Thursday, February 26, 2009

RIP Queen Do-Bee

A couple of days ago I heard that another Canadian icon had died.

Ann Wilson.

The name will most likely not ring a bell unless you're Canadian.

Specifically, a Maritime Canadian.

Even then, it may not be familiar, because she wasn't well known by her full name. To many maritime children, she was known only as "Miss Ann", the Romper Room Lady.

Ann Wilson was the much loved host of Canada's Romper Room (filmed first in Halifax, NS then Saint John NB) in the 60's and 70's.

* Not to be confused with another Canadian Romper Room host, Fran Pappert *

It was also franchised and syndicated in the United States, as well as in Australia, Japan, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom.

The show consisted of a half hour of games, exercises, songs and moral lessons, all to various background music.

Pre-schoolers were part of the daily 'cast' and would be invited from kindergartens in the area to attend the tapings.

According to the Ex, apparently, my brother-in-law was even on the show waaaay back when it was filmed in Halifax :-)

Romper Room

Pic courtesy of

as well as ...

Mr Dressup (with Casey and Finnegan)

Pic courtesy of Wikipedia


The Friendly Giant (with Rusty and Jerome)

Pic courtesy of

(Be sure to catch the closing of the show at 3:10)

were my first introductions to 'Children's Programming'.

Miss Ann was awesome.

She had a GIANT bee flitting around the set.

. The ultimate Do-Gooder.

And she and Do-Bee would teach 'proper and polite' behaviour, encouraging all her tiny viewers to be good 'Do-Bees'.

Pic courtesy of

(Not Ms Ann)

And of course, at that young, impressionable age, EVERYONE wanted to be a Do-Bee! The best Do-Bee they could be!

Paddington Bear was also a favourite regular on the show.

Man I loved that bear! So much so, I asked my mom & dad for one. JUST like the one on Romper Room.

I still have that Paddington Bear :-)

And of course, I had the Romper Room record ;-)

Pic courtesy of flickr

The day I heard about her passing, I told the boys about the Romper Room show, and how at the end of each episode, Miss Ann would grab her 'Magic Mirror', look through it, out into TV-Land and rhyme off all the kids, by name, that she would see in that mirror.

Pic courtesy of

How many days did I wait for her to say "... and I see Kim, and ..."

Do you have any idea how long I waited to hear my name on that show?!?!

And then, finally, it was like I'd just won the lottery.

"She said MY name!! She said MY name!!! She said MY name!!!"

And how many of my mother's mirrors did I go through, looking for that 'magic' one.

And ya know, it's amazing what useless information the human brain can retain.

While explaining to the boys the premise of the show, and how it had been such a big part of my childhood TV viewing experience, I closed my eyes, went back in time and said to them (WITHOUT googling it first! LOL) ...

Romper Bomper Stomper Boo.
Tell Me Tell Me Tell Me Do
Magic Mirror Tell Me Today
Did All My Friends Have Fun At Play?

I see Jane, and Mike, and Sally, and John ...

Wow!!! I can't remember what I had for lunch three days ago, but that little verse is still buried back in the brain!

Go figure.

I'm thinking it had something to do with the way the magic mirror turned all psychedelic purple swirly-ish while we were watching. Waiting for our names.

Now, everyone, do it with me ....

Bend and stretch. Reach for the stars, there goes Jupiter, here comes Mars.
Bend and stretch. Reach for the sky, stand on tippy toe, oh so high!

RIP Queen Do-Bee.

You won't be forgotten by all the Do-Bees you touched with your Magic Mirror.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Mom ... Are You Gonna Die?

The mother of one of Alec's good friends was diagnosed with Cancer.

She's received treatment, and has been fighting the battle.

She's losing.

It has now spread throughout her body and into her brain.

She has been given about 3weeks, to a month, to live.

Every time I think of this boy and his mom, it makes me sad.

She's going to miss so much.

He's going to miss so much.

And there's not a damn thing anyone can do.

It's bothering Alec too.

