Dear Maggie

As I stare down the barrel of your second birthday, there have been many times lately that I wanted to capture the seesaw of pure joy and angry frustration that you are these days. This won’t do justice to the real-life you but here is some of what you’ve been up to lately:

You are a climber. You climb the outside of your crib, the footboard of the guest bed, anything at the playground, and all the furniture.

You wail at the top of your lungs over major injustices such as putting your food in the microwave to heat up.

If we are in the car for more then 10 minutes you will take off your shoes.

You love to laugh when other people are laughing. When you hear a laugh-track on TV or the radio you unleash a belly-laugh, too.

You are generous with hugs and kisses. You run full-throttle at daddy and me to give us big hugs. You love giving kisses, especially on our noses.

You love to draw and color.

You know all the colors in your rainbow book.

You love making animal sounds.

You can kind-of sing the ABC’s. You know the first 7 letters for sure; from then on it’s hit and miss.

You love singing your own little songs when in your carseat.

You are obsessed with the “Cool Tricks” segment on Yo Gabba Gabba.

When we ask you to shake your dupa you spread your legs wide and shake your hips Elvis-style.

You are 100% a water-baby. You are attracted to water like nothing else. There have been several times this summer when watering the tomatoes ends with a drenched, fully clothed Magpie. We just installed a hand-held shower in the bathtub so you can take showers and you love it!

You have perfected the skill of going limp during a tantrum.

You love to try new foods and will taste just about anything we put in front of you.

Your concept of sharing is that if you want something all you have to do is shout “Share!” then you are free to grab it.

You like to kiss my and daddy’s “ouchies” to make them “all better!”

You can melt my heart when you say “tank too, mama!” after I hand you something as simple as a spoon.

Bronze and Pottery, Lace and Linen

8 years ago today was a picturesque day with clear blue skies. Bald eagles rode the drafts above as I stood in a beautiful garden on Salt Spring Island, BC and pledged my never-ending love and commitment to my amazing husband.  I was not quite 23, he was 28.  I wore orange tennis shoes, he wore a yellow bow tie.

8 years. 


When we met 22 months earlier I knew he was different… he was permanent.  From our first “date” which was after he took me home from a friends house which turned into a late night viewing of the Princess Bride and a nearly all-night gab fest; to us both forgetting where we went on our first proper date.  From the first night I met him that he doesn’t remember.  Even when my father asked if he was a Communist and we tried to elope but couldn’t find a Registry Agent Office or Marriage Commissioner on the last day of our trip.  I knew then like I know now that it’s him and me – end of story.

It’s a keeper.

I love you honey!

Tomato Bandit

The first year in our previous house I tried to grow tomatoes; it was a sad attempt in a very shady lot and by the October frost we had a harvest of 2 mealy fruits. When we moved to this house in December one of my first habits was watching the sun patterns to see if I could try my farming skills out here. Luckily we have great sun in our back yard and I started dreaming of my bountiful harvest of juicy homegrown tomatoes. Our neighbors have a Black Walnut tree on the property line so I opted for using planters on the porch and in early May I purchased 5 beautiful plants from the Farmer’s Market.

Now, they are about 5 feet tall and going like gangbusters and we will soon have dozens of Sun Sugar cherries, Vintage Wine heirlooms, Yellow Pear heirlooms, Dr. Wyche Yellow heirlooms, and Sun Gold cherry tomatoes.

That is if the tomato bandit that is my child leaves any of them on the plant long enough to ripen. When we play outside I’m in constant vigil near the three pots as my 3-foot high tomato snatcher goes in for any fruit that is even remotely turned color. She pops them in her mouth then spits out the not yet ripened prize. If we win our tomato battles we will soon have a great harvest.

