"Someday's gonna be a busy day..."

Thursday, 26 February 2009

The Perils of Pregnancy - Part II

A continuation of the previous post...second trimester...

4) Hands off the merchandise!
I can't say I wasn't warned about people who would be drawn to my watermelon tummy like moths to a light. I just didn't believe people would actually have the nerve to rub a complete stranger's belly - but they do.

The first person to fondle my stomach was an acquaintance of D's we ran into at a New Year's party. Said fellow was in a wheelchair, so I guess I can't blame him, since my tempting tummy was directly at his eye level. But it really threw me when he reached out with not one, but TWO eager hands and began rubbing my stomach. "Oooh," he said, "it's so big!"

I stood there, giggling nervously, somewhere between shocked and amused, and let the rubbing continue. All I can say is that if you are NOT in a wheelchair, and you attempt to massage my stomach without permission (because if you ask, I'll let you), you may very well be seeing stars rather than the graceful curve of my belly in front of you. All you compulsive tummy-touchers, consider yourself forewarned.

5) The Weepies
I never was much of a crier. In fact, my colleagues have informed me on occasion that "I'm all dead inside" because I don't get teary over emailed chain letters about friendship, kids or puppies they way they do. That stuff makes me gag and roll my eyes simultaneously. At least...it used to, before I got myself up the stump.

Now I weep at just about ANYTHING - Latter Day Saints commercials, Sarah McLaughlan songs, sad bits in books, cloying annecdotes about children or animals or the elderly...you name it, my chin is wobbling over it.

It's tiresome to think that I have absolutely no control over my tear ducts these days. My sudden sogginess amuses D to no end; he's always worried he's the softie in our relationship, but I taught him a few weeks ago that the tables have turned: he came home late without calling, and I burst into a torrent of tears when he walked into the kitchen, so worried was I that he'd been upside down in a ditch on the Shore Road.

Yeah. I know. Pass me the tissues.

6) POP goes the belly button
The other day I sneezed, and happened to glance down just in time to see my belly button pop out under my t-shirt with the force of my breath. Cool! I laughed; it popped again. I coughed; same thing. What a party trick!

When I demonstrated to D, however, he looked freaked out and begged me to stop. Hmmm. I wonder how he'll cope when it pops out permanently?

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

I'd like to thank my bull mastiff, my husband, and...

Oh, wasn't Sunday night glorious? Why, you ask? Because it was OSCAR night, of course.

All you Oscar haters should just stop reading right here. 'Cause I love those darned Academy Awards, and I don't care if that makes me a geeky stargazer, a bourgeois snob, or just plain weird. I watch 'em every year, right to the bitter end. Why? I'm not exactly sure; I think it has something to do with a childhood dream of walking down the red carpet and accepting an award with teary eyes. I kind of came close the year I won the Stars of Excellence thingy at work. I got to buy a gown and go to a fancy dinner on the arm of semi-important men, but it just wasn't quite the same.

For the last two years, I've been dragging D and C down the Oscar path with me (especially since we don't have cable and have to use C's tv). They put up with it, mainly because they think it's hilarious when I dress up, make hors d'ouvres and pour champagne for the big night. Yeah, I know. I'm a bit lame. But trust me, I look dandy in a gown, I don't buy cheap champagne and my appetizers are delicious. (Ask C - I caught him scarfing down a whole platter of my Mexican Fiesta dip last year.)

This year, I couldn't squeeze into any of my Oscar-worthy gowns, so I had to make do with a sort-of-sexy-in-a-mack-truck-kinda-way maternity dress. (At least now I have cleavage to rival Angelina's.) Plus the usual bottle of champers is a no-no, but thanks to President's Choice pink sparkling stuff, which comes with a cork that pops, we enjoyed a reasonable facsimile.

