Friday, June 24, 2011


I'm pretty sure I've written a bit about the importance of music in my life.  I'm not a big techie....I don't have surround sound and wireless connections and all that; I'm not a big groupie; I don't go to many concerts;  I've never bought mp3's from iTunes.  But I do love music and have a decent size CD collection (it's growth slowed after moving to Orangeville/the boonies) which has a wide range of albums.  Looking at the albums is like looking at the history of my life.  Different people brought different genres to me; some I couldn't get into, some I've adopted as "my" thing.

Last night I started ripping all the CDs onto my computer that I haven't done yet.  So, I heard bits of Air Supply, Jann Arden, Chris de Burgh, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Phil Collins, and  Genesis.  This is just a typical cross section of the CDs, there were other albums in that section of the alphabet that I've already ripped.

This morning, I've picked up again with Genesis.  They were my first band crush; the start of listening to new music because someone else (usually a boy) was.  The year was 1983, I was 12.  I'm sure I probably heard a bit of their previous album, but it was their self-titled album (otherwise known as the "Mama" album) that really catapulted them to mass market.  They had finally been able to create songs short enough for radio play but with their distinctive sound and humour.  My brother had a friend who was 16 and "cool".  We'd known him for about 4 years by then, and you know how I described how my mom felt about my other friend in the last post?  Well, this guy, Mr Slick, was totally this way.  Cheesey, slimey, smiley while helping move your new TV in and doe eyed when it went missing the next month type of guy.  But when you're 12 and Mr Slick smiles at you...LOL.  Anyway, he was already a big Genesis fan, so of course, I had start listening. 

Then Genesis went on tour and Mr Slick got tickets.  Oh, did I want to go into the big city on the train and see the show with him.  But I was not allowed :(  In retrospect, I know I wasn't ready for a big time concert then...back then you could smoke inside the arenas, and on buses and trains, and (esp. on concert days), it wasn't always tobacco.  If you catch my wiff.  LOL.

Mr Slick was in and out of our lives over the next few years until he met his real sweetheart and somehow, she got him to settle down and shape up.  Now he's a business owner, father of three, and a far cry from the skinny, smoking, pierced hoodlum of the neighbourhood.  Strangely, when Rob and I were house shopping in 2009, we looked at a couple in his neighbourhood, but didn't know that's where he lived.  That could have been interesting!

 (This is my best friend and me at the end of our Grade 9 band trip, May 1986, with some dude that took a liking to me...)

Anyway, I kept up with my Genesis fascination, and on Sept 22 1986, my best friend and I went to their Invisible Touch concert, on the bus and train into Toronto, all by ourselves!  I'm still not sure how I convinced my parents (or her's; she was a year younger than me!).  It was at the old outdoor, open roof Exhibition Stadium.  The smells were flowing freely that night.  LOL!  Exactly a year later, I was back at that stadium with my boyfriend, Paul, watching Pink Floyd.  Oh boy.  We were right at the top of the bleachers, catching wind of everything that got blown up our way.  I had had a huge fight with my parents about going....if I had gone the year before on a school night, then why was this one such a no-no?   Oh parents are older than me....LOL.

Near the end of Grade 10, a couple friends and I went to Toronto for an outdoor performance by the cover band 1964, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Sargent Pepper and the Lonely Hearts Club Band.  One of those friends, Sanjay, was the smartest guy in high school; went off to MIT, and just had his third baby.  The other friend, Mike, or "Boom Boom" as we called him cause he was a drummer and we knew too many Mikes, has become a radio DJ/music director at stations east of Toronto, and just started up a new station in Peterborough that plays the most eclectic mix of songs from the 80s onwards....pop, rockish, light country...I love it!
In July 1987 Mike and I went to see Peter Gabriel, again at Exhibition Stadium.  We had awesome seats.  Instead of putting the stage at the end of the field like usual, it was mid-field, facing the long side of the stands.  They did this because right beside Exhibition Park was Ontario Place, and they were having a fireworks competition.  This meant our almost crappy seats became awesome.  It was an incredible show, especially as he started singing "Red Rain" with a backdrop of red fireworks (supposedly unintentional...).

