Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Seasons

When I was trying to think of people who might guest post for me, one of the ones that popped into my mind right away was the straightforward lass that calls herself Aunt Juicebox. You might know her. She writes the witty, hilariously funny and incredibly awesome Bacon Is My Lover. I have been reading her stuff for awhile now, both on her old blog and now this one. She never fails to make me laugh and on occasion has tempted me to hop on a plane and fly to where she is to pound on her neighbours.

Thankfully for me, and you, she agreed to write something for me while I was away. So here you have it.........

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It’s been well over a year ago that I first met Meg. We were both on a massive list of blogs who all shared one thing in common. We were all readers of another blog. While we may or may not still have that thing in common, we still read one another’s blogs. As you know, Meg and her family are moving, and she’s asked me to write a little something for her readers while she’s away. I told her I’d give it my best shot, so here I am.

I’ve never done this before (yes, a guest post virgin!) so in preparation for the big event, I went back through Meg’s blog, looking for inspiration, agonizing over the choice of topic. I have always enjoyed Meg’s personality and her straight forward perspective on life. She deals with everything in a way I’ve always envied. I was thinking I’d be able to use some of her humor, such as my favorite Christmas post (my favorite ever on any blog) or maybe something about her family, or a humorous work story perhaps. I’ve gotten to know about her husband and children as well, watched them grow. I’ve even seen pictures of Meg herself as a young child. I read other blogs, and while some of them have lost my interest or fallen to the wayside, there has always been the Mind of A Mad Woman for me to delve into.

As I looked back through all her posts, refreshing my memory, I began to realize something.

Life changes. And as it changes, our blogs change as well. I hadn’t even noticed those changes. I had nearly forgotten how much I’d loved her Tasty Tuesday recipes, because I enjoyed reading her Random Tuesday thoughts just as much. And Foto Friday? Replaced with Free For All Fridays. Meg has changed. And I’ve changed along with her. Her family has grown, and mine has too. She’s faced challenges, and so have I. The nuances of a familiar story are so subtle at times, we don’t even realize that we are moving forward.

And now, she’s moving her family across the globe. I may not be quite as familiar with that, but I am no stranger to packing up my belongings, slinging them up on my back and heading out into the next new adventure.

Good luck Meg. You have cajones the size of cantaloupes. Send us a postcard.

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Transition

Today I should be safely arriving in our new home town of Blenheim. As I won't have easy access to a computer for long enough to compose a witty diatribe for you all, I decided that I would leave you in the safe hands of The Badass Geek. I think you'll find he sums up all the feelings that I am likely experiencing right now.

So sit back and enjoy.....and think of me, going through customs and just PRAYING that one of those cute little beagles won't sit and stare at me like I have something illegal in my bags. I don't, I promise!!

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There is an interesting transition that happens when you move from one home into another. Regardless of how long you’ve lived there, it happens. As someone who has moved more times in the past five years than he has fingers on one hand, I should know.

Before you leave the keys behind with the landlord, you walk around your soon-to-be former house, checking all the cabinets and closets for anything that may have been forgotten. You walk gingerly on the freshly vacuumed carpets and are careful not to track dirt on the kitchen linoleum. You are mostly quiet, because every sound echoes off of the bare walls that once held family pictures and decorations, the fundamental things that made those four walls change from just another place to live, into a home.

And then you leave, no longer a resident but a former tenant. You can’t help but feed that nagging thought, wondering if the new place will ever feel as much like home as the one you are leaving behind.

When you arrive at your new residence, it is late and dark. The lights in the house seem harsh, too bright because you haven’t had a chance to change the bulbs to a lower wattage. Everything is foreign here, even the clock on the stove makes you feel like you are in someone else’s house. The chaos of your possessions scattered about in boxes doesn’t help, but it is too late to start unpacking. You slip off your shoes and tread barefoot and exhausted into your bedroom.

Maybe you’ve set up your bed already, or maybe its just the mattress and box spring laying on the floor. Maybe you’ve got an air mattress to spend that first night on, but either way, you lay down and release the breath that you didn‘t know you were holding. You listen to the sounds the house makes, and tell yourself that you’ll get used to it. You will, you have to. You fall asleep staring at the shadows cast through the blinds on the window.

In the morning when you wake up, you first visit the bathroom like always. You stretch and yawn and rub your eyes, maybe splash some water on your face. You make your way out to the kitchen to survey the work that lays ahead of you, and wish you had unpacked the coffee maker. And then, you see it.

It, the one box that you carried in and set aside in a special spot so you’d know where it was among all the others. You walk over and open it, and carefully wrapped inside is your favorite picture. You pick it up and unwrap the newspaper that protected it in the move, letting the paper fall to the floor. You hold it out in front of you and stare into it for hundredth or maybe the thousandth time. In the corner of your eye you see a nail in the wall, left behind from the previous tenant.

