The boys share a room and Audrey bunks alone. The boys live like trolls and they treat their room like the underside of a bridge. Yuck. This week I got fed up with shutting their bedroom door and tiptoeing by so as not to unleash the clothing avalanche that could potentially happen in there. I decided to wade in there and clean it up while they were at school.
After leaving clear written instructions on what to do with my remains should something untoward happen to me in there, I dove in. Suffice it to say that under the piles of mingled clean clothes and skid-marked underpants, the BO scented sweaters, enough Lego bricks to build and mess up another bedroom and video game cartridges, there was a dust bunny infested hardwood floor. I threw out a lot of stuff that I thought was junk and didn't care whether or not they thought the same. I also donated a ton of too-small clothes that they still insisted on wearing. My soul felt lighter after those 2 hours were done, let me tell you.
So I regaled the family over dinner about this tale of perilous derring-do in the Hoarder's dream room and told Audrey her room was next. When dinner was done, she quickly excused herself and I didn't hear from her until she called me to her room.
Holy crap, she'd cleaned it up herself. Every stitch of clothing folded, every stuffed toy lined up, every book back on the shelf. Why? Because she didn't want me plowing through her stuff, donating and throwing away stuff willy-nilly. She's also probably (and rightly so) worried about one of her many diaries and journals "accidentally" falling open during a particularly vigorous dusting session and me oh, so slowly shutting and replacing it.
But that's neither here nor there. She cleaned up her room on her own without me asking begging. It's like a 2 for 1 and all I had to do was spend a couple hours neck deep in her brothers' filth. Score.
When you get tuna juice on your fingers after opening the can, grab a spoon out of your cutlery drawer (I'm saying spoon but any stainless steel thing in the drawer will work). Run the cold water from the tap, and stick your fishy fingers holding the spoon vertically under the stream for a few seconds. I usually do it until my fingers are freezing... about 30 seconds. Dry your fingers and sniff. No tuna. So weird.
There's your handy dandy kitchen tip for today. These are few and far between, Peeps, so you better enjoy it. Do you have any to share with me?
Me: Well, on a rank order scale of beautiful days, where one is the best, and 10 the worst, summer days will always rank 1 through 5 and winter days rank 6 through 10. So even though today is a sunny, relatively warm (for winter) day, the fact that it's still winter so you can only rank it as high as a 6. It still ranks below a warm but rainy July day. It's a Karenworld thing. You wouldn't understand.
Scott: You are so weird.
PS: Just for the record, while trying to find an accompanying photo for this blog and typing "beautiful day" in Google, all I found were photos of beaches and sunshine and flowers. No winter scenes. So HA.
I miss my mother. Nothing really earth shattering happened lately to bring it up I was just thinking about her a lot. She's been gone 15 years and even though I don't think about her everyday anymore, but when I do it's an all day event. She'll cross my mind when I'm cooking and I use an ingredient she used. I'll smile when I pull a load of laundry out of the dryer because the clothes smell like they did when I was a kid. I'll hear a song on the radio (especially Kool and The Gang or The Pointer Sisters) and laugh out loud picturing her dancing like a loon in her brown muumuu.
I wish she got to meet the kids. She'd have loved the kids. Everytime they do something new and cool I wish I could share it with her. Elliott shaving and his saxophone lessons, Audrey learning how to dive and finally leaping from the 3m tower and Henry making the coolest cathedral for his social studies project. She'd have loved that stuff. I often wonder if they'd be any different with her in their lives.
So my thinking is that this is a little like having a song stuck in your head. If you sing it out loud it goes away. Maybe if I blog about my mum today, I can go a little while without her running through my mind. It's distracting to have a 5' tall, huge breasted, salt & pepper afroed woman pop into my head while I'm driving. You try parallel parking with that kind of crazy going on in your melon.