I hate the way Blogger works now, this WYSIWYG is not true!
If you can, watch/listen to the duet with earphones.  They are so in sync you can't believe it's two drummers, yet it gets so intricate you know it can't be one drummer. 
Huey and Rob are learning to play the drums, and I played this video for Huey at lunch time.  He seemed impressed, LOL.  I could listen to it over and over.  And watching it is cool too.  Phil is SO at ease on the drums.  Just like when I wrote about the one-legged swimmer last's the same thing.  The music flows THROUGH him, not just from him....he doesn't just "play", he IS the music.  Does that make sense?

Anyway, I posted about listening to music, and this video, today on Facebook, so I thought I'd go into more detail.  And that takes us only to 1991....LOL!  There were big changes when I started dating Jim....stay tuned?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Happy Birthday Huey!

Today, is Hugh's 11th birthday!!  In 2007 I wrote out his birth story on my (now) knitting blog, so I'm not going to repeat it here :)  Last year  the day before, or was it after, his birthday, was a PD day, so we took the train into Toronto, and walked all the way from Union Station up University Avenue, to the OPG building, just south of Queen's Park.  There, we phoned Daddy at work in the building, and surprised him.  We took the subway back down to Union Station and then went to dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory.  Lucy was hungry, and wanted mini pizza, which they didn't have.  Sigh.

This year, it wasn't a surprise, and the PD Day was actually today!  Because of the truck situation, we started out the trip by taking Durham Region Transit to the Go Station.  We're only two blocks from the route, but it comes only every 30 minutes during the day (we can walk to a different route that is more frequent, but it is a little further).  On the bus, ($8.60 for me and the 3 kids!!!), Lucy went right to the back and perched in the middle of the back row, like a little throne at the back of the bus!
 We got to the train station very early, since I was concerned that the bus after the one we took, got us to the station with only 12 minutes....if it ran on time...and you have to go down the stairs, and up the I decided waiting 40 minutes trackside would be better.  Oh, that was fun!  LOL.  The train ride in was nice and uneventful until we got to Union Station.  We got off the train, and couldn't see where the stairs were, so we were following a lady with a stroller--I figured she was heading for the elevator...then she did a U-turn...I found a stairwell, but it was marked "York Teamway" and emergency route.  Uh....we took it anyway and found a GoodLife Fitness and an elevator to Union Station/SkyWalk.  Eventually we got to the TTC (Subway).  Got the subway up to Rob's work....and we were a little late and I forgot his work phone number (cause I had taken it out of my purse to phone him before we left...).  We walked around and in a minute or so, he came out of the building.  Phew.

We walked up to Queen's Park, and went into the Lobby area.  Beautiful.  We couldn't go on a tour, or walk around, so we went back outside and walked through the park to the north, and up to Bloor St.  One block more, and even though we were 30 minutes early, we headed to the restaurant...Duke of York pub.  What a great place!  Hugh had said he wanted chicken pot pie for his birthday.  I googled around till I found a place in Toronto that would be easy and close to get to, and was well recommended, AND suitable for the younger kids.  On their website, you can see the menu.  I filled out the contact us form to find out if they had a children's menu as we wanted to bring the family the next day.  Within an hour, I got a phone call from Mark, to answer any of my questions!  The staff was friendly, knowledgeable, quick, and pleasant!  The food was great!  Hugh had a nice chicken pot pie, Meg had a kid size fish and chips that was fabulous, and came in this cute little pretend fryer basket.  Lucy got chicken fingers and fries (the fries were great!).  I had a southwestern chicken sandwich and beef barley soup.  They were great!  The kids also got some great French vanilla ice cream...and were "allowed" to get both caramel AND chocolate sauce.  Even though Hugh's meal wasn't a kid's meal, he still got the ice cream!  I would have gotten the fish and chips, but I'm trying to cut out potatoes and white foods :(  The best part---for the 5 of us, it came to just under $60!   Sure,  Swiss Chalet might have been a bit cheaper, but probably not much, and this was definitely better!  I highly recommend the Duke of York Pub!!

