Category Archives: Daily Life

Microblog Mondays: Unwanted Houseguests

Ants are trying to move into our house.

Specifically, they’re trying to add our dining room to their territory. They come out from under the baseboards somewhere and then fan out to search for food.

I repeat: they’re in my dining room. You know, the place where we eat every.single.meal.

The dining room is carpeted (don’t ask me why- previous owners of this house did some crazy things).

I have two small children.

I vacuum after every meal and yet the ants always, always, manage to find something to keep them coming back.

I feel like I’m Sisyphus.

But, as I keep reminding myself, it could be worse. Back in November 2015, when we discovered that indoor cats can too get fleas, I was vacuuming the entire house every day, including all furniture and baseboards, while pregnant with P.

This too shall pass.

But they sure are a pain right now.

Any suggestions on how to get rid of ants when they’re in a spot where you can’t use a trap?

This post is part of #MicroblogMondays. To read the inaugural post and find out how you can participate, click here.

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Filed under Daily Life, Microblog Mondays

Microblog Mondays: Teeth

Last week we took our cat to the vet for ridiculously expensive unavoidable dental work.

When we picked her up at the end of the day, the vet’s administrative assistant presented us with detailed care instructions, a bag of pain medication, and a small pill container which contained the two teeth the dentist had removed.

I’m not at all sure why they did this. To prove they took out the teeth they said they did? To demonstrate the necessity of removing the teeth by allowing us to witness for ourselves their state of decay? To provide us with souvenirs?

I was more than a little weirded out by the whole thing, but I had E. with me and he thought it was amazing, so we brought the teeth home. They sat in their container on the kitchen table (where E. had abandoned them) until dinner, when Q. asked that we not share the meal with the teeth (fair).

At some point the container migrated upstairs to our room, where it’s currently sitting on my night table, right next to where the cat herself usually likes to sleep during the day (weird, no?).

Today, I realized that I’ve also got three or four of E’s teeth stashed in my sock drawer, a result of having the tooth fairy visit right before I go to bed and then not wanting to throw the teeth in the garbage in the upstairs bathroom in case E. somehow found them.

I’m a tooth hoarder.

This post is part of #MicroblogMondays. To read the inaugural post and find out how you can participate, click here.

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Filed under Daily Life, E.- the seventh year, Microblog Mondays

Microblog Mondays: New Look

Three days before we flew overseas I went and got my hair cut, for the first time since my “we’re going to have to go to a funeral so I’d better make the time to do this” hair cut back in August of last year. To say I was overdue would be an understatement.

“Look at your hair!” exclaimed my hairdresser, not (I think) in horror. “How can the baby be one?! She was only a few weeks old when I last saw you!”

I sat in the chair and we chatted and nattered and all the while an increasingly large pile of my hair was heaped upon the floor.

I told her I wanted bangs.

Not side bangs, but proper straight bangs.

And, yes, the irony of asking for a recognizably high maintenance style after failing to make the time to get my hair cut for TEN months was not lost on either of us.

But I’ve wanted to try bangs for years now and keep chickening out, so I pressed on and my hairdresser did as I asked, and I went home with bangs for the first time since grade school. For a while I was convinced I looked like a Vulcan (and not in a good way) but I’m more used to it now. The bangs are refreshingly easy to look after, largely because my hair is so straight I can get out of the shower, finger comb it, and then it air dries exactly how I would want it to look. The only shock has been realizing just how much grey is in there- I’m clearly not going to take after my grandmother who still doesn’t have a single grey hair at 93.

Thus far the great bang experiment appears to have been a success.

Now I just have to see if I actually make the time to get them trimmed.

Have you ever made a major change to your hairstyle as an adult? Was it a successful change?

This post is part of #MicroblogMondays. To read the inaugural post and find out how you can participate, click here.

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Filed under Daily Life, Microblog Mondays, Mirror, Mirror (Body Image)

Microblog Mondays: Deep Clean

Two weeks ago I hired people to come in and deep clean my house.

It was an act of desperation: we’d just been away and we were about to have visitors who were on their first (and likely last) trip to Canada. I wanted to leave them with a good impression of our life here, as I’m a bit sensitive to the fact that most of Q’s family think we’re nuts for living where we do.

I wanted a super clean house but didn’t have time to scrub baseboards, so I threw (a not insubstantial amount of) money at the problem until it went away.

They came in, and they cleaned, and afterwards, I felt…disappointed.

The house was cleaner, definitely, but I didn’t walk in the door and be amazed by the change.

I suppose that’s a good thing, as it means that Q. and I generally clean our house pretty thoroughly. The only two places where we did notice a huge difference were the windows and the kitchen (not coincidentally, those were the two areas that prompted the deep clean in the first place as they were driving me crazy but I just didn’t have time to get to them).

