18 April 2009

It's Not Pretty, But It's Functional

A new pea trellis. Total cost =$5.99 for the netting. Everything else was already laying around the house. I'm trying to get Wifey to ignore that it's a bit of an eyesore for now, but I suppose that's the hazard of having your veggie garden right outside your side door.

Snow peas, sugar snap peas and mammoth melting sugar peas have been planted, along with two rows of spinach and shallots, and one row of bunching onions.

Last year was my first time growing peas. I thought the package was stupid for telling me to plant in April once the ground could be worked. Last year at this time, I couldn't see the ground. All I could see was snow. This year, the package isn't so stupid.

17 April 2009

Fish Can’t Live in Puddles

After much debate, hemming and hawing, we finally made the decision to let the kids have pets. One pet per child. Pets in the form of fishes.

We have a dog who is somewhat lovely. Other than the barking, herding and jumping. But he’s our dog. I mean, he belongs to Wifey and I. We adopted two children and they’ve never really adopted our dog. They see him as part of the family, but not necessarily as their family pet.

Turtles, lizards and hamsters were quickly rejected as additions to our family because of our pooch. Aside from my frugality and fear that I didn’t want to be an active participant in the possible starvation of a living creature to help bolster the responsibility personality trait, these animal forms wouldn’t fit into our family.

The aforementioned dog doesn’t really have manners and we’d inevitably spend more time trying to rescue the new family pets from his jaws. The dog really doesn’t understand the difference between 'pet' and 'dinner.' Kinda like most typical two year olds.

The announcement of “fish are welcome here” was incorporated into our annual easter egg hunt. It was the 3rd clue given via two glass fish bowls and matching packages of fish food. One for him and one for her.

On the following day we treked to the local Petsmart so that Bella and Bubaloo could choose their new fish. Before we even arrived at the store, Bubaloo had his heart set on a beta fish. He was determined to get a really cool one.

For those who’ve never explored the world of fishes, beta fish for some reason are not kept in aquariums. They’re usually kept in small separate containers. I think this is because they’re fighting fish? I don’t know how they’re shipped or how they’re kept prior to being placed on a shelf for purchase, but they are kept in clear plastic containers around the size of a sippy cup.

Bubaloo picked out several colourful beta options, all of which Wifey vetoed. They’re all sick she said. She diagnosed some as being listless and others as having some sort of gill disorder. Over 15 fish were selected and declined before Wifey finally okayed one to bring home.

The fish is in his new digs. He’s not doing too good. He’s not very active and has refused to eat a few meals here and there. I’m not sure what his predicted survival rate is, but I’m crossing my fingers that I won’t have to deal with tears and a toilet bowl flush this weekend.

Bella has a regular ole’ goldfish that is doing just fine. But she is not okay with this fish business. Not one bit. She’s infuriated and this sense of justice has propelled her to take action.

Instead of doing her homework, she sat down at the table and wrote a letter of complaint. Completely unprompted. Quite a surprisingly brilliant letter, actually.

She’s let Petsmart know that she doesn’t think what they’re doing is okay. Fish can’t live in puddles, she wrote. Those are her exact words. In little kid writing and all.

The letter is now in a sealed envelope and should make it to the mailbox today. My daughter is a little activist. How cool is that? I just can’t wait to see how the store responds.

15 April 2009

Adventures in Starting the Maybe Baby

While we haven’t even decided whether or not we want to have another child, I like to be prepared. Just in case. So if it is a yes, we can move full steam ahead.

In the interim, I’ve donned my researcher cap.

I’ve sought out TTC blogs and have added some books to my future library reading list. I’ve found online family planning services and have began to make sense of the nitty gritty mechanics of conception. I know where we can get sperm if we choose to go the unknown donor route. I have ideas about men should we choose to go the known donor route. I even bought a basal thermometer to see if I could figure out ovulation patterns.

Ever since I bought the thermometer, my cycle has gone to crap.

I was so sure that I was in tune with my body. Before temperature taking was inserted into my daily routine, I was confident that I could pinpoint the exact moment of ovulation. My ovaries would give me a little pinch and the fluids were all aligned.

Ever since I started taking my temperature, nothing makes sense. All the old tell tale signs have disappeared. My temperature is a roller coaster. The charts look like garbly gook. I fear that going down the TTC road could just be a recipe for disaster. One of those all consuming journeys that completely consume my life.

While we were out in the garden tonight pruning the raspberry bushes – in the lingering daylight wearing flip flops (sans socks)! – Wifey made fun of me. She noted that we haven’t even officially begun this adventure yet and already it is interfering with our routines.

Instead of being woken up by the sound of the CBC each morning and then rolling over for a 9 minute snooze button cuddle, she’s now waking up to the beep-beep-beep of the thermometer followed by my typing in data on the computer. I'm not quite sure what she's going to say when it dawns on her that she might be woken up every three hours because a screaming child wants to be fed.

