Holiday Sadness

In general, my holiday time with family was a pretty wonderful time.  Lots of fun and food and laughing until we fell over and couldn't laugh any more.  (thank you old home videos!)  We will be adding three new family members to our numbers this summer when my brother remarries and it was a special time of getting to know my two new nieces-to-be and a new sis-in-law a bit better as well.

However, my heart still touches a sad note.  My last remaining grandparent; my maternal Grandma, is declining both in body and mind.  Her last hours at our gathering were spent in a fog of delusion.

I have to admit that I wish there was a better way to exit this world.  It seems to hold nothing but pain and heaviness of heart and tragedy for many.  I would want better for my Grandma than what life is holding for her at this point. 

I guess that the lesson is to cherish the "living years", make the most of the time you have... the Princess asked me a rather simple but deep question when we were watching those home videos I posted about earlier.  There was more to it; but the gist of what she was asking was, "If the Young You could see the Now You (thank you, Princess, for not saying "Old You"...lol) what would she think or say? 


Memory Lane

I spent a couple evenings over the holidays digging through some old family videos.  While I'm pretty sure that there are a number of embarrassing moments recorded that I would NOT want leaked out into the InterWeb, the whole experience of looking back over fun events and moments like that was something to be cherished.

Being able to see the faces and hear the voices of relatives who have passed on touched me deeply.  It was so special to catch a moment here and there that was entirely "them" altogether... My Grandpa laying on the living room floor after a big meal as he would often do.  My Grandma sitting on the beach conducting an experiment to see what would attract or repel the horseflies.  She had applied cologne and vinegar and something else on different bits of skin and was observing the results.  My uncle's deep raspy voice, so much a younger version of my Grandpa.  My other Grandpa's camera-side observations of his grandchildren waterskiing.

And the fashion -- or lack of it -- in that time.  Good grief.  The Princess had a good laugh or two over what her mother and uncle were wearing.  She was riveted to some footage of my old youth group house parties, seeing her mama at her own age and all of the crazy fun we had.  And was maybe a little scandalized seeing one of my best friends -- a woman she now calls "aunty" -- playing her turns a little too temptingly at "Darling if You Love Me".  Oh yes, it was all caught on video!  All in good fun!  I think The Kid tripped out the most, realizing that I had a "whole life" before any of them came along.  Imagine that!!

Myself, I loved seeing all the faces of people who were once such a big part of my life and reliving some great family times and special moments with special people.  Seeing my old youth group friends made me think that organizing a reunion was in order.  Might just have to get on that. 

And I have to admit that I was made a little sad by the fact that my own family doesn't have a lot of video records.  I don't know exactly why -- maybe it's because the technology was so new at the time that we seemed to be excited to pull out the old camera and record stuff; whereas now we just take it for granted and forget that it's as handy as the push of a cell phone button.  Whatever the reason, I vowed to start getting some great footage of the years to come so that my kids have memories to look back on, as well. 


Steps to Follow In Case of Piercing Stupidity.

1)  Discover you are a special little snowflake that is allergic to surgical steel.  Seriously, you guys... no one is supposed to be allergic to this stuff.  Well, very few people anyhow.  Color me Lucky.

2)  Have friend help change out said steel jewelery for a lovely Bio-Plast piece. But wait!  Grrrr.... arghh!  It is a bit too long. 

3)  Wear long piece until it drives you crazy with the hooking on your teeth and getting caught on facecloths and clothing and stuff.

4)  On the advice of other experienced people, decide to simply cut down the plastic post to a shorter length.

5)  Not on anyone's advice, attempt this lovely end run maneuver just 90 minutes before you are scheduled to arrive at a year end staff dinner.

6)  Here ensues a drama of hilarious proportions involving a struggle between longish gel nails and an ittybitty post pin and a stud of now shortish proportions.  This involves a lot of dropping, resterilizing, muttering, assistance from the Princess and, ultimately, surrender.  The stupid thing just isn't going to work.

7) Call friend in panic.

8) Drive across town at late shopping hour to find one remaining store in order to purchase new jewlery.

9) Do this while holding the smallish stud in place against my lip with my tongue.  I looked amazing, I can assure you.  There was tongue strain and stress.  And maybe just a little drooling.

10) Purchase cheap-o jewelery at popular accessory store and run over to friends house.  Gel nails are not trusted to handle post pins any longer at this short hour... just 30 mins until dinner.

11)  Tongue can rest!  Stud in place.

12)  Stud hurts like a mutha.  It is cheap.  The inner edge is sharp and jagged plastic.

13) *insert impromptu holiday travel here* 4 hours later realize that this is no longer an issue of pain tolerance or toughing it out... this thing has shredded your inner lip and must be removed.

14) Scour small hometown on Christmas Eve for just ONE LITTLE PLACE that might have something that will work for you.

15) EUREKA!!  Bliss.  All is well with the world.

I will just say that I'm thankful the inside of the mouth is one of the fastest healing parts of the body, cause it was brutal for a day or two.  And, on the plus side, I have now changed this jewelry out myself and didn't get squicky about it.  The past two times, my dear friend has assisted because, well... because I was afraid I couldn't do it on my own.  (yeah, yeah... keep your snickers to yourselves, peanut gallery)  But now, I know I'm good to go.

I also now have extra jewelry of the right length and size in case something ever happens to the ones I'm wearing.  And I'm pretty solid on the fact that I won't be trying to change something just minutes before an event. 

Lesson learned.


Shaun T Owes Me Supper

Maybe it's because I wasn't feeling too hot to start with.

Or maybe it's because I put too much hot sauce on my pre-workout eggs. (I know it sounds sick. But you guys. It's been my pre-workout go-to meal for ages.)

Whatever the reason, Thursday night's Insanity plyo cardio circuit sent me running up the stairs only to have the pleasure of seeing eggs again.

****** side note ******
This is exactly why I choose eggs. Outside of being nature's perfect little packages of complete protein... They look about the same coming up as they do going down. Eggs or oatmeal, baby. The only pre-workout meals for this girl!!
****** end note ******

I composed myself and got back downstairs in time to catch the next circuit round. And I actually felt much better the rest of the workout. I like to think that Shaun T would approve. And possibly offer to buy me a replacement meal...



Very proud of my Princess. She had an outstanding vocal performance at her recital last night.

While I think her voice is ever so lovely, I must say that I'm most proud of how she's really been putting her effort and time into these lessons and practicing. And it thrills me to see how she enjoys performing. She is very composed and in the moment; something I cannot relate to ever feeling or being at that age.


'Merica, control your guns!!

In the days since the tragic school shooting, I have seen this sentiment quite often on Facebook and the like. And I suppose that's natural, living as I do in a country that "controls" weapons. Add to this the fact that Canada has not seen as many incidents of mass murder and people are likely to draw the conclusion that controlling guns equals controlling violence.

I'm not sure I agree completely with that -- although gun control does make it harder for the impulsive and/or mentally compromised violent offender to get their hands on a weapon. At least, that is the idea. The fact is that the criminal element is not known for obeying laws (not to overstate the obvious) and as such, any laws of gun control are not going to stop a suitably motivated person from acquiring a gun for illegal or violent purposes if that's what they want.

I digress.

I think the real shame in this situation (or any one of mass violence, for that matter) is that there weren't MORE guns in that school. That is the one thing that could have stopped that tragedy in its tracks -- For just one person to have a CCW permit and a weapon in hand to double tap that sorry piece of crap child murderer where he stood.

In fact... Wouldn't any potential mass murderers think twice about targeting a school if they knew that even half of the teachers were carrying a concealed weapon?

Just a thought.


So You Had A Bad Day...

The kid about gave me a heart attack today. I picked him up at lunch and he climbed into the car, struggling for breath and feeling like his throat was closing. I tried my best to calm him down as I more or less raced through lunch rush hour traffic to get to the hospital ER.

Our experience was good so far as ER experiences go; the Kid's oxygen sat levels were low so they seated us right by triage and where he could be in line of sight in case his breathing worsened. He was really very calm throughout and I was thankful for that -- I'm sure it felt awful.

Still, even with his fairly serious symptoms, it took two hours for us to get to an exam room and then another 40 mins for the ER doctor to see him. By this time he was recovering. There were thankfully no signs of any kind of allergic reaction or anaphylactic shock. But there were also no answers as to why this happened. The docs immediate suggestion was perhaps a panic attack, but the Kid was in the middle of having fun and playing with friends when this happened. And he was calm even when he was having trouble breathing. I'm not sure that's it.

