Thursday, November 30, 2006

Somebody better tell...

Somebody better tell my Mother-In-Law we'll be sewing new curtains when she comes to visit.

Let me explain:

When we moved into this house there was no window coverings. Anywhere. It's not that the previous owners took them with them - there just wasn't any. We (err, my MIL) made curtains for the kids' rooms but we did not know what we wanted in our bedroom so we left it. Yes, it is quite private but you do get the ocassional dog walker in the park behind us so it's nice to have bedroom curtains. During the interim, I have hung some old curtains for privacy.

Alas, I decided that I'd better get around to ordering proper curtains. HA HA HA. I was just emailed the estimate:
Two options:
1. Drapery with Black out lining installed on Walnut Bronze wrought iron system

2. Vertiglide – Room darkening
Side Panels – Installed on Walnut Bronze wrought iron system
TOTAL: $4270.82

Yep, that's right. FOUR THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED SEVENTY DOLLARS AND EIGHT TWO CENTS for curtains! (Do you think that includes tax?)

I guess I could always cheap out and just get their plain drapery option - that's only a couple thousand. HA HA HAHA

For curtains. Not a car. Not even an exotic vacation. Curtains.

OK, I've got to stop laughing. I'd better get going - off to Fabricland for my $100 of fabric then only 15 sleeps until the MIL arrives.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Still got it...

Took the car on the snow-covered roads today. I've still got it. I'm not a complete boneheaded Victoria driver yet.

Then again, on my second attempt to leave today I couldn't get out of my sloped driveway. I don't accept responsibility for that as the snow/sleet has started falling again, the temperature is warming up (about 0) and it is very very slippery now.

Vroom vroom.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


The ruts on our street have formed into a perfect ice covered, sculpted bobsled run.

Top of the hill (you can see our bobsled run behind us):

Wahoo! We made it - a record setting run!

Here's a picture of our truck. We usually keep it parked in the back far corner of the driveway but there is a tree above it with a broken branch caught on another branch so we thought it prudent to move it to the front of the driveway where there is less risk of falling branches.

Monday, November 27, 2006

OK, last pics for awhile

Whoa - i'm having fun posting these pics now - here's the last for awhile...

Standing on our front yard looking across the street (see our poor, sad, snow-covered snowman).

The cherry trees across the street look beautiful but just about all of them have lost at least one major branch and one tree has come completely out of the ground.

Two houses down these neighbours have even more trees down in their backyard.

Yesterday's snow play

I'm getting into this picture posting thing now! Just after the snow started falling - here we were having snowball fights and building a snowman.

Snow Day!!!

Hi - no school today. Todd is working from home. The roads are not passable. We're hibernating in the back part of our house (away from the skylights). The kids and I have been busy making tents from our blankets, houses from our cushions, and all the other snow-day type things.

It'd be great if we were not worried about trees landing on our roof. Let me try showing you a picture of what landed overnight:

We lost power for a couple of hours last night but we're one of the lucky ones as some people have been without power for 24 hours.
Here's a picture of the street (see the tree covering the road) and one of my flowers

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The snow has cometh...

We avoided most of the rain last week (that went to Vancouver) but we're snowed under. Normally this wouldn't be a concern but our huge beautiful trees are cracking branches down all over our yard. I'll try and post pictures later.

Anyway, we're fine for now - have power and everything. Time for supper. C.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Medals & rained out.

Toria got a medal at her gymanstics today. This is done 4 times a year and is a HUGE success. She wore it ALL DAY. Then we did our typical Thursday dash back to pick up Tomas for soccer. He was so proud. His dad was coming to his last soccer of the season.

They started playing soccer, it was sunny, they were 5 minutes into the drills and the rain - it did cometh... SIDEWAYS. Oh lord were we soaked. I told the coach that we were going - this was no good and he said he agreed, called the session and then as we were climbing into the truck - the sun's rays shined down on me. By that time it was too late - we were so wet and cold and the field was one big mud puddle that it didn't matter.

The good news is that soccer starts again in January.

Speaking of January I have to talk about the weather. I try not to talk about the weather because I'm sure no one wants to here me blathering about the no-snow, still leaves on the trees, didn't have to shell out $$ for snow gear this year, etc. (plus my relatives in Regina have been warmer for about 2 weeks!)

Where was I going with this?

Oh yes, there is 30% chance of rain showers or snow flurries on Sunday (today is Thursday) and this is HUGE. I mean people are obsessed. I'm from the prairies where we're always talking about the weather "too hot, too cold, too dry, too wet" (and maybe all of those at the same time!) so I know weather talk. At the kids' schools the talk outside both the classrooms was all about the snow for Sunday. The strange thing is that they are so fascinated with the possibility of snow I'm not sure if they are excited and can't wait to play in the snow or not excited and wondering if they're going to be snowed in for a week.

