Archive for August, 2007

Rain. Dance.

August 31, 2007

I’m still sorting through the literal and figurative detritus of the National Lampoon adventure that was our recent camping holiday. So far as I have been able to determine since our return, I think that I came away from the experience with nearly 400 digital photos, 60 lbs of dirty laundry, innumerable mosquito bites in unmentionable places and the discomfiting realization that I am currently marching determinedly into the condition of being relentlessly boring and that that’s okay. More on that once the laundry’s sorted.

The trip was good, though, on the whole, in that strange way that deeply stressful but enlightening experiences can be, when interspersed with breaks for building sandcastles and paddling canoes and quaffing cheap liquor. As, for example, when two days of sharing a 29 foot long motorhome with my mother-in-law culminated in a spectacular thunderstorm that turned the campsite – shared with three sets of siblings-in-law and their families, living in tents – into a mud slick and drove everybody into the tiny, muggy tin shack on wheels that we were calling home, whereupon there was no choice but break open the tequila, let the children swing from the bunkbeds and upper cabinets and make the best of it. It’s moments like those that teach you that when life gives you thundershowers, mud and in-laws all in one messy package, it’s best to just pull out the liquor and throw a party. Those are life lessons. They’re precious.

It’s too easy to forget that most of things that cause us stress and anxiety are actually quite ridiculous, when considered against the vast, inscrutable complexity of nature and the universe and life and everything. That being human is a condition of being relentlessly silly, insofar as being human means struggling against disorder and chaos and mess and thunderstorms. We can’t fight thunderstorms. They just happen.

We can’t fight a thunderstorm, but we can shelter ourselves against a thunderstorm, we can huddle together wherever it’s warm and dry, and maybe have a drink or two or three and sing a song or six and tell a joke or seven to pass the time while the rain and the wind pound the walls around us and then, then, when the rain has passed and the ground is sodden with mud and rain-slicked leaves and we go outside into the fresh-scrubbed air and stamp our feet into the soft ground – then, we can dance.

The WonderBaby Mudslick Two-Step: clap, clap; step, step; right foot mud stamp; left foot mud stamp; run. (West African drum stylings courtesy of brother-in-law and sister-in-law; any percussive beat will, however, serve nicely as accompaniment.)

(This is not, perhaps, exactly what was called for in PBN’s Make A Move On Me Blog Blast – intended to promote Baby Loves Disco – but hey. It’s dancing.)

Home Is Where The Internet Is

August 29, 2007
Coming soon to a blog near you.

First, I need to scan – no joke – some 900 e-mails. And, wash nine days of RV stink from my body, and try to get the last grains of sand out of various Wonderbaby crevices.

In the meantime: WHAT’D I MISS???

Nine days of NO internet, no newspapers, no television, and did I say NO INTERNET? I can’t possibly catch up, so, you know, if you could maybe lend a girl a hand and fill me in? Maybe leave a link or two in the comments to posts that I should catch? (Yes, you can leave your own, or somebody else’s, or whatever – just tell me what to read – I can’t bear to open Bloglines or Google Reader, lest these cause my laptop to give up and die and/or my brain to explode. HELP.)

Of all we can offer

August 28, 2007

Let me tell you about the boy who broke my heart.

(Hey, why not? It’s not awkward at all sharing my inner most thoughts on someone else’s blog. No way. But when HBM asks, I answer.)

You might think I’m referring to the storied “one that got away“ that everyone seems to have, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. He didn’t get away. Well, he did but then he came back and helped repair my broken heart, then set me free again.

Let me explain.

We met as teenagers, this boy and me, children playing grownup games. We were casual friends, at best, for a couple of years until the late spring evening I finally ended a volatile relationship and went searching for the safety of friends. He came to sit near me next to a bonfire, we struck up a conversation, and when my ex-boyfriend came to find me – as I knew he would – the boy stood up in front of me and kept the craziness of the past few years away. And then he saw to it that I made it home safely and stood up for me again when my ex was there waiting.

