Don’t run with scissors OR pencils!

Warning: Don’t Run with Pencils!!

This is a cautionary tale, completely true and punctuated by REAL photos. This was in the CaringBridge blog of a fellow cancer mum friend of mine. CaringBridge sites are blogs for loved ones of sick folk to keep everyone update on their condition, battle, setbacks and great days. Holly wrote this, so here it is:

I just wanted to send a friendly reminder to all the Moms out there to revisit with your children the importance of not running with sharp objects.

In this case… don’t HOP on one foot with a pencil in your hand!!!


Yes. That’s a pencil stuck completely THROUGH Tommy’s foot!

I have no idea HOW he actually did it, but his little brother came running to me, screaming that it was serious! I dropped what I was doing and ran up the stairs and couldn’t believe my eyes! All I could think was “OMG!! What do I do? What do I do? What do I do?! …Crap! I didn’t read that section of the baby and childcare book!!! ”

I was trying not to panic while my 9 year old was screaming in pain. My first instinct was to pull it out. I ran back downstairs, got my husband to call 911, and grabbed a towel because I knew there would be blood… and as I ran back upstairs flashbacks of episodes of ER and Grey’s Anatomy were playing in my head… I could hear Merideth Grey, “when we pull this (whatever it was) out, this person is going to ‘bleed out’…”

I sat there holding his foot in my hand, and noticed there was NO BLOOD… not even a drop coming out of either of the holes…and I wasn’t prepared to open up an artery on the playroom floor. So I realized I would just have to calm him (and myself) down and wait for the EMTs to arrive. I could hear Dave on the phone downstairs with 911 yelling up to me “Don’t pull it out! Don’t pull it out!” I said, “I’m not going to… get the camera”.


The EMTs arrived, splinted the pencil in place, and carried Tommy out to the mini-van and laid him on his stomach in the middle row of seats with his foot in the air. Then we drove him to the ER. The ER doctor gave him a shot of morphine and then pulled it out with a PAIR OF PLIERS!! Unbelievably, it still didn’t bleed! They cleaned it, irrigated it, and put a couple bandaids on it and sent us on our way….


All I can say is OUCH!! And thank God it wasn’t worse!! He’s on crutches today, but doesn’t seem to be in any pain unless he tries to step on it…

Thanks for checking in!!


Things I Love Thursday: knowing Brad and Angie struggle too

Last evening, as I was sipping a caffe latte and perusing the international magazine titles (translation: waiting interminably in a lineup at WalMart, chugging an extra-large Tim’s with four milk and flipping through American gossip rags), I happened upon the latest in Brangelina land—Brad and Angelina’s $70 million chateau is a pigsty! They order in pizza, and leave the boxes on the kitchen counter! Brad and Maddox will happen by, grab a piece, take a few bites, and throw it back in the box! There is toothpaste smeared on the walls of the kids’ bathroom! Kids colour on the bedroom walls! Muddy footprints in the hall! Flies in the kitchen!


√ My chateau looks like the winning entry in TLC’s Clean Sweep.

√ We leave pizza boxes on the counter.

√ There are bite marks on some slices.

√ We too have toothpaste in places other than the tube.

√ I colour on the kitchen cupboards (THE best place for memos, important dates and notes to offspring, in Crayola Washables Crayons).

√ Muddy footprints.

√ Fruit flies in the kitchen—I blame the peaches.

I have to tell you, I stood a little straighter after I read that article. It isn’t just me with a house that looks like a frat dorm. Brad and Angelina are fighting the same fight that I do. Kids make messes. They leave things around. If there’s time to clean, there’s time to play instead.

I didn’t buy the magazine. Brad and Angie probably won’t buy it either. Score! We have more in common.

Two days ago they moved to Berlin to another chateau (they don’t have mansions in Europe) where there is already a staff of 12 or 14 people. The rent is $35,000 per week. Brad bought Angie a $55,000 bed after she had the twins. Brad shot the fam for the cover of the soon-to-be-out November W magazine. Hmmmm. The similarities are slipping.

BUT, no one is writing about my messy house but me. No one is salivating over what I had for dinner last night (Wednesday evening, after seeing a doctor and having a meeting with Quentin Tarantino, Brad had portobello mushroom ravioli with a truffle sauce, followed by giant prawns, according to my source at Star Magazine). That suits me just fine. Now if only my kitchen drain wasn’t plugged….

