Sunday, September 23, 2007


Good morning, Blog World. Today we have a mixed bag of thoughts and comments (as opposed to my sharply-crafted, single-theme efforts of previous dates. HA!)

Got another unflattering look at myself this past weekend. My office computer crashed on Friday afternoon, just as I had agreed to accept a large batch of work to do by Monday. I knew all my fellow transcribers were also loaded to the gunwales, and I reacted to this crisis the way I always do: I had a meltdown. Rather than even attempt to think of something to solve the problem, I just sat in front of my coolly unresponsive computer cursing and ululating and rending my garments.

Fortunately, I am blessed with a husband and his chip-off-the-block daughter who are calm and capable and also well-trained to leap into action when their wife/mother commences to ululate. Within minutes, it seemed, RH had rushed the ailing computer off to a repair shop, while VCCGirl smartly moved the den computer into my office. (All those cables and cords! She unplugs them with such careless abandon!) When the Word program on this computer rudely refused to allow me access, The Lad was called at work (by VCCGirl, not me. I hadn’t stopped screaming yet) and interrupted his session to try to come up with a solution. In the meantime, Friend Known as Katie had been prevailed upon to download my work, as my dead computer was the only one in this house with such capability.

It takes a village to calm a Grammar.

VCCGirl herself had a need for help this morning when she roused from sleep to see her clock-radio displaying the time of 8:10. This was dismaying because her work shift started at 8:00. Of course, she doesn’t waste time freaking out. She immediately called a coworker/friend who lives five minutes from the workplace and mobilised her to cover until VCCGirl could get there herself. Meanwhile, RH and I gathered together a travel mug of piping hot tea and some fruit and snacky things, and got her car warmed up and its windows cleared of heavy autumn dew.

Isn’t it wonderful to have family and friends to rally around when you need them?


RH has been mocking me because I already have most of the clothes for our trip laid out atop our bedroom bookshelf, though we do not leave for 12 days. But if I hadn’t done that, I might have been wearing something crucial to the whole wardrobe matrix when I was rending garments on Friday!

We were recently notified by Princess of a change in our itinerary. It seems that the docking facilities in Charlottetown are under repair to an extent that will preclude stopping there, so instead we will be spending a day in and around Corner Brook, Newfoundland. This is fine with us as we have been to PEI quite recently, but never to Newfoundland. Unfortunately our travelling companions, the Lawman and Ms. K, were a little chapfallen (there’s your Dandy Word O Day from Grammar!) but I’m sure will enjoy exploring a bit of the Confederation’s youngest province with us.


FKK and I recently came up with what we think is a brilliant business idea, so if there are any entrepreneurs out there, listen up. These days there are many people who work from home, as well as increasing numbers of retired Baby Boomers at home much of the day. Everyone knows how successful ice cream trucks are in the summer (obnoxious repetitive tinny music notwithstanding). Why not have a roving coffee truck, bringing designer coffees and tasty pastries around the neighbourhood at appropriate morning and afternoon coffee break times? Does this not seem like something that would be instantly a huge success? Now, if you choose to take up this idea, FKK and I don’t expect any royalties. However, we would really like it if you called your business, including all future franchises, Jolly Mr. Beverage. We have our reasons.


And finally, I watched a YouTube of Robin Williams on Letterman the other day. Turns out his son has a degree in Linguistics just like Grammar does. (Williams’ son, that is. Letterman’s son is only about three years old, so that would be a tad precocious, even for Hollywood. Or especially for Hollywood.) When asked what one does with a degree in Linguistics, Williams quipped: You open a Sentence Repair Shop. To the rest of the world, this was a tiny tidbit of comedy. To me – a dream! A Sentence Repair Shop! How fun would that be??? Sigh. Jolly Mrs. Sentence.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Hands up all those who have not bought a house recently

Househunting is a hard gig. As most of you know, we thought we had found our new home this past week. It had everything we wanted, was on a lovely quiet street not far from our current home, and had many wonderful(-looking) updates inside.

There was a great flurry of activity as we offered and counter-offered, agreed on a price, spoke with lawyers and banks, and jumped into major high gear in an effort to get our current place totally ready for marketing before leaving on our vacation in three weeks.