I spend easily $50 a month on makeups, lotions and potions to make myself look nice. It takes me a good 15 minutes to "put my face on" in the morning. The other day I thought it would be cool to take a before and after shot. Sort of like one of those dramatic makeover shows. So this is how I looked fresh out of the shower:
I then went ahead and did my 15 minute routine. I put on lotion, concealer, loose powder, 2 shades of eye shadow, mascara, eyeliner, eyebrow powder, blush and lipgloss. Perfect, or so I thought. This is the result:
Again, why do I even bother? They say the natural look is in but this is ridiculous. I'm often told that I look fine without makeup and I say "thanks" but blow them off as being cataract suffering kooks. I have no choice now but to grudgingly agree. This revelation will make me go one of 2 ways. Either I'll go all Tammy Faye or stop wearing makeup all together. Guess which on I'll choose for today?
So a couple of weeks ago I bought a 2 kilo bag of chocolate chips. Usually that's enough for about a month. This morning I looked high and low for them and couldn't find the bag anywhere. Why? Because I hid them and my middle aged traitorous brain doesn't remember where.
And why do I have to hide chocolate chips in the first place you may inquire? Well, I'm glad you asked. Because from time to time when I have the effrontery and inimitable gall to not make dessert for this family, I'll find them sitting on the couch eating little bowls full of my chocolate chips. I yell and scream about how they're essentially eating ingredients and that when I actually reach for the chocolate chips for their precious cookies and I have 14 chips left rattling around the bag they're the ones that miss out, but it falls on deaf ears. So lately I've taken to hiding them.
This bunch is as wily as kids at Christmastime so I have to keep moving the hiding place. Sometimes it's in the beer fridge downstairs, sometimes it's the spice cupboard, sometimes it's in the useless cupboard over the fridge. So when I looked for them yesterday afternoon I was searching in the most ridiculous places. They weren't in the chest freezer or in the crisper. They weren't even in the cupboard where I keep the birdseed. My dried up old brain couldn't find them.
I blame everyone. So does anyone want a batch of chipless chip cookies? Anyone? Bueller? They're actually kinda good...
And by great I mean around 0°C which is great for someone like me who craves warmth and sunshine but sucks for people who like skiing and outdoor skating and those jog-bots who run past me on the slushy sidewalk huffing steam like a train. I just want to take those people and shake some sense into them then throw them into the back of my minivan and drive them straight to Timmy's for a big, fat, greasy kruller.
Moving on... you know I hate winter. That hasn't changed. You should see the way I dress when it's cold and I know I'll be out "enjoying" it for a while like for Winterlude. First I start with tights. These thick socklike pantyhose will go under my long johns. No self respecting Canadian doesn't have a set of long johns. Then a pair of construction socks. Yes, Socks and tights. It's cold. Over the bottoms I pull on a pair of fleece-lined yoga pants. Over the top is a fitted turtleneck sweater. And a cardigan. Then snowpants (the kind with a bib overall so that snow or cold air doesn't get in. Next, my trusty parka with the fur-lined hood. Hat that goes over the ears, sometimes but not often a scarf (I get makeup on them) maybe a neckwarmer if I can find one, one or 2 pairs of mittens (never gloves... my fingers need body heat) and I never forget my super sexy and classy skidoo boots. Oh, and I always carry hot pockets. No, not the food, those plastic packets you shake and get warm for 6 hours. Around here we call them hot pockets since you keep them there for toasty hands. Also I'll sometimes put a pair in the toes of my boots. There is tons of room in there.
So is there any wonder I prefer summer when I can describe my outfit with one sentence? What do I wear on Canada Day? Shorts, tank top and flip-flops. Look it's barely even a sentence fragment. Sigh. I miss summer.
So the other night I went to Elliott's high school orientation. It was quite the experience to walk into a high school 25 years after graduating myself. My feelings were surprisingly mixed. I was delighted that I'd never have to be a student, jealous that his life is just about to move to a new chapter, scared that he'll fall in with the wrong crowd and happy that he's smart enough to even get here in the first place. Trust me, there were days when his father and I had our doubts.
A few things I noted. There were lots of students there to answer questions and manning the booths of various clubs. I was floored by their enthusiasm and willingness to talk to us adults. They were animated and happy. When I was their age I was sullen and I couldn't get out of the building fast enough at the end of the day. There was no way I'd set even the toe of my Adidas into school after hours. This bodes well for school pride.