My mom mentioned that tachycardia runs in the family on her side -- the Kid's symptoms right away resonated with her experiences. So, I think that will be our next thing to check out.

I sure don't want to have to do another trip to the ER like today's. Way too stressful for this Mama's heart.


I am behind already in my quest to reach 300. But there's lots of exciting stuff to talk about so I will be back soon with more better stuff.


Fruit Salad 101

Yesterday I posted a little tidbit from Way Back and out of context it maybe is a bit nonsensical.

Context, anyone?  Giggly 12 or 13yr old girl sleepover talk.  This little fruity rubric was a generalization of the different types or categories of kisses.  The shape of your mouth and involvement of your tongue was a clue to each one.

Peaches.  Little friendly peck kisses.  Family kisses.  Affectionate kiss on the forehead kisses.

Prunes.  Soft lip kisses, sweet and full.

Plums.  Open mouth, maybe a little tongue.

Alfalfa.  OK, so it's not a fruit.  But saying the word would dissolve us in giggles all the same.

Go ahead.  Try it.  ;)


Of Fruit and Remembrance...

A silly little thing popped into my thoughts the other day from the Days of Young Flutterby. Anyone else remember this:

Peaches. Prunes. Plums. Alfalfa.

Yummy. ;)


Instant Awesome.

This one little iPhone app is rocking my world at the moment.  It is basically an endless list of FREE playlists of music from every genre and time, sorted and searchable according to themes, genres, decades, activities (ie: Energy Boost, A Weekday Dance Party, etc.).

It is getting me through my workouts (courtesy of Massive Pop Hits, The Remixes), gives me my regular dose of 80s Love Ballads, HairParty and One-Hit Wonders.  Creates my soothing yoga background (thank you, Temperate Ocean Sounds playlist) and is currently throwing some lovely Hanukkah music my way. 

Huzzah for Songza!

I will just mention that Hanukkah songs as a genre are as varied as you can imagine.  So many are full of that noted wry, sardonic, self-deprecating humor that the Jewish culture is known for and the list of celebrity Jews is a long one; I never fail to be surprised to see what band or singer/songwriter has a Hanukkah song or album in their discography.

You'll find a large category of song parodies (ie: My Menorah sung to the tune of My Sharona) and this one is one of my favorites... kinda dig the acapella, these guys are really good!

And of course there are a number of sweet, sentimental and thoughtful songs like this one:
Hanukkah Blessings - Barenaked Ladies from Tom Edwards on Vimeo.

I saved this one for last; an 800 year old hymn that has survived the hazards of time and history.  Marc Cohn renders it in a way that leaves me a little speechless and solemn.  Touching and spiritual and profound.



I happened to notice that I am just 15 posts away from hitting 300 posts on this blog. I have this crazy idea that if I post just about every day between now and the end of the year, I will hit 300 by New Years Eve. Hmmmmmm... Readers be warned.

Offspring Moments.

Just a few things that warmed my heart around the Flutterbyhouse lately:

This morning, as I was putting the finishing touches on my hair for the day, the Princess walks into the bathroom and hugs me from behind, saying, "I love you, Mom. Don't ever die." Which of course was prompted by a nightmare she had the night before. But still sweet. Until I realize that she was dreaming about me dying. Creepy.

The Kid is starting to love to sing and it is straight up adorable. His favorite thing is to bring the laptop into his room to play Minecraft and blast some music that he'll sing along with. I think that because it's so loud in his own room, he assumes that we can't hear him sing. We can. It's cute. His voice is kinda warbly and young and he's in there giving it his all. I love it.

Seeing my kiddos get along so well. This week they each remembered on their own that they wanted to buy a gift for the other for Chanukkah. I hope that they will always remain close like this.

The Kid has lost so many teeth in the past 4-6 weeks. He looks like a little chipmunk, all toothy up front and then spaces on the sides. I love his grin, it makes me smile.

Thankful for my little traditions with my kiddos. Glad that my boy still wants me to come tuck him in and pray with him. And for mani/pedi nights with my Princess. Watching Merlin with the Kid, while he tries to make sure that his mama is up to speed with the plot. And cringing all through The Walking Dead with the Princess. (post to come on that nasty little parenting decision, all my own fault)

The Kid's Minecraft creations. I get regular tours of all he's built and I never fail to be astounded at his creativity and ability to take these ideas from his head and bring them to "life" in this weird little world. It never fails to make me glad that I took a few minutes away from what I was doing to come take a look.

The Princess and all the fun friends she brings into our home. I enjoy them all and this is kinda a fun stage of parenting to relate on this different level with your child and her friends. We have a girls weekend planned in May and I'm really looking forward to it.

My kids. I love'em.


Family Transport Specialist

Who knew that when you take one vehicle away from a two-vehicle family "fleet" that whole systems of family flow and time management would come to a crashing halt? Me. Actually, I knew that. Still, I was not prepared for just how much extra planning and juggling and criss-crossing of pathways and trading of vehicle rights would mess with my, shall we say, inner balance. Yeah, I'm a little stabby about this. Most days have me running the kids to school and Mr.F to work (45 mins round trip) and then I have use of the vehicle to do all the errands and chasing kiddos around to their involvements that I need to do. And then I get to run over and pick up Mr. F at the end of his day. However, should Mr.F be in need of his vehicle, we are adding at least one more 45 minute foray through the city to facilitate... and on occasion, there has been two such trips and I have wanted to rip the skin from my face in frustration. My personal record was six hours spent behind the wheel on one particularly icy day. So not impressed. Thankfully, these one-vehicle days are coming to an end. My beloved "Rocket" (rest her soul) is being written off by our insurance company. Today I finalized everything for my new ride. Hopefully on Friday I will be sitting behind the wheel of my very own non-moose-molested vehicle.


Good Lordy, Go Easy On My Heart.

First off, I have to wish all my American friends a Happy Thanksgiving weekend.  :)

Next, I have to share that I am thankful for Sirius' The Highway's Thankgiving feature.  A full weekend of Jason Aldean and his song picks.  There seems to be an extra awesome percentage of Southern boys featured and...

*phew*  I might need to catch my breath.

I am digging these boys like a dog digs holes.  Who knew I was such a sucker for the dirty, dirty South?


Houston, We Have a Moose.

Traveling home on the highway last night, the kids and I had a very close call.  A moose ambled up from the meridian and crossed in front of us.  Thankfully, I was given time enough to brake hard and get my speed down, which made the moment he changed his direction in front of me one of much less impact than most wildlife collisions.  Especially moose/vehicle collisions. 

I feel it to be a merciful act of miraculous proportions that my kids were not harmed even a bit.  And that I have only the most mundane variety of stiff/sore muscles and a couple small scrapes... I am feeling very lucky, indeed. 

Sadly, the moose wasn't so lucky.  He weaved around and collapsed in the ditch about 15 yards away.  The officers responding to the call had to end his misery. 

The moose was one of the largest things I have seen.  Collapsed on the snow, he looked like a small car.  Last night, in between reliving all the moments of the impact and imagining all the worse possible outcomes (why, brain, why?  Why do you do this to me?), I felt sick thinking about how a beautiful creature came to such an awful end. 

On the other hand, he almost killed us, so there's that to consider. 

I have a feeling that my Rocket might be an insurance write off and I'm not pleased about that. But all of that is nothing compared to knowing that my kids are alright.  I don't know how I could handle it had they been hurt.

May it be Your will, Lord my God, to lead me on the way of peace and guide and direct my steps in peace, so that You will bring me happily to my destination, safe and sound. Save me from danger on the way. Give me good grace, kindness and favor in both Your eyes and in the eyes of all whom I may meet. Hear this my prayer, for you are a God who hears to the heart's supplication and communion. Blessed are You, Lord our God, who hears prayer.


Oh, His Papa Would Be Proud.

So, today I'm driving with the Kid in the car; chit chatting and enjoying some time with just my boy as we drop him back to school after lunch break.  Out of the blue he comments:

Kid:  You know, I like rock and roll and everything but --

me:  (encouraging) mmhmmm...

Kid:  I think that my favorite music is Country.

Me:  It's one of my favorites too, it reminds me of back home and Gramma and Papa

Kid:  Yeah, and I sort of think that's what Heaven is gonna sound like.  Like, I don't know for sure, but it sounds like it could be. 

