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A Rogueish look

22 Jan

I like my hair.  It suits me and it’s pretty undemanding.  This wasn’t always the case — just check out my disastrous Grade 8 photo with the Perm of Doom, or ask my 7-year-old self why the heck she would pine for long blond tresses.  We have come to understand each other, my hair and I, and as long as I keep it trimmed we get along just fine.

I started getting gray hairs pretty early on.  In university, I would get a patch of gray just above each ear whenever exam time rolled around.  Now those patches have disappeared, but I have a new silvery one that has developed over the last 5 to 7 years.

Exhibit A: Taken with the crappy green-tinted camera on my laptop. Because I was lazy.

I know I’m supposed to hate my gray hair and all, but, well, I don’t.  I’ve often said that I wished it would just get stronger, darnit, because then I would look just like that X-Men character, Rogue.

Exhibit B: Yep, EXACTLY like that. (Pic stolen from

The natural silver streak has become slightly more pronounced over the years, but I’ve often toyed with the idea of going into the salon and playing it up through the magic of chemicals.  When I got my haircut a few months ago, the young hairdresser love the idea.  Last month, however, the 40s-ish hairdresser I had was adamant that she would never let me do such a thing.

Playing it up, I’d be joining the ranks of such greats as Cruella DeVil, and (God help me) Stacy London.  On the other hand, going natural fits much better with my general philosophy of low-maintenance hair care.

I know I have way more important things to worry about.  But once in a while it’s nice to indulge in some frivolous narcissism.  So, what say ye, bloggy peeps?  Care to cast a vote?


Red is best

29 Dec

I’ve been wearing glasses since I was in Grade 4.  I’ve had six different pairs of glasses in that time, but the first ones that really suited me I got when I was 23 years old.  That’s a lifetime of ugly glasses, people.

Don’t believe me?  Shall I humiliate myself by showing you a picture that a “friend” (ahem) posted on Facebook that I almost untagged because of the horror of being associated with it?

Ugly Ugly Glasses


When I was 23, I finally got a pair of glasses that suited my face.  I was in love.  I was actually happy to wear them in public. 

And they lasted me until two weeks ago.

Two weeks ago, I was play-wrestling with Halia on the floor when she reached up and grabbed my glasses.  “Not my glasses!” I shouted.  Right before I heard “CRACK!”

The acetate frames were not particularly flexible, and Halia had put just enough force on them to crack them, right under one of the lenses.  They were still sort of wearable.  But every time I’d push the glasses up the lens would fall out.  Next morning, the lens fell off my face, hit the edge of my oatmeal bowl and a piece chipped right off.  Fortunately, I found the chip and was able to eat the rest of my breakfast.

I resigned myself to the inevitable and went in search of a new pair of glasses, a chore I hate.  I have little faith in my sense of style; after all, I’ve made only one good choice in my whole history of glasses-choosing.  Happily, I found something suitable after just a short search.  Of course, with Christmas on the way and the frames and lenses coming in from Vancouver or Montreal, I was in for a bit of a wait.

And then last week, I took out my contact lenses for the day, set my broken glasses on my nose and headed for the bedroom to change into my PJs.  As I pulled my t-shirt off over my head, a fatal catastrophe befell my poor glasses.


The break in the frame had snagged on my shirt and not only did the frames break right through, but the lense snapped, as well.  Like so:


And so I’ve been forced to wear half a pair of glasses for a week.

But the story has a good ending, because today I got to pick up my new glasses.  I’m not sure yet if I’m in love, but I’m pretty darned infatuated.  Everything is better in red.

The best part?  These glasses have metal frames, so they should be at least a little more Halia-proof.

Perspective (the brackety post)

2 Dec

This afternoon I was getting supremely frustrated.  Jade was being hyper-emotional and was demanding attention.  Not unreasonably; all she wanted was to sit in my lap and be read some books.  (Over and over and over again, but still.)  Meanwhile Halia was trying to sleep but kept waking up whenever she was removed from the comfort and warmth of her milk machine (i.e. yours truly).  Halia was up until about 2:30 last night so I was tired.  (Yes, even though I stayed in bed until 10:30.)  Michael was busy working and my mom was busy making cinnamon buns. 

