Thursday, June 26, 2014

Simply Silent

It's the last day of school in our district. I'm not one of those people who dreads having the kids around all summer, this morning I woke with a tummy full of butterflies; anticipation for the incredible summer the boys and I will have.

We will be rock climbing and mountain biking weekly. We'll spend countless hours in the pool at the Y and reading books under our favourite tree at the park. The kids will be cooking most of the summer meals and in appreciation of that, ice cream will become a food group in and of itself.

But today I will sit.

I will revel in the silence that will not show itself again for another 67 days.

I will read a book.

I will take a nap.

I will drink enough of this quiet and peace to satiate me until the coming of September, when the leaves start to crinkle and the garden has exhausted itself.

I will be still.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Why Declining Your Vote Is A Shitty Idea

The interwebs of Ontario have been abuzz with articles informing you of your right to decline your vote during the upcoming provincial election. Facebook is full of it, people being amazed that they have this option and talking about how they're going to decline their vote.

I think that's a shitty thing to do. Maybe slightly better than not showing up to the polls at all, but still shitty.

There seems to be a popular opinion out there that declining your vote will change the system. We'll just get all these jerks out of power and pick somebody new, right? Wrong. Declining your vote means you're making a conscious decision not to vote. That's fine, but even if 99% of Ontarians declined their vote, the person and party with the most votes will still win. Yes, your declined votes get counted but that doesn't mean that if more people decline to vote than to actually vote, that we'll just be left with no leadership at all.

Declining your vote is just that, you are declining your right to vote. It is not a vote for "None of the Above" as some have read it to be, it's the same damn thing as not voting at all. If you don't vote, even fewer people will be ACTUALLY voting. That means an even smaller number of people will be choosing what kind of leadership we sit under.

So do me a favour, will ya? Take an hour an look at the platforms of all the parties and candidates in your riding. None of them will be perfect, no one is. But pick the one that suits you, your family and your hopes for our province the best. Then vote for them. They may not win, but at least you'll be making your vote count for something instead of just crossing your fingers and hoping that politicians hear your declined votes and change their ways. Picking any option is better than standing on a principle that has no legs.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Easiest Recipe Ever

I am a marriage Master, let me tell you.

Me: "Wouldn't bbq pork chops be great for lunch babe?"

Him: "Hmmm,  that actually sounds perfect."

BOOM. Dinner for the kids is made and I didn't have to lift a finger.

Thursday, May 22, 2014


I left a spade out on the lawn the other night and didn't remember until I had been in bed for a bit. I dismissed it and tried to sleep until my head was filled with images of someone stealing the spade and murdering someone with it. The police would trace the spade back to me from the time I was using it while wearing flip flops and almost chopped my toe off and they'd come to investigate and my neighbour would be investigated because the spade actually belongs to him and it would just be a big awful mess and I could never handle prison, although I bet I could DIY some awesome shit from just a bedsheet and a carton of cigarettes, so of course I got out of bed and brought the damn spade inside.

In other news, neighbour Stan has decided to build this on his half of our shared lawn. I tried to tell him you can't build a tree from wood. . . 

You can get wood from a tree but a tree cannot be made from wood.
. . . but he's a redneck and he listens to nothing. He tell me that next, he's building a WALL around this mess. Maybe that'll be an improvement. But I've been taking care of his lawn for 2 damn years while they've been busy being hermits and HE COVERED UP MY ROSES with his homemade mulch so I can't help being a little trolly.

To lighten the mood, here's a picture my child made of a chainsaw with glitter glue. Everything can be pretty AND useful.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


I haven't posted a Jackass of the Month since November because I don't want to be all negative all the time and frankly, I've seen a lot of great things happen over the last few months but today it all changes.

Because I saw this at my kid's school. And you truly have to be a jackass to tag an elementary school. Perhaps even more than a jackass to tag it with 420.

<font face="sarcasm" colour="angry red">Thanks, Jackass.</font>

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

This Dance

I'd like to think that I'd be the perfect mother to a daughter. I would teach her to climb trees and appreciate fine literature. I would play Lego (not the pink kind) with her and I would read comic books with her while sitting under a tree at the park. I would teach her to love herself and her body as they were and help her understand that the opinions of others rarely matter. My daughter wouldn't suffer from bouts of depression, cutting, or suicidal thoughts - because I would teach her that she mattered more than any of that.