Getting to Know Me (a little more)

A continuation of this post:

  • I hate most vegetables. I have to trick myself to eat them by “hiding” them in my food. I really, really want to like the beautiful asparagus, radishes, etc. I see at the farmers market every week but I just can’t stand them. I could live on fruit alone, though. Unless it’s fuzzy (like a peach) – that totally freaks me out.
  • I’m too scared of commitment to get a tattoo but I’m always searching for the “perfect” one.
  • I can’t fall sleep if the closet door is open, even just a little bit.
  • I HATE being late. Even if I know the other person will be late I CANNOT STAND being late. This drives Mark nuts. If you say “let’s meet around 5” I will be there at 4:55. I can’t help it.
  • I love speaking to groups but only if I don’t know anyone very well. I can speak in front of huge groups and present at workshops but ask me to speak in front of 5 co-workers and I can’t do it.
  • When I was 8 or so I took a tap dance class and the girl next to me in the class line up smelled like BO. Every class I tried to change places but we were lined up by height and the teacher yelled at me. I begged to quit, complaining that the tapping gave me headaches. After several weeks of whining about my fake headaches my mom let me quit.
  • When I was in middle school and getting ready for braces I had something like 5 teeth pulled. My mouth was just too small and crowded so my teeth were on top of each other. Now, whenever I go to a new dentist they are baffled at how few teeth I have!

A New Recipe

1 quart of hydrogen peroxide, 3% solution

1/3 cup baking soda

2 squirts Dawn dish soap

That’s what it takes to de-skunk your dog.  Thank goodness for Google at 10 PM on a Tuesday night.

Poor Pooch


The lovely and talented Karen over at Chookooloonks has been having a fun little share-fest with her readers in which she shares random facts about herself and her readers share theirs.  I’ve been commenting almost everyday and have assembled quite the little collection.  So, here are some fun and random facts about me:

  • I must have something over me when I sleep. Even if it’s just the corner of a sheet or a tiny baby blanket over my shoulder and arm, I can’t sleep without it. Somewhere in my childhood I convinced myself that if a psycho-killer broke in at night he couldn’t stab me through my sheet. And to this day I have to have something over some part of me.
  • I don’t understand women who refuse to learn how to use a lawn mower on “principle”. That irks me to no end. Same thing for refusing to learn how to change a tire.
  • My dream home has to be on the water – I don’t care if it’s a big lake or the ocean. It can’t just be near it, I have to be able to see the water and hear from my house. Someday…
  • For the longest time I couldn’t stand having anything between my toes – flip flops, toe rings, etc. Then a really cute pair of sandals called to me and I got over my “nothing between the toes” thing. I would wear flip-flops 24/7 if I could. I still can’t stand toe-rings, though.
  • I hate logos plastered all over things. I don’t care if the handbag is the perfect shape and price, if some damn logo is all over it then no way!
  • I have to sleep with a fan on. I cannot sleep in a silent room.
  • I often find myself having to hold back from jumping into water when on boats/bridges/etc. When we vacation in British Columbia’s Gulf Islands it’s hard for me to stand at the ferry railing as I fear I will take the plunge. I just love water and want to be in it.
  • I CANNOT stand karaoke and can’t for the life of me figure out how that is fun for either the singer or the listeners.
  • I tried to give up meat once and lasted for about 6 days.
  • My husband and I tried to take dance lessons to prepare for our first dance together at our wedding reception and failed miserably. We both fought each other for the lead. After 2 lessons our instructor (who was also a friend) gave up on us. Now, nearly 8 years later we’ve hardly ever danced together. I think we need to take lessons again – I hope we’d be better at sharing the lead now.
  • I have never broken a bone. I’ve hurt tendons and ligaments and have had ACL reconstruction but never a bone.
  • I can’t remember my first kiss.
  • I have had my tongue and navel pierced – in addition to several holes in each ear. Other than a single hole in my lobes, all the others are gone. I regret losing the tongue the most.
  • If I could pull off a pixie haircut I would in a second. I hate hair – seems like such a waste of time and resources.

Whoorl me, Moosh!

How perfect that I just start reading Moosh In Indy with this very funny post that won her some serious moola!  Now, she has partnered with the lovely and talented Whoorl to make the world a better place with pretty hair.  I’ve been reading Whoorl for awhile (and of course am now reading Hair Thursday as well) and I know need some serious help but she’s got like a billion people in waiting…what’s a girl to do?  How about post my entire hair history for the world to see in hopes of winning a fabulous, Whoorl-selected and Moosh-funded hair make-over?  Here goes…

I have THICK, straight hair.  It is so thick and unruly my mom kept it short so I rocked the Dorothoy Hamill cut from about birth to 7th or 8th grade when I started caring about my hair.

