Monthly Archives: June 2012

I’m Back Online! …and our Controlled Meadow of a Yard.

Oy! To be forced offline by inclement weather knocking out the cables and lines that connect you to the world? It’s pretty crummy. Seriously. We’ve been off since Wednesday at about 2:00 in the afternoon. And, as of about 7:00 tonight? We’re back baby!

So… it may take me a few days to sort through the mess of email that came in before and during our offline period. And business emails are going to have to take priority, but I will get through it. For now though? How about a couple pictures of the perennials we picked up and planted earlier today?

We allowed our front and backyards to go to meadow. Neither one will grow grass (we had tried a few varieties in the first few years we lived here), so the last few years we’ve just allowed it to do as it pleases. Now my goal is meadow, but controlled meadow. We’ll keep the variety of plants that cropped up naturally – the ones that some would call weeds – but also include some pretty patches of things that catch our eye. Who knows what will take, and what will die off… but it will be fun along the way. 🙂

 

Ahhh… it feels good to be reconnected!

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Crazy weather and feeling down under.

I wrote this post yesterday, but it failed to upload. I’m out and about briefly right now so am attempting to send before I’m back home and cuddled into my bed again. We are still without Internet after the storm, but as I mentioned below we’re better off than many.

I’ll admit, if this actually posts? I’ll be shocked. We’ve had some rather severe weather here the last couple of days. It all started yesterday around 11:00, but it looks like we’re mainly in the clear now.

We had tornados, super intense winds, hail storms, lots of thunder and lightening… It’s been a little intense. I’m surprised we have as many trees still standing in our yard as we do.

We actually got off pretty lucky. Aside from a lack of Internet starting at about 2:00 today, and a bunch of huge branches down in our yard, we’re a-okay. Some towns have been without power since yesterday, and some folks don’t have much of their houses left. With me being sick in bed all day it was almost like today’s craziness never even happened.

My being sick ended up being a bit of a blessing in disguise. It was the girl’s first day of Summer vacation, so she had big plans. She would have been upset over Mother Nature ruining her day, but was okay with it being wrecked because I was sick.

The two of us grabbed her crafting buckets and spent the day in bed. Drawing some “old school” G1 My Little Ponies, coloring pictures she printed out, and playing games of X’s & O’s (that’s tic tack toe for those not in the know).

The girl is fast asleep beside me now, and I plan to join her as soon as I attempt to submit this post from my iPhone. No late night TV time for me tonight. I need to get better so we can start her Summer holiday’s “for reals”. 😜

Saying goodbye to pre-k

The girls class, for their very last day of pre-k, did a grand wind-up at the spray park and playground half way between our house and the school. The kids all had an absolute blast! But I’ll admit to some mixed feelings.

On one hand, I’m super happy for Summer to finally be here. I was so busy as camp co-ordinator last year that I missed out on a lot of regular Summer holiday stuff with the girl. I really have been looking forward to spending this Summer doing all the stuff I missed last year.

On the other hand? Rhonda and Tracy have both become such a huge part of our lives over the last two years, saying goodbye was awfully difficult. They really were so wonderful, and the girl and I both looked forward to seeing them four days a week. They will be sorely missed.

Okay, onto something cute before I cry. 😉
Here’s the girl and her buddy Parker, cuddling to warm up.

Well, scratch that… My attempts to upload have failed repeatedly. Oh well. Guess I’ll have to try another day.

Night all! Be good to one another.

A Bunch of Benders

After supper the three of us sat down to watch the season finale for The Legend of Korra.  It’s a show all three of us enjoy together.  It’s well written, and humorously animated.  After watching the finale, the girl began pondering what each of us would be able to bend, should we be benders.  We all took our guesses at one another.  We had a good laugh, and had fun teasing one another about who among us might be “Tootbenders”.  Then I proposed we check online and see what we could find.  After a quick search, I found a couple of quizes that reveal your bending tendencies.  Here are our results.

Quiz One:  http://quizilla.teennick.com/quizzes/4887819/what-bending-type-best-suits-you-avatar-quiz

Lily-Ann

You would excel at Airbending.
Air is a lively and flippant element. It’s tempermental, and can bring fun and excitement or pain and destruction. One sufficient in Airbending would need to have an enlightened spirit and a sense of adventure.
Positive Qualities You Have:
– a great sense of adventure, willing to try new things
– very friendly
Negative Qualities You Have:
– has many emotional ups and downs
– may be prone to occasional bigheadedness
– may sometimes feel invisible and seek attention

Damon

You would excel at Waterbending.
Water is a unique and fascinating element, strongly tied to the will of the Moon. The Moon and water work together, push and pull, and create harmony. Water is also the creator of all life, healing and assisting. One suffiecient in Waterbending would need to have strong ties to the Moon and much grace.
Positive Qualities You Have:
– grace
– great intellect, a philosopher
– unique and somewhat eccentric personality
Negative Qualities You Have:
– too much of a “go with the flow” attitude
– like air, somewhat temperamental

Tobi-Dawne

It said that I too would be an Airbender, which I’m sure wouldn’t shock anyone.

