A Trip Down Rollerskating Lane

As I watch my kids grow up, I travel down memory lane.

Now although I enjoy this kind of trip, it has been made known to me (sighs, groans, protest, dead silence) that not all members of my family love this kind of travel as much as I do.

Sucked into their world of head phones, music, videos, photos, movies and anything that involves technology, stories of walking, running, swimming, biking can take a backseat.

It takes some creative engineering to break through the world of Minecraft!

Enter: the world of rollerskating.

As the kids looked at their roller skates like they were some foreign object dropped down from Mars, they questioned my sanity. Surely inline skates (the known) would be much better than roller skates (the unknown).

Nope! This was going to be a trip down memory lane. Roller skates or nothing!

After a few trips around the dark disco light floor listening to Michael Jackson, they had to agree.

This trip (at least this time) wasn’t too bad, actually!

Do you have any rollerskating memories? I was so happy when we found this rink as I thought that rollerskating had completely died! 

In Training for Cairo

So it just hit me.

This Cairo move might just require some practice.

So as I walk downtown in my town of 18 thousand people, I try to imagine a city of 17 million. So for every person I meet in my town, I need to add 944 people to that person.

Ok. That didn’t go so well.

I try to encourage people in my town to honk like crazy, ignore all traffic rules, and drive in multiple lanes going in every direction.

That didn’t work too well either.

I just read that flying ants and big butt spiders are par for the course in Cairo. Yuck!

But no polite request to my ant hill in my front yard results in any flying ants so I am out of luck there as well.

Apparently sand coats everything and constant sweeping is required to get rid of that gritty feeling on the floor.

I try to get my dog to bring in some dirt but she just looks me and goes back to sleep. So nope that didn’t work either.

In Cairo you haggle and bargain for a lot of goods such as fruit and veggies in the market.

I try to negotiate with the clerk at the grocery store and she looks at me like I have 3 heads. That didn’t go down too well.

I have read that I will need to lower my expectations when running errands. I guess one errand per day in Cairo is a lot.

Yay! Finally I meet with success. I am totally capable of running only one errand a day. That sounds just like me!

Oh? You say that one errand can take all day to complete and tons of patience? And maybe some Arabic thrown in? Darn! I knew there would be a catch.

So much for the training. I will be winging it I guess, along with the flying ants!

(On the bright side, Cairo has a delivery culture where almost everything can be delivered… so maybe we will just stay inside with the sand, the flying ants, the big butt spiders and have everyone come to us instead. That would make for a very exciting travel blog. NOT!) 🙂

My Husband Has Replaced Me

It is not looking good.

Chris has found a new love. And it is not me.

Competition has arrived in a smaller and cuter package, one that doesn’t talk too much and will listen to all his stories. This perfect low maintenance relationship has begun and I haven’t even packed yet!

Yes, Chris, otherwise known as “I love to mow the lawn and trim trees and nothing more”  has entered the first stage of You are leaving and I need to get busy to fill up my time. 

Hence, the ominous appearance of these on the scene.

The infamous pumpkin and sunflower seeds that now shine in Chris's life.

The infamous pumpkin and sunflower seeds that now shine in Chris’s life.

Now to be fair, we have always been a bit of a pumpkin driven family. Enticed by the lure of fall, our family has been known to spend great gobs of time searching for pumpkins, playing with pumpkins and ultimately massacring them in the name of Halloween. Left to rot outside in the cold winter, we only remember to put them to rest once the snow begins to melt.

And so it is not too shocking that of all the seeds to attract Chris’s attention, pumpkins won out. The sunflowers were a peace-offering that I would remain “somewhat in the picture” as these are my favourite.

So determined to have the prettiest pumpkins and the sunniest sunflowers, Chris has turned on the charm as he lovingly plants and tends to his new garden.

Chris planting the pumpkin seeds.

Chris planting the pumpkin seeds.

I actually caught him the other night checking them out. “Apparently” frost was forecasted and he was deep in worry that his new “friends” were in harm’s way. Pacing and sweating, he finally managed to fall asleep, only to run to the yard the next morning to triple check their security.

So until I leave, I am now playing second fiddle to the dirt in my backyard.

Oh and the promises have already begun. I will be able to meet Chris’s new friends when they are born. Apparently Egypt Air will let them accompany Chris from Canada to Cairo. Well it is a direct flight after all… 🙂 If not, then we can still skype I guess.

(Special thanks to Ally from The Spectacled Bean who suggested the title for this post. Be sure to check out her blog which is terrific.)

Does your significant other have a hobby that “takes over” at times or borders on “obsession”? 

One Mistake You Should Never Make On Your Wedding Day

A wedding day together with 4 daughters, 2 nephews and 2 tag along friends to keep 2 of our teens happy is one busy wedding day.

Something is sure to go amiss.

Chris and Uncle Gerry (yes, famous Uncle Gerry – read here to know why) got their heads together to develop a fail proof plan to keep all the kids busy the morning of the wedding. Two guys, no sports to watch, why not go fishing?

