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Monday, July 30, 2012

"Fifty Shades of Grey" - Or my version for those 40 & over "Fifty Ways a Day"

I've read the first two books: "Fifty Shades of Grey" and "Fifty Shades Darker." It's ok.

I think this book glamorizes sexual deviancy the way Pretty Women glamorized prostitution. Remember when Julia Roberts played a prostitute and Richard Geer played the rich John. They fell in love and then every girl in her 20s wanted to be a prostitute because of the glamorous lifestyle. We all know how glamorous prostitutes have it.

It's the same old story.... poor unknowing virgin meets insanely rich man. She manages to do what no other woman before her could... fix him and make him happy! Bla! Why is it never the other way around? Why is it never the poor unknowing virgin meets the rich beautiful woman. Why is it women never get to be on top?
It's a good read if you're in your 20s or 30s. If you're in your 40s or 50s, you'll just want to bitch-slap the lead character Anastasia Steele and say "Smarten up!"

It got me to thinking. I am a writer! I could write a book like this for women in their 40s on up! Soft porn for women going through the change! I am 48. I know what turns on a woman going through mid-life. So I sat at my computer and begin and began my erotic, amusing and deeply moving "Fifty Ways a Day" a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.
Chapters 1- 9
These chapters suck because you're just getting to know the characters. Skip to Chapter 10 where the good stuff happens.

Chapter 10
Christian Ways, the Adonis stands in my kitchen. His tool belt hanging off his hips, the way I like it. I am the richest women in the province and this poor carpenter has responded to my ad in the newspaper for a "Handyman." It's his first job. I warn him, there's a contract he'll have to sign.
He says he is into vanilla carpentry. No add-ons, no toys. My dog walks into the kitchen. "Who's that?" he questions. "That's Charlie Tango, my dog. Get used to him." He seems impressed.

"What do you want me to do for you?" he asks shyly. I stare down at my knotted fingers. "There's a hole in my wall. Do you know how to fill it" I question him. "I have Fifty Ways of fixing everything." I gasp at his assertiveness.
His gaze is unwavering and intense. His tousled hair falls on his face, his voice is like dark melted chocolate fudge caramel. The kind you can only get in those Cadbury eggs at Easter.

"You should steer clear of me. I am not the handyman for you" he warns. "Fix my wall" I order him. He's home improvement on legs I think to myself. 
He moves gracefully through the kitchen. His muscular arm reaches to the top of the wall and he slides his hand down feeling the texture. He examines the hole. "I can fix this hole now." Without warning he whips out a trowel from his tool belt. It sends shivers down my spine. Where did the plaster come from? I don't know. Within seconds the hole is filled and the smell of plaster and sweat is intoxicating. "What now?" he greedily asks me.

"There's a hissing in my toilet. It's been there for weeks."  "Show me to the bathroom" he says and I oblige immediately.
Before I know it, he's on his knees... listening to the hiss. "I know how to stop your hiss" he tells me. I stand beside him, relishing his knowledge. Maybe he is too good for me. I've had three plumbers look at this toilet. Neither could find my hiss. His fingers carefully lift off the top of my toilet and sensually lays it on the closed seat. He plunges his hand into the cold toilet water. "It's wet" he says. "I know. The water in there always is" I warn him.
Fifty Ways knows his stuff. He whips out the hose. "Your hose is broken." He slowly pulls his knife out of the tool belt. It's still hanging on his hips. The way I like it. He cuts the hose and places it back in the cold wet water. "Your hissing is gone now. I've cut out the broken part" he explains. "You don't need a long hose to get the job done. Sometimes a shorter hose can do that job too."

He was just Fifty Ways of craziness. He bent over to pick up the toilet seat and his Levis were as tight as the fitted sheet on my mother's bed.
"What's next?"

He's brazen. My head is swimming. I didn't expect it to be like this. Getting  all this work done today. I quiver and gasp.

"My hardwood floors aren't level" I groan. "Show me" he commands.
I take him to the living room. He gets down on all fours. In an earth-shattering moment he pulls out his level. Oh my God. I had no idea my floors were that bad! It tears at my soul. I stare down at my knotted fingers then at Fifty. His grey eyes turn cold. He pulls something out of his pocket and I hear the tearing of foil. I can't believe it! He has his own steel wool!

"I can't fix this. I am not the handyman for you" he cries out.
He doesn't smile. He just turns on his heels and stalks to the front door. "Good-bye" he softly says and he looks utterly, utterly broken. A man in agonizing pain. I tear my gaze from him. The physical pain of losing him overtakes me and I surrender myself to my grief. A good handyman is so hard to find I cry out.

