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

Sunday, 30 September 2012

5 Memorable moments from Dylan's "it's not a party" birthday party

1. The fact that the little man was in fine humour the ENTIRE TIME. It was a birthday miracle. He was absolutely beyond miserable at the Fall Fair yesterday, so I didn't have high hopes for today's festivities. Mr. Dylan hates crowds. He dislikes being the centre of attention, and we recently discovered that "Happy Birthday" makes him cry. He's such a Lowry. But today, he took it all in stride and had a fine old time. In fact, he laughed for most of the day, gobbled up his lunch and cake, and charmed every woman in the room. Sometimes your kids surprise you in a good way.

2. D went to the field and dug up potatoes, put them through his new french fry slicer, and fried them in my dad's deep fryer to make some seriously wicked good french fries. When I asked him repeatedly why he was bothering to go through the whole rigamarole at the last minute, he replied, "Because my boy loves french fries. And it's his birthday." Can't argue with that.

3. In a misguided attempt to dye the cake icing monarch-butterfly-orange, I ended up making this frightening, nuclear orange coloured icing instead. Thankfully I used my mom's old cream cheese recipe (with a giant shot of Grand Marnier) so at least it tasted better than it looked.

4. 3 tractors, 2 fire trucks and 3 combines = excellent birthday loot.

5. No bouncy castle mishaps resulting in emergency room visits. Nothing caught on fire. No meltdowns that could not be contained. No broken wine glasses or china. And I even got to finish my piece of cake, drink a giant glass of wine and have a luxurious nap with D after the guests left. Now that, my friends, is the sign of a successful party.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The Sunflower Project - Part IV: The End

I must have dozed off in Nana's chair, because it was after 10 a.m. when I heard the sound of the phone ringing. I dashed to answer it. Maybe it was someone calling to pre-order sunflowers.

It was Carm.

"So how are sales going?" he asked.
"Fine," I said.
"How many have you sold?"
"Um, I don't know. Probably lots," I said.
"How many's lots?"
"Geez Carm, I just got them out there at 8 o'clock. Give people a chance!"

There was a pause on the other end of the phone. I could hear my brother-in-law's morning scruff scraping the receiver. He was probably making a "told-you-so-Kimmy" face.

"They are going to sell, Carman," I told him. "People want sunflowers. Trust me."
"Okay Kimmy," he said, not bothering to sound convinced. "Whatever you say. Bye."

I hung up, and went back to the front porch. I couldn't see the buckets from the window. Maybe fifty cents a sunflower was too much. I'd bunched smaller ones together, 5 for $2, which seemed like a deal compared to the starchy, margarine coloured $8 bouquets at Sobey's, but maybe I'd overcharged. I chewed my lip. Maybe I'd just go out and check.

Before I could throw open the patio door, a gold SUV slowed, then pulled into our lane. I froze. Did the mail man get a new car? Was this just another person using our lane to turn around in? Or was it...a customer?

A woman got out of the SUV and walked purposely toward the sunflower buckets. The rest of the action was hidden from my view by our blue spruce trees and I wished I'd installed a video surveillance camera inside the pink umbrella. I pressed myself up against the glass, trying to see what the woman was doing, how many she might be buying. When she walked back to her SUV, her arms full of sunflowers, I let out a little whoop. Yes! I was right! They were selling! Stupid Carman.

Day 1 profits were excellent. I only had ten wilted sunflowers left by 4 p.m. and my money jar jangled with toonies and loonies. The operation would have been more efficient had I actually kept track of how many sunflowers were in the $2 bucket vs. the 50 cent bucket, but that was a minor detail. Cash was cash. When I fanned out the dough on the kitchen counter that night for D's approval, he looked shocked. His expression alone made the bee attacks worthwhile. Now I just needed to see the same look on Carm's face and I could die happy.

On Day 2, I was up early again, and chopped down another forty sunflowers. This time I kept careful track. I had the kids at home with me, so there was no time to supervise the stand. It was well after 5 p.m. before I remembered to check the jar. I took Jade and Dylan down the lane with me, telling them all about Mummy's new business. They liked the pink umbrella. I smiled and did a little dance of entrepreneurial glee when I saw that only four sunflowers were left. But - horrors! - after counting the money and checking my totals, I discovered that I'd been ripped off $4.00! What the what?

