12.29.2009

Note To ME.



Stay strong and be true. You have a good heart. Stand.

12.22.2009

Killswitch vs. The Skate Park

So, it's been months since summer which means it's been months since I've done any "aggressive" skating.

Tonight, a group of us girls decided to go check out the indoor skateboard park on the exhibition grounds. And, after jazzing around a bit and getting used to the ramps and pipes again, myself and a girlfriend start eyeing up the quarter pipe in the corner. It's about a three-foot drop in -- small according to skateboard standards, but a good place to start learning to drop in on a pipe.

See, up until now, all our approaches have been from the ground-up. Dropping in from the top is a whole 'nother animal altogether.

We are pumped. We are sooooo bad ass. It's ridiculous.

We clamber to the top rail and stand looking downward. The bowl of the pipe looks pretty freakin impossible from this angle. We test footing and angles and scrunch our eyebrows in consternation as to how in the world we will manage to get two feet and eight wheels over the coping and down the pipe. Our first attempts are passable. I manage to land one foot and kinda half-drag my other toestop behind me. Not perfect, but reasonable for a first try. But by my fourth or fifth attempt, I'm getting a bit cheesed at my uncooperative backside foot.

Attempting to amp myself up for a balls to the wall final attempt, I participate in a little bit of inanimate object trash talk.

"Eff you, little quarter pipe. You think you're better than me? You think I can't own you, little quarter pipe? Just watch me."

At the top, now. I snarl and narrow my eyes. I'm doing this. One quick entry hop over the metal coping and... time stands still as I hang for a moment mid-air. This is gonna be good. I can feel it. Pipe is gonna feel it. And...

I eat it hard. Ridiculously so. It's like my skates are magnetic opposites to the wood of the pipe and I am thrown to my backside in a most inglorious manner. Imagine your kitchen table, if you will. Now, imagine jumping off of the tabletop. And landing straightaway flat on your butt. On the floor.

It was that ridiculous. Pipe owned Me. Point for Pipe.

And I will just say that if there ever was a reason for a derby girl to pee herself just a little bit, it could possibly be a bad ass fall like that.

Possibly.

Just saying.

12.16.2009

Solving for X

Grouchy, Cold Flutterby + Super Warm Coat = Toasty, Happy Flutterby

Or something like that.

After suffering through a week of temperatures hovering around -30C (plus windchill, of course... this is Saskatchewan, people) whilst wearing her nine-year-old boarding jacket which had long past lost all it's high-tech loft in repeated washings, a certain Flutterby decides that enough is enough. And gathering her chilly self in her freezing car, she sets out for Army Surplus sites unknown.

For there, she has heard, is the Mother of all Warm Winter Coats. A coat so warm and awesome, it was designed to keep bodies warm during Arctic military expeditions.

Searching for the coat in the midst of other, equally bad-ass looking coats, Flutterby quickly spots the MWWC. It is large and techy looking with gnarly zippers and pockets and enough fur on the hood to cover a large cat. One look at the succinct, no-nonsense military label tells her that this is a "Parka: Extreme Cold Weather". It is surprisingly light and she hefts it over her shoulders and proceeds to struggle with the double ended zipper (What is this? Kindergarten again?? Please.) and arrange the extra large, furry hood over her head.

It is indeed, the winter coat to end all coats. Her search has ended.

If only she didn't look like a large marshmallow in it. *sigh* A TOASTY, WARM large marshmallow, though.




***********************************
It is true that I have entirely lost all pretense of being fashionable in this parka. It is huge. Too big for me, really... but they are sized for buff army dudes and not average housewives. Size small was as little as they came and I still swim in it. I probably look rather like the Michelin Man -- all puffy and shapeless and if Stacy and Clinton got a hold of me in it, I'm sure they'd give me an earful.

But seriously, I am so over FREEZING in the wintertime. And if we are indeed going to finish out our lives here in this nasty part of the winter-world, I've decided that I will at least not wish I was dead when the deep freeze hits.

-35... I'm waiting for you. Bring it.

12.14.2009

Rudimentary Equations

Extreme Cold Temperatures + Flutterby = GROUCHY ME

Oscar the Grouch ain't got nothin on me. I'll shank that little green goober before he can flip the lid on his trash can.

And my kidneys hurt. Which seems totally unrelated but I assure you is totally, completely related to both the Cold and the Grouch. And maybe even the shanking. Whatever.

I have a feeling that all this could be nicely cured by a week or two sitting on a beach in Cuba or Mexico or something like that. Maybe my own private island with endless sand, grottos and Krav Maga. But I digress. Yes, I think that some sun and sand and swimming could be the ticket to a happier, less stabby, Me.

Anyone care to join?? I promise to leave my knives at home.

12.11.2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside.

The Chanukah candles are burning down; their flames turning long and wobbly. I'm enjoying the sounds of guitar strumming I can hear from the Princess' room, it's so nice to have music in the house, again. I can hear the comfy, splashy sounds of the Kid in the bathtub. And if I listen closely I can probably hear the sounds of pup and Mr F. snoring together in the bedroom, adding to the sports channel that's playing in the background.

Myself, I'm going to enjoy the last few minutes staring into the flames and then tidy up a bit. The only thing that could make this better is a hot chai. Hmmm... sounds like a plan.

12.09.2009

AAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGHHHHGHGGGHGGGGHHGHHH.

I just got served a big, steamy pile of Kicked In the Junk compliments of technology.

Last night, the Princess sang at her first open mic. She was fabulous (more on that later) and I managed to capture it on video. I actually did bring our little Flip video camera, but it self-destructed at the venue (no really... when I turned it on, it took about 10 seconds to boot and then got uncomfortably hot in my hands. Almost had an actual meltdown.) and as a last resort, I was able to catch my daughters' song using my crappy cell phone video feature.

So, tonight, I load up my little mini card into the adapter and get set to move the video (along with over a year's worth of assorted pics) onto my computer. Items copied and new folder made. Button clicked and I watch the little bar travel across the screen as my 69 items are copied into said new folder. (thank you, little bar, for LYING TO ME!!!!!)

I decide to also clean up my mini card, now that everything's been uploaded. Click. Delete.

So imagine my surprise when I open my upload folder and find it EMPTY.

No. Surprise is not the word. Disappointment is not the word. I really don't know what the heck the word is, but it involves the pit of my stomach and lurching and feeling awful. And maybe almost crying.

Cause she was so amazing. I know that I'm a proud mama and that proud mamas can be responsible for so many train wrecks and over-estimations of talent.

But this little girl, she really can sing. And she sang her heart out that night. Accompanied by her vocal teacher on guitar, she sang "Don't Laugh At Me" by Mark Wills. The lyrics are touching, but to hear them sung by such a young lady with a clear, sweet voice... It was special. I was so, so very proud of her.

And I really, really wanted to share it, here.

Sigh.

12.06.2009

Uncertainties.

Today I sat in church and as the service closed, the band played an older song. One that I remember from years ago. I've sung it many times over the years and not thought much of it, but today something was different.

Today I could almost reach back in time and become that girl who sang. Remember the feeling of that church sanctuary where our youth group met; the smell of old carpet and wood, the acoustics, the close summertime air. It was a neat little moment, a window in time if you will. I enjoyed it for what it was, but was left saddened in some ways.

I am so different from that girl. She sat there years ago, cloistered and protected; trusting and open to receive. She didn't question. It was so simple and it all made sense so much as life had brought her way.

And I felt like crying. I am tired of the questions and the only certainty I feel I have is that nothing will be simple again.

I can live with that, but I looked over at the sweet girl beside me, and thought of my boy across the way in his Kid's Club, and I hoped that somehow they will be allowed a measure of simplicity. And I feel a little bit afraid that my questions, my husband's questions... have stripped that from them.

Our God is an Awesome God,
He Reigns In Heaven Above
With Wisdom, Power and Love,
Our God is an Awesome God.

I hope that can be enough.

11.29.2009

Count With Me, Now.

Prophecy in Retrospect:

During tonight's Grey Cup game, in which our province's beloved Roughriders played the Montreal Alouettes, there were frequent screen captures of the RiderNation fans holding signs which read:

The 13th Man Is Your Worst Nightmare!!!!

And apparently... he was.

I'm still reeling in shock. And I'm not even a huge football fan. That was more ridiculousness than one game can handle. And I'm guessing that one Defensive Line Coach will be wearing a RiderNation melon hat on his head for some time. That is, if he still has his job.

Good work, Riders. Sorry that it didn't turn out for y'all. Better luck next time.

11.26.2009

Stuff I've Noticed About Having a Puppy.

Just a few things I've noticed lately. Things related to the new little fur-ball in the family and I thought I'd share.

1) There has been significantly more laundry. The odd housetraining accident. A puppy bath, changing the "linens" in the crate. (cause we roll Classy around here, people!) Laundry.

2) I feel the inexplicable need to converse with the puppy when it's just me and her in the house. I'll be doing my thing in the kitchen or whatever and whenever she walks by and looks up at me, I feel like I'd be rude to not, well, SAY SOMETHING. What's that?? It's kinda embarrassing, is what that is.