But I'm not the mother of a daughter and I won't ever be.

So I'm coming to you, dear internet, because we all know that the internet will never, ever steer us wrong.

Every day at the gym I see mothers doing the most awkward dance with their young daughters as they come from swimming lessons. The moms, they hold up a towel around their girls while they also help them peel off wet bathing suits, dry off and put on new clothes, all while still holding up that towel, in a secluded corner of the women's change room. The dance is floundering, both mother and daughter get frustrated as they try to learn the steps to something that clearly requires about 16 arms to pull off. At the end, the mother is usually using her "mom voice" to tell her girl to hurry up because they're late for dinner (dance class, music lessons, etc).

Earlier during the day I've most likely watched yet another video, read a blog or perused an infographic about how we need to teach our girls to love themselves.

And yet, at night, in the confines of a room exclusively for women, mothers and daughters dance this impossible dance.

I have sons. I have boys who love to parade around naked, inside and out. I have a son who looks forward to the weekends because I've told him he can go without underwear on the weekend if that's really what he prefers. Gross, I know, but it's what he likes. But I'm completely ignorant when it comes to girls. My mom didn't do a bad job raising us, not at all, but I also know that my sisters, nor I, have much in the way of self confidence. We're all self-conscious, even my gorgeous sisters who are both smart, successful, and incredibly beautiful, who both fit into negative number jeans and have the kind of giant tatas that women pay thousands of dollars for. They're both absolutely perfect, and they both have self-esteem issues.


So where does it start? By not letting your daughter spend 10 seconds naked in the women's change room, are you setting her up for a lifetime of being so insecure she can't look at her naked body in a mirror? Or does it start later than that? By showing girls that it's not okay to be naked for a minute in a room with other women are you placing your own body image issues onto her? Is insecurity something we can avoid with the right upbringing or are we all destined to feel poorly about our physical bodies at some point?

Years of going to the gym, it wasn't until after 30 that I felt comfortable dressing in the open of the change room instead of a bathroom stall. It's not my mother's fault, this I know, but I also wonder - if she had let me go free when I was 3, would it have taken me until I was 30 to take the chance of having another woman see my breasts?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Bus Pass, Thy Name Is Freedom*

We became a car-free family on December 22. It wasn't by choice. There was an ice storm the day before and the day after my husband went to start the car and it smelled of fire and the entire electrical system was shot. We towed it to a mechanic who said the ice storm caused an electrical fire and the car was a write-off. We tried to get insurance to cover it but the insurance company wanted us to put out a whole bunch of money we didn't have to have the engine ripped apart and "prove" that there was an actual fire and not just a short.

So we got bus passes.

The first week I was all, "BUS PASS, THY NAME IS FREEDOM!" It was great, we could go to all the places we wanted without having to worry about the amount of fuel in the tank and living so close to downtown, we have multiple busses to choose from every time we leave the house.

My freedom, however, was short-lived.

In short, buses can suck. Commuting to work has never been a problem for me via bus but doing errands is a whole different ball game. If I need to drop something off in the next city, I can spend an hour and a half on the bus for a five minute errand. Doing laundry by bus is torture. It seems laundromats are a dying breed and dragging your dirty laundry across town on a bus is not nearly as much fun as it sounds. Who knew?

The worst part is the buses that never come. Back when I was a car person, I would scoff at the person showing up 45 minutes late for work with the lame "my bus never came" excuse. But for reals, now I know it's true. Sometimes buses just don't come. In fact, it's happened to me 4 times in 3 weeks. On the same bus route.

It's shitty any way you look at it. But especially during winter. And especially when you have 2 kids with you who are freezing cold. During a snow storm. Or freezing rain.

Credit: Region of Waterloo/GRT

Our town has an express bus route that is the bomb. Whenever I have the chance to take it, I'm incredibly impressed at the speed in which I can get around the city. It also has the great feature of real-time info displays at all of its stops. You walk to the bus stop and the display shows you exactly when the next 2 buses are coming and it updates as buses go through traffic, it's really quite amazing. And frankly, these real-time displays need to be at every bus stop, or at least at every stop that has a bus shelter.

