Desk Trials

The untidiness of my home desk space remains the bane of my existence, however, it isn’t entirely my fault.  Since Hubby has been home more often, he has settled into daily occupations of my laptop and invades the space that was once my sacred den.  The once organized entity has now been overtaken with papers, hats, random books, notes and nasty sports memorabilia for which I care nothing for.

What the hell happened to my desk?!  I try to clean it up and organize it only for it to return to its unnatural messy state.   I try to hide away the sports caps and the random papers only to see them re-emerge following my day at work.  I tidy up the random notes for them only to be replaced with more random notes that have nothing to do with me.

I’m thinking of getting  a new desk and putting it in a secret location so that no one can find it.  That way, I can relocate my laptop and MY papers and MY books minus the sports caps and flyers and settle in to MY TIDY NEAT SPACE.  Better yet, buy an old desk and re-purpose it.  I could sand it down and paint it a pretty colour.   I could have a clean organized place for each one of my books and notebooks, I could have file containers and a holder for all of my nice pens.  I could even have a nice vase of flowers….ahhh….

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Someone has pictured my new old desk THAT I MUST HAVE…it even has a bottle of beer to drink whilst I type!  Loves…

I know, right?  Funny.  That is never going to happen simply because I have no ‘secret space’ and in fact, I have no ‘space’ at all.  There is not one room or iota of a wall available for me to occupy unless I kick a daughter or son to the curb.  And overtake their room.  And make it into a home office…..sayyy….

That is a great idea, minus the ‘kicking a daughter or son to the curb’ part, because I’M NOT AN ASSHOLE PARENT.

If I WAS AN ASSHOLE PARENT, I would have a nice shiny new desk, in a nice shiny new room with painted walls the colour I like and with organizational files and a pretty lamp and a nice comfy chair and flowers in the corner and shelves with my books…..

WHY AM I NOT AN ASSHOLE PARENT?!

Maybe we can get someone to BUILD ME A ROOM.  Somewhere.  Not in the basement though.

I’ll see if the attic is available….

In the mean time, I’ll be playing ‘search for the missing hats’ with Hubby.

I’ll be in the attic if anyone is looking for me.

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The Fall of Summer

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Summer is coming to a close and I can’t help but feel a little sad.  It seemed so fleeting, so brief a season.  I can’t seem to remember long days or hot evenings. (Probably because they were few and far between)  I hate the thoughts of putting away the outdoor furniture and my pretty colourful cushions that adorn my porch chairs.  My flowers are dying at the front garden and the strawberries have all been picked and eaten.  I’m starting to eye my sweaters and long pants and the search for matching socks has taken on a desperate tone.  The kids in the ‘hood are getting ready for the whole back to school thing and that means at work I’m going to be flat out running around busy with exams and shattered nerves right up until Christmas break.

There are also changes around the house.  The kid will be starting Uni, the two girls are working full-time jobs and Hubby is going back to work.  Will there be any reprieve from the busy-ness of the fall?

I am looking forward to warm fires and homemade bread.  Spice candles and trick-or-treaters.  Colourful leaves and bright frosty mornings.

I’ll miss the easy-ness of summer.  The slow moving work schedule, the comfort of getting home a little earlier and walks around the lake in the warmth.  The barbeques and days we could sit out with a few drinks with friends.  The days I could run in the sun or rain and not worry about catching a death of a cold or slipping on icy asphalt.

I lamented a few days ago about the beach and how I thought becoming an alcoholic beach bum seemed a perfect fit and to some degree, heading to the warmth and sunshine still greatly appeals to me.  But there is something to be said for the change of seasons.  A new beginning, a new endeavor, a shift of consciousness from easy to busy, from warm to cool, from ending a project to looking forward to the start of a new one.  To keep motivated and always looking ahead to the next big adventure or the next little task is what keeps life from getting too mundane.  The change of seasons brings with it another chance at regaining some perspective, or beginning something new or moving around something that just wasn’t working.  Taking stock and reviewing the ending season allows for ample room to implement some new plan or goal for the future.