I dialled Carm immediately.

"I got ripped off!" I yelled into the phone. "I'm four dollars short! What the hell is up with that?"

"Well, Kimmy," he said, "sometimes that happens. Did you sell a few?"

"I sold more than a few, but that is not the point," I said. "The point is that some people didn't pay! That is so rude!"

"Maybe you're charging too much," said Carm.

I should have known better than to look for sympathy from Mr. Pessimist Farmer. I growled a goodbye and hung up. I decided to empty the money jar twice a day.

Day 3 sales were a bit slower. I found several extra nickels where there should have been quarters, and hoped this phenomenon was a result of customers with poor eyesight or tourists who couldn't tell a beaver from a caribou, rather than people being cheap. When I went to get the mail, I found a loonie under my stack of letters. I didn't know if it was a peace-offering from Carm, or whether a guilt-ridden soul had driven back to pay what they owed. Either way, it made me feel a little less misanthropic.

On Day 5, I chopped down seven giant sunflower heads that had begun to dry. D had informed me that the seeds were of "confectionary" quality, so I thought perhaps people might enjoy eating them. I plopped the heads into Jade's kiddie pool and dragged the whole thing out to the end of the driveway. "Dry your own sunflowers! Fun for the kids! $5 each" I wrote in orange marker. At the end of the day, none had sold. When I mentioned it to D, he looked at me like I'd told him I was selling used underwear.

"Are you nuts?" he said. "Five dollars? Who's gonna pay five dollars for a dried-up sunflower head? Kimmy, you're crazy."

I stroked out "$5" and wrote "My husband says that's crazy. Now $2 each." I sold three more.

I was getting used to the early mornings, and began to enjoy that first moment out of the truck: just me, Pinky, the sunflowers and a few startled deer or a shower of goldfinches for company. I learned to shake the bees off the flowers first, then snick after. I discovered other cool insects to show to the kids: triangle bugs, yellow ladybugs, iridescent blue-green beetles. My pink umbrella made several bids for freedom; once I found it in the cornfield, once across the road in the ditch. Once, I came out to find all the sunflowers had been sold but there was no money jar in sight. I panicked until I saw that someone had kindly hidden it behind the table. I was getting used to people beeping at me in a friendly way if I was out setting up. A few times I even met customers, all of whom were gracious and yes, smiling at the sunflowers.

The list on the fridge with the tally of sunflowers picked vs. sunflowers sold and the money I'd earned grew longer and longer, until a few weeks had passed and I realized that there weren't any more big sunflowers left to pick. The field of friendly yellow faces had become a field of praying grey nuns, with dark heads bowed towards the sunrise. Sunflower season was over.

I felt sad; I'd just gotten used to having my little business, and apart from being shortchanged a few bucks here and there, I thought I'd worked out the kinks admirably. And most importantly, I'd proved the Lowry boys wrong by making an impressive little chunk of change. For a former city-dweller, nothing tastes sweeter than hearing a country guy tell you they were wrong about something agricultural.

"Well," I told Carm that night as I plopped my earnings back into the sunflower jar, "I guess that's it for this year. Whatever will I do with all my free time?"

"Don't worry, Kimmy," replied my grinning brother-in-law. "Pretty soon you'll have sweetcorn to pick."

You can't get the best of a country boy for long.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Anatomy of a Jonah Morning

5:45 a.m.
(THUMP! Thump-thump-thump-thump-thump)

5:46 a.m.
A small missile in the shape of a toddler lands directly on my abdomen.

Dylan: Hiya Mammy, whadaryou dooooing?
Me: I am sleeping. Go away.
Dylan: Wanna go downtairs?
Me: No.
Dylan: Wanna go downtairs?
Me: No. Wanna cuddle?
Dylan: Nooooooo! Downtairs? Downtairs? Downtairs?

We go downstairs.