During that time my mom sometimes experimented with perms – home perms (how I loathed you, Toni!) and in my thick, curl-resistant hair they lasted about a month.  I can’t even tell you how many times I sat in a kitchen chair while my mom tightly rolled all my massive amounts of hair on dozens of rollers so I could sit with stinky chemicals on hair and my head rapped in a plastic bag.  It’s amazing I have any hair left after the punishment I put it through.

gotta love the mullet

In middle school I thought a “professional perm” would last longer so I saved my babysitting money for months to get a salon perm and I thought I looked RAD.  Let’s not talk about the chemical burns I got on my forehead and scalp – they were healed by time I posed for this:

Then the 1990’s and high school came a long and as a two-sport athlete hair just got in the way.  I hated styling it since it never held (my curing iron was covered in purple Aussie hairspray residue) and it was so thick I was always hot.  My thick, heavy hair laughed at ponytail holders and broke free most days.  So, I ended up with basically a Dorthoy Hamill cut again, but this time with an at-home-dye-job:

note how the eyebrows don’t even remotely match the hair

College came and I was every color in the book:  I tried black with a bleached streak in the front which looked like a skunk when pulled back into the almost daily ponytail.  It was super-short, shoulder length, middle of the back long; bobs, straight cuts, bangs, no bangs.  From kool-aid dye jobs and manic-panic to double process salon coloring, basically I tried it all:

The belt, the bangs, the blond, Oh my!

hungover and home for Easter – could my eyes look any glassier?

Ahh, keg parties – how I don’t miss you!

here I am posing with my Grandpa the Senator (on the right) and the State Auditor, I have a turtleneck on because I had HICKEYS all over my neck – I was mortified!

Again with the dark eyebrows and light hair – how did I not notice this?

I remember thinking I was sooo cute when this was taken

me and my wonderful hubby in Vancouver on what would be the trip when we got engaged – just days after college graduation (circa 1999)

one year later on our wedding day

After college I went through some crazy hair – a lot o f very bad, very short cuts.  Then I would start to grow it out and get sick of it and cut it off again.

I grew the back out to the flippy style that was popular in about 2001-02

ugh! bad, bad hair!

Once again on the long road to a grow-out (2005)

I usually come back to a bob of some sort.  Lengths vary, but I haven’t had bangs in years, I kind of want them but haven’t yet make that leap.  What I do know is that my hair takes close to an hour to dry with a hairdryer, so I try to wash it at night; this usually backfires as I try to sleep in the next morning and leave precious little time to do any styling.  It doesn’t hold a curl so I don’t even try anymore.  I spent nearly an hour executing the perfect Whoorl Curl only to have it fall straight within 2 hours – sob!!!  The times I really make an effort are in the weeks post-cut when I’m excited about my new ‘do – I’ll even straight iron in the mornings!

These are before and after pictures from last summer when I had 10 inches lopped off for Locks of Love.  I loved the shorter cut and it’s about as close to a good hair day I’ve had in the recent past, but it’s still the same old cut I always return to.  I also really like my hair in this family picture from last summer, pre-haircut, but it hardly ever looked that that.  I remember spending about 1 1/2 hours getting it to that look.

(family photo by the awesomely talented Ron Cowie)

This is me on a typical day…right now it’s just below my shoulders, air dried with very little styling.  Usually by noon it’s in a low ponytail because I can’t stand it on my neck.  I keep a pack of super-duty XL ponytail holders in my desk for this purpose:

Help me!!

Long weekend “staycation”

I hate that word – “staycation”, but with new jobs and a lack of vacation time we aren’t going anywhere this summer.  With the long weekend we had a great time hanging around our house and hitting a couple of local attractions.  

On Friday we went to a picnic at my boss’s house (she’s a good friend, too).  Saturday we hit this really cool free tour of the Veterans Memorial Bridge and Subway and the awesome Westside Market.  On Sunday we headed east to Chagrin Falls for lunch and sites in this quaint little town.  In between we hung out in the back yard with Maggie’s new climber and wading pool – we didn’t neglect the “family nap” either. 

We had a great time!