My hair is matted and Cheetos are stuck to my face…but I have a plan

I laughed at my sister the day she received a kareokee machine for her birthday.

Not because she got a kareoke  machine, but because she knew at that moment she would never get anything done until she got over the binge use of that machine.

She laid on her sofa and demonstrated for me how she would look after weeks of use. It was as if she knew karaoke was her heroine. She leaned on the arm and feigned drool coming from her lips as she was singing Aerosmith or Show-tunes. Didn’t matter which tune it was, she had an addiction and she knew it.  I could envision dishes stacked to the ceiling and Cheetos stuck to her shirt with crusty food creased into her hip. She knew it and I knew it.

That night we sang for 8 hours. My voice was lost to every single from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. I pulled out tunes from the 60’s that I learned at the steering wheel of my Dad’s Montego MX, Jimmy Rogers and the Kingston Trio, then there was Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli and Barbara… Barbara doesn’t need a last name.

My voice was done for days afterwards. My sister? Well…she continued down that road of music addiction. Then one day it stopped.

I do not mock her or tease her about that problem she had because it could have easily have been me.

Wait…

It was me.

Since I have finished University Studies, I have been binge watching TV as if the world is about to end. Since December 3, 2013, I have found myself enjoying the delights of televisions series that challenge my interest, make me laugh in a subtle way that compliments my humour and I have been solving mysteries with finesse. Or at least that is what I tell myself after watching the show 3 times in order to figure out all the clues.

I have binged watch Sherlock, Call the Midwife, and most recent….Suits.

I come home from work, watch Suits. I wake up early to get an episode in before work, I have a day off – stay in my jambes and watch suits.

I find myself looking like Penny after she started playing on-line videos games….with Howard.

Xz6

 

Then as quickly as it happened, it was over.  I am caught up and the season doesn’t resume until AFTER THE OLYMPICS.  I found myself relating to Donna, coveting Jessica’s wardrobe  and having a soft spot for crazy Louis. I want to be on team LITT!  I want to wear Christian Loubatans to work and carry Prada bags. I want to have the trust and loyalty of a Harvey and I want an office dammit! I want an office with a view of Bernie Madoff’s old building. I would settle for an office with a view. Hell, at this point, I’d settle for an office.

What I do have is potential and possibility. What Suits has done for me has pointed out the people in my life who I trust and those who I need to guard myself against.

I have set new goals for 2014. I understand my vision NEVER turns out as planned. If you asked me 3 years ago if I knew I would be standing where I was, I would have laughed you out of the room. Therefore I am changing my focus. Where and what are out of the picture now. I can reach higher than that.

I really like my possibilities for 2015, besides…anything can happen.

Now…what to watch next…

Riddle me this: Why can’t I have a ‘normal’ vacation like everyone else?

I have been away on vacation, and surprise surprise….I went to Disneyland!

1184883_10152006528946337_933518599_n

When most people travel and their friends ask them how their vacation was, normal people answer “It was great!” or with “It was fine!”

Not me…

My friends asked me how my vacation was and I answered, “Awesome but weird.”

Weird?

You betcha!

The weather was great by Canadian standards, but by local standards it was cold. It was hilarious to see people dressed in parkas and toques. Translation : winter coats and wool hats. I wore flip flops and capris…very summery attire for October apparently.

The people I met were super friendly! But why is it that once someone finds out I am from Canada, I hear endless stories about New Jersey or Philly? “Oh you are Canadian? Cool! It must be hot for you here…let me tell you about my Uncle’s fungus on his toenail.”

Yeah…. awesome. And being Canadian, I just can’t tell him to feck off…I listen politely and act all sympathetic. Poor bastard.

I went to my secret spot for Fantasmic! The Trusty Steed thought it was necessary to tell THE ENTIRE PLANET about the secret spot….so when we got there it was crowded…well played Trusty, well played. However, because I am friends with New Yorkers and a hockey fan, I have learned the time honored tradition  of ‘Elbows Up’ to secure a spot.  The great news is because I combine it with my ‘Canadian kindness’ I scored a super spot next to an off duty cast member who shared secrets with me. But UNLIKE like the Trusty Steed…I can keep a secret.

