Friday, July 25, 2014

Put THAT in your muffin tin and smoke it

Okay, so I've been super-lazy at blogging. And I just realized I haven't really read anything that I've had to sink any intellectual teeth into for weeks. And my last assignment was supposed to be three-to-five typed pages and I only turned in two-and-a-half (although she didn't specify spacing requirements, and I think she only said that for the slightly dumber people that probably aren't as concise. That's right, that's what I'm going with.) And it's July and I still have boxed-up Christmas decorations lining the wall in the basement because I was planning to reorganize my storage space before I put them away.

Cooking? Not really. Every few nights when Matt's not going out for baseball I make him barbecue whatever meat I have around, and then I serve it with different wrappings or sides for the rest of the week. I have shelled quite a few peas, if that counts. Oh shut up, I know it doesn't really count (yes, I do it while watching tv).

So what have I been DOING with my abundant spare time? Getting Eve to and from Drama Camp (more on that later), weeding my backyard for the any-minute-now-going-to-be-planted herbs and flowers, wandering the market and grazing the Indian buffet with the mom of the other Drama Camp attendee, interviewing the Acquisitions Supervisor for the Ottawa Public Library, playing badminton for the first time in twenty years (I sucked less than I feared I would), reading a bunch of really good fantasy and horror stories, going on food truck adventures and cottage-hopping.

My house is a disaster. I've sorted through some of the kids' old clothes and they're piled everywhere. The kitchen counter is piled with corn cobs and berries. Yesterday I was determined to get in some exercise, even though my right knee and my left arm are practically useless (patellar-femoral syndrome and gardening injury - I know, it's pathetic). So I decided to just grab some stuff at Shopper's Drug Mart while getting Angus's prescription instead of going to the grocery store before I worked out, because we already had produce. I made a quick list, trying to remember all the vitamins and medications and washing stuff we were out of. Then I added muffin cups.

Do you ever find that suddenly your grocery store stops carrying good old-fashioned normal muffin cups? Like, the only ones available are foil-lined or festooned with Disney characters and way too expensive for something that's just to make the muffin not stick to the tin and whose sole purpose is to get baked and then discarded and you find yourself going into a full-on Hulk rage in the baking supplies aisle because JESUS CHRIST WHY CAN'T I JUST FIND A NORMAL MUFFIN CUP WHY IS EVERYTHING SO GODDAMNED COMPLICATED????

No? Just me?

Anyway, I stuck it on the list, then I thought, why am I putting muffin cups on a drugstore list, the drugstore's not going to have muffin cups. They just have cake mixes and maybe some flour and  sugar and Bear Paws and Golden Oreos. Mmmmm, Golden Oreos..... focus. But what the heck, I left it on the list.

And look!


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So yeah. I'm still kind of a mess. But in the muffin cup department? TOTALLY on top of things. Try not to be jealous.

(Also, note the post title, which shows once again that I care not a fig for search engine optimization. NOT ONE FIG!)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sleepover of Awesome

I'm not sure how I feel today. If I evaluate how well I'm "doing summer", it comes out okay. I'm not hiding inside from the heat all the time; I've been to five baseball games and the beach. I've taken Eve shopping for groceries and clothes and had a blast doing it. It feels like we're more than two weeks in, which is good because it means we've packed a fair bit in. I did manage to dig up the weed-choked flower-and-herb beds in the back yard, but I haven't managed to top them up with soil and plant anything, so that makes me a little sad, although we're still in Schrodinger's trip territory - Angus's baseball team will win/will not win Provincials tomorrow and then we will travel/not travel to Calgary for Nationals (you heard that, right, Baseball Gods? WE MIGHT NOT WIN. No cockiness here. Outcome is uncertain). Which makes it hard to plan things like flower and herb beds that need daily watering.

I'm feeling a little unfocused. I'm phoning in my course work. I haven't blogged much. I'm reading the same amount, but little bits of a bunch of books instead of one long stretch of a single work, which I think is making me a little twitchy. Eve is in drama camp next week, so I should probably try to sit my ass down and read or write something for a couple of hours just to see if I still can.

Since we were too tired to plan a party or anything the last day of school, Eve invited two friends over for a sleepover the following Friday. Three girls doesn't always work that well, and I'm not someone who can pull off effortless parties, but these three mesh really well together, and a minimum of planning plus their effervescent personalities made the whole thing extremely amusing and entertaining.

