bikes planes and automobiles · blogging · family fun · Guest Posts · Kids

Day 416: A Review Of Mother’s Day (Guest Post)

Today R decided to write a guest blog post: a behind-the-scenes look at how my Mother’s Day treat got picked up. I did correct the name of the bakery and I did a bit of capitalization clean-up, but all the words (and most of the punctuation, including the semicolon) are R’s. Enjoy.


Yesterday at 8:25 Abba woke me up saying “Were going to pick up scones for mothers day.” We biked to Baker and Scone and stood in a line for what felt like forever. We were only really standing there for fifteen to twenty minutes before we realized we were in the wrong line; apparently, for pick up, you just walked up to the door and they’ll bring you your order. We were standing in the line to order from the store/restaurant. While a worker went to get our order E decided to get off her bike, and tripped over over what I think was the wooden porch and hit her head right over one of the ears (can’t remember if it was the right side or the left.) Once we got our order and made sure it was secured on Abba’s and K’s bikes we headed off. N and Abba went a bit ahead, so me and K stayed with E to make sure she was okay. When we were only a block away from the store I checked on E to make sure she was okay. E said she had a headache, so once we crossed the street and joined Abba and N on the other side E told Abba about her headache and Abba called Ema to pick E up. Despite there being room for one more bike and a person, Abba made me, K and N bike home. When we got home and washed our hands, I went to swing in the attic, only to be called down five minutes later to eat our scones. We had to do school on Sunday because it worked better with Abba’s schedule. Sunday was an all-math day. And I’m almost done grade five in math! Around three we got out of school and I got online with my friends.


There you have it. They all went out to pick up treats and then I got called to drive over and rescue one of them; so not only did I get scones and jam, I also got the gift of feeling needed. Not to mention, of course, the gift of not having to think of what to blog about for two days in a row. Now, that’s really something.

blogging · Fibro Flares · The COVID files

Day 404: Not Found

Sorry, I couldn’t resist. How often do I get to write the number 404?

What actually was found today is a vaccination appointment at my local pharmacy. I’m scheduled for Friday afternoon. It turns out they actually do call people on the waiting list. That’s a relief. And I don’t have to drive out of the city to get it.

Yesterday I felt almost normal. Today, not so much. I was feeling awful just after lunch and ended up actually sleeping an hour or so (often I just lie down to rest but don’t fall asleep.) I rallied a bit by dinnertime, and had a nice time sitting on the front porch with Mr. December, but soon afterwards the kids were tucking me up in the hammock and offering to bring me popsicles. To make up for my lack of ability to engage in anything remotely physical, I spent the evening reading aloud from the hammock: the second Percy Jackson book for R, Jewish folk tales for E, and for N and K, No Coins, Please by Gordon Korman.

Mr. December is in meetings for work. I’m headed up to bed now, hoping that tomorrow is a better day. It has to be—I’ll be getting my computer back, at the very least.

blogging · family fun · Keepin' it real · whine and cheese

Day 401: Noise Pollution

This is my fourth draft for tonight. I’ve been trying to write a heartfelt post about how glad I am that Friday’s post made so many people feel seen and understood. But Mr. December and the kids are watching some foolishness on our the new TV, and it’s way too loud for me to think.

I was afraid of this. We’ve watched far more TV than we would have if we had to watch upstairs in the attic or on one of the computers. It’s too much. Maybe it’s time for me to hide the remote and push everyone outside—although that also has the potential to fail the way it did today.

It’s springtime, which I know not because of the calendar or the weather, but because my neighbour’s lawn care guy is back at it, spending thirty minutes using a leaf blower to make sure there are no grass clippings anywhere on the lawn. It’s the same leaf blower as in years past: gas-powered, smelly, and obnoxiously loud. And it’s the same time slot as last year, too: between 4:30 and 5:30 on Sunday afternoon, A.K.A. right when you want to be outside with your family.

So of course today when I declared that there would be no more screen time until everyone had spent at least an hour outside, we opened the back door to the sound (and smell) of the leaf blower. Grrr.

Short of petitioning City Hall to ban leaf blowers (or at least the gas-powered kind) there’s not much I can do about that; but the TV noise is a problem of my own making. Can anyone remind me why we bought the TV? I can’t remember anymore. Or maybe I just can’t think of it over the sound of YouTube on the big screen.

blogging · education · Fibro Flares · Homeschool · Kids

Day 398: Writers Craft

If there’s one thing I learned in my OAC (grade 13) year, it’s that nobody wants to hear about your pain. When I wrote yet another angst-ridden piece about the pain in my hands and the feelings of uselessness and hopelessness it prompted, one guy in my Writer’s Craft class said, “Yeah, we get it. Her hands hurt. Can we please move on now?”

