Thursday, May 29, 2014

Summer's here!

I’m going to blend two of Mama Kat's writing prompts for her Writer’s Workshop this week just because I can and I’m lame at those “list 10 things” lists.  So, how about some things that I’m looking forward to/dreading for summer and five things that every parent (at least this one) needs to survive summer?

I have a bit of a love/hate thing going on with the summer season. 

I love that the kids are almost done with school!  I love that there is no more homework stress or whining about having to go to bed at a decent time.  I love the flowers and the green grass.  I love the cheaper fresh local produce at my grocery store.  I love watching my kids’ soccer games which were cute when they were small and have become so much more exciting in their teens.  I also look forward to all of the festivals we have here in summer starting with June’s F1 race, Jazz Fest, Just for Laughs, Beerfest, etc.  The city truly comes alive. 

I Hate the heat and humidity of our Montreal summers (notice the capital “H” on hate for that one).  I hate sweating and not being able to sleep.  I’d enjoy our summers so much more if we could lose the humidity.  The mosquitos make me nuts too.  I have always been a mosquito magnet so I tend to suffer at dusk when they emerge.  It must be my sweet personality  (*snort*). 

So what does a parent need to survive the summer?

-A barbeque!  The fact that I’ve got two teens who believe that I am responsible for keeping them fed (the nerve!!) does not mean that I want to sweat over a hot stove.  Remember I hate sweating (see above) so this is when the BBQ saves the day.  There’s no dirty, foul smelling charcoal for this lady; I’ve got me a big bad-boy gas grill!  I admit, it’s one of the best things my ex-husband has ever given me.

-A good day camp program.  My ex and I have always both worked so finding a good day camp program that didn’t bust the bank was essential.  Our area of the city has always had a great program that keeps the kids active where they have made many friends.  This year, The Boy won’t be in it since he has expressed a desire to find a part-time job.  He is 15 (16 in September) so I’m good with that.  The Girl, who will be 14 in September, is going to be signed up though.  The teen program is great with plenty of day trips, pool time and sports.  All the things needed to keep a teen occupied for the summer

-When the kids are doing their own thing, every mom needs that one special drink that will make   summer get-togethers something to remember.  Now, I like wine, have a fondness for vodka-cranberry and, when in the mood for a beer, enjoy Bud Light with Lime for a light summer treat but I have found a new love.  Bud Light Lime Straw-ber-rita!  Oh. My. God!  I took it for a test run at the Victoria Day BBQ that I went to and it was a hit.  I see this being my official drink of this summer.  Go try it ladies; you’ll thank me!

-Air conditioning.  As I pointed out above, I hate being sweaty and get so very cranky when my apartment is too hot.  NOBODY likes me when I’m cranky; not even me.  So let’s all be good mommies and daddies and find ways to stay cool so we don’t create big therapy bills for the kiddies when they’re older …..

-The ability to not take life too seriously and a desire to get out there with your kids and make some wonderful summer memories.  Bring your camera to capture those memories.  Those sunny, smiling pictures will bring light to your life when the cold, dark winter descends on us again.

May you all have a wonderful summer!  :)


Friday, May 23, 2014

Yes, I'm still here....

Okay, I admit it; I’ve been a crappy blogger for the last week or two (yeah, definitely two).  In my defense, I have been busy.

I’ve been busy at work where a co-worker was on vacation in Europe for the last three weeks.  I’m not jealous, I swear.  While there are things in Europe that I would love to see, I’m not much of a traveler.  If I’m away from home for more than three days, I start getting cranky.  I want my own bed, my own couch, my own kitchen with all of the foods that I like to eat at my fingertips.  I want my own bathroom and, most of all, I want my privacy.  Yep, I’m a homebody.  All of this to say that I may be jealous of some of the things that my co-worker has been able to see but not of the travelling that goes along with that.  Taking on her duties has left me with little spare time during the day and feeling pretty pooped at night.

My other distraction in the last couple of weeks has been the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  The Montreal Canadiens took The Bruins out of the picture and we’re now struggling in the semi-finals against the NY Rangers.  Montreal is the only Canadian city that made it into the playoffs (how sad is that?!) so the whole country is watching closely and this city has gone nuts.  Everywhere you look, you can see Habs flags flying, people in hockey jerseys (especially on game nights) and hockey seems to have become the start of every conversation.  I spoke to someone in Calgary after the last Bruins game and the first thing out of his mouth was “so has the city recovered from that last game?” 

