Thursday, September 3, 2015

Back to school meanderings...

Like so many people who look back on their time at school, I think of it fondly. Through that Vaseline covered lens that makes even the wrinkly of faces look smooth and lovely again. Even the time I got punched in the face or had to excuse myself from Mr. Vasil's economics class because I got my period. Ah, the good times.

I'm now watching my own kids get ready for school themselves (2 in high school one in college) and wonder what soul-crushing or humiliating things they'll remember 31 years from now. Hopefully they'll be tempered by the amazing memories. Like my first ever line in a play, onstage, in front of everybody: "Wait! Stop! Please don't take that boy away... stop one moment!!" (Oliver Twist), and the day I got a note shoved in my locker by the coolest girl in class, asking me to hang out with her and her friends (ohmygodohmygod...)

Whatever they remember or however they recall their high school days, I have to try not to feel left out when they don't share that stuff with me. I never did with my parents and just because I think I'm the "cool mum" doesn't mean they tell me anything, worse luck. I just hope they have good friends to talk to and an outlet somewhere to vent. All that to say that I wish them the best this school year and I hope it's memorable in every sense of the word.


Monday, August 31, 2015

Just came back from a run

I'm trying to get myself slowly back into some kind of a routine after the slobfest that was this summer. I slept in until 10, I had sugar cereal for breakfast, I showered intermittently and I didn't run. Well, maybe once a week on average, which is seriously an insult to runners everywhere.

So this morning I set the clock for 8:30 (yes, I'm aware of how that sounds) and only slept for an hour past that. Then I got up, picked up the pile of clothes at the foot of my bed and tried to persuade myself not to go. I bargained and begged but as I was picking stuff up, I was unconsciously putting on a running outfit and before I knew it was was dressed and ready. I headed outside only to be immediately tempted by my neighbour Gabriel. He wanted me to come to his backyard and check out his garden. He and Elliott have been working together all summer and he claimed Elliott did all the work himself. I really wanted to see it. Well, more likely, I really didn't want to run. But I resisted his charms and headed to the park.

I actually did it. I ran (okay mostly walked) 3K. Down from my usual 5K but considering last week at this time I was still in bed dreaming, it was a start. And next week when school starts I'll be doing all this at 5:30 so I'd better get my act together but quick.

Now off to drink my protein shake and watch four hours of Doctor Who on the PVR. Well, you can't rush the acclimatising. You'll get the summer bends.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Our UK trip

We had such an amazing time, I thought I'd make it last one more day by posting the photos on here as well. Be warned... there are 8 sets. Heh.

Batch 1

Batch 2

Batch 3

Batch 4

Batch 5

Batch 6

So many pictures...

I messed up somewhere and 2 of these files are repeated.

I could have fixed it but I'm too lazy.

We had a LOT of forced togetherness because the 5 of us spent 9 days in taxis, apartments, planes and trains meant for multiples of 2. I didn't mind but the minute our plane touched down at home, the kids were on their devices and by the time we set foot in the house they were gone. I didn't mind though. We had such a great time touring around. We didn't argue, no one got mad when another wanted to do their own thing, and believe it or not, nothing went wrong. Well, there was a scary moment when we first arrived and we thought we were swindled out of the apartment we booked. But after an hour or so of taxiing around the city, it worked out.

Anyway, we had a good time at what we're calling the Knox Family Farewell Tour since this is probably the last time we can all go on a big trip like this. The kids will all have jobs they can't leave or girlfriends/boyfriends they will miss too much and frankly, Scott and I aren't able to pay for 5 adults to fly again. You wouldn't think so after this trip but we aren't made of money.

Next trip will be just us.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

What's new since the last post?

Let's see...

1. Scott and I appeared on an episode of "Switched At Birth"
It's only a photograph of us taken a few years ago, onscreen for about 2 seconds. At the time, the photographer asked us to sign a release to sell the negatives to Getty Images but none of us thought that it'd come to anything. 

2. I got pierced
An industrial piercing and ouch.

3. I got my 3rd ever pedicure
Light blue toes. Pretty.

4. I've seen a bunch of summer movies
Age of Ultron... Loved it
Mad Max... So freaking great! Should have been called "Furiousa"
Pitch Perfect 2... Meh
Tomorrowland... Yuck
Spy... So funny
Jurassic World... Best. Death. Ever.
Inside Out... Fell asleep.
Magic Mike XXL... Hubba hubba
Ant-Man... Exactly what I expected. And I expected to love it.

5. I'm waiting for my new clear ukulele to arrive
Not patient because look how cute...

6. We're going to the UK soon and I'm trying (and failing) to pack everything I'll need for 9 days in a large carry-on.
What is the point of this? I plan to check the bag anyway. I'm just trying to make myself crazy.

