Hubby is beside himself with glee over the Leafs finally making it to round two of a playoff series. Too bad they disappointed him with a loss the first game against the Florida Panthers. If all of this is just words to you, I’m with you. I only know this shit because it radiates from my television screen and like osmosis, I have no choice but to absorb the content. Hockey has always been a part of our relationship. From back in the day when we lived in Toronto and would saunter on down to the Maple Leaf Gardens to see if we could get our hands on tickets for a game that evening, to now, a few years later (*cough, cough*) and a few provinces east, to watch his fave team hopefully make a bid for the elusive cup. Finally. After all this time. We have a deal that if the Toronto Maple Leafs ever made it to the Stanley Cup, we would be in Toronto to see that happen. Could it finally be happening? Should I get online and buy the plane tickets? I’ll have to dig out his Eddie O jersey. I’ll have to clean his Tavares jersey. I think he spilled beer on the front during a tense moment. He is crossing his fingers and toes but remains realistic. We have only yet begun to fight. Or something like that.
I would happily trot on down to the Big Smoke to watch a game or get caught up in the hoopla of a win, but watching game after game on the television, just isn’t the same for me. In person, it’s a different ball game…er, hockey game. It’s lively and entertaining. You can hear the skates on the ice and the sweariness of the players. You can cheer with the crowd and feel a part of the game. At home, I fall asleep after the first period.
As a Canadian, I’m failing at our national pastime. I hope I don’t get kicked out of the country or banned from participating in Canadian things. I’ll dress the dog in her hockey jersey and pretend to root for the team…when I’m awake. I’ll drink beer and say ‘eh. I’ll put little Canadian flags in my garden on July 1st and only buy Canadian maple syrup…and stuff. That should guarantee me a place in my country, even if I suck at hockey trivia, right?
If the Leafs manage to pull off some wins, maybe I’ll get more excited. If not for them, but for Hubby. After all, he has cheered for them for more than 32years and will continue to do so even if they suck. I’ve seen him swear at them and cheer for them. It can get pretty sweary and loud at our house during the playoffs. I hope he can see them finally win the big cup.
Let’s Go Leafs!
There. That should do it. They’re practically a shoo-in now!
I’m not sure if I accomplished anything worthwhile besides trying to convince Hubby he should start packing for our trip. We leave in a week. He’s still trying to decide what to wear. And to complicate matters, we are only packing a carry on. For a two-week vacation. Aside from that, I think I managed to clean the main floor of the house and do a half-assed job at making one dinner, but I think I’ll run down my week, if for no other reason, to make you feel better about yourself. Because even if you got out of bed without hurting yourself or disturbing the dog, you had a banner week! Go you!
10. I drank a lot on Friday night in front of company who have never seen me drunk before and now I think I’ve scared them off. Or at least, had them rethinking their options to be in my company for future drinking. I may send them a greeting card apologizing for my ill-timed nodding off and pretending I wasn’t drunk. Is there a card for that? I need a card for that.
9. I took credit for fixing the dog. She had a red swollen mass develop inside her eye. After much debating and Google-ing and asking our breeder’s opinion, we concluded she had cherry eye. Mags is 10 years old, and those things don’t happen in older dogs. Breeder Lady told me how to massage the eye in hopes the mass would pop back into place. (it’s referred to as their third eye and can pop out when poked or injured. Or for no good reason at all, like it feels like making an appearance so go ahead and deal with it, bitch) After massaging the area for a few times on Saturday, we awoke Sunday to find Mags back to normal. For Mags, ‘normal’ is up for debate. I’m taking credit for her return to her original state. And for not panic-dialing the vet and sobbing on the phone that my dog was deformed by an unknown entity.