That boy was already a fixer of broken things; animals, cars, houses, things discarded. I didn’t know until much later that he was also a fixer of broken people. The damaged seemed drawn to him, and I was no exception. After the night at the bonfire we started a minor flirtation that led to a short but intense romance. Our mutual friends definitely approved of our relationship but then, as young men often are (and I can say now that I’m wiser and… cough older cough – I don’t hold it against him) he was tempted by… How do I say this nicely?

A bleached blonde with a big rack. Damn him. Seventeen years later and that still chaps my ass.

But I digress.

My heart was broken. He betrayed me in the worst way, going for such an obvious tramp when anyone could see I was so much better for him. I spent the rest of the summer listening to sad music and driving by his house at odd hours.

I’m not proud of that last fact. So cliché.

Then, trying to repair the shredded pieces of my poor heart, I met my next big relationship. And don’t you know that boy realized the error of his ways and tried to come back to me, only to find out I was already with another. Too little, too late. I took a sort of perverse pleasure in that. Still do, but I’m a small person.

The summer was over and I went back to college. That seemed like the end of my relationship with that boy, romantic or otherwise. But fate has a funny way of bringing two people back together who are meant to be together, as we obviously were. I’d come home on weekends and somehow we would meet up.

(We still ran in the same circles, it wasn’t hard)

He’d call me at school, we’d get together when I had the time. Eventually, we rekindled our friendship and we became very good friends. That’s what we were meant to be all along. Just good friends.

You don’t believe that either, do you?

You would think that being the reasonably intelligent woman that I am I would have noticed the signs, but apparently I was not reasonably intelligent way back then. There were big neon signs that blinked different colored lights, pointing out the fact I spoke more highly of him than I did of the man I “loved” at the time. No, I didn’t notice. Or I wouldn’t. Good friends commented on it, how my eyes lit up when I talked about this boy, and I dismissed it offhandedly.

This went on for years, far past the point of lust or infatuation. Actually to even mention lust makes it seem so cheap. I relied on him emotionally and I believe he felt the same way. I’d be lying if I said there was no physical connection, because there was. Phew. The boy had a body chiseled from stone. But I can say with all the wisdom of my years that our relationship went so far beyond the physical that it never interfered.


We started meeting in private, away from prying eyes that wouldn’t understand the depths of our relationship. We were friends. Good friends but just friends, we couldn’t understand why people didn’t understand that. We were innocents, whispering secrets under the cover of darkness. We could go for months without seeing each other, but if I needed him I could find him and he would be there for me no matter what.

All the while I was miserable and becoming more so by the day but never while with him. I had gotten in so far over my head that I couldn’t claw my way out, except when I was with this boy. When things got desperate I could slip away and know that I would find safe harbor with him, in his little house, and in his arms.

(You’d like to know how innocent we weren’t, don’t you? Too bad. I will tell you this, there‘s a song from the 90‘s by a very popular southern band that sums up our relationship perfectly. It could have been written for us. You figure it out.)

Right about now you might be wondering why we weren’t a couple, this boy and me, why I didn’t just chuck it all to be with him. It sounds kind of strange but our relationship wasn’t like that, it was too fragile for every day life, and it wouldn’t have been able to survive the harsh light of day. Everyday obligations would have destroyed us. And though we loved each other, and here’s the really trite part, we weren’t in love with each other. In real life, away from our safe cocoon, we were much too different to make it work.

I did eventually find the pieces of myself that I had lost, or maybe I never had them to begin with, and I believe to this day that it was because of that boy, the fixer of all broken things, that I was healed. He helped to put me back together again. And then, through a series of small but unfortunate events, our friendship ended. It was time.

I often wonder what it would be like to talk with him again now that our lives have changed so much, but it would probably be awkward. You can’t go back I guess. Not that I wouldn’t take the chance if it were presented to me – are you kidding? I’d jump all over that – because I’d like to thank him and tell him I’m happy today because of him. He’s married now to a local girl and he lives obscenely close to a relative of mine, but if fate has not yet brought us together then it’s not the right time.

Until the time comes I’ll close the chapter on that part of my life – it seems appropriate since he brought me here to this new one – but I’ll always remember him fondly. And not just because of his six pack abs.



