Like a Boss

My Parents came home yesterday. They sold everything and left for Europe for an undetermined amount of time. They aren’t really home, they are visiting.


I hadn’t spoke to them in 106 days. Apparently I am bad at email. My sister emailed my parents 104 times. That is 1 for everyday they were away except for the 2 she was on the plane to England and didn’t email them because she was sitting beside them.

Apparently that makes me a bad daughter.

I’m better at texting.

This was the first time since the ‘DARK TIMES’ that I had been separated from my parents.

  1. Yes I am 47 years old
  2. No it doesn’t make me an insecure baby
  3. I do not have a dysfunctional relationship with my parents
  4. we just actually like each other.

I haven’t felt like crying so much since my parents left in July, 106 days ago.

I called my dad this morning and I instantly cried. Damn I missed them. It’s not even like I am the favourite child. That would be the sister. And rightly so, she takes care of them in ways I just don’t. Then the next favourite would be the brother. He is dependant on them in ways I am not. As a mom, I know there isn’t a favourite, they just like each of us for different reasons. I happen to be the most independent of the lot. I keep to myself, hold my problems in and try not to worry anyone. I took care of everyone when I was younger, now I let my sister do it because she loves it, I just did it out of a sense of obligation. I have a hard enough time taking care of myself and my offspring. I have learned a long hard lesson about self-care that I need to be cognizant of. People call it selfishness, I call call it survival. I always seem to be on the brink of disaster and I manage to hold it off.

That gets exhausting and it is exhausting talking about it.

So, I didn’t write about it. Mom didn’t get to hear about my days or the weariness in my bones, or the times I felt like I was a total an utter failure. As a mom, I know she wanted to hear those things….but I don’t do that. I don’t share. It’s easier to stamp the feelings down and swallow them.

After lunch, I packed up the FamJam and we drove out to my Grandmothers where my sister and my parents are currently living while my sister’s home is – for lack of a better word – being finish. My parents will have a home base/in-law suite where they can have a home base while they travel the world being gypsy hobos.

I walked up the steps to the house and right into the arms of my daddy. I cried inside where no one saw. I stuffed the tears away because I didn’t want to be teased or have my emotions get in the way for visiting. I didn’t want it to be about me. I wasn’t the one who left. I wanted to hear about them.

We stayed all afternoon and caught up on their zany adventures. I learned a lot of things about my parents.

MOM: The Woman who faced her fears until Hell Froze Over

  1. She went topless on the Mediterranean (My mom has always been modest to the point almost to the level of Prudish)
  2. She drank beer AND Scotch (Alcohol always scared her and for good reason)
  3. She smoked a cigar
  4. She likes my dad – and not because he is her husband. They spent 106 days together ALONE and enjoyed their time together. They have been a couple since they were 14. Liking each other is an important part of that.

DAD: The Man who doesn’t give a crap about what people think

  1. He sat on a bus tour and gave people hell for being late – they never showed up late again (Who else has the balls to call people on their shit?)
  2. He naps whenever he damn well feels like it…and like a boss (In Kensington Palace he was bored, so he laid down on the sofa and slept…in the palace… In London)
  3. If he thinks something is outrageous, he says so. (I always thought I took after my mom, but really, I am like my dad. People annoy me and I call them on it. Just like he does. I also expect people to call me on my shit – I respect them if they do. I think they are weak if they don’t)
  4. He likes my mom. They laugh together and have a good time. He lets her baby him and he humours her by letting her plan everything. Compromise is important.


I also learned my siblings and I are more alike than we are different.

My sister wore a fancy hat on the plan home because she didn’t have a hatbox. She owned it like a boss. It wasn’t that much different from the time she wore a Sombrero home from Mexico because how else would you get it home?


I am pretty much the same. I have learned that life is too short to waste time doing what bores you or is annoying or out of obligation. I am busy. I have very little time for my family. They come first. Everything else second. Don’t like? I’m cool with that. I cannot please the world.

As my dad is known to say, “If someone doesn’t like it, they can go down the street to find something they do like. Don’t break your neck trying to please because only you and your family matter in the end anyways.”

Amen Dad.

