Thursday, December 18, 2014

Dear Everyone,

I love you, but you aren't getting a Christmas card. I'm sorry, but I'm not sorry. I hated buying a gross of the damned things, shoehorning the time between shopping and wrapping to write a personal message in each one. I was incapable of just writing "love, The Knoxes" 50 times because it was torture. Like lines at school. Back then, I'd get about 30 cards per season.

Then I moved on to sending a quick card after receiving one. Not such a great idea when 9 times out of 10 they'd arrive after the holiday. Those years I got 10-15 on average.

Today I opened my mailbox to a card. From the Mayor. Yesterday I got one from our real estate agent. These days I get 2 or three personal cards, tops.

I love getting Christmas cards. I really do. But for that you have to mail them out. What with the cost of postage nowadays, it can cost a fortune to do it, too. So it's not worth it for the tiny rush of joy that I get when I open my mailbox to something other than a bill. So don't worry about sending one to me and I won't feel guilty about shafting you. Oh, the spirit of Christmas is at work, isn't it?


Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Nothing that a fitful 5 hour "sleep" can't cure. Okay, I kid. But I do feel better after the public whine I had in yesterday's post. On to bigger and better things.

Tree is still up and naked, but I'm recruiting the kids to do it all. And not "let them put it up and change it to the way I want it later" but actually let them do it completely. I'm letting it go. I've got to remember I've got a houseful of practically adults who can help with things. And usually they're willing. And frankly, who cares if they aren't.

I was planning on a nice long informational post today, but you know what? I have no time. And I'm not going to stress about it. I'm off to make tonight's dinner (macaroni and cheese) and a cake for Friday. Fortunately, the dinner is actually to be consumed by the family... unfortunately the cake is not. Yup, still cooking for other people. This year has been bad for that. Remember the days when people had parties and did all the cooking themselves?





Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Feeling overwhelmed

Yes, I know these are first world problems but honestly, they're my problems and I live in the first world so it's all I know. Everyone I've ever freaking met wants to get together before Christmas and there just aren't enough days. I haven't started shopping (or even worked out a list) and nothing around the house is decorated. The tree has been sitting untrimmed in the middle of the living room for 3 days. I sleep about 5 hours a night and that's taking its toll on my energy at home and work. I haven't made a family dinner 2 nights in a row for easily a month, but I'm cooking every day for potluck dinners and parties. You know how bad I feel when I'm making a beautiful cake and the kids come in asking for dinner and I have to tell them to make sandwiches? Again? Ugh. My family is running out of patience. Of course, I can say no but I'm always so worried that people will stop inviting me to things and I'll be sad and alone.

My mother used to always say "I'll rest when I'm dead". Then she died. I don't mean to be flip, but I'm grouchy. Ignore me... I'll be back to my normal sunny self in January the morning.


Monday, December 1, 2014


This cracked me up

My newest uke Oscar (this makes 5)

Going to an ugly sweater party so I went shopping at the Salvation Army. Which one is uglier? This one?

Or this one?

Henry loves this car... I wish he was still little so this would suffice for Christmas

Ditto this...

That's it on my camera except for a bunch of pics from preschool that I can't post. Life has been busy and since Christmas is on its way and parties are ramping up, expect to see fewer blogs from me. Good news is that in the new year I plan to post more so gird your loins, people. Gird them!


Monday, November 24, 2014

I had such a busy weekend

Friday I went to World Trivia Night. Our team came in 11th which was our best showing ever. Saturday and Sunday I went to Pop-Expo which is like Comic Con light. I had the best time, but I was so excited that I talked everyone's ears off about it so I won't bore you all today. So, just pictures!

This is how I looked

Close up

Cute kiddoes

Found them!

My con buddy Heather is on the left with Robin

Yipyipyip... uh huh

The only anime I could identify... Nonon from Kill la Kill

My badass friend 

I love that the Redshirt has a bullet (phaser) hole in her head.

A pro shot of Heather and me... DC vs. Marvel

Okay, I'm done talking about this, I promise. Go on with your evening.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I'm an infant.

I was reading a book to one of my 3 year olds today and when I got to this page I couldn't stop laughing. The other teacher looked at me as if I was crazy. She didn't notice until my gross mind pointed it out. I think I may need a sick day. The other kind of sick...