6:05 a.m.
There is wet cereal all over the floor. It is also in Dylan's hair, ears and between his toes. I blearily attempt to make coffee and check my email while he runs back and forth between the kitchen and the living room, trailing milk and smushed Shreddies and screeching the theme song to My Big Big Friend. Thank God my daughter is sound sleeper.

6:07 a.m.
Dylan: (Enters waving the empty case to his John Deere tractor DVD) Watch twactors? Watch twactors?
Me: We can't honey. I don't know where the DVD is. I think you lost it.

I find a YouTube video of a John Deere hay baler. Dylan squeals in glee and insists on watching from the comfort of my lap.

6:15 a.m.
Attempt to change my son's diaper. He kicks like a mule on fire. I take him to the corner and forcibly hold him there. When the 10 seconds are up, he tilts his head backwards like the exorcist kid and grins. We return to the change area and resume diaper changing. He shrieks so loudly my vision blurs. Back to the corner. Return, repeat.

6:17 a.m.
Try once again to change Dylan's diaper. He freaks out. I remind myself that I do not believe in spanking. I count to ten in my head. Twice.

6:18 a.m. I get Dylan's diaper off. It is full of avocado poop, because that is all he will eat. Dylan flips around and puts his foot in the poopy diaper, then steps on my bare leg. I grab him. He slaps me in the face. I start to cry and yell for my husband. He arrives, receives similar treatment from his son and marches upstairs with Dylan under one arm. More wailing ensues. I sit on the couch and sniffle. The living room smells like poo. So does my leg.

6:19 a.m.
Jade wakes up.

6:25 a.m.
Jade goes to the toilet, brushes her teeth, dresses herself. She comes downstairs and tells me she loves me. I remind myself that I do not favour one child over the other and get her some breakfast.

6:28 a.m.
Dylan toddles down the stairs and parks himself in front of the TV like nothing has happened. I slump onto the couch and start to doze.

6:29 a.m.
My son climbs up on the couch and starts using it like a bouncy castle. I become the best part of the bouncy castle. He leaps on me and gives me a fat lip.

7:00 a.m.
D and Jade are ready to go. I turn off the TV. Wailing and gnashing of teeth ensues. Drag my son out to the vestibule to get ready. Attempt to get his shoes and jacket on. He goes limp like a wet noodle and slithers out of my arms onto the floor. When I try to grab him, he reanimates and runs back into the living room, where he turns the TV on again. I wrench the plug out of the wall. Dylan collapses on the floor and has a fit. D grimly picks him up and carries him to the car.

7:05 a.m.
Buckle Jade into her car seat without incident. D goes into the house to get his lunch bag. I chase Dylan around the driveway and attempt to put him in his carseat.

Dylan: Wanna go to gramma's? Wanna go to gramma's?
Me: No, today you're going to Nina's.

7:07 a.m.
Stuff my son into his car seat. He throws a major tanty and alternates between rigid two-by-four and aforementioned wet noodle. I finally manage to buckle him up.
Me: "Ha! Gotcha in there!"
Dylan: (slaps me) "HA!" (pause) Go to Gramma's?

I start to cry. Again.

7:08 a.m.
Husband passes me on my way back into the house. He asks what's wrong. I consider telling him I'm a lousy mother and I'm too old to have small children and we never go on vacation and I'm so tired and I just want some coffee and I can't believe I lost my job but I am crying too hard. I slam the screen door to discourage further discussion.

7:10 a.m.
Finish crying.

7:12 a.m.
Pour favourite giant mug full of coffee. Trudge upstairs, crawl back into bed, close my eyes and desperately pretend this morning never happened.

Friday, 21 September 2012

The Sunflower Project, Part III: The Harvest

Standing in a field of sunflowers an hour after sunrise is a sure way to make all the happy cells in your brain do a little dance. You're surrounded by a sea of gold and green. The birds are singing, the nearby alfalfa smells like perfume. A thousand cheerful flower faces nod in your direction and you can't help but grin and wave at them.

And then you start hacking off their heads.