I guess I shouldn't laugh - one gets acclimatized quickly. It was +7 on our walk to school this morning and we all wore toques and mittens. Less than a month ago I was talking about how now self-respecting prairie-kid would wear mittens when it is -7C let alone +7C.

AN UPDATE: After I posted this I checked the weather in Edmonton and they said with the windchill it is -28C. Cripes, THAT IS COLD. I feel for you. The good news is is that it is midnight there so you should all be covered up in your cozy beds with your heating pad/spouse/significant other keeping you warm.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


AT Toria's preschool they have been teaching her how to spell her last name. Now, we've told Tomas what his last name is but never have we sat down to spell it with him.

At supper last night, Toria wanted to say her last name outload but she stumbled after the first letter. With a fork full of corn balanced in his hand Tomas quickly and with no hesitation recited the spelling of his last name EXACTLY.

After Todd & I gathered ourselves from the ground (having fallen from our chairs in proud surprise) we asked him how he knew his last name. "Did they teach you at school?" we asked.

"No" he responded (while shovelling in steak with HP sauce) "I just looked at it once and remembered."

Monday, November 20, 2006

Street Cleaning

They are cleaning my street. How hilarious is that?? It is November 20 - they are cleaning the cedar needles of the street. This seems very funny to me.

We had a great weekend. Saturday day we divided and conquered - Toria & I showed our heritage by attending the Sons of Norway Christmas Craft Sale where we bought some yummy baking. Meanwhile, the boys went and dumped another load of cedar needles at the landfill. I think Todd said they dumped about 510lbs (in addition to the 374lbs I singlehandedly shoveled)!

Saturday night - ta da - was the Santa Lights Parade and we had a starring role. The Beavers were at the end of the show followed only by Jolly Old Saint Nick!. The estimate I heard was that there was 40,000 people watching on the parade route plus those that watched it live on TV. AND if anyone has it taped we'd love to see it. Apparently there was a close up of Toria and they called her a "Scouter in training".

The funniest part was after the parade at the Santa Party. Island Farms (the local major dairy) was giving out free drinks. We each took a cup and finished our drink. Tomas goes "Dad, that was the baddest milk I've ever tasted!"... It was the yummiest Eggnog, though!

The kids had their picture taken with Santa (for free), Toria had her face painted and we were one name away from winning a $60 gift certificate for Munro's Bookstore (Carmen Margolis won it - when we heard them call "Carmen" we were so excited - not so thrilled when they taked on the "Margolis" part).

Sunday, Uncle Glenn arrived and we did the tourist thing to Goldstream Park where we watched the Salmon Run. The Salmon spawning was very neat but there are ALOT of dead salmon everywhere. It was a little gross except for my kids who kept asking to take pictures of the dead salmon especially those where the birds had eaten the eyes. Oh yah.

I want to go and check out the clean street. Ciao 4 now.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Witty & Wise

I wish I had something witty and wise to tell you on this sunny Friday afternoon. But I don't only TGIF!!

As you may have heard there have been some enormous storms around us but it has been Beeeeee-utiful here. Yesterday was sunny all day & today is a little cooler with on/off clouds but still nice. Ha ha - can you imagine ALL of Vancouver is under a Boil Water Advisory ... even to brush their teeth!. I shouldn't get too smug - it could easily happen to us. The only thing that would be better if it was Toronto. Nonetheless, thanks for everyone's concerns but we are doing fine.

Yesterday, Tomas' class went to Goldstream to watch the salmon spawning. In true 6-year-old-boy form his favourite part was when they dissected the salmon and showed the lens separate from the eye. Lovely. He even drew me a picture. Thanks. His lasted book interest is Captain Underpants. I kid you not. The books are about Captain Underpants. The theory being that most superheros look like their flying around in their underwear so what if a superhero actually DID fight crime in his underpants? ... And you're wondering why you never thought of it.

Toria is in classic Toria form. This morning she awoke at 6:45 and was dressed and ready to go for the day by 6:46 AM. Then she goes back to bed until 7 because she knows she can't get out of bed until 7 - at 7 she came jumping down the hall. (This beats last Tuesday when she came into our room at 5:08 am and said that the 7 was in the wrong spot but it kept coming and going from the wrong spot (4:47, 4:57, 5:07...) so it must be confused and it was really time to get up!

The sitter is coming tonight so Todd and I are going on a recon. mission for Christmas presents.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I just gotta brag - Tomas' reading is coming along so well. I can't believe the progress he is making. He sounded out all the words to the "Bug in a Rug" book tonight!!

