade the states of matter. It will be my first full-class instruction and I'm very, very excited. As I write, my freezer is chock-a-block with popcorn-and-shortening 'ice' cubes that the students will melt to a liquified state. In preparation for the liquid to gas transition, I've test-popped corn in an oven bag three times in the past week. Here's hoping the school's hotplate doesn't let me down.

The Captain's travel has started to ramp up again after a summer of relative peace. While it is always a challenge to parent singlehandedly, I trust that life won't dip to depths of last semester any time soon. One bout of shingles is enough for a lifetime, thank you very much. We celebrated our 12th anniversary with dinner at a restaurant that features seasonal dishes made with local produce. In a few weeks time we'll be taking in Wicked with the kids at the P-town Civic Centre and shortly thereafter I'll be turning the big 4-0 in the company of Mighty Mum and The Colonel.

Fall is looking up. Way up.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

First Day

The girls couldn't have been more excited on this, the first day of school. Emma is beginning her final year of elementary school and Mouse is two years behind, beginning grade three. The class lists were posted last week, so they knew their teachers already, both by face and reputation. Maya was all ready to march off to school with them. I have another week before my first day. I'll be spending the time preparing for my first of two licensing exams. Wish me luck!
The Captain walking his girls to the bus stop.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I will never forget my own...

We chose you because you chased my shoes.
I have since learned that this is not the best indicator of an obedient dog.

We hiked. We swam. We ran.
I never realized how much I'd love you.

Babies pulled your tail, stole your toys, tugged your ears.
Puppies, too.
I never knew a dog could be so patient.

You were the dog I always wanted.
I miss you already.

February 17, 1999 - August 4, 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

You Can Quote Me

"One bad app spoils the Pod."

Another moment you'll never get back by Mighty Mom

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dirty Hands

When we moved to P-town, I was happy to have found a home in a fairly new neighbourhood with some old trees out back. While I've been told that the previous owners were enthusiastic gardeners, they also had four boys, three dogs and a divorce to plan. The back garden, therefore, had the look of an incomplete thought. Six trees line the back fence, the last vestiges of what was once the property line between two farms. The land beneath them was wood-chipped in one area and sparcely covered with decorative rock in another. The north fence line was planted with day lilies, peonies and dreadful prairie grasses. (When plants send you running for an inhaler, they quickly lose their appeal.) The south side was cleared, bricked in for planting, but bare. A blank pallet! To some this would come as a Godsend, but to a novice gardener like myself, it feels tantamount to being handed a length of rope tied in the shape of a noose. It's taken me a few years to come up with a sustainable idea for the area. As you can see from the following pictures, the plants are still babies, but try to imagine them two years from now,  when they will be about two to three feet taller and filled out with new growth. I've enough space left to plant some pretty annuals, should I ever be able to rise from the couch. 

A combination of purple and gold burberry interspersed with dwarf honeysuckle line the south fence line.

A line of yellow-green and variegated hostas get a little late day sun beneath the trees. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Adorable. Sweet. Loving. Loyal. Dogs are all these things, particularly my own dynamic duo. And yet, there are moments when they take the time to wake us humans from our love-induced anthropomorphic haze. Honey prefers to roll on dead animals and eat the droppings of other species. Maya, on the other hand, has taken things to a whole new level: she eats her own poo. Honestly, if she were flexible enough, we might never have to pick up after her. In fact, she's so efficient at her personal poop-and-scarf routine that it is often only her breath that gives it away. Sweet, it is not.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Week at Camp Mighty: Day 1

Campers arrived in their pyjamas Monday morning demanding food only to discover that, at Camp Mighty, campers make their own breakfast. They also would be making lunch-- a picnic to be eaten at a nearby-but-yet-to-be-explored park. A menu of turkey sandwiches, apples, bananas, water and Swiss chocolate was selected by the campers, prepared and packed for the excursion. Detweiller Park did not disappoint. There were plenty of nooks and crannies for a rousing game of Hide and Seek. The play equipment was a tad toasty, but that could only be blamed on the skyrocketing temperatures and matching humidity. It is the Midwest after all!
A muddy, sticky, and steamy hike along the sorely misnamed Dry Creek Trail was followed by Dairy Queen and a swim.

All in all the campers had a terrific day and Mighty Mom, Head Counsellor and Assistant Chef, got to know her daughters again. They were sorely missed.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Back to the Blogosphere

Hey there!
I know. Long time no blog. What can I say? The last nine months has passed as a blur. Oh, there were definitely some blog-worthy moments. I hope to get to them all over the coming months. Emma the Brave turned double-digits, Mighty Mouse turned 8, and the Captain turned 40! Heh, heh. (Remind me to share how the Captain killed the battery on his new car.)
In my defence, I've blogged over 20 times since January for my Math Methods course. Yes, blogging is now a university-level required skill! It boggles the mind that I completed my first degree with a merely a typewriter. Now you need Internet access 24/7 and assignments have due dates like Sunday, January 23rd at 11:59pm. In any event, Melissa's Math Munch Box is not the least bit interesting unless you plan to teach math to kids ages 5 to 15. Warning: any attempt at completing the referred to readings in 15 weeks or less may result in shingles. (Yet another story that warrants sharing).
I just completed a required art course. It was a hoot. A perfect summer activity if you ask me, that is, if your going to be studying anyway. The following are my teaching prototypes created by both me and Emma. I bet you'll have trouble guessing which are hers. Send me an email if you want instructions for kids at school or home. They require no fancy tools, only humility.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Welcome, Maya!

We were not supposed to buy a puppy. We were just checking out a breeder. I knew they had a litter ready to go. Why I didn't see this coming is beyond me. Everyone has a blind spot, I suppose. Mine just happens to be about the size of a 10-week-old Golden Retriever. The Captain has requested that the record show that I caved first. Damn, she's a sweetie!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A hand along the way...

It would appear that my fourth semester of six will be the hardest — at least I hope it is. I'm learning so, so much. I took on a sole student last semester, from the same school as the Echoes. We worked hard together: she did her best; so did I. She took some baby steps; I was one step behind, hand in hers. This week I had to say good-bye. I pray her future is brighter for our time together. I pray...