Mrs. Chicky has a problem telling Her Bad Mother’s blog and the Basement apart but is very happy that HBM gave her the opportunity to use her blog as a place to vent her innermost thoughts. HBM will be happy to know that Mrs. C only ate one pint of her hidden Haagen Dazs stash while writing this (hey, you go away on vacation and people are bound to raid your freezer), as ice cream, like writing, is very therapeutic for healing old wounds.

A Beary Good Time

August 27, 2007

by Redneck Mommy

When her royal Highness, er, Catherine asked me to blogsit for her today, it was all I could do to trip over myself and take her up on her offer before she realized the error of her ways and rescinded the invitation. After all, this is the HBM. I’m just a trashy redneck. This isn’t an opportunity that is going to roll around every damn day.

I’m taking the keys she dangled before me and rolling around nekkid in her carpets. Gotta mark my territory you know. It’s my only chance. I’ll refrain from rifling through her panty drawer though. I’m going to try and conduct myself with a little bit of decorum around here. Class myself up a bit and hope it takes.

But I couldn’t resist from temptation completely. I had to take a quick peak into her closets. After getting an eyeful of all the different costumes dangling in there, I quickly realized I was out of my league and tried to wipe the image of Catherine in a nun’s habit with a whip and stilettos from my mind.

Life is too short to be carrying that image around all damn day.

My life span was already significantly shortened this past weekend when I had my husband’s entire clan camp out on my doorstep for two days. I’m still recovering.

Oh sure, they are nice enough people. Clever, kind and they always bring truck loads of liquor with them. (They are thoughtful guests.) But while they are bending their elbows and pouring their next cocktails, I’m running with around like a chicken with it’s head cut off trying to keep the oodles of kiddies they brought with them from falling into a dugout or a fire pit.

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Four feet wide and three feet deep. It seemed like a good idea BEFORE we had kids. Now it’s just a heart attack waiting to happen.

My sister-in-law is none too thrilled that her youngest child has no eyelashes or brows after they were singed off by the heat of the mostrous inferno my husband created. While she and I and a few others were discussing the merits of white wine vs. red, her husband and mine were to be watching the kiddies to make sure no one fell into the fiery pit of flames.

I guess we should have specified to make sure the the kids weren’t standing close enough to have their faces melted off. Stupid me.

Boo and his brother figure the kid didn’t need eyelashes any ways. He was starting to look too pretty with them. They fixed that for him.


Then there was the lovely moment when my niece came tearing out from the bush screaming like some pedophile with a sharp knife was chasing her. As I was gnawing on my corn, she happened to stumble upon a wasp’s nest. Luckily for her, she was only stung twice. But as she raced up the steps I noticed her pants were covered with wasps trying to burrow in. She had three in her crotch area alone. I called for Boo while trying to convince her to quickly take off her pants without drawing attention that her lady parts would soon be under attack if she didn’t get those pants. off. right. now.

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The nest that was right under our deck, beneath the front door. We never thought to check the bushes for ground nests. Dumb asses.

I shouldn’t have mentioned her pants. I should have just whipped them right off of her. As soon as I mentioned her pants she looked down, saw the swarm of wasps covering her legs and freaked right the fuck out.

Good times.

And my dog snitched my corncob while I was dealing with the crisis. Bastard.

Later in the evening, when just about everyone had been maimed by a small stinging demon sent from hell, we started to set up the tent for the kiddies. All of a sudden, Nixon, the World’s Greatest Dog, Ever. and the neighbour’s Rottweiler started to freak out. I looked down and noticed both dogs’ hair was standing on end. Like cats on crack.

Suddenly, this mosied on out of the bush:

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HOLY MOTHER OF GAWD…Get the kids!!! NOW!!!

It’s one thing to joke about the kids being bear bait; it’s quite another to dangle their plump little bodies in front the gaping snouts of hungry beasts.

Turns out the pair were just moving through, on their way to greener pastures, so to speak. But suddenly this meant there would be no tent setting up, no kids sleeping out under the great night sky, and no room to move in my already full house. I had bodies every where, even one sleeping in the bath tub.

I fucking love entertaining.

Oh, it wasn’t all bad. The booze was good. We bonded with all the children. We gossiped with the adults and told inappropriate jokes while looking furtively around for any little ears that may be around.