Take the opportunity to look forward to the changes that lie ahead with another season and set a challenge.

A little step outside the box can make a big difference in one’s perspective.

Pepe Le Pew Is My Spirit Animal

As far as vacations go, this last one was full of heat, humidity, a dash of crankiness, a little drunkeness with a side of wayward walking AKA falling on my ass.  Again.

Although in saying that, I truly wasn’t drunk when I fell.  Honestly,  I wasn’t.  It probably would have been better had I been as drunk as a skunk.  (By the by, WHO THE HELL THOUGHT UP THAT PHRASE?  How can a skunk be drunk?  I swear that’s how Pepe Le Pew was created.  Some guys were sitting around trying to get a good idea for a new cartoon character and some drunk French Canadian guy was there and they all went  “HEY! WHAT KID WOULDN’T LIKE A HORNY DRUNK FRENCH SKUNK?! LET’S DO THAT!”  And THAT kids, is how all great cartoon characters are created.  The. End. )     At least I would have had a good reason for falling down in the first place instead of the usual I’m-a-klutz-and-have-a-hard-time-balancing-on-actual-feet kinda person.  Ugh.

Vacations around these parts, or SLS, the ‘Hood, ma peeps that live near me…you get the drift, as vacations go we tend to party together, so if one fam decides to vacay it’s inevitable that more will join in.  That was the case this time as well.  One made plans, then another joined in and then it was Bestie’s birthday and how could we not go for that and then another joined in…so really, it was a ‘hood gathering in a hot tropical environment.  Plus alcohol.  Of course, it’s our ‘hood we’re talking about so OF COURSE THERE’S ALCOHOL.   Oh, yeah and the kids were there too.  Hey kids!  Nothing to see here, go back to watching Pepe Le Pew…

After a lovely dinner and A LITTLE WINE, CALM DOWN we went to Bree’s abode for cake…and MAYBE a little more wine.  As we were walking out onto her expansive, yet viewless patio (unless you count the roof top of another building a view, then yes, it had a view.  The LEAST they could have done would to have thrown some nice plants out there,  maybe strung some lights…a few decorative chairs.  COME ON PEOPLE, GIVE BREE SOMETHING TO SEE!)

Anywho, unbeknownst to me the patio was two tiered.  The second level had the smallest of edges but I somehow managed to find it and my wedged sandled foot rolled over it like a car tire over a drunk skunk.  Yes, it was slow and painful.   It was like I was watching a movie in slo-mo only I was the actual person doing the falling.  Twit.   I could feel myself starting to descend, but could do nothing to stop it and hey, did I really want to?  At some point I had the presence of mind to ever-so-gently place my precious iphone on the barren side table just sitting so quaintly to my left…as I was ever-so-slowly  falling on my ass.  When I finally landed, thumping squarely on my bum, I just sat there for a second to digest what just went down.  Me.  I went down.  Bestie turned and yelled if I was hurt, her daughter were desperately trying not to laugh and I was still incredulous that I had done it once again.  I’VE FALLEN AND I CAN’T GET UP.  SHIT.

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As I stupidly sat there on the cement patio contemplating the statistics of me falling at every vacation in the history of ever,  I took in my surroundings.  And waited for the bleeding and pounding headache to start, because let’s face it, that’s usually what happens.   When none of that happened and Bestie was trying to help me up and her daughters were trying desperately to get out of my way frightened I may end up taking them down with me again, I was able to fully assess my injuries.  Or astonishing lack thereof.

I scraped my knee, my elbow and hurt my dwindling pride.  My foot seemed okay at the time and I jumped up to save what shred of dignity I had left, which wasn’t much.

I later limped to my room across the hall.  And awoke to a swollen foot, pain and the inability to walk more than a few feet without sitting down.

Excellent vacation!

It was all a little much.

A week later, my foot has almost healed completely.  The doctor said there is nothing broken, (besides my fragile ego) and I will live to fall another day.