He became aware of my (and the ex's) mortality at the young age of four, when I hemorrhaged and landed in the hospital after having Adam.

Then again after the double lung surgeries a few yrs ago.

He's very in tune with when I'm not feeling well.

And lately, I just haven't been 'well'.

I've been having problems with my shoulders for over a month, and I've been, exhausted is the best way to describe it, for over a year.

This week, I finally went to the doctor.

I've been fighting the exhaustion a very long time, years, although it's been worse this past year. But, it was the shoulders that finally sent me to the doc.

The pain is right in the bones. It's not a sprained or pulled muscle. It's more than just 'sore arms'. It's right in the bone. And that makes me nervous.

The exhaustion also makes me nervous, because I know that's usually a symptom of 'something else'.

It's not 'working full time, single mom' exhaustion. It's not seasonal. It's not depression.

I'm tired all the time. I sleep, whenever I can.

Last weekend, when the boys were with their father, I slept almost 15hrs Friday night into Sat.


And didn't even want to get up when I did.

I could have done the same thing on Sunday, but I set the alarm instead, so I wouldn't lose as much of the day when I finally DID get up and around.

I hate being exhausted all the time.

So on Wed, I finally went to the doc about it and the arms.

Her first diagnosis on the arms is Bursitis. Bursitis?!?!? OLD people get bursitis!

Sure, I turned 38 last month but ... OLD people get bursitis! Why do I have bursitis all of a sudden?

She's sending me for physio therapy next week and hopes that will 'fix it'. If not, then she'll look at running some tests.

Now if it were ME ... I'd run the tests as well as physio, to rule out the possibility of anything more serious. But what do I know. I'm just the patient.

The next morning, she sent me for a blood test.

She's looking for issues with my thyroid, or low iron. As well as a slew of other things that bring on symptoms of extreme exhaustion.

So now I wait. 3-4 business days. To either be told 'Didn't find anything' or 'This is what is it. This is what you take to fix it'.

I don't think about the un-fixables. But then Alec's friend's Mom will cross my mind and the 'what ifs' start to creep in.

As I've discovered, the sneeky suckers creep into Alec's brain too.

When he walked through the door that day, his first words to me were;

"MOM! Hi. How was your doctor's appointment?"

I told him it went fine, I'd be giving blood the next day and my arms were sore because I had something called bursitis.

He then looked me in the eyes, asked, 'Are you gonna die?'

Damn! There's that loaded question again.

It wasn't the first time he'd asked me this in his almost 13yrs.

I know this time, the condition of his mom's friend was weighing on his mind.

He's a compassionate kid, and this is one of his good friends that he's trying to help, through what may be one of the most difficult times in his life.

My boy's going through his own shit right now.

He doesn't need to hear many of the same thoughts are rattling around in his 'ol Mom's head too.

So I threw my arm around him, gave him a grin and said "Nope, not yet anyway.' ;-)

What I didn't tell him, was that long before my body falls apart, he and his brother will have driven me completely INSANE!!! ;-)


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

DUDE! You're In My SPACE!

So, I mentioned the other day that I was thinking about taking Alec to see his first scary movie. The new Friday the 13th.

Although I was disappointed he wanted to bring a friend with him - because I was looking forward to the mother/son bonding over his first bloodbath - it was probably due to the fact the friend was there that made him stick it out, and not ask me to leave 20 min into the movie (after the first major slashing scene).

He was scared to death! And he absolutely LOVED it. And was really glad he decided to stay and watch the whole thing.

Glad someone can say they saw the WHOLE thing.

I missed about the first 5 minutes of the movie. And I was sitting RIGHT THERE!

We got there early and found great seats. Towards the back, in the middle. Perfect spot!

We sat through the 15 min of trailers for the upcoming movies, and then ... cue slasher music ...'che che che che ah ah ah ah' ... Here we go boys!

That's when they came in.

At the very moment the movie started, a group of teenagers, boys and girls, 15-16ish looking (hard to tell in the dark) came flying into the theatre.