3) The children have come through with approximately 3.675% of their pre-puppy Promises. 3.125% is due to the Princess. .55% is due to the Kid. This is REAL WORLD MATH, readers. Don't doubt.

4) I have come through with 145% of pre-puppy Promises and 239.75% of all puppy-related obligations. This roughly translates to a rising trend of Alpha Mommy Syndrome. The puppy worships me. When it's not trying to pee on my stuff.

5) Puppy stretches, snurgles and snuffles, and puppy yawns are insanely cute. So cute they could be measured in gigawatts of cuteness.

6) Having a puppy gives you repeated opportunities to walk in the backyard and talk about "taking a whiz" and "going potty". I'm sure the neighbors have never been so entertained.

7) Repeated walks in the backyard at ridiculous hours of the morning, evening and night makes me ever so glad that we don't have much snow at all. I am so loving El Nino at the moment. And so dreading the day when it all hits us like a mack truck of snowglobes.

8) Having a puppy means I am once again stepping over a baby gate and periodically almost killing myself.

9) I cannot leave a garbage bag out of it's receptacle for the afternoon to fill it just that last little bit full before taking it out.

10) I cannot leave anything out.

11) Unless I put it on something higher than she can reach.

12) Thank God in Heaven she is a Chihuahua and not a Great Dane.

13) Puppy feet smell like corn chips.

14) I may have difficulty ever eating corn chips again.

15) I like the *snick snick snick* sound of her nails on the floor. Cute.

16) I have realized that, while I probably am truly a Cat Person, I'm pretty fond of my lil pup. She's pretty precious.

11.23.2009

Howling at the Moon.

Tonight I dragged Mr. F. to watch New Moon at the theatre.

For those of you who have had your head under a rock, or simply prefer your fiction to be grounded in reality and substance; it is the sequel to "Twilight".

It's about teenage angst and vampires (and really, now... clearly those two things go hand in hand.) and life-altering LOVE *sigh*. Oh, and werewolves. There may be some other elements involved, some semblance of a plot and really some interesting action sequences. But really? Mostly about vampire love.

Which begs the question. Why did I care to watch?

Which is really something I haven't got around to asking myself, yet. The answer revolves around being bored at my old hotel front desk job and picking up the book to read to pass the time. Which then begged me to fulfill my curious wonderings... "Is the movie better or worse than the book?" Which really could be a toss up. Cause the book wasn't all that hot. Should be easy to improve on. But... I digress.

What is will say is that I was shocked at what passes for a "PG" rating nowadays and just how many children (really... CHILDREN) were at the movie theatre to watch this. Cause it was pretty violent/perilous and there were a few steamy moments that I sure wouldn't want my kids to watch. I know that "kissing" falls under a PG rating, but dude... those were some HOT kisses.

I will also say that I was not adverse to the fact that werewolves are kinda hot. And mostly shirtless, apparently. (I mean, when they're not werewolves... cause, obviously... wolves don't wear shirts when they're wolves. Or whatever.) Heh heh... it appears that the wolves brought out my inner Cougar.

Lame... sorry.

I guess it was entertaining enough. Better than the book in some ways, and not as good in others. The pacing lagged through some of it... I could do with less angst and more action. But all in all, not bad. Some themes are universal, and anyone who's been thrown to the gutter by love can probably relate to these characters. And I think that's why people love the story.

That, and shirtless werewolves.

11.18.2009

I Need A Hug.

There, that wasn't so bad to admit.

I'm on the board of directors for a certain... errrr... team. (There, was that anonymous enough???) I love being a part of making this particular sport better in our city. Of working with great girls who, largely, have the same goals and drive as I do. These are my friends and teammates.

But there's one particular relationship on this board that I struggle with. I very much like this person and enjoy her company on certain levels, but I find her management persona to be hard to deal with. She tends to lecture and be very passive-aggressive and easily threatened by other people's drive and initiative. It was one thing to deal with on the board, but after some time, I noticed it was carrying over to how she treated me (and others) on the track and I knew it was time to stand up for myself. To put some boundaries in place.

And this isn't easy for me. She is an intimidating person, both in stature and personality. She is prone to being unpredictable and dramatic and this makes most people simply back off and let her have her way, lest they incur a temper tantrum or worse. And, truthfully, that is my first inclination as well. (**site previous post and self-proclaimed wimp status**)

But it got to the point last month where I felt compelled to do something.

I don't want to get into details, but there have been two occasions on which (in a public forum) I have had the need to firmly but reasonably call "Bullsh$#" on her shenanigans and stand up for my right to be treated as an adult and not a childlike minion under her purvey.

Yesterday was one of them and the fall-out hasn't been pretty.

I want to be this tough chick who can just sit back and laugh at it all. To not care. To say "to hell with her and all who think like her".

But I'm not and I can't.

And today, I just wanted to sit with a Friend. A true friend who knows me inside and out and knows what my heart is in this all. Who could handle my tears of frustration and tell me it will be OK. That it's OK to stand up for me. That I should be understood and respected.

I needed a hug. That's all.

11.14.2009

Open Letter to the Three Douches Sitting Behind Me Tonight.

Really, guys? You pay $18.00 each to watch a pro hockey game and can think of nothing better to do than converse loudly during the Whole. Game???? Really?

I mean, normally, I might be slight entertained to overhear about your great sex life since you've been pregnant and all your various and sundry opinions about life and finances and general Stuff That Does Not Pertain To My Life In Any Way Whatsoever. Normally.

But when you insist on dropping the F Bomb with ridiculous intensity and accuracy in the very near vicinity of my 7 year old son, I tend to, hmmmmmm.... NOT APPROVE. Really, people. Is that necessary? Is it some sort of required linguistic compulsion fostered in the trash bin you grew up in?

Cause I really don't see the point. I mean, beyond the sheer ridiculous tally of curse words you managed to fit into your steady stream of annoying conversation -- a number which, alone, boggles my mind -- I am left agog and amazed at the levels of self-absorbtion you all managed to wallow in.

And the irony. My good Lord, the irony of you sitting there blustering with pride over how you have managed to incubate a baby for all of four months and the steadfastness with which you already proclaim to know all about babies and parenting as though you were the Immaculate Incarnation of Parental Perfection, yet remained entirely oblivious to the very cute and very impressionable product of my SEVEN FREAKING YEARS OF PARENTING was an astounding marvel of incomprehensible vapid obtuseness.

If I were a different person, you surely would have merited a solid dress-down of the sternest kind, not to mention a punch in the throat. But, you may count your lucky stars that I really am a pussy and therefore just sat there and fumed and imagined little stabby darts being hurled at you each time my ears blanched with your repeated assault. And called you "Douche-bags" in my head. Repeatedly.

I hope that your child is graced with the most grating, wretched, whiny voice.

I'm sorry. But I do.

11.09.2009

Goodbye.

This past week my Grandpa passed away.

It was abrupt and shocking just like that sentence sounds. In any other case, I would say that the massive heart attack was a blessing. Eighty-eight good years spent in health -- still vital and possessing strength and independence. Ending quickly and without suffering. This is what everyone wants.

But he was my Grandpa and I wasn't ready to say goodbye. I assumed I had more time. More time to spend with him, to hear his stories and watch hockey with him. More time to see him delight in my children. More time.

I was wrong. There was no more time.

And so I grieve for my Grandpa. A loving, solid, generous man. A man who would do anything for his family, would give anything. I wish I had more time with him. The things I want to say thunder in my heart and it seems impossible that I can't ever say them to him.

And I wonder why I didn't when I had the time.

I trust that somehow he now knows and sees and understands in fullness. I trust that we will be reunited one day.

Until then, Grandpa.

11.03.2009

A Hammy Led Us To Her.

Sometimes it seems that the strangest things happen in the strangest ways.

This past Sunday, we took the kids to the local pet store to look at hammies. We were thinking of checking out the fuzzy rodents and possibly stepping back in the hammy game.

We spent some time wandering the store first, being captivated by kittens and puppies and a particularly friendly parrot, finally making our way to the Rodentia area. The kids were speculating about the personalities of the dozing hammies and there were a few already contending for the coveted spot of being the next Flutterbyhouse Hammy. One of the little ones they had picked out was dozing in the corner and I was just pointing out to the kids that I didn't think we'd want to pick him cause he was very skinny compared to the others, when said little, skinny hammy moved laboriously and I could see that something was Very Wrong with him.

His tiny little head turned and it was immediately apparent that he was badly injured. Grossly injured. My sharp intake of breath and girly squeak immediately alerted the kiddos and before I could stop them, they, too had gotten a full view of the carnage done to the little guys' eyeball. The Princess pleaded with me to find someone to help him and I quickly tracked down an employee who also gasped and paled and took that miserable little hammy out of the cage. We were left feeling sickened and heartbroken for that poor tiny hammy. The Princess looked green and said she felt faint. And, in all our adult wisdom... my mother and I decided to distract the kiddos with some time spent with a little puppy in the "bonding room".

And this is what I get for doing so.



I know, right? It's ridiculous. And very Cute. And named Goldie. Cause my kids rock with the Naming Originality like that.

But she is now ours and it's very possible that I wouldn't have it any other way.

I also may have a hammy habitat for sale.

10.26.2009

Doing Stuff.

Just a quick post. I promise.