Welcome home, I’ve stopped crying now, so maybe we can hang out later.


Late to the Party…again


Why am I always late to the party? And by party I mean Mad Men.  I am currently binge watching this series. It fascinates me. As one of those kids who were born in the 60’s I watch this show and look at the mothers, fathers and society and think “wow, that sure explains my childhood”.

I am one of those moms who loves her children fiercely, wanted to be the one who raised them so made huge sacrifices to be a stay at home mom. At the time, I thought I was sacrificing things. Hindsight is an amazing thing. This is not true, We survived just fine without ‘things’. What I sacrificed in many ways was me. The intellectual me. The self-esteem me. The me who did things a certain way to get through the day and now it is an expectation of those around me to keep it up. HA…that’s not going so well. I created monsters and now am trying to undo all those things – like dinner ready at 5, like ultra planned events, like parties where details are lovely.

I pretty much have unzipped that persona and stepped into the new me where I am usually still studying at 5, food is fuel – you don’t see dinner? Make it yourself – you are capable because I taught you. Parties? How about we meet at a restaurant? That way I don’t have to care about what my house looks like. I have pretty much become a man of the 60’s. I would love a 60’s house wife…but who wouldn’t?

I had a grandmother who had 5 children. She did house work and cooked but always changed into a nice dress and but on makeup before my grandfather came home. She said he worked hard and it was the woman’s job to pamper the man and to put herself together and look nice for him. Dinner’s ready, wife is cute, children are sparkling… wow.

This is not something I ever did. Should I have? Would it have made a difference?

Did the man actually appreciate what the woman did? Not sure. It isn’t like that on Mad Men. It is an expectation. It was an expectation of my grandfather too. My father just expected food and quiet. At the end of his day, he needed 30 minutes of solitude before dinner. I soooooo understand that. He never cooked, actually, the time my mom was in the hospital, he did cook. Once. I then took over cooking duties. How can you expect someone to do something well if they had never been taught? Or had time to practice? You can’t…or shouldn’t…. just teach them. Now that dad is retired he is starting to learn, but mom still makes all the meals and looks after him that way. I suspect it has more to do with her feelings for him then it being an obligation because I learned about feminism from my mom. Besides, my mom really and truly loves to cook.

Not me.

I HATE COOKING. I hate being a restaurant. I detest cooking meat.

I fail as a housewife of the 60’s.

I am cool with that.

But what I didn’t anticipate is how I feel about the men of the 60’s.

I like their assertiveness. I like their vulnerability. They were the providers and it was stressful. That isn’t an expectation anymore, it is a shared burden. As difficult as it is for men now, I think it might have been harder for them in the 60’s. Aside from the condescending attitudes towards women, I really think bearing the brunt of all financial matters was a tough position to be in.

So I watch Mad Men with a keen sense of nostalgia and it has my childhood making perfect sense…the the 70’s came along and ruined everything from weird attitudes to fashion. The 70’s and 80’s were just wrong.

Do I wish I was an adult in the 60’s? No…I prefer the hierarchy of today.

However, the fashion was kick-ass…I miss that kind of swanky

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:


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



Have you thought about the difference between want and need? I did, and it got me thinking… more than usual.

Wants are things that bring me joy.

Needs are things I will die without…literally and figuratively.

Devil and angel pulling 3d person for hands

I want to say I need Tiffany’s sparkly things draped over me. But that’s not true, I lived this long without – so far so good.

I want to say I need a regular Disney vacation and a trip to the beach to soak up the sun. Again, I can live without it but those do enhance the joy factor.

I want to say I need a library like Belle in Beauty and the Beast (Disney version) but again, that is a joy enhancement.

Wants are awesome but not life fulfilling.

Needs are. I had a couple of lengthy chats with two different, yet very great friends. Both are male and both feed a different part of my soul. One friend I can talk about fitness, family, writing and life’s ups and downs. His friendship has become a need. I feel energized after talking and I have plenty of brain food to think about.

I need Brain Food.

The other friend I talk to semi-regularly and we talk about business, ethics, values and strategy. More brain food.