Man, I love this kid. I couldn't help but think back to my two-year old whiz kid getting into the stereo all the time and changing out my CD to put in his favorite one:  Travis Tritt's "Down the Road I Go".  I don't know what it was about that album, but the Kid would want to listen to it constantly.  A couple songs, though, were his absolute favorite and he would click the back button relentlessly to listen to them over and over. And sing.  Would he ever give it his all, singing in that awesome little kid way where they sing out all their own made-up words and throw in the main ones that they can copy.  And so, in honor of my very little baby boy with the discerning musical tastes, stubborn, obsessive nature and incredible aptitude for figuring out how to operate our household electronics, I will share some of his favorites and take a little mama-journey down memory lane while I listen. 

Just a Little Drama at Ye Olde Tattoo Shop...

Went back to get my piercing changed out to a smaller piece of jewelry today.  Some highlights.

Oh hai.  I forgot how cute you were, Mr. Piercer. Sure, I will lay down right here for you.  Sure, I will open my mouth.

(geez... this sounds bad.)  Moving on.

Old piercing is removed and I don't feel a thing, which is awesome.  So awesome.  Cause I was honestly a little bit worried about how it would feel.  I feel I can admit this to you all, seeing how I've come clean about my Giant Inner Wuss.  Big silent sigh of relief.  It would have been an actual sigh, but his hands are now messing with my lip and...


I was not prepared for that.  See, the post starts out nicely in this freshly made little hole, but halfway through, it needs help finding the other side.  Apparently, Mr. Piercer is not a proponent of the Steady, Gentle and Slow method of stud placement.  It appears he's rather fond of the SMUSH THE RAW FLESH OVER THE STUD UNTIL IT CRAMS IT'S WAY THROUGH method.  Which is fine -- Really.  I don't mind.  Sure, it only hurt as badly as getting it pierced in the first place.  And we all know I handled THAT experience so well. 

Yes, the pain was surprising.  I was not super happy with this guy.  The thought crosses my mind that he's not even that good looking in the first place.  Really.  I don't know what I was thinking.  The moment of surprise passes and I do a quick mental inventory.  Consciousness seems to be in hand for the moment.  Yay, me.  Then Mr. Piercer turns to pick up the ball end, releasing the stud and ...

It freakin falls into my mouth.  He's all "oh whoopsie, there, lil camper.  You'll just have to spit that out for me" and all I can think is that if I survive fishing this thing out of my throat and the whole Smush Placement Experience again, I hope to never see this guy again.

I can say with some veracity that it was not any nicer to experience the second time around. The air around my brain might have been silently blue.  Just sayin.  This time, however, he clamps the little end that is sticking out so that it doesn't pop out when he releases it.  Thank you kindly, dude.  Ball end is screwed on tightly and the deed is done.

I get to check it out in the mirror, only to see that my lip looks like a teeny little crime scene, complete with blood spatter patterns worthy of a CSI investigation.  The good news is that I now am sporting a 1/4" 16 gauge piece, rather than the 5/8" one that made me look like Frankenstein's bride.  The bad news is that it's still a plain old steel ball -- no pretty ones for me until the piercing heals totally through and has no trace of swelling.

The really good news?  I totally didn't get even a bit shocky... My Wuss Rehabilitation is starting out on some good footing. 


Heartbreak Hotel

The last couple weeks have been rather insane with commitments and meetings and errands and just about any other time-waster/filler/drainer you can imagine. 

Thankfully, my stints of service on various committees and my league board came to a beautiful, if somewhat screeching end this past weekend as our AGM marked the switch of terms, as well as what I am intending to be my derby retirement. 

It's true that over the past months that I've contemplated retirement that I have had a number of moments of misgivings and second thoughts as well as a gut-deep craving for this stupid sport to yet be a part of my life.  But the fact is that it is time for me to put it behind me and embrace a new focus in my life.  I'm not sure exactly what that will look like, but I can see now how being so wrapped up this interest/commitment/passion of mine wasn't being true to my Source.  My ego loved it, and my selfish nature flourished.  But my heart was not being fed, I can see that now. 

It was timely that in these past weeks some events happened that I felt really shed some light on how transient and fleeting some of my connections are in this league that I have given so much to in the last years.  Some perspective, if you will. 

And even more timely that this weekend unleashed a bit of an emotional crisis for my Princess with the demise of an important long-term relationship for her.  She is well and truly heart-broken and very much in need of some time and nurturing to get her back on her feet, feeling whole again.  It's really quite easy to see where my priorities should lie.

And so, even though I am tired and a little emotionally weary with everything that has happened of late, I am also super happy to have achieved some peace and clear direction about this decision.  It feels a little bittersweet to close this chapter in my life -- this role of "derby girl" which really became a part of my identity; and a huge part of my life.  But I am becoming more and more comfortable with this change and looking forward to the next chapter ahead.


Who knew?

...That taking the memory foam mattress topper off my bed would be so awesome?  No more waking up feeling super overheated and my back feels so much better in the morning.  Like, seriously, "TenYearsYounger" feels better. 


Man, I Feel Like a Woman...

-when you walk into the prep area at your local powdercoating shop and two workers drop their stuff to help you...

-when you get the manager to agree to an impossible turnaround time for a job...

-when said impossible turnaround time is agreed to with a smile and wink...

-when said manager remembers how to spell your first and last name from a job he did for you almost two years ago...

Yeah, that just happened.

I totally need to be working in the trades. Life is good for a girl, there.


Very Pinteresting.

Two things I have learned from Pinterest lately that have BLOWN. MY. MIND and maybe even changed my life a little.

1)  I have been cleaning my bathrooms wrong.  I scrub too much.  Use too much water.  The pros do it different.  I tried their method and it cut my cleaning time by AT LEAST two-thirds and my bathroom looks just as fantastic as it does after my old-fashioned scrub-fest.  OMG, guys.  This is a revelation.  Angels are singing.  I may have shed a happy tear.  Life as I know it has changed.

2)  Monistat.  Cooter cream.  I know... ewwww.  BUT...  Apparently, when diluted and applied to one's scalp daily, hair growth increases up to 400%.  Not just for girls.  Guys with male pattern baldness are growing back their own hair with this and I totally will be heading out to London Drugs next week to purchase supplies and give this a whirl. 

... also, in other news.  I just used the word "cooter" in a post.  This is a First.  And hopefully a Last.  I apologize from the bottom of my classless, bourgeois heart.  Carry on.


So Random It Hurts.

School is well underway and things are going pretty well for both my kids.  The Princess brought home her first term marks and it's clear that she takes after the smarter one of her parents.  When we get figured out which one of us that is, I will let you know.  I'm very proud of her work ethic thus far -- this is absolutely one of the ways in which she doesn't favour her mother.  I was rather a slacker at school.  A good kid who managed good grades; but I procrastinated way too much and often was docked marks on assignments for being late.  *sigh*  So glad that I am totally not like that anymore.    This first month or so of high school has brought a few challenges our way as parents -- as baffled as I was by some of the conduct of kids and families in elementary school... high school makes elementary school seem like a sheltered commune in comparison.  All in all, I am glad that The Princess seems to be making some good decisions thus far; even if some of them had to be strong-armed.  ;)

The Kid is quite enjoying his teacher and classmates and all the enrichment stuff that we didn't always get to include in our daily homeschool grind.  Almost daily I am thankful that we took time to homeschool him; it has really made such a difference in so many ways.  To be honest... I quite miss having my boy around and learning things with him.  We had so many amazing conversations about some fun and deep and interesting topics; read such great literature together, shared some wonderful times... and I miss that a whole lot.  My inner geek LOVED homeschool, LOVED diving into novels and most of all LOVED seeing that look on his face when he "got" something.  An idea, a skill, a thought that resonated deeply... I loved being a part of that.  I sometimes wonder if homeschool is yet something that we'll do again in the future, but for now, it seems very timely for The Kid to be where he is.  He's working through some pretty heavy stuff -- and school actually is creating a great environment to grow and be pushed to move ahead.  I'll maybe post more about this another time.

My piercing is doing well and I actually really, really love it.  It was a strange thing to first see it on my face.  Even though I wanted it -- and had for some time -- my eyes first saw it as something Foreign/Other and I had a couple days where I wasn't sure if I had done the right thing.  It also took a couple days to not be grossed out by the whole queasy reality of some steel having been driven through your flesh, because I am just such a girl about that kind of thing.  The hardware currently in it is rather large and utilitarian.  It was sized to accommodate swelling -- which I am glad for, as it actually did swell to a degree that the extra post length was needed for a few days -- but now that most of the swelling has subsided, I'm really looking forward to when I can switch things out for something smaller and feminine and sparkly.  