They spread throughout the room like a flock of wayward birds. Some going in one direction, others going in another, still more in another.

Alec and his friend were enthralled with the opening credits, and waiting to see what was going to happen first.

I, on the other hand, was more curious about what this group of kids was up to.

Oh and they were up to something ... Mama's spidey senses were tingling.

All of a sudden, one BIG boy ran up the stairs and dropped himself over me.

I'd like to say he sat NEXT to me, but then I'd be lying to all you nice people.

Buddy literally threw himself into the seat next to me, and leaned all the way over my arm rest until he was completely pressed up against me.

DUDE! You're in my SPACE!!!!!!


Now, I'm sure many of you would have just simply given him a 'Uh ... Buddy ... do you mind?' and that would have been the end of it.

And most likely, had I been with the girlfriends, instead of my kid and his friend, I would have definitely had a few choice words for him. Like ... oh, I don't know ... maybe 'DUDE! Get the hell OFF me!!!!'

Or something along those lines.

But I had the kids.

And this boy was HUGE!!!!!! HUGE I tell you! Throwing off huge attitude, wrapped in a hoodie.

And I'm thinking to myself, there's NO WAY he doesn't realize he's sitting practically on top of me. He's not going to care if I say anything to him.

And what if he says something back? In front of the kids?

The little voice in my head that occasionally cries 'careful - potential psycho!' was telling me to keep my mouth shut.

I didn't look at the Dude once.

I didn't move a muscle or a smidge of an inch.

Screw that!

Why should *I* move when Buddy is the one who came and dropped himself into MY lap?

I did however use my foot to slide my purse along the floor, closer to Alec and away from my new BFF.

Just in case.

He obviously had no problem getting up in my space, I wasn't going to give him the opportunity to get in my purse too!

And just when I thought I was going to have to give him a shove and the 'Dude, GET OUTTA MY SPACE!' one of the others ran up to him, and then, just as quick as they came in, they buzzed out of their hiding spots and took off again.

All I heard when Buddy's friend came over was 'mumble, mumble, mumble, caught'.

So THAT'S what they were up to. Trying to sneak in without paying I'm guessing.

Apparently one of them didn't make it in fast enough, so the rest of the posse decided to bolt along with him.

And just like that ... the closest thing I've had to a man pressing up against me in the last 5yrs, was gone!

Least he left the purse.

And at least I didn't have to get all 'DUDE!' and Jason-like on him.

Cause ... ya know ... that would have just embarrassed the boys.

And ultimately, I was there to see someone else's blood spilled ... not my own ;-)


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Why I Call It My (W)Rec(ked) Room - Reason # 462

What do YOUR kids do in your rec-room, on a snow day, when they can't go outside to play basketball?


That would be my little my little System Engineer at work.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday The 13th - The New Jason Generation

I'm noticing something about Alec as he gets older.

We have something (else) in common.

He likes scary movies. Just like his mother :-)

He has been bugging to see the new Friday The 13th movie coming out today.

Pic courtesy of The 10 Best Horror Movies Of The 80's

My immediate answer was 'Not a chance!'.

We've seen the commercial at least 50 times now, and he's asked to go EVERY time!

After each - 'No. You're too young for a movie like that.' - I immediately get that damn voice in my head whispering ... 'hypocrite'.

You see, each time he asks, and each time I say no, I immediately flash back to his age. Yeah. I LOVED me some scary movie!!! I read Carrie at 12 and was hooked.

I flash back to having 'scary movie parties' in Jr High. Grades 7-9.

Exactly where he is now. (except now they call it 'Middle School', it's grades 7-8 and the 9's have moved on up to High School.)

Point being, I started watching scary movies at his age. And one of the first ones was Friday the 13th, the original.

Pic courtesy of Wikipedia

Along with Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Poltergeist, those creepy Children of the Corn, and of course anything based on a Stephen King novel.

Most of my early teenage years were spent screaming at a burned, razor fingered dude in a dirty fedora, or the big guy in the mechanic's overalls, sporting a hockey mask, or snowy TV sets ... and those damn trees in Evil Dead.