We played a family friendly game of Red Rover, where we took out all of our parental frustrations out on the kiddies. We adults may have got carried away. As demonstrated when my daughter was called over and she chose to try and break through between her daddy and her uncle.

Being the grown, mature men they are, they clothes-lined the poor girl, catching her right under her chin and sending her flying. They somehow managed to catch some of her hair in the process and while my daughter lay gasping for air on the ground, one could see wisps of her long, blonde hair floating through the air.

Thank God the adoption peoples weren’t around to witness that.


In the end, we had six kids with wasp bites, one with a bruised windpipe, one slightly singed child, one partly concussed from when she fell down after walking around the slippery edge of the pool and banged her head, eight kids suffering from slight hypothermia from swimming in water 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees for you Yanks) because I had forgotten to turn on the pool heater before hand, one with gravel burns on his hands and knees from a fairly spectacular wipe out on my drive way after demonstrating how NOT to do a wheelie on a bike, all twelve kids psychologically traumatized from thinking they were about to be eaten alive when the bears arrived and one poor child who got a fairly deep sliver only to have a tipsy uncle wield a sewing needle and try and dig it out. I can still hear the poor kid’s scream for mercy while the uncle told him to suck it up and quit moving.

Yah, I love entertaining.

I can’t wait to do it again next year.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

August 24, 2007

When Her Bad Mother asked me to blog-sit last week while she took off in a giant RV for some good ol’ close-knit family fun I jumped at the chance, because I’ve never been asked to blog-sit before and because, hello! It’s Her Bad Mother doing the asking! I made a personal vow to do her and her kickass blog justice by writing an amazing, inspiring and totally hilarious post. I carried my laptop down to the basement, the only place that’s truly quiet in this house, set myself up with a bottle of water and some reheated pizza, opened up a fresh new Word document…

…and drew a huge blank.

I couldn’t come up with anything so instead I focused on a figurine of an old man with John Lennon glasses, crouched down reading a book. I got familiar with it, studying the look on the old man’s face, noting his strong, capable hands and the way his robe looked a lot like acid wash. Upstairs in the den Dave was hanging out with a friend and I listened to them for a while, keenly, to their laughter and their rising and falling tones. I checked my email and for new friend requests on Facebook. I checked for updated celebrity gossip and scandal and when there was none, I watched the cursor blink on the blank page. Closely.

I sat back in my chair, relaxed and opened my mind, waiting to get struck by a fabulous post idea. All I got struck with was the urge to pee.

Dave saw the frustration on my face when I appeared upstairs. “You can make fun of me if you want,” he said, a hint of sympathy in his voice. “I don’t mind.”

His friend chuckled. “The possibilities are endless,” he said, spreading his arms widely, and we all started cracking up, because it’s so true. I often write about him on my blog because he’s great fodder.

I started thinking about things I could write about: his desire to paint this really creepy looking knockoff Barbie (that turned up amidst a pile of Barbies and Barbie accessories that Dave’s mom snagged at a yard sale) of Julia’s green because he thinks it would look like Salad Fingers. His far-fetched and often times ridiculous notion that he is just as handy, if not more, than Tim the Toolman Taylor; a self-proclaimed Holmes on Homes. The way he treats our home like a three bedroom, two bath clotheshorse or…the fact that he wiped up pee with Oliver’s pajama shorts on Wednesday night, something that, I’ll admit, I’m still a smidge sore over two days later.

Ding, ding…we have a winner!

See, here’s how it went down. Fresh from the tub and stark naked, Oliver had dashed into his room, then stopped abruptly and peed on the floor. As I walked past the doorway on my way to grab a rag from the linen closet I saw Dave mopping up the puddle with Oliver’s pajama shorts, which just incensed me. Sure, the rational side of me is now able to recognize that really, it’s no big deal. He wiped up Oliver’s pee with Oliver’s shorts – I can see the logic in that. But at that moment my rational side had been beaten to a pulp by my irrational side and, well, I snapped.