First, some movie preparation: we went to Kernels and said "What's the biggest bag of popcorn you can legally sell us?" The girl said "Come back in twenty minutes". Added benefit:: once I was carrying this baby, she didn't want to go to Joshua Perets anymore, so I probably saved at least three times what it cost.


Preparatory lip-glossing, courtesy of Marianna's Mom.

Turns out bubbles are pretty much ageless in their appeal.




Is there any rule about three on a wand?


Eve enacts The Matrix with bubbles instead of bullets:




I know I'm easily amused, but is this not just pretty freaking cool?






Then they walked to Starbucks ALL BY THEMSELVES, and I was not worried, not a bit. Because who is going to tangle with a passel of badasses like this?


Then, the donning of the aprons. 


A few eggs may have been harmed in the filming of this segment of our evening.


They actually did all the mixing and measuring themselves, in between all the posing.


They did the icing themselves too - I'm sure you couldn't tell.


Then we turned Eve loose with an Icing Scribbler and a picture and voila - Dauntless Cake


Then they had supper, with fancy drinks.

And manicures, because they're all elegant and shit.


Fuzzy nail polish.


Then a movie - which I had seen on a list of "movies you should make your kids watch" and realized I had never watched myself. This resulted in the catchphrase for the rest of the party being "It's okay - it's the eighties."



Then air-mattress-blowing up, blanket-fluffing and tuck-ins. And an acceptably quiet level of hilarity until midnight or so (apparently Marianna is really bad at the Game of Life).


And the next morning. Still friends! And we have to get Marielle some unicorn pajamas. 



Friday, July 4, 2014

Summertime, and the Grocery Shopping is Funny

I always kind of liked grocery shopping with the kids when they were babies. They usually slept or looked around and I felt a sense of accomplishment at the end. Unless we got caught in the rain on the way back to the car. When they were toddlers it was even better. I'd plunk them in the front of the cart and they would make lion noises or eat a cookie or a cheese bun (yes, I always paid for it) and we would make silly comments about whatever we were buying and they would entertain the other shoppers.

But when you have little kids, it always feels like a treat to be allowed to run any kind of errand by yourself. You feel almost weightless - no solid little body to swing from car seat to grocery cart, no worrying about losing someone in the produce maze, no stopping little hands from dropping a watermelon on the bread. So when they started school, I would go grocery shopping when they were in class.

And now we've come full circle, where it's kind of a treat when they're around and decide to come to the grocery store with me. Eve's come a couple of times on week-ends - this usually results in me letting her buy whatever kind of cookies she wants, as well as some kind of frivolous cosmetic accessory.

She had no plans on Monday and we had a list of stuff for her mini-party today, so we headed to Loblaws. This, in part, is the script:

"LOOK AT THIS NAIL POLISH. It's, like, FUZZY!! Really? Are you sure? Thank-you thank-you thank-you!"
Photo by Tony Alter

"That guy had gigantic holes in his earlobes, and looking at them made me want to cry for all humanity."

"Let's get some Lucky Charms!" (Me: Get the small box). "'Hearts, stars and horseshoes! Clovers and blue moons! Pots of gold and rainbows, and me red balloons!' I watch too much television."

"I touch rotting fruit and it magically brings it back to life. I'm so magical. Everyone should invite me over to their house. If they have rotten fruit."

(Me: We need pickles and curry paste) "Why do we need pickles?" (Me: Because we're out of pickles) "Why do we need pickles?" (Me: WE NEED PICKLES). "Okay, fine, we'll get pickles. I want some nuts. (Me: We already have peanuts.) "I just want some nuts." (Me: WHAT KIND OF NUTS). "Um, like, cashews."
Oh thank goodness, whole grain!
Photo by Mike Mozart

"I'm going to go home and fuzzify my nails. While eating cashews. With.... my toes, I guess.

(Me: We missed the curry paste.) "I'll just hang out by the cupcake mix until you get back."

"I came here with Daddy, and he was very confused by the self checkout."


Then there's the soundtrack, which, since we got the Sirius satellite free trial, is all Billy Joel all the time. If she's in the front seat and something else is playing, she yells "You're not Billy Joel!" and switches it. Then, naturally, commentary.

Only the Good Die Young - "So wait, does he want to be bad? That's inspiring."

Pressure - I can HEAR the oldness in this song.

Don't Ask Me Why - "I like this one. Even though it makes no sense. She used to be an only child, now she speaks French? So what - foreign languages get you siblings?"

I'm not sure how I'm going to go back to grocery shopping alone.