Friday, 31 March 2006

All Gussied Up and Gnome Where to Go!

Well, once again it's that time of the year when Thursday evening coffee, post piano lessons, with Adventurer means dragging our hibernating butts out of the cozy Wintertime cafe seats out into the warm Springtime streets to be let loose on the neighbourhood with a decaf coffee to go. (Could you imagine me with caffiene after all?)

Usually a legnthy walk would be in order. Tonight however, still recuperating from various Wintertime ailments, we decided to drive to my favourate little spot.

A little village in the city. High end condos with one lovely little place sporting a lawn gnome and daschund statue on their postage size lot. Now when I see this little gem amoung the pristine professionally manicured postage stamp sized lots, barely big enough to fit a lawn chair....I think that these individuals have personality! They have a sense of humour! They have two middle ageish female ornament stalkers decorating their lawn ornaments for the numerous holidays for just shy of a year now. Do we know them? No. Have they caught us? No. Are they happy about it? Your guess is as good as mine, but they don't remove the decorations for sometime after they are done. In fact, the ornaments sometimes are shifted about the lot, in order to mow the lawn (probably in one pass) all the while retaining their newest duds all the way.

My picture came out blurry, but what you would see if blogger would work properly and let me post my picture, is indeed said lawn gnome wearing a plush bunny mask. (Which may have been partly responsible for getting us a free coffee when I wore it into the cafe. It's not the first donated coffee we have received there. The very generous Barista has grown accustomed to our antics, and seems to enjoy them. We are amply rewarded for our sillyness from time to time.)

The daschund was decorated with a little pink hairy bunny toy, which will multiply to many bunnies through the coming weeks leading up to Easter.

It's times like these, when we can not take life so seriously and bring a little humour into peoples lives and perhaps a smile, that life is good!

Wednesday, 29 March 2006

Invasion of the Creatures from the Aquarium

While putting away clothes in my daughters dresser I was confronted with a question.....

How the heck did a little itty bitty golden "apple" snail, about the size of half a pea get into my daughters dresser? Oh sure, there happens to be an aquarium on top of the dresser, but that's not an adequate explanation! And where was the gooey snail part?

The mystery deepend when I came across another of the pesky little creatures while sweeping the floor. Unlike his/her sister or brother in the sock drawer, this little fellow/gal appeared to still be present in some form in it's shell! A dried out dehydrated presence, but most definately there none the less.

Out of curiosity more than anything, I plopped the little beast back into the water, wondering whether or not it was "damp" enough inside to have survived the ordeal. I turned my back briefly, and it was gone! It had come out and joined it's siblings in the tank for a morning of feasting and merriment before attempting yet another escape!

A few months back, seeing these beautiful creatures in a tank at the aquarium shop, I inquired about them. I was a bit concerned about added them to my tank, since I had been fishing out the regular little brown ones ever since I started adding live plants to my aquarium. They assured me that these types of snails required TWO of them to breed. I bought 3.

You may be wondering why I'd by 3 when I was worried about them procreating? Well, we did after all have 4 tanks when I bought them. Unfortunately though, what I didn't forsee was that a week later I'd have a nasty case of Ick in all but one of my tanks. To treat it an aquarist must remove anything sensitive to the medication. This included these snails. Supposedly they are much like many of the parasitic diseases that we treat for and are therefore in harms way when we try to eliminate them.

One BIG snail orgie took place in the course of treatment. They rarely left each other alone and not too long after, I found two snails on the floor behind the dresser.

Now these fellows/gals aren't little. Make a fist....ok, maybe not quite that big, but about the size of a 3 year olds fist. Each day, at least 2 or 3 times, I went searching for them around the outside of the aquarium. We played this hide and seek game until finally one day I had had enough! I put them in an enclosed tank with only an opening for the heater and filter flow.

Apparently my type of apple snail lays eggs just above the water, somewhere humid and close so they will drop safely in when they hatch. I now have about 20 thank you (at least. they won't stay still enough to let me count!) And they are starting to come of age apparently, because each day 2 or 3 times, I go and search for the escapees who are trying to find their perfect place to lay their eggs.