I received an email from my husband and he is apparently on an airplane RIGHT NOW (9:38pm Tuesday night). He wasn't supposed to be home until Thursday night but he is needed at the local office tomorrow so he will be home tonight. This is great news (Good thing I'm not worried about him walking into a messy house when he gets home or I'd be dropping everything and running around in a frantic panic :-)

I am sitting in front of the computer with a stack of bills to pay, forms to fill out, and all the other good paperworky stuff that needs to get done and no energy to do any of it.

In order to continue my fantastic procrastination I think I will tell you about my day for tomorrow.... (Speaking of procrastination - I have no idea who this guy is but I somehow stumbled into his blog and it is kinda interesting )

My day tomorrow goes something like this:
- Cut up 8 apples for Toria's school (in addition to regular morning routine)
- Walk Tomas to school
- Run home pushing Toria in the jogging stroller
- Drive to Toria's school
- Be the Parent Helper at her school (Oh Yippee)
- Drive home from Toria's school
- Make and eat lunch within 15 minutes
- Drive to Commonwealth Place for Toria's "Chefs on the Move" class
- Leave her there
- Drive directly to Tomas' school to help in the library
- Spend 1 hour reshelving books
- Go back to pick Toria up.
(**Meanwhile my neighbour will bring Tomas home)
- Meet Tomas outside as neighbour dashes off to piano lessons
- Place both children in car and drive to Doug's Hair Salon
- Bribe children to sit nicely whilst they get their hair cut
- Make supper
- If Todd is home then go to the Parent Meeting to find out how the inability to charge school fees will affect our elementary school.

... Don't even get me started on Thursday - It's worse then Wednesday.

I am so busy I can't imagine people who actually have a paying job in addition to all this other stuff.

OK, the frantic panic of a chaotic house is starting to overpower my phenomenal procrastination capabilities. Todd's flight lands in 12 minutes. Gotta go.... C.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Still shovelling

The good thing about snow is that once it is shovelled you just sit back, grab a hot toddy and wait for it to melt. I PERSONALLY shovelled 374 POUNDS of cedar needles from the bed of the dually truck into the yard waste pile at the landfill. (I know it is 374 pounds because they way your truck on the way in/out and it cost me $9.25.) I keep telling myself this it is good exercise!

Don't even mention the 20 bags I still have left.

On the other hand, I have to tell you how FANTASTIC the wet cedar smells.

The kids & I (Todd is in Toronto) tried to go to a craft sale this morning but it wasn't that interesting. Tomas was the highlight as he has got this 'free sample thing' figured out. He has a 6th sense for where he can get free food. Yep. Definitely my son.

Toria decorated toilet paper rolls into 'people' today and put on a puppet show for me. Her puppet show was more about her dancing and saying "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, NOW ON WITH THE SHOW". That was loads of fun.

Spent the night trying to teach the kids their last name and phone number. Any suggestions on how this can be made fun would be appreciated. I tried building (flat) felt houses and using foamie letters to 'label' our houses - the kids seemed to like that - but I need to keep reinforcing it.

Ciao 4 now.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Tried to curl up and watch the football game (B.C. vs. the Riders) this aft. That lasted about 15 minutes. How depressing. I bleed green - what can I say?

Any Rider fans feel like a rousing chorus:
Green is the Colour. Football is the Game. We're all together and Winning is our aim. So Cheer us on through the sun and rain. Saskatchewan Roughriders is our name.

or how about this oldie but a goodie...

We're really rollin', now we're on our way. Our Pride is show'n, ya it's grow'n everyday.
We've got that Rider Pride. A feeling deep inside. Its Rider Pride, Rider Pride. We got that Rider Pride. You know we just can't hide that Rider Pride.
We're ridin' high now, headin' for the Top. We've got a winner, ya we're givin' all we got.

Speaking of sporting teams you may have noticed my beloved Oilers are getting pummeled these days. I think it is because I took my Oiler window decals off the truck. I had the 2 window decals from last season's playoff run that said "You're in Oil Country Now". It made sense to have them on a 1-tonne dually truck in Northern Alberta. Given that I now live on tree-hugging, organic-loving southern Vancouver Island it looks abit goofy to say we're in Oil Country. Any body have any suggestions of how I can show my faith?

In other news....

Tomas & I played Snakes and Letters twice today and he whooped me both times. Toria was my official spinner as she wasn't into the rise & fall of the game - she occasionally broke up our ascents and descents with a display of dancing and gymnastics on our living room floor.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Shovelling cedar needles

It's 8:37pm - Saturday night. The kids are asleep. Todd is asleep and I'm pretty much asleep at the computer. As soon as the laundry finishes I will be asleep in my bed.

