Monday, September 30, 2013

31 Days of Blogging

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Day 13

Day 14

Day 15

Day 16

Day 17

Day 18

Day 19

Day 20

Day 21

Day 22

Day 23

Day 24

Day 25

Day 26

Day 27

Day 28

Day 29

Day 30

Day 31

Because fall is so quiet and serene (in opposite world), I’ve decided to make my life a little fuller by participating in a daily blogging challenge for October. Shannon did it last year (and is doing it again) and she inspired me to try it. This 31 day challenge is organized by The Nester, who is a popular blogger about home d├ęcor and things like that. Things I know nothing about, but she has a cute house and a classy blog that’s fun to read.

Participants are encouraged to choose specific themes to write about and share their insights, knowledge or wisdom. The problem is that I have very little of any of those, so I need to keep the bit I do have. There’s no extra to share. Therefore, my primary goal is just to write something every day. To satisfy the theme component, I got my inspiration from the name of my blog. (I love being my own inspiration. I should have a Pinterest board dedicated to things I inspire myself to do. Yeah. It would be empty. I can’t even inspire myself to change the toilet paper roll sometimes.) Nevertheless, I’m going to try to write about things that are Worth It for the next thirty-one days. It’s a nice broad topic, so I can basically write about anything I want and insert a “worth it” in there somewhere.

Click here (or at the top of the post) for Day One.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Catching up

It's been raining for about twelve hours straight.  We haven't had many rainy days lately, so it's been a cozy, inside day.  I had to drive the kids to their activities: Chloe had her bronze cross class (she passed - yay!), Spencer had fencing, and Neve had gymnastics, but other than that, I've slept, read the paper, and spent a large amount of time organizing my digital photos. I came across a bunch of pictures that I meant to post on here, so if you just love looking at other people's pictures, today is your lucky day.

Going back to June, here are some pictures I took of the kids' school work.

Neve writing about her Pippi hair on crazy hair day

Maybe they should go back to the fractions unit

A story Spencer wrote.  No idea what the assignment was.

This is at Rushing River.  The girls wanted their hair braided together.  They walked all around the campground bound together.

And lots of random pictures:

The haircut

Trip to the Quarry with Jenn, Aimee and Jack

Bailey at my parents' house

The girls dressing up

On the September long weekend, we split our family up into gender groups and had a little bonding day.  Spencer wanted to see Manitoba's second largest city, so Dale and Spencer took a day trip to Brandon.  Dale uncharacteristically documented the day in great detail.  Here are just a few of the pictures he took.

My favourite is the one of Spencer getting his blood pressure checked.  Good times in Brandon.  Not pictured is the Art Gallery, Five Guys, the provincial building, the health authority building, and many others.  They were trying to make it look like they had more fun than us girls, but they failed.  While they were here:

... we biked to High Tea Bakery for cookies ...

... went to Polo Park for a 7-hour shopping spree, with a stop at Tutti Frutti ...

Some of our purchases

 ... dressed up and went to Earl's for dinner.

 The guys can't compete with that.

Picnic at the park with my family

Bike ride to High Tea Bakery with Darla and Emma Kate

My recovery station when I fainted while donating blood.

Dale at a Vikings game last weekend - fulfilling a life-long dream

Neve on her way to school. 

Okay, I think we're up to date.  Thank goodness for the odd rainy day.

I've decided to participate in a daily blog challenge for October, so if you're looking for something to waste a few minutes every day, check back here on Tuesday.  If you've got a blog and want to do the same, feel free to join me.  Misery loves company.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sort-of sick day

September continues to plow along at full steam.  In fact, I saw it crossing Academy today.  Neve woke up with a very mild cold this morning and wanted to stay home from school.  Work has been so busy, but today was a little lighter so I let her stay home.  We walked to Starbucks and had to wait to cross the tracks for the Prairie Dog Central, which was headed to the Forks for a special event.  Usually our trains are of the boring variety, except for the colourful graffiti.
Doesn't she look sick?
Later in the afternoon, we saw it on its way back.  All the neighbours were out.  You wouldn't think us track dwellers would get so excited about a train.
Neve has been giving me a hard time about working so much.  She asks why I can't be like her friend's mom who doesn't have an outside job.  I make up something about how my work is a creative outlet and how much I'd miss it, when really it's just for the money (okay fine, it's a bit of both).  Whatever the case, when she asked if I'd play Monopoly this afternoon, I couldn't say no.  I lobbied for Monopoly Junior but alas, she wanted the full-out long version.  With a large fuzzy pink dice.  On the plus side, it was the electronic credit card version, which was actually kind of cool.  We didn't finish, so I suspect I'll be playing again if Neve catches me at a weak moment.  It reminds me of the Monopoly games Jim, Rob and I used to play for weeks.  Good times.
Neve's last soccer game was on Monday.  She isn't the most aggressive player, but she improved a hundred fold by the end of the season.  She even scored a couple of goals, which of course I never saw because I was talking to someone. I love soccer but neither Chloe or Spencer were particularly interested in it.  I'm pinning all my hopes on Neve.