:)

I'm really excited about a new project I'm working on. I'm starting an online fitness community and it's keeping me awake at night with all the fab ideas and plans running through my head.

No surprises, it's a derby related thing -- I'm gonna keep it small and in the league for now, but just maybe it will end up helping out more people achieve their fitness goals, in time. Regardless of how little or big it may be, it's very cool to have a spot to let your interests fly. I love helping people and building relationships and the whole writing, researching thing is totally exciting to me, too. (I mean, really? Isn't that evident by just how well-written THIS post is?!?!? lol)

Sometimes I feel like a lot of life has passed me by. And then there's times that let me see just how much Life there is to experience, yet. I enjoy those times!

10.22.2009

Quick and Dirty.

heh heh.

Actually, I'm thinking about the killer workout I did this morning. I'd like to be all bad-ass and make like I do killer workouts everyday. But the truth is that I've been a big slacker in that department for a few months, now. Other than derby practice (of which I've been out on the injured list for the past month,) I've not worked out. At all.

And it's showing. My clothes are getting that Shrunk In the Dryer feeling -- which I'm smart enough to know has NOTHING to do with my dryer! -- and I can tell that my cardio is seriously hurtin' cause running up and down the stairs to grab the cordless phone (And really... does anyone else have that problem where all the phones end up on ONE floor of the house? Or is that just Me?) leaves me a wee bit breathless.

Not a good sign.

It's time to change that stuff up good.

So today, I made good use of a workout DVD I've had in my possession for some time, now, but have been ignoring. It's a skate-specific workout which means it involved a crazy amount of squats, plyometrics, lunges, side lateral movements and other stuff which made me cry like a whiny little girl.

It was so challenging and, frankly, HARD. And I only did the "beginner workout". Sheesh. I'm pretty embarrassed. But, it's inspired me to conquer it. And I will.

I just might need help getting out of bed and Walking tomorrow morning.

10.19.2009

100% Real Derby Goodness.

I just got back from a derby road trip last night and I'm feeling the hurt today. I had been registered for this trip since summer and was really looking forward to the chance to play in Medicine Hat, AB. The league there is totally fab -- a bunch of great people and they put on a really terrific event.

About a month ago I injured my knee. Skating. Not playing derby. I wasn't wearing any protective gear cause I didn't want to look like a weenie and I ended up driving my left knee into the concrete floor at a pretty good speed, which isn't pretty any way you look at it. X-rays ruled out any fractures and the end diagnosis was traumatic bursitis -- essentially, all the bursae in that knee are filled with blood and pus at the moment. Beautiful, isn't it?

Anyhow, it wasn't looking good for the game as things weren't healing up any too quick. But last week my doc gave me a double prescription for anti-inflammatories (oral and topical) and within just a few days things had calmed down enough that, with my awesome 187 knee pads on, the pain of impact was bearable.

Happy, happy Killswitch. :)

I won't bore everyone any longer with the play-by-play of the weekend. I'll just go with the ESPN Highlight version:

- Girlfriends. I skate with some of the best girls. They've become really treasured friends and I totally enjoyed the weekend with them, outside of derby.

- Firsts. I signed my first autograph, people!! Three of them, actually, and I about hugged each kid that asked. Cause, really? You want my autograph? I totally get a kick out of playing a sport and being a part of something that people will pay to come any watch and cheer their heads off and yes... where kids will ask you for your autograph. Seriously, just how amazingly COOL is that? Who gets to do that????

- The game. The game was AMAZING!! I was placed in -- and frankly, outclassed by -- the Advanced/Senior game. I was playing with some of Western Canada's hottest players (as well as some hotshot members of my own league!) and I had stars in my eyes the WHOLE. TIME. I was glad to hold my own on the track and be a solid player, but I didn't light it up, for sure. Still... it was the hardest-hitting, fastest paced game I've played in, yet. I got my first major penalty for completing a hit out of bounds (my biggest coup of the game as I took on one of the team's best jammers. But still... a penalty. Boo.) and generally got some great game experience.

- Did I mention how absolutely proud I was of our league's skaters that played in the Rookie game?? I think the warm fuzzies threatened to swallow me at a few points. I love these girls!

- Karaoke? Oh yes. The after-party was terrific. Good food, good people and good song. Me and some girls headbanged through AC/DC's "Dirty Deeds" and our league totally represented at the mic. Lots of talent -- lots of attitude! I managed to take on the stage for a little bit of Eurythmics and then a strangely cathartic rendition of You Oughtta Know. And then the post-game fatigue set in and it was off to bed.

- The knee was fine. A little bit of bruising showed up that night, but it's all good. I've just got some random sore muscles, a little bit of fishnet burn and a couple impact-blister-bruises on one of my hands to show for the night. (I realize that's not a medical term, but you know those things where you crack a vein over a joint on something hard -- concrete floor in this case -- and it gets dark and puffy for a day and really hurts to touch but then is totally better the next day? Yeah, those things.) Oh, and also, a cleavage scratch that I have no recollection of recieving.

All in all, it was a great weekend... I feel very lucky to have Derby in my life and a family that is supportive of this obsession of mine.

10.15.2009

Biting My Nails

Tonight was the Princess' first school dance. Well... the first school dance that she was allowed to go to.

This is new territory for me as I was not allowed to attend ANY dances while I was growing up. I like to say I was Sheltered. Which, really? Worked pretty well for me as I'm sure all that Dancing with Friends While Supervised would have totally cut into my Sweaty, Making Out with Boyfriend time.

Sorry... did the irony cut a little too much??

All to say that I'm breaking new ground, here -- sending my daughter to her class dance.

First came the part that I loved. A little bit of shopping and then I got to play hairstylist and make-up artist (just a touch!) and we had a really cool time together for all of it. I love these little moments with the Princess, initiating her into this strange world of feminine ritual and lore. Mr. F was blown away when he saw his little girl all transformed into a little lady. I kinda was, too. Sometimes it's almost ridiculous to think of those first years with Baby Princess, so hard to imagine just how much time has flown by.

Next came the part that I was a bit unsure of. Picking up her friend and dropping them off at the school. Two giggly little girls tripping down the sidewalk. I so wanted to go in with them, to check it all out. To warn all the boys, really. Shake a fist in a face or two and generally stir it up a bit. I watched them be greeted by the swarm of classmates in the foyer and realized I would have to do what every other parent was doing... let them have their supervised fun in a safe place and drive away like the good chauffeur I was.

And the best part, receiving my Princess back home. Her feet sore and a smile on her face. She loved the music. She loved the lights. She had fun with her friends. And yes, she did dance with some boys from her class. The list was actually quite long, which I wasn't totally prepared for... but I survived and she did, too. I don't know that she will always be allowed to attend dances and she knows this. It will depend on the atmosphere that the school provides and the behavior that becomes the norm. It will depend on the trust that I've built with the Princess remaining intact. But at the moment all is well and I'm pretty happy with how things turned out, all said.

10.12.2009

West Coast Vacation In Six Easy Points and One Horrifying Picture.

PASS. -- Amazing scenery. Beyond amazing. Scenery which turned me into a Grandmotherly Lady exclaiming "Oh My..." and "How Beautiful..." and "So Lovely" whilst dabbing my eyes with a flowered hanky. It really was that Perfect. And I really was that dweeby. Cause let's be honest, I live on nature's equivalent to a Dinner Plate. F-L-A-T doesn't begin to describe my habitat. This was like Crack for my habitat-o-meter. Rocks, cliffs, mountains, ginormous trees and winding highways. Quaint bridges over picturesque creeks and... yes, I am reduced to a big pile of Dweeb.

FAIL. -- Three flights to get there. Thank you, AirMiles. You rock with the connections. *urrrghh* My ears were not happy with the repeated compression/decompression schtick we were *ahem* enjoying and malfunctioned somewhere around the ascent over the Rockies, leaving my head locked up like Houdini -- ouch -- and disturbing my equilibrium for the duration of the trip. Me and Gravol were a tight pair after that.

PASS. -- Super friendly people wherever we went. Really. I thought Prairie folk were friendly, but I kinda think we could learn a thing or two. We had some really... errr... Lovely (hello, Grandma...) conversations with lots of people and generally enjoyed our time on the Island greatly.

FAIL. -- Camera battery dies just as we enter Qualicum Falls and Cathedral Grove. Perhaps the most magical, breathtaking place I've been in my life. Dead camera. You've got to be kidding me. (and it was a borrowed one which needed a special charger -- not just some AA's. Trust me, I'd have been all over that.) Eff you, Camera. You and the horse you rode in on. Arrrgh.

PASS. -- The ocean. Oh my gosh... the OCEAN, people!!! Wandering the waterfront and marina, beachcombing along some really great stretches of oceanfront. My Inner Geek was in Geek heaven, I swear it. Look! Jellyfish!! Look! Starfish!! Look! Dead Crabs and Disembowelled Ducks!!! (no really, they were there. And I really checked them out, cause, yeah... dead crabs and disembowelled ducks!!) And no end of shells and rocks and driftwood and cool beachy stuff to collect and bring home for the kids. What? It was for the kids, really it was.

