Early morning To-Do Lists: way too ambitious!

Apparently I fell asleep mid-sentence while reading Scaredey Squirrel to Luka last night, and woke up bright and early this morning at 3:33. That’s half of 666. At the time, I wondered if that was significant, and then rolled over to empty my mind and fall back to sleep. After conjuring up visuals of empty slates, warm seas and vast white sand beaches, my purring Angel curled up in the sun, a row of bleached wishbones on a pristine window ledge, a martini glass with an empty pick in it, EVERYTHING I could think of that made me feel content and devoid of thought, it was 3:45. People often say if you can’t sleep,  get up and do something, but quarter to 4?

So I started a list of to-dos:

  1. make sure Luka has been registered in soccer
  2. sign papers for Graydon to go on school trip
  3. hope nothing really new is required for this trip (I’ve heard the horror stories of skis and boards and boots and pants and jackets anad it all seems insane when these trips are halfway through March and we do NOT live in New Zealand)
  4. find out when Tessa’s first dance competition is
  5. see if this season of new makeup colours and companies are carried at Shoppers, then thank heavens for that Optimum card and when is the next 20x the points weekend???
  6. catch up on the blog
  7. plan future blog entries
  8. see if I can write a charitable blog about Octomom
  9. see if it is too late in the year for Luka to try out Cubs
  10. check bank balance (did. didn’t like it.)
  11. fill-in my workplace survey
  12. fill-in questionnaires and tests for Luka so he can be tested for ADD. This will give way to a week or two or three of postings about ADD and everything that comes with an actual diagnosis
  13. follow up on the lengthy psycho-educational testing Graydon has been having. (I’m looking forward to these results more than I looked forward to any report card of my own!)
  14. better make an appointment to have Clover de-boyed. Shut down the baby-making factory. Give up hopes of him ever developing a manly bark
  15. gather up all Luka’s jeans that he was worn through at the left knee (air guitar slides, what can you do??) and put them in a bag with sewing junk. Throw in car. Mend while waiting in stupid places.
  16. make Rice Krispie squares
  17. put chops in marinade for supper tonight
  18. make tabbouleh salad
  19. start shopping for puppy-proof garbage receptacles (we’re sick of having bags of garbage at eye-level, the only way from keeping Killer (a.k.a.Clover) from digging through them and tearing around the house and up and down the stairs with his plunder

So that list was roughed  out by 4:15 a.m.

I laid back on freshly wrangled pillows and closed my eyes, listening to the summer night selection on my Obus Forme sound-maker, a tiny symphony of crickets and cicadas and owls. And no sleep.

So the day began at 4:25 a.m.

From 4:25 until waking Luka at 7:45:

  1. made coffee
  2. put in two loads of laundry
  3. folded one load
  4. unpacked fabulous frugal deals from No Frills (details to come) and distributed to correct places
  5. made coffee
  6. wiped down kitchen counters
  7. knocked down a new tub of ice tea mix, which had been opened and not closed properly, so when it hit the kitchen floor the lid shot across the room and 680 g of what is essentially powdered sugar flew everywhere
  8. hit my personal wall (figuratively)
  9. grabbed puppy and coffee and went outside to backyard
  10. surveyed the 100 or so man-hours of work necessary to make backyard respectable
  11. as clumps of wet snow started to fall, I thought happily of the lily of the valley, lilacs, bleeding hearts, irises, glads and raspberries that will eventually come up, played with the puppy, finished off coffee
  12. came inside
  13. forgot all about kitchen floor
  14. wet puppy saw cat in doorway to kitchen, gave chase, slipped and slid through the ice tea mix, wrestled cat, rolled through ice tea mix, I screamed, he thought the chase was really on and tore through the house
  15. I give Clover an unplanned bath
  16. cleaned kitchen floor, what, four times over???

at 7:45 I was soaked with doggy bath water, sweat, sticky socks

Gosh, it is so great getting a jump on the day!!


Weekend revelation: shopping list 101

Just a quick note off the top, following on what I wrote yesterday. On my listserve for parents of cancer kids, a parent posted an article that really resonated with me. It isn’t specific to parents of kids with cancer, but parents whose kids have struggled with any near-death illness or accident: the article isn’t long, but it will increase your depth of understanding when fellow parents have a child in a serious situation. It ran in The New York Times.