7. I got drunker that I have been in modern memory
It messed me up the entire of the following day. I think I'm done with Fireball. Forever.

So that's what's new with me. I'm really enjoying this summer and at the same time looking forward to getting back to work. Go figure. How's life with you?


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Law of averages

There are lots of things that make me average.

I'm a size 12 with a size 9 foot. Average
I have 3 kids. Over, but pretty close to average
I live in the suburbs. Average
I watch all the summer blockbusters and love them. Average
At Oscar time, I watch only the Best Picture Nominees. Average
I live in a high ranch house with a front and back yard. Average
We have 2 cars. Average
My age group (15-64) is the age of the average Canadian...

But some days I feel anything but average. Almost extraordinary. Like I could write a best-seller about my life. And they'd make a movie based on it starring... um, Jada Pinkett Smith... Moving on

I paddle, I play the ukulele, I bake a pretty mean cake, I cosplay, I've run a marathon (but never again, mind you), I hate to cook, I have a successful marriage (I could write volumes on that alone), I can knit, I like to write, I kick ass at trivia, I have a bit of a potty mouth... Overall, I'm a pretty fucking darned interesting person. Anything but average.

So by that logic, nobody is really average, are they? But doesn't that in itself make everyone average? Oh, my brain...


Friday, July 10, 2015

Summer fun photo dump

Hey, everybody! I've been having a wonderful, restful summer. I'm trying desperately to get passports issued to the kids who we're taking on a trip to the UK in August. It'll be the last family trip that we pay for since they are nearly all adults now and will, by next year (please God), have jobs and lives of their own that can't be disrupted. I'm really looking forward to this last blast. Here are some photos of the things we've been getting up to since my last post.

Audrey had a birthday. She's 17 now. Where does the time go?

I finally got myself out to Quyon to see Henry race. I think I may have been bad luck because he crashed in the last lap. But doesn't he look good right there? Le sigh...

I lost my mum 20 years ago. Man, it seems like yesterday. I've been thinking about her a lot lately. 

I made challah for the neighbour

My teams The Dunrobin Dames and The ORCC Dukes and Dames got some bling at the Dragonboat festival 

The weather was shitty, but we came away with a gold a silver and a bronze. Sweet deal!

A couple of days later on Canada Day, I paddled down the Rideau Canal with some friends. Man, I live in the most beautiful city!

Audrey and I visited Auntie Bernice in the old folks home (are they still called that?). She entertained us with "Please Release Me" on the piano

Audrey and her speedboat hair on a visit to my sister- and brother-in-law's place by the water

Incredibly and impressively, Scott waterskied for the first time in 30 years. I'm not allowed to mention that he pulled a groin muscle.

Henry went tubing

I just sat there with the wind in my "hair"

This is why I love to get away. Seeing these three hanging together without devices

Elliott and I decided to have a summer beer taste test

Six cans later and we blearily decided that this was our favourite

Comfy shoes bought for our UK walkabout

Mud mask deployed for lovely clean pores
And that's it for now. I have to wander away now to shower after my run this morning and find 2 guarantors for those damned passports. There's always something to do. But I love that my summer off gives me stress-free time to do it. See you soon...


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Just call me Superteacher!

Actually, please don't. I prefer "Miss Karen".

I've been off work for summer holidays for 2 weeks. In those two weeks, since I work very close to my school, I've seen 3 of my students while I've been out and about. I loved seeing them (truly) and it's been a positive experience every time. But this last time made me very happy.

I saw Elise yesterday as I was coming back from my exhausting ass-haul run through my favourite park. She was with her grandma and we stopped to chat. After a few minutes of trying to convince her that I was indeed Miss Karen even though I wasn't inside the school, she gave me a big, sweet hug. Her grandma told me that she would be going to a French immersion school this coming September and they had to do an interview with her first to see how much she knew. Her grandmother was impressed at how much she could speak.

Now excuse m while I take all the credit for that. I think it's so important to hear different languages as early as possible so at circle time I'll count, do colours and some calendar stuff in French (and sometimes Sign Language and Hebrew just for shits and giggles). At storytime, I'll often read a book in French as well. They didn't do very much French before I showed up, so I took it upon myself to throw some in on the daily.

Result! As I stood there, all sweaty in the street, I never felt prouder of myself. Okay, I actually have felt prouder but not that day. I walked back home with a smile on my face and a spring in my step and that's saying a lot after a hot, unpleasant attempt at jogging.

So all that to say, I'm a pretty good teacher.