Thursday, August 25, 2016


So. The kitten.

Let me start by saying I’m not a pet person. I don’t mind animals (except birds) and I like other people’s pets but I’m just never had the desire to have one of my own. I didn’t grow up with inside pets and never bonded with the cats and dogs running around the yard. Which is probably a good thing, since they didn’t usually last long.

Luckily or genetically, my kids aren’t (or so I thought) pet people either. In the last year or two, Neve has occasionally asked for a kitten but she didn’t really mean it. I’d see her holding a kitten in the most awkward way possible, and she’d quickly put it down the instant it moved a muscle.

Fast forward to this past weekend. My niece’s fiancé brought a kitten to my parents’ that he rescued from a bleak future due to a physical disability (its front paws are a bit twisted). He was looking for a temporary home for little Bean, just until his work schedule eased up in a couple of weeks. My nephew Jordan was going to take it, but the outside life was not deemed suitable for Bean and the search for a more monitored situation began.

That’s when Neve started begging. Apparently she’s “always wanted a kitten” and “it’s just for a few weeks” and “I’ll take care of her” and “you don’t have to do anything.”

She had competition; Lexie was enamoured with little Bean as well. Sabrina was concerned about their existing cat’s reaction to a kitten but she could have been swayed.

Yet somehow Neve was successful.

We ended up going home with a cat. One with special needs at that (Jordan calls her Handicat). My niece and her fiancé splinted her paws to get the tendon to stretch but Bean hated that so much and chewed them off the first night. Future medical intervention may be necessary.

It’s actually a nice little kitten. She’s cute and spunky and she figured out the litter box right away. Neve attached a ribbon to a pencil crayon and plays with her for hours on end, as you would know if you followed her on Instagram. The rest of my family is also quite taken with her. Dale babies and indulges her. Chloe snuggles with her while she watches TV. Spencer is more like me; he thinks she’s cute but won’t cry when she leaves.

Everyone thinks I’m going to fall in love with the kitten and suddenly I won’t be able to live life without a cat of my own. They are wrong. As Ogden Nash puts it:
The trouble with a kitten is that
eventually it becomes a cat.
Maybe not the most profound poetry ever, but yeah. We're lucky to get the kitten stage. I'm sure there are advantages to grown-up cats but I hope to never find out what they are.
Now enjoy a few of the many photos I have taken. Just because I’m not in love with it doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s cute. These are just iPhone photos; it's not like I got out my good camera or anything.  Although I did use the Color Pop app for the top photo …

cat and mouse

Dale is radiating joy. I'll probably get him a framed copy of this for his office. The cat's a bit blurry but Dale looks awesome.

Bean loves this blanket and likes to fight with the ruffle around the edge.

Not sure if all cats do this or if her gimpy paws bother her, but she looks like a chipmunk when she does this.

There are also several videos but I don't feel like uploading them. Besides, we're not even pet people.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Family Weekend 2016

I've got a lot to catch up on, but today's post will focus on this past weekend and our annual family festivities at my parents' house.

Things kicked off Friday night with the opening ceremonies parade. There were five tractors, a wagon (that's what we'll call it), balloons, a flag, and lots of people. There was a close(ish) call with a car  and some tears over some lost balloons, but overall it was a huge success.

Then there's a big gap in my photos because Dale and I left my parents early Saturday morning to head to Kenora to pick Neve up from camp. We didn't get back until after 2:30 and missed all kinds of fun including another parade, a pet raccoon, and a drone. Oh well, it was pretty fun being reunited with Neve too. Even though she was too embarrassed to hug us in front of her friends. The transition from camp back to real life is always a bit rocky.

We managed to herd everyone together for a family picture. We're missing two people: my sister-in-law Jenn and my niece's fiancé, Darrin. But 24/26 is not bad.

My great-niece on the tillactor. Chloe used to be obsessed with this thing but now it's the younger kids' turns.

Cool kid

And here - as my brother Jim puts it - is the redneck waterslide. My dad and Dan set this up on the dike. Unfortunately it was a bit cool so most of us were spectators.


All the gorgeous zinnias and other flowers

Tia organized some relay activities. I'm glad no one took a picture of me and Lori doing the three-legged race because we sucked.

Things are going crazy. And this is before Sabrina starts pushing down the competition.

Sitting by the fire eating sunflower seeds was a large part of the weekend.

And zip lining of course.

And playing games.

