Sunday, October 4, 2015

Occupation: Stay At Home Mom

I am tired of filling out forms and coming to the line where I have to enter my occupation. When I write Homemaker, I feel like I'm dating myself to the tune of June Cleaver. It sounds so old fashioned and I am definitely not at home, in my apron, cooking a roast most days.

I also hate the term Stay At Home Mom (SAHM). That sounds like I'm just hanging out at my house and watching soap operas. If I use that term, I sound like an uneducated shut-in that never goes out because it is my job to Stay At Home. I'm sorry, I'm not allowed to go to the bank, I'm a Stay At Home Mom, not a Go To The Bank Mom.

I could just write Mom. But, as you all know, writing Mom doesn't really even hit the tip of the iceberg of my responsibilities or any mom's responsibilites for that matter. Many of us are mothers, many of us work outside the home AND do all of the stuff that a SAHM does, too.

Some of my friends are creatively cute and call themselves Domestic Engineers. I'm not very domestic, in fact, my husband really got cheated on having a domesticated type of woman in his life. I'm also not an engineer, you can ask any of my high school math teachers about that one. This term just doesn't apply to me.

Yet, I'm not stupid and I have no problem with keeping wildly busy all day every day. There is not any time for boredom in my chosen career. Lately, there has barely been time for blogging. I have lots of fodder, but no time to type it out.

From now on, I'm writing Mom Friday on that form.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Halloween, Only Scarier!

Our house is pretty scary around Halloween, though my kids are quick to point out we are scary enough on a normal day.

Birk's cast off clothing plus Halloween decor equals what looks like a crime scene...

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Summer Holiday: Day 1, London

We arrived surprisingly well rested after an overnight flight to London.  Our temporary home at the Berkeley hotel is pretty fabulous!

The girls are excited to explore London--made famous by Harry Potter of course!

The plan for dinner is our all time favorite restaurant, Tamarind.  The best Indian food ever.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Canadian Chronicles: Happy Holidays 2014!

II was texting a friend about the old days at the cottage in the winter.  You know the below zero kind of days where the power goes out and we were all huddled around the wood stove for warmth.  Candles were a premium then and provided much needed light to supplement the nearly dead flashlight batteries.  My grandmother's brass candelabra was a god send on those evenings--filling the room with warm wonderful light.

The outhouse was a popular place at that time.  The inside toilets couldn't be used, so all of a sudden, a place mostly avoided with dread got the appreciation and respect that it deserved.  It was a long and chilly walk, but it sure did make you think about the wonders of modern day plumbing and central heat.

That was the winter we decided to go "out" for dinner to the local restaurant.  This eatery is only 20 minutes away on a good day, but a great deal farther in the ice and snow.  Our dining experience started in a well-lit place with heat and power.  15 minutes into our visit, the power went out there, too.  We were served whatever was warm in the kitchen by the cook and waitstaff in their head lamps.

I wonder what the memories will be of this winter that endure.  The skating on the lake when it finally froze over?  Playing indoor "bags" where the rule was that you had to have a drink in one hand while you threw with the other hand?  Eating raclette and fondue and watching fireworks that almost blew up the boat house?

Which does remind me of the year that Birk set her mitten on fire with a sparkler as we watched terrified through the window.  Yes, old parents inside, young kids outside with fire AND unattended. Thankfully, we've come a long way there, too.

This winter I was on full mouse alert, and oh, bat alert, too.  I kept a wary eye out for any vermin. Miraculously, this winter was the first time I did not see a creature stirring out of the corner of my eye.  The Cot-Taj felt almost like a real house.  We had cloth napkins, lights, toilets, showers and the mice laid low.  We are happily and sadly civilized.

We also had no lack of warm food, cold drinks and holiday cheer.  Surrounded by family and friends, we really were nestled in the woods.  Sending you all warmest wishes--whether from the fireplace, wood stove, space heater or furnace-- for a jolly 2015 full of love, peace, adventure and friendship!

Nana grabbing some shut eye in the shade of the tree.

Roxy grabbing some shut eye by the warmth of the fire.

Pretzel making for German Night.

Stove covered with foil to protect is from the LYE?

Lye.  Yes, lye.  Note skull and crossbones.

Finished product.

A double batch--eaten in a few days.

