Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Apparently, I Lack Upper Body Strength.

We owned our house for a while before we actually moved in. It's not super far from our old place, but it is far enough that it wasn't really feasible to come up in the evening just to mow the lawn. When we were coming up on weekends, we spent most of the time painting and sorting out things inside the house, so the yards got pretty much ignored.

Which resulted in a waist high jungle of a front lawn.

When we finally got around to taking care of it, we decided to get a push mower. You know, because it's quieter, more environmentally friendly, cheaper... all good things.

Of course, mowing waist high grass is hard.

The first time we got out there with our push mower, we had offers from three different neighbours for real lawn mowers. Three. They nodded their heads, and knowingly asked if we were first time home owners.

We said thank you, and borrowed a mower to take care of the grass, because it was pretty obvious that our mower was, literally, not going to cut it.

The next time we tried again with our push mower. We found out a few things. Using a push mower is hard. Mowing on a hill is hard. Mowing weeds is hard. Mowing weird tufty grass with the tensile strength of airplane cable is super freaking hard.

Which is why the back yard has a rough square mown for the kids to play in, surrounded by tall grass and weeds, and the front looks like this: 

So, if you live near me, I apologise for my unruly lawn. We'll get the hang of it, promise.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Well, Here We Are.

So. We've moved.

We've been here about two weeks now, and each weekend, we've gone back to the old place. Why? Oh, no reason, just because we didn't actually manage to finish packing before we left. We ran out of boxes. I know. Really, I know.


We just have too much stuff. To be fair, we were there for almost ten years and we accumulated two people, and all the stuff that comes with them, while we were there. We also never got rid of anything, because you never know when it's going to be useful. You know how it goes. We've decided to sell everything that's worth selling*, and give away or get rid of the rest.

Or I've decided, anyway. If anyone notices, I'll fill them in.

Aside from the giant piles of stuff surrounding us, I love our house. I'm already used to the creaks in the upstairs hallway, and the way the pipes bang when you flush the upstairs toilet. I'm starting to be able to tell where someone is in the house just from the sound of their voice. For some reason, I sleep really well here.

The girls love having their own rooms; Beege likes having a place to retreat alone, and Kee likes having a place that she can order people out of.

I haven't really gotten to use my new room yet. I'm trying to sort out the rest of the house first, so that I can shut myself in there and not be thinking about all the other stuff I should be doing. Because really, I should be emptying all these boxes. Even now, they're taunting me out of the corner of my eye.

I just wanted to take a quick break and check in, so you knew I hadn't been crushed by my massive piles of junk. I'd post pictures, but it's really just embarrassing.

Damnit. I really should be emptying boxes.

*Anybody know any Star Wars collectors?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Where Did This All Come From?!

Right. I know. I should be packing. I have been! Just taking a short break from all the heavy lifting to marvel at the wall of boxes taking up my living room. It's really amazing how much stuff we have. Just incredible.

One thing I've been really surprised about is how many DVDs we actually have. Some of these movies are still in their packages. I know, I'm embarrassed.

In my defense, I'm pretty sure that none of the Japanese robot/ninja/action movies still in their plastic are my fault.

I'll take the hit on Flashdance though. Honestly, I only bought it because it was on sale, I'd never seen it, and people got on my case about it. I'm still not interested, and I shouldn't have caved to peer pressure. Next time, I will stand up tall and say "No. I do NOT need to watch that movie about the welder/stripper."

Anyhoo. As I was saying...

We neeeed to get rid of things. The first place I'm going to start (because I can't bear facing the books yet - holy crap), is the DVDs. Because, really? Aside from the kids' movies, and a few hard to find classics*, and those collectors sets that Husband likes... damn.

Let me try this again. Anything that we bought because we were interested in passing and it was cheaper to buy it than actually go to out the movies? Those can go.

Now I have something better than the bargain bin at Blockbuster (is Blockbuster still a thing?) - Netflix.

Last night for instance, I watched Austenland and The Decoy Bride (While packing, don't worry), neither of which I'd heard of. 

Austenland has Jane (Felicity) and Lizzie (Stiffler's Mom) in the story of a girl obsessed with Jane Austen's world who decides to spend her savings to go and experience it "first hand" at a themed resort. I'm an Austen and period piece fan myself, so I found it quite charming.

The Decoy Bride takes place on the fictional Isle of Hegg, where unlucky in love Katie (the voice of Merida) retreats after a disasterous love affair, only to find herself drawn into the machinations of a publicity rep (Mark, from Ugly Betty) to help keep paparazzi away from a well known actress (Carol from Star Trek into Darkness) and her would be author husband (The tenth Doctor).

Both of which I'm glad I watched, but equally glad I don't have to find the room for. 

Okay. Back to packing.

*Like Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. I love it, and you can judge me all you want.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Today, It's On My Left Calf.

It's that time of year again. When you're dripping in sweat as soon as you step out the door, and by the time you've walked down the block, you just want to lie down until the sun goes away.

Or is that just me?

Today, that's not what I'm here to complain about. Let's talk about another reason why summer is so awful.