I need these types of friends in my life. This is why I enjoy book club. It requires the intellect in me to discuss the books we read with insight and awakening. I enjoy the social content of the evening but the book discussion is the pinnacle for me.

I had told my friend my wish for him. I wish that he would get the things he needs to enhance his life life because we all deserve that. Needs are important. Then he said to me, so what do you need. Wow, I hesitated.

For a very long time I didn’t put my needs anywhere near where I could benefit from them. I know this is a problem for lots of women, moms in particular. Although I have learned that I am not alone, there are men who do the same thing. We are nurturers. We give because we love it, it fills us to a certain extent but then we forget to put in the plug and all kinds of goodness leaks out and the well becomes dry.

So what do I need? It is simple. Without these things I shrivel up and die. Not physically but mentally and that is worse.

1.  I need to mom. I am the mom to 2 amazing kids. I need a life that lets me put their needs ahead of mine while they are still minors. I need them to know how important they are to me and that I would move mountains for them. I need to be the dependable one, the one they know will always be there for them without judgement. The no judgement part is hard. My wish is for them to be high end achievers  but nagging them to death to study is not going to get there. I give them space to fall. I am there with a hand up or a band-aid if they require it. They rarely need a hand anymore, this fills me with pride. I see failure in their future. I want to stop it but this is how we grow, change and mature. We need failure to learn. You rarely learn from doing everything right. It will be more painful for me then it will be for them, but I will do it. I need this. I need them to know I am always in their corner.

I wanted 4 but needed only one. Two was a bonus.

2. I need to run. This means I need the time, the support (don’t nag me that I am gone again – luckily I have support!), the space and the freedom to set goals. I need the challenge of races to shoot for both in short term and long term. I need quiet when I run. Don’t talk to me. This is my meditation. If I invite you to run it is because I want your presence. If I don’t and you ask if you can come with me, the answer is yes. But don’t talk to me. Running is my communion with nature, my release, my thoughts acknowledgement and peace.

-I want to be a gazelle, but only need to move. Gazelle status will be a bonus.

3. I need intellectual stimulus. Mindless, numbing activity is deadly. It makes me create scenarios in my brain. I’d rather live outside of my brain that live in it, but I will do both if I have too. I need to be challenged. I need intellectual conversation. I need the freedom to seek this. I like being smart because the more you learn, the more you realize you know nothing. Therefore learning is a lifelong challenge.

I want to be a professional student and have long lengthy chats with other academics but having friends who challenge me is a bonus.

4. I need chocolate. Not everyday but when I need it, look out – it isn’t pretty.

-I want only great chocolate but any chocolate when I need it is a bonus.

I am lucky, I have my needs met. Now – on to the wants…lets start with that vacation to NYC…

15th Anniversary of the beginning of Harry? I suddenly feel very old and melancholy.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

15 years ago the J.K. Rowling released the first of her epic series of Harry Potter Books. I know the first one as Harry and the Philosopher’s Stone, the Americans know it to be the Sorcerer’s Stone. Why? I don’t know, something to do with it being more marketable in the USA. I HATE it when they do that to books.Publishers did it with The Book of Negroes in the rest of the world and Someone knows my Name in the USA. Anyways…

I became a Harry Potter fan by accident. I needed to find a story book to engage my young son in so he would want to become a reader. Books that girls would like to read seemed easier to find. I picked up this book in the Scholastic Book Club Flyer and decided it would be the bed-time story for the next few weeks. By the time we had caught up on the series, we were waiting for The Goblet of Fire to come out. We dressed up and went to the book launch at the local book store, picked up the book and went home. I read the first chapter to him for bed-time as was our usual routine. I then took the book to MY room and finished reading by 4:00 AM. This became a trend for me. Taking the book and reading it in one go, then preceding to read it my son.

By the time we had reached the (near) end of the series, my son was reading novels on his own. He preferred adventure stories but would never read Harry Potter on his own, that was reserved for me. He would watch me read the book through with tears rolling down my face, or so caught up in adventure I couldn’t hear what was going on around me. The advantage to reading first was I knew when a good time to stop the book for the night. Chapters aren’t always a good break in the story.

