Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Vancouver in the Springtime. Posted by Hello

Sprout and his cake at the recent, ill-fated birthday party. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


I am trying to teach myself rudimentary RSS, which is the other side of blogging, so sometime in the Fall I can teach a class on it. I understand the fundamentals, but I can't get some of the simpler elements of it to work for me. Let's face it, I think it's kinda boring.

And yet, I know that it's the side of blogging that should be really exciting for librarians.

I should be getting all zippy about the potential of getting news from a variety of sources, instead of canned/biased news from a few multinational news corporations. It should be seen as an opportunity to get diverse opinions and unfiltered descriptions of events. Sounds good, right? Right.

Am trying to get all zippy. Come on, zippy. Yeah.

Sprout, the Intrepid Traveller

Sprout is an excellent traveller. And this should not surprise me, since from his early days, he has always been happiest when we were out and about doing things. It didn't matter if it was a ride on the bus or a walk to the corner store, if he could be out seeing/smelling/hearing new things, he was a happy fella.

He did great in Vancouver, therefore, and was his usual charming self. The only moments when he fared poorly were when we would wake him up early from his nap (can you blame him) so we could go somewhere. Then he would look around the room, and wail, "I wanna go hooooooome!" Once he was dressed and out the door, of course, this quickly turned into "What's dat?", or "Dat's a bus, Mummy!" It was really fun to have him along.

We did some serious shell-hunting on the beach, and every day now he gets out his little bin of treasures and paws through them.

Writer's Block

I am suffering from writer's block lately. I've been to Vancouver, and done lots of interesting things, but somehow there's no story there for me to write about. Many apologies to my adoring blog fans (all...two?..of you...).

Perhaps it's because I have a bad, bad case of Spring fever. Jim and I spent the long weekend, in between many trips to church, rearranging all the furniture in the house. For the last year or so, it's all been baby-proofed, but now the fancy coffee table is back, and we're oh-so-trendy once again. I get a lot of mental satisfaction from having a beautiful home environment, so this is the best Easter present I could ask for.

Now if only all the snow would melt so we can start on the big fence + deck project! Can't wait!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


Vancouver was awesome. I am walking around with visions of daffodils, green grass, and the ocean in my head. Am very busy catching up from my days away, too, so wait for more later. Off to teach/lead a computer class/searchfest!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Scurry Scurry Drop

I'm bustling around trying to get ready for our little trip to Vancouver. Laundry, suitcases, tiny little rubber boots, small toys for the airplane, where to pack the potty seat, stack up the catfood, find out if taxis have carseats (why don't taxis have carseats??), etc. etc.

And in between the scurrying, I fall fast asleep most nights at 9:00 p.m. I'm usually a high energy person, but for about six weeks now I've had what feels like mono. I had mono when I was eighteen (first year university - missed the whole French Revolution in history class), and I missed a week of school and then napped daily for a year. My regular schedule is asleep-at-midnight, up-at-seven (aside from a wild two years of night nursing). Suddenly, six weeks ago, I had a bad cold that started with what felt like narcolepsy. I was babysitting alone while Jim worked a Saturday, and spent the whole day following the Sprout around and trying to prop my eyelids open.

Either I have a mild case of mono, or all this extended nursing has finally sapped all the vitamins and minerals from my body. OR (sudden brainstorm), it's all because I gave chocolate up for Lent...

Back to the laundry...

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Saskatchewan Quiz

My sister in Ontario has been telling me hilarious stories about cultural differences between here and Ontario (her peers seem to have never heard of "the big white telephone", for example (!) Also, they only call billiard balls "solids and stripes" - they would never say "What are we? Are we the big ones?" when it's their time to shoot! What kind of rock do Onterribles live under anyway?) All of this has prompted a short quiz about Saskatchewan.

So Celiner-Keener doesn't answer all the questions straight off, and spoil it for everyone, please everyone only answer one question per comment.

1. What was Saskatchewan called before 1905?

2. What is a "two-four"?

3. How do you say "Saskatchewan" phonetically like a native-born Saskatchewan person?

4. What is the other name for "Boh Light"?

5. What does "riding bitch" mean?

6. Describe what a "bunnyhug" is.

7. Describe how to make "frajolaki".

8. What is another name for "matrimonial cake"?

9. Where is "Speedy Creek"?

10. Where is "P.A."?

11. How many people live in the Province of Saskatchewan, rounded off to the nearest big figure?

12. What is the other name for "Grant Devine's Giant Erection"?

13. Most of my hometown's population has now moved to "The Hat". Where is that?

14. Is daylight savings time a good idea or a bad idea?

15. What is the highest geographical point in Saskatchewan?

16. What province is so flat that you can watch your dog run away for 3 days?

17. What is a "quonset" and why do you need one?

18. What is a "saskatoon"?

19. What is the common name for "Richardson's Ground Squirrel"?

Do I Dare to Eat a Peach?