I made sure the littles (people shorter than me) were placed in front of me so they could see. I made room for a gal in a wheel chair so she could see and gave her niece crap about blocking her view. “I didn’t give up my awesome spot so an able body YOU could have it and block your aunts view…get out of there missy!” This act of kindness earned me a Jesus preaching about how kind I am and how he must smile down on me…truth be told, this was awkward. 

I learned that Latina grannies are scaredy cats. I was standing in the queue waiting to board Radiator Racers when this granny turns to me and tells me her daughter is making her ride this scary ride (for the record RR is tame, no loops, no drops, it is basically a faster dark ride that is AWESOME). She asked me how it compared to Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road, I replied that it isn’t a coaster, it is fairly tame but then the cars race at the end, but it isn’t as fast as driving on the I5. She accused me of lying. So I replied with, “I am Canadian! You can trust me!” She then smiled and held my hand.

Before I knew it she had climbed into my lap and was screaming like a banshee in my ear. She had a death grip that reviled Spock’s Vulcan nerve pinch.  I can’t remember the last time I laughed that hard or had that many bruises from saving someone. I think I am ready for any Zombie Apocalypse.

I went to Mickey’s Halloween Party on Monday night. I had never been and it was fun! You line up to get your wristband earlier in the day. Mine was 11. I SERIOUSLY CANNOT MAKE THIS STUFF UP!!! Eleven is my number without even trying.

Seriously? 11?

Seriously? 11?

I personally know about a billion people. I can go anywhere and run into someone I know. It annoys my sister to know end. Seattle for the weekend? You bet! London in the summer? Absolutely! Calgary for the day? Of Course! So when I am in Disneyland? I ran into a great friend who I NEVER run into at home. I have to travel to a different country to see her! But it was all good and she looked fantastic! Hi Alisa!1077043_10152008043881337_474202756_o

There is something about me that attracts children and Disney Surveyors. NEVER MAKE EYE CONTACT with a surveyor…not that avoiding them helped. No less than 7 surveyors stopped me to ask questions. 7! I was in the parks 5 days! I would hide, look the other way, walk the long way around and was captured EVERY TIME.

I better get a promo code out of the deal…

Kids are another story. I love them to BITS when they aren’t mine. I can stand in a queue, minding my own business and kids will talk to me, reach out to me to hold them or ask if I how I feel about Ben Affleck as the new Batman (for the record, I think his wife would make a better batman. She kicks royal a$$). But the best and weirdest interaction, goes to the little girl who just left Bibbity Bobbity Boutique. She was dressed as Cinderella in a sparkly blue gown. Her hair was pulled up in a bow with a giant fake bouffant sticking on the top of her head. She was covered in head to toe in sparkles. She held one side of her dress, ready to twirl at a moments notice. She would not stop making eye contact with me. When I smiled at her, I said, “you look beautiful, Princess” Well, that earned me a full on SONG. “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.” She put Ariel to shame. WOW it was hard not to laugh until I cried. 

Why didn’t I laugh, you ask?

DUDE! She was SERIOUS! Never hurt a little kids feelings!!! She felt special and I honored it…however, it will remain my ALL TIME FAVORITE MEMORY  until my next Disney trip in January, where I am sure someone will top that.

 

The Friendship Dance

I learned that I don’t have friendships like those on sitcoms. I never had a band of friends at Central Perk, or hung out at the bar like the gang from How I met your mother. I wanted that…the college experience, of chums that you flop on their couch and pour your heart out to. That was never going to be my destiny.

I find as I get older there are friendships that mean more to me than I could ever imagine and friends that I could care less about…and that surprises me.

I had lunch today with an acquaintance who I have always had a certain connection with but because of circumstances, a friendship was not possible because of a conflict of interest in our professional lives. Well… Now that we have moved forward in our careers, it was decided that we both really want to be friends. We made that happen today and it was lovely.