Pretzel making is a family tradition.

A strange visit from captain and crew of the Enterprise.

Happiness is skating on the lake.

Ringing in the New Year 2015!

More fun on the lake--sharing the good times with friends!

Skating on the lake--a new adventure for some.

Quiet time.

Hockey games and frolic and the beautiful first days of January 2015.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween 2014: When the Food is Too Scary

I've finally learned my lesson, if the food is too scary, no one eats it.  This is true of punch with eyeballs floating in it, too.

A few years back I found that when I covered the labels of $35 bottles of wine with spooky pretend labels, no one drinks them.  This is especially a bummer if you go ahead and uncork 3 or 4 bottles for the party ahead of time.  There is only so much spaghetti sauce you can make.

The margarita punch with the fresh raspberry brain? Left untouched.  Pouring that down the drain was a bummer, too.  I saved the eyeball ice cubes for next year, but I don't know how to use them for good instead of evil.

One of my favorite moments of Halloween prep? I told my daughter to put the eyeballs next to the brain in the freezer.  Sounded so nefarious! 

Another Halloween come and gone.  I hope yours was spooky, but not too scary. I also hope it was full of treats instead of tricks and that the goblins didn't get you!  

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mother-Son Reunions

Two moms met on a Monday, we both recently sent out sons off to college.  Sitting at the local coffee shop, conversation fueled by caffeine, we were both in a quandary about our reunion with our first born baby boys.  Both boys keep reminding us that they are 18.  Both boys are independent, capable and mature young men.  Both moms miss their boys like crazy, yet we both feel we need to play it cool.

We can't race across campus, wrap them in our arms and melt into an emotional pool of joyful tears on the ground.

But what if we don't?  Will our boys be disgusted, disappointed, delighted?  What oh strange breed are we?  Moms of these new adults that still carry our Visa cards and use our iTunes password?  We insure them, bankroll them, and would donate a kidney, too, if needed.  

Every stage as a parent, and as a person, we enter unchartered territory like we are reinventing the wheel, the steering column and the whole highway system.  I think of telling Doc, you will never be my age.  Times change so quickly and so much that I can say for certain my mom did not need to contemplate face time, cell phone or land line call.  ATMs, iphone stalker aps, online banking

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Canadian Chronicles 2014: I've Got the Power

Take this into consideration:  the last two weeks the hydro men have been replacing power poles around the south west part of the lake.  Only part of our lake has power and land line phone lines. The rest of the lake has literally been without phone access until this year when our brand spanking new cell tower with evil glowing red lights was erected.  Some think of it as a thing of beauty, like the Eiffel Tower.  It brings them 911 emergency contact at their fingertips and communique with the wired world.

I'm all for 911, but to be honest, this cell phone tower has been a curse, a $1300.00 curse to be exact. AT&T, for all of its fleecing, has been very nice to me.  My main problem is having 4 iphones and an iPad mini in international roaming territory.  Every time I call them, they are happy to talk to me, personable and chatty.  I think my gargantuan phone bill has afforded them comfortable chairs and a good working environment. Although the last woman customer service representative let me know that her nephew went into engineering and now was making 6 figures and it was good that my son was going into engineering, too.  After our 46 minutes chat, I thought maybe we should have coffee?  I mean, we are friends now, right?

It's also been a curse to have too much contact with the real world.  When you have to live in the middle of nowhere, you can't run out and pick up some celery seeds for your recipe.  You also can't avoid the bills and the school emails and the spam that is floating around in the ether.

Night skies will never be the same around here.  You can avoid the glowing red lights of the tower and the lightning mimicking flash of the landing strip strobe if you look only directly up the lake. This is the most light pollution has ever effected or annoyed me.

Back to our hydro men, yes, not being sexist.  I don't seem to find any hydro woman milling about out there.  Each day, for two weeks, our power is out 9-12 noon.  Then it is on from 12:00-12:30 (maybe the guys are out to lunch during that time?) and then it is turned back on at 2:00 for the rest of the day.

This calls for some pre planning if you want to do laundry or any other sort of electrical housework. It makes you charge every battery operated device to its fullest before the power magically disappears.  Also, you tend to get down to the coffee maker and make sure that you are caffeinated before you lose the window.