Rowling isn’t the worlds greatest literary author, but who cares. She made children readers because they finally understood that a book can transport you away to another time and place and lets you spend time with characters who might resemble you and your friends. Better yet, they might show flaws that make you feel normal. I knew Harry had an impact on my son when, as a 16 year old, he came home from a School Trip to California sporting a wand, 11 inches long, made of holly and had a phoenix feather core. It made me smile. The movies were fine, but both of us agree the books had that extra detail that became important to the characters and their lives.

They were important to me, because it gave me some extra cuddle time past the age when your mom reading to you at bed-time was not so cool. Those books were important to him too and set the stage for the future us to discuss books, movies and other geeky things we both find so fascinating. Even now, both my kids like it when I read to them occasionally  I take advantage of every second because these times are growing few and far between. One day it will be me and my grandkids cuddling up to read new adventures.

I’ll leave Harry Potter for the future grandkid’s dad to share with them because that needs to be a special time between a parent and child to let the tradition continue.

You want to WHAT?


Dear Mommy DaVinchy, Mommy Einstein, and MommyMythBusters,

I feel your pain.

English: An afterburner glows on an F-15 Eagle...
English: An afterburner glows on an F-15 Eagle engine following a repair during an engine test run November 10, 2010, at the Florida Air National Guard base in Jacksonville International Airport, Fla. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just spent 30 minutes in discussion the 16 year old talking about strapping jet engines to his back and creating a series of controlled explosions to have him move 20km/hr with wheels strapped to his feet. He has created the plan, done the physics and discussed the “fun factor”. Before he sourced his materials he wanted approval for his project.

After listening to his argument for Pro Jet Packs – I said no. Listing the reasons as to how it would effect me.

  1.   Being a minor, I am responsible for his well being. I did mention once he turns 21, has a job and an engineering degree – I’m cool with it.
  2.  I do not currently have the time to to be engaged in regular meetings with a social worker from Family Support services due to my lack of judgement of letting my son play with rocket fuel.
  3. I have better things to do than sit in emergency waiting for details of fractures, comas, burns and lobotomies.
  4. Financial implications. Alberta Health does offer support for stupid acts of awesome, however they do not offer a pharmaceuticals plan. I would need Extra coverage from Blue Cross and I am currently not in the position to gain coverage for above and beyond the reasonable amount required by the average citizen.
  5. I have no desire to be on Dr. Phil explaining the reasoning behind not being a parent.

You see, I have a big opinion about parenting. I shall share this public service announcement with you:

If you choose to have children and KEEP them, then you must accept ownership. Part of this ownership is to be a PARENT not a friend, pal or buddy to your child. That is not to say it is not okay to enjoy them in a friend capacity, however – get your own PEER group for extensive sharing, exuberant activities and so forth. Being the parent requires the ADULT (you) to make JUDGEMENT CALLS on the activities the minor in your care wishes to make. This includes things that are life altering (wear a helmet when you ride your bike) and remember SAFETY FIRST. It is advisable and acceptable to say NO on occasion and you do not need to give an explanation. You are the PARENT. Do not worry if your offspring is going to hate you, THEY ALWAYS DO! They hate you because you are too strict, or they hate you because you are too lenient. You can’t win – so take my advice and do the right thing. JUST SAY NO! I do however, find it helpful to explain your reasoning as to how you came to this conclusion. It is important for emerging critical thinkers to understand all the steps involved in planning.

For example:

OffSpring – it would be cool to put on a cape and jump off a 3 story building.

Mom – No it wouldn’t and here is why…

Do not be afraid of NO. Practice it in front of the mirror. Say it out loud. Get use to hearing yourself say it. Then practice it on others, not just your child. It is OKAY to say no.

If you cannot think of a good explanation as to WHY they should not do something, then one of two things is happening.

  1. Their request is reasonable
  2. You do not have the know-how to understand consequences. If this is the case, then by all means allow your offspring to attempt this outrageous request. Darwin called it survival of the fittest. Natural selection by elimination has been done by nature for years. This is how humans keep the gene pool strong and healthy.

My 16 year old ended the conversation with “Well, now I know where the line is”

Damn straight Offspring, but don’t get too comfortable, it is my prerogative to have that line be flexible and move as I as fit. After all, I AM THE PARENT!