8. I went shopping with Hubby multiple times only for him to debate the return of all the new clothes to which I eye-rolled. I also witnessed the trying on of every article of clothing he owned to decide if they were worthy of vacation space and drawer space. He ended up culling drawers and forming multiple piles of clothes of which are to be further determined where they should go. A truly enjoyable experience akin to stabbing oneself in the eyes with cocktail forks. Okay, that’s a little over-the-top even for me, but I’ve had better experiences in line at a grocery store. A really long line. Like back to the back of the store line, where someone is still trying to pay with nickels and forgot to pick up the salad dressing, so the cashier makes a pithy call to the stock kid to go find it, to discover that it has sold out, so now there is only the crappy kind left. That line.
7. I tried to feign my way out of saying I didn’t know something when really, I did know and when asked repeatedly if I knew, I tried to keep up the good fight and say, ‘of course I don’t know!’ until I caved and spilled my guts and confessed, and then it got awkward. Until it didn’t. And the thing I knew was a good thing, but I wasn’t supposed to know the thing, but now I think everyone knows the thing, so now everyone is happy to know. You know?
6. Son requested I send pictures of him when he was young and in hockey. Hubby found some and I got into seeing his face when he was little and then I lamented how fast everyone has grown up and how old I am, which then led to remembering I am a grandmother and then I wanted to day drink. But I resisted and had coffee in my Best Grandmother Ever mug and I felt better.
5. I went to the dentist to have a cleaning, only I couldn’t because I had a hip replacement seven months ago and needed to take antibiotics before having any dental procedure. This information would have been advantageous to know before hijacking daughter to drive me there and back and then to work. Son had the car this week and I’m SOL for independently arriving to appointments and trivial things like work, so payback is awesome when Mommy needs to go to the liquor store at 9am to buy wine! Drive Daughter, drive!
4. I work in an environment where being quiet is paramount. I had students testing last week and decided I needed lunch. I was returning from heating my soup when I opened the door so expertly stealth, I even surprised myself. I was congratulating myself on my silent manoeuvres when I dropped a glass jar, sending it crashing against the door causing a loud bang to which I laughed out loud and slammed the door. The soup survived. The students were alerted to my awkward entrance. There. Perfect.
3. Apparently, there was a big hockey game on Saturday night, and it was a nail biter and exciting, except I slept through the entire thing and even when Hubby tried to wake me up to tell me how great it was, I nodded and went back to sleep. I wonder if this is how it will be when a big event suddenly happens like the world is set to explode or a big sale happens at Marshall’s. I’ll say, “yeah, yeah, I’m sleeping here,” and miss the whole thing. Maybe I need an alarm clock that can tell me when I’m missing a big event and slap me into consciousness. Don’t let me sleep through the big Marshall’s sale, please.
2. I’ve been trying to decide what to wear on the plane. Everyone is saying to dress comfortably, but for me that’s sweatpants, a hoodie, and my hair in a ponytail. I don’t think that will cut it going to Europe. Pajama pants? If they’re pretty? Ah, if only I could wear that and my slippers it would take the word ‘comfortable’ to a whole new level. I could take a squish-mallow and my eye mask. A blankie? Ugh. I guess I’ll wear pants.
1. Before Mags came down with an eye from the Zombies of the Apocalypse, I referred to her as an asshole a couple of times. Then when her eyeball looked like it grew a twin, I felt guilty, and that the Universe was punishing me for calling my companion an asshole. She is the one thing in the house with a heartbeat who lives to see me walk through the door and who doesn’t criticize my cooking. And who tolerates my ridiculous need to put a book in front of my face instead of rubbing her belly, like a proper human should. But, in my defense, she was barking at the other dogs in the ‘hood for no good reason. And then promptly shit all over the floor. Asshole. Face it, she was embarrassing the family and I was forced to call her out on it. Now that she has recovered, I feel less like an asshole myself and more like the loving companion she deserves.
Until tomorrow when she barks at the neighbours and shits on the floor. Asshole.