As much as I admit to missing my homeschool adventures with The Kid, I must also admit to enjoying having a bit more time for my own stuff.  I have finally been able to head back to the gym on a daily basis and, let me tell you, it's not a moment too soon.  Skating has been my only form of exercise for the past couple years; and I just don't get to do it often enough.  I am way plusher than I want to be.  I am also 36 years old and totally realizing that this body doesn't work as efficiently as it did when I was younger.  And seeing as how I like to eat super-yummy food and ALSO seeing as how I don't want to one day be featured on a TLC special involving a forklift to haul my butt outta my house... daily gym time is gonna have to be a way of life.  Having time means I can schedule my clients and housework and errands freely throughout the day and not worry about whether the Kid is staying on track with his work.  And I sheepishly admit to liking the privacy and quiet at times.  Especially when I can fill the quiet with blaring loud music and dance like a freakshow while I do my housework and chores.  

The countdown is on until I head off to Vegas with Mr. F.  We are joining my sis-in-law and her hubby and another couple of friends for a few days of "Post-Black-Friday" shopping and fun.  And shopping.  And cirque.  And shopping.  (did I mention shopping already?)... and, if I can get over my trepidation, maybe a 5 storey zip line down and across Freemont street.  Let's just hope that won't be another one of my "Flutterby almost passes-out" stories for the blog.  :)

Derby will not release me.  lol  And truthfully, maybe I'm not entirely ready to let go.  I've been asked to fill a roster spot with a northern SK team for a game mid-November and couldn't help myself... I said yes. I get to play with my derby wife (who was also invited) and that will be a treat.  She was out all season with a torn MCL and we didn't get to play a game together except for the last one of the season.  I've been working hard at strengthening my back and was working at changing up my contact style at the end of this past season.  A lot more hip checks and booty blocking and less shoulder checks... it has actually helped a lot; although I am sad to say that I am far less formidable.  Whether that's just a result of still needing to get used to and master a different style of play, or whether that's just how it will be... at least I get to play a game I love.  My ego will have to take a back-seat.  ;)

Rocket got some new winter boots... I am actually not dreading driving this winter.  I find as I get older, I hate winter more and more.  I remember when waking up to the first snowfall was a thing of wonder and excitement.  Now I just humbug and crawl deeper under the covers. I have a plan for this winter, though.  Winter tires were just one part of it.  The rest involves a car warmer, proper winter outerwear and a large stash of those hot pocket thingeys that I can stick everywhere under my clothes.  Oh, and lots of coffee and hot chocolate.  And extra gym time to make up for the gallons of hot chocolate.  I feel good about this.  This will work. 


Dance Party

Cause cleaning your house isn't as fun if you don't dance your way through it.

Love the hook.

Seriously. Just happy, happy fun.

Great classic Police sound. Can't. Stop. Dancing. ;)

All I know is I want to dance in a pool before I die. Just one simple wish. lol


The One Where I Am Ridiculously Non-Rockstar And Almost Kill Everyone in a Bloody Mirror Death.

1) whereby, Flutterby has wanted to rock a fun piercing for a very long time, but has repeatedly chickened out, and, 2) whereby it is deemed that after four years as a derby girl, one must either have a tattoo and/or piercing OR a drug and alcohol abuse problem, and, 3) whereby Flutterby's friends imposed their plan involving frivolity and companionship and many hands to hold, and, 4) whereby Flutterby's advancing age made necessary to commit to this plan of action posthaste; It is forthwith concluded that Flutterby had better like this new steel addition to her face:

OK, so seriously... I would love nothing more than to tell you I was a total rockstar and aced this whole endeavour with flying colours. But I can't.

First, I must admit that I had every intention of cancelling this appointment. Not only was I just a little nervy about it, but it had been rescheduled and the new date didn't exactly work well with my hormonal state. But, my friend wanted me there to at least hold her hand, and it was the least I could do to show up and be there for her as originally planned.

 However, I did have some intention of possibly following through; I had taken out cash for the procedure. I was just going to see how things felt when I was there. I arrived just in time to be there for my friend (who got a super trippy piercing, she is my hero) and frankly, considering all... I thought things went awesome. While I didn't watch the procedure, it didn't really bother me at all to be there and see it right after. So, when Mr. Piercer with his friendly smile and cute double nose studs asked if I was game, I hopped onto the table and said, "let's do it".

Mr. Piercer was very efficient and put me at ease, I really wasn't just too nervy at all. He marked the spot and my girlfriends in the room all smiled in approval at the placement. My lip was clamped, a deep breath and one big pinch later, I had a 16 gauge needle imbedded in my lip. It was switched out for the jewellery and after a short struggle with the ball (which totally didn't feel good, but I handled it alright) I was golden. I could feel that I was amped. But I sat up and conversed with my friends while we paid for our new piercings. It felt weird. And numb. And I could see the stud when I looked down my nose. It was seriously huge. I looked in the mirror. What the heck? I have a steel post sticking almost a half inch out of my lip? This was not what I planned! (to accommodate for swelling tonight and tomorrow I was told)

Somehow the conversation got turned to infection and crusty abscesses and it was then that my adrenaline dump got the best of me. I decided to lay back down. It was just my ears feeling funny, but I KNOW my body, and that was not a good sign. *sigh* Really, self? We're gonna do this NOW, 5 minutes after everything is done?

 I knew that driving wouldn't be a good idea at that moment, and so my friend (who is a regular with this shop and crew) suggested that I come to the back room with her while she had a smoke and I could rest on one of the couches. We meander through the hallways and doorways to the back room and I am feeling worse by the second, only to find that the couches are all occupied with burly tattoo artists on drawing breaks. They pay no mind to the pasty, flushed wobbly chick and I decide I had better double back to the first room we were in. Which is where thing get weird. Cause my eyes decided not to see stuff normally. And what I thought was a doorway was just a giant mirror. And I almost killed us all. Thankfully, my girl grabbed me and I spent the next 5 minutes leaning against the legs of Cute Tattoo Dude while Mr. Piercer and my friend keep me conscious.

 Aren't I so much fun? Good grief. I've got to find some less embarrassing pastimes to share with you all.

The story ends well. I managed to pull myself together and drive home just fine and I can now almost look at this thing in the mirror without wanting to lay down for a moment.  Yay, me! 

The Kid was shocked and appalled that I would do this cause it hurts.  I am now his Fear Factor Hero.  The Princess can't look at it without feeling faint, herself.  And surprisingly, Mr. F really, really likes it. He thinks it's hot.  Rawr.


A Kid by Any Other Name Would Still Smell...

It's happening. 

He is getting older and bigger.  I can't keep enough milk in my fridge.  Or food. 

A daily bath or shower is a necessity and his shoes smell like they could be considered a biological weapon.

He is growing out of clothing before it's worn out. 


My baby doesn't seem much like my baby anymore.


An Evening of Rocking Out with Your... Guide... Flutterby.

I promised a hard-rocking selection of 80s greatest hairband rock hits.  I will deliver.  ;) This may also serve as a little tour of Young Flutterby's psyche during her adolescent years.  It's amazing I did not ruin myself entirely. 

I recall that my best friend had snuck a copy of this album into her room.  And like true rebels, we would listen to it at night... very quietly.  Cause we wouldn't want to wake up her parents, you know.

For serious?  How can this song not fire you up and make the room just a little bit warmer? Just as an aside, I love how their drummer adapted to his injury and how his pared down, powerhouse sound really became one of the band's signature elements.

I remember the first time I heard this song at my second cousins house in a basement bedroom.  I was young and impressionable and my older twin cousins were way too cool, and even though I knew I "SHOULDN'T LISTEN TO BAD MUSIC LIKE THIS"... I kinda loved it.  It is also possible that in a moment of weakness, I did a karaoke duet to this song.  If loving Bret Michael's is wrong, I don't want to be right.  lol

OMIGOSH.  This video is all kinds of disaster... which is why I probably can't stop grinning the whole time I hear this song.  But seriously now... why can't chainmail still be in style??

I remember rollerskating to this song back when our little city had a rink.  I'm pretty sure it was songs like this that made my parent's discourage me from rollerskating.  And look where that got me...  ;)

It must be said.  Going to an Alice Cooper concert is a bucket list item of mine.  His gift for the theatrical is tremendous.

