Thursday, August 30, 2007

Theme blogging

After reading my sisters creepy post I am inspired to share my own spider story. Her name is Almaline, which is german, meaning work. Her incredible changing web is stationed on the outside the window next to my computer. She is mottled orange and black, more round than slender, and she is slower moving than you would expect of a spider. It gives her an air of care-free confidence as she travels the expance of her net towards her prey.

It is the window between us that allows her to live long enough for me to admire her. Her sisters who have ventured inside have met with quick and painless ends. Because of her unknowing choice to stay out of the spider free zone, the kids and I perch on the couch and watch her repair her web quite often. It's location has made her a very successful hunter. Right now she is curled up in the window sill awaiting her next victim which will, no doubt, arrive before noon. This afternoon we will gather again to watch her spin her web anew. The whole thing almost makes me like spiders.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The thing is...

I heard it again today. I am pretty sure for at least the last four years I have heard it every day that we have left the house. "I bet you're busy!" It is amazing to me how many people see this as an original thought that simply must be uttered aloud. O.K., I will admit, today I was busy. The kids have been cooped up for a week and were a bit rambunctious. Not usually though. Not busy enough to be worthy of constant comment.

The thing is, I have grown up with the knowledge of my Grandmothers having broods of 7 and 12. I have watched teachers, camp councillors, and childcare providers manage hoards of children at a time. Nobody echoes the word busy at them. I have a much smaller class size than any teacher I know. Why am I getting all the sympathy? Sure they are all getting paychecks, but we all know that on a philosophical level what I get is far more valuable.

So yes, I have busy days and sometimes it feels as if my life is not my own, but I chose this. I wish I could get a little more sleep but somehow I don't think that will be on my top ten regrets when I am old and grey. Sooner or later I will have gained enough of my brain back to come up with a good reply to the busy comment. For now I will stick with the good 'ol smile and nod response.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


So, I promised a little more detail on the visit to Toronto and Cleveland. Here are some, and some pictures too.

We were picked up at the Toronto airport by my Aunt Linda who took us to this fabulous restaurant on a street that reminds me of kensington (I remembered Mom!) in Calgary. Cool shops and Divine food.

Back at Grandma Dalton's I got to see almost all my aunts, a couple uncles, and a few cousins for a brief visit that evening. I spent the morning sitting next to Grandma and listening to many varied stories while she knit away.

Soon it was up and into a car with uncle Tom who took us out for lunch on the way. While looking at the menu my mother slapped my side and gleefully declared "fried baloney sandwiches!" I didn't understand until later why that item elicited abuse in public. Grandma Sharp later informed me that this was a favorite of Moms and didn't appear on Canadian menus. I will sit across from my dear Mother for the next trip south. :)

The rest of the weekend was jam packed with activity and catching up. I discovered that my relatives knew alot more about my life than I did about theirs. My cousins even knew my childrens names. Between making homemade burgers with Uncle Chuck, family booklets with Aunt Margy, helping Uncle David with his three energetic children, and hangin at the house with my Grandparents, there was ample time to ask lots of questions and listen to many stories. I am so incredibly glad that I went and was very sad to leave (which was evidenced by all the tears on the way out ; I am a suck, I know). I am, not for the first time, very proud of where I come from. Locally and otherwise. Good times.

Friday, August 24, 2007

As the world turns

I came home to find the universe altered. O.K. maybe it's not that dramatic, but still totally impossible to wrap my head around. I have an eight year old son and will no longer be buying diapers. We have officially entered a new era. Not only that, but for his birthday, my eight year old received a wooden elastic shooting gun. *gasp*

Is it just me or is the world spinning faster these days. Wasn't it just the other day that I was round and full of Hannah while Levi and I chased ants across the sidewalk to see where they were going? Suddenly there is a soon-to-be young man standing at the door to greet me and asking if he can help with the dishes and make lunch.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Home sweet home

After death defying flights from Cleveland to Toronto, Toronto to Calgary, and Calgary to Cranbrook, I am home safely. Upon my arrival the kids and I snuggled up for a book reading and pictures of the trip.