For more excellent things that my peeps love, check out The

Works for Me Wednesday: fall harvest = chic drinks

wfmwbanner1.jpgWelcome to Shannon’s Works for Me Wednesday‘s blog carnival!

The September crop of raspberries is a plentiful one (I am not a fruit farmer, I just pretend I am when I’m in the backyard in front of my berry bushes) and this is a fabulous way to use them, save them and have chic drinks well into the winter:

Clean the raspberries, drop two or three in each of the ice cube sections, freeze, remove, bag, repeat. Far better than flash freezing and bagging and ending up with a soggy mass of sad, thawed berries. These make kids’ and adults’ drink sparkle (pictured is club soda and Fruitopia frozen concentrate) and remind us of summer when it gets cold outside. Works for Me!

Click over to Shannon’s blog for more tips!

A shout-out to Good Samaritans everywhere

G.I.R.L. party! Pictures, Images and Photos<!–

I loved this blog carnival last week, hosted by Marcy at The Glamorous Life Association, and since the title of her blog does capture the true essence of my life, I am here again! She has asked bloggers to “show us all what YOUR GLAMOROUS LIFE looks like.” Remember when Queen Elizabeth called 1992 her “annus horribilis”? Well, I’ve had an almost two-week-longus horribilis, and I am just about fried. From the little details (left wallet at home, left kid backpack at babysitters, left value pack of chicken in shopping bag in basement for two days, left garbage in garage on pick-up day) to the medium ones (drains plugging up in kitchen, clothes washer busted, front door broken) to the large (ex wants divorce paperwork started, haven’t filed 2006 and 2007 taxes, Graydon having “struggles” of a non-medical nature—I’m not telling here, email me for details at—Luka still hating reading, Tessa having many ups and downs at her new high school) it has been totally overwhelming, and I can take a lot.

I even said at family therapy last Friday, I finally feel like the wheels are starting to fall off.

So, after eating a bag of Bridge Mixture (curse those stupid orange ones), filling the house with new curative aromas, getting my latest beading project out and turning on the TV to settle in for a family evening, I broke a molar Saturday night. I went to a walk-in clinic for pain meds Sunday, saw a new dentist Monday a.m. and had the whole thing pulled this morning.

The two-week-longus horribilis continues!

I am at work, biting down on gauze, taking my lunch half-hour to say:

THANK YOU to the good samaritans out there. If it wasn’t for people doing little things, and big things too, unselfishly, this would have been a far worse time. Some people are just extra-nice all the time, others are fastidious about their work, so what is standard for them comes as a welcome surprise to the rest of us. Still others don’t think about others a lot, so their gestures seem to mean even more.

Here’s my list of people to thank, incomplete to be sure, but a good start:

Sara, a mum-friend, for seeing Luka hanging out on the schoolyard a little longer than usual and taking him home.
Spenser’s mum, I’m so sorry that like many of us, I know her only as Spenser’s mum, for having Luka over for a snack after school.
Unnamed woman, who left her car at the pumps to come over and show me how those tire-filling air hoses actually work—she had no idea until another woman, a stranger too, showed her how they worked.
Liza, a new friend of Tessa’s, who has gone beyond the call as a new classmate in helping Tessa to feel part of her new school.
A KFC customer, who upon seeing Graydon counting out his change, said, “Hey you need more food than that, a growing boy!” and bought him two more pieces.
My little sister (I love calling her that), Juli the illustrator, sent me the coolest notebook with a cover from a kids’ book that our Dad used to read us at bedtime: the Thorton W. Burgess classics. She made the notebook. Photos to follow.
My hair and makeup team, because without them I’d look just like I do. It’s a Glamorous Life, I tell ya!

That’s it. My mouth is screaming, I’ve run out of clean gauze (that is not pretty) and my half hour is up.

QUESTION FOR YOU: I’m thinking of a pitching a story to the has-no-equal Canadian Living magazine about just this—when the wheels started falling off in your family, and what you did about it, or didn’t do. Everything absolutely, guaranteed, 100 per cent confidential, just leave your address or url here in the comment box, or email me at, and let’s compare notes!