What you SHOULD do for Mother’s Day, I double dog dare you.

Last week I gave you a list of things you should not do for mothers day. Mostly because in my past I was the giver of those types of offerings. Not cool I know, but I blame my dad.

Okay, maybe that isn’t fair either. I have no excuse, I was just thoughtless. Perhaps I wasn’t as thoughtful as I could have been.

I am now a changed woman! Motherhood did that for me. I am envious of those of you who already own the thoughtful gene. It has been work for me, but I am now considered in some circles as thoughtful. About time too, I am now middle aged. I am a slow learner.

To be fair, I often had my thoughtful moments, but my taste wasn’t always appropriate.

When I was 5 I was crafter extraordinaire. I recycled junk and made the most amazing things. I often would take empty tissue boxes and create stunningly hip and fabulous, not to mention groovy, Barbie furniture. Between you and me and the hundreds of people reading this, I never waited for the tissue box to be empty. I emptied it myself, then needed to find a way to dispose of the stack of 4″ tissues without being caught by my mother or grandmother, better known as the Tissue Gestapo.

Sometimes the tissues would be blankets for my Barbies. Sometimes I would use a hair elastic and make Barbie ball gowns with the tissue. I would juggle 3 pieces at a time (my brother taught me how – he can juggle anything). And sometimes I would make bouquets of flowers. Those were the days when tissues would come in UNenvironmentally friendly pretty colours such as pink or blue. The 70’s was bad for the environment but all about clashing colour! For a 5 year old, this was awesome! 5 year olds think all colour works together, and are willing to prove it to the world!

I knew Mother’s Day was approaching because I am thoughtful like that my Kindergarten Teacher told me. We had made cards in school with our handprints on them. I thought my mom should have a gift too because she was the best mom ever! When I caught a salmon, she buried it under our tree to make it grow. Okay, it wasn’t a salmon it was a jackfish – grandpa lied. When I brought home cases of artwork to show her, she placed it in a special spot in the attic for my kids. I learned years later the the “Attic” was a euphemism for “the farm where puppies for to die play”. She always had my hair cut short for ease of care. This required bows be sewn on my undershirts to PROOVE I was a girl. Very thoughtful of her to make sure I had bows on those shirts…my mom WAS THE BEST!

Now because she was the best, I thought long and hard about an appropriate gift. I looked at my stack of tissue, multi colour of course. and decided I would use the same technique I used previously in bouquet making and make a corsage for church! She would LOVE it!!!!

I would explain to you how to make it but it’s too confusing…google is your friend.

All I am going to say is MY flower was bigger and more… more… um… bigger! Than those flowers you can make via those websites. My flower came with a safety pin so my mom could pin it to her dress Sunday morning and show it off to all the other moms and prove to those moms that HER daughter loved her best!

I know you must be weeping with sentiment at this moment and possibly regret because you weren’t as thoughtful as me. It’s not too late. You can make your mom a beautiful tissue flower too. In fact, I double dog dare you.

The Edmonton Tourist contributes a weekly colum every Monday to the Scarecrow Festival in support of ABC Head Start. This mother’s day post was originally published here  at the Edmonton Scarecrow Festival.


Today was going to be a day spent in the University Library writing my paper due on Tuesday. But the library has a dress code. No it isn’t uniforms and ties, nor is it heels and skirts, but they do expect good hygiene and day clothes.

I have hag hair, jammies and Newfie socks…I am not going anywhere looking like this. I save this special look for my family…they don’t care how I look as long as they get food for dinner. I may treat myself to a comfortable chair and move to my son’s office chair, but other than that, if you need me, I will be firmly ensconced in front of my dying computer screen.

There is a loose connection somewhere in my screen and the screen will flicker with vibrations within the room. Good thing I do not live on a fault line or I would never see what I write and it would be a crap shoot for marks from my Prof. I have a certain level of expectation for marks and a failing screen will not help. I hope a few band-aid solutions (tilting the screen into the perfect position 500 times a day) will help. The pay off are these:


Worth it? You bet! They are comfy, cozy and slouchy. Brings back to my summer camp days of slouchy socks and Birkenstocks! Beautiful? No…but not caring. I have had an emotional week. I experienced every emotion, including shock. I heard my mom say the F word with ‘en on the end for added emphasis. My son thought it was awesome, in fact his words were “What an Epic Day! First we had early dismissal, then we win a curling match, then Grandma swears! EPIC!”