The trip was wonderful! I shall give more details in peices when I have more energy to think straight. I will say this now though; my roots go deep and even when it isn't obvious, these roots are tended with great love. As I watched my Grandparents over the weekend, I thought of Alex and I and what our family may look like in years to come. I hope my children, whatever paths they choose, see us as parents worth celebrating. Amazing.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Selah cleans up

"eewwwwwww," said the little voice around the corner from the kitchen where I was cleaning up the remnants of breakfast. As I poked my head through the door way I saw the owner of said voice scurrying down to the front door with about three squares of toilet paper in her hand. "eewwww Mama" Then she reached down with the toilet paper and picked up a fist-sized bit of poop she obviously left there by mistake. Realizing the toilet paper hadn't protected her little hand like she had hoped, she echoed her previous statement and promptly cleaned her sweet little hand off in her hair. Well it wasn't long after that we were both in the shower having a good scrub. At least we weren't in the carpeted basement for this little episode......

As a totally unrelated aside; I really need more coffee and chocolate at my immediate disposal.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The fabulous adventures of Mad Cow sisters

My biggest sister and her hubby have stayed here on and off the last couple of weeks. Last night was an unexpected ON night. Before bed the plan was hatched to get up in the VERY wee hours and watch the meteor shower. Seconds after the plan was birthed, the boys ducked out. Ferd meandered off to the Cranbrook musical round table and Alex to bed.

Erin and I, being good, faithful sisters, crawled out of our nice warm beds, tucked ourselves into sweaters and hopped into the van. Both motivated by the desire not to dissapoint the other. We saw about 3 falling stars, shivered, gigled a bit, and hopped promptly back into the van. The whole event over about 45 minutes from when we forced ourselves out of bed.

All in all, regardless of the cold and the numb tiredness of today, I was glad we did it. I miss having adventures with my siblings. I have become the responsible, sensible mother who says things like , "It's late and the kids needs their sleep." or, "Alex has to work and I have to keep up with the kids tomorrow." How boring for a 25 year old woman of the 21st century! Every so often the resonse to an offer of even tame adventure should be "Carpe Diem!"

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Directionless contemplation

A bit of an odd morning. I was awake at 4 am crawling into bed with Selah and Shiloh with the intention of preventing Selah from crawling into bed with us and waking Alex. They woke up at 6 and we all headed to the chilly basement to watch a movie so I could try and get a little more shut-eye. No such luck. So I have been puttering around ever since in a fuzzy state.

At 10am a friend came to drop off her two nephews, one of which is now sleeping on the couch next to me. Shiloh is asleep on the couch downstairs and Selah is trying to lay down with her "baby" on yet another couch in here. The sounds of children are coming from every direction and the smell of lunch is wafting in from the kitchen.

I have a lengthy list of things I could should would be doing if I could focus for more than a few minutes. Contemplation on the meaning of life brings memories to mind of "Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy." How many weird movies have I sat through since Alex and I started dating? Some were good .......some hours of my life I would like back.....Not years though. I wouldn't ask for any years back. 8 years for us, 60 for my grandparents. Where will we be in 52 years? Will we have grandchildren? great-grandchildren? Will we both still be living? In this house? Will Alex stay the fantastic oddball that he is? Will we have regrets? Do I have regrets now? I don't think so. I have no real ambitions for anything more than we have. Maybe a couple more kids somehow. I would like to knit just one pair of socks. I don't need a wardrobe of knotted string like my sister. Just one pair of socks would be cool. I would like to be healthier than I am now. Well, I am far too tired to do anything about that today. Tomorrow maybe I will walk before everyone gets up. I can't wait until Alex and I can take walks again. That will mean we don't have babies or toddlers anymore. Hmm. Everything is a trade I guess. Pros and cons everywhere. Kids are waking up, asking for food. No more daydreaming in type for now. Maybe tomorrow I will wake up with fewer questions, distractions. For now, more coffee will keep me going.

I want one

camper bus

Saturday, August 04, 2007

kitten farewell

One of the kittens left home this week. Friends of ours took Bugaboo and have given her a good home. A visit to their house last night revealed a very good home for her indeed. They have a little bed for her and it seems she is pretty much litter-trained. She had several good cuddles in the couple hours I was there. We can even visit her so the kids aren't as upset as they could have been. Now if only there were volunteers for the other two.....

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Pajama day just doesn't have the same effect when you are homeschooling........