Jan 27

Give thanks. Please.

Reposting because I just don’t have the time tonight. I’ll try to get one up by tonight if I can.
Well friends, it’s official, Thanksgiving is here in Canada. I’ve had a great weekend so far, mainly because I’ve got to enjoy two turkey dinners with family, see a really sweet band with my lady and my bff, and hit the Norwood fair for some taffy and a deep fried Mars bar. We also get today off to recuperate and let the turkey farts settle into the bed and upholstery.

I guess we can start the rundown off on Saturday. It started out normal, we didn’t have the kids, so I stayed in my robe and basked in the glow of the computer screen for several hours whilst my true love was out bringing home the bacon. I draped some clothing over my husky frame at around 3 pm, and went to pick up the pies from the Big Apple. At around 4:30 we went to my sister’s for dinner, and while the ladies were slaving over a hot stove, the boys got to go skeet shooting. We were pretty sad because my oldest nephew was really sick, so he and my other sister couldn’t make it, but we still had a great visit with everyone else, and I got to gorge on a tremendous feast.

It's not a real apple

After dinner, we picked up Joe and headed for the Ganaraska Hotel in Port Hope. I was pleasantly surprised at how clean The Ganny is now. The washrooms are still in a state of disrepair, but the rest of it is quite lovely. We saw Wild T and the Spirit, and they put on a rocking good show as they always do. Toney is such a wicked guitarist that it melted a piece of my mind and the doctors aren’t sure if I’ll ever get it back. It always amazes me, how many different sounds he can get out of a guitar. He melds perfectly with his bass player, Guenther Kapelle and drummer, Dale Harrison. We were also treated to a song by Pat Kelly, who stood in with the band. I was pretty impressed with that number, it’s not often that I remember a song after hearing it once when I’m drunk at a bar, but that tune sticks in my mind. From what I can find out about him on the interwebs, he’s a singer songwriter from in or around Toronto and he plays with his band, The Core, which also has Dale Harrison playing drums. You might remember Harrison, if you are a fan of The Headstones, as he was their drummer as well. We then went to McDonalds and enjoyed some angus burgers that seemed to be very tasty, but everything is delicious when you’ve got a belly full of beer and Jagermeister. Ugh, Jagermeister, why do I even drink that shit? It doesn’t taste good, but every time Joey buys us a shot of it, I end up asking what it tastes like, and then agreeing to a shot. I want the record to show that I don’t want another shot of it, and if I don’t remember after writing all of this, then I deserve the gross feeling I get when it’s sliding over my taste buds. I should just stick to tequila.

Sunday we got up and went to the Norwood fair, and met our good buddy Joel, and also ran into a few other folks we knew. My main job for the day was to get some pull taffy from the fair and I was successful. I hadn’t found any at the other fairs, mainly because I was too busy trying to keep a bunch of children corralled to be able to go searching for delicacies.
After the fair we were scrambling to get to our respective parents for another Thanksgiving dinner with other family members. I love getting together with my fam, because as dysfunctional as we are, we sure know how to have a good time when we get together, and I always leave with a full belly, and a headache from laughing so much.
I think the star of the show this year was my brother in law, Jamie (aka-Neuter Nuts). He’s one of those guys that you enjoy being annoyed by, because he can take it as well as he can dish it out. If you know any of my family, you know we like to poke fun at absolutely everyone, and it’s nice when you have an addition that can dive right in and dish it out without being put out or offended by us. It’s always fun to watch the kids running around and playing with each other, and even though we were missing a few, the ones that were there had a blast and didn’t want to separate when it was time to leave.

We're right there by the top left. I'm in the red shirt

When I got home, the girls were already in bed, which made me sad because I hadn’t seen them since Thursday and I didn’t get to say goodbye to them then. It’s crazy that those kind of things bother me now, but I really miss them when they’re not around. Don’t get me wrong, I love alone time with my sweet baby and wouldn’t ever give that time up, but it’s like there’s something missing. I guess that’s my maternal instinct coming through, because I am half lady, or so I’m told. Yes it’s true that I’m in touch with my feminine side, and thankfully it’s working out in my favour finally, because the missus, she loves it. She doesn’t love that I rock her jean skort like a fuckin’ pro, or that I like to go to the bar with the girls for ladies night, but the warm embraces and tender kisses makes up for that. She also tells me that women don’t hang on to a dude’s junk all the time, and the eyeliner apparently is a bit much so I should quit going out in public like that, but I think she secretly loves it.

To sum it all up, I’m thankful for my friends and family, and the fact that I get to be here to enjoy them. I really can’t imagine my life without them and I hope I never have to, so all of you had better take care of yourselves and make sure you stick around, because there’s a lot of life left, and I want you to be here to enjoy it with me.