There’s a story from my childhood that, once while we were at the cottage one summer day, I was heard outside calling “Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.”  When everyone came out to investigate and see the cat I was calling, I was rushed inside and the door was soundly shut.

Apparently, I was calling a pretty little skunk over to play with me.

Wonder if any of his relatives are still staggering around looking for a drinking buddy.

Here kitty, kitty, kitty….

Pepe Le Pew

 

What?! I Like Beans. And The Beach. And Even Cats…Mostly

Spending my time at the beach last week had me wondering what it would be like to actually live in a tropical environment.  The warmth.  The sun.  The sand.  The sea air. A chair on the sand watching the waves while sipping a drink. Or five.

Ahhh….

But,  I’m not sure I could handle a Christmas without snow or freezing temperatures.  I’m sure I could do without the sleet and freezing rain, but what about Christmas Eve bread?  What about the tradition of doling out homemade bread to ma peeps?  I’m not entirely convinced I would feel compelled to bake in 90 degree heat.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t.  And who would I bake for?  Unless all of my neighbours and friends came down to my tropical island at Christmas, there would be no point in baking 16 loaves of bread.

Would it feel the same?  No warm fires or candles or early darkness at 4:30pm.  No hot cocoa or cold noses coming in from shovelling or walking the dog.  No parkas, boots, wet gloves or frozen windshield wipers.  No snow tires, layers of clothes and worrying about slipping on the ice during a run.   Wait…what was the point?

That beach, though.

Sand, sun and warmth.

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I think I could manage.  Walking the beach every morning and sipping coffee on my balcony as the sun comes up.  I could sit out in the evenings without swatting flies or shivering from the 110+km/h winds bellowing around me.

As someone says, the grass is always greener, but in this case it literally is.  Greener.

I’ve been back to work one whole day and I haven’t stopped shivering since I walked in the door.  Not that it’s overly cold here, but I just haven’t been able to acclimate back to cooler temperatures.

I think I got used to heat and humidity.

And sand.

And sunshine.

And wearing shorts and tops without worrying about what kind of shoes to shove on my sockless feet.

Yeah, it sounds awesome.  I wonder what it’s like in Key West this time of year.  I could be Hemingway-esque and hove away in a house somewhere, drinking until the wee hours and writing until my computer conks out.  But then, I would just be another alcoholic reclusive writer living with 40 cats and eating beans from a can.

Ahhh….beans…

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Ernest Hemingway’s humble abode in Key West.  I could live here.  And drink. And take care of the cats…is that a can of beans I hear opening?

Deep Breaths And Wine

The vacation planning and the ongoing struggle to remain a human being whilst juggling the tedious, yet ever-so-important mundane task of breathing is getting exhausting.  
If you just read that SENTENCE and you aren’t fainting from the mere lengthy run-on-edness, then yay for you! You have more stamina than most folks who checked out after ‘the’.  

I know, “vacation planning…Ooooh so sucky to be you right now”, but wait! I’m a let’s-stay-at-home-and-find-something-interesting-to-do-around-here-that-doesn’t-involve-lenghty-lines-and-blistered-feet-and-quotes-of-GAWDIDON’TKNOWWHEREIAMRIGHTNOW!-kinda girl. I love to go away at the beach, etc. but SOME people get so worked up a week before we go, it’s like dancing around a campfire in a drunken stupor knowing at some point you are going to go headfirst into those flames and it ain’t going to be pretty. And nobody wants to see that go down.

Vacation planning sucks. That’s what I’m saying.

It’s all good once the vacay has commenced, but this week is fraught with anxiety and hand wringing and exclamations of “WHAT DO YOU MEAN WE DON’T HAVE THAT BOOKED?!” Gawd, don’t have a cow, it’s not like there are NO HOTELS ANYWHERE IN TORONTO. Or…where are we going, again?  

Yeah, it’s like that.