The really funny thing about this, is thinking that I removed them all from a tank I had been treating for another nasty parasite, I found two had come out of hiding only after I had completed the course of treatment. The fish were dropping like flies, but I couldn't kill these little suckers if I tried.

So.....of to the Fish store to restock their supply of apple snails if they'll have them. Before they add to mine!

Tuesday, 28 March 2006

Princess Four of Four

I walked into the room belonging to my third and fourth daughters. I'm not a huge fan of Star Trek or anything, but I like the way that the Borg are "labelled." I think that this is a better way to call the kids when I want them. Especially if I am requiring all of them at once. "One through Four, Supper is ready!" Not that I need to call them for supper. Usually they are picking at the trough long before it's ready...but I digress.

I see a small green and yellow Ikea chair pulled up to Four of Four's dresser. It's sturdy enough. The dresser is strapped to the wall so it won't tumble over when used as a ladder to get whatever is out of reach at the top. That's how she got up there to get her bottle of baby lotion that I had thought I cleaverly stashed away in the top drawer where she NEVER looks. When there's a need there's a way I guess.

"Mom, I want a 'sauge now." she says in her deceptively sweet voice. You see, I know what will happen if I say no. Oh sure! You're sweet now, but if you don't get your massage when you demand it, there will be no living with you for the entire afternoon and probably most of the evening too!

This is something I used to do when she was an infant with dry skin. Now a recent addition to our bathtime routine again, she seems to be quite taken with this part of it. It was not, however, post bathtime.

I realized at this time that this is a true prima donna in the making. She's not our first "girlie girl", but is definately the first to believe that she's an honest to goodness princess and should get all of the princess perks that the position affords!

At 3.5 years of age, my little "princess" has previously let me know that our house is not beautiful like the huge condominium complex going up next to the Starbuck's where we like to have our morning coffee. She wants to live in a house the size of the entire complex she informs me.

Do I dissuade this behavior? No. Yesterday when we went shopping for shoes, she picked out the sparkly pink ones because that's what a princess would wear. I bought them.

You see, I have three more sensible, thrifty, tolerant and charitable children. This being the case the youngest is bound to be a little spoiled. She's Daddy's girl and definately his little princess. She's got him wrapped around her little finger! (I can say that in this blog with no fear of him reading it because this entry is too wordy. He likes the straight to the point kinda entries. He's a busy guy!) She says "jump" and he says "would you like me to grab you the moon while I'm up there. Oh ya, and by the high?"

I suppose I'll need to take her down a few pegs so we don't totally ruin the child. Anyhow, enough for today's post. If you'll excuse me, Four needs her massage and manicure before we go for her morning hotchocolate at starbucks. I hope she doesn't want to go and find a dress to go with her shoes, I have got just too much to do today.

Wednesday, 22 March 2006

Job Posting

School Bus driver for elementary school children needed for pick-up and drop off at various local schools.
Must be kind and tolerant towards school aged children, regardless of how bratty they are. Must drive at a reasonable speed, not as if you are in the Daytona 500. Must not pick off children at the side of the road (you don't get points for taking out children!) when wizzing by your route for the second time, because .... ooops! You forgot to drop somebody off at their stop (silly driver!) Must enjoy the antics of the PerpetualChocoholic family enough to actually slow down in front of their house to make it appear as if you may have stopped for their children had they actually been completely ready for the bus. Finally, must actually drop the children off at their designated stop in front of their house and not at the neighbours who aren't the least bit interested in obtaining extra children for their own use.


I want our old bus driver back!

Can you imagine that this driver actually told my children who were on their way out the door, if you want me to stop you actually have to be waiting by the road for me to pick you up.

The problem with this is that one of my kids just about got taken out by the bus flying by our property, just about on our snowbank, for the second time, while playing. Had she slipped, she would have been road kill! I'm afraid to get within 10 feet of the street when she's on the job.