How is this A SALT SHAKER??


Monday, November 17, 2014

My proud moment

I posted this on Facebook already so forgive the repeat if you are my friend on there, but I'm still so buzzed that I was brave enough to do this. Everyone knows I'm no shrinking violet in front of my friends but when it comes to being on the spot in front of a room full of strangers, it's a different story. I blame it on the horns giving me a false sense of anonymity.

That said, here I am singing on stage in front of my ukulele group on the open mike portion of our sing-along night. You can't see the room, but there are around 100 people in there. Yikes...

Of course, I'm already planning my next tune. I'm addicted now.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Here's a post from the archives that made me laugh. How is it that I was funnier when the kids were little? Especially now that they are all teens and I fantasize about all sorts of hilarious mishaps befalling them. Who knew mental exhaustion can lead to sparkling wit?

So without further ado, here's a blog post from 2008 about one of the most humiliating experiences I ever had with any of my kids...

Monday, 1 December, 2008

Enjoy and maybe we'll see you tomorrow... I've had a pretty good week post-wise.


Please enjoy this photo of my Kinders experiencing yoga class.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Remembrance Day

I was a proud mum and teacher today as both Elliott and Audrey had something to do with the Remembrance Day ceremonies. Audrey played the flute with the band at her high school's assembly and Elliott went to a Veteran's home to play the bagpipes for the residents. He went in full band regalia (kilt included) and made a stop at my nursery school on his way home to play for the kids.

At my new school, when I asked this morning about what they do to mark 11am, they said they didn't do anything. I thought that we should try something. I know they're only 3 years old, but you can make nearly anything age appropriate. So at circle time I asked the kids about the poppies they see on everyone's lapels around town. I told them that the flowers are to remind us of the soldiers who help us feel safe. I said that some soldiers are far away from their mummies, daddies and kids and they needed some good thoughts.

Then at 11am, I turned out the lights in our class and darned if those great kids didn't clasp their little hands under their chins, sharing their piles of happy energy. It really was awesome, I was super proud of them.

I hope you had the chance to spare a thought today to those soldiers who fought and died today and those who are far away helping others. That's as complicated as it needs to be.


My father-in-law Jack Knox, WWII bomb aimer and Distinguished Flying Cross recipient

Monday, November 10, 2014

Here's a haiku

It's been a long time since I've punished treated you to one of my terrible lyrical haikus so I'm remedying that today.

A haiku about what I see outside my window

Dark suburban street
Wet pavement, a porch light shines
Wait... is that a skunk?

This is for real, folks. There's a skunk rooting around my front yard. Ah, the joys of "country" life.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Photo dump!

Here are the photos from my camera since the last dump. Audrey and I had some fun seeing the musical Once, and my friend Kellie and I had a ball at the Vintage Clothing Show. Plus there are some miscellaneous shots from school and whatnot. Have a ball...
Selfie at the show Once. I enjoyed it, but it was a bit... quiet. I like my musicals with more flying around and/or big obnoxious musical dance numbers

This was cool. Before the show started and during intermission, the audience was served real live drinks at the virtual pub on stage. If our seats weren't in the nosebleeds, we would have made our way down.

I just couldn't resist. I'm a 47 year old infant.

Most awesome. Boss. Ever. Ordinarily I only hear about this when I get home from work and check Facebook.  This time flowers, a personalised card, cupcakes and chocolates (not pictured)? This job is a keeper.

We aren't supposed to post photos of the kids but I thought this one would be okay. Yes, there's a kid under there.


How I went to work on Halloween.

The hat I wore to the Vintage Clothing Show. I tried on a few more...

This hat was about a foot tall

It's so fluffy! Maybe it was Fluffy...

It looked cuter on the mannequin

My mum had one of these and it looked just as good on her.

What the holy hell?

I kept doing jazz hands wearing this. And it really was vintage... $150 and made in London on the tag.

Shaved beaver. Seriously. I bought this one. I couldn't resist the fur, and the potential joke fodder.

This wig makes me look like my own grandmother. Wearing a bad wig.

"Whatchoo lookin' at?" This was the scariest stole in the place. And some of them had legs... The horrible mouth opened and closed to latch onto itself like in a Flintstones cartoon. Yuck.
Hi Nana Kellie!