I do think it's fun to sit back and observe the fashions, the pomp and circumstance, the whole crazy spectacle that is the Oscars. I enjoy those funny or heartfelt moments that occur throughout the night. Tina Fey and Steve Martin were a match made in heaven; Sean Penn's "you commie, homo-loving sons-a-guns" comment almost made me shoot fake wine out my nose; the sincere tones and steady eye contact maintained by the women presenting the best actress award were unusual for a Hollywood event. And Hugh Jackman did a bang-up job as host. Now there's a fellow who looks good in a tux.

So, now that the Oscars have come and gone for another year, and the champagne flutes are stored back on the shelf, I just have to catch up on my movie watching; Slumdog and The Wrestler are next on my list.

Monday, 23 February 2009

The Perils of Pregnancy (aka "Good Lord, is that REALLY my belly?"

I vowed that if I ever had the good fortune to become pregnant again, I would never, ever utter a word of complaint. And these are not complaints by any means - simply some obstetrical observations I feel compelled to share.

Here are Nine Perils in Three Blogs...think of them as trimesters!

1) The Queasies
I've experienced pretty violent morning sickness with all three of my pregnancies. This confession is met with puzzled looks from many of my formerly pregnant friends and family members, who perkily inform me that they never had any nausea at all. WTH? I thought EVERY woman who was up the stump suffered from the queasies. Apparently I am one of the chosen few. I think my many mornings of retching means my child will sleep through the night, learn to change his/her own diapers and despise Barney and Teletubbies. Right?

On the bonus side, The Queasies prevented me from having to attend early morning meetings for the first four months. And now that the Queasies have left the building, eating has become a near-divine experience, where all the flavours I once loathed taste fresh and new again.

Aside: I have to insert a few blessings here on the makers of Stoned Wheat Thin crackers. I should really write them a thank-you note for single-handedly ensuring I didn't starve to death between September and January. And blessings on D for learning to make fresh ginger tea, which he dutifully carted to my bedside for innumerable weeks.

2) Tipsy Doodle
Hormones are funny things. Being pregnant, I am apparently full of them. They course through my body, pausing to wreak occasoinal havoc with my emotional state and, recently, my balance. I'm not any dizzier a blonde than I used to be, but I tend to tip over more often than I used to. No spectacular wipe-outs; just gradual, slo-mo descents into snowbanks or walls for no apparent reason when I walk out to the barn or try to put on my boots. One minute I'm filling the bird feeder, the next I'm inhaling snow thinking, "Alright, who just pushed me?" I'm being very careful and walking slowly, but I think pretty soon I'm going to have to buy one of those funky carved walking sticks old Swiss men use.

3) You're going to put WHAT WHERE?
I suppose it's because of my venerable age and past medical history that I'm subjected to bi-weekly ultrasounds, poking and prodding from a variety of medical professionals and, most recently, hideous procedures that even really mean aliens wouldn't perform. The ultrasounds aren't too bad - I love seeing Bumbo making faces at me - but some of these other tests are hard on a girl's dignity. But not to worry: my friend R, who recently had a baby, informed me that after a few hours in the delivery room, I will not have any dignity left anyways.

Stay tuned for the second trimester...

Friday, 20 February 2009

The Sunday Drive - Port Albert

On Valentine's weekend, D put me in the car after church and just started driving. I had no clue where he was taking me; he asked if I wanted to get a bite to eat (he may as well have asked if I enjoyed breathing), then promptly rejected all my suggestions. We headed South on hwy 21; I figured we were Goderich bound.

To my delight, we ended up in Port Albert, a tiny little burg near the water with a quaint general store and an even quainter Inn.

We'd been there once before, a few summers back on the motorbike, to see if they had any live music. I guess the Inn has a reputation for attracting wandering minstrals who come and jam at random. But our motorbike night was not one of those nights, so we didn't go in. This time, we did.

The cheerful owner informed us that we'd just missed brunch, but invited us to choose "anything you like" from the menu, which was a blackboard strung up over the polished bar. There were exactly 5 things to eat listed, which made us smile. Two older ladies beside us were cooing with delight over their soups, so D ordered two BLTs with a side of soup for our us.