Mark Thomas, web man behind http://www.sorabji.com, found this shopping list under a bridge in Queens. You can see more of what he finds at http://sorabji.com/foundcrap/

And now to the find of the weekend: In the neverending quest to get 8-year-old Luka printing-, writing and spelling-fit, every Saturday morning begins with him starting a shopping list. Usually it’s me dictating, him printing, with me reminding him to get back at the list every 10 minutes or so, or whenever I notice the list abandoned on the kitchen table. This is every time I glance in that direction.

When I was attempting to bring our fish tank back to life this weekend, I found a Luka-made list behind the tank. This is it, spelling intact:

marshemello mushrooms

kiddy littr



froz chips

blubarry and chocolate

aleein oooz

reel milk

hot chocolate

My observations:

  • Thank God for spellcheck
  • My child knows how to spell “chocolate” just fine, thank you
  • Since cole and aleein oooz are not my dictations, I put this list at a week before Christmas, which would be just about right, looking at the algae on the inside of the fish tank.
Want one more thing on your to-do list?

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Teen Takes Responsibility: Part 2; plus some free-for-all silliness


You’re in for a long post today! Here’s a mini Table of Contents:

1. Long Weekend is Here!
2. Teen Takes Responsibility Part 2
3. A Reader Writes
4. Weekend To-Do List
5. Book Review: Retro Food Fiascos and Pretzel Soup
6. Daughter Brag Continue reading

My 16-year-old daughter’s summer job


I always had a summer job when I was in high school. Babysitting; dishwasher and scullery at a hotel; breakfast and lunch bus-girl at the same hotel; breakfast and lunch waitress at—you guessed it—the same hotel. Counter help at the drugstore. Light pool at the local car plant (I was a card-carrying member of the International Rubber Workers Union).

So it goes that Tessa has a summer job this year. It is one that will not fatten her bank account, but that will enrich her life immeasurably. Continue reading

The weekend is here! Yahoo! To-do list supreme!

Once upon a time, the weekend started Friday morning, with casual duds, super-relaxed mindset for The Office, lunch out with workmates and trying to figure out what work could be done Sunday night so I could duck out early Friday afternoon.

New scenario. Up at 5:30, do work work, some housework (dishes, make lunches, load of laundry), feed bunnies Flopsy and Liz, feed kitty Angel, feed fish, make sure three new snails and CRAB!!! are still alive, check birthday-boy RSVPs, and MAKE WEEKEND TO-DO LIST.

1. Tally RSVPs, determine # of loot bags.
2. Hit Party Packagers for the final loot bag components.
3. Make loot bags.
4. Luka—birthday boy celebrating his 7.5 birthday (his real birthday is Dec. 21, and I will not lump his birthday party into the insanity that is holiday time, so it’s family party in December and friend birthday in June)—will do designs for his cake, which we will evaluate for possible creation.
5. Tessa to file/recycle all her Grade 11 stuff.
6. Gardening: flowers (bye-bye tulips until next year, hello beautiful irises and some white flower edging plants), veg—real ones (planting the little seedlings from indoors to outdoors).
7. Make major headway on 2006 taxes.
8. Clean fish tank.
9. Explore a couple of cool things for future blogs.
10. Clean kitchen, including parts of the floor that usually escape.

Wish Graydon luck today: he’s having a test at Sick Kids that will take three to six hours. It’s going to feel like old home week (love the people, don’t like the memories).


Have an excellent, productive or totally lazy weekend. Talk to you Monday!


Mom blog: Weekend update

Mom Blogger JacquelynSometimes it makes me laugh to think that I think that anyone thinks someone else’s weekend is interesting. Monday mornings at the office were always a series of, “How’s your weekend?” “Whatcha do?” “Do anything fun this weekend?” knowing full well that if someone asked you how yours was, theirs was inevitably better.
Maybe I’m just nosy, or maybe I will always live vicariously through others. I’ve always wanted to be able to answer that question with, “Tried some white-water rafting,” or “Stayed at this fabulous little B&B down the road from a winery,” or even, “Found out what the colour of the floor in my laundry room is!”

So, how was your weekend?

Here’s what I did not do this weekend: Continue reading