The end.
Stay tuned for book two. While the handyman wrestles with not being able to fix the floor, the richest woman in the province must confront the anger and envy of all the other women in the neighbourhood who want him to fix their holes.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Village

The whole point of my blog is to let women know we all go through the same frustrations with life, just on different days. Women really need to learn how to support each other especially when it comes to being real. Life can't just be about expensive purses and achieving our target weight. I felt somebody had to say "Wait! I like granny panties, my life is not perfect and I love my husband and kids but they drive me nuts sometimes and I know I am not the only one!"
This week I have a guest blogger. Her name is Heather Von St. James and her story is amazing. Please read her blog and visit her blog site. Her story will touch you.

It is one of the most eventful times in a woman’s life when expecting a child. The pregnancy was very normal with each movement and kick of my little bundle of joy. Lily, my little daughter was born on August 4, 2005 and I was so excited as I counted her ten tiny fingers and toes. Throughout everything in my life, those who meant the world to me, my "village,” surrounded me.  There was so much to look forward to as we all witness each new chapter in this life – it all seemed perfect.

I returned to work when Lily was a month old. I was not feeling up to snuff yet, but blew it off as post-partum exhaustion. I had no energy, felt fatigued and breathless. Something was clearly wrong, so I went to my doctor. After various tests, diagnosis revealed my condition was much worse than stress.

The news was devastating. Here I am with a three-and-a-half month old baby girl, a joyous time in my life, and I was slapped with the reality that I had malignant pleural mesothelioma-- cancer. That is a word no one wants to hear, but as it turns out, I came into contact with asbestos when I was just a child 30 years ago. This cancer was caused by exposure to asbestos.

My doctor gave me 15 months to live with this disease unless I began immediate treatment. What was I to do? I had a family to think about. This was supposed to be a new chapter in our lives. I couldn't imagine my happy family, my "village,” going on without me. With the severity and grim prognosis of mesothelioma, we knew we had to get the best treatment possible.

My folks offered to care for Lily in South Dakota, where I grew up, so that I could seek help. One of the best mesothelioma doctors was in the Boston area so my husband and I went to seek him out. I underwent an extrapleural pneumonectomy, which is a removal of the affected lung. Recovery in the hospital was 18 days followed by an additional two months before moving on to the next steps involving radiation and chemotherapy.

All throughout my treatment and recovery, my village grew. While we were in Boston, we met other families who were going through the same thing we were. They leaned on us and we leaned on them throughout the whole process. Back in South Dakota, my parents gained their own little village that helped with raising Lily. Girls who I had babysat once were now adults and offered to watch Lily while my parents worked. Their support meant more to me than I could ever say.

It was my “village” of family and friends who gave me the strength to keep going. I knew I needed to fight this cancer and be here for those I loved. Never take life or anything in your life for granted. Your “village” is a precious thing.

Heather Von St James is a 43-year-old wife and mother. Upon her diagnosis of mesothelioma, she vowed to be a source of hope for other patients who found themselves with the same diagnosis. Now, over 6 years later, her story has been helping people all over the globe. She continues her advocacy and awareness work by blogging, speaking and sharing her message of hope and healing with others. Check out her story at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Girls night!

Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too (John Mayer)

Dr. Phil, my TV BFF, says, "The most important person in a child's life is their same-sex parent." Whether you like him or hate him, you have to agree that's true.

Mothers, or their female guardian, greatly influence their daughters.
I became very aware of this when my daughter was a toddler. She loved to sit and watch me put on my make-up. She would study every move I made and every object I touched.  When I got up from my make-up dresser, she would sit down and put on her make-up, copying me move for move.

She loves going into my closet and taking out the highest pair of heels she can find. Then she wears them around the house. Wobbling from room to room like she was walking on stilts. She would take down some glitzy dress I wore to party, put it on and stand in front of the mirror. Sucking in her cheeks, shifting from hip to hip, practicing her super model poses.
Practicing to be... me!

I am very conscious when I am getting dressed that she's watching everything from the length of my skirt to how much cleavage I am showing. She makes a mental note of it.
She's 12 now, going to junior high and has become very self-conscious of how she looks. At 12 girls are trying to fit in. I would never want to be 12 again.

