Oh, hi

Oh hi, remember me? I used to blog here sometimes.

When I stop doing something for a while, it’s really hard to start again. Running and blogging are both good examples of this. When I haven’t been running, putting on my shoes and heading out the door or onto the treadmill feels like an insurmountable obstacle. When I haven’t blogged for a while, I feel like I have nothing to say anymore.

I don’t run much in the summer. I don’t like running in the heat, but I feel silly running on a treadmill when it’s nice outside, so I just end up not running. It doesn’t make any sense, but that’s what happens. Now that the weather is frosty, sidewalks are icy, and we’ve had about 15 cm of new snow overnight, I feel perfectly justified in heading down to my basement and running indoors. I’m back in the habit again.

I’m thinking of trying something new this year. I like the short hard runs better than the long slow slogs that I’ve had to push myself through when training for the 10K or the half marathon, and so I’m thinking of running the 5K for Ottawa Race Weekend in May, but setting an aggressive time goal to make it that much more fun (ha!).

I usually run to music, but my running playlist is feeling really tired so I could use some new tunes if you have any good ones to recommend. As always, I’ll caution that if you suggest Lady Gaga you haven’t been paying attention around here.

Like running, when I haven’t blogged for a while, it’s really hard to write here again. I’m not sure that I have the words or the energy to keep this blog updated very often anymore, but maybe I can get into this habit again.

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Embarrassed

I was in the drug store recently buying a few things. I asked for help because I couldn’t find my favourite tinted moisturizer. (It had been discontinued – how does that happen??) Anyhow, the sales person helped me pick out something else to try and she was nice and friendly and it was a good shopping experience for someone who hates to shop. She took my sale at the cash in the makeup area, and offered me some free samples of products. I took a few and popped the sachets into my purse, forgetting about them as soon as I was out the door.

A few days later I was buying a coffee in the cafeteria at work. I pulled my wallet out of my purse, and out fell my little forgotten sachets onto the floor in front of me.

drug store 1

Um, these look like something other than packages of face cream.

No, I didn’t stop to take a photo. This was recreated at home. My kids think I’m crazy.

It turns out that it’s really awkward picking up what look like condoms off the floor of your workplace. I did my best to look nonchalant but I’m quite certain I failed spectacularly.

Now of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with carrying condoms around in your purse. Spilling them all over the workplace just isn’t the image I’m going for right now.

drug store 2

See, it really is face cream.

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Not a Shopper

This is my new favourite shirt. I bought it on the Champs Elysées.

Well La DEE Da.

I can’t take a good selfie to save my life, apparently.

At H&M.

Soon to be available at a mall near you.

Note all of the RED that it has on it… for those of you who tell me I only wear black. I’m branching out, People.

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Some Summer Things We Did

Well I have been doing some writing, just not here.

Anyway, here are some things that happened this summer. I hope yours was great too.

summerblog1

We spent a lot of time outside.

summerblog2

The girls went to some fabulous camps. Here’s Niamh doing her photography camp homework. Also great? Ottawa School of Speech and Drama, tennis camp, adventure camp, and best of all – SLEEPAWAY CAMP.

summerblogtriathlon

Niamh did her first triathlon

summerblogsoccer

Beatrice scored a lot of goals. I probably lost some twitter followers for the bragging.

summerblogcamping

We went camping. I couldn’t get the Friday off so Tony went ahead and set up camp with the girls. I rolled in at 6pm as the steaks were coming off the grill. Maybe I do like camping after all?

summerblogeveningstroll

We went on a spectacular trip

summerblogparisme

And fully embraced the food culture. Not pictured, wine.

summerblogballoons

Some balloons floated right over our house.

summerbloglast

We really did spend a lot of time outside

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Breaks. And Cronuts.

It has been a good weekend.

My daughters, who I love and adore to bits, are away at sleepaway camp and I won’t lie, it’s a good break and rest for everyone. I miss them and think of them, but I am completely enjoying the freedom that comes when they are away. Dinner over the kitchen sink? Why not. Impromptu evening out with a friend? Bring it on. Long lazy evenings on the front porch? Sign me up.

Oh, but that happens even when the girls are here. We know how to enjoy summer.

I even got to try a cronut yesterday thanks to the generosity of a new neighbour. It was sweet, sticky and delicious, but chewy. Why was it chewy? Croissants aren’t chewy. Donuts aren’t chewy. Why is the combo chewy?

And now I’m having coffee on the front porch. The weather has turned cooler after an oppressively hot and steamy week. I have just a few chores to do, but the rest of the day will stretch out and be relaxed.