Stifling summer heat means shorts, and skirts, and tank tops, and various other clothing items that make us feel like we ought to be hairless. Time to start cursing whoever it was that decided that hairless legs were a trait that ought to (quite unnaturally, really) be exhibited by the entire female human population.

I applaud all of you who manage not to buy into it. I'm working on it. Really, nobody should care if I'm hairy but me. Conversely, I really shouldn't care whether anyone cares. I'm sure that part of the reason I can't just ignore this particular societal construct is the deeply ingrained taunting of a boy in grade four laughing at my downy legs, and nicknaming me "monkey girl". But my childhood psychological scars are beside the point.

Considering that I have bought into it, what's the big deal, right?

Well, let's put aside the fact that razors and things are expensive. Let's ignore the fact that bathing takes double the time in the warmer months. Let's overlook the extra cleanup that needs to take place in the bathtub solely because of the pursuit of "silky" legs. Let's even discuss the fact that big companies get rich off of our insecurities by propagating unnatural, and often unattainable, standards of beauty some other time.

Why exactly do I hate shaving my legs so very much? 

I always, without fail, miss a spot.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I'm Not Really Here.

This isn't a real post. For a few reasons.

1: One of the side effects of my weird inability to ready myself to move is that my swiss cheese brain can't hold onto a post idea from the time I think of it to the time I get to the computer.

2: I can't find my pants. I washed and folded three loads of laundry, one of them containing every pair of pants that I currently wear, and it's gone missing. I kind of need to find them before pick up.

3: I've got a guest post up over at Mommy's Weird, so you can just go read that.

Must. Find. Pants.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Time Flies When You Should Be Packing.

Good Morning!

My goodness, it's been busy around here. Husband had a surprise business trip pop up*, the kids are finishing up the school year, and I'm trying (albeit not entirely successfully) to pack our life into boxes.

The kids are handling the impending move with aplomb. I think we timed it well for them, because we're going the week after school lets out. They'll have a week to decompress (and help me pack, dammit!), and then on to a new adventure. By the time school starts, they'll be settled and ready to go. They seem generally excited, and they're familiar with the new neighbourhood because we've been up there every other weekend for months.

I am worried about me however.

I went out to dinner last night with some of the friends I've made here. And as I looked around, I realised that I've only gotten to know all of these people in the past few years, despite having lived in the neighbourhood for close to fifteen. Largely because wanting my kids to be able to have friends forced me to talk to them. And they're great. And I will get my driver's license for the sole purpose* of visiting them.

It took me a full year of standing around the yard waiting for our children to come out of school together to even chat with anyone above and beyond the current weather conditions, or what stupid adorable thing our little demons darlings had gotten up to lately.

And Beege is almost beyond the age where I'm even going to meet all of her friends' parents. I've still got a couple of years left on Kee, but if my past record holds true, I might run out of time before I work up the nerve to talk to anyone.

Besides the whole friend thing, there's the fact that it took me EIGHT YEARS to get used to the nighttime noises in our current house, and I STILL get startled awake sometimes. I'm going to have to get used to new noises, new layout in the dark (I am blind as a bat in the dark, without the help of echolocation, which I think would be disturbing for the rest of the household anyway), new garbage day, new library, new parks, new schools, new people ...

I'm not good with change. Have I mentioned that? Probably. It seems like something I'd say more than once.

I do this thing. This thing where I know I'm supposed to be doing something, and there's a deadline looming, and I'm nervous about the thing, so instead of doing what I'm supposed to be doing, I seem to pretend that it's not happening and focus on other things instead?

Anyway. I'm supposed to be packing right now.

So I'll probably go read.

*To Bulgaria, of all places.
**Okay, not the sole purpose, but I'm being dramatic here.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Craft For All Seasons.

So. Yesterday was Kee's "not really a party" party.

Originally, I'd planned to have a barbecue. They were going to play some outdoor games, blow bubbles, eat hot dogs, and basically run around until they got tired.

I was awoken at about 6:30am by the soothing sounds of gentle rain hitting my window. It soon became huge drops of water pelting my window, accompanied by booming thunder and flashes of lightening.

Great. Our apartment is tiny and there are boxes all over the place. I spent the entire morning tidying the living room into a reasonable state so the kids would have room to play. Sadly, I'd already packed up all our games and sent them on to the house. You know, because we wouldn't need them, as we were going to be outside.

Luckily, at least one of the activities that I'd planned for outside was transferable.

We did a craft.

The night before, I'd made the first letter of each girl's name on a 12 x 12 canvas board with painter's tape. I gave them paint, markers, and glitter glue to cover the boards. When it dried, we were going to peel the letters off, to get the lovely result you see there on the bottom right.

The best thing about this craft is it's super easy to set up, and it can be as simple or complicated as you want to make it. For older kids, I'd definitely used a more interesting font and offer more options for decorating.

Of course, only one kid wanted to peel her letter off, so they basically ended up with painted splotches on a square. But hey, it was fun, and it killed 20 minutes.

They spent the rest of the afternoon alternating between watching Frozen, demanding snacks, and running around screaming. I'm pretty sure fun was had by all.