All her friends dress alike. If one gets a pair of red shoes, then everyone in the group has to have them too. When I tell her "I think those shorts are too short." She'll respond with, "What about those shorts you wore in Florida. They were short."
Once again pulling out her mental notebook and reminding me that she's watching everything I do. I try to explain that when a woman is in another country, where no one knows her, she is allowed to wear short shorts and a bikini as long as she stays out of the focus of a camera lens.
When she was about five, I started having "Girls Night" when my husband took our son to cadets. As soon as they left we would begin our beauty treatments. I buy those $1.00 facial kits at Lawton's. I don't really care if they "Deep clean" or if they're "Anti-aging." I go for the cool colours like purple or red or the flavoured ones like chocolate or strawberry.

During our girls night we put our facials on, slice up some cucumber for our eyes and lay on my bed  talking about what's going on in her life. While waiting for our facials to work she has no trouble spilling all the secrets of her life. Who she likes. Who she doesn't. What she should do about it.
Then I give her a manicure and pedicure. Telling her every step of the way how pretty she is. We have a rule during our girls night. Every hour we have to look in the mirror and say one thing we like about ourselves. Like "I like my hair" or "I am good at math."

Our girls nights are not always spa nights. Sometimes we go to a restaurant and talk or play a game. The whole purpose of our "Girls night" is to create an open line of communication with her, build her self-esteem and remind her about how special she is, not only to me, but to the world.
As she gets older she wants to spend more time with her friends and less time with me. It's natural for that to happen , I keep telling myself.

She fits into my high-heels now perfectly. We're the same size but she still wobbles. I am sure in no time she'll have the art of walking in three inch heels perfected.
My Mother always warned me, "You don't own your children. You only have a loan of them. Eventually they grow up and leave you." That day seems to be coming toward me like a freight train. I can't even think about the day she starts packing up her stuff to move. I can't imagine when our "Girls night" stops.

She still won't go to sleep until I kiss her good night and when she sleeps, she looks like a toddler. Letting go is not going to be easy for me.
As a mother, it's our job to teach our kids how to be independent. Fly the nest. Survive on their own. Leave us. It seems like we spend the first few years of their lives wishing they would grow up and go away. Then as the day gets closer we wonder where the time went.

I have a few years of "Girls nights" left. She's only 12. She still has some growing to do. But I realize she will always see herself in me. The career she picks, how she lets a man treat her, the way she dresses, will all be influenced by me.
That's why I've never been a "Do as I say, not what I do" kind of mom. I try to be the woman that I would like her to grow up to be.  I pray she even does better than that.

I see my daughter as an extension of myself. The person who I'd like to be. The friend I can't wait to have. The overwhelming pride in my heart.
When she was about four, she gave me a Valentine's Day card. (I know my husband picked it out for her). I've kept the card tucked into the mirror on my make-up dresser to remind me that I am being watched, even when she's not in the room. The poem on the front says:

I'm Mommy's "little shadow,"
going everywhere you go,
Dressing up to look like you,

because I love you so,
Yes, I'm walking in your footsteps

(or at least I'm trying to!)
'Cause I've got

my heart set, Mommy,
on being just like you!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Who parents better moms or dads?

Ah come on! You all know it's moms.

We rule!
As the old saying goes, "The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world."

Not that we're better parents than men, we just parent differently than men do.
Men on the other hand will live a lot longer than us because they don't stress about the little things like we do.

Men know how to relax.
I am standing at the kitchen counter making lunches for the next day, making sure everything is in the backpack for camp and hubby is sitting in the TV room in the recliner flipping between golf and race car driving.

He yells out, "Do you need any help?"
 "Yes" I yell back.

 "What do you want me to do?" Ok so now I have to make a list... it's easier to just do it myself.
"Empty the garbage in the kitchen", I tell him.

"Ok" then I wait five minutes. No sign of movement. I poke my head into the TV room "Are you going to empty the garbage?"
"Yes, right after this ends" and that's how you press my anger/frustration button. Women need it done now! Men need it done "Right after this ends."

We adjusted our work shifts when the kids were younger to accommodate their school day. I worked from 7 AM - 3 PM so I could be there when my son got home from school, to get homework done before my two year old daughter came home to interrupt, and to make supper.
Hubby worked from 9 AM - 5 PM so he could get the kids up, fed, washed and to day care and school on time and he picked our daughter up at day care on the way home.

He handled the kids better in the morning and could get them out without fighting and I could handle them better in the afternoon because I didn't lose my temper over homework. It worked out great and alleviated all the fighting about homework with a tired child and ensured we ate home cooked meals instead of fast food.
I was more than impressed with my husband's efforts especially when it came to doing our daughter's hair.