12 April 2009

Laughs That Rumble Up From Your Belly

I love slapstick humour. I LOVE it. There’s nothing better than the kind of misshapen accident to make me laugh. I’m also quite partial to incidents that are the result of people doing something stupid that has an unintended comical consequence.

As a kid, I still remember some of my favourite clips from America’s Funniest Home Videos. One of them involved some guys playing football in a backyard. One of them goes long for the ball, jumps up to catch it, body checks the fence and the entire fence falls over. That kind of stuff makes me laugh so hard that I nearly pee myself.

Yesterday, I was at the grocery store loading the week’s entire haul onto the conveyor belt. Everything was up there and I went to grab the last item from the cart. Wifey had selected some black grapes and set them in the top part of the cart where kids and purses usually reside.

I must have grabbed the bag funny because it got caught in the wire cart and caused grapes to go everywhere. They flew. I tried to correct it, but I fumbled. More grapes got loose. Nearly 50 grapes rolling all over the grocery store floor.

A young employee walked by and I let him know that I had spilled the grapes and it needed to be cleaned up.

He looked at me. He looked at the grapes. And, gave me a look. Not the kind of look that said “you’re such an idiot.” The look of “who the fuck cares” tainted with “I don’t really see what the problem is” and an indigent dash of “it’s not my job to clean up the floor.”

Before I could even turn to let the cashier know, who was still caught up in a huge language barrier miscommunication with the previous customer, someone goes flying.

A poor lady. Her feet go right out from underneath her, fly up into the air, and she smashes down on her butt. With a thud she lands on the hard concrete floor.

People scuttle to help her up also sliding around on some of the now smooshed grapes. They get her to her feet and I hear threats of suing the store. She’s in shock; the crowd is disgusted at the danger of spilled grapes.

The lady is mostly embarrassed and if she’s not okay she’s not about it admit it. The small crowd surveys the grape disaster and their eyes fix on me. Standing there. Mouth open. Holding the incriminating bag of grapes.

I’m still in shock. Thank goodness. Because I’m not laughing. For the first time in my life I’ve managed to somehow maintain control.

I interrupt the cashier’s conversation with the previous customer to let her know about the grapes on the floor and the flying lady. She looks at me. And does nothing about the grapes. She does continue to scan my groceries.

I’m actually speechless for once.

As I’m formulating my next plan of action to get the grapes off the floor, another employee walks by, and says to my cashier as if she’s an idiot, “Can you please call for clean up?”

My cashier looks confused. Clean up? What needs to be cleaned up?

She doesn’t move other than continuing to scan my groceries.

The other staff person now shouts the order at her she quickly picks up the phone to call for a clean up. The cashier turns to me and says, “Well I didn’t call because that other guy knew about it and I thought he would come back. I guess not.”

All of this has taken place in less than a minute. Wifey, who was bagging the groceries, was completely oblivious to the entire incident that had taken place. As we’re rolling the buggy out of the store, I start to laugh. I’m laughing so hard that I can’t tell the story. Tears are forming in my eyes because this is so awful, but oh-so funny.

Later on in the night, I need a good fix. So I explored the Cake Wrecks blog.

After having had a dinner party on Friday, where the desert provided was an utter cake wreck - the middle of the out-of-the-box cake wouldn’t cook so my friend just cut it out and then she ran out of space while trying to write “Happy Easter” in chocolate chips so it read “Happy Eastr” – I was hooked on the endorphins provided by a good belly laugh. This site provided them.

It was late and Wifey wanted to sleep. My laughter wasn’t appreciated. I didn’t want to stop reading so I picked up the laptop and carried it to the bathroom.

I couldn’t stop laughing. Out loud. At 12:30 am.

Wifey tapped on the bathroom door. She wanted to know if I was okay. Then she clued in. But was still kind of uncertain. She was in disbelief. Could I really be holed up in the bathroom, with the laptop, reading about baking disasters?

I had to inquire, “Is there something wrong with that?”

06 April 2009

Signs of Spring

It’s spring. The crocuses have bloomed. Or so Bubaloo let me know.

Bubaloo: Mom, I’ve got good news and bad news.

Me: Oh really?

Bubaloo: The good news is that it’s now spring because the crocuses have bloomed.

Me: So what’s the bad news?

Bubaloo: The bad news is that heads of the flowers are gone. A squirrel ate ‘em. I know it. Chopped the heads clean off.

Me: Yeah, I noticed that.

Bubaloo: Well this just can’t happen. I’m going to guard those flowers all day long.

He grabbed his hockey stick and headed out to the garden. He never actually got to the flower bed before he was distracted by some other element of nature.

Later on in the day I witnessed Foo-Foo, the leader of the neighbourhood wild rabbits, hopping along the backyard and snacking on grass. Something tells me that the crocus eater isn't a squirrel.