Jester thought

I keep a list of misused words I’ve come across in various editing assignments. Most of them are homonyms (actually, homophones) like troupe and troop. Damn and dam. Peak and peek. Of and Off.

Sometimes it takes awhile for me to spot them. I’ll read a sentence a few times and know something is not right, but I can’t immediately put my finger on it because there are no obvious spelling or grammatical errors. (There/their/they’re, for example, or to/two/too – I know those are tricky so I double check them each time).

Other times, they are too hilarious to miss. Tonight, I came across the best one yet.

Jester in place of gesture.

The thought of tiny court jesters in triangle hats replacing a nice gesture made me laugh and laugh.

Maybe it’s the delirium at work, but I have come up with a scenario where it just might work:

Valentine’s Day is coming up. You should hire a clown to deliver a singing telegram to your beau. That would be a nice jester to show you cared!

Ha ha ha ha


Charting my course

This is a fascinating read on how language (English, French, etc.) does and doesn’t shape our experience.

Mostly it doesn’t. Each languages has various subtleties in grammatical tense or gendered objects, yes, but they all rather balance out in the end.

And then comes cardinal directions. The language of orienteering – the geographic language of North, East, South and West. Cultures who use the cardinal points develop a mastery of knowing which way is which. Cultures who use egocentric language for directions (that is, left, right, in front, behind) have a much looser grasp on where the sun rises and sets.

Maybe I’m oversimplifying this, but the former is what’s known as a good sense of direction.

In Newfoundland, I have an exceptional sense of direction. I am inherently aware of where the water is in relation to where I am, and as I have a good grasp on geography and topography and cartography I can extrapolate the cardinal points based on my position relative to the coast. (Look, I even used a nautical phrase for the title of this post!)

In Alberta, there is no such map.

All (most) roads run North-South or East-West. If I don’t pay attention to the sun or my direction of travel, I’ll get all turned around and tell you I’m heading North when in fact I’m on my way to BC.

After two years here, I’m getting better. I do a lot of map-visualization in my head to orient myself, but I don’t always have to scan the horizon for the mountains to know which way is West.

You could say, after two years, I’m actually finding my way in Alberta.

I’ve stopped crafting blog posts in my head

I used to go about my day having a nearly non-stop conversation with myself, crafting blog posts in my head about this or that or whatever was happening in the moment.

I’m not sure when it stopped, but I noticed I hadn’t been talking to myself much lately.

(Okay, maybe that’s a good thing.)

I tried to take up Crossfit today. I dropped by the gym to find out about scheduling and pricing, and the owner basically told me to go home because Crossfit is for “athletes and people who are very sports-minded.”

Ooooooooooooooooo that made me MAD.

Also, he informed me they don’t allow pushups from the knees in their gym. My friend, a Crossfit enthusiast, assures me this is NOT a hallmark of Crossfit everywhere, but sounds like this guy is just a jerk. I think I just didn’t look like an ideal client for his establishment, and so he did his best to hustle me out of there before one of his sports-minded regulars caught site of the baby-wearing mother in coloured denim.

(My new pink jeans are awesome, by the way).

I couldn’t get my thoughts together clearly or quickly enough to tell him his attitude is costing him business.

But I did gesture to the room of ergs and weight and resistance machines and gymnastic equipment and told him I was not intimidated. I even did a few whole pushups (from my toes!) But he insisted it wasn’t for beginners.

So I’ll keep my $130 a month. Wouldn’t want to pad his pocket anyway.

There’s a whole lot of inspirational/motivational crap out there about not making excuses for not exercising. But when morons (and supposed fitness professionals – he was sure to swagger about how he coached the 6 a.m. class) like this pull this crap, it kind of puts a damper on the drive to exercise.

(Dude, I’m up and raising kids by 5 every morning. Your 6 a.m. coaching session does not impress).

I’ll be okay. I’ve had craptastic coaches in the past. I can try another gym or just make my own training plan. I’ll be fine.

But what about the next person who walks in there and gets the same treatment, someone who really IS a beginner looking to get healthy? I really really hope that person doesn’t meet the dude I did today.

My anniversary

Whoops, look at that! I let my 3-year bloggerversary slip by yesterday without so much as a tip of the hat. I was too busy bellyaching about my supposed vacation-free life, which turns out hasn’t been so vacation-free after all.

So, Happy Bloggerversary to me! Perhaps I ought to take a celebratory trip?