You try it out, and it fits perfectly on the nail. After a minor adjustment to set it hanging straight, you take a step back. You smile. The smile and the picture on the wall changes something, even though you probably haven’t realized it just yet.

Did you feel that? That was the transition.

You’re home now.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

I bid you......Good Day!

It's the day before the end. Or is it the day before the beginning?

Today is our last day in the, admittedly, beautiful city of Victoria. We're leaving behind the sun, the flowers, the parks, the people. Our family and friends will be sorely missed. And we're a bit sad that we're leaving the rest of summer behind.

Tomorrow we'll be in Vancouver by lunch time and will have a chance to hang out with some other family members for a few hours before heading to the airport. Our plane leaves at 9pm. I'm hoping that this means that the spawn will sleep for most of the plane ride but knowing my luck (and Murphy's law) they'll be woefully wide awake.

Saturday is a total write off....haha! We miss Saturday altogether because by the time we arrive in New Zealand, it'll be Sunday.

I may not be around much for the next few weeks as we get settled into our new place and get used to a new town. We need to get our jobs sorted and get the kids settled in school. AND I need to get a new computer. I hate computer shopping. But I shall do it. For you. Do you feel honoured? You should...you bloody well should.

I have a couple posts all ready to go, so it will almost be like I'm here but most importantly I have secured a few guest posters who will wow you with their wit, amaze you with their stories and make you laugh. You may even be scandalized!

Be good folks! Or don't......but if you don't, at least do me a favour and take pictures!

Ciao!

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Six

Six. It's just a number to most people. It comes after 5 and before seven. Sometimes it comes before nine as well, but it really depends on how you feel about being a top or a bottom and how good your partner is. It varies in our house.

Six was the character played by Tricia Helfer in Battlestar Gallactica. Hot and blonde, every guy I know lusted after her. Hell, *I* lusted after her.

Also the character from Blossom who was good friends with..well...Blossom. Or so I'm told. I don't know if I ever spent many hours of my early teenage years watching the show so I could lust after Joey Lawrence, so I really couldn't tell you.

A 6-pack...what every guy (and some women) aspire to in the hopes that they too can have the rock hard abs that seem to come so easily to the likes of Mario Lopez, Tyson Beckford, or one of the Chippendales (do they even have a career anymore?). Sadly, what many of these hard working, non couch potato (they swear!!) men end up with is something more along the lines of this:


It's the number of degrees of separation in that idiotic game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon that only seems to work with him. Have you ever tried to do it with another celeb? It's incredibly hard. Sure, I can do it with someone here in town and get it in about 4 tries but with anyone famous other than Kevin Bacon? Not possible. Or maybe I'm just dense. Who knows?

Henry Whore-bag the 8th had six wives.

It's the number of times I've yelled at my spawn already today and the number of times I've considered gouging out the eyes of the next person who asks if "we're all ready to go then?".

It's the number of books that I have ploughed through in the last 5 days and probably the same number that I'll manage to devour in the next five days.

I've sat here and wondered if six is the magic age when my previously easy going boy spawn will revert back to his old self or if I will have to wait until he is seven for the bitchy attitude and contrariness to subside. He rivals a teenage girl some days I swear.

I've had 6 wine spritzers today (so far...I'm still going), 6 trips to the bathroom (runs right through ya I swear!), 6 "stop and count to ten" moments as I get frustrated with the amount of crap I have to fit into eight suitcases without going over 50 pounds in any of them, and it's about the number of hours of sleep I managed to get last night.

But more than anything, six is scary. It's nerve wracking, it's overwhelming, it's....well....it's six.

Six days until we get on our plane and leave everything familiar behind us.

Six days until we have to start a new life, filled with the unknown and hope that it all works out for the best.

Six days in which we need to find the time to say goodbye to our families and our friends. Time that we know just isn't sufficient and wish we had more.

Six.

I feel woefully unprepared, incredibly scattered and very overwhelmed. I feel guilty for taking Hotty Hubby away from his family and friends, I feel guilty for leaving MY family just 8 years after returning to the mothership.

I feel sad that having made some amazing friends in the last 8 years, I am now leaving them all. I hold onto the hope that even though I will now be thousands of miles away, our friendships can remain strong. And I hope that they have all gone and bought webcams for our weekly Skype chats.

I am hopeful for the future of our family as we begin our new adventure in a new land and happy in the knowledge that our little family unit is strong and we can weather this as we have weathered other things before now.

I worry that the spawnlets will not settle or worse (and more likely), that Hotty Hubby won't. I worry that things will not live up to the way I have portrayed them or that MY expectations are too high.

But at the same time, I'm excited for what lies ahead. The unknown. The adventure. The opportunity.