I’m finally feeling like I’m getting back to myself. For over a year, I was hobbling around with a cane. Existing with pain. Having to measure distances for walking and wondering if I would make it to my destination without ending up on a random sidewalk clamouring around on my hands and knees, destitute and begging for help. “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”
The day I was able to ditch my cane and walk unaided felt like a triumphant return from the abyss of dependence into which I was drowning. I needed someone to grocery shop with me since I couldn’t push the cart. I needed help getting shit off the shelves because it was either too heavy or I couldn’t stand and pull with one hand. I lumbered along slowly so if anyone was with me, we usually took double the time to do anything. Do you know how low toilet seats are? Yeah. They’re too low. Just sayin’. I hated it. The only good thing was the return of chivalrous behaviour. Sometimes.
We old timers like a door opened for us every now and again, not slammed in our faces as we reach the doorway. Thanks. Not that the door was opened for me EVERY time, but more so than usual. I suppose looking like an old lady with a cane does make people a little more aware of how accessible things aren’t. Are not. Nice try, though. Ramps are few, automatic doors get broken and forget to be fixed, elevators are creepy as hell, (Hello. The Shining), and don’t get me started on the accessible parking spaces. I’ve wanted to butt those asshats out of the spots with the front of my car when I don’t see a permit. I think I shook my cane at an old guy in a truck who was taking a space waiting for wifey to get out of the store. Fuckhead. Flashes of Carrie Underwood with a bat came barreling through my mind…
Walking from the car to the store, or to the mall was a chore. I measured the distance to each store and if I had enough pain killers in me to make the trek. We take for granted the privilege of movement. We absent-mindedly walk around without thinking how we are getting there. How big is the doorway? How low are the chairs? How steep are the stairs? How many stairs? Is there a handrail? Are there icy conditions? Considerations most of us don’t have to think about. You get up and walk down the hall. You come back and sit down, or walk to another part of the house, mall, office. You’re not planning your distances or measuring your pain levels. You’re thinking the best way of getting from point A to point B. So was I but with more variables.
I’m happy to say that’s behind me now. One hip replacement later, and I’m almost back to my pre-cane self. Fuck the chivalry, I can open my own door. Elevators still creep me out, so I take the stairs. People parking in accessible spots without permits still piss me off. I’m hoping Karma takes good care of them. I’m grateful I have a choice between elevators and stairs, parking spaces far away from the entrance, moving without having to consider how much it will hurt me; it’s a privilege many don’t have. I won’t complain about a distance I have to walk, or another push up I have to do in Bootcamp class. I’ll revel in my newfound freedom and independence.
I’m still waiting for the fateful call to have the ever-anticipated hip replacement, but until that blissful day arrives, I languish in renovations and baby-ness. Two totally opposite ends of the spectrum. Kitchen renos are in full swing and have been frustrating and exciting, baffling and exhausting. It’s a roller-coaster ride fit for the amusement park from hell, but we have endless amounts of hope and anticipation of a clean functional space. We also yearn for meals where we don’t have to worry about running the microwave and electric skillet at the same time without blowing a fuse. Which usually happens. It also conks out if the toaster and kettle are running. Better days, people. Better. Days.
Our skittishness with becoming overly excited with an impending birth in the family is well-founded, but it’s getting increasingly difficult to stem. Everyday the news is better, we hope for a healthy and happy baby girl by Christmas. A little Christmas Elf. Aww. We continue to hope for the best and try not to default to the negative Nelly tugging on our elbows. It’s hard to remain nonchalant about a life-altering event, but here we are. Going about our day-to-day, trying not to buy every baby-gadget on the market or every little fluffy pink tutu out there. Yeah. Sure. I’m calm. Trying not to ask D1 every day how she’s feeling, did the baby kick today, are you eating enough…Nana needs answers! Negative Nelly whispers in my ear every now and then.
