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I’ve been getting some strange search strings lately, or just some plain dumb ones. I wish I could answer them in retrospect. Like to the person who googled, “pain in tooth that was just filled.” Honey, it is going to hurt for a little while. It just got drilled. It needs a chance to settle down. Don’t worry about it. Take Advil. That stuff is great for dental pain.

Someone else googled ‘smartest dog ever.’ Fortunately, this time coming to my site gave them the answer they are looking for right away: my dog.

Some wants ‘real life people who converted religions.’ I don’t quite get this. Real life people? As opposed to fictional? Because, frankly, it is way easier to come up with actual human beings than fictional ones. Maybe they meant us average joes rather than famous people like, uh, Sammy Davis Jr.

Some guy (I’ll assume it was a guy) wants ‘mom’s breasts.’ I can only guess he wants his own mom’s breasts, although how the internet is supposed to know who his mom is, I am not sure. But if he wanted someone else’s mom’s breasts, why didn’t he just search for ‘breasts’ alone?

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Even weirder than people who google their way to me is the stuff I manage to follow out, like the link to one FMS web page that talked about ‘colonix.’ Curious as to what this is, I googled it myself. Well! Apparently there really is no shame in the land of the internet.

I’ll save you the links, for the faint of heart. For those less faint, it shouldn’t be hard to find. Turns out that a lot of people are very worried about being constipated and so some guy (now lots of them) came up with a ‘cleansing system’ that requires lots of fiber, laxatives and herbal teas. You can juice and fast too, if you’d like. Of course, people have been doing this for centuries, but the twist one guy came up with is the idea that, thanks to our sluggish systems, bogged down by our unhealthy Western diet, our colons are becoming lined with a thick layer of something one of them coined ‘mucoid plaque’ – basically shit that just sticks around forever, releasing harmful toxins into our systems and making us sick.

That concept has a certain appeal. If you feel crappy, take this stuff and shit out all your illness. I might have even considered it had I not had that lovely barium enema last year to try to figure out what was up with me. Already chronically constipated, I had to drink this hideous, horrible laxative which basically has one on the can until you are shitting water. I was a bit concerned I wasn’t empty enough, as my body was more resistant to the laxative than it was supposed to be, so the techie kindly took some pictures to check and pronounce my guts pink and squeaky clean.

Here’s the thing about the colonix people – after they give themselves the runs for a while, they start to shit out weird stuff, ropey gross stuff. They are convinced this is the ‘mucoid plaque.’ But if anyone was likely to have such a thing in them it’d be me, and nothing of the sort showed up when I scrubbed my insides clean. Of course, I wasn’t using those expensive colonix things, which contain lots of fiber and clay and stuff that might possibly bond together in one’s guts and come out in a big lumpy pile and convince the gullible and vulnerable that they are ridding themselves of long-held toxic poop.

Here’s the weirdest part: there are many, many people out there – a whole sub-culture – who decided to ‘cleanse’ themselves and then blog about it. Every single day, they write down how many times they pooped, when and what the poop was like. And, best of all, they take pictures! Some of them have entire picture galleries devoted to the products of their butts! I have come across a lot of weird stuff on the internet, but this really ranks right up at the top.

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As I’ve mentioned previously, I can see the search terms allowing people to reach my site. I now know why there are so many slutty Halloween costumes out there. I’ve gotten searches for ‘homemade slut costume’ (if you can’t figure that out on your own, don’t bother). And ‘slutty clown costume’ (just, why?). Also, ‘gay leather’ (they must have been so disappointed to end up here) and ‘leaf’ (?). Next to the slutty clown question, my current favourite is: ‘is Dalton McGuinty Jewish?’ I hope that person didn’t vote.

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Ow ow ow ow ow. Ow.

I exercised. Ow.

I’ve been walking, convincing myself that is exercise. It is, right? But it clearly isn’t cutting it, so now that all three kids are in school full time and I don’t have a full time job, it is time to ratchet up the exercise. Significantly.

My fibromyalgia is bad. Very bad. Washing and cutting up potatoes to boil causes extreme neck pain, for instance. This makes dinner difficult. Every little injury hurts for days, and I am only getting worse. I take 2 pills in the morning and 4 in the evening, and that isn’t counting the pain pills (which I am still slowing weaning off successfully, so at least that is going in the right direction). I feel like I keep propping myself up chemically while the foundation crumbles.

So, time to rebuild the foundation. I swam laps for half an hour this afternoon. I paused every 50 meters (2 pool lengths) to rest, could only do breast stroke and my shoulders and neck still complained (front crawl is completely unbearable) and pulled a calf muscle. All my muscles are screaming, which has tipped me off to how much walking wasn’t really exercise.