Breaks are good.

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My Daughter Has Been Doing Some Reading

The other night I was tucking 11-year-old Niamh into bed where I found her curled up with my laptop. I’m reading your short stories she said. I like them.

Earlier in the evening I had opened a file containing 5 linked stories about runners in a running group that I had written about two years ago. I’d set them aside at the time, unable to look at them anymore. I was considering going back to edit them with fresh eyes, and so I had left them open on my laptop.

Were they age-appropriate I wondered aloud?

Well, “Martha” wasn’t, she told me. But I really liked the second one. It was sweet.

It’s strangely flattering to have your child compliment you on something you wrote.

I raced through the stories in my mind, and then later on read them all the way through. These quotes were some that she may have flagged as inappropriate.

***

“It will be all right. You’re a strong girl and you are going to run this marathon and then you are going to kick his ass.

“Damn it,” Tina thought as the tears formed. “Damn it damn it damn it.”

What the hell was I thinking, Martha asked herself as she got off the bus into the cold downtown air. They’re gonna be a bunch of goddamn snobs in their fancy Lululemon clothes…. I should turn around and go home. I can go for a run from there and forget this f***ing running club.

I was back a few times, in and out of rehab, but Jesus I wasn’t there for him. I’ve only gotten my s**t together in the couple of years.

Kyle is a total ass who didn’t treat her nicely and was always late picking her up, or not showing up entirely.

***

Well, it could have been worse. And then it was.

The following morning Niamh was reading the newspaper and found an article about a horrific court case that just closed in Ottawa. Having already read the paper before she was awake, I had tried to bury the article at the bottom of the pile of papers because I know that she flips through the newspaper every day. I was leaving to go to work when I saw that she was reading the exact article I was hoping she wouldn’t see. I couldn’t tell her to stop reading it because I knew if I made a big issue of it then she would be inclined to hide what she reads. I didn’t have time to stop to talk about it right then either, so I chose to leave her be and follow up with her later.

I had better do that soon.

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Look What We Did Today

Before

Before

 

After

After

She’s eleven going on twenty-five now. We are sending the ponytail off to one of the organizations listed on the Canadian Cancer Society’s website.

Thanks to Stella for inspiring Niamh to grow her hair. It was a great experience.

 

 

 

 

 

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Bird Attack

Remember when birds were attacking runners on the canal last summer?  Yeah, it turns out it’s not as fun as it sounds.

I was walking to work last Friday morning and I wasn’t anywhere near the canal. I was on a bike path though, with a lot of greenery running alongside, when I suddenly felt something hit my head and I felt some scratching too. I didn’t see it coming and it took me a few moments to realize that I had been attacked by a bird.

I ducked and screamed. The people coming from the opposite direction on the path didn’t make eye contact with me when we passed. I played it all cool and acted like nothing odd had just happened because that’s how I roll. Sigh.

My head felt a bit weird when I got to work but I didn’t feel comfortable asking my colleagues to check it for scratches. I’m shy that way. I tried taking pictures of the top of my head with my phone in the bathroom (yes I really did), but I couldn’t get a clear shot. It’s not easy to take a picture of the top of your head, apparently. Or maybe you need to be a better photographer than I.

Now I’m just waiting for the fever and terrible illness to set in. I’ll keep you posted.

No wonder people didn't make eye contact

No wonder people didn’t make eye contact

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Allergies

My eleven-year old daughter wrote a series of poems as part of a poetry project. This was my favourite.

Allergies

You do not know what it is like to check what is in everything you eat.

You do not know what it is like to sit aside and watch kids eat tasty treats.

You do not know what it is like to refuse a treat that you really want to eat.

You do not know what it is like to have people say “this is the best treat ever” right in your face.

So why don’t we make a rule that stops me and everyone else with allergies from being left out?

If you think this is unfair for everyone else try being me for the day.

 

N

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This is what Mother’s Day is all about

Eleven-year-old Niamh gave me a Mother’s day poem on Sunday that I loved more than I can possibly describe. It was written in French, and talked about what kind of flower I would be if I were a flower (an orchid), what kind of emotion I would be if I were an emotion (happiness because I make her happy) and what colour I would be if I were a colour (blue because I like blue).

And then this:

If I could give you anything in the world it would be all my love and a new e-reader because you like to read.
Happy Mother’s Day and I love you so much.
P.S. Sorry for the cheesiness. Madame said we had to copy this layout. But I still want you to have a new e-reader.

This girl is so much like me it is boggling.

painting

Half of this painting was painted by Niamh and the other half by Beatrice. It sure does brighten up a government issue pod.

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