While I know that these six days will feel like they have flown past, I also know that afterwards I will be able to look back and say "You know what I had? I had SIX. Six days." And that's all I need to tell all these people how much I'm going to miss them, how much I love them.

And I will. I do. I hope none of them will ever forget that...friends & family alike.

Six....it's not so scary when you get down to it.

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PS - Six is also the number of guest posters I have lined up for the time when I'll be moving ... so far. You'll love it!

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

7 years of awesomeness!

My dearest Ashlee,

Seven years ago today, this was me......

...cuddled up to the most beautiful baby the world had ever laid eyes on. Sure, I'm supposed to say that because I'm your mother but there was plenty of other people who agreed with me. You had big blue eyes, a shiny bald head and a big red V in the middle of your forehead that flared up whenever you screamed for food or just a snuggle.

To this day, that alien V mark on your head still scares the poop out of me for fear that some Predator like creature is going to claw it's way out of your stomach and eat me because I dared suggest that you eat your veggies at dinner time.

As you've gotten older, we've gone through the normal phases of development mixed with what they tell me are normal phases of your temperament. Terrible Twos, Torturous Threes, Frightening Fours, Freakin Kill Mommy Now Fives and Satanistic Sixes. I hold out hope that someone will tell me that the sevens are labeled as Sweet and Snuggly Sevens. Either that or I might need to start buying Blue Bombay Gin by the caseload.

You've always had a very individual personality with a strong will and you're not easily pushed around. We're not entirely sure where you get it but Daddy seems to think it has something to do with me. I'm sure that at some point it will stand you in good stead, once you learn to control the urge to be contrary just because you can.

As we have watched you grow and learn, Daddy & I have been so intrigued to see the way in which you attach yourself to people and show a steadfast loyalty to them.

You are affectionate, sometimes overly so (when Mama says "Get off me" it's usually because there's just so many butterfly kisses I can take!), and still, at 7, your favourite thing to do is to climb into someone's lap and sit with them.





I love your silliness, your spark, your ability to make me giggle on even the hardest day. Your laughter when the tickle monster gets you is infectious and before long, you have everyone joining you.

You are smart, and I love to see the sparkle in your eye when you come running out of the school to tell me what new stuff you learned today. Sometimes it's something like math and other times it's something useful like how to get the boys to chase YOU in "Kiss Tag". Trust me darling, when you get to high school you're going to use those methods to get their attention. But beware, until they're about 15 they won't be interested in much beyond embarrassing you and pulling your bra strap. Remind me to teach you how to give an effective wedgie.

You've done well learning the art of "Taking it easy - the Zen way". While you might have to make do with water or milk right now, in just another 11 years you can share the martini shaker with me. Just don't try stealing any of daddy's beer....he won't look kindly on that. Get your brother to do it instead, it's a boy thing.

Speaking of your brother, if I could ask one thing of you as you enter your next year of life in the hopes of making it to your next birthday, it would be for you to please cut him a little slack. Sure he's annoying, it's another boy thing (have you WATCHED your daddy??) but he's your brother and he loves you (we think). And really the two of you look so darn cute when you're actually pretending to like each other. Never mind that I have to bribe the two of you with Push Pops just to get you to put your arms around each other.


I guess what I'm trying to say is this..... Happy Birthday my darling, you are one of the brightest lights in my life and I love you so much. I can't wait to see what the next year brings for us!

All my love,

Mommy

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

"The Disposable Memory Project"

Just a little something I found that I wanted to share with y'all. I will endeavour to have a "real" post up in the next day or two. We're down to the wire on a overseas adventure with just three weeks left to go, so I'm very busy. I'm sure you understand.

Sometimes when there's nothing on tv, the kids are in bed, my hotty is out at a buddy's house, and I've finished the stack of books on the nightstand (which seems to happen regularly lately), I'll find myself cruising around the internet. I mean, I have my Facebook/Twitter addiction, and my blog(s), but I like to look at other stuff too.

Stumble helps me do that. It installs a toolbar, or you can just go from the stumble website, and it takes you to random sites all over the internet, based on what you plug in as your interests.

One such "Stumble" that I came across this morning was "The Disposable Memory Project". The general gist is that these folks left disposable cameras, in clear bags with notes, in places all over the world. People are meant to see them, pick them up, read the note, take a few pics and then pass it on or leave it for someone else to find. Each camera has a code on it, and they track the cameras by people emailing in where they found it etc.

They're getting some amazing pics sent in! And if you click on "Drop Your Own" on the left hand menu, it tells you how you can get in on the action. I thought I'd share the link here, because I know there are people who do geocaching and this is kind of the photography equivalent. And it's fun.

So go to The Disposable Memory Project and check it out!!

I'm going to see if I can start a couple here, and then when we get to NZ, I'll do a coupe there too. I might even do one in Vancouver airport and then again in Auckland airport. LOL!

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