Conversations with Mags…the Dog

Me: Mags, we need to talk about this ‘attitude’ you seem to have developed.
Mags: What?! Attitude?! Me? ! I have no ‘attitude’. I’m just a better dog than all the others, that’s all
Me: Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. You’re not better. In fact, you are anti-social and don’t like humans or dogs. You’re a downright bitch.
Mags: Well of course I am. I’m a female dog. The smartest and prettiest dog ever. AND, humans that come to MY door need to pass a security test. I smell them to make sure they are okay to enter MY house. I’m protecting you. I don’t know why you get so upset when I bark at intruders. They need to be screened. You humans are so trustworthy and stupid. Gawd.
Me: Okay, first of all we are NOT stupid and since when did you use the word “Gawd”?
Mags: Our human child says it all the time when you’re not here.
Me: ‘Our’? Ugh, I suppose she does. And not all humans are untrustworthy, Mags. You trust me, right?
Mags: Barely. You need all the help you can get. You let anybody come traipsing in here with their little humans who incessantly chase me around and try to pet my head. I hate that.
Me: I let people we know in the house. Not complete strangers.
Mags: The dude that fixed the fridge was what? Your bestie? I hardly think so. And you let those other humans sit in my spot and mess up my blankie. Poor blankie….
Me: Yeah…okay. Speaking of ‘bestie’ you need friends and you can’t have friends if you bark at them and antagonize other dogs all the time. You’re getting a bad rep and you need to be friendlier.
Mags: Other dogs are stupid. They slobber and walk around as if the world is a happy place. It isn’t happy! It’s scary. Stupid.
Me: Mags…how about Howard?* You like him, right? You guys play together after you ‘screen’ him, right?
Mags: Howard is an idiot. That dog just sits there and stares blankly into space. Does he not know how to chase a ball or run? Seriously, what’s wrong with him?! I run around the yard and he just sits there and looks at me like I’M the one that needs help.
Me: That’s because you scare the crap out of him! If you let him sniff you and…
Mags: Wait a minute…YOU WANT ME TO LET THAT IDIOT SNIFF ME??!! ARE YOU CRAZY??!! That dog is going nowhere near my butt….
Me: It’s how you animals make friends, Mags.
Mags: Where do you get your information from, Mom?
Me: Ugh, anyway Howard is adorable. He’s all fluffy and cute and is actually FRIENDLY TO PEOPLE.
Mags: Yeah…dummy. Just like I said.
Me: You need to at least try, Mags.
Mags: Okay, I’ll let our human daughter’s friend in. I like her.
Me: Yeah, obviously. You pee on the floor every time she walks in the door.
Mags: I get so happy. Is she coming over now?! IS SHE HERE?!! HERE?!!
Me: NO! Stop it.
Mags: Ugh….let’s play ball! I wanna play ball!
Me: We aren’t done talking, yet.
Mags: BALL! BALL! BALL!
Me: NO
Mags: BALL! WUBBA!! WUBBA!! *runs to the door* I GOTTA PEE!
Me: Okay, but NO BARKING AT THE NEIGHBOURS!
Mags: JUST LET ME OUT I HAVE TO GO!!
Me: Okay, okay. There.
Mags: *stands stationary for five minutes surveying the yard, then…* BARK, BARK, BARK!!!
Me: Mags!! Come here!
Mags: *runs happily to me* WHAT?! GAWD, THEY STARTED IT!
Me: Ugh….
*fictional name to protect the innocent…and adorable.
I think Mags just rolled her eyes at me. Can dogs do that?

I'm so pretty, it hurts.

I’m so pretty, it hurts.