Ouch. I mean, I get it: we were all teenagers, which is a nicer way of saying that we were walking egos with relatively low impulse control. But it still stung a little.

Don’t worry: I got him back inadvertently. On my laptop—which I used for note-taking, since it hurt too much to write—I had installed a program called Cartman Speaks, which would play a sound clip from South Park every few minutes or randomly, depending on the setting. I didn’t realize it was open and set to “random,” and one day when that guy was spouting off about something else, we all suddenly heard Eric Cartman’s voice saying, “Oh, would you shut the f*** up? Nobody gives a rat’s a** what you think!”

Sweet, inadvertent revenge.

Anyhooo… the moral of this story is… um… I forget. But the point is… well, I forget that too.

Oh, right, nobody really wants to hear about one’s pain. Which is too bad for you, if you’re reading this, because my blogging habit was born out of pain.

Once again, I digress.

Yes, fibro flare is still here. I did some exercise (don’t want to be deconditioned and in pain) and spent a lot of time in bed. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

The thing I really wanted to mention today was that K produced what is undoubtedly her best piece of writing, and I’m so thrilled for her. This kid used to scream about having to write anything; but when I gave her this assignment she went to the library and wrote it—painstakingly, by hand—without complaint. Today we had a writers’ meeting (it’s how I imagine writers sitting around in a conference room pitching their stories, except my writers drink hot chocolate instead of coffee) and she asked me to read her piece out loud to everyone. I did.

And when I put it down, all I could say was “…Wow.”

And then she explained to everyone how she didn’t want to keep mentioning the rain, but she wanted the wetness to be felt by the reader, which is why she described shoes as “waterlogged.” She made many other excellent word choices; if it hadn’t been for her messy handwriting, spelling errors, and hit-and-miss punctuation, I could have believed it to be the product of something like my OAC Writers’ Craft class.

Now when she says “I can’t write! I suck at it!” I can wave this piece in her face and say, “You can. Here’s the proof.”

bikes planes and automobiles · blogging · Fibro Flares · Kids

Day 385: Failure to Pace

Here we are again. Yesterday was such a beautiful day, and E was especially eager for a family bike ride, and I agreed to a shorter ride than we ended up doing. I overdid it yesterday, even though I biked very slowly on an easy gear and took lots of breaks. As you might guess, today was not a good day, fibro-wise.

Every day has its good parts, though, and yesterday I was tremendously proud of E. She biked six kilometres—three out and three back—on her own bike, entirely unassisted. She’s still too wobbly to do much riding on city sidewalks, but on the trails she’s doing fine. Better yet, she loves biking as much as I do.

It’s very hard to resist such an earnest entreaty from E: “Please, Eema! You said we’d take a bike ride together! We can go slow! I’ll wait for you! Please!” I had said no to her on Wednesday; I didn’t want to say no again.

So right now my legs feel like they’re made of lead (or maybe even Tungsten) and my brain feels slow and foggy. My arms are absurdly tired, too. I did very little teaching today and abandoned any pretense of schooling the kids after lunch. They busied themselves building another epic living-room fort while I zoned out in the back-porch hammock with my fuzzy blanket.

(On a side note, I went outside for some peace and quiet, which is pretty bizarre seeing as I live half a block away from a massive (and noisy) construction site. Still, outside was more peaceful than inside by far.)

I lay down for a while this evening and binge-watched some of Shtisel (season 3), which is just drama upon drama, but which I love because I can understand it without subtitles, even though they switch between Hebrew and Yiddish.

I think this post was supposed to be about how hard it can be to pace myself, but I’m seven (short) paragraphs in and haven’t really gone there yet. My brain feels like it’s been switched off. The kids are talking to me and I might as well be underwater for how much I’m hearing and understanding. Bed now. More blog later.

blogging · family fun · mental health · waxing philosophical

Day 379: I didn’t expect this… but here we are.

We finished watching The Sound of Music tonight, all snuggled together on the giant beanbags in the attic. I love, love, love this movie—I sing along to the songs and sigh in all the romantic places—which is why I’m upset about how it made me feel tonight.

(Spoiler alert: if you haven’t seen the movie yet, what rock are you living under? It was made in 1965, for heaven’s sake!)

In one of the final scenes when the family is hiding in the abbey, the brown-shirted men come running in with their flashlights as the family cowers behind a tombstone. That’s about when I got a sudden jolt of adrenaline. I felt it in my chest and hugged the kids a little tighter to help myself feel better. It helped, but not by enough. When the movie ended I dragged Mr. December out for a walk, hopeful that the exertion would use up all the extra adrenaline. It didn’t. Even now, writing a blog post two hours later, my body is still on high alert.