At two, her head was a mass of long curly locks that took forever to comb out and was the cause of many a tantrum. If she saw me even walk past with a brush she would run from the room screaming. Somehow he was able to tame her  wild locks and get her to sit still for pig tails, pony tails, even a French braid. I was more than impressed, I was jealous! I couldn't do a French braid!
One week hubby had to go out of town on business and I did both the morning and the afternoon shift. I dreaded the thought of mornings. My daughter was not a morning person and I knew we were going to fight about those curls. Just as I had predicted she saw me coming with the brush and the place went up. An hour later I dragged her into day care. She was still sniffling from the morning cry and I looked like Alice Cooper with my mascara dripping down my face. I took her coat off and brought her into the play room.

Sheila, her teacher greeted us. She put her hand out and asked "Where's the bag?" "Oh Jeez," I thought "I forgot something." "I am so frazzled today. What did I forget?" I asked. "Her hair clips" Sheila says.
"What clips?" I asked. Then she filled me in on hubby's dirty little secret, "Your husband can't do her hair so he brings me a bag of clips and elastics every morning and I do her hair."

When hubby got home a few days later I asked him, "Show me how to do a French braid? I really want to learn." "No" he says, "I don't want to go at her hair now. She gets upset." "Really," I pressed "Then do it to my hair." "It wouldn't look good on you," he says.
"You're busted buddy! Sheila told me this morning that she does her hair!" The jig was up.

I wasn't mad, I was still impressed. Rather than start each day out with a fight, he found a way that let both of them have a good day. Men know how to delegate. Women try to do it all. I wanted to pin her to the floor and staple bows on her head.  He found a better, stress-free way.
I stress when school projects are not completed on time. I feel guilty throwing food out when it has gone bad. I kick myself for wasting that money. I freak if a white T-shirt gets mixed up with the jeans in the wash. I blow a fuse if kids throw their coats on the floor in the hall. I lay in bed thinking of all the things I did wrong that day and all the things I have to do tomorrow. I am definitely going to die from a stress related disease.

Hubby has a completely different approach. "Let them get an 'F' and see how that feels" he says about school projects that haven't been completed. "I am throwing this junk out of the fridge, it looks gross" he says about the unused food. "Cool. I got a gray T-shirt" he says. "I just walked on somebody's coat with my muddy boots" he shouts from the hall. Then he hits the pillow and within five seconds he is snoring. No stress.
I think both moms and dads bring important skills to parenting. They keep an even balance. I can't imagine what it is like to be a single parent. My heart really goes out to those poor souls doing it on their own.  I often wonder "When do they sleep?"

The best part about having a partner in parenting is having someone to blame everything on!
But at the end of the day, when kids have a fever at 3 AM and throws up all over the bed, they scream out "Mom!!!" not dad.

Because we rule!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mom doesn't have a penis!!!

We stopped at the Irving in Goobies on the Trans Canada Highway for lunch. We were driving to Gander with our three year son.

Hubby went to the restaurant side to get us a table and I took our son to the Ladies room with me to pee. The bathroom was full of people. We huddled into the small stall and I let him go first. He was getting the hang of standing up to pee. To keep his aim on target I always kept Cheerios in a baggy in my purse. I would throw a few in the toilet and tell him to sink the Cheerios. He was very proud of his perfect aim.
After I pulled his pants up I said "You stand there now and be good. Mom has to pee too."

"Do you want me to throw the Cheerios in Mom?"
"No. Mom don't need Cheerios" I told him.

"'Cause you got good aim right?"
I could hear the ladies outside the stall giggle at him.

I squat down to pee and a look of shock and horror came over his little three year old face. "Where's your penis Mom?" He asked with all sincerity. The ladies outside the stall were in a full roar by now.
"Shush!" I told him "Be quiet the ladies can hear you!"

"Your penis is gone! How are you peeing?" He bent down trying to look for my penis. The ladies outside could barely get their breath by now and I was trying to rush my pee and pull my pants up without having to explain the birds and the bees in an Irving bathroom stall.
I opened the stall. The ladies were waiting to see the innocent face of my three year old. "Does Dad know you don't have a penis?" His questions persisted even at the sink as I washed his hands. "Yes he knows. Girls don't have penises. Be quiet" I tried to rush him out of the room.

I could hear the laughter hit the ceiling as I exited the washroom.
While I was adjusting my clothes on the way out he got out of my grip and started running through the Irving restaurant. He spotted his father sitting in the furthest table away from us. As soon as his little feet hit the floor he yelled out in his loudest voice, "Dad, Dad, Dad!!! Mom lost her penis! She doesn't have a penis!"