The second quiz was a lot more in depth, but wasn’t quite as fun.  LOL  I loved the “camping in the woods when a bandit comes along” scenario in the first one.  It cracked us all up as we imagined ourselves in that situation.  But I LOVED the little chart that actually breaks down exactly how you fit into each element on the second quiz.  Very cool.

the four elements

Second Quiz:  http://www.quizfarm.com/quizzes/avatar/Pedro753/avatar-the-last-airbender—-whats-your-bending-element/index.php

Damon

You Scored as Firebender

Firebending origin is still unknown, but it has been mentioned that it has a strong relation with the sun. Firebenders’ fighting style is fast, precise, aggressive and sometimes vicious. An experienced firebender can create lightning or a kind of blue fire, like Azula, that is hotter and with more impact power. This element lacks in defensive properties, but if you took this result you must be the kind of person that likes to be the one that gives the first step and attack first, giving the enemie no opportunity to strike. Warning: Firebending exiges great discipline, because if used lightly, it can hurt the bender and people around them – by that you can see that a firebender can still get burnt. They weakness is low temperatures and high moisture.

Firebender
56%
Waterbender
48%
Earthbender
48%
Airbender
33%

Tobi-Dawne

You Scored as Airbender

Airbenders learned their art from the Sky Bisons. They have a peaceful philosophy and avoid conflict. Their airbending abilities allow them to fly (with a kind of glider), enhance their jumps, speed and reflexes and can create an Air Cushion to break falls. If you took this result you’re the kind of person that likes to feel free and have a great imagination. Airbenders’ advantage is that they have no problems about the enviroment to bend, since there’s air everywhere. But, underwater, airbender will have difficulties to find air, because they would have to use the air from the surface, or take out air from underground, what would spend too much energy, depending on the distance of both. Another weakness of airbending is the lack of deadly finishing moves, but there is a vicious technique that the airbender could use, that is to take the air out of the enemie’s lungs, but since airbenders are totally against harming seriously someone, they would never do this.

Airbender
71%
Earthbender
63%
Waterbender
44%
Firebender
37%

Lily-Ann

Now, considering I scored as an Airbender on this one, and Damon scored as a Firebender?  Her result is super awesome!  As she ended up tied between both.  I mean, seriously?  How cool!  😉

Airbender
78%
Firebender
78%
Earthbender
63%
Waterbender
41%

 

So, curious at all?  I know I’d be.  LOL  So why don’t you hop on over and do a quiz, and then run on back here and tell us all about your bending skillz!  😀

Favourite iApps

So, if I show you mine, will you show me yours?  I’m always looking for something new or cool to check out when it comes to our iGadgets.  The girl, the husband, and I are all a bit on the nerdy side when it comes to loving our tech.  And well, pretty much every other blogger out there has done a favourite apps post, so I figure it’s about time I jumped on the bandwagon.  😉

Some of my most used apps are the simplest (yet coolest) ones.  I love “WeatherEye HD” from the weathernetwork.com, I use it on an almost daily basis.  The built in messaging app with the addition of “emoji free” works – it’s not even remotely as cool as BBM, but it’s the best to be found in the iApp world.  “Flashlight” also gets a ton of use on a daily basis around here.  We don’t use nightlights, but keep the phones near the bed.  If the girl has to get up to potty she’ll just use that app to find her way there.  I also love my banking app (provided free of charge by TD Canada Trust), and my Cineplex Scene app is another that gets pretty heavy use.  Aesop makes a fabulous app for tracking your menstrual cycle – which I could not live without.  As far as games, I enjoy “Draw Something”, “Around the World in 80 Days”, and “Toy Balls”.  Of course, I can’t forget my “pocket whip”, every grrrl needs that one.  I would go batty with out iCal – it’s synched up on my computer, my phone, and my ipad.  After that?  I think it would nearly kill me to go back to a paper datebook.  And for business?  I’d have to smash something if someone ever took away “Sign My Pad” or “Quick Sale”.  The days of having an entire filing cabinet for my business forms is LONG over…  now a days it’s all in one little folder on my desktop thanks to my iPad.