Why? Because he wiped up pee with shorts. Shorts. Clothing. Not with the towels earmarked for such disasters in the linen closet, but with our son’s pajama shorts. And when he bunched the shorts up with one of Oliver’s shirts and the soother that got caught under the stream and tossed them all into the hamper in the hall it was like, hello, straw. Meet camel’s back.

I went off; something about could have at least grabbed a hand towel, the bathroom’s right there and make the rest of the clothes in the hamper smell like pee, and I’m pretty sure I did a lot of glaring. He was so casual about it, asking me with the shrug of his shoulders what the big deal was, it was all going to get washed anyway. I turned around and huffed off to the laundry room, muttering obscenities under my breath as I shoved like colours in the machine. Pissed.

But dammit, I know he’s right. Of course the shorts would get washed no matter what; in the grand scheme of things, does it really matter what he used to clean it up with? When it comes to not sweating the small stuff, this is the kind of stuff not to sweat. Oliver peed and Dave cleaned it up. Simple as that, right?

I guess. ~grumble, grumble~

At the very least I need to recognize that he took the initiative and cleaned it up himself, unprovoked. ‘Cause that hardly ever happens around here.

staying up is hard to do

August 22, 2007

Hi everybody, it’s motherbumper holding down the fort for Her Bad Mother today.

Since rifling through HBM’s bathroom cabinets has not produced anything worthy of posting about (and she was smart enough to lock the bedroom door), I am forced to tell you one of my own stories.

On the days when I can barely put a post together to publish., I reach back into the ol’ memory box and think about some of the hundred – nay! – thousands of embarrassing moments I have accrued during my years on this mortal coil. One of those usually makes for an amusing post because if anyone can make a situation more embarrassing than need be, it’s this lil’ lady right here.

There are so many blush-worthy moments to chose from but I selected this one because it was the only one I could think of that didn’t involve bodily functions or a time I’d prefer family members didn’t know about.

On a scale of 0 to 10, I’d say this story ranks a three, if the zero is “get over yourself” and ten is “I wish the ground could swallow me whole”.

Many years ago, I worked at a hospital in admin. Proving to be organized and motivated, I had the opportunity to set up a new day surgery ward. Wanting to make a good impression, I decided to wear a skirt instead of the usual not-quite-office casual look.

It was the dead of summer when one likes to wear light, airy cotton but the voice of many “how to get that promotion” articles, various resource counsellors, and my Mom rang in my head, reminding me that nylons are a must when donning a skirt in the office. Bare legs are too casual and in my case, potentially blinding. Which has always been a bad thing to do to co-workers on the first day.

Because of some unshakeable bad karma, early on the first day at the new position, while dressing, I punched a hole in my nylons. And as Murphy’s Law would have it, I didn’t have a back up pair.

Oh you should have heard all those voices in my head when that happened.

I started to panic because it’s rare for me to be able to think straight in these situations. I was convinced that bare legs were going to be the downfall of my employment success. I had no alternative but to ransack the place looking for another pair.

All I could come up with was a pair of stay-ups, one size too big. But they stayed up and were the right colour (not actual photo of my legs that day, those belong to a blogger stand-in).

I made sure they would stay put by doing a little dance around the room, and felt confident because they only needed a small tweak post-boogie. Problem appeared solved.

You see where this is going don’t you?

OK, so now all I had to do was run out and catch the bus and be on time for the first hour of the rest of my life (or so it seemed at the time).

The stop was one block downhill and since I was wearing nice! girly! shoes, I half ran, half slid my way to the bottom of the road. This was where I had to cross, right by a road crew who were tarring something up – logic tell me it was probably a hole.

I gingerly plucked my way across the road, avoiding the loose asphalt, arcing clear of the place where the team was working. In all my fretting, one thing I did not notice was the big spot around the workers that had been tarred earlier but didn’t warrant orange cones. A large area that wasn’t 100% dry.

Did I mention it was hot – a really, really hot summer morning? And it was sunny, really, really sunny.

Well I stepped on that sticky, tacky area of road and when my foot came up, it was shoe-less.

With no time to react, I stepped down with the nylon-only clad foot and immediately took another step to hop away.

Only this time, when I hopped I felt the nylon stay-up slide and slither right down my leg.

Right in front of a very attentive road crew who looked nothing like this road crew.