I can count on one hand how many close female friends I have. Actually, on a couple of fingers. But ask me how many close male friends I have and they out number my female friends 3:1.

My new gal pal is the same. There are more male friends than female friends in our lives.

Why is that?

Without meaning to offend the entire female population, I am sure it has to do with how my brain is wired.

I also have learned this year that as I get older, the games females often play tire me out…or more importantly…bore me. I have no time to figure out the she said/she said of social-climbing. So I remove myself from that situation…permanently.

I like men.

I don’t have to worry about gossip or double meanings, men (typically – not always) mean what they say and say what they mean – no drama. That to me is restful.

I went out last week with men – just men. 3 of them who mean the world to me. We went to see John Cleese. It was a profound experience that none of my female friends understood, nor did they want to go. Cleese is a genius, a comedic god in my eyes and his presence on stage had me feeling as if I was in the presence of greatness. Then men I was with, understood that without me having to go into greater detail. They just got it.

People who get me, understand the humor and nonsense of the Fish Slapping Dance – click the image to see the dance. Seriously – Michael Palin’s dancing is marvelous!

398581_5798741_lz

I love it when I am with my women friends and they just get it. It doesn’t happen often. I have 3 female friends who ‘just get me’ – in the same fashion as I ‘get’ Michael Palin and John Cleese.

Perhaps it isn’t a male/female thing. Perhaps it is a friendship thing.

As I age, I know what I want and surround myself with those who connect with me on the same level. I am selfish with my time and will only spend it with those who matter to me. The great thing about being older is the sexual tension of a friendship isn’t there. That alone is restful. Being friends with men because of who they are and what they stand for without the pressure of dating….delicious! It’s like grade 6 all over again! I LOVED the grade 6 boys, they were funny AND fun. The men in my life currently are the same, funny AND fun. Perhaps I have finally figured out what is important.

Friendships should be important, meaningful, fun, funny and safe.

I got rid of those her aren’t those things for me.

On Monday, the big #disneytrail reveal will happen. If you follow my social media feed, you may be wondering about it. It will be amazing and scary and challenging and more importantly, it will include some of my friends. Male and Female, people who make me feel safe, who make me laugh, who tease me incessantly and most of all, get me.

Why did it take me until the age of 46 to figure out this friendship game?

Better late than never.

 

 

Hi I am The Edmonton Tourist, and I am a bad Mother

Rocotillo pepper (Capsicum baccatum) is a type...

Rocotillo pepper (Capsicum baccatum) is a type of chile pepper originating in Peru. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Apparently I am a bad mom.

 

I am cool with that.

 

I mom sent over some garden treats yesterday. The cherry tomatoes tasted like candy and the tiny red peppers were shiny and beautiful.

 

I popped a red pepper in my mouth thinking they were sweet bell peppers. HA! So wrong. Yes, they were sweet but it did end there. My lips burned for an hour afterwards. These gems will be delish in Fajitas, stir fry or chopped finely and put into pasta. They are lovely, I just wish I knew they were hot.

 

This morning, I was making lunches, ChatterBox was sitting at the counter eating  breakfast. I congratulated her on the terrible job she did cleaning the kitchen after dinner last night. To her credit, she is good at looking sheepish and apologized. She will give it another go tonight after dinner. Enough said, change of topic. I mentioned the peppers her Grandma sent over. I proceeded to rely the story of how hot they were and laughed at myself because of the sheer stupidity of just biting into it KNOWING it was a pepper.

 

In between the story, I would ask lunch questions, “Nectarine?”  She replied, “yes please.” Then the hilarity of events would continue.

 

I placed the nectarine in the pile of food for her lunch when she asked if she could try one now.

 

I opened the fridge and pulled out another nectarine.

 

ChatterBox looked at me like I had two heads.

 

“No, a pepper.”

 

I shrugged and said sure while I passed her the bag of peppers.

