Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Still Filling the Well in Bayfield, Ontario

The view from my hammock in Bayfield, Ontario.
I am currently blogging at my group blog - Four Mugs and a Crock. Come and check us out.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Filling the Well

Now that the chaos, otherwise known as JUNE, is over I can concentrate my energies upon "refilling the well". I have willingly although sometimes snappishly worn myself out on behalf of my family and my students, and now it's time to replenish my spirit and my strength.

June, as all teachers can attest, is the month that saps one's resources more than any other. Year end trips, culminating activities, exam preparation, IEP meetings, graduations, proms, shopping expeditions for said prom and graduation dresses, packing up the classroom, exam supervision, report cards all contribute to the bittersweet emptying of what was, the previous September, a very deep, very wet well.

On the last day of school my inner well resembled that dry and dusty pit of despair as illustrated above. But the proms and graduations are over, the exams are marked, the report cards filled in, lockers are empty though still smelly and supplies are packed into boxes to await another September.

Let the refilling begin.

The refilling of my well began at about the same time that my daughter filled out her prom dress and struck a pose with her beau. She puts a smile on my face and joy in my heart.

Stay tuned for more wellfilling moments.........

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Knickerbockers - Lies (60's punk classic)

This song is for Mapquest - the liars! (Read post below and you'll understand.)

Suicide Rate Soars in Toronto


Not really, but I wouldn't be surprised if it did. I considered it freqently while spending hours in Toronto's traffic yesterday. I went to a JUMP MATH workshop at the University of Toronto and arrived 45 minutes late, even after adding an extra hour to the driving time suggested by Mapquest. It seems that Mapquest doesn't take heavy weekday traffic into consideration when calculating the time it takes to drive from one place to another. Two weeks ago, on a Saturday, my daughter and I calmly arrived in downtown Toronto after a carefree drive of an hour and forty minutes. Yesterday I arrived (not calmly) after three and a half hours of what I can only call EXCRUCIATING TORMENT!!

I don't know how Torontonians do it. Apparently it doesn't bother them to drive 2 or 3 feet at a time and then stop for a break, drive another 4 or 5 feet and stop for a little rest. Leaving aside my shattered nerve ends for a moment, I hate to think what all of this idling is doing to our air.

It wouldn't be so bad, I suppose, if one were a student of philosophy. I had plenty of time to think. I wondered why there were thousands of cars/trucks/transports on BOTH sides of the Gardiner Expressway and the QEW. Obviously people need to roll down their car windows and start exchanging phone numbers. The ones driving out of the city centre need to connect with those driving in - perhaps they could switch homes or switch jobs and they'd have no need to drive at all. Perhaps politicians could enact a law that prohibited workers from living more than 1 kilometre from their place of employment.

Then I noticed the Go Trains rattling by with room for hundreds at a GO. I decided then and there that if I was ever again stupid enough to travel to Toronto on a weekday I would take a train. Imagine, no thousands of cars trying to merge in front of you from all of those on ramps. No stop lights. The time to read a chapter or two while being whisked along at HIGH SPEED while your vehicle, if you have one, sits quietly at home - no wear, no tear, no pricey gasoline.

The only relief for my constantly roaming ADD-addled eyes was the sight of dozens of bikers, no doubt on their way to Port Dover for Friday the 13th. I was entertained by the variety of bikes, the outfits and the amount or lack of possessions. Some were loaded down with side bags and boxes and even a flashlight hanging by a rope where others were travelling lean and mean. But I could tell they were frustrated also as they had to keep their feet firmly planted on the ground - not so easy for those wearing flipflops and its NO way to ride a bike.

All I could do when I finally arrived home (traffic didn't start to move til after getting to Hamilton - took me two hours to travel 55 kms) was grunt to my daughter and lay down on the couch. I was disgusted that the round trip took seven hours in total and almost a full tank of gas. I just checked on the ViaRail website and a round trip would have cost me $69.50 - just a bit more than a tank of gas and much less time and frustration - they even have wireless internet!