The Bracelet

For the past couple of days, I have been wearing a charm bracelet that was given to me when I was nine years old. It’s silver with little charms that dangle from rounded chains connected by other rounded chains. It’s like those paper chains we used to make in school from colored construction paper and then hang from Christmas trees as garland. Only made of silver. And much nicer. It was brought back for me from Holland. I’ve added some charms to it over the years, but I still keep it in a special place in my jewelry box. The person who gave me the bracelet was very special to me. Although she is no longer with me, I wear the bracelet at times I need to feel her presence; when I need to feel her closer to me and to be nine years old again. I think we all need that from time to time.
A friend just recently lost his father. It’s tragic and sad and reminded me of her. Not of her death or of her illness that took her, but of the woman who was very involved in my life, who said I would always be a little bit hers. Of summers at the cottage, trips to baseball games and our first ride on a plane. She died at the age of fifty after a stroke and health problems that left her weak and unable to speak. I still miss her and carry her with me everywhere. The memories remain even if she is no longer in my presence.
I wanted to say something that would ease the pain of losing a loved one, but there is nothing that can be said; only that the person may be gone, but you carry that person with you always. He is not lost, he is not gone forever from your memory or from what makes you, you. He is gone from your house, from his house, from his car, from the physical portion of your world, but he remains a part of you. The words he has spoken, the essence of who he was, what he meant to you, how he made a difference in your life, is not gone. He is carried through your life, through your children and through your words and actions.
I’ve lost my parents, my brother and my friend, but their presence is always one I feel. Words I say to my kids, I can often hear my mother’s voice. When I look at my son’s eyes and see his passion for golf (yes, golf) I see my father. Every time I get the opportunity to work with a struggling student, or hear the rumble of a motorcycle, I see my brother’s smile. When I feel the sand between my toes and hear the ocean, I think of Oogie and remember how much she loved the sound of the ocean waves.
Sometimes it takes a tangible object like my bracelet, to bring them closer. I still have my mother’s jewelry, I still have trophies that once belonged to my brother, I still have my father’s slides and old projector, and I have my bracelet. All things that once belonged to my loved ones, but I keep in remembrance. Not that I need these things to remember, I have them because they once loved these things. They once touched them, admired them, and belonged to them. I guess they make me feel closer to them for having something they once loved, but I don’t need these objects all of the time.
My loved ones are never far from me. I just know where to look….

What’s With All the Sloths?

Friday I had a day to myself to paint a couple of rooms in my house (okay, one but it was the entry way AND the closet, so essentially that is two AREAS…AKA ROOMS.  Stop judging. )  During that quiet one-on-one time with ma walls, I had some interesting thoughts ranging from the noisy neighbours outside, to Jesus.  Which then led me to the seven deadly sins… what exactly are the seven deadly sins, anyway?  And are they really THAT deadly?   Just to scare you a little, here is just a snippet of the conversation in my head.

Oh, Jesus jealous much?

Jesus can’t be jealous.  Isn’t that one of the seven deadly sins?  You know like gluttony, greed, slothiness…slothness?  Hmm…slutty sloth or slothy slut?  Something like that?  Can sloths really be sluts?  ‘cause they have to actually move and stuff.  That may take a full day of energy.  All the other female sloths would be like, “Look at her she’s such a slut.  She slept with one sloth in like one week.  Tramp” Seriously, it would be a week’s worth of work for them.  They’re so…slothy.  That’s my new word.  Slothy.

And I think it would be virtually impossible for a slut to be slothy…being a slut is an active pursuit, I imagine.  So one would be busy.  Slothy implies slow and lazy, so…that won’t work.

Hey, kid stop being so slothy. Speed it up!

That old man is driving so slothy.  I can’t even handle it!

Snail mail is slothy.

So is dial-up internet.

And Heinz ketchup.

And sloths.

Of course an argument could be made that the word ‘slow’ is just as appropriate, but slothy has a better ring to it.  Plus, I made it up so…I win.

And really, sloths are kinda cute in a fuzzy-claws-of-death kind of way.

’m gonna woo you with my slothiness….and claws. And I’m not the tramp that one over there is.  Stop judging, okay?

I’m gonna woo you with my slothiness….and claws. And I’m not the tramp that one over there is.  Stop judging, okay?