 

She pulled out a tiny red shiny bulb and proceeded to pop it into her mouth.

 

“OH SWEET MOTHER OF GOD WHY THE HELL DID YOU LET ME DO THAT!!!”

 

I looked at her bewildered because I had told her my experience of the peppers and yet she still wanted to try them.

 

Her rant continued,

 

“WHY do you let me do what ever I want? What kind of mother are you? Other moms tell their children no, but not you! You think its a good idea that I experiment and try new foods. Other moms would say NO. My friend’s mom never lets her do what she wants and is she cocky and arrogant like me? NO SIR! She is nice calm and shy. I, However, am cocky and arrogant because I get to try what ever I want like this pepper that might in fact kill me!”

 

She demanded water and I said milk will work better, but I gave her water because she yelled,

 

“I AM LACTOSE INTOLERANT”

 

I laughed.

 

Whatever…

 

I just kept looking at her, smiling.

 

The ironic part is, I often get lectured about the kind of easy-strict mom I am. I have a dress code my girl must live by, I demand for my children to think in terms of “is that appropriate? Could you share that with your Grandma?” If the answer is no – then they better think twice about doing it.

 

I am not the “my word is law” mom, I am “think for yourself and judge it against your values” mom. Then I become the “suffer your consequences” mom. All of these things circle around actions/consequences. I think it’s the best learning tool on the planet.

 

Mean while, I was still smiling as she left for school with her burning mouth.

 

It’s not like I didn’t warn her.

 

Facing My Fears and having it go OH SO WRONG!

fears Since my Edmonton Tourist Journey began and I started saying YES more than NO. I also began taking risks and facing my fears. Some of the biggest obstacles I have overcome involved me speaking up, saying what I thinking and using my passion and intellect to support my convictions. It has worked out mostly good. Not everything was good, some things were painful and embarrassing but I do not regret anything I have done since 2010. I have been intentional about change, trying new things and being a risk taker. I regret nothing…until today. Today was baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad. I’ll come back to why it was bad, but first I feel a list coming on. I feel the need to list the fears I have overcome since this project has began.