Until tomorrow…

Things I Love Thursdays: chocoholic’s dream bread

tilt.jpgThis blog carnival is called Things I Love Thursday. The rules are simple: “pick an actual thing that you love. Feel free to do a product review, but make sure to let your readers know that you have been supplied with the product to review so we are keepin’ it honest.” Yes, this post is an endorsement to be sure, but again, it is a product I have always paid for, and have not been supplied with for the purpose of a review. For more excellent things that bloggers love, check out The

The biggest problem with chocolate is it doesn’t fill one up (HA! like that’s the only problem with chocolate, along with calories and fat and caffeine and stains and melted M&Ms in the dryer!). Chocolate fires the desire to continue eating it. Self-control is a heavy responsibility. When Tessa made this find in the bakery section of the grocery store, we had no idea of the greatness of the discovery.

PhotobucketPresident’s Choice Chocolate Chip Miche bread is the answer to many prayers (no offense to those who pray for real). It is heavy with chocolate chips, and the bread isn’t a raisin-bread kind of eggy thing, but a solid sourdough that anchors the unsweetened chocolate taste. It’s crusty, but that peels off quite easily for people who value the roof of their mouth. It toasts up like a dream, or is rippable in the front seat of the car (thank you Tessa). And best of all, the kids can eat a slice or two and feel as though they’ve made out like bandits—tastebuds satiated AND tummies full.

QUESTION FOR YOU, AND THIS IS SO SPECIFIC I’LL BE SHOCKED TO GET EVEN ONE REPLY: do any of you fabulous readers have a recipe for a bread like this? I haven’t baked bread for years, but my sister is a master bread baker, and if I furnish her with the recipe, I know she’ll give it a whirl (if you are reading this, sister dear, I’ll let you know!). Thank you friends, in advance!

See you tomorrow!

Works for Me Wednesday: Ow! My brain hurts!

wfmwbanner1.jpgWelcome to Shannon’s Works for Me Wednesday‘s blog carnival!

Yesterday a good friend at work happened onto a killer sale on leather hair bands, bought two, and gave me one. Not for my birthday, or because I was promoted or fired, or even because I was feeling down—just because she loves a sale and wanted to celebrate by giving a fellow frugal shopper a gift. Works for ME!!

But that’s not the Works for Me Wednesdays tip. I have a big head under these need-some-highlights-desperately locks, and after half an hour of wearing the hair band I had a splitting headache, which carried on through the afternoon. So when I got home—here is the tip—I headed for the garage, went through the bin of sports balls (basketballs, soccer balls, baseballs, footballs, beach balls of all sizes, golf balls, tennis balls, ping pong balls, ball hockey balls and lacrosse balls—many of them totally useless here, but they were in the bin). I chose out a beach ball, took it inside, put it in a clean bag and stretched the hair band over it. After anywhere from 6 hours to a day or two (depending on what the band is made of), this trick works every time. It’s especially good for hair bands from the dollar store—so often they look so pretty, but won’t fit even a child’s head! Using balls is great, because they come in all sizes. It Works for Me!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU: who do you think wore/wears a hair band best?

Ms. Hepburn?

Hillary (historical hair-wear, apparently)?

The ever-fashionable-because-Victoria-says-so David Beckham?


Ashley Olsen (don’t ask—they’re Chanel, so they are gorgeous, and yes, if any of our sisters or girlfriends let us walk into a Fendi show with our hair looking like that we’d slap them smartly).

Register your vote, then click over to Shannon’s blog for more tips!

The Glamorous Life Association: I am a member!

G.I.R.L. party! Pictures, Images and PhotosIt’s a new blog carnival, hosted by Marcy at The Glamorous Life Association, and since the title of her blog does capture the true essence of my life, I am there! She has asked bloggers to “show us all what YOUR GLAMOROUS LIFE looks like. You know…the real glamour of being a wife/mother/maid. Photo of you cleaning toilets? Perfect. Kids spilled an entire box of Cheerios on the floor? Excellent.”

The thing of it is, every photogenic woman knows the first rule for photogenicity is to destroy EVERY unflattering photo of oneself. I have practised this since high school. Tear them up, throw away the bad negs (when we had negatives), ask to see “funny” pictures of you that other people have and surrepticiously tuck them in your shirt for later disposal. So, finding a photo that would reveal my glamorous life was no easy task.

As a single Mum, with a glamorous life, I think it is important to share meals and precious quality time with my children, especially my youngest. Instilling table manners in them is imperative, considering the fine restaurants I am forced to dine in because of my social milieu. I also have much to discuss with them, wisdom to impart, that sort of thing. Hence this pic of me at my best.


Note the pontificating facial expression, gesticulating with food, sophisticated ambience and mannerly child with leg up at the table. It’s glam, I tell you!

Check out Marcy’s blog now!