Then she tried to drop them off up the street at a neighbours house. My 3, and two others. The neighbours were confused, we were confused, and worried she'd take off with them darting out in front of the bus trying to get to us. After a lot of yelling, arm waving and annoyed looks, they made it home without any problems....this time.

Well, she doesn't know what she's missing as far as morning entertainment goes by not stopping for the girls in the morning. But maybe that's not a bad thing. My kids are ready on time now because they know she won't wait. And quite frankly, if the crazy lady remains their driver, I may just have to get them to school myself. Which should provide much entertainment to those gathered at the school because I'm sure I'll embarass myself somehow (not to mention the kids) when taking them in.

I miss Bozo! (Yes, believe it or not, that was actually their favourite bus drivers real first name. Lucky man!)

Thursday, 16 March 2006

The squirrel population has increased these last few days. I received this letter just the other day: (well, this is actually just a translation of the original. The actual note was written on the snow in "Squirrelish" with a peanut and some poops.)

Dear Provider of the Nuts,

We are not pleased with the present variety of foods being served. We would like to see something other than peanuts being served during the course of the week. Also, please note that your attempt to increase our blood pressure with the addition of salted peanuts is noted! Your excuse about that being all that is available is unacceptable. I know that you have peacans in your cupboard for've been holding out on us. You will pay for this little mistake with the spreading of your garbage thoughout your driveway until the mistake is corrected.

We would also like you to address the concerns we have about the presentation of the food. Although in the human world you all would like to believe that flesh colour does not make a difference, in the squirrel world I will tell you that it does. The grey squirrels will be served on the upper deck of the yard. The black squirrels will eat on the lawn. (except for the really big black fellow with the scars on his body and half an ear. He can eat anywhere he darn well pleases.)

Finally, although we were previously opposed to sharing our dinners with the crows, we have since decided that their attendance has proven beneficial. We would have lost a few good members had not the large beasts chased away that hawk that was sizing us up.

The Squirrels

P.S. You're ugly and you smell like a human, so stop attempting to feed us from your hand. It's disgusting and takes away our appetite.

Monday, 13 March 2006

Happy March Break

A little girl was talking to her teacher about whales. The teacher said it was physically impossible for a whale to swallow a human because even though it was a very large mammal its throat was very small.

The little girl stated that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. Irritated, the teacher: reiterated that a whale could not swallow a human, it was physically impossible.
The little girl: said, "When I get to heaven I will ask Jonah".
The teacher: asked, " What if Jonah went to hell?"
The little girl: replied, "Then you ask him".

Happy March break. No beat the bus this week.

The snow is melting, they are calling for possible thunderstorms tonight. At least the rain is washing away the snow. Sadly, Mr. Blue's footprints in the snow have now started disappearing. The last concrete evidence of his existence here with us is melting away. Well, maybe not his last. The remaining "gifts" he left will need to be cleaned up from the backyard once they have been defrosted a little bit more. At least will will have comfort in the knowledge that he will continue to be with us in Spirit throughout the summer by fertilizing the plants for this year. Thank you Mr. Blue!

I've hit a creative wall once again. I've included a cute little story that a friend sent. I've seen it at least once before, sitting in this very spot, about a year or so ago. I've been blogging too long. I'm getting into re-runs.

Thursday, 9 March 2006


Hi Loves,

Well, I'm back again. Sorry I didn't write sooner but I've been feeling jet lagged since I got back from Boston. Sandi says that I'm not really jet lagged since Boston is in the same time zone as home, but what does she know....she's never been to Boston! D'uh!
I haven't gotten any pictures from my trip. I stayed inside the suitcase. Mr. P. didn't think that the fellows at M.I.T. would appreciate a pair of world travelling underwear tagging along. I'm not sure why though because I'm sure theirs were all there. Well at least I got a pin this time that says Boston. Lucky me! I'm thrilled. It's a start. No travel plans for the immediate future. I'm trying to talk Sandi into taking me out for the day now that the weather is warming up. We'll see I guess!