FAIL. -- Reggie Griswold. The beast of a spider that had taken up residence directly outside our hotel window. He was ginormous and ghastly and strangely entrancing. He also prevented us from opening up the window as there was no window screen (apparently this is an Island-wide phenomena. They don't mind letting the crawlies indoors.) and there was no way in hell I was willing to wake up eye to manifold-eye with Reggie.

Just in case there are any disbelievers among my readers as to the size and ridiculous horrificableness of Mr. Griswold (seriously, it has me making up new words, such was the sight of him) I will provide you with a picture. Keep in mind that things, once viewed, cannot be removed from your minds-eye. I will not be responsible for scary dreams, bedwetting and bad drug trips that may result from viewing the following picture.

Yeesh.

So, I am now happily back home in the Land of The Dinner Plate. It really is good to be home, good to see our kiddos and get back into some routine. Though I am truthfully mourning the passing of the Holiday Napping Hour. Cause that was pure Gold, people. And apparently one more point to consider as to whether or not Flutterby is really a Grandma in Disguise.

Vive la Vacation!

9.28.2009

Golden.

I love my Princess. And this is why.

*********************************

Sitting at the table doing homework tonight after supper, I decide to sit with her a bit and visit about her day while she works away. The Princess is feeling very giggly and plucky and is bringing out my favorite lil play voice -- the one that sounds just like the nasally-challenged socialite "Tracy Van Horn" on Hannah Montana. She cracks me up, this Princess.

(sing-song to the tune of CampTown Races... you know, the one that goes "all the doo dah night, all the doo dah day"...)

"I know something you don't know, do dah, do dah...
I know something you don't know, does that drive you crazy?"

She sits there with a silly grin plastered on her face and I have no choice but to begin the mastermind work of reeling this lil fishy in. Distracting her with suggestions for colors for her project and questions about what she's doing and totally ignoring that "She knows something I don't know, doo dah".

I know. I am a mad genius with the mind-probery. The Jedi ain't got nothin on me.

I can tell I'm getting her good. She works along barely able to stand it. I know her... she will not cave and be more direct. She sings her little ditty a couple times more while I remain steadfast in my placid and obtuse response. The third time I smile and laugh.

I let just a snort of mockery creep into my voice.

"Like there's anything you could say that could shock me." Haha ha ha and on to other work in the kitchen...

(Aside: See that? I am Just. That. Good.)

She grins and her eyes light up. "That's what you think, Mum. Today-"

Her eyes narrow and she bites her lip, looking me over like I'm a criminal -- her head slowly nodding as she takes in the truth.

"I know what you're trying to do, Mum."

I let a little smile peek out and she sings, ala Tracy Van Horn:
"I know something you don't know, do dah, do dah...
I know something you don't know, does that drive you crazy?"

CHECKMATE. I think I have met my match.

9.13.2009

Ta-Da!

Just some little bits of news from around here.

******************************
The Princess just spent the weekend at a Junior Youth event. Two nights at a camp for kids Grades 6 - 8. She had the best time, EVAH. Which makes me happy. I was a bit nervous for her all weekend as she went into this not knowing a single person there. Which makes me proud. So, tonight I am enjoying this unique combination of Happy/Proud Mommy Feeling and trying to ignore that tiny bit of Scary knocking on the door. Cause, yeah. Grade Eight boys? Apparently are thinking the Princess is a sweetie.

******************************
My Pops took second place at a working cow horse competition this weekend. I really wanted to make it out to see him -- maybe next time. Congrats, Dad!

******************************
I've come to the conclusion that garage sales are not worth the effort. (something which I may have said to myself after the last time I did one.) Honestly... I did remember my resolution and everything was set to go to charity straightaway when my kiddos decided to Persuade their Mom otherwise. Dumb. Hours of work later and I still have a garage full of STUFF to send to charity anyhow.

******************************
The purging of Stuff was necessary, though. Time to get on with finishing out our basement. Wait. First... finish the yard. Then the basement. 50 metric craploads of rock get delivered tomorrow and I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Cause yeah... yard will be done. But that's a LOT of rock and a lot of landscape cloth and I'm really not looking forward to any of it.

******************************
I've actually been feeling kinda in a funk lately. Like no matter how hard I try I can't quite catch that groove. Too much to do and I'm not doing the kind of job I'd like to do on it. I need to get back to the gym cause derby's not quite cutting it, exercise-wise. Found a job that fits with the kid's schedule and then find out that I didn't quite budget myself enough and I have to find something else in addition. (which is not a big deal -- the school thing isn't a lot of hours, for sure... it's just that it's gonna be One More Thing, you know?)

One of my derby sisters told me that she sees that I do things the hard way -- make more work for myself in the end. I was a bit offended at first, to be honest. But I kinda wonder if she wasn't right?

******************************
Went to visit one of my girlfriends in the hospital today. She's bipolar and a med change got out of hand. I love her family's sense of humor about the whole thing. Her husband wore this shirt -- in the psych ward -- that said "I'm on A Day Pass". Love it. She said this is the first time that she's had friends that have come out to visit her when she's ended up in the psych ward -- derby luv!! Why is there such a stigma about mental illness? I know I felt it when I was struggling with depression and it made it really hard to be honest about what I was dealing with.

******************************
*Spongebob singsong voice*

"SKATE PARK!!! lalalalalalalalala!"

Yep. Went to the Skate Park today and made good on my promise to myself. Four-stair has been OWNED. And the two foot ramp as well.

Another hour of tricking out my mind to let me do stuff that really should be easy. For instance, jumping UP no more than eight inches onto a "box". I know I can jump that easily and do so regularly during some of our practices. The only difference is that I'm only clearing AIR and landing. Put eight inches of cement and steel coping in that "air's" place and it starts messing with my head. So I attempt it, but don't commit to it. Which means I end up hooking my toe stop/wheel/etc. and biting it hard. Sick.

I'm sure there's a life lesson in there, somewhere. There always is.

I will say that it felt flippin AWESOME to land the four-stair. It felt pretty amazing to do something that, well, most people wouldn't even try to do, to be honest. I think it was more about conquering fear than doing something skillful -- realizing that your only limits are in your mind. Well, sort of, anyhow. I suppose that there are some very real and painful limits found in the elements of concrete/steel and all... I came up against those a few times, for sure.

******************************
Mr. F and I might be taking a bit of a trip out to the coast, soon. Should know by the end of this week... which will leave me about a week to nail down flights and itinerary. Nothing like waiting til the last minute. :)

******************************
And that's about all I have to write for the moment. There is a Hammy saga to be told -- but I need a bit of time to process before I let that one go.

Hope you all have a great week!

9.10.2009

Three Things.

The Kid's had a bad string of luck lately. Last night he cranked his knee into the corner of our steel trailer whilst running by it like a banshee and was sporting a bit of a nasty bruise and a limp this morning. I decided to pick him up after school and save him the walk-limp home, picking him up outside his classroom.

We're driving home, when out of the blue he pipes up;

"Guess what Brody said to me today when he walked by, Mom?"

"What, baby?" (Mentally preparing myself for some sort of fart/belch/potty humor scenario)

"He said, (*deep Kid-voice*) 'Your Mom is SMOKIN'... he's funny."

*smirk*

"And then he whistled, too."

*******************************
I glean a few things from this. One, someone clearly better keep "Brody" away from whatever TV shows he's been watching cause his lil seven-year-old brain should NOT be thinking like that. Two, the Kid needs to adjust his sense of humor. And, Three... if I can just keep my groove for another, say... TEN years, I might be able to rank some MILF points. HA!!!!

9.04.2009

This Used To Be My Playground.



Just one of those songs that has been stuck in my head since I heard it a bit ago. Pretty and melancholy all in one. Not the usual Madonna fare. I like it.

9.03.2009

How The Formula Goes.

One Kid + One Miscalculated Leap From Playground Apparatus + One Belly Flop on Crushed Rock = One Distressed Mommy

Or something like that.

This past week I started lunchroom supervision duties at my kids' elementary school. (and I'm sure you'll hear all about that Awesomeness in a later post, do not dismay, dear reader) I report to the office each morning, go and do my spectacular job of keeping a lid on things and well... really that's all I do. Lay the smackdown. And then I go home.

Nice, hey?

Well, this morning as I rounded the corner to the main office, I spy my son's lil blond head through the office window. For a split second I wonder if he's gotten himself into a bit of trouble, but then I look closer and see he's doubled over in pain and is trying hard not to cry.

Apparently, when the bell rang to conclude the morning recess, he decided to be all Superkid and leap from the five foot tall floor of the playground apparatus. I'm sure it all looked grand and impressive in his head -- I know this cause I'm afflicted with the same Grandiose Thinking disease -- but the execution went all wrong and he ended up hitting the ground flat out and knocking the wind out of himself something fierce.

Which really isn't that big a deal. We've all had it happen before. But it shouldn't still be hurting over an hour later. At least... I didn't think so.

There were some logistical problems to overcome and, thankfully, Mr. F was able to burn over to the school and take the Kid to the hospital while I took care of my lunch shift. We met up at the hospital and after seeing the long line that was going nowhere fast; made the decision to try our luck getting in with our G.P.

