Monthly Archives: May 2012

On ice

Oh lookit the iceberg!

It’s April in NL and iceberg season has started early! That’s Spillar’s Cove, right where Bonavista and Trinity Bays meet. And that’s a medium size berg. A real iceberg. Not a bergy bit (size of a car or so) or a growler (size of a house or thereabouts), but an honest-to-goodness iceberg. If I had to hazard a guess I would put it at 150+ ft long and 40+ ft high. There were dozens around this spring, and it’s shaping up to be a bumper year for ice beasts. The season generally wraps up by mid to late July, so hurry East!

What’s that? What else is in the picture? Well my daughter, obviously. And a fence. And some cliffs where that singer filmed a music video one winter. (Because she has a thing for hypothermia, I imagine).

Yeah, I’m also totally pointing to my belly. Where, at the time, there were cells a-dividing and a blastocyst a-forming.

I made Travis take this picture so we could send it out as a “Surprise! We’re pregnant!” announcement in another month or so. (Side note, this is exactly how I wanted to announce Sylvia two and a half years ago, but chickened out and went with the old standby “We’re having a baby!” instead).

So the month is up! But there’s no more cells a-dividing or an embryo a-growing.

I miscarried a few days after this pic was taken. Oof. Who knew it could happen to me? SURE AS HELL NOT ME, THAT’S WHO.

So when you ask when Sylvia’s getting a baby brother or sister, forgive me for being non-committal, flip, or downright vicious in my reply. I hear this grief train is a bit of a bitch. Just going to have to ride it for awhile longer.

And until then, my only answer to the question when is Sylvia getting a baby bother or sister is this:



Now bugger off and stop asking me. And stop asking every other parent of a single child for that matter. Maybe go check out some icebergs instead. Or tell me all about that time YOU had a miscarriage too, because actually, I’d love to hear about that. Really.


Mile high.

Make that 7.043 miles high. Because I am a journalist and I must be accurate to point three decimal points, even here on my own damn blog.

Words and phrases Sylvia says that are not part of your average two-year-old’s vocabulary:






Bike helmet

Buff (the headscarf)

No, thanks

Stupid Dodge

Dandelions are big buggers

My kid rocks.

She’s sitting next to my right now. We’re on an airplane somewhere over Maine. We just came through some of the roughest turbulence I’ve ever experienced, complete with a brief air pocket or two. Who needs amusement parks when there’s terrifying stomach-churning air travel? Sylvia slept right through it, thanks in no small part I’m sure to the awesome head restraint I fashioned for her:


The flight attendants complimented me on my ingenuity, actually

There’s a woman flying the plane, and I want to ask if she’s the infamous pilot I heard about who pumps her breast milk while in the air. I don’t want to be that creepy passenger at the back of the plane though, so maybe I will abstain.

 Although, if she IS pumping breastmilk up there I’d love to know about it. Would make me feel good to know there is a super human at the controls.*

Do pilots need to radio into the US when we enter their airspace? How high does one nation’s airspace go anyway? At some point, doesn’t it all just become atmosphere anyway, or do they own their view of the stars the same way NL owns our very own hole in the ozone layer?

When I was 10 or 12 or younger there was a huge public awareness campaign on to wear sunscreen and hats because that summer the hole in the ozone layer was going to be directly over Newfoundland. I think we’ve since learned there are many many holes and thin spots up there, and it’s more or less good practice to wear a hat and sunscreen wherever you are in the world, but that summer THE hole was going to be stations directly overhead. I still imagine ‘our’ hole as our own secret tunnel to space. Except not so secret anymore.

Heading back in to Quebec now. This trip is going considerably faster than the last time we headed west. We’re less clear on our return date this time, but I have come to some kind of terms with living with the uncertainty.  It’s much like living with a scab or an itch – forever irritating, but only seriously aggravating when you scratch it.