We spent the afternoon shovelling up the needle droppings from the cedar trees. The back of the pickup truck is completely full and we have an additional 20 orange garbage bags. Whose blasted idea was it to move into a house with such a big yard??? OK. Mine. Well then whose great idea was it to fall in love with a house with such enormous trees? OK. Mine. Well, in that case it was good exercise.

The good part is that the entire block was outside shovelling up the needles so everyone had a great time laughing and talking around. (We were out for 4 hours). Then our neighbours invited us over for a glass of wine. 2 bottles of wine later we remembered we needed to eat and ordered in a pizza. The kids had a nice time with their kids and everyone was happy.

The washer is now finished but I'm so stiff I'm not sure if I can move from this chair!....

Thursday, November 09, 2006


We just got home from Tomas' soccer game and the kids are now running wild outside. I told Tomas he could come in at 4:30 and watch his Cars movie. I think he is counting down the seconds. I'm just taking the time to tell you the funniest story.

At soccer today they were practicing in groups of 4. Each child was given a pylon and the pylon's were placed in a square formation about 20 or 30 feet apart. 10 balls were placed in the center and the kids were told to go and get a ball from the center then bring it back to their pylon. When there were no balls left they could go and steal from the other kids 'pylon stashes'.

I haven't laughed so hard in ages.

One child (a girl) actually tried to do it properly. Another little boy figured he could carry the soccer balls with his hands and it was much easier then kicking. Another boy decided if he got 3 balls from the center pile then he could just sit on the 3 of them and no one would take them away. And so he sat like a chicken on the eggs. As for Tomas, he figured out that he could kick more than one at a time. If someone was away from their pylon but had, for example, 3 balls stashed there - he'd kick one hard towards his pylon then take turns kicking the other 2 towards his pylon. It was priceless. Total chaos.

I'd better go and bring the kids in and rev up the Cars movie. Then we're off to Beavers tonight.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Working from home

My husband did it again. He worked from home - ALL DAY TODAY. How is it possible that something can be so great and helpful and completely inconvenient at the same time???

I leave Toria here when I walk Tomas to school. This is good. I need help rolling up the 14th area rug we're trying in the living room. Also good. I need to call the doctor. The phone is in use - he's on a 2-hour conference call on my phone! - not good. There is an extra lunch to make and Toria wants to play with Dad but she needs to get ready for her "Little Chefs class". Dad also wants to play with her. Is it good that they're playing and having a great time or is it bad that we're late for class and he's late for his next conference call? [OK, that's an easy one - it's better that everyone is having a great time].

Anyhoo - normal day tomorrow. T.G. AND I've been invited for a "Ladies Night Out" tomorrow night(a Thursday night, go figure?) with one lady who is seems to be a very nice newly single mid-40's lady and her friends (her youngest son is in Tomas' class). Should be fun.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I entered the local Wal-mart store at 7:06 AM this morning only to exit at 7:22 with a bottle of Shout, a bottle of Plant Food and the DVD "Cars".

Today was my son's show and tell day at school. He wanted to have Cars. And so I did what any loving mother would do - I left my house at 7:01 this morning.

Did I mention that when I left Wal-mart at 7:22 this morning the Cashier told me that out of her 4 customers, I was the 3rd mom with the Cars movie.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Boys weekend

By all accounts the Beaver stay was a great one. Tomas is Soooo excited - he built a speed boat out of Styrofoam that he got to race it in the lake (he even stood in the lake with his puddle boots on!). Then he went rowing in a row boat ... a real actual row boat (technically it was a canoe but he calls it a row boat because you had to row... makes sense to me).

They had pirate games (the theme of the weekend was "Pirates") and played capture the flag (which resulted in a minor Todd injury), built pirate hats and pirate swords, the list goes on.

Todd said it poured and poured all day Saturday but the kids were clueless that the rain was actually landing on them - they were having too much fun. Camp Barnard is a 300 acre site with it's own 14 acre lake so they spent 2 hours touring the camp yesterday. (FYI... Tomas' rain gear worked out well). They spent more of the afternoon and evening making crafts, doing skits and having campfire and "mug up" (snack time for you Guide/Scout neophytes). Then this morning there was on/off sprinkling of rain so they stayed at the camp an hour past their 'checkout time' so they could do more outdoor games.

Tomas begged to have a bath tonight so he could play pirates with his boat in the bathtub! That is definitely a sign of a great weekend.

Girls weekend.

The boys are at Beaver Camp. They left yesterday in a torrential downpour. We feel bad. [By the way - After a good night sleep I awoke afresh with newfound enthusiasm and was able to track down a set of rain gear for Tomas.]