So… that’s a quick peek at my favourites.  Which apps could you not do without?

The Pre-K Graduation (photos and videos)

So, yesterday was kid-kid’s pre-k graduation.  The kids all did such a great job, and they were all so patient (it’s hard waiting to hear your name called through TWO classes worth of little ones).  Lots of people have been waiting ALMOST as patiently for photos and videos – so here they are.

Now, before we start the videos, please note:  The girlie had her hair done beautifully.  I left her in her classroom about twenty minutes before they came down to the gym…  how you see her, is how she came down.  LMAO  It took every ounce of willpower to ignore my OCD self and NOT rush over and fix her pretty little headband.  But I didn’t.  I left it as is, and she felt good about herself (me mussing with her would not have been good for her self esteem – and we love her as she is, mussed up tresses and all).

 

 

Here they are performing “clap, clap, clap your hands”.  Watch afterwards…  little Alyssa runs to the edge of the stage looking for her mom, hoping for a little assistance.  LOL  Too cute!  Oh!  And yes, my daughter is the only one in the entire class who insists on bowing and taking her due credit for her performance.  LMAO  No…  she couldn’t possibly be MY daughter.  heh heh.

 

 

Song number two – all about what they learned this year in pre-k.  😀

 

 

The girlie sings this song all the time, it’s one of her favourites.  We spend a lot of time answering questions about why they’d have a rat chasing away a snake when snakes eat rats…  which always cracks me up.  She takes it all so seriously.  😉  But honestly?  Why do they have a rat chasing a snake?

 

 

So…  what do you think?  Maybe another performer in the family?  LOL

Damon (who took all the videos for me – thanks so much!) missed the very beginning of this next bit.  Ms. Tracy introduced each of the kids, and said a few words about them before giving them a book and their certificate.  Of course, our little one – who goes to school dressed as a princess or a fairy (and slightly less often as a cowboy or pirate) half the time, was introduced as “Miss Lily-Ann Marie Smith Princess Cinderella”.  😉  And as for the comment that they watched her “become smart as a whip”?  We think she always was.  LMAO

 

 

Back when she was only three, and in her first year of pre-k, Lily-Ann had both a “boyfriend” and a “girlfriend” (the second of which is still her bff, even though she went off to kindergarten and kid-kid didn’t).  And that boyfriend title stuck, as Cale also stuck around for a second year of pre-k.  I made sure to grab a quick photo of the two of them on their way into the school for their pre-k graduation.  All dressed up, and SUPER cute:

Lily-Ann & Cale

Lily-Ann & Cale – a couple of cuties

Lastly is the girl with her best bud from this year.  Parker is seriously the sweetest little boy ever.  He helps Lily-Ann with her fear of heights, always waits for her to make sure she hasn’t gotten herself into trouble, and is by her side about 80% of the time.  He really is such a huge sweetheart.  I’m so glad she’s got a friend in him.  🙂  So, I had to make sure to grab a shot of them after their grad:

Lily-Ann & Parker - so totally adorable and sweet

Lily-Ann & Parker – a mom can’t help but hope he makes it out of the “friend zone” some day.

 

So thanks for sticking with me through this video and photo laden post.  It was a very special day for the girl and us.  Can’t believe she’ll be on her way to kindergarten this Autumn.  I blinked and my baby girl is already a school kid.  How exactly does that happen?

Tomorrow’s the big day… pre-k graduation.

It’s been a long day.  Lots of stuff going on.  But now?  right now?  Now I just want to go to sleep.  Can’t though.  Still more to be done.

Tomorrow the girl graduates from Pre-K.  Don’t ask me how we got from that tiny infant that all the doctors and nurses kept coming in to peek on because they’d heard from other doctors and nurses about how special she was…  that tiny thing that left the hospital at 6 pounds 12 ounces…  to THIS!  ‘Cause truly?  I have no idea how we got here so quickly.  Yet here we are.

Today Kid-kid gave each of her classmates and her teachers her farewell gift.  We bundled up gourmet jellybeans (seven or eight flavours – all green) in little baggies tied with green ribbons.  And tied little note cards she drew in, wrote in, and put stickers in onto each bag.  All because of a song their class sings (and we now sing at home too) about avoiding eating green jellybeans because of all the trouble they cause.  Everyone loved them.  🙂

Her little dress, along with her shoes and hairband (all that she picked out) are hanging up, waiting to be worn tomorrow.  She’ll look adorable – but she always does.  😉  It’s going to be super cute.  She’s already told us what songs they’re performing – and that she get’s to be the rat in the farmer song.  LOL  We like rats, so that’s just fine by us.

