Tag Archives: family life

The 5th Blog of Christmas

Our next featured blogger in 12 Blogs of Christmas is Gordon A. Long.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Brought up in a logging camp with no electricity, Gordon Long learned his storytelling in the traditional way: at his father’s knee. He spends his time editing, publishing, travelling, sailboat racing and writing fantasy and social commentary, although sometimes the boundaries blur.

Gordon lives in Tsawwassen, British Columbia, with his wife, Linda, and their Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Josh. When he isn’t publishing, he works on projects with the Surrey Seniors’ Planning Table.

He has published two books this Christmas:

“Mountains of Mischief” Book 3 in the World of Change series,

“Storm over Savournon” a novel of the French Revolution

A Cold Canadian Christmas

My transportation for the Christmas of 1967 was Dad’s 1958 Mercury pickup. It was one of the first “full box” pickups, instead of the old “step sides,” and I thought it was pretty classy. Think of the picture above with a front bumper and a two-tone paint job: white above, teal below. I was home from university, and Dad was out of the bush because it was too cold to work, so I was pretty well free to drive it around. Loggers can’t work below about -30 because metal gets so brittle that equipment breaks. It’s rather hard on people, too.

Yes, the Christmas of 1967 was rather cold. I came home from visiting friends on Boxing Day, and the weather report said it was going to be -60F that night (That’s -51 for you Celsius types). I plugged in the block heater of the pickup and waited for that reassuring gurgle that told me it was working.

No gurgle…Read More

To read the 6th Blog of Christmas CLICK HERE

To read the 12 Blogs of Christmas from the beginning, CLICK HERE.

Kayaks, Ferries and Bears, OH MY!

Sometimes a quick trip to somewhere close is all the vacation you need.

I visited my sister and her husband at their lovely home in Roberts Creek with my kids and an extra teen along for the ride. Yeah, that lets you in on how nuts I am right away . . . three teens on a road trip (and ferry ride) to a quiet, artsy town filled with quiet, artsy folk where hiking, biking and kayaking are king.

I packed the tent hoping my punk rock daughter and her best friend and bandmate would happily camp on the front lawn, giving them some privacy and a break from the boring adults. My fourteen-year-old son was on his own. He got to sleep in the giant bunkbed in the living room (my sis and her hubby are some of the artsy folk I mentioned).

The tent plan didn’t work out as a large black bear had taken up residence nearby and visited the property daily. So the girls had to sleep on the living room floor with my son hovering above them in a rather creepy fashion.

The house was in the middle of a bathroom renovation which was supposed to be finished weeks earlier, so we were lucky to have an indoor toilet, but no shower or sink. The kitchen was a busy place with six people trying to share the one sink in the house.

My plan to try kayaking for the first time kinda backfired. We huffed and puffed our way down the rocky beach, and then down to the shoreline with two canoes, life vests, oars and emergency paraphernalia. Finally easing the front of the canoe into the waves with the help of my sister, I stepped inside the plastic cocoon ever so carefully. I felt overwhelmed by waves of nausea almost immediately. I clambered out of the kayak after about five seconds.
So, I’m a wuss! I’ve been called worse.

I will have to try it again sometime, I suppose. I guess I just wasn’t made for floating around in a red plastic coffin. My vision of me cutting the smooth crystal waters with the blade of an oar as I glided toward a burning horizon was shot to hell.

I consoled myself on the way home by buying a White Spot burger on the ferry. Now, that’s more my style!

But the trip was just what we all needed. Peaceful, relaxing and fun!

Evidence of my humiliation:

Yeah, don’t forget to book a ferry reservation, and if you do, make sure you have a recording device to occupy three teenagers for the two hour wait:

And This Is How I Ruin Any Eventual Chance I Have For Grandchildren…

Ahh, more loony ravings of a mom who misses the good old days!

Fisticuffs and Shenanigans

frabzfunny_07bc708e447af55810cc4517c097b447

In the wake of Mother’s Day, I’ve been contemplating the real lessons and sacrifices of what it takes to be a mother. Should someday, I lose my mind (read: get incredibly drunk) and tell my children the truth…I’m afraid that it’s going to sound painfully like the following list…

1. Kids, when you were babies, everything about your bodies was miraculous and beautiful, but now my biggest fear is that one of you will grow pubes, and that I might accidentally see them.  I’m pretty sure you harbor the same fear, so let’s all just be cool, and keep this from happening, okay?

2. Children…loves of my life…there is NOTHING I wouldn’t do for you…NOTHING…except let you drink out of my glass.  It’s fucking gross, and you’re old enough to get your own cup, so let’s make that happen, or I’m going to start backwashing on purpose.