The drama club. I'm soooo envious! I was a drama nerd in college and just looking at the kids in costume and the masks they use for characters made me swoon. The drama teacher is a former actor. A couple of weeks ago they performed "Hello Dolly" with 53 castmembers, a full orchestra and period costumes and hats donated by a local theatre company. Argh! My high school drama club was led by an English teacher who probably just needed the overtime and costumes from the rag bin at Goodwill. In fact, the only reason we did Oliver Twist was because those kinds of crappy, raggedy clothes were readily available at the Salvation Army. I remember roasting wearing an itchy canary yellow polyester dress in my timeless role as Miss Eliza Sellers.
They go on trips. Real trips. Not just to Kingston to see the old fort or Toronto to see a show. They go to New York, Italy and Paris. I'm sure they cost a flipping fortune and I'm going to have to be one of those parents who never has enough cash to send their kids anywhere. Elliott'll probably watch all his friends go to cool places just like I did. I'll tell him what my parents told me "it builds character". Quick fun fact: it doesn't.
High school is going to be fun for Elliott. I only hope he takes advantage of what's available. Except for the trips. I hope he's indifferent about the trips.
I also developed my film and listened to my walkman. Albums on my walkman. A mailman delivered my letters, a garbageman picked up my recycling, I dialled my phone and called a friend who wasn't home so left a message on her answering machine. Then I was late for an appointment and got a speeding ticket from a policeman.
I'm tired of saying these things and adding a sheepish "you know what I mean". I, in fact, do have and know the modern names for all these things but they don't come to me as quickly as these early learned, comfy terms do. Deal with it. I'm aware that I sound every second of my 42 years when I explain to someone that I spent the day watching stuff had on "tape" when I mean my pvr but I'm old and prone to bouts of verbal nostalgia. Leave me alone.
So the other day I was refining my résumé and getting frustrated about the fact that you can fly a fricking space shuttle through the holes in the thing. I decided that the only solution was a shopping trip. My pants have, of late, starting strangling my bloated stomach like a python squeezes his breakfast so it was time for a pair of "fat pants". Most women have a pair of these in the backs of their closets. I, however, am not most women. I smugly gave mine to Goodwill a few months ago. Well that shows me, doesn't it? Obviously unemployment, Maury Povich and bacon jam have conspired against my ass to make it woefully pudding-like.
Anyway, I went to Zellers (just because I park there and walk through that store to get into the Mall) and there was nothing in my size. Uh oh already. Then I went to Ricki's. It's my favourite store as I've mentioned here before but while their tops are gorgeous, their pants are never flattering on me. Nothing. Then it was off to The Gap. Surely I'd find a pair of jeans in a store that prides themselves on fitting all shapes and sizes. Suffice it to say that after trying on all the jeans in a size 14 that they had, I left the store with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. Wow, I really have gained a few pounds (she writes euphemistically). I decided right then to just leave the Mall entirely, go home, put on one of my mother's old muumuus and eat the Nutella ice cream I just made. All of it.
On my way out I pass AdditionElle, a store that caters to 14+ sized girls. I used to shop there years ago for tops that could button over my formerly ample bosom. Since I had that "little" issue taken care of, I've never thought of it twice. Well, I thought of it today.
You know the good thing about the "big girl store"? You feel small. The salesladies are curvy, the clothes go up to size 30... even the large display tables and cash desk make me feel like Alice after she drank the Wonderland Kool-Aid. Or ate the 'shroom, I can never remember which.
Anyway, I asked the saleslady for help and she brought me 5 pairs of jeans in size 14, the smallest size they carry. As I tried them on, I started to get depressed yet again. Shit. Now they were all too big. Funny how a 14 at The Gap was muffin-topping me but a 14 here I didn't even have to unzip to put on. It made me realize that I'm probably a size 13 here which exists only in Karenworld along with zero calorie doughnuts, two-week winters and money trees.