The Inn's decor featured an eclectic mix of fishing and boating memorabilia, including a huge upside-down dory that was somehow embedded in the ceiling, and a map of all the Great Lake shipwrecks that had ever taken place, which D studied with great interest. A big, pot-bellied wood stove threw off delicious heat at our backs. The owner was very interested in who we were, where we hailed from, whose farm we'd bought, where we worked, etc. I liked him. Especially since he served 10W30 on draft (I'm going back in 3 months to indulge!).

His soup turned out to be homeade and delicious and the coffee was excellent (even though I had to get up and get it myself). I loved the whole atmosphere - the creaky wooden floors, the owner's wild shock of grey hair, the big red leather couch that curved around the fireplace. The place practically shouted "QUIRKY GOODNESS" at me, which is one of my favourite things. I said as much to D. He regarded me with a fond look and said, "I know. Why do you think I brought you here?" Lovely man, that D of mine. He's promised to take me back there in the spring to see the forsythia in bloom and the fish ladder, whatever the heck that is.

Sunday drives. Valentine's weekend. Homemade soup. A good man. You just can't beat 'em.

Friday, 13 February 2009

A Top 10 list of mushy things...

1. MOVIE - Favourite doomed romance: Laszlo (Ralph Fiennes) & Katherine (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The English Patient. Adultery is not one of my favourite subjects to watch, but there is such incredible passion & chemistry between these two that I'm able to wink at poor Katherine's husband's plight (and this is the ONLY movie I've ever seen where Colin Firth is positively repulsive, so it makes it easier).

2. MOVIE/MUSIC - Favourite unrequited romance: Once. Such a lovely, gentle story. And the music is so powerful in its simplicity it often brings me to tears. I highly recommend the soundtrack. Eternal thanks to Yay/Nay guy for lending me the movie.

3. FOOD - Favourite romantic supper: anything that can be eaten with your fingers, like empanadas, pizza, fried chicken, wee fancy sandwiches, spaghetti (hey, one of the most romantic suppers I ever had was spaghetti eaten with fingers and wooden spoons cuz all our silverware was packed up for a move).

4. DRINK - Favourite lust-inducing beverage: a glass of the boys' delicious home-made apple cider will make mature adults fling off their panties and dance around in the buff. Trust me. But Ravenswood Red Zinfandel is good too if you're looking for a more subdued seduction.

5. BOOK - Favourite sigh-inducing read: Pride & Predjudice. It's witty, the main female character is strong and independent, and Darcy...well, heck, he's Darcy!

6. CLOTHES - Favourite article of clothing to wear on V-day: My red dress. Plunging neckline, plunging backline, and oh-so-firey. Look out Saturday night dance in Goderich - here I come! (oh, and of course, my lucky heart underwear)

7. MUSIC - Favourite anti-love song: It's gotta be "Broken F*cking Heart" by Luther Wright & the Wrongs. Great Canadian band with a biting sense of humour. Seriously, you'll howl.

8. SONG - Favourite song to make your heart swell with happiness: Po Girl's "'Til it's Gone." (You can listen to some of it online if you scroll down to the second album on the list.)

9. WEBSITE - Favourite wistful & sometimes romantic notions: PostSecret. Some of these secrets will break your heart.

10. MOVIE - Favourite sappy, embarrassed-to-admit-I-like-it film: Greencard. I used to have a terrible crush on lumpy ol'Gerard Depardieu and found his character in this movie charming. (How can you not like a character that separates garlic cloves by smashing them with his fist?) And though the movie completely tests your ability to suspend disbelief, the first time G and Andie MacDowell kiss makes it all worthwhile.

11. Yeah, I know - this is #11, but I have to sneak it in:
PLAY - Favourite play of all time: Cyrano De Bergerac. The poetry, the sacrifice, the sheer, swaggering manliness of it all - ooh, gives me shivers. I re-read it every year, but only Anthony Burgess's translation. And joy! Bliss! They're putting it on at Stratford this year with Colm Feore.

Now, share some of YOUR top lovie-dovie, sentimental or even anti-sentimental faves, wouldja?