So, that’s it.  I have to run.  Still lots to do tonight before I can hit the hay.  Thankfully the girl is snoozing away though.  At least she’ll be well rested for her big day.  🙂

Our little bathroom

We’ve lived here in our little house for nine and a half years now. I’ll be honest, we never intended to stay for more than about two or three. LOL. Life being what it is though, we just kept feeling more and more like this was where we needed to be.

One of the first things we did when we moved in was to rip apart the bathroom. Seriously, the one that was here was downright scary. LOL. No way was I even going to pee in that room, forget taking a bath… and there was no shower. We added a new soaker tub, built in a surround, added a wall to enclose the plumbing for a shower, put down new flooring, built a vanity, painted and sewed… and just like that. One crazy busy long weekend later? We had a bathroom we could actually use.

Today I built a second vanity (yes, I built the first one myself too) for the girl. Hers, unlike my built-in one, was modified from a towel rack kit. But I have to say, I think it’s going to do the job quite nicely.

Now all the bathroom needs is another new floor and hopefully it will get us through the next several years. 🙂

Want some visuals? Here’s the bathroom:

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A Vanity for Lily-Ann

Well, tonight the girl and I went shopping.  It was after supper, so we knew even if we were successful on our hunt, that our project wouldn’t actually get started tonight, but it was worth going to look – just the same.  We spent a couple hours checking out all our options before making a choice, and I think it will be workable.

The vanity I built myself when we first bought the house has been overloaded the last couple of years as Lily-Ann amasses more and more of her own things, and further develops her own style.  My vanity now overflows with things belonging to both of us, in containers, in piles, stuck in travel totes because there’s no room for it all.  Something had to change.  And with the girl’s fifth birthday around the corner, the two of us figure it’s time she had a vanity of her own.  Hence the shopping trip.

We live in a small space, so purchasing a vanity just isn’t an option.  That’s why I built mine to begin with.  It’s small, and is basically a glorified shelf jutting out of the wall at the right height with a couple more shelves on the side for storage of large non-everyday essentials.  Hers needs to be even smaller.

It took a lot of imagining…  checking out what we could find, how we could repurpose it, what we could change, what we couldn’t.  And I think we may have found something that we can make work.  It’s supposed to be a towel caddy, for hanging multiple bath towels.  But by pulling out the lower shelf, and adding something over the top (like a breakfast tray), I think we’ll be able to make it work perfectly for her.  It wasn’t quite what I imagined, but I think it will work just fine.

I love living in our small house.  Though it can be a challenge at times, I like how close it helps us to be.  There isn’t room to get away from one another, so we are physically and emotionally closer.  But there are times – like trying to make the most out of our bathroom space – when it can present some inspiring quandaries.

We’ve Begun our Search for Wondla

I had forgotten what it was like to read something so beautiful that the words alone remind you of what it is to be passionate.  How they are strung together, the choice of each so careful and deliberate that your heart soars with each syllable.  So used to the simple choices of most children’s books I had abandoned the memory of things so attentively scribed.  Tonight I thrilled in the sublime usage of words divine.

Ahhhh….

Truly.

It has been so very long since I read something where the words alone thrilled me so.  We’re only two chapters into The Search for Wondla but already my writerly self is more fulfilled and ecstatic than it’s been in a very, very, VERY long, long, long while.  LOL

I’m sure for some folk this may not make even a lick of sense, but for those of you who do get it?  I know your hearts will be leaping along with me on this little discovery.  It really is so rare these days (among literature of ANY kind) to find work that makes your heart leap.  Awesome stories?  You bet, there’s a lot of them out there.  Fabulous characters?  Even more so.  Intricate worlds?  There are still a few new places to explore.  But words worth reading just for the sake of how beautifully they are composed?  It has been decades since I read something where the words alone made my head spin with possibilities.

I’m aware that The Search for Wondla is juvenile fiction, but if you’re any kind of word-nerd, head over to wondla.com right now.  Order a paperback, hardcover edition, or even the ebook or audiobook.  Trust me.  Like I said, we’ve only begun to dive into our search for Wondla – we’re only two chapters in…  and already I know it’s going to be unforgettable!

The Search for Wondla by Tony Diterlizzi

The Search for Wondla by Tony DiTerlizzi

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