"Someday's gonna be a busy day..."

Thursday, 27 February 2014

5 Things About…a highly unsatisfactory day

Today was what I (borrowing freely from L.M. Montgomery) like to call a Jonah day. It was one of those days where I wished a big fricking whale would just come along and swallow me up. Because sometimes, being confined in a dark, smelly mammal stomach is actually more appealing than living in my own reality.

Okay, maybe it wasn't that bad. I think it just felt that way because I didn't have any wine or chocolate in the house. In no particular order, here are five of the many things that made today A Highly Unsatisfactory Day.

1. I rolled in raccoon poop. That's right: I got POOP ON ME. I had taken the kids to the hayloft to play since it was -25 outside and we were all on the verge of going batshit crazy inside the house. As they jumped from bale to bale and rolled squealing through piles of straw, I warned them repeatedly to watch out for raccoon poop. Then I plumped myself down in the straw, stretched and and rolled directly onto a big plop of 'coon doodie. The kids thought it was hysterical. Jade, ever the comedian, yelled, "WATCH OUT FOR POOP MUMMA!"

2. Last night I bought two little chickens, rubbed them all over with herbs, olive oil and good mustard and roasted them to delicious perfection. Roast chicken is not part of my usual repertoire, especially since D informed me that those cute, inexpensive birds are likely ONLY TWO MONTHS OLD!? But D has been doing double duty, working at the office and then heading to the farm to do evening chores and I thought it might be fun to make something a bit different for supper. Afterward, I cleaned up most of the kitchen, but was too tired to deal with the gross pan of chicken grease and decided it could wait until morning. Have you ever seen what ten hours of air does to chicken fat? GAH. As if to drive the point home, I somehow managed to dump an entire pan of said fat mixed with hot water all over the counter, the draining board full of clean dishes, and, of course, myself. I really hope D enjoyed that chicken because it's likely the last one I'll be cooking - or cleaning up after - for a while.

3. On Tuesdays, I take Jade to skating practice. Parents are asked to take turns at "manning the booth" to sell coffee, chips, sour keys, and all that other arena goodness. This week it was my turn. I like being in the booth, because it means I don't have to chase Dylan around like a madwoman, plus I get time to chat with other parents and watch Jade swish around the ice from a perfect viewpoint. I've volunteered a few times, but this was the first time I got hit on. By two ten year old boys. Have mercy. What is this world coming to?

4. Saran wrap: 3. Kim: 0 Lord, how I hate that stuff...

5. Around 7:45 p.m., I sent the kids upstairs to undress and get ready for bed. I slumped on the couch to check Facebook and recount the the wreckage of my day. The house was a disaster; I had lunches to make, dishes to do, laundry to fold but all I wanted to do was lie on the couch and fantasize that the children would somehow put themselves to bed. It dawned on me that there was a whole lot of crazed giggling going on upstairs. I dragged myself off the couch to investigate, expecting to find them playing tickle tag or short-sheeting my bed. I did not expect to find an entire roll of toilet paper ripped into pieces and strewn about the bathroom floor while my naked children pranced through it singing, "A-rah-cha-cha-cha-CHA-cha!"


"Dylan did it," said Jade immediately. "Dylan took all the toilet paper off the roll, Mumma. I did not do it." Dylan had wisely taken his naked dance party into the bedroom the moment I walked upstairs, so since he was well out of stink eye range my glare fell squarely upon my four-year-old daughter.

"So you had nothing to do with...this?" I asked, waving my hand at the toilet paper carnival.

Jade looked at me with the innocence of a baby seal."For true Mumma! I didn't take it off the roll. I only ripped it up."

At least she's honest.

I gave them both a big lecture about how every time we waste paper, a tree cries, and that seemed to leave them sufficiently chastised. At least until they discover the next household item to destroy and dance on.

So that, friends, was my day. I can only hope that yours was better. And thank my lucky stars that tomorrow is a brand new day, without any mistakes in it.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Double or Nothing…the conclusion

My sister and I had lost the second Euchre game to the Brothers Lowry. Now we were on our second round of dirty martinis and starting to feel desperate. There was entirely too much Feick losing and Lowry winning going on for our liking. I think of myself as a liberated woman who doesn't need to prove herself in the company of men, but there's something about playing against my husband that makes my blood boil with a seething desire to win. Unfortunately, I suck at Euchre.

It was Carman's deal. The boys made smarmy remarks about expensive bottles of wine as I poured another round of drinks and shook the last of the Goldfish Pretzels into a bowl (emergency snacks - we were out of chips). Apropos of nothing, D held up Tanzi's new bikini, which she'd left out on the counter for my inspection. "What the hell is this?" he asked, holding it arm's length like it was a dead rat. When informed it was Tanzi's new bathing suit, he snorted and told her it had way too much material. Having bought seven of them for me over the years, D considers himself something of an expert on bikinis, and is of the "less is more" school of thought.

While my sister and D debated appropriate bikini sizes, I sucked on an olive and tried to think of the Euchre cheating signals my sister and I used when we were kids. That's when Tanzi proposed the most outrageous bet in the history of Someday.

"Okay boys. How about double or nothing?"

Everyone rolled their eyes.

If we win," she continued over the rim of her martini glass, "you guys have to put on my new bikini and get your picture taken in front of the Christmas tree."

A hush fell over the card table. The Lowry brothers eyed one another. I grinned; my sister was suddenly a genius. At least, three martinis made it seem like she was.

"D'you mean the outside tree?" asked Carman, looking dubious. It was -20 with the wind chill.

"Yup," said Tanzi.

"You're on," D said immediately. Clearly, he feared no loss. Carman did a kind of half-nod, half-shrug to signal his reluctant assent, then held up a finger. "Wait. What do we get if you guys lose?" he asked.