I'll never forgot those damn trees!

Now, with this new Friday the 13th, the topic of 'when can I see scary movies in theatres' comes up again.

I've seen glimpses of this 'I LOVE horror movies!' trait in Alec before.

So I start thinking.

Maybe he and I SHOULD go. Together.

Usher in a new Jason Generation.

I haven't decided yet.

I know the special effects are different 'nowadays'. It'll be much more graphic than the original *I* started off with.

I know he may end up eyeing his closet, expecting something alot more sinister than the Monster's Inc Dudes to jump out, for a few nights afterwards.

I know if he starts sleeping with a hockey mask, and my butcher knife goes missing, it was definitely the wrooooonnnnnggg decision, it's warped his mind forever, I'm calling 9-1-1 and getting OUT

I never understood those idiots in the movies trying to reason with the psychos. Or the ones who 'check out the noise'.

Just get the hell out people!

Or he'll be absolutely fine, and we'll have a great Mom/Son bonding moment at Camp Krystal Lake.

Che Che Che Che Ah Ah Ah Ah .... Che Che Che Che Ah Ah Ah Ah .... ;-)

I just don't know.

I told him I definitely wouldn't take him to see a new Friday The 13th, ON Friday the 13th.

I may be up for a little adventure, but I'm not insane!

So, I have until Sunday to answer the question; Is he still TOO young for Jason?

Or, is it time to let go a bit, and just enjoy being able to go to a good scary flick with him? (Adam understands he will NOT be going. Period.)


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Let's Go Shopping Boys! I'm Feelin' Like A Game Of 'Guess My Price!'

... or - Did Canadian Tire FAIL in customer service? YOU Decide!

Last week, the boys and I ran into Canadian Tire to pick up a pump for the basketballs.

We only had a small window of time, because we were on our way to Adam's basketball practice. An 'in and out' kind of pit-stop.

Ran in, found the pumps.

They were hanging at the end of an aisle around sporting goods.

There were approx 3-4 hooks across with 2-3 pumps on each hook (a couple of larger ones were also scattered further down below).

There was a price tag at the end of the hook(s) for the hand-size pump I wanted.



Let's go!

Get to the cash, the cashier has to call to the back for a price on something for the person in front of me.

Lineup starts to form behind me.

My turn.

I give the boys each a loonie and they run to the side doors, to the coin/toy/frustration machines to see what piece of junk treasure they were going to get.

Cashier rings it in and says "$9.99"

"But the tags on hooks where they were hanging all said $6.99", I replied.

She picked up the phone.

I checked out the lineup.

Just as I said, "Don't worry about it" there was someone on the other end of the phone.

"Yeah. You wanna check the price on the basketball pumps", and rattles off the number that will magically attach it to the price at the other end of the store.

Insert elevator music here.

I lean over to make sure the boys are still trying to figure out if they want the tiny ceramic hockey mugs, or tacky Bling.

Quick look over the shoulder and a 'sorry' to the dude behind me.

Back to the cashier just as she says "Yeah, OK. Thanks."

"System says $9.99"

Which tells me one thing. The person who answered the phone didn't actually go and LOOK at the pumps. They simply punched in the number, and regurgitated the price they were fed.


OK, I really hate to be holding up the line, but if the person in 'sporting goods' who answered the phone is already back in sporting goods, couldn't they have taken the ... MINUTE, to check the actual price hanging on the HOOK?

So what if the 'system' is saying '$9.99'. Why would I argue that if I hadn't SEEN it on a price tag somewhere.

Oh ...I don't know ... maybe on the hooks the pumps were ON?


I wasn't going to argue for the $3.00 with a lineup behind me.

I also didn't want Adam to be late for B-Ball practice.

I paid the $9.99, took the bag, and receipt, gave the boys the finger, ... no, not THAT finger, the 'I'll be right back, stay there, stay together and DON'T MOVE', finger! and headed back past the lineup behind me.