(Wanting to be) sitting on the dock in the bay

It is not the right time to be thinking about a vacation.

And yet.

I’ve never been on a vacation.

Nothing beyond extended weekend road trips. And that’s ok! I love our mini breaks. I’ve often written about them. And given the choice of one vacation a year or several weekend getaways for the rest of my life, I would take the weekend trips without hesitation.

In university I would boast that our family vacations growing up were camping trips. They were awesome! I have great memories.

(I also remember a time I begged my parents for a trip the the exotic destination of Halifax. I priced it out, and tried to convince them we could take a family vacation for four all for the low, low cost of $500. This makes me laugh now, obviously, but oh, how I wanted that vacation!)

My friends are planning their fall and winter getaways – October or February trips down south, to get a break.

I like winter, and I certainly don’t want a break from the weather – ski season is too short to give up – and my life isn’t so hard that I need a break from the daily grind either.


Doesn’t a vacation sound nice?

Sitting on a deck or dock somewhere, no work, all play, a few hikes, a bit of shopping, some tasty food, maybe a day or two on a beach, or maybe a cruise. No cell phones, plenty of playgrounds?

Sounds nice.





Since I started writing this post, I began remembering all the vacations I have taken: Two Club Med holidays while living in France, but they don’t wholly count as I was nannying at the time. Two weeks in France and Germany at Christmastime with ma meilleur amie. Ten days in China avec la meme amie. Okay, I haven’t exactly been deprived now, have I? Forgive me, I’ll be back to my regularly-scheduled practicality shortly.

All of a sudden in Canmore

The kids and I had a pretty spectacular weekend camping in Canmore. I’d post pictures, but that would require digging out the card reader and that sounds like too much tech after a glorious (mostly) tech-free weekend.


When was the last time you spent three consecutive days entirely outside?

I feel like I got a complete reboot.

I only had one episode of panic of being outnumbered 2:1 by small, needy creatures, but I tempered my expectations and powered through. Plain boiled pasta is a perfectly acceptable supper when it is 11 p.m. and you are cooking on a single burner campstove with one baby on your back and another who apparently has night vision. She must – how else could she be navigating tree stumps and bushes like that in the dark?

We drove down (up?) to Canmore on Friday to encroach on my friend’s campsite. Pitched a tent, had a campfire singalong (OF COURSE) and shivered through the first night. Spent Saturday strolling downtown Canmore and soaking up tunes and folk-festival-feelgoodness. YES. Repeated it on Sunday with added rain (OF COURSE) and wrapped up the spectacular  weekend with pancake breakfast, dance workshop, and David Francey on Monday. Also, popsicles. Homemade, “artisan,” and so good I had to try every flavour. (Raspberry Hibiscus won out. OF COURSE).

There were random acts of high school acquaintances…

Said me to she: “You look like you’re having a lot of fun!”

Said she to me: “You look like you have a lot of responsibilities.”


There were random acts of Halifax musicians. Super Duper!

There were a billion Chariots in all directions.

There were bug bites and downpours and dancing. If it weren’t for the backdrop (towering mountains! Snow-capped peaks!) I could have been at the St. John’s Folk Festival. (Which is happening this weekend, y’all should go!)



Total Perspective Vortex and cloth diapers

This week a friend who has been diapering a kid as long as I have (coming up on three and a half years now), watched me fold a stack of cloth diapers and wondered aloud:

“Why do you do it to yourself?”

Why indeed?

Flats fresh out of the dryer

Flats fresh out of the dryer

I don’t ave a sensible answer

Awhile ago I wrote about how large amounts of anything make me queasy – condoms, candy, etc.

Folding flats

Folding flats

So the thought of the number of disposable diapers that would be heading to the trash from my two kids alone makes my mind boggle. BOGGLE.

(You know that passage from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy where Zaphod Beeblebrox steps into the Total Perspective Vortex designed to make people feel totally insignificant against the vastness of space? Well Zaphod steps out unfazed, but I’m pretty sure the Vortex would have killed me).

And assortment of diapers

An assortment of diapers… and our new reclaimed change table)

So I pin, snap, wash, fold and put away. I pour a slug of vinegar in every wash and I spend 20 minutes folding diapers only to start it all over again. But when I tally that up against packing crates of plastic diapers home from the store and carting bags of soiled diapers to the dump, the simple squares of flannel still win me over.