I kinda love how campy and fun the video is, classic, bawdy 80s rock. 

Parts of the beginning conversation remind me of muppet voices.  I can't help but giggle.  And while I heard this song back when I was but a wee teen Flutterby... I probably rocked it best every week when I trained Krav.  It was often on the playlist during stress drills.

And this, dear readers, concludes our little journey through the 80s with your guide, Flutterby.  Please sign the guestbook on your way out.


A Wuss By Any Other Name...

I remember during high school, Canadian Blood Services would set up a clinic periodically.  It was a good deal to donate -- every donor got a free pass from attending a morning or afternoon of classes and yummy snacks.

Now, it's true that I wanted to skip class and eat donuts as much as the next student.  And, of course, the fact that your participation was helping someone in need by your donation was only icing on the cake. However, the truth is that I never, ever did line up to donate blood.  At the time, I truly hated needles.  And so, the idea of voluntarily lining up to have a large bore needle hang out in my arm for ten minutes or so never really appealed.  And when I say it never really appealed, I pretty much mean that I'd rather be eaten by wild animals.

Life went on, and somewhere between many exposures to needles of differing kinds, messy/bloody childbirth experience and various surgeries and procedures  (you apply drops to the STITCHES in your daughter's EYEBALL and see what that does for your quease-factor!) I somehow became much better about needles. 

Truthfully, though... while I thought of donating blood from time to time, life just provided many more oppotunities to put it off or forget about making an appointment than to remember and act on it.  Because, really... it's still hanging out with a large-bore needle and, well, easy to want to forget about.

This month my derby league accepted a Blood Donor challenge for the month of September; and two days ago I finally was able to donate blood for the first time in my life.

My day was a disaster in the making.  Filled with appointments and errands, I barely managed to eat lunch.  I didn't get to eat supper.  Which, apparently isn't a really awesome thing to forget to do on the day you plan to donate blood. I pulled up a bit late for my evening appt. and the nurses on shift were just able to fit me in to the last donor spot for the night.  I filled out forms.  I answered questions.  Really, really personal questions.  (which thankfully I had really good answers for, because, really... a person would have good reason to evaluate their life choices to date if they didn't have good answers for some of them.)  I was given what looked to be a GIANT plastic bag in which my blood was to be collected.  I do realize that only a pint is collected, but seriously... that was one huge-looking container.  Way to freak out the donors, CBS.

I was escorted to this comfy recliner.  My nurse was excellent and the needle didn't bother me a bit -- I even wasn't bothered by seeing the blood-filled line.  Kinda pretty.  I just hung out there for a bit, visiting with a couple league-mates who stayed to see the last of us through, and thinking that this was super easy-peasy and why did I never do this before. 

My blood was quite happy to leave my body, too.  While most of my friends had 8, 9 and 10 minute times; my blood ran screaming from my body and I came close to a record-donor-time.  Just under 5 minutes.

I was actually kinda proud.  Which I totally realize is a ridiculous thing to be proud of... but I seriously was thinking as the nurse unhooked me that I should try some relaxation/visualization techniques next time and try to beat the record.  Oh gosh.  I am a dork.

And then, in the middle of my prideful inner monologue, the recliner was raised... and the fact that I didn't eat supper, that my blood was just hoovered out of me without allowing my body a slower time to adjust, well... it became very apparent. 

I don't know how this works for everyone else, this almost-losing-consciousness thing.  But I get super hot and my vision narrows and my ears start humming/whooshing.  It's incredibly lame and unpleasant... and super embarrassing.  Seriously.  What the heck.  I just powered through my first donation and should be off eating Fudge-o's and slurping slurpees like a champ and instead I have a nurse telling me to lay back down and placing cold compresses on my neck and face (I can't lie, the cold compress thing was like heaven, itself.)  All I could think was, "Killswitch, don't be the only derby girl who faints".

I at least accomplished that much.  Consciousness preserved.  Way to go, me!

But now I have severe reservations about my piercing appointment next week. lol  It will be interesting to see how it all goes down.  Or how I do.  Whatevs.


Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow.

Speaking of the 80s... If I had old pictures and/or a scanner, I would totally post a picture or two of myself as Young Flutterby. The 80s were known for a lot of things, but nothing more than HAIR. Big, curly, poufy hair. And I freely admit that I tried my darndest to accommodate the trend. Spiral perms, bottles of gel, cans of hairspray, ratted bangs... oh, the trend was rocked as much as I was able. In fact, all my teen years I had longish/long hair. At it's longest, my hair hit around my mid-back. I can't recall just how healthy my hair was -- it was probably in awful condition from all the alcohol-based products we used back then -- but I did love it.

 I think I was about 17 or so when the trends changed. Cute little Josie B from Melrose Place with her adorable short locks... skate boarders and grungers with their bowl cuts... it was now fashionable for girls to have short hair. And with a little bit of trepidation, I sat in the chair as my stylist chunked off great swathes of my hair. I emerged with a short, sassy little highlighted cut that I really loved (I think that Josie's cut was actually my template example). I couldn't believe that it could only take 5 minutes to wash, dry and style your hair! It was a revelation... new life... freedom!

Since then, I have worn the shortest of pixie cuts, assymetricals, bobs, bangs/no-bangs... whatever. But I have never been able to get back to that long length again. The growing out process just takes forever!! My hair grows at a fairly normal rate, I think. However, I hate dry ends and probably instruct my stylist to trim off more than should be if my goal is to grow length. Anyhow, the story usually goes that I struggle with growing things out and somewhere around that annoying almost-shoulder-length stage where it's not laying right and not behaving right, I cut. It. Off. Every single time. And so, for the past ?? years (hahaha... just read "A Very Long Time") I have never once had honest-to-goodness LONG hair.

Two years ago, my hair was short and bleached blond. Very damaged from over a year of constant bleaching. And I decided it was time to grow again. I missed the feminine appeal of long, bouncy waves and this time I would not be denied. I conditioned, and trimmed. Good lord... it took almost a full year to just grow out and trim off the damaged inches of bleached hair. I went with a darker hair color because, well, clearly the blond thing was not working for me. I conditioned some more. I cursed my way through so many awkward and strange hair lengths as I had done so many times before, feeling like I was getting nowhere. And then, two years after I first decided to grow this stuff out and it was once again at that awful almost-shoulder-length stage, I found that the predictable little thought was dancing through my brain, again. I started looking at short, easy hairstyles, fun colors and thinking about... ACK!!! NO!!!!

And so, I went and did this, instead.
They are tape-in extensions and they are rather fun and awesome. They will be with me for the next 6 - 8 months and when I finally say good bye to them, my hair will be this exact length. I am in love with my feminine, bouncy curls and my fun highlights. I may even be tossing my head around like a pro shampoo commercial chick. Just for today. And not in public (that much).

Welcome back, 80s. I missed you. ;)


Indulge Me.

Oh man, I love the 80s. When the girls looked hot and, well, the hot guys looked like girls. Just sayin. Tonight's a ballads-only, slow-dancing, lip-locking trip down memory lane. We'll rock out with our... well, we'll check out the heavy rockin stuff another night. ;) Arguably the most technically perfect metal voice of the time, and definitely the sexiest mouth in rock. Ever. A sweet, tender song from a classic band. Quite simply the sweetest, most melodic way for a guy to tell a girl he just wants to get in her pants. Pure panty-remover for your stereo. Or guitar. Especially your guitar. Clapping. So cool in the 80s. No one wears a bandana like Axl. And I am a total sucker for the whistle. No joke. Love the crap outta that part. I'm pretty sure I made out a ton to this song. Good times. OK, so technically not the 80s... but Bon Jovi will always be an 80s icon and this is such a (corny) theatrical gem. Love his voice. Love his muscle shirt. Second best mouth in rock. Easily. Poetic, passionate and full of longing. "Baby, it's all I know that you're half of the flesh And blood that makes me whole" *swoon*


180 seconds.

From the day my Princess was born, everyone who met her and saw her little face said "she looks just like her daddy". Which is lovely and scary all at once. Lovely, because, "AWWWWW... what a sweet thing to say" and Scary because Mr. F. would not make an attractive female. Just sayin.

It is with relief I can say that she has not grown to be a hairy, large, Viking-esque young woman. *whew* (Not that I wish to insult hairy, large, Viking-esque women. Not at all. You go girl. *eeep*) What people were referring to was many of the Nordic traits she inherited from that side of the family. Broad cheeks, sloped nose, small mouth... things which look lovely and feminine on her, thankfully. **Picture removed because I was alerted that some creepy person found this post by searching "women with small mouths". Fricken creep.** Things which also make her look "not like me".