The whole restaurant erupted into laughter while turning to see this blue eyed toddler running towards his father. My husband froze not sure what he was hearing and by the time it registered with him, it was too late. He was at the table and jumping up in a chair.
Our son looked his father right in the eye and said, "Mom don't have a penis! She had to pee sitting down!" Unable to hold back his laugh, hubby informs him, "Girls don't have penises. God didn't give them any. That's ok. Now lower your voice."

My three year old then spots me walking towards the table aware that every eye in the place is looking at me. He yells out, 'Mom! That's ok. You didn't lose your penis. God didn't give you one." The whole place broke out into a loud laughter.
Red faced, I sat at the table. A waitress arrived the same time with a big bowl of chocolate ice cream.  She sat it down in front of him.

'We didn't order this" I told her.
 "I know" she says, "But this little guy made me laugh today like I haven't laughed in years. He deserves a big bowl of chocolate ice cream."

"You're the prettiest waitress I've ever seen," he says with a big chocolate smile. She thanked him and we received service equal to any five star restaurant.
As they left, every patron in the place came by to say hello to the little boy who made them laugh and the Mom who didn't have a penis.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Why do cell phones always fall in the toilet?

I've spent the last year trying to decide if I am going to buy myself an Iphone. My kids got them for Christmas last year.  I have a Blackberry for work.

The kids are always showing me the latest Apps and how cool they are. They constantly make fun of me for carrying a Blackberry and an IPod with my music on it, plus a paper day-timer.
So, to become the cool Mom and to fit in with the cool kids, I finally gave in and bought myself the Iphone 4 S. I have to admit, I love it. I particularly love Siri, the voice App that talks back to you.

You can ask Siri anything and she will answer you.
My daughter asked "Where's the best place to hide a dead body?" and Siri gave her four locations I never would of thought of. I asked Siri "Who's the fairest of them all?" and she answered with "Snow White, is that you?" I say "I love you Siri" and she says "Oh, I bet you say that to all your Apple products." I asked her "What's the weather like today?" and she gives me the week forecast. Siri is quickly becoming my new BIFF (Best Iphone Forever Friend.)

Yesterday, after five days with my new IPhone 4 S, I went to the bathroom and the phone fell out of my pocket straight into the toilet.
Without a thought about who used it last I reached in and grabbed it. Tried to shake the water off it, then wrapped it in a towel and dried it. I knew water had gotten inside the phone. I hit the home button and it opened showing my screen saver, Tom Selleck in his Bluebloods police uniform from the waist up. I didn't know how to get the water out of it so I did what  anyone would do when your best friend almost drowns, I performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. I put my mouth around the slot at the bottom of the phone where your plug in the charger, looked Tom straight in the eye and blew the water out of my phone. She lived and Tom now has a big smile on his face.

After I knew she was functioning properly it struck me that I should immediately brush my teeth and gargle with Listerine mouthwash.
The funny thing is, that's not the first time it happened. I should work in a cell phone testing lab.

A while ago, I was in the bathroom at work. I was washing my hands in the sink which is about four feet away from the toilet. I dabbed my hands dry with the paper towel and picked up my Blackberry. It slipped from my hands like a frog and jumped straight into the toilet! I had to reach in and grab it out (I did not perform mouth-to-moth on the Blackberry as we are just co-workers) and dried it with paper towels. I ran back to my office, put it on top of the electric heater and turned the heat on bust. For the rest of the morning I looked like I was going through the change of life because the sweat was dripping down my face but my Blackberry did come back to life except I couldn't use the "0" button.
Last summer, I was skimming rocks at the beach with my kids when I noticed a Blackberry washed up on shore near my feet. I picked it up thinking "Some loser's phone is dead." I hit the "on" button to see if it worked and it lit up showing my name on the screen. I shot a frantic look to the case on my hip and it was empty. My Blackberry fell out! I ran to the car and put it on the heater and blasted it with dry air until it came back to life. It did work for about a week and then the key board died.

What I found out after that incident was when cell phones get wet there is a very small pin-hole on them that turns red so dealers know you dropped them in the water. So don't try to lie about it. They will catch you. Just saying.
One afternoon I pulled out of my parking space at work, just as I was about to pull away I noticed a Blackberry on the pavement. "Someone lost their phone and I just ran over it" I thought. I got out and picked it up. It was mine and it didn't break.

My daughter informs me they sell rubber waterproof cases at The Future Shop for Iphone. So Siri and I will be heading out shortly to get a rubber to protect her and Tom.
What cell phone companies should invent is a carrying case that looks like those old black leather wallets that dudes carry in their back pocket. The ones that have a silver chain hooking it to their pants. That's what I need.