I had a similar reaction the last time I saw The Sound of Music, but it was a live production and there was an actor dressed as a Nazi soldier, standing not three feet away from me, that gave me the sudden urge to duck beneath my seat and hold my breath. I assumed that my reaction in that case was because I was part of the scene and it felt so real. I still don’t really understand how just seeing the action projected on a wall in front of me, as I snuggled down safe in my house with my kids, could provoke this feeling of panic and dread.

As we watched that scene (where one of the Nazi soldiers hid behind another gravestone to wait and see if the family would appear), I pointed out to my kids, “If you’re ever hiding from someone, stay hidden a lot longer than you think, even after you’re sure they’re gone.” It’s a bit disturbing that part of me fears they might actually need to know that one day (God forbid.)

A quick web search suggests that this is what’s called collective trauma, or maybe historical or cultural trauma.

“It kind of makes you understand a bit more about how and why people can get so upset about microagressions, doesn’t it?” Mr. December philosophised as I speed-walked along the sidewalk.

He’s right. It does. And it’s also a potent reminder that we don’t know what other people’s baggage is. Sometimes even they might not really know or expect it. I certainly didn’t expect it tonight, but here we are.

I don’t really know how to end this. Not the blog post—that, I can just press “publish” and send it off into the ether, with or without a solid conclusion—but the panicky feeling I still have. Mr. December (well-read on a wide variety of subjects) says it can take hours to come down from this kind of state. I certainly hope not.

And just for the record, The Sound of Music is still one of my favourite movies, hands down. I guess I’ll just stop watching before the end from now on.

blogging · crafty · DIY · Fibro Flares · Keepin' it real

Day 376: Coming Attractions

My elbow hurts pretty badly right now, so I’ll make this brief. Over the next week or so, you can expect to see some of the following posts:

  • Further Adventures with Epoxy
  • Stuffed Animal Upholstered Bed Tutorial
  • Make a Dollhouse Nightstand out of a Feta Cheese Container Tutorial
  • Holy Hell, my Elbow Still Hurts
  • Planned Boredom
  • Close Encounters with Customer Service
  • This Term in Homeschool
  • Did we really make our own maple syrup?

Of course, if my elbow doesn’t get some relief soon, you’ll likely be subjected treated to a string of guest posts by everyone from Mr. December right on down to E. If nothing else, it’ll be highly entertaining.

blogging · family fun · The COVID files

Day 365: It’s day 365.

A year. Twelve months. Fifty-two weeks. Three hundred and sixty-five days. Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes (if Rent is to be believed.) We made it.

I made it. I blogged every single day (with three exceptions because I was unable to) for a year. I’m amazed at myself.

Oh yeah, and our family survived a year of lockdowns and thrived.

It’s been a year since our children walked out of school for the last time, and we’re still glad to be rid of it.

It’s been a year since I’ve hugged my friends, my cousins, and my in-laws. Since I’ve been at a party. Since I’ve eaten inside a restaurant.

It’s been one heck of a year.


Today was almost magical. The sun was shining and it was warm for a change, so the kids spent almost the entire day out on the trampoline. Mr. December and I sat down in the middle of the afternoon and played two full games of Wingspan, uninterrupted. I went for a walk in the ravine. And just when it seemed the day couldn’t get any better, Mr. December announced that we were having ice cream for dinner.

Yes, ice cream dinner, followed by an hour at the park. It doesn’t get any better than this.

Image description: four kids and two adults crowded together, all holding/eating ice cream.
blogging · Kids

Day 358: Short and Sweet

We (Mr. December and I) just got off a zoom call with people from university—the cast and crew of a show called Skule Nite, in which Mr. D played in the band. It was pretty cool to see all those people twenty years later.

In other news, it took K over an hour to get a single thank-you note written (for her Bat Mitzvah gifts.) I don’t get why writing is so hard for her, but it is. I got an inkling of an idea why when she said, “This one sounds dumb. I won’t send something that sounds so dumb. If you can’t do it perfectly you shouldn’t bother doing it at all.”

Ooof, perfectionism. It can be so crippling. How do I get my kid to accept that sometimes good enough really is?

blogging · Keepin' it real · The COVID files · whine and cheese

Day 357: I won’t stop now.

With the exception of (I think) three days, I have posted on this blog every day for almost a year. Even if I wanted to stop (and I don’t think I do,) it would make sense to keep going until day 365 so I can say I did a whole year.

My hands seem to have other ideas. My carpal tunnel syndrome is back with a vengeance and I’m pretty sure I should avoid typing as much as I can. There is dictation software, and I could try to use it, but my desk is on the landing overlooking the living and dining rooms; I’d feel a bit self-conscious knowing that everyone could hear what I’m dictating.

But it would be absolutely ridiculous to stop so short of the one-year mark… so I won’t. Instead I’ll warn you to expect shorter posts for the next week. After that, I’d feel okay about a short hiatus.