"Nothing," I said. "It's double or nothing. Get it?" I wasn't really sure that's what double or nothing meant, and I could tell Carman wasn't sure either, but for reasons best attributed to cider, he went along with it.

By now I'm sure you've guessed the outcome: the Feick girls smoked the Lowry boys and won the fateful bet. I'm proud to say that my husband and his brother said not one word of complaint, although they wore a look similar to the one they have when the Leafs fail to get into the playoffs.

I've been forbidden from posting any incriminating photos here ("Kim, I have a JOB.") but suffice it to say the boys followed through. Carman took the bottom half of the bikini, D took the top half and out they went in the frigid weather to pose with our wooden Santa in front of the Christmas tree. They were excellent sports and gracious, if humiliated, losers. Best of all, Tanzi and I have the proof to hold over their heads in all Lowry/Feick tourneys to come. Double or nothing has never been so sweet!

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Hurray hurray, it's V-DAY!!!!!!

Say what you want, Valentine's Day is a happy little holiday in my books. I can't wait till the kids fall asleep so I can creep downstairs to make the kitchen table especially special. We've managed to decorate almost every room in the house so far, but I want to surprise Jade and Dylan with silly heart plates, my special red juice glasses that Jade not-so-secretly covets and heart-shaped pancakes in the morning. I blame my mother for spoiling us rotten with Valentine treats every year; even if you don't have kids or a significant other, there's gotta be SOMEONE in your school or work or life that's worthy of a little extra love on the 14th.

Here's an old post, which made me giggle a bit. As my dear old Babushka used to say, Happy Valenschtines!

Double or Nothing?

Every Christmas, my sister Tanzi comes up to Someday for a visit. This year, she was on vacation from her teaching stint in Bali, so it was extra special to have her stay over on Christmas Eve and wake up with us to witness the kids'Christmas morning frenzy.

Whenever she visits during the holidays, invite D's brother Carman over for a night of junk food, booze and euchre. Carm and Tanzi get along well, and D and I don't get many opportunities to indulge our competitive natures, so it's something I look forward to: a little brotherly/sisterly fellowship, a little marital one-upmanship. It's also a perfect opportunity to make bets, win bragging rights and generally be obnoxious to whomever loses. This year, double or nothing took on a new meaning.

Carman dutifully arrived after chores on the chosen night, freshly showered and wearing a nice sweater, which I took as a discreet compliment to Tanzi and a possible indication that my usually reticent bro-in-law actually enjoyed getting together for our social evening. Then he slumped onto the couch and asked D what the score of the Leafs game was.

"Guys!" I protested. "We're supposed to be playing cards!"

"Yeah!" Tanzi chimed in. "You're supposed to be visiting with me! Hello - I'm going back to BALI, you know."

The brothers Lowry didn't even look at us when they answered in eerie unison, "After the game."

Nonplussed, my sister and I cracked open a bottle of champagne (one of our Christmas holiday traditions) and broke out the Yahtzee dice to bide our time until the hockey was over. The Leafs were ahead by a couple of goals, then by one goal, then tied, and the boys winced and groaned as their favourite team's chances of winning diminished.

"Wanna bet on the game?" Tanzi asked D during a commercial break. The score was 3/3. D swivelled in his chair and stared at her while Carm looked skeptical. "What?" Tanzi asked, all wide-eyed innocence. "Whoever wins has to buy the other person a really expensive bottle of wine."

"Hardly a fair bet" I mumbled as I rolled the Yahtzee dice. "Leafs suck."

"I heard that," said D. "Okay, you're on." He set his mouth in a grim line, and turned back to the TV where the Leafs proceeded to win the game in a shootout.

"Whoo hoo, did I just win?" yelled my sister. She had maybe drunk a little too much champagne.

After correcting Tanzi's perception, D strutted over to the kitchen table to begin our euchre tourney with more swagger than usual. Oh great, I thought. Now they'll be extra cocky if we lose. I tried to telegraph a "let's kick their asses!" message to my sister as Carman divided the deck but she wasn't paying attention. As the cards were dealt, D uncorked a bottle of the boys' famous apple cider. The sisters Feick would need liquid courage of our own to face the smug brothers Lowry at euchre, so I made dirty martinis.

Martinis are not a common occurrence at Someday, as D loathes olives and gin with equal fervour and I'm not much for hard liquor. I seem to only drink martinis when my sisters are around, probably a throwback to watching our mom and her friends drink them by the gallon. Mom, ever the good Russkie, would take a bottle of Stolichnaya out of the freezer, pour a slow glug into one of her antique glasses, toss in a curl of lemon peel and Nastrovia! The Martini of champions was born.

I'm more of a gin-based, dirty martini kinda girl, which means pouring equal parts gin and olive juice into a martini glass and chucking a handful of olives in at the end. My sister oohed appreciatively as I set our martinis on the table, while Carman and D recoiled in disgust. They couldn't understand why anyone would refuse a glass of their beautiful cider, much less drink a glass of alcohol mixed with salty brine. At any rate, our poisons of choice only served to fuel the flames of competition as the euchre tourney of 2014 got underway.

Tanzi and I quickly and unceremoniously lost the first game in a devastating 10-3 score.

"Gimme another martini," commanded my sister before turning to Carman and D. "Okay, boys. We let you have that one."

"That's two bottles of wine," said D with a smirk as he shuffled the cards.

Tanzi waved her hand as though D was an annoying fly instead of an annoying brother-in-law. "Whatever. Quit stalling and start dealing." D obliged and we proceeded to lose the next game, which called for more cider, another round of martinis and an even more daring bet by my reckless sister.

Stay tuned for the conclusion to this startling tale of pride and debauchery...