The Edmonton Tourist’s Top 11 List of Faced Fears

  1. I let other people plan my vacation. That was hard for me, I like to be in control and know what is going on. Consequently, I two amazing vacations that were very relaxing. I won’t do it every time because planning is fun for me, but I did contact my new travel agent  – I like her a lot. She is planning a little  (big) trip for my son’s graduation. It will be EPIC and I am not scared!
  2. University. I was scared I wasn’t smart enough for University. I was scared I couldn’t write a paper. I learned I am pretty good at research and writing, so much so that I will graduate with awesome marks (honors), AND in December of this year. I faced a big fear, overcame it and now I am about to reap it’s rewards. SUPER EXCITED!
  3. Less Food. Weird for people who don’t use food to feed their emotions or use it to provide emotional support, but I do both. Or rather did. I still do occasionally but now I catch myself doing it. It was a long hard road to face the fact that food is fuel and not therapy. I am halfway there. By the time I am 50, I will be on the beach somewhere rocking a bikini. Something I haven’t done since I was 14. AND WILL I BE AWESOME!!
  4. Run. I had a gym teacher in grade 7 (Mr. Snow I am looking at YOU) You weren’t even a real teacher yet, one of those Student Teachers that are either great or sucked. You sucked. You called me a candy ass because I couldn’t run. News flash: Fat kids can’t run 2.5km without stopping on the very first day. We are fat for a lot of reasons but one of them was WE DID NOT RUN EVER! Now I run. I ran 13km the other day, this week is 14km for my LSD and you know what Mr. Snow? I learned how to do it with people calling me names. Except for that one time I had to teach the mean girls a lesson in politeness and teach them that everyone has a different starting point. They were like you, narrow minded and egotistical. I hope you learned some empathy or you were going to end up being the WORST TEACHER EVER.
  5. Trying New Things. I had a project where I tried 52 new things in a year. One new thing a week. It was easier than I figured it would be. I learned trying new stuff can be fun, at the very least it is hilarious if you can laugh at yourself.
  6. Public Speaking. When I was the Chairperson for the parent council at my kids elementary school, I had to speak in front of the entire parent population. I won’t lie, I was terrified. As I continued through my project facing my fears, I became better at public speaking. I am now a motivational speaker and lead workshops and seminars. I have even been apart of a media scrum and answered questions from reporters on TV. It is now easy. I never would have thought that possible.
  7. Racing. As a kid, I was the one who came in last. I would skip school so I wouldn’t have to go to Track and Field Day and be last. Last totally sucks when you are a kid. Now I enter races and I expect to be last. I do it for new reasons. Runners never expect to win, so please stop asking me if I think I have a chance at winning. In my head I am laughing at you. I enter a race for the experience, the challenge (I push myself harder during a race than I do on a Sunday morning), to raise money for a cause and I like shiny things. Medals rule.
  8. Saying No. Remember how I said I needed to Yes more than No? That was true, that is how I made new friends that I actually like. Not that I didn’t like my old friends…well…but I really dig my new friends! ANYWAYS…I always felt like I couldn’t disappoint people. I needed to be a people pleaser. I now don’t feel that way. I don’t volunteer for everything under the sun now, I only volunteer for things that are meaningful to me. I only help people I like and I only give to things I believe in. It makes me sound selfish but actually, I do help and give WAY more than I ever did before and its awesome.
  9. Narcissists. I was married to one. I am related to a couple. I don’t fear them anymore. It took their power away and now my life is peaceful and AWESOME.
  10. Heights. I once hid in under my bed at camp to get out of the zipline required activity for all councillors. Murdo found me and talked me through it. I jumped into a 5 story freefall and didn’t die. I no longer fear heights…just ladders and hitting the ground.
  11. The Gym. Gyms are only for skinny people. True story. It takes courage for a fat girl to walk into that room. Everyone needs to start somewhere. The secret is to walk like you belong and before you know it, you do belong. Then one day, you are the skinny person working out like everyone else.

Fears I am still working on:

  1. Birds – irrational but true
  2. Mice – also irrational but true
  3. Expired food – which brings me to my big regret today.

First of all, in a work situation or with my friends I am very clear about my boundaries.

I WILL NEVER SNIFF OR TASTE EXPIRED FOOD, QUESTIONABLE FOOD OR UGLY FOOD

Never ever ever ever never!

I don’t care if the expiration date is today – I am NOT DOING IT.

At lunch I made a sandwich. I cut an avocado and spread half of it onto my bread, added cheese, tomato, sprouts and cucumber. It is my favorite sandwich. My first mistake was making lunch in the dark. It was raining and I don’t turn the lights on during the day because I shouldn’t have to. So even when its dark, I rebel and leave the lights off during the day. My second mistake was seeing dark spots on the avocado and thinking I could scoop around them. The last mistake was eating.

Avocados are not suppose to foam and sparkle like carbonated fruit in your mouth. It was wrong on SO MANY LEVELS. I broke my 3rd rule – DON’T EAT UGLY FOOD!

I have come so far and yet have many miles to go.

fear

Dear Mom: I am now you. Not cool mom, not cool.

It has finally happened.

I have become my mother.

Every daughter has that fear and makes a pact with their sister/best friend/cousin/daughter to inform us of that moment so we can take stalk of our lives and figure out how to correct the anomaly from happening. Unfortunately for me, no one told me. I had to discover this for myself in public. So this is an open letter to my Sister and Daughter.

Dear Sister and ChatterBox,

You suck.

Love Robyn/Mom

Don’t get me wrong, my mom is awesome. She does things that we all tease about and accuse her of being crazy, but I know you do the same to your mom. That is how daughters roll. It is called evolution. Then one day it happens to us. We turn into our mothers. We hear her words in our words, we see her figure in our figure, we notice her OCD tendencies in our OCD tendencies and we realize we married our fathers.