The last pair I tried was the one I liked least on the hanger. They had no front pockets, button or fly. Eek. Pull-ons. Killmenow. But everytime I go shopping I hear Stacy and Clinton in my ears saying to try on everything since you never know what'll look good. Well, when I put these on, they looked good. Great, even. A little on the big side but not as bad as the others and the gorgeous thighs. The thighs are soooo roomy. My jeans usually treat my thighs like a casing treats sausage meat. I was looking for fat pants anyway and wearing these made me feel like I'd actually lost some weight. A bit flowy. Perfect. Also, when I sit down in them for more than 30 minutes, I don't see little purple flowers blooming in my periphery like I did with my old jeans.
So, here we are. I own a pair of jeans that fit. Yes, I got them at a store that wasn't my first choice, but they fit and they look nice and they'll do me until spring when I start dragonboating again. Hopefully then they'll find a cosy place at the back of the closet where fat pants normally live and I can pull them out next season. That is if I don't get all cocky again and give them away.
So technically, my own 13 year old drives me nuts. Because for the last few days Elliott has been wearing giant jeans that he's constantly pulling up. But it's not his fault, it's mine.
See, my kids don't care about clothes. Not at all. So when I'm out I'll buy them clothes from wherever they're on sale. Anywhere from West49 to the Salvation Army. Unfortunately what I'm not good at is judging sizes. I always think the kids are sweet, cute, babies and buy them tiny clothes. So when Elliott came to me saying that he had put a hole in the ass of his pants, I sprang into action. Off I went to the store. After 15 minutes of holding every pair of Baby Gap cords in front of me and squealing like a little girl, I realized I was in the wrong area. The kid is taller than me for goodness sake. Off I went to the men's section. Here's the problem. The boy really should start coming with me. I have no conception of his size. All I did was hold about 10 pairs of jeans in front of me making sure they hit the floor. What I neglected to check was the size of the waist. My bad.
So when he tried them on several hours later, he had to manually hold them up. When I asked him to let go of the waistband, they fell to that unfortunate "homeboy zone" showing his underwear waistband and a quarter of his butt. Damn. They were a 31 inch waist and we measured and he's just shy of 28. Nevertheless, he wanted to wear them (beltless of course) and off he shuffled to school with his pants half off and the legs in puddles around his winter boots. Sigh.
So the next time you see a teenager in those ridiculous pants, yes, he could be a wannabe homie, but he also could be the hapless victim of a misguided mummy.
**** Here's a post that I wrote in 2001. I was thinking about it and realized that I hadn't seen it in a while. I've been told it's amusing. ****
I've been hearing a lot about how comfy thong underwear is. As much as I hate, loathe and despise when my undies ride up, I figure an inch of material in there may feel more comfortable than the entire butt area (easily 6 inches) of my Jockeys. I went to Walmart yesterday and bought a pack of 3 for $10. They're nice and cottony like my regular undies so I'm feeling optimistic.
7:00am- After my shower I hold the thing... I mean THONG up. I'm amazed that the back is actually the back. It seems more logical to wear them the wrong way around. I slip them on and wiggle a bit. A bit uncomfortable since the "floss" part immediately goes where it's supposed to but I'm still hopeful I'll get used to them.
7:30am- I try on a few pairs of pants and notice that there are no panty lines. A tick in the "pros" column. Between pants I notice how enormous my butt cheeks are. A tick squarely under "cons".
8:00am- First foray into uncharted territory. I forget and dig the thong out of my butt. It feels great for 5 seconds until I realize as soon as I let it go it's going right back home.
8:30am- I can't stop thinking about my butt. At least I'm not obsessing about my boobs anymore.
9:00am- I think I hate these things. I mean THONGS.
9:30am- I'm sitting at the computer doing some "housekeeping". They feel great when I'm sitting. I wonder how the rest of the day will go?
10:00am- I've discovered 3 new ways to pull the thong out of my butt. Up through either leg of my shorts and down the back of my waistband. All I can think about is how much material is in my butt and whether I should pull it out now or later. I'm not liking them much...
11:00am- The thong is thonging all over (if you get my drift). The fourth thong detach method... down the front of my waistband. Sigh. I just paid $10 for this indignity. I cannot picture getting used to this EVER!
