Monday, Monday

Ever have a day where you just feel so... blah - and there is no obvious reason for it?  I mean, sure Lincoln fussed from 3:30am to 4:30am until I got up and changed his diaper, gave him Tylenol (for his teeth), a little drink of milk and sent him back to dreamland.  But hell, that little interruption in my sleep can't be the cause for my zombie-like persona today.  I mean, I've battled bigger and badder sleep interruption than that in my day and still come out feeling better than I do today.

I had a pretty good weekend too. I saw Eric Clapton in concert on Friday in the company of my husband and one of my best friends, from a suite no less - while my parents watched my kids for me.  Saturday was a lazy one with the family.  And Sunday we had a fantastic day out - our little family drove into the city and went out for a nice sushi lunch and then to the Canucks Superskills competition where we had great seats and the kids behaved wonderfully.  Came home to dinner ready in the slow cooker. Kids were in bed at a decent time and I had a nice hot shower and some reading in bed before shutting off the lights.

Today I should feel good. 

But... sigh... I feel draggy and tired and even a little bit blue.  I've been pulling out all the stops to feel better - super healthy eating, housework (a clean house usually makes me feel pretty good), organizing and decluttering (hiding toys in the basement), I even managed to get the kids to take their afternoon nap at the same time so I could have time to myself - but then I just sat on the couch and pretty much stared at the wall. I tried to read my book but couldn't get into it. Tried doing crosswords but kept staring blank at the page and then looking up the answers in the back. I even got a cheque in the mail for fifty dollars but it did nothing to pick me up (it's just going towards bills anyways).

My last resort is to take the kids for a good, long, brisk walk and hope that the exercise and fresh air give me a boost.

And if THAT doesn't work, I give.  Some times you just have to sit in your own shitty mood and allow yourself to feel crappy until you can ride it out and it passes.


I picked up my camera this morning to take some pictures of (what else) my kids.  I turned it on and turned the dial to check to see if I had downloaded all my previous pictures.  

I just about came out of my skin when I found that my camera had clearly been hijacked by a certain "party" and a very creepy, self portrait had been taken of the perpetrator...

Endless Trip in Shindig

Endless Trip is a 'star pick' in the January / February issue of Shindig. The review describes the book as 'an enticing mix that is ideally suited to a casual dip or intense late-night study', and concludes that it's 'mind-blowing'


My father-in-law went into a hospice last Thursday. Sunday he became unresponsive. We spent the past week at his side. At one point I had time alone with him and I talked to him and told him everything I wanted to say (including the score of the Canucks game that was on that day because he would have wanted to know). I recorded Lincoln blabbering and gurgling and squealing and Ruby saying "Hi Grandpa Stan. I love you Grandpa Stan". When I played it for him he responded to it and turned his head towards my phone and tried to talk and reach. It was bitter sweet and heart wrenching.

He passed away on Thursday morning at 7am with his best friend at his side.

That morning at exactly 7am, Lincoln started crying. He had been awake for 20 minutes already and had been happily playing with his toys on the floor. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with him.

The hospice placed a butterfly on his door as they use the butterfly to symbolize a person's natural transformation from life to death.

The next day after I got home with the kids, I put Ruby down for her afternoon nap. Oddly she was up within 10 minutes knocking on her side of her bedroom door. When I opened the door - she had a butterfly in her hand and held it up to me. It was a beautiful handmade butterfly that she got when she was born. It has been hanging on the back of her doorknob and this was the first time she (or anyone else) has ever taken it off.

Steve was given his dad's watch the day he died. The next day the watch stopped.

In my dreams that night I saw him from behind, walking, holding Ruby's hand.

We will miss him. He truly was a special man. I know he will always watch over us.

Endless Trip in The Wire

Endless Trip is warmly reviewed in the current (March 2011) issue of The Wire. The review (below) says in part that 'those who think they already know about everything covered in Endless Trip will find themselves rediscovering their record collection through fresh ears - while less experienced heads will be sent on a thrilling (and possibly wallet-draining) voyage of musical discovery'. Right on!

A quick Super Bowl Diary - With Links.

