Monday, September 28, 2009

Ah, The Weekend

Wasn't it delicious? Like a custom ordered Autumn event.
And. True to my newer, leaner, less greedy self; I managed to stay away from town-wide yard sales one town over, and Freecycle Winnipeg.
I find myself vacillating between self-righteous pride, and deep-seated grief over what I might have missed...*sigh*
What'd you guys get-- Huh? Huh? AW... comeon and tell me.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Joyce no happy: A Day in the Life

*to protect the lives and privacy of the innocent; the entire collective of all humanity aged twelve and under will henceforth and forever known as "Billy". Any resemblance herewithin to actual persons is almost entirely coincidental. Furthermore, should any person by the name or pseudoname of ede read the words within this post, the entire portion mentioning the theoretical canine is entirely untrue. So, you can still come over on Friday. We don't even LIKE dogs, much less let them into our house, or onto our furniture.

Billy been a bad, bad boy. Even Billy's doggy been bad. Billy's doggy done go pee pee on the couch that were meant to cradle a wee, early mornin' child. When that sleepy, innocent patron padded her way across the dark floor in the early, early morn, she had the great misfortune of wading straight into the slushy deposits of Billy's dog. Billy been bad.

When the day was in full swing, and time come for the daily walk, Billy didn't listen no how. Billy ran ahead of the wagon. Billy stood too close to the street. Billy begged to hold the doggie's leash; even though everyone knows that only Joyce holds the doggie leash.

When we stopped at a theoreticaly residential location to return an item that may or may not actually exist, Billy began to pout in his classic pouty way- arms crossed, shoulders slumped, lips protruding. Upon further examination, it seemed that Billy had expected to be served cookies.
That he wanted cookies. That nothing but cookies would do.

This presented an excellent teaching moment. Only children who walk close to the wagon and never threaten to run into traffic and understand that doggies like to be walked by their owners might ever get cookies. And that this might only occur annually- on a very special religious holiday known as : go outside dressed up all ridiculous-like and then go begging door to door. To strangers.

The park became out of the question. Too many street-crossings without armed policemen. Too many under-controlled intersections. Too close to main street.

Take Billy home.
Take Billy to the sand box in the safety of the backyard. Not much traffic there.

Watch Billy throw sand into his "best friend"s eyes.
Put Billy in time out.

Use words.

Loving caregiver: "Billy. Why did you throw sand into your best friend's eyes?"
Billy: "Because. I wanted to talk to him."

Understand the necessity of occasionally throwing sand in people's eyes, but decide that possibly enough communication had occured for now, and perhaps going indoors to eat and expediate nap/quiet time was in good order.

Put Billy to bed. Attempt a small rest on the couch after squandering most of "quiet time" cleaning pasta off the floor, walls, high chair, window, and inside of furnace; hunting on hands and knees in unusually dusty and mysterious corners for a runaway soother; and replacing sheets, blanket, and books in a rest spot that had clearly been pillaged by a small army of men, women, and rabid beasts. Not to mention mentioning "IT'S QUIET TIME. PLEASE USE YOUR INSIDE VOICE" roughly seventy-four-million, six thousand, three hundred, and two times to the cherubs who had unfortunately outgrown nap time.

Recognize that two hours had been taken out of the twenty-four hour clock in an attempt to save rising energy costs. Rest time is over.

Be greeted by a noxious odour at the top of the stairs. Observe Billy. Clever Billy. Learned to remove all lower garments and defecate on sleepy spot.

Billy need bathy.
Billy grumpy and angry when not allowed to linger in bath to play with bubbles and other possibly unidentified floating objects. Joyce no happy.

Joyce take Billy to play with his friends. Not outside because Joyce getting tired and no happy.
Billy take soccer medallion on a ribbon and wack his best friend in the head with it.

Billy have time out. Billy say more things about wanting to talk to his friend, wanting cookies, wanting to stay at Joyce's for a sleep-over.

Joyce begins to hope for daylight savings time, thinking that it would make evening come more quickly. Joyce begins to consider highly unrecommended methods of self-medication. Joyce begins to beg Billy to put her on a time out. In her room. With the remote control, a bottle of gin, several luscious lemons, and ice cold cans of tonic water. Maybe some sleeping pills.

yeah, dat Billy been a bad, bad boy. And dat's sumpin' because we ain't even allowed to say that anybody be a bad boy these days. Nobody been bad. But sometimes Billy make some awful bad choices.