Try to listen to Teddy Bear by Red Sovine without crying,


Nov 30

Bah Humbug?

The stuffing wasn’t yet cold on the American Thanksgiving dinner table when the Christmas juggernaut started barrelling toward us. I have to admit, I was pressured to put up the Christmas tree almost two weeks ago by two tween-agers who could sense the rubbermaid totes in the basement, bursting with festive cheer mere meters below their feet. Although I really don’t love the mountain of mess that the holiday brings, I do enjoy the annual adornment of the good old fake fir that I keep stuffed into a cardboard box and drag up for 3 months every year. Yes, I said three. Last year, I forced myself to take the bloody thing down before I left for Mexico. On February 10th. I am blushing a bit when I tell you this. Early in the new year I had jokingly posted a photo of christmas cookies I saw on display at Foodland. I thought perhaps the store might want to venture past 50% off since it was more than a month since Christmas, and the freshness of said cookies was likely in serious jeopardy. One of my friends reminded me that I was in no position to judge, since we were still watching TV around an 8 foot replica pine in my own living room at the time.

Let She who is without sin cast the first stone

So fine, maybe I like the pretty, shiny, flatteringly-lit tree to stay in my living room to keep me company until it really is way past the season. Whatever. Judge me.

After unwrapping a thousand fragile little ornaments, busting 5 in the process, and eating nearly a whole container of gingerbread boys, the tree was finally assembled and now sits proudly for its quarter-year of glory in our home. The kids danced about like tiny meth-heads, excited and justified in the official start of begging for gifts and self-control from their usual fighting and mayhem, lest Santa should see and banish them to the naughty list.
I swear 11 months out of the year I do not condone sweat-shop labour, but as a parent, I can get behind Santa and his little North Pole organization if it means that my kids try extra-hard to behave for a month out of the year.

My job as a mom means I have my own little dictatorship here at the homestead, so I declared that no Santa-list-making would be done until the bedroom sparkled. < insert evil grin > After a flurry of shoving crap under the bed and smoothing out sheets over lumpy beds, they were presented with the annual Sears Wish Book for their holiday perusal. I have to tell you, if you want to keep your kiddies quiet for an hour, hand them this catalogue, some scissors and glue, and find yourself a good book. I didn’t hear a peep from them, except for the occasional exclamation of joy over this toy or that one. Motherhood bliss!

This years crop of requests looks pretty innocuous. No weapons of mass destruction, no drums, guitars or saxophones, and nothing that will grow, explode or spill onto the floor in a million pieces. MOMMY SCORE! In the past I have purchased snow-cone makers that yielded one product (that was one hella-expensive snow cone, TT!), microscopes that have never been peered upon (so much for your love of science, O) and a karaoke machine that never came out of the box. This year, I am getting what’s on the damn list. Does it matter that I am likely contributing to the future body shame of my children by buying them dolls that have waists that are 1/10th the diameter of their heads? Maybe. What about the potential broken arms and legs that will be a direct result of a shoddily-built pink scooter? So be it. My children deserve the best I can provide, and damn it, I will be providing!

A huge holiday tradition in my own childhood home was watching some version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Maybe more than one version. Actually, am pretty sure I have watched EVERY version available to man at various times throughout my youth. My mom always assembled us at the proper time on weekends in November and December to watch whichever version was playing that day. Bless her soul, she is a Christmas nut. We love that she religiously drags out the Christmas gear on November 1st and has her entire home adorned in holiday cheer by November 2nd. We laugh and taunt her about it, but secretly we love that she is the heart of our family and always provides us with an amazing Christmas experience. My kids know that if they are going to learn about the proper way to celebrate and decorate, they are going to learn if from her, and not me.

My Mom's house at Christmas. Kidding. (not really kidding)

Therefore, it was no surprise at all to find the three of them holed up in her cozy den last weekend, watching the latest version of the Charles Dickens classic together, the first time for them, and no doubt, the thousandth time for my Mom. I smiled, and felt a very familiar wave of nostalgia rise in my heart, as I remembered all of the times my sister, brother and I did the same in our beloved family home for so many years. Of course, she insisted that they make room for me to join them to watch the much-loved finale, where Scrooge changes his surly ways and becomes the most cherished man in town. As always, I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes to see this beautiful transformation. No matter how many times I watch it, it always has this affect on me, and now, on my kids too. Another beautiful tradition passed on to be enjoyed by a new generation. It isn’t every day that you actually see the thread of family tradition being weaved in front of you, but I saw it that day, and it made me very, very happy.

The season has begun, as has the time to welcome family and friends, share laughter and love and traditions old and new. Here’s to a very merry season to all of you, and much love and joy.

Now, wipe the freakin’ tear from your eye, and get on with your shopping and decorating,

Mrs. B.