Far be it for the View From North America to self-promote on a college football blog, but our self-esteem's a little low so we'd love you guys checking out some of our articles.

You see, last week was a pretty crazy week for us.

We watching College Football Signing Day from Philadelphia International Airport sitting through a delay waiting for a connection to Dallas. And we didn't find out where this kid, who we'll call "The Clown" is going to sign - because he's going to wait to give Clemson and South Carolina a Happy Valentine's Day present. As any recruit worth their while has slung out their phone to ignore coaches and recruiting sites, we're going to have to wait until Monday.

We arrived in Dallas to the blistering cold, and the next day interviewed Auburn defensive end Nick Fairley. Kids, this guy up close is ABSOLUTELY HUGE. And he's going to be pretty huge in the NFL, too. We predict the next Terrell Suggs. We also met Larry Fitzgerald, who told us - quite incorrectly, that Penn State sucked. Someone in his group muttered that he didn't play for the Nittany Lions because JoePa wanted him to play linebacker. The mind boggles....

That night we met some former Oklahoma kid with a big arm called Sam Bradford. The guy was dressed like Inspector Gadget, with long beige coat and thick glasses. He got ignored. Former Alabama defensive standout Lorenzo Washington didn't. Maybe because no-one really recognises Bradford out of St Louis.

On Saturday, with us feeling a little rebooted, we hit up Leigh Steinberg's party where we chatted to New York Yankees player Nick Swisher, saw Marshall Faulk and Shannon Sharpe get into the Hall of Fame, and chilled.

And on the Sunday, we went to the Super Bowl, and told Desmond Howard how much we loved College Gameday, because by God, we do. Oh, and there was a small matter of the game, too, where afterwards we shook hands with former Penn State TE Andrew Quarless who said: "Penn State! That's where it's at!!"

We couldn't agree more - although last week 'Where it was at' was Dallas.

Oh, and we laughed a lot at the Doritos Pug commercial.

Love Bites

Today marks the day that I've served 11 years of my life sentence.

In other words: I met Steve 11 years ago today.

Depending on what mood I'm in or who I'm talking to, I tell people either that we were introduced by a friend - or we met in a bar.

Both are actually true. 

This "new guy" had started working for the same company as my best friend, Holly.  I lived in the city an hour away and every time I talked to her she would tell me about this Steve guy whom she thought I would like.  She tried to set up group cocktails a few times - which I drove the hour to attend - and he was a no show. I gave up on meeting him after a few attempts to which he obviously had something better to do (like drink beer while watching sports in his basement suite).

Then one night I came into town with a girlfriend and we proceeded to drink quite a bit.  Suddenly Holly came up to me and said "That guy is here. Do you want to meet him?" (or something along those lines, like I said - I'd drank a bit).  Game, I said, "sure".

A guy after my own heart, the minute after we were introduced he bought me a beer.  I chatted with him for a bit (blurry). And at the end of the night we slow danced to Def Leopard (I think it is was "Love Bites" - how cheesy!).  At the end of the song he kissed me on the forehead and promptly left.

He left?!

Oh well, at that point I wasn't about to fret or chase so I just figured that was the end of it.

I finished my last drink and stepped outside for some fresh air.  I sat down on the sidewalk outside the bar and this little white Volkswagen Golf pulled up.  Steve rolled down the window about 3 inches and said to me "Get in".

I did.

My sober friend, Steve's friend and Steve and I drove back into the city and went to Denny's for breakfast - where Steve was pretty much "falling asleep" (NOT passing out).

Steve and his friend stayed the night at my place (it was all very innocent, I swear!). The next morning we drove the hour back to town so I could get my vehicle and Steve could go to work. 

Figured I'd never hear from him again.  But... I did.  He called. We watched a movie the next night.  The following night was Valentines Day and he came back into the city to visit me. 

We've been together almost every day since.

Last night I was standing at the stove, cooking dinner and he said, "Valentines Day is on Monday. What do you want to do about that?" I said, "And tomorrow is our 11 year anniversary too!"

And he forgot for a minute that I can see his reflection in the microwave as he made a face and rolled his eyes.