Aside from being busy, life is pretty good though I do still have the issue of The Boy and his father and step-mother.  He is still living at my place full time and relations are strained to say the least.  As long as I allow him to stay with me, he gets to avoid the stress with his step-mother so there is no motivation for him to work things out with her but….. at the same time, as much I want things to go back to normal, I can’t imagine ever kicking my own kid out and don’t think I could bring myself to do it.  How his father did it, I can’t imagine.

We just had a long weekend (Victoria Day, Canada) which was over far too quickly but was nice nonetheless.  The weather was gorgeous, The Canadiens (sadly) got their butts whipped by the Rangers, I barbequed and we went to a small party at The Boy’s girlfriend’s house for her mother’s birthday.  We all had a few drinks and enjoyed some laughter and good conversation; not to mention good food.  I’ll have you know that I was virtuous and brought a salad, lol!

Things are likely to stay busy for me work-wise with vacation season upon us as well as soccer season for the kids but I’ll definitely work on getting my groove back here on the blog.  I miss it when I’m away.   I want to kick up the fiction a notch or two as well.  Now that the weather is nicer, despite how pooped I am at the end of the day these days, I also need to get out and see friends more.  That get-together on Monday was too much fun to not repeat over and over and over and there are too many people that I haven’t seen it too long…….   I think that I need to start scheduling a bit better!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

What I'm reading

I was going to post this for Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop since one of her prompts asked what we're reading but time got away from me and I didn't make it for Thursday; never mind coming up with something for Finish the Sentence Friday!  I might still try to link this up if I can; better late than never. Busy week…..

I've just finished reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.  Yes, the book is twenty years old and, yes, I'm just getting around to reading it.  It's one of those books that I have always meant to read but, somehow, had never gotten around to.  I'm glad that I didn't pick it up back then, though, because I'm not sure that twenty-four year old me could have appreciated it as much as forty-four year old me did.

This book is set in Savannah, Georgia and is based on real people (though some names have been changed for privacy) and events.  The fact that this rich and vibrant cast of characters are real people just makes them that much more interesting.  There's an inventor, a drag queen, an antiques dealer, a partying lawyer, a voodoo priestess among many others.  There is even a murder with an interesting trial process mixed in.

The city is described in such detail that you feel as if you are walking its streets.  The author delivers the nuances of Savannah society in a way that both amuses and fascinates.  This city is geographically and, in many ways, closed off from the rest of the country and they quite like it that way; keeping to themselves, observing their own cultural rules and idiocyncrasies.

The author is a man who was not afraid to take new paths and get to know the oddest of people and he has transformed this into a book that is really hard to put down.

Sometimes, truth really is stranger than fiction and certainly more entertaining.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

The Boy took a quick trip to the States (Malone, NY) with his girlfriend's family this past weekend.  A good time was had by all

They're so cute  :)


Friday, May 2, 2014

Finish the Sentence Friday - #7

I have absolutely no interest in…….

….. drama!

There are some people who aren’t happy if there isn’t some form of drama in their lives.  We all have at least one of these people in our lives.  You know the ones; they are always on the “outs” with at least one person, always have something to complain about and never fail to regale you with tales of how some friend/family member/coworker/the world is trying to bring them down.

Their relationships tend to be fraught with tears and arguments.  They can be high-strung.  Conversations with them tend to be punctuated with a lot of “OMG, I can’t believe he/she…..(fill in the blank)”.   Overuse of exclamation marks in emails and texts is a warning sign too.   EVERYTHING they say is so important!!!!!

For the most part, I try to limit my time with those people because they tend to raise my blood pressure but also because it is so damned easy to get sucked into their drama vortex.  It’s especially hard when it’s someone you genuinely care about.  When they tell you about how so-an-so bad mouthed them or gave them attitude, you want to stand up and defend them.  When you hear about their financial woes, you want to loan them some money to get by on.

Thankfully, most of us who are now in our forties have learned some valuable lessons by now.  I’ve learned how to think critically and wonder what the other side of the story is before I give too much sympathy or let myself get swept up in the drama. 

At least most of the time…..

There are those who can still sweep me up in their drama if they try hard enough.  People who have been in my life a long time.  People I care about.  I realized this recently when having dinner with someone I hadn’t spent much time with in a while.  Sadly, it didn’t take too much for my buttons to be hit in just the right way and there I was asking questions and letting my emotions run with it.

No matter how much any of us don’t like drama, even the most level-headed of us can get caught up in it.  I think that it’s just part of being human and, therefore, imperfect.  Remember, back in January, I said that my word of the year is “imperfection”; as in accepting my own imperfection?  Well, I won’t beat myself up for letting myself get swept up in other people’s drama once in a while.  I’ll just do my best to not start it myself.    Not a bad compromise really.

Janine's Confessions of A Mommyaholic