11:30am- Bathroom break... sweet relief. As I pee, I look down with trepidation at pulling these things (THONGS) back on. I do.
12:00pm- Getting punchy. Stupid thoughts occur: What if they're uncomfortable because my thongs don't fit? How on earth do you know if they're too big or small?
2:30pm- I've hardly noticed it at all since lunch. It could be that I've just gotten busy taking care of the kids or that I'm actually getting used to the feel of these things. If I remember that I'm wearing a thong and don't try to pull it out, I'm okay. Because pulling it out is like scratching an itch, though... once you start, it feels so darned good you can't stop.
5:30pm- I can't believe I'm now used to this weird feeling between my cheeks! If you'd have told me that at 9am, I'd have called you a big, fat liar. A few times since this afternoon, my hand strayed to adjust but I remembered in time not to do any serious damage. The trick is not to try to remove it from it's wedged state. The more you move it, the more you want to move it. Get it? I'm thinking about it less and less although I still feel like there's a rolled-up wad of kleenex in here. I'm off to a funeral (a distant uncle of Scott's... we didn't really know him) and I'll still be wearing this thing (thong!). I guess I'll be putting the "fun" back in funeral, eh? I'll post once more when I get home. By actually leaving the house I'm thinking that I won't notice the thong at all. We'll see... can you see me adjusting all through the service? HORRIFYING!
10:30pm- Last post of the night. The funeral went as well as funerals go. I never once thought of my bum but there are other things to ponder at these events. Like flower arrangements and other women's mourning outfits. I never once even wiggled. Here's my overall thong verdict:
I bought 3 of these. I'll use them when I'm going out and won't be obsessing about my ass. I will not wear them to lounge aroung the house. I will not wear them grocery shopping. I will never wear them to cut the grass. Wait... I've never cut the grass before...
I have a few pairs of pants and skirts that are tight around the bum and I'll wear them when I wear those so I don't have panty lines. I'll change out of my great big comfortable granny panties just before I leave and put them on just like I do when I dress. I'll remove them as soon as I arrive home like I'm going to do right now. Goodnight dear diary, thanks for listening.
Karen (excuse me while I adjust for the final time... ahhhhh that's the stuff!)
Just a couple more things...
1) Scott did not find them sexy which surprised me. He was kinda disgusted by them since "they're right inside your butt... isn't it dirty?" and "it's all sweaty in there". After explaining to him that women "aren't sweaty in there" (well, only when I exercise but that's all I have to say on the subject) and that I actually wipe my ass so it's not "dirty", I realized my husband of 8 years has "bathroom issues". I wonder if he was forcefully trained?
2) I dreamt that I had a doctor's appointment and he asked me if I needed a reduction... of my butt cheeks! How traumatizing! I also had a dream about wearing the thong on the outside of my pants. Stupid subconscious.
Very rarely do I come up with a blog that we both like. Something that I write and love and you seem to like too. Yesterday's bacon jam one is a good example.
I wrote it late the night before after realizing I didn't have a blog set to come out the following morning. It was nearly midnight, I had already said goodnight to Scott and was just heading to bed. As I walked by the computer I thought, "Aaargh! I could sit now and fire off something quick or post something short and awful from my iPod in the midst of the morning crazies". I decided to sit and quickly write about the new recipe I tried earlier that day.
As I wrote I realised how nicely it was coming together. All the adverbs and adjectives in the right places and it sounded really good in my head. It took less than 15 minutes from start to finish. Sometimes it'll take me days to come up with something I think is clever and it still sounds like a Grade 5 "What I Did Last Summer" composition.
And apparently you did too. I got tons of hits and compliments about how good it was yesterday. The blog not the jam but the jam rocked too, just to let you know. I just thought it was funny that when it comes to blogs, the more pressure I feel or the less I want to write it, the better it turns out.
Case in point? This blog. It was written yesterday afternoon. Lots of time, no pressure and look what you get.
I really don't know how I'm supposed to go back to work with all these fun recipes on the interwebs to try.