And then there was the big let-down when the house inspection revealed a number of major flaws in the place, certainly more than we were willing to accept for the agreed-on price, but in fact even more than we were prepared to deal with rectifying at any price. The entire basement suite in the house, brand new and beautiful, turned out to have been installed by unskilled amateurs. A lot of it would have had to be redone. We were offput and the deal was kaput.

And so we keep looking. But in the meantime -- we leave on our big holiday three weeks today!! So much still to be done, so really, thank goodness we haven’t just bought a house! There’s a trip to Bellis Fair to be made for a last hunt for sparkly outfits. There are beauty appointments to be booked (sigh. One tries). Dry cleaning to be taken in. Your entire wardrobe has to be laid out on the bed and combinations and permutations considered. Practice packing then ensues. More dry cleaning may be necessary. And then, of course, it must all be laid out on the bed again. If you are a man reading this and think I’m making this up, locate the nearest female person of pretty much any age and ask her. Seriously. We have to do this.

Then there are notes to be composed for idiot offspring who couldn’t possibly be expected to perform such complex tasks as putting out the garbage, bringing in the mail, locking the door, feeding the cats and flushing the toilet if not left detailed instructions pertaining to these activities. (Not to mention genuinely complex instructions about taping my TV shows!)

In our basement-clearing frenzy of late, we advised The Lad that the drum set he inherited from his grandpa had to be dealt with. He dusted it off and polished it up and did some repairs, then began checking online and with experts he knows through work, and discovered to all of our astonishments that it is worth several THOUSAND dollars! Apparently its particular make and model is considered a Cadillac of vintage drum sets. We had no idea! He does not intend to sell it at this time, however, but instead, after having it properly refurbished, will install it in his studio at work to attract high-caliber session musicians. The Lad is admirably devoted to the task of expanding his career, and has indeed been doing so quite successfully in the past few months in particular.

And on a final note, VCCGirl is enjoying school thus far. Her Accommodations instructor is hot, her Tourism instructor is a stand-up comic, her Math instructor is a dead ringer for Albert Einstein (and a bit of a potty-mouth), they’ve been playing fun icebreaker games in Communications, and they’re learning to pour shots in Food and Beverage Operations. What’s not to like?

These are two of VCCGirl's actual instructors. The one on the left is the Tourism teacher. I don't think you need me to tell you who the one on the right is.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Grammar and the Metaphorical Hill

51 years ago today the world gained a syntax savant, identified throughout the years by various names such as Pussycat, Go-to-Your-Room, Sheljar, Lundi, Lovebug, Mom, and latterly, Grammar Moses. Grammar’s pappy, Solomon, sent her a lovely birthday poem which suggested that when I “cross over the hill”, he’ll “love me still”.

Oh, I have crossed. I have made it up the spring side of the hill, which is carved with measured steps but full of prickle-bushes and boulders, causing detours large and small. Many loving hands helped me navigate that slope to the summerlands atop the hill.

I found two babies on the spring side of my hilltop, and, setting them upon their own hills and showing them how to climb, I moved swiftly across my summer meadows. Reaching the far side, I looked back and saw my children nearing the top of their slopes, marching strongly with characters made fit and confident by the challenges of the upward journey and surrounded by friends.

So now I’m headed down the autumn side, and have discovered that it’s very different from the slow and winding upward trek. This slope is coated in slick, rainforest-damp moss and I’m on the bobsled to winter.

Well. All one can do is dig in one’s heels and enjoy the ride and the beautiful fall scenery as long as it lasts!

I’m moved to hillside metaphor by my own birthday, but also by VCCGirl, my younger and last baby, heading off this morning for her first day of college. As she drove away in her old red car, a bundle of nerves and anticipation, I clung to the doorframe to stop myself running down the street after her. No, wait! Mommy has to come with you! You won’t know where to park! You won’t know how to find your classrooms! The other kids might be mean to you! You were only in kindergarten a few days ago -- how can you be driving off to college????

I know I’m very lucky, though. I am lucky firstly that her college is 20 minutes’ drive from our house and at the end of the day VCCGirl will come back to me. I am lucky secondly (and indeed it is one of the greatest blessings of my life) that we have a close and confiding relationship, and VCCGirl will happily sit down with her old mom and share all her first impressions of instructors, courses, and potentially datable classmates. Although it may seem like a fall day outside, I’ll be reliving spring with my daughter. What a great birthday present!