Pumped, the duo collect the kids and off they go. Proud of themselves, they find a dreamy river where they all bait up and begin this bonding moment, a memory to cherish for years to come. Fishing together, laughing together, splashing together, the wedding day begins as two families blend and become one.

Excited to share their fishing stories and ready to return for the wedding, Chris and Uncle Gerry do a final head count. The number of kids don’t add up. Confused and a tad bewildered, Chris and Uncle Gerry recount and then look at each other with total fear in their eyes.

They have left 1 of the 4 daughters behind at the hotel!

They had completely forgot to pick her up and take her fishing. And to add fuel to the fire, none of the other kids had even noticed!

With their fishing rods tucked behind their legs, they returned to the hotel to face her.  Having discovered her fate, left alone at the altar so to speak, she had put on her happy face and spent some time with her nana and the other seniors.

Fortunately, humour was what was on tap that day and most was forgiven. Well… almost most… the word “fishing” still tends to interrupt the smooth flow of our blended family as we relive that moment, laughing hysterically at how that could have happened. .

Do you have a story to share on wedding mishaps? I would love to hear it. For one more of our’s, read here. 

8 Reasons Why I Hate Travelling

1. I have to stay in a hotel! You mean I can’t stay in my own home, the one infested with mice and now spiders?

2. I have to eat in a restaurant! You mean I can’t eat in my own kitchen (the one that is 23 inches by 53 inches) and cook another uninspired meal that would make food bloggers shutter in their aprons!

3. I have to shop in a local food market! You mean I can’t go into my own grocery store and buy imported products 10x the local price and 10x older?

4. I have to people watch in a town plaza! You mean I can’t just sit in my living room and watch Miss Neighbor walk her cat for the umpteenth time down the sidewalk?

5. I have to speak another language! You mean I can’t just keep practicing my own language over and over in the hope that someday I sound sophisticated and overly educated?

6. I have to buy authentic handmade souvenirs! You mean I can’t just go to Walmart and buy the latest plastic toy guaranteed to break in one play date?

7. I have to use real money! You mean I can’t just mindlessly use my debit card and then forget how much it cost?

8. I have to take my kids along! You mean I can’t just tell them I will be out and forget to return?

Airlines and Baseball – Same or Different?

It was my husband’s birthday which means only one thing, baseball. He is addicted to baseball and (please don’t hold this against me) the Red Sox. And the birthday gods were shining upon him as the Red Sox were in town to play the Blue Jays which means seats that are available and affordable (unlike Fenway in Boston – sorry Bostonians).

Jade is a Blue Jays fan and Chris is a Red Sox fan. They agree to disagree. Jade came out the winner this time.

Jade is a Blue Jays fan and Chris is a Red Sox fan. They agree to disagree. Jade came out the winner this time.

What Do Baseball and Airlines Have In Common?

Entering a baseball stadium is like getting on a plane.

You go through security. You pray that your electronic ticket works. You struggle to look for your seat for fear of getting settled in only to learn that you haven’t found it yet. You drag a bunch of crap with you only to have nowhere put it. You make a list of the pros and cons of the aisle seat versus the others only to learn you chose wrong. You spend a lot of time getting up and down to let others out only to the annoyance of others around you. You hope to God you get a polite seat mate beside, in front and behind you who stays within his or her boundaries. You can’t afford to eat. You can’t afford to drink but you do anyways, especially if you are the nervous or partying type. You eye those who have to work as they go up and down the aisle, secretly feeling sorry for them, at the mercy of those who sit and demand their attention. You pray to (insert your choice) for a successful outcome and give that sigh of relief when your prayer is answered.

What Could Airlines Learn From Baseball?

  • Wouldn’t it be fun if travellers wore jerseys and ball caps of their favourite airlines just to cheer on the pilots and airline attendants?
  • Wouldn’t it be interesting to begin the flight with the national anthem sung, all the passengers standing?
  • Wouldn’t it be comforting to know that the seat you bought actually meant you got a seat?
  • Wouldn’t it be yummy to eat arms length hot dogs, ice cream, pretzels and popcorn sky-high?
  • Wouldn’t it be hilarious if everyone got up to stretch and sang Take Me Out To The Ballgame around 3/4 of the way to your destination?
  • Wouldn’t it be wonderful if some dude wearing no shirt, “half in the bag”, began the wave in seat 1A and the rest of the passengers continued it, maybe even the attendants and the pilots?
  • Wouldn’t it be sweet to cheer, rap on each other’s seats, high-five and stomp on the floor when the flight is running smoothly?
  • Wouldn’t it be cool to get the attendants’, the pilots’ and the mascot’s autographs upon disembarking the plane?

So cheers to many home runs as you fly around the world, exploring from base to base. I hope you don’t strike out in your choices. Need some advice?  Just ask and I will coach you along the way.

What do you think? Should the airlines consider and take on some of these baseball routines?