I almost bought this crazy onesie. The pattern was hypnotising me. What's worse, they were genie pants at the bottom. I kid you not.

I always promise myself I wouldn't take photos of my food. I've broken this promise many times but not this night. Treat night at the Golden Palace for the whole gang.

We have a kid in my class that is new in Canada from Russia. One day he was playing at the block centre and grabbed this toy. He ran over to me and excitedly pointed to it and back to me over and over, smiling and saying "You! You!". Yes, Stephan, it's me. Whatevs...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Remember that So You Think You Can Dance Interview?

This is probably the expression on his face after I was through with him
Good and bad news on that... the good news is that I did it. I actually interviewed one of the castmembers from my favourite dance show. One of my favourite dancers too... Emilio Dosal.

Bad news? It was a telephone interview. That one was a blow. I really thought I was going to get to go backstage especially since the top 10 would be in Ottawa just a few days later. Ah well. As I say to the kids: "You get what you get and you don't get upset." Plus I made such a hash of this that meeting him in person would have been humiliating.

I won't be any competition for Barbara Walters. I tried hard to not gush and talk about myself, but my god, that's not the way I am. I'm so used to a conversation being a give and take (and mostly I give till it hurts) so this was hard for me. Here are some of the interview highlights (I'm so glad I can still take notes on the fly... wahoo public education). I'll comment on my asinine interview techniques in brackets...

Me: Greetings from the Great White North.(the idiocy begins) Have you ever been to Canada?

Emilio: I have. I've been to Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Me: Fabulous. I'm from Montreal myself and now I live in Ottawa (See how I already brought that back to me? I'm so awful at this and it gets worse)

Emilio: Oh. Nice. (See? He doesn't care. God help me)

Me (Here's when I started to realize that this interview is going to be a shit show so I made a conscious decision to be upfront about how it was going to go. Which was badly): I don't know where they got the information for me to do this interview but I'm just a mum and a big fan of the show. My blog literally gets less that 30 hits a day. So just let me get all my gushing out before I ask you any real questions. (Here I bizarrely started taking huge breaths as if I was in labour. God, I wish with all my heart that we had gotten cut off at this point.)

Emilio: Okay perfect... no worries (poor guy)

Me: So fingers crossed the show is picked up for another season, would you like to come back as an all-star or a choreographer? (hey look... a lucid question!)

Emilio: Of course, I'd want to be either one of those but I'd definitely want to be an all-star since the choreographer jobs are harder to get to.

Me: Are you still in I.aM.mE? (this is a dance crew with some other dancers we've seen on previous seasons)

Emilio: There's one girl Jaja that auditioned with me...

Me: (Interrupting rudely): SHE WAS AMAZING! (ohmygod, I'm an idiot)

Emilio: (ever gracious): Yeah... anyway I was talking to her and we're getting her papers in order... it was tough that she didn't make it but it's a good setup for next season if they have it. She's been taking classes and working out and when I see that I just assume she's getting prepared for season 12.

Me: I'll be rooting for her if she makes it. Now, I know that when I hear a song on the radio that you have used on the show, it brings me right back to the performance that I saw. In fact, I have a playlist on my iPod called SYTYCD (shit, I was doing it again). I was wondering, is there a song that you hear that you'll never forget the choreography that you learned?

Emilio: Ah, man... that is actually a good question. (YES!!!). There are so many choreographies that I've done and I can't really remember them all but... it's a really random song from when I took a class in 2010 and I danced to a song called Oscar The Grouch. I definitely remember that choreo and that was 4 years ago and I'd been only dancing for 2 years.

Me: I can't believe you've only been dancing for since 2008. You have a gift.

Emilio: I was surrounded by really good people who were willing to help me.

Me: Your family must have been a really good support as well. (Look at being all professional... finally)

Emilio: At first dance was just a hobby but when it became serious and I dropped out they still supported me. They didn't want me to have regrets so that made it easier to make the hard decisions like dropping out of college.

Me: That's really good to hear. (Now here's where I go off the rails again). I myself have an 18 year old son and he's driving me nuts. He doesn't know what he wants to do with his life. I wish he had a passion like dance is for you. I'd do anything if he'd show interest in something other than gaming. But that's my issue. (No kidding. Seriously? THIS is the time to bring up your frustration with your kid? UGH!!)