Hugs & Kisses

Vicki Stripes

Wednesday, 8 March 2006

Thursday, 2 March 2006

Beating the Bus Again

I stood somberly in the doorway watching the bus bump it's way down the street with screaming excited children ready to take on another day. So often I've read in historical novels of their characters suffering from melancholy. It sounds so much nicer than depression. It's been a rough week with the passing of Mr. Blue. I turned to see 3 children in various states of readiness for school watching to see if I was going to blow. I didn't on this day. I'm melancholied out. But guess what....that was yesterday, and today is another day!

GET MOVING! And if I hear one more person say their sister is an "a**hole, I'm getting out the soap....again! (to their shocked suprise for the first time in the history of this household-- yesterday-- I washed two of their mouths out with soap. I had once tried "Louisianna Hot Sauce" to stop one child from biting everyone in sight, but unfortunately she was immediately taken with the stuff and could be found sucking on it clandestinely in the kitchen at a frequency that was alarming to me! I had created a pre-school Louisianna Hot Sauce addict!)

The delay tactics were starting. Child #2 approaches and opens her mouth as if to speak, "If someone or something isn't currently in the process of dieing, and if you say one word before getting ready for school like I asked, I'm going to introduce you to Mr. Sudsey Handsoap....again.

"But Mom, I was just coming to say I love you!!!!" she retorts in her best insulted voice.
"Right! You forget, I know you! When you were a toddler, you're the one who used to watch yourself cry in the mirror, then switch to a smile, then back to crying in a blink!" She started taking grand manipulator lessons early!
"Oh, listen Tara! Is that Mr. Sudsey I hear calling you?" Busted! She stomps away.
Delay tactic #1 ineffective.


Delay tactic # 2:
"It's skating day at school and I can't find my helmet or skates. Can you find them then drive me to school if we miss the bus?"
"Sadly no!" I put on my sadest face when I say this for effect! I guess you get to watch your friends having fun skating, while you sit on a snowbank freezing your little bun buns off. Awwww. How sad for you! "
"You know, I just forgot, I may have seen them in the back room after all!"
(snicker, right! nice try...again, but no score.)

By this time I notice Child #3 coming out walking like a penguin with an egg on it's feet trying to make it to the door to escape outside.
"Ok everyone, today we're going to start a new routine. When you come to the front door ready to go out we're going to play a game called "patdown."" I see the look of panic flash across Karen's face.

"You know Karen," I say as I pat her down,
"Most people don't have odd geometrical shapes, with sharp corners protruding from various points in their pants. Whatever could have accidentally fallen in there when you were getting dressed?" A slight smirk adorns her lips.
"Opps! A pudding. One pudding." she giggles.
"That's all?" I ask?
"Oh yes!" she replies in earnest
"Then the second pudding and chocolate chip granola bars must just be in my imagination." I say maintaining that ever important eye contact to show that today I mean business....for a change.
"You know that there is only one sweet snack and two healthy snacks for school!"

Delay tactic #3:
"I can't find pants Mom!" Tara tries in a final desparate attempt to miss the bus.
"Well, I'm sure the kids won't laugh for more than a day or two when you show up to school in your underwear!" I try to put on my best serious face, which might I add in no way even remotely rivals hers!
I'm not quite sure what exactly she was mummbling to herself, but she came back with pants on ready for the bus.

The bus pulls away with three little....disgruntled schemers off for another day of learning.

"Good morning Sandi!" My 4th has taken to calling me by my less formal name, like her little friends. Not wanting to watch that bright eyed bushy tailed looking expression fade, I pick my battles carefully you know, I let it slide for now. I don't want to start off my day with tantrums and fits. (I don't have enough energy right now to throw one anyways.) I turn to her and smile.
"Good morning sweety! Let's go to Starbucks for coffee!"

See, somedays it's good to be a stay at home mom. Even better on the days that we beat the bus!

Wednesday, 1 March 2006