Engulfed in the men’s laughter, I tried to act completely natural. Only stopping long enough to pry my shoe out of the soft road, I tried to pretend nothing happened. Wearing what I hope was a totally relaxed look, I tried to shove my now filthy shoe on my bare foot.

Walking with head high (but pride oh so very low) I managed to get to the bus stop and sit at the bench to collect myself. I looked back and saw my stocking half-stuck, half-flapping on the road.

Deciding it was better to remove the other one in front of already laughing road workers rather than a bus load of wackos (it was that kind of bus route), I reached down and stripped off the other leg and threw it over my shoulder into the bushes. I didn’t want to risk putting it in my purse, just to have it fall out at the wrong time.

If you could have heard how hard the road guys roared when I made that toss. They looked nothing like this guy while making fun of my predicament.

After what seemed like an eternity, or at least a full two minutes, the bus arrived and I climbed on board. Never had I been so grateful to get on the bus in my life.

Moral of this story? Um… I’m not sure there is one. I guess…. always buy two pairs? when in doubt, use duct tape? always bring a locksmith kit when blogsitting?

Whatever, all I know is I haven’t tried stay-ups since that day.

Boarding the House

August 21, 2007

While HBM is off cavorting in an RV with Clark and Ellen Griswold, I was invited to blog sit. I think she’s hoping one of her squatters will pitch in to finish off that bathroom. Although I am usually her helpful friend with the jazz hands and the chocolate, renovations aren’t really my shtick. I’d rather hang with the old pirate across the street.

In fact, I’m thinking of inviting him over to my ‘hood to mess with the neighbours.

I could have used a colourful pirate last night when my door bell rang. The sound of that sing-songy chime usually means someone is selling something or asking for a donation, and I am wholly incapable of saying no. I have been known to dive for cover to the floor and pretend no one is home. But if I open the door, I am a goner.

Last night was a little different.

On my front steps, was a well-coiffed man in his 30’s with better eyebrows than I could ever aspire to. He stood there demure and friendly, in his carefully pressed shirt and argyle vest (yes vest), and introduced himself as a fellow resident of our street.

We live in a very gentrified, trendy, smallish neighbourhood in the center of the city.

The perimeter is surrounded by an eclectic and culturally diverse mix of restaurants and neighbours. We also border the city’s largest subsidized housing complex and live along side daily reminders of the poverty, homelessness and significant urban challenges that Toronto faces. At the very end of our street, where our pristine ‘hood ends and the city begins, sit two boarding houses screaming for a coat of paint. They are always full, sometimes noisy, and often spill onto the porch and out to the sidewalk. In a city with a serious lack of affordable housing, it is a much needed option for those who stay there.

My visitor lives at that end of our street and nearish the boarding houses. He is not a fan. He is so not a fan that he’s been talking to city councilors about getting the rooming houses’ license revoked. He’s now going door-to-door and charming the neighbours into signing a petition to support his quest. And he’s done well. There were pages and pages of willing names.

But I am not always as easy as I look. Heh.

I wanted to understand why he wanted to shut down the houses. I mean, I knew why. I just needed to hear him say it. Would he really tell me it was to preserve his property value? He was quick to point out that he “wasn’t exactly against rooming houses per se”. He just didn’t like these particular ones because they were full of “crack dealers” and “prostitutes”. I was enjoying his verbal waltz and wanted to see where he’d take it so I probed further. Did he want to get the rooming houses closed down or just the resident profile “cleaned up”? Well, of course, he simply wanted “what was best for the community”.

Whose community? His community or the community of people who called this boarding house their home?

When I told him I worked in a social services organization and was sensitive to the challenges that those residents faced, he changed his tune. His waltz effortlessly transformed to a smooth tango. He offered stories of frightening interactions. He asked if I was a mother. He asked if I owned my home or rented. And, sure, I’ll concede as a home owner and as a mother, it would be in my best interest to have this boarding house boarded up.

But what about the other sides of who I am? Do they take a back seat? Should they take a back seat in favour of protecting my child from “crack dealers” and “prostitutes”? Because my prolific visitor was right. That is the vocational demographic of the address in question.

