Doll Tracker – Like Man Tracker only without the Mosquitoes

So these two gorgeous girls are totally excited about the dolls that they ordered on Monday! They’ve already named them (I guess they don’t follow their parents’ tradition of not picking names until the new arrival actually arrives!) and they are drawing portraits of their new dolls. Sassy talked about ordering “Taryn“, but when it came time to order, did an about-face and picked “Leonie,” which both girls pronounced “Lonie” until I corrected them with the French pronunciation. Scooter ordered “Saila” and is naming her “Pancakes” cause she thinks it sounds cute!

“Pancakes” by Scooter, age 7. The clothes they chose for the dolls are ones they already have, made by my sister.

Sassy (age 8 ) showed me how, by covering the corners of “Ginger’s” mouth in the drawing, her whole facial expression changes. Clever girl. I’m also wondering if the mermaid in the picture is topless or wearing a bikini. Hard to tell. Once when I was about nine, we were playing “school” with friends and I was so embarrassed when the boys found in one of my notebooks a picture of a girl that I’d started, but it was just at the outline – I hadn’t gotten to the drawing clothes stage yet, so she was essentially “naked.” How mortifying!

Maplelea was kind enough to send us a tracking number so I think we’ll be daily checking on the dolls’ progress from Mississauga, Ontario to Dawson Creek, BC. Who needs a Santa tracker when you have Canada Post?

Siding and the Best Jack-o-Lantern Ever!


So the plan for Saturday was to get the siding on the front of the garage from the bottom of the windows to the top. I blithely told Wade that it would be an easy day.

We worked on siding from 9am to after 10pm. Doesn’t it look good, though? Wade had picked this dark green colour a couple of years ago, and of course now it’s one of the more popular siding colours, even though it was rare back then. We are trendsetters, what can we say?

That scaffolding look scary to you? I was very thankful I didn’t have to walk on it – though I did spend a lot of time on the lower level when we were working below the windows, it was only about six feet off the ground – and it is quite stable, just a lot higher than I am comfortable with. I did manage to get the knack of carrying twelve foot long pieces of wobbly siding around, and passing them up to Wade on the high scaffolding without breaking any.

Sassy spent the morning tidying the house for me – she is a good worker for an 8 year old, and I so appreciate how much she likes to help, even when that help materializes in the form of weak tea with too much sugar (she likes to make breakfast for me).

The girls also harvested my cherry tomatoes from my burgeoning single plant. They were all very green, but they will ripen up in the house, and I managed to beat the frost – we have had some frosty mornings already but it didn’t seem to affect the garden. We still have a few potatoes to dig and some pumpkins, small, but turning orange slowly.

Scooter bit down too hard on her oatmeal this morning, and her other front tooth popped right out! So I have the cutest little jack-o-lantern ever this Hallowe’en! Any bets on whether or not I’ll remember to play tooth fairy tonight? So far with Scooter’s teeth I’m 0 for 6. Also I’m remembering her little jack-o-lantern baby years…


Birthday Girl

She got a kitten for her birthday.

As we pulled out of the driveway, Scooter sitting with her new kitty on her lap (he’s the most docile people-kitty I’ve ever seen), she started giggling. For a little girl who doesn’t ask for or need anything, he was the perfect gift.

Any tips for getting an old cat used to a new cat?

Scooter’s seventh birthday – I can’t believe how tall she’s grown. She’s had a rough year – not just because she broke her leg, though that wasn’t exactly her favourite month, but she’s been struggling with control issues. How angry she gets when no one will play with her the way she wants, or listen to her ideas. And I know exactly how she feels, though I don’t scream about it. Usually. As I type it I wonder how many times I have yelled at the kids because what is happening isn’t what I want.

She had asked for a cat birthday, and I came through big time. She wasn’t expecting an actual cat! And the cat cake was a hit.

In honour of Scooter’s birthday, I thought I’d share a little photo retrospective. Soundtrack for you to hum is The Carpenters “You’ve Only Just Begun”.




Aflame. (note to self under “ideas for painting titles”)

I’ve spent a lot of time this week looking at photos and news from Slave Lake, Alberta. The town of about 7,000 was devastated by a wildfire and much of the town was destroyed. Slave Lake is about 400km east of Dawson Creek and the first inkling we had of a blaze to the east was not on the news but in the wind – a smoky haze and smell that settled on the land on Sunday afternoon.

I’m sure we’ve all mentally evacuated before; cataloguing our possessions, making that mental list of what to keep or abandon. And I’m sure that for most of us, the lists look remarkably similar – photo albums, computer hard drive, a keepsake piece of jewelry, an heirloom quilt. I’d like to try to save my artwork, and my photo album collection is larger and heavier than most, thanks to my scrapbooking habit.

My grandparents suffered a house fire when I was two. The place burned so fast that all they were able to save was a set of twenty-year-old encyclopedias — the items closest to the door. The neighbourhood rallied around them and I had no idea that the dishes I ate off of at their house were donated, or that the family photos I pored over were a labour of love – collected by a sister or cousin who insightfully knew that the loss of Polaroid-documented memories would hit hardest. Grandma said that even a decade later she’d go looking for something, only to remember that it had been lost in the fire.

Now imagine an entire town in that situation. It’s mind-boggling, isn’t it? There’s a sense that “it could have been me.” After all, we live on a forested hill, near a small town, and have experienced several very dry years. I sleep well when it comes to hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, floods & tsunamis. We may have long, cold winters, but there’s not a lot of surprises when it comes to the weather and our risk of natural disasters. I get nervous about fire, though. Which means I’ll be hauling many wheelbarrow loads of leaves this week as I rake the yard – one of the “assignments” my husband left for me when he left for Saskatchewan yesterday.

Scooter told me she wished it was our town that burned down. “Because that would be scary, and I like scary things!”

She likes fire for another reason, too.

We talk about the people of Slave Lake “losing everything,” and yet it’s untrue. Because we all know that the things that make life rich and full aren’t things at all. Losing everything just crystallizes that.