Did that really happen?

Today was one of those days where we had a million things on the go.  Most of them were fun things, but there were a few chores sprinkled in; not major tasks, but I had the lils with me, so I knew that their willingness to cooperate would shape how the day went.  We started off early, when they were fed and happy, thinking that it was best to be fast and then have fun at leisure.

This was how we found ourselves standing in the parking lot outside the liquor store at 9:55 this am. Thankfully we weren’t the first ones in line, but I did feel a little bit awkward, especially since this was the second time that we found ourselves in this position this month! The staff opened the doors, and I stepped aside to let the man who had been waiting in. He was first in line after all. I headed directly to the wine, as I knew exactly the bottle that I wanted, a favourite white for a friend who was doing me a favour today.  While I was grabbing it, I noticed that a female customer had arrived and was talking animatedly to an employee at the beer cooler.

We ended up walking the main aisle together, and the woman noticed the lils.  “Oh children, I love you!” she said, which caused me to walk a little faster and chant “please don’t let he pick my line, please don’t pick my line” in my head. She hesitated behind us, but veered toward the entrance instead.  I sighed in relief, and watched as one of the employees called to her and offered to take her purchase. Oddly, she kept on walking, right out the door, saying “I told you that I wasn’t going to pay for this, and with God as my witness, I am not!”

The staff, few customers and I were all dumbfounded.  We all stood looking out the window watching her walk away with her stolen six-pack on her hip. We’d look at each in disbelief, then turn to the window to see her get farther away.  All of us; four staff, the gentleman who’d entered with me, even the lils and I couldn’t believe what we’d seen.  Woo and Goose were shocked, asking again and again why she had stolen.  Many thoughts raced through my mind, and for the briefest second, I was tempted to grab my wine off the counter, say “with God as my witness!”, and walk to the door just to see what would happen…

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Life lessons from a duck

I took the lils to the locks this morning to see if we could catch some boats going up or down the last series of locks where the canal meets the Ottawa River.  The entire process through these seven or eight locks takes a little over an hour, and there is lots to see and do around the canal if they get bored waiting during some of the slow parts of the process. It’s the perfect FREE entertainment for a sunny summer morning. We arrived a few minutes before our friends, so we waited at the top of the locks.  A group of ducks had arrived shortly after we did so they kept us entertained.  The water level in the canal was even with the water in the first lock, so they were able to walk across the lock and swim around in the water that was trapped in the lock.


After a while they decided to see what was happening in the next lock, so they swam to the edge and, because the water level is lower in each adjacent lock, flew down to continue their swim. The lils thought this was neat, and started to chase, but our friends arrived so we left the ducks behind, and moved down to the river, where boats were starting to come up the locks.

We followed five boats for the better part of an hour, and happily met up with our duck friends as we neared the top.  Three of them were swimming in a lower lock, and one was on the edge above, set to fly down.  When they had seen this earlier, the lils had been greatly amused by the fact that the ducks flew into the lower locks, so I called their attention to this duck. We all looked to see her fly into the lock, but she didn’t fly.  She jumped, as if she was doing a cannonball.  Sadly, this lock had a ledge at the bottom, a ledge that was all shiny and wet and likely looked like it was deep water, but in reality, that water was a centimetre deep at most.


note the ledge of death at the bottom

This duck had just done a cannonball from twelve feet up and landed with a thud. I had encouraged my children to watch it, and now the duck had fallen onto her side and was twitching. We all watched horrified, thinking that she was going to die, and knowing that there was nothing we could do about it.  Woo was standing right in front of her, so I tried to get him to look away and come closer to me but he kept watching in shock.  I walked towards him as I mentally calculated the therapy bills. It’s not every day that your mom invites you to watch a cute little duck leap to its death, right? As I got closer, I looked down to check on her.  She was quiet and not really moving.  I felt terrible.

All of a sudden there was a flurry of activity as one of her friends hopped up and started quacking at her and pushing her around.  This seemed to wake her from her stupor, but they still couldn’t right her.  I thought about how lucky she was to have a friend come to try and save her, and what a comfort it must have been. Then the friend­-duck started to push her toward the edge of the platform, to the deep water. We all  kept watching, but feared that this was more likely to drown her and put her out of her misery than anything else.  She went over, and amazingly managed to flip over.  She swam away from the lock (in a straight line no less), gave everything a good shake, and was fine.  I am quite amazed at how she survived that fall and recovered so quickly.


The lils and I have two lessons from the day. Never, ever jump into a body of water without first checking what is under the water; you don’t know what lurks beneath, or just how shallow that water is.  Keep your good friends close to you, as you may need them to slap you around and push you over the edge to save your life!

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Wordless Wednesday – On vacation












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Wordless wednesday – in the barn











Grumpy old men

It`s funny how things always seem to happen in bunches.  My lils always have spurts where they are really hurting themselves in fluke ways, I bump into people in bunches at places that I have never bumped into people know, the animals that inhabit my back yard all seem to be doing crazy things all at once…  I usually crop these experiences up to normal causes, like growth spurts or a change in my routine that makes me notice them.  Lately I have noticed that I am surrounded by grumpy old men. Lots of grumpy old men.