Luckily, things fell into place. Our G.P. checked him over thoroughly and assured us that the Kids' ribs were all fine and his spleen was no worse for wear. He was just gonna need some ice and rest.

Ice and rest and a serious Reality Check about jumping off of high stuff.

8.31.2009

The New Adventures of Kitty Killswitch

Yesterday morning I was up bright and early. Well... I was up at 7am.

It's true that there's not many things that can get me up that early on a Sunday, but some of my derby girlfriends and I had planned to take on one of the local skate parks before the onslaught of pubescent dudes and their Boards of Terror took it over. We were pretty certain that no sk8erboi's would be up at that hour.

The morning was fresh and just a bit chilly. I threw on my clothes from the previous night's practice and grabbed my gear and a muffin, hoping to have got my directions straight. We were going to one of the city's newer skate parks... I guess that skate "plaza" is the correct term as such things go. A skate plaza is apparently set up more like a skater-friendly urban terrain. No bowls, but lots of rails and stairs, ramps, jumps, transitions and the like. Oh... and also a quarter pipe. (which is like a one-sided half-pipe; hence the "quarter").

I had switched my indoor wheels out the night before and my skates were sporting their hot pink rubber-y outdoor ones. This was their virgin run. Yup. I had not yet skated outdoors. I had heard that outdoor skating is a whole different ballgame, but honestly? I kinda thought that maybe people didn't really know what they were talking about. Were overreacting.

Not so much Overreacting, it seems.

:)

Now, I had just spent the evening previous at derby practice. It had been a bit of a "free night" -- one of those practices we call a Dance Party practice. After some warm-ups and a bit of endurance drills and basic skill work, our coach will throw on some tunes and we have some fun trying "stuff", working on whatever we want. Truthfully, I was feeling pretty good after that practice. I had mastered some sorta neato stuff, skate-wise. Some two wheel "grinds", some side stance cornering that I had seen some fierce skaters exhibit during warm-ups at our last bout; lots of jumps and back-front transitions. Worked on some wicked cool back-front whip/blocks with some other skaters and was generally feeling good about how far I've come as a skater these past months.

Which only makes me laugh when I think of the next morning.

Gone was my solid, predictable oval track with it's 10 foot safety clearance all around. Gone. Instead I was looking at THIS:

I can not tell you how much that messed with my head.

I have to admit that it took me awhile to get my bearings, so to speak. It was very intimidating to be faced with literal danger at every turn and eight wheels on one's feet. Even skating a pyramid ramp was making my lil heart race. Where had all my ease and confidence gone? Where were my feet that felt so at home in these skates, that could propel me, weave me in and out of a pack of skaters while racing endurance drills with certainty?

Apparently, they were Gone.

And I spent the next hour or so acquainting my backside with concrete. (Yee-ouch!) Getting my mind to let go of it's death grip on Personal Safety and let me jump off stairs and navigate the quarter pipe.

I loved it. Every crazy, dangerous minute.

Now, that's not to say that I was good at it. I fought my body every step of the way. And I'm sure my childlike first attempts at some of this stuff were nothing more than outright laughable. (No. Really. I laughed, myself.) The good, belly-laughing-roll-on-the-ground-until-you-gotta-pee kind of laughable. But by the end of the hour, the highlight reel in my head had a few clips of some sizable jumps off the two-stair, conquering the jump off the one foot vertical box (which was just a bit of a longer way to "fall" than the two-stair), being comfortable on the ramps and making it about half-way up the quarter pipe. (which I'd love to say was high, but really? Not that much.) My two derby sisters dusted my butt at the plaza, taking on the four-stair and a two and a half foot ramp/jump that looked to me like a good way to kill oneself. But, I'm happy with what I attempted... although the four-stair is on my to-do list for my next visit. I know I can do it, I was just too chicken to go for it.

I have to admit that this is highly addictive stuff and I wish I had gone earlier in the summer. There's only a few more months -- if we're lucky -- of outdoor-skateable weather and I'm a bit irked at all the experience I've missed out on.

The girls were talking about bringing a camera one day when we've got some tricks down. So, maybe I'll have some pics to share come fall. And maybe I won't look like a wide-eyed, shaky-kneed kid in them. If I'm lucky.

8.28.2009

Already??

After what seemed to be an endless summer (and not really Endless in the good way, thanks to some crazy weeks spent on the road doing renovations), the day finally arrived.

It seems that everyone had been asking "Are you ready for "Back To School"? (like it's some civic holiday or something.). I admit that had I actually BEEN ready, this question may not have grated my nerves as much... but only having arrived back home three days before school started -- I was not ready. At all. And the question was driving me nuts.

Cause there was some Stuff to be done round my house. Important stuff and needful stuff and, whatever. Bottom line is that I found myself skulking around Staples the day before my children's first day of school, buying their school supplies.

I realize that the end result is the same... my kids went to their first day of school with all the right stuff in their backpacks. Just like everyone else. I just was way more stressed about it. Which leads me to mutter those Famous Last Words:

Next year....

Nevertheless, I was pretty proud of my grommets as they posed for their pics at the door, grown taller and tanned and looking ready for the next school years' adventure.

I'm amazed at all the changes the years have brought. It doesn't seem that long ago that each First Day would have me "recharging" Kissy Kitty with love (a cute little pendant that I hung on the Princess' backpack as she wanted to feel like I was there with her. Kissy Kitty's job was to hold all my kisses so that the Princess could go get one whenever she needed.) and talking her through what to expect that day. Now... Kissy Kitty still hangs on her backpack, which makes me smile, but it's just a cherished relic of her childhood; not something that's needed any longer. This year, as the past few have been, she ran off eager to see her friends again, happy to be in a new class and excited for the projects and things she will be learning. She is a very social, easy-going kid who is a natural match for school in many ways. Well-behaved and just "cool" enough to inspire other kids to act the same, the teachers love her to bits and she has grown an amazing amount; confident and self-assured, as a result.

The Kid has grown up so much this last year, but some things never change. The little dude hates school. Granted, proclaiming so much on the very first day is might be a little premature on his part. But it is not an easy match for him. I struggle to know what's right for him. Do I help him to persevere through something that challenges him, that pushes his boundaries by expecting a standard from him? Cause I don't see that as being all that bad. The Kid is going to have to live in a world that will expect those same things from him; and he will have to meet that challenge, or else live an isolated and perhaps unsucessful life. But, there is a part of me that wonders if he wouldn't do well in a homeschool situation. If he wouldn't flourish where he's not constantly found somewhat lacking as a person or feeling a bit out of the loop in terms of "the other kids like this or find it easy to be here, why don't I?". I sort of feel that this year will be a turning point for him -- or at least for me in helping me know what he needs. Either things will level out for him, or it will become clear that school isn't his best environment.

Whatever the case, I think that this year is going to be pretty memorable. And hopefully only in good ways!

8.24.2009

Stranger and Stranger.

Does it mean anything important when you realize something kinda weird and strange about yourself?

Cause lately I've noticed that I have this strange compulsion to do stuff while I'm brushing my teeth at night.

I think I've always been like that -- most would probably just call it multi-tasking. I straighten the bathroom, attempt to slip my headband over my head for when I wash my face later, or maybe start the shower or stop to pick at a blemish (and really, I know... Ewwwww...) or do any one of many things which are not, by definition, furthering the cause of cleaning my teeth.

On the positive side, it means that I often end up brushing my teeth for large amounts of time which would probably make my dentist smile and send me a nice, smiley note saying "Keep Up The Good Work, Flutterby". That's good, right?

On the other hand, well... I'm brushing my teeth for a long time. Nuff said.

Any of this would just be a cute little annotation to the list of Things That Make Me Speshhhal, except that I'm finding it a bit worrisome. Cause I've tried to stop it. You know, stop doing the Other Stuff and just Be One With The Brush. Focus. Stay on Task.

And I can't.

Isn't that just a bit effed up?

I sorta thought so.

8.18.2009

The One Where I'm Going Slightly Crazy With Busyness.

Yeah. I've been busy. Super, super busy and I've about had it with the busyness.

And as much as I'm sure you're all dying to hear all the mundane, ridiculous things that have been filling my days, (what? I thought you guys liked hearing that stuff!!) I'm going to skip that part lest my head blow up and splatter it's brain-ish contents all over the wall behind me.

I'm going to talk about really important stuff instead.

Derby.

Ha hahaha. Got you all there... Don't think I didn't hear that collective sigh. Don't think I didn't see you roll your eyes and make little swirly Crazy-Lady Gestures beside your head with your non-derby loving fingers.

But seriously? I do have derby stories.

*chirp chirp* *silence*

Really, readers? That's all you can give me? Crickets chirping and silence in response to the temptation of DERBY stories??? Really?

I expected more.

*sigh*

OK, the truth is, I really don't have anything to write about. But I'm feeling bad for neglecting this little blog. I'll try really, really hard to find something to write about.

Promise.

I still can't believe you didn't want to hear the derby stories.

:)

7.30.2009

It's hard to believe that summer holidays are halfway done. I had all these plans for how vacation was going to go; things to do... it was going to be the perfect balance of work and play. I was going to get up at the crack of dawn and do my daily stuff before the kiddos got up... They were going to work with me in the yard... I was going to tackle some big projects...

Right.