And so, I guess as she has grown -- while I've always seen her as MINE -- I rarely see parts of "me" in her. To be certain, from time to time, someone will comment that she looks like me or reminds them of me. But if I'm honest, it's not something I've ever seen for myself and I find myself saying in disbelief, "really!?".

Which is why I was surprised -- shocked, even -- a few weeks ago.

The Princess and her girlfriends will often make entertaining little video shorts. I'm sure they have dreams of youtube stardom except that some grouchy Mum won't let them post videos online. Stupid grouchy mum.

This particular video was actually pretty hilarious and starred the Princess as a stereotype. She was wearing a short wig and acting her part rather flawlessly, complete with accent -- this kid has pretty terrific comedic timing (sigh, likely something else from her father). But while my outer self was busy laughing and enjoying the show, my inner self was staring slack-jawed at the little playback screen.

It was like watching myself.

So many little mannerisms and facial expressions. Her eyes. Even her voice and speech.

Holy sh!#.

I found myself actually holding back tears while looking back and forth from this screen to her face... crazy stuff, this. I had never, ever seen this before. Had never realized how deeply this would touch me.

A very profound 3 minutes, my friends. 3 minutes that I am super thankful for.


It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...

No Winter Wonderland just yet.

However, it is the season for WFTDA Regional and Championship competition. It's Women's Flat Track Roller Derby playoffs and that means Four Regional tourneys, followed by Nationals. And THAT means that I am a very happy girl. I am definitely planning to spend more than just a few hours over the next few weeks to put on my "raving spectator" cap and watch some of North America's most awesome teams do their thing on the track.

And, more immediately; tomorrow is our own league's championship game. I was hit earlier this week with a bit of a flu and my fingers are crossed that I will be feeling 100% come tomorrow night.

My juniors are also playing their first home scrimmage tomorrow and I am super excited to see them shine on the track. Coaching has been one of my sweet derby surprises, it's something that gives me a lot of joy and these kids are pretty terrific.

So, here's to a great weekend with just a few more to follow!


Fun with the Folks.

Today my Dad got an iPhone.

I know this because for the first time, I received a text that was longer than one T9 word. And two picture texts. And a full text conversation that included smilies.

Say what you will about iPhones -- they are super intuitive and fun. I know of more people who never saw a use for smartphone technology become overnight tech sensations with this phone than any other.

He is totally impressed with all the cool stuff he can do with his new smartphone. I am pretty impressed, too -- he really is taking to it. But I just can't let him think he knows EVERYTHING about his iPhone just yet. Exhibit A:

I love my pops. <3


Country boys.

Simply love this cowboy. Can't quite get enough of his Georgia drawl.


Just sayin.

Some questions never get old. ;)



So, you'll remember this pool that I talked about before, right? And it was going to be glorious and splashy and fun and make our summer awesome, right?

Well, it's been a little less awesome and definitely not glorious.

It was one thing to deal with the prep work; Mr F worked like a beast shoveling and prepping and what not. There was the interminable wait for the weather to cooperate and allow the bobcat to do what it had to do. And there was some frustrating tool rentals and loads of crusher dust to haul out. Me? I managed to get heat stroke the one afternoon that I spent out with Mr. F. working on it. I'm awesome like that. (But seriously, it was a crazy hot day. And hard work, too... OK, so I know I should have the good sense to be embarrassed, but really want to make excuses instead. lol)

So, this past Friday, the day finally came that our pad was level and the supports dug in and leveled. We had a good friend come by to be an extra set of hands and set to work assembling this awesome monstrosity. In theory, it's a fairly simple installation. But definitely one of those things where, if something goes wrong, it will totally gut any hope for success.

The pallet was unpacked. Tools were readied. A quick conference with heads bent over the instructions and we were good to go.

Pool Power!

Things were going smoothly. Channels and plates were joined and aligned on the bases. The beast of a wall was unrolled and threaded into place (much more difficult and fussy than one sentence can do justice). At least 20 bolts sewed this whole thing up along the seam -- two of which ate my knuckles in a most unwelcome way. Perfect "round" was verified. Then came the work of laying the felt floor liner and gluing the stryofoam coving alongside the inner wall. Meticulous vacuuming of said liner to ensure that not a speck of crushed dust existed on the floor. Wall supports were installed. The sparkly looking vinyl liner was brought into place and...


What is this?!?!?! The bag which was supposed to hold the Beaded Liner receiver strips held something that was definitely NOT what we needed.

Sweet merciful crap.

It was just after 4pm on Friday afternoon. A quick phone call to the company we purchased our lovely sparkly Pool Of Wonder from was met with voicemail. They closed at 4pm. For the weekend.

I then proceeded to phone every single pool supply store in our city, to see if ANY solution could be found. Heck, I would even buy a totally different liner if that would help at this point. No help to be found.

We were left with the equivalent of a giant metal SAILCLOTH erected in our yard. So far, the weather had been mild, although the sky was threatening rain. I braced all the wall supports with stakes and guys and we crossed our fingers in hopes that the wind would stay away for the weekend until we could at least get the right parts shipped out and our Pool Of Wonder filled with the gazillion gallons of water that would make it a stable, unmovable structure.

I swear I gave myself an ulcer that evening -- every gust of wind sent me headed to the windows to look out over the yard and make sure that the pool wall was still standing. By 2am, the wind was definitely coming up -- it looked to be a storm brewing and I had a small inner fit and then gave myself up to try and sleep. I pretty much knew how this story was going to end.

The morning didn't disappoint -- the sounds of metal shimmying freely in the wind was our first clue. But even that didn't seem real until I looked out the window to see the bent and crumpled frame/wall. And somehow, spending the next two hours undoing all the hard work of the day before, in gusting winds, did nothing to improve my mood or outlook.

Bah humbug.

Today, we are finally able to able to deal with the company on this. They are so far being pretty peachy about working with us and hopefully replacing the bits that were ruined. Had they packaged things properly, the pool would have been filled and immovable by that evening and the storm would have meant nothing.

At this point, though... I am rather not eager to set everything up, only to have to basically winterize it in just a few weeks.

Sparkly, splashy, fun, awesome, Pool of Wonder, huh?? I swear that next summer, I will only be leaving the pool for basic bodily survival and sleep. Heck, I might even sleep in it. I have a whole missed season of swimming to catch up on.



Don't mind me, I'm just having a small spaz about my new favorite phone app.


It's like Name That Tune played with all your (real and cyber) friends. I can't lie -- I should be deadly at it, but my weird nervy brain often makes me jump to the wrong conclusion on a song (cause the people I'm playing with currently can guess songs with less than A SECOND's worth of play time!! That's crazy!!) or stab the wrong button when I'm aiming for a different one.

It's not easy being me. True that.

Check the app out. Totally a good, fun time.



I'm beginning to think this swimming pool will never, ever, ever get installed.

We just spent an hour trying to fine-level the hardpacked clay ground after the bobcat finished excavating.

Oh. My. Lord.

It's like digging into the side of a mountain. Like granite.

On to Plan B... Mr F is off to get a load of crusher dust. I figure that with the ground being so solid and unmovable, settling is the least of our worries. We'll just build the level base. (and yes, I said that with a wrinkly-nosed snarl and derisive look out the window at the stinking Clay Ground patch that is mocking me with it's non-swimming-pool-existence)

So, tomorrow I will have tamper and transit level in action -- I feel the need for some theme music. Something inspiring and superhero-ish. DA DAHDA DAH!!! And with any amount of luck, we will get this thing pulled together before the middle of next week.

I feel like this might be a good time to also say a prayer for cooler weather. Apparently I am a grouchy bear to work with in the heat of the afternoon. Or he is. One way or another, a cool breeze and some shade clouds would be mightily appreciated. ;)


Wild horses.

Some songs just take you back.


I gots me some Netflix.

I've only waffled over the decision for over a year and a half, now.

That's me -- the poster child of indecision over largely irrelevant and unimportant life decisions.

And while waffling is a fun occupation -- and one I've honed to a fine stiletto point in my lifetime -- it was time to choose. Actually it was a rather easy decision. Free one-month trial and a one-time purchase of this pretty cool little AppleTV device. (Which, for real, is so cute and let's me link my itunes account and iPhone with my TV and some other cool stuff. It was also super easy. Also a plus where my caveman brain is concerned.)