Over the holiday a friend twittered that she was expecting something called "bacon jam" in the mail. My first thought was "gagola" but I couldn't put it out of my mind. Bacon. Baaaacoooonnnn. It was like a siren song. After a few days I finally looked up the recipe online and that was it. After I read the recipe on the website I was in love. I printed it out and shunted that sheet of paper around my kitchen as I made egg nogs and Christmas cookies. Until yesterday. Yesterday I made bacon jam. And yes, my house still smells amazing.
The recipe I followed is basically just a pound of bacon and maple syrup which is pretty much my exclusive diet in March at cabane à sucre time. If it's wrong, I don't want to be right. I fried and simmered until it was just exactly what I dreamed. Smoky and salty and sweet and perfectly delicious. Holy hell. Heaven in a lock and lock container.
The kids are indifferent and Scott's not a fan so it's all mine *insert evil laughter here*. This morning I'm going to try it in a peanut butter sandwich. You heard. For those of you who've never experienced the bliss that is a peanut butter and bacon sandwich, the only excuse I'll accept is that you are a vegetarian and/or allergic to tree nuts. Try one if it won't kill you or send you into paroxysms of swine murdering guilt. This new sandwich will be fantastic because it'll have the perfect, sweet rightness of jam and the baconness of bacon laying side by side stroking each others' backs, looking deeply into each others' eyes and.... where was I?
Right. Bacon jam. I'll let you know how it goes. Right now for some reason I need a cold shower.
"I can't (insert verb here) because I got sprayed by a skunk while putting out the garbage."
This actually happened to a friend of mine and I thought it was the absolute perfect getting out of work excuse. I think it happened to her on a Friday night so she couldn't use it but it really is sublime. Let me count the ways how this is completely plausible:
There is tons of wildlife around here, including skunks. I'll never forget walking home in the dark one night, making that kissy sound thinking I was calling my cat Taz. I wasn't.
They come out on garbage day because people will put their stuff out the night before. Who's to say that my garbage day isn't on Monday and I was hauling it out to the curb on Sunday night? Or even Monday morning for that matter?
As you know from the Partridge Family, skunk stink is stubborn. You'd need at least 3 or four hours to really get rid of it. Huh. That's the meat of the workday if I'm not mistaken. I'll bet you could even get an extra day out of it if you are super concerned for those co-workers who have that new-fangled sensitive nose thing and can't be around perfume or deodorant. Imagine how they'd behave if you smelled like a polecat? There may not even be enough tomato juice at your local grocery store to take care of it in under a week. See beautiful. And you appear considerate.
You aren't using family for your excuse. It's dangerous to use your poorly granny to get off work. It's a terrible jinx. What if it really happens after you use it? I guess the same can be said for the skunk thing but at least my way, at least no one is actually sick.
So as you sit at home watching Pepe LePew cartoons in your pyjamas, eating popcorn and putting your slippered feet up, remember you heard it here first.
The kids are back at school, Scott's back at work, we have regular garbage pickup and mail delivery and I'm still out of work. Yup, aaaaall back to normal.
Resolutions you ask? Did I make any? Nope, as most of you know, I never make them. They are broken way too easily and that's an instant setup for disappointment. I love myself way to much to spend time upset over something I've done (which is inevitable) so I just don't even make them. I do have mental suggestions on how I'd like to behave in any given year like eat better and follow my Flylady tasks more thoroughly but that's it. Maybe I'd like to exercise over the winter a bit too just so I'm good and ready for dragonboat practice in the spring. But none of it is written in stone. Because the day I eat a whole sleeve of saltines, kick a sock under the bed or spend the day in my pjs, I don't want to feel like I've failed myself.
That said, did you make any resolutions? What are they? Do you plan to keep them? How? Are you broken-hearted when you blow them? I'm just curious...
I'm a married mother of 3. I'm Canadian. I'm a Whovian, a sci-fi nerd, a ukulele player, knitter, cartoon/animé lover and a tv/pop culture-holic, I keep a blog that inflates my already swollen ego. I'm not all that interesting but I have high self-esteem which makes up for it.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let's talk about the stuff I love.