Each person in that house has a story that led them there. Each one has a right to that roof regardless of their “crack dealer” or “prostitute” label. Keeping “them” out of sight may make life tidier, but is it something I should sign up for?

He chose his words carefully and finished off with a grand cha-cha-cha before offering me his clipboard to sign the petition. His clipboard filled with names of all my neighbours who cared about their children and who understood the importance of property value. Their names all neatly autographed in support of our community.

I stood there with his pen and looked him softly in the eye. And I wondered, what would you do, lovely internets? Seriously. What would you have done? As a parent, are we obliged to scrub clean every inch of our child’s environment regardless of who else it affects?


When she is not squatting at Her Bad Mother’s ‘hood, Sandra messes with the neighbours at her own blog. She also joins HBM at BlogHers Act Canada, where yesterday we got nekkid to announce the results of the enviro-vote. Check it out.

Wherein I Do National Lampoon One Better

August 19, 2007

Six weeks ago, there was this:

Now, there is this:

Which, despite its incompleteness, it still a vast improvement over buckets, and so not to be disdained:

Still, it is not enough to prevent us from moving into this for a nine-day (ahem) holiday:

We leave tomorrow, and will set off across southern Ontario and on into New York state, where we will comport ourselves like retirees and hang out in Wal-Mart parking lots and play mah-jongg at picnic tables and drink wine out of boxes. Am packing the knee-length shorts with elasticized waistbands and Tilley hats as we speak.

I’ll be checking in every couple of days with the sordid details of RV livin’, but in the meantime there’ll be some squatters here to keep the place looking lived in. So long as they don’t need full lavatory facilities, they’ll be fine. And there may, in fact, be a party or two.

Just don’t have too much fun without me.

Weathering The Storm

August 17, 2007

A boatload of thanks to you all, for your wonderful words of support. How very, very sweet to hear, sshhh, we don’t need to hear, to give our support, to extend our arms. And how very, very generous of so many of you to open your virtual homes to me as places where I might tell my story, share my upset and my anxiety, secretly.

I can’t do that, I don’t think, because my vow to not share stories that are not my own extends beyond this space, here. Perhaps I’ll spill my guts, one day, anonymously, in such a way that the story cannot be traced back to me – which pains me, yes, because it is still so much my story, and I hold onto it, possessively, despite its weight and darkness – but for now, I have to swallow my silence.

Still – I am so grateful. Stormy seas feel much safer when so many arms hold you afloat, in a life-preserving embrace. Thank you.

When the storm rolls in, just sit down with someone you love, and watch, and think about how beautiful the sky and water can be, when they go dark, and about how that darkness, that rolling greyness, is always only fleeting.


Meanwhile, as HBM continues to struggle valiantly to keep her blood pressure down…

* I had to rant about something, so I did it over here. More tardage from our nation’s ‘national newspaper.’

* Also, did you know that some people take David Caruso waaaay too seriously?

No Port In The Storm

August 17, 2007

Today has been a bad day. A very bad day. And I cannot write about it. And it sucks.

I flatter myself that this space is not a diary. That it’s a space for writing. No, wait – that it’s a space for Writing. With a capital W.

Then I have a bad day, a very bad day in which very bad words are spoken and very bad feelings are provoked and, just, bad. But it’s a bad day involving persons whose stories I have no license to tell. And so I feel the constraints of this “space.” I am bursting, busting, to work through the bad feelings by writing about them, but. But. I can’t. I can flirt with those words in the Basement, but even that space remains unprivate, for me.

And here’s the thing (sweet Flutter advised writing on paper and then burning that paper) – I don’t want it to be private – the effectiveness of the therapy that is this blog resides in large part in the openness of this blog. In the fact of the audience. In you, who would tell me if I were crazy, or unjustified in my frustration. I don’t want to scratch my feelings out in ink, and then burn them into oblivion. I want to tell my story, and hear it echoed back, and hear the responses, the reactions, of friends.

But I can’t. So I’m having a martini, and hoping that my heart won’t hurt so much tomorrow, or the next day.

Bah. Sorry for the blithering rant.

Too stormy. Far too stormy. And no rudder for the storm.