One of these was the man who turned left at a traffic light, but turned into the right most lane (the roads were both two lanes wide).  He almost drove right into a car that was coming from the opposite direction, and legitimately turning into the lane.  The driver of the second car stopped in time, avoiding the accident, but the older man decided to block traffic so he could yell and gesture wildy at the guy who had just avoided the accident.  This despite the fact that he was completely in the wrong.

That same night, we attended a scrimmage at the Sens development camp.  It was jam packed, so people were basically sitting on top of each other (literally in our case – the lils were on our laps, to let people sit on the steps in front of us).  Amazingly, despite the fact that it was loud, past bedtime, and that they had no room, the lils were really well behaved and not interfering with any of those around us.  When the time came for the ice to be Zamboni`d, the lils got up and watched at the glass.  As the Zamboni finished up, we started to settle, but there were people in front and to the right.  The guy to the left was still standing, so Willy popped Goose on the bench so he could sit down and then put her on his lap.  The guy looked down at her then at me, so I made a joke about not sitting without looking, to which he rolled his eyes. A guy that was well into his 60`s rolled his eyes at me because a little girl had to stand in his spot for 30 seconds…

Sadly the grumpiness has followed us on vacation too.  We decided to head to a local park on the water one night to catch their “Jazz by the Bay”. We arrived as it was beginning and spread out a blanket for the lils to sit on.  A few minutes later, a group of people came close to us, led by an older man who set up his chair right at the edge of our blanket; despite the fact that there was about twenty feet of open grass behind us where he could have sat.  I looked at him wondering what was up, but he just starred at me.  A few minutes later, I wandered off after a lil, only to return and note that he had moved the blanket so that he could stretch out his feet.  I guess we were in “his spot”.

My absolute favourite has to be the dad at the local park who tried to tell me not to be too hard on Woo when he and I were having a discussion about how to share the pool toys at the park, and which belonged to the pool and which needed permission for use.  I brushed this off, as we were just talking, no one was being hard on anyone.  Woo wandered off and the same dad told me that Woo`s hair was cut too short!  Taken aback, I politely explained that Woo had asked to be shaved bald, and that he loved his hair cut.  He then asked me if it had been an accident, if I had forgotten to put the guide on before starting to cut the hair!

Not all of these men were all that old, they just acted it.  I`ve decided that the heat has to be to blame for these incidents, so I hope it lets up soon.  If it doesn`t, I might start getting grumpy myself.

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Wordless Wednesday – Summer vacation

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The bakerman

I am fortunate in that my lils have always loved to cook with me.  Sure, it makes for messier meal prep, and it might take twice as long to get some recipes made, but it has allowed me to get the recipes made, which is the important part.  Food is important to me!  I have encouraged their help from an early age. I started with really simple stuff, like moving ingredients around the kitchen and playing with the measuring spoons, but over time both lils have come to be able to do pretty much anything that I ask of them in the kitchen.  They listen, because they know the only rule about cooking with mom – if you don’t listen, you have to leave.  Being kicked out of the kitchen is the worst thing that a mama could do to her lils, so they listen.

Woo has always been our adventurous foodie.  He has eaten everything we put in front of him (which included peanut butter that one time. OOPS), and rarely fusses about the content of his meals.  He tries new, exotic foods on a regular basis, and eats with gusto when he finds something he likes.  His play has often included a creative cooking session, where he dreams up recipes that he likes us to make.  Some of them are just crazy, but some of them sound pretty good.  I have taken him up on the suggestions as to what he would like to see added to a dish on occasion, and am often surprised please with the result.

In the last year, he has started to really experiment in the kitchen.  Some of his creations are downright awful (hello apple milkshakes!), but some seem to be quite tasty, according to both Woo and Goose.    Last weekend he decided to make some cupcakes without a recipe.  He determined what ingredients he would need, measured the quantities, and set them in the oven and watched them like a baby, before icing them with nutella.


They looked like cupcakes, smelled like cupcakes and felt like cupcakes… In the end they would have been good had he not added too much salt.  Way too much salt.  So much salt that the critters who broke into our green bin the following night licked the icing off, but refused to eat the cake (or died trying).  We stressed that it was a great first effort, but he was a little embarrassed, and knew that they weren’t good.  I was still impressed, as I was well into adulthood before I was brave enough to create a baked good with no recipe to base it on.

This weekend found Woo reading through one of his cookbooks, when he happened upon a vanilla cupcake recipe. He wanted to make it, so we encouraged him and made him responsible for it all.  He had a small bit of help, but the end result was a vanilla cupcake, complete with strawberry icing.




They are the best damn cupcakes I have ever eaten.  EVER.  I think that my lil bakerman is on to something here…





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Wordless Wednesday – wandering around









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