I asked Siri if she was ok after her near-death experience and she said, "I can't answer that. Will I Google it for you?" I am not sure if she is being honest or if she's just pissed with me for dropping her in the toilet.
Everything seems to be working fine on it. I just said "Good-night Siri" and she answered with "Good-night Helen." Daughter yells from her room, "Saying good-night to your phone! Really Mom. That's so un-cool!"

So I am no longer hanging with the cool kids. But I do love my new IPhone.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The box the Basilica came in

When you sail through St. John's Narrows, the first thing you see is the beautiful, historic St. John the Baptist Basilica surrounded by colourful row houses.

Then you spot this monstrosity to the left of it (depending which way you're looking). It's The Rooms.
One time I was on a tour boat in the harbour enjoying the accordion music and a day on the sea with a bunch of tourists. Someone pointed out the Basilica. She recognized it from a painting she saw in a gallery earlier. "What's that big building to the left of it?" she asked. Quick as a wink the captain said, "That's the box the Basilica came in." Now that's what I think of when I see The Rooms.

I've only been in The Rooms a handful of times. Each time I was disappointed. It's a beautiful building, don't get me wrong. It's just not what I thought it was going to be.
When the Rooms was first proposed, I thought it was a fabulous idea to have a new building dedicated to our history and culture. The old museum on Duckworth Street had the same stuff in it since I was in kindergarten. It would be nice to have a modern facility.

A few years ago, I decided to "Vacation at Home" as the advertisements tell us to do. I felt my kids were developing a love for the mainland and mostly the United States due to our vacations there. They were starting to see the world and they loved it. All winter they couldn't wait to leave this Island for one that had hot weather, sandy beaches and roller coasters.
I felt it was my duty to make sure they had a love of Newfoundland and Labrador culture and history too. So I brought them to The Rooms.  It was very disappointing with very little about our culture or heritage. I know art is in the eye of the beholder, but there was a stack of books up to the ceiling and art work from New York. It wasn't my taste.

I asked people who worked there, "I want to teach my kids about Newfoundland culture and history. Where's that section." There was very little there to see. The Archives were there if you wanted to read all day. Another mother standing close by told me to go to the Geo Center. That was the best place to find out about our province and she was right.
The Geo Center had a great video hosted by Gordon Pinsent that the kids and I enjoyed very much. The Titanic exhibition was excellent and the kids loved walking through it. The place was exciting and kid friendly. When I first walked in to The Rooms the first thing I thought about was "Do they even allow kids in here?"  It doesn't seem like a kid friendly building when you're in the lobby.

When I think about The Rooms, I envisioned our vast culture and heritage on display not only for tourists but for our own children to be able to see it, touch it and hear it.
Recently myself and some friends went to see "Nunsense" a Spirit of Newfoundland production. We don't miss any shows put off by this extremely talented crowd. Each time we go, we are astounded by the quality of the talent. From Sheila Williams' brilliant comedic timing that puts you in mind of Lucille Ball, to Shelley Neville's beautiful opera voice. Any of these performers could easily hold their own against the best from Broadway.

How can such a small island produce so much talent? There must be something in the salt meat!

I think of the music from Great Big Sea to The Wonderful Grand Band. How many kids in this province know the WGB's Living in a Fog CD has been selling strong since 1981?
This is where The Rooms comes in. If I were in charge of this building here's what I would do...

Create "Rooms" for the following...
The Musical History of Newfoundland and Labrador Room: This area will feature an accordion owned by Harry Hibbs, awards won by Great Big Seat, the fiddle of Emile Benoit, a mannequin dressed in a Joan Morrissey dress, the original hand written lyrics to "Sonny's Dream" by Ron Hynes and that's just off the top of my head. Each display will have a button you press and it plays the music and tells you the history of each artist. This room wouldn't be long filling up with historical items. Some of the artists featured in the room will be invited in to talk to children about how important our musical history is and encourage them to listen and love it. Imagine Alan Doyle talking to a junior high show choir about performing on stage!