All I wanted was for her one of them to come help me with Jade so that I could have a nap (with Halia attached, of course, since she wouldn’t sleep otherwise).  When Halia let out yet another wail after an apparently sweet 2 minutes of sleep, I actually threw a book in frustration.  (I tried to pretend I was just putting it back on the pile of library books.  Jade so called me on that.  She looked at me and scolded me with an indignant, “Hey!”)

Then I realized that I was being a spoiled brat.

The only reason I was able to stay in bed until 10:30 this morning is because my mom is here and she was able to take care of Jade while Michael got to work.  And even though I was tired this afternoon, I could have been even more tired if I were trying to look after two kids on my own.  Plus, I was getting cinnamon buns out of the deal.

Seriously, woman, get some perspective and stop whining.

Or, after the sixth reading of “Horns to Toes and in Between“, send the kid to play in the kitchen and catch a short nap on the couch with the infant.  It’s amazing how much perspective a 20-minute nap can get you.

I’m a (gasp!) finalist!

1 Dec

Well, thanks to you, I have — unbelievably — made it into the top 5 in the “Best Family Blog” category of the Canadian Blog Awards!  Are you detecting a note of surprise here?  Because I am totally floored.

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!

Of course, the way this thing is set up, after asking you to vote for me in Round 1, I now have to shamelessly ask you to vote again.  If you’re feeling charitable, click on over and pick me!

(BTW, I’ve seen other nominated blogs have truly witty posts to ask for votes.  Unfortunately, you’re not going to get that here because I have only about two brain cells left and they’re worn out from being rubbed together.  But that’s the normal state of things when I write posts, so it must be why you love me, right?)

Like a little girl

22 Nov

I am normally not a squeamish kind of person.  Needles don’t bother me.  Frank discussions of bodily functions don’t faze me.  As a kid, I was the one who took the dead, squished mice out of the mousetraps and helped my dad bury the dead, trapped skunks, while my sister ran the other way.

But tonight, I came as close as I ever have to screaming like a little girl.

My mom and I went out to run some errands this evening, and Michael got both Jade’s supper and our supper cooked in the meantime — no small feat, especially with a toddler to supervise/entertain.  One of the ways he kept Jade occupied was by letting her play in the drawer under the oven, the one filled with all the baking pans.

Of course, there’s so much stuff in there, all the pans have to be arranged just so in order for the drawer to close.  And I’m the only one who can arrange it just so.  So, when I went to rearrange the bakeware, I found that the bottom of one of the springform pans had fallen back into the murk behind the drawer.

I pulled out the drawer as far as it would go without actually removing it from its tracks.  There was the bottom of the pan.  And look!  What’s that?  One of Crook’s toy mice!  Oh, yes, and there’s a green rubber ball of Crook’s.  And another toy mouse.  My mother was pulling them out with her rubber-gloved hand, but I had a better view, so I started retrieving cat-hair-covered objects, as well.  (Isn’t it amazing how pet hair accumulates in the spots we never sweep or vacuum?)

Why, here is the breastfeeding bracelet my friend Jenn gave me when Jade was born.  I thought it was in my nightstand, and had been contemplating digging it out.  And here’s one of Jade’s bath toys.  And here’s… um… another toy mouse?  No, it’s too big.  Um…

That’s when I shrieked.

Because what I had grabbed was not a toy mouse, but the cat-hair-covered, dessicated body of a bird.

A harmless dead body, to be sure, but when you’re not expecting to grab a dead anything, well, revulsion is a natural reaction, isn’t it?

I shrieked all the way to the bathroom, where I thoroughly scrubbed my hands as I shivered in disgust.  Michael, who was parked in the living room with a sleeping baby on his chest, pointedly asked me just who I thought brought that dead bird into the house.  (“YOUR cat,” he concluded smugly.  At which I cleverly told him to shut up.)

That space under the oven?  It is SO clean now.

So that’s what relaxed feels like

10 Nov

Since Nugget is still tucked away and my mom is here and all up to speed on Jade’s routines, I thought it would be fun to accompany Michael to the weekly Big Band rehearsal tonight.  I stopped going to rehearsals at the end of September and I’ve really missed it.  Every time an update e-mail would go out to the group regarding set lists and stuff we should listen to on YouTube, I’d feel a pang of envy.