Obviously, painting frees up some creative thoughts about sloths and Jesus.  Next time, maybe I can ponder stop signs… they really should be titled ‘slow the fuck down’ signs.

I still have more rooms to paint.  So much to think about….

Top Ten Reasons People Think I Have Issues

I thought of this post at exactly 3:25am whilst taking the dog out to pee and upon returning to bed, realizing I was completely awake.  Had I not been so lazy, I would have written the post as it happened in my head, but writing at 3:30 in the morning is not my thing.  So I willed myself to remember at least a few of the points so I could amaze and delight you with it now.  I remembered exactly two…the rest I’ve made up hoping they are as funny now as they seemed to me at 3:30 in the fucking morning…I’m hilarious in the middle of the night.

I have strange dreams that I insist on detailing to Hubby, like the time I dreamed there were elephants wandering around in Churchill Square and we should go down and see the baby elephants as they were especially cute…

I refuse to lend any participation in the silly notion that my attendance to any academic institution’s so-called ‘curriculum night’ is deathly important and if I do not attend, I would be considered a ‘bad parent’. The last time I attended one such event, it was in 2009/2010 or thereabouts and I got lost during the whole “okay, do what your kid would do and go to all of her classes”, and just gave up and went home. And had wine, which is a much better option if I do say so myself…

I drink wine and talk about it…a lot. So? Wine.I am impatient when I drive and complain constantly about it and the dumb-dumb in front of me is driving under 90km ON THE HIGHWAY and it’s a nice dry day…which is rare, but still. You would think he could see me in his rearview mirror as I make face like this:  Diaz Bad teacher

Apparently, he does not bend to driver pressure…GOOD FOR YOU, BUDDY.  SAY NO TO BULLYING…

I can’t decide at what temperature I am comfortable and get greatly distressed by others who find it perfectly perfect all of the time…IT’S NOT PERFECTLY PERFECT!  IT’S BLESSED HOT AND COLD AT THE SAME TIME AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO WEAR.  I need layers…and a blanket…and an ice pack.  Wine.  I need wine

I can’t make a decision. I think…wait.  Maybe not, the other day I decided to wear a dress, but then it looked like it would rain so I decided to change into jeans.  I then questioned my decision when the sun came out later that day…so, basically I decided to be flexible in my wardrobe choices and DECIDED to lament about them regularly.  I decisioned the shit out of that!

I send random emails to all the ladies in the ‘hood every week to let them know I’m still alive and to induce voluminous chatter about nothing in particular because I’m a badass, ‘yo…or incredibly bored…or both. And they actually lead me to believe they read the emails diligently and appreciate my sarcasm and blatant disregard for politeness and etiquette…that’s true friendship…

I tell my kids that no one will ever like them as much as I do and they need to honour my memory when I die with flowers and written effigies of affection…to which they roll their eyes and say “Yeah, okay. Whatever that means” They truly love me.

I continue to harbor a deep desire to acquire a zombie gnome and decorate my front lawn with it…or several…and perhaps spread the joy and put one on the lawn across the street…I could scare the shit out of Cuddles the cat…hmmm….

Sometimes, I get a little sweary…like when I drive… or had some wine (not at the same time)…or when I walk…run…trip over concrete barriers THAT SHOULD NOT BE THERE…am forced on a ski lift/chair lift/death ride from hell…am denied morning coffee…just sat through an hour of ‘blah, blah, as a parent you should assist your child with homework, blah, blah, blah’…can’t find the chocolate I hid yesterday…forced to speak to anyone at Bell (that includes Daughter when she tries to tell me something that makes total sense to her because she has swallowed the Bell- Koolaid, but to totally rational adults like me, it’s complete asshattery designed to confuse and disorient and then take all your money…sorta like the bank on acid).

There you have it.  You would think I have issues, but really I don’t…really.

Hand over the chocolate.

And wine.