The weather has been so beautiful lately.  Even though it's been warm and sunny, there is no mistaking that it's fall.  The air has a different feel to it and the days are short.  Chloe has Cheer practice until 8 p.m. twice a week, so she's been biking home in the pitch darkness.  Dale and I went for a walk around 8:30 tonight, and people looked at us suspiciously from the safety of their homes.  But the good part of early darkness is that Neve was in bed before 8:00 tonight.  Must be because of her illness.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Jail vs. September

Last night I dreamed I was in jail.  I believe it was for some white collar crime that I didn’t think I’d actually be sent to prison for, so it was a huge shock when I found myself behind bars (like Martha Stewart).  It was a prison for both men and women, but the men were on a different floor.  I was relieved about that because when I arrived, I watched several guards in very protective gear (face masks, etc.) bring in a heavily chained, very evil-looking prisoner (like Hannibal Lecter).  He leered at me as he went by and I remember thinking I was probably the last female he’d ever see since he was sentenced to life in prison.  I have no idea why I’m dreaming about being the last female seen by a convicted felon.  I can’t help how my sleeping mind works.  Or can I?  Anyway, once I’d gotten over the shock of being sent to prison, I found myself warming up to the idea.  The other women prisoners were a little rough around the edges, but pleasant enough.  We did crafts.  We read.  We could exercise.  We ate food I didn’t have to prepare.  I had no responsibilities and there was nowhere I needed to be.  I kind of liked it.  In fact, I downright enjoyed it.  My sentence was only a few months long and I vowed to make the most of every minute of it.
Then I woke up.  And all my duties and responsibilities came flooding back to me.  I had to keep reminding myself that prison isn’t really that awesome.  But I’ve never been, unless you count Alcatraz, so I’m not totally sure.  I guess I’d miss going outside when I wanted.  And the kids.  Oh right, the kids.  The husband too, of course, but in my dream, he was in prison too.  I was hoping he’d have his own cell.
I’m guessing this dream stems from our busy September schedule.  We’re only two weeks into school and I’m already feeling that I’m losing control.  I can’t keep track of everything on the calendar.  I have a permanent knot in the pit of my stomach that I’m forgetting something.  And usually I am.  I try to write everything in my calendar, but I still miss things.  Cheques need to be written, emails need to be replied to, and school forms need to be filled out … it never ends.  I’m trying to take deep breaths and just let stuff go.  If there’s something important I’m supposed to do, hopefully someone reminds me.  I started reading an overdue Express Read library book today and somehow I read a big chunk of it in the midst of a busy day.  That didn’t help my productivity, but it made me happy.  I felt like I was in prison. 
Now I’m off to bed in hopes of more calming dreams … maybe an asylum this time?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Yard Sale 2013

It's a rockin' Saturday night at our house.  Dale, Spencer, and my niece Amy are playing Risk, Chloe's doing homework, Neve's in bed, and I've spent most of the evening trying to solve all my computer problems.  I fixed one of them - the sound wasn't working on my iPhone unless I used headphones - by inserting a Q-tip into the headphone jack.  If only all my problems were so easily solved.  I'm trying to merge all the user accounts on our iMac to just one main account, which involves moving over iTunes and iPhoto libraries.  Google has been working overtime trying to help me, but I'm struggling.  First world problems.