This was me, harvesting my first - what's the collective noun for sunflowers? Crop? Bounty? Bunch? - let's say, DREAM of sunflowers. The kids were still sleeping, and I'd risen before D had even hit snooze once on his hideous WONK-WONK-WONK alarm clock. He'd looked at me with concern, then amusement.

"You're up early, Kimmy," he said, folding his arms behind his head and watching me dress. "Are you feeling all right?"

"Yup," I replied. "I got me some sunflowers to pick." I blew him a kiss and flounced out of the room, proud to be the first adult out of bed for once, and equally proud of the fact that I, Miss Kimberlee Lowry, was officially in the sunflower business.

I drove the truck back to the meadow, windows open, radio up loud. Weeds and grasses whumped and whipped beneath me and I felt very Country, with a capital C: an early morning girl, trucking it across the meadow to harvest her crop. Take that, Taylor Swift!

At the edge of the field, I killed the engine but left the radio on. My favourite kitchen knife, Pinky, lay on the passenger's seat. Pinky had a serrated edge and a candy-coloured handle, perfect for chopping flowers and fending off coyotes. I wore my trusty floral-patterned boots to combat the heavy summer dew and a jaunty Cuban cap. I was ready for action.

A few days earlier, I'd gathered a few sunflowers to take to friends' houses, just for practice. I was delighted with the bright bunches and pictured them decorating window ledges and kitchen tables. D did not share my enthusiasm.

"This feels wrong," he said after lopping off his first flower in the field. He thrust the knife back at me like a guilty accomplice.

"What are you talking about?" I said, artfully arranging a freshly-sliced bouquet on the hood of my car and ignoring the knife.

"I don't like cutting them. It's not...nice. Here, you do it."

I rolled my eyes, muttered something about men being insane and took back my knife. My husband could drag a calf out of a cow's uterus with a chain and winch and not even blink, but when it came to cutting off a flower, he suddenly became squeamish. What a weirdo.

So now, it was just me, Pinky and a big-ass field of sunflowers. As I began snicking off the chosen ones (Ooh, here's a nice one. Wow, you're a big fellah. Aw, look at this little baby one!) and stacking them in groups of five, my mind started to wander. I had two pails ready at the end of the driveway, and my not-so-fancy sign ready to go. Where had I put the peanut butter money jar? Oh right, it was rattling around in the trunk, a few loonies and quarters inside to give people a hint. How many sunflowers should I pick, anyway? Some were giant, some were teeny. Should I charge different prices?

I would have continued in my business-venture ruminations had five bees not interrupted me by dive-bombing my face. I did what I always do when attacked by an insect: I screamed and ran. When I finally outran the bees, my piles of sunflowers were nowhere in sight. A bead of sweat rolled down my nose, and the back of my neck felt sunburned. The tender insides of my arms had burst into an angry-looking rash. The bees found me again.

After six trips back and forth to the truck, stumbling over rocks and ruts and tangles of ragweed, I decided that you don't pick sunflowers so much as slaughter them. Choose a victim, grab it by the neck and SNICK! Off with its head, to be plunked onto the pile of other unfortunates. It was kind of disturbing if you stopped to think about it. Maybe D had a point. All these bright, happy faces that had greeted me so warmly now seemed to wear worried expressions.

Eighty sunflowers, a nasty rash and four bee attacks later, I decided the harvest was complete. I bumped the truck back down the meadow and unloaded everything at the end of the driveway. The pink beach umbrella got anchored, the money jar got thumped in the grass, and eighty sunflowers stood at attention in various buckets. I was sweaty, irritable and pretty much never wanted to see another sunflower ever again.

As I drove back to the house, I wondered how soon was too soon to start checking the money jar. Inside, I poured myself a strong coffee, slumped into Nana's old armchair in the front porch, and settled down to spy on prospective customers, hoping I hadn't slaughtered all these lovely flower friends in vain.

My sunflower dream was now reality, and so far, reality was kinda itchy.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

My daughter is weird

My daughter Jade is three. I'd say she's pretty smart for her age, especially where language is concerned. I have no idea if this is nature or nurture or just dumb luck, but the stuff she comes out with sometimes floors me.

For example, today she informed me that she was "getting her rust contamination suit on." What the what???