The Broadcasting history of Newfoundland and Labrador: This room will feature a display on Geoff Stirling and how he and Don Jamison brought television to this province. It will have a section on the "Art Andrew's Dance Party." A Marconi display (don't forget broadcasting started in NL). A room for The Wonderful Grand Band's CBC show featuring Marg at the Mental's costumes, Nanny Hynes' bandana and other memorable items. Don't forget the entire CBC network today is held together by artists and shows from Newfoundland and Labrador: The Republic of Doyle, This Hour has 22 Minutes and the Rick Mercer Report. There will be a theatre featuring all of these new shows as well as the old. How many young adults in this province have seen The Rowdy Man? I recently sat with Ron Pumphrey and his lovely wife Marilynn at a dinner. Age hasn't dulled his ability to tell you fantastic story after story about our history. How many kids know who he is? His stories need a place to live.
The Sports history of Newfoundland and Labrador: The crowning glory to this room will be the Olympic Gold Medals won by Team Gushue. Next to it will be the Stanley Cup Ring won by Daniel Cleary. Displays will feature personal items and the story of many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians who have gone on to become world athletes. Can you imagine a class of grade four students sitting in this room listening to Brad Gushue tell his Olympic story? Talk about leaving an impression on a kid!

The Political history of Newfoundland and Labrador: No other province has our colourful political history! This room will feature a bust of each elected premier and their history. Other personal items will be on display like Joey Smallwood's suit and glasses. Each past premier will be asked to donate something of historical importance to be featured in their display. I imagine a class of high school students sitting in this room talking one on one with Danny Williams about Muskrat Falls. Wouldn't that light a fire under our future leaders?
Now that's just off the top of my head. I know each of you can add to these displays and add more rooms. Can you imagine taking your kids to this building?

Parents shouldn't have to wonder if this is a "Kid friendly" building. Kids should be ignited when they come through the doors.
This is where our children will see our past and become part of our future. This facility will inspire our future leaders, broadcasters and sports stars.

The Rooms should be known for being more than the box the Basilica came in. The Rooms should have room for us!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Is it wrong to plan a man's murder when he is sick, even if it is only in your head?

I have spent many a night rocking a sick child with fevers so high their little heads would leave scorch marks on my cheek. I can't tell you how many times I had spit-up down my back or puke over my front... and it doesn't bother me in the least.

If my kids are sick, I am there. Wiping the puke, changing the sheets, measuring the Advil, never once losing my temper. It doesn't bother me one bit.
But as soon as my husband says he has a cold I want to put the pillow over his face.

I don't know why this happens to me! I am not a violent person, but as soon as he sneezes I want to punch him in the head. Maybe it's because he wakes me up to tell me he's sick ten times a night. Maybe it's because he flops around the bed moaning and groaning like he's dying of a near fatal disease. Or maybe it's because he follows me around the house telling me how sick he is and leaving his snotty tissues on the coffee table for me to pick up.
Why do men think they married their mothers?

My husband followed me around the house with a pair of pants hanging over his arm telling me he needed a button sewn on. I was making lunches for the next day, trying to negotiate a truce with pre-teen daughter on what she was going to wear to school, while pushing teenaged son to get in the shower, feed the dog and check homework. "Do I look like your mother? Do I look like I own a sewing basket?" If pants need a button, throw them out and buy a new pair!
Then he plays the hide and seek game with me. "Where's my tie clip?" How the hell do I know? When was the last time I wore his tie clip? "You're always hiding stuff on me!" he says. "If you'd only put stuff back where it belongs! It's not hiding, it's cleaning up!" Like I have time to hide his tie clip.

I did hide the tie clip that time just to mess with his mind.
"I don't remember you graduating from the School for the Deaf?" I tell him all the time. No matter what I say he'll say "What?" I know he hears me because If I don't answer he'll repeat what I said and answer me. This man can stand on our back patio, watch a golf game on our TV through the living room window (Yes he has it set up perfectly) and read the lips of the players but he can't hear me talking to him when I am standing right in front of him.

I know why women outlive men. Because men can't live on their own. If I died first, my husband would sit in his lounge chair watching golf forever. He wouldn't know where his underwear or tie clip were because I'd take them in the casket with me just to piss him off! He'd never know what's for supper, or where the children were. They'd find him years from now, a skeleton in a lounge chair covered in cobwebs with a remote in his hand.
I know it's flu season. My kids are passing it back and forth. It's like they lick each other to spread the germs. When kids are sick, they want Mom. No one wants to puke over Dad. He stands in the hall asking "Do you need any help?" That's ok. I can handle it.

But when I am holding a kid's head over the toilet and a cold facecloth to their head, the last thing I want to hear is "I feel so sick. I am going back to bed."
When I am sitting in that chair, rocking a sick child back to sleep and I hear snoring coming from the master bedroom, that's when I want to sneak in and just so lightly push the pillow over his head.

Monday, July 2, 2012

If I just had five more minutes!