I grew up in a Print Shop. My mom and grandfather worked their fingers to the bone and I learned language that would make a sailor blush. Hearing these words from my mom was shocking, but I already knew them. For the record, my mom NEVER SWEARS. Not since that fateful New Years when she made that resolution. Sugar was the word of choice. We would tease her and offer up alternatives like, Shatner! or Snickerdoodle! or Fudgcicles! We would randomly mock her with these alternatives until the situation was diffused. However, even I knew not to tease and mock her after last Thursday night.

My parents (an elderly senior couple – wow I think I just mocked her – I should clarify here. My mom tells the world that she is 75 so they can tell her how great she looks. I will not disclose her age but she is WAY younger than 75 but old enough to be a “senior” and does look fabulous for her age of 75 which is 10 years younger than her mom) took their car to to Mr. Lube to have their Oil Changed. Clearly there was some sort of miscommunication because the oil was not changed, just removed.

My parents then drove home, or should I say attempted to drive home. Their route follows a long and dark country road, before meeting up with the freeway to take them to their home in the city. They live close to a suburb and often will use it’s services instead of competing with hoards of people within the city.

I received a call from my dad asking me to rescue my mom who was stranded on a dark stretch of highway in the country. I grabbed my son and off we went. For the record, my dad was being the hero – mom doesn’t need rescuing. She is tough as nails and I pity Mr. Lube. They have never felt a wrath like hers. My parents will play good cop/bad cop. Dad swoops in and is all kind and nice, saving the db doofus from a fate worse than my mother’s wrath. My mom said THE WORD. It starts with an F has an uck in it and ended with en. Apparently that spells EPIC! My son was quite proud of the list of events my mom was going to do to Mr. Lube.

On the way home he said to me, wow…epic…no wonder you were afraid of her when you were a kid.

For the record, nothing scares me.

except birds… maybe mice… but that is the official stance of fear from the Edmonton Tourist.

This is part of the reason I need my Newfie Socks this week…. It is also the long weekend here in Alberta. That’s right JUST ALBERTA! Take THAT Ontario! This is the only good thing that former Premier Getty ever did. A long weekend in the middle of February. That and win a Grey Cup in 1956. Staying at home and being comfy is what I need – in spite of having to work tomorrow…it’s just face painting, so that will be funish. And I need some comfort because my ear is bruised.

What? You didn’t hear? How is that possible? I received 40 comments, emails and private messages regarding this matter. I pierced my ears this week and not in the conventional way of going to a piercing artist and having them jab a needle into my ear…no I am too cheap for that. I had my ears re-pierced several weeks ago in a tattoo shop. It was simple. In 1982, I had my ears double pierced. What i didn’t know was I was allergic to gold. My ears were always infected so I let them grow over. The scar was still visible and in my infinite wisdom I thought I could jab surgical steel studs through the scars and repierce them.

Chicken Hawk asked me if I used potatoes…um Chicken Hawk – I don’t think potatoes are sharp enough. I used the original studs from weeks before and bought new ones for my perfectly healed first holes. In my infinite wisdom, I purchased two packs of eyebrow surgical steel ball closure rings. I want something semi-perminent so I don’t need to worry about swimming and losing jewelry.

These ball closure rings are a pain in the Shatner to put in. I had the entire entourage helping me. When it was all said and done, we had used needle nose pliers with me laying on the bed with a ton of people twisting the crap out of my sore ear (I had already pierce the second hole – painful? Very – but I gave birth to 2 kids prior and had my gallbladder removed and walked for 7km on a broken foot  so it wasn’t that bad…) I saved myself $80 bucks and earned a TON of compliments from 4 year old girls who told me I look pretty. One even patted my tummy and said my tummy is smaller! I love my girls!! They are always ready with a complement!