Dear Mom,

Thanks (for nothing!) 

I love you

Love Skichucky

Yes, my parents call me Skichucky. Tease me, I dare you.

One day I was sitting in the car with my mom and sister and mom said something. I can’t recall what it was, but I said to her, “Mom, remember when you said we were to tell you when you started becoming Grandma? Well, it’s happening.”

Mom replied with, “OMG (or something worse, I can’t remember) you are right! I do sound like my mother!!!!!”

She took immediate action to alter her behaviour pattern, every now and then it comes back. I like to think of it as a birthright. It makes me feel better calling it a birthright so stop hassling me already. Your turn is coming, I promise you.

I use to work in the family business. One day my mom came into the office and she was limping.

Me: Mom? OMG Mom what happened???

Mom: What are you talking about?

Me: Mom! You are limping!!

Mom: What???

We looked at her feet and noticed she was wearing two completely different shoes. One Navy and one Black. The Navy shoe had a heel and the Black shoe was a ballerina flat.

Of course she was limping. You try walking in two different heel sizes and see what happens!!

In my infinite wisdom of 34, I said “MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMM How could you leave the house like that???? I am clearing you appointments and you are staying in the office today unless you are going home to change! GEEEEEEEEEEEEEZE MOM!!!”

Dear Mom,

I am sorry I criticized you and judged you.

Please forgive me.

Love Skichucky

Yesterday I went for a run. I have two different pairs of running shoes. Both are Adidas Gel 4, both have the same lacing configuration, yet each pair is a different colour. I rotate my shoes because I fear plantar fasciitis. I carefully monitor the mileage on my shoes and get new ones when they wear out. I rotate through the shoes (every run) to give each shoe the opportunity to gain the same mileage as the other. They wear out at the same rate and my feet are happy campers.

As of late, I have had a lot on my mind. I have a heavy course load because one of the projects is not pretend it is real life. I am focusing on it and think about it lots because detail will be paramount in the execution of this project. I am excited about it, but it is scary as well. I have not been sleeping well and I think the fatigue from driving home after the race in Calgary is still affecting me. I also have that tumour annoyance in my brain.

Okay…Okay…All of these are excuses.

If I turned on the light in the hallway to grab my shoes this wouldn’t have happened:

984259_10151686111296337_653888090_n

I didn’t notice it until my 5th hill climb. Obviously I don’t look at my feet when I run.

This is what I learned from yesterday’s shoe episode:

  1. If you can’t dress yourself, hire a Lady’s Maid (Downton Abbey taught me that)
  2. If someone asks about the separate shoes, lie and say it is a training technique.
  3. Stay focused on the task at hand. Think about the project while running. That is when you do your best thinking.
  4. Start buying the same colour shoes and label them on the INSIDE
  5. Take a picture and brag about your forgetfulness before anyone can tease you first.

 Dear Mom,

Let’s get matching Lady’s Maids for us.

Then let’s go shoe shopping.

Love Skichucky

This is me and my parents in the good old days when we had it all going on and didn’t need Lady’s Maids

601742_10151665323236337_742354304_n

The Birds and the Bees are too Risque for me, okay – there were no bees involved

In my lifetime I have laughed in the face of death, stood my ground, battled for justice and faced my fears. But sometimes you see something so terrifying you can never unsee it.

It happened to me today.

I was finished work, and sitting in my favorite chair beside the window reading Life and Life (a surprisingly great book in the middle and end and hard to love in the beginning). I had the windows open because spring is here with the promise of summer on Sunday. The cool spring breeze was floating through my home bringing with it the fresh smell of a promising summer. The sound of birds frolicking in the trees had me daydreaming of my youth and playing in forested areas wearing my cape and wellies, saving the good people of the earth from monsters and aliens from afar.

Then I saw it.

The scariest sight ever.