Well, I’m not sure if it’s because tomorrow is Remembrance Day and lots of folks are taking today off to make a four-day weekend, but there were quite a few players missing from the rehearsal.  We were down to two saxes, and had no drums, no piano, and no vocalist.  One of the saxists (is that the right word?  It doesn’t look right…) had invited a guy out to listen, and he gamefully took on the drums.  I can’t improvise worth a darn, so without music to read I couldn’t take my old place at the piano.  But the vocal charts happened to be there, so I got to sing!

I know I’ve blogged before about the high I get from singing with the band, so I won’t go into it again, but man… I haven’t felt this good in months!  The band is currently rehearsing for a Christmas gig, so I did a couple of Christmas tunes, and then a couple of jazz standards.  I don’t have my full vocal range at my disposal at the moment, what with Nugget squishing up my diaphragm and lungs and stuff, but I was able to do a pretty good job of most of it, and that’s when it really feels good.

After rehearsal, Michael and I joined the rest of the band at the Kopper King for nachos, wings, and beer (orange juice for me and ginger ale for Michael).  I was kind of wilting by 10:30, but having to much fun to leave.  We have such great people in the band, and I really missed them.  It felt like… home.


18 Oct

These past two weeks have pretty much chewed me up and spit me out.  The proof is that I finally went to the doctor to get a note about going on stress leave.  But I really don’t want to turn this blog into the All Epilepsy All the Time Channel, so today I’m going to talk about my birthday present.

The truth is, my birthday isn’t happening for a month yet, but I, um, went and bought myself my present yesterday.

It all started a couple of weeks ago when I decided to sew a body pillow for myself.  Michael has complained about the many pillows taking over the bed and I thought maybe a body pillow would make a good substitute for a few of them.  One pillow instead of three!  The body pillows I found in our local stores weren’t long enough, though, so I bought a body pillow case instead and I stuffed it with some leftover pillow stuffing that I’ve had sitting around for, oh, five years or so.  To stitch it shut, I hauled out my very old sewing machine, a lead-bottomed beast that once belonged to my mother.  It’s so old that the plastic body is crumbling.  I’ve often thought that I would sew a little more often if the beast weren’t so awkward to haul out and if it weren’t so temperamental.

How temperamental?  On the evening in question I plugged in the machine and started stitching.  Every time I pushed down on the foot pedal, a little puff of smoke would emanate from the motor.  (This is actually not new, but it does make me rather nervous.)  Every few inches, the light would go off and the machine would stop working — no power was getting to the machine, but I couldn’t tell why.  I’d advance the needle manually by turning the handwheel (still faster than stitching by hand, anyway), and then after a minute or two the light would come back on and I could use the foot pedal again, generating yet another little puff of smoke.

In the end, it took about ten minutes to stitch up a foot of fabric, a job that would’ve taken less than a minute with a non-delinquent sewing machine.  Also, instead of a nice neat line down the end of a pillow, it wobbles and doubles back on itself; a drunken sailor could have done a better job of it in the middle of a storm.  The whole experience left me so paranoid that I decided then and there that this sewing machine had absolutely had it.  In fact, when the power went out 10 minutes later, I thought maybe I’d tripped a breaker somehow, even though I wasn’t even using the thing anymore.  (The power was out in the whole neighbourhood, though, and even at 12:30 at night and sleep-deprived I’m not paranoid enough to think I can shut down an entire neighbourhood with a faulty sewing machine.)  I told Michael the next morning that I wanted a sewing machine for my birthday.

Yesterday I went out with Jade to find a few things for her new room, including blinds for the window.  I couldn’t find anything the right size and decided that blackout curtains would work better, but they require a bit of alteration.  Which requires a working sewing machine.  Since I was at Wal-Mart, it was simple to pick one up while I was there.  Jade was too restless to stay in the shopping cart, so she wandered around the fabric section while I tried to read the features of the different machines while keeping an eye on her.  (She’s having so many seizures these days that I don’t dare let her out of my sight for more than a few seconds.)  I decided on a machine fairly quickly, hauled it into the overflowing cart, and hurried home to feed Jade some lunch.

The machine isn’t actually out of its box yet, but I have read the instruction manual, and I am revelling in the sleekness and non-crumbliness of it.  The only thing I regret is that when I picked Michael up from the airport yesterday (he was in Yellowknife all week) and told him about my birthday present, he said, “Oh… what did you get?”  He sounded a slightly amused and slightly put out when I told him.  Apparently, he’d already spent some time researching sewing machines in anticipation of buying me one for my birthday.

But isn’t it wonderful to know that he was really paying attention?