I should heed advice and not get so upset when SOMEBODY rips my head off because THERE ARE NO GRAPES IN THE HOUSE. WHO KEEPS EATING ALL OF THE GRAPES?! Because, obviously the secret minions of grape-land come in late at night and eat all the friggin’ grapes and it’s really not the grapes that SOMEBODY is upset about, but the getting on the plane and hoping there was nothing forgotten and hope we have enough money for that and let’s not lose the kid this time or fall down and almost break your face, remember that?  

Yeah. Good times.

Truly a hard go at this stage in the game, and with the whole WRITING OF THE EXAM, THE SEQUEL going on, it’s a little testy around these parts.  

I’m basically trying to keep my head on straight and secretly ordering batches of wine to be delivered to my room once we get to the sunny south so I can drink away the voices in my head still screaming DID YOU REMEMBER TO BRING THE PAPERWORK AND YOUR STURDY NO SLIP SHOES?!  

Fuck.  

 

 

A Family Photo Wouldn’t Be Complete Without A Diva Not Wearing Pants

I finally found the family portrait I’ve been tearing the house apart trying to find.  I knew I had it, I just couldn’t figure out where I put it.  It’s one of those things I always meant to have framed, but due to the condition of the photograph, I was reluctant to do it.  It was once a coloured photo, but it has since faded with age.  It was taken in and around 1969, putting me at around aged 3.  My parents and my brothers and I are all standing on the porch of our house in Wallaceburg, Ontario posing rather nonchalantly at the guy with a camera pointed at us.   I actually remember the day.  My Dad’s friend agreed to take the photo since he had a good camera and some film.  We all rushed outside.  It was windy and even then, I hated the wind.  Luckily, somebody remembered to put shoes and a jacket on me.  Too bad, no one was worried about my obvious lacking of pants.

Blackford family photo 1969

I’d like to think it was my choice to go pants-less, in a sort of  ‘hell-no, I do want I want’ sort of three year old rebellion.  Not, ‘oh, she’s cute in her pigtails and underwear.  It’ll be fine.’    Thanks. 

My mom had on a nice dress and heels.  Her hair was combed and done nicely.   She even wore lipstick.  The boys wore jackets indicating it must have been a chilly day, and I DID have on a jacket.  Who needs leg coverings, am I right?!   My older brother had the misfortune of growing out of those pants at an alarming rate, while Kirk holds a big dice in his hands that I think was a paper weight.  He loved to play with it.  As long as he wasn’t throwing it and using his little sister’s head as a target, I think my parents were happy he was occupied.  Dad had on his signature cardigan sweater and oh yeah, PANTS.

Apparently, being the youngest affords one the opportunity to not trouble about trivial matters such as clothes, or in this case, pants.  I was more concerned the wind would take my breath away,  which is why my hand is over my mouth in a “OH, MY GAWD CAN SOMEONE TELL THE WIND TO PLEASE STOP WITH ALL OF THE BLOWING AROUND!” kind of moment.  It’s not a look of shock at my lack of attire, like one would normally think.  Not “DAMMIT I FORGOT TO WEAR PANTS TO THIS PHOTO SHOOT” kind of thought.  I think my parents were hoping my pink jacket was a tad longer to make it look like a dress, but sorry guys.  It just looks like I’m standing in my underwear shocked and appalled that someone actually took our picture with the little girl with no pants.

At least my red Keds were okay.  And I had that feathery toy that looks like a boa.  Wait…I HAD A BOA AND NO ONE THOUGHT TO PUT IT AROUND ME?!  DAFUQ PEOPLE, WORK WITH ME, HERE.

If I couldn’t have pants, the very least you could have made me look glam and put that feathery pink thing around my neck.   Gawd….

Parenting Tips For Surviving The Teen Years With Grace, Dignity and A Little Less Drunkenness

Adolescence, otherwise known as the slow descent into madness, or those lost years mommy raided the liquor store in search for more wine, or when the little darlings morph into bigger versions of Teletubbies gone awry, is a trying time for everyone; parents, teens, grandparents, teachers, babies, the dog, the mail-delivery person, the librarian with the big ass mole, the nice policeman who escorted you home after being caught outside the liquor store after hours banging on the doors pleading for them to “PLEASE OPEN I NEED WINE! I HAVE TEENAGERS!!!”….