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

The V-Day Debate

Ahhh, Valentine's Day. To buy into the canned romance, or loftily scorn it as an exercise in commercialism? To stick a cinnamon-heart-stained tongue out at the cynics and bake heart-shaped cookies or stonily spend the day organizing your sock drawer?

I know Feb 14th has become a marketing nightmare. The pressure to spend is silly. But look at it this way: V-day is an extra chance to celebrate love, friendship, warm fuzzies, whatever. It doesn't have to be done in an expensive or elaborate manner(although planning a V-day scheme of some sort is always half the fun in my eyes). And it doesn't have to feel like canned romance either if you're creative.

I don't care whether you're male or female, young or seasoned, single or matched up. Even if you're a growly old bear who forcibly damns all Valentine celebrations back to Hallmark, you CANNOT tell me that getting a Valentine card - even if it's home-made - on your desk or in the mail doesn't make your gravelly heart soften just a leeetle bit.

C'mon, admit it: didn't you love being a kid, filling out a bunch of those weeny little cards, sticking a paper bag on the side of your desk and gloating over it when it got full?

I partially blame my mother for my constant love of V-day. She celebrated it in style: big construction paper hearts with doilies stuck on every window; cards for my Dad, sister and me along with some sweet treat; an elaborate breakfast table that inluded pink grapefruit halves decorated with a cinnamon heart in the middle, home-made crepes, and the ruby-coloured goblets full of freshly squeezed OJ that only came out on February 14th. We always had to wear something red or pink that day. So did she. I LOVED IT!

So I'm celebrating V-day, people, and I urge you to do the same, even if it's just in some small way. This year I am going all out, Alisa Feick style: I bought some heart decal thingies to stick on the windows, I'm making crepes for D on the 14th, and I'm even going to put on my lucky heart-dotted underwear and bake those delectable, heart-shaped, cream-cheese cookies mom used to make with the pink icing in the middle. If you're nice to me, I might even send you some.

And when I walk the long lane down to my mailbox on Friday, I hope I find a card or two in there from those of you who haven't completely drowned in the mire of anti V-day cynicism.

Monday, 9 February 2009

The lost art of the Sunday drive

We've had a record 5 straight days of sunshine up here at Someday. After a particularly gloomy January, it's been a welcome change. And sometimes there's no better way to spend a sunny winter's afternoon than to take a nice, leisurely drive along back roads...especially when said roads lead to the town of Neustadt and its awesome pub, The Top End. (I highly recommend the 10w30 beer - aka "a pint of oil" - brewed right in town, and their honey garlic chicken wings)

I think the charm of a Sunday drive is underrated these days. D told me he and his brothers were regularly packed into the family vehicle on Sundays. They'd set off with their parents to Harriston or Goderich or another one of the many small towns that dot Bruce County. My Baba never drove, but when Dede was alive, I can remember going with them on Sunday afternoons to the nearby "les" or forest, just to hang out. My sister and I would hunt for raspberries or beechnuts or fuzzy orange caterpillars as the season dictated; Dede would fish; Baba would sit on a log and breathe in the fresh forest air. It was unhurried; it was pleasant; it was Sunday.

I know it's probably not environmentally sound to go tooting around in one's vehicle just for kicks, and I have nothing against Sunday walks, but there is something to be said for just hopping in the car and taking off with only a vague idea of a destination. On our way home yesterday, D decided to try a mysterious Schaeffer Road instead of Hwy 9. It rewarded us with rolling hills sparkling with snow, a lone white horse standing in a field, crumbly brick farmhouses and the steepest hill I've ever encountered in this area, with a bridge at the bottom so narrow I felt I had to clench every muscle tight as we squeezed through it. The road crooked and twisted and we had to make a few guesses which turns to take, but we miraculously ended up on a familiar concession road, much to D's triumph.

And there's music and conversation to be had when you're driving, too. The most fascinating topics can come up while you're bumping down a dirt road. D loves to try and coax me to sing; somehow, it always feels safer to let loose and belt out a few tunes in the car than it does anywhere else.