Emilio: Oh that's fine (He was so great to indulge me and not hang up on me). Eighteen is a tender age. He'll figure it out.

Me (regathering my dignity senses): That's so good to hear. Thank you for the support. Okay... If you hadn't found dance, what would you be doing? Are you a geek about anything? Sci-fi? LARPing? (Again, I'm an idiot... there are 2 questions here and they are completely different. Ugh.)

Emilio: I'm a nerd actually. I majored in mathematics in College. If I didn't follow my passion for dance, I would have continued in my major. But I left 18 months in with 18 left to go. That's definitely the career path I would have chosen.

Me: Do you have time to watch tv? What do you like?

Emilio: Oh yeah... I watch The Walking Dead.It's a great show. It's perfect.

Me: I imagine you get asked the same questions all the time. So here's something else not dance related: Do you like junk food? Sweet? Salty? Both? (Really? This question? Over any others? Double ugh.)

Emilio: Always sweet or sour candies. My friends know to get me candy over presents.

Me: There are lots of Canadian candy that you don't get in the States. Coffee Crisp is one. It doesn't taste like coffee...

Emilio: I know this one! When I went to Vancouver, one of my friends told me to get one and it was amazing.It's great!

Me (I started out bad, got better but then I started to have a full-on psychotic break.): I'd love to bring you all some Canadian chocolate backstage. (I'm as subtle as a kick in the head about my desire for back stage passes. Not forthcoming)

Emilio: (clearly afraid, poor guy). I'd love that!

Me: I have 2 last questions and you choose what's first. The question about earworms or greeting cards? (Like I said. Full-on psychotic break.)

Emilio: Uhhh... earworms (Poor guy.)

Me: How do you get rid of an earworm? What's your best technique?

Emilio: Um. maybe the greeting cards. I've never had an earworm.

Me (doubtful): Do you know what it is? It's just when you get a song stuck in your head. I thought it was more widely known but maybe it's just a Canadian term. (I'm not sure about that one).

Emilio: When that happens to me I just literally tell myself to shut up. I'll just say "stop it" and "shut up" until it goes away.

Me: Okay, last question... when you get a greeting card, how long do you keep it for? (Oh my god.)

Emilio: Depends on the card and who it comes from. There are cards I've had around for almost 3 years. Otherwise, if it's just a get well card or something, it's just a few weeks.

Me: I have a mental problem (this is not new information and has become clearer in the 10 minutes of this interview). I will keep cards forever especially if something nice is written inside.

Emilio: That makes sense.

Me: It was so nice talking to you. (mewling now) I'm such a fan. I sat at the computer and bought the tickets for the show within minutes of them going on sale so I have 8th row seats. My daughter and I were high-fiving each other and whooping all over the living room. (Here's where I wish the earth had swallowed me up.) Do you know where you'll be staying so maybe I can get you the chocolate? Or is that weird?

Emilio (poor guy): I don't think we're staying anywhere. We'll be at the venue the whole day. (I'm such an idiot. How many times can I call myself an idiot in one post? I'm so not cut out for this interview shit)

Me: Well maybe I can find a way to sneak a basket in to you guys. (oh my god, give it up you colossal idiot). Because really you have to try some of the stuff we have. Maple candies... you haven't lived.

Emilio (laughing nervously): We'll see what we can do (poor guy) 

Me: Well thank you so much for taking time out to talk to me and for making an old lady's day

Emilio: No worries... thank you for the interview

Me: Take care


And there you have it. My blog post/interview of shame. Be gentle with me.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Went to the Cenotaph on the weekend

Cpl Nathan Cirillo's funeral was today.  I couldn't watch this afternoon, but over the weekend I had the opportunity to go to the Cenotaph where he was gunned down last week. It was very moving as the square was full of people, but no one spoke over hushed whispers. People put their heads on each other's shoulders, hugged or held hands for comfort and just shared their positive energy at the place where so much bad energy was expended.

I took a few photos but felt almost disrespectful in a way. Would I want people to take pictures in a place where my loved one died? Then again, it is the national monument to remember the Unknown Soldier and it's a place to reflect so why not have a photo of such a place? At least I wasn't like the woman who was trying to get a shot of her sons with the monument in the background. She was yelling instructions at them as if they were in front of the big ball at Epcot... "Get closer together! Smile! Move to the right more!" Tacky.