And then. Joyce be no happy.

Got Tonnes of Zucchini?

Try this recipe:

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins or Loaf
3 eggs beaten
1 cup oil
1 1/4 cup sugar (I always cut that down)
1 large package instant chocolate pudding
2 cups grated zucchini
2tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup chopped nuts (optional. I like to cut down the sugar and throw in some chocolate chips instead. That way everyone thinks they are eating junk food and they gobble it up.)
  1. Beat eggs, oil, sugar, pudding mix, vanilla, and zucchini
  2. Blend dry ingredients and add to zucchini mixture. Mix well.
  3. Scoop into muffin tins. I use the mini size so that there is less waste and it works well as a school snack.
  4. Or divide into two loaf pans.
  5. Bake: large muffins for 17 - 20 min.
  6. Or: mini muffins for 11 - 12 min.
  7. Or: two loafs for one hour.
  8. (all at 350 degrees)

These are moist and delicious and disappear with alarming speed.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Killing Me Softly

Do you ever feel your life blood literally leeching out of your limbs?...heart... brain?

It seems that I committed my life to table-wiping and clutter-busting somewhere back in the '90's. But here's the kicker- its never done. And even when it is done; is never stays done.
Therefore you actually, inevitably begin to question your sanity.

How would a contractor feel if he daily arrived on the construction site to see his labours of yesterday utterly dismantled? What about the teacher who cracks open page one of the math book every single day for years on end? Or an exterminator who gets called to the very same building every day to kill the very same invasion of rats and cockroaches?

Just had to get that off my chest. Among a myriad of repetitive, monotonous tasks that I repeat daily, hourly, endlessly- my top three are:
  1. The kitchen counter. Seen by most as "that horizontal plane where everything belongs- backpacks, misc papers, lego bits, cords, scissors, dvd's..etc."
  2. The entire entry room. Filled with coat hooks for the convenience of daycare patrons. Seen by family as an excellent place to store clothes, backpacks, lego pieces......
  3. The bathroom/laundry room. Need I say more?

Indulge me with your twilight zones, if you please. Please?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What I Learned At The Self Check-out

  1. That Superstore will never hire me to run one of those other check-outs where impatient people parade past you with their foodstuffs and watch you scan and scan and scan.
  2. That those bar codes are hidden in the most ingenious locations.
  3. That when the machine-lady says; "Put your item in the bag"-- you'd best just get to it.
  4. That if you pay with cash, it's easy to hear the coin portion of your change and thereby locate it.
  5. But that change which involves $5 dollar bills... there are no sound effects. This variety of change is much trickier to locate, and may involve pressing the "help" selection.
  6. That if the self check-out attendant and you are having drinks and sharing recipes by the end of the check-out process; it's just possible that you may not be cut for this line of work.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Do-It-Yourself Weekend Project

Okay; so no.
I did not whip up this adorable bedroom on a Sunday afternoon.

But. Armed with only this and this; I managed to turn
into this. Which ought to make this little girl kinda happy.
And, it was just as easy as it looks. For your imitating pleasure; a brief tutorial:

1. Unroll cast-off carpet in front lawn on a particularly warm and humid Sunday afternoon.

2. Encourage the whole family and a few pets to participate.
3. Crawl around in plain view of passing traffic, cutting a room shape into a large, heavy bit of plush.
4. Haul it up the stairs and shift it around to fit a bedroom. It works better when you don't try to stand on it and move it at the very same time. That's just a tip for ya.
5. Stand back and enjoy your fantastic achievement.
6. Gear up for the second project.
With the remnants of the remnants, I didn't exactly create this to wrap up my weekend project.

But I did manage this in the dank dungeon-esque basement daycare space.

And that ought to make a few of these even cheerier.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Did I Mention?

... That the Darfur blog is up and running once again?
Please check it out at Darfur bags- Eclectic Bags;

In spring when I was slowing imploding; I was really afraid of taking a break. I was afraid to "let it all go"- fearing that if I took a break, the project would lose momentum and there would be no more support left for the refugees of the ONGOING crisis in Darfur.

Sometimes, I am deeply grateful to be wrong.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wish you were here...

I miss this place sometimes.
This blog.