Back to sporting goods.

I couldn't let it go damnit. I KNEW it said $6.99.

Sure enough ... there it was, little black numbers on a small white tag ... $6.99.

All over the place, $6.99.

There was a guy stocking shelves at the end of the aisle.

I called him over, quickly explained to him what had happened and he says "Oh. Yeah, well see, this number ends in 02 and yours ends in 01 (or something like that) so these pumps are actually all priced wrong."

I just looked at him and said, ' ... but ... that's not MY fault you guys put the wrong prices on all of them. It SAYS $6.99 right there. And there. And there. And ...

That's not really fair now is it?'


I got a blank stare and a, 'Uh, yeah, well, you'll have to go see Customer Serve about that.'

CRAP! Again, not what I wanted to hear.

I threw a 'Never Mind!' over my shoulder as I walked towards the front of the store, the boys and Customer Service.

At this point, I was beyond pissed, but knew I didn't have time for anything more than a quick word with the young customer service chick, who simply stared at me wide-eyed as I said,

'Just so ya know ... you have to change the prices on all your pumps back there, so the next customer who goes to buy one doesn't end up paying more than they thought they would, because the prices are all WRONG.

Not quite fair to the customer is it?

Just so ya know.'

Her reply?


Blink. Blink.

'I'll be sure to tell my Manager as soon as she gets off the phone.', pointing to the woman behind her.

She didn't offer to reimburse me the difference.

I didn't bother to ask.

We left. With our $9.99 pump.

The boys are happy.

The basketballs inflated.

My opinion of Canadian Tire customer service, deflated like a whoopee cushion under a four yr old's butt.


Did I expect too much, when I expected to pay what was on the price tag?

Did Canadian Tire FAIL in customer service? YOU Decide!

Let's go shopping Boys! I'm feelin' like a game of 'Guess My Price!'


Friday, February 6, 2009

Cause You're The BEST Pisser EVER!

One morning, when Alec was 5, he was trying to coax our cat Shelby out from under my bed.

We had an en suite at the time, and I was in the bathroom having a pee (yes, I had to tell you that part too). The door between the two rooms was open.

Suddenly, Alec yelled from the bedroom, 'Mommy! Can you please come and get Shelby out from under the bed?'

'Um. Kinda busy right now Hon. Why can't you do it?'

Alec paused for a minute, then yelled back ... "Cause, you're the BEST Pisser EVER!!!'

Considering where I was, and what I was doing at that particular moment, and where the CAT was ... I couldn't figure how holding the World Title in Bladder Relieving worked into the picture.

Did he think flattery was going to get me to 'finish up' and out to help him faster?

I had to ask.

"Alec. Hon. What exactly do you mean by that?'

"OH YOU KNOW!', he said.

'When you want Shelby to come to you, you always say 'Here Girl ... Pssss ... Pssss ... Pssss ... Pssss.'

Of course. How silly of me. What else COULD he have meant **flush**

So. I'm the BEST Pisser EVER!

Just so ya know.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Get Your Daily Chuck!

There's this blog I like to read. It's called Dooce®.

It's the life and times of a lady who's been doing this blogging thing a very long time. And she is very successful at it.

I'll leave it up to you whether or not you'd like to read her entire website, as there are a variety of sections to visit.

One area, called Daily Chuck has daily pics of her dogs Chuck and CoCo.

I'm sending you there today.

Not only are Dooce®'s pics absolutely awesome, the captions that accompany them are what keep me coming back daily to get my Chuck fix.

She likes to put things on his head. He's very patient with her.

He's forever running away from Coco. He's not always as patient with HER! LOL

If you're a dog lover, you'll love Chuck.

Check him out. Seriously. He's a pretty cool Dude ;-)

Here are a few of my recent Chuck (& Coco) favourites;

Because his ears were cold

Are you about to put something on my head?

Tastes like chicken

Someone smelled a stinky!


Canine Christmas Card


And don't forget to Get Your Daily Chuck!