The truth of the matter is that some projects have been tackled, but there a couple still staring me in the face. And the whole idea of children working with me seems to be nothing more than a pipe dream. The crack of dawn bit? Forgot to take into account the fact that the kiddos are keeping pretty late bedtimes during the holidays and thus Mr. F. and I end up staying up much later, just to enjoy some peace and quiet in the house. And after only falling asleep at 2am; the crack of dawn is not seeing my face anytime soon.

Which basically means that SOMEONE has to take charge, here... and that person should likely be of an adult/parent persuasion.

***************************

Our derby scrimmage was a huge success on all accounts. We pretty much played to a capacity crowd and put on a pretty great show. The score was tied at halftime and the intensity was high! My team won, which was kinda cool. First time I got to skate the victory lap and be congratulated by the other team. I played a pretty good game, in my opinion, and learned a ton from the great girls I was playing with. Three minor penalties, but no majors -- and I didn't really even get slammed by any good hits. Which either means I'm getting good at this, or that I'm not in the action enough. Anyway, it was nice to wake up the next morning only feeling moderately sore. I've got a few bruises to show for my time and effort but nothing huge or picture worthy!

*****************************

The next few weeks are going to be busy. A fun week at the lake followed by a not-so-fun week of morning til night renovations on our rental property. A quick trip to play derby in Calgary at the Tattoo Festival and then I'm back to the rental property to finish off the final touches and do an open house. This place REALLY needs to sell. Gah!! After that I've got about a week to get the kiddos ready for school and finish off some of the projects here at home. Namely this ginormous closet organizer that I've got to assemble. It's messing with my head, all sitting there in it's poorly labeled boxes with no instructions. Taunting me with visions of sure failure and dismal assembly scenarios. I will have to find a way to conquer my fear. :)

*****************************

The Kid has taken up a new routine of reading each night before bed. I really think it's cause of the Princess' example. She absolutely loves to read and we regularly spend some special time before bed with her reading out loud to me. Well, it seems that the Kid wants to get in on some of that action, too, and I couldn't be happier.

Grade One was kind of a tough year for him; he's a classic little boy who struggled to stay put and stay quiet; the idea of buckling down and actually WORKING at something that didn't come easily was pretty foreign to him. And reading was something that didn't come easily. It's not that he didn't GET IT... he'd just rather not WORK at it. But, somehow... almost miraculously, he has now decided to nail this. And he's tackling it in a pretty big way, reading books at a grade four or five level -- which isn't something I expected at all. He struggles through them and is truly working hard to decipher and decode these words, to make sense of the punctuation and dialogue and I could not be prouder.

*****************************

All in all it's been a pretty good summer thus far. I look out my window and see actual, green, growing grass. Our fence is almost done and Mr. F. will be doing the rocked portion of the yard sometime next week while I'm working on renovating the rental. The kids are tanned and enjoying a leisurely summer at home, playing with friends and doing Summertime Kid Stuff (which was something we weren't sure would pan out when I was working full time) and we've got a week of lake time ahead; visiting with beloved family members and enjoying some relaxing sun, sand and water. Hopefully the next four weeks goes as well as the first four.

7.25.2009

Skate Hard. Turn Left.

My eyes opened this morning as this bright, shiny thought hit my brain.

DERBY TONIGHT!!

Our league has been working tirelessly to pull off an interprovincial Scrimmage tonight. Two derby games followed by a fab after-party. So many details to look after when it comes to bout production. It's like planning a wedding, only more violent.

But, we have prevailed and last nights' practice was a thing of beauty. Derby girls who had arrived in Fluttercity early swarmed the track. And the sight of that much speed, intensity and general derby awesomeness was a sight to behold, really quite awe-inspiring. The mood was high and it was a perfect intro to what I hope is a fantastic night of high adrenaline action for our fans.

The past few weeks have been a blur of activity; from completing my tasks as bout committee member and Interleague Rep, attending practices, pimping out tickets in our city's open air mall and even some arts and crafts action as I got my two scrimmage shirts painted, torn, laced, and stitched. Our bout committee was stretched thin. We are a small start-up league and this is our first really big production. We wanted to do it right, do it well, set a benchmark that other leagues can respect. I think we have done it.

Our humble warehouse has been transformed. The concrete floor that we abuse weekly is now shined and polished and looks ready to inflict some damage, itself. The track is laid and lighted and just looking at it gives me shivers!

I've never before been a part of a sport which draws an audience. But now that I am, those movie sequences where the athlete looks out over the empty field before a big game... they make a whole lot more sense. It's like the seed of something great is held in the quiet. The emptiness of the track is actually not empty, it's pregnant and alive with the energy of the collisions, the plays, the screaming and cheering, the pounding of music and yelling announcers punctuating the air with their play by play. It's like you can see with your mind's eye the swarm of your teammates on the track, can hear the smack of bodies hitting the floor -- the sharp crack of equipment and the dull thud of flesh and bone -- and the low hum and hustle of wheels flying over the concrete. You can smell the sweat and the raunchy equipment; the aroma of vendor treats and food and spilled drinks.

I've decided that I love that scene.

Tomorrow morning I will wake up and will feel like I was hit by a train. It is a full body pain that goes to your bones. It is new to me, only having played two bouts thus far, but I already know it well. It is something that your brain doesn't forget and can recall at will.

I don't look forward to it.

But I run towards those moments that will bring it. The straining and striving. Pushing my body to it's max, pulling out all the stops on my endurance level and energy. Overcoming that primal part of one's brain that screams at you to avoid the collision, to bypass the hit, to stay away from the action. Each jam is filled with personal drama. The moments fly by and it's a constant battle; plays made, opportunities grabbed, hits completed... or the sting of letting a jammer get by, missing that opening, leaving yourself vulnerable for a nasty hit. Yin and Yang. And each moment impacts you, like a little emotional explosion inside your head, propelling you to the next with either the stark resolution to never let that mistake happen again or the heady sweep of adrenaline from doing your job well.

I want to earn my pain, and know that tomorrow morning another derby girl is waking up feeling the same way, and it's cause I did my job well.

I am so proud of my derby sisters who have worked so hard to make tonight happen. We are a force to be reckoned with. We are ready to put on a show that sets a standard in our province for production benchmarks. We are ready to be rockstars.

7.24.2009

Summa-Time Fun!

Last weekend we enjoyed a sunny daytrip to visit my sis-in-law, the lovely JJ.

It was a beautiful, hot day and it didn't take long for all four kiddos to hit the pool water to cool off.

For four hours.

Such is the life of a child.



Thanks for a wonderful, relaxing time, JJ.

7.18.2009

Cheater, cheater...

It's been over a week since I last posted and I need something to get my mind in writing mode again. So, I'm cheating and stealing a meme from my lovely sis-in-law's blog.

1) What would you like written on your headstone?
Not sure if I like the idea of a headstone. I kinda want to be just plain old buried under some great big beautiful tree in the wilderness or something like that.

2) What is your dream car?

This looks like fun. I think I'd have to fight with Mr. F. for it, though.

3) Is pornography morally wrong?
Yes.

4)What is the best music video EVER????
For pure, Notebook-esque cryin' lovin' hurtin', check out Rascal Flatts,"What Hurts The Most" and for totally hilarious literal take on a classic mind-boggling video, check out "Total Eclipse of the Heart." and, last but not least, a haunting, eerie video that illustrates Live's "Lightning Crashes"

5)Do you carry a donor card? Why or why not?
Actually, I don't think I do... have no idea why.

6)What color do you prefer your pens to write in?
Black!

7)Are babies cute?
Of course they are, but I personally think that puppies are the cutest of all infant creation.

8)Do you subscribe to a magazine? Which one?
No. I would subscribe to National Geographic if I were to do that kind of thing, though. Or Popular Mechanics. (What? I read it for the articles.)

9)What was the last thing you used a microwave for?
I thawed out a brownie for the Kid. It was lunch. Saturday's rule.

10)What book are you reading?
Just finished reading "Pretties" before I let the Princess read it. Just wanted to be kinda in the know about what things we should discuss or maybe edit.

11)Cite a song lyric that means something to you.
Be my friend
Hold me, wrap me up
Unfold me
I am small
and needy
Warm me up
And breathe me
-- Sia, "Breathe Me"

12)Tell me a joke
What did the hot dog say when it won the race? "I'm the Wiener!!!"

13)Who should play James Bond?
Maybe rugged French-Canadian actor Roy Dupuis.


14)Write a Haiku Poem (3 lines, 5-7-5 syllables)
What is a haiku?
My brain doesn't work like that,
Paring down my words.

15)What's the oldest thing you own?
An antique silver and jade bracelet.

7.06.2009

Stuff.

Today was the Princess' 11th birthday. I had considered doing an all-Princess post today in honor of it, but my Parental Fairness Alert reminded me that I was unable to do the same for the Kid's birthday as we were out of town for it. Thusly... I probably shouldn't do for one what I didn't do for the other.

Oi, the guilt...


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I will say, however, how blessed I am to have both my kiddos be such amazing lil treasures. Daily they surprise and bless me with their humor and uniqueness and perspective on life and the world.