I can't lie. After I got things set up, I was like a kid opening presents. SQUEEE.... purusing the large library. 300+ episodes of Spongebob? I got em. Oldies like Knight Rider and The Tick and Kids in the Hall? Yup. This girl. Movies I remember watching as a kid like Labyrinth and Annie? All there. Full multi-season libraries of cool TV shows that I never got to watch because my life is crazy and DVR is beyond my programming abilities? Oh yes, it's true.

And the cherry on top of this TV sundae is the huge selection of documentaries. Cause I am a total geek and mostly love that kind of thing. There is a long short-list I want to watch; but topping the list was "Being Elmo. A Puppeteer's Journey".

I love muppets.

Really, I do.

At one time, it was a huge, and rather secret, desire of mine to become a puppeteer. A MUPPET puppeteer. Rather whimsical, no?

So, this particular documentary was a special treat. Outside of watching the life story of Kevin Clash; I got to see glimpses of the Muppet world and puppeteering trade. Very neat. The Princess was supposed to be in bed, but upon hearing Elmo's squeaky joyful voice, she popped out in the family room and watched the whole doc with me.

I was curious as to her response. Some time ago she "created" this little characterization The Lemming. The voice is a little reminiscent of the character Treelo from the kids' TV show, "Bear in the Big Blue House"... but is all her own; complete with personality and tics and depth. I have on numerous occasions told her that she could become famous with that voice/character -- not even lying one bit. It is that good. That endearing. That funny and lovable.

And I think, watching Being Elmo... she started to believe it. :) Next week, we make a trip to the library to find out how to make a muppet. She wants to put a face to Lemming.

Myself? I could not be more thrilled. The Princess is a girl of many interests, but not many passions. I'm enjoying seeing her bite into something and happy to be around to facilitate it. And heck. I get to make a muppet.

Good times, people. Good times.



This small-town girl is loving every single thing about this song and video.


Could Somebody Call the National Union of Tooth Fairies?

We need some reinforcements here.

The Kid just lost his second tooth in the past week and a half and I am pulling up couch cushions hoping to find some spare change.

Maybe I can create some "Tooth Fairy Currency" to print out?



I drift. I apparently lack the ability to judge interpersonal space and if I am walking beside you, I will drift over and end up jostling you. Probably repeatedly. This is either perceived as annoying or endearing.

I always wished to have freckles across my nose. I think they are the cutest thing ever.

I don't like my hands. I realize that they are perfectly serviceable and fine hands. Reasonably feminine and whatever. But I spent a whole childhood hiding them and hating the itchy, patchy eczema rash that covered them, the open splits in my skin and damaged nail beds. I am thankful that I am mostly not bothered by that condition any longer, but the stigma lingers in my brain and I find myself yet hiding them.

I can't cross my eyes. I can't raise just one eyebrow.

I have a 9th handspan for playing keyboard. Apparently this is pretty decent for having average sized hands.

I can tie a knot in a cherry stem using only my tongue. Attractive? Yes. The look of concentration on my face that it takes to do this? Not so attractive. :D

Hard liquor makes me feel warm and fizzy. Wine goes straight to my head and not always in a pleasant way. Red wine can sometimes give me headaches. I have a strange fondness for the horrific, burning, herbal taste of a Jagermeister shot. I have never finished a beer -- no matter how good it tastes when I start out, halfway through I can't handle the aftertaste and set it aside.

I really am not one to drink alcohol often or much. I have never been "smashed". Buzzed, yes. But never wasted.

I am a binge-reader. If I start a book, I must finish it. As soon as possible. I will easily neglect life and responsibility in order to do so.

I once attempted to learn the man-made language Esperanto. Don't ask why. I have no idea. I also attempted to learn Hebrew. My brain almost exploded. I'm sticking with English.

Laugh tracks make me go postal. I can't watch Family Channel without inwardly dying just a little bit.

I am very squeamish. It is what's keeping me from getting the piercings that I want. Maybe that's a good thing.

While I am all for green energy, Wind Turbines freak me out. I get just a little bit nervy when i drive by them.

I have a weakness for catchy, yet extremely inappropriate songs. Can't stop dancing to this one.


Summer Paradise.

Loving the vibe of this song. Makes me want to spend the day on the beach, havin fun all day and night!


Storm Season.

The past two weeks have been prime tornado watch weather here in our part of Saskatchewan. I have a number of friends who are wonderful photogs as well as two who regular chase storms (as in, professionally. Not stupidly.) and my Facebook wall has been full of amazing photos of nature's tantrums/power lately.

I don't have much knowledge to share about weather. Or storms. Or even really what to do in a storm. While tornado's do happen in our province, it's not a regular occurence. There is no public warning system/siren system, etc... so this recent string of storm action has been novel. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

This is my city. Beautiful, no?


Very ominous.

I would love to head out with this crew one time.


Our province is known as The Land of the Living Skies.

Clouds after a massive hail onslaught. Very trippy. The sky was full of these streaming globules that looked like something from a Dr. Suess book.

All in all a very interesting start to the summer season.


Carpal Tunnel, much?

I just finished up two projects in the last couple days. My league is holding a contest to redesign our team and league logos. I had planned all along to slowly work on a couple entries over a week or so, but in typical Obsessive Flutterby fashion, nailed these down in one long stretch for each. Really only about 3 - 5 hours for each; but the vector rendering process is super detailed and requires huge fine-motor control. My poor mouse hand is about dead and I'm sure tomorrow will bring an awesome bout of Carpal Tunnel my way as my entire hand is numb and shaky at the moment.

But dang... I still love this kind of work. I might not be amazingly skilled at it, but I am happy with what I submitted and hope to maybe be awarded one of the logos. In a way, I'm feeling a little sentimental about it and kinda hoping that something I contributed to the league will live on after I'm not skating anymore. I played for both teams at one time or another and would be honored to have the girls skating with my CREATIVE GENIUS (*cough cough* *smirk*) on their jerseys. :) There are a ton of talented artists in the derby community and in our league, though, it's hard to say how many entries there will be and whether mine will even stand a chance. Regardless, it was nice to immerse myself in this kind of rendering work again.

This is the logo I designed for the Gravediggers, our B Level Team. I'm still not totally happy with it... might do some refining on it and change up the ring or something.

And this one is for our Sugar Skull All-Star Team.


My prrreccciiiiooouuus...

About four years ago, it was decided that I would sell my piano. (and that's about the nicest way I can put it...) My piano wasn't anything special in terms of value; It was a small apartment-size Canadian-made piano with heavy keys and a solid cast iron frame. This soundboard frame was amazing -- I swear this piano could survive a bomb blast and still stay in tune. In all the 20 years that I played it, it was tuned once and stayed beautifully tuned throughout.

Unfortunately because of this amazing cast iron component; it was also a beast of a piece to move and this ultimately lead to Mr.F. requesting that it no longer belong to us. I wasn't happy to comply, but sometimes you do stuff cause you love someone (like move a beastly instrument to it's new abode a half dozen times) and this was my turn to be the one to make a sacrifice. The idea at the time was that I would get to purchase a smaller keyboard or digital piano in it's place -- something that wouldn't break a back when it came time to move again.

It was a great consolation idea, but the years went by and it seemed that the extra money was hard to come by. Or, when it was there -- it was hard to decide to spend it on something as frivolous as an instrument just for me.

I have missed playing a lot. Not just as an outlet for that creative or sensitive side of me; but also because it was often one of those elements that was a huge spiritual connection for me, too. And while I've felt the absence of this in my life, it's definitely been on my mind and heart a lot this past year more than ever.

Which made the timing absolutely perfect this Mother's Day, when I opened up a card to find a printed photo of a keyboard and a note about starting a search for what I wanted. Cue tears. And, this past Friday, after a bit of a search and a rather dramatic set-up to be able to buy it; I purchased a keyboard workstation that is beyond my hearts' desire. This thing is amazing. Dreamy. It blows my mind that it is mine.

Unfortunately, I don't have it just yet. I bought it used and a friend in another city did the transaction for me. It's going to be a few weeks before I see her and can pick it up from her. So until then, I am walking around with a goofy smile on my face and wondering just how it is that I was able to go all this time without playing... cause it's pretty much all that's on my mind.



Once again I have been a bad, bad blogger. :(

But I've been busy. Shortly after the Kid's birthday, I took the Princess and her two besties on a road trip to Edmonton, AB. We met up with my bestie (teehee... one of the main reasons I love this particular road trip!) and chaperoned this load of great kids at a youth event for the weekend.