I’m going back Friday, then Monday, then Wednesday again. And I signed up for yoga Tuesdays and Thursdays, and will not quit this time, no matter what. And once my body stops screaming at me for all that, I will add weight training. This will not be pretty. The squeamish among you may want to avert your eyes.

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You know what I don’t get – how people manage to throw up photos so fast onto their blogs. Getting them the right size so that they don’t eat all my space takes time, and slows me down. I have two photos ready to go, except their pictures aren’t. Off to work on that.

Oh, and I also don’t get the point of having tags and categories. What’s the difference?

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Okay, what’s with the obsession with luck lately? For the past couple of weeks, the post that is getting the most hits is an old one about four-leaf clovers. Lots of people are searching for luck on google, which I find just weird.

The other search string I get a lot is a variation on Dalton McGuinty’s hypocrisy. Seems there are a fair number of people out there who think he’s a hypocrite. And a fair number who just plain hate the guy. Also, a good number of people have popped on asking what school his kids go to. I like to think they aren’t stalking him, rather, they are just confirming that in fact his kids do go to Catholic school – the source of his hypocrisy.

But despite the people finding their way to me, polls show that the majority of Ontarians are still against funding other religious school. In the paper today, someone said right out in a letter that it will allow Muslims to more easily set up terrorist training camps. McGuinty must be delighted.

I’m doing my little TV show tomorrow on the topic, with a Jew, a Christian and a nice Muslim woman terrorist on to discuss it. God, people are stupid – not the nice Jew, Christian and Muslim I’ll be talking to, of course, but the idiots who think Muslims are all terrorists.

I’m in an extra bad mood because it is 1:40 am and I am conscious. I have insomnia.

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Today, Asher was in a bad mood after school, crying over not being able to find a snack he wanted. I asked him if anything bad happened in school today and he said, “Nothing unusual, just the same old shit. They make me work there and I don’t like work.” He said it so casually. At this point, I’ve pretty much given up on trying to stop the bad language completely and am just trying to compartmentalize it, I must confess. Just don’t swear around the grandparents and teachers, please.

I am an awful mother.

I don’t remember any kids his age swearing when I was young. None. According to him, all his friends swear this way. Not Maya’s though, and she’s older. I wonder if it is a boy thing.

Oh, this reminds me of a funny, though. In the summer, a good friend rented the cottage next to ours for a couple of weeks with a friend. We’d pop over regularly. Her friend really loves Jasper and once when Asher showed up there alone, my friend asked Asher, “Where’s your dad?” Asher answered, “With Jasper.” Her friend then asked, “Well, where’s Jasper?” Asher replied, “Taking a shit on your lawn.” They were appalled, but I thought it was hysterical when they told me. That’s the problem, of course. I am not appropriate shocked, and my kids see right through me when I try to be.

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Okay, one last thing. I promised to say why Jasper avoided a buzz cut. I’m sure no one really cares that I haven’t followed up on it, but it’ll eat away at my soul until I honour my promise.

That’s all bullshit, of course. I just want to share with the world, or at least the doodle owners who surf onto here, the amazing discovery I made. A couple of months ago, Jasper started to mat like crazy, which apparently doodles do when their adult coats come in. Everyone goes on about how great it is to have a non-shedding dog, but no one mentions that it means you get a clumpy mess if you don’t really take care of it. I don’t mind, though. I love to brush him and hack off the hair growing over his eyes and such.

But I brushed and brushed, and still he matted. I cut the mats out, but he finally reached the stage where his hair wasn’t successfully covering the bald spots and the only answer I could come up with was shaving him down. As he has white skin and red fur, this was not going to be pretty.

The problem was, what to do when his hair grew out? Would he just start to mat again? I put the question to an on-line doodle group and one guy pointed me to a line of brushes with the stupid name of Les Pooches. These things aren’t in regular stores, requiring one to order the $85 brush from New York and then pay shipping and duty, without even testing driving the thing. Ouch.

However, a little more poking around as I looked for reviews allowed me to make the discovery that there is one store in all of Canada that sells these brushes and it is, unbelievably, about 20 minutes drive from here. I drove straight over. The nice store lady demonstrated the brush, miraculously brushing out several mats right there. And, to top it off, she was charging $10 less. I never have luck like that.

I bought it (expensive, yes, but less than the price of a single grooming session) and chased poor Jasper around for days, brushing out all the mats. And now my boy has long, soft, tangle-free hair. He was lying in the school yard today with about 6 children surrounding him with their hands buried in his hair, saying, “He’s so soft.” He’s still my pretty boy.

Gratuitous cut kid shot. They all look so happy. They all were so happy:

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I’m really bloody tired.