Live and learn, that's all I can say.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Thursday Thirteen # 8 - Canada Has Its Own Day

With Canada Day on the Horizon

I thought it would be appropriate to provide a list

of surefire ways of knowing if you are Canadian or not, but I know that


for sure because..................

1. I not only have Canadian Tire money in my kitchen drawers I also keep it handy in the glovebox of my car for those impulse buys such as the campfire bench I bought there on Saturday.

2. I not only know what a Robertson screwdriver is but I also use one on a regular basis like the weekend in May when I took apart a sofabed so I could get it out of my trailer.

3. I can easily pay for my lunch just by using change - loonies and toonies. And I am constantly trying to get rid of my change due to the weight of my purse caused by said loonies and toonies.

4. I get very irritated when I spell words like honour, labour and colour and they are highlighted by my computer for being spelled incorrectly. Very irritated!

5. I am irate that they would even consider changing the theme song for Hockey Night in Canada. Tum te tum te tum...tum te tum te tum...

6. I have a friend who went to highschool in Ottawa with Alanis Morrissette.

7. I have followed closely the career of William Shatner.

8. I can sing our national anthem in two languages.

9. I start wearing shorts and sandals when the temperature goes above 0 degrees (celcius).

10. Watching curling on TV has me on the edge of my seat and one of my fave movies is called "Men with Brooms" - it was just on Showcase the other night!

11. One of my other fave movies (out on DVD last summer) is called "Bon Cop Bad Cop" - it is hilarious!

12. I am happy to stand in a lineup of 10 or more people at Tim Horton's at 6:30am to get my daily extra large double cream.

13. I am very loyal to Canadian bands: The Guess Who, BTO, The Tragically Hip, Nickelback, Alexisonfire, Billy Talent, Blue Rodeo, Luke Doucet & White Falcon, Steppenwolf, Rush, Arcade Fire, Jeff Healey, Bare Naked Ladies and the King of them all - NEIL YOUNG!

Wordless Wednesday - Tuesday Edition

Tee hee - I love album cover art. This one is rather unique - I think I'd be afraid to listen to it!

For more Wordless Wednesday - Tuesday Edition look here!
Track Listing
Side 1
Music to Be Murdered ByI’ll Never Smile AgainI Don’t Stand a Ghost of a Chance With youAfter You’ve GoneAlfred Hitchcock Television Theme
Side 2
SuspicionBody and SoulLover Come Back to MeI’ll Walk aloneThe Hour of Parting

Monday, June 9, 2008

Monday Memoirs - Drama Queen

Of course the obvious question here is not why am I on the roof in my mother's skirt and high heels, no, the obvious question is where the heck was my mother when I was up on the roof in her skirt and high heels?

I can't answer that question except to say my brother and I most likely waited until mom was on her way downtown to do her shopping, oblivious to the risky activities her youngest two got up to in her absence.

On the back of the photo the words "no, don't shoot" are written in a childish hand. My brother and I loved to act out skits of our own making, especially since finding mother's old movie magazines in the small closet under the stairs. We tried using a tape recorder that Kim got for Christmas one year but got into major trouble one night when in the midst of creating quite amazing sound effects we dropped the tape recorder onto the glass top of our coffee table shattering it into a million pieces. The amazing sound bite was rather diminished by our mother's wrath.

So we turned to photography and my brother made me, yes made me pose in all kinds of crazy getups in all kinds of crazy locations while trying to emote major silent movie style mannerisms and facial expressions in my limited way(think Gloria Swanson - "I'm ready for my closeup Mr. DeMille). I can't recall the storyline which would rationally explain why someone was trying to shoot me after I had clambered up onto the roof but I bet it would be a blockbuster!

I'm sure they would have missed me anyway as I dove into the upstairs window - the bad guys were notoriously bad shots in old movies, still are in fact.