When I started writing on a weblog, I was just stupid and naive enough to think that I was writing to the great, anonymous, faraway masses. That bit me in the ass pretty early on. Then I worked on being honest and authentic without being hurtful and blowing people's privacy. Now, I worry about writing about almost anything.

So, I miss this place.

But I'm going to rant about some stuff anyway. Some stuff that really bugs me and gets my ridiculu-meter revving.
  1. Outdated signs. When you drive into Winnipeg down St Mary's Road (which is now one of two ways, since the St Adolphe bridge went tets up, and the bridge leading through St Norbert got closed....sheesh. Speaking of things that are annoying. but I digress.) Just inside the city a mile or two is a sign for a manicure place that says: Spring Special! Well, that really bugs me because it's hardly spring anymore, is it. We never even got spring, not to mention summer. So, take down the bloody sign, or apologize, or something.
  2. The buzzer on my dryer. It's really loud, and goes on forever. It bugs me.
  3. Kids who lie for no apparent reason. They've got nothing to hide; nothing to fear; nothing but a love for the untrue. They make up stories about being able to see and measure the size of a mosquito's brain. They tell tales of being in particular dance classes, including their times and location, when they are in fact not enrolled in any dance whatsoever. They will lie about food, about clothes, about anything.

Now humour me. Give me three of your petty grievances.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Sam-cident

It was a pretty big day all right. No trouble getting this little grade one boy up and ready for his great foray into book learnin' with the big boys.
His big brother was now a senior at the elementary school - looking down benevolently from his lofty position as sixth grader. He'd not forgotten his own humble beginnings though, and agreed amicably to the responsibility of walking his little brother up to the appropriate school doors while I stayed at home raising other people's toddlers.
So, outfitted in brand-new "skinny jeans" picked out by his older, more fashion conscious sister; Sam set off with his backpack loaded up with snacks, a ham sandwich, and a yummy juice box to look forward to on his first "all day" at school.
I suppose it would be wrong to speculate that the t-shirt that he chose had a bad omen.
I suppose that if he'd worn a spider man t-shirt, he wouldn't have found himself swinging from Wiens Furniture to Gan's Kitchen and beyond- all the way to that hallowed house of learning. So what was to alert us to the possible dangers of wearing a shirt depicting an innocent bicycle?
How were we to know that a certain young cyclist's bicycle seemed to hone in on that shirt like a checkered flag at a grand prix, slamming straight into my little man and sending him flying?

His big brother walked him straight back home to me- and boy, he had a shiner! A great big bulgy goose egg, right below that pretty blue eye.
And from what I see; that blue is about to get closed in by a whole lotta black.
But thanks to the kindness of a big brother; that wound won't go too deep.
And because I'm not really superstitious, I'll go ahead and let him wear those monster truck and quad-depicting t-shirts.
Right after I push him up to school wrapped in a blankey, belted into his old stroller........

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

I Know My Boys Have Been Messin' With Daycare Heads When...

... I get this sort of question:

"Joyce..... I know they make a place called Disneyland that's for kids; but is it true that there is a real place for kids named LA-LA LAND?" !!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Stuff That Makes My Heart A'Flutter

Doing a big of blog slummin', I decided to springboard from Christine's chosen direction of blogging about gratitude. (So, don't tick me off and ruin for everyone else; OKAY?)

I'll start with a few of my summer treasure hunting favorites:
A whole delicious row of sewing thimbles- found stuffed in an old pill bottle for 25 cents.
I could hardly speak. This cake stand. Probably the loveliest in my collection. (okay, so I only have three cake stands so far... but whaddevah)
This here large milk glass goblet type thingie. What a
find on my thrifting adventures with old friends in Brandon.
It went nicely with this white laying hen that I found at townwide garage sales two towns over.
And the most delightful greeting cards. I have a particularly hard time ever writing on these, but my dear Rosa does get them on occasion, because she's not nearly as selfish as I am, and I don't want her to know the darkness
in my own covetous heart. This red lamp. Especially for a measley dollar at yard sale in Wasagaming, Riding Mountain National Park.
And last, but certainly not least-- the child's play iron.
In my favorite colour.
With a real dial.
And an actual cord that plugs in. (stupid idea for a child's plaything; brilliant thing for a 41 year old child to uncover in a box full of junk at an auction sale)
I think that iron is my top favorite summer find.
*ahhhhhhhh* happy sigh.