The most I was hoping for was perhaps combining the two dates and maybe having a steak and a couple of beers together one night after the kids go to bed.  I already bought the steak.  I guess I should pick up the beer too. 

I suppose I shouldn't expect so much. After all, our first dinner date was at 3am in a Dennys and Steve was barely concious. 

Try not to be jealous of the level of romance in my life.

Ladies don't say fuck

I really do get such much satisfaction in dropping a good f-bomb. I find swearing very gratifying when used in the right way. Or... uh, really any way. I have a bit of a trucker mouth, although I have curbed it immensely since my kids came along. I really do try to watch what I say in front of them but jeez, my life is stressful. And when I'm unloading the dishwasher at the end of a hectic day I drop a cup on the ceramic floor, sometimes a good sharp "FUCK!" can make it all better.

I always figured that when I had kids I would still be able to swear - I would just teach them that those words are not for them to say, that some words are only for adults to use. Clearly that was BEFORE I was actually a parent and deep in the trenches. 

I did make an attempt at letting Ruby know she shouldn't use bad language. But I learned today that my methods aren't working all that well.

It was a rare moment when I was alone in the kitchen preparing dinner while Ruby entertained herself in the living room.  I could hear her playing with her toys and babbling away in her little two year old voice.  My ears sharpened when I heard this:


No shit.

Yes, shit.


Ruby say SHOOT.



No say fock.


Ladies no say fock...

Ladies don't say fuck. Yes, that was my futile attempt at trying to get her not to say it when she repeated it after me last week. And I'll admit that I do think it's kind of funny when she says it - but it wouldn't be so funny when she says it at our playgroup, or worse - to her Nan or Grandma.   

So unfortunately, THIS pretty little lady does say fuck - which means that I guess I need to be more of a lady and say the word less often - at least in her earshot...

Fuck, I'm gonna miss saying fuck.

book binding with julee and stephanie

book binding, the old fashioned way: waxed linen threads and handmade book covers. julee is such an encouraging teacher, followed by her skilled and playful accomplice steph, this class went way too quickly.
embossed metal covers

Nobody cares what you had for lunch...

...or for dinner, or breakfast, or even your snack for that matter. So when you try a new recipe that totally turned out awesome or you found something easy and simple and nutritious (or low Weight Watchers points) that you are stoked about and you just have to share it with someone, anyone - and so you write about it on your blog and your readers eyes glaze over and they click away and you wonder why you didn't get one single comment about how much you rock for posting it. Really they'd rather hear more of your dirty laundry (no, really they would).

That's part of the reason why we started Food, Mood, Attitude ! While we admit that we do enjoy reading about other people's dirty laundry over a nice hot cup of coffee (hey we're all human), what we really want to know is exactly what that kickass recipe was and how good it turned out, or your awesome 2 point snack that you discovered that tasted soooo goooood or whatever else you are enjoying munching on (don't forget to send us a pic). So that the next time one of us are in a food rut and we're wandering robotically up and down the ailes of the grocery store, dropping the same old stuff into our cart, wishing we could think of something "different" to have for breakfast/lunch/dinner, maybe an idea from this blog will pop in your head or better yet make it to your grocery list and hopefully be the allstar on your dinner table.

How many times have you had the "bright" idea to try something new you see at the grocery store, only to bring it home and find out it tastes like cardboard or else maybe it sits in your fridge and goes to rot because in all honesty you're not sure how to cook/eat it?

But what if a friend has tried it and liked it, and told you where to buy it, how to cook it, what to eat with it and you saw a picture of it prepared... wouldn't that be helpful?

That's just part of what Food, Mood, Attitude is all about.

Pop over and check it out and don't forget to leave a comment!

This pretentious rubbish called 'rock'

This priceless letter comes from the April 1972 issue of Records & Recording magazine, and perfectly encapsulates what was a very popular viewpoint at the time. I wonder what became of Mr. Sealey, with his 'inviolable criteria', 'alarm' and 'despair'; I imagine he found the steady assimilation of pop into the cultural mainstream increasingly hard to bear.