For those nights like the one when the bus was supposed to come at 8:19 during a pretty good bout of freezing rain and it didn't come until 8:55. There's a bus shelter at that stop but the kids had to stand out in the rain because there was a group of teenage boys in the shelter and when I asked them to make some room for my boys, they replied "back off, bitch". Or the Sunday afternoon, when 5 cm of snow fell during the half hour we were in Michael's and the bus that only comes once per hour, didn't. And there we were, standing at the side of the road for 45 minutes. Real time info at the bus stop would have warned us to go find somewhere to hole up and stay warm until the next bus time instead of waiting for the bus that would never appear.

I understand why bus companies can't always send out replacement buses when a bus can't finish its route. But I also now know what it's like to be on the receiving end of the bus that doesn't exist. And it blows.

So bus pass, I still love you, because you give me freedom to go places I wouldn't have gone when I was busy worrying about the amount of gas in the tank but sometimes you make me yearn for sunny days and my bicycle, the only vehicle I know that'll get me everywhere I want to go, whenever I want to go there and the only fuel it needs is the food I'm already eating anyway.

*when you arrive, that is.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Stagnant Statues

Back in December, I wrote about a statue project being proposed in Kitchener. Kitchener city council vetoed the plan on Monday night, after seeing the results of an online public opinion poll that ripped the project to shreds.

There are so many reasons cited for why people don't like the project, from the monetary cost to the dubious history of some of our former leaders and the location (both in the park and near The Luggage Project).

I was a not-so-quiet opponent of the project, both in regards to the subject matter and the placement.

Since Monday's vote, Kitchener has been lambasted by people saying the vote was shortsighted. Mayor Carl Zehr expressed his disappointment and the National Post covered the story a few times. I think Kitchener Council was right in voting no based on what the proposal was, and that the proposal itself was the problem.

As a citizen, when I heard of this project I heard, "This is what we want to give the city. This is exactly where it is going to go and this is what it will cost and all you have to do is say yes and allow us to go ahead." Herein lies the problem. Not once did we hear about other possible locations for the statue, we were given an ultimatum of sorts and it sat heavily in the pits of our stomachs.

Would public opinion have been different if the proposal had been to put the statues scattered throughout the park or throughout the city or in a different location, like McLennan Park or out at Woodside? I think so. While I'm still not crazy about the idea of Prime Minister statues for several reasons, I think my opinion would have been significantly altered had the proposal called for the statues to be placed throughout the park. The placement of this project is key and as a regular park goer, I didn't want to see that open space marred in any way.

We still may see statues in Waterloo Region, the organizers approached media today to say that several other locations are interested in the project although of course, none in Kitchener. I'm happy my council said no to statues as the proposal came forward but in the same respect, I wouldn't have been mad if they had wanted to continue to talk about the subject and discuss alternative locations.

Hey, if Waterloo wants to host those statues, all the power to them. I may even go visit them once. I just hope they make an informed choice on where and how to place them and don't eliminate a valuable open field space to do so.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

How Does It Smell With One's Head Up One's Arse?

I am a shitty, unreliable blogger. I would make excuses for this and promises to become better but I'd just be lying. It's like making a new year resolution.... what's the point if you know you're going to fail?

I will however, try to post more awesome things that I find on the interwebs here... like this sportscaster, one of the few who doesn't have his head implanted firmly within his ass (at least on this issue).

Friday, January 10, 2014

Nailed It.

Usually I'm pretty good at crafting so when I saw these pretty little snowglobes at I don't blog I figured they'd be perfect Christmas crafts for the boys to give their aunts.

used with permission from I don't blog
Super cute tiny jars and little finger puppets I found at the party store, ready to roll.

I followed the instructions, for real. Waited a full 24 hours after gluing the figures in the jars before adding the water, glycerine and glitter.

Right away, the snowglobes went all cloudy and I'm in my kitchen growling about cheap glitter.

"Dammit. I knew I shouldn't have mixed dollar store glitter with Martha Stewart glitter. Martha probably puts some magical properties in her glitter that make it completely incompatible with dollar store stuff because you know... Martha Stewart."

But I wait another 24 hours thinking maybe it just needs to settle and they'll be fine.

They weren't.

They've continued to sit on a shelf until last night when I had an absolute revelation.  In the cupboard, grabbing a spice jar and I see the glycerine.  Sitting right beside the tub of glucose.

Oh yes. I used glucose instead of glycerine in the water.

Bloody brilliant.