Suffice it to say – I will not be removing my earings for quite sometime. If I do it will be for a very good reason…like these:

Earrings in platinum with round brilliant diamonds, for pierced ears. Size mini. Carat total weight 2.39. $12 000 CND.


Meticulously matched for size, color, clarity and presence. Earrings of round brilliant diamonds in platinum, for pierced ears. Round brilliant diamonds, carat total weight .22.  $1250 CND.


Thus the reason for Newfie Socks…. That an my dear friend Sue lost her battle with breast cancer. I am blessed to be the recipient of one of her beautiful quilts. Her kind soul touched many and will be always remembered.


I know where I am going – Liar! and other tales Part 2

Dear Universe,

After much refection I STILL don’t understand why the crazy stuff happens to me when I am with the family and not my friends! I was busy tell you about my travels with Annie, TTG, Squid and Chatterbox here. To pick up where I left off, please continue…

As I was saying, I am a mom and thought of snacks. I packed apples and almonds, juice and pop. The girls were dying of starvation, and when I say dying – I mean cranky and we were going to kill them. So, TTG gave Squid an apple. Every now and then, TTG wishes she had a “traditional” family of her own. Annie and I tell her constantly she is “Living the Dream” No kids, no weird smells, no messes, no odd sounds – let’s face it – No body sounds, smells and fluids that are not your own IS THE DREAM! Meanwhile, Squid eats her apple and gives the core to TTG where I could sense her facial expression and heard an “Oh Lovely” in the classic family sarcastic tone. I reminded TTG that she is living the dream…

We drive around Northeast Calgary while Annie tries to recall her past life here. 2 hours later we find an Olive Garden! All you can eat bread sticks and salad! We get excited and I jump out to see about getting a table. The Hostess replies, it will be an Hour and a half. AN HOUR AND A HALF?!? FOR AN OLIVE GARDEN? I don’t think so sweetheart, so I run back out and tell the girls we need to keep looking. I remember spotting a 5Guys on the Highway at Airdrie and suggest we head there. So long Calgary, your shopping was great but we were starving so we high tailed it out of there! A while later we get to Airdrie. 5 Guys is on the left side of the double hwy. No left turn for us! We search in vain for the over pass….only to discover an underpass as we drive over it. *Note to Airdrie, signs are a good thing…just saying…

We take the next exit and double back, pull in and park. We spot a Nathans Famous – of Coney Island Fame – and I retell my mom’s opinion of Nathan’s hot dogs…so we continue back to 5 guys. We get to the window and peer inside, all the people who couldn’t get a table at the Olive Garden, came here. It looked like an hour wait. OH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! I start to make my way to the empty – yet open – Nathan’s, when Chatterbox pipes up “There is the Dirty Bird, let’s eat there”. Fine – Swiss Chalet it is.

As we stroll over The Dirty Bird Swiss Chalet, TTG claims she has NEVER eaten at Swiss Chalet. WHAT??? how do you live in the same family and never had to eat here? It is Gran’s favorite place! It is known for its chicken. Talk about lucky! Then she went on to tell another interesting fact. While traveling home from Edmonton, TTG went to Swiss Chalet at the Edmonton International Airport only to be told they were out of chicken. WHAT??? How is that even possible? It’s like going to Baskin Robbins and being told they are out of Ice Cream! So the one and only time TTG made the attempt to eat at the Dirty Bird and they were out of Chicken. Omen maybe?

TTG is the only one who ordered Chicken. Ribs, pot pie, and deep fried perogies were the entres of choice. Chatterbox was the one who chose poorly on the roulette wheel of food. Who orders deep fried anything and expects to feel great afterwards? I suppose I should have stepped in and suggested real food at this point. But I didn’t not know they were deep fried and I didn’t expect Chemo Perogies…should have know better, sorry Chatter box.