*(I asked. She totally is not the milk-pumping pilot. But she did write an e-book for kids that’s like a real pilot’s logbook for them to record their flights in. That’s kind of cool.)


I’ve had this draft of a post sitting in the back end of my blog for the last few weeks. (The ‘back end’ is what I call the part of the blog you can’t see – where I write posts and respond to comments and all that. Is there an official term for it? If there is I don’t know it.)

Anyway, the title was Eleven.

The text field was blank.

I have absolutely no idea what it was going to be about.

So to not let the numerical title go to waste, here are 11 things I’ve been doing since I last wrote:

1. Made pitcher mojitos for a bachelorette, and they were delicious. In fact, after the first round we had to run out and get more rum because we already knew we didn’t have enough to truly appreciate the simplicity and deliciousness of this particular mojito.

2.  Broke down an antique cast iron and brass bed frame with a hammer. ‘Cause they just don’t make things like they used to! I inherited the frame from a friend and it has since moved with me four times, and I just can’t bring myself to get rid of it even though nobody has double beds anymore. This goes completely against number three, which is…

3. Purged our house of clothes, toys, paperwork, outerwear and housewares.I was ruthless. The house feels so much roomier now! Too bad the shed is chock full of antique bed frame. (Also, you know how heavy your cast iron fry pan is? Well picture that in a bed frame. That thing is HEA-VY.)

4. Saw The Avengers. I knew nothing at all about it going in to the film (Marvel who?) but I had a great time!

5. Took Sylvia on a bus ride. We went to the park and playground, then we took the bus home again. It may have been her greatest day ever, for a grand total cost of $4.50. Can’t beat that.

6. Made this delicious recipe: asparagus and mushrooms with tasty tasty pasta sauce. Or at least that’s what I call it. But a rose by any other name and all that. This is some good, easy cooking!

7. Met my TWO new baby cousins. Got all misty-eyed over their new baby smell. Yum.

8. Watched Sylvia go from saying a couple hundred words to repeating every. damn. thing. you. say. And coming up with her own phrases, and having conversations, and mastering big words like “essential” (ie: Coffee is…), “mattress” and “eventually.”

Q – When will the bus come?

A- Eventually!

9. Hung out with my sister who was home from the UK for two full weeks at the same time as me.

10. Ate four six nine a lot of croissants from Rocket bakery.

11. Read a lot of blogs. The usual, plus a couple  new  ones. (New to me)

On the move again

We have about 16 hours left at home-home before we become a long-distance family for another three weeks.

So I should be doing one of the following:

1. working
2. packing
3. cleaning out the fridge
4. laundry
5. loading the car
6. taking out the garbage
7. washing dishes

I should decidedly not be doing any of these:

1. finishing my book
2. learning how to use my new smart phone (*gasp!* I thought the day would never come)
3. Eating three orange Club bars (because they are just so damn delicious. YOU try to stop yourself)
4. dozing in my bed with Sylvia
5. blogging

… which is a comprehensive list of everything I have done since Sylvia went to sleep.

She’ll be up soon, and we’ll have to walk to the post office to have our mail forwarded. Again. I’m really hoping my necklace from Band Back Together‘s charity auction arrived, or else I’ll be waiting another month until I land in Alberta.

I’ll probably tow Sylvia in the wagon, and we’ll make a pit stop at the wharf to see the lobster in their tanks. (We’ll be packing up a cooler full tomorrow morning for Travis to bring to Alberta with him). On the way home, we’ll probably run down the bank to our beach for a few last stone throws and sea glass discoveries. Then Sylvia will cry when I try to put the wagon in the woodshed. Because “You can play with it again in September” is a little too abstract an idea for her to understand right now, I’ll probably end up bringing the wagon in the house while I scramble with laundry, packing, washing and tidying in our last evening home.

I always have visions of the last hew hours at home – a final cup of tea, happily putting away toys with Sylvia – but it never happens. I should know better by now!