I want to blame Octonauts or Mighty Machines for that little gem, but I'm not really sure where she comes up with this stuff. Is it childish imagination and an overactive vocabulary? Precociousness? Or just too much darn TV?

We've written down quite a few of these "Jade-isms" to show her when she gets old enough to care. I've started a book for Dylan too, but he is a man of few words and lots of fart noises right now, so Jade's book seems to be filling up quicker than his.

At any rate, Miss Jady Lady keeps us entertained, which, in my mind, is one of the bonuses of having children.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Sunflower Project: Part II - The Operation

In hindsight, expecting my husband to plant one measly row of sunflowers was like expecting me to eat one dill pickle chip. We just can't help ourselves.

D and Carm got their uncle's corn planter and rigged it up to put in half an acre of sunflower seeds - organic, no less - in my freshly ploughed former meadow. D scoffs at anything remotely organic, but he couldn't find regular sunflower seeds for sale at a price he liked. I suggested that he ask the farmer on the fourth concession, the one whose field I'd driven past. To my shock, D actually went to the guy and told him the story. How his wife wanted sunflowers. To look at. D said that the farmer looked perplexed, then gave D a pail of seed for free.

"See?" I told him. "Sometimes it pays to have a crazy wife."

I visited the field every other day, dragging the kids out to check for progress. I told them how beautiful it was going to be, and how Daddy and Uncle Carm had done it all for me. The half acre of corn, I pointedly ignored.

The kids didn't share my enthusiasm until the first plump sunflower sprouts popped out of the ground in July. Jade and I shouted with triumph; Dylan trampled as many as he could in a gleefully destructive frenzy. The sprouts had come up in uneven clumps, with big bare patches that drove D crazy and made Carm shake his head, but I didn't care. I had my field of dreams.

As I monitored the progress of our sunflower operation - which I began to refer to as "my" sunflower operation - it occurred to me that I'd need to paint a sign or two to attract customers. No one thought I would actually sell many; Carm, D, even my own father expressed their skepticism openly. But I just knew people would buy them. Who doesn't love sunflowers? Who doesn't enjoy slowing down for a roadside stand on a lazy summer day? Well, apart from my in-laws, that is. I kept my chin tilted at a proud angle and let the disbelievers scoff. They'd see soon enough that I was right.

Anyway, I figured the sign had to be special. I'd often rolled my eyes at other roadside vendors whose signs were sloppy or boring. My sign would be beautiful, artistic. No slapdash paint on a strip of plywood for MY sunflower operation.

A lazy drive along our road on the August long weekend produced a windfall. Up here, everyone leaves garage sale leftovers by the side of the road for easy pickings, and long weekends are garage salers' dreams. I found a huge wooden easel and a smaller styrofoam sign with a blank back, just begging to be decorated. The gods that smile on enterprising small-business owners were smiling down on me for sure, although Jade was concerned that I was stealing other people's stuff. "Shhh, honey," I told her. "This is called recycling."

I spent the good part of that evening trem-cladding everything bumblebee yellow before I realized that I didn't have any other paint for the lettering. A quick rummage through Jade's craft box produced a bottle of purple paint and some ratty brushes. I proceeded to write the word "SUNFLOWERS" in swirly, curlicue letters, creating a giant sunflower in the middle using the "L" as the stem. It looked a bit like a purple hedgehog on a stick, but hey, it was "arty." Carm dropped in that night and I found him standing in the vestibule, surveying my handiwork. His silence spoke volumes. I ignored his lack of artistic judgement and took the signs out to set against the garage to finish drying.

Putting up with yellow tremclad under my fingernails and my brother-in-law's scorn would have been easier had the purple paint I'd used for the hedgehog lettering not melted off during that night's rainstorm. Apparently children's paint is not waterproof. I said many bad words, and hid the signs before D could see them. If I drove to Canadian Tire, he'd know for sure about my screw up, and then he'd tell Carm, and then I'd never hear the end of it. I snuck out to the shop and rooted through D's bench of stuff for something, ANYTHING I could use to re-do the lettering before anyone saw the purple sludge. I found a can of black tremclad and got to work. Black and yellow were sunflower colours anyway.