In the meantime, I will continue to be a huge fan of baseball as I go to people watch, the audience, that is. 🙂

8 Steps You Too Can Take To Screw Up Cinco de Mayo

I am becoming enamored with the glitz, the glamour, and the glory of food blogs. You know those blogs that make you want to pull out a knife and a fork and begin eating the computer screen! So after having read all these motivational, follow your dream blogs that I have recently subscribed to, I thought I should bite the jalapeno and begin one. So here goes…

1.First of all, you should be unique and celebrate all food holidays before everyone else. That way your blog gets out there first.

Cinco de Mayo on Cuatro de Mayo - be unique and make a Mexican stand!

Cinco de Mayo on Cuatro de Mayo – be unique and make a Mexican stand!

2. Invest in attractive and expensive kitchen tools such as I have.

Note the flower shaped cutting board. You can't get that just anywhere. Dollar stores have to order these in advance for you!

Note the flower shaped cutting board. You can’t get that just anywhere. Dollar stores have to order these in advance for you!

3. Be sure to use top quality homemade spices such as I have.

The cream of the Mexican crop for tacos!

The cream of the Mexican crop for tacos!

4. When in doubt, just buy a can of stuff… it is usually the same as all that difficult to make homemade stuff. And really… who will ever know or be able to taste the difference?

I was almost out of my canned beans (don't they look appetizing?) so picked up another. Good Old El Paso!

I was almost out of my canned refried beans (don’t they look appetizing?) so I picked up another can of good Old El Paso! You can never have enough cans on hand.

5. Be sure to cut the ingredients so they look attractive and are the same size as I have done.

Note the expert cutting culinary skills please.

Note the expert cutting culinary skills please.

6. Wnen in doubt, you can use leftovers (who will ever know right?) or you can even take leftovers such as I have done (Indian basmati rice – almost Mexican, si?) and mix them with Mexican rice from the package. The result is delish!

I am sure Indian flavoured rice mixed with Mexican will be a great combo!

I am sure Indian flavoured rice mixed with Mexican will be a great combo!

7. Be sure to keep a clean attractive counter by using a gorgeous bowl to keep peelings in as I do.

What can I say? This bowl really has it going on. Perfect for a food blog.

What can I say? This bowl really has it going on. Perfect for a food blog.

8. And then with all great glamorous top-notch food blogs, you need to show off the final result to entice others to follow you or at a minimum, like you.

(Oops… already ate it… well, no not really… the dog did… she was the only one really in the mood for Cuatro de Mayo or to be honest, brave enough to stomach the results.)

I will try again tomorrow. I promise. Or maybe not. The dog isn’t looking that good. Maybe I should stick to a travel blog instead.

Have a great Cinco de Mayo tomorrow from Jade, Jazmin (our dog) and me. Hope yours is tastier than ours. 🙂

The Purple Hair Episode of “The Good Mom”

What is it about this little town in Ontario that set the colour purple on fire and has now consumed my daughter, Jade?

The purple volcano, otherwise known as Jade, began to warm up in October, showed signs of bubbling over in December and finally erupted in May.

To prevent a complete melt down, my husband and I actually spent my birthday romantically engaged in Jade getting half of her head purple as some sort of a teen/parents compromise. We actually loved it especially when she did her hair in french braids, weaving purple and blonde together looked stunning. At least in the tainted purplish mother’s eyes of a teen!

My first compromise! Half a head of purple :)

My first compromise! Half a head of purple 🙂

Now I love purple and always have. I usually have a purple bathroom, a favourite purple fleece to wear and when in need, purple grapes to eat. I don’t shy away from the colour.

But purple around me and on me is different from purple on a head, isn’t it? I tried to convince myself but was told differently.

As the half head of purple began to fade, the relentless questions began to build. Until they were no longer questions, and became some sort of an activist social demand that I could no longer out argue. Yes, I caved. Or I would like to say, I became “The Good Mom”. Yes, I have been watching way too many episodes of The Good Wife, so hence my new creation.

Told to at least wait until her musical theatre performances were done (she was a blonde sister to two other blonde sisters) she ripped to the bathroom, closed the door while I “patiently” waited outside for the unveiling.

The door blocking off the purple hair plan.

The door blocking off the purple hair plan.

Now, being a teen and doing her hair, this actually meant hours in the bathroom as I faded to sleep, haunted by purple nightmares. Then I woke up. Impatient for the final reveal, I sat at my computer trying to blog with visions of purple dancing through my head. If Jade has crazy purple hair, what does this say about me?

I guess, I will go with the fact that I am trying to be “The Good Mom”.  And I know. I shouldn’t sweat the small stuff, even if the small stuff is really purple stuff.

And unlike a tattoo, it washes out, right?

But I know that episode is up the street and around the corner… but I will worry about that later…three years later… I hope!

From Cheryl and The Family C who have 4 girls; one piercing (she was of age), one purple hair (I guess of age) and let’s leave it at that. Pleeeeaaase. 🙂

Oh my! I just had to edit this post since Miss Jade didn't approve of my purple pic of her head! This one has been approved by Jade.

Oh my! I just had to edit this post since Miss Jade didn’t approve of my purple pic of her head! This one has been approved by Jade.

Have you or a family member had a “different” hair colour or style before?