By the time we finished dinner, it was 8:ooPM – 4 hours AFTER we leave Chinook mall. We pile into the car where Chatterbox complains that it is too dark to read. Squid says  it’s my fault for raising a reader. I should have raised a TV watcher than she would be happy with movies on the ipod. I tell them to suck it up and listen to music. Annie declares it’s time to fill the truck up due to mindless wandering around Calgary…we need to find an ESSO. Would any other station do? Nope…an ESSO please. So back on the HWY north to Edmonton, we pass a Petro Canada…no way – not if we don’t want Grandpa haunting us forever. Petro Canada is a political no no. How about Shell? Nope…Fast Gas? No thanks…Husky? NO! an Esso!! FINE! so we keep driving. The needle on the tank gets to the “Hey Dummy” line and Annie panics. So she demands, Text my man and ask him how far to Esso! WTF? He is not in the car, how is he to know? As soon as I finish texting, there are on the horizon is an Esso. The skies open up and the angels begin to sing. We won’t be hitch hiking after all! Thanks Universe!

We pull into the station, and TTG immediately begins the speculation game. Look at that gal, she put on her fancy pink sweatshirt for a night in rural Alberta! Her man has no shoes and is bare foot. Where do you think they are going? Why do you think that man is smiling? I think there is a hockey bag filled with bodies in the back of his car…CLICK went the locks. Hmmm this place is starting to get creepy. Then TTG asks, Whats a trip without creepy people? True…? Annie tries to get back into the car and we won’t let her in, who wants to risk creepy people joining her? Then we see she has NIBS! WOOHOO Nibs! She is in!

We munch on nibs and it adds to the bloated gross feeling from the Dirty Bird. TTG announces, no matter what I say or how much I beg, do not pass me anymore nibs. FINE! Be that Way! So we stuff them into the glove box. Soon we are on our way, headed North in the dark – no street lights on Alberta rural hwys  – because we are tough red necks here! About 10 minutes into the trip we here…I need to go to the bathroom. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME??? You couldn’t go at ESSO? Annie says we are not stopping because A> she has turned into my dad and B> She doesn’t want to stop at the prison town at night. Fair enough..HOLD IT Chatterbox.

As we continue on in the dark, we start to hear gagging noises. Chatterbox, are you okay? Yes, comes the reply. Then the gagging gets more frequent. I yell to Squid to reach back and grab a bag, empty it and give it to Chatterbox. Full on Heaving ensues. Awesome… TTG and Squid join the gag fest. The smell is starting to get rank, so we crack open the windows only to learn we are driving in farm country. The manure smell is as bad. Now the dilema – which is better? Vomit or manure? The heaving stops and Chatterbox passes the bag to TTG – once again TTG YOU ARE LIVING THE DREAM!The bag starts to leak and the screaming begins! Quick grab another bag! TTG pulls all her clothes out of her bag and says WAIT! I need the receipts incase I want to return them!!! Finally the leaky bag is tucked safely into the the second bag. I surmise out loud to TTG “I bet that apple core is looking pretty awesome about now!” With all the panic and screaming, Annie finds a turn off to the rest stop. It is pitch black and not far from the prison. We pull over to the side of a grain field covered in stubble. We all jump out like we are covered in puke. They scream, shake and stand around while I get Chatterbox cleaned up and sorted. I take tissue from the clothing bags and wipe up messes. I would give my first born for a diaper bag filled with  wet wipes about now. I spray the seats with “Sweat Pea” Hand sanitizer and we pile back in. TTG and Annie quickly lock the doors. At this point I discover two scary guys were hiding in the ditch and scrambled up the hill when we pulled up. We are in the middle of no-where, surrounded by farms and a prison is a couple of miles away. Yet there, are two guys in a ditch…hmmm either they are escaped convicts OR they are bottle collecting boy scouts. I’m pretty sure they were neither, but it’s not for me to speculate!

By this time it’s after 9:00PM. We are tired, smelly and really want to go home, yet we can’t seem to stop laughing. We see a dead moose on the side of the road and a totalled car on the other side. We share stories of past travels with duct tape and dad and granny and why she got the queen bed in Ireland while Annie and TTG got the table top. Eventually we stopped talking and began what we always do on every single family trip. We play silly songs a sing along, like this one:

Happy Travels!


My friend Oracle from DownUnder invited me to guest blog over on his site 

It contunies the Adventures of Travel’s with Granny – if you are so inclinde to visit! Say hey for me, I love his adventures 🙂