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Well, Maya is still at camp and, at last report, is still having a marvelous time. We’ve actually received four letters from her, all happy and full of detail. She seems to¬† have inherited her mother’s letter-writing ability.

Asher and Boo are also happily at camp – daycamp – for this week and next. My goal for these three child-free weeks was to make significant progress on the book-writing and decluttering the madhouse. The decluttering is going better than the book.

Mostly, this is the fault of the editor of our local Jewish newspaper, who asked me to fill in for a columnist who took the summer off. I guess he liked what he saw, because he then asked me to write a three-part feature for the next three papers. The first one, a general overview of converstion, is due Friday. He said, “Can you do 1000 words by Friday?” I said, “Sure!” And I can too, but it means not much happening on the blog, or the book.

And that is why it is quiet around here.

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A New Look

Boo has a friend over to play for the afternoon. She is adorable and having just moved from England, she has the cutest little English accent, making her sound naturally polite. How convenient for her. Especially as the two of them have been pestering me with demands all afternoon, making getting anything done difficult. So in between demands, I fiddled with my blog and ta-da! A new look. That’s Boo up there, when she was not quite three years old, on a PEI beach at sunset.

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Yesterday we attended a good-bye picnic for Boo’s preschool. No more little kids here!

It was actually a lot of fun, as older siblings showed up and Asher had the smarts to bring his soccer ball. He ate one piece of sushi and then played soccer for 3 hours with other brothers of (not a single girl played, sigh). This soccer obsession is new this spring – he plays every recess – but I am delighted because he’s doing a typical-and-yet-healthy boy thing, and because he told me, “I suck at soccer. I’m one of the worst of my team, but I love it anyway, so I don’t care.” He also pointed out that team captains pick the players they want and then the crappy players get to just choose their team, so he always gets to be on the team he wants. That’s a new twist on being the last kid standing against the wall.

Maya’s best friend was also there, so we didn’t see her either, and of course all of Boo’s friends were there, so it was happiness all around.

While I was talking to an old friend, he asked his older son (Maya’s age) to get his little sister a piece of pizza. Older son then walked up a few moments later and thrust the plate at Dad before slumping off, rather than walk the three steps more to actually hand it to his sister. Dad sighed and made reference to my blog, and how he is always reading about how helpful Maya is with her siblings. Which got me thinking.

I don’t paint a realistic portrait of my kids, Maya in particular. While I do write about some of the funny awful things they’ve done, I mostly stick to their early years. This is intentional, although I’d love to kvetch here when my kids are being awful. But they know about my blog. At 11, Maya is quite capable of finding it herself. She is also an incredibly sensitive child and it doesn’t take much for her to decide I hate her. So the last thing I need, as she heads into adolescence, is more fodder for her to believe that, especially since lately all it takes is not allowing her to stay up an extra half an hour. Obviously I adore her, even when she’s being annoying, but I don’t think talking about her bad habits here is going to do either of us any good. So I mostly don’t.

It is an interesting dilemma, being a writer and mom, and writing about parenting. I encountered this when I started writing my column, which drew heavily on my experiences as a mom (write about what you know, right?). Later, J framed my first column for me, which pointed out in the second paragraph that while Maya was a precocious child, the other two weren’t (which was sort of a lie because Boo was too, but that didn’t fit into my argument – take note, those who believe everything they read) and now they are all perfectly normal. Seems innocuous enough, but Maya and Asher didn’t think so. “You don’t think I’m special any more?!” she interpreted. “I’m not as smart as she is?!” he interpreted.

I had a lot of explaining to do.

It is a tough problem, and I’m not the first to discuss it, I’m sure. (In fact, I remember when Anne Lamott, a writer who I adore, announced she would not longer be writing about her son Sam, whose infancy was the subject of probably her most popular book, Operating Instructions. He didn’t like it and she had to respect his feelings on the matter, which hadn’t been an issue when he was a little guy.)

On the one hand, this is my life and how I’m experiencing it. Mothering is a major part of my life and I’d like to fairly reflect my experiences. On the other hand, it is also their lives, and what right to I have to blab about their lives all over the internet?

So I’m trying to find a balance, which includes not telling about how Maya scares me with her ability to psychologically torture her brother when he does not do exactly what she wants (play her game, watch what she wants, stop singing) and how she pretty much grins evilly when she’s called on it, or says innocently, “But I was just playing the piano,” without mentioning that she was singing an accompanying song that starts, “Why is Asher always such a jerk … ”

Okay, so I told about that one. But trust me, there’s lots I don’t tell, and not necessarily because it is bad, but just because it is hers now, and not mine.

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