Finally, the signs were ready to go. Now I needed to fix up a display. I found my old pink beach umbrella and shoved it in a pail of water softener salt. I rescued two small tables from the dusty obscurity of the shop, and slapped a waterproof tablecloth that had been my mother's on top. Two big buckets stood ready and waiting to be filled with flowers. I found my peanut butter money jar, and my old bull-terrier plastic piggy bank. I tied a purple bow around his neck and wrote "SUNFLOWERS" on his side with a Sharpie. Everything went into the bed of our newly acquired truck; I was nearly ready. All I had to do was harvest.

But that would be the easy part, right?

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The Sunflower Project - Part I: The Fantasy

When you're married to a man like D, you learn that there is no such thing as a casual suggestion. As I've mentioned before, D likes to keep busy; he enjoys projects, especially if they involve the operation of farm equipment or other dangerous machinery.

So it was with a complete lack of sense that I mentioned, one languid evening last summer, that I would love to have a row of sunflowers - just one row - along the north meadow fence. My husband stopped sorting the recycling long enough to fix me with a squint-eyed stare.

I was gardening at the time - pruning the butterfly bush, tearing out old chamomile stems, trimming back the sweet peas - simple acts that allowed my mind to wander. For some reason, it wandered to sunflowers. I'd driven past a giant field of them along the 4th concession earlier that day; all those friendly sunflower faces had made me grin. I'd been charmed. And, more importantly, inspired.

"Sunflowers make people happy, you know," I said, tossing a handful of weeds in D's direction. He snorted. D hates recycling, mostly because I can never remember how to sort it to meet Kinloss dump requirements, and partially because he grew up in a household that burned their garbage - no sorting required. Now was probably not the ideal time to share my daydreams, but what the hell.

I peeled off my garden gloves in a slow, strip-teasy manner. "We could do family photos in front of them." My husband pretended to stare morosely at the recycling, but I knew he was peeking at me out of the corner of his eye. "I could even sell some." I tossed aside my clippers and took off my hat, shaking out my hair. "Just one row?" I said, sauntering over to him. He grunted. I threw my grubby arms around his sweaty neck. "Oh come on, I'll do all the work - pleeeeeeease?"

That's how it began. A casual request. I wanted sunflowers, for no other reason than to look at them. Sunflowers make me happy. D likes me happy. And D likes to plough and furrow and do other farmery things with his dad's tractor, so wasn't I a sweet gal, giving him the perfect excuse to operate heavy machinery? I pictured myself walking behind the tractor, planting seed after seed like some thrifty farmwife from the Laura Ingalls Wilder era. I could see the row of shining sunflower faces as they beamed at me in the early morning light. Clearly, I was still daydreaming, since I am never awake to see early morning light, but the dream was definitely tantalizing. And all I'd had to do was ask.

Fast-forward to April, 2012. It's a miserable spring morning. Someday is shrouded in mist. I am huddled in my office under a blanket, trying to type a report with one hand when I hear the hollow clop-clop-clop of horse feet echo up the laneway. I get up and look out the window to see two giant Percherons slow to a stop at eye level with me. They are pulling a wagon loaded with damp Mennonite boys.

I intercept a jovial Mennonite man who informs me he's here to remove all the fences in the back fields for my father-in-law. This is news to me, but I graciously point him to the doomed fences in question and go inside to make them some coffee. So much for my meadow, I think, and so much for my sunflowers. D's dad is obviously going to plough up my lovely little meadow and plant feed corn or soybeans or something equally useful and boring. Humph.

After I've delivered the coffee, I phone D at work.

"Yeah, Kimmy?"

"Did you know your Dad told a bunch of Mennonites to come take out all our fences?"

"Yeah Kimmy. Dad wants to plow up that field and use it. Those fences are no good anyway. Why, are the guys there now?"

I can tell he's bummed to be missing the fence destruction party. "Yeah. But...my meadow..." I whimper.

"It's a field, not a meadow, and it's not ours anyway," he says, and I sigh.