We had a yard sale this morning.  I'm not in love with the yard sale thing, but we had accumulated a fair amount of stuff, and the kids always have fun hanging around with friends and neighbours, selling lemonade and brownies.  By selling, I mean eating and drinking.  Sabrina and the girls joined us and we had a fairly steady stream of customers.  I sold a bunch of little things, but the highlight was selling two old computers that had been sitting in our basement for many moons.   My new neighbours bought one of them, which is unfortunate because I prefer to sell crap to strangers.  Actually my second highlight was meeting two sets of new neighbours.  And by new, I mean one couple has lived across the street from us for a couple of years and this was the first time I talked to them.  We also met the guy who's flipping the house next door.  And by flipping, I mean doing the most unhurried house renovation ever.  I've only seen him working there two or three times in the four months since he took possession.  Dale mentioned the dire need for a new fence, which Flip Guy said he would do in the spring.  Spring is a long time away.  I was under the impression that time is not usually on your side when flipping houses, but maybe he doesn't watch HGTV.  Anyway, he seemed like a nice guy and we are quite content being neighbourless.  Back to the yard sale, the weather started off nice but declined to the point of pouring rain by 11:30.  We were planning to end around 1:00 anyway, so I guess it just sped up the clean-up process.  Our 150 minutes resulted in a profit of $75 (not counting what Sabrina made, or the $20 of other people's stuff that was sold).  The children and I are still in negotiations about what percentage will be donated to charity.  And by children, I mean the 8-year-old. Dale took most of the leftovers to Salvation Army already, so our house is feeling a lot lighter than it was yesterday.

For reasons that were not explained to me, Chloe decided to dress up like a princess, go through the backyard and walk around the block to surprise Neve, Bella, and Lexie.  Here she is coming up the sidewalk.   

The girls watching with curious delight:

It's coming closer ...

And here she is, pretending to be a lost princess.

I doubt that happens at most yard sales.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Neve's secret is out

It’s a dreary Monday and no one was happy about getting out of bed today.  All three of the children had knots in their stomachs about going to school, which isn’t unusual for the younger two.  The first couple of days are kind of new and exciting, but then the reality of having to go to school every single day sets in.  When the kids complain about that, Dale and I tell them kids that they’ll look back and long for the “easy” days of school once they’re stuck in the rat race of working the rest of their life.  In hindsight, that’s probably a mistake.  It’s hard to enjoy the already-stressful present when you’ve got something even worse hanging over your head for the rest of your life.  I definitely enjoy my life more now than I did in my school days.  I must remember to tell the children that tonight. 

Some of Chloe’s nervousness is because she starts Drivers Ed today.  She’s excited, but it’s another new, unknown thing.  It’s impossible to believe she could be driving in a few weeks once she turns 15 ½.  The process of becoming a licensed driver these days is very murky to me.  I can never remember what the current rules are – how long they have to have their learners, what the restrictions are, etc.  My mind is stuck in 1985 when I turned 16.  In the country, we could take only take our learners and drivers tests on Thursdays.  I studied the calendar years in advance to see what day my 16th birthday fell on.  You hit a jackpot if your birthday fell on a Wednesday or Thursday.  I had the worst possible scenario because my birthday fell on a Sunday and the next Thursday was Boxing Day.  I had to wait eleven whole days before I could take my learners test.  I was already one of the youngest in my class at school, so by the time I got my drivers, some of my classmates had already had theirs for a year.  At least I had years to prepare myself for that disappointment.  It’s actually not as bad as it sounds, because being legally able to drive is not as important as being physically able to drive.  I was very comfortable behind the wheel of a car (or in my case, truck) by the time I took my drivers test, so I got my learners the first possible Thursday, and one week later I got my drivers.  Done and done.  No need to drag it out for six or nine months of drivers ed and graduated licensing.  Of course, now that I have a child almost old enough to drive, I think the new process is brilliant.

Luckily the weather on the weekend was much nicer than today.  We spent as much time outside as we could.  Happy Hour on the deck on Friday … Chloe and I biking to Memorial Park to watch an outdoor movie … Saturday morning bike ride to High Tea Bakery with Darla and her daughter … a spirited game of Marco Polo in Mike & Darla’s pool in the afternoon … dinner on the patio at Modern Taco Company … picnic in the park with my family yesterday.  As sad as it is to see the weekend end, it felt good knowing that we made the most of it.

Remember the back to school photo I posted last week?  Several people noticed Neve was not in it, but I was under strict orders not to tell you why.  It’s because this:

Turned into this:

Neve forbade me to post any pictures of her on the blog or Instagram until she had surprised people in person with her dramatic haircut transformation. Permission has now been granted.  She’s still not completely sure she loves her new hair, but she does love the attention she’s gotten.  I miss her long hair and how much younger it made her look, but I’m glad she had the nerve to chop it all off.  It is pretty cute.  Neve believes that accessories further enhance her new look, so she has been wearing her fake glasses a lot.  Clip-on earrings and hair clips have also made regular appearances.

So here's the complete official back-to-school photo:

And in case you haven't seen enough of Neve for one day, here's one more.