It is well documented that I have a fear of birds, from the Emu in Australia that tried to kill me, from the baby bird that hopped up to my chair on the patio. The mere proximity of birds close enough to feel the air flutter from their tiny wings is enough to send my heart racing and my blood pressure reaches severe stroke levels. However, I have discovered something more terrifying than the beady little eyes of a bird wanting to peck my hand.

I witnessed Bird Sex.

Horrifying as it was, I could not pull my eyes away. Those pornographic little creatures were pole dancing on my trellis just outside my window. It was a glorified strip show with feathers flying all over my deck. The finale from the hedonistic foreplay was too much for my eyes to bear, yet there I was staring helplessly at the sight.

All I could do was yell “GET A ROOM BIRDS! NO ONE WANTS TO WATCH YOU HAVING SEX!”

5032904208_7ba8e88535_z

Then they flew off together.

With my luck, the birdhouses will be filled with chicks before long. While I fear birds, I do not hate them. So I will spend the rest of my summer chasing Ginge, my feral cat away and shooing the magpies off with a broom just so I can protect the love children I witnessed being created today.

Now that I have seen the unseenable, I feel like I have a moral obligation to protect the innocent.

Stupid birds… next year GET A ROOM!

 

Winter, you are a jerk

Winter is being a jerk.

531831_517718874951146_696860796_n

I was sitting in my office on, APRIL 19th, and looked out my window. Snowflakes the size of quarters were coming down. Had it been Christmas morning I would have thought, “Oh How Lovely!” Then carry on with the presents and food. BUT APRIL 19th?

THIS TOTALLY SUCKS!

As a winter protest, I am creating a list of things that are suppose to happen in Spring here in Edmonton.

  1. Hmmmm okay this is harder than I thought it would be. We don’t get spring in Edmonton.

It will snow on and off until the end of May. I know, I know… this is complete and utter lunacy. I am so over winter I can’t tell you how badly I want to hear robins on my front lawn or smell fresh cut grass.

In protest I went and bought 3 short sleeved running shirts and several pairs of ankle socks for running.

Apparently I am only hurting myself because today is a crappy cold and windy day with the odd snowflake here and there. There is no way I can run outside in my new running togs and stay warm.

In 10 days it will be May. On May 26th I am running my first 10km race. I don’t want to wear this:

439800-cartoon-frozen-eskimo-near-an-igloo

But seeing as I am racing in Alberta, odds are excellent that I will be wearing exactly that.

I have decided I will use a technique called planned ignoring. This is where you don’t reinforce negative behaviour, you ignore it. In this case WINTER is being a jerk so I will no longer pay attention to this bad behavior. No more pictures, no more winter clothing, no more tolerance. Winter will finally become tired of being ignored and go away or at the very least, change it’s attitude. From now on my stubbornness will finally come in handy. I will force winter to leave by not giving it what it needs. That’s right winter, your days are numbered!

Anyone up for a picnic?

images (2)

Wishes on Stars ALWAYS come true for me

wish-upon-a-starI know a lot of people don’t believe in wishing on stars, people are hopeful, they want to believe but it usually doesn’t work out for them. I have wished twice upon a star. Both times they have come true. That is a 100% wish successful rate. So one would think that if you wished on a star for everything you want, you would be filled with bountiful wishes right? I don’t think it works that way. I think you have to respect the star and respect the wish.

My first wish is turning 17 tomorrow.

17!

My second wish turns 15 in two weeks.

15!

I am thankful my wishes came true in separate pay periods, that was just smart planning on my part. This weekend’s events have me thinking about my birthdays as a teen. I cannot remember my 17th birthday nor do I remember my 15th birthday. Odd. I usually have a very vivid memory of my past. What I do remember are not major events but incidental moments that make up my childhood.

My dad married the girl next door, down the street and around the corner when he was a kid. After 46 years of happily-ish married bliss (lets be honest, 46 years is a long time to be happy every stinking day. It doesn’t happen like that. But my parents ARE great friends and still do TONS of stuff together. Luckily they don’t play old people sports like bridge, lawn bowling or canasta. There is still time for that though…) When I came a long, we lived within walking distance of both my grandparents homes. I was one of those lucky kids who had 2 grandmas, 2 grandpas and a great grandma and a great grandpa. Most of my friends only had one or two, I had the collectors set.