Fall With a Side of Jesus Toast

Fall seems to have arrived with a little trepidation around these parts. After a ghastly August by all accounts…we were away during August, but the reports were not good…September has been kinda-okay. And I say that while inhaling slowly and crossing my fingers that the rain that is currently beating down the windows will only last for today and give way to sunny skies and mild temps once again. That has been the norm this month….

fall leaves
So, that ends the weather portion of this blog post. In other news, I haven’t died.
Or fallen off Signal Hill.
Or been recruited to solicit Jesus pamphlets door-to-door…although, that does sound like a hoot, doesn’t it?
Because I wouldn’t be able to pander Jesus pamphlets with a straight face and without being a tad sarcastic….”No, really lady you need to know about Jesus. I have this plastic Jesus mold right here that can be used to make toast in Jesus’ likeness, so every morning you can make Jesus toast and feel like you’ve truly had a Blessed Breakfast”… “or Holy Bread” ….JESUS EGGS!!! OMG that would be great. Jesus eggs…the ultimate in Sacred Omelets….why hasn’t any breakfast chains like IHop picked up on this yet?
Come in for Sunday brunch and have Jesus Toast and Holy Eggs cooked the way He would like…sunny side up, but hold the pork products.
Forget the Last Supper, how about the Blessed Breakfast?
Bountiful Brunch?
Sorry, I’ll stop now.
This has been a wonderful distraction. I’ll get back to doing whatever it was I was doing before the whole Jesus thing began.
I’m glad we had this talk.

It's Jesus!  In toast!  Brilliant.

It’s Jesus! In toast! Brilliant.

The Positives of Positivity

I wanted to write another Top Ten, but since I couldn’t come up with anything original or interesting for you folks, you’re stuck with whatever pops into ma head next. Soooo….summer is over.

How’s that for positivity?

The fall winds have begun to blow and there goes summer, gone in a puff. What happened? Summer is so brief around here, we have to relish every second. And for the most part, we did. There were barbeques, regattas, birthdays, hot days (rare, but July was one of the hottest here…yay for me!), reading, swearing, drinking which led to more swearing, and finally vacay…2.0. It was awesome and we are all still friends, which is a tribute to great friendships but even better to rum. Yeah.

The dog survived her two and half weeks away from us, the house stood without spontaneously combusting, the cars remained intact and we are all still in one piece…no bumps, no scars but a little bruised…still not sure what that was from.

The girls are back to university, the kid is in his first year of high school (Gawd, I’m old) and I am still here.
Another year ahead of hockey, (ugh) part-time jobs, weekends with the ‘hood, working, writing and hubby complaining…because I think that’s his favorite hobby.

I think New Year’s resolutions should be made in the fall, that way we can make them while we are still in a good mood from the summer. Everything is still bright and shiny like the new pencils we bought for school and our new running shoes we got for gym.

I have some plans and I hope they get to see the light of day. In the meantime, let’s stay positive and keep on going.

I told a student today, baby steps baby. Think of last year and all the great strides you’ve made to get right here where you are today. A simple thing like walking into a building can be the biggest accomplishment you have…so take that and run with it. Doesn’t matter how big or small it is to anyone else…it only matters how big it is to you.

So, what have you accomplished this year?

Me…I’ve decided to become more inspiring…more motivational and positive. Turn stuff around so it looks better from the other side. Sometimes, all it takes is a different perspective.

So, have a great week peeps! And stay positive.

Remember…You. Are. Awesome.

Barney awesome

 

Top Ten Things I Learned on My Epic Family Summer Vacation The Sequel

As it is with ma ‘hood, we like to do stuff together. In fact, togetherness is all the rage, yo. So, behold, on the fourteenth of this past month, five and a half families(the half came in middle of said vacation when a father-son duo joined the group) decided to depart TOGETHER on the Epic Family Vacation venturing on what would become an epic fantasmic event of lost wallets, missing Disney tickets, the barbeque from hell and frogs that just wouldn’t shut the fuck up. Here is a list of shit I learned whilst venturing into the wilds with nothing more than my wits and my flip flops (and alcohol…don’t forget the alcohol):

1. Blue water is good, brown water is yukky and may contain nastiness such as alligators, crocodiles, mosquitos on steroids and wasps…ewww.