I think there are a lot of neat little nooks and crannies to be explored here in the Bruce, and I think Sundays are just the day to do it.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Happy 100th Someday Post!

This is my 100th post to the Someday Diaries blog. (Can I get a 'woot?')

When I started dabbling in bloggerdom, I never imagined it would become so addictive. 100 posts! Who knew?

My writing habits really deteriorated after 2004; I used to get up each morning and write at least 250 words a day. Ah, for those good old days of energy and determination...Anyhow, blogging has been a nice, gentle way to get back in the writing saddle, and my rambling diatribes have been a good starting point for several of the articles I've submitted for my Kincardine News column. So thank you, blogspot, and thank you, Cuz T & Tanzi - your blogs inspired me to create my own.

To celebrate this exercise in perseverance, I have put a roast in M. CroquePotte. We shall see what we shall see.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Guilty Pleasures

1) Sometimes I spend the whole morning wearing nothing but one of D's shirts and some socks. Why? Because I can. (I love working from home!)

2) Once every couple of weeks, I take myself out for lunch. I'll either gorge on the Chinese buffet at New Seasons, or indulge in goat cheese & black bean quesadillas at Watercress Cafe. Then I drive home, stuffed and happy. My afternoon productivity is all the better for it.

3) Quite often when I cook supper, I throw on my favourite Bollywood CD and wind around the kitchen. (Admittedly, this is getting harder to do the bigger my belly gets...)

4) There is nothing more satisfying than taking a good hot shower in the middle of the day. On my break, of course.

5) I've given up buying no-name ice cream. It's either Haagen-Daaz, or it ain't in my freezer.

6) I'm a rabid X-Files fan. Yes, I know David Duchovny is now a balding sex addict. And yes - I know the last two seasons were bad enough to make even the most loyal fans want to poke their own eyes out. Don't even get me started on the latest movie. Call me uncool, passe, even a bit nerdy. I don't care. That's why I just finished reading the Season 6 episode guide from cover to cover. I cannot wait till my friends are finished with their DVD collection - seasons 4-8.

7) Sometimes I'll eat lunch at my desk, then use my allotted 1/2 hour to have a powernap. My heavens, it feels gooooood.

8) When I'm on a conference call, I sit in the beanbag D bought me a few years ago for Christmas. It feels so naughty to be chin-deep in softness when I know other people are stuck in an uncomfortable conference room.

9) Every year, without fail, I re-read every single one of the books in my extensive L.M. Montgomery collection. I find them comforting.

10) When I'm not Bollywooding, I listen to Ryan Seacrest's top 40 countdown while making supper. It kills brain cells, but I find it strangely addictive. There's only so much CBC downer show content I can take.

Now, I've gotta know: what are YOUR guilty pleasures?

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

A perfectly perfect day

Sunday was what I consider to be one of those rare, perfect days, full of simple pleasures.

D and I slept in until noon and woke up in a pool of sunlight. After so many grim, grey days, the golden light felt like a miracle. From our bed you can see birds flitting around in the ash tree against a background of a wintery blue sky.

D made me french toast for breakfast & we did the dishes together while listening to the Vinyl Cafe. Comfort paid us a weird visit - the cats NEVER come to the house - but when I looked out the kitchen window, there she was, hanging out in the driveway Fed her some eggs and she moseyed back to the barn. Was drifting off on the couch with my feet in D's lap while he watched Band of Brothers (his Christmas present) when a few of his old friends dropped in. We hadn't seen them since the summer; it was good to have a visit.

After they left, we took Neko for a long, lazy stroll through Blair's Grove, along our favourite trails. Stopped in at C's for a Haagen-Daaz bar (I'd strategically left a few there as C is chronically understocked with good treats), then headed home to make D his favourite turkey casserole.

Ended the night with a long hot shower and crawled into bed with D...a perfect ending to a perfect day. It's not often we get such days, so I thought it worthy of note, esp. after all the cranking I've been doing lately about crockpot disasters, sick kitties and nightmares!