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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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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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 One of our birthday rituals is to weight and measure the birthday child. We have, as I suspect many people do, a wall with all our kids’ heights over the years marked. Asher is delighted that even though his big sister is much bigger than he is, he is taller than she is at every year, and catching up.

Boo wanted us to measure her a few months ago, although we didn’t mark it then. She saw that she was right at Maya’s line. Her goal became to reach Asher’s line by the time she turned five. Of course, there wasn’t actually anything she could do, but she still hoped. So when we put her up against the wall a couple of days ago, she said again, “I hope I beat Asher’s line!” And sure enough, she was right at Asher’s line. I marked her as a smidgen above, just to make her happy. And she was: “Look, I’m taller than he was! I actually made it to taller than he was.”

No one pointed out to her that she had just made it past the lines we made when Maya and Asher turned four.

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I planned the summer perfectly – first the family vacation, then 3 weeks of camp, then 2 weeks of hanging out time. The hanging out time begins today. We have made a list of fun activities, like the wave pool, museums, conservation parks, that we plan to go through. So, of course, I was woken up this morning with Boo puking on me.

Now I’m trapped in the house with one sick child and two bored ones whose friends are all in day camp. Oh dear.

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I have occasionally mentioned the weird search string used to reach my site, but I think I have a new winner for weirdness: Africans cutting right arms off pictures. In all capitals. Beyond the fact that I don’t believe I’ve ever mentioned the word African on my site, or even right arms, and therefore cannot figure out how that got the searcher to my site, I cannot figure out what this person wants. Are the Africans cutting off their own right arms? Does it have to be right arms? Are they cutting off other peoples’ right arms? And why would anyone want to see a picture of that?

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Vacation update

I have not been online since my last post. In fact, I’m writing this offline to then copy and paste, so annoying is dial-up service.

 

I haven’t read a blog for over a week. And you know what? I’m coping okay, except I’ve run out of stuff to read up here. No computer time means much more reading time, and I didn’t bring enough books. I am catching up in my journal, though.

 

I do feel very out of touch, although I’m not sure that is a bad thing.

 

This week, we are at the cottage with our three kids and two of our nephews (I’ll call them B and C), who are 9 and 11 years old. The four of them – Maya, Asher, B and C – have remarkably similar interests and have gotten along without a major tiff for two weeks now. They spend every waking moment together, doing things as a pack. They are happy to include Boo when she wants to be (there are younger kids here for her to play with) and also include an 8-year-old girl from across the road when she is around.

 

Five kids is actually easier than three, as there are more play options, and since B and C find their younger cousin utterly charming, Asher and Maya are more patient with her too. The only thing that we find difficult – as I mentioned before – is feeding them, since there isn’t a picky eater among them. MominIsrael is right, kids who eat everything is preferable to kids who won’t eat, but it still pains the pocketbook. The five are voracious. We are constantly throwing enormous amounts of food at them. When feeding them dinner, I am reminded of the nature clip I saw years and years ago, where you see a hand holding a huge joint of meat from some animal like a goat or sheep. The hand lowers the joint into a large fish tank and the water boils with frenzied piranhas for a few moments, and then the hand lifts the joint, now cleaned of all meat.

 

I’m just thankful that mine have huge appetites too, or the shock of feeding them all would have been much worse. A couple of days ago, the mom of the kid across the street offered to make lunch for them all (beside the 8-year-old, she has 5-year-old twins). Pasta, she said, that would be easy.

 

My eyes bugged out when I saw the amount of pasta she’d cooked for them. It was enough to split in half and feed the two oldest. I braced myself, hoping the kids wouldn’t be rude about not having enough food. They were good, though. They all ate their share, then came home and ate more. Turns out that, like my kids, my nephews are used to eating meals at friends houses, leaving hungry and filling up at home.

 

I have no idea how large families feed everybody without being rich. I should point out that the whole lot of them, save one normal-sized nephew, are so skinny you can play the xylophone on their ribs.

 

I did not intend to write so much about food. I guess it is just that I’ve been forced to be preoccupied by it. What I intended to write about was that I love it up here. The loss of my beloved internet has been worth it. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but up here the kids get thrown back to my childhood, where they roam around all day playing, and their parents don’t always know exactly where they are. No schedule, no playdates, no parents.

They swim at the beach for hours. They hunt frogs. They invent elaborate games in the forested land behind our cottage. They collect rocks and wild berries. Sleeping all in bunk beds in one room, they whisper to each other long after bedtime, ignoring our half-hearted demands to be quiet and go to sleep.

 

We feed them, bandage scrapes, build bonfires and try to prevent them from emptying their rock collections on the couch, but other than that we hang out and read. It’s lovely.

 

 

It’s not all sunshine and roses – for me, at least. As I write, I am emerging from the pit of a 28-hour migraine. Today was spent lying in bed with earplugs and an eye pillow, throwing back useless drugs. I have no idea what set it off. I haven’t had one this bad in ages.

 

My own personal cottage-holiday ritual is to become ill or injured, so I should consider myself lucky this only wrecked a day. On different years, I have: recovered from carpal tunnel surgery; had an abscessed tooth (two different times and only on holiday here); had severe strep throat that took multiple courses of antibiotics to cure; had an ear and sinus infection so bad I spent the two nicest days of the vacation feverish in bed; had the Norwalk virus (‘stomach flu’); had the real flu; been pukey and exhausted from the first trimester of pregnancy (Asher); been crabby and exhausted from being in the last few weeks of pregnancy (Boo); and had mastitis.

 

Still, I’m not complaining, because at least when I get sick here, I have J to look after the kids. In fact, I actually planned the carpal tunnel surgery that way. Only once I got here did I realize that it was a little bit stupid because I couldn’t swim or play in the sand with the kids. It was still better, though.

 I hardly miss my garden.  

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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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but not in the good way.

I think as long as this hideous heat wave continues, I will have to use ‘hot’ in the title.

I used to love hot and humid weather and now I hate it. Two reasons, I think. One, it is hotter more than it used to be – the world is going to hell in a hand-basket – and two, I am no longer a student whose job it is to sit around and read or write. As long as I don’t move, I’m fine, but my children complain when I never move, and groceries don’t get done and laundry piles up.

Worse, now when it is really humid, I have trouble breathing. This started a couple of years ago and earned me a battery of tests (its always something – have I mentioned that?) and the conclusion is: it doesn’t exist. They can find nothing. Once, I had it for a couple of days and my brother, who managed a medical clinic, became completely freaked out and begged me to let him take me to the ER to be double-checked. He managed to make me a little nervous so I finally agreed. I hadn’t been nervous up to that point, as we were going on the assumption that it was a little asthma thing.

When I finally saw a doctor, he told me that it was anxiety. He asked me no questions, but when the asthma test came back negative, he leapt quickly to that conclusion. I said, with no sarcasm intended at all, “Really? I didn’t know you could have an anxiety attack if you weren’t anxious about anything.” But hey, he’s the doc. He gave me Ativan. Ever taken that? It makes everything fine. I liked it. Unfortunately, the breathing thing didn’t improve one bit.

My brother and I chatted about how ironic it was that when he was feeling all anxious about life, he went to the doctor and the doctor basically told him to suck it up and be a man, but when I went to the doctor with an actual physical problem, they just wrote it off as anxiety and sent me home. The fact that the Ativan had no effect didn’t change his opinion at all.

That is the good thing about blogs – you can just ramble on about shit and no one can say, “You told us that story before!” Well, you can, but in this case I haven’t.

So my point is, hot and humid sucks. Cold and frigid sucks to. Why am I living here?

Did I mention our air conditioning is broken?

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