If I had five more minutes I could accomplish so much! I certainly wouldn't be doing some of the stupid things I've been doing lately.

Over Christmas I left my ATM card in the machine at Sobey's and didn't realize it till the next day when I went to pay for lunch at a restaurant. Luckily I had a credit card in my wallet or I would have been washing dishes. I had to go to the bank to get a new one.
You would think I learned a lesson, but I did the exact same thing a day later! Paying for groceries at Sobey's I went off and left that damn card in the machine again. Then had to go back to the bank and admit that I needed another card.

Why am I in this constant state of confusion?
It's because I am so busy all the time. My whole life just needs five more minutes!

Rushing the kids out to the school bus, waiting for the dryer to end so I can get another load in before I go to work, drying my hair. If I just had five more minutes!!!
Muti-tasking is just a joke!

I am writing at report a work, Googling a recipe for chicken for supper, while writing "Don't forget to write a cheque for daughter's dance class" on a post-it note and attaching it to my purse, fixing the scuff on my high-heels with a black marker while my mother phones to complain that I never call her anymore!
During a multi-tasking melt down one morning, I was retrieving a message my boss left on my office phone, jotting down the information I needed to call him back with,  while reading an email from my husband. I called my boss's office number and got his voice mail, while leaving him the information he needed, and answering the email back to my husband, I ended the message to my boss with "I hope that's all you needed. If not call me back. I love you. Bye" and hung up the phone.

I do not love my boss. He's ok. I like him but it's not love.
I realized what I did and ran like a woman on fire through the building to his office. He wasn't in yet, thank God, but his executive assistant was. I asked her if she had the code to his voice mail and told her what I did. She went in to retrieve the message but it wasn't there.  "Maybe I didn't press the number to leave a message" I thought. Her phone rang and she picked it up. It was the boss. After a few pleasantries and the daily update she tells him "I am here with Helen now"  jots down some info and hangs up the phone. "What did he say?" I asked holding my breath. "He said to tell you he got your message and he's very fond of you too."

As women we over tax ourselves. Trying to be superwomen in stilettos. How many times has superwoman shown up at work with her skirt on backwards or two different black shoes on? My husband calls me every day to remind me to pick the kids up. I always say, "Do you really think I would forget?" Truth is, I always forget. Thank God he knows me better than that.
And watch out if I am PMSing on top of multi-tasking! Hubby made the mistake of yelling at me from the basement asking me where his white shirt was while I trying to get a five minute nap on the couch after supper. Twice I yelled back that it was hanging in his closet. I know he can hear me but he pretends he is deaf! So I jumped off the couch and stomped to the basement door and screamed back, "You're not deaf. While you're down there take the clothes out of the dryer and they better be folded before you come up stairs or I'll cripple you!" I slammed the door and stomped back to my five minute nap on the couch grinding my teeth.

What I didn't know was that my husband was upstairs, not down in the basement.
The guy from Irving was in the basement fixing the furnace.

Hubby had let him in while I was upstairs helping the kids with homework 20 minutes earlier.
I didn't know the Irving guy was in the house until I heard a light tap on the living room door. I opened one eye to see the poor man standing there in his Irving coveralls holding a folded basked of laundry. He said "Missus, the furnace is fixed. You shouldn't have any problems now and the laundry is folded. I am not good at matching socks so you may want to check them." He laid the basket on the floor and slowly backed out of the room, then ran for his life.

I just needed five more minutes of sleep before starting the second half of my day, now the Irving guy thinks I am a maniac.
I think my brain is full and I can't fit anything else in there. Every time I fill out a form for my kids I have  to think, what year was my son born? I know we were married in '94, he was born two years later. It must be '96. No one will know if it's wrong anyway. Don't even get me started on people's names. There are times I feel like lying to people and saying "I had a stroke and lost my memory so you'll have to remind me how I know you."

If I had five more minutes to think about it, I am pretty sure it still wouldn't come to me.
If I just had five more minutes my hair would be perfect, the zipper on my skirt would be in the back where it's suppose to be, the washer and dryer would have a full load in them, the pot roast would be in the slow cooker, the kids would have their lunch in their backpacks and on time for the school bus, my boss wouldn't think I had a crush on him and Irving wouldn't refuse to service my furnace anymore.

If a genie appeared to me and granted me one wish, I wouldn't waste it on sports cars, grand houses, or a perfect body. I would ask for five more minutes added to everything I do so I could complete some of my multi-tasks... and an uninterrupted five minute nap after supper so I could catch my breath and start the second half of my day.