The brains of average teenagers are still developing and pushing the limits. It’s one of the many fun and interesting ways they determine their place in the family; their role in the world and their intimate social circle. It’s also annoying as hell.

Limit setting and parents sticking to them is the key element to any good survival during this emotional roller coaster. They will yell, scream, slam doors and then use the ever favourite “Jan’s mom let her do it”. “AGAIN WITH THE JAN’S MOM?! I’m not Jan’s mom! I don’t care what Jan’s mom let her do! WHO THE HELL IS JAN?! Jan’s mom can stick it!! “ Natural and understandable responses to an illogical and peer-pressure kind of tactic that only ensues argumentative combative behaviour. BAD FORM, TEEN. But that’s what they know. Knee jerk emotional responses to having their asses slammed into a room with nowhere to go but to a ‘Jan’s mom’ kind of response. Stick to your guns! Not literal guns, but your limits. Stick to your decisions. You get it. DON’T CAVE!  

I could say here that communication is the key to any good relationship and speaking in quiet tones and providing a caring and open environment for them to participate in mature dialogue will assist in curbing the emotional upheaval….but that would be utter bullshit. Seriously. Teens are a ball of emotional crap wrapped up in a brain-fugue ire that speaking at all will only escalate the already shitty attitude they possess. I tend to throw my hands in the air and say “Jesus, help me with this child! Give him the necessary good sense that he needs to see the light!” and then proceed to speak in tongues. This generally confuses the shit out of the teen and he is so freaked out he turns around and goes to his room to try to call his father saying “Mom has lost it! Come home now!” And will never ask to go to another party/borrow the car/jump off a bridge, again.  

As a mother of three teens who are now adults, I can say you will survive. Motherhood be damned, the adolescent years are the most trying times; following of course after toddlerdom when the word ‘no’ was the prompt to put more toys in the toilet; the righteous pre-teen years where buying the right shirt was a major meltdown affair and of course the roaring twenties where there’s university exams, classes and staying out all night. Actually, now that I read that statement, being a parent kind of sucks. There is no decade safe where you can really sit back with your feet up and relax and say, ‘yep. We did it. We raised our kids.’ A parent’s work is never done and even now that my kids are no longer ‘kids’, I can say I still worry. We still argue (yes, Miss H even with Son), we still have to set the limit and toe the line and all that parenting lingo you read in all of the Parenting 101 books that kinda only work when the kid is already well-adjusted, graduated with a PhD and on his way to his own wedding. All those nice parenting books you bought will surely serve better as a nightstand where you can lay your bottle of wine after an afternoon of endless pleading and begging with the mail-delivery-person to please rescue you from your torment only for him/her/neutral to pry your death grip from his/her/neutral arm and run madly up the street….damned mail-delivery persons! (being politically correct is wordy, but not expensive)

Suck it up, Mommy/Daddy you’re a lifer now!

Ahhh, think back to the day when that adorable little pink baby was first placed in your arms and you promised him the world! And now, well now, he’s still kinda adorable and you would still give him the world if he wasn’t so damned stubborn like his father and have the intelligence of a snail. Then he comes home with decent grades and you think “Yesss. Finally, he has turned a corner. He is growing up” then he dents the car, or floods the basement with the garden hose or goes bowling with a frozen turkey and throws it through the front door.  

Yup.  

A teenager. The universe’s way of reminding you that young people can be stupid. We are the force that guides these young impressionable teens into adulthood with common sense, values and a wealth of information to make solid decisions; like bowling with a frozen turkey is way better suited in the basement using the hockey net. Duh…ANYONE KNOWS THAT.  

That’s why we also have wine. For when those guidelines are a little skewed, those decisions are a little off the mark and we struggle with guilt, ire and Jesus.

Good luck, fellow parents. You are not alone during this traumatic and challenging time. Remember, they will be around FOREVER. Also, the liquor store is open daily until 11pm. Make sure to get there early.

You. Are. Welcome.