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Friday I decided that the Kid needed a haircut badly. He is famous for seemingly sprouting hair overnight, so that his hair looks passable -- even good -- until the morning he wakes up and it looks like a shaggy blond hedgehog has possessed his skull. Bolstered by the advice of a good friend and mother ("it's so easy..."), I decided to take matters into my own hands. The Kid was game, if only a little wary... and the clippers made their first slip through the hair by his left ear.

I don't know if he moved, or if I just plain old did it wrong but I could immediately tell it wasn't turning out so well. A tentative second attempt confirmed that I should probably just Put Down The Clippers and let the professionals finish things up.

I should mention at this point that the Kid has pretty much the full side quarter of his lil head buzzed, and this after he straight out told me he did not want a buzz-cut.

Good work, Mom.

Seriously? The hardest thing was holding back the giggles as I looked at his mangled hairline and trusting face while trying to make up some excuse (so as not to worry him -- the Kid is a teeny bit shy and prideful about his boyish appearance...) as to why Mommy was not going to finish and we were going to go see Bobbi-Jo The Hairstylist the next day.

Turns out Bobbi-Jo The Hairstylist had the weekend off and I had to phone over six salons before finding an opening somewhere. Thankfully, all was salvaged and the Kid is looking his usual dashing self. However, I was treated to a full day and a half of looking at that partial buzz-line and I can't tell you how entertaining that was.


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Line Of The Day Award goes to the polite hairstylist who looked him over and inquired, "So... *pause. blink* ...What look were we going for here?" Bwaaha haa haaa ha!!!


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My derby name has finally been approved, which thrills me to no end. No really... every time I think of it? Little chills. Sweet, little derby chills. It's probably the closest I'll ever get to having my name up in lights. I mean, the sensible part of my brain totally realizes that it's not even my Real Name and there are no lights involved at all, really, and it's actually not close to that at all if one really thinks about it. But, there's the other part of me that is truly excited and actually honored to see my derby name published amongst some of the greats... the all-stars... the NAMES, you know? So, go check it out, here, if you like. I'm about halfway down the list, swimming along with the deluge of other "Kitty"-type names.


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Tomorrow morning I'm off to my parents' cabin for a few days and then to visit my in-laws at their cabin for the weekend. I know... lucky, lucky girl. :)


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"Houston, we have grass."

Yep. Turf was delivered and conquered and is now being watered obsessively. And it looks soooooooo nice. After two years of looking at dirt and mud in the yard... and two DOG years of looking at it being tracked into my house; grass is looking much like Heaven should.

Forget the streets of gold. Bring me Fescue.


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You know when there's just something about a song? Yeah. For some reason this one is makin me rock, lately. Horns up, Journey. Really. Really? Journey. Huh.

Song starts about 2 mins in.

7.03.2009

Fond Memories of Sabbath-Past

Lately I find my mind tripping over remembrances of the many Friday nights spent observing and celebrating Shabbat in the last years.

As this year has run by at break-neck speed, I'm sad to say that our tradition has slipped by the wayside for the most part. I find myself more than a little bit homesick for some of those staid, peaceful moments and traditions that marked a space that I tried valiantly to set apart as an island of time in the week.

I was a Mom at home with my kiddos those years and often based my schedule for the week around preparing our home for sabbath. Monday - Wednesday were rather Normal days for the most part -- just doing the regular, daily stuff a house and children require. Thursday morning was different, though. After getting the Princess off on the bus, the little toddling Kid and I would crank up some music on the stereo (Travis Tritt if he got his way... silly Kid) and he would be my cleaning buddy. Well, he'd try for a while.

Some days it worked great and I cherish those memories of his chubby little hands rinsing dishes and setting them on the drainboard for me or following me with the duster in hand. He LOVED to vacuum (a love which has sadly diminished over time... *sigh*) and would come running when I started the old Filter Queen up, if only to turn it off so he could press the button again. And again, and again.

Other days it didn't work so well, but I've worked really, really hard and spent a lot of money in therapy to forget those ones. :D

It was a full day of cleaning and running laundry and changing linens and airing out the house and I loved sitting down in the evening after a shower with a Pepsi in hand and kids in bed. (Which is absolutely a secret of womanly contentment... a few hours where the house will not be destroyed as quickly as one tries to rescue it.)

Friday was a bit more laid back if I had done my job properly the day before. But this is Real Life and this is Flutterby we're talking about, so there was usually always a job or two from the previous day's To Do list that got pushed over.

I always tried to plan something a bit more special for supper that night, and usually made someone's favorite dessert (hats off to all you moms who make dessert every night -- I'm just not that committed). I was also attending a fellowship where potluck dinners were a weekly occurrence... (yummm!) but this also meant prepping a main course and either dessert or salad to bring the next morning. Add to that baking two loaves of fresh Challah bread -- a traditional egg bread that is likely the most awesome bread you will EVER, EVER have, I swear it -- Friday was pretty much dedicated to the grocery store and the kitchen and trying to keep the kids (well, mostly just THE KID) from tearing apart all my housework efforts from the day before.

And, if all went well, Mr. F came home from work to a table set with our best dishes and my Grandma's heirloom glass candlesticks, wineglasses and some relaxing music playing. The kids were bathed and I hopefully had managed to be somewhat presentable.

Traditional prayers were shared and the Princess' little voice added to mine in the Hebrew blessing over the lighting of the candles. Ancient blessings were spoken over the children and over both Mr. F. and I and we were reminded of the Sacred in a very powerful and poignant way as we marked the beginning of a day "set apart"; and there was evening and there was morning...

If all hadn't gone well... let's just say the picture was less than perfect and there may or may not have been quiet tears of desperation falling from my eyes during the prayers while the Kid hollered and banged his cutlery and the Princess whined about how hungry she was.

Equally as important a tradition was the apres-supper viewing of America's Funniest Home Videos after supper. I'd finish dishes as the beginning credits ran and the kids would hop around the living room, mimicking all the bad falls and spills from the show. To this day, I still totally heart that show.

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All these memories have been on my mind lately. I'm not sure if it's cause my babies are all grown up now, and how I sometimes long for those days of chubby fingers and moments spent reading stories on the couch with a little round head tucked under my chin. Or maybe cause I'm dissatisfied with my harried schedule this past year since starting work during the day, feeling that there's not enough time to tend to things like I'd like to. Or perhaps I'm missing that touch of the Sacred in my week. In the scope of all things, I'm not sure just how important it was/is to say those certain words at those certain times or observe certain traditions; but I know how they made me very conscious of a specific rhythm in life. A rhythm not determined by what I wanted to do or how I wanted to spend my time; but one determined by a particular understanding of how, perhaps, God wanted things ordered. And I can't help but think that that was a good thing.

A good thing that I kind of miss.

7.01.2009

Just Some Of The Reasons...

I Love Canada (adapted from The Vancouver Sun)

The toque. For inventing hat hair, Canuck-style.

Tim Hortons. For brewing coffee that tastes as good as it smells. And for chocolate sour cream Timbits.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Because he could do handsprings, and drove a gull-wing Mercedes roadster. Because he made us think about what our country means to us.

Polar bears. Big, white, beautiful.

The anti-gun rack. In which our pickup trucks carry umbrellas, not automatic weapons.

McIntosh apple. That sweet crunch was brought to you by Ontario's Johnny (Appleseed) McIntosh, in 1796.

Wayne Gretzky. You don't have to be a hockey fan to call the pride of Brantford a great athlete, and one classy guy.

Salmon. Our iconic survivor.

Greenpeace. For raising global environmental consciousness, and for saving whales.

Perogies. Smothered with butter, fried onions and sour cream. Thank you, old country.

Snow. Because we can't control it. And can't stop talking about it.

The Maple Leaf. Our flag, bold and graphically spare, makes the heart swell.

Beer. There are just some things we do better.

In Flanders Fields. The heartrending poppy poem was penned in 1915 by Ontario surgeon John McCrae, on the battlefield of Ypres.

Red serge. Our cops, from the musical ride to that sexy uniform, are standouts.

Narwhal. Think about it. A unicorn. In the ocean. Awesome.

Prairie wheat. The staff of life. Picturesque cash crop. For miles and miles.

Maple syrup. Without which pancakes would just be a stack of fried flour.

Rideau Canal. Ice, skates, twinkle lights, hot chocolate. Norman Rockwell lives.

Anne of Green Gables. A multimillion-dollar industry, but still our pig-tailed P.E.I. scamp.

Robert Munsch. We love him, and his children's books, forever.

Bushes and boulders. Deserts, glaciers, sea shores, tropical forests, rivers, mountains, lakes, plains. Talk about having it all under one roof.

Manners. Some call us conservative. We call us polite.

Terry Fox. For still giving cancer a run for the money, 25 years on.

Water. We have it. Crisp, clean, cold. Lots of it.

32 Million. Because we could all move to California, and there'd still be room to roam.

Niagara Falls. Spectacular doesn't begin to describe them.

Poutine. French junk food. The real reason we put up with Quebec's familial hissy fits.

Sandra Schmirler. Pride of Saskatchewan, she'll always be our curling Queen of Hearts.

Kurt Browning. Magic on ice, part two.

Trivial Pursuit. In which two Canadian journalists turn question-asking into early retirement.