To make up for the boys indubitable cold & wetness we, the girls of the house, have been very busy:

First, we painted our nails (bright red, of course) and curled our hair, then we went to sit in the BOX seats at the Homesense Skate Canada International where we dined on free drinks and snacks. We returned home to do a puzzle, make hot chocolate and watch a princess movie. We had our own sleepover in a king bed with lots of books and warm cozy blankets before a leisurely morning of cartoons, muffins and more hot chocolate. (Toria was so cute - last night she even moved the clothes she wanted to wear today into our closet and hung them on "daddy's side" since she also was sleeping on his "daddy's side of the bed").

I'd best dash - I think we're going to make a craft now!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Rain gear anyone?

I am completely frazzled. This weekend is the "Beaver Camping Weekend" and there is rain in the forecast - a LOT of rain. I have spent my entire day looking for rain gear for Tomas.

My first stop - the MEC. They're sold out. Stop numero deux, West Marine Wear - also sold out. OK, no problem. I'll go to The Bay - Nope.... only snow gear. OK, Sears. Nope.... only snow gear. Gap, Gymboree, Sports Check. Snow gear. Snow gear. Snow gear. I've been to every mall store and only SNOW GEAR. Who the #^$!@#$ wears snow gear in Victoria?

Apparently, not many because the 'chain' stores are chock-full of the stuff.

Finally, I figure I'll go with the locals and I look at this amazing website - people are always selling stuff on there. I've bought rain boots for Toria so I'm sure it'll be easy to pick up a pair of rain pants for Tomas. Nope - no !@#$%@#%^$ rain pants. There are no less than 4 posts of people LOOKING for rain gear in the size 6 range. WTF.

To top it off, I get an updated "kit list" emailed tonight that says "due to the expected rain, each child will need 3 pairs of pants... NO JEANS". What the @#$^#$? Tomas only likes to wear jeans thus he only OWNS JEANS (6 pairs of the same - Levi's 526 - available at Sears in the U.S.). (OK, I was a Girl Guide - I know that denim and outdoor camping don't mix but come on - NO JEANS (out of 3 pairs). good grief.) Where was I? Oh yes, Tomas will be wearing 2 pairs of khaki dress pants and a pair of too small pants with zip-off legs. As for what he actually WEARS the day he goes - I guess I'll be back at the mall tomorrow.

My final hope is the strangest kids consignment store that sells crappy consignment clothing on 1/2 and super-high-end-fancy-schmancy clothes on the other 1/2. On someone posted that they had seen some rain gear at this store.... and just guess what @#$#$$%@ side it is on.

OK, it is 11:36pm. (ha ha - I just typed the time with the Cap'd lock on and it looked like !!:#^pm. - good heavens - even my subconscious is profane tonight).

So, not expecting a lot of sympathy from you frost-bitten, snow-crunching folk but if you happen to find rain gear in with snow gear at your local store - tell them we're desperate on Fantasy Island.

Grandparents get 'ratted' out.

As my most truthful daughter selects gummies from her Halloween Candy she opens the packet and says "Oh Mom! These are great. These are what Grandma puts on top of my ice cream."

"Really?" I respond.

"Oh yes, they are delicious but maybe I wasn't supposed to tell you about all the candy that Grandma gives me."

Ohhhh Grandma?????

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Costumes

It has been brought to my attention that I've neglected to talk about THE MOST IMPORTANT item...The costumes.

Toria went through so many costume changes yesterday she put Madonna to shame:
8:30 - 11:30: Jr. Kindergarten Halloween Party - Princess Sleeping Beauty (3 of the 4 girls wore pink Sleeping Beauty Costumes... the 4th was Cinderella.
11:30 - 12:30: Lunch - no costume
12:30 - 4:30: Tomas' school library (it was our afternoon to sort books) - she was Princess Snow White with a beautiful crown that, of course, got everyone's attention.
4:30 - 5:30: Supper - no costume
5:30 - 6:00: Minnie Mouse dress until Mom said "No" because you can't wear a jacket under it.
6:00 - 8:00: Mickey Mouse plush costume.

As for Tomas: It was "Wacky Hat/Wacky Hair" Day at his school (no costumes). He felt no pressure to conform by being "wacky anything" but participated in the spirit by selecting his baseball hat. At night he wore his beloved NASCAR Race Car Driver outfit.

I'll try to post pictures at some point when I figure it out.... C.

PS. I helped in Tomas' class this morning and his teacher told me that this is her least favourite day of the year. She said to me "No parents keep their kids home today because, frankly, they don't want them."