Outside of the crazy 10,000 glowstick intro, awesome bone-shaking music, fun times and once again a terrific time to reconnect with some important things in life... I added one more truly Incredible, Never-To-Be-Forgotten experience into the mix.

I got old.

Like, Seized up my back after an evening of shaking and headbanging. That kind of old. Like, holy crap, I actually can't even get myself outta bed Old.

I would spare myself all the embarrassing details, but that wouldn't be any fun. Here is what you all have to look forward to one day when you are old enough to have this happen to you. Take notes. I never thought it would happen to me. It did. It just may one day happen to you.

- You will not be able to physically manipulate your body to leverage anything out of the bed in the morning. Your child will have to slowly push you off the edge in such a way that you can get your feet underneath yourself before you fully collapse on the floor and are thereby totally effed.

- You will not even be able to hobble. You will APPROXIMATE a hobble as you make your way to the washroom to get ready.

- You will stare at the toilet and sincerely WISH you could empty your bladder. But that is clearly not in the cards right at that moment.

- You may then look at the shower longingly, but soon realize that that, also, will not be happening as it involves lifting a foot off of the floor.

- You will shuffly/hobble/lurch back to bed and make a couple attempts to lay down.

- Your child will look at you funny and ask what's wrong.

- You will look at your child funny and sneer "NOTHING. I'm fine."

- At this point, you will hopefully have a savior arrive as I did, with Extra Strength Muscle Relaxants.

- You will down two and then question whether that was wise to do so on an empty stomach.

- *drool* zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

- You will ponder the meaning of life and why it is that you hear angels singing. Your pillow looks like a cloud. Is this heaven?

- You are stoned.

- Finally, with the full effect of narcotics and an extra large coffee, you will be able to move. And you will fully enjoy all the weird effects of being high on said pharmeceuticals.

For the record, I am still hurtin. This has been a year-long saga for me since I injured my back last summer. I'm kinda at a loss at what to do, but it's pretty much making certain parts of life rather miserable. I just make some headway and then something happens to wreck it up again. And it gets a little worse on the Wrecked Up side of things each time and seems to take longer to get feeling good again, too. I've done chiro and massage... any suggestions for this old-timer?

I have decided (as in an actual, REAL decision) that this is my last season of derby. I have cried many tears over this, but it's time. For many reasons. But I can't deny that this sport is a big part of the whole injury/healing/injury/healing cycle I'm in. That and behaving like a fool at rock concerts.

The Princess' musical was really great and we are now moving into "grad" season. Which means, next year is high school for my little girl. Double EEP. I think that this year of parenting has been one of the most surreal and stressful ones. I've come to the conclusion that I must've really thought that she would never grow-up... cause this is all taking me by storm. But, we're getting through it the best way we know how, and are blessed thus far with a really terrific teenager.

The Kid is now armed to the teeth after his birthday. He scored a compound bow and a slick Airsoft handgun for his birthday. The archery bug must run in the family -- both his paternal grandparents are highly ranked archers. And, it looks like Mr F might be also picking up a bow and setting off on this little adventure with the Kid. Good times.

In a quick change-up, it has been decided that the Kid will be heading back to public school in the fall. He's actually rather excited for it, but I'm sure also a little nervous. His last experiences there weren't necessarily the greatest. However, he has grown and matured a lot in this past year and a half and I think he senses that he's up to the challenge. And he's definitely looking forward to having schoolmates and some different activities in his life.

I've been giving some thought to heading back to school, myself. But, I need to think on it some more before I go spouting off ideas and dreams. :)


The Kid 10.0

My "baby" is now 10 years old.

I remember how when I first saw him, I marveled at how sturdy and strong he was. In fact, he held his head up remarkably well in the first few weeks after he was born. And later he kept me running when he began walking at 8 months of age.

It seems that he is bent on moving forward, even when this mama's heart would like nothing more than for him to stay little.

I imagine that the next ten years will go by as quickly as the first. I am all at once anxious to know the man my boy will be and also loathe to see those years pass at all. I hate how time has a habit of slipping by so fast and I hope I don't miss anything.


Like, So Totally, Like, Random!

A while back I posted about the introduction of an exceptionally cute ball of fur to our home. Cute Ball of Fur has found another home. Rather, we found another home for CBOF. At the risk of sounding like a whiny brat, I really hate it when a dream -- no matter how small -- doesn't work out the way you hoped. In my mind I had expected that The Terd would be thrilled to have a new buddy; that the CBOF would engage her and be relational and that everything would work out just fine. As it turned out, The Terd and CBOF did not see eye to eye, despite our best efforts to help them get along. Fur flew when we didn't keep them separated. In the end, all is well that ends well. The CBOF has been placed in a super awesome home and the only thing hurting is my pride over a failed adoption attempt and my bank account. But, it was worth it to rescue the CBOF from a probable life of breed bitch in a decrepit barn and see her placed in loving home where she is, by all accounts, being ridiculously spoiled. Bittersweet.

There are lots of things I am known for. Being organized is generally not one of the. Yes, I often find myself juggling many different roles, tasks and responsibilities. But make no mistake -- the juggling you see here is not of the practiced, professional entertainer variety. Nope. This juggling is clearly and decidedly of the panicked, flailing variety. Possibly entertaining... if you like that train crash kind of thing.

So, no one is more surprised than I am that I've drawn up a household chores schedule for myself and the kids and ACTUALLY HAVE STUCK TO IT... FOR ALMOST A WEEK. I know, right? Pretty incredible. Some might say that a week isn't all that long, that I shouldn't celebrate too hard over such a small accomplishment. To them I say a hearty PSHAW. The fact that I have seen carpet in my children's room for one full week, that dishes have been done and that bathrooms have been kept clean and laundry cycled, floors vacuumed, furniture dusted... THIS, my friends, is something to celebrate.

Last night I had one of those dreams that stick with you into the next day. I can't even so much remember the details as I can recall this urgent, almost panicky feeling that I needed to get to a friend. It's so strange how dreams can affect you and shadow your waking hours.

I'm pretty certain that we've decided to keep homeschooling the Kid next year. Certain enough that new curriculum was opened... Geek Mode Engage!! As each novel came out of the box, I couldn't help but be incredibly excited for everything the Kid will be learning this year. This particular year's focus will be right up his alley. Everything is so adventurous and action-filled in terms of history and novel-study, etc. I think it's going to be a good year. :)

The Kid started an Archery class and he is totally loving it. I am a bit excited to see this interest take shape for him. There are plenty of opportunities for competition and travel in the Province and, even better, his Papa is an accomplished archer and I think he's hoping to enjoy his Papa's company in some of these adventures.

The Princess' school musical is in just a few weeks and I'm so very proud of her. She not only nailed a competitive audition to score the lead female role, but has been so incredibly studious and diligent with her responsibilities for the role. Her songs and lines were memorized within the first few weeks and she is putting a lot of effort into her preparation. This role means a lot to her, and I am so happy to see her take it very seriously and live up to the privilege. She is much more responsible and mature than I ever was at that age. (THANKFULLY!)

I am thoroughly LOVING THE CRAP outta my derby team this year. My league is filled with terrific women. It's the truth. But it seems like my house team has just the most fantastic, positive and good-hearted bunch of them all. Each practice is so much fun and everyone creates a really uplifting and encouraging atmosphere. I've not experienced anything like it from the time I started derby, even, and I feel really lucky to be on this team. Win or lose, I am learning so much, just because there's no fear of "failing" or looking bad in front of people. Love it.

I started cleaning out my garage today. I don't know if it's the way the wind gets funneled into our bay, but the floor always ends up laying thick with dust that blows in. Not to mention the detritus from a winter of sticking things in this corner and that and now needing to sort and haul away some junk. One of the bins that was placed in there this winter was a bin of beach toys from my parent's cabin. As I picked it up and moved it, I saw in the bottom a layer of sand from the beach. It was so heart-rendingly familiar and, well, lonely looking. Just sitting there in the bottom of the bin, displaced from it's regular home. The goodbye sort of hit home again and there in the middle of my messy, dusty garage, I shed a few tears for a summertime home that has been lost.

On a positive note. Our summer is filling up with wonderful activities and times with family. I really am looking forward to the next few months. Especially if I can manage to stay organized as I have been (Did I happen to mention it's been for almost a FULL WEEK, now???!! Huzzah!!)