Leonard Cohen. For having a way with words, and lyrics. For Suzanne.

Michael J. Fox. Dignity in the face of debilitation.

Lynn Johnston. For turning an ordinary Canadian family, for better or for worse, into a world-famous cartoon.

William Shatner. Earth to Captain Kirk: you rock our world.

Eh. Say it loud. Say it proud.

Pysanka. Vegreville's giant roadside Ukrainian Easter egg, proof positive that we have a sense of humour.

Toronto Blue Jays. For putting world in the World Series.

The border. An 8,891-kilometre room divider.

Lake of the Woods. 14,542 islands, 65,000 miles of shoreline. Now that's cottage country.

Mike Holmes: For those biceps and for teaching us the meaning of home renovation caveat emptor.

The Friendly Giant. Before Bert and Ernie, there was Jerome and Rusty and that little chair to rock in.

Grizzly bear. Big, brown and beautiful.

Farley Mowat. The Dog Who Wouldn't Be. Never Cry Wolf. The Boat Who Wouldn't Float. A Whale For The Killing. 'Nuff said.

The Rockies. Because every country needs a backbone.

Bob and Doug McKenzie. For making hosers, and the Great White North, totally hip.

Steve Nash. Here's to the little guy who made it in the basketball bigs.

David Foster. The master musician and pop producer is there for our sick kids.

Winnipeg. Mosquitoes, wind, sub-zero winters and pancake horizon, yet 700,000 of us seem to like it.

Barenaked Ladies. If we had a million dollars, we'd send them a thank-you note just for being sassy.

Shania Twain. Country siren in a leopard coat.

Canadian brain: From plastic garbage bags to goalie masks, from basketball to the Jolly Jumper, we have given the world more than one million inventions.

Blue $5, purple $10. No monochromatic greenbacks for us. Our money is funny.

Sturgeon. That last of the living dinosaurs.

Four Seasons. From sea to shining sea, a lovely ever-changing national mood swing.

Democracy. One free vote. Priceless.

Beaver. Because, as a national symbol, the eagle is just so obvious.

Canadarm. Twenty-five years ago, on the space shuttle, we reached out and touched the world.

Moose. Improbable forest titan. With quite the rack.

Zed. Because we're alphabet purists, and Zee just won't do.

Highway signs. Green and white and read all over. Easily.

Donovan Bailey. 1996 Olympics. 100 metres. 9.84 seconds. Faster than wind.

Alanis Morissette. Her 30 million Jagged Little Pills proved there's no fury like a pop singer scorned.

Louis Riel. Because every nation needs a rebel with a cause.

Roberta Bondar. For going where no Canadian girl had gone before -- into space.

Jim Carrey. Mike Myers. Must be something in the water, because we breed the funniest comedians. Ever.

Canada. It's easy to spell. It means village. What's not to like?

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Happy Canada Day to all my Canuck readers. Now, off to the fireworks!

6.26.2009

R.I.P. Hammy

It is with great sadness I report the sudden passing of Snuggles, the Flutterhouse hamster. His time with us was short but memorable and we are shaken by the events of yesterday morning.

There were no signs to preclude his demise, just the discovery of his cold, stiff furry rodent body at the bottom of his cage yesterday morning.

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Honestly, I am pretty rocked by this... it really bothered me to see our hammy's obviously dead body when he was so, well, Normal just the night before. The grommets were pretty upset and distraught. We spent the day planning the funeral and choosing the "plot" to bury our little rodent friend. He was laid to rest in an Oil of Olay Facial Cleansing Cloth box which (mostly) fit him and atop his grave sits a little white cross with his name on it. There were speeches and even a song (Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"... compliments of the Princess); all in all, a farewell befitting the sweet little guy that he was.

He loved climbing over me and the Princess when we watched TV and especially enjoyed the little veggie tidbits he'd get every day. He was constantly adjusting his habitat, moving fluff and litter from one area to the other and had finally started using the dedicated "poop den" like a smart little hammy.

I don't have very many pics of our hammy, I was actually thinking just a few days ago that I should try and take some ones that aren't blurry. I guess that won't happen now.

This is what a curious hammy looks like when someone sticks a camera in his face.



Goodbye little Hammy, you will be missed.

6.24.2009

Classic.

Sorry for the two song posts in a row. But there's just nothing more appropriate than a little Alice Cooper at this particular juncture.

Party on, good people.

6.15.2009

SUMMATIME!!!



Spent the day at work outside, enjoying the 30 degree heat, the sun on my skin and the humid air. So glad that SUMMER finally decided to appear. YEAH!!!!

Now just for some time off to enjoy it in.

Oh, wait... I GOT THAT TOO!!!

Can you see my grin from There?? Thought so.

6.13.2009

Awesome To The Power of Sick.

Our derby league played a short scrimmage last night. It was just part of a steak night fundraiser our league was putting on; we broke into two bare-bones teams (one line and one extra jammer each -- we need more girls... send us MORE GIRLS!!) and played 30 minutes of the funnest, wildest game I've ever been a part of. The crowd LOVED us and had a great time and no question... I had a great time, too.

Some highlights:

- Wow. How nice to just be plain old Excited for a game and not feeling like barfing or peeing like before our last bout.

- Our team pulled together an awesome, showy bout production in seriously Record time. Great announcer, terrific music and sound system, lights, scoreboard... the whole nine yards.

- Playing every jam -- priceless experience.

- Facing down some of the big hitters and holding ground. Suh-weet!! And... taking some the hard way and kissing the floor.

- Getting my biggest derby rink rash to date. Six inches of angry red scab centered in a lovely dark purple bruise on my left thigh, compliments of Anna Filactic and the track boundary rope. (it's taped to the floor along the edge of the track. I neatly baseball-slid over top.)

- Having Mr. F. there to be a part of the ref team. He called all three of my minors. *grrrrr*

- Having Mr. F have fun being a part of the ref team! Yay! Derby is now not just My Thing.

- Jamming a full two minute jam against one of our team's accomplished jammers and going point for point with her.

- Hearing people cheering "GO Kitty!" during said jam. Very cool, rockstar moment. Fun.

- Hearing the crowd love the hits, the spills and the showboating. It was fun to Perform and feel that kind of energy directed at the game.

- Steak is totally THE BEST FOOD EVER CREATED TO EAT AFTER A DERBY BOUT. Nuff said.

- Ice cold beer is a close second.

- Loving my derby sistas. No matter how different we all are, they are some pretty rank, fun and caring girls and I'm glad to know each one.

- Waking up and feeling like a Mack Truck hit me the night before. Bruises on both legs, one butt cheek, hipbone and both arms. Knowing that someone else is feeling it that morning, too and it's because I did my job.

Life... is good.

Really don't have much more to say than that. Been feeling very blessed and lucky lately and enjoying this ride. I feel Well... Content... Whole.

And that is something I will never take for granted.

6.06.2009

Where Does She Come From?

Scene: The Princess is reading Tuck Everlasting to me. We are in the middle of the book, thoroughly caught up in suspense and fascinated with the idea of immortality.

Princess: So, Mom... what would you do if you could drink that water and live forever?

Me: I really don't know, Princess. It would be pretty tempting I guess, but I don't think it would be something I could decide right away. I'd need to think on it.

Princess: Yeah, I don't think I would know what to do either. *thoughtful pause* I think I'd probably have to draw a Venn Diagram...

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Sometimes she blows my mind with this stuff. I really don't think I even knew what a Venn Diagram was until I was much older. (errr... possibly even well into adulthood. Not that I hadn't seen them... just didn't know that they had a name and purpose.)

I love my Princess.

6.01.2009

What's For Dinner?

Ummm... do I smell roasted derby girl? Yes... apparently our sweet lil behinds were on the bout menu -- we were neatly slaughtered and served for dinner last Saturday night -- it was an upset of grand proportions.

Final Score? 174 - 78

We lost by 100 points to the other team.

Sucks to be US.

There were some issues with the reffing that were regrettable and a few other things that could have made the score more respectable and the game less frustrating. Regardless, we would have lost. They are a more experienced team and have been skating longer and frankly, the played Better than we did. I have no problem giving them that.

I will, however, say that our half-time locker room was something straight out of Reality TV. Our tailgunner was barfing in the stall, an EMT was tending to a downed and semi-conscious player (heat stroke) and about half the girls were laying on the cold concrete floor cause it was so crazy hot and stuffy in the venue.

We came back with a much stronger second half and I think we won the respect of the crowd, despite being thoroughly pounded. During one of our MANY penalty calls (the reffing was questionable at times...) someone from the crowd yelled, "It's not a penalty to be from (Fluttercity)!!!" Thank you Random Fan.

It was a great and humbling learning experience and I think our team will be better for it. I, for one, loved every minute. It was by far the single most Rockstar thing I have ever done in my life and I can't wait to get back on the track and do it again. Hopefully do it better, though.

One of my favorite pics from after the bout. I'm sweaty and stinky and all kinds of rank, bad-ass derby girl.
Getting up close and personal with the floor -- one of many times that night.
Gave chase to their jammer, couldn't get a solid hit and had to pull back after 20 ft. hence the wide, snowplow stance.
Team photo. Hijacked from facebook... sorry so small.