I remember Sunday dinners, sleep-overs, craft days, stages productions, Barbie bliss and general good times at both homes. Eventually we moved away to the Arctic (I know, insert pity party here —>     ) and what I remember most was missing my grandparents. When we moved home, my brother and I were placed on an Airplane and met in Edmonton by my Grandfather. I remember the sense of relief at the age of 6 to be met by that hug. They took me home to their house and the fun times resumed. But I missed my other Grandparents terribly. When I eventually saw them, more fun times ensued.

When we moved back to Edmonton for good (I know…but it is PARADISE compared to the Arctic) I lived a bike ride away from my Grandma. Believe it or not, I was the opinionated kid of the family and often disagreed with the way my parents bestowed RULES upon me. Injustice raged through my veins so I always called my Grandma – she loved me and she would rescue me.

11992_480000418736931_982256907_n

 

I would ask if I could sleep over. The answer was always yes. The green chip bowl was always ready with Old Dutch BBQ and Carol Burnett was always brought to you by Kraft. When I wished upon the star many years later, that was part of my wish. For my wish to have the same relationship with their grandparents as  I had with my grandparents.

It mostly came true. The grandparents were only on my side, but they came with extras. One great grandma each and a great grandpa who was EXACTLY like Carl from UP.

up-carl-russell-characters

My grandpa and my son

 

I moved down the street and around the corner so my wishes could visit and run away every chance they got. One wish goes there after school every thursday to hang out. One stops by for milkshakes on a regular basis. There was a suitcase packed and one ran away to grandma once, and many movie and sleepover nights were held. The grandchildren even had their OWN bedroom at Grandma’s house.

So now that my first wish is 17 tomorrow, I asked him how he wanted to spend his birthday. The reply was, “Dinner at (favorite restaurant) and invite Grandma and Grandpa.” No family or friend party? No cake or donuts?

“No, just a really good steak and grandma and grandpa.”

I am living proof that wishes come true. Sure I augmented it by moving close to my parents but what kind of mom would I be if I didn’t at least try to provide the circumstances that enhanced my childhood?

Happy Birthday Wish #1 xoxoxox

Go Home Winter, You’re Drunk

Go Home Winter, You’re Drunk

was the facebook status of one of my friends this morning. I figure this is just par for the course. My week has been difficult having the plague and all and this is the icing on the cake – 15cm of new snow.

This week started off swell! The snow was melting, over a foot of it was gone. I was running WITHOUT cleats! Sure I had to wade through giant glacier fed puddles with huge icebergs floating by, but that was just a minor inconvenience when confronted with the fact that I could run without cleats AND in a t-shirt! All the winter gear got left at home! So freeing and delightful.

Not only is it snowing this morning, my coffee machine broke and it needed tech support. I nearly had to DRIVE for coffee in my jammies. Luckily the phone call to Kuerig’s Brandon sorted things out. Charming southern dude who gave me life this morning. In fact, he gave me enough life to fill two giant travel mugs  – Thanks Brandon!

Meanwhile this is my back yard on April 5th at 11:14 AM – the view from my desk

Go Home Winter, You’re Drunk

photo (14)

Quite frankly, all of us up here in the Great White North are sick of it. I am not sure why, this is quite typical for us. Perhaps it is because of social media. We can SEE what kind of weather the rest of the world is having and we want some. Bring on Global Warming, I want ocean front property with a citrus grove in my yard. Meanwhile, back to our regularly scheduled winter…

 

 

 
A member of the "Optimalist" heath club hacks a hole into the ice covering a canal near the village of Viazynka tumblr_mbscgjgkVl1qeablwo1_250 20130324-190003 winter-spring-clothing-closets-seasonal-ecards-someecards 181056_10152744308960121_1118041930_n558883_10152722713120005_190268040_n (1)