2. Nothing says ‘romance’ more than sharing a room with three kids, a cot, a loose praying mantis and a veritable array of alcoholic beverages that do not go well with oatmeal. ugh.

3. Barbeques work especially well when the propane tank is attached and actually filled with propane. When the inevitable ‘empty tank’ situation occurs, the next best thing is to ‘borrow’ the neighbour’s barbeque…only beware. Their anti-theft shit is awesome. Four men couldn’t open the tank….it took yours truly, a stealthy little can opener and five minutes of hacking to get that baby to move. I know…I rock. I was proud to announce ma prowess with barbeques after the men all sat back down and recommenced to chugging the beers they were consuming pre-barbeque valve contest. There should have been prize money involved…at least a free t-shirt that read “I OPENED THE BARBEQUE TANK WITH A CAN OPENER. WHAT DID YOU DO TODAY?” yeah.

Yay!  VACATION!!

Yay! VACATION!!

4. Attending Disney is better when you actually remember to bring the tickets. This did not happen to me, but to poor Birthday Girl who forgot the tickets, however, did wisely take pics of them and showed them to the nice lady at Blizzard Beach, who promptly issued new ones. We love her. AND, Birthday Girl’s mom who had to endure the “This is how you take a picture with iphone and email said picture” lesson…which was a bit lengthy, I understand.

5. Keep it in your pants, pal. The wallet, I mean. I was referring to the wallet. The escapades continued with Bday Girls’ fam as her hubby promptly lost his shit on the Summit Plummit ride…and by shit, I was referring to the wallet…which was recovered. Eventually. See? There are good people still walkin’ around out there…AND, he could have lost his shit on that ride I didn’t stick around long enough to watch the descent into madness.

6. Don’t take the fucking chair lift, please. Bday Girl made the mistake of gently suggesting we take the ‘nice chair lift ride’ to the top of the ‘mountain’ so we could ride the water slide. I think I vomited a little in ma mouth before I retorted the “DO YOU WANT TO SEE ME CRY?!!” She then remembered my anxiety around chair lifts (there is no such thing as a ‘nice chair lift ride’) and we made the trek up the stairs.

7. Saying “I just passed away” is not the same as “I just passed out”. Just to be clear. I don’t want people to start the funeral arrangements for daughter who said she “passed away” whilst lounging in a chair in the summer heat…poor girl. I think somebody was eyeing her room and planning to pilfer her eye shadow collection…

8. Standing in the underbelly of a large ship with four thousand of your closest friends with no AC and lined up like targets in a shooting contest all in the name of ‘safety’ doesn’t really work well for me. Hence the nausea, intense sweating and hyperventilating that went on before I moved out to get air. I think if we ever were in a dire situation and we needed life boats, I’ll jump, thanks. I tend to like air…and breathing. Breathing is good. I’ll chance the drowning…and the sharks. Sharks are our friends, right? Right?

9. Apparently, there is no such thing as ‘too much Rum’. Hmmm….

10. Packing a suitcase can be tricky when said suitcase is packed too full already and shit starts to spill out and you have to start leaving stuff behind because it’s over the weight limit. Pretty soon you’ll be approaching strangers in an airport and asking if they want to buy used t-shirts or shoes or ‘look, it’s pretty! Hardly worn…underwear’ . That’s when airport security gets a little ‘annoyed’ and asks you to cease and desist with the Undergarment Giveaway Extravaganza you had planned. Damnit. Soo much decent underwear to be won by the many weary travellers just LOOKING for a great pair of boxers. Ugh.

I leave you with the best line of the vacay:

Heard on the plane as we were about to touchdown in St. John’s, my nine year old neighbour promptly asks what day it is. Friday, we say. “Hey, it’s Happy Hour now. Might as well break out the Tequila! Vacation isn’t over yet!”

AWESOME….I like the way she thinks….