"I will wear my trousers rolled and walk upon the beach."

In a few days, we will be going to Vancouver to visit that new grandchild, and I'm getting very excited. We haven't really done any travelling since we bought our house 3 1/2 years ago, and I love the ocean. I suspect that Sprout will be ecstatic with the airplane ride, and thrilled with the beach and all its treasures.

Jim and I decided that we are both too old and tired to stay in a house with two babies waking up all night (Sprout and Elliot), so we took the plunge and booked a hotel room. It was a trip before that, and now it's a holiday!! Jim is a guy who can sleep and sleep, but peculiarly, on holidays he wakes up excited every day at 7:00 a.m. and wants to go do stuff. Conversely, I am a perky morning person, but like to sleep in like a pig when I'm on holidays. In the past when we were on holidays, Jim would always stand at the end of the bed and stare at me, and bug me, until I got up. Now maybe he and Sprout can get up together and go out and leave me alone. I'm trying not to get too excited about this, in case it doesn't happen, but - oh boy.

I have a few friends in Vancouver that I'm hoping to see, too, including some from Library school. I can't believe that I've been out of university for 10 years. It seems like such a blur since then. Rat race. Gerbil on a wheel. Library squirrel. Typical rodent stuff, I suppose (chip chrrrr).

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Aunt Frieda and the Birthday Party

Aunt Frieda came to town for Sprout's birthday last week, and as usual, chaos followed closely at her heels.

Despite her problematic interpersonal skills, Aunt Frieda is getting older and is becoming physically more frail. This gives me a lot of internal conflict: we don't get along and I don't trust her as far as I can spit, but she's getting more and more in need of help from someone and I am the closest family member around. The arthritis in her knees is getting so bad that she either uses a wheelchair or walks six steps and then has to sit down (scurry, sit, scurry, sit).

So, the birthday party.

On Sprout's birthday, I had said that she should come over at about 7:00 p.m. and we'd have a small party (Jim was working, so it was just going to be me, Sprout, and Auntie F.). Aunt Frieda always stays at my cousin's house when she is in town, and at quarter to seven she called to say she's coming. Sprout and I took up our places at the front window to watch for her, so I could help her in with her stuff. They were again digging up the street (as always), and had one end of it blocked off. Aunt Frieda is a smart woman, so I assumed that she would circle the block and drive in on the other end of the street. Then a half an hour passed, and she didn't come and didn't come. I started to wonder, 'Is she stuck at the end of the street in her car?', 'Did she fall down the stairs at my cousin's house?', 'Should Sprout and I drive around looking for her?'

During this half hour of waiting, I would occasionally hear *Thump!* or *Thump! Thump!* behind me. Everytime I would turn to yell at Jack the cat for thumping (i.e. doing bad cat things), he seemed to be not doing anything bad. I never connected the thumping to Aunt Frieda.

All of a sudden, after a prolonged period of waiting, there she was on the front porch. "Where did you come from?!?", I asked, since I hadn't seen her pull up. "I had a bad experience," she said. Instead of coming around the block, she had decided to drive down the back alley (Aunt Frieda has always loved back alleys, so this wasn't too unexpected). She got her car stuck in the deep snow in the alley. "The Lord is so good to me!", she said, "I got stuck RIGHT behind your house." After spinning her wheels and trying to drive out of the stuck patch for ten minutes (and somehow avoiding carbon monoxide poisoning), Aunt Frieda got out of the car with her cane and walked all the way to the house. Through snow up to her knees. It took her fifteen minutes to get sixty feet. And the *thump! thump!* was her leaning heavily against the house every few steps, as she tottered to the front door.

"What if you had fallen?!?", I demanded. "Oh, I could have crawled to the house," she said, matter-of-factly. 'Yeah,' I thought, 'Or maybe freeze to death in the backyard, with me and Sprout driving around looking for you.' Aaagghhhh.

Sprout enjoyed the evening thoroughly. There was excitement. He and Aunt Frieda got to watch Mummy and the Tow Truck Man get the car out ("Big machine!" "Lights on top!"). At some point there was cake, singing, presents, etc. He learned how to blow out the candles, and spent 10 minutes pushing candles down deep inside the cake because it was so much fun.

All in all, a good party. And to top it all off, Aunt Frieda didn't die in the backyard. Intrepid, yet annoying. That's my Aunt Frieda.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

My Job Cracks Me Up

I just determined that an interlibrary loan request for a book called "Incidence of the Boy with a Dog in the Hall-Way" is really a request for "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time". It was too funny.

Almost as good as "Oranges and Peaches" ("Origin of Species"), or "Tequila Mockingbird" ("To Kill a Mockingbird"), those beloved industry classics.