But for the record, I still wouldn't be surprised AT ALL if Martha and her super glitter had something to do with it. Because, you know.... Martha Stewart.

**Thanks to Alex at I don't blog for letting me use her pretty snowglobes to showcase my spectacular fail. I'm getting pretty used to making my friends look extra good. ;)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Warm Sunny Days and Harvest Festivals

Holy moly it's cold outside! Yes, yes I know Western Canadians, it's much colder where you are on a more consistent basis, but there's a reason I don't live where you live... COLD. I was once offered a heckuva job in Alberta, a Chef's dream job, making more than double what a Chef would make in my area but I'm just not made for -30+ weather. No. Thank. You.

Anyhow, I thought I'd revisit some warmer, happier times when my friends at Martin's Family Fruit Farm invited the community to celebrate a successful harvest with them. I love these people, not only do they feed my family delicious local produce all year round but then they invite to come have fun and eat free food?!?! All kinds of awesome.

The day started out with lots of fun for the kiddies, including a bouncy elephant and the amazing balloon and face painting creations of Breanne.


Who needs hay rides when you can sit on a tractor and pretend to drive it? We had to drag N away from the tractor after a huge lineup formed behind him. Luckily, the tractor stayed in the same spot for a while so we were able to take a quick "ride" in the weeks after the festival.

Much to my chagrin, the boys tasted their very first candy apples. O looks worried about it here but I think it was just the sun in his eyes.

And then we picked up our groceries for the week. The retail store was so packed we only grabbed a fraction of what we usually buy from the outdoor stand, there's was no way we were squeezing into that store! The apples pictured here are Ginger Gold, by far our favourite apples. They're early season September apples so we can only get them for a few weeks but we usually eat though 2 bushels before they disappear. Those carrots came in a 10 lb bag and we're so spoiled by how sweet they are, no one in my house will eat carrots that come from anywhere else. I appreciate that the family handpicks all the produce that appears in the store from the Elmira Produce Auction (this is a terrible video but it does show Steve Martin at auction buying delicious local food!) or from farms they have relationships with. You can't get any fresher without growing your own. When I buy peppers from Martin's, they often last for more than 2 weeks in the fridge. From sketchy winter market vendors or the grocery store, their lifespan is usually measured in days.

Ahhhhh, I feel warmer now, don't you? If I close my eyes and snuggle up under my blankets, I can almost picture my own vegetable garden basking in the sun of summer 2014.

Many thanks to the fine folks at Martin's Family Fruit Farm who feed my family 365 days a year, your exceptional service, commitment to quality and top-notch delicious apples make it easy for my family to eat healthy and local all year round!

You can find Martin's Family Fruit Farm at 1420 Lobsinger Line, RR#1 in Waterloo, less than 5 minutes past the St. Jacob's Market. They're open Monday to Saturday and always have a great selection of local produce along with apples, ciders, local eggs, cheese, milk, jams and maple syrup.

*This post was not sponsored.... unless you count those delicious treats we got to eat at the Harvest Festival. I just freaking love this farm and think more people should take the time to know where their food comes from. #KnowYourFarmer #LoveYourFarmer #FarmersFeedCities

Thursday, January 2, 2014


The first time we saw him, he was sneaking around a corner and stealing food from the cat's dish. 

Whatever, we said. It's just a tiny mouse, we said. We'll buy some mouse traps, we said.

We thought it would go something like this:

We baited the traps with cat food (because that's what he seems to like), then cheese. And he got both off without setting off the traps. So Neighbour Stan told us to bait the traps with peanut butter. The little bastard somehow managed to eat off all the peanut butter without setting off the trap. So I coated the traps in some nice sticky honey and stuck some delicious multigrain bread on top for good measure. The malicious mongrel got the bread off the honey again, with traps still set for action. 

Our house basically looks like this now:

We've got glue traps. A multi-catch humane trap. A homemade humane trap. It foils them all.

We're dealing with some sort of mouse super genius here.

My husband may or may not have been talking about buying a shotgun. Obscenities have been yelled, directed towards a mouse the size of a clementine. Baiting a trap the other day, I promised my son it was safe. In a show of spectacular parenting, I then proceeded to let the trap go on the boy's finger. We wait with bated breath for a SNAP which, as it seems right now, may never happen.

Have you ever dealt with an evil mouse genius and lived to tell the tale?