The ‘hood continues to regale us with unending episodes of wayward pirate cats shitting on patios and meowing until dawn. I fucking love it. The peeps are not impressed with the stray cat strut happening and decide to post every incident of feline rebellion they witness. It’s a little over-the-top but makes for great fodder. I choose not to comment, but it takes immense restraint not to. I’m still holding out for the nicky-nine door extravaganza, but the summer came and went with no such news of the heathens out to wake the ‘hood. At least the hoodlums managed to keep their pants on in front of grandma…which, could be me next year. Watch out, youngins’ I’ll walk very fast after you! Or I’ll whip out my phone and get a pic! Hubby says I’m not allowed to plaster that on FB, but I wonder if printing out the photo and pasting them around the ‘hood would be, ok? Hmmmm….
Nana is on it!
Fall is knocking louder at the door and I’m anxious to let her in with all the pumpkin spiciness I can muster. Get a sweater it’s chilly out there. Apple cider candles, the warmth of a fire, cozy blankets and oh, the fall Hallmark movies that will drip with cheesy romantic flannel shirts. Bring. It. On.
There is so much to look forward to! Survival is key here. I’ll need wine and chocolate…and a pirate cat to keep me entertained. Now if the power will just stay on so I can heat up my chicken fingers and toast some bread…
The summer is coming to an end. I felt the breeze it left in its wake as it flew out the door. This summer was like no other in this fair province. The blazing sun, the above-average warm temperatures and humidity. We had dry spells for weeks, and wind was surprisingly low. It was the summers of my youth in Southwestern Ontario spent outside in the heat and trudging over the dykes to the Jaycee pool. I practically died from heat exhaustion on those treks. But we were young and more resilient. An afternoon splashing in the cool waters of the pool made us forget about the long walk to get there, or the walk back home.
The blazing sun back then seemed brighter. Hotter, somehow. The summers were longer, I swear. Days and days spent out in someone’s yard listening to the radio or throwing crab apples around. Climbing trees, double-dutch tournaments and road hockey I wasn’t allowed to play. Riding our bikes to the corner store to get a 25-cent coke. Days at the cottage in Rondeau, running from flies and swimming in Lake Erie.
Ahh. Do kids nowadays understand what summers before Instagram and TikTok were like? I’m not sure. I hope so.
We had freedom and responsibility at the same time. We had the freedom to go to the park, to trek to the pool, to play in backyards and playgrounds, with the expectation to be home before dark. The responsibility came with looking after yourself. You were responsible to make sure you went home for lunch, or you had a key for the house to get in. If you went to the pool, you had everything you needed with you because mom and dad weren’t going to drive over there to drop it off to you. We were made to be independent at a young age. Look after your own shit because no one else is doing that for you, kid. Do kids do that now? Do they look after their own shit? I wonder.
Maybe that’s the struggle new parents have. The ever-present guilt of having to put too much on the shoulders of their children, so instead, they end up doing everything. A bit of struggle is not a bad thing. A bit of responsibility is okay. No one ever said mom must do everything, drive everywhere and be everything to everyone forever. It’s impossible. Putting the onus back on the child to look after themselves is the only way to garner some independence, to ensure an inkling of understanding what it means to take care of yourself. If mom comes to the rescue every time, it negates their responsibility. Their sense of being their own savior. Mommy is on vacation, kid. Save your own damn self.
Remember in the 80’s we had latchkey kids? Kids were given a key to the house to let themselves in while mom and dad were at work. Kids were responsible for getting a snack, doing their homework, and taking care of shit before mom and dad could make it home. It was a big generational trend back then and maybe it left some trauma for those kids. Maybe they grew up and said they weren’t doing that to their kids, so things changed. Maybe?
Somewhere along the line, things shifted, and kids are relieved of responsibility. But, there goes freedom, too. Freedom from social media knowing every step you take, every bit of food you eat and what underwear you’re wearing. Mom and dad have you tracked on your phone and can find out if you went to that field party or if you have a crush on the guy from math class. They see you and so does everyone else. Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok…the peering eyes of society want to know where you live and how you cope with life, because we need to see how others live to dictate how we should live.
I’m glad I had the chance to grow up unhindered by peering eyes. And the chance to take care of my own shit.
Now if summer could just stay around a little longer….