Later that night, we walk out to see the results. My meadow looks naked and forlorn without its rail fence borders. I hate the thought of stupid soybeans and wonder whether I can talk my father-in-law into planting something pretty, like flax.

Now skip ahead to late May. I'm working in my office, windows open. The phone rings. It's Nancy from the Lucknow Co-op with the list of sweet corn seed varieties that D has asked for.

"Sweet corn varieties?" I echo, bewildered.

"Yeah, we've got Golden Bantam, Peaches n' Cream, Honey n' Cream, Big Jim, Bodacious, Miracle...tell your husband the first two mature early, the rest are at 72 days."

"I will tell him," I say more perkily than I feel and hang up.

I dial D at work.

"Yeah Kimmy?"
"Did you order a bunch of sweet corn?!"
"I did not order a bunch of sweet corn," says D in the patient tone he usually reserves for our three-year-old. "I ordered a bunch of sweet corn seed. Kimmy, I gotta go. We'll talk tonight."

I pounce on him the minute he walks through the door and perform a major freak out, which contains the following points:
1) I work full time! We have two small kids! Why the hell do you think we need an acre of sweet corn? (Half-acre, D corrects)
2) Who's gonna pick it? Who's gonna sell it? Have you lost your freaking marbles??? (I bet if you stopped reading that Game of Thrones crap you'd have plenty of time to pick sweet corn, D suggests)

I'm about to storm out of the kitchen and let D deal with supper on his own when he grabs me by the waist and sits me on his lap. I squirm and growl.

"Now Kimmy, just listen," he says. "I used to pick sweet corn - shit, did I ever used to pick sweet corn! More corn than you can even imagine! You can pick, oh probably twenty dozen in an hour. Hell, you could probably pick even more than that. I'll help you, don't worry, it's no big deal."

I groan. "But I don't WANT to sell sweet corn. We're too BUSY. I asked you to wait until NEXT year. You never LISTEN to me!"

D gives me a squeeze. "Oh, but I do. I have your sunflowers out in the garage, and me and Carm are going to plant them tomorrow night."

I stop squirming. "You bought sunflower seed? Really? From that guy on the Fourth?" I envision the bobbing row of bright faces and squeal with joy. I'm so excited I forget to ask where we're going to plant the row. I even forget about the corn.

"See, I listen to you sometimes," D says and he gets a kiss instead of a kick. And I putter around the kitchen, smiling like a sunflower, forgetting that when you marry the son of a dairy farmer, nothing is ever as easy as it sounds.

Monday, 3 September 2012

5 Random Observations Whilst in Stratford

1. Remember when your English teacher would pounce on you and ask you to define irony? How about this: getting a free ticket to see Henry V, then getting a speeding ticket en route to see Henry V, the cost of which is more than if you'd paid for your freaking theatre ticket in the first place. Damn you, Shakespeare.

2. $10 for parking? PARKING??! After a $95 speeding ticket, buddy was NOT getting $10 for parking. No, rather than pay that high price, I decided it would be more fun to humiliate myself by entering the parking lot (there was a line of cars behind me), only to turn around and come out again. PSYCHE! Plus I only had $7.45 in my purse.

3. If only the thought, "Hey, the guy playing Henry really looks like Bruce McCulloch!" hadn't flashed through my mind during Act 1 Scene III, I might have enjoyed the actor's performance, instead of waiting for him to start singing "These are the Daves I Know" or dressing in drag.

4. BEST. $4.00. Intermission. Brownie. EVER.

5. Overheard moments after exiting the theatre:
American #1: I don't know what that flag was supposed to be at the end of the show.
American #2: I think I'd rather not know.
Me: (helpfully): It was a Canadian flag. They just had trouble raising it at the end.
American #1 (rolling eyes): Oh my God, I was hoping it wasn't. I mean, come on fellahs, let's not go there, ya know?
American #2: I know, and then they played that Revolution-y song at the end? Too much.
Me: So you're against the director's sly poke at French/English relationships as they relate to Canadian history? (actually, I didn't say this, but I wanted to...right after I stole their brownies. Mwah ha ha ha!)