Basically if I can find time once a month to really scrub down the kitchen and we clean our windows even a couple of times a year, I can see no reason to ever hire someone else to clean our house again.

I’m not sure I’m pleased I’ve made that realization.

Do you have a house cleaner, or do you sometimes get someone in for a deep clean? If you clean your house yourself, how do you fit in the extra chores above and beyond the usual laundry, vacuuming, bathrooms?

This post is part of #MicroblogMondays. To read the inaugural post and find out how you can participate, click here.

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Filed under Daily Life, Microblog Mondays, Money Matters

Microblog Mondays: Rake

Q. and I have recently started watching an Australian television show on Netflix called Rake, which is set in Sydney and follows a brilliant but deeply flawed barrister. We were tipped off it was available by an English colleague of Q’s who was sick of watching Dr. Who and Sherlock because they’d become too similar and too self-referential.

We’re continuing to slowly work our way through the Dr. Who reboot, but we’ve hit season 8 and I don’t like the new not new anymore but we take so long to watch it he’s new to us Doctor very much and there are still episodes that make it difficult for me to sleep afterwards so it’s good to have an alternative.

Rake is the sort of Aussie television that just cannot be successfully reproduced anywhere else (I gather there is a U.S. version of the show which has been a miserable failure, which doesn’t surprise me in the least). It’s irreverent and lewd and profane and deeply, deeply funny (although it definitely has points where Q. thinks it’s hilarious and I’m finding it to be just too much, which is typical, in my experience, of the difference between Aussie and Canadian humour).

It’s started off with such a flourish I’m a bit worried about where it’s going to go, as most of the other television series we’ve enjoyed watching have clearly dropped in quality (or just outright jumped the shark- Sherlock, I’m looking at you) as their run continued.

At this point, though, it’s fun to have something to look forward to.

What’s the best thing you’re watching right now? Why do you like it so much?

This post is part of #MicroblogMondays. To read the inaugural post and find out how you can participate, click here.

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Filed under Daily Life, Microblog Mondays

Microblog Mondays: Signs of Spring

Last week we finally had a nice day (18 degrees Celsius and sunny).

After P’s morning nap I dragged her outside, set up the travel crib, poured in a bunch of easily washed toys, and plunked her in. I then ran around at top speed trying to cut back all the dead bits in the garden that I should have cut back last fall but didn’t.

In the forty minutes we were out there P. threw all of her toys over the side. She babbled at a neighbour who came over to say hello. She ate at least one pine needle (I fished three or four more out of the crib once I realized the tree that was providing shade was also providing unauthorized snacks).

I got two-thirds of the garden tidied up, filled a yard waste bag, and counted the crocuses (no yellow ones at all yet, which is an even worse result than last year).

I ended up with dirt under all ten fingernails (even while wearing gloves).

And I felt my whole body relax.

It’s time to play in the garden again.

Spring is here.

What (other than the weather) tells you that spring has arrived where you live?

This post is part of #MicroblogMondays. To read the inaugural post and find out how you can participate, click here.

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Filed under Choose Happiness, Daily Life, Microblog Mondays

Microblog Mondays: Learned Helplessness

Last week I was at a gas station with E., P., and my mother in tow. My mother volunteered to pump the gas but had only been out of the car for a moment before she was over on my side asking me to release the lock on the cover for the gas cap.

“I’m sure there isn’t a switch,” I told her.

She insisted, so we had a lengthy look at all the buttons and levers to confirm that I was right, after which I got out of the car and said, “I’m quite sure you just pull it open” and demonstrated. This did work, but it wasn’t easy, it didn’t feel familiar, and it didn’t seem like a very good piece of engineering (which would make it an anomaly in that car).

While Mum was pumping the gas, I got out the owner’s manual to learn how to change the clock, which I couldn’t do without having the car turned on. Stymied, I looked up the cover and discovered that to open it you have to just push on one end- it’s spring loaded.

We have owned this car for almost a year now, and apparently I’ve NEVER put gas in it before last week. If I’m with Q., I guess he’s always gotten out, whether he’s driving or in the passenger seat. And if I’m on my own, Q’s obviously made sure at some earlier point in the week that the tank is full (he tends to use the car more than I do).

There are areas in our marriage where I’m very much aware that I’m largely incapable of doing something which I should be perfectly capable of doing (just because Q. always does it), including cooking meat, making bread, and carrying out home repairs. Q., of course, has his own areas of learned helplessness, especially surrounding the household finances. In some ways it just comes with being a long-established couple: we divide and conquer household responsibilities all the time.

But I really should know how to put gas in our car.

Where are your areas of learned helplessness? Do you have ambitions of erasing them?

This post is part of #MicroblogMondays. To read the inaugural post and find out how you can participate, click here.

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Filed under Daily Life, Microblog Mondays