3. The ten minute drive between your school…

View original post 501 more words

Fun and Somewhat Sane Family Activities

Are your kids begging for you to leave them alone? Do you need ideas to get the conversation going, or something going? Well, I can’t help you with that . . . you’re on your own. But I can share some of the weirder activities I have done with my kids that did keep their attention for more than five seconds. These days, with computers and smart phones constantly engaging and entertaining your kids (I know! Those pesky technologies!), parents who actually want to spend some time with their kids have to get creative . . . or crazy . . . both work.

Activities you can do with your Kids:

#1: Stalk your teenage neighbours

Image

My daughter won’t walk with me anymore since our last outing. Let me explain . . . since my daughter took up drumming, I have been eager for her to meet other musical people. While on a walk one evening, I heard a rhythmic beat and crash of cymbals drifting out from under a garage door. As soon as I returned home, I asked my daughter to go back out with me, because I had something exciting to share. She reluctantly agreed – you see, she is still not totally convinced of my insanity, so I can still trick her into doing things she doesn’t want to do. I told her about the elusive percussionist and I suggested she introduce herself as soon as I could find the damn house. She stood staring dumfounded at me . . . ”What?” I kept backtracking because I couldn’t remember the exact house, and then the rain started. My daughter was not impressed. She told me how uncool I was. I suppose it isn’t like when she was three and I set up play dates for her. But, there’s got to be an easier way to meet other drummers; they seem to be as shy as Big Foot! Then I can arrange a “jam” for her. Won’t that be cute? Meanwhile, I shall have to come up with a devious way to get her out walking again; but you get the point . . . be creative!

 

#2        Enjoy a candy date

Image

Love candy, but tired of watching my daughter sort her Nerd candies into groups based on size. OCD candidate or future Quality Control Officer? Don’t care as long as she shares with me!!

#3        Reminisce about special toys

Image

My kids had hobby horses when they were in kindergarten, named Puke and Vomit. I had no input into the name choosing, but they love to talk to me about them . . . over and over again, and come up with equally distressing and disgusting names. Parental participation level: Low (you just have to listen and have a high tolerance for crudities).

#4        Brother dot-to-dot

My daughter has always been gifted in art and I take all the credit. I would often walk into the living room where I had left Amy and Henry placidly watching TV, and catch Henry stripped to the waist while Amy connected the moles on his back with a marker. So creative, always a new picture; though I wish she’d not used the permanent marker from the kitchen drawer! Warning: This activity will not be popular after your kids graduate elementary school. Believe me, I tried. Sorry, but I thought it would be cute to take pictures of a mole doodle, but my fourteen-year-old son was horrified and called me a “Perv.” And that’s why you will not see many photos of my kids. They have to be vetted before I post them.

#5        Critique your favourite movie

Image

I suppose a better word would be “criticize” your favourite movie. We spent a whole afternoon rewinding and pausing Harry Potter to see how many times Daniel Radcliffe does that strange double blink. No matter how much you love a movie, you know you’ve watched it too much when you start wanting to do shots every time a character blinks . . . and Harry blinks a lot! 😉 Can’t wait until my kids are drinking age . . . does that make me a bad mom?

 

#6        Create food art

Image

My kids were asked to make food art when they were younger and a story unfolded…”The detective interviewed the mourning widow after she found her husband shot through the head…” Their favourite part was stabbing the toothpick through the head of the penguin. Then they ate the penguins. Twisted kids = great imaginations . . . at least that’s what I tell myself. I am sure your kids will enjoy this activity without the grisly murder scene.

 

#7        Search through Momma’s purse for receipts with amusing item descriptions

Image

I had to explain what almond butts were. “You know, when you do too many squats, and your butt gets all wrinkly. That’s why momma doesn’t exercise,” I told my curious kids.

#8           Dance naked in the rain

Okay, I did not participate (you may if you wish), but I loved watching my little tykes skip through the garden in a summer rain shower with nothing but an umbrella and a smile. Eventually the umbrellas were discarded as they reveled in the mud, and the phone would ring and a nosy neighbor on the other end would say in a bored voice, “Your kids are outside naked again.”

#9           Butt painting

I seem to have a nude theme going here; but, what can I say? My kids hated clothes and it was easier on the washing machine and my sanity. I would fill paper plates with paint, spread rolls of newsprint on the floor and set my kids free. Inevitably, the body parts would be dipped, and the paper covered in suspiciously shaped prints.

#10         Create a Wall of Shame

Pick a family member, sort through photo albums, find the most embarrassing photos and create a framed collage. Who wants a poster of something pretty when you can be admiring your uncle in drag or your papa who always seems to be shirtless or pulling a face (we have several Wall of Shame collages featuring different family members).  Tip: You might want to switch out the collage for a Robert Bateman when the honoree shows up for dinner!

Image

 

Your kind comments are welcome, and feel free to share your ideas!