We walked along Bloor and saw what they did to the ROM.  I'm still undecided on it.  I love the old architecture, and the addition is just so wild.  I have great memories of seeing laser shows at the Planetarium and I miss that, although the dome is still there.  I wanted to show Lucy some of the high end shops on Bloor, but Rob wasn't interested.  We had decided to go to the Eaton's Centre, and I had thought we'd walk down Yonge St to get there.  The kids decided they'd rather take the subway, LOL.  So, we headed underground at Museum Station:

 All the pillars and stuff were "museum-y".  It was cool!
 Meg had a serious moment, LOL.
 Lucy was fed, and not walking, so she was happy!
 Meg entertained Rob and everyone!
 Lucy tried to climb the poles.
 We got off at Dundas and went above ground.  There were some street performers that were really neat--a silver "robot" Elvis, a statue, drummer, etc.  We went inside to the Eaton Centre. Mmm.  Well.  It's beautiful inside.  However...we wanted to go to Adene's or Claire's as Lucy lost one of my earrings during the day, and she shouldn't go without earrings for long yet.  We looked at the map and headed out.  Checked the next map.  Notice that as you look at the map, it's backwards to real life!  Sears, on the map, was on the right end, but as you stood there, Sear's was off to your left.  That is really silly!  The shop we were supposed to be closest to, was no longer there.  Other stores had stickers over their names, why not this one?  We continued on, and I saw a Geox store.  The kids see the ads, so I thought we'd just take a peek.  $75-$80 for sneakers in Lucy's size range.  I think the kids understood why they don't have any!

We started to walk down Yonge Street, and Lucy was upset she hadn't gotten anything in the "big mall".  Sigh.  Pout.  We got down to Front Street, and Rob checked his train schedule card and we realized we could catch a train if we headed right there.
 Lucy cheered up on the train ride, and they had a fun time playing balloon toss.  It did get a little rowdy, but in a good way.  Sure, they were noisy, but they were happy noisy!
 These were the only two pictures I got of Hugh, all day!  (Lucy might have some on her camera).
Eleven years.  Sigh.  Soon he'll be riding the train into Toronto by himself!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Strollers Are Better?

(This is another post from my other blog, August, nearly 5 years!  Hugh was 6 and starting grade 1, Lucy was 3 and starting JK, and Meg was 9 months old.)

We did a test walk of the walk to school. We moved in May. It used to be 3 blocks, now it's exactly one mile. No bus, not even for 3 year olds going to JK. It took 25 minutes and was torture most of the way. Huey just can't cope with that, given his poor muscle tone.

Megan rode in the stroller. She doesn't spend much time in it. Being born in November and worn in the sling since the day we got home from the hospital, she hasn't needed the stroller. Too awkward when walking in 'the forest', too annoying to fold up and put in the truck if we go anywhere. But she doesn't seem to mind the stroller anyway.

However, when we got home, I rushed inside to let Lucy go potty and pushed the button to open the garage door. As I was heading back out, Huey starts screaming. Apparently, he was trying to be helpful by pushing the stroller into the garage. He was watching Megan though, and not the garage door. The stroller got hooked on the bottom of the garage door, and when I got out there, she was dangling from the top! Thankfully she was buckled in well, but man! The neighbour watched it all from inside her minivan next door! She says they did that to the dog once, LOL.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What You Focus On.....

I've had a few occasions recently that support the notion that what you focus on, expands.  And, what you fear, you create.

