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...


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.


Skate Hard. Turn Left.

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


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.


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.


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?

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?

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.



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...


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.


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.


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!!!


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.


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. :)


"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.


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.


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.

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.


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?

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