Including these guys and their non-words and politically incorrect Bananagrams

And here's Lexie feeding Methusala the doll. Methusala is a giant doll that belonged to my aunt and has provided much fun and even more fright in recent years. I think he's made an appearance on the blog before. He is missing an arm and has seen better days. The kids love to dress him and place him in random spots to "surprise" people. Nothing funner than seeing a spooky doll propped in front of the door when you wake up. Or finding his missing limb in the shower.

Bailey and Darrin asked the girls to be their flower girls in the cutest way ever. They gave them cookies with little notes attached. The girls were pretty excited.

Another very exciting thing was a kitten that Darrin brought. He was looking for a temporary home for her and guess who she went home with? That's a whole other blog post.

The weekend ended with our traditional rollkucke and watermelon meal.

There are other things I didn't get pictures of such as the fireworks on Saturday night, the Z50s tearing around, bocce ball, frisbee golf, and the game of 500. I also didn't get great pictures of my parents, who make it all happen. My dad tends to look like a Most Wanted poster and my mom never sits still long enough to be in a picture (except I like the one of her and Bella and Neve).

It's always sad when it's over, but it was a great weekend with lots of new memories made. It's always nice to have Dan here; he makes things more fun. Until next year ...

Friday, August 05, 2016

August / Summer Part II

I hate turning the calendar to August. It means my favourite month is over and September is next. I'm trying to work on my perspective; since school doesn't start til Sept. 7, we're not even halfway into summer vacation. But soon we'll be past the halfway mark. And then the slippery downhill slope will kick in. No! I must stop thinking that! It's only August! Yay for over a month of summer left! I heard someone refer to it as Summer Part II. That's my new mantra.

As much as I love summer, it also stresses me out a bit. I'm sad that we're not going on a big summer road trip. It's weird with Chloe working so much and not joining us for family activities. I struggle with balancing work and fun. My work is much slower in summer, but then I worry that I'm not doing enough. This cartoon sums up that situation:

I'm trying to teach myself to not overthink things and just enjoy the moment, and often it works. I've enjoyed a lot of moments this summer, especially last weekend.

After spending a few magical hours at Darla's pool (we are "helping" Darla by looking after her pool while she's on vacation), we packed up and went to Hecla for the weekend. Dale's brother and sister-in-law have a cottage there and we had such a great time. It's so beautiful and natural and rocky with the most stunning views. We swam and ate and drank and talked and skipped stones and played Rook. My sister-in-law made a fire on the beach and her, Neve and I swam til the stars were out. When it got completely dark, we lay on the ground and watched the stars and satellites and planes and UFOs. It was pretty amazing. On Sunday, we went to watch a parade in the village. It was a good time.

At the parade. The floats were way more fun and original than what you see at the Santa Claus parade!

The rest of the week has included lots of swimming at Darla's pool. The weather was so hot at the beginning of the week and we've enjoyed it to the fullest.

Tuesday night we went to the Portugeuse pavillion at Folklorama to see my nieces dance. They were so cute as always; afterward they came over for night and spent the next day with us. I love that they bring out the "playing" side of Neve - the girls all played Playmobil for hours. At one point while playing I heard Lexie say, "There's an emergency! Call 991! Call 991!" Bella or Neve told her it was actually 911. "Yeah, 991!" she said. When we went swimming, she wanted me to watch her do a trick. Then she said, "Watch it again! I'm going to do a replay." 

Something I try to do every summer, with limited success, is to get the kids to make a few meals. This week, Neve chose a pasta dish from our favourite Loony Spoons cookbook and did a great job.


Wednesday night, Dale and I went to the Bomber game that I won the tickets for. Due to severe weather, the game was delayed by 2.5 hours. A lot of people just went home, but apparently we are diehard fans and we stayed the course. We met a bunch of people we knew so the time passed fairly quickly. And the Bombers won. I'm not really into football but Dale said it was an awesome game. We didn't even stay right to the end and still only got home at 1 a.m.

Dale's sister and niece arrived from Florida on Wednesday, so Chloe, Sarah, Neve and I went on a little Exchange excursion on Thursday. We got Bronuts (the "Summer" donut is my new favourite - sooo good), browsed in shops, and ate lunch at Chosabi (sushi burritos). Then we picked my brother Dan up the airport and hung out at home. For dinner, we went to Dale's mom's with Dale's entire family except my niece Amy, who's in Ontario for the summer.

So yeah. It's been a good week. And I didn't even mention everything because I gave myself a blogging time limit so I can go enjoy more summer moments.

Hope you are all making lots of good summer memories too. Summer Part II - whoohoo!