Thursday, October 30, 2008

From the ridiculous to the sublime

The snows of the past
Give way to a ghostly mist
In the new day's light

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dude, where's my car?

Dear Mother Nature
'Twas neither funny nor cute
This full foot of snow

My muscles, they scream
After an eternity
Of shovelling it

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The return of the haiku

fluffy white snowflakes
dancing outside my window
WHAT THE @#$% IS THAT?????

this is October!!!!!
I did not authorize this!!!!
excuse me while I pout

Friday, October 24, 2008


In the soundtrack of my life, there is one song that stands out as the accompaniment to its most dramatic moment.

Late one wintry February night, I waited outside Watertown International Airport for my beloved. He was flying home from Iraq, after his chain of command wisely and compassionately determined that his health issues needed to be addressed immediately.

The immediately part - well, that just didn't happen - but Steve did make it home.

The name, Watertown International Airport, is rather misleading as there are very few flights going in or out, and none of them having international destinations. The airport is so small, in fact, that the terminal was closed at 10 pm. My son and I sat in the car, listening to the radio and watching the runway lights flicker on.

The moment that the tiny commuter jet's wheels hit the runway, the incomparable kd lang's voice filled up the car, and my heart, as she belted out her cover of Hallelujah. It was perfect.

And on this, my husband's last day in uniform, I defer to the amazing Katherine Dawn of Consort, Alberta, to express my overwhelming emotion at the end of this chapter of our lives.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Quote of the day

The pitbull wears Prada.

Just one of many zingers in Vinay Menon's excellent piece about Sarah Palin's obscene spending spree campaign wardrobe expenses.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


My husband is, to say the least, an afficionado of the works of Tolkien. He has studied the author's life and works, and considers The Lord of the Rings to be the ultimate PTSD self-help project.

On this dreary, rainy fall afternoon, we popped The Fellowship of the Ring into the DVD player. There is a scene in which Frodo Baggins awakes in the house of Elrond, having recovered from the near fatal-woulds of a Morgul blade.

The wise old wizard, Gandalf, tells Frodo .. it is ten o'clock in the morning. It is the morning of October the twenty-fourth, if you want to know.

Steve's last official task in the Army will take place October 24th, at 10 AM, when he attends his last retirement outprocessing appointment.

Interpret that sign as you wish.

Monday, October 20, 2008

My new hero

Many of my patients are hip old ladies.

By old, I mean old, as in pushing ninety and beyond.

And by hip, I mean spunky old gals who are just stopping in for a quick hip replacement so that they can keep on keeping on.

I love my hip old ladies, and I want to be one when I grow up.

So when idiotic jocks and ridiculous pencil-pushing bureaucrats conspire to make life difficult for a hip old lady, I get riled up and have no choice but to blog about it.

Edna Jester, of Blue Ash, Ohio, is a hip old lady.

When she grew tired of those damned kids kicking their football into her yard, she confiscated said football.

A young whippersnapper by the name of Paul Tanis, aged 40, called the cops.

The cops charged Ms. Jester with petty theft over her refusal to return the $15 football. Ms. Jester has been ordered to appear in court next month. If convicted, this 89 year old woman could face a maximum of 6 months in jail and/or a $1000 fine.


They're going to tie up the court system over a case of finders keepers?

I'd offer to replace the $15 football if Mr. Tanis wasn't such a jerk. In fact, I'd even go so far as to deliver said football where the sun doesn't shine .. but it appears that his head is already in the way.

Free Edna!!

Awww, thanks baby!

My post-night shift power nap was pleasantly disrupted this morning. The Mister and The Kidlet made a quick run to the store, and surprised me with these beautiful roses.

There's been a lot of hoopla about my retirement from the Army, said my hubby, but in many ways, you're retiring from the Army, and you deserve some hoopla, too.

{I'm a little verklempt .. talk amongst yourselves ...}

It's been one hell of a ride, these past fourteen years, and words cannot express my relief to know that we are finally on the off-ramp from Army life.

And yet .. and yet ..

For better and for worse, with more sickness than health, I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Why did the turkeys cross the road?

Because they heard that some crazy Canadian lady lives in the house on this side of the road .. and that crazy Canadian lady celebrates Thanksgiving in October!

This flock of turkeys wandered through my yard, then ran right out my driveway and into the field across the way.

They needn't have been afraid. I roasted one of their domestic cousins yesterday. He was delicious!

A touch of wry humour for a lovely Monday morning

A friend sent this to me via email, and I thought it was hilarious. Enjoy!

To: The citizens of the United States of America
From: Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas , which she does not fancy). Your new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. The letter "U" will be reinstated in words such as "colour," "favour," "labour" and "neighbour." Likewise, you will learn to spell "doughnut" without skipping half the letters, and the suffix "-ize" will be replaced by the suffix "-ise." Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (Look up "vocabulary").

2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U. S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter "u"' and the elimination of "-ize."

3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can't sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you're not ready to shoot grouse.

5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler, although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.

7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10 US per gallon. Get used to it.

8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. Australian beer is also acceptable, as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth - see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.

10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie MacDowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.

11. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full Kevlar body armour like a bunch of nannies).

12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America . Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the Australians first to take the sting out of their deliveries.

13. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.

14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to1776).

15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.

God Save the Queen!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Out of the mouths of babes

These days, in homeschool math land, we're covering the concept of integers. In an effort to explain negative and positive numbers, the workbook uses examples like these:

Jane has $115 in her checking account. She writes a check for $128. What will her new bank balance be?

William's puzzled expression upon reading this problem indicated two things to me. I don't think he's seen me write a check in the last several years after I discovered the ease of internet banking, so the whole concept of checks is pretty foreign to him. They seem silly and antiquated to me as well.

More importantly, I could see that the notion of bouncing a check troubled him, so I pounced on this opportunity to inject some ethics into our math class.

I told my little guy that these questions bothered me, too. Then I launched into what might have become an epic rant about the dishonesty and immorality involved in attempting to spend money that one simply didn't have.

"People who do this kind of thing," I raved ...

"Should go to jail!" replied the little guy.

Enough said. Class dismissed.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Quote of the day

I only wish she had been asked: “Governor Palin, if paying taxes is not considered patriotic in your neighborhood, who is going to pay for the body armor that will protect your son in Iraq? Who is going to pay for the bailout you endorsed? If it isn’t from tax revenues, there are only two ways to pay for those big projects — printing more money or borrowing more money. Do you think borrowing money from China is more patriotic than raising it in taxes from Americans?” That is not putting America first. That is selling America first.

Thomas Friedman, in today's New York Times.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Democracy is awesome!

It took me days to reach a decision.

This is, after all, the most important election in the history of my home and native land. Its outcome will set the tone in Canada for decades to come.

Despite the fact that this election was foisted upon the Canadian public against their wishes, I felt it was vitally important to exercise my franchise.

I have carefully considered each option. They're all quite good, in their own way. Ultimately, however, one candidate captured my imagination and earned my vote. I think it was the bagpipes that did it for me.

I chose Colin Oberst's "Canadian Gold" for the next Hockey Night in Canada anthem.

(Oh, and I sent off my absentee ballot for the Federal election, too!)

There's no place like home

This is a much nicer vista to gaze upon, isn't it?

After three weeks in a seventh-floor hotel room in the greater DC area, it's nice to get my feet back on the frosty ground. If I never venture south of the Mason-Dixon line again, it will be too soon.