I have not even gotten close to organizing the 1,654,895 pictures I took in England. I have decreed I need to spend some time organizing all my pictures because I have six years of memories sitting on a hard drive. Scary stuff. So Dropbox will be getting a workout soon… Once I get through the rest of my to do list.
I use to scrapbook. I have a butt-tonne of scrapbook paper and tools that I do not use, and haven’t since my daughter was born. Part of me would love to get back to it, but I also love the idea of creating some digital books with my mad (read: basic) photo editing skills. Scrapbooking feels like too much work right now. All the cutting and pasting and designing and the crafting makes me tired even thinking about it.
Much like my writing, right now. I desperately want to write, an even had some alone time over Easter to do so. I was excited to have that time, after a busy day of cleaning and shopping with a friend. I was tired, but did not want to waste the opportunity. So I dug out my keyboard and set up.
I stared at a blank page for two hours on Saturday night, starting and stopping on different ideas, eating a delivered pizza, poking my completely blocked brains until I gave up and played Heroes of Warcraft Hearthstone. (PSA: Mildly addicting. You have been warned…)
So, I have some mini blog posts I have worked on over the past few days, here for your enjoyment.
On Saturday night I was attacked by a raccoon.
Not even kidding.
I was calmly sitting in the living room, reveling in the quiet of an empty house while my kids and my husband were visiting family. The utter calm was eerie, since our house is normally a circus, but it was so unbelievably nice. I was giddy at the quiet. yes, I know. I get happy when I have utter silence and darkness.
I think in a previous life, I was a mushroom.
From the back of the house I heard *bang-bang-scuffle-bang-bang* and got up to check. I saw two beady little eyes of some sort of pest retreating back to the should-be-condemned backdoor neighbour (ferile cats and raccoons live in the house, I swear!), and sighed.
Great. Raccoons. Another year of having to lock up the sandbox so they don’t poop in it, caging all our garden beds, bungee-cording every garbage can lid, and teaching the children not to pet the giant kitties that like to walk across the back of our yard during the day when we are outside. Joy unspeakable! *grumble*
I had just sat back down, folded my cuddle blanket back over my legs and picked up a mouth-watering piece of pizza when the big bin started banging against the wall again. Ok, not funny. I am trying to relax here! So, arming myself with a flashlight and broom to shoo the annoying pest back to where he came from, I stepped out the back door, waggled my flashlight and started cursing and hissing to scare off the beast.
Well, not five feet from me, was the biggest raccoon I have EVER seen, staring right at me, standing on hind legs at the base of the garbage can, trying to tip it. When I advanced, the ^*%&ing thing hissed, and launched at me! Full on growling, hissing, and spitting, as only a raccoon can.
I have never been one to back down. I am the one who used to chase rats and squirrels up the shedrow at work, trying to smash the *^&%ing things before they chewed holes in our feed bins and pooped in them (feed is super expensive, and the managers tended to get annoyed when you had to throw out a full bin because the furry beasties decided to go on a bender in your 10% extruded grain supply). I think you can guess if my kids ever ask for any type of rodent as a pet, what the answer will be. (hint: ^%$@ NO)
So, I dropped the flashlight, swung the broom down, and with a solid “thunk”, whacked the marauding rabies-soaked problem straight on its noggin. It squeaked, and retreated a few steps to the edge of the patio and stopped, turning back towards me. It was then I noticed the reason why I had never, ever seen such a large raccoon (and by big, I am talking small dog. On all fours, its back reached my knees).
SHE was pregnant. Potentially popping right in front of me, right at that very moment. Her belly was undulating from side to side, and I could see it moving around, the light from the dropped flashlight shining in her general direction. I can’t even guess how many babies were in there. A lot. Oi.
Ok, so I surprised her. I get that. They normally run, so it was also a surprise for me to have her run AT me. But then I realized Mama varmint likely attacked me because a) These *$#^ing things are getting used to humans, and b) She’s hormonal, tired, grumpy, and pregnant. I think I would have attacked my husband if he had taken away my food, when I was in third trimester. “Don’t you DARE take my bagel and cream cheese away. I will end you.” kind of thing.
She was still hissing and spitting, I think every hair on her body sticking straight out, so I reached out and (more gently) swatted her on the bum with the broom to get her to move along, uttering things like “Git! Go home you nasty thing.” and making incoherent tsking and hissing noises of my own. We must’ve sounded hilarious, both of us hissing and spitting, me swearing. A full conversation, we had. If the neighbours heard, I am sure they got a giggle out of it.
She made a miauling sound and stood up on her hind legs, which was impressive given her massive belly, and hissed some more, waving her paw at me menacingly. I gently whacked her one more time, and then she skedaddled into the dark towards the derelict old house behind us. I waited a few moments, and when I heard screeching and some insane hissing, I knew she had likely gone back inside her nest. I greet my husband the same way after a particularly stressful day.
I pulled our massive garbage bin inside for the night, onto the back vestibule, and spent the next twenty minutes researching animal control in our city, which I have decided is ridiculous and abysmal.
It took me three and a half hours to do a thorough spring clean on our bathroom. I scrubbed the walls, the insides of all the cupboards and drawers, vacuumed the vent fan, the lights… I was a madwoman in yellow rubber gloves! Of all the rooms in our house, the bathroom gets the messiest (you toilet train two kids in one bathroom and see what happens…) and although we don’t keep it as spotless as we could, I get fed up from time to time and attack it with antibacterial cleaner and a scrub brush.
The window got completely deconstructed and swabbed out, and the screen cleaned. I try to do this Spring and Fall. Try being the operative word. I did clean them last Fall, so I expected an easier job.
If you have never cleaned the screens on our windows, let me tell you… The black crud that came off of it after I hosed and scrubbed it was not pleasant. How does it get so dirty in six months? HOW? Eww.
When I finished, it was sparkling. I was indeed proud of myself, and an absolute mess. As I stood back and thought about ways to be more efficient in this particular room of our home, I realized something. We rent our home, and so doing renovations isn’t possible but… I really, really, really want an updated bathroom that is easier to keep clean, and has more storage.
The kids were biking up and down the street between our house and our neighbours like mad things, my son on his new bike, since his knees reached his ears on the old one. We watched, amused and happy to have the time outside after what I think has been dubbed The Worst Winter Ever© in Ottawa. My son was in a bow tie, Oxford shirt, and cords, having been to a birthday party that day. He did not want to change, so I let him play in his good clothes. I did not want to fight with him after such a nice day together, where he had behaved really, really well.
So my dapper dude was hooting and hollering, getting a bit messy, not caring that he was not in play clothes. He was caught up in the moment, having fun. I was so glad to live where we live right then, thankful for the streetful of kids, summer coming, and the promise of tired, happy, played out kids.
Having my son in a bow tie on his bike with a massive silly grin on his face reminded me of that Kraft Dinner ad currently playing that has me in stitches every time it plays.
Yeah… We need to let our fun out this summer a bit.
I found these the other day:
But, I already have a full quota of leggings I want to buy… H & M is a dangerous place for finding kitchy leggings. Ohhhh no…