One of my FB friends is a girl I was pretty good friends with for grades 7 & 8 while we were at senior public school.  I hadn't seen or heard from her in over 20 years, but it's been nice to reconnect on FB.  She doesn't have children, but is married to a man with a teen aged son who lives (mostly) with them.  She often makes disparaging remarks about the crazy ex-wife (which do sound valid), but sadly, also about the boy.  He's lazy, breaks the rules, has no respect  (which all may be true), but it's the underlying tone and attitude towards him that saddens me.  One rule was no smoking in his bedroom.  She caught him, and dumped his ashtrays all over his bed.  I do like that consequence, LOL, but it's the underlying attitude that's sad.  I don't know how I would be feeling, but I do know that I would go into a relationship with a man who's a father, being a little more open minded.  This is the off-spring, the genetic extension of the man you love.  If he loves his son, then so should you.  That doesn't mean love his behaviour.  Oh no, LOL.  But if all you see is a lazy, disrespectful off-spring of a crazy woman, then that's what you're going to get.

Yesterday, I went to my doctor's for a physical.  It's been a long time!  I like this doctor, she seems very knowledgeable about vitamins, she was respectful when I said I was delaying/selective vaxxing the kids, and she remember me, the girls, and things that happen.  And I've been seeing her only since September!  She remembered how we were having to be a one car family, and was asking how it's been, trying to do everything, and wow, did I have my hands full with three kids, etc.  I commented that I just do what I have to do, and I look at other mothers who do way more than I do, and think I don't have it too bad, I could be doing more!  She remarked that I have a good spirit.  Isn't that a nice thing for a doctor to say?  I can't do much about the truck situation....I just collect all the change I can find around the house, take the bus to the GO Train station, steal my truck and off I go.  Then, I do have to interrupt dinner to go to the station with the girls to pick up Rob, but really, that's not bad.  I do wish he'd ride his bike to the station (or gee...take the bus, which would mean he'd have to take a later train, but at least he doesn't have to worry about the terrible parking).  Sure, today Meg and I walked to the pool for her swimming lesson, but at least we had that option, and although sunny, there was a fabulous breeze.  Yes, I can't go thrift store shopping, but really, I don't NEED to.  Things could be worse.

Today, while watching Meg's swimming lesson, three Parks and Rec employees came in for their break.  There was an older woman, and two university age students.  The boy (LOL...not exactly...but not "man" either) was talking about how he doesn't swim.  Apparently, he used to get terrible ear infections, and I think I heard him say that he nearly drowned twice.  The girl and the woman were trying to convince him that he could overcome this and learn to be water safe.  The girl said "You won't get ear infections now, and you won't drown".  (Well, it's easy to say that I suppose, but what if...).  Personally, I do agree...if you want to learn to swim, you can't focus on what scared/scarred you.  You can either totally ignore it (I'm sure that's hard), or acknowledge it, and then move on.  If you go into the pool thinking "I might drown", well, at the least, you're not going to enjoy your time, and at worse, you will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.  If you go into the pool thinking "I've had trouble in the past but I'm over that" then you've got no where to go but up!

Then, it started me thinking about my own fears.  Mmmm.  I'm not keen on spiders, or bugs.  I don't want to bungee jump, but not because of past experience.  I can look at it, and skydiving, and say, "Yes, I'd be terribly afraid, but it'd also be incredibly cool".  Umm, yes, my fear (and the cost) is keeping me from doing it, but I also know that I'm gravitationally challenged and my vestibular processing is weak.  I don't do rollercoasters.  I do rather enjoy small ones, but the incredible physical stress I feel when I do anything crazy, like the Tower of Terror at Disney's MGM Studio....OMG...I truly felt physically sick...not "I'm going to throw up" but like my entire physical systems were haywire.  Flight or fight to the max, like I'd never be able to get my visual inputs to match my internal responses again.  Rob couldn't understand it.  He could understand getting nauseous, or throwing up, but not like my entire world was gone wacky and would never re-align.
Any other fears?  Is there anything negative I focus on?  Mmm.  Is it possible to be too open to the universe and 'what happens, happens'?  I'm not passive, but is it possible to be TOO accepting?